So Bannon the Cannon has been… fired.
All this time you were thinking you were voting against Zuckerberg’s vision…
… you were actually voting for Kushner’s.
So Bannon the Cannon has been… fired.
All this time you were thinking you were voting against Zuckerberg’s vision…
… you were actually voting for Kushner’s.
Results of the new PEW poll on international relations.
ROG-ZOG alliance on Trump.
Russia is also the major country where approval of the US went up since Trump’s election.
These figures are however a bit outdated (they were gathered this spring).
Levada, which keeps track of Russian opinion of foreign countries, showed US approval falling from 37% in March 2017 back to 24% in May 2017 – not far from the nadir under Obama – in what must have been a response to the US strikes on Syria.
Young people are universally more supportive of American customs coming to their countries.
I can state that the figures for Russia are definitely correct.
Australians and Israelis have the only rightists who support Trump.
By “far right” party opinion:
Pretty much everyone opposes Trump’s wall, though it is perhaps hard to see how it is anybody’s except Mexico’s business.
More Indians and Africans (!) want Trump to create Tropical Hyperborea than Russians. How sad.
Here is how Trump stacks up against Merkel, Xi Jinping, and Putin.
So it’s been a few days since the Syria Strikes, everyone and his dog have thrown in their two cents, and there has been a set of confusing and contradictory reactions from US officials and pretty much everyone else involved in this saga.
The more the contradictions pile on, the less clear the picture becomes.
Is it a “zrada”/betrayal? Is it 666D chess/clever plan? Or is everyone involved just a bunch of opportunists and/or bumbling morons?
And what is this all going to lead to?
On April 4, a toxic gas engulfed the town of Khan Shaykhun, which is occupied by Tahrir al-Sham, an Al-Nusra offshoot (which in turn stems from Al Qaeda). There are many reasons to doubt that Assad was responsible, as I argued from the outset. Since then, the reasons for skepticism have only increased in number. For instance, see this Duran summary of a 14 page report by MIT Professor Theodore Postol on the Syria chemical attacks (full document also attached).
In response, without any sort of investigation, UN mandate, or even Congressional approval, Trump ordered a 59 Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Airbase, though not before warning Russia. This happened while having a chocolate cake dessert with Xi Jinping.
Opinions vary on the success of the missile strikes. At first, there were claims that 23 of the 59 missiles hadn’t even hit anything, which led to theories that either the failure had been intentional on Trump’s part, or that they have been partially intercepted by Syrian air defences. (Technical failure was very unlikely, since even in the early 1990′s Tomahawks had a failure rate of 5%, whereas here it was allegedly closer to 40%). I do not buy the first theory that it was an intentional failure. I can hardly even see how you could communicate an order like that to the military, expect it to be carried out, and not have it be leaked.
Incoming Tomahawks fly close to the ground, making them mostly invisible to ground based radar, and to my knowledge Russia does not have a continuous AWACS presence over the Syrian skies which conventional air defense systems need to take the Tomahawks out. As such, if the claims are true, I believe the likeliest explanation is the presence of a Russian EW weapon within the vicinity of Shayrat Airbase. This would be consistent with the fact that even the missiles that did get through failed to do damage; i.e., their flight path had still been affected to some extent, making them deviate from their planned course and as a result less effective.
On the other hand, more recent analyses from the past few days by ISI and War is Boring (h/t Reiner Tor) indicate a 58/59 success rate, with flights from Shayrat being sharply curtailed in the aftermath.
US Domestic: Defense Secretary James Mattis has raised the possibility of establishing a NFZ in Syria, and WH spokesman Sean Spicer bracketed Russia in with the Axis of Evil (2017 edition) – Syria, Iran, and the DPRK – which opposed its actions in Syria. Steve Bannon and the “nationalist” wing of Trump’s administration opposed the strike on Syria, but he has been gradually losing influence to Jared Kushner and the “neocon” wing. For instance, Katie McFarland, a Michael Flynn protege, was fired from the NSC just a few days ago and demoted to being the Ambassador to Singapore. There has even been talk of a 150,000 troop US ground intervention in Syria pushed by new NSC head Herbert McMaster and David Petraeus, though this extreme variant was apparently opposed by both Bannon and Kushner, and has already been shot down by Trump.
US International: The US and UK led the vanguard in condemning Assad’s gassing of his own people and in affirming Russian culpability in it. Nikki Haley has been busy waving photos of gassed children in the UN. Rex Tillerson and British FM were pushing for new sanctions against Syria and Russia at a meeting of the G7 before the latter’s flight to Moscow. At the G7 meeting, there was talk that Tillerson would present a carrot and stick ultimatum to Moscow: Drop support for Assad, and get reinvited back into the G8; or face newer sanctions (as it was, they failed to get European and Japanese support for the latter). The summit between Rex Tillerson and Russian FM Sergey Lavrov has just ended on an ambiguous note. Tillerson is ambivalent on Ukranie, even going so far as to describe the Russia’s incorporation of Crimea as “certain moves by Russia”, which segues with his skepticism at the G7 meeting where he asked his European counterparts why American taxpayers should care about Ukraine. On the other hand, he continued to insist that Assad should step down, and that Russia should pressure him to do that.
Russia: Russia has opposed the strikes, with Putin saying that the US-Russian relationship has deteriorated – no mean achievement, considering where it was at under Obama. More to the point, Russia shut down the military communication channel in Syria with the US, which has already resulted in a reduction in US military overflights above Syria. Just recently, Russia blocked a Western-sponsored resolution on Syria in the UN Security Council; Bolivia voted with Russia, while China and two other countries abstained because of its reference to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which had previously been used by the West to carry through regime change in Libya in 2011 despite having reassured Russia it would do no such thing.
China: Chinese state media started attacking the strikes as soon as Xi Jinping returned from the US. However, in tandem with the US rerouting the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group towards North Korea, it has expressed a willingness to also strike against the DPRK if it crossed China’s “bottom line”, and has moved 150,000 troops to its border with the hermit kingdom [fake news]. In his turn, Trump has also adopted a more positive line on China, retreating from his prior threats to label it a currency manipulator and praising Xi Jinping for what at least what Trump saw as his cooperative spirit.
So you have a bewildering range of factors to consider when trying to fit all these events into any sort of internationally consistent framework:
(1) A domestic power struggle in the US between Bannonite nativists and Kushnerite globalists, which the latter faction is winning. Indeed, there is good evidence to believe that it is not long before Bannon is dismissed entirely, with Trump now claiming that he wasn’t that critical to his victory in the 2016 elections anyway.
(3) What at a minimum appears to be a serious disagreement between the US and Russia on Syria, with the former insisting that Assad has to go, and mooting the possibility of no fly zones – a prospect that many thought had fallen by the wayside with Hillary Clinton’s defeat.
(4) A surprisingly more accomodating US position on Ukraine – more so than that of the Europeans – though Tillerson has taken care to explicitly rule out any quid pro quo deals with Russia that tie Ukraine to Syria.
(5) Though Chinese state media have reacted negatively to the US strike on Syria, they have been – at least rhetorically – a lot more cooperative on another brewing flashpoint, that of North Korea (see above). The Chinese have no great love for Kim Jong Un, who is rumored to be a Sinophobe and who had his uncle executed for trying to create a pro-Chinese political/economic faction within the DPRK.
