Republicans are panicking that Donald Trump is ruining their good name while Democratic atheists are praying to god that Trump somehow manages to stay in the race through many a debate. They think this ex-Democrat and Republican apprentice who made “branding” the tackiest marketing trick on earth is their best hope to keep trashing the GOP’s brand without spending a Democratic dime.
I don’t buy it. It’s not that Trump isn’t vulgar, racist, mean, obnoxious, irrational, fact-challenged, loudmouthed, homophobic, xenophobic, sanctimonious, and a demagogue with Crazy Harry for hair. But that extraterrestrial mane aside, he’s almost indistinguishable from the other 14 Republican crackpots running for president. With the exception of George Pataki and Jeb Bush, who are as boring as Hillary Clinton, Trump is the prototype, not the exception. His fellow-candidates stand for almost exactly what he stands for. They just couch it more politically, which is to say more sleazily: they trump Trump.
Even dull Jeb is more Trump than not. He’s supposedly the most moderate of the herd. Yet what Bush actually stands for would have placed him way to the right of Barry Goldwater in 1964. And Goldwater is the guy who made Ronald Reagan look like a lefty in comparison. (Goldwater, who saw the religious right for the fundamentalist threat it was to secular government, suggested Jerry Falwell deserved a good kick in the balls, was all for gays in the military a generation before Democrats caught on, and blamed Republicans for damaging themselves more than Democrats ever could, is now what you’d call a moderate Democrat, putting him left of Hillary Clinton.)
So let’s take Bush as Republicans’ Great White Hope. What helps Bush most is America’s infatuation with amnesia. If it didn’t happen on your last five days’ Facebook feed, it never happened.
I’m not referring to Bush’s unfortunate name association with the nation’s last one term president. Nor am I referring to his unfortunate sibling status with the nation’s worst president since James Buchanan. That would be as unfair as judging Hillary Clinton by the blue dresses she wears (though let’s not entirely dismiss Jeb’s role as governor in playing Rasputin to the conveniently clueless Katherine Harris in Florida’s four-vote coronation of brother George).
I am referring to Bush’s record as governor of our beleaguered state of Florida, and his Facebook likes since.
I’m referring to how he ordered a feeding tube shoved down Terri Schiavo’s throat in one of the nastiest case of executive and immoral overreach in Florida’s history, or his Vatican-versus-Galileo-like opposition to using public money for stem cell research, or the way he pushed approval of those gaudy “Choose Life” license plates and got a parental consent law passed in 2007 against teens seeking abortions, or his continued homophobia couched as support for “traditional” marriage. And that’s just on so-called values issues.
This is the guy who still thinks of Cuba as a Soviet colony and of the Middle East as an American one, who holds the dishonor of signing the nation’s first Stand Your Ground law, who made harsher an already Sino-styled sentencing regime, who couldn’t see a mental-health budget he couldn’t cut as he cut taxes by billions as governor, who pioneered the pseudo-privatization of public schools under the guise of vouchers, he created Florida’s nightmarish system of school “accountability” and asinine testing regime without significantly improving Floridians’ college literacy, he corrupted the independence of the judiciary by ending the bar association’s role in nominations (to elevate his own), opposes a federal minimum wage (but not a state wage), and who dodges questions about global warming by hiding behind his I’m-not-a-scientist cop-out.
Naturally, he wants to eviscerate Obamacare because recognizing that it gave health insurance to 16 million Americans would make him a socialist, though like every other Republican on the planet he has no alternative for the uninsured that doesn’t add up to a Trump version of screw-‘em. I’ll give him this much: he also provided $1 billion for Florida’s environmental land acquisitions, he fought the good fight on the common core and he doesn’t think every Mexican who crosses the Rio Grande is a drug addict or a rapist. He has to answer to his Mexican-born wife.
But if immigration and common core are the only things that make him look remotely like a sellout to Republicans, it’s because they’re the exceptions to his rule. Bush is as Bush as they come, just Bushier.
I could go down the list of his other 13 compadres, starting with Florida’s other sorta native son Marco Rubio, the Kissinger of the bunch. But it would be too depressing an exercise for the end of Ramadan, when we should be celebrating less dismal prospects, beer or gin in hand. Anyway you get the point. If Jeb Bush’s moderation is just Donald Trump in antebellum drag, Rubio and the other 12 angry trolls are just yips and yowls in a hall of mirrors. Among them, even Donald Trump can sound moderate when he’s not looking at himself in their mirrors.
Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him on Twitter @PierreTristam. A version of this piece aired on WNZF.
So who is your candidate Pierre?
Ron R. says
Trump is the best thing that could happen to the Democratic party.
Michael Randazzo says
[Michael, I previously kept my responses to you private for a couple of reasons: your comments were being banned to start with, and it wouldn’t be fair to have mine appear without yours, but more to the point, I was trying to spare you the embarrassment of my publicly putting you in your place. Since you don’t seem to learn, since you insist on continuing to harass me and threaten my business through your Facebook page, as you suggest in your las message to me on July 20, I’m making these exchanges public. Clearly, you don’t know our history, or the recent attempt by another misguided member of our wonderful community to call for a boycott of this site—which resulted in a good many new financial contributions and a couple of new advertising accounts instead. So go ahead. Call for your boycott. We don’t kowtow to fools, but we will expose them. Speaking of which: The first rule of our comment section is: Don’t make your comments personal. Attack the ideas, don’t attack the writer. You’ve been breaking that rule with almost every comment you’ve posted, we’ve let too many of them pass while asking you repeatedly to behave better. You’ve refused. You did it again here. You could have said all you like about the points raised in the column but chose to attack me personally instead. I haven’t called you names before, but now I do, since that’s the only language you seem comfortable with: you’re an asshole, and as much as that doesn’t distinguish you much from a good number of commenters, there are limits when the asshole in question clogs the sewer pipes and threatens our business on our own pages. Go stick that on your Facebook page and wherever else the sun don’t shine. So we’ll help your boycott along from this end: consider yourself banned for the foreseeable future. Thanks for the relief.—PT]
[Note: the commenter’s July 20 insults are not included here because they implicate our advertisers.]
[Michael, I live in a community filled to the gills with right-wing nuts, every piece I write draws endless comments bashing the shit out of me, and getting published for all to see, pieces I put out there and on this community’s right-wing radio station, I’ve been at it for about a quarter century, counting my printed columns, which drew the same sort of response, and you’re calling me thin skinned? You must be kidding me old man. You’re grasping at worse than straws. You’re the straw man. You’re just pissed that your bullshit isn’t getting through because it it stinks a bit worse than the usual crap, and I’m not going to waste my readers’ time with it. Go ahead and delude yourself with your pretensions to “wisdom” all you like. You’re a funny guy, I’ll give you that. But not in my house. There’s a minimum of intelligence I demand even from batshit reactionaries and their narcissist little cousins, if they expect to have their comment see light of day. But enough now. I have more serious work to do, like watching the tics in the yard have their siesta.–PT]
Even bigger wow at how microscopically thin your skin is.
“Me thinks the women protests too much.”
Hey Pierre, I’m 60, been around the block a few times, forgive me for offering you a little of my well worn wisdom. What do you want to be when you grow up? Obviously this will kill you with such thin skin, might want to take up water color or something less stressful.
[Michael, I’m all for debating the issues head on. But stay on topic and spare me the condescension and English-teacher bullshit. We’ve generally given you more leeway with your comments than they deserve because you at least have the balls to sign them. But if you can’t be bothered to read the actual piece and discuss its substance while refraining from personal insults, don’t waste my time or my reader’s time. As the president recently said, you’re in my house here. Show a little more than balls, especially if you were sincere about that coffee invitation.–PT]
Wow. Just Wow. I am glad you are not a fake “Objective” Reporter. Nobody has any doubts where you stand Pierre. I couldn’t read your whole article, I have a life, but the first two paragraphs prove that you are what you eat. Your description of Trump is so over the top you negate anyone wanting to know more about your opinion. After that who can take you seriously?
I post a lot of my opinions on my Facebook page. I blow off a lot of steam, sometimes I sound like a raving lunatic so I know how it feels to be so passionate about something. I have even taken on you here on opinions I disagree with. But the truth is Pierre, as angry as I sound it is not who I am in life. I am very happy and content in my personal life.
