February 24, 2016

Talking heads still largely clueless about Trump phenomenon (better that they can't figure us out)

Watching CNN's coverage of Trump's sweeping victory in Nevada, I was amazed that most of the talking heads are still going on about his personality, his branding of himself, his appeal to anger, etc., and no awareness of the actual positions he represents. Indeed, whenever the matter does come up, they all flippantly say that he has no real policies, no specifics, other than building the wall.

It's not because they lack the intelligence to see the patterns (populism and nationalism vs. elitism and globalism), nor are they cynically trying to portray his campaign as a great big clown show anymore. The talking heads on CNN are generally more open-minded and curious about what's going on and what makes people tick, and aren't the dour snarky ideologues that you see on Fox News or MSNBC. They really want to understand, but they're like a colorblind person squinting and tilting their head at a Fauvist painting, and wondering what it is that draws so many spectators to it.

The basic points of populism and nationalism are simply so far outside of anything they've ever been exposed to in their lives, whether personal or professional, that there's nothing there for them to see in Trump's campaign. It's not that they've had experience with it, and reject it -- they have only ever experienced the elite-centered and globalist-centered set of beliefs, discussions, and policies. It's an entire range of wavelengths of light that they've never been exposed to, and remain colorblind to.

Not to be too hard on the talking heads, the entire Establishment group of politicians, donors, voters, and onlookers cannot see what's going on because they've been insulated from populism and nationalism throughout their personal and professional lives.

This bodes well for the general election, obviously, since Hillary couldn't be more immersed in elitism and globalism. But beyond that, it's encouraging that the entrenched incumbents in the economy and the government will not be able to do anything about the Trump phenomenon because they can't even understand it at the simplest level. Trump is like the Predator stalking his victims while cloaked from their vision.

Re-shaping the society back to a healthy state will take a long time, but each necessary action will not be a bitter war of attrition. It's going to be like shooting fish in a barrel.

27 comments:

  1. Yesterday CNN was reporting about the Rubio and Cruz machines getting frustrated in Nevada, as everyone they talked to was already a Trump supporter and made it very clear there was zero, ZERO chance of making them change their minds. These people truly have no concept of someone voting on principle instead of according to some sleazy expediency.

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  2. http://verysmartbrothas.com/want-to-make-america-great-again-but-dont-know-how-easy-white-slavery/

    "Of course, not everyone who believes Trump’s message is aware of its racial implications. For some — specifically working class Whites — it is truly about a return to the days of “Leave it to Beaver,” where everyone had a job, everyone had a status, and everyone had a place. A purpose. But, as Slate’s Ben Mathis-Lilley articulates, that great society was made possible because of discrimination, not in spite of it. Whites had so much free stuff because we had none of it, so there was more to go around.

    Of course, this is not news to many Black Americans. We’re very aware of how discrimination shifted the scales, drastically and permanently. (If fact, the scales weren’t just shifted. They’ve never been unshifted. That’s the default settling. The only point of their existence is to be unshifted.) We know how racism has affected everything from accumulation of wealth to degree of physical health. We’ve learned how America’s status as the richest country in the history of the world is largely due to the centuries of free labor it received. Again, these are not new or foreign concepts to us.

    This is the cure-all, the remedy, the anecdote. This is the vaccine that’ll make America great again; the Robitussin that’ll stop our sniffles. Imagine how amazing our median wealth would be with 200 million slaves. Think of all the bridges built, roads repaired, and fields hoed if this happened. Dream of all the things we’d be able to do as a country with the biggest slave population in the history of mankind."

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  3. Not that I watch cable news, but CNN is at least tolerable when they're not pandering to blax or "Hispanics," FNC's 90's tabloid style is terrible.

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  4. If you haven't read the MPC favorite The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt, please please please do. It offers by far the best explanation of why a significant percentage of the population is constitutionally incapable of hearing the notes that Trump is playing.

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  5. I just found your blog a few days ago. Nice.

    "Watching CNN's coverage of Trump's sweeping victory in Nevada, I was amazed that most of the talking heads are still going on about his personality, his branding of himself, his appeal to anger, etc., and no awareness of the actual positions he represents."

    Why? When it comes to consumer media, that's par for the course. It's been that way for a long time. People like people and their personalities, they aren't too into ideas.

