On safari in Trump’s America

by on October 28, 2017 at 12:54 am in Current Affairs, Education, Political Science, Travel, Uncategorized | Permalink

I very much enjoyed this Molly Ball piece.

…three days into their safari in flyover country, the researchers were hearing some things that disturbed them greatly—sentiments that threatened their beliefs to the very core…

“You’ve got all these parasites making a living off the bureaucracy,” the farmer declared, “like leeches pulling you down, bleeding you dry.” We had been in the state for just a few hours, and already the researchers’ quest for mutual understanding seemed to be hitting a snag.

Others in the group, a bunch of proudly curmudgeonly older white men, identified other culprits. There were plenty of jobs, a local elected official and business owner said. But today’s young people were too lazy or drug-addled to do them.

As we proceeded to meetings with diverse groups of community representatives, this sort of blame-casting was a common refrain. Disdain for the young, in particular, was a constant, across demographic, socio-economic, and generational lines: Even young people complained about young people. “They don’t want to do the work, and they always feel like they’re being picked on,” a recent graduate of a technical school in Chippewa Falls said of his fellow Millennials.

Some of the people we met expressed the conservative-leaning view that changes in society and the family were to blame. One, a technical-skills instructor at the Chippewa Falls school, questioned whether women belonged in the workplace at all. “That idea of both family members working, it’s a social experiment that I don’t know if it quite works,” he said. “If everyone’s working, who is making sure the children are raised right?”

There is much more at the link, but no final meeting of the minds.

1 Henry David October 28, 2017 at 2:03 am

“and they always feel like they’re being picked on”
Well, if the report is true, then they are correct in feeling that way.

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2 Tom Murin October 28, 2017 at 2:50 am

Being complained about is not the same as being picked on. This is what happens when everyone gets a trophy.

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3 Jan October 28, 2017 at 7:20 am

At least the millennials are still up for covering the bill for the Boomers’ Medicare and Social Security, rebuilding infrastructure, and cleaning up after Trump does his best to destroy this country and its credibility with allies. But, yeah, the trophies.

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4 Dick the Butcher October 28, 2017 at 8:02 am

Oh, my! Trump and we boomers are harshing your buzz.

FYI, I paid into SS and Medicare for 50 years. Now, monthly for Medicare Part B, my wife and I each pay $268, plus we pay for supplementary HI which is about as much.

Baby boomers certainly are to blame. It wasn’t me! I never voted for a Democrat.

“You can have your welfare state. You can have your open borders. But, you cannot have both.” Milton Friedman

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5 Sam Haysom October 28, 2017 at 8:47 am

Ha Jan’s old as fu@k.

6 ConfirmationBiasIsAFemaleDog October 28, 2017 at 9:48 am

But you’re still collecting your entitlements, which millenials are paying for, and complaining about the people paying your bills.

Freeloader!

7 Sam the Sham October 28, 2017 at 10:29 am

“But you’re still collecting your entitlements, which millenials are paying for, and complaining about the people paying your bills.”

If that is true, then you’re admitting Social Security is a ponzi scheme.

If that is not true, then he’s only taking what is his due. Which is it?

8 GoneWithTheWind October 28, 2017 at 11:02 am

SS is a self funded system. The congress has taken money from it and have tweaked the rules to give money to those who shouldn’t get it but it is at least self funded. Before we end SS we should end all the many welfare programs.

9 ckb October 28, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Oh, wow. Two hundred and sixty eight whole dollars. Well I guess the rest of us should just shut up then.

10 aMichael October 29, 2017 at 10:31 am

Don’t get me wrong. I think Milton has a point there, but that ain’t what’s bankrupting America. Sorry, but we’d still have some serious fiscal woes even with a closed border (and under the assumption that our economy would be just as prosperous or more without slightly open borders).

11 ConfirmationBiasIsAFemaleDog October 28, 2017 at 9:47 am

No, it’s what happens when there are barely any decent jobs for college graduates and they’re saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. But you don’t know anything about that because your worldview is apparently informed entirely by resentment, hence the “everyone gets a trophy” bullshit.

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12 Tom Murin October 28, 2017 at 11:01 am

Clearly, I hit a nerve. On the participation trophy thing – maybe you can do some reading on the subject and get back to me?

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13 Al October 28, 2017 at 11:28 am

Don’t taunt him.

ConfirmationBias I acknowledge the truth of your pain.

We need to make a psylogically safe space for you, it’s important, you are important.

14 athEIst October 28, 2017 at 4:20 pm

ckb
Oh, wow. Two hundred and sixty eight whole dollars.
He pays 268/mo premium on a plan where he has been paying 1.9% on his income for forty or fifty years. he pays an equal amount for HI because Medicare doesn’t cover evertything. He pays equally for his wife. So think of it as 12K+ a year.

15 Hwite October 28, 2017 at 11:36 am

“No it’s what happens when there are barely any decent jobs for college graduates and they’re saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.”

True, but why is that? Is it because the evil old people stole all the “decent” jobs? No, it’s because the idea that everyone could go to college and that would magically generate as many “decent jobs”(i.e. high paying, comfortable office jobs) as there are graduates was stupid, and stems from the same minds that gave us “give everyone a trophy so everyone will be a winner.” The Millennials will have to settle for the non-decent jobs, the same kind of jobs their parents worked without complaint. But, in their defense, none of this was their idea.

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16 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 11:55 am

I think the median debt load on graduation is somewhere around $45,000. Regrettable, but there are worse problems. I know one dreadfully debt-saddled married couple. The husband’s a doctor.

Over 40% of each age cohort is now cadging a baccalaureate degree. No clue what you fancy a ‘decent job’ is, but it evidently excludes most jobs people actually work at.

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17 athEIst October 28, 2017 at 4:23 pm

BOO HOO! Average doctor’s income $300,000. BOO HOO!

18 Art Deco October 29, 2017 at 2:19 pm

BOO HOO! Average doctor’s income $300,000. BOO HOO!

You managed to misread a perfectly banal point, which is that large debt loads are commonly characteristic of people who’ve attended professional schools, which most college graduates do not.

While we’re at it, mean annual cash compensation for physicians and surgeons is as we speak is $210,000. The median in his particular specialty is lower and he only entered private practice two years ago, so his compensation is likely a third lower than that.

19 Pshrnk October 29, 2017 at 11:35 am

“they’re saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.”

Who saddled them with debt?

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20 athEIst October 29, 2017 at 8:59 pm

BOO HOO! This doctor only makes $120,000 BOO HOO!

which most college graduates do not.

Most college graduates are not making $120,000 in two years…or ever.

21 cthulhu October 28, 2017 at 2:12 am

The Third Way “researchers” simply reek of the attitude that in previous times would fit in with “if we can just get the darkies to sing their songs again they’ll understand that we just want the best for them.”

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22 Mark Thorson October 28, 2017 at 1:27 pm

Molly Ball is the Margaret Mead of our time. She seeks to understand the savages.

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23 clamence October 28, 2017 at 7:03 pm

I’ve been embedded with the savages for 10 years now, and while it’s true they are morons, the main difference between them and a coastal liberal is that Jesusland residents are morons in woefully uncool and straightforward ways (e.g. songs about your pickup truck versus Feel the Bern 2020!).

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24 Anon October 28, 2017 at 8:12 pm

Gosh, why don’t you take your condescending attitude back to one of the coasts?

Couldn’t make it among smart, competent people? Are you bright enough to know that means you are a self-confessed shit-for-brains?

Probably not. Losers like you never figure that out.

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25 Mark Thorson October 28, 2017 at 10:13 pm

He probably chooses to be in the aristocrat class in Jesusland over being an ordinary person near either coast.

26 clamence October 29, 2017 at 9:14 am

I intended to insult both tribes but maybe that wasn’t clear–though I’d rather watch a Bill Maher monologue and stroll on the beach than listen to talk radio and watch college football.

MR commenters are the best on the web, even when calling me shit-for-brains (which is partially true). For the record, though, I’m not ideologically committed to any of the tribes. Anyway, I love you guys, don’t ever change.

27 clamence October 29, 2017 at 10:08 am

Oh and excuse me for not noticing this immediately (my shit brain is slow in the AM) but your comment is at least as condescending as mine: are you suggesting all the smart, competent people are on the coasts? You owe Jesusland an apology!

