Trump’s Support

Clive Crook has it right:

The first theory, if it were true, would be an argument against democracy. If tens of millions of Americans are racist idiots, how do you defend the popular franchise? That isn’t a sliver of reprehensible people who’ll be safely overwhelmed when elections come around. And there’s plainly nothing, according to the first theory, you can say to change their minds. Why even go through the motions of talking and listening to those people?

This sense that democratic politics is futile if not downright dangerous now infuses the worldview of the country’s cultural and intellectual establishment. Trump is routinely accused of being authoritarian and anti-democratic, despite the fact that he won the election and, so far, has been checked at every point and has achieved almost nothing in policy terms. (He might wish he were an authoritarian, but he sure hasn’t been allowed to function as one.) Many of his critics, on the other hand, are anti-democratic in a deeper sense: They appear to believe that a little less than half the country doesn’t deserve the vote.

The second theory — the correct theory — is a terrible indictment of the Democratic Party and much of the media. Why aren’t the intelligible and legitimate opinions of that large minority given a hearing? Why must their views be bundled reflexively into packages labelled “bigotry” and “stupidity”? Why can’t this large minority of the American people be accorded something other than pity or scorn?

Those who scorn Trump’s supporters might argue that none of their opinions are in fact intelligible or legitimate. After all, don’t their views on immigration boil down to racism and white supremacy? What about their idea that the Charlottesville protesters and counter-protesters were morally the same? Or their morbid fear of change? Or the hypocrisy of their opposition to “big government,” when everybody knows that Trump-voting states such as West Virginia are the biggest net recipients of federal money? If you read the New York Times, you know they have an endless supply of stupid, evil opinions.

In fact, this automatic attribution of stupidity and bad faith is just another kind of bigotry.

Yes, and it’s the kind that gave us Trump, and will continue to do so, because they can’t help it. As Glenn notes, a key element of being a leftist is the psychic income of feeling morally superior to better, happier people than you. I just wish that we could have gotten a Trump that is just as harsh on the media and the left, but did so in a less ignorant and buffoonish manner. I could certainly do it.

23 comments on this post.
  1. Raoul Ortega:

    Let’s not forget that throughout 2016, the Democrats, the Left and the media all build up Trump. Whenever he made a statement, they ran to all the other Republican candidates to get a response. They let him drive the discussions and the agenda, because they thought of him as a clown with no chance of winning, a weapon with which to beat up all the more mainstream Republicans and help Lady Rodham coast to an Her deserved and easy victory. They gave him almost 2 billion dollars in free advertising, and they are surprised that he used it to get himself elected.

    [He] has achieved almost nothing in policy terms.

    Doing nothing is a policy, and considering the alternatives, it’s not such a bad one. We’ve gotten to where we are, in part, because of this almost religious belief that the government must always be “doing something.” Even when that “something” is easily shown to be horribly wrong.

  2. wodun:

    the Left and the media all build up Trump.

    Mostly through relentlessly negative coverage that was often blatantly false and misleading. This played right into Trump’s narrative about a corrupt media and establishment politicians. They haven’t stopped so I wouldn’t be surprised if Trump wins again.

  3. Tim:

    From your posted link:

    “..What about their idea that the Charlottesville protesters and counter-protesters were morally the same? ”

    Maybe I am mistaken…but I thought Trump’s position (tweet) etc. was that both sides at Charlottesville were equally responsible for the violence of the riots; not that their ideologies were equivalent?

  4. Rand Simberg:

    “Ideologies are equivalent” != “morally the same.”

  5. Tim:

    “Ideologies are equivalent” != “morally the same.”

    Your right Rand I should have “Ideologies are morally equivalent”.
    But my main point is that Trump IMHO was condemning the violence perpetrated he believes by both sides; in that sense he was saying that they were both equally at fault. Think that’s what he was saying.

  6. Russell Snow:

    Trump has accomplished a lot.
    He has excelled at not being Clinton. We ahave an awesome supreme court justice, jobs are up, immigration is down. https://www.reddit.com/r/The_Donald/comments/63nxsn/update_i_was_tired_of_liberals_saying_trump_hasnt/

  7. Rick C:

    Second quarter economic change was retroactively changed *up* to 3%. Remember who the *only* President to *never* have a year of 3% growth was? Anyone think the Haggard Queen could’ve done any better?

