Two Movies

The Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams, a Trump supporter, has said that Republicans and Democrats are playing two different movies in their minds. This op-ed by Republican and Trump supporter Christopher Buskirk in the New York Times is one of the clearest examples of that I’ve ever seen. Many Democrats will disagree vehemently with the positive interpretations he puts on Mr. Trump’s remarks and, indeed, see them as big negatives. Where he sees inclusion, they will hear racist dogwhistles. Where he sees a path forward, they will hear reaction.

So, when, for example Mr. Buskirk writes:

Republicans have long criticized Democrats for dividing the country into competing grievance groups. Some now realize that the Republican analogue has been to divide the country into radically autonomous individuals based on a cartoonish misreading of libertarianism that replaces the free markets and free minds of Friedrich Hayek with the greed and hubris of Gordon Gekko. But that is changing quickly. There is a renewed emphasis on addressing America and Americans as a community characterized by fraternal bonds and mutual responsibility — what Lincoln called the “mystic chords of memory.”

If anything he’s tempering the position of the Ayn Rand objectivist wing of the Republican Party typified by Ron and Rand Paul. I think that what many Democrats will be playing in their minds is:

But Trump is a crook and a con man.

Or this:

The three-legged stool of the new Republican majority is a pro-citizen immigration policy, a pro-worker economic policy and a foreign policy that rejects moral imperialism and its concomitant foreign wars. John Adams described just such a foreign policy when he wrote that America is “the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all” but “the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

but I think that many Democrats will hear:

How is an immigration policy that separates parents and children at the border “pro-citizen”. Isn’t that just racism gussied up in patriotic diction? How is an economic policy that gives tax cuts to the rich “pro-worker”? Not only is Trump continuing all of the foreign wars of his predecessors, he’s adding and/or threatening new ones of his own.

BTW, that was John Quincy Adams not John Adams.

When Trump says “we”, “us”, or “ours”, they don’t think he means “all Americans”. They think he means white, Christian Americans, Trump supporters.

Two movies.

12 comments… add one
  • bob sykes Link

    I’m watching the Republican film, and I fully support Trump, and will vote for him again. It is clear to me that the Democrat Party is a hard-left socialist party with a dominant communist wing. The party of Ellison and Perez is anti-White, anti-working class, anti-citizen and anti-American. It is also virulently anti-Semitic, although leftist Jews are too stupid to realize it. If Ellison and Perez have their way, there will be another Jewish holocaust right here in America.

    California is the goal for the present Democrat Party: a large brown, black and yellow underclass ruled by a few super rich families. Brazil Norte.

  • mike shupp Link

    Uh … I was going to say something else, but I’ve reconsidered.
    You’ve got Bob Sykes. You can live without me.

  • If you believe in maintaining a modern standing army or the Department of Agriculture having food inspectors, you’re a socialist. They can’t be financed with a head tax and excise taxes and any income tax whether “flat” (meaning fixed rate) or graduated is socialism.

    I think “communists” is an exaggeration. I doubt that there are many communists in the Democratic Party at least not in the leadership. They’re mostly ordinary machine politicians, looking out for #1. There may be a few totalitarians (people who think that all of our actions should be under the control of the state). But communists? I don’t think so. They’re too interested in getting rich to be communists.

  • Gustopher Link

    When I hear: “Republicans have long criticized Democrats for dividing the country into competing grievance groups”, I hear Sarah Palin talking about “real Americans”.

    Now that I think about it, though, given how she pronounced “The Art of the Deal” as “The Art of the Dill” when endorsing Trump, it’s entirely possible that everyone has misheard her and she was butchering “rural Americans”…

  • Gustopher Link

    Also, every time reasonable Republicans start talking, there’s a Bob Sykes that shows up and starts spewing crazy talk, and the “reasonable Republicans” just engage him as if it is normal. I barely hear the reasonable Republicans anymore, and I don’t think they are in control of the party.

    And that’s why I don’t even bother learning about Republican candidates for elections I have to vote on (except the non-partisan elections, where I now have to figure out who the Republican is). Any Republican, in any office, empowers the crazy wing of their party. It’s straight ticket Democrat for me for the foreseeable future.

  • Ben Wolf Link

    The problem of claiming the Republican agenda to be one of anti-moral imperialism and pro-worker policy is that there is no evidence of this. Republicans hate workers much as Democrats do, and Trump has repeatedly attacked Syria on moral grounds. This is what passes for conservatism trying to find a justification for its continued existence.

  • CStanley Link

    If you strip away Trump’s bombast, sleazy personal life, and dumb pop culture persona (which increasingly looks like an act used for effect), I’m starting to think he’s the most centrist president we’ve had in ages and possibly giving something to each side in a way that the policies all make sense in a comprehensive way. Corporate tax cuts but also trade policy that disfavors the multinationals. Proworker with that same trade policy (big gamble here though) and immigration policy, and the over arch no economic theme is resetting our trade balance. is The foreign policy is more a complicated picture but obviously involves realizing with countries who will side with us on these new trade policies.

    He’s starting to grow on me. Conservative ideology always resonated with me but clearly they haven’t been doing it right, and the grievances that Trump has brought are becoming more clear to me now.

  • I wouldn’t go quite that far but your remarks are pretty congruent with my observations in this post.

    Keep in mind that I didn’t vote for Clinton because I thought he was a low character, a view completely vindicated by events.

  • CStanley Link

    Keep in mind that I didn’t vote for Clinton because I thought he was a low character, a view completely vindicated by events.

    Same here (assume you meant “she”, heh, although in that sentence either pronoun would work for the Clintons.) With respect to my comments giving too much praise to Trump my opinion is evolving in a more positive direction but it’s way too early to tell. I’m just more hopeful than I initially was that a Trump administration might not be an unmitigated disaster.

  • I meant in 1992 although the same was the case in 2016.

  • Ben Wolf Link

    These tariffs don’t help American workers. An industrial policy would help American workers and Mr. Trump has neither the discipline nor the inclination to develop one.

    A tariff that would help is one on dairy imports. American producers have been under enormous strain due to chronic overproduction as they try to compete with low prices by increasing volume, and suicides are at record highs.

    Is Trump doing anything about that? Anything about opioids? What about the national health care system he promised? What of his promises to attack commercial monopoly?

  • steve Link

    “a pro-worker economic policy and a foreign policy that rejects moral imperialism and its concomitant foreign wars”

    What has Trump done that would support either of these beliefs?

    I think the movie that tty right sees is that he pisses off liberals. That appears to be a primary goal. I don’t think Trump has really done very much. he claims of his critics are a bit overblown, and those of his fans even more. We had tax cuts, that really were mostly aimed at the wealthy, but that is true of all GOP tax cuts. No other significant domestic changes and we are involved in just as many wars with stronger commitments to stay in them longer. What am I missing?


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