"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Here Comes The Trumpster–How Bombast And Showmanship Will Always Win Over America

There is nothing genteel about politics, nor has there ever been.  Presidential campaigns have been marvelous, wonderful circus acts and side shows.  The righteous, God-sent William Jennings Bryan who ranted and raved about the evils of capitalism, the greediness and devilish cabal of the industrialists who were building America.   Tiny Michael Dukakis, barely able to see over the hatch of a Sheridan tank, dressed in gunner’s helmet, goggles, and battle uniform.  John Kerry confabulating and pimping his Swift Boat Vietnam War record.  Gary Hart lying about his affairs, confronted the press with marvelously concocted lies about back-door exits and ‘friendship’.   Governor Mark Sanford of North Carolina absconding from office to be with his Argentine lover in Buenos Aires, but who told the press and the public he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.  George Bush Senior  who told the American public, “Read my lips.  No new taxes”, when of course he, like all politicians, intended to do just the opposite.  Richard Nixon who sat in front of the camera and pounded barefaced lie after lie.  Bill Clinton who displayed his intelligence, legal training and sheer chutzpah when he denied ‘having sex with that woman’ and parsed the English language like no other (“That depends on what ‘is’ is”).

The campaigns of Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams were notorious.

Adams’ supporters hurled accusations at Jackson’s wife, Rachel, and questioned their marriage. Critics claimed the couple’s marriage some 40 years earlier had occurred while Rachel was still married to her first husband. Opponents labeled Jackson an “adulterer,” and called his wife a “bigamist.” It marked the first time a first lady’s moral character had been scrutinized so publicly. The Jacksons said Rachel’s divorce had already been finalized before they married...
Jackson countered by claiming that Adams, while working as the Russian ambassador, had procured an American girl for the Russian czar — a baseless allegation, but calling the sitting president a “pimp” was certainly a bold move

Image result for Images Andrew Jackson

Grover Cleveland and James G. Blaine went at it in the same vein:
Democrat Grover Cleveland seemed to have the advantage in the months before this presidential election, but in July 1884, allegations arose that Cleveland, a bachelor, had years earlier fathered a child out of wedlock. Republican James G. Blaine’s supporters gleefully took advantage of the scandal, chanting, “Ma, ma, where’s my Pa?” at campaign rallies.

Cleveland admitted he had paid child support to a widow, Maria Halpin, even though he alleged she had been involved with several other men at the time. However, Halpin told newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, that Cleveland had sexually assaulted her, and that after she gave birth to a son, Cleveland had it forcibly removed from her custody and placed in an orphanage. Halpin was then committed to an insane asylum, although she was later released

Image result for Images Grover Cleveland

The campaign between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson set new lows.

[The Presidential] race was full of mudslinging accusations and character assassination. Adam’s supporters accused Jefferson of sympathizing with the Southern slaves whom he wished to emancipate — going so far as to say he maintained a “Congo Harem” at Monticello. In one over-the-top condemnation, Yale President Timothy Dwight said that if Jefferson were elected, “Murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced. The air will be rent with the cries of distress, the soil will be soaked with blood, and the nation black with crimes.”

The accusations continued right up until the election. One Jefferson supporter likened Adams to a “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” Adams’ supporters countered with a leaflet calling Jefferson, “a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father.” Jefferson’s camp claimed the president reportedly planned to smuggle London prostitutes across the Atlantic to satiate his sinful tastes.

Image result for Images John Adams

It is surprising, then, that so many on the Left are so apoplectic about Donald Trump, a man who embodies American political tradition better than any President, campaigner, or political aspirant.  He is bombast, exaggeration, Borscht Belt comedian, Las Vegas headliner, Hollywood star, Barnum & Bailey lion tamer, master of ceremonies and all side shows, vaudevillian, and consummate performer.  Most American politicians have tried to hide their dalliances and misrepresentations; but Donald Trump of the Big Top, glitz and glamour star of Caesar’s Palace, television personality, and fearless down-and-dirty NY real estate mogul wants none of their duplicity.  He says what he wants, when he wants, to whomever he wants without parsing, evasions and stock answers. Go ahead, factcheck me, he says, caring little what they find out; because he knows that ‘truth’ is only a fictitious commodity, desperately sought by his academic, carrel-bound critics, dismissed entirely by his supporters who glean the kernels of real message from the Sturm und Drang and circus high-wire theatrics.

