Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thought for the Day

I'm sick of seeing Donald Trump on the news. David Frum links to a post about the GOP's "war" on Trump at The New Republic by Ed Kilgore that is worth reading. Frum adds his own thoughts, which I think are spot-on (emphasis mine):

Here’s the thing Republican leaders and pundits need to understand. (I said it yesterday, but let’s say it again today.) America has not had a mass conversion to ideological libertarianism. Instead, Americans who feel robbed and duped by the series of financial and economic disappointments and disasters from the dot-com bubble onward are boiling with rage against their financial and political leadership. Conservative Americans express that rage in terms learned from talk radio and Fox News. But the fact that these conservative voters express their rage by talking about “debt” and “taxes” does not mean that they want what K Street wants: a Ryan budget that cuts spending on people like them to finance tax cuts for people much richer than them. They are just using familiar words to express a new and unfamiliar emotion of betrayal and resentment. The GOP establishment has successfully directed those emotions against the Obama administration. But there’s no guarantee that the emotions will remain fixed in that direction – because after all, the establishment GOP is offering little or nothing to allay the discontents producing the anger. Conservatives like liberals have suffered unemployment, the loss of savings, the decline in housing values. Conservatives like liberals find themselves suddenly poorer for reasons they do not understand. Conservatives like liberals fear and dread that Medicare and Social Security will soon be cut to rescue the country’s finances. If the GOP wants to finish Trump, GOP candidates had better learn to speak to those anxieties – to offer a remedy more effectual than the snake-oil now being peddled by Tim Pawlenty.

4 comments:

Ken said...

After some thought I decided to change a word or two:

Here’s the thing Democrat leaders and pundits need to understand. (I said it two years ago, but let’s say it again today.) America has not had a mass conversion to ideological liberalism. Instead, Americans who feel robbed and duped by the rich and locked into the poverty class by welfare state policies are boiling with rage against the middle class and their blue blood conservatives leaders. Liberal Americans express that rage in terms learned from National Public Radio and main stream media. But the fact that these liberal voters express their rage by talking about “organizing on main street” and “ ballot stuffing” does not mean that they want what K Street wants: an Obama budget that refuses to cut spending while promising to raise taxes on people much richer than them. They are just using familiar words to express a new and unfamiliar emotion of betrayal and resentment. Yes, the Democrat party establishment has successfully directed those emotions not against central planners but against the rich. But there’s no guarantee that the emotions will remain fixed in that direction – because after all, the establishment Democrats are offering little or nothing to allay the discontents producing the anger. Liberals who are actually willing to work have suffered unemployment, the loss of savings, the decline in housing values. And liberals, too, find themselves suddenly poorer for reasons they did not anticipate. It is beginning to dawn on liberals that Medicare and Social Security will soon be cut if the wealthy are taxed into a defensive investment posture. If the Democrat party truly wants to secure the welfare state, liberals had better learn to silence the radicals – to offer a remedy more effectual than the snake-oil now being peddled by radicals like Barack Obama.

JDTapp said...

That's a pretty fair re-write.

Ken said...

I believe Trump is being overexposed early on. Timing of campaign announcement is key - you don't want to become too popular too soon in a presidential race. Trump can't refrain and he makes great TV. As long as he maintains the brash tone, he'll grace our screens. Plus, he will take a pay cut to be president. I don't think he'll mind losing.

JDTapp said...

I believe Trump is doing this all just to boost ratings for The Apprentice, and it's working. Millions will tune into the finale to see if he declares his presidency and he'll make money. Meanwhile, so long as he claims to be a conservative, he makes other conservatives look racist and stupid. He's apparently influenced Franklin Graham, whose statements now make religious conservatives now look racist and stupid too. 64% of Americans say they wouldn't vote for him (or Sarah Palin) in any situation. I hope he enjoys his ratings success.