What Next

I believe a Trump administration will do immense damage to America and the world. Unfortunately, we’re not just talking about four bad years. The damage will last for decades, maybe generations.

The political damage will extend far into the future, too. Putin now is emboldened. His power grab will damage Europe in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. Nationally, The odds are that some terrible people will become Supreme Court justices. States will feel empowered to engage in even more voter suppression than they did this year. At worst, we could see a overt forms of Jim Crow become the norm all across America.

And you have to wonder about civil liberties, too. The White House will soon be occupied by a man with obvious authoritarian instincts, and Congress controlled by a party that has shown no inclination to stand up against him. How bad will it get? Nobody knows.

So now, what do I do?

First I need to understand what happened.

I honestly thought Trump was the worst man ever to run for president. I assumed that a significant majority of my fellow citizens would easily agree. Clearly I was wrong.

The Trump campaign was unprecedented in its dishonesty; the fact that the lies didn’t exact a political price, that they even resonated with a large bloc of voters, doesn’t make them any less false. No, Jews are not rigging the elections though their International Banking and Media outlets.

No, our inner cities aren’t war zones with record crime. No, we aren’t the highest-taxed nation in the world. No, climate change isn’t a hoax promoted by the Chinese. And No, excessive regulations are not the reason the rust belt is losing jobs.

I am not going to concede in any way that the “Alt-Right’s” vision of the world is truthful or realistic. NO! Lies are lies, no matter how much power backs them up.

Will that stand eventually succeed? No guarantees. Americans, no matter how secular, tend to think of themselves as citizens of a nation with a special divine providence, one that may take wrong turns but always finds its way back, one in which justice always prevails in the end.
Yet it doesn’t have to be true. Maybe the historic channels of reform — speech and writing that changes minds, political activism that eventually changes who has power — are no longer effective. Maybe America isn’t special, it’s just another republic that had its day, but is in the process of devolving into a corrupt nation ruled by strongmen.

But I’m not ready to accept that this is inevitable — because accepting it as inevitable would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The road back to what America should be is going to be longer and harder than any of us expected, and we might not make it. But we have to try.

Question for Rep. Tom Price: Do you Support Donald Trump?

I would like to ask our Georgia 6th District Congressional Representative Tom Price if he supports Donald Trump.  Last I read or heard he was supporting Trump.  My question to Rep Tom Price today is: does he continue to support Trump?

I would hope that he comes out and tells his district if Trump is tapping into the George Wallace voters.   I think Trump is, but we need an honest view of what is going on.

Discussion of Mark Davis’ Handy Guide For Supporting Trump

Mark Davis posted “Your Handy Guide to Evaluating Trump Criticism.” It is a well written article and worthy of study and discussion.

Let me start with making an important distinction with Davis’ list.  He combines criticism from the right and from the left as equal.  This is not helpful.  So, I am going to rearrange the list into two groups – Criticisms of Trump from the Right, and Criticism of Trump from the left.

Criticism from the Right

  1. Trump is not a Consistent Conservative – True – But his anti immigration, vague plans for job creation, and his “hammering” political correctness “may” result in more “genuine” conservative victories than previous consistent conservatives.
  2. Not led a Biblical Life – Direct Hit – But for some reason it does not matter to his supporters.
  3. He is not really pro-life – True – And there is no reason to believe he is lying now about his pro-life positions.
  4. Cannot Count on his Court Picks –
  5. He Contributed to Dems – So What – He is a business man.
  6. He has no Core Values – Wrong –  he as a lot of core values
  7. He will not follow through on all the things he says – True – But he will be better than the sorry job the GOP Establishment has done

Criticism from Liberals

  1. Trump is a racist and a misogynist – Fails on its face.  – Not a “whiff” of mistreatment of women in his business history.
  2. Can Count on His Court Picks to be Racist White Nationalists –

Criticism from Both Sides

  1. He

 

Criticism from the Right

1.  Consistent Conservative

Davis Says:

“He is not a consistent conservative.” Completely correct. His populism certainly borrows from some strains of conservative thought, but his trade policies are of a more populist bent, and his willingness to entertain a higher minimum wage is straight-up liberalism.

Many conservatives who have long supported him know he does not bat a thousand, or even .800, but they feel his energy on immigration, job creation and hammering political correctness may result in more genuine conservative victories than, say, a Jeb Bush presidency might have yielded.

Ted Cruz made a big thing out of being a “Consistent Conservative.”

As a Liberal, whether Trump is a Consistent Conservative or not makes no difference in my view of him.

