Can There be a Conservative Majority in America?

Because right now there clearly isn’t. The Trumpocalypse is upon us and while there still is a slim chance that Cruz can derail it, what Trump has revealed is that the Republican Party is not, itself, a Conservative party…some of us (definitely myself, included) figured America to be a center-right nation and thus open to Conservatism on the whole. Turns out, we were quite wrong. Between Trump and Sanders, we’re seeing that very large blocs of the American electorate are not remotely interested in Conservatism. Sanders and Trump supporters both share a similar dream – though both sides would reject this idea with fury – and that is a dream of an America with an all-powerful government. Trump and Sanders people just have slightly different ideas of who is the enemy and who gets bashed – and who gets the government goodies. Conservatism has nothing in common with that.

This is because Conservatism isn’t about political power as such. Trump and Sanders supporters have grand dreams of what the government will do as soon as their guy gets in. Conservatives have grand dreams of government doing little – certainly little that interferes with people just living their lives. National defense; just laws equitably enforced; basic services provided in an efficient manner. That is pretty much all a Conservative asks of government. And therein lies the fundamental weakness of Conservatism – it doesn’t offer goodies nor does it propose to punish groups or classes of people. It speaks to neither base political desire of humanity – greed for gain or joy in revenge. So, as we offer nothing – as it were – how can we gain a majority? How do we campaign, that is, on a platform of “we’re going to help you if you’re in a real bind but for the most part we’re going to just leave you alone”? Rather tricky business, right?

But it can be done. You see, even though the ultimate aim of Conservatism is limited government presiding lightly over free, independent people who look after themselves, there are dragons to slay and rewards to offer. There are, that is, things to offer people in return for their support. We just have to figure out how to offer them in a manner which appeals to them. I’ve been talking it up for years now – though my audience here is small, and even among my fellow Conservatives, much dissent from my views has been offered. But it is time to think anew and act anew – we don’t want to partner up with people like the Trumpsters (though we do eventually want the large majority of them to come our way – but only after they are properly instructed and understand what we’re doing) and we sure as heck can’t partner up with Socialists (though, once again, we want a large majority of them to come our way, eventually). Going into partnership – alliance – with Trumpsters or Socialists means we have to give in to their views and that can’t be done if we are to remain Conservative. They have to give up some of their views – and we have to convince them that doing such is wise and in their best interest.

Here’s my Three Point Plan for building a Conservative Majority. It is rather thumbnail at the moment and can certainly be fleshed out – but as I recently condemned a guy for not having a plan for making a Conservative Majority, I think it incumbent upon me to at least provide some bare-bones framework:

1. Stop being contemptuous of others. I’ve seen it for years but the Trump and Sanders phenomena has written it starkly: plenty on the right (the left, as well, but we’re not the left so I don’t care what they do) have monumental contempt for people who don’t just “see” things their way. Not everyone has the time or inclination to learn what others learn. But this doesn’t make them stupid or even uneducated – it just makes them people with a different set of knowledge and thus a different perspective. Of course, ignorance of some facts can lead people quite astray – but even if they are lead astray the way to reach them and get them on the right path isn’t by insulting them or being condescending.

2. Don’t denigrate their fears, either. Lots of people have lots of fears and some of them are entirely divorced from reality. From people who think that the Koch Brothers are conspiring against the people to others who think the UN is about to land blue-helmeted soldiers in America to confiscate our weapons and every possible combination in between. The fears may well be based upon false information, but they are none the less real to those who have them. Don’t insult the fears – acknowledge them. Find ways to turn those phantom fears towards real, concrete problems we have. If their fear is the Koch Brothers then propose ways and means to improve the relative power of the people against those who have a great deal of money. If the fear is foreign tyrants imposing their will on the United States then propose ways American sovereignty can be strengthened. But whatever you do, don’t just dismiss the fears as absurd – all you’ll get is a person who is now impervious to your pleas.

3. Substitute false enemies and false promises for real enemies and real promises. As you are now humbly trying to explain yourself and acknowledging their fears (real and imagined) of your audience you have a chance to start inserting into their minds who is really against them and what rewards they can really obtain by following your lead.

