Donald Trump (courtesyt businessinsider.com)

Many people seem to think that this election has something to do with the protection of gun rights. It doesn’t. It doesn’t because one candidate, Senator Hillary Clinton, has made in clear by her words and by her actions that she will seek to curtail Americans’ constitutional right to keep and bear arms. And it doesn’t because the other candidate, Mr. Donald Trump, has no reason to make it about gun rights . . .In our well-deserved virulent hatred of Senator Clinton we have automatically given our support to Trump — because he’s not Clinton. I hear constantly: anything less than support of Trump is a vote for Clinton. Since we know Clinton is bad, and maybe Trump is ok, we have to at least “roll the dice” and get behind Trump.

This “roll the dice” approach virtually assures that we will face attempted curtailment of our rights no matter which candidate wins the office. By taking an all or nothing approach so early in the game, we have assured that our concerns about gun rights can be ignored by Mr. Trump, as our support is already taken for granted.

Folks, if the guy on the other side of the table already has what he wants from you, he’s got no reason to continue to negotiate with you about what you need. We need to force the negotiation. And we need to make this election about guns.

Ditch #anybodybuthillary. Ditch #NeverTrump. Instead consider #NotTrumpUnless. 

#NotTrumpUnless he puts forward a short list of rock solid, conservative, Second Amendment hardliners that he not only says he will nominate, but ask the Republican members of the senate to begin meetings and deliberations on those individuals. 

#NotTrumpUnless he proposes legislation and obtains authorship and sponsorship of that legislation that promotes national reciprocity.

#NotTrumpUnless he details a plan and budget priorities of the DoJ and BATF (arbf) that rapidly improve the NICS process. 

#NotTrumpUnless he takes a page from the Obama playbook and lays out a budget that deprioritizes NFA violation investigations to the point of practical non-existence. 

Those are a few examples. If we did that, we would rapidly alter the debate, forcing Mr. Trump to take gun owners seriously throughout the entire election process, and into his first term in office. If we don’t do that, we have no carrots and no sticks to get Mr. Trump to commit to protecting our second amendment rights.

And what if he still doesn’t listen to us?  After all, the first rule in any negotiation is that you have to be willing to walk away from the table. Trump’s ultimate goal in this race is to become President. That’s what he wants. Am I willing to withhold my vote knowing that action might help him lose and Senator Clinton win? Yes.

Even if I wasn’t, why on earth would I tell Trump anything different? It isn’t in fact an all or nothing, only two choices, decision. And no, I’m not talking about a third party. I’m talking about making it as expensive as possible for Trump to win, and extremely difficult to get anything done once he is in office without our active support.

Trump is raising money, just like any politician. As a matter of fact, he’s using some of the same people that have raised money for Senator Clinton in the past. Give him money if, and only if, he commits by name to a rabidly pro-second amendment personality for Attorney General.

Don’t think Mr. Trump cares about your donation? He does. But take the next step, and tell the NRA and GOA that you won’t be providing them any donations until they demand the same from Mr. Trump. Do that for every political organization you deal with.

Now you really have his attention. Now he’s back at the table with you.

And one more thing: support candidates who are proven second amendment advocates that won’t cave and will make public their opposition to any president that doesn’t work to advance the protection of our rights, including Mr. Trump.

Of course, that’s all predicated on the notion that Mr. Trump is at least as untrustworthy as everyone else who’s run for that office. That’s certainly where I start. But what if you actually love Mr. Trump? So what? I love my dog but she doesn’t get a treat until she does what I want. 

Unless Mr. Trump takes solid actions to protect our right to keep and bear arms, withhold your vocal and financial support for him, and make it as expensive as possible to win that race. Force him to work for your vote. Force him to spend for your vote. Force him to negotiate with you for your vote. If we do that, we win. If we don’t, there’s no win here for us, only losing little, or losing big.

129 Responses to Jon Wayne Taylor: #anybodybuthillary Is Just As Bad An Idea As #NeverTrump

    • The next President will appoint 2 to 4 Supreme Court justices.
      Vote for Hillary and we will have a court with 4 to 6 Sotomayors and Kagans.
      Wouldn’t that be just wonderful ????

      • A million times this.

        I really hate to disagree with you JWT, but on this, you are dead wrong. Even if Trump does absolutely nothing to help firearms rights, things wont get worse than they are. If Clinton gets elected, Firearms rights will very likely be effectively DEAD for the next 30 years at minimum. I don’t know about you, but I am old enough that if Clinton becomes president, I wont be alive to see her damage be undone.

        #neverhillary, EVER…. even if that means President Trump

        • “Even if Trump does absolutely nothing to help firearms rights, things wont get worse than they are.”
          Why is this so?

      • Exactly. Approach this election in terms of contrast, not absolutes. Even if you struggle to find enough contrast between Trump and Hillary, consider the contrast between the Supreme Court nominations they would make.

        Once Trump committed to a list of conservative justices, my greatest reservation disappeared–that he was not ideologically conservative enough to appoint the right justices. The good news: He is not ideologically liberal enough to depart from that list now that he has committed to it.

        • How does that list reflect Trump’s idealogy? I’d lay $100 on the notion that he never even looked at the list, or those candidates. He very likely just said “get me a list that will shut these people up”, and somebody gave him a copy of The Heritage Foundation’s list, and he released it. When asked who he would appoint from that list, he said “hey, I’m not necessarily appointing anyone from this list… this list just represents the TYPE of people I would want to see on the Court.”

          In other words – don’t believe any of it for a second.

        • ^ What he said.

          Trump is not a man of principles. I don’t believe a damn thing he says for a minute.

          Actions will speak louder than words, I will be the first one to admit that I was wrong to have reservations about this man as President when he does anything at all to prove that I was.

        • Aw, Geeze!

          Did you have to do *that*?

          You just couldn’t let a sleeping Cthulhu just sleep and dream, could you?

          We’re in for it now…

          *sobbing uncontrollably*

  1. Dog/politician analogy, I like it. I am not a dog lover though, pets serve a purpose, that’s why I have chickens, don’t produce–you get eaten. Maybe politician/chicken analogy is better.

  2. Using the same logic, don’t give any support to TTAG unless they take action to protect our rights instead of pandering and selling their souls for advertising dollars.

    Pathetic.

