Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

The post-Brexit & post-Trump (etc.) “populism” canard


It seems the impact of Brexit followed by Trump [= “Amer-exit” ?] is stirring up a sharp reaction in global halls of power, leading for instance to resort to a loaded, one-word, barbed dismissal of the presumed ignorant, stupid, insane or wicked masses:



U/D: Let’s add a clip on the wave of upcoming elections in Europe:


Thus, we see in the just linked and clipped Bloomberg report:

>>The rise of populism in developed nations is tearing at the political fabric of Europe, unsettling markets and undermining growth prospects, top European bankers said in Frankfurt on Friday.

“The uncertainty in the market, especially the political and economic instability, has never been as pronounced as it is today,’’ Commerzbank AG Martin Zielke said at the annual European Banking Congress. “We don’t want to go down the path of nationalism.’’

Britain’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. presidential elections have fueled concerns that nationalism and populism are gaining a dimension that may turn anti-EU parties into a dominant force across the continent. The Dec. 4 constitutional referendum in Italy and elections in France and Germany next year will be a measure  of how destabilizing the surge may be, the bankers said.>>

Of course, some context-aware decoding is — regrettably — in order: for “populism” read demagoguery, and for “nationalism” read national socialism, aka [neo-]nazism, with outbreaks of “racism” or “sexism” carrying much the same import. (Especially, where a crowd of ordinary, casually dressed Americans standing with hands over hearts is likely to be for singing the US National Anthem U/D: or saying the national pledge]. The “optics” chosen for the voice-over definition by a Bloomberg journalist with an Australian accent is highly, and not favourably, suggestive.)

Pardon, but the point of democratic elections — starting with the classic twelve-member jury of peers — is that, often, the collective wisdom of ordinary people is a pivotal check on the power of elites and their manipulative agendas. Yes, such elections may not be pretty or genteel, but on average they are better than the alternative, unchecked elites that are too often self-selecting and ideologically blinded to the painful realities of the ordinary person.

Likewise, patriotism is a virtue not a vice.

Nor, should it be implicitly easily equated to or cast as being on a slippery slope leading to the follies of nazism or racism or the like (whether using coded language or using outright accusations); that is a manifestation of stunning, utterly revealing disrespect and prejudice.

In the UK, it is largely Labour strongholds that delivered Brexit. In the US, many of the same rust belt states that backed Obama picked Trump over Clinton in a forced choice of the lesser danger of by and large un-liked, high-risk candidates.  In both cases a slap in the face was delivered to the elites and their favoured agendas.

A wise path would be to reflect on needed reforms.

Not, doubling down on contempt for the ordinary man.

As to economic woes, I suggest the Bankers — should that, per tit for tat, be: “banksters” (See how it hurts? Please drop the name-calling and dog-whistle Newspeak hints)  — would be well advised to ponder an Austrian perspective on policy manipulation led, financially induced malinvestment bubble-based booms that have shattering impacts when they go bust:


That is:


(It is no surprise that the world economy has struggled since 2007 – 9, given malinvestment bubbles that popped. To pull us out of an obvious generational, long wave trough, we need a cluster of breakthrough technologies that are probably likely to be stifled or hobbled by unchecked, over-zealous bureaucrats who almost always imply omniscience and omni-benevolence on their part., ICTs, Energy, biotech, robotics and mechatronics etc., are possible candidates.)

However, there are underlying themes of quite direct relevance to the focal concerns of the ID community.

First, there is the problem of domineering, agenda-driven elites who often despise and seek to manipulate the public.

Linked, there is the problem of mainstream media houses and leading voices that too often serve as the propaganda arm of the elites.

We see the pattern of trolls and agit-prop activists that haunt alternative media in an attempt to taint, divert, confuse and frustrate serious discussion of alternatives.

There is a worrying underlying sense that evolutionary materialism is sapping respect for and recognition of the pivotal importance of responsible rational freedom in serious discussions.

There seems to be an underlying perception that those who do not toe the party-line are ignorant, stupid, insane and/or wicked.

The utter bigotry in that sort of sneering contempt seems to escape the attention of far too many.

The haunting question of Internet censorship is rearing its ugly head.

The overlap of elite groups, interests and institutions is not to be overlooked.

The degree of ruthlessness already seen is not to be overlooked also.

Where, no, design thought is not a mere manifestation of populist stupidity and resentment at the intellectual achievements of our betters.

And, more.

We are in a clearly dangerous time, and should proceed with caution:

change_challBut, are we willing to heed warning signs, given:

Of Lemmings, marches of folly and cliffs of self-falsifying absurdity . . .
Of Lemmings, marches of folly and cliffs of self-falsifying absurdity . . .

There is reason to be deeply concerned.

