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On Donald Trump’s Campaign for the Republican Nomination: 7

December 12, 2015 8 comments

The previous posts in this series have been about various important, but often ignored, factors behind the rather unprecedented success of Trump’s campaign for the republican presidential nomination. This post will talk about the two recent developments related to the republican nomination race. Firstly, many of you have heard that senior establishment republicans are trying to sabotage Trump’s bid for the nomination through the procedural device of a ‘brokered’ convention. Secondly, his suggestion about banning entry of Muslims into the USA has triggered a firestorm of protests from many establishment politicians and media “pundits”.

Just to be clear.. this post will not go into the numerous ethical or legal arguments and counter-arguments surrounding either proposal, because let’s face it- when was the last time a presidential candidate kept the promises they made to a majority of voters? Instead, I will talk about the blatant hypocrisy and overt cognitive dissonance that characterizes the words and actions of the supposed “professional” and “grown-up” establishment types.

So let us first tackle Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the USA. Irrespective of what you think about the proposal, it has not hurt his poll numbers. Infact, there is a lot of evidence that he is merely expressing opinions held by a large part of the republican voter base. Nor is his position on that issue that different from those held by increasingly popular right-wing political leaders in western Europe. While the idea itself might be hilariously simple-minded and counter-productive in 2015, it does have considerable appeal to a certain type of voter in western countries. In a previous post, I referred to these type of voters as “peasants” and it is no secret that they have been thoroughly (and deservedly) screwed over by the institutions and leaders they used to support. It is therefore hardly surprising that these subhuman peasants are willing to believe any barely plausible bullshit, especially if it comes out of the mouth of wannabe leaders who are not part of the now untrustworthy establishment. In that respect, the success of Donald Trump is driven by the same forces that have done so for Marine Le Pen or similar leaders in other west european countries.

But what does this have to do with the blatant hypocrisy and overt cognitive dissonance that characterizes the words and actions of the supposed “professional” and “grown-up” establishment types?

Well.. as it turns out- a lot. As many of you might remember, it was “professional” politicians and public “intellectuals” who made and supported the decisions that got us here in the first place. Who facilitated, assisted and abetted the spread of Saudi-style Islam throughout the rest of the world? Who funded and encouraged the spread and growth of Saudi-style Islam in Pakistan? Who decided that secular dictators in Muslim countries had to be overthrown or destabilized? Who funded and armed, over many decades, some of most regressive socio-religious movements in Muslim countries? Who decided that invading Iraq and Afghanistan was a good idea? Who decided to start wars that destabilized multiple countries and would result in the violent or premature death of hundreds of thousands in the middle-east? Who funded and armed groups with obviously fundamentalist religious views in that region? Who pretends that they have functional relationships with religiously radicalized countries such as Saudi Arabia, various Gulf Emirates, Egypt and now Turkey?

The very same “professional” leaders and intellectuals who are now denouncing Trump’s views as extremist were the ones who created all elements of that problem in the first place. But it gets better or more bizarre, depending on how you look at it.

Do you remember who supported redacting parts of the official 9/11 report that highlighted involvement of some Saudi princes and government officials? Do you remember the names of the geniuses who disbanded the predominately Sunni Iraqi Army in 2003 and then funded Shia death squads to hunt Sunni Arabs? Do you remember the names of the people who ran prisons like Abu Ghraib in post-2003 Iraq? What about the geniuses who invaded Afghanistan after 2001 without a clue about the power dynamics between various tribal groups in that country? Was Trump involved in making any of these really bad decisions? Is he responsible for the monumental clusterfuck called the Department of Homeland Security? Was he involved in deciding to indiscriminately spy on citizens? How come none of this surveillance prevented any serious act of religiously inspired terrorism in the USA- such as the recent San Bernardino shooting. Why do all of the supposed terrorist plots exposed by the FBI since 9/11 involve retarded or otherwise incompetent individuals.

But wait.. it gets even more fun or even more bizarre.

Since when did “professional” leaders and intellectuals start believing that it was possible to wage war in other parts of the world without any risk of retaliation? Did they really believe that all those Saudi-trained clerics preaching in Saudi-funded mosques were paragons of moderation and religious tolerance? Did they really think that labeling suspicion towards religious Muslims as “Islamophobia” would magically stop people from making the obvious association between literal belief in that religion and terrorism? Do they really expect their populations to willingly submit to the alien belief system of a visible religious minority? Then there is the issue of many supposedly mainstream politicians trying to further their own political careers with a lighter version of Trump’s rhetoric on these issues. My point is that all of the supposedly “smart” and “professional” politicians and intellectuals are (and were) just pretending to be what they claimed to be. It was only dumb luck and the willingness of the world to buy into that illusion which kept them going for decades. Circumstances change and the charade is now being confronted, exposed and dismantled. Consequently their blatant hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance can now be seen by all.

