Why was the American populist backlash so long in coming?

Bob Davis asks that question.  I can think of a few hypotheses, none well-grounded:

1. It was first necessary for America to recover from recession, so people could be less scared, thus feeling sufficiently secure to go a bit crazy.

2. Rising expectations are required to sustain a backlash, and finally the economy was strong enough to deliver some of those.  This mechanism was discussed by Tocqueville in his book on the French Ancien Regime.  Of course this is a close cousin of #1.

3. Obama actually has been a towering and calming presence.  But after him…the deluge.

4. The “Great Man Theory of Trump.”  He has unique skills, and an unusual celebrity background, and the relevant variable is when he chose to actually run for President.

5. The institutional and intellectual capital of the Republican Party was finally run totally into the ground.  (But when exactly? And who perceived it as such other than Democrats?)

6. Americans have been paying closer attention to the terror attacks and refugee crisis in Europe than we traditionally might think, and thus they feel that the American system requires a radical wake-up call.

7. Traditional white males approached some kind of threshold where they realized from now on they will lose all political battles unless kind of radical rebellion is undertaken.  This hypothesis reminds me somewhat of the South’s decision to secede shortly before the Civil War.

8. Social media are more potent, and that helps populist sentiment, but populism isn’t actually any more popular these days (see Krugman, who notes Obama has fairly high approval ratings).

9. Noise.

These are just food for thought, I am not endorsing any of them.  And for the most part they are not mutually exclusive.


There was a real increase in blatant expressions of anti-white male hate in the prestige press beginning the day after the 2012 election.


Here's one example among many:


Steve, you occasionally have interesting things to say but describing a David Frum article as "anti-white male hate" is pure crazy talk. He is closer to you on immigration policy than much of the GOP establishment.

Read the headline at the top of the Newsweek cover:

"GOP: You're Old, You're White, You're History!"

This was highly representative of the kind of suck it, white boy touchdown dances unleashed into the public press the day after Election Day 2012.

Did you ever read the article?

Anyways, the Steve Sailer hot-take is that all it takes for crazed people to nominate an obvious lunatic (which Sailer admitted as much early in the primary when "Who? Whom" still mattered) to the presidency is a micro-aggression from a periodical they likely never read.

“GOP: You’re Old, You’re White, You’re History!”

Wasn't this meant to suggest that exclusively white institutions were (or were likely to be) history, rather than an expression of hatred for people possessing white skin? You sound as touchy as the Al Sharptons who protest every perceived (imaginary) slight towards black people.

The Washington Post reported in 2014:

"That means there were at least 72 instances since Obama took office where Sharpton visited the White House for official business."


It sounds like the Rev. Al is doing pretty good for himself under the Obama Administration.

So...no substantive response?

Events with more than 90 people: 16 (22 percent)

Miscellaneous meetings or events, ranging from 3 to 700 guests: 31 (43 percent)

actual recorded meetings with White House staff, as opposed to ceremonial occasions, accounts for less than 50 percent of the total.

"Wasn’t this meant to suggest that exclusively white institutions were (or were likely to be) history, rather than an expression of hatred for people possessing white skin?"

Are you nuts? There's an exclamation point. It's a touchdown dance.

"Are you nuts? There’s an exclamation point. It’s a touchdown dance. "

Agreed. That's not someone saying that the GOP needs to change it's direction. They are literally saying the GOP is doomed. It's the plain reading of the text.

“GOP: You’re Old, You’re White, You’re History!”

"That’s not someone saying that the GOP needs to change it’s direction."

Again, I direct your attention to the text just below the headline which says, "by David Frum." Frum is, of course, a former George W. Bush speechwriter (most famous for having coined the phrase "axis of evil") who endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012. Newsweek has always had a thing for sensationalist headlines. There is no reason to get the vapors over this example of "hate."

Again, did ANYONE actually read the article in the magazine?

Frum is, of course, a former George W. Bush speechwriter (most famous for having coined the phrase “axis of evil”) who endorsed Mitt Romney in 2012 -

That was the 2d incarnation of David Frum (or 3d, if you count his training for the legal career he never followed). Frum emerged as a public figure in 1994 presenting himself as a libertarian. When 'bring em' on was fashionable, he repurposed himself as a proponent of militancy in foreign relations and the Torquemada of the Rockford Institute. When Barack Obama was elected, he presented himself as the apostle of a revived Republican collaborationism, what they called a 'modern Republican' 60 years ago. He's always got his finger to the wind. From now until retirement, he'll have to market himself as the liberal foundations' pet Republican and compete for grants and fellowships with the likes of Conor Friedersdorf, because everyone else is tired of him and he has no real skills other than writing.

Yup, nothing more threatening to white supremacists than electing Obama

The same thing happened in 1994. It was the year of the angry white male in contrast to 1992's year of the woman.

Here's Obama explaining why "reverse discrimination" is not real. Video is from June 1. Sums up the last 4 years nicely.


The crowd laughs before he even makes case. The idea of falsely convicting men of rape, of prison rape of men, of poor white girls losing spots at state schools to the children of black 1%ers, actually makes these people laugh - they love the idea of inflicting suffering on racial and sexual lines.

A boot stamping on a human face forever is a common ambition.

That's funny, because I don't think he mentioned falsely convicting men of rape, prison rape of men or black one percenters taking taking college spots of white people. Wow.

BTW, the most famous example of this so-called reverse discrimination in college admissions is the girl who applied to UT. She was a mediocre student competing with thousands of students for just 841 spots (the rest of the class were students who were automatically accepted because they graduated in the top 10% of their classes). And there is no evidence race has anything to do with her not being admitted.

Of all the admitted students who had lower test scores and grades than Fisher, only five were black or Latino — while 42 were white.

the 168 black and Latino students with grades as good as or better than Fisher's who were also denied entry into the university that year. Also left unsaid is the fact that Fisher turned down a standard UT offer under which she could have gone to the university her sophomore year if she earned a 3.2 GPA at another Texas university school in her freshman year.


Jan, they laugh at the statement "some people think that reverse discrimination is just as serious as discrimination agaianst minorities". I gave some examples of reverse discrimination, which are quite egregious. The egregious set of reverse discrimination is a subset of the set of reverse discrimination.

Basic logic 101. Reals not feels, Jan.

"And there is no evidence race has anything to do with her not being admitted." "168 black and Latino students with grades as good as or better than Fisher’s who were also denied entry into the university that year."

So, you aren't disputing that the University fought against merit-based race neutral admissions, and fought specifically for the right to racially discriminate against white students, and there surely are many white people who were denied admission specifically because they are white, your argument is just that the specific woman involved in the lawsuit wasn't one of the affected white people. So, the university is clearly wrong, the substance of the lawsuit is right, it just should be different white individuals represented.


You forgot "Just. Wow."

Are you claiming that affirmative action doesn't actually exist?

Otherwise I have no clue what pointing to one individual example of a poorly-chosen plaintiff is supposed to prove.

A complaint against Harvard claims that the racial benefit (or penalty) on the SAT versus whites is: +130 for hispanics, +310 for blacks, and -140 for asians.

There is plenty of other evidence that universities are explicitly discriminating against people on the basis of race.

"The complaint, filed by a coalition of 64 organizations, says the university has set quotas to keep the numbers of Asian-American students significantly lower than the quality of their applications merits. It cites third-party academic research on the SAT exam showing that Asian-Americans have to score on average about 140 points higher than white students, 270 points higher than Hispanic students and 450 points higher than African-American students to equal their chances of gaining admission to Harvard. The exam is scored on a 2400-point scale."


In the new millennium we are moving from affirmative action based on the idea dis-advantaged minorities, and coming face to face with over-advantaged ones.

It's easy to solve. Set a base admission criteria for Harvard (or any other), and then lottery draw for admissions. A high criteria makes an elite school. A lower criteria makes a diverse one. I suppose Harvard has to take legacies and donor kids, but after that just draw.

It’s easy to solve. Set a base admission criteria for Harvard (or any other),

What you'll get unless you gut standards completely is a student body that's about 4% black, 10% hispanic, 10% oriental, and 75% caucuasian. Not acceptable for the diversicrats.

What world do you live in Arthur if you didn't have legacies etc Harvard would be 70% Asian. Whites are mostly losers at playing the hoop jumping game.

UC Irvine is "58% Asian and 28% White" by one report. That's probably half meritocracy and half attraction to that UC campus.

But that's fine with me. An elite school should be elite.

If you thought it should be meritocracy in 1978 when you heard the Bakke decision, you should still think that now.

Calling anti-white discrimination "reverse discrimination" is moronic.


How about the projectile vomiting of the word "women" all day, every day, for the past decade?

My impression is that the Obama re-election campaign and the media launched the current phase of history in roughly February 2012 with the Trayvon Martin - George Zimmerman and "War on Women" manias.

Hating Core Americans is the KKKrazy Glue that holds together the Coalition of the Fringes.

They managed to keep the full extent of their darker impulses under some degree of control until the morning after Election Day 2012, but it has been pretty much nonstop hatred toward cishet white males ever since.

Could you elaborate on what you mean by "Core Americans"?

My October 2012 article explains:


Sailer's comment actually exemplifies the Trump phenomenon quite well: the natural result of progressive victimhood culture. In a world where a self-victimhood narrative is a prerequisite to having rights ("check your privilege"), it seems inevitable in hindsight that a figure such as Trump would emerge to explain to white males that you, too, are victims. In stark contrast to Reagan's vision of America as a Shining City on a Hill, a model for the rest of the world to emulate, Trump sees America as the world's doormat --- "We never seem to win anymore," he says --- our friends and foes alike mocking our naivete for allowing them to walk all over us.

Trump seems less a "backlash" than an aquiescence. Now, both sides agree to the Progressive framework for political discourse: a race to the aggrieved bottom, where the victim with the sorriest sob story wins.

Why would people from many parts of the world be trying to work in, or immigrate to, a doormat?

The first great work of American social science, Benjamin Franklin's essay from the early 1750s, "Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind," which inspired the intellectual breakthroughs of Malthus and Darwin, was an immigration restrictionist pamphlet. Franklin's argument was that Americans were born privileged due to having more land per person than Old Worlders and that it was insane not to organize politically to keep that privilege.

Franklin was a Puritan with a smile. But even in his day the real estate that came to be the US was confiscated from its inhabitants by the sons of European invaders, the same modus operandi that Cromwell and his bluenose compatriots used against the Irish. Of course Franklin, the Puritans of that day, and the current citizens of the fruited plain believe that the territory was destined to be theirs by the grace of God with a little help from repeating rifles. Little mention is made that much of the conquering forces of manifest destiny spoke English as a second language, if at all, and the occupying civilian multitude was literally imported from post-feudal Europe. While it's wrong today for the brown people of the earth to check out the scenery over the hill, it was perfectly OK for the losers of European society to spread from one corner of the planet to another.

'...was an immigration restrictionist pamphlet. Franklin’s argument was that Americans were born privileged due to having more land per person than Old Worlders and that it was insane not to organize politically to keep that privilege'

Please, one should quote Franklin to show how he wanted to restrict immigration and why, including what he later deleted - '"why should the Palatine Boors [German framers from southwest Germany) be suffered to swarm into our settlements, and by herding together establish their languages and manners to the exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our language or customs, any more than they can acquire our complexion?"' (This passage cost him politically, too, as he lost an election without the support of the swarming Germans, apparently herding together to defeat his attempt to win a seat in the Pennsylvania Provincial Assembly.)

See, Franklin knew a non-white when he saw one, with their different language and culture, and he valiantly opposed having non-white Germans (Saxons excepted, admittedly) ruin America.

Much as he was concerned about all these other non-whites - 'And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth.'


Just noticed the bad typing - it should read '[German farmers from southwest Germany]

And just to play along with Sailer style thinking, it is just plain fact that there were no German framers of the American Constitution. Likely due to the fact that as non-whites, with their refusal to assimilate, they lacked the necessary qualities, undoubtedly based on their genetic characteristics.

Prior is here to remind us that science today is "just as bad as in the 1750's!" "Just as bad, I tell 'ya!"

Kris, doormats are useful for brushing your shoes off before you step in to your American made home and compete against low-skilled American doormats, I mean workers.

Sailer has been predicting for years that the GOP was fighting a losing battle in its quest to earn the Hispanic vote, and that it could more than offset those losses by appealing to middle class white males.

This has become particularly more important given the electoral shift. The Solid South is not so solid anymore, and even with it being solid, it often isn't enough to win. The crucial battleground for the GOP is the Midwest. At the state and local level, the GOP locked this region up years ago, but it has been thus far unable to sway the national election. Trump might very well complete that conquest.

Despite all the pinkwash propaganda, this is the year of the White Male in American Politics. The DNC can no longer bank on the steel and wood collar union vote. Illegal immigrants have now snatched up the majority of home building and maintenance jobs that were the Providence of white males. DNC gun control policies are off-putting and threatening. Their pandering to BLM is as dangerous as it is offensive.

This is not to claim that Hillary doesn't have a good chance of victory this year. Revolutions usually do not happen overnight.

I definitely think you're onto something. Note that it's mainly lower-class white males who are behind Trump, a group which has actually suffered recently due to competition from foreign trade and immigration (NTTAWWT). So they have an easier time thinking of themselves as victims of some big political conspiracy.

Yes, whites and white nationalists have acquiesced to the dominant cultural language of oppression and victimhood. The left clearly won in establishing that standard. There's still a backlash in terms of which groups are the oppressor villains and which are the heroic saviors of the oppressed.

I.e. racists are using the same whining and scapegoating they have used for centuries, they just decided to add women and gays to the "poisoning wells" paranonia.

"5. The institutional and intellectual capital of the Republican Party was finally run totally into the ground. (But when exactly? And who perceived it as such other than Democrats?)"

In the spring of 2015, Donald Trump watched Ann Coulter debate Jorge Ramos of Univision on the topic of immigration. Trump was impressed and asked Coulter for a pre-publication copy of her upcoming book "Adios America." I'm biased, but that strikes me as the key historical event of the GOP election season.


I don't always appreciate you Steve, but when you reference Ann Coulter on institutional and intellectual capital run into the ground, I have to tip my hat.

To Tyler's question "other than Democrats," I'd say all us ex-Republicans, now sheltering under non-Democrat labels.

Makes sense. Coulter was the original Republican troll. Trump saw how well it worked for her net worth and took it to the next level. In hindsight his making common cause with the Birthers was a brilliant stepping stone.

Back in the early 2000s, young conservatives started viewing the Republican party and the conservative movement as intellectually bankrupt. The Medicare expansion, complete with arm twisting, led many to effectively check-out. The Iraq war going poorly shook a lot of people who believed in universal values. History since then has only reinforced this view. Young conservatives have probably been talking about and debating policies similar to Trump since around 2006, and advocating for the GOP to shift on immigration and trade. They had been confused by anti-Russian policy and NATO expansion since the late 1990s.

In the late 2000s there was a confluence of independent movements: from PUAs to neoreactionaries. My take is that the conservatives effectively lost a part of their youth, younger GenX and the oldest Millennials. This would have amounted to nothing were it not for two things. The mainstream kept pushing farther and harder left, which caused a greater reaction. Second, Millennials spend way more time online. They didn't absorb much conservatism through traditional channels, or if they did, they watched a frog get boiled. They were instead exposed to right-wing thinking from the alt-right/ dark enlightenment panoply. A lot of young conservatives/libertarians supported Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012. The GOP treated them poorly and then the libertarians went far left after 2012, sending many former libertarians into the alt-right.

