T Nation

Trump: The Second Year


Alright, nevermind ha.


Obviously the world’s most inept secret cabal as their evil plans are consistently being thwarted.


I’ll take a crack at it.

I think the hysteria over entire rogue intelligence agencies destabilizing their own country is silly.

I do believe there are groups and power structures in every society that ‘actually’ control the important things, or at least have great influence. I’m not talking about lizard people or illuminati. But there’s a reason out of 325 million people they tried to ram bush/clinton/bush/clinton down our throats.

I actually think that for average schmucks that follow the news like us, we’ll never truly know 1/10th of what actually goes on behind closed doors at the top levels of government and business. Even with leaks and social media starting to pull the curtain back they’ll just get smarter.

So I don’t worry about it. Could be worse, we could be stuck in China or Russia where you get accidentally dead or disappeared if you step out of line.


This right here is pretty much my belief of “deep state.” The Bilderberg stuff intrigues me, though.


I’d like to say so, but I don’t have any confidence that they’ll do something well so…maybe I’m ok with them doing nothing


Yep, like Hollywood stuff.

Incidentally, also a big reason we get a lot of that “deep state” thing IMHO…one too many Enemy of the State/Minority Report/National Treasure/Jason Bourne movies made.


The Bilderberg stuff intrigues me, though.

While I don’t believe leaders get their “working orders” from these big groups, they do help them be all on the same page… and don’t let the regular people know what that is. As an American I believe our leaders serve us and we are owed transparency.



I’m with you on this definition, and can agree that they exist.

What I DON’T buy is some large group of embedded; always liberal/Democratic operatives; working secretly and covertly; using the full force of the American Government; to overthrow Trump and/or sabotage his overall Agenda and will of the American people. (This is the best way I can interpret people like Hannity, and those who believe the same dribble).

At the same time; I am not naive enough to believe that there are not Powerful people in this World who have great influence over our Lives.

So; I’m with you on your definition.


Deep state? It was all about deep pockets.


In other words, corporations that operate right in front of us.


How much of that deep state crap is connected to the Jews? It’s just the Protocols all over again.


I would love to get @Jewbacca take on this…but it appears that a lot of the “National/International” conspiracy/taking-over-controlling the World" stuff will have a heavy dose of subtle (and not so subtle) anti-antisemitism mixed in.

@Jewbacca…being both Jewish and Conservative; how do you personally view this stuff? (…and no…I do not expect @Jewbacca to be speaking for all Conservative, Jewish people; but as always, am asking for his personal insights…)


I am wondering, how would Trump look now without the foot in mouth out-bursts and the Putin romance? What if he were a better messenger? On Trumps’s issues, can the GoP still win?

"The understatement is that President Trump’s mix of positions probably would have done much better if embodied in a different candidate. The 2016 campaign, that is, makes Buckley’s argument about the strength of social conservatism combined with economic moderation look weaker than it is. Hypothesize a general-election candidate who says free-trade deals have ruined the heartland, vows to protect entitlements, and pledges to nominate conservative justices, but who also had experience in government, had no Access Hollywood tape, no attacks on Gold Star families, and so forth. (Or, if you prefer, choose issues other than trade on which the candidate could signal that he was not a stereotypical economic conservative.)

That candidate would almost certainly have gotten more than Trump’s 46 percent of the vote. He would have probably gotten more than Mitt Romney’s 47 percent, too."

I would add, come up with more moderation solutions for illegal immigrants who have established themselves here to stay. And, obviously end the family separations. And softer rhetoric overall.


I disagree completely. Trump didn’t win because of any of a series of (shall we say ‘fluid’) policy positions; he won because he was an effective and entertaining demagogue in a field of stiff shirts at a time when the country was ripe for demagoguery.


Maybe? I don’t know. My sense is that his tirades, the family separations, the Cohen-Daniels, stuff, and his kids gloves with Russia is causing some fatigue with those voted for and supported him… The other issues, not so much.

I wish we could see another candidate carry the above message.


Then look no further than Pat Buchanan in 1992.


No, no. A better messenger. And today. I’m talking about something without the alt-right stuff about mexican rapists and such. Take the side order of ethno-nationalism away. A compassionate conservative with a twist maybe. America first. But a kind, respectful, compassionate America! Something anti-Romney and Buchanan.

I know, I’m trying to flesh it out myself. Bear with me. I’m also thinking about the ‘where I fit in’ thread too.


I think there is some truth to this, minus a really hard sell on social conservatism. I think it’s a myth that so-called heartland voters are actually all that socially conservative - I think they are far more “live and let live” (LALL) libertarian who just loathe the turn of the Left (who are no longer LALL) toward political correctness and weird identity politics.

But I think the other issues sell pretty well. This phenomenon has occurred because Democrats abandoned their post representing these folks, and Obama was the nadir of that. Obama wanted to a social policy change agent president and proved indifferent to income inequality and economic insecurity, which was (and is) the number one issue for this group of people.

And the economic moderation pitch is and will always be a short term play for any Republican. The GOP simply will not support economic populism for any duration - it’s a convenient stopgap being leveraged to rail at Elites on social/cultural issues. See the tax cut.

I’ve always said that IMO, the movement that supported/elected Trump was real and justified - it’s just that they were so desparate they refused to acknowledge he was a phony from the get go. Desperation will throw you into the arms of bad suitors. And that’s where a bunch of heartland voters were in 2016.

But I believe this truly - re: the GOP, it’s a short term marriage. Heartland voters aren’t as right wing on social and economic issues as a lot of Republicans think/hope - it’s just that the Democrats abandoned the field. If the Democrats return to their roots, the GOP will become a minority party for a generation.


The ‘America First’ viewpoint as inculcated by Trump (and by Buchanan before him, and Lindbergh before him) is a disastrous stance–economically as well as internationally. Not to mention that it is profoundly un-Christian:

"We believe Jesus when he tells us to go into all nations making disciples (Matthew 28:18). Our churches and our nations are part of an international community whose interests always surpass national boundaries. The most well-known verse in the New Testament starts with “For God so loved the world” (John 3:16). We, in turn, should love and serve the world and all its inhabitants, rather than seek first narrow, nationalistic prerogatives.

THEREFORE, WE REJECT “America first” as a theological heresy for followers of Christ. While we share a patriotic love for our country, we reject xenophobic or ethnic nationalism that places one nation over others as a political goal. We reject domination rather than stewardship of the earth’s resources, toward genuine global development that brings human flourishing for all of God’s children. Serving our own communities is essential, but the global connections between us are undeniable. Global poverty, environmental damage, violent conflict, weapons of mass destruction, and deadly diseases in some places ultimately affect all places, and we need wise political leadership to deal with each of these."


I’ve been in way too many religion related arguments lately. I’ve gotta sidestep this one. I don’t fully disagree through and made it a point to heavily qualify my “America first” (if I may say so my self).

Edit: Nothing in THIS particular passage offends me. Kind of cursory read though!