So It Begins – Donald Trump is the Presumptive Republican Nominee for President of The United States

Tonight was a potentially historic night in the modern history of the United States. Donald Trump won the Indiana Primary tonight, but more importantly, Senator Ted Cruz, Trump’s most fervent challenger, suspended his campaign.

This leaves Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee – confirmed by RNC chairman Reince Priebus:

Of course, John Kasich is still involved, but at the time of this writing he is literally fourth in a two man race. It doesn’t get more pathetic than that, and his official elimination is but a formality at this stage.

The focus now shifts to the general election, but before giving my early take, I think it’s instructive to examine my own path to the #TrumpTrain.

I’m generally a minimal government, pro free market type of guy, and as such I’ve had little to pick from in the elections I’ve been old enough to vote in. When the 2016 process got going, I was resigned to going with Rand Paul, a guy who had a good background, being Ron Paul’s son, but ultimately was lukewarm in terms of the ‘oomph’ needed to rally people around him and embrace his ideas.

Paul did have a small sliver of fervent grassroots, Tea Party types, most of whom he inherited from his father, but beyond that he was very much a lone wolf doing his best to fight against the system from within it. I knew he had little chance, but I still stayed interested in the event a miracle happened.

I had little time for candidates such as Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Rick Perry, and even Chris Christie, all of whom I saw as ‘more of the same.’ More of the Mitt Romney/McCain/Bush/Dole set, whom the US electorate as it stands in 2016 has no time for. I posited that if one of those ‘establishment’ types won the nomination, the Clinton coronation was all but assured, despite how poor a candidate she is.

When Trump announced his candidacy, I laughed him off like everyone else did. In truth, I knew very little about him; I never watched The Apprentice or read The Art of The Deal. I knew of him, only through his real estate empire and his status as a media figure. He’d have the odd interview on CNBC or CNN that I’d happen to catch in passing, but I wasn’t totally knowledgeable about him.

I believed the stock opinion about him that everyone put forth, namely that this was a publicity stunt, he was only doing it as promotion for a new TV show, and so on. I certainly didn’t take him seriously.

That all changed when Trump went after John McCain, and the whole row over Trump’s ‘war hero’ comment. I didn’t really care for the remark so much as the response to it from all involved. Nearly to a person, Trump was admonished. The liberals and conservatives, in all forms of the media and the candidates running, all called for him to apologize, and Trump refused. And his poll numbers went up.

My interest in Trump was piqued in that moment, simply because everyone I had come to disagree with over the years – liberal and conservative pundits, the aforementioned establishment candidates, John McCain himself – was united against Trump. That simple fact made me want to take Trump’s side.

That was in mid July 2015. During the final two weeks of that month, many commentators and pundits continued to attack Trump, declaring his candidacy over. While his steadfast defiance in the face of that assault was admirable in my view, I still had reservations about some of his views, and still do to this day.

At the time, I thought that Trump could be useful in the sense that, paired with a Rand Paul as running mate, for example, a lot of good could be done in the view of small government conservative types. My rationale was that Trump, being the showman that he is, would draw the American public under the tent.

Once there, he could sell the limited government, conservative principles that a guy like Rand Paul would be all about. In other words, Trump would filter through the message of Republicans like Paul so as to be more palatable to the American electorate. This was my hope in those late July days.

Then came the famous Fox News debate in August.

With the first question of the debate, Bret Baier asked the candidates if there was any one of them who would refuse to sign a pledge not to run as a third party candidate. Trump was the only one who raised his hand.

Then, Megyn Kelly asked him a loaded question about his relationship with women generally, pointing to some boorish remarks he had made on TV and on social media.

These questions, asked of the front-runner at the time, pretty much exposed the game to me. It looked like an attempted hit job, and it confirmed to me what the McCain episode had brought to my attention – the ‘establishment,’ as it were, was ALL aligned against Trump, even from within his own party.

In those first five minutes of that first Republican debate, I punched my ticket for the #TrumpTrain.

The rest of the debate was also memorable for the way Rand Paul tried extremely hard to take shots at Trump. He was totally out of his depth, and my hopes soured on his chances. When he dropped out of the race, it was of little surprise to me.

At that stage, I had fully understood what was going on. Donald Trump, while perhaps far form perfect, was the first candidate I’d come across that had the potential to affect true change. As I’ve intimated earlier, I’ve long been of the view that Republicans and Democrats were two sides of the same coin in many respects. I personally rejected that coin.

Trump is an enigma, a phenomenon that has not been seen in American politics in decades, perhaps ever. Many commentators have run themselves ragged trying to explain it, but to me it is clear as day. Trump represents the ‘reject the coin’ view that many Americans share, but so did past candidates such as Pat Buchannan and Ross Perot.

What separates Trump is his unparalleled skill in persuasion and charisma. I mentioned as much in an earlier post describing the cultural implications of a Trump presidency:

The combination of his wealth, business expertise, virtually 100% name recognition, multi decade exposure to the media and charisma has enabled Trump to dominate discussion. Once in that position, he has used it to put forth an unambiguously anti-Marxist, anti-establishment message, to the horror of the elites.

Scott Adams, known for his Dilbert cartoons, has done a great job describing Trump’s persuasive efforts in detail in a series of posts which has spanned the last 6 months or so. I’d highly suggest you read them, as they are instructive.

This is incredibly dangerous for those who want a Democratic president, especially if Hillary Clinton is going to be the nominee. Although at the time of this writing, many are suggesting that Clinton is the favorite, I don’t buy it. I believe Trump will win, and even go as far as to say that in the end it won’t be very close.

I say this because I believe that my own path to Trump support will be mirrored by millions by the time November rolls around.

Again from the Cultural Implications post I referenced earlier:

Consider that from 1980 to 2013, a member of either the Clinton or Bush family has been in the White House or among the President’s Cabinet. To the extent that the United States has deteriorated over that time, the establishment from both parties has directly overseen it. The bottom line is that modern day Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin. Their continued underwhelming performance in service of the American people is leading many to repudiate the coin entirely.

 

Yet it is that establishment in politics, as well as the media, which has opposed Trump almost universally. Although he has addressed many of the realities facing Americans, Trump has been shouted down as racist, misogynistic, and Islamophobic. He has also been ridiculed as an unhinged, clownish bully.

There are two phenomena here, both of which have been waning of late, at least in my view. The first is the Red Team/Blue Team dynamic which has been exacerbated by cable news. I do believe that we’re entering an age when rigid political labels cease to matter, and people will care more about what ‘works.’

More importantly, the second phenomenon, Political Correctness Fatigue will set in. We live in a world in which the threshold to being called a bigot is crossed by correcting someone’s grammar. At some stage, normal human beings will tire of having normal human interactions being regulated by a handful of thin skinned individuals.

The only thing preventing the vast majority of normal people from making their disgust for political correctness known is the fact the PC Police is firmly in charge at the moment. If you step out of line, your employment could potentially be on the line. We’ve seen various reports of people being fired over things they’ve said on social media. PC mobs have even become proactive in tracking down the employers of miscreants on social media with the sole purpose of getting them fired.

In the current setting, nobody will speak up against overzealous social justice warriors. That angst has certainly been bubbling under the surface, as evidenced by the overwhelming anti-PC views espoused by those who post in comment sections all over the internet. It is telling that many of the politically correct set have closed down comment sections over the last 18 months in response.

Donald Trump is, in my view, the catalyst which will bring the backlash offline into the real world. His brash, anti-PC comments, which will surely persist, will continue to help him in the polls, let alone do him no harm. These ‘ABSOLUTE MADMAN‘ moments will serve as the ‘coast is clear’ signal for normal thinking people to log off the internet and speak freely in public.

Despite this, Clinton’s main strategy still will be to use the gender politics part of the PC machine, bludgeoning the public about how great it will be to have a female president. Her continued failure to see the light on this, and many other topics will cement her as the ‘establishment,’ old order, status quo candidate.

In being the epitome of Democratic establishment politics, Clinton mirrors the position Jeb Bush held for the Republicans. While beating her won’t be as easy as it was to beat Bush, Trump is still the ‘outsider’ candidate, running in an ‘outsider’ year. One only has to look at the way Bernie Sanders is running Clinton to the wire to understand this.

I don’t think this dynamic can be overstated going into the general election. Donald Trump is the candidate who represents change, change from the two party establishment which ha been so comfortable for nearly 40 years.

He’s won the Republican Primary without outside donors, without pandering to anyone but the American people, and without speaking in political tongues like any other candidate would have. This is going to present, perhaps for the first time in my lifetime, a real distinction between the candidates.

Ultimately Clinton will dispose of Sanders, owing to the fact that the establishment’s ‘unbound’ superdelegates are all in Clinton’s pocket, further highlighting the difference between her and Trump as the establishment insider. Where Clinton has an inbuilt advantage over Sanders, Trump had to fight off schemes of all sorts to prevent a contested convention. This will set up a battle royale for the presidency.

