Martin Wolf of the Financial Times weighs in on Donald Trump

Martin Wolf of the Finanacial Times may well be asking a question of "Why?" when he expresses his opinion of Donald Trump as a -

"Mr Trump is a promoter of paranoid fantasies, a xenophobe and an ignoramus." [And, tops it off with the conclusion that -] "Mr. Trump is grossly unqualified for the world’s most important political office."

Along the way the words "vanity", "populist demagogues past and present". "narcissictic bully". "Paranoid fancies" and "grossly unqualified." All of which add up to Martin Wolf's featuring Robert Kagan's (of the Washington Post) descriptor prominently, that of "the GOP's Frakenstein monster", a result of the GOP's reliance on obstructionism, bigotry, and "its racially tinged derangement syndrome".

Since Trump's campaign is believed to have been financed prncipally through his own resources, in the matter of how sick and inconsistent his rantings may appear, he is - in the mantra of the nation whose people and allies he despises - entitled to make his point - without a keeper handy. If the people buy it, much to their sudden but lasting loss. The curtain can certainly ring down on the history of a leading democratic nation by one man's efforts, recall Nero, a symptom, but armed with political power. Once in office, the opportunity to recant will have passed. One might conclude that to such a condidate, the odffice is not much more than a spring board for personal goals led by Greed, arrogance and most of all, hatred. Given the height of the wave of popularity Trump currently rides, it is frightening that so much hate fills and controls so many.

The question is simple enough, "Have the US voters lost all common sense to allow a grotesque caricature (which is often used on a comic sense - except there is nothing comic about this serious issue of promoting a clown for the "most visible and prominent office of POTUS") like Trump, advance to center stage - even for a moment. Is it the intent of the GOP to allow him to continue until revulsion reaches the level that any substitute offered will seem tame and welcomed no matter what his or her vacuous political stance? There must be more behind the curtain out of view of the public. Trump can't be the only choice!


Some posters here have voiced intent to support Trump at the polls. The fervent hope is that that underlying xense we all carry to one degree or another prevails at the moment of truth, when the hand reaches for the lever or to mark the ballot to record the vote once and for all for history, conscience will surface as a strong enough force to impress the owner with the folly and futility of wssting a ballot, unless their serious intent is to follow Trump's lead in wrecking the nation. That's where Trump leads. Perhps his businesses are in such disarray because of his unoperative attitude. It doesn't smack of the calm, control and organized commmon sense needed to manage a series of successful international ventures. The equation doesn't balance.

What else but failure could be in store for us with a man at the controls who claims: our allies are useless,we have invested our hopes and resources in futile alliances which have duped and misled us; we have a populace of undesirables, in that half of our citizens are useless appendages due to gender and most of the remaining half is not to be trusted; that our treasured basic values underlying our philosopohies and moral and political integrity since well before there was any thought of a new sovereign, democratic nation, codified beliefs in development for much more than 2000 years, are not strong enough to demand support - so weak as to convince so many there is no redeeming virtue in those beliefs and the human race is not worth the effort to place faith in their worth. The burning question should be where does Trump place himself in such a portrait he offers? What has this self-evaluated great leader been doing to advance our progress?

To date he's proposed nothing we need to lead us out of however one would characterize our darkness and confusion. He's done the exact opposite!

O&G sides with Martin Wolf, although Martin will never have the chance to cast a vote for or against this apparition; his only hope is that his appeal may extend beyond the small readership of the Financial Times.

there is no one presidential in this election

I'll let Kunstler say it:

"The mystery is at last revealed: why does the field of candidates for president score so uniformly low in trust, credibility, likability? Why are there no candidates of real substance, principle, and especially of real charm in this scrim of political basilisks? (Surely there are many people of substance and principle elsewhere in America — they just don’t dare seek the job at the symbolic tippy-top of this clusterfuck of faltering rackets.) The reason is that the problems are unfixable, at least not within the acceptable terms of the zeitgeist, namely: the secret wish to keep all the rackets going at all costs.