Just to be clear.. I am not suggesting that Trump is any more competent or capable than the establishment confabulaters he is currently fighting against. He just happens to be a far better creator and salesman of the product that the establishment has sold to a willing public for decades. It is therefore not surprising that the establishment is trying so hard to derail his campaign for the republican presidential nomination.

What do you think? Comments?

On Donald Trump’s Campaign for the Republican Nomination: 6

October 31, 2015 4 comments

Previous posts in this series have focused on different aspects of Trump’s remarkable, if not totally unexpected, success in the race for the 2016 republican presidential nomination. I have written about how his success is one of the many symptoms of ongoing failure in modern nation states and why presstitutes hate him so much. I have touched on how his blunt style of communication makes him appear more human than his competitors. Issues such as why he might be more interested in winning the republican nomination than the presidency have been discussed. I have also written about how modern “professional” ineffectual politicians have paved the way for Trump and others like him.

But have you ever wondered why Trump is running as a Republican? What accounts for his continuing stable popularity among those identifying with the Republican “base”? And why are those in the Republican “base” so willing to stand behind him?

First, let me be clear about one thing- I do not think that the Democrat “base” is significantly smarter than or morally superior to its Republican counterpart. They are just two groups of peasants who willingly believe in different (and mutually exclusive) sets of lies, myths and bullshit. Those who believe that Obama is anything other than a neoliberal scam artist are as willfully delusional as those who saw (and still see) Bush43 as a brave statesman defending ‘murica from those swarthy ‘evildoers’. Similarly those who see Hillary or even Bernie as the only candidates who can save the USA from itself are as willfully stupid as those who believe that electing Trump (or any one of those other faceless midgets) will make ‘murica great again.

So, why am I describing the Republican and Democrat base (faithful) as willfully delusional ‘peasants’? Why call them ‘peasants’ as opposed to small towners, provincially minded, working class, middle class or something along those lines? Why does the ‘peasant’ label best describes the core supporters of political parties (or any other large impersonal organisation) in the USA or any other country in the world.

The short answer to that question is that being a ‘peasant’ is a mindset and worldview. Possessing that particular mindset and worldview requires considerable effort by its possessors. It is this willingness to buy into and further invest in a particular mindset/worldview that distinguishes a ‘peasant’ from other similar-sounding labels based on place of residence (small towns, suburbs), occupation (farmer) or relative income levels (mostly working poor or middle class). In the past, I have written a series of posts under the general title “What I Really Think About Human Beings as a Species“. In that series, I pointed out that the lives of a majority (or significant minority) of human beings are dominated by a strong, but seldom acknowledged, desire to screw over other people. I also pointed out that many people will do so under the cover of bullshit ideologies or pleasant-sounding pretenses and even at a net loss to themselves.

That raises another question- why do so many people behave like that? Why would any person with more than half a functioning brain act against their own best interest. Conventional explanations for this behavior range from cultural brainwashing, sophisticated marketing, a lack of exposure to other worldviews to a strong belief in “religion-based morality”.. whatever that is. But what if the real answer was far more straightforward, but depressing? What if I told you that all people who “truly” believe in any religion, ideology, impersonal institution or belief system were almost completely driven by a pre-existing desire to hurt other people.

Let me explain it with a personal anecdote.. Unlike many other around me, I have been always unable to believe in anything even vaguely resembling a belief system. My skepticism towards belief extends from traditional religions and ideologies to “scientific sounding” explanations for the world around us. But why would someone with a PhD in a STEM discipline have such skepticism about scientific explanations for anything? Well.. it comes down to two types of reasons. Firstly, having studied many areas of science (and their history) in considerable detail- I am aware that the path that leads to a better understanding of the world around us is anything but straightforward. It is no secret that the history of science contains as many instances of exaggerations, half-truths, lies and instances of wishful thinking as any other conventional religion or ideology. Science has been able to progress only because it lacks an official (and “infalliable”) core book, but that issue is best left for another post.

There is however a second, and perhaps more important, reason behind my inability to believe in an external belief system.

While I have no scruples about screwing over adversaries (or their enablers) in any manner possible, I am not interested in hurting others without a reason- even it is tenuous at best. To be clear, I am no pacifist and am totally OK with screwing other or even exterminating mindless tools who have the potential to hurt me. But it all comes down to one question- How does it (or could) affect ME. I am no interest in fighting for, or helping, any impersonal group that has not benefited me in the past. Consequently, I do not need to believe in external belief systems. To put it another way, the desire to believe in an external belief system implies that you have no worthwhile hope of personal gain from believing in it.

You do not require to believe in an external ideology to act in your own best interests. But you do have to believe in an external ideology to willingly take a loss for the benefit of somebody else.

That is why religious minded ‘peasants’ who slaved for greedy and manipulative landlords would mistreat, abuse and exploit their own children than try to undermine their common exploiter. That is why ‘peasants’ have always been so willing to screw over each other even if it benefits their common exploiter. That is why ‘peasants’ go to war for their masters and risk their lives to fight against another group of ‘peasants’ they have never previously met. That is also why Irish and Scottish soldiers (‘peasants’) in the British Empire fought for it rather than against it. That is also why ‘murican peasants are so willing to fight for greedy and duplicitous assholes against people they have never met and who never posed any real threat to them. I could go on.. but you get my point.

