Elections, Power, and the DSA: The Failure of the Left in Power 1

A left-anarchist discusses the limitations of social democracy. Listen here.
.
Illustration of Ocasio-Cortez flanked by DSA fist and image of crowd of workers with firsts united into one large first.

The discussion itself was very good, although I found the intro monologue to be something of a turn off in the sense that it sounded like a barrage of buzzwords and catchphrases (kind of like reciting the Apostles’ Creed in church). The point the guy being interviewed seemed to be making was “We should use grassroots direct action rather than electoral politics to A) get more free ice cream days and B ) oppose things leftists don’t like.” For instance, at one point he actually praises Nixon for creating the EPA and OSHA (“More centralized state bureaucracies! Yay! Vivia de Anarchia!”). He seems to be mostly regurgitating what David Graeber called “small ‘a’ anarchism” or “social movement anarchism.” In fact, he sounds a lot like what my anarchist friends and I would have been talking about 25-30 years ago.

I don’t think his point of view is “wrong” in the same sense that I don’t necessarily think Alexander Reid Ross’ “anarcho-MSNBC” perspective is “wrong” in the sense that it’s fine to have an anarchist tendency that’s merely about opposing Trump, the “far right” or official enemies of the US like Russia or Syria like Reid-Ross’ crowd, and it’s not “wrong” to have anarchist tendencies that are just about “social movement left-activism” like these “DSA anarchists” or whatever they are. But I view anarchist philosophy and politics as much bigger than all that.

More…

Elections Are a Fraud: If You Vote, You’re Wasting Your Time Reply

It is interesting to see a quote from Emma Goldman in an article originally published in Forbes in 2012.

By Lawrence Hunter

Forbes

Elections are a fraud. If you go to the polls, you are wasting your time, or worse, deluding yourself that you are actually making a difference.

From this, it follows that if you are making campaign contributions or donating to front groups who spend your money on behalf of candidates, you’re wasting your money, or worse, diverting your resources away from political action that actually could make a difference. There’s more to political life than elections although you wouldn’t know it from Karl Rove’s brave new world of perpetual campaigns.

Take it from someone who worked as a Republican apparatchik for many years inside the Washington machine, the American political system is an exercise in mass deception and mass delusion. Elections stupefy the people and give political cover to what Will Rogers called “America’s only native criminal class” (viz., Members of Congress) to commit all manner of felonies in the name of the public interest.

READ MORE

The Maps That Show That City vs. Country Is Not Our Political Fault Line 2

“Why the differences? I’ve long argued that United States politics resolves around the tension between advancing individual liberty and promoting the common good. The regional cultures we think of as “blue” today have traditions championing the building and maintenance of free communities, today’s “red” ones on maximizing individual freedom of action. Our presidential contests almost always present a clear choice between the two, and the regions act accordingly.

The 2016 election was an exception, largely because Mr. Trump did not campaign as a traditional laissez faire Republican. Rather, he promised government would rebuild infrastructure and the manufacturing sector, shield workers from imports and migrant workers, replace the Affordable Care Act with “something terrific” and protect Social Security and Medicare. This delivered critical dividends in rural parts of the communitarian-minded Midlands and Yankeedom, flipping scores of counties that had voted for Mr. Obama twice, most of them in the Upper Mississippi Valley, northern New England and upstate New York.”

11 Regions Underlying the 50 States

How rival colonizers spread across the continent and set patterns that influence modern politics and culture.

By Colin Woodward

New York Times

FREEPORT, Maine — Contrary to conventional wisdom, the most significant and abiding divide in American politics isn’t between city and countryside, but rather among regional cultures. Rural and urban places certainly have distinct interests and priorities, but in our awkward federation their differences have taken a back seat to the broader struggle between our constituent regions.