On the other hand, the DPRK is a vital security concern for China – not so much perhaps the oft stated issue of the refugee flood should the regime fall (population of North Korea: 25 million; population of just the two regions adjoining it: 70 million), but because it could do without American military bases peppering the Korean peninsula all the way up to its border. More to the point, China has a mutual defense treaty with the DPRK from 1961 that it has continued to renew, despite festering disagreements between the two countries. Could China be… too accomodating of Trump? Is the US walking into some kind of trap?
So, so many things to consider.
It seems to me that the Trump administrations actions in recent days fall into three major narrative bins:
Let’s consider the evidence for and against each of these in turn:
Trump has subscribed to the neocon agenda, on account of deep state blackmail, political convenience, or perhaps because he never had a strong commitment to “America First” anyway.
One Breitbart-endorsed version of this was that Trump was driven to fling his Tomahawks on account of Ivanka’s tears on account of the poor Syrian babies and children. While this might have been a factor – after all, Trump is known to be very close to his daughter – the idea that important decisions are made in such soap opera fashion still beggar belief, even adjusting for the continuing Latinization of American politics.
Perhaps closer to the truth is the observation in a recent WaPo article that Bannonism isn’t any good for the Trump brand, quoting one Republican operative as saying, “The fundamental assessment is that if they want to win the White House in 2020, they’re not going to do it the way they did in 2016, because the family brand would not sustain the collateral damage… It would be so protectionist, nationalist and backward-looking that they’d only be able to build in Oklahoma City or the Ozarks.” If you elect a merchant, I suppose you will get a merchant.
Another major consideration is the changes in cadres, which indicate a gradual purge of Bannonists from the government (Lewandowski, Manafort, Flynn, McFarland – with Gorka and Bannon himself now coming under the crosshairs), in favor of various neocons, Goldman Sachs globalists, and members of the Kushner clan.
Alongside the rehabilitation of the neocons, it has also been acquiring a much more explicitly Zionist administration. It is worth bearing in mind that Kushner himself is a Zionist, and that Trump has always been very forthright about his support for Israel – much more so than Obama. The Israelis have been returning the favor – Trump was always very popular in Israel, and Israeli politicians have expressed strong support for the Syria strikes. This is not surprising, since Israelis see a united Syria as a greater threat to them to a Balkanized Syria swarming with Islamists and ethnic militias.
Perhaps there were always plans to move ahead with removing Assad as soon as a convenient opportunity popped up, or maybe the percentage of neocons and Zionists reached a critical mass that tilted things in this direction. I don’t suppose it matters all that much.
Another version of this narrative is that the deep state has finally acquired some nuclear level “kompromat” on Trump, which it is using to blackmail him – for instance, one commenter here has suggested pedophilia, or an expensive drug habit. Or maybe there really is damning evidence of collusion with the Russian Occupation Government. Alternatively, maybe his family is being credibly threatened in some way. I suppose this is all possible, but I don’t think it’s all too likely, considering the diversity of other, more natural explanations.
As early as a week ago, the Trump administration was open to Assad staying on as President of Syria. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat on good terms with Trump, paid a visit to Syria several weeks ago where she called on the US to stop arming terrorists, and just a week ago Rex Tillerson was saying that the “longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people.” Nikki Haley went even further, noting that “our priority is no longer to sit and focus on getting Assad out.” The sheer suddenness of this 180 turn might hint at its artificiality (666D Chess Theory).
It’s worth noting that even as of today the administration still hasn’t gone full neocon. James Mattis has recently affirmed that the defeat of Islamic State remains the first priority, and Trump clarified that the US will not be entering the Syrian Civil War. Note that Thomas L. Friedman, the globalist par excellence, is currently arguing for the US to let the Islamic State be to fight against the Syrian government on the pages of the New York Times. Anti-imperialists might bewail the neocon hijacking of the White House, but frankly, there’s still some ways to go before it plummets to the level of NYT-reading “educated mainstream.” It’s pretty depressing to think about, but in the postmodernist exhibition that is current American politics, where Antifa assaults Alt Right anti-war protests, a move to the “moderate center” implicitly involves adopting the language of interventionism.
All of which suggests a second possibility…
Trump is playing 666D interuniversal Teichmuller chess (or “clever plan”/chess combination, as we say in Russian) to win over his skeptics with a “short victorious war” and return to MAGA;
Let’s make one thing clear. Even if it turns out we were all ultimately cucked, there were many very good reasons why we were fans of the God-Emperor for so long. One of them was his consistency. Trump was advocating protectionism back in 1988. He condemned the bombing of Serbia back in 1999. Infamously now, he was a vociferous critic of intervention in Syria in 2013.
So it is wrong to say his opposition to invade/invite the world owes itself to “President Bannon.” He was America First for decades.
Moreover, Trump’s overtly Russophile sympathies during the campaign were completely unbecoming of a US politician, and while the gesture was appreciated by some, this stance almost certainly hindered him more than helped him. He was factually correct on Putin being popular and there being no evidence of him killing journalists, and he was right that the people of Crimea supported reunification with Russia (though since becoming President, he has demanded Russia return Crimea to Ukraine). He had no apparent reasons to do this from an electoral perspective, and yet he did it anyway.
Furthermore, the US military did warn the Russians they were about to strike Shayrat, though this shouldn’t be weighed too heavily as any Russian military casualties would have risked an outright escalation, which pretty much everyone but the very craziest neocons wants to avoid.
According to the 666D Chess theory, Trump struck Syria to win some support from the MSM and the Establishment at a time of sinking approval ratings, failures in healthcare and immigration policy, and the slow-burning scandal over his purported ties to Russia.
A good example is Mike Cernovich’s take:
Moreover, this would not be the first time Trump has… trumped his critics.
He mentioned he’d ban the burning of the American flag – the media rushed to show Leftists burning the American flag. He promoted the observation that many hate crimes were hoaxes – soon after, it emerged that the author of the threats against Jewish centers was a Black social justice writer for The Intercept who had been fired for making up sources. He claimed you wouldn’t believe what had happened in Sweden yesterday – we couldn’t believe what happened to Sweden tomorrow.
Perhaps what we are seeing this past week is just his most formidable “chess combination” yet, which will end in the most epic pwning of the media, the neocons, the bugmen in the moden history of the United States and the final draining of the Swamp in Washington D.C.
I suppose hope dies last.
The first is the sheer scale of the changes in cadres (see Theory #1), and the broad range of campaign promises that Trump is going back on. For instance, just these past couple of days, he has reversed his positions on labeling China as a currency manipular (perhaps in exchange for its consent to a “short victorious war” missile salvo against the norks?), on Yellen’s future, on the Export-Import Bank, and on NATO, which he has suddenly decided is not “obsolete” after all.
Moreover, its worth noting that for the most part only two major groups of people still take this theory seriously:
(1) ROG conspiracy theoricists, such as Louise Mensch, in the style of “Putin’s puppet bombed Putin’s ally to deny that he is Putin’s puppet on Putin’s orders”:
(2) Trump cultists, such as Bill Mitchell:
The problem with the Louise Mensches is: At which point does this sort of argumentation invalidate itself? What can Trump do to conclusively demonstrate he is not Putin’s puppet? Firebombing Khmeimim Airbase? Dropping a nuke on Moscow? Not that she will be against any of that, mind… but presumably many of the Americans who would subsequently have to live in the Fallout universe might beg to differ.
The second group are basically unironic Trump cultists, like what /r/The_Donald has now become.
When the only people to believe in a hypothesis are Trump Nashists and Trump Derangement Syndrome sufferers, I will probably bet against the theory.
