November 19, 2016

Democrats abandon policy focus, reduced to calling people evil

If you thought the end of the election would see the Democrat Establishment shifting their critiques away from superficial things that might sway emotional voters, and toward the policy wonk issues that are more fitting now that Trump is about to start implementing the Trump agenda -- you'd be surprised to see how much their obstructions still boil down 100% to "the people on the other side are evil".

That could be racist, sexist, Islamophobic, or whatever else. The focus is on individuals rather than policies, and these individuals are evil. Most of the accusations are being thrown at the Cabinet picks, but it'll be someone else once they're all set. The hysteria is also directed broadly at Trump voters or sympathizers. The policies are not bad and in need of correction by good policies -- people are evil, and they are in need of moral redemption.

This substance-free sanctimony will guarantee us even greater wins during Trump's re-election, but the liberal crusaders don't care. Their job, as they see it, is to convert the wicked -- and if that's a longer-term project that may have to overcome several electoral setbacks in the meantime, then so be it. They have to be on the side of the angels, fighting the good fight -- not trying to win certain outcomes in certain political domains.

They did not react this way toward the Gingrich Revolution in Congress during the mid-1990s, or to the W. Bush presidency, or even to the Tea Party movement. In all those cases, of course they hurled their obligatory charges of Republicans being racist / sexist / bla bla bla. But that was more of a finishing flourish to policy-oriented charges that the Republicans wanted to gut the social safety net, pursue the Iraq War, give tax cuts only to the rich, overlook police brutality, and so on and so forth.

Now, they're abandoning any mention of Trump's policies and why they don't like them -- why we ought to have open borders, a de-industrialized economy, regime change in the Middle East, Supreme Court Justices who are fine with partial-birth abortions, and everything else he's promised action on. Some are disingenuously trying to criticize the Paul Ryan agenda, but everyone knows he's a non-entity and that President Trump will kick his ass so hard if he tries to privatize Social Security, it'll make ya head spin.

Now, charges of this or that individual being evil are not just a finishing rhetorical touch, they are the main argument -- the Chief Strategist, the Attorney General, whoever, is evil, therefore anything he does will be bad for the country, and we don't even have to know what that would be.

Moralizing the character of individuals rather than arguing for or against certain policies or general approaches sounds a lot like the Republicans from the '90s and the 21st century (before Trump). In both cases, they had won on the issues for so long: for the GOP, free marketeer-ism during the winding down of Soviet Communism, and for the Democrats, values liberalism during the culture wars. They took their superiority for granted, rested on their laurels, and then got a rude awakening when the primary issues shifted to something else (GOP caught unaware of liberal culture war, Democrats caught unaware of populism and nationalism).

If you assume that you'll win forever on the issues, then a yuge upset loss could not have happened due to your failure on the issues, but only because the other side had individuals with powerful dark evil magic that they used to cheat their way to victory. Typical witchcraft hysteria.

If those losses continue time after time, you'll become even more convinced that issues don't matter -- otherwise you would've won all those times! -- and that their powerful evil magic keeps growing stronger and more hopeless to counteract. So you double down on the strategy of waging a moralistic crusade against evil individuals, rather than study what the new set of important issues is, what positions on them are desired by voters, and finding and fielding candidates who best offer that to the electorate.

It's not as though the Democrats are completely blind to issues, only in the context of explaining their losses to Trump and Congressional Republicans. When it comes to the Democrat civil war, they are hyper-sensitive of what the various camps of issues are -- the main ones being identity politics (race, sex, gayness), and class / anti-war / environmentalism.

To explain why their side lost, the two factions are going to accuse each other of having an inferior set of issues that voters don't care that much about. Issues that don't motivate enough of Us to turn out, and that alienate too many of Them to cross over at the ballot box.

They are not accusing specific individuals on the opposing camp of being evil, and of bad politics stemming from being evil. Sure, the ID politics people hurl accusations of racism, gender privilege, etc., but it's more of a flourish than the main critique, which is instead based on the issues. Such as, "Who cares about breaking up Wall Street banks, when that wouldn't end racism, sexism, and homophobia?"

For the next generation, most of their focus on issues will be channeled into the Democrat civil war, and their only attacks against the Republicans will be that they're fundamentally evil. While this will help to re-shape the issues, platform, and coalition that makes up the party, it will take them out of the running in most Presidential elections, where their only arguments will be that if you vote for that other guy, you're evil and need to be redeemed by liberal crusaders before being allowed to vote.