Political Correctness vs Reality > Feelings

Establishment vs ‘The People’

Feminism vs Traditional Values

Globalism vs America First

The importance of this election can’t be overstated.

To The Surprise of None, Janet Yellen Does Not See a Bubble in the Economy

Last night, Janet Yellen was accompanied by her three predecessors as Fed Chairmen, Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker at a forum in New York discussing various issues.

In the wake of Donald Trump declaring that the economy was a bubble, and that a large recession was on the cards, moderator Fareed Zakaria asked Yellen if we really were in a situation ‘as perilous as some on the campaign trail have been suggesting.’ This was Yellen’s response in full:

So I would say the US economy has made tremendous progress in recovering from the damage from the financial crisis. Slowly but surely the labor market is healing. For well over a year we’ve averaged about  225,000 jobs a month. The unemployment rate now stands at 5%. So, we’re coming close to our assigned congressional goal of maximum employment.

 

Inflation which, my colleagues here Paul and Allen, spent much of their time as chair, bringing inflation down from unacceptably high levels. For a number of years now inflation has been running under our 2% goal and we’re focused on moving it up to 2%.

 

But we think that it’s partly transitory influences, namely declining oil prices, and the strong dollar that are responsible for pulling inflation below the 2% level we think is most desirable. So, I think we’re making progress there as well, and this is an economy on a solid course, um, not a bubble economy.

 

We tried carefully to look at evidence of potential financial instability that might be brewing and some of the hallmarks of that, clearly overvalued asset prices, high leverage, rising leverage, and rapid credit growth. We certainly don’t see those imbalances. And so although interest rates are low, and that is something that could encourage reach for yield behavior, I wouldn’t describe this as a bubble economy.

More specifically, her reasoning as to why this can’t be described as a bubble economy:

We tried carefully to look at evidence of potential financial instability that might be brewing and some of the hallmarks of that,

such as

clearly overvalued asset prices,

MW-EB006_overva_20151210143625_ZH

(‘Now’ was December of 2015)

high leverage, rising leverage,

-1x11-1

-1x-1-1x-1NYSE-margin-debt-SPX-since-1995

and rapid credit growth.

fredgraph

 

We certainly don’t see those imbalances.

Ordinarily, one would suggest that she look a little harder, but in this case the suggestion would be futile. The famous Upton Sinclair quote about a man (or in this case woman) not being capable of understanding something when he or she is paid not to understand it is apropos.

Central bankers will never, ever see a bubble ahead of time because that would mean admitting some sort of fault. Central banks attempt to guide and steer the economy through the business cycle, and thus if a bubble arises, it is almost completely of their doing. Thus, they can never admit to it before the fact.

After it bursts, however, all sorts of gnashing of teeth occurs as to why the inevitable crisis was unforeseeable, thanks to some insidious development out of their control. The go-to excuse the last time around was a savings glut in Asia. Who knows what they’ll say this time.

Election Math: Was Ted Cruz’ Victory in Wisconsin A Turning Point?

Ted Cruz won the Wisconsin Primary last night, taking 40 of the 46 delegates. This leaves the delegate count looking like this:

Trump – 758

Cruz – 505

Kasich – 144

There are 769 delegates remaining.

I’m not going to discuss Kasich the rest of the way given he is irrelevant, and cannot obtain the magic number for the nomination which is 1237. He still trails Marco Rubio, who dropped out nearly a month ago.

In order for Trump to attain enough delegates to win the nomination outright, he will need at least 479 of the remaining 769, or roughly 62%. Cruz would have to win 732 of the remaining delegates, or 95%.

That is pretty much an impossibility, so for all intents and purposes, Donald Trump is the only candidate who can win the nomination on the first ballot at the convention.

Cruz will be mathematically knocked out of winning a majority if he does not win at least 58 delegates in New York on April 19th.

Continuing along those lines, here is a look at the next phase of the election, starting from New York up until West Virginia on May 10:

April 19th:

New York (95 Delegates)

April 26th:

Connecticut (26 Delegates)

Delaware (16 Delegates)Maryland

(38 Delegates)

Pennsylvania (17 Delegates bound, 54 more unbound)

Rhode Island (19 Delegates)

May 3:

Indiana (57 Delegates)

May 10:

Nebraska (36 Delegates)

West Virginia (34 Delegates)

Trump winning roughly 62% of the delegates through this stretch would leave him with about 1000 delegates. If he leaves this stretch with that figure or higher, he will be in good shape heading towards the western states. That means a haul of about 242 delegates, and his home state of NY will be a huge part of him attaining that figure. If Trump sweeps through the April 26th contests, he’ll be well on his way to attaining the figure he needs, with either Indiana or West Virginia putting him over the top. A lot will be determined over the next 21 days.

Turning Point?

Predictably, after the Wisconsin result, there has been much in the way of celebration from everyone but the Trump camp. Recall that the past two weeks have been an all out blitz from the #NeverTrump camp, from Wisconsin conservative talk radio, to GOP establishment figureheads like Scott Walker.

Trump made a few unforced errors as well, which didn’t help him, but at the end of the day the fact that Wisconsin is a different breed of conservative didn’t help him. The radio hosts told him as much the minute he landed in the state. Exit polling showed that Wisconsin Republican voters were less ‘angry’ at the system in comparison to other states. In short, the state of Wisconsin is fine with the status quo as it is. That never augured well for Trump.

This is not a turning point, however, despite what the media and Cruz camp are trying to say. What Wisconsin happened to be was the perfect storm. RNC chairman Reince Priebus, governor Scott Walker and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan are all Wisconsinites. Anti-Trump SuperPACs spent tens of millions in the state. Multiple talk show radio hosts, all with heavy influence on the electorate, are all anti-Trumpers. Charlie Sykes, one of those radio hosts, bluntly laid out the motivations for supporting Cruz on MSNBC yesterday:

I’ve said Ted Cruz is not my first choice, my second choice, or my third choice, but he’s the guy right now who is the only guy that can stop Donald Trump from getting 1,237 and the only candidate who can stop him in Wisconsin. He is the guy. So I am more anti-Trump than I am pro-Cruz, but Ted Cruz acceptable enough to Wisconsinites.

Cruz is acceptable enough to Wisconsinites, and indeed the GOP, for now. His only use to the GOPe is to stop Trump from getting a majority. Having done that, they’ll drop Cruz like a hot potato at the convention and go for someone else.

It baffles me that Cruz supporters are so blind as to think that they actually have a shot to win the nomination. The real feeling about Cruz among most of the GOPe is that he is terrible, but at least he is the devil we know. Whereas Trump is a total wild card.

In truth, the only reason Cruz has come this far is because the Trump phenomenon made room for Cruz as an ‘outsider.’ If Trump had never entered, there is no way Cruz could have made such an inroad. He would have had to be as brash as Trump was at the beginning, but given the way he has been treated in national politics and the media since his rise to the senate, he would have been discarded quickly. As I wrote a few weeks ago, Trump is probably the only man in America to actually make a real ‘outsider’ viable.

This is precisely why Cruz stayed silent when everyone and their mother denounced Trump in the summer and fall of 2015. Cruz was doing this because he recognized that the real fight was between the outsiders and the GOPe, and that by biding his time, allowing Trump to build up the ‘outsider’ side of the ledger, he could come in later and try and fight him for it. Had Cruz gone after Trump earlier, he would have aligned himself with the GOPe side and been blown out quickly.

At this stage of the game, now that all real establishment threats have gone to the wayside, the only thing that could benefit the GOPe is a fight between the ‘outsiders,’ Trump and Cruz, that could leave both unable to achieve a majority and thus put the GOPe back in control at the convention.

Of course, Cruz isn’t a real outsider, in the sense that he has been in the Washington system all of his career. He is a system man who nobody likes, not because he wants to change the system necessarily, but because he expedited his rise through the ranks by playing at being the outsider.

At the end of the day, he still has to make concessions to the system, which is the reason that those wanting real change should back Trump. Trump may not be the PRINCIPLED CONSERVATIVE everyone wants, but those principles have no place in the current political system outside of the fringes.

This is what #NeverTrump people don’t get, and it was evident in Wisconsin over the course of the last two weeks. If you want real PRINCIPLED CONSERVATISM in 2016, the current system has to look a lot different. In reality, the current culture has to look a lot different. You aren’t going to change it toiling in the doldrums of Politics As Usual. You have to burn the house down and start again. Which is what Trump represents.

Once a Trump-like candidate, warts and all, finishes his work, the likes of Ted Cruz, the Pauls, and whoever can actually impart their PRINCIPLED CONSERVATISM from a place of strength, rather than fighting against the machine. If last night was indeed a turning point, the machine will remain, and PRINCIPLED CONSERVATISM will achieve nothing more than token senate seats and marginal presidential primary runs.

