Trump and the Establishment

Trump is being touted as an “anti-Establishment” guy, an outsider. This sounds good in principle; the Republican Establishment (and the fact they they act more Establishment than Republican) has been deeply disappointing. But the Establishment types have based their actions on careers of being bought by special interests. Trump’s career is that of being a one-man special interest, who has spent many millions of dollars buying political operatives.

It always seemed to me that the Establishment opposition to Trump was rather hollow, and recently we’ve seen it fade even further: Those people who would feel “threatened” by Trump have apparently cut a deal with him. Hence Boehner’s endorsement of Trump, and the visible acceptance by others in power. Most don’t think he’d win, but now they’ve hedged their bets and know that he’s little threat to him. Unless they continue to oppose him — so they don’t.

Should conservatives oppose him. Yes. Trump is not a free marketer, he’s a crony capitalist (or “crapitalist” for short). He’s explained in his writings that rules, including the Constitution, are simply obstacles to get around when cutting deals. His only saving grace in this regard is that Clinton or Sanders are worse yet.

Motivations and Support

Two mistakes are made about his motivations: First, the idea that “he’s rich and so money can’t be his motivation.” This strikes me as foolish; people aggressively pursuing success generally see wealth as the scorecard, and Trump keenly wants to have as much money as he tells people he has.

Second, he is intensely motivated by what he believes is his perception by the public. His celebrity, in other words, is keenly important to him. This narcissistic aspect is something he shares with Obama, and in both cases the men have a rather distorted notion of how they’re perceived. But it is that notion, and the enhancement of it, that is a key driver for their decisions and actions. Obama, however, is playing to a narrower public — the Left.
Trump is not likely to give the contest to Clinton easily, despite the fact that he’s supported her and her husband for many years. He may have started as a Trojan candidate (at least in someone else’s mind), but his success so far has infected him with a keen desire to win it all. And he has succeeded so far, and so far past the expectations of essentially everyone. I think he does have a good shot at the presidency if he becomes the nominee.

But he has angry people fighting for him, and in the worst ways. And he has angry people fighting against him, in ways that are quite typical of the Left. It makes me wonder who the supporters are; their tactics (and some of their statements) seem rather more of the Left than Right.

I’m talking about the ones trolling conservative and Republican blogs, and calling in with death threats.I’m not talking about most supporters; those people generally believe in what they think are Trump’s principles. Unfortunately, they are misled; Trump’s principles have nothing to do with his stance on immigration, for example; that stance (and all other aspects of Trump “policies”) is subject to change or reversal if it suits his larger goals. This is easily demonstrated by his history.

Truth and Media

Trump is often described by his supporters using an old Left phrase: “He speaks truth to power” — but this is more perception than reality. First, he speaks outrageous things, some of which are true but that truth is not important to Trump. And some of his outrageous statements resonate with the notions of the public, who are content to ignore the ones that don’t, and they are willing to ignore Trump’s many outright false statements. Second, he is power. He’s got a lifetime record of buying support from government for his own agenda, exactly the sort of thing that the original users of that “truth to power” statement would abhor.

The media, however, have blunted their own pushback against Trummp. Early on, they launched attacks against his assertions that “all Mexicans are rapists and criminals.” Trump never said that, but even that media distortion did not stop Trump’s rise, and it seemed to enhance his stature. What else can they do to him? Trump’s history is full of racism, sexism, elitism, crapitalism, and an utter disdain for American values. So when they reveal it, can they be more effective than the distortions they’ve already made? It doesn’t seem likely to me.

He was already hated by much of the Left; this won’t get much worse. But the Left has a track record of accepting anything if they can accomplish some part of their mission, so Trump’s always evolving “policies” are likely to hit upon something they can support — he may go back to amnesty, for example — and then fringe Leftists may be on board. And that may be enough.

Patriotism Delayed

But in all of this, we leave behind Ted Cruz, the principled conservative known for his honesty, his integrity, his faith, his respect for the Constitution, and the value he places upon his commitments. All of these (except the Constitution bit) are now being use in fabricated attacks, and I’m disappointed in how well they’ve worked. The reason that Trump hasn’t attacked Cruz on the Constitution is that it is a particular weak point in Trump’s own knowledge, and this will backfire on him.

