Friday, March 4, 2016

The Oversized Donald Trump

Now, we get it. Donald Trump is lapping the Republican field because he has a large penis, is flexible and has a strong core. So virile is the Donald that Mitt Romney would have dropped to his knees to receive an endorsement in 2012. Vulgar does not quite seem to do it justice.

Beyond that, we have been reliably informed, from the Donald himself, that when he tells people to do something, they do it, even if it’s illegal and even if they have the right to countermand the order. Because he thinks that that’s what makes for a leader.

A couple of days ago, the Donald declared that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Paul Ryan would work with him or else, would “pay a big price.”

That’s not leadership. It’s bullying. Paul Ryan laughed in the Donald's face. If you think it will work you should count yourself among the low information voters.

Trump considers himself to be a natural born leader. In fact, he functions like a tyrant. Forget about ideas. Forget about policy. Forget about experience in government. Forget about demonstrated competence in public service. Forget about deep knowledge of any aspects of the government. It’s about the force of Donald’s oversized personality.

Once exposed to the oversized Trump, grown men and grown women will drop to their knees in utter obeisance.

Peggy Noonan believes that Trump is teaching us how not to lead:

You have a responsibility when you lead not to offend needlessly, not to impose realities you yourself can buy your way out of. You don’t privately make fun of people as knuckle-draggers, victims of teachers-union educations, low-information voters.

Because if you are leading with your personality, if you are imposing your oversized personality, they will make it a point of personal pride to defy everything you say, to refuse to do what you tell them, no matter what.

As soon as the Donald declared that he would force the Mexicans to pay for his wall, everyone with an ounce of sense should have known that they would never do it. They will tank their economy and, incidentally, the American economy in a trade war before they will pay for the fence.

As for the Chinese government, if they cave in to the demands of the Donald they will lose face. It will never happen. Recall, not too many years ago that they ran down their own children with tanks in order not to lose face. If you think that they are going to do the bidding of Donald Trump you know less about these things than he does.

If you think that the world economy or the American economy will thrive during a trade war, you need to bone up on your economic history.

The Republican Party is disintegrating before our eyes. Peggy Noonan, for one, is anguished by the eventuality, because the only possible winner in the melee will be Hillary Clinton.

Noonan describes the Trump paradox:

He is a divider of the Republican Party and yet an enlarger of the tent. His candidacy is contributing to record turnouts in primary after primary, and surely bringing in Democrats and independents. But it should concern his supporters that his brain appears to be a grab bag of impulses, and although he has many views and opinions he doesn’t seem to know anything about public policy or the way the White House or the government actually works.

He is unpredictable, which his supporters see as an advantage. But in a harrowing, hair-trigger world it matters that the leaders of other nations be able to calculate with some reasonable certainty what another leader would do under a given set of circumstances.

It’s all personality all the time. It’s the macho persona, something that appeals to people who do not know the difference between real manliness and machismo.

When you have no principles and no policies you will be presenting your personality, your impulses, your instincts. True enough, Trump will not be beholden to the donor class. But he will be utterly and completely dependent on his advisors. He does not know enough of the details of history or of policy to make the decisions himself. He does not know enough of the facts to be a competent negotiator. A great negotiator must have a complete command of all the facts involved.

If you don’t know it, check out this post, from 2013, about a 1985 negotiation between Tony Blair and James Baker. Blair was cocky and arrogant; he thought he knew it all. Baker was calm and composed. He did know it all. Who do you think won?

When people are led around by their emotions they cease to exercise their rational faculties. Everyone thinks that by voting for Trump they are defying the Republican establishment. And yet, the man the Republican establishment loathes the most is Ted Cruz. The man who became wildly unpopular for fighting the establishment is Ted Cruz.

Everyone believes that Trump is going to shake things up in Washington. If you put a bull in a china shop he is certainly going to break some dishes. But, the American government is not a china shop. And serious people do not resort to imprecise and misleading analogies. In order to change the way Washington works you need to know how it works. If you are getting on-the-job training you are not going to be able to shake up anything.

And then there is reputation. The reputation of the Republican Party has taken a serious hit. The enemies of the American conservative movement have begun to seize on Donald Trump as the perfect representation of everything they have always accused Republicans of being: racist, xenophobic, sexist, fascistic, authoritarian, driven by emotion, not by reason… you name it.

Already, Vox has come up with a semi-academic treatise by Amanda Taub that lays down the predicates. The treatise is obviously flawed, the reasoning is lame. But, thanks to Trump, it will stick. A damaged reputation is very difficult to overcome.

Taub writes:

People who score high in authoritarianism, when they feel threatened, look for strong leaders who promise to take whatever action necessary to protect them from outsiders and prevent the changes they fear.

And this:

Authoritarians are thought to express much deeper fears than the rest of the electorate, to seek the imposition of order where they perceive dangerous change, and to desire a strong leader who will defeat those fears with force. They would thus seek a candidate who promised these things. And the extreme nature of authoritarians' fears, and of their desire to challenge threats with force, would lead them toward a candidate whose temperament was totally unlike anything we usually see in American politics — and whose policies went far beyond the acceptable norms.


Authoritarians prioritize social order and hierarchies, which bring a sense of control to a chaotic world. Challenges to that order — diversity, influx of outsiders, breakdown of the old order — are experienced as personally threatening because they risk upending the status quo order they equate with basic security.

This is, after all, a time of social change in America. The country is becoming more diverse, which means that many white Americans are confronting race in a way they have never had to before. Those changes have been happening for a long time, but in recent years they have become more visible and harder to ignore. And they are coinciding with economic trends that have squeezed working-class white people.