Sectionalism isn’t, and never has been, as simple as North versus South or an effete and domineering East against a rugged, freedom-minded West. Rather, our true regional fissures can be traced back to the contrasting ideals of the distinct European colonial cultures that first took root on the eastern and southern rims of what is now the United States, and then spread across much of the continent in mutually exclusive settlement bands, laying down the institutions, symbols and cultural norms later arrivals would encounter and, by and large, assimilate into.

Understanding this is essential to comprehending our political reality or developing strategies to change it — especially as we approach a momentously consequential midterm election.

Centrist Dems begin arguing against far-left agenda as 2020 play 1

It’s interesting how the neconservative/neoliberal political establishment is being challenged by the neo-Nixonian Trumpians from the right, and by the neo-Roosevetlians like Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez from the left. If these insurgencies continue, the power elite will mostly certainly move to coopt them, which they have already done in the case of the Trumpians. It is likely that many within the power elite have come to understand that the neoconservative approach to foreign policy has created too much international instability, and seek to move toward a more realist perspective via Trumpism. It is also possible that many elites are recognizing that neoliberal economics have created too much domestic instability, and are seeking to move toward a more conventional New Deal-era liberalism in response. If so, politicians like Sanders and Ocasia-Cortez would be an effective means of advancing such a perspective.

If the neo-Nixonians were to eventually displace the neocons on the right, and the neo-Rooseveltians were to displace the neoliberals on the left, the US would largely return to the paradigm that existed during the 1970s before the ascendancy of Reaganism and Clintonism, both of which involved sharp turns to the right on a wide range of issues. Essentially, it would be a return to an American politics dominated by Rockefeller Republicans and New Deal Democrats.

By Alex Roarty

McClatchydc.Com

Leading moderate Democrats forcefully argued this week that the party can embrace a robust agenda of change while still praising capitalism and downplaying income inequality.

In other words, everything the empowered liberal base has spent a year and a half mobilizing against.

Democrats gathered here in Ohio’s capital city on Thursday and Friday in what was an opening salvo of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, part of a conference organized by the center-left think tank Third Way.

The longtime Washington-based group was unveiling the findings of a year-long assessment launched after the 2016 election, hoping to convince potential presidential contenders that they don’t have to adopt the hard-left agenda and style of a Bernie Sanders progressive.

Trump’s Working Class, Conservative, Populist Realignment Reply

One of the best and most thorough analysis of Trump voters I have seen to date. Trump ran a Ross Perot-like campaign, and was able to take the Rust Belt away from the Democrats. That’s how he won. The question is how sustainable will that be over time in light of demographic and cultural change?

By Robert W. Merry

The American Conservative

Bonnie Smith is a 63-year-old bakery entrepreneur in Jefferson, Ohio, in Ashtabula County. She begins her day in the bakery at 2:30 a.m., making doughnuts, then moving on to breads and pies “or whatever I have going out.” Married with three grown children, she started her business two years ago after more than three decades at the county sheriff’s office, where she rose from cook to dispatcher and then to deputy. Like nearly all her neighbors throughout Ashtabula County, she is a lifelong Democrat. Her parents were Democrats. She married a Democrat. She worked exclusively for Democratic county sheriffs.

But in 2016 she voted for Donald Trump. “I’ve seen the job losses here,” she says, “the rise in crime, the meth and heroin problem, society essentially losing hope; something just gave in with me.”

READ MORE

Reflections on Idiocracy 1

A Facebook reader comments:

“The original Black Panthers were pretty awesome too. I haven’t seen any leftist groups that are even on their level either these days. Even the 70’s radical groups were more respectable. I rate The Weathermen who were the most notorious toilet bombers of that time more highly. Granted, I think they may have had more malevolent intentions than they claim now, for instance, Cathy Wilkerson trained FALN members how to make bombs and they actually did blow up people. But also George Jackson, Raymond Levasseur. I am sure I can think of others. Those guys were not effete pussies. Granted, their violence did more harm than good imo, they caused the government to pass more restrictive laws and since people don’t tend to like extremists and violence, they pushed voters to the right resulting in that scumbag Reagan being elected.

