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Maybe It Is Time to Stop Underestimating Trump?

2016 November 30
by Ian Welsh

I keep seeing people talking about how stupid Trump is.

It is certainly true that Trump is not book-smart. He probably wouldn’t score well on an IQ test.

But by now, it should be clear, except to functional idiots, that Trump is very good at getting what he wants.

This is a man who shits into a gold toilet. Who has slept with a succession of models. Yeah, he’s a sleazy predator, but he gets what he wants.

He won the primary and the election. He won the election spending half as much money as Clinton did. Yes, she won the popular vote total; that’s irrelevant. He won where he needed to win to get the Presidency.

He played the media like a maestro, getting a ton of coverage, got the subjects he wanted covered, when he wanted them covered.

People laugh at him saying he would have won the popular vote too, except for fraud, but that idea is now out there and those who want to believe it have seen it repeated in the press. Even those outlets who said it wasn’t true repeated it, and Trump’s followers don’t trust the press.

Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, ran his paid advertising and also decided where the campaigns efforts should go. He fine-targeted ads, and he went for places Trump could win with the least money and effort.

Trump says he hires “the best.” I dunno, but his daughter married someone scarily competent, and Trump had the sense to trust him, take his advice, and get out of the way and let him do his job.

Trump just convinced Carrier to keep some manufacturing jobs in the US (by bribing them with tax cuts, it seems). That sort of high profile personal intervention will be remembered, and has already said to his followers: “I’m delivering for you.”

Trump is clearly a very flawed individual, with really questionable morals and ethics, but he isn’t incompetent by any useful definition of the word. He may well wind up betraying his followers, certainly many of his cabinet picks are of deeply dubious individuals who favor policies which will hurt the working and middle classes.

But that doesn’t make him incompetent, that makes him a politician and a sleazy, but very good, salesman.

Trump’s opposition will continue getting their asses handed to them if they keep assuming that he’s a boob, or that he can’t take good advice. He’s a very savvy operator, and the people he trusts most, Bannon and Kushner, are extraordinarily competent men who have proved their loyalty.

What Trump doesn’t have is very firm policy opinions, and wonkish centrists and lefties think that makes him stupid, and that that type of stupid is the same thing as incompetent.

Trump stands a decent chance of juicing the economy even as he chops away at is remaining underpinnings through his tax cuts. If he does so, he will be re-elected.

I’d be careful betting against him.


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67 Responses
  1. V. Arnold permalink
    November 30, 2016

    It is interesting; Trump must be one way or the other way; fairly black and white. I neither under nor over estimate him. I do not estimate him at all.
    Clinton was a very well known entity; 99% corrupt and negative to the down side of vile.
    At this point I do not much care who or what Trump “is”. A mute point.
    The U.S. society is so bloody dysfunctional, Trump was the only possible outcome.
    In fact, my concerns are elsewhere at this time…

  2. Ché Pasa permalink
    November 30, 2016

    I don’t know who Ian is referring to.

    Those who consider Trump to be a conman don’t consider him “stupid” at all. They consider him to be a fraud and potentially extremely dangerous. He knows what he wants and he knows how to get it; we on the other hand have no idea what he wants beyond the power of rule for its own sake and for his personal benefit. The idea of public service appears to be alien to him. He seems incapable of doing anything for anyone but himself and those who are personally loyal to him. Otherwise, tough luck suckers.

    It’s false to say that the popular vote is irrelevant. It’s false to say that “America” elected Trump.

    At this point, we don’t and can’t know whether the votes reported on election night and since then were cast and counted accurately. The recounts probably won’t resolve the questions, either. Our system of elections is messy and in many cases unverifiable by design. It’s been that way pretty much from the beginning.

    Trump may or may not take office. He may or may not survive in office. The current political situation is as chaotic as it’s ever been in this country. In many ways, it’s a classic example of the Shock Doctrine in action.

    As a general matter, that is not a good thing for most people, but it’s a very, very good thing for those on top.

  3. November 30, 2016

    Just like some people thought two-term Reagan was stupid. That the man is shitting into gold toilets after four bankruptcies might give reasonable people pause about the “he’s stupid” thing. And successful presidents (or their sons-in-laws) have known that you don’t have to let cabinet choices have discretion where you don’t want them to. You bring them in not to let them run free but to neuter them and take their political resources out of the equation both for them and for those who would ally with them (on things such as Medicare elimination). Too early to make any judgment on what he’s going to do yet. FDR was going to balance the budget. Lincoln was going to keep slavery to keep the union. Could go frightfully wrong, could be surprisingly good (especially for the “Nixon goes to China” possibilities for Trump to pull off that a Democrat, much less Hillary, could ever get done), could be a replay of Reagan and/or Bush II, which is enough of a nightmare without adding steroids to it. Thanks for continuing to send that message out to those whose certainty here has rarely been matched with accuracy and certainly not on the level you’ve achieved.

  4. Ron Showalter permalink
    November 30, 2016

    People who succeed in the US and become rich are not smart/intelligent but rather largely amoral and ambitious. It’s amazing that someone would adopt those definitions of the rich/successful – that being rich equals intelligence etc (y’know THEIR definition) – when their truly defining characteristic is their inhumanity/thoughtlessness towards others in society around them.

    That’s cool, let’s let the scum of the earth like Trump define for us what does or does not equal what we should respect and better yet let’s adopt those definitions.

    Being “smart/successful” and an inhuman piece of refuse are NOT mutually exclusive things so I don’t really know what Ian’s trying to say. Serial killers/sociopaths/psychopaths commonly display above average intelligence as well. However, I can call Trump a know-nothing piece of garbage concerning ANYTHING even remotely related to governance etc b/c he has repeatedly shown he has NO IDEA about such things. Cunning again does not equal knowledge.

    BTW, for those of you who were so scared about HRC starting WWIII I’m sure you’re not scared about what happens when NOT IF there is an attack – real or false flag – on one of the many Trump properties around the globe? I mean, he’s not going to stop doing business is he? And he’s not a vindictive out-of-control piece of trash is he? I hope those deplorables will enjoy sending their children to die for DJT and the defense of his crap.

    Cheers

  5. Ron Showalter permalink
    November 30, 2016

    Partial listing of Trump properties/holdings around the globe.

    Gee, did something international happen the last time there was a POTUS who wasn’t legitimately elected and whose poll numbers were tanking? I seem to vaguely remember something….

    http://www.investopedia.com/updates/donald-trump-companies/

  6. Ivory Bill Woodpecker permalink
    November 30, 2016

    We know Vladimir Putin is dangerously intelligent, so is it even necessary to assume that his stooge, The Donald, is?

    Though if Welsh and company are correct, Putin may have outsmarted himself.

    Uncle Joe Stalin thought he had “The Adolf” in his pocket–until June 22, 1941.

  7. November 30, 2016

    Well, anyone who still refers to Trump as Putin’s “stooge” is not only stupid but a perfect example of what Ian is writing about here.

