Would it be fun or horrible if this actually worked?

Donald Trump sparked a furious backlash on Monday when he called for all Muslims to be barred from entering the United States in the wake of terrorism attacks in Paris and California.
It was a bombshell even by the outspoken candidate’s standard of bombast, and brought the immediate condemnation of his rivals for the Republican nomination.

Jeb! called it “unhinged” and “not serious”.

Both of which are probably true.

But that’s not actually the point. Which is, will such adventures in idiocy actually get Trump elected? And, well, not sure.

I’ve seen people working through US elections. Actually sitting down to read the little booklets with the various propositions, the for and against arguments, discussing them at the kitchen table in the days before the vote. Not all, of course not, not everyone does this, but there’s a certain part of the population that really does take their voting extremely seriously. Trump ain’t gonna win with these folks.

But then again, we can look around the world at the grotesques that do get elected on platforms of vague promises and buffoonery and, well, who wants to bet that the whole electorate takes it all that seriously?

In a world where Corbyn is thought to be an improvement on Miliboy, are we actually certain that Trump won’t manage it?

48 thoughts on “Would it be fun or horrible if this actually worked?”

  1. What’s most remarkable is the leading republican candidates are both non-politicians. Fair play to them. But I suspect the party machine will be able to discard them both once it’s picked up enough support from those attracted to them.

  2. Also the fact that Carson’s skin colour doesn’t seem to even get a mention, whereas on the democrats’ side Obama’s hass basically the only thing anyone has talked about for the last 10 years.

  3. It would be hilarious right up to the point where he started the actual third world war. Although, in fairness, Trump would start it accidentally. Carson, who’s great triumph has been to be viewed as less evil than Trump, will do it on purpose. He’s a stone-cold religious nutter who needs to be kept far far away from all the important buttons.

    The world can cope with a few nutjobs leading powerful nations. But the more there are, the riskier it all gets. Say what you like about Obama, D-Cam and that little French man… but I’m inclined to trust them with Nukes more than the other guys who’ve got em. Carson or Trump.. not so much.

  4. ‘Marmite’ candidates like Trump motivate a core of support while putting off floating voters and galvanising the opposition. If Trump is the Republican nominee and Clinton the Democrat, she will romp home to victory.

  5. What frustrates me is that Obama is a shockingly shitty president and the Dems are lining up Hillary “monster” Clinton to suceed him. But bar Trump, Carson and Cruz, the republican field is just a complete collection of charisma free losers. I mean my cat has bigger balls than Jeb Bush. And she’s old…

  6. And meanwhile back in Blighty, between 300 and 500 jihadist have been allowed to return to Britain this year.
    Who is the fruitcake again?

  7. Perceived wisdom says you need to balance your rhetoric to attract as wide support as possible. Corbyn and Tump believe their predecessors were not extreme enough, that another swerve to the left/right will get them over the line.

  8. Jeb! called it “unhinged” and “not serious”.

    Meh.

    The American 1965 Immigration Act, which passed with little debate or scrutiny and led to America being demographically transformed within only two generations, was unhinged.

    Importing hordes of semi-retarded terrorists, kiddy fiddlers, clit-slicers, goat-botherers and rapists from the sticky bumcheeks of the third world is unhinged.

    Threatening people with jail time for “Islamophobia” in the wake of the latest mass murder by adherents of the religion of rest-in-peace is unhinged.

    Doing all of the above while continuing to bomb Muslim countries and arm Muslim fanatics overseas – thus increasing Johnny Jihad’s means and motive for slaughtering Christians in general and Americans in particular – is window-licking spacktwattery of extinction-event-inviting magnitude.

    But here’s a thought: “The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils.”

    Trump’s an impresario with a knack for attention-grabbing bombast, but he’s not the grotesque one here.

    That would be the establishment pols solemnly shaking their heads and tut-tutting at Trump and putting on their best Elmer Gantry faces for the cameras, while busily inflicting preventable evils on their own people.

    The US is still a sovereign country. If they decide that they’ve got enough Muslims (or Scientologists, or people with curly hair) and don’t want to let any more in, that’s up to them. No foreigner has an Allah-given right to enter America.

