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NeoNotes — Trump's facts & examining the 2016 election

And I remind you that no American political fact for the last two years has been easily ascertained. Or static. Look at how long it took to establish that the FBI was indeed spying on Trump based on an opposition report funded mainly by the HRC campaign and the DNC. Six months ago, that was being called fantasy by most of the major media outlets.

I say this as someone who doesn't like or trust Donald Trump.

But if we are going to dig ourselves out of this mess, we can't afford to accept unquestioned truth from anyone. Even when something seems incredibly obvious and easy to verify. I know this because far too many truths have turned out to be anything but. Starting with the allegation that (on election night no less) that Trump voters are misogynistic, racist, homophobic bigots who are too ignorant to know when they were better off under Obama.



But it does mean that all facts shouldn't be taken at face value.

Especially when there are so many other reasons to go after Trump. Think about it, you're trying to make a case based if Trump actually met someone and how much he may or may not have talked to him.

Meanwhile, Trump supports the USAPATRIOT Act. He supports NSA spying as long as he isn't the target. He wants to expand military spending without caps despite a recent audit finding that the Pentagon can't account for $800 million. He wants to punish reporters and news outlets for criticizing him. And he seems determined to resurrect the War On Drugs, one of the biggest threats to humanity yet conceived.

You're wasting your time on this penny-ante stuff. Especially with this crowd.

You won't be able to take Trump down with by arguing over what is and what is not a fact, and when it was or was not said. That's procedural stuff that he has been laughing off for decades.



There's a saying I wrote (and yes, I write many sayings). "As a rule, absolutes don't."

You're seeing truth as an absolute. It seldom is, particularly when it comes to human interactions. For example, there are strains of Islam which do not believe that nonbelievers are really human, so it's acceptable behavior to lie, cheat, assault, and kill the nonbelievers. Because they do not matter you see, they are not Muslim. As extreme a case as that is, there is not a cultural group that does not do the same thing. Including excluding truths spoken and written by the Other. Your truth is a Higher Truth™, and nothing can be allowed to threaten the Higher Truth™.

One thing that the last month or so has confirmed is that Barack Obama regularly lied. The last year or so has seen Donald Trump unravel much of what Obama did for eight years. So Donald Trump has to be shown to be less than Obama, or how else will Obama's truths survive? How else can the virtue of Obama's truths be demonstrated?

That's what I mean by "procedural stuff." \sarc\The truth isn't as important as taking Trump down and vindicating Obama. \sarc\ What's more, you'll spend more time defending Obama if questioned about his truths than anyone here has spent defending Trump.

And in extreme cases, \sarc\it's okay to lie to non Democrats because they don't really matter. After all, they are misogynistic, racist, homophobic bigots who are too ignorant to know when they were better off under Obama. \sarc\



Facts can be subjective. Is a coin a disc or a line? It depends on your perspective. What's the speed of light? It depends on the medium it's passing through and gravity. Let's take one of my favorite examples. What is a dollar worth? It's literally the belief of those using it.

One politico said "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." Another politico said "It depends on what your definition of 'is' is." Another said "Read my lips. No new taxes." We know they said these things, there is proof of that. But are they facts? Are they unchanging truths?

If anything, the events of the last two years have accelerated this trend. Some have called ours a post-truth world.

So here is a declarative statement. You don't know what truth is. If you're lucky, you might find people who agree with you about some truths sometimes.



In a very roundabout way (because I want to change your perspective), I'm pointing out that Donald Trump is changing the rules of American politics. He doesn't play as a politician, and he is more interested in actual change than the appearance of change.

Since at least the Great Depression, American politics has rested on the idea that Government Experts Knew Best while dismissing the efforts and ideas of people who actually did things. In order to do this, the Great Depression was sold as the failure of capitalism rather than the inevitable result of government interference. Over the decades that followed, an entire mythology and multiple rulesets evolved to manipulate the facts to fit the mythology. The weakness is that everyone involved in the government had to publicly proclaim the myth and follow the rules. The myth can't exist without the rules.

One of the biggest rules is that Republicans must act politely and must cower appropriately when inconvenient facts are introduced. It's supposed to be a metarule. It isn't, of course. That's part of the myth.

Trump broke the game. More accurately, Barack Obama and the Clintons broke the game when they decided Hillary needed a Republican clown to run against and then pulled every string to make sure Donald Trump got the nomination. They never counted on Trump being better at playing them and the media. Even today, Democrats and much of the media expect Trump to play by the old rules while never realizing that Trump has made his career by changing the rules into his game as he goes along.