  8. Rand Simberg:

    I’m happy that the Democrats’ boot has been removed from the neck of the economy. That would have been the case regardless of almost any Republican elected.

  9. ken anthony:

    I just wish that we could have gotten a Trump that is just as harsh on the media and the left, but did so in a less ignorant and buffoonish manner.

    I think it’s very common for Trump supporters to wince at the way Trump says some things. Very common. However, in the media environment we live in, it has been noticed that this has the effect of getting issues out there that would otherwise be covered [with a pillow.]

    Media bias is a known real problem. It has no known reliable solution. More talk is the solution in principle, but not in effect.

    Trump is not Reagan. You go to war with the army you have. Trump tries to use humor, but he’s just not that good at it like Reagan was.

    Trump does come off as ignorant but so do those that report how ignorant he is on details while failing to see the bigger issues. Presidents aren’t suppose to be the details guy. That’s usually a dereliction of their job.

    Everybody is ignorant. It’s just that the ‘elite’ think their ignorance makes them superior.

  10. Rick C:

    “Trump does come off as ignorant but so do those that report how ignorant he is on details while failing to see the bigger issues. ”

    Trump’s been in the public eye for *decades*. Anyone who think’s he’s ignorant has to themself be pretty stupid.

  11. ken anthony:

    When I say ‘coming off ignorant’ I’m not saying he’s stupid. What I’m saying is he doesn’t use the beltway approved phases. People that think he’s stupid because he doesn’t speak Washingtonian are themselves stupid.

    Travel this country and you will find all manner of speech by fully intelligent people. Lawyers from Ivy schools are not representative of the intelligent. Go to Ohio and you’ll find a dozen types all in one geographic location (they’re divided by the common English language… I almost married one in my youth. Actually twice if I count a certain train ride across country!?)

  12. Rand Simberg:

    When I say ‘coming off ignorant’ I’m not saying he’s stupid. What I’m saying is he doesn’t use the beltway approved phases.

    It is entirely possible to not use “beltway approved phrases,” and not sound like an ignorant third grader. But apparently it is not for Donald Trump.

  13. Rand Simberg:

    So, he’s only pretending to be ignorant? Or…?

  14. ken anthony:

    The GOP has undercut Trump since he took office. With this new three month debt ceiling, Trump just returned the favor putting tremendous pressure on the GOP. This is what it comes to, to get the GOP to wise up and play ball.

  15. Rand Simberg:

    He cut a deal with the Democrats to give amnesty to the so-called “dreamers.” Because he’s a life-long Democrat.

  16. ken anthony:

    He cut a deal with the Democrats to give amnesty to the so-called “dreamers.” Because he’s a life-long Democrat.

    He’s giving amnesty by forcing congress to do their job? I guess that means we agree that congress is the problem?

    {off topic} be safe during Irma.

  17. Rand Simberg:

    He’s not forcing Congress to do anything. He’s basically saying that if they don’t grant amnesty, he’ll do it himself, illegally, just like Obama did.

  18. ken anthony:

    He’s basically saying that if they don’t grant amnesty, he’ll do it himself

    We don’t know that for six months. He did exactly what the executive is supposed to do… light a fire under the legislature to do their constitutional job. The political reality of simply reversing Obama has been avoided.

    He now doesn’t have to do an executive order in six months, compounding Obama’s error, because he has made it very clear that if the GOP doesn’t do their job he’ll work with the other side to get it resolved. If the GOP wants to be relevant they are going to have to start supporting Trump. Since the election they’ve been playing the game that they don’t need him and he just turned the tables on them.

    Meanwhile pay attention to actual results which will be further reduction of illegal immigration (more definitive than talk.)

    He’s using the debt ceiling threat for exactly the same purpose. They’ve got from now to the midterms to get on board the Trump train.

    Trump must succeed on his tax plan which is half of what he needs for reelection. He’s already succeeded on the other half which is regulation reduction.

    People with jobs in a growing economy insures his reelection.

  19. ken anthony:

    This. How did ‘huge’ become ‘yuge’?

