Donald Trump

Trump and divine retribution

Is God lending a hand to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign?

I know that’s a borderline blasphemous question to ask. Presumably, our Creator has better things to do than monitor America’s electoral politics. But I can’t come up with any other reason to explain Trumpmania.

First things first: There is no doubt the Republican electorate loves the Manhattan mogul. His poll numbers explain that well enough.

But popular uprisings have historically been suppressed by the party honchos and connected elites. Clamping down on insurgent candidates is well-honed practice that goes back to Teddy Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson. Yet Trump seems to be leading a Jacksonian march straight into the White House. He’s treating basic political orthodoxy like his own personal punching bag – Trump branded and everything.

By far, the Republican Party has been the biggest casualty in Trump’s jihad against Washington torpor. The billionaire is winning over GOP voters by insulting every accepted party soundbite to date.

Just take a look at his recent win in South Carolina. The Palmetto State isn’t exactly known for strict family values. But it does have a sizable military presence, and tends to be more war hawkish than the rest of the Union.

Normally, retail politics forces candidates to appeal to voters who value someone that identifies with their needs. Somehow, that memo never reached Trump’s untidy desk.

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Conservativism and Race

nikkihaley

At the start of this election some think that the GOP would be re-branding itself. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio seem like the card to wing back the Latino electorate while Ben Carson was think could win a bigger portion of the black vote. However it was Donald Trump who made this election about race. First denouncing illegal immigration was seen by many liberals as code name for anti-Hispanic racism. Some neo-Nazis endorsing Trump haven’t help the Trump attempt to portray himself as a friend of minorities neither Trump retweeting them. The Muslim ban upset the Arab community and the use of the term “Anchor Baby” made Asian immigrants angry. The fact that most of his supporters are white is not necessary strange in Republican politics but his campaign has reached to unprecedented level of lack of political correctness. Michael Brendan Dougherty argue that paleoconservative writer Sam Francis predicted the rise of The Donald. Considering that Francis was an openly racialist, one has to wonder if the new kind of conservativism that Trump has to deal particularly with race or does that all the conservative tradition relation with explains the popularity of the billionaire.

Conservativism usually speaks about preserving a tradition, in most cases the western tradition. But is that western tradition has to deal with race? One could argue that at least in America conservativism had to do with a limited government. In the words of Daniel Hannan, limited government is a heritage of the Anglo-Saxon culture. However the campaign of Trump has made angry most libertarians by promising a big government that rivals in size with the socialist dreams of Bernie Sanders. Some describe these new form of conservativism as nationalism. Nationalism is still associated in America with the Nazis but nationalism is not inherently racist. During the 70s there in Latin America and Africa some governments that represent a left-wing forms of nationalism that promote the respect of the indigenous population. However after the Battle of Seattle the left had been preaching an alternative form of globalism and denouncing nationalism.

But not only Donald Trump is alienating minorities. Over The American Conservative, Musa Al-Garbhi reach to similar conclusions of my analysis about why there aren’t Black Republicans. Candidates are trying to preach to a white audience and dismiss black voters. Why this happen over and over? Republicans had forgot the legacy of the GOP on racial issues before Goldwater was in a lot of ways better than the Democrats. But that not only happen to African Americans. Arab Americans which are generally more socially conservative that other groups dismiss Republicans for their attacks that some of them consider Islamophobia. Hispanics come from Latin America where governments had proved to fail, however because preaching being against illegal immigration they had demonized an entire ethnicity. Even Asian Americans whose opposition to affirmative action and language of family values could had made them near to the GOP had prefer being part of Democrat Coalition over what they see as a narrow agenda in the Republican Party. Probably libertarians and maybe some reform conservative like Nikki Haley or Jon Hunstman had try honestly to reach out to minorities.

Pat Buchanan which a lot of people compare to Donald Trump for his insurgent campaign in the 90s had some advice for the real estate mogul. He says that Trump represents the future of the GOP and that his nationalism is his opposition to both globalism and interventionism. He believes Trump could win, I don’t. I think that despite that is probably that in 1992 or 1996, Buchanan as the Republican nominee would had beat the Democrats. Now the panorama is different. He spoke about Reagan Democrats and while they maybe still some of them, most working class Democrats are minorities who distrust the GOP and particularly Donald Trump. He may try to sound a little different but I don’t see much difference. The BlackLivesMatter movement had an important impact in the African American population equal to the movement against deportations in the Latino community. Trump against Hillary Clinton maybe a close election but against Bernie Sanders he could be defeated by landslide.