    Ché Pasa – I’ve seen many people who denounce Trump as stupid on Facebook, and in the comments of liberal blogs. These are mostly Democratic loyalists, who also threw vitriol at anyone who criticized Obama or Clinton from the left. There are a lot of them. They’re often college-educated, middle-class, mostly white, and I have the impression that most of them are female. They often recycled material from Democratic propaganda and attack sites such as Occupy Democrats.

    I just remembered, this morning, a meme that went around a lot earlier this year in these circles It detailed Trump’s business failures, and concluded along the lines of “He’s a loser! How is he a winner?” By the time it went viral, Trump had already made fools of the mainstream commentators who were sure he’d never get the nomination, by trouncing his GOP opponents. I sometimes would comment by pointing out that Trump had won numerous primaries and had locked the GOP nomination. He’d won at the polls — *that* made him a winner. But the meme kept circulating among the rank and file.

    This didn’t surprise me much. I’ve seen plenty of malignant Democratic incompetence and irrationality in previous election cycles. And even if establishment commentators rarely called Trump stupid in public, it is clear that they underestimated him.

    On Reagan, Gore Vidal once quoted a journalist who said that Reagan wasn’t stupid — he was lazy and ignorant, which is something else. I found occasion to quote that line about George W. Bush later on, and it seems applicable to Trump as well. Though Trump isn’t lazy in important respects — he worked pretty hard on the campaign trail, as Bernie Sanders did. If you want an example of laziness in that sense, look at Hillary Clinton, who delegated not only much of her campaigning but her damn concession speech to surrogates.

  8. Will permalink
    November 30, 2016

    I agree with you Ian. The man’s shown that he is nimble, quick footed, and just savvy enough to beat the stuffings out of a busload of the best political operatives that money can buy. Underestimate him at your peril. But I have to say I don’t think he is being misjudged solely in terms of his intellect.

    Trump is, whether consciously or not, being held up as a proxy for his supporters. When you have the connected and the condescending snickering up their sleeves at Trump’s stupidity? Well they are doing so with the intent of including his supporters in this category. Same as for some of the other over the top insinuations they slyly (in their minds anyway) send his way.

    “They are voting against their own interests!” (Too stupid to know what’s good for them.)

    “They’ve been snookered!” (Too stupid to know a conman when they see one.)

    I could go on but I don’t need to. All you need to do is read the headlines of the used to be opinion makers. Or read the comment sections of this very blog and many other good ones the last few weeks. It’s out there. It’s in your face. And those folks see it for what it is: contempt.

    Will

  9. November 30, 2016

    “I’m sure you’re not scared about what happens when NOT IF there is an attack – real or false flag – on one of the many Trump properties around the globe?”

    Thank you! It’s amazing how that is overlooked here. They are incredibly soft targets. ISIS and Co. are probably laughing their asses off. You’d have to be crazy to stay in a Trump hotel or branded property anytime over the next four years.

    Since it’s clear that Trump has no intention disentangling his businesses from the job of being POTUS, is really is an interesting question of what will happen when the inevitable does happen and he sees his revenue take a hit.

    Back to what’s going on…Trump’s pick for Treasury Secretary, Mnuchin, made over $3 million from Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, is a Goldman alum, former Hedge fund owner, Hollywood producer, Trump’s top fundraiser AND was such a notorious bankster that people actually picketed his home in Beverly Hills. Drain that Swamp baby….

  10. November 30, 2016

    Timing is everything. Considerations of whether Trump is smart or dumb are beside the point.

    Neither Kushner nor Bannon are any sort of savants and Trump is who he has always been and has been threatening to run for POTUS for years. Maybe it’s living in NYC and having him as background noise for what seems like forever makes me immune to his shtick. If you really want to know who Trump is, go read the legendary Wayne Barrett’s old Village Voice columns and whatnot.

  11. Ron Showalter permalink
    November 30, 2016

    Oh, that’s right, these people really AREN’T STUPID and DON’T VOTE against their own interests, right?

    From the article about how Mnuchin foreclosed on 36,000 CA homeowners during the financial crisis:

    “They [the former-homeowners] voted for Donald Trump, but Rose Schaffer says they’re praying he doesn’t choose Mnuchin as his Treasury secretary. “If he can’t run his own little bank,” she asks, “how can he handle a large thing for the United States?”

    But if the fake-left still wants to keep telling itself fairy tales – i.e., don’t call those Trump people stupid/they didn’t vote against their own interests – by all means, go ahead.

    Tis the season.

  12. realitychecker permalink
    November 30, 2016

    At one point during the primaries, Trump said on camera that his IQ was 156.

    He did not specify on what test he got that score, nor can we be sure he told the truth when he put that 156 number out there. It would certainly have been risky to outright lie about it, IMO.

    But, just for shits and giggles, let’s assume he spoke truthfully. I have had some occasion to research the frequency of occurrence of IQ’s in that range, using charts that are readily available on the Internet.

    The most likely tests used are the Stanford-Binet and the Wechsler. Using reasonable extrapolations and roundings, I determine the frequency of a 156 IQ to be roughly one in 5,000 persons at the low end of the range, to one in 15,000 persons at the high end of the range, depending on which test was used. (Feel free to verify with your own research, it would only take a few minutes.)

    So, how stupid would one have to be to declare, without any hard evidence, that the man is
    stupid?

    Would not a thinking person rather look at what the man has achieved, and conclude that perhaps he might be WAAAAAY smarter than any of his critics, who have been nothing but wrong in all their predictions about him so far?

    Sigh. I guess some people are just more comfortable being dead wrong than others. It makes me wonder whether some of them might be more deserving of their victim mindsets than they would ever realize or be willing to admit.

    Hard to make a perfect world when you have to work with so many stupid people. The critics should try it sometime, instead of just spewing their mindless rubbish. (Thought exercise: Just try writing a simple statute.)

  13. November 30, 2016

    “But if the fake-left still wants to keep telling itself fairy tales…”

    They are the only group left who is still fooling themselves. The Trumpsters know they are lying and don’t really care as they fill their swamp with the worst insiders and line their pockets. Trump easily conned marks know but don’t really care and neither group even bothers to rationalize it much anymore. And it hasn’t even been a month yet.

    The only group still going on with the but wait! economic anxiety, but wait! the arc of history, but wait! Trump is really smart, but wait!….and so on is the alt/fake left. To the point that some are even peddling the Infowars nonsense about there were millions of illegal votes cast which is why HC won the popular vote.

    For some reason, they are papering over the uncomfortable likelihood that for millions of their fellow citizens something along the lines of “I hate that Bitch and I’m glad she lost and I’m happy the Ni$$ers are leaving the WH…Suck it!” was more than enough to, once again, light themselves on fire.

  14. Richard permalink
    November 30, 2016

    realitychecker:
    “It would certainly have been risky to outright lie about it, IMO.”

    Uh, have you been paying any attention these past 18 months?

    Need I list all the outright blatant lies Trump told?

    Do you really believe there are millions of illegals who voted?