And because I have late check out from my premium mediocre hotel room (I am a Best Western Rewards platinum member!), I’ll explain my original point: the distinguishing feature of coastal tribal morons is they wrap their dumb beliefs in a cloak of coolness, as they define that (comedian monologues, overlong thinkpieces in salon.com dripping with smug superiority). It’s no wonder some Flyover Hicks have an inferiority complex. Anyway, if conservatism was cooler, maybe it could make more in-roads into urban centers? Of course the underlying problem is tribal mood-affiliation is orthogonal to critical thought and morons of all breeds aren’t inclined to attempt it in the first place.

Will Wilkinson had a point in the linked article the other day, but based on the comments, the ideological immune system kicked for some commenters here who can’t stand a more neutral, objective stance on political issues.

28 Lanigram October 28, 2017 at 10:13 pm

+1

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29 Bob October 28, 2017 at 2:12 am

Incidentally, most farmers today are highly subsidized parasites. They’re not exactly hard scrabble yeoman working the land independently.

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30 Arnold Layne October 28, 2017 at 2:42 am

Incidentally, all of us in the US fit this definition of highly subsidized parasites to varying degrees. The mortgage interest deduction and dependent exemptions are just 2 of the examples. I wonder how these 2 common subsidies compare to those that individual farmers receive given that a lot of the farm subsidy money goes to agribusiness.

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31 Jr October 28, 2017 at 3:48 am

It is pretty much impossible for everyone to be a highly subsidized parasite. Everyone does benefit from various government programmes but also suffer from regulation and taxes. Farmers are a group on net get more from the government than they lose, and not for any very good reason.

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32 Alan October 28, 2017 at 7:42 am

Impossible, unless money is coming in from say, the future? Look at the debt.

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33 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 8:25 am

Debt is large, but not that large IMO.

34 aMichael October 29, 2017 at 10:35 am

Amen. As long as he gubmit is spending more than it’s taking in, it’s possible for everyone of us to be getting some subsidized benefits of some kind. Remember when Republicans used to talk about the debt? Screw both parties!!!

35 Ricardo October 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm
36 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 8:24 am

There has to be some distinction between working together and free riding. In theory road taxes are paid for by those who use them, and so even if government mediates, it is a kind if joint effort.

The farmers would tell us that we eat the food .. even if tax is a backdoor way of paying for it.

I am for drastically reduced farm subsidies, but I have to admit the price of corn, and therefore meat, would probably rise.

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37 M October 28, 2017 at 5:34 pm

Looked at that way farm subsidies are kind of a progressive policy, in the sense of the opposite of a regressive consumption tax.

Farm subsidies are paid for out of general taxation, but everyone benefits equally from cheaper food, and as a proportion of income, the poor benefit most. Cut the subsidies any everyone would pay more, but the poor would be paying proportionately more of their income.

Of course, you can do the same simply with food stamps and basic income cash transfers. Cut subsidies, straight give them instead to people as cash, they spend it on the now more expensive food, everyone’s roughly the same off.

But then you have to weigh up whether “food security” has any meaning to you (cash transfers don’t guarantee that the cash will be spent on American food), and simultaneously in that context whether a subsidised farm industry in fact does offer “food security”.

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38 athEIst October 28, 2017 at 8:27 pm

everyone benefits equally from cheaper food, and as a proportion of income, the poor benefit most.
Beyond malnutrition that is not true. Cheaper food means fatter people. You are correct the poor will benefit most(become the fattest).

39 Anonymous October 29, 2017 at 12:14 am

Actually the government’s ag policy increases the price of food pretty substantially. Scrap all that and food costs as a whole would go way down.

40 Anonymous October 29, 2017 at 12:06 pm

It is confusing for you to be another Anonymous disagreeing inline. Be a little more creative.

But beyond that, I have never heard the proposition that subsidies raise prices. I thought the consensus is that they encourage the consumption of cheaper corn based products.

41 JosieB October 29, 2017 at 1:22 pm

Forget food. I’d be happy to get rid of the ethanol fuel requirement, cotton price supports and whatever the program it is that boosts the cost of sugar so as to allow that coalition in Florida to maintain their incomes.

42 Dan Hanson October 29, 2017 at 2:06 pm

Subsidies to agriculture have made food cheaper in the same way that subsidies for higher education have lowered tuition.

Oh, wait…

43 Art Deco October 29, 2017 at 2:22 pm

Actually the government’s ag policy increases the price of food pretty substantially.

Production controls were abandoned decades ago. Again, the Farm Service Agency’s budget amounts to about 3% of ag-sector revenues. Another source of subsidy is SNAP and federal nutrition programs, but that does not raise retail prices.

44 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 8:36 am

Incidentally, most farmers today are highly subsidized parasites. They’re not exactly hard scrabble yeoman working the land independently.

The budget of the Farm Service Agency is running at about $16 bn a year contra $480 billion in gross output in the agricultural sector, so no, they’re not ‘heavily subsidized’ nor are they ‘parasites’ except to the disordered progtrash mind.

The actual parasites are people in occupations suffused with wheel-spinning wherein demand for their labor is a function of state mandates or intermediated by state mandates. That would be (1) lawyers (2) social workers (3) large swaths of the school apparat and (4) large swaths of higher education. A great deal of the mental health trade has an income stream because it has been foolishly included in medical insurance plans (often per state mandates).

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45 asdf October 28, 2017 at 9:41 am

In addition most farm subsidies go to connected large agribusinesses. So imagine some big farm estate worked by a bunch of illegals. What small time farmers there may be then have to deal with all that subsidized dumping driving down the price of their goods.

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46 Hwite October 28, 2017 at 11:39 am

+1

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47 Bob October 28, 2017 at 6:33 pm

You’re ignoring all the illegal alien labor farmers use, whose costs are borne by everyone else. That’s parasitism as well.

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48 Art Deco October 29, 2017 at 2:22 pm

Most farmers aren’t fruit growers.

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49 Anon October 28, 2017 at 8:16 pm

Incidentally, most of the food you eat comes from them.

Why not be honest enough not to eat any of their food and grow your own! Of course that would mean you’d have to get off your lard-ass butt and have to do some REAL work.

Another pathetic loser self-identifies.

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50 Anonymous October 29, 2017 at 12:16 am

“Another pathetic loser self-identifies.”

I know you are, but what am I?

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51 Tom Murin October 28, 2017 at 3:05 am

My impression is that Scott Walker is a major cause of the GOP margin in the WI district. He’s one of the best governors in the country and they experience it first hand. All the attacks against him (John Doe investigation and the failed recall effort) have undermined the Democrats’ credibility in WI.

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52 Jan October 28, 2017 at 7:24 am

Walker’s approve/not approve ratio has been negative for almost his whole tenure. That’s uncommon for governors.

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53 Ted Craig October 28, 2017 at 7:34 am

And yet, he has won three elections.

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54 Jan October 28, 2017 at 7:49 am

And Sam Brownback, who is incredibly unpopular, was also reelected. What do you think that tells us?

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55 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 8:13 am

That tells us that people understand that the Democratic Party is an electoral vehicle for the teachers’ unions, the trial lawyers, and Hollywood and is unfit to govern no matter how irritating their opposition is.

56 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 8:30 am

I love completely (ir)rational statements like these, they make my day.

“the Democratic Party is an electoral vehicle for the teachers’ unions, the trial lawyers, and Hollywood”

Now do Republicans.

57 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 8:40 am

You’re bothered by what I said not because it is irrational but because it’s the truth.

The Republicans are an omnibus of people alienated from the nexus of interests in the Democratic Party. That includes commercial sectors outside the media, tech, and casino banking.

58 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 8:45 am

“Republicans are repressed homosexuals, small time embezzlers, and Russian moles.”

59 Ted Craig October 28, 2017 at 9:14 am

“What do you think that tells us?”
That you should put more stock in what people do rather than what they say.

60 ConfirmationBiasIsAFemaleDog October 28, 2017 at 9:50 am

“The Republicans are an omnibus of people alienated from the nexus of interests in the Democratic Party. That includes commercial sectors outside the media, tech, and casino banking.”

Glad you’re willing to admit the Republican party is fueled entirely by resentment rather than any coherent ideology or policy platform.

