About my Trump Derangement Syndrome

Some of my commenters believe I’m suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. If I only thought about things rationally, I’d see the greatness of our Dear Leader.

Maybe . . .

But as you guys sit in your mom’s basement, surfing alt-right sites and trolling the MoneyIllusion, I’d like you to briefly consider an alternative hypothesis, just for a moment. Is it possible that you are the one suffering from this disease.

BTW, this comment is not directed at some of my smarter commenters who like Trump’s tax cuts and Supreme Court nominees, favor less immigration and sanctions on China, but also see Trump’s downside. I’m talking about Trump’s hardcore fans; those who reflectively reject any accusation of dishonesty made against him.

Consider:

AFAIK, all the economists I greatly respect have a low opinion of Trump. That doesn’t mean I can’t respect an economist who likes Trump, it’s just that the guys who I think are flat out brilliant have a low opinion of him.

AFAIK, all the conservative commentators I greatly respect have a low opinion of Trump. And that’s not reverse causality; these are people who I respected before Trump came along. The George Wills, Ross Douthats, David Brooks, Jonah Goldbergs of the world all have a negative view of him. Yes, some famous conservative commentators like Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs like him.  But these guys are not exactly the sharpest blades in the drawer.

Four of the past five GOP presidential nominees voted against him. These guys are free to speak their minds because their careers are basically over. (Romney’s protected by a safe seat in Utah.)

Republicans in DC who publicly support Trump will privately ridicule him when speaking to reporters.  Ditto for the GOP Congressional staff.

Trump’s own aides call him a moron and an idiot and a kindergartener when speaking privately to reporters.

Trump’s own tweets are written at the level of a fifth grader.

None of this means the corporate tax cut was a bad idea, or that his Supreme Court picks are bad. But when you look at all these facts, isn’t there just a tiny, tiny, possibility that I’m not the one with the Trump Derangement Syndrome? Is that a hypothesis that you are at least willing to entertain?

I mean think about it. If it really were true that YOU were the one with Trump Derangement Syndrome, you were the one taken in by his demagoguery, don’t all the stylized facts that I presented resemble what the world would look like?

I’m also not the sharpest blade in the drawer (as I’m sure you’ve noticed from my grammar), and I’m not capable of knowing my own biases.  That’s why I look at all this external data for objective clues about “reality”.

So here’s my request.  If you want to convince me that I’m suffering from TDS, explain to me why all these other brilliant people came down with this “derangement” at roughly the same time.  After all, if one intellectual suddenly thinks he’s the reincarnation of Jesus or Alexander the Great or Napoleon, all other intellectuals don’t simultaneously suffer from the same delusion.

Then explain to me how you know that YOU are correct, and these other intellectuals are wrong.  No, not what you like about Trump or why you disagree with them.  That information is worthless, as you may be biased too.  I want you to tell me why a view from 64,000 feet indicates that YOU are the one we should all be listening to, and not all these brilliant intellectuals.

I want you to explain to me why your eighth grade dropout-level taunts in the comment section are an indication of your intellectual clarity.  What makes you so smart?

One possible explanation is that these smart pundits who have a low opinion of Trump are blinded by their intelligence.  On the other hand, I’ve noticed that many Trump supporters are big fans of IQ research, and indeed oppose immigration due to fears of America being swamped with dumb people.  But IQ research says that people with high “g” tend to be good at everything—so how can high intelligence make people so wrong about Trump?

PS.  If Hunter Biden were corrupt, in what way would the corruption have shown up?  One possibility is that he would have gotten deeply involved in Ukrainian politics and business and engaged in corrupt transactions.  Or, his corruption might have taken the form of trying to influence his dad to help his paymasters in the Ukraine.  Can you guess which type of corruption is 100 times more likely than the other?

Now consider this, in each case who would you have investigate the case?  If he were doing corrupt things in the Ukraine, you’d have the Ukrainians investigate.  If he were doing corrupt things with his dad, you’d have the Justice Department investigate.

Now assume Trump didn’t actually think Biden was guilty.  Which of the two investigators could you more likely convince to put out dirt on Biden, even if not true?

Do you see where I’m going with this?  If Trump thought Biden were guilty, he would have had the US authorities investigate the case.  The corruption would have occurred here.  The fact that he asked the Ukrainians to investigate is powerful evidence that he thinks Joe Biden is innocent.  But deep down you already knew that, didn’t you?


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45 Responses to “About my Trump Derangement Syndrome”

  1. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    30. September 2019 at 11:35

    I love that you’re trolling the trolls back, and you’re not wrong about who’s deranged, but it’s a more general case. Extreme partisanship makes partisans on both sides deranged.

    It started with Bill Clinton, before him the two sides would battle and disagree, but there was a sense of being two sides of the same coin, of both teams wanting to help the country just having different ways to do so. Starting with Clinton it became a personal war, a battle between two sides that actually were very different and wanted the other side to lose as much as wanting the country to improve.

    So you had Newt Gingrich and Kenneth Starr and the rest of the Reps deranged by a centrist Democrat who did mostly what the Reps wanted anyway…that was CDS. Then you had the other side with their Bush Derangement Syndrome, Bush was an incurious and awkward speaking redneck, and the other side hated him on a personal level: BDS.

    Then of course it catapulted to new highs with ODS, culminating in the Republicans trashing the Constitution and decades of government civility by not allowing the president to even NOMINATE a SC justice. That’s how important it was for Team Red to win (they couldn’t even trust themselves to vote the guy down), and that’s how bad the ODS was.

    Now there’s plenty of TDS out there. But criticizing a president for obvious criticism-worthy behavior isn’t derangement. Criticizing Obamacare doesn’t mean you have ODS, criticizing the Iraq war doesn’t mean you have BDS, and calling out Trump’s lies and unfitness does not mean TDS. Anyone not deranged can see that.

    So when Trump fans call TDS on every criticism, it’s just the usual mindless partisanship. Of course you don’t have TDS, Dr. Sumner. And keep trolling your trolls!

  2. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    30. September 2019 at 11:50

    You don’t ask the Mafia to investigate Al Capone.
    You don’t ask Tammany Hall to investigate Boss Tweed.

    Look, I’m not defending Trump, but we are at the point as a culture where civil servants place tribal and ideological loyalties above professional duties. Nor is there an obvious path to recover from this cultural decay.

  3. Gravatar of José José
    30. September 2019 at 12:14

    Brilliant people who criticize Trump: they lost to him. That is why he MUST BE a moron. It is envy. But I have another , more interesting question: when I started reading your posts a long time ago, I remember you repeatedly said you were a conservative then. Do you still claim to be a conservative now?

  4. Gravatar of msgkings msgkings
    30. September 2019 at 12:28

    @Jose: Are you one of those Trumpies who think opposing Trump means you’re not a conservative? LOL at you if so.

  5. Gravatar of Dhruv Dhruv
    30. September 2019 at 12:30

    SS.. spot on. As always, I voice of sanity in the absolute partisan idiocy

  6. Gravatar of Brian Donohue Brian Donohue
    30. September 2019 at 12:34

    What kind of support did Reagan enjoy among the intellectual class in 1980?

    As far as intellectual support, how about Victor David Hansen. He’s got all the intellectual bona fides and defends Trump. How about Peter Thiel? You’d be better off grappling with these guys’ perspectives than randos in the comments (I say this as a rando.)

    Or how about Stephen Kotkin or Niall Ferguson? Neither of these guys like Trump, but they manage to steer clear of TDS and can keep level heads while discussing the subject.

    Feel free to search your comments for the nicest thing I’ve ever said about Trump. He’s a narcissistic boor, and a much better President than all-around good guy George Bush.

