WHY SUCH HATRED FOR DONALD TRUMP?

(from here)

I am not especially smart or intuitive. So trying to figure out something as complicated as people is a greater challenge than I want.  Sometimes, however, my curiosity gets the better of me. Since politics fascinates me I want to know: why do they hate President Donald Trump?

Remember when then candidate Donald Trump said this (on July 27, 2016).

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” Trump said during a news conference in Florida.
“They probably have them. I’d like to have them released,” he continued. “Now, if Russia or China or any other country has those e-mails, I mean, to be honest with you, I’d love to see them.” (from here)

That resulted in reports like the one below.

At the time I was laughing with Trump, and I was baffled by the news media’s reaction. They could not tell he was joking, that he was making fun of them? How childish can you get? Yet many in the big news media are adamantly determined to punish Trump, no matter what it takes.

What makes people so irrationally angry? I suppose it is not always the same thing, but some of the possibilities are obvious. Threaten a child and that child’s mother will annihilate you if she can. We are protective of what we care about. So I guess the real question is what we care about. What do we care about most?

What we care about most is our God. If what we care about most is not God, then we idolize whatever that might be.  When Trump starting making fun of the big news media, he attacked their egos, which I suppose those people have wrapped up in their jobs. So when Trump ridiculed the big news media, was it their god, their self worship, that he made laughable? Perhaps.

What about the Democratic Party? When Trump highlighted the party’s schemes to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders — when he suggested Hillary Clinton belongs in jail — what god did Trump attack then? Why couldn’t these people see an obvious joke? Well, they didn’t. So we got interviews like this one.

Essentially, before the Democrats had evidence of anything, these erstwhile doves had become Putin/Trump hating hawks willing to accuse anyone who objected of carrying water for the Kremlin.

If evidence does not matter — if truth does not matter — then what is the god of the Democratic Party? What idols have these people sacrificed their integrity to? What do they endlessly seek to grow and to nurture? Is it the seat the their power, the almighty state? Perhaps.

African Songye Power Figure (from here)

Of course, when we ask questions about others, we should examine ourselves first. Are Christians protective of the God of Abraham? I suppose we are, but are we irrational about it? When we consider the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit — the Trinity — does God need our protection, or do we need His? Rationally, we know that the latter is true. Therefore, while some Christians may protect God irrationally, just as idol worshipers protect their gods (knowing in their hearts the fragility of their god), Christians have no logical reason to do so. What need does the Creator have of our protection? All we have to give Him is our love and obedience. All God demands is that we love Him above all else, that we demonstrate that love by loving our neighbors as we love our self, but I suppose that is easier in theory than it is in practice.

Do I seem harsh? Am I being terribly impolite? Is it appropriate to say that the news media and Democrats hate Trump irrationally? Is it true? Consider that the news media and the Democrats have effectively accused Donald Trump of treason, a capital offense. When the people involved are lying about such charges, wasting hundreds of billions of our tax dollars buying votes, plainly lying about the powers given to them by our Constitution, refusing to enforce our borders, and winking when the members of their own party break the law; don’t we need to ask such people what gods they are willing to sacrifice their neighbors for?

Other Sources

 

61 thoughts on “WHY SUCH HATRED FOR DONALD TRUMP?

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  1. Interesting question. I looked up how a psychologist might appoach and found a long deep conversation. One excerpt as follows:

    Mr. Haidt: One thing that you find in most of the great wisdom traditions is the idea that reality as we see it is an illusion. It’s a veil, it blinds us, and enlightenment is taking down the veil, seeing things as they are, transcending dualities. And that, I think, is really crucial for thinking about civility, because that’s what happened to me in writing this book and in doing this research, is, I was a self-righteous, conservative-hating, religion-hating, secular liberal. And in doing this research over many years, and in forcing myself to watch FOX News as an anthropologist who just — “I’ve got to understand this stuff” — over time I realized, “Well, they’re not crazy. These ideas make sense. They see things I didn’t see.”

    The feeling of losing my anger was thrilling. It was really freeing. When you get people to actually understand each other, and they let down their guard, and they learn something new, and they see humanity in someone that they disliked or hated or demonized before, that’s really thrilling. And that, I think, is one of the most important emotional tools we have to foster civility. Because once you get it started, it’s kind of addictive.

    https://onbeing.org/programs/jonathan-haidt-the-psychology-of-self-righteousness-oct2017/

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That is true.

      Socialists think Socialism make sense. I once did. It just doesn’t work, and it doesn’t work because we are not as good as we would like to think we are.

      Consider the irony. Socialism is all about sharing. The government solution is to force people to share. The problem? If we have to force people to share, how can we trust the people we have given the power to force us to share with that kind of power? Of course, we can’t.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The first clue, in my opinion, is if to prove your ideology, whether it be socialism, conservatism, liberalism, or any “ism,”….. is if you have to force someone to believe, ….. or for a necessity, you have to kill them,
        something ain’t right with your theory, etc.

        The second clue is to recognize that a lot of people do not like to work. King Solomon observed this when he wrote a proverb, if interested….

        https://onbeing.org/programs/jonathan-haidt-the-psychology-of-self-righteousness-oct2017/.

