Ethical Quote Of The Week: Donald Trump

Trump CPAC

“If it’s bad, I say it’s fake. If it’s good, I say, that’s the most accurate poll perhaps ever.”

—-Former President Donald Trump, riffing on polls at CPAC

Apparently this completely candid and honest statement is driving the Trump-Deranged nuts. How can they not concede that he’s not only telling the truth about himself, but also explaining how virtually all advocates, all politicians, all pundits and all journalists—and all bloggers—use and abuse polls? How can they not give him credit for deconstructing polling itself, which has become one of the more destructive tools of public manipulation?

If anyone has the standing to do this, it’s Trump, whose election prospects were outrageously misrepresented by pollsters before both the 2016 and 2020 election, and whose “approval ratings” were weaponized during his entire Presidency to undercut him.

Pollsters depend on confirmation bias for the product’s imagined utility, in addition to tainted choices of participant pools and questions worded to reach the results their clients are paying for. Sometimes polls are “right” and sometimes they are “wrong,” but since there is no way to tell which poll is right or wrong, Trump’s description is spot on, not merely descriptive of his reaction to them, but everyone’s.

It is historic irony: a figure who has been stereotyped by his foes, including the news media, as a compulsive liar, holds on to his admirers because they regard his exaggerations, careless misstatements, and counter-factual pronouncements as trivial compared to his willingness to say out loud what other politicians and elected officials will not.

12 thoughts on “Ethical Quote Of The Week: Donald Trump

  1. I understand that an ethicist has to bring this stuff up, but, I see no point in discussing it. Each side is so locked in to their position that there is no room for rational debate. It has been said that there is no arguing with idiots nor with true believers. That is where we are with Trump and much of politics today. Sadly.

  2. I mostly agree with your comment Johnny and presume the idiots you refer to are democrats and the true believers understand what a great president Trump was especially considering the massive negative forces aligned against him, four years 24/7.

    True believers will engage in good faith however while the idiots you refer to will not.

    • There were plenty of true believers in Stalin’s Soviet Union and in Mao’s Communist China. They would betray anybody they suspected of being a class enemy including family members and friends.

      • I think you misread Trump’s appeal. He, contrary to popular view, is neither a Republic or a Democrat, and a populist but not in the Chavez or Mussolini veins. He is an opportunist promoting an America First agenda. He resonates with his supporters because they see themselves in him (which to me is a mystery because of his family wealth and station) and he spoke to them about real problems they were experiencing because of government policy (NAFTA and out sourcing jobs overseas) that directly effected their livelihoods. He also talked straight and said what his supporters understood as opposed to the nuance of Big Politics, something for which Romney was famous – you listened to Trump’s speeches and you understood what he said. You didn’t need a Ph.D to figure it out.

        And besides, polls are useless unless you know who conducted them and what was asked and the methodology used. All we see are the results spooned fed by pundits and their analyses. For instance, at a small college in West Virginia, one-third of all Renaissance painting graduate students are sleeping with their professors. Sounds bad, right? But, what if there are only three grad students and one of them is married to the professor?


        • I’m not sure why, but all the Trump haters are blind to his sense of humor. In part, at least, he had to be at least a little bit kidding. He’s a bit of a stand up comedian. Which is refreshing, certainly in a public speaker and a modern day politician.

          Come on, say what you will, it’s a good line. And it certainly has an unusually high truth content as well.

          • Incredibly, many critics claim that he has no sense of humor at all, which exemplifies their bias. Ann Althouse has consistently recognized Trump’s comic talents, to her credit.

            • “Projection” certainly comes to mind. Is there a more morose, humorless crew than the Trump Deranged and the Woke? Has Bernie Sanders EVER said anything remotely funny or light hearted? Has he ever cracked a smile? Of course, the Soviets upon whom he’s modeled his persona weren’t the most light hearted crew. Or Liz Warren or AOC. Or Hillary Clinton. Sour pusses all. I guess these are not ordinary times when there’s a revolution to run. Wit or humor have no place when the world needs to be fundamentally changed.

  3. “If I don’t agree with it, I say it’s unethical. If I agree with it, I say, that’s the most ethical [proposal/position/tweet/thingy] ever.”

    In a nuttshell the algorithm used by most run of the mill ethicist. You know, those who still have there credentials hanging proudly on the wall.

  4. “his admirers…regard his exaggerations, careless misstatements, and counter-factual pronouncements as trivial compared to his willingness to say out loud what other politicians and elected officials will not.”

    Certainly the Leftist media will never give Trump credit even for just saying what everybody already knows about polls and how they are used.
    Like many conservatives who ultimately supported Trump in 2016 (and again in 2020), I did so not because he was my first (or even second) initial choice but because he was the only candidate who seemed to grasp the degree of popular discontent with the Left and their consistent march toward socialism, and their impatience with the GOP’s tepid response to their efforts. He was the only candidate who, although not a hard-core conservative himself, understood conservatives’ continuing (and expanding) dissatisfaction with the establishment GOP for hijacking the “Tea Party” movement and quietly smothering it to death, and the rise of the neocons, who like the country-club RINOs aren’t trying to conserve anything. Conservatives were (and are) well and truly pissed about widespread federal misfeasance, malfeasance and overreach, and Trump assured conservatives that they were right to be pissed. Then he told them what he intended to do about it. He was as successful as could be expected after being opposed and vilified 24/7 for his entire term by the united forces of the Left.
    Trump forced the Left to reveal their true nature, and drew their most extreme elements out of the shadows. The collapse of the vilification campaign against him revealed the corruption of the “deep state” in the DOJ, the Pentagon and the intelligence community. His presidency has set the stage for the GOP retaking Congress in 2022 and, hopefully, the White House in 2024. This should also result in a thorough housecleaning at the senior levels of federal civil service, but that remains to be seen.
    Whether Trump’s “conservative populism” can translate into a larger resurgence of constitutional conservatism is also an unknown. It will depend to a great extent on (1) governors and state legislators getting their acts together and ensuring fair elections and resisting federal encroachment into their business, and (2) the current Senate holding off the Democrats’ efforts to (again) unconstitutionally usurp state authority to nationalize our election processes. Federal and state legislators as well as the governors, lieutenant governors and state attorneys general need to hear our opinions and positions on a regular basis. I know mine do.
    I hear some Republicans quietly boosting a strategy of “Trump-ism without Trump,” but I currently see a dearth of alternative contenders who have established their “willingness to say out loud what other politicians and elected officials will not” with Trump’s effective flair and charisma. A candidate who could do that while avoiding Trump’s “exaggerations, careless misstatements, and counter-factual pronouncements,” with the skills to choose able and ethical advisors and Cabinet members would be their “dream ticket” in 2024. I’m waiting to see who that might be.

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