Posted by BE on November 10th, 2016
Well, now we have a racist megalomaniac or a brilliant political thespian as the most powerful man in the world. Or maybe both. I’m opting for both. Be very afraid!
I suppose his handlers will have to give him his Twitter account back so we can expect more nocturnal emissions.
Still, with any luck he’ll do more damage to the Republicans than to the rest of the world.
Seriously though, the real danger is Mike Pence, an extreme fundamentalist with his own perverted view of Christianity. I can see him leaving Trump to clown about and distract the people while he carries out his own evil agenda.
We saw it in this country with the Lange / Douglas government: Lange was left to make his anti-American, anti-nuclear speeches and given Education to play with as a distraction to what Douglas was doing.
As per a one-time occupant of the office, the American Vice-Presidency is “not worth a bucket of warm piss”.
Some in recent times – Gore and Cheney – may have been allowed more input, or granted consigliere status. I’d argue that while Trump will undoubtedly be a delegator, he will have little tolerance for those who do not do his bidding, or dare to try and set the agenda. If that happens, Pence will be side-lined as a political ornament, as the Constitution allows, and as happened when LBJ was JFK’s Vice President. Or as Nixon did to Agnew. And as Biden was chosen to be right from the beginning.
Key has announced he is happy to work with Trump so sheel be right, fire up the BBQ and have another beer.
Another golf game? Don’t think Hillary plays. Apparently she doesn’t even drive. So America chose a guy who wants to build stuff instead of a woman who wants to be paid for talking to people. And all the talking people are surprised. I’m not.
What’s Hillary got to do with it? It looks as though you brought her into the discussion just so you could run her down.
She was the other option.. Surprised you never noticed.
But no one had mentioned the “other option” (now no longer an option) until you did. Any excuse to badmouth someone you don’t like.
There’s no point in my arguing further.
You never had a point in the first place.
No,that’s what Kat does with John Key.
“It looks as though you brought her into the discussion just so you could run her down”.
Is that like how someone else introduced the off-topic John Key at the start of this thread?
Key as PM is very much ‘on topic’ given his recent mumbling grovelling obedient acceptance of Trump. But I won’t mention Chamberlain.
Again, your myopic tribalism blinds you.
Key, just as he did in 2008 and 2012 with Obama, and Helen Clark with Bush II in 2000 and 2004, and every NZ PM with regard to every newly-elected US President presumptive since…forever…gave his congratulations to the person who won…the office. It is about the office. Or is Obama now a suck-up too, seeing as he welcomed Trump to the Whitehouse?! Newsflash: this is what politicians do – they forge relationships, and practice “the art of the possible”.
You criticise Trump voters as fascists, racists, xenophobes, sexists and bigots for daring to give, in the words of Michael Moore, the biggest “fuck you” of all time, but Key is a Chamberlain-appeaser if he acts with common political civility towards the presumptive Head-of-State of a nation that is (to quote Helen Clark) “a good friend”.
And you fail to see why it is ironically-intolerant liberal progressive mindsets and attitudes like yours drove many into Trumps arms. A prediction: Unless the Labour Party starts appealing to the mainstream and concrete pragmatic concerns of ‘Waitakere Man’ instead of playing identity politics, they end up the same as Hillary Clinton – a footnote of political history.
I think he will be a pragmatic businessman in the job. I don’t believe he is racist but he probably is narcissist like most politicians and certainly Hillary is. Washington can do with a cleanup and hopefully he will do it. US foreign policy has been an utter disaster for the last couple of decades so that too needs fixing. I expect the checks and balances in the Constitution will continue to operate. The MSM and celebratory self-important loud mouths will just have to cope with the discovery the rest of the country doesn’t care about them.
See my above reply.
“See my above reply.”
So you reinforce, “There’s no point in my arguing further”…by arguing further.
Check the times of my posts before you mouth off.
Which one? The comparison with the alleged Christian-ayatollah-in-waiting, Pence…and Roger Douglas?
You grizzle and complain that others do not argue the point, yet you ignore and/or fail to engage meaningfully with Alan Wilkinson’s relevant point that the separation of powers and checks and balances formally codified in the American Constitution mean it is unlikely any executive could initiate change that was both
1. as radical, and
2. as speedy
…as the Labour Government between 1984 to 1987.
