The Rail Splitter and the Casino Bankrupt

As everyone by now knows, Donald Trump won the Republican Presidential Primary vote held yesterday in South Carolina (locally known as the “First in the Confederacy State”). And as almost as many people know, no Republican has every one the primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina, as Trump has, and been denied the GOP nomination. This proud tradition which goes the whole way back to 1980 (the first South Carolina primary), claims the names of Ronald Reagan (1980 and 1984), George H.W. Bush (1988 and 1992), George W. Bush (2004) and John McCain (2008). So with the statistical evidence of those six examples we can pretty much conclude the Donald Trump is certain to be the on center stage in Cleveland, with balloons swirling about him with his Veep slection (Sarah Palin? Chef Guy Fieri?), making history as the first reality show presidential ticket.

So it’s little surprise that the Sunday shows were eager to snatch him up for his thoughts at the beginning of a great career as statesman. And as the media wing of the GOP, Fox News’s Chris Wallace was able to land him. Wallace is a practiced interviewer of Trump and last October was able to delve deeply into the policy book of Donald Trump. Back then Chris Wallace put such questions as whether he would be willing as chief executive “to use the debt limit and risk the possibility of the country going into default to get more spending cuts?” And as you would expect from someone as prudent as Trump, his reply was grave and learned: “I would use the debt limit. I don’t want to say—I want to be unpredictable, because, you know, we need unpredictability. Everything is so predictable with our country.” It goes without saying that the country which issues the world’s reserve currency ought to tell its securities holders that it is willing to default, or perhaps not, who knows?, because investors hate predictability. And of course Trump makes perfect sense when he says that he doesn’t want to commit in advance to not defaulting on the payments that fall due under a budget he signed as President. Why should he? That is Wharton School of Economics, Finance 101.

The rest was equally thought through. He’s “fine” with affirmative action but “I don’t think we need it so much anymore.” So we can expect some of it to be eliminated by President Trump, probably the less fine part.  As for government services “I’m not cutting services. But I’m cutting spending. But I may cut Department of Education. I believe common core is a very bad thing. I believe that we should be lo—you know, educating our children from Iowa, from New Hampshire, from South Carolina, from California, from New York.”

The main point of course is that “we’re going to have a dynamic country. We’re going to have dynamic economics. And it’s going to be something really special. And people are going back to work.” So those of you who fear the economic prospects of our country, know that the only thing you have to fear is deatails.

On Sunday, however, we learned from Wallace’s questions that Trump admires the administration of Abraham Lincoln. It is somewhat surprising that we did not notice the parallels before. Not the trivial Kennedy/Lincoln parallels (Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy; Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln; they were both shot), but there are some there (Lincoln grew up in poverty and became known as “Honest Abe”; Trump grew up wealthy and many times sent his businesses into bankruptcy). But the real parallel comes in their love of the English language and how they gracefully express their inner selves.

To show you this I will put two brief farewells. The first in 1861 when Lincoln said farewell to Illinois (for the last time it turned out). The second yesterday night, when Trump said good-bye to South Carolina.

Lincoln:

My friends, no one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.

Trump:

Thank you very much, everybody. Well, I want to begin by thanking the people of South Carolina. This is a special state. Thank you. These are special people and we got a little boost last week from a place we all remember—New Hampshire. We can’t forget it. Special, special. We love it. And they sent us in here with a very good feeling, right?

Very good feeling. So I really want to thank you and my volunteers. All of these people — volunteers and they travel and they—and I say, “what are you doing?” And now they’re going to Texas and they’re going all over. Some are going to Nevada. I’ll be going to Nevada. We’re making a big speech tomorrow in Atlanta and then we’re going right to Nevada.

It’s uncanny. You probably could not have guessed which was which if I hadn’t told you, right?

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