To summarize this post- there will always be enough supporters for any potential leader who promises his followers a chance to abuse someone who appears to be weaker than them. It does not matter if this promise is implicit (Nixon, Reagan, Clinton42) or explicit (Trump). It also does not matter if the promise was made in 19th century Britain, 20th century Germany and Russia or 21st century USA. The less than uplifting reality is that a majority (or significant minority) of humans will faithfully follow any leader who promises them a chance to abuse, maim or kill somebody else- even if they do not benefit from doing so. But don’t take my word for it- read some history and look around yourself.

What do you think? Comments?

On Donald Trump’s Campaign for the Republican Nomination: 5

September 29, 2015 7 comments

In the previous post of this series, I put forth the theory that Trump’s primary goal is to win the republican nomination with the presidency being a distant secondary one. Having said that, it is clear that he would have a pretty decent chance at winning the presidency if he were to be the republican nominee.

But why do I think that Trump has a decent chance of winning the presidency? I mean.. he has still not put forth a single coherent plan for achieving anything he supposedly wants to achieve. Why do I think that his total lack of serious policy positions and commissioning of “studies” about the viability of his plans not affect his electability? How would he be able to win against supposedly “serious” and “competent” politicians such as Hillary Clinton?

Well.. it comes down to reality. In another previous post of this series, I pointed out that the terms of almost every single presidents in living memory have invariably turned out to be disastrous for everyone but the top 1% (or more precisely the top 0.1%). The ones that turned out less disastrous (2nd term of both Reagan and Clinton) did so because of factors beyond their control. In other words, there is no correlation between the supposed “experience” or “capability” of professional politicians and their actual performance- as far as the 99% or 99.9% are concerned.

But it gets worse. See.. Lyndon B. Johnson (or LBJ) was the last american president who was actually able to implement a significant percentage of his election promises- and his presidency ended in early 1969, which is now almost half a century ago. Since then, no president has been able (or willing) to fulfill even a significant percentage of their pre-election promises to the electorate. Think about it.. did Richard Nixon fulfill even a small minority of his pre-election promises? What about Jimmy Carter? What about Reagan? What about Bush 41? What about Bill Clinton? What about Bush 43? What about Obama?

My point is that, based on their post-election performance, every single president since LBJ could be considered an incompetent liar. Even worse.. they have shown themselves to be incapable of implementing even their most feasible and rational-sounding plans. A significant part of the electorate has therefore learnt to tune out anything that sounds like carefully written pre-election promises or plans. The ongoing loss of public faith in credentialed “experts” consequent to their exposure as greedy charlatans further potentiates the general loss of faith in political promises.

Trump seems to have grasped this dissonance and its peculiar correlation to authenticity. It is therefore very likely that his unwillingness to put forth detailed pre-election plans and proposals is part of a general strategy of appearing more authentic than his rivals. Even his very brief and sketchy public papers on issues such as immigration, guns and taxes are part of this strategy. The guy has a pretty good feel for how much (or how little) most voters actually care about the actual contents of long policy papers.

Trump is simply using the massive political dissonance that has built up over the last half century against the very type of people who created, and have benefited from, it by turning their own bullshit and lies against themselves.

What do you think? Comments?

On Donald Trump’s Campaign for the Republican Nomination: 4

September 26, 2015 3 comments

In the previous post of this series, I wrote about how Trump is successfully using generalized public distrust for carefully manufactured and manicured personas such as those of his competitors for the republican candidacy against them. So far he has been to knock two mainstream career politicians, Rick Perry and Scott Walker, out of the race- with very minimal effort. There is a high probability (over 90%) that Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich and Chris Christie will have to drop out within the next 2-3 months because of their incredibly poor poll numbers.

Did you notice an interesting pattern here?

Trump’s candidacy is destroying the hopes of potential republican candidates who were, or still are, governors of states. In most cases, they were able to win the gubernatorial elections more than once. Furthermore, almost every single one of them is a professional politician. Isn’t that odd? Here is another way to think about it- since 1980, only Bush 41 (one term) and Obama 44 (two terms) have won the presidential elections without being a state governor first. The first (Bush 41) was however a two-term vice-president and the later (Obama 44) won because nobody wanted to elect another republican president after Bush 43.

More curiously, republican candidates who are or have been senators such as Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are also doing poorly in polls. Remember that even Obama 44 was a first-term senator when he successfully ran for the democratic candidacy. The failure of previously successful professional politicians with significant prior national or regional stature to even dent the persona of an outsider candidate such as Donald Trump is rather unprecedented in american politics. Why are the two major purported “talent pools” for potential presidential candidates on the republican side so very dry?

