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Completely misunderstanding Trump’s influence in the Republican Party

In a column today at PJMedia, Rick Moran discussed in detail the battle going on right now in Arizona for control of the Republican Party. On one side we have Donald Trump and the candidates he has endorsed, led by Kari Lake for governor and Blake Masters for the Senate. On the other we have establishment candidates endorsed by former vice president Mike Pence and Arizona governor Doug Ducey.

Right now, the polls indicated strongly that the Trump side in this battle is going to win the August 2nd primary, and Moran was attempting to pinpoint the fundamental beliefs behind this rift.

The split in the Republican Party in Arizona and almost everywhere else is not a fight over issues. It’s not even a fight over Trump. It’s a fight over the perception of the party and what it means to be a Republican.

Trump defines the party in terms of loyalty to Donald Trump. And Trump defines “loyalty” as the extent to which you support him — personally and politically. Many Republicans see nothing wrong with that. Others, like Pence, see that kind of cult of personality as unconservative and dangerous. They take a far more traditional view of the Republican Party and want a return to the GOP’s roots of supporting God, low taxes, and small government.

In other words, according to Moran, ordinary Republicans are voting for Trump due to hero-worship, while establishment Republicans oppose Trump because they think such hero-worship unhealthy.

Moran’s analysis appears to represent the thinking of many Republican pundits. It also represents an analysis that is so wrong and out of touch with ordinary Republicans as to be downright laughable.

People are not voting for Trump-endorsed candidates because a childish “loyalty” to Trump. They are voting for his candidates because — based on his actions as President — they strongly believe those candidates are actually going to keep their conservative promises should they win. Trump did keep his campaign promises, and it appears he is trying to find candidates who will do the same. He knows that Republicans are sick and tired of fake conservatives like Pence and Ducey and the Bushes, who for decades have repeatedly made big conservative promises during the campaign but then have stabbed those voters in the back the minute any Democrat screamed at them.

These fakers simply don’t fight, and in Arizona, it is very clear that the candidates whom Pence and Ducey have endorsed are just another bunch of fakers. As soon as they get into office, they will forget all their conservative promises, and team up with the Democrats to maintain the failing status quo.

This is why there is a rift in the Republican Party. The established party has been a failure, and the new upstarts being touted by Trump appear willing to change that. Republican voters have come to recognize that — thanks to Trump — and are now voting accordingly, which is why an enormous number of Republican incumbents have been defeated this primary season.

It is astonishing to find that conservative pundits still don’t recognize these facts. Not only will their blindness leave them repeatedly shocked when Trump candidates win, it makes it impossible for them to understand the true dynamics behind this election season.

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79 comments

  • Ray Van Dune

    Agree completely. Well that, and the thing where the non-Trump-endorsed candidates fall down on the floor choking if they try to say the words “America First!”. That’s why they never say that, I figure.

  • Jeremy, Alabama

    Thank you, Mr Zimmerman. You are correct. Trump supporters are loyal to the things Trump has done and likely would do again. And loyalty is the right word, more or less, because he is embarking on a fight with not just Democrats, but with establishment Republicans and the whole multiple deep-state apparat of Washington DC that also targets and attacks him and his retinue.

    Trump could go very far indeed, such as making massive reductions in the standing bureaucracy. But there the loyalty ends – if he declared elections over and himself the president in perpetuity, he would have very few friends anywhere.

  • Jeff Wright

    This all came before Trump. Both Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party members hated the bail-outs of too-big-to-fail bankers. This populism was reborn.

    For years, chamber of commerce Romney type were open borders, anti-wage, etc. They paid talk radio to talk about how great free trade was. Now we see the failure of the Just-in-time, anti-warehouse model. Covid struck at the service economy we have become since Reagan. Gephardt said a lot of things Trump said. The left them took up the free trade globalist mantra…and with Romney-types are the enemies of America. Tea Party populists felt their oats…and the Romney types found their blue-blood party going red state…and they know the old “let them eat cake” libertarianism that allowed China to grow at our expense won’t fly anymore.

    My problem is this: if you say Trumponomics is a success, then you have to admit Reagan was wrong…or vice versa.

  • Andrew_W

    Trumpists see everyone who disagrees with them as an immoral intrinsically bad enemy, rather than just people with different opinions to them.

  • Gary H

    “Trumpists see everyone who disagrees with them as an immoral intrinsically bad enemy, rather than just people with different opinions to them.”

    Perfect description of the left and, of course, we don’t want to generalize, but your racist, nazis, homophobes, anti woman…yahhh all out of the mouths of Biden’s crew and then there are riots etc..all

  • Andrew_W

    Good description of the far woke left, are Trumpists just trying to match them in their extremism? Was Pence a traitor, which is how Trumpists usually label him, or was he just interpreting his role and performing it as he saw was legally required of him?

  • Andrew_W: Yawn. First, your use of the word “Trumpist” is an example of name-calling. It means nothing and its only goal is smear. Stop it.

    Second, nothing I wrote had anything to do with Pence and the election. My distrust of Pence goes back decades when he was a politician in Indiana. He mouthed conservative values, but never governed that way.

  • Andrew_W

    “Trumpist” is a term I apply to supporter’s of Trump. Those on the far left also get incredibly upset about labels they see as offensive, extreme upset over innocuous labels is a mark of the fanatic.
    Was Pence widely labelled a traitor by supporters of Trump for not supporting Trump’s coup attempt or not?

  • Shallow Minded Reader

    Andrew_W
    look up “kayfabe”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVeVcVBW_CE

  • Shallow Minded Reader
  • Jerry Greenwood

    Bravo!

  • Andrew_W

    Ahh, thanks for the video. Yep, WWE is lightweight entertainment and Trump has adopted much of the over-the-top style of their showmanship to politics, and many people just lap it up.

  • James Street

    Rick Moran used to be a frequent contributor at the American Thinker conservative blog until he finally left in humiliation from constantly being laughed at for his nutty leftist views.

    “Right when the situation looks the bleakest for America, that’s when America digs in, fights back, and begins it’s incredible comeback. And standing before you tonight, I believe our nation is ready for a comeback like no one has ever seen before.”
    – President Trump at his Arizona rally Friday 7/22/2022

  • wayne

    somebody, call me a doctor..