Check your relevance and clarity before mouth off.
I wrote “See my above reply” BEFORE I wrote there was no point in arguing further. Which means your comment was hasty and ill-informed (and anonymous) like many of them.
Your remarks about Pence / Douglas are just an attempt to confuse the issue or, perhaps, you are already confused.
Alan is the “expert” in ignoring what he can’t answer. I answer those comments which are cogent but do have some difficulty with those which are rambling, off point, bigoted and downright silly.
In an attempt to cover the “separation of powers” you mention, I would point out that you go on to write that “it is unlikely any executive could initiate change”, the important word being “unlikely”. So you have admitted that what I suggested is possible.
This is my second attempt at a reply – my first disappeared into the electronic abyss.
I wrote “See my above comment” BEFORE I wrote there was no point in arguing further. Your comment is ill-informed as are many of them.
Alan is the “expert” in not answering. I answer his comments, at least the ones which are not bigoted, off-point or just plain silly.
You write that “that the separation of powers and checks and balances formally codified in the American Constitution mean it is unlikely any executive could initiate change”. Unlikely but not impossible by your own admission. So my Pence / Douglas comparison is valid.
My “relevance and clarity”? Re-read your comment.
So “unlikely…not impossible” is the gist of your argument. Um, yeah, ok. At least it is not impossible as being invaded by Martians, but if that’s the best you got…colour my comment as “ill-informed”.
Considering how many times he has had to declare bankruptcy I don’t believe he can be described as any kind of businessman.
For those who prefer facts and a balanced and informed view:
In the 1930s the world laughed at Adolf Hitler and his ridiculous plans for transforming Europe into lebensraum for a master race of Aryans. How absurd! A not to be taken seriously ridiculous egomaniac who everyone would see through in the end. And even if he did get into a position of power the real German ruling class and the Weimar constitution would see to it that he was kept in check. He was in the end a rational human being, ‘someone you could do business with’, wasn’t he? And then one morning the Germans followed by the Czechs, the Poles, the French, and the Russians woke up to find that their failure to take him and what he said seriously had led to disaster. Now that everyone has forgotten that lesson, here we go again. I don’t blame slightly less than half the US electorate for voting for him. The last thirty years has seen them impoverished and marginalised and now they have reacted in exactly the same way as those who voted for the Brexit have. If you sow neo-liberalism don’t be surprised if you reap a whirlwind
Just wait for the cries of, “Godwin’s Law”.
Godwins Law has been long debunked for the bait and switch tactics that protagonists employ when confronted with genuine validity of comparison. It is by no means flippant to compare Trump with Hitler. It is by no means out of proportion to compare the Trump supporters with the Hitler supporters in Nazi Germany.
I am now waiting for Kimbo to spice up the comment.
Which supporters have been rioting and causing violence? I see the Left only respect democracy when they win. Your Hitler comparison is beyond stupid too. Grow up and stop your silly nonsense. It’s infantile.
I’d like to debate your view that the Hitler comparison is silly with you Alan, but you’d have to do some reading in twentieth century European history and politics to make it worth my while. You might do worse than begin with my book ‘Ambiguity&Innocence’. What, by the way, is Godwin’s Law can anyone tell me? I have never heard of it
Don’t be silly and arrogant, Tony. If you want to debate, do it .. if you can.
Just for the record whether you find my views ‘arrogant’ or ‘silly’ is of no interest to me. I’m not into personal abuse. It’s just that I have been researching and publishing in this field for four decades and so unless you are well informed there’s little point in my debating the matter with anyone. Most people would actually find my views on Hitler and those who vote for him rather unorthodox and not a knee jerk ‘left’ reaction to Trump.
That you have been “researching and publishing in this field for four decades” yet never heard of “Godwin’s Law” (are you unable to google?) shows that while your knowledge of the rise of Hitler may be first-rate, your (mis)understanding and (mis)application of (to quote you) “the Hitler comparison” to Donald Trump and those who voted for him is apparent to others.
How can it be democracy, the election was rigged, Trump said so.
The MSM did their best to rig it with a continuous stream of anti-Trump bile. The Democrats did their best to rig it against Sanders. Wikileaks did its best to rig it against Clinton. Hollywood did its best to rig it against Trump. So did the Bush and Romney factions. The FBI rigged it for, against and for Clinton. Democracy is a multi-rigged vessel.
