Monday, October 31, 2016

It Takes More Than an Election

Donald Trump has a point. Unfortunately for him, he also is the point. A nation cannot return to greatness unless it is led by great people. Trump might have achieved great things, yet he does not act as though he did. People who constantly brag about their success provoke suspicion, not admiration. They seem to be riding their celebrity, not their successes.

America did not become great by having leaders who were petty and vindictive, mean-spirited and vulgar, litigious and self- aggrandizing. America has always loved the idea of a citizen politician, but a president should have attained prior success in government. Better yet, he should bring success and achievement to the office. And he should bring experience. 

No one imagines that Hillary Clinton will make America great again. If elected, she will spend her time fending off multiple investigations into her potentially criminal enterprises. The stench of corruption will compromise any semblance of greatness.

Whatever the outcome of the investigations, Hillary helped her husband to become the first president in memory to cash in on the nation’s highest office. Everyone can see that Hillary cares more about what the country can do for her than about what she can do for the country.

Her slogan should be: Make Hillary Great, for Once!

A serious candidate should bring greatness to the office. He should not take greatness from the office. A candidate who is unqualified or self-interested will diminish the office, and with it the nation.

Donald Trump has built a real estate empire, but he has never been in politics. Thinking that success in real estate development qualifies you to be president is like saying that borrowing money from a bank makes you qualified to be CEO of the bank. Trump’s inexperience has shown up in his less-than-stellar campaign.

Lacking political achievement, Trump is running on his celebrity status. To spice things up he has offered a string of empty promises. “Believe me,” he says, while giving us no rational reason to do so.

Hillary’s public service has been marked by far more failures than successes. Were it not for her husband and her gender she would never have been considered for the presidency. Her candidacy is a modern instance of nepotism.

When Obama called Hillary the most qualified candidate in American history he was either reading from The Onion or trying to see whether he could get away with yet another lie.

Yet, in Obama’s world real qualifications and real achievements do not count. You are well qualified when you can trick enough people into thinking that you are well qualified.

When leaders have accomplished great things, they command respect. Neither Trump nor Clinton do so.

If Trump commanded respect he would not need to bully people. If he wanted to act like a great business success he would not be bragging about it incessantly. And he would not be preparing to retaliate against those who did not support his candidacy.

Since Hillary does not command respect and is barely likeable, her supporters play the gender card. If you do not respect her for her “awesome” accomplishments, you are a sexist misogynistic patriarchal bigot. Even without Trump playing the role of the sexist Antichrist, a Hillary presidency will severely damage relationships between the sexes.

Strictly speaking, both candidates are underqualified. Fortunately for them, in the Age of Obama, it doesn’t matter. Barack Obama defined qualification downward. If he was qualified, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton can look presidential. Today, merit takes second place, behind diversity. And, lack of real achievement is compensated by the appearance of achievement… that is, by celebrity.

To be fair, Barack Obama did not claim to be the most qualified candidate. Being the first African-American candidate, he offered America a chance to cleanse its soul of its racist past. His supporters suggested that he would save the nation’s soul.  He compensated for his thin resume by having celebrity status. He had charm and charisma. Hung out with celebrities. He was idolized by them.

Obama did not run because he had achieved very much or because he was a great success. And yet, he expected to receive as much respect as anyone else who had ever occupied the Oval Office. Those who refused to respect him were labelled as racists.

In truth, he received the respect due to someone who presented an embarrassingly weak resume. Having precious few qualifications for office, he seemed to have been promoted for reasons that had to do with his race, his celebrity and his charisma. Being elected does not make you qualified or competent.

If Colin Powell had been the first African-American president, he would have received more respect that many of his white predecessors—because he worked his way up the ranks and would have brought his own greatness to the office.

Feeling that he was not sufficiently respected, Obama went to war over minds and ideas. His supporters joined the fight. He did not know enough to conduct foreign policy or to fight wars. He knew how to fight racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia and transphobia. If people did not respect him, he would make them do so.