    “Dr. Trump”
    Official Parody Music Video
    Louder with Crowder (2019)
    https://youtu.be/aQgMQCjfkKA
    3:13

  • I view Trump like Johnny Rico’s superiors in the cinematic Starship Troopers viewed Johnny: “You have the job, until you’re killed or I find someone better.”, And at this time, I don’t see anyone better in terms of respecting me as a free man, and expecting me to take the responsibility to get through life making my own decisions.

    There is another reason to vote for him, even over DeSantis (whom I will support if he is the GOP nominee) or another sound candidate:

    We have to prove to ourselves that we can consistently elect leaders who possess the resolve and reliability to institute policies that respect and protect individual liberty … even if that means he/she doesn’t check all the boxes of sainthood, and/or has to be uncivil and obnoxious to do so in the face of the professional/political complex … instead of electing some Nice Person™ we won’t have to explain to our neighbors, but will not advance our rights over top of the complex.

    Electing Trump is a test of our priorities – and our ability to actually be nice to our neighbors, instead of acting civil when their rights are trampled right along with ours.

  • Gary H

    Criticize Trump for his over the top sales personality and his exaggerated style, but his supporters look at results and not fabrications. I like DeSantis and Pence creeps me out, but unless health prevents a run, Trump will be the next Republican to run for president and I’ll support him as will my black and hispanic friends. His base is much more diverse than in 1016 and 2020 and that is bad news for Gavin.

  • LTC SDS

    100% correct Bob. I would prefer someone who has his policy agenda without the baggage. RINOS need not apply. But, if it came down to him or a Leftist Lunatic I’d vote for him in an instant–because of his policies.

  • James Jones

    Nope Mr. TDS. He is the only one that even talks about defeating the administrative state that does as it pleases and not as the people we elect direct them to do. You and many of your ilk don’t get it. Trump is a flawed guy just like every president, but he decided to go to bat for the common man. You RINOs speak populism with a sneer. By populism, I mean a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. This battle is at least as old as the Whiskey Rebellion. It will always be a fight of those that want to tell us what we want and those that listen to the people. The mainliners you speak of are just Democrat light. Your main beef is the political class cannot run Trump. Vague words about conservatism don’t cut it for millions of us.

  • James Jones: I appreciate your contribution, but please don’t double post, and especially don’t triple post. If you don’t see your comment immediately give it some time.

  • Icepilot

    Andrew_W
    “Trumpists see everyone who disagrees with them as an immoral intrinsically bad enemy, rather than just people with different opinions to them.” – the first half of this sentence is hogwash.
    Casually tossing all Trump supporters into the same small box is the consequence of a (I’ll be kind here) less than nuanced mind. Especially after the second half of your sentence, a reasonable approach that you fail to apply to Trump supporters.
    Finally, can you name a single, so-called “coup attempt” (since the invention of firearms) that failed to bring any?

  • Mitch S.

    I have some respect for Pence. Don’t know much about his time governing Indiana, but I know by liberal cousin who lives there hated Pence so he must have been doing something right (I love my cousin but his liberal upbringing has clouded his ability to see through the political fog).
    I don’t think Pence had a choice on Jan 6th, Trump and team did a poor job making their case – not that they could have in the limited time against intrenched opposition, but they should have known that and adjusted strategy (and the nuttiness such as Sidney Powell and her “Kracken” didn’t help).

    But, and a big but, No Republican faced anything like the attacks Trump resisted. Nixon, Reagan, GW Bush got beaten and slammed but nobody had not only 100% of Democrats but also 30 – 50% of Republicans (talking the pols and “elite”) along with 80% of the media and the DC permanent class (the swamp). No President had congresspeople declare they were going to impeach before he even took office. No President had senior FBI members discuss how they had a plan to get rid of him. No President had the FBI use Dem supplied fabricated evidence to spy on and investigate him. No President was impeached (twice! – or was it three times….) on such thin, clearly partisan grounds.
    The next Republican candidate is going to have to be tough, I don’t see Pence being that tough, only Trump or DeSantis.
    Any Repub who claims to be tough – lets see if you are tough enough to stand firmly behind Trump if he’s the nominee. Or will you fold (like Ted Cruz at the 2016 convention) and allow the possibility of 4 more years of woke, increasingly totalitarian madness (I’ll take ego driven nuttiness over totalitarian madness any day!)

  • Andrew_W

    “Casually tossing all Trump supporters into the same small box is the consequence of a (I’ll be kind here) less than nuanced mind.”

    I agree that was a bit sloppy of me, I will state I think it’s a fair representation of Trump and many, if not most of him supporters. And are you now going to claim that Trump and most of his supporters always say “some Democrats”, or “many RINO Republicans” when referring to Trump’s political opponents?

    “Finally, can you name a single, so-called “coup attempt” (since the invention of firearms) that failed to bring any?”

    Many, the recent exit of governing politicians in Sri Lanka was at the least an attempt at a soft coup, the coup in Ukraine in 2004 following a claimed rigged election and the Euromaidan uprising that ousted Yanukovych in February 2014. The overthrow of the Shah of Iran occurred after the military, which had killed many in efforts in support of the Shah, declared itself neutral, without military backing the Shah fled. Please don’t claim that the subsequent hostage ordeal was evidence of firearms use by the revolutionaries in the coup, the hostage ordeal occurred after the change of government. That’s 4 soft coup’s or attempts without even hunting the internet for them.

  • Edward

    Andrew_W wrote: “‘Trumpist’ is a term I apply to …

    Look at that. He makes up a word and expects everyone to understand his meaning. It makes for such clarity of meaning and the ability to understand each other when we have discussions. Otherwise we would now have to wonder what he uses as definitions for “soft coup” and even “coup.”

    I have just now made up a new word to describe people like him, those who just make up their own words. Oh, no, wait. It is an existing word, and I can’t use it here without Robert getting upset.

    “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” — Humpty Dumpty, in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass

  • Andrew_W

    “Trumpist” and “soft coup” are both terms already in use. One person whose comment I saw claimed the former is pejorative because it supposedly implies they’re Trump disciples unable to think for themselves, I guess he means like Christians, Marxists and Thatcherites . . . or something like that.

