March 31, 2016

The re-masculinization of the electorate

With all of these risible "war on women" non-issues being hurled at the Trump movement over the past week or so, it's worth remembering how not damaging these things have proven to be this primary season -- all the way back to Megyn Kelly's lame attempt at a feminist gotcha! question in the first Republican debate, which Trump shut down effortlessly and made the crowd roar with laughter and applause.

Forgetting the lessons they should have learned by now, the talking heads are still wringing their hands about what Trump can do to get a higher percentage of the female vote. But perhaps he took the opposite look at the situation -- how to consolidate more of the male vote. Since your typical crop of Republican candidates are limpwristed milquetoasts, it shouldn't be that hard -- and as he is proving, it is not.

In the 2012 primaries, the winner of a state won a similar share of both the male and female vote, whereas the exit polls this time are showing much more lop-sided results, where Trump gets 5 to 10 points more of the male than the female vote. And since the sex composition of the electorate has not changed, and since it is more male than female (a little over 50% male for most states), Trump's greater consolidation of the male vote has delivered one win after another.

Although the sex composition may not have changed since 2012, the class composition has. Trump's focus on economic and political issues relevant to blue-collar men -- particularly immigration and trade -- as well as his aggressive, get-down-to-business personality, has allowed him to lock up more of the male vote than if it were the usual group of GOP men voting. Out with the country club dads, in with the "spank your children" dads.

This also bodes well for the general election, where Trump would bring yuge turnouts of white working-class men, which any other GOP nominee would not. Hillary is unpopular with male Democrats, who prefer Bernie by double digits. Those who are voting for populist economic policies could very well turn out for Trump if Hillary were the Democrats' alternative.

The new influence of the male vote is related to the death of the culture war, since women are more into the airy-fairy values-voter topics, as opposed to "getting down to brass tacks" issues like keeping American companies in America, kicking out the illegal immigrants, and getting the rest of the world to pay up for our military protection. And outside of MRA whiners, men are not an aggrieved minority, so distracting identity politics will play less of a role in what topics resonate with voters. Notice that Trump is not consolidating the male vote by talking about divorce laws, sluts, or other "red pill" topics.

Looking over the exit polls in chronological order, it seems that Cruz has picked up the chick vote after the nice guys Rubio, Bush, and Carson dropped out. Now he's letting his inner-beta white knight shine by trying to score points about Trump being afraid of "strong women" (only real men are secure enough to take it up the butt from their woman's dildo). Expect this womanish blubbering to only grow worse -- but also expect it not to alter the course of the primaries, since men are still a larger chunk of the electorate, and being more blue-collar they are not exactly excited to pull the lever for a m'lady-supplicating nerd.

Hopefully the Establishment's relentless "war on women" bullshit will clear all of the feminists and other identity politics types out of the Republican party. I'm hoping that the great re-alignment will mean that the identity politics / PC / culture war / values-signaling types all go to the Democrats -- Mormons, feminists, bitter ethnic groups, and the rest -- while those who have concrete bread-and-butter goals will migrate into the Trump-led Republican party, both defecting Democrats and non-voters who come out of the shadows.

There are a lot more of these would-be converts than there are would-be apostates, so we win by alienating the crypto-SJWs lurking among the Republicans. Trump is no fool about how to win, and just look at who his greatest target has been, aside from Jeb Bush -- Megyn Kelly. He knows exactly who the biggest threats are to the project to Make America Great Again.

March 29, 2016

This one Lebanese Christian clan loves Donald Trump

Although Trump has now named many of his foreign policy advisors, the one who you've been seeing the most in the media is Walid Phares. Curious about his background, I checked Wikipedia and learned that he's Lebanese Christian (from Beirut).

I thought I'd heard that name before -- sure enough, the only solid pro-Trump host on Fox News, Judge Jeanine Pirro, has a maiden name of Ferris. She's also Lebanese Christian (from upstate New York).

Then after watching a clip from The View, where the hen party actually warms up to Trump in the wake of yet another radical Islamic terrorist attack, I checked the background of the exotic Paula, and like magic, her surname is Faris too. She's half-Lebanese and Christian (from the Ann Arbor metro area in Michigan).

It turns out that Phares / Ferris / Faris is a common surname among Lebanese Christians, meaning "knight". Trump attracts fighters, not hiders. It's one thing for Levantine Christians in general to be drawn to him, but it's strange how many come from the same genealogy, as though most of his English supporters were named Knight, or his French supporters Chevalier.

Sounds like a good way to navigate our way through a people and a region that we don't know much about, in the Near and Middle East -- look for other people with this surname, in the same way that we'd look for other members of the Trump tribe, and avoid other members of the Bush clan. That will be especially more useful when dealing with a region where clan politics are more important than they are here.

March 25, 2016

#CruzSexScandal: Culture wars claim another victim, Cruz and his cult

One of the major themes of this election season is the decline of the wars over social and cultural values. The front-runner, by far, of the Republicans is only talking about government and the economy, and so are the two Democrats (pioneered by Bernie, with Hillary having to address these issues instead of 100% identity politics).

That hasn't kept the die-hards from struggling to keep it alive, and they've rallied behind Ted Cruz.

Fortunately all of this sanctimonious, holier-than-thou grandstanding is going to come to a screeching halt. News is breaking about Cruz allegedly having had as many as five mistresses while married, and perhaps while a father too. Read the post and wade into the comments for all the details, and check out #CruzSexScandal on Twitter (which trended nationally last night).

Suffice it to say that the three we know about are all former political operatives for Cruz, who have gone on to other things by now. Katrina Pierson became a spokesperson for Trump, bringing the news to him sometime last year and giving him a great big bucket of ammunition to waste Cruz with, when the time was right. I wouldn't be surprised if her case turns out to be a false alarm, and that she was only propositioned by Cruz, creeping her out and finding a sympathetic ear with the Trump campaign.

Amanda Carpenter is the crazy Cruz lady you may have seen on CNN's talking head panel. And Sarah Isgur Flores moved on to the Carly Fiorina campaign, where she may have received half a million dollars as hush money, laundered from a Cruz PAC to a Carly PAC.

It's not only the fact that he has been such a tiresome moralistic scold, while indulging in the exact opposite of what he preaches. That level of hypocrisy would be bad enough. But these weren't a bunch of randos like Monica Lewinsky -- they were political operatives, who have shuffled around to other parts of the DC world. Carpenter shills nightly for Cruz, and Flores may have collected half a mil in laundered campaign contributions.

On top of the sexual moral hypocrisy is corruption. Usually they're separate -- one politician caught boinking a mistress (or rent boy), another politician caught paying off a reporter for favorable coverage. To have both themes joined repulsively together in the Cruz sex scandal means there's no recovery possible. Good riddance, Cruz cult.

I'm glad the Trump camp waited until now to pull the trigger, after Cruz received the most sought-after of Establishment endorsements -- Jeb, Romney, etc. -- and after mega-huckster Glenn Beck went all in for him, and after the Mormon hive delivered him a nearly 70% vote in Utah.

These icons of both wings of the Old Republican Party -- Wall Street donors and Cultural Right snake oil salesmen -- have become forever tainted and can be purged from the body politic. And, without having to argue endlessly about it -- just look at who they feverishly held up as their anointed living prophet.

We won't need to keep harping on this topic, but we will need to beat it to death for several weeks or even months, just to make it clear that all this culture war bullshit has been not only impotent to effect any real change about abortion, divorce, and gay marriage, but that it has also been led by wicked false prophets.

The sooner we beat that point to death, we can get to moving on to the important matters facing our government and economy -- borders, deportation, bringing industries back, trade imbalances, debt, and so on.

And every time some culture warrior tries to derail or distract us, we can instantly dismiss it with "Go back to your false prophet".