Ideas and dominating ideologies have consequences. END

Sev, The rights were there all along. They were denied by human government and culture. It was the insights of the DOI and Constituion, which finally realized them. CannuckianYankee
Sometime ago vjtorley wrote,
Natural law is binding on humanity. The Seven Laws of Noah are a traditional expression of this law. Every devout Jew in Jesus’ day would have regarded these laws as binding on the entire human race, and would have regarded it as a ruler’s duty to impose these laws on his/her subjects. Attempts to impose natural law should not be equated with attempts to impose Christ’s kingdom by force. The latter is forbidden to us; the former is obligatory.
That’s true for theists. But what basis or a “foundation” does atheistic, naturalistic secularism provide for natural law which doesn’t end up with a kind of self-seeking manipulative survival of the fittest kind of ruthlessness? I don’t see that it does. Nevertheless, it is not beyond the purview of progressive-secularists to co-opt the idea of natural law to be used as a bait-and-switch tactic to further their own agenda. What after all is natural law but a law above the law? However dishonest or disingenuous that may be it does create a rhetorical basis to make some powerful and compelling arguments. Theists, on the other hand, believe that “natural law” is God’s law and is the source of the moral conscience endemic to of all mankind (see Rom. 2: 12-16). However, that hasn’t prevented the U.S. Supreme Court from making what is for all intents and purposes a counterfeit natural law kind of argument to find new rights in the U.S. Constitution. The landmark cases that illustrate this perverse abuse of “natural law” are the 1973 Roe v. Wade case legalizing abortion and the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case legalizing same-sex marriage. Where are abortion or same sex marriage mentioned in the U.S. Constitution? They aren’t anywhere. These were “rights” (in the case of Obergefell) were created whole cloth by five ideologically driven lawyers pretending to be fair and impartial jurists. Nevertheless, these so-called “new rights” are not transcendent God-given rights, they are arbitrary man-made rights-- protestations to the contrary. I find it extremely ironic when an avowed atheist, who rejects the idea that moral values and human rights have any kind of objective or transcendent basis, begins making “arguments” which appear for all intents and purposes to tacitly assume such a basis an objective basis for morality exists. For example, you can’t make an argument that abortion is either right or wrong without such an objective moral basis. For any kind of morality to work on a societal level, you have to assume that objective moral obligations are interpersonal, objectively real and binding. Otherwise, you just have arbitrary non-binding opinions and personal preferences. Of course this point has been made here over-and-over again, many, many times. We can only assume that someone who doesn’t understand that is either deluded, dishonest (with himself and others) or daft. That’s something I called elsewhere the atheist trilemma. If nothing else it demonstrates the absolute absurdity and foolishness of atheism. It mystifies me why any sane, rational person would choose to become one. There is definitely something wrong with their thinking somewhere. john_a_designer
No one denies the inspirational and aspirational qualities of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. But neither should we forget that, at that time, only property-owning white men were qualified to vote. These rights were not available to women and the poor and denied to slaves. It fell to later generations to correct the omissions of the Founding Fathers. Neither were these two great documents handed down from on high engraved on tablets of stone. Rather, they were forged slowly and painstakingly by men of good will meeting in earnest conclave, which is as it should be. Seversky
JAD, It sounds like it might be a good compromise. But then again, it might tie the hands of the military in their ability to prevent terrorism. But then again (again, LOL), waterboarding may not be the only method of extracting information from an enemy combatant, while making abortion illegal IS the only way of truly preventing abortion en masse. So I'm all for such a compromise. It's what opposing sides are supposed to do. It hasn't happened in quite a while, thus, the present polarization. KF, My view is that the founders understood the profundity of rights firmly established by divine command. Atheistic governments are necessarily despotic, because they eliminate faith. If there is no God, the state, not God establishes "rights," but then they really aren't rights, but revokable privilege. Human rights are dependent on a Sovereign who is above the state. So I found JAD's question regarding who gives the elite media the right to pontificate, remarkably poignant. They are beholden to no-one but themselves, apparently; so their "judgments" are quite meaningless. CannuckianYankee
KF, Here is a POV with which I agree wholeheartedly.
The United States Constitution is not purely democratic, but it is profoundly populist. Indeed, it’s the most successful populist platform ever written… All human history teaches us that people cannot be trusted with unaccountable power; therefore, freedom and security are best protected by dispersing power. Federalism and the separation of powers may sound like legalistic abstractions, but in truth they are as important, concrete, and guaranteed under our Constitution as the right to vote or of due process. Elites hate the transparency, accountability, and inclusiveness that the Constitution requires of federal policymaking. That’s why they have spent decades circumventing its guardrails. It is not a coincidence that our era of inequality and distrust has been marked by frenzied centralization of political power. Power has been pulled up and away from the people and states and toward the federal government. Within Washington, it has been transferred from the people’s elected representatives in Congress to the two other branches, especially the unaccountable and ever-growing administrative state.
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442450/donald-trump-conservatives-principled-populism-framework-working-together Is it true that the U.S. Constitution is a “populist platform”? I would say so. Look at the first three words: “We the people…” You can’t get much more populist than that. http://www.ushistory.org/documents/constitution.htm john_a_designer
CY, yup. Some sobering reading:
The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America In Congress, July 4, 1776 When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
If you frustrate that by the ballot box, you implicitly force ultimate resort to the bullet box. Sobering. KF kairosfocus
JAD, the US EC forces 50 elections in parallel so no one zone or interest can dominate, expressing federalism. As it is constitutionally embedded and 3/4 of states will -- rightly -- NOT vote themselves into irrelevance, the agitation is cynically calculated to deepen polarisation and lend an air of legitimacy to agit prop rather than move to real solutions. Problem 1 is the blood of 800+ million unborn children slaughtered in the womb in the past generation crying out for justice, with the US as a leader in this. The warping of thought, law, medicine, state, education, media and society etc to allow this to mount at 1 million more PER WEEK is corroding and corrupting our whole civilisation. I suggest those who are playing cynical games need to visit the Lincoln Memorial and read the 2nd Inaugural, cf my thoughts here. KF kairosfocus
the Rust Belt… was key to Trump’s breakthrough.