  • Andrew_W

    Oh, Edward, in English words can have slightly different meanings to different people, especially if they’re in different countries or political parties, one example recently highlighted was “colored people” which is apparently a terrible racial slur in America but not so in many other countries.

  • Trumpists see everyone who disagrees with them as an immoral intrinsically bad enemy, rather than just people with different opinions to them … I agree that was a bit sloppy of me, I will state I think it’s a fair representation of Trump and many, if not most of him supporters.

    Andrew, which faction is driving blacklisting and “cancel culture”?

    What I am seeing, is that the most dominant voices on the Left has embraced a virulent, self-righteous fundamentalism … where Normal People trust those who Know Better™, because they lack the qualifications to decide for themselves … and if you dissent from the One True Way Good People Think, you are The Evil Other Who Must Be Suppressed for the Common Good, by any means necessary.

    What I see from Trump himself, and the vast majority of his supporters, is the rejection of civility uber alles that has tolerated the growth of that, replaced with strong confrontation of the fallacies of that fundamentalism. If you take a look at Trump particularly,. look who he vilifies – and you will find that his “targets” exhibit that self-righteousness and lack of respect for the views of others that I describe.

    Trump’s opponents have become, the very stereotype they decry,

  • Cotour

    From: S.O.M.: “This is a subjective false perspective conclusion on the part of the public. Leadership at its existential core is not about morality, truth and honesty. Leadership is about the fundamental exercise of power and “its” survival.”

    In America but this is true for all empowered politicians. Once most, not all, politicians become politically empowered their natural tendency is to do what they believe is the go along to get along things and what needs to be done to keep that power. They have arrived in the most exclusive tribal club that exists on the planet, the American Congress.

    And or they are seeking to launch themselves in an associated direction where they can leverage their political career into a private / con$ulting money making $ituation. And if they ultimately come to the conclusion that they have to sell out just a little bit then that is OK. Especially if their tribe demands it for the good of the tribe.

    And that is the slippery slope, you soon find out just like in real life, there is no “Just a little bit”.

    Trump blows all of that up and his supporters see that plain as day.

    When Trump says Make America Great Again, he actually means it in word and deed, it’s not just a bumper sticker used to garner votes. Oh, he uses it to garner votes, but then he delivers on his words.

    And that being said you must first become elected. And those who become elected once they are *IN* are or can be drastically compromised and transformed.

    And this is the foundation of the abuse of power and at its worst becomes treason as is what we see clearly before our own disbelieving eyes as the Democrat party machine and the RINO’s that allow them and support their political power show everyone what they are all about.

    And that is the beauty of the Constitution, it forces everyone to reveal themselves to the audience, the people.

    And Trump forces it all to be revealed. Now judge and further empower or fire.

    It’s a beautiful thing, brilliant really.

  • Danimal28

    Completely agree. Thanks for highlighting this. I didn’t vote for Trump in the 2016 primary precisely because I couldn’t see through the fog of Conservative Inc. I quickly recognized my mistake and adjusted accordingly. I would crawl over broken glass naked to vote for Trump again because of his actions that Con Inc. campaigned on but never implemented. George W Bush grew government more than any other and created the spy framework his kind is now employing against Americans and it is disgusting.

  • Cotour

    Andrew W: “Trumpists see everyone who disagrees with them as an immoral intrinsically bad enemy, rather than just people with different opinions to them.”

    No, incorrect, Andrew W, the system (That the Constitution structures) demands that political warfare be fought and during and after those battles over time the people become informed as to who is operating in their interests.

    And then the people further empower or fire those political warriors.

    You must step back a bit to objectively see what is actually underway.

    Why do you think that the process of voting and counting votes is soooo contentious in America or anywhere where a vote has meaning? All is fair in love and war, the Constitution attempts to structure the parameters that the war is fought. Attempts.

  • Danimal28

    Thanks for allowing comments. I just came across this post and found it perfect for this post:

    https://theconservativetreehouse(dot)com/blog/2022/07/24/donald-trump-and-elon-musk-have-something-in-common/

  • @ChicagoBri

    Here’s why I supported President Trump in 2016, in 2020, and will again in 2024. An excerpt from the speech in which he announced his candidacy:

    “ How stupid are our leaders? How stupid are these politicians to allow this to happen? How stupid are they?

    I’m going to tell you — thank you. I’m going to tell you a couple of stories about trade, because I’m totally against the trade bill for a number of reasons.

    Number one, the people negotiating don’t have a clue. Our president doesn’t have a clue. He’s a bad negotiator.

    He’s the one that did Bergdahl. We get Bergdahl, they get five killer terrorists that everybody wanted over there.

    We get Bergdahl. We get a traitor. We get a no-good traitor, and they get the five people that they wanted for years, and those people are now back on the battlefield trying to kill us. That’s the negotiator we have.”

    Simple, clear, and true. He has flaws, as do we all, but he can see what is important, articulate it, and act upon it.

  • Cotour

    “Number one, the people negotiating don’t have a clue. Our president doesn’t have a clue. He’s a bad negotiator.”

    You have an exclusively Pedestrian Realm point of view. They (The politicians that you are characterizing) exist in the Political Realm and your perspective and morality is optional.

    From: S.O.M.: “Strategy Over Morality describes a two-tiered “conversation” between a Public and their Empowered Leadership where the Public believes there is only a single, no tiered conversation occurring and that single conversation is assumed by the Public to relate to the Public’s morality and truth model perspective. ”

    The democrat party and those who are representing their agendas are being VERY successful.

    He negotiates to deliver the deliverables to the agenda that they fully support, the Globalist “Progressive” Liberal Leftist “Climate change” agenda.

    Biden? Very successful from that agenda point of view.

    Kamala in charge of the border? Very successful from that agenda point of view.

    Nothing happening by mistake or misstep.

    They will pay a price, but they are always moving the ball down the field and over time they accomplish their agenda.

