Interesting Article Defending Trump’s Identity as a Conservative

I’m not much one for labels in that I believe that either a person makes sense or they don’t. It seems to me, however, that a lot of criticism leveled at the Donald is that he’s not a “True Conservative.”

What is a “True Conservative?”

A guy states his understanding here. I’m not sure I buy the whole argument, but it’s reasonable and well worth a read.

What Flip-Flop?

Quartz runs this article explaining a Trump flip-flop on H1-B visas. Here’s the gist of the matter:

First, Trump criticizes tripling H-1Bs, which are used to by companies to bring in immigrants with a needed skill set.

Trump’s website attacks his rivals’ support for the visas, noting that Marco Rubio, “Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Senator,” has “a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities.”

Then Trump is in favor of keeping immigrants in the US when the finish school.

“I am all in favor of keeping these talented people here so they can go to work in Silicon Valley,”

And again.

“We need highly skilled people in this country, and if we can’t do it, we’ll get them in. But, and we do need in Silicon Valley, we absolutely have to have.”

But today, Trump is going to end the H-1B program.

“I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program.”

According to the article, Trump is all over the place. He likes the visa program. He’s going to end the visa program. Make up your freaking mind!

I’m not going to say that Trump never flip-flops as that would be a ludicrous statement, but the author of this article needs to find a better example. I do find Trump guilty – of doling out his policy in Twitter-sized chunks.

His statements, taken together, paint a picture so clear that even a writer at Quartz should be able to understand. Trump wants to keep talented people in this country only in situations where those people are actually needed. If an American can be found to fill a job, the job should go to an American. If not, we need to have use of the visas to fill the position. The visa program should not be used simply to provide cheap labor for Facebook.

That position sounds reasonable to me.

 

 

Breaking Down the Foreign Policy Case Against Trump

I know very little about foreign policy, but I’ve noticed that Trump’s stances are being highlighted more and more as a primary reason not to vote for him. As a reasonable person, I want to know more. It’s hard, however, to find well reasoned pieces that aren’t filled with all kinds of hyperbolic tripe.

Let’s go through one of the articles that I found:

We do not transgress Ronald Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment lightly.

That’s a good start. I’m on the lookout for well-reasoned, thoughtful articles. If you write something that I completely disagree with, but you do it in a manner supported by facts, I’m completely cool with that.

Let’s see how they justified their transgression.

But whether or not he believes his own words, merely uttering them renders him unfit to be commander-in-chief.

They’re not exactly winning me over to their ability to be reasonable from the outset.

Every modern presidential candidate who is realistically attempting to attain the Oval Office shares one trait: They will say whatever they need to say in order to get elected. During the primaries, they preach to their base. During the general election, they move toward the middle, most of the time in ways that directly contradict everything they said in the primary.

Is this an admirable trait in any candidate? Nope. Is it a reasonable trait considering that their doesn’t seem to be any way around the necessity? Yes.

Just by the fact that his words have propelled him into the driver’s seat for the nomination proves that the words were reasonable.

Under a Trump presidency, our allies would detest us and our enemies would have contempt for us, or even pity us.

Great. Now we’re getting to the meat of the issue. Tell me more.

Nope. That’s it. The authors simply made that statement and let it stand.

Literally, the entire article contains not one word that actually supports and explains their position.

Did they not write this:

as signatories to that letter, and as co-editors of Shadow Government, we want to elaborate on that statement in explaining to our readers why our role as the “loyal opposition” may well put us in the uncomfortable yet necessary role of standing in loyal opposition to our own party’s presidential nominee

Where, then, is the explanation that they promised?

Now, being reasonable, I have to say that they linked to other letters that promise some type of actual policy statements, and I’ll have to find time to delve into those. For the moment, though, I’m left with this thought, “What, exactly, was the point of their article?”

EDIT: I followed the link from the original article that was supposed to bring up the actual letter. The link didn’t work for me.

 

The Religious Right’s Leadership Isn’t Feeling So Hot Today

Bias Disclaimer – I’m a Christian, and because of that, my take on the subject of the Religious Right isn’t nearly as impartial as it is with most subjects.

With that out of the way, let’s start with this CNN article:

In the days before Super Tuesday, conservative Christian leaders cautioned, cajoled and pleaded with evangelicals to reject Trump, saying the New York businessman epitomized the opposite of their values.

Tuesday was supposed to be the religious right’s last stand, a day when the Bible Belt would enter the voting booth and christen the most God-fearing candidate. Christian conservatives were the last best hope to halt Trump’s momentum.

They didn’t.

According to exit polls, Trump won a plurality of evangelical and born-again Christians in Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia.

While I’m not sure about the rest of the article considering the author’s clear bias on the subject, I think that the quoted paragraphs are right on the money.

As I read post after post of Christian pundits and bloggers criticizing Trump in the last week or so, I was struck by a) how many of them there were and b) the uniformity of their talking points. I couldn’t help but draw a comparison between their unified action and Jim Taylor’s takedown of James Stewart’s Mr. Smith.

(In fact, a young boy was delivering pro-Trump newspapers in my neighborhood the other day when a car cut him off. A pastor jumped out, shoved the boy to the ground, and took the newspapers!)

