21 November 2015

This is the man

If the next week or two pan out as I expect they will, they will confirm my growing belief which is now hardening into conviction:  Trump will be the Republican nominee for President.

By now everyone knows of yesterday's eruption about a "database" of Muslims in the US, who would have to "register" and carry ID identifying them as Muslims -- an idea which has prompted even some Republicans to make comparisons with Hitler (example).  Another commenter asked if the special ID would consist of making Muslims wear yellow crescents on their clothes.  After all his repulsive remarks about John McCain, Latinos, women, various rival candidates, Mexico, Iowa, and on and on, Trump has finally sunk to the depth beyond which there are no further depths to sink.  Through every previous outrage he kept, or quickly recovered, his front-runner status in polls of Republicans.  If the same happens this time -- and I believe it will -- he's invulnerable.  If his front-runner status survives this, it will survive anything.

The kind of people who have supported him so far will continue to do so because the simplicity of broad-brush prejudice appeals to the simple-minded:

On terrorism, as on so many other issues, what sounds outrageous to political and media elites can sound reasonable to large swathes of the American electorate, said veteran New Hampshire-based Republican strategist Dave Carney. "When [elites] sit around and have a wine after work and some brie and they talk about the situation and geopolitics and what's going on in the Mideast they're talking about the Sunnis and the Shia and Alexander the Great and.....what font the f**king French should've used to draw the maps after World War I," he said. "Americans after work, if they can have the time to have a beer and see what's going on, think there are these radical Islamist terrorists who want to kill us."

.....A perfect example of what Isaac Asimov called "the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge'."  There's always been that sludge at the bottom of the gene pool which believes in simple solutions for every problem and hates the "pointy-headed intellectuals" who always make everything sound so complicated because they, uh, know stuff.

For four decades the Republican party has cultivated that element and ridden its support to many significant electoral victories.  But now it has become such a large and even dominant presence in the party's voting base that the party establishment can no longer control the monster it has created.  Especially with the non-Trump vote split among an absurd number of candidates, Trump has stayed on top for nearly five months and will continue to do so.  And it's now late November.  The February votes in Iowa and New Hampshire aren't all that far away any more.

I don't believe Trump can become President.  The general electorate is very different from the Republican primary electorate.  But I believe he will be the candidate facing Hillary.  Which will make 2016 the most bizarre, and hair-raising, US election in living memory.

[I don't remember where I found the photo above, but I like how it brings out Trump's resemblance to Jabba the Hutt -- a character he's reminiscent of in a number of ways, if you think about it.]


Blogger Ahab said...

I now have a terrible sinking feeling ...

21 November, 2015 06:21  
Blogger Alessandro Machi said...

The quote..."what sounds outrageous to political and media elites can sound reasonable to large swathes of the American electorate, said veteran New Hampshire-based Republican strategist Dave Carney." Is exactly why Donald Trump has been able to give cold enemas to every political pundit who deserved one.

A breathe of hot air from Donald Trump is much more invigorating than the slop the other republican candidates were serving up. Elitists snobs are upset because Mr. Trump is going to force people to pay attention rather than let double talking politicians lead the way.

21 November, 2015 10:55  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Ahab: Any of the Republican candidates as President would be a thing to dread. Trump raises the stakes, but also improves the odds of Hillary winning.

Alessandro: "Invigorating" isn't exactly the word I'd choose to describe quasi-fascist rhetoric. He is certainly getting everyone's attention, though.

21 November, 2015 12:20  
Blogger Pinku-Sensei said...

The people in the online betting markets disagree with your assessment that Trump is most likely to be the nominee. Right now, their money is on Rubio, as PredictWise's aggregate of betting markets gives him a 47% chance of winning the nomination. Trump may be in second, but he's well behind at 22%, although that's higher than the 19% for him on Monday. Then comes Cruz at 13% and Bush at 9%. The rest of the field, including Carson, is at five percent or less. Let's see if the people putting their money where their mouths are end up being right or losing their shirts.

21 November, 2015 12:28  
Blogger Shaw Kenawe said...

But isn't Trump exactly a double-talking elitist (he IS a billionaire - a very elitist group) politician now? Has everyone forgotten how he said he gave a lot of money to the Clintons so when he invited them to his 3rd wedding he bragged that they HAD to attend -- that's classic political pay to play. Trump also talked about how he'll make the Mexican and Chinese quake at his feet and make them stop playing the US for suckers when he's president. But everyone knows he's sent his clothing manufacturing businesses offshore to Mexico and China because of their lower wages. IOW, he's all over the place with no coherent policies or ideas.

The latest outrage -- his suggestion that he'd make American Muslims sign into a data base registry, and he'd also consider closing down mosques -- shows a complete disregard or ignorance of American law.

Stupidity reinforced with bravado has always appealed to the ignorant and the daft. I just didn't realize the extent to which that combination is thriving in this country. IMO, only the stupid and the witless could find anything appealing about the short-fingered vulgarian.

21 November, 2015 13:03  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Pinku: I don't have the slightest interest in online betting markets on elections. The fact that people are willing to put up money based on their opinions doesn't mean they have any more knowledge or expertise than anyone else -- only that they're probably as dumb as most gamblers are.

Shaw: Of course he is. Only people with the IQ of gravel could consider Trump qualified to be President in the first place. Obviously they're not going to notice or investigate such contradictions, and if someone brings them to their attention, they'll just dismiss them as more "establishment" attacks.

"Stupidity reinforced with bravado" describes Trump pretty well, and "the ignorant and the daft" are indeed his supporters. They've always been with us, but they mostly just sat in the corner eating their paint chips until the fateful decade when the Republican party decided that Jerry Falwell and inbreds pissed off about the Civil Right Act were the key to political success. Now, forty years later, the lunatics are making their bid to take over the asylum. Trump is their instrument, as much as they are his.

21 November, 2015 16:46  
Anonymous NickM said...

C'mon Infidel! Trump did sink lower when he grotesquely mocked a disabled news reporter. Anyone who votes for him is scum or insane or both.

26 November, 2015 07:55  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I still think brazenly fascist rhetoric about minorities is worse, but it's not much of an argument.

26 November, 2015 12:53  

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