Moreover, as a Russian, I have good reason to be especially skeptical about “666D Chess” because we have had our version of it for the past three years, namely, Putin’s clever plan/mnogokhodovka (lit. “chess combination), a term used by state propagandists to explain and rationalize Kremlin decisions of dubious wisdom, such as the Minsk agreements with Ukraine and the intervention in Syria. At one point they were seriously arguing that Syria could be used as a lever to end Western sanctions, whereas if anything it resulted in pressure for more sanctions.
In real life, clever plans/mnogokhodovkas/666D chess in geopolitics simply never exists, at least in the ever more incredible and complex forms that would be needed to explain this past week.
That is because, in practice, a lot of politicians are not the wily grandmasters of their supporters’ imagination. They are just retards.
Which brings us to Theory #3:
Trump is an inexperienced politician, or just a moron, and is making impulsive decisions on the fly.
The major piece of evidence in favor of this particular interpretation is that the Syria strikes were worse than a crime – they were a blunder.
Let’s compile a balance sheet.
As we can see, there are several times more negatives than positives to this decision. It was disastrous by any objecture measure
But for this very reason there is reason to believe that it was something born out of stupidy instead of mendacity (Theory #1) or questionable genius (Theory #2).
I have long been skeptical about liberal arguments as to Trump’s lack of intelligence. They seemed to be all to reminscent of liberals’ Dubya obsessions in the 2000s; though I was never a fan of G.W. Bush – my first “political” experience in life was marching against the Iraq War – the psychometric evidence seemed pretty clear that it wasn’t that he wasn’t so much stupid as a bad public speaker. So I pattern matched this experience to Trump.
It also didn’t tally with Trump’s achievement in increasing his wealth by two orders of magnitude, which – contrary to media tropes – he could not have done by simply “investing in the stockmarket” or some nonsense like that. Though Trump did have a head start thanks to daddy’s money, multiplying the fortune one hundred times over does usually require brains.
However, I will now admit that I might have… “misoverestimated” Trump.
Maybe he has started to suffer from dementia, or something, but just read his latest interview, where he was describing how he informed Xi Jinping of his attack on Syria while eating “the most beautiful” piece of chocolate cake. So cringeworthy:
TRUMP: But I will tell you, only because you’ve treated me so good for so long, I have to (INAUDIBLE) right?
I was sitting at the table. We had finished dinner. We’re now having dessert. And we had the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake that you’ve ever seen and President Xi was enjoying it.
And I was given the message from the generals that the ships are locked and loaded, what do you do?
And we made a determination to do it, so the missiles were on the way. And I said, Mr. President, let me explain something to you. This was during dessert.
We’ve just fired 59 missiles, all of which hit, by the way, unbelievable, from, you know, hundreds of miles away, all of which hit, amazing.
TRUMP: It’s so incredible. It’s brilliant. It’s genius. Our technology, our equipment, is better than anybody by a factor of five. I mean look, we have, in terms of technology, nobody can even come close to competing.
Now we’re going to start getting it, because, you know, the military has been cut back and depleted so badly by the past administration and by the war in Iraq, which was another disaster.
So what happens is I said we’ve just launched 59 missiles heading to Iraq and I wanted you to know this. And he was eating his cake. And he was silent.
BARTIROMO: (INAUDIBLE) to Syria?
TRUMP: Yes. Heading toward Syria. In other words, we’ve just launched 59 missiles heading toward Syria. And I want you to know that, because I didn’t want him to go home. We were almost finished. It was a full day in Palm Beach. We’re almost finished and I — what does he do, finish his dessert and go home and then they say, you know, the guy you just had dinner with just attacked a country?
BARTIROMO: How did he react?
TRUMP: So he paused for 10 seconds and then he asked the interpreter to please say it again. I didn’t think that was a good sign.
And he said to me, anybody that uses gases — you could almost say or anything else — but anybody that was so brutal and uses gases to do that young children and babies, it’s OK.
I don’t know, I just don’t know.
Maybe the guy’s a retard after all, and the more intelligent Trump supporters were just too proficient at coming up with “clever plans” to explain and rationalize his statements to notice the awning cognitive black hole in front of them.
I do realize this reflects very badly on them, and for that matter on me, but this interpretation is less pessimistic than Theory #1 and more credible than Theory #2.
There have been persistent comments throughout the past year to the effect that Trump is just the average of the last six people he has spoken to, and that as his crowd of nativist nationalists has been replaced with neocon bugmen these past few months, so he has started adopting many of the latter’s beliefs and talking points.
Maybe, as Audacious Epigone suggests, Trump should just spend more time retweeting Twitter shitlords again – just like he did in the golden days of the Trump Train in 2016.
If Theory #1 or Theory #3 are correct, then I am afraid we are going to see the formalization of neoconservatism as the guiding light of the Trump administration, alongside its globalist accoutrements.
Invade/invite to the max.
The dismissal of Steve Bannon, which is now widely discussed in the media, will be the final confirmation that there is no 666D Chess combination after all.
In foreign policy, this will predictably be a failure. Instead of halting the process, as a wise US foreign policy would aim for, it will instead put the current trend towards a Russo-Chinese alliance into overdrive. There is also a very small but non-negligible chance of a serious escalation in Syria that could flare into a wider conflict between the US and Russia/Iran. I will explore this possibility in a later post.
Here’s the problem. Neoconservatism wasn’t cool by 2007. The Current Year is 2017. While the last ‘Murica! boomers might cheer and clap for it, those folks are not getting any younger, nor are they gaining converts; to the contrary, even many conservative warmongers of yesteryear are now opposed to further misadventures in the Middle East, such as the courageous Ann Coulter.
Meanwhile, the young MAGA nationalists, who have never cared for the more regressive elements of the traditional Republican agenda – promoting corporate interests and the 1%, hardcore social conservatism, and above all interventionism and wars for oil/Israel (cross out as per your ideological preferences) – and who are, incidentally, also the most Russophile demographic of the American population – will be utterly demoralized and repelled.
He will be left only with the bootlickers, the bankers, and the most retrograde boomers. Maybe a few token #NeverTrumpers will crawl back to him, confident now that he firmly under the thumb of the deep state, though they will still continue to despite him. That’s all!
The result of that will be a landslide victory for the Democratic candidate in 2020, which in all likelihood lead to a new sort of hell.
I’m afraid these comments by Scott Alexander from September 2016 may well prove to be prophetic:
One more warning for conservatives who still aren’t convinced. If the next generation is radicalized by Trump being a bad president, they’re not just going to lean left. They’re going to lean regressive, totalitarian, super-social-justice left.
Everyone has already constructed the narrative: Trump is the anti-PC, anti-social-justice candidate. If he wins, he’s going to be the anti-PC, anti-social-justice President. And he will fail. First of all, because he doesn’t really show much sign of knowing what he’s doing. Second of all, because all presidents fail in a sense – 80% of Americans consistently believe the country is headed the wrong direction and the president is the natural fall guy for this trend. And third of all, because even if by some miracle Trump avoids the first two failure modes, the media will say he failed and people will believe them. And when the anti-PC, anti-social-justice President fails, the reaction will be a giant “we told you so” from the social justice movement, and a giant shift of all the disillusioned young people right into their fold.
Trump is all set to be the biggest gift to the social justice movement in history. They thrive on claims of persecution, claims that they’re the ones fighting a stupid hateful regressive culture that controls everything. And people think that bringing their straw man to life and putting him in the Oval Office is going to help?
I still don’t think voting for Trump over Clinton was a mistake.
At the least, Trump’s brand of neoconservatism is going to be implemented in a cack-handed, incompetent way, as opposed to a competent and calculating one. This is good for the non-Americans who will have to deal with it.
