February 22, 2017

Trump haters: Please do these 2 thought experiments.

1. Imagine a President Trump whose policies all accord with your own. Substantively, he's like, perhaps, Barack Obama. He'll appoint the Supreme Court Justice who will give the liberal faction a decisive 5-person majority. He's very accepting of undocumented immigrants, committed to Obamacare, etc. etc. — whatever it is that you like. But he has all the personal characteristics of Donald Trump. He entered politics from a successful business career, funded his own campaign using his private wealth, and figured out how to do politics on the fly, making mistakes and correcting his course. He got knocked around in the press and by party insiders who wanted to stop him, but he kept going, overcoming 16 opponents. He had his own way of talking and he took it straight to the people, with hundreds of rallies, and he especially connected with working class people. They just loved him, as the elite shook their heads, because he didn't have the diplomacy and elegance they'd come to expect from a President. Be honest now. How would you like this man? How would you speak about his personal style?

2. Imagine a President Trump with all of the substantive policies of the real Donald Trump — all of them, exactly the same. But this Donald Trump meets your stylistic ideal. He looks, acts, and speaks the way you picture a perfect President. He never seems at all rude or crude or imprecise in his words. His tone — you know the word 'tone'? — is well-modulated. His sentences are the right length, his vocabulary large without verging into show-offiness. He seems confident, but not arrogant. He's nice looking and the right age, perhaps 58, and his wife, who's only exactly as good-looking as he is, is almost the same age. He's got what everyone regards as a "good temperament." He's on task and organized — his administration is up and running like a fine-tuned machine — and putting through all these policies that you loathe and dread. What would you be saying about this Donald Trump?

269 comments:

1 – 200 of 269   Newer›   Newest»
Michael K said...

Too many heads exploding for a fair trial.

MayBee said...

excellent

PB said...

The first would be loved by Democrats. The second would never get elected, but would still be called the next Hitler by Democrats.

Lyssa said...

I admire the intent, but I simply don't think that most people are capable of this sort of thought experiment. I wish that we were.

Amadeus 48 said...

Re: option #2--Mitt Romney would have been a great president, but the Trump haters didn't like him either.

Meade said...

Does Good Policies Trump close Guantánamo, let me keep my doctor if I like my doctor, cut the cost of a typical family's health insurance premium by up to $2,500 a year, and provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants?

I still hate him he's Literally Hitler.

Bay Area Guy said...

I like the term "Trump-Hater". It's an effective play from the liberal playbook.

I have many friends who generally agree with Trump's policies, but can't get past his tone. I, in turn, tell them to ignore his tone and focus on his policies.

The thought experiment is good for Trump-Haters - they should wrestle with it.

Scott said...

You beat me to it Michael K.

And that's why people won't do this "thought experiment." It flies against the nature of identity politics == a politician's label has nothing to do with their policies. They are a name and a judgment; and they collect anything you project that is consistent with that judgment. Politician A is good and virtuous; they collect all of your good feelings like a giant furball of wonder. Politician B is evil incarnate; they are to be reviled even if they do everything you want.

The thought experiment requires an open mind. Nobody has one of those these days.

Matthew Sablan said...

Thought Experiment #1 is what people were hoping to get with Bernie (well, maybe not a successful businessman, but someone they viewed as an outsider.)

In fact, look at TE1. That's the mythologized version people have of... Obama. He came from academia; he was a political neophyte who learned his way against an antagonistic press (Faux News) and party insiders (Clinton) who funded his campaign through small donations (though this isn't exactly true and ignores his reneging on his promise to McCain). Obama was a "straight shooter" who "told it like it was," known for his eloquent speaking style ("Let me be clear," and other Obama-isms.) Of course, Obama the myth is nothing like Obama the man (a standard left partisan who excelled at retail politics and fundraising), but that myth is exactly what the left WANTS.

Ann Althouse said...

"I admire the intent, but I simply don't think that most people are capable of this sort of thought experiment. I wish that we were."

Trump haters will resist doing it, but if you like Trump, you'll probably have an easy time saying what they would say about these 2 hypothetical Trumps.

I'm particularly interested in the first one, because I think all the supposedly loathsome things about Trump would be spun into good. I think it would be very similar to how Bernie Sanders was perceived plus amazement at the political genius and the victory against all odds.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I have many friends who generally agree with Trump's policies, but can't get past his tone."

-- I stick with the refrain, "just because we agree on things doesn't mean I have to like them," which has helped me with loads of politicians in the past. Likewise, "just because we don't agree on things doesn't mean I have to dislike them," has been equally useful.

traditionalguy said...

You are assuming that Trump haters can think. But that is not in evidence.

Matthew Sablan said...

TE2 is Mitt Romney.

And, well, we saw how the left treated him.

Meade said...

If only Obama had grabbed a few pussies. We'd have single payer health care and free college by now.

gspencer said...

Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-32), with the People being substituted as the one in charge.

The basic story is of a man [the People] with two sons who told his sons to go work in the vineyard. The first son refused, but later obeyed and went. The second son initially expressed obedience, but actually disobeyed and refused to work in the vineyard.

The son who ultimately did the will of the People was the first son because he eventually obeyed by confining his actions (like his Article II oath) to the Constitution and the laws (like immigration) made in pursuant thereof.

"Does the government fear us? Or do we fear the government? When the people fear the government, tyranny has found victory. The federal government is our servant, not our master!"

What's your answer to the two questions of the previous paragraph on April 15th?

Michael K said...

"I have many friends who generally agree with Trump's policies, but can't get past his tone."

I think that is a small group and a larger group won't even think about his policies. That group voted form McMuffin and is supporting the Establishment war on Trump including the hit on Flynn.

McCain is deeply involved with this group for reasons that are probably ego but which may be dangerous to the country.

National Review is still hip deep in it, as well.

David Begley said...

I thought for a long time that Trump's style, manner and tone would be a major impediment to his election. I was wrong. I've become accustom to his style but his lack of precision in speaking still bothers me. The Sweden incident comes to mind. This might lead to a big incident down the road.

Sebastian said...

"I think all the supposedly loathsome things about Trump would be spun into good." Well, duh. By the same token, all admirable things about any GOPer will be spun into bad. See Romney, Mitt.

Conclusion: none of it makes any effing difference, except insofar as Trump's boorishness further inflames progs' smug hatred of the deplorables, and his unconventional politics threatens their political interests.

Matthew Sablan said...

A TE2 Trump would never be described as an "articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."

HowdyDoody said...

I think there is a genuine category of people who generally agree with Trump's policies but can't stand the man because of his narcissism and the fear that his style is really dangerous. My wife is one of those people. I don't think thought experiments don't really work with those kind of Trump haters.

John said...

My head explodes from the concept of a Demmie self-financing. Even if they had Trump level riches, they would get others to pay.

Think of the Kennedys. President Trump is a piker alongside them. Jeff Bezos is a piker alongside Joe Kennedy.

John Henry

michaele said...

Somewhat early on during the primary, I saw a video where a British voce was dubbed in for what Trump was saying. Here's a different one but, oh my gosh, it is amazing what a difference it makes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=728_Lwz3nD0

Matthew Sablan said...

But, I will say, a TE2 Trump could expect to start earning a "Strange New Respect" somewhere about 2- to 4-years after he left politics so he could be used as a counter example to the New Wave Radical Republicanism.

whinehouse said...

I would oppose a hateful bigot even if he/she shared my views on other policies.

Darrell said...

After the thought experiments, stick you head in a gas oven after you've extinguished the pilot.

Meade said...

I know, as a good tolerant well-educated open-minded Progressive, I'm not suppose to judge people by the color of their skin but I just can't seem to get past Trump's orange skin and weird hair.

Bob Boyd said...

Number 1 wouldn't have happened unless he was a she.

Number 2 would still be Hitler.

whinehouse said...

Donald Trump did not have a successful business career. His dad gave him a lot of money to start out in business; he lost that money; his dad then bailed him out with more money. Then the NY real estate market took off and he happened to own a lot of NY real estate.

David Begley said...

John Henry

Mark Cuban might run as a Dem.

Henry said...

I'm more of a Trump disliker. I can't think of any notable non-Trump politician in either party who matches his inexperience, belligerence, and sloppiness with facts. There are politicians who hit two of the three, but the trifecta is unique. The closest I can think of is Al Sharpton, running in 2004. But Sharpton's campaign went nowhere.

So I think the answer to number one is not so obvious.

I suspect that a Liberal Trump would be seen by many on the left and news media the way many on right see the Conservative Trump: not as a paragon whose flaws are reimagined as virtues, but as the shite you put up with because the alternative is worse.

At best Liberal Trump might be granted the Bill Clinton defense. Not "his loathsomeness is actually awesome", but "his loathsomeness is really quite petty so stop obsessing about it."

Craig said...

"Trump haters will resist doing it, but if you like Trump, you'll probably have an easy time saying what they would say about these 2 hypothetical Trumps."

