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Old 12-22-2019, 09:12 AM
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The Republican Party wants someone like Trump, but not quite Trump himself


IMHO, the reason Trump shot to such sudden popularity in the Republican primaries in 2016 was because he embodied something they'd been wanting: Someone who would attack the entrenched GOP establishment, finally deliver the goods the base had been wanting (a border wall, deportation of illegal immigrants, etc.) and also argue that white people, men, etc. are victims too. In a game of horseshoes, Trump was the horseshoe thrown the closest to this imaginary candidate that the GOP base had been wanting.

But Trump also came with a great deal of baggage: his Access Hollywood tape, his divorces, his 100 Tweets per day, his immaturity, behavior being more akin to a 7-year old than a 70-year old, etc., ignorance of global affairs and many things, etc.

When Trump leaves - be it by impeachment, death, resignation or voluntarily after 4 or 8 years in office - Republicans aren't likely to go back to normal candidates. They're going to try to find someone who is like Trump, but doesn't have his baggage. Indeed, they will want someone who is even more Trump than Trump. Someone who will show even more focus and discipline in getting that wall built, people deported, etc. Someone even more ruthless, but with none of his flaws. I would guess someone like Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), perhaps. Or someone else.

This means that current Democratic proposals to prevent a future Trump very likely won't work. Demanding that all future prez candidates release their tax returns, for instance, may pose no problems at all to a future Trump 2.0, who might be a candidate with a perfectly clean financial background and nothing to hide. Someone with no divorces, no rap sheet, no Russian/foreign interference, who is highly intelligent, cunning and savvy and really knows how to be a dictator.

Republicans have a history of trashing their ex-presidents or ex-candidates (there are many Trumpers who now condemn George W. Bush, John McCain or Mitt Romney) and there is no reason to think Trump can't be thrown on the landfill as soon as they're done with him - that is, if they can find an even more Trumplike person than Trump. This new future Trump 2.0 could convincingly argue, "Trump promised you a wall, deportations, this and that but didn't deliver, but I'll really deliver."


TL;DR; Republicans have been wanting an even savvier, more Machiavellian Trump.
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:26 AM
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I think Ted Cruz has a pretty good shot at being the next nominee of the GOP.
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Old 12-22-2019, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
This means that current Democratic proposals to prevent a future Trump very likely won't work. Demanding that all future prez candidates release their tax returns, for instance, may pose no problems at all to a future Trump 2.0, who might be a candidate with a perfectly clean financial background and nothing to hide. Someone with no divorces, no rap sheet, no Russian/foreign interference, who is highly intelligent, cunning and savvy and really knows how to be a dictator.
I think that you are probably pretty much correct about what Republicans want, but there is a difference between wanting something and being able to find it. The Democrats desperately want another Obama but with more psine or a Clinton without the philandering. Instead they've had a couple of dozen candidates none of whom have the combination of policy, energy and charisma that they are looking for.

Finding another huckster, as good at rabble rousing as Trump while being ethically lean as Trump will be non-trivial, particularly since the narcissistic disregard for societal and democratic norms that make he the ultimate representation of America's id are the same flaws that are going to keep him from being squeaky clean.
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Old 12-22-2019, 04:28 PM
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It's going to depend how the Trump presidency ends. If he flames out and the economy crashes and he loses in a landslide, the Republicans might want an anti-Trump next time. If he wins again and presides over a decent 2nd term (in terms of Republican goals), then he'll become the model.
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Old 12-22-2019, 07:46 PM
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... The Democrats desperately want another Obama but with more psine ...
Psine?

More than 104K hits on Google, but I'm guessing it's neither the seismic survey nor the music album. 'Spine', instead? Obama was considered to be wishy-washy?

(Not trying to be snarky; I always enjoy your posts and wondered what you were saying here.)


On the topic of a Trump-other-than-Trump: I don't know if either Ted Cruz or Tom Cotton would fill the bill. Part of Trump's appeal to his fans is his very insecurity. In some way his cult-members believe they are important to him. In fact their cheers are very important to Trump---but of course they as individuals are nothing to him. In that way the Trump fans are delusional about their importance to their idol.

