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Some notes from the last Republican debate on February 25:
* Essentially, Trump is a cognitive elitist on immigration.I am not sure if even that is all that great of an idea, but it’s still leagues ahead of open borders. Cruz lamely triup to outtrump the Trump but it’s far too late for that by now.
* On economics Trump is essentially advocating a return to the 19th century American System of internally free but externally protected markets (in this sense I think Scholar’s Stage got it precisely 180 degrees backwards with the comparison to Jackson).
This might be a good idea if the US wishes to retain what still remains of its manufacturing base. By the time it dropped trade barriers after WW2, the US was by far the most economically dominant country on Earth, accounting for close to 50% of its manufacturing capacity. But a generation later, more effective competitors such as Germany, Japan, and later Korea would converge and substantially hollow out its industrial base; despite the recent spate of “reshoring” thanks to automation, the process might go into deep and terminal reverse as China is now on the cusp of maturing across multiple hi-tech manufacturing sectors. The Listian recommendation is to only have free trade when you are the manufacturing hegemon and the US hasn’t been that since the 1980s. Considering that a subtantial proportion of Trump’s base are blue-collar workers such a turn would carry electoral logic too.
* It was cute how obsessed they were with catering to Hispanics. Although they now make up 17% of the US population, their relative youth means that fewer of them are eligible to vote, and their electoral participation rates are half that of Whites and Blacks, so they actual electoral weight isn’t all that great.
* Conservative values, blah blah… None of those empty suits even said outright they would reverse gay marriage. So who would care any longer apart from the cucks at NRO? A big thing in the 2000s but that train has now left the station as people have now realized it was an elite scam all along.
“Nationalism is the new thing, man,” said Jordan Voor, 30, a Trump supporter who works nearby and wore a longhorn belt buckle the size of a miniature football.
“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.”
* The single biggest problem with the US healthcare system is that its costs are wildly inflated relative to results. I suppose knocking down state barriers will improve competition and lower costs, but I’m not sure it will have that much of an effect – California, after all, has a population approaching that of a mid-sized European countries like Spain, which should allow for lots of competition even within just California, but its healthcare costs are absurdly inflated nonetheless. Still, at least Trump reassured us that under him people’s won’t be dying on the sidewalk (unless he shoots them).
* Trump is factually wrong when he says that US taxes are very high. They are, in fact, the lowest of almost any First World country. That said, Republican exchanges of 30 second soundbites are not where you come for logical economic debates. The others were more inane. (Actually I don’t even remember what their points were but I assume they were inane or otherwise I’d probably recall something). Some blithering claptrap about innovation and more deregulation.
* The mandatory self-abasement before Israel ceremony.
Now is as good a time to RT this as any. https://t.co/pcDQXkGTfW
— Anatoly Karlin (@akarlin88) February 26, 2016
Trump is a pretty good goy himself – “Obama treats Israel horribly,” – but he has nothing on Cruz, who would stand with Israel for ISIS against Christians. And Carson apparently believes Israel is America’s baby (“We can always be fair to other people, but, you know, it’s like when you have a child, you know, you want to be fair to all the children around but you have a special attention for your own child.”). Incidentally, I’m not sure the sentiment is reciprocated… evangelicals might like Jews, but the Jews don’t much like evangelicals.
* Carson whines because the moderator doesn’t ask him any questions and nobody cares about his opinions.
* Based Trump boldly says it was better with Gaddafi and Saddam in charge and the audience is even cool with it. This would have been unimaginable not that long ago.
* Moving past the debate, Trump provided us with yet another of his trademark high energy quotes:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2016
Let’s make Amtrak great again!
2013 photograph from my rail journey across the US.
* PredictWise now has Trump on 80% odds to win the Republican nomination. The neocons are scurrying from the sinking ship and have now openly declared their allegiance to Hillary Clinton, who has helped launch infinitely more wars than bellicose irrational warmonger Trump. Though I don’t particularly expect for people to start seeing past their subterfuge anytime soon, this will be a highly positive development for at least three reasons:
(1) Trump won’t have to purge the Republican Party himself.
(2) The neocon affiliation with conservatism will be revealed to have been just as much of a fraud as their prior espousal of Trotskyism.
(3) We will no longer have to politely pretend there is any substantive difference between neoconism and R2P/humanitarian intervention.
* In the meantime, Hillary has pretty much cinched the Democrat nomination (97% on PredictWise now). Why? Because whereas Sanders supports gibs for all, blacks as well as whites, Hillary only wants mo money for dem programs.
Who knows, maybe this will make not a few Bernie Bros go full /pol/-tard. LRx here we come!
— Gravantus (@Gravantus) February 28, 2016
* And for her Goldman Sachs friends, of course:
2016: a choice between Donald Trump and Goldman Sachs.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) February 28, 2016