If this reversal of fortunes seems abrupt, welcome back to 1992. The Republicans had occupied the White House from 1968 to 1992, with only Jimmy Carter interrupting. George W. Bush was our Jimmy Carter -- barely squeaked through a close race, unpopular / embarrassing, and galvanized voters to choose Anybody But That-Guy. I think he was also meant to be a single-term interruption (winning in 2004), with the Florida recount from 2000 still making it unclear that he truly won.

Earlier posts in the series documenting the Democrats becoming the party of moral panic crusaders during this election season: one, two, three, four.

23 comments:

  1. "The focus is on individuals rather than policies, and these individuals are evil."

    I've noticed this tendency over the years in the area of foreign policy, both Dem and Republican, which makes me suspect it might be an American or Anglo thing. Or maybe it's just human nature.

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  2. Don't see a strategy to "convert" or "redeem," more like attrition, blacklisting and silencing the opposition while they try to reduce their numbers, relatively or absolutely. Now that things aren't going their way a reemergence of left-wing terrorism wouldn't be surprising.

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    1. Exactly. Hillary described the "basket of deplorables" as being irredeemable. If the left thinks you're a bad person, they think you're rotten to your core and can never be fixed.

      In fact, Hillary at least qualified her assessment of Trump supporters. She said that half were deplorable and irredeemable, whereas the other half were people who meant well but believed they had no futures. Since the election, the left has erased that crude distinction, and now they regularly announce that all Trump supporters are evil.

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  3. The point isn't how redeemable vs. irredeemable the Left thinks Trump voters are, it's the fact that they're thinking and speaking and acting in this framework to begin with (moral redemption necessary before you join our side).

    In the prog faction of the Dem civil war, there is talk about redeeming the vile racists who are white working class and suffer from "false consciousness" that Trump is their class savior.

    This is unlike the last episode of moralistic crusading, i.e. the Republicans of the past generation, when the cultural moderates who sought to reach out to Dem voters were the Establishment figures, while the cultural extremists were the insurgents (culminating in Tea Party).

    Now it's the insurgent populist Dems who are the cultural moderates, and the Establishment who are cultural extremists.

    I think that spells an even more disastrous end for the Dem Establishment than for its GOP counterpart. Trump was a mixture of cultural moderates found among the country club wing and the populism / nationalism that belonged, if at all, to the insurgents of the party. It brought the party together.

    The Dem Establishment offers nothing -- cultural extremism will alienate everyone who isn't popping their HIV meds during the intermission of Hamilton, and corporate elitism / imperialism is doomed in the new era of populism and nationalism.

    Grab the popcorn, guys -- if you thought Trump decapitating the GOP was yuge, wait until you see the catastrophe awaiting the Dems.

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  4. The Establishment Dems who rely on ID politics might say that at least they can mobilize a large demographic base -- urban ethnic minorities -- compared to the populist progs, who can only mobilize educated whites under 40.

    But after the complete failure to turn out urban ethnic minorities against Trump, what good are they in the near future? They lost the white working class, so there goes the Midwest for the foreseeable future.

    All that urban minorities do is prevent further erosion in non-white states along the coasts. But a loss is still a loss.

    How long until the frustrated progs start saying, "Oh blacks schmacks, what good does that do to bring back Michigan and Pennsylvania?"

    Not to mention the millions of illegals who will no longer be mobilized to vote Dem. Could flip CO and NV to red right there.

    Things could get really interesting if the clout of urban minorities looks weak at best.

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  5. This would parallel the re-birth of the Democrats during the New Deal era.

    During the Progressive era led by Republicans, Dems were the corrupt urban immigrant party, symbolized by Tammany Hall. That's what they have turned into again.

    At some point, they had to say "The hell with pandering to urban ethnics and corrupt machine politics". The first one to fight Tammany Hall and win was FDR -- the shape of things to come.

    Right now there's no one in sight who is going to take on the ID politics wing of the corrupt urban Establishment, but that's what to keep your eyes on.

    Earlier post on who will uncuck the Left:

    http://akinokure.blogspot.com/2015/12/who-will-un-cuck-left.html

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  6. i know mainstream media is toxic but this stuck out as interesting. CNN suggests a lot of liberals and wimpy "moderates" will just double down on the narcissistic and cocooning tendencies. largely under the guise of self help. thoughts?

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/18/opinions/liberals-hide-from-trump-spicer/index.html

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  7. It's more than just turning inward to prevent the pain and anxiety of facing reality.

    They're publicly condemning everyone who voted for the other guy, disavowing any ties they may have had to Trump voters, and demanding moral redemption before the other side comes back (for what? more moralistic failure?).

