The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Trump Is Viable in a General Election and Has Left-flanked Hilary

Donald TrumpHe’s a nativist populist.

Yesterday, during the debate he said that he wanted something even better than the single payer that Sanders is offering. Then he said that people are dying on the street (from poverty) and that he’d make that stop.

If Trump is the general election candidate, he left-flanks Hilary on economics. It is not even close. He wants bilateral trade deals (if you are anti-“free trade,” you want this too.) He does not want to diminish Medicare and SS. He wants universal health care.

His policy platform is pitched to appeal to the working class. They don’t like immigrants, and under the current economic regime, that makes sense: They are competing for the same jobs, and there aren’t enough jobs. I favor immigration, but you have to have an economy set up to deal with it.  Right now the US does not.

Trump’s got a minority problem. They aren’t going to vote for him.

But he has the ability to mobilize huge swathes of the white working, lower and middle classes.

He’s also less of a hawk than Clinton on foreign affairs.

A lot of people think he can’t win the primary, and he can’t win the general. I’m really not sure. He has the potential to be a real phenomenon. He parses as an outsider. He feels like a “conservative,” but his actual economic policies are left-wing and populist.

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He gets past, then, as many Americans desire to vote for the conservative. He will peel off a chunk of people who would usually vote Democratic for economic policy reasons. He is more credible on SS and Medicare than Clinton, which will appeal to the olds.

Steal Bernie’s free college plank (or offer something close to it), and he could clean up amongst youngsters as well.

Nothing’s guaranteed, but…

And, for the record, I think he’s more palatable than Cruz, the other front-runner. It isn’t like either of them are good candidates from my point-of-view, but Cruz is saying even crazier things than Trump, without any of the good stuff, and appears far, far more severe.

Both, are, of course, scum. Trump fell over himself to talk about how he’d torture yesterday, and I’ll have no truck with such.

But amongst evils, he’s not the worst, and that’s what American elections are about.

Pick yer poison.

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The American Death Wish


What Sort of Person Does Evil or Stands by While Evil Is Done?


  1. SumiDreamer

    When you look at the stats taken for the Iowa caucus, Hills carried only two sets of people:

    Old people who are more pro-Authoritarianism (give that nice pants suit lady white supramacist her plantation on Pennsylvania back!)

    And suburbanites who have, through some miracle, dodged the foreclosure bullet.

    Until Steinem’s big boo boo, the Clinton campaign has been cautious to say anything that might alienate young female voters, who they think should be pro-Hillary as her RIGHT. She will never win them back now … Mad Maddie’s endorsement didn’t help her either.

    The Kochs had planned to get behind Rubio but were cautious after their Scottieboy Walker huge mistake. Marco’s adderal breakdown shows that the Koch’s selections tend to trip up on their own shoelaces.

    Cruz will easily be demolished; even his kids don’t like him.

    Trump may end up being the only one left standing ….

  2. S Brennan


    As you know, I have suggested Trump will fall victim of Murder by Aircraft [MBA], or some other such deep state machination…to the polite applause of “liberals” for the EXACT reasons you outlined above. He, hate him or love him, threatens the corporate state.

  3. Steeleweed

    I have detested Trump since he first came to public notice. He’s a blowhard egomaniac who will say and do whatever it takes to get his own way. Hs guiding principle is Look How Super I Am. He understands what the crowd wants to hear but hell, we all do. He certainly isn’t the first public figure or politician to pander to the worst instincts of the people – Father Coughlin, Joe McCarthy and the Nativist and Know-Nothing parties. .
    That said, I would choose him over Cruz or Rubio, his only serious challengers in the GOP. I agree he could siphon off some of Clinton’s support, but that might be compensated for by those who support HRC simply because she’s a woman. I know GOP women who would vote for Hillary for no other reason than that..

    I think Sanders would do better against Trump than Clinton and is less likely to have his support eroded.

    My feeling is that Trump is in it for his ego’s sake.
    Clinton is in it for her own sake and the sake of the banksters & MIC.

    Bernie is in it for the sake of the people. And if – as is likely – nobody can fix our problems, I’d rather have Bernie preaching his message to the next generation from the ‘bully pulpit’.