        Regards and goodwill blogging.

        Regards and goodwill blogging.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. People don’t like to work? Not entirely true, but many would definitely prefer to play. What most hate is work that looks like drudgery. Many parents, especially mothers, do such work only because they love their husbands and children so much. How is Socialism supposed to replicate that?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. “I am not especially smart or intuitive. So trying to figure out something as complicated as people is a greater challenge than I want..”

    This made me laugh,Tom! I am intuitive, that’s my thing, and yet all this Trump hatred totally baffles me.I am clueless, don’t understand it, doesn’t make sense. One thing I have learned however, when everybody likes you, that’s not always a good thing.

    Love this Mr. Haidt quote from Scatter above,

    “One thing that you find in most of the great wisdom traditions is the idea that reality as we see it is an illusion. It’s a veil, it blinds us, and enlightenment is taking down the veil, seeing things as they are, transcending dualities”

    That’s it exactly. When two people can come together with some humility, in that meeting of the minds we can find the truth. Each person can only see a small piece,the view from their window. To see the whole landscape, we actually need a whole bunch of eyes able to describe their piece of the puzzle. Humility with one another though,that’s the real bugger.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. @insanitybytes22

      That’s funny! I almost deleted those lines, but I could not figure out another way to start the subject. I also liked that quote from Mr. Haidt. Appreciate the fact he added that to the comments.

      Also like that last paragraph of yours. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 1) 98% reduction in land held by ISIS.
    Took Trump less than a year to accomplish what Obama couldn’t do in 8.
    If that were all he did, that is an enormous accomplishment.
    What he has done with the military is phenomenal. Mattis is great.

    2) S and P was up 19 percent for the year. Know how to beat the S and P?
    Dollar cost average into the S and P. I made 22 percent this year by dollar cost averaging into the S and P.
    Economy is doing very well.

    3) Illegal immigration is down.

    Even if he were an actual Cheeto with small hands (h/t NeverTrumpers!) I think that human Cheeto is doing a fantastic job. If I were a liberal, I would start to consider why someone I proclaim to be a stupid, Cheeto colored, incompetent, impulsive sexist bigot not only won but is actually succeeding by some pretty strong markers. But, no, they just seem to double down on the behaviors that got Trump elected in the first place….perhaps to get more Trump in some masochistic act of self-hate?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Three good points!

      Frankly, taking over after Obama would probably make almost anyone look good. The big problem is surviving the wrath of the news media and Democratic Party, and that is where Trump excelling. Very few Republicans seem to know how to fight back, which is something that puzzles me.

      Perhaps I should put you in charge of investing my money.

      Like

  4. Tom,

    I think it is always a mistake to too easily classify people into polarized groups: Republicans verses Democrats, Christians verses Secularists, Conservatives verses Liberals, Collectivists verses Individualists, and so on. People are far more complex than this. Much as you may wish to classify us into incompatible warring tribes, there is a good deal of disagreement in the definition of such labels, even among those who claim the same label. And it should also humble all of us that our real motivations are less rational and more hidden from each of us than we think. We all do a good deal of rationalizing of opinions that we already hold based things that we were taught or experienced as we grew up than things we have really thought out. This is why silly taboos are so hard for us to overcome even when they have long ago ceased to serve any rational social purpose.

    More importantly, we have far more in common as Americans and as humans than we have have differences. It would seem to me that there is, as you elude, a good deal of false idol worshiping on all sides in the glorifying our own supposedly superior ideologies while demonizing the ideological idols we often manufacture ourselves for the enemy tribes. I don’t mean to be critical because I am far from claiming any perfect understanding of God’s will with regard to all the above ideological classifications, but all this sorting into enemy tribal camps seems to much more defy the universal message of Christ than any practical or moral mistake that one political side or the other might be making at any given time, especially if their intentions are honorable. I think that making the assumption that the other side’s intentions are dishonest simply because we disagree on political or religious grounds is a form of prideful arrogance that is self destructive and destroys otherwise loving societies. You need only look to so many states around the world that collapsed into warring factional tribalism to see how this can happen.

    Trump is wildly unpopular right now, including with a an inordinate number of people who call themselves Republican, Conservative and Christian. I don’t “hate” Trump, but I admit (like most of the country) that I don’t approve of him, but not because of any political ideology he represents – Trump doesn’t seem to even have any ideals. And that’s what bothers me. Trump uses our tribal divisiveness in order to advance Trump, not the country, not humanity, and certainly not the love that God commanded us to share.

    I may not always agree with his politics, but I can greatly admire and approve of a man like John McCain who spent his whole life serving the country. Such men are willing to compromise on methodology in such service to America and the world while holding fast to their basic honor and love of virtue. I just don’t see this in Trump. Do you? Seriously?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. T Salmon,
      Unlike many past presidents who seem to be more interested in globalism over nationalism at the expense of those they were elected to represent, Trump seems honestly interested in working toward goals that have long-term benefits for America and Americans.
      I agree that Trump is a con man from way back… but now that he is applying that skillset to benefit America and Americans, my logical and practical instincts tell me there is is no reason to complain.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. @tsalmon

      I think it is always a mistake to too easily classify people into polarized groups: Republicans verses Democrats, Christians verses Secularists, Conservatives verses Liberals, Collectivists verses Individualists, and so on.