More…

Reflection on the Condition of U.S. Politics Reply

Recently, a reader asked for me for an assessment of the present condition of the Alt-Right due to my past associated with that particular milieu. Here is my response:

Regrettably, the Alt-Right has become a mirror image of the Left in the sense of operating as a self-marginalizing freak show.

As I see it the entire range of domestic US politics-far left, far right, center left, center right-is largely just a collection of tribes motivated by ressentiment and victimology, and which are increasingly oriented toward self-parody. The public persona that many Alt-Right leaders have created for themselves is essentially that of wrestling heel characters, which fits well with the cartoonist nature of US politics generally, and the blending of political and celebrity entertainment culture that we see going on right now. And the same is true of the public persona of leading figures of all the other tribes.

The Alt-Right/Lite configuration and the Antifa/SJW/Left configuration are merely the self-parody wings of the Red Tribe and Blue Tribe respectively, with the two established tribes largely being a self-parody of themselves.

US politics is basically just a glorified version of the WWE, and it’s perfectly appropriate that the US head of state is a guy is who actually in the WWE Hall of Fame. And the hardcore partisans (i.e. folks who take all this shit seriously) are like wrestling fans who think it’s all a real sport as a opposed to a theatrical production. In many ways, the blissfully ignorant like the folks in this Mark Dice video are the most sensible (and probably the largest) political faction, because they at least have the inclination to be indifferent to it all.

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez: Trump Isn’t Ready For A Girl From The Bronx 5

That this candidate won shows that people really are fed up with business as usual in US politics. More maverick candidates will probably be achieving victories in the future. Her actual politics are just those of a moderate social democrat, not particularly radical, although it’s possible she may help open the door for more radical people in the future.

Trevor Noah thinks Kim Kardashian would make a better president than Donald Trump 1

Kanye and Kim 2024. Make it happen.

By Eileen Rivers

USA Today

Is America going to cheer for Kim Kardashian for president in 2020?

After the Keeping up with the Kardashians reality TV star took a photo with another reality TV star in the Oval Office, late-night comic Trevor Noah couldn’t help but think about who appeared more presidential. His conclusion? The Kardashian beat the Donald.

Kardashian met with President Trump at the White House this week to talk about prison reform and to request that the president pardon Alice Marie Johnson, a great-grandmother in her 60s who was sentenced to life after a first-time nonviolent drug offense.

Noah also takes a look at various Oval Office photos and deems several others more presidential than Trump. Take a look at today’s Best of Late Night, above, to find out who they are.

Jimmy Kimmel isn’t ready to accept that the meeting between Kardashian and Trump actually happened. He’s wondering if we’ve all been Ambiened.

Take a look at our favorite jokes from last night’s late-night lineup, then vote for yours in the poll below.

READ MORE

Image result for kim and kanye  2024

Image result for kim and kanye  2024

The Real Revolution Has Nothing To Do With Donald Trump 2

Like all presidents, Trump is just an administrative manager for the power elite (much to his own frustration, I would imagine).

By Caitlin Johnstone

Medium

It’s been a weird last couple of days. I wrote an article about WikiLeaks’ dismissal of “QAnon”, the anonymous 8chan poster that hundreds of thousands of conspiracy newbies believe is sharing secret, coded information about Donald Trump’s heroic war against the US deep state.

Ever since I hit publish I’ve been getting a bunch of angry Q enthusiasts in my social media notifications accusing me of being a shill for the establishment. Because I don’t believe someone who says that we should all trust the President of the United States. Blind faith in the executive branch of the US government is anti-establishment now.

As bizarre as these interactions have been, they are still vastly more pleasant than my typical interactions with the faction I see as QAnon’s mirror image, the Russiagaters. Though enthusiasts of the Russiagate conspiracy theory are far more nasty and vituperative than the Q crowd, there are many similarities. Like QAnon, Russiagate is fueled by about ten percent information and ninety percent desperate need to believe. Like QAnon, Russiagate is so thinly substantiated it doesn’t begin to look legitimate until you’ve spent weeks crawling down the rabbit holes of its bulletproof echo chambers and squinting just right at everything you see until it feels true. Like QAnon, the evangelists of Russiagate center their revolutionary sentiment around President Donald Trump. Like QAnon, they shouldn’t.

