Globalization, national sovereignty and democratic politics

Earlier this year, an economist named Dani Rodrik published an article of some importance, that in part helps explain Trump’s victory.

I am leaving aside the racial-cultural element of anti-whiteism discussed recently in Identity Politics, the Polite and Rude Versions. That explanation has real but limited application, just as has this economically-oriented approach.

Briefly, Rodrik called it the trilemma of the world economy, and the trick is: you can only have two of the three outcomes.

 

 

rodrik-trilemma

 

According to Rodrik, the choice is among the nation state, democratic politics, and international economic integration. You can get any two but not three, in full. I will question this assertion more fully below, because in the end I think one is left, in the globalized economic order, with neither state nor democracy. Let us begin with the issue of national sovereignty.

Rodrik cited the economic writer Andrew Evans Pritchard on why the latter  supported Brexit.

“Stripped of distractions, it comes down to an elemental choice: whether to restore the full self-government of this nation, or to continue living under a higher supranational regime, ruled by a European Council that we do not elect in any meaningful sense, and that the British people can never remove, even when it persists in error.

We are deciding whether to be guided by a Commission with quasi-executive powers that operates more like the priesthood of the 13th Century papacy than a modern civil service; and whether to submit to a European Court (ECJ) that claims sweeping supremacy, with no right of appeal.

It is whether you think the nation states of Europe are the only authentic fora of democracy, be it in this country, or Sweden, or the Netherlands, or France ….”

This is exactly the argument I have made about Brexit: that to remain in the EU was to revert England to a form of government last seen in the pre-Reformation Tudor era, where parliament had very limited jurisdiction and the Papacy (think Cardinal Wolsey) had very large jurisdiction. In this case replace the Papacy and Church with the European Commission and the European Court of Justice. Nowadays the Remainders get to play the role of Catholics in a protestantizing Britain. Think of Henry VIII as an early Brexiter.

Rodrik himself thought the the European Union could successfully combine a hyper-integrated common market with democratic politics. After the treatment that Greece received in the past couple of years, he no longer believed so.

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In regards to the United States and Trump, there is no ambiguity to be found. If the United States has to abandon deeper economic integration in order to preserve its nationhood, then it will do so. It will restrict illegal immigration, and raise the price of the labour of those already within its borders. If that means Americans will pay more at Wal-Mart, so be it. If economic integration with China requires some tougher enforcement of rules, then Trump will get China’s attention by beefing up the security and recognition of Taiwan.

Hillary Clinton stood for tighter economic integration and democratic politics, at the expense of the nation state.  Trump stands for a stronger assertion of the nation state and democratic politics, with economic integration the relatively less important.

To my mind, the degree of loss of national sovereignty implied in hyper-globalization ultimately means a lessening of the range and effect democratic politics as well., because in the modern age the state acts as the expression of the popular will, as transcribed and translated though constitutional arrangements. In order to make economic integration work, there must be dispute settlement, and for dispute settlement to work, the will of the people – as expressed through local legislatures – must be frustrated by the property rights of corporations and other economic actors to be compensated for any limitation on their treaty-based “rights” to earn money.

It is entirely possible to have states without democratic arrangements, as ancient and recent polities attest, but is difficult to conceive democratic arrangements without a stet in which they are housed and expressed.

Consider international copyright regimes. If Canada pursues a cultural policy favouring domestic television and movie production, it will inevitably limit, or try to limit, the economic presence of foreign copyright-holding interests on its airwaves. This is Canadian broadcasting policy, tout court.  Full economic integration of the kind foreseen in the Transpacific Partnership implies the right to sue for the violation of economic rights of a corporation by a host government. [See for example, investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms, in the Wikipedia article just cited.]

Thus I arrive at the Dalwhinnie proposition: the perfection of global trade demands a degree of extra-parliamentary adjudication that puts and end to popular sovereignty. Democratic institutions become irrelevant.

In the long run, it is not a trilemma among state sovereignty, democratic politics, and globalization. You do not get a choice among any two, if global economic integration is to be perfected. You get one: transnational global economic and political integration. National level democracies and state sovereignties would be held down by a web of rule making that is extra-parliamentary. Votes would cease to matter – as they have in most national referenda in Europe about the European Union, whether to leave or join.

That would explain the recent revolts against the consensus of the Volvo-drivers.

Accordingly, the Trump victory is no small thing. It is, truly, an American Brexit.