Still, its very sad that it has come to this. I believe that Trump still has the time and opportunity to reverse his ill-starred course, but the clock is ticking down.
Contrary to my expectations, I think Trump lost his first debate.
He started out strong, stronger than HRC, but then declined a lot in the third round on foreign policy – on what should have been his strongest round.
And he really lost it at the end when they pulled out the woman card.
I say this as a Trump supporter who has called Trump as the winner at each of his appearances at the Republican nomination debates.
Unfortunately, this time he really fell short, and so far as I can tell the predictions markets seem to agree with this assessment.
It’s not an absolute disaster. Trump did get in many of his key points, and remained stringently reasonable for most of the debate. However, his lack of preparation really showed. He will have to get a lot more clinical in his attacks if he wants to bring down HRC, because she will not be doing it for him.
Here are my comments on each of the three rounds:
Trump was very good here, really playing up protectionism – something he has been a consistent proponent for since the 1980s – in a way that credibly jived with working class concerns in the Rustbelt. He also pointed out HRC’s disingenuous comments on the TPP. She could only respond with a lame plea to check out her website and her book (that is rated 1.4 stars on Amazon).
Trump laid out a credible and easily understandable plan to reshore industry to the US by imposing tariff barriers and lowering regulations. This includes lowering the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. Although the US is, overall, an excellent place to do business in – it consistently places within the top 10 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings – its rate of corporate tax remains one of the highest in the world (most of Europe is at 20%-30%!). And his promise to get rid of the carried interest provision is highly progressive. Although HRC tried to paint all this as a giveaway to the 1%, I do not think she succeeded.
He also drew attention to the ballooning debt, the politicization of the Fed, and the “big fat ugly bubble” that is the current economy, which should help get him the last few Paulistas who have yet to hop aboard the Trump Train.
The attacks on his refusal to present his tax returns were deftly deflected, and redirected towards HRC’s continuing emails scandal. He also managed to present himself as an able businessman who will save money and revamp America’s “Third World” infrastructure. That said, his response to allegations he did not pay some of his workers – “I did not like the job he did” – was weak and must have come off as callous to many people.
I would say he won this round. Trump – 8/10, HRC – 6/10.
With a focus on race. Dis gonna be gud!
HRC did her standard pandering spiel, repeating the claim that young black men are more likely to be arrested, charged, and imprisoned for the same crime as whites. This “systemic racism” had to be countered by the end of mandatory minimal sentences, more second chance programs, and better police training. Because, apparently, politically correct diktats on “implicit bias” are sure to be more effective at fighting crime and protecting Blue Lives than a lifetime of instincts developed on the beat.
Now to be sure, Trump couldn’t exactly respond with dindu nuffin memes and FBI crime stats like some Alt Right shitlord – though HRC’s comments on how “everybody is jumping to conclusions about each other” was a perfect moment to mention that whole “basket of deplorables” affair. Still, he hammered his points in well, which was the most important thing. Trump emphasized the need for law and order; mentioned the endorsements that were flooding in from police unions; and pointed out that the number of homicides has increased in the past year (HRC claimed otherwise. Trump is correct and she is wrong. With any luck, progressives cajoled into researching this further will stumble upon the Ferguson Effect. And with any luck might even add two and #BLM). He even managed to slip in a mention of HRC’s “superpredator” comments, a “no, you” tactic that he would shortly use yet again.
As in the first segment, the moderator ended by mentioning another sore point for Trump – his promotion of the birther conspiracy theory. Trump had a reasonable reply, arguing that it was actually first raised by Sidney Blumenthal, a Clinton-friendly journalist, and also mentioned the Kenyan garb photo spread by HRC’s campaign during the nomination contest against Obama in 2008. As such, HRC’s accusations of “racism” against him were just another example of her hypocritical “holier than thou” attitude. Overall, this was handled well, though of course some people will never be satisfied.
However, Trump’s counter to HRC’s claims that his real estate firm discriminated against black tenants was not well made. He said there had been no admission of guilt (“And so? Corporations can get away with anything,” a critic might reply), and provided a counterexample of inclusion… in the form of an non-discriminating rich person’s club that he owns in Palm Beach, Florida. This was tone deaf with regards to both blacks and the 99%, but unfortunately rather typical for Trump, who has a tendency to talk too much about his projects and especially the things he builds for rich people. Eventually, it becomes tiring, even for people who aren’t much enarmored with “We are the 1%” rhetoric.
Overall, I think Trump won this round as well, though by a thinner margin than the first. Trump – 7/10, HRC – 6/10.
In the final round, HRC went on the warpath, the moderator’s shilling for her became pretty much explicit, and Trump tumbled badly on what should have been his strongest round.
I was actually smiling when HRC started off with her standard jeremiad about cybersecurity and the Russian menace. This was not a good idea, especially for someone with her record. Had her earpiece failed? Was the medical cocktail she’d been injected with beginning to wear off? Her arguments were almost self-refuting. The Russian angle is trivially easy to mock and dismiss, given the complete lack of evidence that it was actually Russia who had broken into the DNC. Furthermore, her comments essentially gave Trump free ammo to attack her on her own criminal misconduct with respect to matters of national security and her alleged complicity in stealing the Democratic nomination from Bernie Sanders.
And at first, Trump delivered. He mentioned that he had gained the endorsement of 200 admirals and generals. He pointed out that the hacks might have come from Russia, but it could equally well have been China, or even some “400 pound hacker” lying on a bed. The disturbing thing was that this had been possible in the first place, not to mention the revelations themselves – namely, that Bernie Sanders had been “taken advantage of by your people.” This was a well-advised nod to wavering Bernouts.
But it all went downhill from there.
Despite having already confronted a hostile Republican elite on the question of the Iraq War, Trump turned a lot more mellow on this issue in this debate – even though his audience, now half Democratic, should have been a great deal more receptive to it.
As Pumpkin Person points out, this allowed a thoroughly compromised HRC to turn the situation to her advantage:
I was stunned that Trump let Hillary and the moderator put him on the defensive for supporting the war when Hillary was a million times more culpable.
All Trump said in support of the war was shrugged and said “I guess so” when asked by Stern if he supported it but from then on he was against it.
By contrast Hillary actually VOTED for it in the senate, gave it bipartisan legitimacy, gave a speech wrongly claiming Saddam Hussein had links to Al Qaeda, and her husband propagandized for war on Letterman.
And yet Hillary made Trump look like the war monger and all Trump could do was babble incoherently when he could have ripped her to shreds on that point since it was the worst foreign policy decision in U.S. history.
He repeated the line that “we should have taken their oil.” That might have played well with Republican hardasses, but it would have won him no favor amongst the progressives unhappy with HRC’s neocon-in-all-but-name militancy. A missed opportunity.
HRC argued that Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric put him in a bad position to negotiate with the Muslim countries that are involved with the US in the fight against ISIS. Instead of riposting that her wars killed infinitely more Muslims than his comments ever did, or questioning the legitimacy of the sectarian involvement of Muslim countries in the Syrian civil war, or perhaps mentioning the Saudi donations to the Clinton Foundation and the influence they might have on HRC’s decisionmaking, he… went on some kind of rambling rant about Obama’s weakness on Iran and the need to go into Iraq with NATO (sic). “I have a much better temperament than Hillary,” Trump concluded. Kk.
