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Suburban Populism Beats Rural Traditionalism In Mass Identity Politics

Race is indeed a major dividing line between human beings and their collective interests but class and culture is often at least as important.  The dissident right’s model of reality falls short when it focuses on race while ignoring class.  

Barack Obama, for example, is anathema to working class Whites as Trump is to upper middle class Whites.  People across the political spectrum seem to focus on Obama’s Blackness even though he is only half-Black and talks and acts White much of the time.  Race is a huge factor, but at least as significant is how Obama oozes a smarmy SWPL vibe.  When you combine race and class in one man, you end up with anti-red-state personified.  When Obama said “clinging to guns and religion” that was roughly equivalent to Trump saying “not sending their best” or “grab them by the pussy.”   

The upset defeat of Roy Moore is a good example of the importance of class and culture.  The focus on bibles and cowboy hats may have appealed to the rural working classes but alienated the suburban middle classes.  This leaves Reagan era conservatism and the religious right utterly discredited as decisive political forces.  Even a lame GOP candidate should have won easily in Alabama, by far too much for ballot stuffing in the cities to make a difference.
To be successful in politics, populists and racial identitarians must be able to reach across the huge class and culture barrier or at least, not be overtly threatening to the other side.

On right wing blogs and on gab I see endless discussion about everything from being “trad” to restoring the Christianity of the crusades(Deus Vult!).  Also pretty popular is posturing about getting married to virgins somewhere in rural Montana or putting sodomites back in the closet.  These are kind of cool-sounding concepts that establish an aesthetic and a “feel.”  They’re great for memes and trolling too. The problem with all these things is some people start to forget that this stuff is fantasy.

In the real world, most of America lives in the suburban orbit of the cities and not only does a minority live in the more traditional countryside, lots of them are old people.  The city and its hinterlands is where most the action is at.  The country has the advantage of providing safer territory for right wing populists to operate in, but in any kind of electoral politics, suburbanites both middle and working class have to be the main focus.  Even people in the country can use facebook and tinder now.  Going “trad” is a recipe for failure at this point.  Nobody really can go back or even really wants to.  The real question is what replaces obsolete, dead social structures.

That’s a problem that can’t really be dealt with until more urgent matters are settled first.  What most Euro-Americans can agree on now across class lines are the principles of alt-centrist tribal populism.  Everyone younger than boomers intuitively gets that the pie is either static or shrinking for most people no matter how headlines boast about unemployment or the stock market.  Thus the fundamental question all politics must address is how to increase the security and access to resources of a given group.  First, constituents need solid proposals of how they will materially benefit. 

Talking about “heritage” is a good start to set the tone, but the looming reality is we have jobs we have to show up at, bills to pay—and that’s what informs most of our actual actions.  European roots are just an abstraction for the typical suburban White American.  The way forward is to remind them how they are living in exile and can be forced to run away again at any time, how affirmative action turns their jobs into nightmares, how immigration legal or illegal crushes their wages, how the law fails to protect them from colored criminals and punishes them more severely, how their taxes fund the very parasites they struggle to fend off…

The mistake of speaking to principles and responsibility is no one actually wants those things.  Being principled and responsible is tough and in the modern workplace these behaviors are not rewarded, or even crushed and punished instead.  Nobody cares.  Successful politics offers people something they want.  The common complaint about the left’s successes is they give out “free stuff.”  Well, that’s exactly what a successful faction is supposed to do for its people.  If you don’t get a share of the plunder, why bother?  A political movement that spouts empty platitudes about individual responsibility while leaving its ordinary backers with empty pockets has already lost.

Heritage, tradition, cohesiveness, self-improvement, and responsibility are the legitimate language of nascent neo-tribes and cells of activists for whom loyalty and cooperation matters most—but it has no place in mass politics. 
Dissident activist groups already form a sort of cultural aristocracy, a tiny handful who make international headlines every time they appear in public.  As a vanguard they have a powerful ability to nudge the ship in the direction they want it to go, but they can’t forget—they are not the ship.
Most of us are still stuck on the 20th century idea that every successful idea must become a mass movement.  In the 21st century, there is a strategy for the cultural aristocracy and a lowest-common denominator approach for people who are just worried about paying the bills.

