Konspiracy Korner: of Trumpsters and Dumpsters
hey, we've had TV people in the Oval Office before


Dr. D learned a new acronym this week:  BLUF

Bottom Line Up Front.  Was it Mike Pompeo who brought this up?  Anyway:  I got to thinking "what is a Trumpster?"  And settled on, "Somebody who would drive 50 miles to go to a Donald Trump rally."

Which is, to me, a politically and emotionally neutral way to describe the term.  Why would somebody rally for Trump?  Didn't commit either way on that little gem.


TJM cracked me up with this line:  "I was an altar boy plus two years of Sister Mary Honora's Latin class  and had to look [ceteris paribus] up.  I find that kinda of erudition . . . unsettling coming from a Trumpster."

Which is the kind of wit we have come to expect and demand from our resident Pulitzer Prize candidate.  I enjoyed the jab thoroughly, the more so since I won't walk into the next room to watch a Donald Trump special on TV, much less drive to one of his rallies.  In fact my wife IS a Trumpie, has the show on next room, and it's giving me a headache from here.

But I'm sure Terry was poking fun at his side of the spectrum 50-50 along with mine.  It makes for good-natured self-satire on both sides now, the idea that if half the country just had real news instead of fake news, they'd have been smart enough to vote Hillary.  The idea is slowly catching on, even at 538.com, that the left would be well advised to unnerstan' the right better.  Or at least to understand Wisconsin better!  ;- )

We're leading with the lesser of TJM's recent witticisms.  Up next:  the 50 most pompous Latin phrases to display on your next Safeco fan sign... starting with, obviously, "Magnum Opus."  As in, the Night Watch was Rembrandt's Magnum Opus; Nelson Cruz' 2014 season was his Magnum Opus, as was his 2015 and 2016 and 2017 ... Dr. D was for about three days way fanatically into Latin phrases until his teacher smilingly chided him, "you're doing great with your little Latin ego trip there."   ulp

I dragged out "ceteris peribus" (all things being equal) against my better judgment.  And misspelled it ....


You don't even want to look up the Urban Dictionary on their definition of a Trumpster.  It's pretty tragic.  But Dennis Miller had the best reaction to this kind of attitude:  please, whatever you do Mr. Podesta, please call us racists about 20 million more times!  It's your way back to power!  You gotta ride this wave until it hits the beach!

Bill James' most recent article is on the idea of "The 'Grow Up' Election."  He sees 2016 as a major turning point in American history, the date at which America told the PC police, we have had enough of hyper-sensitivity.  Another way to put this is, you cry Wolf on -isms one too many times, the voters are going to stop running to the defense...


I have a hard time even looking at Donald Trump and watching him talk.  But I am interested in an America in which both sides are free to express their views openly without immediate smears of -isms, and am interested in Constitutional fundamentalism, am interested in the American President looking out for America first just as the French (whatever he's called) looks out for France first.  As one sympathetic liberal put it, with complete sincerity and benevolence, "pity the Christians who had to turn to this man in their desperation for somebody to take their side."

The good news for the left is, a very small % of Americans would actually drive 50 miles to go to a Donald Trump rally.  And, as James indicates, at best this will be a turning point in history, one in which we throw open the windows, get some fresh air into this cellar and actually negotiate some middle ground.

Comments open below for your own definition of Trumpsters :- )





...someone who doesn't brook any dissension as to Trump's better qualities.  As in...someone who, when presented with facts that should concern them as to Trump's character or likeliness to be a good leader for conservatism, dismisses you out of hand, or calls you a RINO (google it if you don't recognize. :) ), or a traitor.  Someone who makes excuses for Trump's behavior.

I was #NeverTrump right up to election day and voted for Evan McMullin in protest, but even I have come to some real and meaningful revelations about why Trump won the primaries and then the general election, and why his presidency might be used to serve conservative ends despite his lack of conservative principles. And I wish the left would be willing (as a whole group) to learn from this as well.  Instead, I see them protesting a fair and democratic election, suggesting that the electoral college should be abolished, or even that the states themselves should be abolished (!), so desperate are they NOT to confront the reality that they have lost the rust belt and, in so doing, destroyed their own big blue wall specifically because their party's policies are damaging to the rust belt.

eljugopicante's picture


I understand you and agree with you on most of the above. 

I think your generalization of the reason behind "them protesting" isn't fair.  Maybe that's what your news sources, would want you to see the protests as, but in the circles I run in, here's what the protests mean.  You don't have to agree with these folks (and I wouldn't expect you to), but I think it would be helpful to understand:

  • I see pockets of folks protesting a fair and democratic election, suggesting the electoral college should be abolished, etc.  This fringe is simply following the lead that Trump put out there in the last month push up to the election.  To most, though, "Not my president" doesn't mean that the process for electing him is illegal. Here are a couple primary reasons for folks to say he's not their president (again, whether you agree with them or not):
  1. People are not willing to stand idle and quiet with a future president who has directly threatened and/or mocked them, their families, loved ones, etc through his words.  See: Muslim Ban, muslim registry, comments towards women, comments towards immigrants in general, mocking of disabilities, etc.  
  2. People agree with all other countries in the world and the vast majority of climate scientists that we need to act on the human affects on the climate.  They're not willing to stand idle and quiet with a future president's short list of climate-deniers as heads of the EPA, and Trump's stated postion on the keystones of Obama's climate change actions. 
  3. People are not willing to stand idle and quiet while in the days following the election, racist and hateful speach and actions jumped across the country.  This isn't to say "all Trump supporters are racist".  It's to say that this isn't a population that will accept going back to "Make America Great Again" in the eyes of overtly racist and alt-right groups that have been emboldened by Trump's words, rise, election, etc.  For this crowd, the rallying cry is a return to a pre-civil rights era white America.

