Category: Against Trump (Page 1 of 2)

Going forward, conservatives must not bow to Trump

January 20 we’ll all watch as Donald Trump is sworn into office, a spectacle most of us never thought would happen. For over a year we repeated the mantra of “keep calm, it won’t be Trump,” but that didn’t play out as we expected, obviously. In the midst of our astonishment we’ve been called to question much of what we’ve believed for so long, and, without doubt, I’ve had someone ask me a variation of the following at least once a day:
“I mean, didn’t we technically win? What do we do now as a movement? Should we give him a chance before judging his presidency? How will you handle things going forward?”

In reply I’ve given a slew of answers, from ideas on building a new party, to helping middle ground Democrats who are willing to meet us half-way. Maybe we stay on the right side of the aisle and be a voice of reason, or maybe we traipse over to the left and forge a new alliance. The options are endless, and everyone is walking around those options on eggshells, pondering the vast number of possibilities, and worried that they’ll choose the wrong one. However, regardless of how difficult the choice is, for so many it seems a choice must be made. They’re not content in the wilderness, and they desperately want to be a member of the tribe again.

I’ve listened to people say that, despite their refusal to vote for Trump, they must now join in the thunderous applause – “albeit reluctantly,” they’ll proclaim – of a Republican sweep until their fears are confirmed, because that’s what a good team player does. I’ve watched them cheer on Sessions, Tillerson, and Carson, despite obvious issues, simply because that’s what people on the right are doing.

As though getting behind the schoolyard bully is the only logical option, because while he’s shaken down all of the defenseless kids on the playground, it’s only reasonable to stand beside him until he shakes down the next, and then the next, and so on and so forth. They’re willing to wash, rinse, and repeat until there’s nothing left of their principles but a shell that barely tells the story of what they once were.

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My endorsement: Why Hillary Clinton would be a more conservative president and stronger on defense

Donald Trump isn’t unqualified to be president just because of the latest video released on him bragging about sexually assaulting women. He’s already been rendered disqualified for the office of the presidency for multiple other things he has said and done. This video would be enough to disqualify him if it was only the first disgraceful thing released about him. As it stands, the video emphasizes and crystallizes the personality aspects that already disqualify him—his entitlement, his arrogance, his uncontrollable narcissism, his extreme sexism (which already had him spending a week attacking a Miss Universe winner for her alleged weight gain), and his general loutishness and hateful demeanor.

Republican Congressmen who had already put up with him spreading racism, attacking POWs, attacking the families of dead soldiers, attacking female reporters, attacking the profession of journalism, and attacking anyone who ever said anything halfway critical of Trump are starting to finally jump ship. Some have called for Trump to drop out and his vice presidential candidate Mike Pence to be promoted to the top of the ticket. Others have said they will not vote for Trump for president.

Bombs + Dollars has been against Trump since before he won the nomination. We pointed out the very things that made Trump deplorable before much of the GOP finally appeared to realize the problem (or, more likely, before they realized the political problem was so great they could no longer whitewash it). On January 24, I wrote, as a representative of this publication:

Here we have a candidate who threatens to sue newspapers for reporting on his bankruptcies, who said he would “certainly” create a government database of Muslims in America, who incited his fans to physically assault a non-violent protester and said that they were right to do so, defended Putin from charges that he kills political opponents by equivocating the United States with Russia (“Our country does plenty of killing, too”), and his personal account tweets racist messages about “white genocide”. This is all fact. He has done it all. No amount of politically correct denials from Team Trump can change the reality.

Since then, Trump has only added to the list of disqualifying actions.

When Trump won the Republican nomination, Bombs + Dollars reiterated our opposition: #NeverTrump means never Trump. In that editorial, we did not endorse a candidate, instead opting for an anti-endorsement of Trump. We will maintain our policy of not endorsing a candidate as a publication, but we will be printing endorsements of individual Bombs + Dollars writers and editors. As such, this functions as my personal endorsement.

First, the Republican Party doesn’t deserve to have Trump replaced on their ticket. Any attempt to replace Trump this close to the election would result in a three-way Syrian-style war of legal fighting that would make Bush v. Gore look boring. The Republican Party would be fighting both the Democrats and the Trump campaign. But aside from practical considerations, the GOP just doesn’t deserve to have a mulligan after having lost this election.

There have been many principled conservatives who knew Trump was a terrible person and an unelectable candidate. #NeverTrump had been saying loud and clear for months that the same man who insulted John McCain early on in his campaign for being a POW would implode. Imagine the surprise when he did!

Trump lost almost all of the public polls in the spring—and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz won most of them. So now, one month before the election, when Trump is losing badly and a video just came out that would guarantee he couldn’t turn it around, much of the party’s elected Congresspeople finally wake up to the realization?