  3. Maybe if we send hillary down in flames the dems will start to rethink their stand on common sense gun safety?

    • That’s what happened in the late 90s congressional elections (after the AWB was passed), and the 2000 Presidential election, where Gore didn’t even carry his home state of TN. If he had carried TN, then Florida’s hanging chads would have been moot. Support for gun control cost him TN, and the loss of TN cost him the election.

      But Dems have short memories, so we’re gonna have to show them again…

    • Jwm, that’s absolutely possible and Trump could be the man to do it. That’s a lot more likely if we make him press the issue. And we can.

  4. Hillary is on video saying she supports having Australian Style Gun Control in the USA. If she is elected with a democrat Congress on her coattails, we will have that and much more. Her SCOTUS appointees will uphold any and all anti-gun legislation and toss out all pro-gun legislation. Gun and ammunition manufactures will be shredded by lawsuits and new regulations. No semis, no pumps, no pistols at home, even pellet guns registered.

    Get ready to take up crochet or ceramics instead of shooting and hunting.

    A GOP Congress would limit Trump on gun control, nothing gets done without their approval. The President is not a dictator.

    • Instead of learning fiber arts might I suggest people take up hobbies in metal work, amature chemistry, and CAD design. Perhaps fund a local maker club for new friends. I am sure those new hooby skills could help someone make all kinds of interesting items.

      Or learn home brewing which I recently picked up. A hobby where you drink what you make thus pushing you to make more is the self licking ice cream cone of hobbies.

      • Having invested sufficiently in guns, I now invest in machine tools (at least the safes won’t fill up quite as rapidly, now)

    • Hillary’s acolytes were on CNN today screaming up and down “she never said she wants to take away gun owners rights” “she never said she wants to abolish the second amendment”

      Need a video of all the times Hillary basically wanted to diminish gun rights similar to the one going around now showing every time she flip/flopped or lied.

      • jwtaylor is spot on.

        The doughboy (Trump) has flip flopped on damn near everything he’s said.
        His list of Supreme Court judges for example, was not a commitment, just a list of conservative judges along the lines of who he supposedly would consider. That very same list was an exact copy put forth by other conservative pro 2nd amendment pundits.
        He’s been emphatic in regards to what he plans to do only to change his mind…”It was a suggestion”.
        I pray he’s not pulling a Pelosi (we have to pass it to see what’s in it).
        It’s time for the doughboy to put up or shut up!
        No by damn I’m not a Hitlerey Clintoon supporter by any stretch of the imagination!
        Think about it…just sick and tired of the same ole same ole.

    • >> A GOP Congress would limit Trump on gun control, nothing gets done without their approval. The President is not a dictator. <<

      Which is why the congressional elections are even more important than the Presidential elections. A GOP congress can stop either Hillary or Trump's tomfoolery. But if either Hillary or Trump is sent to Washington with a "yes-man" congress, then we're all royally screwed.

      Hillary can't get her Supreme Court justice nominees through a GOP-controlled Senate. Trump can't sell us out if both the GOP and Senate are staffed with solid 2A supporters.

      Most important election of our time? Yes — but not really about the President, it's more about the Congress. The Senate is in jeopardy of falling to the Democrats, especially if the Republican base is disillusioned by Trump and don't bother to go to the polls. And this time, we in Texas have very little say, since neither of our Senators are up for re-election this cycle. So if you have a Senator you can vote for, and you stay home, then you've sold us all out.

      Vote for solid 2A congresspeople. That is the firewall against either Trump or Hillary selling us out.

      • Not to bag your comments, but I’ll call bs on trusting a repub senate to keep hildabeast’s USSC nominees from getting approved. Most are about a nickel’s difference from a dem controlled senate and I’m quite positive any one of them would gladly sell their mother, COD her delivery after charging you destination fees. This is EXACTLY why most of the ‘conservative’ and 2A base is solo poised off this cycle.

      • GOP congress caved to Obama. Why do you think they would develope the courage to stand against Clinton.

  5. When Hillary’s flat-out promising to go after gun owners if she gets in office, I’ll settle for a candidate who seems largely apathetic to the gun issue even if he isn’t my first choice. Not representing me 100% on every issue > Representing 100% of everything I oppose.

    I’m not happy about Trump either, believe me, but handing the White House to a dictatorial revenant with plans to rewrite the Constitution just because you’re mad that your guy dropped out is a prime example of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    • ^^^ This, very much. The first election I was eligible for was B. Clinton v G.H.W. Bush, so I’ve *literally* never been able to vote for a president I was 100% behind. We could do a lot worse.

      ETA: “Dictatorial revenant” is GOLD. 😀

      • I usually go with corruptocratic hag or authoritarian crone, but dictatorial revenant is even better. Definitely going to use it.

    • Yes, but JWT has a great point about holding him to actually performing. If we’re talking art of the deal- he wants the presidency and we want our rights preserved and this is a way to hold him accountable. Put pressure on him keep up his end of the deal vice just hoping.

    • #IfnotHillaryorTrumpWho?

      And more importantly, HOW?

      At this stage of the game they are both the presumptive nominees of their parties and historically and realistically no third party candidate stands a chance to beat the Democrat or Republican nominee. A vote for Hillary is a vote for Hillary. A vote for a no-chance third party is a vote for Hillary. A stay at home and don’t vote is a vote for Hillary. As flawed as he is Trump would appear to be our only chance at a minimum of avoiding a Progressive packed SCOTUS ready and willing to subvert the Second Amendment and many other provisions of the Constitution of the United States of America in favor of the Progressive/Liberal agenda.

      Jon, stick to what you are good at and stop pretending it gives you some special political acumen. Unless something astounding happens at the Republican convention to give us a real conservative candidate other than Trump he is all we’ve got for at least the next four (critical) years.

  6. I agree that we need to make sure Mr. Trump knows our support is contingent upon his protection and advancement of our 2a rights, but he’s already taken better pro-2a stance than we’ve seen in a lot of years. You can read up on his position here: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/second-amendment-rights

    I think he’s already deserving of our support in this election, but I do wish he’d come out in favor of removing federal restrictions on suppressors and SBRs.

    • Trump has taken many stances on many issues. And then changed them.
      The point is, what can we do to make him stick to this one?