The real enemy of the United States is not a proposal to make something legal or illegal, but lawlessness. Solzhenitsyn pointed out that the real problem with the Communist government in Russia was not that it was tyrannical, but that it was arbitrary. Soviet Russia was chock full of laws from end to end, but no one in the Soviet Union had the least idea of what was really permitted or what was really prohibited because regardless of what the written law said, any trumped-up Communist party official or KGB officer could arbitrarily imprison you at any time. Over time it must be carefully explained to the American people that their great danger is not any particular set of political ideas, but the fact that our government is simply not under control of the people and is not abiding by the law. Right now in America no one can be certain, day by day, they are obeying all applicable laws – there are so many of them and so badly written; and that leaves out the fact that the government has proven itself highly selective in which laws it will enforce, and whom it will enforce them against. We are also in a state where we don’t know if something we’d rather not do will be made mandatory on the morrow by the merest whim of a bureaucrat. Big Government is incapable of being lawful because once it grows beyond a certain point, no one is really minding the store – and people with power who are not responsible to the will of the people tend to become more arbitrary all the time, even without the added inducement of people bribing the government to do this or that particular act outside the law. By telling tales of people who innocently ran afoul of laws – or who were ground up in the system for comparatively small offenses which snowballed – we can explain to the people that Big Government is necessarily against them, and thus grow the number of people who want government curbed.

Trump says he’s going to kick those foreigners out and get our jobs back and Make America Great Again. Sanders says he’s going to rake those Millionaires and Billionaires over the coals and thus provide everyone with free college, free healthcare, free etc, etc, etc. These are nonsense promises but people listen to them because people have a natural bent to believe it when someone is offering something swell with no personal sacrifice. You can’t beat something with nothing and so we have to contradict the false promises with real promises. This is the harder task than getting people to identify the real enemy, by the way. It is hard to argue against free stuff and nearly as hard to argue against “we’re gonna be great if you just give me power”. But I do believe the trick can be done. It is a matter of holding out in front of the people the real rewards of a Conservative government – personal safety; law and order; justice; peace; prosperity. And with this cachet – people like a challenge. They really do. Sure, they also like promises of free stuff, but if you promise blood, sweat, toil and tears in the right way and with the right vision of a broad, sunlit uplands, then people will sign on to your movement. Its a matter of going to Detroit and telling the people there that they, the people currently living there, will soon be living in a revived Detroit; telling people in a dying rust-belt town that with hard work and sacrifice that dying town will be revived…and not with slick deals for connected lobbyists and contractors, but with actual good things for the people there, today.

Anyway, that is what I’ve got right now – I’ll likely have more on it over time. But to build a Conservative majority will clearly take doing things different than we have. There’s really no other choice – we either adapt to current conditions and start moving the ball our way, or Conservatism is finished. And I think we can do it – if we but try.

18 thoughts on “Can There be a Conservative Majority in America?

  1. Retired Spook March 16, 2016 / 8:15 am

    3. Substitute false enemies and false promises for real enemies and real promises.

    Shouldn’t this be the other way around? Later in the post you say: You can’t beat something with nothing and so we have to contradict the false promises with real promises.

    Anyway, except for that contradiction, great piece. I hope it generates a robust discussion.

    The real challenge, which you don’t acknowledge and yet which I’m sure you know is a distinct possibility, is can we achieve what you suggest without killing each other. I’d like to think so, but we may be too far down the rabbit hole to avoid it. And any violence is likely to be started by the Left, which is kind of beyond our control. I can easily see another summer of ’68 headed this way in a few months.

    Now that doesn’t mean it’s not a goal worthy of pursuing. Heck, I engage people with the ideas you present pretty much every day. It’s still going to take some leadership at all levels, particularly at the national level; someone who connects with a huge chunk of the population the way Reagan did; someone who says we are going in a new direction, a direction that restores that which is good without persecuting those who disagree. Right now we’re dealing with a regime that is actually contemplating prosecuting people and companies who they refer to as “climate change deniers”. That kind of mindset has to be completely erased from government at all levels. I’m pretty vocal when it comes to believing that man-made climate change is one of the biggest hoaxes ever perpetrated on mankind. I can guarantee, if they come for me because of that belief, I’m not going quietly.

