Tuesday, 20 September 2016

My head says Hillary will win and my intuition says Trump


For months my head has told me Hillary will win and my intuition said Trump.

Whoever wins, Donald Trump has dismantled the old ghastly Republican party of the early 21st century, which took votes from poor people and sent their sons to die in unnecessary wars. 

How wonderful that Mr Trump accused George W Bush of deliberate lying to justify invading Iraq and still won the nomination resoundingly.

But, in truth, Donald Trump destroyed nothing - the old Republican Party was a dead man standing. Had it not been, Trump would not have won the nomination or come close.

What was conservative about George W Bush? Nothing, except low taxes for the well-off. He spent like a sailor and was blase about legal and illegal immigrants. Worst of all for a
conservative, he recklessly threw away America's standing in the world.

His father was a conservative in the good and bad sense of the word - Reagan's foreign policy, unlike George H W Bush's, was liberal. I didn't care for it, but see now that it was liberal in a good way. W was the worst sort of Wilsonian liberal. He gravely damaged America and of course the Middle East - and destroyed the conservative movement past repair.

It was clear that the coalition between religious conservatives (who never got anything they wanted), constitutional conservatives, fiscal conservatives and neo-cons had to break up. The success of Huckabee and Santorum and the Tea Party in 2012 pointed to a revolution on the right. What is interesting is that Trump is not a small-state man nor a religious or social conservative. The Protestant and Catholic religious right (two discrete things in fact) lost every battle and has decided to back Trump faute de mieux

The religious right was once Democrat, by the way. People forget that the Evangelicals backed Carter in 1976. 

Is Tea Party low-taxes conservatism also dead? Probably yes, especially if Trump wins, because what many still do not realise is that Donald Trump is slightly left-of-centre.


  1. you know that there are at least two other candidates

    If Clinton and Trump are such big creeps why does nobody mention Gary Johnson ?

    1. Because he is much worse than either - wants almost open borders. So does the appalling Jill Stein of the Green Party. Johnson hadn't heard of Aleppo, by the way. Sanders is very bad too, though better than those two.

    2. Do you think Trump, or most American foreign policy experts, have ever heard of Aleppo, can find Syria on a map, or know the difference between Sunnis and Shi'as, Alawites and Yazidis (or have studied the history of the caliphates)? I am serious, I met someone with a master's degrees in foreign affairs from a good US university (a very smart fellow, by the way) who had no idea that the Philippines were part of the US for a half century. I've met many educated people in the US (with master's degrees) who had never heard about Romania (understandable, it's not a prominent country), who said things such as "the Swiss language" (they weren't referring to the high German dialect, by the way), and offered other pearls of wisdom. They are not stupid people at all, but the level of ignorance is staggering. I doubt this is a uniquely American phenomenon, the current era when everyone with an IQ over 60 can get a college degree means that more and more people in positions of power will likely be ignorant. That being said, Gary Johnson screwed up. (But it got him some much needed publicity, as the only candidate on the political right in this election.)

    3. People's ignorance continually surprises me. I don't think there is any right wing candidate in the election - Johnson wants almost open borders.

    4. I think Johnson is more in line with what Qatar and the Emirates are doing - which makes it easier to bring in guest workers legally, but without giving them voting rights or an easy path to naturalization. Given the UAE and Qatar's success with such large immigrant populations, I don't see why you'd think it's a bad idea.

  2. Like it or not, Trump is held to a different standard.
    The debate will be interesting not for substance but style. Oxcam take notice!

  3. Lower standard (compared to Hillary). Read the article.

  4. >...and sent their sons to die in unnecessary wars

    Betcha dollars to dimes yo' grandpa was praying on hands and knees for America to send her sons to die in an unnecessary war.

    Yup, the keyword here is "unnecessary", but did it ever occur to you that maybe, just maybe both Roosevelt and Bush might've had some reason to think those wars were necessary? Well, as the old Romanian saying goes, hindsight is always 20/20, ain't that so?

    And, by the way, if today you don't speak Russian like a native, and Pushkin is not your national poet, thank an American GI! You're welcome!

    1. "thank an American GI!"
      I am grateful for your comment. My father (WW2 veteran) once observed that the French were embarrassed by their liberation by the US army in 1944 and, though he had misgivings about Iraq, he noted that the Iraqis hate us for liberating them!

  5. Japan attacked USA and then Germany declared war on the USA. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and with the benefit of knowing what happened after the invasion of Iraq some people, like Peter Hitchens for example, and I, question whether Britain and France were right to go to war in 1939. I wish my father were here to discuss it with him.
    The war was won by the Russians or rather by the USSR. American money and British persistence were important but not ultimately crucial.
    Without the benefit of hindsight but just common sense I opposed the invasion of Iraq. It was unnecessary and unjust. I was not prescient enough to guess what would follow.

    1. > American money and British persistence were
      > important but not ultimately crucial.

      Following your reasoning, I can just imagine Don Cristobal Colon roaming the shores of Palos in 1492 yelling "Have crew. Need boat to sail the ocean blue." Apparently, the poor bastard didn't know boats "were important, but not ultimately crucial" to cross the Atlantic. After all, swimming was also an option... Similarly, I reckon the Russians would've most certainly won the war armed with stones and sticks, right?

  6. "The war was won by the Russians..."
    "Ah", said the beer, "'tis I who make the shandy."