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Samizdata quote of the day

In a way, then, Palin’s speech was the perfect endorsement for Donald Trump’s campaign: an incoherent mess of angry, resentful sentiment, delivered in a way designed to provide the maximum in media spectacle. Palin effectively—and, okay, somewhat poetically—captured and amplified the identity-politics-driven nonsense that feeds both the candidate and his supporters.

Peter Suderman

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73 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Mr Black

    I’m seeing the Trump candidacy as something akin to the drive through the Ardennes in 1940. The establishment politicians and commentators have all their well laid plans and schemes and conventional understanding of what is good politics and good tactical positioning, they have their media traps and minefields laid out and ready to fight the last war and Trump simply doesn’t care. He’s going around them, directly to the people and he is winning them over in droves. And the establishment is so wedded to the idea of their own brilliance and the sublime perfection of their personal understanding that they simply refuse to acknowledge that the battlefield is changing, has changed, and that they have been completely out-flanked and are in the process of being routed.

    Trump is exposing the common wisdom and accepted truths as anything but, he is exposing them as the myths and lies sold by the political classes to keep the rabble of voters in line and voting the right way. And the rabble is finding that they are powerful, much more powerful than they realized and they are delighting in it. This genie is not going back into the bottle.

  • Mr. Black… yes the establishment is odious, you will get little argument on that score here. But the notion we should be flocking to the banner of a rent seeking opportunistic thug like Trump does not follow.

  • newrouter

    suderman

    captured and amplified the identity-politics-driven nonsense that feeds both the candidate and his supporters.

    palin

    This election is more than just your basic ABCs: Anybody But Clinton. It’s more than that this go-around.

    When we’re talking about a nation without borders, when we’re talking about bankruptcies in our federal government. Debt that our children and our grandchildren, they’ll never be able to pay off. When we’re talking about no more Reagan-esque power that, that, comes from strength. Power through strength. Well, then, we’re talking about our very existence, so, no, we’re not gonna to chill. In fact, it’s time to drill, baby, drill down, and hold these folks accountable.

    And we need to stop the self-sabotage and elect new and independent. A candidate who represents that and represents America first. Finally. Pro-Constitution, common-sense solutions that he brings to the table. Yes, the status quo has got to go, otherwise we’re just going to get more of the same and with their failed agenda, it can’t be salvaged. It must be savaged. And Donald Trump is the right one to do that.

    link

  • Mr Black

    I’m prepared to give Trump a chance. I realize he’s not a conservative, he has no particular conservative or constitutional principles and he’ll probably use the white house to enrich himself and his buddies. However, both parties already do this and regard it as normal and proper. What sets Trump aside from them, is that while he may be a corrupt opportunist, he’s a stridently pro-American corrupt opportunist and that is a rare thing in federal politics today. If he dealt with the Mexican and muslim problems and cut into the body of politically correct leftism, he’d achieve more than anyone else would, or would even dream to try for. The entire system is rotten and it’s not going to be fixed by asking everyone to remember the rules again. It’s war and Trump is the only man standing up declaring he is ready to fight. The rest of the GOP long ago conceded the field to leftism, they’re just retreating as planned now.

  • Regional

    Americans consider Europeans an embuggerance.

  • JohnW

    I am watching Trump on the new series of Celebrity Apprentice USA BBC 1 TV and it is striking how good Trump is.

    He seems to have two personalities – one for business and one for the media.

    I would vote for him just to see what happens – he is a populist, ignorant of philosophy, history, political ideology, and theoretical economics, but he is quick, sharp, nuanced, savvy, analytical, has a wide range of knowledge and integrates new facts easily. He values intelligence, talent, achievement and is socially liberal and trusts the judgement his advisors. And he gets stuff done. A good economic advisor would do wonders.

    I am by no means a Trump fan, but a Trump President would horrify the US political establishment. Plus his most vocal opponents in this country are all scum.

  • Bogdan from Aussie

    It is worthy to remind our friend peter Suderman that Palin was from 2008 until 2014 almost the only voice and the only force fighting for a true Conservatism with unprecedented courage and enthusiasm. For that she was repaid by those who attack her and criticise her with repeated acts of most vile backstabbing. Finally she decided to give her support for Trump for three major reasons:
    – She concluded that Trump has the best chances of beating Obama.
    – She was attracted to him because he is financing his own campaign with his own money thus making himself independent from rich donors with their own expectations and demands. Palin has many times stated that one of the things she hates most in the political process is asking people for their money.
    – Trump has from many years and on many occasions expressed his genuine respect and admiration for Palin; Ted Cruz is the only political persona who had gained from Palin’s endorsement and was gracious enough to acknowledge that publicly. Great numbers of those who own Palin their political and administrative position have never expressed their gratitude for her and instead were taking part in the campaign to marginalise and even destroy her.