    In any case, I do agree that Trump is great at sales and showbiz.
    However, I believe Ian is wrong when he predicts even a short-term uptick in material well-being for the working class under Trump. As Chris Arnade put it:
    “A Trump administration is just going to be a Romney administration but with a twitter outrage policy targeted at working class whites”.
    Everything Trump has done so far points to him running a crony capitalist administration on steroids with massive graft, corruption, and give-aways of public goods to his friend and allies interspersed with elite and immigrant bashing and showy victories (like stopping a plant relocation or 2) to take the eyes of the middle and working classes off the ball.

    In other words, the same old Nixon/Reagan/Dubya GOP working class exploitation strategy but run by a con man who has far more sales savvy than any of them and showmanship that only Reagan could match.

  15. realitychecker permalink
    November 30, 2016

    @ Richard

    Well, can you imagine the damage Trump would have suffered if someone had come up with his school record, which would show his actual IQ, and it showed that he lied about that? Just try for a moment.

    You seem to think we get politicians who don’t lie in the heat of a campaign; I’da thunk watching Clinton lie practically every single day would have sufficed to permanently disabuse you of that misconception. But some people never learn what they don’t want to learn.

    Trump will bring good and bad. As to crony capitalism, he could not possibly be worse than Clinton or Obama. Do you really think we’ve been witnessing honest capitalism lol? I’m not a big fan of tax cuts, either.

    The good I expect to get from him includes an enforceable border, re-negotiating bad trade deals, a rolling back of extremely ridiculous political correctness, protection of the Second Amendment, and a re-assertion of the importance of the rule of law and accountability for public officials. Of these, if I get the last one alone, it will all be worthwhile, because without that, we are a Third World country and “freedom” is a bad joke.

    Not to mention the value of seeing all elements of the Establishments having to re-think their position in the world. Priceless.

  16. Richard permalink
    November 30, 2016

    Realitychecker:
    1. What country are you in? IQ isn’t listed on any American school records. Is it listed on your’s?
    2.And yes, Clinton lied as well, but you’re avoiding my point, which is that, given we know Trump lies so much, why do you believe him on anything or that being shown he lies about his IQ would harm him considering that many people have pointed out his numerous lies during the campaign yet he still won the electoral vote?
    3. If you don’t think crony capitalism could get worse than under Obama and Clinton, all I can say is that you have a pretty limited imagination. Look at places like Brazil. I expect corruption under Trump to get as bad as there. Did you think corruption under Obama was as bad as it is in Brazil?

    If you think you’ll see accountability and rule of law for public officials (who are Trump allies or Trump himself), I’m certain you will be sorely disappointed. Everything in his life up to now points to Trump enriching himself at the American public’s expense to a degree that we have not seen in the US in generations. He will make the millions the Clintons made giving speeches look lile peanuts. He now has the US military and control of foreign policy. Everything in his career suggests a complete lack of scruples, so I expect him to use those levers to further his business interests.

  17. DMC permalink
    November 30, 2016

    So, by rendering Trump as unique and utterly beyond the pale, not to be considered as a human being, how are the blue dogs any different than the very people they most purport to despise, ie the racists and misogyinists who had issues with the race and gender(respectively) of the last two Democratic canditates? That Trump IS uniquely obnoxious to pretty much everyone is self-evident but this is what our electoral system coughed up and we’re pretty much stuck with it for the next 4 years. So let us know when you can come up with some criticism beyond “He’s extremely rude!” and then we’ll have something to talk about. I wouldn’t get too worked up about his early appointments either as half of them are apt to quit inside 6 months(at least the really rich ones).

  18. November 30, 2016

    We have a problem, and it comes out of our medical system. we expand the lifespans of the well-off, and they live longer. but unfortunately, people learn that these longer lived people generally do not alter their behavior. which means that the vast mass of people do not trust them, and with good reason. so they are willing to take a chance on an unproven businessman, because he might, just might, do something different. they do not listen to the people who tell them that the businessman will mainly dream up tax cuts for their .1% – because there is no actual hard evidence that they will do that in the minds of the voters.

    Remember that trump only got the floor of the Republican vote, the same as McCain and Romney did. But Hillary was a known quantity, and the elite Democrats would not listen to the people who said that she was unelectable. They knew the Hillary who came to their parties, not the Hillary on the TV.

    The solution to trump is actually rather simple, but it will take a new generation with new policies to put the solution in two place. There are reasons for this, and almost all of them are bad reasons, the kind that cannot be spoken. But we have to endure four and perhaps eight years of turmoil from not just trump but the entire system which he rides in on.

    I said many years ago that we are riding this bucket all the way down – not halfway, as in 2007 – but all the way down. What this has gotten me is nothing, but I repeat, we are ready this bucket all the way down, until the rich have gotten themselves into a mess that cannot be bribed away.

    (on another note, the next section of Julia is up, entitled Das Urteil
    https://symbalitics.blogspot.com/2016/11/julia-das-urteil.html
    )

  19. Richard permalink
    November 30, 2016

    Stirling:
    “The solution to trump is actually rather simple, but it will take a new generation with new policies to put the solution in two place. There are reasons for this, and almost all of them are bad reasons, the kind that cannot be spoken.”

    Why can they not be spoken?

  20. November 30, 2016

    We are really into alternate realitychecker territory now.

    What can the POTUS do to roll back so called political correctness? Yell and insult people via Twitter? Are there any federal political correctness laws on the books that I’m not aware of? Are you talking about something like not allowing gays to openly serve in the military or maybe getting rid of gender neutral bathrooms in federal buildings. The EEOC extensions to transgender folks?

    The 2nd Amendment needs protection? From whom or what? Obama didn’t take away anybody’s guns and couldn’t do anything to regulate gun ownership even after several massacres of children! Enforceable borders? Sorry, the wall ain’t happening and the quickest way to dry up the the inflow from the South would be to regularly fine the businesses that employ them. Good luck. Maybe you’re talking about the Muslim ban thing which very unlikely to happen.

    A re-assertion of the importance of the rule of law and accountability for public officials? Is this a re-branding of the “Lock Her Up” thing? You realize of the people he’s interviewing/hired are rife with conflicts and one has already plead guilty to mishandling, and passing on, classified info and his NSA guy is a flack for Turkey. Trump doesn’t care about that stuff so don’t get your hopes up.

  21. November 30, 2016

    > Why can they not be spoken?

    you can figure this one out, why do not we want everyone voting?

  22. tsisageya1 permalink
    November 30, 2016

    ON THE OTHER HAND, maybe it’s time to stop overestimating Trump. Have you had a look around again, lately? Or is this just bait?

  23. realitychecker permalink
    November 30, 2016

    @ Richard

    You are just ignorant and wrong about school records. I went to my old high school, Stuyvesant in Manhattan (Eric Holder was there as well), and demanded a copy of mine, and they gave it to me. Guess what? It had my IQ right there on it. (I won’t say what it is, because idiots like Ron and ks and maybe you will just call me a liar, right? Besides, dumb folks always automatically hate smart folks, maybe you can figure out why lol.)

