The Ugly American

For the record, the Ugly American was a stereotype (and a book and movie) from the effect of the modern tourism industry of the nineteen-fifties.  Not all Americans fit the stereotype then or now.  The standard American tourist back then was rich and acted like it.  They flaunted their middle class wealth around the world and generated resentment by being arrogant and obnoxious. And they were loud doing it.  The American tourist knew little of different cultures and didn’t care to. As a consequence, they were not well regarded by the populace of other nations. Not for a long time.  But that was then.  This is now.  

Or is it? 

I don’t like Trump.

I thought that my reasons for disliking him were based on facts and knowledge.  His ‘position’ and descriptions of Muslims and Mexicans, his ‘laws’ he was going to impose. The ‘brilliant businessman approach’ that he was going to bring in to make America great again.  All the lies and false claims he makes.  The insults.  The bullying.  And, there is more. Much more. They were and are all incredibly stupid and so I rationalized that I didn’t like him, you know, from a logical, objective, fact-based point of view?

But that is not the truth.  The truth is I just don’t like him as a human being.  He’s a boor, a bully and a spoiled brat.  And I really HATE the stupid comb-over.  I also viscerally react to the faces he makes, the pouts, the grimaces, the big-open-mouthed hollers.  He’s loud in every way.  The decor of his home is nauseatingly rich-pimp-and-brothel.  Sculpted silicon manikins haunt the hallways.  And he’s so obnoxious, I want to punch him in the face. Once would not be enough.  He’s pressing all my lizard brain buttons.  I have to confess: I hate him for being rich, too.

That’s not right.  Really rich people can still be good, can’t they?

But since I am obviously descending visceral in this, I have to point out that his ‘style’ is clearly and factually divisive and that bodes poorly for a world in turmoil.  Doesn’t bode too well for a nation divided either.  Is this man a leader?  I do not think so.

That is what I think, anyway. So, is that ‘gut feel’ or is that a fact?  Lizard or Dave talking?

You’d think my thinking process would mean I default to Hillary.  But, seriously?  She’s rich and walking the Wall Street walk, too.  She seems to have dodged more than a few legal bullets from the S&L debacle to private e-mails.  She’s steeped in the establishment that has spawned this unholy mess.  She smells wrong, too.  And it is NOT like she is making courageous and heroic speeches, making good healthy promises, nor is she showing any kind of leadership except for a desperate desire for the Oval Office.

She’s ambitious, I’ll give you that but so is Trump.  My lizard does not like her very much either.

And that is what brings me to my point.  I don’t like either of them and my guess is most Americans don’t either.  In fact, I haven’t liked many of those who contend for leadership in a very long time.  Anywhere.  Stephen Harper, Christy Clark, Boris Johnson, Erdogan?

The thing that blew my mind was that, of all the GOP candidates, Jeb Bush presented as the most sane and likable.  JEB bloody BUSH!  Why, the hell, is that? Are ALL politicians simply really BAD people?

Or have they just been reduced to pablum-people by the system and no longer even hint at being real or human or compassionate or caring?  Could that be it?  We don’t like ’em because they do not demonstrate any of the humanity, morals, values and feelings we have?

And, if they do (Trudeau and Obama), it seems to amount to nothing…………..

And is that the Donald’s appeal?  At least – and I mean at the very least – he seems sick and sadly, pathetically human. He is ugly, ignorant, divisive and narcissistic.  He is stupid, biased, selfish and a bully-boy. Trump is an All American Pig of the first order.

But, given their culture, their history and their education system, maybe a lot of Americans can still relate to that?

 

36 thoughts on “The Ugly American

  1. The US and Canadian political systems have sold their souls to the lobbyists and their self righteous , financially influenced, politically correct pablum…..

    And the voting public is having none of it.

    Thus we get.
    Hillary.
    Trump.
    Brexit.
    and possibly an NDP provincial govt?

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      • Yep. but if they win.
        Proof that the “anti-vote” is gaining momentum.
        ‘Its not who I want IN power, Its who I want OUT…”

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      • True……NOT without plenty of precedent. But this time, I think none of the above are acceptable. WHO, really, do we actually want? Do you see a leader? Anywhere?.
        I, personally, want a good, honest, plain-spoken person who keeps it simple and stands accountable. I will accept that they will make mistakes and some of their crowd will go bad. Just tell it like it is. It would just be nice to start right, don’t you think? For once?

