Trump bets his presidency on a ‘silent majority’ Reply

Donald Milhous Trump. I’ve always thought Trump resembled nothing quite so much as the Nixon, Nelson Rockefeller, Spiro Agnew, etc. Republicans from the 70s. He’s not the supply-side dogmatist that emerged during the 80s, and his foreign policy approach is more in the vein of Kissinger’s Machiavellian realism than Reagan’s Crusaderism or the Jacobinism of the neocons. He doesn’t give a damn about the social conservatism of the religious right unless he can get some political mileage out of it. And the Sanders crowd strongly resembles the McGovernites.

Trump’s handling of the pandemic has not been popular, and obviously, he can’t run on the economy. The law and order angle certainly provides him with an opportunity. But the problem is that it’s no longer 1968 or 1972. The fragmentation of the upper-middle class into warring Red/Blue teams with the dominant sectors of the upper-middle class increasingly moving leftward makes a Nixonian strategy less viable now than it was 50 years ago. Think of it as Fred Dutton’s revenge.

By David Siders

Politico

With his law-and-order, tough-on-protesters rhetoric, Donald Trump is betting his presidency it still exists.

The suburbs — not the red, but sparsely populated rural areas of the country most often associated with Trump — are where Trump found the majority of his support in 2016. Yet it was in the suburbs that Democrats built their House majority two years ago in a dramatic midterm repudiation of the Republican president.

Now, Trump’s approach to the violence and unrest that have gripped the nation’s big cities seems calibrated toward winning back those places, in the hopes that voters will recoil at the current images of chaos and looting — as they did in the late 1960s — and look to the White House for stability.

“There’s a lot of concern about the way the Minneapolis police acted,” said former Rep. Tom Davis, a seven-term Republican from the suburbs of Northern Virginia. “But whenever you start looting — and now the stuff’s spread out to Leesburg, it’s in Manassas … the politics takes a different turn.”

In Minnesota alone — where Floyd died and where protests have roiled Minneapolis and St. Paul — the state Democratic Party estimates there are 250,000 white, non-college educated men who are eligible to vote but aren’t registered — more than five times the number of votes Trump would have needed to catch Hillary Clinton in the state in 2016.

“It’s what keeps me awake at night,” said Pete Giangreco, a Democratic strategist who has worked on nine presidential campaigns. “I think there are a lot more people who support this president who didn’t vote last time than opposed this president and didn’t vote last time. That is how they win.”

Trump, he said, “is playing to them, fanning the flames of division instead of what just about every other president in our lifetimes — Republican or Democrat —would do.”

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Nina Turner: Dr. Cornel West is right, we need more than black faces in high places Reply

I really hope they’re not just now realizing that.

I don’t really consider poor, urban (or rural) blacks to be part of the Blue Tribe. The Red/Blue tribal civil war is between the left and right wings of the upper-middle class, with both sides aligning themselves different factions of the ruling class, and occasionally managing to co-opt sectors of the lower to lower-middle class. Poor blacks are primarily part of the lower proletariat or lumpenproletariat (along with the poorest people among other ethnicities) not the Blue Tribe.

Van Jones does a pretty good takedown of the left-wing of the yuppie class in this.

While the culture war in an internecine rivalry within the upper-middle class, the class war is the bottom 40% (mostly the non-voting sectors) against the upper 20% (the 1% and their managerial lackeys) with the other 40% caught in the middle trying to fight their way up but constantly getting pushed back down.

 

The Alt Right Increasingly Embraces Communism, is Destroying Itself 6

A few years back, when I used to speak to Alt-Right groups, leftist friends would ask me why I was interested in them. I used to always say, “Just think of them as the Communist Party of the Right.” I even presented what was essentially a Maoist interpretation of international relations at one of their conferences. I didn’t realize at the time how right I was.

De Blasio now says some ‘anarchist’ protesters are local amid continued defense of NYPD Reply

When are anarchists going to learn that neoliberals are just as much the enemy as anyone on the Right?

By Michelle Bocanegra

Politico

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday blamed an organized group of anarchists for inciting violence and vandalism amid protests over the killing of George Floyd, but conceded some were from the city and the neighborhoods where demonstrations were happening — a shift from his message Saturday night.

“Some come from outside the city. Some are from inside the city,” he said. “Some are from the neighborhoods where the protests take place, some are not. But what we do know is there is an explicit agenda of violence and it does not conform with the history of this city in which we have always honored non-violent protests.”

Only hours before, on Saturday night, the mayor insisted the threat of violence was coming from “out of town” demonstrators, many of whom are “not from communities of color” and have a “warped ideology” that leads them to “harming working people who are police officers.”

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The Anarchist Economic Wars Escalate 6

I know and like Derrick and Will. They both do very good work in their respective domains though, as I suspected, the Minneapolis situation appears to be driving a deeper wedge between anti-capitalist and proprietarian anarchists. I’m generally okay with looting Target, but I’m also generally okay with others disagreeing. In 2016, I knew self-proclaimed and unquestionably sincere anarchists and libertarians who voted for either Hillary or Trump, which for me was a facepalm moment, but nothing I felt any need to hate anyone over. I knew people on “both sides” of the 2017 debacle in Charlottesville who were pissed that I didn’t fully take their “side,” but, hey, I call them like I see them.