  9. People always exaggerate about what they’ll do if elected. So if he were elected, in practical terms this means “Immigration services would look a bit more closely at people coming from the Middle East and maybe turn away some of the most likely terrorists” (which this couple unfortunately weren’t).

  10. Trump’s just a publicity whore. He’s just moving on from The Apprentice to selling opinions back to deranged fools. He and Fiorina just want to sell books, get slots on Fox or other radio and TV shows. The presidential nomination process and the debates are just a way of building an audience. 90% of people think he’s a total arse, but 10% of people is a lot of books.

    And yes, he’s polling well, but that’s because at this point, most people don’t care. It’s nearly a year to the election. Who cares about elections a year out? The wonks and the activist types. It’s also why Sanders polled so high for a while.

  11. Halting muslim immigration is a sensible policy. Trump’s problem is that he makes it sound unreasonable.

  12. Is anyone here old enough to remember what was said about Reagan during his presidential campaign, and whether similar criticism was levelled at him? I’ve certainly read reports that he was dismissed as being a nutter, “just an actor”, inexperienced, and a whole host of other things but that didn’t stop him being probably the best president they’ll ever have in my lifetime.

  13. “People always exaggerate about what they’ll do if elected.”

    That’s what the Jews in Germany thought about Hitler. Mind you, all Hitler allusions would be directed better at Hellary than at Trumpery.

  14. Tim Newman, I was 16 or so when Reagan was campaigning, but the sort of 16 that reads all the paper bar the sports pages every day. The answer to your question is yes. I quite seriously believed (based on the writings of the most reputable columnists of the day) that he was literally mentally deficient and a danger to the peace of the world.

    More interestingly, I can even remember back to when *Carter* was elected and he was regarded as a dangerous nutter because, Democrat or not, he was from Georgia and went to a church that was only then in the process of opening its doors to black people. An odd parallel to the church presided over by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright and attended by Obama until it got embarrassing.

    (OK, so Carter actually is a nutter, but the reasoning was faulty.)

  15. When I contemplate the utterly corrupt, mendacious, power and money hungry, favourite Democrat candidate and her Muslim Brotherhood handler Huma Abedin, Trump looks a sane choice if Cruz doesn’t get the nomination.

  16. So Tim Newman (seriously) compares Donald Trump with Ronald Reagan. There is no comparison. So they called a brilliant man unhinged. They’ve called an awful.lotnof unhinged men unhinged too.

    Meanwhile dearieme compares Hilary Clinton with Hitler; no comment needed.

  17. Trump is no Reagan.
    Reagan had been a successful Governor of California, had tried for the nomination twice (?) previously, had charisma, charm and an affable manner, while Trump…

  18. Tim Newman,

    Yes, that’s all true about Reagan. Not the Nine O’Clock News dedicated a whole programme to Reagan being a stupid redneck with evangelical Christian views who was going to blow up the world.

    But Donald Trump isn’t Reagan. Reagan had been governor of California. You could look beyond the media message and see someone who was intelligent. Reagan and Bush successfully created these images as folksy guys that ate apple pie and went to church and did it so well that even their opponents bought it. But there’s nothing beyond this stuff that Trump is saying. He has no experience at any level of government and doesn’t even have a particularly good track record running businesses (he started with a massive inheritance).

  19. If you analyse Trump’s utterances through the lens of “talking to people’s emotions, not their reason”, these things start to make a lot more sense. He’s appealing to inner prejudices and fears, without bothering to dress it up. Oddly enough, the ‘shock value’ seems to help, rather than hinder.

  20. As Steve said, Trump is worse than Obama or Clinton why exactly? Lest I misunderstand something, they’re the ones who made such a mess than Trump is seen as an alternative.

    Could he do worse than those 2 clowns? I hardly think so.

  21. “People always exaggerate what they’ll do when elected” Hmm. As Dearieme says, it really was all in Mein Kampf but it was like A Brief History of Time – everyone in Germany got a copy but hardly anyone actually read it.

    But I find myself liking Trump. He understands who the enemy is and he wants to make life hard for them. What’s not to like? If a pack of 100 dogs has 10 with rabies you wouldn’t let the pack in your house for fear of being thought Dog-a-phobic, would you?

