Tuesday, December 15, 2015

can't quite agree, Mr. Condell

Long ago, I mentioned the name of former standup comedian Pat Condell, a huge and still-growing presence on YouTube whose politically incorrect videos target what Condell sees as the ever-increasing danger of Muslim encroachment. Condell speaks his mind, even at the risk of sounding like yet another bitter old man. I haven't been through the entire library of all his videos (each lasting about five to ten minutes), but I've seen enough to know his general tone and message. In many cases, I find myself grudgingly, or even wholeheartedly, agreeing with him. People on the opposite side of the aisle are all too eager to brand Condell a racist bigot for his views, but this is partly because (1) they falsely conflate Islam with a race, which is how they justify accusing him of racism; and (2) they don't really take the time to listen carefully to what he says and to address the substance of his arguments. My recommendation would be to hammer Condell on his facts and/or his logic, and stop blindly applying labels to him after giving him only half a listen.

That said, I'm none too pleased by his latest video, which seems to offer plenty of praise to US presidential candidate Donald Trump. The central point of this particular rant is that "Trump came along with a great, big bucket of honesty" regarding the Muslim/immigration/culture-war situation, and many people can't stand to hear it.

I cringe whenever I hear Trump being described as honest. To me, the man is an egomaniacal blowhard with no consistency or coherence in his positions, and he's a liar to boot. If John Kerry is a flip-flopping flounder, Donald Trump, for all his bluster, is a moral jellyfish. "He says things that most of the American public is thinking," I hear some conservatives say. Maybe so, but how consistently conservative is Trump, really? This is a man who, not that long ago, was very cozy with the Clintons. He speaks his mind, true, but in a manner that indicates how impulsive he is, not to mention how easy he is to manipulate. All you have to do is accuse Trump of not knowing something, and he'll fire back with either "Oh, I know more about this topic than you do!" or "Well, I know plenty of good people who will get me up to speed on that." It really wouldn't take much for a smart debater to goad Trump into making inconsistent statements.

And I say he's a liar primarily because, as conservative writer Kevin Williamson pointed out some time ago, Trump has been bankrupted four times but refuses to admit this has happened. "I have never gone bankrupt," Trump is on record as saying. You can't get much more baldfaced than that baldfaced lie. Apparently, his worshippers are willing to overlook little things like that because "he's saying what they're thinking."

So while I might sometimes find myself in agreement with Mr. Condell's articulate tirades, I simply can't agree with him here. Clint Eastwood mocked President Obama by dialoguing with an empty chair; Donald Trump is, to my mind, just as empty a suit. He goes where his impulses take him; his reactive nature makes him easy to manipulate; he's all style and no substance—and really, he lacks style, too. Color me disappointed, Mr. Condell.

[An analysis of Trump's four bankruptcies, and an examination of his denials of them, can be found here.]



John from Daejeon said...

And yet Clinton gets a free media pass on all of her lying and flipflopping. Our choices are so far down that they are 6 feet under the barrel.

Kevin Kim said...

Point taken. And I could never vote for Hillary.