2. Not led a Biblical Life

Davis Says

“He seeks evangelical support, but has hardly led a Biblical life.” Direct hit. And to many, it appears not to matter one shred. Maybe it’s because every honest Christian who has traveled a redemptive path will tell you that God is not interested in your missteps, He is interested in your next steps.

Rehashing Trump’s multiple marriages and long-ago boasts (okay, most were long ago) are as irrelevant as a litany of any sinner’s past, as long as the current path seems solid. There is no evidence that he carries the stain of current violations of any major commandment, and while “Two Corinthians” may reveal a less than pastorly Bible literacy, many pastors back him.

Why? Because while the GOP field boasted many actual evangelicals with devout biographies, none seems to carry the potential to do what Christianity needs most urgently right now— blast through the suffocating political correctness that seeks to strangle our religious freedoms every day.

Again this is clearly a Conservative criticism.

From my perspective, Conservative Christians that take the approach Davis suggests, are total hypocrites. It demonstrates that they use selective perception, confirmation bias, and motivated reasoning to come to any conclusion they want.

There are countless facts that lead to the conclusion that the Christian Faith of a Candidate is a critical foundational driver for Christian voters.

3. Not Really Pro-Life

Davis writes:

“He is not a real pro-lifer.” Depends on the meaning of “real.” Does he have the moral clarity to assert that life in the womb is sacred, even in cases of rape and incest? He does not. Has he bought into the absurdity that Planned Parenthood does some good things? He has, meaning he cannot grasp that the organization would not exist but for abortion services. These are not good.

But there is no reason to believe that he is somehow lying in his testimony of becoming more pro-life as the years have passed. We conservatives are a funny lot; we persuade and coax and convince and lure people to our side, and when they pivot to agreement with us, we kick them in the crotch for not being with us their whole lives.

Davis say’s “there is no reason to believe that he is somehow lying in his testimony of becoming more pro-life as the years have passes.”  I find that belief amazing.  There is no reason to believe that Trump is saying anything at anytime that he believes.  He wants to President.

But, again more of a Right Wing concern.  I don’t consider any of the “Pro-Life” supporters to be really “Pro-Life.”  They are just forced childbirth once pregnant.  If they were really “Pro-life” they would be talking about reducing Infant Mortality.

Here is a very interesting post on this subject from the National Catholic Reporter – http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/time-pro-life-movement-be-very-smart

Here is the key quote from the post:

A pro-life movement that ignores infant mortality rates, starvation, or the degradation of the environment simply does not deserve the label ‘pro-life.’ It becomes a mere euphemism for supporting laws that restrict access to abortion. It becomes detached from the understanding of human dignity and worth that should animate the movement. Only a whole life approach can make the pro-life movement authentically pro-life.

4.  Cannot Count on His Court Picks

Davis writes:

“We can’t count on his Supreme Court nominees.” What do people want him to do? He gave us a fat list of wonderful constitutionalist judges who would honorably fill the shoes of Antonin Scalia. Do we need a joint news conference with one of those names so that skeptics can know he means it? That is wildly inappropriate before he even accepts the nomination, and best left to the first days of his presidency, when he can make that announcement surrounded by the compelling imagery of the White House.

Trump’s tormentors responded to his worthy list with the same taunt they roll out with every conservative promise he makes: You can’t believe him, he’s a total liar. This is the mantra of those who don’t just doubt him; they hate him.

I find it interesting that Davis believes that Trump is wedded to anything he says.

Here are two examples of Trump saying every thing is negotiable.

5. He contributed to Democrats

Davis writes:

“He contributed to Democrats.” No kidding, as does every businessman who wants to curry favor across party lines. I daresay Trump would not open a checkbook for her these days, now that their relationship is political. This trope is trundled out by critics seeking to sow seeds of doubt as to Trump’s reliability on core values.

This actually goes along with #1 – Not a Consistent Conservative.

6.  No Core Values

“He doesn’t have any core values.” Have you listened to the man? Here are ten off the bat: stronger borders, blasting political correctness, leveling the trade playing field, rebuilding the military, taking better care of veterans, protecting gun rights, creating jobs, speaking truth to global jihad, and the broadly stated but resonant “make America great again.”

I sort of agree with Davis’ assessment here that Trump does have core values.  However, I would come up with a different list.  When Davis Says, Trump’s core value is Stronger Borders, I think Trump’s core value here is Xenophobia.  When Davis says, Trump’s core value is blasting political correctness, I think Trump’s core value is being able to insult everyone, but not tolerating any insults of him.

