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Comments on the 2016 presidential campaign

Posted by John Reed on

Here are some comments I have been putting up on Facebook. Many of my blog readers are not Facebook members and they want me to put those things here. Also, this blog is searchable by Google and such while Facebook is not.

Republican chicken hawks

I am real tried of Republican chicken hawks raving about how they’re gonna sock it to IS including boots on the ground. There were two veterans in the Republican race: Perry and Graham. Even they were just a couple of non-combatants: a cargo plane pilot—Perry flew C-130s—and an Air Force lawyer—Graham. But they dropped out.

Those left did not serve—not even as lawyers or cargo plane pilots. They could have. They chose not to, but now they pound the table raving about how they are going to “bomb the shit out of... and put boots on the ground.”

But they never put THEIR boots on the ground. I put mine there in Vietnam. No big deal. But I do not like guys who refused to do it bragging about how eager they are to put boots on the ground now—boots with someone else’s feet in them. They want you to do as they say, but not as they did.

Trump is my age. He says he loves vets, but he is not one himself. He snarls that he did not like the Vietnam War—as if that excuses being a draft dodger. Corporal Klinger didn’t like the Korean War either. Trump dodged service claiming some sort of heel spur.

The fighting Cubans went straight from law school to politics. No military service. Kasich is the biggest advocate of “boots on the ground,” not that his were ever on the ground in a combat zone. I was in Vietnam when Kasich turned 18. For some reason, he never joined us there. His “boots” were on the frat house coffee table when we were in the combat zone.

Huckabee just missed the Vietnam war turning 18 in 1973. But he could have served. He chose not to. Now he wants to be commander in chief. JEB had a high draft number and would have been called but the draft ended about the time he became eligible. He still could have served like his father and brother, but chose not to.

Carly and Ben also could have served. No interest. Ben bragged about getting a “scholarship” to West Point, but never applied to go there.

How about Christie, Gilmore, Santorum, Rand Paul? No. Yes. No. And no. Gilmore, who has the lowest—barely visible—support was in the Army (intelligence) in Germany during Vietnam. They are all desperate to be commander in chief and use guys like me to kick IS butt, but they had zero interest in kicking any butt when they were of military age.

How about the Fox News anchors ask each and every one of them—Gilmore doesn’t even make the little debate anymore—to explain why they are so interested in commander in chief now but had zero interest in being lieutenant or private in their youth? And to each explain why the name “chicken hawk” does not apply to them.

Trump refusing to debate

Trump has often seemed like he was trying to push it farther and farther just to see what he could get away with. It may be that refusing to show up at the debate will prove to be his stunt too far an end his campaign.

Trump is not doing this because of Megyn. He is just hoping the ratings for the debate will plummet proving once again that he is The Man, I suspect it will prove to be a stunt too far and kill his candidacy. It is different but somewhat reminiscent of Perot’s pulling out of the 1992 campaign then getting back in. He was leading in the polls when he got out, never again Also reminiscent of Palin’s resigning as AK governor. Donald wanted to find out how much he can get away with. I think he’s about to. Not THAT much.

Seth Grenald I liked Perot up until he dropped out. It made him look like a guy who had been successful for so long, that when he got into a situation where it didn't look like he was going to win, he quit. I understand the official explanation was something about him not wanting to disrupt his daughter's wedding. Was he actually leading in the polls? Or was he just very strong?

Here is the pertinent paragraph from Wikipedia’s Perot article:

“In June, Perot led in the Gallop poll with a 39 percent rating. By mid-July, the Washington Post reported that Perot's campaign managers were becoming increasingly disillusioned by his unwillingness to follow their advice to be more specific on issues, and his need to be in full control of operations with such tactics as forcing volunteers to sign loyalty oaths. Perot's poll numbers began to slip to 25%, and his advisers warned that if he continued to ignore them, he would fall into single digits. Co-manager Hamilton Jordan threatened to quit, and on July 15, Ed Rollins resigned after Perot fired advertisement specialist Hal Riney, who worked with Rollins on the Reagan campaign. Rollins would later claim that a member of the campaign accused him of being a Bush plant with ties to the CIA. Amidst the chaos, Perot's support fell to 20%. The next day, Perot announced on Larry King Live that he would not seek the presidency. He explained that he did not want the House of Representatives to decide the election if the result caused the electoral college to be split. Perot eventually stated the reason was that he received threats that digitally altered photographs would be released by the Bush campaign to sabotage his daughter's wedding. Whatever his reasons for withdrawing, his reputation was badly damaged. Many of his supporters felt betrayed and public opinion polls would subsequently show a large negative view of Perot that was absent prior to his decision to end the campaign.”