Obama turned the marketplace of ideas into a battlefield. He supported social justice warriors and racial grievance hustlers. He and his allies in the academy attacked those who dared to think the wrong thoughts or to use the wrong pronouns.

The result: America became less and less a meritocracy. You are no longer a meritocracy when colleges, in particular, select students in order to fulfill diversity quotas. And when they blame the underachievement of some students on other students.

If different people have been admitted to a college (or a workplace) with different qualifications, they will not do as well. In the current climate people who excel are denounced and guilt tripped for their white privilege… even if, as increasingly happens, they are Asian.

We see the price of diversity on today’s college campuses. Students who are accepted with lower grades and test scores feel that they do not belong and cannot compete. To assuage their anguish they insist that other students should not be allowed to intimate that they are not as good.

When diversity replaces merit, no one can be judged on real world terms. But then, when people are not judged by their achievements, they will be judged by appearing to have achieved and by appearing to be qualified. In short, they are judged by their celebrity, by appearing to succeed. In a fictional world, celebrities rule. Hard work matters less than exposure. Decorum is less important than shamelessness.

In a world defined by celebrity, greatness is a state of mind. It does not involve success or failure; it does not involve achievement or accomplishment. Since life is a grand drama, you do not need to work to achieve. You need only to look the part.

Ironically, a builder like Donald Trump has become prominent, not so much for his buildings as for his media presence. If Trump loses the reason will be that he did not want to do the work necessary to prepare for his campaign or his debates. He decided that he could go with his gut.

This year, both Republican and Democratic political parties seem to have conspired to make Barack Obama look presidential. No wonder two thirds of Americans think the country is moving in the wrong direction.    


Anonymous said...

You don't get it. This election is about defeating the Uni-party and the only way to do that is with an outsider.

Funny you didn't have this opinion regarding Trump before the election you have been brainwashed by MSM.

You justify your position by some type of moral equivalence between Clinton and Trump. Take a step back and look at the facts.

Trump wants to put America #1. You on the other hand don't

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

"When leaders have accomplished great things, they command respect. Neither Trump nor Clinton do so."

Yet those are our choices. Gov. Pothead and Dr. Stein are implausible. The other choice is to hold one's head high in dignity by not voting, and then what? Does that command respect? Not in my world.

It's Trump vs. Clinton. Choose.

We can no longer sit idly in the face of the Left's growing totalitarianism. They are playing for thought control and political hegemony. They will never stop. Whatever they get is never enough. It's always more, more, more. They have to have those Supreme Court picks because that's the only way they can reliably advance their agenda. Consider: today it is controversial or novel for one of the candidates for President of the United States of America to say "America first." That's how low we've gone, how ridiculous our political class is, and how elected government is failing us in Washington, D.C. That's why two thirds of Americans believe the country is moving in the wrong direction.

This FBI bombshell is intriguing. With 8 days to go, there's never a dull moment. Trump may not be the best candidate we could hope for, but he is the candidate. Trump may be foolish sometimes, but Hillary is dangerous. I'll suffer the fool. There is no "level playing field" of moral, ethical or political equivalence. I'll vote for a citizen over a career nepotist and liar.

Trump's election will be the greatest repudiation of Obama's leadership and politics. I hope it will be a landslide, and drive home the realization that operating as a Chicago thug for 8 years is destructive for the country.

Two asides...

Where did all the Bernie Sanders supporters go? Jill Stein is polling at 1%. I doubt they're going to Johnson. Do we believe they'd vote for Hillary? Will they stay home and not vote? Or are they going to vote for...

Why has Hillary Clinton been called "Secretary" through this whole election cycle? She's no longer the secretary of anything. Is this to be a lifelong title? Why is she not Mrs. or Ms. Clinton at this point? She's out of office. Are we to call people in elected government by their titles for the rest of their lives, even though they're not currently elected to or serving in that office? It seems strange to me, and gives her an air of office and respectability that she does not deserve. Why isn't Trump called "Chief Executive Officer Trump," a private title he actually holds?

Scullman said...

That’s quite the interesting take on all of this, Stewart. Among other things you declare “Lacking political achievement, Trump is running on his celebrity status”.