7. Will not follow through on all the things he says he will do

Davis writes:

Doubters may claim that he might not follow through on all ten [of his agenda items], but I’ll bet his batting average with those stated goals is better than the sorry job the Republican establishment has done following through on all of those things they said they would do if only we won the House, if only we won the Senate, if only, if only.

Davis does not know that Trump will follow through with any of his agenda items because Trump has no history of following through on any public policy agenda item.  One could argue that because he was “successful” in business he will be successful in getting his agenda though.  But, following through on public policy is a different universe than following though on a business agenda.

 

Criticism From the Left

1. Trump is a Fascist/Racist/misogynist

Davis Says:

“He doesn’t like Hispanics/ women/ fill in the blank.” The attempt to portray Trump as a racist or misogynist fails on its face. It is a slander leveled by people who know he is likely to fare better with Latinos in November than Mitt Romney did in 2012 (27 percent). I’d love to send this year’s entire seventeen-strong GOP field through the streets of South Brooklyn. Precisely one would get waves of appreciative welcome, and it’s not either of our candidates who were actual Hispanics.

As for women, any Republican faces a challenge in the current era of government as master nurturer. But strong, self-reliant women are pervasive among Trump supporters, and there is not a whiff of mistreatment of women in his business history. Quite the opposite, Trump World appears to be a complete meritocracy, where women and people of color are rewarded for performance without regard to race or gender. This is admittedly jarring in a country that has been led too long by Democrats obsessed with weaponizing both.

“He compliments Putin.” He sure does, in a certain oblique way, noting the Russian leader’s strength and devotion to his goals. For his part, Putin is eating it up, to the degree that he has thrown a compliment or two back Trump’s way.

2. He Rooted for People to lose their homes

Davis writes:

“He rooted for people to lose their homes in the recession’s housing collapse.” This is straight from the den of lies that is the Democrat party advertising brain trust.

They found audio of Trump in 2006, musing about how a drop in home prices could provide buying opportunities that could be of benefit to investors. The history of such logic dates to neanderthals hoping tiger pelts would dip in value to grease the wheels of commerce 30,000 years ago.

Yet Elizabeth Warren, who we learn has pocketed some cash from a house flip or two, lashed out against Trump’s cruelty for actively wishing for homeowners to lose everything. There are only two explanations for an attack this baseless: genuine stupidity and malicious intent. Let’s just say she is not stupid.

Here is some video on this.

Criticism from Both Side

1. He does unpresidential Things

“He does stunningly unpresidential things.” Yes, he does, and most of them have helped him win the nomination. To the chagrin of more mannerly tastes, his admittedly brash and aggressive style has been punctuated with moments of truly embarrassing excess.

Those moments have dwindled as he has sent his rivals home. His discipline should sharpen even further now that he has but one opponent to target, and those attacks on Hillary Clinton will delight rather than annoy millions of Republicans who have watched him flay their favored hopeful.

2. He changes his views on the fly

“He changes his views on the fly.” In general, this is not good. On important conservative economic points, if he has adopted one, he needs to stick to it. His reversal on a job-killing minimum wage increase was a total unforced error.

That said, he has stated often that he may adjust views as he becomes more familiar with various issues. While this annoys ideologues (like me), it may prove somewhat endearing to voters who sense he may listen as he learns the ropes of governance. And on things like reticence to commit U.S. troops to the Middle East, I am hoping he adjusts that view right after his first security briefing the afternoon of January 20, 2017.

But what it may be is a master deal-maker softening an adversary in preparation for a global chess match that might go better with an opening chapter of sweet-talk than it has of late with Obama’s empty rhetoric followed by inaction or worse.

This is a huge problem for Trump. Obama and Clinton are liberals. While they may change their views on specific issues, gay marriage for example, they will always be liberals.

3. Zero Experience Dealing with Foreign Leaders

It is true that Trump has zero experience dealing with foreign leaders. But he has a half-century of experience sizing up rivals and adversaries, using words and actions to lure them toward his agenda.

4. He traffics in Conspiracy Theories

“He traffics in conspiracy theories.” This wholly accurate Trump criticism holds water, but dings him far less than those wielding it might wish.

His flirtations with such matters has ranged from the goofy (Rafael Cruz and Lee Harvey Oswald) to the inexcusable (Bush lied about WMDs to get us into war). But these moments seem to flit by without consequence, and the most recent one, the flight of Vince Foster nostalgia, was actually defused by the hyperventilations of overreaction.