  7. Gravatar of John Arthur John Arthur
    30. September 2019 at 13:28

    Brian: agree with the Reagan comment, many didn’t like him. The difference was that he was successful, and left America far wealthier than his peers did and partly helped bring the end of the Soviet Union.
    Trump is disdained but hasn’t proved his doubters wrong.

  8. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    30. September 2019 at 13:36

    The fact that he asked the Ukrainians to investigate is powerful evidence that he thinks Joe Biden is innocent. 

    What a confused theory. And way too complicated. Another proof that you have massive TDS. You don’t even consider the obvious explanations: Trump doesn’t trust the State Department and all the other agencies. He also knows that he doesn’t have to prove anything to Biden directly. It’s enough if he gets his son. And then Biden’s in on it, because it looks like wherever Joe went, son Hunter followed and cashed in. And Biden knew about it. That’s more than enough.

    I also know that anti-Trumpers like to tell themselves stories about how Trump is a moron, an idiot, a kindergartner, and what not. He has dementia and two dozen other disabilities. I get that. You guys are extremely frustrated. But you haven’t thought this through. How in the world can one lose to a moron, an idiot, and a kindergartner with dementia? And why should anybody follow a camp that loses to a kindergartner with dementia?

    Like Brian, I don’t think your intellectual thesis is convincing either. If one had followed the intellectuals during large parts of the 20th century, then all Western countries should have adopted communism.

    I also don’t quite understand why you like intellectuals so much. Most of your fellow intellectual economists reject your market monetarism theory. You are almost an complete outsider, even though you love to lie about this to yourself, it is still true.

    Why don’t you give up your market monetarism theory? Your colleagues must be right after all.

  9. Gravatar of Cameron Blank Cameron Blank
    30. September 2019 at 13:39

    I suspect part of the pro-Trump commenters is that this blog attracts contrarian minded people and what can be more contrarian than supporting someone who is overtly clueless and nasty?

    Another part of it is most commenters on this blog are intelligent and work in careers/live lives where they are surrounded by anti-Trump folks. Nothing will drive SOME personalities to Trump faster than being surrounded by the kind of vain, unintelligent, and predictable criticism most people have of Trump and Republicans*. They probably rarely have to hear Trump supporters spout nonsense because they probably don’t know many, if ANY. If they had to hang out with Trump supporters for a few hours I suspect they would suddenly start to question their “anti-anti-Trump” views. Both sides are just insufferable now and make you want to stab your eyes out.

    *obviously there is a ton of reasonable criticism of Trump (especially on this blog) as well as the far left, but that doesn’t make stupid criticism any less annoying.

  10. Gravatar of John Arthur John Arthur
    30. September 2019 at 13:41

    Scott: Most of Trumps detractors are stupid as well. For instance during the General Election Trump’s big point was Hispanic immigration was bringing crime into America. In reality, Hispanics have crime rates equal to Whites. Yet no one tried to contest Trumps position on this issue except to call him racist.If they had, his key point would have failed and he would have lost, yet Clinton nor his media and academia opponents tried to fight him on this issue. Trump is President because his detractors are dumber than he is…

  11. Gravatar of Keenan Keenan
    30. September 2019 at 14:08

    Trump Derangement Syndrome is people who start to spend a disproportionate amount of their time bashing Trump (even if valid). The validity of their bashing is irrelevant, the syndrome just causes you to spend all your time bashing.
    I’m a fan of MoneyIllusion, but just writing this post kinda shows you have TDS.
    People with TDS also will try to logically argue with idiots, which is what you are also doing in this post.
    TLDR – huge fan, but you have TDS, which isn’t too big a deal. You seem to be containing it better than many other bloggers

  12. Gravatar of Jeff G. Jeff G.
    30. September 2019 at 14:18

    Where’s Morgan Warstler? I want to take him up on his impeachment bet!

  13. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    30. September 2019 at 14:26

    Steve, Yes, I agree. You don’t ask a corrupt state like Ukraine to investigate.

    You said:

    “Look, I’m not defending Trump”

    Obviously not, he asked the Ukraine to investigate!

    Jose, I think I said I was viewed by others as a conservative. I’ve always viewed myself as a libertarian. My views have not changed (whereas the GOP has changed radically.)

    Brian (and John), You said:

    “What kind of support did Reagan enjoy among the intellectual class in 1980?”

    You must both be young. I remember the 1980s, and conservative intellectuals supported Reagan.

    Christian, It’s not about who he trusts, it’s about the fact that the Ukrainians would have absolutely no way of investigating corruption that occurred in the USA. He “trusts” that the Ukrainians are willing to be corrupt if we withhold hundreds of millions in aid.

    And you haven’t explained why his own staff thinks he’s an idiot. If they are stupid, then why does Trump keep picking stupid people? He said he’d pick the very best people. Is John Bolton one of the best? If not, why was he picked?

    Anyway, why should I listen to you, an apologist for bloodthirsty regimes all over the world.

    John, You said:

    Most of Trumps detractors are stupid as well.”

    Of course, most people are stupid. But that has no bearing on this post.

    Everyone. I see that no one refuted the arguments in the post, which is telling. No one even offered an evidence that Trump is not as bad as conservative intellectuals claim. You can’t beat something with nothing.

  14. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    30. September 2019 at 14:28

    Cameron, Good point.

    Jeff, First Morgan has to figure out which side of the bet he wants to take. I think he’s confused right now.

  15. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    30. September 2019 at 14:50

    “If I only thought about things rationally, I’d see the greatness of our Dear Leader.”

    Actually, Sumner, you overrate Trump. I don’t actually think he’s popular, and think he’ll lose in 2020 due to his demonstrable lack of initiative. Who are you even aiming this at, honestly?

    “The George Wills, Ross Douthats, David Brooks, Jonah Goldbergs of the world all have a negative view of him.”

    They suck.

    Sumner, you should forget these fools and watch Tucker. He’s good, and actually understands Trump. Of course, he is also a Trump critic, like I am.

    “But when you look at all these facts, isn’t there just a tiny, tiny, possibility that I’m not the one with the Trump Derangement Syndrome?”

    There’s no reason to think of Trump as a total moron. However, he can and should be criticized for poor political strategy and a glaring lack of initiative.

    “If they are stupid, then why does Trump keep picking stupid people?”

    Lack of initiative. Simple enough.

    “The fact that he asked the Ukrainians to investigate is powerful evidence that he thinks Joe Biden is innocent.”

    Not obviously.

    “so how can high intelligence make people so wrong about Trump?”

    Higher intelligence might simply result in more exposure to propaganda. And this is largely what happens. Very few people (under 5% of the electorate) are intelligent enough to judge anything about Trump coherently.

    “I’ve always viewed myself as a libertarian. My views have not changed (whereas the GOP has changed radically.)”

    No; you’ve changed; the GOP has stayed in the same place. That might not always been the case. But it’s stayed essentially the same party for a long, long time.

  16. Gravatar of Brian Donohue Brian Donohue
    30. September 2019 at 14:50

    Scott,

    I VIVIDLY remember George Stigler, freshly-minted Nobel Laureate in 1982, being interviewed. He said something like “Reagan needs to go farther”, and the bemused reporter chuckled at this strange, out-of-touch old man. We were still in a recession at the time, and Reagan was widely loathed.

    Yes, there were a sliver of academics pounding on the gates, but they were largely anathema to the academic establishment (and still are; thank God they (you!) have been right about so much, otherwise, the movement would have been snuffed out long ago.)

    Or go back to the spring of 1980, where Reagan was assaulted from within the GOP as a purveyor of “voodoo economics” by party standard-bearer George H.W. Bush.

    Reagan’s support among the establishment was meager across the board, outside the UC Econ department.