If you like Trump, then you dislike the Trump haters, so of course you would have an easy time coming up with an answer--you just offer the answer which describes the Trump opponents as unprincipled. But a Trump liker would have just as difficult a time with this derivative question (i.e., imagining being a Trump hater considering your original question) as a Trump hater would have with the original question.

And lots of people (including you) might imagine that they are doing successful imagining work--but it is not clear that any of them should be trusted. You've got "Trump derangement syndrome" as a tag. You've got a point of view that you're pushing. That will infect your imagining, likely shortcut it. Answers to these questions will be mostly just chances for people to parade their of how principled they are.

Matthew Sablan said...

See, you get people like Whinehouse that explain why these TEs don't work. The person can't even accept as a given that Trump making loads of money, even if some of his ventures don't pan out, is a success. This is delusional, and if you tried to apply it to anyone else, "Well, that one Stephen King book wasn't that great, so you know, he's not that great of an author," people would scoff at you. "Spielberg? Yeah, I guess he made some OK movies, but I wouldn't call him a success."

It's almost as out there as saying, "Meryl Streep? Yeah, I guess she's been in some good movies, but her career isn't that big of a success."

Michael K said...

The Sweden incident comes to mind. This might lead to a big incident down the road.

It might if he riffs on a topic that isn't true. Everybody knew that Sweden is in big trouble.

So far, he has been lucky or smarter than given credit for,

He will never be accepted by the left.

Then the NY real estate market took off and he happened to own a lot of NY real estate.

Like that one, for example. It's funny how some rich people get lucky.

Napoleon always wanted lucky generals.

Matthew Sablan said...

Better Lucky Than Good.

Bob Boyd said...

How about just try saying, "I could be wrong about Trump" out loud?

rhhardin said...

It's Trump's war on political correctness that makes all the difference both ways.

Some policies follow from it, like fixing things that couldn't be fixed because they couldn't be mentioned for years.

AReasonableMan said...

Henry said...
I can't think of any notable non-Trump politician in either party who matches his inexperience, belligerence, and sloppiness with facts. There are politicians who hit two of the three, but the trifecta is unique. The closest I can think of is Al Sharpton, running in 2004.


This reflects the views of most people in the NY media market. In that market Trump and Sharpton filled much the same characterspace, not a good one. It is conceptually difficult for them to understand exactly how Trump became president, just as it would be if Sharpton had become president.

Triangle Man said...

#1 is the Michael Moore scenario. If you love Trump, imagine how you would feel if Michael Moore had been elected. Full of lies, energizing the most radical elements of the left, unpredictable, boorish, unstable. You would be praying that the democratic leadership of the majority Congress would be keeping him in check, but they're too busy pandering to special interests and playing ball with President Moore so that he will sign their new regulations to take your guns, and bringing radical islamic terrorists to settle in rural communities to rape women and blow up churches. You can bet his vocal supporters would be excusing the shit show.

#2 It's much easier to discuss policy positions without the hysterics of Trump supporters or the reactions of the "Trump haters".

tcrosse said...

Option 2 is a fair description of Mike Pence. But haters gonna hate. Regardless of policy or personal demeanour, he is guilty of usurping the Throne that rightfully belonged to Hillary.

Once written, twice... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

This experiment requires objective and rational thought from a Trump hater. I'm not sure anyone is capable of this.

bagoh20 said...

#2 would have won the popular vote as well as the electoral, would get more done, and have it more accpted. Good packaging can make you buy stuff you normally wouldn't. You put great product in a nice package and you got a winner.

Once written, twice... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curious George said...

David Begley said...
This might lead to a big incident down the road.


What do you mean by that?




Oso Negro said...

Ah, the Althouse version of "Donald Trump is the first punk rock president."

Meade said...

Once written, twice... said...
"Ann, you are just dumb."

But not dumb enough to bet against the bull market, right?

Once written, twice... said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Browndog said...

The Establishment NeverTrumpers will always be NeverTrumpers, no matter what. They will pay lip service to his "good deeds" when they have to, but will criticize Trump at the drop of hat, filled with righteous indignation.

Paul Ryan carries the flag of the NeverTrumpers. ObamaCare, tax reform have been tabled.....they just haven't told anyone yet. With those keys issues off the table, there is no way Trump can be successful, and there will be a REAL Republican President elected next election. So they think...

bagoh20 said...

I'm a Trump hater, but I voted for him and find myself defending him everyday, becuase I hate his opponents more. I'm just a hater. It's a good time for me.

sparrow said...

I like Trump so I can't do this one fairly but I can revisit my reactions to earlier Presidents I didn't support. For example I often found Bill Clinton highly personable and likeable , but voted against him twice and I think he harmed the country substantially. As for Obama, athough was I hopeful at first for at least race relations because I knew so many who were so delighted when he was elected, that ended quickly because he lacked grace. I can not recall a single instance where I thought he was a gracious winner and respectful of the otherside. To be clear I'm biased so I might have missed something and I rarely if ever listened to anything he or his reps said in all of his 8 years. I found him unwatchable, it was bad enough that he was President so why voluntarily subject myself to his lies.

sojerofgod said...

I got a question here:
I keep hearing and reading on the Internet about how Trump lies all the time. Call me ignorant (to my face at your peril, but still...) what exactly are these lies? Can anyone here give me the details of what he is lying about, much less why?

Color me genuinely interested.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Have it more accpted"

-- I doubt it. Any Republican winning this year was going to have the full court press against them. Trump has given them more ammunition, but Wisconsin was the test bed for this level of "resistance." Scott Walker is, while right-leaning/conservative, a fairly average, decent human being. Who was called Hitler for years on end and had the local government revolt in open, declared political war against him.

No Republican is going to be able to hold power without "resistance" and violent protests in their wake until enough moderates say, enough, and force local authorities to crack down on the protests. The Project Veritas videos that are leading to arrests of people threatening the DC Local government and who planned acts of "protest" that included disabling public transit, are one step in the right direction.

Once written, twice... said...

Ann, you are just dumb. People across the political spectrum (George Will, William Kristol, et al.) are troubled by Trump because he is a demagogic political grifter. He transitioned his fame into the political realm by championing the Birther movement. He propelled his campaign to the head of the GOP pack by declaring he would ban all Muslims entering the country. He greatly lowered our political culture with attacks on his opponents with taunts of "Lyin' Ted Cruz" and "Little Marco Rubio."

I have several times proposed a better thought experiment--what if Barack Obama spoke and wrote like Donald Trump? What would you and the right wing readership that you cultivate say?

We all know that your Althouse Hillbillies would be screaming "EBONICS!!"

AJ Lynch said...

Real Donald Trump could cut the Dems balls off if he has a really good meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus.

EDH said...

Once written, twice... said...
I have several times proposed a better thought experiment--what if Barack Obama spook and wrote like Donald Trump? What would you and the right wing readership that you cultivate say?

I'm assuming that was a Freudian slip?

My guess is that Obama would have never won the presidency because people would have known what Obama really stood for, unless you're talking about him actually embracing the policies of DJT, in which case Obama would have won in a landslide..

Biotrekker said...

You know that the left would savage anyone opposing their agenda, no matter how modest and laudatory their demeanor.

Once written, twice... said...

No EDH, your reading was the Freudian slip.

Michael K said...

Once written is a good example of a lefty that starts out to convince you that he/she is correct by saying "you're dumb." Hilarious.

Keep it up lefty.

Otherwise, I'm pretty much with sparrow above.

In 1964, I voted for Johnson because Goldwater was so inept as a candidate. That's the only vote I regret.

Meade said...

What if Once written, twice... proofread his comments the way Trump tweets?

Curious George said...

Once written, twice... said...
Ann, you are just dumb. People across the political spectrum (George Will, William Kristin, et al.) are troubled by Trump because he is a demagogic political grifter. He transitioned his fame into the political realm by championing the Birther movement. He propelled his campaign to the head of the GOP pack by declaring he would ban all Muslims entering the country. He greatly lowered are political culture with attacks on his opponents with taunts of "Lyin' Ted Cruz" and "Little Marco Rubio."

I have several times proposed a better thought experiment--what if Barack Obama spookand wrote like Donald Trump? What would you and the right wing readership that you cultivate say?

We all know that your Althouse Hillbillies would be screaming "EBONICS!!"

You are a retarded bore and also apparently a racist. Even us "hillbillies" don't call Obama a spook. You probably use the N word too, dontcha?

EDH said...

Nah, Althouse left up your original author deleted comment as a marker.

Good girl.

Robert Cook said...

"1. Imagine a President Trump whose policies all accord with your own. Substantively, he's like, perhaps, Barack Obama."