Those are just a couple of the elements behind protests that are very likely to continue.  Again, disagree with the reasons above as you wish, just understand that this is what's behind it.  You've got people who understand that the electoral college have spoken, and this type of action is one way to block/counter what they see as a threat to their people and their planet.  It's a piece of democracy just like voting.  It's saying "hey, you may have won this national election, but don't forget that you had more people vote nationally for other candidates (Hillary alone, plus Stein & Johnson), and we're going to do everything we can to remind you of that and stop you from the most heinous pieces of your message (in our eyes). 

Thanks in advance for taking the time to read and understand. 

tjm's picture

Electoral coalitions are assemblages of often warring groups. This one was no different. The rump Trumpster is somebody who is sick to death with what looks to him or her like a world gone way wrong and a political system that seems perpetually dysfuntional. The number of actual Trumpsters is probably pretty small. I think many of the people who voted for Trump aren't Trumpsters at all but voted out of deep frustration, not to mention weariness with Clinton and the rest of the establishment. They were the expendables, not the deplorables. They wanted to swing the wrecking ball.

I've swung more than a few in my time and almost always hit the wrong building, but that's a discussion for another time.


There were four major reasons Trump got so many votes:

1) Both the GOP and the Dems have failed to offer real solutions to the problems faced by working class (read: lower middle class to middle class) white population that dominates the rust belt states, but the democrats of the last eight years have actively harmed them through indirect tax hikes like the ACA, through abusive rhetoric, and through contemptuous neglect.

2) Much of the country is sick and tired of PC thuggery and HRC, while battling Bernie Sanders to the far left for the millennial vote, ran a campaign that became entirely too much about PC thuggery.  And the more Trump said outrageous things and got HRC and the press to respond with shock and PC vitriol, the more many Americans liked it.

3) Clinton is an avatar for everything that is wrong with American politics.  Not just the Dems, but she, more than Trump, engages in horse-trading, backroom dealing, corruption, and pay-to-play racketeering, and everyone who is paying attention realizes how dishonest she has been. Now is not the time for dishonesty, according to the electorate.

4) HRC ran a LAZY campaign.  Not once did she visit Wisconsin. She went to Michigan only a few times, usually to chase Trump around.  She spent very little time or money on Pennsylvania.  She relied on state democratic party systems to get out the vote, and they didn't feel they had enough support to get the job done.  And, frankly, she didn't do enough small venue events...all of her campaigning except for a few brief photo-ops was in large venues with the audience cordoned off and the press in a cage out of view and out of range to offer any questions. She played only to stadiums and lecture halls and donors, and avoided the riff-raff. Trump did a lot of huge venues too, but he also spent time at factories, farms, townhalls, and schools.  He went to black churches and worked for votes there.  He did more to reach out than HRC...it paid off.

That is how I see it, at any rate.  I am a movement conservative, and I wish that Romney had gone after minority votes, courted the white working class, or spent as much time at small venues as Trump did...I wish he'd fought back against the smears that got tossed his way.  And I wish that he had the guts to attack the press the way that Trump did.  Can't stand the guy...but you have to admit, he worked pretty hard and deployed a first class "meta-campaign"


There is no shortage of people on the right who were oh so unwilling to compromise their personal principles and vote for Trump--but he won anyway.  So these people get to have it both ways--maybe something good will happen, but if it doesn't, "don't blame me."

There is no shortage of people on the left who were oh so unwilling to compromise their personal principles and vote for Hillary, so they didnt.  And now they say, "see--I told you so!"  If Trump fails or prevails, they also get smug as their reward.

Anyway, three quick questions:

1) I've always said the modern Republican party requires someone to hate, like humans need oxygen.  Matt's post notwithstanding, it won't be Hillary much longer for most folks.  But with all three branches secured, there is the need for fresh meat.  Who?

2) It was truly astounding that the denizens and KK effectively passed on election comment before the election.  I wonder why?

3) Doc, not intending to be personal, but I find your comment, "my wife is a Trumpie", intriguing.  Assuming she did not support everything he said about women, what attributes or attractions does he have that countered that, and thus won her vote?


The Republican Party requires someone to hate?

I don't know how anyone who considers themselves conservative can or should respond to such a wild accusation.


Yeah, even I wouldn't go that far and I'm pretty harsh on both tribes.

I don't think anyone *needs* to hate but we are all very succceptable to negative emotions like hatred and fear and jealousy. Whether that's due to original sin or some evolutionary competitive advantage in a Darwinian dog-eat-dog competitive world, I can't say. But it's real.   

