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Old June 24th, 2017, 04:17 PM   #1
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Trump Is What Happens When A Political Party Abandons Ideas




Almost two years ago, I wrote an article for Politico endorsing Donald Trump for president. It was a tongue-in-cheek effort—I “supported” Trump only because I thought he would lose to Hillary Clinton, disastrously, and that his defeat would cleanse the Republican Party of the extremism and nuttiness that drove me out of it. I had hoped that post-2016, what remained of the moderate wing of the GOP would reassert itself as it did after the Goldwater debacle in 1964, and exorcise the crazies.

Trump was a guaranteed loser, I thought. In the Virginia presidential primary, I even voted for him, hoping to hasten the party’s demise. In the weeks before the November election, I predicted a Clinton presidency would fix much of what ails our country. On November 8, I voted for Clinton and left the ballot booth reasonably sure she would win.

Needless to say, I was as dumbfounded by the election results as Max Bialystock was by the success of “Springtime for Hitler.” For two months after Trump won, I couldn’t read any news about the election, and considered abandoning political commentary permanently. It wasn’t just that Trump disgusted me; I was disgusted with myself for being so stupid. I no longer trusted my own powers of observation and analysis.

Almost everything that has happened since November 8 has been the inverse of what I’d imagined. Trump didn’t lose; he won. The Republican Party isn’t undergoing some sort of reckoning over what it believes; his branch of the Republican Party has taken control. Most troubling, perhaps, is that rather than reassert themselves, the moderate Republicans have almost all rolled over entirely.

Trump has turned out to be far, far worse than I imagined. He has instituted policies so right wing they make Ronald Reagan, for whom I worked, look like a liberal Democrat. He has appointed staff people far to the right of the Republican mainstream in many positions, and they are instituting policies that are frighteningly extreme. Environmental Protection Administration Administrator Scott Pruitt proudly denies the existence of climate change, and is doing his best to implement every item Big Oil has had on its wish list since the agency was established by Richard Nixon. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is actively hostile to the very concept of public education and is doing her best to abolish it. Every day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions institutes some new policy to take incarceration and law enforcement back to the Dark Ages. Trump’s proposed budget would eviscerate the social safety net for the sole purpose of giving huge tax cuts to the ultrawealthy.

And if those policies weren’t enough, conservatives—who, after all, believe in liberty and a system of checks and balances to restrain the government to its proper role—have plenty of reason to be upset by those actions Trump has taken that transcend our traditional right-left ideological divide. He’s voiced not only skepticism of NATO, but outright hostility to it. He’s pulled America back from its role as an international advocate for human rights. He’s attacked the notion of an independent judiciary. He personally intervened to request the FBI to ease up on its investigation of a former adviser of his, then fired FBI Director James Comey and freely admitted he did so to alleviate the pressure he felt from Comey’s investigation. For those conservatives who were tempted to embrace a “wait-and-see” approach to Trump, what they’ve seen, time and again, is almost unimaginable.

And yet as surprising as this all has been, it’s also the natural outgrowth of 30 years of Republican pandering to the lowest common denominator in American politics. Trump is what happens when a political party abandons ideas, demonizes intellectuals, degrades politics and simply pursues power for the sake of power.

continue reading...

?Trump Is What Happens When a Political Party Abandons Ideas? - POLITICO Magazine
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Old June 24th, 2017, 04:20 PM   #2
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I don't think I really "learned" anything from this article - but it was a good read and I thoroughly agree with everything he wrote.
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Old June 24th, 2017, 05:19 PM   #3
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To be fair, Hillary didn't exactly ignite the base with astounding policies.

And she did handle the various scandals, real and manufactured very poorly.
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Old June 24th, 2017, 05:53 PM   #4
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GW, followed by Obama, and then they try and foist Hillary on the country.
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Old June 24th, 2017, 07:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by skews13 View Post



Almost two years ago, I wrote an article for Politico endorsing Donald Trump for president. It was a tongue-in-cheek effort—I “supported” Trump only because I thought he would lose to Hillary Clinton, disastrously, and that his defeat would cleanse the Republican Party of the extremism and nuttiness that drove me out of it. I had hoped that post-2016, what remained of the moderate wing of the GOP would reassert itself as it did after the Goldwater debacle in 1964, and exorcise the crazies.

Trump was a guaranteed loser, I thought. In the Virginia presidential primary, I even voted for him, hoping to hasten the party’s demise. In the weeks before the November election, I predicted a Clinton presidency would fix much of what ails our country. On November 8, I voted for Clinton and left the ballot booth reasonably sure she would win.