Reality Doesn’t Care About Feelings: Volume 2 – Michelle Fields vs Corey Lewandowski

The press is to have an adversarial, yet civil approach to those in, or running, for elected office. Never in this line of work is it acceptable to respond to reasonable and legitimate questioning with use of physical force. The photographs, audio, videos, and witness accounts documenting the treatment of Michelle Fields by Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, are inexcusable and unprofessional. Donald Trump should immediately remove Lewandowski from his campaign. However unlike the Trump campaign, we believe in making a statement on the record to clearly highlight the difference between right and wrong.

The above quote was from a press release signed by 16 conservative females in response to the developments surrounding an incident which took place between Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, and Michelle Fields, a reporter. The full letter is below:

medialetter

By now this incident has been discussed to death, mostly because it is a Trump mishap. If you’ll notice, the vast majority, if not all of the signatories are anti Trump pundits, and as such, this sort of story is heaven sent. It seemingly allows them to further push the idea that Trump is a woman hating Neanderthal who is dangerous and bad. It also seemingly gives credence to the idea that there is a specter of violence surrounding the Trump campaign, which does not bode well for the country as a whole should he be elected president.

This allowed the other candidates to gain cheap points by pandering to women. Given the other candidates all have an interest in any anti-Trump talking point, they were all more than happy to pile on with the outrage. The story hasn’t completely died, because of the way Trump has responded.

Instead of immediately firing Lewandowski, who has been charged with battery over the incident, Trump went on the offensive and has defended his campaign manager at almost every turn. That continued last night on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox.

That appearance led to even more outrage from the anti-Trump crowd still pushing this story, and Fields in particular. In the following exchange with Hannity on Twitter, she accuses him of not having her back and letting Trump off scot-free:

Capture.PNG1

The Reality

Just in case you still haven’t seen the incident, and aren’t sure what I’m talking about, the following is security footage released by the Jupiter, Florida police department.

If you’re not sure what you’re looking at, at the start of the video Fields is in the cream colored top walking next to Trump, attempting to ask him a question. From about 0:03 to 0:08 in the video is where the alleged battery takes place.

Shortly after the conference had ended, Fields penned this piece for Breitbart, describing her version of events (emphasis mine):

On Tuesday night, I went to cover Donald Trump’s press conference at the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida. I was looking to cover the event like I have covered many live political events for Breitbart News, including an uneventful Trump press conference in Palm Beach the week before. 

 

Addressing the gathered reporters and the nation at large, Trump was in an especially jovial mood Tuesday night. The networks just declared he had won the Mississippi Republican primary and, during his speech, that he won Michigan Republican primary as well.

 

 

I wasn’t called upon to ask a question during the televised press conference, but afterwards Trump wandered around, stopping at every reporter to take their questions. When he approached me, I asked him about his view on an aspect of affirmative action. 

 

Trump acknowledged the question, but before he could answer I was jolted backwards. Someone had grabbed me tightly by the arm and yanked me down. I almost fell to the ground, but was able to maintain my balance. Nonetheless, I was shaken.

 

 

The Washington Post’s Ben Terris immediately remarked that it was Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, who aggressively tried to pull me to the ground. I quickly turned around and saw Lewandowski and Trump exiting the building together. No apology. No explanation for why he did this.  


 

Even if Trump was done taking questions, Lewandowski would be out of line. Campaign managers aren’t supposed to try to forcefully throw reporters to the ground, no matter the circumstance. But what made this especially jarring is that there was no hint Trump was done taking questions. No one was pushing him to get away. He seemed to have been happily answering queries from my fellow reporters just a moment before.  

 

Many people have been asking me on Twitter and in emails what exactly happened Tuesday night. I hope this article answers those questions and I can get back to reporting the news, not being a part of it. 

Lewandowski responded via this tweet:

Capture.PNG2

This is what kicked everything off, as Lewandowski essentially called Fields a liar and claimed to have never touched Fields. At time, Trump responded to a question about the incident by saying that Fields may have made the whole thing up. Note that at the time of Fields’ account on Breitbart, and Lewandowski’s tweet, there was no video.

Once the video came out, the knives came out for Lewandowski and Trump for claiming the incident never happened, and in particular over their language intimating that Fields was a crazy lady making things up.

The position that the Trump team have been lying and smearing Fields is on weak grounds, however. This is because of the discrepancy between the video evidence, and what I have highlighted in Fields’ statement. Any rational human being can see in the video that Lewandowski did not try and forcefully throw Fields to the ground. She did not almost lose her balance, she did not seem shaken, there was not any element of violence from Lewandowski.

It was that accusation, specifically Fields’ insistence in Breitbart that she had been brutally assaulted Mortal Kombat style, which was so thoroughly denounced by Lewandowski and Trump. 

Yes, Lewandowski did literally touch Fields. However, he was responding to allegations that he had violently thrown a reporter to the ground. Imagine that, for example, you were walking in a crowd and bumped into a random person, but kept going without apologizing. Then, two days later, the police came to your house and said that you punched that person in the face, leaving that person hospitalized, and were now under arrest.

Most people would be totally incredulous, and claim that the accuser was deluded. Given that bumping into someone in a crowd is such an inconsequential thing that it wouldn’t register in one’s memory, it is easy to see how one would say they didn’t even touch the accuser, let alone landed a blow worthy of hospitalization.

To be sure, Lewandowski was completely guilty of being impolite, rude, and perhaps even unprofessional. However, anyone who has ever been in a crowded public space has been subject to that sort of behavior and worse from others. I’m sure this morning alone, hundreds if not thousands have undergone similar ‘assaults’ in the NYC subways on the way to work.

As such Lewandowski (and Trump) both suggesting that Fields was a bit deluded isn’t an egregious thing, because the truth is that she did grossly embellish what happened. The fact that we even have the video above is because Trump’s security reviewed it and gave to the police voluntarily, in order to absolve Lewandowski. The Trump team correctly came to the conclusion that the whole thing was much ado about nothing, and figured that the video would show that.

Instead, the response was the week long media storm that I previously alluded to. It has been driven by the #NeverTrump movement in conjunction with the usual suspects in the liberal and conservative establishment media. What is more interesting than that however, is the calls for Trump to fire Lewandowski, and his refusal to acquiesce. It is a microcosm of a larger issue that plagues our society.

We are now living in a society in which allegations and accusations are more or less equal to convictions. This is most prevalent in sexual assault cases, where the accused male is dragged through the mud for simply being accused. If the individual is high profile enough, he generally has to resign, endorsements are withdrawn, and so forth. Whether the accused is actually guilty or not is of little consequence.

In other words, the truth is of little consequence when it comes to the feelings of the Social Justice Warrior outrage mob. This episode is particularly interesting given the fact that the 16 signatories of the letter asking for Lewandowski’s dismissal are purportedly conservative, and have railed against some of the tactics of Social Justice Warriors in the past.

Yet, they are now happy to employ those same tactics when the subject is Donald Trump. That belies an inconsistency within the mainstream, establishment faction of the GOP which is at the very heart of its current demise, and simultaneous rise of Donald Trump.

This is exactly why the GOP establishment is out of touch with everyday Americans. They see a video like the one above, and see a man being extremely rude. Most people brush it off a few seconds later. So, when they see that police charges, and calls for being fired, all over the same incident, they scratch their heads. Not because they are wondering what they could have missed, but because they are wondering how one can be so disingenuous one can be in attacking a rival.

My advice to the #NeverTrump crowd is to let this one go. The more the public sees of this incident, the more they will come to the conclusion that the media is dishonest, and that Trump is right. Trying to convince people not to believe what their lying eyes tell them is only going to make them stop and think. They will wonder why everyone from all corners of politics, and the big interests are going to such lengths to denounce Trump, and they will come to the conclusion that the man who everyone is slinging mud at  is actually favorable to the mudslingers, when it is clear they are dishonest.

On Donald Trump’s Business Failures

One of the talking points Donald Trump has used thus far in his campaign is the fact that his stellar business acumen is exactly what the United States needs. In other words, whatever was in his brain that allowed him to earn a fortune of $10 billion will enable him to do great things for the country.

Naturally, his opponents have made claims to the contrary, and it’s easy to understand why. If they can show that Trump really isn’t as good of a business man as he claims, the rationale for electing him is greatly reduced. Unfortunately for those making the claims, they’ve only displayed their ignorance.

There have been many instances of this argument over the last few months, but I’d like to focus on two recent ones. First, from Gawker:

So to commemorate our country’s imminent President Trump-wrought downfall, we’ve compiled every major, non-real estate-related Trump business disaster out there (we think). Because while we aim for completeness, the man has failed—a lot. If you know of anything we missed, please do let us know down below. And Donald, good luck with that wall.

