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Monthly Archives: July 2015

My previous post on Trump, “Serious Discussion on Trump,” basically said that the upcoming debates on August 6 could make or break Trump’s candidacy and I warned him to be prepared.

Ben Stein posted an article today in The American Spectator, “My Thoughts on Iran and Trump.”  He perfectly outlines some examples of the issues that Trump will need to articulate a position on/outline a plan regarding.  Sooner rather than later.

“…But, has anyone really looked into Trump’s record? [It is a safe bet that every serious POTUS candidate has thoroughly looked into Trump’s record]

“…Also, this is a tricky, dangerous, complex world. Does Trump have any real plans to deal with the collapse of black America and impoverished white America? Does Trump have any ideas about how to fix the catastrophic education crisis? How about helping to rebuild the family? How about addressing the disastrous gulf between blacks’ and whites’ attitudes about police behavior ? About the national debt?

“Does he have any ideas about how to deal with insane Muslim terrorism? Or about the proliferation of nuclear weapons, especially into the hands of very bad actors like Iran? Does he have plans to end the sequester on defense and rebuild our defenses?

“In short, besides raising hell, does he have any ideas about anything important? These are parlous times. A man with a record like Mr. Trump’s, without any plans on the big things, with just a very big mouth, is an amusement, but a dangerous instrumentality in real life”


It is highly likely we will be spared a Huckabee presidency, for which I can only give thanks.  There are however, about 6% of Republicans that poll for him and he did pretty well in a few areas the last time he ran.

His religiosity is the center piece of his rhetoric.  While commendable, that is but one (small) reason to elect someone to national office.  James Earl “Jimmy” Carter was also religious and was one of the worst presidents we have ever seen.

Like Huckabee, Carter had a rural mindset and was totally out of his depth as POTUS – except when it came to making the federal government bigger.  Among other things Carter gave us the Departments of Energy and Education.

Huckabee governed Arkansas as a social conservative and is more liberal than anything else, as is Bush, Dubya and their father along with others among the current crop of candidates.

The main problem with the Huckabee candidacy is that he is a rural populist with the whiff of a snake oil salesman about him, whom no serious, rationally-thinking person can imagine as the leader of the free world.  He is not the only Republican candidate who fits all or part of that description, of course.

Here is how he dialogues:

  • Parade the horribles and sprinkle in some religious references
  • State the “righteous (morally)” way things should work and keep it simple
  • If asked for specific policy solutions, keep it general and throw red meat in every direction to cover for what he either does not know or does not have a good answer for.

Net, Huckabee presents himself as a standup religious type about whom one knows little else (is there anything else?) and has the governing record of a Republican in name only. Huckabee is today’s aw-shucks Jimmy Carter.

The Basics

Donald Trump:

  • leads the Rep polls by a good margin;
  • excels at staying in the news;
  • speaks bluntly and loudly about things considered taboo by the Rep establishment as his mentor Roy Cohn would have done; and
  • is fearless and self-funding

I could go on a bit, but the key point here is that The Donald has tapped into decades of pent-up frustration with the Republican party establishment.

By now, it is not difficult to conclude that both parties compete with each other only to determine who presides.  And that they obfuscate and outright lie when it suits them.  Obama with, “ can keep your doctor,”  is simply a more audacious example.

Citizens of the right find this model of governance repugnant.  They simply seek a better life – under capitalism – and see that potential slipping away.  Those of the left want to deconstruct traditional America and replace it with socialism.  Whatever it takes.  Blows against the empire couched in the buzzwords of the moment, e.g. fairness.

These two world views are irreconcilable.  The difference now is that instead of passively observing and hoping things will work out, the right sees a growing existential threat to American society and wants it fixed.

Enter Donald Trump.  He hits the Republican establishment like a Sirocco and citizens of the right gravitate to the only beacon of light they see.

That is what is happening here.

Going Forward

The Donald has put his chances of obtaining the Rep nomination and then the presidency at 10-20%.  I think he is right – at current course and speed.

The thing to internalize about that is how he views campaigning.  To use a roulette gambling metaphor, he is betting it all on red.  If it works, it works; if not, little is lost; go home.

That is where The Donald is coming from.

He is now starting to receive quiet and sometimes public advice (Greg Gutfeld) on how to move from being Roy Cohn to being a serious candidate. People are starting to accept that he could get the nomination.

My take is that the upcoming Fox debate will be a watershed moment for Trump and possibly one of the most challenging moments for him personally that he has ever faced.  Challenging in the format, the visibility, the need for disciplined messaging, how he reacts to his antagonists who will challenge his liberal record, and more.

He either does well in the Fox debate by combining his current appeal with debate nimbleness and a presidential gravitas, or it is effectively over.  Win (or place) or go home.

I hope he can pull it off.  But, to quote Yoda in Star Wars, “there is another.”