 

 

 

 

Identity politics: The polite and the rude versions

Very strong Image Of a afro American woman Crying  isolated on B

 

 

 

Since the Trump victory a number of articles have been published decrying the left’s reliance on “identity politics” as a causative factor in the election. One of the politer versions is Matt Ridley’s in his blog here.  Jim Goad published the ruder version of this repudiation in TakiMag. Even the New York Times emerged from its doctrinal slumbers after the election and allowed the publication of Mark Lilla’s “The End of Identity Liberalism”.

Says Lilla:

“But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life.”

and later:

But it is at the level of electoral politics that identity liberalism has failed most spectacularly, as we have just seen. National politics in healthy periods is not about “difference,” it is about commonality. And it will be dominated by whoever best captures Americans’ imaginations about our shared destiny. Ronald Reagan did that very skillfully, whatever one may think of his vision. So did Bill Clinton, who took a page from Reagan’s playbook. He seized the Democratic Party away from its identity-conscious wing, concentrated his energies on domestic programs that would benefit everyone (like national health insurance) and defined America’s role in the post-1989 world.

Unfortunately for the health of the polity, I see no end to the catering to identity politics. It has taken a blow to the head, but it retains its strength as an ideology. Why? Because blaming white people, males and Christians is the core of Leftist thought at this stage. Capitalism? an evil system devised by dead white males on the backs of slaves to erect an economy poisoning the earth with carbon dioxide. Racism? can only be exercised by white people, by definition, because only white people have hegemony. And so in self-referencing circular closed reasoning.

In the ruder version of Jim Goad, it goes like this:

“Listen up, dimwits: When you encourage racial pride in all groups except whites, you aren’t exactly making a case against “racism.” If you have even a semblance of a spine, sooner or later you’ll hear this nonstop sneering condescension about how you were born with a stain on your soul and say, “Hey, fuck you. I’ve done nothing wrong, but you’re really starting to bother me…”

Instead, a large swath of voters grew so tired of being actively hated, they struck back and said “enough.” They didn’t “vote against their interests,” as is so often patronizingly alleged; they voted against the condescending, scolding, sheltered creampuffs who try to dictate their interests to them.

I am not asserting that Trump won exclusively or even predominantly because white people got pissed off at the racial profiling of the Left, but it had to be a significant factor in the repudiation of their views which have accompanied the repudiation of Clinton.

I will go further, and venture onto ground which is sure to be attacked and supported for the wrong reasons. I read many news aggregators. One of them is American Renaissance, which goes well beyond Trump’s American nationalism to a confidently expressed white racial consciousness. By this I mean that it is based on a number of premises:
  • white people exist, and though a loose category, a fuzzy set, they have characteristics
  • they have made a disproportionate contribution, relative to their global numbers,  to the evolution of science, arts and politics for the past  millennium, maybe longer.
  • It may be the result of cultural, religious, or biological reasons, in any combination.
  • This heritage has been broadly beneficial to mankind

Now it should be stated that I have no idea whether there is a biological underpinning to this relative but not exclusive excellence, or not. I think the contribution of Christianity to this state of affairs is at present underrated, but biology may be a factor. I do not know.

I do not think that the relative accomplishments of white civilizations are the moral basis of superior rights for white people, whoever they may be. That way lies stagnation, slavery and its religious-political expression, Islam.

 My point is that such discussion is banned. The result is that many disadvantages of other peoples are treated as issues of wrongful discrimination rather than the obvious fact that some people are a few bricks short of a load. This could be permanent, or, as I believe, a result of the current stage of their cultural evolution.
 A racial viewpoint – whether cultural, biological or both – is inadequate to explain everything and perhaps even most things, but the total exclusion of this point of view from public and private  discourse is, and will be seen to be, insane. Like pretending the sexes are the same in every respect.
Now, back to the issue of what we have in common, which is where a sane politics must start from. Here is President-elect Trump talking about commonalities rather than diversities at his post victory rally in Cincinnati. [Skip the warm-up acts]. He gets the vital need to bring people together, as has every successful democrat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcKeilna2aM

“I am only the messenger”, he says at one point, and then in a moment of pure Donald, says: “but a pretty great messenger”.

The persistent refusal to understand

desolate-town

Harlan County, Cumberland, Kentucky, 2015

One look at that photograph ought to tell you much about the state of America west of the Alleghenies. We have all watched the unfolding of the leftist blindness to Trump. We have watched friends and enemies, people we like and people we don’t, fail to figure out in what ways their navigation has led them onto the rocks of shipwrecked ideology. Mostly it takes the shape of the persistent refusal to understand that quite reasonable people can disagree in analysis and conclusions. I received the following article this morning from a dear friend, who shall be known as  Sixtus Publius Quintus Romulus who, for instance, is quite sound on anthropogenic global warming, but was apparently farther into the Hillary cult than I could have believed.