There have been many calls after the U.S. presidential election, on the part of disappointed Hillary Clinton supporters, to consider doing away with the Electoral College-- the indirect way US Americans use to choose our president. Clinton won the popular vote but lost in the Electoral College, which uses a state-by-state method of apportioning the vote in choosing the president. (The United States, after all, is a federation of states.) However, the problem with repealing the Electoral College is that the east coast/ west coast elites and urban progressives would completely dominate the political process. They already dominate it far too much. Trump was elected because he was able to tap into the anger and frustration of traditionally Democratic blue collar workers living in the so-called Midwestern “rust belt” states and flip their votes from D to R. These states had been hurt economically especially hard in recent years. If the Electoral College did not exist these voters would have been largely overlooked and their concerns marginalized. As it turned out their vote determined the election. Those who are in favor going with only the popular vote only argue that it would be more democratic. Maybe so but would it be better if the economic or social needs of a whole region of the country were overlooked and given no opportunity to redress their grievances. Imperfect as it is the Electoral College at least gives some overlooked marginalized people a voice every four years. As I wrote above @ #17, “Democracy is not an intrinsically good system of government. In truth it is only as good as its constituents.” Becoming more democratic is not necessarily the best move. CannuckianYankee, It is ironic that the secular progressive mainstream media will become so absolutistic and moralistic when it comes to something like waterboarding, which is obviously morally offensive to some people, but will completely over look something like late term partial birth abortion. In other words, according to them, we must respect the rights of evil terrorists but completely disregard those of baby by denying its chance to live just before it is born. I would gladly support a ban on waterboarding if they would support a ban on partial birth abortion. But from what I know about the secular progressive left there is no room for compromise. Of course, these are the same people who always tell us “we need to have a conversation.” On a lighter note: Here is a surprisingly honest but funny video put out by some people who were disappointed with the results of the recent U.S. presidential election. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKOb-kmOgpI john_a_designer
JAD, "Who gave them the right to pontificate about what everyone else should believe and think?" Unless they are God-given, "rights" are meaningless. The elite media are nothing more than the propaganda arm of the "progressive" left. They make up the rules as they go along. CannuckianYankee
Folks, I find it interesting how there has been a tip-toe-ing past the issue of a policy triggered malinvestment bubble induced boom gone global bust and ending in stagnation in part sustained by onward policy as a key element in the situation. Notice, Scotland has gone beyond Labour to SNP, it is Labour strongholds that were critical to Brexit, and it is the Rust Belt that was key to Trump's breakthrough. KF kairosfocus
One of the things that the mainstream media has started obsessing about again is waterboarding, because during the presidential campaign Donald Trump said he wasn’t opposed to using it in the fight against Islamic terrorism. (See the recent coverage on CNN, Fox, NPR and the Washington post.) Personally I could not care one way or the other whether CIA, DIA interrogators use it. Some critics have said that it is ineffective. If that is true then the whole point is moot. But as an average citizen I have no way of knowing that. However, I am unconvinced that waterboarding is torture or is immoral. No doubt it can cause extreme discomfort or panic. No doubt it is coercive. However, the U.S. military has used it in training its special operations warriors as well as fighter pilots so they know what to expect if they are captured. Is that immoral? If it’s immoral in the first instance, isn’t it also in the second? If you say it is in both cases, what makes it immoral in both cases? What the waterboarding issue reveals is way the secular progressive left arbitrarily creates moral absolutes along with new human rights. Who gave them the right to pontificate about what everyone else should believe and think? john_a_designer
The e-YES have it: https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/design-inference/the-e-yes-joke-shows-the-power-of-manipulative-framing-in-rhetoric-media-and-persuasion/ kairosfocus
WJM @ 31,
This revolution is very difficult because the elitists own virtually all of the mainstream media, academia, pop culture and social media. If they cannot outright brainwash you into accepting their views, they destroy you or censor/blacklist you.
Maybe we should refer to the mainstream media as the “Ministry of Truth” (or Minitrue in Newspeak). It appears the only big thing that George Orwell got wrong was the year. With everything else he was very prescient. He was especially spot on in foreseeing the PC manipulation of language as a means of coercion and thought control. john_a_designer
Wikileaks shows that the Clinton campaign and the Democrat leadership did all they could with their friends in the media to promote DJTrump in the beginning because they felt he would be the easiest to beat in a general election. He had no ground game, no financial support, and no support from the Republican elite. He also had the habit of providing highly actionable soundbites. They thought he would provide adequate cover for her scandal issues. They also thought they had a kill shot for DJTrump in the Billy Bush recording. William J Murray
JAD, Thanks for the citation. Yes, Moonves clearly identifies the economic motive for propping up Trump. daveS
What happened this election, IMO, is the Orwell/Alinsky propaganda being perpetrated on the public by the elitists/globalists in both parties was exposed and became largely impotent as their arrogance and sense of invincibility pushed them into a desperate overreach. Anyone who publicly disagreed with the views held as correct by the propagandist media was viciously attacked and bullied into silence or retraction. This occurred with both the elite of both parties as even Bernie supporters were eventually mocked and condemned by the elites of their own party. Trump was constantly under attack by his own party. Never has the elitist/globalist cartel control been so public; they usually at least put on a show as if the top Democrats and Republicans are competing against each other; in this election, everyone at the top was trying to stop both Sanders and Trump. The media wouldn't even cover Sanders, even though he was winning and had enormous crowds everywhere he went. Although the media did cover Trump, virtually all coverage was explicitly, over-the-top negative. The globalists are using certain psychological tactics to push their agenda of a one world governing order. They push certain ideological concepts and use population groups (like Islamo-fascists, BLMs and SJWs) like chess pieces to achieve their goals, creating civil unrest and destabilizing nations. These groups are the ground force Sturmabteilung, attacking anything traditional in Western culture and out of line with the NWO agenda. Putin in Russia actually made the first move against this NWO; he called them out and vowed to destroy them. Britain delivered the next blow by getting out of the EU. The USA just joined the fight for the sovereignty of individual nations. Now there is a wave of popularity sweeping Europe towards anti-globalism and anti-elitism. This revolution is very difficult because the elitists own virtually all of the mainstream media, academia, pop culture and social media. If they cannot outright brainwash you into accepting their views, they destroy you or censor/blacklist you. Drudge, Breitbart, and InfoWars are the anti-globalist, anti-elitist home bases that serve people with conservative governance & economic values. They are the only reason any anti-mainstream information has become available to enough people to make a difference in significant elections. William J Murray
john-a; That is a lot of names to call the next President. Is it based on the MSM's portrayal? Buffoon? That is nonsense, he is the President elect and he isn't stupid. He may be narcissistic and bombastic, but he gave up an awful lot to run for President and when he walked out on the stage to claim victory he was teary eyed. He thanked most of his people. On the misogynist front, well I'll reserve judgement as it is mostly judged on a 10 year report. I have read his books and expect more than the twisted facts and too many times outright lies about him. Demagogue? Wow I am so tired of hearing that. We are getting rid of one demagogue and kept an even worse one out if the Secret Service agent's accounts about her are factual. I have no good reason to think otherwise. They have had long and honorable careers something that none of the Clintons have. Sadly the Clintons seem to have passed their corruption onto their daughter. Very sad for her. Hillary, if half the reports are true is having some serious medical problems and we should pray for her too, she is or was a practicing Methodist and hopefully she may remember the Gospel. Pray for her to find it again. May God bless and save them all. Not a Once Saved Always Saved Christian, but also not a you can lose your salvation if you do this or that kind either. I am Biblical. He who believes is saved, present ongoing tense and I believe you can cry out with your final breath for salvation, but you must keep the faith and as long as you want that you will, however weakly He'll keep you. Sadly you forfeit your Grace when you finally stop believing in Christ and never turn back. The Bible always has Grace for those who repent and turn to Christ. Remember that. jimmontg
DaveS @ 15,
The part I’m skeptical about is, in this election, the major media choosing to promote Trump during the primaries. Did CNN, the NYT, etc., do this?
It is very clear, for whatever the reason, the mainstream media (MSM) did intentionally prop up Trump. In the beginning it may have been for ratings. But Jonah Goldberg, who is a conservative pundit who opposed Trump both in the primaries and general election, thinks there were other motives at work.
Throughout the primaries, Trump’s conservative opponents complained bitterly that the mainstream media was normalizing Trump. No one listened, for three reasons. Trump was good for ratings (and got billions worth of free media as a result). CBS honcho Les Moonves said that Trump’s success “may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.” Second, the mainstream media and numerous liberal pundits loved Trump’s impact on the GOP for the same reason bored teenagers like to throw lit matches into dumpsters: Garbage fires are fun to watch. The third reason is closely related to the second: The media thought Trump was more likely lose to Hillary Clinton. (And so did the Clinton campaign itself, as we learned from WikiLeaks.)
Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442297/donald-trump-normalization-progressives-started It appears whatever the MSM’s original plans were, or evolved into, it all badly backfired. That narcissistic, demagogic, misogynistic buffoon, Donald Trump, is now the president elect. Will the U.S. media now learn and change its MO? Probably not. john_a_designer
"More likely, but perhaps not definitely." LOL AhmedKiaan
Jimmontg "Stephan Molyneux who made those Untruth videos is I believe an atheist philosopher, but he may have changed his mind because he did make a video titled How I Was Wrong About Atheism, but I never listened to it. His channel are on YouTube." I've been paying attention to Stefan Molyneux's videos recently. He's still an atheist, though he did have Christian Vox Day on recently. I think he summarizes the election quite well here with Bill Mitchell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GifFdoys8-Q&t=674s for those interested, here's his thoughts on globalism, with G Edward Griffin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOWrCKP46_w CannuckianYankee
DS, "Do you think Huckabee, Santorum, or Gingrich would have been more likely to win the general election than McCain or Romney?" More likely, but perhaps not definitely. I believe they would have won more votes from certain important factions within the Republican base: namely, Evangelicals, Catholics, and those who oppose abortion, but perhaps not those factions which Trump largely won, the anti-establishment, anti-globalists. Trump appealed to all of these factions, and that's why he won. Evangelicals largely avoided voting in 2012, because their preferred candidates were not chosen as the nominee. Evangelicals are largely key to winning the general. Romney failed to inspire them. CannuckianYankee
A cliche for the elitists, democrats and backstabbing Republicans. TRUMP "They threw him to the wolves and he came back leader of the pack." I like how they call him a racist from one statement taken out of context. Go back and read his whole speech. Maybe he was a misogynist, but I'm not judging him from a 10 year old video, he may have changed. Sexual predator? Really? Where were these accusations last year? He isn't WJ Clinton or Bill Cosby who have had rumors about their antics for decades. Not to mention there were witnesses who said that what some of those women who accused him never happened, but the corrupt lying media didn't talk to them or even let them be heard. That is what you get from elitism extremists. Steve Bannon a white supremacist? He is a Nationalist (an American for America and Western values) just like all those rioting members of La Raza are about Mexico except they by the way are racist or do you not know what La Raza means? The RACE. Really?!!? Is Trump who is trying to get his Kosher keeping Orthodox Jewish son-in-law into his administration going to name an anti-semite racist as his chief advisor? No he isn't as stupid as you all think over there on the Left Coast and Northeast. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Bannon is there because of Priebus who is an Elite of the GOP and Paul Ryan. Bannon will protect him from the Drain The Swamp people on his side of the aisle. I can't wait until they try to repeal Obamacare and trash Medicare at the same time. I want to see their faces when he vetoes it. He said he isn't messing with Medicare or Social Security and if he wants a majority in the Congress in 2018 he will keep his word. If not then there will be a 2010 uprising just like with Obama. He can compromise too, he'll have to to govern, but not too far I hope. If you want to know Trump read his book, The Art Of The Deal. I suggest that those who only listen to their own side go watch a video called The Untruths About Steve Bannon and the 2 part the Untruths about Donald J Trump. Also read Breitbart for yourself instead of what the MSM tells you they say. If I can tolerate Huff Post and Politico and many others you can tolerate another take on the truth, maybe one not so biased and corrupt. Stephan Molyneux who made those Untruth videos is I believe an atheist philosopher, but he may have changed his mind because he did make a video titled How I Was Wrong About Atheism, but I never listened to it. His channel are on YouTube. I believe Trump will remain rather quiet until he is sworn in. Then? I have a feeling he is going to do everything in his power to keep his promises. If you care about our country please pray for him and pray hard because he has enemies in his camp. I'll leave you with a quote from Jill Stein and how we just dodged a WWIII bullet. From Real Clear Politics on Oct. 12, 2016. Go read the whole thing. 'On the issue of war and nuclear weapons, it is actually Hillary's policies which are much scarier than Donald Trump who does not want to go to war with Russia.' jimmontg