But nationalism has other problems, some of the neo-Nazis supporters of Trump are trying to infiltrate the GOP. How the party is going to deal with them when the Republican nominee says a lot of the same things. Libertarians also may feel that they are no longer part of the Republican coalition. But in the future if some libertarians stay they could try to bring a real civil war on the right of their limited government philosophy against the big government nationalism. The fact that besides the Paul family the most prominent libertarian is Justin Amash, son of immigrants from the Middle East show that maybe there is path for GOP of rejecting racialism and stood for a message of self-reliance among communities of the color. Maybe that is the only way.

Conservative against the conservative movement

Less than one week to go before the Iowa caucus, and the battle lines are drawn.

On one side is brash businessman Donald Trump. On the other side is the near-entirety of the professional conservative movement – the thinkers, marketers, editors, donor-schmoozers, lawyers, consultants, money-bundlers, tax cheats, business shills, and communication hacks who profess allegiance to St. Ronald Reagan.

As Michael Buffers says: Let’s get ready to rumble!

Ever since Donald Trump announced his presidential bid last June, he has been walloping the hucksters known as Conservatism, Inc. By channeling working class resentment and throwing out the playbook when it comes to raising money and hiring consultants, Trump is turning traditional politics on its head. He isn’t being spoon-fed soundbites; he isn’t begging for cash; he isn’t bending over backwards to appease huge corporations.

He’s doing something few candidates have done in a long time: Advocating on behalf of the entire national community, rather than a few eggheads and CEOs with bottomless wallets.

Meanwhile, the high-salaried Republican brain trust is losing its collective head. This was most pronounced in a recent symposium hosted by National Review eloquently titled “Against Trump.” Conservative luminaries such as Thomas Sowell, John Podhoretz, and Glenn Beck contributed, lambasting the GOP frontrunner and pontificating on the need for a principled leader in the White House. Their polemics were chock-full of the high-minded ideals and a mastery of vocabulary that would have made William F. Buckley proud.

But even for such a long, erudite (and possibly illegal) spread, the message is the same throughout: Trump is not a cerebral conservative, and thus isn’t fit for the office of the presidency.

Years ago, this kind of concentrated effort to derail a Republican presidential candidate would have been a resounding success. But that’s all changed with Trump. The bedwetting Hayek-lovers in “tassel-loafers and bow ties” no longer call the shots. A man with $10 billion and a twitter account now runs the show.

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Will Trump save us from political correctness?

Reprinted from the Press and Journal

Is Donald Trump slaying the beast of political correctness?

That’s what the Washington Post contends. In a piece titled “Why Trump may be winning the war on ‘political correctness’”, reporters Karen Tumulty and Jenna Johnson get to the heart of why the real estate mogul has won the allegiance of frustrated, disaffected Americans.

The reason is understandable: Normal people living paycheck to paycheck have no time for feeling-friendly language. They’re tired of being told to mend their ways by haughty academics and journalists. So they turn to the most brash man on the national stage.

Cathy Cuthberson, a 63-year-old retiree interviewed by Tumulty and Johnson, says that Trump is acting as a voice to “what a lot of Americans are thinking but are afraid to say because they don’t think that it’s politically correct.”

It’s true that no man or woman in the current presidential field speaks their mind quite like Trump. From accusing illegal immigrants of being criminally-inclined (stats from the Government Accountability Office and Department of Justice bear this out) to calling for a blanket ban on Muslim migration to the United States, the billionaire reality TV star has dared to go where few, if any, politicians have gone before.

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What Happened to the Wall Street Sheriff?

Elizabeth Warren is a big fat phony – that’s the topic of my Taki’s Mag piece today. An excerpt:

Elizabeth Warren has spent her congressional career raging against big-bank bogeymen. She was elected from the People’s Republic of Massachusetts based primarily upon her tough stance against the financial industry. “Wall Street CEOs—the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs—still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors and acting like we should thank them,” she boomed at the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Hallelujah to that, Sister Warren.