I hope there is a spiritual revival, given how godless our country has become. But it's not going to be spearheaded by wannabe theocrats who want to politicize the culture war. Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. We will change social and cultural outcomes only by changing people's minds so that abortion, divorce, and Sodomite marriage feel disgusting and anathema. And that can only happen by grassroots organization and evangelism.

This moral populism could be interwoven with an economic and political populism, akin to the Temperance movement that accompanied the Progressive movement around the turn of the 20th century. Trying to wage culture war top-down through the government, though, has proven not to work whatsoever.

March 23, 2016

Trading the Mormons for Michigan: A winning realignment

We've already covered the general pattern of Trump being more popular back East than out West, as well as the special case of Mormons in Idaho. So the results of tonight's kool-aid caucus in Utah should have come as no surprise.

They're the descendants of an apocalyptic cult that left behind their roots (families, home towns, and Christianity), followed a guru out West who wanted to build their own society outside of the United States (statehood only achieved decades later, after ending polygamy), and were globally rather than nationally oriented (not merely missionizing around the world, but actively seeking to bring them back here, so that Polynesian gangs are now a problem in Salt Lake City).

I've read a few people suggesting that if Trump were the Republican nominee, Utah might actually vote Democrat in the general. They've got 20% non-white population, which would go to the racial identity politics huckster, Hillary. Throw in the white liberals, and you're near 30%. And perhaps the Mormons will be so upset by Trump's show of "religious intolerance" -- freezing Muslim immigration for awhile -- since being a persecuted religious minority is a fundamental part of their identity. Add in their Saxon-Scandinavian aversion to straight talk, and you get a Minnesota of the Mountains attitude toward Trump's tone. Plus a sidelining of the culture war by the Trump movement, which is their main attraction to the Republican coalition.

Who knows how realistic that is? But let's just say that it happened, and was part of a broader realignment. Suppose the Republicans become the strong government party -- to keep companies from moving jobs out of the country, to regulate Wall Street back down to size, to defend the borders, to extricate ourselves from nation-building, and to re-build our own nation.

And suppose the Democrats become the small government party -- they've already got the "get the government out of the bedroom" lifestyle libertarianism, they would just have to absorb the Wall Street libertarians who don't want to be taxed or regulated. With Trump as the nominee, and Wall Street-owned Hillary as the alternative, libertarians would defect to the Democrats.

As for identity politics, suppose that the Republicans become the party that ignores the approach altogether, and focuses on practical matters. Then the Democrats would absorb the whole culture war, identity politics, values-voter crowd -- anyone who felt they were a misunderstood, persecuted, or aggrieved minority. That would include racial minorities with a chip on their shoulder, feminists, homos, and yes even the Mormons and other Judeo-LARP-ing Christian cultists (but not the Mainline or Catholic or back-East Southern Baptists).

If the realignment went roughly along those lines, then the new electoral map would roughly be split east-west at the Mississippi River.

Could the Trump-driven Republican Party secure the 270 electoral votes needed to win the Presidency?

Not only could it win, it would do so handily. If the GOP got every state and DC east of the Mississippi, it would get 308 electoral votes, while the Democrats to the west would take only 230. That may sound shocking, considering the Dems would get both California and Texas, but there's just not that many people otherwise in the Plains, Mountains, and Pacific NW states. They were the last to be settled, after all.

Even if the Dems held on to all of New England and DC back East, that would still give the Party of Trump a narrow win with 272. The Republicans could even lose Florida permanently to the Dems, as long as they picked up all of New England in exchange, and eke out a victory with 276.

I don't imagine the map will realign that radically in a single election cycle, but the larger point remains: letting go of the Republican strongholds in the Plains and Mountain states would be a small price to pay, in order to gain the Rust Belt, Mid-Atlantic, and/or New England. They only joined the Republican coalition to chase their apocalyptic cult values, so there wouldn't be any great loss in terms of the goals that the winning Republicans back East would pursue.

Consider just the states where the Mormon presence is large enough to pull out of the GOP -- Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. Those states offer a mere 13 electoral votes combined. If we could trade the Mormons for Michigan (16 votes), we would gain 3 electoral votes already. If that were emblematic of a broader realignment, we lose more states with small vote counts and bring on board states with yuge vote counts.

Before total realignment, let's say the Republicans keep Texas, but lost the rest of the Plains and Mountain states (Nevada going with the Pacific states). That would be a loss of 65 votes. But suppose that by shedding the apocalyptic culture war approach, and pursuing the Trump platform, we reliably gain the Great Lakes / Rust Belt states of Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (Indiana is already reliably Republican). That would be 84 votes, for a gain of 19. That's without even picking off some of the Mid-Atlantic and New England with a pragmatic nationalist platform.

Somehow the Republican leadership and electorate allowed itself to be increasingly marginalized so that its "bedrock" of support was small in electoral votes, and so out-there in culture war ideology and Wall Street-driven deregulation, that they basically gave up the Presidency. Romney and McCain flamed out big-time, and Bush Jr. just barely and questionably picked up the majority of electoral votes in 2000, while losing the popular vote. (His re-election was a given, during the War on Terror.) Dole and Bush Sr. lost pathetically in the '90s.

It's high time we retired the Plains and Mountain states as the stronghold of the Republican Party. Whoever out West wants to join in, is perfectly welcome -- Arizona looks like it would be the only state in those two regions that would be enthusiastically pro-Trump. But from now on, the bastion of the Trump-era GOP must be the Rust Belt, the South, and the Mid-Atlantic (plus either Florida or New England, though ideally both). It sounds a little odd, but it would be historical/core America, as opposed to transplant/frontier America. Makes sense to me -- and evidently to everyone back East, where Trump fever is catching on.

March 22, 2016

Trump shifting Israel policy from instrumental to symbolic

The media is trying to spin Trump's speech before AIPAC as a reversal of his earlier comments that made it seem like he'll be taking a more hands-off approach toward the Jewish state. A post at The Hill even called his speech today "hawkish".

Of course, earlier in the day, Trump said that Israel would not be exempt from the general policy of foreign nations compensating us for any help we provide to them -- and not just a token payment, but what it's really worth to them. At his rallies, he's mentioned Germany, South Korea, and Japan, and today when specifically asked about Israel by a reporter, he said they will have to start paying up too.

And if you look at the main topics of his AIPAC speech, there's little in there to suggest that we're going to play an instrumental role in Israel's affairs -- no promises about funding them, equipping them, training them, sending troops to fight on behalf of their interests, and so on and so forth.

That's what we've been doing for several decades now, and a true hawk would have droned on and on about how many billions we're going to gift them in foreign aid, how many battleships we're going to station off their coastline in case they get attacked, how many fighter jets we're going to send them, how many missiles, how many American boots on the ground in the Middle East, bla bla bla.

Instead, he outlined a role that is largely symbolic and providing moral support.

He began with an anecdote about being the grand marshal in a Salute to Israel Parade in 2004, and goes on to draw cultural similarities between the US and Israel. Establishing bonds of friendship or well-wishing, at any rate.

Later he discusses how he would serve as a facilitator for any future peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, since any terms that were imposed by a UN resolution would have no effect. Trump would lend his negotiating skills to bring the two sides together and hammer out a deal, but he isn't going to commit large sums of money, or equipment, or American troops, or anything else like that. He puts the onus on the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves -- if both sides don't want a deal, there will be no deal.

He then flatters the Israelis about how much more moral they are, compared to the Palestinians who glorify terrorists. This is simply lending moral support, and doesn't require giving Israel anything or doing anything for them.

Finally, he says he would support moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing that city as the capital of Israel, rather than Tel Aviv. Where our embassy is located is symbolic and only relates to identity politics -- which city the Jews identify with most as an ethnic group. But it requires no further commitments from us, and does not involve us more deeply in Middle Eastern politics. It'll piss some people off, but it's not as though he's advocating full Israeli control over Jerusalem -- merely recognizing it as the capital.