I do think both the right and left have succumbed to the siren's call of hatred and fear and jealousy being projected by people that profit from it. It's the people that profit from it that concern me and Trump is certainly in that camp, just like Clinton. And Fox News. And MSNBC. And the Young Turks. And Rush. 


If you like this construction better, I say that conservatives are much better at playing offense than defense...and Democrats much better (or more experienced?) playing defense than offense. 

But yep, hatred is the emotion that animates the right wing around the world.  Above all, find someone to vilify.  That's how you rouse the populous.  

Which makes this point in America so interesting.  When Trump fails--which he certainly will--it will be interesting to see who is to blame.  Again, with the three branches secured, it makes identifying the enemy a little harder.  But I'm sure they will be up to the task.


That we tend to project our own feelings onto others.  Diderot most certainly excepted here, that's the tendency -- to explain others' feelings in terms of the feelings that WE can understand.

My elitist, Ivy-league, socially hyperliberal brother projected "hate" onto Christians when they literally did not know what in the world he was even talking about.  

Christians -- like Buddhist monks -- quite literally train for a lifetime to crush thoughts of hatred out of their skulls.  OSU students tend not to train their minds this way!.  But my brother did not spend time training his mind towards love and gratitude.  He did in fact hate and fear most people who disagreed with him, and he presumed that those on the other side must evaluate him in the way he evaluated them.  This over-arc'ing cynicism and fear ended tragically for him, I'm very pained to say.

That's one example, which is representative of my own life experiences at age 54.  It has been representative of elites in my own experience.  They condescend, and this condescension shuts down their critical thinking.  So they become (effectively) unintelligent with respect to these issues.

We social conservatives don't hate people.  We're mystified at the accusation.



"Love Trumps Hate" signs are brandished by people committing malicious mischief in the streets.  Those whose business places are destroyed, are wondering why THEY are being assigned the attitude of "hate."

The other night on TV there was a left-wing radio host who screamed at Jeanine Pirro, You have to understand!  People on the left are TERRIFIED now!  Terrified they'll be beaten!  Terrified they'll be rioted against!  Hate-crimed against!  

In the background were videos of 10 American cities in which never-trumpers were destroying others' property, in a grand free-for-all of malicious mischief.  In which cities did Tea Partiers riot and destroy property after President Obama's elections?  

You guys know the overt Christians here -- the SOCIAL conservatives you deal with.  Me, and Silentpadna, and DaddyO, and MisterJonez, and ... Is anybody afraid that those four wish you physical harm?  Or that we "hate" people who see the world differently?  or that we'd love to see Democrats jailed, in our ideal world?  Or that we'd rather shut you up than exchange ideas with you?  

What has been your real-world experience with specific people who are "Tea Party" types?  Perhaps they are more reasonable than you had guessed.


This to me is a basic difference in our society, that the right understands the left badly, but that the (elite) left understands the (populist) right not one whit.   

Would encourage Diderot to ASK social conservatives how they feel, as opposed to telling them how they feel, and then to listen to their responses.




I put this in a comment, rather than cut-and-paste it for an easy article, because I've got my commenter hat on for a moment, and not my moderator hat.


I really am at a loss for words as to the state of our social discourse.  There was a time, not all that long ago, when the default assumption about your political opponents was NOT that they just hated everything or are motivated by hatred or any particular person, but that they are decent people who disagree with you about how to do the right thing.

Why would a person assume that all Republicans are animated by hate or their party wouldn't exist?  I just don't understand how such an attitude arises.


When I was younger, in the 1970s and 1980s, competition for office was fierce, but it was not the way it is now.  

Jimmy Carter just gave an interview to that effect, that the $100,000,000s that go into elections these days, create a savagery that makes compromise impossible.  He remarked that he could never participate in today's politics. 

Not sure it's the money primarily, but for sure the discourse in 2016 is more savage than it was a generation ago.  There *was* a time when we all agreed on the seven Army core values, and we argued over human rights and which war was justified and stuff like that.  The people I knew agreed on a lot of things and could discuss Presidential votes in a jovial way.

The discourse is more savage than it was four years ago, come to think of it :- )


But the increasing polarization in America is definitely something that has shaped my 35 year old world view.  The money *has* to be a major component of it, but I don't feel qualified to speculate about how large of a part it is.

I do think that cultural disparity is something that *all* Americans fail to sufficiently recognize and comprehend.  Life is genuinely different for people based on where they live, what their forebears did, and even *when* they were born.  The demagoguery ends up ignoring large swaths of America, and I think we would all do well to recognize that though we're one nation, indivisible, we are genuinely eclectic and disparate in a variety of unexpected ways.  That's not a bad thing--that's a GREAT thing :-)

I'll re-post something I wrote on Facebook since I think it's relevant to the discussion of polarization.  Here's the address of the article I comment on 

I don't know how accurate the breakdown is, though the regions with which I have personal familiarity do seem to trend the way the author describes. Regardless of whether or not each subculture is or is not accurately defined or described, I think all of us would agree there are deep cultural divides between American various subcultures. Such divides are hardly difficult to predict given the enormous differences in lifestyle for people living in the Bayou vs. people living in Manhattan.