READ MORE

Dave Rubin Handles Protesters at University of New Hampshire 6

Dave goes back and forth with protesters during his entire speech to students at the University of New Hampshire. Due to security threats the University moved the venue from a 300 seat room to a 7500 seat hockey rink – without informing all of the attendees. This event was hosted by Turning Point USA.

Romney praises Trump’s first year in office: It’s similar to things ‘I’d have done’ 1

Another former Never Trumper admits Trump turned out to be just another moderate Republican/neocon stooge, as all presidents ultimately do if they want to remain alive, out of jail, and employable when they leave office.

By John Bowden

MSN.Com

Mitt Romney wearing a suit and tie standing in front of a building

Former GOP presidential nominee and current Senate candidate Mitt Romney praised President Trump’s first year in office on Tuesday, saying it was similar to what the first year of a Romney administration would look like.

In response to a question from a voter in Utah, Romney seemed to indicate that he largely approved of the policies pursued by the Trump administration during Trump’s first year in the White House, calling it “better than expected,” the Washington Examiner reports.

“His first year is very similar to things I’d have done my first year,” Romney said. “The things he’s actually done have been better than I expected.”

READ MORE

The Great Lesson of California in America’s New Civil War Reply

I agree with the author of this article that there’s likely no compromise in the Red/Blue tribal civil war, and that it will likely the Blue tribe that wins with the US increasingly becoming a one-party state under the Democrats. Although I don’t share his optimism about the outcome of all that given that his preferred model, California, is developing a Third World class system (see Joel Kotkin here and here).

By Peter Leyden and Ruy Teixeira

Medium

he next time you call for bipartisan cooperation in America and long for Republicans and Democrats to work side by side, stop it. Remember the great lesson of California, the harbinger of America’s political future, and realize that today such bipartisan cooperation simply can’t get done.

In this current period of American politics, at this juncture in our history, there’s no way that a bipartisan path provides the way forward. The way forward is on the path California blazed about 15 years ago.

In the early 2000s, California faced a similar situation to the one America faces today. Its state politics were severely polarized, and state government was largely paralyzed. The Republican Party was trapped in the brain-dead orthodoxies of an ideology stuck in the past. The party was controlled by zealous activists and corrupt special interests who refused to face up to the reality of the new century. It was a party that refused to work with the Democrats in good faith or compromise in any way.

The solution for the people of California was to reconfigure the political landscape and shift a supermajority of citizens — and by extension their elected officials — under the Democratic Party’s big tent. The natural continuum of more progressive to more moderate solutions then got worked out within the context of the only remaining functioning party. The California Democrats actually cared about average citizens, embraced the inevitable diversity of 21st-century society, weren’t afraid of real innovation, and were ready to start solving the many challenges of our time, including climate change.

READ MORE

A New Study Shows How American Polarization is Driven by a Team Sports Mentality, Not by Disagreement on Issues Reply

Glad to see someone actually notices this.

By Zaid Jilani

The Intercept

n 2004, then-Senator Barack Obama wowed the country with an address at the Democratic National Convention designed to unite the country and tear down partisan divides.

“Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes,” he said. “Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.”

He talked about how in so-called blue states they “worship an awesome God” and about how people have gay friends in red states. “There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America,” he said to thunderous applause.

READ MORE

Donald Trump: Business as Usual But… Reply

My assessment of the Trump presidency thus far.