    I also ticked off a list of intellectuals that can articulate a case for Trump much superior to what you read here, or a case against Trump devoid of TDS tropes. Get out of your bubble and give these guys some of your attention.

  17. Gravatar of E. Harding E. Harding
    30. September 2019 at 15:07

    Reagan in 1980 did somewhat worse than Ford among the college-educated, but far better than Trump.

  18. Gravatar of rick rick
    30. September 2019 at 15:18

    Kennedy has Bay of Pigs
    Johnson had Vietnam
    Nixon had Watergate
    Carter had the hostages
    Reagan had Iran Contra
    Bush had little more Iran Contra
    Clinton had Monica
    Bush had the war
    Obama had Syria

    Trump had Russia and what most folks don’t get is that none of our Presidents was as successful as we wanted them to be – they all had flaws. Trump is like 9 out of 10 guys I knew when I worked in NYC.

    We didn’t vote for him because we thought he was a great politician or a great mind – we voted for him because all of what came before did not do much for us. Even Reed H. said that if Obama had jailed some bankers, Trump would not have won.

    I think your view is that Bernanke keep rates too high but banking is built on trust – where were the prudent bankers? No – we are not fooled by Trump but neither were we fooled by the others – they are just politicians, not statesmen and appear to only be worried about their next campaign contribution.

    I am not sure about universities, but I work in a highly regulated industry where many of the rules don’t make sense – and appear to be only law because of what some health care insurance co was able to get written into law or some MD trying to be an administrator thinks might be helpful.

    I voted for Clinton twice and will never vote for a democrat again because he wasted my vote and you might say I’m cutting off my nose to spite my face but “nuthin from nuthin leaves nuthin”.

  19. Gravatar of Lorenzo from Oz Lorenzo from Oz
    30. September 2019 at 16:49

    (1) Do we know there is no US investigation?
    (2) It was a Ukrainian prosecutor that was sacked under US pressure, so perhaps it was worth telling the Ukrainian President that The Donald’s Administration takes a different view? The current President trumping (so to speak) the previous Vice President.

    Apart from that, mostly yes to what you say.

    I note Conrad Black has a different view.
    https://nationalpost.com/opinion/conrad-black-why-donald-trump-will-win-big-in-2020
    And I wonder what Washington insiders back in the day thought of Andrew Jackson.

  20. Gravatar of Christian List Christian List
    30. September 2019 at 17:34

    No one even offered an evidence that Trump is not as bad as conservative intellectuals claim.

    The problem with these “intellectuals” is that they are eunuchs in a harem. They tell you all day long how it is done, but in reality they have no idea how it is done, they are completely unable to do it. It was Trump who won the Republican primaries and the presidential elections. As long as Trump wins elections, people will not move away from him.

    If they are stupid, then why does Trump keep picking stupid people? He said he’d pick the very best people. Is John Bolton one of the best? If not, why was he picked?

    Personally, I liked people like Bolton and Mattis. He had to part with Bolton for political reasons before the elections, I understand that. I also understand that relatively few people want to work for Trump. He seems to be a difficult boss. But at the end of the day, these are things that don’t interest me much, as long as the government works halfway. I don’t care how he achieves his goals, as long as he stays on course. And so far he stays on course. I’ll part with him as soon as he gets off course. I found the attempted betrayal of the Kurds was his worst action so far, so yeah, he shouldn’t do something like that again. But the rest is mostly fine with me. Since Bush and Obama, I’m not that selective anymore.

    And you haven’t explained why his own staff thinks he’s an idiot.

    Most people on his staff say that anonymously. You can write anything in the press if you say it’s an anonymous source. I also assume that there are people in his staff who are frustrated, for example for political reasons. Other reasons might include his temperament, his personality disorder and his dyslexia. I’ve had bosses like that before, their staff used extreme vocabulary to describe them as well, which is even understandable. But you should also be able to separate things. As I said, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that he was a a moron, an idiot, and a kindergartner with dementia, because that doesn’t explain at all how he got into that position and why he’s holding himself in that position for so long. You guys haven’t thought this through. If you have an arch-enemy, then at least don’t underestimate him constantly.

    Ukrainians would have absolutely no way of investigating corruption that occurred in the USA. He “trusts” that the Ukrainians are willing to be corrupt if we withhold hundreds of millions in aid.

    It just looks to me like another confused theory that you have made up in your mind. You have no real explanation as to why Trump asked the Ukrainians. Because he believed that Ukrainians are so corrupt that they would fabricate evidence for him? And then what? The American public and the press would believe fabricated evidence? That’s your theory???

    Trump simply thought that there is more to find in Ukraine. He doesn’t trust his own agencies at all. And he seems to be afraid of Biden, so he wanted to find out as much as possible.

    The narrative that it’s corruption to ask the Ukrainian government to investigate, while at the same time Biden and his son are just a little “sleazy”, won’t work on the big stage.

    But the media and you should keep repeating this version of the story. I embrace it. It will mobilize the right voters. I hope you can hold out until the elections, save your strength, you have to keep this up for another year. It would be such a shame if you ran out of gas too soon.

  21. Gravatar of keenan keenan
    30. September 2019 at 18:52

    did my comment really get taken down? lol

  22. Gravatar of Steve Steve
    30. September 2019 at 20:19

    Trump’s motive in Ukraine is as much about finding information about the Steele Dossier and Crowdstrike as it is about Biden. Pointing to Biden’s graft is just the cherry on top.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/hillary-clinton-and-ukraine-11569881729

    Sumner is deliberately obtuse that nothing is being purchased with a 3 million dollar Potemkin sinecure. Most of the time what is being purchased is future access or loyalty, rather than an immediate quid pro quo. Ethics rules for politicians are virtually non-existent compared to, say, investment banks, which have been caught many times in pay-to-play scandals where the item being purchased is often ridiculous valuations or dishonest recommendations.

    And the China corruption is potentially a bigger deal for Biden thanks to *what* Biden was investing in. Not only did Hunter fly in on Air Force 2 to do business, Hunter also invested in ethnic surveillance technology to be used in the Chinese concentration camps.

  23. Gravatar of UserFriendly UserFriendly
    30. September 2019 at 21:48

    You are using the term wrong. Trump derangement syndrome is when hatred of Trump just makes people see red and oppose almost anything he does reflexively. The only difference between Trump and every other president we’ve had in my lifetime is that Trump does the corruption in plain sight. He’s proudly continued the bipartisan mission to exterminate the middle class while the billionaires cash out so I can’t really understand why rich people hate him so much.

  24. Gravatar of MORGAN WARSTLER MORGAN WARSTLER
    1. October 2019 at 06:18

    OK Scott! You have heard this from me before but I don’t think it has completely sunk in…

    But 100% GUARANTEED I can tell you an accurate & historically provable explanation for why so many of you “BRAHMIN” dislike Trump.

    To get it, we have to start with the history of the GOP and the difference between the GOP and the Dems.

    For Dems, the smartest guys int he room, the WONKS, they all move to DC, join the academy, think tanks, etc. They literally join the govt.

    BUT for the GOP, the smartest guys THEY ALL RUN COMPANIES IN THE 50 STATES.

    Democrat politicians come into Democrat politics as a kind of competitive priesthood that preaches the god of the state – the better they are at being priests the higher they climb.

    BUT, the ENTIRE GOP is run by guys who NEVER RUN FOR OFFICE.

    Reread that. It’s critical to understand why you and the guys you like despise Trump.

    In 435 districts, the guys who are the largest employers – the smartest guys in their sectors on Earth – they run true local political farm teams.

