Robert Campbell

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Robert Campbell last won the day on September 28

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About Robert Campbell

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  • Birthday 07/31/1953

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    South Carolina
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    psychological theory, self-esteem, classical music, jazz, blues, music history

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    Robert L. Campbell
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    I'm a professor of psychology at Clemson University.

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  1. Michael, At a number of points in these discussions, you gave the impression of exulting in lies told by others (and given further circulation by yourself), as long as it appeared they would help your guy win. You know, the alleged extramarital affairs of Randy Ted Cruz, and all. But I did not think, and was not presuming, that you were lying about Donald Trump's stated views regarding Social Security. I did think that you have may have been indulging in wishful thinking regarding them. Trump has been rather adamant, since BNTE 2, that Social Security MUST BE PRESERVED. And he hasn't tried to discourage anyone from inferring that Social Security MUST BE PERPETUATED. If he actually has proposed a phase-out via private accounts, and he hasn't subsequently repudiated it (or pretended he never said it, because he does that, too), it's important to know these facts. Meanwhile, I actually don't know whether Donald Trump "holds those who want to welch on working Americans in contempt." How do you know this? A lot of the views that Donald Trump supporters like to impute to him are hard to relate to his actual statements. I have in mind your insistence, elsewhere on this thread, that Donald Trump supporters never blame any adverse economic outcomes here in the United States on CHIIiina, or Mexico, or even Japan—and of course would never blame any particular person or persons from those countries. We are supposed to believe, on pain of being permanently dismissed as blind and hate-ridden, that for the trade and immigration issues that concern them Trump supporters only blame those Republican politicians who are not presently aligned with Donald Trump (the roster keeps shifting there). Only those politicians, who are morons and stooges of special interests, will ever receive the blame (and the particular special interests are rarely identified, which is just as well because now we have no idea when Donald Trump will start asking for their money). Well, if all of his supporters are doing as you say, they are purposely rejecting plentiful and powerful rhetorical encouragement their own candidate has been giving them. I can hear with my own two ears, and I've posted some material upthread that I heard with my own two ears. Robert
  2. Michael, The value you get out of responding to this kind of question is the value of being able to back up your own assertions. You know, as opposed to such alternatives as requiring everyone to accept them on your authority. Otherwise, why not just attribute to your guy, Donald Trump, any position you want, just because it happens to be a position that you like? There is nothing in this Market Watch article about phasing Social Security out at some future time. In fact, the passage you quoted is all about preserving Social Security, in terms that strongly imply perpetuating it. Having done my own looking, I have yet to find a recent statement by Donald Trump that so much as hints at eventually phasing Social Security out. What Donald Trump actually intends to do about Social Security, if elected, of course remains unclear. His currently stated position looks like a product of naked political calculation. From the same article: By the way, both this statement and the one you quoted are from the same speech, back in BNTE 3—and you've often dismissed anything that Trump said about a political issue prior to NTE1 as irrelevant. But if you're willing to accept these statements as Genuine Trump, so am I. And in case you need a reminder why Mitch McConnell has lined up behind Donald Trump, but Paul Ryan so far has not, there's this item from the run-up to the Wisconsin primary: The Salon writer of course wants Republicans to lose, and obviously believes Trump is helping the Democrats here. Is he wrong about this? Robert
  3. Korben, There are some things I say a lot on this site (all of them much too often for your taste). Here are several things I am going to say just once. Your support of a candidate who just won a major party's nomination does not entitle you to lie on his behalf, to throw tantrums on his behalf, to vent your blind hatred on his behalf, or to play juvenile games with other participants in this discussion on his behalf. And if you have been doing this stuff because you are incapable of posting intelligent responses, it's best to stay out of discussions in which these are occasionally expected. If you don't know and don't care what Donald Trump said in his foreign policy speech, admit it. Or stay off the topic. Instead, you reacted as though I was beneath contempt for asking how Trump intends to make good on his promise that Iran will not be allowed to get nuclear weapons. Your reaction to my post about Paul Manafort was more of the same: a pure expression of contempt. If you don't know who Viktor Yanukovych is, or who Mobutu Sese Seko and Ferdinand Marcos were, and you don't care to find out—then find yourself another topic. Either you couldn't hold your brilliant repartee until you'd finished reading my entire post about Paul Manafort (it had one more paragraph, to which "just focus on the expedient for a minute" was an obvious lead-in). Or you deliberately ignored the final paragraph. In either case, your charge of McCarthyism makes absolutely no sense. I neither said nor implied that Paul Manafort is an agent of global Communism (which, we