Heh! Who says Obama's policies were anything to admire? He was just another agent of empire, another servant of the oligarchs, "a whore like all the rest," (to quote the title of a book of criticism and essays by Richard Meltzer.) I find it hard to imagine someone behaving like Trump whose views would accord significantly with my own, as his pettiness, narcissism, crudity, and incivility bespeaks someone whose worldview are alien to my own. The manner reveals the man.


"2.Imagine a President Trump with all of the substantive policies of the real Donald Trump — all of them, exactly the same. But this Donald Trump meets your stylistic ideal. He looks, acts, and speaks the way you picture a perfect President. He never seems at all rude or crude or imprecise in his words...etc., etc."

In other words, another Obama: a fraud who hides his real perfidy behind an polished exterior. The manner conceals the man.


However, as we're just supposing: a crude boor like Trump who did all the things I think should be done would be, on balance, a plus, as, in the end, it is the accomplishments, good or bad, that count, less than the personal behavior, good or bad.

Once written, twice... said...

That is the best you Althouse Hillbillies have? Calling President Obama a "spook"?

Ann, what a classy readership you have cultivated for your blog.

Matthew Sablan said...

I feel like, on this point, the author should be able to undelete a user's post. Once made a typo (deliberate, Freudian or accidental), and other people called them on it. Now, by deleting the post, Once is trying to make the other posters look like racists.

That is so radically disruptive and done in bad faith that, frankly, people should just stop responding to Once at this point. There's trolling and then there's deliberately attempting to ruin a community.

Bob Boyd said...

"the author should be able to undelete a user's post"

I get your point, but be careful what you wish for.

bagoh20 said...

The anti-Trump hate is his most appealing trait to many. If he was less hated, they would be less supportive. To the left he's a bully, but to many he's the underdog, fighting back against all odds and winning. The difference in those two views explains everything to me.

Once written, twice... said...

No Mathew Sablan, I made several mistakes in my original post including auto correct mangling William Kristol's name. I also used mispelled "spoke." When I corrected it, I did not even recognize the other implication of that misuse. (That is a really old slur.) But of course the Althouse Hillbillies would quickly gravitate to it and think it is the most funny thing in the world.

bagoh20 said...

"Hillbillies" is an ethnic slur too, so it's not much of a reach to think you meant what you wrote. Only us hillbillies can use the H-word. It's how we take the word back, and take away it's power to hurt.

Matthew Sablan said...

Right. It is an accident, but deleting the post hides the context of the user's riffing on your typo. It was probably an honest mistake, but deliberately hiding it and pretending that they came up with the word out of the blue is just bad form. At least there's now a post from you acknowledging the typo really existed. Accidents happened.

Once written, twice... said...

Does anyone think the Beverly Hillbillies TV show should no longer be broadcasted on Nickelodeon? It is funny to see you to claim victimhood though.

No, you are Althouse Hillbillies because Ann can get you to salivate and start your knarling and growling by just throwing out the most rancid red meat that she can come up with.

Once written, twice... said...

Matthew Sablan, the problem is that Ann's Hillbillies will use any excuse to go off on racist riffs.

Meade said...

"knarling and growling"

Do you mean snarling and growling?

Meade said...

"However, as we're just supposing: a crude boor like Trump who did all the things I think should be done would be, on balance, a plus, as, in the end, it is the accomplishments, good or bad, that count, less than the personal behavior, good or bad."

Robert, I'm thinking you might be The Last Honest Leftie.
Admirable.

Unknown said...

Your premise is wrong. Trump haters don't hate Trump. They genuinely believe he is ill-qualified to be President. And, that has already been proved from his first 30-days of the administration.

What is truly astounding is that Presidential candidates are not vetted prior to becoming candidates.

When the big-wigs of New York, Trump's home town, said Trump was a con-man we heard validation of our own sense. Trumpies listened to Trump and heard a saviour.

Again, your premise is wrong.

Jupiter said...

Matthew Sablan said...
"I feel like, on this point, the author should be able to undelete a user's post. Once made a typo (deliberate, Freudian or accidental), and other people called them on it. Now, by deleting the post, Once is trying to make the other posters look like racists."

You are a racist, aren't you? How many members of your household are Chinese?

Seriously, if you're going to whine that someone needs to change the rules every time some random Leftoid calls you a racist, you'd better just quit while you're behind.

mockturtle said...

Oh, Ann. You are being naive again, expecting reason where none resides.

Meade said...

"When the big-wigs of New York, Trump's home town, said Trump was a con-man we heard validation of our own sense. Trumpies listened to Trump and heard a saviour."

Not really a "saviour." More like, it takes a Trump con-man to stop a Clinton con-man.

Matthew Sablan said...

I'm single; my household is me. So... zero.

Jeff H said...

I can state with absolute certainty that those you are asking to do this never made/will make it past the word "Trump".

roesch/voltaire said...

Both of these scenarios reduce the matter to one of style and gloss over the tainted background of corruption, Russian money etc and how that influences policy.

bagoh20 said...

The Beverly Hillbillies is to us authentic hillbillies what blackface is to African-Americans of color. Unless you are part of our continuing struggle, you have no idea what it's like see the H-word used by those with urban privilege.

mockturtle said...

Meade, I agree. Someone with moxie rather than years of experience as a career politician. Street smarts rather than a law degree.

bagoh20 said...

"Both of these scenarios reduce the matter to one of style and gloss over the tainted background of corruption, Russian money etc and how that influences policy."

The corruption of the Clintons selling government access and influence, including to the Russians, clearly shows the double standard is very real.

Unknown said...

A Democratic candidate with Trump's personality never would've gotten the nomination. He would've been rejected by the majority of us on the left very quickly.

buwaya said...

"hillbillies" is telling.
I suggest that it all hasnt really got much to do with Trump, his style, tone and habits. Ultimately this is incidental. For forty years Trump was an amusing eccentric, a celebrity, an entertainer, hated by very few, smiled at by nearly all.
To a great degree it has to do with his policies, as in #2, but that explains why great powers in the land oppose him, not the usual bourgeois Trump-hater. As so many above have said, Romney would have drawn the same paid-for outrage for the same reasons. Follow the money.
The key is "hillbillies". Trump is hated most of all because of his supporters. Americans (great numbers of them anyway) hate each other with a burning passion; Trump especially has associated himself with the white lower-middle class, which much of the white haut-bourgeois seem to regard as plague-bearing vermin. The reaction attaches itself to Trump.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Trump haters don't hate Trump."

Oh sure, I believe this.

Unknown said...

This, unfortunately, is useless exercise: on a remote chance they will read and comprehend it they will never even try it.

Unknown said...

RV also makes a good point about corruption. Even during the campaign, the Russian connection, Russian hacking and collusion was being spoken of. A Democratic candidate similar to Trump would be rejected.

Chuck said...

Hmmm. I read the blog post, and the comments. The one comment I liked was this one:

PB said...
The first would be loved by Democrats. The second would never get elected, but would still be called the next Hitler by Democrats.


This is certainly true. How many personally-offensive Democrat-supporting celebrities get the adoring treatment? Too many to name, but I'll name one because he is so ironic these days; Alec Baldwin. The abusive divorced father who berated his teenaged children from his first marriage, and who berates annoying paparazzi as "faggots." And whose job as narrator of the New York Philharmonic on public broadcasting was never threatened. The national imitator of President Trump.

Then, there was this comment:

tcrosse said...
Option 2 is a fair description of Mike Pence. But haters gonna hate. Regardless of policy or personal demeanour, he is guilty of usurping the Throne that rightfully belonged to Hillary.


That is very much the same sentiment, but is nicely geared toward Althouse's second thought experiment. Althouse herself commented a while ago, and said this in part:

Ann Althouse said...
"I admire the intent, but I simply don't think that most people are capable of this sort of thought experiment. I wish that we were."
Trump haters will resist doing it, but if you like Trump, you'll probably have an easy time saying what they would say about these 2 hypothetical Trumps.
I'm particularly interested in the first one, because I think all the supposedly loathsome things about Trump would be spun into good. I think it would be very similar to how Bernie Sanders was perceived plus amazement at the political genius and the victory against all odds.


But no; I have no resistance to either of the thought experiments. My own Trump-hatred doesn't cause me any reluctance to engage on it. Let's do it!

1. The first thought experiment doesn't work on me. I am a Trump hater who doesn't mind Trump's policies, such as they may be. To the extent that we can understand Trump having any core policies at all, they are mostly quite acceptable to me. I'm with Mitch McConnell; he likes most of what Trump is doing. He could just do with a lot less Tweeting and distracting verbal pronouncements. Me too. Easy. Simple.

2. The second thought experiment is even easier for me. I think it is a general description of a President Marco Rubio or, as somebody noted above, it is a description of a President Mike Pence. I don't think much of Pence, personally, but he'd be an easy vote for me.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Holman Jenkins has an excellent article in the WSJ today about how Democrats are desperately blaming Russia for their failure in November because they can't bear to admit their message was rejected.

Unknown should read it and learn from it. But she won't.

bagoh20 said...

