Given that Trump is winning, which other views should we update?

by on February 21, 2016 at 12:49 am in Current Affairs, Education, Political Science, Uncategorized | Permalink

I asked this question to Nate Silver, but didn’t myself have a chance to address it.  Since most of us have been surprised by the rise of Trump, presumably other, broader views must be updated too.  But which ones?  I see a few options, which are not for the most part mutually exclusive:

1. Social media are more powerful than we had thought, and more powerful in politics in particular.

2. Republican voters are less conservative, less “Tea Party,” and less libertarian than many people had thought.  And the “periphery Republicans” are stronger and more numerous and more easily excited than we had thought.

3. Republican primary voters are more racist than we had thought.

4. Backlash against immigration and immigrants sets in more quickly, when middle class wages are stagnant, than we had thought.  And true cosmopolitans are hard to find.

5. The value of commanding and dominating media attention, in a year with no clear front-runner Republican candidate, is higher than we had thought.

6. Trump is more skillful at trolling and pulling levers of public opinion than we had thought.

7. Democracy is less stable than we had thought.

8. New Yorkers are more nationally marketable than we had thought.

Perhaps all of these are true, and yet Trump’s leading role still remains a fundamental surprise.  Which other hypotheses am I missing?  In any case, it is time for some updating…

Addendum: Stephens-Davidowitz has numerous good thoughts, such as:

The Black Swan view of the world makes even more sense. We wrongly think things that are different are impossible.

Charisma matters more than we thought and is hard to pin down

People REALLY HATE politicians more than we thought …

Something that is off-the-charts entertaining is hard to stop. The media has a huge incentive to keep it going.

Among others.

1 Jason Bayz February 21, 2016 at 12:55 am

Living around Blacks makes you racist? I call racist on that.

And what’s the r^2 in that corrleation? Mentally remove the line and you won’t see an obvious correlation.

2 Cliff February 21, 2016 at 1:04 am

Seriously. I think a straight horizontal line would be about as good of a fit.

3 Adrian Ratnapala February 21, 2016 at 4:37 am

To my eyeball, it looks like the line should be a bit steeper.

4 Steve Sailer February 21, 2016 at 5:32 am

If you go back to the 3-way race of 1968 in the South, Nixon carried the suburban districts where whites wanted to put Jim Crow behind them and join the modern American economy, Humphrey carried mountain and mining districts where there were few blacks, and George Wallace carried the small town districts where whites lived in close proximity to blacks and wanted to keep the governmental upper hand.

5 Ray Lopez February 21, 2016 at 9:06 am

D. Trump or G. Wallace, between the two, who would you vote for Sailer?

6 Joshua February 21, 2016 at 12:45 pm

“the small town districts where whites lived in close proximity to blacks and wanted to keep the governmental upper hand”

Or were many just against busing/various forms of forced integration?

7 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Busing was not a big issue in 1968. That’s slightly later. Also, the South has county school districts rather than municipal or quasi-municipal districts, so the problems associated with busing could be rendered less acute by spreading them around (and the integrating population less acutely troubled as well). Busing was an ugly controversy in Louisville and Boston. In the South, not so much.

8 The Original D February 22, 2016 at 1:03 am

Busing was not an issue in small towns. Black schools were generally in the same vicinity as white ones.

I entered school four years after desegregation in Georgia. My parents were part of the white flight that saw a lot of Atlantans flee to the suburbs. I was too young to notice political tension between blacks and whites and it would never have occurred to me that schools should be segregated. In fact, probably the best teacher I had in K-12 was a black woman who taught first grade. She was universally loved by parents, though she only taught in integrated schools for the last five years of her career.

However, it’s not a coincidence that the first private school in my county opened its doors the first year of desegregation. It was never very big though, with graduating classes often being fewer than 10 students.

9 anon February 21, 2016 at 1:57 am

Has Trump even mentioned Blacks in his campaign? I don’t believe he has, except for that one time when he sat down with Black pastors in a closed door meeting and they came out of it saying he was an ok guy.

So I fail to see how the tweet you linked to in #3 is relevant. Perhaps if they found a correlation between the number of Mexicans living in an area and votes for Trump, you’d have a case.

10 anon February 21, 2016 at 1:59 am

I am addressing Tyler with this comment, not Jason Bayz.

11 another anon February 21, 2016 at 9:51 am

In true Trump style, he just declared he would do more for black Americans than Barack Obama.

12 MyName February 21, 2016 at 6:03 pm

I guess you’re right. Technically dumping on a billion people in the world because of their religion is *bigotry* not *racism*. Probably have to get Tyler to revise his article.

13 Jay February 23, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Please describe how he “dumped” on them.

14 Hugh February 21, 2016 at 6:29 am

R² = 3%

15 Ed February 21, 2016 at 7:29 am

Nate Cohn had this little nugget last night: https://twitter.com/nate_cohn/status/701218930149429248

“Trump faring best in counties with a large black population (remember it’s still ~all white vtrs in those counties)”

It appears though the R^2 only comes out to 3% though.

16 EugenR February 21, 2016 at 8:18 am

You may stick to the political correctness about what people should think, yet they still will stick to what they think, and the reality is that most of the people have racist inclinations and with tribal belonging. Only the very few, with wider way looking on the reality, among them are those who contribute in this site with intelligent comments, have this wider perspective.

17 kb February 21, 2016 at 8:54 am

All of us are tribal; it’s in our genetic makeup, it allowed the human race to evolve. Commenters on MR are no exception.

18 cowboydroid February 21, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Tribalism is not what allowed the human race to evolve. It’s what allowed the human race to survive during a time when there many natural predators and hardships. Humans have evolved out of subsistence, and tribalism is no longer necessary.

19 So Much For Subtlety February 21, 2016 at 5:29 pm

Half the world is falling into violence broken down along tribal lines. Syria for instance. Those that “tribe” kill those that don’t. Tribalism is clearly necessary. The question is why do you think we should not raise a finger to protect ourselves.

20 circleglider February 21, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Tribalism may no longer be “necessary,” but it’s still part of our evolutionary baggage. And it will be for a long, long time.

21 cowboydroid February 21, 2016 at 8:58 pm

You’re exaggerating the worst parts of contemporary society. Human society is actually more peaceful and wealthier now than at any point in history, despite various localized conflicts around the world.

The given reality of our globalized economy indicates that tribalism is clearly not necessary.

The question is why do you think any two-bit government in Syria poses any threat to Americans or to the US government? They can’t even project force in their own region, much less 6,000 miles away.

22 So Much For Subtlety February 22, 2016 at 4:25 am

cowboydroid February 21, 2016 at 8:58 pm

I don’t think I am exaggerating the worst parts of contemporary society.

Tribalism is clearly not going away. Some countries like Japan can combined modernity with tribalism. The rest are committing suicide by rejecting their own right to self defense and encouraging the tribals of the world to move in.

23 science February 21, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Just so.

24 So Much For Subtlety February 21, 2016 at 9:03 am

Only the very few, with wider way looking on the reality, among them are those who contribute in this site with intelligent comments, have this wider perspective.

So the identifying mark of your tribe is that they think they are not tribal?

25 The Original D February 22, 2016 at 1:06 am

More like they’re aware of their tribal instincts and try to transcend them.

26 So Much For Subtlety February 22, 2016 at 4:32 am

More likely they need to feel superior to the plebs and so take as a mark of their tribe a sneering condescension to anyone who feels patriotic.

Someone who says that intelligence, sensitive, morally advanced people like him are superior to the Hoi Polloi because they have transcended tribalism, has not actually transcended tribalism.

27 Ray Lopez February 21, 2016 at 9:09 am

Yes, you’re right EugenR. I’m a citizen of the world and believe in mixed race marriages and mixed offspring. I and my family are in the 1% because of our unconventional thinking, but we’re the exceptions. The masses are asses, and Trump exploits this for his own gain. Fortunately, most politicians end up compromising their values when they go to DC, and Trump is an opportunist, so I don’t think he’s the next Stalin or itler.

28 ricardo February 21, 2016 at 9:55 am

“The masses are asses…” is a great line I’d never heard. The straight dope (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=198935) says it might have come from Alexander Hamilton, but the jury seems out. Also says it’s ‘a mere echo of a famous Yiddish folk saying, “der oylem iz a goylem”.’

29 Massimo February 21, 2016 at 9:54 am

Blacks voted ~93% for Obama. I don’t understand how people can look at aggressive black racial advocacy seen recently in cities and universities across the US and Obama’s career as a black race advocate or his religion of “black liberation theology” and aggressive slanted racial “equality” and aggressive affirmative action mindset and think Trump and his voters are the main racists here. Tyler Cowen is quick to defend all of that. In all seriousness, he is the bigger tribal racist.

30 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 10:46 am

“aggressive slanted racial “equality” and aggressive affirmative action mindset”

Pretty that was all in place long before Obama. Did anything new on that front come in over the last 8 years?

31 GOD ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ( ͡~ ͜ʖ ͡°) February 21, 2016 at 11:38 am

tyler cowen defends the establishment view on race/immigration etc because that is how he gets media attention. Adherence to establishment view on race/immigration etc are how you get noticed by the media (well, that is necessary but not sufficient.). The more media attention cowen gets, the more books he can sell, and the more money he makes. But the media will not give you positive attention unless you conform to multiculturalist tenets. Multiculturalism increases business profits, which increases the amount of money spent on ads in the media.

The establishment view on race/immigration, etc, i.e., multilculturalist political correctness, is how Capital grows its supply of workers and consumers, thus growing profits.

Now, as for what ideas are missing in the rise of Trump?
1. Formal education is propaganda. The american educational curriculum has been loaded up with anti-white multiculturalist propaganda. Perhaps the most important product of the american educational system is white race guilt. The establishment uses educational propaganda to create guilty whites, and they start on them young. But college is the finishing touch to the white race guilt curriculum. And if you do not go to college, then, in general, you have less white race guilt. That is why Trump’s fans are less educated, in general. College republicans like Rubio better than Trump because that way they are being “Good White People.” The educational curriculum told them from a young age that in order to be a Good White Person one must reject any taint of racism. The media calls Trump a racist, and the people who took their education seriously (and thus were more likely to go to college) flee Trump.

2. The anti-white multiculturalist propaganda can be weakened by repeated exposure to contrary evidence. Many Race-Guilted Whites (even well educated ones who have integrated the tenets of anti-white multiculturalism into their psyche) are starting to reject the tenets of anti-white multiculturalism. The grip of the tenets of anti-white multiculturalism propaganda has been weakened by events over the last few years. What events have weakened the grip of the tenets of anti-white multiculturalism propaganda? Well, white americans elected a black president to assuage their white race guilt. But it did not help. We got Trayvon/Zimmerman and Brown/Ferguson and Freddie Gray of Baltimore. And the way that the blacks and the media and the establishment behaved during these race guilt media fiascoes has de-propagandized millions of whites who were previously propagandized.
Millions of whites are starting to reject the tenets of anti-white multiculturalism because these media race guilt fiascoes were just so obviously bogus. This is similar to what happened prior to the downfall of the soviet empire. The propaganda from the empire was weakened by reality.

32 TH February 21, 2016 at 1:08 pm

Could you please repeat “anti-white multiculturalism” one more time, pretty please? It really turns me on …

33 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Why feel guilty about history? Just admit that it happened without making tired excuses or blaming the victims. You don’t even have to apologize if you’re honest enough. Admitting that the past influences the present might help too.

The goal of learning history is not to make people feel guilty, it is so that we can understand how we got where we are and not repeat the mistakes of the past.

No one ever told me not to be racist. Not once, ever. Ever. Not even remotely suggested it. Racism is learned, and a lack of racism is natural. Unless, I dunno, maybe there’s a racist gene?

No one ever taught me to like multiculturalism either. Not once, ever. Ever. Just plopped me in a school with Christians, Jews, Muslims, whites, blacks, browns, yellows, mostly white but the whole rainbow was there. No one ever said a word, they just let us do our thing. Kids left to be kids, to develop their own habits and preferences, except not to fist fight anyone, insult anyone, smoke anything or drink anything. The adults really weren’t involved, but it helped to live in an area with virtually no recent history of racism.

Question: Who is making you feel guilty? Links please. Where is this shaming propaganda for historical white guilt, except in the imagination of the white supremacists and racists?

34 Careless February 21, 2016 at 5:58 pm

Try raising a child with an unusual but not incredibly uncommon racial background (around here, Asian/white) and seeing who she makes friends with as a young child who hasn’t had any racial biases taught to her, then get back to us.

35 So Much For Subtlety February 21, 2016 at 6:03 pm

Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Why feel guilty about history?

Why not feel proud about history too? It seems you think White people should only ever feel guilty. But if they are to feel anything, collectively, about the past, why only shame? Why not pride? After all White men created the modern world.

No one ever told me not to be racist. Not once, ever. Ever. Not even remotely suggested it. Racism is learned, and a lack of racism is natural. … No one ever taught me to like multiculturalism either. Not once, ever. Ever.

Oh come off it. You are the Canadian child of two liberal arts academics. It is impossible to reconcile Canadian education with these claims. Of course every day in thousands of different ways you were told not to be racist. Of course every day in thousands of different ways you were taught to like multiculturalism. And more importantly you were taught that people who are racists or opposed to multiculturalism are the Spawn of Satan. You learned it so well you do not even notice your conditioning. Fish don’t notice water but it is there.

36 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 8:01 pm

Not sure why Tyler deleted my previous defense of myself….

” It seems you think White people should only ever feel guilty.”

Where do you get that idea? I never even remotely hinted any such thing.

” Why not pride?”

Indeed, why not? Including the pride in the strength of character to look history in the face and admit that it happened. You are that strong.

“You are the Canadian child of two liberal arts academics.”

Huh. Not even close.

” It is impossible to reconcile Canadian education with these claims.”

Respectfully, you have no idea what goes on in Canadian education, especially not that of the 1980s and 1990s. You routinely attack me for having the nerve to speak of things which I am not integrally involved in, and are very hypocritical in saying so because you routinely claim strong knowledge in things that others with more direct experience can easily see as evidence that you plain and simply don’t know. E.g., “knowing” what Muslims think about everything despite never having met one.

37 Stubbs February 21, 2016 at 12:30 pm

I’ve been wondering if there is evidence other than Trump’s comment about the Mexican illegal immigrants on which the charge of racism is based. Is there any history of racist behavior? This is not a rhetorical question.

38 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 1:26 pm

He seems pretty anti-Muslim too, which is maybe not racist as much as tribal.

39 CD February 21, 2016 at 5:21 pm

Yes, a long one, including efforts to keep black people out of his buildings, a practice inherited from his father. look up “Fred Trump” and “housing discrimination.”

40 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 8:16 pm

EH – then evaluate their credit, not their colour.

He was concerned about “character”, not rent payments.

41 Dain February 21, 2016 at 6:48 pm

Strangely, the only guy in the race with the likes of Diamond & Silk to back him on stage (http://politi.co/1oupwh4) – could you even imagine Rubio, Cruz or Jeb alongside someone like them? – is the only guy to get the left worked up intensely over alleged racism.

It’s a tribalism thing, not racism.

42 CD February 21, 2016 at 5:12 pm

1. Black people voted 90% for Al Gore, who is about as white as you can get.

2. Obama’s actual policies — stuff he has actually carried out in office, as opposed to your fantasies — are as mainstream Democratic as Gore’s. He’s another boring centrist Democrat. The problem is *your* racial panic — you see a black face, and you start imagining all kindsa scary stuff.

43 mulp February 21, 2016 at 6:13 pm

And to the right of the real world Reagan.

When has Obama had the opportunity to give the statement Reagan did on Jan 6, 1983 when unemployment was 10.8% on signing a 125% tax hike?
https://reaganlibrary.archives.gov/archives/speeches/1983/10683a.htm

Or on April 20, 1983 when Reagan signed payroll tax hike and expanded welfare benefits for tens of millions of Americans., and praised FDR for such a great big government welfare program?
https://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1983/42083a.htm

Or how about when Reagan gave amnesty to millions of illegals?
https://www.reagan.utexas.edu/archives/speeches/1986/110686a.htm

44 Sieben February 21, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Voter turnout among blacks was also much higher in 2008 and 2012 than in previous elections. http://www.electproject.org/home/voter-turnout/demographics

Black people really did go all-in on Obama.

45 Ricardo February 22, 2016 at 12:15 pm

According to the underlying CPS source, black voter turnout went from 61.4% in 2004 (when the uber-white Kerry also won 90+% of the black vote) to 69.1% in 2008 and then declined to 67.4%. So the jump between 2004 and 2008 was 7.7%. “All-in” is a bit hyperbolic. Hispanic voter turnout increased by 3.6% between 2004 and 2008.

46 MyName February 21, 2016 at 6:14 pm

Because Obama hasn’t advocated banning 1 Billion people from entering the U.S. based on their religion. Or advocated building a wall and deporting millions of people (some of whom may have accidentally been “Born in East L.A.”) based on their national origin.
Or maybe it was the endorsement by several major racist white power groups of Trump. Or possibly the decision by the entire GOP to pass laws to protect the voter rolls from mythical “foreign illegal voters” that have the side effect of “accidentally” stripping tens of thousands of poor non-white voters from the rolls. Little stuff like that. 😛

47 another anon February 21, 2016 at 9:59 am

Tyler knows how to troll his peeps, but ..Trump has said enough strange things about Mexicans and Muslims that people understand. By that I mean people say “we are not PC” to mean “sure, we are at least low degree racist.”

48 Cereal Crepe February 21, 2016 at 4:21 pm

What a strange statement. Neither Mexicans (an ethnicity most of who are of majority-European descent) nor Muslims are racial groups.

49 another anon February 21, 2016 at 5:24 pm
50 The Original D February 22, 2016 at 1:10 am

So calling someone a spic or a raghead is really just a critique of European empires and religious belief?

51 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 10:44 am

“Mentally remove the line and you won’t see an obvious correlation.” While I routinely defend the perspective that eyeballing data is often critical for pinpointing potential patterns in data …. well, that’s what statistics are for, no?

Not sure if this is an update from when you posted, but he responded that the correlation coefficient is 0.17, not enormous. He doesn’t provide any sort of confidence indicator either… perhaps your eyeballed intuition is correct…

52 Highgamma February 21, 2016 at 11:10 am

First, I love it when liberals attempt to use the scientific method to “prove” the inferiority of those they oppose. Second, unobserved heterogeneity, anyone?

53 Gimlet February 21, 2016 at 5:54 pm

Query: What are the income and education correlations for whites living in counties with larger black populations?

54 Hazel Meade February 21, 2016 at 10:19 pm

I don’t know when it suddenly became racist to want to Make America Great Again.

What makes them racist is that they continue to back a candidate who says blatantly racist things. Like claiming that Mexican immigrants are rapists, advocating banning Muslims from entering the country (even ones that are US citizens), and wanting to establish a national registry of Muslims. All of the candidates and to “Make American Great Again”. Only one of them is spouting obviously racist nonsense about immigration and Islam.

55 rich reynolds February 21, 2016 at 12:56 am

9… The ‘we’ in ‘we thought’ is smaller than ‘we’ thought…
10… The ‘we’ in ‘we thought’ has failed to birth intelligent political alternatives…

56 Different T February 21, 2016 at 9:20 am

…11… The ‘we’ in ‘we thought’ thinks ‘political will’ dominates the political status quo… 12… The ‘we’ in ‘we thought’ thinks the political status quo is able to generate and implement ‘intelligent political alternatives’

57 another anon February 21, 2016 at 10:05 am

I think rich has the sad reality. We thought that more people would engage real cognition. That, rather than hearing and discounting 1001 crazy things.

Make Mexico pay for the wall? That was early, there is no way to make real sense of it, and supporters didn’t try. They just rolled past.

58 Tom Hutchinson February 21, 2016 at 1:06 am

What the rebublican elite /old guard thinks is important isn’t.

59 Urso February 21, 2016 at 3:00 pm

This is the last conclusion any of them will draw. I’m not a fan of Trump as a candidate but I love watching the Fox News anchors and NYT editorial board alternate between fury and disbelief that they’re TELLING people who to vote for but people JUST WON’T LISTEN. Hundreds and hundreds of Pauline Kaels.

60 skeptic February 21, 2016 at 1:11 am

Tyler,
Maybe stop hanging out with/trying to cultivate favor with manlets like Ezra and Yglesias? Maybe actually spend aome time with white working class people rather than claiming Pakistani immigranta are so cool? Jesus Christ.

61 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 10:19 am

There are plenty of working class people employed at the GMU campus and, indeed, at any college campus. The faculty have superficial interactions with them which may be pleasant or maddening, but never have them as friends unless they’re a faculty spouse working a supplement-the-family-income job.

62 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 3:38 pm

“7. Democracy is less stable than we had thought.”

Regarding Ezra Klein’s Facebook video, to quote: “(Donald Trump) …is the most dangerous presidential candidate in memory.

I think the video needs more daisies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDTBnsqxZ3k

63 Hazel Meade February 21, 2016 at 9:31 pm

Maybe white working class people are racist shit-bags who need to learn a lesson.
Perhaps Trump’s brutal humiliating defeat in the general election with teach them something.

64 Hazel Meade February 21, 2016 at 10:24 pm

If so, that’s only because he’d be running against Hillary Clinton, the most openly corrupt politician in living memory.
In a normal election year, he’d be trounced.

65 Craig February 22, 2016 at 10:10 am

* Maybe white working class people are racist shit-bags who need to learn a lesson.
Perhaps Trump’s brutal humiliating defeat in the general election with teach them something.*

Yeah yeah. Blacks who voted for Obama because he would espouse pro-black policies are enlightened. Whites who vote for Trump because he would espouse pro-white policies are racist shitbags. Your attitude is the reason why someone as goofy as Trump is leading in the polls. Keep spewing.

66 Butler Reynolds February 22, 2016 at 2:14 pm

Did you ever ask yourself why Obama didn’t “evolve” on gay marriage until after he won his second term?

67 JWatts February 22, 2016 at 2:43 pm

“Maybe white working class people are racist shit-bags who need to learn a lesson. Perhaps Trump’s brutal humiliating defeat in the general election with teach them something.”

HM, you are usually a thoughtful commentator, but this post is just raw anger and emotion with no hint of rationality.

68 skeptic February 21, 2016 at 1:21 am

Tyler,
Drop the (non-liibertarian) obsession with anti-racism (= anti-white). Take a deep breath. If you were white, and identified with white group interests, what would you want?

Preliminary thoughts:
1) radically reduced immigration–fine for some smart Euros, Hindus, Jains, Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, etc. to still come here –but slow it way down and enough Latinos to say “no mas” for next 40 years
2) implementing 1) should increase demand for black labor, which should help reduce black criminality–>win, win
3) America great again

69 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 5:35 am

“anti-white” = evidence of too much exposure to white supremacist propaganda.

People should feel free to express their opposition to propagation of negative stereotypes or hateful attitudes with regard to any minority.

If I were part of any group, white/black/blue/yellow/whatever, I would want for groups to get along, not for them to become obsessed with group affiliation.

70 A Definite Beta Guy February 21, 2016 at 7:33 am

Okay, that’s not the world we actually live in. We live in the micro-aggression and affirmative action world where a large chunk of Democratic policy is perceived as anti-white.

71 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 10:05 am

If you perceive that that’s not the world we actually live in, perhaps you have been lost in some echo chambers and need to expose yourself to a greater variety of ideas, and allow yourself to challenge your deeply held assumptions?

There are ways to say “a large chunk of Democratic policy is perceived as anti-white” (and come on, affirmative action is NOT “a large chunk of Democratic policy”) without telegraphing your excessive exposure to white supremacist propaganda. E.g. “Affirmative action disproportionately benefits blacks, by design, and this negatively affects the access of disadvantaged white people to education.” That statement can reach across the divide, yours is only useful in preaching to the choir. I agree, it’s not fair, but some are fervent in the belief that the negative impacts of racism are even less fair, and that it is worth it in the interests of long-term social harmony. Obviously it is not supportive of social harmony, at least in some circles, presumably including your circles.

And yes, I know troubles with PC stuff. In a debate, one time, faced with the statement “women should benefit from affirmative action”, I accessed a large amount of government documentation via FOI (pre internet), prepared an incredible array of persuasive arguments and counterarguments, and was about as prepared as you could possibly be. I essentially argued that it was best for society if the person who has skills which are best suited to the job should be the one who gets the job. The other side basically argued, “it’s not fair, so we need positive discrimination”. I believe that affirmative action does more to perpetuate negative stereotypes, because people who ignore historical explanations will conclude that the fact of certain groups benefitting from affirmative action is proof that these groups are inferior and THAT explains why they need positive discrimination. A girl was on the other side of the argument, her arguments were unpersuasive and not particularly well communicated, but I lost the debate. I’m pretty PC in a practical sense of there being no need to be offensive, unless there is a need to be offensive, but THAT was PC bullshit (I suspect the evaluator was concerned that losing the debate on such an issue might have been bad for the confidence of the girl). Same same but different with race stuff.

Anyways, with attitudes like the ones expressed by ladderff, it is no wonder that some people easily believe that such protections are necessary. I personally favour strictly using income and region as determinants of who gets additional help, but given the reality of racism, I am certainly sympathetic with at least the objectives of affirmative action.

I promote as a solution that minority parents should be encouraged by any means (shame, cajole, whatever might work) to spend 20 minutes a night with each child helping them with their homework, with a view to instilling a culture of learning which values book knowledge and academic performance.

72 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 11:05 am

Maybe a bit. I’ve never had a lot of interaction with blacks in America, just lots in Africa, so I have basically no idea. I know that black pride can sometimes transform into racism, and that such a thing exists in America, and am utterly ignorant as to how commonplace this might be. My only interaction ever with blacks in America outside of a fast food joint or street vendors was in LA, at night at Venice Beach, going for a long walk late at night, running into about 20 black guys hanging out on some stairs, stopped for a chat and a couple smokes, and going on my merry way. I didn’t sense any sort of hatred, but I could feel that some members had an inclination towards a mugging. Of course, I wasn’t dumb enough to bring any valuables with me.

Respect is safety in much of the world, and it helps if its genuine.

73 A Definite Beta Guy February 21, 2016 at 11:25 am

Your solution is to shame minority parents to spend more time with kids. Call minority parents lazy? Racist!

I hardly agree with the basic instincts of the disenfranchised, low-class whites. I support free trade. I support reasonable immigration policies. But the Democrats are not doing any fantastic job of showing their concern with the working-class whites of Appalachia. Result: Trump.

74 TMC February 21, 2016 at 5:41 pm

“I wasn’t dumb enough to bring any valuables with me.”

Would you have even said that if the guys were white? I can see that some blacks are racist (that you deny) so that makes me a racist in your eyes, but that statement of yours sticks out worse than anything I’d say.

75 Nathan W February 22, 2016 at 8:54 pm

“Would you have even said that if the guys were white?”

Late at night in a large city, which I don’t know at all, planning to go for a very long walk. Black/blue/whatever. Doesn’t matter where you are, it would be dumb. I took the business card of the hotel so I could find my way back, a lighter and a pack of smokes. This is how I explore. If I plan to be gone long enough, I bring $10 for a snack. Except for China … because experience tells me that large cities in China are extremely safe to wander alone even at 3am (not sure for women, just don’t know).

76 Nathan W February 22, 2016 at 8:56 pm

” I can see that some blacks are racist (that you deny)”

Actually, I quite explicitly acknowledged that this is true. You are chasing shadows.

77 ladderff February 21, 2016 at 8:16 am

white supremacist, n. 1. white person who holds commonplace, commonsense opinions about immigration. 2. white person who disfavors legal privileges for (certain) non-whites. 3. white person who does not constantly, insufferably broadcast his progressive bona fides the way noted bore Nathan W does.

anti-white, adj. wait never mind Nathan assures us that this does not and can not exist and you’re a racist for asking.

You deserve all the vitriol the internet can deliver, bitch. When Dante constructed his Inferno, murderers and sadists gave way to liars, panderers, sowers of discord, etc. Hey, you asked.

78 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 9:43 am

I have nothing wrong with white people, I just don’t understand the obsession with the amount of skin melanin in your skin. Like, how the heck does that make you special?

My intuitive feeling of the matter is that it would be essentially impossible for the average intelligence of any particularly large group in the modern day to differ by more than about 1%, reflecting differential evolutionary forces over the course of the last 60,000 years or so. The reason is that there are obviously a VERY large number of genes involved. This isn’t like skin colour, which is determined by just a handful of genes, and where the obvious mechanism of vitamin D deficiency of dark-skinned people in northern latitudes constitutes a strong evolutionary factor driving towards ever-lighter skin tones. (e.g., observe that Europeans are white, Arabs and Indians are brown, and Africans are black). – if you don’t understand what that means, then you are in no position to claim any sort of knowledge on what might be going on genetically, and are probably being led around by the nose by white supremacist propaganda, which might try to shame you for not being racist (“anti-white”)

White supremacy: “White supremacy or white supremacism is a form of racism centered upon the belief, and promotion of the belief, that white people are superior in certain characteristics, traits, and attributes to people of other racial backgrounds and that therefore white people should politically, economically and socially rule non-white people.” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_supremacy – these views are extreme, not common, but perhaps you spend most of your time in some echo chamber which has deluded you into believing that it’s true.

Anyways, the main thing that you guys forget (deny? ignore? disbelieve?) about in considering evolutionary history from, say, 60,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago, is that we evolved in fairly small groups, and that the sort of dominant male you envision as a “leader” or some such thing would have ended up dead fast in such settings, as most people are not willing to tolerate such belligerence, in particular prior to more advanced civilization, where surplus implied the potential for guards and armies which could keep such a figure safe. Humans never had dominant males and harems as a general feature of development. We are not gorillas, as much as you might like to take them as inspiration on occasion.

I couldn’t care less what you think about my progressive or unprogressive ways. But you think you know things with 100% certainty which cannot at present level of knowledge be known, suggesting that you’ve basically been brainwashed. Perhaps you should have doubted daddy a little more when he fed you the racist lines about what inferior brutes non-whites are? Lost in the echo chambers for too?

Anyways, the closing your post makes a very good case for how important it is for society that disgusting views like yours are discouraged. It could not possibly lead to a world that would be broadly better to live in (and hence, in pre-history, you’d simply be dead because SOMEONE would have had enough of your BS eventually and decided it was time, and others would be broadly happy in the result). Try smiling for a change.

Hate is not happy. Try something else.

79 Different T February 21, 2016 at 9:55 am

My intuitive feeling of the matter is that it would be essentially impossible for the average intelligence of any particularly large group in the modern day to differ by more than about 1%

Highlighting this to guide the HBD bomb.

80 ladderff February 21, 2016 at 10:02 am

You’re confused. I hate you, not black/brown/other non-white people. Your characterization of my views and experiences, and those of others here, continues to be false, baseless, verbose, and bizarre in its level of imagined detail. In short, you’re a retard of some kind—are you sure you don’t suffer from receptive aphasia? It’s going to be pretty funny when you end up denouncing some Asian fellow on here for being a white supremacist because, whoops, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

81 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 10:24 am

laderff – If you’re not a white supremacist according to the more broadly accepted definition, then why on earth would you have been so bothered by what I said? “anti-white” is white supremacist propaganda. Plain and simple. However, I am aware of at least one instance where Steve Sailor used this word in an essentially non-racist a non-white supremacist manner. The hundreds of other times I’ve seen it used, it has been at white supremacist propaganda sites and in comments where the commenters revealed themselves as obvious white supremacists (the dictionary sort of definition, not the one you fabricated above).

Your anger at my comment, and your parody definition of white supremacy, is utterly inconsistent with your claims that you do not hold derogatory attitudes towards minorities (racism) definitely would appear to project evasiveness with respect to white supremacist ideology.

Where do you get your definition of “white supremacy” from?

Broaden the tribe. We are all human.

82 John February 21, 2016 at 12:36 pm

“and hence, in pre-history, you’d simply be dead because SOMEONE would have had enough of your BS eventually and decided it was time, and others would be broadly happy in the result”

Actually, in pre-history, it is exactly unloyal, group-treasonous scum like Nathan W that were the first to be killed.

As to our views being ‘discouraged’ or banned – that’s not going to happen. More and more whites will become openly racist in the future so you better get used to it, cuck.

83 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 3:22 pm

John – Subservience to group interest? Are you a communist? Or just have a firmly held ideologically belief system which is riddled with scientific and logical inconsistencies, but which you nevertheless believe with 100% certainty and regardless of which believe yourself to be exceedingly smart?

84 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 4:46 pm

It is not just self interest, but also group interest after observing tyrannical or otherwise unnecessarily harsh treatment of one’s kin by an abusive kin member, that would lead to such acts (by no means to I link this conceptually to the original message). Because, a major part of our genetic programming is that people care about people and people do not like to see other people hurt (but keep it real anyways …).

Say, you get pushed around, verbally abused, day in, day out, the resentment grows, and you see how the same negatively affects others around you because there’s this one guy who’s just a supreme asshole. Then, one night … then everything is better.

I imagine that killing assholes was not uncommon in those days (of course we are all telling fairy tales here …)

What was important was soft skills which could promote that group loyalty you were talking about. Ever spent 24/7 with someone for an entire week? How about ten years or a lifetime? The leader would have been the person with the skills to smooth over differences between group members (primitive judges and spiritual leaders, say), for example to prevent routine bickering and argumentation from spawning lethal violence between group members.

Also, I don’t know if you are fully aware of how silly you sound when you say “cuck”. I’m pretty sure that’s not just me. That was so 2014.

85 John February 21, 2016 at 5:20 pm

“Subservience to group interest?”

Read and weep, cuck.

“Also, I don’t know if you are fully aware of how silly you sound when you say “cuck”. I’m pretty sure that’s not just me. That was so 2014.”

Oh, noes, it is THE CURRENT YEAR and stating that fact is actually AN ARGUMENT. You and the Trudeau moron belong together.

“scientific and logical inconsistencies”
There is nothing logically inconsistent about evolutionary selection on a group level. There are plenty of logical inconsistencies in your evolutionary maladaptive brand of suicidal liberalism, cuck.

“I imagine that killing assholes was not uncommon in those days”

What was even more common was killing pathetic weakling cucks like you. In Sparta they were doing it right after birth.
Be grateful you are born today, in any other period in human history subhuman morons like you didn’t make it past puberty.

86 So Much For Subtlety February 21, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 9:43 am

I have nothing wrong with white people, I just don’t understand the obsession with the amount of skin melanin in your skin. Like, how the heck does that make you special?

You assume causation. But perhaps it is correlation? The fact is the evidence is strongly showing that only White make a big difference in the world. At least in the last 1000 years or so. Especially White males. This is an oddity that calls out for an explanation. Let’s agree it is unlikely to be melanin. But then what is it? You don’t get anywhere by denying the facts or pretend there isn’t a problem.

My intuitive feeling of the matter is that it would be essentially impossible for the average intelligence of any particularly large group in the modern day to differ by more than about 1%, reflecting differential evolutionary forces over the course of the last 60,000 years or so.

Sorry – we must be the same because we have evolved to be different over the last 60,000 years? The question is whether that 60,000 years is long enough for meaningful differences to have arisen. When it comes to lungs, the Tibetans prove it is more than long enough. So why would it be odd if it applied to intelligence?

What is more you miss the basic fact that actually racial groups do differ by more than 1%. A lot more. You need to explain why that is. You can’t simply pretend that there is some evidence or body of facts that agrees with you if only racists would stop preventing everyone knowing about it. The evidence is for racial differences in IQ. All the evidence.

The reason is that there are obviously a VERY large number of genes involved.

That is irrelevant. If there was a selection pressure for intelligence, it would be consistently applied across the board on all genes. A small number only helps us identify them.

we evolved in fairly small groups, and that the sort of dominant male you envision as a “leader” or some such thing would have ended up dead fast in such settings, as most people are not willing to tolerate such belligerence, in particular prior to more advanced civilization, where surplus implied the potential for guards and armies which could keep such a figure safe.

And yet the studies we have of real world groups of a similar size says otherwise. Napoleon Changnon’s study of the Yanomamo for instance showed that the good hunters and frequent killers had more wives and more children than the other males. Pretty much every other study has shown the same. Small bands were more ruthless in rewarding the Great Men than modern society is. It is Christianity’s influence that we don’t.

87 Careless February 21, 2016 at 6:28 pm

1% of the difference in intelligence between an average human and a rock seems like it would be pretty substantial

88 Nathan W February 22, 2016 at 9:29 pm

“There is nothing logically inconsistent about evolutionary selection on a group level.”

Indeed, that is true. That you are not illogical about one thing does not imply that you are therefore logical and correct about ALL other things. Case in point? That you believe yourself to have just made a strong argument. You basically just argued “here’s a logical statement, ergo all other statement we make are necessarily logical”. And these are often the very same people who wish to take hold of the reproduction of the species. Scary.

That you so easily jump from “possible” to “therefore true” does not suggest clear thinking on the matter.

“What was even more common was killing pathetic weakling cucks like you.”

OK John. Let’s see who turns to fight a gang of 20 Arabs late at night in an unknown city, who appear to be threatening to rape two attractive girls, and see whose genes get passed on (if I don’t get killed). White supremacists are notoriously assholes with a penchant for violence. Standing up to borderline brainwashed people who believe with 100% certainty things which cannot be known at current levels of knowledge is not something I would associate with being a “pathetic weakling”, although I do not doubt that you are accustomed to this and various other shaming techniques used to whip you into dogmatic consistency with your fellow white supremacists.

“Sparta…”

And observe that Sparta is an essentially irrelevant footnote in history. They got a word in the dictionary, nothing more.

“When it comes to lungs, the Tibetans prove it is more than long enough.”

Indeed. It is possible. There is a smoking gun in the Tibetan case for high altitude adaptations, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY THERE ARE ONLY A FEW SIMPLE GENES INVOLVED!!!. Where’s your smoking gun? Why would intelligence be important in Europe but not elsewhere? And … checking your first counterargument, consider that no white supremacist on the planet believes the Inuit to be the most intelligent group on the planet, which should be true according to some popular logic (they’re smart because you have to be ultra smart to survive in the north). That some people so easily jump from “possible” to “therefore it’s true” does not suggest clear thinking on the matter.

“1% of the difference in intelligence between an average human and a rock seems like it would be pretty substantial.”

Totally. I don’t see why it seems like such an estimate is minimizing anything. That’s still quite a lot. I absolutely agree with every last bit of “this is how systematic differences are possible”. But credulence regarding a ONE STANDARD DEVIATION DIFFERENCE in something as complex as intelligence does not suggest that we are speaking with people who actually have sufficient knowledge of genetics to be taken seriously – and yet, they hold their beliefs with 100% certainty, legitimizing the use of the words “white supremacist ideology” and not “white supremacist thought”.

89 John February 23, 2016 at 3:24 am

“That you so easily jump from “possible” to “therefore true” does not suggest clear thinking on the matter. ”

Read that and weep, cuck.

http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/16/3/7.html

You should be removed from the white gene pool as soon as possible. Useless, evolutionary maladaptive, unfit subhuman morons like you are the reason for our current predicament. Just do the white race a favor and kill yourself.

90 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 8:31 pm

John – a) It’s ONE study. That you see ONE study as conclusive on such a debated matter does not suggest strong ability to thoughtfully evaluate actual evidence on the matter.

b) It’s a bloody computer simulation. What kind of evidence is this supposed to be? You could rig the simulation to arrive at any old conclusion you want. Have some humility. You don’t demonstrate even peripheral knowledge of introductory statistics or genetics, and yet are sooooo sure of your views as to think they are the correct ones to drive the reproduction of the species.

I wouldn’t suggest that you should be removed from the gene pool, as you suggest I deserve, but a little education and anti-brainwashing wouldn’t hurt.

91 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 10:16 am

You do a pretty good job of arguing why people with such ideology should be firmly held far far away from any position of power or notable social influence.

Steve Sailer simply believes that many non-whites are not as genetically advanced and demonstrates essentially no evidence of having been overtly brainwashed by the white supremacist propaganda occasionally associated with such views. He does not, however, demonstrate the sorts of overtly hostile attitude which legitimize views that people who endorse violence against other groups deserve to spend time behind bars, as propagation of such views is utterly inconsistent with any sort of positive social development.

Sorry about whatever events in life that have led to you being such an angry and hostile man. It does not need to be like that. If you want to be happy, and not angry, it is possible to find a way. Being nice helps, but this does not imply that you should be a pushover.

92 Different T February 21, 2016 at 10:32 am

Steve Sailer simply believes

I imagine Sailer would strongly disagree with your assertion that his assertion is simply a “belief,” maybe he will respond to your classification of his thought.

Your “intuitive feeling of the matter,” however, certainly seems to be properly categorized as a “belief.”

And as you stated, Sailer “demonstrates essentially no evidence of having been overtly brainwashed by the white supremacist propaganda occasionally associated with such views.”

This certainly implies, at least the possibility, that you, Nathan W, require your aforementioned “belief” in order to avoid being “overtly brainwashed.”

93 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 11:35 am

Different – A belief indeed, but I say this as someone who took a fair few genetics and evolutionary biology courses at a top life sciences research university (University of Toronto), not as someone with high school level understanding that there are in principle four bases, that they come in base pairs, that DNA is a double helix, that genes produce RNA and then proteins, and that mutation of these genes occurs on occasion.

Consider rate of evolutionary drift in mitochondria (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_mitochondrial_molecular_clock), something that is useful in establishing timelines because the rate of mutations on mitochondrial DNA has been found to have a fairly stable average rate of mutation. This allows geneticists to establish, with some level of imprecision, when differentiated population groups split from each other, without having to worry about gaps in the archaeological record. Also of relevance is some understanding of the biochemical mechanisms underlying the average rate of mutation of base pairs over time (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutation_rate – if you’re interested I should be able to easily find something which explains this in more detail – if you can get a pdf of any decent molecular biology text, such as that used in 2nd or 3rd year at a good university, there should be good explanation of presently established knowledge on such mechanisms, but the underlying average mutation rate is essentially a known quantity).

I am certainly not an expert in genetics, but just as certainly I am not speaking out of ignorance here. the 1% number comes out of my butt (this was clear, no?), but given my understanding of the above, and the fact that intelligence is presumably a function of hundreds of interacting genes, this seems reasonable to me. It is nothing at all like doubling the size of your nose, which might result from minor changes to just a handful of genes.

Apologies to Steve. That is how it comes across to me, but I am not normally in the habit of speaking on behalf of other people, something I generally prefer to avoid.

I’m not easily brainwashed since I basically don’t believe anything with 100% certainty and am always open to being convinced by a preponderance of new information (but rarely opinions), a very safe attitude in hyper-politicized environments with widespread activism of diverse types, many of which playing all manner of language games, and many of which seeking to create new “truths” via innuendo, the promotion of practically superstitious beliefs, and other things which are basically … crazy to discuss.

94 Different T February 21, 2016 at 12:15 pm

Yes, it was clear that your assertion was pulled out of the air. It also seems equally clear that you chose such a number because it is statistically insignificant.

I am not a genetic researcher, either (hence the so far un-materialized attempt to call in the “HBD bomb”). However, some of the boards I read are populated with HBD’ers that quite literally are genetic scientists. And their supposed findings are not statistically insignificant. But it is flatly incorrect to state such findings lead to conclusions similar to those of “white supremacists.”

In other words, my assertion is that there exists a very real possibility that you personally “believe” the genetic heritability of certain traits (such as IQ) to be insignificant as a defense against becoming “overtly brainwashed.”

The quote from “A Few Good Men” still applies.

95 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 3:31 pm

The size of the effect has nothing to do with its statistical significance. Review your intro stats.

I never deny the possibility of sysetmatic group differences. Rather, I claim that I have never seen any study which purports evidence of systematic differences of average IQ levels which do not have obvious methodological flaws or limitations which make it impossible to drawn strong conclusions (I will read links if you post them). If someone were to say “it seems to me that maybe …” (definitely not brainwashed) as opposed to “this is a fact, see, here’s ONE study” I conclude that they are just easily persuaded by weak evidence, unless word choice demonstrates exposure to the propaganda sites.

Basically, until the actual genes involved are identified, so long as “genetic” effects are essentially equivalent to a residual (in which case they are just the sum of all unaccounted for factors, which could include a million other things), and so longer as multiple obvious social explanations also seem broadly applicable, I remain broadly unpersuaded by the literature I’ve seen. In no small part, this is to do a background in genetics which leads me to conclude “that’s a RIDICULOUSLY large difference for such a complex thing as intelligence to have led to such a evolved so rapidly in such a short period of time”. I’m not obstinate. I’ve have strong and legitimate criticisms of all studies I’ve seen to date, and cultural explanations appear obviously relevant.

96 So Much For Subtlety February 21, 2016 at 9:09 am

So when Susan Sontag referred to White Americans as the cancer of the world, you think that was not anti-White? What was it then? Pro-Asian?

But in fairness she did apologize. She said it was unfair to cancer.

97 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 10:39 am

Why not just call it plain old fashioned racist, which it appears to be?

However, she might not be thinking of it in a strictly racist sense, and instead might refer to the fact of America being associated with various invasions, the global trading system which many perceive as unfair, and other various global issues, and the fact that decisions in America are essentially driven by white people, even when the man in the White House is not white. The fact that she is very explicit in pinpointing white Americans, and not white people in general suggests that this is in fact the correct way to interpret her underlying meaning.

Here’s the problem. The word is spoiled by is extensive and regular use throughout white supremacist (traditional definition) propaganda. I have read lots of sites, twitter feeds and comments which prove that this is the case. If you don’t want to come across as a white supremacist, don’t use the word. Sorry, but that’s how the development of language works, the market on this word is too heavily cornered. Find another word. Most people who use this word are easily identifiable as white supremacists (traditional definition, not the one offered by ladderff).

98 Different T February 21, 2016 at 10:55 am

If you don’t want to come across as a white supremacist, don’t use the word. Sorry, but that’s how the development of language works, the market on this word is too heavily cornered.

Females who “believe” they are males and surgically and hormonally alter their bodies are normal and healthy.

Males who “believe” they are females and surgically and hormonally alter their bodies are normal and healthy.

And a father of multiple children who “believes” he is a 6 year old female and then finds a family of other adults who “believe” him are all normal, healthy, and responsible members of society.

Sorry conservatives, the markets on “responsible,” “healthy,” and “normal” are too heavily cornered. Find other words.

99 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 11:56 am

Point well taken, although personally I am not at all troubled as to whether someone feels that their identity is essentially opposite to their biological gender. It is strange indeed.

While it would seem stupid to have to go to such lengths, if this word truly seems like the very best way to express concerns about policies which are explicitly designed to benefit groups other than whites (I prefer “people of European descent”, but for short…), or the promotion of negative attitudes towards whites … then perhaps additional short-form clarification could be recommended, to be preferred until the word can be “captured” from those white supremacists who are essentially a short hop skip and a jump from full blown modern day Nazis. I suggest something like “economically anti-white” but I think someone else can do better. A term which captures the essentially underdog character of, I think, many people who are inclined to such rhetoric, would be additionally communicative. Do you sort of get the PC stuff now? Words matter, because word choice affects people psychologically, and can have diverse layered in meanings even for very simple terms.

Those who are essentially advocating for the non-privileged segments of the white population might do well to be careful to dissociate themselves from those who are on the verge of full blown modern day Nazism, and a failure to do so could ultimately be damaging to communicating the concerns and interests of such a cause. Certainly, many whites enjoy privilege for the fact of historical position and perhaps benefiting directly from ongoing racism (hate, negative attitudes or belief in superiority over specific groups) (and, just so no one has to say it, that others will attribute genetically determined differences in inherent ability), but it seems clear that the non-privileged segment of the white population is strongly lacking in high quality advocacy that can reach across political or racial divides to have their concerned heard clearly. The buffoon who currently represents this group certainly has demonstrated basically no ability to reach across political or racial divides to have their concerns heard. Anyways I think most expression from this group on this topic comes across very negatively, which does not exactly encourage people to listen, as people can just then write them off as “angry racists” or some such thing.

100 Different T February 21, 2016 at 12:24 pm

Do you sort of get the PC stuff now? Words matter, because word choice affects people psychologically, and can have diverse layered in meanings even for very simple terms.

It has been understood for quite some time. It is yet another example of progressives/socialists/demotists having a very clear information/knowledge advantage and using said advantage to implement their worldview.

but it seems clear that the non-privileged segment of the white population is strongly lacking in high quality advocacy that can reach across political or racial divides to have their concerned heard clearly.

But you are a believer in the progressive ideals. That all that needs to happen is better communication. You reject the idea that a very real struggle for power, control, and dominion is taking place and replace it with (more accurately, hide it under the mask of) Democracy.

Thankfully, ‘we’ are not all like you.

101 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 3:48 pm

A white supremacist might prefer the violent approach, alpha/beta male, the right of the strong to rule the weak and all … and that’s why there is criminal sanction under hate crimes for endorsing violence (in specific situations) against any member of a group for the fact of their membership in said group.

For people who are so preoccupied with the notion that results from some standardized tests, and who knows who tries how hard and why on these these, as supposed proof of genetically superior intelligence, I don’t understand aspects of white supremacist ideology which seem to think that violence is a good means to achieve political goals. If you’re all so smart, why don’t you use it? If the supposed superiority of white peoples in terms of genetic intelligence relative to others is evidence of white superiority, then why do you not defer to those who are smarter (according to the assumption that one would not seek by violence what can be obtained through discussion)? Which is it? Is intelligence the be all and end all in proving superiority over another group and therefore the right to rule, or is that just a convenient fiction to be set aside as convenient to whatever the current objectives happen to be? An alternative explanation is that white supremacist ideology is not only poorly informed, but scientifically and logically inconsistent.

No one is born that way. You can only become like that if you are taught it or learn by observing others.

102 John February 21, 2016 at 5:28 pm

“Is intelligence the be all and end all in proving superiority over another group and therefore the right to rule, or is that just a convenient fiction to be set aside as convenient to whatever the current objectives happen to be?”

Intelligence is only one factor that makes whites superior to the subhuman scum along with facial and body aesthetics, creativity and the ability to launch large-scale violence to further specific goals.
Violence is golden, cuck. It may not be the optimal answer to all problems but it’s the FINAL answer to every (social) problem as whoever commands the better ability to use violence will have the final say on what the answer will be.
Something that pathetic cucks like you with your useless ‘discussions’ and ‘communication’ will never be able to grasp. Which is why your evolutionary maladaptive genes will be removed from the gene pool, one way or the other.

103 So Much For Subtlety February 21, 2016 at 5:39 pm

Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 10:39 am

Why not call it for what it is anti-White racism? You may want to pretend it does not exist but why would anyone else? I love that you make excuses for it. Of course if she does not mean it in a strict racist sense, no one might mean anything in a strict racist sense. But that won’t stop the Left using whatever term is near to hand to push their own pet political agenda. So the Left is never guilty of racism even when they are and the Right always is even when they are not.

Although I admit it is true that White people have made the world richer, healthier, better fed and freer than ever before. She might have had some objection to this.

If you don’t want to come across as a white supremacist, don’t use the word. Sorry, but that’s how the development of language works, the market on this word is too heavily cornered.

I don’t give a damn how I come across. Why would I? This is not how the development of language works in the sense that we do not have an Academy which defines terms. People use terms as suits them. This is an accurate reasonable term and you won’t stop people using it just because it does not suit your politics to admit some people hate White people.

104 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 2:19 am

“Violence is golden, cuck. ”

Yes, definitely put these people close to power. They will rapidly and with great certainty improve the world and deliver results for things that actually mean something to people in their lives with their families and neighbours. /sarc

SMFS – as usual, your comment is a combination of accusing me of saying things that I never said and also includes some level of denial about history. Speaking factual truths about wrongs perpetrated by European descendants does not constitute racism. Wrongs. Yes, wrongs. They happened. No need to feel personally guilty, but what happened is not consistent with any sort of morality that has persisted anywhere.

Also, you suggest that all advances should be attributed to people of European descent, without considering the possibility that other people may have made such advances had Europeans not been in their dominant position during this time period. It’s kind of like the Communist Party in China taking 100% credit for all improvements in average living standards in Tibet since 1959, without considering the likelihood that much of those improvements would have occurred regardless, or that things might have even ended up even better without them.

“it does not suit your politics to admit some people hate White people”

Where did I deny that? I even explicitly said this is sometimes true. Also, I’m not sure why you’re capitalizing an adjective. White is a colour, not a culture, not a nation, not a state, or any such thing, unlike Scottish, Gaelic, Polish, Romanian, Roma, or any number of cultures. However, in my experience around the world, having travellled in some dozens of non-European countries, most non-European peoples have no special animosity to people of European descent, with the obvious exception of when they think you might be American (all those coups and civil wars sponsored by the CIA may not have done much good for American’s reputation, for some strange reason).

“People use terms as suits them.”

Sure, and if it makes you come across in a certain way, perhaps someone should let you know, just in case you don’t want to be grouped together with a bunch of mad hatter extremists who base their violence-driven world views on “research” which can be completely debunked using some combination of introductory statistics and mid-level university knowledge of genetics.

Don’t feel guilty about history. There is nothing you can do to change it, and indeed it appears that the stolen surpluses of colonial enterprise facilitated the development of things which are presently benefitting much of humanity. But refusing to acknowledge that some of it plain and simply wasn’t right, or getting angry and changing the topic or pointing fingers at someone else for unrelated issues any time someone mentions it, is the behaviour of a young child, not the behaviour of people who should be having access to any sort of influence in the world.

It was wrong. We will do better.

105 John February 23, 2016 at 7:20 am

“can be completely debunked using some combination of introductory statistics and mid-level university knowledge of genetics”

Pray tell, cuck, which part of:
a) humans are an apex predator and, in apex predators, competition between groups/flocks/whatever is the most important evolutionary dynamic
b) ethnocentric cooperation is clearly the best evolutionary strategy known to us
c) there is no evolutionary benefit for Whites in importing non-whites to the West (and every evolutionary benefit imaginable in keeping them out, throwing the ones already here out – and eventually exterminating them – the sooner the better)

I’ll wait but I’m not holding my breath. Intellectually (and physically) unfit scum like you are not known for producing meaningful and coheren arguments.

106 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 8:49 pm

Please link to sources where you purport there to be “evidence” of any of the claims that you make.

a) Lions are an apex predator. We are hunters and gatherers, and more of our calories came from women collecting berries and roots than from the hunt.

b) The study you linked to above which “proved” this belief was a computer simulation. They could have easily rigged it to arrive at any old conclusion they wanted to find. You are being led around by the nose. Think for yourself.

c) I do not purport an evolutionary benefit of “importing non-whites to the West” (in fact, they are enjoying free movement – we are not “importing” them). However, to propose some sort of degradation of the genetic pool in so doing requires blind faith in “science” which can be easily debunked using introductory statistics and mid-level undergraduate genetics.

107 another anon February 21, 2016 at 10:16 am

When your shtick is to turn examples of obvious racism into examples of an imaginary anti-white movement, you accomplish two things.

You show that you have no empathy for victims of actual racism, and you bind yourself to a white-no-sympathy group.

I personally think no-sympathy has to equate to at least mild racism, an inability to see the victim as your fellow, but YMMV.

108 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 12:24 pm

You show that you have no empathy for victims of actual racism,

The only expression of ‘actual racism’ of any consequence in this country on the part of the majority is manifested in the suburban f*** you. Now, tell me what black politicians do to combat and neutralize the suburban f*** you and to speak for the material interests of their constituents in salient ways contra the suburban f*** you? Come to think of it, what do white liberals do in this regard? Nothing, because the suburban f*** you is an impediment to flat nothing they care about other than some extra swag for their patronage networks.

109 Mark Thorson February 21, 2016 at 1:23 am

Come the general election, we’ll learn that the Democrats and Independents are a lot more racist than we thought.

110 skeptic February 21, 2016 at 1:25 am

who cares? racism/anti-racism is so 20th C.
Tribalism is back!

111 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 1:39 am

But when will the war between the sexes reclaim the headlines?

112 ns February 21, 2016 at 12:59 pm

I don’t see how its an issue of race, really.

If it was *racist* I believe that non-illegal immigration would be banned, as it was in the early 1900’s for certain racial groups. That’s not the case. At least south of the border. With the giant cartel issue to the point of a civil war, there are legitimate fear issues for illegal immigration.

For immigration of those of the Islamic religion, the three major asshole atheists in popular culture( Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Bill Mayer) seem to argue that islam tends to be a very violent religion. So its not a simple bible-thumper tribalistic issue either.

quote *He added: “It’s confused with racism. An incredible number of people think Islam is a race. “And so they think if you criticise Islam you’re being racist.”*

It doesn’t call for a total banning of migration based on that religion, but it does argue for greater amounts of caution, and perhaps more restrictions then usual. There’s very very simple ways to greatly reduce the chances of immigrants committing crime and being successful in education, such as allowing entrance for those with a good reading comprehension of the constitution and related documents.

Why is there no United Nations ran asylum state? Instead of international aid dispersed inefficiently,

113 ns February 21, 2016 at 1:03 pm

Quote by Dawkins

114 Thursday February 21, 2016 at 1:25 am

“Less conservative” defined how. It seems to me that people who care alot about the immigration issue are very conservative as defined by Jon Haidt’s three moral axes: they care alot about ingroup loyalty.

115 Steve Sailer February 21, 2016 at 2:52 am

My model is even simpler than Haidt’s: among straight white people, conservatives are the ones who have concentric loyalties, liberals are the ones who have leapfrogging loyalties.

116 Matt February 21, 2016 at 10:07 am

Presumably you’re trying to suggest that ideologies like nationalism or racism are about “concentric loyalties” because you think that makes them sound better or something. But they’re not and they make no sense characterized that way. They’re characterized by “leapfrogging loyalties” as well, just to different things than liberal ideologies, Both conservatives and liberal ideologies are about “leapfrogging loyalties”.

117 another anon February 21, 2016 at 10:21 am

You are saying “I am sympathetic to people just like me” is a lower bar than “people with different experiences.”

Actually you think the reduced view is better, contrary to millennia of progress, and the odd biblical narrative.

118 Thursday February 21, 2016 at 2:20 pm

With all due respect to Sailer, who I’ve learned more about how reality works than from than anyone else I can think of, Haidt’s explanation for political differences makes more more sense than his, which is predicated on liberalism primarily being about status jockeying. Sailer’s version doesn’t really explain why it should be these particular things that liberals and conservatives differ on. Why not compete over some other things for status. You need to explain why the groups break down the way they do.

119 Thursday February 21, 2016 at 2:21 pm
120 Thursday February 21, 2016 at 2:36 pm

Sailer: “This urge toward leapfrogging loyalties has less to do with sympathy for the poor underdog (white liberals’ traditional favorites, such as soccer and the federal government, are hardly underdogs) as it is a desire to get one up in status on people they know and don’t like.”

But why exactly do they dislike these specific people close by them? The simplest reason is that they differ on Haidt’s three conservative moral axes.

121 Steve Sailer February 21, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Personality differences that are apparent in childhood and youth?

122 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 7:15 pm

But why exactly do they dislike these specific people close by them?

Many years ago, Barry Alan Shain, then a professor at Colgate University, described his colleagues thus: people who weren’t, as youngsters, very socially adept, looking out over classrooms full of youths who are quite socially adept and better off economically than they were or are. Around the same time, Karl Zinsmeister described the some of the gulf between journalists and soldiers: the reporters were the people who as junior high school students were being stuffed into lockers by guys like the soldiers.

123 Thursday February 21, 2016 at 7:25 pm

“Personality differences that are apparent in childhood and youth?”

How does that explain anything more than Haidt’s differences in moral orientation?

124 Thursday February 21, 2016 at 7:32 pm

There are plenty of things that humans can hate each other over. Personality differences would not obviously be a candidate for making passionate enemies over, comparatively speaking. However, having different moral standards really is something to hate someones guts out over.

Besides which, liberals are more open to experience and have less conscientiousness, but otherwise vary widely in terms of personality. Again, it’s not obvious why openness and conscientiousness in particular should provoke such heated dislike.

125 Aaron J February 21, 2016 at 1:27 am

These message boards are clear evidence of #3.

126 anon February 21, 2016 at 2:17 am

There has been a change in tone of this comments section over the last three or four years. It could be a reflection of broader changes in popular opinion that has given rise to Trump. The growing success of alt right blogs like Steve Sailer’s blog over the last five years is further evidence that something fundamental is happening on the American Right.

127 Max February 21, 2016 at 5:04 am

I think this is a general change in social group behavior that is also reinforced by the general increase in tribalism and the action of the abstract state. When the state didn’t interfere as often as now many blamed themselves or locals for problems or injustices. Now every issue can be augmented to a national stage. What stayed in the local pub before is now projected on prime time media. I think this increased the polarity of all political discussion and increased doxxing on all sides.

128 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 5:51 am

The rise of eugenicist white nationalist ideologies with a scary potential to morph into American Nazism? Hard to tell without hitting the streets and talking people (I’m not in the USA), since you never know how representative the sample is online, but sometimes I wonder … perhaps Canada will have to prepare for rapid development of a nuclear arsenal to serve as a defensive deterrent in case Trump blunders his way into WWIII and Canada does not want IN? Am I sounding crazy yet? Nothing wrong in wondering about the range of black swan events that might occur …

129 anon February 21, 2016 at 6:20 pm

What evidence do you have that Trump is any more likely to start WWIII than any other politician? The people who seem intent on pissing Russia off (most of the R and D elites) seem more likely to start WWIII than Trump.

130 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 2:26 am

Because he doesn’t understand other cultures, and can press big buttons without even knowing it. For example, claiming that he will solve the North Korea issue by TELLING the Chinese what to do about it. Anyone with passing knowledge of Chinese culture understands that this virtually guarantees the opposite.

131 Massimo February 21, 2016 at 9:59 am

I’m a _long_ time reader of MR and sister site Econlog. I’ve found their intellectual thoughts on life fascinating and absolutely prided myself as non-racist. Race and mass immigration is the core issue where I find these sites completely absurd. TC will defend the most blindingly racist activity from Obama or BLM activists. The immigration bloggers make the most absurd moral arguments, “locking someone out of a nation is just as immoral as locking someone in”. I learned about Sailer from here, and he makes way more sense.

132 Ammon Bundy February 21, 2016 at 10:23 am

BLM? They still want our cattle,!

133 cowboydroid February 21, 2016 at 2:17 pm

That you find the argument of “locking someone out of a nation is just as immoral as locking someone in” to be a most absurd moral argument indicates you have dubious morals as well as a delusional perception of the state.

134 cowboydroid February 21, 2016 at 9:03 pm

Uh, no. A house is private property. A country is not the private property of a government. We’ve moved past the doctrine of The King’s Realm. The analogy does not apply even in the slightest.

Immigrants are not – by nature – invaders violating the property rights of a country’s occupants. Most of them actually pay for their housing and whatever goods and services they procure.

135 ns February 21, 2016 at 1:06 pm

Have you heard of a “South Park Republican”

Yeah, the did make an episode raping and killing Trump. But I think the guy is consistent enough with their movies “Dicks, Pussies, Assholes” philosophy on the dick-side.

136 Hazel Meade February 21, 2016 at 9:47 pm

Something fundamental is happening on both sides of the political spectrum: Bernie Sanders isn’t even a real Democrat either. And an avowed socialist could never have made it past the starting gate in the past.

From where I stand it looks like the country has gone completely insane. Everyone is simply recirculating and feeding upon their own propaganda in their separate echo chambers. Social media is full of the worst sort of mob mentality and status jockeying. The mainstream news media has turned into partisan echo chambers. And they’ve all convinced themselves that EVERYONE agrees with them. The Trump fans seriously think he will beat Hillary, and the Sanders fans think a “democratic socialist” is going to win a general election. They’re all MAD. Which ever party nominated a half-way sane candidate is going to win. Maybe this is how Michael Bloomberg gets elected as an independent. Who the fuck knows.

137 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 10:29 am

Who? Care to name names?

138 Steve Sailer February 21, 2016 at 1:31 am

One simple but often overlooked model is that times change. A major reason implied in the title of this blog: policies often run into Gossen’s First Law: diminishing marginal utility.

For example, consider the argument that mass immigration is a good idea because it brings us ethnic restaurants. I, personally, found that pretty persuasive around 1981. Immigration really did make restaurants some percentage better in 1981 than in 1971.

And they were better in 1991 than in 1981, but maybe not quite as much better as in 1981 compared to 1971. And so forth and so on.

139 charlie February 21, 2016 at 11:41 am

More evidence in that line:

Hispanic immigration is being driven less by mexicans now than central americans. And everyone knows that central america has horrible food traditions — pork and beans?

I mean, I like costa rica. Nice country. Terrible food, great fruit.

140 Brett February 21, 2016 at 1:33 am

9. Nobody cares about your past record as long as you outright deny the allegations, loudly insist on your new political views, and aggressively attack others over their beliefs. We should have learned that from Mitt Romney getting the nomination back in 2012, but I guess we didn’t – and now Trump might be doing the same thing.

10. Ground game in primary elections isn’t as important as we thought. Trump is winning off of doing a couple speeches (after which he apparently flies back to NYC every evening) and being aggressive in the debates. He didn’t even start spending a lot on his campaign until just before the primaries started.

141 Danton February 21, 2016 at 1:35 am

It’s mainly #3. Without that Trump doesnt go anywhere.

142 Aaron J February 21, 2016 at 1:47 am

“They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

Only his first speech.

143 RM February 21, 2016 at 1:40 am

1. We could transform into being being a 3rd world country faster than we ever imagined.

144 Tom West February 21, 2016 at 1:05 pm

I’m pretty certain that the USA could survive 1 term of Donald Trump.

After all, Toronto survived his north of the border equivalent, Rob Ford.

A second term, though? All bets are off.

145 Dzhaughn February 21, 2016 at 1:43 am

The Federalist Papers argue forcibly for the instability of democratic government. If it’s not what we thought, we ought to be lowered in esteem.

Rather, it is limits on governmental power that create stability.

146 circleglider February 21, 2016 at 3:32 am

The Founders wisely distrusted democracy. Unfortunately, we took their Constitution and told them to shove it. Everything else has been completely predictable.

147 cowboydroid February 21, 2016 at 2:20 pm

Actually, the problem us that their Constitution was largely accepted.

148 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 3:19 pm

Sure, the “problems” we have are because of the Constitution. /sarcasm

149 cowboydroid February 21, 2016 at 9:07 pm

You’re either not familiar with the old arguments against the Constitution, or you don’t accept them. It’s not clear from your witty sarcasm, but in either case, you’re not demonstrating a great deal of intellect by immediately dismissing them.

150 circleglider February 21, 2016 at 5:57 pm

The profoundly populist world-view of Jacksonian Americans contributes to one of the most important elements in their politics: the belief that while problems are complicated, solutions are simple. False idols are many; the True God is One. Jacksonians believe that Gordian Knots are there to be cut. In public controversies, the side that is always giving you reasons why something can’t be done, and is endlessly telling you that the popular view isn’t sufficiently “sophisticated” or “nuanced”—that is the side that doesn’t want you to know what it is doing, and it is not to be trusted. If politicians have honest intentions, they will tell you straight up what they plan to do. If it’s a good idea, you will like it as soon as they explain the whole package. For most of the other schools, “complex” is a positive term when applied either to policies or to situations; for Jacksonians it is a negative. Ronald Reagan brilliantly exploited this. As in the case of Andrew Jackson himself, Reagan’s own intuitive approach to the world led him to beliefs and policies that appealed to Jacksonian opinion right from the start.

Mead, Walter Russell. “The Jacksonian Tradition.” The National Interest. December 1999.

151 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 6:57 pm

Good post.

Also, I live just a few miles from The Hermitage.

152 cowboydroid February 21, 2016 at 9:11 pm

Those who made the original arguments against the Constitution would probably not be surprised at what they’d witness today.

The anti-federalists wisely distrusted the Constitution, predicting exactly the kind of government we currently have.

153 Dan in Euroland February 21, 2016 at 11:32 am

Dzhaugh,

Very good point. Its good to remind people (including me!) to actually internalize the Federalist Papers if they seek to understand trends in American politics.

154 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 1:46 am

I agree with many if not most of these.

I think we are witnessing a real change in the game, the Republican party is shifting (as parties sometimes do). Less elite, more populist/working class. The Rep ‘elites’ have clearly lost all control of ‘their’ party. Let’s face it the Dems are every bit as much the party of the rich, maybe more now. The old rules don’t apply.

They say it’s foolish to say “it’s different this time”, but sometimes it really IS different. If not how could things change, we don’t live like we did 50 years ago, some big things changed. The Dems will be purely the party of the elites and many minority groups, the Reps will be the middle class/lower class and working class, mostly white though. If the economy is stagnating those numbers will grow and keep the new Rep party competitive with the new elitist party for the rich the Dems. Less tax cut talk from Reps, more social and immigration and trade stuff. Pat Buchanan won just decades later.

155 Adrian Ratnapala February 21, 2016 at 4:49 am

Some shift like this is likely to happen and it’s hard to say if it will be a good or bad thing. Trump is unlikely to be the machanism though.

If he wins the nomination, he would probably loose to either democrat. If he does win the presidency then he is unlikely to implement any acutal changes — he will continue to enjoy being a showman and try to shock the media. But he will have no need to do anything else.

156 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 1:41 pm

Even if he gets nominated but loses to the Dem, my point still stands. The Rep party has clearly shifted, and their next nominee will likely be Trump-like in emphasis on working class issues and dog whistles. The change IMO is the Rep elites losing control. They aren’t getting it back.

Jeb is probably thinking “ok, Trump is a runaway train that I certainly can’t stop right now, let him have the nomination, lose to Hillary, and then the party can get back to ‘normal’ and nominate me in 2020”. I think he’s wrong.

157 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 3:28 pm

I think we’ve been seeing a shift in dynamics for the last 30 years. The Republican’s shifted towards the middle class with the Democrats representing more of the upper and lower class under Reagan. There was a shift back in the interim. The last election saw Republican’s nominate a milquetoast upper class (Romney) who failed to inspire any one. So, now you are seeing Trump move into that populist middle class protecting niche, while the Democrats position themselves as the champions of identity politics.

“The change IMO is the Rep elites losing control. They aren’t getting it back.”

If Trump wins the nomination and loses the general, the Republican elites will get another shot at it. If he wins, then they’ll be out in the cold for a decade.

158 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 3:45 pm

Your last sentences are what Jeb is thinking, for sure. It’s fascinating to watch happen right in front of us, Jeb and you may be mistaken, perhaps the elites are actually done now no matter how Trump does in the general. Then again perhaps Rubio can still win the nomination. As I’ve said before, this election cycle is the most interesting in a while.

159 djw February 21, 2016 at 7:09 pm

I mostly agree. I would add as a caveat that if Trump does not win the nomination and runs as a third party candidate then we could see the Republican party rapidly disappear and become replaced by the new party (a’la Whig –> Republican in 1854-1860) with the Democrats as the elite/minority party, and the new party as a middle class populist party.

160 Hazel Meade February 21, 2016 at 10:31 pm

That will depend on if Trump loses or not. The Republican base will eventually want to nominate someone who can actually win an election again. Right now, they’re in the grips of some horrible social-media-induced dementia. But a shocking dose of electoral reality might snap them out of it.

161 Horhe February 21, 2016 at 7:43 pm

The pattern of high and low teaming up against the middle that Steve Sailer noticed would be consecrated in party form if it pans out the way you say, with Dems becoming minority+elitists and Republicans the Middle American Radical party.

162 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 9:01 pm

But the “low” would be split: white low Reps, minority low Dems

163 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 9:02 pm

This has basically already happened. The change of 2016 is the rich realizing the Rep party is no longer a home to them.

164 Horhe February 22, 2016 at 2:26 pm

I think that White Low Reps are at least inclined to (want to) imitate not just the material aspects of middle class life, but also some of its supposed values, like education, familial stability, community engagement. They’re practically impoverished middle class, which is a very good thing for an underclass to be from the perspective of social mobility in the future. This separates them from Minority Low Dems. This also separates the historic American middle class from those in other countries – the fact that segments of it were actually better paid proletarians (auto-workers with high school education only and so on) who could take advantage of cheap real estate and job security to set themselves up as middle class. In other countries, the middle class is formed out of high specialists, professionals and what we call liberal professions (doctors, lawyers), being smaller and with bigger cultural differences from the class beneath them (including in speech patterns).

165 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 1:49 am

‘Since most of us have been surprised by the rise of Trump’ – Well, there is that Greek author called Thucydides; his unsurprise would be difficult for most here to understand, apparently.

‘Social media are more powerful than we had thought’ – Or being a media presence for decades is more powerful … wait, nope, being a (self-promoted) larger than life media figure is unsurprisingly powerful, though additional amplification through other forms of media is of course undeniable.

‘Trump is more skillful at trolling and pulling levers of public opinion than we had thought.’ – Prof. Cowen, you’re fired.

‘Democracy is less stable than we had thought.’ – Now you have time to reread Thuydides, so that is a plus.

‘New Yorkers are more nationally marketable than we had thought.’ – Bloomberg hopes so.

‘yet Trump’s leading role still remains a fundamental surprise’ – Only in the most narrow sense.

166 kb February 21, 2016 at 9:08 am

And maybe all our women will abstain from sexual relations with their man. That should fix things once the party gets started.

167 Horhe February 21, 2016 at 7:47 pm

That only works against population groups who will respect the choice won’t simply take what they want. It’s why the movie Chi-raq, which was basically Lysistrata in the Ghetto, was so funny.

168 Shane M February 21, 2016 at 1:51 am

If not Trump, I guess I wonder who “should” be winning. I think it’s likely the success of any of the republican front runners might be considered surprising.

btw, has the video of Tyler’s conversation with Nat Silver been posted anywhere? thanks,

169 The Original D February 22, 2016 at 1:41 am

Who “should” be winning? Someone with actual experience holding office.

Who was the last presidential nominee with no experience holding office? Eisenhower?

170 Alain February 21, 2016 at 2:02 am

IMO, it’s #1. We don’t have good models for how Facebook changes elections. Now that people get curated news feeds instead of news from the major media outlets things are changing and it is hard to predict how it will turn out.

If you had told me that Sanders would be the nominee, I would have bet the farm that the republican coat tails would be enormous. Right now, I don’t know if he would even lose.

I also think we haven’t correctly modeled the anger directed against the left’s political correctness or the desire of the left to confiscate wealth. Both tendencies have been within each party, but Facebook changes things. Drastically it seems.

171 Danton February 21, 2016 at 2:04 am

“Trump has said nothing racist throughout his campaign. Nothing.”

that’s great, but he does an amazing job appealing to people that are. there’s a reason a substantiel higher proportion of his voters think the south should have won, the confederate flag should be flying, muslims should be banned and whites are the superior race http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2016/02/trump-clinton-still-have-big-sc-leads.html

172 anon February 21, 2016 at 2:07 am

He won in New Hampshire by a landslide in case you hadn’t heard. This is more than a win for Southern identity.

The guy’s from NYC for God’s sake.

173 Danton February 21, 2016 at 2:43 am

“He won in New Hampshire by a landslide in case you hadn’t heard.”

yeah running 10%-points ahead of Pat Buchanan really proves that it isnt about racism

174 HL February 21, 2016 at 2:48 am

The definition of YANKEE is likely to win most southern states. Who was the last southern GOP candidate to win the presidential election? A carpet bagger Bush? Before that… ????

175 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 10:12 am

Bush (b. 1945) arrived in Texas in 1948 with his parents and has spent about 3/4 of his life as a resident thereof. During his years in the White House, he maintained a home in Texas (which he still owns) and spent at least one month of the year there. He went back to Texas after leaving office; his parents’ primary residence is in Houston. The Nixons spent their last years in an exurb of New York City, the Fords spent theirs in Palm Springs, the Carters have been in Atlanta rather than south Georgia, and Bill Clinton’s wherever he can get a bj. Laura Bush grew up in Midland and their daughters never lived anywhere else until they were college age. How does he qualify as a ‘carpetbagger’?

176 Horhe February 21, 2016 at 8:05 pm

They don’t claim Whites are the superior race (by what metric? if it’s average IQ, the East Asians and Jews have us beaten). It’s that the US, aside from the products of its original sin of slavery (who still have it better than any other Africans), was, until 1965, a fully European nation, and that the historical American nation (whose Anglo-Germanic core has endured and assimilated many others, when it was given the chance to) is being dispossessed by entitled foreigners preying on the weakness and the madness afflicting affluent Whites throughout the world. It’s that the much abused Anglo-Saxon institutions and habits that made the country successful and, ultimately, pleasant to live in, will be given the final blow by the demographic and cultural shift in the population, with little indication that what comes after will be successful or desirable. And it’s that their posterity and culture cannot endure without an exclusive homeland, where they can develop in peace and at their own pace, without living their lives like nomads staying ahead of the next Section 8 ghetto or like milk cows for every presumptuous foreigner that drops a baby there or simply produces an unchecked claim on their wealth. The people who build a country and add to it should be able to expect that they can pass it as near complete as possible to their descendants, as a form of collective property where inclusion of new owners should be done for very good reason (such as amplifying this legacy) and keeping in mind the good of the whole. Europeans are a small fraction of the world’s population, and the odds are getting worse by the day, with no intellectual mechanism being acceptable in the current ideological climate which will allow European nations to put a limit on how many economic migrants and refugees from peoples who have destroyed themselves they must take.

Or so the racists tell me. What do I know? I’m not American. Besides, shouldn’t every American citizen be able to expect, in a competitive and representative political system, that his views will be represented by a candidate or a part of the political class commensurate with the distribution of his views within the population?

John Rawls also argued for restricting immigration in his 1990s work The Law of Peoples:
“Concerning the second problem, immigration, in #4.3 I argue that an important role of government, however arbitrary a society’s boundaries may appear from a historical point of view, is to be the effective agent of a people as they take responsibility for their territory and the size of their population, as well as for maintaining the land’s environmental integrity. Unless a definite agent is given responsibility for maintaining an asset and bears the responsibility and loss for not doing so, that asset tends to deteriorate. On my account the role of the institution of property is to prevent this deterioration from occurring. In the present case, the asset is the people’s territory and its potential capacity to support them in perpetuity; and the agent is the people itself as politically organized. The perpetuity condition is crucial. People must recognize that they cannot make up for failing to regulate their numbers or to care for their land by conquest in war, or by migrating into another people’s territory without their consent”

177 anon February 21, 2016 at 2:05 am

#9 White Americans share more of an ethnic affiliation than previously thought. This group has felt threatened by eight years of President Obama, mass immigration, and so on. This group is now reacting very forcefully to perceived threats by voting for the one candidate who speaks very rawly about these fears. Simple.

178 HL February 21, 2016 at 2:50 am

Right now white solidarity is held back by fat bellies and tolerable 401k’s. If the economy were to falter again, all bets are off.

179 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 3:31 pm

“…and tolerable 401k’s.”

Really? Do most people feel that’s the case?

180 Chip February 21, 2016 at 3:46 am

Not sure whites feel threatened as a race so much as they want to control the border and be concerned about radical Islam without being called racists.

An incredible amount of discourse in the country has been shut down by political correctness. The White House won’t talk about Islamic terrorism. Neither party will enforce basic border controls that countries like Canada and Australia do without question.

There’s politically correct lunacy shutting down debate and Trump is popping the balloon. The anti PC anger is so great they are willing to ignore the fact that he’s a liberal.

Americans aren’t stupid. They’ve created and nurtured the worlds freest and most dynamic economy and culture. And they’re tired of being told they’re hateful and stupid.

181 So Much For Subtlety February 21, 2016 at 4:26 am

This sounds about right.

White America voted for Obama. Despite that, racial differences were not healed but rather the Dems doubled down – increasing their hysterical claims of White racism. A significant percentage of them are not willing to play that game any more when they are insulted whatever they do.

Civil discourse is breaking down. The Left has used cries of racism to destroy careers and Whites have gone along with that. But the Left has cried racism and sexism and whateverism too often. It is not working because a lot of people are not listening. Trump doesn’t care what the media says. His supporters love him for it. It means Left and Right can no longer agree on what is acceptable and what is not.

182 Massimo February 21, 2016 at 10:18 am

brilliant

183 Steve Sailer February 21, 2016 at 4:30 am

The Revolt of the Comedians — people like Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock speaking up against political correctness — over the last couple of years is not insignificant in explaining Trump’s appeal.

184 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 6:13 am

“An incredible amount of discourse in the country has been shut down by political correctness. The White House won’t talk about Islamic terrorism.”

What should he say? Fearmonger about something that kills fewer people than lightening stirkes? Try to set the record straight on various misinformation (would probably backfire, since some hate him so much that the fact of his saying so might entrench their false beliefs)? Publicly muse about current strategies?

By what logic do you see failing to do the above, or other forms of discussion about terrorism, as evidence of PC speech?

185 Chip February 21, 2016 at 6:26 am

They refuse to use the words Islamic terrorism. I’m sure they have no problem saying “lightning strike.”

You missed the point. Intentionally perhaps.

And to suggest Islamic terrorism isn’t a threat is silly. The state spends billions keeping it at bay. When it isn’t suppressed you get Syria, Iraq, Libya.

The average guy on the street recognises a threat. They know what’s happening in Europe. And they’re pissed that having a negative view of Islam makes them persona non grata in their own country.

186 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 6:42 am

‘And to suggest Islamic terrorism isn’t a threat is silly.’

So, when will Obama joke about signing legislation banning Islamic terrorism, and announce he will start bombing Saudi Arabia in 5 minutes?

After all, you do know who provides a large amount of funding to the vast global Islamic terrorist conspiracy, right?

Unless, oddly, one wonders why when we had the perfect reason to destroy the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia on Sept. 12, 2001, we decided to bomb another country entirely.

187 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 3:59 pm

“The state spends billions keeping it at bay.”

That’s the point. It’s an INSANE amount of money to be spending on something that poses less threat than hundreds of identifiable things which pose greater threat to the security of an American citizen living in America than terrorism.

“When it isn’t suppressed you get Syria, Iraq, Libya.”

No, that’s what you get when stupid people with big sticks go running chopping heads off of entire political systems without so much as asking “what next?” before doing it. It is so completely retarded as to make a lot of people wonder where indeed they might dragging us to … I mean, everyone knows the Christians are waiting for Jesus and would love to self-fulfill the Armageddon prophecy …. some minority of eugenicist white supremacist Nazis might be supportive of things which they can see as potentially leading to some war in which they may remove a great number of people they deem (based on low-grade science) as inferior from the genetic pool (mostly themselves, if modern history is an accurate guide) … and what other sorts of crazy ideas might contribute to highly suboptimal foreign policy directions being given by numerous individuals who hold positions of influence?

188 So Much For Subtlety February 21, 2016 at 9:16 am

Fearmonger about something that kills fewer people than lightening stirkes?

Why not? After all, you are fearmongering around here about American Fascism. Which doesn’t exist, more or less, and so has not killed anyone.

189 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 9:53 am

Nathan being Nathan is less troubling in this regard that the fascism nonsense being peddled by a supposedly sophisticated academic like Scott Sumner.

190 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 12:40 pm

I shamelessly fearmonger about the prospect of slippery slopes which could lead to things like all-pervasive spy state or the rise of fascism (whatever that words means …).

9-11 killed 0.0001% of the American population. It was a big deal in and of itself, but it was the American response to it, and not so much the act itself, which fundamentally affected a certain trajectory of the American political climate, both domestically and internationally. A Matrix-like or Enemy of the State-like spy state, or the rise of fascism, however, would be an essentially civilizationally ending scenario from the perspective of basically everything America (or any Western democracy) has ever claimed to stand for.

191 So Much For Subtlety February 21, 2016 at 5:47 pm

Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 12:40 pm

Slippery slopes that exist on in your mind. While ignoring the obvious one – why do you think there is no slippery slope in terrorism? How many Americans need to die before you deem it a credible number? We need precisely how many Dolphinarium-style attacks before you think we ought to act? Where is the ceiling on the number of people they can kill?

Why should we stand idly by while people kill us just because you don’t care all that much?

192 So Much For Subtlety February 21, 2016 at 5:53 pm

Incidentally, 9-11 killed about as many people as Blacks were lynched from 1880 to the Civil Rights Act. So that would be, what was it again? 0.00001% of the American population?

Would you agree that the legislative and executive response to that was an over-reaction that has also threatened the idea of America as America? If not, why not? Do you seriously think no one should have done anything about the lynching of Blacks except some community outreach to the KKK? Do you think that the solution involved Black people changing their behavior?

193 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 2:48 am

SMFS – I never argue that the optimal response to terrorism is to do nothing. I do, however, believe that it is an obscene over-reaction.

On comparing the need to response to terrorism to the need to respond to lynching of African Americans – Very interesting point, and it definitely made me think hard. I would argue that the need to respond to black lynchings was thoroughly entangled with broader mistreatment of African Americans, whereas it is sort of pathetic (not directed at you, but more the general view) to suggest that people of European descent presently face any sort of risk to their ability to enjoy life and prosperity which is in any way sort of analogous to the reality experienced by 1880s African Americans.

Also, slippery slopes are real. Ever heard of the STASI?

In responding to terrorism, and make no mistake I absolutely believe that a response to terrorism is needed, one of the very top priorities in deciding upon the strategy is that it should not be conducive to further radicalization and terrorist recruitment. At present, it seems that the cure is worse than the disease. While it seems to be a popular view among hawks that we can bomb them into submission, or put the fear of God into them to the point that they just behave however we tell them to behave, this can easily also lead to undesirable escalation (if escalation is deemed desirable, then we have a problem) or result in an historical record which could turn much of the world against America for a long time to come.

As a solution to terrorism, I suggest repurposing the drones to carry pairs of male and female goats to known “terrorist villages” accompanied by a message written in all languages of the planet which says “please use this technology wisely”. It would cost a fraction of the money and be far more conducive to reducing terrorism than anything they are doing at present.

194 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 12:34 pm

“they want to control the border and be concerned about radical Islam without being called racists”

Different words could be used. Generalizing Mexicans as rapists and Muslims as terrorists is not useful for anything.

Arguing from stronger border controls (and anyways, in recent years haven’t more Mexicans left than arrived?) can be defended more easily as outright economic interest, which every country and group has a right to advocate for (it would be nice to take a more collective view, but this is not present reality), for example “incoming low skilled labour is negatively affecting wage levels and economic opportunities of the American working class, and the working class has a right to defend its interests” (but since the movement is generally on the right, they may be disgusted with themselves for saying such things, since capitalist elites have convinced us that it is somehow pathetic or old fashioned to discuss class issues, or more likely convinced us that they don’t even exist). This is far more constructive than “keep the Mexican rapists and drug dealers out”. On rapists, if I recall, evidence appears mixed but generally between “no effect” and “some effect”, suggesting at least some effect. On drug dealers … I’m not even American and I don’t need to see any data to know this is true (but then again, I’m not bothered by drug dealers). See how the first does not come across as racist, but the second easily does? It racist because it ignores that the other 99% of the group suffers from character assassination by association with rapists and drug dealers they would never defend and have never met for fact of their ethnic grouping, implying broadly experienced damage against essentially innocent people.

Concerns about terrorism would not so easily come across as racist if concerns were not so terribly irrational and overblown. I do not outright dismiss the risk of terrorism. But there’s a ridiculously huge difference between “it is known that violent radicalized terrorism by those who purport to act on behalf of Islam is a genuine threat to security, and frank discussions are needed about how such individuals can be identified and dealt with appropriately and in a timely manner, perhaps including explicit profiling measures which are indeed offensive to the principles of freedom”, and “those rapist pedophile jihadist terrorists, who the monkey in chief clearly loves and supports because he is one of them, are invading America by the planeload and will soon force upon us a Marxist sharia state [utterly impossible – Marxism stands for equal rights of women] and this means we need to collect all our guns and prepare to rid ourselves from such scum before they accomplish their nefarious objectives”. I don’t want to come across like I’m telling you how you are “allowed” to say things or any such thing, but if this first example is plainly too careful for you, perhaps there is some middle ground where the concern can be expressed in a natural manner for yourself without exuding apparent evidence of blatant racism.

195 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 2:06 am

Anyone else wondering how bewildering it must be to see a billionaire come in and apparently rip apart the careful, decades long, political groundwork of the billionaires which have so generously supported the institutions you work at?

Especially with that intriguing ‘Republican primary voters are more racist than we had thought’ line – really, no one at the GMU econ dept was that willingly ignorant until the rise of a populist billionaire, were they? (And let us be honest – the idea of a populist billionaire is exquisitely American.)

196 GMF February 21, 2016 at 8:28 am

“The idea of a populist billionaire is exquisitely American.” ?? Silvio Berlusconi ??

197 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 11:28 am

Well, Berlusconi, at least according to a couple of Italians I’ve talked over the last 15 years, is seen as something other than a populist. An opportunist willing to pander to the masses, certainly, but not a man of the people.

He certainly provides the fantasy element of the billionaire life style to many of his supporters, but they see him as a billionaire, and not someone of their own background. Sharing the people’s basest desires, sure – especially the sort of men who would love to be able to arrange sex with underage prostitutes, and then have the charges go away –

‘Silvio Berlusconi, a former Prime Minister of Italy, was accused and convicted but on appeal found not guilty of paying Moroccan prostitute Karima El Mahroug, also known by the stage name Ruby Rubacuori (Italian for “Ruby the Heartstealer”) – for sexual services between February and May 2010 when she was under the age of 18.[N 1][2] He was also convicted and on appeal found not guilty of abuse of office (Italian: concussione) by arranging to have El Mahroug released from police detention during an incident in which she was briefly held on claims of theft. On 24 June 2013, the Court of First Instance sentenced Berlusconi to seven years in prison, and banned him from public office for life.[3] Berlusconi appealed the sentence,[4] and on 18 July 2014, an appeals court overturned Berlusconi’s conviction, thus making him once again eligible to hold elected office.’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rubygate

What makes Trump so fascinating is just how many of his supporters can imagine themselves as billionaires too, with just the right break. Italians have their own traits, but such delusional beliefs are not among them. Berlusconi was a corrupt man, and a large number of his voters dreamed of being just as corrupt, and getting away with it. Trump sells himself quite differently.

198 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 11:30 am

To frame this in American terms – FDR was never really seen as a populist either, because his background was simply too patrician.

Trump has managed to convince a large number of Americans that his background is just like theirs, so that he, to coin a phrase, understands their pain.

199 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 1:45 pm

LOL at you thinking you know what Trump supporters think or believe about him. In other words, you are wrong again. He is almost EXACTLY the American Berlusconi.

200 jim jones February 21, 2016 at 2:08 am

Trump is an Alpha Male, look at the way he is surrounded by beautiful women:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZ3RZ0hDd8o

201 Steve Sailer February 21, 2016 at 2:11 am

#9. Events in Europe — terrorism in France, Camp of the Saints in Germany — have more impact on American voters than assumed.

202 Axa February 21, 2016 at 4:16 am

I think there’s no need to quote Paris when after San Bernardino happened. I fail to see why people in the US would care more about Cologne than California.

203 Steve Sailer February 21, 2016 at 5:35 am

But San Bernardino didn’t happen until 12/2/2015.

Charlie Hebdo, for example, happened on 1/7/2015.

204 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 3:41 pm

Well and don’t forget the attack in Chattanooga on 7/16/2015: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Chattanooga_shootings

205 konshtok February 21, 2016 at 2:17 am

I didn’t know that class was such a yuge taboo in the USA
Trump is very obviously and very “out” white trash and everyone else is a city slicker

206 Craig February 22, 2016 at 10:33 am

white trash

Keep the ethnic/racial slurs to yourself. No one here is using words like spic or nigger.

207 Melmoth February 21, 2016 at 2:20 am

If you watch Trump on talk shows in the 1980’s he is almost soft-spoken and reasonable. When did he become such an asshole, was it the bankruptcy in 1991?

208 Steve Sailer February 21, 2016 at 2:26 am

“8. New Yorkers are more nationally marketable than we had thought.”

I think 9-11 played a big role in that, psychologically.

209 duderino February 21, 2016 at 2:43 am

Black Lives Matter violent protests caused white Americans to become less naive about race, but not in the way cosmopolitans would predict.

210 HL February 21, 2016 at 3:11 am

Thank god for immigrants, otherwise this entire country would be full of racists and bigots.

211 BC February 21, 2016 at 3:19 am

The most obvious of all: the potential for anamolies in a multi-candidate race, as opposed to a two-person race, are bigger than we thought. This would seem especially relevant since Rubio+Kasich+Bush, the “establishment” candidates, won South Carolina 37.9% to Trump’s 32.5% and Cruz’s 22.3%.

There is also a non-linearity in the way delegates are awarded, which may or may not end up mattering. Trump won all the delegates with a minority of votes and, again, fewer votes than Rubio+Kasich+Bush, which yielded zero delegates. There is a difference between Rubio+Kasich+Bush+Christie running separately and pledging their delegates to the eventual establishment choice at the convention vs. coalescing behind that choice early and consolidating the votes in each primary. Superposition does not apply so that combining votes in primaries yields more delegates than combining delegates at the end.

Despite all of this, election betting markets show Trump and Rubio both having reasonable chances: [https://www.electionbettingodds.com/] and [https://www.predictit.org/Market/1233/Who-will-win-the-2016-Republican-presidential-nomination].

212 BC February 21, 2016 at 3:29 am

By the way, Generic Establishment Candidate Rubio+Kasich+Bush+Christie is 3 for 3, having also won Iowa and New Hampshire.

213 A Definite Beta Guy February 21, 2016 at 7:46 am

Right, I think we have to update some priors about the ability of Republicans to field a candidate acceptable to the party elite. Jeb! never achieved much support, which 538 commented on quickly. Rubio is actually a Tea Party darling elected on the 2010 wave who ousted one of the “RINOs” (Charlie Crist) and caused lots of problems for the party.

Kasich and Christie never received much establishment support or funding support. Kasich’s primary role is just to steal votes from Jeb! and hand the whole thing over to Rubio (my guess is Jeb! is second choice for most Kasich voters).

The Republicans are in disarray and that’s allowed Trump to stay in #1 with a plurality. Against a united party with a strong candidate, Trump would be seen as a silly outlier, stronger than Buchanan, weaker than Romney circa ’08, and he’d be gone by Super Tuesday.

The real action is on the Democratic Side, where the SWPL crowd have gone full socialist along with their “microaggressions.” Yes, the Democrats really are socialist, Virginia. This is FAR more true than “Republicans are racist.”

214 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 9:49 am

Against a united party with a strong candidate, Trump would be seen as a silly outlier, stronger than Buchanan, weaker than Romney circa ’08, and he’d be gone by Super Tuesday.

Um, no. Trump, Cruz, and Carson command over 60% of the Republican electorate between them as we speak. If the entirety of the residuum assembled behind some K Street shill (e.g. Marco Ken-doll Rubio), he’d still have Trump breathing down his neck and quite possibly a hung convention.

215 A Definite Beta Guy February 21, 2016 at 11:27 am

I see no reason to combine the Trump, Cruz, and Carson votes into a single block. Put Rubio in that block. That’s the “Rebellious Right.”

Rubio is not actually a mainstream Republican anymore than Cruz, Carson, or Trump. He offends the least. Big difference.

216 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 12:16 pm

Rubio’s a shuck-and-jive K Street shill. He’s no rebel.

217 circleglider February 21, 2016 at 3:25 am

The only people who should be surprised about Donald Trump’s appeal are those who have forgotten our history. Trump is running a campaign targeted exclusively towards America’s Jacksonian folk community — and no one else.

Who are Jacksonians? Walter Russell Mead described them in detail in this 1999 article in The National Interest. Although nominally focused on one of America’s four foreign policy traditions, Mead’s piece reads as a blueprint on how to push Jacksonians’ buttons.

Jacksonians were one of America’s founding cultures. Because we have become so self-segregated (see Charles Murray, Coming Apart), many members of the other American cultures have forgotten about the Jacksonians — or hoped that they had died-off.

Jacksonians nonetheless still represent between 15% to 20% of the US population — not enough to to win an election but still able to significantly influence a party nomination. Because their sentiments can be fundamentally incompatible with other American cultures, attempting to pursue them as directly as Trump has is a zero-sum proposition. Thus Trump can never assemble an electoral majority. To the rest of America, his pure Jacksonianism feels like a scorched-earth campaign.

218 Steve Sailer February 21, 2016 at 3:43 am

As opposed to say John McCain? Or post-9/11 GWB?

219 circleglider February 21, 2016 at 5:06 pm

McCain and Bush certainly tried to appeal to Jacksonians. But they never pitched themselves exclusively towards Jacksonians. This is why Trump seems so outrageous to everyone else and why Jacksonians stick with him no matter what he says.Mead explains it:

The Jacksonian hero dares to say what the people feel and defies the entrenched elites. “I welcome their hatred”, said the aristocratic Franklin Roosevelt, in his role of tribune of the people. The hero may make mistakes, but he will command the unswerving loyalty of Jacksonian America so long as his heart is perceived to be in the right place.

220 Jeff R February 21, 2016 at 4:07 am

Great link re Jacksonians.

Combine them with those who are unimpressed with our current batch of politicians and you may get a majority, though.

221 tedm February 21, 2016 at 5:18 am

Enjoyed the National Interest piece on Jackson as a fun read, but this line trying to puff up Jackson’s historical importance is highly questionable.
“Victor in the Battle of New Orleans—perhaps the most decisive battle in the shaping of the modern world between Trafalgar and Stalingrad—”
The Battle of New Orleans ranks somewhere between the Battle of Santa Cruz de Rosales and Antietam in the shaping of the modern world between Trafalgar and Stalingrad. It was neither essential to the outcome of the conflict it was part of, nor particularly important in dissuading either party from renewing hostilities after the immediate conflict was over.

222 circleglider February 21, 2016 at 5:38 pm

If Trump limited his pitch to those “unimpressed with our current batch of politicians,” he might very well be able to assemble an electoral majority. But he’s instead gone full Jacksonian. And as Sean Trende explained in his four-part 2013 series on The Case of the Missing White Voters, Revisited, modern American electoral politics is a zero-sum game.

Trump has permanently alienated too many potential voters. He will likely continue to receive about a third of the vote in the Republican primaries, but this is his ceiling. If Republicans allow him to become their nominee based upon this plurality, they are guaranteeing the election of whomever the Democrats nominate.

223 Noumenon72 February 21, 2016 at 7:35 am

A word on links. I didn’t click your first link because it looks like a link to the home page of The National Interest. You should either link “this 1999 article in The National Interest” or “described them in detail”. I would link the latter because a reader is more likely to say, “I’m curious to see them described in detail” than “I’m curious to read a 1999 article in The National Interest”.

224 AlanG February 21, 2016 at 8:08 am

Thanks for the link to the Mead article. Another good reference point is Sean Wilentz’s “The Rise of American Democracy” that covers the period up to the start of the Civil War. Lots of parallels throughout that period to what is happening right now.

225 GMF February 21, 2016 at 8:35 am

I agree with your analogy, and would add that it also looks a lot like 1800 when Jefferson turfed out the Federalists. There are probably many good books on those periods but I’ve been reading “What Hath God Wrought” and “Empire of Liberty” in the Oxford History series. Everything old is new again…

226 Dots February 21, 2016 at 4:58 am

a blanket ban on people thought to b Muslim seems safer, kinder and easier than the War on Terror, to me
friendliness with Russia seems like an important foreign policy goal, to me. they’ve got many nukes. they’re not leaving. their tech rocks. they’re large and Houellebecq told BHL they still listen to the fun Beatles
many of the countries we defend are wealthy and advanced enough to provide for larger shares of their respective defenses. we crowd out their defense investments, and we have to push harder to prove our reliability to a country than that country would have to push to prove its reliability to itself. still others r indefensible
comprehensive immigration reform seems silly. why not choose pieces a la carte?
industrial policy seems to work for N. Europe and E. Asia
most everyone else provides healthcare to all of their citizens pretty well
the well-liked public pension system may stay
he defended eminent domain in a wealthy country that can’t build subways

Trump brought these big and decent ideas to the election, and pledged his loyalty to a strong national group. the only reason I prefer Cruz and Clinton is that I don’t like surprises, I think

227 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 5:27 am

Branding is a good investment?

228 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 5:27 am

No press is bad press?

229 legendary bigfoot February 21, 2016 at 6:14 am

#1 America is still Rock Ridge in giant tableau of Blazing Saddles.

230 uair01 February 21, 2016 at 6:57 am

At the moment I’m reading “To Hell and Back: Europe 1914-1949 ” by Ian Kershaw. The situation he describes for the 1920’s is eerily reminiscent of today. So times have probably changed a lot and #7: democracy is less stable than we thought. OTOH Kershaw could be projecting our current situation on the 1920’s. But also “The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution” by Francis Fukuyama implies that #7: democracy is less stable than we thought. Should we be worried?

231 anon February 21, 2016 at 6:43 pm

Democracy is “unstable” when the candidate you don’t like has a good chance of winning.

232 Rich Berger February 21, 2016 at 7:13 am

The quality of the posts and the comments on MR has declined over time.

233 The Anti-Gnostic February 21, 2016 at 8:59 am

I comment here a lot, so presumably you are referring to me. To my reading, the comments of the cosmopolitan wing are mostly ideological or emotional, not reality-based or logical. Witness Nathan W’s hand wringing up thread. On certain topics, all these gimlet-eyed economists will turn on a dime into philosophers arguing Kantian imperatives.

When you live in a Virginia suburb with a $500K entry fee among academics and high-level federal bureaucrats and contractors, immigration and globalism seem great. To the tradesmen who has to compete with the global poor for wages and the global rich for white school districts, they are threats to his way of life. You can argue the economic gains (which are unevenly distributed) all you want. He will adopt the identity politics of his ethnic and cultural rivals (i.e., the Democrats), or he will lose everything he has. These are the people who make up the bulk of combat arms, own most of the guns, and have a deep-seated religious faith by the way.

If you read Alt-Right blogs like mine, you’d see we already called this: the Age of Ideology is over. I’ve also been pointing out since forever how the American Left has been tiptoeing away from the white plebeian class since the Hard Hat Riots. (If I’m too pedestrian for you, then read Chronicles Magazine; they called it too.) If you find this upsetting, well, you should have thought about that before you decided to import one million people per year from diverse, even antithetical cultures and rigged the game for global capital.

234 Biill February 21, 2016 at 10:46 am

There are a handful of active commenters who not infrequently flood the comment threads with their pet political issues and hobby horses. The comment threads used to be more economics focused and technical. > activist type

235 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 12:15 pm

He wrote a post on Donald Trump. Why would the comments be from professional economists on some theoretical or empirical point? While we’re at it, have you remarked on the train-wrecks which occur when professional economists try to tackle other subjects? See Scott Sumner on inter-war Europe.

236 Bill February 21, 2016 at 1:01 pm

For the same reason that a post on Trump on, say, a right-wing politics blog would normally have comment threads from that perspective.

If a handful of active commenters who were, say, black nationalists would frequently flood the comment threads here with their pet political issues and hobby horses, that would change the nature and quality of the comment threads here as well.

237 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 1:17 pm

Bill, remarks on Donald Trump, his prospects, and what it all means generally have little to do with questions in theoretical or empirical economics. Were he remarking on Trumps fiscal proposals or preferred trade policy or some such, they might, but those were not on what he was remarking.

238 Bill February 21, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Banned Guy,

So do you think that a handful of active commenters who happened to be, say, black nationalists and liked to flood the comment threads with their pet issues and hobby horses would have no effect on the nature of the comment threads here?

The “meaning” of Trump in a discussion will depend on the focus of the commenters. Do you dispute that black nationalists who flooded the comment threads would alter the focus here?

239 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 3:32 pm

The “meaning” of Trump in a discussion will depend on the focus of the commenters. Do you dispute that black nationalists who flooded the comment threads would alter the focus here?

[drums fingers] The moderators pick the topics, not the commenters.

There are, by my count, about six or seven alt-right types on these boards who will take the discussion in their direction if the topic in question is of interest two them. If the moderators do not want to hear from them, they can post about monetary policy or videogames, subjects about which these characters do not care. Two of these fellows do not post much, one other is quite selective about the conversations he weighs in on (as he’s a professional employed by three other publications), and the moderators have tried to ban one other and run through the threads deleting what he says. So, you’re complaining about two people.

240 Bill February 21, 2016 at 7:32 pm

That’s the point. Just a couple of active commenters who are, say, black nationalists can flood certain comment threads with their pet issues and hobby horses and change the nature and quality of certain comment threads here.

241 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 12:53 pm

Indeed the economics focused and technical stuff is what drew me here, but then I got drawn into all the rest … the variety is nice and it’s good to learn different perspectives though.

242 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 1:57 pm

Things change. Not sure the quality is lower, but it is different for sure.

243 Engineer February 21, 2016 at 7:58 am

How about:

– “Winner take all” primaries are a bad idea when the electorate is so fragmented?
– Brokered conventions make sense since it’s crazy to nominate someone on the basis of 33% of the vote + “momentum”

244 The Anti-Gnostic February 21, 2016 at 9:06 am

Yeah well, too bad. The GOPe should have thought about that when they were jiggering their rules to favor pre-ordained candidates who appealed to national media and their donor class. Trump saw the $100 bill lying on the floor and picked it up while the other dummies argued about Obamacare.

245 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 2:01 pm

Yep, the Republican Party has changed IMO. It’s no longer the party of the rich, that’s the Dems. The Reps are now the party of the poor and middle class whites in this country for the most part. It’ll be interesting to see if that’s enough votes to ever win the presidency. It’s certainly enough to hold Congress.

246 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 3:50 pm

I’d say a more accurate description is that the Democrats are the party of the rich and minorities (including gays).

247 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 4:06 pm

Yes I said that above, I just meant that the Reps used to be the party of the ‘rich fatcats’. Not anymore.

248 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 4:43 pm

“I just meant that the Reps used to be the party of the ‘rich fatcats’. Not anymore.”

Agreed.

249 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 10:23 am

There will be no brokered convention because there are no brokers. There might conceivably be a hung convention, but then its the candidates themselves negotiating.

250 John February 22, 2016 at 1:46 pm

It’s much more than just the primaries. The entire process fails to move to the median but results in a barbell type outcome with the two parties taking ever increasingly more extreme positions — which then results in lower voter turn out and complete absurd law that is the result of the horse trading to get something passed.

Seems the the median voter theorem might work at party level in a case where party formation is costless but that’s not the world we live in.

251 BenK February 21, 2016 at 7:59 am

If we need to update beliefs about those supporting Trump, we probably need to update beliefs about those supporting everybody else, too.

252 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 3:51 pm

That’s an excellent point.

253 Sammler February 21, 2016 at 8:24 am

Points 3 and 4, read together, form an unwarranted criticism of Trump’s voters that basically parrots the conventional wisdom those voters are rejecting.

The backlash against immigration has not come “quickly” — it has been there, strongly felt and very obvious, for a decade or more. The establishment consensus in favor of more immigration worked to shrink the Overton window and exclude immigration objections from civilized discourse (by calling them racist, or nativist, etc).

Trump’s voters clearly see a world where (1) large numbers of immigrants are being invited into the country and (2) in the name of “diversity”, those immigrants are being given preference over them in many venues. Since the praise of diversity for its own sake is so highly correlated with PC-speak, Trump’s political incorrectness suggests to his voters that he will stand up against the diversity racket.

The Trump voters’ perception that the party is against them on these issues is clear and correct: see http://www.kausfiles.com/2015/11/30/why-doesnt-the-gop-elite-give-up-on-amnesty/.

254 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 3:58 pm

“2) in the name of “diversity”, those immigrants are being given preference over them in many venues.”

To be fair, it’s mostly a case of the illegal immigrants being given equal footing. But that has resulted in a significant decline in real wages in many working class trades. Those natives are getting screwed by both sides and are showing it at the polls.

255 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 3:09 am

If the “natives who are getting screwed by both sides” could present the issue half as rationally as you just did, and refrain from various derogatory and hateful statements against whichever group(s) many of them hate, they would have a much greater chance at having their concerns heard. Instead, the world watches on and says “Holy Smokes! I never knew there were still that many racists in America!” and disregards whichever legitimate concerns these people might have.

256 GMF February 21, 2016 at 8:25 am

Another postulate… people are legitimately upset over their lack of representation. (Whether their grievances are legitimate is another issue, but their perception of not having their concerns heard is correct.) There are two elements for one of the major political parties to co-opt this concern: to admit the condition and to propose a solution.
Trump is doing both – again, leaving legitimacy aside. The “mainstream” Republican candidates have failed to do either, because they believe they’ll be implicated in the causes. Thus they are admitting to the wrong condition – immigration etc rather than the failure of QE and other government programs to put money into the economy in any area other than share buybacks among other breakdowns stemming from 2007-8. The Democrats can divorce themselves from the causes because of the perception that Congress has blocked the president’s efforts, but unfortunately that means their solutions have little relationship to the problems as well. Sanders is probably getting closest to the correct causes but his solutions are ridiculous, whereas Clinton also avoids the causes and her solutions are hopelessly vague.
Trump is addressing both areas, wrongly but loudly and consistently. Voters are saying, LISTEN TO US. He at least is hearing what people are saying and not talking over their heads.

257 uair01 February 21, 2016 at 9:47 am

This type of remark has recently spiked in intelligent Dutch newspapers. But it’s been around at least since 2008. My pet theory is that states are becoming less powerful in times of globalisation and global crises. Politicians can’t keep up with this disruption and appear powerless (maybe they are). This stimulates calls for “strong leaders”. If only we could have both strong, charismatic, intelligent and democratic leaders, but maybe that combination is unrealistic. I’m not afraid of Trump becoming a dictator, I’m afraid of Trump becoming a Berlusconi.

258 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 2:05 pm

He already is a Berlusconi, but the system here is different than Italy and other parliamentary democracies, Trump will have more checks and balances on him here. I don’t think we will be president however. He may not even be the nominee, with Jeb out the establishment can rally around Rubio now, Romney just endorsed him. The question is, is there enough time to stop the Trump train?

259 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm

“people are legitimately upset over their lack of representation” – this was basically my understanding of the matter, in consideration that many (biased sample?). Republicans appear outright furious with the party for failing to follow through on various expectations (9% Congress ap[roval rating last I saw at the bottom of the Faux News homepage, but for some reason or another they removed congressional and presidential approval rating from the sites quite recently), and it seems are thus likely to not vote for anyone who seems to be preferred by the establishment.

260 The Other Jim February 21, 2016 at 8:51 am

I suppose you could consider updating your absurd view that the rise of Trump has anything to do with racism or “immigration.”

Did you notice how you left out a very key word in that second one? How long did it take you to figure out what it was? Much longer than it should have, and therein lies the problem.

If you can’t even begin to address your fundamental inability to examine the world, you might as well stay home all day, and ponder whether New Yorkers are marketable.

261 LTPhillips February 21, 2016 at 8:55 am

The Republican electorate is less informed and rational than we had thought, and Fox News is more influential with this group than we had thought.

262 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 9:43 am

Fox News has, if anything been pushing Marco Rubio. It seems there are limits to that ‘influence’.

263 WildChild February 21, 2016 at 8:56 am

Scott Adams has been blogging on Donald Trump’s rise since August 2015. His predictions have overall been strikingly accurate. The link below aggregates all Scott’s posts on the topic.

http://blog.dilbert.com/post/139541975641/the-trump-master-persuader-index-and-reading-list

264 Lord February 21, 2016 at 9:31 am

I thought Trump was the Tea Party favorite though I agree he is little about cutting spending and reducing deficits, but I thought we all knew that was just partisanship and no one can win with a negative campaign.

265 Derek February 21, 2016 at 9:36 am

9. No one saw this coming. Just like no one saw 2008 coming.

This is a perfect storm. A socialist and but for the grace of a politicized Justice department, a felon vs. Trump, a third Bush who thankfully bowed out after spending huge amounts of money, and a couple hispanics.

All you said is true, but add on a profound class resentment that has been festering for a long time.

95% of black voters voted for Obama. What is that called? Yelling racism is the tactic of small minds to divert attention from how their policy preferences would f**k over a particular group.

There is a hard rule in Western democracies. The more a country yearns to look like Sweden, the more it resembles Argentina.The US is bound and determined and well on it’s way. At least Argentina had it’s ass handed to it by a first world navy, you guys lost to a bunch of inbred goat herders.

I would bet my money that over dinner left leaning people were openly advocating shooting those people in Oregon. And at right leaning openly advocating shooting black rioters in Ferguson. Argentine writers describe those dinner table conversations, which led to people being thrown out of helicopters.

And I would also bet that the California model of massively wealthy high tech people stepping between homeless, human feces while foreign workers clean their toilets is seriously discussed as how economic and political policy should be implemented.

This is what an election looks like in a third world kleptocracy.

266 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 11:16 am

‘95% of black voters voted for Obama.’

And hard as this might be to imagine, when it was Bush vs. Kerry, 100% of white people voted for a white candidate. Strangely enough, 100% of black voters also voted for a white candidate.

And since when did black people start voting Republican in amounts that are even of minor statistical importance to Republican candidates?

267 Derek February 21, 2016 at 9:24 pm

Exactly. You make my point better than I did. That nonsense of deciphering some hidden meaning in a few points on a chart is a waste of time and distract from what is happening.

268 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Left leaning people barely noticed the Oregon goofballs, and if they did they just laughed and assumed they’d go away, which they did.

Some right leaners probably said shoot the blacks in Ferguson but most likely just shook their heads and said ‘why are they so upset?’

You are overwrought.

269 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm

“Left leaning people barely noticed the Oregon goofballs…”

The evidence would indicate you are wrong:

Salon alone did dozens of stories: http://www.salon.com/topic/oregon_standoff/

MSNBC covered it every night.

The Huffington Post also did numerous stories: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/oregon-standoff/

270 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 5:49 pm

OK, point taken. I don’t watch or read those, nor do I watch or read Fox stuff. I get very bored with partisanship on both sides.

271 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 3:12 am

I get Facebook updates from Occupy Democrats and they were pressing the story multiple times a day. Mostly making fun of them though …

272 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 9:41 am

Republican primary voters are more racist than we had thought

No, soi-disant cosmopolitans are casually contemptuous of everyone else and unwilling to engage their arguments, hence the ad homs.

Backlash against immigration and immigrants sets in more quickly, when middle class wages are stagnant, than we had thought.

Illegal immigration has been a public issue since 1977. The border control measures incorporated into the 1986 amnesty were frustrated by the lawfare artists of the har-de-har public interest bar, standing congressional instructions to develop a check-in and check-out system to stymie illegal immigration by those on tourist visas and the like have met with non-compliance by the executive for 20 years, and the current administration incited a mass migration of Central Americans last year (even though the social problems faced by Central Americans are less severe than they were 20 years ago) and has been working to provide them with de facto residency through executive orders. We’ve had 40 years worth of dilatory behavior and shuck-and-jive from our elites, and you fancy the ‘backlash’ has ‘set in quickly’?

And true cosmopolitans are hard to find.

It’s a good thing. The few we have are bloody annoying.

273 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 11:12 am

‘Illegal immigration has been a public issue since 1977.’

And Ronnie tried an amnesty – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_Reform_and_Control_Act_of_1986

Admittedly, these days, I think Reagan was probably just another RINO.

274 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 12:11 pm

You don’t actually read the posts you remark on, do you?

275 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 1:15 pm

Nope, that quote just magically appeared out of thin air. As did a link to wikipedia which provides background on the effect of an amnesty on American society – ‘One study finds that the legalization of three million immigrants reduced crime by 3-5%, primarily property crime.[9] The author finds that this is due to greater job market opportunities for the immigrants.’

But I’m sure the ‘elites’ are never concerned about things like property crime, nor the abuse of tourist visas – which the Irish made an art form out of, particularly in the American construction industry. As we all know, the Irish have a powerful lobby allowing them to break American law, through that old fashioned ‘shuck-and-jive.’

Not that this seems to be an obsession of yours, admittedly.

But you’re right – not a mention of Reagan in your post.

276 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 2:10 pm

No, Banned Guy, he does not.

277 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 2:49 pm

So succint. So insightful. A true king among commenters.

278 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 3:14 pm

However we are ranked, you are surely among the worst commenters here.

279 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 4:18 pm

“However we are ranked, you are surely among the worst commenters here.”

He’s pretty much the second to worst, right behind mulp.

280 Brian W February 21, 2016 at 9:45 am

What I learned from rise of Trump and Sanders is that it seems the electorate cares much less about feasibility or practicality of plans ( building the wall for trump and Sanders health care plan) and much more about rhetoric and “vision”( though I would call it more fantasy). This is probably why the electorate then ends up disliking politicians is they elect people who over promise and then are disappointed when they don’t/can’t deliver.