Both the counter-cultural aristocracy and regular people alike must understand how race, class, and culture intersect.  If there is excessive focus on race, the upper classes win by simply dividing the races against each other and making them fight over the crumbs.  It blinds identitarians to important institutional divides.

A video came out recently showing a white man abjectly begging police for his life as they scream contradictory instructions at him and make him play a life-and-death game of Simon says until they have an “excuse” to pull the trigger.  The guys who shot Daniel Shaver after treating him worse than an animal were White themselves.  But anyone with common sense knows the real color of a cop’s skin is Blue.

I have wanted to vomit in my mouth a bit every time I’ve seen right-wingers heaping praise on police and the military.  I’ve been perplexed at their sense of shock every time the institutions have turned on them.  Had they understood other factors than race, they would have known the enforcers of the system are their most natural enemies.
This is in fact an area where the alt-right and black lives matter share common ground.  These groups are also natural enemies but perhaps both could set aside their differences where the police are concerned.

Successfully pursuing identitarian interests will require just this kind of diplomatic nuance.  A group with an incorrect or incomplete model of reality can easily be triggered into counter-productive and self-destructive actions.  By indulging in delusion, the establishment left has been caught in a downward spiral since Trump came down the golden escalator.  Now their energies are consumed by feminist witch hunts, race-politics in sports, and obsession with fever dreams of impeachment.  Entrapment in that blinding haze of rage, panic, and pain is a fate any faction would wish to avoid. 

2016 Election: Why I Actually Care

Most of the time I have been politically apathetic.  In 2008 I voted for Obama since McCain was another neocon and showed no enthusiasm for ending the Iraq debacle while Obama made it a central plank of his campaign.  Making a bimbo cheerleader his VP pretty much disqualified him as well as his endless pablum about being a “war hero” when he got captured and humiliated instead. (Trump reminding us what a war hero really is was a great moment!)  As bad as Obama has been, I have a feeling if McCain had won, we’d still be there wasting trillions of dollars.  17th “surge” anyone?
My first big clue Obama wasn’t going to change much was when he made Hillary secretary of state.  Pretty much set the tone for everything else. He finally got out of Iraq and Afghanistan but took him almost his entire first term while he and Hillary ineptly destabilized much of the Islamic world.
Once it was clear Obama was slow poison as opposed to fast poison like the idiotic W Bush or McCain, I sat out the lame 2012 election with little intention of ever voting again.  Giant Douche vs. Turd Sandwich perfectly described it.  It was clear by the end of Obama’s 1st term he was just establishment (sort of) lite and Romney was a kleptocrat corporate robot with magic underwear.  Every time I saw Romney’s repulsive apologetic teary-eyed smile and salt and pepper leading man look, I would see in my head the scene in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts tells Richard Gere he has a “sharp, useless look” about him.  That summed him up pretty well.

I had no intention of paying much attention to the 2016 election but as soon as Trump got traction by saying what would get most people blacklisted, he had my undivided attention.
It doesn’t even matter if he’s completely useless once he gets into office.   I’m actually perfectly OK if he just burns it all down.  The main thing is he’s busted open that PC pinata for good.  That alone makes it worth my while.  I know all too well how his working class affectations are like nails on a chalkboard for SWPLs with all their hollow holiness signalling, so of course nothing would amuse me more than to see Trump shoved down their throats as they choke and sputter with righteous indignation.
The thing is though, I’ve watched this guy in action for a year now and he seems to have outstanding instincts.  Even where he majorly screwed up attacking voters like the Khans or Curiel, he surrounded himself with people who guided him through his natural faults, learned from his mistakes, and changed his strategies accordingly.  It’s been a delight to watch him grow.
I say this after I’ve spent my whole life watching fools like W Bush drawl on incoherently about “staying the course” or Obama/Hillary making up organic granola excuses like “human rights” to make terrible foreign policy blunders.  I’ve hardly ever actually seen leaders do anything well.  Trump shows that he’s far more adaptable and can think outside the box.  So I’m eager to give him a chance and see what he’ll do.  If he turns out to be another dud, the system won’t last that much longer anyway.