Sounds just like Germany 1933 and the outcome of ‘democratic’ elections that ultimately forced Hindenburg to appoint Hitler chancellor. Trump has unbridled control over Congress and the Senate just as Hitler did with the Reichstag. Comparisons are neither silly or infantile especially considering the economic and social demographic ‘whitelash’ support for Trump.
If you look at the Pew Research analysis you will find that every demographic except New York Jews dropped in support for the Democrats this election. Even Latinos. And the Israeli newspapers have been optimistic about a Trump win for improved relations relative to Obama.
Trump doesn’t have unbridled control of the Government or even his own party and is constrained by the Constitution and by the media.
The Left are just in meltdown because Trump has driven his bus between them and the workers they claim to represent while living lives of great privilege.
“Sounds just like Germany 1933 and the outcome of ‘democratic’ elections that ultimately forced Hindenburg to appoint Hitler chancellor.”
No, it doesn’t. The United States is the birthplace of codified constitutional democracy, with a track record of over 220 years of running it successfully. In that time they have withstood enemies without, including the British, the Mexicans, the Kaiser, Hitler, Imperialist Japan and the Soviets. They have also overcome internal division, including a Civil War, opposition to successive waves of immigration, a Depression and, in the 1960s a divisive foreign war. They are not perfect – and no nation or system is – yet they are robust. In the last two generations one President resigned rather than face certain impeachment and removal from office, and another was impeached…and found not guilty. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump ends up on that list.
In contrast, Germany in 1933 was a fragile new democracy whose people had little culture and/or social awareness to make it work. They had undergone a humiliating loss in the Great War, suffered hyper-inflation, and then a Depression all within 15 years. At the stroke of a pen the President tore up the constitutional checks and balances…and unlike as would happen if Trump tried the same…no one with any power tried to stop it.
You wanted a contribution from me to “spice it up”, Kat? Try this – it is the unbalanced hysteria (not intended as a misogynist term!) and continual crying “wolf” by folks from your end of the spectrum that has driven traditional yet pragmatic left-leaning voters away from the Democrats (and the Labo(u)r parties of NZ, Australia and the UK) into the arms of a moonbeam-selling populist.
Based on the tone of your comment, we seem to have got you all riled up.
Trump said he would only accept the result if he won.
And to use a tactic so beloved of the right, I’ll surmise what those I dislike would have done and then criticise it: Trump supporters would have rioted had he lost.
No, I’m not riled up. I’m just facing the Left’s fury with a straight bat.
One thing you are good at is the mixed metaphor.
Pity you didn’t answer my other points.
Hello Kimbo, you had my full attention until the comments “continual crying “wolf” by folks from your end of the spectrum…”. Have you ever considered that the view in ‘my spectrum’ of the election of Trump could be that the election of Trump is the timely squeezing and ultimate bursting of the US festering boil of foreign policy and domestic civil and social economics. Its not going pretty but something had to happen.
I may have it wrong but I thought we were discussing why we suddenly have a racist megalomaniac or a brilliant political thespian as the most powerful man in the world. Especially one who regards himself as a conservative but not belonging exclusively to any political spectrum, left or right.
That is why the comparison to Hitler and the situation in 1930’s Germany is very relevant. I suspect Trump will ultimately be impeached or ‘moved aside’ by the Republicans at some stage but for the moment he is the USA’s very own ‘Fuhrer’.
More ridiculous nonsense. Hitler called himself a socialist, not a conservative and used bloodshed and thuggery to gain power. His country was not under threat and actual attack from religious lunatics.
There is no evidence Trump is racist and I don’t believe he is. Hitler was.
Hitler called himself a National Socialist not a Socialist. You are confusing the two just as the right confuse Socialism and Communism.
He hasn’t even been inaugurated yet! And your description of Trump:
“we suddenly have a racist megalomaniac or a brilliant political thespian as the most powerful man in the world. Especially one who regards himself as a conservative but not belonging exclusively to any political spectrum, left or right”
…sounds suspiciously like the criticisms made of Bill Clinton. And the US survived his Presidency and, at-times reckless foreign policy, and divisive domestic reforms.
