January 13, 2019

Tulsi campaign to flush out woke imperialists from Democrat party, attract culturally conservative populist crossover voters

As long as Tulsi Gabbard does not cannibalize votes from the one plausible re-aligner candidate to unite around, Bernie Sanders, there's no problem in her running a campaign before the actual primary voting begins. She could help build enthusiasm for realignment during the debating stage, and get most of her supporters to go to the polls for Bernie during the voting stage. She endorsed him last time, and they mostly overlap on the issues, so that should not be too hard for her to do.

The real threat to uniting around Bernie is Pocahontas, who will not campaign on the same issues as he will -- she is a Reaganite, not a realigner -- but who will still position herself as an enemy of the banks. She will not drop out before voting begins, nor eagerly plead with her supporters to vote for Bernie, whom she refused to endorse last time.

With Tulsi in the race during the debate stage, she and Bernie can tag-team the neoliberals -- Bernie focusing more on domestic issues, and Tulsi on foreign policy. They will force the dozen other neolibs to promise crushing austerity programs domestically, and endless wasteful destruction abroad.

That will be the main split among the candidates -- survival or extinction. Most voters will not care what particular flavor their austerity/warmonger candidate comes in. They are sick of the failed Reaganite system, and want major change. That leaves only Bernie/Tulsi. The voters who materially benefit from austerity and war will split their vote a dozen different ways, just like the anti-realigners did during the GOP primary in 2016, clearing the way for a consolidated realignment vote in favor of Trump.

Tulsi's function in the prelude to voting will be to force voters to choose between identity politics and material issues like healthcare, wages, and war. She will be pilloried by liberals for not being pro-gay, pro-choice, or pro-Islamist. These are empty dead-end identity issues for materially comfortable liberals to jerk themselves off to -- no different than being vocally against gay marriage, pro-life, or anti-Islamist are empty identity issues for materially comfortable conservatives.

Someone who wants to improve material conditions first and foremost will form an alliance with anyone else who does, regardless of their differences on less important social-cultural issues. So Tulsi is perfectly happy to endorse and work with Bernie, who holds more liberal positions on the social issues. And Bernie is happy to work with Tulsi. Each one of them does not care about these marginal identity issues, or else their alliance would never have formed.

Those who put empty identity issues first could stand behind Bernie but would reject Tulsi. This includes most of the so-called "socialists" who have re-branded themselves after Bernie's 2016 campaign. They're not the inheritors of historical socialism, which is class-first and anti-imperialist. They just got tired of being called SJWs, but still could not leave behind their favorite label of "social justice". In practice, in the US in 2019, "socialism" mainly means "social justice-ism" AKA "intersectionality".

That's how the DSA shot up in membership by several orders of magnitude overnight -- tens of thousands of former liberals or progressives did not suddenly adopt a whole new worldview, vision, strategy, tone, or set of goals. They're the same ol' libs and progs from before Bernie showed up, but since the hot new phenomenon labeled himself a "democratic socialist," well, they had to adopt that label as well. They've always styled themselves as radicals, and "socialism" has a radical connotation, so they're happy to adopt the term. But fundamentally, they are stylistically-radical liberals ("radlibs" in the words of the class-first, anti-imperialist Left).

These libs and progs will not condemn Tulsi for her economic policies, which they mostly share, so these opponents are not pro-austerity. They are pro-welfare state. But they will scold her for discussing radical Islamic terrorism, on the basis of any criticism of any Muslim individual or group being Islamophobic. She will make these crazy woketards say that we must let ourselves get blown up by jihadists just to prove that we aren't Islamophobic. And that anyone who isn't a Sunni Muslim in the Middle East must let themselves get blown up, their shrines desecrated, and their villages bulldozed, to prove they have not bought into the Western white supremacist myth of radical Islam.

These identitarian attacks against Tulsi's foreign policy agenda benefit the Pentagon's alliance with the Salafi jihadists of the Gulf like Saudi Arabia, who along with Israel are our partners in imperialism throughout the Middle East. This puts the woke crowd in league with the imperialists. And if there's anything the American people hate, it's political correctness and endless wars -- combine them both, and it's an electoral death wish. Tulsi's campaign will serve to flush the woke imperialists out of any realignment coalition.

There are far more politically incorrect anti-imperialists than there are woke imperialists, and being more Independent in partisan affiliation, they would have no problem invading the Democrat primary to vote for Bernie, if Tulsi withdraws and endorses him. The woketards are far more moralistically partisan, and would rather drop out of Bernie's electoral coalition if it meant sharing space with those who are ritually unclean ("deplorable"). All the more space for us, then, who don't mind mingling with different groups, as long as they share our goals.

