The Watering Hole, Monday, May 23, 2016: Why Do Donald Trump’s Positions Appeal To You When He Clearly Has None?

We on the Left often talk about low information voters more than they do on the Right, but that’s only because the Right depends on them so much to stay in power. Without the low information voter and the low effort thinkers, Republicans would never have been able to grab onto and retain the political power they currently enjoy and abuse, not only on the national level, but at the state level, too. An informed voter would never vote for a Republican unless that voter was a greedy, rich, selfish bastard who couldn’t care less about helping his or her fellow human beings who are in trouble (often due to Republican policies.) And face it. If you aren’t greedy, rich, or selfish, you really have no reason to vote for a member of a party that openly admits to doing things that help the super rich far more than they help you or anyone else you personally know. I mean, seriously, do rich people need more tax cuts? We are talking about taxing income beyond a ridiculously high point at which they’ll literally be bringing in (not necessarily earning) more money than they can possibly use in their life times or their grandchildren’s, so why do Republicans insist on lying and acting like taxing more of that income will take away all incentive to make money? That’s pure selfishness talking, not sound public policy. And if it’s sound public policy you want out of your public servants, then why on Earth would you vote for Donald J. Trump? What possible argument could you have?

It can’t be because of Trump’s positions on any of the major issues. In addition to the fact that Trump often speaks in incoherent phrases, he has often been unable to state a position and stick to it. Whether it’s on taxing the rich, paying down the national debt, a woman’s right to exercise her constitutional right to an abortion, the minimum wage, money in politics, defeating ISIS, following international laws, immigration, H-1B visas, border control, the Syrian refugee crisis, banning Muslims, being so popular with white supremacists, the KKK and David Duke, the multi-national Iran nuclear deal, or even healthcare in the US, Trump has often stated, then reversed, then modified whatever position he had, sometimes within hours. He expressed three separate and conflicting opinions on abortion in less than an hour and a half. And some of his current positions are in conflict with longstanding planks in the Republican Platform. Here’s the thing: Whichever position Trump had that attracted you to him is almost certainly changed by now, possibly to be the opposite. And if his current position is appealing to you, just wait until he gets criticized on it and it will change again. “Everything’s negotiable” to Trump, even the interest paid on treasury bonds, which is ridiculous, of course. But Trump’s typical low-information, low-effort-thinking supporter doesn’t know that, nor does he know that the people who hold the highest amount of our national debt are you and your fellow American citizens, not the Chinese, as Trump often infers but never states outright (as far as I know.)

It can’t be because of his “honesty” (about which he often brags). Trumps says a lot of things on the campaign trail that simply aren’t true, or even close to true. Sadly for our nation, studies have been showing that, regardless of your political ideology, the truth doesn’t seem to matter. It would appear, to many Conservatives especially, that what you feel to be the truth is what is the truth (to you, anyway). This could explain why Trump tells lies to appeal to Conservatives emotionally, even though the lies aren’t in the least bit grounded in Reality. It feels right to Conservatives, so there must be something wrong with the evidence. It’s a shame, but not a surprise really, the Republican Party has been so antithetical to funding public education. Despite the fact that the truth may not matter, it’s still important that people learn how to think critically about a subject, regardless of whether it’s politics or religion, instead of just accepting what they’re told as true. But critical thinking requires effort, and your average Joe Sixpack conservative has neither the desire nor the ability to put a lot of thought into things. So when they do put that small amount of effort toward a position on something, they often end up choosing the Conservative point of view, even when it provably isn’t the best choice, or even the one that will move them toward their ultimate goals, whatever they are. Donald Trump may at one time in his life said something you also believed. He once said he believed in a woman’s right to choose to undergo an abortion. Now, because he panders to a bunch of low-effort thinkers, he says abortion should be criminalized (despite its being a Constitutional right) and that the doctor should go to jail for performing one, not the woman because she is also a victim. That kind of “thinking” requires you to believe the woman was not choosing to undergo an abortion and that it was done against her will. Kidnapping is already a felony so why would any new laws be needed? If taking away someone’s Constitutional rights can be done by making it illegal to ever exercise those rights, then we should be able to solve our national gun problem by making it illegal to exercise your right to own guns. But that’s not how it’s supposed to work, so these Republican efforts to ban abortion by criminalizing the performance of one cannot possibly withstand Constitutional muster. And neither will Trump’s efforts to bring back waterboarding and other methods of torture (“even worse”). Nor will barring people entry to this country because of the religion they practice. Nor will deporting people born on American soil. Trump has held many different positions on many different topics, so which position on which topic makes you believe Trump would make a good President? Or an effective one? Or even a competent one? Because by the time Election Day comes around, it’s entirely possible that Trump will no longer hold that viewpoint you thought made him better than the rest. So why would you vote for him?