Trump is a cult-of-personality-populist, likely pragmatic in the tradition of Andrew Jackson, Huey Long, and yes, Barack Obama, or as per the NZ experience, RJ Seddon (an anti-Chinese immigration racist, yet one of our greatest PM’s), MJ Savage, Rob Muldoon…and Winston Peters.
The American election is over. You don’t have to continue with the messages of apocalyptic salvation and/or doom that both candidates were selling. And, as with Brexit, it wasn’t decided by racism and/or misogyny. I don’t agree with this guy’s solutions, but his analysis of why Trump won (against an awful opponent who could offer little more than her gender as a reason for elevation to office) is telling at points:
Cheer up, guys. Trump is not even one tenth of a Hitler. Watch Hitler speak at the Nuremberg Rally (See film ‘Triumph des Willens’). Trump can barely put 3 short sentences together. Get a grip. He is an opportunist who has just had a big lucky break. He will be brought into line. Hitler had the strength to forestall that. Trump is shallow bluster.
Then there’s all the racist slogan painting and chanting from Trump supporters, the threats against Muslims and Hispanics. Trump claims he wants them to stop. Really?
“Grow up and stop your silly nonsense. It’s infantile.”
In my opinion there is nothing attractive about Trump. But if you want to know why he won listen to Wendyl Nissen on the Panel yesterday as she casually dismisses Middle America as racist sexist pigs (my description, not her words).
The point being that not only would her words cause outrage if used against any of the “recognised” victim groups but also that the outrage of the Liberal Left against Trump’s pronouncements is inherently false. Anyone genuinely concerned with a civil, well-mannered society would apply its principles indiscriminately.
That of course s not what happens. Those who do not share the values of the Liberal Left are condemned mercilessly even when their views are considered and reasoned rather than instinctual.
Trump is rude and obnoxious. Try being someone who genuinely believes in traditional conservative values at a university, in the media, on social media and in the public sector in NZ and ask yourself if fundamentally those who oppose him are any different.
You’ll never get far in your search for balanced opinion if you’re going to listen to Nissen. It’s like expecting a balanced discourse on chocolate vs nut bars from a 5 year old.
Brick Layers around the world celebrate.
Nice! If I were not so old, I would consider looking for training…
Reading all the wails of anguish across the globe confirms my long held belief that the left adore democracy as long as it supports their own beliefs.
I personally think the US voters have made a mistake but it was their choice to make. At least he has been elected which is more than one can say for many world leaders who the left love to fawn over.
Now it’s happened let’s just get on with it and as many have said look for the opportunities. Comments from Labour matrons such as Kat are tiresomely predictable and as Alan has said the Hitler references are just asinine. I am waiting for someone on the left to report seeing a Mexican carrying a can of petrol outside the Senate.
And so are your comments “tiresomely predictable” Ben. Its always the left vs the right in your simplistic blinkered world. Just like Alan you haven’t bothered to look at the make up of the voters who elected Trump or what influenced the vote, you just see it as a win for the right.
“…you haven’t bothered to look at the make up of the voters who elected Trump or what influenced the vote, you just see it as a win for the right.”
But this guy has. They are working class-blue collar workers…who have long been the back-bone of the Democrats since…forever, who ended up voting for a New York billionaire in contrast to the Democrat’s hand-picked and anointed career politician.
Exactly my point, Trumps election success has little to do with traditional ‘left vs right’ political ideology. Moore’s “human Molotov cocktail” analogy is very apt.
Yet you say,
“It is by no means out of proportion to compare the Trump supporters with the Hitler supporters in Nazi Germany
…Sounds just like Germany 1933 and the outcome of ‘democratic’ elections that ultimately forced Hindenburg to appoint Hitler chancellor. Trump has unbridled control over Congress and the Senate just as Hitler did with the Reichstag. Comparisons are neither silly or infantile especially considering the economic and social demographic ‘whitelash’ support for Trump.
…we suddenly have a racist megalomaniac or a brilliant political thespian as the most powerful man in the world. Especially one who regards himself as a conservative but not belonging exclusively to any political spectrum, left or right”.
Whereas in reality the only comparison with the election of Trump and Hitler was the issue of unemployment. Which made FDR and the first Labour Government here in New Zealand the same as Hitler!