    Palin is fully capable of delivering the most beautiful and powerful speech when she thinks it is beneficial for the political process in which she herself or her friends are taking part.

    I myself was pretty disappointed by her decision not to run for the Presidency herself and then to give her support for Trump, however reaction of her detractors is simply ludicrous and the hostility they display towards her is simply barbaric.

    Greetings from Aussie – Bogdan

  • Bogdan from Aussie

    Beating the “Democratic” candidate and not Obama, of course…

  • Petepet

    The times I have played cards and had the best card and been Trumped is legion. The rest do not have anywhere near the best cards.

  • Chester Draws

    I’m seeing the Trump candidacy as something akin to the drive through the Ardennes in 1940.

    Leading, eventually, to the utter devastation of the side who won? Winning a battle is not winning a war.

    This is a major risk for Republicans. Trump could make the party unelectable for decades if he stuffs it up too badly. Not a for certain, but a risk nonetheless.

  • Laird

    “Palin’s support was incoherent, then, in part because that’s how she is, and part because it could be no other way.”

    Well, perhaps. But political stump speeches aren’t intended to be transcribed and read in the passionless light of day; they are to be spoken, and listened to, and ultimately to inspire. Coherence isn’t required, or necessarily even desirable. Palin is perfectly capable of coherence, even eloquence, under the correct circumstances, but those weren’t such circumstances.

    Trump is not a “conservative” in the Republican sense. (Of course, most Republicans aren’t “conservatives” in my sense, so I guess that balances out.) Nor is he a progressive. He is essentially a populist, which means he has no core animating principles. He taps into the deep desires of his followers, and he seems to have a keen sense of what those are. (The fact that a billionaire can do that is itself pretty remarkable. Only in America.) And, for what it’s worth, he really does seem to believe in what America once stood for, and perhaps even in its Constitution (the jury is still out on that one). And he offends all the right people, certainly a plus.

    I’m not sold on Trump. But I’m unenthusiastic about any of his Republican challengers, too, and I have absolutely no doubt that he would be a vast improvement over any of the Democratic candidates (let alone the incumbent). Even if he is a rent-seeking opportunist.

  • AngryTory

    TRUMP is going to be the next Reagan! Hell with any luck we’ll have Trump & Palin for two terms, then two terms of Palin and Paul Ryan… That would really, really, Take America Back and make her Great Again!

    Palin’s speech should go down in History as the greatest political speech since those of GW Bush. The point of a speech is not to convince liberals — we know they cannot even be turned at the point of a gun — but to force itself into the lamestream media and ensure the base will all come out and vote — -and in America, will work hard to True the Vote so that illegals, unconstitutionals, etc don’t try to steal the election. By all those measures, Palin did a truly wonderful job!

    Drill Baby Drill! Kill Baby Kill!

    Pro-Constitution, common-sense solutions that he brings to the table.

  • Mr Black

    I think you’re getting ahead of yourself AngryTory. Reagan was an intellectual giant who had spent many years thinking about policy and refining his arguments and understanding. Trump is able to inspire people in a similar way it seems but is there any evidence he’s given a moments thought to policy? It’s likely he’ll just do the first thing that occurs to him and damn the consequences.

  • Heh. So a protectionist who favours the state seizing people’s property and giving it to property developers such as himself is going to save the USA eh? Oh yeah I can really see Trump “making America great”.

  • bloke in spain

    Good to see Palin Derangement Syndrome’s still afflicting. TDS hasn’t completely taken over.

  • bloke in spain

    Obama was the cure for BDS, wasn’t he?

  • Alisa

    The entire system is rotten and it’s not going to be fixed by asking everyone to remember the rules again.

    America is all about rules, it is The Rules. Without rules, there is nothing to save and nothing to fight for.

  • Alisa

    I never underestimated Palin as stupid, ineloquent or uneducated – quite the opposite: she is very smart, very knowledgeable and very articulate. However, I always had the feeling that deep down she was rotten, and now it has become blindingly obvious. No matter how well-justified, her personal grudges against this or that politician are irrelevant: contrary to what she or others may think, this is not about her. She may be cross with Cruz for whatever reason, and may be right – so what? She didn’t have to endorse him, but she also didn’t have to endorse anyone else, let alone a fascist populist like Trump.

  • CaptDMO

    Hmmmm…..
    “One day, five blind men came across an elephant….”