Unfair Stereotypes? 4

I actually know quite a few people with conservative/right-wing or centrist/liberal views who think what was done to George Floyd was terrible. Fighting the state should be about reaching as wide an audience as possible (i.e. winning the Gramscian war of ideas) not pigeonholing people based on broad assumptions even if the assumptions are sometimes true.

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If your core values are in support of capitalism then in one way or another you’re supporting the divisiveness of the capitalist system and the systematic cultural oppression that goes along with it.

Tucker: Ballot harvesting makes a mockery of the secret vote Reply

I have noticed that the Blue Tribe and Red Tribe increasingly accuse each other of election fraud. They’re both probably right. Eventually, it will get to the point that the losing side in an election automatically assumes their opponents cheated, which will undermine the perceived legitimacy of the electoral process itself. If that happens, both sides could potentially move toward the endorsement of an outright dictatorship (a secular theocracy run by their respective sides, of course). Far be it from any of them to actually consider the prospect of peaceful separation.

Tribes, Tantrums, SJWs, and “The Atheist Movement” Reply

A somewhat interesting discussion of culture war politics from some left-leaning atheist folks. The more interesting parts start about 44 minutes into the discussion.

Two questions that I am sometimes asked are what would my ideal version of an anarchist society actually look like, my endorsement of pluralism aside, and what is my actual position on this-or-that topical issue of controversy?

I don’t really have an “ideal” version of anarchism in the sense of what kind of utopia I would personally prefer to live in, just like I don’t have a single restaurant that is a personal favorite, though I prefer some restaurants over others, just as I have a more favorable view of some blueprints for a proposed utopia than others.

On topical issues, I hold to a variety of far-left (anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, anti-police, prison abolition), liberal (abortion rights, anti-death penalty, civil rights, “cosmopolitan libertinism”), centrist (balance the polar extremes), libertarian (legalize drugs, repeal vice laws), conservative (gun/self-defense rights), and far-right views (freedom of association, speech, and religion include racists, sexists, homophobes, fundamentalists, and other official bad people).  These are the positions that I think are the most consistent with the general application of anarchism as an anti-authoritarian political philosophy. But I am more interested in meta-politics than topical issues.

At the same time, I think there is a wide range of topics on which sincere anarchists and libertarians can disagree on: abortion, anarchism/minarchism, capital punishment, wage labor, animal rights, a range of ecological issues, defining ownership rights, the limits of children’s rights, immigration, inheritance, copyrights, balancing LGBT rights or church/state separation with religious liberty, legal theory, philosophical foundations, strategy/alliances, “humanitarian” interventions during threats of genocide, whether Ayn Rand was a great thinker or (my view) a psychopathic cult leader, voting, pacifism, violence, democracy vs. anti-majoritarianism, “identity” issues, tribalism, religious beliefs, the validity of conspiracy analysis, or this-or-that scientific, medical, or historical heresy. I also think anarchists and libertarians will always have to share space in the world with other perspectives and value systems (hence, the need for panarchism, decentralization, city-states, etc).

 

Atheist YouTube activists Shannon Q, Jimmy Snow, and Paulogia join Seth Andrews for a candid conversation about atheism, activism, religion, social justice, and the state of the world.

Tucker Carlson SHOCKS, calls for primarying corporate Republicans Reply

First, Marianne Williamson calls for “primarying” neoliberal Democrats with social democrats, and now Tucker Carlson calls for “primarying” neoliberal Republicans with “national-populists.” About 20 years ago, I started noticing the rise of anti-neoliberal tendencies in Europe with social-democratic (e.g. SYRIZA) and right-populist tendencies (e.g. LePenism). I figured the same trends would eventually develop in the US, and it seems to be happening now. It’s also rather sad that “libertarianism” has come to be associated with neoliberalism.

Trump campaign tries to get to Biden’s left on criminal justice after ‘You ain’t black’ moment Reply

As the saying goes, “You can’t make this shit up.” As one who is interested in political strategy, I have to hand it to the Trumpists on this one. Shore up with right-wing vote with pro-religion, pro-gun, pro-life, pro-Red Tribe/hate liberals rhetoric, and then cut into the black, Hispanic, and union vote with labor protectionism and criminal justice reform. Pretty shrewd.

Director of Strategic Communications for the Trump campaign, Marc Lotter, discusses how the campaign plans to earn black votes through criminal justice reform.

Hannity: Biden can’t hide from his disturbing pattern of racial rhetoric Reply

Biden has really given FAUX News a lot of ammunition with which to work Dinesh D’souza’s “Democrats are the real racists!” angle.

The Democrats would be in a much better position if they would simply euthanize this guy, stuff him like Lenin, and make a ventriloquist dummy out of him while hiring a voice impersonator to record his speeches for him.

And, Democrats, don’t this guy anywhere near a debate stage.