      We don’t have to classify people into polarized groups. People pick sides. Your complaint is just silly. What you are complaining about is that I did not choose to be your side.

      Consider your own comment. You cannot help yourself. You had to castigate Trump. Then you had to praise the mainstream news media’s most beloved RINO. In a complaint about other people classifying people, you classified other people.

      When do people classify other people? Well, that is second step in enslaving other people. First we pick our side. Then we determine who ain’t on our side.

      I think have pointed you to this before. => https://citizentom.com/2008/04/22/the-advantage-of-a-republic-over-a-democracy/

      If you don’t want people fighting over everything, then stop trying to use the government to make people do things you have no business insisting that that do.

      Like

      1. “Then you had to praise the mainstream news media’s most beloved RINO. In a complaint about other people classifying people, you classified other people.”

        So McCain is a RINO. His whole long life of service to the country and to the Republican Party is to be defined and swept away with that statement, and you get to decide this? And you don’t find that to be the least bit arrogant?

        I don’t think I have to say anything more about this as you have made my points for me.

        Thanks brother and God bless. And Happy New Year to you and yours.

        I’m sure we’ll both think far too highly of ourselves and our opinions when we affectionately battle again sometime next year. 😘

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @tsalmon

          McCain chose his side. I just observed his choice. When we “classify” people, we can either accept the choice they have made for themselves, or we can impose our own choice upon them. I did the former, not the latter.

          I have even voted for McCain, given the alternative. Don’t hate the man. Just don’t trust him to do the right thing.

          Here is something called the Republican Creed.

          That the free enterprise system is the most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice,

          That all individuals are entitled to equal rights, justice, and opportunities and should assume their responsibilities as citizens in a free society,

          That fiscal responsibility and budgetary restraints must be exercised at all levels of government,

          That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations,

          That peace is best preserved through a strong national defense,

          That faith in God, as recognized by our Founding Fathers is essential to the moral fiber of the Nation (from =>http://virginia.gop/virginia-republican-creed/)

          Where I think McCain most obviously falls short (to some extent we all do) is in this bullet.

          That the Federal Government must preserve individual liberty by observing Constitutional limitations,

          McCain advocated something he sold as campaign financed reform, and some years back he got George W. Bush to sign a piece of legislation, The McCain–Feingold Act (=> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bipartisan_Campaign_Reform_Act). The bill that passed was obviously unconstitutional, and it was eventually ruled as such. Of course, advocates for a living Constitution regarded that as a hideous injustice.

          Frankly, one of the reasons I detest Socialism is that Socialists want the government to run everything, but they don’t believe in the rule of law. Hence in a Socialist regime the law becomes whatever the powerful want it to be. That is the definition of tyranny.

          Like

  5. @anon

    I’m affraid that I don’t understand what you mean. Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems to stem from a belief that the world is a transactional zero sum game where America can only win if everyone else loses. It was this sort of nationalist zero sum thinking that lead to the rise of fascism during the middle of the twentieth century. Since WWII, ideologically and economically, the world order that America has lead has been one of shared democratic ideals and trade. This has not always worked out perfectly, especially when we have tried idealistic nation building adventurism, but the basic results for America and for the rest of the alliance has been astounding. I think if we focus too much on our small grievances, it is far too easy to turn inward and miss this bigger picture. Trump is very much inciting this inward grievance based nationalism in order to get and maintain his own power and wealth, and in so doing he is fracturing alliances that have improved America and the whole world to the benefit of all. That is the con Trump is playing now.

    Like

    1. “Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems to stem from a belief that the world is a transactional zero sum game where America can only win if everyone else loses.”

      I disagree.
      Negotiation is negotiation.
      Negotiation is defined as “discussion aimed at reaching an agreement”.
      It is up to the rest of the world to elect leaders to represent their interests.
      It is up to our leaders to represent our interests.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @anon

        I used to make a living negotiating, and as good as what you have written sounds, the reality is that the best deals do not come from a purely adversarial transaction. Functional capitalistic economics is based upon “enlightened” self interest, not just selfishness. Economic growth that raises average individual wealth (in other words, a large middle class) depends upon the concept that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts.

        Like

      2. FWIW, I think you have cause and effect reversed. No one needs Trump to point to problems in “inter-tribal dynamics”. The left has milked that turnip so much it played a large part in getting Trump elected.
        Do you truly see Hillary as the “great unifier” candidate?
        Here is an example of the type of lunacy that got Trump elected:

        Like

        1. I don’t care to spend a lot of time defending alternate realities of a Clinton presidency even though it seems that Trump apologists would much rather keep bashing a bygone Hillary than defending Trump.

          Besides it’s non-Trump Republican conservatives that seem to be most worried about the direction, both strategically and economically, that an isolationist regime is taking us. After all, historically it has been Republicans conservative that promoted freer trade and the western alliance.

          Like

        2. “I don’t care to spend a lot of time defending alternate realities of a Clinton presidency even though it seems that Trump apologists would much rather keep bashing a bygone Hillary than defending Trump.”

