Sunday, 10 April 2016

I'm afraid Trump just won't do

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I am starting to come round to Mr. Cruz even though he wants to tear up the Iran deal, which I approve of, on Day One. So, he now says, does 
Mr. Trump and (though it no longer matters) so does Mr. Rubio. 

And yet - and yet - Cruz?

I don't quite know why I so much dislike Hillary - I think Bill Clinton was a good president, I was neutral in 2000 and, of course, I backed John Kerry in 2004 wholeheartedly. 

I backed Mr Obama, largely because of his colour, in 2008, though with many grave doubts. He has been a pretty mediocre president, but better than John McCain would have been. Less good, probably, than Mitt. 

How very odd to think that Robert Dole was the best Republican candidate in the last
twenty years. He was certainly not a star. Nor was George H.W. Bush, though he was probably better than any president since.

The truth is, I don't really LIKE the Republicans, except libertarians like Ron Paul and palaeo-conservatives like Pat Buchanan and Paul Gottfried. And some of the Catholic religious right. 

I know Mrs. Clinton is a moderate and her foreign policy will be safe. But I do loathe her as a person and for so much that she represents. 

When Mr. Trump does wonderfully un-PC things like calling a woman reporter 'beautiful' one loves him, of course. There have been times when I thought he might be a necessary evil, despite some dreadful things he said. I am lost in wonder at his political skills, amounting to genius. He sometimes said things I loved very much, especially when he strongly attacked Angela Merkel's migrant policy and traduced George W Bush for the invasion of Iraq. But this week I do feel he just won't do. 

The Republican Party, that had almost made up its mind a week or so ago to live with him, has now looked into its collective soul and made the same decision. They just can't do it. 

They have now decided that they prefer to lose than win with him.

Why the change? A lot of the reason is because, after having said so many outrageous things, Mr. Trump at last said something reasonable - that women who have abortions should thereby commit an offence, for which they could be punished.

You cannot hope to be Republican nominee unless you think abortion should be illegal. And illegal means, I thought and Mr. Trump thought, that women who have abortions commit an offence for which they could be punished. Apparently, we were wrong and if abortion is illegal it is the doctor who goes to gaol. So the Donald retracted his remark. But the anti-abortion lobby is very powerful and the issue is very emotive.

We all know that he is only saying things about abortion that he needs to say. His sudden retraction made him look spineless, which he often is but in this case wasn't, and an imposter, which we all suspect he is. 

And the ungallant but eighteenth-century joke about Mrs Cruz's looks made sense in the free-for-all of Twitter but not in the newspapers. And the alleged assault on a woman reporter which was probably nothing of the sort.  Somehow these things add up. I had expected Trump suddenly to become presidential and he didn't. Suddenly I feel it might be too late.

I agree with Mr. Trump about abortion, but I really think he just won't do. 

Could Mr. Cruz?

Mr. Cruz is making Trump-like noises about illegal immigration and Muslims but I doubt if he can change the Zeitgeist, as perhaps Mr. Trump might. And I think only a change in the Zeitgeist can save Europe from disaster. 

And we know what Mr Cruz's roommate at university, Craig Mazin, thinks of him because he never stops tweeting it. “I have plenty of problems with his politics, but truthfully his personality is so awful that 99 percent of why I hate him is just his personality,” Mazin said in October 2013. “If he agreed with me on every issue, I would hate him only one percent less.”

In fact the Republicans are now very unlikely to win the White House, though I can still (just) imagine Mr. Trump doing so. There is a fairly persuasive case for saying that losing with Trump might challenge and hole the PC ideology. It would. I understand why some Trump supporters think like that, but losing an election which ought to have been very winnable is not the best way to influence the battle of ideas. 

A defeat for the Donald might make the anti-immigration right seem like crazies, which they are not. It might also destroy the Republican party. His winning might destroy the Atlantic alliance. 

A hopeful sign is the right-wing shift that Trump has started at grass-roots level, which will have an effect in Europe too. But if, as Ann Coulter says, 'immigration is the new abortion', the live issue needed for winning backing from Republican voters, that is not a precedent to encourage people who want to deport illegals. It suggests that immigration reform, like abortion, will alienate moderate voters and not be practical politics. 

Hillary, if she wins the election , as now seems probable, is fairly likely to be a one-term president. But will a right-wing president in 2021, with Trumpian views on some things but without his downside, be in time to save Europe from its great enemies, by which I mean people like Angela Merkel, Frans Timmermans and the other ideologues who feel unable to seal Europe's border?

The truth is that Europeans have to save themselves and I don't think they will.

The issues that Mr. Trump has highlighted will not disappear. Americans are probably not going to want to pay for the defence of the world and for free trade indefinitely, nor put up with what is practically an open border with Mexico.


As my friend Tarik Wildman says, the USA has succumbed to the delusions of Imperial grandeur, as 100 years ago the British did, and as a consequence, Pax Americana (paid for by the US taxpayer of course) protects the seas for trade, just as Pax Britannica did a century ago. Then, the USA benefited (fact: The entire US Army, pre 1898, was the manpower size of the current NYPD) and now US hegemony benefits Britain and Europe ...and, of course, the Chinese.. 

Their day is coming, as seen by Tom Lehrer in the last line of his long ago song on Werner von Braun. 

"In German, and English, I know how to count down... 
And I'm learning Chinese says Werner von Braun."



P.S. I had lunch today with one of my most intelligent American friends, who made a long and persuasive case for Trump. Highlights: 'Trump is Pat Buchanan'; legal and illegal immigration are big problems; Muslim immigration is a big problem; Trump is not an isolationist but believes in NATO but just wants countries other than the USA and UK to pay their share; Trump opposed invading Iraq; Trump's manager was an ex policeman pulling an intruder away from him, not assaulting her.


Much food for thought. Still my friend preferred to keep his backing for Trump private.

6 comments:

  1. This might be worth your while:
    http://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/the-top-10-things-you-need-to-know-about-ted-cruz/

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  2. I'm convinced that Bernie Sanders will be our next president. And I can tell you now, the problem with him will be, that he's another Jimmy Carter: personally beyond reproach, but a poor administrator. My prediction is the GOP will run Paul Ryan and Nikki Haley, against Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard, with Sanders/Gabbard winning by a landslide.

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  3. Cruz doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hell of winning.

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  4. Bernie Saunders is the only decent candidate; Trumpf is the hero of delusional Americaines sans passeport.
    " one of your most intelligent American friends" is damned with faint praise.

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  5. I feel that the US wishes, sincerely, to withdraw into itself... Donald Trump will get the world to concur.

    The possible White House meeting between J Kerry and D Trump would be the one event I'd loath to have missed: for reference, I do not have other regrets yet.

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  6. The pressing issue that is important now for you is the crazy immigration system which needs serious modification, Islam and terrorism, All those islamic schools and imams all around your country are FAR more dangerous to women and liberty than 100 Trumps combined if we even agree that he is misogynist!!! I would ALWAYS rather such kind of "misogynist" over an islamist or islam supporter!!! islam is the worst form of misogyny today.

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