It is primarily because of that predictable disparity that the Founders of the USA opted for a system of government which enshrined significant authority to the States while purposefully keeping the Federal government weak and disjointed, even from itself. This system leaves a lot to be desired in the agility or overall efficiency department when it comes to specific issues or agendas, but such a system also provides for tremendous social stability within each sub-region which, by extension, creates an incredibly stable environment for the country as a whole.

State rights is a critical issue that has been largely ignored for several decades, but it's going to get increasingly higher billing in the coming years for a variety of reasons.

In my opinion that's not just a good thing, it's a great thing.


Am I calling anyone here personally a 'hater'?  No.  I'm trying to make a point about how the right (as an entity) historically wins.

So consider this:

Evil = ISIS

ISIS = Muslims

Muslim = Obama


Obama = evil.

So there's your 'birther' controversy right there.  Trump is, indeed, a smart guy.  But to what end?  Doesn't matter, right?  It got him elected.

You can say that you, personally, are not a hater.  And from everythying I've been able to see from people here, I would certainly agree.  

I'm not throwing spitballs at anyone personally.  I'm trying to show you how this works (obviously in my opinion).

David Hume is thought by many to be 'the father of conservatism'.  And he said, "Reason is slave to the emotions."  

And the same theory worked perfectly for Barack Obama.  Did many people think 'reasonably' that he was the 'better' candidate than John McCein?

I don't know, but I'm guessing most of his voters were moved emotionally toward the dream of a 'post-racial' country.  (Yeah, that was a pipedream).

So what I'm saying is that:

--both sides can use emotion to their benefit

--history shows that regressive and reactionary leaders frequently use hatred as their emotion of choice.

If that offends, sorry.  
I guess I can always be blocked.  


One of the things I dig about your writing, Diderot, is that you'll adapt an intelligent response like this, work towards middle ground.  Obviously nobody is going to be blocked from SSI for political opinions as such, much less you being blocked.


Question:  why does questioning Obama's right to citizenry = hatred?  (Disclosure:  I don't care where he was born.  The American people wanted him, and I'm not going to quibble on such a weird basis for quibbling.)


In fairness to your own position, I will stipulate that there was a whale of a lot of horrible rhetoric towards Hillary Clinton in the comments threads on major news sites.  I certainly hope that the juvenile insults, the ill wishes, and so forth were not representative of a large % of America.  The internet brings out its trolls on both sides, as you say.

That said, I failed to notice where Barack Obama had to face a bunch of crowds chanting "Lock Him Up!"  Also failed to notice where Bernie Sanders faced the kind of rhetoric that Hillary faced.  

Would suggest that the hugely frustrated reaction to Hillary was --- > specific to Hillary.  And it came from Sanders supporters like it came from Trump supporters.  For the record, I also think that Clinton Inc. is not representative of the typical sincere, well-meaning Democratic politician.  For me, Barack Obama vs Clinton Inc. are very, very different things.

I could be wrong, but I think it is Clinton Inc., that America wants gone, and not the Democratic Party in general.


In my opinion, Barack Obama enjoyed quite mild personal opposition from most right-leaning Americans -- much more mild personal opposition than Trump is getting.  It seems to me that many right-leaning conservatives -- including me -- liked and respected Obama on a personal level.

Would speculate that there are many Democrats who could run in 2016, who would not draw the "Lock Her Up!" reaction that Hillary drew.

You guys shoulda just run somebody respectable ;- ) ;- )




that showed that Bernie would have defeated Trump.  The Bernie Bros rejoiced! (sort of...)

But then again, he didn't have three months of being called 'Berne the Commie', as I'm sure he would have been by the president elect.  Little Marco and Lyin' Ted and Low Energy Jeb know what I'm talking about.

To your question, I think the obvious clue to the 'citizenry/hatred' connection was the deliberate and repeated emphasis on his middle name--"Hussein!--see, he's one of them!!"  To me, that was the obvious call to arms.  

But again, the point here is not that every person who voted for Trump...or didn't vote for Hillary...cast their ballot on the basis of that one specific dog whistle.  Or the ones that were heard by the racists or the sexists or the xenophobes.  


taken together, the people who DID respond to these statements or insinuations from Trump were, IMO, more than enough to make the difference. Without the call to hatred, he loses badly.

Your results may vary...


The Democrat who called Trump's victory in Michigan said on Morning Joe that the voters who came out for Trump are the same folks who voted for a guy who's middle name is "Hussain" twice.

And I remember Vice President four years ago telling a black audience that Romney was going "to put you all back in chains."

But we all knew Joe was just going overboard on the standard "Republicans hate black people" meme the Democratic Party has pushed for a few decades (that was before the mainstream called the GOP "n****-lovers."

Perspective. This amazing article below has it:

"So the mainstream narrative is that Trump is okay with alienating minorities (= 118 million people), whites who abhor racism and would never vote for a racist (if even 20% of whites, = 40 million people), most of the media, most business, and most foreign countries – in order to win the support of about 50,000 poorly organized and generally dysfunctional people, many of whom are too young to vote anyway.