 

They then go on to channel Mitt Romney and name 15 initiatives that Trump tried which didn’t work out – Trump Steaks, GoTrump.com, Trump Airlines, Trump Vodka, Trump Mortgage, Trump: The Game, Trump Magazine, Trump University, Trump Ice, New Jersey Generals, Tour de Trump, Trump On The Ocean, The Trump Network, Trumped!, Trump New Media.

Sounds like a lot of failure, until you understand that there are, at least currently, 515 separate entities which Donald Trump, through his Trump Organization, either owns or is a major investor in. Many of those may end up in the scrap heap as well. There are probably many more businesses Trump has owned in the past which failed, or he took a loss on, as well as many others he sold for a profit.

The bottom line is that coming up with a list of 15-20 business failures does nothing but show that Trump has tried a lot of things. People who declare Trump a business failure on the back of that simply don’t understand business in general. Business is about anticipating the demand of the marketplace and attempting to supply that demand.

You might be right, or you might be wrong, but you won’t know for sure unless you attempt to meet that demand. If you’re wrong, you cut your losses and move on. Between 70% and 90% of new business ventures fail, depending on who you talk to. There is nothing wrong with this unless you fail to learn the specific lessons from each experience.

Furthermore, the math is firmly in Trump’s favor. 15 failures against 500+ profitable companies (perhaps), works out to a success rate of about 97%. That seems pretty strong to me. Business is a lot like baseball, in that a success rate of 3 out of 10 in baseball makes you a Hall of Fame player. In business you only have to succeed a handful of times to be a success, as long as those successes are larger than your failures. Indeed, Thomas Edison failed 10,000 times before getting the light bulb right once, and his name is forever etched in history.

The truth is that you only have to be a success one time to be a success in business, let alone several hundred times like Trump has. That line of argument is totally bankrupt.

****

So is this argument, most recently brought about by Senator Elizabeth Warren in a recent Twitter tirade. Here it is:

Biz2

I haven’t actually looked at the math, but I’ll take this argument at face value. Even if it is true, it falls apart very quickly on two levels. The first is that it requires Trump to have bought the market at the exact low point in 1974, and held on for 40 plus years without drawing one cent for food, clothes, lodging, and whatever extravagant lifestyle he might have wanted. On top of that, he would have had to sell out at exactly the right time at the 2015 high. Completely unrealistic.

The other way in which this argument fails is the simple fact that Trump went out and built things with his inheritance. The skyscrapers, hotels, golf courses and so forth created tens of thousands of jobs, and facilitated all sorts of economic activity that would not have existed if Trump had put that money in an index fund instead.

In fact, if every single business person in 1974 had put all of their money in an index fund, instead of putting it towards whatever tangible businesses that money was put towards, all that would have happened is that the stock market would have exploded higher and then crashed. The reason being, the very business activity which stock prices and index funds rest on would never have happened.

In other words, the only reason those index funds performed as well as they did from 1974 to the present is precisely because of people like Trump who built things and facilitated the economic growth those index funds are a derivative of.

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It’s incredibly ironic for a woman like Senator Warren to be trying to undermine Trump in this manner given her entire claim to fame has been her belief that Wall Street is the cause of all that ails us, from cancer to war, famine and pestilence. You would think that someone who thinks Wall Street collects money without doing anything to benefit society would not ridicule someone who actually did benefit society. Not only that, Warren ridiculed Trump for not just parking money in a derivative instrument and sitting there collecting the profits.

Such is politics, where blatant contradictions are the norm. Mitt Romney is also guilty of this, as he surely knows better. But he made a disingenuous point for political purposes. Despite Gawker’s attempt to drop the mic on Trump’s business acumen, he is a unquestionable business success. You simply don’t go from a few million to a few billion in net worth otherwise.

A Few Words On The Belgium Attacks

There is something going on…Go to Brussels. Go to Paris. Go to different places. There is something going on and it’s not good, where they want Shariah law, where they want this, where they want things that — you know, there has to be some assimilation. There is no assimilation. There is something bad going on.

You go to Brussels — I was in Brussels a long time ago, 20 years ago, so beautiful, everything is so beautiful — it’s like living in a hellhole right now

  • Donald J. Trump (26 Jan 2016)

 

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. What happened in Brussels was a direct consequence of the weak, appeasing doctrine that is multiculturalism, and its parent doctrine cultural Marxism. I’ve written about this doctrine multiple times on this blog, and at its core is a view that the West is full of unnecessary repression which must be removed so man can be truly free.

In the context of culture, Western civilization was erected on things like the rule of law, individual rights and personal freedoms. Whatever it is about Muslim culture, it doesn’t mesh very well with Western values. You can come up with whatever reasoning you like as to why, but the basic truth is that it is not compatible with Western ways.

This is not in any way racist or ‘Islamophobic.’  I have no issues with a multi-ethnic society. That is, a multi-ethnic society that retains the same Western values, specific to the nation involved. A multi-ethnic nation which speaks the same language, follows the same customs, respects the same traditions upon which that country was founded and made into an attractive place to live. This is all fine.

What is not fine is the importation of various world cultures into one nation and expecting the foreign cultures to have a say in the daily life of the host country. That is an invasion, an erosion of what made that country attractive in the first place.

****

The cultural Marxist appeal to tolerance seeks to promote the views of the ‘oppressed’ at the expense of the ‘oppressors.’ In this context, the (nominally) Christian oppressors in the West must be held down in order to appease the oppressed Muslims. This is how you get nonsense like the following:

jt2cls

To be sure, the #stopislam trend on Twitter is not the most appropriate response in the world, but the idea that being offensive on the internet is worse than a terrorist attack in which over 30 are killed, hundreds more injured, infrastructure damaged and thousands of lives irreparably damaged is incredibly disturbing.

There were many tweets similar to the one posted above in response to the hashtag. In addition to that, there were countless voices who preemptively struck down the ‘right wing racist rhetoric’ that was sure to follow in the wake of the attacks.

To me that shows the level of indoctrination that is rampant in the West today. It has reached, dare I say, nearly the same levels that Nazi Germany reached, albeit not in the same way. The Nazis convinced their people that anyone who didn’t look like the ‘master race’ was basically subhuman and rife for Nazi control.

Cultural Marxism preaches something similar, except that anyone who does look like the master race, or is a member of the master gender, master sexual orientation or the master religion should not be tolerated. Cultural Marxism is on some level a reverse Nazism.

That’s the only way you can cultivate a mentality that places the ridicule of an ‘oppressed’ minority religion as a greater offense than the slaughter of nearly three dozen of your countrymen.

At some point, the average citizens will start to sour on the notion of multiculturalism, and the cultural Marxist viewpoint in general. The empty platitudes of Prime Ministers, candle light vigils, and lighting up of tourist attractions in the colors of affected countries will start to enrage people rather than sadden them.

The social media ‘activism’ which involves trendy hashtags and Facebook filters will also continue to ring hollow, given the same people participating in these ‘look-how-solemn-and-grave-I-am-for –remembering-the-dead-and-showing-solidarity’ exercises are the same people who declared that anyone who wanted to think twice about allowing hordes of Syrian refugees into the country no questions asked was a bigot.

The truth is that these ‘bigots’ were more interested in the preservation of their culture than submitting to politically correct concerns. That is the same choice the United States electorate will have in the fall. Piers Morgan wrote a strikingly accurate column today in the Daily Mail. Surprising, because I rarely agree with Piers Morgan. But I suggest you read the column in full. I’ll leave you with his closing comments:

Hate Donald Trump all you like, but at least he seems to recognise the magnitude of the threat and at least he has firm proposals for how to try to defeat it.

 

They may not win him the Politically Correct Pontificator of the Year award. But how many more scenes like this morning’s appalling images from Brussels are we going to tolerate before we try a non-PC option to beat these disgusting excuses for human beings?

 

At the end of our interview, I asked Donald Trump to send a message to the large majority of non-violent, decent Muslims who are as disgusted by these attacks as the rest of us.

 

‘I have great respect for Muslims,’ he said, ‘I have many friends that are Muslims. I’m just saying that there is something with a radicalized portion that is very, very bad and very dangerous. I would say this, to the Muslims, when they see trouble, they have to report it, they’re not reporting it, they’re absolutely not reporting it and that’s a big problem.’

 

Is he so wrong?

 

The Paradigm Shift

Elizabeth Warren is not a happy woman. The Massachusetts senator went on a Twitter tirade yesterday against Donald Trump, calling him a loser, a business failure, as well as putting forth the typical suite of tired claims that he’s a racist, sexist, and so forth.

Warren has made her name positioning herself as a staunch defender of the little guy against large interests, Wall Street in particular. Her comments are not so out of the ordinary in that sense. What is peculiar is the seemingly hysterical manner in which she made them. This was an 11 tweet stream of consciousness that seemed to be coming out of desperation. The desperation, in turn, stems from the fact that is that Donald Trump, and all that he represents, is clearly not going away, and even stands a good chance of becoming president. I’ll go through some of her tweets to understand what she, and by extension what has become of ‘polite society,’ are so fearful of in a Trump presidency.