    FYI, IQ testing was a national policy in public schools in the late 50’s and early 60’s, especially followed in places like New York. Google it.

    As to your other points, you say nothing but speculation and predictions; forgive me for regarding my own as more reliable. Let me just say this to you: If we are going to just assume that everything is a lie, where does that leave us? I know that fine discriminations and judgments are out of fashion in modern America, but we must do better than what your way would leave us with. Think about it for a moment, will ya?

    @ ks

    Since all you are doing is blabbering your own inner fears, not gonna waste any more time responding to you. Try therapy.

    The Democrats got my support for 40 years. But after two terms of Obama, and the Clinton follies, they need a hard lesson, and my vote for Trump was calculated to give it to them. How else to get them to consider whether they should get back to representing the interests of regular folks?

    So many here have endless criticism, but no real solutions. Maybe just shut up and see what happens for a while. Nobody can HONESTLY say that they know for sure how things will play out over the next year. The only thing I CAN be sure of is that the worst fears of the worst paranoiacs will not be realized.

  24. November 30, 2016

    Yeah, I’m sure you’re a genius as that’s obvious and you sure taught the Dems a lesson. That’ll show ’em! Goodness when all else fails, the “I was a lifelong Democrat…” ploy gets pulled out…heh.

    Anyway, it looks like your tantrum is finally over as you have tied yourself into knots you can’t escape from and your continued transparently diversionary bsing and lying can’t help you.

  25. nihil obstet permalink
    November 30, 2016

    I’m not much on the “Let’s wait and see what happens” approach. We need to pick our policies and wrap them around Trump’s neck. I would have said the same thing about wrapping the policies around Clinton’s neck if she had won the Electoral College.

    There are clear things that the government absolutely can do that everybody understands and wants. Increase Social Security. Make Medicare cover more (vision, dental, nursing home). Whether Trump cares or not, his cabinet picks so far seem to vicerally hate the general welfare. Hit Trump constantly on the programs that his voters want. Sanders seems to be doing this. If successful, the Democrats will regain a solid majority status.

    I have a horrible fear that the Democrats will decide to prove that they’re the grown-ups capable of making the “tough choices” and will do the rich men’s dirty work for them. Their big objection to Trump has frequently appeared to be aesthetic. The man’s crass and vulgar and says all the stuff that you pretend nobody like you believes, so you clutch your pearls and call for the fainting couch. The election proved that that isn’t enough.

  26. Hugh permalink
    November 30, 2016

    What does Trump getting what he wants have to do with being a good President? What does being a businessman (you can add in successful?, predatory+++, if you want) have to do with being a good President?

    Trump’s administration is a club for billionaires and various political hacks who were way past their sell by date years ago. These were the same people or class of people who drove the financial system off the cliff in 2008.

    As I have said previously, this was an election between shit sandwiches. A shit sandwich was going to win no matter what. Why should I care how smart this shit sandwich is, for some definition of smart?

    This is going to be four years of government of billionaires by billionaires for billionaires, but again this was going to happen no matter whether Clinton or Trump won.

  27. November 30, 2016

    @Stirling,

    Yes, I remember you saying that about “…riding the bucket all the way down…” many moons ago. How far do you think we have to go? Also, I don’t think HC was unelectable as she is going to get 65 million votes or so but, I think your party vs TV comparison was apt.

    @nihil obstet,

    As you can probably tell, I’m not a wait and see type in this situation either. By the time you see what you’re waiting for, it will be too late to do anything about it. Trump’s 70 and has behaved certain ways his entire life. He is what he is and his initial appointments have been bad. Jump on him now. There’s a lot of righteous energy right now but, in the end, your pessimism is probably right and they all will fold but make noise occasionally

  28. November 30, 2016

    @ks

    I don’t have a hand in writing the rules…

  29. November 30, 2016

    @Stirling,

    True and neither do I.

    I guess that brings us back to Ian’s earlier point which I was perhaps too cynical about before (apologies Ian) – finding happiness where you can – which, frankly, is good advice in any circumstances. In my case, that will probably be in between battles.

  30. realitychecker permalink
    November 30, 2016

    So amusing to see all the IMPOTENT crybabies puffing themselves up with their fantasies about how they are going to force Trump and/or the Democrats to do what they want. Classic case of the powerless fantasizing about having power lol.

    We progressives said all the same things about Obama. Didn’t do anything to stop him from carrying out an extension of the Bush regime, did it?

    Hey, I know, you can go and protest in your Free Speech Zone cages, telling each other how you are in charge. Yeah, that’s the ticket. LMAO at your Mitty fantasies.

    Maybe y’all should put some energy into self-examination. Because right now you are acting too stupid to accomplish ANYTHING.

  31. realitychecker permalink
    November 30, 2016

    @ ks

    You keep raving, ks, that’s what you’re good at.

    Say “Hi” to your thug buddies Trayvon and Mike Brown for me, moron. 🙂

  32. November 30, 2016

    Your bluster isn’t fooling anybody. I know you’re lonely and scared but it will be okay. Take your meds and get some rest.

  33. Richard permalink
    November 30, 2016

    Stirling: Maybe I am too obtuse for your tastes, but I’d rather not spend time trying to discern whatever vague conclusions you may hold.

    realitychecker: Well, I didn’t go to school back then, so what you say may be true, but if you believe that everyone lies, why do you believe Trump when he boasts about his IQ (considering that 1. it’s clear that he lies an order of magnitude more than even your standard politician 2. a ton of his lies are to aggrandize himself)?

    What this election has shown is just how willing people are to believe anything that makes them feel better (and how effective sales tactics wielded by a terrific salesman can be).

  34. z.k. bones permalink
    November 30, 2016

    It is now “fill Trump swamp, fill Trump swamp”.

  35. Richard permalink
    November 30, 2016

    BTW, here’s a great article by Chris Arnade that really captures the essence of the situation:
    https://medium.com/@Chris_arnade/divided-by-meaning-1ab510759ee7#.w70q0wa0c

    “Trump is offering another cheap and destructive way of finding pride: A scapegoat. In Trump’s case it blaming minorities and immigrants.
    For Trump this isn’t surprising. He is just doing what he has done all his life: Selling cheap meaning and cheap status to people who are desperate. White identity politics is just his latest scam.”

    As I have said before, Trump changes positions on almost everything because he doesn’t care about almost anything (certainly nothing like the plight of the working class or immigration or “draining the swamp” or whatever issues you hold dear). There are only two constants throughout Trump’s life:
    1. He always tries to enrich and aggrandize himself (many times by scamming and ripping off other people).
    2. He’s never helped anyone who’s not in his immediate circle.

  36. Mary M McCurnin permalink
    November 30, 2016

    “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” ~Maya Angelou

  37. realitychecker permalink
    December 1, 2016

    @ Richard

    “realitychecker: Well, I didn’t go to school back then, so what you say may be true, but if you believe that everyone lies, why do you believe Trump when he boasts about his IQ (considering that 1. it’s clear that he lies an order of magnitude more than even your standard politician 2. a ton of his lies are to aggrandize himself)?”