This is true, by the way, of all parties concerned from the 0.001 percent billionaire grifter class to the deluded sophomores crying for “safe spaces” in their womb-like “student life centers” to the sports-and-porn addled suburban multitudes stuck with impossible mortgage, car, and college loan debts (and, suddenly, no paying job) to the deluded Black Lives Matter mobs who have failed to notice that black lives matter least to the black people slaughtering each other over sneakers and personal slights. None of these groups really want to change anything. They actually wish to preserve their prerogatives.
The interests of the 0.001 percent are obvious: maintain those streams of unearned, rentier, notional wealth as long as possible and convert them as fast as possible into hard assets (Caribbean islands, Cézanne landscapes, gold bars) that will theoretically insulate them from the wrath of history when the center no longer holds. The poor (and ever-poorer) formerly middle class suburban debt serfs, for all their travails, can’t imagine living any other way or putting less of their dwindling capital into the Happy Motoring matrix. The Maoist Social Justice Warrior students are enjoying the surprising power and thrills of coercion, especially as directed against their simpering professors and cringing college presidents anxious to sustain the illusion that something like learning takes place in the money laundering operations of higher ed. The Black Lives Matter crowd just wants to be excused from their failure to follow standards of decent behavior and to keep mau-mauing the other ethnic groups of America for material and political tribute.

It must be obvious that the next occupant of the White House will preside over the implosion of all these arrangements since, in the immortal words of economist Herb Stein, if something can’t go on forever, it will stop. So the only individuals left seeking the position are 1) An inarticulate reality TV buffoon; 2) a war-happy evangelical maniac; 3) a narcissistic monster of entitlement whose “turn” it is to hold the country’s highest office; and 4) a valiant but quixotic self-proclaimed socialist altacocker who might have walked off the set of Welcome Back Kotter, 40th Reunion Special. These are the ones left standing halfway to the conventions. Nobody else in his, her, it, xe, or they right mind wants to be handed this schwag-bag of doom.
On Saturday, the unstoppable Democratic shoo-in Hillary lost her 7th straight contest to the only theoretically electable Vermont Don Quixote, Bernie Sanders. This was a week after it was reported in The Huff-Po that her campaign crew literally bought-and-paid for the entire 50-state smorgasbord of super-delegates who will supposedly compensate for Hillary’s inability to otherwise win votes the old-fashioned way, by ballots cast. Wonder why that didn’t make nary a ripple in the media afterward? Because this is the land where anything goes and nothing matters, and that’s really all you need to know about how things work in the USA these days.

The Republican mandarins are apparently delirious over loose cannon Donald Trump’s flagging poll numbers in the remaining primary states. Should Trump fall on his face, do you think they’ll just hand Ted Cruz the Ronald Reagan Crown-and-Scepter set. (They’d rather lock Ted in the back of a Chevy cargo van with five Mexican narcos and a chain saw.) The GOP establishment insiders are already lighting cigars in preparation for the biggest smoke-filled room in US political history, Cleveland, July 20. But what poor shmo will they have to drag to the podium to get this odious thing done? Who wants to be the guy in the Oval Office when Janet Yellen comes in some muggy DC morning and says, “Uh, sir (ma’am)… that sucker you heard was gonna go down…? Well, uh, it just did.”

As for the Dems: they are about to anoint the most unpopular candidate of our lifetimes. The BLM mobs have promised to deliver mayhem to the streets of the party conventions and don’t think they will spare Hillary in Philary, no matter how many chitlins she scarfed down last month in Carolina. The action in Philly will unleash and reveal all the deadly power of President Obama’s NSA goon squads when the militarized police put down the riots, and Hillary will be tagged guilty by association."

Who would you choose Old and Gray?