Trump is mainly a reaction of older voters. Rush Limbaugh said of Trump's journalist slamming press conference last week, "That was the kind of press conference Republicans voters have been dying to see for who knows how many years."

Poor government leadership. Don't blame the people; blame the leaders.

It is striking that even in a list of theories being thrown out there to see what sticks, the actions of government leaders are totally ignored as a potential cause.

Yet the Trump movement seems largely a response to some combination of the perceived failures of the Obama administration and the perceived impotence of the Republican opposition.

What is the opposite of Occam's Razor?

Occam's Butterknife:


I agree that the Obama and Congress dynamic led to this, but I think it is all about how a "party of no!" can't lead. They establish the answer as "no!" rather than "this way!"

Probably in some short time the history will be written that way.

"Party of no" is a partisan talking point.

The claims that Republicans offer no alternative ideas are flat out false--they have made a number of detailed proposals on the issues, such as replacements for Obamacare.

However, as the opposition party they don't have any opportunity to actually enact things, as any substantive legislation would be vetoed by Obama (if it made it past a senate filibuster).

Maybe there haven't been enough compromises to please some people, but this is a value judgement based on whether you think a compromise policy would be better than no policy. Also, it is a judgement call which side should be blamed for not compromising.

The responsible push-back happened with the Tea Party. They politely protested in DC, picked up all their litter, left and helped give the GOP majorities in Congress.

The result? Nothing.

Now, with number 6 (the unfolding calamity in Europe), I think Americans have had enough and they've turned to the biggest bullhorn.

It's curious too, all this attention on Trump, when the Democrats are going to select a bumbling socialist or Hillary, who has proven to be as criminal as she was incompetent as SoS. No one seems to mind that a future president probably had all of her emails hacked by foreign govts, thought fraught relations with Putin were the US's fault and just needed a reset, and that her signature foreign policy decision turned Libya into a jihadi camp and source of much of Europe's migrants.

Hilary said the other day that Trump can't be trusted with the nuclear codes - after she stored her emails on a bathroom server - and lied repeatedly about the issue.

The media is going nuts about the prospect of Trump, but are happy with the reality of Hilary. Yet, it's the average Joe who isn't thinking straight.

Very good point. The tea party was calm, rational, polite - while called all sorts of names by the press/left. They worked hard to get their party large majorities in both houses of congress and the republicans they elected did nothing while Obama continued to push us towards the left by any means available to him. In that light, supporting Trump is quite rational.

"Rational" doesn't fit. It was obvious from the very start that Tea Partiers overestimated how popular their ideas were with the broader American public, lacked a genuine understanding of how government works, and that they would end up disappointed.

Concerns about the debt and deficit consistently rank among the greatest concerns of Americans in polls. Among the GOP, they rank even higher.

So why would it be irrational for a movement focused on fiscal responsibility to expect that the party they helped elect - despite interference from the IRS - to show some restraint?

No, they were betrayed. Though I agree with your broader point about the public in general, in the US and elsewhere in the developed world. It's likely that a long period of well-being has separated people from the consequences of their decisions. And there will like be a sharp reckoning.

"It’s likely that a long period of well-being has separated people from the consequences of their decisions. And there will like be a sharp reckoning."
More Fascist whining for example?

Chip, wake up. Donald Trump does not make cutting social security or medicare as part of his campaign. In fact, he has disavowed it, much to the displeasure of Paul Ryan.

The Tea party was elected to show restraint, but in power it realized that the only way to execute that restraint is to cut back on SS/Medicare/Military, all of which are huge identity politics issues for older white Americans. So foreign aid gets cut and we save .001% of the budget. Tea Partiers begin to agitate, the cycle repeats.

Ricardo, they didn't overestimate the popularity of their ideas. Their ideas were quite popular and helped republicans gain both houses of congress and expand at the state level.

The failure was in the intestinal fortitude of those politicians who did not follow through after election day.

That has given us Trump.

@chip, Gallup polls show that only about 5-6% of Americans will say the debt or deficit is their biggest concern. It is only slightly above "gap between rich and poor" and far above "taxes."

@El Gingro, See this poll from 2013: http://www.gallup.com/poll/147626/federal-budget-deficit.aspx . There is support for spending cuts but only 10% would want to see the budget balanced with no increase in taxes, two-thirds of respondents thought taxes should be raised on wealthier Americans, and there is no consensus on cuts to SS, Medicare or defense spending. However, defense spending cuts were slightly more popular (47% approve) than cost cutting measures for SS and Medicare (only 42% approve).

As for Republican control of the House, Republican candidates overall won fewer votes than Democratic candidates in 2012 and just barely got half of the vote count in 2014 in a record low-turn-out midterm election. The current Republican House has an electoral mandate from a whopping 18.5% of registered voters and you express frustration that they aren't pursuing policies that are more unpopular from the ones they are pushing already.

The first item in your link shows 2/3 of Americans worry about the deficit a "great deal."

The deficit and debt are consistently at the top of voter concerns along with the economy and national security.

So it's not rational for the Tea Party to organize around the issue of overspending, which is of course tied to the number one concern about jobs?

Is it rational for open borders groups to campaign for more illegal immigration despite most Americans being vehemently opposed? Yet they do and so far seem to be getting their way.

The Tea Party was a legitimate grassroots movement that got people elected. And it didn't matter. The system failed.

Now you get the destroyer.

"So it’s not rational for the Tea Party to organize around the issue of overspending"

You are just proving my point. The poll I pointed you to very clearly shows that Americans support increasing tax revenue, especially by raising taxes on the rich, in addition to spending cuts and the only thing that registers in your mind is that "overspending" is the issue to rally around.

"The Tea Party was a legitimate grassroots movement that got people elected. And it didn’t matter. The system failed.
Now you get the destroyer."
The system failed to care about your whining? Poor boy. So the Tea Party hadn't the votes to elect its own men (it mostly had to make do with mainstream Republicans-- the Tea Party faithful elected were never a majority, why should they call the shots?), but they elect a President or at least choose the Republican candidate. Sounds doubtful..

Tea Party voters are among the more informed voters in America. Relative to the total electorate, they are probably at minimum 70 to 80th percentile.

I"m not saying that to say they are informed, BTW, only that if being uniformed is the problem, there is no democratic solution to anything.

Those Social Democrats abolished the Empire, surrendered to the Triple Entente and keep pushing Germany towards the left by any means available to them. In that light, supporting the Nazi Party is quite rational. It's all the Jews' fault anyway and it always will be, no matter what the Nazis may say or do.

Replace jews with white cishet working class men and you capture the political outlook of the democrat party from the dullard classists like John L. to the high racists in Ivy league departments.

"Classists" (did I mention class?) meaning people who are tired of the American version of the "Backstabbed Germany" myth and "Racists" meaning people who oppose the American version of "Rasse und Seele" By the way, your European precursors already played the "class" card. After all, Jews control the world economy and bankrupted the Reich, right?

Your dog whistles about low class whites are obvious.

The relentless political correctness :
gay marriage/transgender bathrooms/illegal immigration amnesty/ refugees that are really migrants/Ferguson black lives matter/ safe places in university where speakers from the right are interrupted or banned / climate change carbon reduction mandates/ Islamic terrorism in Europe and here but Islam religion of peace/ EU asking Google/Facebook/twitter to stifle hate speech (with very broad definition)/ Facebook censoring right wing pov/ minorities performing worse but wait it's because of slavery/discrimination/ sanctuaries for illegal immigrants/trying to make climate change skepticism a thought crime (bill proposed by Ca Atty general), green hysteria/oil companies villainized, wall street villainized banks shaken down by DOJ but no admission of guilt, not enough women/minorities in silicon valley means bias etc.etc..

To sum it up, "Obama is a Muslim."

@E. Harding - For your position to make any plausibility one has to assume that:
1, Obama alone is responsible for the last ten year's instability in the Middle East, that decades of US cluelessness in the region has nothing to do with it
2. Obama is doing it on purpose, not just incompetent
3. The key way to identify a Muslim is that he just loves killing hundreds of thousands of other Muslims, given that is who is dying in the Middle East mess.

GW Bush is at least as responsible for the rise of ISIS as Obama. Without his willfully stupid invasion of Iraq, there would be no ISIS. But I don't hear people running around saying, "To sum it up, Dubya is a Muslim.”

Invading Iraq may have been stupid but after all the bloodshed, by 2009, the country was stable.

"We’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people." - Obama

And then the US threw it all away in what may be the deadliest foreign policy decision since Vietnam. Read Dexter Filkins' reporting on this issue, about how the Iraqi government's private efforts to get a deal on leaving troops was met with total silence from the White House.

And now that US and other troops are pouring back into Iraq to stabilize it yet again, where are the questions of his decision to withdraw?

Ben Rhodes wasn't kidding about the ignorance and slavishness of the WH media. Unfortunately, it will take Trump for them to remember how to do their job.

That should read "Obama is a Muslim communist born outside of the US"

I'm sorry that talking about slavery and bias against women makes you hurt.

Prison rapes outnumber campus rapes 100 fold but good luck getting sexists like Millian to care. Men getting raped is equality.

Please think before you write something like this down. It contributes nothing to the conversation.

The the contrary, Thomas is the only one adding anything to the conversation

Left-wing activists are the only ones who have actually made an issue and tried to fight prison rape.

Mens' Rights Activists like Thomas go as far as to bring up prison rape over and over again, but no one on his side has done anything to tackle the problem.

Left-wing activists are the only ones who have actually made an issue and tried to fight prison rape.

Which 'left-wing activitsts'?

The bulk of those who might be so described are in the business of lawfare to harass police and prison systems. Their real complaint is that anyone is incarcerated to begin with.

The usual suspects - ACLU, Prisoners' Rights advocacy lawyers, human rights groups, etc. Anyways, do you care to address the point raised by Thomas?

The bulk of those who might be so described are in the business of lawfare to harass police and prison systems. Their real complaint is that anyone is incarcerated to begin with.

"I don't know which people you are talking about, but let me tell you exactly what they believe."

Yeah, the far-right fellows care so much about prison rapes and life conditions in prison in general. I totally remember how GWB tackled the matter under their pressure (hey, all that propaganda about women nedding good to keep rapists far is misguided, right?-- I mean, women have no problems, not a care in the world, who really need guns is male prisoners) and how it was totally an issue before the far-right needed to find an excuse for campus rapists (I am glad to read, though, that life conditions on campus are not as brutal as they are in prison). Everyone knows the Tea Party is very concerned about prisoners and their suffering.

I totally remember how GWB tackled the matter under their pressure -

You evidently do not remember that 89% of all convicts are housed by state governments (and nearly 100% of those sent up for rape or aggravated assault - federal prisons are for drug mules and con men).

Rick Perry? Sam Brownback? Joe Arpaio? Yeah those guys really care about how prisoners are treated.

Jim Webb is the only politician at the federal level who seriously tackled prison reform before it was cool.

The SJWs are pretty much the only people you can make care about about prison rape. We're here for you, at least if you actually care and it's not just some convenient talking point.

Because prison reform is such a Republican issue.

OK. So you've described why _you_ are supporting the Republican populist, but why are people supporting the Democrat populist?

Democratic populists just want free stuff. They want to follow Venezuela until they run out of other people's money

Facebook is a private company. They can run their website as a left-wing echo chamber if they want to. If you don't like it, stop using it. This fact should be obvious to conservatives.

Sure they can. But just assuredly conservatives can publicly protest the behavior.

"Americans have been paying closer attention to the terror attacks and refugee crisis in Europe than we traditionally might think, and thus they feel that the American system requires a radical wake-up call."

The Paris massacres of January and November 2015 were specifically engineered to seize world attention, but the real wake-up call was the hegira of the Merkel Youth. The world watched a cautious, mainstream leader do something self-evidently stupid because she was following out Globalist Ideology to its implicit conclusion, to the cheers of the elite media.

One has to wonder if the "blatant expressions of anti-white male hate" included the overuse of references to the Hitler Youth to describe hated whiteys.

8. It's all about the memes.

What is evidence of a populist backlash? Surely not just one guy looking in the 40s? Sanders + Tea Party + Move On + Black Lives+Golden State? It's hard to make sense of these breezy announcements.

4, 5, 6, and 7, but mostly 7. But as I said earlier, Trump peaked last week.

unfortunately, all he needs to do to get back on track is schedule a rally where he knows there will be a shitload of violence.

Now he look sympathetic and has the narrative back.

Tyler, #3? Really? Quit trolling.

If you ever stop to listen to the guy, you will notice that he always explains a rationale with a decision.

That might seem a trivial thing, but it's a pretty big improvement over recent Presidents, and maybe even soon to be future ones.

You may not agree with the rationale, but it is laid out in logical terms, more Spock than Kirk.

Trump definitely wants to be Kirk.

@El Gringo he has to be, classic Tyler. This president has demonized dissenting points of views, used meaningless statistics to present his arguments as points of fact, and to recognize the legitimacy of gripes that don't come from minorities or women. He has been the consummate politician for the past eight years, never leaving an opportunity to mobilize his base and strengthen his following at the expense of ostracizing large groups of people.

So Gabe, you think there are no legitimate gripes from minorities or women?

There are no discrete 'women's issues' which can and should be addressed by public policy.

The most salient and distinguishing problems which minorities face concern security and educational quality. The feds can contribute to improved security and educational quality by not harassing state and local government trying to improve those services. This an administration like BO's will never do. (And you'd really have to scrape to find a corps of black politicians promoting security or educational quality).

What administrations like BO's do is promote the transfer of decision-making to lawyers and promote the construction of patron-client relationships. Having a small corps of odd (but capable) women in the military will not do. Having a corps 5x larger whose position is dependent upon gender-norming performance scores is bucco-nice because they're dependent on lawyers and politicians who defend the patronage distribution.

"There are no discrete ‘women’s issues’ which can and should be addressed by public policy."

Paid time off after giving birth.

I won't repost, but do you recall the paper Tyler posted last week that has the relationship between gender wage gaps and mandated PTO for giving birth? It's exactly the relationship we can expect. In other words, you can't have it both ways. I suppose you can, but I'm not sure that I understand the reasoning for this pet issue. The implication is that women are the primary care takers, and we should institutionalize that, while simultaneously mandating that they make the same amount as men doing the same job? They aren't doing the same job if they are taking three months off, so why should they make the same amount of money? Or have we decided that there is absolutely no worthwhile information baked into the wages that people receive, that compensation is completely divorced from value added?

Why shouldn't men have paid time off after giving birth? Or are you suggesting that MEN CAN'T GIVE BIRTH????

Paid time off after giving birth.

Which they shouldn't get.

Access to abortion. Republican state legislatures have gone from fighting a rearguard action in the 20 years after Roe to full-on offensive.

That's a 'woman's issue' only in the addled heads of the likes of Gloria Steinem and Harry Blackmun. Those murdered children have sires and are male as well as female.