  • Hank Myers

    Rughead wants to make Apple manufacture all its computers in the USA. Great, so double the prices and lets see how that works out. Simple minded populism for simple minded people. “Anyone but the establishment” is what lead to Mussolini. Wake up, Trump has contributed to a slew of establishment campaigns in the past. I had no idea my fellow countrymen were so credulous but there’s no denying it now.

  • Tarrou

    @ Alise

    Ahh, the sweet wailing of “Fascist!”. Always a perfect sign of someone without any opposition beyond pure hatred.

    Re: The Donald

    What so many people seem to miss is that Trump’s politics (such as they are) are very well situated in the middle of American life. He’s socially liberal, fiscally conservative and anti-open borders. This describes probably 75% of the American public. So why is he labeled an “extremist”? Why are people flying directly to the fascism and hitler comparisons (to my own delight and hilarity!)? He says things that sound outrageous because they can be summarized in outrageous ways, but aren’t actually nuts. Take his muslim immigration thing. This is reported in news agencies across the globe as his desire to “ban muslims”. Well, that’s an extreme thing. But he never said that. He said he wanted a temporary moratorium on muslim immigration. And he said it the way he did to provoke exactly this mendacious response, because it exposes the political slant of the media, and gets him in the news at the same time!

    And whatever you think of it as policy (I don’t like it, personally), it’s not an extreme thing, and it’s definitely constitutional. But getting so many “right thinking” people to denounce something relatively mild is drawing the line between the pathologically outgroup-philic and the people who are Americans first and foremost. That is the core of Trump’s appeal. That whatever he may be, he’s “ours”. The political system is so skewed that this is considered “right wing” and “extreme”! The concept that perhaps the American government should concern itself with the well-being of Americans first, before considering the needs of other nations, is outside the Overton Window! And Trump is bringing it back in.

    My personal take: I don’t think Trump has a single policy position that I agree with. But he is breaking all the rules I hate, expanding the American polity, and pissing off all the right people, liberal and conservative. We need this populism, even if I don’t agree with it on policy. He is breaking political correctness, and there is nothing he can do (in office or out) that can outweigh that positive effect.

  • Alisa

    @ Tarrou

    Are you saying that there are no real fascists, only imaginary ones?

    *Alisa.

  • Greg

    Alisa, Rules are not a suicide pact and America has been on a suicidal path for decades. I prefer ideas for getting off that path that don’t involve a shooting war between all of us thoroughly pissed off citizens and the Feds (more likely our fellow citizens in National Guard uniforms). That means we need some serious jolts, like Trump and Palin. I wish there was a better choice at the moment; maybe it’s Cruz? I’m still trying to figure it out. That said, I agree that if we end up someplace where the Rules, the Constitution especially, don’t matter, we’ve lost.

    Mr Black, I’m more with JohnW that Trump is likely to bring in good advisors (he knows he needs them, like any good manager, delegate and hire experts) versus your view that Trump may do the first thing that occurs to him and damn the consequences. Although I’ll admit I have the same feeling just based on his style, but I think that’s his strategy at the moment: cowboy action figure to piss off all the right people.

    Let’s hope the Pres/VP/SecDef/State/etc are some combination of Cruz, Paul, Palin, Trump (keep him away from the Treasury–give that one to Paul!).

    And CaptDMO, of course, what each man saw of the elephant was true. The trick is to see the whole from scant and partly (mostly?) erroneous information.

    This is why I read Samizdata: great thinking, knowledge, writing, and courteous/courageous differences of opinion.

  • Tarrou

    @ Al

    I’m saying there are no real fascists, only politically inept morons who can’t think of a better description than one everyone learned to hate as a child. It’s the (semi)adult version of calling someone a “poopyhead”. And, in your case, attempting to pontificate further about how poopyheads are a real and present danger to our modern polity. Grow up.

  • Alisa

    I understand your preference, Greg, I just happen to disagree – mainly, because you will get a shooting war, only of the kind where you may not find yourself on the shooting side, but on a receiving one.

    As to a jolt, I agree that Trump is just perfect for that, as long as he does not actually get the nomination – which I’m afraid he will.

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Alisa
    January 23, 2016 at 2:41 pm

    Are you saying that there are no real fascists, only imaginary ones?

    Alisa, surely you’re familiar with the quote. usually attributed to Tom Wolfe but possibly original with Jean-François Revel, “that the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.”

  • Alisa

    PfP: no, but thanks, it’s an amusing one. More seriously, just like any other ‘ism’, fascism can and does vary in degree. With that in mind, it should be clear to anyone reading the US history even in the most cursory manner that fascism has set its foot there very early on.

