Thursday 5 May 2016

Donald Trump really might be the next POTUS. At least he'd be better than Bernie Sanders.

What to think of Donald Trump? 

Odi et amo. My feelings verge from love to hate. He's a bully, a coarse braggart and a thrice married, casino-owning philanderer whom Evangelicals love, but if he could modify in part the left-wing zeitgeist that rules our lives?

I have decided to watch how things pan out and hope for the best. I start to have a feeling that, though Hillary is the favourite, the one I'd probably put money on, the Donald might do it. He's a politician of genius and she has a political tin ear for the music of the
political dance, like a less gifted, less truthful, equally swottish Gordon Brown.

What is suddenly obvious is how extraordinarily repellent Ted Cruz is! For the reasons Frank Bruni gives here.  It wasn't clear before because he represented the one alternative to Trump.

The truth is it is hard for any Republican to win the presidency because of demographics. Even if Trump does as badly as Goldwater in 1964 he will change the political weather. And this might mean a positive change of attitude towards political correctness and mass migrations, the rich world's two most significant and pressing problems. And, if he wins, at least he couldn't be one quarter as bad as George W. Bush, Tony Blair or worst of all Angela Merkel.

I'm surprised that quite a number of British friends like him. A British historian told me he'd be America's De Gaulle. A British Pakistani friend backs him. So do some others. So I keep changing my mind, have many doubts but I've decided it's good that he is the nominee. By running he might change the political discourse throughout the developed world for the better. 

The point about Donald Trump, of course, is that he is to the left of Hillary. And has nothing in common with George W Bush or Ronald Reagan. I never liked either of them, by the way, though I was wrong about Ronald Reagan.

I am a free trader and Trump is not, but it seems that his views on trade might not be nearly as mistaken as free traders think. Not if one is to believe Eamonn Fingleton who knows Japan and Japanese mercantilism very well and says America is being taken by Japan for a sucker.

Much will depend on Trump's choice of running mate. This article by Gail Collins is very funny and insightful.
“I think that, you know, a lot of people are talking about certain names, and certainly those are the names that we’re thinking of,” said Trump. As only he can. Once you eliminate all the people who have already announced they’d rather be kidnapped by manatees, there’s a pretty short list. Maybe Chris Christie? Never in modern America have we had a presidential ticket composed entirely of guys who specialise in insulting people and yelling at the top of their lungs.
Chris Christie is wonderful and who can forget his demolition of Rubio? In an ideal world an attractive, black, female right-wing Democrat would be best, except Democrats are now PC and left-wing. Democrats used often to be right wing. But a very self confident. youngish, photogenic woman, with substantial political experience, would somehow seem right. Except that I remember enthusing for a couple of weeks about Sarah Palin, so perhaps not.

Here is a very interesting article from the Washington Post on Hillary's problem with men.
Thanks to Bernie Sanders’s pushing and prodding over the course of the primary, Clinton’s vision has expanded, but we all know its core: She is a battle-tested warrior for women and children.
Consider her slogan, “Fighting for us.” For many men, this slogan would have to be experienced as emasculating. A woman fighting for them? Rightly or wrongly, the slogan rubs the wrong way in relation to traditional notions of masculinity. Her slogan itself reveals a limited conception of who she seeks to represent. This is a potentially fatal flaw in Clinton’s campaign. The more that Clinton takes Trump’s bait around the issue of his denigration of women, the more powerfully this flaw in her own campaign will show itself.
Donald Trump evokes horror (And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, / Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?) but Bernie Sanders, who is a much more dangerous populist and really does not know what he is talking about, gets a free pass. 

Here is an interesting demolition of him. His spending plans assume year after year of 5% growth. He resembles Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labour Party (that still feels odd to write), in his lack of intellectual curiosity or intellect.

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