So, in a Facebook conversation with a friend I made this statement,
“There is no rational thought to this (Trump) nor can any of them (Trump Supporters) ever name one factual, rational reason why Trump should be the guy, they just like the way they feel when he says the things they want to hear.”
This was disputed by my friend who gave me links to several articles he wrote that “prove” that there is a rational, logical reason for voting for Trump. After reading them I decided to respond here.
Now, Dave is a very smart man and does a better job than most at defending Trump but still manages to fall into the same illogical patterns. I repeat myself and lay down a challenge. If there is a Trump supporter that can name one logical, rational reason to elect Trump then I’m all ears.
So Dave’s argument is broken down into several parts:
- Trump’s stated policy goals are entirely in line with conservatism.
- Trump actually can do and will do what he says.
- We Have nothing to lose, why not try Trump?
- Trump is just like Reagan and he turned out all right.
Let’s address each one of these…
Trump’s Stated Goals are Conservative so that makes him a conservative.
Absolutely! Trump is saying exactly what he needs to sound exactly like a conservative. But the question is not what he says… the question is “Can we trust what he says?” We make logical, rational decisions every day. In every one of them we need to look at all of the evidence and then make the best decision.
So, for example, let’s say you and I are at the edge of a great chasm and it is 15 feet across to the other side. A fall means certain death. You could say to me, “Let’s jump, we can do it.” If I am to consider this rationally and logically then I will seek evidence like:
- “Have I ever jumped 15 feet before?”
- “Have I ever seen anyone jump across the chasm successfully?”
- “Am I feeling healthy and in shape for my best performance?”
All of these would lead me to my decision.
Then let’s say you tell me, “It’s easy, I did it yesterday.”
Now I have some more evidence. But, can I trust this evidence? I now have to ask questions like:
- “Are you a trustworthy person?”
- “Would you lie to me?”
You see, rational thought needs evidence. Are we always right? Do we always make the best decision? Nope. I might make the decision to jump and plummet to my death. But we need to make the best decision possible and that means evidence and history. What does this tell us about Trump?
- He says everything he believes at the time with absolute certainty. He is incredible confident (arrogant) and is always certain that he is right.
- He changes his mind constantly after doing so and is equally adamant about his new belief.
Take for example his views of Hilary Clinton. He loved her and extolled her as wonderful and trustworthy. He now is equally as adamant that she is incompetent and untrustworthy.
So which Trump do we believe?
Listen, I can go to the local gym and tell everyone that I can do a triple back-flip. That doesn’t mean squat unless they see me do it. There is no logical reason to believe that the Trump we hear speak right now will be the same Trump that is in the White House.
Now, the temptation here will be to respond by comparing Trump to other people (like Reagan) that “evolved.” However, the reality is that this is grasping at straws. Could Trump possibly be an actual conservative and have finally found the light, never to flip flop anymore? Absolutely! And I might be able to jump across that chasm also…. but I probably should make the decision based on evidence and facts. Logic and a factual view of history tell us that the chances of Trump not flip flopping anymore are extremely small.
Dave also says:
I fail to see how these things will destroy conservatism or bring down the GOP, as the alarmists are all hysterically yelling about. It’s true that a President Trump might very well disappoint us, as most do, but at least what he is saying is essentially conservative.
This is what is known as a “straw-man argument,” and is a logical fallacy. Dave pretends that people actually think that Trump doing these things will “bring down conservatism. However, the true debate is whether Trump will actually do them, actually believes in them or is simply paying lip service. So these people who do not believe Trump are labeled as “alarmists” and “hysterical.” It is not alarmist or hysterical to believe that Trump does not actually mean these things and will not actually follow through, in fact, it is common sense based on years of history which show that Trump has flip flopped on every major issue.
“Oh, No he has not John, c’mon!”
How about this?
Trump can and will do what he says.