You my friend really need to get a grip. The vitriol you spew in the first two paragraphs prove to me you are not rational at all. The list of adjectives you use to characterize Trump are like a list from a thesaurus not a rational argument to prove the validation of your viewpoint.
I was a magician for 15 years and performed in front of large and small audiences, one thing I learned years ago is Edit edit edit. When you think it is smooth enough cut some more. “Brevity is the soul of whit” Pierre.
Derrick R. says
It’s an American thing you wouldn’t understand.
Hey Pierre – interesting that you should mention the “end of Ramadan”. What’s your take on the Muslim trash who killed five U S servicemen on U S soil? Just a misunderstood prankster looking for fourteen virgins, right? But of course, our Pussy-in-Chief still refuses to acknowledge this enemy for what is – Radical Islam. Wouldn’t want to offend anyone.
Trump is in it for himself IMO. He is not in my top 3 or4 Rs to vote for but neither is jebb or Pataki to other “moderate” Rs you seem to kinda like. I just love how the media calls left wing Rs moderate?? As bad as Trump is he could not possibly be any worse then the last few presidents we have put in place.
John H. Yankovich says
The eternal dilemma continues. The rift between republican/democrat, conservative/liberal, traditionalist/progressive etc. But when you pick an emotional response and then select favorable facts the issue becomes preachy. The facts remain that the labor participation rate remains in the low 60 percentages, the lowest in forty years. The national debt is out of control which is barely serviceable. Food stamps participation have increased over 40 % in last 6 years. Interest is near zero on savings which seniors depend on. The Keystone pipeline was vetoed that would have created 20,000 jobs with out any cost to the government, granted some only temporary. The GNP at the lowest level after the so called recovery. These facts remain in spite of your political ideology!
John you have summed it up perfectly!
A sanders vs Trump race would be fun to see.
The Donald makes me reminisce of Rula Lenska and Alberto VO5 Hair Spray.
The Donald steps in Shit again!
The Donald won’t apologize.
Donald Trump, the brazen Republican candidate for president, told ABC News Sunday he does not owe Arizona senator John McCain an apology for saying “he’s not a war hero” and then later that “he’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
“No Not at all,” he said in an interview with ABC News Sunday morning.
Trump made the controversial comments at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames Iowa Saturday, which drew a large amount of boos from those in attendance…………….N.Y. Daily News July 19,2015
Al Ruiz says
Some politicians claim answers to things like building a wall and teaching the world a lesson when they become president. These political sound bites sound great on the surface until you begin to think about what they are really saying. Let’s take a look at history to see similarities.
The Russians built a wall. They claimed the wall was there to protect their people from the people outside the wall. But we in the free world new different! Then a courageous U.S. president came along. He was the leader of the free world. His name was Regan and he told Gorbachev to tear down their oppressive wall. And soon after that speech the Russian’s Great wall came down.
And now some of our brilliant leaders have come up with what they believe is a fantastic idea. They want to build a Great wall to do what? They say that they want to protect us from the people on the other side of this wall. Does this sound similar to the reasoning for the Russian wall? And so, would this wall mark the end of the free world as we enjoy it today? If you say no, then why would what we clearly see the problems a wall caused another country yet we cannot see the problem with the wall these politicians want to build.
And these politicians claim that the wall would end many of our problems. However, the drug problem will not stop as long as Americans continue with their demand for more drugs, etc. So, if the wall is built the drugs will find another source of least resistance. The drugs and other problems will come by sea, by air, by tunnel, from Canada, and the home grown drugs will probably increase also. If you doubt this then look back at prohibition because it serves as a documented testimony of this fact.
Anyone that can use common sense knows that if you stop the demand the supply will automatically stop. However, if you increase the demand the supply will automatically fill the demand one way or the other.
Al the wall trump and just about every president including 0bama has said we need is not to keep Americans IN like the berlin wall did. How many where killed by the east Germany boarder guards trying to get into east Germany?? No their wall was to keep their own people in. the wall talked about with Mexico is to have people come and go between the two in a lawful way. it is not at all like the Berlin wall.
Trump gives voice to the worst of Republican conservatism. And I fear that he is not a “fringe” candidate but, rather, represents typical conservatives in this country – old, white, angry, bigoted and fearful of losing their privledged majority in American society. He will lose and they will lose.
