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Thu Jan 28, 2016, 07:58 AM


Here are six things that Donald Trump is absolutely right about, says Ted Rall


Donald Trump has surged to the top of the Republican heap by saying outrageous things, issuing over-the-top insults and making ridiculous proposals. Some of his utterances, like his sexist remarks about Carly Fiorina’s looks, are offensive. His nativist demagoguery, calling for mass arrests and deportations of Latinos and a visa ban to Muslim visitors, are outright fascist.

Trump also says stuff that other politicians, and the media, are afraid to say and needs to be said. Here is a sample of the top six.

(1) Invading Iraq was stupid. The pundits say San Bernadino changed everything, at least the race for the Republican nomination, replacing pocketbook issues with foreign policy and terrorism as voters’ main concerns. If that’s true, if hawkishness is kind, then why is the GOP frontrunner doing well despite his consistent opposition to invading Iraq — the most significant Republican-led foreign policy initiative of the last 30 years? “Right now we have ISIS, which is worse than Hussein. Hussein did one thing: he killed terrorists,” Trump said in May. “We are in worse shape than we ever were. It’s a mess.” Most American people agree — but even Democrats don’t come down as hard on Bush’s Iraq War as Trump. (Maybe that’s cuz Hillary voted for it and Bernie, supposedly the wild socialist of the campaign, voted to fund it.) Everything else aside, Trump deserves points for hammering away at this.

(2) Interventionism in the Middle East is stupid.
Bernie Sanders criticizes America’s penchant for “regime change,” but Trump uses a sledgehammer where Sanders is content with calm analysis. Trump is also more willing to say that a secular socialist dictator beats the after-me-the-deluge play-it-by-ear approach we’ve seen lately, creating power vacuums filled by radical Islamists. “She is the one that caused all this problem with her stupid policies,” Trump said December 13, referring to Hillary’s tenure as secretary of state. “You look at what she did with Libya , what she did with Syria . Look at Egypt, what happened with Egypt, a total mess. They don’t back — we don’t back any of our allies. You look, she was truly, if not ‘the,’ one of the worst secretary of states in the history of the country. She talks about me being dangerous. She’s killed hundreds of thousands of people with her stupidity.” “What do you mean, hundreds of thousands?” a TV host asked, clearly shocked at his candor. “She was secretary of state. Obama was president, the team,” Trump replied. “Two real geniuses.” Trump has it right — dead right.

(3) Good relations with Russia would be a good thing.
Reading and watching corporate media, you could easily forget that the Berlin Wall ever came down or that the Cold War ever ended. Never mind that post-Soviet Russia has never directly confronted the United States in its sphere of influence. To his credit, Trump sees the wisdom of not picking fights with a nation with the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, a colossus that spans nine time zones and possesses vast natural resources. “I believe I’ll get along fine with Putin,” Trump reiterated Sunday. “I believe I’ll get along fine with other leaders. Obama doesn’t get along with Putin. Putin can’t stand our president and it’s causing us difficulty. And, frankly, and I said it a long time ago, if Russia wants to bomb the hell out of ISIS and join us in that effort, I am absolutely fine with it. I think that’s an asset, not a liability.”

(4) Electoral politics in America are corrupt. “I will tell you that our system is broken,” Trump said during one of the debates. “I give to many people. I give to everybody, when they call I give, and you know what? When I need something from them, two years, three years later, I call, they are there for me.” No one else, certainly not Hillary or his rival GOP contenders who are on the take, has the credibility of a guy who can personally attest to using his billions to buy congressmen and senators.

(5) We need more legal immigration. As noted above, immigration policy is where Trumpism goes off the rails. Even so, Trump makes one reasonable point: we need less illegal immigration and — this next part gets lost a lot in the furor over his calls for magical walls he’ll somehow get Mexico to pay for — more legal immigration. “Build a wall with a big beautiful door for legal immigration,” Trump said. Granted, he has flip-flopped on the issue. But increasing legal immigration is still a conversation we need to be having — even though a lot of the new arrivals ought to be (sorry, Donald) Muslim refugees from places we screwed up, like Syria.

