Slip Sliding Away


Many of those who are supporting Trump are doing so because they have lost all faith in the existing institutions, parties, and leaders to make a positive change in their lives.

What’s interesting is that, while they appear to have lost faith in existing leaders, they haven’t lost faith in the democratic process.  Otherwise, why attempt to use it to bring about change?  So in terms of a revolution, this one is still well within the bounds of our constitution and our tradition of democracy which in some ways makes it even more dangerous.

In that context then, what appears to be happening is that those working folks who have been supporting conservative causes over the past fifty years or so (stretching back to Goldwater) are finally waking up to the fact that much of what the Republican Party promised, was never delivered.  Economic reform based on tax reductions never generated the promised job or wage growth.  In fact just the opposite has occurred.  The wealthy have grown even more wealthy and powerful, while everyone else has seen their wages stagnate, their jobs become less secure, and their political power erode.  Social reform never generated the changes in abortion laws or prevented the expansion of rights for the LGBT community.  Government has not been able to slow the growth in minority and immigrant populations or their new found political power.  The government still spends a lot of money.  The debt has grown larger, on average, when Republicans controlled the White House than Democrats.  There are still structural problems with Social Security and Medicare.  The world remains an unstable place.  ISIS has replaced al Qaeda as the “great evil”.

What the Republican Party did accomplish is to erode trust in the institutions of both government, the free press, and academia.  That created an information bubble where many of those who support the conservative wing of the Republican Party live.  Being a conservative Republican became much more an exercise in faith rather than fact.

Their faith in Trump is that he is strong enough to make the changes that they so desperately want to see happen.  They are so deep in their delusion that any individual can in fact affect this sort of change, they ignore what the man is saying.   Instead they project their own individual agenda on their candidate.  This is the best example of motivated reasoning that I have ever seen, but it is also the most dangerous.  That’s because Trump only obligation is to his own agenda.

Here’s just one example of that sort of motivated reasoning.  It is an attempt to logically support an emotional decision which is at the core of motivated reasoning.  These lists generally begin – I’m voting for Trump because …..  I’ve added my comments after each assertion.

Isn’t a career politician
This is the first office he has even run for.  Minnesota voters elected Jesse Ventura as governor for many of the same reasons.  There are very few examples of successful Presidents who had no previous political experience.

Isn’t funded by Goldman (besides Bernie)
Big assumption here.  Trump has already said that he wants to raise $1B to run in the fall.  More specifically, Trump owns stock in Goldman.  Goldman has issued Trump a line of credit.  So technically Trump IS funded by Goldman.

Will take a stand against China before it’s too late
Obviously this begs the question of “too late for what”? But Trump’s promise to start a trade war with China and renegotiate our existing trade agreements has been rejected by most experts as naive and dangerous.

Is running on his own dime, not Super-PAC
See above.  Trump is not going to be running on his own dime.  He was able to run a low budget primary campaign because of all the free media coverage he received.  He perfected the art of dominating the media with outrageous statements.  It is unclear whether he will be able to get away with that in a two person race.  That’s because every time he says something outrageous, the press will also print a response from the campaign of the Democratic nominee.  As a result, he hired a former hedge fund manager to help him raise $1B for the fall campaign.

Has grown a business ten-fold into a third generation which is very hard
Business success does not necessarily translate in political success.  Until Trump releases more tax returns, the scale of his business success will be hard to measure.  The last successful business man to occupy the White House without previously holding an elected office was Herbert Hoover.  That didn’t turn out very well.

Admits we are in a bubble in this country that isn’t far from popping
If that were true, you would expect Trump would be shorting a bunch of stocks and investing in gold.  Trump’s investments don’t reflect that strategy.  But even if they did, the real question is what he would do to either prevent the bubble from popping or mitigate the damage from that pop.  He has demonstrated a reasonable understanding of monetary policy but clearly doesn’t understand how national debt works in a global economy.

Doesn’t drink, do drugs or smoke
He doesn’t appear to have any problems selling alcohol.  As far as drugs, he and his brother were patients of Dr. Greenberg in the 80’s who prescribed amphetamines for weight loss.  This was also documented in a controversial Trump biography by Harry Hunt.

Has a history of promoting women to high positions in his businesses
That’s true.  He also has had a reputation as a playboy.  He has been married three times.  He has admitted having extramarital affairs, and has a long history of describing women in objectified ways.

Is friendly to the LGBT community
Not sure what “friendly” means.  Confused might be a better term.  On the campaign trail, he has said he opposes marriage equality.  He did also say that he was opposed to the NC law prohibiting transgender bathroom accommodations.

