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For years after this election, pundits will be trying to answer the question: Trump- how?

Unfortunately, the truth about his rise is likely to be obscured since it requires accepting things that make people uncomfortable. The conventional wisdom will form (it'll probably be something like, Americans are racist who were conned by Trump), but such analysis won't be based in reality. Instead, as often happens in history, someone will "rediscover" the truth once years pass and people no longer feel personally and emotionally invested anymore.

However, some people are correctly diagnosing what happened in the here and now. This article is one of them. I've been lukewarm on Tucker Carlson in the past, but outside of a few nitpicks, he's basically right on the money here. One of the top 5 articles I've read on Trump so far; and especially intriguing since it was written well before Trump sealed the deal.


On the disconnect between the GOP base and establishment:

It turns out the GOP wasn’t simply out of touch with its voters; the party had no idea who its voters were or what they believed. For decades, party leaders and intellectuals imagined that most Republicans were broadly libertarian on economics and basically neoconservative on foreign policy. That may sound absurd now, after Trump has attacked nearly the entire Republican catechism (he savaged the Iraq War and hedge fund managers in the same debate) and been greatly rewarded for it, but that was the assumption the GOP brain trust operated under. They had no way of knowing otherwise. The only Republicans they talked to read the Wall Street Journal too.

 

If Trump is leading a populist movement, many of his Republican critics have joined an elitist one. Deriding Trump is an act of class solidarity, visible evidence of refinement and proof that you live nowhere near a Wal-Mart. Early last summer, in a piece that greeted Trump when he entered the race, National Review described the candidate as “a ridiculous buffoon with the worst taste since Caligula.” Virtually every other critique of Trump from the right has voiced similar aesthetic concerns.

Why is the Party of Ideas suddenly so fixated on fashion and hair? Maybe all dying institutions devolve this way, from an insistence on intellectual rigor to a flabby preoccupation with appearances. It happened in the Episcopal Church, once renowned for its liturgy, now a stop on architectural and garden tours. Only tourists go there anymore.



On his immigration policy:

Apart from his line about Mexican rapists early in the campaign, Trump hasn’t said anything especially shocking about immigration. Control the border, deport lawbreakers, try not to admit violent criminals — these are the ravings of a Nazi? This is the “ghost of George Wallace” that a Politico piece described last August? A lot of Republican leaders think so. No wonder their voters are rebelling.




On the reaction to political correctness:

When was the last time you stopped yourself from saying something you believed to be true for fear of being punished or criticized for saying it? If you live in America, it probably hasn’t been long. That’s not just a talking point about political correctness. It’s the central problem with our national conversation, the main reason our debates are so stilted and useless. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t have the words to describe it. You can’t even think about it clearly.

This depressing fact made Trump’s political career. In a country where almost everyone in public life lies reflexively, it’s thrilling to hear someone say what he really thinks, even if you believe he’s wrong. It’s especially exciting when you suspect he’s right.




On the comments about Muslims:

A temporary ban on Muslim immigration? That sounds a little extreme (meaning nobody else has said it recently in public). But is it? Millions of Muslims have moved to Western Europe over the past 50 years, and a sizable number of them still haven’t assimilated. Instead, they remain hostile and sometimes dangerous to the cultures that welcomed them. By any measure, that experiment has failed. What’s our strategy for not repeating it here, especially after San Bernardino—attacks that seemed to come out of nowhere? Invoke American exceptionalism and hope for the best? Before Trump, that was the plan.

Republican primary voters should be forgiven for wondering who exactly is on the reckless side of this debate. At the very least, Trump seems like he wants to protect the country.



On his outsider status:

almost nobody in Washington caught the significance of Trump’s finest moment in the first debate. One of the moderators asked, in effect: if you’re so opposed to Hillary Clinton, why did she come to your last wedding? It seemed like a revealing, even devastating question.

Trump’s response, delivered without pause or embarrassment: Because I paid her to be there. As if she was the wedding singer, or in charge of the catering.

