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Friday, August 19, 2016

The positive case for Trump

Vacation is over. I had a wonderful time with my family. I tweeted occasionally, mainly to promote Chapter 6 of "Trump the Press." Jonah Goldberg responded to one tweet.
I now reply to his remark, because the positives far outweigh the negatives -- and both are addressed in my book.

First, the negative. Trump is an imperfect candidate. This is his first bid for public office and he has made many, many mistakes. Two divorces and the four times one of his companies sought protection from creditors in bankruptcy court are warning signals. He invented Too Big To Fail on his first visit to bankruptcy court, when the size of his debts were too large for the banks to absorb, and so they kept him in charge because they needed him to succeed. Years of playing the press had given him a celebrity worth billions. Literally. Anyone else likely would have lost his company.

Chapter 2 of "Trump the Press" delves in greater detail into these problems. But his supporters had "A Cause without a Rebel," as I titled that chapter. How I wish Scott Walker or even John Kasich had taken the banner of those who see and fear the the transformation of the Greatest Land of All into a banana republic. Walker and Kasich declined. Instead we wound up with someone more like casino owner Rick Blaine from Casablanca.

I concluded the chapter:
Trump did not live in the working-class neighborhood, but he understood the plight of those who did. He championed their cause when no one else would. On the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Donald Rumsfeld said, “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish you had at a later time.”
This was true of presidential candidates. Trump was not Roy Rogers or even Rick Blaine. But he was not the tail end of Trigger either. Trump rallied a people whom the political class had ignored, which, my friends, is presidential leadership.
That's the negative.

The positive is that Trump offered a fearless leadership that would not be cowed by the press or political correctness. This is long overdue. Republicans have been cuckolded by the press all my life, and I am 62 and retired.

Trump defies and ignores the Fox News All-Stars and their DC-centric advice on how not to anger Democrats.

But his real target is the liberal media, not the conservative fringe. We have never had a candidate willing to call out CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times. Trump stripped the Washington Post of its press credentials. Why not? The newspaper lost all pretense of objectivity once Jeff Bezos took over subsidizing it.

You can take the high road, or you can take the path to victory.

Trump's supporters pick up on his defiance. He is their leader. Their attitude is healthy, and reminiscent of Slim Pickens's character meeting Dom DeLuise's in Blazing Saddles.
Taggart: Piss on you! I'm working for Mel Brooks!
Not in the face! Not in the face!

As for policy, building a wall and kicking out illegal aliens makes sense, as does fixing the problems with those free trade agreements and mutual defense pacts.

23 of the 28 NATO countries cheat?
NATO was set up to keep the Soviets on their side of the Iron Curtain when only the United States could do that. The Soviets fell in 1991. After a quarter of a century, why are we providing the European Union's military?

Only one candidate dared to go there -- a place we should have been in 1991. Bush 41 kept the NATO bureaucracy in place. Clinton 42 expanded it.

As for tariffs, Reagan had them. From an earlier post, "Reality: Reagan was less free trade than Trump":
A reader left a link in comments to a 1988 article by Sheldon L. Richman, the director of public affairs at the Institute for Humane Studies, lamenting President Reagan's actions on foreign trade.
Reagan spoke a great game when it came to free trade, but, well, his record did not match those curtains.
Richman cited 18 incidents of tariffs and protectionism by Reagan and concluded: "This abominable record has moved many former trade specialists in the Reagan administration to criticize the administration they once worked for. Gerald Marks, former director of the Chicago office of the Commerce Department's U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service, called the policy toward Japan 'myopic at best, dangerous to the world trading structure at worst.' Harald Malmgren, a former trade negotiator, said the administration has been 'resorting to vigilante-style unilateral retaliation'."

Trump's trade policy is Reagan's.

It's also Lincoln's. In fact, it is the policy of every Republican president not named George Bush. Republicans used to nurture American industry -- and the world was better for it. From the refining of oil, to the perfection of steel, to the production of automobiles, American capitalists have made life better for everyone.

Trump also is a CEO who turned a million-dollar loan from his dad into a $10 billion multi-national organization that employs 22,000 people. I wrote about this in, "How good a CEO is Trump?" I found Trump had every one of Peter Economy of Inc. magazine's "Top 10 Skills Every Great Leader Needs to Succeed."

I proved each point, beginning with this:
1. Inspires and motivates others.
My favorite example is Jim Herman, who at 38 won his first PGA tournament on April 3, 2016. Herman tried for years to make the PGA but gave up on his dreams a decade ago, and settled in as an assistant pro at Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey.
"I got into a nice conversation with Donald, Mr. Trump, one day. He's like, 'Why are you folding shirts and giving lessons? Why aren't you on the Tour? I've played with tour players, you're good enough.' I don't know, maybe something like that gives you more confidence," Herman told Simon Evans of Reuters after winning the Shell Houston Open.
I respect Goldberg. He's wrong. I have made the positive case for Trump. But it fell on ears that are deaf by choice. And so I remind them that passive-aggressive campaigning for Hillary Clinton is doing nothing in the face of evil.

Let their guilt be their guide back to the side of truth, justice, and the American way.


"Trump the Press: Don Surber's take on how the pundits blew the 2016 Republican race" is available as a paperback. Please order here.

The Kindle version is available here.

Autographed copies are available for $20 (includes shipping). Email me at


  1. Welcome back!-Elric

  2. 62, retired, and still HIGH ENERGY!

    Now ask Jonah how Hillary would be better.

    Democrats are comfortable, nay, even prefer, legislating from the courts. So Jonah wants to hand them the Supreme Court?