The article was by America’s poet laureate, Charles Simic, and appeared in the New York Times’ Review of Books.

It is copied below in its entirety so as to allow you to see what I am reacting to.

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     Donald Trump “may not be good for America, but he’s damn good for CBS.”
     —Les Moonves, President and Chief Executive Officer of CBS

The Ship of State is sinking and a rooster is chasing a hen in a neighbor’s yard. How can that be? A woman is hanging her husband’s underwear on the laundry line and singing to herself. The dead leaves are dancing on the ground while a few jump high in the air as if trying to get back on a branch they fell from. A strange dog in my driveway is looking off into the distance and wagging his tail. Don’t any of them have patriotic feelings? The Ship of State, festooned with Trump/Pence election signs, is sinking. Shouldn’t we all fall silent in awe? The bare trees look spooked though it’s past Halloween. The president-elect with a spyglass and his orange pompadour shouts from the crow’s nest that he can see thousands of Muslims on rooftops in New Jersey still celebrating the collapse of the Twin Towers—unless I’m hallucinating, but who nowadays can be sure their eyes and ears work? If he is bonkers, as he surely is, many of us are too, like that woman hanging laundry to dry on a day cold enough to snow.

All of us who are familiar with rural areas and former industrial towns in this country know the impoverishment and hopelessness of many men and women who live there. Barely surviving by holding part-time jobs, since businesses now rarely hire full-time workers in order to avoid paying benefits, they are not just underpaid and constantly in debt, but know in their hearts that they and their children are expendable. Understandably, they are angry. When Democrats proclaimed that the economy was doing well and that we were still the greatest country in the world, they started listening to Trump, who told them what they could already plainly see, that we are in decline. These unfortunates, who’ve been cheated and swindled by bosses, mortgage banks, loan sharks, health insurance companies, and both political parties, have put all their hopes in a billionaire who has a long record of not paying taxes, cheating his workers and contractors out of their pay, and seemingly using his own “charitable” foundation as a slush fund. They voted for a buffoon who doesn’t care whether they live or die.

They got plenty of help in making that decision. Having a candidate as uninspiring as Hillary Clinton, whose weaknesses ought to have been obvious to the party that nominated her and even more so after she lost the white working classes and the young people to Bernie Sanders in the primaries, as it was to many other Americans, including those like me who voted for her, turned out to be a catastrophic error. Not that it is easy to run a national campaign in a country so polarized as ours, split between liberal and conservative voters, urban and rural, educated and uneducated, religious and secular, rich and poor, with the predictable class animosities between them; and with the Internet and social media as our main source of information, a medium ideal for spreading lies and brainwashing the gullible. Without it ISIS could not have gotten all those tens of thousands of recruits and an outright huckster could not have become president of the United States.

It took years of deliberate effort by vested interests to create this “proudly ignorant populism,” as someone called it, know-nothing voters who are easily led by the nose, incapable of distinguishing lies from truth, or an honest person from a crook. Easily duped, they can be depended on to act against their own self-interest again and again. Throw into the mix racism, misogyny, hatred of immigrants, gays, and other minorities, the dumbing down of the population by inadequate education, suspicion of learning, rejection of science and history, and dozens of other things like guns and violence, and you have the kind of environment in which people chose their next president.

“Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will,” Goebbels said. Everywhere one turns one hears people parroting lies as if they were their own carefully considered personal opinions. The upshot is that an alternate reality has been constructed for millions in this country over the last couple of decades thanks to TV, talk radio, and the Internet. Spreading falsehoods, of course, is very profitable, as con artists of every type from mealy-mouthed preachers addressing their mega churches to those touting loans that require no background check can tell you. Lies sell everything from fattening foods to “your computer is damaged and we’ll help you fix it” scams. The basic requirement for democratic governance—that the majority of the population agrees on the parameters of what is true and what is false—has been deliberately obfuscated in this country. The absence of accountability for repeated fraud by those in power, both in government and in the private sector, the proliferation of fake grass-root organizations, think tanks, and lobbyist firms funded by the wealthy to deceive their fellow citizens and turn them against one another, has become the most characteristic feature of our political life. A genuinely functioning democracy endangers powerful interests and those working so hard and making so much money to destroy it, since they may sooner or later end up in jail.

To mislead one’s fellow citizens on such a vast scale is evil. We’ve seen it before. Never the good old days, of course, but the vile stuff we imagined we’d never see again. How is it possible that mass murder and torture, till yesterday universally condemned, now have their proponents, not just among religious fanatics, but among millions of Americans, including those running for the highest office in the land? The world seems to be divided today between those horrified to see history repeat itself and those who eagerly await its horrors.