          It’s not an alternate reality.
          The reality is: Trump versus Hillary.
          Those were the only two options.

          I’m now observing the results so far and they look good to me.
          Of course, there’s three more years to go. Perhaps you could point to a specific policy you disagree with, and why.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. @tsalmon

      Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems to stem from a belief that the world is a transactional zero sum game where America can only win if everyone else loses. It was this sort of nationalist zero sum thinking that lead to the rise of fascism during the middle of the twentieth century.

      So Trump is Hitler?

      If you don’t want polarization, then why does every comment have to be an absurd attack on Trump?

      Trump is very much inciting this inward grievance based nationalism in order to get and maintain his own power and wealth, and in so doing he is fracturing alliances that have improved America and the whole world to the benefit of all. That is the con Trump is playing now.

      You vote for politicians who scam us by buying our votes with “other people’s money” and then you write that?

      American first! What does that mean? All Trump is doing is representing the interests of the people of this country, not some other country. Obama, on the other hand, could not even find something good to say about America. So I cannot figure out why why you voted for him.

      You spend more ink attacking the people I support than explaining what you support. On those occasions you do look like you are trying to explain yourself you just blow off serious practical problems and ethical issues. That is probably related to why you prefer attacking Trump instead explaining what you stand for.

      Like

  6. Well perhaps we all need to step back a bit. It seems like there is a whole lot of hating going on regardless of political ideology.

    As conservatives and followers of Jesus, did he not say something like this to us (Matthew 5 is the reference):

    And so Jesus said to the Republicans, Conservatives and perhaps the Libertarians “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your fellow ideologues and hate the Democrats, Liberals, Leftists, Socialist and Communist.’ But I say to you, love the Leftists and pray for the Democrats who persecute you.

    And why do I want you love the Democrats? So that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the Leftists and the Conservatives, and sends rain on the Republicans and the Socialists. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the IRS agents do the same? If you greet only the Conservatives, what more are you doing than the Leftist who only greet Democrats? Do not even the Independents do the same? Therefore Conservatives are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

    🙂 🙂

    Happy New Year.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. @Michael Wilson

      Appreciate the comment. Very cleverly written.

      Jesus was full of grace and truth. To repentant sinners, He exhibited grace and forgave their sin. To the unrepentant He spoke the Truth. You recall Matthew 23?

      Because of human nature, factional politics is unavoidable. Please read https://citizentom.com/2008/04/22/the-advantage-of-a-republic-over-a-democracy/. That post contains an excerpt from The Federalist Papers written by James Madison.

      Our Constitution is designed to contain the animosities that can arise from factional politics. Unfortunately, we have people who should know better telling us two untruths:
      1. We have a living Constitution.
      2. The end justifies the means.

      It is not hateful to tell these people the truth. They are wrong. We don’t have the right to abuse the power of government just to get what we want from “other people”.

      Before the Civil War, slave owners saw that the North opposed slavery. To protect their peculiar institution — to keep using the power of government to get what they wanted from other people — they decided to spread slavery into the territories, even if they had to subvert the Constitution. The animosity between the North and the South grew, and it eventually erupted into war. Would the alternative, accepting the spread of slavery been preferable?

      Because men sin, Jesus died on a cross. Some problems don’t lend themselves to easy solutions. Jesus loved the people who crucified Him, but we still put Him up on that cross.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As always, thanks for the great insight. I was trying to make a spiritual point, not a political one. I clearly failed in my effort. Democrats and the media think President Trump is the enemy. Therefore, they think it is justified, from their perspective, to hate him.

        That is precisely the point Jesus was making in Matthew 5. “You’re familiar with the old written law, ‘Love your friend,’ and its unwritten companion, ‘Hate your enemy.’ Jesus, in Matthew 5, 6, and 7 is speaking exclusively to his disciples. He sets forth many higher standards for his followers. The point he was making in this section is that it is his standard “to love your enemy”. He isn’t denying we have enemies. He is challenging us to be different in how we treat them. It might be interesting to see what would happen if the followers of Jesus made some effort to live up to this challenge.

        I am familiar with Matthew 23. In it, Jesus the Son of God and Messiah, is speaking to the Religious leaders of the day. It wasn’t a political speech. It wasn’t intended to provide guidance to the disciples. His guidance to the disciples was to “judge not” (he spoke at length about that in Matthew 7).

        Again, my apologies for trying to make a spiritual point that wasn’t clear or helpful.

        Happy new year!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. @Michael Wilson

          No apologies needed. I just think Liberals Democrats would have seen what you wrote as a chastisement of Republicans, Conservatives and perhaps the Libertarians.

          We all tend to see what we want to see and expect to see. We have to look carefully to see what is actually there in front of us, or it has to be so obvious we cannot miss it. And I say “we” because I am just as thick as the next guy.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Tom, I purposefully wrote it from the opposite perspective I normally would have. It would have been too easy to have done it the other way. When Jesus challenged us to not judge others (Matthew 7), He said “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” I wanted to see what it would feel like to see it from the other perspective.