Not sure how you pulled that from my comment. There are ways to address those gripes without being condescending and divisive. Obama's basic rhetoric has been that the "plight" of minorities and women can be remedied if we put sufficiently aggressive rules in place that would only be effective if there were a world wide conspiracy to gyp these groups of their fair wages. The implication is that white men are holding these groups down, and I just don't see a lot of merit to that argument. There may be societal norms that encourage women to work in helping industries or in roles where they can't make the same wage as Investment Bankers, but the rhetoric is militant and dismissive of legitimate counterpoints.

It would be so smart to move from race-based to income-based. It's a damn shame it's so difficult. This is where there is definitely a 'racial mafia' at work.

I guess I pull them out for the same reason that quoted “plight” makes me question your underlying position.

The only 'plights' women face that men do not (or which men face but to which they are less vulnerable) are derived from slum crime or from ill-considered sexual encounters. BO has no interest in quelling urban disorder (which is the default setting within the Democratic Party, though not universal within it). "Stay sober and close your legs, sweetheart" is not something you're going to hear from Democratic pols either. Among the many components of the Democratic coalition are trashy single mothers.

Hey Art, ever tried getting an abortion?

I've been spared having any child of mine cut up by a perverted obstetrician.

FWIW though, Obama has supported a move to income based, rather than race based, affirmative action.

Over 8 years ago, when he was running for president. Since then, what has he done? Well, he supported the university in Fisher, so he no longer (not that I believe he ever did) supports income based AA

@MSG it would primarily benefit 1st and second generation Asian Americans and rural whites, with black and Hispanic populations in the institutions plummeting. That's not what they want

The recession definitely played a big part. Before the recovery, it would have been hard to blame anything other than the recession for the bad state of things. Many are mistaking the aftereffects of the prolonged recession (e.g. job scarring of labour market entrants) for longer run trends in other economic outcomes (e.g. income inequality).

What percentage of New York Times articles contained the word "racism:"

2011: 0.27%
2012: 0.38%
2013: 0.45%
2014: 0.59%
2015: 0.88%
2016: 1.24%


We've been witnessing an Elite Freakout reminiscent of witch-hunting manias of the past.

Is it really that surprising that the putative witches are responding ...

'reminiscent of witch-hunting manias of the past'

So, let's reference the latest information from candidate Trump concerning a court case in U.S. District Court - 'In an interview, Mr. Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over the litigation given that he was “of Mexican heritage” and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association. Mr. Trump said the background of the judge, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, was relevant because of his campaign stance against illegal immigration and his pledge to seal the southern U.S. border. “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” Mr. Trump said.' http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=bbe_1464918955

Yep, sounds like someone is getting geared up for witchhunting - '“They ought to look into Judge Curiel, because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace. Okay? But we will come back in November. Wouldn’t that be wild if I am president and come back and do a civil case? Where everybody likes it. Okay. This is called life, folks.”' https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2016/06/01/437ccae6-280b-11e6-a3c4-0724e8e24f3f_story.html

'Is it really that surprising that the putative witches are responding …'

One could almost expect that when the 'Mexicans' turn out to vote in large numbers, you will then return to your older style of talking about 'ethnic Catholics.'

Similarly, what percentage of New York Times articles contained the word "sexism:"

2011: 0.05%
2012: 0.07%
2013: 0.13%
2014: 0.18%
2015: 0.22%
2016: 0.32%

I wrote an email to Tyler back in 2010 asking about what I called radical conservatism, mentioning Moldbug, Roissy, and with a couple of articles:

To me it's a growing thing, and it is far from its peak. I think both Clinton and Trump are very likely to be 1 term presidents; if Trump wins it'll deflate this movement for a bit, while if Clinton wins it'll grow much, much more powerful and the next version of Trump will win and will have far more power when he takes office courtesy of Clinton's willingness to use existing executive power and to consolidate and grow it.

There's nothing that Donald Trump loves to do more than to sit back with a 15,000 word Mencius Moldbug essay.

Trump is id to Moldbug's ego.

3. Obama actually has been a towering and calming presence. But after him…the deluge.

Alternative explanation: Obama has turned into more and more of a culture warrior in the last years of his presidency. People are mad because they're getting baited.

Obama's "stray voltage" theory is particularly unfortunate in this context. He tends to drown out criticism by finding and pushing a new wedge issue. So the moderate opposition gets turned into blithering "Burn it all down!" types.

I predicted in my 2008 reader's guide to the Democratic candidate's autobiography -- "America's Half-Blood Prince: Barack Obama's 'Story of Race'" -- that Obama's second term would be more racially divisive than his cautious first term.

Obama's approval rating is about 50%, comparable to Ronald Reagan's at the same point in his presidency. Gallup gives his approval rating among whites in March as 41%: http://www.gallup.com/poll/121199/obama-weekly-job-approval-demographic-groups.aspx

This is not inconsistent with Obama being "divisive".

I think both are true- Obama has played the role of calm consensus seeker for most of his presidency, and his Party was reformed in 2012 on more identitarian lines, with a more identitarian agenda. On the one hand, Sanders is doing much better than expected (despite being on paper a godawful candidate) because many Democratic voters are sick of this stuff to some degree and would rather talk about the malefactors of great wealth than yet another racism lecture; on the other hand, the young well educated people who provide a large degree of the energy behind politics (if not that many voters) are way way more extreme than Obama on identity politics issues, and so things are constantly being pulled in that direction rhetorically.

From the New York Times on 2/13/16:

“If we broke up the big banks tomorrow,” Mrs. Clinton asked the audience of black, white and Hispanic union members, “would that end racism? Would that end sexism? Would that end discrimination against the L.G.B.T. community?,” she said, using an abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. “Would that make people feel more welcoming to immigrants overnight?”

At each question, the crowd called back with a resounding no.


"Obama has played the role of calm consensus seeker for most of his presidency"

The right has never seen him this way, though. They view him as intransigent and intentionally fanning partisan flames, even while claiming to be a unifier.

Republicans have been pretty angry at Obama throughout his presidency--the Tea Party became a major force by 2010.

"the young well educated people who provide a large degree of the energy behind politics"

I don't know exactly what you mean by here. Yes, young, well-educated leftists have a big, noisy footprint on the internet and on college campuses but you undercut your own statement by pointing out that Bernie Sanders -- an old, white guy who could claim minority status through his Jewish identity but tends to be extremely quiet in public about that aspect of his life -- is the preferred candidate among young, well-educated leftists. More mainstream Democrats tend to ignore this group altogether except perhaps when it comes time to recruit volunteers early on in the primary season. How quickly people forgot that Obama was the candidate in 2008 who opposed gay marriage and delivered a father's day speech where he slammed a big chunk of the black male community.

Steve, you respond to my post on the subject of Obama's supposed racial divisiveness by quoting Hillary Clinton. Nice bait and switch. Anyway, it is fairly obvious that she was responding to Bernie Sanders' policy proposal (a feel-good policy that won't accomplish much -- leverage, not size, is the bigger problem) in a targeted message to demographic groups among whom he is less popular. You might make the case the Democratic Party has been divided along racial and generational lines in this primary but the contest is between an old white lady and an older white man where the more mainstream candidate is also the one with strong support among non-whites.

And what does he have to show for it but Republican obstructionism?

comparable to Ronald Reagan’s at the same point in his presidency.

Reagan was being harassed by a crooked lawfare artist named Lawrence Walsh. That's not going to happen to a Democratic president.

'...by a crooked lawfare artist named Lawrence Walsh. That’s not going to happen to a Democratic president.'

Nope - a Democratic president just someone like Kenneth Starr, who did this - 'He received the most publicity for his tenure as independent counsel while Bill Clinton was U.S. president. Starr was initially appointed to investigate the suicide death of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster and the Whitewater real estate investments of Bill Clinton. The three-judge panel charged with administering the Independent Counsel Act later expanded the inquiry into numerous areas including an extramarital affair that Bill Clinton had with Monica Lewinsky. After several years of investigation, Starr filed the Starr Report, which alleged that Bill Clinton had lied about the existence of the affair during a sworn deposition. The allegation opened the door for the impeachment of Bill Clinton and the five-year suspension of Clinton's law license.' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Starr

Art Deco has never heard of Kenneth Starr.

Lawrence Walsh secured an indictment of Caspar Weinberger for perjury because there was a discrepancy between oral testimony and written notes he had willingly donated on an issue of scant importance. The oral testimony was given 15 months after the notes were taken. So, you have total recall of business meetings you attended 15 months ago, mir prior_test? The indictment was invalid as well due to the passage of time. Walsh knew this perfectly well. The indictment was secured days before a presidential election mean to embarrass the incumbent president. No, Bill Clinton never faced a character like this.

Art apparently has never heard of Oliver North either.

Oliver North harrassed neither Reagan nor Clinton. Lawrence Walsh slapped him with a 23 count indictment on which our marvelous special prosecutor managed to win convictions on 3 counts which were then vacated on appeal.

#3 is laughable.
Recall his Nobel Peace Prize, awarded seemingly eons ago in political years, by an anxious committee desperate to see America steer away from the excesses of the Bush/Cheney regime. Then look at his actions and how those do not support the noble intentions either of his campaign slogans or the Prize. That track record amounts to a tower for ants, not people.

The calming presence might be felt by his Rainbow Coalition folks but seemed to be the opposite to the ignored population in flyover states, along byways, and where the New York Times, Washington Post and Financial Times are not delivered.

Chalk up Tyler's #3 to clickbait/trolling.

The most striking trend might be in what percentage of New York Times articles include the word "transgender:"

2011: 0.19%

2012: 0.18%

2013: 0.27%

2014: 0.34%

2015: 0.75%

2016: 1.10%


'And for the most part they are not mutually exclusive.'

And much like how Austria elected an economist and former Green party head as president is seemingly not mentioned here, not a word about Sander's populist appeal. And to the extent that both candidates express similar sentiments that attract similar support, one would think that it would be possible to draw a few more well founded conclusions.

The problem with this approach is that it's so left-leaning. "Conservative are uneducated rubes. We progressives are too smart to be fooled by populism!" Um, 1) #FeelTheBern of populism, 2) the demographics show that Trump's supporters are well-educated.

While I would say that Trump is a populist demagogue to a greater extent than Sanders, they actually match up on significant policy stances and any other year Sanders would be meaningfully more demagogic than the rest of the field on both sides. The difference this year is that Clinton didn't have several candidates of her stature to split the vote and it took Sanders a while to gain momentum. Even Trump took time to gain momentum, but he was able to secure a plurality early and then build on that. Sanders likely would have been able to do the same if Clinton had more "establishment" candidates to deal with. eg, if Joe Biden had entered, we might be looking at a Sanders vs Trump race right now -- a decidedly populist vs populist presidential race.

"they actually match up on significant policy stances"

Other than both expressing opposition to certain trade deals, not really. The core of Sanders' platform is making higher education tuition free, raising the minimum wage, implementing Medicare for all, and raising taxes on the wealthy. Trump did endorse single payer health care at one point but his campaign website makes no mention of it and the section under health policy is boilerplate Cato/Heritage [post-2008] stuff. He otherwise disagrees with Sanders on almost every major economic issue.

Trump also suggested raising taxes on the wealthy not long after he locked up the Republican nomination. Who knows what his final platform will be for the general?

Overall, I do think "match up on significant policy stances" overstates it, but their movements probably have a fair amount of affinity with each other. A lot of people are supporting Trump and Sanders for similar reasons, and support for neither is driven by their specific policy proposals.

Trump is giving stuff to young white people and waving around an anti-trade flag, while Sanders is also giving stuff to young white people and waving around an anti-trade flag.

It seems to me that the main way they line up is that they're both outside the bipartisan ruling-class consensus that we've been following for the last couple decades.

I 100% agree with you that the MR commenters are focusing too much on the populism of Trump at the expense of ignoring his similarities with Sanders, but I think that you are really underestimating the impact of anti-Hillary sentiment drawing voters to Sanders. If Biden were in the race, I think that Sanders' coalition would be much much smaller, and it would have been easy for super-delegates to simply coalesce around whichever of Biden/Clinton ended up winning the Establishment vote. With a 2-horse race, super-delegates cannot realistically do anything except just follow the pledged delegate/popular vote without it looking like disenfranchisement.

From 2000 to 2007, net domestic migration from LA, San Fran/San Jose, San Diego, NYC, and Boston was almost 4 million people, increasing as the economy recovered. Since the cities with the most economic opportunity have closed themselves to growth, discord now correlates with economic growth. As the economy grows, high income workers enter those markets, bidding up housing costs, and driving some low income household into out-migration. This is why we have income stagnation, a mysterious lack of consumer surplus from innovative sectors, income inequality, and anti-migration sentiment in the rest of the country. In the closed cities, there is the gnawing fear that comes from the families' immediate surroundings that appear to them to suggest that in America today, a family can't get by on a 5 figure income.

The discord is worse now, because at least in the 2000s, banks could facilitate the necessary migration. They can't do this now because we mistakenly blamed them for the problem. So, there is no city in the hinterlands building tract homes at a rate that can lower local costs and attract the coastal refugees. If you think we will be solving this problem, suggest to anybody from any political wing that you think maybe we should encourage banks to loosen up their lending standards, and see what kind of reaction you get.

It's an interesting idea, and would explain in part why Trump did well in California, Florida, NJ, MA.

And Vegas.

If you're in an expensive city, everything you do gets eroded by rent. My rent and my commute have both tripled since 2013 and I just signed a petition for rent control so I can afford to stick around another year or 2.

If you fled an expensive city, you got wiped out by the Fed (Go read his blog, it was the Fed), and since the main industry in those towns was "building houses for the people fleeing the expensive no-growth cities with high wages and thus a lot of in-migration to get at the high wages", when we stopped them from building houses, those entire cities were wiped out. Oh, and the safety valve got welded shut, since rents start rising across the country.

Meanwhile, across the country, the lagging indicator of the bust was low-income housing. From the top article on his front page: "For zip codes with home prices below the median, during the two years 2006-2007, prices in Atlanta were stable and in Dallas rose about 3%. In 2008-2009, those home prices fell by 22% in Atlanta and 14% in Dallas. Why?"

So if you're in an expensive city, you're boned.
If you WERE in an expensive city, you're boned.
If you're poor, the rent's never been higher and your property has never been worth less, so... you're boned.

And just generally, because of the expensive cities sucking up all the income (I should not be making what I am), there's very little consumer surplus leaving those expensive cities because it's all getting hoovered up by landlords.

And then everyone wonders why people feel like this recovery has been crap.

/And much as i despise Trump as a person, and much as he's personally cost me quite a lot of money, kicking 11 Million people out of the country would be a very nice short-term fix to the housing crisis.

The weakness in the hypotheses is that they look for a straw that broke the camel's back. Volcanoes only erupt occasionally; nevertheless, the energy inputs are roughly constant.

#5 and #7 can be salvaged in modified form, such as #5 "The rank and files aggregate estimate of their affiliation with the Republican leadership declined to a sufficiently low level." There is no exact what and when; the estimate had been declining even under the W. presidency. After that, McCain and Romney had key weaknesses and no strong connection with many; there has been no particular legislative agenda for the right beyond stymie and pretend to undo; the 2016 presidential roster looked even weaker.

#1 and #2 explain Sander's remarkable success better than Trump's.

#3 Elections are moments of change by design. If #4 is worthwhile it is only as a collective work of fiction, to choose a polite word for mass insanity.