      • Hillary has committed to gun control…what can we do to prevent her from becoming President? That is a far more important question. Anyone who is in the gun industry, the gun media or a firearms owner needs to deal with that fact and get over their rectal hurt.

      • Um, more than we can do to get the dictorial revenant (h/t to Lucas D.) To give up her positions on this or anything else.

      • Trump couldn’t do anything major without the approval of Congress.
        A GOP Congress would prevent a Trump flipflop from having any real effect.
        The President of the USA is not a fully empowered dictator, he and his funds are under the control of Congress.

        • Obama has taught us that’s true if and only if congress is willing to exercise their power to check the president.

      • >> The point is, what can we do to make him stick to this one? <<

        Tie his hands. A GOP congress that is solidly pro-2A will prevent him from even trying. And if he does try, they'll prevent him from succeeding. Remember, Obamacare passed the Senate with not one Republican voting for it, it passed the House with only one Republican congressperson voteing for it at all. Had there been a Republican majority in either house, Obamacare would never have been the law of the land, no matter how much Obama pushed for it.

        • His hands may be somewhat tied, already. He just made a political enemy in a certain conservative senator who LOVES grandstanding via filibuster. I trust Cruz to keep the the Don honest so much as he is able. The party as a group is entirely too willing to cave on difficult votes at this time to expect any sort of firewall to be in place. Hopefully Cruz’s 2nd place performance gives him/his allies enough clout to resist the more flimsy party leadership this go-around. He certainly did well enough to warrant a good set of committee positions/etc in that body, but we’ll see if McConell tries to again ignore that he has at least 1 in 6 Republicans’ support when delegating.

      • Nothing.

        That’s the sad truth.

        The best thing we can do is support “bernie or bust” because it’s fracturing the dems.

        Trump can be weakened by trying to start a similar insurgent movement.

        Was I completely convinced by his speech? No. He clearly was surprised by the endorsement and the entire gun culture thing. Perhaps he’ll defer to his sons on policy, but yeah, he might cut a deal.

        Any attempt to hold his feet to the fire risks another #nevertrump movement with legs.

        I appreciate the gun angle, I really do. I’m in California, where gunmageddon (senate version) just went down. I’m plotting my way out ASAP.

        But there is no room we have to risk this. Brinksmanship is good and all, but what does Trump have to lose? What leverage do we have to ACTUALLY make him follow through? He’s made promises before, then changes his mind. We have no actual CAPITAL to horsetrade with after we vote.

        We can press him for more guns in the platform. We can woo him that a gun-centric platform will bring out the base. But threatening Trump with nothing to back it up is very stupid, and we have no cards to play, everyone knows that. The card we have to play is waiting in the fire to slowly be roasted inch by inch rather than break glass bare-handed and crawl to safety. Sure, maybe you make a point, and maybe someone else will break the glass. But it’s apparent we have nowhere to go. And Trump is too competitive to let wimps with no leverage “win” against him. I don’t want to be on his roadkill list. Appeal to the angels of his better nature/more people coming to vote. Idle threats vs. Trump= the entire republican field vs. Trump

        • Correct. You cannot “deal” with Trump, because he has no morals, no principles, and no character whatsoever.

          The proper strategy is to “contain” him, with a strong GOP Senate and a supermajority GOP House. Congressional elections are more important than the Presidential election this time. Unless you live in a “swing state”, your presidential vote is very likely already set and will not change. But your local Congressional district and your Senator, there’s where you have a chance to make a very real difference.

  7. JWT: Trump’s been unambiguously asserting his 2nd amendment views since the beginning of his campaign. His speech today before the NRA was equally unequivocal.

    I think your political existence in Texas has biased you. We haven’t had a major party nominee take a clearer more supportive position on the 2A in my lifetime.

    • The problem is, Trump’s also unambiguously asserted his then-prevailing 2nd amendment view in his book, where he endorsed the Assault Weapon Ban. He is a Johnny-come-lately to the pro-gun-rights cause, and that makes people nervous.

      I have nothing against politicians with born-again views on any given subject, but I greatly prefer someone who had it right from the start, and has had it right all along.

      • Sorry, but your dog isn’t in this fight.
        Neither is mine.
        You will have to pick the eligible dog who is closest to your views.

        The next President will appoint 2 to 4 Supreme Court justices. If you want a court with 6 Kagan/Sotomayors on it, vote for Hillary.

        • Just because she nominates them, doesn’t mean anything. Supreme Court Justices have been ignored (such as John M. Read), delayed (such as Merrick Garland) or flat-out rejected (such as Robert Bork) throughout the nation’s history. 27 times Presidents have nominated Justices who have failed to make it onto the court.

          Elect a strong GOP Senate, and you’ll have little to nothing to worry about. A large majority Republican Senate can stifle or reject nominations; a good majority of both houses of Congress could actually shrink the size of the court so that any upcoming vacancies don’t need to be filled at ALL. With a good enough majority of GOP congressmen, Hillary may not actually even get to nominate ANY justices.

        • Or vote third party. Or write somebody in. Or stay home. Any of the foregoing helps that woman into the Oval Office.

        • RealityCheck said “With a good enough majority of GOP congressmen, Hillary may not actually even get to nominate ANY justices.”

          How do you figure? There is already one nomination waiting for the election, and if the Dems win, the existing nominee will almost certainly be withdraw by Obama so the Dems can put a more solid lefty on the court.

          Right now, the handicapping of the 2016 Senate races puts the two parties about even, with 5 toss-up states. In a Presidential election year, the party that wins the presidency will probably have stronger coattails, so those toss-up states will probably go to the Dems if Hillary wins. That will flip control of the Senate to the Dems, if it happens.

      • He has also aggressively asserted his views on Abortion (“I’m very pro-choice”), the Assault Weapons Ban, deporting illegal immigrants, and every other subject. And then changed his position. Sometimes multiple times. Sometimes multiple times IN THE SAME DAY.

        JWT’s point is that you can’t believe a word, not a syllable, that this man says. He is a carnival barker. He will tell you absolutely anything you want to hear, so that you will give him money. Just ask the attendees of Trump University.

        • I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that many otherwise like-minded people here continue to push the “DT is a carnival barker, changeling, an untrustworthy person who won’t keep his word.”