I also can see where history is pointing by now.  Just like Thatcher and Reagan were in power at the same time, we see a present trend of no nonsense populist/authoritarian reformers all over the world.  Rightward movements are ascendant in Europe.  India has Modi, the Phillipines has Duterte.  Effete elites are getting replaced with alpha workaholics who eat the polished debaters for breakfast. Population pressure is increasing worldwide and the economy isn’t as good as it used to be.  As populations feel the pinch, sharp useless types are getting forced out of power and replaced with people who just get shit done.  In the past, people were pretty easily manipulated when they were poor and desperate because it was easy to limit education and control information.  The trend of populist reformers is the result of internet as the new printing press enfranchising ordinary people.  If I were looking at a raven’s matrix of colored in shapes and had to choose what shape comes next, I’d choose Trump.  He fits nicely into the emerging zeitgeist.  The future of world politics more resembles Singapore than it does Sweden.

I care about this election because everyone bloc votes against non-elite whites, especially white males.  In a democracy, this is more or less a declaration of war.  One of the tacit rules is that one has to participate in good faith as a citizen and not as factional members out to loot and plunder everyone else for short term advantage.   Thus I am forced to respond by supporting any white party that manifests.  If there is to be war then I must fight back until sufficient security is achieved to pursue other goals.  The social contract has been broken and the balance of power has been upset.  I suspect a Trump who succeeds in deporting some millions could restore a workable balance of power, preventing a second civil war.  The first civil war was also caused by a tipping point of shifting demographics within a democracy.  A group that sees its electoral power eroding every passing year starts to behave like a cornered animal.  If the ethnic group that sees itself as dominant is challenged for its place at the head of the table, bloodshed follows.
Obama’s relentless irresponsible race-baiting has made deteriorating relations between the races even worse.  From Trayvon to Kaepernick, it’s been one long disaster.  His obsession with race has just helped to fuel the obstructionist congress he despises so much.  To be a successful president, he needed to be half-white and not bring it up.   Instead he saw fit to remind everyone every day how African he is and how diverse everything should be.  I’ve heard the “bitter mulatto with daddy issues” explanation for his neuroses and it rings true.  At this point there may well not be a peaceful end to an “Obama’s third term.”

I care because it looks like it could be a conclusive end to the Reagonian period.  Every president since Reagan has done ever dumber versions of the same stuff:
-Free trade
-Open borders
-Trickle down economics
-Financial deregulation
-Anti-union, low wages
-Runaway military spending when conventional armies just sit there and it costs millions to take out one guy on a donkey.
-A paranoid focus on singling out “evil” nations.  Self-destructive foreign policy that leads to self-fulfilling prophecies.
-Ideologically motivated foreign interventions that squander money and political capital for low value or uncertain objectives.
To name some of the major culprits.

I find myself bewildered as  a tone-deaf elite continues to stick to these failed policies.  The Soviet Union fell 30 years ago!  Didn’t anyone send them the memo?  Why do all the establishment types want a war with Russia?  It doesn’t even make sense.  Why do they want to give themselves ever more advantages until it kills the golden goose and leads to a civil war or revolution when they’re already quite comfortable?  They’re incompetent buffoons unable to successfully pursue their self-interest in even the crassest most cynical sense.  That’s why the power they love so dearly is now being ripped right out of their hands despite their furious tantrums.