Why can’t outspoken conservative politicians win over their own, admittedly semi-retarded, base?

Even somebody like Jeb Bush, who has been a long-time professional politician (and two-term governor) in addition to being the son of Bush 41 and brother of Bush 43 just can’t seem to ‘win’ over the base of his own party. While Jeb(!) might hang around in the candidacy race for longer than his less-fortunate and less-connected colleagues, it is clear that the general damage to his image is now severe enough to make his attempt at winning the presidential election unsuccessful- even if he were to somehow end up as the republican candidate.

The two supposed competitors for Trump who the media love to talk about, aka ‘Scammy’ Fiorina and ‘token black guy’ Carson, are outsiders with a big red marks in their pasts. In the case of Fiorina, her checkered past career in business (if you can call it that) has made her many enemies- and they have tons of insider dirt on her. Her public persona, beyond being a woman, also makes her a very unsympathetic person- even to white women. In the case of ‘token black guy’ Carson, his past utterances now a part of the public memory because of the ubiquity of cameras and the internet make him basically undetectable at the national level. If you don’t believe me, a simple google search for “ben carson craziest beliefs” will guide you a multitude of listicles containing his most “interesting” beliefs including the source material they were derived from.

The point I am trying to make is that Trump could potentially win the Republican nomination by simply remaining over 25 % in multiple polls for the next 3-4 months while simultaneously starving his competitors of main-stream media exposure. It is therefore no surprise that he is constantly making outrageous statements about his competitors while simultaneously picking up fights with the supposedly “objective” presstitutes who critique his every move. It is amazing what independent financial capability and the ability to manipulate the media can achieve in the age of fragmented main-stream media and the internet.

Perhaps Trump is more interested in winning the republican candidacy than the presidency. Think about it.. the former is far more likely than the latter. Regardless out the outcome of either race, he does not really have that much to lose. Either way, Trump will still remain a world-famous billionaire and real estate developer. The same cannot, however, be said for many of his competitors for the republican candidacy who will be relegated to the trash bin of history- as far as their future political ambitions are concerned.

What do you think? Comments?

On Donald Trump’s Campaign for the Republican Nomination: 3

September 13, 2015 4 comments

In the previous two posts of this series, I talked about why the current success of Trump’s campaign for the republican nomination is an almost inevitable consequence of voters seeing that professional politicians are not especially qualified for their jobs. It is also quite obvious to most voters that professional politicians are pretty incompetent at doing their jobs. It is therefore not surprising that most voters see professional politicians as marginally clever professional liars whose actions principally benefit the very wealthy minority who in turn pay to have them elected and also create cushy post-politics positions and sinecures for them.

In other words, the median person in developed countries now see professional politicians as little more than the marginally attractive mistress of rich older men who will say and do everything to keep the money flowing in their direction. It is therefore no surprise that so many have a far higher opinion of independent politicians like Trump than establishment loyalists such as Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton.

But this, by itself, does not explain why Trump can get away with saying almost anything about anybody. Many presstitutes, pundits and politicians cannot seem to figure out why insulting a supposed war hero turned politician like John McCain, a pretty white blond talking head (and body) like Megyn Kelly and pretty much anybody else who antagonizes him has no effect whatsoever on his rapidly rising public popularity. How can a politician who does not play by the rules of fake niceness and propriety so thoroughly trounce those who spent a lifetime studying and practicing those rules?

Presstitutes have put forth a variety of clever-sounding explanations to explain Trump’s ability to remain unscathed by whatever public outrage is generated by his criticism of his opponents- political or otherwise. Some attribute it to his extensive experience in reality TV. Others attribute it to his business acumen. Still others attribute it to his intuitive understanding of human psychology. But is that really the case? Can any of these theories really explain the continuous increase in public support for his candidacy?

Why doesn’t his ever-increasing support base care about the continuous stream of negative articles about him, his speeches or his tweets? Why has the progress of his campaign been so unusually gaffe-proof?

I have an explanation for this phenomena that is both rational and somewhat depressing for the perpetually positive types. It is based on a realistic look at the dynamics of contemporary human society, especially the version prevalent in USA and similar countries. A little over two years ago, I had written a post about how the dominance of an anodyne style of communication has played a major role in destroying societal trust. In that post I had said the following:

The nature of corporate communication has now become disturbingly similar to the fake biochemical signals used by metastasizing cancerous cells and viruses to use, abuse and subvert the host. But there is another dimension to this issue which makes it far more problematic in human societies. People, unlike cells, emulate and imitate strategies which are seen as successful for the individual, even if doing so destroys the social system that keeps things going. Consequently the ‘corporatese’ lies and selective truths that permeate large institutions and organisations seep into smaller versions of them and ultimately into general society. Soon almost everyone is communicating to each other with the same attitudes, mindsets and expectations as impersonal sociopathic corporations.