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      • Total agreement but , unfortunately, the voting public, while they say they want an honest reliable politician……when a politician says, “We’ll have to raise taxes to build that road….” They aint gettin elected.

        Truth the Proverbial death sentence

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  2. When has a lack of civility disqualified a politician from office? A brawl always attracts a crowd and an accident slows traffic to a crawl as the gawkers get an eye full. Trump as a stereotype alpha male attracts the disaffected who wish they they could say the vitriol that Trump spews. They long to speak their unfettered thoughts without considering the potential consequences of their words. The recent news cycle reminds us once more that “free speech” is not free. Most people have learned that it is best avoid incendiary topics, ironically the very topics Trump loves the best. Fannig divisions will have dire consequences.

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    • I honestly believe that civility and temperance and mildness (Milquetoast-ism), compromise and inscrutableness is essential to getting ahead in politics. That and hair, of course. Who knew hair was such a big deal. After that it is all about being Machiavellian and duplicitous. Spin and lies and evasion.
      But they ain’t rude! Trudeau said ‘fuddle duck’ and that is about it for rudeness. Brawls attract crowds but NOT votes.

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      • The paradox is that the average voter will vote against his self interests. Many want to have a democracy that only serves the few and will vote against themselves to ensure its continuation against them. The bikers are arriving in force at the Republican Convention to do what one wonders. The NRA, white supremists, global warming deniers, flat earthers and paranoids in general are all part of the Trump coalition. How can the Joes vote along with this coalition?

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      • I really can’t fathom it, either. When you are standing beside a tatted up, racist bigot packing heat and screaming hate, you have to wonder what drew you to that crowd. Joe can’t possibly feel comfortable even if he has some tendencies that way. The guy next to him is a rabid dog. And there’s lots of them.

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  3. Maybe the Shingles coloured your outlook? I’d sure hate to be on your list of ‘unliked persons’! Whatever I said about cauliflower, forget it. Or was it Laila that said she didn’t like it?
    Would it help if I said I shared your perspective on certain ‘muricans?

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    • Well, I did write it knowing that it might be a smidge provocative…..and I really DO NOT HATE ‘Mericans’. I actually like quite a few that I know personally. I even like some I do NOT know personally. I just don’t like Trump and ‘his kind’. And there is no question that too many are ignorant of other cultures and are being led by bigots and their overwhelming love of money and celebrity. I can’t tell you the number of Americans I have met who didn’t even know where Canada was! There is less than 1% that know the names of other country’s leaders. It is also true that a massive rift is forming in their society between the haves and the have-nothings – black and white and brown. And when the police are NOT respected (and many should NOT be) it is a recipe for disaster. And that disaster seems to be getting closer.
      I started that blog by simply examining my own feelings that morning and it just then wrote itself. It’s the last sentence that is somewhat incendiary but I can’t honestly retract the question….it is their history and their culture.

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  4. I am scared for the first time during an election. We still have lots of ties to the States and still have the right to vote. I just can’t believe people really want Trump as the Republican presidential candidate. I switched sides for Obama and can’t see going back in the near future. – Margy

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    • I share a bit of that fear. Trump can cause a lot of trouble if he wins. But, if he wins, it indicates that he will have many others to assist in that trouble-making and that is even scarier. I recall traveling in the US and Mexico during the GW Bush/John Kerry contest and the Americans were more than divided – they would not talk or even look at each other. Groups avoided groups in campgrounds. And that was 12 or so years ago. I am sensing it is worse now. A divided country is not a country. For the record, again…some of my best friends are Americans and none of them are ugly in that sense. They are bright, educated, tolerant and wonderful. But many of those are up here now. And the ones that remain are wringing their hands and looking for place to run to.

