Monday, August 15, 2016

He'd Never Blame Himself

Last week, Donald Trump blamed the "disgusting and corrupt media" for not covering him "honestly" and for putting "false meaning into the words I say." Philip Bump, of the Washington Post, writes:

Donald Trump has the same ability as any other candidate to say precisely what he wants to any voter in any state: By advertising. He can buy ads in swing states and run 30- or 60-second spots making whatever case he wants in any language he chooses. He can send mail, he can knock on doors. He can, in other words, run a campaign. But he’s not.

He isn’t running any ads, spending zero dollars on television (and getting outspent by the Green Party and Libertarian candidates). He isn’t contacting voters on doors or on phones, and has hardly any field offices. He isn’t sending mail. He’s tweeting and he’s holding rallies, and not much else.

And he’s holding rallies in places like Connecticut, where he was on Saturday. He told the crowd there that he was going to make a “big play” for the state, which one has to assume isn’t true. Trump won’t win Connecticut, a heavily Democratic state. There’s no point in his wasting campaign resources on the state (in the event he starts expending resources anywhere) since it only holds a couple of electoral votes anyway. It’s simply baffling that he would hold a public event there at all, even if he’s not serious about carrying the state.

Trump trumpets his management expertise. But, given his many failed ventures and serial bankruptcies -- and now his floundering campaign -- it appears that he couldn't manage a two car funeral. 

As a manager, he believes his prime function is to assign blame. Of course, he'd never blame himself.



Steve said...

It starting to look very much like a Peter Sellers movie. If he takes down the Repuclican Senate and Congress it would be funny. Never the less he remains competative until the first debate and thats going to be the story.

Owen Gray said...

The conventional wisdom is that the first debate will make him or break him, Steve. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

Trump is letting the media do his advertising.
Perhaps he cannot afford a real campaign; maybe he is not as wealthy as he says?


Owen Gray said...

I'm quite sure he's not who he claims to be, TB. To borrow a word from Holden Caulfield, he's a phony.

John B. said...

I agree that Trump's a phony. I wonder if he's also a secret slob.

Owen Gray said...

Good question, John. He certainly seems to have difficulty keeping track of details.

Toby said...

How many American voters see the Democrat campaign as rigged? How many will retaliate by holding their noses and voting Republican and, yes, Trump? We have seen the polls falsely predicting winners before.

Fifty years ago polls were reasonably accurate. Since then people have been inundated with polls and have learned to toy with them, thus skewing the results. Cell phones limit the ability to track many people; others just hang up. Then there are the pollsters who get just the result that their clients want. Add to that the tendency of many, including myself, to decide as I walk into the voting booth. You can guess by now that I don't believe the polls.

Owen Gray said...

It's wise to be skeptical, Toby. But what worries me is the thought that Trump might lose big and his supporters would still see the election as illegitimate.

Dana said...

Log read and worth it.

Owen Gray said...

Thanks for the link, Dana. 1848 was a year that brought about wholesale political change -- for good or ill. 2016 may be remembered as the year that all kinds of things went wrong:

Across the affluent, established democracies of North America and Western Europe, the last years have witnessed a meteoric rise of figures who may not be quite so brash or garish as Trump and yet bear a striking resemblance to him: Marine Le Pen in France, Frauke Petry in Germany, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, and many of the leading Brexiteers in the United Kingdom. They too harness a new level of anger that is quite unlike anything liberal democracies have witnessed in a half-century. They too promise to stand up for ordinary people, to do away with a corrupt political elite, and to put the ethnic and religious minorities who are now (supposedly) being favored in their rightful (subordinate) place. They, too, are willing to do away with liberal political institutions like an independent judiciary or a free, robust press so long as those stand in the way of the people’s will. Together, they are building a new type of political regime that is slowly coming into its own: illiberal democracy.

Dana said...

I found this part especially disturbing and we can see it happening right here on your blog:

"Nobody should be more scared of the rise of illiberal populists than the left. And yet, in both Europe and North America, much of the left increasingly thinks of “liberal” as a term of abuse. Indeed, a growing share of left-wing activists has gone from understandable anger at the many shortcomings of the status quo to an outright rejection of the foundational political values of our age. Assuming that ideals that are flagrantly contradicted in practice can’t be worth very much in theory either, they too are giving up on the core tenets of liberal democracy.

If Donald Trump rails against Muslims in his speeches then, they believe, it is time to accept that freedom of speech is an outmoded concept. And if the police kill innocent black Americans then, they believe, the ideal of state neutrality between different ethnic groups is no more than a tool for white domination. The society they envisage is not one in which liberal democratic ideals are more perfectly realized than they are now—but rather one in which these ideals are sacrificed in the name of social justice.

The most foolhardy parts of the left even go so far as to see the rise of their enemies as a strategic opportunity. Believing that things will have to get worse before they can get better, their most urgent desire is to smash up the status quo. Unwilling to recognize any real difference between the policies favored by the likes of Trump and the policies favored by the likes of Clinton, they prefer the agent of chaos, however violent, to the defender of the current political order, however decent."

Owen Gray said...

There are commenters here who echo that line of thought, Dana. As I have written in this space, there are lessons which we should have learned from the Weimar Republic.