    • M. Noonan March 16, 2016 / 12:31 pm

      I am continually surprised, day by day, to see anti-Trumpers acting like Obama hasn’t been President for these past year. If I hear one more person say he’s going to vote Hillary or Third Party to keep Trump out because Trump represents lawlessness then I’m going to be sick. There is no negative of Trump which is not precisely a negative of both current President Obama and prospective President Hillary – with this caveat: so far, Trump has not foisted lies upon us to the same degree Obama and Hillary have (no, Trump is not a citadel of Truth…but so far we’ve got nothing from him to compare with, “if you like your plan, you can keep it” or “it was a video which caused the attack”). The only thing which can be said in Hillary’s defense vis a via Trump is that she’s not vulgar.

      We’ll all see how this Trumpocalypse goes – naturally, I’m a Cruz supporter now and I do think that Cruz could get more delegates than Trump…trouble is, a lot of people hate Cruz nearly as much as they hate Trump.

    • M. Noonan March 16, 2016 / 12:32 pm

      Oh, and Mr. Grammar Dictator – I don’t think the phrases contradictory! Just reversed…but, you’re right in the sense that it does seem a clunky sentence on reflection.

      • Retired Spook March 16, 2016 / 8:38 pm

        “Mr. Grammar Dictator — LOL!!

      • Amazona March 16, 2016 / 11:04 pm

        I am so jealous. I have been called The Grammar Police but….Dictator? I never dreamed of reaching such a height.

      • M. Noonan March 17, 2016 / 10:23 pm

        Well, everyone is into Dictators these days…

  2. Amazona March 16, 2016 / 9:42 am

    Good piece, Mark, but as I went through it I felt that it missed the giant elephant in the room–GOP elephant as well as real elephant. That is, that “conservatism” has been identified by way too many people not as a blueprint for how best to govern the nation but as a collection of issues.

    My argument has been (1) that issues are not the same as political philosophy and (2) that dividing people not by ideas but by feelings would keep people out of a true conservative movement. And now, sadly, we are seeing (1) proved, and (2) proved in a somewhat contrary manner, not by showing that issues are dividing people who ought to be united but that they are uniting people but for the wrong reasons.

    I contend that what I consider true conservatives—-that is, people who have a coherent POLITICAL philosophy based on the belief that our nation is best governed by following its Constitution—-responded to Trump by thinking “I am sure glad there is someone willing to take flak for blurting out what needed to be said, and I am glad he has paved the way for a true conservative to follow through.” This person would also have thought “While Trump is addressing issues that others have tiptoed around because of fear of political fallout, he is not really a conservative because the solutions he offers can only be achieved by even more abandonment of the Constitution”.

    But what has happened is that Trump and his candidacy have shown that all that matters to many millions is their issues, Constitution be damned. And he has shown that when this is the case, principles fall by the wayside along with the Constitution.

    These, I believe, are what may be the fatal weakness of the conservative movement—-its reliance on issues instead of Constitutional governance, and its failure to explain the difference. And this is the source of the sense of anger and bewilderment and even betrayal among Constitutional Conservatives; we see so many of our number not only tossing Constitutional principles aside to follow a glittering Pied Piper as he plays to their dependence on issues but also abandoning those values they have touted for so long as central to their identities and beliefs.

    It’s not that Trump is a con man—it’s that the thin veneers of conservatism and principles have been shattered, and proven to be shams. It’s that we have been conned not by Trump but by people we trusted. When they said they valued morality, truth, consistency, honesty, the sanctity of life, character, we believed them, and it is upsetting to see how quickly those values have melted away when they would have gotten in the way of joining the Trump parade. When they said they believed a return constitutional governance was their most important political goal we believed them, and now that they admit they are quite happy with a president who promises to ignore the Constitution even more than his predecessor, because he will be doing it for the “right” reasons, and we feel that they have been lying to us all along. When they said they were baffled by how many people were willing to deny the realities of a candidate proved to be a liar and a fraud, we thought they were expressing a philosophical aversion to such willful blindness, and now we see them doing the same thing, now that they have a candidate who needs this kind of blindness to excuse supporting him.

    In other words, too many on the Right are exactly like so many on the Left—without a political rudder, without a coherent POLITICAL philosophy, but driven only by emotion. Two sides of the same coin, equally unmoored from a commitment to constitutional governance and its constraints on presidential power and interested only in who will wield that power and for what ends.

    This, I believe, the divisiveness that is threatening the conservative movement. It may destroy it, as it now appears to be doing, as it is painting the movement as hypocritical, and efforts to distance ourselves from the hypocrites can only create more anger and resentment.