While you’re busy racking up the score of political achievements needed in order to run for high office, might you please list the achievements, political or otherwise, that endorse Hillary Clinton for anything above the level of a County Parks & Recreation laborer in any State of your choosing?

The “leadership” of this country has failed. That includes all of those in both political parties who got there on their “merit” or by any route.

Trump has been abandoned by far more serious scribes than you. Get a grip. Your going to need it in eight days.

Trigger Warning said...

"[A] president should have attained prior success in government."

I disagree, Schneiderman. IMO, one of the problems we have in politics today is the emergence of professional politicians and a political "class".

There is, without doubt, useful experience to be gained in a political career, but that experience teaches far more about how to manage one's public persona and fundraising (i.e., monetizing policy positions) than it does about anything useful for American citizens.

Constitutionally, the Office of the President is an executive position. The most valuable skill an executive can have is the ability to choose good people. Looking at Barack Obama's terms, one of the outstanding features of the Cabinet officers and immediate top-level advisers is that they are all political hacks. Even the Supreme Court appointees are notable more for their contributions to "diversity" and ideological purity than any notable jurisprudence. An executive can't get by with that when hiring, say, a CFO or a General Counsel. Too much at stake. Now think about Mike Pence.

I do not share your admiration of Colin Powell, who, IMO, was never a highly competent general officer, responsible for Gulf War II by his mismanagement of GW I. Most of Powell's career was in political positions. Contrast that with Dwight Eisenhower, a military logistics "executive", who brought off the gargantuan multinational Normandy invasion under a shroud of secrecy. Eisenhower could execute.

Trump isn't running on his "real estate development" skills. He's running on his executive skills. He doesn't build buildings; subcontractors build his buildings. For Pete's sake, I doubt Donald Trump could build a birdhouse. But he runs a diverse business empire that happens to include real estate. Barack Obama can't manage the successful development of a transactional website - I doubt he could manage a Dairy Queen. But he had several years' worth of "political experience". You want "political experience"? I give you Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Barney Frank, and Nancy Pelosi.


Howver, I doubt that Trump can turn Leviathan around. The Federal government has been colonized by Progressives, all with union and civil service protection, enabled under the benign political instincts of experienced Republican politicians.

And yes, Trump grates on the nerves of many people, who call him a crude "bully".

Regarding the "crude" designation, I call him "refreshingly blunt". A Miss Universe who is under contractual obligaton to maintain her weight to advance the prospects of her investors will not be irreparably damaged by being confronted with the blunt truth that she's turned into Miss Piggy. Her job was never about her, Schneiderman. Her job was to return the investment of the Miss Universe franchise, my good man. If I owned a Subway franchise, I'd have no quads about saying "Stop being such an a**hole or you're fired" to a rude employee of mine.

And the word "bully" has become as meaningless as the word "bashed". Personally, I've had enough of women and gays claiming they've been "bullied" or "bashed" when other people verbally criticize them. You probably won't agree, but I think there's something wonderfully grounding about getting punched in the mouth. It puts a whole new spin on the meaning of the words "bullied" and "bashed". Is Trump often rude? Yes. Does that bother me? No. Reflect back on a few of Churchill's most memorable and wickedly delightful pointed barbs. Just because they were uttered with a cut-glass accent didn't make them less rude and blunt...

"I may be drunk, Miss, but in the morning I will be sober and you will still be ugly."

Jim Sweeney said...

Articles like this are common-place throughout the internet, mostly from seemingly sensible people; e.g., Krauthammer, Will et al.

First, for a bumbling, know-nothing braggart, Trump is doing more than reasonably well. Surely he has done better than the other 16 or so candidates most of whom have disappeared into wherever they live or work. None commands any coverage unless they condemn Trumps - rather like you Old Boy.

Second, commentors of your ilk are, frankly, jealous as you see Trump as less than yourselves intellectually, verbally and socially. And he has a better looking, accomplished wife and a huuuge bank account. And, oh yes, a gaggle of superior children.

