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Donald Trump

“Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”

—Sun-tzu, ca. 400 BC; or Machiavelli, 1520 AD (maybe)

—Michael Corleone, The Godfather Part II, 1974 (certainly)

Forrest McDonald, the greatest historian of the era of the American War for Independence and the making of our early governments, and who left us much poorer in this world with his death this past January, also wrote the best book on the American executive: The American Presidency: An Intellectual History (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 1994). He ends with this memorable statement:

Though the powers of the office have sometimes been grossly abused, though the presidency has become almost impossible to manage, and though the caliber of the people who have served as chief executive has declined erratically but persistently from the day George Washington left office, the presidency has been responsible for less harm and more good, in the nation and in the world, than perhaps any other secular institution in history.

A remarkable claim, given the rhetoric of the coming apocalypse that has accompanied virtually every presidential campaign in my increasingly long lifetime. It is certainly true of the present presidential circus, with an interesting twist: this year the prophets of doom are loudest and most hysterical about one of the candidates from the party they supposedly support. Perhaps, even before the party nominees have been chosen, we should step back with “The McDonald” and seek some perspective.

lbj girl picking dasiesThe cosmopolitan contempt for “The Donald” from within his own party is without precedent. No candidate or chattering-class pundit on the right has yet said anything as nasty about Mrs. Clinton as comes across the airwaves and broadband about Mr. Trump every hour. To find similar hysteria over the prospect of a candidacy, one must return to the days of the hated Richard Nixon—but invective then came from Democrats (well, mostly), not his fellow Republicans. The party of Lyndon Johnson (no cosmopolitan gentleman himself) took out ads showing a little girl picking daisy petals and counting down to the nuclear holocaust should the western gunslinger Barry Goldwater win in 1964—but again, that was LBJ’s opponent, not his ally. Nelson Rockefeller sat in defeat, approving of the Democratic tactics, and one could argue that his heirs have patiently rebuilt their tentative hold on the Grand Old Party, but Rocky would not have said even about Bill Buckley the things that Buckley’s successors are saying daily about Mr. Trump. Some Republicans, it is true, voiced concerns about “that damned cowboy” when Teddy Roosevelt ascended by bullet to the White House, and eastern Republicans were quite worried about the utterly crude Mr. Lincoln in 1860. But the treatment of Mr. Trump by his own party gives the abrogation of Ronald Reagan’s 11th commandment a whole new meaning.

It is interesting that the first cry against Mr. Trump by a movement that has always prided itself on rejecting ideology is that he is not ideological enough: “He is no conservative!” It is also interesting that the second cry against him is that he is a charlatan and a bully and a cutter of corners as a businessman, this being said almost exclusively by members of the Party of Business who have themselves never committed an act of business in their lives. Their preferred potential nominees were also completely innocent of business activities, and have in fact (with one honorable exception, Dr. Ben Carson) done not one thing in their lives except run for and “serve” in public office. At least Lincoln had split rails and argued for ordinary citizens in courtrooms. TR had been a rancher, soldier, author, big-game hunter, and even an art critic. Goldwater was a businessman and pilot, an Air Force Reserve Officer who had earned respect at everything he did. Nixon, as young as he was when he went to Congress, was a very competent officer in the Greatest Generation’s Great War. The Republican diminutives who opposed Mr. Trump (again, with the very notable exception of Dr. Carson) have done nothing except politics.

No Cato the Elders among them. The Donald comes closer.


Forrest McDonald

As The McDonald also points out, despite all the posturing about the Commander-in-Chiefness of the supposed most powerful person in the world, “In truth, presidential power is complex and ambiguous, traits that stem from the constitutional provisions for the office.” He argues that “though the presidency has  expanded beyond anything imagined by its creators, it—unlike Congress and the judiciary, remains functionally true to the original design” [my emphasis added]. That being the case, the presidency does not function as the “Ideologue-in-Chief” or the “Legislator-in-Chief,” and as long as this remains true, a good president can still be thought of as in the tradition of Washington, and not of Augustus. “For what do you stand in this election” is a fair question for Mr. Trump; “Give us a coherent political philosophy” is not a reasonable request. It is probably not even possible in this turbulent year. Lincoln once said, tongue-in-cheek about a rather sudden change of mind, “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present.” It is probably too much to ask that Mr. Trump’s researchers come up with a similar retort.