    I have been arguing for years that most who vote on the Left do not do so because of an informed allegiance to a political model, but because of attraction to cleverly designed and defined issues that are superficially attractive but which mask the political philosophy underneath. Now we are seeing the same thing on the Right. The thing is, now the two apparently opposite sides, while thinking they are voting for widely divergent issues, are in fact supporting the same underlying political philosophy.

    This could be—and I say COULD be—-the chance to build a Constitutional movement, defined not by issues but by a commitment to a federal government severely restricted as so size, scope and power with most of the authority left to the states, or to the People. I say, and have always said, that such movement, if clearly and consistently defined, could bring back the Big Tent concept of a political party, one based on ideals and political philosophy of how best to govern the nation and not on issues which are, after all, specifics of what we want from that government. A movement which is open to all adherents of all issues as long as the decisions are made according to the Constitution.

    In other words, open to, for example, pro-life people and those who call themselves pro-choice, as long as both sides agree that the matter has to be decided at the state or local level

    I remember saying this a few years ago to great outrage from some of the self-styled “conservatives” who were on this blog, who basically said “I don’t want those (fill in the blank) in MY movement”. When I pointed out that they wanted a movement based on issue the response was, basically, “You’re damned right we do!” And so here we are. I speculate that these same people are now in the Trump parade, quite happy with supporting someone with even less respect for the Constitution than Obama, because he will violate the Constitution “for the right reasons”.

    I submit that we can’t even THINK of saving, or strengthening, a Conservative Movement until we can define it with clarity and base it on something more than ISSUES.

  3. Amazona March 16, 2016 / 10:29 am

    We don’t tell people they can’t have stuff—we tell them that the federal government can’t give them stuff, and furthermore that when they do go through the state governments they will have a lot more control over what happens, a lot more oversight, and more stuff to hand out because there won’t be a federal agency with its sticky fingers taking its share off the top.

    We don’t tell people they won’t get help—-we tell them that under a Constitutional system they will get help if they really need it (through state or local agencies, not the feds) but also that with a tax system that lets them keep more of what they earn and a regulatory system that is there to provide safeguards and not promote social or political agendas they will have the opportunity to earn WAYYYY more than they can get from government handouts.

    “Its a matter of going to Detroit and telling the people there that they, the people currently living there, will soon be living in a revived Detroit; telling people in a dying rust-belt town that with hard work and sacrifice that dying town will be revived…and not with slick deals for connected lobbyists and contractors, but with actual good things for the people there, today.” You lose me here. No, we tell them that with lower federal taxes they, the people of Michigan, can raise their taxes and elect the right people to rebuild Detroit. But it is up to THEM and THEY have to make the right decisions, such as reining in unions and getting rid of corruption. We tell them that is the benefit of a Constitutional government—that if they don’t like it in one place they can go somewhere else, because every state is different, not all under the same blanket One Size Fits All system we have now.

    No, the feds will not swoop in and make everything OK. The reasons for the failure of Detroit will be laid out, Detroit will be compared to other cities with other forms of government and less union control, and then we will stand back and let them make their own decisions. They made the decisions that got them there, so they have to make the decisions to change.

    We educate, educate, educate. We make sure that there are choices for parents in where and how to educate their kids. Here is where the private sector should come in—we need a very rich person or consortium of very rich people to buy out one of the network stations to provide an alternative to the Complicit Agenda Media, whether in providing entertainment that is not raunchy or racist or giving equal air time to conservatives or simply giving the news as it happens. Fox has done OK, but we need a mainstream medium.

    We FOR GOD’S SAKE PLEASE have to stop yammering about “smaller government” if we just leave it at that. Because we’re really not talking about smaller government imposed on everyone. We are talking about SHIFTING more of the responsibilities and actions now undertaken by the federal government closer to home, where it can be administered more efficiently, more economically, and with more oversight, where the citizens have more control. We mumble something about “shrinking government” and then drop it there, giving loons the chance to lecture us on how much we depend on roads and fire departments, blah blah blah. We are a huge population with massive needs, and we have to have government that can keep up with us. The thing is, that flexible government has to be at the state and local level. The federal government is the government that has to be reined in, restricted as so size, scope and power, and limited to its delegated duties. The state governments have to be able to do the rest. The more we just drop the “smaller government” comment and then walk off, the goofier we sound, the more concerned people get about what we really mean, and the more ammunition we give the demagogues who then prattle on about roads and fire departments and such.

