Paying out the Trump pool

It was a simpler, more innocent time.

Back in the summer of 2015 the GOPLifer blog laughed off the threat of a Donald Trump nomination with a lighthearted wager. Commenters posted a date when they estimated Trump’s polling numbers would drop below the minuscule threshold of the race’s also-rans.

Now Trump is the nominee, Chris Ladd is no longer a ‘Lifer,’ and this campaign isn’t funny anymore. Time to clear the table and pay up.

By my count there were eight estimates beyond the date of the convention. Regardless what happens from here it seems like they should all qualify as winners. If your screen-name appears below you’ll be getting an email from me soon at the address you used to register for comments. Don’t delete it! It’s worth a free Amazon ebook of The Politics of Crazy, the book that will change your life.

And, dirty little secret, it’s really just a gift code so you can use it for any of the fine products available there.

Let me know if I’ve missed someone. Congrats to the winners.

Cpl. Cam 13-Oct-16
fiftyohm 3-Sept-16
EJ 25-Oct-16
Rob Ambrose 8-Nov-16
n1cholas 9-Nov-16
Houston-stay-at-Homer 2-Feb-17
Mark Maros 9-Nov-16
duncancairncross 15-Nov-16

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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43 comments on “Paying out the Trump pool
  1. 1mime says:

    Good analysis from Doug Muder, The Weekly Sift, on the Clinton Foundation issue. 12% overhead? 88% goes to charity? Those are statistics few charity organizations can claim.
    Decide for yourself whether this is more Hillary witch hunt because for the next 71 days, you’re going to hear a whole lot more commentary on this subject.

  2. RobA says:

    I don’t want to make this whole thing into an “us against them” generational war. But with that said, it’s clear to me that baby boomers and Millenials have a fundamentally different opinion on how the world should be, and they are very happy to vote for candidates that support their worldview (as is their right).

    This can be seen in the types of ppl that support Trump, but also everywhere, such as Brexit. I’ve thought about what the solution is to this. Obviously, preventing ppl from voting is illegal and unacceptable, no matter how much you dislike their vote. With that said, it also seems a bit wrong that groups that won’t be here much longer are trying to dictate their worldview on the younger generation that disagrees with them on crucial issues and who will be the ones who have to live with the decisions.

    To that end, how crazy is this idea: what if EVERY citizen got a vote? By which I mean, even the ones who haven’t reached voting age yet. Babies, toddlers and teenagers have a vested interest in the decisions a society makes just as much (and probably more) as everyone else. No, I am not suggesting 5 y/o be allowed to vote. But are they not citizens? Do they not have political interests? Why are THEY disenfranchised?

    What if we give all citizens the right to vote the day they’re born? And then we entrust their political needs to the same ppl we already trust to meet all their other needs (their parents).

    This isn’t that crazy. As a society, we all agree that until a child reaches a certain age, their parents are trusted to act in their best interests in all aspects of their lives. So why would we not trust them to act in their best interests in their political needs? Undoubtedly, if ANY group has political needs, then so do children. Once we establish that fact, why would we trust parents to feed, clothe, shelter, educate their children, but wouldnt trust them with their child’s vote?

    Ive been trying to think of a good reason why letting a parent get one vote for the selves AND one vote for their children is a bad idea, and I’m coming up blank. On the contrary, I think putting more political power in the hands of those with the most at stake in a better tomorrow (I.e. those that will be around a lot longer) will make for a much healthier democracy.

    Climate change is a good example. For somebody 65 today, they have the luxury if making CC an academic political issue. They’re able to use it as a political tool to score political points because they’ll never have to see the outcomes of their votes. For my 7 y/o son though, CC is a much more real and practical issue (even if he doesn’t know it yet). If the worst predictions come true, his world will be dramatically different (and dramatically worse) because of the political decisions being made today. So since he has far, far more interest in the consequences of CC, and since the outcomes of CC 50,60, 70 years from now will be directly related to the political decisions we make TODAY, should HE not have a vote in those decisions? And as his parent trusted to look after his interests in every other aspect of life, why should I not be trusted to look after his political interests too?


    • 1mime says:

      Gosh, Rob. That is a wild and crazy idea….The first thought I had (as a negative) is that giving parents extra votes relative to number of children could encourage people to have more children – which, the globe doesn’t need. I would rather parents be educated and responsible with the adult vote they have and consider their children’s needs when casting their votes. Most parents do so now. Ex. Health care impacts the entire family – cost, access, quality…I totally agree on the environment affecting future generations more than those in their senior years, but I also believe that we seniors have just as much responsibility to support wise environmental stewardship and policy as do those who are younger.