Ultimately, I'd rather we not be involved in Middle Eastern politics at all. But if we're going to get there, it'll probably happen in stages. And the first stage should shed the real commitments we have been making -- money, weapons, troops, etc. -- and continue to provide only symbolic and moral support. After awhile, we can downgrade relations further so that they are just another foreign nation that we will interact with.

The only part of his speech where he pledged to make substantive changes was about Iran's support for terrorism. Some of that targets Israel, so Trump is showing a common interest we both have -- not fighting Iran on Israel's behalf, which would get us too deeply involved, but merely cutting off Iran's support for terrorism.

Notice that he does not say we're going to bomb Iran, impose no-fly zones, send ground troops, or anything foolish like that. He says he'll disrupt the sending of weapons from Iran to groups in foreign nations, meaning at most he might bomb a convoy en route to Lebanon from Iran. He focuses more on their financial support for such groups, and last fall he discussed the same topic in relation to Saudi Arabia providing funds for terrorist groups. Back then, he said the goal was to disrupt the financial channels through which Saudi oil money reaches Salafi terrorists. Presumably he thinks the same about Iran -- find out how the money is flowing, and disrupt it.

Look past the rhetoric he uses before the most powerful group of the Israel lobby. He's just getting their emotions worked up so that they'll feel like they have enough of a common interest with us to make a deal. At the same time, he is not offering them hawkish promises, but only symbolic and moral support. It will be the first step toward disentangling ourselves from the Middle East. If Hillary were elected, we'd never stop hemorrhaging soldiers' lives and taxpayers' money digging ourselves in even further on behalf of Israel's national interests rather than our own.

March 21, 2016

If President, Hillary planning to void Obama's Supreme Court appointments, due to his not being a natural-born citizen?

As a warning to the Republican establishment about what would happen if they try to derail his nomination, or run a third-party spoiler in the general election, Trump has been repeatedly stating that the appointing of "three or four or five" Supreme Court judges hangs in the balance.

Here's one instance among many (from this article):

Because let me tell you, if we lose this election, you’re going to have three, four or maybe even five justices (appointed by Democrats) and this country will never, ever recover. It will take centuries to recover.

He says it over and over -- three or four or five judges will be appointed to the Supreme Court by the next President, and we'd better make sure that it's us rather than them who's doing the appointing.

Notice that the context of Trump's warning is always what would happen if the Democrats, i.e. Hillary, were to win. He's not addressing what would or would not happen if he were President.

So how does he get "three or four or five"?

The first is obviously Scalia's successor.

And both Ginsburg and Breyer are getting very long in the tooth, are liberals, were appointed by Hillary's husband, and would probably be OK with retiring while Hillary was President, so that they could be assured of their replacements being hardcore liberals. But getting them to retire is not a guaranteed thing, so this is probably who Trump has in mind when he says "or four or five".

Who are the other two, then? They would fall under what Trump believes is a certain minimum of three (in addition to Scalia's successor). They would have to come as a pair, otherwise Trump would have said "two or three or four or five".

Certainly it would not be the conservatives, since Hillary would not be able to persuade them to retire, and they're not elderly enough for that to be a possibility in the first place. Only Kennedy is old, and nothing links him in a pair with another Justice that would remove both of them together.

That leaves only the liberal appointees, Sotomayor and Kagan, who are linked by having been appointed by Obama. Yet they are not elderly, so they would not be retiring out of senescence.

So would they be removed because they were appointed by an illegitimate President, who was not a natural-born citizen? (Either removed outright or persuaded into early retirement so they can save face.)

When I've read this topic discussed on other sites, the person is usually ecstatic about a would-be President Trump himself proving finally that Obama was not qualified to be President because of his birth status (perhaps using Presidential authority to unseal records), then using that to say YOU'RE FIRED to both of his Supreme Court appointees, and putting two staunch conservatives in their place.

However, Trump has always brought this matter up in the context of "what if Hillary were to win?" He was on the inside of the Establishment for decades, and has many confidantes who are high-ups on the politicians' side (Christie, Giuliani). He keeps issuing the same warning with the same numbers. And if he's choosing that topic as the one to warn or threaten the GOP leaders with, he must be more certain of that than any other threat he could make.

In short, it sounds like Trump knows that Hillary is planning, if she were President, to unseal the relevant records, prove Obama was not qualified for President, hence his choices are null and void, including his Supreme Court appointments. That explains why Trump lumps them in as an inseparable pair, who along with Scalia's successor, would make up a guaranteed minimum of three new appointments under a Hillary administration. The part about "or four or five" refers to the possibility of Hillary persuading Ginsburg and Breyer to retire for the greater liberal good.

Remember that it was Hillary's camp -- not Republicans -- who first brought up the birther and Muslim issues about Obama back in 2008, when he began muscling his way past her royal highness in the primaries. The Clinton camp and the Obama camp have bitterly hated each other ever since. Obama may allow Hillary to be indicted for her email server crimes, and on the campaign trail Bill Clinton has recently started to talk smack about the "awful legacy of the past eight years".

There's no love lost between the two sides, so Hillary's motivation for proving Obama illegitimate is partly revenge for her losing the nomination in 2008. She will get to erase his legacy, and put in her own two liberal Justices who will preside for generations to come.

But also remember that we're talking about one of the most corrupt politicians in world history, so there's going to be that motivation as well. How much do you have to donate to the Clinton Foundation to secure your choice of appointee to the Supreme Court? The appointees themselves would not have enough money to bribe their way in. I mean, if you're a billionaire liberal conspirator like George Soros, what would it be worth to you for Hillary to guarantee your choice of Supreme Court appointment -- two of them, in fact?

That would be in addition to the Scalia replacement, which would only be motivated by corruption and not revenge against Obama. Ditto for the possible replacements of Ginsburg and Breyer. Hillary and Soros, or whoever, give the sitting Justices what they want in order to retire (money, positions, donations to their choice of organization, etc.), and then Hillary collects from Soros to replace them with judges of his choice.

So for both revenge and big bucks, Hillary would prove Obama was illegitimate to begin with. Trump knows this -- and because he keeps using it as a warning to the Republican leaders, they must know it too. For all we laypeople know, it may be the biggest open secret in Washington. Maybe that's why Obama hasn't categorically cleared Hillary of any wrong-doing -- if he feels like she'd get revenge and erase his legacy, he'll just prevent her from getting elected by having her prosecuted while running her campaign.

Still, Trump seems so sure that these "three or four or five" Justices would be appointed no matter which Democrat won, that Hillary must be planning to prove Obama illegitimate no matter what happens to her own campaign. Worst comes to worst, Obama prosecutes her and torpedoes her chances, the Democrats put in Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren or whoever, and should that Democrat win, Hillary pulls the trigger on the birther issue, and the non-Hillary Democrat President gets another two Justices to appoint.

That suggests that Hillary may already have damning evidence, which she would not need to be President in order to produce. Even sidelined by prosecution, she could still prove her case and erase Obama's legacy out of revenge -- although in that case, she would not get to also enjoy the corruption funds from Soros to appoint the replacements. But if Obama sinks her career, pure cold revenge would be enough of a motive.

I never paid much attention to the Obama birther issue, but it is starting to look more and more real every day now. And whether it's Hillary or Trump who becomes the next President, either way we'll finally have the matter settled in favor of the birthers. We don't need to know what the precise technical evidence might be -- it's enough for us to see Trump repeatedly warning the Republican Establishment by referring to what everyone assumes will be Hillary's "three or four or five" appointments, which can only be achieved if she gets to void Obama's choices automatically.

The good news is that Trump himself will get to make the same number of replacements if he wins, using the same evidence that Hillary knows about, so we'll get even more conservatives onto the Court than if he were only replacing Scalia.