          I adamantly disagree. Certainly Trump’s views have changed since his earlier positions, which, recall, where developed in the Manhattan milieu. If you were doing business non-stop in the NYC/NJ political environment and repeatedly had hundreds of millions riding on “fitting in” and gaining plan approvals, your views would reflect the milieu as well. That is the essence of the originial definition (Festinger, 1957) of cognitive dissonance –it’s something that happens to you, a social effects fact, not an in-your-mind reconciliation of your various opinions.

          Without explaining the source of my confidence in him, I’ll remain of the view that he will not back away from his positions on supporting the 2nd amendment, rejecting illegal immigration, and negotiating trade agreements more strategically from the domestic worker/national manufacturing capacity point of view.

    • No one ever said trump is ambiguous; he has always been adamantly contradictory, but reliably returning to liberal positions on practically everything he’s weighed in on.

  8. Hey I’m cool with not trump. But my guy(Ted Cruz) lost. As a grownup(I voted in 1972) I accept that. In point of fact I belonged to several FB Cruz groups/campaigned a bit and gave $ to TED(a 1st for me) Maybe I get what I want with Trump-maybe I don’t. I am certain the hildebeast will screw me. I am more enthused for Trump than McCain and Romney put together(the RINO 3?) 3rd party Bernie? lol

    • I fail to see why the conservative wing should support Trump without conditions simply because he won. Cruz showed the bloc is large enough that it deserves key platform items and a seat at the table (unlike how the Paul folks and gun rights folks in general have historically been shut out of everything important). No need to beg for scraps or to be let back in out of the cold.

      By your logic, Obama beat the Republicans, so we should have switched our allegiance to him so as to get things done. Since this is basically what Trump allegedly did/does with whoever gets into office where he has real estate interests…or something.

      • When a primary candidate gains nearly 200% of the delegates as the #2 candidate, and when he reaches the magic number of delegates, 1,237, before the convention, then the influence of the #2 candidate on the platform will be amalgamated with the views of the #3-#7 or 8 candidates and their followers. This process of horse-trading has already begun.

        It is essential, though, that the #1 candidate’s core positions, the ones which swayed primary voters…remain the core of the platform. In other words, Trump must be true to those four or five core positions through the general election and beyond. That is the very meaning of “rebuilding the Republican party.” Trump believed he had identified a new majority coalition with which he was in accord. He has proven, so far, correct. If he wavers the redefinition will not stand, and the left Democrats will win, stock the Supreme Court, and leave you and me subjects of a Leviathan, a PC all-embrasing administrative state of Kafkaesque mein.

        • >> It is essential, though, that the #1 candidate’s core positions, the ones which swayed primary voters…remain the core of the platform. In other words, Trump must be true to those four or five core positions through the general election and beyond. <<

          Which he has already begun to abandon. His wall and his deportation of illegal immigrants, he's already told the NY Times that he's not serious about. His "self-funded campaign", which made him (ostensibly) immune to outside influence? Gone; he excoriated Cruz and Hillary for Goldman Sachs connections, then went and hired a Goldman Sachs executive to raise money for him. His tax plan? He's already admitted it is not actually something he's going to fight for, it's a "proposal", and rates will be going up. His ironclad opposition to raising the minimum wage? Gone.

          He has already reversed himself on a large percentage of the positions he campaigned (and "rallied") so heavily for.

          Why on Earth should we expect that he won't do the same thing to the 2A, when he thinks the time is right?

      • barnbwtMY LOGIC is hildebeast is the worst candidate ever. Yeah -worse than the feckless wimp in chief. I’ve never seen a perfect presidential wannabe…Cruz included. No loser 3rd party,no w-hining about perfection . Donnie mentioned his pro 2a kids too. Maybe they will be his 2A go-to guys…nevertrump =always hillary.

  9. I get your point that we should hold politicians accountable. With that said, Hillary is roughly as pro-gun as Feinstein. (Same level of “attractiveness,” too.) Trump has my support, and continues to have it, as long as he is pro-gun. He’s also promised better border security. I still support Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, and Rand Paul as well as a host of other pro-gun politicians.

    • So you trust him. I don’t because I see no reason to. So, how do we hold him to his new pro 2A position?

      • How do you “hold” ANY politician to a stated position?

        Answer: you can’t.

        Especially one that apparently can’t be shamed.
        Which is ALL of them, nowadays.

        • Yeah, but you can force them to take a position or put them on record more often publicly on an issue. They can always backtrack and betray you, but its harder to live down/put aside the more public they’ve been.

        • While that MAY be true of a politician who hopes to get a cushy lobbying job after leaving public office, it ISN’T true of a multi-millionaire who doesn’t care what happens after he leaves office. Flip-flopping on some issue while president won’t affect Trump one iota.

      • Who said trust? He said support not trust.

        I will vite for Trump because I do trust Hillary (and/or Bernie) to keep her word on the gun issue and every other issue where she is wrong. I trust Hillary to be corrupt and compromised by the millions of dollars laundered through the Clinton campaign and all proof of criminal activity that every major intelligence agency in the world copied from her email server.

        I support Trump because I trust Hillary to be what she has presented herself to be.

        • Exactly right. My support is conditional.

          I’ve given thousands of dollars to pro-gun candidates and causes, and I don’t give anti-gun politicians a single penny. Or vote.

      • Who knows? Trump’s got some nasty stuff in his past. There’s no denying that. When Trump pulled ahead of Cruz I was massively disappointed. But Cruz no longer has any chance of winning, so I’m voting for the lesser evil. If there’s a better option, I’m all ears.

        • Suggestions, you say? Read the article, write Trump a letter saying you want one item on that list before you’ll back him. Going to back him anyway, were you? Well, you just gave away your one point of leverage to get him to look to your interests, by admitting that publicly.

          Trump wants my adamant support, like I’d be willing to tell people ahead of time how they/I should vote, instead of pointing out why he’s a weak choice we should learn to avoid next go-around? Specific policy items (not vague crap like “right to carry” or “protect the RKBA”), specific appointments both SCOTUS and AG who we can be sure will serve us well (i.e. NOT CHRISTIE), and I think his age/health add real importance to his VP pick, who most folks typically ignore (granted, McCain is still alive eight years later after nominating Palin)

          He wants to guaran-damn-tee that I won’t vote for him? Put up Christie as a running mate, or say even one more stupid thing about firearms in the next six months, and he’s dead to me. Another cavalier crack about illegal abuse of his official capacity might do it also.