The thing that really jumps out at you about this year is that it's not just a US thing, and it's happening on both the right and the left. So individual countries or politicians aren't a very satisfying answer.

I'd say it's a combination of "the good guys" seeming to fail on every front, combined with a lack of democratic outlets in the modern administrative state. If you don't like the EU's migrant policy, and lord knows lots of people don't, who exactly do you vote for? It's both unpopular and seemingly unchangeable.

In the US you can vote for the opposition party, but how effective has that been during the Obama years? When's the last time an issue people care about got settled because Congress passed a law? Not since Obamacare -- and that was widely hated even at the time. The "pen and phone" governing style tends very rapidly towards radicalism.

Developing the thought -- passing laws through Congress has a moderating effect, because you're always chasing the vote that brings you to 50% + 1.

"Pen and phone" governing tends toward radicalism, because one person is rewarding their most committed supporters.

The administrative state tends toward unchangeable policies, because nothing is explicitly decided upon. It's all bureaucratic inertia, and the bureaucrats never leave.

Good, thoughtful comment. Are you sure you are on the right blog?

Agree. The expansion of the administrative state in Europe and the US has reached the point where 'leaders' have palpable contempt for the public they're supposed to serve, while bumbling about from one disastrous decision to the next.

I live in Singapore, and it's the one place where the administrative elite really are extremely smart - with degrees in engineering and math rather than government and law - and face a brutal meritocratic assessment in their positions.

But it's a small country and the exception.

If New York got to keep its tax money, would Singapore even compare to it? Not likely.

If Wall Street was governed directly by local politicians would NYC compare to Singapore?

Face it, New York runs on historical inertia and networking. Giving more money to the likes of DiBlasio would be like pissing in the Hudson River.

Yes, and Singapore works on being a tiny city-state that provides financial services to billions of freakin' Asians without having to be a part of those countries.

Like I said, not impressed.

The World Bank indicates that Singapore's enterprises provide about $22.5 bn worth of insurance and financial services for non-residents. That's about 10% of Singapore's domestic product.

>Not since Obamacare

I'd argue that Obamacare example fits in the other column. The people voted for someone to who promised to stop it. Congress passed it anyway.

Well, one merely needs to take on trust that Sailer quotes are correct (and chosen with the same intent as his own cherrypicking) -

'reminiscent of witch-hunting manias of the past'

So, let's reference the latest information from candidate Trump concerning a court case in U.S. District Court - 'In an interview, Mr. Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had “an absolute conflict” in presiding over the litigation given that he was “of Mexican heritage” and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association. Mr. Trump said the background of the judge, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, was relevant because of his campaign stance against illegal immigration and his pledge to seal the southern U.S. border. “I’m building a wall. It’s an inherent conflict of interest,” Mr. Trump said.' http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=bbe_1464918955

Yep, sounds like someone is getting geared up for witchhunting - '“They ought to look into Judge Curiel, because what Judge Curiel is doing is a total disgrace. Okay? But we will come back in November. Wouldn’t that be wild if I am president and come back and do a civil case? Where everybody likes it. Okay. This is called life, folks.”' https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2016/06/01/437ccae6-280b-11e6-a3c4-0724e8e24f3f_story.html

'Is it really that surprising that the putative witches are responding …'

One could almost expect that when the 'Mexicans' turn out to vote in large numbers, you will then return to older styles of talking, such as referring to 'ethnic Catholics.'

Yes, the Mexicans just HATE Trump.


'Yes, the Mexicans just HATE Trump.'

Actually, the Mexicans do pretty much hate him. As do the British.

This weird confusion between American and Mexican citizens is getting to be quite striking in recent political discussion. From your link, which is talking about American citizens, and not Mexican ones - 'Sixty-two percent of Hispanic voters in a recent CBS News poll say they view him unfavorably.'

In American usage "Mexican", "Italian", "Irish", etc. can refer to an American citizen of that origin. Your original comment was about Americans of Mexican ancestry and even referred to them as 'Mexicans'.

Also: "Sixty-two percent of Hispanic voters in a recent CBS News poll say they view him unfavorably." In the latest poll I found 67% of Americans view Trump unfavorably. Trump is a pretty unpopular dude, but it isn't clear that he has a specific problem with popularity among Hispanics.

'In American usage “Mexican”, “Italian”, “Irish”, etc. can refer to an American citizen of that origin. '

Speaking as an American, Mexican-American, Italian-American, and Irish-American are generally how one refers to American citizens with such a background. In large part, to avoid the sort of confusion caused by a candidate for the office of president of the United States, a candidate seemingly unaware that U.S. District Court judges are American citizens, and not Mexican ones. Particularly in regards to Trump's stated belief that a judge born in Indiana, with 'Mexican heritage' (paywalled WSJ article) cares about building a wall between the place he is a citizen and the nation where his parents came from. Which, following Trump's own logic, could lead one to question any of Trump's UK policies, considering his own Scots heritage, undoubtedly leading some to believe that Trump is a Scotsman.

'Your original comment was about Americans of Mexican ancestry and even referred to them as ‘Mexicans’.'

I was quoting Trump, and used quotes like this - 'Mexicans' - when pointing out Trump's usage in a further observation. In large part because Mexican citizens are not allowed to vote in American elections.

'Trump is a pretty unpopular dude, but it isn’t clear that he has a specific problem with popularity among Hispanics.'

This is where things get complicated, even if Trump's world, 'Mexicans' are really easy to recognize. Puerto Ricans, Cuban-Americans, and Mexican-Americans may share Spanish as a possible language (watching Rubio and Cruz debate about this was fascinating - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/02/14/what-that-cruz-rubio-he-doesnt-speak-spanish-thing-was-about/ ), and possibly the term 'hispanic' has some descriptive value in certain contexts, but there is not much similarity. Much the same way that it might make some sense to talk about Germans, Austrians, and Swiss being German speakers and all being part of a Germanic culture, without recognizing that all three groups have distinctly different histories, cultures, accents, and politics.

Well the judge is a member of La Raza and an advocate for illegal immigration. The judge also assigned the class action to a law firm that paid Bill and Hillary $200,000 each for short speeches, and "donated" $600,000 to The Clinton Foundation. I wonder if they will get a positive ror from this case, and what further government handouts the Clintons will direct their way. Is an investment in The Clinton Foundation becoming an important part of a well-rounded portfolio?

'Well the judge is a member of La Raza and an advocate for illegal immigration.'

No, he isn't - '"I think what's really interesting about this particular judge — as Mr. Trump refers to him as a 'Trump hater' — is he even mentions on his judicial questionnaire that he was a La Raza Lawyers Association member," Pierson said.

"This is an organization that has been out there organizing anti-Trump protesters with the Mexican flags. They are pushing it. The signs have been very apparent. And so Mr. Trump is just stating the obvious."


When CNN host Alisyn Camerota pointed out that Curiel was born in the United States, Pierson continued to link the judge with protests taking place outside Tump rallies. She said she doesn't know if the judge is Mexican but that people need to identify who is protesting and what they are doing.

"Well, it's because of what we see outside of these rallies, these anti-Trump rallies, these criminal rallies, these criminal protesters out there defacing property and attacking police officers," Pierson said.

"They're doing so under the guise of an anti-Trump protest, with their Mexican flags, and La Raza and this judge is connected to that."' http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/281676-trump-aide-defends-trump-after-bringing-up-judges-mexican

Unsurprisingly, Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson seems as confused about what organization she was talking about as Trump is concerning the citizenship of a federal judge - '“Our organization has not been involved in organizing any of the anti-Trump rallies, much less encouraged our members or anyone to participate in any illegal activity,” La Raza Lawyers of San Diego told TheDC in a statement Wednesday. “We help empower Latino attorneys, judges and law students, and provide services to the greater local Latino community.”

You are more than welcome to actually read about the group Judge Gonzalo Curiel belongs to (the information is seemingly only available in English) - http://sdlrla.com/about/

So the judge is a member of La Raza and you provided a link, thanks.

Really, you have the sort of qualifications that the Trump campaign apparently feels required for a paid position. From the link - 'Formed in 1979, with a handful of Latino attorneys, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association (SDLRLA) has grown to represent over three hundred Latino and Latina lawyers practicing in San Diego County. SDLRLA is one of 18 affiliate bar associations of the California La Raza Lawyers Association, which serves several thousand Latino lawyers practicing in the State of California.'

I recognize that for some, the English language can be confusing, and when many Americans try to comprehend names in other languages, the schadenfreude can be immense. For example, watching a campaign spokesperson confuse the La Raza Lawyers Association (in particular, the chapter in San Diego ) with the National Council on La Raza, a completely different group.

I recognize that clicking a link and reading a paragraph in English is often beyond many of Trump's more fervent supporters, but truly, claiming that the link proves your point is the style of blatant buffoonery that Trump exemplifies.

Yep, the La Raza Lawyers association is distinct from La Raza but shares the same purpose in a specific domain. Do you think you have a point?

It's as simple as this has been the inevitable backlash to the black President with the Muslim name. Someone was bound to cast himself as the leader of the revolt against his legitimacy. But it happened in 2016 rather than 2012 because Obama was too popular, and it was better to let the resentment fester for 8 years.

I love race baiting like this. If a man like Thomas Sowell had been elected, there wouls be no right wing revolt, just a constant chorus of 'Uncle Tom' from sleazebags like you.

This is the first Internet Election, people can now see how biased and corrupt the legacy media are

Not really, it's just that Trump has done such a good job of framing that the typical media tricks are useless. The Republican Party has been so weak and impotent when responding to media created firestorms over the past 8 years (Tyler's point 5) that the media, which leans 80-20 to the left (http://www.businessinsider.com/charts-show-the-political-bias-of-each-profession-2014-11), has gotten complacent. They were totally unprepared to deal with Trump's tactics, which can be explained in further detail by Scott Adams.

No, Really. Anyone can go online and listen to Hillary Clinton rationalize getting a child rapist freed for time served for a technicality.


You can watch Hillary lying for 13 minutes straight:


You hear the media use the general "violence at a trump rally", when in reality its page after page of trump supporters getting beaten:


Part of this is anger at the media not doing its job. Trump will stand up there, call an ABC supporter a sleaze to their face and get a popularity bump. The media is not doing its job, and the internet makes the double standard obvious.

The legacy media are indeed corrupt and inept, and have been for a very long time. But the one really good thing about them, when they were dominant, was that most of the country had something of a shared worldview. When the big three TV networks, big two or three newspapers, main news magazines, and big radio networks, that became consensus reality. Often they were wrong, sometimes they were lying, they had a million blind spots, and yet pretty much everyone in the country shared a minimal set of beliefs about the world, and that fit together into a worldview that was at least a little conversant with reality and reason.

The destruction of that dominance is a good thing in many ways, but I fear we are going to end up without that shared worldview. Some people will do fine in that world--smart people who want to be informed can be better-informed now than we ever could have in that old world. (When the H1N1 flu started circulating, it was really wonderful to be able to ignore empty-headed newspaper and TV show coverage, and listen to discussions by actual experts in podcasts and blogs.) But the dumb and the uninterested seem like they can spiral into either really vast ignorance, or bizarre alternative-reality worldviews where they and everyone they know are all certain that Obama is a secret Muslim or Bush is plotting a self-coup to keep power forever or whatever.

OK, Jim, entertain me with your choices for accurate news on the web. Buzzfeed, Entertainment Tonight, Daily Beast?

Trump is a backlash to the Republican Party's constant whispering to whip up white fear without acting on it; nothing more. There's not yet any evidence that outside the primaries, he will be treated significantly differently to a generic Republican candidate.

The interesting part is that the people who most deny a bias against white, cishet men, are the third wave feminists who hate white, cishet men, like Millian. Mills, we know you wear problem glasses, and have a coexist sticker on your prius, but what color did you dye your hair, where did you get your comparative American Studies/Anthro degree at, and which blog do you "write" for?

I'm skeptical of the general explanatory value of Nicholas Taleb's concept of anti-fragility, but it does apply really well to Trump (Taleb seems to be a bit of a Trump fan himself, BTW). For a long time, Trump has been attacked by the media and leading politicians in ways that would've destroyed a normal politician many times over. Yet somehow in the course of these attacks he's only become more popular. I've never seen another politician like that.

It is where he comes from. The large commercial construction/development industry is pretty nasty, and if you go into a deal unprepared for any eventuality you simply disappear. So you do as he is doing, set a goal and push until you get there. Set up situations where you win either way it goes, and your opponent loses either way it goes. Identify and attack the weaknesses of your opponents positions, vigorously build ramparts to protect yours making the costs of an attack very very high.

What has been masterful about the Trump campaign is how he has defined his opponents. I was talking to a very left wing social justice reformer yesterday about politics, and Clinton being viewed as corrupt was mentioned out of the blue. Where did that come from?

As for Obama being a stabilizing influence in Tyler's eyes, he too knows how to win. First you control information, second you demonize your opponents, third you do things in a way that negatives show up after you are gone. Will anyone blame Obama when interest rates cause a budget crisis in Washington?

Clinton being viewed as corrupt was mentioned out of the blue. Where did that come from?

It's been known for nearly 20 years that she's an unscrupulous wench and her behavior and his over the last 15 years has re-inforced that understanding. What's unusual about your conversation is that a political partisan acknowledged it.

"For a long time, Trump has been attacked by the media and leading politicians in ways that would’ve destroyed a normal politician many times over. Yet somehow in the course of these attacks he’s only become more popular. I’ve never seen another politician like that. "

Similar to Reagan's teflon aspect.

The first part of #7 seems a real factor. The second sentence of #7 seems offbase. The Civil War saw white men vs. white men. The real division and motivation was the continuation or ending of slavery.

I think he simply meant that the Civil War happened because the south saw no solution within the normal political framework and decided to rebel. Not that it was about disgruntled white men.

Well, disgruntled slave owners.

Who generally were white men, though certainly there were also slaveowners who were white women - through inheritance, for example.

There are two populisms, and the comments so far describe only disaffected Republicans who have been fed Tea Party Tea over the last 6 years, listened to Hannity and Fox TV, and live primarily in the South, rural areas, and isolated mountain west.

There is another populist America out there as well. More urban and even suburban. It may go by the name of Sanders or Warren, just as it did for Obama 8 years ago. Look for it.

I was driving away from home on the freeway this week and saw a crude cardboard sign on an overpass "Hillary is LIAR!"

I assumed that was the Trump crowd (my bias).

On returning home I saw another sign on the same bridge facing the other way. "OK 2B Bernie"

So .. we know who has the crude sign on the overpass crowd.

How about "because things really aren't so bad and we're a nation of whiners listening to the media not our own senses and brains?"

+1 In an election year the rhetoric of doom seldom matches reality, unless its 2008.

Yeah. Victim culture. Hate hate hate it. When I first saw white guys playing this dumb game, I laughed and laughed.

But Tyler, along with most of the rest of the geniuses out there, has been happy to feed people the idea that they are getting ripped off by shadowy forces. People of all stripes are very receptive to this idea.

Scott Sumner, to his credit, never fell for this crap.

They're actually pretty in-your-face about it

How about “because things really aren’t so bad and we’re a nation of whiners listening to the media not our own senses and brains?”