A European Point Of View

How to explain Trump's success? From whom did Trump get the magic elixir that gives him his strenght?
Trump did not create these people, more significantly, he made them the focal point of his campaign. He complains that the plight of white, middle class workers in America is worse than it has ever been. Trump is seldom right, but in this case the facts support him: the capitalist machinery is malfuntioning in America as evidenced by the fact that the 20 richest individuals in America control more wealth than half the nation's population.
The inequality has reached such obscene levels that many observers are making long-term predictions of capitalism's dawn-fall.
No society has ever survived for long under such a development.
What makes Trump voters so fearful of their world? What has made them losers in the land of unlimited opportunity?
Middle class jobs have ceased being taken for granted for some time already and even in a hausehold with two wages earners, the income is often not enough. Wages have fallen, competition from overseas has risen, and pensions are looking uncertain.
For some time now, not everyone in the US has been able to earn an adequate income. Equal opportunity is an ever-fading American myth. Social mobility is now more restricted in the US than it is in Europe. Those born into poverty are likely to remain poor all their lives.
That made the development of such destructive anti-social behavior more palatable to some - those with a mindset best displayed by Trump. He employed illegal Polish workers in his Trump Tower operation and at his former university he is reported to have swlinded people out of billions.
But he of all people, the capitalist-in-chief, the real estate billionaire, has now become the beneficiary of failure, the grave robber of a system that made him what he is.

Paradoxically, it is not longer Wall Street and the large banks whom the public hold responsible of their woes, now it is the "others", the foreigners, the Muslims, the Mexicans and all the "others" taking away their jobs - and the politicians, the establishment, the Republican party leadership who do nothing about it.
In the land of unlimited opportunity, freedom has turned into fear. Peple feel betrayed and cheated out of the American dream.
And what do they do? They vote the wealthiest capitalists into office.

Is a Trump candidacy an irrevocable catastrophe for the United States? This seems to me a great exaggeration.
Hillary Clinton's smarmy supporters have had to invent an opponent who is even worse: creating and then denouncing "Trump the Fascist" serves as a backdoor justification for supporting a proven political psychopath.

If I were American, I would choose Bernie Sanders.

Same here Saldeck

I also voted for Sanders in our Ohio primary. I was hoping that we would pull a "Michigan" but it wasn't to be in my state.
I do not actively support Trump. His main usefulness, in my opinion, was in being able to assemble an audience to say "what should never be said". By this I mean "there was no recovery", "Putin is not going to invade Western Europe", "Iraq was a lie". His off the top (and crude) comments about Islam, women, and immigrants can't be defended.
I'm not afraid of seeing our current two party system, what it has morphed into, of going the way of the Dodo bird. As crude as Trump is, I don't find him to be worse than "presidential" material that Hilary, Ted, and Kasich claim to be.
Much of America feels the same:

"April 12, 2016

The American public deserves the opportunity to vote for Sanders, Trump, and whatever hacks the two elitist war parties select.

If the Republican Party chooses a candidate other than Donald Trump at its convention, the possibility that Trump would declare a third-party/ independent candidacy is already mainstream. This would create a three-candidate race for the presidency in which the independent actually has a chance to win, given the monumental disgust of the voting public with the corrupt, elitist and profoundly venal parties.
So what's to keep Bernie Sanders from declaring as an independent candidate for the presidency? While Sanders has mouthed the expected platitudes about supporting Democratic Party hack Hillary Clinton, his ardent supporters--who almost by definition have zero loyalty to the elitist, permanent-war-is-wonderful Democratic party--might insist Bernie hold true to his independent roots and run as an independent.

That this has never happened before doesn't mean it couldn't happen. Granted, the American system is rigged in favor of the two parties; independents would face major hurdles getting on the ballot.
The American system has essentially no room for the will of the people: after the party machinery filters out everything but support for elites, vested interests, war and some hot-button social issues to distract the masses from their servitude, there is nothing left of the people's will but a fetid trickle of raw sewage.

