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Thursday, April 07, 2016

What elitists mean by Trump's vulgarity

Joe Epstein -- at 79, one of the most cerebral conservative that most people never heard of -- wrote an excellent column for the Wall Street Journal, "These Five Are the Best We Can Do? Presidential politics are so degrading, thanks to the press and the Internet, that superior people stay out."

The five remaining candidates are a woman best known for being a doormat of a wife, a crazy communist, the Cuban Obama (but he's a rightwing nut, not a leftwing nut), somebody else, and of course the billionaire Trump.

I recommend his column, however, I want to expand on a point Epstein failed to flesh out because it would undercut his argument.

First the good point he made. From Epstein:
Superior people are no longer attracted to politics. They stay away because so much connected with contemporary political life is degrading. Mitch Daniels, a thoughtful man and a successful Republican governor of Indiana, steered clear of presidential politics because, as he openly acknowledged, he had no wish to put his family through the humiliation that accompanies running for the office.
The media and Internet are the major instruments of contemporary political degradation. The media were once more restrained, operating under a largely self-imposed control. During the Kennedy administration, journalists agreed not to photograph the president smoking or playing golf; as for his high jinks above stairs in the White House, that was never up for public discussion. 
I am just wondering how adulterers gain superiority. Such superiority certainly is not based on trustworthiness or morality. And did Epstein mean to imply that Mitch Daniels is a philanderer?

However, Epstein's point is valid; voters have winnowed the field of candidates with better qualifications than four of the five; Kasich's political achievements would have made him a better moderate candidate for the Democrats than Governor O'Malley.

(I would argue that 40 years as a CEO of his family's business -- turning it into a global corporation with 34,000 employees -- qualifies Trump. However, I accept that I am in the minority in my belief that having chief executive experience is prerequisite to a successful presidency.)

Now for that point that Epstein failed to flesh out. It is Epstein's description of Trump:
Mr. Trump’s vulgarity is nonpareil — and by his vulgarity I don’t mean his profanity merely, but the vulgar quality of his speech, his thought, his very sentiments. So low have things fallen owing to Donald Trump that lifelong Republicans have told me that, in a Trump-versus-Clinton election, they are likely to hold their nose and vote for Mrs. Clinton.
Epstein's use of vulgar without reference to profanity -- "the vulgar quality of his speech, his thought, his very sentiments" -- is very telling. This fellow is a member of the Weekly Standard-National Review-Commentary magazine brigade, which formed the nucleus of the He-Man Trump Hater's Club.

Epstein's column began with a quote from "Roman general and master politician Sulla (139-78 B.C.)." So this use of vulgar is scholarly, meaning the archaic and original use of vulgar apples: to describe the common people. Epstein sees this as a pejorative.

Now the truth unfolds. This is not about the messenger, but the message. That is what elitists find vulgar about Trump. His vulgarity can be summed up in two words: America First.

Few things roil a Western intellectual like patriotism. Hitler was a patriot, therefore all patriots are Hitler.

But there are different blends of patriotism, and American patriotism is to the country, not the government.

The Trumpkins -- named for their leader and that all-American gourd, the pumpkin -- want the federal government to put the American people first. That is anathema to our moral and intellectual superiors. Build a wall? How common. How gauche. How vulgar. No, no, no. We need something much more complex and convoluted -- a path to citizenship. Yes a path to citizenship for those who rejected taking the existing path to citizenship.

Their elaborate plans remind me of a scene from the first Austin Powers movie, when Dr. Evil begins killing the hero:
Dr. Evil: All right guard, begin the unnecessarily slow-moving dipping mechanism.
[guard starts dipping mechanism]
Dr. Evil: Close the tank!
Scott Evil: Wait, aren't you even going to watch them? They could get away!
Dr. Evil: No no no, I'm going to leave them alone and not actually witness them dying, I'm just gonna assume it all went to plan. What?
Scott Evil: I have a gun, in my room, you give me five seconds, I'll get it, I'll come back down here, BOOM, I'll blow their brains out!
Dr. Evil: Scott, you just don't get it, do ya? 
So the elitists are attacking these vulgar ideas because the ideas do not fit the world vision concocted by the deep thinkers in Washington and elsewhere who mainly work for nonprofit groups, universities, and subsidized magazines. Few of them work for an outfit that pays taxes. The conceit about Saint William F. Buckley Jr. is that he expounded on the free market capitalist system thanks to his daddy's fortune (which made National Review possible) and a show on PBS in the heyday of its taxpayer funding.