61 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 10:20 am

ueled entirely by resentment rather than any coherent ideology or policy platform.

It isn’t. The resentment is perfectly proper, of course. Democratic pols are destructive and valueless.

62 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 10:21 am

“Republicans are repressed homosexuals, small time embezzlers, and Russian moles.”

You’re trying too hard, and still failing.

63 derek October 28, 2017 at 10:39 am

That tells us that the measures of popularity are flawed.

Do you believe polls tell you anything at all?

64 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 12:19 pm

Our lists are equivalent Art, in the sense that each party contains the things listed, and it is only a joke that they are the whole.

65 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Our lists are equivalent Art,

You have a problem win analogical reasoning too.

66 athEIst October 28, 2017 at 4:31 pm

Mathematically speaking, an approve/not approve RATIO could vary from zero to infinity but could never be negative. Math is hard.

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67 A Truth Seeker October 28, 2017 at 6:46 am

Such is life in America.

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68 Mike W October 29, 2017 at 6:40 am

Are you referring to the article or the comments here?

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69 Evans_KY October 28, 2017 at 8:24 am

What is the purpose of a think tank that instead of seeking and reporting truth weaves a narrative that donors are comforted by? You inform politicians and help craft public policy. The chasm opens wider.

I am comforted to know The Atlantic and it’s fantastic staff continue to be worth my investment in their journalism.

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70 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 8:34 am

They seemed to have two founding beliefs, one more naive than the other. The first was that they could go find activists and get them to be pragmatic. The second was that the resulting agreement would settle center-left.

I think part of their problem was sampling error, that they sought out groups which were pretty wound up about things.

But the other problem is that a lot of people are pretty wound up right now.

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71 Boonton October 28, 2017 at 8:27 am

Notice you will never hear Trump supporters go for anything like this. “We sent two people to a big city with a large Latino population to see if we can understand why they can’t get down with the idea of deporting illegals and building a wall *but* giving the legals a nice tax cut so they can take advantage of all the new jobs read what happened here…” Or “We sent two coal miners to hang out in a NYC coffee shop and chat with hipsters about why their jobs are important and see if we can reach common ground, read here!”

This idea that the problem is people not understanding coal miners, or farmers, or waitresses at diners in the midwest or “Joe the Plumber (who was never a plumber)” always struck me as not really the problem the country has but more about solving the problem if finding interesting stories

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72 chuck martel October 28, 2017 at 9:44 am

The “problem” is that the celebrated result of the democratic process didn’t work out the way that the liberal/progressives wanted. It’s their belief that this outcome was a misinterpretation of their ideology by the unwashed hicks of the interior and that if they can discover the dimension of these errors they can then correct them. It has nothing to do with changing the message or the plan, which is correct. It’s all about changing the minds of the backward. These people: http://nailheadtom.blogspot.com/2017/07/draft-horse-action-in-chetek-wisconsin.html

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73 ConfirmationBiasIsAFemaleDog October 28, 2017 at 9:53 am

Political messaging is fairly difficult when your opponents are promising policy impossibilities like health insurance that is both cheaper and more comprehensive than currently offered. It’s especially difficult when rather than run a responsible campaign in a heterogenous population one party chooses to run campaigns entirely based on white resentment and appeals to racism.

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74 Harun October 28, 2017 at 1:26 pm

Obama lied to get the ACA passed. Have you guys not figured this out? Democratic politicians lie just like GOP ones. You must still think Democrats “mean well” so their lies don’t count?

The public has figured out that both sides are lying.

Apparently you have not, or you think its okay if the Democrats lie – such as using 10 years of revenue with 7 years of spending to get CBO scores. Let me guess “its for their own good that we lie”

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75 Boonton October 28, 2017 at 5:45 pm

What did he lie about?

76 Harun October 28, 2017 at 9:40 pm

Read the WaPo fact checker who said Obama’s lie was as big as Nixon’s.

My point is that both sides lie not that Obama’s bad.

77 Boonton October 28, 2017 at 12:41 pm

1. The democratic process does seem to have failed. Most people didn’t want Trump to win, most people didn’t vote for Trump and even a large number who did vote for Trump didn’t like him…yet he won. Do Trump supporters feel this is the basis upon which things should work? I suppose technically it is within ‘the rules’ but then again technically a football team can win every game with just field goals and no touchdowns….the game isn’t really as good without touchdowns though. Even Trump supporters should desire to see a democratic narrative where Trump *expands* his support to the majority of Americans rather than just reinforces balkenization.

2. Actually there’s probably too little commitment to ideology by Democrats. Many Democrats would support either a Bernie Sanders style single payer system OR a bipartisan bill to tweak Obamacare. Ideologically these views are pretty far apart if you think the differences in this country are driven by actual policy disagreements.

3. As ConfirmationBias pointed out, Trump more or less lied on every policy angle he ran on. His proposed tax policy was essentially taxing ‘rich elites’ and cutting everyone else. His proposed health policy was making insurance so cheap that buying it would be like buying cable. Any effort to actually seriously try to map out how to fulfill those promises with actual policies would leave one far to the left of Bernie Sanders. But then Trump supporters also told us facts don’t matter and they should be “taken seriously but not literally”. So this leads one to question whether they have more or less given up on Democracy as an actual value rather than simply a means to an end for their hangers on and sycophants.

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78 chuck martel October 28, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Whenever the subject of “democracy” is brought up, it’s soon pointed out that it’s not actually the system in use in the US of A. Democracy is just a word, like freedom and voluntary and organic and fat-free, words that are meant to evoke emotions rather than supply information.

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79 M October 28, 2017 at 4:39 pm

Most people didn’t want Trump to win, most people didn’t vote for Trump and even a large number who did vote for Trump didn’t like him…yet he won

The USA’s on about 55% turnout; you can’t say this like it wouldn’t be true for the other candidate even if the US had a simple proportional system for the presidency (most people wouldn’t want her to win, most people wouldn’t have voted for her and even a large number who did vote for her didn’t like her).

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80 Boonton October 28, 2017 at 5:48 pm

Those that turn out count, those that don’t don’t. Don’t try to con us into thinking winning an election when the other person gets 50%+ of the votes is the same as winning the election with a clear majority because in both cases those that don’t turn out prevent an absolute majority of all eligible voters.

81 Peter Akuleyev October 28, 2017 at 4:39 pm

“Even Trump supporters should desire to see a democratic narrative where Trump *expands* his support”

No. Trump supporters don’t want non- whites voting at all.

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82 Mike October 28, 2017 at 9:18 pm

Yes, all of them. Every last one.

It amazes me how many people understand people they have never met so very well, yet can simultaneously be surprised by real world results like Trump’s victory.

The only truth I know is that most people in the world think differently to me on most every issue. How differently, how many fit in each camp, what issues will resonate with them to make the care/vote and why they think (feel may be more accurate) are all degrees of understanding that I can’t and won’t claim to have.

I wonder – and I am quite serious here – if the goal is to actually win an election anymore. Maybe there is more money in defeat, as each side can garner more support from defeat? I mean, Colbert was on his way out of late night until Trump won[1], now he . If the Dems win, he probably loses his job. I wonder how far that idea extends in all directions.

[1] http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/weekly-ratings/late-night-ratings-july-11-15-2016-jimmy-kimmel-live-ticks-up/ vs http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/weekly-ratings/late-night-ratings-july-31-august-4-2017-late-late-show-ticks-up/

83 syndikat October 31, 2017 at 12:04 am

This (but non-ironically).

84 Potato October 28, 2017 at 4:55 pm

You’re overthinking this, bigly.

Hillary was a terrible candidate and had corresponding terrible favorability ratings.

If democrats wanted the White House they could have nominated Jim Webb and won in the biggest landslide since Reagan.

A large % of voters wanted someone to express opinions that were verboten. Off the top of my head: illegal immigration is illegal, there is a criminal element among the illegal immigrant population that has ties to transnational violent criminal networks, immigration of Muslim populations apparently entails random political murders and bombings, and there is a significant percentage of people in the US that live off of government benefits and work for cash under the table. Law abiding gun owners were tired of taking the blame/democrats’ rage for democrat party client populations murdering each other. The largest gain from free trade involves specialization that by definition means blue collar industries will be destroyed and moved to Asia.