Trump’s win was neither about racism, nor misogyny. Instead, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats forgot the slogan that elected her husband 24 years before…”it’s the economy, stupid!” – particularly that in the rust-belt of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin.
There are in fact fascinating parallels between the governments of Hitler, FDR and NZ Labour in the thirties. All used quasi Keynsian pump priming in the form of public works of one kind or another to rebuild demand following the Depression. That doesn’t make FDR or Joe Savage fascist demagogues
..and the British post-war government of Atlee, and Harold Macmillan, and Muldoon, and…
…the comparison is so broad as to be…pointless. Other than, in troubled economic circumstances, populists gain a voice among the marginalised.
“Whereas in reality the only comparison with the election of Trump and Hitler was the issue of unemployment”.
Your “only” comparison is simplistic. Try adding fascism, racism, xenophobia, sexism and bigotry, and if you really believe that none of these played any role in Trumps success then you are obviously uninformed about the reality of ‘whitelash’ in America. Why do you think right now the Klu Klux Clan are partying.
The Ku Klux Klan?! Of, ffs, you are talking about a group that is so far out on the margins as to be a relic. The vast majority of white working class people in the Rust belt…or anywhere else for that matter, did not vote for Trump because they are supporters of “fascism, racism, xenophobia, sexism and bigotry”.
Instead, just like Obama in 2008 and 2012, Trump reaped the dividend of “identity politics”. But this time, the sufficiently-motivated winning identity was…the white working class. Claims by progressive liberals that this augurs the sound of jackboots marching in Middle America are an essential reason why Trump won. It is ridiculous, and insulting to the intelligence of most American voters, and as despicable a person as Trump may be personally, it is a message that got short shrift.
So explain to me why these white working class people in the Rust belt could identify and vote for a billionaire from a privileged background who doesn’t like paying tax and who has a long and well-documented history of screwing employees and hired contractors.
Because, unlike Hillary Clinton, Trump promised “to bring their jobs back”, and, within the realm in which he has worked, he is successful. Unlike NZ with its history of egalitarianism, Americans admire success. Or have you forgotten JFK inherited millions too? They know Trump is a son-of-a-bith, but at least he had a message, and it was “I’m going to be your son-of-a-bitch”.
And Clinton’s also presented nothing more than…Donald Trump is a son-of-a-bitch. And in contrast, Hillary Clinton has achieved nothing tangible…ever.
Correction: Clinton also said she will create jobs…but given the track record of her husband while in the Whitehouse, and since she has been a senator and then part of the Obama administration…she has no credibility. She is a believer in globalism.
Also, BLM may seem like a worthy movement to those who can afford progressive liberal values, or who will write history in retrospect. But to people living in neighbourhoods with the problem of crime, like the Black Panthers before them…they are dangerous fanatics. It’ll be another 40 years before the new Beyonce makes them mainstream at a Super Bowl halftime show.
Same where illegal immigrants are perceived to be a factor in crime and pressure on schools, health and social services. And potential Muslim terrorism? Scared voters want action, not platitudes, even if the issues are complex – and populists always profit by making complex issues seem simple. Clinton, lacking Obama’s charisma, but forced to canvas in favour of law-and-order, yet also sympathise with minorities, failed to win those with either concern.
Like Michael Moore said, for those who are losing out in the economic, social and cultural process of globalistion – i.e., the white blue collar-workers of the Rust Belt – what did they have to lose voting Trump? And given the electoral college system, they held the balance of power, not the Democrat-voting inhabitants of New York and California who helped Hillary Clinton win the popular vote.
From the Democrats policies of reducing inequality, improving healthcare, debt free education and increasing the minimum wage wouldn’t it seem logical for these Rust belt people in the long run to have voted for Clinton, but they didn’t. They don’t usually get out and vote but they did this time. That they got out and voted doesn’t change who and where they are, and where they are in the US electoral college system is critical. So it is not “most American voters”. To say Trump is a despicable person and then say that his supporters are not is a nonsense. Clinton won the popular vote but was beaten by the system.
And the excuses continue.