DS, for media barrage, notice the clear pattern of R candidates fearing the media. October surprises go back to 1992 and 2000 from what I noticed.
And even farther back. The first time I can remember hearing the term was 1980/81. CY, Do you think Huckabee, Santorum, or Gingrich would have been more likely to win the general election than McCain or Romney? daveS
DS, for media barrage, notice the clear pattern of R candidates fearing the media. October surprises go back to 1992 and 2000 from what I noticed. Trump is the exception, perhaps due to his longstanding celebrity and independent wealth. KF PS: We are beginning to be far afield here. Adams . . . kairosfocus
Dave S. In 2008 Mike Huckabee won the Iowa Caucus, while two others, joined in duking it out in other primaries and caucuses. Those two were John McCain and Mitt Romney. McCain ultimately won the nomination. The real conservative choice though, was Huckabee, and the perception among conservatives was that the party elite were intent on nominating a "RINO" (Republican in Name Only) candidate in order to appease the progressive movement. It failed in 2008, and it failed in 2012 with Romney. In 2012, either Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich were preferred among conservatives in the party, but Romney was propped up by the party. This tendency to want to appease progressive sensibilities won out among the elite once again. And the elite were much more beholden to what the media thought about a candidate, than what the majority of voters at the time thought. Gingrich won the South Carolina and Georgia early primaries, but the fight in Florida was fierce, and Gingrich stumbled by suggesting that America ought to build colonies in space. The suggestion was viewed as pandering to the NASA constituency in North Florida, and Romney used it in negative campaigning during the primary, and ultimately beat out Gingrich (2nd place) and Santorum (3rd). Gingrich dropped out, and Santorum remained in the race. Ultimately, Romney ended up dominating, despite Santorum winning several more caucuses and primaries. Thus, in the 2016 primaries, Trump emerged, and he knew that the party would try to prop up yet another "RINO" in Jeb Bush; and so Bush was the first candidate Trump openly attacked as "low energy." It worked with Bush, and so Trump proceeded to attack and bully other Republican candidates; Carly Fiorina ("Look at that face"), Chris Christy, Ted Cruz ("Lyin Ted"), and several others. Interesting that Huckabee was hardly attacked at all by Trump, and Christy, Huckaby and Ben Carson went on to support Trump after dropping out of the race. It was Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney and John McCain, the 3 establishment candidates of all 3 campaigns (2008-2016), who helped establish the "Never Trump" movement. You can see how far they got, but ultimately, they were not successful, and eventually Romney himself ended up supporting Trump. Trump attacked McCain for one reason, and one reason only though, and we do well to understand this. It was because McCain was seen as a RINO candidate in 2008, and Trump's strategy was to win over those voters who viewed him as such, understanding that their numbers would count in this election. The same with Romney and Jeb Bush. So I can't point to any hard evidence to suggest that Democrats had attempted to interfere in the 2008 and 2012 campaigns. I can only point to these circumstances, which seem to suggest that the left-leaning media had everything to do with influencing the primaries, and ultimately leading to less conservative candidates than conservatives desired. They didn't count on a Trump being able to appeal to those desires in a big way. CannuckianYankee
KF, Well, which weak candidates were propped up in 2008, 2012, and/or 2016? Is there evidence for this? daveS
It is, where weak is in the sense vulnerable to a reserve hit or to an avalanche of media attacks after chosen as candidate. kairosfocus
CY & DS, been having a warm time with a Dell eraser head joystick that usual fixes will not fix. But quickly, Alinskyism and more widespread dirty tricks seem to have spread all over. The Trump October surprise knockout was obviously his groupie groping tape from 11 years ago. That was obviously held back in the primaries. That a Bush cousin is apparently part of this makes things even more murky. I think CY has spotlighted serious issues.
I took your #8 to suggest that major media outlets such as CNN and the NYT have intentionally propped up weak Republican candidates (or candidates they think they can "get" with an October surprise) to increase the chances of a Democratic victory. Maybe that's not what you meant though? daveS
CY & DS, been having a warm time with a Dell eraser head joystick that usual fixes will not fix. But quickly, Alinskyism and more widespread dirty tricks seem to have spread all over. The Trump October surprise knockout was obviously his groupie groping tape from 11 years ago. That was obviously held back in the primaries. That a Bush cousin is apparently part of this makes things even more murky. I think CY has spotlighted serious issues. Trump won against both HRC and his own [nominal?] Party's elites. Bottom line remains, it is a sobering sign the election in the leading state in our civilisation came to this. Back to OP, the sneering disrespect for ordinary patriotic folks and for democracy shown at Bloomberg is not a good sign, and I can point to a lot more, e.g. at Guardian. As for the new alt right, they seem to be all over the map and there is a definite racist element though not as pervasive as portrayed. We are in deep deep trouble. KF PS: Ran across this at Lew Rockwell, by one Doug Casey, claimed to summarise Soros at a meeting of some shadowy elite group that Buffet also presented to:
https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/11/doug-casey/real-wannabee-elite/ SOROS Much worse was George Soros. He spent his time not just passively endorsing (like Buffett), but actively promoting disastrous policies. In essence, these were his major points. 1) Brexit should be overturned, regardless of the vote. 2) The EU should spend at least $200 billion a year (in addition to what individual countries spend) both to make migrants welcome, and to install a Marshall Plan for Africa. 3) All of Europe should import migrants at least proportionally to the 1mm entering Germany. He recognized that the migrants represent an “existential crisis” for Europe, but believes the solution is to accommodate them. 4) The EU should actively arm against Russia. 5) The EU in Brussels should be granted the right to tax. As I listened to him I felt I’d been transported to Bizzarro World, or perhaps some magic land from Gulliver’s Travels, where everything is upside down, wrong is right, and black is white. Just as much of Soros’ presentation was on migration, so was much of the rest of the conference. It’s very much on the minds of the “elite”. His new Marshall Plan would consist of Europe and the US sending trillions to African governments to develop the Continent. Strange, really. Africa has received about a trillion of foreign aid over the last 50 years; that capital has either been wasted on uneconomic boondoggles, or shipped off to the bank accounts of the ruling class. Soros is far from naïve; he’s got to know this. I wonder what he actually hopes to accomplish, and why? After all, he’s 84 years old, and doesn’t need any more money. Well, it’s hard to be sure how some people’s minds are wired. And, as The Phantom once asked, “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” Incidentally—completely contrary to conventional wisdom—I consider the much lauded Marshall Plan to have been an unnecessary and destructive boondoggle. But this isn’t the moment to explain why that’s true. As I said above, the Summit was centered on migration. I’ve recently commented on the subject, and will reiterate a few points below before returning to the views of the Globalists and self-identified Elite.