These supporters know exactly what he is up to and what he means.  If one sorts through the hyperbole, it is not hard to see an unvarnished conservative social, economic, financial, and international agenda.  His attacks on the excesses of BLM, the riotous display of incivility and hostility to American institutions, and the criminal attacks on police are no more intemperate than the acts themselves.  A border wall may or may not get constructed – the point is not the wall itself but the symbolism of the wall, a strong defiance of illegal immigration.  It’s not what he says, but what he means.

Yet the hammering from the Left only increases as the election nears.  They have only a Hate Trump, Never Trump message and homilies about inclusivity, diversity, equality, and world peace.  Contrary to Trump whose supporters look behind the words, Biden supporters listen only to his words.  Preaching the gospel of inclusivity will make it happen.  Singing the hymn of Black Lives Matter will obscure the real reasons why their lives are so miserable.  Calls to redistribute the wealth ignore the real calls for dismantling a successful system of enterprise, individualism, and risk. 

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Trump on the stump is at his very best.  It is his calling, his talent, and his brightest star.  No one can work a crowd, enthuse an audience, and appeal to patriotism, courage, honor, and God-given right like Donald Trump.  His staging is masterful, and every speech is a sound and light show.  Americans don’t want tedious policy papers, moralism, and self-serving righteousness.  Trump embodies America like no other politician.  Americans want arm candy, yachts, trophy wives, mansions, and limousines.  They want the fantasy of Hollywood and Las Vegas. They want sequined, glittery finery; not down-home sweaters, sincerity, and seriousness.

The Left has never understood how such a buffoon, a circus carny, carnival huckster, and moral reprobate could possibly have become president, and have therefore focused more of their energy on removing him from office rather than working with him as members of the loyal opposition.

Image result for images trump with beauties

No one was prepared for the Trump Show, nor could have imagined such peep-show intrigue and unalloyed entertainment.  His adversaries knew he would take no prisoners and run roughshod over those without the gumption to stand up to him; but had no idea of the sheer chutzpah of the man and his super-confidence.  They knew he was a street-fighter, but had no idea of his determination and will.  They knew that he was a man of Hollywood, Las Vegas, and the streets of New York, but never imagined how little patience he had for insult, disrespect, and disloyalty.

Democrats claim that he is not ‘acting presidential’ – as temperate, conciliatory, well-spoken, and respectful as Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, or Ronald Reagan – and should be taken to task for his braggadocio, media hype, and outrageous disregard for the truth. Only a president who governs reasonably, without arrogance or personal showmanship, and with the country’s interests in mind, can be a good president.  Anyone else simply cannot be considered.

“Who says?”, say his supporters. Trump is what they bargained for and then some.  Not only are they getting a president who is faithful to his promises – rollback of the progressive social agenda and government interventionism, overbearing regulations and taxes, and pusillanimous dealings with mighty adversaries – but they are loving the choler of the progressive Left who are befuddled, frustrated, and disassembled.

No matter what they do, no matter how many attacks on Trump’s veracity, principles, or interests; no matter how many presidential advisers come and go;  no matter how many Special Prosecutors, investigators are appointed; and no matter how many alleged misdeeds the press can uncover, the juggernaut rolls on.

The Left ridicules the American bourgeoisie for its ignorance and lowbrow tastes; but Middle Americans are having none of it.  They are as intent on another four Trump years as the liberal Left is on denying him.  The Left is trying to reformulate the country into something it never was and never can be.  America has always been heterogeneous and welcoming of all comers; but at a price.  It has never been a chaotic ‘multicultural’ place where race, gender, and ethnicity trump adherence to America’s foundational values.  It is a religiously tolerant place, but not one which applauds secularism.  It is an enterprising, individualistic place, and definitely not one of European socialism.

There has never been a President like Donald Trump and their never will be.  Not only does he espouse the conservative principles of Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, William F Buckley, and Milton Friedman; he promotes them in a quintessentially American way.  As much as he may respect his predecessors, he understands America more than they ever did.  They might be right in their political philosophy, but they had no idea how to promote it. 

Whether Trump wins or loses, it has been a remarkable four years, a magnificent combination of vaudeville, grand guignol, Las Vegas, Hollywood, and a three-ring circus.  We have had enough gold lame, spiked heels, and middle-brow glamour and showmanship to last a lifetime.  Let the fun continue!

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