This is our daily open thread. Feel free to make fun of Donald Trump, or discuss anything else you wish.

29 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Monday, May 23, 2016: Why Do Donald Trump’s Positions Appeal To You When He Clearly Has None?

  1. Trump and his multiple voices appeal to the portion of this society that relies on religion-based hate and fear (of LGBT, other religions, the ones not the same “ours” in Amurkkka), on bigotry, on misogyny (men is leaders, wimmin is chicks), and on racism (hate/fear of everyone but white folks, mostly). That doesn’t leave much, if anything at all, to be FOR, other than ass-kicking, war, overloaded jails and prisons, mass deportations, and all the false pride based thereupon. Trump is, if nothing else, the master at portraying false pride, himself being one who has accomplished absolutely nothing in his life other than using, screwing, and milking each and every submissive “cow” out there in order to inflate his own pasture-bull ego.

    The American dilemma is (and has probably been since the country’s birth) that the false pride implicit in religion, money, power, racism, xenophobia, and misogyny serves to dismiss truth and reality in favor of the bland (and phony) image in the mirror. Trump has spent his life primping his own version of that phony image. To accomplish this monumental task, he uses his own tried and true techniques to grab the support of the mental lowlife that has come to define a large and significant share of the American voting public, all via the one thing at which Trump is quite accomplished: the logical fallacy technique labelled Argumentum ad populum, aka any argument that appeals to the beliefs of the multitude and the passions of the audience rather than to salient issues. Thus in Trump’s world (and in much of America’s world), Truth and reality be damned.

    If Trump is elected POTUS and is able to impose his “Apprentice” style agenda on the country, the country can be proclaimed failed, and dead.

  2. Pingback: Low is not only a measure, it’s also a condition « Flexible Reality

    • Clearly, there is nothing stupider than a “smart” wingnut.

      Brings to mind my latest suggestion for a rewrite of the second amendment:

      “A well regulated people being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the Militia to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

      There. Not even a wingnut Supreme Court could screw that up. Makes me wonder what the hell was the matter with Madison when he wrote his fucked up version.

  3. I give you the words of a local Trump voter:
    “MR. McCLARY, YOU SIMPLY DON’T GET IT, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING TO LISTEN TO THIS HOGWASH ANYMORE, THEY HAVE ENDURED THE LAST 50/60 YEARS OF MINE IS BIGGER AND BETTER THAN YOURS, AND, WHAT HAS IT GOT US.

    REPUBS WANT CHEAP LABOR, DEMS WANT MINORITIES VOTES, AMERICANS JUST WANT YOU BOTH TO GO AWAY, HENCE DONALD TRUMP, NOT A REPUB, NOT A DEMOCRAT, JUST AN AMERICAN THAT CANNOT BE BOUGHT AND SOLD.

    YES, A LITTLE ROUGH AROUND THE EDGES, YES, CLEARLY OUTSPOKEN, YES A TAD ARROGRANT, YES, A LITTLE RUDE AT TIMES, HOWEVER, I FOR ONE WILL ACCEPT THOSE FAILINGS SIMPLY BECAUSE HE IS 100% AMERICAN, ACTUALLY CARES ABOUT THIS/OUR COUNTRY AND ALL OF YOU BEST GET OVER IT.

