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Trump’s Logic Is Not Crazy

2016 November 8
by Ian Welsh

trump-logic

Okay, so this chart has been going around (though I can’t find the original source). The problem is that people have been acting as if this chart is crazy.

Three parts are just fact:

The idea that “elections are rigged” is also true. It is more true for Republicans vs. Democrats, but it is also true that the DNC rigged the primaries against Bernie Sanders and for Clinton.

I do not believe that the system cannot be fixed democratically, but the point is at least arguable. It is also noticeable that Trump is actually trying to fix it democratically.

The problem with this chart is not that it is bollocks and lies, rather, it is that much of it is true, and that only Trump is willing to say the truth. If everyone is pretending everything is fine, and only the “crazy guy” is telling the truth, a lot of people will go with the “crazy guy.”

As for only Trump being able to fix it, well, he’s the guy running, who can win, who acknowledges these problems, isn’t he?

The only bits with which I don’t agree, other than getting Trump to “fix it,” are the “crack down on Muslims, deport millions.” BUT here’s the zinger: The US has already deported millions and cracked down on Muslims. Mosques and prominent and non-prominent Muslims are under constant surveillance, and millions of Hispanics were, in fact deported by both Bush and Obama. (Obama deported more, including per year.)

As for the wall—it’s just an extension of what has already been done in places. There are already hundreds of miles of wall.

This logic isn’t crazy at all, it’s more true than Clinton’s meta-message, and it doesn’t suggest doing anything that doesn’t make sense (after a fashion) or isn’t already being done, even if I don’t agree with all of it.

People who think this logic is damning need to get their heads out of their asses.


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24 Responses
  1. November 8, 2016

    Even in Trump vs. Clinton, the specifics of policy matter much less than what narratives they validate, because the actual policy apparatus is highly inertial. Trump validates the narrative that whites qua whites are hard done by, for having made as a group what are effectively relatively minor concessions. That he may be marginally less likely to start a war (except, he doesn’t really sound like it, I think it’s mostly projection from people who dislike, justifiably, Clinton’s record) is to me less important than that he validates the types of narratives that bring about further instability while providing no solutions to the actual problems at hand. One of those narratives is majoritarian grievance, and Trump made no effort to distance himself from that — quite the contrary.

  2. Ian Welsh permalink*
    November 8, 2016

    You’re being intentionally obtuse.

    White working class Americans are seeing an absolute decline in their life spans.

    White working class males had their wages peak in 1968.

    Virtually all the gains of the last 8 years went to the top 4% of the population.

    Most whites and blacks have seen their income essentially stagnant for 30 to 40 years.

    You are so ready to bend over backwards to validate identity politics schema that you can’t actually see what is going on the world beyond those schema. Those schema have some validity, but white people exist, and they have identities and interests too, and many of them have taken it on the chin for 40 years.

    Only someone completely closed off from reality would expect them to sit there and take it and smile.

    I do not expect women to put up with sexism, or blacks with cops killing them, but you, Mandos, expect whites whose situation is stagnant or in decline, who are actually dying younger in many cases, to sit down, shut up and take it.

    That’s not going to happen. And at the end of the day, the whites still have most of the guns.

    Blind.

  3. anonone permalink
    November 8, 2016

    This is pure propaganda. All would-be dictators and con artists like Trump attract followers by mixing truth (“facts”) and basic human values in their cocktails of poisonous lies.

    You ignore millions of Sanders and Warren supporters when you write that “only Trump is willing to say the truth.”

    As a person who studies persuasion techniques and cognitive bias in decision-making, I can tell you that Trump, either deliberately or unconsciously, is a master of using both to bamboozle people into following him.

    For example, Trump is a master of using “junko logic:” Using a verifiable or believed truth to create a supposedly logical and credible relationship to something unrelated.

    In other words, because “A” is verifiabley true than “B” is also true, when “B” may not be caused by or related to “A” (or even true).

    For example, Trump might say something like “You’re here tonight [True] because only I can fix the the rigged system [False and Unrelated]. Believe me.”

    The “Believe me” at the end both distracts the brain from processing the lack of true logic in the previous statement as well as reinforcing the statement with fake credibility.

    It is truly amazing to me that you swallowed Trump’s cocktail and keep proclaiming it delicious.

  4. realitychecker permalink
    November 8, 2016

    @ Ian

    “People who think this logic is damning need to get their heads out of their asses.”

    But, Ian, what would we then do with all those empty asses? You’d just be creating a whole new class of victims, the poor oppressed empty asses.

    Empty ass lives matter? (Say it ain’t so lol.)

  5. V. Arnold permalink
    November 8, 2016

    Ian Welsh
    November 8, 2016

    I have avoided commenting on the “election” because it’s just insanity.
    However, having been part of the blue collar workforce (as a highly skilled machinist) among other things: You do have a genuine view of the middle class (what’s left of it) working U.S..
    Mandos is another story, mostly not worthy of a comment.
    The anger among this “class” of Usians is palpable; and for the first time, I see open revolt as possible, but unlikely.
    That working class has been beaten down to the point they see no way out, in fact!
    It’s going to take a wee bit more before they head to the streets…maybe.
    Frankly; I do not give a flying fuck who wins the U.S. lottery; it no longer matters…

  6. realitychecker permalink
    November 8, 2016

    @ Ian

    “You’re being intentionally obtuse.”

