Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Samson Trump?

I love it when political commentators bring the Bible into their analysis.

Victor Davis Hanson does a pretty good job of explaining Trump's popular appeal and ends with a superb biblical metaphor to illustrate what might happen as this year in American politics unfolds.

Obviously the secret lies in not cutting the hair :)


BrianR said...

The comparison is apt.
As Delilah said, 'The Philistines are upon us.'
And not since the days of Samson has so much damage been caused by the jawbone of an ass.

Father Ron Smith said...

And don't you just love Trump's flourishing of a copy of the Bible when he's preaching to the converted? (Ill bet its the K.J.V.). I've heard about the theme: "God Bless Amrerica", but if Trump actually gets to be President, we could change to "God HELP America!" (and the rest of us!)

Pageantmaster said...

'Trump is for a brief season our long-haired Samson, and the two pillars of the temple he is yanking down are the Republicans to his right and the Democrats to his left — and it will all land on top of us, the Philistines beneath'.

Sorry, I just don't buy the characterisation going on including in this article. I do not buy the picture of an ignorant and brutish man appealing to the worst instincts or the litany of grudges listed with relish which appeal to the Trump supporters.

Donald Trump may not be educated about the rest of the world, but then neither are many Americans who are ignorant of anything East of Manhattan Island, though those who have travelled take more interest in us than we do of them. Then again, I think of the surveys of some of our young people who can tell you full details of the lives of the celebrities and footballers they follow, but claim ignorance of the name of the Prime Minister, so I am not sure we are much better.

I think Trump is a clever operator, well advised by those who have done the research into what appeals to disenfranchised Republicans and others. He probably uses the same skills he does in business: doing his research, testing consumer feedback, employing the best specialists he can to advise him and then practising the best way to present and use that information for maximum effect.

I do not know if he becomes the Republican Presidential Candidate whether he will use the same approach he has in the Primaries in the Presidential election. No doubt he has his research from his advisors lined up on what will appeal to a wider audience than the Republican Primary voters, but I doubt he will stray too far from it.

All I see is a man who has been very successful in business applying the same skills in politics who has left standing wondering what is happening the political cognoscenti. I see no reason to think that his Presidential campaign will be any different.

Were he to become President, again I do not write him off, nor do I believe that he will necessarily govern according to his campaign sound bites. He might build Trump Wall to top Trump Tower, as it is all about him. He has, sensing an opportunity as a Republican candidate dumped his Democratic liberal former associations and launched forward. I expect he will treat governing much as he does running a business. Some things will get done, though those voting for him should be careful of getting what they wish for.

I remember when Ronald Reagan was elected, the predictions that this apparently unworldly ignorant former cowboy extra become actor would be a disasterous President. He was and remained ignorant, hence his gaffe over knowing where the Falkland Islands were, but he was also an experienced Governor of California, and he gathered around him a team who did know where the Falkland Islands were, among other things. Trump will probably do the same and if he can delegate and learn from them in formulating his policies, he could well govern effectively.

Whether a Trump Presidency would be a good thing is a different matter. Like many real estate speculators he has their tendency to go one deal too far and has risked his and others wealth, and a dubious history of business ethics if not crookedness. Then again, Hilary Clinton has if anything a worse reputation from her time in Little Rock which made it surprising that she avoided jail. The probability is that a Trump presidency would enrich him and his friends, but might also achieve some things which others have been unable to do such as tackling the US trade imbalance and out of control public spending and debt. Nevertheless many who vote for him might not like what they get. I am reminded of Nixon who was effective and crooked at the same time.

America is a country where anyone can be President, and anyone is.

Jean said...

It's all in the language -
Tthe Trump Card is say what people want to hear and sounds good, not what is necessarily good or truthful. Although I do conceed truth is probably a rare commodity in US political engineering.

a) They are stealing our jobs (developing nations)? So 'they' invented free trade.....
b) There countries are being built with our money? Umm... short term memory syndrome... and on whose backs was Trumps business built and many of the primary industries which developed countries...
c) Get rid of Obamacare and introduce a more economically viable model? It is not offering a modecum of decent healthcare that threatens the US health system it is the money making antics of insurance companies that esculate medical costs and make a fortune.
d) Increase Tarrifs to protect our business? Well I am not completely against this one but it must be realised the US actually has more tariffs than many of it's trading partners it demands get rid of theirs.
e) Build a Wall - well that's been tried somewhere before...
f) I believe in the second commendment- Great for him, and what does he think about Texan's carrying guns into church or the fear created when their local barber is now armed? Those who live by the sword will... Hopefully he also believes in the second commandment.
g) I am great, I am a multi-millionaire so I won't need to accept bribes. Well the latter is good but the former gives little re-assurance, governance is not the same as management, and the US flag by the way is NOT a "brand".

Most importantly listen to the language evoking nationalism, true American's and blaming the 'other' for all the US problems, alongside the use of the word 'white'. One must be very very careful on this account. White does not denote ethnicity, white people actually come from a multiplicity of nations also. This is the language and emotionalism that has started many a civil war.

Please Amercian's see beyond the rhetoric and as Peter says vote Clinton if she is the only other option.

Peter have a good time at GS and please be kind to the Methodists. Had I been around at the time they were last a part of the Anglican Church I think I may have been counted in their number. I vote Charles Wesley...

All the best,

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Pageantmaster and Jean
Trump's brilliant at winning, at tuning into voters' concerns (and tuning out to other voters' concerns).
But he is a nasty fellow.
Clinton has her own nastiness (e.g. Her treatment of Bill's "other women") but she would be a sound, stable and serious leader of the USA.

Jean: I am not actually going to GS! But there are other commitments at this time which require their own steady focus.

Jean said...

Hi Peter

Shame, we need a representative as well versed in all the issues you have raised on your blog! Nevermind enjoy the other activities you have going on.

Brilliant at winning, and tuning into voters' concerning, yes - I often get flumoxed at your ability to sum up what takes me a page to articulate : ) ; interesting is it not our Jesus had to loose in the eyes of the world to be given the world ...

Enjoy your cyber break,