Another way of reading that paragraph is that we live in a society where anyone who appears to be unusually friendly, excessively polite and willing to help for “free” in the beginning is often (almost always correctly) seen as a crook, scam artist or inveterate liar or worse who is using his relative position or some aspect of the legal system to rob, scam, abuse or kill his or her unsuspecting victims. It goes without saying that societies with such high level of systemic mistrust are very brittle, unstable and well.. unlikely to last for any significant length of time (more than a few decades)- but that is a topic for another post.

Coming back to the topic at hand, it is common knowledge that the public persona of professional politicians are basically identical to those projected by corporations. Both try to portray themselves as being moral and upright persons with high ethical standards- basically an antithesis of their real selves. Both spend an unusual amount of time, effort and money in appearing professional, knowledgeable, competent, caring, altruistic and otherwise deserving of unquestioning obedience. Of course, even a cursory look at the world around you exposes these pretensions for what they really are.. clever-sounding lies to perpetuate continued exploitation.

But what does any of this have to do with Trump’s campaign being so successful and gaffe proof?

Well.. a lot. A society where almost every single conman, fraud and parasite is projecting a carefully put together persona tends to see people who don’t have such personas as being especially honest, authentic and trustworthy. This is doubly so if that person is willing to talk about issues and subjects that the “put together”-types deflect or avoid altogether. In other words, the societies in countries such as the USA are so screwed up that Trump is correctly seen as being less dishonest that somebody like Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton. It certainly helps that he was already rich enough to never have entered politics to make a living. Now contrast that to almost every single politician who is completely dependent on continued presence in the political arena for making a living. Even extremely rich and famous politicians such as Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney owe almost all of their considerable wealth to being in, or around, the political arena.

The nature of contemporary society is such that an overtly arrogant, reasonably intelligent and independently rich guy trolling the easily offended will be (correctly) seen as being far more honest and competent than people with carefully manufactured and manicured personas whose livelihood is intimately connected to continued presence in the political arena.

Will write more about this topic in upcoming posts.

What do you think? Comments?

On Donald Trump’s Campaign for the Republican Nomination: 2

September 6, 2015 4 comments

In my previous post on this topic, I had suggested that the success of Trump’s campaign so far is a symptom of a far deeper issue- namely the ongoing falling apart of the modern nation-state. Basically, the irrational and hierarchical nature of modern nation states requires the general populace to delude themselves about the actual level of competence of those who occupy its commanding heights. In other words, the modern nation state starts falling apart once people can no longer fool themselves about the actual level of competence of those in positions of power- be they “professionals” such as doctors, scientists and or pretty much any other type of credentialed “experts”.

Belief in the competence of “professional” politician-types, which seems to infest all levels of governance in modern nation states, has taken an unusually large hit within the last two decades. Some of you might say that politicians (amateur or professional) were, historically, never widely seen as honest or trustworthy- and that is true. However politicians in modern nation states, especially those that were reasonably functional, were often seen as reasonably competent and capable of making fairly rational (if often self-serving) decisions. Now, whether this apparent competence in politicians of previous generations was real or not is controversial.

There are those who point out to past politicians who were instrumental in pushing positive socio-economic changes and then there are others who see it as some combination of a rapidly growing economy and selective memory about the past. In any case, my point about the popular perception that politicians from previous eras were more competent than their present day counterparts still holds. But what does any of this have to do with the Trump campaign- beyond the obvious fact that many voters do not hold his lack of “experience” in politics against him?

Well.. as it turns out, a lot.

The largely negative reaction by main stream media, especially its talking-/writing- heads, to his campaign cannot be explained unless you start understanding the real source of their dismay. This is especially true for the figuring out why the traditionally LIEbral media outlets are more critical of his campaign than their CONservative equivalents. How do you explain the endless stream of media hit pieces about that guy by supposedly LIEbral outlets such as NYT, WP, Bloomberg or their internet equivalents such as Salon, Slate, Dailykos etc?

It just does not make sense, at least if you believe that the people behind those media pieces want a democrat candidate to win in the 2016 presidential election. The Trump campaign has, till now, done far more damage to the presidential aspirations of Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker.. and pretty much every other declared and undeclared republican candidate than it has to the presidential aspirations of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders or anyone running for the democrat candidacy. The LIEbral media outlets should, if anything, be cheering him on as he gleefully destroys the public personas of an entire generation of politicians created by the post-1980s republican political machine.

And yet, oddly enough, the strongest and most persistent criticism of his campaign comes from LIEbral presstitutes, “experts” and talking heads. So, what is going on?

There are those who believe that the LIEbral media’s strong distaste for a Trump candidacy (or presidency) has to do avoiding embarrassment on the international stage or in their daily conversations. But, is that really the case? Here is some historical perspective.. More than half of all american soldiers who died (or were severely injured) in the failed attempt at colonizing Vietnam did so after Richard Milhous Nixon became the 37th president in January 1969. However he is most remembered and despised for his role in the Watergate scandal. Similarly the main stream media still portrays the Reagan presidency in a largely positive manner though it was the starting point for many of our current problems- from growing income inequality, the “War on Drugs”, exorbitant spending on futuristic weapon systems with poor real life performance to persistent large-scale dabbling in Middle-Eastern politics.