By Keith Preston

Trump Kissinger

When Donald Trump’s seemingly maverick presidential campaign began to accelerate in 2016, both the Left and Right in domestic U.S. politics began to formulate predictable reactions almost on cue. Virtually the entire spectrum of the American right-wing, save the seeming spoil sports of the (neo-Trotskyist) neoconservative milieu, began heralding “The Donald” as the savior of (pick one) the American nation, the white race, the free market, the working class, the Christian faith, traditional values, or something or other. Such was the attitude of virtually the entire configuration of the Alt-Right/Lite, ordinary FOX News watching Republican voters, white nationalists, the religious right, and not a few libertarians. Of course, the Left reacted with a parallel reflex, insisting that Trump was the second coming of Hitler, or at least Mussolini or at the bare minimum Franco. In the weeks leading up to the election I was constantly getting messages from right-wing friends saying things like “Hope you’re on the Trump train!” and from left-wing friends saying “Hope you’re voting against the fascist!” Of course, being the contrarian that I am, I declined to get aboard any trains, and I voted for the same candidate I always vote for, i.e. the illustrious Nobody.

READ MORE

Image result for trump nixon reagan

Polling Shows Running on Progressive Policies Would Work in Swing Districts 5

I am inclined towards the view that Trumpism will result in a huge backlash from the Left, unless the Republicans are able to solve their rising demographic, cultural, and generational problems.

By Aida Chavez

The Intercept

cliché that each faction within each party believes that victory would be assured if only the party would follow their preferred policy approach. Democrats in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, which has been becoming increasingly involved in primaries across the country in a way it hasn’t before, now has polling to back up its claim.

The data, crunched by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, comes from a survey of 600 likely 2018 voters over the phone in 30 targeted swing districts, and an additional oversample of 300 Democratic-leaning surge voters. (Those are people who don’t have a history of voting and are less certain to vote in 2018.)

Swing districts often have a roughly equal balance of Democrats and Republicans, leading political strategists to advise moderation as the path to victory. But, Lake’s poll found, that’s not what voters in those districts actually want.

Almost three-quarters of the voters surveyed, for instance, supported “Medicare for All.” Policies dealing with cheaper prescription drugs, infrastructure, protecting Social Security and Medicare, and cracking down on Wall Street, are exceedingly popular with swing and surge voters alike, the survey found.

READ MORE

Democrats Should Blame Themselves, Not the Russians, for Trump’s Election: Keith Preston Interviewed by C-Realm Radio 1

Listen here.

A C-Realm listener commented that some of “the denizens of various C-Realm-adjacent parts of cyberspace” aren’t much impressed with the narrative that Russian interference in the 2016 election put Donald Trump in the White House. KMO isn’t remotely impressed by this narrative, nor is this week’s guest, Keith Preston of Attack the System. By fixating on the notion that Clinton would have won had it not been for those meddling Rooskies, DNC partisans remain blind to the fact that their party has very little to offer the people on the losing end of wealth and class polarization. Later, KMO explains why he is making a deliberate effort to disengage from the madness that is Facebook.

How President Trump Normalized Neoconservatism Reply

The Never Trumpers need not have worried. As I have always said, the US President is merely a celebrity-administrator whose only genuine function is to preside over the implementation of policies that reflect the general consensus of the dominant factions of the elite. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO THE PRESIDENT IS. Trump governs as a moderate Republican, not as any kind of right-wing revolutionary, much less as “fascist.” President Hillary Clinton would have pursued similar policies as would President Oprah Winfrey, President Mark Zuckerberg, or President Kim Kardashian. Any US President that seriously tried to defy ruling class consensus or undermine ruling class interests would be removed from office, possibly imprisoned, potentially murdered. Participation in presidential politics is an absolute waste of time (except for purposes of mockery and propaganda, hence the value of campaigns such as those of Adam Kokesh and Cherie DeVille).

By Ilana Mercer

Ludwig von Mises Centre

It’s fact: Neoconservatives are pleased with President Trump’s foreign policy.

