Friday, August 05, 2016

Trump vs Other Republicans

After careful and scientific consideration, I can now make the final observations:

Trump vs Bush I/II

What makes Trump outstanding is that he is able to express and defend an opinion.  Yes, it is true that he might be expressing a contrary opinion the next day, and his defense might be incoherent and cause even more troubles for his point of view, but one has to start somewhere.  Bush I/II never made it that far.

Trump vs McCain

A consistent behavior of Trump is the picking of fights with various people, even if it is a pointless one.  In this, however, Trump shows himself to be principled by first making the recipient of his attack into an enemy, then attacking.  Later he might de-enemy the person and all is well.  With McCain, it is his friends who need to worry the most.

Trump vs Romney

My main recollection was that Romney was a conservative Christian before being nominated and a born again RINO afterwards.  Who knows what he would have become had he been elected?  There is only one Trump so you always know who it is you are voting for.  OK, so we have to deal with this in a statistical sense with a very large standard deviation, but we are confident that the alternation between positions and their complex conjugates is a stochastic process which is temporally invariant, rather than being subject to discrete jumps and singularities.


Rummuser said...

I am a bystander watching the drama in the USA. I however agree with Sanjaya Baru -

Max Coutinho said...

Hi Looney,

I am trying very hard to be a simple bystander in these US elections, but it's hard. I mean, one would think that this would be a no brainer: between a liar, corrupt and US National Security threat and a sincere mouthy and apparently crazy businessman who seems to fight for US jobs (regardless of how erratic his speech may be), one would vote for the latter. But no, I still read and see people defending the former with the silliest and most naïve of arguments (e.g. she did "good things for women and children").

People scream that politicians are corrupt, they are this and that, that politics is rotten but now they are more than willing to elect a corrupt individual whose politics is rotten simple because of her gender. Cognitive dissonance at its best.

Have a blessed weekend, Looney.

Max Coutinho said...

Rummy, thanks for Sanjaya Baru's piece. Cheers

Looney said...

@Rummuser, the article was quite good and much to agree with. My only quibble here is that I think much of Obama's systematic foreign policy disaster owes to Hillary. Trump isn't nearly a Reagan, but Reagan too was mocked as a foreign policy catastrophe, whereas his success at winding down the Cold War counts as one of the greatest foreign policy achievements of the last half century. So there is this quote from the article:

"If Trump wins, he will be so busy getting a reality check with the whole world ..."

In this case I think Trump is not the right man and he will certainly make some big mistakes, but he is towering above the current administration and all of academia in the "reality check" department on foreign policy.

Looney said...


That analysis sounds as good to me as any. As for the cognitive dissonance, I would add the additional twist that I think that the politicians we get tend to reflect the character of the people. For example, I am not a "birther", which means that I believe that our current president's attitude of "I am above the law" reflects the fact that he truly was born and raised in America, thus much of America's citizenry now has a purely third world conception of government, which is also why Hillary is doing so well. The "birther" theory would imply that third world attitudes were some foreign anomaly in America, whereas my view is much worse. Thus, I as an American should think twice about complaining and cursing the politician that comes out of the cumulative moral character of "we the people".

CheerfulMonk said...

I'm voting for Gary Johnson.

Looney said...

@CheerfulMonk, glad to see you drop by!

It does seem to me that the Libertarians will get a record turnout. Half of me is sympathetic to their cause, but I really can't buy into the notion that vice has as much social utility as virtue. But perhaps I have more to agree with the Libertarians than the Democrats or Republicans? After all, a glass that is half full is better than one that is smashed and fouled.

CheerfulMonk said...

A very long but interesting article: The Week Democracy Died: Seven Days in July That Changed the World as We Know It.

It's extremely long, and it ends with:

By the cruel standards of human history, the last few decades have been uncommonly serene. It is looking less and less likely that we will one day be able to say the same thing of the next few decades. Radical change seems to lurk just around the corner. The question is no longer whether we can preserve our political order in its current form. (We probably can’t.) It is what reforms are needed to ensure that the precious, fragile combination of liberalism and democracy does not entirely vanish from the face of the earth. If the center is to hold—if we are to rescue what is best about our imperfect political order—a lot will have to change.

We already live in "interesting" times. I think he's right that it will get even more interesting.