The mainstream media is also largely silent on the role of Bill Clinton’s presidency on levels of mass incarceration, militarization of the police and financial deregulation. They are now similarly accepting of the 2000 presidential election, the invasion of Iraq, the “War on Terror”, decisions that lead to the housing bubble and financial crash of 2008. Today the mass media image of George W Bush has been normalized to that of a slightly eccentric grand-father who lives in the country, rather than as the stupid and incompetent asshole whose decisions (and indecisions) resulted in the unnecessary deaths of tens to hundreds of thousands of people. I could go about the current guy occupying that office, but you get my point. The mainstream media has been remarkably quiet about the horrendous incompetence of professional politicians who were elected to the presidential office.

So why would a Trump presidency be any worse for the USA than those of Nixon, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43 or Obama? And what makes somebody like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Scott Walker any more qualified to be the official republican candidates or get elected to office?

The answer to that question is as follows: there is no reason to suggest that a Trump presidency would be any more disastrous to the USA than any of his predecessors, or competitors for the party nomination. The other side of this answer is that lifelong “professional” politicians such as Hillary Clinton and her type on the democrat side are rather similar to their republican counterparts such as Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or Scott Walker. Consequently, a candidate who can defeat Bush, Rubio or Walker in the race for republican candidacy can do the same in the presidential race against a “professional” politician such as Hillary Clinton. As many of you know, her high unfavorability ratings make it hard for her to win against someone who is seen as a likable “outsider”.. you know like Obama in 2008.

The LIEbral media’s strong distaste for a Trump candidacy or presidency is, therefore, largely about trying to ensure a win for their “professional” politician patrons such as Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush. Those who write or make those media hit pieces have a lot to lose if their old patronage networks stop working like they used to. Presstitutes, “experts” and other assorted talking heads are primarily interested in maintaining the stability of their own income stream- preferably with the minimum of effort. They are not interested in the effects of their actions on the welfare on the general populace, who are seen as all gullible outsiders ripe for manipulation. Unfortunately for them, the combination of factors which made that a viable lifestyle in the past has largely and irreversibly dissipated.

Will write more about this topic in upcoming posts.

What do you think? Comments?

Interesting Links: May 4, 2016

May 4, 2016 1 comment

Here are links to a few interesting articles I came across recently. They are about all those “professional pundits”, “political operatives” and “credentialed experts” failed to see the rise and ultimate success of Donald Trump’s campaign for the republican presidential nomination.

Link 1: Beyond Schadenfreude, the Spectacular Pundit Failure on Trump is Worth Remembering

Trying to predict the future can be fun, which is why – from office sports pools to stock market speculation – many do it. Generally, though, people make such predictions with at least some humility: with the knowledge that they do not actually know what the future holds. But not America’s beloved political pundits. When they pronounce what the future has in store for us, it comes in the form of definitive decrees, shaped with the tone of authoritative certainty. With a few exceptions, those who purported to see the future of the 2016 GOP nomination process spent many months categorically assuring everyone that, polls notwithstanding, Donald Trump simply could not, would not, become the GOP nominee; one could spend all day posting humiliating examples, so a representative sampling will have to suffice.

Let’s acknowledge all the valid caveats: there’s nothing inherently wrong with making predictions, and everyone who tries it is going to be wrong sometimes. Moreover, though there were some exceptions, very few pundits predicted Trump’s success (though there’s a huge difference between (a) refraining from predicting or doing so with a tone of uncertainty and (b) hubristically and condescendingly “explaining” The Truth to the world about what will happen). Many factors, such as Trump’s celebrity status, made these circumstances unusual. And everyone makes mistakes in every realm.

Nonetheless, it becomes a much different type of error when one invokes one’s own claimed authority and expertise when issuing such embarrassingly wrong pronouncements, and, worse still, when the tone used is one of certainty and hubris as though the decrees are being passed down from Mount Sinai. At the very least, when a profession that touts its expertise, collectively, is this wildly wrong about something so significant, more needs to be done than a cursory, superficial acknowledgment of error – or casting blame on others – before quickly moving on, in the hope that it’s all forgotten. Some collective, introspective soul-searching is in order.

Link 2: One of the most painful lessons ever learned in finance has finally come to politics

The statistician George Box once wrote, “Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.” This is true. The failure to predict of Trump’s rise to the nomination, then, is not the fault of the work done by folks like Silver, but a manifestation of the hubris involved in trusting the party over what was happening on the ground. Trump dominated Republican polls for months, but his place in the race as a self-funded outsider who was clearly not the choice of The Party seemed entirely untenable. The incoming data was doubted all the way. The model broke. In a great tweetstorm Wednesday, former Wall Street trader Chris Arnade — who was among the slick, model-wielding upstarts to hit finance in the 1990s — broke down the problem with models, with beliefs, and why Trump’s imminent nomination is, really, a pie in the face for everybody. The success of Silver in 2008 and 2012 at the time appeared to be the triumph of math over feeling or inspiration. The classic political pundit could — still can! — anecdotally outline their case for or against a certain candidate. Silver instead brought the data to back up his view. And he was very right.