  4. Jim

    Trump should be the biggest worry to the Democrats especially if H Clinton wins the nom. How does he not make Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin, PA, MN close enough that serious money has to be spent? You know he will wrap NAFTA around her neck and only local politics keeps Michigan off this list.

  5. Some Guy

    Zero Hedge recently (Jan 25) recounted an interview Trump did with Playboy in 1990 – required reading for anyone looking to understand his current run IMO.

    A couple of quotes:

    “Well, if I ever ran for office, I’d do better as a Democrat than as a Republican-and that’s not because … I’d be more liberal, because I’m conservative. But the working guy would elect me. He likes me. When I walk down the street, those cabbies start yelling out their windows.”

    “I don’t want to be President. I’m one hundred percent sure. I’d change my mind only if I saw this country continue to go down the tubes”

  6. V. Arnold

    @ Some Guy
    February 8, 2016

    “I don’t want to be President. I’m one hundred percent sure. I’d change my mind only if I saw this country continue to go down the tubes”

    Well, he’s good for his word…
    But scary as hell.

  7. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Sanders will probably win New Hampshire.

    OTOH, Iowa was as lily-white as New Hampshire, and he only eked out a statistical tie in that one.

    But South Carolina? And the other states with large non-white populations? And the big states?

    Not unless he falls asleep in a tanning booth turned up to “11”.

    (Yeah, I’ll go to Areinnye for that one. Worth it.) 😈

    Seriously, Obama and Clinton seem to have buried whatever hatchets lay between them. With Obama supporting Clinton (if quietly), and no non-white candidate running for the Democratic nomination this time, La Clinton will enjoy the usual Clintonian lock on the non-white vote.

    As for the general election, as Ian said, the minorities aren’t going to vote for Trump.

    And this is now a nation with a non-white majority, a “majority of minorities”.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  8. Escher

    I’ll confess I don’t understand the summary writing-off of communities of color to Hillary, except as a Clinton talking point. (And I have to say, the underlying premise of blind allegiance strikes me as pretty racist.)

  9. All of the discussion seems to be based on the idea that the economy stays as it is. What if it declines between now and the election? What if the stock market declines significantly, unemployment rises by more than a trivial margin? Neither is at all unimaginable. What happens?

  10. American elections: The “least of the evils”.
    How “culturally default” can one get?

  11. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Have I been misinformed?

    I cheerfully admit I did not do the research (I certainly did not become a leftist because I wanted to work hard), 😆 but have not the Clintons won majorities of the non-white voters in most or all of the elections in which they have run?

  12. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Except 2008, of course. (I can haz edit feechur, plz?) :mrgreen:

  13. ekstase

    There’s something about Trump vs. Clinton that just seems so insane that it can’t happen. Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but it’s like a choice between two marshmallow cookies that have gone bad. We’ve had all the fluff we can handle.

  14. Mike

    That’s a very interesting post. I’m feeling much the same way. So that raises the ultimate question: what about an independent Sanders-Trump ticket? Crazy, I know. But a chance to blow both the Democratic and Republican establishments out of the water shouldn’t be dismissed too casually. And it’d be so much fun watching the media try to cover it.

  15. cripes

    Yeah, the fix was supposed to be in, but Trump and Sanders are rattling the cages.

    Despite the Obama and Clinton regimes being truly awful for minorities and black folks in particular, Glen Ford attributes their continuing popularity to the betrayal of the Black Misleadership class, and most likely, the idiots at MSNBC.

    So , the establishment of both parties are doing their (worst) to derail those candidates and the legitimate grievances of the voters drawn to their left/right populism. Funny how the media treatment of Sanders is to ignore and/or belittle him and with Trump it is TV saturation and endless loops of ignorant outbursts.

    In the event either man wins a nomination, but not both, I think he will win. That is Trump vs Clinton, or Sanders vs Cruz – the establishment loses. If either gets the white house, their own party will do to them what the Dems did to Carter, which is obstruct their own president.

    And yes, an economid collapse timed simlir to 2008 would propel the populists into office, but I really doubt the PTB would allow that to happen before the election. Do it after, and blame it on the outsider!

    Trump vs Sanders would be interesting. Would either party even get behind their candidate?

