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Apartheid USA: Will Trump do a reverse Mandela?

by Frank Schnittger Thu Nov 10th, 2016 at 01:45:57 PM EST

I completed my Masters Thesis on Apartheid some months before Nelson Mandela was released from prison by FW De Klerk in 1989. In it I predicted the imminent demise of apartheid based on changes in the South African economy which were happening at the time. I did so despite the fact that the relatively newly installed South African President, FW De Klerk, was widely regarded as a hard liner from within the ranks of the most reactionary parts of the South African Nationalist party at the time.  Sometimes past policies and positions are a poor predictor of how someone will act once in power. For me, economic circumstances could sometimes trump the personal characteristics of those in power.


I got everything right in my predictions bar one notable exception.  I didn't foresee that the transition to a post-Apartheid society could happen so relatively peacefully.  I expected there could be considerable violence and perhaps a need for an outside guarantor such as the US or UN to guarantee the security of the state and most of its citizens. I didn't foresee the quality of Mandela's leadership and the inspirational and transformative effect he could have on the political landscape, both black and white.

It was not that I was a pure economic determinist in my analysis of the likely evolution of the South African political landscape.  South Africa had defied economic logic many times before, and there were simply too many people with a strong vested interest in the maintenance of apartheid for any transition away from Apartheid to be anything but extremely difficult.  Neither was I a follower of "great men" theories of history: the notion that the course of history can be largely determined by forceful individuals like Hitler, Churchill, Stalin, and Roosevelt.  I always looked at the economic circumstances which led to and enabled their rise to power. I simply didn't know enough about Mandela's character and vision to make an accurate estimate of the effect his re-emergence could have on the evolution of South African politics and Society.

I feel somewhat similarly about Trump's largely unheralded rise to power in the USA.  I fully understand the changes in the US economy and society which have led to his emergence from almost nowhere on the political landscape.  I do not underestimate the enormous impact he could have, for good or ill, on the future development on the US economy, politics and society. But like Mandela, I didn't see him coming into such a prominent position of power quite so suddenly and completely. No doubt FW De Klerk thought he could control and manipulate Mandela and use him to his advantage.  No doubt many in the US conservative movement now think they have an enormous opportunity to do so with Trump, especially as they now control both Houses of Congress and the Supreme Court as well.

They may be in for a surprise.

My political education as a teenage student had been largely influenced by a number of black and white political refugees from Apartheid who had found their way to Ireland by often difficult and circuitous routes.  Some had been banned, arrested, and brutalised by the Apartheid regime. Their position seemed almost hopeless, and yet I was inspired by their strength, perseverance, faith in humanity, and hope. Most eschewed violence, some had a strong Christian faith, but all were committed to continuing political action. Basil Moore, Eva Strauss, and Bishop Colin Winter were among them.

I switched from Natural Science to economic and social studies, and studied International Law under Kadar Asmal, then leader of the Irish anti-Apartheid Movement, and later Minister of Water and then Education in successive Nelson Mandela led governments. There was a lot of idealised thinking in the air, but I always focused on the economic circumstances which had brought Apartheid about and which might yet force a change from that system. Yes the devastating wars against Cuban forces in Angola and Mozambique were important.  Sanctions and international disinvestment and the changes they forced in the ownership structure of South African industry perhaps even more so. But it was the changes in the structure of South African capitalism from one primarily dependent on cheap manual labour for the mining and farming industries to one requiring skilled labour for a mechanised and diversified economy requiring access to international markets which seemed to me to be crucial. Ten years later in 1988-89, when doing a Master's in Peace Studies, I chose that as the topic for my thesis.

So what are the changes in the structure of US capitalism which may have given rise to Trump? The economic and social impacts of globalisation, mechanisation, automation, computerisation, financialisation, and monopolization have been well documented. Smaller communities have been gutted;  Their local banks, shops, services and industries have been replaced by global behemoths like Walmark, too big to fail banks, globally branded consumer goods and internet provided services.  Family farms have been replaced by huge agri-businesses dependent on genetically modified, Monsanto owned seeds for their survival.  

Manufacturing jobs have been outsourced to the third world. Middle class white collar book-keeping, accounting and administrative jobs have been centralised, computerized, and then automated. Savings have been gutted by the financial crisis and the costs of education. Pension funds have earned meagre returns while the financial services providers have made billions for themselves and their senior management.  Anti-trust legislation has been gutted so smaller players can be wiped out. Real wages have hardly risen while almost all incremental growth generated wealth over the last 35 years has accrued to the richest 1%. Debt for the less well off is ever growing, be it for mortgages, educational loans or just day to day survival.

It matters little that the primary political enablers for these changes have been Reagan and his successors in the Republican party. The Clintons were also complicit, and Obama has been barely able to contain the trend, thanks in large measure to the financial crisis he inherited and to continued Republican domination of a gerrymandered congress and local State administrations. Most voters do not have the conceptual tools to analyse who is really responsible. Corporate propaganda is all-encompassing.

But it would be a mistake to regard all capitalism and capitalists as one undifferentiated mass. Capitalists like Trump have largely restricted their investments to within the USA.  They have comparatively little opportunity to off-shore their profits and avoid taxes like the Apples of this world. They are dependent on a buoyant consumer market in the USA to maintain their margins and their growth. They like to employ illegal immigrants where possible and resent regulations and "red tape" which makes it difficult for them to do so.  But they are also aware of how much resentment this stokes up in their US employees.  In some ways they are "old school" capitalists sinking their resources into bricks and morter.  They resent the fact that the real money is increasingly being made elsewhere.

Trump may have embarked on his campaign in part because of his repeated humiliations by Obama and New York high society and a desire to build his brand.  But there were also real grievances against the banks who bankrupted him on occasions and the bankers who imposed all risks on entrepreneurs like him.  In his mind he did the real work while they were parasites living off his efforts. Hence the nakedly anti-Semitic tone of his closing argument.

So what does all this tell us about the kind of administration he is likely to lead? For the first time in many years Republicans control the Presidency, both Houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and most state houses as well. Partisan gridlock shouldn't be the problem that handicapped both the Clintons and Obama in the past. But it would be a mistake to regard many Republicans in the Conservative movement as being on the same page as Trump. He has little in common with social conservatives, evangelicals, fiscal conservatives, deficit scolds, neo-conservatives, and the corporate lobbyists from the globalised and financialised sectors of the economy.  

He may, of course, have to make alliances with some or all of them in order to get his own agenda through.  His own lack of interest in policy details will hand much of this task to more traditional conservatives like Mike Pence, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie and a plethora of "friends" from the corporate world. Trump is the marketeer, the arch salesman, the front man for the whole operation; able to convince many that the polluted water they are drinking is really fine wine.  

And it is remarkable how loyal many people are once they have been taken in. They don't want to admit to themselves and others they may have made a poor choice. Many were so desperate anything which discommoded "the establishment" would have given them at least some temporary satisfaction. And the joy they experienced at their success may become a drug.  They will need the fix of continued Trump atrocities to maintain their pleasure at seeing their MAN enrage their opponents.

So we may see a continuation of the Trump circus just to keep his supporters both enraged at their opponents and over-joyed at their apparent success.  The fact that the Trump team will be doing little to alleviate their material circumstances may simply become the focus of denial.  There will be no shortage of illegal immigrants, high finance conspiracies, depraved minorities, and nefarious opponents to blame for any lack of material success.

But Trump can also game the system. It is quite possible to create a temporary boom by reducing taxes and increasing highly publicised infrastructural spending - all the while claiming that these will ultimately be self-financing, long after his term of office expires. A reduction in the headline corporate tax rate will benefit his companies more than the global corporates, but can also be sold as helping smaller, struggling, home town businesses. Economists who were deficit scolds will suddenly come to realise, like Reagan and Dick Cheny, that deficits don't really matter unless Democrats are in power - and when they do come to roost Democrats can be blamed for failing to gut Medicare and social security programs. Unfunded wars and tax cuts are always a problem for the other party many years later.

But perhaps the most damaging legacy of Trump's election will be as much social as political or economic. It is now officially ok to be a narcissistic, dictatorial, even violent husband; to grope women without their consent; to demonise immigrants and the weakest in society; to target pregnant women and sexual minorities; to be openly racist and discriminatory against religious minorities; to encourage violence against those you disagree with. Expect a huge upsurge in such incidents throughout society.

If the freeing and rise to power of Nelson Mandela demonstrated the inspirational and transformative effect one good leader can have on politics and society, Trump's rise may well demonstrate the reverse: you can capitalise on the worst of peoples fears and prejudices and make even a bad situation considerably worse. One of the things one heard most often during the campaign was that Trump and Hillary were equally bad candidates, but at least he represented a change from the political establishment. Those people may be about to learn that in fact things can get considerably worse, and indeed, as Europe found out to its cost in the 1930's and 40's, there is no bottom to just how bad things can get.

Display:
It's difficult to respond to this diary, simply because you're right.

The social agenda of the Republicans, personified in Mike Pence, will come to the fore to create the enemies to take the brunt of Trump's backlash.

It's not just about Obamacare, although that will go. I'm sure Roe vs Wade will disappear and abortion will not just be a criminal offence, but both mother and doctor will face a murder rap.

I'm sure gay marriage will go, or at least be reduced to a State right with expanded scope for religious objection to ensure California's compliance.

Discrimination against gays will be protected as free speech and god forbid any trans people go into the wrong cubicle (hint - in the future, every cubicle will be the wrong one) (I'm not planning on visiting the US any time soon anyway).

Prosecution of the police for assault on innocent people will effectively cease. Which will release all the KKKops to really let non-white people know who's boss. BlackLivesMatter protests will be treated as riots where it will be a militarised free fire zone for the police.

While I doubt that a wall could be built on the Mexican border, a "kill-zone" could be established even 100 miles deep to discourage people who aren't white from loitering. Citizen militias could be incentivized by bounties to save on border patrols.

There is no end to what might be done. And that's the frightening thing, every dystopian idea of how bad things could get are probably on the discussion table right now.

We might be looking back at Dick Cheney with fondness.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Thu Nov 10th, 2016 at 04:38:02 PM EST
Liberal California braces for a Donald Trump presidency: `We are on high alert'
In Harris' victory speech late Tuesday, the senator-elect seized on California's diversity and progressive ideals as reasons to lead on issues like immigration reform, abortion rights and climate change: "Do we retreat, or do we fight?" Harris asked. "I say we fight."

Mike Madrid, a GOP consultant in Sacramento, said he expects California's crop of elected leaders to position themselves as a bulwark against approaches that clash with their values. Harris could become a fixture on Sunday public affairs shows, Madrid said, while the Legislature may become "a bill factory that bucks the White House." Just last year, it passed a resolution condemning Trump's views on immigration and calling on the state to divest from his many business enterprises.

"We are going to be what Texas was during the Obama administration," Madrid said. "The more aggressive the Republican views coming out of Washington, the more aggressively you will see California react."

This is step one. So to The Donald and his hoard of assholes, I say "BRING IT !!!"
 

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2016 at 06:29:26 PM EST
"In his mind he did the real work while they were parasites living off his efforts."

It is to laugh, guffaw, actually, with tears rolling from my eyes.  Trump's "real work" is conning people and has been for decades.  He likes his Jews counting his money.  His efforts are grabbing women "by the pussy," playing golf, and getting into twitter fights.

Trump ain't gonna do bupkis.  The bottom of the barrel charlatans around him will be the ones putting the various gulags together and rigging the Treasury so that it spills into the "proper" hands.

We just elected Buzz Windrip and it happened here.  Sinclair Lewis was off by 80 years but he nailed it.  Buzz was a front for authoritarianism, fascism if you like, too, and was eventually quietly killed when his homosexuality became too apparent.  It will be the same with Trump.  McConnell and other Repugs are gonna play him like a piano for their own purposes and Trump will never know it.  Washington DC is a different game from NYC as Donnie J will soon find out.