  • Delilah

    “Deplorables” voted for Trump in 2016 because he was NOT a politician. They were sick and tired of the elitism and corruption of which Hillary was a prime example. They also voted for him because he was a plain-speaking pro-American who promised to “drain the Swamp” of the Deep State (where I worked for over 20 years). They continue to support him because of his POLICIES which helped working Americans and the fundamental health of the US economy -bringing back US jobs from overseas, expanding the energy sector to make us energy independent, and cutting taxes. They also supported him because of his America First foreign policy — he ended the Obama era of apologizing and he pushed our “allies” to pay their fair share for NATO. And he was working to secure our borders. None of this is “extremist”: by any stretch of the imagination. Trump spoke to the values of traditional Americans and they responded. Trump “represented” the wishes of the American people in a way our “Representatives” have not done in probably 100 years.

  • Alton

    Hero Worship….No.

    I started out life as a Eisenhower Republican working thousands of hours in Political Campaigns over the Decades.
    One of those flag waving Libertarian Constitutionalists at Republican Conventions, if you look hard enough back on film, then tape and now Digital Files…you may see me doing it… usually with a couple of Nikon Cameras slung over my shoulders.

    Went on to be for and work in the 1980 primaries for Bush 43,
    .
    Reagan Earned my vote by his ACTIONS in office.

    Started 2016, working for Ted Cruz…
    AGAIN Trump45 EARNED my Support,
    Whole Regiments of Republican Establishment types have failed the electorate repeatedly on the Most Basic Principles…….

    I am Sure I am not alone among the Party faithful.

    Simple….

  • Gary H

    Democrats and their overloards in media and corporate boardroom are having to face opposition that no longer cowers for fear of being called a racist. Just within this thread it becomes clear that we will no longer be intimidated.

  • Greg Jones

    Forrest Gump taught that ultimately, Army service is not really hard

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONH-pxBMJu4

    and because I never served in the military, I’ll take his word for it. In a similar way, it’s not really hard to understand the support for and gravity of Donald Trump. The latest Trump speech

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlrV35L8MZQ

    alone reinforced exactly what I live as a Commoner American (IOW I never paid political campaign contribution money). At least eighty-five million of my closest friends – likely millions more now – agree with Trump and myself. I’d even vote for Hunter Biden as president if he ran on these ideas, only because he could serve for two terms. Now, Trump can only one more term . . .

  • Steven

    Have to agree on this one.
    It’s the difference between scaredy cat Republicans and in-your-face Republicans.
    Trump is willing to call out the Europeans on their being too stingy to defend themselves and sell out to the Russians, which we’re now seeing the consequences of. In Ukraine. Then the Jacob’s Coat-of- Many Colors played out in Washington, with Trump buying huge stocks of crude oil at low prices to restock the National Petroleum Reserve, and now Biden selling it off to China to bring down gas prices at the pump for political purposes to get Democrats re-elected to Congress in the mid terms.
    Look at Trump moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, a thing all presidents promised to do for 40 years while campaigning, but immediately reneged on when elected.
    The political class, both Dems and Repubs talk with forked tongue, and have for decades, no centuries, and when someone comes along who actually does what he says he’s going to do, both parties attack him because he’s pushing them off the gravy train and they might actually have to get a job.
    Term limits would help, but congress votes against them with overwhelming majorities if given the opportunity, no surprises there.

  • Sarah Hoyt

    @Andrew_W I’m glad you think you have such great linguistic importance that anyone should give a tiny rat’s behind what you call “Trumpists.”
    Like your grammar (Kindly go learn apostrophes and plurals) your naming classifications are marred by complete, rock bottom ignorance.
    There might be “blind Trump supporters.” MAYBE? But they are a minuscule fraction.
    Most of us are USING TRUMP as a means to an end. We don’t even particularly like him, but if he can do what needs done and get the nutty Marxists off our necks we’ll be happy. And if he can’t, you’ll be amazed what we zany Americans (your kind never got us, really) will come up with. It will blow your mind. (And hopefully just that.)
    The problem with the left is that it keeps preening, posing and blowing out its cheeks in front of an imagined enemy, when what they’re looking at is a mirror.

  • Andrew_W

    “All is fair in love and war”
    You don’t go to war with someone you have to live in the house with. Trump vilifies those he disagrees with and encourages his supporters to do the same. You can point out that the far left is doing the same, so, what? Is this some sort of a race to the bottom?

    The nonsense we’re seeing with far left identity politics isn’t sustainable in the long term because it’s nonsense.

    “If you take a look at Trump particularly,. look who he vilifies – and you will find that his “targets” exhibit that self-righteousness and lack of respect for the views of others that I describe.”

    I don’t buy that, who was Pence showing a lack of respect to, Trump? For understanding his Constitutional and legal obligations? Trump attacks and vilifies those that oppose him, he’s not fussy about their character.

    “George W Bush grew government more than any other and created the spy framework his kind is now employing against Americans and it is disgusting.”

    If “grew government” is measured by federal expenditure:
    https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/statistics/data/federal-budget-receipts-and-outlays

    I found this interesting, when you look at federal expenditure as a percentage of GDP since WW2 it’s actually grown by less than I expected, just eye balling the data:
    Under Truman expenditure about 16%
    Under Eisenhower about 17%
    Under Kennedy about 18%
    Under Johnson about 18.5%
    Under Nixon about 18.5%
    Under Ford about 20.5%
    Under Carter over 20.5%
    Under Reagan about 21.5%
    Under Bush Sr under 21.5%
    Under Clinton about 19%
    Under Bush Jr about 19.5%
    Under Obama about 21%
    Under Trump about 26%

    Obviously the balance between military and civil spending is important, with Reagan substantially increasing the military budget. there are some interesting trend with markedly declining trends with some and increasing trends with others.
    Trump’s figure probably should be split into two two year periods: pre-Covid at about 20.5% and during Covid at 32%.

    Obviously Congress has a lot of say on expenditure so laying everything on the president isn’t entirely fair.

  • Cotour

    “You don’t go to war with someone you have to live in the house with”.

    * Ideally, but in warfare, especially political warfare, things are never ideal.

    “Trump vilifies those he disagrees with and encourages his supporters to do the same. ”

    * Trump has a no holds barred style and he makes it work for himself because he wins in the long term. Trump does what he understands works dealing with people who oppose him.

