Trump Sides with the FBI Against Apple; On Torture Proclaims “Water Boarding Is Fine but Not Tough Enough”

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When Donald Trump was asked about Apple’s decision, Trump did not bring up the complexity of the situation, the constant battle between government and individual, between private and public selves, between technology and law enforcement. He did not commend Apple for trying to stave off government’s incursion into our personal details. He did what Trump does: He came up with the easiest, simplest, basest possible reaction to an endlessly complicated issue, and he ran with it.

On Fox & Friends this morning, Trump said, “To think that Apple won’t allow us to get into her cellphone? Who do they think they are? No, we have to open it.”

– From Bloomberg

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from the 2016 election season is the obvious fact that the GOP base has absolutely no interest in freedom, civil liberties or the Constitution. The huge success of the megalomaniac statist Donald Trump, as well as the pitiful performance of Rand Paul, has proven this beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Many people will argue this has been obvious for quite some time, but the reason I bring it up is because both Ron Paul and his son Rand believed that the Republican party could serve as a useless albeit unwilling vessel to bring back liberty to these United States. The 2016 GOP primary has proven once and for all that this was pure fantasy.

Donald Trump is a lot of things, but a defender of freedom, due process and the Constitution he is certainly not. In fact, he doesn’t even pretend to be and is unquestionably a big government statist. Trump has absolutely no issue with a U.S. President abusing executive authority, he just wants to be the guy doing it. The fact that he makes this perfectly clear and still doesn’t lose any ground in the primary demonstrates that the GOP base isn’t merely holding its nose on the topic, they agree with him.

The good news is that only a very small percentage of Americans identify as Republicans (or Democrats for that matter). As Gallup reported recently in its piece, Democratic, Republican Identification Near Historical Lows:

PRINCETON, N.J. — In 2015, for the fifth consecutive year, at least four in 10 U.S. adults identified as political independents. The 42% identifying as independents in 2015 was down slightly from the record 43% in 2014. This elevated percentage of political independents leaves Democratic (29%) and Republican (26%) identification at or near recent low points, with the modest Democratic advantage roughly where it has been over the past five years.

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The above chart is very compelling, as well as encouraging, not merely due to the absolute numbers, but when it comes to the overall trend. Americans increasingly don’t want anything to do with either corrupt and useless mainstream political party. That’s the good news. The bad news is that our political system still forces us to choose between a candidate picked by the members of these establishment political clubs.

When it comes to the 26% who identify as Republicans, Donald Trump seems to be their man. A person who shows contempt for individual liberties and the founding principles of this Republic. His recent position on the Apple vs. FBI debate once again makes that perfectly clear.

Bloomberg reports:

When Donald Trump was asked about Apple’s decision, Trump did not bring up the complexity of the situation, the constant battle between government and individual, between private and public selves, between technology and law enforcement. He did not commend Apple for trying to stave off government’s incursion into our personal details. He did what Trump does: He came up with the easiest, simplest, basest possible reaction to an endlessly complicated issue, and he ran with it.

On Fox & Friends this morning, Trump said, “To think that Apple won’t allow us to get into her cellphone? Who do they think they are? No, we have to open it.”

“I agree 100 percent with the courts,” he said. “In that case, we should open it up. I think security overall—we have to open it up. And we have to use our heads. We have to use common sense. Somebody the other day called me a common-sense conservative. We have to use common sense. Our country has so many problems.”

This is classic Trump. Take an issue that requires more time and thought than he—and the average American—is willing to give it, take a strong, unequivocal stance on it and then segue into the stump points of “common sense” and “I’m gonna fix all the problems in this country.” It is extraordinarily unlikely that Trump knew any details of the case, or Apple’s view: The release had just come out this morning, mere minutes before Trump’s appearance. And his explanation didn’t make much sense: As The Verge noted, what Trump was basically saying is that Apple should create a technology—remember, this technology does not currently exist—that could break into any locked phone…but that it should only be used this one time. The notion is absurd to anyone who has looked at the issue for longer than five seconds. One can believe that the government should have the right to get into locked phones. One can believe that the tech companies are right to block them. But the idea that Apple should build this technology for this one particular incident is not intellectually serious in any sense of the word. (It’s not even something the government is claiming!) This is the view of someone who is just talking.

But that didn’t stop Trump, because it has never stopped Trump. He hit Cook and Apple as hard as he hits Ted Cruz, or President Barack Obama, or poor Jeb Bush. And it has already changed the conversation. Now that Trump has weighed in—as much as you can classify what he did as “weighing in”—other candidates are being asked the question, and the whole issue is being filtered through Trump’s reaction, rather than the facts and complexities of the case.

Trump is basically a confidence man. Knowing what he’s talking about is of no concern to Trump supporters who adore his penchant for quickly formulating uninformed opinions and running with them. Since a disconcertingly large percentage of Americans prefer to come to their own conclusions via emotion rather than logic and analysis, Trump seems to be the candidate they’ve been waiting for. He’s basically a less refined and more aggressive iteration of George W. Bush.

Think I’m exaggerating? Ok, well why don’t you see for yourself. Here’s what Trump recently had to say on the topic of torture:

Yep, Trump is essentially positioning himself as the torture candidate.

Make America Great Again, indeed. 