I have no qualms with ripping on the coke-addled computer nerds on Wall Street who make money hand over fist without creating anything. I agree with Brit Lord Adair Turner, chairman of the country’s chief financial regulatory body, that most of what goes on in the ledgers of too-big-to-fail banks, trading on amalgamated debt instruments and betting if blue-collar Billy will lose his house, is “socially useless.”

Chief Warren is more or less on the same page. Or so I thought.

Read the whole thing thing here to find out why Sen. Warren whores herself out to Goldman Sachs instead of standing by working folk.

Ron Paul, Donald Trump and the future of libertarianism

ronpaul1988

A little known congressman from Texas became a folk hero American politics for his conviction when he debated with the hawkish Rudy Giuliani, defending his own brand of anti-imperialism. When the supposed common sense would had said that his campaign was over, his results in 2008 showed the possibility of a libertarian future. He was reaching beyond the base of reliably antiwar voters like progressive and radical activists. He counted among his supporters pro-lifers, gun rights advocates and militias. Independents like soccer moms and small business owners also were interested.

Brian Doherty argued in the Ron Paul counter convention of 2012 that the most probable thing would be for his fans to become what Pat Robertson fans were in the eighties after they failed to nominate their candidate: they become part of the GOP. Indeed the religious right is part of the GOP that the establishment can’t ignore but the analogy wasn’t complete. While there are some arguments about how the religious right had become a powerful force they haven’t be able to elect a candidate of their own.

In a GOP when the most likely future is having Donald Trump as nominee is there a future for Libertarian Republicans? People initially were thinking that Rand Paul was just a younger Paul but his moderation has made angry the most hardcore fans of his father. With a big government Republican like Trump, the future is not a bright as one day it was supposed to be when everybody think Rand Paul was a sure thing for 2016. Certainly Trump has mocked the establishment in a way Ron Paul couldn’t despite being fairly more anti-establishment than the reality celebrity. But some Ron Paul supporters are now backing Trump and others Bernie Sanders. Could someone make any conclusion of these? Certainly not all Ron Paul supporters were libertarians but most were anti-establishment that’s why supporting Sanders or Trump make some sense.

The problem for Libertarian Republicans is that in that leaving the GOP would maybe not be a wise choice. The natural place to go would be the Libertarian Party, which has plenty of problems of their own. Despite being the largest third party, it has never garnered beyond 1 percent of the vote. I don’t necessarily think that third parties are a lost cause. But looking at the contenders of the LP nomination, I don’t think they are the ones to be capable of challenging the system. Gary Johnson is the libertarian version of Jon Hunstman, interesting but not exciting. John McAfee is the kind of eccentric candidate that is almost a cliché. While Austin Petersen tries to make his youth his selling point, ignoring the fact that most successful libertarian Ron Paul was a happy grandfather when he became popular.

But for libertarians stay in the GOP could be hurtful process, I don’t think many hardcore rothbardians would be able to go to vote for Trump so they would be distancing themselves from the party for a little while. The future will depend on whether Trump wins or loses. I honestly think that despite that Hillary Clinton is terrible she would be able to beat Trump. Clinton is probably one of the most intelligent politicians out where, she knows how to play beyond its base, like speaking about releasing classified information of UFOs, she knows there is a public for that. Trump probably would try to sound more populist to gain the independent vote but these is problematic since a lot of independent voters are minorities angered with him over his positions on immigration.

They may still be some light in the tunnel. A new generation of GOP politicians are more libertarian like Justin Amash, Mike Lee and Raul Labrador. Amash on some issues is a reminding of the radicalism of Ron Paul but with more smooth style. In a loss of Trump, libertarians should argue that libertarian conservativism is the only way to attract more people for a party dependent in a declining demographic.

But libertarians could go beyond politics, anarcho-capitalism appears to be radical option for libertarians angry about the current electoral climate. There are also left-libertarians that try to merge a support for free market and social justice. The growth of Bitcoin and the sharing economy may be a powerful driving force but there is also the Free State Project in New Hampshire.

Libertarians may learn an important lesson from Donald Trump. For a long time libertarians had argue over what are the correct ideas, but they hadn’t focused much on the candidates. Ron Paul was able to become a visible candidate because of his conviction. It is time for libertarians to realize that an individualist movement needs individuals that could promote libertarian ideals.