October 19, 2016

Polar opposite candidates are not "equally bad": Green meets Red in 2016

Back in the early 2000s heyday of the anti-globalization movement, the Nader campaign urged voters not to choose among the "Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum" of Al Gore and George Bush.

Both were corporate globalists, military interventionists and expansionists, and bought and controlled by the mega-donor class. They offered only cosmetic differences on social and cultural "hot button" issues to distract voters from their utter sameness on the truly important issues affecting the economy and the government.

As a volunteer for the Nader campaign on an uber-liberal college campus, most of the resistance I met was from the liberals for Gore. "Gore and Bush are the same? Ummm, what about ABORTION." "Ummm, what about THE ENVIRONMENT." "Ummm, what about RACISM." Bla bla bla.

They didn't care that the Clintons, and a potential Gore successor, were strangling Iraqi civilians back into the Stone Age with sanctions (and that was before the Iraq War). In response to the estimated 500,000 children's deaths caused by the sanctions, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told 60 Minutes in 1996 that "We think the price is worth it."

Worth what? To discredit and humiliate Saddam Hussein -- who as a secular nationalist was a better force for stability, peace, and moderate rule than the Islamic whackjobs who the United States would end up causing to come into power throughout the region.

With that as the consensus among the Democrat Establishment -- along with the enthusiasm for NAFTA, repeal of Glass-Steagall, and so on and so forth -- there was no reason to assume that Gore would have been any better than Bush on the major issues. He would only be throwing non-conservatives a handful of breadcrumbs about environmentalism.

You might as well vote for Nader in order to make visible the rising opposition to corporate globalization, rather than cast a vote for Gore that would be indistinguishable from an endorsement for NAFTA, the Iraqi sanctions and no-fly zones, and the rest of the Clintonite agenda.

In 2016, the situation has been reversed. Now the two major parties are offering polar opposite candidates on the major issues, with Trump representing populism and anti-globalization, and Crooked Hillary standing for corporate elitism and globalism. On the social and cultural hot-button topics, they are actually closer to each other since both are moderates, albeit one more to the right and the other more to the left. Gun control is the only culture war topic where they do not overlap, and where they have boasted about their stance during the campaign.

This time, the voters who are normally apathetic about choosing one variation or another on the theme of corporate globalization and endless pointless wars, suddenly have a real choice from a major party. If ethnic identity politics had not hindered the Bernie movement in the primaries, there would be two candidates offering a breath of fresh air on the major issues.

These are the people who have not voted much, if at all, for the past 10 to 20 years. There was no real choice, so why bother? Now there is a real choice, so where do we sign up?

In opposition to this trend is the sudden apathy among people who were regular voters over the past 10 to 20 years, who now find themselves with unappealing choices. They say that both are equally horrendous, that she's a corrupt liar and he's a narcissistic sociopath (who gave up his wealth and brand appeal in order to stick up for the forgotten little people). I don't think they mean what they say, they're just fumbling for a rationalization to articulate their gut-level distaste for the two main choices.

But when there is such variety separating the two, how can these voters be claiming that they're equally bad? They are the inversion of the major issues voters, seeking cosplay candidates who will play a certain role, cultivate a certain persona, and put on a certain performance while in office. They evaluate primarily on how "presidential" the candidate acts.

Clinton could not be a more wooden, phony, and terrible actress. And Trump could not be more breaking-the-fourth-wall. With neither choice putting on a West Wing-worthy performance, the "neither of the above" voters of 2016 will be looking elsewhere or staying home.

At first they were parking their vote with Gary Johnson, none of whose policies they knew about or shared if they did. He was wacky, and in such an absurd world -- judging by the presidentiality metric -- why not go absurd all the way?

But the summertime fling of uncommitted voting is done, and Johnson's polling has declined from over 10% to around 5%. The serious ones who want more of the status quo are going to Clinton, those who are unimpressed by the status quo are going to Trump, with the unserious voters resigning to stay home.