Has great support from Orthodox Jewish community
This is true because the Orthodox Jewish community does not want to see the sort of two state settlement between Isreal and the Palestinians that the Democrats and most of the rest of the world support.  Sheldon Adelson has also promised Trump $100M if Trump supports Adelson’s call for moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, which would clearly put the two state solution in jeopardy.

It isn’t clear what Trump’s agenda is, other than to bolster his own over-inflated ego.

He divides the world between winners and losers.  He is the classic school yard bully who will seek to ingratiate himself to those he views as more powerful and denigrate those that he feels are weak.

The problem is that everyone eventually proves themselves to be weak.  Everyone will eventually be a loser.  What will happen to those losers if this deeply unstable man suddenly becomes the most powerful man in the world?

And what happens to his followers if he doesn’t win?  They have already demonstrated their willingness to respond violently to those who disagree with them.  We are also witness to increased unprovoked attacks against immigrants who are the scapegoats in the Trump narrative.

This is how the United States slipped into facism.  Not with a shout, but with a whimper.

63 Responses to “Slip Sliding Away”

  1. Keith says:

    So, there it is. It’s acceptable.

  2. Keith says:

    So there it is. It’s acceptable.

  3. Jeff Beamsley says:

    You are creating relativism…. Let’s use this one above.

    I’m not “creating relativism”. That is the nature of our political system. You realistically have two choices if you want your vote to count toward the Presidency. Those choices are whomever the Democrats and Republicans nominate. Neither candidate will ever be perfect. Those that win will be enough better in the eyes of voters to win a majority. It’s ALL RELATIVE.

    #1 above. You said that Hillary lied about emails and that’s true. Then said Trump is the biggest liar in the race. Jeff have you really counted the lies? Seriously.

    I didn’t have to count the lies. Politifact did it for us. Trump tells the truth only 3% of the time.

    Is the emails the only thing Hillary has lied about. And you’ve set the terms as “in the race.” Am I to assume that means since each declared? Jeff, Hillary has played with the truth since she we first met her.

    The only way to fairly compare them regarding truthfulness is during the time that Trump was also running for office. But Trump’s challenge with the truth is well documented.

    You chosen the criteria for relativism.

    Sorry, no you chose them based on your claims for why Clinton was unfit for office. I used your reasons to demonstrate that in each case, Hillary was more qualified than Trump.

    Trumps hasn’t served as a public servant. Not sure how you arrive at the balance of the scale except your own “balance of the scales”

    You claimed that Hillary hadn’t accomplished much during her public service. If a history of accomplishment during terms of public service is the criteria that you are going to use to judge who is or is not fit for office – Trump has no history of public service. So clearly Hillary’s service renders her more qualified than Trump.

    I didn’t make these up. You did.

    you still don’t get the “stand by your man comment.” It was a comdecending remark when she made it. She didn’t say it as a good thing. Meaning She “wasn’t a stand by your man women” lampooning those who are. Tries out that’s exactly what she is. So which is it?

    You tell me. Please tell me how this behavior disqualifies her for office and then we can compare Trump’s behavior in similar circumstances and see if you are making a rational choice.

    Remember the “take a deep breath, it’s all a right wing conspiracy”

    If you can tell me how this comment disqualifies Clinton from running for the Presidency, then we can use that same criteria to determine whether or not it also disqualifies Trump.

    But if believing in conspiracy theories is what you are getting at, then Trump again is less qualified than Clinton. He basically led the Birther movement and never publicly accepted that he was wrong.

    Neither are what I’d like. Chris Mathews has an observation that mostly holds true. The guys with the sun shining on his face usually wins. Trump clearly has it on his face sanders has it more then Hillary but as of now Debbie Wasserman Schultz has seen to it he won’t win.

    Also not sure what this means. Please tell me what it means to you.

    I could list 100 reasons why I would vote for Trump over Hillary and none would be emotions. Should I start with judge selections?

    Feel free to list as many reason as you would like. I’ll be happy to do the same thing that I have done with all of your other reasons. So what is your reason regarding judge selections?

    Meanwhile we are still mired in the worst recovery in our history seven and a half years in. Interest rates still at historic lows, 10 trillion or so more in debt, horrid GDP grow. No action on shoring up SS, Medicare and Medicaid. Etc etc etc. growth in costs in Obamacare are expected to really raise again. Hillary offering nothing new and she about as motivating as or wet towel. Can’t talk to the press, has to be staged or “re-introduced” email scandals haunting her, just what was she doing? the IG sure was harsh in their thoughts.