In the meantime, I bet the fortune tellers in their storefronts are all depressed, since their prospective clients already know what the future holds. Once the new president settles in and brings the dregs of our society into his administration and they appoint other corrupt and worthless men and women to other positions in the government and start settling scores with their political and personal enemies and keeping their most rabid followers happy by deporting, persecuting, or physically abusing some minority, we won’t need a crystal ball to tell us what’s in store for us. Thank God, there are all these leaves still to rake in my yard and take my mind off this subject, and the quiet waters of the lake to reflect the setting sun just before a great dark night descends upon us bringing the kind of quiet that makes one hesitate to go indoors just yet, despite the chill, and turn on the first light in the house.

November 19, 2016, 9:00 am


 I responded to my friend  Sixtus Publius Quintus Romulus as follows:

Dear Sixtus:

Well, I reckon you have been waiting a while to find this one and send it to me. I cannot further proceed without disputing the dubious assertions of the article, in that they do not add up to what we recently saw in the States, which was a repudiation by the electorate of what they had been fed for years, and of a corrupt and distant elite, both Republican and Democratic, trading favours with each other since kindergarten. Curiously, the kind of Americans who come to our common country place: well dressed, well educated, well mannered, and – from what I have seen and heard this summer – quite contemptuous of their fellow citizens who live west of the Alleghenies and east of the Sierra Nevada.

 

The article asserts that the only plausible excuse or reason for Trump’s election is a profoundly misinformed electorate created by the powers that be to confuse people with fake news, corrupted research, and bought political campaigns.  It then ends with

 

In the meantime, I bet the fortune tellers in their storefronts are all depressed, since their prospective clients already know what the future holds. Once the new president settles in and brings the dregs of our society into his administration and they appoint other corrupt and worthless men and women to other positions in the government and start settling scores with their political and personal enemies and keeping their most rabid followers happy by deporting, persecuting, or physically abusing some minority, we won’t need a crystal ball to tell us what’s in store for us. Thank God, there are all these leaves still to rake in my yard and take my mind off this subject, and the quiet waters of the lake to reflect the setting sun just before a great dark night descends upon us bringing the kind of quiet that makes one hesitate to go indoors just yet, despite the chill, and turn on the first light in the house.

 

I join with Conrad Black and others in thinking this is hyperbolic twaddle.

 

Trump won because he addressed what was wrong with the current system and mobilized votes better than his opponent.

 

He spoke straight about national decline, with the result that  the chattering classes had the vapours. He has already caused a major change by refusing to kow-tow to political correctness, which is a thought-control program to isolate people from each other and from common sense. Without doing anything more he will have done us all a favour. And he has not even assumed office.

 The Democrats and their media wing have been humiliated and in consequence the media are scratching for excuses anywhere they can find them for their performance, and since no one can possibly disagree with their world view and still be rational, dark forces of irrationality are invoked to explain away their defeat.

 America has been in decline under the Bushes and the Clinton/Obama regimes. Factories and jobs have been lost on a massive scale. Some 12 million illegal immigrants are dragging down the skill level and the wages of the American working class. The American working class is in a drug, alcohol and mortality crisis the likes of which are actually causing declines in the age of death. If the same had happened to gays it would have the AIDS crisis, but since it was occurring to the cracker class it was of no political significance to those who count, namely people like you and me.

 As Michael Moore, the long-time Democrat rabble rouser pointed out, the system has taken away their jobs, their kids are doing worse than they did, their houses have been lost in the crash of 2008, or the value of their house has been lost, the hospitals won’t give them enough drugs – his words not mine- and they had one thing left: their votes. So they decided to stick it to the candidate who has sold herself hardest to Wall Street. That you, a soi-disant leftist, should be aroused to anger over the fate of the candidate most in hock to Lloyd Blankfein and his ilk, should be a cause for some reflection and self-examination.

 For thirty years the political left in the United States has been assuming it would continue to achieve electoral victories by balkanizing the vote into ethnic, sexual, national and racial disunities, by telling Americans they had more in common with their fellow members of such identitarian groups than they did with each other. They have been working assiduously to fragment the nation and to cheer on the supposed and projected disappearance of the majority which is composed of white people. The exultations of the multiculturalists at the decline of white America have been loud, mocking, and as racialist as anything happening in American society. Is it any wonder that some white people awoke to this and said: stuff and nonsense.