Solar IS Civil Defense

by gmoke on Thu Nov 10th, 2016 at 07:43:34 PM EST
Then again, the establishment also thought it could contain and control Hitler, and we know how well that worked out.  Trump is older, less energetic, and possibly dumber than Hitler, so who knows.
by Zwackus on Fri Nov 11th, 2016 at 12:50:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Repugnant establishment has its own goals, many as nefarious as the Third Reich, only slightly less murderous.  For now.  They are as bad a bargain as Donnie J but my expectation is that they will be working, sometimes, at cross purposes.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Fri Nov 11th, 2016 at 10:15:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Federal Government and the States have usually, to one degree or another, been on different pages on different issues. I expect this to continue. New York and New England, California, Oregon Washington and Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado, and, to an extent, Arizona, will be on different pages from the Trump Administration. In Red states it will be very bad. In other states there will be cities and counties that are islands of progressiveness. But they, as with all of us, will be under one degree or another of siege by Congress, the Administration, and Supreme Court.

Fortunately, there will be de facto civil war in D.C. between Trump and the Neo-Liberals. I agree that many minorities will be in jeopardy.  Trump may well self-destruct and discredit both himself and his followers, though many of his followers will discredit both without waiting. I feel for all of the disrespected minorities and all I can say is that we are not yet doomed to continue in this condition or worse. We remain a majority minority nation and the trend in that direction will continue. 2018 may still be kind to Democrats, despite all.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2016 at 09:36:06 PM EST
Fortunately, there will be de facto civil war in D.C. between Trump and the Neo-Liberals.

That's the first good laugh I've had in three days, so thanks.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Nov 11th, 2016 at 03:54:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah going by the personnel choices looks like BushIII-What's-after-Farce.
by generic on Fri Nov 11th, 2016 at 08:33:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It looks like Nazism.

But, y'know, "DURR HURR TRUMP HAS TEH POPULISM AND -- even though we don't have the slightest clue what it means -- DOWN WITH (imaginary) NEOLIBERAL."

Then they'll piss and moan when Dorito Mussolini takes their health care away.  Or that of their mouthbreathing, tardbilly neighbors.

Then they'll ask for solidarity.

Or join in the tribalist idiocy.

In either case -- no.  Fuck right off.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Nov 11th, 2016 at 10:39:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, there are a number of Republicans who support all of our foreign policy initiatives to dominate the world in the interests of a few corporate heavyweights. Trump's approach to Putin makes them apoplectic. So they could well join with democrats to oppose any consolidation of that initiative by Trump, and that is one of the positives, IMO, of Trump's 'idea' no risk of a military conflict with Russia, and less risk elsewhere.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Nov 12th, 2016 at 01:55:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That's just bizarre.

I can see voting for Trump because one is a Klansman, or an American Taliban whacko, or even a formerly middle class working stiff who hears the "hope and change" part of the package and either stops listening at that point or (more likely) just doesn't give a shit about the "and then we kill all the brown people and enslave all the women" part. I could tell all those stories about Trump.

But peace? Thinking that a shallow, ignorant narcissist with anger management issues is the peace candidate?

That strikes me as delusional.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 08:29:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He's not particularly any less war-like than the neo-cons, but he is also a deal maker who will make deals with competing centres of power he respects regardless of ideological orientation or all the nasty things he may have said about them beforehand. Think Nixon and China.  The neo-cons and Dems on the hill will be only too delighted to bow down and make deals provided they can claim to have gotten a little of what they want.  The demonstrators on the street are just cannon fodder for the cops.  He doesn't respect them at all.  They lost and he will enjoy rubbing it in. Like any bully he wallows in exploiting powerlessness...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 08:57:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can see it. Hillary's stated Syria policy amounted to shooting down Russian planes. And she and her media proxies doubled down in the final phase by running "Trump is a Putin plant" and "Putin hacks our election" stories all day every day.
I don't think the smaller wars even register anymore. How old do you have to be to remember the last time the US wasn't at war?
by generic on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 10:35:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I've heard this several times from Italians, who are afraid that Clinton wants to start a war with Russia. I think they're delusional about Trump, but this seems to be a common opinion.

Italians are also pleased with the election of Trump on the grounds that no one will make fun of them any more for electing Berlusconi.....

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 02:39:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuh uh.

The guy who wanted to know why we had nukes if we couldn't use them and is turning over governing duties to Mike Pence is totes the peace candidate who's going to take on the "neoliberals".

You just can't see it because you're in the pocket of Goldman-Sachs, Jake.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 02:52:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then it shouldn't have been difficult to run as the peace candidate against him, no? Nah, lets go for a Red Scare and a John Negroponte endorsement.
I mean blame guys who thought the orange lunatic was less likely to trigger nuclear Armageddon, white women who weren't appalled enough to cross the aisles and poor people who couldn't bring themselves to vote for the candidate of Wall street all you want, but you have to get rid of the idiots who managed to lose to Donald Trump.
by generic on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 05:15:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes and no.  You keep trying to see this election outcome as some kind of function of rational behavior when it's really not.  ARG continuously tries to do that, too, supplementing it with dumb narratives and magical thinking.

But you're correct that the Dems have some fault for not getting their base out to vote.  And the base bears some responsibility for not seeing the threat (which Donald Trump will now helpfully remedy).  And you're correct that Clinton and Book fucked-up on the messaging.

At the same time, we're still going to be looking at an electorate that voted, pretty soundly, for Clinton over Trump.  She's going to beat him by multiples of what Gore beat Bush by in 2000.  So let's not call this something it isn't.

Unfortunately, a handful of racist, rural shit-kickers -- contra ARG and MfM and others, this was not an election decided by Roy the Autoworker switching from Obama to Trump because "(somethingsomethingsomething) (economics)," as they'd see if anybody could be bothered to looking at a map -- voted in a couple states and were able to overrule the sane majority of us.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 06:02:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding:

"Clinton and Mook," not "Clinton and Book".  Stupid autocorrect.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 06:04:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You keep trying to see this election outcome as some kind of function of rational behavior when it's really not.
I'm under no illusions about the rationality of choices. What I'm saying is that the Democratic party has gone to great length to reject any kind of economic populism. When Occupy Wallstreet dominated the national discussion they had the DHS bulldoze them and considered the problem gone. Always insisting that the fascists and the left were basically the same thing called populism. With this glorious approach they managed to lose nearly all elections except ObamaII.
Then it came to the next election and they selected one of the most compromised candidates they had and tried to ram through one of the most blatantly malicious "trade deals" yet. In the same year because obviously it doesn't matter. And selection is the right word here. Only total nonentities threw their hat in the ring, everyone who was anyone endorsed day one and the debate schedule was designed for invisibility. And they kept right on with the dirty tricks and hippy punching long after the outcome was ensured. Of course since it really didn't matter they encouraged their proxies in the media to take the crazy fascists serious. So no this is not just a matter of of bad messaging. The whole Dem establishment worked long and hard at getting us to this point. They gambled our future on their professional salesmanship and lost. And they're not sorry:

And since you brought up Trump's roundups:
Obama Has Deported More People Than Any Other President - ABC News -

Between 2009 and 2015 his administration has removed more than 2.5 million people through immigration orders, which doesn't include the number of people who "self-deported" or were turned away and/or returned to their home country at the border by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

So more the next step on the long way down. Hope the next Pres finds the time to close Trump's camps at least.
by generic on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 10:38:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, Drew, your dismissive response beautifully echos that of the DNC and of the Democratic Establishment."It is not our fault we lost. We almost won, who cuda knowed. Comey, Progressives, etc.  Not too much on why Hillary couldn't turn out those AAs and Latinos who stayed home and totally dismissing the white voters Bill used to rely on in the upper Midwest as well as the lack of charisma from Hillary. (She has some, maybe a 3 or a 4 on a 1 - 10 scale.) Economics does matter. Not just on rational grounds, but when the consequences are long and deep pain, with no relief in sight, it does become emotional and does matter. If this is how the Democrats campaign in the future they may never win another election.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 07:20:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about you (1) actually, for once in your life, deal with the criticisms I engage in instead of the ones you imagine I engage in and (2) learn to spell and use some fucking proper punctuation.

But you can't do that.  Because "Naomi Klein wrote some clever paragraph in the Grauniad and in any case the farm owner whose fat tub of shit kid is painting the swastika on the doctor's office in Madison is really just mad because Democrats didn't pass card check."

And, also, too, as It Starts now:

HuffPo | Trump Says He'll Immediately Deport Or Imprison Up To 3 Million Undocumented Immigrants

There ya go.  The demand of your imaginary white working class at work, slick.  

It's not that I'm going to be dismissive of you and the people you claim to care about.  (My eyes were wide open to it the whole time.)  It's that you were always dismissive of the people I care about (I really don't give a shit if you or anybody is dismissive of me).  I and mine had your back.  You and yours didn't have ours.

Rest assured, nobody's dismissing you and your fantasyland now.  You're not a potential ally anymore.  You're a threat.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 07:49:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...adding:

I'm sure that comes across as unhinged.  I do not care.

Folks wanted ugliness, apparently.  They're gonna get it.  And if you come threaten the people I love, I assure you, I can be a whole lot fucking uglier than you can.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 07:56:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drew, get a hold on yourself. I actually voted for and argued for Hillary after September, and hoped she would win, right up until about 9PM Eastern time, Nov 8. And I was and am sickened by his victory. I have been and remain critical about how and why we ended up with her as our candidate. That is what is bothering you.

Your response is OH! Look at how terrible Trump is going to be! I agree. And it is irrelevant to the points I am trying to make. Perhaps you are too emotionally involved to distinguish the two issues. I understand.

My concern is that we see what was done and what can be done to prevent a repeat. That seems to me badly to be needed.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 09:33:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, a handful of racist, rural shit-kickers (...) voted in a couple states and were able to overrule the sane majority of us.

I also suspect this is what has happened - but I'd first like to see some more numbers on that. Will there be data available eg on first-time voters per state coupled by age?

Looks to me that turnout of both Democratic and Republican voters was relatively muted - to the detriment of Clinton. I've been comparing Trump with Fortuyn for a while now: during the 2002 elections in the Netherlands, a slew of people, who hadn't vote for years, suddenly came out of the woodwork to cast their vote. The same phenomenon, in combination with the relatively low turnout of Democratic voters, could have tipped the scales in favour of Trump, particularly in the states where it mattered.

Nevertheless, from across the pond it's also just puzzling to see how many voters came home to the Republican party considering the presidential candidate on the ticket. Hard to grasp why it doesn't matter to those voters.

by Bjinse on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 08:43:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump seems to have done better among Latinos than Romney did. Without detailed breakdowns it's hard to know why. Cubans resenting Obama's policies? Preference for somebody who threatens to deport them to somebody who is actually doing so?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 08:53:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An argument I've seen is that the Dems thought they could rely on Trump for the turn out. Followed by the observation that that is a misreading from a position of privilege. If you are a member of an already put upon group, used to keeping your head down insults alone will hardly get you to engage in the process.
by generic on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 09:54:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Also this:

And Cuba I guess.

by generic on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 01:07:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At Daily Kos they infer that there was apparently a significant shift of voters in Pennsylvania, while Winsonsin and Michigan Democratic voters slacked.

Michael Moore observes that Clinton lost Michigan by 11'000 while 90'000 there voted for proposals, other offices but not for a president.

It turns out Hilary Clinton was hardly campaigning in Winsonsin, Michigan (and in Minnesota, Maine where she narrowly got away). Talk about irresponsibly disregarding crucial voters.

by das monde on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 09:41:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Irresponsible or bad internal polling? That might explain why she campaigned in Ohio, which all the public polls suggested was hopeless.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 10:25:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Either way, it is a deeply disapointing performance under high stakes.
by das monde on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 10:29:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Booman counts that Clinton did very well in Pennsylvania cities and suburbs, but lost by dramatic 80-20 margins in rural areas.

Dems wished for those votes by giving no attention? So they left only "deplorable racism, etc" on offer there.

by das monde on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 12:11:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hate to suggest this analogy because of an emotional gender/intimate charge, but I will dare to be this candid.  [Deep breath...]  Winning an election is a lot like seduction. Asking why voters would vote against their interests is like asking why women choose "worse" suitors. Relying on comparison with "the other guy" is a damning mistake.

Please sit straight and consider this point with some calmness for a minute :-]

To put it more neutrally, consider this as a (not so romantic) manifestation of Yin and Yang. Here are a few other examples of similar dynamics: Master and Apprentice; Sales and Buying; Service and Customer; Leading and Following. I will add that implications for gender dynamics are much more subtle than it appears from labels; indirect even in procreation contexts; and far less forceful outside those contexts.