    They fund township trustees, school boarders, city councilors, county commissioners, judges, state reps and Senators, and ALL THESE guys are climbing up the farm team based largely in part on do they WIN AND DELIVER for their “employers” – the smartest guys in town who are the largest employers.

    Reread that.

    The EXPLAINS why prior to 1980, the GOP was completely Regional – the GOP didn’t agree on anything nationally. Not trade, Immigration, Defense, Abortion, Education, Guns – they didn’t agree on anything. Rockefeller, Goldwater, Teddy, Bible, Rust Belt, etc.

    EXCEPT

    Send the power back home from DC so my employers – the big fish in the little ponds HAVE MORE POWER.

    The basic rule was, run your guy for POTUS in the primary, but whoever wins,. WE ALL HOLD OUR NOSE and ACCEPT the guy in the office, you might disagree on trade or environment or whatever – but AT LEAST he’d keep sending power back to the states.

    But in Congress, the GOP wildly disagreed, and this, in turn, created even minor regional difference in Dems – but as you understand Dems STILL were generally more in agreement – get power to DC, sometimes you bend to your local circumstances but not like GOP.

    The gave us GLORIOUS HORSETRADING. Compromise! The govt our founders expected.

    —–

    BUT THEN, in 1980 Reagan was elected and brought o DC a new terrible animal – the GOP PRIESTHOOD – the DC lifetime living “conservative’ who created a “conservative ideology” based generally on “Reaganism”

    This is where you and your guys start to go wrong Scott.

    REPUBLICANISM HAS ALWAYS BEEN A NON-IDEOLOGICAL NOSE HOLDING PRAGMATIC AGREEMENT GUERILLA TACTICS ARE FINE JUST WIN AND GET POWER SENT BACK TO THE GUYS WHO RUN THE PARTY.

    You see this now clearly Scott?

    NON of the guys you agree with on Trump agree with my definition of Republicanism.

    Some like you will even claim you aren’t Republican, you are “conservative”

    And that’s a bullshit construct.

    Reaganism was just a non-ideological policy basket that arrived in 1980 to cobble together his win.

    next up PART2

  25. Gravatar of Effem Effem
    1. October 2019 at 06:36

    When deciding who is right vs wrong I typically try to determine who is acting more on emotion than facts.

    None of trump’s policies strike me as anything extreme. You may not agree but a case can be made for: tougher trade deals with china, less illegal immigration, lower corporate taxes, more energy production, less regulation, etc.

    However, the extreme visceral reaction to such policies by “intellectuals” as though they collectively represent some unprecedented policy nightmare, tells me they are acting from emotion, not from logic.

    I believe that a set of “trump policies” delivered by someone who walks & talks like an intellectual would be received in a more level-headed way. It’s the man they don’t like…not the actions. To me, that’s a version of derangement. I’d like to see all types hold office in the US regardless of how they look or what they wear or what kind of jokes they tell. We are a country of many types and “intellectuals” are but a tiny slice.

    As for corruption, I cannot prove this but I believe most politicians are highly corrupt. The more clever ones know how to keep it just shy of “illegal” and out of the public eye. How much corruption we uncover will basically be a function of how hard we look…which very much works against any “outsider” as they will be heavily scrutinized.

    It’ll be interesting to see what we turn up now that Barr/Durham are taking a hard look at groups who normally operate with virtually no scrutiny. I suspect it’ll be ugly. I also suspect intellectuals will rationalize it.

  26. Gravatar of José José
    1. October 2019 at 06:43

    Prof. Sumner
    I don’t think people who support Trump believe he is a genius. I think they prefer him to a Democrat government. Speaking for myself, I think they all are incompetent, and the state has little to do to improve people’s lives, except when it refrain from intervene. I also view myself as a libertarian. But what do you prefer: an incompetent conservative or a smart and competent progressive ? I prefer an incompetent conservative, who will do close to nothing, as opposed to a competent progressive, who will increase the “deep state”, increase regulations, increase taxation, to the expense of society at large.

  27. Gravatar of MORGAN WARSTLER MORGAN WARSTLER
    1. October 2019 at 07:08

    But the real change that came in 1980 is that these GOP PRIESTS set up an industry (via donors) to push policy agendas and lobby sure (that came even a bit before Reagan) but it exploded into commentary, media, think tanks, etc.

    But in shorthand, I always say their weakness was that they did not have a put to piss in, they were STILL only sustained by the REAL GOP WONKS.

    So, NO Scott, there is no “conservative” movement, once the funds are cut off, and you are SEEING THAT NOW, it evaporates.

    It’s not easy to tell someone, your ideology is an imaginary cult-like thing, that will evaporate when your priests stop being fed, but here we are…

    This all became clear to me when I watched the joke of the Romney loss autopsy – where KARL ROVE MADE $150M and forever pissed off every GOP WONK (DONORS) I spoke with…

    And I was right, they knew the problem Scott WAS YOUR BUDDIES. Your buddies had too much money, too cushy jobs, and didn’t DO THEIR JOB.

    So they all set up SuperPACS – you can expect many more of them. THEY LOVE THEM.

    You toss $1M+ into an acct. you HIRE A SALARY BASED POLITICAL MONKEY and then hilariously by LAW, you cannot coordinate with candidates! Rich guys LOVE THIS.

    So every week the candidates call you up and tell you EXACTLY what they are doing, what the internal numbers are, and what they will do. You get an inside seat, but have ZERO OBLIGATION TO PAY FOR IT.

    You dont have to spend the SuperPAC money! And when you do, if you do, you get to control the message.

    ——

    So Scott, it’s imperative you understand the above piece because it PROVES MY POINT ABOUT ABOUT TRUMP.

    NONE of the GOP WONKS (donors) would allow their money to be used to attack Trump.

    Rubio or Ted would get on these calls and the donors would run ads attacking any of the other candidates, but not Trump!

    If you fight me on this I’ll give you a ton of examples – just ask if you don’t believe.

    Generally, all the donors I know (and it’s a bunch) they spoke very highly of Trump.

    First, he was one of them! But also they were familiar with and impressed his companies – they play at his clubs, they have vacation condos in his buildings.
    They’d met him before. They enjoyed his personal company if they had it. He’s funny. And I’m not kidding here – EVERY ONE of the donors you speak with they still mention his family. It’s hard to raise rich kids and have them not turn out as drug-addled socialist poodles.

    To me this is the Trump Story:

    He ran for office on his own money, none of the other GOP money would run against him, his policy basket TRUMPISM is no different than REAGANSIM (just a policy basket that cobble together a WIN) –

    McCain and Romney proved Reagan policy basket+ GOP BRAHMIN GETTING RICH couldn’t win.

    Get that Scott?

    You think Trump is a dufus.

    But the GOP WONKS think he is great.

    You listed out a bunch of Brahmin ALL OF WHOME are lower status todayNOT BECAUSE OF TRUMP…

    but because the GOP WONKS decided in 2012 to NEVER let the Brahmin be in charge again.

    Salary monkeys that’s what they get to be.

    I’m sorry Scott, but the reason these guys are so rabidly against Trump is because

    IF HE SUCCEEDS, IT PROVES THEY ARE WORTHLESS TO THE SOLE SOURCE OF INCOME THE GOP WONKS.

    But they are mistaken.

    The wallets of yesteryear have been closed forever.

    Until trump leaves ON GOOD TERMS, the guys you know Scott will never find out nobody is funding “conservativsm” they are funding WINNING.

    Look man, I can’t help what you;ve got.

    You don’t want to commit to a non-ideoligcal policy basket of whatever wins for the party that send power back to the smartest guys on Earth – the guys who employ America.

    BUT THAT IS AN IDEOLOGY!