    “You can point out that the far left is doing the same, so, what? Is this some sort of a race to the bottom?”

    *The extreme radical Left (D) is revealing themselves and their agenda for all to see, now judge them. That is what the Constitution structures.

    You are only able to see these things through your Pedestrian Realm lens and that makes you one dimensional and you have to see things in three dimensions. Its the difference between playing checkers and chess. You are a checkers player.

  • Cotour

    “You don’t go to war with someone you have to live in the house with”.

    This statement alone demonstrates the problem with the manner in which you think.

    Thinking in this manner where you will never go to war with who you need to go to war with gives every advantage to your opponent.

    And that is appeasement, and appeasement when you need to take care of business is not acceptable, and Trump understands that.

  • Andrew_W

    “@Andrew_W I’m glad you think you have such great linguistic importance that anyone should give a tiny rat’s behind what you call “Trumpists.” ”

    You should direct that at our host, my point has been exactly that, who cares about such labels?

    “Like your grammar”

    I don’t write for a living, so I just struggle though as best I can, I don’t have high regard for the grammar police unless their point is that the message is illegible as a result. Evidently you’re comfortable that you think you understand my message even if you disagree.

    “We don’t even particularly like him,”

    You’ve seen a survey of Trump supporters on whether or not they “particularly like him”? Or are you just making things up?

    “And if he can’t, you’ll be amazed what we zany Americans (your kind never got us, really) will come up with. It will blow your mind.”

    Well it’s a worry, America is important to the Western world. If you zany Americans see supporting a coup as a good idea you could well blow my mind.
    What do you imagine would have happened to America if somehow Trump had managed to nullify the election results?
    Probably just what happens in every other country that experiences governments that nullify election results.

    “The problem with the [far] left . . .” is that like the American right they think a war with others that they share a house with is a good idea.
    “it keeps preening, posing and blowing out its cheeks in front of an imagined enemy, when what they’re looking at is a mirror.”

    Indeed, that’s the horseshoe theory, they look at Trump and see the authoritarian in themselves.

  • Andrew_W

    “Thinking in this manner where you will never go to war with who you need to go to war with gives every advantage to your opponent.”

    No, in democracy the important battle is fought at the polls, after one term Trump lost, if the Republicans had put up another Reagan or Eisenhower they would have won that second term easily, Trump alienated the middle just as much as the far left did, a remarkable achievement.

  • Cotour

    “No, in democracy the important battle is fought at the polls, after one term Trump lost, if the Republicans had put up another Reagan or Eisenhower they would have won that second term easily, Trump alienated the middle just as much as the far left did, a remarkable achievement.”

    This is simplistic Pedestrian Realm one dimensional “Idealistic” thinking.

    Those operating in the Political Realm love that you and most in the public think in these idealistic terms and are unable to see *Their* political reality where they will do anything to acquire or retain their political power. Up to and including murder for some.

    “In a Democracy”, Oy.

  • Sarah Hoyt: You might not know this, but Andrew_W is from New Zealand, and has been commenting on this site for years. At first he tried to claim he was conservative, but it became very obvious very quickly he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing (to coin a phrase someone just emailed me.).

    Notice how he tried at first to change the subject from my main point — that Trump represents the fury of Republican voters at the failure of their party — to talk about the evil shallow “Trumpists” who wanted to overthrow the election in 2020 because they believe everything Trump says.

    His problem however are the comments on this whole thread. No one but him has brought up the 2020 election. Instead almost everyone agreed with me that Trump is a flawed leader, but is also someone who is trusted to fix the failures of the Republican Party. If anything, Andrew_W illustrated the same misunderstandings and willful blindness that my essay noted about Rick Moran.

  • Andrew_W

    Thank you for your above comment Mr. Zimmerman, one small correction:

    “At first he tried to claim he was conservative”

    No, I’ve made the point that when answering questions on tests like the political compass the results put me in the libertarian corner. I’d define myself as a classical liberal, a definition that doesn’t really have much to do with the modern American meaning of “liberal”.

    You are correct, I’ve been focusing too much on Trump’s personality and behavior outside of policy which was a mistake on my part.

    Down here the two main political parties are Labour (left) and National (conservative), the electoral system (MMP) results in each of these main parties being supported in parliament by secondary parties, the Greens (woke left) and Act (classical liberal) whom I usually vote for. After 2 terms of Labour many are desperate for election day and a change of government. There is a real worry that the incoming National government will feel pleased with themselves at getting elected and not do enough to roll back the leftist policies that Labour has brought in at much pace and with little consultation. So yep, thinking of it in that context I get the anger at the Republican establishment arrogance . . . BUT TRUMP?? You’ve got 330 million Americans there, can’t you find someone better than Trump?

    Anyway, thank you for the discussion and my apologies for not correctly focusing on the topic of your post.

  • wayne

    Taking Stock of Trumpism:
    Where It Came From, What It Has Accomplished, and Where It Is Going
    Victor Davis Hanson (2017)
    https://youtu.be/pzXJi9-1SUs
    1:06:43

  • Robert Pratt

    “My problem is this: if you say Trumponomics is a success, then you have to admit Reagan was wrong…or vice versa.”
    That is simply ridiculous and shows much ignorance on what the Reagan Administration actually did.

  • wayne

    A Random Comment:

    When are Mitch McConnel and Nancy Pelosi going to die?
    Those 2 people are directly responsible for a whole lotta {expeletive}.

  • wayne

    V for Vendetta
    https://youtu.be/NORsNyZuJXU?t=123

    “So much chaos, someone will do something stupid. And when they do, things will turn nasty…”

  • pzatchok

    Remember that every administration has set policies that the next administrations have to pay for. As one Simple example Obamas healthcare.

    And as for Trump.
    I always thought Trump supported and promoted me and my ideals and not me supporting his or him.
    As for his bombastic character. We all knew of that long before he ran for president. He is quintessentially A New Yorker. And the New Yorkers who did not like him because of that are not New Yorkers to the rest of them, or to the rest of the nation.
    We like a fighter and not a get along to go along guy.