American Values

Warren’s tirade was split into two parts. The first focused on Trump’s business and personal failings, decrying him as a loser. It then transitioned into why such a loser would be dangerous for the country. The above tweet is at the beginning of that phase of the rant, warning Americans Trump is prepared to tear down America’s values.

Her specific wording is telling. ‘An America that was built on values like decency, community, and concern for our neighbors,’ refers to America is at it stands now. However, that is not the original America. That America was built on values such as individualism, personal freedom and self-determination.

The replacement of the original America with the one of which Warren speaks was a gradual one, and it spanned across economic and cultural milieus. More specifically, the rise of the Cultural Marxist viewpoint has come to form the backbone of modern Western values.

I referenced Cultural Marxism extensively in my piece last week about the cultural importance of a potential Trump presidency. I briefly described the role of Cultural Marxism as it applies to the current culture of perpetual outrage and victimhood. I’ll now spend some time going into the academic history behind cultural Marxism.

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First, I must point out that leftists go to great lengths to try and pretend that the concept of Cultural Marxism doesn’t exist, and that those who use the term are merely right wing extremists who use the term as a dogwhistle to conceal their bigotry. This article from Jeremy Wilson of The Guardian is a good example of how far those lengths are. I mention it because in trying to discredit the concept, it also contains a quick and dirty summary of the origins of Cultural Marxism:

It begins in the 1910s and 1920s. When the socialist revolution failed to materialise beyond the Soviet Union, Marxist thinkers like Antonio Gramsci and Georg Lukacs tried to explain why. Their answer was that culture and religion blunted the proletariat’s desire to revolt, and the solution was that Marxists should carry out a “long march through the institutions” – universities and schools, government bureaucracies and the media – so that cultural values could be progressively changed from above.

 

Adapting this, later thinkers of the Frankfurt School decided that the key to destroying capitalism was to mix up Marx with a bit of Freud, since workers were not only economically oppressed, but made orderly by sexual repression and other social conventions. The problem was not only capitalism as an economic system, but the family, gender hierarchies, normal sexuality – in short, the whole suite of traditional western values.

 

The conspiracy theorists claim that these “cultural Marxists” began to use insidious forms of psychological manipulation to upend the west. Then, when Nazism forced the (mostly Jewish) members of the Frankfurt School to move to America, they had, the story goes, a chance to undermine the culture and values that had sustained the world’s most powerful capitalist nation.

 

The vogue for the ideas of theorists like Herbert Marcuse and Theodor Adorno in the 1960s counterculture culminated with their acolytes’ occupation of the commanding heights of the most important cultural institutions, from universities to Hollywood studios. There, the conspiracy says, they promoted and even enforced ideas which were intended to destroy traditional Christian values and overthrow free enterprise: feminism, multiculturalism, gay rights and atheism. And this, apparently, is where political correctness came from. I promise you: this is what they really think.

The biggest point of contention Wilson seems to have is that the Frankfurt School thinkers were actively trying to destroy Western Civilization. That may be conspiracy, or it may be factual, but what isn’t up for debate are the ideas which were put forth.

One of the major ideas of Marcuse’s seminal work, Eros and Civilization, was that people in modern civilization suffered from what he called ‘surplus repression,’ a phenomenon which was at odds with Eros, the life force:

The distinction between rational and irrational authority, between repression and surplus-repression, can be made and verified by the individuals themselves. That they cannot make this distinction now does not mean that they cannot learn to make it once they are given the opportunity to do so.

According to Marcuse, a certain level of basic repression was necessary in order to achieve the ends of basic survival in a world of scarcity. This is obviously true on many levels, as progress in general in large part requires delayed gratification.

Marcuse argues that once this basic level of survival is achieved, continuing on in the ways of repression is detrimental, and against the nature of man. It is very much an argument against phenomena like the consumerist culture of the West. He writes:

And the fact that the destruction of life (human and animal) has progressed with the progress of civilization, that cruelty and hatred and the scientific extermination of men have increased in relation to the real possibility of the elimination of oppression — this feature of late industrial civilization would have instinctual roots which perpetuate destructiveness beyond all rationality.

Here he bemoans the fact that while humans have advanced, the advancement has not brought with it the liberation from repression. Instead, humans have been become even more prone to the ‘repression’ that makes people beholden to a work-spend-consume cycle of living.

Marcuse advocates a releasing of the Eros beyond the repressive states of the industrialized world as it stands. He outlines a course for that as follows:

The notion of a non-repressive instinctual order must first be tested on the most “disorderly “of all instincts – namely, sexuality. Non-repressive order is possible only if the sex instincts can, by virtue of their own dynamic and under changed existential and societal conditions, generate lasting erotic relations among mature individuals. We have to ask whether the sex instincts, after the elimination of all surplus-repression, can develop a “libidinal rationality” which is not only compatible with but even promotes progress toward higher forms of civilized freedom…

 

…This change in the value and scope of libidinal relations would lead to a disintegration of the institutions in which the private interpersonal relations have been organized, particularly the monogamic and patriarchal family.

 

These prospects seem to confirm the expectation that instinctual liberation can lead only to a society of sex maniacs – that is, to no society. However, the process just outlined involves not simply a release but a transformation of the libido: from sexuality constrained under genital supremacy to erotization of the entire personality.

 

It is a spread rather than explosion of libido – a spread over private and societal relations which bridges the gap maintained between them by a repressive reality principle. This transformation of the libido would be the result of a societal transformation that released the free play of individual needs and faculties.

The takeaway here is that Marcuse wanted a society governed by the idea that if it felt good, it was good. He wanted the ‘pleasure principle’ to replace the ‘performance principle.’ Getting there required the dismantling of the old constructs. Monogamy and patriarchal families are specifically mentioned in this excerpt, but it also applies to concepts such as feminism, homosexuality, which Marcuse also deals with directly, and multiculturalism.

Furthermore, it is important to note that Marcuse, out of all of the Frankfurt school thinkers, was the one to gain the most currency in society as a whole, as the counterculture movements of the 1960s in both Europe and America were buttressed by his thinking on an intellectual level. Given that these same baby-boomers, now middle aged, are the ones who populate the cultural institutions from college administration to Hollywood, imposing their views on them, it is difficult to take Wilson’s claims that Cultural Marxism is a ‘conspiracy theory’ very seriously.

 ****

To further push these ideals onto society as a whole first required tolerance of them. Marcuse writes of tolerance in a 1965 essay called Repressive Tolerance, in which he outlines his view that tolerance and free speech are wholly dependent on dominant points of view, and as such true tolerance would require the repression of the dominant, ‘oppressive’ view. The very first paragraph is instructive enough:

This essay examines the idea of tolerance in our advanced industrial society. The conclusion reached is that the realization of the objective of tolerance would call for intolerance toward prevailing policies, attitudes, opinions, and the extension of tolerance to policies, attitudes, and opinions which are outlawed or suppressed.

 

In other words, today tolerance appears again as what it was in its origins, at the beginning of the modem period — a partisan goal, a subversive liberating notion and practice. Conversely, what is proclaimed and practiced as tolerance today, is in many of its most effective manifestations serving the cause of oppression.

Of course, according to Marcuse, the right is responsible for the oppression, and thus “liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right, and toleration of movements from the Left.”

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The moves we have made towards this type of tolerance in 21st century have been pretty clear. Being tolerant today means elevating the non-male, non-white, non-heterosexual, non-Christian, and non-affluent above the male, white, heterosexual, Christian and affluent at all costs, regardless of merit. It is the Marcusian worship of the Eros at play, the feel-good, or pleasure principle taking precedent over the performance principle. This is what is currently considered to be ‘decent,’ and forms the basis of political correctness.

Such values of ‘tolerance’ are what Senator Warren fears will go by the wayside in a Trump presidency. She intensifies the scorn here:

Racism

To the extent terms such as racism, sexism, Islamophobia and xenophobia have any weight, it is because they represent the specter of oppression that cultural Marxists rail against. The individual who is guilty of the charge is therefore an oppressor and guilty of a grave crime, because that individual ultimately stands in the way of freedom through the liberation of Eros, to put a Marcusian bent to the analysis.

These words are tossed out like candy by Leftists in order to instantly shut down the opposition, which, according to Marcuse, they have the right to do given that their position is one of liberation. The Right leaning person who is invariably guilty of the ‘-ism’ charge is oppressive. Authoritarian tactics are thus valid on such a barbarian. Speaking of authoritarians:

Authoritarian

Given support of Leftist ideals is not only fine, but the Marcusian definition of ‘tolerance’, the only reason Trump’s authoritarianism is to be feared is because it originates from the Right.