Because that is not true except in your imagination. Democratic institutions have decayed into irrelevance and the country is run by a cartel of professional guilds who've made their position nearly impregnable. The Mercatus crew simply does not notice because their interests and sensibilities are not assaulted. The rest of us notice. The resistance has not coalesced into an effective counter-movement. Trump's a scream into the darkness. What happens remains to be seen.

OK Art, this is what I have in mind (also, albatross below).

Take a step back- we live in the richest country in the history of the world, a country that has seen 2% annual real per capita GDP growth over the past 69 years- a quadrupling. 1947 America was a much much poorer place for virtually everybody- without even getting into, say, 2016 Bangladesh, to pick a random example.

In the wide sweep of human history, few people have enjoyed as privileged a situation as the population of America today. Where's my hoverbike?

Yeah, it doesn't always work out for everyone. Still plenty of hard luck stories out there. But seriously, life has always been a struggle, right? I think this is a feature of human existence rather than a bug. And right wingers of all people are opposed to a cradle to grave safety net to make it all better, aren't they?

Brian, you could have said that at just about any point in time in the last two centuries bar the Depression and (in the South) the immediate post-Bellum era. You could have said that in 1958; what happened over the succeeding 20 years? Buy a clue. People do not merely contend over economic matters. Our bitterest disputes are over comparative recognition. Financial statements help you understand businesses, not any other sort of human society.

"Our bitterest disputes are over comparative recognition."


Well, Babbitt, that's what matters to people.

And the richest people today would still be better off than the vast majority of rich and powerful people throughout history if you took 99% of his wealth from him. He has plumbing, vaccines, antibiotics, cars, iphones, and constant access to essentially all human knowledge.

Why do they whine about the prospect of losing small portions of that wealth?

Art Deco: Democratic institutions have decayed into irrelevance and the country is run by a cartel of professional guilds who’ve made their position nearly impregnable. [...] The rest of us notice. The resistance has not coalesced into an effective counter-movement. Trump’s a scream into the darkness. What happens remains to be seen.

...says the guy who, not long ago, was dismissing all of this angst as nothing more than socio-economic "hypochondria".

Which 'angst'?

There is what I say and there are your incompetent glosses on what I say.

Whether things aren't so bad or not depends quite a bit on who you are.

Are you an educated professional with an advanced degree, living in a nice suburb and making six figures? Things look pretty good, why's everyone whining?

Are you a guy who barely graduated high school, and who worked at a reasonably good factory job till those jobs got outsourced five years ago, and now you're living on disability (after a several-year-struggle to get it) and waiting to die? Maybe things don't look so great.

People also don't care a whole lot about absolute material wealth. They care about their relative position (both with regards to others and with regards to the past), their ability to change that position, and the seeming fairness of the means of determining relative wealth and position. The people extolling our material wealth in absolute terms are usually those who have a relatively large portion of it.

The latter guy you describe is, at best, disenchanted with the system because (1) he feels like he is in a relatively worse position than he would have been in the past, and (2) he doesn't see any reasonable hope of changing that position because of forces largely outside his control.

Tyler, the first place I saw the ferocity of this phenomenon was... right here, in the comment section at Marginal Revolution, several years ago. In your laudable quest for truth and willingness to entertain topics too 'hot' for mainstream conversation, you ended up playing footsie with these folks for the past several years. You have less claim to be surprised than most people.

Things are moving fast in our culture. We have a sitting US president who, back in 2008, was against gay marriage. Today, being against gay marriage in 2008 can get you shitcanned.

I reckon social media is a big factor.

Things are moving fast because the space between human particles is decreasing. San Jose is portentous. We need sensible immigration policy now before the shooting starts.

you ended up playing footsie with these folks for the past several years. -

Which of us you got in mind Brian?

Well, Sailer is the leader of the band. My first encounter with Steve (right here) was like a bucket of cold water in the face.

From day one, I've said that the Sailer's of this world need to be confronted rather than ignored, like most liberals preferred. He is a smart guy and pretty formidable in argument, but ultimately, I think he holds out a bleak view of humanity that panders to the worst in us. He is very happy to play the white victim card, but he's always been an upper middle class wannabe trying to crack into elite circles rather than the 'regular guy' he claims to speak for.

His legion of fans are much stupider- the mirror image of the mindless leftists.

Mr. Sailer is of the view that sociology is reducible to anthropology and psychology which are in turn largely reducible to biology. That's a view that's held by absolutely no one with any influence that anyone knows of and one of the few influentials who did hold to such a view (James Watson) was sent packing by his employers when he was found out. Mr. Sailer is a fixture of topical commentary. He's not a problem in this forum. There are two or three acolytes of his herein who are an occasional nuisance and a third who's insufferable. This is your idea of a cultural problem?

He makes the answer clear: it's yes. The same attitude oozes forth from Cowen: these Saileresque opinions are ipso facto incorrect so the only need to is prevent the spread. Truth? They already know that.

I always get the impression Cowen is quite sympathetic to Sailer, although of course he could never so much as breathe a word

A bleak view of humanity that's based on reality not on wishful thinking. That's a good start for making effective policy decisions. As far as pandering to the worst; mass immigration actually brings out the worst in us; limiting it keeps us nice and tolerant. Look at Europe.

Sailer doesn't have a particularly bleak view of humanity, and he has a sanguine temperament or is adept at leaving you the impression he does. It seems bleak to people in the teacher-training apparat because (see Michelle Ker) they are intensely invested in their social engineering schemes. That's not the man in the street. Daniel Patrick Moynihan pointed out a generation and a half ago that the government was putting a great deal of effort into projects which reflected not popular demand but the agendas of a comparatively small group of sociologists. Still true.

The Age of Ideology is over.

Tyler's willingness to let Sailer et. al freely comment is what brings me back here, and I remain thankful to Tyler allowing free speech to mostly reign here. It truly is a place where there can be a free exchange of ideas among fairly intelligent and informed people. I think Sailer is right about some things and wrong on others, but I absolutely agree that the currently-popular liberal idea of shutting down uncomfortable dissent is idiotic. If you believe that someone is wrong on the merits, then you should be able to explain why, and you should do so out in the open where others can see it. You don't defeat ideas by driving them underground.

Agree on free speech, but I'm not sure these arguments can be resolved through dialogue. Differences between the parties boil down to basic assumptions (human nature, ideology, balance between individualism and communitarianism) and priorities. The suppression of dissent you point out as a marker of modern liberalism is also very much present in alt-right circles (I'm including Sailer in that) where the treason (and anti-national) card is flashed with alacrity to suppress any dissent from their world view. Also people on these forums (excluding more thoughtful writers like Sailer from this) tend not to argue in good faith with those who admit to not being white, or admit to being foreigners or non-white immigrants; there's a palpable condescension and a "get out of here, you don't belong on this forum" vibe; left-wing forums, however vile, don't exhibit such a vibe.

You don’t defeat ideas by driving them underground.

Peace campaigner: "Because violence solves nothing"

Ali G: "Yaas it does, man. We use it all da time in da ghetto and it gets you just what you want".

The status of colleges and universities as labor market sorters and the deficit of operational measures of competence in many disciplines means that higher education need not have an intrinsic value which exceeds a pitcher of warm spit. Controlling the institution and the culture is key to these awful people, and suppression works for them just fine. Doesn't harm their employment prospects.

"...there’s a palpable condescension and a “get out of here, you don’t belong on this forum” vibe; left-wing forums, however vile, don’t exhibit such a vibe. "

LOL, that's just not true. There are plenty of Left-wing forums where there is clearly an attempt to run off anyone not sharing the hive mind.

“get out of here, you don’t belong on this forum” vibe; left-wing forums, however vile, don’t exhibit such a vibe.

Ask Mr. Tom van Dyke about his dealings with the twee fools who run Ordinary Times (ne League or Ordinary Gentlemen). In fact, ask just about any Republican who has been a participant there.

"those who admit to not being white, or admit to being foreigners or non-white immigrant"

Very surprised to hear this claim. Who does that? There's the occasional person who says they are from India or something because it's relevant to the topic, otherwise this never ever comes up.

"I’m not sure these arguments can be resolved through dialogue."

It actually seems that the free exchange of information could solve quite a lot of the biggest disagreements. I was quite hostile to Sailer at first until I was pointed to the literature. When you hear the incredibly ignorant things coming out of the PC/BLM crowd, you realize that a lot of their absurd positions and demands just stem from abject ignorance, which is a direct result of the complete suppression of any information or exchange of ideas in the relevant areas.

What literature is that, Cliff?

Let us consider the two hot button issues of this election cycle: immigration and free trade. In both cases, all the studies (and common sense) indicates that these phenomena have been either positive or neutral for the US. In both cases, you can point to significant subsets of Americans who have been hurt, but a number of other Americans have benefited. What literature will convince people that the former are deserving but the latter are not? And last but not least, immigration overwhelmingly benefits the immigrants, and free trade has lifted poor countries out of dire hut-wrenching poverty.

Immigration and trade are net benefits when observed from the global perspective while hurting significant minorities of Americans. So how does one resolve these tradeoffs? The alt-right, or populist right, will declare that any consideration for foreigners is beyond the pale and any American who advocates such consideration is a traitor. People who don't consider nations and nationalism to be sacrosant will declare that the populist right wilfully ignores the well-being of their fellow human beings outside of their borders. What literature will convince nationalists to think more about the well-being of people around the world, and what literature will convince liberal globalists that only members of their nation are worth their consideration?

Or perhaps you are referring to literature on race differences, another pet obsession of the Sailer crowd? You are on firmer ground there; definitely the left is allergic to the very mention of racial differences, evolution, and such. But if it can be firmly proved that some races are less capable then others (still a hypothesis, not conclusively proven), what are you going to do with it? Re-segregate people? Amend the constitution to treat races differently? Ultimately, fair-minded people will just ignore this literature for the purpose of public policy and move on. Issues of immigration and trade, not so much, and no literature can convince people to budge from their cherished positions.

@Brian Donohue:

+1 for each paragraph you wrote

All you have is ad hominem

Best comment of 2016.

3. Obama actually has been a towering and calming presence. But after him…the deluge.

It takes David Brooks, creased pants, world-class delusion to posit that explanation.

Obama learned from an early age how important it is to Act White.

Thinking about his predecessor for a moment, how do you think Obama would be perceived if he had said "If you're not with us, you're against us."

Or how about "Bring it on."

Obama actually has been a towering and calming presence. But after him…the deluge.

Ye gods the Mercatus Center's a bubble.

The towering magnificence of BO's reign calmed Tyler's brain to sleep, I guess.

10. The bank bailouts were the triggering event. The Tea Party and Occupy movements were the first wave of opposition. Trump and Sanders are the second wave. A third wave is coming.

Wow! Implicit in your description of #7 is a comparison of trump supporters to the antebellum south on the eve of the Civil War. I wonder if that was intentional and if you would unpack it. By seceding in defense of an abhorrent economic, social and political system that was not under any imminent threat, the antebellum south essentially self-destructed. Do you see trump supporters as defending an unfair and immoral system of privilege (for themselves) and repression (for others)? Do you believe their racial/cultural concerns are similarly baseless or at least highly exaggerated? And do you think that segment of white America that supports Trump is risking its economic and cultural relevance?

Good questions, which I think he would be afraid to answer

I think you are coming at this from the wrong end. What needs explaining is the historically unprecedented consolidation and control of the narrative that peaked just before the internet.

Prior to WW2, you had local community networks that were alternative sources of information to the national media. you had Churches and local newspapers and just plain gossip.

After the rise of social engineering and suburbanization people spend more and more time staring at screens, less time talking to neighbors or forming community organizations, and rely on a few hyper-integrated sources (owned by some of Americas, richest, most well connected men) to set the agenda and explain the relevant facts. It turns out Henry Luce was not always a reliable source.

In 1990, Trayvon and Ferguson and UVA rape would be taken at face value. Historical revisionism was only for academics with access to stacks and was practically impossible to pursue in your free time. Even whether the works of those engaging in revionism would enter the public consciousness depended on publicity from those afformentioned hyper-connected sources. Take something like Quigley's Tragedy and Hope. In the 70s, the plate were destroyed. Now, I can read it for free, discuss it with other people even if nobody I have met in "real life" has even heard of it, and get recommendations for other books. The internet has allowed access to counter narratives. Sometimes it takes a crazy turn, but sometimes its very refreshing.

I'm not sure I understand the ways in which Trayvon Martin, Ferguson and the UVA rape are meant to be examples here. My current understanding of all three is:
-Trayvon Martin got shot by a guy who has turned out to be pretty dang crazy. This is basically in line with the original reporting.
-Ferguson's police department was super duper corrupt and racist (even Tabarrok has criticized them harshly). There were some race riots after a guy who was a criminal was shot (during a seemingly minor incident?), and the police department was unsurprisingly not that great at handling an admittedly very difficult situation.
-A UVA kid made up a story that Rolling Stone did not fact-check thoroughly enough and did not hold up to re-reporting from The Washington Post. Not sure how a legacy newspaper failing to re-report a story depends on an internet commenter section.

-Trayvon Martin got shot by a guy who has turned out to be pretty dang crazy.

No, he was shot by a petit bourgeois insurance office employee that he had attacked for no reason. He was straddle atop the man practicing his MMA moves on him when GZ pulled out a gun and shot him. Zimmerman probably is somewhat disoriented. You might be too if you were the object of a malicious prosecution, ran up a seven-digit legal bill defending yourself, been subject to a national hate campaign in the media which included discrete acts of defamation, and had people tailing you and putting bullets in your car. It did not help that his wife bailed on him (which women who marry at 20 are wont to do).

That Michael brown had tried to grab the officer's gun and was moving toward him when he was shot would not have become widely known on a previous era. The Washington post would not have investigated the Iva hoax were it not for online skeptics initiating the discussion.

No way, newspapers had so much money for investigative reporting in previous eras. The WP (and maybe even others) would have been more likely to re-report the original RS story trying to scoop each other or get more facts. Maybe RS would have done a better job fact-checking too. This really is how journalism used to work.

Newspapers investigate the stories they want to investigate and not the ones they don't.

I'll buy that Martin was beating Zimmerman up, but given Zimmerman's later prosecution for domestic violence and the fact that he was packing heat while walking around a neighborhood in this day and age, I am not inclined to think of himas stable. Unless Martin was on meth or something, it's kind of stretching plausibility to think that he just randomly attacked Zimmerman. Do you know what I would do if I saw a suspicious person while walking my neighborhood? Use my cellphone to call the cops or take pictures because I am neither stupid nor crazy.

I’ll buy that Martin was beating Zimmerman up, but given Zimmerman’s later prosecution for domestic violence and the fact that he was packing heat while walking around a neighborhood in this day and age,

It's a low rent suburb of Orlando with a lot of burglaries. He bought the gun because he and his wife had had trouble with a neighbor's dog. The 'domestic violence' charge was petty humbug

it’s kind of stretching plausibility to think that he just randomly attacked Zimmerman.