Yet, if Dems stay clueless about primal communications and continue to blame factors they cannot control, they will suffer more. Peace!

by das monde on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 10:30:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well marketeers have long known that sex sells products that otherwise have got little or no association with it.  Trump's machismo no doubt appeals to older men who resent the feminist revolution and also to women used to a submissive role - and neither of these characteristics are unique to white demographics.  Those in financial difficulties may also have identified with the fact that he fought his way back from several bankruptcies and that he worked in the "real" economy rather than in the Washington or wall street bubbles.

Finally, a lot of potential "soft" Hillary voters may have bought the media/polling spin that she was going to win anyway, but couldn't work up the enthusiasm to go out and actually vote for her.  If you don't have a great track record of achievement, AND you're not particularly likeable, And your strongest argument is that the other guy is worse, then you can't expect a high turnout.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 02:10:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Turnout was low, yes.

Voter turnout at 20-year low in 2016 - CNNPolitics.com

While election officials are still tabulating ballots, the 126 million votes already counted means about 55% of voting age citizens cast ballots this year.

That measure of turnout is the lowest in a presidential election since 1996, when 53.5% of voting-age citizens turned out.
As election officials go through outstanding ballots -- such as provisional ballots and those with write-ins -- the turnout figures will change.
But it would take another 18.7 million votes to reach the high point for turnout of 2008, when nearly 64% of voting age citizens cast a ballot.  

For some reason, how CNN counts turnout differs from the official government sources counted by wikipedia, where 1996 saw 49% voting. Still, turnout was lowest since 1996.

I went back and looked at my back of the envelope calculations from May:

European Tribune - Can Trump really win the White House?

 What if their negatives drives turnout down and the election more resembles 2010 or 2014 then 2008 or 2012? Would Clinton still win?  

[Rough calculation to show that generic R beats generic D if turnout is lower then 1996.]

So yeah, it is possible. Still think Clinton will win though.

The way it looks now, Trump slightly underperformed Romney (but had better distribution of votes), while Clinton underperformed compared to Obama 2008 to the tune of 5 million voters, and Obama 2008 with 9 million voters. And all this despite a growing population. This may still move up, I am unsure how many votes remains to be counted.

From the CNN Exit Polls 2016 Clinton won 89% of the democrats and Trump 90% of the republicans, so I think both the republicans and the democrats came home in the end. Trump won the indepedents 48-42.

I think more interesting questions are the ones about candidates.

44% had a favourable opinion of Clinton, and of those 95% voted for her.

38% had a favourable opinion of Trump, and of those 95% voted for him.

So far, the people who actually liked the candidate (including for example the racists). And if it were up to those, Clinton would have won.

But when looking at opinion of both candidates something else pops up.

2% had favourable opinions of both candidates. Call them the eternal glass half-full people.

18% had unfavourable opinions of both candidates. They broke 49% Trump, 29% Clinton and 22% other. Or in other terms, 9% of the voters voted Trump despite not liking him, 5% voted Clinton despite not liking her and most of the support for third-party candidates came from people who disliked both candidates.

If we look at the most important issues according to voters, they were:
52% Economy (Clinton 52-42)
18% Terrorism (Trump 57-39)
13% Immigration (Trump 64-32)
13% Foreign policy (Clinton 60-34)

Of course, what a Clinton voters means with 'Immigration' can differ from what a Trump voter means with 'Immigration'.

If we look at candidate qualities 'Can bring change' was the most important one for 39% of the voters, and Trump won that by 83-14. That was the only candidate quality question he won.

So, while Trump's racism might have brought out non-voters in critical states, that alone was not nearly enough for him to win. 'Immigration' and 'terrorism' that for rascist voters probably means 'throw the darkies out', were not the most pressing issues, the economy was, and Trump got a large chunk of those voters too. Most importantly he got the larger part of those who disliked them both, and likely for a perceived higher likelihood to bring about change (on the economy, perhaps).

I think this gives some start to see the the parts of the minority coalition that elected Trump.

I think it points to that the democrats would have won, had they ran a candidate that brought their supporters to the polls (ie more liked by the voters that did not vote for president this time), or a candidate that was less disliked and could have picked up those that voted Trump despite not liking him, or a candidate perceived as more likely to bring about change regarding the economy, they could have won with big margins.

by fjallstrom on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 02:04:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How about a statistic for how many voted for her because they had been scared or guilt-tripped into doing so, (by Kos and Booman just to name two) and now wish they had voted 3rd party.
Or how many Bernie voters couldn't hold their noses hard enough and vote for her.

People, pollsters and pundits seem to have a difficult time understanding that people vote for policies (sometimes in spite of candidates), but people vote against candidates even if they like some of their platforms, (sometimes to spite a candidate).

To think otherwise may be aspirational, but is also delusionally naive.


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 05:55:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A good question, but not really amenable to the types of surveys we currently are making. The first problem would be getting anyone to devise such a survey, the second would be getting anyone to pay attention to the results. It is out of paradigm.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 07:26:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It'd be more honest. Presently they are meaningless.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 02:18:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
People vote for policies?  Really?  You really believe that?

People vote for vision and inspiration, they vote for a person, and they vote for tribal loyalty -- but policy? Activists and nerds, yeah, but not most Americans.

by Zwackus on Tue Nov 15th, 2016 at 01:40:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
People will vote for policies that are on offer from a credible candidate that those people find important to themselves. For example, reform of the whole student debt debacle and those saddled with student debt. The trick is to embed such campaign promised in a narrative that speaks to the overall benefit of society.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Nov 15th, 2016 at 03:32:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Indeed, policy authority is assigned not to everyone.

Liberals wonder how lying Trump could be more credible than Hilary Clinton. Well, you heard somewhere that 70% or 90% of human communication is non-verbal, right? Things like credibility are determined over 90% by that non-verbal communication. Silently, Clinton and Trump were in different leagues. It is kind of remarkable that Clinton was so close.

by das monde on Tue Nov 15th, 2016 at 03:42:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Many people vote for authority, charisma, and confidence.

You can sell the most godawful nonsense to voters if you have all three.

We're seeing this in the UK at the moment. May is a complete joke from a policy POV. She's literally clueless, and utterly out of her depth.

But because she has an authoritative presentation - or at least a presentation that reminds some voters of what they think authority ought to look like (see also Margaret Thatcher) - she's riding high in the polls.

Trump scored high on authority, charisma, and confidence. Professional con artists always do.

Clinton scored lower, so she had more of a struggle. The Left generally struggles to present itself with confidence, aggression, and authority. We actually like facts and think they're important, which is a terrible disadvantage in politics.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Nov 15th, 2016 at 04:18:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"But because she has an authoritative presentation - or at least a presentation that reminds some voters of what they think authority ought to look like (see also Margaret Thatcher) - she's riding high in the polls. "

Indeed. From living here, I get the impression that people expect authoritarianism (not everyone, but a strong majority).
And when there were endless discussions on what was a leader (as part of the anti-Corbyn campaign in particular), I was struck by the fact that people did not define a leader from his getting followers, but from the ruthlessness to impose his will by any means.

It seemed to me to be a confusion between leader and enforcer but it sure was widely shared. And I found this desire for authoritarianism quite scary.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Tue Nov 15th, 2016 at 10:04:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Tories know this, which is why they strut around telling everyone they're tough on everything and everyone.

Trump and Johnson are admired precisely because they say "Fuck you" to everyone who knows they're terrible people. Berlusconi was voted in however many times it was for similar reasons.

The educated, liberal-ish, evidence-based, post-Enlightenment view of the world is a minority view.  You not only have be in the top IQ quartile to be able to appreciate it, you also need a lifetime of training.

Many voters lack either or both. For all practical purposes, they don't think or reason at all. They'll follow anyone who makes the right alpha-ish noises, because alpha=tough=good.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Nov 15th, 2016 at 04:22:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, the liberal-ish worldview is becoming a luxury, with potency against alpha-ish offers declining alas.
by das monde on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 02:29:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Back in the '89 election, I think, we had a program into which one could plug various characteristics for the contestants and see what the results would be. One of these was 'charisma'. The ratings went from 'stutters' to 'spellbinding orator' or something like that. It had a powerful impact on the outcomes. We could put one candidate at one extreme and see what combination of other characteristics or factors might allow a victory. Perhaps it was based on Allan Lichtman's methodology. I think I will look at this method before looking at polls. At least it shows one what is the overall situation that influences outcomes and it might be an antidote to 'group think' BS. Hard to argue with his results. It could have shown before the primaries that the Democrats needed a charismatic candidate to win.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 05:29:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Lefties keep thinking people can be convinced by rational argument.  They can't.  Look at commercial advertising.  It's all Emotion all the time.  Save the treatises and find a good old fashioned appeal to anger, hate, and ressentiment.  That's what sends people to the polls.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 07:21:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 That's what sends people to the polls.

Inarguably true, but only half the story.

Corbyn and Sanders prove there's an enormous untapped well of civic participation waiting to be harnessed into political movement.

Young people especially want to believe in politics again. The cynicism that has eroded faith in democratic politics since the 60's and the US war in Vietnam.

That was also the era of greatest progress in human rights.

The only subset of oppressed voters who have benefited these last 50 years is gays. Remarkable culturally and socially, but politically a nothingburger.

Immigration, opportunity, social mobility, (other) civil rights have stagnated or regressed meanwhile, while phenomena like secret trade deals, corpo-control of government through lobbying, pressure from global markets, militaristic policing, nihilistic education policy leading to large segments of the populus with the forebrain development of Jurassic creatures, snarling rabidly with a vote in their hands.

A decaying, encrusted political establishment which refuses to reform itself through positive change when offered, dooms itself to brusquer, more disruptively cathartic methods to avoid entropic rot.

Similar to humans growing through joy. If they can't,  they will grow through pain, but they will grow.

In truth every day we have a small role to help bring our beliefs to fruit, but elections are rare, with electoral systems which leave much to be desired.

Opportunities to vote in candidates who really rattle the status quo come once or twice a lifetime.

Though it looks like maybe that's changing...


'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 10:36:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know non-verbal communication is important. Do you have links?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Tue Nov 15th, 2016 at 04:18:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Learning this is a process, best experienced in training or under coaching. That is where the best information lies. After the election, I got ideas to enter the paying market online...

From my connections, I can recommend this for a start.

by das monde on Tue Nov 15th, 2016 at 05:36:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's one:

Dr Fox Effect

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Nov 15th, 2016 at 04:23:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I should have said 'policies affirmed on the campaign trail'.

What the Trump campaign revealed to me is his voters in their gut knew he was lying, and didn't really care that much. They loved hearing his irreverence, and if 1% of his policy promises were realised they'd be happily surprised.
The point was he symbolised change (Obama flashback anyone?). She didn't, by a long shot -except maybe provoking Putin even more. (Hillary sternly lecturing Trump on sexual morality with Bill's louche leer right behind her on screen was a bit rich,too.

Like with Reagan occupying the kindly grandpa space in voters' hearts, Trump symbolises the victory of the vulgar- literally, in its ancient meaning: 'of the crowd' over the educated, refined, chi-chi liberalism that wanted them to give up their guns.

Trump reveals just how many people would be demasculated  if that were to happen, and maybe even wouldn't mind their daughters being unceremoniously grabbed by their private parts if by a flashy millionaire who made them quiver.

In that world, it's a compliment...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Nov 15th, 2016 at 11:08:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One psychological area where Clinton failed is addressing human Values - those deep judgement principles that determine personal beliefs, behaviors.

Three years ago I mentioned Graves Values Levels here. In terms of that, Clinton clearly assumes Level 6 of educated liberals. Damagingly, she was not curious (or even aware) of other Value Systems. Anyone who did not subscribe to her Values was a "deplorable" racist, misogynist, redneck. Or so it seems.

But with harder economic times, acceptance of higher Value Levels (particularly of 6) is on decline, especially in rural and blighting areas. Not understanding, acknowledging other Values is a huge fail.