          FYI – while I don’t think in any of my writing I explicitly state my political persuasion, you could label me very conservative. When I lived in upstate NY for 20 years, I was a member of the Conservative party and on the Executive Committee. Here in Texas you don’t register for a party. You are considered a member of the party whose primary you show up at. I show up at the Republican primaries. Not really fond of labels but there you are.

          Liked by 3 people

        3. @Michael Wilson

          Figured you were writing it from the opposite perspective, but I was a bit confused at first.

          Labels have their uses. When someone formulates an ideology, religious or political, they almost have to give it name. When a bunch of people form an organization, we have to call it something, or we don’t know what group of people we are talking about. The problem is that the individual differences between the members of any organization may be quite large.

          The issue, as you say, is judgement. Are we judging words and deeds or people’s hearts and souls? Wisdom involves performing good words and deeds and avoiding bad words and deeds. Are the people who perform good words and deeds good people? Are the people who perform bad words and deeds bad? Well, that is for God to decide. Sometimes we do bad things for good reasons and good things for bad reasons. In either case, others can only guess our motives.

          Admittedly, I sometimes look at what motivates people, but I think that examining what motivates a large group of people is fair game. I cannot read minds. So I don’t what individuals are thinking, but I can point to the behavior of a group and ask a few questions. I can speculate upon what is right or wrong with their priorities.

          When Liberal Democrats have practically convicted Trump of treason, and they don’t have any evidence, it only seems fair to question their motives. Generally, when people do something bad, we punish them when reason suggests their motives are bad. That does not mean God will condemn to hell, but to discourage bad behavior we still make a habit of putting wrongdoers in jail. Similarly, if a political party has been up to too much mischief, we may stop voting for its candidates.

          Here in Virginia you don’t register for a party. You are considered a member of the party whose primary you show up at. I show up at the Republican primaries too. Also a member of the Prince William County Republican Committee. If you are still interested in politics, you may wish to join your local Republican Party in Texas and figure out how you can contribute. My guess is that during your involvement with New York politics you learned quite a bit. The folks in Texas could find that helpful.

          Like

  7. I am not baffled by Trump Derangement Syndrome only because I remember it well under its predecessor, George W Bush. I was a bit more naive then and really could not understand why the Democrats loathed such a gentle and faith based man, even if they disagreed on politics.

    For the majority of the Left though, politics is their religion and so anything that challenges it must be destroyed. It’s either that or engage in critical thinking, which, if done properly, would shatter too many a world view.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. @Tricia

      If I remember correctly, I voted for W, but disagreed with him vehemently on the need to invade Iraq and then involve us in the endless quagmires of nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, I always thought Bush was a decent man, even though a bad president. (Sure miss him now though).

      Obama also is a decent man. I can understand why people would disagree with Obama. I disagreed with him on some things too. However, the Right incongruously demonized Obama both as an effective tyrant and a bumbling thief, sometimes in the same paragraph.

      I disagree with you on one point though. Maybe we shouldn’t make a religion out of politics, but if our politics were actually a little more Christlike, maybe we could be more civil and less personally condemning.

      I don’t like what Trump is doing to our country and the world. I don’t like the way that he glorifies selfishness, lust and greed. But I think he is one of God’s children, a sinner, just like the rest of us.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. TS, I agree with a lot of what you say and your previous comment to Tom makes sense. “Normal” people can’t be typecast in to a political D or R box and there is a variety of thought that runs through both lines.

        However, with true ideologues it’s a bit easier and I see this type of derangement syndrome more on the far left than the far right, although it does exist on both sides. Maybe it’s because I know an extraordinary amount of far left folks who are extremely rigid in their beliefs, but yet are completely unaware of how little they really know, that I am biased towards thinking the worst about them, but I see it lived out every day.

        Being more Christlike in our politics? Well that’s a grand idea and really has nothing to do with religion yet still the left would never allow this. 😉

        Happy New Year!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. @Tricia

          Being more Christlike in our politics? Well that’s a grand idea and really has nothing to do with religion yet still the left would never allow this. 😉

          There is actually quite a bit about government in the Bible. What would being more Christlike in our politics involve? The primary thing would be self restraint.

          Jesus said to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s. What government exists to do is to protect us from each other. What we start using government to take the things we want from our neighbors, we are giving both our integrity and our neighbors to the government. No self restraint in that!

          We are suppose to give ourselves to God, and we are supposed to allow our neighbors to give themselves to God. Just as that coin had Caesar’s image on it, we have God’s image on us.

          Yet, as you say, there are some who are not the least interested in making our politics more Christlike. The best we can do is try to out campaign and out vote them.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. @anon

    “It’s not an alternate reality.
    The reality is: Trump versus Hillary.
    Those were the only two options.”

    In your reality Clinton is presently still an option? If so, can I live in your reality with you? 😉

    As for specifics, I’m not knowledgeable enough to condemn Trump on his actions with regard to breaking with our allies on TPP, the Paris Accord, and threatening to abandon NAFTA and the deal with Iran. It always amazes me when people have strong opinions on complex matters like this even though they have not read the agreements and are not qualified to speak on the science or the economic principles and data, even if they did.