I would say that Trump has created a miracle. He took business acumen - Carly, are you listening? - combined it with his earned celebrity and has made himself into a self-styled citizen president-to-be. He makes Romney and McCain look small-ball, empty political vessels, created by Carl Rove et al with little personal integrity. We know what Trump really is. He tells us almost endlessly. The others, not so much.

And that is why real people will vote for him. It does not take a lifetime in politics to be president. See Eisenhower, David, e.g. It takes political skill to be sure and, for that, see Trump, Donald who, next week, has an extremely good shot at being Mr. President.

Deal with it as Hussein once said

Sam L. said...

I think what it comes down to is that we have no faith in the political class and have sufficient evidence to believe that they will ignore us and believe they can get away with it while taxing us into submission. Even Michael Moore realizes this--see

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

"People who constantly brag about their success provoke suspicion, not admiration."

I do not understand why you continue to harp on this point in the context of a political race. Please name the last politician who did not run on their successes and achievements. Trump is a businessman. He must talk about his achievements in business, and accumulated money is a quantitative indicator of that. Politicians use other quantitative standards Trump cannot, and non-executive politicians are not as accountable for performance as a business executive is.

Consider the context. This is politics, not genteel social etiquette and protocol. Yes, if I knew someone who would crow about how successful they were in polite company at cocktail parties, I'd be suspicious. But if they ran for office, I would expect them to do it, because they're trying to prove their bona fides and qualifications to people who don't know them. Part of what I have to do as a professional is offer my track record of success when introducing my services to prospects and new clients, especially if they don't know me from Adam. It builds credibility. But I don't talk about it at weekend dinner parties with my friends or with strangers. That's tacky.

I don't admire Trump, but I respect his achievements. He's actually created real jobs, unlike the politicians who crow about "creating" jobs. And I think his non-political background engaged in real, tangible economic performance for 40 years demands "money-where-your-mouth-is" business commitment, and keeping customers coming back is hard work. Additionally, the New York real estate market is rough-and-tumble, but you can't operate for that long in that environment without being your word.

Is Donald Trump my ideal choice? No, but none of the original 16 "Dream Team" Republicans was my first choice, either. Look at who Trump is running against now. Easy choice. And in 2016 -- coming out of Obama's America -- he may be exactly what we need. The $20 Trillion Club has wrecked the place.

Anonymous said...

We'd all better start warming up to Trump. He's going to need patriotic support. Because if he wins, the tension around this presidential transition will be something we've never seen. The Clinton-W transition was awkward after the Florida recount, but Clinton never said Bush was unfit to be president. If Obama thought Trump unfit during the race, he's going to be even more unfit as president-elect. Someone who is unfit is unfit, regardless of the outcome of any plebiscite. Combine it with the possibility of close/contested state vote results, a blockbuster FBI investigation, and rioting in the streets. Then add Obama's cool pettiness and close connections with agitators, and you've got a powder keg on your hands. When the liberal reporters were going on about Trump being a threat to the USA's tradition of the peaceful transition of power, I thought they had no idea what they were taking about if Trump wins. It's going to be bad. I don't put anything past the today's libs. Rotten to the core.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thanks for the flattery. I was addressing a simple question: the majority of the American people is seriously unhappy with the choice of candidates. The person who seems to be profiting the most from the campaign is Barack Obama-- a man who was manifestly unqualified for office, but who won anyway. Winning does not make anyone qualified.Winning does not make anyone a great candidate. I believe that I was sufficiently critical of Hillary to show that she is in no way qualified for much of anything. Read a bit more closely next time. Being an executive in one industry does not qualify you to be an executive in a completely different field. I have mentioned before that the country is currently being run by a real estate developer named Valerie Jarrett. As everyone knows, before the most recent FBI revelation, Trump had been losing and had been dragging down Republican senatorial candidates because in the first debate he sounded unprepared. I am not the only one who noticed this. Everyone noticed this. In the end I was asking what is wrong with America, why it is no longer great and what we need to do to fix things. I believe that it should begin with an individual who brings greatness to the office.... I was not recommending that anyone vote one way or another-- as though that would matter anyway. I think that the Trump/Hillary match up is symptomatic of something that is seriously wrong with the country and that the fault lies with Barack Hussein.