might say, has seen better days). Even when he performed some major image polishing on Jonas Savimbi, he wasn't doing it for Savimbi's old Chinese sponsors. Everything I said about Mr. Manafort's former clients is documented fact. Manafort's work for Yanukovych nearly got his lobbying firm partner, Rick Davis, fired from the John McCain campaign. (Davis deserved to be fired, but McCain wimped out.) I'm not calling for a blacklist with Paul Manafort's name on it. What kind of blacklist would that be? Hey, shady politicians and foreign dictators, you mustn't hire a guy who helps shady politicians and foreign dictators look good! It would only increase his revenues. I was merely pointing out that a man of Donald Trump's supposed integrity, and supposed independence from special interests with ties to the Republican party establishment, would have no use for a veteran Republican K Streeter with a long list of skanky clients. I was merely pointing out thet, if we now put aside any notions about Donald Trump being a man of integrity, it is foolish of him to hire a staffer with ties to Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs and an exiled Ukrainian kleptocrat (now being sheltered by Vladimir Putin). Why hire a guy whose mere presence will neutralize your attacks on the Clinton Foundation? Why hire a guy whose place in your organization draws all kinds of interest from Russian state-controlled media, anxiously expecting that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will understand each other perfectly? Nah, you can't be bothered. Clinton Foundation? What's that? Joseph McCarthy? You mean, McCarthyism is named after a person? Robert Campbell
  4. Michael, Somebody or something deleted it. I wasn't suggesting you did the deleting. Robert
  5. Tad, Clearly, many of Donald Trump's supporters do see him in a Messianic subrole: driving the money changers out of the Temple. Some (not the proprietor of this site!) go further. For them being the disrupter is all that matters. Milo Yiannapoulos told an interviewer that he fully expected President Trump to issue a couple of big executive orders, then be in total, lock-down conflict with Congress (both houses, both sides of the aisle) for the rest of his term or terms—and he considered this an excellent outcome. The problem is that Trump only pretends to be an overturner of tables. Once he is in power—well before he actually is—you are going to see him surrounded by many of the same gatekeepers and money changers you thought he was going to rid us of. If Trump were really trying to change the system, he would have found every way possible to work with Scott Walker, not stomped him and then re-stomped him (losing the Wisconsin primary in the process, though not the nomination). Any chance of those two working together is gone now. If Trump were really trying to change the system, he would have gone after Mitch McConnell every day after McConnell told Republican Senators to drop Trump "like a hot rock" and run ads against him, if he turned out to be the nominee while they were seeking re-election. Instead, he sucked up to McConnell, and used him against Ted Cruz, in return for which McConnell has (rather tepidly) endorsed Trump, and Trump has announced he will invite McConnell to Mar-a-Lago. See, for example Or (reacting specifically to Bobby Jindal's decision to endorse Trump): And Jindal, I might add, is a decent guy who has done some worthwhile things, not a hack or an apparatchik. Trump will shake up the Republican party, but only in the manner that Obama shook up the Democrats. He will put his people in charge of certain high-profile things, and try to push out anyone who contests his authority. Everything else will be farmed out to the usual suspects. After six months of Trump, four years, or 8 years, the party will be in much worse shape than it already was when he took over. Those who could have done a better job will, as a rule, no longer be around. If Trump makes it clear that he doesn't care whether certain people fall in line behind him, that he even reserves the right to repudiate their endorsements... then Bill Shuster (a quintessential hack Congresscritter, coming right out of a primary in which he squeaked past a Tea Party challenger) endorses him, and Trump says nothing... you already know everything you need to know. Robert
  6. It's hard to admit being wrong when Donald J. Trump is your role model. Robert
  7. Ahh, and if anyone should complain that he hasn't delivered, President Trump and his surrogates will just tell them how badly they misinterpreted him. Robert
  8. Michael, Your post to M. Guyau is quite the eye-opener. I am sure that you will not care for the least portion of what I am about to offer. But there's a slender chance others will read it, so I'll give it a try. I'll start by saying that I am hardly immune to all forms of charisma, but the kinds we often encounter in politicians generally leave me cold. I realize that in different forms Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump all have charisma. But I experience it, pretty much from beginning to end, as bullshitting. Be that as it may, I did not think in 2007-2008 (and certainly do not think now, having learned quite a bit more about the man, his training, and his ambitions) that Barack Obama's political career was particularly motivated by a desire to do or achieve what is good. Not even by a seriously mistaken notion of the good. I see Barack Obama as a massively narcissistic man who craves adulation from others (even though he thinks very little of nearly any, probably even less of those who bow before him and praise him, precisely because they have done what he wanted them to). Hence, from his college years, if not earlier, he has sought political power as a way of commanding other people and compelling their adulation. Your view and mine may actually agree on hard Left ideology not being what Barack Obama is about. But this is not because Barack Obama identifies with any ideal. (Outside of his immediate family, I doubt