Trump’s real weakness

Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

While Donald Trump has remained the leader in every poll for president since he entered the campaign, it still remains to be seen whether Republican voters will give him the nod when actual voting begins in the primaries. I have tended to believe that they will not, and I base this on Trump’s essential lack of understanding of the small government principles of conservatism. Though it is very clear that Trump has rejected the left and the big government ideas of the Democratic Party, it is also clear that he really doesn’t really believe in small government either. This story quoting a Trump speech from yesterday illustrates this very well:

Speaking during a town hall meeting in Iowa Thursday, Republican front-runner Donald Trump told the crowd the way to make college affordable for students is “to start some governmental program. … Well the only way you can do it is you have to start some governmental program and you have governmental programs right now,” Trump told the crowd.

Click on the link to read the whole quote, which also illustrates the generally incoherent way in which Trump speaks. His incoherency however, is not what hurts him here, but his easy acceptance of the idea that government is the solution.

Don’t get me wrong. Trump is by far a better candidate than any of the Democratic Party options, and he would do a far better job then them as well. His business experience in the real world will make him a better president, and is also likely the reason he now generally favors conservative solutions. Nonetheless, when voting time comes I think the Republican voters are going to move away from him.


  • Cotour

    The best presidents check themselves and rise to the occasion and become more than they are.

    An employee, who identifies as a liberal, although she agrees with me on 95 percent of any political issue that we discuss, said to me the other day “Trump is such a meatball, why can’t he be smart and an “intellectual” like Obama ?” A self answering question if I ever heard one, I just laughed as I reminded her of her failed love affair with Obama who she now despises, as I predicted 8 years ago.

    If Trump goes the distance and the party rejects him using some technicality then no conservative will enter any voting booth in 2016 and the Republicans will loose badly when they should be winning in an unprecedented land slide.

    Trump is a different kind of cat for sure, but he is an American. Much more than I can say for any Democrat and many Republicans. I suspect that Trump, as is Trumps way, will clarify what he really meant and get his pass from the big government opponents. He has a knack about him, that’s Trump, making lemonade out of lemons.

    Give me a good American meatball!

    (PS: He has already said about healthcare that “we” are going to have to pony up to fix this thing in the correct way. That is going to mean in a way that can be lived with by both party’s, but hopefully more jammed down the throats of the libs )

  • Garry

    Coutour wrote “The best presidents check themselves and rise to the occasion and become more than they are.”

    To me, this speaks directly to the character issue; I could paraphrase it as “the presidents of good character check themselves and rise to the occasion and become more than they are.”

    I like that people are choosing Trump; it tells me that many, like me, are sick of the usual politicians.

    At the same time, I’m not sure Trump is the right guy. This predates the current election cycle; in recent years two times I almost called in to national radio shows when he was being interviewed, to counter the ridiculous points he was making. In the more blatant instance, he said that every time we start up an aircraft carrier group it costs us billions of dollars, so next time North Korea rattles its sabers, we shouldn’t send a carrier group until South Korea pays us billions of dollars. I was going to ask him why we would change our foreign policy based on what other countries pay us; if it’s in our interest to make a show of force to North Korea and we have the means to do so, then we should. I thought that perhaps he was saying it for show, and if he were president he wouldn’t let this guide his decisions, but I don’t know.

    There are better examples I’m sure, but this kind of thing gives me the impression Trump is too ready to shoot from the hip without thinking things through. Perhaps a lot of it is show, and perhaps he would surround himself with people who could help him check himself and rise to the occasion.

    Clearly, we need a president who could serve as a counterweight to Putin, among others. That doesn’t mean the president has to shoot from the hip, or say things that I think are beneath the dignity of the office (although he’d have to try very hard not to improve on the current president in this aspect). For example, I saw no reason for Trump to tweet out last week that he was glad Rhonda Rousey lost her title match, because she’s a terrible person. I want a president who is willing to stand up to anyone, but gratuitous insults shouldn’t be part of that.