So Dave follows up with this, which I think is a very accurate portrayal of how many in favor of Trump feel:
Trump will actually do them and not just talk the talk, which is what we have been getting from the GOP: all talk and no action. This is Trump’s fundamental appeal: it is believed that he can do this stuff and has the will to do it, and is not a pawn of the power brokers and rich folks (being one himself) and the lobbyists.
OK, so I hear this one all the time… Trump will get it done. He will actually do what he says he will. However, the problem is that history does not show that. In fact, history shows us the opposite. History shows us that Trump will change his mind on key issues over and over again. History shows us that Trump will do what benefits Trump. It’s time for Trump supporters to admit that the only reason they believe Trump is because Trump says that they can believe him…
Keep in mind that every time Trump speaks about what he will do, he includes a statement of what other people have not done. His entire game plan is to identify with the frustrated American by putting down the GOP establishment, Washington, Congress, Obama, Hillary, Democrats, etc. Once he has identified with this anger, he offers the solution: “Trump2016! I’m angry like you and I will take care of business!” He is a master manipulator…
But the reality is that he flip flops so often that it is impossible to say that he gets done what he says he will get done because if he does one thing that he said he would then he has therefore not done the opposite thing that he also said. At best, he can only have a 50% rate of success at “getting things done.”
We have nothing to lose, why not try Trump?
Dave leads with this:
We have nothing to lose. The standard politicians have been making all sorts of promises and have kept little or none of them. The GOP congressmen ran in 2014 on repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood, etc. They’ve done nothing about it, even refusing to use the constitutional power of thethe reasoning this year is to get a non-politician in there (like George Washington; a surveyor, planter, and soldier before becoming President); maybe he’ll actually do something for a change. It’s perfectly rational decision-making
Perfectly rational? Hardly. We have nothing to lose? Sure we do…
How about the fact that we have the most conservative crop of GOP candidates in a very long time and perhaps ever? We have outsiders, minorities, conservative firebrands and proven leaders. In the statement above, in typical Trump supporter fashion, everyone but Trump is grouped in as a “standard politician.” However, Carson’s not. Fiorina’s not. In fact, Cruz is not and Rubio is not. Cruz has spent his entire time in Washington fighting against “standard politicians.” What has Trump done in the meantime? For years he has donated millions of dollars to the “standard politicians” and supported them publicly. How is it that now Trump is trusted as an outsider?
I believe that we have more to lose than ever this year. Voters are disenchanted with Democrats right now and the GOP might actually get in office. However, if there is not change then we will never see the White House again. If there is more corruption, more bickering, more abuse of executive orders and more war, then the GOP is done.
- Trump is corruption. He has been leading and paying for corrupt politicians for years.
- Trump is power hungry and does what he wants to do. He absolutely will abuse the Constitution, go around Congress and use his pen for executive orders. EXACTLY LIKE BARACK OBAMA.
- Trump attacks constantly. How could anyone think that this will help us relate to other countries? Trump will probably mean more war.
So yeah, we have a lot to lose.
Trump is just like Reagan and he turned out all right.
This is completely illogical. So, let’s just start with the assumption that you’re right. Trump is just like Reagan. It’s completely wrong, but we’ll just start with it for now.
This argument is like a drunk saying, “I drove home drunk and made it so I guess drinking and driving is ok!”
Could Trump turn out ok? Yep. Could he be the best President ever? Yep. Could magical unicorns fall from the skies and crap rainbows? Yep. Anything is possible. This does not in any way, shape or form make it logical or rational to bet on. If Trump is just like Reagan, which he’s not, then this does not mean we ought to vote for Trump, it means that we got lucky with Reagan.
I have also added in the following additional arguments that Trump supporters commonly make which are just as illogical.
Trump is the only one who can win the general election.
- Not true.
- Not relevant.
Trump has consistently polled lower than other candidates in the General election. Rubio has polled the highest at defeating the Democratic nominee.
However, this is completely foolish to think about. First of all, there are tons of mitigating factors like:
- It’s still extremely early in the political season and radical changes happen often.
- There are still tons of candidates in the race that are splitting the vote up.