Realignment of the Democrats into the dominant party, after Reaganism, requires purging themselves of their anti-coalitional members, i.e. those who want a smaller purer party. All politics is coalitional, and a dominant party must be even more of a cohesive coalition than the opposition party. And in order to realign, they must secure permanent massive defections from the current dominant party. In 2019, that means stealing away legions of Trump voters for the indefinite future. The only way to do that is to say "We're going to bury the hatchet on all this pointless culture war BS, and focus on improving material living standards at home, and cutting loose our dead weight empire abroad."

Woketards will never bury the hatchet on the culture wars, so they will purge themselves out of this new realignment coalition, especially once they get a taste of large numbers of former Trump voters sharing the room with them. Tulsi's campaign can be a call to the Trumpian cavalry to come to the aid of Bernie during the primary, when he's most desperate.

The strategy for Trumpian populists should be supporting Tulsi during the debating stage, then voting for Bernie when the polls open. Bernie is the only viable candidate to crush the identity politics crowd for good, by winning on material issues after getting vilified as a racist sexist old white man. Just as Trump was the only viable candidate to crush right-wing identity politics (pandering to evangelicals), by winning on material issues after getting vilified as an atheist adulterer with "New York values".

January 9, 2019

Trump's border speech was typical GOP, about crime / drugs; Realignment requires focus on economics and populism, which only Bernie crowd can deliver

Trump's border speech could have been worse -- it could have said no barrier whatsoever, and btw we're amnestying everybody. But it failed to realign the GOP, adhering to the Reaganite orthodoxy about waging a war on crime and drugs in order to distract from the elite sources of our deteriorating standard of living and fragmentation of our communities.

In particular, he failed to name and blame the enemy -- the elites on the GOP side, who have been steering our society since the 1980s, and who have a collective material interest in cheap labor. Their sectors of economic activity are physical and labor-intensive, unlike the informational and non-labor-intensive sectors who control the Democrat party. The cost of labor is a major component of the cost structure for GOP elite sectors like armed force (military, police, prisons), manufacturing, agriculture, and energy.

Their cartels will always push for cheaper labor in order to maximize profits, and when they organize together in a political coalition like the GOP, they will pursue this goal through replacing American workers with cheap foreigners. Either by re-locating the worksite to the cheap labor colony (manufacturers who off-shore their factories), or by bringing the cheap labor here if the worksite cannot be re-located (agribusiness whose worksites are its immovable land).

Democrats have been the powerless shut-out opposition party during the Reagan era, so they deserve less or no blame in general. On immigration, they have not passed the amnesties or open-borders laws that Reagan and Bush Sr did, and that Bush Jr spent his entire time attempting. Workers -- not the elites -- in labor-intensive sectors are a major chunk of their electoral base, especially those who are collectively organized, like union members.

Even their elites do not depend on slashing labor costs because that is just a rounding error in their cost structure. For example, the senior cartel of their coalition -- finance -- employs nobody, and is still at the top of their industry on a global scale. Their "costs" are when they take financial risks that blow up, like lending someone money who doesn't pay it back. Those are balanced by the rewards when their risks pan out, like when the debtor does something highly profitable with their loan, and manages to pay back the loan plus interest. Finance may seek bailouts if their bets don't work out, but they do not seek cheaper labor.

So far, Bernie Sanders has been the only major politician to call out these cheap-labor material motives as the basis for our immigration policies, casting blame correctly on the GOP elites. During the most recent presidential election cycle, he dismissed "open borders" as "a Koch Brothers proposal". He represents the electoral base of the Democrats -- actual or potential union members -- but his view could be harmonized with the elites of his party like the Wall Street investment banks, whose bottom lines would not be affected one way or the other if we closed the borders.

During his 2016 campaign, Trump railed against the GOP elites, though not so much on immigration as for trade / industrial policy and foreign policy. Still, he was not blindly partisan in his blame, and delighted in antagonizing the party's elites, who he said were manipulating the other candidates like puppets on a string. Now in office, Trump only blames the powerless opposition party, rather than returning to his campaign trail slogan of being even more disappointed in the Republicans than in the Democrats.

Aside from having the wrong analysis, and therefore the wrong proposed solution (hector Congressional Democrats), this speech took the wrong move in building a broad coalition to support the supposed goal of reducing immigration. By being partisan, he turned off all Democrats and most Independents -- who want to hear both parties blamed -- and by focusing on the themes of crime and drugs, he appealed only to conservative morality, giving liberals and moderates an easy excuse not to join him.

