The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Fight Back

If you think back to the frightened reaction among elites to the Brexit vote, you'll better understand the elite's reaction to Donald Trump. You can also fully comprehend why they've worked so hard to ensure that this election skews in Hillary Clinton's favor. The elites, it seems, can adapt easily to dishonesty and corruption, but they cannot abide a candidate who can't be anticipated in advance.

First, a comment on Brexit. Despite armegeddon-like warnings of economic collapse; despite suggestions that Brexit leaders were unhinged, despite condemnation by the elites in the U.K., and despite polling that indicated a clear E.U win, the "little people" rejected E.U. rule and decided that they wanted their sovereignty back. Their vote indicated that they were fed up with the elites defining the best course of action, particularly because the elites are often wrong, and the little guy is the one who often suffers as a consequence of their mistakes.

Now, Trump. With polls indicating a clear Clinton victory, the elites seem smug and celebratory, but at the same time, uneasy. They're thinking about Brexit.

Sally Zelikovsky takes a hard look at Trump support when she writes:
Support for Trump is more of a jury nullification -- a complete rejection of all of the evidence. Not the evidence of how bad things are -- we all know our economic, cultural, and national security health is hanging by a thread. It is the wholesale renunciation of all that political gamesmanship has wrought. Things may be grim, but if we don’t address the underlying cause of “WHY” our outlook is bleak and it doesn’t matter who is elected. The cycle of misery will just continue. Too few who earn their living inside the Beltway seem to get this; and the few who do, rarely have national exposure.

It is also too simplistic to cast the Trump phenomenon as the natural outgrowth of the fading glory of the angry and frustrated white man juxtaposed against the ascendant power of minorities -- the throwaway line that permeates political commentary. It is far more nuanced than that.

The Trump phenomenon is better understood as a colossal F U to all of the lies and broken promises politicians have hoisted upon the masses over the years. It is the savage blowback to the money-sucking rules and regulations and taxes that heavily burden a broad range of the middle and upper middle classes. It is a YUGE “suck it” to the self-aggrandizement and pocket lining that goes on within the Beltway. It is a swift backlash against the swarm of Beltway wannabees who want in on DC action in order to enrich themselves on the backs of the people, to the detriment of the country.
And it's also a middle finger directed at the mainstream media, who more than any single entity, have worked hard to destroy Trump. It's only fair to note that Trump has helped them enormously with the task, but nonetheless, their bias is palpable.

Throughout any presidential campaign, name calling, accusations of bigotry and racism, and outlandish suggestions that the GOP candidate will do great harm (e.g., start a nuclear war) are commonplace, regardless of the Democrat on the ballot. It seems that the Democrats get a free pass to demonize every GOP presidential contender. For example, along with their media allies, they demonized Mitt Romney—an ethical, honest, and competent politician and executive. Romney did what all GOP contenders of the past did. He took it. He never fought back, but that didn't stop the Dems from suggesting he was responsible for the death of a woman who died of Cancer; that he rejected 47 percent" of the electorate, not by calling them "deplorable" or "irredeemable" as this year's Democrat contender has done (by the way, many media outlets defended Clinton for that remark), but by simply noting that they were probably beyond his message. He allowed debate moderator Candy Crowley to defend Barack Obama (incorrectly, it turned out) during the second debate and did so without a word of protest. Gentlemanly—all the way to a election loss.

To say the least, Donald Trump is not gentlemanly. He fights back — hard. Maybe his style is coarse and his language is muddy, but he fights back. That makes the elites very uncomfortable—after all, the GOP candidate is supposed to take the slurs hurled at him by the Dems and their media hamsters. They always have, haven't they? So, when Trump punches back, the elites tell us that he's "unhinged," that he doesn't have the "temperament" for the job, that he's "whining"—all because he defends himself against scurrilous attacks.

Noah Rothman
summarizes all of this when he writes:
Democrats flatter themselves when they grieve over the fact that the 2016 campaign has not been one of ideas but of competing personalities and tawdry scandals. Presidential campaigns are never contests of ideas; not if the left and their allies in media can see to it. Presidential campaigns are always characterized by a test of whether the Republican candidate harbors ignoble racial, sexual, or gender stereotypes in their hearts. Mitt Romney, John McCain, George W. Bush; all these Republicans were subject to the charge of racism. No reed was too thin for the liberal establishment to collectively perch themselves.

The result, as New York Times opinion writer Frank Bruni indicated, that it is possible “Democrats have cried wolf so many times that no one hears them now.” That kind of introspection on the part of the left has, however, been exceedingly rare. Too few are internalizing the lesson of 2016.
But why should the Dems change their strategy? The last 8 years have demonstrated that their domestic and foreign policy positions are demonstrably ineffective. So ad hominem attacks—accusations of racism or bigotry or misogyny—no matter how "reed thin" are a viable and effective option. The sad thing is that the larger voting public buys it—either out of general laziness, ignorance, or apathy. After all, it's easy to vote against someone who is a racist or a bigot or a misogynist and its easy to believe those accusations if you don't think critically, don't investigate the attacks, and/or don't really care. In the past, GOP candidates tried to fight the accusations but did so ineffectively because they didn't play dirty.

Trump has fought back and tried to play dirty, but his efforts have not worked. He has neither the intellectual skill nor the focus to fight back hard but do so without looking like a bully or a moron. In fact, even if he did have the skill, Clinton's hamsters in the media would shout him down. The Clinton propaganda machine has gravely wounded Trump, and Hillary Clinton will likely win. She might even win big. She'll claim that she has attained a "mandate" and that the country is behind her. If that's the case, then the country is behind dishonesty, corruption, and incompetence. I can't believe that's true.

Clinton and her supporters will expect the "deplorables" and "irredeemables" to lick their wounds and fade away. Her army of progressives will march onward, compounding the domestic and foreign policy mistakes that created the deplorables and irredeemables in the first place. She'll win while the country loses.