- The American people are fickle and polls are wrong all the time as people’s views change.
However, the #1 reason why this is completely illogical is that as moral people we should do what is right. We should not do something because it happens to be more popular. We should draw a line in the sand and stand for truth. If this causes us to lose an election then so be it.
In response to attacks on Trumps bombastic character:
So he is rude. He says it like it is. We need someone who is a strong leader!
Yes, we need a strong leader. But a strong leader is not rude. A strong leader does not demean other people. A strong leader is not arrogant. A strong leader inspires other people to rise up and lead. A strong leader inspires respect from their adversaries, not fear. A strong leader is compassionate and kind. A strong leader does not use divisive language. A strong leader is not a bigot or a misogynist.
There is a mistaken impression to characterize Trump as a strong leader because he has accomplished a lot and had success. However, so did Hitler. So did Castro. Heck, so did Charles Manson. Getting things done or having successes does not make you a strong leader and does not preclude you from being a bully, a dictator or a criminal.
You can trust Trump to do what he says!
So when he said he was “completely Pro-life” we could trust that? How about when he said that Hilary Clinton was great? How about when he said he believed in Obamacare? How about when he said he believed in Obama?
You see, the problem is that we can’t trust Trump because he has drastically changed his mind over and over and over and over and over. There is only 1 single reason that you can trust him and that is that you have a “feeling” that he is being truthful.
So question that for a moment… you have a career entertainer, who has successfully manipulated people for decades and bragged about doing so who you “feel” is telling you the truth. Hmm…. nothing rational or logical about this. You’re being duped.
We need a successful businessman to fix our country and get us out of debt!
Hmm… like Romney? Steve Forbes? Perot? Being a successful business man does not mean you can run the country. Furthermore, ask yourself what Trump is successful at and how he got successful.
He learned how to bilk the system and manipulate things like eminent domain laws, politicians, zoning boards, the bankruptcy laws, etc and then has bragged about doing this for decades. This is the basis of corruption. Really? That’s the kind of business man you think America needs?
Trump can’t be bought and is not part of the corruption of Washington! He won’t even take a salary as President!
So, what you’re saying is that Trump has a history of corruption and buying politicians but now he is so rich that he can’t possibly be bought and so we can trust him? Are you daft? The man openly admits not only being part of the corruption of politics but proudly tells us that he has thrown millions of dollars at it and bought politicians. Not corrupt? Trump is the Kingpin of corrupt! And seriously? Won’t take a salary? You do realize that presidents make 10x their salary out of office than in the office right? Speaking tours, endorsements, books… heck Clinton charges more for one speech than the President’s salary for a year. This is just another way of Trump manipulating people into thinking he stands for them.
Trump speaks up for the little people.
Trump actually discusses the concerns of the middle-class, blue-collar worker. Bringing jobs back to the American worker is something about which most politicians care little, if at all. Why? Because nearly all are crony-capitalists, tucked into the pockets of Big Business executives who want to outsource your job to China.
Wow. You do realize that Trump actually is a big business executive who outsources to China and Mexico right?
Trump is pro-women.
Yes, Brietbart actually said that… I know…crazy right?
In the plot to take down Trump, one of the first tactics tried was to cast him as anti-women. But Trump has worked with many peers and sparred against many rivals – male and female alike – and thus actually shows he treats women as equals
Ok, so the argument is that he’s a complete asshole to everyone so he couldn’t possibly be singling out women so therefore he is “pro-women?” This is completely insane. This does not make him pro-women, it makes him an asshole.
Trump is a man of sound morals.
Yep, Breitbart spewed this one also… if I didn’t see the logo I would think I was reading the Onion….
“Heck, forget the “Art of the Deal” — Trump should write the “Art of Parenting.”
Right…. because making your money off eminent domain seizures, firing people, closing companies and moving them to China, opening gambling joints, operating strip clubs and talking about your daughter’s hot body are all really, really “yuge” moral victories. Wow.
So there you have it. If you have an actual rational, logical reason for why Trump ought to be President please let me know below.