    Find anyone exactly like him and I would vote for him.

    I am tired of compromising because it only goes in one direction. Away from my ideals.

  • Andrew_W

    “So much chaos, someone will do something stupid. And when they do, things will turn nasty…”

    My favorite scene from my favorite movie. Democracy is fragile, it’s stability relies on robust customs and practices but these can be, and in many countries have been, trumped by a determined populist.

  • wayne

    Andrew_W:
    Barack Hussein Obama?

  • wayne

    pzatchok-
    Very good stuff!

  • wayne

    “Make Rifles Great Again”
    Jerone Davison for Congress
    https://youtu.be/zJSGDp_rij0
    0:30

  • Andrew_W

    Wayne, if my recollection of the 2016 election is correct the answer is ‘evidently not’. I don’t think you’ll see Biden with the inclination or ability to cause problems at election time either.

  • BUT TRUMP?? You’ve got 330 million Americans there, can’t you find someone better than Trump?

    He is one of very few, that combines a significant cultural presence and the willingness to think outside the “civility” status quo and actually confront the situation we are in, Andrew.

    When it comes to his opponents, we are dealing with experts in leveraging perceptions, double standards, and passive-aggressive behavior, who will take any civility a conservative or libertarian extends to them and wrap them around the axle with it to marginalize them and render them irrelevant to public policy … for these opponents see people like me as the Evil Other opposing their Righteous Normal.

    Without Trump, or someone like him, I do not see any effective opposition against the Righteous Normal. and their delusions of righteousness, omniscience, and infallibility … because our culture has put so many of them on pedestals of reverence and trust, even though they are reminiscent of the emperor with no clothes when you look past the media veneer.

    What I, as a Trump supporter, am looking for in leaders, are those who will coherently articulate the case for individual liberty and back it up with resolute, concrete actions, without regard to politics-as-usual.,

    Now, Trump is not up to my standards when it comes to making that coherent case … for if he was,, he would be saying something like this …

    “You expect your government to be your caretaker in all areas, instead of focused on keeping you free so you can take care of yourselves and your neighbors. That is why things are not working. Walk BESIDE us and take back control of your life.”

    I have yet to see even Trump make this clear … but I have yet to see any candidate since Reagan make that case, either.

    But I have seen Trump take concrete, resolute, substantial actions to implement policies that are respectful of individual liberty, to a far greater degree than any other American political figure currently, or even recently, on the scene … in the face of the DC and media elites whose self-righteousness leads to Trump living rent-free in their heads and reflexively opposing him at every turn.

    Two other observations.

    > The sobriquet of “populist” is often used as nothing more than an identifier of anyone who opposes top-down elite rule. One can be responsive to the masses and still respect the rights of the individual.

    > Democracy, in the form of a representative republic with checks-and-balances against both elite and “populist” mob rule, is the means to the objective …. assuring respect for life and liberty. It is not the be-all-end-all.

  • Bob, I blew an tag … my apologies.

  • Dana Peck

    Totally agree. Trump gives voice to deeply felt beliefs of his backers — something conservative Republicans can’t comprehend — plus he acted on them.

    I think Jan. 6 was performance art designed to show anti-Trumpers scenes that reinforced their beliefs about what pro-Trump people look like. The absence of any significant BLM or Antifa presence on the streets Jan. 6 reinforces my belief the day’s events were orchestrated by anti-Trump interests. I say this as someone who’s watched most candidate events online for years, and the most visible Trump supporters at the Capitol on Jan. 6 don’t are not anything like the average Trump rally participant. Although I abandoned DC and being a Hill staffer A Long Time Ago, I keep my Potomac Fever at bay by watching campaign speeches from both parties on YouTube. I think Jan. 6 is pure Bernays, using conformation bias to reinforce a previously established mindset among anti-Trump voters

  • Jester Naybor: I saw it immediately and fixed it.

  • Jeff Wright

    To Mr. Pratt…it was called the Reagan blanket amnesty…and Penn and Teller type Libertarians loved it. If I were Trump…I would have issued a pardon to Jan. 6th protest members…a true populist would. Why didn’t the Donald?

  • Andrew_W

    Greg Jones, I thought Trump’s comment from the 33:58 mark in that speech was informative.

  • Context is everything, Andrew. Strain at gnats much?

    Trump was expressing his appreciation of the amazing work of others that allowed a safe landing of the plane. His expressed “desire” for the MOH was poking fun at himself … and perhaps the caricature of him that his opponents have living rent-free in their heads.

  • Peter Gent

    Jeff, a pardon would have failed to expose the deep rot the Jan. 6th prosecutions/persecutions have done as well as its effective red-pilling of so many people about that rot. Sometimes you just have to lance the boil. That doesn’t mean I don’t have any compassion for those who have unjustly suffered from this.

  • Gary H

    “BUT TRUMP?? You’ve got 330 million Americans there, can’t you find someone better than Trump?”

    Better at what?

    Lots nicer.
    Many smarter.
    Some wiser.
    A few richer.
    Most younger.

    But nobody gets the left more angry and fearful. No one intimidates our enemies, such as the PRC more than Trump. I suspect that 2024 will be Trump/Desantis and with that combination we have a twelve year political vaccination.

  • zenman

    Didn’t vote for Trump in the Indiana primary, but mostly voted against having another Clinton in the office. Kept telling friends, his talk is Queens showman, watch his actions. Even after he was elected, some of my East Coast friends still could not stand him, no matter what actions he took, because he’s a self-aggrandizing blow-hard.

    The reason I voted for Trump was I knew he’d be a wrecking ball to the establishment status quo in D.C. In that, he did a great service in damaging the establishments “calm” and exposing peoples true colors. All the grifters are exposed. All the go along to get along and get my payday squishy-cons.

    Voted for him in 2020, and would again in 2024 if he’s nominated. We will see who is left in the primaries to see who I vote for then.

