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A FEW NOTES ON VOTING TRUMP

January 30, 2017

Tags: Donald Trump, voting, Hillary Clinton, presidency

Catching the Big Ones
The social media "discussions" that I have seen and participated in thus far regarding Donald Trump have, for the most part, been more heat than light. Since a portion of this heat has been aimed at me for admitting voting for Trump, a number of admirers of mine with quivering lips crying "Barry, say it isn't so!" I thought I'd jot down a few notes on what I believe Donald Trump isn't, what I believe he is, and some of what went into my decision to choose him over Hillary Clinton.

HE IS:
First Donald Trump is the President of the United States and president of the American people, fair and square. Reject him as you might, by law he is the president. Email scandals and FBI plots notwithstanding, the election came down to winning the Electoral College, which came down to majorities of voters in a sufficient number of states voting for a particular candidate's electors. Rail against it as you will, those are the current rules. To change the system you need to change the Constitution to eliminate the voices of smaller and more lightly populated states. Incidentally, this would also eliminate the justification for those states to remain within the union of states, which would probably cause more problems than it would cure.

Donald Trump is the president, and rejecting him, calling him names, looting stores, setting fires, holding cry-ins, waving signs, breaking windows, having hissy fits, and otherwise making noise is probably not going to get him to resign.

HE IS NOT:
Politically and economically Donald Trump is not an ideologue. He is not conservative, he is not liberal (under whatever label), he is not libertarian (which I am). By the same token, he is not a fascist (or Nazi), socialist, monarchist, plutocrat, survivalist, or religious communist. For most of his adult life Trump was a registered Democrat (does anyone remember Hillary Clinton used to be a Republican? I digress.) Trump is now a registered Republican. In neither case were ultimate political forms and ideological goals a consideration. In each case his party registration was a means to an end.

To do big business in New York City, you register Democrat, kiss Democrat ass, support Democrat candidates, and schmooze Democrat politicians in order to make deals, get your permits and tax breaks, none of which makes one ideologically liberal or "progressive." To make his deal with an abused and neglected voting public and be elected president in 2016, he needed to register as a Republican, which didn't infuse him with conservatism, laissez-faire capitalism, or "family values." It got him the pulpit he needed, and then the presidency—that's all.

HE IS:
Donald Trump is a man of business who is good at working with and through a needlessly complex and corrupt interventionist economy toward achieving his business goals. He has spent most of his adult life dealing with crooked politicians, mobsters, petty bureaucrats, unions, contractors, and persons in business of every possible moral stripe—and succeeding.

He doesn't know everything, but he knows that he doesn't know and does know how and where to get those who do know what's needed to get the things he wants done and how to get them to work for him. Now he has placed those skills, he says, in service to all the American people toward meeting what he perceives to be their most pressing economic needs: Good paying jobs, profitable businesses, restoring the nation's manufacturing base, bringing down costs of things such as health care, energy, food, and taxes all toward a goal of increasing everyone's prosperity.

In addition, to be able to enjoy the benefits of this prosperity, as I believe he sees it, the American people need to be safe from crime, violence, and attack from local and foreign sources. Toward those ends he's going to try a few things: The wall, limiting immigration to legal immigration, returning criminal illegals from whence they came, encouraging foreign students educated here to remain legally, supporting police organizations in bringing safety back to the nation's city streets, restoring the US's military, putting the US's military alliances on a more realistic and effective basis, forming new alliances, and a bunch of things that we just don't know about yet because I think he understands that if the bad guys know what they know, and they also know what we know, the bad guys have the advantage.

HE IS NOT:
I do not believe Donald Trump is a racist. The friends, associates, and even enemies who know Trump the best say he isn't. His hiring practices would also seem to indicate he isn't. The Wall is not racist. First, neither Mexicans nor South Americans constitute a "race." The issue with the wall is legal entry versus illegal entry, not race. "Extreme vetting" is not racist, nor is it anti-Muslim. First, Islam is not a race, it is a belief system divided into several sub-beliefs. For those who believe in races among the human race, all of those so-called "races" have Muslim members and non-Muslim members. The vetting of travelers from countries involved with a significant degree of terrorist activity includes both Muslims and non-Muslims. The issue is safe versus possibly dangerous, not race or religion.

I do not believe Donald Trump is a misogynist ("woman hater" for those who are dictionary adverse). Women hating bosses do not promote women into high-paying executive positions at equal pay with men. And you can't fake family. I love listening to interviews with his family members, particularly with the female members. Either they do not feel hated or the Oscars are going to the wrong people.