Trump surely addressed "autocratic" Level 3 straight on, and had little competition for "traditional-religious" Level 4, "tribal" Level 2, economic interests of "entrepreneurial" Levels 5 and 7. A declining society will not revert to Level 6 for ages. Time to read "Meditations" by Marcus Aurelius.

by das monde on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 12:48:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Holy flying shit. I took Graves' course at Union College the year before he had his stroke which put him on the sideline. Amazing!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 05:45:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
AN ... BO ... CP ... DQ ... ER  ... FS ... GT ... HU

First through Eighth levels ... where are you?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 08:29:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very germanely, my original mention of Graves Values Systems was in the diary

A critique of Haidt's article: `Why Working Class People Vote Conservative?'

At some time, the values of workers and progressive politicians were well aligned, perhaps helped by irresistible mojo of early progressive leaders. But that mojo is seriously inhibited since McCarthyism and the Kennedys, ML King (and Patrice Lumumba, Jacobo Arbenz, etc).

by das monde on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 01:37:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hold the phone. I twice scanned the noted diary and I did not see Graves or his Existential Staircase mentioned. What did I miss?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 05:09:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ha, look for

Grave's

by das monde on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 05:31:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't (right now) find a reference to Graves or Grave's. Is it in one of the links? Would you please copy/paste an entire sentence/paragraph that cites Graves. I don't see it.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 11:15:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Really? Here I repeat the post link.
by das monde on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 11:19:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Levels 1 - 6 look somewhat familiar. 7 and 8 don't look right, from my memory (40 years or so ago) of Graves course. I've been observing human behavior (macro and micro) through the lens of Graves since the 10th grade (late 60's) when my older brother took his course.

That's it. Thank you.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 11:25:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just read the stuff below. No problem.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 11:19:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I did follow the link and found this:

Racism, destruction of Native American tribes, Ku Klux Klan, Salem witch trials, Nazi Germany, terrorism, labor unions, military organizations, and wars in the name of religion are all examples of Level 4 group structures and behaviors. These are all examples of zealots and fundamentalists who justify violent acts in the name of the cause.

Which I found quite extraordinary - and I don't mean the use of American spelling of an important word.
How can these be presented as belonging together?

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 09:30:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This can be definitely discussed, especially in pop-interpretation.

Racism should be Level 2. Terrorism is more a tactic, applicable by several levels (though in different flavours).

Graves levels do not apply to organizations, societies, states, but to individuals - and even individuals can combine values. Organizations typically use Levels 3, 4 for a backbone structure, and other levels for specificity (like 2 for KKK). "Traditional" violence depends on Level 3 calls. Even Nazi Germany was not turning everyone to most basic Levels. Violent zealots are often aberrations, with a tad of Level 3 confidence or rebuff experience.

Labour unions are complicated: their reason for existence is economic (like for corporate boards) but tactically they have to improvise. This is a typical problem for progressives, socialists, Marxist utopians - their intellectual schemes do not fit established "human natures" so "organically" as for their foes. But perturbations, evolution are possible!

by das monde on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 10:06:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If he really wanted to be objective, rather than use this as a cover for his politics, he should have included strike-breakers along with unions.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 10:09:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry what?
I am not even sure that I understand everything you mean, and I am not trying to discuss what level you want to ascribe.

Just look at the enumeration. One of them is entirely out of place.

Labour unions do not belong in "These are all examples of zealots and fundamentalists who justify violent acts in the name of the cause."

You cannot equate a strike and a pogrom.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi

by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 10:14:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A strike is much worse than a pogrom for the authoritarians this seems to appeal to: it's action again the ruling Capitalist class rather just killing some unpeople.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 10:19:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That enumeration for Level 4 is wholly bunk, just for inclusion of whole organizations. And yeah, this stuff can be used for political brainwashing.

Individuals with the "communal" Levels 2, 4, 6 are typically too passive for such proactive acts as violence - unless as a mass.

by das monde on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 10:23:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
According to Graves, there are no major collections of people living at this Level on a regular basis. Graves described this Level as the survival Level in which individuals lived alone, seeking basic survival needs on a day-to-day basis. He likened this to an animalistic, pre-societal stage.

What the fuck? And it cites Myers - Briggs types. Is that the pseudo-science klaxon I hear? I hope the original work is more nuanced than that summary.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 10:24:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It is tricky to find an accessible explanation as satisfactory as I saw it proactively presented in an NLP camp. It is either academic PDFs, or complete sucrose.
by das monde on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 10:33:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, much better, but only because it appeals to my ego in placing me at a super duper level 7 - and those level 8's look like assholes.

Looks like the sort of thing where you'd have to go back to the original to see if there's anything useful under the popular presentation. Possibly like Maslow, where the original work is much, much more nuanced than the presentation you get in management science textbooks etc.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 10:41:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This website is dedicated to the life, research and thinking of Dr. Clare W. Graves ...

http://www.clarewgraves.com/

by das monde on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 10:44:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, <looks at todo list, giggles insanely> not going to happen any time soon!
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 10:56:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Jake, if you will notice, I never said that he was 'the peace candidate', just that it might work out that way due to his relationship and attitudes about Putin - much to everyone's horror. And he is a business man who may, from that point of view, consider war to be bad for his business. If his attitude blunts the demonization of Russia, IMO, it is a good thing. And it may do significant damage to the underlying rationale for supporting the US Empire, which I think is a net drain on the well-being of the average US citizen. Not to mention such attitudes decrease the likelihood of thermonuclear war, which was my chief concern about Hillary's hawkishness.    

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 03:08:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And some Palestinians are welcoming him as well.
Trump's awkward rhetoric and policy flip-flops would be comical if they weren't so dangerously unpredictable. But more to the point, for advocates on either side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it seems next to impossible to identify a set of consistent policy stances on which to engage the man or his eventual administration.

There's one exception, though. Listen closely, and you'll hear that Trump has said one thing consistently about Israel-Palestine.

"If you're a deal person," the then-Republican frontrunner told NBC's Meet the Press in February, "the ultimate deal is that deal."

When, just two days after his election, Trump used that same phrase, "ultimate deal," in an exclusive interview with the Wall Street Journal, it didn't sound like a newly scripted talking point--because it wasn't. It sounded like something Trump actually believed, something that he, in all his narcissism, just might obsess about for the next four years.

After all, who could deny Donald J. Trump a deal?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 03:14:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In fairness, Palestine is one of a small number of special cases where current imperial policy is so actively malicious that total, abject incompetence might actually be preferable to the current policy being diligently if unimaginatively administered.

So if I had to live in occupied Palestine, I'd probably be rooting for Trump/Pence too.

Shame about the collateral damage to everywhere that isn't Palestine, though.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 11:11:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to mention such attitudes decrease the likelihood of thermonuclear war, which was my chief concern about Hillary's hawkishness.

Did they legalize LSD in Arkansas or something?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 03:57:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As you are doubtless aware, the medical marijuana initiative passed, to the Republican's horror. But it is very restrictive and I question if any will actually be available within the next two years, even for the most serious cases where it might help. Asa is up for re-election in 2018 and just might be vulnerable - if the Dems put up a good candidate.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 07:08:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm as sick of the Rysskräck Clinton and her surrogates have been peddling as the next guy, but I'm still gonna steal one of the War Nerd's taglines to describe that scenario:

For any deal that leaves both Putin and Trump happy, dread is the proper response.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 11:14:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good line! But all I really feel is relief just now. First, Trump and Puting will have to come to that agreement and it will have not to be repudiated by both Houses. Hillary is hardly the only hawk in Congress.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 11:22:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The real problem is China.

Trump is threatening to explode China's trade model with the US - the one that has kept the country growing for a decade or so, and which China absolutely needs to continue to avoid economic disaster and social chaos.

There's also the South China sea. And Taiwan.

Trump and Putin may be bessie mates now (although I doubt this is an alliance that can last.) But China will be the real test.

And when you have a president who wonders why you can't just use nukes when you feel like it, the opportunities for very bad things are not small.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 11:03:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps had I gotten the hyphen in my original comment it would have been clearer. It should have been:"..and that is one of the positives, IMO, of Trump's 'idea' - no risk of a military conflict with Russia, and less risk elsewhere.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 03:29:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You can have another one, courtesy of Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission:

Donald Trump risks upsetting EU-US ties, says commission chief

Juncker warned against the "pernicious" consequences of Trump's statements on security policy. He also recalled a Trump statement in which he seemed to think that Belgium, the country that hosts the headquarters of the EU and Nato, was a city.

"We will need to teach the president-elect what Europe is and how it works," Juncker said, adding that Americans usually had no interest in Europe.

by Bernard on Fri Nov 11th, 2016 at 11:19:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump doesn't have to DO anything or learn whatever. Once he controls the military/FBI/CIA/NSA it's anyone who opposes him that will learn a lesson. He'll need prisons, a lot more prisons, till he decides that gas chambers are more effective/efficient.  

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Nov 12th, 2016 at 05:41:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There might be, it's just that Trump doesn't know how to make the levers of power work. He doesn't have the experience to even formulate his one-liners into anything that resembles a policy statement, let alone prsuade the ptb on th Hill. He gets to sit in the Oval office, but they'll be running the country. So it'll be a totally gloves-off republican administration. There will be a civil war, it will be brief and Trump will probably not even know he's lost.

Laughably, Trump was on telly claiming that he was going to keep bits of Obamacare, still bleating "repeal and replace". Which shows that, even now, he doesn't understand what's going to happen in February.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Nov 12th, 2016 at 12:20:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There will be a civil war, it will be brief and Trump will probably not even know he's lost.

Really? Is that the way it works in totalitarian regimes either in the world today or in the past? I was under the impression that the winner is the dude who controls the "military". Who controls the lever of power in China or Russia or North Korea? Their equivalent of Congress?

Now hear this! The war is over. The civilian population lost ... they just don't know it yet.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Nov 12th, 2016 at 12:50:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's my prediction. Remember how Dubya got in and then soon after, 911 occurred? Well, prepare for a similar event, only this time, a National State of Emergency will be declared, and elections will be a the thing of the past. Remember Trump's Enemies List? Anyone with any stature who might oppose him? Hello Guantanamo!

Am I the only one who sees the obvious?

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Nov 12th, 2016 at 01:14:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Boston Red Sox broke their Bambino curse in 2004, just before the Bush W re-election.

Last month Chicago Cubs ended their dry spell of 108 years.

MLB still has Cleveland Indians with a title drought from 1948. So I expect at least one election :-)

by das monde on Tue Nov 15th, 2016 at 01:08:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump will hand over all the boring "governing" stuff to Pence, just like BabyBush handed it over to Cheney.

And Pence is American Taliban. And not the "moderate Taliban" kind either.

There might well be a faction fight between the Taliban/Oil Baron wing of the Republicans and the Wall Street wing. But neither side really offers anything worthwhile, and the winning side is unlikely to be substantially weakened by it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 08:43:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is there a tension between Wall St and the oil/taliban? I can see they have different agenda, but I suspect there is enough inifference on both sides to allow them to offer each other support on the Hill so long as they don't get in each other's way

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 08:59:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Right.  They have different agendas, and they don't particularly care for each other.  But their agendas aren't really in conflict with each other sufficiently to cause a faction fight, in my view.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 04:17:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And we 'know' this just like we 'knew' Clinton would win.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 03:32:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Look, it would be fan-fucking-tastic if Trump turned out to be an isolationist Rust Belt Coolidge conservative.* But I'm not gonna place any expensive bets on that proposition.

- Jake

*Actually that would be a total shit-show, for the same reason the original Coolidge conservative was a total shit-show, but another great depression would cause less lasting harm than Darth Pence and his transition cabinet given free reign.

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 11:01:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It strikes me in this thread that there appear two Trumps being discussed:  Trump as he actually is and has promised to govern and has begun governing in the transitional phase, and Fantasy Land Trump who's given all benefit of the doubt.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 04:33:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Robert Reich will write an absolutely vicious post on his FaceBook page.

Meanwhile in the Real World the fascists are organizing:



She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Nov 11th, 2016 at 05:50:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah, they are.  And a lot of people failed the test.  And I'm not going to pretend to tolerate it.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Fri Nov 11th, 2016 at 10:40:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Californians zigged while the rest of American voters zagged

California voters elected a Democratic supermajority to the California Assembly, and, depending on late vote counts, possibly in the state Senate.

