Monday, July 27, 2015

What Trump offers

So, as if this writing, Trump's made a few moves of interest.

First, there was his initial observation that - shocking as it may seem to some - not every illegal alien is an out of work devout Christian physicist who just wants a better life for his intact home and law-abiding family. In fact, there's a good number of gang members, criminals, murderers, rapists, drug dealers and other lowlifes. Everyone knows this, including illegal immigrants and the latino community themselves, but this was supposed to be something that no one could ever frankly talk about on pain of public shaming and worse. Trump, being in a unique situation as a billionaire who apparently doesn't give a shit about such things, stuck to his guns even while getting savaged left and right.

The result? Lost business contracts, but a whole lot of fame and admiration, along with surging poll numbers. This, despite most of the GOP immediately trying to attack and bury him, since they're on Team SJW when it comes to this kind of thing.

Shortly thereafter, Trump cracked that McCain wasn't exactly a war hero, since his main claim to fame was being shot down and held as a POW for years. Ouch. So again, the attacks came, this time intensified because - really - veterans are one thing the media and GOP both assume every mook out there is hyper defensive about, and attacking 'war hero' McCain was surely Trump's death knell. And once again, Trump doubled down, said McCain had been screwing over veterans for years and also lost to Obama when he should have won.

The result? McCain limped away bitterly, and Trump somehow moved even further ahead in the polls.

Since then, Trump's done everything from call out an MSNBC reporter as dishonest, then tell him to get lost instead of letting him submit a question to Trump, to attacking the other GOP candidates and otherwise. He's the man of the news hour, and at this rate may well end up showing up at the debates. Despite attempts by big GOP donors to get Jeb and Rubio to boycott the debates if Trump shows up.

There's also been a tremendous amount of complaining from the GOP - both the elected officials, and the bloggers. Lots of hand-wringing about how Trump was damaging the GOP. How he was making it harder to attract latino votes, which are so desperately needed (and everyone else, apparently, doesn't matter.) How the people who supported Trump were idiots, how Trump isn't really conservative, how he's flip-flopped on everything from immigration to abortion.

A bit like Romney, but shh, don't bring that up.

That said, there's truth to the criticisms. Do I think Trump really intends to stop illegal immigration, in the longshot (but not unthinkable) scenario where he gets elected? Not really. Do I think he's sincere in his Christianity, or his switch to a pro-life outlook? Not so much, no. Hell, do I think he even wants or expects to be president? At most, I think he regards the prospect as kind of amusing. A nice brass ring to shoot for.

But despite all this, Trump's offering something important - so important, that I find myself supporting him and fighting his detractors.

He has talked frankly and honestly about immigration, in a way that's honestly unheard of in this era, despite being sorely needed. He's refused to back down from the content of his comments, even at personal expense to him - whatever expense one can tax a billionaire with, anyway - and he's done so with bombast and grace. He's openly defied the reigning elite culture, refusing to grovel at their command. And he's inspiring others to do the same.

That is golden, frankly. It doesn't matter if he is, at the end of the day, dishonest. If Trump can successfully convince people - particularly conservatives - that they don't deserve to be pariahs because of their beliefs, and that there's something admirable in their stating their views and fighting against a hostile culture, refusing to apologize or back down, then he'll have been a net boon. Which is more than I can say about just about any politician or public figure as of late.

24 comments:

malcolmthecynic said...

I agree with the general thrust of the comment, but I'm going to talk about McCain for a minute. To be perfectly fair, and while it doesn't matter in the big picture, that was a MAJOR dick move.

McCain's "main claim to fame" was NOT getting shot down and becoming a POW.

First, a U.S. missile accidentally hit his ship, and McCain ran into an inferno to rescue fellow crew members. His injuries were so severe he was asked to be sent home. He refused.

LAter, on the infamous bombing run where he was shot down, he had a chance to turn back before he fell into enemy territory. He refused, completed his mission, and then ejected from his plane into a nearby lake. He broke BOTH his arms and shattered his knee.

After two months of brutal beatings in the infamous Hanoi Hilton - and remember, McCain's arms and knee were broken this entire time - an exchange was offered to get McCain out of the Hanoi Hilton.

McCain refused because it would have meant abandoning his fellow soldiers, would have violated the U.S. POW code of conduct, and because he knew his release would be used as pro-Vietnam propaganda.