Trump expressed his sentiment that America no longer had the means to be the “world’s policeman,” and repeatedly complained that Germany, Japan, Korea, and America’s other allies don’t pay the full cost of their own defense. We know that this is a reference to the inability of almost all NATO member states to meet the informal guideline of spending 2% of their GDP on the military, which allows them and Japan to enjoy the American security umbrella for free and use the savings to provide more social benefits to their citizens. Explained thus, Trump could have appealed to the anti-war left, many of whom hate HRC; but expressed in Trump’s trademark money-grubbing language, the point was lost for progressives while failing to satisfy the #NeverTrump types kvetching about Trump’s disregard for America’s international “obligations” anyway.
In contrast, HRC struck a consistently more professional and “learned” tone; vapid at its core, to be sure, but seemingly profound to the casual observer.
At this point, this could have still been a tie, just about, but much worse was about to come. It was time for the woman card.
The moderator asked Trump to clarify his comments that HRC doesn’t have the “presidential look.” Trump just about avoided getting stumped by insisting that he actually said HRC didn’t have the stamina, but that allowed her to make this killer riposte: “Well, as soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities and nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.”
Instead of using this as an opening to go back to the emails issue, Trump bought into HRC’s frame by acknowledging that she had “experience,” but prepending that it was “bad experience.” However, this argument fell flat because Trump had failed to properly grill her over the Iraq War and her other international misadventures. In any case, unfortunately for Trump, the debate had already moved beyond foreign policy. It was now about affirming HRC as a strong womyn and Trump as a misogynistic pig.
Plunging in the shiv hard and deep, HRC said that Trump had called women pigs, slobs, and dogs; reminded viewers of his comments that pregnancy was an inconvenience for employers; and criticized him for his love of beauty contests and his comments about a certain “Miss Piggy” who is a Latina and will not be voting for Trump.
Now this need not have been fatal, had Trump kept his cool. He could have claimed that these comments had been taken out of context. He could have used that to segue into his childcare proposals. He could have pointed to his good record on hiring women. He could have joked that at least he had kept his beauty contests out of the Oval Office. Not so politically correct, but funny and classically Trumpian. And if HRC wanted to play rough, there was no shortage of ways Trump could have stumped her with Bill’s record. Bombing Yugoslavia to draw attention away from the Lewinsky affair? You can be assured I’ll keep it to just words. After all, we have the best words, don’t we folks?
Instead he decided it would be a better idea to go on a bitter rant about how Rosie O’Donnell had “deserved” his tough words – no matter that everyone up until this point had forgotten about her – and then proceeding to whine about HRC’s negative attack ads against him. Even the staunchest Trump supporters would admit that complaining about tone is just about the last thing he should be doing. But this particular juxtaposition was especially awful.
In short, HRC stepped up her game and went on the attack, while Trump was unable to adapt and ended up affirming the prevaricating warmongering asshole stereotype that liberals have affixed to him after having refuted them in the previous two rounds.
What should have been a crowning triumph for Trump after the hard slog of the first two rounds turned into a debacle. Trump – 3/10, HRC – 7/10.
The future of the West is not a limitless tending upwards and onwards for all time towards our present ideals, but a single phenomenon of history, strictly limited and defined as to form and duration, which covers a few centuries and can be viewed and, in essentials, calculated from available precedents. With this enters the age of gigantic conflicts, in which we find ourselves today. It is the transition from Napoleonism to Caesarism, a general phase of evolution, which occupies at least two centuries and can be shown to exist in all Cultures. The Chinese call it Shan-Kwo, the “period of the Contending States.” In the Gracchan revolution, which was already [133 B.C.] heralded by a first Servile War, the younger Scipio was secretly murdered and C. Gracchus openly slain – the first who as Princeps and the first who as Tribune were political centers in themselves amidst a world become formless. When, in 104 B.C. the urban masses of Rome for the first time lawlessly and tumultuously invested a private person, Marius, with Imperium, the deeper importance of the drama then enacted is comparable with that of assumption of the mythic Emperor-title by the ruler of Ch’in in 288 B.C..
The place of the permanent armies as we know them will gradually be taken by professional forces of volunteer war-keen soldiers; and from millions we shall revert to hundreds of thousands. But ipso facto this second century will be one of actually Contending States. These armies are not substitutes for war – they are for war, and they want war. Within two generations it will be they whose will prevails over all the comfortables put together. In these wars of theirs for the heritage of the whole world, continents will be staked – India, China, South Africa, Russia, Islam called out, new technics and tactics played and counter-played… The last race to keep its form, the last living tradition, the last leaders who have both at their back, will pass through and onward, victors.
The idealist of the early democracy regarded popular education as enlightenment pure and simple – but it is precisely this that smooths the path for the coming Caesars of the world. The last century [the 19th] was the winter of the West, the victory of materialism and scepticism, of socialism, parliamentarianism, and money. But in this century blood and instinct will regain their rights against the power of money and intellect. The era of individualism, liberalism and democracy, of humanitarianism and freedom, is nearing its end. The masses will accept with resignation the victory of the Caesars, the strong men, and will obey them. Life will descend to a level of general uniformity, a new kind of primitivism, and the world will be better for it…
- Oswald Spengler, 1922.
These are the results of a recent YouGov/Handelsblatt poll on which leader the citizens of the G20 countries want to see as the next US President.
Russia is the only country where more people, by a considerable margin, support Donald Trump becoming US President (31%) than support Hillary Clinton (10%).
This might come as a surprise to some of you considering how many Russians and (((Russians))) have been writing anti-Trump jeremiads in both the Western and Russian press:
Which just goes to show that whenever you see a Russian writing in an American mainstream media publication, its usually safe to assume the truth is the exact opposite of whatever he or she says.
Here is how one /r/The_Donald user described his “awakening”:
Thats actually really cool to hear. I will admit, I ate up our medias picture of Russia and never had much positive to say, but this election has made me do my own research and you all seem pretty bad ass. I would like to say sorry for being a cuck and hopefully we can become strong allies in the future.
Ultimately, as the only major candidate who doesn’t want to fight a New Cold War with Russia, it stands to reason the most Russians with an opinion on US politics support Trump.
Putin’s near endorsement of Trump as a “bright and talented person” would have also helped.
As Irish journalist Danielle Ryan points out, it’s not like Trump is likely to magically transform relations between the US and Russia. And certainly those corners of the internets who dream of a Western Alliance between a Trumpian America and Putin’s Russia to remove kebab are deluded (even if they are ironically deluded… or delusively ironic… or whatever).
It’s a nice dream though.
However, there is the basic perception that Russia will get along better with a straightforward American patriot than an empty suit (or empty dress?) ideological stooge of neocon and globalist agendas.
I expect the 10% of Russians for Hillary Clinton are mostly Westernists/zapadniks who reliably support the politically correct line of the “international community” against Russia. (However, I think it’s safe to say that Clinton also has a massive anti-rating in Russia. Bill Clinton’s war against Serbia – which resulted in the first major spike in anti-American sentiment in post-Soviet Russia’s history – is still remembered negatively. And many Russians are aware of Hillary Clinton’s warm relations with liberal “neocons in other words” interventionists).
This zapadnik constituency who support Hillary Clinton are not feeling the Bern because they tend to be virulently anti-socialist in the style of Garry Kasparov*:
I’m enjoying the irony of American Sanders supporters lecturing me, a former Soviet citizen, on the glories of Socialism and what it really means! Socialism sounds great in speech soundbites and on Facebook, but please keep it there. In practice, it corrodes not only the economy but the human spirit itself, and the ambition and achievement that made modern capitalism possible and brought billions of people out of poverty. Talking about Socialism is a huge luxury, a luxury that was paid for by the successes of capitalism. Income inequality is a huge problem, absolutely. But the idea that the solution is more government, more regulation, more debt, and less risk is dangerously absurd.