Even then, I’ll confess, I didn’t get it. (Why would you pay someone to come to your wedding?) But the audience did. Trump is the ideal candidate to fight Washington corruption not simply because he opposes it, but because he has personally participated in it. He’s not just a reformer; like most effective populists, he’s a whistleblower, a traitor to his class. Before he became the most ferocious enemy American business had ever known, Teddy Roosevelt was a rich guy. His privilege wasn't incidental; it was key to his appeal. Anyone can peer through the window in envy. It takes a real man to throw furniture through it from the inside.




On why Trump could win:

The main reason Trump could win is because he’s the only candidate hard enough to call Hillary’s bluff. Republicans will say almost anything about Hillary, but almost none challenge her basic competence. She may be evil, but she’s tough and accomplished. This we know, all of us.

But do we? Or is this understanding of Hillary just another piety we repeat out of unthinking habit, the political equivalent of, “you can be whatever you want to be,” or “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”? Trump doesn’t think Hillary is impressive and strong. He sees her as brittle and afraid.

He may be right, based on his exchange with her just before Christmas. During a speech in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trump said Hillary had been “schlonged” by Obama in the 2008 race. In response, the Clinton campaign called Trump a sexist. It’s a charge Hillary has leveled against virtually every opponent she’s faced, but Trump responded differently. Instead of scrambling to donate to breast cancer research, he pointed out that Hillary spent years attacking the alleged victims of her husband’s sexual assaults. That ended the conversation almost immediately.

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You've often mentioned how humorous you found it that the rural po-dunk vote always skews Republican when Democrats would serve them better-- but the liberal agenda is something good-ol folk can't hang with.

 

I think the fact Trump is close to Republican, but talks like a regular guy has grabbed him a ton of blue collar fly-over state votes.

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Well, yes, but it's more than that. I think the important question is why the liberal agenda is something good-ol-folk can't hang with. The liberals have an answer, but it's not the right answer.

 

Also, it isn't really limited to blue collar fly-over state votes. The candidate that did best with those voters was actually Ted Cruz. Trump decisively won in larger blue states. His best region was the Northeast.

 

Obviously that doesn't mean he's carrying NY in the general election, but what it does say is his appeal was pretty broad across the nation. A lot of very poor counties voted for him, but also some of the richest counties in the entire country in CT, NY, PA, IL, etc., all voted for him too.

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I should be more specific-- every Trump supporter I personally know comes from the same place-- my rural family. A farm family, who are generally the nicest bunch of people-- but not very educated, and racist. Not burn-crosses-on-lawns racist, but the kind of racist that comes from living somewhere remote and small so that any culture other than their own is scary and weird. The don't like Obama-- but they won't come out say it's because he's black. It's because OF REASONS.

 

They may or may not buy into Trump's rhetoric, but they do find his candor refreshing.

 

Interesting to note, these members of my family who were old enough to vote in the 90s were Perot voters.

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OK gotcha. I think you're almost falling for the same trap I was discussing above though. Your family may be racist, but they're not supporting Trump because they're racist.

 

Rather it's because of the reasons the article discusses above. It's why Trump wins both your family and inner city voters in places like Chicago and Baltimore. Not a lot of farm folk in those places. He's tapping into something specific.

 

Again, there is going to be a tendency to describe this phenomenon as simply a bunch of racists nation-wide being played by a trickster. I already know it's gonna happen, so I've accepted that. But it's not an accurate explanation. There's a reason why Trump exists now, why the conditions were set for him to emerge at this point in time, and why he probably couldn't have existed 15 years ago.

 

By the way- on your last point, there is absolutely some significant overlap between Trump and Perot voters, and it has nothing to do with Mexicans or Muslims.

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Here in Idaho almost everyone I talk to sees this as an election between two New York liberals. They think the city folk have completely lost reality and given away our country. They also think that Hillary is the more conservative of the two (they are probably correct) but won't vote for her anyway. Also, Trump lost almost every primary in rural states. The farm flunky vote went to Cruz.

 

Trump is the winner in November almost for sure. They are both terribly flawed candidates, but Trump has a personality.

