Well in eight days the voting begins in Iowa and the Sunday news talk shows feature the Donald and Bernie (not together!) putting their talking points out there for our consumption.
The Donald is back on top over Ted Cruz in the latest polls while Bernie and Hillary are neck in neck.
Trump said yesterday he “could shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue and not lose any votes.” He called his supporters extremely loyal. I might characterize it as close minded and thick headed. Kind of like a Fuehrer complex. But hey, what do I know?
This week the National Review, founded by William F, Buckley, pounded Trump with articles by a number of it’s contributing editors, movement conservatives declaring Trump as “crude,” a “boor,” “astoundingly ignorant of everything that to govern a powerful, complex, influential, and exceptional nation such as ours he would have to know,” and so on. One of the writers, Andrew McCarthy, a National Review contributing editor, expresses astonishment that Trump could not identify such figures as Hassan Nasrallah, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Trump responded by calling National Review a “dying magazine.”
Heehee. The National Review’s problem of course is that none of Trump’s supporters read National Review nor do they care what it’s “movement conservative” editors think.
IMHO we can blame John McCain for this mess.
“In 2008, Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin electrified conservatives in a way the more sober presidential nominee could not. People who paid close attention to Palin saw her as a dangerous buffoon. Anti-intellectualism was her driving impulse, as Noam Scheiber aptly demonstrated in a 2008 profile. She knew so little about public policy (she believed England was literally and not just symbolically ruled by a queen, she did not realize North and South Korea were separate countries, and so on) that the McCain campaign frantically scurried to conceal her ignorance, and some members of her team were actually prepared to publicly warn America against her before the election if they felt she had a chance to win. Despite those efforts, Palin’s crude ignorance shined through for anybody who cared to see it. But most conservatives (outside the McCain campaign) chose not to see it. They fervently defended Palin as an authentic populist beset by sinister liberal elites.”
When Palin responded to a question about the Bush Doctrine with bug-eyed incomprehension, the same Andrew McCarthy angrily dismissed the suggestion that she did not know what it was as “nonsense.”
The National Review, which once fervently supported apartheid in South Africa and lauded the creation of “Bantustans” as best for “development” of South Africa’s blacks, cannot see the “movement’s” responsibility for the creation of Trumpism”
The anti-Trump symposium in National Review will not make a whit of difference in the campaign but it is worthy of a few laughs to see the anti-intellectualism of Sarah Pallin, defended by the magazine come home to bite them in the ass.
I’ve read a number of articles lately endeavoring to explain the popularity of the Donald. A few focus on the politics of “resentment, taking back our country, making it great again.”
What does this mean? Taking it back from who?
The “rage’ on the right went big time with the election of the “Kenyan born Muslim President” and has only gotten louder since. Some writers have speculated that it is the hourly “wage earners” who are most resentful – their concerns are not voiced, their class unrepresented. Trump talks likes them; voices their opinions as if he were standing in a bowling alley with them, listening.
“Keep the Muslims out!” Carpet bomb them. Make the sand glow. Those Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers. Fat. Stupid. Ugly. Schlonged.
Unfortunately this theory falls apart when your realize his most fervent supporters are predominantly white, resentful of “elites” and anti-intellectual to the core. They are what we used to call “nativists”
Supporters of Trumpism are the creation of decades of right wing racism and anti-intellectualism. Whereas liberalism tries to apply the conclusions of science and academia to public policy, conservatism rejects those conclusions in favor of an a priori belief that more government is always wrong. . Movement conservatism rejects the conclusions of wide swaths of economists, social scientists, the entire field of climate science and thus attracts anti-intellectual candidates and supportrs. Trump will still not admit that Obama was born in Hawaii and is not a Muslim.
Still, the movement as represented by National Review doesn’t trust Trump – he is not a “true conservative”. “Most Republicans have spent the last seven years promising their own vague alternative to Obama-care that will help cover the uninsured. The difference is that, when Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio promise to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something terrific, conservatives can trust that they’re lying.
This is the rub with Trump. Conservatives fear him not because he comes across as an ignorant demagogue, but because he’s not their ignorant demagogue.”
Meanwhile Bernie keeps giving Hillary’s campaign fits. The 74 year old white haired self identified socialist Jew from Brooklyn (he is as old as me, we grew up a few miles apart and went to the crown jewels of public education in NY at the time – I went to Lafayette and he went to Madison – also just a few miles apart) is neck and neck with Clinton In Iowa and leads her in New Hampshire.
Bernie was a member of the Young Socialist League, the Congress of Racial Equality, the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and was there when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C.
Is he a “radical?” No he is not. He likes Norway and Sweden. That’s only radical by current American political standards.
And he has made in -roads with the young.
As to Trump’s nativist supporters – why wouldn’t a poor white wage slave vote for the socialist candidate? There is a choice. That would certainly be in his best interest; but somehow that might benefit the “other” as well -which he resents – so he votes for the billionaire who has driven civil discourse to a new low and couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the wage class.
He votes for a man who thinks you are poor because you are fat, stupid and lazy.
After reading this, Frank, I feel strangely glad to live in England after all.
Best wishes, Pete.
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I used to attend Caucuses in Washington State and I know how they work. They’re far easier to rig than primary elections – the party hack in charge always reports what he knows the party leaders want to hear. The corporate oligarchs will determine the outcome in Iowa – opinion polls are totally irrelevant there.
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Well if party is in charge then Cruz should edge Trump. The Des Moines Register endorsed Marco Rubio. Rubio and Cruz combined vote in polls is significantly larger than Trump’s but it seems the anti Trump establishment vote cannot get behind a single candidate. But there is still a long way to go. Regards