    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, NOT THE AMERICAN DEMS, NOT THE AMERICAN PUBS, NO QUITE SIMPLY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE/HAVE UNITED FOR A COMMON CAUSE, NO STOPPING THEM NOW, WE DON’T NEED YOUR VOTE, WE DON’T NEED THE BUSHES VOTES, WE DON’T THE GRAHAM VOTE, WHO, ALL SIGNED THE PLEDGE TO HONOR THE NOMINEE NOW REVEALING JUST HOW DOWN AND DIRTY THEY ARE.

    IN MY HUMBLE OPINION, BOTH SIDES, JUST A DIRTY BUNCH OF POLITICIANS TRYING TO PROTECT THEIR GOLD MINE, SO PLEASE, BORROW 25 CENTS AND CALL SOMEONE YOU THINK THAT CARES ABOUT YOUR LAPDOG, STUPID, DISGUSTING PROPAGANDA THAT YOURS IS BIGGER & BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSES, THE HOOKIE POOKIE IS OVER.

    AMERICANS HAVE AWOKE AND ARE NOW TAKING CONTROL, SIT BACK, BE STILL, AND LISTEN, HEAR IT COMING, YEP, THE TRUMP TRAIN IS MOVING AND YOU AND THEY ARE NOT WELCOME TO GET ON BOARD, NOPE, NATA, NONE, NO MORE POLITICS AS USUAL, IT’S OVER. BYE BYE.”

    I was somewhat depressed to learn that the “hookie pookie” is over.

    • Welcome the world of Amurkkka. Remember, “YOU AND THEY ARE NOT WELCOME TO GET ON BOARD” the Trump train.

      That’s one favor I’m most grateful to have tossed in my lap.

    • If I knew what the “hookie pookie” was I could be depressed or elated – I need Wolf Blitzer to tell me how to feel about this.

  4. Emily Dickinson asked, “Can the Dumb — define the Divine?” In some quarters, the answer would appear to be ‘yep, ya betcha!’

    Evangelicals think Trump uses secret hand signals to show he’s really a devout Christian

    In a Bloomberg report on Trump’s courting of the Evangelical vote, we learn that “at one recent meeting with Trump, evangelical leaders noted how he often flashes a signature hand gesture, with a thumb out and a finger point to the sky, as he enters and exits rallies.”

    Why could this possibly matter, you ask? We’ll let Trump-supporting televangelist Pastor Mark Burns explain.

    “You see athletes do it all the time and it’s their chance to point to the sky, to thank God for their success,” he told Bloomberg. “Trump does this all of the time, too. He’s giving reverence to the man upstairs. Even with Mr. Trump’s billions of dollars, he too still submits himself to God.”

    • Even with Mr. Trump’s billions of dollars, he too still submits himself to God

      Pastor Burns clearly has no friggin’ clue what he’s talking about. Trump does not act like a Christian at all, and if Burns knew anything about the Donald’s past he would know this. Does Burns actually believe that if Jesus ran for POTUS, he would sound exactly like Trump?

      I meant to work in a reference to an article by David Cay Johnston where he documents Trump’s ties to organized crime.

      • I see it as a situation where “the Dumb” goes out on a limb and pulls out of his ass yet one more way to “define the Divine” such that Teh Stupid can understand and celebrate, mainly because “the Dumb” ‘knows’ that a Republican-controlled gubmint will be far more likely to enable bits and pieces of the Theocracy that evangelicals everywhere dream about and crave. Trump’s candidacy thus becomes part of that old “any port in a storm” scenario, and to hell with ‘traditional’ “God” and “Jesus” definition bullshit. We’ll get back to that when the moment better suits it.

        As Kid Rio (Brando) said to Dad Longworth (Malden), “You’re a one-eyed Jack around here, Dad, but I’ve seen the other side o’ your face.” Amen. It is written.