Trump was a candidate with a lifetime of executive experience successfully planning and executing big things around the world with thousands of employees. Would Obama supporters not have have been extremely proud and boastful about that if it was his resume instead of being a failed community organizer who wrote books about himself. Wouldn't they have claimed it made him eminently qualified? Now imagine that Obama running against a Trump who's claim to fame was writing "Art of the Deal" and stirring up Tea Partiers door to door.

LilyBart said...

So many people who voted for Trump have already put ourselves through this thought experiment. I think Trump is crude and untethered by any real political philosophy. However, between the two (Hillary / Trump) I expected to get better appointments and policy from Trump. I expected him to be a bit of a mess, so I'm not distressed by it. Hillary's administration might have seemed more calm from the outside, but she would have continued the policies and direction that I truly believe will destroy us ultimately.

I would have preferred a better option from both parties, but that was not the choice I was given.

Unknown said...

"Trump was a candidate with a lifetime of executive experience successfully planning and executing big things around the world with thousands of employees. Would Obama supporters not have have been extremely proud and boastful about that if it was his resume..."

No.

readering said...

There are many liberals who wonder if things would be worse if Pence were president. That's the thought experiment going on. I tell them no.

Ritchie The Riveter said...

There is another aspect to consider ... from what I see, the greatest fear of those who support Progressive ideology, yet are not so invested that they are True Believers, is that a conservative will gain the credibility to harsh their mellow about their own choices in life and have that criticism stick in the eyes of their neighbors.

This, IMHO, is what drove support for the True Believers of the "anti-war" Left in the last decade, all the way from their first anti-war chant: "Selected, Not Elected".

And it is what is driving the support for the Democrats and SJW's, today ... to the point that if Trump walked on water, their signs would say "HE CAN'T SWIM!".

bagoh20 said...

Unknown said...
"RV also makes a good point about corruption. Even during the campaign, the Russian connection, Russian hacking and collusion was being spoken of. A Democratic candidate similar to Trump would be rejected."


A perfect example of the blindness. The Democratic candidate (Hillary) was known to have taken money from donors around the world who then received special treatment for contracts, etc. Democrats seemed fine with that, on top of her clearly violating State Department rules that exposed huge amounts intelligence to our enemies for selfish political reasons. All you have to ask yourself is what would you be saying if it was Trump who did that? Would that disqualify him? And keep in mind that this Trump - Russia connection is still unproven.

LilyBart said...

I think its funny that Trump's leftist detractors are angry that his voters disregarded his worse personal characteristics. After all, most of these people (depending on age) were Bill Clinton supporters who supported him after it was well known that he liked to 'relax' himself with young interns in his oval office, and lied about it later. Now that Trump has emerged, I think I understand them better - they were making a practical choice to support this flawed man because of policies and appointments. That's all. However, they should have been honest about it instead of saying it didn't matter. It DOES matter, just not enough to suffer through 4 years of bad policy / appointments from the other guy apparently.

I would prefer a deeply good and virtuous person who values personal freedom and limited government. That wasn't on the menu.

LilyBart said...

The Democratic candidate (Hillary) was known to have taken money from donors around the world who then received special treatment for contracts, etc.

Hillary is untruthful, self-interested, and corrupt. She also has naked contempt for a good portion of the population. So it wasn't like she was a good person who just had the wrong political ideas.

Politics attracts all the wrong people. I believe this is because we give government too much power.

Unknown said...

"There are many liberals who wonder if things would be worse if Pence were president. That's the thought experiment going on. I tell them no."

At least Pence doesn't appear to have dementia, nor does he seem like the sort who would be influenced by a Bannon, Flynn or Stephen Miller.

mockturtle said...

readering says: There are many liberals who wonder if things would be worse if Pence were president. That's the thought experiment going on. I tell them no.

Pence is obviously more polite, more experienced and more polished than Trump but he is also establishment GOP. I, for one, prefer Trump. Of course, I am not a liberal but I should think liberals have more to fear from Pence than from Trump.

Biff said...

Take option 2 and assume that the hypothetical Donald Trump were a woman. Better yet, a woman of color. How would the "Trump Haters" react in that scenario?

Imagine a President Condoleezza Rice with populist politics. I'd expect that the left would react by challenging her "authenticity" as a woman and as an African-American.

For option 1, imagine that a leftist Sarah Palin were president. Would the classist revulsion we saw from the left in 2008 be repeated, or would there be endless stories about her authentic, almost musical accent, her uniquely common touch, and so on?

Michael K said...

In addition to his policies, and the left's obsession with distorted versions of them (ban all Muslims; all Mexican illegals are rapists), Trump's personality or at least the public one, sets off the left.

If he were less controversial in his mannerisms, I don't think the left would be any more accepting. They have elevated the two groups to protected victim status.

Muslims are considered "brown people" and therefore it is racist to question their motives or willingness to assimilate.

In fact, assimilation is questionable in the new world of identity politics.

The Mexican and Central American illegals are seen as future Democrats voters as it is assumed they will be unable to attain middle class life and will need the Democrats to provide EBT cards and the panoply of a dependent underclass.

This is based on the Tony Blair/Labour policy of flooding the country with immigrants, in the case of Britain, Pakistani Muslims.

crabbyanne said...

In your hypothetical #1, does he still say things that imply he's sexually assaulted women and explicitly racist things? Does he refuse to reveal his tax returns and comply with conflicts of interests standards? None of these are Trump's "policies," but as a Trump-hater, they're unacceptable to me in a president, even one whose policies I agreed with. In many cases, what you're calling his "style" can't be separated out from "content."

DarkHelmet said...

Option #1 is sort of Lyndon Johnson. A horrible, boastful, abusive, vulgar human being who did things lefties liked at the time. (And most will still defend.)

Robert Cook said...

"Robert, I'm thinking you might be The Last Honest Leftie.
Admirable."


Thank you, Meade, but no, there are many honest people on the left.

Robert Cook said...

Here's a good article today at Counterpunch by an honest leftist.

jnseward said...

If Obama had had Trump's policies, I would have loved him. As it is, I can't stand him.

J Lee said...

Closest you get to the combination of Trump's personality and his money is former Florida Congressman Alan Grayson. In his case, the Democrats may have been embarrassed over some of his antics, but they never went as far as to start a #NeverGrayson movement to keep him out of Washington (Florida Democratic voters did reject him this past year for the Senate nomination when there was another well-funded option in the race, but the party still lost the general election race to Marco Rubio).

Michael K said...

"explicitly racist things? "

Mind listing a few ?

Unknown said...

Here's another honest leftie. Cook isn't alone.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/22/mar-a-lago-ideological-refuge-berchtesgaden-ii/

Mar-a-Lago, Ideological Refuge: Berchtesgaden, II
by NORMAN POLLACK

"Perhaps soon, the entire nation will be covered in black plastic. For the elite, which pretty much defines the membership, this does not apply, and a camaraderie prevails in which the president “might seek guidance on a major government project the way another New Yorker might ask around for a good orthopedist.” Such is the community of wealth and friendship drawing together. Berchtesgaden? I may exaggerate for now, but it may also be a matter of time before its full consummation. Fascism, American style, does not have to replicate the German model, accomplishing the internalization of restraint and obedience of society as a whole, instead, through other means, such as the projection of an enemy inside or outside the gates. What is certain is that democracy presently is not putting up much of a fight."


Michael K said...

Cookie, is this the conspiracy theory of the day?

Trump’s decision to normalize relations with Moscow poses a direct threat to Washington’s broader imperial strategy to control China’s growth, topple Putin, spread military bases across Central Asia, implement trade agreements that maintain the dominant role of western-owned mega-corporations, and derail attempts by Russia and China to link the wealthy EU to Asia by expanding the web of pipeline corridors and high-speed rail that will draw the continents closer together creating the largest and most populous free trade zone the world has ever seen.

The left still seems to be in love with Russia and China.

Chris said...

Number 1 would be called "the greatest President since FDR". Number 2 would be called 'Mike Pence".

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Here's a thought experiment fer ya.

1. Imagine Hillary Clinton as an honest person.

2. Imagine Hillary Clinton as a warm personality.

Brad said...

Ann,

The comments are a trip ... all the supposed "betters," telling us how superior they are to those of us on the conservative side of the political spectrum, defining anyone to the right of Karl Marx as "Hitler" ....

Yeah, that's hyperbole .....

And doing it hysterically ...

THAT wasn't.

The accusations against Trump would be the same even if he was genteel. The American Left has taken solid control of the Democrat Party, their vision for the country is Barry's vision for the country (Europe), and they're running the same playbook they've always run - anyone to their right is Hitler.

They haven't had a new idea in a century. Their governing philosophy is the same as it has always been: "We know better." About what? EVERYTHING.

I'd say a good 60-70% of the venom is more of the "How in HADES did we lose to THIS GUY?????" variety than anything else.