March 16, 2016

Appalachians for Trump

The only place where Trump came in second yesterday was Ohio, although his share of the vote was the same as in neighboring Michigan and Kentucky (36%). So it's not as though his message resonated any less than it did in the surrounding area.

But unlike those two states, where there was no favorite son for the non-Trump voters to coalesce around, there was a semi-popular Governor in Ohio who could draw enough of the non-Trump vote for himself to take the state. The term "favorite son" is an exaggeration, since he only got 47% of the vote -- similar to John McCain in Arizona in 2008, and he's not exactly their favorite either. Contrast with Dubya's 88% in the Texas primary of 2000.

Kasich's support also split heavily along geographic and cultural lines, with the Appalachian region of Ohio going solidly for Trump -- around 50% in each county. They resonate with the anti-PC tone, deporting immigrants and banning Muslims, manufacturing, steel, and coal coming back, and foreign policy being more pragmatic and limited. And feeling like their leaders have betrayed them.

Here are maps showing the primary results and Appalachia. Notice how closely Trump support and Appalachian status go together. In states where Trump dominates everywhere, it's hard to see. But where there's variation within a state, it jumps out -- you see it also in Kentucky, where the eastern region is Trump country, while Cruz took many major areas in the west. The only slight exception is the Asheville NC metro area, which went for Cruz despite being in Appalachia -- someone who knows more can explain that.

That bodes well for one of the big upcoming elections that Kasich is focusing on -- Pennsylvania, much of which is Appalachian. There were reports about massive defection of Democrats to Trump in both eastern Ohio and eastern Kentucky, and we can expect the same for western PA. That's actually where Kasich comes from -- that heavy accent you hear is from the Pittsburgh area -- but it's clear from the rest of Appalachia that they want nothing to do with his neocon, Wall Street, limpwristed conservadad bullcrap. I would kill to see a bunch of Yinzers heckling Kasich in his own regional dialect, deflating the myth that he's just a humble small-town kinda guy, but really just another phony jagoff.

It also bodes well for Upstate New York, only some of which is Appalachian, but much of which is on the same basic wavelength culturally and economically. As for the more East Coast parts of PA, NJ, and NY, Trump and his attack dog Christie both enjoy yuge regional appeal. I can't see the Jersey Shore kind of Pennsylvanians choosing the nutjob cult guru Cruz or the milquetoast Ned Flanders clone.

On a final sidenote, with the Missouri results in, the Ozarks are revealing themselves to be part of the trans-Mississippian Frontier rather than an extension of Appalachia, as they side with Cruz over Trump. They may like to emphasize their similar Scotch-Irish heritage, their similar hilly/mountainous environment, and their historical beginnings in Appalachia, but if they're so easily drawn in by the snake oil cult, they're too Western to be hillbillies.

When Mississippi's results came in, we saw that Tupelo and a suburb of Memphis were Cruz counties. Now it's not just Elvis who hails from cuck country, but Johnny Cash too. Maybe all we need to break the spell of the Cruz cult is to jam their airwaves and play some banjo-pickin' music instead.

March 15, 2016

Break up ghettos and re-settle them down South and out West

In the wake of the Chicago disruption, people will start to associate the anti-Trump forces with the rioters of Ferguson, Baltimore, and so on. There may be other large-scale disruptions in other major cities before or after the general election, which will only strengthen the association.

Once the American people see these outbreaks of violence as not just a fleeting mob that burns out quickly, and instead as planned and organized collective actions with an ideology that will sustain them toward future attacks, they will begin to want to really do something about the problem. Violence driven by an ideology is more threatening than random lashing-out. Islamic terrorism is another obvious example.

The ghettos have been festering for nearly 100 years already, and they ought to be dispersed. There's simply too dense of a concentration of disrupters, and when those disrupters join up with one another, we get street gangs or worse.

There aren't as many problems down South, where blacks are more historically rooted, and where the weather is nicer. Black and white groups co-evolved alongside each other, so neither one can easily take advantage of the other, and both sides agree to stick to their own side and leave the other side alone.

And down South, the racial dividing line is just a line, allowing each side to fan out as far as they want from the line, on their own side. Birmingham is a good example: the dividing line runs SW to NE, with blacks to the west of it and whites to the east. Blacks can move around as far as they want on the west side of the line, and whites as much as they want on the east side of it, without ever having to run into each other.

In the ghettos of the North and Midwest, blacks live in highly circumscribed neighborhoods, surrounded on all sides by white neighborhoods or natural barriers. They have no room to fan out, without running into whites. This creates a pressure cooker environment, where running into each other becomes unavoidable, and where the group that's penned in is going to resent living in what amounts to a great big prison yard. Chicago is a great example of clearly defined black enclaves surrounded by neighborhoods belonging to other races.

So one solution to draining the ghettos is to subsidize their migration back to the South, which huge numbers of blacks have already undertaken on their own over the the past couple decades, getting crowded out by soaring immigrant populations. Aside from having more room to roam, they'll be around their own people (the Black Belt) instead of getting into day-to-day encounters with other races. And since blacks lived for the longest time in the South, their communities are more rooted and stable, compared to the shaky recent foundations of life in Midwestern cities. If they don't like city life, they can choose small towns or rural areas filled with their own people, an option they don't have outside the South.

Whoever doesn't want to join the South, should be subsidized to move farther out West. That will alleviate the strain and burden back East. Right now, most cities west of the Mississippi are not shouldering their fair share of the ghetto burden. Northern and Midwestern people did not bring in the slaves hundreds of years ago, so it's not right that they should bear the brunt of ghettos today. Folks out West didn't bring in the slaves either, but if we have to have down-and-out black areas, then so should they.

Fortunately there's still lots of wide open space out West, compared to the crowded eastern half of the country. And they would still be settled so that the dividing line was a straight line, not an enclave surrounded by the host city, which would re-create the pressure cooker problem all over again. The Sun Belt is relatively more booming economically, so they'll find better job prospects than they will back in Chicago or Cleveland.

Flaky out-West types claim to embrace diversity -- now they'll get a chance to practice what they preach. They won't have to share neighborhoods with them, but they will have to get used to a "black side" of the metro area, across a dividing line that will allow each group to enjoy itself without being bothered by the other.

And of course a good number of transplants out West -- who make up an increasing share of all residents out West -- specifically chose their adoptive region in order to move away from diversity. But why should their flee-and-hide strategy be rewarded? Their home town stinks, so they'll just move away and let their fellow home towners deal with the problem? The more good people that leave, the worse the situation will get back home, as the ghetto comes to make up a larger and larger percent of the remaining population.

But hey, "I got mine, lots of luck getting yours." And "If you don't like Chicago, you too can deracinate yourself and pretend to belong in Denver."

The Western transplants will complain that they spent all that money to move away from the problem, and now we're sending the problem to find them. Hey, why should we care, when you deserted in the first place? The people you left behind are supposed to deal with the problem indefinitely, not you? I don't think so.

And "diversity-enhancing" policies are all we need to start equalizing the burden of the ghetto population. Again, they won't be moving in next door, a la Section 8 housing, but they will be moving into your metro area, and will have their own "side" to roam around, not being surrounded in a pressure cooker fashion.

For far too long, waves of white transplants have been using the Frontier and the West as a playground to pursue their inane lifestyle-striving contests, content to let the metro areas back East be plagued by ghettos. They need to start shouldering their fair share of the burden.

We'll do our best to encourage blacks to move to their homeland within the country, the Black Belt in the South. But whoever remains outside of it, must be spread out more evenly across the Northeast, Midwest, Plains, Mountains, and West Coast. None of us brought the slaves over here, so none of us has any greater claim to not be responsible for living around their descendants.

March 14, 2016

With weakened government, political mob violence could be worse than last peak circa 1970

At last week's Chicago Trump rally, a mob of Leftist agitators brought collective political violence one step closer toward actual than hypothetical. From there, it can only grow during the rest of the electoral season, with the anti-Leftist side becoming more likely to fight back.