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      • The shame and blame game is flourishing in this election cycle as it has done in the past. Any one recall Barry Goldwater and the fear of extremism ? What is missing is a nuanced position around highly divisive issues. One side claims it will make America great again! Like many slogans it resonates but what great means is unspecified. Great as compared to…? Any vision of great wishes away some problems, some persons and revives some historical ideal time. Remember when this that and so was the case. Society is changing shall those changes be erased? It’s hard to see how this change could happen but nevertheless this romantic vision persists. Shall we bring back the 1950s but would that be with or without Jim Crow? Perplexing.

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  5. That’s why we are seeing more private/public partnerships. Golden Ears bridge is a toll bridge supposedly that is better than a entirely funded with public money bridge. User pay and all that entails but it is worth noting the new Port Mann Bridge is also tolled. Seems a semantic game is being played because a toll , “… is a form of road pricing typically implemented to help recoup the cost of road construction and maintenance, which (on public roads) amounts to a form of taxation. A toll is a tax. The web has various arguments contending the opposite point of view. It may soon be the case that all bridges are tolled. Try driving from the Fraser Valley during rush hour arrive at ones usual time and not to have paid a toll.

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  6. As another “murkan” transplanted, as it were, into the relative paradise of canuckistan, let me be the first (and, perhaps, ONLY, soul, from what I’ve been able to glean) to whole-heartedly ENDORSE Trump in this little forum here. He represents to this observer not a boorish, ill-mannered, “ugly” murka, but rather a brash, resurgent force reclaiming a populist Jacksonian democratic idealism for a thirsty and beleaguered nation. After a long decline that started with GHWB, proceeded through the travesty and daily mortal insults of the Clintonista years, slogged through the depressing and freedom-numbing Bush II years, and, finally, emptied into the chasm of engineered racial divisiveness and national despair that has been the Obamanation, many murkans can finally feel they have someone running that’s actually worth voting for, someone who at least SAYS some of the right things (like let’s vet Muslim refugees!), and someone who is not obviously beholden to the same oligarchy that’s run things into the ground for the past several decades. At least, this seems to apply to those murkans whose viewpoints are not entirely a construction of the liberal, kept media, from which they receive spoon-fed all their ideational and interpretive reads on reality.
    I’ve had to, per force, pretty much avoid any discussion with canucks about the Trumpening that’s going on south of the border, if only because it seems to create intense cognitive dissonance in anyone who does not receive the expected anti-Trump “challenge and password” when the subject arises. I’ve now read a few screeds on the subject here, though, and finally (had about enough!) felt it worthwhile and necessary to weigh in on the subject, if only to preserve my own self-respect through a bit of spirited (offered in the same vein as it was exposited) dissent to what seems a near-unanimous view here and, indeed, throughout canuckistan.
    Frankly, the overall viewpoint reflected in these writings would be offensive were it not so obviously a reflection of an organic disability – a failure of perception that seems directly tied to the inevitable evolution of a nation that still “curtsies for the queen,” as it were. Such a culture seems to me to be ill-prepared conceptually to grok the Trumpening, and like a cargo cult, desperately mis-connects images and memes from the past to try and make the whole phenomenon sensible in some way. It just doesn’t possess the necessary historical experience base to appreciate what is shaping up to be a much-needed revolt against an oligarchical big government and its evils, as so clearly manifested in everything that’s happened to murka post-Reagan. A failure of perception, and perfectly understandable – that’s my charitable view.
    So, any advice I would render here would be to relax and try to enjoy the show being provided to the south. It really should provide great entertainment to all over the coming months. I wouldn’t worry too much about trying to make sense of it – it will all be much clearer in the rear view mirror some years from now, when a rising tide from the south lifts even the boats of the loyal curmudgeons here in the north!