I shrug and scratch my head. kairosfocus
Democracy is not an intrinsically good system of government. In truth it is only as good as its constituents. An ignorant and immoral citizenry will lead to a very bad form of democratic government. This is why the U. S. A.’s founding fathers were suspicious of direct democracy which is why we Americans ended up with a representive (small r) republican form of government, the separation of powers and the infamous Electoral College which gained renewed attention as a result of our recent presidential elections. John Adams warned, “I do not say that democracy has been more pernicious on the whole, and in the long run, than monarchy or aristocracy. Democracy has never been and never can be so durable as aristocracy or monarchy; but while it lasts, it is more bloody than either.” Democracy, he continued, “never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty.” We are a very fortunate here in the U.S. that our form of government has endured so long. Many experiments in “democracy” have not been so lucky. john_a_designer
Dave S., I think the media's preferred candidate wasn't Trump this time, it was Jeb Bush. They failed. They hadn't counted on Trump being successful. In fact, many in the MSM laughed at the prospect of a serious Trump candidacy. CannuckianYankee
CY, A quote from #8:
It is obvious that the major media---in effect one party with printer’s ink stained fingers---and their backers have for several election cycles worked towards having a preferred Republican opponent in the primaries then held some sort of attack strategy meant to break him in the main election.
The part I'm skeptical about is, in this election, the major media choosing to promote Trump during the primaries. Did CNN, the NYT, etc., do this? daveS
Dave S. "But is this theory more or less obviously true than the theory proposed in #8? I don’t know." Well, I think you should know, because given evidence from the Project Veritas videos and the DNC and Podesta emails leaked by Wikileaks, the conspiracy that KF mentions at 8 is precisely what was going on. The Democrats have conspired to throw elections by any and all means possible; and all indicators are that this has been going on for quite a long time. The main tactic is to collude with certain media organizations: CNN in particular, but probably not limited to them. And in the Project Veritas expose, they intentionally tried to make Trump's rallies seem violent and out of control, by planting paid agitators outside the rallies to feign injury, or even to physically attack Trump supporters. Brandon Darby, a former leftist, reported a certain attempt by leftists to throw molotov coctails into a crowd at the 2008 Republican convention. Darby now works for Breitbart Texas. It was Democrats who attempted to demonize Darby, and the media; particularly, PBS, colluded with them in an attack on his character. Project Veritas has also exposed Democratic operatives' attempts to commit voter fraud by bussing voters into certain districts in order to increase Democratic victories. Of course, the media again has attempted to demonize Project Veritas, even though their videos have resulted in the resignations and firings of several conspirators. So this sort of tactic has been going on for quite some time, and it isn't limited to the Clinton campaign. The driving force behind these tactics, of course are exactly what KF has been saying over several years; the Alinsky-induced rules for radicals driven by greed for power and an elicit presumption that "might makes right," and that the ends justify the means. So no, the theory is not more or less obviously true. It is obviously false. Trump was attacked in similar ways that McCain and Romney were attacked. Nothing's changed, except that Trump prevailed over the attacks, because eventually the electorate saw what was happening behind the scenes, thanks to organizations like Wikileaks and Project Veritas. CannuckianYankee
KF, "This is the exact fault I first found with the Bloomberg report and such an approach of undue polarisation speaks inadvertent volumes to a subtext of contempt, hostility and demonisation of the other in a democratic polity that are all too telling given Saul Alinsky’s teachings and those of the wider Cultural Marxists." I saw a certain dynamic of polarization in many comments in the "disqus" app on Breitbart and other online forums during the primary period. Republicans were attacking one another over certain issues. Even some conservative publications were dividing on populist lines. Several prominent columnists were driven from Breitbart as the result of Trump's emergence, largely due to opposing Trump; and Breitbart became the central publication for all things Trump. Cruz was fiercely attacked at Breitbart following Trump's emergence. It started with anti-globalism, I believe; which is why Ted Cruz was pushed aside and demonized. Those who supported Cruz (I was one of them), could not make a case against the very prevalent anti-globalism; even when there were other issues that seemed more pressing. If Trump had not been in the race, Cruz would have won. But I doubt very strongly that he would have won the general election. What would have happened is that Bernie Sanders would have emerged among the Democrats, and probably would have won the general, since globalism was the central demonized issue, and Bernie, not Clinton, was the anti-globalist champion, without Trump in the picture. Incidentally, many Bernie supporters ended up voting for Trump. So the GOP has now largely changed from a globalist party, to an unknown, driven by fear of the inevitable Trump victory; not only in the election, but in policy as is already seen by world and corporate leaders scrambling to align themselves with the change. Ford is no longer moving its plant in Kentucky to Mexico. Canada and Mexico have agreed to work with Trump to reform NAFTA; Russia is welcoming new cooperation with the US. The one big issue that caused so many Evangelicals to support Trump (more so than with Romney in 2012), I believe, was his promise to appoint pro-life judges to the bench, and to appoint a Scalia-esque justice to the Supreme Court. But there was no signal prior to the campaign cycle that indicated Trump even cared about pro-life issues. It simply emerged as a result of Trump's desire to appeal to many differing factions within the party. And I think "populism" emerged as Trump supporters began to realize that he wasn't exactly a conservative. I'm not certain of all the factors that led to this emergence, but it is clear to me that Trump tried to pass himself off as a conservative to begin with, and when that failed, and the contradictions were exposed, he grasped onto the populist sentiments, which were already prevalent among certain factions within the party. Trump was elected as the lesser of two evils; as the anti-Clinton, who had her own skeletons in the closet. Many conservatives are now saying that World War III was diverted by electing Trump; since Clinton had been speaking about standing up to the Russians in terms that seemed overly aggressive; which was also seen as a change in her position, when she had told Putin years prior, that there was a