Ted Cruz doesn’t want a theocracy, he wants the Constitutional government we originally had. Every American patriot should support this. But we have so many now that are far from patriots, and so many who have fallen for the hype and the smears, that Cruz’s candidacy, like Reagan’s, will be postponed for a cycle.

It will be a long four years, whichever of the totalitarian Leftists (Trump or Clinton) we elect instead.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • Try this on the Article V convention:
    Constitutional Repair

    The Tenth Amendment attempted to preserve state-level sovereignty and people power for all things not explicitly given to the federal government. It did not work well without a specific list of powers and rights, and shows what would have happened without a Bill of Rights amending the Constitution right away. The anti-Federalists were correct on this.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • tannngl

    Thanks for that information. Didn’t know about Franklin’s son and grandson. Also had to review the Alien and Sedition Acts. Wow. Politicians were involved in much the same nasty stuff that ours are today. They just didn’t have quite the power and wealth we have given the feds today.

    I’ve gotten Article V convention and Tenth Amendment mixed up in my head. Should do some research to straighten that out.

  • Thank you. My comment that a Trump nomination was likely reflects things as they look now, not at all what I would hope for.

    Yes, even Benjamin Franklin’s son was a Royalist, putting old Ben in a rather odd spot family-wise. His grandson redeemed things someone, as one of the few who died in prison after being arrested for criticizing President Adams’s usurpation of power by the Alien and Sedition Acts.

    Our numbers are relatively small, but I think we have enough to get an Article V convention going and to do some good with it.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • tannngl

    Keith, your review of Trump is just as I have seen, read, heard and believe. The man has really no ideology, just Trump. He’s an egoist and a bully. His parents placed him in military school as a boy because he got into so many problems in school with others.

    I still have faith that Cruz may take the nomination in cleveland. These conventions are pretty unscripted I think. And Republicans at the local levels are very conservative. That bodes well for Cruz and may be part of the reason he has been able to sway deligates to vote for his nomination on the second ballot and beyond.

    The other thing I keep in mind is our War of Independence. (Someone just recently corrected me, telling me calling it the Revolutionary War was incorrect.) That war was fought by 3% of the colonists. Only another 10% actually supported the war with goods and finances and other ways. All told only about 1/3 of those in the colonies even thought there should be a war to fight for independence from England. 2/3 of colonists either didn’t care or actually supported England in the fight. That brings me down to today. Our numbers are small. It would seem that providence may favor us. I would call that God but others, providence.

    My opinions and thoughts, only, on your post. I’m very much in agreement with this. Except for the nomination outcome.

  • Thank you for the reblog, by the way!

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • I would wager that your perception of Ted Cruz’s ability to “connect emotionally with people” would be different had we not had years of indoctrination to believe this. Those that know him well, who work with him on a daily basis, don’t seem to feel this way. Of course, his intentions scare the hell out of Establishment types and those clinging to them, but that’s to be expected and is a different effect.

    On Hillary I must disagree strongly. As bad as Trump is, he is much less likely to put in the Supreme Court justices that will cause a generation of progressive rule and progressive deterioration of the country. Even if Republicans claim all Congress and the White House, a progressive SCOTUS majority (and the always progressive administrative “branch”) will continue to do great damage for tens of years. I cannot in good conscience cast a vote (or fail to cast an opposing vote) that makes a progressive SCOTUS more likely.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • It’s a cute thing to say. But what, exactly, do you mean? How about an example?

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  • Ted Cruz doesn’t want a theocracy, he wants the Constitutional government we originally had.

    He wants Mayberry back, but ‘Aint Bea’ is dead.

  • Pingback: DeHavelle on Trump | Freedom Through Empowerment()

  • Triciabee

    Very well said Keith. Trump in the end is for Trump and will say and do anything that promotes his brand. He is also an extreme narcissist, as you say and obviously power hungry. While I would never vote for Hillary, I’m beginning to think she would be a smidgen less of a disaster than Trump because she at least puts limits on her extreme behavior if she senses it may harm her politically. Trump is not capable of this and I fear his presidency would lead to some very bad things.

    I am with you on Cruz too. I cannot for the life of me understand why so many so called principled conservatives think he is “scary.” While I think he does not connect well emotionally with people, his actions and words imply a Cruz presidency will work to get the government out of your life and steer the country back towards states rights. Ooooh, how scary indeed! 😉