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The issue that those such as Warren are ultimately going to have to make peace with is that the Frankfurt School ideals are bankrupt and unsustainable with respect to societal and civilizational progress. Consider Marcuse’s explicit call for monogamous and patriarchal family units to be dismantled as a precursor to his ideal world.

The patriarchal family unit had been a target for the Frankfurt school for some time, right from its origins around the time of World War I. Later on, in 1950, Adorno increased the level of contempt by suggesting that those who are raised in such conditions are likely to become racists and fascists.

This, as mentioned before, is unacceptable in that racists and fascists prevent progress and foster oppression. In this manner, the Frankfurt School was essentially declaring patriarchal families as breeding grounds for the personality disorder of authoritarianism and the mental disease of racism.

Given that the patriarchal family is the basis of civilization, the move to dismantle it ultimately results in the erosion of civilization. Once eroded, the Eros that Marcuse so wanted to liberate would have to return to its box so that society can be rebuilt. That logical progression is what ultimately dooms cultural Marxists and why their opponents actually possess the winning hand.

In the 50 or 60 years since Marcuse’s work began to permeate the culture, society has become more and more progressive. It has also begun to crack in ways it never has before. Just in the realm of feminism, the ‘liberation’ of women and their encouragement en masse to enter the workforce has resulted in nothing but sky high divorce rates, a reduced birth rate to the point that many Western nations are not reproducing at an above replacement rate level, and higher rates of birth defects in the babies that are born because women are having children later in life. Consider the following results of a study of the happiness levels of white collar workers in America:

Are you a 40-something year old single professional woman making less than six figures a year? If you are, you must be incredibly unhappy. This according to a recent survey which revealed the profiles of unhappy workers.

 

Those who were the unhappiest were single females, aged 42, in “professional” jobs (think doctor or lawyer), making less than $100k a year. What about the “happiest” person, according to the survey?

 

Well, that lucky worker is a 39-year-old male who’s married with a wife who works part time. He also has a young child at home and works in a senior management position, raking in around $150k-200k a year.

The woman described is pretty much the composite of what feminists would have you believe is the ideal woman. Yet she is the unhappiest. This fact is buttressed by the fact that there are record amounts of women currently taking antidepressant medicine.

The truth is that the feminist prescription for improving society is not in league with reality. Real women, when subjected to the ‘freedom’ from patriarchal ‘oppression’ seemingly don’t take very well to it. That hasn’t stopped progressives from continuing to push it, but it is an important point to make.

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The ‘oppressive’ views of those like Trump, or indeed myself, are in line with reality. The differences between men and women are not socially constructed, but biologically constructed, and therefore are not open to adjustment.

Statements such as that are not controversial when viewed objectively, but in Marcusian terms, they are ‘repressive.’ However, if that repression results in societal advancement and harmony, there is nothing wrong with it. Liberation for liberation’s sake is pointless.

On a visceral level, Donald Trump represents something completely terrifying to the cultural Marxist view: an unapologetically confident man. He is the perfect embodiment of the aggression which Marcuse is critical of as it pertains to his ‘performance principle.’ Should Trump become president, he would be the most powerful individual in the world.

The mere presence of such a man totally antithetical to the cultural Marxist view in such a position could be enough to shift the tectonic plates of culture. The aggressively confident man represents oppression to the cultural Marxist, and thus Trump would stand in opposition to everything they have worked for over the last few generations.

The fear is that a Trump presidency might inspire others to follow in his footsteps, to strive to be better, and to accept nothing less. If in a generation this sort of man is the norm, as opposed to the limp wristed man who is the norm now, the liberation of society from cultural Marxist clutches will be likely, even certain.

 

 

 

 

The Cultural Implications of a Donald Trump Presidency

“The thing worse than rebellion is the thing that causes rebellion.”

“Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has, and it never will”

  • Frederick Douglass

Nearly a year and a half ago, I wrote an article describing Gamer Gate and its potential place as a turning point in the culture wars. The major premise was that in attempting to alienate and demean gamers as misogynist losers, the social justice brigade overplayed its hand. It incited a violent, effective backlash, which kept the incessant march of Cultural Marxism at bay, for the time being.

As positive as the Gamer Gate uprising was, at the end of the day it was taking place in a peripheral arena. Video games are for most people nothing more than entertainment, and as such the gaming medium was always unlikely to be the springboard for the sweeping cultural changes espoused on sites such as this. To effect real change, a Gamer Gate – like force needed to emerge in the wider sphere. The waves Donald Trump is currently making in politics may be such a force, with his rise representing a major marker in the culture war.

‘Social Progress’ Doesn’t Feel So Good

Consider the following quote from President Obama in an interview he did with NPR at the end of last year:

I do think that the country is inexorably changing, I believe in all kinds of positive ways. I think we are — when I talk to my daughters and their friends, I think they are more tolerant, more welcoming of people who are different than them, more sophisticated about different cultures and what’s happening around the world.

 

But I do think that when you combine that demographic change with all the economic stresses that people have been going through because of the financial crisis, because of technology, because of globalization, the fact that wages and incomes have been flatlining for some time, and that particularly blue-collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy, where they are no longer getting the same bargain that they got when they were going to a factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck, you combine those things and it means that there is going to be potential anger, frustration, fear. Some of it justified but just misdirected. I think somebody like Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that. That’s what he’s exploiting during the course of his campaign.

 

Obama is correct that the country is changing, and has been changing for quite some time. Over the last 50 years, the twin forces of cultural and economic Marxism have incrementally applied in concert.

Economically, the US economy went from a goods producing economy supported by savings and investment to a smartphone app producing economy supported by exponentially increasing debt, conspicuous consumption, and administrative, legal and compliance work. The following graph is instructive.

creditvsgdp

 

It plots GDP against the total credit market instruments outstanding in the economy across all sectors. In the 1950s through the early 1970s, there was a very close 1:1 correlation between the two figures. From the 1970s on however, the credit line exploded exponentially, while GDP rose more or less linearly.

The bottom line is that the wealth the US economy currently experiences is engineered via debt based consumer spending. The debt must continue to rise in exponential fashion to achieve linear growth. You don’t have to be a math genius to understand that if exponential increases in debt are required to achieve the same yearly steady linear rate in growth, there will be a problem at some point given that debt cannot increase to an infinite level.

To further hammer this home, note that the last recession, the Great Recession, which was the worst since the Great Depression, came about thanks to credit shifting slightly off the exponential path. In other words in the lead up to the 2007-8 crisis, credit kept rising, but not as fast as it did in years prior. One only has to imagine what would happen if the very real possibility of credit significantly declining were to happen.

crumbling factories

Crumbling factories: a sight all too common in the ‘new economy’

 

This ‘new economy’ was ultimately constructed by Keynesian influenced academics who dominated the intellectual landscape of postwar Western nations. Vowing to eliminate the business cycle so that economies would never have to experience atrocities such as the Great Depression, thinkers such as Paul Samuelson, John Kenneth Galbraith and Hyman Minsky sought to do away with concepts such as the gold standard, instead replacing those economic anchors with the supposed calculated brilliance of ivory tower dwellers.

Ultimately, the new economy brought with it the death of the American Dream. For most, merely going to college now requires going tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Assuming one gets a good paying job, and finds a girl worth marrying, it is likely that she too is inundated with student loans which now become an additional liability.

Buying a house and a car requires much more debt relative to incomes than they did 50 years ago. Keep in mind that modern incomes are supplemented by a second income earner, whereas 50 years ago it was most likely one breadwinner. On top of this, the dual breadwinner of today is likely maxed out on multiple credit cards, to achieve the same as the single breadwinner did 50 years ago debt free.

In short, the American Dream lifestyle was far more attainable in years past, and didn’t require one to sell himself deeper into debt slavery at every turn.

 

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Culturally, the US has succumbed to the Marxist ideals of equality, diversity, and the promotion of ‘oppressed’ classes above all else. Note that in the Obama quote above, he immediately cites the ‘tolerance’ and worldly sophistication of his daughters and their friends as evidence that the United States has changed for the better. The cultural subversion is most pronounced in the policing of language, beliefs and attitudes through political correctness.

In order to do this, groups of people are split along the line of ‘oppressor vs the oppressed,’ in various settings. These settings include race, gender, sexual orientation, class and religion. Once the groups are assorted along the oppressor-oppressed axis, the only real rules are that the oppressed class must always be put in a positive light, and that all outcomes should be engineered to be at minimum evenly balanced between the oppressors and oppressed, no matter what.

The end result of this is that the truth is of little concern. If it happens to be in line with the narrative, fine. If it is not in line, the truth must be ignored and suppressed.

One of the most egregious examples of this in modern discourse is the myth that one in five women will be sexually assaulted during their time in college. This stat has been cited countlessly without challenge by politicians (including Obama) and other public figures. It has been the basis for college campuses across the country turning themselves into one stop shop bodies of criminal justice, enacting new legislation, and then acting as judge, jury and executioner when cases arise. The statistic has been validated, at least in terms of popular culture, via Lady Gaga’s Academy Awards performance of a song for The Hunting Ground a documentary dedicated to the topic of campus sexual assault.