Really the only group of people who would support Sanders in Russia are the liberal leftist anti-globalist ecological hippie types but they’re only 1-2% of the population, or an order of magnitude lower even than the zapadnik liberals.
As for Cruz, literally the only Russian of any prominence I’ve found who supports him is the Christian Orthodox fanatic and renowned lolcow Dmitry Enteo:
FWIW Russia's foremost Orthodox Christian crazy fanatic Enteo endorses Cruz and condemns Trump. https://t.co/gpiX1iANRS
— Anatoly Karlin (@akarlin88) March 16, 2016
There are no major surprises in the rest of the rankings.
(1) On average the more “cucked” countries support Hillary Clinton more.
(2) Mexico is at the top and one can’t really fault them for that.
(3) China seems to intuitively support Trump. They too have their issues with the Clintons in the form of the bombing of their Belgrade embassy in 1998. However, they are also understandably a bit put off by Trump’s relatively more bellicose rhetoric against their country, plus as the survey notes, China’s – and India’s and Indonesia’s – respondents were all queried online. The part of the Chinese population that is regularly online and presumably likelier to participate in such polls is demographically younger and presumably more globalist.
(4) Apparently not all Saudis share Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s negative assessment of Trump (or maybe they really don’t like the idea of a woman at the helm):
You are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America.
Withdraw from the U.S presidential race as you will never win.
— الوليد بن طلال (@Alwaleed_Talal) December 11, 2015
Finally, I would note that the US Presidential Elections haven’t really gotten going yet, so many foreign opinions of Trump vs. Clinton will be quite hazy and uncertain at this point. International opinion will become clearer as we approach November 2016.
* At least when Kasparov’s writing in English in Facebook or The WSJ, as opposed to riling up protest crowds in Moscow, when for some reason his rhetoric becomes remarkably leftist.
With results for all its precincts now in, it emerges that Brighton Beach (aka “Little Odessa”) voted 84.1% for Trump – his sixth highest result in all of NY’s ~300 neighborhoods.
The also heavily Sovok Jewish neighborhood of Seagate-Coney Island voted 81.4% for Trump.
(The big gray area on the map above is a single neighbood and only had 8 votes in total, which were evenly split between Trump and Cruz).
As you theorized: Brighton goes for Trump (mostly), evangelical ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Orthodox Jews for Cruz. The richies in Manhattan go for Kasich. You can actually see the less upscale precincts east of Third Avenue going for Trump, whereas the superrich between Third and Fifth go for Kasich.
Cruz did pretty poorly outside of Orthodox Jews, which isn’t surprising when you insult the city.
These are huge outliers even relative to Trump’s outstanding performance in NY as a whole; as I write this, 96% of the votes have been counted and Trump is set to end up at 60% and with almost all of its delegates.
The only major region in NY state which Trump didn’t win was Manhattan which went for Kasich.
The Atlantic’s Olga Khazan reveals that Russian-American Jews strongly support Trump.
“I don’t like big government,” Sundeyeva said. She made two circles with her thumbs and forefingers and pressed them against each other so they touched, like binoculars. This Venn diagram represents the interests of people and government, she said. “They don’t have very much in common.”
Today, she’s not a registered Republican, but like many of the readers of her newspaper, she said she’s starting to lean toward supporting Donald Trump for president. The other self-styled outsider in the race, though, holds no appeal for her. The only Bern she and many other Russians here are feeling is the one in the banya.
Although American Jews are overwhelmingly liberal, spearheading socially progressive initiatives like gay marriage and reliably voting for the Democrats, this absolutely does not apply to Russian-American Jews.
Actually that entire Atlantic article pretty much confirms everything I wrote in my popular 2012 article The 5 Types of Russian American, in which I called this particular demographic group “Sovok Jews” – an ironic reference to their retention of conservative Soviet habits while flip-flopping 180 degrees from the Communist internationalism espoused by their grandparents under the early USSR to the libertarian and Israeli Firster outlooks they harbor today.
Furthermore, the USSR’s early philo-Semitism reversed from later Stalinism on, with rhetoric about “rootless cosmopolitanism” and “anti-Zionism” even as the US became highly pro-Israel. In a neat ideological reversal, Soviet Jews in America whose parents had sung Communism’s praises turned to libertarianism and neoconservatism, and in the 2000’s, most became hardcore anti-Putinists. …
Yet while they harbor little love for Russia, Jewish Russian-Americans continue to speak Russian among themselves, play durak and eat borscht, and recite Radio Yerevan jokes. They remain stuck in the Soviet attitudes and tastes that they brought with them to American shores; arguably, far more so than ethnic Russians (who have co-evolved with post-Soviet Russia).
Back to The Atlantic article:
Menaker and Sundeyeva are part of a small circle—indeed, they know each other. Like with any immigrant group, the political views of Russians in the United States range widely. Ilya Strebulaev, a Russian-American and a finance professor at Stanford, said the left-leaning Russians he knows outnumber the right-leaning ones.
That is correct. Moreover, I would point out that as an academic, the type of Russians Ilya Strebulaev knows would be mostly fellow Egghead Emigres: The academics who fled Russia in the 1990s when scientific funding collapsed. Most of them are moderates, with little interest in and no talent for politics – I suspect Bernie Sanders would come first and Donald Trump second amongst them – which in practice puts them well to the left of Sovok Jews:
While they are now almost uniformly well-off, the Egghead Emigre lacks the Sovok Jew’s entrepreneurial drive, and as such there are very few truly rich among them. But on second thought this ain’t that surprising. Academia is a very safe environment (in terms of employment) and guarantees a reliable cash flow and career progression but it won’t make you a millionaire. The truly entrepreneurial Soviet academics have long since abandoned academia and made big bucks in the business world. …
As you may have deduced, the Egghead Emigre shares many similarities with the Sovok Jew. Nonetheless, many of them still retain a few patriotic vestiges; and politically, they are considerably to the left, with social democratic, socialist, and even Communist leanings being common (whereas Sovok Jews are right-leaning, ironically, unlike purely American Jews who tend to be more leftist). Though not many are still much interested in Russian politics, those who are typically vote for Prokhorov/Yabloko or the Communist Party.
Back to The Atlantic article:
Still, some researchers have found that Russian Jews tend to be both less religious than their American counterparts and more conservative. According to preliminary data from a survey being conducted by Sam Kliger, director of Russian-Jewish Community Affairs at the American Jewish Committee, between 60 and 70 percent of Russian-speaking Jews will vote Republican in this election. About that same percentage of American Jews backed Barack Obama in 2012.
With the exception of the LARPier elements of the White Russians, all Russian-Americans are strongly secular.
This is one of the main reasons why most Sovok Jews have no great enthusiasm for Ted Cruz, even though he positively fawns over Israel.
Many of them are torn between Cruz and Trump. “Cruz, I like that he’s conservative,” said Shkolnikov. “But what is not appealing to me is that he sounds like he’s preaching all the time. Maybe it’s because I’m Jewish, but I don’t like when Christians are preaching too much.”
About Trump, she says, “I don’t like his personality, but I like all his ideas.” …
“He’s a successful businessman,” he said. “He’ll be able to work with people. Plus, a guy who’s not a politician won’t be able to promulgate big government for its own sake.”
But Trump makes up with his entrepreneurial charisma, and any shortage of enthusiasm he might exude as regards support for Israel, he mores than makes up with his surfeit of opposition towards Islam and general ‘Murica! can-do attitude relative to the other candidates.
