Saturday, January 30, 2016

Why Trump Might Not be a Bad President (written while holding my nose)

Here are some reasons why Donald Trump might not be as bad a President as Progressives fear (and certainly nowhere near as horrific as Cruz or Rubio)...

1) Trump is not beholden to any billionaires other than himself, and is not beholden to any corporations. (Of course Bernie Sanders is beholden to no billionaires or corporations at all, and would be a better President than Trump in a zillion ways.)

2) Trump is flexible (that is to say that he is not committed to any fixed principles). Is Trump pro-fetus, or pro-choice? Probably neither. It may be that he held one view and then changed to the other, but it is much more likely that he has never had a strong position either way - it always was, and always will be, that his expressed views match the expediency of the moment.

3) Trump is a master manipulator. Not being attached to any fixed principles (other than Trump winning), he can make deals in which he grants his followers (or adversaries) what they are most emotionally attached to, without giving up anything of real value. Trump really is the master of the DEAL and a true Machiavellian (as Shakespeare portrayed Machiavelli, and much more sinister than the real Niccolò Machiavelli).

4) Trump is a master of human psychology - especially group psychology. Right now, Trump is appealing to his followers' fear of Arabs, Mexicans, Women, and maybe Blacks and Jews. However Trump also recognizes that his followers like social security, medicare, and some form of free comprehensive health care for themselves and their families, if not for Mexican-Americans, Black-Americans, or Arab-Americans. Trump doesn't appear to hate minorities personally, so he would probably find ways to oppress them as little as possible, while still satisfying the blood-lust of his rabid followers.

5) Trump's positions are almost certain to change during the general election, and even more so if elected President. As a person without his own principles, Trump will shrewdly assess the pulse of the average American, and follow that lead. A President Trump (or general election candidate Trump) would feel no loyalty to those who voted to nominate him.

6) Trump would find a way out of the foolish promises he is making to his rabid primary base. Trump's quote on banning Muslims is, “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.” Trump could, and probably would, say on inauguration day that he has "figured out what is going on" and that the ban is no longer needed. I have no idea how he would backpedal on the silly idea of forcing Mexico to pay for a giant border wall, but Trump is very smart, very creative, and totally lacking in ethics, so I trust he would find a way out - and manage to look good while doing it.

Let's hope we never have to find out what kind of President Donald Trump would be, but it might be somewhat of a pleasant surprise. In contrast, it appears that Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio truly are committed to the horrifically repressive domestic policies and extremely dangerous warmongering foreign policies that they advocate.


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cars and Guns

Cars and Guns are both useful and enjoyable.

Cars and Guns are both dangerous when misused.

Cars and Guns can both be made safer through mandatory user training.

Cars and Guns should both require registration and licensed users.

Cars and Guns can both be made safer through manufacturing improvements - like mandatory locks.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

President Obama Cheers and Boos

CHEERS

Affordable Care Act

Nuclear Deal with Iran

Prisoner Exchange with Iran

Executive Action on Immigration

Executive Action on Guns

Economic Recovery

Job Growth

Deal with Syria to Remove Chemical Weapons

Federal Support for Stem-Cell and Biomedical Research

Protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid

Protecting Women's Health and Women's Rights

Protecting Planned Parenthood

Preventing KeystoneXL Pipeline

Trying to Close Guantanamo

BOOS

TPP (harms environment, consumer protection, health, rule-of-law; a gift to greedy multinational corporations)

Deportations

Failure to provide Kurds with heavy weapons, and failure to support an independent Kurdistan

Support of ISIS-enabling Kurd-Hating Turkey

Military Aid to Theocratic Dictatorship in Saudi Arabia which Beheads Political and Religious Dissidents and Bombs Civilians in Yemen using US Weapons

Failure to Force Israel to End Illegal and Immoral Occupation of Palestine, and Continued Military Aid to Israel

Failure to Stand Up to Big Banks

Proposing to Attack Syria's Government ("Red Line" Fiasco)
---------------

President Obama has also done much that doesn't clearly rate either a cheer or a boo...

Tactics of fighting ISIS

Iraq

Syria (other than "Red Line" boo, and Chemical Weapons cheer)

Afghanistan

Ukraine

Interactions with Putin

Drone controversy (especially targeting US citizens)