    I also want a president who can negotiate, especially one who can do it behind the scenes. Reagan was a master at this, and in hindsight so was Clinton (partially because in some sense he had no solid principles so he wasn’t really compromising). I don’t mean the president has to always give in, just that he be open to input, something Obama is the worst at. I have hopes that Trump can fit this bill, but also have doubts and want to learn more about him and the other candidates.

    We also need someone who has some charisma and can be inspiring, and Trump has some of this, but will he be able to inspire the country without offending a huge part of it?

    Clearly, we also need someone to clean out the bureaucracy, trimming it down to size and, probably more importantly, dismantling the many bloated empires that have been created under the control of individual liberal bureaucrats. Big business is probably the best background somebody can have to be able to do this, but Trumps apparent belief in big government gives me pause.

    This has the makings of one of the most interesting, and perhaps pivotal, elections in a long time.

    I think we tend to overvalue the presidency; during primary and election season we tend to focus on a lot of areas where the president has little or no influence, but getting the right president would certainly be a good start.

  • Cotour


    Very well thought out and reasonable thoughts on the subject.

    George Washington is the metric for me, not easy shoes to fill for sure, and still the shoes must be filled.

  • D.K. Williams

    I’m not sure most voters would be aware of, or even care, about Trump’s big government tendencies. Given the plethora of terrorist attacks in recent times, voters will support a candidate who makes them feel safe. This is a bit of an oversimplification as clearly Graham won’t get the nomination, but it makes Trump a hard man to beat. In the Carolinas, I’ve noticed homemade signs for only one candidate–Trump.

  • Max

    Trumps 15 year reality show is coming to an end. Does he slowly fade away? Or do what Trump does, step up his game to the ultimate reality show. As owner of a beauty contest, he knows what people want to see, hear, and what is entertaining. He’s tired of paying politicians to do his bidding. (his donations to Hillary demanded her to be present at his wedding)
    Now he wants to be the one who gets wine and dined and his expense account will grow greatly!…fabulously larger. No longer will he need to pay both sides to get his way. (commonly called donations)
    People will be flocking to build more trump towers for a little political “Quid pro quo.”
    As a lifelong Democrat, he only thinks terms of big. Big government, big buildings, big show all to feed his big ego. His candidacy may have started out as a spoiler, (remember the reward for Obama’s real birth certificate?) his high polling numbers with the “we are tired of politicians, we want to be entertained” crowd have affected his ego. So now he wants to see if he can win the nomination. He will make Hillary look presidential and he will still get what he wants for helping her.
    There is nothing better for a gambler than a no lose situation. (remember Ross Perot’s $3 billion contract?)
    This is his final gamble. The one that will put him in their history books. And he’ll be great…

    Every time I hear him I think of the road that was paved with good intentions. It’s not paved with gold as some might think, but with the blood of the unintended victims of progress. Thank you republican and Democrat progressives … May the road you built on the ruin of this country take you where you deserve !

  • Joseph

    Sorry to burst your bubble Mr Zimmerman
    Donald Trump will continue to gain strength
    The media , and republican attacks will only make him
    stronger . furthermore he’s the ONLY republican
    candidate that can get enough independant
    votes to win the 2016 election. Ted Cruz is probably
    the most qualified but he could never win. So let
    us pray that Mr Trump doesn’t lose ground and keeps gain strength

  • I certainly hope that none of the people complaining about the cost of college are economics majors. If so, they should demand their money back. College (and health care, and the cost of living) isn’t expensive due to lack of government money and regulation, it’s expensive because of it.

  • Edward

    Joseph wrote: “he’s the ONLY republican candidate …”

    Is he really a Republican, or is he — like Michael Bloomberg — a Democrat running on the Republican ticket? Trump’s proposals seem more like a Democrat’s.

  • hondo

    Blair Ivey – whoa! You do know it! Trouble is, its hard to get people to understand that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *