Does Lucifer in fact inhabit the corpus of Hillary Clinton?

by on July 21, 2016 at 12:33 am in Current Affairs, Religion, Television | Permalink

This topic seems to have entered the news cycle.  I am not sure how, so I thought I would add a few observations in the interests of clarity:

1. Under the most plausible “yes” scenario, Lucifer inhabits the corpus of us all, not just the Clinton family grandchildren included.

2. The correct answer is still “probably not.”

3. Is there a greater chance that Hillary Clinton is in fact Lucifer himself, rather than merely being possessed by him?  (Would that not also be a new kind of transgender relation?)  No, more likely she would have a Satanic familiar.  In most equilibria, the number of familiars is greater than the number of Satans.  Far greater.

4. Saul D. Alinsky once cited (Milton’s) Lucifer: “Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.”  Who does that sound like?  Not Hillary.

5. I find it striking how many observers can so suddenly grow intolerant of religious sentiment, once such sentiment upsets the status relationships they are so intent in seeing through.  It is considered politically incorrect and indeed downright unacceptable to mock those who believe the Deity is present in various religious ceremonies.  Yet may not the Deity’s former premier angel also reside somewhere?  Is it more plausible to believe the demoted angel haunts an obscure mold or grape than that he has carved out a small corner in the crook of the elbow of Hillary Clinton?  What if someone held the latter to be true on grounds of religion and faith?  Is the chance there simply too low compared to the chance of other specific religious beliefs being true?  Where exactly is the probability threshold set for allowed mockery?  How many other people would you need to have believing that with you before it would be “a religion” rather than…?

6. No sir, the separation of church and state will not save you here.  If you indeed felt Lucifer inhabited the corpus of Hillary Clinton, it would be strange to stay silent about such ontology on the grounds of the First Amendment.  So any potential ridiculousness of said belief must derive from epistemic grounds, and not its political implications or uses.

7. The Straussian interpretation of the Republican Convention is the correct one, which is perhaps one reason why Peter Thiel will be speaking there.  They are not saying what they are saying, in fact they are saying “the world is going to hell, and many of those amongst us have been traitorously disloyal.  That is why we scream out stupidities, debase ourselves, and court attention by waving our arms in ridiculous ways.  We are a small church seeking to become larger.”  Is that not how many smaller churches behave?  Is that not how some of the early branches of the Christian church behaved?  Did they have any influence?  See also the remarks of Cass Sunstein.

8. You may or may not agree with the true message of the Convention, but if you think it is merely stupid you are, sooner or later, in for a big surprise.

1 derek July 21, 2016 at 12:43 am

2. Probably not. Is it 5 out of 100 that she isn’t, or 5 out of 100 that she is?

2 libert July 21, 2016 at 12:52 am

If politicians try a hundred accusations against Hillary Clinton, 5% will come up “statistically significant” even when the true accusation in every case is false. Unfortunately, the 5% of accusations with statistically signficant results are more likely to be published, especially as these results may seem novel, surprising or unexpected–this is the problem of publication bias.

3 libert July 21, 2016 at 12:53 am

In case it wasn’t abundantly clear, I should cite my sources:

4 derek July 21, 2016 at 12:59 am

Oh, I think there isn’t any question whether the accusations against Hillary, or Trump for that matter are true. Both are congenital liars with a trail of failures and misdeeds behind them.

The question here is whether Hillary is Lucifer. Our host seems undecided.

5 Jan July 21, 2016 at 4:40 am

Attempting to draw almost any comparisons between these two people is laughable.

6 The Other Jim July 21, 2016 at 8:49 am

The better comparison is Trump and Obama — both useless narcissists who care about nothing other than themselves.

Hillary is just a criminal. Best to go with Nixon for her.

7 Lord Action July 21, 2016 at 10:12 am

Hillary is Nixon without the competence.

Trump doesn’t really have a modern presidential analogy. Maybe PT Barnum is a good comparison?

8 derek July 21, 2016 at 10:22 am

My mistake. But for her political connections Hillary would be facing prosecution. Trump not.

9 anon July 21, 2016 at 11:58 am

I think this is actually more plausible than inchoate Hillary hate:

10 Jonathan July 21, 2016 at 3:12 pm

PT Barnum is not the right analogy — it’s Silvio Berlusconi

11 Lord Action July 21, 2016 at 9:58 am

That “Remain” is virtually certain to win.

12 Thiago Ribeiro July 21, 2016 at 10:09 am

Hahaha. +1
They may be right after all. The British government probably will call new votes until the people get it right.

13 RA Phisher July 22, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Can you then state what your null hypothesis is for those who may misunderstand what a statistically significant result implies?

14 Ray Lopez July 21, 2016 at 12:52 am

Exorcisms are fairly common in Greek Orthodox Christianity; I got one myself, several actually, when I was younger. They believe in the “evil eye” and blame it for any illness.

15 Jan July 21, 2016 at 4:40 am

Why would a Mexican go in for a Greek exorcism?

16 londenio July 21, 2016 at 6:56 am

Is Ray *also* Mexican?

17 ricardo July 21, 2016 at 10:29 am

Ray is Legion.

18 albatross July 21, 2016 at 2:02 pm

This kind comes out only through fasting and prayer.

19 Thiago Ribeiro July 21, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Ray is the prince of this world.

20 Heorogar July 21, 2016 at 11:20 am

In generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) “probable” (the standard necessary to recognize an asset impairment/loss, among other things) is defined as “more likely than not.” Meaning it doesn’t need to be a certainty. It is an estimate of whether or not a condition exists as more than 51%, and doesn’t need to be 99% certain.

Of course not. If Mrs. Bill Clinton had sold her soul to Satan, she would not exhibit such a talent for failure.

That being said, What would we do without economists?

21 derek July 21, 2016 at 12:56 am

8. Wouldn’t it be marvelous if Hillary outspent Trump 5 to 1 and lost by a whisker? $1 billion to $200 million.

22 Jan July 21, 2016 at 4:42 am

No, because the relative amount of money spent is primarily an indicator of who donors think will win, not a decider of who wins.

23 Brian Donohue July 21, 2016 at 8:00 am

I thought it was the root of all evil and corrupter of government and the reason we live in an oligarchy.

24 John July 21, 2016 at 8:08 am

Love of money is the root of all evil — which is merely to say that confusing an intermediate tool with an end product has negitive effects on everyone, not just the miser.

25 Jan July 21, 2016 at 4:45 am

Also, I think the big R donors will eventually bite the gimp ball hard and pony up. Most of them hate Trump, but they hate the idea of not wasting their money on an election cycle even more.

26 Lord Action July 21, 2016 at 10:09 am

I’m not sure. I think the big Republican donors fall into a few camps on Trump: (1) They see him as indistinguishable from Hillary in terms of policy. Both are vaguely left of center. (Pence probably helps Trump a lot.); (2) They are concerned that a hard line on trade and immigration is bad for their business, and their donations are basically business investments.; (3) They see two deeply flawed candidates and just can’t bring themselves to donate. (These people might come around.); (4) They’re mad at Trump because he embarrassed them. All those things you were supposed to do as a Republican candidate – genuflect to CNN, apologize whenever someone misinterprets something you say, be on the defensive 100% of the time as if you actually believe you’re on the wrong side of history – he does none of those things and he’s a big success. He showed the emperor has no clothes, and if you are the emperor, that doesn’t feel good. These people will hold a grudge.

27 JWatts July 21, 2016 at 10:32 am

3 is the most important. A lot of these donors like to go to big events and they want a ‘respectable’ candidate to promote. Trump doesn’t fit into that mold.

However, Trump has already shown he doesn’t need Jeb Bush money to beat Jeb Bush. I doubt he needs Hillary Clinton money to beat Hillary Clinton. I’m doubtful he’ll win, but lack of money won’t be the deciding factor. He doesn’t need to buy expensive TV commercials in every swing state for 6 weeks for name recognition.

28 Lord Action July 21, 2016 at 10:43 am

That might be, but the donors are a diverse bunch. For example, Goldman Sachs moved from supporting Jeb to supporting Hillary, and that isn’t because of (3).

(2) is a factor in many corporate donations.

I should have added a fifth category: (5) Trump, fairly obviously, can’t be bought. He’s seen as unreliable and unpredictable, so his commitment can’t be trusted, and, he doesn’t need your money.

29 JWatts July 21, 2016 at 11:07 am

“(5) Trump, fairly obviously, can’t be bought. He’s seen as unreliable and unpredictable, so his commitment can’t be trusted, and, he doesn’t need your money.”

Yes, I like category 5. And it has an obvious unstated corollary.

(5b) Hillary, fairly obviously, can be bought. She’s seen as reliable and predictable, so her commitment can be trust, and, she needs more of your money.”

“Here’s the chart of contributions from Wall Street to the Clinton Foundation.

“Four major Wall Street institutions stand out; Barclays, Barclays Capitol, Goldman Sachs and Citi. Each are listed as given between $1 million and $5 million to the Foundation. Citigroup, UBS, Banc of California and Bank of America are listed as giving up to $1 million to the Foundation.”

30 Lord Action July 21, 2016 at 11:14 am

Trump was pretty well known for not being friendly with Wall Street before the campaign.

I actually view this as a decent reason to support Hillary. Obama’s regulatory focus on Wall Street has done a lot of damage to the country. Clinton would likely undo some of that. Her motive may not be pure, but at the end of the day I’m not sure I care. I don’t have a lot of good options.

31 Lord Action July 21, 2016 at 11:40 am

Then vote Trump. It’s pretty clear he’ll take a harder line with the banks.

That said, we need to re-engineer a bunch of poorly-constructed reactionary financial regulation over the course of the next presidency, regardless of who wins. That re-engineering can be more or less bank-friendly, but it’s desperately needed.

32 JWatts July 21, 2016 at 11:54 am

“That re-engineering can be more or less bank-friendly, but it’s desperately needed.”

I believe it’s likely that Clinton will ensure that the legislation implicitly favors certain groups and/or firms. IE, she’ll definitely push for some kind of banking reform, but it will be tinged with crony capitalism. She’s definitely a classic ‘donations for favors’ type of politician.

33 Lord Action July 21, 2016 at 12:02 pm

That would, again fairly obviously, characterize literally everything she does. It would be the salient feature of her administration.

34 albatross July 21, 2016 at 2:22 pm

I don’t think it’s very smart to assume the tactics that worked in the primary will work in the general election.

1 Trump eliminated most of his potential rivals (all but Bush, Cruz, and Rubio) by depriving them of oxygen–he got so much media attention and especially TV time, that there was none left to discuss what anyone else (Paul, Kasich, Christie, etc.) had to say. I don’t know whether any of their campaigns *could* have taken off to the point of winning the primary, but they never had much of a chance.

That can’t possibly work in the general election, where he’s really only up against Hillary Clinton.

2 Similarly, in the primaries, he got a huge boost from name recognition early on–even people who can’t stand Donald Trump know who he is.

Again, this is probably not as big an advantage here–Hillary’s probably about as widely known as Trump.

3 A huge amount of Trump’s effective media strategy was, in practice, saying really outrageous stuff, and then getting a free week of press coverage from all the talking-heads shows clucking about whatever he’d said. This strategy was incredibly successful, which is why he’s the Republican nominee.

But it seems to me that it contradicts his need, at this point, to try to appear calm and presidential. You do that by being reassuringly boring–letting people know that you’re not really going to start a war with China from an off-the-cuff comment, or cause the cops to start bashing the heads of protesters because you make some angry comments in a speech about how BLM is all a bunch of thugs[1].

I don’t have a good mental picture of what Trump would need to do to win. I suspect he’s coming at the election with substantial disadvantages, because the party machinery is largely opposed to him, a lot of the big donors want nothing to do with him, and he has no deep expertise in running a political campaign himself. If he’s also stuck with a lot less money than Hillary, that looks pretty tough.

On the other hand, most people would have given him almost no chance to be the nominee, a year ago. So clearly he is capable of surprising everyone. And I suspect he’s just a lot more personally talented at a certain kind of political / manuipulation / marketing / negotiation game than almost anyone on the globe, which could give him some real advantages. But it is hard for me to see how he can do it.

[1] Note that even if you think BLM *are* a bunch of thugs, and treating Taiwan as a rogue province of China is silly, and North Korea is run by a nutcase, and the Saudis are medieval horrors, and so on, it’s not always a good idea for the president to say so out loud. This is one pretty obvious downside of Trump’s reputation and history of saying whatever he thinks.

35 JWatts July 21, 2016 at 3:18 pm

“I don’t think it’s very smart to assume the tactics that worked in the primary will work in the general election.”

Everyone (including me) was sure his tactics in the primaries would backfire. That’s not what happened.

“That can’t possibly work in the general election, where he’s really only up against Hillary Clinton.”

Everyone thought it couldn’t work in the primary. It did. So, that’s not really a convincing argument. It might turn out to be right, but at this point it looks like a rehash of the arguments about why Trump would fail in the Primary.

During the Primary it was widely speculated (with an air of certainty) that Trump would wash out when it dropped down to a handful of candidates. Then when it was speculated he would wash out when it was down to 4. And then 3. And then there was a ton of speculation that if one of the other two would just drop out, Trump would lose. It never happened.

“But it seems to me that it contradicts his need, at this point, to try to appear calm and presidential. You do that by being reassuringly boring”

Oh the old Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Bob Dole, Al Gore, John Kerry, Mitt Romney strategy. If I say nothing wrong, everyone will just appreciate that I’m Not a Risk Taker, I’m Presidential!

I don’t think “being reassuringly boring” has won a lot of modern Presidential elections.

36 albatross July 21, 2016 at 4:57 pm


Maybe he can do it. I am skeptical, for the reasons I listed above, but I suspect this election is much less predictable than the average election–the whole situation is quite unusual, and Trump is a very unusual candidate.

As far as acting presidential, I think that’s a significant bar to him winning the election. He has to worry about voters who like a lot of what he’s saying, or despise Hillary, but who think he is too impulsive or dangerous or scary to be president. This has been a lot of the practical pushback against Trump, and I expect it to continue–and if that pushback convinces a substantial number of would-be Trump voters to stay home or vote Johnson or something, then Trump loses.

The obvious response, the thing Scott Adams has pointed out is necessary, is for Trump to spend the next several months showing the country that he *can* behave in a pretty calming, non-scary way. That doesn’t mean he becomes Walter Mondale, but it does mean he can’t be the outrage of the week on the talking head shows every week, because that’s exactly the image of him that Hillary is going to try to play up, to keep his voters home and get her voters to the polls.

37 JWatts July 21, 2016 at 5:22 pm

“As far as acting presidential, I think that’s a significant bar to him winning the election. ”

I tend to agree. But I don’t think he’ll win by becoming calm. First, it’s not in his temperament. Second, it would actually help Hillary. At that point, he’d just be a ‘normal’ Republican candidate, and her campaign is prepared for that. Third, it would come off as ‘Trump has been reigned in by his handlers’.

No, to win he has to channel his attacks in both a strategic and tactical manner. Tactically, he has to keep the Media constantly covering his outrages. Strategically, the attacks have to feed the it’s Trump against Hillary and Mass Media narrative who are bound to fashion the country to their PC liking.

Frankly, I doubt he can pull it off. But you don’t Win by minimizing your strengths. And you don’t Win by taking council in your Fears.

38 Lucifer July 21, 2016 at 1:03 am

Good grief! I have better taste than that!

39 John July 21, 2016 at 8:09 am

Is this the Lucifer from Shaw’s “Man Superman”?

40 Lord July 21, 2016 at 10:06 am

Really like your show! (Not the one in Cleveland.)

41 Steve Sailer July 21, 2016 at 1:28 am

Hillary’s long college thesis on Saul Alinsky (who dedicated one of his books to Lucifer) is surprisingly witty.

Obama was involved with Alinskyite organizations for a long time, but I can’t recall hearing him saying anything witty about Alinksy.

42 mulp July 21, 2016 at 2:22 am

But Obama was never involved in any tea party groups which noted with glee they used the leftist Alinsky “Rules for Radicals” to organize.

But Alinsky was “leftist” only in not arguing you needed lots of corporate money to start a movement like the conservative movement, funded by many big corporations (GE funded Reagan as a political agent leading to his political career) and the rich, NR, Cato, Heritage, AEI, ….

“What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”

The relevant quote from RfR acknowledgement is

“Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer.”

Alinsky would certainly have cheered the tea party movement. And criticized the “occupy” stasis.

As to his views, well, it was to have the people govern their own community.

“Not at any time. I’ve never joined any organization—not even the ones I’ve organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it’s Christianity or Marxism. One of the most important things in life is what Judge Learned Hand described as ‘that ever-gnawing inner doubt as to whether you’re right.’ If you don’t have that, if you think you’ve got an inside track to absolute truth, you become doctrinaire, humorless and intellectually constipated. The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide.”

It is ironic for Ben Carson to twist the intent of the Lucifer quote, especially given Trump’s entire campaign is pretty much run by Trump as a radical doing what Alinsky taught.

“[t]he job of the organizer is to maneuver and bait the establishment so that it will publicly attack him as a ‘dangerous enemy.’ [According to Alinsky], the hysterical instant reaction of the establishment [will] not only validate [the organizer’s] credentials of competency but also ensure automatic popular invitation.”

Which is exactly the formula Trump has used for decades, but especially for the past year and a half getting the Republican nomination.

43 RJ July 21, 2016 at 2:43 am

Good job pasting in the DNC talking points.

44 The Engineer July 21, 2016 at 7:27 am

Good job reading that rambling post. Better man than I.

45 Sam the Sham July 21, 2016 at 8:02 am

Mulp, you get a lot of hate here, but this was a solid post. #notallmulp

46 mavery July 21, 2016 at 8:59 am

Yeah, that was actually really interesting.

47 JWatts July 21, 2016 at 10:35 am

Yes, that was a good post with some good points.

48 Nick July 21, 2016 at 11:38 am


49 albatross July 21, 2016 at 2:25 pm


50 Larry Siegel July 22, 2016 at 4:21 am

It is a good post but I’d add that Alinsky was a deeply committed leftist who would have been horrified to know that his work was being used by anti-leftists. (I was a University of Chicago student when Rules for Radicals came out, didn’t meet Alinsky, but was exposed to his writing early.)

51 JM LI July 21, 2016 at 1:53 am

8. I think Professor Cowen may be correct in saying that we are in for a big surprise. However, nothing will convince me that the DJT supporters in that arena aren’t an absolute disgrace to the ideals this country supposedly stands for.

52 HL July 21, 2016 at 2:32 am

We’re watching a convention of people who realize those ideals were thrown out long ago.

53 Lord Action July 21, 2016 at 10:15 am

“Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

I agree, this was thrown out a long time ago.

54 Arjun July 21, 2016 at 1:31 pm

As if it was every a serious principle in the first place, considering who was and wasn’t considered a proper “person” throughout history.

55 A Definite Beta Guy July 21, 2016 at 11:12 am

Government of bureaucrats, for bureaucrats, by bureaucrats!

What could you possibly complain about? They all have degrees, that means they know what they are doing.

56 Jeffrey Smith July 21, 2016 at 1:53 pm

No, I don’t think we are. I think very few persons there have actually completed a book longer than 100 pages.

57 RJ July 21, 2016 at 2:42 am

Yet another dumb post by Cowan. He used to be smart.

Oh, and Hillary is OBVIOUSLY Lucifer. We are probably going to find out what that means starting next year.

58 Josh July 22, 2016 at 7:55 am

I don’t thin cowen has ever said anything particularly e lightening on this blog. He has his little tricks that let people know he has a highish iq, but what has anyone ever learned by reading him?

59 Timothy July 21, 2016 at 4:23 am

This would be the same Lucifer whose campaign slogan is Make Heaven Great Again.

And later promised Eve that she could Make Eden Great Again.

60 Bmcburney July 21, 2016 at 4:31 am

Ok. Now do Trump is Hitler.

61 TMC July 21, 2016 at 3:36 pm

That’s every other day.

62 prior_teest2 July 21, 2016 at 4:40 am

‘but if you think it is merely stupid you are, sooner or later, in for a big surprise’

What, that Trump and/or the Republican Pat´rty are aboiut to discover you can go broke by underestimating the intelligence of Amnericans?

63 prior_test2 July 21, 2016 at 6:21 am

This is what I get for using a doctor’s office Internet PC with mini keyboard, especially considering needing only to wait a couple of minutes (not an appointment, just a drop in), and thus not proofreading.

64 Dmitri Helios July 21, 2016 at 8:54 am

Doctors in Germany let you use their computers to comment on random blogs? The wonders of German healthcare!

65 JWatts July 21, 2016 at 11:15 am

It’s probably considered good therapy.

66 Rich Berger July 21, 2016 at 6:39 am

What news cycle? First bad moods crossing borders, now this.

67 Rich Berger July 21, 2016 at 10:15 am

If I had just listened to Rush Limbaugh yesterday, I would have understood what this was all about. So Ben Carson accurately described Clinton’s background and Alinsky’s book dedication and the left wing media has apoplexy. BTW, reading the wikipedia entry on Alinsky, it doesn’t seem like he really accomplished much – Hilary has that in common with him. I don’t think she rises to the level of Beelzebub; that would imply a real accomplishment.

Is the Trump family destined to be the new Kennedys? That would really drive the bien pensants over the edge.

68 entirelyuseless July 21, 2016 at 6:49 am

“How many other people would you need to have believing…”

I think this question is much more important than you realize. At least the overall impression I have is that you think that this number does not make much difference to the plausibility or probability of a position. And I am quite sure that is wrong; it makes a significant difference.

The reason is this: if something is believed by many more people, that is probably because there are better reasons for believing it, even if you do not see those reasons yourself. So for example Dawkins compares Christian belief with believing in Santa Claus, asserting that the reasons for believing one are no stronger than the reasons for believing the other. But no adults believe in Santa Claus, and many believe in Christ. This very fact is a good reason for Dawkins to accept that belief in Christ is more plausible, even if he does not see any reasons for this himself. And that is true even if it might turn out in the end that in terms of objective reasons, the two beliefs were equal. That is because it is not “in the end” yet, and Dawkins does not yet know all of the objective reasons for each belief. So his guess about the strength of the evidence should be significantly influenced by the large number of Christians.

And in fact it turns out that there are far better reasons to believe in Christ than in Santa Claus, even if overall you think (as I do) that both beliefs are unlikely. For example, many adults have experienced what seemed to them to be visions of Christ. This includes adults who did not believe at the time of their experience. Very few adults (if any) have had equivalent experiences of Santa Claus. So the objective evidence is clearly unequal, even though Dawkins would presumably be unaware of this because of his lack of interest in the question.

69 John July 21, 2016 at 8:20 am

I’m not quite sure now a personal revelation that others cannot verify but must take a persons word for is considered “objective evidence” I’d go with the archeaological evidence that a person we call Jesus existed and made the claimes he made and had a following. Once might rationally say if those living at the time saw things and were convenced perhaps I should accept that testimoney and the historical records could be called objective evidence.

With regard to your first bit — how do you explain fad types of beliefs. These seem to be purely “mob mentality” beliefs. I would conceed that fads tend to be short lived but for the most part people buy into them for the simple reason that so many others do.

70 j r July 21, 2016 at 8:31 am

“But no adults believe in Santa Claus, and many believe in Christ. This very fact is a good reason for Dawkins to accept that belief in Christ is more plausible, even if he does not see any reasons for this himself.”

OK. Extend the logic. Many more adults do not believe in Christ than do believe in Christ. That should be a good reason for you accept that not believing in Christ is more plausible than believing.

Faith doesn’t work that way.

71 Tom July 22, 2016 at 1:42 pm

Come to think of it, there are far more muslims than progressives.

72 Sam the Sham July 21, 2016 at 3:37 pm

There are two jelly bean jars, each containing 100 beans. One contains 75% blue jelly beans and 25% red, the other contains 75% red jelly beans and 25% blue.

I pull out a jelly bean, see that it is red. I will conclude, logically, that I’m drawing from the Red jelly bean jar, and I announce this to everyone behind me (I eat the jelly bean before anyone else can see it).

Bob being 2nd in line heard me announce a red. If he pulls out a blue, he has equal evidence to assume the jar is blue or red, so let’s assume he declares blue. If he pulls out a red, he has plenty of evidence to announce confidently the jar is mostly red (and then eats the jelly bean before anyone else can see it).

Charlie will probably think the jar contains mostly red jelly beans if Albert and Bob both declared red, even if Charlie drew a blue bean. Right? Sometimes it does make sense to make decisions based off of crowd mentality!

73 dearieme July 21, 2016 at 7:55 am

The Constitution doesn’t separate Church and State: it’s more intelligent and precise than that.

74 Sam the Sham July 21, 2016 at 8:24 am

5. … “It is considered politically incorrect and indeed downright unacceptable to mock those who believe the Deity is present in various religious ceremonies.” What country does TC live in? In the good old US of A, it is only politically incorrect to mock the God that thinks Allahu Ackbar is a good prayer. The one that likes “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” is still not cool, and is still OK to mock. As this blog’s history itself makes abundantly clear.

Thinking Hillary is the devil manifest is stupid, but at least it’s not the weapons-grade stupid that leads people to kill 50 people in Orlando or run over almost 100 in France. It’s better to mock Christian catechism than to mock the catechism of a pedophile warlord… that would be intolerant.

75 Daniel Weber July 21, 2016 at 10:30 am

Seriously. The people mocking the convention for the Lucifer statement never felt shy about mocking Christians. Whatever, er, sins they are guilty of, they aren’t hypocrites in this specific case.

Anyway, Hillary is a Lizard people.

76 Lord Action July 21, 2016 at 10:56 am

I believe the 1988 documentary film “They Live” anticipated the Clinton campaign quite effectively.

The Trump campaign had a reality TV game show to give us the basic outline of his administration.

77 rayward July 21, 2016 at 8:31 am

For a clearer idea of why Peter Thiel is endorsing Trump (clearer than the Straussian nonsense being peddled here by Cowen), read this:

78 derek July 21, 2016 at 10:35 am

I think that the NYMag piece is a bit more persuasive. Although my understanding is that NRx philosophy appreciates Trump’s success not for Trumpism but as a confirmation of their thesis that US democracy is sick (ie contra to the alt-right, NRx views Trump as a symptom rather than cure) and as a vehicle for creative destruction, so Tyler’s “Straussian” reading of Thiel seems to me most likely.

I don’t really think that “Straussian” is the correct word choice for Tyler’s reading of the RNC, though, as I think of “Straussian” as conveying authorial intent. I am not convinced that Trump voters, or even Trump, are actually cognizant of the factors underlying Tyler’s reading and are simply caught up in very base tribal warfare that they are susceptible to because of these subconscious factors.

79 rayward July 21, 2016 at 11:21 am

Thanks. Here’s Vox’s explanation. Also, I understand that Mark Cuban has retracted his endorsement of Trump.

80 Philo July 21, 2016 at 8:33 am

If the race is close, Hillary might consider undergoing exorcism, to win a few votes from those who think that at present she is possessed.

81 Hazel Meade July 21, 2016 at 11:55 am

This election year? Why not?

If everyone else is going to be crazy, Hillary might as well get her crazy on too.

82 Jeff R. July 21, 2016 at 8:36 am

The Straussian reading of Thiel’s book was “perhaps you should not be an entrepreneur.” Straussian reading of this post: perhaps you should instead run for office as a Republican.

83 harpersnotes July 21, 2016 at 8:39 am

If Hillary really ~is~ Lucifer then Segretti and Rove were her teachers. (Related:’s the foe and not the friend that taught cities to build high walls,.. –Aristophanes Wikiquote.)

84 Bruce B July 21, 2016 at 8:50 am

Would like to get Tyrone’s view on this. Seems he might have some experience with Satanic familiars, if not Lucifer himself.

There have been claims that Obama is the anti-Christ, and now we have claims that Hillary is, or is inhabited by, Lucifer. I’m curious how you distinguish one from the other.

85 Bruce B July 21, 2016 at 8:52 am

In case it wasn’t clear, I’m asking how one distinguishes the anti-Christ from possession by Lucifer, not how one distinguishes Obama from Hillary. I’ve got the latter figured out, I think.

86 AL July 21, 2016 at 9:24 am

Can’t we all just agree she’s Lucifer and she’s still an infinitely better choice than Trump?

87 HRC July 21, 2016 at 10:41 am

I’m Hillary Clinton and I endorse this message.

88 albatross July 21, 2016 at 2:32 pm

“If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.”

–either Winston Churchill or the #NeverTrump Republicans, I can’t remember which.

89 Tom July 22, 2016 at 1:45 pm

I’m with her [downward arrow].

90 LR July 21, 2016 at 9:25 am

Good and Evil both exist and are both inherent in evolutionary progress and survival of the fittest. A reasonable view of religion and societies based on religion is that they are an attempt to modulate the competitive aspects of evolution – ie tamp down Evil.

91 anon July 21, 2016 at 9:33 am

With all the strange news, there is a lot to cover. I personally think this was the worst thing to happen, maybe ever, and yet in this piece it is confirmed by the campaign:

Manafort also described the vice presidency in a Trump administration as being similar to the COO of a company in an interview with the Huffington Post in May, a role that would appear consistent with the job being described by Kasich sources.
“He needs an experienced person to do the part of the job he doesn’t want to do. He sees himself more as the chairman of the board, than even the CEO, let alone the COO,” Manafort said.

Perhaps Tyler is saving this one.

92 MikeDC July 21, 2016 at 9:57 am

I see it as one of the best things to happen, and perhaps a mark of unexpected self-awareness by Trump.

93 anon July 21, 2016 at 10:09 am

Perhaps, but the bait and switch is dangerous in three ways. First the campaign to *be* President was a lie. Second, he never ever described any criteria for this secret, true, Presidental staff. Finally, he implicitly can step back in as Chairman to break NATO commitments or whatever.

His was always a campaign about him, not execution of the office, and this turns the uncertainty of execution up to 11.

94 MikeDC July 21, 2016 at 2:17 pm

Except this is all rhetorical cliche (“bait and switch”!, “dangerous”!, “*be*”!, “lies!”). The list of reasons for “danger” aren’t meaningful at all.
* “Being” President doesn’t mean a particular thing, like like being a CEO, chairman, or COO of a president doesn’t mean a particular thing. Without considering whether Trump is the right guy (probably not), the vision of President as “big picture decision-maker” is in many ways preferable to “visionless bureaucrat”.
* I’ve read various articles that say he wants his staff to be experienced politicians. No president has, or ever will detail and strictly adhere to some particular set of criteria, so this is an entirely unexceptional thing to make a big deal over.
* Any President can implicitly “break NATO commitments or whatever”.

I mean, look. I’m not likely to vote for Donald Trump. But this sort of unhinged commentary from places and people that should be able to think at something more than a knee-jerk emotional level is scarier than Trump.

95 Tom July 22, 2016 at 1:48 pm

Does anyone grown up expect the President to make all decisions during his tenure? Just curious.

96 anon July 21, 2016 at 10:11 am

Civics 101, the stress of the campaign is supposed to show us the temper of the man who will *be* President.

97 Bill July 21, 2016 at 10:15 am

Does Lucifer inhabit this website?

There is a saying by psychologists that if you tell a person to ignore the elephant in the room (when in fact there is no elephant) they will be thinking about the elephant in the room all day. You just can’t put it out of your mind. That’s why the association of Hillary with Lucifer is just a psych trick.

Ignore the efforts by Lucifer in this site to have you associate Donald Trump with Lucifer.

There, you see how it works.

You will soon be wondering if Donald’s hair is really hiding horns.

98 derek July 21, 2016 at 10:21 am

And Brazil is better?

The US manages to have all the debates and political fights in the open, with a sense of showmanship. And the world watches.

The Cruz Trump for fight is similar to the Joe Clark Harper fights that led to a multi term Conservative government in Canada. The free trade managed trade fight deals with issues every industrialized economy is facing. The immigration arguments as well, and no one knows even where to start with the Muslim issues. The collapse of the center is happening everywhere. The discrediting of institutions as well.

Political dysfunction looks like Turkey.

99 JWatts July 21, 2016 at 11:10 am

“In Brazil, crime is punished. … Our political system is not systematically corrupt like America’s, something like the buildup concerning the FBI indicting Clinton would be impossible in Brazil. Either there is enough evidence and she would be indicted or there isn’t and she wouldn’t. ”

Yeah ok, it is a telling point when a third world country seems to be better at enforcing the laws against the politically powerful.

100 JWatts July 21, 2016 at 11:57 am

A Second World country would be a Communist satellite. So, hopefully Brazil is transitioning from third to first world status.

101 Sam the Sham July 21, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Latin America largely shares US values from what I have seen, and I would welcome the ascent of Brazil to balance the decline of Europe. The Olympics are not painting Brazil in a good light, but I hope most of that is stuff that can be overcome.

102 Trudy July 21, 2016 at 10:29 am

I grew up in a fairly typical evangelical church where women only spoke during services when they had a “word from the Lord”. Women could speak as long as they were vessels. It wasn’t enough to speak from wisdom, common sense, or life experience. The accusation that Hillary Clinton is Lucifer, possessed by Satan, is NOT only about religious sentiment, it’s about denying that a woman can be anything but a vessel of the angels or demons. It’s a denial that she can have her own voice in the public space.

103 albatross July 21, 2016 at 2:34 pm

Wouldn’t that be more plausible if Trump hadn’t had his own wife speak at his convention earlier?

104 Trudy July 21, 2016 at 4:46 pm

Trump isn’t the one using religious sentiment. This is coming from a faction of the delegates, and it’s not *literally* about whether Lucifer has possessed Hillary Clinton, but that she doesn’t speak with her own voice. Another word for possession is ownership.

105 Anon. July 21, 2016 at 10:32 am

“Note: The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because he was a true Poet and of the Devils party without knowing it.”

106 Turkey Vulture July 21, 2016 at 12:49 pm

William Blake is awesome. Named my first-born son after him (and myself).

107 Hans-Georg July 21, 2016 at 10:37 am

“the world is going to hell, and many of those amongst us have been traitorously disloyal.” How is that not explicitly what they are saying? It doesn’t seem to require any Straussian hermeneutics.

108 JonFraz July 21, 2016 at 2:40 pm

They left out the part about the handcart or handbasket.

109 JWatts July 21, 2016 at 10:45 am

Carson was wrong to make the comparison. Calling Hillary Lucifer is just the right wing version of calling Trump Hitler. She’s not a devil and he’s not a fascist. Those memes are just silly and childish.

Granted, I don’t mind a few jokes. But when someone on either side starts invoking deviltry or fascism, it’s time to ignore them.

110 anon July 21, 2016 at 11:14 am

That is craven and cunning false equivalence. The case for Trump being Fascist in the sense of more cult of personality and less respect for law looks stronger every day.

In demanding fealty from Balkin states, he is essentially offering to divide the world with Putin. Not to mention the platform changes regarding Ukraine. Not to mention admiration for Erdogan.

111 JWatts July 21, 2016 at 11:17 am

“That is craven and cunning false equivalence.”

That’s exactly the comment someone from the religious right would say, too.

112 anon July 21, 2016 at 11:23 am

Well, I think I gave you better grounding points for fascism than I have seen for Hillary being the Devil. But I am an agnostic, what do I know?

I am probably second on the bonfire.

113 Turkey Vulture July 21, 2016 at 12:53 pm

Please define fascism for us. Then explain in which respects Trump fits the definition of a fascist. Then, using the same standard, analyze all U.S. Presidents from FDR onward. Thanks.

114 anon July 21, 2016 at 12:56 pm

When you lose Forbes …

115 Turkey Vulture July 21, 2016 at 1:04 pm

Ah, so a bunch of bullshit.

116 anon July 21, 2016 at 1:19 pm

Spoken like a good member of the fascist mob. What was in that article didn’t matter. All that matters is strength to the party leader.

117 Turkey Vulture July 21, 2016 at 1:38 pm

anon’s Definition of Fascism:

“Failing to offer a point-by-point rebuttal of whichever article I link to.”

118 anon July 21, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Look, there was a time when I was a proud Republican. There was a right time for that (when Democrats held markets in true disregard).

But now is different. By being true to the party you defend this:

When MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough asked Trump about his affection for Vladimir Putin, who “kills journalists, political opponents and invades countries,” Trump replied, “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, unlike what we have in this country.”

But it’s not just Putin. Trump has praised Saddam Hussein because “he killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights.” He said “you’ve got to give [Kim Jong Un] credit. He goes in, he takes over, and he’s the boss. It’s incredible.” It’s not just that Trump admires these authoritarians, it’s that the thing he admires about them is their authoritarianism — their ability to dispense with niceties like a free press, due process, and political opposition.

There is a time for nation to come first, and this is it.

119 Turkey Vulture July 21, 2016 at 2:01 pm

“President Franklin Roosevelt expressed admiration for the Italian leader, and sent him cordial letters. In June 1933, Roosevelt praised Mussolini in a letter to an American envoy: “… I am much interested and deeply impressed by what he has accomplished and by his evidenced honest purpose of restoring Italy and seeking to prevent general European trouble.” In another letter a few weeks later, the President wrote: “I don’t mind telling you in confidence that I am keeping in fairly close touch with the admirable Italian gentleman.””

“On May 7, 1933, just two months after the inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the New York Times reporter Anne O’Hare McCormick wrote that the atmosphere in Washington was “strangely reminiscent of Rome in the first weeks after the march of the Blackshirts, of Moscow at the beginning of the Five-Year Plan.… America today literally asks for orders.” The Roosevelt administration, she added, “envisages a federation of industry, labor and government after the fashion of the corporative State as it exists in Italy.”
Roosevelt himself called Mussolini “admirable” and professed that he was “deeply impressed by what he has accomplished.” The admiration was mutual. In a laudatory review of Roosevelt’s 1933 book Looking Forward, Mussolini wrote, “Reminiscent of Fascism is the principle that the state no longer leaves the economy to its own devices.… Without question, the mood accompanying this sea change resembles that of Fascism.” The chief Nazi newspaper, Volkischer Beobachter, repeatedly praised “Roosevelt’s adoption of National Socialist strains of thought in his economic and social policies” and “the development toward an authoritarian state” based on the “demand that collective good be put before individual self-interest.””

120 albatross July 21, 2016 at 2:39 pm

I agree Trump’s comments on Putin do him no credit, but it’s not like admiration for dictators is some kind of new and horrible thing that only Trump has done.

For example, Hillary Clinton said “I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family.”

Mubarak was surely at least as much a dictator as Putin is, complete with security services infamous for disappearing and torturing the opposition.

121 Hazel Meade July 21, 2016 at 12:00 pm


Actually, that sounds slightly plausible… in a metaphorical way *sigh*

122 anon July 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm

Did you ever expect the Republicans to run a candidate who praised Putin?

Donald Trump lavishes praise on ‘leader’ Putin

I know that once you cast your lot with someone, it is hard to step back and look at that person honestly, but anyone who isn’t locked up, who has some mental independence left, should read that and take it seriously.

123 Simonini July 21, 2016 at 1:09 pm

I didn’t expect either party would ever run a candidate with anything other than a “poke the bear” policy towards Russia in my lifetime. I was pleasantly surprised.

124 Hazel Meade July 21, 2016 at 2:11 pm

It’s an interesting year when the Republicans make the Libertarians look like bland sane moderates.

125 albatross July 21, 2016 at 2:44 pm

George W Bush famously said about Putin: “I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. We had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country.”

So, yeah, I could kinda imagine the Republicans nominating someone who had spoken well of Putin.

There are plenty of reasons to not want Trump as president. But I don’t think his finding some nice things to say about Putin is any of them.

126 anon July 21, 2016 at 12:18 pm

Someone could do a good parody, in a parallel universe where Hillary praises Lucifer and her voters say it’s just hyperbole, nothing to worry about.

127 Tom July 22, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Parallel universe, eh? No, that’s where they stored Obama’s schoolwork.

128 Floccina July 21, 2016 at 10:47 am

Hillary’s subtle shift on abortion from “safe, legal and rare”, to just “safe and legal”, and her support for funding abortion with tax dollars may in future, put her in history in the company of slave holders. I am to old see that day though.

Think about how sentiment has been moving away from slavery, from killing foreigners, from criminals, and even from killing certain animals. Today many vegans are vegans for moral reasons. (I am for attempting to make the about 200 species of mosquito that bite humans, out of about 3,500 species, extinct but some greenies are against even that on principle.)

People want to make death free meat, how long will abortion be something considered OK to funded with tax dollars?

129 Hazel Meade July 21, 2016 at 11:01 am

Come on Tyler, we have to think of SOME way to get libertarians (among others) to vote for Trump.
Clearly, it can’t be on the merits of his candidacy, so it must be because Hillary is worse.
And Trump is still behind in the polls, so …. obviously, we havn’t made it clear to people just how evil she is. She is EVIL!!!!! YOU MUST VOTE FOR TRUMP! THE SKY WILL RAIN BLOOD IF TRUMP LOSES!

130 anon July 21, 2016 at 11:16 am

Trump was careful to say he doesn’t *support* the call for her to be shot at his convention.

131 Jeff R. July 21, 2016 at 12:02 pm

And they say he isn’t magnanimous.

132 Hazel Meade July 21, 2016 at 2:07 pm

I support that call. If she’s assassinated, we might get some other option that is better than Trump.

133 albatross July 21, 2016 at 2:49 pm

Better a dozen sociopathic, inept leaders (like Hillary or Trump) than a country where assassinations are how we decide who gets to be president.

134 JWatts July 21, 2016 at 3:21 pm

Agreed. Neither Trump nor Hillary is bad enough to wish for that outcome.

135 Tom July 22, 2016 at 1:56 pm

Imagine the Notorious RBG … multiplied by three … forever.