No, it isn't, and if you'd examined a map of the complex, listened to the tapes of his conversation with the non-emergency dispatcher, and seen Rachel Jeantel's testimony, you would know that. Every piece of evidence indicates that Zimmerman was loitering around on that walkway waiting for the cops (which he'd called) to show up. Trayvon Martin, having abruptly run away down the alleyway which ran between the rear facades of two sets of town houses, turned around and marched 75 yards back up the alley way to confront Zimmerman. If Trayvon Martin were just minding his own bloody business, he wouldn't have been acting like someone who'd been caught at something. Even if he was spooked by Zimmerman, he'd have just gone inside. The back door to Brandi Green's townhouse was right there. Instead, he turns around, walks all that way back, and starts beating on Zimmerman. Because he could.

Burglaries. Not armed robbery.

I lived in a very violent neighborhood in Chicago the year it recorded over 900 murders. Now I live in a "tough" neighborhood in Denver. No comparison.

"There were some race riots"

lol, American codespeak for blacks smashing up their own communities, egged on by the high and mighty

There items vary from OK to idiotic, so I won't go through them one by one. Here is the simple explanation.

Most survey's show that white Americans thought this country was better for them 50 years ago.


They also show that opinions about the next generation are even worse of then this one, with all racial groups thinking things will be worse going forward.

America was a paradise. Have you ever looked at the crime rate in 1960? The marriage rate? People like to say the nostalgic view of that era never really existed. For the vast white middle class though, it did exist. Just go look at the data. Go talk to people who grew up in it.

Things have been going downhill since then. We blew it all up on the basis that black people and women weren't happy with it. But female happiness has been going down the crapper for decades, and blacks had manufacturing jobs too and had to trade growing up in households without fathers for whatever they got in return. It's also clear there were hard limits to what could be accomplished with certain groups.

People have been angry about these secular trends for a long time. Remember when they almost elected Ross Perot over NAFTA. Or how Bill Clinton had to engage in his triangulation strategy to forestall backlash over liberal immigration and social policies. White people are voting GOP at rates they did for Reagan, it just doesn't show up in the election results because the EBT vote bank crowd has been increasing.

The tech and housing bubbles papered over a lot of those problems for awhile. When we hit record trade deficits with China in the mid 2000s all the people who lost jobs at factories got jobs building houses. When those jobs went away they elected the Tea Party in the mid-terms, another populist uprising. When the Tea Party failed to do anything they got angry and supported Trump.

The Summer of PC was merely the straw on the camel's back. Decades long trends that were bad for the middle class have come to a head. You're not just answering to this or that policy in the last four years, but the entire societal package the establishment has been selling for decades. None of the promises came true, and now we are staring down the abyss of demographic apocalypse.

Jayman summed it up really well at his blog:

"Worse still, this would mean admitting failure in the great hope – the hope that one day humanity can be perfected and poverty, war, prejudice, etc. can be eliminated. Acknowledging inherited biological group differences – that is, human biodiversity, means that the idyllic world of the Star Trek franchise will never come to pass no matter how much social “progress” occurs."

I remember getting taught that vision growing up. Hell, I watched Next Gen with my father, who had marched for Civil Rights back in the day. It was how things were going to be if only people bought into the mainstream view and tried hard enough. It's dead. It's never going to happen. Even my father thinks it all went to hell and wonders what he believed in the whole time. People are waking up to the fact that instead of Star Trek we are going to get "barrios and beans". That's all the mainstream vision has for us. If you knew your children were going to be reduced to barrios and beans, wouldn't you do anything in your power to stop it. If Trump is the only option being offered with a remote chance of stopping barrios and beans, don't you have to vote for him.

That is why you should go to every Republican house and Senate candidate,

Hand them a Trump cap,

And ask them to wear it

So you can take a picture.

See how many wear it.

It would be nice for white America to stop idolizing a brief 15-year period of history that was quite abnormal (because most of the rest of the first world had been destroyed by war). Unfortunately, this was the world that Boomers were born into, so that fantastical longing won't end until they all die off. I don't think too many children of millennials long for the halcyon days of the 1950's and it's 58% labor force participation rate.

Most Millennials seem to idolize countries that in 2016 have best maintained the conditions of the 1950s. Scandinavia for instance. Myself, I would also point to places like Japan and Singapore and what they've accomplished. Although every country has been impacted by the same secular trends, some have been way more impacted the others, and that's because of real choices they made.

It's one thing to say that the 1950s were different circumstances, its another to say that a wide variety of modern day OECD countries don't actually exist in their 2016 states.

BTW, the labor participation rate was low because a husband made enough to support a whole family. Now two parents work to accomplish the same. That's worse, not better.

Funny thing about women is they eventually marry men, so it matters quite a bit to them how men are doing.

Do you have any data to actually back that up? Per capita money income (adjusted for inflation) is definitely much higher than it was in the 50's. Granted, that's not a great stat, but if you've got a better one, I'd be interested to see it. Individual median income is also definitely higher. Neither of those support with your claim that "the labor participation rate was low because a husband made enough to support a whole family."

Median real wages stopped growing around 1970 or so, even as per capita income grew. GDP per capita is a pretty useless metric if it doesn't actually affect most of the population.


Most views of people's budgets reflect this. Gains from cheaper manufactured goods all got replaced with greater expenses for education, health care, and real estate. These are largely zero sum sectors of hard to measure value.

Need median compensation numbers. Lots of it is getting sucked up by healthcare, but that has little to do with the 50's (when much of healthcare was demonstrably worse than today), and a lot to do with a broken hybrid system that refuses to ration healthcare either through prices or government fiat. I just don't see any reason to believe your statement that "two parents work to accomplish the same things".

What's the median compensation of a two-income household? I'm going to guess that it's significantly higher than the median compensation of single-income households in the 1950's. Add to that the houses are obviously much bigger, people spend less on clothing and more on leisure, etc., that the 1950's nostalgia is really nostalgia for the life of a white upper-middle class family in the 1950's, which was not the majority of the population.

I agree the health care system, amongst many other systems, is broken. Isn't the topic of this thread why there is a populist revolt? Don't you think the fact that huge swaths of our economy are corrupt and broken are a big part of that?

I grew up in a white working class family of the 1980s, so I'll comment from what I know. A single income, my fathers, bought us a house in a suburb with a decent school and low crime. My mother was able to stay at home. When my father got sick his union health insurance covered most of it.

Today the union is busted. The workers took an immediate 40% pay cut in the first contract after that. They also lost their health insurance. And no, the company was making lots of money and didn't need to. They just realized they were bigger (mergers) and the labor pool was less tight (immigrants) so they could do the supply and demand thing and break the union.



So where did their money go? It went to the basics. The real increases in family spending are for the items that make a family middle class and keep them safe (housing, health insurance), that educate their children (pre-school and college), and that let them earn a living (transportation, childcare, and taxes).

The data can be summarized in a financial snapshot of two families, a typical one-earner family from the early 1970s compared with a typical two-earner family from the early 2000s. With an income of $42,450, the average family from the early 1970s covered their basic mortgage expenses of $5,820, health-insurance costs of $1,130 and car payments, maintenance, gas, and repairs of $5,640. Taxes claimed about 24 percent of their income, leaving them with $19,560 in discretionary funds. That means they had about $1,500 a month to cover food, clothing, utilities, and anything else they might need—just about half of their income.

By 2004, the family budget looks very different. As noted earlier, although a man is making nearly $800 less than his counterpart a generation ago, his wife’s paycheck brings the family to a combined income that is $73,770—a 75 percent increase. But higher expenses have more than eroded that apparent financial advantage. Their annual mortgage payments are more than $10,500. If they have a child in elementary school who goes to daycare after school and in the summers, the family will spend $5,660. If their second child is a pre-schooler, the cost is even higher—$6,920 a year. With both people in the workforce, the family spends more than $8,000 a year on its two vehicles. Health insurance costs the family $1,970, and taxes now take 30 percent of its money. The bottom line: today’s median-earning, median-spending middle-class family sends two people into the workforce, but at the end of the day they have about $1,500 less for discretionary spending than their one-income counterparts of a generation ago.

What happens to the family that tries to get by on a single income today? Their expenses would be a little lower because they can save on childcare and taxes, and, if they are lucky enough to live close to shopping and other services, perhaps they can get by without a second car. But if they tried to live a normal, middle-class life in other ways—buy an average home, send their younger child to preschool, purchase health insurance, and so forth—they would be left with only $5,500 a year to cover all their other expenses. They would have to find a way to buy food, clothing, utilities, life insurance, furniture, appliances, and so on with less than $500 a month. The modern single-earner family trying to keep up an average lifestyle faces a 72 percent drop in discretionary income compared with its one-income counterpart of a generation ago.

To my original point, being nostalgic about a 15-year historical aberration that won't come back no matter how strong you make the unions is pointless. Granting that chart, it's still not at all obvious that the 1950's situation is better. The basics include a lot of healthcare that didn't exist in the 1950's. Some of that helps, some is just money down the drain. Even if we eliminated the latter, we'd still be spending more on healthcare simply because there is more (effective) healthcare available to purchase today. Second, homes are much bigger in the "nice neighborhoods" than they were in the 1950's. Can't do much about what middle-class families deem an "acceptable" size for a home, but we could push for fewer housing subsidies (in the form of loan guarantees) to reduce the pressure on the demand side as well as reduce the ridiculous thicket of regulations on construction to help from the supply side. Education is a similar story to housing: people spend more on it because so many more people go to college than in the 50's. That's not necessarily a good thing, as the value of college is somewhat dubious (there is a definite return, but whether that's due to skills or signaling is unclear).

So, in the end, I'll still say that 1950's nostalgia is silly: it was a historical aberration. Well-paying, unskilled work is not going to return, no matter how good your unions. There are clear reforms we can deal with now, such as fixing the healthcare, housing, and education markets, but those things aren't going to make today more like the 50's in any meaningful way, especially not in the way that people pine for a day where the man had a high paying, medium-skill blue collar job, the woman stayed home, and everything was hunky-dory for that 20% of the population that actually applied to (not minorities or rural whites).

If it was a 15 year aberration, why does it still exist in parts of the world?

"fixing the healthcare, housing, and education markets, but those things aren’t going to make today more like the 50’s in any meaningful way"

So making life dramatically more affordable won't actually change things in a meaningful way? Having higher real earnings won't mean having higher real earnings? People who feel the need to send two parents to work to make ends meat won't be able to get by with one?

"Second, homes are much bigger in the “nice neighborhoods” than they were in the 1950’s"

Even at bigger sizes, its not like building costs have gone up. It's all about land, and land is a zero sum positional good. Personally, I take a look at the map of nearly very major city in America and wonder why half the real estate is worthless and half is sky high. Could it have something to do with the people living in the bad half?

"The basics include a lot of healthcare that didn’t exist in the 1950’s."

Yes, but if you can't afford it then its existence doesn't matter. Someone with my fathers job today doesn't have health insurance, so he wouldn't have access to even the 1980s medical technology that saved both our lives.

"everything was hunky-dory for that 20% of the population that actually applied to"

These are median figures, so I'm guessing it applied to the median member of society.

"(not minorities or rural whites)"

As you know, not a single black man worked in a factory or joined a union ever. Also, none of them had intact families or safe neighborhoods back then. All of the cratering social statistics surrounding black America in the last several decades don't exist.

Summary: Intact families, safe neighborhoods, higher real wages after essential expenses. It was better, and everyone knows it. Those countries that have preserved parts of it till 2016 are the better for it.

As I said, high-wage, medium-skill manufacturing jobs don't exist anywhere (maybe Germany if you squint hard enough). That's what people are nostalgic for. Not some a Scandanavian welfare state that was never a feature of 1950's USA.

Yes, Germany and Japan have them. It's not just manufacturing either, its a question of good wages no matter what industry your in. There are plenty of mid-skill middle class non-manufacturing jobs in those countries too.

Part of the equation of course is other decisions those countries made (related to housing, healthcare, education, immigration, etc). They worked hard at the expense category for the middle class as well.

People don't care how you get there (welfare state or no) only that they get to live fulfilling and successful lives. The USA of 1950 was better at that. In key ways many other countries in 2016 are better at that.

Foreign trade was a small part of the american economy, and according to economic theories held by the elite, we should have been worse off in a world of poor countries, not better. The trade balance was about zero until 1960.

The more relevant facts were that the government was not too overbearing and the almost zero immigration allowed for good working class jobs. Also, the boomers had not yet destroyed the cultural institutions that kept the country together. I would much rather have my kids grow up in my Dad's 1950s than now, despite the enormous differences in wealth.

I think it has been simmering for a long while. My own reconversion back towards populism came about in part from being surrounded by elites.

As I've said before, I think Obama's election in 2008 was an early, more hopeful form of backlash. Now we are to a more desperate, hopeless stage. This is also why I think that the "he's unpredictable/dangerous" line of attack against Trump will be unavailing. To many of his supporters, that is a plus. They see a thoroughly corrupt system and will try to smash it with any hammer they can find.

Yes, people forget Obama's slogan was "change you can believe in" and that he ran as a Washington outsider challenging Clinton.

His other slogan was, "Yes We Can!" That was the optimism part. What do we really have to show for it eight years later? Libertarians who are happy that Obamacare passed? Tranny bathrooms? Economic growth is on track to match 1929-1940, even if it ends up having less of a bottom trough.

Lol we have had transexual people going to the bathroom in their identified bathroom for decades without fanfare. It's just that people in the South decided to go crazy about it in 2016.

Yes, why did Charlotte pass their law? Everyone seemed to be dealing with the situation fine before that, and private businesses were continuing to add alternate bathrooms for anyone to use.

Yes, why did Charlotte pass their law?

Because Democratic pols fellate the individual components of their coalition of the fringes as a matter of course, and the lobby for sexual deviance wants this shiny new thing.

Harping on "tranny bathrooms" is a clear demonstrator that nonsense culture war issues have a hugely outsized mindshare in much of the population. It literally is the bread and circuses of political discourse. Let's not talk about the economy, or education, or foreign policy. Instead, let's talk about the bathroom habits of transsexuals and the non-epidemic of rape on college campuses.


Go for it. Keep it up.

Keep talking about bathrooms.

To keep them out of your bathroom they should be required to wear a yellow Star of David on their cap or shirt.

You can be fooled by a transgender person, and you need this protection.

To preserve your bodily fluids.

Have you heard about the dangers of Flourine in the water.

Just about as bad as lead in Flint.

Also I think a version of (4) is important.

Not so much greatness as a willingness and ability to say things (often widely supported) that are simply not allowed in the current public discourse without backing down. That is exactly how you get a populist movement going.

How you get a populist movement going is first somebody defines a set of true conditions, feelings, or beliefs as something not allowed to be uttered.

That sets up the pressure cooker. Then time, and economic stagnation (or fear of it) applies the heat. If the safety valve doesn't work... eventually it explodes. You could make an argument that increasing political polarization and ever-increasing social and regulatory burdens accelerate the economic stagnation AND prevent any form of cultural safety valve form functioning. There is quite literally nowhere meaningful to go, for those that might want to go somewhere where they can speak or act when what they believe isn't 1:1 with the dominant form of thought.

I don't know how to frame this thought in a way that doesn't sound like I'm advocating for some sort of 'place' where those who's beliefs are defined by a hate of some sort can speak and act. That's not my meaning... but there are many people who really don't 'hate' who are swept up in the increasing fervor for doubleplusgoodthink; from microaggressions to genders in bathrooms to aggressive social attacks on the 'other' party to 'check your privilege' to affirmative action to victimhood-based politics leaves fewer and fewer people who's experiences and beliefs don't map 1:1 with what is allowed a place to express themselves social and economically. If you wanted to move somewhere where you can, there isn't an economically viable place to go!