Until Trump showed up, it was hard for anyone to even imagine a politician with a non-Reagonian platform being taken seriously.  And now, all of a sudden, we’re out of that miserable rut with an opportunity to try something different.  Trump seems to be a moderate but he opens the way for those who will follow him.  Everyone out there with heterodox beliefs smells blood and that’s the real appeal.  Trump is making it possible for those forced to live in the shadows to come out in the open and exert power within the normal bounds of society.  A gate has been opened into the demon realm to the horror of the denizens of the light.
The established order is tired and complacent while the shadow creatures are vigorous and hungry.  Go to the comments at any large alt right/manosphere blog right now and we hear the frenzied yips and joyous howls of thousands of coyotes closing in on their quarry.
With the last escape routes being cut off tactics of desperation become ever more apparent.  The president comes out to campaign for an absent presidential candidate.  Then the president’s wife.  Then former presidents come out of the woodwork with their endorsements.  Then former department heads and cabinet members.  And today we see actors who play superheroes revealing themselves in their desperation to move the needle somehow back in their direction.  All the while black athletes are revealing they hated whitey all along even though white society has bestowed on them its greatest rewards.  It’s unraveling quickly now.  Every empty day with Hillary barely showing her face, all the other faces of the accepted order are forced to show themselves to fill that void and we see who was who all along.  It’s like the T-1000 showing all its forms while convulsing and screeching in its death throes.  As all the gods and angels in society’s heaven strain themselves, their kingdom only tumbles earthward all the faster.  Those who seemed moments before like inapproachable deities are reduced to a swarm of ants rushing to defend a dirt mound smashed underfoot.

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The Calm Before She Sinks

It’s that perfect point in time to savor, a moment frozen in crystal before the outcomes click into place.  The last sunny fall day of safe normality.  It’s the moment just as people begin to grasp the new reality.
What has been increasingly strident contempt and dismissal has finally given way to open panic and desperation.
Perhaps many thought the fall of Hillary would somehow go unnoticed but I’ve watched her polls plummet a half point per day since 9/11 and the videos have racked up millions of views.
Even going with the kindest, most official accounts, it’s lose/lose for her.  She’s already admitted she’s lied about her health claims of “overheating” and “allergies” only after being left with no avenue to evade.  Everyone knows the coverup would have been successful if not for a private citizen or two with smartphones.  If it was contagious pneumonia all along why was she out shaking hands and hugging kids?  In even the best possible case for her, ignoring everything else, she’s still a compulsive liar who has no qualms about getting other people sick to further her aims.  Appearing weak at the memorial of a time Americans craved strong leadership, the abject humiliation of being dragged around by mere peasant guards like a sack of potatoes, remains devastating.
That’s before we even consider anything else.  Let’s for a moment still put aside all the theories of her long term maladies and simplify this.  The fact is she spent all of August with low key campaign events, her only rallies being tightly controlled and scripted with small audiences.
Once her lead started to melt with her near absence of campaigning it became less and less plausible she was just letting the clock run out.
Tellingly, she only surfaced into sight for major holidays and memorials when she absolutely had to and still struggled with the best medicine in the world to prop her up.  Even the bare minimum was too much.  She was like a whale followed by a whaling vessel getting speared every time she came up for breath, each harpoon with an airbladder tied to it to make staying submerged progressively more difficult.
Keeping this as simple as possible, I went to the website for each candidate to look at their scheduled events.  Trump of course, is doing 3 events in 3 states per day.
Hillary had 1 more rally in North Carolina with only luncheons and other small events as far as I could tell for the rest of her campaign.  Even with these, Hillary appeared to be doing less than 1 event per day while her VP, her campaign manager, and even her daughter are doing 90% of the actual campaigning.  It now appears even Obama, a sitting president, is campaigning for Hillary, a presidential candidate, instead of doing his job.  Now this is what desperation looks like.
9/15/2016 in Greensboro, NC was Hillary’s final test, her absolute last chance.  The obvious thing she needed to do was give an hours-long speech worthy of Fidel Castro in front of a real audience.  Nope.  Another scripted lifeless “event” in a small auditorium that barely lasted 20 minutes.  That she did not do the obvious thing leads to the inescapable conclusion that she cannot.  The reason does not even matter.  As of this writing there’s still about 9 days until the 1st debate.  9 endless days of a ship adrift getting pounded with relentless broadsides.  Today is the day of parity with both coalitions looking each other right in the eyes before one passes the other up forever and we see just who is on the wrong side of history.  As of this moment, if we add CO, IA, NE, NC, NV, OH, FL to Trump’s electoral map based newly favorable polling, he’s already won.  If any of MI, VA, PA, WI, NH, OR flip before election day it starts to move into landslide territory.
By the first debate, if it even happens at this point, Trump will probably already be ahead
(Update 9/25: Appears I was wrong about this part, 2 NBC Polls and McClatchy have gangraped the numbers to 2.5 in Hillary’s favor although state polls continue to drift Trumpwards.  Also the POTUS, FLOTUS, former politicians and former cabinet members, lots of celebrities have started actively campaigning for absentee Hillary which seems to have genuinely helped a bit.  However, I was stunned to see this kind of immense political capital squandered in a single flash in the pan.  Celebs like Kardashian are already learning from their mistakes and shifting to a more neutral stance.  Damn, they are burning through their reserves over a month too early!)and the delicious panic, tears, and despairing wails at a climax.  The inability to campaign alone would have sunk Hillary by election day.  A politician who can’t campaign is like a musician without fingers.  Her “basket of deplorables” disaster, plus the 9/11 collapse are just bonus points.  I have written plenty on human nature on this blog and one of the constants is that people despise weakness.  It’s an instinctual directive that comes eons before mere party loyalties and let’s face it, most people just go to their day job not caring about politics and end up voting for the stronger force, whatever it may be.

