Trump the Train Wreck

If I was an evil mastermind who wanted to destroy the Republican Party, it’s hard to imagine a better possibility than getting someone like Trump elected president. The next four years will be a train wreck in slow motion. Trump will destroy the GOP as it so far has existed. That may or may not destroy it as a functioning political party. But for sure it will never be the same.

I had such thoughts back during the campaigns. It occurred to me that, once Clinton and Trump were nominated, this was an election neither party should want to win. Either was going to be a disaster for their respective party. The president now will get blamed for so much. And both of these people were severely disliked and distrusted.

There is a difference, though. Most of the people who voted for Clinton were simply Democratic partisans. They were hoping to save their party, even though pushing out Sanders did long term harm. The dynamic was different on the other side.

There are also partisan Republicans who held their nose while voting for Trump, assuming that he was better than nothing. But there were many other Trump supporters who weren’t partisan Republicans and they couldn’t care less if the GOP goes down in flames. They are a frustrated group who just want to be heard, by any means necessary. They might even take pride in destroying the GOP.

The GOP has a tiger by the tail and is afraid to let go. They might discover, though, that they don’t have the tiger. The tiger has them. I wish them luck, as I’d rather see both parties reformed than destroyed. The two party system has been a failure, but at the moment what would replace it might be worse. What we really need, if we were to be honest, is a constitutional convention. The system needs to be rebuilt from the bottom up.

If reform fails, as it seems it will, there are those who’d rather push failure to its inevitable conclusion of self-destruction. The same frustration and outrage that led to obstruction of Obama now has infected the heart of the GOP. The beast will turn on itself, devouring its own entrails. I’ll leave you with that pleasant image.

16 thoughts on “Trump the Train Wreck

    • In one of the links to the links he suggests hat Romney got a relatively low share of the white vote because whites were tired of republicans and want a ethno-nationalist. But in absolute numbers trumps numbers weren’t good either. It’s a bit odd, like he seems desperate to want to frame trump as a savior for white nationalism and galvanized whites, when even most of trumps own voters don’t even know what alt right is. They might have prejudices and visceral fears and biases but most probably don’t frequent white nationalist sites.

      • That is interesting data. Voter turnout was lower than its been in a couple decades. But it was higher in key states that helped Trump win. It would be interesting to have even more specific data. How many people who normally vote didn’t vote? And how many people who normally don’t vote did vote? And who exactly were these various people, both demographically and politically?

        This election was a perfect storm. Trump gets some credit for being a master showman and con man. But under normal conditions with even a mediocre candidate running against him, he would have been trounced. Romney was simply a pathetic candidate, more pathetic than Clinton. He had about as much charisma as Gore and Kerry. Doing better than Romney is a very small achievement.

    • I see that all the time. I wrote a post about it. Any time a candidate or the media say some demographic was won, be extremely skeptical. With so many people not voting or else among those voting choosing third party, it is rare for a candidate to win any demographic.

    • Basically, he is saying: “Trump won because of his popular numbers. But all the numbers that show he wasn’t popular are lies. Therefore, anti-immigrant white nationalism is morally justified and has a political mandate.”

    • About the poll, I haven’t looked at it. And I don’t know British public opinion. But I do know that framing matters a lot. For Americans: If you frame questions one way, most Americans are conservatives, for tough-on-crime policies, against gun bans, want less welfare funding, support a strong military, have doubts about climate change, etc. But if you frame questions another way, most Americans aren’t conservatives, are for prisoner rehabilitation, for stronger gun regulation, want a strong social safety net, are against wars of aggression, want government to do something about climate change, etc.

  1. As one who actually was employed by Trump in his Casinos here in Atlantic City, I would not have voted for the man if Voting were mandatory and he was the only person running.

    Having said that, in many ways I am glad he won. Like you said, he is going to do a lot of harm to the republican party as it stands. Right now the GOP is beholden to high dollar interests that have no reason or want to actually keep (or return) this country great. They want to eek every last blood dollar out of no matter the costs. If Clinton or Sanders had won, they would have been pushing a boulder uphill for the next 2 (or more) years as the Grand Old Party is firmly entrenched in the Senate and Congress.

    Now do not get me wrong, I fear for our country, we have already seen the dark underbelly of American Society showing itself in speech and action as the “alt-right” make themselves comfortable in our living rooms and warp what is “right” and what is “acceptable” behavior into something truly hideous. I can only hope that the Progressives can take the damage the conservatives are about to do and turn it into a way to retake the House and Senate so the damage can be mitigated.

    I always considered myself a moderate (like most people) Socially liberal and fiscally conservative, but I found myself being pushed further and further liberal by both the election and the new Administration. Simply put, I cannot stand what this country is becoming due to a very vocal minority that now seems to think total control of this country is within their grasp.