certain "reset button." The email scandal and the scandal surrounding the Clinton Foundation: two issues that I believe are interrelated; emerged together towards the end of the campaign cycle. Pundits theorized that Clinton used a private email server to hide communications surrounding the foundation; antics exposed in Breitbart author Peter Schweizer's polemic expose on the Foundation; "Clinton Cash." The perception was that the 33,000 missing emails were specifically those Foundation related communications. That remains to be seen of course, but it is a good explanation of motive. Thus, Hillary, who seemed to have the momentum going into the last week of the election, lost support due to the FBI announcement that it would continue a criminal probe of her emails, after having investigated Anthony Wiener, the husband of Clinton's assistant, Huma Abedin, on an unrelated issue involving his texting naked pictures of himself to an underage girl. The FBI then stating 2-3 days prior to the election that it had found nothing significant in emails discovered on Anthony Weiner's laptop; was not enough to swing the electorate in her favor. The damage had been done; and in my view, rightly so. I'm not certain what to make of the election of Donald Trump. I was elated that Clinton was out, and that the Clintons' dominance in American politics had ended. The Trump presidency may prove to be a great period in American prosperity and world influence. We don't know. Indicators are all we have; and right now, some indicators show that positive change is on the horizon, despite the personality flaws of the change agent. CannuckianYankee
CannuckianYankee, Let me clarify that I don't hold to the theory that Trump was trying to lose the election. I did notice quite a bit of internet chatter about it, however, and google indicates that several major "journalism" outfits also picked up on the idea. But is this theory more or less obviously true than the theory proposed in #8? I don't know. Here are the Republican candidates for president in 2008 and 2012. It seems to me that in both cases, the eventual nominee was a very logical choice and didn't need assistance from the major media. As for Trump in the most recent election, did the major media try to assist him in getting the nomination? It didn't look that way to me. daveS
Clinton was an appalling choice for Democrats and Trump successfully appealed to people's fears, vanities, and predjudices. When you have young liberal twits yelling 'white privallige', and Virginian coalminers out of work and struggling, they rightly say, 'to hell with you!' These white coal miners have white daughters and wives, and sweet hearts who love their men, feel their pain, and loath Clinton; Hell, I'd vote for Trump if I had these university nut jobs telling me my thinking is wrong too. I do however know that Trump is an embarassment as a human being, he is a mysogynist, he is a rascist, he doesn't care about the working class, he doesn't care about anything but brand Trump. The Affordable Care Act, might be under threat, but the amount of legislation and money required to undo that behemoth is probably beyond Trump's, or Congress's power now. The Supreme Court will be interesting; good luck America. rvb8
Dave S, You think post election Trump was surprised at the results? Not according to Steve Bannon, who predicted he would win the rust belt states he won; Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, in particular. Michael Moore, who lives in Michigan, and knows his neighbors well, also predicted that Trump would win big in the rust-belt; which was the key to his victory. The "Daybreak" poll published by the LA Times correctly predicted he would win, but not until a week prior to the election. What threw the other polls off was the difference between the popular vote and the electoral college. Hillary won the popular vote; thus, those polls were all relatively correct. But they measured the wrong element, and I think Bannon knew that. Remember, US presidents are never elected by popular vote. I don't think Trump wanted Hillary to win. I watched many of his huge rallies, where upwards of 15,000 supporters showed up after waiting in the cold for hours, and Trump calling it "not a campaign, but a movement." He also made a 13 state marathon on the last two days of the campaign, after Bannon himself realized that those very same rust-belt states were now in play. Those are not the actions of one who does not intend to win, and win big, and he did just that. Maybe pollsters need to measure the potential electoral college results more carefully in future presidential elections; especially when the numbers are so close. So basing your whole argument on a moment captured in a photograph seems a little silly. Trump surrounded himself with highly intelligent operatives, who intended him to win, and he did. CannuckianYankee
It is obvious that the major media — in effect one party with printer’s ink stained fingers — and their backers have for several election cycles worked towards having a preferred Republican opponent in the primaries then held some sort of attack strategy meant to break him in the main election.
Hmm. It was also "obvious" to some that Trump's plan was to win the Republican nomination so that he could throw the election, thus handing the White House back to Clinton, Inc. This is the moment it finally sunk in that his plan backfired. daveS
J-Mac, Again, I insist (speaking as one interested in the good of our civilisation, which depends on the US doing well and doing right), the pivotal issue is that your nation has been reduced to the sort of choice faced on Nov 8th. It is obvious that the major media -- in effect one party with printer's ink stained fingers -- and their backers have for several election cycles worked towards having a preferred Republican opponent in the primaries then held some sort of attack strategy meant to break him in the main election. This time, it did not work as the Rust Belt workers shifted the dynamic, despite the elites of his own party in the main turning on him. As a matter of personal view based on evidence readily in hand, the two candidates chosen were deeply flawed, and the choice thus was lesser of dangerously flawed widely disliked candidates. In effect the Rust Belt workers have bet your nation and our civilisation on an untried person who has never held an executive political office with accountability over policy and results. For the sake of our civilisation, I hope they will prove justified. KF kairosfocus
kairosfocus, Do you really believe that had Clinton won, things would look much more promising for the 46.5 million Americans on social assistance? How about the financial sector that erased 19.2 trillion from the american economy? Would Clinton prosecute the guilty ones and prevent the financial crisis from happening? You are not naive enough to believe that US=democracy do you? J-Mac
Are “democracy” (relabelled “populism”) and “patriotism” (ditto, “nationalism”) now to be regarded as dirty words?
It is eerily enlightening to read what happened when the "populists" (anti-elites) worked together with the "Republicans" (i.e. blacks) in North Carolina in the 1890's From WikiPedia entry on "People's Party"