    I’m for whatever gives the private sector winners more control over their ponds – is 100% LEGITIMATE IDEOLOGY.

    which is why I say, you aren’t an ideologue Scott, you are a self-interested tribesman.

    Not just bc of China but bc of Academy and friendship with guys who live in DC and suckle on the teet of GOP wonks.

    Artists always despise their patrons.

    So I have 100% explained it.

    I am right.

    And you are not technically deranged, you are self-interested and that keeps you from seeing what is obvious to everyone else:

    THE GUYS SMARTER THAN YOU LIKE TRUMP.

  28. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    1. October 2019 at 07:27

    Everyone, If you are going to respond to a post like this trying to defend Trump, then it pretty much proves my point, doesn’t it? Next, time, try actually READING the post.

    Brian, I was not a fan of those two even before Trump, but I’ll concede they are both bright. So that’s a fair point. But there’s no comparison with Reagan, who was strongly supported by many conservative intellectuals, at least when he was actually president. Maybe they were skeptical during the primaries.

    Rick, Did you even read the post? If so, read it again. I think you missed the whole point.

    Lorenzo, You are generally a serious commenter. But now you seem to be relying on some pretty wacky far right sources. He was not fired because he was looking into Biden’s son. Trump is lying about the whole Biden case, it’s as simple as that.

    You said:

    “And I wonder what Washington insiders back in the day thought of Andrew Jackson.”

    Yes, and are you saying they were wrong? Jackson actually is a good comparison for Trump.

    Keenan, You asked:

    “did my comment really get taken down? lol”

    No, LOL.

    As for the content of your comment; yes, I have TDS in that sense. But I’m talking about the commenters who think I’m wrong about Trump. I just don’t see what a great man he is. LOL.

    Steve, Did you even read the post? If so, read it again. I think you missed the whole point.

    Userfriendly, Did you even read the post? If so, read it again. I think you missed the whole point.

    Morgan, Did you even read the post? If so, read it again. I think you missed the whole point.

    Effem, Did you even read the post? If so, read it again. I think you missed the whole point.

    Jose, Did you even read the post? If so, read it again. I think you missed the whole point.

  29. Gravatar of Effem Effem
    1. October 2019 at 08:00

    I read the post and though i understood what you were asking. Seems like the basic question is how could every intellectual come to not like Trump all at once. That’s a far easier question than whether trump is good or bad.

    Intellectuals became comfortable that they “run the show.” Then someone arises who proudly proclaims that not only do they not run the show but their type is exactly what voters should seek to remove from power. I’m not saying that’s correct but its a perfectly legitimate opinion to have. And boom!…every single intellectual will dislike you all at once.

    How do i know i’m not wrong and trump is some monster with terribly bad policies? I don’t. I would never know that for sure about anyone. But all evidence on the ground suggests things are moving along basically fine. I’ll take that.

  30. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    1. October 2019 at 08:08

    Effem You think people like Ross Douthat and George Will think they used to “run the show?” Have you ever read them? Douthat has been calling for a more populist conservatism for as long as I can recall. He just happens to see that Trump is a demagogue. He’d probably support a thoughtful honest Trumpian.

    Morgan, You are defending Republicanism, you aren’t telling me why so many smart people who have a low opinion of Trump are deranged. Lots of these conservative intellectuals like other Republicans.

  31. Gravatar of José José
    1. October 2019 at 08:50

    Well, I am not here to troll back trollers. But I would add, as I stated in my first comment, that conservatives intelectuals, economists and commentators are NOT UNBIASED in this discussion. They must have a low opinion of Trump because the moron beat all other (better) conservative options on the race, AND beat the oppositon. They believe he is beneath the task, the he does not represent them, etc, etc. As a libertarian, I could not care less. To me, the only important task Trump has to perform is to keep progressives out of government. Period.

  32. Gravatar of CK CK
    1. October 2019 at 09:00

    Most of the people you site as “brilliant” that oppose Trump are what I would call elitists or from the “inside the beltway” crowd … all the beautiful people from both coasts who think they are smarter than the rest of us rubes in flyover country. They don’t care what we think… they just think we have to be told what to think by them. They can’t wrap their minds around why Trump got elected and why he will be re-elected.

    The corruption by Joe Biden and Hunter Biden is in plain sight. Hunter was appointed to the board of a company in the Ukraine for the sole reason his father was VP and involved with the relationship between Ukraine and US. Hunter had no actual qualifications… he was paid by the Ukrainian company to curry favor with the US… the essence of corruption. Why has no one asked Joe Biden what his motivation was for getting the Ukrainian prosecutor fired who was investigating his son… apparently the press and Democrats have lost their curiosity. Substitute Donald Trump Jr for Hunter Biden in similar circumstances and your side would have lost their collective minds.

  33. Gravatar of Effem Effem
    1. October 2019 at 09:04

    I’m asserting that intellectuals are as tribal as anyone else. Even intellectuals who disagree on policy will side with their carefully-spoken, highly-educated brethren when faced with someone who attempts to reduce the status of the tribe.

    On the flip side. I have observed that a very high percentage of very successful, anti-intellectuals support Trump. Self-made business types who dropped out of college, occasionally say off-color things, have built a business in a tough industry, etc etc.

  34. Gravatar of MORGAN WARSTLER MORGAN WARSTLER
    1. October 2019 at 09:25

    Scott I read yours, you clearly didn’t read mine.

    “BTW, this comment is not directed at some of my smarter commenters who like Trump’s tax cuts and Supreme Court nominees, favor less immigration and sanctions on China, but also see Trump’s downside. I’m talking about Trump’s hardcore fans; those who reflectively reject any accusation of dishonesty made against him.”

    I see plenty of Trump downsides, but WHAT MATTERS IS: WINS and increases the power of the SMARTEST GUYS ON EARTH the guys who run the GOP back in 50 states – the CEOs.

    Trump does that. None fo your things matter as much as this thing.

    And the CEOs back home Scott, the GUYS SMARTER THAN YOU, love Trump:

    “AFAIK, all the economists I greatly respect have a low opinion of Trump. That doesn’t mean I can’t respect an economist who likes Trump, it’s just that the guys who I think are flat out brilliant have a low opinion of him.”

    As I explained, if you read – these guys are the Bramhim donor teet suckers of THE SMARTEST GUYS who run the GOP.

    “AFAIK, all the conservative commentators I greatly respect have a low opinion of Trump. And that’s not reverse causality; these are people who I respected before Trump came along. The George Wills, Ross Douthats, David Brooks, Jonah Goldbergs of the world all have a negative view of him. Yes, some famous conservative commentators like Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs like him. But these guys are not exactly the sharpest blades in the drawer.”

    As I explained, if you read – these guys are the Bramhim donor teet suckers of THE SMARTEST GUYS who run the GOP.

    —–

    Then you ask:

    “I’m also not the sharpest blade in the drawer (as I’m sure you’ve noticed from my grammar), and I’m not capable of knowing my own biases. That’s why I look at all this external data for objective clues about “reality”.

    So here’s my request. If you want to convince me that I’m suffering from TDS, explain to me why all these other brilliant people came down with this “derangement” at roughly the same time. After all, if one intellectual suddenly thinks he’s the reincarnation of Jesus or Alexander the Great or Napoleon, all other intellectuals don’t simultaneously suffer from the same delusion.

    Then explain to me how you know that YOU are correct, and these other intellectuals are wrong. No, not what you like about Trump or why you disagree with them. That information is worthless, as you may be biased too. I want you to tell me why a view from 64,000 feet indicates that YOU are the one we should all be listening to, and not all these brilliant intellectuals.”

    Scott – my exact point is you AND EVERYONE YOU RESPECT aren’t the smartest guys in the room.