    Well, at least there’s one ass that will never have to experience the trauma of emptiness.

    Or of thoughtfulness.

    Mandos can’t help it; his narratives ate his memes lol.

  7. November 8, 2016

    You are so ready to bend over backwards to validate identity politics schema that you can’t actually see what is going on the world beyond those schema. Those schema have some validity, but white people exist, and they have identities and interests too, and many of them have taken it on the chin for 40 years.

    Only someone completely closed off from reality would expect them to sit there and take it and smile.

    I do not expect women to put up with sexism, or blacks with cops killing them, but you, Mandos, expect whites whose situation is stagnant or in decline, who are actually dying younger in many cases, to sit down, shut up and take it.

    The problem is that not only whites suffer from these problems, but they demand a political order that targets their interests first. I am not being “intentionally obtuse” — (some) US whites not only don’t want to “take it on the chin” (understandable), they want to not-take-it-on-the-chin in a way that allows them to let others take it on the chin.

    That aspect of it broke open in this election cycle like it never has before. And a Trump vote will likely to do very little in the time frame it has to change the dynamics of who takes it on the chin. If it did, it would be easier to accept. Instead, that aspect, the idea of preferential grievance for (some) whites, is going to be validated by it, and that is extremely dangerous either way. The validation of narratives matters.

    Something much worse is probably in the pipeline, either way. In that, I agree with you. But why actively validate a bad narrative when you don’t have to? Unless you think a Trump presidency would actually avert whatever is in the pipeline. I don’t. I think it would make it worse.

  8. V. Arnold permalink
    November 8, 2016

    Mandos
    November 8, 2016
    Something much worse is probably in the pipeline, either way. In that, I agree with you. But why actively validate a bad narrative when you don’t have to? Unless you think a Trump presidency would actually avert whatever is in the pipeline. I don’t. I think it would make it worse.

    There are no political solutions offered, period, by anybody (and maybe none possible)!!!
    This will play out in ways nobody has even considered.
    It’s going to have to explode, violence, racism; the whole enchilada of problems ignored will roar to the fore…
    The only question is when…

  9. November 8, 2016

    I remember when Goldwater was excoriated for suggesting the use of defoliants in VietNam, a practice which was being followed at the time and was followed in a major way after he was defeated; a defeat that was due, in part, to his suggestion of using defoliants.

  10. Ian Welsh permalink*
    November 8, 2016

    Sanders lost. Warren endorsed Clinton. Jill Stein has not broken 2%.

    Trump is the only one saying these things who matters right now, because he’s the one who can win.

  11. edwin permalink
    November 8, 2016

    “The problem is that not only whites suffer from these problems, but they demand a political order that targets their interests first.”

    The problem is that there is only two parties, and only one of them is making substantial offerings to poor white voters, and as a hint, it isn’t the democratic party. If the democratic party was also reaching out to poor voters with the same intensity as the republicans are reaching out to poor white voters, then we could talk about how much white identity politics was involved.

    This seems to be a recurring problem with the democratic party and its supporters – the belief that people owe it to them to vote democrat (especially the left wing).

    We can talk about what Trump and the Republican party will deliver and whether white workers would be less worse off with a Democratic government as opposed to a Republican government (I happen to believe that a Republican government would be much worse, and has been much worse.), but that is very different than who is making offers to win their votes.

    Traditionally, in electoral politics, if you want someone to vote for you, you offer them some sort of policy initiatives. It looks like the Republicans want their vote, and the Democrats think they have a right to their vote.

    Perhaps if the Democrats had something to offer to counter Trump’s call for tariffs, protection for American industry, and protection for American jobs they would have more poor white votes.

  12. anonone permalink
    November 8, 2016

    Sanders and Warren are both elected U.S. Senators. They matter.

    Trump will return to run his now tarnished businesses, and hopefully face numerous investigations for his con-games and sexual assaults.

    I sincerely hope that chants of “loser” follow him forever and whenever he appears in public.

  13. Lisa permalink
    November 8, 2016

    Oh you are right and Trump is right in saying it. And many in the US right across the political spectrum agree.

    If he had stayed on that message he would have won.

    But presidential politics is never about one issue, when he signed up with the religious and so called alt right his support evaporated. And he galvanised those Dems and independents who would have (a) not voted at all or (b) voted for Stein or ( c) even voted for Trump, to vote and work against him (holding their noses of course with few illusions about Clinton).

    Those groups included women (only 50% of the population) , LGBTI people (small but very active), people of Latin descent, POC … and all the rest.