In my view there were two parties that ignored a huge % of the population’s concerns. Some of them switched parties, enough to swing an election.

The losers in that election now want to change the rules so that they will never lose again.

The fault lies with both establishment parties who have ignored their constituents. Republicans wished away cultural concerns with massive illegal immigration because of their business interests. Democrats just jumped the shark too early. Need to wait until white people die off, and then they can pull the trigger.

Republicans were right to elect Trump if they want their interests represented. It’s clear the democrat party is semi-officially open borders with citizenship for anyone who comes.

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85 JonFraz October 30, 2017 at 1:40 pm

Re: If democrats wanted the White House they could have nominated Jim Webb and won in the biggest landslide since Reagan.

Or lost as the large numbers of people in the Democrats’ base either stayed home or voted for Jill Stein.

86 asdf October 28, 2017 at 9:44 am

I’m guessing these people have been to the big city, but didn’t find it appealing. Living in Baltimore certainly radicalized me.

People like cities when they are rich and can afford to segregate. The middle class don’t like them.

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87 Boonton October 28, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Anecdote but is that following demographics? Cities are expanding in population and inequality holds so they expand by adding some rich people but many more non-rich people. Nonetheless, they veer left when people move to cities and conservatives are not doing as well in urban environments as they used too.

Is the white flight narrative real or just a narrative people tell themselves that maybe applied in a previous generation or applied to individuals who moved up from lower middle class status?

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88 The Anti-Gnostic October 28, 2017 at 6:00 pm

From my lifetime of observation, young people move in-town to be near their demanding professional jobs and favorite nightspots, get married, start having kids, then head for whiter, higher-scoring school districts in the burbs. If they earn high enough incomes, they’ll squeeze into a nice neighborhood in or near town populated with other high-earners. Sometimes this comes with the bonus of a good school district or they navigate the charter/magnet school maze. More commonly, they send their kids to private school. It takes a lot of money to carve out a good life for a family in most American urban areas.

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89 derek October 28, 2017 at 10:43 am

So are coal miners putting hipsters out of work?

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90 JK Brown October 28, 2017 at 11:43 am

Ironically.

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91 Boonton October 28, 2017 at 11:53 am

Roughly speaking, the Reagan era began with 200K and ended with maybe 100K. Obama era, went from something like 100K to 97K. If putting people out of work was the issue, the hipsters who should be lynched were George Will era conservatives.

Obama era, almost no coal miners lost their jobs AND a huge number of fraking jobs were created. Unlike coal mining, w/fraking

1. You have more choice in your boss. There’s lots of different fraking companies, only a few coal ones and people that run coal mines are typically dicks to work for….not friendly Google type bosses.

2. More choice in where you live, more areas have fraking than there are coal mines.

3. More opportunity to become your own business. Owning your own coal mine has some pretty steep business hurdles, oil, though, has more room for small players to enter.

Now if you send a writer to a town to ask them “do you think it would be better if there were more jobs here or less” you know the answer you’re going to get. It doesn’t follow, though, that’s the problem.

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92 JWatts October 30, 2017 at 9:09 am

“Roughly speaking, the Reagan era began with 200K and ended with maybe 100K. Obama era, went from something like 100K to 97K.”

This is pretty much entirely wrong.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CES1021210001

During the Reagan years Jan1985- Jan 1989 (the chart starts at Jan 1985) the numbers went from 170K down to 136K. During the Obama years, Jan 2009 to Jan 2017 the numbers went from 86K down to 50K.

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93 Boonton October 28, 2017 at 1:03 pm

More to the point if hipsters were putting coal miners out of work, wouldn’t coal miners go try talking to them? When people were threatened with being put out of health coverage due to pre-existing conditions or dramatic Medicaid rollbacks people caring for disabled kids or who had serious illnesses went to go talk to the few people actually supporting the Republican health bills….

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94 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 9:07 am

This piece was obviously in sad opposition to Will Wilkinson’s dream of incremental processes.

But also it stands against the three Senators McCain, Corker and Flake.

Much is left to settle in US politics, but I for one hope that we will finally jump the damned shark and return to governance as a little more normal.

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95 The Anti-Gnostic October 28, 2017 at 6:19 pm

Normal is over. In a single lifetime, an 88% Anglo-European country has been transformed into a country that is 64% Anglo-European and dropping. White Boomers who grew up in that super-majority are bequeathing ethnic minority-status to their grandchildren. In the same lifetime, the population itself has grown by over 120 million. Whether or not you think such a titanic demographic shift is a good thing, it will involve a lot of social upheaval.

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96 Andao October 29, 2017 at 12:42 am

This has been the case in California for decades and upheaval has been pretty muted. Silicon Valley is still the hub of excitement in the US economy, and that’s an extremely non-white region.

Since boomers want to leave their kids with a better world than they inherited, and they see that Silicon Valley seems to be doing alright with an immigrant heavy workforce, why do they still think keeping the immigrants out is somehow a very important objective?

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97 The Anti-Gnostic October 29, 2017 at 9:46 am

Silicon Valley is the perfect example of white/Asian multi-millionaires living in urban redoubts with a $2M entrance fee. Interestingly, one of the first things Mark Zuckerberg did after becoming a billionaire was buy four houses around himself and a 1,000 acre plantation in the middle of the Pacific–low-population density for me but not for thee. San Francisco exists because Oakland exists. Of course, San Francisco also has urine-corroded streetlights, and in San Diego they’re having to spray down the sidewalks with bleach. California is also hilariously ruled by aging white Democrats buying the peace with government debt and keeping places like Malibu low and uncrowded. Sorry, but I don’t see the California model scaling up very successfully.

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98 Art Deco October 29, 2017 at 1:39 pm

San Francisco exists because Oakland exists.

No, San Francisco and Oakland are two aspects of one metropolis. One’s not generating the other.

Oakland is actually a multi-racial jumble wherein no coarse category has more than 30% of the whole. It’s unsafe, but to a degree that would have been about normal in an American core city in 1980. A vector influencing the quantum of disorder is abnormally low police manpower (1/3 that of New York on a per capita basis).

99 The Anti-Gnostic October 29, 2017 at 5:25 pm

Yes I’d forgotten about that crucial factor. That’s why Amish country is so safe: cops everywhere.

100 JonFraz October 30, 2017 at 1:47 pm

It’s far from clear that secession enjoyed majority support in either state. In Missouri the governor wanted to secede but a convention called to consider secession rejected it– so no, Missouri was not “prevented” from seceding except by its own people. The governor eventually fled the state capital with a small number of pro-secession legislators and they voted to secede anyway and eventually regrouped as a sort of state government in exile in Teaxs. In Kentucky the governor also favored secession, but the legislature was averse and adopted a declaration of neutrality instead. In September of 1861 Confederate forces invaded Kentucky and the state officially declared for the Union. Again, no external force was used to retain Kentucky on the Union. The one state that probably would have seceded but was forcibly prevented was Maryland.

Re: San Francisco exists because Oakland exists.

Um, no. SanFran was founded (as a Spanish mission) in 1776, and incorporated as a city in 1850. Oakland was founded and incorporated in 1852.

Re: Of course, San Francisco also has urine-corroded streetlights

I know SanFran is a weird place, but do people there climb up on on top of street lights to pee on them?

101 JWatts October 30, 2017 at 9:11 am

“This has been the case in California for decades and upheaval has been pretty muted.”

California now has the highest PPP poverty rate in the country. Worse than Mississippi.

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102 Anonymous October 29, 2017 at 12:12 pm

An “Anglo-European country.”

You need to send a time traveler back to make sure the US loses the Mexican-American war of 1846 to 1848, and does not gain California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

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103 Art Deco October 29, 2017 at 1:41 pm

Very few hispanics in the United States are predominantly descended of the criollo-mestizo-mission indian population in place in 1848. There might have been 20,000 such persons in the southwest at the time.

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104 Anonymous October 29, 2017 at 2:10 pm

It hardly makes a difference. The language and culture were continuous. The “Mexican” side of my childhood town was named by the 1769, the Spanish Portolá expedition.

Any yeah, I am sure many of the inhabitants were continuous.