Tuesday's results left the national Democratic Party dazed and confused. In California, 62.5 percent of the voters sent Democratic Attorney General Kamala Harris to Washington, where she almost certainly will become a new face of the party.

But try though it might to be an island, California is part of a union, one that soon will be led by a man who has taken stands that are in direct conflict with this state on gun control, the environment and immigration, to name a few.

"It is going to be a real fight," Harris said.

I'll be reporting from the front lines in northern California. Lucky you.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Nov 10th, 2016 at 10:58:41 PM EST
Good analysis.
He talks about upsetting the establishment then installs Gingrich, Bolton, Giuliani, Dimon and Christie in his cabinet.
Can't get more 'same-old' than that.

Ladies and Gentlemen, you've been very cunningly had.

(Again...)

Turkeys can still be relied upon to vote for Christmas.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Nov 11th, 2016 at 10:27:28 AM EST
Not so cunningly.  Lots of people have seen this coming from a mile off and Trump himself was not hiding much about the faces in his cabinet.

Solar IS Civil Defense
by gmoke on Fri Nov 11th, 2016 at 10:17:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]


It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Nov 11th, 2016 at 11:31:50 AM EST
Yes the devastating wars against Cuban forces in Angola and Mozambique were important. Sanctions and international disinvestment and the changes they forced in the ownership structure of South African industry perhaps even more so. But it was the changes in the structure of South African capitalism from one primarily dependent on cheap manual labour for the mining and farming industries to one requiring skilled labour for a mechanised and diversified economy requiring access to international markets which seemed to me to be crucial.
.

It didn't fit into the flow of the narrative I was trying to write at this point, but I left out an important part of my thesis in this summary.

Sanctions and the international disinvestment they forced had one important, if unintended, consequence in South Africa.  International firms were forced to sell their South African subsidiaries for half nothing as no other international capitalists could buy them.  Many end up in the hands of the Afrikaaner elite who now needed skilled labour, management, and access to internationally sourced goods and services as well as access to international markets to keep them viable.

Previously, the more "modern" parts of the South African economy had been largely controlled by English speaking whites who supported relatively more liberal and even anti-apartheid parties and policies.  But they were in a permanent minority and in opposition to the dominant Afrikaaner dominated Nationalist Party.  

The "Afrikaanerisation" of the more modern parts of the South African economy forced by international divestment thus facilitated the articulation of the same economic forces into the Afrikaaner political elite as had previously animated their more liberal English speaking opposition.

If you are running a modern business requiring skilled labour and international products and services and international markets to sell your goods, Apartheid doesn't make sense any more. Why pay an unskilled white several times the salary of a much more skilled black or Indian worker?

The political problem then became a question of how do you overcome the resistance of tens of thousands of white workers in the security services and Apartheid administration whose livelihoods depended on the maintenance of apartheid and who didn't have the skills to compete successfully in a non-racial labour market - even if the opening up of a post Apartheid economy could create many thousands of new jobs.  This was Mandela's (and De Klerk's) great achievement.

The problem in the US rust-belt seems similar.  Globalisation has helped create millions of new jobs in new industries in other parts of the USA and the world.  But this has done nothing for coal miners and traditional industry workers in rust belt communities.  Trump has articulated their pain and anger and promised to roll the clock back.  He doesn't have the power to do so, even if he wanted to, any more than a  post De Klerk Afrikaaner leader could have brought Apartheid back - even if this was the wish of a majority of Afrikaaner voters.

So what happens when these rust belt workers see no improvement in their fortunes under Trump?  This where it gets interesting, and dangerous.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Nov 12th, 2016 at 11:57:48 AM EST
Hopefully, someobdy among the Dems who was ctually listening to Bernie Sanders will articulate (and deliver) a new vision that will also explain to them that electing Republicans to Congress and the Senate isn't going to help in any way whatsoever.

I think it would help if this person were a succesful governot of a rust-belt state so that they can demonstrate what they're on about.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sat Nov 12th, 2016 at 12:39:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In 2020 Gavin Newsome, currently Jerry Brown's Lt. Gov. will likely be the two year incumbent Gov. of CA and he could do exactly what is needed using the example of CA.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Nov 12th, 2016 at 02:59:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, any governor of a rust belt state will have to run a record of woe and sorrow.
by Upstate NY on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 03:01:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are a ton of jobs in Bioinformatics.  All the former assembly line worker needs is a Masters or Ph.d. in Theoretical Chemistry, Biochemistry, or Molecular Biology and a solid grasp of computer aided graphics or fractal geometry.

The coming new area of medicine is based on Stem Cells but the pharmaceutical companies moved those jobs off-shore when Bush the Shrub killed went on his little Evangelical/Fundie rampage.

I could go on.

The fact is the unionized, mass employment for mass production for mass consumption era is over.  Robots can do 99% of assembly line work, they do it faster, they do it vastly cheaper, and they do it better.  

The coming manufacturing jobs will be technologically based on 3D printing for small scale production tailored to individual customer's wants, needs, and measurements.  The workers in those plants will need to be intelligent, flexible, computer literate, and cognitively and creatively capable.  Which rules out 70% of the current inhabitants of the Rust Belt.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Nov 12th, 2016 at 04:46:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The workers in those plants will need to be intelligent, flexible, computer literate, and cognitively and creatively capable.

I couldn't have described California better if I wanted to.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Nov 12th, 2016 at 06:30:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mass employment for mass production isn't over - it just moved offshore.

Foxconn employs a lot of people. Not all of them are robots. Some of those jobs could realistically be brought back to the US. (And possibly the UK too.)

The problems have more to do with a feudal centralisation of financial and political power, and a lack of investment in future earning potential.

The US could transform itself into a low-carbon economy. It could work much harder at moving industry and mining into space. It could benefit from investing in schools, universities, and community colleges. It could offer grants to anyone who wants to retrain as an entry-level software developer on their own initiative. It could expand start-up culture outside of silicon value and improve Internet speeds everywhere, allowing more remote working.

And it could also spend money on basic infrastructure - roads, bridges, airports, maybe also spaceports - with a solid future pay-off.

These things don't happen because the establishment's values are insane. Their outlook is still essentially 18th/19th century rural pioneer - tough, violent, defensive, don't need anything from anyone, taxes and restrictions suck, don't tread on me, got to get ahead over everyone else, take it if you want, ask forgiveness later (...you probably won't need to.)

Like the UK, it's a country that's choking in its own outdated and unrealistic values. It has no European conception of imperfect negotiated cooperation for the common good. It has no experience of what happens when all that aggressive individualistic self-interest hits its limits and implodes.

And that's where we are with Trump. Trump says nakedly all the things previous Dem presidents hid under a layer of polish and civility, and which previous Rep presidents tried to be at least a little circumspect about, mostly.

So - the US could absolutely save the Rust Belt. But it won't, because it doesn't have the cultural flexibility to break out of its current death spiral.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sun Nov 13th, 2016 at 12:37:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You've already hit the 'soft' barrier:

[the US] doesn't have the cultural flexibility to break out of its current death spiral.

Two hard barriers to re-establishing a mass employment manufacturing base in the Rust Belt:

1.  Foxconn replaces '60,000 factory workers with robots':

One factory has "reduced employee strength from 110,000 to 50,000 thanks to the introduction of robots", a government official told the South China Morning Post.

Xu Yulian, head of publicity for the Kunshan region, added: "More companies are likely to follow suit."

China is investing heavily in a robot workforce.

2.  Modern manufacturing depends on a web of suppliers and logistic support.  Once those are gone it is a long, hard, road to re-establish.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 04:18:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The same could be said of Brexit voting north and midlands of England.  Devaluation and corporate tax reductions alone aren't going to be enough to re-establish England's industrial base - long the focus of class derision and scorn from Tory city stockbrokers and marketing types...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 14th, 2016 at 04:47:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Silicon Valley Trump supporter Peter Thiel (who bankrolled Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker) reputedly said during the 1980s that apartheid was a "sound economic system working efficiently". This would have been the time when Afrikaner interests were taking over "modern" industries, right?
by Gag Halfrunt on Tue Nov 15th, 2016 at 10:46:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact Apartheid was quite inefficient and imposed huge costs on the state - from fighting wars in Angola and Mozambique to maintaining huge internal security forces and an enormous bureaucracy maintaining pass laws etc. A generation of young whites were brutalised by those wars (not to mention the brutalising effects of apartheid on blacks) and domestic violence, crime, and the loss of productivity associated with compulsory military service were the result.  This is before one even considers the economic effects of sanctions and the lack of skilled labour resulting from restricting access to the skilled labour pool to (often unqualified) whites and limiting the educational opportunities of blacks.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 01:28:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
looks not unlike the late state capitalism we're entering now

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 08:06:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently Thiel wrote an article for his conservative student newspaper giving his views on the economics of Apartheid.

Presumably the costs and inefficiencies of Apartheid would have been evident at the time, o if Thiel thought it was efficient he either didn't know what he was talking about or was ideologically blinkered (or both).

by Gag Halfrunt on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 10:39:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In fact Apartheid was quite inefficient and imposed huge costs on the state ....

That is why it as replaced by neoliberal economics?

Inequality in post-apartheid South Africa -- Wikipedia

Despite a rising GDP, poverty, unemployment, income inequality, life expectancy, land ownership, and educational achievement have worsened since the end of apartheid and the election of the African National Congress.
by das monde on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 01:28:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 03:56:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm seeing a combination of Berlusconi and Chavez. Maybe some success in doing something that will cause a second term. But by the end of the second term, enough bad things will have happened, people will be fed up with the constant outrageous behavior, the US will be thoroughly exhausted. Then it's time for another Democrat to mop up the pieces. Of course he could just implode in the first term Carter-style. Either way, a disillusioned country, spent from it's constant infighting. Meanwhile, EMC! End of Middle Class.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sat Nov 12th, 2016 at 07:39:28 PM EST
From a frontline reporter in authoritarian regimes:

Autocracy: Rules for Survival - Masha Gessen - Ny Review of Books

However well-intentioned, this talk assumes that Trump is prepared to find common ground with his many opponents, respect the institutions of government, and repudiate almost everything he has stood for during the campaign. In short, it is treating him as a "normal" politician. There has until now been little evidence that he can be one.

More dangerously, Clinton's and Obama's very civil passages, which ended in applause lines, seemed to close off alternative responses to his minority victory. (It was hard not to be reminded of Neville Chamberlain's statement, that "We should seek by all means in our power to avoid war, by analyzing possible causes, by trying to remove them, by discussion in a spirit of collaboration and good will.") Both Clinton's and Obama's phrases about the peaceful transfer of power concealed the omission of a call to action. The protesters who took to the streets of New York, Los Angeles, and other American cities on Wednesday night did so not because of Clinton's speech but in spite of it. One of the falsehoods in the Clinton speech was the implied equivalency between civil resistance and insurgency. This is an autocrat's favorite con, the explanation for the violent suppression of peaceful protests the world over.

The second falsehood is the pretense that America is starting from scratch and its president-elect is a tabula rasa. Or we are: "we owe him an open mind." ...

Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says.

Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality. Consider the financial markets this week, which, having tanked overnight, rebounded following the Clinton and Obama speeches. Confronted with political volatility, the markets become suckers for calming rhetoric from authority figures. So do people.

Rule #3: Institutions will not save you.

Rule #4: Be outraged. If you follow Rule #1 and believe what the autocrat-elect is saying, you will not be surprised.

Rule #5: Don't make compromises.

Rule #6: Remember the future.



Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sat Nov 12th, 2016 at 10:25:20 PM EST
4 Signs President Trump Is Headed For A Hitler-Like Reign - Robert Evans - Cracked
The Open Racism Stops Suddenly

... while he kept quiet and stayed polite, Germany enacted scores of new laws restricting the rights and freedoms of Jewish people. Minorities and leftists were attacked in the streets. Germany crept closer and closer to outright madness. But if you were a normal, conservative German who liked Hiter's economic policy but didn't care for the racism, the first few years of Hitler's reign might've seemed like a hopeful time.