Sorry, Republican Party, but your denouncements at this moment look more opportunistic than principled. You should have let the #NeverTrump delegates vote at the convention on whether they could vote against Trump when they gave you an out. The party leadership didn’t even let them vote on it, and they even appeared to break party rules with arm twisting or outright fraud when they withdrew the petitions of three states. The Republican Party made its bed, and now it must lie in it.

My endorsement, and why the “burn it down” crowd is wrong

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Taking a red pen to Donald Trump’s 1987 campaign ad

In 1987, Donald Trump placed an advocacy-style ad in the New York Times echoing the same basic foreign policy ideas that he would recycle for the rest of his political life about how America is being had. Even at the time, many of the arguments he made were typically questionable. In the long-view, however, his arguments have fared even worse. There he was praising Japan’s economic success just a few years before Japan’s Lost Decade began. He claimed the world was laughing at the United States, just a few years before the Soviet Union collapsed–and made no reference to the Soviet Union.

Yet the ideas he stated here are the same ones he’s pushing in 2016. He may refer to China’s economy in the place of Japan’s, but he still talks about making Japan “pay” for having troops there, which they do to the tune of US$4 billion a year in base-related expenses. You will see the rest:

A demagouge’s disdain for a free press paves the way for tyranny

The media is holding Donald Trump accountable, but his angry response to scrutiny, highlights troubling aspects of the man who wants to be president. His attacks on the institution of the press shows a man who doesn’t like being held accountable, and he has rallied many of his followers to support him without regard to the facts.

The latest controversy, which bring forth the implications, concerns donations to veterans charities Trump bragged about having made. Four months after Trump claimed to have donated $1 million himself, Trump finally did so on May 23, after facing scrutiny from the press. On May 21, the Washington Post published an investigation that quoted campaign manager Corey Lewandowski as saying Trump had raised $4.5 million, about $1.5 million less than the more than $6 million Trump claimed to have raised. On the day of the fundraiser, however, Trump said that they had “cracked” $6 million and (in third-person), “Donald Trump gave $1 million.”

Press Scrutiny Caused Trump to Donate

Thus Donald Trump didn’t actually give $1 million until after the press held him to account (and found him to be lacking). It was an important story for the public to know about, as Trump had made a big deal about his fundraising. After having decided to skip the January 28, Fox News debate, Trump decided to hold a fundraiser during the debate, so as to claim he had a reason for skipping the debate besides his previously-stated dislike for moderator Megyn Kelly.

As the record shows, Trump had already announced he was considering boycotting the debate on January 24, and he had cited Megyn Kelly as the reason:

Later, Trump used the fundraiser as a pretense for skipping the debate. (One could ask why Trump hadn’t held fundraisers before and during other time slots.) Since the Post has gotten Trump to (belatedly) live up to one of his promises, it should be commended for doing a public service. As the “Fourth Estate,” the press is supposed to function as a watchdog on power. Without a healthy press scrutinizing politicians, politicians could get away with anything.

A War on Watchdogs

However, Trump doesn’t want scrutiny, and his supporters don’t want to see their hero challenged. At a press conference, Trump personally attacked reporters, calling one “a sleaze” and another “a real beauty.” He said the reporters were all “unbelievably dishonest.”

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Ben Sasse and Marco Rubio: Only one deserves reverence

On a day when Donald Trump took to CNN and refused to disavow the Ku Klux Klan, and behaved as though he was clueless as to who David Duke was, Ben Sasse penned an open letter to supporters of Donald Trump. The letter gained the young Senator a good deal of publicity, but it also garnered him a great deal of rebuke.

Please understand: I’m not an establishment Republican, and I will never support Hillary Clinton. I’m a movement conservative who was elected over the objections of the GOP establishment. My current answer for who I would support in a hypothetical matchup between Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton is: Neither of them. I sincerely hope we select one of the other GOP candidates, but if Donald Trump ends up as the GOP nominee, conservatives will need to find a third option.

The Nebraska politician ended his sobering letter with the following:

Conservatives understand that all men are created equal and made in the image of God, but also that government must be limited so that fallen men do not wield too much power. A presidential candidate who boasts about what he’ll do during his “reign” and refuses to condemn the KKK cannot lead a conservative movement in America.


Thank you for listening. While I recognize that we disagree about how to make America great again, we agree that this should be our goal. We need more people engaged in the civic life of our country—not fewer. I genuinely appreciate how much many of you care about this country, and that you are demanding something different from Washington. I’m going to keep doing the same thing.

But I can’t support Donald Trump.

In May, a few months after his initial statement, Ben Sasse wrote another open letter – but this time to majority America.

With Clinton and Trump, the fix is in. Heads, they win; tails, you lose. Why are we confined to these two terrible options? This is America. If both choices stink, we reject them and go bigger. That’s what we do.