A couple of months back, Bloomberg’s Eli Lake let it know he was in neoconservative nirvana:

“… for Venezuela, [Donald Trump] came very close to calling for regime change. ‘The United States has taken important steps to hold the regime accountable,’ Trump said. ‘We are prepared to take further action if the government of Venezuela persists on its path to impose authoritarian rule on the Venezuelan people.’”

“For a moment,” swooned Lake, “I closed my eyes and thought I was listening to a Weekly Standard editorial meeting.”

Onward to Venezuela!

Mr. Lake, a neoconservative, was loving every moment. In error, he and his kind confuse an expansionist foreign policy with “American exceptionalism.”

It’s not.

As it happens, neocons are in luck. Most Americans know little of the ideas that animated their country’s founding. They’re more likely to hold ideas in opposition to the classical-liberal philosophy of the Founders, and, hence, wish to see the aggrandizement of the coercive, colossal, Warfare State.

That’s just the way things are.

So, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have enlisted the West in “a proxy Sunni-Shia religious war,” Riyadh’s ultimate aim. Donald Trump has been perfectly willing to partake.

After a campaign of “America First,” the president sided with Sunni Islam while demonizing Iran. Iranians have killed zero Americans in terrorist attacks in the US between 1975-2015; Saudi Arabians murdered 2369!

Iranians recently reelected a reformer. Pray tell who elected the Gulf petrostate sheiks?

Moderates danced in the streets of Tehran when President Hassan Rouhani was reelected. Curiously, they’re currently rioting.

If past is prologue, Ron Paul is probably right when he says the CIA is likely meddling in Iranian politics. For the Left and the pseudo-Right, this is a look-away issue. As the left-liberal establishment lectures daily, to question the Central Intelligence Agency—its spooks are also agitating against all vestiges of President Trump’s original “America First” plank—is to “undermine American democracy.”

Besides, “good” Americans know that only the Russians “meddle.”

READ MORE

 

When Will Trump Supporters in The Freedom Movement Realize They Were Duped? 3

By Derrick Broze

The Activist Post

What will it take for Trump supporters to admit they were duped like Obama supporters before them?

One of the most surprising (and disappointing) effects of the Trump presidency has been the shift of certain “independent” and ” alternative” media outlets from truth seekers to establishment supporters.

We have seen several once great outlets become part of the divide and conquer put forth by the powers-that-wish-they-were. It’s been one year of the Trump administration and I think it’s quite clear that any perceived benefits are vastly outweighed by the negative actions of the administration. Some indy and alt outlets saw that Trump was a deceiver from the get go, but others somehow fell prey to the deception. Some have since abandoned the Trump train, picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and rejoined the fight for liberty.

Now, of course, there are the diehards who will inevitably stick with Trump through his entire presidential career no matter what policy he takes, even when in contradiction with not only his own words, but with the principles previously espoused by these die hard followers. Just as with Obama (and Bush, Clinton, etc. before him) some of the supporters have such a level of cognitive dissonance that they are literally incapable of having a rational discussion without a flood of emotion and panic which shuts down all reason and critical thinking. It’s best to walk away when you recognize this stage.

However, if you are a Trump supporter and you’re still reading this, I’d like to offer four pieces of evidence showing where Trump has displayed authoritarian behavior. Let me preface this by stating that attempts at defending Trump by claiming “he is only carrying on what Obama did”, or, “it’s not his fault”, etc. will be dismissed outright. However, if you have something substantial – a legitimate reason you can put forth for supporting him – I will consider it. I won’t support him by any means (he needs some serious help), but perhaps I’ll have a more full understanding of my fellow human. So here you go…

The Border is turning into a Surveillance and Police State

Under the guise of “border security” and “fighting illegal immigration” the Trump administration has granted the Customs and Border Patrol and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement wide ranging powers which violate constitutionally guaranteed protections (and rights that all people should have). The expansion is not about catching illegal immigrants, but establishing a “biometric wall” with facial and retinal scanning for ALL people leaving and entering, armed surveillance towers, automatic license plate readers, and other forms of surveillance.