That's why the fact of who met who where when and how no longer matters. That's the old rule set, guilt by association. It's not how Trump is playing, and it's not how he is measuring results.

Or, to put it simply: One thing that has become increasingly evident in the last two years is that there are no easily ascertained facts.



Not just Hillary, but Obama and Hillary.

There was a deal cut in 2008. We don't know the details, but it was supposed to put Hillary in the White House in 2016. It was also one of the worst kept secrets in the Beltway. Hillary was supposed to be inevitable.

And then the email mess hit. HRC needed a huge distraction. “We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to them seriously.”

Here's another quote.

"But campaign strategists say the attacks are not aimed at knocking down Mr. Trump. Instead, the smears are part of a calculated ploy by Democrats who want to help him win because they are convinced the billionaire businessman will lose in the general election."

There were other signs. If the press had been doing it's job, HRC never would have gotten the nomination and Obama would have had to resign in disgrace about 2014 or so. The thing is, most of the Republican leadership were content to be the loyal opposition instead of actually standing for principles. This was never supposed to have happened. Instead, Trump kicked over the chessboard and started playing fizzbin with one hand and go with the other.



No, those were two different quotes from two different places. The first one referred to a memo purportedly from the Clinton campaign, the second was an analysis of the Obama's administrations actions towards Trump. Are they definitive? No. But considering what we know now, they do indicate what was happening. Nor are these quotes unusual. You'd be surprised if you went digging around with your favorite search engine.

I don't think Bernie Sanders had the political chops to take on the DNC. He did much better than expected, but he was always going to be derailed. The DNC is engineered to prevent upstart candidates, every thing from the superdelegates to fundraising is designed to dilute any "grassroots" effort. Now astroturf, that's a different thing and the big reason why HRC wasn't nominated in 2008.

Well before the Seattle speech, the were rumblings that the national BLM movement had been "hijacked." I've not dug into the details, but in the past progressive grassroots efforts have been subverted by self-appointed elites, only some of whom are official. This well could have happened with the BLM movement. On the other hand, it could be that no organization is monolithic in it's goals and objectives. I don't have enough information. I've tried a few times to approach BLM activists and discuss police misconduct in general instead of only against "blacks" and I've been soundly rebuffed. So I'm not really interested in what they have to say. I also judge that they aren't effective on a national level except as a distraction and threat, and that's how the "elites" want it.

So was BLM the reason why Trump was nominated and eventually elected? I don't think so, but it may have contributed to the "law and order" that Trump was pushing.

I do think Hillary lost more than Trump won, and I am pretty sure that's a good thing. Trump's virtue is that he disrupts, and I think we need that more than a detailed plan. Government is not your friend. And for decades the myth has been that government is looking out for the little guy even as it cultivates the big guys.



Don't underestimate them, Trump and Hillary both have brains and experience. Hillary has decades of experience as a top-notch behind-the-scenes operator, it's only when she has to be the "face" that she fails.

Trump, like him or hate him, has decades of business experience and has a reputation of getting things done. He succeeded, failed, and succeeded again in some of the toughest real estate markets in the US. Then he walked in and succeeded in TV for years.

Sanders had grassroots support for much the same reason that Trump did, people didn't like what was happening. While he had experience, he hadn't been able to parlay that into leadership. Even discounting the political party structure, before the election most Americans didn't know or care who he was and they certainly weren't interested in his message. His core appeal wasn't his message or he himself, it was as THE alternative to Hillary. Without Obama and the Clintons trying controlling the election, no one would have noticed him. The irony is that Hillary's shenanigans made both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump possible.

It's not that Trump had less money, it's that Trump knew how to get a bigger bang for his buck. There's a scene in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. A British officer tells Jack Sparrow, "You are the worst pirate I have ever heard of."

"Ah," replies Sparrow. "But you have heard of me."

Trump knows how to phrase his message and get people thinking. He can play the press so they get people excited about what Trump says, even as the press denounces it and Trump for being a fool who doesn't know what he is talking about. Meanwhile people talk about how Trump's methods don't work, never realizing that they have accepted that it will be done.

This isn't about politics in the traditional sense. Sanders and Hillary Clinton loved to present multipoint plans that detailed how things were going to be fixed. Trump gets people moving before they realize that the plans haven't been written. People expect results from Trump. People expect words and more words from the average politico.



I think the MSM is used to writing about politicos who put value on the appearance of a solution. Whatever else you can say about Trump (and I can say plenty), he focuses on getting the job done. If that means changing the people, the rules, the methods, the procedures, or the carpet color, he will do that.
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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