    I've seen this among shitlib Millennials as well as gray-haired Boomers. It's not just a bratty youth thing. (And no, it's not a Boomer thing -- as a cohort, they voted big-league for Trump.)

    One of them was sharing a post about how they aren't disgusted by the outcome of the election -- they are disgusted that you Trump voters were not disgusted by Trump's problematic whatever-it-was. You're morally impure, and I cannot allow my purity to be contaminated.

    They are like the Essenes fleeing into the desert to sulk and stew in resentment as part of a puritanical misanthropic cult.

    Now it's the Democrats' turn to become impotent and annoying Eeyores!

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  8. I can't wait for the GSS....Present region/Region of birth/of raising/generation and who you voted for. If the GSS asked about specific ethnicity that would be interesting (i.e. what sub-group do you belong to?).

    WRT gender, it's absurd seeing lesbos and frigid careerists bossing their co-genders around. Hello, you don't speak for non-cosmopolitan/non-urban/happily non-single women who don't want Tyrone or Jose breaking into their house. If we had better policies, we would've been spared the garbage produced by the atrocious post 1964 non-white baby boom/invasion that's been applauded by cultural Marxists and soulless bean counters.

    How far will the cult Marxist/transnational elitist set go in their defiance of Trump and his strongholds? If Trump makes good on the Wall, the Sanctuary city sanctions, etc. how hard will they try to impeach him/get rid of the Electoral College/attack his supporters etc.?

    What about the opposite? Will Trump put recalcitrant mayors, senators, and governors on trial? Maybe not directly, but rather through PR/legal/financial/psychological pressure (like leaking or threatening to leak embarrassing stuff like links to kiddie porn).

    We can't change New Mexico or Hawaii, the least culturally American states. California ain't coming back, unless we completely reverse post WW2 racial and civil rights policies (especially voting rights).

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  9. GSS does ask about ethnicity (ETHNIC), but the sample sizes are small for most ethnicities for a given year. If you look over many years, it's not a problem, but how ethnicities voted for a single year, will be hard unless it's a major ethnicity.

    One we know of already is Tricolore for Trump. How else do Warwick RI, Staten Island, Suffolk County Long Island, and Gloucester County NJ flip into the red column?

    They would make good spokespeople for why we need to kick out the illegals and curb legal immigration too. They're ethnically tribal, and do not lump themselves in with third worlders who are now the face of immigrants.

    "Our grandparents were immigrants to this country, and God bless America and all of that... but this country is fuckin' full. We can't fit no more in! And our grandparents learned the language, pledged allegiance to this country's flag and not the King of Italy -- where do these Muslims and Mexicans get off, refusing to assimilate? The hell with them. It's like Mr. Trump said: they gotta go back. Whaddaya gonna do?"

    I remember Maria Bartiromo squeezing in that viewpoint once during the summer on her morning show, talking to Anthony Scaramucci I think. She didn't elaborate, but they got the point across -- "Whaddafuck ah they doin' heah?"

    It was one of those epiphanies that white people have about non-white people not sharing their mindset. Just because Italians were immigrants doesn't mean Mexicans and Muslims are going to behave the same way.

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  10. I've certainly seen that online and in the media. Although in actual day to day life the reaction seems much more along the lines of depression and extreme, hysterical reactions from the pro-Clinton people. Definitely saw that from family.

    (Although most of my friends voted Trump or at the very least, refused to vote for the hag.)

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  11. Ok, so mid-Atlantic Italians showed up for Trump, but what about the whites of New England (outside of NH and Maine obviously)? Too many yuppies? Too many nerdy WASPS and Jews? Too many clueless strivers? Too much prosperity? I don't really know anything about the dynamics of New England, other than how insufferably liberal many of the region's whites seem to be. Going back decades, New England tends to be the 2nd most culturally liberal region. Is there some kind of sanctimony alliance with the Pacific right now?

    Side note: the northern location of NH and Maine probably repel strivers (these states remain very white; striver whites need brown labor and also attract foreign strivers). Vermont is also very white but much more hipstery. The other New England states are much less white.

    The Western areas that didn't produce more enthusiasm than usual for the GOP acted like we expected them to, as they are less rooted, more flaky, more affected in personality and goals, and more individualistic/paranoid. In other words, they want candidates who blow smoke about "rights" and trendy stuff. The majority of the American West has been passed from one tribe to another for decades on end with little development and sense of community, planting the seeds of narcissism and glib fashion rather than teaching a no-nonsense grasp of how to create and protect strong families, towns, and jobs.