105 Anonymous October 29, 2017 at 2:23 pm

FWIW:

During the nineteenth century, the Census Office did not consider the people we now call Latinos or Hispanics to be formally distinct from whites. Congress said nothing about their classification and we have found no textual discussion in census documents. Census enumerators did perhaps make attempts of their own to distinguish them from whites; western states, especially Colorado, were reported in 1880 to have an unusually high number of mulattos despite very small black populations. Many of the so-called mulattos had Spanish surnames.

However, classification of Mexican Americans became sharply salient in 1930. The Census Bureau added “Mexican” to the list of choices in the “Color or race” inquiry, telling its enumerators that “practically all Mexican laborers are of a racial mixture difficult to classify, though usually well recognized in the localities where they are found. In order to obtain separate figures for this racial group, it has been decided that all persons born in Mexico, or having parents born in Mexico, who are definitely not white, Negro, Indian, Chinese, or Japanese, should be returned as Mexican.”

I am quite sure that definition picked up natives as well.

From: Racial Reorganization and the United States Census 1850-1930: Mulattoes, Half-Breeds, Mixed Parentage, Hindoos, and the Mexican Race

https://scholar.harvard.edu/jlhochschild/publications/racial-reorganization-and-united-states-census-1850-1930-mulattoes-half-br

106 Art Deco October 29, 2017 at 2:26 pm

It hardly makes a difference. The language and culture were continuous.

This is a nonsense statement.

107 Anonymous October 29, 2017 at 2:35 pm

To be clear, the number you pull out of thin air, without a supporting census, does not refute the readily visible language and culture.

Visit Santa Fe, or San Juan Capistrano, or a few dozen others.

108 Anonymous October 29, 2017 at 12:18 pm

Or better yet, sink the damn Mayflower, and nip the whole multi-racial society in the bud.

Better a Liverpool gutter, than life in a “California” named by a bunch of Spaniards (soon to be fathering Mestizos).

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109 JonFraz October 30, 2017 at 1:43 pm

In reality there is no ethnic majority in this country and hasn’t been for a long time. (Hint: “white” is not a ethnic descriptor).

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110 Bill October 28, 2017 at 9:15 am

I like the comment from the farmer who gets subsidized “crop insurance” and other financial support. On the other hand, you can see that if support by the government is not visible–hidden in the ag price supports or crop insurance program–they do not see themselves as a recipient of government support.

At the same time, they see government regulation on their land use–

So, here is a modest proposal.

Make the federal subsidy clear up front–you are getting a federal subsidy of so much–on condition that you stop planting so close to the river or stream, or that you participate in this program to prevent soil erosion.

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111 Boonton October 28, 2017 at 9:25 am

“they do not see themselves as a recipient of government support.”

Ohhh yes they do. Trust me I know without talking to any farmer that while they may not follow the latest talk about Net Neutrality or the Iran nuclear deal, they certainly know the ins and outs of ‘hidden’ price supports and crop insurance programs and make good, not perfect, estimates of what impacts proposals to change these programs would have on their bottom lines.

These programs are not ‘hidden’ to keep farmers’ pride from being hurt by receiving government support. The benefit of them being ‘hidden’ is so all the non-farmers do not realize what the cost is of ‘helping farmers’.

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112 aMichael October 29, 2017 at 10:39 am

Amen! Ask any member of Congress from representing these areas whether their farmers know how the government supports them. The issue is that people conveniently convince themselves that their leeching off others is good and proper. It’s the others leechers that are the problem.

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113 Harun October 28, 2017 at 1:32 pm

I agree with this. Too many subsidies are hidden or called things like “cost-sharing.”

So, for the ACA, the exchange website should show the full price for all plans. Then your subsidy would be shown as a “Subsidy paid for by taxpayers.”

Note the websites had such a rough time exactly because Obama and team wanted to hide the real prices, show the net prices only, so they could say “see, healthcare costs went down!”

Honestly, I might even take this a step farther and assign actual taxpayers to beneficiaries and require a handwritten thank you letter to be sent. I think it would help bring us together.

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114 Tununak October 28, 2017 at 1:49 pm

+1. Also would be great to meet the bureaucrat whose salary I am paying. Except it would probably end badly when I find out how he’s been spending his time (and my money).

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115 Boonton October 28, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Err actually I do recall the web site showing the cost both before and after the subsidy. That’s kind of a stupid point since the website first has you figure out how much your subsidy is estimated to be and asks you whether you actually want to use it to lower the cost of the monthly premium or bank it for a larger tax refund when you do your taxes next year (which if makes sense if you fear you may have overestimated your subsidy and don’t want to end up owing). As extra credit the ACA also required your employer to report to you on your W2 how much their share of your health insurance is….which is actually more of a wake up call since many more people get insurance from work than from the ACA and to them the ‘cost’ of the policy is only what comes out of their paycheck.

Sorry no one who thinks Trump won because of ‘transparency’ has a case.

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116 Harun October 28, 2017 at 9:45 pm

They may have had to do that after their failure but it was a specific goal of the creators.

Otherwise they could have just used tax credits

Ps I didn’t vote for Trump. Stop with the bbbbut Trump stuff.

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117 Boonton October 29, 2017 at 7:15 am

Errr no the website showed the subsidy the first year it was out, it doesn’t make any sense to hide the subsidy since you have to figure it out yourself by putting in your estimated income for the year and deciding how much of it you want to use now versus later. Same thing with the W2.

If this is your criticism then you should reverse it now or demonstrate that I’m wrong.

118 Engineer October 28, 2017 at 9:24 am

I read this story a few days ago. The most telling section was the after-tour, where the “researchers” delivered conclusions which were well received by their audience, largely at odds with their research, but supported their priors. Its a classic intelligence failure in the making.

I’m reading Victor David Hanson’s new book on WW2, reviewed here a few days ago. I can’t help but notice the parallel between this research report and the refusal – shared by both the Germans and the Japanese – to reject any intelligence information that conflicted with their priors. They would not look until forced by events, they would not see even when they did look.

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119 albatross October 28, 2017 at 11:27 am

Yeah, the interesting thing about the article wasn’t that some Democrats went and hung around in heavily Republican regions and heard lots of ideas they disagreed with. The interesting thing is that they massaged their final report into somethng that reenforced the story they wanted to tell, despite massive conflicting evidence. This process probably explains why so many think tanks and media organizations were so blindsided by Trump’s rise, and before that by the rise of the Tea Party. Inconvenient bits of reality get covered over by the narrative that the donors/clients/editors want to hear.

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120 DanC October 28, 2017 at 9:45 am

I read the article and at the finish had to ask myself what did I learn. Coastal liberals don’t really understand middle America. They don’t know how to sell something, the Democratic party, that the potential buyers have learned through hard lessons is long on promises that have little connection to reality. Hillary Clinton was an awful candidate. Trump seemed better given the choices, Jimmy Carter was a bad candidate. Reagan was a better candidate. Elections are about choices.

The Democratic establishment supported Hillary Clinton. Middle America said no thanks.

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121 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 9:50 am

Now do the Republican Primary. Why was say Marco Rubio judged as poorer presidential timber than Trump, among the red states?

The easy answer is that both his names don’t fit the (cough) populist narrative.

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122 derek October 28, 2017 at 10:46 am

Very simple. He was involved in some immigration deal with Schumer that either showed he was easy to roll therefore not smart enough, or that he said one thing and did another.

And stupidly Jeb spent close to $100 million dollars to demolish him figuring that he would be his opponent.

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123 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 11:47 am

A 2017 Fox News Poll: 83 percent support pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/09/28/fox-news-poll-83-percent-support-pathway-to-citizenship-for-illegal-immigrants.html

Very odd to make the ~17% position your litmus test.

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124 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm

And that entails just what?

125 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 12:01 pm
126 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Some really weak handwringing there. A bad poll because it was “adults?” lolz

127 Harun October 28, 2017 at 1:35 pm

I support a pathway to citizenship but I also think Rubio was rolled by Schumer.

First enforcement…then the amnesty.

Like your mother says: eat your spinach and then you can have your ice cream.

128 Sam Haysom October 28, 2017 at 11:56 am

I guess the polls. Enjoy this next seven years. Hope you don’t stroke out.

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129 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 12:22 pm

“Enjoy this next seven years. ”

This is indictment weekend. Which one of us do you think is having more fun?