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    • Ahahahahahahaha.
      Your statement “the inevitable evolution of a nation that still “curtsies for the queen,” as it were. Such a culture seems to me to be ill-prepared conceptually to grok the Trumpening, ”
      is rather ironic considering that the Queen is far far more popular in the US of A than in Canada. The same Queen who’s great great great grandfather had his troops invade and burn your White House….
      I cant remeber the last time in my 55 years living in this country I have ever ever seen anyone ‘curtsie’.
      As for mindless subservience perhaps you should take a look around any American venue (ballpark, rock concert or bar) when the US national anthem is played……twilight zone time…..everyone freezes…. and in a freakish hypnotic state, stands to attention and salutes an imaginary flag…..creepy to the extreme…..but I digress.
      I’d say that our “groking” of the issues is far more objective than the avrage ‘Joe Republican Sixpack” voting south of the 49th.
      The mindless babbling vitriol spewed forth incessantly from that braying buffoon is only exceeded by the vapid fools who believe he’s “Gonna make things better” by “Building a Wall” .
      Yes , I get that Hillary is part of the problem. Yes I understand that millions of former homeowners got burned by their own financial ignorance and Wall Streets’ greedy lust for more money( but isnt that the American dream). Yes I understand that everyone, everywhere is fed up with political correctness, globalization, inflation, politicians of every major party everywhere but voting for a man who was born with a silver spoon, and has ‘cut and run” from several failed business ventures( and a wife) aint the kinda guy I’d want as the leader of a country that sets the tone for the rest of the world.
      He’s bat sh*t crazy, has the attention span of a gnat , believes his own propaganda and is not the person I would want with his finger on the trigger when a North Korean lunatic starts firing missles at North America in the next 3 years.

      Rant over.

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    • Actually, we all feel the same way. Canucks and Bubba, Leroy and Pedro. Trump is right in some things he’s observed. America needs to get back to work. Policorrectness stifles truth. Govt has dropped the ball. No argument on the problems. HUGE problem with the bullyboy, my way highway solutions. He is an ignorant person in love with himself and that is not leadership. He said it out loud. I’ll give him that. But that’s all he’s got. You are saying ANY change agent is OK. That’s what Germany said for Hitler….’get us out of that WW1 mess’.
      I understand the frustration. I don’t understand your faith in ignorance. Or is it hope in a lucky break?
      Just because Trump talks in cheers and slogans doesn’t make him right or smart. Just makes him a cheerleader. And that’s not enough to bring any game. He’s light. He’s a proven failure and bankrupt. He’s a salesman selling sunshine to losers. Don’t buy it.

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      • You’re entitled to your opinion. He’s the best chance we’ve got right now. He successfully beat BOTH of the reigning corrupt parties, including ALL the repugs, which should be a clue: murkans are fed up with the establishment. Your analysis also misses the fact that he is saying the RIGHT things about the problems we face. Focusing on the Huffington post, or whatever lib-prog venues you’re exposed to will not help you glean the truth. And, he is winning, and will continue to do so.
        I expected the Hitler bullcrap, but not from you. You should know better. Disappointing.

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      • Ummmm John?
        He didnt “beat” the Repiblican Party…..
        He’s joined it.
        The last people that tried “beating” the other two parties was Ralph Nadar and before him Ross Perot. Ralph Nadar being the reason that George W. won by a chad’s length and Al Gore ended up on the lecture circuit…..
        Nah, Trump is a loose cannon rolling around on the deck of the SS America and if elected …he’ll eventually “sink” it. and take the rest of the world economy with it.
        But he does have a slim chance of winning if a third party candidate gains a bit of traction and draws votes away from her.
        I think the Democrats were breathing a huge sigh of relief went he decided to step aside. I expect he’ll get an Ambassador’s( China perhaps?) appointment for his “trouble”.
        And the rich get richer.

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      • Sorry, when Bernie Sanders stepped aside. ( havent had my caffiene injection yet.)

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      • It’s hard to imagine a more uninformed comment than saying Trump “joined” the Republicans – he had to fight them every inch of the way. He still is. Do you get any U.S. news?
        Oh well, what do I expect? Proves my point about an inability to conceptualize the U.S. political milieu other than in terms of stereotypes and gross mischaracterizations, “Hitler” even. Stick with canuck politics.

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      • John it is interesting to read your views. In Canada, I’m sure that you are aware that the ruling party in the recent election promised to keep Canadians safe, keep taxes low, cut the size of government, limit immigration from countries like Syria, and the fighting barbaric religious practises and continue to bomb ISIS. (Obviously their platform was much larger this.) Their vision had little appeal and they were defeated. About 30% of Canadians who formed base voters of this party shocked that their platform/vision failed to attract more voters to their base. The underlying message in the Canadian federal campaign by some political parties was fear. The fear of debt, the fear of immigrants, the fear of socialists, the fear of lawlessness, the fear of inexperienced political leadership, the fear of Islamic terrorism etc. Ironic to many the dystopian vision of fear attracted their base only. From a great distance the matters being relitigated in this election cycle see to break along blue collar vs white collar(a struggle of elites), a struggle of ethnicities, religious views and conflicting views on how to perfect the political process in the USA. The USA needs functioning political parties for stability and continuity. Will the baby be thrown out with the bath water? John many of we Canadians just do not get the attraction of Trump.