  22. So Tim Newman (seriously) compares Donald Trump with Ronald Reagan.

    No, I didn’t. I asked for people who were around at the time to comment on any similarities in the media coverage of each campaign.

    Thank you Natalie and The Stigler for replying.

  23. And for all the fact that Reagan’s governorship of California made him a more credible candidate, was this actually stated at the time? Because being governor of Alaska didn’t do Palin any favours in the eyes of the media, preferring her to a junior senator with a track record of race-baiting community organising in Chicago and very little else.

  24. TN
    Reagan made much of his Governorship of California, particularly that he had balanced the budget. Governor of California is quite a big job in US politics, California having a population of c.38m and being the 9th or 10th largest economy in the world (if it were a separate country). Alaska, by contrast, has a population of about 0.75m. (Figures from memory.)

  25. Tim Newman,

    Reagan came in for a great deal of mockery – Spitting Image ran a miniseries called “The President’s Brain is Missing!” and routinely caricatured him as a droolingly incompetent warmonger, for instance, and Nancy’s fondness for astrology and alleged dalliance with Frank Sinatra were gone over in tedious detail.

    US presidential campaigning’s always been a blood sport, but more media and more channels give more morons megaphones. The venom directed at Clinton (BilLIARy KKKlintoon!) and his alleged trail of rape, murder and malfeasance coincided with the big Internet expansion, with the conspiracy loons gleefully cataloguing literally hundreds of “suspicious deaths” which Bill and Hillary had supposedly ordered on these new-fangled “websites”.

    Still, it really shows how bad things are getting, when you’re looking back at Bill Clinton as President and thinking “not great, but still better than anything we’ll get soon…”

  26. Jason Lynch: Suspicious deaths are often so-called because they are suspicious and Billyboy and Skank have a mighty trail of them in their orbit. Yeah–if Tex from Spudville who has never set eyes on a Clinton in his life gets knocked down and killed in a mystery hit-and-run then it would be paranoid to start blaming Killery or her dick-waggling Beard. But when loadsa people in their dodgy orbit with every prospect of knowing about their dodgy business and private lives start popping their clogs on a regular basis that is another story. Esp when the circs of the deaths are as dodgy as everything else in the Klin-toon saga.

    Tinribs:”Meanwhile dearieme compares Hilary Clinton with Hitler; no comment needed”

    No comment at all. Dearime has the measure of the evil bitch. She lacks only a grand vision of future evil that Adolf had. She just wants to lord it over others and steal.

    Steve: Well said indeed.

    Trump is a chump but he has a knack for hitting a note that resounds with those members of the populace that haven’t totally lost their minds. There is more bad than good in and about him but that is true of all of them.

  27. Reagan made much of his Governorship of California, particularly that he had balanced the budget.

    And what was the media response? To concede that he was more than just an actor and was in fact a serious candidate? I don’t know, I wasn’t there.

    Alaska, by contrast, has a population of about 0.75m.

    That would be a fine argument if it were one the media bothered making, but IIRC they didn’t: they dismissed her governorship completely.

  28. So Tim Newman. Why exactly then did you decide to bring up Ronald Reagan in a post about, of all people Trump the Chump? What possible connection could there be between that man and this clown?

  29. Bloke in North Dorset

    I remember Reagan getting stick but it not being based on his politics or philosophy. The Dems went after him in the way that they reserve for one of their own he went to the other side. IIRC a lot of the venom was because they were seriously scared of him because, as others have said, he had a reasonable track record.

    Reagan’s conversion came about when he started working for GE as a sort of ambassador. He used to tour their factories giving moral boosting speeches. After a while he realised that the biggest complaints from workers were about the Government and he started reading politics and philosophy on the train journey between events. That changed him.

    He didn’t become a Republican as an opportunist, he genuinely believed those famous 9 words.

    On the other hand the Dems seem to be leaving Trump, another erstwhile democrat, alone by comparison probably to motivate their core vote for them and swing quite a few independents.

  30. Why exactly then did you decide to bring up Ronald Reagan in a post about, of all people Trump the Chump? What possible connection could there be between that man and this clown?