He'll Rein In His Most Violent Supporters

... A more worrying sign is what's happening with Trump's proposed ban on Muslim immigration. He backed off on that promise earlier this year, then reinstated it, phrased as a ban on immigration from "terrorist nations." But if you go to his campaign's website, you'll find his original statement still intact:

So far, whenever there's been mass outcry against an obviously racist proposal, Trump has backpedaled. This could be a good sign. But it could also be a Hitler-y sign, if all the outrage makes him do is change his phrasing.

... And if that marks an honest change in his heart as the responsibility of his new office sinks in? Fucking great. But if you're really worried about President Trump becoming Fuhrer Trump, ignore his words.

He Remakes The Military

... A lot of people, including former CIA director Michael Hayden, said the military would likely refuse those orders. Trump's response to that should get your Hitler-sense tingling a bit: "They're not going to refuse me. If I say do it, they're going to do it." And then, during a September interview with Matt Lauer, Trump said that when it'll be time for President Trump to ask America's generals for their advice on ISIS, "they'd probably be different generals" than the ones serving President Obama.

He Builds An Infrastructure For Oppression

... But that's not as worrying as the fact that Newt Gingrich, who might be Trump's secretary of state, just said this:

The original House Un-American Activities Committee was started in 1938 to help the government ferret out Communists ... Gingrich wants HUAC back so we can ferret out ISIS sympathizers. But if the new HUAC happens, there's no good reason to expect it wouldn't become a tool of intimidation. It'd actually be breaking with history for it to not wind up terrible.



Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 10:26:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ruh Roh.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 05:14:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
2009: The year the Democratic Party died -
That brings me to the foreclosure crisis, the handling of which was even worse. Instead of partially ameliorating it as with employment, the Obama administration helped it happen. As David Dayen writes in Chain of Title, the financial products underpinning the subprime mortgage boom were riddled with errors, and in order to be able to foreclose on people who had defaulted, they had to commit systematic document fraud. This epic crime spree gave the White House tremendous leverage to negotiate a settlement to keep people in their homes, but instead the administration co-opted a lawsuit from state attorneys general and turned it into a slap on the wrist that reinvigorated the foreclosure machine. There was also $75 billion in the Recovery Act to arrest foreclosures, but the administration's effort at this, HAMP, was such a complete disaster that they only spent about 16 percent of the money and enabled thousands of foreclosures in the process.

As a direct result, the homeownership rate has plummeted to levels not seen since the 1960s.

by generic on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 12:45:57 PM EST
Although I suspect that this was because the Obama team were taking their advice from the Fed, staffed as it was with Wall St alumni, who weren't exactly entirely disinterested parties

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 01:25:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That part might actually work out okay in the longer term. "Protecting property values" is one of the oldest, easiest con for the right to pull, and it nets them a lot of suckers every election cycle.

Besides, the whole "freeholding yeomanry" mythology of the US needs to be taken out back and shot like it was a Klansman.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 06:55:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems obvious to me that policies that push for homeownership are a form of social engineering that at least partly aims at demobilising, deradicalising  and splitting the working class. Roll that back and the rules of the game change massively.
by generic on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 07:32:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The pwn3ership society (channeling Mig).
by Bernard on Wed Nov 16th, 2016 at 09:26:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The opposite, I think, is the more likely outcome, and for the same reason that Trump rose to power by both scamming on and feeding the unspoken racism and hate of large parts of the rural white population in the US. The rise against the neoliberal, Washington Consensus that culminated in the unexpected victory of the deplorables on the field of battle last Tuesday started with the Tea Party movement in response to the election of Obama and the refusal to accept a black man as president of a critical mass of the white, conservative electorate. It grew throughout the intervening years because of continued agitations against them, culminating in actions such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the increasing numbers of professional black athletes who took a knee in protest of police killings instead of standing during the national anthem at football games.

It made them madder and madder, which was supposed to be a good thing so that they could show up and be trounced on election day, hopefully to destroy their backward thinking once and for all, globally as well as within the US.  Except that just a few too many of them showed for battle that day than were supposed to, and it was the liberals, or neoliberals to be exact, who went down to defeat instead. The Third Way movement which defined what neoliberalism was all about since the 1980's when the term was really first coined in English (the Germans had defined it such a few decades earlier) is dead now, and this means that the power will shift decidedly toward the left in the US, as well as around the world. As any politician knows, nothing can drive turnout in elections like the Devil himself, and although counting on this failed for Hillary Clinton because of close association with and defense of the now unpopular status quo of the Washington Consensus, as Trump will have to disappoint some supporters as well as increase anger at his offensiveness, in the US as well as abroad, it means that the opposition starts with an advantage in this next election cycles.

And with the Third Way types suddenly dethroned from Democratic politics, the opposition and the energy behind them, will more likely shift significantly to the left than anything else. The same will occur over then next 8 years around the world, with both far right and far left parties coming to power again, much as occurred outside of the US after the US's disastrously unpopular invasion of Iraq.

I think the logic of the Trump victory means shift toward the left in US politics in 2 to 4 years. This would be even more exacerbated the greater the fascist tendencies are of the Trump administration. The middle-road neoliberals lost in this election, leaving the solid left the only force capable of taking on the far right in the US. That's good news for social democrats in the US, and socialists in the rest of the world.

by santiago on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 01:10:49 AM EST
My issue with that analysis is that those of my friends and associates who remember Ronnie Raygun say they heard exactly the same things said about him (some of them will even cop to having said those things).

I hope you're right, but I'm not placing any expensive bets on it. And I'm not even one of the people you're asking to literally bet their lives on it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 01:35:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
How many mainstream neoliberals are in Trump's cabinet?

How many left-wing populists are in Trump's cabinet?

That's the extent to which Trump was a loss for the neoliberal establishment.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 01:55:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are no mainstream neoliberals in Trump's cabinet at this point.
by santiago on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 03:26:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope. Or rather - there is no cabinet. But there is a transition team. And it's not exactly the last word in progressive social change.

Trump Transition Team

A more detailed list

I'm fairly sure the former chief economist at Bear Stearns won't be suggesting a leftist revolution. Nor will those lobbyists and experts on the list who used to work for Goldman Sachs.

Trump has even met with Kissinger...

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 03:59:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think the word "neoliberal" means what you think it means, or at least you are using a definition of it that is too broad to be useful, even if it is the one popularized by David Harvey's (2005) book on it.

Neoliberal, at least what I mean by it, is policy framework which tries to limit state involvement in productive activity and economic markets for goods and services while also providing state support for the laws that make markets possible and for intervening in them and correcting problems for which free enterprise is inappropriate or insufficient. In the English language the first people to be labeled as neoliberals were Americans Gary Hart and Paul Tsongas, both US presidential candidates.  The term at the time was also used to describe Jimmy Carter's more market based approaches as well as the framework of the DNC and the global "Third Way" of Tony Blair and is allies.

That use of the term corresponds almost directly with its original German origins to describe the same policy framework in the immediate postwar period.

In the 1970's Spanish language use of the term started with using it to refer to the "Chicago School" economic policy agenda of the Pinochet regime, and it was adopted again among solely left-wing scholars to describe the ill-fated attempts to initiate market institutions and privatizations in the former Warwaw Pact countries. That is the term adopted by David Harvey, and it has subsequently been panned by otherwise allied analysts for being devoid of any meaning other than simply an insult used against any non-leftist idea.

My use of the term is the German and original 1980's, DLC meaning. As an example, Barrack Obama has been an almost perfect neoliberal champion in the world, as would have been Hillary Clinton and even Mitt Romney.

Trump's state authoritarianism and anti-international trade stance disqualifies him completely, for the same reason that Vladimir Putin could never be considered a neoliberal ally. Likewise none of his cabinet picks or short lists for those picks so far, except for professional GOP party hack Rince Preibus possibly, could be considered neoliberals. I imagine that the only who will be may be the eventual Treasury Secretary, but that would probably be the case under a communist government as well, so it is not indicative of anything.

The DLC is dead now. They Third Way globally is pretty dead as well. Libertarians of the Ron Paul kind are nowhere to be seen in the Trump bench. We now have socialist opposition leaders versus the state authoritarians in power in the US. This is as bleak as it has ever been for neoliberals, period. Social democrats may still lose to the rightist authoritarians in the end, but the neoliberals are off the field for now, and possibly forever. Economically the balance of power has moved significantly to the left, and on social justice and international affairs to the right. These are elements of a field where social democrats have a very high chance of winning going forward.

by santiago on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 06:45:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have trouble seeing a revival of the left. The tides of history do not seem to be moving in that direction.

There is also the question about whether the left of any sort will be allowed to win another election. Deliberate voter disenfranchisement may well pick up under a friendly department of Justice and a tolerant Supreme Court.

There is also a real concern about just how far a Trump court may go, especially if he gets a chance to replace any of the surviving liberal members. How much chance will there be to rebuild if the Commerce Clause can no longer act as the constitutional justification for federal industrial regulation? What chance will the left have to organize if labor unions once again become unconstitutional restrictions on the free right of contract?

by Zwackus on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 01:01:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good and concerning questions all? The best I can answer is that we do not know how many of these things will come to pass. An administration comes in, just gets its feet on the ground and then there are mid-terms. We don't know how well Trump's Administration will get its feet on the ground. It could all devolve into fights between various wings of his supporters, various factions of the Republican Party and events. Time will tell. Expect the worst.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 01:52:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump seems to be hilariously unable to organise anything at all. So the best we can hope for is four years of chaos and factional infighting that are so severe nothing much gets done.

But I do wonder if we're just going through one of those periods of extended suicidal stupidity the human race puts itself through every so often.

I've been joking for a few years now that the 21st century is going to be like the 16th, but with Internet.

I'm not laughing now. This seems to be the Capitalist Counter-Reformation in full swing, devolving back to the horrors of financial feudalism and slavery that have always been its root.

The original counter-reformation lasted a century. And then it took another century or so for the Enlightenment to begin.

So we should start seeing a return to sanity around 2300.

The Anglo countries simply don't have the political culture to understand basic left-tinged social democracy, never mind fully fledged socialism. We managed it for a while, but it took a century of preparation and an appalling war.

The real problems aren't even economic. Clowns like Trump and Farage appeal to a constituency of fools who have been politically as well as financially disenfranchised. Trump and Farage promise them a voice, so of course they get their votes.

But these voters are ignorant, gullible, unsophisticated, and easily dazzled by reflected wealth and power. They desperately need a daddy figure to tell them they're not insignificant and to give them some hope.

Some of them are also psychotically violent.

The left has nothing to offer them, because they fundamentally don't understand anything that happens outside of their own skulls. They have some vague sense of frustrated self-interest, but no idea that cooperation, resource sharing, shared inquiry, and invention all have value.

So we may have to devolve even further, and hope that maybe cause and effect will force a reexamination.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 05:10:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So we should start seeing a return to sanity around 2300.

I'm not sticking around. The boredom alone for the next 200+ years will be deafening. But the current events are hilarious. Picture Trump's visage on Mount Rushmore and Half Dome ... a total crack up.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 05:31:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The left in general doesn't have to understand much beyond their own ruminations. But, occasionally, someone arises from the left who has a broad understanding and can communicate a universal message to the population. That probably feels lie the second comming of some avatar, but it can attract the multitudes. Obama looked to be that, but his personal goals and aspirations blocked him from what he could have done. FDR was that. Bernie Sanders could have been.

As has been said "The Times call forth the man." But there will also be on offer new versions of Trump that are more competent... Events happen and shape history. We don't get an infinite number of chances to make good choices. But we do have to live with the choices we - collectively - make.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Nov 19th, 2016 at 09:33:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From my point of view, as just one American, after speaking to a good many people over the last week, I reject the media story that the election hinged on the economic decline of middle America. I have quite a different reality to share. The Trump supporters are frequently well-off, and they make no bones about their privileges in voting for Trump. They are not looking for radical change. They just want Obama out with no vestiges left behind.

The idea that Americans are hurting and therefore they voted Trump totally ignores and neglects the many poor people of color who voted for Clinton. In fact, I would say more of these voted for her than Trump.

In my view, the election hinged on racism. Either it was indifference to racism,  as enough people (whom I actually know and talk to and even volunteer with) are insufficiently inured to hate speech, or else enough votes came from plain racists (and thankfully I come across very few of these).