For the next five and a half years - after being offered to leave after two months - McCain remained a criminal. He caused so much trouble to the North Vietnamese that he was thrown into a box in solitary confinement for three years.

His entire time there he signed a single paper, after getting beaten every two hours for a solid week.

He retired in 1981 with a Silver Star, three Bronze Stars, two Legion of Merit awards, a Purple Heart, a Distinguished Flying Cross, and a Prisoner of War Medal.

The man is a fucking hero, and while I agree with you on every point you've made Trump was way, WAY out of line about this. Dude's a douche. Doesn't disqualify him as a candidate, but he was dead wrong about John McCain.

Crude said...

A well written and well thought out response, that deserves a longer response from me. But I can only answer quickly for now.

McCain has, for years, taken part in the media movements to mock, ridicule and diminish his political enemies. When Trump was finally tending to (for whatever calculated reasons) a wrongly hated and ignored movement, McCain did what he's done for years - he belittled and attacked, trying to lend a helping hand to the at-the-time hopeful movement to label anyone who had concerns about illegal immigration as a crazy racist. Trump responded by mocking him on the one point that McCain and others consider sacrosanct about him.

In context, you're right that McCain did some plainly heroic things. I won't contest that.

But he doesn't deserve to be considered a hero.

Ask me this question a year ago, and I'd say my estimation was wrong. 'Give the devil his due' and all. But you know what? When's the last time McCain, or the modern media, or SJWs, or even 'center-right conservatives' gave the devil their due? The fact is, not a single person attacking Trump over his slight about McCain's war record gave a shit about disrespecting a hero. They saw it as a political taboo - particularly, a taboo the yokels would likely lap up, after the 'racism' charges didn't dissuade them - that they could use to beat him down with. Just as they saw McCain calling Trump's supporters 'crazies' as one more attempt to humiliate and isolate those uppity conservatives who were refusing to do as they were told.

McCain is an ex-hero, at best. A man who did heroic things, and has spent a whole lot of time doing rotten things to balance it out. I see no reason to take great offense at Trump's comments, and plenty of reason to celebrate the taboo being thrown away in this case.

B. Prokop said...

I literally (not figuratively) cringed when Trump said "I like people who don't get captured." As an ex-Soviet analyst, I knew all too well how that country treated its liberated POWs at the end of WWII - they sent them straight into the GULAG. Their crime? Being captured. No joyful reunion with families. No thanks for serving their country. No consideration that their capture wasn't their own doing but was the fault of their idiot commanders. No praise for doing their best under indescribably horrible conditions (60% of Russian POWs died in captivity.) Just out of one camp and into another.

But that unforgivable statement was eclipsed by Trump's blasphemous belittling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. "My little wine... my little cracker..." Cracker?!? Isn't that what we always here from the gnus? Not in ten million years will I have a scintilla of respect for that man until he repudiates on his knees that thoroughly disgusting comment. Whenever I see or hear him, all I can think is "This is the man who profaned the Holiest thing in our Earthly experience. This is the man who say he has no need of God's forgiveness. This is the man who says he doesn't bring God into the picture."

Forget whatever Hispanics, or Veterans, or whomever he's insulted or may have insulted... Trump is a unrepentant public blasphemer and no friend of anyone who Loves the Lord.

Crude said...

Not in ten million years will I have a scintilla of respect for that man until he repudiates on his knees that thoroughly disgusting comment.

He's a protestant, man. If that.

malcolmthecynic said...

McCain has, for years, taken part in the media movements to mock, ridicule and diminish his political enemies. When Trump was finally tending to (for whatever calculated reasons) a wrongly hated and ignored movement, McCain did what he's done for years - he belittled and attacked, trying to lend a helping hand to the at-the-time hopeful movement to label anyone who had concerns about illegal immigration as a crazy racist.

Sure, but when I compare and contrast that with the brutal stuff he put up with in defense of our country, and hear somebody say that he's only a hero because he was captured...well, he's dead wrong. Even if you're right about McCain, that isn't all he did. He put himself through danger and torture not even to save men, but to inspire them, and refused chances to leave for completely unselfish reasons.

When I see the torture he went through, then contrast that with "Well he mocked and belittled people"...I can't help but say no, McCain was not a hero "because" he was captured. He was a hero because he was heroic, and to disqualify people from being heroes because they were captured is beyond disrespectful. It's actually disgusting.

Forget giving the devil his due. McCain gets his due because he's paid for it, and in blood. Getting mocked and belittled is nothing compared to the Hell he went through for his country.

