Monday, May 9, 2016

Regarding Trump and Principles


Hearing people scream about Trump's lack of ideological purity is quite a thing. I recall being told over and over that said purity tests were doing harm to the GOP, and we had to compromise on principles to fit more and more people into the 'big tent'.

Of course, it wasn't their principles being sacrificed. 'We' was 'me and mine', not 'they and theirs'.

It's funny, watching fellow Republicans gasp in horror when they hear Trump say he's willing to buckle a bit on taxes. Sure, he'd like to lower taxes across the board, but if push comes to shove he's willing to raise taxes on the wealthy. And people look at me, mouth agape, wondering when I'm going to get outraged about this act of economic heresy, only to find that my response is to shrug and finish my coffee.

That, I admit, is sad. Even when I'm fighting with them, I've got a rightward orientation. I'd rather not be fighting with these people. Some of them, anyway.

More funny are the reactions on the left, as they slowly come to grips with the likelihood that they're going into a Hillary versus Trump contest - where they will have to cheer on, mindlessly and zealously, the pro-Wall-Street, pro-Big-Business, corruption maven that is Hillary Clinton. And doing so against the protectionist, screw-Wall-Street guy! It's like a political Kronenberg body-horror story, the diehard liberals slowly but surely being gruesomely flesh-shaped into supply siders, struggling to eke out sustenance from a dwindling diet of sodomy and abortion.

And God help you if you were a male Bernie supporter. I'd say voting for Hillary under those conditions is pretty much gelding, but if you were a millenial leftist male you've made that sacrifice a long time ago. Then again, that used to be an experience psychologically mollified by looking at Republicans, but for the moment chaos reins in the GOP and the people who -aren't- furious are having a ball. Balls being forbidden among the modern left, unless they're surgically attached by a swedish doctor.

Returning to the point - the 'principles' the conservative drama-queens are going on about have been gone for a while. One thing Trump has managed is to reveal, once and for all, the fact that many of us didn't like George W Bush, his policies, and certainly not his wars. That idol didn't come crashing to the ground fast enough, and now it's broken into a million pieces, thank Christ. It's one more thing Trump has accomplished for the culture, and he hasn't even been elected yet.

That, I think, is why at least some people hate Trump: it's not that he's so crude and foul, but that he's raised the bar too high. Standing up to concentrated media fire - and coming out ahead! - isn't an act most people want to follow. Imagine being a politician, used to responding to media assaults like a trained seal - you apologize, you ask for forgiveness, you say you were misunderstood, you fire someone as a sacrifice - only to suddenly realize that, ha ha, that's out of style now. People expect you to take some risks, or they're going to hate you.

It ain't pretty, but that's the world we've got for now. I, for one, am adjusting well to the change.

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