As the voices of punditry gasped at his doubts on the official Foster story, millions old enough to remember 1993 thought: “Hmmm. The Clintons. The scandals. The various pressures of covering for them. Foster’s repeated frustrations with the Washington whirlwind. The decades of envelope-pushing by Bill and Hillary ever since. Know what? Maybe I’m not so sure what happened either.”

5. He is only Doing This for His Own Ego

Davis writes:

And finally, “He is only doing this for his own ego.” No doubt, the man has a stratospheric self-image, and doesn’t mind telling us so. But this has been a trait of his for the decades we have known him. Does he engage in business deals for his own image or because he wants them to succeed? Has he plunged into various ventures from the USFL to the Miss America pageant for his own image or because he wanted them to succeed?

He clearly wishes to succeed at everything he does, so why would this not extend to running the country? This does not mean I will necessarily agree with his every instinct, but if he genuinely pursues the things he talks about with determination and seriousness, there will be far more positive results than negative.

In the end, I’d rather have a president interested in actually doing things that will make him look good, than the last seven and a half years of a president who does whatever he wants because he thinks he is already omniscient and omnipotent.

And if, at the end of his presidency, the country will have been truly benefited, Trump will enjoy the enormous benefit of an even loftier list of achievements, and we might enjoy the benefit of an America made, at least in some ways, great again.

Do Trump Voters Want the Candidate with Most Votes to Win the November Election Too? I Suspect Not.

In 2000 Bush received 50,456M  Gore received 50,996M  Gore won the popular vote, but lost the election.

My question to Trump Voters, given your position on who should win the GOP Primary, who do you believe should have won the 2000 election.

Trump Voters say that the one with the most votes should win the GOP Primary, but I suspect they will say that popular vote should not be the decider in a November Election.

The reason is simple and obvious; Shifting Demographics.

I found the following at Donald Trump And America’s ‘Second Civil War

It provided the podcast below.

The Podcast Starts out with a discussion of the Voter suppression in the Arizona Primary Election.

And then goes on to talk with Steve Ross, a history professor at the University of Southern California.

In the Podcast Steve Ross Says,

“What we’re seeing [with Trump’s rise] is what I would call the second Civil War,”

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln won the presidential election, and for the first time in American history, a president was elected without getting a single electoral vote from the South. Southerners could see the writing on the wall: a future in which the North could keep electing presidents without them, and eventually outlaw slavery — either through Congress or the Supreme Court. So Southern states seceded from the union, launching historians have termed a “pre-emptive counter-revolution.” Looking at demographic trends today, Trump’s Supporters are making a similar calculation.

It’s not that all of Trump’s supporters want to own slaves or secede from the United States. But they can see their political clout disappearing, and are responding by supporting an extremist movement.

To Ross, a parallel with the mid-19th century American South is clearer than the common refrain that Trump is a fascist, although he emphasizes that Trump shares key characteristics with fascist leaders of the 20th century — a propensity for political violence, aggressively xenophobic hypernationalism and a loathing of the political left.

“Donald Trump is certainly on the road to fascism,” Ross said. “He is right now doing things that fascists do.”

I don’t actually like podcasts, they are too boring without video, but there is good information that we can use here.

I particularly like the idea of Shifting Demographics as the Root Cause of the Anger by Trump Supporters!  I think that makes perfect sense.

Of Course that raises another question, will Trump Voters accept these demographic changes peacefully.  I don’t think so.  But, hopefully a significant majority will do the right thing.  And we will get through this period without too much violence.  After all Peace is a relative to the context.

The only way Trump Voters are able to keep their voting majority today is through significant gerrymandering, voter suppression, and driving everything down to the State and Local level.  But, that will not stem the tide for much longer.  Their adherence to a 1st Century fixed text grows less reasonable every day.

The challenge is will they peacefully accept the new demographics?

Trump saying there will be riots if the is not the nominee is going to be a true test of democracy.  Will at some point Trump Voters accept defeat peacefully, or will there be riots?

I don’t think Trump Voters are really fans of Democracy if they are in the Minority?

 

 

New Term – Motive Attribution Asymmetry. Add this to “Confirmation Bias,” “Selective Perception,” and “Motivated Reasoning” as Reasons For Our Political Disfunction.

I found a new term, “Political Motive Attribution Asymmetry” that adds to, “Confirmation Bias,” “Selective Perception,” and “Motivated Reasoning” as the reason our political problems seem to be so intractable.  The term came from a Study called “Motive attribution asymmetry for love vs. hate drives intractable conflict.” Click here to see the Study.