I don't think adoring crowds would believe that either Cotton or Cruz "needs" them the way Trump actually does need his crowds. And that could make a huge difference in the degree to which a Cotton or a Cruz could own Congressional Republicans---a vital part of Trump's power.
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Old 12-22-2019, 08:42 PM
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Spine, I assume.
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Old 12-23-2019, 12:05 AM
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I've seen it suggested that Tucker Carlson will be it. (Forget Hannity -- too clownish. Carlson is serious.)

OP is not the first to suggest what OP is suggesting. For example:

The Next Donald Trump Will Be Worse, Hamilton Nolan, Splinter, June 18, 2019.
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Old 12-23-2019, 12:19 AM
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I've seen it suggested that Tucker Carlson will be it. (Forget Hannity -- too clownish. Carlson is serious.)

OP is not the first to suggest what OP is suggesting. For example:

The Next Donald Trump Will Be Worse, Hamilton Nolan, Splinter, June 18, 2019.
Oh wow. Never read that article before. It's almost exactly word for word what was in my head.
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Old 12-23-2019, 12:40 PM
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However, that article suggests Cotton isn't the right guy. He's got the authoritarian bent, but I don't think he has the ability to actually put forth a populist message or bullshit it as well as Trump did. There is a better Trump, with only the parts that appealed to his voters and none of the downsides, but I don't really think it can be anyone who is currently in office--you have to come across as anti-establishment.

I don't see them coming right away. I see it taking a little bit of time, and that is why our actions are so crucial. The way Trump's message worked was that it exploited existing racism by making "them" the reason for the economic anxiety. We can't convince people not to be prejudiced in a short time, but we could actually do things about the economic anxiety. And that would detach it from the racism, making it weaker as a political force.

That's not to say we shouldn't try. We should also be spending this time convincing people that immigrants are not a threat. But we've got to hammer the economic message. And, if we actually help fix the economic woes while also accepting immigrants, it shows the immigrants aren't the problem.

But, while we have a little time, the key word there is "little." We need to act on this ASAP. As soon as we have a Democratic candidate for President, the appeal needs to shift to be more economic--just framed as helping all out and not just minorities or just the white people. (The former is what people say of the Democrats--it doesn't mean I believe that's their goal.)

Last edited by BigT; 12-23-2019 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 12-23-2019, 01:08 PM
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My prediction will be that Trump2.0 (the revenge of the orange menace) will be a televangelist. Someone who can preach to the masses, speak the lingo to convince people he's a good honest family man, while being a con man/megalomaniac at heart. Now that its clear that experience and an actual understanding of policy is irrelevant, the door is wide open.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 12-23-2019 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 12-23-2019, 02:28 PM
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Come on, isn't it obvious?
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Old 12-23-2019, 02:29 PM
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The base of the republican party is an alliance between plutocrats and white nationalists.

Neither groups respects or values democracy. If anything they hate it because it makes it hard for them to enact their agenda. Supposedly Chile under Pinochet is a model they'd like to use for a society. The south under Jim crow is another example of how to run a society that disenfranchised people that white nationalists do not value or respect in 'their' society.

The next trump will hate democracy and promote white nationalism as much as this trump but he may not be an embarrassing imbecile and he may have enough tact to not drive away moderates.

He will still stack the courts, gerrymander, suppress voter turnout, harass the free press, as well as promote bigotry against feminists, liberals, blacks, Muslims, immigrants, gays, etc but he will be more effective and discreet
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Old 12-23-2019, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
I've seen it suggested that Tucker Carlson will be it. (Forget Hannity -- too clownish. Carlson is serious.)

OP is not the first to suggest what OP is suggesting. For example:

The Next Donald Trump Will Be Worse, Hamilton Nolan, Splinter, June 18, 2019.
I believe Robert Reich wrote about this year's ago in one of his books.

He said that a populist who combined resentment and grievance over race will also offer populist economic policies and win in large numbers.

I could see it. Trump pretended to be an economic populist by preying on anger over free trade but he has governed as a typical plutocrat, cutting taxes for the rich and wanting to cut Medicare, medicaid and social security to pay for it.