Remember that Trump's bastion of support is blue-collar whites, especially ethnic whites, and they don't feel like they owe anything to blacks, Mexicans, Muslims, etc. They also own guns and practice taking aim with them. At the GOP debate in Detroit, several people reported that there was a biker gang in the audience that was chanting TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP! And at a town hall meeting in Cincinnati, Trump was given a lifetime membership card to a motorcycle club by one of the audience members, and he responded by saying how much support he has from the biker crowd. He's been endorsed by Paul Teutel Sr., owner of Orange County Choppers and star of the reality show American Chopper.

With that whackjob who jumped the barrier and rushed the stage at the Dayton rally on Saturday, it makes you wonder how long until Trump gets some serious protection from the Hells Angels? (And unlike Mick Jagger, Trump would actually be grateful rather than whiny toward a biker dude who defused a gun-wielding nut and stabbed him to death just to be safe.)

This isn't meant to sensationalize what's gone on so far. There's simply never been anything like this in recent history. You'd have to go back to the late '60s and early '70s -- the Leftist riots at the Democratic Convention in Chicago 1968, for example.

Peter Turchin has studied the dynamics of organized or collective political violence, and found that in American history they rise and fall in a cycle about 50 years long. The last peak was around 1970, and before that an even worse peak around 1920, and before that the Civil War and Reconstruction. "Collective" violence means there's a group or mob aspect to it and is ideologically motivated, rather than individual-on-individual crime that is opportunistic.

That means we're due for another peak around 2020 -- of course, it could be a few years before or after. It may begin this year.

Although the last peak around 1970 is still within living memory for the Boomers and Silents, and therefore something that could be related second-hand to the X-ers and Millennials, I don't think that's going to be the closest example to guide us through the coming wave.

During the late '60s and early '70s, we were still in the Great Compression, when individuals were more likely to band together into a team or hierarchy rather than pursue their personal ambitions. Maybe that made it slightly easier for agitators to form groups, but that's not the greatest area of change, which is the government. We simply have a much weaker and fractured government today than around 1970, because today every individual is looking out for himself, not the greater good, crucially among the leadership. The ability of state-serving teams -- the police, the National Guard, the Army -- to control mob violence just ain't what it used to be.

In the 1950s, President Eisenhower called in the Army to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock. The Supreme Court had little to do with that -- they had no men with guns to send in. And even if they did, the Governor had called in his own men with guns (the Arkansas National Guard) to prevent black students from entering the school building. But the U.S. Army beats the Arkansas state militia every day of the week, and the school was desegregated.

Eisenhower also used men with guns to round up over a million illegal Mexican immigrants, and deported them on the other side of the border.

FDR rounded up Japanese-American citizens in internment camps during WWII, just to be safe.

And in foreign affairs, the state was strong enough under Truman to drop not one but two atomic bombs on large civilian populations in Japan.

We could never work up the collective will to take such a game-ending approach with respect to the Desert Arabian problem. We couldn't intern the Arabians within our borders, nor deport the illegal Mexicans. And when was the last time the U.S. Army was called in to enforce policy? Up through today, we simply defer acting on all of these important matters, and hope that somehow a miracle of the free market will deport the illegal immigrants or destroy the Saudi menace.

Jesus, we can't even police our own ghettos. That used to be taken for granted -- no matter where you stood in the debate about atomic bombs, surely you accepted something as obvious as "stop and frisk," and even "chase and club," when it came to thugs from the ghetto.

With such a weakened government, ordinary citizens will naturally begin to try restoring order by themselves. This is not "taking the law into their own hands" because that assumes they're stealing that role from the government -- but the government has already proven itself unwilling to play that role. Citizens who organize themselves will not be "taking" but "filling a void".

We therefore won't see so much of a battle between groups of agitators and the police, National Guard, or the Army, but rather between groups of agitators and groups of ordinary citizens. The governmental agencies are too weak and fragmented to step in decisively on either side.

Therefore, we'll probably see something more like the peak circa 1920, when the Great Compression was only beginning, and before the state was so strong.

Labor conflicts were flaring up all over the country, with paramilitary armies hired by the owners of the factories and mines, vs. the unions who took up arms against them. The Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921 involved 10,000 armed strikers against 3,000 paramilitary, and was only ended when the U.S. Army intervened.

Race riots erupted throughout the North and Midwest in the late '10s and early '20s. The KKK was actually an active group back in those days, unlike the '60s or the 21st century -- so far, anyway. If "race relations" get bad enough, and the government is too weak to impose order, then ethnic self-protection groups (gangs) will spring up.

There was also Communist and anarchist agitation, especially from recent immigrants. Italian immigrant anarchists used to lob bombs on Wall Street, and Jewish anarchists organized around opposition to WWI. The government was at least strong enough to raid their buildings (the Palmer Raids) and deport their asses back to Europe (Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman).

Hopefully Trump takes office before the shit really hits the fan, and we can have the government restore order rather than citizens organizing themselves into makeshift order-imposers, resorting necessarily to violence against the other side. If not, we could be in for a rough 5-to-10 years.

When we look back at the internment of Japanese-Americans, deporting of Mexicans, and formations of policemen clubbing the agitators outside the Democratic Convention, we ought to ask ourselves what the alternative would have been if the government hadn't stepped in. People aren't just going to sit there and take all these risks from hostile Other groups. They're going to organize themselves and fill the void left by a weak state. And then we're back to a pre-modern society where it's one violent faction versus another.

The Leftists who got clubbed by coppers in Chicago 1968 should consider themselves lucky that they didn't instead have to face roving posses of armed citizens, who would not have been as restrained against the chaos-spreading hippies.

Sadly, unless we get someone tough into the heads of the executive branch to restore order -- Mayor, Governor, and President -- the Black Lives Matter crowd will find itself facing off against rival ethnic gangs akin to the old-school KKK. And for the first time in a century, it won't be a bogeyman.

Trump cannot take office too soon.

March 11, 2016

Anarcho-tyranny = Eight years of Trump, martial law and Reconquista of Chicago

Leading up to the major primary elections this Tuesday, Trump is touring a number of large and diverse cities -- Fayetteville yesterday, St. Louis and Chicago today, and Cleveland tomorrow. Trump is no fool, so I'm sure he knew what was likely to happen, and that it would all but secure his victory on Tuesday, in the primary overall, and in the general in November.

While there were small conflicts in Fayetteville and St. Louis, the protesters at the Chicago rally grew so hostile and violent -- shoving, punching, mobbing, and storming the stage -- that it was canceled for the night, and the Trump crowd was dispersed along with the animals. Tonight was so different because reports say perhaps hundreds of protesters were allowed into the main arena, apart from the thousands protesting outside.

The fact that so many obvious trouble-makers were allowed into the main arena proves that the Chicago government and the Chicago PD was turning a blind eye to the potential danger beforehand. Corruption in Democrat-controlled Chicago -- I know, hard to believe.

When a major city is revealed to be in such a state of anarchy and fragility -- when the rights of free speech and free assembly of a huge crowd is canceled because of confrontational protesters and no police response -- you can guarantee that everyone who learns of the news will demand a harsh law-and-order program to contain and prevent such chaos in the future.

These dumb punks thought that they'd disrupt Trump's campaign by disrupting a rally, but they have only dug their own grave. Seeing lawlessness unfold on live TV is going to turn out even more people to vote for Trump in the primaries, and in the general election against the soft, pillow-brained Democrat. Look at the violent clashes, also in Chicago, during the 1968 Democratic Convention -- that got them eight years of Nixon, suckers.

You'd think at least someone in the media would have a clue, but they're desperately trying to spin this as the beginning of the end for the Trump movement. We can understand the moron-level protesters not being able to forecast what response their riotous stunts will provoke in the general public, but the talking heads at least have three-digit IQs. Yet they have been so insulated from real life that they think normal Americans are going to sympathize with a mob that unfairly shuts down a political rally. The journalists may be wimps, but the general public is not, and they are going to respond very harshly.