130 Sam Haysom October 28, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Hahahaha a few indictments aren’t going to save you. Especially when Mueller and Comey will like be in prison within two years.

131 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 1:27 pm

“Mueller and Comey will like be in prison within two years.”

Got a legal proposition for that, or is it pure brownshirt?

132 Harun October 28, 2017 at 1:38 pm

I am seriously thinking both sides may get indictments. (If they don’t, you’ll know the FBI, DOJ, etc. are politicized.)

133 athEIst October 28, 2017 at 4:55 pm

$100 million dollars !!
To kick that piece of shit to the curb?
Maybe Jeb wasn’t the smarter brother.

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134 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 11:28 am

The easy answer is that both his names don’t fit the (cough) populist narrative.

No, that’s the answer which gives you emotional validation.

Rubio shot himself in both insteps as ‘derek’ notes; amnesty is favored by business lobbyists, not rank-and-file Republican voters. Some people also noticed that Rubio has people skills which serve him well in certain sorts of milieux (e.g. the Florida legislature), but he’s had no experience in any executive post, had trouble earning a living as a lawyer, and doesn’t think on his feet well (as Gov. Christie graphically demonstrated).

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135 Al October 28, 2017 at 11:37 am

“The easy answer is that both his names don’t fit the (cough) populist narrative.”

Did you come when you wrote that sentence?

The reason Rubio lost was that he was willing to give the media and the broad left an inch. Trump did not. This was the deciding factor.

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136 DanC October 28, 2017 at 7:15 pm

What was the turning point in the primaries for Trump in Middle America? Black Lives Matter and the violence at the Trump rally in Chicago. The refusal of Democrats, especially Hillary, to condemn the violence forced many to choose sides. A deeply flawed Trump was better than a lawless America and a weak Hillary.

What did you see leading up to the election? Violence in the streets. Attacks on police. A press that was increasingly distorting stories with an increasingly liberal bent. And Democrats are surprised by an increased desire to defend yourself? Hillary and Bill becoming multi-millionaires by exploiting government connections. The Clinton Foundation as a manipulation of tax laws. Hillary’s defense of her private communication network that was more like the explanations of a three-year-old caught stealing cookies. Simply “crooked Hillary” seemed like a perfect description. Wikileaks showed that private Hillary was very different from public Hillary. The next Supreme Court nominee in the hands of Hillary could cause radical change is the least answerable branch of government.

I could give a list of things where I disagree with Trump. But he wasn’t Hillary

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137 aMichael October 29, 2017 at 10:43 am

You’re equating winner with highly supported. Big mistake. The primary system rewards the plurality winner, who was often Trump, while the other Republicans split the vote so that people who were generally more popular than Trump, like Rubio, got fewer votes than him. Once someone is established as a front runner or as beating expectations in early states, they’re more likely to get votes in subsequent states as people like to vote for who think they will win.

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138 Art Deco October 29, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Over 70% of the ballots cast in GOP primary contests went to people alien to the Capitol Hill nexus to one degree or another. That’s Trump, Cruz, Dr. Carson, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, &c. Rubio and Kasich might have been more palatable to the general electorate. They certainly were not to Republican primary voters.

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139 DanC October 29, 2017 at 9:01 pm

Trump started separating from the pack after BLK riots at Trump rally in Chicago

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140 Bill October 28, 2017 at 9:53 am

I think it is more complex than that.

The Republican party is now the party of the South. If you look at the political demographics of the Midwest you would see that after the Civil War that part of the United States became Republican–the Party of Lincoln.

What’s happened since is that persons have retained their political identity–ie, I’ve always voted Republican just as my parents did–but, the Party has changed and they went along with it.

Except

Without the Confederate flags,

But,

With the shotgun.

PS. There is a really good course on political demography you can listen to via podcast from Stanford.

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141 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 10:26 am

I think it is more complex than that. The Republican party is now the party of the South.

Your thinking is so ‘complex’ that you haven’t noticed that the Republican Party controls 19 non-Southern state legislatures and a chamber in four others. The Democrats control 13.

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142 Bill October 28, 2017 at 10:37 am

You haven’t noticed that 19/13 is different than the total control of Southern states. If you were doing a test on the difference in proportions between two samples with these proportions–one 100% and the other 13/32–and were asked if they were different, and gave the answer you did, you would fail.

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143 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 11:22 am

Spin spin spin

144 athEIst October 28, 2017 at 9:14 pm

So there are 14 southern legislatures. There are 11 (former) Confederate states, so pick three from MO, OK, KY, MD, DEL. Which three?

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145 DanC October 28, 2017 at 3:30 pm

That was the Hillary view. How did that work for her?

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146 ConfirmationBiasIsAFemaleDog October 28, 2017 at 9:55 am

“Trump seemed better given the choices”

This is only true if you’re completely off your rocker. Trump was very clear about how unfit he was for the presidency. Between an unfit candidate who is a threat to the country and the world and a flawed candidate the choice was always clear.

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147 derek October 28, 2017 at 10:48 am

Maybe people looked at Libya and considered the very real possibility that Clinton’s stupidity would make the US more like that than what she promised.

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148 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 12:06 pm

UN operation, led by Britain and France.

Another sign that the low information voters drove this.

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149 derek October 28, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Gad I thought we were through with the Hillary drones. She sold the idea to Obama who said that it was the worst mistake of his presidency. She bragged about here success then blamed everyone except herself when it went sour.

Everything about that operation stunk to high heaven and it had Hillary’s fingerprints all over it.

150 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Are you one of the Canadians? Darned if you aren’t listed as combatants, without even a Hillary to blame it on!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libyan_Civil_War_(2011)

151 Boonton October 28, 2017 at 1:19 pm

What problem do voters have with what happened in Libya? Clearly those that got killed there knew what they had signed up for!

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152 Potato October 28, 2017 at 5:13 pm

Did not realize the Libyan people had signed up for jihadist chaos, instability, and tribal violence.

This is just too disgusting. If my parents had been handed a flag and told “he knew what he signed up for” ’it would have been understood as recognition of their sacrifice. As in, I knew what I signed up for and DID ANYWAY.

Trump is a buffoon and a terrible president. But this is absurd. None of my friends’ families were called by Obama. Good thing, because there would have been quotable anger from the families. Obama tried the Solomon approach in Afghanistan and I got the pleasure of burying my friends for no reason.

The only thing that enraged me about this whole thing is that liberals decided that the surge in Afghanistan WITH an announced immediate withdrawal was a smart move. Politically, cause shit they wanted to pass nonsense laws about financial redistribution in healthcare. Militarily, we said we would land at Normandy and then withdraw. I mean Jesus Christ, unless Trump nukes London can he possibly be as terrible as Obama?

But hey he was like hope and change and Boonton thinks he was like totally awesome. Moral coward and worst president since Polk. Bush was an idiot but he meant well and supplied resources to win even in the face of political backlash.

153 Boonton October 28, 2017 at 8:05 pm

“Did not realize the Libyan people had signed up for jihadist chaos, instability, and tribal violence.”

I’m sorry did Hillary Clinton have hundreds of thousands of people from various tribes flown into Libya?! I hate to sound callous but yea the Libyan people did sign up for instability, jihadist chaos and tribal violence because it’s the Libyan people themselves who are generating that. What the hell do you know about Libya’s tribes? I’ll tell you what I know, absolutely nothing. But I do know that Libya’s tribes almost certainly formed long before the US was ever there and long before Gadaffi’s regime had power. Figuring out how Libya’s tribes should work in Libya, which ones should have more or less power, how their disputes should be resolved is quite frankly something the US can’t do and while it would be nice if Libya could figure this out without any violence it might be that they can’t.

And while we are on the subject, a lot of Libyans actually think the end of the Gadaffi regime was a good thing *even though* there’s been fighting and chaos that came after. Perhaps the issues that were kept bottled up by an oppressive regime need to be let out and expressed and there’s just no way to avoid that.

It’s interesting that the Trumpian view of foreign policy in the Middle East (as much as you can find a coherent view on things before or after the election) is essentially the opposite of the ‘burn down the system, drain the swamp, down with elitism’. Instead it is “let’s hitch our boat to elite dictators who rule in spite of rather than for the people and then trust them to manage everything to keep everything stable inside and outside the Middle East”. I call your attention to how many 9/11 hijackers came supposedly from countries that were being so-managed by people supposedly ‘on our side’ and ‘elite experts’ at keeping their people in line.

