Saturday, October 17, 2015

Thinking Beyond the Trump Headlines

Billionaire Donor: Rand Paul 'Alienated Anti-Establishment Voters' by Attacking Donald Trump

Rand Paul, like his father before him, is hardly a politician. We know that mainly because he's more apt to take a hard stance that his loyal followers adore but is not pleasing to a wider number of voters. But being a politician also implies that a man running to earn votes has the ability to assess a challenge for the loyalty of his followers. He senses he needs to find a way to work in stream with the challenge and to wait for a better opportunity to gain advantage. This headline shows how he's not even that much of a politician.

While "he's not like other politicians" is one of the things that has long made Paul attractive to Anti-establishment voters, it happens to be a glaring weakness when a Donald Trump comes along.

Trump came along and stole the Anti-Establishment baton from all other Republican (the alleged party of constitutionally constrained government) candidates in the field. It has been mostly the poor politician who lost ground. A better politician would welcome the newcomer to the cause (the anti-DC craze) and still keep himself relevant.

Ted Cruz, by comparison, has avoided the pitfall of a headline like this because he is a politician. And it appears that Ben Carson, while a political novice, has at least a politician's grasp of how not to alienate the one set of voters (other than the radical Left) who are most energetically involved in the politics of our time.

Donald Trump's great appeal to the Anti-DC base has been to say what is pleasing to their ear -- especially when he says things that they know that others are not nearly so bold to say loudly or even at all.

Many people opine how there's a reasonable chance that Trump is a stalking horse for the Clintons. How? He's running for the GOP nomination, not the Democratic one, right?

But what is even more important to the primaries is that there is even a greater chance that he's a stalking horse for sucking up air time for seemingly* principled conservatives: those who claim to defend against the growth of power centralized in Washington DC as the constitution was intended to do before the esquire-class nibbled away on DC's constraints.

If Donald Trump's message can drown out the messages of more principled candidates who hold views similar to the ones he gets applause for, and the GOP winds up nominating some milquetoast Prog Republican like McCain and Romney again, then his candidacy will have served as a stalking horse not only for party failure again, but more importantly for failure of reforming government that's grown too large and lawless. And it will then be no wonder, after the fact, why the SSM did its part to have aided his domination of air time and print columns.

But by then it will be too late to comprehend that the SSM would provide such a man (Trump or another possible pied piper) large gobs of free publicity, even if much of it is derogatory. When everyone is talking about Trump, who has time to left to discuss in depth -- give proper scrutiny to -- other Anti-Establishment candidates?

That is the hidden lesson to learn from this headline. The SSM is glad to help undermine any and all anti-Establishment types until there are none. Rand Paul did this to himself. The ways SSM will target the others remain to be seen. “We must all hang together or we will all hang separately.” (Ben Franklin.)

It's up to the rest of us who understand the threat to pass along this skepticism to others. I think a large number of us already are questioning why the media gives so much time to Trump. It's up to us to keep that question alive until the time for voting in the primaries has passed. If nothing else we need to see to it that the current domination of Trump does not lead to a GOPe getting the nomination and another Rat getting into the oval office.

* The only reason I sound skeptical about the commitment of such conservatives is that I've lived too long not to be. It's one of the reasons I feel obligated to write warnings such as this. I don't need a 1955 university class in political science to have earned that skepticism: I earned it the hard way. There was a time that a politician who transgressed even a small promise could be embarrassed into altering course, or at least appear to alter course. But almost all politicians now are shameless (see my permanent assessment at the top right of this blog). For example, recall what Mitch McConnell promised Kentucky voters in his 2014 run for reelection ("we will defund obamacare" at the top) and his complete reversal the very day he knew he'd won. Or in 2010 what John McCain promised Arizona voters about his position on the border and how he betrayed their trust shortly after winning.

 I fear the 2015 variety political science class is far too biased against having skepticism of rapidly expanding government. Consequently I imagine I'm writing to a small audience in large part because the potentially larger audience has been trained to turn a deaf ear to the sort of warning I'm offering. Anyway, that's why I recommend, when saying good things about anyone running for public office, always modify principled with allegedly. It implies that I like the talk: now show me the walk.


  1. Very well presented.
    Excellent warning.

    1. Thanks very much Ed. I hope it helps you when the time comes.

  2. I disagree - I think the opposite is true: Trump has ENABLED the back bench stalwart Republican candidates like Cruz and Carson to get their message out - if it had not been for Trump - RINO Jeb Bush would be the front runner sucking up all the free air time and looking "inevitable" as a another in a long line of GOP presidential losers.

    Trump is a game changer for 2016 - and even if he does flame out in the coming months - the way has been paved by him for the back bencher stalwart Republican presidential candidates to win the golden ring of nomination.

    1. I like your version better than mine. But I know what the SSM is up to, so that was why I wrote this. They may not succeed this time (G-d please!) but they may next time. And I see nothing but benefits from people being wary. More likely to have a plan B in the hopper when they're wary.

  3. I think Mr. Barbour has it correctly. Were it not for Trump, it would be ¡Jeb! to the max, certainly if Fox News has anything to say about it, those toads.

    However, your point about all the focus on Trump cuts the other way to be sure. People don't get air time unless corporate decides that. Still, there seems to be genuine consterpation on the part of the Gutenmenschen.

    1. "Still, there seems to be genuine consterpation on the part of the Gutenmenschen." -- Col. B.B.

      "When you can fake sincerity you've got it made." -- Bill Clinton

      You can't fool all of the people all of the time, but with this govt-media complex, close enough for government to have slammed the door shut by oh-oh time. -- PF ;)


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