Remember: our Founders didn’t want entrenched political parties. So why should we accept this terrible choice?

He has since continued to hold Trump accountable for his lack of policy, as well as lack of good character. 

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#NeverTrump means never Trump

Never. Adverb. Synonyms include “not ever, at no time, not at any time,” and “not once.” That means neither on May 3, nor on May 4. Neither on July 18, nor on July 21, and certainly not on November 8, 2016, either. Never.

The #NeverTrump movement didn’t end on May 3 with Donald Trump winning the Indiana primary, causing Ted Cruz and John Kasich to drop out. Trump may now win the Republican nomination, but Never Trump means never Trump, not #MaybeLater.

The Republican establishment is putting forth all their efforts now to try to “unite” conservative voters behind their party’s unfortunate nominee. Many unprincipled people are reversing their past statements and saying they’d be open to backing Trump. RNC chairman Reince Priebus tweeted, “[W]e all need to unite and focus on defeating @HillaryClinton #NeverClinton.” Dan Patrick, Ted Cruz’s Texas Campaign Chairman and Lieutenant Governor of Texas, called on Republicans to unite behind Trump just two days after Cruz told voters “we will not give in to evil.”

A pledge is a pledge, however. Anyone who said they would never vote for Trump and then ends up voting for Trump is a liar.

“Oh, but not voting for Trump will result in Hillary Clinton being elected!” Trump apologists shriek. Is the only case to be made for Trump one of fear of the other? There is no affirmative case for Trump. But there may be one thing scarier than that which Priebus, McConnell and company are warning of, and that is this: Voting for Trump could result in Trump being elected.

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Could #NeitherCruzNorTrump really win a contested convention? (Part III)

We come to the conclusion of Bombs and Dollars’ three-part series with Marybeth Glenn about the quandary of a Cruz vs Trump convention. In this part of the discussion we talk about whether there is actually any prospect of both of them being defeated.

Mitchell Blatt
Marybeth, you said that it would take someone who has a softer stance on immigration and who “stands antithetical to the stereotypes,” and I agree with you that such a person would not only be the right person for the presidency, but do you fear the Republican base is such that no one can win a primary nomination without going to the extremes? We’ve seen “RINOs” be demonized by much of the Tea Party for any hint of compromise and any kind of immigration reform that allows a path to citizenship labeled “amnesty”—even during the Bush administration. How can the conservative base be convinced of that, especially after each time a far-right Republican loses many of the activists blame the “establishment”?

Marybeth Glenn
I think right now is the perfect time for that. We have some amazing Republicans right now, from Paul Ryan to Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley to Tim Scott, etc., the list is long. People spent so much time worshiping conservative talk radio heads and pundits who just wanted to sell books. Right now most Republicans are upset with them for betraying the vast majority of us who disagreed with Trump. Sadly, in another four years many of those wounds will scab over, it’s best to strike now and reface the party while the wound is fresh. The darker the night, the sweeter the sunrise. We need to sell a message of hope and unity to those who currently crave it. The Tea Party, which began under noble intentions, came at a cost. Those operating under its label traded logic for anger, and I don’t know if we’ll come back from that, but we have to try one step at a time. The first step just happens to be a split from the angriest among us, a severing of ties.

That’s really my main point. Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are both bad for conservatism, but like a toxic relationship, Donald Trump is the cheater, Ted Cruz is the opportunist. Many women will stay with the opportunist because even if he treats them poorly, they’ve convinced themselves he’s the best they can do, but over time he’ll slowly do more permanent damage than the cheater. When it’s the cheater, most women flee. For the sake of our party, if it’s between the two (and I sincerely hope it isn’t), we’re better off with someone who makes us unite in our urge to flee. It’s a bitter pill, I know.

Is a non-Cruz nomination actually possible?

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Why Cruz’s immigration position might be worse than Trump’s (Part II of a series)

Yesterday I posted the first of my three-part series of conversations with Marybeth Glenn, who writes politics at The Collision Blog, about the quandary of Cruz vs. Trump. Here is part II, an in depth look at Cruz’s immigration position.

Why Cruz really is that bad

Mitchell Blatt
Let’s get back to where we left off yesterday and consider the possibility that some of Cruz’s extreme positions are just for show.

Cruz has said he would eliminate the IRS. We know that can’t or won’t happen and that it is a bumper sticker phrase he created just for the election. He answered affirmatively when asked if he would deport 12 million illegal immigrants, but on his immigration issues page, he doesn’t mention deporting everyone, but rather “increase deportations.”

Where he appears to depart from Rubio is on pledging to end Obama’s executive actions, but even Rubio seemed to leave wiggle room there when he said to Jorge Ramos, “I don’t think we can immediately revoke that… I’m not calling for it to be revoked tomorrow, or this week, or right away.”