Ans. For Me: 2008 and then the realization that the establishments of both parties are one and the same. I'm under 40 and for most of my life upward mobility seemed trivially easy. My parents and my friends' parents seemed to be making money hand over fist. 2008 made me rethink a lot of my assumptions the same way that Greenspan, Posner and Summers did (albeit momentarily in their case). I thought Obama might not let the crisis go to waste, but he did. Today, I'm part of the 5% but I see extended family and friends who are flailing. And when I see younger kids coming out with staggering debt and underemployed and Boomers without two cents saved for retirement, it makes me wonder what this is the best we can do.

I'll make my list.

1. The 'highly educated' have become a laughing stock that the nation can't afford. Think that university in Missouri. That is the extreme of a way of thinking and doing. There is a real possibility that you send your son or daughter to a place like that and they come out with overwhelming debt and no education. Barking mad and broke. This has been the way to upper middle class existence for generations, still is, but there are enough people who have lost badly on this idea.

2. Some law enacted since 2000 has prevented you or someone you know from going about their normal business of living, ending up consuming enormous amounts of time and money. The financial regulations, health care, the epa, even policing.

3. Every US populist movement with teeth ends up being brought about by the tax authority. What has the IRS done that has made people feel victims of theft and corruption? I have a theory that in the Obama administration if there was bad news it was extraordinarily bad, so when there were a bunch of stories a year or so ago about Federal agents taking (stealing) cash from people without justification, this was very widespread and almost everyone would have a story of someone it happened to.

4. The 'Official' statistics don't represent reality. Everyone in China knows that the local political officials are corrupt. They have a name for that, something like 'Crooked Hillary' that is in the common vernacular. Is the US being invaded by Chicago politics?

5. Foreigners. There are too many examples, real examples that affect people's lives with constant reminders of how foreigners are making life worse. Low paid immigrants taking jobs. Immigrant workers having a different rule set or book of regulations in their places of employment. Anyone who flies by airline has to tolerate being felt up or ogled by some low life bureaucrat because of some foreigner. Foreign money driving up the cost of housing astronomically making it unaffordable. Then some stupid shit tells you that you are racist, xenophobic and probably homophobic, islamophobic etc. for noticing.

6. Being made to care. I don't care where people put their dicks or whether they cut them off. I really really don't care. I am being forced to care. Next person who forces me to care gets chased with a stick.

7. The real crux of the matter is that a nation of 340 million cannot survive if only 10% or so are productive and profitable. I suspect that if you asked policy makers, the nation would be broken down as follows, in people not money:

10% high tech wealth generators.
25% government, military, direct.
20% government indirect.
15% service industry.
10% government income either welfare or pension.
20% off the grid, in mom's basement, etc.

Sort of. 40% don't work, being kids, retired, spouses, etc. But the economy is structured by cost, regulation and policy so that a small percentage of workers are competitive on the world market. The rest aren't and are dependent in some way.

8. Bread and circuses works if the circuses are funny and interesting. They aren't. A bunch of overeducated anal retentive people obsessed with their sexual organs produce drek that is as interesting as their obsessions.

9. The media is in decline and ultimate irrelevance. They generate either hagiographies of their desperately needed heros or depressing stories of victimization that represent their projection.

10. Political Correctness is essentially a means to take issues off the table, beyond debate. The issues unfortunately either need debate or the debates need to be refreshed for the next generation. But it is easier just to not talk about it. These things don't fail gracefully. Something akin to price controls.

11. The political parties, both of them, have been consumed with the amazing glittery toys and have come to believe that they are experts and have science! My theory for the Scott Walker campaign, may it rest in peace, was that if he had thrown his campaign manager out a second floor window in rage, he would have won the nomination. 'He used the word Model once too many...'. Models are utterly useless except as an academic exercise. They are dangerous because they put a veneer of respectability on a vacuous guess. Both parties failed.

12. Good news. We have heard over the last few months that the military and CIA would refuse to carry out an order from the President that they considered illegal. !!! We are hearing murmurs from Congress that they will exercise their constitutional authority to act as a check on the executive!!! The Supreme Court is reduced into irrelevancy with a 4-4 deadlock, making reaching that court a dangerous and expensive proposition, forcing the various groups who intend to impose their will on others to reconsider!!!

13. A nation with $20 trillion of debt, a corrupt and capricious bureaucracy, cities in ruin literally from mismanagement, a president whose prime concern at the moment is where you take a shit, a business class who can't manage employees or innovate, etc. looks in the mirror and who do they see? Donald Trump. You should all be ashamed of yourselves. If you aren't, you will.

Funny, apparently the Internet connects to a wormhole.

In my parallel universe the IRS enforcement budget has been slashed, rate of audits is way down. See Figure 1: Time series of IRS audit rates here. That is, if your browser reaches through the wormhole!

Also, in my universe The Most Entrepreneurial Group in America Wasn't Born in America

What government departments do when they want to make an impression with no budget is bluster and throw their weight around. The Canadian CRA admitted to targetting people with few resources for harassment because they couldn't afford to take on well resourced people who would fight back. Is that happening with the IRS?

And oddly enough that Most Entrepreneurial Group in America isn't what I was talking about, but you changed the subject. Have you ever thought that your tactic is precisely the reason why a populist bludgeon is about to gain the presidency?

On tax, the "Greek disease" is to think paying it is un-Greek. Or un-American.

On immigrants you said "how foreigners are making life worse." Yeah, if your point was only to cherry pick the bad part, then yes you were talking about something else.

What about point 1? Tyson is a hit on Twitter and TED has served a billion videos. Someone out there likes education.

At least in my world.

I am sorry for singling you out, that was mean.

Really though I think it relates to Tyler's list and the idea of an excessively pessimistic populace. I don't see the bad things on your list as really really true. I think it is however, as he says, the feeling of the times.

I'll second the 'made to care' as a reason Trump is attractive to so many, because he doesn't care and gets away with it.

As for pessimism, I see a lot of the DNC/Hillary-style agenda as advocating to directly to impede me in my life from the things I enjoy doing, even though my doing those things causes harm to anybody. Firearms for example: I've owned, shot, bought, carried, and built guns for most of my life, a hobby I very much enjoy. Over more than a few decades exactly zero humans (or animals for that matter) have been harmed, yet nowhere in 'liberal' speech am I defined as anything but a child killing mass shooting NRA-whackjob-redneck whos property should be limited, regulated, or taken and existence is abhorrent. That's my experience, I believe you can multiply that by a few hundred million personal experiences (each different) and you will get the same outcome: The things advocated for and predicted for the future uniformly suck more than today or yesterday. That lends itself to pessimism on a grand scale.

I've shot lots of guns. I've hunted.

I feel very little in common with those who like to pose with AR-15s in public venues.

It seems some balance between those two should be possible, but it is the "polarization" again.

I grew up with tons of weapons in my family, and I hunted from an early age. We even had an AR-15.

Never did we worry about jack booted thugs from BATF coming to take our guns but apparently NRA fundraisers see them around every corner. What a bunch of pussies.

Interesting, seeing as the IRS budget was never reduced in the time period on that chart.

"10. Political Correctness is essentially a means to take issues off the table, beyond debate.... These things don’t fail gracefully. Something akin to price controls."

Great analogy,.


I liked your list, but no 10 takes the cake for insight. It really gave me something to think about. Political correctness as price controls...

5. is an interesting contributor. Regardless of the wisdom/quality of the party/institutional positions, many of those positions were not held by the party's voters. Tactical considerations - no compromise, promises to overturn that were impossible to keep - fanned the flames.

Sometimes it is the dog that did not bark.

What is interesting about the comments thus far is that, while the commenters talk about Trump, no one talks about

The Libertarian Party or its candidates.

Maybe not a dog.

Conservative populism seems to be heavily tied to white identity politics and race anxiety, subjects in which libertarians tend to not engage.

There is no Libertarian Party in America, in the sense of a political organization that tries to win elections.

Do the Libertarians even know it's 2016? They just had their convention. They debated about whether the US should have gotten involved in WWII (ended 70 years ago), the 1964 civil rights act (50 years ago), and total drug legalization (infinity years in the future, 'cause it's never gonna happen). They nominated the same guy they nominated in 2012.

Smaller fringe parties will always have crazy elements and obsessions with ideological purity (see: OWS, Tea Party rallies, etc.). However, the LP did manage to nominate an ex-governor, by far the most politically qualified candidate available.

the 1964 civil rights act

You mean we cannot vote to repeal it?

LOL good luck with that.

The Party of Gary Johnson

James Weeks Strips at Libertarian Party National Convention Drops out of race for Chairman 5/29/16

Crazy Libertarian Rant at 2016 Libertarian Convention

Even Crazier Libertarian Rant at 2016 Libertarian Convention


Consider: [Anti-virus tycoon John] McAfee — who fled his own Central American residential compound while under suspicion by the Belizean government for the murder of his neighbor; who openly admits that said compound featured a harem of teenage Belizean sex workers; who likes to talk about the time a 16-year-old Belizean prostitute tried to shoot him in the head at point blank range; who bounced around the hotel halls wearing a three-piece suit and a pair of Nikes like some kind of Mad Hatter on meth — had regularly polled in third place for the nomination in the lead-up to the convention and even seemed to have a puncher’s chance to win. Further consider: He was barely the weirdest candidate on the scene.

Polling second coming into the convention, just ahead of McAfee, was a guy named Austin Petersen. Petersen’s 35 and looks 14, but question if he’s seasoned enough and he’ll yelp, “Tell that to the Marquis de Lafayette.” His go-to applause line: “I want gay couples to defend their marijuana fields with fully automatic weapons.” Polling fourth, one slot behind McAfee, was a fellow named Darryl W. Perry, who accepts campaign donations only in the form of precious metals and cryptocurrency and who opted to have his nominating speech delivered by an “erotic services provider” who goes by the moniker “Starchild.” Perry’s most animated moment in the debate came when he slammed his fist against his lectern, forehead veins a-popping, as he insisted that 5-year-old children should have the legal right to inject heroin without adult supervision. [Libertarians Are Loons, By Seth Stevenson, May 31, 2016]

The big-L Libertarian Party is nuts. But in 2016, that means the fight is happening on their turf for once.

"Backlash" may be the wrong perception of what appears to be the “popular” reactions in the current electoral cycle... .

What we are probably observing are "swings" in the attractions of one or more varying types of charisma, which cover a spectrum in the political art of creating and maintain perceptions.

Those attractions are effective in a democratic process that favors simple numerical domination of determinations.

In that type of process, the "masses" ('popular government' determinations) require "Leaders," to displace the need for the characteristics of individuality and the "burdens" individuality entails. Since there is no such thing as true "collective choice," what in any specific period any particular "Leaders" sell by demagoguery is insufficient, dissolves in the diversity of desires and demands and more often is false or chimeric - and there are "swings" to the next "best thing."

Individuality, and the societies it has produced, and can produce, is now in recession wherever the results of the democratic process are determined by "mass" or numeric forces, without some balancing forces (such as a strictly observed constitution or traditions [Switzerland]).

There is no real "Backlash" amongst the popular "mass." There is the same continuing aversion to, or incapacities for, the requirements of individuality, against acceptance of the consequences of its exercise; but, cravings for the innovations and material advances it generates. "Leaderships," however charismatic cannot provide that.

The answer is actually much simpler than all of that- it took time for people to see through the propaganda, the bulwark piece of which is the unemployment rate. However, most of this actually unintentional, though the beneficiaries of it are more than happy to use it to the limit.

Don't believe me- look at this morning's UE rate. The propaganda is starting to fail, and its failure is only going to grow as the benchmarks in the BEA and BLS data get updated for the economy that exists today, not the one the last fully implemented economic census of 2007 observed (the 2012 census data is making major inroads into the resetting of the baselines month after month now- see the durable goods adjustments from just last week!).

Yes, Yancey, take us all back to 2008.

As you said, "it took time to see through all the propaganda"

Bill, the point is that I don't have to "take us back"- we never left. There hasn't been a recovery as that term is understood by previous experience. Almost all the economic data supports that assertion from durable goods, imports/exports, to manufacturing orders (today)- the only real outlier now is the headline UE rate. This isn't new, however- the recovery from the 2001 recession was the first to show that gap between reported UE and the what would have been expected of the actual labor pool, but that gap grew significantly after the 2008/2009 recession, and it really hasn't closed at all. In the period 2001-2007, it was appropriately described as a jobless recovery. With an even greater discrepancy in this recovery, the media is largely mute.

That gap- where we basically have 15-20 million fewer people working than would have been expected based on previous economic cycles- actually does matter after all. It is called stagnation. People can see the real economy of spending and income is telling them something different than the UE rate. Eventually the BLS will reset those labor benchmarks, too. The only mystery is why it hasn't happened yet, but in the end it doesn't matter- the spending data that is in the process of being adjusted tells the same story over and over- the worst recovery from recession since Herbert Hoover.

There hasn’t been a recovery as that term is understood by previous experience

There most certainly has. Recoveries are measured primarily in terms of improvement in production and capacity utilization. The labor market has been troubled, but that's not unprecedented in recoveries here or in the UK (to take one example). The employment-to-population ratio has not returned to the pre-recessionary level (0.63), but at 0.60 its not all that depressed. It's about the same as it was in 1985.


To put it in one graph, above is the economy that people experience, because it is the economy that exists today. It is at odds to, now, only the UE rate- the UE rate is now the only outlier. The 2012 Economic Census has removed almost all of the recovery that was previously estimated based on the Census from 2007 (you can look up the trend in IP consumer goods prior to the recent revisions to see what I am talking about).

I don't blame the BLS/BEA- this is the way they have been doing these statistics for decades, but something did change after the Great Recession, and none of the stimulus the orthodox economics community advocated for and implemented has worked. The definition of orthodox failure is happening right now in Japan which is on the frontier of activist fiscal and monetary stimulus. Japan is the future, but we are rapidly catching up to them.

Ok, I linked prematurely to the entire article Snider wrote instead of just the main graphic- had planned to do that in this comment, but so be it.

Snider has his own theory about what has happened and why the central banks have been, at best, ineffectual, and I happen think the evidence supports him. If he is right, we have a financial system built for the world that existed in 2007, not the one that is in the process of forming, and it has consequences like what he describes in the article above- a shrunken economy the world over.

Yancey. Thanks.

How do we compare with other industrialized nations during this period.

Since Yancey has not responded, let me respond for him:

The US did better than other industrialized countries during this period.

Given the old jokes like "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography", why do you expect the average American to not only know the relative conditions of other countries over this time period, but also weigh that knowledge above their personal experience? I would assume they'd react much more strongly to the latter.

Interesting link... thank you!

Well, its official.

The source of the populist discontent is:

Race, Sex, Religion and Immigrants.

I counted all of the comments and responses to comments.

87 of the 166 comments (and responses to them) thus far concerned RACE, SEX, RELIGION, or IMMIGRANTS.

This tells you something about a certain type of populism.

The major overlap of these interests with a number of earlier ideologies that successfully replaced a democratic government?

People tend to complain when their patrimony is stolen.

Like when they are stabbed in the back?

