Monday, March 21, 2016

Trump can't be bought! Really? He is Selling!

An exchange of tweets with a Donald Trump supporter today got me thinking about the meme that Donald Trump is the only candidate that "can't be bought."  My fellow Twitterer was admiring a building in San Francisco that was partially owned by the Trump Company.  I looked up the building and it was built in 1969, when Donald Trump was 23. He had nothing to do with the building, obviously.  Anyway, I learned that my Twitter friend was mostly happy that Trump had kept the Chinese from buying one of "our banks" (It was originally the Bank of America building.) After explaining that B of A was no longer headquartered in S.F., I considered my friend's complaints about  Chinese ownership of American real estate.

Here is my conclusion:  Donald Trump maybe isn't being bought but he does require a healthy number of potential buyers in order for his company to make the maximum profit fom SELLING.  For example, could Trump afford to sign a law that abolished foreign ownership of American real estate, like my friend apparently thought Trump supported.   No.  Take away that huge number of foreign investors eager to buy in the United States and prices will necessarily plummet.  It is the old Law of Supply and Demand. Foreign investors have driven real estate prices up greatly over the last ten years. Not to a lot of benefit for regular Americans, though.  Mostly rich people like Donald Trump. Not to mention the numerous international properties owned by the Trump Company which could  be affected by a country's retaliation on property laws.

Which has got to make you wonder -- how many conflicts of interest would a President Trump have with so many international properties owned by his family?  The usual solution of a blind trust would hardly work in this case.  Giving it all to his children won't help either.  Has any one asked him about this?

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Supreme Court nomination in election year

Mitch McConnell probably has very few defenders.  He is blamed for being too accommodating to the President's agenda.  Democrats feel like he is giving them little, though. I think, as a Republican, he us trying his best to be a responsible leader, both for the party and the nation.

Now, he is the face of Senate Republicans who have declared that there shall be no hearings for the new Supreme Court nominee.  He cites historical precedent that no election year nominations have been confirmed since 1936. He cites a so-called "Biden rule" for the time in 1992 when Senator Biden preemptively declared that if a Supreme Court position opened up then the Senate should not act to confirm any replacement until after the election.

Yes. Fair is fair.  Give the liberals a taste of their own medicine.  But, come on.  Justice Scalia's death was over 11 months before the next president's inauguration. How many other times will we reach back and apply a Democrat's  "rule"  to a Senate run by Republicans? Obviously, only when it suits our purposes. I know, the Democrats would do the same.  And that partisan Republicans are tired of being the nice, responsible people in the room.

But, yes, do the right thing.  Even when your opponent won't.

Hold the hearings. Vote yea or nay.  And just do the job.

In the future, if an opening happens in November after a new president has been elected, then it would make sense to hold off.  But February?  No, not reasonable.

And, most importantly, the Senate Republicans can simply vote no and the next president will get to choose.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Trump voters in 2012?

So many polls, but have any of them asked Trump voters how they voted in the 2012 general election?  Romney? Obama? No Vote? Other?

These Trump voters don't seem the type that would have cast a vote for Obama.

Trump says he's bringing new voters in -- but Romney's share of the White vote in 2012 was greater than Reagan received in 1984, I believe. There's no doubt that Trump's voters are overwhelmingly White and that would not change in a general.

So, I don't think he's bringing in any new voters, but he is inspiring more passion in them.  But a vote is a vote.  No extra points for passion.

UPDATE:  I tried to find my source for the 1984 vs. 2012 White vote statistics.  I think it was the Reagan 1980 election where Romney's percentage of the White vote was higher than Reagan's. I found this Karl Rove article with some relevant facts regarding turnout -- back when we thought we'd be reaching out to Latinos.

Some observers, including Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Buchanan and the Center for Immigration Studies, argue that if Republicans want to win back the White House, they should focus on white voters (who comprised 72% of the electorate in 2012) rather than worrying about Latinos. After all, new Census Bureau estimates are that 100,042,000 whites voted in 2008 but only 98,041,000 did in 2012. Wouldn't it be better to get those two million whites back into the polling booth? 
This argument is incomplete. If as many white voters turned out in 2012 as in 2008—and if Mitt Romney received the 59% of them that he got last fall—then his vote total would have increased by 1,180,590. But President Obama's vote total would have increased by 780,390, and Mr. Romney still would have lost the election by 4.6 million votes.

Authoritarian attitudes and Donald Trump

Two related articles from early March that I need to link on this blog.

Are you "authoritarian?"

by Matt K. Lewis:
I don’t trust politicians. For this reason, I knew Obama was full of it when he promised “hope and change,” and, for the same reason (I suspect), I’ve never been susceptible to Donald Trump’s demagogic appeal. Sure, I like some pols better than others. But they’re all egomaniacs."