Caring about who the KKK or the alt-right supports is a lot like caring about who Satanists support. It’s not something you would do if you wanted to understand real political forces. It’s only something you would do if you want to connect an opposing candidate to the most outrageous caricature of evil you can find on short notice."



I'm also not throwing spit balls here,  but that is not how conservatism works and main line conservatives rejected the birther theory.

Believe it or not,  there exists a huge swath of conservatives who based their political beliefs on deeply held principles that trace their origins to the philosophers that inspired or founding fathers.

I am seeing a lot of blind hatred on the left.   a lot of people saying all whites are inherently racist,  all conservatives are  homophobes,  all trump supporters are xenophobic, all cis-gendered men are sexist, all dissent from Obama is motivated by hatred of blacks,  and Republicans are animated by hate.  Those statements are ironic enough to make me cry.

Some go out of the way, BTW, to call every idea they don't like "regressive", forgetting that the ideas of both the left and right are not new.

It's fine...I really don't understand how you expect me to say "well it's OK..he's not insulting me...just everything I hold dear, my entire philosophical framework, my rich literary history, my political heroes, my family and friends...but he thinks I'm OK, so no offense taken".  How are you OK with painting such a broad brush...with describing the mass of republican voters as primarily animated by hatred?


Are alll GOP voters (fill in your epithet here)?:  NO!

Are there people/voters on the left who also see things in blinding black and white?  YES!

Have MANY 'mainline' conservatives said that Trump is not truly one of them?  YES

Any disagreement so far?

So my point is just this.  In order for Trump to win a presidency in an election that he will wind up losing by 1.5-2m votes, he HAD to excite the ugly passions of MANY of the deplorables.  (Sorry...I like that term.)

And those passions were aroused by what I define as hatred.  That's where I'm at.  

Of course, you can say exactly the same thing applies to the left and Hillary.  But I think that's clearly a losing argument.  Does not compute...

asok1021's picture

Playing Devil's Advocate:

Your point is Trump gained votes from the true "deplorables" and he couldn't have possibly won the election without using "those" talking points, correct?

If this is the case, did the Hillary Campaign's and Dem's (and the MSM's) attack ads and repeated insistence about mysoginist/racist/Russian-loving/etc Trump drive more of their constituents to vote for Hillary? And, if so, wouldn't those Hillary votes be driven by fear, which is a manipulated form of hate?

I'm not arguing Trump is the best guy in the world, and by contrast Obama represents a righteous moral example, but I am saying that for all the "hate" propogated by The Donald, there was a lot of hateful rhetoric from the other side (I aplogize in advance for the generalization about the "other side").




Were there enough outright, self-declared racists (etc.) to give Trump his electoral college victory?


But in my opinion, this was the dog whistle that brought many of the economically frustrated out to the polls.  In other words, if Romney said to those voters, "I'll fix the economy for you working class whites", many wouldn't believe him, and stay home.  What brought them out for Trump was the added bonus of stirring resentment against the minorities and immigrants who had 'cut in line' in front of the working class whites.  Those people definitely made the difference.  


You are making two mistakes:

1) Trump's election victory was not the typical way the Republicans have won...he appealed to very different demographics with a message that was very much not conservative.

2) You're imagining the "deplorables" were millions...they weren't.  From what I can tell, the declared racists, the alt-right, and their ilk number in the tens of thousands...maybe hundress of thousands...not the multiple millions.  The main reason Trump won was not through the rhetoric that the left would define as hateful...it was through reflecting the frustration and fear of the working class in the rust belt and south who've seen their manufacturing jobs disappear.  The faster you folks on the left understand that, the better off you'll be.


1) An appeal to racism is ALWAYS part of the GOP playbook.  Just exactly the same way it was for the Democrats before Johnson passed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts.  That was the goodbye moment for the Dixie Democrats.  Why do you think Strom Thurmond changed parties in 1964?  Do you think any GOP candidate would have a prayer of a winning without the Carolinas, Georgia, Mississipi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle?

2) You're forming the grounds of the argument to meet your needs.  Are all racially-motivated voters part of the alt-right?  Of course not.  See my response above.  


The GOP always supported civil rights, and in the 30's and 40's, the anti lynching laws while Democrats were wearing the hoods. ALWAYS? 

Southern whites entered the GOP about a decade after the 64 legislation, maybe longer, as they dabbled with Democrat George Wallace. But the record is abundantly clear that if they were going to join us, they would HAVE TO leave their hoods and racism in the closet. And having just returned from a week in North Carolina, I am incredibly impressed with how they've done In the new South. 

The Democrats will take a comment by a Jeff Sessions here and there, maybe one uttered 20 years ago, to suggest racism is animating it all. Rachel Maddox will continually push the David Duke candidacy (as always an utter failure to everyone but Rachel Maddow). But the fallacy is measuring a man by the off handed comment, and usually offered to us out of context. The GOP has a strong record of civil rights, anod Trump actually increased voting percentages from 2012. I missed somehow the Romney racial dog whistling. Perhaps you can remind me what it was. The problem Romney had was showing no interest in going after the Black vote (same with every candidate before him). Trump bypassed the NAACP and the liberally anointed black leadership (correctly so) and went directly into their communities and churches, seeking the grass roots leaders. And good for him.


