Please Explain Donald Trump and Ben Carson

I’ve been interested in politics recently, both Canadian and American. Overall, it’s been very interesting.

On the Canadian side, we’ve got a new Prime Minister and government with a cabinet that seems well-chosen. I’m happy with how the Canadian government is going at the moment.

On the American side, the Democrats seem sane. However, it’s the Republican side that has me scratching my head. What the hell is up with Donald Trump and Ben Carson?

Donald Trump is edging into fascist territory with his recent policies. Ben Carson has been found less than truthful and incredibly ignorant about biological science, even though he’s a neurosurgeon. So, there’s one guy who’s blatantly trying to emulate the Nazis and one guy who’s making me wonder how he ever became a doctor.

Americans, can you please explain these two men to me? Why are they getting so much support? How in the world can Trump be the leader in the Republican Presidential nomination race? I really have to question the intelligence of Republican supporters.

If you’re a Republican, and offended by this post, please tell me in an intelligible and intelligent way why you’re offended. People with common sense would like to know.

23 thoughts on “Please Explain Donald Trump and Ben Carson”

  1. I’m neither Republican nor Democrat. But I’d explain the appeal of Trump, Carson, and even Bernie Sanders by pointing out that folks are sick to death of the same old same old.

    Consider the 2008 election. Obama, the “peace” candidate, won because Americans were disillusioned by the chaos and carnage caused by the wars George W. Bush, that swaggering nobody, lied us into.

    And what did Americans get for their votes? Obama expanded DC’s “nation building” efforts into Libya and Syria, which has only worsened the human suffering in those nations and in the West, which is overwhelmed with migrants escaping war.

    So the “extreme” candidates are looking pretty good.

    1. Yet the extreme candidate named Trump would do even more, I’m sure. I really can’t get a read on what Carson would do. He doesn’t seem honest. At least Trump is honest. Sanders seems honest, too. However, his politics are closer to mine, so he doesn’t seem extreme to me.

  2. I seriously wish I knew what is going on down there. When I heard Carson was running, I was at first slightly optimistic, being a world renowned neurosurgeon (he operated on my dad’s sister!). But then I heard the foolishness he was saying and couldn’t believe my ears. I don’t get Trump other than he’s already made millions, he’s a bit crazy and will to say what none of the other candidates will- factual or fascist. He scares me, actually. I haven’t been following too closely, but this next presidential race has me a bit worried.

    1. Well, I’m cautiously confident that the Democrats will win, since there doesn’t seem to be a sane choice on the Republican side. And the Republicans seem to know that.

  3. A lot of the Tea Party contingent is reacting to what Mike mentioned — the country is allegedly in ruins, we need to Take It Back! Whatever that’s supposed to actually *mean*…take it back to what? And will regression really make it all better?

    The problem is that the Republicans have chosen these people as their primary base, primarily because they’re an easy sell — you can say anything, no matter how wackadoo, and they’ll respond with “Yeah! What he said!” without question. And because they’ve also spent the last eight years playing the game of (Groucho) Marxist “Whatever it is, I’m against it” with Obama, which the Tea Partiers LOVE, they have to keep that ruse going until he’s gone. Thus, we have Trump and Carson and Cruz and Huckabee, et al, spewing all kinds of bizarro-world stuff that you really wish were just craftily written Onion articles. Because if they don’t, they’ll lose their base.

    Thus we have No Filter Trump, who’s playing the dangerous game of just amplifying the worst tendencies of these people without actually thinking (or caring, apparently) of what the end result would be. Thus we have Conformist Carson, who’s trying to fit in with the rest of the crowd despite being in WAY over his head. Thus we had Everything Is A-OK Romney last cycle, who truly believed he had it in the bag because he only listened to what he wanted to hear.

    1. Well, it’s interesting to see that Trump and Carson are both starting to lose support. Rubio is third, but I know very little about him. I know Cruz is a nut. People like nuts it seems. The whole thing is a reality TV show to many people, I think.

      1. I’d say the least crazy is Kasich. Not much of a contender, and he’s been known to shamelessly pander as well, but at least he’s not in the OH GOD PLEASE NOT HIM column.

  4. First, a disclaimer: I’m American, but I’ve been living in the U.K. for almost ten years, so I’m out of touch. However, I’ll toss out a couple of theories;

    1. A certain percentage of Americans view politics as a reality show. They vote for the person they’d like to watch for the next four years. Hence the people who voted for Bush Jr. because he seemed like someone they’d like to have a beer with. Yes, seriously.

    2. Another–possibly overlapping–percentage are so angry that they’ll vote for anyone who spews anger. They’re seeing stable jobs disappear, their living conditions undermined, the country’s industrial base shipped overseas. They have a sense of everything falling apart. There’s a lot to be angry about, although the anger-spewing candidates aren’t addressing the problems and won’t fix them.

    3. And yet a third–possibly overlapping–percentage is just plain ol’ racist and can’t stand the idea of a black president. I saw a blogger the other day refer to Obama as “Our so-called president.” Amazing. Presumably these won’t be voting for Carson.