So, what about the Billy Bush open mike thing? Trump is seventy. That means, like me, he is a sexually repressed child of the 'Fifties and 'Sixties. He is also a military school graduate. That means, like me, he spent a good portion of his school years as a boiling cauldron of testosterone in an all-boys institution. It is fertile ground for a certain kind of crude humor. You should have heard what the cadets at my school did with copulative verbs in English III. Answer this question honestly: Has there ever been a joke or comment you have made in the past that would make you uncomfortable should it become viral now? Any joke or comment at all? Honestly, now.

Naw, he's not a Nazi and he's not anti-Semitic. Ask Benjamin Netanyahu or Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner.

And it's his own hair, probably colored.

THE PRES:
The Donald tweets. He can be crude. He makes jokes. He doesn't have much toleration for whiners. Sometimes he operates his mouth before fully engaging his brain. When attacked he fights back, which is not altogether bad for a US president in these times. He says what's on his mind at the moment, which can be scary, but it is also the thing that endeared him to millions of voters fed up with political correctness, public versus private personas, and political word parsing.

I have big concerns about the future of the Trump presidency: Deficit spending, no plans yet to slow down the printing presses in the Treasury Department, weighting the economy down with spending programs before lifting the taxes and regulations holding down the prosperity that could generate the revenues to pay for the spending, what appears to be a very old and failed approach to dealing with addiction, and Arnold Schwarzenegger taking over The Apprentice.
Concerns, but the alternative for me was Hillary Clinton whose main accomplishments since the 'Nineties was to make herself wealthy by being a liberal and labeling all those who disagreed with her as "deplorables." Her main campaign promise to America was to continue the life, pride, prosperity, and energy sapping policies and performance of the previous administration. I certainly knew what I would be getting if Clinton became president and I didn't want it. I still don't know what we've got now with Donald Trump, but I'm eager to find out. To find out, those who are currently shouting need to dial down the noise and listen, if for no other reason than to gather facts and construct a coherent argument.

For the first time in decades I'm not convinced the dream that was America is lost. Neither am I convinced that it is found. At bare minimums, though, it's going to get rebuilt, remodeled, refinanced, and new bathroom fixtures.

Comments

  1. January 31, 2017 11:15 AM EST
    Thanks, Barry! No wonder you have a stack of writing awards! I respect your thinking and your exposition immensely.
    - Doug Lugthart (AKA L. Warren Douglas in the SF world)
  2. January 31, 2017 11:08 PM EST
    Barry that is an outstanding piece of Trump analysis. I learned some stuff from it. Thank you for injecting thought into the current hyperpartisan hysteria. Tom/aka T. Jackson King.
    - T. Jackson King
  3. February 5, 2017 3:52 PM EST
    Would you agree with "the Donald's" recent remark, "We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?"
    Is there moral equivalence between American and Russian military interventions w/r to the euphemism, "collateral damage"?

    John Ivens
    - John Ivens
  4. March 25, 2017 8:58 PM EDT
    Barry, your words here are like a breath of fresh air after seeing the ugly Trump-hater demonstration downtown today. If only they would, indeed, dial down their shouting.
    - Douglas Kolacki
  5. March 26, 2017 9:55 AM EDT
    John Ivens, to your question, I do not endorse or agree with anyone's tweet or heated offhand response to a gotcha question. There are many cringeworthy moments re: Donald Trump, and often I find myself muttering "It could've been Hillary," as a restorative tonic. Nevertheless, although bluntly put, Trump was accurate. Calling soldiers, sailors, and airmen (or, what are they called now? airpersons? aerospace technicians?)calling them "killers" for following orders is very rough, unfortunate interventions have taken place, bad guys and innocents were killed, which seems to continue through drone strikes which at times take out the innocent along with the identified "bad guys."

    As to "moral equivalence," I don't think I've used the term "moral" since my Ayn Rand days. Moralities are belief systems that either work or not. Long ago I've given up "heavy universals" such as a moral standard by which either humans or nations must be judged. I tend to agree with Oscar Wilde, "Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people we personally dislike."

    Part of Trump's makeup is that, when attacked, he strikes back. As I believe I wrote somewhere, this is not necessarily a bad thing for a president given the current state of the world and the regard in which the US is held due to the Obama approach to foreign policy. As I also wrote, Trump often operates his mouth before fully engaging his brain. So, stay calm, cringe on occasion, and see what happens. That's what I do.
    - Barry Longyear
Catching the big ones.


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Barry B. Longyear is the first writer to win the Hugo, Nebula, and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer all in the same year. In addition to his acclaimed Enemy Mine Series, his works include the Circus World and Infinity Hold series, Sea of Glass, other SF & fantasy novels, recovery and writing instruction works, and numerous short stories.