The rest may be "policy" - but, by and large, Trump's policy hasn't been "out of the mainstream" of what any Republican would be doing right now, so that venom is pretty much "generic."

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

What Lillybart said.

Trump has a loose mouth, and has some wrong-headed policy ideas (trade restrictions and tariffs, a physical border wall (yetch!).

The presented alternative, Hillary, has not one (zero, zippo, nada) positive attribute or virtue.

Voted Libertarian, cautiously optimistic with Trump.

sunsong said...

I don't hate him. I can't be bothered. I think that is a typical right-wing ploy - setting up straw men arguments. I DO hate his policies. They are extreme and inhumane.

Unknown said...

"The left still seems to be in love with Russia and China."

Only Cook's style of leftie.

Michael K said...

"I DO hate his policies. They are extreme and inhumane."

Which ones ?

Free flow of illiterate Indian peasants ? Who don;t even speak Spanish ?

Muslim terrorists like the one who did the suicide bombing after he was let out of Gitmo and paid 1 million pounds by UK government as compensation ?

A British ISIS suicide bomber has been revealed as a former Guantanamo prisoner who was handed the equivalent of $1.25million in British taxpayers' money as compensation before fleeing to Syria.
UK national Jamal Udeen al-Harith was photographed moments before blowing himself up in an attack on a military facility near Mosul in Iraq.
The Muslim convert - who changed his name from Ronald Fiddler in 1994 - was sent to Guantanamo Bay in 2002 after he was caught by American forces in Afghanistan.
After intense campaigning by Tony Blair’s government led by then-Home Secretary David Blunkett, the British citizen was freed two years later.
He launched a compensation claim on the grounds British agents knew or were complicit in his mistreatment and was handed £1million ($1.25million) in reparations.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4247694/ISIS-suicide-bomber-paid-1-25MILLION-UK-government.html#ixzz4ZQvV1CnN
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


Yes, let's have more of them.

Robert Cook said...

"Closest you get to the combination of Trump's personality and his money is former Florida Congressman Alan Grayson."

Grayson is nothing like Trump. He may be an abrasive and egoistic asshole in private, but in performance of his duties he is on point: he does his homework and he knows his data, and he dissects the liars and scoundrels before him in Congressional hearings with cool dispassion, never shouting, never braying or cursing, never acting like a clown. His calm makes his take down of the swine that pass before him that much more devastating.

I like him.

Greg said...

Your first Alt-Trump? I would be highly critical. Then again, I am a conservative.

Yiyr secnd Alt-Trump is more difficult. I might be more supportive -- but then again, maybe not so much. After all, one part of Trump's problem is that his policy proposals are not well-modulated or well-considered. It is therefore difficult to imagine an Alt-Trump whose policies are substantively similar while being more palatable (policy and personality are so intertwined with Trump). But I probably would give him more of a chance if he did exist -- because he would be substantively less likely to destroy the GOP and/or conservative movement as a force in American policy for the next couple of decades.

Robert Cook said...

"Here's a thought experiment fer ya.

"1. Imagine Hillary Clinton as an honest person.

"2. Imagine Hillary Clinton as a warm personality."


But then...she wouldn't be Hillary Clinton.

tcrosse said...

1. Imagine Hillary Clinton as an honest person.

2. Imagine Hillary Clinton as a warm personality.

In other words, imagine Betty White.

Chuck said...

jnseward said...
If Obama had had Trump's policies, I would have loved him. As it is, I can't stand him.


That's a clever comment. My instinct is to agree with it. But I have no idea how -- under Trump "policies" -- we can embark on a trillion dollars of infrastructure spending, a trillion dollars of defense spending, and a trillion dollars in new federal income tax cuts, and balance a budget. And at the same time, doing nothing to reform Medicare.

Robert Cook said...

"Cookie, is this the conspiracy theory of the day?

'Trump’s decision to normalize relations with Moscow poses a direct threat to Washington’s broader imperial strategy to control China’s growth, topple Putin, spread military bases across Central Asia, implement trade agreements that maintain the dominant role of western-owned mega-corporations, and derail attempts by Russia and China to link the wealthy EU to Asia by expanding the web of pipeline corridors and high-speed rail that will draw the continents closer together creating the largest and most populous free trade zone the world has ever seen.'

"The left still seems to be in love with Russia and China."


It's hardly a conspiracy theory, but America's obvious intentions. Acquisition of the world's resources and political domination of the world has long been America's goal, particularly after WWII.

And, don't be juvenile: one doesn't need to be "in love" with other political entities to see the wisdom in working with them when possible rather than needlessly against them. The former approach may lead to mutual benefits, while the latter approach will surely lead to great mutual difficulties, whichever of them may prevail in the end, (if either prevails).

Chuck said...

"...Social Security and Medicare," is what I meant to type just above. Mimicking the ads that are being run now by AARP in which Trump is seen on video giving a speech in which he says he will be protecting "your Social Security and your Medicare, folks; you made a deal a long time ago."

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/316799-aarp-launches-ad-campaign-urging-republicans-to-protect-medicare

(Funny thing; when I searched a link for that ad, I came across a Mother Jones link which is headlined "Report: Trump Team Wants to Slash Social Security, Medicare..." I didn't even click on it.)

exiledonmainstreet said...

While Counterpunch and Inga blather on about Berchtesgaden in the Sunshine State, there are Jews with other concerns. And they happen to live in Sweden.

http://www.timesofisrael.com/facing-death-chants-and-hate-crimes-swedens-jews-live-in-a-climate-of-fear/

You know, Inga, that wonderfully diverse country? The one Trump foolishly seemed to believe was having a few issues?

Looks like it is. Opps! Ah well, carry on. It's Wednesday so it must be "Trump is Like Hitler" Day.

But you guys don't hate him, no, not at all.

Bay Area Guy said...

I've made some inroads with a few of my #NeverTrumper Conservative friends on Trump's Cabinet.

I say, "You've been pushing for school choice ever since you read Milton Friedman in the 70s. Now, we have Betsy DeVos at SecED. Don't you give Trump credit for this pick?"

I usually get an inaudible grumble, "yes." Ditto for Mattis and Haley.

As for Gorsuch, that's a bona fide Grand Slam, justifying a vote for Trump in 2020

My 2 cents.

Unknown said...

As for me, I'm not ashamed to say I hate Trump.

exiledonmainstreet said...

It's obvious you hate Trump. Ho hum.

Anything to say about all those Jews living in fear in Sweden, due to the people Trump would like to keep from our shores?

Ralph Gizzip said...

All the right people are happy.
All the right people have their hair on fire.
Life is good.
Gotta hand it to the Orange SOB.

Unknown said...

Anything to say about all those Jews living in fear in Sweden, due to the people Trump would like to keep from our shores?

Sorry, I have no idea what you're talking about, if you're talking to me. At any rate, it's off topic.

Michael K said...

I've made some inroads with a few of my #NeverTrumper Conservative friends on Trump's Cabinet.

Two blogs that have been heavily infested with NeverTrumper incorrigibles are Ricochet and Neoneocon.

I still go by but they are like Patterico. They have not been reconciled to what happened.

I quit commenting at Patterico before the election. I think it is OK to be annoyed at Trump but, since the election, the facts are a strong antidote to the fears.

Not the hate, though, as we see here with the lefties.

tcrosse said...

As for me, I'm not ashamed to say I hate Trump.

So what ?

Chuck said...

exiledonmainstreet said...
It's obvious you hate Trump. Ho hum.

Anything to say about all those Jews living in fear in Sweden, due to the people Trump would like to keep from our shores?


I live in metro Detroit. Home to what is one of the largest Middle Eastern populations (more than 300,000) in North America.

And "radical Islamic terrorism" is not even on my list of 99 problems. I view the risk of being struck by lightning as greater than my risk of being a victim of radical Islamic terror. And I am being both literal and serious. I play a lot of golf. I like to walk when I play. And I know that lighting can be a risk on a golf course. I am not saying that the risk to me of a radical Islamic terror event is zero. And I am not saying that nothing needs to be done. I am saying that my risk is trivial, and unworthy of all of the national political oxygen that this topic is sucking up. By the Sean Hannitys of the world.

I am a lot more concerned about federal health care policy.

Pookie Number 2 said...

So many people who voted for Trump have already put ourselves through this thought experiment.

Phenomenally on point. Not too long ago we had someone (Jon Stewart?) regret his demonization of guys like Mitt Romney, because it deligitimized his demonization of Donald Trump. That's true as far as it goes, but there was no regret for maligning a basically decent person.

So while it's tough to deny that Trump's public persona is enormously flawed, the fact remains that there was no alternative for people that disagree with what the left side of the U.S. wants.

Original Mike said...

bagoh20 said..."The Democratic candidate (Hillary) was known to have taken money from donors around the world who then received special treatment for contracts, etc. Democrats seemed fine with that, on top of her clearly violating State Department rules that exposed huge amounts intelligence to our enemies for selfish political reasons."