Supposedly that line of argument is one of the most effective ones to talk to his base (from what I remember of some news story I heard where various arguments were given to trump supporters).

Discuss how trump ran as an economic populist but has governed like a typical republican on economic issues. It alienates his base more than things like discussing his crime, corruption or incompetence.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 12-23-2019 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 12-23-2019, 03:04 PM
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I believe Robert Reich wrote about this year's ago in one of his books.

He said that a populist who combined resentment and grievance over race will also offer populist economic policies and win in large numbers.

I could see it. Trump pretended to be an economic populist by preying on anger over free trade but he has governed as a typical plutocrat, cutting taxes for the rich and wanting to cut Medicare, medicaid and social security to pay for it.

Supposedly that line of argument is one of the most effective ones to talk to his base (from what I remember of some news story I heard where various arguments were given to trump supporters).

Discuss how trump ran as an economic populist but has governed like a typical republican on economic issues. It alienates his base more than things like discussing his crime, corruption or incompetence.

It wouldn't be hard at all to bind things like welfare + Medicare for All with a white grievance message.

The candidate could/would point out that universal healthcare works best with a high ratio of people who pay in to the system versus number of people who "cash in"/benefit from the system, and then argue that illegal immigrants do not pay in to the system (whether they do or don't is a separate discussion, the argument would be that they are free-riders.) He could tout it as "Medicare is for Americans, and those people aren't Americans. They're sucking on the teat."

Add in a dose of national pride - "How can we allow Canada and others to have a better healthcare system than us? Americans deserve the BEST healthcare" and it would be a vote-winning formula.
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Old 12-23-2019, 08:55 PM
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The GOP's dismissal of Ben Carson puzzled me. I don't think they know what they want.
A black, conservative, brain surgeon says, "Yes, I want the job" and they don't take him seriously? He should have been their dream-boat candidate.

Last edited by Dark Sponge; 12-23-2019 at 08:56 PM.
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Old 12-23-2019, 09:14 PM
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It wouldn't be hard at all to bind things like welfare + Medicare for All with a white grievance message.

The candidate could/would point out that universal healthcare works best with a high ratio of people who pay in to the system versus number of people who "cash in"/benefit from the system, and then argue that illegal immigrants do not pay in to the system (whether they do or don't is a separate discussion, the argument would be that they are free-riders.) He could tout it as "Medicare is for Americans, and those people aren't Americans. They're sucking on the teat."

Add in a dose of national pride - "How can we allow Canada and others to have a better healthcare system than us? Americans deserve the BEST healthcare" and it would be a vote-winning formula.
When social security was passed they excluded black people by excluding people who worked in agriculture or as domestic servants. I'm guessing they'd look for ways to exclude black people from modern Medicare for all too.

Maybe anyone convicted of a felony would be excluded (lots of black men are convicted felons) or something.
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Old 12-23-2019, 10:21 PM
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It wouldn't be hard at all to bind things like welfare + Medicare for All with a white grievance message.
No, but it would be hard for Republicans to do a 180 on these things that they have been so vehemently against before.

Where they have an opening is in the parts that Democrats don't address. We utterly failed to put out the message of helping out the working class white person (with all the other working class people). Economics was not the message at all.

The way to lock the Republicans out is to make it where we are the party with that message, so that they would find it hard to maintain their "liberal tears" aspect of saying everything we do is awful and that we are the enemy while also giving in and accepting the things we've said.

It took decades for there to be a Republican who even claimed to support social security and Medicare--and he clearly lied about that. Modern Republicans have trouble with agreeing with anything that has previously been a Democratic message, even when their constituents support it.

They are primarily the anti-liberal party. So make liberal mean the things people want that aren't bigoted.

Last edited by BigT; 12-23-2019 at 10:23 PM.
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Old 12-23-2019, 10:57 PM
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The GOP's dismissal of Ben Carson puzzled me. I don't think they know what they want.
A black, conservative, brain surgeon says, "Yes, I want the job" and they don't take him seriously? He should have been their dream-boat candidate.
I'm not sure why you're puzzled. He's black, he's a brain surgeon, by GOP standards that's already 2 strikes against him.
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