 

Why I Reject US Politics in a Nutshell Reply

A couple of lines in a message from a reader illustrate perfectly well why I reject domestic US politics.
Americans, to the degree they are even aware that the US has an empire, seem largely apathetic about it or reflexively supportive of it (“if not us, who else?”), and often even if they are against it, it usually falls well behind other priorities.
This is why I tend to think that the entire spectrum of “culture warriors,” most of whom are middle to upper-class people (and therefore part of the global 1%), suffer from “First World privilege” and I just can’t take them seriously.
I imagine most of the already-politically-engaged folks would be unwilling to put down their pitchforks against the opposing tribe (since the main objective on either side seems to be somehow winning the culture war, at all levels of government and social life, forever).
In order words, our Red Tribe/Blue Tribe partisans are coalitions of crybabies and ignoramuses who insist they are being oppressed if they can’t have their way 100% of the time. They think the world can never be at peace as long as there is one remaining whiff of homophobia or one last Confederate flag in Mississippi, or one remaining abortion clinic or gun control law in Connecticut.

Michael Brooks and Ben Burgis Critique the Intellectual Dark Web 4

I am not a fan of Jacobin boys like Michael Brooks and Ben Burgis and their left-statist/social-democratic/reformist/Berniebro perspective, but I would have to share their disdain for the “Intellectual Dark Web.” The problem I see with the IDW people who are more leftward in their origins is that they seem to be following the same trajectory as the neocons (i.e. former leftists who became Republicans or conservatives because the left became “too left” on certain things, like anti-Zionism, anti-Cold War, or Third Worldist). At this point, the former liberals and leftists around the IDW seem to have moved into the orbit of actual neocons like Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro, although there also seems to be a conflict between the neocon/corporate libertarian/liberal wing of the IDW and the more Alt-Right-leaning sectors of the IDW. Ultimately, this kind of stuff merely blends into Trumpism (and Dave Rubin, whose show is kind of the nexus of the IDW, even had Donald Trump, Jr. on his program which couldn’t have been done for any other purpose than to brown-nose Trump himself).

The Case for Not Voting Reply

Kyle takes his stand with the 46%.

Between the 46% who either don’t vote or vote third-party, the 67% of voters who constitute the “exhausted majority,” the minority of Blue Tribers and Red Tribers who are tired of the bullshit, and former establishmentarians who see through it all (the Carne Ross-types), we anti-Systemists or System-skeptical folks are a super-majority, even if we don’t agree on anything else.

Of course, what Kyle wants is not to disengage from or overthrow the System. What he wants is to merely vote for a Bernie Sanders-type. But for refusing to vote for either Trump or Biden, he’s at least moving in the right direction, much to the consternation of Blue Tribe fundamentalists like Cenk Uygur (who strikes me as a major douchebag).

This is an interesting video where Kyle explains why he is a reformist-social democrat rather than an anarcho-syndicalist or libertarian socialist like Noam Chomsky (who engages in way too may reformist deviations of his own). Basically, he says he “just doesn’t get it.” Fair enough. That’s what many libertarians and anarchists have said about my positions, lol. Interestingly, in many European countries, and some Latin American and Asian countries, Kyle’s positions would be considered “center-right.” The way he describes his views, he basically sounds like a Christian Democrat or an Ordliberal.

‘The Anarchist Post-Capitalist Vision’ 1

An-com Wayne Price on post-capitalism.

I should probably point out that NONE of the perspectives I have posted here recently care for my position. Not Price, not Carson, not WSA, not LibCom, not Anarkismo, and not orthodox libertarians. I’m generally too libertarian for the libsocs/libcoms/an-syns/an-coms, and “too left” for the an-caps/orthodox libertarians. For the left-libertarians/anarchists, I have the additional liability of being a supposed “fascist” fellow traveler, mostly because I recognize tendencies like national-anarchism as legitimate branches of anarchism, and that the anarchist principles of decentralized voluntary association imply a cultural pluralism where someone, somewhere, somehow might do something “un-progressive” or “reactionary.”

What the Coronavirus Revealed About Life in Red vs. Blue States Reply

By Jennifer Medina and Robert Gebeloff

New York Times

The staggering American death toll from the coronavirus, now approaching 100,000, has touched every part of the country, but the losses have been especially acute along its coasts, in its major cities, across the industrial Midwest, and in New York City.

The devastation, in other words, has been disproportionately felt in blue America, which helps explain why people on opposing sides of a partisan divide that has intensified in the past two decades are thinking about the virus differently. It is not just that Democrats and Republicans disagree on how to reopen businesses, schools, and the country as a whole. Beyond perception, beyond ideology, there are starkly different realities for red and blue America right now.

Democrats are far more likely to live in counties where the virus has ravaged the community, while Republicans are more likely to live in counties that have been relatively unscathed by the illness, though they are paying an economic price. Counties won by President Trump in 2016 have reported just 27 percent of the virus infections and 21 percent of the deaths — even though 45 percent of Americans live in these communities, a New York Times analysis has found.

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