Once Trump is elected President -- guaranteed by tonight's shameful anarchy -- he will declare martial law in Chicago, flush out the garbage responsible for the anarchy (they can move to a state that voted for Cruz), organize a replacement of the local political machine, and resettle the city with normal Americans. Trump cannot even stand when a lone protester interrupts him during a punchline -- imagine how much he's going to remember a mob of them shutting down an entire rally. He's already warned the other side that he cannot forgive a betrayal of trust, and follows the rule of "an eye for an eye".

When is the other side going to appreciate that they're no longer dealing with a half-black Jimmy Carter?

As angry as you may be feeling, breathe a sigh of relief that this agitation will ensure a two-term reign of Trump, and will create a public mood that will be far more tolerant of law-and-order programs to restore stability.

Cruz shows off prepper icon during debate

In case his pandering to apocalyptic lifestyle and persona strivers were not ham-fisted enough, during tonight's debate Cruz conspicuously displayed one of those gay prepper rope bracelets:

Cruz appeals to the LARP-y, braindead cult followers who will see that and pump their fist about how he gets the out-West survivalist lifestyle.

"Dude, I bet he's totally wearing a Zombie Exterminator t-shirt underneath that suit! Finally, a candidate who isn't afraid to embody our prepper values."

No matter what, Ted can't help looking like a poser (but then he's a professional politician).

March 10, 2016

After Tea Party rift, GOP Establishment coming back together against Trump (too little too late)

With Cruz receiving so much undeserved status as an "outsider" and "anti-Establishment" candidate, it's useful to zoom out and see how his campaign and his followers fit into the whole realignment of the Republican Party.

As of the 1980s, the Republican Party consisted of two partners in an unlikely coalition -- Wall Street (corporate globalism), and the Cultural Right (itself coming in religious and secular forms).

What held them together was an anti-government and anti-society worldview, Wall Street wanting to evade any regulations that would curb their astronomic wealth-accumulation, and the Cultural Right seeing modern big government as an existential threat to traditional values, both secular and religious.

They also shared an antipathy toward stewardship, rooted in a dismissal of the relevance of the future -- Wall Street needed a rationale for rapidly dismantling the painstakingly built American economy and selling it off for scrap to the highest bidder, while the Cultural Right were possessed by a sense of apocalyptic doom, hence no point in tending what we've got into the future, since we need to prep immediately for the end of the world as we know it.

The Cultural Right was always the junior partner in this coalition, having no real wealth or power in the larger society, and both partners knew that. At first, the Cultural Right simply thought that the senior partner would be generous and help them meet their needs, as long as the junior partner showed up to vote for the candidate that was of, by, and for the Wall Street side.

Over time, they saw few to none of their culture war goals being met, despite continuing to show up to the voting booth and pulling the lever for the Republicans. Abortion was still legal, symbols of Christianity were being driven out of the public sphere, and the size and scope of government continued to expand.

Ultimately this led to the Ron Paul phenomenon of 2008, where both the secular and religious wings of the Cultural Right decided that they'd had enough, and were going to revolt against, and perhaps even split off from, the Wall Street camp. This sentiment fueled the growth of the Tea Party in the 2010s, and in 2012 led the Wall Street camp to alter the rules for the GOP nomination so that insurgent candidates like Paul could not make it, and the corporate globalist candidate (like Romney) would sail through.

That attempt to stifle the Tea Party movement provoked a further backlash, with not one but three seemingly insurgent candidates running in the 2016 primary -- Cruz, Walker, and Rand Paul. Foreseeing this rise of the Tea Party, the Wall Street camp rigged the primary process to get the Wall Street candidate, Jeb Bush, safely to the nomination with no more than 20-25% of the vote, through splitting up all of the non-Jeb vote by fielding a ton of candidates, no one of whom would get more than 15-20%.

Throughout this fracturing of the GOP, the Cultural Right has thought of the Wall Street side as the Establishment -- understandably, since they are. But presenting themselves as anti-Establishment is disingenuous, since they have been supporting the Wall Street side for decades, and to the extent that they're no longer marching to the orders of Wall Street, it's not because they're against its corporate globalist agenda, but rather because they want their cultural agenda to take its place after all these decades of sitting on the back burner.

Enter the Trump movement. Its populist and nationalist platform cuts directly against the elitist and globalist platform of the Wall Street side. It wants to "Make America Great Again," meaning it's geared toward sustaining things into the future, and even then it's only America's future that matters. To do that, government intervention will be necessary (tariffs, re-negotiating trade treaties, etc.). There go the two main planks of the old Reagan platform.

It may sympathize with some of the values advocated by the Cultural Right, though not with others, and in any case its main message on the matter is that culture can wait -- first we have to clean up the rotten economy and purify the corruption in the government. And to the extent that it shares the values of the Cultural Right, it does not do so with an apocalyptic fervor -- abortions as a Holocaust that may wipe us out, vs. abortions as a sign of degradation that needs to be healed.

The apocalyptic side does not like to hear yet another front-runner telling them that culture must be put on the back-burner for awhile, while we focus on economics, let alone the suggestion that their attitude toward cultural matters should be more sober and less hysterical. That's why Cruz is cleaning up with the Cultural Right (reminder: this does not include most evangelicals back East of the Mississippi River, where devout Christians -- and folks in general -- tend to be cheerful and stable, rather than paranoid and depressive).

Facing the Trump movement, which does not speak one way or another to the Cultural Right and which speaks directly against Wall Street, the two fractured partners of the old Reagan coalition are coming back together to try to overwhelm Trump at the voting booth. This comes after months of engaging in a tug-of-war amongst themselves, while Trump kept amassing more and more delegates.

But by now, they seem to be coalescing more behind Cruz. The Cultural Right was already with him; the interesting change is the Wall Street side moving over to him. "We'd taken the fundies for granted -- we really do need their numbers at the ballot box, since support for Wall Street per se is so tiny."

Thankfully, this re-merger of the old coalition is coming too little too late, with Trump looking almost certain to get over half of the delegates, however long it may take. Thus, the Trump movement has not only slain the Wall Street wing (symbolized by the abject failure of the Jeb and Rubio campaigns), as well as relegated the culture war to the side, it has also blocked the attempted re-formation of the Reagan-era coalition. The Republican realignment of 2016 is more or less fait accompli.

In an interesting twist, it looks less and less like Cruz was the Cultural Right figure who would finally make the Wall Street wing into the junior partner, and more and more like he was part of the Wall Street side all along, meant to spellbind the apocalyptic cult followers into thinking they were going to be in charge for a change, when in fact Wall Street would continue to play the role of senior partner.

Here is a recent profile of Cruz's deep roots in the Bush political camp, back to the early Dubya days, as well as his being owned by Goldman Sachs, for whom his wife also worked. And here is a post detailing the importance of Fiorina's recent endorsement of Cruz. It is not simply the Wall Street wing grudgingly accepting a junior partner role, and accepting the Cultural Right as the senior partner for now. It turns out that Cruz's Super PAC gave $500,000 to kick off Fiorina's campaign way, way back in June of last year -- Fiorina's endorsement of Cruz is hardly a sudden change of heart, in the face of the unforeseen Trump juggernaut. Their connection goes back at least to the start of the primary season.

With the Wall Street tentacles stretching so far over the political landscape, by now co-opting most of the Tea Party insurgency, the Trump movement could not have come at a more crucial time. You no longer have to be a member of the Cultural Right to start believing in divine intervention.

March 8, 2016

Primary open thread, March 8

Since the comments to the last post are becoming an open thread, let's move it here.