  • Laird

    I agree with Tarrou’s comment at 2:22 today. But Tarrou can’t have been around these parts very long or he (?) would not have posted that crude and intemperate comment about Alisa. It is Tarrou who needs to “grow up.”

    That said, I disagree with Alisa that Trump is a fascist. He does not advocate state control of business enterprises (the classic definition of the term), nor does he advocate the sort of radical authoritarian nationalism described in looser (and, I think, erroneous) definitions. “Populist”? Absolutely. “Nationalist”? Sure. “Statist”? Perhaps, to some extent. “Isolationist”? I don’t think so. “Rent-seeking opportunist”? Why not; who among our political class isn’t? But “fascist”? Not even close.

    Hank Myers wrote “ ‘Anyone but the establishment’ is what lead to Mussolini.” Yes, but Trump is no Mussolini (see above). “Anyone but the establishment” also lead to Andrew Jackson, who (despite his obvious flaws) was far from all bad. It has lead to lots of leaders around the world, some good and some not. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the phrase as a political mantra. In fact, there is a lot to be said for simply “throwing out all the bastards” from time to time.

  • Alisa

    Thanks for bothering, Laird.

    The thing about Trump is that he has no political background or record, and so all we have to go by is the things he says, and things he has done in the past. Which basically makes much of it a guesswork, some of it more educated than the rest. IOW, in my original comment you could substitute ‘fascist’ for ‘likely a fascist’.

    More to the point, consider my remark to PfP about degrees of ‘isms’ – he may not turn out to be Mussolini, but he may well turn to be similar to the latter in many ways. And, Mussolini wasn’t all that bad either, if you compare him to, say Hitler. Like I said, it is a matter of degree. But in case I completely misunderstand the term ‘fascism’, what characteristic (current or potential) do you think he lacks that precludes one from applying that term to him?

    Incidentally, is his suggestion to force Apple to make its gadgets in the US rather than in China not isolationist by definition?

  • Laird

    Alisa, I already answered your question about what “precludes” applying that label to Trump; see my previous post. As to his off-the-cuff remark about Apple, it’s not “isolationist” but “mercantilist”. A flawed concept, granted, but not the same thing at all.

  • Alisa

    OK, I see – so advocating state control of business enterprises is the only characteristic? I know it is one important part of the definition, but it usually is only one part – nationalism, populism and interventionism (as opposed to isolationism, and I stand corrected on Apple) being some of the others.

  • Laird

    Alisa, you missed the other part of that sentence: “nor does he advocate the sort of radical authoritarian nationalism described in looser (and, I think, erroneous) definitions.” I haven’t seen any evidence of such. As far as I am aware Trump has advocated nothing which comports with any definition of “fascism” of which I am aware. Where you came up with the idea that “populism” is equivalent to “fascism” I don’t know. A key element of “fascism” is authoritarianism, and that describes Obama, not Trump.

  • Alisa

    I think that populism is a prerequisite to fascism, although that may be said about political aspirations in general. But OK, I take your point.

  • Alisa

    I do think that he will prove to be no less authoritarian than Obama, but that is just intuition.

  • Jacob

    What defines fascism (and communism) is murder. Violence and murder are considered by fascists and communists as legitimate tools of policy, as methods to be used by the state (i.e. by them) to achieve its aims. And it’s not a matter of theory – murder is what they all did and do.

    There is no indication that Trump intends to murder anybody…

  • Jacob

    “A key element of “fascism” is authoritarianism, and that describes Obama, not Trump.”
    There is no indication that Trump will be less authoritarian than Obama. But even that would not be enough to make him fascist.

  • JohnW

    Another very important thing I like about Trump but forgot to mention is his staunch life-long support for the right to bear arms. In my experience, people who support that right generally have a very benevolent view of the basic goodness of mankind – whatever their off-the-cuff comments on other matters.
    I cannot count the number of times I have grilled a member of the “ban firearms” squad only to have them eventually confess their hatred and fear of humanity: “You don’t understand – people are like wolves!”
    And this ties in to Trump’s willingness to put his trust in other people. You don’t get to become a US multi-billionaire like Trump unless you are willing to believe that others are sufficiently decent and honourable that you can rely on them to keep their word.

    [I recall how the leftists were shocked and appalled by the disclosure of his astoundingly healthy financials – something had to be wrong with reality. It never occurred to them them that something might be wrong with their worldview.]

  • Alisa, I’d agree with Laird that what Mussolini called ‘corporatism’ was a major feature of fascism, and a reflection of its ‘everything in the state’ philosophy. Nationalism was less important than in National Socialism: in Hitler’s Germany, the party was more important than the state and never merged with it. In Mussolini’s Italy, the party became a publicity machine and recruiter for the state after power was seized; the state remained both the immediate and the ultimate power.

