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Perhaps the most important Trump analysis yet.

Manc Skipper

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A long time ago, more than 20 years in fact, the Wall Street Journal published a powerful, eloquent editorial, simply headlined: “No Guardrails.”

"In our time, the United States suffers every day of the week because there are now so many marginalized people among us who don't understand the rules, who don't think that rules of personal or civil conduct apply to them, who have no notion of self-control."


Twenty years later, that same newspaper is edging toward open advocacy in favor of Donald Trump, the least self-controlled major-party candidate for high office in the history of the republic. And as he forged his path to the nomination, he snapped through seven different guardrails, revealing how brittle the norms that safeguard the American republic had grown.

Here’s the part of the 2016 story that will be hardest to explain after it’s all over: Trump did not deceive anyone. Unlike, say, Sarah Palin in 2008, Trump appeared before the electorate in his own clothes, speaking his own words. When he issued a promise, he instantly contradicted it. If you chose to accept the promise anyway, you did so with abundant notice of its worthlessness. For all the times Trump said believe me and trust me in his salesman patter, he communicated constantly and in every medium that there was only thing you could believe and trust: If you voted for Donald Trump, you’d get Donald Trump, in all his Trumpery and Trumpiness.


Donald Trump and the Seven Broken Guardrails of Democracy - The Atlantic
 

cpwill

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The outline of this is worth posting:

The first guardrail to go missing was the old set of expectations about how a candidate for president of the United States should speak and act...

Donald Trump is trash. He peddles conspiracy theories, attacks opponents families, threatens those whom he finds inconvenient, and lashes out viciously at anyone who disagrees with him. He belongs as a character on the Kim Kardashian show, and is wholly unfit for the office of the President of the United States.

The second broken guardrail is the expectation of some measure of trustworthiness in politicians....

Donald Trump is a serial liar who hasn't even read his own policy statements, and feels no particular compunction to actually do anything that he has promised. He lies when he doesn't need to, he lies in obvious ways, he lies in ways where seemingly the only purpose is to get others to corrupt themselves in order to continue defending him.

A third broken guardrail is the expectation that a potential president should possess deep—or at least adequate—knowledge of public affairs....

Donald Trump knows less about public policy than the average member of this forum, or even the below average members of this forum. He thought Judges signed bills and conducted investigations. He thought he could threaten Paul Ryan (some of his supporters, hilariously, thought he could fire him). He didn't know his own immigration policy, he has demonstrated zero interest in learning.

One guardrail that Trump’s opponents all assumed would hold fast was the fourth: the guardrail of ideology....

Donald Trump is a liberal authoritarian, who - his words - would more correctly be identified as a Democrat than a Republican. This is a guy who wanders into talking about how we need government-provided universal health coverage, higher minimum wages, a larger regulatory state, and a federal government that has been increased in both size and scope. He is openly dismissive of Constitutional restraints on the power he expects to wield as President.

Donald Trump would have been hemmed in a generation ago by a fifth guardrail: the primacy of national security concerns. Trump has no relevant experience, no military record, scant interest in the topic—and a long history of casual expressions of sympathy for authoritarian rulers. He famously explained that he gets his military advice from TV talk shows....

And yet, despite the deep expertise in national security that comes from watching talk shows, he didn't even know what the nuclear Triad was, much less how he intended to handle the most important decision a President can ever make. He has no plan on how to handle terrorism other than posturing (and, in fact, his "plan" changed rapidly), he lies continually on his previous positions in order to try to make himself look smarter, he didn't even know who we were at war with. And, again, he is derisive of the notion that he should. Not only is he completely ignorant to the task, he thinks that's fine.

A deep belief in tolerance and non-discrimination for Americans of all faiths, creeds, and origins also once functioned as a guardrail against destructive politics...

Donald Trump casually attacks a Judge for being "Mexican". The Judge was born and raised in Indiana, but that doesn't matter to Trump, because Trump defines people by their enthicity. He tosses out as a suggestion the simple banning of an entire religious creed from the United States.

Which brings us to the last and perhaps very most ominous of the broken guardrails... Once you’ve convinced yourself that a president of the other party is the very worst possible thing that could befall America, then any nominee of your party—literally no matter who—becomes a lesser evil.

...and all you will get is increasing banal evil.
 
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shrubnose

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Lots of voters will be voting against Trump for the same reasons that others will be voting for him.
 

Fiddytree

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Frum stopped just short of saying Hillary Clinton is a superior Presidential candidate to Trump, but was otherwise pointing that direction.

Unfortunately, a large number of Republicans have become so corrupted, so nihilistic they can't see the wiser choice before them. For all of their bluster, even the National Review has just enough seeds of Trumpism to falter.
 
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Hawkeye10

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But the way you're talking about it, it seems like it wasn't that straightforward of a transaction — that getting what he wanted out of politicians wasn't just about donations.