  10. #NeverHillary is how we ended up with Obama in the first place –remember? It honestly looks more and more likely we’ll end up with Sanders in the White House the way things are trending (Trump does worst against him, and their platforms are eerily resonant, and Sanders isn’t going away so long as no one is sinking their teeth into him)

    Sun Tzu has some choice words about letting your enemies dictate your course of action and priorities

    • This is the problem. We aren’t focusing on winning. We are focusing on not losing. And that’s a losing strategy.

      • It’s exactly why Cruz lost, also –he was unable to pull out of the death spiral of chasing Trump’s tail, and the party in general was so fixated on the idea that a staunch ideologue like Cruz could never achieve greater success than a staunch liberal like Hillary they failed to realize she’s a sick old lady, and he’s a young man (shades of Obama and McCain, Clinton and Dole). Now, we’re running what have to be the oldest slate of candidates for the office in recent memory, making the VP choice probably about as important as the SCOTUS possibilities…

        For that reason alone, I think Cruz would be a good VP, but only so long as Trump promises to keel over at some point in his first term.

      • Now I understand our differences: I’m going for a win (joined with some millions of other), while you feel you’re merely getting to “don’t lose.”

        I feel like the win is possible. Winning meant, to me, getting a nominee for the party that wasn’t the 2A milk-toast that McCain, Mitt, Jeb, and others were. It meant nominating someone who would openly and clearly oppose both amnesty and unfair trade. And it meant getting all this in a package with sufficient guts and personality to beat Hillary.

        So far it feels like winning.

        • Winning meant, to me, getting a nominee for the party that wasn’t the 2A milk-toast that McCain, Mitt, Jeb, and others were. It meant nominating someone who would openly and clearly oppose both amnesty and unfair trade.

          When Trump reverses himself on 2A, as he has on every other issue, I hope you have the personal integrity to realize what an ass you’ve been.

        • I can play that game with every position every candidate has taken. What does it prove?

        • SteveInCO: You quoted some of my text. That text specifies what I saw in Trump, compared to the other candidates. I don’t think it is being “an ass” to back the least objectionable candidate on an average of 2A, amnesty, and trade issues.

          If you reflect on the matter, you will realize that every politician’s promises are brought somewhat closer to earth by the legislature, council, or other institution that limits his power.Trump will not determine the height or extent of the wall. He will not determine the rate or manner of deportation. All can do, and is honor-bound to do, is to take the strongest action in both matters that the legislature will fund and the courts will permit.

          Trump can be expected to gain more from the legislature than Cruz would have. Whatever happens, my integrity will never be measured by the extent of your political discontent.

    • I’m expecting that if Hillary keeps trending down in the polls against Trump, we will actually be looking at an ‘Uncle Joe’ Biden and ‘Fauxahontas’ Warren dem ticket.

      A bit of maneuvering pressuring enough super-delegates to force a contested convention and that may very will be the ticket when the dust settles. The dems want the SCOTUS picks very badly, and if Hillary’s candidacy appears weak there will be no hesitation in throwing her under the bus/truck/locomotive.

      • I’m more fearful of her selecting Bernie for a running mate.

        Sanders is getting a lot of followers from the Progs who hate Hillary.

        I’m more concerned *those* voters will ‘hold their noses’ and vote Clinton thinking it will help Bernie.

    • Both are capable of screwing us over, but I suspect Hillary isn’t competent enough to do that AND enrich herself at the same time (my theory on Trump’s run is that he sees the Clinton Foundation and realizes that the fastest route to becoming America’s First Trillionaire at this point in his life is to hold the highest office)

      Trump won’t get support from me, but neither will Hillary, and I’ll my best to ensure whoever wins will have to contend with a conservative Republican delegation out of Texas (and the same goes locally for the Texas governor)

      • “(my theory on Trump’s run is that he sees the Clinton Foundation and realizes that the fastest route to becoming America’s First Trillionaire at this point in his life is to hold the highest office)”

        What’s fueling Trump right now is his *ego*.

        He has the assets to live his life comfortably.

        What his ego seeks is *power*. Because of that drive, I doubt he will shaft us on the 2A.

        If he’s President, the ultimate power at that point will be him being re-elected.

        He knows, through his kids, what the 2A means to us. I doubt he will jeopardize the ultimate power trip of re-election by screwing with the 2A…

        • I agree with your assessment. I also agree with the ancient Athenian veiw that without the desire to win, to excel, without ego and goals and a desire for honor,..a man is rarely an effective leader. A bit of Alpha is a plus, as is a desire for honors rather than money.

          Trump has enough to live comfortably? No. I can live comfortably. Trump can live lavishly. There is no better house to buy than Marjorie Post’s old place. If Trump deceives us, though, his name on a building will depreciate it by 30%. When Trump entered the fray for real he put his good name on the line, and he knows it.

        • >> What his ego seeks is *power*. Because of that drive, I doubt he will shaft us on the 2A. <<

          And that is exactly why I think he very likely WILL shaft us on the 2A.

          Politicians want power OVER the people. The 2A gives power TO the people. Once "some animals become more equal than others," the natural and nearly irresistible thing to "leaders" is to take away the people's power, to keep them in line.

          Watch Trump's behavior. If you say something nice about him, he'll compliment you up one side and down the other. If you say something bad about him, he's turn on you in a microsecond and vilify and destroy you. So if the pro-2A group starts calling him out on his flip-flops, do you honestly, truly believe that he'll back down and say "okay, you were right, I was wrong?" Not a chance in hell. Once he flops to "make a deal", if the 2A crowd raises a fuss, he'll destroy us. It's what he does. It's what he's always done.

          JWT makes some logical points in his article. Trump is not logical. He is a classic narcissist in the textbook psychological meaning of the term. He cannot be reasoned with, because he has a personality disorder. If you want to keep him from stabbing you in the back, you must continuously pucker up and smooch his orange ass. That is the only thing he seeks, and the only thing he responds to. Stop the smooching (or, worse, actually say the truth) and he will turn on you quickly, savagely, and viciously.

          And if you think somehow the 2A is exempt from this, let's just say I very much do not share your optimism.