    MAY BE TRUE??? MAY BE TRUE???

    What kind of moron are you? I told you you could easily verify with Google, you are too fucking lazy, so it just “may” be true? Then you go on with a whole paragraph of senseless blather to try and distract from your own intellectual paralysis, i.e., if the IQ is in the school records (the fact premise you are too LAZY or STUPID to verify), then Trump ran a big risk telling a lie about it.

    Please go drown yourself now, and spare us any future children from your gene pool.

    Silver lining–you and ks have proven conclusively to anyone who can read how pointless it is to have anything like a logic-based discussion with either of you, so thanks for that. You can both pump out bullshit faster than anyone with a brain would care to keep correcting your idiocies.

    For other readers: After Sputnik, there was a national panic that we would lose the space race, so IQ tests were widely conducted in the public schools to find the gifted children as early as possible so they could be groomed for maximum intellectual achievement. I was in that group, and so was Trump. Just Google it. It’s an interesting piece of our history.

    The above dialogues illustrate very clearly what too much of the left has allowed itself to deteriorate into, and the primary reason why I have turned away from automatic allegiance to the left. Not because the basic values are wrong, but because it just got too embarrassing to be associated with people who can’t think any better than what they have illustrated here. My dog can reason better than these folks.

  38. V. Arnold permalink
    December 1, 2016

    realitychecker
    December 1, 2016

    Hey RC; I went through a similar exchange with dear Richard on a previous thread.
    I second your excellent evaluation of his intellect; non-existent intellect.
    I no longer engage that idiot.

  39. different clue permalink
    December 1, 2016

    “Those who are not surprised when the future comes, live very close to the truth.”

    The only Clinton supporter I know of who predicted Trump’s victory is Michael Moore. You Tube hosts several videos of a little chunk of Michael Moore talking to a bunch of people in an auditorium. It is taken from a longer video. Many versions of this video just contain a bunch of talking heads talking interspersed with just enough Moore to keep people watching. But patient searching will turn up a You Tube of Michael Moore explaining why Trump will win. Just Moore, and no talking heads hijacking the viewer’s attention. It is a truth which all the other Clinton supporters live very far away from. Which is why they are so very surprised.

    There are different kinds of smart. Trump is shrewd and cunning and has the kind of smartness needed to grub up money in real estate and get elected President in an unstable situation. I have read that Trump got somewhat less actual votes than Romney got. But Clinton got way fewer votes than Obama got. In Michigan, 80,000 voters voted for strictly Democrats all the way downticket, but left the President line blank. They weren’t going to vote for Trump, but they found Clinton too vile to vote for, so they left “President” blank. Unless Stein can force a recount which proves differently, Clinton lost to Trump by 20,000 or so votes in Michigan. If 80,000 Democratic voters would have found Clinton just barely tolerable enough to vote for, she would have won Michigan by 60,000 otherwise-straight-Democratic-ticket-voting voters’ votes. Why did 80,000 straight-Democratic-ticket Democrats leave “President” blank rather than vote for Clinton? The truth . . . a truth which Moore lives close to but most other Clintonites live very far away from . . . will explain those 80,000 votes.

    I voted for Trump in hope of 3 big things.
    1: Re-normalized relations and no war with Russia.
    2: No more support for the Radical Islamic jihadi rebellion in Syria. Ideally that “no more
    support” would allow the legitimate Syrian government to eliminate all traces of Radical
    Islamic jihadi rebellion from existence within the borders of Syria.
    3: No more Free Trade Treason agreements. No TTP. No TTIP. No TISA. No more Free Trade
    Treason agreements. No. No more.

    If Trump goes back on big thing 3, then I was 33 % conned. If Trump goes back on big thing 2,
    then I was 66% conned. If Trump goes back on all 3 big things, then I was 100% conned. But it probably won’t matter then, because we will have a thermonuclear war with Russia and we will all be ionized plasma together.

    If the DLC Clintonite Obamacrats remain in control of the DemParty, then the DemParty will running Clinton after Clinton after Clinton. And I will keep throwing in their DLC faces Trump after Trump after Trump. The only way out of this Presidential election Groundhog Day loop tape will be if the Democratic Democrats can purge, burn and exterminate every trace of DLC Clintobamanism from the Party. Or otherwise leave the party in such a way as to exterminate the Democratic Party from existence on their way out the door . . . leaving the Democratic Democrats to create a legitimate political party of their own.

  40. Some Guy permalink
    December 1, 2016

    I see Vox (MattY) is running an article, “The case for normalizing Trump”.

    Key takeway is that the key to beating Trump is to focus on the issues and run an outsider against him.

    “Back in 2011, Zingales presciently wrote that the country should be glad that Trump decided not to run for president because he had enormous potential as a Berlusconi-like figure who would mix business connections, media savvy, and discontent with existing political parties into a potent cocktail.

    In a post-election op-ed, Zingales revisited these themes and observed that the two politicians who beat Berlusconi in elections — former Prime Minister Romano Prodi and current Prime Minister Matteo Renzi — had two important things in common: “Both of them treated Mr. Berlusconi as an ordinary opponent. They focused on the issues, not on his character. In different ways, both of them are seen as outsiders, not as members of what in Italy is defined as the political caste.”

    This seems like good advice, sure it may have been more useful earlier in the year (just saying), but it still holds true.

  41. Lisa permalink
    December 1, 2016

    President Johnston:
    LBJ was once asked why poor and middle class Republicans vote against their own interest, this was his response.
    “If you can convince the lowest white man that he’s better that the best coloured man, he won’t know you are picking his pocket. Hell, give him someone to look down on and he’ll empty his pockets for you”.

    Trump … barely .. won the election. Now the ‘Great Betrayal’ starts.
    His cabinet picks are neo-liberal and neo-conservative through and through …and incredibly socially conservative/’religious right’/Authoritarian. If there is a poor working class white man or woman doesn’t get hammered even more now, then it will be by accident.

    On the positive side he has re-created the ‘left’ in the US. Once the dead wood of the neo-everything Clinton Dem elites get swept away.

    But this is more of a disaster than many think, because all the white male haters (of everyone) feel empowered, not just in the US but everywhere.
    Is this the end of the US? Where it breaks up? That has long been forecast, the divisions are so great and now will get greater.

    Look all the minorities by race, gender and sexualities are not going to go down without a huge fight and they will have a lot of allies. More and more white women will wake up. After the heady rush and reality hits, then more an more white men will wake up as well.

    That leaves the 30%-35% of the religious right, the extreme conservatives, the so called ‘alt right’, the racists and misogynists plus the homo/trans phobes.

    So the country will tear itself apart.

  42. Ché Pasa permalink
    December 1, 2016

    @ Duncan (way back upthread )

    Facebook is a foetid sewer, Twitter rots your brain, and thus I’m not generally up on what users say in those media. But no one can escape noticing that mass media is relying on them to do the work reporters once did, and do it for free.