 The basic issue I have with all such analyses as you sent me is the arrogant presumption of the political left that no one may rationally disagree with their outlook. I saw it at university when this stuff started (it was then Marxist, but rapidly metastasizing into feminist)  and it has triumphed throughout academia and making its long march through the institutions. I recall some lady NDP leader in the Mulroney era, the scion of a wealthy family, let loose candidly on the evils of being conservative, and it was simply the honest expression of her profound conviction that by being left, she was morally superior, and that was really all that mattered. Armed with the righteousness of being left, she need not consider that her collectivist and authoritarian state-knows-best  policies might fail to achieve her stated goals of a more equal society. That would be one level of realization and that should suffice for more humility. Yet there is another, more profopnd, level of error, which is undiscussed, and that is, that an egalitarian society established and maintained without sufficient regard for the ways in which humans are not equal, can be a ghastly prison camp of the body and soul. Witness the USSR.

 The alternate reality that I would draw your attention to, in contradistinction to Simic’s fantasy America, is the one in which a high-minded group of well-intentioned people can govern society by replacing the judgments of the many with the collective wisdom of the Few. It is one that I suspect you live in most of the time. But even if you do not, the author of this piece, who I assume is a Charles Simic, clearly does.

 The Left has built Trump into a monster and they have created the conditions whereby this monster has come into power. I would like to suggest, for your careful consideration, that the political left has monsters in its own mind, and projects them outward onto its opponents. Much of what it says the right is or does is merely its own thinking and behavior projected outward.

 But in any case, Trump is the man who was elected to deal with the delusional politics of Obama, which sought to bring peace to our implacable enemies and stiff-armed our allies, which sought to substitute Wilsonian high-mindedness for appropriate demonstrations of military power, and which preached tribalism at home (remember “Trayvon Martin could be my son”) and the unity of man abroad, and which was feckless, lazy and arrogantly out of touch.

 When the officer class fails, the warrant officers and sergeants have to take over. This is what has just happened, and being a member of the officer class, you feel the revolution and loss of status greatly.  The peasants have revolted. Much of the hand wringing we see is the elite feeling its social inferiors have been rude and insubordinate. The lower orders have just begun to return what they have been receiving in kind.

 Again, what I just said might not be true, but I suspect it is. I hold in my wallet a crisp $100 Canadian bill from someone who was very willing to take my bet on Christmas 2015, as if he were taking candy from a baby. I feel vindicated in my judgment of reality, and I am aroused to the defence of what has happened from the vain, self-indulgent and vapid posturings of America’s poet laureate, Charles Simic.

  Thank you for so stimulating my Saturday morning, Sixtus. We will be down before, at, and after  Christmas and you may feel free to continue my re-education over more Scotch

 Veuillez accepter, mon cher, l’expression de mes sentiments les plus distingués

 

Dalwhinnie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Something’s happening here, and you don’t know what it is, do you? Mr. Jones

The issue many people are wondering about is this: how big is the change that is going on? Is it merely – and I use that word ironically – the election of Trump, the vote for Brexit, and associated political changes that will likely follow in Europe? Or is it bigger? And if bigger, of what does it consist?

Caol Islay held forth at lunch yesterday that what we were witnessing was akin to the would-be revolutions of 1968, which did not succeed, but which marked the breakup of the consensus of post-World War 2 societies. Are we witnessing the beginnings of a vast mood change? And what would  happen if we were having one?

Take Obama’s recent meditations with David Remnick of the New Yorker, as  quoted in Breitbart:

What frustrated Obama and his staff [in the 2016 campaign] was the knowledge that, in large measure, they were reaching their own people but no further. They spoke to the networks and the major cable outlets, the major papers and the mainstream Web sites, and, in an attempt to find people “where they are,” forums such as Bill Maher’s and Samantha Bee’s late-night cable shows, and Marc Maron’s podcast. But they would never reach the collective readerships of Breitbart News, the Drudge Report, WND, Newsmax, InfoWars, and lesser-knowns like Western Journalism—not to mention the closed loop of peer-to-peer right-wing rumor-mongering.

… That marked a decisive change from previous political eras, [Obama] maintained. “Ideally, in a democracy, everybody would agree that , because that’s what ninety-nine per cent of scientists tell us,” he said. “And then we would have a debate about how to fix it. That’s how, in the seventies, eighties, and nineties, you had Republicans supporting the Clean Air Act and you had a market-based fix for acid rain rather than a command-and-control approach. So you’d argue about means, but there was a baseline of facts that we could all work off of. And now we just don’t have that” …

“I have complete confidence in the American people—that if I can have a conversation with them they’ll choose what’s right. At an emotional level, they want to do the right thing if they have the information.” And yet in an age of filter bubbles and social-media silos, he knew, the “information” that reached people was increasingly shaped by what they wanted to be true. And that was no longer in his hands or anyone else’s.