Pierre, another slanted column. A few things about Cuba you don;t know. Russia this year had quietly struck a deal with Cuba to reopen the Lourdes military base, a Soviet-era spy base and military facility that was the USSR’s largest foreign base during the Cold War
Last August, Putin paid a visit to Cuba, where the Russian strongman reportedly forgave 90 percent of Cuba’s unpaid Soviet-era debts, which totaled $32 billion.
Putin also reportedly signed industry, energy and trade deals with Cuba that includes a search for oil in Cuban waters.
These are a few items, so Bush is spot on. Cuba is tying to court Russia and the US.
And this is bad for Cuba how?
The 2008 election proved American voters do Not value experience in electing their President. Not sure how different the Red vs. Blue state dichotomy is today than when GW Bush was Pres. Many people thought he was not someone they respected( and made it perfectly clear with their vitriol). Just as today, there are scores of people who detest the President & believe the country is Way Off course….So , looking ahead to 2016, it seems the citizenry can/ will pick anyone in the field..from Bernie Sanders to Trump…If Hilary wins , the status quo will prevail. If Bush is the nominee, the same people who hated his Brother, will Not even give him a chance. “That’s the story Richie !”(from the movie, LOVERS & Other Strangers in ’70’s)
It is funny when a candidate speaks the truth it really hurts. Trump speaks the truth and you call him a racist. I believe that you are the racist for spreading this propaganda.
THE VOICE OF REASON says
12 Angry Trolls!
Biggest laugh I’ve had in months.
If we have any hope of reversing the bs this country has gone through in the last seven years it has to be Walker or Trump. This country has become the laughing stock of the world..
Oh yea Candyman, Walker or Trump will make all of them take us seriously! BwaaaHaaaHaaaa!
pierre you are a liberal socialist and our country is being transformed into
muslim terrorisits gunning down and beheading american citizens almost
every month and selling our soul to wicked iran who hates america, passing
same sex marriage, selling aborted babies parts, legalizing pot, illegals
flooding in the country, obama care is a disaster. obama is destroying america
you may wakeup some day and say what has happened. jesus christ invites
to repent because he is americas only hope. john3-3 you must be born again
to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Stan, you forgot that his feet stink and he don’t love Jesus.
Sherry E says
Dear hate mongering, scripture quote rs. . . please, please do give us all a list of all the many things you personally have done in the past year to lovingly care for and support human kind/ our country/ our state.
I fed, housed, and clothed my family that I created. Oh yeah, and I paid about $50,000 in taxes, so I certainly fed, housed, and clothed many others as well.
Well, you must be a small businessman. Because they are the only ones paying a large portion of their income in taxes today since the really rich and corporations don’t hardly pay a dime. Somebody has to pay them so we can fight wars on five continents and buy billion dollar fighters that can’t fly. You keep supporting the Republicans who have gutted the tax code for the really wealthy and the poor don’t have shit to take, so it’s got to be you. Keep spreading that trickle down bullshit and don’t forget to vote Republican! But please stop whining when they shove it up your ass.
Tom Jacks says
After you Sherry. Please impress us with your long lists of how you have personally changed the world with your compassionate works helping the underprivileged, poor, and repressed around the world.
Politics sure raises people’s blood pressure on this site. It seems this is the objective of Flagler Live. Provoke passion, stoke the fires of idealism …
the DONALD says what most americans think…PERIOD..
Your right. About 50% of the American people are below average in intelligence, and you throw in the ones that are just plain mean and you got most of the American people.
Ron R. says
It’s disheartening to see that so many people who support Trump can’t see what an egocentric, narcissistic, petty fool he is.
He’s only in this for the publicity and to stroke his massive ego, and it’s just a matter of time before his “candidacy” crashes and burns.
My Daily Rant says
Isnt it funny how Democrats call anyone who doesn’t agree with them either Haters or Racists,On Immigration its out of control period We no longer have control over who comes into our Country.If they built a wall which I don’t think we need for someone to compare it to the Berlin wall well all I can say is take your Meds. because you have a serious problem.With. Immirgrants coming here from the Middle East well they need to be screened closer because I think the most Violent people on this Planet come from there.Who else can cut the Head off a Human Being or send Family members into a crowded place with a Bomb strapped on them.These Muslims have no problem takeing our money while they burn our Flags on their streets.Maybe what we need is Trump, Obama didn’t do to well.