    Because from what I have heard about the media coverage of Reagan’s election, he was dismissed as being a dangerous loon, an actor with no experience, and other such epithets. Which is pretty much what the media are doing with Trump. You don’t need to agree with either candidate’s policies or competencies to see the parallels here.

  31. So Much For Subtlety

    Bloke in Germany – “But I suspect the party machine will be able to discard them both once it’s picked up enough support from those attracted to them.”

    The party machine is trying and it is failing. Why not? They have picked moderates repeatedly in recent times and lost every time. Why keep trying failed policies?

    What they are likely to do is to fight Trump until he wins the nomination. Then endorse Hilary.

  32. So Much For Subtlety

    Ironman – “Donald Trump is; it’s the subject matter of this post.”

    There is no evidence Trump is a fruit cake at all. A Democrat? Sure. But not a fruit cake. Unlike the people who want us to continue to take suicidal levels of immigrants. For example, 95% of child rapes and molestations are committed by Muslims in the UK:

    https://shariaunveiled.wordpress.com/2013/08/06/95-of-child-rape-and-molestation-convictions-in-the-uk-were-committed-by-muslims/

    Well, allegedly. The fruit cakes are the ones that think we have a moral obligation to take millions more.

  33. i actually briefly met Reagan when my family visited California at the time he was campaigning for the nomination. He certainly had charisma and presence

  34. TN @ 3:13

    I recall (even) the BBC referring respectfully to Reagan as the former California Governor when reporting on the primaries in 1979 and the PE in 1980. So, yes, he had credibility. The Guardian sneering began in 1980-1, with Steve Bell’s (unfunny) cartoons. No recollection from this distance about how the US media reacted to Reagan, but clearly the electorate liked him.

    Sarah Palin is a lightweight and a hicksville governor. Not much is to be got by comparing her media coverage to that of an outstanding candidate like Reagan. Her political and administrative experience was minimal. That said, I rather like her.

  35. No he didn’t call for all Muslims to be barred. He called for all muslims to be barred until something was sorted out about the threat within the Muslims entering the country.
    Direct quote:
    “a complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
    That’s generally been American immigration policy for centuries. You are processed through Ellis Island and details of your past are checked, and any likelyhood of future threat determined. “Are you entering this country in order to overthrown the government?”

  36. Bloke in Costa Rica

    My hope is that Ted Cruz is slipstreaming Trump until The Donald veers off into the ditch. I could live with Cruz as President, and I think he can beat Clinton. Of course the real scandal is that Clinton should be under indictment for her shonky email server, like any normal person would be.

  37. The fun will really start of he gains ground in the next polls. The democratic candidates might ask for a new electorate.

  38. So Much For Subtlety

    Theophrastus – “Her political and administrative experience was minimal.”

    More than Obama. Which sort of defeats my point because, after all, look where the politically and administratively experienced have got us? By all means, bring on the non-politicians. Palin would have been a great VP and probably a good President if she had the chance. She may be stupid, I don’t know and I don’t care. She had the right instincts.

  39. And in addition to Palin, how about the media coverage of Dan Quayle and the amazing media coverage of him…and he was only Bush’s running mate. What scared the Democrats and the media about Quayle so much that they had to ridicule his spelling?

  40. So Much For Subtlety

    Compare with their silence about Joe Biden. A buffoon on a much grander scale than Palin.

    Also someone who seems to have cynically exploited the memory of his dead son in considering a Presidential bid.

  41. SMFS
    Yes, Palin had the right instincts; and I like her. I was talking about her perceived credibility.

  42. Theophrastus/Stigler:

    Before Reagan ever went to Hollywood, he was a very popular (Midwest) sports announcer and widely known for his swimming feats in saving peoples’ lives (as a regular lifeguard). Guiness has him as the lifesaving record-holder with 77 documented.

    In one instance, he was awakened at near midnight, picked up and taken to a lake where a boating accident had occurred a couple hours previously. One of the two boaters had been rescued while it was still light. Reagan was asked to swim a grid pattern of about a mile square in a search for the other–in pitch blackness–and succeeded in finding the guy (alive!) and bringing him ashore. (He also once remarked that, out of all those whose lives he’d saved, not even one had ever said
    “Thank you.”)

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