The other third party choice is Jill Stein, but by now the Trump platform overlaps 80% with hers -- and that which the Bernie activists tried to get into the Democrat platform, before getting crushed by the Clinton machine in committee. The only differences are climate change and gun control. Stein has endorsed Trump over Clinton in the two-way race, mostly due to their stances on globalist trade deals and especially war-mongering in the Middle East and against nuclear Russia.

The Green Party platform of the 21st century is primarily about populism and non-interventionism, which has made them strange bedfellows with the Trump movement. All of the good open-minded people on Twitter are at least tolerant of both Trump and Jill, while utterly despising Crooked Hillary, and kinda-just-meh about Johnson.

Who knows, maybe future historians will describe the Nader and Stein campaigns as initial disruptions that ultimately broke off the progressive populists from the old Democrats and into the new Republicans. They would be like the Dixiecrat and George Wallace movements that portended the loss of the "Solid South" to the Republicans, albeit over a different set of issues.

Toward that end, it would work wonders for Trump to make some appointments on the advice of Stein, Nader, Tulsi Gabbard, and even Bernie "deal with the Devil" Sanders. Not relating to climate change or gun control, but trust-busting, weakening Wall Street banks, ending the revolving door between lobbyists and politicians, and the like.

They and people they know have spent endless time and energy looking into who is bad and who is good, so they would know the right people to appoint -- more so than the typical Republican advising Trump, aside from a handful of populists like Jeff Sessions. Trump is all about hiring the best person for the job, and figuring out who knows who the best person for the job is.

It would also be worth it to see Michael Moore crying impotently as Ralph Nader and Bernie Sanders wind up campaigning for President Trump's re-election in 2020.

Hey, Eugene McCarthy endorsed Ronald Reagan in 1980 -- who says it can't happen again?

17 comments:

  1. You still expect Trump to win? My bet is still on offer to you. It varies non-linearly by electoral votes like you asked (although I only care about who actually becomes President), and since you only pay half the normal amount it's effectively better than 50/50 for you.

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  2. You always enter a depressive Minnesotan phase when the horserace is at a low-point, just before it begins rising.

    The last time was Aug 27:

    "At this point, Trump's chances are seeming more and more dismal"

    That was right before he re-gained the lead for just about all of September, including the massive spike after people saw her lifeless body collapse and have to get dragged into the car.

    The "glass half-empty" people always raise their voices at the end of a low-phase, accepting defeat.

    The "glass half-full" people are going to see the polls keep improving -- already Trump +1 in the most accurate poll, IBD -- until we Make America Great Again.

    And I've said numerous times why I refuse to take people's money over the internet. The post you're talking about is laying out the framework for someone else who does have an interest in betting on politics.

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  3. Random Dude on the Internet10/19/16, 9:35 PM

    Donald Trump won tonight's debate. So combine that with the VP debate and the Trump/Pence ticket won 75% of the time and I'd call the first debate a draw. In some ways, Trump did not do as well on this debate as the second debate but we saw Hillary visibly triggered throughout the debate and towards the end, she was bobbing around and looking sullen. She knew she was defeated at the end of the debate.

    These remaining three weeks will be interesting. The media has totally given up on the parade of women and are now complaining loudly about Trump's allegations of voter fraud. Once again Trump finds the real pressure points and causes the left to howl in agony, knowing full well that his discussion on the matter will likely curb several voter fraud attempts on November 8. Some people think this is Trump preemptively throwing in the towel and I disagree: it's a call for his supporters to get motivated to vote and to stay vigilant for voter fraud. Already we're seeing reports come in on voter fraud allegations. Trump's talking points are already working, we're seeing voter fraud get rooted out in some places (an investigation is just taking place in Indiana now), which should send enough shock waves throughout the country.