136 chrisare July 21, 2016 at 11:01 am

Tyler’s contrarianism gone a step too far.

137 Li Zhi July 21, 2016 at 11:05 am

King James Bible
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
I understand that this is the only use of the name Lucifer in the Bible (ie Isaiah 14:12).
Very crafty to use the name associated with Venus (the morning star, but also a female archtype).
I’m still trying to figure out why TC posted this rubbish. He must have a daily quota. Or a bet about how many responses (mea culpa) a garbage post would provoke.

138 anon July 21, 2016 at 11:20 am

If I read him correctly, he is frightened by the id of the convention. This dark humor is response. Laugh if you can’t cry.

139 spencer July 21, 2016 at 11:56 am

Of course Hillary has the devil. She has made a deal with him to win the election by a landslide
and get a democratic House and Senate.

140 b9n10nt July 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm

7) Democrat’s mockery of the Repulican nominee, the Republiclan platform, and the RNC is entirely justified, both intellectually and psychologically-strategically.

Intellectually (by which we create a standard for truth claims based on reason and evidence from a position of epistemic humility in which the default position is “we don’t know”)

-it is not evident that immigration poses a threat to the well being of Americans

-it is not evident that HRC is distiniguished as untruthful, corrupt, and criminal

-it is not evident that America suffers from a lack of law and order (except for within the institutions of the criminal justice system, which is precisely NOT where Republicans fix their gaze when they make this claim).

(It is interesting to speculate, regarding the Sunstein article/ Haidt thesis, that, for liberals, valuing authority, purity, and loyalty all refer to Enlightenment traditions of rational inquiry and thus are subsumed within the values of fairness and well being).

Of course, what is true of group psychology for Republicans is also true of Democrats. Mockery is a way of defining in-groups and out-groups. Mockery is a communal speech act that creates or reinforces group identities while reinforcing shared beliefs. To ask Democrats to forgo mockery implies that a) Democrats are not, also, a church trying to win converts and that b) mockery precludes understanding. Neither of those propositions are likely to be well-founded. Indeed, understanding one’s enemy is a means to defeat them, not capitulate to them.

141 Mark B. July 21, 2016 at 12:36 pm

For decades the uni-party running the United States has been bringing in immigrants at the expense of its current black underclass. It has exacerbated that underclass by undermining the morals and good order provided by religion, such that we now have a pan-racial underclass. It then sets those two underclasses at war with each other. It passes that underclass on to teachers and police. It uses those teachers and police as the convenient scape-goat for which they get handsomely paid with healthy and quick retirements. And it uses the raft of “programs” directed through those communities to engage in moral preening over anyone who points out “hey, its all a sham”. And the reason they do this is so they can get their jollies off, get good cheap help, and feel morally superior. All the while they have betrayed their countrymen and lead them deeper into dissolution. More Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery, and less community organizing would be called for. A John Wesley would be a welcome person to have around. But they are right. Huge chunks of Americans have been betrayed in a way that Gen. Eisenhower or even JFK would have been aghast at.

The level of moral narcissism, betrayal and dissolution that drives this in prior generations would have been called the three great enemies: the devil, the world and our sinful nature. And anyone leading it (HRC) would have been higher up that ladder than lower. All of us are tempted by the nature and the world, but someone who already has the world (Clinton Global Initiative) only has one temptation to go.

142 John L. July 21, 2016 at 1:28 pm

“has exacerbated that underclass by undermining the morals and good order provided by religion”

People (i.e. Blacks) knew their places in those good days. If they happened to forget, the police dogs and high presaure hosesnwould remember them. Things were so moral, back then…

143 Peter Schaeffer July 22, 2016 at 1:24 am


When in doubt, just shout “racism”.

Mark B. offers all sorts of serious comments that apply to people of all races.

Your response… “Jim Crow”, “Jim Crow”, “Jim Crow”

By the way, Mark B. has his facts right. See “Immigration and the Economic Status of African-American Men” by Borjas, Grogger, and Hanson. The abstract reads

“The employment rate of black men, and particularly of low-skilled black men, fell precipitously between 1960 and 2000. At the same time, their incarceration rate rose. This paper examines the relation between immigration and these trends in employment and incarceration. Using data from the 1960–2000 US censuses, we find that a 10% immigration-induced increase in the supply of workers in a particular skill group reduced the black wage of that group by 2.5%, lowered the employment rate by 5.9 percentage points, and increased the incarceration rate by 1.3 percentage points.”

144 Turkey Vulture July 21, 2016 at 1:01 pm

The Godless and Satanless version of the world is pretty terrifying, and I suspect that Tyler, like most people, has a variety of comforting, childish illusions floating around in his head that allow him to make it through each meaningless day in his meaningless life.

145 Urso July 21, 2016 at 2:28 pm

You’re getting much smarmier recently.

146 teredwar July 21, 2016 at 2:50 pm

The overlap between people who have read and studied Strauss and those who use the the word “Straussian” is not a large as many seem to think.

147 boss July 21, 2016 at 4:29 pm

If H.Clinton had sold her soul, she would not exhibit such a talent for mistakes.

148 Steve July 22, 2016 at 5:25 am

Can I recommend a book? “Demons, Deliverance, Discernment : Separating Fact from Fiction about the Spirit World,” by Father Mike Driscoll.

149 Thor July 22, 2016 at 8:02 am

I have never met an adult who believes in gnomes, unless placing “replicas” of them in the garden constitutes faith.

150 Thor July 22, 2016 at 8:07 am

That was re: Thiago’s claim (above).

151 Tomas July 22, 2016 at 9:45 am

Nope. We have it on a good authority that Lucifer in the flesh is Ted Cruz, not Hillary Clinton.

152 jorod July 22, 2016 at 12:23 pm

If you need to quote Saul D. Alinsky you probably are morally bankrupt.

153 Evan July 22, 2016 at 4:14 pm

Could someone please explain to me what “Straussian” means? Tyler uses this reference often and I cannot quite figure it out.

154 extramsg July 22, 2016 at 11:19 pm

If you had argued why, based on her restaurant choices, why or why not she is the devil, this would be the BEST. POST. EVER. As such, it will have to remain the second best post ever, until that best post can be identified.

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