    Worse he destroyed his credibility about such issues, because that same religious (etc) right are hard line neo-liberals and neo-conservatives too, over and above their racism, misogyny and LGBTI hatred.

    In fact one study showed the two most statistically significant predictors of someone voting for Trump was racism (no surprise) but also hostility towards women….

    When you have right wing, religious women coming out against you in public .. then you have made a real mistake as a conservative candidate.

    Snatching (predicted) defeat out of the jaws of victory in the most spectacular self destruction I have seen. Amazing stupidity. He is just lucky the Clinton campaign has been so awful and she is so hated, otherwise she’d be 15 points ahead.

  14. RJMeyers permalink
    November 8, 2016

    I noticed this quite a lot during the campaigning. Trump would state a big truth wrapped in a blizzard of lies, and all my liberal friends would attack the central truth along with the lies. Eventually, anything Trump said, no matter how true (or close to true) became a lie, or something to ridicule his supporters with.

  15. Lisa permalink
    November 8, 2016

    RJMeyers: Oh yes. From a pure technical point of view both campaigns were terrible. Incredibly amateurish and/or arrogant both of them.

  16. November 8, 2016

    I wouldn’t count him out. Still most of the USA remains to be counted. I’ve been careful to caveat every prediction, because, among other things, of the “Brexit factor”, the increasing political unpredictability. He could yet win, and we could test these predictions out.

    However, the point that he buried certain truths is a barrage of lies is a good one. So he did a very great service to those who want to discredit the truth. Moral of the story: truth alone is not enough.

  17. Anon permalink
    November 8, 2016

    The race should have never been this close and just points to Clinton being an incredibly weak candidate and divisive figure. Clinton should just be thankful her opponent was Trump. I can’t imagine her winning right now to a more seasoned politician. Trump could have won if he had not completely alienated and threatened to deport Hispanics. Now he may lose traditionally red states with a large Hispanic population.

  18. Hugh permalink
    November 8, 2016

    There is an enormous amount of legitimate discontent and anger with the system, the Establishment, and the elites. So when Trump speaks to that discontent, his message resonates, even if it isn’t terribly accurate or consistent. Even part of a vision or a slightly fractured one is better than no vision at all or pap like “Stronger together”.

    I think Trump plays off two ideas. The first is the system is rigged against you, which is true. The second is the system is rigged against me, i.e. Trump, which is about 99% false. This same system which Trump rails against is the one that provided him with the means to amass a vast private fortune infinitely out of proportion with his contributions, if any, to society, and it allowed him to indulge his egotism and thirst for public attention. Nor did it forestall him from winning the Republican nomination for President. So as a lawyer might ask, “Was it rigged against you then, when you won, or now, that is if you lost?” What Trump has been able to do fairly successfully is to wrap himself up in the correct sense that the system IS rigged against them. And if it is rigged against them, it is rigged against their candidate. It’s not like they don’t have a case. They have only to look at the shennigans of the Republican Establishment and the relentless, non-stop pile on of the media against Trump. Like so many, they see only what they want to see, and believe only what they want to believe.

    A fairer assessment of Trump would run something like this. He echoes some of the populist concerns of his followers, but if you look at what policy positions he has taken, these have been standard hardline anti-populist, pro-business conservative: cut taxes on the rich and corporations, don’t raise the minimum wage, penalize women, eliminate regulation, increase defense spending. In other words, his policy prescriptions are at odds with his populist rhetoric of bringing back good jobs.

  19. November 9, 2016

    Actually, Trump is speaking at the level of the people he is aggregating. his message is actually fairly simple – “we in the Republican Party will let you pollute.” And the people he is compiling are the white working class.

    Clintonism is dead, with only the presidency for one more term. Hillary was greedy, and now the American people are going to pay dearly for it. remember, trump does not speak that way normally – but he has a fine ear for who is audience is. the Senate is out of her reach, and therefore she will have to be bold – which is not her style at all.

    She should have gotten out. It will be 8 years, and some of us are not going to live that long.

  20. November 9, 2016

    Well it looks like I might be wrong and the US is actually going to jump off the cliff.

  21. November 9, 2016

    > Well it looks like I might be wrong and the US is actually going to jump off the cliff.

    I will tell you on the way down.

  22. Some Guy permalink
    November 9, 2016

    People want less immigration. The elite would rather burn down the whole world than back down an inch. Why?

  23. S Brennan permalink
    November 9, 2016

    =================================================
    Markfromireland – October 26, 2016

    Calm down everyone. Mandos’ record for accurate political prediction is quite simply abysmal. He’s a tone deaf political gadfly and that’s all he is. Read his stuff at all closely and you’ll see he’s already in the political dustbin.
    ===============================================

  24. markfromireland permalink
    November 9, 2016

    @Lisa November 8, 2016

    FFS have mercy upon us all and give over would you? You’re bad enough when you’re pretending to be the bastard spawn of Cassandra and Chicken Little but when you’re pretending to be Sibyl you’re even worse than Mandos. In all my years here I’ve yet to see either of you make one – just one – accurate political prediction.

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