        • I agree with RealityCheck. If Trump truly seeks power, aren’t gun rights going to be the first things he targets once he realizes they may eventually be a problem for him?

          Ultimately, though, what concerns me about Trump is that he doesn’t seem to have thought all this through. From everything I’ve seen and heard, his beliefs don’t seem to be based on trying to align with any absolute right/wrong, but rather, “this sounds good to Trump, therefore it’s right!” He is, in effect, his own moral authority.

          But what will happen when Trump gets into office and realizes things are more complex than he initially thought? Will he hold to his current ideals because they’re right, even though it may mean more difficulty? Or will he suddenly decide that something else is now “right”? I don’t care what odds I was given, I still wouldn’t put any money on the former.

          In short, Hillary would certainly be worse than any president we’ve ever had, but that doesn’t mean I’m convinced Trump would be any better, just horrible in different ways.

    • Wright, I’m not voting for Clinton. I could vote for Trump. I need Trump to do some things to assure my vote.
      That’s a 3 sentence version of my article since the original post was apparently too complex for you.

      • JWT:

        You’re either with us, or against us.

        Not voting for Trump means you are not against Hillary.

        Apparently you are against us.

        • Oh I love this game.
          You are either with those of us who fight for the increased protection of our 2nd amendment rights or you are against us. Since you aren’t willing to demand action to protect those rights from all politicians then you have proven to be against us.
          Congratulations, you’ve gone from polishing shoes to licking boots.

        • According to Trump supporters, not voting for Trump is the same as voting for Clinton.

          According to the Clinton supporters I’ve encountered, not voting for Clinton is the same as voting for Trump.

          So logically, by not voting for either it’s the same as if I had voted for both, except that my way is actually legal. There, you can consider me as having voted for Trump, if you wish.

  11. I just have too many other critical issues on the table to play dumb Donkeycrap Hitlery and RINO Mittens games.
    If Hitlery wins, I will probably lose everything.
    A lot of other people will lose it all as well.
    I work in heavy industry and I simply cannot afford a Donkeycrap dictatorship.
    Hitlery will turn America into a Venezuelan nightmare.

    • I hear Venezuela’s big on tariffs, currency controls, and blaming external forces for their crippling centrally-planned enconomy’s problems, also.

      Don’t worry, your choices will likely be Trump and Bernie, and both will promise to implement similar trade policies that will (temporarily) appear to assist your sector of the economy at all others’ expense.

      • Trump wants to turn the U.S. into Venezuela? *Citation Needed*
        It going to take more than a few trade tariffs, which only congress can propose, to do that.
        I have not heard Trump advocating nationalizing huge sections of the economy or promising loads of free stuff, like the Bern. If you don’t want to vote for Trump, then don’t. This hysterical spreading of fear uncertainty and doubt is getting a bit old.

        • >> I have not heard Trump advocating nationalizing huge sections of the economy or promising loads of free stuff, like the Bern. <<

          Well, in fact, that's exactly what he's been doing. Ask him about his plans for health care. He has continually advocated for a single-payer government system (which, according to the ObamaCare debate, effectively consists of "nationalizing" 17% of the US economy.

          And how will healthcare be "free"? Why, as Trump says, "the government will pay for it."

          When asked for his opinion of what are the top three responsibilities of the federal government, he said "security, education, health care" (with a big emphasis on security). So where real conservatives talk about eliminating the Department of Education and not privatizing the entire medical care industry, Trump's all for it.

          Bernie wants to give free health care and free college? Apparently so does Trump.

  12. I am not a twitter user, is #NotTrumpUnless trending? Seems like there is enough gun owners who are also twit heads that we can start spamming the Donald ourselves

    • I’m not a twitter user, but even if a massive amount of folks start using the hashtag twitter will keep it off the trending list. Don’t know if you’ve been following the news, but like FB they suppress conservative topics they don’t approve of from ‘trending’…

  13. THIS is the conversation I’ve been trying to have with fellow conservatives. And yet, reading through the comments here, I see it’s still “never Hillary.” People, you’re missing the point. Trump is a businessman who only understands and utilizes hardline negotiating tactics. He’s been successful thus far because not a single candidate he faced in the primary was willing to understand or play his game. And now that he’s got the nomination, this is how we preserve our 2A rights. The election doesn’t need to be about 2A. But Trump needs 2A supporters if he wants to win, which means 2A supporters need to outline what they want to see from him if he wants their support.
    This is what bothers me about the NRA endorsing him today: there’s not been a single indication that he’s taking our needs seriously, he just gets the endorsement because #NeverHillary. That’s a really poor way to play the political game. Unfortunately, the mob mentality dictates that that’s exactly how it’s going to go.

  14. Yeah, well, some of us don’t have the luxury of kneeling another 4 years underneath the communists. This election is simply just beyond large. It’s the biggest. Ever. Trump will hold firm on the second amendment simply because of what he respects. And no, it ain’t rights. It’s money and power. He recognizes the NRA and gun vote as both, and isn’t dumb enough to betray it. He knows his reelection would be impossible after such a move. I’ll continue to say it. Anything but a vote for trump is a vote for Clinton.

    • And because of that, Trump doesn’t need to give you anything. So he won’t. Hell, he’s actually likely to try to extract something from you if you’re THIS desperate.

      • You literally have paragraphs of posts underneath nearly every post in this thread. Where in Gods name do you find that kind of time?

        • Seems to me you’ve been commenting just about everywhere, yourself.

          Albeit not as wordily, but in some cases rather black-and-white and insultingly.

        • I’m going to have to withdraw that comment and apologize. I am pretty sure I have seen you commenting a lot in certain threads and accusing anyone who isn’t professing unconditional love of Trump of being a secret Hillaryite…but if so, this sure isn’t one of them. And I have to concede I could be remembering someone else.

    • It’s actually a brilliant bit of punditry, that frankly should be mentioned more frequently in discussions of all elected officials. Way too many folks think –even while claiming to be serious– that this is some sort of sports event, where so long as we beat the other guy, we ‘win.’ Wrong. We only win once we get what we want, and if we don’t even know what that is, let alone ask our fighters for it, we can only lose. Every single time.