The biggest problem for Americans after this election is that people on the left are having a very difficult time dealing with colleagues and friends who voted Trump. I actually feel a physical revulsion around some of the ones I recently encountered. It is so painful sometimes that I have said, for the first time in my life, "I won't talk politics."

I only have generosity of spirit and faith in the young Trump supporters I teach. That is the place where we discuss what happened, openly and respectfully. Unfortunately, the fear coming from students at risk in Trump's America has redoubled on some of my naive Trumpists who have felt the brunt of their fellow students' (non-violent) anger.

by Upstate NY on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 03:16:45 AM EST
I agree with much of what you say, but you elide one of the most important points. It was a significantly larger portion of white, working class voters who voted for Trump. In addition, Hillary did not get the expected turnout of various minority interest groups. Most of these interests groups did vote for Clinton, but not quite enough, and much more than normal numbers of white, working class voters turned out for Trump. And, at least in the Rust Belt, many of these white voters were suffering from job loss and loss of spending power they blamed on financial elites. Plus the Clinton Campaign wrote off the white working class vote, thinking they could win without them. And the Clinton campaign was a bit indiscreet about the contempt in which it held the white working class, IMO. Jake and Drew will differ on this.
 

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 04:39:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No doubt, it was bad campaign strategy to never even step foot in the rust belt--and then to go after Georgia or Arizona? Hubris and overconfidence.

I also agree about the white vote--but again, from talking to people, they elide the suffering of poor and lower class people of color. I can easily argue that they are doing even worse economically. Not sure why the focus is on the well being of whites only.

As for voter turnout, I would have agreed with you a few days ago, but now as it turns out, the vote totals are pouring in, and it was a moderate turnout. Hillary will have 63 million votes when all is said and done. It wasn't the complete nothing of 57 million votes that was reported the day after election.

by Upstate NY on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 06:01:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Poverty, like wealth is relative.  Relative to your parents, peer groups, past expectations.  Status and perceived powerfulness likewise.

Yes, the average Trump supporter is probably wealthier and more privileged that the average Clinton voter, but relative to their parents, their peers and expectations, the American Dream isn't quite what it used to be.

It used to be that the average not so bright or educated white guy could walk into a good job with prospects and a status in society. Now the perception is that that isn't happening any more so who can we blame?  Not ourselves, of course it has to be the other guys: the well educated minorities who are taking "our" jobs....  people exemplified by Obama.

One of the consequences of the fall of Apartheid is that a whole lot of white guys sold up and emigrated to Europe - often the UK and Ireland. The got half nothing for the houses in SA because the market was at rock bottom.  Many fetched up in the UK and Ireland with little in the way of qualifications and expected to live in a nice house with pool and maids and garden boys etc.

I met quite a few who expected to land middle or senior management jobs and whose idea of management was to tell some black guys what to do and shout at them if they weren't doing it fast enough.

Many ended up as petrol station attendants living in squalid conditions.  But they couldn't go back to SA because in the meantime, property prices had risen substantially.  When I went back to SA 10 years after Apartheid had fallen, there where white guys working as parking attendants and living off meagre tips.

There was huge white anger at "government programmes" favouring black empowerment and employment and the emergence of a burgeoning black middle class.

Now the Zuma regime threatens to be as corrupt as Apartheid ever was.  Inequality within all racial groups is increasing as neo-liberal economics, allied to state corruption, takes over.  The stage is being set for a new revolution, this time against the ANC as it has become the corrupted establishment party.

But expect Zuma, like Trump, to play off poorer members of his racial group against those in other racial groups they perceive as doing better. There is always somebody else you can blame.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 03:33:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But to normalize these grievances is quite different than analyzing them as you have.

To say that people voted for Trump because they are doing badly economically is to ignore the many more who voted for Clinton because they are doing bad economically.

by Upstate NY on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 06:44:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The main problem is the starting point - the presumption of white privilege in both cases. In both cases the white community regard themselves as the original settlers who developed and built up the country, and now more recent immigrants/minorities/the black majority in SA want to take from them what they regard as their inheritance.  The level of historical selectivity required to maintain this narrative results in a complete disregard for facts in all discussion and policy areas.

By far the greatest objective deprivation in SA now is in rural black areas and some shanty towns /townships where the end of Apartheid has brought little improvement and where poverty relative to the burgeoning black middle class has actually worsened.

I don't have data on whether relative inequality within Black and Latino communities in the US has worsened in recent years, but if so, it may help to explain lower than hoped for turnout amongst minority communities.  Obama raised their hopes and perhaps delivered too little - especially where police violence against blacks is concerned.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 07:20:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It does not matter what the final popular vote is.  The Electoral College elects the president.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 04:08:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, I know. But irrelevant to my post. I was responding to the idea that the Democrats had low voter turnout. This wasn't a discussion about Hillary's popular vote totals.
by Upstate NY on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 06:42:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am less concerned with the actual size of the turnout than with how various demographic categories turned out and voted. Thus it is expected that minority groups that are in the Democratic constituency will turn out for Hillary and those in the Republican constituency will turn out for Trump. Where it gets more interesting is when voters in specific groups either change their votes or don't turn out as expected.

Predominantly white union workers used to be pretty reliable Democratic voters. Many became Reagan Democrats in 1980 and Clinton won many of these back in '92. They are now best considered a swing constituency. This year they responded positively to Sanders in the primaries but mostly to Trump in the General. But most never stopped being angry about their very reduced circumstances.

The question going forward is how to deal with this. Obama has insisted that Democratic Campaigns must make an appeal to the entire nation. I agree. That means you don't write anyone off, eschew pitting one group against another and advocate programs that benefit all. Also the argument can be made that, regardless of perception, all needs must be addressed for the good of the nation, and hostile opinions are best unspoken and ignored if spoken - the opposite of what Trump does. If Trump succeeds in pitting Democrats against various demographic groups he has won.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Nov 17th, 2016 at 07:21:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I dislike the social media style spat arguing between economics and racism to describe the trump win, but I don't think the number of narratives needed to get a good picture is very large either.

No one on the urban left (or right!), in the party itself or members of the public, has given a fuck about rural poverty or prospects for four decades. We live in different worlds, and based on my facebook feed everyone in the cities is ready to deport rural whites the same way rural whites want to deport minorities (I get the difference in power there). Urban liberals decided they were fine with the corporate vision of globalization decades ago, and the massive dose of empathy needed to turn that ship around in the face of the stakes we're facing isn't happening.

We all see what's crumbling before our eyes, and the apocalyptic prologue isn't even here yet, even if the environment is already quietly screaming. White fragility and privilege, which has been nicely dissected and analyzed all over the web the past few years, hardly registers. Similar to Bush hastening a decline in American power, Trump will hasten the effects of climate change, and likely the beginning of the end of globalization.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 06:26:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I don't get about the racism over all interpretation is that it clashes with the fact that the actual black guy got reelected. Yet in the election between two white people racism trumps all?
by generic on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 09:34:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The exploitation of the racist reaction ramped up quickly in the last four years - and Obama motivated voters in a  way Clinton didn't.

You could put that down to the personal nature of the candidate or you could decide misogyny  trumps racism, or both. Democratic voters that little bit more likely to turn out for the "sexy cool black guy" than the "old white bitch in the pantsuit".

But I think the dying scream of white supremacist America is what made the difference. Whether this will mark a resurgence or a last gasp I don't know.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 11:27:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the record: I don't believe that the GOP would be a viable party in the absence of racism. But that has been true for decades. I'm just not sure that anything changed here.
Compare with the 16pt swing in the lowest income group.....
by generic on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 12:52:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that the same people though? That doesn't mean 16% of voters switched from Obama to Trump.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 12:54:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Less low income people voted for HRC than for Obama. That at least we know. Do we have evidence that Obama voters stayed home and the whole of 4chan/pol crawled out of their mothers' basements?
by generic on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 02:28:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, but we don't have evidence for the opposite either, and it's not immediately implausible to the voices in my head.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 02:42:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you discount the case of workers switching from Obama to Trump because of racism you need a lot of racists who didn't bother voting against the black guy. Doesn't sound that plausible to me.
by generic on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 03:09:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You also get a lot of non-whites who voted for Obama but switched to Trump this time.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 04:26:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Non-white voter turnout

It seems to me Obama was the sharp cool guy you could get behind even if he was a bit crap at representing you.

Clinton was more like the CEO of a failing corporation - everyone's dishonestly fake false-friend boss, with ugly things (Bill, etc) in the back office.

The fact that she stabbed a coworker in the back pleased no one.

So the right got the usual voters, because that's what the right does - they'll vote for any Daddy figure who promises to kiss things better and hate on someone else.

But millions of Dems stayed at home.

There was a solid anti-Trump horror vote. But not quite enough, because too many voters weren't convinced Hillary was really on their team.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 03:15:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We also are putting much to much focus on the voters.

Elections are also campaigns which means they are competitions. Clinton's campaign put no money into Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

She wanted to trounce Trump in places like Georgia and Arizona instead.

Get out the Vote efforts are real. They were starved of cash in Pa, Mich and Wisky. This accounts in part for the ow votes, though Wisky's new voter-ID laws account for another chunk there too.

In other words, it was a combination of lack of strategy, middling turnout (as elections go, it was in the middle, not low), and lack of a resistance to racists from white people who formerly voted Obama.

by Upstate NY on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 04:16:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Part of the Republican Party will always vote racist.

Then there's another part of the vote for Trump. This vote is characterized as voting for an overt racist.

Does voting for a racist make one racist?

I will not answer that for now, but I will say this: it certainly does show tolerance for racism.

by Upstate NY on Fri Nov 18th, 2016 at 04:12:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"many poor people of color...voted for Clinton."

We need to understand that many people of color were hurt by globalization. A three generation cohort of blacks had made it into union manufacturing jobs since the Wagner Act and the rise of unions during WW II. They were hit disproportionately harder than white union workers by neo-liberalism in action via globalization. They and their family members had, on the whole less accumulated wealth than the average white union family and they were wiped out, losing homes, etc. at a higher rate than whites. Perhaps they and their families are amongst those who didn't turn out for Hillary, whose economic policies had pushed them into this sorry state.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Nov 19th, 2016 at 09:41:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Sorrow and the Pity - Paul Krugman
A lot of people in politics and the media are scrambling to normalize what just happened to us, saying that it will all be OK and we can work with Trump. No, it won't, and no, we can't. The next occupant of the White House will be a pathological liar with a loose grip on reality; he is already surrounding himself with racists, anti-Semites, and conspiracy theorists; his administration will be the most corrupt in America history.
by Bernard on Sat Nov 19th, 2016 at 01:25:29 PM EST
One of my problems with "liberals" in the USA is that they tend to be establishmentarians who will try to work with anyone and anything in the belief/hope they can domesticate the crazy and make it liveable with.  I'm not close enough to US politics to be sure, but I sense a determination not to do so with Trump.  Any collaboration places the collaborators beyond the pale of reasonable discourse. this will not stop Trump and the GOP in congress, of course, but it may presage a better future in 2-4 years time.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Nov 19th, 2016 at 04:00:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My problem with "liberals" in the US is that they don't appreciate they're living in an economic dictatorship.

The de facto government of the US does not live in Washington. The two houses, two parties, and all that voting business are a pantomime to distract the credulous.

The real influencers are the MilIndFin complex, which is a group of loosely associate power blocs that represent key players in key industries. Some of those players - e.g. the Saudis (formerly influential, now somewhat reduced) - aren't even based in the US.

US foreign policy has been strongly influenced by outside interests since at least the Oil Crises. Over the same period, US domestic policy has been retooled as a straight red-toothed worker exploitation factory.

There is no sense in which the US is truly a democracy. The middle and working classes have exactly zero influence on economic policy, and exactly zero power to influence policy to benefit themselves.

The Dem party is a political safety valve used to create the illusion of representation. The tell is that the Ds consistently fail to do anything to challenge the economic establishment. (Obama could have killed the banks for their role in 2008. He had the popular support to do it. instead he appointed Geithner, and resisted any attempt to get a new version of Glass-Steagall on the books.)

That same establishment pulled a clever move by pushing the former economic left away from economic justice towards identity politics. The wonderful thing about identity politics is that it looks progressive, but it has little or no effect on institutionalised economic injustice. At the same time it alienates the working class base who have most to lose by being denied direct representation.

