Conservatives and Liberals not getting Trump

Ah, Donald Trump. He is probably the polarizing figure in this election, though Paul Krugman, says this:

I still predict that once Trump locks up the nomination, judicious, chin-stroking Republican moderates will declare, after much cogitation, that given Hillary Clinton’s, um, something or other, Trump is the more responsible choice.

But for now, the establishment Republicans are howling. Why, Trump is RUDE (and yes, he is). Why doesn’t this turn off the Republican primary voters? Why, Trump is not a TRUE CONSERVATIVE. Other Republicans (downballot) will distance themselves from him if he wins! (says Sen. Mitch McConnell, no less). Mitt Romney has attacked him. But those attacks seem to be failing and failing badly.

A few are applauding some ridicule type attacks: look, he can’t even…SPELL!!!!

Hint: Dan Quayle? Tea Party Signs)

Well, here is what the Republican establishment doesn’t seem to get: the less affluent really don’t care about some big CEO or a hedge fund manager getting yet ANOTHER tax cut. They really don’t want us to go to war again. They ARE hurting and seeing a candidate who is NOT talking about cutting Social Security and Medicare…one who wants to repair our laughing-stock bad highways and bring jobs back here….those are matters that affect their lives. Other candidates who need Koch Brother type contributions to be able to run aren’t free to focus on this. But Mr. Trump doesn’t need their money; we have a classic right-wing populist vs. “money conservative” type battle here, as pointed out by Paul Krugman here:

As pundits are discovering to their horror, there’s probably more to the Trump phenomenon than mere celebrity. The fact is that the central planks of modern conservatism — slashing taxes on the rich and benefits for the public at large — are deeply unpopular. Republicans have won elections only by wrapping these policies in other stuff; it’s about cutting benefits for welfare queens and “strapping young bucks” (that’s a Reaganism, in case you’re wondering) buying T-bone steaks with food stamps. And this in turn means that there is a sort of empty box in U.S. politics waiting to be filled.

The matrix here shows the possible positions. A welfare state available to all is the Democratic position, which is pretty much what other Western countries call the social democratic position. The dominant role in the modern GOP is played by a faction that links de facto disdain for Those People with a desire to slash social insurance. Libertarians are, in principle, small-government without the undertones; they are also basically absent from the actually existing electorate.

And then there’s the empty box. Once upon a time that box was filled by southern Democrats, who preserved Jim Crow while supporting the New Deal. But they’ve all moved over to the GOP now, and in the process become anti-social-insurance. But there are plenty of voters who want Social Security and Medicare for people who look like them, but not those other people. And at some level Trump is catering to that unserved population.

It is clear that this is who Trump is targeting. Note his style of “position ad”:

And there are few Republicans that see this coming and actually believe that Trump being unconventional gives him a better shot at Hillary Clinton than an establishment Republican.

But, many liberals have trouble figuring out his appeal too. All they see is the racist/xenophobic part of his rhetoric and they think THAT is where his appeal comes from! Hey, David Duke endorsed him!

So, when I say that I like it that Trump attacked the claim that “President Bush kept us safe” and pointed out that there were no WMD in Iraq

And I like it when a Republican says that hedge fund managers ought to pay more tax and that Social Security and Medicare ought to be strengthened, not cut back. I like it when the lies of the Republican establishment get called out by someone who has money.

Then then I get criticized by other liberals for not focusing on Trump’s galaxy of xx-isms…”how can you say anything good about Trump?”. Psst: yes, I have condemned some of what Trump said, and did so in our local newspaper.

But that is how self-appointed SFB “activists” roll…they can’t see that I am looking at various aspects of a complicated issue and seeing an opportunity.

I think that Howard Dean was onto this in 2004 when he said:

The Democrat front-runner opened ye unholy can of worms recently when he told an Iowa newspaper that he wanted “to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks.” Dean made the remark by way of explaining his opposition to some gun-control legislation and as part of his Southern strategy of inclusiveness.

As in: “We can’t beat George Bush unless we appeal to a broad cross section of Democrats,” he explained to the Des Moines Register.

And, “White folks in the South who drive pickups with Confederate flag decals on the back ought to be voting with us and not them because their kids don’t have health insurance, and their kids need better schools, too,” he said at a Democratic National Committee meeting in February.

In the wake of Dean’s most recent remarks, a veritable maelstrom of Bubba-ness has ensued. You’d have thought Dean had invoked Satan by the reaction of the other Democratic candidates, who began jockeying for Most Virtuous and made literal the politics of bumper-sticker slogans.

Emphasis mine.

But some can’t see past their “social justice warrior” mindset; for them that mode is always on, front and center, 100 percent of the time.

Let me be clear: I am voting for the Democrat. I am just saying that there is an opportunity to snag at least a few of the Trump voters, if the Democratic nominee is smart, as I think that she will be.

my letter on trump


February 28, 2016 - Posted by | politics, racism | , ,

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