    One could frame the election as Hillary being the neo-liberal capitalist and cultural Marxist "rights" candidate (the right to use whatever bathroom you want, smoke weed, move jobs to whatever country you want, open-borders, commit crimes, various forms of sexual gratification). Against the populist "reponsiblilities" candidate Trump (we can't let complacency, fashion, greed, arrogance, and narcissism threaten our ability to hold both the bad guys and ourselves accountable for reckless striving and gambling and imperial overreach).

    It's why the cultural elites, drunk on 25 years of non-stop tinkering that most Americans never asked for or needed, are so frazzled right now. They thought that their efforts were ineffably on the march to a utopia in which they'd be elevated to greater and greater heights. And of course, the economic elites never saw the underclass(es) pushing back since they were never supposed to question the consumer quest to buy more plastic Chinese crap via devotion to a crappier and crappier edu./financial/job system that's come to resemble an abusive dominant partner.

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  12. New England's problem is yuppie transplants who move to their state for its brand value.

    Maine and New Hampshire have minimal brand value among yuppies, and many more of their counties turned red for Trump.

    Low-glamor Rhode Island only has three counties, and one is a diverse city / college town, but one of the two outside Providence turned red this time, and the statewide popular vote dropped precipitously for the Dems.

    Massachusetts is solid blue, despite several neighboring counties in adjacent states being red. It's state-level tribalism.

    Vermont is also almost solid blue, despite even more neighboring counties in adjacent states being red. It did actually lose one small county to Trump -- so now the ultra-liberal transplants can no longer enjoy maximum brand value from saying "I'm from Vermont".

    Oh, you mean that state with that one Trump county in it?

    Connecticut has also stayed mostly blue. It had one red county before, and added another small one. But if you move to CT, you don't mind your brand being somewhat more Republican than Massachusetts'.

    We can tell it's not cultural or economic or other regions, since the Mid-Atlantic just to the south went much redder (Staten Island, Suffolk County). And from the west, upstate New York went almost entirely red, including the former blue wall that lies alongside Vermont. And from the northeast, Maine and New Hampshire went much redder.

    In general regions do not obey state boundaries. So it's just the airheads who have infiltrated MA, CT, and VT over the decades for their brand value who are doing everything they can to keep that value from diminishing.

    I'll bet they passed laws to prevent Trump signs on lawns -- think of how much it would lower property values in shitlib transplant central!

    It's also not longstanding tradition / inertia, since New England was recently a Republican stronghold, until the 1990s.

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  13. BTW, grungers for Trump is real: Aberdeen WA (hometown of Nirvana) went red this time, along with a couple other white working-class counties along the coast.

    Then there was Juggalos for Trump throughout the Rust Belt.

    And Fist Pumpers for Trump in the Mid-Atlantic.

    Hope and Change, this time for alienated youth.

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  14. There's been a lot of talk about California seceding. Could we get New England, the Northeast, Illinois, and the Black South to fuck off instead?

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  15. When one adjusts for white population, even Maine and New H. ought to be ashamed. These states are well over 90% white. Minnesota and especially Nevada and Colorado are much darker yet nearly voted for Trump. Subtract the Mexicans, Arabs, Somalis, etc. and Trump wins these states in a landslide. Likewise for New Jersey, which is less than 60% white but Trump lost by 12%. Not bad, given how 77& white Oregon only could muster 39.4% for Trump.

    Laguna - lay off the Mid-Atlantic (of which the most white state, PA, went for Trump with the others being too non-white to go for Trump) and Illinois (just 62.9% white).

    It's the Pac. NW and New England that need to be taken behind the woodshed. Yankee puritanism and snobbery (which is particularly nasty with the eco-fascists of the NW) and a dearth of Teutons (or conservative racially aware Scots-Irish) equal a disdain for a combative populist who wants to bring order to areas swamped by immigrants and strivers and bring jobs and hope back to the heartland.

    And I know Agnostic is pushing a blue collar narrative, but maps comparing GOP performance from 2012 to 2016 reveal that Trump saw the biggest gains in the Midwest, the Mid-Atlantic, Appalachia, and even New England and the lower South to a lower extent. The Mountain/Desert/Pacific states didn't see much improvement. Oh, and I wish I was gay Cobain disdained much of prole culture. 80's metal band Metal Church had a guitarist also born or raised in Aberdeen, who never bitched about his hometown and he's still alive and creating music. Instead of being a dead psycho junkie. The whole 90's Alt. rock movement was spearheaded by faggy headcases who often looked down on metal friendly prole culture. Naturally, the Boomers in the movement made some half-decent music, though it never came close to the heights of 70's prog/arena rock or 80's metal/new wave/college rock outside of a handful of iconic hits.