    I don’t like the dangerous trend away from the post WWII order that we lead and prospered by and his movement toward nationalistic isolationism though, nor do I like Trump’s efforts to attack, discredit and dismantle all the necessary institutions of modern democracy. I will be thrilled to learn from Muellar that Putin doesn’t own Trump, but American leadership in the post WWII alliances and institutional democracy are the worst threats to Putin’s corrupt kleptocracy. If Trump isn’t really Putin’s puppet, then he is doing everything Putin would want him to do to eliminate these threats anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “In your reality Clinton is presently still an option?”
      It’s not “my reality”.
      Reality requires context.
      Context offers the “why” behind the “here and now”.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Hi Tom, hope you had a Merry Christmas. Best wishes for 2018.

    So you want to know why people hate Trump? I’m not in that camp, but maybe you are willing to take the answer of someone who considers Trump to not hold a quality that would make him a good president. To start off, implying that opponents to Trump simply “hate” him, is a nice touch, Tom, as you thus paint them as simply giving in to base emotions, without rational thought to back this attitude.

    No, I do not hate Trump, but going by his behaviour and actions, I simply think Trump is a terrible and inadequate president, both for the USA and its allies.

    Trump displays all the qualities I do not want to see in a politician in a leadership role, much less an important one.

    Let’s start with intellectual capabilities. By all reports, he has a short attention span, seems incapable of grasping complex settings, is not very well-informed, but unwilling to learn. I have yet to hear him discuss any complex topic at any sort of depth. Attempts at in-depth interviews invariably end in a display of lack of knowledge, meandering thoughts, boasting, drifting off-topic and telling full-out lies.

    On the personal level, Trump is vain, in constant need of having his ego stroked and susceptible to people abusing this weakness. He is short tempered and vengeful. He is happy to divide the American people and be the president of his followers only, if that.

    Trump is a scammer, as you can see in his treatment of contractors and the Trump “University” fiasco.

    As a politician, Trump has squandered a valuable asset the USA had for nothing in return: reliability towards its allies. What makes it worse, is that about half of the US population supports this attitude. It will take decades to rebuild the trust that Trump and the Republicans have destroyed, if at all.

    At the same time, Trump is happy to misinform his followers. Let me pick a topic that affects me: NATO. Time and again he tells his supporters that most NATO partners do not “pay” 2% of their GDP to NATO, implying that NATO partners owe the US “billions and trillions” of dollars. Nothing could be further from the truth. First off, NATO partners do not pay into NATO apart from a combined budget of about 2 billion USD annually to run NATO headquarters, administration. In round numbers, the USA is picking up 22% of these 2 billion USD, Germany 15%, France and the UK 12% each. The 2% of GDP are the size of of the military budget of each country to be spent on defense, a target to be reached by 2024 (Germany is at 1.2% of GDP pure defense budget). This money may include money spent on international conflict prevention, too. None of that money would go from any of the NATO partners to the USA, or has gone in the past. You will see claims that 72% of the defense spending of all NATO countries is done by the USA. What usually goes unmentioned is that only about 4.5% of that US spending (about 30 billion dollars) is spent by the US on its NATO commitments in Europe. In return the US has bases, staging areas, communication centers and hospitals in Europe, which are invaluable assets for fighting in the Middle East.

    To come back to the US military budget, the other 95% is being spent on fighting wars in the Middle East and projecting power worldwide, in order to protect US interests. Even the raw numbers of defense spending are not directly comparable, as the US counts e.g. the health care costs of its soldiers and veterans towards defense spending (which accounts for 10% of the budget), whereas countries like Germany do not include these costs in their military budget.

    Should you have gleaned any part of the above info from a Trump speech, please provide a link. (Apart from the they-do-not-pay-the-2% and the they-owe-us-wads-of-money rethoric, obviously).

    So while there is lip-service to fulfill the US article 5 commitments (an attack on one is an attack on all) the Trump administration has qualified that to only-if-you-pay-enough. Trump has even floated the idea to require Germany and others to directly pay for US protection in a public speech, turning the US military into a bunch of mercenaries and guns-for-hire. All the time insinuating deceitfully and wrongfully time and again in speeches to his faithful, that European partners directly owe the US billions and billions of dollars for past protection services.

    Under Jimmy Carter, there was no doubt whatsoever, that the USA would unhesitantly defend each and any NATO partner.
    Under Ronald Reagan, there was no doubt whatsoever, that the USA would unhesitantly defend each and any NATO partner.
    Under George Bush, there was no doubt whatsoever, that the USA would unhesitantly defend each and any NATO partner.
    Under Bill Clinton, there was no doubt whatsoever, that the USA would unhesitantly defend each and any NATO partner.
    Under George W Bush, there was no doubt whatsoever, that the USA would unhesitantly defend each and any NATO partner.
    Under Barack Obama, there was no doubt whatsoever, that the USA would unhesitantly defend each and any NATO partner.
    The USA under Donald J. Trump, Mike Pence and James Mattis, this holds no longer true by their own words.

    I see two possibilities to explain Trumps behavior:
    a) Trump is playing 6th-dimensional domino-chess-bridge
    b) The emperor has no clothes.

    I’m siding with option b), as I have seen no evidence whatsoever to the contrary. You may have an option c), d) etc. to propose.