READ MORE

President Trump’s 2017 Report Card (first draft) 2

When Trump was running for President, I predicted that he would govern about like a moderate Republican in the Nixon-Rockefeller tradition, or as a centrist Democrat in the style of Bill Clinton. Apparently, I was right. It’s rather embarrassing that so many in the various “anarchist” camps have bought into the anti-Trump hysteria. Trumpism is an enemy, but only a peripheral one. The real enemy is the establishment center. Serious anarchists should be just as opposed to neoliberal and progressive Democrats as they are to conservative or populist Republicans.

By Scott Adams

As we approach the holiday season there will be much debate on how President Trump has performed for his first calendar year. As a populist president, I think the best way to judge his performance is by focusing on the issues voters say are their top priorities. Pew Research polled voters to determine their political priorities for 2017. Let’s see how President Trump is doing so far on the top ten priorities according to the public.

Terrorism (76% rated top priority)

ISIS is on the run, thanks in part to President Trump’s loosening of the rules of military engagement, as well as pivoting from a Whack-a-Mole strategy to a total annihilation strategy with no withdrawal date. Both moves are good persuasion. And while President Trump’s “extreme vetting” is unpopular with many citizens, it has probably reduced risk to the homeland. And General Mattis is widely considered to be a strong hire.

     Grade: A

Economy (73% rated top priority)

I’ll give President Obama 75% credit for the strong economy. But I think consumer confidence and the stock market tell us there is optimism about the current administration. That confidence is buoyed by Trump’s reduction in regulations via executive orders, his tough talk on trade, and his persuasion toward a higher GDP that is already becoming self-fulfilling. If people believe the economy will be better next year than this year, they invest this year, thus making next year better. We might see something good come out of tax reform, but I don’t think it will matter as much as people assume.

     Grade: A

 

READ MORE

8 numbers out of Alabama that should terrify Republicans Reply

This is an interesting analysis of Roy Moore’s defeat from CNN.

Some of this polling data would seem to bear out what I have been saying for quite some time. For around 15 years, I have been arguing that conventional “right-wing” politics of the kind associated with racism, religious fundamentalism, social conservatism, Chamber of Commerce types, or traditional WASP social norms is slowly being killed off by cultural, demographic, and generational changes. Instead, this older form of “conservatism” is being replaced by a new kind of “conservatism” rooted in newer, high-tech industries and a rising upper middle class that is ostensibly “liberal” or cosmopolitan in its cultural outlook but no less to committed imperialism, statism, and capitalism than its “right-wing” predecessors. Obviously, this rising class of New Elites is already dominant in the Blue Zones. However, the influence of the Blue Tribe continues to expand, even in surprising ways. My own state of Virginia was once one of the reddest of the Red Zones, but has now turned Blue.

More…

Radicalism is on the rise in American politics 1

Another article by Kotkin that is consistent with my own analysis of domestic US politics as well. Domestic US politics at present can be divided into four basic factions:

The Dominant Faction. Centrist neoliberals representing the rising techno-oligarchy, Wall Street and Kotkin’s “new clerisy” embedded in the managerial class, academia, and the media, and represented by politicians like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

The Rising Left-Progressive Faction. The left-leaning sectors that are a rising force in the Democratic Party as described by Kotkin in the article below.

The Declining Republican Establishment. The odd alliance of the traditional WASP American plutocracy, right-wing Zionist billionaires, and right-wing Trokskyist neocons that dominated US politics during the George W. Bush era.

Trumpian Populist-Nationalists. Elements within the elite who oppose both the dominant faction and the Republican establishment, and who prefer a more Reaganesque approach to economic policy and a Nixonian/Kissingerian realist approach to foreign policy, that is primarily interested in countering the rise of the Eastern axis in international relations. To understand the populist-nationalist “base” that supports this faction, one need only read Marx’s 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon or my own critiques of “movement conservatism” (see here and here).

By Joel Kotkin

Orange County Register

More…