  1.  The liberal media could not reach those who were not already persuaded.
  2. Obama remains convinced that “climate change is the consequence of man-made behavior.” No discussion no debate, it is a fact.
  3. If he could only speak to the American people they would see the wisdom of his positions: “if I can have a conversation with them they’ll choose what’s right”.

Let us start with that hideous word “conversation”. It is not a conversation with one person holding the megaphone and when the listener is hounded, defunded, reviled and attacked for disagreeing – see global warming as the archetypal liberal “conversation”.

Hence it is only to be expected that, when the issue is a matter of fact, and one side holds it out to be a question of religious belief, there can be no error, there can only be heresy.

The Left has been treating dissent as heresy for decades. The number of undiscussable items is only added to with every passing  year. You name it: ecology, crime, race, IQ differentials, heritability of traits, and the adequacy of Darwin to explain everything, the nature of Islam, the benefits of multiculturalism. You could think of four or five additional major areas of life where the Left treats disagreement about facts as worthy of social shunning and job loss. Of being labeled a racist, exist, fascist, homophobe etc.

They have been shouting through megaphones for decades, and the noise level only got more intense under Obama. But Trump elicited yet further disparagement from the bien-pensants. The surprize for me was the extent to which apparently well educated people, not usually associated with politically correct persecutions,  have completely lost their minds about both Trump, his supporters, and nationalist economics.

To the constantly growing chorus of PC was added the upper-middle class howls about free trade. Personally I support free trade. I think it makes us richer, but while it makes us some of us richer it clearly has negative effects on our domestic working class. It was perfectly within Trump’s right to speak for the displaced and the disadvantaged in this titanic economic transformation. There was an element in the financial press that continues to shriek “How dare he?!” “Who are these peasants and how dare they revolt?”

So in answer to my question, I see that something is going on larger than the immediate policy changes consequent to nationalist electoral victories. I see a vast mood change. Once you lift the lid of political correctness in one place, it will be lifted everywhere. That is my belief. We can only hope.

 

Sanctuary cities, a blessing in disguise?

One of the first order of battle for the Trump administration might be “sanctuary cities”. The list of sanctuary cities is a long one and includes several major cities.

800px-us_sanctuary_cities_map-svg

Mayors of several cities have already indicated that they will not cooperate with the federal government. Just the other day Rahm stated the following.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, said Monday at a news conference that city officials have been fielding calls from residents worried that it may change its status because of the threat from Trump.

“Since the presidential election, there has been a sense of uncertainty among many immigrant communities in Chicago and across the nation,” Emanuel said. “I want to assure all of our families that Chicago is and will remain a sanctuary city.”

The sanctuary city designation broadly means that local police will not coordinate with federal law enforcement in efforts to deport undocumented immigrants.

One option Trump has stated is to cut off funding for these cities. Another viable option is to proceed in a manner similar to what Eisenhower did in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Woodrow Wilson Mann, the mayor of Little Rock, asked President Eisenhower to send federal troops to enforce integration and protect the nine students. On September 24, the President ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army—without its black soldiers, who rejoined the division a month later—to Little Rock and federalized the entire 10,000-member Arkansas National Guard, taking it out of the hands of Faubus.

A better option might be to consider devolution of power to States, i.e. strengthen the Tenth Amendment, thus reversing the recent trend which has seen power gradually erode at the State level. The law of unintended consequences, will ensure that the Democrats will come to severely regret the choice of making their cities a sanctuary for illegal immigrants, contrary to the wishes of the federal government. Who could foresee the adverse and unintended consequences of the Seventeenth Amendment when it was originally enacted?

Post-election US, lay of the land

It is time to tabulate the results of the 2016 election. At the federal level, Republicans control the White House, Senate and the House of Representatives. They will also get a chance to reshape the Supreme Court. How did this happen? Well it has been happening for a while, with gradual erosion of Democrats at the State level, which has in turn led to Clinton and Sanders, neither one of them a spring chicken, being the the only primary candidates. Contrast that with the Republican primary which started off with 17 candidates. This affect of extirpation of the farm-team cannot be underestimated.

Surprisingly that erosion has continued at the state level in this election. Republicans control a record 69 of 99 state legislative chambers, and wound up with at least 33 governorships, the most since 1922. All that is the net result of Obama’s own preternatural self-assurance and inability to heed lessons. For them it might get worse because in 2018, the Democrats must defend an 25 seats in their Senate caucus, many of them in states that Trump carried.

