A Thoughtful, Rational Entry In The “Give Me An Ethical Reason To Vote For Donald Trump” Contest

Would Bobby Kennedy have been a Trump supporter?

Would Bobby Kennedy have been a Trump supporter?

As regular readers here know, I have been on a fruitless quest to find a single articulate, informed, unemotional and substantive argument for Donald Trump’s Presidency. Not only have no such arguments surfaced, nothing has come even close. This entry is different. It does not blather on about “elites,” or “tearing it down,” or use rationalizations like “we’re all doomed anyway.” It does not default to reasons why Hillary Clinton is worse, an increasingly plausible theory, but still not a case for Trump. The argument that Trump is a better risk than Hillary because she would get away with her excesses while a biased news media will keep Trump under the scrutiny that they should subject every President  to but reserve only for Republicans  is too pretzelian to be taken seriously, but otherwise intelligent analysts keep proposing it. They are that desperate.

The article by former Robert Kennedy speechwriter Adam Walinsky is different in kind, and deserves attention. His perspective is interesting, and his gauzy perspective on Jack and Bobby is what I would expect from an ancient True Believer. Call me cynical, but those who extol the commitment to peace of a President who set the fuse for the Vietnam War and whose projction of weakness to the Soviet Union nearly sparked a nuclear war are not credible nor respectable advocates. Still, his argument is novel and his position is sincere, with many valid observations leading to what I judge as an absurd and reckless conclusion.

It is worth reading, though: I Was RFK’s Speechwriter. Now I’m Voting for Trump. Here’s Why….The Democratic Party has become something both JFK and RFK would deplore—the party of war.

11 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Character, Government & Politics, History, Leadership, War and the Military

11 responses to “A Thoughtful, Rational Entry In The “Give Me An Ethical Reason To Vote For Donald Trump” Contest

  1. Chris

    I admit it, I skimmed. Does the writer address the fact that Trump has flat-out said we need to invade Middle Eastern countries and take their oil? Does he address that he supported both the Iraq and Libya invasions? Does he address Trump’s unpredictability and the fact that his intemperateness could very well lead to a war? The idea that Trump is unlikely to ever get us into a war strikes me as absolutely incredible.

    • Me too.

      But then, RFK was a fraud. Maybe the guy just likes misogynists.

      • zoebrain

        http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-vows-any-iranian-ship-that-makes-rude-gestures-to-us-well-blow-it-out-of-the-water/article/2601459

        There are many good reasons for not voting Democrat. Certainly they’re now closer to Reaganesque foreign policy than, say, Wilsonian.

        But the idea that Trump is some kind of peacemaker, in the style of Chamberlain is wishful thinking. Yes, he’d leave NATO, tell the Germans he’s keeping Ramstein anyway, sign over the rest of Ukraine and the Baltic states to Putin, possibly Besserabia too. China gets everything between the Phillipines and Indonesia of course.

        But otherwise, more like a peacemaker in the style of Mussolini pre 1940
        .
        The time to intervene in Russia was in the 90s. A new Marshall plan of aid would have at least given a chance of a Democratic nation, not the current Authoritarian one.

    • I don’t think the writer is talking about *a* war.

      He’s suggesting Trump is less likely to get us into this war: United States v. Everyone Else.

      In fact, a close reading of the opinion piece leads me to think that it’s not about war at all; but rather about allies. The writer believes Trump has the best chance of making allies out of China in Russia in a war that the writer seems to concede must continue (the war on terror).

      I can see the argument, but personally, I think it’s just as likely that Trump will make our relationships with China and Russia worse. The reader has failed to see the difference between desire and competency. Nobody would more desire to help the Celtics win their 18th NBA championship than me. That’s NOT a reason for the Celtics to hire me as their starting point guard. (I’m almost 30, have asthma, and can’t score on wide open layups 60% of the time).

      One brief note: I’m not 100% sure it’s fair to say that those who engage in wars are not committed to peace. That seems like a false dichotomy to me. Sometimes engaging in war, or warlike activities, is a necessary component of keeping the peace.

  2. That opinion piece from Walinsky was an interesting read; I’ll have to ponder on it for a while.

  3. Wayne

    An aside. From all that I’ve read about Nikita Khrushchev, he believed that he could successfully test Kennedy and get away with putting missles and deploying them on Cuba due to the lack of experience that JFK had. Kennedy showed an interesting mix of strenght and restraint in this dangerous episode.
    We live in a different world now where we have multiple threats: ISIS, North Korea, Russia, China. Like it or not, we have to work with Russia due to a drastically weakened military and allies who have grown to distrust us thanks to Obama’s and Hillary’s disasterous foreign policy. Whether, Trump can repair the damage done while at the same time salvaging our economy is questionable but possible.

  4. Other Bill

    Is Wilinsky a fellow traveler with Stephen Cohen and Katrina van den Heuvel? Sounds like a Russian apologist. Weird.

    • Just an old, bitter, Sixties Democrat and peacenik.

      • zoebrain

        Concur. And a victim of magical thinking.

        See http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/09/26/president-trumps-first-term

        By September, the campaign was vetting four hundred people, and some had been invited to join the transition team. An analogy was making the rounds: Was Trump a manageable petty tyrant, in the mold of Silvio Berlusconi? Or was he something closer to Mussolini? And, if so, was he Mussolini in 1933 or in 1941?

        In “Trump: Think Like a Billionaire,” he included a quote from Richard Conniff, the author of “The Natural History of the Rich”: “Successful alpha personalities display a single-minded determination to impose their vision on the world, an irrational belief in unreasonable goals, bordering at times on lunacy.”
        Trump’s vision, even his “irrational belief in unreasonable goals,” was never a charade. …Trump presents us with the opposite risk: his victory would be not a failure of imagination but, rather, a retreat to it—the magical thought that his Presidency would be something other than the campaign that created it

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