WB: Donations were just a weapon in the arsenal, and a significant weapon at some times. At times he was the biggest donor in New York City politics; he was a major, major donor. So donations were a major part of his arsenal in terms of bringing these projects to fruition.

Ed Koch had been a lawyer before he was elected mayor, and his law partner, Alan Schwartz, was probably one of Koch's three or four closest personal friends. And Koch had made him the corporation counsel of the city of New York, its top lawyer. And when he had left that job, Donald hired him. Even though they had had many tortured exchanges between the Koch administration, he hired one of Koch's closest friends and top lawyer.

He played every angle. He hired Andrew Cuomo when Mario Cuomo was governor. I don't think he invented this manner of leverage, but it was certainly more than just donations. Whatever it took to compromise a public official.

Joe Anastasio was Mario Cuomo's bodyguard, essentially. Mario never left Joe; he was by his side all the time. When he left state service, who hired him? Donald Trump!

It was a series of relationships like that that Donald used to help put together this empire. He is an expert at compromising politicians.

It would seem to me that that would more likely be viewed by voters as a disqualifier rather than a qualifier.
Wayne Barrett covered Donald Trump for 40 years. Here's what he's learned. - Vox

Wayne Barrett is an American journalist. He was[1] an investigative reporter and senior editor for the Village Voice for over 20 years. He is currently a Fellow with the Nation Institute and contributor to Newsweek.

He is the author of many articles and books about politicians, especially New York City figures such as Ed Koch, Donald Trump, and Rudy Giuliani. He is a major interviewee in Kevin Keating's 2006 documentary Giuliani Time. He is also on the adjunct faculty of the Columbia Journalism School.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_Barrett

Me: If this guy wants to turn traitor to his class that would be a real coup for the little people, he knows where the bodies are buried. In any case the guy thinks ahead, the guy puts together a plan and then spends years executing it to get what he wants, which is the opposite of what Washington does now, jump from crisis to crisis usually not very well. I say let's give Trump a try, at the very least he will show us something new.
 

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Thank you for the read. Definitely the most enjoyable political reading I've done lately.
 

Gaugingcatenate

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Frum stopped just short of saying Hillary Clinton is a superior Presidential candidate to Trump, but was otherwise pointing that direction.

Unfortunately, a large number of Republicans have become so corrupted, so nihilistic they can't see the wiser choice before them. For all of their bluster, even the National Review has just enough seeds of Trumpism to falter.
The wiser choice? Hillary Clinton is the wiser choice? Talk about corrupt, lacking any moral compass... besides being totally incompetent.
 

Fiddytree

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The wiser choice? Hillary Clinton is the wiser choice? Talk about corrupt, lacking any moral compass... besides being totally incompetent.

Yes. At least with Hillary, her incompetence is within normal boundaries. Trump's incompetence and recklessness is unprecedented.

The wiser choice-period.
 

Gaugingcatenate

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Yes. At least with Hillary, her incompetence is within normal boundaries. Trump's incompetence and recklessness is unprecedented.

The wiser choice-period.
The dude has actually built stuff in the real world. You know that world, the one that requires that you actually make something AND jump through all the hoops that government, like the incompetent and corrupt over-the-Hillary, create to make it harder for the rest of us? You don't think that what Trump has accomplished is a bit better than the big siphon hose connected to all kinds of nefarious doings sucking out money by the bucket loads, you know, the Clinton Foundation? Or are you one that thinks she and Bill created that foundation out of the generosity of their true hearts?

You didn't get enough of the Obama economy in the first 8 years? You think Obama was/is more competent? He was/is a fake, an empty suit that can sometimes read teleprompters well. You have accepted America's decline and want to hasten it with the same old same old, political hacks who are dragging the US and our reputation down with them. Many of the same complaints were hurled at Reagan, as he too, strayed from the "normal boundaries".

Trump wasn't my guy, but my god, you folks with the Hillary vote hard on are a bit too much for those who choose to remain sane.
 

Abbazorkzog

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I don't think Hillary's and Trump's nefariousness and insincerity is differing enough to worth mentioning it, period.
 

azgreg

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The wiser choice? Hillary Clinton is the wiser choice? Talk about corrupt, lacking any moral compass... besides being totally incompetent.

Don't make the mistake of confusing the term "wiser choice" with the term "good choice".
 

azgreg

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Am on board with all that. The whole "lesser of two evils" pretty much precludes good choice.

I compare this election with the movie scene where a guy has a gun and the other guy is tied to a chair. The guy with the gun asks where the other guy wants to get shot. Clinton is getting kneecapped while Trump is taking one in the gut.
 

calamity

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A long time ago, more than 20 years in fact, the Wall Street Journal published a powerful, eloquent editorial, simply headlined: “No Guardrails.”

"In our time, the United States suffers every day of the week because there are now so many marginalized people among us who don't understand the rules, who don't think that rules of personal or civil conduct apply to them, who have no notion of self-control."