      A train of thought that actually has me feeling slightly better about the prospects of a Trumpian Dynasty, simply because I do believe that, if nothing else, he is a more rational negotiator than most politicians. More a curse than a blessing, since we can’t watch his actions 24/7, but at least in this case it’s a desirable trait. Nothing we can do short of stymieing Hillary will slow her ambitions (well, beyond her own incompetence anyway), but Trump likely does recognize when a course of action is counterproductive to his betterment, and would not be as blinded by pre-existing ideology as to harm himself like Bill Clinton (AWB) or Obama (ACA) or Bush (failing to defend the Iraq war from a media campaign in an attempt to stay above the fray)

      He could just as easily (if not more easily) betray us given an opportune circumstance like Newtown or domestic terrorism or an assassination attempt (the sum of all fears for gun owners). But, he may be easier to lead to a beneficial path in our best interest if we put forth the effort to work with him and guide him, rather than giving him the reigns based on prior policy/ideology (as we typically expect of our leaders). I guess we just have to be more diligent than the opposition, and maybe we can come out okay.

  15. Sometimes I read a post that makes me scratch my head. Sometimes I read a post that makes me want to scratch, uh, something else. And sometimes I read a post that makes want to read something more sensible, like “Jabberwocky,”

    This post made me want to do all three.

    I am never voting for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Period. And since Trump is the only other candidate with any chance of winning, I’m voting for Trump.

    Meanwhile, some of y’all are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic and calling it wisdom — when it’s actually ritual suicide combined with a bizarre form of kabuki theater.

    And the fact is that Trump can do everything that you all want him to do, and you’d come up with more phony reasons not to vote for him. Yes, you would. Next, you’ll be telling me that Hillary isn’t coming for our guns.

    #neverthecrustyoldbroad #never

    • Okay, but if Trump doesn’t have to do anything but beat Hillary to get your vote, don’t expect him to do anything but beat Hillary. That includes standing firm on unpopular positions after school shootings, terrorist attacks, or even assassination attempts (sadly, he’s gonna be a magnet for them the way he riles up the crazies)

      He certainly won’t owe us anything, so gun-friendly federal policy is a complete non-starter…for ANOTHER eight years.

      • “…gun-friendly federal policy is a complete non-starter…for ANOTHER eight years.”

        Between that and a Supreme Court that refuses to recognize the Second Amendment’s operative clause and upholds every ban HRC can possibly sign into law, though…

      • @barnbwt, Trump will owe us everything, because if we ever stop our navel-gazing, we will elect him. Us. We will provide the margin of victory.

        As far as holding him to his promises, maybe we should make him swear on a bible. Or take truth serum so jwt can examine him under hot lights. Or hold his children hostages. Would that be enough for you?

        Didn’t think so.

        Frankly, the only thing that Trump can prove to me beyond the shadow of a doubt is that he isn’t Hillary Clinton. She is simply a piece of slime, a crime lord and the antithesis of everything we care about.

        If Clinton is elected Dowager Empress, all of us will all hate our country in two years. With Trump, at least we have a chance.

        • barnbwt, Trump will owe us everything, because if we ever stop our navel-gazing, we will elect him. Us. We will provide the margin of victory.

          He won’t owe you a damn thing, Ralph, because he’s already given you what you said you want…not being Hillary.

          You’re willing to vote for him no matter how much he flip flops, because, well, he’s not Hillary.

        • Trump, nor any other politician, owe me nothing. Why is your hand out jwt ? Mine isn’t. Listen to Ralph. He doesn’t have his hand out either.

    • +1
      I thought Trump played dirty pool with the awful character assassination attacks against Cruz, who was my guy, but here we are with Trump as the nominee. Like old Rummy said, “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want.” If great Supreme Court lists and the NRA endorsement doesn’t get everyone on-board, maybe more will join up when Trump starts dropping napalm on the Hildabeast. It is already starting to heat up. The Clinton rape card is already in play.

    • Ralph, very well stated and oh so true. Once again your wisdom shines brightly in all the darkness here

  16. At this point, the only thing that matters is immigration. Open borders has been a nightmare for the traditional American people and the freedoms left to us by our ancestors. The borders must be closed and deportations started. Trump is the only candidate even suggesting to do any of this. The only thing is, we are about 200 years too late.

    • So not only Mexicans or other assorted Hispanics, but East European Jews, Germans, Italians, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Africans/slaves, and of course, the Irish. Pretty sure we’d still be feuding with the Ohio indians over farmland, had our forebears had your wisdom.

      200 years ago, Texas closer to Mexico than the US, also.

    • Yep. Immigration was a nightmare for Traditional Americans. The Algonquin, the Cherokee, the Cheyenne, the Creek………..etc. All got screwed by illegal immigration.

      • It’s okay. “Traditional Americans” are taking the country back one chip at a time.

        It sure beats the hell out of growing corn.

    • You do realize that 200 years ago we, the U.S.A., did not even own Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or Southern California? So far it’s a net win for European expansion, actually. Now we’re fighting for something less concrete but more important, the constitution and the rule of law.

  17. The problem is still that no one thinks a third party can win. They can. Abraham Lincoln was one.

    I will never vote for Trump. A president should be a role model: Trump is the opposite. Trump has no decency. Trump thinks he can tell other sovereign nations what to do. Trump used to be a Democrat (and how do we know he isn’t a Democratic party plant?). Trump also doesn’t have character. Trump also isn’t a Christian (the main point here being that he is a liar). And as Forbes has pointed out, he has mis-stated (i.e. lied about) his debt. As they said, someone with his amount of debt should have 10x his income. And many of his casinos ban firearms.

    I want a libertarian now. Libertarians strongly respect rights. They built their party around liberty and rights. And even if you think they’re insane, they’re a predictable and reliable insane. They always believe the same thing, and it’s very easy to predict their actions.

    Don’t vote for someone you think might like your gun rights just because you’re afraid of a woman who might be able to take your rights away (though the Senate and Congress would strike that down). Vote for a party and candidate that is gun-ho about your rights and about leaving you the heck alone.

  18. “Ditch #AnybodyButHillary”?

    That’s probably the most obtuse, naive statement I’ve ever read on TTAG. There is Trump, and there is Clinton. Your choice is one or the other.

    #NotTrumpUnless he puts forward a short list of rock solid, conservative, Second Amendment hardliners that he not only says he will nominate, but ask the Republican members of the senate to begin meetings and deliberations on those individuals.