Focusing on matters of class and economics, and populism against elitism, would have had greater success in building a coalition at the popular level, but also at the elite level. Now, he has no elite support, including from Republicans, whose material interests militate in favor of cheap labor, and therefore open borders. If he had opened the door for Democrat elites, such as finance, they could have amassed political capital for appearing to be the good elites, as opposed to the bad elites, on the economic concerns of the working and middle classes -- while not having to sacrifice their own material interests. That's how the borders stayed closed during the prosperous New Deal era, when finance still controlled the Democrats but they were the dominant rather than opposition party.

In order for the Democrats to re-gain dominant-party status, they require massive defections at the electoral level, as well as one or more elite sectors.

As for the latter, that is a separate post, but it is industrial commodities like steel, whose elites have generally supported the GOP but who have been wiped out by the de-industrial trend pursued by the more powerful manufacturers of finished goods, who want cheap materials as well as cheap labor, and who have been only too happy to substitute foreign for American steel. Robust protection of steel would secure Pennsylvania back for the Dems, while mealymouthed marketeering would give them little reason to return.

As for popular support, they need anyone who feels like the GOP has sold them out. These are people opposed to wasting resources on maintaining our crumbling and pathetic empire abroad. They are people who want to re-industrialize the economy, in order to raise the average person's prosperity back to industrial-society standards rather than continuing to revert to pre-industrial peasant levels. And they are people who want to dramatically reduce the share of the population who are foreigners.

The GOP during the Reagan era has sold out all of those groups, and they feel like they "want their country back". A minority do not really mean this, and are dyed-in-the-wool Reaganites who are simply upset that their gains also come with some costs. But most disaffected non-Democrats really do want to go back to the New Deal era, which did include closed borders, a more homogeneous population, and civil rights focused on one group, the descendants of African slaves, who were deeply rooted in this country and had been mistreated, rather than diluting civil rights into "every fresh-off-the-boat minority group gets to be represented in Disney movies".

Realigners on the Democrat side do not have to make explicit nationalist appeals to the very large group who "wants their country back," but rationalizations are not important, the outcomes are. As long as that group can see that immigration will come down, and the population will be more native-born, they don't care what the reasoning is, what the public rhetoric is, or what party or politician gives it to them. If it's a democratic socialist like Bernie Sanders, and if he's making purely class-based rather than nationality-based appeals, who cares? That's just PR.

There would be a wave of people who have "never voted Democrat in my life," or who have done so only occasionally and grudgingly, who will now do so eagerly and devotedly. That will mark a departure from the Obama coalition, most of whose GOP defectors were temporary and grudging -- and who went right back to the Tea Party and neutered Obama from getting anything done.

The right must move in that direction also, giving relatively less importance to nationalist appeals in the context of immigration, and more to economic appeals. Breitbart, Ann Coulter, and Tucker Carlson are leading the way on this shift in appeal. They are positioning to be the opposition party under a Bernie-dominant era -- agreeing on the big-picture fundamentals, in the same way today's Democrats share the GOP's neoliberal orthodoxy, but are more culturally liberal. The new GOP will be culturally conservative sympathizers of the Bernie / Ali O-C agenda.

And the left must accept these new populist Republicans, as a preferable opposition compared to one dominated by Reagan, the Bushes, McCain, Romney, Ryan, et al. At the outset of the realignment, they will even have to tolerate them in the Bernie coalition, in order to give it the oopmh necessary to overcome all the obstacles in its way and secure status as the new way of doing things. After that initial hurdle has been cleared, then the conservative populists can separate off on their own, into a new populist GOP.

That will be no different from everybody voting for Reagan, to terminate the New Deal, before segregating into red and blue Reaganite states. Or everyone voting for FDR, to secure the New Deal, before segregating into red and blue Midcentury states.

The alternative is to favor "woke neoliberals" over "racist populists," i.e. prioritize identity over class, and deliver an even more crippling level of inequality and immiseration than the Reaganites. There are only a handful of woke populists, not enough to sustain a dominant-party coalition. They will have to choose which slate of issues is more important in the trade-off, and that will determine whether we head toward another New Deal or another Robber Baron era.

January 1, 2019

Bernie is the most populist / socialist, not the "most left" -- therefore, the only shot to win the general

Socialists who are trying to clear the 2020 Democrat primary field for Bernie are going with the argument that Bernie is the farthest left, there's no one to his left, he's the true left, etc., against the identity politics crowd who would place all sorts of other Democrats to Bernie's left, including Harris, Booker, and other liberals in good standing with the ID-pol camp.