Yes, this is telling. The left supported her policies. That's all that mattered to them.

exiledonmainstreet said...

chuck said something, I guess, but since I don't read the posts of men who attack children, I missed it.

Chuck said...

exiledonmainstreet said...
chuck said something, I guess, but since I don't read the posts of men who attack children, I missed it.


Then I can call you a lying, fabricating sack of shit, and you'll miss that too.

Original Mike said...

Blogger LilyBart said..."Politics attracts all the wrong people. I believe this is because we give government too much power."

This has been my view for a long time. Many problems would dissolve if the government were divested of much of the power they have accumulated (unconstitutionally, IMO).

Bill Harshaw said...

I've a counter-challenge. Using the attributes of recent presidents (go back to Ike if you like), construct the ideal president, or the ideal Republican president if that's easier. For example, Reagan's ability to communicate, George HW Bush's grace, George W Bush's vision of America, Nixon's intelligence, etc. etc. How often do you include Trump? Not often, I suspect.

mockturtle said...

Bill Harshaw, interesting that the qualities you mentioned are traits, not accomplishments.

Bruce Hayden said...

Substantively, there is nothing for me to dislike about Trump so far. Ok, maybe the possibility of tariffs. But we may actually get some corporate tax relief/reform. For example, the highest marginal US corporate tax rate (39%) is for income between $100k and $335k. The next highest (38%) is between $10m and $18.33m. General Motors, Google, Microsoft, etc pay essentially their marginal rate of only 35%, while our small family business pays 4% more on most of our income than these monster companies do on most of theirs. And that doesn't take into account that our marginal tax rates are several times that of most of the 1st and 2nd world countries.

What is not to like about Trump's policies? Rebuilding the military. Security through strength. School choice. Pro-growth environmental policies. Rebuilding our relationship with Israel. Vetting refugee populations from failed states for terrorists. Deporting illegals who commit crimes here. Regulatory reform (notably - his Supreme Court nominee, Judge Gorsuch, has spoken out against Chevron deference in a recent concurrence). I am sure that I have missed some. Trump seems to be trying hard to implement the sort of agenda that we all hoped that GW Bush would, before he got distracted by the attacks on 9/11/01. Which means that I really don't care about his temperament or demeanor, except to the extent that it makes leftist heads explode, and helps, along with his "flooding the zone" approach, in getting his very mainstream conservative agenda enacted.

Michael K said...

My opinion is that Reagan's worst mistake was George HW Bush.

George W Bush was not my choice in 2000 which was McCain who was younger and not nearly the jerk he is now.

Bush was unwatchable for me in his press conferences. Trump I can't watch either but he is getting better fats.

Michael K said...

fast.

tcrosse said...

How often do you include Trump? Not often, I suspect.
Those other fine gentlemen weren't on the ballot. Trump was.

Kevin said...

"Your premise is wrong. Trump haters don't hate Trump. They genuinely believe he is ill-qualified to be President. And, that has already been proved from his first 30-days of the administration."

Then if Democrat Trump were the nominee, each of these people would vote for the very qualified Mike Pence?

That would validate your hypothesis.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Chuck,

"And "radical Islamic terrorism" is not even on my list of 99 problems. I view the risk of being struck by lightning as greater than my risk of being a victim of radical Islamic terror."

That may work for you, personally, which is fine. I don't want to overstate risks and fears, either.

But since 9/11 (3,000 killed), we've seen terrorist attacks by deranged Army guy (Fort Bragg), San Bernadino shooting, Boston Marathon bombing, Florida night club shooting, etc, etc.

In Europe, obviously it's much worse (London Subway, Charlie Hebdo, Nice).

I guess, my concern (not fear) is that we downplay the risk, slack off on on our borders, slack off on our resistance to terror threats, and slouch closer to Europe in a few generations.

I don't view this as unreasonable, but responsible.

On the day-to-day living, though, I don't think about it much, either. But this was probably true for New Yorkers pre-9/11.


mockturtle said...

Chuck apparently doesn't see the real threat of Islamism. The threat to our freedom and democracy. This is far more to be feared than random attacks of terrorism. And, if you don't believe it can happen here, take a very close look at Europe and Canada.

Chuck said...

But since 9/11 (3,000 killed), we've seen terrorist attacks by deranged Army guy (Fort Bragg), San Bernadino shooting, Boston Marathon bombing, Florida night club shooting, etc, etc.


Which is why I regard my own risk as "minimal," and not "zero."

Would any Trump-inspired changes in immigration/refugee policy have made any differences, in any of the cases you regard as significant?

Chuck said...

mockturtle said...
Chuck apparently doesn't see the real threat of Islamism. The threat to our freedom and democracy. This is far more to be feared than random attacks of terrorism. And, if you don't believe it can happen here, take a very close look at Europe and Canada.


How is "Islamism" threatening freedom and democracy in Canada? I am very much interested in Canada, since I am about 40 minutes away from the border as I type this. And what about Europe? Europe has problems, for sure. And I very much include Europe's problems with immigration. I'm a Margaret Thatcher Tory for the most part. Europe has other problems too. Socialism. Economic stagnation. All of which have nothing to do with "Islamism."

Give me your Top 10 (or Top Three or whatever you want) threats to American freedom and democracy posed by "Islamism."

Original Mike said...

Chuck's mind set requires a big terrorist event before addressing the problem. Unwise.

Robert Cook said...

"Chuck apparently doesn't see the real threat of Islamism. The threat to our freedom and democracy. This is far more to be feared than random attacks of terrorism. And, if you don't believe it can happen here, take a very close look at Europe and Canada."

I'm not Chuck, but I don't believe it can happen here and I don't see "Islamism" as any threat to our freedom and democracy.

I watched the 1990 remake of LORD OF THE FLIES last night. (I've never seen the original British film, but I read the book in Junior High and again a couple of years ago.) I was particularly struck when Jack, the antisocial boy who starts his own tribe and challenges Ralph for power, asserts after they have mistakenly murdered Simon, thinking he is "the monster," that "the monster still exists, and he can appear any time in any form!" (Or words closely to that effect.) Of course, Jack asserts this to cement his hold of power over the boys who are fearful and look to him and his warriors to keep them safe.

This is exactly what our government is doing vis a vis the Islamic extremists. They pose an infinitesimally small danger to America, yet because they can be said to "be anywhere" and can (and will) "appear anywhere" (and, by extension, "any time"), at least some Americans remain fearful of them and therefore are willing to let the government and the military do whatever they want to "protect us."

It's all a lie.

Original Mike said...

Chuck focuses on his personal risk, which I agree is small. The fact that the probability of some of his fellow citizens being murdered by terrorists is unity does not move him.

Chuck said...

Original Mike said...
Chuck's mind set requires a big terrorist event before addressing the problem. Unwise.


That's not what I think. But instead of simply defying you, I'll ask:

A) What is "the problem"? (Please be specific.) And,

b) How should we address that problem?


Unknown said...

What is even more outlandish is the hand wringing over Sharia Law coming to the US. Do rational people truly think that our form of government doesn't already have in place mechanisms to make sure this could never happen here? We honor Separation of Church and State, besides having a populace that wouldn't tolerate any such thing.

Original Mike said...

A). The problem, Chuck, is there are people who wish to kill as many of us as they can pull off. These people care little for their personal safety.

B). The solution? I don't have one but I do know allowing more of them to live here is stupid.

tcrosse said...

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he doesn't exist.

exiledonmainstreet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck said...

Original Mike said...
Chuck focuses on his personal risk, which I agree is small. The fact that the probability of some of his fellow citizens being murdered by terrorists is unity does not move him.


Well, uh, no. But in the cases of Oklahoma City, Orlando, Fort Hood, Charleston, the Boston Marathon, San Bernardino, Chattanooga and the Dallas police assassinations, the perpetrators were also "our fellow citizens." Fellow citizens, who were terrorist murderers.

Unknown said...

"....there are people who wish to kill as many of us as they can pull off. These people care little for their personal safety."

There are already plenty of such people here. And Islam doesn't have a thing to do with it. It's extremism that drives people to do extreme things.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"And Islam doesn't have a thing to do with it. It's extremism that drives people to do extreme things."

Sure. Keep telling yourself that. It's just "extremism" unmoored to any specific religious beliefs, which anybody can just catch like the flu.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks

That's a long, long list of people who -opps! - just happened to come down with "extremism!"

Original Mike said...

"Well, uh, no. But in the cases of Oklahoma City, Orlando, Fort Hood, Charleston, the Boston Marathon, San Bernardino, Chattanooga and the Dallas police assassinations, the perpetrators were also "our fellow citizens." Fellow citizens, who were terrorist murderers."

The good is the enemy of the perfect.

Rick said...