Write Trump-voters off as “despicables” if you want – and with that attitude is it any wonder they intuited the arrogant contempt of the progressive left towards them)- but the democratic system gives them a vote. And at least their candidate didn’t have a party machine working behind the scenes to sand bag her party opponent, as occurred with Bernie Sanders. So who was the more despicable enemy of democracy? Yeah, yeah, I know, Hillary Clinton had plausible deniability…
The United States is a federal representative democracy, not an absolute one. Hence the small state of Rhode island has two senators, just as New York. It is about checks and balances. In 2011 I decided, as much as I loathe and despise the Greens, I at least wanted a system where they had a reasonable chance of representation. Hence I voted to retain MMP in the referendum that year. Just out of interset, would you do the same if the situation was reversed?
So the American electoral college system, in a different way, ensures that places like the Rust Belt are not swamped by New York and California. For their non-Westminster system, where they elect an executive President/monarch, it is appropriate…and the best system available, IMHO.
And, sure, if the Democrats delivered what they promised over the last eight years, Clinton may have been in with a shot. But health insurance premiums rose, “debt free education” = more taxes, and as per the rise of a movement like BLM, race relations and “equality” deteriorated on Obama’s watch. So much for the 2008 election-legacy, and all that feel-good “this will make a difference/change you can believe in” vibe.
Most Trump voters are not racist, misogynist bigots and they rightly grew tired of being harangued that voting for a professional and highly-tainted controversy-ridden politician like Hillary Clinton was the test of their virtue and goodness. As with Brexit, identity politics, at least for the moment, is over. Now the progressive left must learn to adapt…or die. Lessons there for the NZ Labour Party if they are to survive ten more years…let alone another 100.
Now its my turn, “ffs” who is making excuses, we are discussing Trump and why he is suddenly the president. I would say even the most fervent Clinton supporter knows now why Trump won the race. Whats going to happen now is going to be very interesting because Obama and Clinton although appearing very conciliatory and gracious in defeat recognise that a good 50% of Americans are disenfranchised and will never support Trump. That is the upcoming reality. I can just imagine California declaring itself a sovereign nation.
“I can just imagine California declaring itself a sovereign nation”.
No, that’s been tried before, and it occurred on the one occasion the electoral college delivered a result where, in contradiction to the intentions of the framers of the American Constitution, one large section of the country considered itself thoroughly disenfranchised:
And yet if Trump had lost, then, just as with 2008 and 2012 it would have been reactionary racism if those who supported the losing candidate had decided to “opt out”? The fact that they didn’t proves they are not racists. Any more than they are misogynists, bigots or xenophobes this time around. Instead they are good citizens, who, when they need to, will rally around their President. As are the people of California. Remember, unlike our head of state (God bless you, QEII!), the Americans are well-practiced in a system where the POTUS is not just that, but also the chief executive, military commander-in-chief, and also…the head of a political party.
So your “I can just imagine” is precisely that – imagination.
This is democracy. This is what is looks like. Your side doesn’t always win, and even if it seems like it does, it never does so entirely…and if it loses it gets another chance in another few years.
Now, I suggest you calm down, and stop listening to the radical left hysterics and partisan Democrats who are already trying out their talking points for 2018 and 2020. Hell, Bernie Sanders supporters were dismissed as idiots when they talked like that…and at least they had better reason!
I do not see it as a win for the right. What I see are left bleeding heart liberals bleating because the downtrodden working classes exercised their democratic right to vote for someone who was distasteful to those like you who think you know what is best for everyone else.
It doesn’t matter a hoot now what the makeup of voters was…. Trump’s the President, and all the whole world now has to do is accept the fact, and either live with or work around it.
And most will likely work around it, in the meantime.
Let’s leave Hitler out of this for moment. A few people (including Alan) have urged us to look at the voting figures. Quite right. That is the key, as always, to what happened. Reports I have seen suggest that the Republicans got no more votes than four years ago but the Democrats were down by about seven or eight million from the previous election. That’s what made the difference. In other words Obama could mobilise the extra votes needed to get into and retain the White House for the Democrats. He was a new and fresh face who exuded hope, notwithstanding that it all turned out to be an illusion. Hilary on the other hand exuded all of the appeal of what Hunter Thompson once called ‘a corrupt old ward heeler’ (he was talking about Hubert Humphrey but the cap fits in my view). If you are looking for someone to blame for Trump’s victory blame the Democrats who failed their own natural constituency of blue collar workers and allowed a dangerous populist demagogue to scoop up their votes. It’s what is going to happen now that bothers me
Now you’ve got it.