    ‘Populism’ has enough meanings that you could call Musso a populist or not without, I think, distinguishing him from many another leader. ‘Interventionism’ implies some distinct entity into which the state can intervene; when the state ‘corporatism’ boards control everything, there’s less left to intervene in. So I think Laird’s point is defensible. If you don’t want all businesses organised under state boards of control, in which the owners have 25% of the votes, the workers (i.e. the trade unions, fascist-party-controlled) have 25% of the votes, the customers representatives (appointed directly by the state who of course know best what the customers need and want) have 25% of the votes, and the state itself has the remaining 25% of the votes, plus the casting vote, then Musso would think you were a very odd kind of fascist.

    Musso’s reputation benefits greatly from his ruling at the same time as Stalin and Hitler. Beside them, he looks nice(r). In reality, he was a revolting little tick and his lesser bloodthirstiness was real but was also fully paralleled by his lesser courage and ability and greater self-indulgence. You’d far rather live under him than under the other two – but, if you knew him, you’d despise him even as you made that choice.

    Now, as regards the main subject of this Samisdata post:

    Insofar as the ‘incoherent’ line (being pushed so widely that I suspect its a journolist-agreed term) is not pure lying, it probably reflects that, like many a book reviewer, when they hate speaker and speech, they read only the beginning with real attention and skim the rest for exploitable quotes. For Sarah, the beginning was the audience warm-up; the content comes later.

    One question is: why not Cruz? Part of the answer, I’m guessing, is in her line, “[Trump]’s got the guts to wear the issues that need to be spoken about and debated on his sleeve. Where the rest of some of these establishment candidates, they just wanted to duck and hide. They didn’t want to talk about these issues until he brought them up. In fact, they’ve been wearing … political correctness kind of like a suicide vest. And enough is enough. These issues that Donald Trump talks about had to be debated. And he brought them to the forefront and that’s why we are where we are today with good discussion. A good, heated and very competitive primary is where we are.”

    Several people whom I respect have said they’re pleased with how Trump’s candidacy has directed the debate – provided he does not win. Sarah presents that as evidence of leadership that merits endorsement.

    The second question is, why does she not share the doubts about Trump that arise from his past. Granted, Trump may have done most to shift the debate but Cruz offers much more evidence of _longstanding_ commitment to several of her values. Her argument for Trump is, “The self-made success of his … he doesn’t get his power, his high, off of OPM, other people’s money, like a lot of dopes in Washington do. They’re addicted to OPM, where they take other people’s money, and then their high is getting to redistribute it, right? And then, they get to be really popular people when they get to give out your hard money. Well, he doesn’t do that.” A very desirable feature in a politician, if true.

    Palin’s argument can most certainly be debated – at the moment, I believe I’d vote Cruz, were I an Iowan: I’d wish he’d never spoken for amnesty but my doubts about Trump would outweigh that. But to call her speech ‘incoherent’ in comparison with a Hillary offering is just standard PC insolence, flavoured with that Palin Derangement Syndrome the journolistas caught in 2008 when, for a brief moment, the polls suggested she could steal their adored ‘first black president’ from them. If Cruz wins the nomination, I predict Sarah will work hard to help his election. And if it is Trump v. either of the democrat candidates, I predict every non-RINO republican will be praying for a Trump win (including the atheists 🙂 ), even as some also pray that their well-founded doubts be not realised. And I suspect we’ll mostly feel the same.

  • Alisa

    John, I wholly agree that this is a very important indicator, and if that is correct, I will very seriously rethink my view of Trump. I will look into it.

  • AngryTory

    Black: Reagan was an intellectual giant

    Ha! No, he was a great leader. Intellectual giant is just another word for communist as far as I’m concerned. Reagan would never have been stupid enough to claim anything like that, and nor would TRUMP (our next Reagan).

    Perry protectionist who favours the state seizing people’s property and giving it to property developers such as himself is going to save the USA eh?

    If that “property” belongs to NIMBY leftists, of course? Leftists don’t believe in private property and so don’t deserve to keep it.

    JohnW right to bear arms absolutely! a right he exercises even in presidential debates. I wouldn’t be surprised if TRUMP ended up personally enforcing the Constitution on the likes of Hitlery or Bernie (communists are precluded from the presidency by the guarantee clause) or Cruz (Canadian).

  • RRS

    It is just possible that there has developed a sufficient dominant minority of the electorate that senses the urgency that the function of the Chief Executive is to control (to the extent possible) the Federal Administrative State.

    The legislators will NOT do so.