I don't like him, but he's a hero.

Crude said...

When I see the torture he went through, then contrast that with "Well he mocked and belittled people"...I can't help but say no, McCain was not a hero "because" he was captured. He was a hero because he was heroic,

If heroic actions mean that someone stays a hero forever and for all time - no matter how many people they destroy, no matter how many people they betray, no matter how many idiotic wars they entangle us in, no matter how many allies they sell out, no matter how many people they make feel like shit by enabling and emboldening the very people who are attacking them - then I'm going to have to conclude that either heroism can be lost, or heroes can as a matter of fact be rotten people who should not be emulated, admired or respected. Their acts, maybe. Themselves? No.

And no, 'getting mocked and belittled' is not nothing. This isn't some minor jackass on a blog like yours truly. He's a long-standing state senator, a major power player in American politics. He was trying to jump on a bandwagon that was attempting to make countless people feel like and be treated like utter shit - racists, scum of the earth - for daring to say they have a problem with illegal immigration. I wonder if there were any heroes in the pack of people he called 'crazies' and tried to ostracize? I wonder about the cost of what he's done in terms of helping a generation of people feel like absolute shit just because they aren't fans of the 'diversity' he's happily brought to their neighborhoods?

I get your point, man. I really do. And I'll happily say that he engaged in a heroic action. That can't be undone. But 'is a hero'? I think that's an office someone can vacate, and I think McCain vacated it long ago.

The Deuce said...

I wonder if there were any heroes in the pack of people he called 'crazies' and tried to ostracize?

Presumably so, as polls taken *AFTER* Trump's remarks show that veterans like him more than McCain.

The Deuce said...

Btw, there was plenty in McCain's military service that was frankly disgraceful as well: http://pjmedia.com/michaelwalsh/2013/03/07/john-mccain-american-hero/

Son of Ya'Kov said...

McCain deserves praise for staying with his men & not going home when he had the chance.

That is lovely & as the son of a Vet from Nom I salute him BUT that doesn't mean he doesn't suck as a super RINO Senator who is politically clueless.

The art of politics is "What have you done for me lately?".

So McCain what have you done other than cowtow to Obummer & call me and mine "crazy"?

malcolmthecynic said...

I get what you're saying, and "News flash: Presidential candidate kind of a jerk" means overall next to nothing to me.

But I prefer my war heroes not to be captured? What the Hell?

Deuce: That article is pretty bad. What I'm getting is that he was kind of a hotdog while he performed one of the most dangerous jobs in the U.S. military, had a relationship with a Brazilian (wowie, shocker, a soldier having an affair with a foreign woman! That never happens), and gave a false confession after being tortured with beatings every two hours for a full week.

Later he still received two to three beatings weakly because of his absolute refusal to sign any further statements.

He was locked up in solitary confinement for causing too much trouble to his captors.

And, of course, he refused to be released before the other POW's.

And we're seriously holding the confession against him?

That's beyond insane.

B. Prokop said...

Son of Ya'kov,

McCain aside, what do you think of Trump's blasphemy?

Crude said...

Bob,

If you're affirming that the wine and communion in a protestant Church is anything more than 'a little wine, a little cracker', then I'm afraid you're the one guilty of blasphemy. Not Trump.

I mean, you do realize that, right? He's Presbyterian.

I want to stress: if you affirm that Prebyterian ministers, who deny the Real Presence and who cannot validly or licitly perform any sacraments, really are turning the bread and wine into body and blood, you are guilty not just of blasphemy by Catholic teaching, but quite possibly have incurred automatic excommunication.

So, did you misspeak or misunderstand?

B. Prokop said...

Oh, I am well aware that nearly all (other than a minority of Anglicans and Lutherans) Protestants deny the Real Presence. But most still hold (small "c") communion in great reverence. I've been to Protestant services where communion was distributed, and it was done with grace, dignity, and even solemnity. Nothing like Trump's casual dismissal, or his use of "my little" to describe it. It shows an attitude that he holds himself above God in importance.

This is beyond theological - it's an indication of character, and of what Trump values. His comment that he "doesn't ring God into [the] picture" shows to me that his "picture" of the world is totally backwards. We don't bring God into any picture - He's already there, and our part is to acknowledge that or to deny it. Trump appears to have fallen on the denying side of the line.

Crude said...

But most still hold (small "c") communion in great reverence.

Right.