It is no accident that party membership and loyalty is in structural decline. The parties only represent various groups of insiders and vested interests, most sucking their wealth off the bloated bureaucracy of the federal government. Party loyalists are by default those who benefit most from the status quo; the disaffected and marginalized have no voice.
The system is rigged to eliminate the will of the people via rigged party conventions. The status quo (i.e. the few benefit at the expense of the many) will defend its perquisites by rigging the conventions to select a suitably venal party hack (Clinton, Cruz, et al.) and then cranking up the propaganda money-machine to whip the remaining party loyalists into voting for the party hack, not because the hack is a worthy candidate but because the party elites say so.

Here's what no mainstream pundit dares discuss: the two-party system is sick unto death. Not only could the two-party system collapse, it should collapse. Nobody can say this in polite company, but reforming the corrupt two-party system is impossible, and so the only way forward is collapse.

Thomas Homer-Dixon described this dynamic in his book The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization

The American public deserves a real choice, not the rigged non-choice between two party hacks. The American public deserves the opportunity to vote for Sanders, Trump, and whatever hacks the two elitist war parties select.

Isn't the central point of my message in your responses?

Two questions:

  1. When was the last substantially impressive, qualified candidate of presidential timber available for voters as a choice in the finals? and
  2. Can anyone stand up to the fine-toothed comb examination/dissection of candidates in this uncontrollable rush of reportorial zeal under TV controlled spotlights, in the madness of the mass delusional oriented selection process?

Then, too, there's always the "age-old" question (as distasteful as age might be to those not suffering the afliction) of who among us is without fault of any kind. Everyone has had a weak moment when they fought through the flow of life by swimming upstream, or trying to fight their way through the crowd by going down the up escalator or vice versa in feeling if not in fact. It was a small matter when it happened, yet reporters and street-corner philosophers in our little circles will make the most of that moment of weakness to advance their own choice of the moment - usually for reasons which can not stand up to even cursory examination.

Probably the visions the candidates carry in their heads, the trappings of the office, the lables attached the "most powerful political office in the world" are enough to send the heads of the collective candidates spinning out of control and the "gotta-have-it" mode takes over. By the same token, the sense of power at the ballot box in each vote, each choice is over-rated as well to the point where each voter is held enthralled by the hallowed "wish and will" to be right. Expressed by the conviction that "My choice echoes everything I stand for; to be wrong is to admit that my struggle to survive was all in meaningless vanity" - and every political discussion begins and ends with a "be-all and end-all" compulsion that defies comprehension in normal language.

In truth, viable candidates, those who seem electable at the moment are a reflection of the common combination of vaporous, fleeting, but prevailing philosopohies of the day or even the moment, some of them half-baked, some rooted in inviolable precepts we couldn't abandon if our life depended onit in combination with transitory disappointments of the moment. no matter what the social threat on either side of our decisions.

And, in elections this concoction is subject to the penetrating glare of the TV spotlight, uncompromising, unforgiving. Looking back in history, ask yourself if today's electorate would approve of the list of drunkards, handicapped, and half-illiterate presidents we/ve had could stand up to today's gauntlet?

Past presidents were settled on because they were the pushiest, most determined of the lot with the support required from other determined influential characters with hidden agendas and questionable motives. What makes it seem likely that conditions have changed?

Menawhile out on the streets, everyday people confront each other with insults and catcalls, all matters of "slinging mud", in an attempt to intimidate and subdue stubborness - or for the noble reasons of dedication to principle, it makes little difference - and pretend it's a personal deficiency that prevents the opponents from recognizing the fault in their choice. . .

And we continue to reel around in that dumb (meaning without expressible memory or message) circular pattern that has us repeating the same mistakes over and over again and forgetting where we've been and how we arrived at the present point. This is the confusion of the election year, the summary of a democracy - who we are and what we stand for.


Ain't it grand? We can forget all our other weaknesses in the glory of an election year - and the choices we'll rue before the term has expired in expectation of compromises and negotiations which may be in the works even now, but are still not anticipated - pre-election! Unless we hold fast to the claim our choice was the "right" choice, where's the meaning? More important, we cna claim, "Ours was the sanctified correct choice!" It's the others who prevented us from doing the good we had in mind.