"Always" as since 1964.  Wallace was just a way staton until total absorbtion by the GOP.

But you did make me laugh with your 'liberally annointed black leadership'.  I'm pretty sure blacks determined their own leadership.  Or did you think Steve Bannon should be in charge of designating them?  :)


The best Trump surrogates I saw this year were black ministers (who wanted more charter schools because they know the education system is failing their flocks), police (because crime hurts the black community the worse), and similar conservative leaning leaders who get ignored by the liberal media. Why? Because unlike Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, they don't involve themselves in Democratic Party politics. 


Congratulations to Trump.  I suppose this might make me a Trumpie: I'm glad he beat Hillary. He won an incredible victory, against overwhelming odds. it was a moneyball type victory, as he gathered thousands (millions, actually) of discarded assets: Disaffected, left behind, and (ugh) white blue collar voters, each of whom was just as valuable as the smartest voter in any ivy league tower. He won on a shoestring budget, a pittance compared to Hillary's warchest, using freely available media assets. He didn't get a dollar from the Lefty bogeymen the Koch brothers. 

He beat everyone who stood in his way: Bush, Cruz, Rubio, MSM, Clinton. He closed strong, while his opponent panicked and had nothing at the end to offer but a scare campaign. 

He was the only GOP Presidential candidate I can remember who seriously went after the black vote. I read he carried the rural Hispanic vote. He ran national ads. I never saw a single Romney ad.

I get that leftists want to dismiss his campaign. But I find it remarkable, and the fact that he listened to his counsel and put down the Twitter feed and stayed on message at the end demonstrated to me that he has the requisite humility to second guess himself and listen to others when the stakes are highest. The dude's a smart guy. 

I spent more money than I remember in any Presidential campaign trying to defeat him with whom I considered more deserving candidates. But, like I said, I'm glad he beat Hillary. His corporate tax plan would allow small business like my company to hire more workers. I expect such a strong economy to result that I would not be surprised if amnesty for hard working illegal aliens is fast tracked in some way to keep them here.

Taro's picture

I'm been a Trump backer from day one. Happy to see him pull this out.

There are areas that worry me - spending so much money on infrasctructure and getting away from free trade - but overall I'm optimistic.

No matter where you were on him before the election, from here on out, he should be judged by his results. Hes president now. Lets see what happens.


Taro...I thought you were more liberal than conservative (not that Trump is a conservative...but...)

Do I have you pegged incorrectly?

Just curious. :D


1. I am distressed  that the national voice of the left is one that tosses out the phrse "hate" at the drop of a hat.  If you disagree with the border policies then you hate Hispanics;  Fear ISIS violence inside the US then you hate Muslims; Disagree with the Roe decision then you hate women.  Don't believe same-sex marriage is a constitutional issue then you hate homosexuals.

"Hate" becomes the default position for the national voice of the left; If you disagree with us then youmust hate.

And certainly you want to oppress.

Do my many liberal friends  say such?  Some do. They remain friends. 

2.  There are 3007 counties in the United States.  Barack Obama won about 700 four years ago.  Hillary Clinton won about 500 this month; a modern historical low, I believe.  The Founders understood that a pure popular vote election process created several problems:  It might well result in the election of a candidate that received far lessthan a majority of the vote, were there 3, 4 or 5 candidates.  If 40% of the voters vote for 1 of 3 candidates that means 60% didn't.  The Founders understood electing presidents wasn't the same as electing Mayors or Student Body Presidents (were they to imagine such things).  The electoral process requires a candidate to have a wide base of support, around the nation, to get elected.  Hillary Cinton won 4 flyover states: Colorado, New Mesico, Minnesota and Illinois.  Her support was just not as well spread out as Trump's.  BTW, the Founders also saw the electoral process as defense against the populist demogogue.  Trump?  Most on the left feel this describes him well, as they refuse to, or can not, see the rationality of many of his positions (some aren't very rational:  "And Mexico will pay for it!!").  You will remember that the Founders felt that the upper house of the legislature needed a layer of insulation from the hoi-polloi.  Senators were not chosen by direct election until 1913.  The Electoral College is, ideally, a layer of insulation.

3.  Trump won in 29 states and about 240 congressional districts. It is worth discussing that any electoral college replacement be done in the same way we elect congressman (Senators + Representatives).  2 Electoral Votes to the state winner and 1 to the winner of each district.  Maine and Nebraska do this now.  As such, Trump would get to nearly 300 electoral votes.....and still win the election.

4.  Trump didn't win because he got the "deplorable" Republican vote.  He got about 90% of the GOP vote and Hillary got 90% of the Democratic vote.  Since Republicans are about 26% of the registered voters and Democrats about 30%, Clinton should win.  But the deciding edge was the independent vote (or the Libertarians).  In the end, once in the voting booth, they couldn't punch the chad or pull the lever or fill in the bubble for Hillary Clinton.  Her wounds with those voters were entirely self-inflicted.

