Northern lights on US election II : What if Conrad Black is right and Donald Trump actually wins ????

Sep 7th, 2016 | By | Category: USA Today

Freddy Gray in The Spectator from the UK reports that “Donald Trump is Making America Crazy Again,” Jul 23, 2016.

CTV News anchor Marcia MacMillan, in an especially compelling dress yesterday morning, brought us the vaguely alarming news that “New poll shows Trump taking slight lead over Hillary Clinton.”  (This is now well hidden in the CTV September 6 archive.  Try “Poll: Nine weeks out, a near even race” for key numbers.)

Among the experts the lovely Ms. MacMillan subsequently consulted was the redoubtable Don Martin. He indicated that to discuss the current prospects of Mr. Trump further he would be talking on his TV show later that day with the former UK media baron, US convicted felon, and unabashed Canadian friend of Donald Trump, Conrad Black (aka – I think it’s still correct – “Lord Black of Crossharbour”).

I haven’t subsequently had time to watch Don Martin’s talk with Conrad Black. But I have discovered that his lordship (as he says himself “why not … [t]here is not a prohibition on a convicted criminal sitting in that House”) has been saying good things about Donald Trump for some time now.

Marcia MacMillan covers it all with Taylor Swift, Sep 26, 2014.

(See the Appendix below with eight examples, from 19 Dec 2015 to 2 Aug 2016. And Mr. Black has freely confessed : “I will say this, that in the problems I had, he was absolutely loyal, he volunteered to come and give evidence for me, he sent me encouraging letters at every stage … We all go through difficult times and we remember the people who were helpful.”)

Generally I feel the less I hear about or from either Donald Trump or Conrad Black, the better. But flipping through the Appendix below, I have been struck by some words from Mr. Black during an earlier appearance on Don Martin’s CTV show “Power Play” – very early this past March, when the Republican and Democratic primaries were still undecided.

At that time Mr. Black advised Mr. Martin that :”You can’t stop him in the Republican Party, and he will mop the floor with” Hillary Clinton (whom Black wisely enough predicted would be the eventual Democratic nominee). The trouble with Hillary is that “she’s got too much hanging … They are going to kill her … She’s never run a serious election.” (See “Conrad Black predicts Trump presidency: ‘You can’t stop him’.”)

Back in the day: Black was once such a revered figure in British Tory circles that Margaret Thatcher, right, introduced him to the Upper House. Note wife Barbara Amiel apparently listening to Mrs Thatcher.

At this moment six months later in early September, with various polls tightening, this advice can almost seem all too prescient. I know that I am starting to wonder about just how Hillary will do in the debates that start this coming Monday, September 26 – now less than three weeks away. (Even if, as another expert was advising Marcia MacMillan this morning, debates are never as important for the final result as many seem to think at the time.)

Put another way, Hillary’s strategy up to this point has largely seemed to be to let Donald Trump self-destruct, and then walk in and pick up the pieces. The latest tightening in more than one poll suggests this really may not be at all enough to make her the first female president of the USA, USA. And there are signs that the Clinton campaign is starting to move in at least a few fresh directions – helped along by her old rival Bernie Sanders, and others.

* * * *

Hillary, as Conrad Black sees her – someone who has too much hanging and is going to get killed.

Even so, as I watch TV clips of Hillary somewhat awkwardly (and even uncomfortably?) welcoming journalists on board her new bigger and better campaign plane, I seem to hear Conrad Black’s advice to Don Martin back in March all over again. The trouble with Hillary is that “she’s got too much hanging … They are going to kill her … She’s never run a serious election.”

Donald Trump has never run a serious election either, of course. In other news today we have also had “New 50-state poll: Why Clinton holds the advantage over Trump.” And on MSNBC last night Chris Matthews was aggressively pushing the argument that, when you look at the state-by-state evidence on the ultimately crucial electoral college, it’s still Donald Trump who’s close to the bottom of a deep pit that he’s unlikely to dig himself out of – not Hillary Clinton.

It is true as well that both Donald Trump and Conrad Black come from seriously rich families, and really know next to nothing about the ordinary world for most voters, that they pretend to (and may even seriously believe that they do) understand so well.

Marcia MacMillan and friend Ginella Massa, Oct 3, 2013.

Mr.Black similarly talks about Mr.Trump as “a competent man, he’s built and run a very competent business, he’s a quality builder and a very successful man.” And this reminds me at least of the Austrian-American economic theorist of “creative destruction,” Joseph Schumpeter, and his concerns about how democracy may give too much power to “the unsuccessful many.”

(And yet it is more than a few of the same unsuccessful many to whom Donald Trump feels so much gratitude, for believing that a successful person like himself  – also lucky enough to start with a substantial bankroll from his father – might somehow lighten the burdens that business people like Donald Trump and Conrad Black, more than anyone in government, have placed on the shoulders of working people over the past several decades! So far only Lord Black has had to go to jail. But when Donald Trump’s rally supporters were chanting “Lock Her Up, Lock Her Up” about Hillary Clinton a while back, they at least drew attention away from the guy talking to them, who probably has much better qualifications for getting locked up than Hillary Clinton.)

Ladies of CTV News : Marcia MacMillan (Toronto) and Lori Graham (Montreal), Aug 27, 2015.

I certainly think it’s all too true myself that any electorate (or permutation of the American people) that can give George W. Bush a second term in 2004 can give Donald Trump a first term in 2016. And I don’t think that people like either of Donald Trump or Conrad Black should ever be given such all too responsible jobs as President of the United States of America. (And on Mr. Trump’s friend Mr. Black in particular here see, eg, : “Released from a US jail, fraudster Conrad Black yearns to reclaim his place in British society. So who turned up to his party. . . and why is he risking humiliation on TV?”  ; and “Conrad Black stripped of Order of Canada … Black has also been removed from the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada.”) So … as someone at least half-raised in a Baptist church, many, many years ago now, I have started to pray for Hillary Clinton when I get into bed at night. At the moment, there seems an all too real chance she just might need any help she can get, from any source at all!

APPENDIX : Sample of recent writing on Conrad Black and Donald Trump, by or about Conrad Black

Conrad Black’s library at home – at least the way it used to be, in the Toronto house he is selling or has sold, but may still be living in?

Conrad Black, “In defence of Donald Trump,” National Post, December 19, 2015.

Michael Shulman, “Conrad Black predicts Trump presidency: ‘You can’t stop him’,” CTV News, March 2, 2016.

Conrad Black, “Don’t underestimate Donald. He will win,” National Post,  March 4-5,  2016.

Conrad Black, “Donald Trump, the centrist, has attracted an army of disaffected patriots,” National Post,  May 6, 2016.

Conrad Black, “The genius of Donald Trump,” National Post,  July 22-23, 2016.

Conrad Black, “The brilliant Donald Trump deserves to win … His political achievements are already unprecedented, and his insight amounts to genius,” The Spectator, July 23. 2016.

Karolyn Coorsh, “Conrad Black calls Trump’s rise an ‘amazing achievement‘,” CTV News, July 29, 2016.

Andrew Cohen, “Donald Trump’s biggest fan? Canadian Conrad Black,” Ottawa Citizen, August 2, 2016.

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