It should be obvious to all sentient people by now, who are not card carrying members of the Cult Trump, that Donald Trump is completely ignorant on most public policy matters and that when confronted on his ignorance he resorts to his trademark Trump bluster and insults. Ace at Ace of Spades had been supporting Trump due to Ace’s well founded disgust with the Republican Establishment. He no longer is supporting Trump and in a very thought full post explains why Trump is a disastrous choice for conservatives:
Why I am I banging on about Trump’s lack of knowledge and thinking on these thoughts?
Because, unlike many, I don’t consider thinking and knowledge to be enemies of conservatism and principle. Rather, I consider them to be essential to it.
If you’re going to be a conservative — if you’re going to fight the very powerful cultural forces that surround us and push liberalism on us as the easy path you won’t get beat up for — you’d better have some damn good reasons for doing so, or you’ll come apart like a cheap suit.
Let me remind everyone what knowledge, deep thinking over years of consideration, and conviction can get you.
Let me remind everyone of Ronald Reagan’s and Robert F. Kennedy’s “Great debate” in 1967. A major issue was Vietnam (though Reagan did also take the time to call for the Berlin Wall “to disappear.”)
Robert F. Kennedy, the great hope of liberals and intellectuals and liberals who wrongly believe themselves to be intellectuals, got completely obliterated, despite being on the more popular side of the Vietnam War debate.
Why? Because Reagan knew every damn thing that was required to have an opinion, and to defend an opinion, on Vietnam. When an Oxford student claimed that the Diem regime (a previous America-supported regime, ended when Diem was assassinated) had put six million people in “concentration camps,” Reagan scoffed, noting the entire population of Vietnam was merely sixteen million people. How could he have possibly put six million in concentration camps, surreptitiously?
A big problem I have with Trump not knowing things, and clearly never have thought about things, combined with his obvious desire to pander and make the big sale, is that when he’s caught out without any good answer, and senses that he’s losing the room with an unpopular answer, he usually (75% of the time) tries to get back on the right side of popular opinion and embrace the liberal position on the issue.
You couldn’t do that to Reagan, because Reagan always had a series of facts to back him up, and because he’d been thinking about things — not feeling about them; thinking about them, theorizing about them — for years, like during his famous GE addresses.
Unlike Trump, he never felt that he was “losing the room” with an unpopular conservative answer. He was always confident and in command, because he had earned being confident and in command. He had done the homework — he wasn’t some Millennial who had feelz that xe was right. He was a thinking, intellectually-voracious man who tested his own thoughts until he knew he was right, because he’d looked at the question from several directions.
When Reagan felt he was addressing a hostile crowd, he didn’t immediately attempt to placate them by offering them a liberal position he flip-flopped to on the spot. Instead, he went into his mental note-card file and tried to convince them of the conservative opinion.
And a lot of the time, he did.
My problem with Trump is that he is a dealmaker trying to make a sale. Right now he’s trying to make a deal with conservatives — so this is the very most conservative we’ll ever see him.
If he gets the nomination, he now starts working on making the second part of the deal with the other party in the negotiations, the general public.
So this is the most conservative we’ll ever see Trump — this is the absolute most conservative he’ll ever be — and he’s not conservative at all, except, possibly, on immigration. He combines liberal policy impulses with frankly authoritarian or even fascist ones, which he thinks are “what conservatives want,” because, frankly, he conceives of us as ugly-minded, stupid dummies who get off on this shit.
That’s why he didn’t put the “Ban Muslims” line in a more palatable, persuasive form, like “Reduce immigration from Muslim-majority countries or countries with a terrorism problem to a level where we can vet each individual applicant.”
No, he put it in the most bigoted, ugly way he could think of, because that’s about his level, and because, also, that’s what he thinks “conservatives” are.
Even on issues like that, where I would like him to move the Overton Window so we can begin discussing a rational reduction of such immigration until this Jihadist Madness passes from history, I find he doesn’t move it at all, because he makes the issue much more toxic and alienating than it needs to be.
What does Trump actually know about conservatives? He seems to only know five things, which he repeats in such crude ways it’s preposterously insulting. Apparently we “love Jesus,” so he says he does too. He knows we love guns, so he’s so in love with the Second Amendment he wants to make out with it.
Does he ever explain the underpinnings of his belief in the Second Amendment, such that you get the impression if he’s challenged on it, he can break out chapter and verse on the amendment like Reagan would have and remained resolute in his position?
He senses we don’t like Mexicans or Muslims very much, so he wants to ban rapists and terrorists.
He knows we love babies and hate abortions, so he’s reversed himself from being “very, very pro-choice” and even supporting partial birth abortion to being so against abortion you couldn’t believe it. (But he’ll keep on funding Planned Parenthood because they’re a wonderful organization.)
Go here to read the rest. (Strong language advisory) Trump is a man of boundless vanity and ambition. He has decided to become President and has chosen to use the Republican Party as his vehicle to get to the White House. His day before yesterday public stances indicate that he is neither a conservative nor a Republican, but rather a fairly typical New York liberal Democrat. Republican rank and file outrage over the the Republican establishment’s treachery on several issues, most notably illegal immigration, has caused about a third of the party to support Trump. Independents and Democrats, eager to follow a populist demagogue, have given Trump the additional strength necessary to dominate the primary field against a fragmented opposition. If Trump gets the nomination, he will quickly race to the center, or what he perceives to be the center which will probably be the left of center, in order to beat Clinton, who he had long supported prior to the present contest. If he is elected, whatever else can be guessed at from the likely ensuing chaos, one thing is certain: conservative beliefs would play no role in it, because Trump has no conservative beliefs.
DC Comics had a story arc some time ago where Lex Luthor, Superman’s arch foe, became President of the United States:
Let’s see, a billionaire running as a populist, and vaulting into the White House largely due to public anger at the establishment? Life imitating Art! With the qualifications that Trump is not an evil genius and we have no Superman to rescue us from our folly. Trump is a professional snake oil salesman. He is about to make the greatest snake oil sales of his career and he is doing it with the help of a lot of people who really should know better.