But it so happens that, however he may have arrived at it, whenever he may have arrived at it, Mr. Trump has felt the pulse of the people and taken into account the meaning (and limits) of the Constitution and come up with the outlines of a plan that is both reasonably coherent and (dare I say?) conservative. It consists of three simple thoughts, all of them outrageous to the cosmopolitan chattering-classes, the all-too-often deracinated monopolists of power and patriotism, who have as much contempt for the rubes of New York towers as for rubes in the fly-over zones. Those thoughts resonate this year, iconic for a pent-up “America First” emotion that has been ignored for decades and trampled upon for the last seven years:

(1) “I will build a wall!” Immigration is the single issue that most commands the visceral attention of Americans from sea to shining sea. It is becoming increasingly clear that if Mr. Trump weren’t running, nobody would be talking about it, and if anybody but Mr. Trump is elected, nothing will be done about it.

Donald Trump

(2) “I will be the greatest jobs president in our history!” The lip service paid to “job creation” by every single politician since Franklin Roosevelt has been taken seriously only by the actor Reagan, and that was because he understood that “jobs” is a code-word for “reasonable opportunity for the middle class to live a comfortable and decent life.” Every republican since Aristotle has known that decent and ordered societies do best when there is a large and happy middle-class. Since 1973 ours has gone backwards and downhill, most recently by the ill-informed consensus that seeks to break down economic borders just as completely as diversity hunters want to break down citizenship borders. Again, Mr. Trump is the only one in either party who seems to recognize that economic globalism is neither inevitable nor helpful to the middle classes.

(3) “I will not have our armies run all over the world like knights in shining armor!” (OK, I’ve taken some liberties with this one.) His point is, that just as we must stand back and take stock of who we let into our neighborhoods and our kitchens, and where we throw our jobs around at the expense of American workers, it is also time to be strong militarily—stronger than anybody has ever been—but also to be modest and careful about where we put that strength and why. The McDonald’s insight concerning George H.W. Bush’s misunderstanding of where we were in world history in the early 1990s remains fundamentally unaddressed. “The president declared at the time,” writes McDonald, “that the [first Iraq war] represented the emergence of a ‘new world order,’ but what had emerged was chaos, not order.” The “magnificent machinery for fighting a cold war” that Mr. Bush inherited has been used, abused and allowed to decay along with a “greatness” Mr. Trump wants to restore.

These are traditional American concerns, ones that put “America First.” They are being voiced by someone who knows, as The McDonald also said, that the presidency “is an expanded media event.” When it comes to understanding and dominating the media, The Donald is a man amongst pygmies, to the delight of crowds everywhere, even if they are mostly rubes. Until and unless his hysterical opponents learn all of this about him and more, Mr. Trump will continue, as he says, “Winning, winning, winning!” Meanwhile, he is making friends his party can’t seem to understand, and keeping his enemies close enough to remain confounded. They (his cosmopolitan enemies, that is) can’t seem to get it that they have been duped into attacking Mr. Trump for the wrong things. The bad news is that they cannot seem to understand that no Republican can now win the presidency without the reflexive America Firsters Mr. Trump has brought into the party. The good news for the country is that by keeping those enemies close, The Donald he has given us a chance to test out whether some form of America First is indeed the real American conservatism.

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26 replies to this post
  1. Thank you for posting this. It is good food for thought. I’ve been thinking for some time that we conservatives are going to have to figure out what to do with Donald Trump. And now that could very well be to just get behind him. He’s certainly tapped into something deep in the American psyche!