But you could argue Obama was an aberration, in that, due to his charisma and untainted freshness, he managed to inspire and mobilise a section of the American community – Blacks – who had traditionally disengaged from the voting process.
But like Lyndon Johnson with his “Great Society” and Civil Rights Act, Obama over-promised and under-delivered when it came to his primary election -promise: transforming race relations. And just as Nixon made inner-city rioting a legitimate issue in 1968, so Trump hay over the concerns for domestic security, illegal immigration and the law-and-order fiascoes surrounding the divisive BLM Movement. And the latter two especially affect white working-class communities, because they don’t have the money to escape to gated communities…from which many of Hillary Clinton’s high-profile celebrity supporters pontificated and passed judgement on what were essentially abstract racial and gender tolerance. Not that she has much appeal for Black voters anyway, other than the Democrat label. But before Obama that as never enough to bring them out in sufficient numbers. But working class white voters were sufficiently motivated by crime.
As with Norman Kirk here in NZ in 1972, law and order is always a concern for traditional working-class voters, be they black, brown or white because they have to live with the effects. Hence, Hispanics and Blacks, whom Trump was supposedly scape-goating voted for him in more numbers than Romney in 2012.
I agree with that, Tony. Apart from Clinton’s baggage, the Democrats didn’t aim their policies at the workers concerns, they tried to play identity politics and personal attacks on Trump while he talked directly to their voters. He exposed the gap between the leadership and their voters.
Thats it Tony, one must never mention ‘Hitler’ by way of comparison in any discussion. As soon as you do you have lost, even if you are totally correct. That is ‘Godwins Law’ and even if you mention 1930’s Germany you will most likely have the same ‘Law’ applied. Thats the internerd for you.
So leaving Hitler out of it, I am interested to know what it is that you think is going to happen now that bothers you so much.
OK, I’ll do you a deal. I’ll stop dropping “Godwin’s” into online discussion (actually I didn’t on this post, you did, but hey, I’m willing to negotiate)
…if you do the same with the topic of…John Key ;). Sounds like a good trade, because “Godwin’s” is at least usually on-topic as it requires someone else to make the comparison first.
It was John Northcroft who mentioned Godwins first. Godwins is nonsense and no longer relevant as some benchmark reference law to comparison.
So ok I shall no longer mention the topic of John Key, as with Godwins his utter nonsense and growing irrelevance is no longer worthy of comment.
Just to clarify matters, I forecast that others would invoke it in an attempt to forestall its invocation.
What bothers me is that Trump inhabits a fantasy world and now has the power and position to act on it as if it is real. It’s always possible to say “he was only saying it to win the election” or “wiser heads will rein him in” and I hope so. But the reason I raised the matter of you-know-who and 1933 is that is what people said then also – and look what happened. Someone with fifty or so panzer divisions caused an awful lot of trouble before he was stopped, and this guy Trump has his finger on the nuclear button. Maybe the worst won’t happen but after seventy years in the world I’m forced to conclude that if it can happen for the worst it will. I comfort myself with the thought that someone once said that history repeats itself, to which Marx added, “the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce”. Let’s trust old Karl was right and it all turns to laughter but I’m afraid it won’t
I seem to recall the same thing was said in one form or another about Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George W Bush. Liberal progressives have been demonising Republican candidates and Presidents since…forever. Same in New Zealand with the likes of a centrist and compassionate man like…Rob Muldoon. Cry “wolf” long enough, and fatigue sets in.
In 2012 Mitt Romney was accused of trying to re-start the Cold War when he warned about Russia wanting to re-assert itself. Now, courtesy of Putin’s activities in the Ukraine and Syria, and Romney’s repudiation of Trump, he (Romney) is “a respected and wise Republican”. Those outside the left-wing echo chamber shake their heads.
Trump, for all his faults, is not mad, nor does he inhabit “a fantasy world”. Mad people don’t become the head of a business empire. He is an entrepreneur, who uses the advantages at his disposal to create and sell deals. He is doubtless a bully at times, but a calculating bully – indeed, to bring this back to the original point, a “brilliant political thespian” who prizes and rewards loyalty. Hence the attraction to vote for him.
“Mad people don’t become the head of a business empire.”
But they can inherit one.
