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Joined: 2 Sep 2013
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,867
Location: Mid-Atlantic US

19 Mar 2016, 2:20 pm

I can't claim to have grown any fonder of Mr. Trump, however I have recently had an epiphany, which is that I greatly prefer him to Ted Cruz.

Given that the Republican nomination has narrowed down to Trump and Cruz, I have to admit that I hope Trump wins it. I don't have to offer a list of Trump's negatives, however I think Cruz would be even worse.

I don't know which of these two candidates would be easier for the Democratic nominee to beat. In principle, I would like the Democrat to win, whoever that will be, but I have to accept the strong possibility that winning the Republican nomination is tantamount to winning the general election (except possibly if the Democratic nominee inspires strong popular support as did Obama, which doesn't seem likely this time around). The Republican party has a clear advantage amongst those US citizens most likely to vote, if not across the overall population.

What I don't like about Cruz is that he is a doctrinaire Tea Partier, he is beholden to a set of rigid principles and incapable of compromise. With him in the White House and the Tea Party controlling both the Senate and House, the US could very quickly become an Objectivist/Libertarian/Evangelical authoritarian utopia, in which life could become quite grim for most people. Trump, on the other hand, would not have the slavish obedience of Congress, and I must assume he is capable of compromise, having been a wheeler/dealer his whole life. So with him there is at least some hope of a less than totally awful outcome. Trump isn't committed to any particular doctrine; he simply says what's on his mind or what he thinks his "people" want to hear. Which could change at any time as circumstances demand.

Another ironically attractive aspect of a Trump presidency is his one-sided bromance with Vladimir Putin. As much of a thug as I might consider Putin to be, if Trump is into him, then it could be a big deterrent to US military adventures abroad. After all, if Putin is taking care of (Bashar al-Assad's) business in Syria, why bother about it? I think Cruz more likely to consider military action as the proper American way to "preserve democracy around the globe".

Two more examples: Cruz will definitely sever all existing formal relations with Cuba the instant he sets foot in the Oval Office (not that I am a big fan of the Cuban government) whereas I can imagine Trump not doing so (after all there may be business opportunities there). Also I don't think Trump would have as much zeal for cracking down on states that decriminalize recreational drugs and allow marijuana to be used medically. Cruz can be trusted to come down hard on those people.

The fact is, with Trump, what you see is what you get, whether you like it or not, and what he says simply reflects what he is thinking at a given time. As opposed to a recitation of Tea Party dogma that you would get from Cruz.

As for how well Trump would run against his Democratic opponent - so far we have only seen him perform against other Republicans, and he has eaten them alive as they are all two-faced panderers to extreme views of society trying to make themselves appear respectable (about which Trump simply doesn't care). Against either contending Democrat, he may not do quite so well. I think it will be much easier to debate Trump if you are not trying to demonstrate how much more conservative you are than he is.

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