    You don’t get to vote for Obama this time. This race is between Clinton (or maybe Bernie) and Trump.

    So you think that Trump’s economic plan is better than Clinton’s. Trump’s plan, just like Romney and Bernie’s plans – fails the math test. WSJ suggests that it doubles the forecasted deficit from $9B – $19B.

    Hillary’s plan is the only one that increases Federal revenues and actually reduced the deficit.

    Trump in the meanwhile is on the offensive, speaks off the cuff, steps in it, but clearly articulates he’s going to make changes. Reminds me of both Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. Reagan for his optimism and Bill Clinton for never telling you how he’s going to do it, which use to frustrate me to death.
    In reflection it’s amazing in our country of 320 million these two or three are our choices.

    You are clearly delusional with regard to what Trump is saying.

    He may be clear, but he is only telling the complete truth 3% of the time. So most of what he is saying is untrue.

    Let’s take his signature program. Building a wall and getting Mexico to pay for it. I won’t go into whether or not that is wise or effective policy. Let’s just see how much it would cost to build the wall and whether or not Mexico could afford to pay for it. The wall will cost between $5M and $25B to build and no Mexico can’t afford to pay for it. Politifact labeled Trump’s claim false.

    As I’ve said before, you are welcome to vote for whomever you choose for whatever reasons you choose, but if you continue to insist that there is some rational explanation for your vote, I’m going to continue to hold you accountable for your claim of rationality.

  4. Jeff Beamsley says:

    So there it is. It’s acceptable.

    Violence is not acceptable.

    You have not responded to my challenge to find a Trump quote where he tells his followers that violence is unacceptable.

    You have criticized Obama for failing to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism. The reason he hasn’t used that term was explained by his Press Secretary.

    “They are not Islamic,” Earnest said. “No religion condones the killing or terrorizing of innocent individuals, certainly not the religion of Islam.”

    What is the reason why Trump has failed to tell his followers that violence is unacceptable?

  5. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Regarding violence in San Jose, here’s a better article from the Wash Post.

    Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’s campaigns both condemned the violence in San Jose. John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton for America, tweeted that “violence against supporters of any candidate has no place in this election.”

    Mike Casca, Sanders’s rapid response director, tweeted that “we cannot stop Trump’s violent rhetoric with violence — only peaceful protest in a voting booth can do that.”

  6. Keith says:

    Trump has just not in the explicit terms you would have him use. If you think he is ever going to use the terms you, or I , would like him to use, it’s not going to happen. Clearly, the violence is on the left. Clearly. But Trump has the violent rhetoric.

    Been very busy and have had lots of travel. This will continue for the next year. Can’t pay attention very much.

    “America’s party was made up by me… Interesting there actually is one. Lol

    Ok, here’s relative reasoning. I don’t want four to eight more years of the Jerry Springer show, I mean another four to eight years of a Clinton administration in the Whitehorse. It wasn’t pleasant to watch the first time and it won’t be again. 😄

  7. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Ok, here’s relative reasoning. I don’t want four to eight more years of the Jerry Springer show, I mean another four to eight years of a Clinton administration in the Whitehorse. It wasn’t pleasant to watch the first time and it won’t be again.

    So you don’t want the single longest period of economic growth in the nations history? You don’t want eight years of peace? You don’t want the only budget surplus in the last 45 years?

    The only aspect of the Jerry Springer show I can recall was the Lewinsky affair. That was Bill’s doing.

    There were plenty of other investigations, but none of them turned up anything. Those you can blame on the Republicans.

    You would prefer a person who has already indicated that he has no respect for judicial independence or a free press. Someone who has already warned those who upset him that there will be consequences once he is in office. What do you think is going to happen when he starts to deport 11M people? This is Nixon on steroids. Jerry Springer is going to have to get a larger time slot to keep up with this guy.

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    As I’ve said, Bernie has every right to campaign right up to the convention. In return, he has to pledge to support whomever the convention elects. Bernie won’t be able to bring up anything that the Republican won’t also bring up. Hillary should provide an answer.

  9. Jeff Beamsley says:

    It is hard to tell about most of the things that the International Business Times prints. Let’s see if any more credible news sources pick up this story. So far no.

  10. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Here’s another question to ask yourself.

    How would the IBT write this story if it were the Clinton Foundation who had provided the political contribution rather than a Trump Foundation and the case that was dropped was a Clinton investigation rather than a Trump one?

    Here’s how a more reputable newspaper wrote the story.

Leave a Reply