Sure, but they will soon run it into the ground. And no, a number of bankruptcies in a multi-faceted business empire is not the same.
But then Trump, like Hitler, is a teetotaler.
Run it into the ground? Trump would be richer today if he had just invested his inheritance in conservative funds.
Hitler was a drug addict which is about as relevant as his being a teetotaller.
He he he. So was JFK.
I never said Trump was mad. That’s not at all the same thing as being a fantasist. I don’t think Hitler was mad either. Mad people don’t have the charisma needed to lead large and civilised nations down the path to their doom. Trump may also be a brilliant political thespian although I’m not sure what that is. Do you mean that he’s very plausible when he tells political fibs in public? If so he’s not alone in that. Whether that will lead to disaster remains to be seen. As I have said above I hope not but I fear so which is the answer to the question you actually asked me and which I thought I had answered. I’ve also heard Muldoon described as many things but ‘compassionate centrist’ is a first for me. Having had personal and direct experience of the sheer nastiness of the man I’m afraid I can’t go along with that but your face to face experience of him may have been different to mine.
Just on the matter of “Godwin’s Law” by the way. I was familiar with the smart-alec quip in question but I hadn’t ever heard it called that. Does anyone know who Godwin was/is in this circumstance and if so can they enlighten me? The only Godwin I know was the eighteenth century anarchist and libertarian political thinker (and dad to Mary Shelly). Obviously it isn’t him
Thank you for your enlightenment. Interesting but not much help if you are seriously interested in understanding fascism as a real phenomenon rather than as a meaningless term of abuse (which is the way most people use it).
However, personally, I don’t think you’ve “sold” the idea that there is a valid, relevant and applicable comparison between the rise of Hitler in late 1930s Germany…and the America of President-elect Donald Trump. At all.
Trump may be a populist, he may be a fantasist (mind you, by some standards so too was LBJ’s “Great Society” and Obama’s “Change you can believe in”), but he is not a fascist. As with Brexit, it is not “racism” to vote in a way that expresses concern for your nation’s immigration policy, especially at a time when a campaign of terror is being waged against the West. Nor, as with Rob Muldoon, is it mandatory for a political candidate to adopt politeness in the face of strident interest groups, no matter how fashionable, virtuous or self-evident their demands may seem to some.
Hitler started sane (relatively) but deteriorated in sanity as ‘medication’ increased, especially during the war..
No parallel with Trump.
Those of you who are having the vapours about what Trump might do may take some comfort from the words of Harry Truman as he was preparing to yield the presidency to Eisenhower:
“Poor Ike. He’ll sit there behind his desk in the Oval Office and say “Do this.” And nothing will happen. It won’t be a bit like the army”.
Trump has shown already that he tailors his rhetoric to the occasion and the audience. He is obviously pretty good at picking members for a successful team.
I think Trump Derangement Syndrome will merely isolate the Left and extreme Right as Key Derrangement Syndrome has in NZ.
In response to Kimbo I could set out my argument in detail about the parallels between the context in which you-know-who and Trump have operated and are operating. But I’m not going to because of the risk that would start the Godwin’s Law hare again. Some other time perhaps.
Alan, when you say “Trump tailors his rhetoric to the occasion” that sounds to me like a euphemistic way of saying that he is a bold faced liar who tells people what they want to hear. Nothing new about that of course as a characteristic of populist politicians so why dress it up? I’m a fan of calling a spade a spade myself
“I’m a fan of calling a spade a spade myself”
So, for all his faults, was Rob Muldoon
So now its ok for you to bring Muldoon into the discussion just so you can sing faint praise.
Tony, my friend, this is an intervention.
Step away from the internet and go and write some more of your esteemed and valuable books.
Remember the old saying:
Never try to teach a pig to sing.
It wastes your time and annoys the pig.
Your advice is excellent but sometimes the temptations are too great to ignore
It’s a characteristic of all successful politicians operating in a democracy no matter how you wish to slant or spin it. It’s also a fact that they are constrained by reality in ways that prevent them delivering what their voters want to be delivered. That is the reality of your spade.
Trump is operating in a Constitutional Republic not a Democracy. Trump is on record as not regarding himself as a politician. Trump presents as the proverbial MABUS and if you want it darker he’s your man.
I don’t like Trump, one teensy bit.