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  6. """We’ve learned how America’s status as the richest country in the history of the world is largely due to the centuries of free labor it received. Again, these are not new or foreign concepts to us."""

    There's no way anybody actually believes this.

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  7. "People like people and their personalities, they aren't too into ideas."

    This isn't the first time Trump's run for president, but his previous campaigns went nowhere (in retrospect he was probably just feeling out the process and getting people used to the idea). If it was all about his personality and brand recognition he would've been a huge splash back then, but clearly he wasn't.

    The critical, critical thing to understand about Trump's historic run in 2015-2016 is that IT'S HIS POLICIES!!!! People want a wall! They want the illegals kicked out! They don't want Muslim rapefugees! They want offshoring reversed! And no other candidate was willing to even seriously talk about these things, let alone stake a campaign on them. Trump saw the opening, sacked up, and drove the Trump Train right through it. Yes, it helps that he's rich, famous, and a savvy media personality, but that is absolutely not why people are willing to fight and die for him. On day one he stood up and said "we're going to build a wall, and we're going to bring our jobs back home from China and Mexico", and from that point on it's only been a question of whether the establishment would manage to thwart the will of the people.

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  8. There's no way anybody actually believes this.

    Everybody in academia does, and they teach it to their students. Capitalism and Slavery, by Eric Williams, which first advanced this argument, is still found on a lot of intro humanities reading lists. It was published in the early 1940s.

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  9. "Whites had so much free stuff because we had none of it, so there was more to go around."

    Dis nigga. His group has been replaced by foreigners -- jobs, housing, neighborhoods, govt goodies -- and he's blaming whites from the 1950s (when they pushed through desegregation with the force of the Army). Still stuck in identity politics mode.

    Fortunately more and more blacks are realizing how little they've gotten from identity politics. Now it's time to kick out the foreigners who've taken their jobs, used that income to take over their houses or apartments, and used gang warfare to ethnically cleanse the black neighborhoods.

    "We’ve learned how America’s status as the richest country in the history of the world is largely due to the centuries of free labor it received."

    Yeah, America became a rich great nation from its backward plantation economy of staple crop cultivation... just like Haiti and Cuba. Slaves didn't build industry, white people did.

    Let this fool vote for Hillary Clinton, all the blacks who are worrying about "I got billz 2 pay" are going to turn out for Trump.

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  10. "The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt"

    I think there's something more than just liberal vs. conservative moral intuitions at play here. Libs aren't going to understand nationalism (that plays on the loyalty / in-group factor), but why not the conservatives who CNN or Fox have on?

    They're globalist conservatives, and have only known that as True Conservatism. Eisenhower, who wanted us OUT of the Korean War (started by Democrat idealist nation-builders), would be ridiculed if he were a guest on Fox News these days.

    And liberals, as well as conservatives, are capable of resonating with populism, since that plays to the fairness / egalitarian factor, and also the provision of care factor. But today's liberals have never experienced that with respect to class -- it's always been about identity. Which groups are "historically under-represented," etc. It's about race, sex, gayness, and trannie-dom.

    If liberals were incapable of resonating with Trump's populist and nationalist message, he wouldn't be enjoying such strong crossover appeal for the Reagan Democrats.

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  11. "We’ve learned how America’s status as the richest country in the history of the world is largely due to the centuries of free labor it received."

    Yes, look at the Third World squalor that lack of slavery condemned Canada and Australia too.

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  12. BTW, another heartwarming change I've noticed is how all the Trump haters ("skeptics") are now saying, OK so he'll get the nomination and probably even win the election -- BUT, he won't be able to do policy X, or policy Y, or policy Z.

    It's no different from the train of "he won't run" / "he won't file his financials" / "he won't break 20%" / "he won't win any states" / "he won't last past February".

    Now they've accepted the inevitability of a Trump administration, and are shifting the goalposts to concern troll about what he will or will not be able to achieve in office.

    It's happening, my friends.

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  13. Getting back to elite cluelessness, we keep hearing about the different "lanes" that the candidates are on -- the Establishment lane, the anti-Establishment lane, the values voter lane, etc.