    If Facebook and Twitter users call Trump “stupid” then so be it. The future has long since foreshadowed its decadence. So much of what they say today will be inoperative tomorrow.

    I never saw Trump as stupid. He may actually be intellectually very smart, who knows? He has an academic background that includes expensive private primary/middle school, military boarding school through high school, Fordham University, and Wharton School, none of which tell us much — except that he and his family had money and could pay for a non-public school education outside the usual elite embrace of the Ivy League. 

    I don’t know what kind of education someone gets in that rarified environment. I don’t know what he learned in that environment. I can imagine — from knowing people who were at least partially educated in that environment — that it was quite a different education than that of the rest of us who went to public schools, colleges and universities. There are stories, but you know how stories are. May or may not be true, and if they’re retailed on Facebook or Twitter, I will tend to discount them.

    Whatever the case, he clearly does not rely on his intellect and academic achievement in pursuing his goals and objectives, unlike many of the standard-model politicos and their sponsors and owners who believe wholeheartedly in academic credentialism.

    He may tell his followers how very, very smart he is, but he doesn’t act like a pointy-headed intellectual, and that’s a big part of his appeal to his followers. The fact that he “wins” — sometimes — doesn’t prove anything, except that he knows how to win in certain circumstances and he knows how to take advantage of others’ weaknesses as a predator, as well as benefiting from a good deal of privilege and dumb luck. That involves skill, no doubt about it, and it’s one that he probably learned from example and experience not from sitting in a classroom.

    People who are underestimating him are making a big mistake (they probably thought the same about Reagan and Dubya, for different reasons of course, and look where that got us). No, these are genuine American political figures who show the ability to wrench the nation and the world, for better or ill (mostly in my view for ill) without regard for opposition or other points of view.

    The US has had long time experience with these kinds of figures, which is part of the reason why the political class and the media as a general thing are fine with Trump in the Oval Office; the institutions have been down this path time and again, and the institutions survive, even flourish. Too bad for the losers, but oh well.

    I think those who try to fight him directly will fail — at least most of the time — because he thrives on their hate. On the other hand, his personality and ego are seemingly so brittle and fragile, he can be goaded to act stupid without much provocation. It can be entertaining, but to me, that’s dangerous for anyone in the position of president — or for anyone in his/her circle.

    It’s a chaotic and unsustainable situation.

    Time will tell whether the supposed self-correcting institutional mechanisms will stabilize the systems. I have my doubts.

  43. markfromireland permalink
    December 1, 2016

    Yes it’s time to stop underestimating not just Trump but your political opponents and enemies. But as one of those opponents – and for many of you my opposition to your attitudes and actions now goes beyond mere opposition to outright enmity – I take great cheer in reading the reactions and attitudes expressed here. Based upon those attitudes and actions I begin to suspect that with even a moderate amount of luck it’ll be not one but two generations of right wingers in power.

    Quo magis in dubiis hominem spectare periclis
    convenit adversisque in rebus noscere qui sit;
    nam verae voces tum demum pectore ab imo
    eliciuntur et eripitur persona, manet res.

    You can look it up.

  44. December 1, 2016

    denique avarities et honorum … &c

  45. December 1, 2016

    lucreti “The Nature of Things” third book – with “things” being a meta-noun. I hope your not going Epicureans on us.

  46. Ché Pasa permalink
    December 1, 2016

    @ markfromireland

    Since so many of those who post here are engaged in active apologetics for Trump and his band of loyalists, I think you’re overestimating your political enemies by a wide margin.

    But if it keeps you on your guard, so be it.

  47. December 1, 2016

    Trump stands a decent chance of juicing the economy even as he chops away at is remaining underpinnings through his tax cuts. If he does so, he will be re-elected.”

    If that does happen then sadly it will likely buffer him against that bad policies decisions he makes that negatively impacts minorities and women. People tend to overlook such problems when there hopes of being gainfully employed are met

  48. Max permalink
    December 1, 2016

    Stirling Newberry

    >The older generations will give up when they have converted the last rock of coal, into the last barrel of synfuel, to drive the last SUV, to the last development, with the last super-sized order of processed food substitute to bring home to their obese kids. People need to realize that we are riding this bucket all the way down, and that only once there has been a catastrophic freeze over of the financial system, one that cannot be fixed by printing paper money for banks to sit on, then there will be change. They will never give up their suburban-industrial complex where God, “G” essential, put oil on this earth to be turned into green lawns in the land casino.

    Then puppies will fall from the sky or what?

  49. markfromireland permalink
    December 1, 2016

    Ah Stirling at times you excel yourself, not only apposite but from the same author 🙂

    Not likely I’ll ever become an epicurean, as for the most part I tend to agree with Lactantius.

  50. December 1, 2016

    >Then puppies will fall from the sky or what?

    That, is scientifically impossible. Or are you trying to be funny? If so, you need to work on your sense of humor.

    What happens at that point is things that cannot be elected or bribed occur. remember that most things that happen are a logical consequence of right person be elected or bribed. These can be labeled ” primary” effects ( the person being elected or bribed following through) or secondary effects ( people believing that the person is bribed or elected acting out of his interest, even if that is not the case) . The problem is that tertiary effects are more prone to what can be referred to as butterfly effects. Things that pile up, such as climate change, and the squeaky wheel getting too much grease.

  51. markfromireland permalink
    December 1, 2016

    @ Ché Pasa December 1, 2016

    Explaining why somebody has succeeded politically is not the same as making arguments justifying that success or their policies. It is the classic failure of left-wingers such as yourself to believe that explication and justification are the same thing and it is this fundamental failing on your parts that has led to your downfall.

    If people like you were to adopt the approach of people such of myself which asks “what is?” and follows it with the question “how can we make it better or at least prevent it from getting worse?” you would not be in the dire political straits in which you now find yourselves.

  52. December 1, 2016

    People underestimate Trump all the time. E.g., did you know that Trump was the best meditator in the world? Here’s the proof: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1592631494387017&set=a.1423480514635450.1073741829.100009205457958&type=3&theater

  53. December 1, 2016

    Avg IQ of fortune 500 CEO’s is around 124, hardly stunning…..

    The IQ’s of Fortune 500 CEOs: https://brainsize.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/the-iqs-of-fortune-500-ceos/

    OTOH, FWIW, billionaires are thought to be more intelligent:

    IQ and income: https://brainsize.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/iq-and-income/comment-page-1/

    Katherine Austin Fitts on Trump, I think in the following video, claims that many successful business people don’t do well in government:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1U4VKrCksI

  54. Ché Pasa permalink
    December 1, 2016

    @ mfi

    Ah yes, your side always tilting at phantoms, aren’t you? The so-called “left” you’re always battling with. The failed “left”. The ignorant “left”.

    What if this “left” you’re battling with isn’t left at all? Does that ever occur to you? What if it is a simulacrum, a foil as it were for the capture of government by the malefactors of great wealth and a tiny power elite who persist in governing contrary to the will of the people?

    In American politics, the furthest “left” our consideration was allowed to go was Bernie’s revival of parts of FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society with some added spice. Neither were particularly “leftist” at all.

