Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Trump Phenomenon



"What so frightens the conservative movement about Trump's success is that he reveals just how thin the support for their ideas really is. His campaign is a rebuke to their institutions. It says the Republican Party doesn't need all these think tanks, all this supposed policy expertise. It says look at these people calling themselves libertarians and conservatives, the ones in tassel-loafers and bow ties. Have they made you more free? Have their endless policy papers and studies and books conserved anything for you? These people are worthless. They are defunct. You don't need them, and you're better off without them."

I think Michael Brendan Dougherty nails it, and you can, and should, read the whole thing here

LSP

12 comments:

LL said...

"Living in Washington D.C., however, with an endless two decade real-estate boom, and a free-lunch economy paid for by special interests, most of the people in the conservative movement hardly know that some Americans think America needs to be made great again."

Precisely. The beltway folks who are "professional Republicans" don't feel the suck. The bow tie intellectuals (George Will, chieftain) don't understand that out in fly over country, we feel that we have been BETRAYED. That accounts for the rabid popularity of Trump, Cruz and Sanders. It's true that they're all different, but the disaffected masses HATE the Washington DC crowd, the country club Jeb! style Republicans and the rest of them.

I understand why Trump is trending well. He gets up there without a P/C filter and a teleprompter and SPEAKS TO AMERICA. Cruz's speeches are all delivered in the form of polemics and he annoys me when he speaks, even though I know that he's a Republican.

LSP said...

Dougherty's right on.

lukeya said...

Fascinating and very prescient article. All major Western economies are seeing this phenomenon now, in the UK the UK Independence Party (UKIP) polled 4.5 million votes at the last General Election - more than the Greens and in a fair electoral system they would now have 80 members of parliament (they have 1 - coz our system is specifically designed to keep most people out of power and the Labour and Tory parties in power).

Most other European countries have a similar thing and in Denmark I think they now make up the Government.

Where any of this leads remains to be seen. Certainly protectionism seems to be back on the agenda.

Fredd said...

The George Will and Charles Krauthammer crowd of conservatives have not served us fly-over country conservatives very well at all. In truth, they have been abject failures at pushing the conservative agenda because they can't see how the rest of us live.

It reminds me of an old airline commercial that depicted Joe Average working with the airline think tanks trying to attract customers: the guy is shown a packet of peanuts, and is asked if he thinks it will fly with the public. The guy says 'I like it,' as he himself gnaws on a huge Maine lobster claw provided by the think tank handlers, (hey, a guy's gotta eat, right?)

The old saying is certainly true here: 'the perfect is the enemy of the good.' We just want good government, not perfect government, George and Charles. When you guys lament each wart that Donald Trump has, and then attempt to discredit him as viable, you hold every candidate to an unreachable standard which nobody can ever live up to, even your sainted Ted Cruz.

Don't get me wrong, Reverend. I like Ted, too. I can live with anybody in the race, even Gary Johnson, they all are vastly superior to Barry. I am just getting a little tired of those brainiacs in their conservative ivory towers poo poohing somebody who comes along and wants to kick some butt, and they poo pooh away because that candidate will not kick the butt the way these braniancs think the butt should be kicked.

Adrienne said...

That closing paragraph of Dougherty's says it all. These morons inside the beltway really believe we're all a bunch of dumb rubes who don't know which fork to use first. They are way underestimating the seething anger those of us in the middle are feeling.

I'm sick of the George "Weasel" Wills, Krauthammers, et al, who sit around spouting what they think is high-minded rhetoric, but is really nothing but word salads and nonsense syllables.

For me, the sight of tassel loafers and bow ties is like waving a red bandanna in the face of a bull.

LSP said...

I thought you'd like it, Lukeya, and was going to send you the link, but you beat me to it. Our rulers must be getting apprehensive...

LSP said...

I think you speak for more than a few, Fredd. It seems there's mutiny in the air.

LSP said...

Adrienne, I agree. Since when does wearing a bow tie and a pair of ridiculous loafers entitle a person to rule? With you, I see that uniform as a target.

LL said...

LSP, it is the entitled smugness of the political class, who promise "calm" and "business as usual" when the tricycle is broken and we're $19 trillion in the hole with nothing to show for it but a lot of illegal aliens and the promise of a lot more Syrians. It's not just the Republicans or the Democrats, it's the system. It's the ridiculous Obamanation. We voted in a majority in the Senate and the House and the Republicans BEND to Obama time and time again.

Trump (and Sanders) stand up without a P/C filter or a teleprompter or standard talking points and speak their minds. The pundits feed from the Washington DC chum line where housing prices keep going up and the place is awash in cash - sort of a "Hunger Games" scenario and they don't understand that we are ANGRY.

LSP said...

I think a lot of people really are, and that's going to be reflected at the polls. Good chum line/Hunger Games point.

Michael Peterson said...

I read this piece - Ross Douthat (bless him) flagged that on Twitter two days ago. Made a lot of sense to me.
I'm just a spectator, but I don't get the sense of conservative ideology counting for much with the people flocking to Trump, if you define conservative ideology as the cocktail of trickle-down economics, tax cuts, deregulation and pro-business policies that have been venerated for the last thirty years.
Factor that in with technology, globalization, deindustrialization, and automation and you have a society where the mass of people who we called middle class but are really the formerly well paid working class are cut loose and cast aside. No wider they are going to Trump or Sanders, for the reasons LL says so well. It's the flip side of the recent studies that have shown white, lower income and lower education people experiencing a climbing death rate - it's the same economic and social despair that have made people realize the ruling class are not their friends.
Dangerous times, I think.

LSP said...

Dangerous times? I couldn't agree more, Padre.