  • Cotour

    From: #2 UNDERSTANDING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE AMERICAN CONSTITUTION, POLITICS AND POWER. ALL POTENTIALS EXIST AND THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES

    ​ (And in that political warfare struggle all those who seek political empowerment are forced to some degree to reveal themselves to the people. And in that revealing, in that truth, the people are able to better direct and manage THEIR government. And in that political warfare struggle, in that competition the fittest political ideology that serves the peoples interests survives and propagates. That is the concept anyway. There is a Darwinian rules of survival element to the American Constitution and what it structures)

  • SDN

    “sick and tied”

    Mr Zimmerman, I’m both “sick and tired” and “fit to be tied” but I think you meant the first one.

  • zenman

    Andrew_W – “My favorite scene from my favorite movie. Democracy is fragile, it’s stability relies on robust customs and practices but these can be, and in many countries have been, trumped by a determined populist.”

    Ah yes, those robust customs and practices, like being able to object to electors…

    Tis different when we did it they will say, we did it on principle and not raw power. If you believe that I gotta bridge in Brooklyn to sell ya…

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/democrats-objected-to-electoral-vote-certification-in-2000-2004-2016

    “Today, for nearly 20 minutes in the cavernous House chamber, a dozen members of the Congressional Black Caucus, joined by a few sympathizers, tried in vain to block the counting of Florida’s 25 electoral votes, protesting that black voters had been disenfranchised,” The New York Times reported on Jan. 7, 2001. “Florida’s highly contested electoral votes were crucial in Mr. Bush’s victory after a prolonged legal and political battle following an inconclusive election.”

    Sen. Boxer and Democratic Ohio Rep. Stephanie Tubbs objected to Bush’s 2004 electoral votes in Ohio, Fox News reported. “That forced the chambers to leave their joint session and debate separately for two hours on whether to reject Ohio’s electoral votes. Neither did. But the objection by Boxer and Tubbs serves as a modern precedent for what is likely to happen in Congress on Jan. 6.”

    https://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/democrats-electoral-college-faithless-trump-231731

    At least a half-dozen Democratic electors have signed onto an attempt to block Donald Trump from winning an Electoral College majority, an effort designed not only to deny Trump the presidency but also to undermine the legitimacy of the institution.

    The presidential electors, mostly former Bernie Sanders supporters who hail from Washington state and Colorado, are now lobbying their Republican counterparts in other states to reject their oaths — and in some cases, state law — to vote against Trump when the Electoral College meets on Dec. 19.

  • Chris

    I support Trump for the same reason Lincoln supported Grant. “He fights.”

    No other Republican nominee since Reagan has seen this essential truth… if you want to win, you have to be willing to fight.

    He’s inspiring others to fight. He’s maybe not the man we want, but he is the man we need.

  • SDN: Heh. I am amazed it took this long for someone to see this typo. Fixed. Thank you!

  • RCMoeur

    Speaking of party splits, what I’m seeing in the Schweikert / Norton primary poopfest is thoroughly ugly, with streets strewn with torn-out signs, vandalism, and whole forests felled for daily attack flyers stuffing the mailbox. I think a number of sane people may be looking at this exercise as a rather expensive gift to the Democratic Party in the general election.

  • Ken

    So-called “conservative” commentators “don’t get it” because their continued place at the trough (the same trough at which the UniParty feeds) depends on their not getting it.

  • Edward

    Andrew_W,
    You wrote: “‘Trumpist’ and ‘soft coup’ are both terms already in use …” and “in English words can have slightly different meanings to different people, especially if they’re in different countries or political parties“.

    Thus, the Humpty Dumpty quote continues to apply. It is up to the author (you) to make sure that your meaning is clear, so when you use words that have different meanings than you intended then you have failed to meet that requirement. It is a problem that you have had for years, here at BTB. I suspect we all wish you would choose your words with more care and use them with more clarity.

    If you zany Americans see supporting a coup as a good idea you could well blow my mind.

    Which brings us back to your ignorance. Neither Trump nor his supporters supported or attempted a coup. This is a point that you continue to miss. Like a leftist, you demand that the world be the way you want it to be and refuse to accept the reality that it is. You bought into the lies told to you by your fellow leftists, but that is only natural, as they shun and cancel anyone who does not, and you wanted to keep them as friends. Thus, you live in a fantasy world in which unicorns and rainbows reign supreme and anyone who disagrees with you is automatically an enemy to be vanquished. The U.S. is suffering under leftism, and the rest of the world is following down that same path, paved with seemingly good intentions.

    Trump is not the conservative savior that you think that he is, and we all know it. He had four years, and instead of turning America around and toward a direction away from hell, he moved around deck chairs to make our voyage more comfortable. Robert Z. keeps telling us that Trump kept his promises, but he didn’t keep the four major ones that would have turned the “ship of state” to a better direction, only the ones about the deck chairs. Two days after he was elected, he abandoned his “drain the swamp” promise by announcing that Hillary Clinton would be allowed to get away with her multiple felonies, as described by the FBI a couple of months earlier. Even with Trump, the Democrats and other leftists get away with anything that they do, continuing their illusion that they live in a land of unicorns and rainbows.

    Leftist Europeans didn’t fare any better. Rather than heed Trump’s warnings, a few years ago, they are now mired in Russia’s trap.

    If given another opportunity would Trump realize that he is not the purser of the ship-of-state but the captain, responsible for taking us to our destination and that We the People can arrange the deck chairs to our own liking, if allowed the freedom to do so? Maybe, but that first time around, he was still a Democrat wearing Republican clothing.

  • Cotour

    AND YOU THOUGHT IT COULD NOT GET STUPIDER OR WORSE?

    One heartbeat away: https://youtu.be/kBN9y9Udp7w

    Even Trump did not understand the hornets’ nest of perversion and corruption and the degree of contempt that the Democrat party machine had for him in disrupting their plans for the destruction of and the “Fundamental change” that they intended for America.

    He and everyone else knows now though.

    All will be revealed.

  • pzatchok

    I told my son years ago.
    You become like the people to hang out with. Others see you like they see those you hang out with. If you want to be a 10 do not hang out with 2’s.

    The career politicians are exactly like this. They start out as one of the people because they are still influenced by the people, they live with those people.
    But eventually they turn into the other politicians they are working and living with. They move away from the people they grew up with and loose touch with the common folk.

    I am not arguing for term limits but against politicians living together and working together. We have the technology now to make working in Washington a remote job. They can keep living with their people and thus keep the values they were originally elected with.