    This picture makes it sound like all candidates are on the same path, moving in the same direction, toward the same goal. The only difference is who's in which lane of the shared path, and whether being on an inside or outside lane, a bumpier or a smoother lane, will get them to the goal the fastest.

    In reality, they are all on diverging paths, not different lanes within the same path. Only one of those paths leads to victory, and the others point in other directions, all of them leading to oblivion.

    Each candidate is pursuing a different strategy tailored to which path they think leads to victory. It's like the guy who thinks the goal is in the jungle, bringing a machete to clear heavy brush, while the guy who thinks the goal is underwater brings a scuba tank, and the guy who thinks the goal is up a mountain brings hiking boots and rockclimbing gear.

    We are not witnessing three cars traveling in the same direction along the same path, all within sight of each other. Instead, we are watching three teams fanning out in search of buried treasure, each with wildly different ideas about where it's buried and how to get to it. One of them is on-track, and the others are lost.

    Lots of luck climbing that mountain with a machete or a scuba tank, geniuses.

    There is no Establishment lane to victory that "gets narrower" over time but still lies on the path to victory. That is a separate path pointing to oblivion at all times -- from the beginning, right now, and into the future.

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  14. FWIW, an item from Blind Gossip suggesting that Rubio is offering Cruz a VP or Supreme Court slot if he'll drop out by a specific date, probably March 1st or March 15th, as well as throw his support behind Rubio. After that, the offer is no good and no more offers will be made.

    http://blindgossip.com/?p=76841

    There was also a report of Rubio and Cruz holding a private meeting in Nevada before the caucus -- probably what they talked about.

    Good news all around. If Cruz drops out, much of his deluded supporters (who see him as anti-Establishment, when he's actually crypto-Establishment) will go to Trump, despite their guru urging them to go to Rubio. The Carson supporters would mostly go to Trump, too.

    Then all Trump does is give a little flick to the amnesty-promoting, WWIII-stoking, anchor baby foam party veteran robot, and it's all over. No more spoilers from the Cruz cult.

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  15. Rubio/Cruz administration: Castro's final revenge.

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  16. CNN admittedly is doing a much better job then FOX or MSNBC. I am finding myself watching Anderson Cooper and his panelists which I find to be very fair. You have the obvious partisans but I don't get the sense that Cooper has it out for Trump like Megan Kelley or the seething Lawrence O'Donnell. I have to give credit where its due.

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  17. A.B. Prosper2/24/16, 3:17 PM

    I though the enslave Whites guy was funny and it was a satire piece, a modest proposal of sorts since I am presume these guys know how heavily armed, well trained and outright scary Whites can be. Also we have access to nightmarish technology.

    Even so he's typical content for the nutters from Jet and Ebony steeped in Black mysticism, idiot racism and Nation of Islam propaganda.

    That said courting the Black vote is unimportant, Blacks make up 13% of the American population (and most being descendants of slaves are at least Americans) most always vote and Democrat and a good chunk of them can't legally vote.

    Of the small number that do vote Republican I hope they'll probably vote Trump simply because of the Black/Latino divide in many areas. In that case , Welcome to the Party Pal.

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  18. Agnostic, after every state you usually mention something about the demographics and make a big deal about what region of the country that state is from. You've been making a huge deal this entire time about how states West of the Mississippi and especially states that are not on the West Coast and far West of the Mississippi are rootless and won't vote for Trump for many reasons including that.

    Nevada voted 46% for Trump, way more than any other state, giving him more than a 20% victory! This is despite the fact that it was a Caucus on a weekday and not a primary on a weekend, and Trump prefers primaries because they give his Working class voters an opprotunity to vote without having to worry about Voters. I personally know multiple people who work at Las Vegas at night who would have voted for Trump if it were a weekend, and even without the primary Trump won Los Vegas with 50%+ of the vote.

    I've also seen multiple nationwide polls which showed that Nevada was his best state, and only one that showed New Jersey was his best state and even in that one Nevada was his second best state!
    How does it feel to be wrong about NEVADA and the WEST????? STATE PRIDE WORLDWIDE GO NEVADA!!! WE LOVE TRUMP MORE THAN THE EAST COAST, WEST COAST, MIDWEST, OR ANYWHERE ELSE!!!!

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  19. The easiest people to fool are those who think they're too smart to be fooled.