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      • The Republican party is self destructing before our very eyes and Donald Trump is the last nail in its coffin.

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      • Well, John, we clearly disagree on some things but not likely the fundamentals. As you know, I am disinclined to the status quo, institutions and entrenched privilege. I am hardly a rebel but I am definitely a contrarian on many levels. Plus I am very sympathetic to the common man/woman. I suspect that we would agree on a lot. But NOT Trump. I am sure there would be a lot of other things….if you read carefully, we are espousing the same values just not the same strategy or leader. As for the Hitler reference, I stand by it. NOT that Trump will be Hitler-esque. That won’t happen. But that he is appealing to the populace like Hitler did to the oppressed Germans after their WW! defeat. He was saying the same things, “Let’s make Germany GREAT again!” (Except he said it in German. And, like Trump, there were no specifics). My comparison was to their electioneering style. So, now that you know the reference, I expect better.

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  7. I spent over forty years working in the forests of British Columbia and have very much enjoyed reading your OTG adventures. Coastal BC is one of the wonders of the world. I am no longer physically able to get out in the ‘bush’ but through reading your blog I have been able to re-live some of the experience I had over my working years.
    I neither like nor dislike Trump. Full disclosure – I dislike Hillary Clinton. I like Americans, my grand children are American.
    What am I leading up to? I am really disturbed by the hate that is slowly creeping into your blog. I always appreciate a careful analysis of the US. As with Canada, they have many faults, but let’s stay away from hate-speech. Cheers

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    • So where specifically do you see this creeping hate,, ? obviously JDC is being trolled, lets terminate the trump topic, we have plenty of material round about here

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  8. @John.
    Your statement, “Trump “joined” the Republicans – he had to fight them every inch of the way. He still is…”
    ******************************************************************************************
    Well, I guess the Republican Conventioneers that applauded him with a standing ovation arent Republican?
    Trump could have easily started a 3rd Party and ran as an independant but he knew that he wouldnt stand a chance of getting elected.
    So…..he’s joined a mainstream political party wether they wanted him or not, and proceeded to whallop all the other milksops candidates with his outrageous promises,” I’m rich and I know what I’m talking about”, We’re gonna make things better!”. “We’re gonna build a Wall and make Mexico PAY for it!”, “We’re gonna get ISIS and wipe them out!”
    Total fantasy drivel spewed out to appeal to the lowest common denominator….and its working.
    Unfortunately, demographics isnt on his side. Elderly , white, predominantly male angry voters who support him are in the minority.
    Hillary in 2016. Count on it.

    @ B.Thompson
    “I am really disturbed by the hate that is slowly creeping into your blog….”
    ******************************************************************************************
    Politics and religion ….. a volitile mix in any US election.
    Interesting times.

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    • Anyone, and I mean anyone, who would vote for Hitlary over Trump deserves exactly what they will get (more of the same miasma, race division, and global war coming, and that’s why Trump was able to WIN – he’s promising something much better). Most thinking Murkans are beginning to “come around” to understanding what the lib-prog, oligarchy-owned, drive-by media has tried to do to Trump (with mainstream Repug complicity), and they are beginning to think he might be the right choice after all. I have seen this personally in several friends who were previously for Sanders, for instance. (Both candidates are anti-establishment, but Sanders, is, of course, quite insane and criminal in his outlook, like all socialists.) After the obvious criminal deal-making by the Clintons over the email server she set up (a felony), even more murkans have moved over to Trump. By Nov., it will be landslide for Trump. Hide and watch.
      B. Thompson – I too have been disconcerted to see the increasingly acrid commentary, esp. as we have witnessed the rise of Trump. I’m tired of people attributing his popularity to negative reasons, rather than positive ones, which are the actual motivator for me and everyone I know who is for him. Frankly, canucks demonstrably have so little understanding of murkan politics that they would be better off refraining from offering much in the way of commentary, at least in an “international” venue. I certainly don’t wish to get involved in Ca politics, for example. I could not care less, actually.