My main interest tonight is how the Mormons are going to vote. Southeastern Idaho is part of the Mormon Corridor, and at least from what I've heard, they're more hardcore into their religion than in the homeland of Utah. There are Mormon pockets in Nevada, including Elko County in the northeastern part of the state bordering Idaho, which went for Cruz. He's the apocalyptic religious candidate, so he ought to be right up their alley.

The Mountain states in general will be Cruz-friendly since they're rife with prepper types. Secular rather than religious apocalypse, but still. His Big Data metrics will let him know when to talk about the IRS and the Federal Reserve, and when to talk about God.

March 4, 2016

Catholics (and Muslims?) for Trump in Michigan: End-times ahead for Cruz cult, as race moves to white ethnic states

A brand new poll out from Michigan shows Trump far in the lead with 42%, vs. Cruz 19%, Rubio 15%, Kasich 14%, and Carson 5%. It was taken after the Super Tuesday results were in, although the numbers look pretty stable over the past month.

One finding that jumped out was on religion. We've already seen that Cruz does well with evangelicals in the apocalyptic Plains and Mountain states, but gets clobbered by them back East of the Mississippi River. In Michigan, Trump and Cruz are tied among evangelicals (about 30%).

Among Catholics, however, Trump leads by a yuge margin, far above his statewide average -- 52%, vs. Rubio 16%, Kasich 14%, and Cruz 11%. That's more than 40 percentage points separating first-ranked Trump from bottom-ranked Cruz among Catholics.

Now that the race is more or less past the Bible Belt states in the South, and has covered the lion's share of votes from the Plains (Texas), the religious angle to the race is going to tilt far more heavily in Trump's favor. In the Michigan sample, about half the respondents were Protestant and one-third were Catholic. Evangelicals also made up one-third, making them equal in size to Catholics for the first time in the race.

Throughout the Midwest, the Northeast, and the Mid-Atlantic, Catholics are going to play a much bigger role, compared to the South and the Plains. And these states have larger delegate pools to win. It only bodes well for Trump, who is not even a Catholic ("I'm Protestant, just so you understand, Presbyterian to be exact"), and who got into a spat with the Pope himself not too long before the poll was taken.

This shifting religious landscape is not lost on Cruz, Mr. Big Data Geekout, who dropped the "prayerful" talk last night at the debate in Detroit, and larded up his non-answers with secular blue-collar references to truck drivers and calloused hands. He could not have looked any more phony unless he'd worn a pair of Carhartt overalls on the debate stage.*

It's not clear whether Trump's majority of the Catholic vote is due to religious or ethnic differences compared to evangelicals. I'm inclined to attribute it to religious differences per se, with Catholics being more traditional in their religious beliefs and practices, while the evangelicals have a much more recent collection of beliefs and practices. And even then, it's more the practices, rituals, and habits that most clearly distinguish the more traditional Catholics and the more innovating evangelicals (who nevertheless rationalize them as a back-to-basics move to undo the false teachings of all historical churches).

If anything, evangelicals make a point of rejecting religious traditions -- at least the apocalyptic ones who are drawn into the Cruz cult. Apocalypticism implies a radical break with the failed traditions of the past, since the literal end of the world as we know it is upon us.

The message of the Trump movement -- Make America Great Again -- denies the pessimistic, apocalyptic doom of the Cruz cult. Rather, we're hopeful that we can restore health to what has been falling into degradation, that government can be saved and redeemed, and does not need to be utterly annihilated (a la Cruz's refrain "Abolish the IRS").

A final observation on geographic differences:

Trump does well all over Michigan, but his lead is narrowest in West Michigan, centered around the second-largest city in the state, Grand Rapids. He gets 33% of their vote, vs. 25% for Cruz and 9% for Carson (far above his statewide average). Perhaps the closer to the Plains you are, even in a non-Plains state, the more cult-like the voters will be.

In this most cucked region in Michigan, it's not surprising to find that it has the largest share of the population that is Hispanic -- 16% in 2010, compared to around 5% in the other large cities, aside from the capital of Lansing (13%). (Race did not influence the religious differences, since 97% of the respondents were white.)

Grand Rapids is nowhere near the Mexican border, and is not a great big ghetto target like Chicago. So how else did the population reach 16% Hispanic (and perhaps closer to 20% by now), except by the upper-middle class cucks welcoming them in, wanting to convert them from Catholicism and grow the numbers of their evangelical church, use them as cheap labor for their kitchen remodel, and hire them at low wages for their small business?

That crowd will not resonate with Make America Great Again -- they have been perfectly content with transforming America in the current direction so that they can have a cushier individual status position. In the eastern part of the state, around Detroit, no such exponential surge in immigrants.

There is a large Arab population in Dearborn, but that's been there since the early 20th century (the last period of mass immigration), and a good chunk are Levantine Christians rather than Muslims. Interestingly, although only 5% of the sample said their religion was Muslim / Jewish / Unsure, 60% of them wanted Trump, with the rest scattered around the other candidates. If that holds at a larger level, that would be amazing for groups who you'd think would be put off by Trump's call to temporarily freeze Muslim immigration, and to not take sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Come to think of it, maybe the Muslims are willing to overlook the Muslim immigration freeze -- the respondents are already here, after all -- if Trump is going to be more neutral toward Israel, rather than rabidly pro-Israel, and if Trump was fiercely against the Iraq War and adventurism in the Middle East generally. By promising a sane Middle Eastern foreign policy, he may be winning the "moderate Muslim" vote, for what it's worth.

* In Iowa, the sociopathic chameleon wore plaid flannel shirts, then in the well-to-do Southern suburbs he sported a blue blazer, dress shirt (no tie), jeans, and boots. He has no identity of his own, and only tries to mimic the locals in order to escape detection as a weasel. Contrast with Trump, who wears his Manhattan business suit and tie no matter where he goes.

March 3, 2016

Trump has nearly 50% of delegates awarded so far, brokered convention won't happen

One important stat I haven't seen reported is each candidate's share of the delegates that have been awarded so far. Ultimately the nominee needs 50% of all delegates, but let's just check on how they're doing with those awarded up through Super Tuesday.

Name, % of popular vote, % of delegate pool

Trump__ 34, 46
Cruz____ 28, 32
Rubio___ 22, 16
Kasich__ 07, 04

The only one close to achieving 50% is Trump, and he's more or less there already. All he needs is to keep or improve on that share, while racking up the absolute number in race after race.

Really the only thing keeping him under 50% right now is the large influence of Texas, which will not be representative in the future. There are no more Plains / Mountain states with anywhere near 155 delegates, where Cruz can clean up while Trump takes little away.

In fact, if we look at all states except Texas, Trump is a few points over 50% in the delegate share. That also means that Cruz's share is going to start dipping down toward 20-25%, while Rubio's share will also rise toward 20% or so as we move northward. Kasich won't budge much.

It's not hard to imagine Trump getting 55%, Cruz and Rubio 20% each, and Kasich 5%, when all's said and done. Assuming that all four stay in the race all the way through.

Note also that Trump has leveraged his popular vote share into an even higher share of the delegates -- so much for the idea that he can't win the nomination with "only" 35-40% of the popular vote. Once the winner-take-all states come into play, he'll leverage even further, like he did in South Carolina. No more micro-cuts bleeding his delegate count from the also-rans getting their proportional share.

By contrast, Cruz, Rubio, and Kasich will all be under-performing in the delegate share based on their share of the popular vote. Haw haw.

Don't worry too much about how close he is to the finish line -- he's 27% of the way there, which doesn't sound like too much. But when you look at his share of the delegates, it was over 60% after South Carolina and after Nevada, it was over 50% after Super Tuesday except for Texas, and is at "only" 46% including Texas. That will only improve going forward.

It looks to only be a matter of time before "50% of delegates so far" becomes "50% of all delegates," and he's the nominee.