Twenty years later, that same newspaper is edging toward open advocacy in favor of Donald Trump, the least self-controlled major-party candidate for high office in the history of the republic. And as he forged his path to the nomination, he snapped through seven different guardrails, revealing how brittle the norms that safeguard the American republic had grown.

Here’s the part of the 2016 story that will be hardest to explain after it’s all over: Trump did not deceive anyone. Unlike, say, Sarah Palin in 2008, Trump appeared before the electorate in his own clothes, speaking his own words. When he issued a promise, he instantly contradicted it. If you chose to accept the promise anyway, you did so with abundant notice of its worthlessness. For all the times Trump said believe me and trust me in his salesman patter, he communicated constantly and in every medium that there was only thing you could believe and trust: If you voted for Donald Trump, you’d get Donald Trump, in all his Trumpery and Trumpiness.


Donald Trump and the Seven Broken Guardrails of Democracy - The Atlantic

From Palin to Trump. It's a natural progression. Is anyone really surprised that the R's went this route?
 

Gaugingcatenate

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I compare this election with the movie scene where a guy has a gun and the other guy is tied to a chair. The guy with the gun asks where the other guy wants to get shot. Clinton is getting kneecapped while Trump is taking one in the gut.
Not quite "seeing" your analogy.

As a side-note, we know the bad outcome that is the inevitability of Hillary. However, its possible we could get pleasantly surprised, as we did with Reagan, with an outsider actually getting a chance at bat.
 

Fiddytree

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Outsiderism doesn't work. That's why it's stupid to see it as a virtue.
 

azgreg

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Not quite "seeing" your analogy.

As a side-note, we know the bad outcome that is the inevitability of Hillary. However, its possible we could get pleasantly surprised, as we did with Reagan, with an outsider actually getting a chance at bat.

It felt clunky as I was typing it. :2razz:

Basically both of them are God awful. Which one is worse will depend on your values and priorities.
 

upsideguy

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You mean after the twin disasters of the Ds electing Obama? Nah.

I suppose to a group of people that think Trump or Palin are Presidential material, Obama would look like a disaster. For thinking folk, however, I think you would have a much different assessment. Case in point, Obama is already ranked as one of our better presidents in recent survey's of political science professors (you know, thinking folk)....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_rankings_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States
 

Hawkeye10

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I suppose to a group of people that think Trump or Palin are Presidential material, Obama would look like a disaster. For thinking folk, however, I think you would have a much different assessment. Case in point, Obama is already ranked as one of our better presidents in recent survey's of political science professors (you know, thinking folk)....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_rankings_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States

Goes to show how badly the current class of elite suck.

Which is why we need Trump.

Seriously.
 

Hawkeye10

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Outsiderism doesn't work. That's why it's stupid to see it as a virtue.

If it does not there is always revolution to move onto, so no worries, but lets try MKay?

The less violence the better.

Seriously.
 

upsideguy

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Goes to show how badly the current class of elite suck.

Which is why we need Trump.

Seriously.

Seriously and Trump are not to be used in the same sentence.... other than "you can't be seriously supporting Trump?; or, if you are supporting Trump, your not seriously living up to your duty as a citizen.

Never has such an unqualified buffoon come so close to the Oval office. Fortunately, this is about as close as he gets, as its a good thing that serious voters still outnumber the less serious.
 
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Hawkeye10

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Seriously and Trump are not to be used in the same sentence.... other than "you can't be seriously supporting Trump?; or, if you are supporting Trump, your not serious voter.

Never has such an unqualified buffoon come so close to the Oval office. Fortunately, this is about as close as he gets, as its a good thing that serious voters still outnumber the less serious.

That has been the story since Nov when the smartest of the brain trust finally figured out that there was a real chance that Trump will not go away on his own. It is going to be very embarrassing if a year later they turn out to be wrong. It will be worse than when they were wrong for 9 months about America being in a recession, which turned out to be the worse one since the Great Depression, which is why we call it the Great Recession. Then there is the gutting of jobs, the Middle East super colossal very expensive in treasure lives and credibility of the elite disaster. Worst of all it is the grotesque immorality of spending the kids and grandkids into crushing debt as we dont even bother to pretend to be trying to keep America in good repair.



You betcha is time for Trump, it is far past time for Trump.

I am not going to be talked out of either my rage nor the direction or fashion my rage takes.

Put Trump and thus the fear of God into the coastal elite, it might do them some good, and nothing else has worked.

"TRUMP IS NOT AMERICA, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO VOTE FOR TRUMP AND BE CONSIDERED A GOOD PERSON!"...ya maybe, we'll see.






EDIT: "you are too crude, you cant talk" we are told.....**** that, we are Americans, and some of us still believe in freedom, and some of us still know what is important, and know how civilized people measure things. You want manners you say??? Then dont lie to people and **** them over. MKay?
 
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