    So keep on battling your phantoms if it makes you feel good. Meanwhile, try to understand defense of Trump and his loyalists is almost universal within the political class — despite feigned “opposition” — and is typical of many of the posts and commentary here.

  55. markfromireland permalink
    December 1, 2016

    @ Ché Pasa December 1, 2016

    As I keep on pointing a conservative European Catholic such as myself, and a conservative European Catholic who is moreover heavily involved in conservative European Catholic politics is way to the left of most of the American soi-disant “left” or “progressives” or whatever other half-assed figleaf designation they choose.

    I and people like me leave the fantasies and the windmill tilting to people like you. Which is why with the occasional brief interrruption people like me have been in power on both sides of the Atlantic for all of your lifetime.

  56. realitychecker permalink
    December 1, 2016

    @ mfi

    “Explaining why somebody has succeeded politically is not the same as making arguments justifying that success or their policies. It is the classic failure of left-wingers such as yourself to believe that explication and justification are the same thing and it is this fundamental failing on your parts that has led to your downfall.”

    Well, we disagree about a lot, but the dedicated analyst in me must give you props and big applause for the free but precious wisdom you dispensed in that comment.

    Reality has been the enemy of the left for a long time now, in many ways, so I don’t expect many to absorb the wisdom, unfortunately. It just doesn’t FEEL good to do self-examination, dontcha know? Much easier to point the finger outward and indulge in name-calling. Sigh.

  57. Ché Pasa permalink
    December 1, 2016

    @ mfi

    As a good Catholic, explain to me why you are so gleeful to see others get hurt? That’s certainly not the teaching of the Church, as you well know.

    I don’t applaud the suffering that the phony “left” inflicts on others for the benefit of their sponsors and owners, but you like so many of your ilk seem to revel in the current and coming suffering of essentially anyone who gets in the way of their New “Conservative” Masters.

    Your contempt and hate consumes you.

    You and rc seem to have a penchant for misconstruing others in order to fit them into your preconceptions and ideologies.

    Recognition of reality isn’t much of a strong suit among either of you. That failure to recognize and understand reality has undone more politicians in my lifetime than I can count, and it will almost certainly undo Mr. Trump sooner rather than later.

  58. realitychecker permalink
    December 1, 2016

    @ Che Pasa

    “You and rc seem to have a penchant for misconstruing others in order to fit them into your preconceptions and ideologies.”

    Gee, that’s really funny. Has anybody ever explained to you what projection is? Cuz you got it bad, brother.

    I know your commentary going all the way back, and I know you have a good heart, and so I want to be sympathetic to you, but you are so sloppy and fuzzy in your thinking that it can be really hard to take you seriously sometimes.

    I’m on the side of you and other minorities in principle, but when your thoughts turn overly fuzzy and speculative, or overly self-centric, I have to push back.

    Nobody wants to see you suffer, but when you are wrong-headed, it might need a rhetorical slap to make you focus better. I don’t know what else to do with you, nor does anybody else, as far as I can tell. It’s not always all about you and your special concerns, ya know? You share that shortcoming with many others here. FYI, I don’t think any of you get misconstrued more than I do, so how does that fit into your worldview? Maybe do less mindreading and more just careful reading?

    Maybe religion is part of the problem with you getting ‘misconstrued’–to me, all religion is rank superstition, so when you, e.g., castigate someone for not being a good Catholic, as you just did with mfi, I usually just smile and scroll on.

    Try getting out of your personal mindset sometimes, and try to get into the skin of others as you obviously wish others would try and get inside your skin, and you may get better results. Just sayin’ . . .

    It’s kind of weird to speak from the victim place, and yet think that your voice is the only one that is authoritative and worthy of respect. Yet, that is the clear flavor of so much commentary from you and the other minority identity players here and elsewhere.

    The left seems so much more interested in divisiveness than in unity these past few years. You should know that people like me really resent that. And it does not make us want to support you as reliably as we once did.

  59. Ché Pasa permalink
    December 1, 2016

    @rc

    Projection is your specialty.

    Here’s where you and mfi abandon “reality” altogether:

    The Democratic Party is not a left party, never has been, and yet you both conflate it with some imaginary “left” you’ve made up in your own minds and projected onto the Democratic Party and their voters. There is no reality at all in this made up construct of the Democrats, their candidates, and their office holders.

    The Democratic Party has flirted with populism from time to time, but never with leftism. The Republican Party and its immediate predecessor the Know Nothings have also been populist from time to time, but never have they been leftist. The current iteration of the Rs under Trump is more like the Know Nothings than anything the Rs have done or been since they amalgamated with the KNs more than 150 years ago.

    The Democratic Party is the oldest operational political party on earth. They have an extraordinary institutional memory. They know how to win elections up and down the ticket, everywhere around the country. Why do they lose, then? Has it occurred to you that more often than not, it’s a choice? Except that everyone, apparently including Trump, expected Hillary to win the presidency with a strong R congress and likely senate hold. It was all gamed out. A spanner was thrown in the works, and now we have to deal with that. The Democrats are going along with it with few and faint objections. Democratic pooh bahs and office holders are just as happy it is so. And like the Bourbons, they’re not about to change.

    But in your addled minds, anyone who opposes Trump or someone like him in the White House — which I absolutely do — must be someone from the mushy Democratic left you love to trash. And he will be in the White House according to you because the mushy incompetent Democratic left can’t win.

    I advise you the political left had nothing to do with it.

    It’s your own illusion. It’s not real.

    I admit my writing isn’t always as clear as I want it to be, but your reading comprehension is way below par.

  60. realitychecker permalink
    December 1, 2016

    @ Che Pasa

    As is often the case with overused labels (and we have many such), “the left” has come to mean whatever the user wants it to mean. Which means it effectively means nothing. I bemoan the confusion.

    I agree there’s never been a real left in America. I only use the term to describe those who are not “the right” (whatever the fuck one thinks that is). I have generally wished the Democratic Party would act like it belonged somewhere on the left. Don’t kid yourself that I kid myself about that. But I don’t like ideologues of any type; IMO they always depart from reality.

    For years, as you may have observed, I’ve been urging people to use regular folks vs. the corporatocracy, or regular folks vs. the Establishment. I feel either of those far more accurately reflects the power divide that counts.

    In all cases, it is regular folks with whom I associate myself. Some of those folks call themselves “”left’ and some of those folks call themselves ‘right’. I didn’t start the fire lol. But you may have noticed how often people choose to characterize me as part of some elite. I am not, and do not want to be part of any power or wealth elite. I do try to be part of the intellectual elite, which is a very different thing, and a thing that frequently gets treated by others the way Southerners used to react to a Negro who had the nerve to learn how to read. (Hey, I guess that means I can play my own version of the victim game, right?)

    (FYI, my reading test scores are too high to score. They just added a + to the highest possible score for me last time I got tested. Maybe there is another theory that might better account for the different way we look at things?)