What’s wrong with this reasoning? If you want to call it reasoning, that is.

Effectively, the age of Obama has given rise to a war against men, a war against boys in schools and a war against white privilege. With a great deal of subtlety Obama has led the nation into a massive exercise in social engineering. Americans must now feel contempt for everything white people have ever achieved. White people are what is wrong with America. They and their children must be punished.

And it has done so using, dare I say it, stealth authoritarian means. Abortion was legalized by judicial fiat. Some states voted for same-sex marriage. Others did not. It became the law of the land by judicial fiat. About that Hillary Clinton said yesterday: get used to it. White college men are being accused of rape and being tried before administrative boards that deprive them of due process.

The Obama administration opened the borders and granted de facto amnesty to illegal immigrants by executive fiat. It shut down coal generated power plants and coal mines by executive fiat. Children go to school and are told what they may and may not think, which opinions will cause them to flunk out of school or to be downgraded. And of course, the climate change dogmas of the Church of the Liberal Pieties are imposed on children and on everyone else because they are “settled science.”

Truth be told, the American people have good reason to fear an uncontrolled influx of foreigners. If the political scientists would take off their ideological blinders and look at what is happening in multicultural Europe they would see that an excessive number of new immigrants can cause serious social disruptions. And they will see that it has brought rape culture to Europe. Does the academic left want to do what the powers that be in Sweden are doing: telling everyone to get used to it?

Today's American people of pallor do not understand why they and their children should be punished for the sins of past generations. They see the push to diversity as discrimination against them.

When it comes to college admissions and hiring, white people are punished, their achievements are downgraded in order to privilege members of minority groups. Is it fair? Is it just? Did they vote for it?

Shouldn’t parents feel enraged that their children are being punished for sins they had nothing to do with? And might they feel even more outraged when the students who were admitted under diversity quotas find that they cannot compete and thus insist that the university be overhauled to compensate their inadequacies?

College campuses have been infested with Brown Shirted bullies, to say nothing of rampant anti-Semitism. Do they think that we should just sit back and accept it?

One doubts that the Donald will ever be able to deal with these issues. He does not know enough and does not have the relevant experience in government. And yet, one understands why many people would react strongly when the Obama administration and liberal America is forcing its agenda down everyone’s throat… in a fundamentally authoritarian manner.

Social order is a good thing. It is a necessary thing. When too many people have been disenfranchised, when their votes do not count, when they are being ruled by authoritarian judges and authoritarian executives they are within their rights to object and to rebel.

The left has been doing its best to undermine the foundations of Western civilization and to change the nature of the nation. To some extent it has succeeded. Surely, it is well past the time when someone should start pushing back. But, we need someone who is more substance than show, who has more to offer than a large virile organ, a strong core and flexibility. 


Marsh said...

Oops, your hysterical post about how Trump will give orders that break the law got debunked today when Trump clarified what he meant.

Trump isn't going his personality to get good deals, he's going to use leverage and his skill set. How absurd to think otherwise.

You keep clutching your pearls b/c you don't like the weapons he's using to win this election. Too bad.

Mexico isn't protesting b/c of Trump's bravado, they are protesting b/c the wall will bring an end to their best laid plans.

Mexico's finance minister said, he was against the wall "...b/c it has no foundation in the reality of NORTH AMERICAN INTEGRATION." Trump's wall is going to create a barrier to all the illegal trade, drugs and aliens flooding across our border. And Trump is going to fight against TTP.

Instead of getting upset about Trump's personality why don't you show a little bit of outrage towards Mexico? Or our ruling class that wants to destroy our sovereignty?

Ares Olympus said...

Noonan: He is a divider of the Republican Party and yet an enlarger of the tent. His candidacy is contributing to record turnouts in primary after primary, and surely bringing in Democrats and independents. But it should concern his supporters that his brain appears to be a grab bag of impulses, and although he has many views and opinions he doesn’t seem to know anything about public policy or the way the White House or the government actually works.

This is an important point, although interestingly in my state of Minnesota, the GOP had a record caucus turn out, AND Trump got a mere 21% of the vote.

That says people are showing up to oppose Trump, and Rubio finally won a state, basically as a compromise candidate.

Although now it looks like Kasich still has a chance to win, letting Cruz and Rubio go down to Trump's level of rudeness to show Trump's say soft underbelly.

It would be interesting if we could jump forward to April 1, and find Trump in 3rd place in all the polls, and although still holding a plurality of delegates, all the April primaries are projecting Trump as old news. No one even covers his boasts any more, even when he talks about Romney on his knees, no one republishes that old news as news.

Then suddenly Trumps say "Hey, I got a good business deal in Brazil, and they're actually interested in working with me, unlike this hot-cold American public, so I'm ending my candidacy and going back to my real passions - making money,"

We'd all wonder, "This is April 1, could it be a joke?" But no, the joke was on all of us, and Trump got bored and decided to go home. Besides he only spent a few hundred thousand dollars on his campaign, and the Media did the rest for free.

I wonder what lesson America would learn from that? Ah, we should have realized he wasn't serious when we looked at his website issue page that was just a bunch of videos.

I don't know if Kasich can still pull it out. But March 15th, Ohio's primary date is Kasich's day of destiny.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

He didn't clarify what he meant. He had to eat his words... because he's an amateur who speaks off the top of his head and who does not understand the consequences of his loud mouthed pronouncements.

Marsh said...

Stuart, I knew what he meant. It was just the concerned trolls who pretended not to know.