  2. A good read as usual given the author, and nice to see him back on these pages after so long.

    Americans ought to realize the absurd lengths to which excessive American intervention overseas is exploited by foreign states in ways similar to the exploitation of the welfare system that sometimes occurs on an individual level.

    A recent special election to the Polish senate was won by a candidate for what passes for the Right who promised to bring jobs to her region by inviting the US military to build bases there. Actually , a large part of the economic and foreign policy of the current government is rooted in promises of American money. Just as the standard answer given by the Left to the question “who will pay for it?” is “The European Union”, so the Right answers “The United States.”

    This is a huge cultural shift made possible by NATO and EU eastern expansion . In the 1990s the debate was about how to structure the tax code or regulations in order to attract foreign investment and grow the economy. Now the debate is who is more capable of brown-nosing the US government ?

    In extreme cases the pro-American mainstream sees fit to recommend that the United States Navy should fire on Russian planes flying on international waters near the Russian border

    One hears similar things about political elites in other countries which are dependent upon American largess. On the whole what is happening is smaller states (political elites) are lining up for Welfare handouts from larger states like the USA .

    This does not benefit the people of America nor the people of the client states, only the elites who are freed from the task of thinking about how to develop their countries .

    This is why so many “international elites” are so vehement in their denunciation of Donald Trump . They too have never worked in the private sector. They work in NGOs or the mainstream press which are simply branches of elite political parties . Mr. Trump threatens their welfare check.

    They are of course the biggest Welfare Queens because like African satraps their people suffer grinding poverty while these elites take American money to bask in the glow of “democratic piety”.

    Donald Trump – if he really pulls America out of NATO – will liberate the people of numerous countries from the clutches of their own American-backed elites who only endanger and pauperize them.

    The United States can then go back to being a force for good in the traditional way: American private enterprise, private charity and republican diplomacy which promotes American ideas rather than funding “democracies” which are little more than imperial outposts.

    While I prefer Senator Sanders for a number of reasons, if the Democratic party won’t listen to the People, I will cast my vote for Trump. I have my misgivings about him but so be it.

    And rest assured: while the international elites hate Trump, the common man in foreign lands who is dedicated to the good of his country sees much hope in him as do authentic foreign conservatives who would love to stop having to compete in their domestic political arenas with millions of US dollars going to fund their political opponents while their supporters are too poor to compete in democratic elections against American money funding “pro-American parties”

  3. This article, figuratively of course, sickens me. Though I love politics, I’m learning to keep it at distance and focus on what is truly important to our lives. Over the last year and a half, this website has been an invaluable resource, inflaming my imagination, and illuminating the permanent things.

    I’ve come to a better place as a Christian, and as a human being over the last few years. I have gone from being an angry young man, to one who has hopefully identified his place in society and the community, and has something to give. It is for this reason that I cannot vote for Trump. Even though as a Conservative as far as back as 2005 (which was a long time ago considering I graduated high school then, some things being relative) I knew of the importance of securing the borders. I knew then that not to do so would be to lose credibility before the people, and to enter a demographic winter. In 2008 I agreed with a man named Ron Paul that a humble, less interventionist foreign policy was both needed, and required. Over this past winter I delved into Russell Kirk’s “The Conservative Mind.” and discovered “prescriptive conservatism.” I’m also among the low income earners. I work construction and indie filmmaking. Not a lot of either over the past decade out here in the Midwest. You’d think I’d be the perfect Trump supporter.

    But I can’t do it. To hear the writer of this article, the Republican establishment has it in for Trump. Yet Boehner and McConnell have made no effort to hide the fact that they could tolerate a Trump candidacy, Cruz meanwhile they had no stomach for. The writer of this article attempts to ignore that not only is Trump of the establishment, but he is beholden to the establishment for his material gain. I cannot, having recently shed materialism and empiricism as guiding lights, now vote for Trump, a man for whom character does not exist, only success, measured by wealth, stature, and having the hottest woman by his side.