    Hillary’s nominees will always be worse for our rights.

    #NotTrumpUnless he proposes legislation and obtains authorship and sponsorship of that legislation that promotes national reciprocity.

    Have you read Trump’s platform? Also, there is a zero percent chance that Hillary will support national reciprocity. She supports national confiscation.

    #NotTrumpUnless he details a plan and budget priorities of the DoJ and BATF (arbf) that rapidly improve the NICS process.

    And what, pray tell, do you think Hillary will do to DOJ, BATF, and NICS?

    #NotTrumpUnless he takes a page from the Obama playbook and lays out a budget that deprioritizes NFA violation investigations to the point of practical non-existence.

    And what, exactly, will Hillary do to NFA violation investigations?

    Anybody but Hillary: because I know what a Hillary presidency will mean.

  19. This is the worst, most poorly thought-out pile of crap I’ve ever read.

    I realize it’s click bait, and I realize it obviously worked.

    So stay home, JWT. And let’s see if TTAG can get it spectacularly wrong 2 election cycles in a row.

    Michael B

    • Geez Bane it’s no wonder no one reads your blog. Jealous of RF and Co? Oh well at least you got your TV shows…

  20. Trump is a liar, a fraud, a con artist, a serial adulterer, a scammer, a deadbeat, a lifelong Democrat, an accused rapist, an accused mob associate, a victim-shamer who ruthlessly goes after a woman who was manhandled ON VIDEO, and a despicable narcissist who is utterly devoid of character, decency, honesty, morals, or principles.

    Hillary is a liar, a fraud, a con artist, a victim-shamer who ruthlessly went after women who were abused by Bill, a corrupt cheat behind lovely scandals such as Whitewater and her incredible stock market picking, a megalomaniac who is utterly devoid of character, decency, honesty, morals or principles, and very likely an accessory to the murder of four US Citizens in Benghazi.

    Is Hillary worse? Yes. The despicable behavior in Benghazi, followed by directly lying to the American people about a “protest about a video”, is unforgivable. She has held elected office, she has served in the White House, and we have seen what she’s done with it.

    For the life of me, the ONLY advantage I can see to Trump over Hillary is that he is not Hillary. That’s it. But given our choices, that may be enough. Would I be happy voting for Trump? Hell no. How people on this board can be happy about it, and cheer for him? It’s unfathomable.

    Maybe some of you are just too damn young. I remember a time when we were PROUD to be Americans. There is no pride to be had in giving the highest office in the land to a character-assassinating lying sewer slug like Trump. It is the final abdication of American principles. It is the obituary, the eulogy on the greatest nation to ever exist on the face of the Earth.

    JWT, I’ll tell you the one thing Trump could do to earn my vote and my wholehearted support: if as part of the deal we get the right for Texas to secede unconditionally any time that we don’t like the way things are headed. What we need is a pre-nup. Without Texas, the Republicans are screwed. The country would be overwhelmingly run by leftist Democrats. So let’s put the big chip in play: keep us happy, or we leave. That is the only way to have true leverage in this situation.

    • +1 to all but the last paragraph–which was an anti-climactic damp squib of an ending to what started as one of the best rants I’ve read in ages.

  21. Let’s not let the presidential race lull us into ignoring the down-ballot races. The presidency is certainly a major, major battle, but it’s not the whole war.

  22. Thanks to you peeps for having a site where people can express opinions that differ from each other.

    Trump is the devil we don’t know. One associate said to me, “Trump is unpredictable. If there is another Newtown he may ban guns.” Even his SCOTUS list is talk until he does it.

    He has no consistent philosophy or track record.

    This election season is really a different time.

    The NRA gives Trump what minorities have experienced with the Dems. The Dems can depend on their vote and give them nothing between elections. The NRA while having to address Clinton’s anti 2A stance also is saying it’s a party of one political party. How is that good for its mission? Doesn’t it want a membership together in support of our rights and enthusiasm for a way of life that is necessary, responsible and fun? Within hundreds of square miles of its headquarters are NRA members of every religion, age, race, gender and political party.
    Our purpose overrides mistrust. Some of my fondest memories are hanging out with lots of people who don’t look like each other smiling and talking about and enjoying firearms. Gun shops, shows, classes and ranges are attended by everyone. We are stronger for it.

  23. Yeah Jon, despite everything DJT has already done to show he is pro 2A he should just set that fight against Hillary aside to go through your little wish list because no matter what he does some of you just can’t be convinced.

    Pathetic.

  24. Now that Trump is the last Republican candidate standing, I support him. I’m energized even. As soon as Republicans stop being sore losers, we can focus on Trump’s positives and maybe convert some independents and a few Democrats… Trump isn’t perfect, no candidate is, but he will be better for the economy, better for 2A, more patriotic.

    • Yes, once he has completed the socialization of health care (which he has repeatedly said he will do) and wiped out all foreign trade (which was what turned a stock market crash into the Great Depression), the economy will absolutely skyrocket.

      • I doubt that will happen. Trump is no ideologue, and I don’t see him actually pursuing policies that would tank his own companies.

        Meanwhile, businesses are being crushed by mountains of regulations from the Obama admin. I’d expect a pro-business president like Trump to reverse that, which will help the economy grow as companies have more capital and confidence to invest.

  25. The NRA has endorsed Trump. This should close any discussion let alone a list of childish demands from the top Cuck at TTAG.

    Here’s my advice JWT. Stay the fvck home. Dont vote. Trump, and America do not need you. Cucks like you are irrelevant, the establishment is irrelevant, baby boomer conservatives are irrelevant. All the girlie panty wetting on the trad-right is because you have realized your agenda and your relevance is over.

    More importantly, millions of Americans, have woken up to the fact that open borders and open trade have accomplished nothing for this country. They are also smart enough to realize that without a sovereign nation, with secure borders, that is financially stable, gun rights will mean precisely zero.

    I mean seriously, what type of American prioritizes NICS expediency over American girls being raped and murdered by illegals? You’ve got some seriously jacked up priorities.

    • Day-yum!

      My new favorite poster, Mack Bolan!

      JWM and Sara Tipton (transgender bathrooms), the new faces of TTAG.

      I would advise to pull the rip cord RF.

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