  • GaryMike

    Let me cut to the chase.

    Blah, blah, blah blah, blah.

    At first, I considered Trump the Chief Clown in the clown car.

    Then I decided I’m in the back seat and I want to him to wreck the damn car to save me from “my betters”.

    If they were my actual betters we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    Trump 2024: another well-placed shive to all the deserving kidneys once again.

  • Edward

    pzatchok,
    That is the lesson of the movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Jimmy Stewart plays the new senator who is still for the people, and Claude Rains plays the old timer who realizes that he has. lost his way and become corrupted by being so long in the system.

    As Robert wrote: “This is why there is a rift in the Republican Party. The established party has been a failure, and the new upstarts being touted by Trump appear willing to change that.

    It isn’t just a change that we need, it is a change in the right direction. Rather than keeping on rearranging the deck chairs, which has been a terrible failure, many Republicans want the country to stop moving in the wrong direction and to get back on course for freedom and liberty. People that we had counted on to do this, such as the supposed hero John McCain, failed spectacularly, turning on us rather than carrying out their promises. It is a shame that Republicans have to look to someone who, as president, was more like Bill Clinton than like Ronald Reagan.

    It isn’t just that Trump is misunderstood or that his influence in the Republican Party is misunderstood, it is that the left misunderstands pretty much everything. The left wants some insane Through the Looking Glass or Alice in Wonderland fantasy world, where “men” can be “birthing people,” rather than wanting the real world where men are men, women are women, and reality is reality. There once was a time when men were real men and women were real women, but now women are not even women at all — the left doesn’t even know what a woman is, anymore, but they know one when they see a man — and men are at risk of also losing their identity.

    They cannot define what a woman is, because they don’t understand what they want to define anyone or anything as, but to them it is OK for men to receive awards or to win in sports that were once intended for women (whatever they think a woman may be, these days). Right now they are having trouble defining what a recession is, because rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns. They have had difficulty defining “peaceful,” thinking that riots and burning down cities are “mostly peaceful protests,” whatever it was that they were “protesting,” but when the Capitol Police shoot unarmed, innocent, peaceful visitors who were literally waved into the Capitol Building by the Capitol Police, that is called a riot and a coup (or maybe soft coup, depending). Suddenly, disagreeable words are violence, but burning down cities is free speech. (What TV commentator was it that asked where it said that free speech had to be peaceful? The answer is: The First Amendment.) They couldn’t define “defunding the police,” which they said they wanted to do before they said that they never said they wanted to do it, just move their funding to other areas. They can’t decide whether contesting elections is democratic, because they say it is when they contest three elections, but that it isn’t when they steal an election in plain sight, for all to see, and they get away with it (just as Hillary got away with her felonies). They have difficulty understanding what the word “democratic” means, too, as they say that it is democratic for nine appointed people to make decisions for everyone rather than for the elected officials in individual states to make those decisions for each state. (The first case is a dictatorship, the second is a democratic republic.) It is as though Democrats have some sort of Napoleon complex.

    In Democrat fantasy world, going to the crowded 2020 Chinese New Year parades was safe and proved you weren’t racist. Then the fantasy was that social distancing would save us from Wuhan flu. Then sheltering in place for two or three weeks would save our hospitals. Then two months would save us. Then two years with masks, vaccine shots, and boosters would save the world. In Democrat fantasy world, we are all still in danger.

    One radio talk show guy calls liberalism a mental disorder, and the liberals have started treating their fantasies as reality. Clearly, that guy is right. The liberal, leftist Democrats have gone insane and require the rest of us to go along with them or they will destroy our livelihoods, our freedoms, and our lives.

    Gender used to apply to language, referring to things, but now it applies to people, treating them as things rather than sentient beings, and now there are fifty-seven genders, not two, and no one knows what any of them are supposed to mean. Vaccine, medical case, and science have all been redefined, too. Historical global surface temperatures were also adjusted without announcement or explanation in order to better fit the output of favored models (the very definition of fudging the data) rather than admit that the models are not skilled at prediction. We must follow “The Science,” which is a “truth” dictated by the fantasies of Democrats, rather than use the scientific method to discover the reality.

    What does a successful withdrawal look like to Democrats? Hundreds of Americans abandoned behind enemy lines and tens of billions dollars of high-tech military equipment left behind for terrorists to use against us. Let’s Go Brandon! What we really need, right now, is for an intelligent-but-innocent child to stand at the parade route and say, “look, ma! The emperor has no brains.” Apparently only then will the rest of us be able to admit it in public. Brandon doesn’t have to worry, yet, because they won’t “Twenty-fifth Amendment” him until the 21st of January, or later, otherwise Laughing (Stock) Harris won’t be able to rule for almost ten years but only for six, or so.

    The Democratic Party is the party of uncertainty. Today’s definition can be obsolete by tomorrow morning. This phenomenon has caught many Democrats by surprise, causing them to be cancelled (in the case of Rosanne Barr, it was literal, and all those who worked on her show lost their jobs).

    The Democrats say that it is the Republican Party that is the stupid party. Maybe so, because the Republicans let the Democrats get away with redefining all kinds of words, Orwellian style, rather than insist that America run on reality instead of unicorns, rainbows, flutterbys, and fairy dust. The Republican Party allows the confirmation of a Justice who either isn’t smart enough to know what a woman is (even though she wasn’t nominated for her ability but only for her womanhood) or else is willing to lie to the Senate in order to get her way. Either way, she is not fit to be that Justice. Talk about misunderstandings and Humpty Dumpty definitions, Democrats take the cake. These are the same people who are using the full power of a Congressional investigation to find a crime to accuse Trump with. This abuses both what Congressional investigations are allowed to be used for and the presumption of innocence, because this abuse of law and process presumes a guilt that merely has to be discovered.

    So, how do we get America moving back in the right direction rather than toward the hell of insanity that the Democrats are taking us? Who will lead that effort?

  • Gary.Mike

    Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

    They don’t operate on actual logic.

    Kinetics is “Science” works.

    Coming soon.

    They think they’re in charge.

    The 2nd says “Nope”.

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