The ‘anger’ movement

Trump supporters make much of voter “anger.” If the November election choice is Trump or Hillary, I would expect there would be an even bigger angry group who would vow that no such barren pair of candidates would ever again be the only choices in an American presidential election. It might end the two-party system.

Voters have long accepted choosing between the “lesser of two evils.” I would not be surprised if they looked at a Trump-or-Hillary ballot and said, “But not THAT evil.”

Michael P. Reilly Gun Control? 32 Oz. Sodas? Carless cities? Bring it ON!
Gene Martin The entire country club establishment would line up behind him.
John T. Reed The entire country club establishment is a majority nowhere outside of the country club.
Seth Grenald He was popular enough to win the mayoral election three times. And running NYC is comparable to running most states, both in terms of population and economic output. If he jumps in (on either side) this will officially be the strangest presidential election in a LONG time.
John T. Reed Bloomberg is an extremely competent man. He is a fellow NYC billionaire to Trump and a fellow Harvard MBA, and a good example of one in contrast to George W. Bush who must have slept through Harvard Business. Unlike Trump, Bloomberg made his billions in a fairly straightforward way without the drama of Trump’s many failures and his erstwhile minus $900 million net worth.

He’s wrong on the size of a soda cup and gun control, but even as president, he would not have the power to pass either law. He got nowhere with either.
On more substantive issues, he seems to have normal views. He was a great mayor of NYC and because he did things like stop and frisk which was most definitely not liberal.
We should be so lucky as to have a man like Bloomberg as president. I would be afraid of his Supreme Court justice appointments, but maybe they would not be bad.
Otherwise, he does not make me fear things like Trump’s trade war or his “bomb the shit out of...” and all that. People should expect a President Bloomberg would do what Mayor Bloomberg did and that was great stuff in a very difficult job. I do not recall thinking his mayor tenure was liberal. Indeed, I thought it was the opposite in terms of economic and police policies.

My son was a student at Columbia University in Manhattan from 1999 to 2003, not that many years after NYC was a disaster. The improvement under Giuliani and Bloomberg was palpable, as is the deterioration under a REAL liberal mayor DeBlasio now.
Mark Christoph Because of his stance on guns is exactly why I wouldn't vote for him or his potential SCOTUS nominees, who would find just as creative ways to interpret the Constitution as the latest bunch.
John T. Reed Bloomberg’s stance on guns is utterly irrelevant because he would have no power to pass it as President and if he tried, he could not even get a majority of birth houses to vote for it. On guns, he is a clone of Obama, only without the Executive orders. What Obama did for guns was greatly expand the ownership of them. Bloomberg would do the same.
John T. Reed Bloomberg is no dope. He may do his due diligence and conclude that he can get in and if so, I would expect his candidacy to be extremely serious, not like billionaire Perot or even Ron Paul. A Hillary-Trump election screams for a third choice. And because of the economics and deadlines of the presidential election—getting on ballots and such— only a billionaire could make a real run this late. I suspect the unsatisfying nature of the Hillary-Trump choice may itself be the reason Bloomberg is interested.
All presidential candidates have strengths and weaknesses. I sense that some posters here, on Trump and others, seem to take the position that their candidate has done no wrong, can do no wrong, and never will do anything wrong, and any suggestion to the contrary will be retaliated against. No candidate warrants that position and no such comments are welcome on this wall.

Also, with regard to Trump in particular, he has done a lot of middle-school-rebel level misbehavior. And some of the supporting comments seem to be middle-school level smirks of approval, not of the substance of Trump’s comments or behavior, but rather purely of his ability to misbehave and get away with it. This is not a middle-school level Facebook wall.