    We do more, so much more, to fight election fraud. We don’t just say we have to have photo IDs, we have a program to help people get them. The Left constantly whines that it is just toooooo haaard for some people to get IDs, they don’t have birth certificates, etc. If that is really the problem we help those specific people. We don’t make the whole system flawed and easy to manipulate to accommodate them. Given that so many of these people get assistance and therefore DO have IDs, this is a bogus claim—but don’t dismiss it, address it, aggressively and proactively. Get rid of early voting. Get rid of mail in ballots except for those who truly need them. Find out why we can’t seem to get ballots TO so many of our deployed military in time for them to vote, and fix that. Get over the bogus idea that the more people who vote, the better. Get rid of Motor Voter registration—allow people to register at DMV stations if they want, but do not offer registration as part of getting a license. In other words, make voting matter. We have to give the voice back to the people, and the first step is making sure their votes mean something.

    • M. Noonan March 16, 2016 / 12:40 pm

      I think that bottom line I’m thinking of ways to make our views more palatable – to get into a mind which, perhaps, doesn’t have as much information on certain points as we do and get them to easily and quickly understand the good that will come from them voting for us, even though we’re not promising them free stuff. Our ideas are correct – everyone else’s ideas are, to any degree they contradict Conservative ideas, wrong…but how do we get people to just “see” that? This, I think, is our task – and it will be a difficult one.

      We can’t insult people into backing us, that is certain; but we also can’t argue them into backing us in the sense of showing by historical analysis that Socialism always has, is and always will fail. Too time consuming and we’d be hitting them with too much data. We need brief, easy to understand ideas which will move people are way – to put it in crude terms, some better Conservative sloganeering.

      But what we do must also be tailored to what our target audience is actually thinking, feeling and going through. No appeals to the wisdom of Madison to people, thanks to public education, who don’t even know who he is (and I do believe such ignorance of things is deliberate on the part of the left – they want Americans who don’t know America). A community wracked by poverty, welfare and crime is not the place to start talking about “get a job, ya bum”…but it is a great place to start talking about how that community’s government (certain to be Progressive in personnel) has been nastily screwing over the people and stealing the public’s money for their own, personal gain.

      • Amazona March 16, 2016 / 8:12 pm

        ” A community wracked by poverty, welfare and crime is not the place to start talking about “get a job, ya bum”…but it is a great place to start talking about how that community’s government (certain to be Progressive in personnel) has been nastily screwing over the people and stealing the public’s money for their own, personal gain.

        Telling people how they got into the hole isn’t necessarily the best way to help them see a way out of it. Convincing people they basically created their own problems by voting for the wrong people might not be the best way to reach them. I say you put a ladder in the hole, and those willing to climb out can—“climbing out” meaning working for a living, either in the same neighborhood as the hole or in another in a different place. There is nothing wrong with saying “Of course that system didn’t work. It never works.” You don’t have to give an American History lecture. You don’t have to give a Poly Sci lecture. If what you want to do is help a neighborhood, or a city, recover, the first thing you have to do is realize that there are a lot of people who like it the way it is. If they don’t want to fight for it, and make the necessary changes, walk away. If you want to help, offer a way out.

        People escape from bad situations all the time. Sometimes they learn from their mistakes, and sometimes they use up what others have given them and stay in the same patterns. Last year I reached out to help two young homeless families, but I didn’t do it with any real expectations of either of them learning from their mistakes, and although I gave them places to live for free, some furniture for new apartments once they found work and got their first and last months rent and damage deposits together , and in one case gave the husband and wife work on my place and advanced them enough money to rent a place, I did it out of a sense of what was a Christian thing for me to do, not because I believed it would make much of a difference in the way they live their lives. One couple, unmarried with a young son, chose to live in the most expensive county in Colorado where the cheapest apartment (with government subsidy, of course) was what a mortgage payment on a three bedroom house would have been in another community, and were ecstatic when they learned that the woman was pregnant again. No money, no apartment at that time, no furniture, no permanent job, unreliable car, living on the charity of a stranger, they never looked beyond the next day. Next time they will be living in their car with two babies instead of one. I have to accept that. The other couple took off with my money. I was not surprised, and actually expected it. Again, soon the kids will be back with their grandparents while the parents wander around, living in their car and mooching off of strangers who will, as I did, try to help.