      What I do find interesting is that children be registered for the vote at birth. There are a handful of states (W. coast) who are automatically registering people to vote when they apply for their initial driver’s license, and that is pretty cool. It is also efficient. It also would encourage more people to vote which is probably why it will be discouraged in red states.

      Creative guy that you are, I’m sure you are doing all you can already to advocate for your and your son’s interests.

      • RobA says:

        “is that giving parents extra votes relative to number of children could encourage people to have more children – which, the globe doesn’t need. I would rather parents be educated and responsible with the adult vote they have and consider their children’s needs when casting their votes. Most parents do so now.”

        On your first point mime, I dont see that as likely. What does a child cost these days? Couple hundred grand by the time they reach 18? Then there’s all the trials and tribulations that comes from having kids, which are more then worth if you actually want kids. But taken together, its an awfully steep price to oay for an extra vote or two, with no direct RoI. I don’t see that as being a problem.

        As to the second point, yes, parents generally do vote their kids interests. But the same argument could have been used in the suffrage debate: “why do women need the vote? Their husbands will be voting for their best interests”.

        The issue is not that their parents will or will not vote forntheir kids interests. It’s a pure democracy move: one citizen, one vote. That vote could be temporarily “loaned” to their parents until they become of age, but all citizens deserve their own vote, not just their parents vote.

        Think of it using a hypothetical: picture a village of 100, 60 citizens are long past child bearing age, and the remaining 40 has one child each. Now let’s say the village comes into a windfall and holds a referendum on how to spend it: should they build a state of the art retirement home with free residency costs, or a state of the art school with free tuition.

        Now, if we assume in this scenario ppl vote for their direct interests (as we must assume in a democracy simulator), the old age home should win the referendum. Is this a truly Democratic result? Yes, 60 voting aged citizens want the retirement home. But 80 citizens interest lies with the school (the forty parents, plus the forty kids). If the children were enfranchised, the school would win the referendum, which would be the most Democratic result (I.e. more citizens stand to benefit).

        My overall point is not at all that people over a certain age are wrong or unethical for their votes: they are simply voting their own interests, as they should do. They have no obligation to vote for the perceived “greater good” whatsoever. They can and should use their vote to benefit them directly. The issue comes when you have massive swaths of citizens without ANY vote whatsoever.

        The whole concept of democracy can be boiled down to “that which is best for the largest number of citizens is the best solution”. But when you have millions who DO have a stake in the outcome by DO NOT have a vote of their own, can society really be truly Democratic? The “greater good” theory only works when every stakeholder has a vote.

      • 1mime says:

        All good points Rob except for your example about suffrage (-; (You knew I’d take issue with that!) Womens’ rights as equals in a marital or other relationship is entirely different than a parent’s responsibility to their children and childrens’ rights. One assumes adults should have the right to express themselves because of age, education and basic freedom; whereas children lack both age and education. They certainly have rights, which is your fundamental point, and need responsible decisions made by those who care for them.

        Given what we are witnessing in the current election, the issue of “who should be able to vote” takes on greater significance. Obviously, educated and adult people are making decisions about who to vote for as POTUS. That is their right as a voter, even if the consequences of their vote(s) results in a horrible outcome that impacts the voter who chose another candidate. That’s how democracy works – or, doesn’t. Before making a radical change such as you propose, why wouldn’t our nation commit to automatic registration of all adults eighteen and older for voting rights (at birth), make voting as easy as possible (rather than play the voter suppression game) by allowing online voting or by mail, or in person? Shouldn’t this be the first step? Wouldn’t the fact that greater numbers of people are voting be a tremendous improvement in the exercise of individual rights? Don’t you feel that many, many peoples’ voting rights are abridged right now without even considering the addition of children?

        Good discussion…

    • vikinghou says:

      It’s funny, my initial negative reaction was that your idea would discriminate against childless singles or couples. Now I’m looking more favorably on the idea. I would be interested in how voting power would be distributed between a divorced couple. Especially if they had an odd number of kids. Details, details.

      This reminds me of a similar proposal that was made in Salt Lake City while my parents lived there during the 70s and 80s. School taxes were rather high there. Mormon families tended to be very large (still are) and thus were a larger burden on the school system than Gentile families (yes, among Mormons even Jews are Gentiles!). A few Gentile members of the City Council proposed indexing school taxes according to the number of school age children in a household. Needless to say it didn’t pass.