he is much invested in pursuing anything you or I would recognize as good.) He really is devoted to political power, which he has pursued in a highly disciplined fashion—and, to me, that is a clear indication that he is just not a good person. But the political ideology is superficial. He was trained up in it as a boy, with significant reinforcements in college and in his community organizing years. Always for him it is purely a means to an end. Ultimately he is not about weakening America, or atoning for past sins against the different victim classes, or spreading the wealth around; he is now and forever only about Barack Obama. With his charisma, his gift at oratory, and his skill at being a blank screen onto which others project their hopes and dreams, he was able to rocket upward in American politics, until he became President of the United States (something he'd been after, I suspect continuously, since age 20, if not earlier). He spoke of transformation, of the audacity of hope, was encouraged by his sycophants to view himself as a messianic figure, and probably came to see himself as such. (It's not an accident that the people who ran his 2007-2008 campaign referred to him, behind his back, as "Black Jesus.") Well, we've seen where all of that led. He got reelected in 2012, even though he was too familiar by then to be glamorous and had disillusioned many who had fallen for the "hopey-changey" aspect. Meanwhile, it's worth noting how thin-skinned Barack Obama is, and how he treats anyone who, in his mind, has shown him up. You may hate Paul Ryan for different reasons (you know, like pushing through crappy spending packages after John Boehner failed), but Obama has hated Ryan ever since a certain meeting about health-care policy, at which Ryan challenged his budget analysis and showed him up. And he will keep hating Ryan, even after both of them are long out of politics. Sorry, but Barack Obama was never pursuing the good. Many wanted to see that in him, but the wishful thinking or longing after a Messiah, though not not nearly like Obama's personal motivation, was far from the best thing for all of those who let themselves get caught up in it. Some also thought he would be the instrument or the vehicle for punishing their enemies, and he made occasional overt appeals of that sort. Not the world's healthiest motive, either. Now when Ted Cruz—at the moment when you and I both now know he was on the ropes in Indiana—declared that Donald Trump is such a narcissist that even Barack Obama would complain he has an ego problem, he wasn't merely wondering how he could be losing to such a man. Donald Trump is another Obama. There are important differences in background and style. Had Obama not begun climbing the political ladder, it's hard to know what he would have done (and he probably would not would not have become famous doing it). Trump has already had a business career, not nearly as glorious as he wants himself and others to believe, but substantial. He has had a successful showbiz career as well. Politics has obviously tempted him for a long time, but was only a sideline till he catched on to a bunch of things last June (the beginning of NTE 1). Trump is just as consumed as Obama by the pursuit of adulation, but until recently he didn't see political power as an important means to it (that has probably changed now, as he feels it's within his reach). He is just as thin-skinned as Obama, but Obama has been better at hiding it. Trump hangs his vindictiveness right out there for all to see. He boasts about the utility of being around unsuccessful people, whom he can dazzle with his embellished tales of success. He flaunts his sense of entitlement and will go to warp speed in his efforts to dismiss or argue away anything that looks like it might be a failure on his part. Obama doesn't identify with an ideology, but there is one that he refers to, from time to time, because it has been instrumentally useful to him (and there would be massive re-learning in front of him, were he to try to use a different one). Trump, I am fairly sure, has no ideology at all, even of the secondary or disposable variety. But he has discovered, quite recently, that emphasizing certain themes (which he may or may not believe in personally) and calling upon certain frustrations and resentments (which he surely does not share with most of the people who form his clientele; personally he has absolutely nothing in common with out-of-work coal miners in Buchanan County, Virginia) will gain him a mass following. Already a big enough following to garner a major party's nomination; whether it can gain him a big enough following to win the Presidency remains to be seen (some aspects of his appeal to the converted, particularly as they pertain to the desire for revenge, are utterly repellent to the unconverted). Trump is no more about goodness than Obama has been. To a far greater extent than Obama (who pretended to have detailed plans for everything, even though Porkulus ended up being slapped together by ex-Congressman David Obey and his minions, Obamacare was slapped together by staffers to ex-Senator Max Baucus, etc.), Trump doesn't even tell anyone he has a program. That's how he can serve as a blank screen for his followers (who, naturally, cannot all see the same things on the screen; inevitably many, if not all, will be sorely disappointed if he takes office). What I've especially noticed about Trump supporters, however, is either aggressive rejection of even having a program (Trump will do it, whatever it turns out to be, and it will inevitably be wonderful; who do you ask?), or insistence that he will do precisely what their heart desires. (Do I really have to name posters and examples off this thread?) If his supporters were not eagerly anticipating his accession to power, and others who may not like him at all were not seeking preferment from him, no one on God's green earth would be praising Trump's foreign policy address, a steaming pile of platitudes that could either be viewed as expressing no principle at all, or bit and fragments of 5 or 6 principles which unfortunately happen to contradict one another (No war in the Middle East! Eliminate the Islamic State! Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon!). Everybody sees something different in it, and hardly any of what they see was there to begin with. So neither Obama nor Trump is particularly interested in pursuing the good. Both want adulation, and will take worship if they can get it. Obama's ideology is disposable, and anything that looks like ideology from Trump is the sales pitch that's been working for him up to now. Since a cult of personality is essential to their appeal, Obama has left his political party in notably worse shape than it was in when he assumed control of it, and Trump will have at least as big a negative impact on his party. Both have fed on many people's desire for a Messiah. Sorry, folks, how can I break this to you? There is no Messiah on the horizon. If you aim at what an actual human being can accomplish, in collaboration with other actual human beings, you might get it. Salvation and redemption are never going to be there when you want them. I don't think you're going to get all the revenge you're after, either. (Trump's appeal to longings for revenge is far more overt than Obama's ever was.) Trump stomps here, and he re-stomps there, and his followers are temporarily fulfilled. But the stomping has personal meaning only to Trump (who among the Trumpians genuinely hates Scott Walker?). Maybe Trump and his voters will next succeed in destroying George Will's career ("Nobody reads him anyway" is the most recent line from your guy), and in time obtain the ruination of a few others. But ending the reigns of hack Senators and Congresscritters, power-mad bureaucrats, public employee union heads.... that's really hard work, those people will fight you every step, and some of them (you know, Mitch McConnell) might turn out to be useful to a President Trump. Remember what happened with Obama's vows to change the culture of Washington, exclude all lobbyists from his administration, reject all special interests once and for all? So you can discredit a Trump critic here or there, and I'm sure you'll do your best, but, hey, already a lot fewer people read me or Roger Bissell than read George Will. No one here really needs a Messiah. And no one here is about to get one. There's the lesson to be learned from the Obami. Robert
  9. Will Brant now join the list of those to be silenced? Robert
  10. Michael, Yes, I'm sure you do like the idea of silencing this audience. (Being a Bill Maher audience, their derision would have extended to several other Republicans, but never mind.) Ms. Coulter, moving right on to candidates not yet declared, states her preference for a Romney-Walker ticket. Mitt Romney! Her guy in 2012. Scott Walker! A man who, from your point of view, has been stomped by Donald Trump and could therefore never have done anything worthwhile. She was still a long distance from redemption when she made these remarks. Robert
  11. Adam, Yes, we both can do the math. Kasich should have packed up and gone home a long time ago, but, OK, finally... Robert
  12. RCP now says (92% in); Trump 53% Cruz 37% Kasich 8% You had Trump within 1%. And Bernie has been declared the winner on the other side, 53% to 47%. Not quite so close. Robert
  13. Michael, I will credit Mr. Trump for trying to be gracious—trying hard—but he couldn't even hold the attitude for the duration of this clip. He had to get back to people who had endorsed him. Robert
  14. Michael, Let it be recorded that 17-18 hours before Donald Trump closed the deal on the Republican nomination (beating Ted Cruz in a primary Cruz had to win; Cruz responded by ending his campaign), you wrote something like this. On the verge of your guy's biggest win to date. Then tell us that your support for Donald Trump is not primarily motivated by a desire for revenge. Then tell us that support for Donald Trump, from you or from anyone else, is not and surely cannot be driven by hate. George Will has been on the scene since the late 1970s. He has had his ups and downs (I can remember when he published a book titled Statecraft as Soulcraft, and looked down his nose at Ronald Reagan). If one looks up references to him at this site (these include your own), they used to be mixed, but often favorable. Until Day 1, NTE 1. Since then, nothing but scorn. Opposition to your guy has made George Will into something you never called him before: a liar, a lackey, an "intellectualoid." A man who, we now learn, never in 40 years encountered a bad act by a powerful Republican without experiencing a massive, lasting urge to cover it up. (Meanwhile, cheerleading for your guy has instantly elevated Ann Coulter to one of the greatest minds in the history of our species.) Will is a bitter man at present. What he called for in that column isn't just crazy spiteful. It simply can't be done. Even if Donald Trump were to lose Utah to Hillary Clinton, he would not lose 50 states to her. With today's political alignments, no major party nominee will lose 50 states. And as bad a President as Trump may turn out to be, Will cannot make a case that Hillary will be better. George Will may get over his bout of spitefulness. Or he may not (he is older than Donald Trump; he may not be that far from retirement, whatever is in store). Meanwhile, the iron logic of your position requires you to treat George Will as among the worst that ever crawled the earth, while Bill Shuster is wonderful (he endorsed our guy!), and Mitch McConnell remains OK until Donald Trump decides he doesn't have a current use for him. And it requires you to hate anyone who has criticized your advocacy for Donald Trump here on OL. I, for instance, might never have known it, but I am now part of America's royalty. So are a few others here (WSS, being from the wrong side of the border, will perhaps get an exemption). Revenge is now therefore imperative. You may get over your own bout of spitefulness. I hope so. Robert