Trump: The Pro-Torture Candidate

Via the BBC:  US election: ‘I like waterboarding a lot’, says Donald Trump

“We have to fight so viciously and violently because we’re dealing with violent people,” Mr Trump said.

At one point, he asked the crowd: “What do you think about waterboarding?”

They cheered as he gave his answer: “I like it a lot. I don’t think it’s tough enough.”

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2016, Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Mu says:

    It took Hillary a decade to see the light on that, give him time.

  2. Scott says:

    Over the weekend, I watch a pretty decent movie titled “The Railway Man”. Based on a true story about a British WWII soldier captured by the Japanese in SE Asia. Scenes of waterboarding and discussion of war crimes. I just don’t know why this torture is still being denied as being a war crime. It has been a war crime for generations now.

  3. al-Alameda says:

    It’s out there now – Trump is saying what about 40% of the people want to hear, and none of his cynical and often idiotic populist stuff matters at all to them. Will enough Republicans sit it out or vote libertarian? I believe that less than 80% of potential Republican voters are now happy about Trump’s impending nomination. Whether that translates to rewduced GOP turnout remains to be seen.

    By the way, yesterday I saw a recent Rasmussen Poll that had Trump up by 4% points, something like 43-39, factoring some possible third party attraction.

  4. Facebones says:

    Hey, remember when screaming “YEEEAHH!” in a crowded hall of supporters was enough to disqualify you as a serious presidential candidate?

  5. C. Clavin says:

    @al-Alameda:

    By the way, yesterday I saw a recent Rasmussen Poll that had Trump up by 4% points, something like 43-39, factoring some possible third party attraction.

    Just noise.
    Nate Silver has the chances of Trump being President at like 19%
    The Princeton Election Consortium has it at 15%.
    That being said, I’ve been soaked to the bone by a 10% chance of rain….

  6. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Scott:

    There’s three general ways people come by their moral principles: deontological ethics (acts by their nature either right or wrong, regardless of who is doing them or why), consequentialist ethics (acts are right or wrong depending on whether they lead to results that are good or bad), or virtue ethics (people are virtuous or not; those that are do right acts; those that are not do wrong acts).

    The waterboarding issue is the result of the virtue ethics position. The US is “the good guys”, good guys do not torture, therefore the things the US does cannot be torture.

  7. KM says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    “Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?”

    Socrates (and Jay Z) await Trump’s answer. The rest of us can go grab a beer or five while he works on his word salad.

  8. Scott says:

    @Stormy Dragon: So, in one sense, American exceptionalism has to lead to virtue ethics.

  9. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Scott:

    American exceptionalism is compatible with any of the three, all though each would have a different way of explaining why America should or should not be considered exceptional (Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, for example, seems to be taking a consequentialist view on the matter).

    The “God’s chosen nation” type formulation you typically see among mainstream Republicans is certainly a virtue ethics way of looking at it though.

  10. Scott says:

    The “God’s chosen nation” type formulation you typically see among mainstream Republicans is certainly a virtue ethics way of looking at it though.

    Yep, that was the exceptionalism I was thinking about. Thanks for the broader view.

  11. Kylopod says:

    @C. Clavin:

    That being said, I’ve been soaked to the bone by a 10% chance of rain….

    Keep in mind, though, that according to Nate’s projections there’s a greater chance Clinton will win Mississippi, Texas, and/or Kansas than that Trump will win the election at all.

  12. grumpy realist says:

    Oh boy, expect more popcorn for the convention…..Trump may have set himself up for an embarrassing crash during it

  13. grumpy realist says:

    Here’s the link.

  14. EddieInCA says:

    TrumpGOP: The Pro-Torture CandidateParty

    Fixed that for you.

  15. Hal_10000 says:

    I will repeat my challenge to all supporters of waterboarding:

    Get waterboarded. Then tell me it’s not torture.

  16. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: “…Trump was probably lying…”
    No kidding, I hear tell that rain is wet, too.

  17. JohnMcC says:

    Well, to be fair to Mr Trump he is only a ‘baby Christian’ according to Dr Dobson. When he grows in the faith and becomes a mature follower of Christ he’ll advocate nuking the entire region like Sen Cruz.

  18. bill says:

    oh god, with the “watersports” again? torture is serious pain inflicted to coerce info- watersports is not lethal, let alone painful.

    but go ahead and feign outrage at such inanity.

  19. @bill: Drowning someone qualifies as “serious pain inflicted to coerce info.”

  20. bill says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: they don’t die, potato/potato…last i heard, drowning does not cause pain- just some minor discomfort.
    and it’s not like they rep some sovereign nations that we have any kind of “humanly based” treaties with. these are the people who stone women, throw gays off buildings and burn others alive just for fun- so no, we owe them 0.0 when it comes to “interrogation techniques”. and spare me the “we’re better than that” bs because we still are- regardless.

  21. @bill: Go have someone hold your head under water at the pool and get back to me about the “discomfort.”

  22. Matt says:

    @bill: You do realize we as a country executed people for waterboarding in and after ww2?