Boots & Sabers

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0635, 01 Mar 16

Frustrating Trump

My column for the West Bend Daily News is online. Here you go:

Some of our worst mistakes have been born out of the frustration to do something. Frustration over the rising cost of health care pushed the country to lurch into the disaster of Obamacare. Frustration over the ongoing American cost of Iraqi peace lured our nation into a precipitous withdrawal and the rise of ISIS. The Republican Party appears on the cusp of making another horrible mistake by making Donald Trump their nominee.

The rise of Trump is born out of the frustration of many Republicans with the direction of this country and the perceived inability, or unwillingness, of the Republican establishment to alter that direction. Republicans are frustrated with the ongoing failure of the federal government to stem the tide of illegal immigration that continues to drain our nation’s resources and jobs — particularly in the blue collar construction and agricultural industries.

Republicans are frustrated with the ever-increasing scope and size of the federal government. Between the rogue EPA’s onerous regulations to the federal government mandating the parameters of our health insurance, the federal government has its grimy fingers digging into the most mundane aspects of our everyday lives.

Many people, including Republicans, are frustrated with an increasingly violently intolerant culture that demands conformity to liberal thought. There are aspects of our American culture that no longer permit robust and respectful discussion about issues like gay marriage, race relations or even environmental sciences. Instead, any deviation from the current liberal canon is met with accusations of hate speech, ostracization and protests.

In the stew of all of this frustration, Trump bobbled to the top with the promise to “do something.” What will he do? Trump’s prescriptions are generally fanciful ideas, coated in bluster, broiled in rhetoric and sold with a vat of ego on the side. For example, Trump promises to build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it. He promises to eliminate the “lines around the states” to fix Obamacare. Trump plans to “make a deal” to bring peace to the Middle East. Serious people can do little but roll their eyes at such dross.

Trump’s lack of substance can, perhaps, be forgiven as people often look to presidents for broad-stroke ideas, not detailed policy plans, but his history and background cannot. Trump is a lifelong New York liberal. He is ardently pro-choice, anti-Second Amendment and pro “yuge” government. That is, he was until about a year ago when he decided to run for president as a Republican. Now he espouses all of the appropriate views if you are dim enough to believe him.

Trump’s personal and business life is also revealing. The story to his personal wealth is a long story of hustling, shady business practices, bankrupting others and outright frauds like Trump University. His personal life is a deviant jumble of mistresses and divorces.

Trump is everything Republicans have stood against for decades, but they are about to nominate him for president because he is speaking to their basest emotional frustrations and too many Republican voters have lost faith in the establishment.

Sometimes, however, the consequences of “doing something” for the sake of an emotional salve to untreated festering frustration is far worse than the disease. Should Trump win in November, he would not only be a bad president, he would be a dangerous one. His morals are unmoored by philosophy, religion, custom or even common decency, and his tempestuous ego will not be fettered by the strictures of the Constitution. Frustration and anger are not governing philosophies.

But more likely, should Trump be the Republican nominee, President Hillary Clinton will be sworn in next year (for you Bernie Sanders fans, the nomination process is rigged for Clinton). Trump has not yet garnered a majority of Republicans and his strong unfavorable ratings make a general election victory virtually impossible absent an utter collapse by the Democrats.

Furthermore, there are many conservatives, of which I am one, who will not vote for Trump in November under any circumstances. A President Trump presents too much of a danger to the republic and the conservative movement for me to even hold my nose and cast a vote in his favor. And while some Republicans will still turn out and vote for their senators and congressmen, many will not. The result could be a catastrophic loss for the Republican Party losing the White House, Senate and threatening the House. But if the Republican Party nominates Trump for president, they deserve a catastrophic loss. Unfortunately, the country will be worse for it.

There is still a little hope that Republicans will get their act together and nominate someone worthy to be our president, but the window of hope is closing rapidly.


0635, 01 March 2016


  1. dad29


    Now the question: “Who caused Trumpmania?”

  2. Pat

    I truly believe the Republican Party brought this on themselves.

    Interesting read in Esquire

    “The old Whig party had become much degenerated from its original purity and tone; and, at the first clang of the bugle of the pretentious disorganizer, the mass of its adherents broke the ranks for new banners. —Robert McKinley Ormsby, “A History Of The Whig Party,” 1860.

    CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE—The Republican Party was born of panic. It was a child of the regular economic panics that afflicted the American economy. It was a child of the blind panic produced by the general perception that the country was reeling toward destruction. It was a child of the panic afflicting the Whigs, who had been for decades the other party in a two-party system, but which disintegrated almost overnight in the aftermath of the presidential election of 1850, left in smithereens by the acceleration with which the country was hurtling toward disunion. The Republican Party was born of panic, and the Whig Party died of panic. And, somewhere in what admittedly must be a very boring corner of Valhalla, the old Whigs must be chortling at the panic now afflicting the Republican Party, which has fallen for the most pretentious disorganizer of them all. What goes around comes around, even if it takes 156 years to do so. Somebody pour old Zach Taylor another flagon of mead.”

  3. Kevin Scheunemann

    What frustrates me is: why do the Democrats, the party of slavery survive?

    Democrats were the party of slavery before the Civil War.

    Democrats are still the Party of slavery today. Post Civil War, Democrats want everyone to be slaves to to the state. Whether its high taxes, high regulation, or destructive welfare dependancy.

    Why doesn’t the Party of slavery collapse?

    That’s what really gripes me.

  4. Pat


    Your complaint about the Democrats has nothing to do with the rise of Trump and the failure of the Republican Party.

  5. Kevin Scheunemann



    The Party of Lincoln should be the Party to thrive.

    The fact the Party of Lincoln is imploding because of the Trump supporters and the Party of Slavery still stands with a horrible candidate like Hillary…we just have woeful education in this country.

    It’s like America got on the stupid train despite seeing the train is going off the cliff with these 2.

    Maybe this is what is needed to get a good third party like 1860. Hopefully Libertarians or American Constitution Party come through.

  6. Mark Maley

    17 candidates and you ended up with Trump

    Trump is equal parts Howard Beal and PT Barnum

    He is equal parts ” mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore and ” a sucker is born every minute ”

    Trump started the drumbeat of nullification of Obama’s presidency with his birtherism

    Tea Party anger plus birtherism plus presidential legitimacy nullification plus terror plus self pitying undereducated or under skilled workers looking for someone to blame and it adds up to the Donald

    He’s the monster you all created and now can’t kill .

    I’m not feeling sorry for the other side

    Some good things happened In the primaries

    -Walker may never recover politically
    -Christie was dismissed by New Hampshire as a bully with a glass chin
    – Cruz was exposed as Bible Belt huckster
    With a black heart
    – Marco is the young kid who tagged along with the adults and the moms all loved who was never ever able to deliver on all the promise the adults se
    – and Trump pulled the Establishment and Evangelicals pants down to their ankles and they thanked him for the refreshing breeze

    17 candidates and you ended up with Trump

    Thank you, from the bottom of my left leaning but stable bleeding heart

  7. Dave

    I agree America got on the stupid train. It happened in 2010 when the Tea Party took over the Republicans and took the position that whatever Obama proposes…they are against. The reason the Constitution has survived 229 years is the elastic clause. Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 8, Clause 18:

    The Congress shall have power …To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

    To take a position that you will not under any circumstances compromise with the opposing party will guarantee first, the demise of that party and ultimately of the Constitution. The Christian “sharia law” of guys like Ted Cruz pave the way for megalomaniacs like Donald Trump to appeal to the “poorly educated” kind of like the Kno Nothings in the 1840’s. We are in a sad place witnessing the end of the Republic with the continuing rigidity and unwillingness of the two parties to compromise.

  8. old baldy

    Mark and dave:

    Great analysis by both of you. I agree 100%.

  9. Trump for America

    Donald J. Trump will be your master and there is not a thing you can do about it.

  10. Dave

    All aboard! Says the conductor of the Stupid Train!

  11. Kevin Scheunemann


    Don’t lose site that Hillary is co-conductor of the stupid train.

  12. Pat

    Kevin says, “Don’t lose site that Hillary is co-conductor of the stupid train.”

    I don’t know what Hillary has to do with the train wreck that the Republican Party is becoming. But I’m sure you can explain.