“This is just too disgusting. If my parents had been handed a flag and told “he knew what he signed up for” ’it would have been understood as recognition of their sacrifice. As in, I knew what I signed up for and DID ANYWAY.”

Somehow I doubt if Obama had told your friends families “he knew what he signed up for” they would have given him the benefit of the doubt even for a second. Even so sometimes you don’t argue with someone and getting into arguments with families of those who lose someone, regardless of how technically ‘right’ you are on the merits, is something that you shouldn’t do. Whatever way people’s grief takes them, a president should try to be respectful of that.

BUT let’s can the crap about Libya. Our people died there because they undertook a very risky mission; to try to help a country transition from a dictatorship to a democracy by giving them the best support and advice they could. Our Ambassador died not because of some stupid blunder but because he purposefully choose to put himself at risk for an honorable mission on behalf of the US. He could have opted to remain in an Embassy surrounded by stone walls, guards and never leave except under heavy security. Instead he knew he could do more for his country by taking risks and getting close to many of the people in Libya (and many Libyans appreciate and honor him for that and likewise respect the US more because of him and those that died with him). So yes he knew what he signed up for, he knew and even opted to take on more risk than his country had insisted on asking him to take, and the definition of risk is that sometimes you lose. Rather than honor those that died, we’ve spent years having them shitted on by Republicans who instead sought to paint it as a buffoonish blunder or some insidious conspiracy.

“The only thing that enraged me about this whole thing is that liberals decided that the surge in Afghanistan WITH an announced immediate withdrawal was a smart move. Politically, cause shit they wanted to pass nonsense laws about financial redistribution in healthcare. Militarily, we said we would land at Normandy and then withdraw. I mean Jesus Christ, unless Trump nukes London can he possibly be as terrible as Obama?”

I also recall stories about how the US trained Afghan soldiers. Let them try to engage the Taliban but then had to go in and engage themselves because they wouldn’t go at the Taliban. We saw how the Iraqi army turned and ran from ISIS despite having more men, more weapons and better training (ohhh BTW, that was after Iraq was supposedly ‘fixed’ with a ‘surge’…or so claimed John McCain back in 2008) I don’t know that any magic formula would have made Afghanistan any better but two good arguments for announcing a withdraw timeline (which Bush actually set up)

1. Hey the US shouldn’t be directing traffic in Afghanistan with Marines for the next 50 years with people killing them off an on all through it.
2. Both Iraqis and Afghans have to fight for their own countries sooner or later, and if they don’t want to do that the answer is not that we will do it for them until the end of time.

Sorry but a ‘surge’ without a withdrawal does not mean no US soldiers die and the country turns into a nice wonderful place. It means more deaths, more flags for more families. Maybe it means more insurgencies would also be defeated and we will get periods of calm paid for with US blood, but don’t kid us or yourself, US troops died during the Iraqi surge and died after. At some point what has to happen is the people who die for a country are the people actually from that country. Perhaps now that Iraq has beaten back ISIS with their own troops, they just might see the importance of keeping their country unified despite the splits between Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurd

154 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 11:19 am

This is only true if you’re completely off your rocker.

Your problem is that you fancy this remark is not self-indicting.

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155 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Once Upon a Time, Trump backers believed that he was a genius businessman who could fix America. What do you believe now? Is he still a genius, smarter than you, who you admire and hope to model yourself after? Or is he just an idiot that you have to stupidly to defend?

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156 Harun October 28, 2017 at 1:42 pm

You should open your mind that many Trump “backers” actually don’t really like Trump.

157 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 1:51 pm

There is no reason for that kind of “backer” to be a backer at this point. Corker has a freer spirit than Ryan for that reason.

158 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Once upon a time, progressives weren’t progtrash, and wouldn’t put words in my mouth and demand I justify things I never stated nor implied. Well, that was 40 years ago.

Trump is a capable businessman who brings something to the table none of his principal opponents did. (John Kasich has some background as an executive, as does Bernie Sanders. As for Clinton’s misbegotten tenure at the State Department…). You could say the same of Mitt Romney. He also did something that none of his opponents attempted, which was to put immigration enforcement on the table. (Rick Santorum is reportedly an immigration hawk, but that’s an afterthought with him).

People who aren’t crude can see (1) there’s some distance between ‘genius’ and ‘idiot’ and (2) an actual genius (e.g. John Nash) would be a disaster in political office.

159 Anonymous October 28, 2017 at 4:17 pm

“A majority of Americans, including most independent voters, say President Trump is unfit for office, according to a new poll.”

But sure call that majority “progtrash” if it gets you through the weekend.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/352718-poll-majority-say-trump-not-fit-to-serve-as-president

160 Art Deco October 29, 2017 at 2:32 pm

But sure call that majority “progtrash” if it gets you through the weekend.

None of the people who answered that poll are putting words in my mouth.

And with scant doubt, they took five polls and threw the other four in a drawer when they didn’t get the result they wanted to print.

161 Art Deco October 29, 2017 at 2:35 pm

Quinnipiac is making a point of not revealing the actual questions they asked over the phone to their respondents.

162 Adam October 28, 2017 at 10:57 am

It’s both sad and funny that the folks in middle America who are so opposed to rich coastal liberals have found their hero in a rich coastal liberal.

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163 derek October 28, 2017 at 11:18 am

Only someone steeped in identity politics would find it odd. Clinton, Obama and Bush would speak differently to different crowds, putting on speech inflections. Trump is simply himself. He says the same things to kids showing up at a Halloween thing at the White House as he says to coal miners in Virginia.

This story is about important educated media people trying to figure out why they were blindsided a year ago. The people they were listening to for the last half decade told them one thing, and reality intruded and told them something else. They didn’t go right away because they thought that by now Trump would have been driven from the presidency. That didn’t happen so you go in the summer so that you don’t have to buy a coat for the Wisconsin winters.

Maybe the answer is simple. These people are ill educated, cocooned in institutions which protect them from the ravages of reality. They are able to find a sizeable audience of people who yearn for that tidy and clean worldview and listen to them every day. Fundamental in this worldview is that there is this ‘other’ out there that is a threat to everything they hold dear; that other is racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic and generally deplorable and evil. They fully supported a political agenda that would replace them with more amenable immigrants.

A rock came through the window smashing all their tidy comforts. After taking almost a year to soothe their frayed nerves they venture out of their green zone to try to figure out who threw the rock.

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164 Adam October 28, 2017 at 11:54 am

So you voted for someone that opposes virtually every core conservative belief, from abortion to gun control to government healthcare, because he didn’t use speech inflections? I’m coming to the conclusion that we’re at the point in a con where the marks know they’ve been scammed, but won’t admit it yet and instead come up with increasingly bad explanations for why they weren’t scammed.

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165 Sam Haysom October 28, 2017 at 12:03 pm

I’m coming to the conclusion that the left in this country has no idea to deal with defeat. I mean in many ways it is an exciting time. An entire cultural hegemony collapsed in the course of about eight years. People that thought they would rule for the rest of time are now generally wondering if they ever come back into power.

I mean I get it it sucks for you if all you see is the loss of status and certainty that you’ve experienced. But don’t dwell on that- it’s not coming back.

Focus on how that loss of certainty might make you a better person. When you assume you are never going to be down again you tend to be prone to kick and prod things when they are down. Now you know how powerlessness feels- if you are still alive in 30 or 40 years when the left maybe makes a resugence you’ll likely not be as big off a prick.

166 derek October 28, 2017 at 12:38 pm

I didn’t because I’m an observer from another country. Do you mean you aren’t disgusted by politicians who put on a speech inflection to make themselves sound homey? The con is doing that.

Trump didn’t con anyone; it is very clear who he is, was and what he intended to do.

The issue here is not that he misrepresented himself; it is the horror among people like you and this Third Way person that the best of the Democrat party would be considered worse than Trump. And you should be horrified. Not at Trump and those who voted for him, but at your party and the attitudes it represents.

The people who voted Trump and gave him the electoral college voted for Obama twice. They were up for grabs. Trump is not the problem here. Read this article and think how much it represents how you think and how much of the media and Democrat party it represents. That is the problem.