More on this issue in detail:

"authoritarians, as a growing presence in the GOP, are a real constituency that exists independently of Trump — and will persist as a force in American politics regardless of the fate of his candidacy.If Trump loses the election, that will not remove the threats and social changes that trigger the "action side" of authoritarianism. The authoritarians will still be there. They will still look for candidates who will give them the strong, punitive leadership they desire.
"And that means Donald Trump could be just the first of many Trumps in American politics, with potentially profound implications for the country."

Friday, March 18, 2016

Trump Documentaries

Donald Trump blocks unflattering documentaries of himself. He would most certainly have YouTube block unfavorable videos if he could. Two examples - One from the 90's and one from a couple of years ago:
1 -

2 -

The Clintons and the Trumps have news trails that goes back decades.  Bill and Don are the exact same age.  Both used college to avoid Vietnam.  Both were in a hurry to achieve something.  Trump to make money.  Clinton to lead through government.  Both were philanderers. Bill at least seems to have a sense of guilt and understanding that he is fallen, but Don doesn't seem to accept his own fault.

We pretty much know everything there is to know about the Clintons due to the Bill Clinton elections of 1992 and 1996. But the Trump excesses in the 80's and 90's have not fully been exposed to a 2016 audience. Newspapers, magazines, films. There is so much that can be used by Democrats against him if he is a major party nominee in 2016.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

What A Trump Nomination Means For Conservatives

As  I was saying about the electorate. . . . 
 In fact, a significant swath of Republicans themselves don't believe in conservative principles. Trump, obviously, is no conservative. He's a protectionist on trade -- a position that smacks of populist pandering rather than informed conservative economics. He believes in an authoritarian executive branch designed to make deals that achieve a win for Americans, rather than a heavily-circumscribed executive branch with prescribed powers of enforcement. He believes that judges sign bills, that legislators exist merely to bargain with the great man in charge and that the military exists to serve as his personal armed forces.
All of this attracts people.

The Electorate

What I'm finally realizing with the Trump primary victories is that the Republican Party is composed of a wide range of types of people. Liberal critiques that called Republicans racist felt false to me, for I am open to all races.  But it is undeniable that southern Democrats in the late 60's felt abandoned by their party and turned to the Republicans to support their vision of an American state having rights of self-government.  Sadly, many of those were people steeped in a tradition and education of racism.  And it is surely unmistakeable that the votes of people like that have helped Republicans win many elections, even if we disavow and reject their racist views.

It appears that this type of Republican that doesn't so much care about the intellectual value of capitalism and conservatism that is giving Trump support in 2016.  No mainstream Republican has ever been blatantly vilifying Mexicans and Muslims in general as Trump did in 2015. But he was rewarded with this behavior, even as more reasonable approaches were offered.

I am suspicious that these people also find Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio unacceptable  because of their Hispanic background.

Not that the Democrats don't also have their problems with loons. They rely on voters who reject Biblical traditional values.  They see no value in the unborn human life and would accept abortion through the ninth month.  They have even abandoned the Democrat Party-supporting black church's view that gay marriage should not be legalized.

So, I am disappointed that the reasonable views of a Marco Rubio who seeks solutions to problems by working with others have been rejected by my party.  A hard line may feel satisfying but the extreme won't pass through the legislative process.

From Democrat to Republican

The political party I have chosen to identify with since 1988 is the Republican Party.  I had embraced liberalism  and the Democratic Party before then.  But as I matured and considered bigger issues, I saw that the Democrats and I were on different sides on the morality of abortion.  They spoke of "choice" but then that "choice" had been carried out millions of times since the Roe v. Wade decision.  In the face of obvious scientific evidence that a fetus is very much a human life, the Democrat Party refused to consider that fact and sought only to placate its strident feminists who made that abortion rights plank mandatory.

Plus, by 1988, it was clear that Ronald Reagan's strong military and supply side economics had America winning the Cold War and bringing prosperity to the people of the United States. So, I voted proudly for George Bush in 1988 and was very happy that he won.  His stewardship over the next four years was excellent but nonetheless, he faced opposition from those mad that he allowed a tax hike to pass and Ross Perot who didn't support free trade and thought the deficit was too high.  This opened the door for a non-majority victory (43%) for Bill Clinton.

Why all this history?  I'll get to that in my next post. . . .

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Trump leading Republican race

Is a blog the place one vents his feelings, thoughts, opinions when the answers being given by society or the voters are really frustrating?  I think so.  It's been a couple of years since I've been active here because I'm content with the occasional reply to a Facebook comment.  But with the Republican race for 2016 president down to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, I needed someplace more than Facebook.

To be continued . . .