For related articles, see:

Donald Trump the Demagogue

The REAL Donald Trump – A Fascinating Interview of the Man from 1990

Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton on Freedom of Speech – A Side By Side Comparison

Rand Paul Op-ed Blasts Donald Trump – Calls Him a “Fake Conservative” and Wannabe “King”

In Liberty,
Michael Krieger

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11 Comments

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  1. Ricardo Ali Fernandez

    Mike, here again I am surprised that you haven’t got more comments on this as it is the number one issue facing us and has been the number one issue for the last sixty plus years. Granted your opinion that, “Trump has absolutely no issue with a U.S. President abusing executive authority” is just that your opinion. Still because of my experience with torture I am also very cautious about the abusive application of the state secrets privilege and related doctrine, act, executive order, regulation and related policy abuses. There may be exceptions to every rule just don’t tread on me our anyone else. Whether this Apple case fits the possibility of and exception I will leave to the courts. At least to date as far as we know they are airing the decision in public.

  2. Mike, Trump is also like the great Ron Paul in some ways. This you ignore. He was against the Iraq War and had the nerve to publicly call out the Neocons over the wars. He is the only sane person in dealing with Russia and Syria. I understand your concerns but you ignore the areas that I know you agree with Trump on, but just cannot get on board because it is Trump. Trump is the only candidate except for Sanders who is against the TPP. All I have listed are just as important as your concerns. For me they outweigh your concerns. You have a job and income I think. What about the 10’s of millions of Americans out of work. Neither party gave a rats ass about these people. I applaud Trump for standing up for these people. So called free trade and the TPP now before Congress is just as important as your concerns (maybe more so because without an economy you do not have anything). I believe that video of Carrier laying off people and sending their jobs to Mexico is the core of what Trump speaks. That video is so powerful that I am surprised that you did not use it. Is it because Trump uses it?

  3. Once again the thinking portion of US voters is left with a choice of the lesser of 2 evils. So what else is new under the sun. NOTHING

  4. This site is another fraud site. The last thing is this unshaven clown wants is that problems are solved. This unshaven weasel prefers that the problems fester

  5. well…. then swine it is John. Go wallow in shit……pig !!

  6. Lactose Indifferent

    I was speaking to a dyed in the wool conservative today, very well informed on issues and very open minded about where America’s interests are. I was astounded to hear that he has come to the same conclusion I have: Bernie Sanders may be the ONLY choice we have when it comes to 1) a record of standing up for the average American 2) the only candidate who has a long and well-documented history of opposition to big banking and the Fed 3) the only candidate (with Rand gone) that has not made going to war with everyone a central plank of their platform.

    When I said I early voted Democrat in our state primary for the first time in my life so I could vote AGAINST Hillary, he said he was doing the same thing. Mirabile dictu!

    If this anecdotal evidence is indicative of a real underlying trend, getting Bernie the nomination may be the last, best hope for real Americans. As my friend said about Trump, “He’s scary to me.”

    Trump and Sanders are both outsiders. The difference is, Sanders does not exhibit any signs of delusions of grandeur or a messiah complex. I wish I could say the same about Trump.

    With him, we may get a closed border, which will please many. We probably should remember that didn’t work out so well for the East Germans.

    • Frankly, this is a misconception of what precisely socialism is. Socialism is an advocacy for public-private partnerships as the catalyst for Top-Down Wealth Effect, Wealth Re-distribution, and Spreading the Wealth pioneered by such figures as one Otto Von Bismark who convinced the German populace such public-private partnerships were necessary for his Bismarkian Policies without which the catalyst of progress towards Plutocracy is effectively exposed.

      Basically, the choice is Kleptocrat Trump V Kleptocracy advocate Sanders since Democratic Kleptocracy doesn’t really sound as attractive as pulling a Bismarkian bait and switch…

      About the only upside over the whole affair is exposure of the elections being largely a sham.

  7. Wake Up Little Sheeple

    Trump is the torture candidate, Clinton is the war and corruption candidate and Bernie Sanders is the Socialist candidate. This country has no chance.

  8. Mike, I appreciate your response. Yes, Trump may or is bad for civil liberties, but I thought we had a Congress and Court to counteract one’s overuse of a power. By the way I have been a Ron Paul supporter for over a decade. It was his civil liberties and military interventionism (lack of) that I agreed with. Maybe being a member of the military I had a stronger reaction to the use of good Americans to fight these wars. I remember poor Ron Paul standing up in debates and telling all the other Republicans they were wrong about the Iraq war and he was just laughed off as an unstable Uncle. I just heard Trump tonight talking about the 911 report and the classified sections that would implicate Saudi Arabia. I thought this was a dearly held issue with you and Ron Paul. Talking about Courts, don’t you find the sudden death and lack of autopsy of Scalia a shocking event? Is someone trying to change a potential court ruling in the near future? I may be proven wrong about Trump and you may be right. A responder above is correct, Sanders and Trump are truly outsiders and that is a significant story. Again a story that many are overlooking, the Republican and Democratic Party are dying, the independents growing has actually been pointed out by you. Just the fact that there are more people participating is a great thing. I actually like Sanders also but Trump a little more. I for the first time have gotten interested in the Political process as change is coming, Sanders or Trump.

  9. If Scalia was assassinated, I believe the motive was this: The Establishment is alarmed at Sanders’ meteoric rise in popularity, and saw that Scalia would be 80 years old and nearing retirement if and when Sanders takes office. President Sanders would appoint a liberal to fill the seat, giving liberals in the Court a 5-4 majority.

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