    If nothing else the electorate may settle for an executive who throws an occasional money wrench into the Administrative works where there is ever expanding incompetence.

    Optimally, there might be (faint?) hopes for a “manager of managers;” but, no one seems to be auditioning for that role (or at least their auditions go unattended). Most would probably be satisfied just to have the Administrative State disrupted – “stir things up!”

    It is possible that the “minority” who will vote and determine the outcomes will chose someone to be a buffer or interface in enjoining the continuing legislative facilitation and enablement of the Federal Administrative State.

    We are no longer “talking about” a Constitutional government, but about what we have in its place.

    That is one of the reasons that politics and parties have changed so much. That is one of the reasons for the current composition and disposition of candidates.

  • Laird

    “money wrench”? A Freudian slip or just a fortuitous typo? 🙂

    But RRS makes a good point. Somehow the Administrative State has to be brought under control. One does get the sense that Trump would do that (as much as it is possible for any president to do so).

  • Alisa

    Niall, with regard to fascism: all true, as far as I can tell. I guess my point now boils down to Trump, not having expressed any kind of ideology, including the fascist one (as per whatever definition), coming across as being disposed to fascism, or at least to extreme statism, as opposed being an actual full-blown fascist. Whether any of the Trump supporters here will find this less offensive…well, I couldn’t care less, to tell the truth. Although as I mentioned to JohnW, I am rethinking that too.

    More specifically and with regard to interventionism, I meant military interventions abroad.

    On Palin: maybe not entirely incoherent, but… She was rambling – I understand angry and having had it with the establishment, but I’m puzzled as to why she chose to endorse Trump and not Cruz. What am I missing?

  • PersonFromPorlock

    A couple of points: the power of the Sovereign is the power to destroy, and the right to keep and bear arms secures that power to We the People. It is a fundamental condition of popular sovereignty.

    And just to put the cherry on the top of our discussion of Fascism, how about a mention of Orwell’s famous “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies “something not desirable.” This now also applies to the words “Communism” and “Terrorism,” of course.

  • Paul Marks

    I only watched part of the speech – but the post appears to be mistaken.

    The speech was not “angry”.

    What it seemed to be was “Projection”.

    Sarah Palin was “projecting” the hopes of millions of good people (and they are good people) on Donald Trump.

    The absurdity is not in the hopes – not in the desire that America be restored and leftism rolled back.

    The absurdity is the idea that Donald Trump is a sincere conserativate who will do these things.

    A drowning person will clutch at a snake.

    Sarah Palin and millions of other people, QUITE CORRECTLY, believe their nation is dying.

    So they desperately look for someone to save America – their desperation overwhelming their judgement.

    And thus someone like Donald Trump is supported.

  • Paul Marks

    What are you missing Alisa?

    You are missing desperation – desperation close to (but not reaching) despair.

    Ted Cruz makes everything sound difficult – because it is. Long hard battles – blood-sweat-and-tears.

    For people like Sarah Palin (whom the left broke – remember they pushed her so hard with insane legal cases that she even resigned as Governor of Alaska) that sounds like Hell-on-Earth.

    Donald Trump makes everything sound easy – sunshine and lolly pops.

    Just put your trust in him and he will make all the problems go away – all the PAIN go away. And for people in terrible distress that sounds wonderful.

    The hope that Mr Trump offers is an illusion, the hard work and grim fighting that Ted Cruz offers is real.

    But who would choose horrible (and it is horrible) reality over a wonderful illusion.

  • Alisa

    Yep, you may have just put a finger on it.

  • AngryTory

    We are no longer “talking about” a Constitutional government, but about what we have in its place.

    To quote Palin: “Pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, strict constitutionality… It can’t be salvaged, it must be savage”

    Palin and TRUMP are talking about the Constitution, at least. RINOs and D’RATS for sure are post-constitutional, exhibit #1 Obamacare, Obamnesty, Obamination.

    Donald Trump makes everything sound easy – sunshine and lolly pops.

    in Reagan’s words: “Morning in America” – just another reason why TRUMP will be the next Reagan.

  • He’s socially liberal, fiscally conservative and anti-open borders.

    I could not describe someone who strongly favours the state seizing people’s property and giving it to property developers for no other reason than to generate higher local taxes as “fiscally conservative”. If a person is not in favour of property rights then that person not any kind of conservative in any modern sense of the word.

    And you are right about him being anti-open borders… not just for ‘wetbacks’ and muslims, but for international trade as well.

  • Kevin B

    So it’s 1788 and things are coming to a head. Both in Europe and in America. The Aristos have been taking the piss long enough, so the thing us plebs have to decide is are we Montagnards or Girondists.

