The GOP's Poisoned Chalice

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Yesterday, the last news item I read was John Tamny's brilliant piece, "Why Republicans Should Hope Donald Trump Loses in a Landslide." I had no dog in this hunt, being in a deep blue state and having decided long ago that each major candidate was unworthy of a vote. The below at least helped me sleep easier, since I thought Hillary Clinton would, at worst, eke out a win:

Importantly, none of what's been written so far should be construed as a defense of Clinton. About those deserting her, why did it take more revelations of her casual regard for the law to finally awaken them? To those who care about policy, arguably the biggest indictment of Clinton is that given the chance for months to denounce Bernie Sanders' socialist proposals, Clinton was quiet. As for Elizabeth Warren's arguably more offensive redistributionist views, Clinton recently said "I could listen to Elizabeth Warren go on all day." Interesting about all this is that in a somewhat more normal electoral cycle in which a half clued in Republican would be running against Clinton, her charitably foolish economic statements (or lack thereof) would be debate or ad fodder. But in Trump's case he's proven incapable of dismantling Clinton's policy proposals, and then he doesn't have the team in place to put out the ads. There are so many reasons to not vote for Trump, but his near total lack of policy sense looms very large since it's meant that he's been near totally unable to explain to voters just why Clinton's policy ideas are so unfortunate. Trump doesn't know why they are. He just talks. And talks. The two-minute allotment for answers at debates was awful for Trump. It was because he's got nothing to say. Thinking about all this, and the awful choices, why not let Clinton be the millstone around the Democrats' neck? Why are Republicans so masochistic as to want to be associated with such an unimpressive thinker vying to carry the Republican banner? [bold added]
Sadly, she did not win, and, on the abundant evidence Tamny presents in the rest of this article -- the tip of the iceberg, really -- this man is now a millstone around America's neck. As for the GOP, I fear -- but maybe I should hope -- they will wish they had something only as big as Watergate to recover from, in terms of their "brand" and their credibility. The above paragraph would not be that hard to fill out using details from the article, and apply to Trump instead of Clinton.

I have never had so much reason to hope I am wrong, or so little hope that I am.

-- CAV

P.S. For a shorter, a positive take on this election, head over here.


Scott Holleran said...

Great last line. There is no upside the National Statism. This is a wreckage of the United States.

Gus Van Horn said...


The best we can hope for is that Trump is genuinely concerned, and demonstrates this by (1) surrounding himself with thoughtful people who are capable of questioning the idea that the government has to run everything, and (2) listens to them and takes their advice. (Perhaps we would learn this by him changing his mind on some of his more outrageous or economically-backward ideas.) Second-best might be that he kills off some of the more destructive things Obama has done or is getting close to doing, like ObamaCare or destroying the coal industry. Either of those would buy us time.

Even then, there is a serious risk of his severely degrading the quality of the political discourse we need to reverse our overall political deterioration (with or without actual damage to freedom of speech protection).

Vigilis said...

Gus, John Tamny, Forbe's political economy editor, and contributor to other major publications is a credible author mainly because he is granted access to highly placed officials of global corporations. In other words, Tamny's livelihood appears dependent upon maintaining the good graces of multinational corporations.

The problem with the question, "Why are Republicans so masochistic as to want to be associated with such an unimpressive thinker vying to carry the Republican banner?"
is that it not only ignores the U.S. Chamber's (and George Soros's) support for a new world order (George H.W. Bush's term), it fails to mention Trump's opposition to the EU-style sovereignty and liberty marginalization schemes that Brexit clearly rejected.

Whereas only time will tell us whether Mr. Trump is actually 'such an unimpressive thinker', neither Mr. Tamny nor you, Gus, even hint of an alternative besides a president Trump able to block the likes of George Soros, the Bushes, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and hundreds of transnationalist elites from lobbying our Congress for new world order schemes like the TPP.

If there is another means besides executive power available to block global corporations from marginalizing our U.S. Constitutional protections with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), what is it? After reading GVH for years, I am surprised that your concerns for individual liberties and excessive government regulation seem oddly missing in the secretive matter of the new world order opportunity announced publicly at the end of George H.W. Bush's presidential term.

Gus Van Horn said...


First, there is a difference between opposing a trade treaty (like the TPP) because it ushers in economic regulations or creates sovereignty issues -- and (as Donald Trump wants to do) throwing up barriers to foreign trade that will only harm our economy.

Second, you ask, "If there is another means besides executive power available to block global corporations from marginalizing our U.S. Constitutional protections with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), what is it?" Yes, there is. As I have argued for years, we should separate economy and state. If the government didn't meddle in every aspect of our lives, whether someone trades with a corporation would have absolutely zilch to do with our government's protection of our rights whatsoever. (And maybe we wouldn't even need trade treaties.) There would be no improper laws to lobby for (because we'd have rejected them on principle), and there would be precious little influence for politicians to sell. I'll admit that it's a tall order requiring massive cultural change on the part of voters and several election cycles (at least) to achieve, but it's more realistic that voting for one blathering person who can't (or won't) provide one jot of argument for his policies or proposals.