5.  I am convinced that the unstated story of this election was the bleeding of support from Gary Johnson to Donald Trump.  At one point, Johnson was polling at nearly 9%.  He finished at 3%. He was at 6% in many polls just 2 weeks before the election.   His voters abandoned him.  By and large, they went to Trump.  They weren't the die hard Republican base voters.  These folks were "the middle."  They likely held therirnose and voted for Trump....they likely didn't hold their nose and vote for Clinton. 

6.  I voted for Paul Ryan.

7.  President-Elect Trump has behaved in a no-less presidential manner since the election than any other president elect has.  

Ah...will end there...before I run on into nonsense.


I've heard more than one of the denizens before the election (presumably in Cascadia) complain that "my vote doesn't matter".
And four years ago, Trump tweeted that "the electoral college is a disaster for democracy".

And I agree with both of those complaints.

But I guess politics depends on which side your bread is buttered...


And my vote mattered not a whit.  And I still believe the electoral college is vital to the functioning of this republic.

If the electoral college were replaced with a straight popular vote, three things would happen in relatively quick succession.

1) Future presidential candidates would focus most of their support on high population centers, leaving the rural counties completely ignored.

2) The partisan divide between rural and urban would grow to the breaking point, voter dissatisfaction would increase, not decrease.

3) Civil war would not be far behind.

The founders recognized that a President should represent the broadest possible coalition of voters, that when he/she took office, they would need to lead all of us and hear all of our concerns, and that this process begins with giving every state a chance to impact federal government in the legislature and the executive branch.  Sectarian conflict has always destroyed democracies and will always do so.  That is why this is not a democracy, but a democratic republic, based on the Federalist principles of divided powers, state primacy and sovereignty, and pluralism in government.

Abolishing the electoral college would destroy us...and I would be saying that if Trump had won the popular vote, just as surely as I say it now.


This is a side point to your post, Matt, but personally I have never felt the Founders deserved all of the hagiography that seems to surround them.  They were men, not gods.

Yes, we should thank our lucky stars we had them.

But their document did not even define who could vote.  They left that to the states, where the most common answer was white male land owners.  In some ways, it seems like this is Trump's dream of making American great again.  Not mine.

And the fact that it took three+ years to get the Bill of Rights added also says to me that their vision (or at least product) was far from perfect.

So my point is that I think questioning the validity and purpose of the electoral college does not violate the overall vision of the founders...since that vision was imperfect, and far from determinative in terms of voting.


The bill of rights took so long to get passed because:

1) Communication was slow and state legislatures met less often and for shorter periods than they do today (because people had to actually work for a living and travel was difficult).

2) Many felt that the Bill of Rights would be misconstrued as a limited list of rights granted the citizens by the state when, in reality, the state had no right to grant rights at all...they were inherent and natural.

The argument over the Bill of Rights wasn't about whether those rights existed...I think that is important to keep in mind.

Another bit of history for you:

The Constitution was kept to limited language specifically because the founders knew that the needs of society would change over time and the document would still need to work to limit the size and scope of government and prevent it from becoming too powerful.  An insanely specific, overwritten document like the EU Charter breaks much...much faster than our founding document does because the citizens have ways to adapt over time that the EU Charter doesn't offer.


"...needs of society would change over time."

And if twice in 16 years the will of the people has been thwarted...then I think it is not out of bounds to question the electoral college.  

Obviously, that is not going to happen with a GOP White House, Senate and House.  I'm not dealing in the read world, but in theory.  


has never been about 'the will of the people.'  It has only ever been about the will of the *Republic,* which the Electoral College nicely serves in more ways thna I can describe.

The whole point of a Republic is to thwart every undesirable facet of a straight Democracy; we don't 'pledge allegience to the flag of the Unided States of America, and to the Democracy for which it stands,' after all.

Nothing about human interaction or politics has fundamentally changed in the USA's relatively brief history, so I would reject arguments suggesting our electoral systems are due for revision.  The fact that the Blue Aisle consistently wins a greater portion of the popular vote than it does its share of the electoral system is nothing short of an indictment against that party's strategy.  Landing more punches and getting hit less often *seem* like the best criteria for determining the winner of a boxing match, but when the three knockdown rule is in effect you would be a fool to build your strategy in such a way as to place the three knockdown factor anywhere but the top of the priority tree.

The Founders were brillant men; they *foresaw* this type of eventuality (a candidate winning the popular vote and losing the election in convincing fashion) which is precisely why they opted for the system we have.  The Democrats need to reform their entire gameplan, not complain about the rules after suffering their third knockdown when they knew the rules every bit as well as their opponent..


Hey diderot,

Donald Trump certainly does not butter my bread or light my fire.  I find him a very smart man but ultimately an entertainer. Or, at least, that is what he has been.   He's been a carnival barker who has barked "Brand Trump" at each and every opportunity.  I will say this, he spoke in a way that did light the fire of many voters.  I'm not even sure it was really the message, but the unadulterated voice that lit so many people.  Perhaps he becomes presidential; he's smart enough to figure it out.  I hope he does.  He has acted pretty close it this week.

I do not see that his election means you chuck the Electoral College out the window just because some are dissatisfied with its outcome.  

As I did twice with Barack Obama, a man I did not vote for, I will root for Donald Trump to do well (I do like many of his policy proposals.  I do not hate). I really hope that he sees himself as a one-term president.  It will embolden him to make the tough decisions that I think the nation needs.  He has the congress to do it.  