It seems obvious to me that there are a lot of reasonable compromise solutions available to us.  Yet, we seem to always end up yelling at each other, rather than work to find solutions to our problems.  The Authors of the Study suggest that “Motive Attribution Asymmetry” means that:

“Adversaries attribute their ingroup’s actions to in-group love more than outgroup hate and attribute their outgroup’s actions to outgroup hate more than ingroup love. This biased attributional pattern increases beliefs and intentions associated with conflict intractability, including unwillingness to negotiate and unwillingness to vote for compromise solutions. … Understanding this bias and how to alleviate it can contribute to conflict resolution on a global scale.”

“Although people find it difficult to explain their adversaries’ actions in terms of love and affiliation, we suggest that recognizing this attributional bias and how to reduce it can contribute to reducing human conflict on a global scale.”

The current position of Senate Conservatives that they will not hold hearings on the US Supreme Court Nominee is a great example of how ideological and Political actors are willing to risk the health of their Country, because they are unwilling to make political compromises.  This is just one recent example.  There are unfortunately too many other world wide examples of political, economic, ethnic, and religious groups across the world rejecting solutions of mutual benefit that involve sharing power, land, or religious sites.

Why are so many conflicts so intractable when people on both sides could gain from a compromise?  I lay the blame for intractability at the foot of “Confirmation Bias,” “Selective Perception,” “Motivated Reasoning,” and now the new term, “Motive Attribution Asymmetry.”

This study supports the notion that:

“A fundamental barrier to conflict resolution may be simple pessimism toward compromise. If adversaries believe inflexibility on the other side renders mutual compromise impossible, they will be unlikely to adopt seemingly rational strategies for conciliation. In other words, the perception of conflict intractability may be an independent cause of a stalemate. Here, we identify a fundamental cognitive bias that contributes to the belief in conflict intractability, and may therefore contribute to conflict spirals.”

“People will attribute ingroup engagement in conflict to love more than hate, but they will attribute outgroup engagement in conflict to hate more than love. We term this pattern the “motive attribution asymmetry.” We use the term “bias” to mean response tendency (rather than error); in this case, a tendency to attribute love vs. hate to one’s in-group to a greater degree than to one’s outgroup and to attribute hate vs. love to one’s outgroup to a greater degree than to one’s in-group.”

Example of “Motivated Reasoning” Using Rubio’s Example of Obama Stroking Caustic Rhetoric

Motivated Reasoning is where you know the answer you want and then you line up facts to support your answer.

A great example of motivated reasoning was provided by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) (See Full Story Here).  He is motivated to blame liberals for the divisions in this country.  He is motivated to blame anyone other than the GOP for the Caustic Rhetoric in this great country.

He said, “There’s no doubt” President Obama has helped stoke the caustic rhetoric and violence displayed at recent political rallies held by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.”

As an example Rubio cited an April 2011 Obama speech where he criticized a budget proposal the GOP. (See Full Speech Here).  In the Speech Obama said the GOP’s budgeting vision “is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America.”

From that Rubio Concluded the following:

“He basically said, ‘If you agree with Paul Ryan’s budget, you don’t care about the disabled, you don’t care about the elderly, you don’t care about the poor,'” Rubio recalled. “There’s been numerous instances where he basically implies that if you don’t care with his gun control agenda than you didn’t care about the kids who died at Sandy Hook. Time and again he’s done that. There’s no doubt that he’s been a contributor to this.”

“I think all of us in American public office need to take a step back and examine ourselves and say, ‘Have we contributed to this culture that’s emerged where you literally have a country where people hate each other?'”

“We have an America where Americans are starting to hate each other. I mean, we can have policy disagreements, and they should be vibrant, but there’s got to be a limit to it. Otherwise we can’t function as a country.”

Now, just so you have a comparison, here is a recent quote from Ted Cruz:

That we’re going to have an election, and if liberals are so confident that the American people want unlimited abortion on demand, want religious liberty torn down, want the Second Amendment taken away, want veterans’ memorials torn down, want the crosses and stars of David sandblasted off of the tombstones of our fallen veterans, then go and make the case to the people.”

To me there is no comparison.  But just in case you want more, here is a quote from Sarah Palin from her 2008 convention speech:

.. when that happens, what exactly is our opponent’s plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer — the answer is to make government bigger, and take more of your money, and give you more orders from Washington, and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world.”

And, just to pull something out of the golden oldies, here is Mitt Romney and his 47% Comments:

However, perhaps here is the best equivalent on the GOP side to Rubio’s example:

So, Rubio using the Obama 2011 speech as causing the divisions in this country is simply motivated reasoning.  The divisions in this country have been exploited by our leaders long before Obama gave his 2011 Speech.