    Does Jonah support the "fairness doctrine" for TV and Radio? Hillary's Supreme Court will!

    Does Jonah support registration requirements to purchase bullets? Hillary's Supreme Court will!

    Does Jonah support executive amnesty? Hillary's Supreme Court will!

  3. I have made versions of this argument repeatedly over the last few months. I don't think people like Goldberg get it- if Clinton wins, the Republican Party is finished as presently constituted- the US will slip quickly into one-party rule.

    People wonder why the Democrats kept Clinton as the nominee when they could have probably waltzed to victory by running and selecting someone else in the primaries (someone not an avowed Socialist like Sanders). I think the problem the Democrats had was finding someone who would be willing to take executive action to the next level- I think Clinton has demonstrated beyond all doubt she is willing to rule fiat alone. That is why Democrats and Progressives stuck with her- her baggage is evidence of her true authoritarianism.

    1. "I'm worried that I might be the last Republican president." George W. Bush. Why worry about the Democrats keeping Clinton as nominee? Should have worried about the Rs keeping Trump. Trump won the battle but the Rs will lose the November war. I have no doubt Christie (who I was supporting until he became Trump's lap dog) or Kasich would have shredded Clinton. Too bad about the Bush fatigue. Jeb is the smartest, most savvy one in the family.
      Remember, it is already a one-party rule in D.C. If Rs let Trump bring down the entire R brand, then the historic ownership of state legislatures currently owned by Rs will go by the wayside.

    2. You are making the mistake all the other NeverTrumpers make- assuming that another nominee could have beaten Clinton. I think all the evidence shows otherwise. Trump won the nomination by bridging the gap in the center to draw off people who previously weren't voting at all, or had been voting for Democrats. He also reached back to the paleo-conservatives on those issues on which those two groups could be welded together in a coalition- a coalition strong enough to overcome those other Republican candidates who do nothing but pay lip-service to those issues.

      If, lets suppose, Kasich had won the nomination, he still would have been under relentless media assault, and lacking the strength to stand up to it. Romney in 2012 was exactly the same way, and lost decisively largely because of that non-combative nature. In addition, the voters who propelled Trump to the nomination would then have gone back into electoral hibernation, or simply returned the Democratic camp.

      The Republican Party is in danger because its coalition had shrunk under the level needed to compete on the national level. Trump was the only candidate that showed a way to enlarge the coalition. I wish some other candidate that was more disciplined could have done that, but they weren't running that campaign, and it is why Trump beat them.

    3. You have no proof that Kasich would not have had the strength to stand up to the relentless media assault. He has successful won a seat in Congress and a Governorship. I say he has proven to have a lot of stamina. Foolish assumption. Kasich also would have turned the spotlight off of him and firmly on Hillary.
      Hillary doesn't have to campaign against Trump. Trump is sabotaging himself rather nicely. His recent speech in N.C. and visiting La. might provide a short reversal but it won't be long until he embarrasses himself again. Trump whipped up a lot of fervor to win the nomination but now that he is really under the microscope where everything he says is fact-checked instantly, he is wilting. If Trump was smart, he would say, "I am not speaking to the media until the media addresses the following Clinton scandals ...." Instead, Trump is doing what Surber said Trump should do, make the campaign about Trump. How is that working out with the recent polls?

    4. The proof: Did Kasich beat Trump?
      As for the polls, we shall see.

  4. Months ago, Trump said he would reveal "very soon" the names of those who he would nominate for the Supreme Court. Still waiting.
    The balance of the SC has been a political football for eons. What has a conservative - or liberal - SC ruled in the last 50 years that has greatly altered the course of this nation?
    We still have the right to own guns; Rowe v Wade still stands and that is with a one-time SC tilt of a 7-2 R-appointed majority. Time to find a new boogeyman folks.

    1. He released the list on May 18, 2016.
      Off teh top of my head, Heller and Citizens United were conservative rulings

  5. You notice Jonah didn't answer your question.

  6. Nonnyass battin' zero today as usual. I lost respect for Goldberg early on in the race. I used to think that Liberal Fascism was a great book. Now I realize that it was a two hundred page excuse against liberal name calling. It was hailed by people on our side of the fence but had zero impact on any national debate. It's no different than saying Dems are the real racists. Makes you feel just a hair better but has no impact whatsoever. Time to just ignore their name calling and go on. If defending the civil rights of whites and Christians is racist in the eyes of some people, so what? If putting one's own country first is fascist, so what? They called us that even before Trump.

  7. You'd think that after Europe had completely ****ed themselves over by electing a Merkel, there'd be no danger of America Merkeling itself with Shrillary. That'd be like post-Ness Chicago electing Al Capone as Mayor.

    A mixed metaphor I suppose, but that seems in keeping with that psychotic woman.

  8. Jonah is a "one book wonder." The alternative to Trump is Clinton, and Clinton is a lot worse, not just for the Republican Party, but for the country in every way that Yancey Ward wrote.

  9. Jonah:

    The presidential candidates are:
    Hillary Clinton
    Jill Stein
    Gary Johnson
    Donald Trump

    Neither Stein nor Johnson have a non-science-fiction-writer-making-the-plot-their-victory chance.

    It is:
    Hillary Clinton
    Donald Trump

    List the negatives and positives from each of these candidates for the health of the United States of America, its government, and its other institutions. Think carefully about that; I pray that you will choose wisely.

    Mikey NTH

  10. "The newspaper lost all pretense of objectivity once Jeff Bezos took over subsidizing it." It was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before that, Don, for me. (I could add more "a"s, but that seemed sufficient.)