They are quibbling over the definition of "left," attempting to wrest it away from meaning identity-oriented SJW and back toward meaning class-oriented populist. But words mean whatever the language community's consensus is at the time and place that they're being used. You can't re-define words and expect everyone else to go along with it.

And right now, in probably every country where there's a word for "left," it refers to identity politics rather than class politics. It means supporting a coalition of certain marginalized identity groups -- people of color, women, gays, foreigners, etc. (Other marginalized identities fall under "right" ID-pol -- founding stock natives, heterosexual men, etc.)

"Left" does not mean wanting to break up the cartels that run our society, wanting labor unions to play a stronger role in the economy, seeking government protection for certain industries, and so on.

Like it, or don't like it, but that's what it means.

It's no different for "right" or "conservative". Everyone understands that to refer to culture-war topics, not so much to deregulation, tax cuts, military expansion, and the rest of their material agenda.

The populists supporting Bernie should learn from Trump's successful populist insurgent campaign in 2016. He did not run as the "most conservative" or the "farthest right" -- indeed, his opponents continually decried him as "not a true conservative," not a real Republican. And that charge was true -- he was a moderate on culture-war topics.

More importantly, though, he did not emphasize these identitarian distractions one way or the other. Some Republicans going for the yuppie vote try to play the culture war game, only from the liberal side. But Trump avoided those topics altogether, sticking with trade and industrial policy, militarism / foreign policy, and immigration. Whenever the culture war came up, he waved his hands and then moved on to his familiar material issues.

As he put it (paraphrasing), "Folks, I do happen to be conservative, but who cares? Our country's a mess, and we don't have time to worry about who's conservative, liberal, or moderate."

Some of his supporters may have made earnest arguments about how he was actually the truest conservative of the field, and the true candidate of the right, based on some rejected usage of "conservative" and "right". They didn't feel wholesome voting for a moderate, and felt better if they could cast their choice as ideologically pure. But nobody else bought that argument.

The same must happen on the Bernie side for 2020. He should not bring up identity politics or intersectionality at all, except to briefly wave his hands while mispronouncing a shibboleth to prove to the normies that he isn't really "one of them" (psychotic SJWs).

Voters worried that Trump might be another Bible-thumping Republican were quickly relieved to hear him mispronounce "Two Corinthians". Only someone who's never been to church, and doesn't take religion seriously, would fuck that up so bad. Phew! Evangelicals like Ted Cruz would never have made such a mistake.

If Bernie were to botch a pronunciation, fumbling over "outer-sectionality", it would relieve the non-leftist voters that he has nothing to do with identity politics. After the neoliberal shills jumped on his mispronunciation in the broadcast media, social media, etc., that would only convince normies all the more that Bernie does not belong to their in-group. Phew! No way would we ever vote for someone who revered a concept like "intersectionality".

All this crazy hand-wringing over identity politics would give Bernie the perfect opportunity to, like Trump, say "Look, I do happen to side with you guys on social and cultural issues, but there are quite frankly far more dire fundamental problems facing this nation, so who cares about who's liberal, conservative, or moderate?"

Like Trump, he would not be taking the opposite side of his party in the culture war, but ignoring it altogether, and casting aspersions on those who fixate on it -- as Trump did to Cruz et al, who were more worried about trannies in bathrooms than whether the working class would continue to be able to support their families if the management relocated their factories to Mexico, or whether we should go into debt by another $7 trillion just so the generals can play Risk in the Middle East.

The fact that Bernie is not the "most left" of the 2020 Democrats -- e.g. on "Abolish the 2nd amendment" -- is a selling point for the general public, not something to obfuscate or apologize for. If you need to tell yourself he's the "most" something, to make yourself feel pure, tell yourself that he's the most populist or the most socialist. No one believes those terms refer to social-cultural issues, and nobody disagrees that Bernie is the most class / economics populist of the field, by far.

Abandon the pointless struggle to re-claim the definition of "left" from the long-victorious SJWs, and prioritize terms like populism or socialism, choosing appropriately for your audience. Symbolic battles are not supposed to matter to materialists -- so just let the SJWs have their stupid "left" word, and use that to marginalize them with a general audience in order to advance materialist populism.

"See, the SJWs themselves hate Bernie -- what more of an endorsement could you want, Independent / Moderate / disaffected voters?"