Dennis said...

It takes more than an election is undoubtably true. One would not be remiss in stating that "They both suck" and We are screwed." Though I don't agree with the statement that "We are screwed," there is a large possibility that we will be as close to a Civil War as we have been since the first one that started in 1860. Those who would control us are not going to be happy tp lose that control.
Now the question is what do we do to affect what is liable to be a very contenious time and regain the cohesiveness that we used to take for granted as Americans? Also who among the current candidates for the office of president would be more likely to be controlled by the system vice being out of control, having contempt for large segments of the electorate and the desire to destroy anyone who does not agree with them?
We have created this monster by allowing the government to get so big that it is like a forest fire that consumes almost everything in its path. In order to start to control this fire we will have to start somewhere with the first fire break. Like many problems that have been allowed to fester for a long time one has to accept small victories and maybe even progress towards putting that fire out As far as I can see there are no easy solutions.
As much as Trump is not what many of us would desire he is much more likely to try to ameliorate the affects of the fire than Hillary who would grow the government larger which would have the affect of pouring gasoline on the fire that is government. Far too many people want instant solutions to problems they have caused by the apathy they have show for long periods of time.
It would seem to me the choice is between someone who could be a fireman or a known arsonist.
This is much like me losing weight, almost 40 lbs, as I set goals which are achievable knowing that each set point will be harder to exceed. It took me along time to put it on and I accept that it will take a long time to lose it. Not much difference between the weight one gains and the weight of the government we have allowed to clog our arteries and to crush us under that weight.

Trigger Warning said...

Just a couple of notes, Sir...

The Habitat Company (via their website) is not a property developer in the sense that they plan and build buildings. They are primarily a property management company and a government community development contractor, along with some co-investing activities in urban multifamily housing. In other words, slumlords. Jarrett got her experience in government, starting as a political appointee working for the failed Harold Washington mayorality and later for the Daley Machine. As it happens, Michelle Robinson Obama was a close associate in those years, so she is also politically experienced. I understand that you aren't supporting that reptile, Jarrett, but please do not imply that her career in real estate is comparable to that of Mr Trump. Apples/apples, please.

Being a good executive in one field does not imply success in other fields. I doubt that the CEO of Revlon would make a good CEO of Bechtel. But with few exceptions like NIST, NOAA, etc, the Federal government is one gigantic general contractor. Yes, they have some internal service delivery expertise (e.g., VA hospitals, IRS, etc), but most of the actual work is done by contractors. Donald Trump is, among other things, a very successful general contractor.

But I see your more general point; I agree that we need "an individual who brings greatness to the office". I get that.

Hell, I think we need a citizenry with less sense of entitlement and more civic spirit.

So where does that get us on 11/8?

But theres no point in demanding Beluga caviar in a beer joint. So you have three choices; wring your hands, order up either cheese fries or the snotburger, or move on down the road to a better venue. That's it.

So now what, given the choices? Peter Thiel has my ear...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Okay, Stuart, I hear you loud and clear. You think both candidates suck. You think Barack Obama has been a terrible president. I get it. It seems that you're complaining about your choices. Then don't vote and be more of the problem.

What I think many of us here are saying is that there is no equivalence between Trump and Hillary. We are choosing Trump... not because we like him personally or agree with everything he says, but because of what he represents. And that seed was there before the FBI revelation, which is likely to be more of a nail in Hillary's coffin than the overall reason she's gonna lose. The real reason she's gonna lose is because no one trusts her. She believes the countless rules she wants all of us to live under don't apply to her. Wikileaks has removed all doubt that she and her team are in it for themselves. This is a revolt. We're revolting against the carefully-choreographed klepto-plutocracy of the bigoted globalist cognitive elite that doesn't give a fig whether we live or die.