I would note here that Sovok Jews are highly nationalistic. I wouldn’t even call most of them neocons. Of course neoconservatism for all intents and purposes is Jewish nationalism, but its adherents hide it behind nauseous rhetoric about American exceptionalism and the necessity of spreading democratic values to every last mudhole on the planet. First generation Sovok Jews – at least, those who don’t go into politics or journalism – don’t care for appearances and are much more honest about their outright hate for Palestinians, Hezbollah, Iran, Islam, and anyone and everyone else that threatens Israel.
(For context: In Israel, this Sovok Jew demographic votes for the ultranationalist but not particularly religious Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman).
Of course Trump does have his risks.
It escalated until Wolfson rose up out of his seat, shouting. “Do you really want Trump to be your president? He’s going to sell you! He will sell you tomorrow to the Arabs!”
After all maybe the anime-obsessed Alt Righters waxing rhapsodically on Twitter about how Trump will drive out the (((merchants))) are correct after all? /s
Others at the party seemed more conflicted, particularly when it came to abortion, which was widespread and normalized in the Soviet Union. “We have become successful and comfortable within capitalism,” said Gina Budman. “On the other hand, I really am adamantly pro-choice. And I would love to see education that is less expensive. I am for gay rights.”
They are lured, though, by the GOP’s more vociferous support for Israel, a country where many Russian Jews have friends and relatives. For some, this was a source of hesitation about Trump, the Republican front-runner, who said he’d be “sort of a neutral guy” on Israel.
Hard choices, hard choices…
FWIW, my own personal observations (n = ~10) bear all this out.
A couple of weeks ago I was meeting with a Jewish Russian and his Putin’s Expat (Russian) Russian wife. Although they had some major political differences – essentially, she is a pro-Putin Russian nationalist, while he is an anti-Putin Jewish nationalist (which I suspect causes no shortage of friction between them) – they were both conservatives and strong Trump supporters and both said they’d vote for Hillary out of spite if the Republicans were to cheat Trump out of the nomination.
Apart from his foreign policy positions they like most other main classes of Russian-Americans also really like his forthright style:
But their views provide insight into the rise of Trump, a phenomenon that has bewildered many liberals. Several of the guests said they appreciate Trump’s tendency to “say what people are thinking”—a definite plus in a culture not exactly known for being timid.
“We are so tired of not being able to say what we want,” Sundeyeva said. “[Trump] says politically incorrect things.”
But the children of Sovok Jews are becoming SJWs:
Several people at Menaker’s house lamented that their adult children are turning out to be more liberal than they are. (“Our children are all brainwashed already,” Menaker said.)
As I pointed out in my article on Russian-Americans, the offspring of Sovok Jews – secular like their parents, but far more liberal – are converging with the American Jewish mainstream.
But as the USSR is dead, this Soviet identity has no future; the children of Sovok Jews tend to undergo complete Americanization.
The one child of Sovok Jews whom I know quite well emigrated from Belarus at an early age and is a socialist who has been involved with Occupy Wall Street and has spent a good part of his time these past few months designing a slick website purporting to demolish “corporate media lies” about Bernie Sanders.
If there is a good correlation between the “American nations” and support for Trump, then I’m not really seeing it.
There are just too many inconsistencies. Yankeedom is bifurcated between extremely strong support for Trump at its eastern end – the betting markets indicate he is highly likely to continue sweeping that entire area as he already did with Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire – but his support begins to crumble once we get to Wisconsin, which straddles The Foundry and the Breadbasket, to say nothing of agragian Minnesota. Trump’s support hits a veritable wall on the Kansan and Oklohoma border, regardless that Greater Appalachia is supposed to extend well into those two states. The Midlands with their weird and unnatural borders are completely useless at explaining anything about Trump’s support; they range from the heavily anti-Trump west to the pretty clearly pro-Trump Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Great Lakes region.
Just when I was about to give up making sense of these patterns in any rigorous HBD- or culture-related way (not that the two are necessarily mutually exclusive), I dig out another map from what was the precursor to Colin Woodard’s work: Joel Garreau’s 1981 book The Nine Nations of North America. Now incidentally, I have always preferred Garreau’s version of the American nations to Woodard’s. Although Woodard is more historically inclined, drawing heavily from on David Hackett Fischer’s magesterial Albion’s Seed, Garreau had the benefit of 100,000kms-worth of travel throughout the Americas, thousands of personal conversations, and a greater appreciation of modern economic geography.
Garreau’s map is also a heck of a lot more pleasant to just look at.
See the map above based on Garreau’s work drawn by Richard Furno in 1981. The American Nations as envisaged by Garreau actually look like nations, complete with plausible borders and symbols that can be readily associated with their specific folkways; nations that might one day conceivably arise in the wake of some apocalyptic event such as The Flame Deluge or The Change.
And, it just so happens that unlike Woodard’s Nations, the American Nations of Garreau actually do correlate remarkably well with Trump’s support!
Most strikingly, the huge demographic reservoirs that are The Foundry and Dixie are solidly behind Trump. The two biggest exceptions – that prove the rule – are Texas and Ohio, which went to Cruz and Kasich, respectively, on account of their home field advantage; nonetheless, Trump was respectably second in both states. (Robot Rubio was unable to repeat this in Florida). Half-Forge, Half-Breadbasket Wisconsin is 50/50 on Trump: The polls say yay, while The betting sites say nay. (Update: No longer. I wrote this before Trump’s ill-considered remarks on abortion; contra the liberal hysteria, he merely proved that his support for social conservatism had always been superficial. You could almost feel the gears whirling in his head as he tried to simulate an answer that would appeal to God-fearing conservatives and he failed. This has further tilted The Breadlands against him, and now Wisconsin leans heavily towards Cruz).
Trump also has convincing predominance in New England (except Maine) and most of the MaxAmerican borderlands. In contrast, the limits to Trump’s support are clearly demarcated by The Breadbasket – that plain, bucolic of conservative, mild-mannered Teutons. The tringular slice that Dixie makes into Oklohoma is reflected in the primaries results, in which there is a small blue concetration for Trump in the south-east of the state set against a uniform yellow in support of Cruz elsewhere. The Empty Quarter’s low population densities, with concentrations typically separated by long distances and mountains, have a rich variety of political cultures. Brash, glitzy, casino-mad Nevada, hosting Randall Flagg’s capital Las Vegas and Reno, where men get shot for all sorts of reasons, gave Trump 46% in the primaries; utterly straitlaced and civic Utah is so uncompromisingly set against The Donald it might even emerge from the other side of the horseshoe and support Hillary Clinton in these elections should the Republic frontrunner become its nominee.
That said, like The Breadbasket, the Empty Quarter – both on average and those that triangulate between the two poles that are Las Vegas and Salt Lake City – are predominantly against Trump. Of the seven major Nations of North America ala Garreau, at least three of them – Dixie, The Foundry, and New England – clearly support Trump (thus, remarkably, bridging the most classical American division – that between the Union and the Confederacy). Two of them are clearly opposed – The Breadbasket and the Empty Quarter. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen where the sympathies of MexAmerica and Ecotopia lie. Arizona went for Trump with a large margin, who is also popular in SoCal; but looks set to fail in New Mexico. Data on Ecotopia is still very sparse, though one admittedly old poll suggested Trump will take Oregon.
