August 15, 2016

Anti-Trump fatigue

This might be a bit ironic given my reminder-to-self yesterday, but I'm feeling a bit politically fatigued having to wade through so much anti-Trump vitriol from both the left and right to try and find something positive about this election cycle. I'm not about to panic and freak out, but I'm definitely feeling discouraged and prone to bouts of Olympics-watching instead of political coverage. I'm sure it will pass but it would definitely be helped along by some changes from Trump himself.

A little background.  I understand from a conservative perspective that Trump is not the ideal candidate for Republicans, conservatives or libertarians.  I get it.  I feel it too.  But I am 100% behind Trump right now for four reasons.

(1) The Supreme Court could see Clinton appoint 1,2 or even 4 Justices. The last Clinton to make appointments resulted in Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer - both reliable progressive liberal votes.  The court stands in the crux of becoming potentially reliably liberal for decades.  This would render the Constitution meaningless since liberals tend to view the document as always malleable to their current notions.  That alone should send shivers down the spine of those opposed to an American fiefdom of uber-connected and indentured servitude of the remainder of the population. And if you worry about the second amendment, Trump is right - 20 years from now that could be treated in a remarkably different way.

(2) The economy.  I'm willing to cast aside offhanded Trump statements about things like the minimum wage because I don't think he believes them.  I think like a liberal that he's been surrounded by for much of his life, he says something to placate those currently listening and he doesn't really believe it.  That's just like Hillary Clinton.  But at a more fundamental level, Trump's reason for running is that America is no longer great.  At his core he believes that taxes, cronyism and trade deals have been focused on helping the few at the expense of the many and/or have been so ill-conceived as to require re-work.  He wants jobs, he wants American exceptionalism and he wants energy independence.  He also wants legal immigration. None of that is wrong.  There's enough positivity in what Trump wants to outweigh the off-the-cuff sarcasm and rally-tally speechifying that is getting stale and provides unnecessary fodder for progressive, slanted journalists. 

(3) The future. Should Clinton win, there will be an entire generation who have never seen Republican leadership and their only instinct as to how conservatives would govern will come from a truly anti-conservative biased media. Do I need to spell out where that will lead America?  Millennials need to see conservatives in action be it populist nationalists like Trump or others within his team (see below) otherwise America will end up with a generation that sees the world as does Bernie Sanders rather than with a Reaganesque view of American exceptionalism.

The sum of those two arguments is basically this: the alternative is too terrible to contemplate. But there's a third reason.

(4) Pence.  Should Donald Trump succeed he's setting up Mike Pence as the next logical GOP nominee.  That would be a truly solid follow up should a Trump presidency prove rocky or erratic. Pence and other advisory roles within team Trump not only could steady his administration, they could become the next cadre of conservative leadership and that is not a bad thing the #NeverTrump crowd seems to be willfully overlooking.  

So that puts us where I stand on why Trump as being an imperfect vessel for a near-perfect conviction (conservatism, American exceptionalism, liberty and economic empowerment and strength).

Which leads me to the fatigue.  Media outlets have done their level best to abrogate any whiff of Clinton shortcomings and nefariously fabricate Trump deficits. They will continue to do so. Trump being Trump will continue to forge ahead as Trump and provide them with material to twist and then overplay as heinous traits.  Obama and Hillary have both telegraphed that intention to the media to run with.

Trying to overcome that as a blogger is like throwing snowballs at a mountain in hopes of knocking it down.  That leads to fatigue even though the alternative is to do nothing and succumb to Hillary's inevitability. Trump needs to overcome something - perhaps not his own style (which will not change) but the media.  Ronald Reagan was able to bypass the media and connect with people.  I'm sure Trump feels he's doing the same.  But he's not Reagan. He needs to allay a lot of fears in order to have any chance to resonate with those fed a steady diet of anti-Trump media rhetoric. He's got to sound wise.  He's got to sound steady and presidential (which REagan did exceptionally well) and he's got to sound credible.  That last one is key.  

Be it at the debates or from speech to speech, he has to start sounding like his agenda will make sense.  Until that time he cannot change the current media narrative and the attacks will continue.  Make no mistake, the media will change the narrative about Trump negativity on a dime if it has to do so, but that still has to happen. One narrative from now to election day will not enable Trump to catch up in the polls.  And the anti-Trump fatigue will likely continue and grow.  I'm not talking about myself here - I'm talking overall.  And as people off-board the Trump train, it will only get harder, so Trump has to do something soon.
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