  16. Ol' Man River

    Trump For Prez signs sprouted on lawns all over town over the first weekend in February 2016 here in SW Michigan

    saw one Cruz sign

    no signs for anybody else

  17. Hugh

    Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama. The first two empty suits. The last two, con men. These are four of our last five Presidents. And no, I am not a fan of George Herbert Walker Bush either. But if people like this can become President, indeed if these are the people who we are now usually electing President, then it makes sense in a highly dysfunctional way why really any of the current candidates could become President.

    The joke, as unpleasant as it is, is that of the four, Reagan was by far the most experienced. He had had a substantial career before entering politics and had been Governor of the largest state in the country. George HW Bush who had much more actual experience than any of these guys, on the other hand, was very much a second tier, indeed one term, President compared to them. The other three, by comparison, had very little experience, yet all served two terms. (Dubya was Governor of Texas, the second largest state but largely forgotten is the fact that the Governor of Texas is mostly a ceremonial office with little power compared to Governors in other states)

    Experience is definitely not a preresquisite for office, so in the black comedy in which we live it is kind of funny that Hillary Clinton keeps pounding away at how much experience she has. Of course, being a Clinton, this “experience” is itself a con. (Clinton = grifter) She is the wife of a cheating, sexaholic Governor of a small state (Arkansas ranks 33rd in US population and contains less than 1% of the population), then his First Lady as his sexual predation certainly not unknown to her and finally paraded before the whole country in the Clenis impeachment continued during his terms in office. She managed to parlay this, with the help of Wall Street, into a Senatorship from New York. But she was a pretty undistinguished Senator. She sponsored no major legislation and did not use her position as a soapbox to push for or resist any major initiative. Indeed her most memorable act as Senator was her 2002 vote for the Iraq War. And it wasn’t just that she voted for the war. She supported it for the next 12 years, her only criticism being that if she were in charge, she could have done it better. Only in 2014 did she finally admit that the war was a “mistake” but without apology or explanation for her long support of it and criticism of its opponents. She ran for President in 2008, treated it as a coronation, and lost to a no-name junior Senator from Illinois because the country was sick to death of lying, scheming Clintons. (OK, so the country got a lying, scheming junior Senator from Illinois) As a way to shut her down, Obama stroked her ego by giving her State. It was mostly a sinecure. Most of US foreign policy is now run through the DOD. Her one sparkling moment (besides the Wikileaks cables leak) was the Libya debacle. You might have thought Iraq might have served as an object lesson for what happens when you destroy a country, but noooo. So now we are in 2016 and Clinton is still campaigning like it is for a coronation. And that is so indicative. She is somebody who just doesn’t learn from her mistakes. She keeps repeating them, thinking that next time she can, not avoid her mistakes, but do them better.

    Sorry for wandering off topic.

  18. Mallam

    Have you read his tax plan? It’s the most redistributive from poor to rich than any of the Republicans. The top 0.1% get an average tax break of 1.3 million dollars. It will give the average person $2,700. It would therefore also run a substantial deficit (which is not a reason to oppose it, per se, but the math purely doesn’t add up). If you’re saying he can “sound” like a left wing economic populist, maybe, but when looking at the details it’s pure snake oil.

  19. Escher

    @Ivory Bill

    All right, I see your empirical claim, at least, but I don’t buy it. You’re talking general elections, right? Where the competition was a conservative Republican? From a party that all but openly loathes brown people?

    I know the establishment papers (and the careerists of all colors that they employ) are pushing the line that Bernie can’t win the Black and Latino vote, but if you look at the data over time, he picks up votes from everyone at about the same rate. When most people hear what he has to say, they like it. So I see this as an outreach game, pure and simple. Sure, he’s starting from behind and he has to hustle for votes that Hillary otherwise can take for granted, but if he reaches enough people, he wins.

  20. Escher

    Now I’m wondering when was the last time a Clinton actually faced a serious challenger from the left. (Yes, that excludes Obama, even though he let people believe he was left–and won.)

    Harkin in ’92?

  21. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Escher, to quote one of my favorite comic-book super-villain lines ever:

    “You do not dream small dreams.”

  22. Jerome Armstrong

    “Trump’s got a minority problem.”

    He’s malleable, and he’s going to pivot to the black community. He could do much better there than the last two Republicans, 20-25% of the vote there is possible. It’s just among hispanics that he has a problem electorally, but he’s malleable…

  23. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Even Plastic Man isn’t that malleable (or ductile). 😆

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