If you're looking for why America is having this problem, I think the answer is very simple: it's every man for himself/herself. We're no longer great because we are paying attention to how we can turn victimization into cash instead of being responsible for our own lives in the face of challenge. We are a nation of aggrieved categories and statistics. As Tom Wolfe pointed out, we have a nation of people still living according to their high school caste system. And the people who don't want to be that way, who want to make their own way in the spirit of "rugged individualism" are targets for public ridicule. As I tell my clients, "You get what you incentivize." We don't incentivize work anymore. Everyone gets a trophy. There's a lawyer on every corner to help you find an escape clause in a contract. We give perks to politicians who have amassed a $20T national debt. Etc., etc., etc. The good guys have all the responsibility and none of the authority. It's disgusting.

What's wrong with America? What's wrong is that a great number of Americans believe America sucks. They have a disproportionately influential voice because they shape our politics, control our institutions, educate our children, create our entertainment, tell us what's news, etc. People who hear something enough times start to believe it.

Trump may not be the ideal candidate, but he didn't have to run for president. Trump chose to run. I respect him for it. All these GOPe blowhards are freaking our like Trump stole the nomination. He won it... with three staff! He's the only candidate who could've got through the media wall.

Donald Trump seems to believe in the America I believe in: can-do, kick ass, bow to no one, and do our part to make the world a free place... as best we can. I don't expect him to be Ronald Reagan, FDR or the second coming of Christ. Our political culture sets impossible standards for people to run, so the only people who win are the ones who don't have any standards, like the Clintons... people who are on the take, in it for themselves. Such people show our nation that work is for suckers, and you'd better get yours. Our ruling class tells us they know everything, and view the rest of us as a dim basket of deplorables... and that's why America sucks.

So yes, the Trump/Hillary match up is symptomatic of something that is seriously wrong with the country. The Democrat Party believes America sucks, and they fancy themselves as the redemptorists who will exorcise our nation's sins and heal the planet. It's been a lawless, gigantic national guilt trip and spending orgy, and the Republican Congress has done nothing to stop the madness.

I'm being told by the Democrat Party and other smarty-pants billionaire savants that I'm the problem with America. I dissent.

Shaun F said...

As we know, Trump is a narcissist. Which is the reason for his big mouth and other flawed characteristics. But that’s really not important. What is important and noteworthy is that he has tapped into a large segment of the American population that has been silenced and marginalized. He's not all “bling” as that takes some savvy. Also the whole media establishment hate him – which to me is encouraging. And truth be told - I don't vote - but if I had an option like Trump in my country – given the way things are stacked? I'd register and vote for him. He reminds me of the character the Mule, in Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy. An unforeseen variable that may destroy the (Seldon) Plan!

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: Donald Trump has a point. Unfortunately for him, he also is the point. A nation cannot return to greatness unless it is led by great people.

Let's see how well Trump lives up to his art of greatness:

1. Think big

"I like thinking big. I always have. To me it's very simple: if you're going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big."

--> Running for president, rather than governor, definite bigger.

2. Protect the downside and the upside will take care of itself

"I always go into the deal anticipating the worst. If you plan for the worst--if you can live with the worst--the good will always take care of itself."

--> What is the worst for Trump running for president? Losing? Not clearly. Being humiliated? What's humiliating at having 60 million people vote for you? That's called status. You can start a TV station on numbers like that.

3. Maximize the options

"I never get too attached to one deal or one approach...I keep a lot of balls in the air, because most deals fall out, no matter how promising they seem at first."

--> Again, Trump TV may really be the final step that makes Trump a real billionaire, rather than a pretend one.

4. Know your market

"I like to think that I have that instinct. That's why I don't hire a lot of number-crunchers, and I don't trust fancy marketing surveys. I do my own surveys and draw my own conclusions."

--> I suppose Trump's cherry-picked polls suggest Trump is interested in reinforcing his "instinct", not a presidential move if being presidential means taking facts as they are.

5. Use your leverage

"The worst thing you can possibly do in a deal is seem desperate to make it. That makes the other guy smell blood, and then you're dead."

--> Trump definitely isn't deperate. He's willing to say anything, promise anything, admit nothing, not caring about the consequences, or even remembering what he said yesterday. That's leverage I guess.