    4. Whites either are no longer a majority of the population or are about to be eclipsed. (They only become a minority if you lump everyone but whites into a single category, which is a demographically questionable move, but it’s being done all the same.) That scares the bejeezus out of some of them. See above for anger and the sense that everything’s falling apart, and for plain ol’ racism.

    Scary, isn’t it?

    1. 1. Funny how I just left a comment that said it’s like a reality TV show. Anyway, Bush Jr does actually seem like an easygoing guy who would be great to drink beer with. I would, even though I disagree with his politics. He just seems likable.

      2. Unfortunately, I’m seeing that a lot in Canada now. Election just happened, Parliament hasn’t even sat yet, and I know people who are angry at the Canadian government already. Yet, when I look at what the government has done, they’ve done a damn good job so far.

      3. Yup. I’m sure that’s pretty common. But then, if Trump gets the nomination, he’s alienated pretty much everyone except angry white people.

      4. I like seeing the US becoming so multicultural. Maybe it’ll help teach the white people to stop with their belief that they’re superior.

      It’s scarier than it’s been in a long time, I think.

  5. There is a lot of truth in the preceding comments, but thought I’d add my two cents as someone in the US who is an independent on the liberal/progressive side of the spectrum. The Republican party and rich libertarians like the Koch brothers have spent a lot of time, money, and effort making the federal government seem to be the enemy, scaring vulnerable working class folks with stories of President Obama/Democrats/the federal government in general wanting to take away their guns, give away their jobs to undocumented workers, raise their taxes, etc. These folks were primed to fall for the ugly rhetoric of Trump, compounded by his name recognition from his real estate ventures and his reality television shows.

    Many of the people who support Carson are evangelical Christians; his own religious background gives him the odd combination of being a surgeon who espouses a number of anti-science views. Carson has also been a conservative columnist and Fox News contributor, so he was already familiar to people who consumed that media.

    Their views are scary on multiple counts. I only hope that Republican voters, when they finally get to the caucuses and primaries, will realize that it is a singularly bad idea to choose a presidential candidate who has never held public office and who holds extreme views. If one of them does get the nomination, I hope that the electorate in the general election will mobilize with a high turnout to ensue that an unqualified candidate does not become president of the United States.

    1. I hope your hope happens. And all of this constantly makes me wonder how grown adults can speak like they do. Maybe it’s my tendency to think logically that makes it incredibly difficult to understand what goes on in their minds.

      1. I think the combination of fear, lack of education in critical thinking skills, and economics that are killing the middle class in the US is being powerfully exploited. It is difficult to understand when you are used to gathering information and evaluating logically.

        1. Yeah. I don’t use my emotions to cloud my judgment. Fear influences people. It influences me, too, but I use my mind to think things through logically. So many bad decisions are made by relying on emotions.

  6. I think Mike — the first response — was closest to the mark.

    I’m not a Republican, and I think Trump would be a dangerously bad president. But in the last 16 years there has been no discernible difference between the two parties. Remember Obama’s slogan for his first term? “It’s time for a change!” Damn right it’s time for a change. We’re still waiting.

    We still have massive deficit spending (which we will have to payback someday, which gets harder to do every passing day), overseas excursions, and no meaningful initiatives or change in domestic policy on anything that matters (yes, gay rights were going to be expanded, but that was done through the courts and was inevitable, and National Health Care was going to happen anyway because America is moving toward socialized medical care…those forces were already in motion, so I don’t think Obama gets much credit for either.)

    Nothing has been done to fix Social Security, which is a huge coming crisis in this country (kudos to Bill Clinton for doing a little bit to help fix Social Security in the ’90s, but there has been nothing done since). The only thing I can think of that could be called “good” by the Fed gov’t in the last twenty years is the massive, massive amount of money it printed to keep the Great Recession of 2009 from turning into a full blown depression. The bad news — really bad news — is that the depression is not gone…it is just waiting for when they can’t print any more money. And that day is coming.

    All the good things that are happening in this country are happening at the state level (the states that have not bankrupted themselves like Illinois and California): Improved education, more coherent “drug laws”, etc.

    My point is that Republicans and Democrats are essentially indistinguishable once in office, and largely abiding the Democratic agenda. They are just on different teams. To Democrat’s credit they have been reasonable consistent between what they say they want to do and then what they try to do once in office (whether you like it or not). For those that don’t like what the Democrats are pushing for, the Republican rank and file is furious with a long line of Republicans that talk a different talk but don’t walk a different walk once elected. For instance, when was the last Republican that did anything to balance our budget given that fiscal prudence is one of the Republican’s favorite claims? Not either Bush. Not Regan (“Supply Side economics” which he espoused was nothing but deficit spending with a catchy name).

    In short, the Republican rank and file is grasping for anyone who will actually pursue an agenda other than the Democratic agenda. Enter psycho Trump.

    Again, I’m not saying it is right, and I’m damn sure no fan of Trump. But this is how I see things in response to the question.

    1. Thanks for the comment. One thing that jumped out at me about what you said is how things are being done well at the state level. Of course, that’s very important. Though I have to wonder how the governors intend to prevent refugees from entering their states. They don’t have that power.

      Also, Texas and Louisiana seem to be going backwards in terms of education. Especially Texas’ science textbooks. Glad I don’t live there.

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