    It's also disappointing and annoying to see people sulk and throw in the towel and it's still three weeks away. Not only that but he is doing pretty decently. I guess some people will dragged kicking and screaming into Making America Great Again.

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  4. Debate wise, there seemed to be a lot of repetition from earlier debates though there were allusions to issues that appeared in some of the recent leaks. He had to get in a shot at Hillary hypocritically taking money from people like the Saudis, which he did pretty well at (liked his wry suggestion about graciously refunding the "gift" aka bribe).

    Probably the moment that really felt poignant to me was when he refused to back down from his stance that the election's integrity is suspect. Wallace tried to pin him to conciliatory statements about accepting the final result made by Pence and Ivanka, but Trump basically said that he'd rather wait and see than naively make a pledge to accept the result. He intends to fight for integrity and his self-respect. Why allow yourself to be made a fool out of, to be humiliated, by accepting a crooked election?

    There weren't any first rate zingers this time. Trump's timing was more iffy this debate, and Hillary doesn't have the verve or charisma to ever pull off a one-liner. Her team tried to script some for the previous debates, but the results were so stilted that they didn't even bother for the third debate.

    One moment had Hillary using several "D" words (dangerous, dark, etc.) which makes me wonder if Scott Adams is onto something when he says that her team has recruited top level linguistic/psych. experts. Many, many words that start with d have a negative connotation. Doom, destruction, disturbance, etc. have a sinister tone. On the other hand, a lot of words that mean stupid start with d. Douchebag, dipstick, dummy, dopey, doofus, dim, etc. Must be something about the d sound that affects people. And of course "dark" has been driven into the ground since August which is when Adams thinks that Team Hillary began consulting masters of language power.

    I do think the Town Hall format was better for Trump. More intimate, more people to bounce off of, and more "spontaneity" however slight. Plus the ability to move around at will. Hillary was clearly put off by having to choose where to walk, when to sit etc. while Trump obviously relished being able to focus on different areas and people. Remember when he looked like he was cross-examining a sitting Hillary in debate #2? I think Trump gets pissed off by having to deal with unctuous reporters and politicians in the standard debates. He's not used to the faggy decorum and glib disregard for sincerity (wikileaks and the undercover videos expose how decadent elites are cynically concerned about winning and looking good in public). He's furious about having to deal with so much BS cuz in his normal realm of business he can these kinds of people to fuck off.

    I'd say that the majority of people knew, deep down inside, who they were going to vote for even before this debate. The one's still on the fence will probably go 3rd party or perhaps more likely, not vote at all. What could be possibly done at this point to convince partisans and true fence sitters that Trump's macho crudeness is a far lesser sin than Hillary's lousy record, war-mongering, duplicity, cronyism, and undeserved arrogance and entitlement? By the way, I think we've seen the sexual harassment ruse for what it really is: a way to take out interlopers and those who refuse to play by the rules (Roger Ailes, Herman Cain, Trump).

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  5. Tonight's debate was not for us (that would be the second debate). It was for soothing the anxieties of those who are not hardcore Trump supporters but are still not content with the direction the country is going under the incumbent party.

    He was focused and restrained, while reminding people of all the things that are going the wrong way and would only get worse with a third term of Obama, under the most corrupt person to ever run for the presidency.

    They don't need 100-point specifics, just a general feel of which other direction the country would head -- as long as it doesn't sound worse than where we're already going, it's the better of the two choices.

    We feel let down relative to the second debate because he didn't crush her skull open again on live TV. But that much of an endorphin rush from violence would have made the "undecideds" uncomfortable. They're ready for this whole crazy roller-coaster of election season to be over, and to just vote for change and get back to normal life.

    They're not really undecided, of course. They just need to feel safe voting for the change agent, and taking a more low-key tone allows them to get comfortable with Trump.

    Everybody already senses what a liar Crooked Hillary is, and that they can't trust her on anything. Trump just needed to reassure them they he can be trusted -- in fact, some idiot on Clinton's team whose brain has begun to rot from AIDS thought it would be a sick burn to emphasize how consistent Trump has been about hating the off-shoring of our manufacturing industries for the past 30 years, regardless of which party was fucking over America.