    Or, for our American friends, is the Donald Robespierre or Napoleon.

  • Quite so Kevin, Robespierre or Napoleon is a very good question. But he sure as hell ain’t going to be the next Reagan.

  • Laird

    @ Paul: “Just put your trust in him and he will make all the problems go away.” So Trump is the Right’s answer to Obama’s vacuous “hope and change”.

    That could be correct.

    “Robespierre or Napoleon”? Nah. Robespierre possibly, but not Napoleon. Netanyahu, maybe?

  • AngryTory

    Reagan was pretty much both Robespierre and Napoleon.

    Napoleon we remember: winning the cold war, wiping out the soviet union and eastern european communism.

    Robespierre we forget: wiping out the unions, shutting down the NEA, and – like Reagan – being incorruptible and leaving no debts.

    But even if TRUMP is just Robespierre, do you really think restoring the Constitution can be done without Robespierre? First Robespierre, then Napoleon!

  • RRS

    Up until Obama, we have been spared a Universalist (pace W.W. Wilson)such as plagued Europe in the forms of the French and Germans.

    There is no evidence that any meaningful segment of the electorate desires or will support Universalism.

    Outside the larger coastal clusters, there is a sufficient sense of dissatisfaction with (and some hostility to) Centralization and its vulnerabilities to incompetence.
    Centralization is crucial to Universalism.

  • RRS

    Perhaps we should look at these events as the audience trying to extract indications of capacities to deal with their disquietudes, rather than demonstrations to the audience of capacities (or whatever) that may have sufficient appeal to gain the objectives of the performers.

  • Rich Rostrom

    JohnW – January 23, 2016 at 9:27 pm:

    Another very important thing I like about Trump but forgot to mention is his staunch life-long support for the right to bear arms.

    .

    Which doesn’t exist. (The support, not the right.) Trump was a huge enthusiast for the “assault weapons” ban. I’m pretty sure that he was a backer of sometime NYC Mayor Bloomberg, as anti-gun as there is, and of course his support for Clinton is well documented.

  • Alisa

    What about this, Rich? I’d like to see a link proving the contrary if you have one, because I sure have my doubts about him.

  • JohnW

    Trump was a huge enthusiast for the “assault weapons” ban.

    He has been very steadfast in his support for America’s most popular assault rifle – the AR 15, and his differences with Bloomberg on firearms are a matter of public record.

  • I think Paul Marks’ two posts above make good points. IIUC, his analysis is similar to Thomas Sowell’s – which is a powerful endorsement. I offer one slight gloss on Paul’s view.

    “Ted Cruz makes everything sound difficult – because it is. … For people like Sarah Palin (whom the left broke – remember they pushed her so hard with insane legal cases that she even resigned as Governor of Alaska) that sounds like Hell-on-Earth. … who would choose horrible (and it is horrible) reality over a wonderful illusion.”

    Palin’s ‘despair’ undoubtedly leaves her very focused on winning in November, and she, of course, believes she’s made a rational (and difficult?) choice. She for sure doesn’t _think_ she’s choosing ‘sunshine and lollipops’. She has bitter experience of the left’s lawfare fraud, of the jourolistas. The one thing everyone grants Trump is that the ability to shatter the ‘you can’t say that’ wall. I wonder if her experience makes her think that is essential, that “though I speak with the tongues of Burke and the Federalist, yet if I have not that, I am nothing”.

    Sarah failed and was broken in the sense Paul gives (not in another sense of course – she’s still fighting). Who among us will boast that we could not possibly have failed, would no way have been broken, in her place. (I’d love to say it of me – but I’ll give no hostage to fortune, and my life contains no concrete proof of it to date.) It would be understandable, and not even illogical, for her to think that the more she likes Cruz, the more she feels she and Cruz are alike, the more likely he could fail as she did.

    I think she would be wrong. I hate the liars, and hope they can be beaten by guys like Cruz (as far as I know of him), that it does not need a Trump to beat a Clinton succeeding an Obama. I also have rational doubts that Trump would indeed outperform Cruz in November. But I’m aware that Sarah gained something besides despair and misery from the past seven years. She gained a depth of experience, spared us observers, about how it is done, and how hard it is to fight.

  • JohnW

    Cruz is a dark-souled creature – avoid like the plague.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Perry,

    “… a rent-seeking opportunistic thug ….”

    “… a protectionist who favours the state seizing people’s property and giving it to property developers such as himself ….”

    “I could not describe someone who strongly favours the state seizing people’s property and giving it to property developers for no other reason* than to generate higher local taxes as “fiscally conservative”. If a person is not in favour of property rights then that person not any kind of conservative in any modern sense of the word.”

