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Trump's Jacobin Candidacy

donsutherland1

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Cicero was once said to have stated that “loud-bawling orators were driven by their weakness to noise…” If one looks closely at the way Donald Trump has conducted himself during his campaign one finds an exceptionally high noise-to-substance ratio.

Moreover, whenever a journalist, host, or fellow candidate dares critique him, he launches highly personal attacks at those people. His tactics resemble those of the radical Jacobins of the French Revolution era. Of that radical movement, Alexander Hamilton wrote:

Incessantly busied in undermining all the props of public security and private happiness, it seems to threaten the political and moral world with a complete overthrow.

A principal engine, by which this spirit endeavors to accomplish its purposes is that of calumny. It is essential to its success that the influence of men of upright principles, disposed and able to resist its enterprises, shall be at all events destroyed. Not content with traducing their best efforts for the public good, with misrepresenting their purest motives, with inferring criminality from actions innocent or laudable, the most direct falsehoods are invented and propagated, with undaunted effrontery and unrelenting perseverance. Lies often detected and refuted are still revived and repeated, in the hope that the refutation may have been forgotten or that the frequency and boldness of accusation may supply the place of truth and proof.


What has Trump said about Bush? About Carson? About Cruz's birth?

IMO, even as I disagree with a lot of Senator Cruz’s ideological positions and his conduct in the U.S. Senate, I believe he was unusually accurate in describing Trump as a “fragile soul.” A deep sense of insecurity—in Trump’s case, fear that his fleeting moment of opportunity to win the Presidency will pass, leaving his oversized ambition unfulfilled—drives him to try to destroy all those who critique him. To reduce the risk of his failure, he has adopted a scorched earth approach toward all of his opponents who pose a competitive threat and seemingly all others who criticize him.

That he is pitting Republican against Republican, conservative against conservative, and dividing the nation’s electorate matters little to him. That his temperament is unbecoming of what one would expect from a national leader is irrelevant. Trump sees himself as mythically great, larger than life, a super leader, and the deserving heir of the Presidency. No matter the principle, institution, or idea, nothing is so worthy of respect that Trump will allow it to stand in the way of his extreme ambition.

When one puts his blunt and unfavorable critique of his opponents and the media into a fact-driven context, one finds that Trump is an example of the “loud-bawling orators” reportedly referenced by Cicero. However, he is much more than that.

Trump is a revolutionary who is operating within the framework of the Republican nominating process. He aims not to conform to conventions or rules, but to smash the system—Party and policy, alike. Every day, he is rebranding the Republican Party in a fashion that is not necessarily compatible with its heritage, much less some of its most longstanding economic, social, and foreign policy principles. Should he win the White House, he will seek no less radical changes to the nation’s laws, policies, and programs regardless of Congressional sentiment or constitutional law.

If given the choice between a revolutionary Trump Presidency or the triumph of an “Establishment” candidate from either Party, I find the latter option vastly preferable.
 
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Jack Hays

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Cicero was once said to have stated that “loud-bawling orators were driven by their weakness to noise…” If one looks closely at the way Donald Trump has conducted himself during his campaign one finds an exceptionally high noise-to-substance ratio.

Moreover, whenever a journalist, host, or fellow candidate dares critique him, he launches highly personal attacks at those people. His tactics resemble those of the radical Jacobins of the French Revolution era. Of that radical movement, Alexander Hamilton wrote:

Incessantly busied in undermining all the props of public security and private happiness, it seems to threaten the political and moral world with a complete overthrow.

A principal engine, by which this spirit endeavors to accomplish its purposes is that of calumny. It is essential to its success that the influence of men of upright principles, disposed and able to resist its enterprises, shall be at all events destroyed. Not content with traducing their best efforts for the public good, with misrepresenting their purest motives, with inferring criminality from actions innocent or laudable, the most direct falsehoods are invented and propagated, with undaunted effrontery and unrelenting perseverance. Lies often detected and refuted are still revived and repeated, in the hope that the refutation may have been forgotten or that the frequency and boldness of accusation may supply the place of truth and proof.


What has Trump said about Bush? About Carson? About Cruz's birth?

IMO, even as I disagree with a lot of Senator Cruz’s ideological positions and his conduct in the U.S. Senate, I believe he was unusually accurate in describing Trump as a “fragile soul.” A deep sense of insecurity—in Trump’s case, fear that his fleeting moment of opportunity to win the Presidency will pass, leaving his oversized ambition unfulfilled—drives him to try to destroy all those who critique him. To reduce the risk of his failure, he has adopted a scorched earth approach toward all of his opponents who pose a competitive threat and seemingly all others who criticize him.

That he is pitting Republican against Republican, conservative against conservative, and dividing the nation’s electorate matters little to him. That his temperament is unbecoming of what one would expect from a national leader is irrelevant. Trump sees himself as mythically great, larger than life, a super leader, and the deserving heir of the Presidency. No matter the principle, institution, or idea, nothing is so worthy of respect that Trump will allow it to stand in the way of his extreme ambition.

When one puts his blunt and unfavorable critique of his opponents and the media into a fact-driven context, one finds that Trump is an example of the “loud-bawling orators” reportedly referenced by Cicero. However, he is much more than that.

Trump is a revolutionary who is operating within the framework of the Republican nominating process. He aims not to conform to conventions or rules, but to smash the system—Party and policy, alike. Every day, he is rebranding the Republican Party in a fashion that is not necessarily compatible with its heritage, much less some of its most longstanding economic, social, and foreign policy principles. Should he win the White House, he will seek no less radical changes to the nation’s laws, policies, and programs regardless of Congressional sentiment or constitutional law.

If given the choice between a revolutionary Trump Presidency or the triumph of an “Establishment” candidate from either Party, I find the latter option vastly preferable.
Interesting, but Trump is no Robespierre or Hebert.
 

donsutherland1

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Interesting, but Trump is no Robespierre or Hebert.
We agree. I'm focused more narrowly on how he seeks to destroy his opponents, critics, etc. While I believe his policies would push the limits of the constitution, I believe the U.S. constitutional framework is sufficiently strong to preclude him from going to extremes. Of course, he could still cause a lot of damage were he to win.
 
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