    • I see where you’re coming from, but there is no conceivable way that I or anyone else would believe that a parent could go into a voting booth and make a clear-headed, conscious decision to make one vote for themselves and one for their children. Bias is inevitable and with the rigid degree of partisanship we have in this country, the question as to whether or not parents would be misinterpreting their child’s needs or outright forcing their personal beliefs onto them would come up relatively instantaneously.

      For example, my mom’s been a lifelong Republican. That said, she’s always tried to vote for the person and not for the party. She voted for John McCain in ’08 and President Obama in ’12. Contrast that with myself who has voted Democratic ever since I could vote and the problem becomes obvious.

      In fact, you yourself make this very point at the very start of your comment: “But with that said, it’s clear to me that baby boomers and Millenials have a fundamentally different opinion on how the world should be, and they are very happy to vote for candidates that support their worldview (as is their right).”

      Exactly. My mother, who is in fact one of the “baby boomers”, has a modestly different view on how the world should be as compared to me. Nothing wrong with that of course, but why should she have the right to interpret my needs through her political lens? She shouldn’t, anymore than I should have the right to interpret hers if, heaven forbid, anything should happen to her and she couldn’t cast a vote on her own.

      See the slippery slope here?

    • formdib says:

      I don’t agree at all.

      Most of your argument seems premised on the idea that the parents will listen to their children’s opinions, or will change their mind on things like environmentalism or Brexit based on the needs of their children.

      Except for a small amount of (I promise you mostly liberal and moonbat [think Montessori]) parents, I don’t see this as having anything other than a multiplier effect on voters with children. The alt-right conservatives will love that shit because they think liberals kill their babies and may even have statistics about later-in-life children or something to pump their numbers. In the end I’m not sure what the actual statistics are regarding liberal versus conservative size of families, but I assume it leans slightly conservative.

      Interestingly enough, what my argument does remind me of is when women weren’t allowed to vote, and the counterargument to suffrage was “Well they’ll just multiply their husbands’ votes.”

      Except that some women aren’t married. And yes, some children are orphans and not adopted, but not nearly to the number of women who aren’t married. The point being there that women constitute distinct adult units of citizenship that ‘families’ don’t clearly add up to.

      I think there is something there about birthright citizenship: granting voter registration naturally as a byproduct of being a citizen of a certain age. And the age can be argued (17? 16? 14? 13?).

      But I think the biggest thing is that you’re arguing that ‘old people aren’t thinking about their children’s future’, well anti-environmental activists think they’re fighting for their children’s future ability to compete in a free market against an elaborate communist plot. Why would they let other parents, teachers, or even their own children too young to understand these things vote differently?

      Father knows best.

    • duncancairncross says:

      I love this site!
      That is a cracking idea! and (to me at least) it’s completely new
      (Child votes)
      Yes I think that that is the first new bright idea I have seen in a while

  3. duncancairncross says:

    I feel like a fraud winning this – as far as I can remember the question was when would the Donald drop below 20%? in the polls and I though that he would still be above that number even after he dropped out

  4. Stephen says:

    I was a dumb dumb. I did not think so many people would be ignorant or angry enough to nominate Trump. Boy was I wrong. Thank goodness that it seems the majority of us are not that way. Including many Republicans.

    • flypusher says:

      This has been a teachable moment for a bunch of us. Before Trump I would have assumed that if you blatantly dissed a prominent veteran’s service (McCain), or had no clue about what the nuclear triad is, or flip-flopped on a position from a few months ago (let alone a few hours ago), or said so many racist things, you would be political toast. I did not expect the bar to be lowered so much, but here we are. I can only hope that this is not a permanent change, but after this year I will assume nothing.

      • 1mime says:

        What I cannot come to grips with is how a person who has benefitted and participated in this discussion can still vote for Trump. There are no words

      • duncancairncross says:

        Before Trump I would have assumed that if you blatantly dissed a prominent veteran’s service

        Swift Boat????
        An example of blatantly dissing a prominent veteran that effectively won Bush the election

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Mime, with all due respect, you give yourself and this blog too much power. I don’t see the inability to change hearts and minds as a sign of failure. In fact, I detect a certain self-righteousness on your part and am rather taken aback that you would think it would be that easy to change minds. You do what you can, but in the end people have minds of their own and should vote their conscience, whatever that may be, and we must accept that. I will not vote for Mr. Trump myself, but if OV or anyone else chooses to vote for him so be it, and if they want to continue posting comments here, I think they should be welcome.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m sorry if my comment was offensive to you, Tutta. It is difficult for me to understand how an informed person could vote for Trump even as it is their right to do so. Lifer has spent considerable time and effort to educate his followers about Donald Trump. I share his views and stand by my opinion. I haven’t noticed any reluctance by other commentators about stating their opinions on any issue, especially on the current presidential election. Opinions are fair game for criticism and we all know that when we put our thoughts in the public arena. As far as I can tell, people with different voting preferences have never been excluded from posting their opinions on GOPlifer simply because they hold a different point of view. That is the strength of this blog and I simply spoke my mind which is what we all do.