I don’t think Democrats and the left are smart enough to figure this out. Your response confirms it for me.

167 Art Deco October 28, 2017 at 2:43 pm

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/353533-trump-administration-backs-20-week-abortion-ban

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-41478293

You fancy it’s a ‘core conservative belief’ to go full Ayn Rand on medical finance. No clue how you got this idea.

168 Tununak October 28, 2017 at 2:02 pm

derek is spot on, the clearest thinker in these comments. If you don’t understand what he is saying here and in the comment below, you’re going to be blindsided again when Trump gets reelected.

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169 DanC October 28, 2017 at 10:08 am

BTW most posters seem to have never talked to a farmer. Many dislike farm subsidies and view them as supporting poor farmers who might be best out of business. Disrespect for government programs, in general, are often grounded in the challenges they face dealing with various government agencies.

BTW Imagine what Walmart can do to the dairy industry (They have announced plans). Look at the classic graph of price supports. What happens when a super efficient supplier enters the field. They are able and willing to supply dairy products at prices well below the supported price. The government must either prevent Walmart’s entry or must dramatically increase support to inefficient dairy producers to keep them in business. What will happen? Especially given the regional power of some dairy farms.

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170 Adam October 28, 2017 at 11:14 am

Right, all those subsidies are there because the beneficiaries oppose them. And the lobbyists supporting them are working pro bono…

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171 DanC October 28, 2017 at 3:15 pm

Annual lobbying spent by dairy industry $4,457,000. https://www.opensecrets.org/industries/lobbying.php?ind=A04++
Hillary and DNC spent twice that much for a Trump dossier perhaps without even noticing the expenditure!

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172 rayward October 28, 2017 at 10:09 am

I have a home in the South, definitely Trump country. My neighbors are my friends, even though we couldn’t be more different when it comes to politics. Indeed, my neighbors are wonderful people, they are polite, generous, good-natured. Just don’t get them started about politics. And I don’t. It’s like the church I attend. I attend for the liturgy, but I also enjoy the messages delivered by the priests in their homilies. Sure, I’m often perplexed by the conflict between the message of acceptance and love delivered by the priests and the antisemitism in the day’s Gospel lesson, but I accept the conflict because, well, anonymous men wrote the Gospels and did so at a time when Jews were at a severe disadvantage and Gentiles (Romans included) had all the power. What’s the future of a Jewish Messiah when Jerusalem had been overrun by Romans, the Temple had been destroyed, and Jews had been enslaved by the Romans. Somebody had to be blamed for killing Jesus and the Gentiles weren’t going to blame themselves. When was the last time you heard someone say that the Italians killed God? If Christians can be convinced that Jews crucified Jesus, how difficult is it to convince my neighbors that liberals are the Devil’s disciples. So even though my neighbors may believe that Jews killed God and liberals are the Devil’s disciples, I can count on them for their help whenever I may need it.

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173 Dan white October 28, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Obama’s mentor, dedicee of his second book said it basically every Sunday. You aren’t a very intelligent man so I doubt you know the apostles creed very well- but it says so too.

When’s the last time you heard someone say the Jews killed Jesus. How close were they to the most powerful man in the world.

This is some pretty repugnant victim shaming by the way. The Jews absolutely did persecute the early Christians this is a fact attested to by this Apostle Paul himself. Forgive them if they occasionally let it slip into their writings. They should have been more stoic like Colin Kaepernick I guess.

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174 rayward October 28, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Dedicee? Are you attempting to refer to the Didache? Or are you just writing gibberish? As for Paul, well, his own antisemitism is indeed well-known, whether resulting from being history’s most famous self-hating Jew, fear of the Romans, or being rebuked by Jesus’s closest disciples, James, Peter, and John, one can only speculate. Having never even seen Jesus but having persecuted His followers before Paul’s conversion, Paul is if nothing else arrogant. Whatever Paul’s weaknesses, what he accomplished was to convert a religion according to the teachings of Jesus to a religion based solely on faith in Jesus. We can thank Paul for such nonsense as the prosperity gospel.

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175 Sam Haysom October 28, 2017 at 3:39 pm

Clearly it’s a typo for dedicatee. Other than that he mops the floor with you. Shoved your rhetorical question right down your Obama slurping lips. Masterful.

And you respond with more nothingness and some more victim blaming. The Jews persecuted the early church. Such is the nature of life. They couldn’t have known that the group they were stoning and beating would grow and grow and grow. And sure it would have been better if christians had turned the other cheek when they became more powerful but when a bullied group records a record of their mistreatment it take a real odious person to object.

It’s unfortunate you aren’t a little more self hating because your cisterns of hatred should have a more worthy object.

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176 Morgan October 28, 2017 at 2:46 pm

The Apostles’ Creed says the Jews killed Jesus? Which part.

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.”

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177 Dan white October 28, 2017 at 3:24 pm

It says that he was killed by an Italian. Goodness gracious reading comprehension.

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178 Slugger October 28, 2017 at 11:19 am

I was surprised by a relative in the Midwest who is a farmer. He voiced strong support for trade policies that raise some barriers. He wants to see a rejection of NAFTA. I told him that Mexico has been an important buyer of corn and competition from Brazil, Argentina, and Australia is increasing. He remained in favor of new trade barriers. Perhaps the pocketbook is not the only thing that affects opinions.

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179 JK Brown October 28, 2017 at 11:59 am

“The membership”—the union rank-and-file—“voted for these Republicans because of them damn guns,” a Laborers Union official said. “You cannot push it out of their head. A lot of ‘em loved it when Walker kicked our ass.”

That’s tucked away, but this safari into the American interior teaches Democrats anything, it should be that they might want to be circumspect in their vehement calls for gun control, which they mostly aim at the law abiding citizen.

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180 derek October 28, 2017 at 12:42 pm

They did figure this out once. Clinton did, the smart one I mean. They will again because they will lose and lose and lose until they figure it out.

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181 Boonton October 28, 2017 at 1:06 pm

The ‘smart Clinton’ did the assault weapon ban. These days what serious ‘vehement gun control’ have Democrats pushed? If backing off of gun control is what was needed, it already happened.

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182 Bryce October 28, 2017 at 12:39 pm

F*** off. I’m from the mountain west, the country part, and now I move between cities every 3-4 years. Perhaps I’ll write my own article about how I visited many cities full of democrats who believe themselves morally superior to my folk, as their high-paying desk jobs and expensive education give them “real” ability to understand right and wrong.

Or I could not, because I’m not a douche. F off Tyler. I’m done reading your garbage blog, because I don’t like having my people insulted over and over with your articles while I’m trying to learn about economics.

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183 Tyler Cowen October 28, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Sadly, you didn’t understand the piece.

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184 Twin Falls October 28, 2017 at 1:57 pm

What a snowflake.

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185 Bryce October 28, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Yeah, I’m definitely wrong on this one. Sorry for my over(and wrong)reaction.

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186 RV October 28, 2017 at 1:51 pm

Yes, if only Tyler and his garbage blog weren’t so liberal.

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187 Bryce October 28, 2017 at 2:06 pm

😉 I let my country fighting roots get a hold of me, rather than using my brain. I was wrong. Sometimes not saying exactly what you mean confuses us average-intellect types…

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188 Matt October 28, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Yes. Here in so- called “flyover country” we tend to have a degree of disdain for the lazy and the people who take without contributing. And condescending people who use the term “flyover country”.

I truly have no problem with this.

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189 peri October 28, 2017 at 4:00 pm

Isn’t that guy’s question just hilariously daft?!

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190 jorod October 29, 2017 at 9:39 pm

The Atlantic is leftist garbage. You can never tell if they are serious. Just smug liberals.

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191 lbc October 30, 2017 at 11:01 am

“One, a technical-skills instructor at the Chippewa Falls school, questioned whether women belonged in the workplace at all. “That idea of both family members working, it’s a social experiment that I don’t know if it quite works,” he said. “If everyone’s working, who is making sure the children are raised right?”

oh my god… is this 2017 america or 1917 saudi arabia ?

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192 Larry Siegel October 31, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Women should be able to do whatever they want, but if you think children are being raised right, especially in poorer communities where few people are married, you must be on another planet.

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