  13. Kevin Scheunemann

    Hillary is her own train wreck.

  14. dad29

    whatever Obama proposes…they are against

    Sorta like the WI Dems and Walker, eh?

    Apparently the Stupid Train runs in both directions.

    So if you intend to continue to make semi-moronic declarations, expect that they will be returned in kind.

  15. Mark Maley

    Sorry , the facts are that Ryan and leaders met on the night of Obama’s election to plan their obstruction of his policies . He didn’t even get a 24 hour honeymoon

    And Mitch McConnel declared he was dedicated to The failure of Obama’s first term and his defeat if he ran again

    Facts are problematical to some , moronic to others

    One more fact , he beat their asses twice , the second time by 5MM votes

  16. Dave

    And the facts that Mark points out are why the future of our Republic is in peril. Without compromise and acceptance that all are working toward a common good, the future of this Republic is limited and exploring Panama for retirement seems more and more logical idea!

  17. Steve Austin

    Y’all need to read up on American political history before the World Wars brought the country together. It was rough and tumble. Insults everywhere. And riding behind it was a corresponding struggle during the industrial revolution between the working class trying not to be exploited versus big business that was running many areas of the country -see the most famous being Pullman, Illinois to our South. Oh did I mention immigrants were also pouring into the country then as well causing social instability?

    So yeah, I’m not surprised to see Trump where he’s at because as I always say, there are 3 billion folks out there in Asia, Mexico and India willing to work longer, harder and for one-tenth the money of what Americans will work for. And if we aren’t outsourcing the work to them there, the big companies and Dem voting drive registrants are bringing them over here.

    Until our own Teddy Roosevelt comes in and busts the trusts and puts some control on the border, it’s going to be a rough ride (pun intended)

  18. Dave

    I agree Steve. It has been an ongoing struggle between the working class fighting for better working conditions and standard of living and the moneyed business interests. We have come a long way from the army firing on the Pullman strikers in 1894 but we are heading back in that direction. We do need a new TR to bust the current business trusts that have been created through the last 30 years of deregulation. Just look at the banks. The too big to fail banks have only grown larger since the Great Recession. What do you think will happen the next time the economy crashes because of the speculation of the moneyed classes? This has to be addressed and it is unlikely that will happened as those same moneyed interests have now bought their own government thanks to Citizens United.

    The really scary part of the popularity to Trump is that his megalomaniac rants appeal to the “poorly educated” that he loves. They have seen their lives get worse and worse over the last 30 years and they want to blame someone. Trump gives them the Muslims and Mexican Rapists (as opposed to the Jews a few generations ago) He has a book of Hitler speeches on his bedside table, quotes Mussolini and has his Secret Service rough up Time reporters who step out of their “free speech zone.” He will do and say whatever is needed to advance Donald J Trump at the expense of the all else….including the Constitution.

    He may be able to pull off what Prescott Bush, and other leaders of New York Banking houses, US Steel, Gen. Motors, Chase National Bank and others attempted in 1934…a coup d’etat and overthrow of the Constitution. Thanks to the most decorated Marine in history, General Smedley Butler, refused to lead it and exposed it in a Congressional Committee. And true to form, the Committee buries it for the most part because of the wealthy players.

    How often can we plan on being that lucky? Especially if through some cruel twist of fate Trump is elected.

  19. dad29

    Ryan and leaders met on the night of Obama’s election to plan their obstruction of his policies

    You have the video? We’ll wait.

  20. old baldy


    It was on all the networks back in the day. And McConnell came out immediately and said they would work to oppose Obama at every turn.

  21. Kay

    “The Party of Lincoln should be the Party to thrive.”

    Kevin, you might be surprise to learn that Washington County went for Lincoln opponents in both the 1860 and 1864 elections.

  22. Mark Maley

    Ryan admitted to the meeting Dad, as did others who attended .

    They were proud of it .

    You may be ashamed of them for doing so as I would be about a Republican president getting zero attempts to meet in the middle on a number of issues by Democrats , but they were proud of it

    Again, facts are inconvenient things , especially when the defeated whine that he never tried to work with them .

    If that happened to me , I’d tell the loyal opposition to pound sand , which is exactly what Obama did .

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