    The media has given Trump free rein as his very name drives web traffic and increases views. Yet we think a man created by them is not beholden to them?

    The Republican Party has made no secret of treating him with kids gloves, as they covet his supporters. Yet we think an establishment billionaire, with friends inside the beltway is not beholden to them?

    We think that a man who in one week can praise Planned Parenthood for the work they do, and then advocate that woman who have an abortion should be jailed, and then agrees with a woman’s right “to choose”, and then condemns The N.C. “Bathroom” law is a man to stick up for the rights of the unborn?

    Finally, his supporters, like this author, have a tendency for belittling Trump’s opponents as effete Beltway types, when those types are more likely to support him, for they think that they see a monster coalition forming that will overwhelm the Democrats in November. I have hauled bundles of shingles up ladders in 90+ degree weather. I have built houses and have shined lights at Ed Harris. I am of the people and I cannot support Trump. I am not an effete Beltway type. I swing hammers. Yet I am probably a loser who hasn’t made enough money to impress Trump supporters. Also there is no hot wife by my side, or gilded bedrooms in my palace. I’m sorry that for a Trump supporter only purely material metrics can define the ability, and ultimate worth of a man in our society.

    And finally, this is what sickens me. Trump’s supporters and fellow travelers, have willfully blinded themselves to reality, and cast all who disagree with them as “the other.” They are viewing themselves as Victims, and grouping their ideological foes into a straw man group. This is not different than what the last Democrat administration gave us. I want conservatism to be remembered as something better, even if must go down in defeat. I have to believe that conservatism is about conserving the permanent things, the good things. Not in assisting the self aggrandizing campaign of a boorish son of privilege, who most likely with failing finances, has decided to have fun and run for President. Trump has seen first hand the amount of wealth and power that his golfing buddies and friends the Clintons have won for themselves, and he probably wants some of it for himself, the example of Putin being his guide. “But he’s a billionaire, he doesn’t need the money!” Yes, and if you think the reason he hasn’t released any of recent his tax returns is because of an IRS inquiry, then I have a crooked Real Estate developer to sell you as a Presidential Candidate.

    Give me a Candidate like Reagan, who will ennoble and inflame the best in me. Not this charlatan who wishes to feed of our anger and embitter us with the machinations of our enemies, Spring is here in Michigan, and baseball has begun. I’ve better things to do than consort with this little man they call Trump.

  4. Through all of these ‘very intelligent ‘ pieces of advice, recommendations , news, etc, ….not one word about TRUST ! We , who are about to VOTE for ‘the Donald’ trust him to give us back our Country……He is ‘me, he is ‘you’ , he is us and our and them – even ‘it’….and we WILL vote for him , come ‘hell or high water’ ……he CAN beat Hillary or ? …and , guess what ? WE TRUST HIM …………………..

  5. Interesting article and as Mr. Rieth said good to see you writing here again Mr. Willson. I have not liked in the least Mr. Trump’s antics on the campaign trail, and do not really know what we’ll get if he were elected as his statements have often been contradictory. I do know however that Clinton must be stopped as her corrupt to the bone marrow personality has lusted after the Oval Office for, well, perhaps for most of her life, and I do not want her near the Court as that is something the secular totalitarians amongst us long for since they greatly desire getting five votes to determine “the law of the land” particularly where morality, or better I should write immorality, is concerned. Although I would have little hope of it, the Court is an institution I think should be reined in anyway by Constitutional amendment so that appellate jurisdiction is revoked and its jurisdiction restricted only to matters of the Executive and Legislature and thus depoliticizing the Court and lessening so-called federal power over the people of the states in their “small platoons.”

    As for those that worry about the “Republican brand” being sullied I’ve had more than a few good chuckles at such when I’ve seen Party elites interviewed on television as just when exactly was the Republican Party not tainted with sin, particularly by its association with their cronies in Big Business. And certainly the GOP has never been conservative in the sense that Russell Kirk, or I, would think of conservative philosophy for if it were at the least it would not have lead this country into interventionist wars from Theodore Roosevelt to George Bush, the occasional truly conservative personality such as Calvin Coolidge being the exceptions to the rule.