      • flypusher says:

        “Swift Boat????
        An example of blatantly dissing a prominent veteran that effectively won Bush the election.”

        This goes beyond swift boating. I thought that was slimy too, but the difference there was that they actually tried to make a case. With Trump it was just more ignorant verbal diarrhea, several steps worse. I could see some thinking that swift boat made Trump believe he could push the envelope further, but he doubt Trump gave it much much thought. He speaks his mind without thinking first far too much.

      • 1mime says:

        Hasn’t that been typical of this entire election cycle? Sly innuendo, leading comments, to outright bold lies?

  5. flypusher says:

    Please, please, PLEASE be true:

    My question for Conway, why the #%$& are you praising this oh so obvious buck-nekkid emperor’s clothes? Do you have some college tuition or something to pay? Even then, how can you not feel like a total $1 whore?

  6. johngalt says:

    Congratulations to the, uh, winners. At least you are getting something intelligent out of Trump.

  7. Cpl. Cam says:

    Yay! I don’t win things often but, I’m sorry to say, Trump winning the republican nomination seemed like a no-brainier at the time. (And, honestly, he was my top pick of the creeps in that field.)

  8. Griffin says:

    Oh I was so off. I still can’t believe this is happening. Maybe this is all, like, a dream and, like, you’re all figments of my imagination and, like, when I wake up everything will be, like, normal, you know?

    Also from the original post you left this comment Lifer:

    “Perhaps our next pool should be: Pick the name of the organization that takes the place of the Republican Party.”

    I’ve already got money on “Union Party” before anyone else calls it.

    • Cpl. Cam says:

      Tea Party, right? How does a two party system survive this? Seems like there’s a pretty natural 27% hard core rightwing/35% corporate dem,neocon/27% Leftwing Berniecrat split among the politically active in the country right now…

    • My money is on a long-lingering rump Republican party consisting of neoconfederates, the religious hardcore and the AM talk radio people (but I repeat myself). They might not be able to win the elections, but they can repesent enough of a threat to prevent the Democrats from schisming.

      • Griffin says:

        That’s actually a kind of horrifying dystopia you’re presenting. An (even more) extremist GOP running off of white identity politics and winding up the far-right into doing crazy shit and having constant outburts of open racism in the parts of the country it controls while nationally we are run by a big tent “party of power” that has no real incentive to not grow increasingly corrupt and lazy as it realizes it will win all elections anyways and all deals are done within this one party that increasingly simply becomes a patronage engine.

      • 1mime says:

        I think we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. Let’s get 2016 behind us before we write off the Republican Party. I, for one, am not convinced that the core of the Republican membership – those who are the movers and shakers – have given up. They are betting it all on November that they will hold the House, will keep Dems from attaining a filibuster proof Senate, and can block Hillary Clinton just as they did Barack Obama. Then, it’s onward and upward to 2018/20. There’s too much big money and too many powerful people backing the GOP to allow the party to succumb to that segment of their base that doesn’t further their goals. November will be a set back but it may be a whole lot less traumatic than any of us think and only temporary. Democrats would do well to not underestimate them in 72 days or in two years.

      • 1mime says:

        I guess reality in politics is that it’s as much about the quality of your opponent as it is about the quality of your internal management….In a more perfect world, I would prefer that the desire to have a well-oiled, coherent organizational structure came from within rather than being dependent upon the foibles of an opponent. If there is one thing I respect about the Republican Party, it’s their ability to analyze and organize around a goal. Unfortunately, they have been too accommodating to the radical elements they embraced along the way which distorted their principles and precluded creative thinking. If ever a party has practiced protectionism, it is the GOP. Ultimately, it stifled their growth, their sense of decency and principle. If Democrats aren’t careful, they will mistake a low bar as achievement.

  9. vikinghou says:

    Congrats to the winners. The date I selected was the last day of the GOP convention, in hopes that the party would at last come to its senses. Too bad so sad.