It is obvious he is the prototype, that is why he is leading in the so-called polls.
In addition take a read of many of the comments here. These folks are in bed with him.
Many people think like him and in private probably espouse the same rhetoric and worse.
Samuel L. Bronkowitz says
Don’t forget, many of the people posting in the comments section also proudly voted for Rick Scott. If they don’t see any issues with letting the former CEO of a health insurance company that was on the receiving end of the largest medicare fraud settlement in history run the state that they themselves live in, why would they have issues with a clown like Trump? He’s basically like a fat Rick Scott with more hair.
Seriously, gotta laugh at the people wanting this nation run like one of his businesses. He’s bankrupted a number of them and had to go crying elsewhere for money.
And Obama has added more to the debt than every single president in history COMBINED!!!
Pierre, you are so out of touch. Trump is an arrogant fool. First insults the Mexicans (ALL) and now he insults a man who served in the military and was a POW while Trump dodged the military. Trump is not a prototype for any party but his own arrogant bankroll.
Sherry E says
Member/Contributor National Organization for Women
Member/Contributor Democratic Party
Board of Directors National Association of Computer Consultant Businesses
Over 40 years, paid well over $100,000 in income and property/school taxes
Campaign manager United Way
Peace Protest Leader (six times)
Lobbied Congress in DC on Behalf of High Tech Workers (over 6 years)
Financial Contributor to Political Campaigns
Financial Contributor in Behalf of Abused Women (many times)
Financial Contributor and Solicitor for Breast Cancer Campaigns (many times)
Managed/Contributed to Clothing Drives (many times)
Active in Environmental Campaigns (many times)
Managed Campaigns for Getting Out the Vote (many times)
Support Drives that Benefit Veterans (many times)
I could go on and on. . . but you get the picture. . .
Yes, I do my best to support Justice for All Humans, Aid to Those in Need, Protect our Environment, Put Good People in Political Office, Stamp Out Hatred/Racism/Corruption/Inequality, Etc. Etc. Etc.
And. . . you Tom Jacks and Stan?????
#2 takes you out of the running for doing good for this Republic and its people. ;)
Sherry E says
Darling Norton Smitty . . . You, yet again, have put your finger right on the horrific problem. . .
Donald Trump is a ridiculous laughing stock to anyone with any kind of intelligence and honor! He is a blow hard racist who has made his money by taking incredible advantage of the much too lenient bankruptcy laws in the USA, while completely screwing over his creditors. There is absolutely nothing to admire about any person who constantly takes advantage of every loophole to add to his personal fortune, while caring nothing for his ethical obligations. NO Ethics! NO Integrity! NO Honor! NO Honesty!
He is a charlatan who uses emotional triggers to bring out the worst in people. . . a fear and hate monger!
The really troubling part is that as Norton has pointed out. . . considering the intelligence level of US citizens and the number of those that hate fellow humans. . . many people actually think Trump the clown has something to say. . . for no other reason than he has amassed big bucks through his nefarious acts. How easily people of little intelligence are bought!!!
How very, very Tragic! How very, very Sad! How very, very, worrying for the future of our nation and our culture!!!!
Those of you who say Trump is too different to run the country are scared he’ll take away some of the free stuff you’re getting from this liberal bs=er we have now. This guy has one objective and that’s to distroy this once great country of ours.
carol mikola says
Pierre, what is wrong with you? This article is just an emotional diatribe. Calling the Republican candidates for president crackpots and angry trolls is silly and childish.
My father told me never to have a battle of wits with a liberal because being unarmed it isn’t fair to him. However I must remind you Dem/libs that : “You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we’ll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens. You can give everyone healthcare if you can find any practicing doctors. We’ll practice trickle-down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot. And finally, since it often so offends you, we’ll keep our history, our name and our flag. Trump offends you because he is right and saying things you don’t want to hear.
So you like the police, NRA, and military?
The police are a socialist organization. The tax payers pay for them to exist and for their salaries. Ever have to swipe a credit card when you needed them to help? You have to pay dues to keep the NRA going and to elect people to represent your interests…sounds a little socialisty. You do realize the military is the same thing too, right?