. . . Or, is it that we don't have the proper degree of dedication or the know-how to escape that carrousel we've been on forever and don't know how to get off? All paths seem to return us to the same starting point.

Where in the world is that wisdom so touted as being acquired in later years?

It's been awhile Old and Gray

Since we've had a substantial and somewhat honest candidate. My guess would be Jimmy Carter as a man coming close to those qualities.
I don't think people have ever had, with the exception of a very few exceptions, the dedication and willingness to put in the time to actually study a candidates background and credentials. A problem greatly aggravated today by a dumbed down media (MSM).
Usually the result is that the herd gets fed-up and has an "off with their heads" period. Sometimes the end result is an improvement, other times not so much.
I'm pretty sure that we are at the early stages with the "off with their heads moment". If I could choose an outcome, which I can't, I would prefer to see a Trump vs Sanders race (unlikely). My guess is that the majority would support Sanders given our countries current demographics.
Imo, the worst outcome would be a Cruz/Kasich combination vs Hillary. Kind of like choosing between death by slow strangulation or stoning.

But, On Second Thought, Maybe...

From left to right a chorus has emerged to denounce Donald Trump as a fascist. They cite his campaign promises to build a wall along the US border, his treats to expel eleven million undocomunted immigrants and to restrict foreign Muslims from entering the US. They decry his extreme nationalism as "resembling Hitler's policy".
Historical, fascist politics involved organized mass movements and groups who assaulted political opponents. Candidate Trump has not organized anything resembling a mass movement. At most, the police and a handful of his white supporters have punched provocateurs who have disrupted and threatened Trump's public meetings and his exercise of free speech. In fact the 'fascist' disruption seems to be mostly organized by his political rivals.
And, is a "rethorical cement wall" worse than the real wall of armed border police, helicopters and armed carriers that have operated under the Presidencies of Clinton, Bush, Obama with its hundreds of migrant deaths in the desert?
Are declarations of a repressive immigration policy more 'fascist' coming from Trump than the actual official practice of violently seizing undocumented workers from their homes and workplaces with imprisonment and expulsion? Expelling youth, raised and educated in America or splitting up productive, well-integrated families for lack of documents...that is the official policy of the current administration.
Are Trump's verbal attack on the practice of US multinationals relocating abroad to avoid taxes and Wall Street financial houses hiding billions of the US elite's obscene wealth in offshore tax shelters, more detrimental to American value than Hillary Clinton's pandering to Wall Street while pocketing over $300,000 for each 45 minute performance?

Using History...

Oil is a fossil resource. Supply is predicated on two aspects-- sufficiently decayed organic material culled from the earth by machinery. An entire mechanism deemed "progress" was built on the exploitation of oil. When employing the simple inevitability- all things have: birth, growth, maturity and a decline to voluntary or involuntary death, then it's a foregone conclusion that we teeter today between the voluntary and involuntary component. Out of that dynastic period arises rackets-- history tells us they always do. The key structure of all rackets is an antagonist using muscle to suppress ordinary individuals kept segregated as to never have the capacity to rise and rebel. The racket contains a pariah class that separates from the ordinary, loses credibility as they grow more reliant on the false system (racket) resources until--- rebellion and thus, the involuntary option.

We know this-- there IS someone calling shots. They are old and cold. Probably bored by now. The racket is beyond integrity and leaking everywhere. The pariah supporting it cannot sustain without it. WHEN it collapses, thousands of incapable unable inept people go zombie and do not rise in rebellion, they wobble, then fall over.

There are very meek people humbly perfecting self-sufficiency today. There are billions hoping and praying that the hand-outs continue and their pathetic lives are spared actual existence on Earth. There isn't one single aspect of this racket that will survive the collapse. That said and known... only YOU can decide your future. It has to make sense that the financial sector is now completely dysfunctional to every part of actual society... a common sense refers to Pink Floyd's album- Animals and the poetic clarity of the piece-- Dogs. The first thing you do is to isolate the winner. You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to, so that when they turn their backs on you, you get the chance to stick the knife in first. Dragged down... by the stone.