  10. Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

    Were I a lesser person, I would utilize my winnings to further line Trump’s pockets by purchasing:
    Trump: The Art of the Deal,
    Trump: How to get Rich,
    Time to get Tough,
    Trump 101,
    Trump: The America we Deserve,
    Trump: Surviving at the Top,
    Think Big and Kick Ass,
    Think Like a Champion,
    Trump: Think like a Billionaire,
    Trump: The Way to the Top, or
    holy shit, Trump has “written” a lot of “books”.

    Well, if my prediction holds, President Trump declares the country bankrupt next February and moves on to lead a better country that is not so full of losers….so I guess a happy ending after all.

    • 1mime says:

      Ugh, Homer, not good. I don’t want your President Trump )-: not for one second, not under any circumstances……

      You might consider an alternative publication rather than pad the Trump coffers anymore…..

      “30 Years of Doonesbury onTrump” – available in e-book or paperback version….

  11. Thank you, Chris. I have always enjoyed your work. I already own a copy of Politics of Crazy so this is going to be a gift.

    The end of came oddly swiftly after the book came out, thinking about it. There’s some odd synchronicity going on there.

  12. Charlie says:

    I remember saying something like ” Who really cares? ” and putting down some outrageous date like Feb 1st, 2016. The whole thing was just a joke, as I recall.

  13. antimule says:

    Congratulations to winners.

    • 1mime says:

      Hey, they aren’t winners, antimule, they’re losers! If the “early bird” predictions of Trump dropping out had materialized,! Of course that probably would have meant that we would be looking at Pres. Teddy Cruz…so, on balance, I guess we’re all losers…

      • antimule says:

        Given how useless Republican party is getting, someone wrecking it might be a good thing. Or at least a neutral thing…

      • Fair Economist says:

        Unfortunately, right now it’s not looking to get wrecked. The extreme partisanship of the past 22 years seems to be surviving just fine with 40% or so of the population happy to support a nasty and unqualified candidate, probably the worst major-party nominee in history, as long as he’s not a Democrat. Maybe it will become a permanent minority party on a national scale, but it certainly won’t be in many states and that’s not guaranteed anyway.

      • Titanium Dragon says:

        It really depends on what happens in the future.

        Right now, we’re looking at the Republicans getting somewhere between low double and single digits of support from young people.

        If that holds, the Republicans will soon become a third party.

        No one knows what happens at that point. If the Democrats can absorb Big Business (and I think they can – a lot of businesses don’t see the government as their enemy anymore, and companies like Microsoft, Google, and the like are aligned with the Democratic party) then they’ve basically made it impossible for anyone else to compete and win nationally.

        At that point, the remaining detritus is too spread out to win anything. The alt-right is something which will survive, but it doesn’t have the numbers and is too vile for anyone else save possibly theocrats to ally with – and even there, a lot of Christians find them detestable.

        What’s left at that point?

        I’m not sure what the new coalition to fight with the Democrats is.

      • 1mime says:

        West coast businesses come from more liberal populated areas. The East coast and southern business sectors are pretty solidly conservative. What is encouraging is that even these businesses are showing more impatience for the crazier social positions of the GOP, and are speaking out. Hopefully, this will move over to economic issues. After all, it is fact that the economy does better under Dem leadership than Repub leadership. One day, maybe businesses will figure out that the GOP’s narrow economics is really NOT in their best interests. That will be the day when the Democratic Party will seriously receive the respect it deserves. It’s become “elitist” for business to look down upon the Democratic Party but eventually they will see that the populist approach that is people-centered is a model they can do well with. Democrats need to do a better job of touting their economic creds. They also need to do a better job of fielding quality candidates who can work effectively with business.

      • flypusher says:

        “No one knows what happens at that point. If the Democrats can absorb Big Business (and I think they can – a lot of businesses don’t see the government as their enemy anymore, and companies like Microsoft, Google, and the like are aligned with the Democratic party) then they’ve basically made it impossible for anyone else to compete and win nationally.”

        I could see the Bernie wing splitting off over that, but they wouldn’t be big enough to compete either. Also despite some common economic issues, and Trump trying to woo them, I can’t see BernieBros allying themselves with Trumpkins. The bigotry of the latter is too offensive to the former.

        The GOP as it is now definitely needs to evolve or die for the good of this country. I’d prefer evolve because one party systems are not good. But a major party with the resources to win the White House and congressional seats hijacked by the alt-right looks even worse.

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