    Goodness! I couldn’t have put it better myself.

    *Not “for no other reason.” There’s also the fact that the Trumpster said something to the effect that the upbeat City of New London deserves to present a more attractive and inviting appearance to visitors than places like Suzette Kelo’s.

    Sounds like a salesman’s pitch: “The People have the right to walk all over Joe Schmoe’s property rights if ‘They’ have a good reason.” The worry is that he probably believes it.

    “What pleases the Prince has the force of law.”

    . . .

    Paul,

    Very good indeed.

    . . .

    JohnW,

    “Cruz is a dark-souled creature….”

    Excellent line, very expressive: graphic, arresting. But, could you please explain what it is that you see as the darkness in his soul?

  • Jacob

    I was a great fan of Sarah Palin, and deeply disappointed that she endorsed Trump. Maybe I was mistaken about Palin all along. But, sure, she is a more astute politician than me. Maybe she despaired of types like Barry Goldwater, who was a very good person and good conservative, but lost the election by a big margin.
    Maybe you need a Trump to win an election, a Goldwater won’t do. Reagan was a nice person, a good conservative, AND managed to get elected – on the power of his actor’s personality, but he was an ineffectual President.

    Anyway, Reagan is not available at this moment. The question is who has a better chance of beating Hilary – Cruz or Trump ? Big question.

  • Laird

    I have to say, this is a pretty funny headline.

  • AngryTory

    JohnW – Cruz is a dark-souled creature – avoid like the plague – yeah, a Canadian.

  • AngryTory

    I was a great fan of Sarah Palin

    Me to – TRUMP™/Palin would be my dream team. “I can nuke Russia from my House! It’s YUUGGGE!!

  • JohnW

    Cruz is a faux-intellectual like Goebbels or Himmler rather than an instinctive opportunist like Goering – or Trump.
    Trump’s political ambitions would be easily constrained by the constitution and his advisors who he will tend to trust because that’s how he runs his business.

    Cruz trusts no one.

    He is a calculating power-luster of low self-esteem who secretly imagines himself to be a thwarted genius. His outspoken pride in his Christian mysticism speaks to an inner world where he could easily foresee himself to be a great man, a chosen one, a man of destiny.
    Such men are very dangerous in the political world – far more dangerous than buffoons like Yeltsin or Trump.
    Have you not noticed that cold, dead, evil expression in his eyes? Calculating, dishonest and evasive – dangerous habits for a man in his position.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Oh.

    Thanks for answering, John.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Just for the record, I’m with Jacob on Gov. Palin’s endorsement. (I was also disappointed with her endorsement of McCain in his last Senate run.)

    It’s perfectly true that she has an uphill battle against the problems that currently beset her, such as the hit to the pocketbook because of the smear-jobs against her from the Dims back in 2008. Paul makes perfectly valid points in her defense.

    But I too was a huge fan. I voted for her in 2008! (And against the Sith, of course. McCain was just part of the package.) And I’m disappointed.

  • Julie near Chicago

    John — I apologize if I sounded abrupt. I was a little surprised, that’s all, since he really doesn’t strike me that way. But it’s amazing, how differently different people react to a given person. I know at least two people who seem otherwise sensible who, while being intelligent guys and not given to voting Dim, see Slick Willy Clinton as somebody whom they’d really enjoy having a beer with.

    And to me the man reeks of smarmy con-man — even though he’s charismatic as all get-out (or anyway used to be), and definitely could sell ice to the Eskimos. Whereas the Sith has all the charm of an empty snake-suit. Whuff!

  • AngryTory

    Cruz is a real “iltel-left-ual” from Yale & Harvard, and has won cases before the leftist Supremes.

    but TRUMP™ / Pailn would be great for America.

  • JohnW

    Julie – I’ve watched Cruz ever since I heard of his association with the the Foundation of Economic Freedom – Friedman, Hayek, Bastiat, von Mises, he’s an ally, surely?

    Let’s take an issue close to Ayn Rand’s heart – Roe v Wade. Cruz’s support for individualism fails at the first hurdle – he’s anti-abortion thanks to the Hispanic vote.
    He is happy to trivialize murderous attacks on medical centres as possibly perpetrated by “leftist transexuals” but no person of his political intelligence can be unaware of the butchery and death that would ensue if he followed through with his crafty scheme to side-step Roe v Wade. Don’t worry about that though because he would be on board with several Popes! He says this explicitly and as Princeton and Harvard Law Grad, a former Solicitor General, and clerk to the Chief Justice of the United States, who taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation at Texas Uni!

    My skin crawls every time I set eyes on the slimy creep.