    They must not have been paying attention during the primaries when Trump de-sanctified Reagan's legacy -- some was good, some was bad, let's not cosplay like it's still the '80s (except for the soundtrack).

    Overall, my sense is the normies who needed a reason to vote Trump now feel like casting that vote doesn't require them to be a 100% hardcore Trump fan who wants to see him bloody Crooked Hillary during a debate. By not repeating his second debate performance, they can feel like it's normal and low-key to vote for him.

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  6. He did get a volley-blocking zinger in there at the end -- she was droning on and on about all the times when something didn't go Trump's way and he said things were rigged against him.

    He's rolling his eyes at most of the inane crap, then she mentions the time when The Apprentice didn't get the Emmy in its third season. Trump's eyebrows perked up in agreement, then he interrupted her with "We *should* have won..." while cracking a grin.

    Just like the "Only Rosie O'Donnell" line from the very first debate -- nobody remembered what the hell she'd been talking about before, and nobody could focus after because they were busy chuckling. It totally wiped out her long list of complaints in the viewer's memory.

    It's the best way to disarm that kind of crap. Confess openly to a little bit, in a joking tone, and then they'll forget the rest (which is BS anyways). It's the same when he says that the millions of dollars in attack ads "most of which are totally false... well, maaaybe a little truth in there."

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  7. The experience also felt lower-energy this time because Ricky Vaughn was not live-tweeting it.

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  8. I was surprised in part because in preceding posts you'd written about how they're stealing the election so electoral votes need to be redistributed to counteract that.

    In your post on the structured bet you did write about it as a hypothetical and in a comment frame it as rhetorical, but you didn't give a reason there why you don't bet. What was your reason again?

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  9. re: zingers, I got a good laugh out of "Donald is so paranoid he thinks even the Emmy awards were rigged against him" "We shoulda got that one" :trumpsmirk: Admittedly not very substantial but it showed humor and humanity amidst a tense situation.

    Strong agree with the above comments. Trump definitely won, and he played a good balanced game of attacking Hillary vs. building up his own brand. He avoided getting derailed or defensive and came across as passionate and sincere vs. her typical over-rehearsed sandy-vagina robot act. Anyone watching with the sound off would clearly see that she spent a lot of the night in a state of frustration and annoyance. Also note for the record that the whole "Trump is a rapist" thing is now all but dead, as he batted away Wallace's question easily and Hillary basically declined to pursue it any further after that (instead she babbled about Alicia Machado and the tard reporter). That was their elephant gun, but when the smoke cleared he was still standing strong like a Dragonball Z character.

    As someone elsewhere pointed out, just watch for all the shit Chris Wallace is going to get tomorrow for actually doing a decent job of throwing some hardballs Hillary's way. That's how you know shitlibs are unhappy with how it went.

    Lastly, it looks like there's a good chance the media is going to fixate on Trump's refusal to promise to concede no matter how rigged the vote might be (they will of course frame it that he refused to concede no matter what because he is LITERALLY HITLER). I think there's a good chance that Trump did this on purpose so his surrogates could go on shows and drop truth bombs about vote rigging stats (and pimp the extremely damning O'Keefe videos), but if anyone brings it up to you make sure to point out how pissy the left was about the 2000 election, and ask them if they think Gore would've been right to just concede to the initial result with no attempt to fight things out.

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  10. Those electoral votes should be awarded to Trump in order to punish her past crimes, and serve as a strong deterrent not to try them again in the future. It's not to put him past the finish line.

    I don't bet over the internet because I'd want to put up $10,000 or $1 million or something to make it really count as skin in the game (and I don't have that much). If I'm only going to stake $100, it's the same as a friendly bet.

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  11. Yeah, Chris Wallace was surprisingly good.