    The CEOs / Business owners in the 50 states, you all depend on for donations and grants and endowments, and sponsors, and and and and…

    LIKE TRUMP. The SMARTEST GUYS like Trump.

    I don’t mean don’t see the downsides, but he WINS. Before he was POTUS they LIKED his company / product. They are impressed with his family. And ALL OF THEM, except the Rickets, refused to use their SuperPacs to attack him all through the primary. And now, the Rickets admit they were wrong.

    —-

    And THIS IS HOW THE GOP works Scott.

    my god, I wrote a complete perfect history of the GOP – you can’t deny it isn’t accurate.

    You GET the SMARTEST GUYS all run local farm teams of GOP politicians for every local office.

    You GET the SMARTEST GUYS have seriously cut off the finances of the guys you claim to be impressed with.

    George Will is relatively starving. Kristol’s blown his kid’s inheritance. Jonah has ADMITTED he’s taken a massive hit. And that’s just goofy wannabe Brahmin Scott.

    The entire GOP campaign professional fundraising edifice, the countless guys who wanted to be Karl Roves – hundreds of them, they are all being now being kept in salaried SuperPAC roles.

    Until 2013, the candidate rased the big bucks from big donors and then the GOP Brahmin made millions. That’s been turned upside down Scott!

    I’d assume you are unaware of how the party works, but that makes no sense, you grew up in a Congressional District in WI where the SMARTEST GUYS the guys who employed the most folks in private sector RAN FARM TEAMS.

    You remember regional GOP, where there was no single common “conservative” doctrine ideology other than sending power to states (tax cuts, dereg falls in here) – you REMEMBER pro-union GOP, pro-tarrif GOP, anti-gun GOP, pro-Choice GOP

    YOU REMEMBER THESE THINGS SCOTT

    So seeing the GOP revert to HISTORICAL NORMS shouldn’t shock you Scott.

    Seeing the SMARTEST GUYS IN THE GOP agree that WINNING NO MATTER WHAT is all that matters… thats not shocking!

    You grew up with that!

    Why am I even having to re-explain this, you know I’m right but you aren’t noble enough to answer me completely bc you know you can’t.

    The smartest guys Scott like Trump.

    If you know guys who don’t like trump – it means they aren’t smart.

    —–

    If it helps SURE there are some basement-dwelling 8th graders who also like Trump

    And you are smarter than the basement dwellers Scott!

    the question is are you smart enough to admit that Trump has the support of the EVEN SMARTER GUYS you don’t know.

    That your circle lives downstream from the Smartest Guys, and you proved it by listing out the smartest folks you know – and none fo them were the guys who run the private sector in 435 districts.

    You like to say the smart guys go to Wallstreet to decide where to place capital.

    And even now THOSE GUYS LIKE TRUMP.

    but they arent the smartest guys, the smartest guys RUN COMPANIES. They dominate their sectors. They are leading experts in their fields, and those guys Scott LIKE TRUMP.

    Now please show you aren’t stupid and admit I’m right.

  35. Gravatar of MORGAN WARSTLER MORGAN WARSTLER
    1. October 2019 at 09:43

    No Scott,

    These guys you like, they LIKE the idea there is a conservative ideology. They CANT think WIN at costs is acceptable, bc then they are KEPT MONKEYS.

    But they kept monkeys!

    They have always been kept monkeys!

    They LIKE being paid 5X what they make now. They LIKE donors not being IN CHARGE. They like McCain, bc then they were in charge. Same for Romney.

    —-

    You ask

    “Morgan, You are defending Republicanism, you aren’t telling me why so many smart people who have a low opinion of Trump are deranged. Lots of these conservative intellectuals like other Republicans.”

    1. If they don’t choose Republicanism – they are NOT SMART.
    2. SMART GUYS – THE GUYS WITH MONEY – choose Republicanism
    3. Trump Derangement is SELF-INTEREST, bc the not-so-smart guys you know don’t make as much money or have as much power in Republicanism

    Amongst donor class, you know what gets a laugh?

    “Part of having ANY conservative job in DC, from Congressman to thinktank, to columnist, to lobbyist – they should all be required by YOU their donors, sponsors etc to SHIT ONLY ON THE STREET.”

    “They should literally be required to shit where they eat.”

    “This would be the single most effective use of them, ok read this script I wrote for you, and remember when you are done, shit on the street”

    Because of in the end THEIR LIFE IN DC HAS TO SUCK or they are never going to 100% do what they are bought and paid to do.

    The GOPin DC Scott, the guys you know – are just monkey script readers – and Scott you GET THIS, nobody LIKE being a monkey script reader.

    Trump is proof daily, they do not matter.

    And that’s where your derangement comes from…

    How do I convince you that they do not matter Scott? You already know it. You just can’t ADMIT IT.

  36. Gravatar of Michael Rulle Michael Rulle
    1. October 2019 at 11:21

    Maybe all the smart economists and other intellectuals should each get 10,000 votes—since their opinions matter so much. I would rather approach this from the perspective of who votes for who. It does not matter who runs as a Democrat or who runs as a Republican. We have always been locked into the same profile. McCain Romney and Trump have virtually the exact demographic division —not even remotely statistically different. Examples, in order, include

    McC Rom Trump
    Total 46% 47% 46%

    Self Identified Moderates: 39%, 41%, 41%
    “”” “”””” Liberals: 10%, 11%, 10%
    “” “” “” Conserv: 78%, 82%, 81%

    Democrats: 10%, 7%, 9%
    Repub: 90%, 93%, 90%
    Independ.: 44%, 50%, 48%
    Men : 48%, 52%, 52%
    Women: : 43%, 35%, 40%

    Whites : 55%, 59%, 58%
    Black : 4% , 6%, 8%
    Asian: : 35%, 26%, 29%
    Hispanic : 31%, 27%, 29%

    This does mean that Trump is not an idiot, nor that he is. It does mean Americans are locked into who they will vote for regardless of who runs. And we will see similar results next year.

    Scott—-the issue on TDS is not that National Review or the dead Weekly Standard dislikes Trump, or that only idiot economists like him—versus the rest of you geniuses, the issue is the Democrats and media have unloaded an unprecedented barrage of nonsense against him and have done so from Day 1 minus 90.

    And for some reason that does not bother you. If you believe they are not engaging in a true deceit, then your self proclaimed genius is worth nothing. And you did proclaim your superior intelligence by letting us all know that you recognize who is brilliant—as if the rest of us have no ability. It is a disgrace—to quote Trump—what the Democratic party is doing.

  37. Gravatar of MORGAN WARSTLER MORGAN WARSTLER
    1. October 2019 at 11:59

    Scott knows I’m right about who is smarter than him.

    In his deepest recesses, he’s aware that those can do, and those who can’t teach.

    He understands he’s logically walked himself into having to state OUT LOUD the men who run Main Street in 435 districts, the guys running energy, mining, manufacturing, shipping, basically ALL OF THIS STUFF:

    http://verdantlabs.com/politics_of_professions/

    He has to state THOSE GUYS WHO OWN EVERYTHING and who all like Trump

    Are dumber than Scott’s group of super-smart beggars who live off the guys who run everything.

    Scott splayed out his psyche and told us all, he thinks the DC GOP BEGGARS are the folks to listen to about Trump.

    Scott knows I beat him here. He won’t make anything other than a cursory response.

    Which is sad Scott, bc you really can handle taking this a public teachable moment! You are smart enough to admit you’re wrong.