    Like

    1. I’ll just address this statement for now:
      “Let me pick a topic that affects me: NATO. Time and again he tells his supporters that most NATO partners do not “pay” 2% of their GDP to NATO, implying that NATO partners owe the US “billions and trillions” of dollars.”

      Since he has stated this “time and again” I’ll assume you have a quote.
      I’ve never heard this statement before. Where and when has he stated NATO partners owe 2% of their GDP to NATO?

      What they have agreed to (as a side note, since I assure you this affects me very personally as well), is to spend 2 percent of their GDP on their OWN defense. This due to the fact NATO is a defensive alliance. A defensive alliance requires commitment from the respective countries. If I expect everyone else to come to my defense when invaded, and I promise to commit to 2 percent of my GDP expenditure on my own defense before they have to pony up and save me, and then I pay less than that I am not holding to my promise, and I am placing a greater burden on them (you’d stated as much above: “Germany is at 1.2% of GDP pure defense budget” thank you for making that easy)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BTW, Germany’s “top gun” type training takes place in Alamogordo, NM.
        Those are some great pilots. They are stationed there because Alamogordo offers training unavailable anywhere in Europe. Lots of bombing ranges, great weather just about every day of the year.
        They can’t train as well in Europe, with very strict restrictions all around.
        As of 2019, the Luftwaffe will leave Alamogordo.
        That training apparently isn’t very important to the German government.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I was unaware of the closing down of the German station at Holloman AFB, so I tried to read up on it. From what I can discern, training profiles have changed due to technological advances. The improved access to precission ammunition and laser guided munitions makes it possible to do the training w/o the need for bombing ranges. Hence, flight training can nowadays be performed within the European theatre, greatly reducing costs and delays due to the time-consuming export of replacement parts to the AFB. The new main training center will be in Jagel, Germany.

          Like

      2. What they have agreed to (as a side note, since I assure you this affects me very personally as well), is to spend 2 percent of their GDP on their OWN defense.

        What part exactly of “a target to be reached by 2024” do you not understand?

        Here’s the precise wording, from section 14 of the 2014 NATO Wales Summit Declaration, which is the basis of the 2% of GDP target.

        […] we are guided by the following considerations:
        […]
        – Allies whose current proportion of GDP spent on defence is below this level will:
        — halt any decline in defence expenditure;
        — aim to increase defence expenditure in real terms as GDP grows;
        — aim to move towards the 2% guideline within a decade with a view to meeting their NATO Capability Targets and filling NATO’s capability shortfalls.

        Note the “within a decade” part.

        I’ll assume you have a quote

        1) Trump, Pensacola, December 8th, 2017
        Read the transcript from the paragraph starting “And I’ve strengthen our relationships with America’s allies and asked other NATO members” to the paragraph including “She said, Donald, the German people wouldn’t be happy with that.”
        You’ll see the 72% nonsense I mentioned above, Furthermore, you’ll find “I said Angela, send a little of that cash flow our way”, implying payment to the US.

        2) Trump on Twitter, March 18th, 2017
        Despite what you have heard from the FAKE NEWS, I had a GREAT meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Nevertheless, Germany owes…..
        …vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!
        [1] https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/843088518339612673
        [2] https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/843090516283723776

        Like

        1. “What part exactly of “a target to be reached by 2024” do you not understand?”

          The two percent has been the standard for a while.
          Almost 40 years ago a 3% of GDP target was set in 1977 NATO Ministerial Guidance.
          After the cold war ended, that figure no longer held, but in 2006 at the Riga summit it is clear 2 percent is the standard:
          From the Riga Summit in 2006:
          “The CPG does remind members that they should aim to spend two percent of GDP on defense, but the CPG in no way commits members to doing so. (Of NATO’s 26 members, only 7 have met this target to date.)”

          CPG = “Comprehensive political guidance”

          I’ll have to address the rest later (family in town…I don’t have the time to check out these links right now but I should in a day or two).

          Per the closure of the Holloman location for German pilots, two things…
          First, no, the same level training is not possible in Germany. No, not even with advanced technology. Pilots need to fly and they need to practice to become proficient.
          Second, you might be right. Perhaps cost to gains it is better to train them in country if the costs are too great and difference in gains doesn’t amount to enough.
          But please keep this in mind it goes both ways.
          Above you’ve mentioned our bases and correctly note that we have numerous ones overseas, and we benefit. There are benefits to your country having them there as well. There are also expenses for us to have them there.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. I’ll have to address the rest later (family in town…I don’t have the time to check out these links right now but I should in a day or two).
          No worries, I’ll check back later. Have fun.

          As for spending too little on defense, yes that is what is happening in Germany. On the one hand, after reunification Russia was no longer seen as the adversary, but a possible partner (and man was that a miscalculation). It was one of the reasons to discontinue the draft and reduce the size of the standing army. Furthermore, we needed money to build up East Germany and some was taken from defense. This has led to serious troubles in weapon system readiness. So yes, we need to increase our spending and all of that is up to reasonable debate.

