Friday, March 18, 2016

Donald "Old Beach Apple" Trump. America has seen this before.

Here is an interesting look at the Trump candidacy and what might happen in 2020 (from

America has never seen a presidential candidate like this before. Detractors point to his lack of political experience, his poor grasp of policy, his alleged autocratic leanings and his shady past. They believe this man without much of a political platform (but with interesting hair) has neither the qualifications nor the temperament to be president. Yet in defiance of conventional wisdom, he is leading his three main rivals in the race for the White House, and party bigwigs are at a loss how to respond. No, it’s not Donald Trump. His name is Andrew Jackson, and the year is 1824

[Big snip. _Read the history in the Politico article._]

The 1824 election has been called “a political turning point in which none of the old rules applied.” According to historian Timothy Naftali, “the shift that occurs … is that the American people don’t want their representatives to choose presidents anymore. They want to choose presidents themselves.” For GOP insiders, it’s worth remembering this. Whatever you think of Trump’s politics or his temperament, like Jackson, the candidate has energized a significant section of the electorate. As he said in Thursday Republican debate, “Millions and millions of people are going out to the polls and they’re voting. … Some of these people, frankly, have never voted before.” The facts appear to bear this out with combined turnout at the Republican primaries higher than any year since 1980.

If the lessons of 1824 are to apply today, denying Trump the nomination if he remains the front-runner will likely make his supporters angrier and more determined. It might even position Trump as the leader of an even broader coalition of America’s disaffected and marginalized, as it did for Jackson—propelling him to the nomination or even the White House four years from now.

Remember. from my earlier post, what it takes to activate Authoritarian tendencies.

Research on the authoritarian personality suggests a new alignment in American politics. The more the Establishment leans on Trump, the more alienated and defensive his Authoritarian supporters become. Similarly, the more the Democratic candidates advocate for social change and a restrained military, the more threatened the Authoritarians become. The irony here is that both the Republican Establishment and the Democrats are sources of external threat which activates Authoritarian tendencies. Usually external threat tends to draw people together and reduce intra-group differences. But in this case the threat comes from within the Republican party, a party that increasingly seems fatally divided.

If we don't get Trump in 2016 there is some chance that we will get him or a clone in 2020.

On nicknames

About Old Hickory (from Wiki):

Jackson's service in the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom was conspicuous for bravery and success. When British forces threatened New Orleans, Jackson took command of the defenses, including militia from several western states and territories. He was a strict officer but was popular with his troops. They said he was "tough as old hickory" wood on the battlefield, and he acquired the nickname of "Old Hickory."

About Old Beach Apple (from Wiki):

So why did I coin the nickname "Old Beach Apple"? that's the colloquial name for the most poisonous tree on the planet, the manchineel (Hippomane mancinella) or, in Spanish, "manzanilla de la muerte (little apple of death)."

The name "manchineel" (sometimes written "manchioneel") as well as the specific epithet mancinella is from Spanish manzanilla ("little apple"), from the superficial resemblance of its fruit and leaves to those of an apple tree. A present-day Spanish name is in fact manzanilla de la muerte, "little apple of death". This refers to the fact that manchineel is one of the most poisonous trees in the world. Manchineel is also known as the beach apple.

Old Hickory historically connotes toughness and "bravery and success." Old Beach Apple connotes none of these things. Rather, Old Beach Apple is synonymous with virulent poison which is what Trump and Authoritarianism is to America.

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