The truth is that the statistic stems from this 2007 study. The fact that it was only conducted at two universities should be enough to render it questionable. However, the major flaw is the fact that the threshold for ‘sexual assault’ included things like unwanted attempts at kissing, and rubbing in a sexual manner, even while clothed. In other words, if a man ever misread how a date was going and tried to kiss a girl, or an undesired man tried to grind on a girl at a fraternity party, the girl was sexually assaulted.

To the cultural Marxist, the mutation of an unwanted kiss to sexual assault is proper because it evens the playing field between the naturally oppressive males and the oppressed females. The truth doesn’t matter. It thus opens the possibility for innocent males to have their lives ruined at the drop of a hat.

The Columbia attress girl: the poster child for sexual assault hysteria on campus

The Columbia mattress girl: the poster child for sexual assault hysteria on campus

The Duke Lacrosse case from 2006 is perhaps an even more instructive example. It has made some news again 10 years later thanks to an ESPN documentary revisiting the case which aired over the weekend.

To briefly summarize the case, several members of the Duke Lacrosse team had a get-together and ordered strippers as entertainment. The strippers came and went with little incident, yet one of them accused three of the players of rape.

This accusation ignited a national firestorm. The stripper was black, the players were all white. She was a woman, they were men. She was poor; they were students at an elite university. The battle lines of race, gender and class all converged in one story, and when viewed through the cultural Marxist prism, each individual aspect seemingly confirmed the narrative of oppression.

As a result of this, there was a torrent of outrage and protests, which are well documented in the documentary. The players were universally convicted by the public, rendering the legal proceedings to be irrelevant in many eyes. The cultural Marxist influenced grievance industry was out in full force.

duke players

The truth was that the stripper completely fabricated the story, and ultimately the players were exonerated. Despite being so utterly wrong in both the proclamation of institutional oppression and in presuming guilt without due process, some elements of the grievance industry are still defiant. Consider this quote from a Slate review of the documentary:

Instead, the case should be a reminder of the danger of hanging all hopes for race, gender, and class restitution on a perfect story that might not hold up. “Every person with every agenda wanted it to be true,” says the mother of indicted player Reade Seligmann in the film. Thanks to the bungled misdeeds of a media-happy district attorney with an eye on his own reelection campaign, they got no catharsis—they got scammed.

Note that the most important thing according to the review is ‘race, gender, and class restitution.’ This is the subjective prism through which everything is viewed according to the cultural Marxist. Truth is a subordinate. The reviewer blames the district attorney and to a lesser extent the stripper, not for the egregious violation of the truth and for ruining the lives of others, but for robbing the public of a ‘perfect story.’

Her use of the word ‘scammed’ is interesting – in that the grievance industry was looking to ‘buy’ a great story about injustice simply so it could be paraded and used to impart control to meet their ends. It is almost as though she wishes that the story was true – that there was a brutal rape of a black stripper by three well off white men – just so that the narrative would be confirmed. The harrowing experience would merely be collateral damage in what would have been a great leap forward for the narrative as a whole. Individuals and the truth are of little concern.

I cite these examples to illustrate the entrenchment of cultural Marxism in modern society. Racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia and other violations are now considered extremely grave, while simultaneously extremely prevalent even in the most mundane situations. If you happen to be a man who disagrees with a woman for any reason, for example, you may be charged as a sexist.

This corrosive paradigm exists to control people. If one can lose employment and thus the means to survive because of a mean post on Facebook, the message is clearly that one must fall in line with the prevailing narrative or else. The replacement of objective truths with subjective whims typical of cultural Marxist thought has brought with it a much more unstable society.

Marginalizing Traditional America

In Democracy In America, Alexis de Tocqueville wrote the following describing the uniqueness of the American in the world:

Their strictly Puritanical origin, their exclusively commercial habits, even the country they inhabit, which seems to divert their minds from the pursuit of science, literature, and the arts, the proximity of Europe, which allows them to neglect these pursuits without relapsing into barbarism, a thousand special causes, of which I have only been able to point out the most important, have singularly concurred to fix the mind of the American upon purely practical objects. His passions, his wants, his education, and everything about him seem to unite in drawing the native of the United States earthward; his religion alone bids him turn, from time to time, a transient and distracted glance to heaven.

This judgment is negative in nature, essentially describing Americans as overly pragmatic and commercial above all else but religion. It’s a bit harsh from Tocqueville, given that in the early 19th century when he wrote this, the US was still a fledgling country trying to establish itself. The country didn’t have time for establishing a robust art and literature scene when it had to build itself from the ground up.

America built itself up, and then some through prioritizing freedom, competition and hard work, essentially being as ruthless and pragmatic as possible in pursuit of commercial ends. Christian morals generally set the boundaries. The sanctity of property rights and patriarchal family structures established a strong foundation for civilization, ensuring that the gains made could be passed on to the next generation.

Economic and cultural Marxism erodes these values at every turn. ‘Socialism’ Tocqueville wrote, ‘seeks equality in restraint and servitude.’ The push to normalize homosexuality, broken families and androgyny leads one to believe that the elites in academia, big business and government hate traditional American values.

So when Donald Trump came along, with his simple message of ‘Make America Great Again,’ those who felt marginalized by the ‘new economy’ and political correctness suddenly had a voice. Conversely, those who wish to see traditional American values destroyed feel a pang of worry upon hearing the Trump slogan, as it invokes an age of greatly reduced Cultural Marxist influence.

It is telling that in describing the average Trump supporter, the media goes to great lengths to mention how working-class, white, rural, male, lower income, uneducated and angry he is. President Obama recently disparaged Trump’s chances for the presidency, saying that it “is a serious job. It’s not hosting a talk show, or a reality show.” Obama went on to say that he believed that the public would be “sensible” enough not to elect Trump.

How the media envisions the average Trump voter

How the media envisions the average Trump voter

The way Trump voters are described is meant to cast them, and by extension anti-Cultural Marxist views in an unflattering light. The cosmopolitan, ‘educated’ big city inhabitant with an extensive palette of worldly views, opinions and sexual orientations is generally put forth as the voice of reason.

Consider the National Review’s Kevin Williamson, who continued that publications’ regularly scheduled Trump bashing over the weekend by writing an article excoriating the white middle class voters who make up a large portion of his support.

He does so by touching upon their disdain for ‘the Cathedral,’ a term Williamson notes as meaning ‘the conventional wisdom among people who live in places such as Washington DC, and New York City and work in fields such as politics and media.’ He continues by bringing up Garbutt, a small town in upstate NY which once manufactured gypsum, and deteriorated when that trade became obsolete.

Williamson uses that history as a template for what happened to industrial America on the whole. He implies that the once great manufacturing base America had was just a thing of the past, and those out of work should just get with the times. “Yes, young men of Garbutt,” he writes, “get off your asses and go find a job: You’re a four-hour bus ride away from the gas fields of Pennsylvania.”

The real venom is saved for the end of the piece:

It is immoral because it perpetuates a lie: that the white working class that finds itself attracted to Trump has been victimized by outside forces. It hasn’t. The white middle class may like the idea of Trump as a giant pulsing humanoid middle finger held up in the face of the Cathedral, they may sing hymns to Trump the destroyer and whisper darkly about “globalists” and — odious, stupid term — “the Establishment,” but nobody did this to them. They failed themselves.

 

If you spend time in hardscrabble, white upstate New York, or eastern Kentucky, or my own native West Texas, and you take an honest look at the welfare dependency, the drug and alcohol addiction, the family anarchy — which is to say, the whelping of human children with all the respect and wisdom of a stray dog — you will come to an awful realization. It wasn’t Beijing. It wasn’t even Washington, as bad as Washington can be. It wasn’t immigrants from Mexico, excessive and problematic as our current immigration levels are. It wasn’t any of that.

 

Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain’t what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.

 

The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns and your conspiracy theories about the wily Orientals stealing our jobs. Forget your goddamned gypsum, and, if he has a problem with that, forget Ed Burke, too. The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin. What they need isn’t analgesics, literal or political. They need real opportunity, which means that they need real change, which means that they need U-Haul.

 

If you want to live, get out of Garbutt.

 

People such as Williamson are the first to laud the ‘post-industrial’ economy, citing the explosion of tech and service sector jobs as evidence that the economy is in great shape. These jobs are supposedly more than enough to make up for the blue collar work which has been shipped overseas.

We don't need these guys anymore because we're a service economy now

We don’t need these guys anymore because we’re a service economy now

 

He writes as though because it is possible to make millions creating an inane smartphone app, those for whom the best mode of employment is still in a steel factory are somehow failures. He doesn’t recognize the fact that via the onerous regulation of the Federal government, large corporations were incentivized to offshore.