    • We share similar views. I’m fairly moderate in that many policies I support or find acceptable are well within majority public opinion. But I’m radically far left of the Democratic Party and mainstream media.

      So, it depends on what is the standard of ‘moderate’. I’m probably more liberal than you. Then again, it is easy for me to find common ground even with moderate conservatives, such as my parents (who, by the way, as lifelong Republicans didn’t vote for Trump).

      Many people across the political spectrum are rethinking their views, positions, and/or partisan identity. It’s a good thing. All of this uncertainty, corruption, and failure is forcing much soul-searching.

    • All ethnicities are invented. It’s just a matter of when they were invented. It’s like how no one would have thought of themselves as white a few centuries ago.

      We talk about the Scots-Irish as an ethnicity, but a few centuries ago they were a diverse border people including English, Scottish, French, Germans, etc. Then they came to America and further mixed with other populations. Now they just identify as ‘white’ or ‘American’. Palestinians and Jews think of themselves as separate ethnicities, but in reality they descend from the same original population, although the Jews that left mixed with a bunch of other populations.

      Yet the shadow of ethnicities can remain long after the actual ethnicities are gone. There is still a pseudo-ethnic divide in the US between Northern whites and Southern whites. That divide goes back to a lingering memory of the ethnic conflict that split England apart during the English Civil War, involving those identifying with Norman ethnicity and those identifying with Germanic/Scandinavian ethnicity (not that this was entirely conscious at the time for the average person in England; they just knew they were of separate cultures and living in separate regions). That wasn’t even that long ago.

      Ethnicities are invented and so they are constantly shifting. Now we are beginning to see people refer to white as an ethnicity. It never was considered an ethnicity in the past. Yet after centuries of ethnic mixing, the mongrel result is called a new ethnicity. If you go back far enough, everyone descends from ethnically-mixed mongrels.

    • That was good. I liked the Salon article quoted in it. It made me laugh.

      “Furthermore, liberalism is bound to prevail ultimately because it seeks pragmatic compromise and avoids ideological confrontation, which — according to the tenets of liberalism — is how you win over the middle-most slice of the middle ground and ensure endless electoral victory and social progress. How do we know that will work, in the face of repeated electoral defeat, rapidly reversing social progress and the total disappearance of the so-called middle ground? Well, it’s complicated: Consultants and pie charts were involved. You wouldn’t really understand.

      “Since liberals are by definition sensible people who make the right decisions about everything, each new and terrible setback must be blamed on some marginal but troublesome phenomenon: talk radio, Ralph Nader, crackpots in Revolutionary War costumes, the Koch brothers and, in the illuminating case of the disastrous 2014 midterms, the alarming fact that voters who supposedly supported the liberal agenda simply couldn’t be bothered to show up.

      “Now, a cynic might say that “We’re the party that most people actually support; they’re just too stupid and lazy to vote for us” is the kind of thing a doomed political entity might say. Or, more to the point, that even if such an argument is partly true, it suggests a widespread loss of faith in the electoral process and the workings of democracy that mainstream liberalism is ill-suited to address. But such a cynic lacks the blithe self-confidence of the liberal establishment, which believes itself driven by reason while steadfastly resisting all empirical evidence it doesn’t like.

      “I’m sorry; I’m losing the thread here a little bit. To the liberal hive-mind, the inordinately painful defeat of 2016, in which Hillary Clinton got millions more votes than that other guy but lost anyway, presents a difficult conundrum. It appeared to be an impossible outcome in advance, and remains so in retrospect. It couldn’t have happened, and therefore in some sense did not happen. It can only be explained in terms of bizarre extrinsic factors, and in the case of this fluke election many of those factors are at least somewhat plausible: It was the Electoral College, it was the Russians, it was the FBI. It was white people, stubbornly putting the chimera of racial solidarity ahead of their own economic interests, which is a long-running theme in American politics.

      “But another running theme in Democratic Party apologetics informs all that, which is the ingrained desire to blame the left-wing resistance for anything that goes wrong — and to insist that it isn’t actually the left at all but sort of, kind of, the right. Hence Wolcott’s argument that the DudeBros and “purity progressives” of the “alt-left” are in some undisclosed manner closely related to the rebranded white supremacists of the alt-right. Or maybe it’s just that he doesn’t like either of them.

      “To return to our central premise: The DudeBros ruined everything. Their workings are malicious, and marvelous. They are simultaneously clueless, puritanical and all-powerful. In between Ultimate Frisbee tournaments and Vampire Weekend marathons, they elected Donald Trump, wiped out the Democratic Party between the coasts, rioted against Milo Yiannopoulos in Berkeley and/or defected to the alt-right en masse. They develop apps whose functions remain mysterious, and that most of us don’t know how to use. Unforgivably, they made the Phish reunion possible, and now it will never stop.”

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