May 04, 2016

Ruminations Upon The Kobayashi Maru and Such

While there is a considerable amount of elation in certain quarters today.... assured that the inevitable disappointment of these bird brains is unlikely to provide sufficient schadenfreude to compensate for the woe their efforts will bring upon us all. 

And that is regardless of whatever happens on November 8th. 

Schadenfreude there will be though, and in any event, my sympathies are further limited given that the following facts were hardly secret....

Trump is on record as stating he will order U.S. Soldiers to commit war crimes....and will replace them if they refuse. He backtracked a little later, but demonstrably lacks a certain civics arrestor switch.

OK that's a deal breaker right there. 

He also wants to eliminate first amendment protections for the press

But wait! There's MOAR! 

He refused to denounce David Duke and the KKK.

Assuming one is evil and the war-crimes thing at the top of the list is unpersuasive then perhaps the fact that over 120 national security experts find his foreign policy proposals to be inchoate and, frankly, scary.

OK if one doesn't have a problem with evil, perhaps enlightened self interest would give one pause about the stupid and the crazy.

He accused Cruz's father of being a co-conspirator in the Kennedy Assassination.

Steven DenBeste and Jerry Pournelle have far more sanguine takes on this than do I. I strongly suggest you read their posts in full. 

However, the above list is far from comprehensive and yet is utterly disqualifying in my view. Steven's point #10, about the fact that malignantly totalitarian snobs who bully people as a substitute for virtue hate Trump is valid as far as it goes but it falls down under the weight of the above list. "They will carry out my illegal orders!" is pretty disqualifying.

My friend BOB!1! has the most persuasive argument I have heard from anyone about supporting Trump and it is a very valid point.

He notes that the federal bureaucracy is going to be hell bent on working against Trump since he affronts their minor nobility sensibilities. Furthermore they will do everything in their power to further Hillary's fascistic and totalitarian schemes up to and including lying, covering up and going to jail for her. The've done it before. Therefore more damage to the nation will likely occur if Hillary is elected. 

This is a solid argument from a utilitarian perspective but it omits a few things. One is a silly little thing called principle. Another is that in the unlikely event that Trump gets into office then, the disasters that will befall the nation will be on his watch...and the Republican Party will be blamed. He was the parties nominee after all. This could end the party far more surely than standing on principle. Trump has given no indication of being anything other than a liberal reality star playing the part of conservative.  

Remember, this is the party that broke from the Whigs to fight slavery, and impeached its own very popular president because he violated first principles. Unlike Nixon...we know beforehand that our guy is likely a catastrophe. Of course, if he looses, Hillary will be president and well...that will be pretty darned bad.

You see...after all this long rant,  the bitch of it is, that Hillary, is vastly worse in every way... 
"See what he did there?"

...and politically correct to boot. 

I spent two days typing and retyping my closing thoughts on this and just about gave up. However, I find myself in nigh total agreement with William Jacobsen on this matter.
My overwhelming feeling at the nomination of Trump is one of loss.

Loss of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity truly to change the trajectory of government and entrenched political power. Loss of conservative and conservative media self-respect. Possible loss of years of hard work by thousands of conservative activists who have changed the nation, even if they did not change D.C. Loss of friendships with people I used to respect, but no longer do because they helped perpetrate and project false information and conspiracy theories for Trump.

As for where this goes, I’m not sure where I will go and where I fit in. I’m not as reactive as you might think.

We are faced with a truly horrible choice. I abhor both Donald and Hillary. You’ve read my views for months in the case of Donald, and years in the case of Hillary. They are flip sides of the same coin. The question is which one is more dangerous and will do more damage to the nation and our individual liberties, and advance the march of government power over our lives.

Under no circumstances would I actively support Hillary. The question is whether I actively support Trump, or sit it out and just observe.

That's about where I am. 

Trump is so far out of the ballpark of those who were called "RINOs" just a few years ago that this situation really beggars belief. 

In Star Trek, the Kobyashi Maru scenario was a no-win simulation that was a test of character as much as judgement. We are living that now. This is just a colossal mess. 


This will end well I'm sure! Who knew that the season 3 closing lyrics of RWBY would be so damned relevant to this presidential election?

Interesting Times....

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 08:02 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 910 words, total size 9 kb.

1 Honestly, at this point it's fair to say that the Republican establishment isn't interested in the principles of the Republican electorate. In those circumstances, a Republican victory is almost meaningless anyway; sure, they might pass one or two pieces of symbolic legislation about the moral issues I don't care about in the first place, and the particular recipients of government boodle might be different, but it won't arrest the degeneration, or even meaningfully slow it at this point.

Cruz might have been more effective than Trump at carefully cutting away the fat and loose skin while preserving more of the healthy tissue. But he was always a long shot, simply because of that - the Republican elite feared the prospect of a Cruz administration more than they did of a Clinton one and acted accordingly. And at this point, things have progressed to the point that a scalpel is less appropriate than a chainsaw.

Trump has one tremendous virtue - he simply isn't afraid of the media. He's not worried about coming out with an unpopular opinion or saying something that will be twisted into an attack ad (or more like, he spits out so many of them that it's practically like chaff at this point - attacking him on policy is difficult because so much of it is obviously blather and media-bait that it's hard to hit anything solid.) And that defuses the Democrats' most powerful weapon. We've gone through years of overspending precisely because the Republicans are too afraid of media perceptions to exercise their power where they have it; against that, Trump is essentially immune.