This first shot across the bow was Obama’s inability to understand or to heed the lessons of the election of Scott Brown in the liberal state of Masschusetts. This was followed by the 2010 election in which the “Republican Party gained 63 seats in the US House of Representatives and making it the largest seat change since 1948 and the largest for any midterm election since the 1938 midterm elections. The Republicans also gained 680 seats in state legislative races, to break the previous majority record of 628 set by Democrats in the post-Watergate elections of 1974.” Instead of addressing the issues, Obama decided to unleash the IRS on the Tea Party, in the true Chicago-way, which inexorably brings us to where we are today.

demseat

Some have received the memo, and the ‘publisher of The New York Times penned a letter to readers Friday promising that the paper would “reflect” on its coverage of this year’s election while rededicating itself to reporting on “America and the world” honestly.’ Other leftist are holding back less.

Others like Juncker have not received the memo. He stated the following.

“We will need to teach the president-elect what Europe is and how it works,” Juncker, arguably the EU’s most powerful politician, told students during a conference in Luxembourg, his home state. “I think we will waste two years before Mr. Trump tours the world he does not know.”

It is not a surprise that Juncker said that, but it is surprising that he was sober enough to be understood by the reporters.

All said “roughly 80 percent of the population living in a state either all or partially controlled by Republicans.”

No wonder there is talk of a Democrat civil war.

Progressives are itching to see the national apparatus reduced to rubble and rebuilt from scratch, with one of their own installed at the top.

And there is talk among some progressives, like Bill Clinton’s former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, about splitting from the Democratic Party entirely if they don’t get the changes they seek.

“The Democratic Party can no longer be the same, it has been repudiated,” Reich said on a conference call with members from the progressive grassroots group Democracy for America.

Heckuva job Obama!

Yes, Rebel Yell, Trump is the President-elect!

 

trump-with-obama

 

Rebel Yell and I repaired to the Fortress of Solitude yesterday, ostensibly to split some firewood. The evening’s discussion turned to the significance of Trump’s election. These were our thoughts.

  • All media were wrong, massively, and in two ways, as predictors, and as participants in what became the electorate’s massive repudiation of the Democratic candidate.
  • Trump is a temporary window  that allows for push-back against the rising tide of cultural bolshevism and related evils.
  • Clinton promised the continuation and intensification of every current negative tendency: anti-white racialism, gender confusion, global warming catastrophism, war mongering against Russia, pandering to Islam, and so forth.

Changes to be expected include:

Attitudes

  1. A decline in the influence of political correctness, when American society’s leader has so radically broken with it.
  2. A toughening of attitudes towards Islam. (It was related to me this week by a Pakistani Muslim of sound judgment that all of political Pakistan was aware that Hillary diverted her plane during a trip to India in order to lecture the Pakistani military leader on his treatment of an ousted Pakistani civilian prime minister, after a donation on the latter’s behalf had been made to the Clinton Foundation. People from more corrupt cultures are quicker to understand the deep corruption of the Clintons. They have seen how it works for ever. We are just learning the art of bought politicians.)
  3. A toughening of attitudes all around, towards whingers, social justice warriors, and the undeserving, and increased social authorization to speak out against evil.
  4. The consistent media-transmitted disrespect for ordinary people’s concerns, particularly white people’s concerns, will be diminish.

Climate catastrophism

  1. Anthropocentric global warming as a basis of energy policy is toast. Trump correctly sees it as the pretense for a massive takeover of every portion of the economy by organs of state planning, and nothing more. Windmills,  carbon capture, “green” energy, and measures against using fossil fuels will suffer the lingering death they deserve. The parasites who have benefited by income transfers from users  to the producers of subsidized of energy will, alas, not be executed.

Market ideology

  1. There will be a more realistic attitude towards the benefits of markets, and their negative consequences. The idolatry of markets has been repudiated,
  2. It will be realized that, for there to be conservatism, there must be conservatives living to experience it. Thus immigration policy in the United States will be toughened, and its borders defended.

Foreign Policy

  1. The agitation for war against Russia will cease. US involvement in Syria will be coordinated in some measure with Russia’s.
  2. Turkey may become the target of animosity.
  3. Iran will be punched out if it steps out of line.
  4. The US will cease to be anti-British and anti-Brexit.

Health Care

  1. Obamacare will be overturned and a better (somewhat socialized) medical scheme will be installed in its stead. The American insurance market for health is not organized nationally, but on the basis of fifty state-sized mini and micro-markets. Trump may use his majority to assert national jurisdiction over health insurance, and get the necessary economies of scale and levels of competition into health insurance delivery. (The effects of health insurance price rises on the voters has yet to be sufficiently appreciated).