          However, what I argue against is, that we neither have a binding obligation to spend 2% of GDP, much less to do so NOWNOWNOW. Not to mention, that we have no contractual obligation to pay the US money for the protection (past, present or future) as part of the NATO membership. All points that Trump claims or insinuates to his followers. Oh, and one point Trump fails to mention: There has so far been exactly one instance of invocation of Article 5, which is 9/11. NATO allies – including Germany amongst many others- have fought alongside the US amongst others in Afghanistan and are still there today.

          Like

        3. Just a little detail. The United States spends quite a bit on its military. Yet we are far away from the world’s trouble spots. The European Union spends relatively less, and …… Well, we each have the greatest obligation to pay for our own defense. Complaining about Trump may be fashionable in some quarters, but there is something odd about expecting someone else to defend us if we are not willing to make our own best effort to help our allies.

          Like

        4. “However, what I argue against is, that we neither have a binding obligation to spend 2% of GDP, much less to do so NOWNOWNOW. Not to mention, that we have no contractual obligation to pay the US money for the protection (past, present or future) as part of the NATO membership.”

          True. NATO countries do have some specific defense requirements/agreements but they are not public access and there’s little way for us here to know what they are.

          “All points that Trump claims or insinuates to his followers.”
          His words are for an American audience but I agree it is implied.

          Liked by 1 person

        5. “There has so far been exactly one instance of invocation of Article 5, which is 9/11. NATO allies – including Germany amongst many others- have fought alongside the US amongst others in Afghanistan and are still there today.”

          True. Thanks for helping us out.
          I answered a bit more below earlier today but hadn’t read this post yet.
          I have nothing but great things to say about the military members who serve in the military. We’ve been stationed with them (the pilots, though not in Germany but in the US) twice, and they are exceptional.

          Liked by 1 person

        6. SHould’ve been “I have nothing but great things to say about the military members who serve in the German military.

          Like

    2. marmoewp

      Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2018. Thanks for visiting again. Missed you.

      Is Trump a good president? Since I am quite pleased with his performance over the last year, I think he is a good president. Since anon has chosen to respond to your comments, I will try not to be redundant. Generally she and I see eye-to-eye, and she knows how to make a good case.

      So you want to know why people hate Trump?

      The expression “Trump Derangement Syndrome” is not something I had to invent. It exists because the effects are observable. What is not as obvious is exactly why Trump deranges people? Hence the question.

      Are you in that camp or not? I don’t have as my objective proving to someone else what they are thinking or feeling. Pointless. Why someone thinks something or feels something is a bit more interesting. I am not happy with your answer, but I am happy you were willing to share it and that you focused on a single, debatable topic. Thank you.

      Like

  10. Okay, I read the links.

    A picture is worth a thousand words, and by the look of things, German spending (as a percentage of GDP) on its own defense looks to be at about the lowest point in four decades.
    https://www.pgpf.org/chart-archive/0184_ally_defense_spending

    Having mentioned above that you want no doubt the US military will come to your defense in time of need…shouldn’t you do a little better toward your own defense?
    Do you want us to have the ability to help you out in time of need, or just a little puppet force to show we “did out part”?
    Assuming it’s the former 2 percent has been the goal for a long while…it’s not the 2024 projection you seem to believe it is.
    No, most NATO countries (as noted at the Riga summit) are not meeting that objective (there is no enforcement arm, we can only ask). But few are failing it quite so egregiously.
    I agree that Trump isn’t asking very nicely, but we’ve been asking nicely for a while now.
    It’s possible (probable from the sound of things) that you’re unaware of the shape your military is in.

    Here is a link to data from the NATO participation in the Balkan campaign
    https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1365/MR1365.ch3.pdf

    Figure 3.2—In-Theater Aircraft Buildup is particularly telling. US forces conducted the majority of bombing missions and almost all of the night time missions (if memory serves, our allies weren’t trained in night bombing for the most part, and some of them had unions that forbid “off hours”)
    And things were better in 1999 than they are now. We had more aircraft. It’s same for our allies.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m on the fence…I’ve mentioned before it is uniquely refreshing to not read words released only after begin scrubbed through the PR boiler room.

          Think this about sums it up (I’ve heard it elsewhere, can’t take the credit):
          Trump supporters take him seriously but not literally.
          Trump detractors take him literally, but not seriously.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. That’s pretty good! As funny as it is, I think that quote is correct. Most of the people I have heard who support Trump never expected him to accomplish as much as he has.

          Like

    1. Unions? Soldiers have unions? Are they mad?

      When we go to war, we do what we have to do to win. If it is a voluntary army, you better know what you signed up for, but the worst thing is losing.

      Like

  11. People hate Trump for the same reasons they hate God, hate one another, hate their neighbor, hate themselves — It’s all explained in …. ◄ 2 Timothy 3 ►
    King James Bible
    Evil in the Last Days
    1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 8Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. 9But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your pingback has almost nothing to do with this post. Your post is about complaints from people about Donald Trump’s supposed womanizing. Given the source of the complaints, those complaints are generally quite hypocritical. Given the readiness of Liberal Democrats to destroy men without due process when a sexual harassment complaint is made against them, I supposed I should have mentioned it anyway, but I did not bother.

      My post focuses on the charge that Trump supposedly colluded with the Russians. There is no evidence to support the charge, we Democrats got their special prosecutor anyway. That is not good, to say the least.

      Like

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