But where a Silver-style model eventually broke down this cycle was in doing what all models do: using the past to predict the future. And this is ultimately why Box’s quote endures. All models — even those that are useful and correct for long stretches — will eventually reach a point at which the current inputs no longer yield results that look anything like the past. The model’s guiding light goes dark. The model breaks. Arnade argued Wednesday that this affirms the need for on-the-ground reporting, meeting voters in real life, getting a feel for just how serious the Trump thing is by talking to people who take it seriously. Maybe this is the answer. Maybe not. But Arnade’s point is that using the model as a backstop to affirm your priors — that Trump can’t win because he’s not the party’s choice, that he’s too unserious, too racist, too inconsistent, too everything — is exactly the point at which the model begins to fail. Long-Term Capital Management thought all arbitrage opportunities would eventually revert to some efficient equilibria. Then they incurred a revision of belief, and then they were out of business.

Link 3: The Trump-ocalypse is upon us: America can’t afford to misunderstand what his nomination means

Being so wrong is a professional hazard of the dumb game of covering politics like a sports match. But it’s worth exploring more specifically why. The immense power of conventional wisdom can swamp all but the most powerful contrary evidence—evidence like, say, Trump becoming the presumptive nominee yesterday. There were lots of clear messages that the rules of the game weren’t holding, such as when, last July, Trump insulted John McCain for being captured in Vietnam and suffered zero concrete consequences. Pundits weren’t listening. Trump’s rise should not have been incomprehensible. Much available evidence has long suggested that today’s Republican Party is capable of anything. In recent years, government shutdowns became the norm, a huge fan of Ayn Rand was elevated to House Speaker, and somewhere near half of all Republicans said they believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim. Meanwhile, everything hinted that Jeb Bush’s candidacy might prove to be the very nonstarter that it was. But no matter.

Wonks typically make predictions from big data sets that are in reality drawn from presidential elections—something that, in numerical terms, have happened a very small number of times. If journalists are only good at describing what passes for normal over a few decades, journalism is not very useful at understanding reality when things get interesting. And as things have gotten more interesting, journalists have played catch up every time, from the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street to Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. It’s been clear since the financial crisis that American politics are fragmenting under the stress of enormous income inequality — toward the socialist left and, on the white right, a toxic quasi-fascist stew that conflates middle-class decline with growing racial diversity.

What do you think? Comments?

Interesting Links: Mar 2, 2016

March 2, 2016 1 comment

Here are links to a few interesting articles I came across recently. They are about the largely glossed over, but massive, systemic problems plaguing Shrillary’s campaign for winning the democratic nomination and presidency.

Link 1: Beneath Hillary Clinton’s Super Tuesday Wins, Signs of Turnout Trouble

Democratic turnout has fallen drastically since 2008, the last time the party had a contested primary, with roughly three million fewer Democrats voting in the 15 states that have held caucuses or primaries through Tuesday, according to unofficial election results tallied through Wednesday afternoon. It declined in almost every state, dropping by roughly 50 percent in Texas and 40 percent in Tennessee. In Arkansas, Alabama and Georgia, the number of Democrats voting decreased by between a quarter and a third. The falloff in Democratic primary turnout — which often reveals whether a candidate is exciting voters and attracting them to the polls — reached deep into some of the core groups of voters Mrs. Clinton must not only win in November, but turn out in large numbers. It stands in sharp contrast to the flood of energized new voters showing up at the polls to vote for Donald J. Trump in the Republican contest.

“If there is a drop-off in the surge vote in Florida, Ohio and Virginia, that is 60 electoral votes,” Mr. King said. “No one has captured the real dilemma in the 2016 election. It’s not a question of whether Hillary Clinton would get 90 percent of the black vote. The question is: 90 percent of what?” Mr. King and other Democrats said that Mr. Trump could present Democrats with the prospect of a greatly altered political and demographic map. His candidacy is helping spur higher turnout in each of the first four Republican contests, including Nevada, where Mr. Trump’s vote total by itself surpassed overall turnout in the 2012 election, setting a state record. On Super Tuesday, Republicans smashed turnout records in Massachusetts, a traditionally Democratic-leaning state, and saw huge turnouts in Virginia and Tennessee.

Link 2: Clinton’s southern ‘firewall’ of support no sure thing come general election

Does that mean Clinton is well on her way to rebuilding the Obama coalition that could take her to the White House? That’s not so clear. For Clinton’s appeal to African-American Democrats is both rooted in – and limited by – her husband’s presidency. In Georgia, where Clinton is polling between 30 and 50 points ahead of Sanders, the lopsided numbers do not tell the full story of a generational split among black voters. “Hillary Clinton has nearly 100% name recognition among African-Americans here, and additionally she enjoys the establishment blessing, which is largely the group that benefitted from her husband’s policies. They rose in affluence and prominence in his administration,” says Francys Johnson, state president of the Georgia NAACP.