        I don’t regret offering to help, but I also never expected miracles. When you speak with people in dire straits and learn that they got there through a series of astoundingly bad decisions, which they do not recognize as bad decisions, you realize that their lives are pretty predictable. This is a lesson which can be expanded to include a whole community, a whole town. In the case of Detroit, it was the free ride that hooked them, and until they realize it is over and ain’t coming back there is no reason to even bother with them. If one of these families were to ask for help in getting out of there, to start over, I would be happy to help. But otherwise, I think it is a lost cause.

    • Amazona March 16, 2016 / 4:15 pm

      My experience has been that if you ask people if they prefer to have their laws made by a massive Central Authority which has pretty much unlimited power or if they want more authority closer to home, in their state and local governments, you get a much more conservative answer than if you ask them if they want to give up something.

      It’s human nature. When I tried to stop smoking by depriving myself of something, I failed. When I did it by giving myself something in return for not smoking—saving money, not smelling bad, better health, not having my life so controlled by something as stupid as cigarettes, etc—-then I was working FOR something, not just denying myself something.

      So if your basis is something non threatening (not taking away something) and general, such as that question, you can then build on it—you don’t have to give up your (fill in the blank) but you just get it from the state instead of from the feds. That means if you’re not happy with the way it is going, it will be easier to change it. It’s a lot easier to change governors that changing presidents. People understand that. People understand that every agency or office a plan has to go through adds to the cost of administering that plan. People understand that One Size Does Not Fit All–what is necessary for Rhode Island is not necessarily what is needed in Arizona.

      All of this IS palatable, and furthermore it respects peoples’ intelligence. It says to them, “you are smart enough to do the math, to figure things out”. And it offers choice. If something is federally mandated, imposed, administered, then it is national, and you can’t get away from it. But if your state passes a law you just can’t stand, or has a ridiculous welfare policy that pays able-bodied people to not work, or whatever, you have alternatives. If you can’t make those changes in your own state, you can go somewhere else.

      We can’t correct overreach by government with more overreach by government. That is not a change in government, it is a change in masters. The stupid will always be with us. I just read that a relative of a teen shot to death robbing a house was quite indignant, asking “where else was he gonna get money?” We can’t eliminate stupidity. What is cultural might be overcome, eventually, through a combination of education and earning a living instead of being a parasite, but the truly stupid will always be among us. So let them be. It is like an election—we don’t go after hard-core Leftist voters, but concentrated on that “moderate” middle ground.

      • Bob Eisenhower March 16, 2016 / 6:03 pm


        I don’t think your winning any hearts and minds with dichotomies of “a massive Central Authority (with)…unlimited power” vs. pretty much anything. Funny fact, most reasonable people, when given the choice of eating a salad or a leading contributor to heart disease, they’ll pass on the delicious burger and go for the salad.

        America doesn’t seem to care about a Big Brother society, look how they love Trump. They can’t be scared to conservatism. Maybe Mark’s argument bears a little traction to lure them back to reason.

      • Amazona March 16, 2016 / 7:42 pm

        First, Trump is not posing that kind of question. What Trump is doing is telling people they don’t have to worry about a thing because he is going to do whatever it is they want done. He is a big shiny mirror, reflecting all their fears and then soothing them with assurances that he will make all the big bad problems go away. They are not looking beyond that.

        The thing is, with some people, perhaps with most people, once a stand has been taken it is very very hard to back away from it. Some of us have no problem saying “I was wrong” or “I made a mistake” but many will go right off a cliff rather than admit they made a wrong turn. I will bet that not a single Trump supporter started with the decision to abandon the Constitution so he or she could THEN become a Trumpet. No, the emotional reaction came first, the attraction to whatever it was that got that adrenaline going.

        The other night I left the TV on while I was in the other room on the computer, and a WWW show came on. I could hear it in the background, and when I started to realize the original show was over what I heard sounded like Donald Trump. I went in to the other room and spent a few minutes watching the spectacle of the florid, fake-tanned, fleshy con man (no idea who he was) strutting around making wild promises of mayhem and retribution, and watched the crowd go wild. And I thought “Yes, this COULD be Donald Trump, and this COULD be a Trump rally”. It was eerie. Creepy and icky, and I could only take a few minutes of it, but it was a very strong image.