I live in Oregon where my frequent Republican vote doesn't matter in state-wide elections.  Sigh.  Oregon doesn't have an Electoral College for state-wide offices, yet my vote still doesn't matter, even in a popular vote contest.  When I vote Republican, I lose.  Even when I vote for Democrat state-wide officials (and I do now and again) my vote doesn't really "count."  Were I to not vote the outcome would be the same.

All that said, this election was less about the weak Republican candidate than it was about the even weaker Democrat.

Hillary Clinton, "Her"-self, lost this election.  Bothered Democrats should blame her.


Right now, the left is running a platform that only appeals to people living in very cosmopolitan, big metro areas and to very liberal folks on both coasts.  Their rhetoric and policy prescriptions offer nothing to the working class (they offer things for the poor and for the intelligentsia, but not the folks in between).  They decry the electoral college because there are more people who are poor or in the liberal tech/data fields or young and very liberal than there are people in the middle...but not more states.  They don't want to face the reality that they don't have a broad coalition of many states anymore..that, in order to regain the ground they've lost, they have to accept that they can't get everything they want.  They'd rather just give up on the midwest and the south.  They'd rather just win with their coastal and urban coalition alone.


But my point here was to show that even your party's candidate is on record as saying the electoral college is a 'disaster'.  

I see nothing that makes it so sacrosanct as to keep it above discussion.  That's all.

As to Hillary, I was and will always remain a fervent supporter.  So I will also always make the distinction that she lost the presidency...but won the election.  

We saw what happened the last time this occurred: 9/11...Iraq invasion...cratered economy.  And GWB was maybe five times as qualfied as Trump.

I guess we shall see...


That's a pretty big leap, to link 9-11 to the electoral outcome in 2000.  One caused the other?  

BTW..the Democrats had the majority in the Senate in 2002.  58% of them voted for the Iraq Resolution, Senator Clinton among them.


But quick responses:

--9/11: GWB repeatedly ignored presidential daily briefings that cited growing 9/11 threats.  Minneapolis field office of the FBI identified the specific threat; never made it up the chain of command for whatever reason.  Source: Republican Richard Clarke.  But granted, my opinion is no more valid that yours.

--Iraq: Yes, Democratic senators voted to support the invasion.  As did Colin Powell.  Based on Cheney's mission to invent false intelligence.  This one is provable by the fact that no WMD were ever found.  Result was 4,500 U.S. military dealths; somewhere between 175,000-500,000 Iraqi deaths.

--Economy: results speak for themselves.


ISIS has found old stockpiles and have put them to use. And Saddam's Baathist buddy Assad in Syria has found them useful as well, to the detriment of many civilians.

There was good reason to force Saddam to treat United Nations sanctions and directives with seriousness. There was a time and chance back then to offer the UN the credibilty it needs to be effective. Normally this is a Liberal dream, but when Bush attempted it, it turned out Liberals were not really *serious* about the UN. So, at least we can ignore that idea going forward.

Cheney's "inventing false intelligence" about WMD is a narrative unsupported by any evidence or facts. I think he misspoke once on Meet the Press regarding whether 9-11's Atta met with Iraqi leaders in Hungary (it came out of Hungarian sources, not Cheney's imagination). He was the point man for making the argument that every intelligence community shared. It was a failure of intelligence (i.e., Saddam's WMD program that went beyond mustard gas) that went beyond Cheney's imagination. 

I will fight the phony "Bush lied, People died" meme for as long as I live because the Iraqi invasion was a natural outcome out of a bipartisan foreign policy, and it is important to remember that for the good of our country. Regime change was a policy of both Clinton and Congress. If we screwed up, then we need to learn those lessons together.

tjm's picture


With all due respect, there was no credible information that Atta had met with Iraqi intel sources. BTW, the information was from Czechoslovkia not Hungary, but more importantly no one in the American intelligence apparatus believed there was anything there. I wrote a book about Atta - https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Soldiers-Hijackers-They-Were/dp/006058470... and investigated this issue for months. Needless to say, I didn't have Cheney's access to intelligence but even without it could see it was a case of mistaken identity. Cheney willfully misappropriated information to build a case.There is no dissent from that in the historical record.

Similarly, no one - and I mean NO ONE - with knowledge thought Iraq had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11. It's nothing but a flat out lie.

Cheney had a case to make for war with Iraq that could have been based on energey security. He declined to make it and instead chose to conflagrate Saddam and 9/11 to his shame.


We can discuss this later, but I know Bat doesn't like political discussions here and I don't want him to be confused with me. 

I do chalk it up to an understandable error (Bat, Rick, monosyllabi, and both fellow travelers on the SSI website), and not - matter of "willfully misappropriating information."

But Cheney screwed up (big time) here. 


We can discuss this later, but I know Bat doesn't like political discussions here and I don't want him to be confused with me. 

I do chalk it up to an understandable error (Bat, Rick, monosyllabic and both fellow travelers on the SSI website), and not - matter of "willfully misappropriating information."

But Cheney screwed up (big time) here. 


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