In my head I get images of winning a war of attrition in Civilization 4.  The enemy’s armies cluster in their cities watching helplessly as their roads, mines, and cottages get leveled back into the stone age and my coffers fill with plunder, each turn sealing their fate more tightly than the last.  Brahm’s 1st Hungarian dance from the game’s soundtrack plays as the death spiral winds down, and another road gets demolished with a crisp slapping sound, their last trade route cut off.
I’ve spent happy hours on twitter, politico, huffington post, r/political discussion, r/politics savoring their screams like Lord Yabu from Sho-Gun.  Actually, their jedi backflips of rationalization and denial might be even better. “But FDR hid an illness too!”  “But HW Bush threw up!” “But Romney in 2012!”  The very best treat was the comments on New York Times opinion pieces.  Lots of snobby upper middle class douchebags who have enough smarts and education to understand the social order they knew is collapsing and what it means for them.  As much as I like tantrums fueled by pure emotion, it’s more delicious still to witness the paroxysms of those who lucidly perceive impending apocalypse.

As for Hillary, the situation remains indescribably poetic.  She is at the end of her life watching her world begin to fall apart all around her.  The beautiful irony is that most of it was her own making.  At this very moment, Europe is slipping away to the right largely because of the human waves sent over by her disastrous bungling in the Middle East and North Africa.  Her selfishness in running while sick is about to destroy her party’s credibility with everything it’s worked for soon to be dismantled by her rival.  In the end, she’s been the best friend ever to radicals who would have passed their days skulking in the shadows if not for her.  Images from great revenge stories pop into my head.  I think of Titus Andronicus—truly in the end, she’s being fed her own children baked into a pie.  I think of the Punisher movie with evil Travolta told “Made you kill your wife.  Made you kill your best friend” before he’s dragged behind a car through a lot full of exploding cars.
One final set of images:   Back in the primary I always envisioned Trump’s rivals having this moment, especially Jeb.  In underwater movies, it’s the cracks that appear in the window before the cockpit implodes from water pressure(The Abyss provides a great example).  In space operas, it’s the sparks and shit that fly around, giving the pilot a warning they’re about to blow up.  The character gets those last couple of seconds to have a horrific realization and flail around impotently—that’s Hillary and her supporters at this moment.

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2 Big Implications of the 2012 Election

I called this election a few weeks ago after Romney’s disastrous “binders of women” comment and his unconvincing performance talking to female voters.
Already, the viability of Romney’s campaign had been dubious.
He was solidly backed by white males but all the rest of the electorate was arrayed against him.
His only chance of success was challenging Obama’s dominance of the female vote.

