We're all glad that the Trump campaign made more of an effort to pound the pavement and hold small-scale chats with voters, in the wake of coming in 2nd in Iowa, where he finished a few points below what the polls had said, though still within the margin of error. In New Hampshire he came within the margin of error again, though now a few points higher than suggested. Perhaps the ground game gives him a few points boost, but don't leave anything to chance, right?
Still, it's worth remembering how his poll estimates rose so high to begin with -- by being the only candidate with a clear populist and nationalist platform. That stands out so much from all the others that he doesn't need to knock on your door or call you on the phone to clarify to you who he is and what he's about.
The whole obsession with retail politics from the standard candidates stems from their nearly identical positions on major issues. They all want some degree of amnesty for the tens of millions of illegal immigrants, they are fine with continuing to off-shore our economy, they want to be something like the policeman of the world (in fairness, also-Rand was an exception), they think the main danger from radical Islamic terrorism is white people turning Islamophobic, they go to pains to add "...or woman" every time they say the word "man," and so on and so forth.
It's like there's a scale from 0 to 10, with Trump being the only one who's on the half from 5 to 10, and all the cucks being huddled at 2, 1.5, 3, 0.8, 1.9 -- if you want someone on the other half of the spectrum, Trump is the only one staking out a claim there. You can see the difference between him and the huddled pack of cucks from a mile away. No need for him to introduce himself up close and personal -- just the media coverage, internet, and maybe large rallies in real life.
If Trump is not your man, then you have to zoom way in to see which cuck is 2, which is 0.8, which is 3, etc. Nobody would bother researching nearly identical candidates, so the candidates have to introduce themselves and their positions to the voters directly. "Hey, we hear you don't want Trump. Now, you may think you'd like a cuck at 0.8, but trust me, what you really want is a cuck at 1.5 -- and I'm just that cuck." In a non-Trump election, they'd skip with the first sentence and go right into the spiel about why 1.5 is better than 0.8, on a scale from 0 to 10. Borrrrinnnng.
This is reflected in how long supporters of Trump vs. the cucks have had their minds made up. The Trump army has made up their minds for months and months now -- once it was clear he was the only candidate in the entire populist/nationalist side of the spectrum. And that only took a split-second to tell, even for the legally blind, since the chasm between him and the rest was so yuge.
If you want an elitist/globalist candidate, you either have to do your own research into the half-dozen of them, or wait for them to introduce themselves to you at length, or maybe just roll a die once you get into the voting booth. Because they're so similar, it'll take you longer to quite juggling them around and hold onto just one.
This also explains why Trump has needed to spend so little -- it's not just the hours of free media coverage he gets. If word got out that there was a candidate with Trump's positions, who was rich enough to fund his own campaign and not be beholden to the donor class, and whose positions and performances they could at least see during the debates, that candidate would enjoy massive word-of-mouth support. He wouldn't need to spend anything -- that I can tell you.
If, however, you're just one of a pack of nearly identical stiffs, you need to spend a fortune to distinguish yourself from the other stiffs. Help the voters realize that you're the 0.8 cuck -- not the 1.5 cuck, the 2 cuck, the 1.9 cuck, or the 3 cuck. These candidates are so far into diminishing marginal returns on their campaign spending, that they waste tens of millions just to move from 5th to 4th. And to still lose big-league to the one who's so distinctive he doesn't need to spend anything for voters to understand where he stands relative to the competition.
Imagine an election where there were five or six Trump-like candidates -- get ready, faggots, that will be the reality within your lifetime -- suddenly Trump would have to spend lots of money to distinguish himself from so many close imitators. But in this election, he's the only one in the other half of the spectrum, so we don't need to know his absolute standing -- if he's at 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10. Trump himself has largely left that question open, and probably hasn't firmly settled the matter even in his own mind. He doesn't need to pin down precisely where he is -- he just has to be the one on that half of the spectrum, while the rest are in the other half, and he gets the votes of those who want a populist/nationalist.