Name recognition may be enough to carry Clinton convincingly through the primaries, but that will not mean much against a man who has built his business around his personal name: Donald Trump, who is campaigning against the same free trade agreements. Clinton will need to do more than just win the lion’s share of the African-American vote. Barack Obama won re-election four years ago with 93% of the black vote, 71% of the Latino vote, and 39% of the white vote. While minority turnout hit a record high, it only represented one-quarter of the total electorate. To win in the solidly Republican states of the south, Clinton will need to drive high turnout among minorities and hold a larger share of the white vote than Obama. Neither of those scenarios is clear-cut, not least with a likely opponent as unpredictable as Donald Trump.

Link 3: Hillary Clinton’s South Carolina win wasn’t as impressive as you think

And as amazing as all those numbers are, they obscure a palpable lack of enthusiasm among Democrats. For all of Sanders’s talk of leading a political revolution among the Democratic base, the actual revolution is happening in the GOP. The Democratic primary in South Carolina last Saturday saw 162,701 fewer votes than in 2008. Meanwhile, the GOP contest in the Palmetto State a week earlier saw 306,721 MORE votes than in 2008. On top of that, Republicans cast 368,391 more votes than Democrats this S.C. primary season. During the 2008 S.C. primary, 101,031 more votes were cast by Democrats than Republicans. If the party of Obama wants a third term in the White House progressive voters absolutely must turn out. Folks are kidding themselves if they think Trump’s steady march to the Republican nomination will be tripped up by his penchant for misogyny, xenophobia and racism. That’s what made him. And they would be foolish to think that he could not win the White House. He most definitely could — if Democrats stay home.

What do you think? Comments?

Interesting Links: Feb 28, 2016

February 28, 2016 3 comments

Here are links to a few interesting articles I came across recently. They are about why Hillary Clinton is very likely to lose the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump.

Link 1: With Donald Trump Looming, Should Dems Take a Huge Electability Gamble by Nominating Hillary Clinton?

A Gallup poll released this week reported that “29 percent of Americans offer a positive observation about Clinton while 51 percent express something negative.” As Gallup rather starkly put it: “Unfortunately for Clinton, the negative associations currently outnumber the positive ones by a sizable margin, and even among Democrats, the negatives are fairly high.” Sanders is, of course, a more unknown quantity, but “the public’s comments about Sanders can be summarized as 26 percent positive and 20 percent negative, with the rest categorized as neutral, other or no opinion.”

In this type of climate, why would anyone assume that a candidate who is the very embodiment of Globalist Establishment Power (see her new, shiny endorsement from Tony Blair), who is virtually drowning both personally and politically in Wall Street cash, has “electability” in her favor? Maybe one can find reasons to support a candidate like that. But in this environment, “electability” is most certainly not one of them. Has anyone made a convincing case why someone with those attributes would be a strong candidate in 2016?

Link 2: The case against Hillary Clinton: This is the disaster Democrats must avoid

Still skeptical? Consider the candidates’ favorability ratings: Sanders is the only one of the leading candidates—from either party—with a greater favorable than unfavorable rating. Hillary’s 53-percent unfavorable rating would, as Karp noted, “make her the most disliked presidential nominee in modern history.” A look at party identification is also revealing: Independents now vastly outnumber Democrats or Republicans, and among independents, Sanders is far and away the favorite. Meanwhile, as statistician Joshua Loftus notes: “Dangerously, even Donald Trump and Ted Cruz get a much greater proportion of independent voters than Clinton.”

Link 3: Unless the Democrats nominate Sanders a Trump nomination means a Trump presidency

Trump’s political dominance is highly dependent on his idiosyncratic, audacious method of campaigning. He deals almost entirely in amusing, outrageous, below-the-belt personal attacks, and is skilled at turning public discussions away from the issues and toward personalities (He/she’s a “loser,” “phony,” “nervous,” “hypocrite,” “incompetent.”) If Trump does have to speak about the issues, he makes himself sound foolish, because he doesn’t know very much. Thus he requires the media not to ask him difficult questions, and depends on his opponents’ having personal weaknesses and scandals that he can merrily, mercilessly exploit.

This campaigning style makes Hillary Clinton Donald Trump’s dream opponent. She gives him an endless amount to work with. The emails, Benghazi, Whitewater, Iraq, the Lewinsky scandal, Chinagate, Travelgate, the missing law firm records, Jeffrey Epstein, Kissinger, Marc Rich, Haiti, Clinton Foundation tax errors, Clinton Foundation conflicts of interest, “We were broke when we left the White House,” Goldman Sachs… There is enough material in Hillary Clinton’s background for Donald Trump to run with six times over.

What do you think? Comments?