Romney’s dominant demeanor, height, chiseled movie star looks, dignified salt and pepper hair gave him considerable appeal to women, but his presence and personality couldn’t prevent women from voting for an incumbent who seemed more likely to assure them access to power and material resources.

But who won or who lost is not what’s most important.

Nation states are fast losing legitimacy in an age of mass communications. Presidents, prime ministers, and premieres no longer run the world like they did at the end of WWII. At best, we can expect the leader of a nation to execute a bold holding action, preventing the state from disintegrating any further.

The two big lessons of this election lie not in the candidates or parties but in the demographics of the vote itself.

This election is a landmark event because it has starkly revealed emerging divides in American society and set the tone for a new era of identity politics.

In this 2012 election,

1) Men were pitted against women in direct combat, both groups voting as blocks.

Whites were pitted against ethnic minorities, both voting against each other in blocks.

Whites no longer dominate politics by default.
White men find themselves outnumbered by a coalition of women and minorities in a struggle for control of the state.

On paper, the economy is stagnant, but in reality, society’s wealth continues to become increasingly hoarded by a noble caste.
The traditional job, society’s favorite means of distributing wealth to most people, has become unstable and sporadic at best. As an institution it is becoming obsolete.

It’s easy to have a plural, inclusive secular society when there’s plenty of wealth to go around.
But if wealth is scarce and growing scarcer, people predictably splinter into factions, each looking for a bigger slice of a meager pie.

With the 2012 election, we see the effects of years of scarcity manifesting in politics.

As more people become desperate, we will see more factional voting blocks locked in bitter competition for power and resources. We might expect the rise of modern day political machines dedicated not to the promotion of policy preferences or idealism, but to “identities” we were born with.

2) A major tipping point: Americans of the Boomer generations and older are no longer able to carry elections on their own.

Politics as we’ve known them for the last few decades have just ended. Because of their massive numbers and high rates of civic participation, the older generations have stubbornly held on to a dominant role, but their ability to shape the nation’s destiny is inevitably waning.

In these times of economic depression and social turmoil, it is the wealthy, powerful, skilled boomers who are still holding this society together.

As they increasingly retire from their jobs, succumb to illness and old age, and decline in political influence, the old order will begin to pass along with them.

Eric and I conjecture that there will be a critical tipping point by 2015 or 2016 as volume of retired/sick/dying baby boomers reaches critical mass and the 1990s and 1980s begin to seem as quaint and culturally dated as the roaring 20s or the prosperous 1950s.

For until societies worldwide drastically rethink the nature of wealth and economies in an age of massively automated manufacturing and advanced computers, countless millions will live in squalor in the midst of plenty. Formerly normal households shown in Hollywood movies will come to seem like something out of a dream.
A peaceful and open society will come to sound like something out of an impossibly naive fairytale as we begin to experience earthquakes along widening social fault lines.

Then and Now: 1st 1960 Presidential Debate vs. 1st 2012 Presidential Debate

What do you think?

Because the guys in 1960 had spent years speaking on the radio, it seems to me they really keep their sentences tight and their rhythm unbroken while speaking. They’re pretty impressive.

On the other hand, neither candidate seems to be orchestrating their body language as we’d see now. Nixon is constantly licking his lips nervously and crossing his legs while JFK has to be told by the moderators to go up to the podium.

Many of you may know that Nixon was ill and exhausted before the 1st 1960 debate. He had also recently injured his leg.

Not realizing the significance of television (this was the first ever televised debate), Nixon didn’t bother with makeup or having his appearance manicured.

Sick and tired as he was, Nixon was visibly sweating under the stage lights. You can especially see the shininess on his chin making it kind of look like he’s drooling.

Most history books now opine that this debate lost the election for Nixon.

Obviously, one might wonder if television made short or unimposing candidates unelectable, gradually turning elections into a battle over personality and superficial appearances.

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