  38. Gravatar of Carl Carl
    1. October 2019 at 15:47

    @Morgan Warstler
    I don’t think your link, http://verdantlabs.com/politics_of_professions/, backs up your claims very well. I expanded some of the individual categories to the next level. I see something like a 55/45 Rep/Dem split among CEO’s but about a 30/70 split among technology executives. I would imagine the tech CEOs are among the brightest CEOs. The graphic also shows most business owners as Republican but most business founders as Democrats. Reasonable arguments can be made about whether founders are smarter than owners.

    Also,I think you’ll get a lot of argument about the claim that insurance company CEO’s are smarter than astrophysicists.

    P.S. I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican.

  39. Gravatar of Michael Sandifer Michael Sandifer
    1. October 2019 at 18:33

    Scott’s patience is impressive. I mostly stopped interacting with Trump supporters, including those in my family. It’s a total waste of time. They are always some combination of ignorant, stupid, and bigoted. Many of them are also uncivil.

    They will never understand why most of us can’t stand them.

  40. Gravatar of MORGAN WARSTLER MORGAN WARSTLER
    2. October 2019 at 11:26

    Carl, of course, I’m right.

    Tech isn’t 435 districts. It’s actually in very few. In some districts, it’s guys with 10 car dealerships. Or steel plants, or energy companies, or mining, in plenty it’s tourism, and on and on.

    And it’s not one guy in each district, it’s a handful, and below them another couple hundred.

    Look, for my own tech career over the past decade I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time staring at FEC donor files.

    There are political wheels in nearly every market that show up going back years that have donations spread wide and deep.

    My point is that the farm team is real. GOP congressmen don’t drop out of the sky, they climb the ladder. And historically this machine is different from Dems which is about action/organizing and public sector jobs.

    What happens in Chicago is the same as the suburbs of Pittsburgh. In GOP markets it’s obvious bc the private Sector guys run the farm team that wins. In Dem markets, the funding is still here & there, but the R guys don’t win. It’s not much of a farm team if your guys don’t win.

  41. Gravatar of MORGAN WARSTLER MORGAN WARSTLER
    2. October 2019 at 11:35

    Jesus Kee-ryst Sandifer, it’s your family. Don’t be a jerk. You’re old enough to remember the last 40-50 years of politics. You grew up in a center-right America.

    Nothing has changed!

    For a brief time, the socialist left has got the idea they are the Home Team. It’s 1971, and they are learning QUICKLY they are not.

    You grew up here, you are smart and old enough to remember, you know they learn to fear & Loathe.

    And as soon as your family feels comfortable THEY are the Home Team again – it doesn’t take long – they won’t feel threatened and YOUR FAMILY will feel Trump is too brutish.

    Nixon’s re-election WON the culture war.

    And just like Churchill he was war general in peacetime.

    TRUST the system.

    Apes don’t spend all day fighting.

    Once the left stops trying to oppress the right and fears being oppressed, we go back to equilibrium.

  42. Gravatar of ssumner ssumner
    2. October 2019 at 15:06

    CK, You said:

    “Most of the people you site as “brilliant” that oppose Trump are what I would call elitists or from the “inside the beltway” crowd … all the beautiful people from both coasts who think they are smarter than the rest of us rubes in flyover country.”

    Actually, they aren’t elitists. But the fact that you think they are shows you haven’t read them, and the fact that you criticize them without reading them doesn’t reflect well on you.

    You said:

    “he was paid by the Ukrainian company to curry favor with the US… the essence of corruption.”

    No, the “essence of corruption” is not when others hire you because they think you will be corrupt, it’s when you actually are corrupt. And there is no evidence that Biden was corrupt. That’s not to say he wasn’t, just that the evidence isn’t there. Maybe someone will dig it up.

    And why defend the president by claiming other people are also corrupt. That’s the morality of an eighth grader. If Trump is corrupt he should be removed from office, regardless of what Biden did or didn’t do. Why make this complicated?

    Effem, You said:

    “I’m asserting that intellectuals are as tribal as anyone else. Even intellectuals who disagree on policy will side with their carefully-spoken, highly-educated brethren when faced with someone who attempts to reduce the status of the tribe.”

    If people who have been supporting the GOP their entire life turn against the GOP leader, and then get accused of being “tribal”, then the term ‘tribal’ has lost all meaning.

    Michael Rulle, I said,

    “I’m also not the sharpest blade in the drawer (as I’m sure you’ve noticed from my grammar), and I’m not capable of knowing my own biases. That’s why I look at all this external data for objective clues about “reality”.”

    And you responded;

    “And for some reason that does not bother you. If you believe they are not engaging in a true deceit, then your self proclaimed genius is worth nothing. And you did proclaim your superior intelligence by letting us all know that you recognize who is brilliant—as if the rest of us have no ability.”

    Wait, are you telling me that one can’t recognize brilliance in others unless you yourself are brilliant? That’s a novel theory that I’ve never heard before. Has it ever occurred to you that others don’t share your bizarre theories, and might have motivations that are different from what you assume? Has it ever occurred to you that I might be able to read someone frequently, and recognize that they are smart?

    Is the whole world going crazy?

  43. Gravatar of MORGAN WARSTLER MORGAN WARSTLER
    2. October 2019 at 17:57

    Scott,

    Stop picking on basement dwellers.

    I’m your huckleberry and you know it.

    You don’t know a bunch of the SMARTEST PEOPLE. if you did, you’d know tons of Trump Supporters.

    Think of it this way. Your patron Ken Duda, he’s a decent guy right? He’s your standard SEMI-ELITE DEMOCRAT donor. He lays it on across the country He just funds Democrat election committees state by state.

    He’s an expert in Video Tech space, a true SMARTEST GUY.

    He does not field a Farm Team. You expect these guys to live in SV, Chicago, NY, LA etc.

    He’s not worrying about HIS CONGRESSMAN, his state legislators, city counsel, township trustees, judges. His motivation is bossing around the rest of the country – which won’t stop until CA feels completely molested by DC, which will happen slowly.

    But you do get Duda’s hella smarter than you, right? I don’t mean in IQ or being popular – I mean according to the market – the way you think wall street guys are super smart so they get to place capital…

    All over the country, there are Dudas!

    And BELIEVE IT OR NOT, tons of them like Trump. Amazing right??

    And what you’ll find is these GOP donors, they don’t tend to spread their money the way Duda does. They will spread out a couple hundred grand but they do it far more LOCALLY. They are Farm Team guys and they are concerned about state and local politics more.

    There are local Dem players, guys in Duda district who do care about school boards and city counsels for what you’d call INFLUENCE. Lots more of these in GOP circles.

    Then you have the whale donors, the guys who drop a couple million or more each cycle.

    And then there are the serious Billionaires and they are playing a whole different game.

    But ALL OF THESE GUYS SCOTT – the DONORS – they are smarter than the guys you call really smart.

    —–

    And Scott, this is key – the guys you listed THEY ALL HAVE DONOR PATRONS LIKE YOU!!!

    OK, so now my point should be totally clear – YOUR LOIST prices that “smart” guys who need Patrons don’t like Trump.

    But Patrons themselves? he SmARTEST GUYS – all those big GOP donors? They like them some Trump.

    So can you PLEASE admit lots of VERY SMART GUYS like Trump. You just dont know that many VERY SMART GUYS.

  44. Gravatar of MORGAN WARSTLER MORGAN WARSTLER
    2. October 2019 at 18:12

    Scott,

    Maybe I can concinve you another way…

    You know there is an army of GOP donors smarter than you.

    So why do you troll your readers and pretend this isn’t the case?

    Why not just stick to Scott Sumner doesn’t like Trump. Why try to use this mere political opinion to prove to a bunch of basement dwellers how dumb they are??

    The fact that you collect a small dedicated band of folks you think are stupid, doesn’t outweigh the fact that you KNOW lots of super-smart guys like Trump, you may not know them, but it’s in evidence.