  5. T’would appear that Trump’s main assumption is that he can fool enough of the people for most of the time until November 8thish

  6. Donald Trump—a psychiatrist’s opinion and concerns

    Psychiatrist Dr. Gail Saltz sat down with CNN to give her views about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Here are some excerpts:

    “​Let me first say, I cannot diagnose Donald Trump. I don’t know Donald Trump. But I would say that someone who spends time creating a very grandiose view of themselves, you know… ‘I’m best in this.’ ‘I’m sexually the best.’ ‘All the women want me’ … and will break the rules, lie, do something unethical for the purpose of that, it certainly makes you think about intense narcissism

    [. . .]

    When CNN asks if Trump’s core constituency will even “give a damn” about this information, Saltz replies:

    “People take in information through the prism of of thought that they already have. So if you’re vastly conservative, you hear everything through that prism. If you’re vastly liberal, you hear everything through that prism. And very few people are open to hearing new information and having an actual change of mind.:

    “That is the human brain.”

    Etc.

    Interesting (and accurate) summation.

    • I would love to know if narcissism is more prevalent in the conservative population.

      • Offhand, I’d say you betcha it is. Especially when I think of (via pain filled process) my cousin, the son of my banker uncle — the cuz who worked 23 yrs as a bank teller and then retired at age 49, thanks to his inherited well-to-do-ness. His driving political motto is “Republicans forever, Democrats never,” and he happily explains all of his “reasoning” to anyone who is willing to understand how it is that it’s mostly only really important Republican people like himself who have their own plane, boat, new house and swimming pool, along with new cars and a basement filled with model trains (among other things).

        Whew. Attempted narcissism explication can be exhausting!

        • Yes it can. I mostly know those who have never met misfortune, have 100K in an IRA, Social Security (that dammit they earned) and believe they will get a cushy retirement out of this because they worked hard. It’s all “Look at me” I can afford some food and have a house and car that I worked harder for than anyone in the history of forever has ever worked, including those lazy folk who were lucky enough to be brought here from Africa some 300 years ago. “I’m a real ‘Murican”. Pretty much a narcissist’s need to defend the false self from any hint of reality.

          • Narcissim: “[the] need to defend the false self from any hint of reality.”

            Excellent. The perfect summation, the perfect definition. In 12 words. Trump, et al., summarized and defined.

  7. Donald Trump and the Art of the Tax Loophole

    “If you get close to paying taxes, you just buy another building,” a real estate friend told me.

    If Mr. Trump were to sell a property, the profits would be taxed as capital gains at far lower rates (23.8 percent) than those imposed on ordinary income (39.6 percent). But real estate owners often don’t even pay capital gains taxes. They can take advantage of a provision known as Section 1031 to swap a piece of real estate that they are ready to part with for one that they would like to add to their portfolio — all tax free. There is no limit on how many swaps they can make, deferring capital gains taxes indefinitely.

    Section 1031 is among the real estate operators’ favorite provisions — and it’s a break not readily available to other kinds of investors. No wonder that attempts to rein in or eliminate Section 1031, including a recent one by the Obama administration, have been met with fierce resistance from the industry.

    The tax benefits don’t stop, even at death. If an investor dies holding appreciated properties, the heirs get a step up in basis, which means that they can sell the real estate and pay no taxes on the gain in value.

    Let that last paragraph sink in a minute. Now think what that would mean if we ever repeal the ‘Rich Fucks Who Die’ tax (Thanks Bill Maher). These wealthy families would never pay ANY taxes at all!

  8. DNC Gives Sanders Campaign 5 Seats On Platform Committee

    According to the Washington Post, Sanders has appointed Keith Ellison, Cornel West, James Zogby, Bill McKibben, and native American activist Deborah Parker as his representatives to the committee.

    Clinton’s appointees, also according to the Post, are “Wendy Sherman, a former top State Department official and Clinton surrogate; Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and longtime Clinton confidante; Rep. Luis Guttierez of Illinois; Carol Browner, a former director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy; Ohio State Rep. Alicia Reece and Paul Booth of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union.

    Debbie Wasserman Schultz appointed the final four, who are “former California Rep. Howard Berman; California Rep. Barbara Lee and author and executive Bonnie Schaefer,” in addition to Rep. Cummings.

    Overall, it looks like Progressives will have a real voice.

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