Needless to say, I was as dumbfounded by the election results as Max Bialystock was by the success of “Springtime for Hitler.” For two months after Trump won, I couldn’t read any news about the election, and considered abandoning political commentary permanently. It wasn’t just that Trump disgusted me; I was disgusted with myself for being so stupid. I no longer trusted my own powers of observation and analysis.

Almost everything that has happened since November 8 has been the inverse of what I’d imagined. Trump didn’t lose; he won. The Republican Party isn’t undergoing some sort of reckoning over what it believes; his branch of the Republican Party has taken control. Most troubling, perhaps, is that rather than reassert themselves, the moderate Republicans have almost all rolled over entirely.

Trump has turned out to be far, far worse than I imagined. He has instituted policies so right wing they make Ronald Reagan, for whom I worked, look like a liberal Democrat. He has appointed staff people far to the right of the Republican mainstream in many positions, and they are instituting policies that are frighteningly extreme. Environmental Protection Administration Administrator Scott Pruitt proudly denies the existence of climate change, and is doing his best to implement every item Big Oil has had on its wish list since the agency was established by Richard Nixon. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is actively hostile to the very concept of public education and is doing her best to abolish it. Every day, Attorney General Jeff Sessions institutes some new policy to take incarceration and law enforcement back to the Dark Ages. Trump’s proposed budget would eviscerate the social safety net for the sole purpose of giving huge tax cuts to the ultrawealthy.

And if those policies weren’t enough, conservatives—who, after all, believe in liberty and a system of checks and balances to restrain the government to its proper role—have plenty of reason to be upset by those actions Trump has taken that transcend our traditional right-left ideological divide. He’s voiced not only skepticism of NATO, but outright hostility to it. He’s pulled America back from its role as an international advocate for human rights. He’s attacked the notion of an independent judiciary. He personally intervened to request the FBI to ease up on its investigation of a former adviser of his, then fired FBI Director James Comey and freely admitted he did so to alleviate the pressure he felt from Comey’s investigation. For those conservatives who were tempted to embrace a “wait-and-see” approach to Trump, what they’ve seen, time and again, is almost unimaginable.

And yet as surprising as this all has been, it’s also the natural outgrowth of 30 years of Republican pandering to the lowest common denominator in American politics. Trump is what happens when a political party abandons ideas, demonizes intellectuals, degrades politics and simply pursues power for the sake of power.

continue reading...

?Trump Is What Happens When a Political Party Abandons Ideas? - POLITICO Magazine

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Old June 24th, 2017, 08:32 PM   #6
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What a worthless piece of journalistic nonsense!
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Old June 24th, 2017, 09:10 PM   #7
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The funny part is that people are still thinking of Trump in Republican or Democrat abstract. How far from the truth that is
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Old June 24th, 2017, 10:48 PM   #8
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The funny part is that people are still thinking of Trump in Republican or Democrat abstract. How far from the truth that is
The same could be said for those still thinking of Trump as competent.
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Old June 24th, 2017, 11:56 PM   #9
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The funny part is that people are still thinking of Trump in Republican or Democrat abstract. How far from the truth that is
Trump is no D or R. He's a populist. Arguably, he's a fascist but not in the traditional sense. He projects authoritarianism though he bends at will. He's the actualization of the actual connection of the Establishment to our nation's highest executive office.

Makes me freakin' crazy when I see it for what it is: Trump the Establishment guy ran as an anti-establishment guy and got elected. To be clear, more than Trump have been connected with the Establishment, but he's president now and primarily fighting for his rich buddies, and himself sooner or later.
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Old June 25th, 2017, 05:38 AM   #10
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Trump is no D or R. He's a populist. Arguably, he's a fascist but not in the traditional sense. He projects authoritarianism though he bends at will. He's the actualization of the actual connection of the Establishment to our nation's highest executive office.

Makes me freakin' crazy when I see it for what it is: Trump the Establishment guy ran as an anti-establishment guy and got elected. To be clear, more than Trump have been connected with the Establishment, but he's president now and primarily fighting for his rich buddies, and himself sooner or later.
I agree with everything you said except for the commonly used term "populist" applied to Trump. To be a populist, you must care about the little guy. Trump has spent his whole career screwing the little guy. Ted Cruz has only said one thing that I agree with. During the Republican primaries, Cruz said that this country has never seen the likes of this kind of narcissist. I agree with that. Trump only cares about Trump and that disqualifies him from being considered a populist.

This disasterous Republican healthcare legislation is a case in point. Trump might have campaigned against cutting Medicaid but he won't hesitate to sign a bill that does that very thing in spades. He cares more about attaining a legislative victory for himself than he cares about the little guy.
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