    Conservative Treehouse was expecting a last-ditch ambush a la the first primary debate, but it's starting to sink in with the money men at Fox that they either treat Trump fairly or go immediately and irrevocably out of business -- whether the ideologues at the company like it or not.

    If they want to put snarky anti-Trump talking heads on the panels that fewer and fewer people are tuning into, that's one thing. But a transparent hitjob during the final debate of the season? Their offices would get bomb threats every day for the next ten years.

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  12. Re: /pol post on smoking gun of Podesta and busing voter fraud

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CvJS4cjUIAEwlDe.jpg

    This refers not to a bus that drives around a bunch of people to vote in multiple places, but a "Bush Legacy Bus" that made a bus tour during the summer of '08.

    SEIU put up $50k to fund the project, along with other grups.

    https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/15337

    Sorry, wish that were a smoking gun email, but it's not.

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  13. lol fuck off TGGP you fucking autist

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  14. Speaking of the Bush legacy it's strange to see his rehabilitation. I guess after 2012 attacking his Presidency had diminishing returns and since Clinton is more like Bush than Trump is...

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  15. Since cultural Marxism took off in the 60's, every post Kennedy president is "controversial" (e.g. cultural warriors of all stripes have argued about their merits). The one thing just about everybody agrees on is that Ford and especially Carter sucked. Reagan has been elevated recently as the oldest wounds on Boomer culture warriors have finally began to heal.

    The 80's were the beginning of striver culture (taking the baton from the late 70's era of nascent materialism and anti-union measures, something many liberals don't acknowledge). Be that as it may:
    - domestic terrorism was virtually non-existent (the "radical" movements and "utopian" ideals of 60's and early 70's culture finally died off)

    - race relations were at their post 1960's high point (the media didn't hype "racist" incidents since they didn't want to alienate the conservative Middle American white majority who didn't want to relive the unrest of the 60's)

    - Property crime and drug use peaked in the Carter era(watch the late Boomer hellions in the first Scared Straight doc.), persisting into the first year or so of Reagan's first term. In 1982 and thereafter, disorder, crime, and self-indulgence began declining among ordinary Americans (less so for Hollywood or Wall Street elites), particularly Gen X youth and early Boomers who were finally starting families.By 1985 most Americans were much more cautious towards drugs and violence, and awareness of child abuse/molestation was a hot-button topic. Gen X teens of the 80's didn't commit the same excesses that late Boomers were known for in the 70's and early 80's. Murder rates were more variable because of ghetto black crime waves, like the late 80's crack epidemic, which involved blacks born in the welfare induced hellish ghetto baby boom of the late 60's-80's, not whites of any generation.

    I'd say that of the post 1950's decades, the 60's and 80's were the best though not for the same reasons.

    BTW, it's seems pretty obvious why so many movies were scary in 1974-1984; that's when people were the most legitimately afraid of being raped, robbed, home invaded, etc. People living outside the ghetto started to breath easier around 1985, and those are the people who make movies. Jaws, Halloween, Alien, the first couple Friday the 13th's, The Thing, Phantasm. Basically every great horror movie was made during that period. Put another way, the 70's were scary (ever listen to the Jim Jones massacre tape?) and the 70's didn't die until 1985. Steve Sailer has said that to him, the 70's didn't really start until the Bicentennial (when the early signs of the AIDS epidemic emerged). Drugs and promiscuity went from being rebellious college kid stuff to something that "everybody" (everybody born from 1930-1965) was doing with nary a concern for it's political, health, or mental stability implications.

    I think that a lot of people, in hindsight, are starting to appreciate the fact that the Reagan era's revival of confidence and a sense of purpose was very much needed in the 80's. And hey, stuff wasn't being blown up for a change.

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  16. "lol fuck off TGGP you fucking autist"

    Take your insults somewhere else.

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  17. The other factor at work: Jill Stein represents white voters.

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