(6) Common Core sucks. Like many of Trump’s stances, he’s on the right side of Common Core for the wrong reasons — he doesn’t like federal control of education. (Frankly, all the countries the U.S. is falling behind have centralized educational curricula.) But the Common Core standards enacted by the Obama Administration really have been a “disaster,” as Trump says. “I believe Common Core is a very bad thing,” he says. Last year, most students failed the way-too-difficult test in 49 states, destroying confidence and self-esteem among millions of American children. Meanwhile, teachers — who can be fired if their kids don’t do well — are spending scores of hours teaching to this stupid test as opposed to, you know, teaching actual knowledge. You won’t get this straight talk on Common Core from Hillary Clinton, or even Bernie Sanders.

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Reply Here are six things that Donald Trump is absolutely right about, says Ted Rall (Original post)
Proserpina Jan 2016 OP
TBF Jan 2016 #1
SoLeftIAmRight Jan 2016 #2
HuckleB Jan 2016 #3
HuckleB Jan 2016 #4
brett_jv Jan 2016 #5
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2016 #6

Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Thu Jan 28, 2016, 08:37 AM

1. The elephant in the room -

Trump and Sanders are both getting huge crowds because they are not afraid to talk about what is wrong and needs to be fixed. The only question is making sure we've addressed ALL the main areas and that we have a plan to fix them that doesn't hurt average folks more. Trump is missing the HUGE issue of income inequality, and the reason he's not talking about it is because he is benefiting from winner-take-all capitalism. Directly bring up his developing, slumlording, etc.

Various forms of trickle down from both parties has not worked. The answer has to be redistribution via taxation because a very small number of people have taken control of much of the wealth of this country.

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Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Thu Jan 28, 2016, 12:49 PM

2. I would add that our trade policies suck



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Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Thu Jan 28, 2016, 06:04 PM

3. Testing might be a problem with the testing, but common core, itself, is not so bad.

4 Ways Common Core Math Helps Students

Certainly, it needs a great deal of adjustment, but we shouldn't be foolish enough to just throw it out and start over. The "new" thing will be just as flawed.

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Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 06:09 PM

5. #2 is a bunch of random gobbledy-gook ...

Both from Trump, and from Rall.

No he's not 'dead right'.

And how is 'lets bomb the shit outta ISIL' the same idea as 'middle east interventionism is stupid'?

Most of 'em I'll 'give' Ted, or at least him being roughly correct. But not #2.

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Response to Proserpina (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 06:53 PM

6. Trump is pro-intervention in the ME - he wants the oil

On Monday morning, Donald Trump's campaign released its first official TV ad, and it hits all the xenophobic bullet-points Trump's become known for: ban Muslims from entering the US "until we can figure out what's going on," build that border wall, and "cut the head off of ISIS and take their oil." The ad crams all those promises into 30 seconds while displaying bleak, black-and-white B-roll of explosions and immigrants flooding the border.

All of that stuff is to be expected from the unlikely Republican frontrunner, but what does he mean by "take their oil"? Probably exactly what it sounds like—the US should go into the parts of Syria controlled by ISIS and suck the oil from the ground. Trump's never been shy about his opinion that the US should have taken oil out of Iraq, and during a speech in Michigan last December, the pseudo-fascist said, "to the victor belongs the spoils. You take the oil—you don't just leave it." Who exactly would be extracting the oil from the ground and transporting it was left unclear.


He continued: "They have some in Syria, some in Iraq. I would bomb the s--- out of 'em. I would just bomb those suckers. That's right. I'd blow up the pipes. ... I'd blow up every single inch. There would be nothing left. And you know what, you'll get Exxon to come in there and in two months, you ever see these guys, how good they are, the great oil companies? They’ll rebuild that sucker, brand new — it'll be beautiful."

Trump described a similar strategy to CNN's Anderson Cooper, who asked Trump whether he might be destroying the wealth of Iraq if he went after the country's oil fields.

"There is no Iraq," Trump responded. "Their leaders are corrupt."
Cooper also asked whether the US would need troops on the ground to protect the oil fields that Trump would rebuild after bombing ISIS out of them. Trump said he would put a "ring" of troops around the fields.


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