    I have voted for the Constitution Party for the presidency in the past, but this year I will probably hold my nose once again and color in the name of the GOP ticket for the office. I don’t want what would most likely be seven radicals on the Court if Clinton were elected as that would be the proverbial final nail in the coffin and with Trump there is at least a chance of that not occurring.

    Ultimately the spirit of this country is sick and all that one can do at the moment is throw another blanket upon the patient and pray the fever subsides.

  6. Hear, hear John Willson!

    A brilliant essay; straight forward, to the point, truthful, with a touch of humor.

    I’ve been preaching, for a while, that THE issue of this campaign is the restoration of the American middle class and in restoring the mc we can strengthen the virtues of the olde Republic. And, as you point out, Trump, whether he knows it or not, is the catalyst for that, possible, restoration.

  7. I liked what National Review had to say about him recently.

    The long and short of it is that he is a boor, a brute, a liar, and a thug. If we believe that virtue must be the root of ordered liberty, we cannot cast our votes for this man.

    • Except the alternative is Hillary Clinton. It may seem like choosing between Mussolini and Hitler, but even there, one is a lot worse than the other.

  8. An articulate and thoughtful article followed by similar responses. Professor Willson helpfully puts the Trump candidacy in the historical context of the American presidency as recounted by a respected conservative historian. Andrew Webster also writes well, but half of his response is ad hominem. (Can a conservative have an attractive wife? Well, Russell Kirk did.) The rest concerns matters that are peripheral to the president’s sphere of power. The American middle class is an economically artificial creation, born of and protected by the tariff (from the start, but aggressively with Lincoln, McKinley, T. Roosevelt, Harding and Coolidge) and restrictive immigration policies (since 1920’s). The decline of the middle class beginning in the early 1970’s, mentioned by Professor Willson, is directly connected with the dismantling of the protective tariff by the Kennedy Round of GATT under LBJ, expanded by, e.g., NAFTA and giving Most Favored Nation status to Red China. In his protectionism, advocacy of the tariff and (moderate) isolationism, Mr. Trump is the most conservative candidate running and stands in the mainstream of the historic Republican Party.

  9. I would like to reply to Andrew Webster who raises excellent points all around:

    First appearances can be misleading. If you familiarize yourself with Dr. Willson’s writing you will see he is quite atune to the points you raise and I have a feeling that this essay was not written in haste without long thought.

    Secondly, the conservative – particularly the conservative citizen (and statesman) always has one eye on the great virtues you have discovered at TIC and one eye on practical reality which is the only realm we have (for now) in which virtues can become manifest.

    A great sickness in modern political thought is the supression of thought by politics. A greater sickness still is the supression of politics by thought. No greater vice exists than the practice of virtues detached from political life because virtues are only real when they are hard. They exist to be exercised in political society, not in gardens far away.

    Political life is imperfect to the extreme and it is impossible to practice it with untainted virtue because politics requires the pursuit and retention of power. But to use power towards good ends or protect power from being used to bad ends, virtuous citizens must take part in political activity which requires judgement, saying yes and no.

    You are perfectly free to say no to Mr. Trump. The practical alternative seems to be Mrs. Clinton. I do not think ill of her, as I did not think ill of her husband. I merely disagree with them. Mr. Trump is disagreeable to me in many ways but happens to be saying things I would say and wants to do things I would do – many more things than Mrs. Clinton.

    I do not fear that America will suddenly collapse into a heap of ashes because I trust the Constitution can weather Donald Trump just fine. I also keep in mind that he, like me (and you Mr. Webster) has spent his life in private enterprise and not in government. I trust his instincts just as I would trust yours because private enterprise always builds characters more realistic and practical than decades spent in Government.