He's got the potential for vast damage to the Republican party. A lot of that damage is necessary.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at Thu May 5 14:31:05 2016 (v29Tn)

2 In the primaries you try to get the candidate you want. In the general you try to keep out the candidate you don't.

I am no Trump fan, but at this point, the only objective is to make sure that Hillary does not get into the White House.

As a plus, his policy position is completely random and subject to change a a whim, I am finding this preferable. Hillary, OTOH, Has A Plan, and we're not going to like it.

Posted by: Mauser at Thu May 5 20:18:41 2016 (5Ktpu)

3 You forgot a couple of other misdeeds:

 - Trump sent a rabidly gay man to judge a beauty pageant (which naturally resulted in a national scandal). There is of course nothing wrong with being gay, just look at Milo. But his fitness to judge beauty pageants was obviously absent. His only qualification was that he belonged into the Trump empire. Ergo, Trump is motivated by tribalism rather than capabilities in personnel choices. Well, most people are like that. But there are limits.

 - Before the JFK assasination thing, Trump's campaign tried to smear Cruz with having 5 mistresses.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Fri May 6 10:54:24 2016 (XOPVE)

4 The one argument in all of this that I do not understand is the "but Hillary is worse" argument.  I have yet to be able to convince myself of that.  The only statement that leaves room for favor in this regard is "we don't know what Trump will do, but we do know what Hillary will do, and it will be bad."  As Brickmuppet pointed out, he reflexively responds as a despot, first thinking of his intention to apply absolute power.  NOT ONCE during the campaign has expressed the intent to allow the Congress to do what it's supposed to do, at which point he will either veto or sign and enforce.  His expressed intent is to MAKE the congress do what he wants it to do...IF he has to go through Congress.

I have believed that Hillary at her worst would be no worse than Barack Obama.  In fact, I have believed that her cowardice and sense an self-preservation would lead her to hide behind Congress as much as possible, while Obama has acted in his own interest and then blamed Congress when people pointed out that his actions did not follow the law.  In that regard, I predict that Trump will be *worse* than Obama.

Purely on the grounds of "pick your dictator", I feel that Trump is the worst of the lot, and Hillary will be marginally better than what we've had.  I do not debate that she will be miserable; *practically* as bad as Obama, if you will.  But then I further consider not only my own conscience, but where any possible gathering of opposition will be situated in four years.  Everyone on the right to any degree will carry the stigma of Trump for decades.  If doesn't even matter if he miraculously became a great President...he will never become a great man.  His soul, if you believe in such things; his legacy, demeanor or aura if you prefer those concepts, is already black.  He would have to accomplish something truly great to overcome this extreme handicap.  He has shown himself to possess no trait, neither intelligence, nor decorum, nor bravery, nor character, nor wisdom, nor cunning (he has demonstrated that he purchases it in a consultant's bottle; he himself repudiates it and prefers blunder and deceit) that demonstrates any capability for greatness.  He must blunder into it or have it handed to him.

Failing that, he will be the death sentence.

I can not vote for Trump, or Hillary.  I see no benefit in one over the other, and I refuse to support either the Republican Party or the Democrat Party in this fiasco.

Posted by: Ben at Fri May 6 12:23:03 2016 (DRaH+)

5 From the RKBA perspective, Trump is incomparably better than Hillary. It is a simple tie-breaker for me. Remember that a President is there to introduce legislation (such as Obamacare) and to appoint SCOTUS justices. I'm not looking forward to Hillary packing the court with libs like "the wise latina" (in her own words), who are sure to replay Keller. We have the ruinous taxes on ammo coming up that we sure to end before the court. So yeah... The two may be alike on most issues, but very different on few critical issues.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Fri May 6 16:08:23 2016 (XOPVE)

6 Pete, I'll grant that Trump has been consistent, if somewhat simplistic in a "not sure he knows what he's talking about" way.  But I find it concerning that all of his properties ban concealed carry, even when it's not mandated or encouraged by local law.  And then, of course, he named several anti-second amendment justices as good Supreme Court nominees, before claiming he was joking when this was pointed out, and switching his opinion to a Justice "just like Scalia."  I don't trust him.  He's lied about everything else; I don't see a reason to support him just because he gets some of the words right on one issue.

Posted by: Ben at Sun May 8 09:41:39 2016 (oRNYh)


 Ben's comment #4 is close to where I am, though I disagree that Clinton would be better. She is as much a narcisist as Trump, she is extraordinarily corrupt, hates the military men and women, and is a totalitarian through and through and doesn't much care about the nation. As Pete correctly points out she is worse, possibly far worse on 2A.
There is hope however.

Not a sane rational hope mind you, but the completely improbable notion that all of this madness means that Takumi Yanai is indeed a time traveller so we might get elf chicks out of the deal, in exchange for the death of the republic.

So...aside from America possibly electing Trump, is there any evidence to support this crazy idea? the intersection of desperation and special pleading there is this story about how the Russians appear to have been doing seminar calls and Tweetsorms for Trump.

Now, a Debbie Downer skeptic might ask, "What the hell does the involvement of Russia have to do with...that?"

Well, doomsayers...there's the little matter of Natalia Poklonskaya.
to wit...

Yeah...but it's all I've got in the way of cheer-uppery. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Sun May 8 20:49:23 2016 (/4jFR)

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