Let's go back to what you said earlier.

But that unforgivable statement was eclipsed by Trump's blasphemous belittling of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It's not the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for those who aren't Catholic, Orthodox, etc.

It's a little cracker and some wine.

Now this is turning into 'But he wasn't respectful enough!'

I think your move here is transparent grandstanding bs, so I'll leave it at that. That Trump's moment indicated he's as sincerely religious as, ha ha, Obama is? That's one thing. But all this bluster about how DARE he say that the mid-service symbol-snack Presbyterians hand out is a 'little cracker and some wine', because that is the Blood and Body of Our Savior? Nah. Not even going to pretend you buy that.

Son of Ya'Kov said...

additional:

OK I figured it out by reading the other posts.

Bob he is a Presbyterian heretic. They believe the Eucharist is a cracker. Also even if he had an orthodox belief in it his religion has no validly ordained Priests so objectively he is still eating a cracker.

I don't expect Catholic heads on Protestant shoulders.

BTW there is no reason to believe when Trump calls it a "Cracker" his is intending to mock the Eucharist. Unlike PZ Myers and dirtbags like him who intend to steal Eucharists from Catholic Churches to mock the real presence and call the Eucharist "Cracker" for the purpose of belittling it.

It's like when my Elderly grandmother of happy memory used the words "Negro" or "Colored" to refer to black people. It's not politically correct today but it was acceptable in her day and she never said the evil "N-word".

B. Prokop said...

I'm sorry, but for me, there are just some things that are "over the line". Whatever Trump's Protestant theology, he crossed a Bright Red One for me. As far as I'm concerned, he's right there with the self-styled im-skeptical, accusing the Church of altering scripture to conform with doctrine. He is anathema.

Crude said...

Bob,

I am unsurprised you dislike Trump. That's not the issue.

The issue is you manufactured a nonsense bit to attack him with, and when it was exposed as nonsense, you just tried to morph it into something else. Which really indicates that the original 'problem' was just a stalking horse.

B. Prokop said...

Nope. All I'm trying (apparently unsuccessfully) to do is to put into words the unutterable disgust with which I heard his comments concerning Holy Communion. I guess you have a thicker skin than me, but I felt dirty just listening to them.

Crude said...

All I'm trying (apparently unsuccessfully) to do is to put into words the unutterable disgust with which I heard his comments concerning Holy Communion.

It's not Holy Communion, and the Prebyterians not only deny the Real Presence, they'd be unable to celebrate it given their ministers.

Son of Ya'Kov said...

OTOH Fox news had no business trying to weed out the candidates & reduce the debate to a reality tv show. Trying to pull a Candy Crawly from the right is uncool.

OTOH Trump needs to learn there is no crying in baseball and no whining in politics. If he is going to get all butt hurt over Megan Kelly asking him hard questions how will he butt heads with either Hillary or Putin?

Geez dude man up already!

Of course I am for Carly or Cruz at this point so I am bias.

Crude said...

OTOH Trump needs to learn there is no crying in baseball and no whining in politics.

Sure there is. Cry bias, and if the charge sticks, do some damage with it.

Kelly didn't merely ask him a hard question. She asked a hypocritical question, in a debate that seemed downright orchestrated to attack Trump.

The Deuce said...

Yeah, I think Trump's response there was fine. He didn't "cry," as in whimpering or begging for an apology. He punched back.

Son of Ya'Kov said...

>Kelly didn't merely ask him a hard question. She asked a hypocritical question, in a debate that seemed downright orchestrated to attack Trump.

True BUT the Demo-rats aren't going to fight fair and if we wait around for them to start fighting fair so we can beat them in a fair fight we are just going to keep loosing. His response was a wasted opportunity.

>Yeah, I think Trump's response there was fine. He didn't "cry," as in whimpering or begging for an apology. He punched back.

If Trump shut his mouth just before he made it personal with Kelly it would have been a great response and it would have made Kelly look petty. But his continued complaining about Kelly made it look like she got under his skin. You can bet if he doesn't change the Demo-rat candidate is going to keep pushing that button.

Trump is deluded if he thinks PP does any good and Carly hit in between the eyes on that.

malcolmthecynic said...

Ya'Kov

If the dems keep "pressing that button" and Trump responds exactly the same way every time, Trump will be in good shape.

You see what you want to see in him. I was not predisposed to look upon him highly, but I have to admit that the way he's responded to the leftists has impressed me.