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      • “Frankly, canucks demonstrably have so little understanding of murkan politics that they would be better off refraining from offering much in the way of commentary, at least in an “international” venue. I certainly don’t wish to get involved in Ca politics, for example. I could not care less, actually.”
        ******************************************************************

        And that. ladies and gentlemen is why the US is so unpopular worldwide.
        They dont care what other populations are thinking. And then when they invade, conquer and eventually leave ….are gobsmacked as to why they are so unpopular.

        Trump promises to bring more of the same.
        Only he’s says it in a simple, childish ,crude, populist way that only the average voter can understand.
        He spews out generalities that mean nothing. Promises to “make things better’ without saying how.
        He states that he will “get ISIS” as if the US govt has been doing nothing for the last 5 years.
        Trump is a legend in his own mind who believes his own public relations. A self made millionaire? Please.
        After graduating from private schools He went to work for his daddy.
        He inheirited his father properties in Manhattan. He then proceeded to go bankrupt twice….no mean feat. He dumped his first wife Ivana for a newer model. Proving the old adage that there are some jobs that even American women wont do………
        He has neither the experience to govern in a complex environnment such as politics and all the “horsetrading” involved with the Senate. He wont get anything past them., He doesnt have the temperment or the class to run a hotdog stand at Coney Island. If US voters want a cringeworth President constantly embarrassing them on the world stage at every oppourtunity…vote Trump.
        He’s a buffoon and wont be the next President but it will make for entertaining tv debates as Hillary rips him apart and all he can rebutt with is grade school jibes about her female attributes……..Last time I checked there were more female voters in the US than male.
        Trump’s own mouth will be his downfall.
        Count on it.

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    • Oh yeah, your question to me:

      “Well, I guess the Republican Conventioneers that applauded him with a standing ovation arent Republican?
      Trump could have easily started a 3rd Party and ran as an independant but he knew that he wouldnt stand a chance of getting elected.”

      You might actually have a chance to grasp this: no, they were Trump advocates – the establishment Repugs stayed away, silly. They “lost their party” to him. In point of fact, he STOLE the Repug slot by running as a populist who will put the interests of murkans first, instead of last, behind the big banks and their criminal oligarchy. And, duh, of course that’s why he did so – 3rd party is a losing proposition, all the way around. Trump is not a loser, and he is quite smart.

      I reject the rest of your assertions, of course, for all the reasons I’ve already expounded. And, I’ll see your “lowest common denominator,” and raise you a “smug, self-righteous numerator.”

      Except this is going nowhere, so, stick around and watch the fun.

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      • Well, since your rebuttals to my statements seem to be as unorganized, ineloquent and totally off topic as anything I’ve seen from the mouth of Mr Trump in his “debates”……The similarities to Trump are breathtaking.

        I’ll just put you down as a supporter of myopic, xenophobic, populism ….with a dash of naivity tossed in.

        Good luck in Nov. but be careful what you wish for ’cause ya just might get what you want and by then……it’ll be too late to go back.
        😉

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  9. I’ve enjoyed your good natured ‘bantering’ – it certainly has raised the quantity, if not the quality, of comments! Remember the day JDC, when you were upset over getting only a dozen comments?
    My OTG experience includes a dearth of TV and radio information so I’m really not able to comment on the Battle down South. However, I do hope to be able to enlist for the upcoming Siege in May.
    Keep up the good work, and remember, its all in good fun. (And I’m in no way related to ‘John’.) Or ‘noncon’.

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    • You are right. I love the commentary……..perhaps it could be a bit more elevated somewhat in style and content but, regardless, it is better than having written a blog and having nothing bounce back. Like nature, I abhor a vacuum….well, not YOUR pull-start vacuum but most.
      And I agree mostly that it is all in good fun. Sometimes the bastards get under my skin and it even sometimes compels my standing up and being counted but I have yet to find a hill attractive enough to die on.

      Like

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