Sitting here in Poca, West Virginia, I notice no difference between the socialists and some of these He-Man Trump Hater. Their ranks are dominated by professors, tax-exempt thinkers, and trust fund babies. It is not that Washington is filled with people who live in a bubble per se. That is a stereotype. The problem is Washington is filled with bubbleheads. They think they know it all. They reject any new idea that does not conform to their vision of the world. For all their intellectualism, they sure are a close-minded lot.
Question free trade? How vulgar.
Build a wall? How vulgar.
Question Muslim immigration? How vulgar.
Reduce legal immigration? How vulgar.
Question NATO? How vulgar.
Consider a one-time tax increase? How vulgar.
This lot of conservative elitists is like the global warming crowd. They piss in your shoe and then show you a chart that says it is raining. That is my reaction to the nonsense that free trade has actually created jobs. No, in my area of West Virginia, free trade replaced $60,000 a year chemical industry jobs with $20,000 a year jobs at Wal-Mart.

Bonus: Wal-Mart began by selling only American made products. Those jobs would have existed regardless of whether we kept those chemical industry jobs.

Trump scares the crap out of the Conservative Commentariat. They are so desperate that they are backing Cruz, whose over-preening ambition turned off the Bush 43 White House and the Senate. Conservatives like Epstein fear Trump.

And by Trump, I mean the Trumpkins because they are vulgar. And they are vulgar because their ideas are revolutionary.


  1. Good post Big D. I will GLADLY own being called vulgar when the future of the country is at stake. I think Sam Adams was probably called vulgar too, back in the day, along with the Indians you documented so well in your book. I'll take vulgar over appeaser ERRY day.

  2. "I accept that I am in the minority in my belief that having chief executive experience is prerequisite to a successful presidency."
    Thus, you are supporting Jim Justice for Governor of West Virginia, correct?

  3. Bill Cole and Jim Justice are more qualified than the trial lawyers running. Bill Cole though would end the good old boy corruption that liberals have had since Jay was governor
    Thank you for making my point for Trump.

    1. Jim Justice said there is no need to raise taxes and no need to cut state funding in order to balance the current state budget deficit. Does that sound like sound fiscal policy to you?
      Bill Cole did not support the religious freedom law and under his leadership, the state is facing its biggest budget deficit with no answers in sight. Yea, real qualified those two.
      As for Trump, people don't think he's vulgar because of his ideas - as whacky as some of them are - they think he is vulgar because he viciously attacks on the personal level anyone who opposes anything he says.
      So the question remains, who are you supporting for Governor of W.Va. Cole or Justice?

    2. What is "whacky" about making America great again?

    3. You tell me what is whacky about making America again. It was you who said Trump was wrong about his slogan awhile back, noting that America is still great.
      What is whacky is the notion of making another country pay for your pet project. What would anyone's reaction be if Canada built a wall along its borders to keep Detroit drug runners out and said the U.S. has to pay for it. Also whacky is the utter lack of details to many of his proposals, particularly his plan to balance the deficit in eight years. Or his takeover of Western Union to stop money transactions between the U.S. and Mexico. Or his wanting to kill the families of terrorists; or wanting to bomb the [crap] out of "them" even though the U.S. military has a missile shortage crisis going on right now, having used more than 20,000 missiles in the last few months. I'll gladly go one once you tell me who you are supporting for Governor of West Virginia.

    4. We don't have 15 million Canadians sending a hundred million bucks a year back to Canada that are here illegally, nor the converse situation with American citizens in Canada. Remittances will be stopped until the Mexican government agrees to pay out of these funds to help build the wall. You are quite a jerk.

    5. Once again, Teaparty (who is not a Tea Partier) misses the boat. Comparing apples to oranges. What if Canada builds a wall on the U.S. border to keep American thugs, drug dealers, rapists, etc from importing their sins to Canada and demands the U.S. pays for it? What would you say to Canada. Maybe the same thing that Mexico is saying to Trump?
      Come back when you are better read.

    6. Canada building a wall? Now there's a straw man. Come back when you can make an argument based on reality.

    7. BTW, remittances are the largest source of Mexico's foreign income, even exceeding what they get from oil sales. Start taxing wire transfers to Mexico.

  4. Even 50 years ago, the Republican Party, and much of the Democrat Party, would have been called vulgar by this crowd.

    Shows how far some people have fallen.

  5. Steve in GreensboroApril 7, 2016 at 9:30 AM

    Hillary: failed marriage, failure at life, success in politics.
    Bernie: utter failure at life, success in politics.
    Kasich: No discernable life other than politics.
    Cruz: No discernable life other than politics.
    Trump: Success in business, no political experience.