So with hindsight, horrors like Trump and the alt-right were probably inevitable. If the establishment wants to stop Trump, they will. It's more likely they'll turn him into their pet - Spence is their poodle already - and the pillage will continue at an accelerated rate.

The opposition to the US is entirely external. If China, Russia, India and maybe Japan start cooperating to become a major economic and political power bloc, the US in its current state won't be able to stand against them.

It's not obvious yet that the US establishment understands this. US voters certainly don't.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Nov 19th, 2016 at 06:58:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The reason for this is that enough of the liberals benefit from the US economy so that any political party by and large continues the same policies with the express approval of enough of the middle class.
by Upstate NY on Mon Nov 21st, 2016 at 03:52:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And they worked - until now, both in the UK and the USA. That Brexit and Trump are least two failures, not counting all of the European Fails. And don't count on it continuing or that this time was just an aberration. Chuck Schumer certainly isn't, per a recent NYT article.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Mon Nov 21st, 2016 at 04:32:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Democrats will most certainly continue in the same fashion.

Why?

Campaign finance.

They really learned nothing. They never will.

I fully expect another party.

by Upstate NY on Tue Nov 22nd, 2016 at 09:22:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We will see. Schumer's embrace of Sanders might be a nod to Sander's strategy. Tell the truth about what has been happening. Don't avoid stepping on big contributor's toes. Stomp them instead. Then raise the money from supporters. Give a recognizable description of the situation and put forward what can be seen as workable solutions, no matter who they hurt. IMO, it  would have worked this time had Sanders not been derailed during the primaries. The party had pre-selected its candidate and wasn't looking at who might  be he strongest candidate to emerge from the primaries. That is why the DNC is being taken away from the Clintons and put in new hands. If Ellison DOES get the chair of the DNC we will know that reform is on track.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2016 at 06:05:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An outsider populist won this election with not much more than a nutty twitter account. While I understand why no one on the left takes a positive message from this, we should. In this new media era establishment candidates may already be an impossible sell going forward.

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Fri Nov 25th, 2016 at 04:26:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The next occupant of the White House will be a pathological liar with a loose grip on reality; he is already surrounding himself with racists, anti-Semites, and conspiracy theorists; his administration will be the most corrupt in America history.

Is that the terminology ... corrupt ... that history uses for Hitler and the Nazis ?  "Corruption" doesn't come close to describe what is about to occur.


They tried to assimilate me. They failed.

by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Nov 19th, 2016 at 10:44:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Add in access to a nuclear arsenal and destruction of a viable Biosphere ... now what terms can you come up with? Corrupt?  You're dreaming !!

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Nov 19th, 2016 at 10:50:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What did we get from the Dubya administration?  In chronological order: 9/11 ... the invasion of Iraq ... and the Great Recession. A walk in the park compared to what's coming. There's not enough alcohol in the world to sedate you through this one.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Nov 19th, 2016 at 11:15:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump's big infrastructure plan? It's a trap. - Ron Klain
As the White House official responsible for overseeing implementation of President Obama's massive infrastructure initiative, the 2009 Recovery Act, I've got a simple message for Democrats who are embracing President-elect Donald Trump's infrastructure plan: Don't do it. It's a trap. Backing Trump's plan is a mistake in policy and political judgment they will regret, as did their Democratic predecessors who voted for Ronald Reagan's tax cuts in 1981 and George W. Bush's cuts in 2001.

First, Trump's plan is not really an infrastructure plan. It's a tax-cut plan for utility-industry and construction-sector investors, and a massive corporate welfare plan for contractors. The Trump plan doesn't directly fund new roads, bridges, water systems or airports, as did Hillary Clinton's 2016 infrastructure proposal. Instead, Trump's plan provides tax breaks to private-sector investors who back profitable construction projects. These projects (such as electrical grid modernization or energy pipeline expansion) might already be planned or even underway. There's no requirement that the tax breaks be used for incremental or otherwise expanded construction efforts; they could all go just to fatten the pockets of investors in previously planned projects.

by Bernard on Sat Nov 19th, 2016 at 10:22:30 PM EST
The first hurdle to ANY activity associated with the Trump Dynasty will be, "What's in it for the Trumps?" If the answer is "Very little, but it's good for the country.", it won't happen.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Sat Nov 19th, 2016 at 11:09:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Behind "Make America Great," the Koch Agenda Returns with a Vengeance - TalkingPointsMemo
An Unprepared President-Elect Turns to Koch Politicians
 Having helped to elect Trump and a fully GOP-controlled Congress, the Koch network is now positioned to staff and steer much that happens in Washington DC. Trump won the presidency by dominating the media and borrowing get-out-the-vote networks from allies like the National Rifle Association, the Christian right, AFP, but after November 8, his own inner circles provided little in the way of expert allies to help him fill tens of thousands of federal government jobs and plan comprehensive policy agendas. Especially on the domestic side, Trump has responded by immediately outsourcing much of this work to experienced GOP officials, including key players in his emergent White House and in Congress who have long been groomed by the Koch network. That network, in turn, offers ideas and people to help Koch affiliated politicians shape the Trump administration and agendas.
by Bernard on Tue Nov 22nd, 2016 at 12:05:07 AM EST
Argentina denies news report that Trump sought personal favors
On his popular Sunday night program "Periodismo para Todos" (Journalism for All), the muckraking Argentine reporter Jorge Lanata and his guests delivered an explosive claim: U.S. President-elect Donald Trump asked the country's leader for help getting permits for a stalled Trump tower project in Buenos Aires.

The story spread wildly across social media Monday morning, especially in the United States, as it played into worries that the new U.S. president will use the Oval Office like an advertising agency for the Trump global brand.

That Trump would use a congratulatory call from the Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, to promote his personal business interests in such a tawdry, crass way seemed to confirm the worst fears of his critics about the potential abuse of executive power.

by Bernard on Tue Nov 22nd, 2016 at 12:23:28 AM EST
Is this how democracy ends? David Runciman - London Review of Books
By choosing to quit the European Union, the majority of British voters may have looked as if they were behaving with extraordinary recklessness. But in reality their behaviour too reflected their basic trust in the political system with which they were ostensibly so disgusted, because they believed that it was still capable of protecting them from the consequences of their choice. It is sometimes said that Trump appeals to his supporters because he represents the authoritarian father figure ... That can't be right: Trump is a child, ... The parent in this relationship is the American state itself, which allows the voters to throw a tantrum ..., safe in the knowledge that the grown-ups will always be there to pick up the pieces.

This is where the real risks lie. It is not possible to keep behaving like this without damaging the basic machinery of democratic government ... Trump - and indeed Brexit - are not that. They are the bluntest of instruments, indiscriminately shaking the foundations with nothing to offer by way of support. Under these conditions, the likeliest response is for the grown-ups in the room to hunker down, waiting for the storm to pass. While they do, politics atrophies and necessary change is put off by the overriding imperative of avoiding systemic collapse. The understandable desire to keep the tanks off the streets and the cashpoints open gets in the way of tackling the long-term threats we face. Fake disruption followed by institutional paralysis, and all the while the real dangers continue to mount. Ultimately, that is how democracy ends.



Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sat Nov 26th, 2016 at 03:34:55 PM EST
David Runciman · Is this how democracy ends?: A Failed State? · LRB 1 December 2016
But all he will be doing is papering over the gaping cracks. Tax cuts coupled with unfunded government spending will fuel inflation and create the conditions for a future crash.

Well, no. For one, the Trump infrastructure plan seems like another corporate giveaway with no money reaching hands that needs it, and secondly even if it wasn't, the current problem is to little inflation.

David Runciman · Is this how democracy ends?: A Failed State? · LRB 1 December 2016

The truly destructive violence of American society takes place under the surface and often passes unnoticed by all except its victims. It is the violence of a prison system that incarcerates and disenfranchises significant segments of the adult population, especially young African-American men. It is the epidemic of white-on-white violence that is estimated to have cost the lives of nearly a hundred thousand Americans since 1999 and yet has remained more or less invisible, until noticed by the economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton in a paper published in 2015. These deaths are the result of self-inflicted violence, either suicides or drug and alcohol overdoses (`poisonings' in the language of the report), particularly affecting white Americans living in the parts of the country that voted overwhelmingly for Trump - the South, the Appalachians, the Rust Belt. People in these communities are far more likely to kill themselves than they are to kill others, and they are dying younger than their parents did, a trend that is unique in a developed society. Trump's victory might provide the victims of this epidemic with superficial respite - including the chance to direct some of their self-loathing outwards - but it will do little to address the causes of their underlying hopelessness.

Yes, but...

David Runciman · Is this how democracy ends?: A Failed State? · LRB 1 December 2016

The heart of Thiel's case for Trump was that America has become a risk-averse society, frightened of the radical change necessary for its survival. It needs disruption. But Trump is not a disruptor: he is a spiteful mischief-maker.

Disruption is often just a new word for privatisation of the commons. If the author of this piece believes that is what is needed, he is both wrong and fails to state his case how it would end incarceration and return a future to the rust belt.

David Runciman · Is this how democracy ends?: A Failed State? · LRB 1 December 2016

 That can't be right: Trump is a child, the most childish politician I have encountered in my lifetime. The parent in this relationship is the American state itself, which allows the voters to throw a tantrum and join forces with the worst behaved kid in the class, safe in the knowledge that the grown-ups will always be there to pick up the pieces.

The framing here is that the oh-so-serious elites are grown ups and voters are kids who should grow up. So why are the oh-so-serious elites failing at delivering solutions instead of multiple choices of lesser evil? Why are they pushing trade deals that move power from parliaments to corporations and then throw a temper tantrum when the voters vote wrong? Isn't that childish?

by fjallstrom on Mon Nov 28th, 2016 at 01:23:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The issue here is, perhaps, not that the "elites" are are the adults in the room whilst Brexit and Trump represent a childish revolt, but rather that the "elites" have lost their way - pursuing neo-liberal and neo-conservative nirvanas of global domination - whilst Brexit and Trump represent an even worse descent into neo-fascism in response.  

What is notable in both cases is the almost complete absence of a progressive alternative: Sanders was crushed and British Labour is afraid to even oppose Brexit. Social democracy throughout the world is almost dead.  Sanders and Corbyn were at best members of an older generations progressive response to fascism: where are the younger progressive leaders who can inspire younger generations?

Bad and all as Hillary was, is Trump really an improvement on almost any metric? And if Sanders and Corbyn are not to be the leaders to provide a better and more progressive option, who will?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 28th, 2016 at 05:42:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Several points starting from the bottom:
Where are the young leaders? I submit there can't be. The left, at least as I define it lacks a unifying ideology but shares a common hostility against the managerial politics and glib marketing dominating western democracies and a common distrust not only of conventional news sources but really all news sources. So what do you do when the consensus reality on offer is completely bonkers but you don't really have an alternative to replace it? When you distrust politicians declaration?
One option is to go back to a point so remote that the ruling class has switched to cooption from rabid opposition. The Civil Rights Movement. The fight against apartheid. Nearly no one would now go on record as having been opposed to any of those. On the contrary, they are the crown jewels of western human rights achievements. With most of the economic justice stuff airbrushed of course.
So that is one point for Sanders and Corbyn. Relics from an age that looks a lot less ambiguous in the rear view mirror since there is no longer a gaggle of paid sycophants defending the indefensible. And they have a whole life to vouch for their sincerity. Otherwise you'd have to take it on trust. And I for one am all out of trust.
by generic on Mon Nov 28th, 2016 at 07:14:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
so in the absence of a unifying ideology, of trust, with an ageing leadership, and with the last achievements of progressive politics disappearing in the historical rear view mirror, what are we left with? Do you have any hope for the future?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 28th, 2016 at 10:37:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I didn't foresee Sanders or Corbyn so in some ways we are already doing better than I expected. Sanders in the US seems to grow into the de facto opposition leader while the establishment dems hide in their bunker.

 The old media losing its grip is both scary and hopeful I guess. Really I'm not even that negative. Things are changing fast and unpredictably. Maybe there'll be a good opportunity tumbling out of the vortex the next few years.
Though if you ask me an opportunity for what....

by generic on Tue Nov 29th, 2016 at 12:37:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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