Obama’s Trump Card

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tom B, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. Tom B

    Tom B

    April 26, 2011

    Obama’s Trump Card
    The damage the Donald can do

    The boomlet for Donald Trump as a Republican nominee for president of the United States ought to be a wake-up call for Republican candidates and Republican party leaders alike.

    Why has Trump surged ahead of other Republican candidates and potential candidates in the polls? It is not likely that his resurrection of the issue of Barack Obama’s birth certificate has aroused all this support.

    The birth-certificate issue does more political damage to Obama’s critics than to the president himself, because it enables the media to paint those critics as kooks. Nor are Donald Trump’s political positions such as to create a stampede to his cause.

    Radio-talk-show host Mark Levin has rebroadcast Trump’s varied and mutually contradictory statements on political issues and personalities over the years. It was a devastating revelation of Trump’s “versatility of convictions,” to use a phrase coined long ago by Thorstein Veblen.

    So then what is Donald Trump’s appeal? And why should it concern Republican leaders in general?

    Trump has what so many other Republicans are so painfully lacking: the ability and the willingness to articulate arguments clearly, forcefully, and in plain English. Too many Republicans talk like the actor of whom a critic once said, “he played the king like he was afraid that someone else was going to play the ace.”

    What electrified so many Republicans about Sarah Palin in the 2008 election campaign was that her speeches offered such a contrast to the usual mealy-mouthed talk common among other Republican candidates, including Sen. John McCain. Whether you agreed or disagreed with her position on the issues, you didn’t have to wave your hand in front of her eyes to see if she was awake.

    Donald Trump is dangerous in at least two senses. If, by some tragic miracle, he should become the Republicans’ candidate for president in 2012, that would be the closest thing to an iron-clad guarantee of a second term in the White House for Barack Obama.

    That would be a huge setback for the Republicans — and, far more important — a historic catastrophe for this country.

    What seems more likely is that Donald Trump as a candidate for the Republican nomination would use his superior articulation skills — not to mention brash irresponsibility — to trash all the other Republican candidates for that nomination, leaving them damaged goods in the eyes of the public, and therefore less able to gather the votes needed to prevent the reelection of Obama.

    Why Republicans seem not to understand the crucial importance of putting the same time and attention into articulating their positions as the Democrats do is one of the enduring mysteries of American politics.

    It was obvious that the Democrats coordinated their talking points and catch-phrases — “social justice,” “tax cuts for the rich,” etc. — even before the overheard and recorded statements of Sen. Chuck Schumer about Democrats’ plans to repeatedly use the word “extreme” to characterize Republicans.

    But how many Republican catch phrases can you remember? Republican rhetoric tends to range from low key to no key.

    Nor is there much evidence that Republicans have asked themselves how the left wing of the Democratic party gained such ascendancy in recent years, in a country where millions more people identify themselves as conservative than as liberals.

    In short, there is little or no evidence that most Republicans see any need to fundamentally change their approach to the public. But if they think that they can rely on Obama’s declining popularity to win the 2012 election, they may be in for a rude shock. Worse yet, the whole future of this country and of Western civilization will be in jeopardy — in a world where the likes of Iran and North Korea become nuclear powers while we engage in empty talk at the U.N.

    Barack Obama’s declining support in public-opinion polls makes some conservatives feel that his reelection hopes are doomed. But Donald Trump can be Barack Obama’s secret weapon in his fight to remain in the White House. The Donald can be his Trump card.

    — Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. © 2011 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

  2. when the republican party is based on courting the crazies and ignoring rational thinking people why should you be surprised when your base jumps to someone even crazier than you?
  3. Ricter


    Good essay. I disagree with this:

    "Trump has what so many other Republicans are so painfully lacking: the ability and the willingness to articulate arguments clearly, forcefully, and in plain English."

    I do not believe Reps lack the ability to make their arguments clear. Their problem is that the public thinks they represent the rich, and most folks don't want to hear supporting arguments for the rich right now, no matter how clear. It may be that Obama is just as much a capitalist as the rest of the one-percenters in government, but at least he talks as if he cares about labor. Enough so that he's gotten the label "socialist", and been accused of stoking class warfare.

    I have never heard so much class consciousness in the American mediasphere as I have since the Great Recession started. Odds are it will fade away as it has in those times before mine. Still, it does indicate a possible reason for the "rise of the left", growing income inequality. You can hide it more unequal societies than our own, the true dictatorships, by censoring the media, but you can't do that here.
  4. jem


    Until the govt shrinks class consciousness is hear to stay...

    the dems are nothing but a patchwork of non working free loaders, govt employees, fringe crazies and radicals, misfits,outcasts minorities and the hopeful with money who wish to exploit their voting power.

    the republican base is hard working, private sector, tax paying americans.

    because of the deficit, and inflation caused by the crazy spending,

    the tax paying base wants to cut back on the free ice cream to the free loaders and the overpaid govt employees.
  5. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

  6. Ricter


    If most of the hard working, private sector, tax paying Americans are republicans, then it stands to reason that it's mostly republicans that have been laid off during this recession. Now, what were the causes of this recession again?
  7. The greatest threat America faces is from within... the desire of the Democrats and Leftists to exercise governmental power over everyone and "the more I can get for free, the better", attitude of the greedy.

    Speaking of "greedy"... the Left portrays the well-off and rich as greedy.. because they want to not pay so much in taxes and to keep more of what they've earned. The Left and their followers want to TAKE MORE AND MORE FROM OTHERS FOR THEMSELVES.

    Let me ask... which group is the greedy?
  8. that may have been the republican of the reagan era but not today. middle class republicans today are manipulated by guns, god and gays fears into voting against their own interests.

    An April 6 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 61% of people favor a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, down from 71% in 1995. Support falls to 27% when people are told that this would require a 20% cut in entitlement programs.

    An April 4 YouGov poll found that an overwhelming majority of people favor large budget cuts. However, majorities also favor increased spending for education and medical research, and a strong plurality favor increased spending on clean energy technology.

    An April 1 CNN/Opinion Research poll examined peoples’ knowledge of how the federal government spends its money. It finds that most really have no idea what percentage of the budget goes to various programs.

    A March 31 Pew poll asked people which among these programs the federal government spent the most on: Medicare, education, scientific research, or interest on the debt. Only 29% of people correctly said Medicare, 7% said education, 7% said scientific research, and 36% said interest.

    On March 9, the Harris poll found strong opposition to cutting Social Security or Medicare benefits to deal with the budgetary problems of those programs. People are also opposed to raising taxes to fund them.

    On March 2, a NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found strong opposition to cutting spending for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, K-12 education, heating assistance for the poor, college student loans, Head Start, and unemployment insurance. There was majority support only for cutting nuclear power subsidies, aid to state and local governments, the EPA budget, and spending on transportation and infrastructure projects. The poll also found that 81% of people would support a surtax on millionaires to help reduce the budget deficit, and 68% would support eliminating the Bush tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000.

    On March 1, the Tarrance Group issued a poll which found that 63% of voters incorrectly believe that the federal government spends more on national defense and foreign aid than it does on Medicare and Social Security. Also, three-fifths of voters believe that the budget can be fixed just by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse.
  9. Ricter


    The 50's were really America's zenith. Back then people knew their place and you didn't have all this leftist crap we do today like unions and income equality.
  10. Those polls are dishonest and meaningless. No one is advocating "cuts" in any of those programs. They are saying that as set up now, in a few years, we can't possibly afford them. If you recast the poll question as "Are you in favor of modifications to these programs to prevent them going bankrupt?" I am sure you get a totally different answer.
    #10     Apr 26, 2011