281 The Other Jim February 21, 2016 at 10:55 am

>What I learned from rise of Trump and Sanders is that it seems the electorate cares much less about feasibility or practicality of plans and much more about rhetoric and “vision”( though I would call it more fantasy).

You are just learning this now? Where the f**k were you in 2008 and 2012?

We got stuck with the disaster that is Obama because everyone was annoyed at Bush, and we were willing to elect anything with a pulse who had “vision.”

Eight years of ineptitude later, and we have the same problem.

282 Brian W February 21, 2016 at 11:15 am

I would disagree with this assessment about Obama ( and both McCain and Romney nominees). While maybe I don’t agree with everything he did his proposals weren’t panned by economist on their own side the way both Trump and Sanders proposals are. This is a real shift because Obama did have concrete proposals that had a chance of passing/working.

283 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 2:15 pm

This, and also, it was Obama vs McCain/Palin. And Palinmania was winning until the financial meltdown, when we chose a calm, cerebral, confident president over a jittery old warmonger and a ridiculous Alaskan dumdum. It was a good thing Obama won in 2008, but I would have been fine with Romney winning in 2012.

284 mulp February 21, 2016 at 7:40 pm

In what way was Obama less competent than Bush, Bush, or Reagan?

Reagan and Bush either caused or failed to prevent recessions and bank failures leading bank bailouts. The Republican response to bankers being sent to jail was to legalize what they did by preemptive State fraud laws related to mortgages and eliminating regulations that could be violated and prosecuted with jail time. Afghanistan was turned into a mess as was Iraq leading to increasing terrorism – the use of terrorism against the Soviets in Afghanistan demonstrated the biliary of terrorism to disrupt even global powers.

Bush-Cheney turned a decent economy into a basket case and a balanced budget into one in massive deficit. And then made sure the banking system would collapse without anyone being guilty of a crime. Resulting in the second deep recession with unemployment hitting 10%.

Not to mention two wars with no end game ever planned, twice, Afghanistan in the 80s, Iraq in the 90s, and Afghanistan and Iraq in the 00s. To have endgames means spending sufficiently high that tax hikes are required, like post-WWII cold war big government tax and spend. To a degree, spending nation building in Europe and Asia was hidden in the spending nation building the US, both buried in the defense budget which was a massive jobs program providing jobs, education for jobs, jobs building infrastructure, jobs to build useless stuff (lots of war materials that were never used but instead scrapped).

285 Brian W February 21, 2016 at 7:54 pm

Don’t know how you could blame the recessions on bush and Reagan that seems to show you probably wouldn’t pass an ideological Turing test as Bryan Caplan puts it…. I would say Bush, Reagan, Obama all had tangible and passable ideas that could pass congress and had some economist support . This is in sharp contrast with trump and sanders.

286 Horhe February 21, 2016 at 8:18 pm

What’s impractical about building a wall? Really, now, can you describe some of the engineering impossibilities? Israel is surrounding the entire country with a wall, Saudi Arabia got a German firm to build a huge wall through the desert, irony of ironies. American has certainly spent its money in much worse ways over the years, including on the consequences of not having a wall or functional institutions to prevent illegal immigration.

287 Brian W February 22, 2016 at 8:31 am

Building a wall isn’t impractical but proclaiming the other country will pay for it is. The impractical things are his tax plans, lack of details on universal health care plan, his projections on how fast he can grow economy, his entitlement reform plans, his “plan” to temporarily ban a religion, etc the guy is spouting fantasy talk

288 Horhe February 22, 2016 at 2:36 pm

I can recognize rhetoric. You could, theoretically, tax remittances (many countries do). But which American candidates actually deliver those details? Why hold Trump up to a standard nobody else has to meet? And I don’t actually see the political value in the kitchen sink approach to campaigning. He differentiated himself on immigration and trade, those are the talking points that got American out to support him. He’d be a fool to bore them to death by talking like a CPA, even though the electorate would want that in an ideal world.

You are also misinformed on the banning of religion part. No one is banning the religion, which is unfortunate, given how popular it’s been among American Blacks and how it appeals to violent revolutionary tendencies. Even the biased report (which left out 9/11 in the count) saying that Jihadi murders are almost equal in number to domestic political murders basically said that the 2% of the population who are Muslim are responsible for as many political murders as the rest of the 98%. If I look back, I can’t really say what the moment was when we shifted from it being generally understood that a country has a right to pick its immigrants (and, by extension, to discriminate against classes of immigrants), to the popular consensus (at least in the media) that everybody is an American in waiting (except those darn Europeans). What right of some population is infringed if the Americans say they don’t want their kind? Either Pakistani, or Muslim, or whatever? This tendency to pull rights and obligations out of our asses is going to backfire at some point in the future.

289 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 3:24 am

“No one is banning the religion, which is unfortunate, given how popular it’s been among American Blacks and how it appeals to violent revolutionary tendencies.”

It is fairly run of the mill political science analysis to consider religion as a mobilizing factor in conflict, not the cause. The underlying causes, whether dark dark stuff by elite interests or run of the mill disenfranchisement and alienation, in such a perspective are not essentially related to the fact that they claim to rally under whichever religious or ideological banner. Such analysis points to non-religious causes of discontent, and assumes that people will reach for the most convenient ideology or religion as their mobilizing banner.

Short: blame underlying causes of discontent, not the banner they claim to rally behind.

290 Horhe February 24, 2016 at 6:47 pm

If I remember correctly, Scott Atran in “Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists” and Marc Sageman in “Understanding Terror Networks” put the root of radicalization not in poverty or trauma, though, of course, those help, but in the existence of social networks that can supervise a person through the stages until you are ready to do violence at the cost of your life. Furthermore, they also made the point that (Western) Jihadis, as parallels to political revolutionaries from the past, are using the ideology as a cover for satisfying very personal (and widespread) needs for glory, impact on the world, heroism, camaraderie and so on which are not wholly compatible with the dynamics of Western living and the replacements that the West provides (rooting for sport teams as a replacement for tribalism, playing videogames for vicarious thrills etc) are not always enough. They call to mind what Kipling wrote:
The Stranger within my gates,
He may be evil or good,
But I cannot tell what powers control–
What reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood.

291 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 3:19 am

Tunnels. A better idea would be to place 150,000 infrared cameras at the border (3145 km * 50 per km), NOT to demand that the Mexicans pay for it, and to slightly ease access to legal migration so that no one could accuse you of being racist.

292 Transaction February 21, 2016 at 9:46 am

“given that Trump is winning…” No, Trump is not winning. Two of three contests so far is hardly a basis to make that assessment. He may be ahead in the delegate counts (with a whopping 61 of the total 2,472) at this early stage in the primaries but has failed to break 40% in the polls or in any of the the primaries so far. His opposition is divided. The primaries so far have been like a Canadian election in which the least liked candidate wins because the opposition is split. With Bush out, and especially if Kasich and Carson drop before Super Tuesday, I’ll bet we will see much different delegate standings come March 2. I hate to impugn Tyler’s motivations with this post, but really, seems like making a mountain out of a mole-hill.

293 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 11:09 am

Come on, impugning Prof. Cowen’s motives is fun – though when just a touch too accurate, not too many people will have a chance to read about it.

294 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 2:16 pm

You’re such a baby, you don’t even get deleted anymore and you still bitch.

295 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Let’s see how long this lasts then, originally posted by prior_test on February 20, 2016 at 2:22 (what, did you think that the latest iteration was just a jaunty upgrade?) –

‘My point was that even successes for libertarians simply aren’t going to register on a national level’

The proud record of the the sort of libertarians attached to the Mercatus Center have in influencing policy at the national level shows that some libertarians are simply too humble to brag about the results of their tireless efforts.

Sometimes, they don’t even want them mentioned in public.’

No reason not to use a simple browser function to save pages – I wasn’t kidding when talking about how the more accurate posts are, the more likely they are to be read by a limited number of people.

This website is a PR exercise, in the finest GMU tradition – ham handed, but generally unaware of it. After all, why change a running system?

296 Derek February 21, 2016 at 9:47 am

And by the way, Trump is a paragon of modesty, moderation and good sense compared to what the Democrats are throwing up. Someone as Secretary of State holding conversations on an insecure channel is utterly stupid, and profoundly dangerous. What do you folks think, that she will suddenly become smarter and less venal once in the White House?

297 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 11:10 am

Well, what do you folks think, that Trump will suddenly become smarter and less venal once in the White House?

298 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 4:22 pm

Well if I had to bet on Trump or Clinton becoming less venal, I’d go all in for Trump.

Sander’s does seem like an honest sort, but the Democratic machine lead by Debbie Wasserman Shultz will ensure his campaign goes nowhere.

299 msgkings February 21, 2016 at 5:52 pm

So the Dem elites are still in charge and the Reps aren’t? Could be true….

300 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 7:17 pm

Well, the Dem elites seem to be willing to be a little more obviously biased in favor of their preferred candidate. Certainly the nominally independent DNC Chairwoman seems to obviously favor Clinton.

Though it’s possible the Republican convention may show that to be a temporary state of affairs.

301 Derek February 21, 2016 at 9:30 pm

Again you make my point admirably. Trump is venal, probably quite a bit smarter than Hillary. The scions of good taste are notrising up in horror over her, only over him. Hence I ask the question.

302 Dirck February 21, 2016 at 10:06 am

Tyler Cowen ,if you think voting for Trump means one is a racist,then you are more racist than I thought

303 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 1:23 pm

Perhaps what we used to consider as racism could be reworded as “classical racism”, to be distinguished from new meanings of “racism” according to usage many classical racists who seem to consider racism as the mere act of discussing any disadvantage of any race with a view to mitigating this disadvantage or the act of speaking up in observation of classical racism.

A future where classical racism and racism were essentially precisely the opposite in meaning could be instructive in Orwellian developments of language.

304 Dirck February 21, 2016 at 10:10 am

The Davidowitz comment that people hate politicians more than we thought is probably the biggest single reason for Trump’s broad support

305 Brian Donohue February 21, 2016 at 10:30 am

I can only speak for myself. What I enjoy most about Trump is that he inspires posts like this, throwing the elites into constant confusion.

I don’t really care for the alt-right, but they are people entitled to their opinions, just like anyone else, and sometimes they make interesting points.

The whole thing is extremely inconvenient to the elites of this country, left and right.

The left has been busily narrowing the field of conversation, always prefaced with a “We need to have a conversation about X.”

Now they find that lots of people aren’t really on board with their 21st century vision, underpinned by the increasingly dubious Standard Social Science Model.

But it takes a certain kind of over-education to swallow the SSSM whole. Regular folks of limited education have never bought into the model, and people like me, who thought the left was serious about following science wherever it leads, now know that this is not the case.

I guess I’d rather put up with the nutty alt-right dross that Tyler accommodates than be force-fed the SSSM.

306 another anon February 21, 2016 at 10:42 am

IOW, thinking is too hard. Vote for free-association guy, in full knowledge that he’ll free-associate something new tomorrow (complete with “I never said ..”)

307 Brian Donohue February 21, 2016 at 10:48 am

Wait what? I’m pretty sure I didn’t express any opinion on who to vote for.

In fact, I don’t think it makes that much difference who wins. Eight years ago, we elected a guy with a breathtakingly-short resume, and we’re still here.

But maybe Trump changes the contours of the conversation. That’s all.

308 another anon February 21, 2016 at 11:12 am

Perhaps the “membership belief” that Obama lacked accomplishment had an undesirable consequence.

Basically the right has been in a make it up as you go along trend. Trump was right there with birth certificates from the beginning.

Blodget on the national election:

https://twitter.com/hblodget/status/701407644112842752

309 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 12:09 pm

“Membership belief”? This was not a matter of serious dispute. Obama lacked accomplishment of any kind. The best you could say is that he didn’t look all that bad next to some of the krill who’d been suspended in the foetid waters of Capitol Hill for a decade or two or three (John Kerry, I’m looking at you).

310 Brian Donohue February 21, 2016 at 12:14 pm

Pro tip (applies to every Presidential candidate): what they say is a poor basis for anticipating what they would do.

311 another anon February 21, 2016 at 1:08 pm

It is a membership belief that all it takes to teach Constitutional law at a major university is to be black, and standing in the right place. Thus, there is no understanding of Constitutional law that might bear on later performance. Etc.

312 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 1:14 pm

Thus, there is no understanding of Constitutional law that might bear on later performance. Etc.

Obama taught boutique courses quondam law students refer to as “___ & the Law”. That aside, he never published one scholarly article on any subject in twelve years on the faculty of the University of Chicago. See also Wm. Dyer (“Beldar”) on teaching ‘constitutional law’ as opposed to commercial law or tax law. Per Dyer, the trouble you get with constitutional law is that its the one subdiscipline of law wherein the instructor can readily fake it.

313 M February 21, 2016 at 10:38 am

Trump’s popularity comes from immigration restriction, denouncing the role of money in politics, denouncing collusion between big business and big finance and the government, denouncing the Iraq War and Middle East military adventurism, and not talking about Christian Conservative nonsense that most people don’t care about.

It’s hard to conceive that to many it is a surprise that this actually appeals to a large section of the Conservative base. None of the above is incompatible with a Conservative worldview, in the slightest.

Trump is not doing well because of celebrity, or outrage, but as much despite it (the positives and negatives cancel out).

When you field him against a Conservative conventional wisdom that is pro-dilution of American culture, that is pro-migrant (that can’t conceive that people have legitimate reasons to oppose migration that are almost unconnected with what they get out of it monetarily), that is pro-money in politics and pro-pandering to business, that is pro-military interventionism and buildup and that is pro-Christian Conservative posturing and theater, what do you expect to happen:?

314 The Original D February 22, 2016 at 1:57 am

denouncing the Iraq War and Middle East military adventurism

This deserves more credit. There are a lot of Republicans who went along with the Iraq war mainly because it was started by their guy. They later regretted it but weren’t allowed to say it out loud. Trump did say it out loud and now it’s easier for them to put it behind them.

315 Transaction February 21, 2016 at 10:41 am

Oh, and another point. The South Carolina primary was open meaning many Democrats who think their party’s best chances for victory would be with a Trump nomination may have participated and voted for Trump. Let’s not be too hasty making generalizations about Republicans based upon open primary results.

316 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 1:47 pm

Why those slimy little …

317 Urso February 21, 2016 at 2:39 pm

Maybe, but many of the people who are officially Democrats in SC (and the rest of the South) vote R regularly, especially 50+ folks who grew up in a time when registering as a Republican in the South was simply not done.

318 JWatts February 21, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Yes, a lot of those same cross over voters will just as assuredly pull the lever for Trump in the General election if he wins the primary.

319 Derek February 21, 2016 at 11:03 am

The truly fundamental point to make here and the one that underlies all the points made above is that Trump’s rise shows our media to be VASTLY more powerful than anyone thought at sculpting what views are allowed to be aired in public. This election cycle has a real 1989 vibe: we’re finally discovering what opinions the average white person chooses to hold when they stop paying attention to television talking heads.

320 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 1:05 pm

‘we’re finally discovering what opinions the average white person chooses to hold’

That their 1989 opinion was electing a Bush was a good idea, right?

321 uair01 February 21, 2016 at 11:17 am

I’m reading “Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science” by Dani Rodrik and one of his theses is that “economy is a science because it uses a broad spectrum of models”. If we’re on an economics blog … then where are the models for this? And where are the discussions about the most appropriate models? (I’m an amateur, I can’t help you …)

322 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 1:59 pm

” then where are the models for this”

To draw salient points about expected effects when considering some handful of key variables, generally in order to draw some intuitions about how people and businesses will behave economically, generally with a particular interest in change in supply (production) and demand (consumption) factors and how this influences final prices and quantities on the market.

A few open source text are here: https://openstaxcollege.org/textbooks/principles-of-economics

Exercises should be pretty easy, and would definitely support being able to understand the basic (fairly simplistic, but in most cases broadly useful) theories presented.

323 uair01 February 21, 2016 at 4:45 pm

Thanks for the link, that looks very interesting, might even order the non-free book! … But I was thinking about models for political behavior and their predictive or explanatory properties. Models that explain regularities like: “in times of economic downturns people tend to vote for populists”. History books describe the process but they don’t build models.

324 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 3:32 am

Just drag the arrow all the way to the left when it asks you how much you want to pay, and it’s free.

“Models that explain regularities like: “in times of economic downturns people tend to vote for populists”.

Political science, not economics, would be the field of interest for this kind of thing. Surprisingly, there’s not really clearly established theory on it, as far as I know. I do recall crunching survey data as an undergrad and finding that people were more likely to be hostile to immigration and have various negative views about immigrants when they had experienced unemployment and other indicators of not doing well economically.

Part of the problem is that the researcher always has to make a whole slew of subjective decisions, for example in the case you suggest, just what exactly is a “populist”?

325 Lee Kelly February 21, 2016 at 11:46 am

Of course, we could probably produce a chart showing that Bernie Sanders gets more support from counties with smaller proportions of blacks. What would that mean?

326 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm

That Hillary Clinton is well positioned to capitalize on a well recognized block of Democratic voters?

327 Hazel Meade February 21, 2016 at 10:09 pm

Black support for Hillary might be explained by blacks commitment to block-voting to enhance their power. This has been a long-standing thing in the black community, and hence is chained to the establishment wing of the Democratic party. They could switch sides, but someone needs to tell them to do so, otherwise they are going to stick with whoever they see as the candidate other blacks are supporting.

328 NNM February 21, 2016 at 11:47 am

In the spirit of Lee Kwan Yew, I’d nominate the following:

The transition from a mostly mono-racial polity in which the electorate votes by ideology to a multiracial polity in which the electorate votes by race happens much more swiftly and ruthlessly than we realized.

329 Andrew February 21, 2016 at 12:15 pm

It seems to my that racial identity politics is diminishing. Of the five remaining Republican candidates, only two have both-white parents. Yet there’s been far less hand-wringing about this from the right that I’d have expected.

330 Michael February 21, 2016 at 12:46 pm

There’s been plenty of racial dog-whistling though from people like Ann Coulter and others about the “Cuban” candidates.

331 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 1:03 pm

Well, Trump isn’t dog whistling about the Canadian in the race, however.

332 Alex February 21, 2016 at 11:54 am

I would also point to the impact of Trump’s persuasion abilities. In particular his grasp of psychological influence techniques as pointed out by Scott Adam’s in his Dilbert blog.

333 Dan W. February 21, 2016 at 12:24 pm

Why is a supposed trained economist blaming racism when the actual anti-immigration motivation is economic self-interest and self preservation? I am strongly anti-Trump but if there is any explanation to his campaign success it is that a large portion of the population disagrees with the conventional wisdom on immigration. And so they have repudiated the GOP establishment, and they will repudiate the DNC establishment when that time comes. And why? It is not because of the color of anyone’s skin but because people are experiencing stagnation and decline in their economic position as employers farm out jobs to immigrants who will work for less pay. It is almost always about the money – any economist should know that!

334 ARMA(1,1) February 21, 2016 at 1:41 pm

I think that the diffusion of social media has broken the ability of the intellectual and economic elite to keep the rest of the country in line. The free movement of goods, ideas, and people has typically been anathema to the lower class through history, and the support of poor American whites for libertarian ideologies in recent decades was likely just an oppositional reflex against global communism.

Trump can be better compared to William Jennings Bryan than Goldwater. The distinction between the 1896 Democrats, whose ideology included opposition to free trade, nativist fear-mongering over Chinese immigration, support of tariffs, anti-intellectualism, anti-corporatism, and antagonism to big banks, with that of the 1896 Republicans, is strikingly similar to the distinction between Trump and the intellectual conservative movement. Think of this Bryan quote from his famous Cross of Gold speech: “The gentleman from Wisconsin has said he fears a Robespierre. My friend, in this land of the free you need fear no tyrant who will spring up from among the people. What we need is an Andrew Jackson to stand as Jackson stood, against the encroachments of aggregated wealth.”