7. Get the word out

"One thing I've learned about the press is that they're always hungry for a good story, and the more sensational the better...The point is that if you are a little different, a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you."

--> This should be Trump's trademark

8. Fight back

"In most cases I'm very easy to get along with. I'm very good to people who are good to me. But when people treat me badly or unfairly or try to take advantage of me, my general attitude, all my life, has been to fight back very hard."

--> This does seem problematic when you're talking about ego. Helping America start new multitrillion dollar wars because someone tried to kill his daddy, that may be "presidential", but it's been done, and we're still paying the bills on that.

9. Deliver the goods

"You can't con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don't deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on."

--> This is most problematic. If he's elected, he's going to have to have a lot of excuses, or he's going to have to take dictatoral power to do the things he claims he can do, and a little divine intervention too.

11. Have fun

"Money was never a big motivation for me, except as a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game."

--> So money is just a way of keeping score, but who is he competing against? And not everyone is so lucky to be able to throw away millions of dollars for personal glory.

If he really wanted to show he didn't care about the money, he could stop attacking the estate tax, and stop promising to lower taxes for millionaires.

AesopFan said...

"I'm being told by the Democrat Party [and the Republican Party] and other smarty-pants billionaire savants that I'm the problem with America. I dissent."
October 31, 2016 at 2:08 PM

FIFY - and I agree to dissent as well.

Ares Olympus said...

Scullman said... That’s quite the interesting take on all of this, Stewart.

Tsk-tsk, even I'm respectful enough to know how to spell Stuart's first name.

Sam L. said... Even Michael Moore realizes this--see

It's a great cut Sam, but of course it was just the warm up pitch before saying what a bad idea it is to vote by "feelings" and people will regret it, that you can't say the "biggest fuck you ever recorded in human history and it will feel good", and expect things will turn out better for you personally.

IAC: Where did all the Bernie Sanders supporters go? Jill Stein is polling at 1%. I doubt they're going to Johnson. Do we believe they'd vote for Hillary? Will they stay home and not vote? Or are they going to vote for...

Indeed, the vast majority of Bernie Supports are going to give Hillary supporters a chance to make fools of themselves, ideally with "I told you so" rights at Hillary's impeachment hearings. You can bet there'll be serious left-side challenge for the Democratic nomination in 2020, if we can keep our Republic another 4 years.

And Michael Moore, after his exploring "TrumpLand" just had a FB pep rally for the progressive vote. Moore is one Leftist who, no matter how large a lead Clinton has, would prefer to remind everyone Trump can always win, if some of the 50% who never vote actually come out and vote.

And he's positively romantic to the idea that if people who are too lazy to turn off the TV and spend 20 minutes voting, if they could vote in their easy chairs, that Hillary would win by an even bigger landslide. I'm less sure about that detail.

But there are two other "protest vote" candidates to vote for, including Independent Evan McMullin who has a shot at winning Utah, and could help block either Clinton or Trump from a Electoral college majority. And there's Constitution Party candidate Darrell Castle, the sort of candidate that the Christian Right is supposed to swoon over.

And all the minor parties have a magic 5% threshold, nationally or by state, for "major party status" and access to public funds in the next election cycle, so there is honor and value in losing.

Although who knows if the GOP isn't completely fractured by then - with two or more different coalitions claiming "ownership" of the party of Lincoln. Or maybe that's the imminent fate of the Democrats? It's hard to tell.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I declare my independence from the word "bully" and "bullying."

These terms lost all meaning in this age of the snowflake set.

We all know what bullying is. And we all know what the antidote to bullying is. Unfortunately, zero tolerance policies have taken that option off the table, empowering more bullying. It's a canard to justify more feminine remedies for our social ills. Translation: more talking, more words, no results.

All this makes our institutions complicit and impotent in their monopolization of social welfare. It creates hopelessness and weakness.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

A good read on the Democrat elite, and I have little doubt it's an accurate portrayal of the effete hacks who run the Republican Party, too:

Sam L. said...

If accomplishments are such a big deal, why isn't Hillary running on hers?