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I live in Massachusetts. About as blue as it gets. Trump slam dunked the primaries here. However...there is no way in hell he's going to take MA in the general election. It's just not going to happen. What I do find interesting, however, is that during casual conversations or reading social media posts about The Donald, they freaking HATE him, but their reasons have nothing to do with issues, but his general attitude. They avoid issuses as talking points like land mines that will blow up the basis for their disdain. This is not coming from uneducated rural communities, but from college educated, big citygoers. A bit of a paradox...considering this kind of debate and opinion was originally reserved for "the dumb and uneducated" by these same people.

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Oddly I think most of it will be blamed on how out of touch the GOP is with its true base that a liberal pro-business guy could come in do as little as possible (fewest dollars spent) and still take the nom while spouting weird fragmented sentences about "HOW GREAT THIS IS!" I genuinely think it's all rubes. You almost had me voting for him a few times, CM. But I think I'm going with Hillary. I'm more comfortable with the devil I know. Fiscal responsibility sounds great and some of the stuff Trump's been saying about China makes me squeamish.

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I'm more comfortable with the devil I know.

That's mainly what this election is going to come down to. We know what we're going to get with Hillary. It'l be just another slight variation on what we've been getting as far back as George H.W Bush now. NeoCon/liberalism basically. Trump, on the other hand, is more than just a bit of a wild card. His whole campaign has exposed and exploited the yawning chasm that exists between the political class on the one hand, and the people who elect them on the other, and that's true across the political spectrum. Bernie Sanders tapped into the same sort of thing with the Democrats. Like what Trump is with a lot of Republicans, Sanders represents what a lot of democrats actually believe, but prior to the advent of social media they've lacked the ability to really get behind a guy on the scale needed to make a serious run for the nomination. Democrats and Republicans are kind of like different logos on the same basic product line. It's more-or-less the same stuff, marketed to different groups of people. People are mad at an establishment that is woefully out of touch and uses smears of "racism" or "socialism" to stigmatize any challenge to their hegemony. But are they mad enough to discard the devil they know in favor of the devil they don't? That's what'll ultimately decide this, I think.

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Globally speaking, What's more important than money? Healthcare? If it's good, it's not cheap. Education? Money buys lots of universities. National security? Wars are lost by being the first country to run out of money. Tanks? Bombers? Battleships? Professional volunteer army? Drones? Money money money. It's not war-mongering-just having them as a deturent buys safety. Let's be able to compete with China fiscally, THEN we can decide how to spend it. At least he acknowledges the fact we can't let China out leverage us financially, and isn't platforming on total platitudes like "free college for everybody" without grounding that lofty goal with financial realism first. I guess it all boils down to who's line of bullshit do you buy? Besides, if he's elected, I don't think he will be half the hawk when it comes to China anyways. It's a persona he selling us, and he's not stupid when it comes to networking. He knows the value in not pissing off the major players in the world. If he manages to piss China off by outmaneuvering them financially, boohoo.

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Spam actually touches on something interesting that I've been thinking about.

 

Clinton is favored to win the election, but she can definitely screw it up if she takes the wrong path in attacking Trump. The temptation is going to be to double down on the SJW stuff; to hammer away at the racism, the sexism, the Hitler, the islamaphobia, and so on. There will be a lot of liberal pressure to do this- partly because it satisfies their own masturbatory purposes, but also because they think it's actually effective. For example, a lot of liberals actually think Romney lost because of the "binders of women" comment (and not because he was a robotic, stiff candidate against someone who had an incumbent advantage in a growing economy).

 

Clinton loses if she tries to play Trump's game. She's just not going to out-insult him, it's not happening. As the quote from the article above shows, the one time she tried with Trump (so far), it ended in spectacular failure.

 

Clinton's greatest strength is that she has a depth of public policy knowledge that Trump doesn't. Every attack needs to somehow tie back into this theme. If Clinton successfully paints Trump as unprepared for the job, she wins. People like the idea of Trump, but they're also naturally skeptical about a guy that is so outside the norm. If the election narrative becomes about Trump's policy knowledge, she wins. If the election becomes about whether or not Trump is Hitler, then Clinton decisively wins the votes she was going to win anyway (SJWs and minorities) and loses the election.

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Clinton is by far the more prepared and informed candidate. She is also crooked as hell and everyone seems to know it. I just can't understand how circumstances have led us to this. I have been saying Americans are stupid for a long time now. But even I didn't think they were this stupid. Here we have a predicted cliffhanger election between two people that have no business even being in contention.

