Monday, July 30, 2018

How To Argue With: A Trumpaloo

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The Omnivore Lecture series continues with -- How to Argue With: A Trumpaloo. A Trumpaloo is, definitionally, someone who is so deep into Trump-right-or-wrong that they (a) don't care if he colluded--he had to save the republic by any means! (b) Deserves glowing press coverage no matter how much chaos he creates (c) Is GETTIN' IT ALL DONE (the wall is going up! Obamacare was repealed, and now the other countries respect us)!

In other words, someone who is detached from reality.

The Taxonomy of the Trumpaloos

There is a more complex taxonomy out there--but unless you expect The Omnivore to innovate the Octahedron Decision Icon, we are going with what we've got. It covers most of the conditions. Why does the Trumpaloo love Trump? Well, this is what they'll tell you!

  1. He's Set The Economy ON FIRE (in a good way)
  2. He Came To Washington as an Outsider to Drain The Swamp!!
  3. He is Finally--FINALLY--Putting America First!
Let's look!

The Economy

The economy is, in fact, doing well--and, in fact, Trump deserves some credit for it! There was a "trump bump" in the market which turned into some Trump expansion when he delivered on executive orders to cut regulations. This is good for Wall Street and Finance. The tax cuts are even better for them.

Of course the economy was doing better and better for quite some time--nine years, in fact--and Obama was constantly criticized for fake unemployment or job creation numbers and the slowest recovery ever and a ton of other nonsense that, now on the tail end, Trump gets credit for. 

If someone is making factual statements about the economy--or even Trump's beneficial effects on it--that's fine. If someone is roundly ignoring the trend under Obama? Well, make sure you show them any of the stats!

The Swamp!!

Trump was supposed to be a different kind of guy--a straight shooter who would fix the corrupt mess of Washington! He was just the opposite. Now, let's get something straight--a HUGE amount of people's belief that Washington is just totally, awesomely corrupt comes from a slew of misunderstandings about how things work.

The process of making and passing bills is complicated--and often experts come with a point of view. Lawmakers need to find sponsors for things--that often comes with some kind of strings attached--and it's true that once you leave D.C. you can go straight into the loving arms of a company that wants to leverage your expertise.

On the other hand, a great deal of this "corruption" is just the miasma of trying to satisfy everyone to the point where you satisfy no one. This is why no one has been able to balance the budget by removing all the inefficiencies and graft: when you try, you find out that there isn't much graft and the inefficiencies are all there for one reason or another--one good reason or another.

What Trump did, though, was bring in guys who were, essentially, raiders. They moved in and began milking the system in grotesque and obvious ways. First-Class private plane flights, 30k dining room sets, hiring cronies, and using protection details as errand boys. Trump's crew--even leaving out guys like Flynn who may have been working for foreign governments--were/are a bunch of corrupt assholes.

Trump, himself, is working the system for his own properties like nobody's business. If someone claims Trump isn't corrupt ask about all the scandals--and don't stop.

A Strong and Manly America!

Maybe the MAGA-ing is about making America strong in the way it "once was"? Well, if you mean more-ok-to-be-racist-in? Yeah. In fact America First was a Klan and American-Nazi slogan before Trump re-purposed it. Maybe that's why the Klan and the Nazis endorsed him?

If it's about a strong national defense or posture? Well, if Obama bowed to a Saudi prince, it looks like Trump got down on his knees for Vladimir Putin (and don't let anyone tell you Trump has been harder on Russia than Obama--it's bullshit for a variety of reasons). 

No--between forcibly alienating our enemies, being submissive towards Russia, and chummy with North Korea, America looks more like a blind weakling floundering around world affairs than a strong-man.


Right now the working claim for the Trump-supporter is that we've gotta wait and see how things pan out (will tariffs work? Will a good DACA bill finally pass sometime once Congress is beaten into submission? Will the economy grow at 8 or 9% to make up for the tax cuts and spending bill?). The Omnivore is VERY dubious--but, at least, if the Trump-supporter can reckon with the fact that this hasn't all happened yet then you're dealing with someone who isn't divorced from reality.

Being optimistic about Trump may be overly credulous--but it isn't vile. Ignoring (much less supporting) the racist elements of America that have flourished under Trump--often wearing his colors or joining his party--and speaking his name--is vile--but that isn't everyone.

Still, if you do wind up with a Trumpaloo, let 'em have it.

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