    If Donald Trump can solve the immigration problem and get America out of the business of Empire, that will make him a Great President.

    If not: well, we have had many Presidents .

    Unless the Democrats nominate Sanders, I am for Trump.

  10. As a man who “gets things done” one would think this is a good thing, but unfortunately we have had presidents for whom the Constitution is a hindrance, such a waste of time. Consequently in their image as titan of political science and possessed of infallibility mixed with a dose, just a dose, of modesty, they cast aside the shackles of law and tradition and forge ahead, marching into fame and history, with a dollop of contempt for the usual Constitutional niceties. Of course this has nothing to do with an appreciation of law, and forgive the expression, tradition, sorry but I had to bring that up, but greatness doesn’t know patience. The current avatar of efficiency fits that mold, and what is the world if not one big hotel.
    Time is our teacher, it opens a book that touches everything, that points out the way, that beseeches patience and provides its lessons. Fools and demagogues never read that book, and we never end paying for it.

  11. To our Readers: The previous comments by “Winston” in this comment thread were not made by me. The other “Winston” is entitled to his comments but they are NOT from me.

    Secondly: I have no doubt of the concern for the working people of these United States expressed by many supporters of Mr. Trump. I do doubt however that a crass, narcissistic, billionaire, who has no experience of the middle class beyond removing their rent money from their pockets via his casinos, will keep his vague promises of renewal. He has a history of abandoning his beliefs frequently when it will benefit his pocket and/or his ego. No, I will not support a man such as this. In my 40 years of following American politics I have never trusted a man less than I do Mr. Trump.

    • Thank you sir.

      First Presidential election I recall paying any attention to was Kennedy-Nixon. In that time, I have never seen such a vulgar human being so close to a nomination by a major party. However, this (dare I say) narcissistic cry-bully has served to do only one good thing. That being, be has shown up the number of feckless politicians on the Right. Their “principles” seem to resolve to money and/or power, and all else is propaganda for the rubes. (And many of them are now expressing contempt for those same rubes who are failing to hearken to the wisdom of the punditry.)

      For all the loose talk about how the man will “get things done”… the questions are a) What? — he is “evolving” his positions hourly, and gives no clear commitment to anything beyond personal fame; and b) do those apologists recall the last time people supported a (strong) man who would “get things done”? (Hint, the fella “made the trains run on time”.)

      ( I do not for an instant believe Trump is a “fascist”, but I DO think too many of his supporters would gladly support an open fascist, given an opportunity — which they will have in years to come. He has shown the way, and it but remains for one more coherent, better organized, and with less scruple to emerge.)

      Fortunately, as an Independent, I am not obligated in any way to support a person who has demonstrated such a lack of character. The mildest criticism I have (among many others) is that he tends to kick his opponents after they are fallen. If there is anything to the notions of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, they cannot bend to the temporary whim of an election cycle.

      I frankly don’t give a tinker’s damn what he _might_ accomplish, nor do I care how _horrible_ Hillary Clinton might be. Trump’s lack of ordinary decency is a definitive disqualifier, no matter who his probable opponent will be.

      Cynical European notions of realpolitik aside, there are too many legends of what happens to those who make a deal with the Devil to want to enter into that (Faustian) bargain.

      Bottom line — the Republic will survive four years of another Clinton, but conservatism will not survive the debasing prostitution of supporting a Trump candidacy, whether he wins or not (as I believe).

  12. Mr. W. Winston Elliott III says it far better than I.

    I will not vote for evil, and the lesser of two evils is stlll an evil.

  13. As W. Winston Elliot III needed to clarify, I too will make clear that “Mack” above is not me although that person may express what they will.

    It is a great tragedy that I do believe in all likelihood Clinton will win this election and the Court be thoroughly
    radicalized thereafter for decades. The political sphere cannot heal the spirit of this country, but since the Zeitgeist has hold of the political and journalist class, academe, and the “culture”, I for one will have no hope left for what was once a decent country in which to live. The unlocked gate has already been burst through, and now will come the stampeding of what little decency is left.