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  16. Random Dude on the Internet11/20/16, 9:11 PM

    There's a parallel here to the UK Labour Party. They have been unable to get it together after losing the 2010 election and keep falling further behind, even though the public is not exactly wild about the Tories. After losing even more seats with the 2015 election, there was a very visible fracturing of the party, ensuring that the 2020 election will be yet another defeat for them if things go the way they are now.

    To tie this into the US, the Democrats are going to be unable to unite again anytime soon because the identity politics faction will refuse to compromise with a progressive and progressives will likely harden their positions in the coming years when they're expected to follow along without many, if any, of their planks being included in the official DNC platform. Right now Sanders and Warren, the progressive wing leaders, are endorsing Keith Ellison, but the Berniebros are not going to play ball here. I think they'd rather go with Howard Dean, who has also expressed interest in running the DNC again.

    Long story short, Trump will win 2020 by a bigger margin than in 2016. There is no superstar Democrat candidate who will be able to bring the factions together. The party has purged all of the unifying type of candidates anyway with Jim Webb, Brian Schweitzer, etc.

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  17. "Right now Sanders and Warren, the progressive wing leaders, are endorsing Keith Ellison, but the Berniebros are not going to play ball here. I think they'd rather go with Howard Dean, who has also expressed interest in running the DNC again."

    Dean abandoned his rural New England populist schtick about a decade ago, and is widely despised as a corporate sell-out among the Bernie bros, who actually do like Ellison -- member of Progressive Caucus, black, Muslim, from Rust Belt... that's the way forward!

    They don't get how tired people are of ID politics, especially if they're going to bring political Islam into the mix -- no more "conspiracy theories" about how the black Dem is a Muslim. He admits it!

    I think the Establishment is saving Dean for a run at the presidency, as a compromise between the corporate Establishment and empty pandering to progressives and white men who don't live in mega-cities.

    That will succeed as well as Bob Dole's run in '96.

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  18. "And I know Agnostic is pushing a blue collar narrative,"

    Blue collar in de-industrialized areas. Hence smaller swings out West, which was never heavily industrialized.

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  19. Remember how NYC went black with Dinkins, during the crack wave, then never went back? Mid-Atlantic, Appalachian, and Midwestern whites got badly burned by Obama. Not just economically, but perhaps more importantly, by the SJW excesses that have dominated since circa 2010.

    What with the terrorists, riots, cop ambushes, constant civil rights activism by the DOJ etc. aided and enabled by the Magical Negro, who in the hell would vote for another black Dem?

    One thing I've learned to use in arguments with (Boomer and Gen-X) white moderates/Dems is the BLM type excesses. Unless they're a childless nihilist, these nominal liberals usually frown on bratty Millennials trashing neighborhoods and attacking cops. Not to mention the fact that aggressive condescension from the biggest purveyors of PC turns off the majority of people.

    So, maybe we've got reason to feel some power for the future. Aging white Dem Boomers won't get a shot at a Pres. run unless they're total whores, which will alienate Millennials and non-whites. Young and diverse candidates, representing the forces of chaos and unappealing change, will alienate white Gen X-ers and Boomers especially back East. Mestizos won't get a shot due to their lack of charisma and lack of history in the East, so we'll likely get more blacks, or a very white or black Hispanic candidate.

    WRT Howard Dean, the guy's been virtue signaling like crazy during and after the '16 election. Problem is, another white Boomer whore isn't gonna cut it. Guys like Jim Webb need to get the hell out of the party before they end up becoming desperate Dean-like poseurs. How many dead cop ambushes, with an accompanying glaring lack of interest evinced by elite Dems in renewing peace and goodwill among the populace, will it take to push populists like Webb out of the party?

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  20. 'Nother tantalizing possibility: Muslim Ellison alienating Christian blacks and Hispanics (both tend to be more religious than whites). We could have a lot of fun with the first openly Muslim candidate....

    What's more, an Ellison candidacy would if nothing else lead to record setting landslides in the states Trump won with ease. An urban liberal Northern black Muslim? You kidding me? What would the West Virginia total be? Like, 83% Trump to 9% Ellison?

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  21. Ellison would indeed be a liability for the Democratic party, given his many known links to the Muslim Brotherhood. The regressive left have finally achieved peak insanity.

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  22. Mainstream Christian black and "Hispanic" men could be pushed out of the Democrats gradually (their women seem hopeless). Of course it's most important is to purge all the Kochsuckers and neocons from conservatism. BTW what do you think of the shitlib flurry of attention to Trump business ethics? I know he hasn't take office yet, so it's moot, but he needs a good legal team to make sure they can't find anything after Jan. 20th.

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