  20. Wodun:

    Trump is routinely accused of being authoritarian and anti-democratic, despite the fact that he won the election and, so far, has been checked at every point and has achieved almost nothing in policy terms.

    It should be noted that he hasn’t put forward any tyrannical dictator policies to be checked on and that the checking taking place is just typical out party obstruction abetted by partisan government workers in conjunction with a GOP establishment that won’t move legislation that they campaigned on because all the groups involved can’t accepted they lost to Trump.

    The GOP can’t even rein in spending or make cuts to offset other increases.

  21. ken anthony:

    They ignore the very clear voting trend at their own peril.

  22. Tim:

    “[He] has achieved almost nothing in policy terms.”

    “What has Donald Trump done since he has been in office!!!
    1.Supreme Court Judge Gorsuch
    2. 59 missiles dropped in Syria.
    3.He took us out of TPP
    4.Illegal immigration is now down 70%( the lowest in 17 years)
    5.Consumer confidence highest since 2000 at index125.6
    6.Mortgage applications for new homes rise to a 7 year high.
    7.Arranged 20% Tariff on soft lumber from Canada.
    8.Bids for border wall are well underway.
    9.Pulled out of the lopsided Paris accord.
    10.Keystone pipeline approved.
    11.NATO allies boost spending by 4.3%
    12.Allowing VA to terminate bad employees. 13.Allowing private healthcare choices for veterans.
    14.More than 600,000. Jobs created
    15. Median household income at a 7 year high.
    16. The Stock Market is at the highest ever In its history.
    17. China agreed to American import of beef.
    18. $89 Billion saved in regulation rollbacks.
    19. Rollback of A Regulation to boost coal mining.
    20. MOAB for ISIS
    21. Travel ban reinstated.
    22. Executive order for religious freedom.
    23. Jump started NASA
    24. $600 million cut from UN peacekeeping budget.
    25. Targeting of MS13 gangs
    26. Deporting violent illegal immigrants.
    27. Signed legislative 41 bills to date ( I didn’t even know that least the fake media tell us)
    28. Created a commission on child trafficking
    29. Created a commission on voter frau
    30. Created a commission for opioids addiction.

    31. Giving power to states to drug test unemployment recipients.
    32. Unemployment lowest since May 2007.
    33. Historic Black College University initiative
    34. Women In Entrepreneurship Act
    35. Created an office or illegal immigrant crime victims.
    36. Reversed Dodd-Frank
    37. Repealed DOT ruling which would have taken power away from local governments for infrastructure planning
    38. Order to stop crime against law enforcement.
    39. End of DAPA program.
    40. Stopped companies from moving out of America.
    41. Promoted businesses to create American Jobs.
    42. Encouraged country to once again ‘Buy American and hire American .
    43. Review of all trade agreements to make sure they are America first
    44.Cutting regulations 2 for every one created.
    45. Highest manufacturing surge in 3 years.
    46 $78 Billion promised reinvestment from major businesses like Exxon, Bayer, Apple, SoftBank, Toyota…
    47. Denied FBI a new building.
    48. $700 million saved with F-35 renegotiation.
    49. Saves $22 million by reducing white house payroll.
    50. Dept of treasury reports a $182 billion surplus for April 2017(2nd largest in history.)
    51. Negotiated the release of 6 US humanitarian workers held captive in Egypt.
    52. Gas prices lowest in more than 12 years.
    53. Signed An Executive Order To Promote Energy Independence And Economic Growth.
    54. Has already accomplished more to stop government interference into people’s lives than any President in the history of America.
    55. President Trump has worked with Congress to pass more legislation in his first 100 days than any President since Truman.
    56. Has given head executive of each branches 6 month time Frame dated March 15 2017, to trim the fat. restructure and improve efficacy of their branch. (Observe the pushback, the leaks, & the lies as entrenched POWER refuses to go silently into that good night!)
    57. No Fed Funds to Sanctuary Cities.
    58. Lastly, Refused his Presidential Pay Check, donated it to Veterans issues.”

    https://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3575850/posts?page=5#5

  23. ken anthony:

    Saw a poll of likely voters that says Trump remains at 48% which is the same number that got him elected. I expect survival mode will kick in after the midterms, but the cracks are already showing.