So much of that piece is chillingly accurate.

Using The Story Of Pete And Berta

Americans have a friendly face that makes them easy to talk to.
Last weekend, at a restaurant in Tuscany, I talked with Pete and Berta.
Brenda and Pete are a married couple from North Carolina, who, after 30 years in the business of selling computer parts, retired this year. With their kids all grown, they allowed themselves the ultimate dream of every successful married couple. For the next year they won't do anything except visit the places they have always dreamt of visiting.
Tuscany was the first place on their list because many years ago they spent their honey moon there.

Because of the amount on international interest in their presidential elections, they willingly jumped into political debates.
Berta asserted that the holiday was indispensable after the nausating atmosphere in the United States. " We are tired of politics. For a long time politics hasn't brought anything. If I had to choose one emotion to describe the mood of the choice, it's dissatisfaction. All those people who are willing to work, who wish the best for their chidren and their environment, who wish for a normal life and security and the pride that the United States provides have been chased into a corner."
" The pride is gone", continued her husband, "Obama gave an advantage to immigrants, to black people, to Muslims - to all those wishing to burden the State, in fact to all those who are not Americans. Whoever becomes his heir must change that. That's why Trump is successful, he is not afraid to say that this, what is going on, is jeopardizing our security and our pride." Explained Pete.

Decisions shouldn't be made from fear, but next to dissatisfaction fear is the driving of the current political climate in the United States. Fear of terrorism, of immigrants, of a new economic crisis. This is not the only case in the western world where a vote in favor is, in fact, a vote against. It has marked the political image of many European countries, including France, Italy and most recently Germany. I said.

Pete and Brenda were surprised that I was so interested in the political life of the United States. Sipping his Chianti, Pete told me that American elections are above all else an American problem. "We have the responsability to decide which candidate will be the best for our children. Any foreign comments are not necessary. America belongs to Americans," he said.
As he was walking away, I noticed a sign on the back of his cap, "Make America Great Again".

I felt sad, all of a sudden.

The climax of the album Animals is when the sheep, as if waken from an eternal sleep, realize that the others have been deceveing them and in a massive revolt of rage they kill the others. The album has been forgotten.

Yikes! Brenda and Pete get their wish

The stereotypical "unified" Republican party is in shambles.
The American people have finally woke up and said "out with the bums". I'm glad they woke up but it's too bad that they have promoted, shall I say, probably a not very trustworthy candidate.But, they really didn't have an alternate choice in that party.
Now the fun begins. Trump will trick Hillary into playing in his sand box and expose her for the grifter/charlatan that she is. She'll be unable to counterpunch because Trump brags about being the same. Obama may be forced to let the Justice department off the short leash he has them on.She may be indicted. It is possible that the brawl that everyone was anticipating in Cleveland may actually occur in Philadelphia.
There is a chance for Bernie. Moderate Republicans, Democrats, and most importantly Independents might prefer a softer spoken person that appears to be sane and honest. He certainly is smart enough to stay out of the mud wrestling contest. Stay tuned.

"Make America Great Again"

It's just a "feel good" slogan. Doesn't mean anything unless it's defined further. Most Americans don't put much thought into it.
For some it means having a powerful military and using it every time our feelings are hurt then watching the shock and awe on TV
For others it means minding our own business when it comes to military. Using it sparingly only after serious thought and discussion.
For others it means being a Christian nation.
For others it means being tolerant of all religions.
For some it means having a great job
For others it means unemployment or disability income for life
For some it means being able to carry a machine gun
For others it means having sane gun laws
For some Christians it would mean stoning people according to the old law
For other Christians it would mean love and tolerance according to the New Law.
Even I have my own ideas of what it means. Probably a few things that the hat wearers would agree with and a few things they would be appalled with.
Would have been nice to ask the guy with the hat what he thought. Might have been little more than a fashion statement.

Edit: America, in our short history, has had a few great moment and a few not so great moments. Often simultaneously. I guess most countries and culture have had similar experience.