Saturday, September 5, 2015

On That Whole Trump Thing

Since Trump will stay in the limelight the next few weeks, and people will keep talking about him in the context of the resurgence/extremeness/rightness/etc of conservative values, let me give a shot at explaining Trump.

Most people in the Establishment and the Cathedral, and those in thrall, assume Trump reflects several failing trends in American politics. He's the result of Americans getting more polarized and pissed off, especially as a result of Conservative Talk Radio, he's all flare and no substance, etc.

He's a nightmare, because all negative trends culminate in Trump. He represents everything bad about America.

Right. Let's disregard those Establishment-sanctioned narratives for a moment.

First, Trump isn't unusual, even in American politics. We've a similar campaign before in our recent history. Anyone remember this guy?

Perot captured 20% of the vote, mostly from the Right, effectively handing the election to Clinton. Without Trump, we most likely would have had nearly 3 straight decades of Republican rule between 1980 and 2008, instead of the pseudo-Democrat in the 1990s.

Trump and Perot aren't even unusual in the grand scheme of Western politics. God I hate Vox Media, but they nail their coverage on Trump pretty well: right-ish anti-immigration politics coupled with populist protection of social safety programs are insanely popular across the world

These policies aren't supported by the Cathedral or the Conservative Establishment. Look at the Bush administration: Bush wanted to partially-privatize Social Security, as well as push through a comprehensive immigration reform that granted a "Path to Citizenship."

People remember how everyone hated privatized Social Security, but everyone forgets that immigration reform was killed, too, because the American people (particularly mainstream Republicans) don't want that garbage. They want their property rights protected, and that's government's job. Trump reflects a large number of people who have no voice in politics.

By Vox's numbers, essentially 90% of America wants Social Security protected and immigration reduced. Which party supports that?

But, wait, that sounds like "Keep Your Government Hands Off My Medicare."

Well, yeah. That's because Medicare is an enshrined property right. In the American political consciousness, we paid into Medicare and Social Security, and we deserve those benefits. The government manages that money, but it's not welfare and it's not a hand-out.

What the Tea Partiers are accurately if not artfully expressing is that Medicare feels a lot like a property right. Our most important property rights are often claims on people or institutions...Medicare and Social Security are, from users’ perspective, property, no different from a privately funded health or pension plan...People consider themselves “entitled” to their entitlements because they view them as property.
 The Republican Establishment wants to cut property rights and admit a whole bunch of non-Americans. The Cathedral wants to water down the property rights of established Americans to give new property rights to "disenfranchised" Americans, in addition to admitting a whole set of New Americans.

Opposing these policies is mainstream, not extreme, and that means Donald Trump is a mainstream centrist, not extreme.What's extreme is his delivery, which is why a lot of Republicans don't like him (he's Nickleback!))), and he probably won't be the Republican nominee.

My money is on Rubio, but that's just me.

Now, my personal stance? I'm a mainstream Establishment Republican. Cut those SS benefits and privatize them. More high-skill immigration probably won't hurt, though I'd like to enforce the border and keep out hordes of unskilled except on guest passes, and only with a better monitoring system. AKA, George W Bush policy platforms(and I actually like that guy).

I wrote in N Gregory Mankiw in 2008 because I hate McCain and REALLY hate Obama (unlike establishment Republicans who endorsed him twice). In 2012, I voted Romney proudly.

In 2016? Screw it. I've had enough of Progressive dogma. What I love most about Trump is that he pisses off all my Progressive friends. These guys all love Bernie Sanders and think anyone to the right must be in the pocket of the Koch brothers.

They hate Trump, and worse, they fear Trump. They used Palin as a punch-line to their jokes: Trump they try to ignore, except to explain how stupid Americans are, and how stupid Trump is.

Pretty much anything that scares Progressives makes me happy.

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