Policing and American blacks

  1. The Ferguson effect will be dissolved. Police will be encouraged once again to enforce the law on black criminality. Trump will not find pseudo-kinship with violent blacks who have been shot by police or citizens. It will be possible to state in public that vastly more American blacks are shot by their fellow blacks than by police, and not be fired for it.

At the end of our discussion, Rebel Yell banged the table, and asked: “Tell me, is Trump, President-elect?” Yes, Rebel Yell, he is.

_______________________

Then came news of the death of Leonard Cohen. We put on his CD “Live in London” and listened to the perfection, and thought about mortality and Cohen’s greatness.

Wristband

wristband

 

There may be a few Republicans who summer on Martha’s Vineyard, but if they do, I am sure they keep their mouths shut. Herewith is an insight into how the American ruling class works, from the pages of the Manchester Guardian. As with all carefully observed insider appreciations, this portrait is beyond caricature. The article is based on the leak of Hillary’s campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails.

This genre of Podesta email, in which people try to arrange jobs for themselves or their kids, points us toward the most fundamental thing we know about the people at the top of this class: their loyalty to one another and the way it overrides everything else. Of course Hillary Clinton staffed her state department with investment bankers and then did speaking engagements for investment banks as soon as she was done at the state department. Of course she appears to think that any kind of bank reform should “come from the industry itself”. And of course no elite bankers were ever prosecuted by the Obama administration. Read these emails and you understand, with a start, that the people at the top tier of American life all know each other. They are all engaged in promoting one another’s careers, constantly.

Everything blurs into everything else in this world. The state department, the banks, Silicon Valley, the nonprofits, the “Global CEO Advisory Firm” that appears to have solicited donations for the Clinton Foundation. Executives here go from foundation to government to thinktank to startup. There are honors. Venture capital. Foundation grants. Endowed chairs. Advanced degrees. For them the door revolves. The friends all succeed. They break every boundary.

But the One Big Boundary remains. Yes, it’s all supposed to be a meritocracy. But if you aren’t part of this happy, prosperous in-group – if you don’t have John Podesta’s email address – you’re out.

The mood is captured by a brilliant song on Paul Simon’s latest CD, “Stranger to Stranger” which features a catchy little tune called “Wristband”. Simon goes out the backstage door for a break and is locked out. He has to go around the front to get into to the theatre where his band is playing, and is stopped by a bouncer six feet eight inches tall in a snappy suit, who says “you have to have a wristband.” It quickly morphs into a much larger message, and prefigures why Trump is close to winning.

I stepped outside the backstage door
To breathe some nicotine
And maybe check my mailbox
See if I can read the screen
Then I heard a click
The stage door lock
I knew just what that meant
I’m gonna have to walk around the block
If I want to get in a…

Wristband, my man
You got to have a wristband
If you don’t have a wristband, my man
You don’t get through the door

Wristband, my man
You got to have a wristband
And if you don’t have a wristband
You don’t get through the door

I can’t explain it
I don’t know why my heart beats like a fist
When I meet some dude with an attitude
Saying, Hey, you can’t do that…or this
And the man was large
A well-dressed 6-foot-8
And he’s acting like St. Peter
Standing guard at the Pearly

Wristband, my man
You’ve got to have a wristband
If you don’t have a wristband
You don’t get through the door

And I said, Wristband?
I don’t need a wristband
My axe is on the bandstand
My band is on the floor

The riots started slowly
With the homeless and the lowly
Then they spread into the heartland
Towns that never get a wristband
Kids that can’t afford the cool brand
Whose anger is a shorthand
For you’ll never get a wristband
And if you don’t have a wristband
Then you can’t get through the door
No, you can’t get through the door
No, you can’t get through the door

© 2016 Words and Music by Paul Simon

marthas-vineyard-1

Comment on Peter Thiel’s comments

Peter Thiel is a Libertarian and has been for a long time. His opinions are not a surprise, but what is surprising is his comment on government efficacy, with a nod to Manhattan and Apollo project. With that he inoculates himself from the “crazy-libertarian” charge. His venture capital background gives him a rational thought process which he displays in his speech. He also touches on the fact that we have moved from a military-industrial complex to a government-industrial complex. Hence the disparities he alludes to, i.e. either you are a player, or you are being played.

image

 

Peter Thiel at the National Press Club

Gay California software billionaire explains why he thinks Trump is the better candidate. This is a rational talk, by contrast to much of what is being said on either side.

You may enjoy it, and your skeptical friends may have an ah-ha! moment when they see it. Hint: if you do not have skeptical friends, you are in a cult.