    Maybe turn off your comments? If you can’t stand having basement dwellers respond when you lash out at Trump, tur it off, and you can IMAGINE that instead your blog is read by the smart parton-needing guys that you appreciate.

    I’m just trying to make you a better arguer for NGDPLT.

    It’s your ONE GREAT EARTHCHANGING IDEA. Most folks don’t get.

    And on politics, you are a middling amateur.

    It’s like you have a hobby making cookies, you make a pretty good cookie for an amateur. And then half your blog is spent not talking about your ONE GREAT IDEA, it’s about hos STUPID all those other professional cookie makers are that think your cookie sucks.

    And the fact that some kids still making mudpies and calling them cookies hang out at your blog, you use THE MUDPIE MAKERS as proof, the provably pro cookie makers are idiots.

    It makes your NGDPLT stuff seem not so smart.

    Why do it??

  45. Gravatar of Peter Peter
    3. October 2019 at 02:17

    So a couple days after the fact as don’t generally have the freetime to sit around and pontificate real time but TBH here Cameron Blank and CK mostly nail it. A large part of “Trump supporters”, myself included and I didn’t even vote for him, is anti-anti-Trump often along the lines, speaking for myself, egad the “whataboutism” argument people arguing in bad faith hate. It’s not that we think Trump is great but that he is being held up to a different lens than past presidents simply because “Trump!!” and especially so by crypto-Progressive (i.e. many people whom have historically publically identified as libertarians such as yourself, most the folk you cite and the GMU crowd, Reason, Volokh, Cato, etc) and his nominal supporters (card carrying Republicans). Basically we hate the way he has been railroaded and undermined by the bureaucracy and the fifth estate and as such causes us to support him as nobody likes seeing people bullied and suffering by bad faith actors. He was voted to be President, his executive branch employees can line up and say “ja wohl” or quit. That mistreatment of him is why he has our support. Either GTFO out of his way and let him do the job he was fairly elected to do (and free to fail if you think he will), leverage checks and balances (i.e. go get on your legislature), or quit (if a executive branch employee) but this continuing undermining by his own employees and the Courts (I’m not against the Courts doing their job here, I am against how they just magically decided to start doing it and well magically stop doing it before/after Trump) and our cheerleading both is BAD for democracy as is holding him to his own unique bar simply because he was the first person since what, Eisenhower?, that wasn’t a politician elected to President or had the gall to engage with the help / working class.

    If you ignored his rhetoric and looked at his administration in good faith you would see he is continuing well into the ninety-ninth percentile the same policies of the previous administration (and that before them etc back to GW at least) and on the remainder, more often than not he proposes a solution more palatable to libertarians than previous presidents. I would go as far as to say he is the most libertarian president of my life (53) in practice. I mean is your specific complaint here outside his rhetoric that is unique to President Trump? That he hasn’t started a war and invaded some country unlike every previous President going back to what, Hoover? If that is your complaint, probably should just admit you are neocon at this point.

    But to your specific points since you derided people for not answering them:

    > explain to me why all these other brilliant people came down with this “derangement” at roughly the same time.

    It’s simply signalling and elitism. Same reason brilliant people will deride WWE and wax on about the opera. It’s not so much that brilliant people can’t like the WWE it’s that they have been inculturated not to and hence can’t in the same way “so many brilliant people” jump on the bandwagon around anything in an attempt to be a orbiter for celebrities, i.e. their overnight switches on racism, discrimination, Jews, abortion, gay marriage, etc. Brilliant people aren’t immune from, as Russ Roberts likes to quote, “not only love, but feel lovely” and hence like the supreme court or the masses maybe be on the wrong side of history but will rarely as a whole be on the wrong side of now.

    > After all, if one intellectual suddenly thinks he’s the reincarnation of Jesus or Alexander the Great or Napoleon, all other intellectuals don’t simultaneously suffer from the same delusion.

    Actually they do if the celebrity winds or social peerings are blowing that way.

    > Then explain to me how you know that YOU are correct, and these other intellectuals are wrong.

    They aren’t wrong, their opinion is simply as equally worthless as ours though less objective as by virtue their TDS benefits their careers and social standing hence random shmoes such as us, while no claim to special knowledge either, can fairly be assumed to be more objective.

    > I want you to tell me why a view from 64,000 feet indicates that YOU are the one we should all be listening to, and not all these brilliant intellectuals.

    You are free to believe whatever you want though the fact you feel brilliant intellectuals have any magical insight into anything outside maybe some niche field that has nothing to do Trump is ludicrous if you truly believe that. You, me, and Tyrone the meth addicted prisoner all put our pants on the same way and equally all of our opinions are of equal value when asked about some obscure question about quantum mechanics or Trump’s motives / revealed preferences. We are all simply observers and are free, and should, form our opinions based on those observations rather than what some brilliant intellectual with vested reward in bashing Trump tells us. You got a big brain over there, maybe try using it to form your own thoughts no?

    > I want you to explain to me why your eighth grade dropout-level taunts in the comment section are an indication of your intellectual clarity. What makes you so smart?

    Well given there is no correlation between intelligence and education nor dialect and intelligence you might want to step out your gilded tower sometime. It’s a common error of well educated people raised with a certain dialect to assign ignorance and lack of intelligence to people raised with a different dialect but yeah I get it Scott, negroes are of less intelligence cuz they speaks like this Massah Sumner?

    > PS. If Hunter Biden were corrupt, in what way would the corruption have shown up?

    That is a dishonest question and you know it. Politicians by definition are corrupt and given all nations suffer from the same US problem of overcriminalization the question isn’t “Was Hunter Biden corrupt” but more to your second point, “Why have Ukraine investigate him”. It is a fact Hunter Biden (and his dad) are corrupt, it is a fact in the thousands of pages of laws in Ukraine and the US both are criminals. What was the famous quote “If one would give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest man, I would find something in them to have him hanged”

    > Now consider this, in each case who would you have investigate the case? If he were doing corrupt things in the Ukraine, you’d have the Ukrainians investigate. If he were doing corrupt things with his dad, you’d have the Justice Department investigate.

    Actually DOJ routinely investigates people worldwide as the US for many crimes claims worldwide jurisdiction and Presidents going back to at least Clinton, whom I have first hand knowledge of, routinely lean on other nations to investigate their political enemies. Now generally there is a free pass for highly visible rivals but is your affront here really “How dare Trump treat invoke a legamoron” and actually apply the law against the very people that either passed the law, granted the President the authority to investigate it, or could repeal the law. The Democrats have had the majority many times over the last decade and passed thousands of laws during that time, they were free at any time to pass a law that said “American citizens are prohibited from reporting or discussing perceived crimes with non-US law enforcement” as a felony offense; they didn’t, that’s on them.

    > If Trump thought Biden were guilty, he would have had the US authorities investigate the case. The corruption would have occurred here. The fact that he asked the Ukrainians to investigate is powerful evidence that he thinks Joe Biden is innocent. But deep down you already knew that, didn’t you?

    Not at all. We all know Joe Biden and his son are guilty, he (Trump) simply has to worry about partisan hacks such as yourself that feel politicals should be exempt from the law is the executor of those laws are your political rivals. But as you said, you already knew that, didn’t you?

    PS: And before you want to claim “but Trump doesn’t care about partisan pushback” sure he does. If he didn’t he would simply execute Biden’s son the next time he left American soil under the clearly established doctrine by Obama that we are free to execute anybody on Presidential writ, including the innocent minor children of criminals whom given the extent of US law, every one of his political opponents are. Now if Trump wanted to clean up that swamp that way, well that is something that would make me proud of him as President and get my 2020 vote unlike 2016. Goose+gander and all.

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