    Which of these things is not like the other?

  6. I love every word of this except the stuff about $60K a year jobs. If you mean easy, low skill, unionized factory jobs, well, most of those people really weren't "worth" $60k + pensions+ benefits, so that's partly why the company had to relocate/close down.

  7. vulgar: 1. of, characteristic of, belonging to, or common to the great mass of people in general; common; popular [a vulgar superstition]
    2. designating, of, or in the popular, or vernacular, speech

    So, the Conservative Commentariat disdains vulgarity. Elitist snobs. I reckon I'm vulgar, too. And proud of it. By the way, have you ever heard of the Vulgate?

    Vulgate: 1. a Latin version of the Bible prepared by St. Jerome in the 4th cent., authorized as the official biblical text of the Roman Catholic Church
    2. [v-] any text or version in common acceptance
    3. [v-] the vernacular, or common speech

    Hmmm, I wonder why they called it the Vulgate? Anyway, food for thought. - Elric

  8. Here is the problem as I see it. Trump is very good at business. I like that.
    I do think he'd grow into the job as
    president. However, we have a world problem. Thanks to the grave mismanagement of the situation in the
    ME, we are on the verge of a world war.
    All this domestic politicking goes out the window when the 101st. goes out the jump door...
    I hope and pray that Trump, Cruz,or whomever has the smarts to get a war
    cabinet going..
    TG McCoy

  9. "He-Man Trump Hater's Club": A Little Rascals reference! I award ten (10) bonus points.
    Vulgar appeal: People, who are not in government and are not well-off, like him. (The HORROR!! The horror...)

    1. Thanks. Both Clarice Feldman at at American Thinker coined it. She posted it. However, I had already used it to title a chapter in my book, which was drafted (the book is not written yet, but drafted) before her use. And you remember how that episode ended :)

  10. I subscribed to Commentary magazine for about twenty years and was even a member of the committee that supports it for a while, despite the fact that I'm not Jewish. I was a small time donor because I thought conservative outreach to Jews was important and thought it would help the Republican party back when I was more enthusiastic about it (pre Mel Martinez). Joe Epstien is a neocon Jewish former professor of English from Northwestern U. I believe. He mainly wrote fiction for the magazine. I became disillusioned with the mag when it became basically all Israel all the time. These people are hypocrites to say the least. They hold the USA to standards they would never accept for Israel. Imagine open borders and some kind of amnesty program for Palestinians. I have a soft spot in my heart for Israel because they engaged in trade with Rhodesia when sanctions were in place. I think I've paid them back. Got my last issue about six months ago. You are right about vulgarity. St Jerome's translation of the Bible is called the Vulgate for that reason, and Dante was criticized for publishing the Divine Comedy in vulgar Italian. Epstien is an intellectual snob.

  11. " lifelong Republicans have told me that, in a Trump-versus-Clinton election, they are likely to hold their nose and vote for Mrs. Clinton."

    I can understand why someone who intensely dislikes Trump might stay home and not vote for him on election day if he becomes the Republican nominee, but any so-called lifelong Republican who chooses to vote for Clinton to ensure her election in order to spite Trump is but a RINO and a traitor who cares not one whit about the future of this country.

    1. So not voting for a RINO in Trump makes one a RINO? Interesting. Maybe Rs are not going to vote for Trump because he has insulted Rs/Conservatives with such glee.

    2. Have a reading comprehension problem, do you? I wrote that I can understand why some registered (and, parenthetically, loyal) Republicans might not vote for Trump but that anyone who >>>votes for Clinton<<< is assuredly a RINO. See the difference? It's not hard.

  12. I can't think of too many people more vulgar than the Clintons. Obungler is pretty vulgar as well as inciting violence. "Punch back twice as hard. If they bring a knife, bring a gun." No one called him on that because it would be raaaaaa-cist. That race card is really valuable.

    Racism - Whenever a conservative is winning a war with a liberal.

    1. Yes, Obama is vulgar as well--but did you notice he jumped on the "Trump is vulgar" train just days after NRO's pathetically argued anti-Trump article by George and Weigel ("To our fellow Catholics and all people of goodwill") that contained the same "vulgar" term? (And many "elite" academicians signed it as well.)

      Why it's as though both D's and Rino's received the same talking points--scary.

  13. Trumps supporters need to start describing the GOP establishment as it is:
    "Corporate whore treasonous Zionist filth"