America is moving towards Latin American style populism where democracy is adversarial to liberty, and where politicians make increasingly infeasible promises while blaming the ills of society on outsiders and a nebulous “establishment” class. This despite the fact that government subsidies to the middle class has hit an all time high, and that growth in income disparity has been driven by technological innovation and not policy.

335 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 3:47 pm

Just to elaborate, Chinese immigration was banned in 1882. Tariffs were an issue in 1884, not 1896, and tariff protection was a foundational issue for the Republican Party, what distinguished them from the Democrats from the very beginning; that you’ve identified the late 19th century Republicans with the cause of free trade is stupefying. It was H.L. Mencken and Clarence Darrow who arranged for Bryan to be defamed as ‘anti-intellectual’, not Mark Hanna, and not in 1896, but a generation later in 1925. Bryan’s babble about banks concerned their earnings derived from the purchase of Treasury issues, a rather twee topical issue. Bryan was in favor of immigration restriction. That’s the only point of congruence.

336 Hazel Meade February 21, 2016 at 10:06 pm

Good comment. I hope you are wrong.

337 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Because these people never (rarely?) speak about their economic self interest and instead engage in broadly tarring minority groups with negative stereotypes.

338 Urso February 21, 2016 at 2:37 pm

So you haven’t heard of it Indiana Carrier plant that announced it was moving to Mexico? Because it seems to me I’ve heard a *lot* about that in the past week or so. Hypothetical – Carrier announced it was moving to Poland instead of Mexico. In your opinion, the employees would’ve been ok with it since Polish people have white skin?
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-carriercorp-layoffs-idUSKCN0VP2R6

339 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 4:16 pm

I thought it was already established that owners (especially shareholders most of whom will never ever know) don’t give two hoots about their white workers or their unemployed future, as a fairly general matter of practice, and that they are more than willing to relocate anywhere on the planet if they will make more money that way. I think relocation decisions are primarily driven by labour costs and employer knowledge of the labour market where they intend to move to (in which case Mexico is more likely than Poland because of language)

340 Urso February 21, 2016 at 4:33 pm

OK, but this is completely nonresponsive. The owners sure as hell aren’t voting trump. The workers are.

341 Banned Guy February 21, 2016 at 3:53 pm

Nobody needs to tar the muslim population in this country. Their more prominent exemplars do a fine job of that without any assistance. And I’m not referring just to the occasional character like Nidal Hassan, but to CAIR and the Islamic Society, who are on the media rolodexes. This was manifest 17 years ago, at a time when anxiety about jihad was at a low ebb. And, of course, they get occasional assistance from their European counterparts, like the lying and scheming imam in Denmark who incited the Jyllands Posten controversy.

342 Hazel Meade February 21, 2016 at 10:02 pm

Because these people never (rarely?) speak about their economic self interest and instead engage in broadly tarring minority groups with negative stereotypes.

Perhaps this is because, for some reason, they are afraid to admit they are really motivated by the economic threat to their well-being. They can’t admit that an unskilled Mexican immigrant could do their job as well, or maybe better, than they can, for less money.
So (absurdly) it becomes less problematic to say that the Mexican guy is a rapist who is going to spread disease or something. They’re actually resorting to racist arguments because the economic ones make them look even worse.

343 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 3:45 am

I think you’ve basically hit the nail on the head, but plainly advocating for economic self interest should not be seen as such a bad thing (although this could be scary for certain elites who prefer to tell us that “class warfare” or notions of class at all are essentially a thing of a horrible horrible Marxist past that we should never return to.) Having a major voter block who will vote against their self interest, in the interest of ideological consistency (and other factors) is a rather strange situation indeed.

Since they are broadly right wingers in the first place (no?), it’s not like they would face the calls of hypocrisy reasonably levelled against a labour movement which protects the interests of its own workers with complete indifference to workers from other countries, despite claims of support for broader global worker movements.

Perhaps they could instead attack the willingness of Mexicans to live in Mexican living conditions, and not allow themselves to feel inferior for the fact that someone else is willing to do the same job for less money (although, admittedly, the Mexicans will probably do a better job in some cases too…)

344 Quantitative Sneezing February 21, 2016 at 12:46 pm

Citizens United never mattered.
The Koch brothers can’t buy elections.
The left should be celebrating this, but I haven’t seen it.

345 prior_test1 February 21, 2016 at 1:01 pm

‘The Koch brothers can’t buy elections.’

Why should they? They, as basically any other truly wealthy and politically interested person, prefer buying politicians and supporting a network of people that know full well what is expected of them in terms of supporting the goals of the person writing the checks.

Buying an election is the sort of thing a self-promoter like Trump dreams about.

346 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Can’t imagine what a corporation might expect in return, given the legal obligation of the CEO to shareholders, when they give a million dollars to both sides.

If they aren’t bribing the politicians (defined as expectation of some favour), then the CEO should be fired because they are not respecting their shareholder’s resources. If they are in fact doing their job and treating the donations as profit-maximizing investments, then an expectation of favours is real, in which case there is a bribe.

So … what is it, CEO’s getting fired for giving away shareholder money or politicians going to jail for taking bribes? Oh … darn it, we will never ever find out the names of any of those companies who bought up all the politicians, because of the exceedingly wise Citizens United.

Repeat across 100 corporations, and they can buy the government one line of legislation at a time, favours to be called in as necessary.

Of course, people would go to prison if they were ever so explicit, but everyone KNOWS that precisely the nature of the game.

(Not sure how to get the unions and billionaires out of the game too, so they have roughly similar influence to other citizens, but it seems a highly desirable goal.)

347 Michael February 21, 2016 at 12:49 pm

Trump has also called for using torture and killing women and children. Republican voters seem to be less opposed to terrorism than we had thought.

348 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 2:27 pm

I give it five seconds until some of them forget you say that.

349 TA February 21, 2016 at 12:57 pm

The class conflict between ordinary white people and the white elites who Michael Barone calls the “liberal gentry” is more intense and important for politics than we recognized. For more on this, see Clive Crook’s latest on the Bloomberg site. Also, the Charles Murray piece he links to.

350 rayward February 21, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Cowen gives us his best Captain Renault imitation.

351 jonathan February 21, 2016 at 1:27 pm

“3. Republican primary voters are more racist than we had thought.”

Without your prompt, I would have interpreted this link as saying that low education/income whites voted for Trump, and they tend to live in poor/rural areas with high black populations.

My own update is that persuasion skills are a real thing, are important in presidential elections, and people skilled at persuasion can recognize them in others (e.g. Scott Adams).

This is an example of my rule, “When something surprising happens, and you know someone who predicted it for reason X, update your beliefs towards X being true.”

(Of course, it matters if you were reading Scott Adams before he made this prediction, because otherwise you have a problem with selection.)

352 Urso February 21, 2016 at 2:24 pm

Interesting post, but I think it should be approached from a different direction. You’re asking what priors you should be updating about others. What does your failure to comprehend DT’s popularity tell you about Tyler Cowen? Some possible options: -Despite my incredible breadth of my reading list, am I actually operating in a greater echo chamber than I believed? What does that tell me about my reading list? What does that tell me about the efficacy of reading as a mode of understanding America at large (who is writing and publishing these books and blogs, anyway?) -Is “average is over” an inevitability, or was it a conscious policy choice made by the kind of people who are decidedly not average (ie, the kind of folks who have multiple college degrees and live in Northern Virginia)? If it was a policy choice, is it reversible? If it’s reversible, why didn’t it occur to me that the “average” may want to reverse it? -Have I wholly misjudged the relative importance of cheap, delicious, readily available strip mall ethnic food?
And so on.

353 Urso February 21, 2016 at 3:15 pm

Or how about this- “Grantland.com shuttered about six months ago. Should I have taken that data point into consideration when thinking about Trump’s chances in this election? Why or why not?”

354 Mike W February 21, 2016 at 2:25 pm

Really…”Trump is winning”? After just three primaries, one of which Newt Gingrich won in 2012 (does anyone remember Gingrich), Trump is being declared winner of the GOP nomination by TC? Is TC French?

355 Urso February 21, 2016 at 2:44 pm

winning v. winner seems like a pretty obvious distinction to me.

356 Mike W February 21, 2016 at 4:26 pm

And equally immaterial.

357 Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 2:39 pm

(Unrelated – on campaign finance and corruption)

America needs a way to break the firm two-party grip on power, for example by changing the system to enable a third party to have a chance at some seats, a fact which is impossible for the fact of this grip.

America is so corrupt, that corruption is legal. The politicians don’t get to keep the money, but the bribe payees get the favours they paid for. In a country of 300+ million people, surely at any point in time there are sufficient people of ideological persuation willing to work for a paychque in Congress or the Senate, for love of “bullshit POWER because they bend over as necessary”, and whose campaigns for these positions require ever larger sums of campaign finance money in the essentially zero sum game of ever more expensive election campaigns.

One might expect the free press to report on this, and indeed many independent outlets do so. But the mainstream media are bedfellows too, since a significant share of this bribe money ultimately ends up in the pockets of media, through political advertising.

There was some critique of prize money the other day. But if Obama, as a parting gift, could offer a million dollar prize to crack that puzzle, the long term social benefits could plausibly run into the trillions and more.

358 MC February 21, 2016 at 4:27 pm

Nonsense. If money bought elections or votes, Bush would have been in the lead instead of being forced to drop out. Third parties are a recipe for more instability and corruption (e.g., logrolling to assemble a majority).

359 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 3:59 am

A loaded coin that falls heads 51% of the time is still a loaded coin when it turns up tails.

360 So Much For Subtlety February 21, 2016 at 6:23 pm

Nathan W February 21, 2016 at 2:39 pm

America is so corrupt, that corruption is legal.

You are a Canadian. Who lives in China. And only recently graduated. Who by your own admission has never had any interaction with any Black Americans except caging a smoke off a group of them once.

On what basis are you passing judgement about the American political system? What do you know and how do you know it given you do not seem to have ever lived in America, taken part in the American political process, know any Americans etc etc etc?

361 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 4:12 am

You do this all the time …

You speak with virtual certainty about Muslims, not one of which you’ve ever met, Buddhists, not one of which you’ve ever met, all manner of countries that you’ve never been to, and mostly do so with 100% certainty in the correctness of your perspectives.

And yet, for every detail I reveal to you about my personal experience, you stock it away into some special reserve to bring up at the appropriate time to say “ah HAH! you never could possible know anything about that!”.

Do you not see what a hypocrite you are?

On what basis do I pass judgment on the American system? Did you even read what I said? And moreover, as the most powerful country on the planet, you should not be surprised to find that people inform themselves as to how things work there, because it really matters quite a lot to the rest of the world what y’alls decide on. Being a fairly populous and wealthy country, you should not be surprised to find that I’ve met quite a lot of Americans around the world, one of whom is presently a colleague and with whom I on occasion discuss American political matters (curious how you’ll try to throw this one back at me sometimes to tell me I’m not allowed to speak about something, or how you will try to broadly discredit someone for the single fact of knowing that they happen to be in China.)

If you have actual reasons to disagree with what I said, name them. Your efforts to suggest that I cannot know something because I don’t belong to the right group are weak. Weak. (For consistency, I assume you will never speak of any matter relating to any foreign country or any non-white group again…)

362 Clifford Asness February 21, 2016 at 2:52 pm

We have to revise down our prior estimate, on various scales, on everyone.

On the fraction who love Trump and on the rest, very much including myself, who were staggeringly wrong in forecasting this would end long ago.

I guess there’s a tiny portion who can’t stand Trump AND predicted his continued success. We don’t need to revise our priors on any of those eleven people.

363 Transaction February 21, 2016 at 3:06 pm

#3 strikes me as a nasty bit of projection. Ever notice all the renowned Hispanic scholars at Mercatus and the GMU Econ Department? Me neither. It seems Prof. Cowen feels a bit challenged by insufficiently servile Hispanics like Rubio and Cruz. He likes his Hispanics working in restaurants. So, to deal with his own inner conflicts he gratuitously projects racism on others..

364 Wowser February 21, 2016 at 3:12 pm

Wow. To use the word “projection” in such a non-self-aware manner is impressive.

Btw, I’m sure part of #3 was about being attracted to Trump’s racism, not about Rubio and Cruz. In fact maybe all of it as point doesn’t apply to Bush, Kasich, Christie, etc.

365 Transaction February 22, 2016 at 11:17 am

Oh come on. We have to endure garbage like “are Republicans are more racist than we thought” based upon a half-witted tweet (did you even look at it? No black Republican primary voters in S.C.? what inane nonsense is that? The only Trump supporter that I know is Black) when 3 of the 5 remaining Republican candidates are minorities? And the Republican field has one more black than Mercatus employs. People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

366 MC February 21, 2016 at 4:21 pm

7. We are more ignorant than the Framers due in part to the crappy social science literature churned out by academics. No one should be surprised at the rise of of demagogues like Trump and Sanders, particularly after steadily eroding the institutional safeguards against them.

367 freethinker February 21, 2016 at 8:09 pm

Is it possible Trump is explicit about topics others feel the same way about but hide their sentiments to be politically correct? If so, he is at least honest in is statements about controversial issues. Of course that does not mean Trump’s views are right. It only means we have a politician who is truthful about hat he stands for

368 Joe February 21, 2016 at 9:05 pm

6. It’s obviously 6

369 Hazel Meade February 21, 2016 at 9:55 pm

I have two main takeaways:

1. Immigration motivates the right far more than previously assumed.

2. Many of Trumps supporters are people with all sorts of backwards social views who are fed up with PC culture. To an extent, his candidacy is a result of the tactic of trying to silence opposition through social ostracism instead of changing minds. He’s channel all the racist, sexist bigotry that’s been driven underground. And there’s a lot more of it than we thought.

370 R. Jones February 22, 2016 at 3:30 am

Immigration motivates people (non-cosmopolitans) who have to deal with the consequences of immigration or don’t benefit from it. Also it’s kind of hard to ignore reality in the long term. “Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret.”

371 Harun February 22, 2016 at 11:54 am

Hazel, voting turnout is up on the GOP side.

I’d suggest this means that immigration is motivating new voters to come out.

Also, be careful of assuming this was a preference all along and was just hidden: the fact is we have had heavy, heavy immigration combined with offshoring. This affects people economically, and creates backlashes.

I suspect there is some level of immigration where everyone can just tolerate it, but once it gets high enough people become annoyed with it.

I would guess this is mainly because we are a python trying to swallow China into the world economy, and immigration has been very high. These two factors cause a lot of issues. Competing with China is not easy, even for smart people.

372 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 4:17 am

+1

373 John February 22, 2016 at 10:19 am

I think it’s perhaps even more interesting to consider both Trump’s and Sander’s successes (though Sander’s may not ultimately beat Clinton) and what one might infer from an election where the two candidates are Trump and Sanders.

To me two implications:
1) The society is much more divided than thought (related to several of the suggested points above)
2) Our political institutions are not good at integration but are actually aggravating the internal conflicts within society. (This probably relates to the point about how stable democracy is)

374 Ted Jones February 22, 2016 at 11:46 am

Campaign finance regulation (and Citizens United, etc.) matter less than we thought. The candidates with big-money backers don’t always win. Media, social media, populist institutions have power that offsets the establishment.

375 Different T February 23, 2016 at 9:57 am

Or elections matter far less than you think.

376 collin February 22, 2016 at 1:21 pm

1. Agreed it does feel like Trump has perfected the quick Twitter insult and social media is now essential for any Prez. run.
2. There has been a high percentage of moderate Republicans and conservatives even the Tea Party highpoint there was a lot “Keeping The Government Outta Of Medicare” views.
3. I still say the jury is out on this one and I believe will diminish in the future for a variety of reasons.
4. Definitely true and anti-immigrant positions are not new for Republicans. Remember Romney beat Perry 2012 because Perry had a heart and supported the Dream Act. (By the OOPPs moment Perry numbers had already fallen a lot.) Also remember California had HUGE anti-immigrant movement in 1994 with Pete Wilson and Prop. 187. The strange thing is the anti-immigrant movements are stronger after the recession ended (US 2010, California 1992) and when the economies were on the way up. (Possibly because wages lag.)
5. No, the Republican Party picked a really bad front runner Jeb Bush who has not run a campaign in 13 years. (Additionally Jeb ran like his brother did in 2004.)
6. Agreed and maybe Trump was the Michael Jordan of Third Party candidates. I wonder if Ross Perot got in earlier against Bush in the primaries fall 1991 if that might have changed his results.
7. Democracy is less stable than we had thought. On the other hand, the Democrats settled on two LONG time politicians very early and having the normal primary battles. Probably better: Democracy is messier than we thought.
8. I think we are underestimating the ability of the right CEO (not NY) candidate to win the Presidency. It does seem a CEO does not have to answer for a wrong vote 23 years ago and claim ingorance about past position. (ie Trump and the Iraq War.)

377 Butler Reynolds February 22, 2016 at 3:07 pm

The one thing that Trump has done is distracted everyone from what a mess the Democratic Party is right now. Hillary and Sanders? Really?

The fact that Sanders appeals to urban hipster gentrifiers yet turns off urban minorities is an indicator of a conflict of interest that is going to surface at some point.

I live in the Atlanta suburbs. My white kids go to school and attend birthday parties with kids that are white, black, Filipino, Hispanic, Indian, etc. It’s like the United Nations here in the suburbs.

On the other hand, it seems that the only interactions my more cosmopolitan urban acquaintances have with minorities center around the volunteer work that they are more than eager to brag about.

378 YS February 22, 2016 at 4:34 pm

1. People are tired of/dislike political correctness more than we thought. Trump’s style (lack thereof?) is just as important, maybe more so, than his message.

2. There’s more suppressed nationalism and white pride than we thought.

379 donklican February 22, 2016 at 4:50 pm

Hey, psuedo intellectuals,
Look at the yammering on this page. If you’re going to have whineocracy and clownism … why not go with a pro who’s spouse is loyal.

This is why Trump will be President.

380 Nathan W February 23, 2016 at 9:12 pm

“Donald Trump Encourages Physical Violence Once Again” – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-bully_us_56cc68fae4b0928f5a6d2d8b

381 Trump is a real leader February 23, 2016 at 11:24 pm

Alpha male Trump asks interviewer not to ask “anything too hard”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIARgKu4tTM#t=23

382 Floccina February 25, 2016 at 2:37 pm

IMHO Donald Trump is closer to what blue collar republicans I have known really wanted all along and Bernie Sanders is closer to what serious Democratic voter that I have known wanted all along policy wise. I am though surprised that Trump hair and general appearance do not keep people from voting for him.

BTW before talking about why Trump voters vote for him we should ask a few of them why:
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/08/donald-trump-voters/401408/

#3 Trump appears nationalistic and not racists but there seems to be a feeling among many whites in the USA that the Black Lives Matters movement and some college students have gone beyond not racist to unrealism/irrational fear of racist whites.

383 Floccina February 25, 2016 at 2:44 pm

IMHO Hillary is only slightly less clownish and unqualified than Trump. She makes clownish, ridiculous statements all the time. She was a senator for a few years and Secretary of state. Wife of the President is not a qualification IMHO.
The former governors are the most qualified and almost all gone. What has Rubio done?

Once again Garry Johnson will objectively be the most qualified Candidate in the Final election (barring a tremendous comeback by Kasich).

384 pepesel February 26, 2016 at 3:46 pm

1- People assume familiarity with celebrities- Scwarzenegger really had no qualifications to run California but easily got in.
2- Coded Language and Phrases work, and act as a kind of inverse PC ( political correctness).

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