So the media soundbites about how Trump is redrawing the political map are not exaggerated. But as Republican grandees have taken to arguing, the way it has been done is not to the party’s benefit: When polls show that Trump is slated to lose Utah as Republican nominee, then one might legitimately think that that is a good case for denying Trump his nomination and all concerns for the will of the Republican voter be damned.
But that’s assuming Trump plays by the standard conservative rulebook.
If, instead, he were to veer even further towards economic populism during the Presidential campaign while toning down on “triggering” rhetoric, he stands to gain serious kudos running against a Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, who encapsulates the arrogance and mendacity that even many liberals admit characterize the Clinton Clique (Glenn Greenwald was entirely correct in his playful argument that nominating Clinton over Sanders is a “huge electability gamble”). This is not unimaginable, since Trump’s protectionist arguments look good set against the Krugmanian orthodoxy on free trade that mainstream Democrats espouse. Furthermore, unburdened from having to compete with Cruz for the ultraconservative vote, Trump can win over many liberal White voters by dredging up his past reasonably progressive stances on healthcare and climate change (after all, Trump voters are primarily anti-establishment, and that includes oil companies, as Slate magazine discovered to its horror).
Imagine Trump losing Utah… but winning New York.
Sounds completely impossible, but all sorts of impossible things have been Happening in this campaign, so really – why not?
The main problem of course is that insodoing this, Trump will be pulling the trigger on Establishment conservatism, finally putting it out of its long misery:
At [Cruz's] own rally, though, there was at least one skeptical voice. “Nationalism is the new thing, man,” said Jordan Voor, 30, a Trump supporter who works nearby. “I just kind of want to watch the establishment burn,” Mr. Voor added. “What’s the point of being conservative anymore? It’s a failing ideology.”
So it is understandable why the NRO hardlinerswho can’t wait for the white working class to die out, nationalist neocons whose nationalism regrettably applies not to the US but to another country, and even conservative “reformists” like Ross Douthat are willing to stop at nothing to sabotage Trump’s nomination… or even manipulate arcane Electoral College rules from the 19th century to invalidate his Presidency should he win the popular vote.
Unfortunately for them, however, the only part of the country that still supports their project of transforming Americans into the La Raza Cósmica of the 2050s are those few Americans of The Breadbasket and The Empty Quarter who still primarily live by the social mores – and demographic homogeneity – of the 1950s.
Meanwhile, those Americans who have had to contend with vibrant diversity, shuttered factories, SJWs, and the manifold other joys of late modernity have started to chew thoughtfully on a certain crimson-hued psychotropic substance.
That is the entirety of The Foundry and Dixie, and most of New England, MexAmerica, Ecotopia, and the Las Vegas enclave.
That is about 70% of the US White population.
If Donald Trump can figure out how to kick them into high-energy mode, the White House will be his to lose.
The purpose of NATO has always been to keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down, according to its own first Secretary General.
If any one leg of this tripod fails – the whole thing comes tumbling down. At least as the imperialist, anti-national, anti-Orthodox, and Russophobic project it was always construed to be, especially after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Which is why its highly interesting that Trump has come out with some interesting proposals on NATO via social media.
N.A.T.O. is obsolete and must be changed to additionally focus on terrorism as well as some of the things it is currently focused on!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2016
We pay a disproportionate share of the cost of N.A.T.O. Why? It is time to renegotiate, and the time is now!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2016
All this of course follows on from his extended interview on March 21 with that loyal propaganda organ of globalism, The Washington Post:
JACKSON DIEHL, DEPUTY EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR: Back to foreign policy a little bit, can you talk a little bit about what you see as the future of NATO? Should it expand in any way?
TRUMP: Look, I see NATO as a good thing to have – I look at the Ukraine situation and I say, so Ukraine is a country that affects us far less than it affects other countries in NATO, and yet we are doing all of the lifting, they’re not doing anything. And I say, why is it that Germany is not dealing with NATO on Ukraine? Why is it that other countries that are in the vicinity of the Ukraine not dealing with — why are we always the one that’s leading, potentially the third world war, okay, with Russia? Why are we always the ones that are doing it? And I think the concept of NATO is good, but I do think the United States has to have some help. We are not helped. I’ll give you a better example than that. I mean, we pay billions– hundreds of billions of dollars to supporting other countries that are in theory wealthier than we are.
Aside: One wonders if this was what triggered them into their recent deranged claim that the Brussels attacks were a rebuke to Trump’s foreign policy, as if he was already President and not Obama. No matter that Trump is the only candidate calling for NATO to become an explicitly terrorist-fighting outfit. Its almost as if WaPo and similar goons believe that Russia/Putin/Assad are personally responsible for what happened in Brussels. Oh wait… they actually, literally, do. One can’t help but be reminded of Putin’s observation on the unparalleled power of the Western MSM to “portray white as black and black as white.”
Anyhow, what makes Trump’s most recent comments all the more interesting is that they coms on the exact 17th year anniversary of the beginning of NATO bombing against Serbia for what was essentially a metastasized Molenbeek declaring independence and proceeding to burn down monasteries, kill ethnic Serbs, and harvest their organs. (The latter was derided by the Western MSM as a Serbian nationalist conspiracy theory until it was proven true, by which point – most conveniently – nobody remembered or cared outside Serbia).
Incidentally, this was a war that Hillary Clinton and her “humanitarian interventionist” brand of neocon had enthusiastically supported:
James Rubin, Albright’s State Department spokesman, remembers strained phone calls between Albright and U.K. Foreign Secretary Robin Cook during the planning for the bombing of Yugoslavia. Cook told Albright the U.K. government was having problems “with its lawyers” because attacking Yugoslavia without authorization by the U.N. Security Council would violate the UN Charter. Albright told him the U.K. should “get new lawyers.”
Like Secretary Albright, Hillary Clinton strongly supported NATO’s illegal aggression against Yugoslavia. In fact, she later told Talk magazine that she called her husband from Africa to plead with him to order the use of force. “I urged him to bomb,” she said, “You cannot let this go on at the end of a century that has seen the major holocaust of our time. What do we have NATO for if not to defend our way of life?”
After the U.S.-U.K. bombing and invasion, the NATO protectorate of Kosovo quickly descended into chaos and organized crime. Hashim Thaci, the gangster who the U.S. installed as its first prime minister, now faces indictment for the very war crimes that U.S. bombing enabled and supported in 1999, including credible allegations that he organized the extrajudicial execution of Serbs to harvest and sell their internal organs.
Furthermore, what makes it interesting in the extreme is that it also coincides with the sentencing of Radovan Karadzic at The Hague. What is really strange is that he got 40 years – not, presumably, the sort of sentence a court could reasonably be expected to hand out to someone who had been definitively proven to have committed crimes as serious as “ethnic cleansing” and even “genocide.” (Or maybe not. After all, the West never pursued or even condemned the Croatians who committed the largest ethnic cleansings of them all: The expulsion of 200,000 Serbs from Krajina. Bosnians too were hardly ever found guilty. It was the subhuman Serbs who were always guilty because they happened to like Russia but didn’t have Russia’s nuclear weapons.) Though this is certainly a huge stretch, it’s not impossible that Trump has also chosen this moment to thumb his nose at that kangaroo court.
Anyhow all in all these are some very interesting coincidences here indeed.
Could we really be seeing the prospect of NATO being taken off our backs under President Trump? For political reasons, Trump can hardly speak out against either keeping the Russians out or the Germans down, but he can attack NATO on the basis that it is a drain on American resources, and as such calls for a rollback of its commitments.
However it is justified, the entire world will be thankful to him for it. (Minus the neocons and a few East European nationalists who allow Putin to leave rent free in their empty heads).