    That's because they will deliberately ignore signs they are being fooled to save their own egos. A con artist can get away with a scam a lot longer on a smart person than a dumb one if the smart person is unwilling to admit that they are wrong/have been duped.

    Once I read an interview with a pornographer who was traveling eastern Europe looking for new girls to trick into the business. He stated that it was actually easier to trick the smarter girls, because the dumb girls wouldn't bother to debate with him, but merely repeat, "No, no, no" and wouldn't listen to his argument. The smart girls would listen to his tricks and try to respond in kind, and end up getting confused and twisted up by his rationalizations, and then would deny that he tricked them.

    Bernie Madoff got away with his con for a lot longer than normal ponzi schemers. The reason why is that the people he scammed were high-IQ folks (rich NYC Eskimos) with big egos. They easily could have figured out his "investing" plan was nonsense (and a few did, and refused to invest with him), but many had such arrogance that once they put their money in with him, they refused to believe he was a ponzi schemer or that they got fooled. Thus, nobody blew the whistle on him---he had to blow it on himself when the money ran out.

    This is all to say that the talking heads have higher than average IQs to be sure, but their arrogance at their own intelligence makes them easy dupes. They literally are too prideful to admit they've been following bum steers for years and that Trump is genuine quality beef, and so are rationalizing it all away and living in denial---for their own egos and for their bosses' demands.

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  20. "Nevada voted 46% for Trump, way more than any other state"

    I knew that months ago when the polling showed him way above everyone else. You're just simple-minded, thinking that every pattern has to be 100%. Mississippi River is still the single greatest dividing line today.

    PS: you Nevadans had better get off your ass and turn the state red this time -- you guys voted for Obama TWICE, and not even in "purple state" territory. Then we'll listen about how great the voters out West are.

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  21. "I don't get the sense that Cooper has it out for Trump like Megan Kelley"

    Anderson Cooper is too needy to turn down some attention from Trump. In that SC town hall, he threw out a "my wife loves your show, actually" just to keep him on his side.

    I'm convinced Megyn Kelly is a dyke -- her hair gets whooshier and whooshier every day. I tune in for about ten seconds just to see. She and Rachel Maddow were separated at birth.

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  22. "This is all to say that the talking heads have higher than average IQs to be sure, but their arrogance at their own intelligence makes them easy dupes."

    I don't think the ones on CNN are dupes. They didn't see it coming, they still don't get it, but they aren't buying into the Establishment lies hook, line, and sinker. You can tell how perplexed they are at everything that's going on, unlike the smug morons on the tabloid channels (and some of them get it, too, like Hannity and Joe Scarborough).

    Those discussion panels rarely resemble a doctrinaire recitation of clueless talking points -- they feel more like a study session where nobody is the obvious know-it-all who they can copy the homework of. They're all desperately trying to contribute their own two cents, compare notes, and grope their way toward getting it.

    Dana Bash may be a case of Jewish nepotism in the media, but I appreciate how insecure and sometimes humble she is about not knowing what's going on, and where it's all going.

    Of course, I wish they had one of us on there so we could spell it out. But in this age of talking heads, I'll take what we can get from CNN.

    They do have (Millennial name spelling alert) Kayleigh McEnany on there, but she has to defend Trump's positions against the Cruz cult lady and occasional dismissive remarks from others, that she doesn't have enough time to start from square one with the panel. And they do need to start from square one, since everything they know is going out the window.

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  23. Hey Trump loves the poorly-educated and simpleminded you ivory tower laugh-fest! I want to punch your face and than body-slam you like my favorite Wrestlemania man, Trump! Joking aside, yeah I know that the Mississippi river is a great divide, that still doesn't change the fact, for the moment, atleast, the West voted for Trump more than the South, Northeast, Midwest, etc. You should give the West credit, this once, atleast for now since you usually mention regions of America whenever events like this happen, and you've been ragging on the West for a while.

    Anyway, so what "we" voted for Obama twice. So did Ohio, Virginia, Florida, New York, New Hampshire, etc. Don't blame Ohio or Virginia or whatever on the fact that their cities voted blue, pretty much every city votes blue in America, it's the sacred duty of the hicks of Ohio to outvote Cleveland, and they didn't. You're also wrong that we're not a Purple state, we voted for Clinton Twice and we voted for Obama twice. Dude if they don't assassinate Trump or some bullshit there's no way in hell Nevada doesn't vote for Trump, we've got this sealed don't worry.