    It’s a serious mistake to look at complex things from only one angle, amigo. 🙂

  61. realitychecker permalink
    December 1, 2016

    Let me just add, to me Trump is only to be viewed as an outsider from the usual Establishment players, which explains why every element of the Establishment was so resolutely lined up against him. As such he is a very imperfect messenger, but the only thing on the current menu that will give any indigestion to the regular players, and I think that some good will come out of that disruption. Fans of regular folks are playing from a very weak hand, and must settle for what we can get, and IMO disruption of the regular game is the best we can hope for right now.

    AND, I doubt we will ever get a POOR messenger that can take the Establishment on single-handed and win.

  62. MojaveWolf permalink
    December 2, 2016

    If you exclude the obvious trolls (or, being generous, the newly arrived DNC loyalists whose arguments I am simply failing to understand) one of the best things about this blog commentariat is that it’s one of the least groupthinky places on the internet.

    From someone not in THIS argument, just want to say you are all obviously extremely intelligent people, and all of you contribute a LOT to this blog. (yes, I know, I just got ticked at Che a couple of posts back, but hey, vive la difference or something culturally appropriative like that). And it’s good we all have each other’s very different perspectives, even if we’re filled with hurricanes of fury sometimes. As Ian (and lately Mark) like to say, it’s good to understand the opposition, though not just to defeat them but to figure out how to coexist and work with them.

    Which cheesy sentiment brings me to the first of two queries, this one for anyone who wishes to answer–I work with a lot of military, and everyone at my company but me is ex-military, and on the whole people in this particular group are more conservative than the rest of the US (tho while Trump was the most popular presidential candidate, Bernie was an EASY second with WAY more support than you would have expected from this group of people, and also a lot of respect even from Trump supporters), BUT … most groups of friends are interracial, people are more comfortable with interracial dating than anywhere else I’ve lived (this could be because I’ve been out of the dating pool since the early 90’s and things have just changed; I’m not sure), there’s a big mix of political philosophies and worldviews (you’d be surprised at how many combat vets turn peaceniks, and also surprised at how many incredibly nice people say they miss the whole shooting at and being shot at thing), and for all that, and given that the people who sign up for this branch probably tend to have the most take-no-shit temperament of all the branches … it’s really amazing how well everyone gets along with each other, for the most part.

    And I live in kind of a unique area where people of all sorts of different stripes intermix and get along with each other quite well. And . . .

    my dogs interrupted me repeatedly and being the poster child for ADD, I no longer have any memory whatsoever of where I was going with all this. It was to ask a question, for thoughts on why . . . something. Crap. I have no idea. (to the snarky, I’ve been like this since elementary school, so it’s probably not incipient dementia and definitely is not why I fail to agree with you in all things) I did think it was important though . . . it probably had something to do with both the left and right’s tendency to demonize the other, tho maybe not. I am going to give up before I bore everyone to death whilst driving myself crazy.

    Going to go ahead and post this in case anyone else can figure out something worthwhile to take from this.

  63. realitychecker permalink
    December 2, 2016

    @ Mojave Wolf

    LOL, well, let me say I think you said something of real worth in your first two paragraphs, and that’s pretty good, and I endorse and embrace those thoughts. After Firedoglake died, I searched for the best remaining progressive website, and wound up here, because Ian is really very special, and so are many who comment here. I come sometimes to teach, but always to learn as well.

    (As to your ADD, I love some people who share that, and it allows them to be very special in myriad ways, so who cares what question you forgot to ask, you’ll think of something else in a minute.) 🙂

  64. brian permalink
    December 2, 2016

    I don’t know how to describe the cognitive dissonance and the bigotry of the mainstream media combined with the global… travelers? elite? Not so much as elite, as a circle of friends that are more wealthy, who have a combined origin from multiple countries in Europe, who view as one world more than anything.

    Suck it up buttercups, ‘one world’ has hit a roadblock, and it’s called Islam, and China, and people are different, and some civilizations don’t want to get assimilated or sucked into your one world dream. The dream which is a righteous dream, and a good one, but just doesn’t make sense now.

    The left and media has lived in a system for decades where what you say, what you think, words – they matter as much as action. Now that information has.. decentralized.. to some extent this no longer is working. New ideas will come up that may even be scary, or different. But the left definitely did not fight the last fight and create a Utopia. That dream should be burned.

    What I’m wondering is how this self reflection, hypocrisy, and intellectual pseudo-blinders will end up, the echo chamber is tightening closer and closer, they push more and more outward in rage? Self destruction? Supernova? Or just fade out as the old people die and the new ones are born with fresh perspectives??? And how to avoid this ripe tide current of demagoguery, hate and bigotry and … civil war?

    Will civil war really happen? I don’t like that idea. But the color revolutions, the CIA black ops, the fermenting of otherthrow – the coup-de-tats of the neoliberal agendas for ‘democracy’ seem to be pushed when the elites see no way out and the chickens are coming home to roost. Trained a whole generation of politicians how to otherthrow nation states they deemed bad or ‘undemocratic’ etc.. Will this happen here???

  65. MojaveWolf permalink
    December 2, 2016

    @Reality Checker — heh, of the three people arguing there you are the one I’m probably closest to in political leanings (my memory tends to be impressionistic so I’m not 100% sure where anyone is; I probably agree w/Che on more than not; MFI has repeatedly stated he is conservative but I can’t recall any specifics). & yes, my thoughts tend to jump around a lot, tho not nearly as bad as when I was younger).

    Still no idea what I was gonna say earlier, but just rereading what I had there, two things:

    Why aren’t any leftists besides Bernie working more on what the working class of all stripes have in common, or things like climate change/depleted fisheries/etc that everyone of any class has in common, including those people who don’t realize it? Seriously, he & O’Malley & Tulsi seemed to be the only American politicians in 2016 who get that the other political differences won’t really matter if we screw this up, or who are willing to try and educate people on the issue instead of letting us wander blindly into doom; if you’re willing to let us wander blindly into doom to get elected, you suck and I don’t want you; if you just don’t get that this is an issue, well, you may not suck as a person but you’re probably not going to be an adequate leader or help save us from said doom, either)

    And for the second thing, interrupted overnight, and again I have no idea. Gah.

  66. realitychecker permalink
    December 2, 2016

    @ MW

    “Why aren’t any leftists . . .”

    BECAUSE: By their fruits shall you know them.

    Separate point: I’d be more cautious about Warren, amigo. After watching her rant against Trump for subscribing to the most basic rule of markets, i.e., Buy low, sell high, I am forced to think she is either monumentally stupid or monumentally dishonest.

  67. MojaveWolf permalink
    December 3, 2016

    Oh, I’m very much no longer a fan of Warren since the Massachusetts primary. And her Trump rants in general; there was plenty to critique him on but she went more towards the hysteria building. I just think that’s who the establishment faction should back for “their” candidate as someone who might be acceptable to them and a sufficient # of Berniecrats both. (emphasis on “might” re: sufficient # of Berniecrats). The people they really want are just variations of what the rest of us very much don’t want.

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