They pose an infinitesimally small danger to America, yet because they can be said to "be anywhere" and can (and will) "appear anywhere"

Likewise criminals do not pose an existential threat to America. We still spend quite a bit protecting ourselves from them because the government's job is not limited to protecting itself, the polity. It is responsible for protecting individuals also.

It's particularly amusing to see this argument from someone who claims he wants to aggrandize state power only to serve the individuals. But here he reveals his cost benefit analysis is limited to the entity and not the individuals. Apply that belief to his economic theories to understand why he is so unconcerned about the negative outcomes of socialism.

Rusty said...

sunsong said...
"I don't hate him. I can't be bothered. I think that is a typical right-wing ploy - setting up straw men arguments. I DO hate his policies. They are extreme and inhumane."

What is it about the rule of law that you find particularly distasteful?

OGWiseman said...

Actual Trump Hater, two-time Obama voter, and regular blog reader here:

1) I'm willing to participate in this thought experiment largely on your terms, but this: "He had his own way of talking and he took it straight to the people" is too much of a value-laden judgment not to press on. Does that mean he still says incendiary things about Muslims? Does that mean he's still on record saying the things he said about women? Still a pussy-grabber? Because I don't think a person with that "personal style" could get anywhere in Democratic politics. And don't say Bill Clinton's just as bad; he was already President when people figured out what an asshole he really is, and the Democratic party is different than it was in the 90s.

For me personally, Trump's PC-stuff, while distasteful, isn't necessarily disqualifying. What is (and would be in a Democrat) disqualifying for me is his reckless disregard for basic, even trivial factual truths and his active attempts to destroy the institution of the press. If a Democrat started doing that, I'd get off the train. People hate on the press and it's far from perfect, but its basic function is so overwhelmingly important that it has to be protected, flaws and all.

2) So, a regular Republican? No way. Personal style means nothing to me if you don't acknowledge climate change and you act like military violence is just another club in the bag. It's one reason I'm much more mixed on Obama than most liberals. The drone war is poison, and Obama's stamp is all over it. I don't care how charming he is, he's got innocent blood on his hands.

Original Mike said...

"There are already plenty of such people here."

So let's admit more.

"And Islam doesn't have a thing to do with it."

I think that's bullshit, but so what? Islam is a marker.

Unknown said...

http://www.globalresearch.ca/non-muslims-carried-out-more-than-90-of-all-terrorist-attacks-in-america/5333619

Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks in America

Rick said...

Unknown said...
And Islam doesn't have a thing to do with it.


Say this more often please. There's nothing more discrediting than arguing air travel is impossible to people leaving the airport.

Brando said...

I think liberals at least would be more happy with the liberal but stylistically the same Trump (and in that sense their freaking out over his personal style is phony--they'd call it "earthy" and "tell it like it is"--same way Trump fans do).

Can't speak for other non-liberal Trump critics, but I don't really have a problem with his personal style. It's often amusing, and when it's annoying its' not really different from how other politicians are annoying. I'm not thrilled with some of his "nationalist" policies (which in some respects liberals should be more sympathetic to) or ethical issues, but then I'd feel the same if we were talking about a leftist POTUS. Standards must remain the same no matter whose ox is being gored.

Unknown said...

I don't think little Muslim refugee children and their mothers will be making pressure cooker bombs and blowing anyone up. Prohibit the men and boys over 13 from entering. Make a safe zone for them in Syria, arm and train them to fight ISIS. Just a thought.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"I don't think little Muslim refugee children and their mothers will be making pressure cooker bombs and blowing anybody up."

There's what you believe and then there is the real world:

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/middle-east/2015-02-09/rise-child-terrorist


https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/02/world/europe/womens-emergence-as-terrorists-in-france-points-to-shift-in-isis-gender-roles.html?_r=0

http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-france-terror-women-20150125-story.html

mockturtle said...

Chuck: You asked.

1. Canada to criminalize Islamophobia
2. No-Go Zones, such as this one: Malmo
3. And this: UK
4. The current teaching of Islam in public schools including such quiz questions as: Islam is a religion of ____. [Correct answer: Peace]. 'Hijab Day' in some schools where girls are asked to wear the Muslim headcover.
5. The banning of pork [was pork ever banned for the Jews?]
6. Suspending the British tradition of serving hot-cross buns in schools because Mulsims were 'offended'.
7. Airports--and sometimes streets--being taken over with praying Muslims with no regard for others' rights.
8. Muslim rapists being let off lightly [UK, Germany and Sweden] because they are 'unfamiliar with our customs'.
9. Honor killings, even in the US, because Muslim families have the right under Sharia law.
10. Prayer breaks in the workplace. There are no corollary breaks for non-Muslims.

There are so many instances of creeping Sharia that I could list them all day. You might consider reading Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch blog. Very informative.

Chuck said...

Brando said...
I think liberals at least would be more happy with the liberal but stylistically the same Trump (and in that sense their freaking out over his personal style is phony--they'd call it "earthy" and "tell it like it is"--same way Trump fans do).

Correct. As is usual for you. I think you might even be understating it. A "liberal Trump" might be wildly popular, even with the mainstream media that supposedly exists to scold us on what civil debate ought to be.

Can't speak for other non-liberal Trump critics, but I don't really have a problem with his personal style. It's often amusing, and when it's annoying its' not really different from how other politicians are annoying. I'm not thrilled with some of his "nationalist" policies (which in some respects liberals should be more sympathetic to) or ethical issues, but then I'd feel the same if we were talking about a leftist POTUS. Standards must remain the same no matter whose ox is being gored.

I take very uncharacteristic exception to this one, Brando.

Let's assume, arguendo, that we agree that the Trump Travel Ban was a good idea, and was eminently defensible executive action under the law. Trump's rough communication skills and organization made it harder to defend. Administration opponents were able to use Trump's campaign rhetoric against him. They used Rudy Giuliani's interview-disclosures against the EO. Because Trump was so casual in his language (or, as some might suggest, so bluntly direct), he made it harder for the lawyers to defend in court.

My own view is that between Trump and Bannon and Miller, the primary purpose of the Trump Travel Ban was not to secure American freedom and liberty and safety. I think the prime purpose was to fulfill a kind of a promise made to Trump's core base of electoral supporters.

I am not taking any position that the EO was illegal. Nor am I defending the EO. I am suggesting that it was driven by politics, and not by any new or urgent change in the security situation as understood and communicated by our national security professionals to the Office of the President of the United States.


mockturtle said...

Regarding #10 above: Some Qur'anic scholars insist that Sharia law does not allow honor killings. Nonetheless, in the US, it it only practiced by Muslims.

Rob McLean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

"Regarding #10 above: Some Qur'anic scholars insist that Sharia law does not allow honor killings. Nonetheless, in the US, it it only practiced by Muslims"

And in the US they are prosecuted as a crime, murder. No Sharia Law in this country.

Rob McLean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rob McLean said...

Chuck said...

I live in metro Detroit.


Where? I grew up in Westland.

mockturtle said...

No Sharia Law in this country.

And we fully intend to keep it that way.

Unknown said...


"No Sharia Law in this country."

"And we fully intend to keep it that way."


Yes, we do. That includes Democrats. Don't forget it.

mockturtle said...

Chuck, how like a lawyer to focus on the letter, rather than the spirit, of the law.

Unknown said...

Sorry, far too subtle for progressives to imagine these hypotheticals. The answer to your question is in fact simple. The border wall was partially built under Obama. The list of 7 countries was created under Obama. The ban on Cubans arriving by sea getting asylum? Obama. Millions deported? Obama. The investigation of reporters? Obama (and of course this hasn't even happened yet under Trump). Executive orders? Obama.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brando said...

"Let's assume, arguendo, that we agree that the Trump Travel Ban was a good idea, and was eminently defensible executive action under the law. Trump's rough communication skills and organization made it harder to defend. Administration opponents were able to use Trump's campaign rhetoric against him. They used Rudy Giuliani's interview-disclosures against the EO. Because Trump was so casual in his language (or, as some might suggest, so bluntly direct), he made it harder for the lawyers to defend in court."

Well that's one of the "nationalist" policies I'm no fan of--and I agree that if the real goal was a safer, smarter refugee and immigration program the rollout and plan itself was a dismal failure. That means either this gang is grossly incompetent, or perhaps competence is not even part of the equation because as you suggest this was more about "signaling" to his base that he's trying to do something and is being foiled by traitors in the government (both executive and judicial branch) so as to insulate him if we get hit with a terror attack. None of that is good if you want to make successful terror attacks more likely or maintain a better security program.

Robert Cook said...

"Likewise criminals do not pose an existential threat to America. We still spend quite a bit protecting ourselves from them because the government's job is not limited to protecting itself, the polity. It is responsible for protecting individuals also."