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  24. Obama's margin of victory in Nevada was over 5% -- not a close race. In Ohio, Virginia, etc., it was well under 5%.

    I'm happy that Nevada helped out Trump, but I'm also not deluded into thinking that it represents the typical West. It's utterly godless, unlike the Plains states. So you guys have few "values voters" types to give Cruz support. But you're not on the West Coast, so you're not Establishment cocksuckers either, and won't go for Rubio. Not to mention that most folks in Las Vegas are directly from back East, not even one generation removed. Including those Pawn Stars guys -- from North Carolina.

    PS: start a fight with a Rust Belt-er, and you'll be fighting his whole clan, who all live nearby. Nevadans would be easier pickings, living cut off from their extended family. I kid!

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  25. """Bernie Madoff got away with his con for a lot longer than normal ponzi schemers. The reason why is that the people he scammed were high-IQ folks (rich NYC Eskimos) with big egos. They easily could have figured out his "investing" plan was nonsense (and a few did, and refused to invest with him), but many had such arrogance that once they put their money in with him, they refused to believe he was a ponzi schemer or that they got fooled. Thus, nobody blew the whistle on him---he had to blow it on himself when the money ran out."""

    This interpretation doesn't really work. It's easier to scam smart people, except when it's easier to scam dumb people.

    The Madoff scam worked because his disproportionately Jewish investors were trusting their own to not betray them - I assume he played up his in-group belonging when raising funds. That he bankrupted many specifically Jewish charities is a matter of public record. For everyone else who invested, once there were enough usually-savvy investors in, it became very easy to overlook due diligence.

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  26. @sublate:


    This interpretation doesn't really work. It's easier to scam smart people, except when it's easier to scam dumb people.


    Smart people tend to be disproporitionately trusting of their high IQ to protect them from failing. It's a false smugness that offers them ego protection.

    Dumber people, while of course gullible, tend to notice that they aren't the smartest guy around, and therefore are much more questioning of the truth of some prediction or statement precisely because they don't understand it.

    I'm reminded of a story about a Russian intellectual and his housekeeper during the cold war. The papers announced that pork was linked to certain diseases. The intellectual informs his housekeeper not to buy pork and so avoid the diseases. She just laughs at him and says that the papers are saying that because there's a pork shortage and they don't want a run. Then a few months later suddenly the papers are full of reports about how good pork is for you. The intellectual, perplexed, mentions this to his housekeeper, who tells him that they overcompensated for the shortage and now have a glut of pork they're trying to get rid of.

    The Madoff scam worked because his disproportionately Jewish investors were trusting their own to not betray them - I assume he played up his in-group belonging when raising funds.
    ---True; Ponzi schemes work best on ethnic, tighter-knit communities because they are built on trust. But his returns were strange and too consistent, and many of the people he schemed were fellow financial wizards (google Ira Merkin), but their arrogance that they could never get scammed overrode common sense.

    For everyone else who invested, once there were enough usually-savvy investors in, it became very easy to overlook due diligence.

    Precisely my point, actually. There were many savvy investors putting money in with him, and plenty of other high-IQ folks who weren't in finance but could understand it if need be; however, none of these folks looked into the strangeness of Madoff's investing, despite it ringing alarm bells, due to hubris: I'd never fall for that, I'm too good to be such a rube.

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  27. Steve Johnson2/25/16, 11:21 PM

    "There were many savvy investors putting money in with him, and plenty of other high-IQ folks who weren't in finance but could understand it if need be; however, none of these folks looked into the strangeness of Madoff's investing, despite it ringing alarm bells, due to hubris: I'd never fall for that, I'm too good to be such a rube."

    Madoff ran a market making business also. If you're a crook and you're running a market making business there's loads of (illegal) opportunities to front run your clients. Everyone knows this. Madoff's customers knew this.

    They didn't think that they were too smart to get taken they just assumed that they could be in business with a criminal and get criminal profits without their partner turning around and ripping them off too because he'd be more reluctant to rip off fellow Jews.

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