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The Hidden Hand Behind Donald J. Trump (previously Drumpf)

2016-03-07

Those of you who have been following the statements of Donald Trump (Drumpf is his real family name, like “Schickelgruber”) may have noticed the wild inconsistency and extreme superficiality of his positions.  This post will discuss his statements that appeared to encourage violation of the Geneva Conventions that define war crimes.  First, Drumpf has advocated killing the families of terrorists because this will “hit them where it hurts”, whereas killing the terrorists themselves will not discourage them.  The “families of terrorists” include their fathers and mothers, some of whom will be elderly noncombatants, and their wives and children, many of whom will be minors, who are also civilians and not arms-carrying soldiers.  These persons are a protected class under the Geneva Conventions: civilians and noncombatants.  Targeting these individuals for murder is a war crime.

Second, Drumpf has advocated torture, “worse than waterboarding” to extract information from prisoners.  Torture is, of course, a war crime, and waterboarding crosses the line between “enhanced interrogation” and “torture.”  Most reasonable people believe that waterboarding is torture, especially if they have been personally subjected to the practice.  More importantly, the use of torture has not been shown to yield significant actionable information.

The tortured prisoner will make up any story to stop the torture; the prisoner’s story will be questionably truthful at best and more likely completely unreliable. Prisoners who have given up useful information under torture have been shown to have already revealed that information before the torture began, and the more torture applied, the less useful the information gained.  Apologists for torture have frequently claimed that they have obtained information that could not have been gotten any other way, but under close examination these claims have been shown to be false.

Drumpf has made multiple statements of this nature, and in response to those who have said that his subordinates would refuse to carry out his orders (lawfully, because his orders would be unlawful) he has claimed that “they will do it.”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  No true soldier will follow an unlawful order: this has been emphasized to them repeatedly in training, and they have been told that the statement that “I was just following orders” is not a defense.

Interestingly, Drumpf has changed his story in the last few days.  He now states that he will not give orders that would run counter to the rules of the Geneva Conventions.  It seems that he has been told by persons unknown that he would be in serious trouble with our military and our European allies if he were to start ordering airstrikes that target civilians associated with the Islamic State, or if he were to admit that we are torturing our prisoners.  That is, assuming that his subordinates would even be willing to follow such orders.  Even a few resisters, even if they were jailed and silenced, would wreak havoc with military cohesion and brand the United States as a war criminal (not that some people are not ALREADY calling the US war criminals.)

Donald Drumpf doesn’t normally change his positions, even sotto voce.  This change, while quietly made, is somewhat surprising.  It suggests that there are people to whom Drumpf listens who are giving him advice to tone down his message, a little; fact-checking is apparently not a priority for them.  Who are these people?  Well-heeled supporters?  Mr. Cheney?  Whoever they are, we need to be aware that Drumpf is following the advice of those who are at least marginally wiser than him and more importantly, strategically more disciplined.  They hold the same racist, classist, anti-humanitarian views that Trump holds, but they are more realistic, much smoother in their delivery, and they know the limits of power.  They probably contribute most of the money that the Republican Party uses.

This is not a good insight.  It makes it more likely that Drumpf will win at the Republican Convention.  There is still only a small possibility that Drumpf could win the presidential election because he has already alienated two or three crucial voting populations beyond any recoverability: women, Latinos and Mexicans, and blacks or Afro-Americans.  Blacks have not become the central minority force that was predicted forty years ago because their percentage of the population has not increased as expected and because they still do not vote in sufficient percentages to sway elections decisively (except when they have a black, charismatic candidate like Barack Obama to vote for.)

Latinos have become, almost without anyone noticing, the decisive “minority” group (Europeans, or “whites”, are becoming the real minority) in this election: they are now highly motivated to become citizens in order to vote against Drumpf and people like him.  Republican strategists once entertained a fantasy that they could win over a significant portion of the Latino electorate, but that fantasy is gone.

Women are over half of the electorate and we can guess that ninety percent of them will vote against Drumpf, regardless of who his opponent is; this represents the deciding factor in this election and there is nothing that can change that in the next eight months.

The importance of this factor (the hint that there is someone behind Drumpf to whom he is listening) lies in the effect it will have on the Republican Party, especially after the election.  After losing to Hillary Clinton, Drumpf will be the leader of the party and will install his sycophants in responsible positions.  He will also hold the allegiance of elected Republican politicians, who will most likely continue to hold the House and probably the Senate.  The money that Republican supporters supply will be used, before and after the election, to fund propaganda that slanders and belittles the Democratic leadership and promotes attacks on human rights and social values, such as equality of education, opportunity, health care, and nutrition, that even citizens who vote Republican still uphold.

There is an indication that Drumpf really wants to be President, and that he is delusional enough to think that he has a significant chance of winning this post; the people behind him are probably realistic enough to know he will lose in November.  Even in a head to head contest, Drumpf has no chance against Clinton and only a fair chance against Sanders.  None of the other candidates has a chance either; Bush was the only one who had a measurable possibility of winning.

If Drumpf becomes the Republican nominee and a splinter group of “true conservatives” fields a third party candidate, then Drumpf is dead in the water.  This is why all the other Republican candidates for President, despite denouncing him as a fraud and a con man, say that they will support Drumpf if he wins at the Convention.  They sound like robots, faithfully following their conservative programming, marching together to defeat.

This is the real danger of Drumpf: he is a charismatic leader who will take the Republican Party much deeper down the rabbit hole of paranoia, self-aggrandizement, and blind nationalism, and he will take a significant number of economically defeated, disenfranchised, under-educated white Americans with him.  If you thought the wild slanders and vile insults that have come from Republicans against Hillary Clinton and all important Democratic and non-political leaders were disgusting, you haven’t seen anything yet.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Victoria Seitz permalink
    2016-06-03 19:24

    I only wish I could be as certain that “the Donald” can’t win the presidency! While it’s true that he’s alienated women, Latinos, and African-Americans, the depth of dislike for Hillary frightens me, and I’m not sure we won’t have a situation where no one wins outright and the election gets decided by the House of Representatives. I live in terror these days!

    Like

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