A Pre-Mortem for a Campaign and a Free Republic: Why Trump will likely lose as America, like Rome, burns

The republicans and Trump, if they lose, will have certainly missed a great chance to defeat the ethically challenged Hillary Clinton and her plans to expand the already run amuck American welfare/warfare state.

Former Reagan administration speechwriter Peggy Noonan recently wrote an excellent column in the Wall Street Journal in which she imagined the positions Trump might have taken if he had approached the election with sanity. Unfortunately, the latter is a dubious proposition in the era of the Circus of Politics with the Hillary and Trump vying for the Emmett Kelly top clown position.

Is the Donald Out Checking the Roads?

Trump was never equipped to run for Road Supervisor, no less the top position of the United States in the era of the Imperial Presidency.

Why?

Here is a guy who has spent his time doing Celebrity Apprentice, promoting wrestling matches and cutting questionable deals with pols to give his projects special tax breaks. Many of my friends on the right are disgusted with me for writing that. Still, none of them was objecting when, eight years ago, I said that Obama—a senator from Illinois who hadn’t even completed one term and had zero executive experience (He hadn’t even run a candy store) — wasn’t prepared for the presidency.

Although he was well-spoken and appeared likeable, Obama wasn’t prepared for the presidency. His two terms have been somewhere between so-so and disastrous.

But Trump is also ill-prepared. He is more than ill-prepared. He seems to suffer from a lack of an adequate education. Despite graduating from one of the most elite business schools in the United States I doubt that he has read any good books or exposed himself to any intellectual challenges. This lack of wisdom goes hand and hand along with an ailment common to many these days in our “Fahrenheit 451” world: Attention deficit syndrome. We live in a world in which the philosopher Blaise Pascal’s wisdom—-quiet contemplation promotes intelligent thought and problem solving—is more than rejected: It is ignored.

Mr. Trump, a Question

Listen to Trump when he is asked a question. He can’t stick to a subject for 30 seconds without howling like a madman. Soon he is off the subject, baying like those pigs in Orwell’s “Animal House,” (“Four legs good. Two legs bad.”) and screaming again and again about “Crooked Hillary.” But even here he couldn’t stick to a subject. Why didn’t he bring up and stick to the subject of the 13 missing mobile devices during three debates? There was political gold in those devices that the Clinton people told the FBI that they couldn’t find. Trump didn’t have the intellectual stamina to pan for it. What does this tell about a Trump presidency that encountered even minor problems?

Yet Trump’s main opponent, Hillary Clinton, seems smarter yet she carries some much political baggage. Clinton and her husband are so venal and avaricious they can make you sick.

Mrs. Clinton, Will You Answer the Question?

Whenever there is a new revelation from WikiLeaks does she dispute it?

She does not.

She immediately launches into an attack on Trump. What does that tell you? It tells me that someone has mentioned a subject Clinton and her minions want no part of; that they immediately want you to change the subject; that they are depending on attention deficit syndrome affecting more than political candidates.

Trump is an interesting flawed candidate who still has struck a chord of political populism in the American people. This was best explained to me by a longtime friend who is a fervid Trump supporter and is disgusted with me because I detest both.

“Greg” he told me, “I’m voting for Trump because I am sick of both the Bushes and the Clintons.” A Trump vote, this bright man believes, is a form of protest against the system.

Wrong and Right

Trump reminds me, in some ways, of Senator Joe McCarthy. McCarthy was right that there were Communist attempts to subvert our country in the 1930s and 1940s. But McCarthy was also a blundering fool who would go off halfcocked and didn’t know what he was talking about half of the time. (Even McCarthy allies William F. Buckley and Brent Bozell admitted some faults in their sympathetic book, “McCarthy and His Enemies”).

Sounds like the Donald, who is a blundering lunatic, a crony capitalist who, nevertheless, in his few rational moments, can actually make some good points. But Trump can’t stick to them for more than a few minutes before he starts talking drivel again. Still, I certainly don’t want Hillary.

She is corrupt. She’ll rip Wall Street while at the same time quietly taking money from investment banking firms hand over fist. She can say she is only going to raise taxes on the rich—a counterproductive practice since the rich already have money so they can stop working when taxes are raised. And when they participate less in the economy how does thathelp anyone? —but she will raise taxes on everyone if she goes ahead with all her promises. An idiot, an economic illiterate, would have to believe she will do all the things she now promises to win election but only raise taxes on those making $1 million or more.

A Hillary Presidency?

I agree that it is likely, but not set in stone, that Hillary will win. And whose fault is that? The fault of some potbellied Babbitt living deep in the slums of Central Queens (Yours truly!) writing for a remnant who love liberty and read his blog?

Centuries ago the Bard of Avon understood it all in eulogizing those who challenged imperial Rome. It had once been a republic of free men, but was mutating into an empire of slaves who pretended they were free and allowed their government absolute power in exchange for bread and circuses. They forgot the lessons of Cato and Cicero as many Americans have forgotten the lessons of Washington, Franklin, Jefferson and Madison.

“The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves; that we are underlings.” We Americans created Hillary and Trump. Now we have to live with them. My one hope is that, whoever wins the presidency, we will remember the lessons taught by Madison about the need for power to be divided and subdivided. These were lessons later emphasized by the great historian of freedom, Lord Acton. In voting, I hope Congress will stay in the hands of the opposition party. Then it and Hillary will tear each other apart. And maybe we will we then escape tons of new programs accompanied by tons of new taxes and regulations, including insane price controls that work about as well as here as they did in the Soviet Union.

Maybe Trump can promote the whole Congress vs. the presidentfight as another WrestleMania event. It could be a 21st century version of Bread and Circuses.

About The Author

Gregory Bresiger

Gregory Bresiger is an independent business journalist from Queens, New York. His Personal Finance articles have appeared in publications such as The New York Post & Financial Advisor Magazine. He is the author of the eBooks “Personal Finance For People Who Hate Personal Finance” and “MoneySense”.