Fusion in North Carolina[edit] The effects of fusion with the Democrats were disastrous to the Party in the South. The Populist/Republican alliance which had governed North Carolina, the only state in which it had any success, fell apart. By 1898, the Democrats used a violently racist campaign to defeat the North Carolina Populists and GOP, and in 1900 the Democrats ushered in disfranchisement.[13] In 1894-96 the Populist wave of agrarian unrest swept through the cotton and tobacco regions of the South. The most dramatic impact came in North Carolina, where the poor white farmers who comprised the Populist party formed a working coalition with the Republican Party, then largely controlled by blacks in the low country, and poor whites in the mountain districts. They took control of the state legislature in both 1894 and 1896, and the governorship in 1896. Restrictive rules on voting were repealed. In 1895 the Legislature rewarded its black allies with patronage, naming 300 black magistrates in eastern districts, as well as deputy sheriffs and city policemen. They also received some federal patronage from the coalition congressman, and state patronage from the governor.[14] After a Democratic-party orchestrated propaganda campaign in newspapers across the state, the Fusionist revolt in North Carolina collapsed in 1898, and white Democrats returned to power. The white supremacy election campaign of 1898 was brutally successful, and the gains of the populist-Republican coalition were reversed. Practically all blacks lost their vote. The gravity of the crisis was underscored by a major race riot in Wilmington, in 1898, two days after the election. Knowing they had just retaken control of the state legislature, the Democrats were confident they could not be overcome. They attacked and overcame the Fusionists; mobs roamed the black neighborhoods, shooting, killing, burning buildings, and making a special target of the black newspaper.[15] There were no further insurgencies in any Southern states involving a successful black coalition at the state level.
Seversky, I had to deal with live Marxists in my youth, including seeing what happened in Grenada, so I first say: dictatorship of the proletariat, and cite a number, north of 100 million murdered by such regimes in the past 100 or so years. In short, the excuse of an imaginary idealisation of the left is dead and utterly discredited by the murderous track record. Second, think about the most critical issue in the US election cycle, being reduced to a choice of that sort (and I will not be drawn into pretending that either was a positive alternative . . . I find the narrow focus on the real, imagined or projected but unwarranted faults of one or the other most telling in itself . . . ), which speaks volumes on where your institutions have gone as a whole, with implications for the civilisation as a whole. Third, I must further suggest to you that with the unwarranted invidious and subtly accusatory comparison to the Nazis and Fascists, you have overstepped bounds of reasonable discussion. This is the exact fault I first found with the Bloomberg report and such an approach of undue polarisation speaks inadvertent volumes to a subtext of contempt, hostility and demonisation of the other in a democratic polity that are all too telling given Saul Alinsky's teachings and those of the wider Cultural Marxists. KF PS: it probably is worth pointing out that the National Socialist German Labour Party and Italy's Fascist Party were only "right" relative to Stalinism, and as the name of the nazis indicates, these were clearly statist, socialistic, politically messianistic ideologies of the left. In an era where even conservative opponents commonly felt the ultimate ideological victory of socialism was an inevitable outcome of history. kairosfocus
It's also an inward-looking nationalism versus an outward-looking cosmopolitanism seen as globalization. Yes, socialism and communism can be perverted into authoritarian regimes, although that was not their original purpose. But free market capitalism is what allows the few that know how to work the system to accumulate obscene amounts of wealth at the expense of the rest of us. The sad thing is that, in the US, all the people who have lost out to globalization, turned to exactly the kind of person who is causing it. Trump is a billionaire (allegedly) who has never known a day of poverty or hardship in his life. He deals on a global basis, imports cheap goods and labor from abroad and then complains about others who do the same. He makes grandiose promises that he has no idea how to keep and probably no intention of keeping if he can get away with it. He's all about making money and feeding his own ego. He couldn't give a s**t about the ordinary working folk as long as they buy the bill of goods he's selling. He's almost a secular version of the prosperity gospelers. Like with Brexit, he won because nobody thought he was going to and the opposition screwed up by badly misunderstanding what really worried the electorate. They were left with a choice between what was perceived as a corrupt, elitist establishment that didn't care and a demagogue who sold himself as an outsider who would "drain the swamp". Just as Italy went for Mussolini and Germany went for Hitler in the thirties, the US went for Trump. Now watch out for the hard-right racist thugs Trump is appointing to start using the FBI and Homeland Security as their version of the Gestapo. The FBI has an unsavory history of using its muscle for political purposes and I'm sure there are enough right-wingers in those organizations who would be more than happy to do their bidding Seversky
kairosfocus, they have a hard time accepting that fellow humans are their equals, not just animals to be farmed or engineered. We tld them but they idn't isten. Eventually, Darwinian naturalism will give them even bigger indigestion. News
How did we end up in this "dangerous time"? Using Government to Serve the Interests of the Few This will be enlightening. It is from Forbes magazine: The 85 Richest People In The World Have As Much Wealth As The 3.5 Billion Poorest What we have is multinational corporations run by global elites who have turned many of the world's governments into subsidiaries of their corporations. Those governments do not serve the common good of their citizens. Instead they use the coercive power of government and its authority to serve the interests of their "owners." Don't misunderstand: Socialism and communism are idiotic and evil. But truly competitive free enterprise cannot exist when the regulations favor the big international companies and tend to crush their smaller competitors. Get it? This is a complaint about worst case crony capitalism, not an advocacy of socialism. Godless Social Engineering These self-appointed masters of the Universe tend to be atheists. They see the rest of us as their human herd which they must manage according to their atheistic beliefs. They see humanity as merely another collection of atoms, albeit a rather peculiar one, with no purpose and no meaning. So if in managing their herd they decide they must control its population, they happily promote "legal" abortion and kill literally billions across the globe. Morally, this is of no particular consequence to them. Morality doesn't really exist under atheism. These godless social engineers have decided to remake human nature in their own perverted image and likeness. So they successfully push for the pretended legitimization of things like same-sex marriage. Guys who announce they feel like a girl today can follow your wives, sisters and daughters into public bathrooms. According to these godless social engineers gender is all in your mind and has no real meaning. So, what do we do? Well, unless you are content with being a member of their herd, you should become a part of the populist movement. Populism is just another way of saying government of, by and for the people, the primary purpose of which is to protect the inalienable rights of ALL humanity to life and liberty. harry
Are "democracy" (relabelled "populism") and "patriotism" (ditto, "nationalism") now to be regarded as dirty words? To the point, where an American crowd standing for their Anthem are to be regarded with patent suspicion and contempt? (Do not overlook the artfully posed shot that exaggerates a cup of soda pop and one of popcorn.) kairosfocus

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