Given the historically low crime rates we've enjoyed the past some years, we are also more fearful of violent crime than is really called for. We overreact wildly with regards to ordinary domestic crime: SWAT teams were originally designed to handle primarily hostage situations and other extreme circumstances outside the capacity of ordinary police officers to deal with. Now, every other crime situation calls for a militarized SWAT-Team (or SWAT-team-like) police response. We're being conditioned to accept the police as our defacto rulers, and we disobey any order given by a police officer at risk of being beaten up by a gang of police, or tased, or shot. (Actually, the police pose a greater real risk to our democracy and freedom than Islamic extremists.)

"It's particularly amusing to see this argument from someone who claims he wants to aggrandize state power only to serve the individuals."

BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!! WRONG!!

When have I ever called for an "aggrandizement of state power?" I have called only for existing state power--our power, handed over voluntarily by us to be used by our hirelings for our purposes--to actually be used for our purposes, and not for the aggrandizement of the power and wealth of the oligarchs and their servants in office, (our hirelings, bribed away from serving us by the parasites on the people's wealth).

Unknown said...

"The border wall was partially built under Obama. The list of 7 countries was created under Obama. The ban on Cubans arriving by sea getting asylum? Obama. Millions deported? Obama. The investigation of reporters? Obama (and of course this hasn't even happened yet under Trump). Executive orders? Obama."

Now it's Trump doing it all, on steroids and those who screamed the loudest at Obama, are now nodding their collective heads in agreement when Trump does it in a uuuuuugggge way.

Bay Area Guy said...

@Chuck,

Would any Trump-inspired changes in immigration/refugee policy have made any differences, in any of the cases you regard as significant?

It's a good question, but it's a complex question, because you're merging related phenomena in a hypothetical.

As for immigration, in general, I want borders to be more tight, not more lax. So, I support Trump in doing this, and we'll see what the results are. The failure to enforce immigration laws has, in my opinion, made California much worse. It's nice and fun at the top of the poltical/socio-economic heap, but it's tough, miserable and expensive for everyone else.

San Francisco, for example, is nowhere to raise kids, and that is a recent development.

As for refugee policy, in general, it depends who and from which country. Taking in Muslim immigrants, attaching them to the welfare state, having them form political cultural pockets, as they have in London, is another bad idea. So, I'm with Trump on this issue, too.

Original Mike said...

"I have called only for existing state power--our power, handed over voluntarily by us to be used by our hirelings for our purposes--"

Good luck with that.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Yes, we do. That includes Democrats. Don't forget it.

Depends on the Democrat, unfortunately. Those decrying any restrictions on immigration have already self-identified as having no principles other than opposing the Republicans.

Chuck said...

This is mostly a list of silly liberal freakouts, most of which aren't "policy" at all. Beyond that, I say...

1. Canada to criminalize Islamophobia

No, that is not the law in Canada. It is a food fight right now. Canada has done a lot of silly things, like banning pepper spray as a self-defense tool, even in areas of bear danger.

2. No-Go Zones, such as this one: Malmo
3. And this: UK

We don't have anything like that here, even if your characterization were true. I can go absolutely anywhere I want to, in Dearborn or West Detroit, without fear. Well maybe some fear, but less so than in some non-Arab Detroit neighborhoods.

4. The current teaching of Islam in public schools including such quiz questions as: Islam is a religion of ____. [Correct answer: Peace]. 'Hijab Day' in some schools where girls are asked to wear the Muslim headcover.
5. The banning of pork [was pork ever banned for the Jews?]
6. Suspending the British tradition of serving hot-cross buns in schools because Mulsims were 'offended'.

Is that a policy argument? Or some snippets you got from an episode of "Hannity"?

7. Airports--and sometimes streets--being taken over with praying Muslims with no regard for others' rights.

Wait; not "Hannity," now I am thinking "Bretbart."

8. Muslim rapists being let off lightly [UK, Germany and Sweden] because they are 'unfamiliar with our customs'.

Awright, not "Hannity" or "Breitbart." Now I am thinking, "InfoWars." Where in the U.S. is that happening?

9. Honor killings, even in the US, because Muslim families have the right under Sharia law.

I want you to name a single case in the United States where a homicide was justified under "Sharia law."

10. Prayer breaks in the workplace. There are no corollary breaks for non-Muslims.

I kinda like the idea that individual employers would be allowed to make their own rules on prayer breaks. Without any governmental oversight, regulation, rules, etc. So that an individual employer could say anything from, "We aren't having ANY prayer breaks," to "We are giving everybody three prayer breaks every day," to anything in between, including different breaks for different religions based on what it is that a recognized organization might direct of its adherents.

Unknown said...

"Yes, we do. That includes Democrats. Don't forget it."

"Depends on the Democrat, unfortunately. Those decrying any restrictions on immigration have already self-identified as having no principles other than opposing the Republicans."

Nonsense. Partisan claptrap.

Birkel said...

I have noted time and again the similarity between rooting for a professional sports team and rooting for a political party. I know not a single Democrat who has not chosen the team above all else. Look at the defense of Obama even as Obama ruined the Democrat Party across the country. His record is abysmal but the (D) ends all rational discussion.

The only things about which I care are policy, when it comes to elected officials. Trump's policies should prove to be quite an improvement over Obama's.

Leviathan must be destroyed.

William Chadwick said...

Our hostess has been reading my mind, apparently. This morning, not having read this, and listening to another story about some celebrity denouncing Trump, I thought: What if Trump underwent a metamorphosis, in which he emerges from a secluded vacation at Camp David and says: "You know, I've just had a road-to-Damascus moment! I've been reading some of the deep thinkers and intellectuals among my critics--people like Madonna, Katy Perry and Lena Dunham--and I've clearly been leading the country in the wrong direction. Please guide me in the best ways to heal this country."

I'd be curious in what they'd say. I'm pretty sure one of the first thing would be to go for Open Borders, in order to increase the ranks of Democratic voters. And then what? I'm guessing Same Old Statism--which would be interesting given that the Stupid Left (where the Dumbest Generation meets Saul Alinsky) has been accusing Trump of being an aspiring tyrant. Then their hypocrisy would lose its fig leaf.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Nonsense. Partisan claptrap.

Precisely my point. Considering reasonable immigration standards to be 'partisan' demonstrates one's lack of principles. Not true of most Democrats, but certainly true of a noisy and unwise sub-segment.

Unknown said...

Pookie Number 2,

Fine. I'll rephrase it. When Mockturtle so proudly exclaimed that "we" would keep it that way, without saying "we Americans", I wanted to remind her that leftists and rightists alike are in that "we" she threw out there. I suspect she was referring to her side only as the "we" she referenced..

Pookie Number 2 said...

I wanted to remind her that leftists and rightists alike are in that "we" she threw out there.

And that's still the point of disagreement. Amongst the left, there are some that had no problem with Bill Clinton's proposed restrictions on immigration, but oppose any and every act of enforcement under Trump. That group has no credibility in claiming that it will oppose Sharia.

Michael Kochin said...

Regarding 1. It is not possible to connect with working-class Americans while opening the borders and thus dissolving the American people to replace them with another.
Regarding 2. Look at what your Democratic neighbors in Wisconsin tried to do to Governor Walker and his supporters.

Freder Frederson said...

He entered politics from a successful business career, funded his own campaign using his private wealth, and figured out how to do politics on the fly, making mistakes and correcting his course.

How successful or unsuccessful his business career is subject to debate (especially since he has not released his tax returns). He didn't fund his own campaign, that is just the bullshit story he would like you to believe. And so far I haven't seen him admitting mistakes or correcting his course (he still insists that if weren't for the meddling courts, his EO on refugees was perfect).

Would the theoretical Democrat be a con man and grifter who set up a fake "university"? Would he be a pathological liar? Would he appoint his political advisor to the NSC? Would he refuse to release his tax returns? Would he call the press the enemy of the people?

Pookie Number 2 said...

Freder asks a few interesting questions.

Would the theoretical Democrat be a con man and grifter who set up a fake "university"? Probably not, although he might be a con-man or grifter who pretended to be born in Kenya to abuse university admissions processes, or lied about having Native American ancestry to abuse affirmative action rules.

Would he be a pathological liar? Yes. All successful politicians are, alas.

Would he appoint his political advisor to the NSC? The Democrat preference seems to be appointing failed function writers.

Would he refuse to release his tax returns?. Yes, but not transcripts of speeches to big banks.

Would he call the press the enemy of the people?. No, but he'd describe Republicans that way.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"I have called only for existing state power--our power, handed over voluntarily by us to be used by our hirelings for our purposes--"

Good luck with that."

Yes. Robert Cook, your ideal system would work well if the "hirelings" were saints. Human beings are not saintly and the more power you give them, the more they will inevitably abuse it. That is true of any politician of any party and of the bureaucrats as well. So it is best to limit their power.

One of the reasons our political divide is so bitter right now is because the Federal Government has grown so huge and exercises so much power over us that who controls it is a high stakes game. If the State were less powerful , we wouldn't care so damn much about who occupies the WH or Congress at any given time.

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