We could attribute Trump's efficiency -- low spending, low ground game, great results -- to his native talent, to years of experience running an efficient business, and so on. But I keep wanting to emphasize that his success is due to his positions rather than anything about his personality. That he's a master negotiator and strategist does not hurt, but if the disaffected masses of voters saw a personality like Jeb Bush sincerely stake out the only claim on the populist/nationalist half of the spectrum, while being funded from his own money or small donors, they would quickly gravitate to him and send him to the White House, as wimpy and flustered as they might find his personality.
That should give us hope about the worst-case scenario where Trump doesn't become President, and does not run again. He would not need to be replaced by another media magician or business wizard -- just someone who held the same positions, maybe a little more fine-tuned, and who didn't want big-money funding. Remember, such an easily distinguishable candidate wouldn't need tons of funding anyway if there's a soaring demand for what they're offering, as there clearly seems to be. Enough to pay campaign staff, run some ads, etc., but nothing near the fortunes that the identical cucks have to spend to stand out from one another.
"That should give us hope about the worst-case scenario where Trump doesn't become President, and does not run again. He would not need to be replaced by another media magician or business wizard -- just someone who held the same positions, maybe a little more fine-tuned, and who didn't want big-money funding."ReplyDelete
Nope. If it was that easy, there would be candidates every election cycle who do it-after all, Trump's views didn't suddenly become popular last summer. For example, for my entire adult life polls have indicated that the general population wants to restrict immigration (and particularly illegal immigration), yet no candidate has actually said he would do it until Trump.
In an ideal world, if 75% of citizens held view X, then there would always be candidates who espouse X. But that doesn't happen-in fact, it rarely happens. That's the whole issue with the Cathedral/Republican Establishment. They don't let popular views out.
Worst case scenario is Trump loses, and we have 20 years of Hillary/Rubio clones again.
Cruz has tried to stake a claim on the Trump spectrum, an imitator who Trump has to distinguish himself from.ReplyDelete
More specifically, Trump is still all alone on trade, but many voters are thinking solely of immigration and some believe Cruz is sincere (despite his past) and that TRUMP is the imitator. So as you describe, its already a battle to distinguish on that issue.
Trump has the benefit of being ingroup (Cruz is a hispanic arguing about securing the border, immediate skepticism), and of going boldest and inviting scandalous coverage whereas Cruz was more "me too", but there really are people who think Cruz is the Trump in this election. Its weird.
As you say, this type of thing is to be expected and is a nice change, you just have to hope the voters choose the guy with sincere beliefs.
"If it was that easy, there would be candidates every election cycle who do it"ReplyDelete
Maybe you missed the part where Trump has already blazed the trail for any future followers. You're talking about how difficult it is to be the first mover in the consensus-shattering break from business as usual.
But once the emperor has been publicly and mercilessly mocked for not wearing any clothes, it won't take someone with Jupiter-sized balls and billions of dollars in reserve to *continue* the trail that Trump has blazed.
Look at how successful Sanders has been in raising money through small donations. You think the Trump army would be less generous and enthusiastic, if Trump's follower said he didn't have big bucks and needs everyone's help?
"but many voters are thinking solely of immigration and some believe Cruz is sincere (despite his past) and that TRUMP is the imitator. So as you describe, its already a battle to distinguish on that issue."ReplyDelete
They don't make up that much of the Republican electorate, the ones who are only about immigration. Maybe that puts Cruz somewhere around 4 on that 0-to-10 scale, but Trump is clearly still over on the other side at 7, 8, or 9.
Cruz is obviously not a populist -- he's appealing to middle and upper-middle class strivers who don't want immigration eating into their property values or making them spend more money in white flight.
Zippo about bringing jobs and entire sectors of the economy back to America from abroad, threatening the head of Ford with 35% tariffs if they move their plants to Mexico, etc.
And he's not much of a nationalist either. Trump wants to make deals with other countries in order to benefit us. Cruz is more of a crusader who wants to spread American ideology and influence around the globe, especially in the Middle East / Israel / Iran, hostile toward Russia, etc.
But it's true that Cruz is the closest to Trump, while still being far away. That's why Trump is spending ad money to attack Cruz as a phony anti-Establishment candidate, who's in the pay of the big moneymen, and a Washington insider.