In a group of 50 or so teenage boys, like my recent high school freshman football teams, there is typically one boy who is a good player, but who insists on immediately “withdrawing the deposit” he made by virtue of his last great play on the field and “spending” it on breaking a team rule on the assumption that the coach will not cut him because he’s too valuable a player. I cut him.

As I explained in detail in my book Coaching Freshman and Junior Varsity High School Football, I cut such rebels without a cause on a one-strike-and-you’re-out basis. (http://www.johntreed.com/…/coaching-freshman-junior-varsity…) In my early years, I was more patient. In later years, I wised up.
Coaching Freshman and Junior Varsity High School Football book

Trump is behaving like those 14-year-old rebels without a cause—instantly spending the good will his talent earned on showing off how much misbehavior his talent lets him get away with.

Not presidential material Not even freshman high school football team material.
Randy Yokum Donald Rumsfeld recently made the statement that he (Trump) has struck a nerve in this Country. There's no requirement to be educated as a voter....unfortunately.

For the record, I'm a conservative. While I do believe some of his views are the correct ones, I can't say he's Oval Office material. Notwithstanding, many who've held that office fall into that category IMHO.
John T. Reed I think that’s a decent analysis but your last sentence is a bridge to nowhere. There is not consensus about which past presidents were Oval Office material let alone which future presidents. I think all that can be said about past presidents is that they ALL get mixed reviews.

I once did the sort of detailed analysis of which president was best for real estate investors and which was worst. That turned on actual facts rather than opinions or general impressions. The best? Clinton—mainly for his $250,000 capital gain exclusion on home sales and his refusal to go anti-business because he recognized that recessions kill incumbents.

The worst? Reagan who sold real estate investors down the river with his real estate investors-for-28%-max-tax bracket trade called the passive loss limits. Those limits are still law; the 28% top bracket is long gone.

As I said, that was a fact-based analysis, not the sort of devoid-of-facts, impression 99% of the people think they are entitled to with regard to presidential performance.
Ari Mendelson In 2006, George Allen's election was derailed when he said the word "Macaca."

This is absurd.


Absurd.

Politicians should be selected by how well they can legislate or administer, not by whether or not they can walk on eggshells.

Now, I'm not a Trump supporter. I dislike him. A lot.

That said, I think his middle school misbehavior has one thing to be said for it: if it goes some way towards an America in which politicians can talk plainly, are not afraid to make the slightest un-PC misstep, and won't meekly apologize to the baying mobs of social justice warriors, then his candidacy has at least one good point to it.

That said, I hope Trump loses. Badly.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/.../08/14/AR2006081400589.html
John T. Reed Mitt Romney’s father went out on the word “brainwashed.” I agree that such tiny things should not end a candidate’s chances. I also agree that political correctness should be opposed.

But there is a difference between a rebel without a cause and a re
bel with a cause. Much of what The Donald does, and what his supporters here say is he gets away with anything he wants. Certainly the Fifth Avenue comment was of that nature. There is no cause in such statements, just rebellion for rebellion’s sake.

I am one of the biggest rebels I know. In the Army I opposed what I called OPUM (http://www.johntreed.com/.../61085187-is-military...) and OUVM (http://www.johntreed.com/.../61101059-officially...) which required me to stand as a lieutenant nose to nose with a whole bunch of angry colonels and generals. I did it right up until the day they discharged me early. I was a ferocious advocate of safety in youth baseball and suffered because of it. (http://www.johntreed.com/.../63388291-it-s-child...)

But I never backed down. I had a cause. I was not doing it just to be contrary. I have similarly fought an epic fight over the cause of truthful depictions of the real estate investment field in the face of a hundred or more get-rich-quick hucksters, one of whom sued me for three years. (http://johntreed.myshopify.com/.../61653315-john-t-reed-s...) And I have thrown plenty of punches here at the political-correctness crowd. But each time I have rebelled, I had a coherent cause.

The Founding Fathers were rebels, but they had a cause. They dd not trash talk King George just to show off that they could get away with it. I see no coherent cause, other than seeking popularity among other would-be bad boys, in the vast majority of Trump’s provocative behaviors and statements. I do not respect that. You should not either.

If Trump wants to fight for a worthy cause, fine. But picking random fights just for the publicity they will generate is Evel Knievelesque not Lincolnesque.

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