Because if one wishes to advance that theory, it supports my point about how certain ideologies were able to completely supplant democracy.

The German people were stabbed in the back. Maybe it's best not to stab people in the back.

Well, let's not be coy - who was it that did the stabbing?

Bill, are those issues or issues derived from them not foundational to the existence and perpetuation of a society and culture?

Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics makes a big deal of pointing out that political parties are coalitions, not monolithic blocs. Every once in a while, some group pulls out of one party and decides its interests are better represented elsewhere, or some group that used to split its votes coalesces, or the reverse.

Traditionally, neither party has been full on populist. This year, there has been major populist insurgencies in both parties, with Trump actually winning the Republican nomination.

What I wonder is whether the dividing line between the parties necessarily has to run left vs right, or whether populist vs antipopulist might be a stable grouping. In that scenario you might see lots of Sanders voters defecting to Trump, followed by a schism or outright break in the Republican party (probably after the election). The RINOS and DINOS coalesce, and then you've got populists vs current day centrists.

I don't support this program, but it seems like a platform built on identity politics, protectionism, and middle class "free stuff" like assistance with college tuition and housing costs would be ideologically cohesive and have a fairly large constituency.

I don't think you'll see a Republican crackup before the election, because it's too late for a top tier candidate to get in. Unless the Democrats schism, there's no path to victory this time around. Plus, all the calls for a third party candidate have been looking for a True Conservative rather than a True Moderate.

Second problem: if you vote for Hillary, you're not advancing a hypothetical centrist union party, you're just joining the Democrats as currently constituted. So I don't think you get full realignment unless you can identify a faction of Democrats who are willing to bolt, which this year would mean Sanders voters jumping to Trump.

there’s no path to victory this time around.

The median of the latest set of RCP polls has it Hellary 40%, Trump 38%, and Johnson 8%. Wagers Johnson will clock in at < 2% at the tape. Plenty of opportunity for DJT between now and November.

I mean no path for a new Republican candidate.

I think we can predict that if either Hillary or Trump wins, (Holy God, make it stop), they will be a one-term President. No matter who wins, they will face an insurgency within their own party at the next election.

The climate is absolutely ripe for an Independent or Third-Party candidate to make a breakthrough. I predict the winner will win only by a plurality and effectively be a lame duck for their entire term. The R's will continue to hold (at least) the house, and the Senate is going to be hostile to Trump, which means neither Trump not Clinton would actually get to enact much of their agenda. The gridlock will be glorious to behold. No matter who wins, they will be widely hated and will be unable to accomplish anything.

This would be the glass is half full view of this terrible election were it not for the fact that executive power is and has been constantly expanding.

+1 to Hazel. +1/2 to Urstoff. Even with the expanding executive, the dynamic Hazel describes means either of these two won't get much done.

Hillary would of course try to run again if she wins. I do not think Trump has any intention of running for another term.

I think we can predict that if either Hillary or Trump wins, (Holy God, make it stop), they will be a one-term President. No matter who wins, they will face an insurgency within their own party at the next election.

Go back to Saskatoon, Hazel. No president faces an intraparty insurgency as an ineluctable consequence of policy problems (Herbert Hoover did not, for example), even if he's suffered serial failures (which we have no reason to believe is inevitable in the case of Hellary or Trump).

You are such a self-caricature, man. Was it scary when you jumped that shark on your motorcycle? You are so busy trying to be pedantically right that you missed a chance to bash 'Hellary'. Isn't it in fact inevitable she will be a failure? That seems to be your take on her.

Hillary might be the first sitting president to be indicted by the FBI. The Republicans are probably waiting for her to get to be elected just so they can have the fun of appointing an independent prosecuter while she's in office.
Who is her running mate going to be?

'The Republicans are probably waiting for her to get to be elected just so they can have the fun of appointing an independent prosecuter while she’s in office.'

She's quite familiar with that sort of thing, actually - 'The First Lady's role in the secret proceedings of the Health Care Task Force also sparked litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in relation to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), which requires openness in government. The Clinton White House argued that the Recommendation Clause in Article II of the US Constitution would make it unconstitutional to apply the procedural requirements of FACA to her participation in the meetings of the Task Force. Some constitutional experts argued to the court that such a legal theory was not supported by the text, the history, or the structure of the Constitution.[19] Ultimately, Hillary Clinton won the litigation in June 1993, when the D.C. Circuit ruled narrowly that the First Lady could be deemed a government official (and not a mere private citizen) for the purpose of not having to comply with the procedural requirements of FACA.

Also in February 1993, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, along with several other groups, filed a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and Donna Shalala over closed-door meetings related to the health care plan. The AAPS sued to gain access to the list of members of the task force. In 1997, Judge Royce C. Lamberth found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded $285,864 to the AAPS for legal costs; Lamberth also harshly criticized the Clinton administration and Clinton aide Ira Magaziner in his ruling. Subsequently, a federal appeals court overturned in 1999 the award and the initial findings on the basis that Magaziner and the administration had not acted in bad faith.' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_health_care_plan_of_1993#Litigation

Back to Saskatoon, Hazel. The FBI is a plainclothes police force and indicts no one. Indictments and informations are secured by the U.S. Attorney's office which ares run by political appointees and in which any permanent employees would have a cultural bias in favor of the Democratic Party. The current administration has been shameless about burying investigations and there simply be no more special prosecutors appointed to examine Democratic politicians. The only way Hellary will be held accountable is if the opposition is elected.

By the way, Leon Jaworski was persuaded that an indictment of a sitting President was unconstitutional so secured a grand jury report naming Richard Nixon as an 'unindicted co-conspirator' of the other Watergate defendants.

The climate is absolutely ripe for an Independent or Third-Party candidate to make a breakthrough. I predict the winner will win only by a plurality and effectively be a lame duck for their entire term.

"You wanna lose your money, go ahead and bet on Sonny" - quoth Cassius Clay.

If previous experience holds, 3/4 of Gary Johnson's declared supporters will think better of it between now and November. The filing deadline will have passed in most states by the middle of August, so Wm. Kristol better step up the brainstorming.

If previous experience holds, Trump has no chance of winning the nomination.
I can't recall any candidate in living memory whose own party could barely bring themselves to vote for him.

I find both Hillary and Trump so repulsive that I would prefer to not vote at all.

If previous experience holds, Trump has no chance of winning the nomination.I can’t recall any candidate in living memory whose own party could barely bring themselves to vote for him.

Back to Saskatoon, Hazel. What the Republican congressional caucus thinks of him is immaterial. He's the nominee, because the voters of his own party cast ballots for him. He's not polling badly re the general election.

I find both Hillary and Trump so repulsive that I would prefer to not vote at all.

In Canada you've had Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Robert Stansfield, CJ Clark, Jean Chretien, and Justin Trudeau. Perhaps 'repulsive' is too strong a word for a sometime law professor (and full time lounge lizard), an animated cadaver, a terminal dullard, a crook, and a drama teacher turned serial grad-school dropout.

I remember when people were saying Bill Clinton was guaranteed to be a one term president. The 1994 midterms made it obvious.

Then the economy took off.

I really don't care for either candidate, but if the economy sizzles whoever is president will get a second term. Period.

10. You can't vote for a populist unless there is one on the ballot. Previous anti-establishment candidates have been extreme conservatives or liberals, not populists.

Trump is the first candidate who has realised how profoundly so many Americans despise their ruling class. But not the last.

George Wallace was a populist.

Previous anti-establishment candidates have been extreme conservatives or liberals, not populists.

Ross Perot was peculiar, but his views on policy were mainstream. John Anderson was not extreme either.

As a black male I'm curious about white males that acknowledge that anti-while male bashing is occurring but decline to support Trump anyway. What's the thinking behind supporting Clinton and the Dems?

You have identified the empty set: those who believe in anti-white bashing and are not on board with Trump.

Absolutely false. I am a counter-example to the emptiness of that set. I am for Sanders.

And who will you vote for now?

There's another way to think of what's happening here that might make more sense.

The Civil Rights movement created enormous concern among white voters, particularly at lower income levels. However, the massive shift of white Southern Democrats to the GOP across a thirty-year period provided an outlet, culminating and peaking by about 2004 (you can measure this peak in election results). The complete failure of the Bush Administration and the election of a black President in 2008 marked a closing of that outlet. It also suggested that conventional political activity was never going to bring back the ancien regime.

The Tea Party emerged from this failure as a complete rejection of federal authority in all its forms, a new politics of absolute obstruction. Even that desperate move has failed to make a dent in politics. Nothing is working for these folks.

White voters who deeply value their racial identity are now in an extreme panic. Unfortunately, its likely to get even worse after Trump loses and the Republicans lose the Senate in 2016. At some point we have to reckon with the centuries-deep meaning of white supremacy and offer some kind of credible alternative.


This is a definite possibility. When Clinton epically trounces Trump in the general election, that will serve as a (hopefully) final repudiation of the white identity vote. Hopefully, something will emerge from the ashes that transcends identity politics and offers something that can appeal to voters of all races as universally fair. Hopefully we can get beyond politics that focuses on which group is the most aggrieved and how big their cut of the loot ought to be.

When Clinton epically trounces Trump in the general election, -

Back to Saskatoon, Hazel. It's actually fairly unusual for a candidate to be elected de novo with a wide margin and it generally requires serial failures by the incumbent party. There is almost no historical precedent for that occurring as an affirmation of the incumbent party, and their is no indication from survey results that anything like that will happen this time. Hellary wins narrowly or loses narrowly,

Hopefully, something will emerge from the ashes that transcends identity politics and offers something that can appeal to voters of all races as universally fair.

Back to Saskatoon, Hazel. The Democratic Party is not giving up identity politics any more readily than the Bloc Quebecois will. That's all they have left and all they really care about.

The Democratic Party is not giving up identity politics any more readily than the Bloc Quebecois will.

So maybe they need to lose a few elections too.
But only after the Republican party offers something better than White Identity Politics.

But only after the Republican party offers something better than White Identity Politics.

What you got in mind, Hazel? Updated Ayn Rand?

The Republican party has been running milquetoast establishment candidates for many elections now. Was Romney running on White Identity politics? GWB? McCain? Isn't Romney the #NeverTrump leader?

What does the Republican party have other then telling 47% of the country not to vote for them out of the gate. Turns out the other 53% doesn't find them very useful either. Take away the evangelicals and the nativists and you've got a party mostly interest in supporting a couple of elite crony capitalists.

When Clinton epically trounces Trump in the general election, -

Back to Saskatoon, Hazel. It's actually fairly unusual for a candidate to be elected de novo with a wide margin and it generally requires serial failures by the incumbent party. There is almost no historical precedent for that occurring as an affirmation of the incumbent party, and their is no indication from survey results that anything like that will happen this time. Hellary wins narrowly or loses narrowly,


Hopefully, something will emerge from the ashes that transcends identity politics and offers something that can appeal to voters of all races as universally fair.

Back to Saskatoon, Hazel. The Democratic Party is not giving up identity politics any more readily than the Bloc Quebecois will. That's all they have left and all they really care about.

Both Parties need to collapse for such a future to occur, along with some other event that leads people into political groupings unrelated to race. Otherwise we'd just get the same setup with different parties.

As non-hispanic whites become a less-dominant majority, I think their tendency to vote based on that identity will only grow. There isn't much need to vote based on racial/ethnic identity when your group is 90% of the population. At 70%, 60%, 50%, that changes.

I am pessimistic about the future. I think we are heading into a world where politics (at least at the federal level) is largely about who can get the biggest cut of the loot for their racial/ethnic identity group, and that relatively-aggrieved status will be a way of arguing about that.

That seems to be the way politics is going. And yet I sense in voters yearning for change and dissatisfaction with the status quo a desire to move beyond racial/ethnic identity. On both sides. The Sanders revolt is in some sense about elevating class over race and gender. Trump is about elevating straight/white/male identity in a rejection of other race/gender based identity politics. Both sides are kind of hating the identity politics and in revolt in different ways. I think someone who offered a unifying vision that transcended race would do well. That is what Obama promised, which is how he inspired millenials. There is no candidate like that this year.

Sanders is about being post racial...which is why the entire democratic primary vote can basically be divided by racial lines.

No successful multi-racial society has ever been built. The only ones that didn't descend into civil war were held together by strongmen. This has been proven again and again all over the world. Why is this time different?

No successful multi-racial society has ever been built.

Malaysia does quite nicely. So does New Zealand. Quit pretending you know any history.

Malaysia does quite nicely?

You mean the country where you have to have do nothing Malay business partners steal a chunk of your own business, have the most repressive affirmative action program on the planet, where they debate limb amputation and stoning in their Muslim courts, and where the only productive minority, the terrorized second class citizen Chinese, have been fleeing for some time.

I had a whole group of people from Malaysia living in my dorm in college. They sure hated each other.

Each party is a collection of interests. You'll have the same interests if they 'collapse'. What needs to go is the insulated elite in each party. We need a better (and more public-spirited elite). We especially need the legal profession curb-stomped.

The middle class as tax serfs and Whites as a perennial horse to kick seems to appeal to voters of all races as universally fair, as embodied by Clinton. Especially if you use PC and media self-censorship to prevent any discussion of reality. Trump is heading his own coalition of voters of all races, however(check out Chinese for Trump, Indians for Trump etc), one more inclined towards American nationalism and American identity, though it is telling that his opponents equate it with White identity politics despite his never having said the phrase "White male". Of course, American to most of the world still automatically means White, with some Blacks thrown in for good measure, as it used to before 1965. Maybe there are multiple coalitions of voters of all races and this contest is actually more interesting and less clear-cut than you make it seem.

There’s another way to think of what’s happening here that might make more sense.

Makes sense to a partisan Democrat only.

I don't think Trump will lose though. Currently Clinton is pulling in 33-38% of white voters this is below what Obama got. Also Trump is matching Romney in minorities.

Of course this assumes he doesn't act like he did this pass week for the entire 5 months remaining.

Whites who hold traditional values dominate the armed forced. It's probably not the best idea to piss on them or otherwise make them feel that the system is no longer legitimate.

Well that was the stupidest thing I've read all week. (I don't read comments by the mulp)

Aren't you forgetting the tenure reduces risk-taking argument? If successful politicians have a sort of tenure (wealth, stable influence, etc.) then doesn't it follow that there will likely be a lag between new tropes (Sanders, Trump) and the receptivity of the voters?

OK, We can now declare, in addition to the survey earlier (see comment 257) based on all the comments, thus far that

The comment section included, at most, 6 comments on income inequality, and none on poverty.

That tells you what the commenters are concerned about.

The new populism does not include income inequality or poverty, or does it.

The Natives are restless, sahib.

I see that comment numbers change over time. So the reference is to my comment at 11:35 am

I didn't do another count, but it still looks like RACE, SEX, RELIGION and IMMIGRANTS are still the top topics of the new populism. At least on this site.

If Trump deports the illegal aliens, both poverty and inequality in America will drop. It is math.

So did you suffer further brain damage, bill? You used to be able to type normally, at least

Too much nonsense. Just to take point 7: to characterize Trump's campaign a 'radical rebellion' for old white guys, is downright silly. The radical rebellion are by those who support open borders, disobedience to our laws, and physical assaults on the right to free speech.

Worst. Cowan. List. Ever.

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