We're about to find out how difficult it is for people to distinguish Cruz from Trump, in South Carolina and the SEC.ReplyDelete
Cruz is hoping that he can launch another values-oriented smokescreen and hypnotize the evangelicals into voting for him over Trump. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the evangelicals back east of the Mississippi aren't so easily spellbound by a traveling salesman type from out West.
It's true that several Southern states went for Huckabee and Santorum -- the values candidates. But perhaps they were voting for an anti-Establishment candidate, and they thought Huckabee and Santorum were the closest thing, compared to McCain and Romney.
Polling so far in the South, where Trump dominates, suggests that they really wanted a populist and nationalist, a la George Wallace, rather than an oily megachurch shaman. See also Jerry Falwell Jr. not only endorsing Trump, but stumping for him, warning evangelical Christians to vote for the best President and not necessarily a Pastor-in-Chief. Falwell is from back East (Virginia), not Texas or Kansas.
If Cruz can't swamp Trump among Southern evangelicals, then I doubt he'll be able to fool anybody else into thinking he's the real McCoy either -- aside from the Huckabee/Santorum states west of the Mississippi.
The only chance for Cruz in the South is if the remaining patriotard/"islamophobic" sentiment is strong enough to carry him. I don't think it is.ReplyDelete
Is Trump an anomaly or the tip of the spear? Why has he risen? I liked this summary from Pat Buchanan:ReplyDelete
"Were this Britain or France, the GOP would have long ago split between its open-borders, globalist, war party wing, and its populist, patriotic, social conservative wing.
The latter would be demanding a timeout on immigration, secure borders, no amnesty, no more needless wars, and a trade policy dictated by what was best for America, not Davos or Dubai.
Democrats would break apart along the lines of the Clinton-Sanders divide, with the neo-socialists becoming a raucous and robust anti-big bank, anti-Wall Street, soak-the-rich and share-the-wealth party.
These splits may be postponed again in 2016, but these rebellions are going to reappear until they succeed in overthrowing our failed establishments.
For the causes that produced such revolutions–Third World invasions, income inequality, economic torpor, culture wars, the real and relative decline of the West–have become permanent conditions."
In other words, the fact that we're so screwed is what's finally eliciting not just unrest or bitterness (which the Boomers bought into in the 70's, not that it's done us much good until the Trump Era), but a call to action and rebellion. We're not talking about restoring Reagan's Shining City, either.
Reagan's econ. and labor policies were essentially a yuppie approved betrayal of common folk, which working stiffs mostly didn't notice since his cronies and the Me Generation desired an individualistic dream that torpedoed the lumbering institutions which failed in the 70's. Also, Reagen benefited greatly from his promises to clean-up the culture (whether things got better, and to what degree he deserved credit is debatable).
Besides, libertarian econ./labor polices essentially offset whatever was gained by being more socially conservative (discouraging drugs, porn, child neglect, hostility towards authority, etc.).
Trump whistles right past cultural stuff (like crime, abortion, religion) and merely focuses on rebuilding the basic foundation of a functioning Western country. Beginning with Jimmy Carter, we've seen a lot of portentous posturing about being a towering figure above a hapless and wayward populace. "Please, almighty one, deliver a thundering sermon lest we forget our sins". Not at all populist or inspiring, is it?
Trump is giving atta boys and unpretentious "no-duh" ideas. He' the QB in the huddle, giving everybody the right call and keeping up spirits. He's on our team. He isn't posturing to be above it all, like he's too good and pure to be in the presence of mere mortals.
Look at how successful Sanders has been in raising money through small donations. You think the Trump army would be less generous and enthusiastic, if Trump's follower said he didn't have big bucks and needs everyone's help?ReplyDelete
I absolutely think Trump's supporters would be less generous for a couple reasons. One, Trump's supporters tend to be lower on the economic scale than Bernie's, and so have less expendable income to give. Two, a huge part of Trump's appeal to his supporters is that he's rich and so doesn't appear to have to follow normal rules or need anyone's money. If he wasn't rich and needed money from his supporters, well, I don't think he'd have nearly as many supporters to support him to begin with (what a sentence!). Supporting Trump is a very low-impact endeavor. The Trump campaign will exist regardless, while Bernie's campaign, refreshingly in my opinion, relies on the financial support of middle-class supporters.