  14. I want to make one point. Setting aside Trump’s shortcomings, Trump’s policies have the potential of not just improving the lot of the middle class but of going far beyond. If Aristotle is correct, the middle class is the ground of the polis and quite necessary. A strong, growing, and vibrant American middle class can be the way to a restoration of republican principles in this country. A restoration of a true American culture grounded on liberty and one that eschews statism.

    The best way to defeat our ‘cultural decay’ best witnessed in the bribing of our lower classes and the enrichment via rent seeking, etc. of our progressive elite is to strengthen the American middle class. Trump’s policies, knowingly or unknowingly, offer that opportunity.

    The alternative is a woman who would happily exchange our national security for personal gain. Perhaps she’s done it before?

    • You speak as if he will hold true to those “policies”. I have not been in politics as long as Winston (and that would be a looonnngg time) but I can now spot a liar and a narcissistic politician. That would be Trump. The man has the emotional intelligence of a three year old. (Three year olds whine more than two year olds). His bombastic showmanship immediately made me think: “This orange-faced man would push the button if any leader bruises his ego in the slightest”. No to Trump, Hillary, and Bernie.
      There may be something Trump is good for:
      “We need arrogant people who like showing off.
      They can cover us from bullets in the line of fire.”
      ― Toba Beta

      • You may be right; thus the nature of politics. But when I read a criticism of someone that really is a name-calling rant, I tend to discount the critique.

        What I find singularly interesting about Trump is who his enemies are (and they are legion) and who his supporters are.

        Politicians are not a class in which I place much trust.

    • In reality very little, if any, of Trump’s policies (if policies they can be truly called due to the fact he routinely does outline specifics and rarely, if ever, hold to them) would help the middle, lower or upper classes in the US.

  15. I get the feeling the vice presidential nomination is going to be important . Watch Clinton nominate an anti-Trump Republican . The big question is what will Sanders do and who will Trump nomimate? He could well shoot himself in the foot with a Perot or McCain like nomination. He may also just nominate a Democrat (not sure which one). I get the feeling we are in the midst of a major realignment .

    As for crass narcissistic billionaires who run casinos : sounds like the perfect candidate for an end-of-life conversion to -if not the true faith – then at least serious statesmanship so that he can be remembered as the savior of his country and not just the guy who shaved Vince McMahon’s head and beat him up on WWF.

    God has worked miracles through lesser mortals.

  16. I can not trust with my life and freedom those who removed God from their platform Trump 2016 I will take a chance on a flawed man who has love for his people and country anytime.

  17. The question is actually quite easy. Don’t vote or vote for someone who fits your principles. To believe that Trump can be influenced by keeping your enemies close when that strategy utterly failed with the GOP establishment is purposeful self-delusion.

    One last quite. Immigration is hardly the visceral issue that the author portrays. In fact even Trump primary voters rarely, if ever, put it at the top of their priority list of issues. Even among relatively pro-reform Americans of Hispanic descent do not place the issue at the top of their list.

  18. I wish to remind of the lesson of the French Revolution. Not the ones usually discussed, but one that I stumbled upon. R. R. Palmer in his book “Twelve who ruled” points out that revolutionaries were people who thought that prowess in debating societies qualified them to run a government.

    You do not need to know more. Anymore than you need to know Curly Howard’s ideology when he says that “Soitanly” he can do the job entrusted to him. You know what will come.

    Sometimes I think that the definitive history of the French Revolution would have been the one written by Laurance J. Peter, he of the Peter Principle.

    Same with the Russian revoluion. Coffeehouse revolutionaries thinking that they could run a country,….

    Not every leader is as wise as Eamon de Valera, who demanded that his followers studied and learned how to run a government, while he worried about achieving power.

    When I think about Trump’s background and experience, I tremble at the thought of him as President.

    Unless you think that Three Stooges movies are fun when they happen in real life, you should tremble too.

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