I’m not sure that I agree that Christian leaders, morally, should be acting in the same way as any other political interest group’s leaders. If the heads of the NRA or NAACP had acted the same way, I’d probably shrug it off as politics as usual. To see that from people who should hold themselves to a higher standard feels seriously icky to me.

Then, in the end, their duplicity didn’t even work.

Sucks to be them.

Does Big Business Own the Republican Party?

Big business owns the Republican Party.

It’s a common thought, but this blog is all about being reasonable. Is it a reasonable thought or just symptomatic of the tin foil hat I’m wearing?

Here’s what Fortune has to say (here):

But I am prepared to declare a loser: big business. The so-called “establishment” Republican candidates – Rubio and Kasich – got trounced (Rubio won only in Minnesota.) Donald Trump is prevailing by trampling all over the business agenda – freer trade, more high-skilled immigration, balanced budgets – and demonizing an ever longer list of the Fortune 500companies – Pfizer was back in his sights last night.

I can’t see how to read the statement that big business lost because the establishment candidates lost as anything other than an admission that the Republican Establishment is firmly in the corner of big business. It’s not such a far leap from being the corner of to owned by.

Maybe or maybe not on the fact of the matter, but I think it’s reasonable to say that big business owns the Republican Party.

 

Dear Tom, the only political rant I’ll give ya- I grok Trump.

Here at one reasonable person, I believe that it’s important to understand what drives people. Instead of thinking of Trump supporters as stupid or evil, I think we should delve into what they see in the man. Here’s as good an explanation as I’ve seen:

I’m not saying I’m a Trump supporter, or that I have been a Trump supporter or that I will be a Trump supporter. Neither am I sold on Sanders. But I’ll tell you this~ I NEVER want…

Source: Dear Tom, the only political rant I’ll give ya- I grok Trump.

Maybe We Should be Serious

As a reasonable person, I tend to prefer blog posts that express clear, well-reasoned thoughts. It is to my dismay, then, when I find most so many incoherent posts out there. All the better, though, when I discover a well-written blog like The Front Porch Philosopher, even when I might disagree with a particular sentiment.

In this post entitled Are We Serious?, the author expresses concern over the thought of either Trump or Sanders actually winning the presidency:

My question for America after New Hampshire is, are we serious? Do we realize that we are choosing someone to do a job here, the most important job in the world? This is not reality TV, and it’s not a popularity contest. We are not deciding the next American Idol here, but the leader of the free world.

Okay. That’s a good and valid question that is certainly worthy of consideration.

Would either man be able to accomplish anything at all? Would they stick to their campaign rhetoric? Would they endanger America’s economy and/or safety?

Again, worthy questions, and if you choose not to vote for either of these men based on these concerns, it would be hard for a reasonable person to fault you for it.

I want to call more attention to an issue raised by that very same author, however:

I get it. People are fed up with Washington. They’re fed up with Wall Street. They’re tired of both parties, let down by Bush and Obama. Voters are sending the message that they will not be controlled. They will not dutifully line up behind their party’s Chosen One. This year, people are choosing passion over pragmatism.

Here’s another reasonable question: which is more important – the relatively short term of a single presidency or the long term of a party’s direction?

It seems to me that we consistently have protest candidates. These people rise, give voice to the people’s concerns, and fall back to earth before the general election. The establishment of each party publicly frets about how they understand the people’s frustrations.

Privately, however, I think that each party’s establishment feels something completely different. It seems reasonable to assume they think, “The people threaten and bluster about these protest candidates, but at the end of the day, they put in office the candidates we tell them to elect. Why should we change anything?”

History tells us that Trump and Sanders are protest candidates who will be replaced by a proper establishment figure once it’s time to actually put someone new into the White House. Republicans and Democrats will continue on just as they always have – more concerned with maintaining power than with accomplishing anything for the voters.

In the short run, electing one of these two men might very well be an unmitigated disaster. In the long run, though, will leaving the two parties on their current course be an even worse one?

So no, we’re not serious. But maybe we should be.

What to do After Whiffing on a Prediction?

Even though I’m a reasonable person, I admire those who go out on a limb to make bold predictions, even when those predictions are illogical and counter to the best evidence we have. Take this Huffpost entry for example:

I want to make sure that you heard it here first: Donald Trump will lose the New Hampshire primary tomorrow.

Bold words. I applaud the author for taking such a stand despite the fact that polls clearly showed Trump with a lead that greatly exceeded the polls’ margin of error.

What will the author do after being proved wrong, though?

Option 1 – Stick to his guns. Double down by railing against the voters convinced by Trumps’ message.

Option 2 – Admit his mistake.

Option 3 – Remain silent.

It’s hard to admire anyone who responds to defeat by being a bad sport or simply walking away from the table (see Newton, Cam). It’s also hard to respect someone who makes excuses.

Is the only reasonable choice to admit the mistake?

It’ll be interesting to see which choice Huffpost makes.

Vox Agrees with Me

Is it a sign that I’m really reasonable if Vox.com agrees with me?

Uh …

Just found this post:

New Hampshire didn’t just hand Trump a win, it left him perfectly positioned to dominate in South Carolina, Nevada, and other future races.

Basically, the post makes the same points that I made here.