 

You just watch, the word secession is going to be heard way to often for at least the next 4 years.

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Clinton is by far the more prepared and informed candidate. She is also crooked as hell and everyone seems to know it. I just can't understand how circumstances have led us to this. I have been saying Americans are stupid for a long time now. But even I didn't think they were this stupid. Here we have a predicted cliffhanger election between two people that have no business even being in contention.

 

You just watch, the word secession is going to be heard way to often for at least the next 4 years.

*calls Americans stupid*

 

*does not know the difference between to and too*

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Hahaha, great reply. :lol:

 

I like you.

I like you too. You are arrogant. You use a lot of words that seem to have no purpose other than to prove you are better/richer/smarter than everyone else.

 

But nobody could possibly accuse you of being intellectually lazy.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

I can't tell you who whether Trump or Hillary will win the election, but I can tell you regardless who does, the US as a nation loses.

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I can't tell you who whether Trump or Hillary will win the election, but I can tell you regardless who does, the US as a nation loses.

 

For better or worse, whoever we elect, we get the president we deserve. Hypothetical question. Who would be a win? If you could swap Trump/Clinton for any person (so long as they fit the legal requirements for presidential eligibility) who would you like to see in there? If you like, it doesn't even have to be a politician, just say who and why. :)
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I could go for Powell if he was a bit younger. He has definitely made some mistakes and is not perfect. He also knows more about foreign policy and statesmanship than Clinton even thinks she does. He never came across as crooked to me the way Cheney/Rumsfeld did. Then on social issues he is a somewhat liberal guy without going to far. He supports most of the issues that the liberals want fixed, but wants to do it in a responsible way without discriminating against successful people to equalize results.

 

I know there are great people out there. I just don't know who would have the right mixture of good qualities we want in a President, and the fame and recognition that gets them on the stage.

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Guest El Chalupacabra

 

I can't tell you who whether Trump or Hillary will win the election, but I can tell you regardless who does, the US as a nation loses.

For better or worse, whoever we elect, we get the president we deserve. Hypothetical question. Who would be a win? If you could swap Trump/Clinton for any person (so long as they fit the legal requirements for presidential eligibility) who would you like to see in there? If you like, it doesn't even have to be a politician, just say who and why. :)

 

Well, at least for 2016, I don't know how to answer that. That has been my main gripe about this election cycle: everyone sucks! Out of all the 2016 people, I might have actually voted for Kasich, but even he is far from ideal. He would have been almost like a republican version of Jimmy Carter. For a time, I also considered Rubio, but he really doesn't even seem ready to be president, and ultimately proved unworthy, particularly with his "Christian Values" pandering.

 

On the Dem side, we had a "choice" of either Hillary or Bernie. I get the sense Bernie was supposed to be the joke candidate that made Clinton look palatable, but people either were so indifferent or even hated Hillary, fielding Bernie backfired on Hillary.

 

What I can say is Trump has no political allies, has no experience in public office, is a hot-head, and is probably the most un-presidential person I can think of. I don't see him mellowing and becoming some sort of elder statesman we need. His ego won't allow for it.

 

As for Hillary Clinton, on paper, she appears to have all the columns checked off, but between her corruption, and her incompetence as Secretary of State, she would be every bit the disaster I expect Trump will be.

 

Trump or Hillary, either way we are f*cked.

I could go for Powell if he was a bit younger..

Surprisingly, I agree. But I think due to the way the Bush/Cheney administration threw him under the bus, I doubt he would ever go back into politics.

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I can't tell you who whether Trump or Hillary will win the election, but I can tell you regardless who does, the US as a nation loses.

For better or worse, whoever we elect, we get the president we deserve. Hypothetical question. Who would be a win? If you could swap Trump/Clinton for any person (so long as they fit the legal requirements for presidential eligibility) who would you like to see in there? If you like, it doesn't even have to be a politician, just say who and why. :)

 

Condoleezza Rice

 

Just seems to me she has the diplomatic ability to handle foreign affairs, she has the business know-how and she seems to be one who, while she is Republican, is more moderate and middle of the road on most views.

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