But you said that Cruz’s immigration plan would be called by Democrats “a harsher immigration stance than Donald Trump.” 1.) What aspect are you referring to that either you think is harsher or that the Democrats would be able to portray as harsher?

Marybeth Glenn

“…but I think Waldman is basically right—Cruz’s biggest differences with many of his rivals are on language and tactics. Whereas, with Trump, we have no idea what he would do on most things, since he has few consistent positions, but the ones that he does have are either anti-conservative, or, in the case of immigration, extremely radical.”

Cruz’s immigration position is even more radical. I think that’s the heartbeat of Hillary’s campaign if Cruz is on the ticket.

In this issue Waldman is very wrong: it’s not about the biggest difference or the biggest similarities, it’s about one gigantic difference. You can wear all the armor in the world, but if there’s an opening over the heart and the enemy is well aware of it, it’s the only place they need to focus.

The fact that immigration is low on the list of issues with Americans makes it even better, because the candidate who intends to hurt illegals is not doing it because it’s important, but merely because they can. Every angle of this argument can be manipulated into a weapon, and I have no doubt that Democrat strategists have already considered every point of attack. If they’re half as talented as I believe them to be, the current lead Hillary has on Cruz will grow substantially. To boot, he’s just not a likable character in the first place. Hillary isn’t likable either, but when it comes down to staunch Democrats vs. staunch Republicans, and those who will vote for party regardless, the Democrats have us beat.

“But you said that Cruz’s immigration plan would be called by Democrats “a harsher immigration stance than Donald Trump.” 1.) What aspect are you referring to that either you think is harsher or that the Democrats would be able to portray as harsher?”

He’s been enthusiastic about being stronger on immigration than Donald Trump. In particular, he has attacked Trump for saying that those who are deported should be able to apply for legal immigration upon deportation. Watch this video where he tells a voter he opposes allowing deported immigrants to come back legally.

There are countless sound clips like that

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Both #NeverTrump and #NeverCruz: A conversation with Marybeth Glenn, Part I

Marybeth Glenn is the editor of On April 1, she published an article arguing that the Republicans would be better off with Donald Trump winning the nomination rather than Ted Cruz, even though she opposes Trump as well as Cruz. Here Glenn and Bombs and Dollars editor Mitchell Blatt discuss the pros and cons of different strategies for #NeverTrump to pursue.

Would you prefer seeing Trump win the nomination?

Mitchell Blatt
Marybeth, both of us have been strongly opposed to Donald Trump. We have also admired Marco Rubio’s forward-looking, optimistic tone. But now that the Republican race is down to two main contenders, Trump and Cruz, you have written that Trump’s nomination would be preferable over Cruz if they are the only two choices at the convention.

You wrote:

I’ve been saying – since day one – that Trump is a parasite to Conservatism, and I haven’t changed my views on this; however, conservatives are deeply wrong in regards to choosing the lesser evil and what it will do to the GOP as a whole. At this point, choosing the lesser evil between the two is like giving CPR to a corpse and expecting that after it’s all over no one is going to judge you for going full Weekend at Bernie’s with it first. The only way to salvage this election is to either pick a completely different candidate at the convention, or go third party – I’ll explain why below, with three possible scenarios.

I’m also going to tell you why Donald Trump would be better than Ted Cruz on the general ticket if, God forbid, it comes down to one of them.

Ted or Donald? What if the Quadrennial Convention Fails Us?

As a disclaimer, you wrote, “Once again I am not, in no uncertain terms, telling you to vote for Trump. I want us to get to the convention, I’m merely speaking about a fallback plan.”

So just to be clear, what you are arguing is that it would be better for Trump to win the nomination at a contested convention than for Cruz to do so because then a third-party conservative would have a chance at winning?

Marybeth Glenn
Short answer: Yes.

Long answer:

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Why I will never vote for Trump #NeverTrump

My name is Marybeth Glenn, and I go by the handle @MBGlenn on Twitter, and I’m also the sarcastic mind behind the The Collision Blog. I was obsessed with writing and American history by the time I was 10, so political involvement naturally followed. I’m a small government conservative who refuses to be fed my opinions by the media talking heads, and I think this world would be a much better place if we all laughed a little more, researched a lot more, and stood by our principles – regardless of their popularity.

Which brings me to the reason for this post: I will never vote for Donald Trump.I have various reasons to oppose a Trump presidency, but first and foremost would be the preservation of conservative heritage. We are the movement that fought slavery, championed equal rights, and stood with minorities for civil rights. We are the movement of compassion, decency, and inclusion. I will not be an obsequious accomplice to the overhaul of every principle that gives this movement worth. Trump stands for anger, bitterness, and the disregard of minorities, women and ethical conservatism.

To stand by and allow his rise, or vote for such ideology out of desperation, would be to aid in ordering the assassination of our moral compass.

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