All this continued talk about a brokered convention is turning out to be pure fantasy. Depending on whether everyone else stays in the race, he could wind up getting a comfortable 55-65% of all delegates, and leave no room for doubt.

March 2, 2016

Electoral showdown between Eastern vs. Western America

Although a lot of "big data" came pouring in tonight, nothing surprising happened. It's the same picture I've outlined in other posts and comments between east vs. west of the Mississippi River. (Use Google to search the site.)

That relates back to the work I started a couple years ago on how rooted people are in different parts of the country. For instance, what percent of residents were born in the state? Folks are more rooted in the oldest settled parts of the country, and shallowly rooted as you move westward, with the old Frontier still being a strong fault-line. Settlers of Texas were rootless and lawless transplants 150 years ago, and the churn of transplants has not abated since then.

The local and regional economy has also failed to materialize, due to these out-West states getting a much later start toward settlement, the settlers being motivated by get-rich-quick schemes rather than hard honest work, and a constant churn of residents moving on and new waves of transplants coming in. None of that leads toward the slow gradual build-up of industries into a mature state, but rather toward one form of exploitation or another -- resource extraction (oil, mining), crop cultivation (exploiting fertile soil which won't be so fertile after extensive cultivation), real estate hucksterism, lifestyle cult gurus, snake oil salesmen, business services of diverse sorts to fuel all this exploitation (banks, law firms), and on and on.

With shallow family and community roots, combined with a non-productive economy (perhaps half of which is virtual and speculative), people in the Plains and Mountain states feel insecure rather than stable in their situation. A profound disruption always feels like it's around the corner when you have little family networks to back you up, and where the economy is a house of cards. Deep-seated insecurity about the basics of life leads toward the apocalyptic mindset.

All you have to do is see evangelical preachers back East like Virginians Jerry Falwell Jr. and Pat Robertson interviewing Donald Trump -- they're so cheerful and at-ease, however much they may be worried about the direction of the nation. But an evangelical preacher from out West like Pastor Jeffress (Texas), who is also on board the Trump train, comes off as high-strung, pessimistic, and preparing for the apocalypse.

It doesn't have to take a supernatural form, though: plenty of apocalyptic people are preppers and paranoids who fear the federal government, the Federal Reserve, the United Nations, and so on and so forth, not as things they'd like to see reformed, but as existential threats that need to be extinguished.

The out-West paranoids do not want to take over Washington and institute their own distinct programs to replace what is currently going on there -- fundamentally, they want to send a group of martyrs to wipe it out altogether. For them, Cruz is to act as a kind of suicide bomber to take out the Senate, and perhaps Congress, the White House, and the Supreme Court as well. He is not to take it over on his own behalf or on behalf of his constituents -- the federal government is felt to be so corrupted that it cannot be redeemed. Only its thorough extinction can allow the out-West preppers to breathe free and live as they please.

The vision of the Trump movement, by contrast, is to seize control of the federal government and then use it as an instrument to achieve our goals. Both the Cruz cult and the Trump army want to get rid of business as usual in Washington DC, but one side is depressive, pessimistic, and doom-minded -- nuke the whole thing -- while the other is basically cheerful, optimistic, and inclined to feel like the sky's the limit for how much good can be done once our side is in control.

There's more to say about these geographical differences, in another post. For now, it's enough to show how they explain the pattern in the primary results -- especially the part that puzzles many people, where both the Southerners and the Yankees are solid Trump supporters. Several Southern states went for Huckabee and Santorum during the last two cycles, but it turns out that they were attracted to the more populist tone and plans of these candidates, compared to the country club choices of McCain and Romney. Their evangelical message was icing on the cake, but not the driving factor.

It also explains why the out-West people have such a hard time comprehending what's going on back East -- real populism has always been weak where the reigning ethos was "get rich quick" and "I got mine, good luck to you getting yours" and "let the Devil take the hindmost". Their migration and residence choices are defined by refusing to be bound by duties and responsibilities to other people (family, friends, neighbors, fellow members of organizations). And those wide-open uncolonized niches out on the Frontier and beyond draw individualists rather than communitarians. Since there's nothing out there, there's nothing to conserve and steward, which is part of the plan of populism (public goods benefiting the common man).

Caring about the bottom layers of the class pyramid cuts directly against the striver mentality that prevails out West, especially among the suburban yuppie type who wants to live in a gated community. Back East, such caring is not a sanctimonious, holier-than-thou exercise akin to donating money to the Third World -- as though the working-class living in our area were The Other. Rather, They are part of Us, and if the bottom layers are doing awful, how can the entire group be doing well itself?

If your mindset treats people as like cells and organs within a single coordinated body, then having an increasingly destitute working class is a disgrace and needs restoring back to health. Only when your mindset walls off most other people from inclusion within Us, do you pay no mind to how the lower levels of the pyramid are doing.

March 1, 2016

Tunnel vision on vote share, blind to voter turnout: Missing the role of blue-collar whites

Part of the ossification of thought about electoral politics comes down to treating the electorate as a fixed group, with each sub-group within it being fixed and equal in size. It's taking for granted who is going to show up and in what numbers, and working only to appeal to the largest share of this group or that group.

So we hear naysayers warn about how, for each blue-collar voter that Trump brings in, he'll alienate two upper-middle class suburban conservadads. That's fine -- the population of blue-collar people is yuge, while country club types are small. If, in order to win half of the entire working class population, he alienates all of the country clubbers, he sweeps the election (perhaps one-quarter of blue-collars would vote Democrat, and the other quarter would stay home).

Trump's "game-changer" has been to turn out a larger share of the population, rather than tweak how well he does with various demographics groups in an electorate that remains the same as before.

We can therefore also ignore innumerate posts like this one from NPR that purports to show why Trump's blue-collar white appeal cannot win elections in 2016, the way it did in 1980. After all, the fraction of the electorate that is white and not college-educated was way down in 2012 compared to 1980.

What didn't occur to this lib-arts major is that the white working class is shrinking within the electorate not for reasons of changing demography. Yes, whites are not as large of a share of the population as they were back in 1980 -- but newsflash: their ethnic replacements do not vote, certainly not at the levels that whites do. Being replaced in the population does not translate automatically into being replaced within the pool of voters.

What actually happened was lower and lower turnout of the white working class over the past several decades. They were between 65-70% likely to go out and vote during the elections of 1972, '76, and '80, but that likelihood has been falling since then, bottoming out around 50% during the 21st century.*

To fix this problem, Trump does not need to take that 50% turnout as a given, and then try to grab larger shares of some other demo (Aztecs, queers, or whoever). He simply has to get the white working class to feel like there's a reason to get out and vote. With dramatically higher turnout of a large group, he doesn't need to obsess over every other little micro-group.

He has been setting records for turnout so far, and Super Tuesday looks to continue that pattern. There will be record turnout in the fall, much of it owing to far higher numbers of white working-class people feeling like they finally have someone who represents their interests (Dems being anti-white, old-guard Republicans being anti-working-class).

This means that Hillary's only possible winning strategy is to suppress white working-class people from voting. They're simply going to be such a tidal wave, and even worse, concentrated in blue states that will turn red (Rust Belt, New England, Mid-Atlantic).

She and Rubio are floating concepts about how Trump isn't truly a friend of the working man, but nobody is buying it. You don't spend tens of millions of your own money in order to regularly stump for a 35% tariff on off-shored manufacturing, if you're aren't truly committed to doing it. Blue-collar folks recognize that he means what he says about bringing good jobs back here through re-negotiating trade treaties, tariffs, etc.

Their only other attacks are weak identity politics stuff (racist, sexist, bla bla bla), which is going nowhere now that the culture war is over.

In short, Trump's victory is all but certain for the nomination and the general, owing to an unstoppable wave of blue-collar whites coming out of the woodwork after having been neglected, abandoned, and disdained for so long now.

* Data from the General Social Survey. White males aged 30-59 with 0-12 years of education.