        Trump has never appealed to thought. He has always appealed to emotion. And falling in love with a candidate ls like any other kind of falling in love–once you are hit with it, you ignore anything that says you are making a mistake. You make excuse after excuse to explain away your infatuation, you go to amazing lengths to try to convince others, and often yourself, that this is not a mistake. So you marry the guy who cheated on his wife to be with you, telling yourself that he really loves YOU and would never cheat on YOU. You buy the horse even after the vet has told you it has bad conformation and a bad temper. You buy the house even after the inspector tells you the ground under it is not stable, because you love the view. You buy the car that has gotten the worst reviews ever, sure that THIS one won’t burst into flames while you are driving it, because you think you look good in it. And so on. No one ever says “I want a philandering husband” or “I don’t care if I pay a lot of money for a horse that will bite me and buck me off and then break down” or “sliding off this cliff in my sleep will be worth it for a few weeks of being able to look out at the ocean” or “I’ll just carry a fire extinguisher on the passenger seat and hope for the best”.

        No, no one ever went through a thought process, regarding Trump, that went “That whole follow-the-constitution thing isn’t that big a deal. I don’t like it when Obama acts like a bully and a tyrant, but if I could just find a bully and a tyrant I agree with I’d be fine with that. ” People just fell in love, and then found themselves having to defend their choice, so they had to come up with “reasons”—efforts to make their decisions appear to be based on reason. Mostly they just do what everyone else does when a foolish decision is challenged, and get mad at whoever is pointing out the folly, and then they invent characteristics they claim influenced their decisions. Smart, successful, courageous, bold, but mostly that they can see themselves in him.

        I am saying to step away from the circus atmosphere of an election cycle, particularly this one, and in a calmer environment start the dialogue. Not to try to sweep someone all the way from one extreme to another, but to get a thought process started. If the GOP or the Conservative Movement had a real leader, this would have been started years ago. Gingrich tried, but couldn’t get traction in the media and his efforts fizzled out, but he made a serious effort to get a dialogue started about government, not about issues. I’m saying to avoid all Identity Politics, all labels, anything that will generate a knee-jerk reaction, and just start to talk to people about how they feel about having a massive monolithic government that does not listen to them—-isn’t that the feeling that is propelling Sanders and Trump fandom? Trump got there first, tapping into that frustration and helplessness, by telling the vulnerable and the gullible that they don’t need a smaller federal government so they have more control closer to home, they just need HIM at the helm of an even bigger and more powerful federal government. Easy answers, quick fixes, are always appealing.

        We had a shot at getting this ball rolling when so many, even on the Left, were unhappy about Obama bigfooting the Constitution, but before anyone could take advantage of that in a positive healthy way Trump swept in, like any con man seeing the vulnerability and playing to it, and now we are going to have to let people get fed up with him, too, and hope for another window where people are looking for answers. At least if Trump gets elected we can use him as an example of how NOT to solve a problem.

  4. Bob Eisenhower March 16, 2016 / 1:26 pm

    We must win with ideas, and here are some of my retarded ideas:

    1. Stop call supporters Trumpeteers or Trumpbots. I’m thinking a little more on-the-money with Trumpanzees or simply Chumps.

    2. This is no “Trumpocalypse” as it equates Trump with biblical scale. How’s about Trumpicane Katrina? You know, people died and all but it’s not enough bring Jesus back.

    • M. Noonan March 16, 2016 / 2:14 pm


  5. Amazona March 16, 2016 / 8:36 pm

    Sanders and Trump supporters both share a similar dream – though both sides would reject this idea with fury – and that is a dream of an America with an all-powerful government. Trump and Sanders people just have slightly different ideas of who is the enemy and who gets bashed – and who gets the government goodies. Conservatism has nothing in common with that.

    BINGO !! (Though Trump did admit that a description of Sanders’ platform and agenda sounded exactly like Trump. His fanboys didn’t care.)

    • M. Noonan March 17, 2016 / 10:24 pm

      I don’t think his fans care about much more than just sticking it to things as they are…we’re far beyond rational thought right now.

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