He doesn’t recognize that due to the disastrous monetary policy of the Federal Reserve over the last 50 years, the average worker has seen wages command fewer and fewer goods, increasing the reliance on debt. He doesn’t realize that the resultant erosion of opportunity and the substitution of the government for men in the role of provider has led to the family destruction, substance abuse and general malaise that plagues many of these communities.

And for that, in his view, those communities deserve to die.

Standing Against the Tide

Consider that from 1980 to 2013, a member of either the Clinton or Bush family has been in the White House or among the President’s Cabinet. To the extent that the United States has deteriorated over that time, the establishment from both parties has directly overseen it. The bottom line is that modern day Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin. Their continued underwhelming performance in service of the American people is leading many to repudiate the coin entirely.

Yet it is that establishment in politics, as well as the media, which has opposed Trump almost universally. Although he has addressed many of the realities facing Americans, Trump has been shouted down as racist, misogynistic, and Islamophobic. He has also been ridiculed as an unhinged, clownish bully.

In the past week alone, the Washington Post, a singular news entity, has published 32 articles comparing Trump to Adolf Hitler. The Huffington Post at first refused to acknowledge Trump’s campaign by relegating it to ‘Entertainment’ news. After reclassifying Trump coverage as ‘Politics,’ they decided to attach a disclaimer to every Trump article reminding readers what a bigot he is. The 2016 election has become less Republicans vs Democrats and more Establishment vs Outsiders, and even more specifically Everyone vs Trump.

trump_wall_ben_garrison

This was illustrated during a Republican Debate ahead of the South Carolina Primary. Trump voiced his view that not only was the Iraq war a colossal mistake, but the efforts of George W. Bush did not keep us safe as is the standard Republican view, as evidenced by 9/11.

Despite being factually correct, Trump, who is the front runner in the GOP primary, was soundly booed. Establishment candidates such as Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and John Kasich were soundly cheered whenever they made a point. In the following days, liberal media pundits did the unthinkable, and actually went to bat for George W. Bush. This was a man who had been the whipping boy for the media for the entirety of his two term presidency, yet their natural affinity for Trump’s stance was outweighed by the hatred for Trump himself.

The recent furor over violent confrontations at Trump rallies stands as another example. These incidents have come about as a result of protestors entering Trump rallies with the purpose to disrupt the rally by attempting to shout and scream over Trump while he spoke. These disruptions have led to heated exchanges between the disruptors and Trump supporters. The media, the remaining Democrat and Republican candidates and anyone else who seems to have an opinion has blamed Trump for inciting the violence, stating that protestors who were merely exercising their first amendment rights and didn’t warrant any of the heated backlash they received.

The reality is that one’s first amendment right does now allow one to infringe upon the right of someone else. Protestors have the right to peacefully assemble and express themselves how they like, but in doing so within a Trump rally, trying to shout him down, they are infringing on Trump’s right to express himself.

The first amendment does not grant the right to take Trump’s podium from him, as said by the protestor who tried to physically attack Trump on stage at a rally in Dayton, OH. The protestor said this in a televised CNN interview, in a development that drives home the disdain the establishment has for Trump.  This was a man who attempted to attack a US presidential candidate on stage, which required Secret Service intervention. Instead of scorn, the media rewarded him with 15 minutes of fame with a high profile interview, no doubt emboldening other attention seekers to try the same. Is this not inciting violence?

For a group of people who have spent countless hours obsessing over the distressing ‘tone’ of Trump’s rhetoric, little is said of the tone set by constantly portraying a man as the second coming of Hitler and then glossing over someone attempting to attack him, as though it was justified given Trump’s Hitlerness.cnntrump

In the post-mortem of the 2012 election, pundits across the board came to the conclusion that the Republican party was in serious trouble, owing to the fact that it purportedly had no appeal to anyone outside of wealthier whites, white men in particular. Unless the party broadened the tent as it were, the Democrats would be destined to dominate elections for decades to come.

You would think then, that a Republican candidate who was winning primaries with the most support across all demographics – while bringing record voter turnout for Republicans – would be celebrated vigorously as GOP leaders danced in the streets. This is a candidate whose supporters include an ex KKK Grand Wizard and the brother of a slain Civil Rights activist alike. Talk about bridging a divide.

However, that candidate is Donald Trump, and thus his support is downplayed. “All he has is a lot of votes,” bemoan the establishment higher ups, livid that they cannot use him to put forth their version of economic and cultural Marxism.

 

This belies the desperation of the establishment. Their consistent use of terms such as ‘racist,’ ‘misogynist’ ‘KKK’ and ‘Hitler’ in close proximity to the name ‘Trump’ is an attempt to connect the two in the mind of the voter. They are fearful of what Trump represents. Given the hatred the elites seem to have for America, it is safe to say their opposition of Trump shows that he loves America. Or at the very least, Trump promotes ideas that will strengthen America.

 

Lightning Rod

 
That Trump is rock-like in his convictions and unapologetic, despite attacks from all angles is important, with respect to the battle with Cultural Marxists. Trump isn’t the first high profile figure to stand in opposition to Cultural Marxism, but in running for the presidency, he is doing it on the largest possible stage, reaching the widest possible audience.

Few events are as big as a Trump rally these days

Few events are as big as a Trump rally these days

Furthermore, Trump is perhaps the only person in America who is up to the task of effectively pegging back the cultural Marxists on such a scale. The combination of his wealth, business expertise, virtually 100% name recognition, multi decade exposure to the media and charisma has enabled Trump to dominate discussion. Once in that position, he has used it to put forth an unambiguously anti-Marxist, anti-establishment message, to the horror of the elites.

The horror the mainstream media feels over Trump is in direct conflict with their wallets. The truth is that Trump’s appeal translates to ratings, which translates to revenues, and such the mainstream media must talk about Trump as much as possible to maximize their profits. In doing so, they are making his message more visible, and given how the public is taking to it, they are pushing Trump toward the nomination.

Establishment favorites such as Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton were presented to the public as the acceptable choices. These candidates are all from the Clinton/Bush political family tree, meaning that should any one of them be elected, America would get more of the same, more of the cultural and economic Marxist ideals such as globalism, feminism, and multiculturalism. Jim Webb, former Democratic candidate bluntly said as much in a recent interview. This should highlight that Trump, who stands in opposition to all of them, is the choice for those wishing to see a stronger America.

The personal contrast between Trump and Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, is especially clear. The two candidates are the embodiment of the choice America has. Donald Trump is a patriarch, the masculine head of a strong family. His wife is feminine, and remains in the background. He has five children, who despite growing up absurdly wealthy, did not succumb to the same pitfalls many rich kids do, and are seemingly contributors to boot. They have given Trump eight grandchildren to whom the wealth he’s amassed are to be bequeathed at some stage. Trump is a man of conviction; he sticks to his guns and is bold and defiant when challenged.

Clinton, while also masculine, is a pant suit wearing career girl lawyer with one child. She is running on a hyperfeminist platform, to the point where feminist icons are being trotted out to warn women that is eternal damnation awaits for not voting for a woman.

Everything about Trump’s lifestyle, from his patriarchal headship to his above replacement rate family formation, is frowned upon in Current Year America. While the ‘strength and independence’ of Hillary Clinton is praised to the heavens.

trumpfam

Turning the Ship Around

I have no illusions about Trump being the perfect candidate, as there is no such thing. The best one can hope for is the right candidate for the time. At this time in American history, a change away from default Cultural Marxist views is what is needed. In order to achieve that change would require a transcendent candidate to snap people out of thinking, and voting in the default way.

Trump, with his strong frame and appeal to a strong national identity, touches an emotive chord which has reached a large number of people. There are many voters who have either never voted, or previously voted Democrat who are lining up to vote for Trump.

Even those who think Trump is too much of a blowhard must concede that he is probably what is necessary to turn things around, at least initially. It’s not as though Barack Obama, for example, won in 2008 because the electorate appreciated the intricacies of his cap and trade legislation.He won because he uttered ‘hope and change!’ every other phrase, and that resonated with people in that time.

The US is like an aircraft carrier which has been propelled in the wrong direction by 50 years of cultural and economic Marxism. The result is that we’re so far away from the ideals which America was founded on that it may take a generation to get back on track. It may be the case that the maximum Trump can achieve in two terms as president is merely priming the country for a return to prominence.

However, the ship must first stop, traverse the massive turning radius, and then slowly lurch in the right direction again. It won’t happen overnight. Once Trump Makes America Great Again, more ‘grounded’ types will finally have a real platform to work from. As Scott Adams has been writing about in his serious of posts about Trump’s rise, logic and reason alone isn’t going to be enough to persuade the masses.

Change takes time

Change takes time

This explains the failure of candidates such as Ron and Rand Paul, and perhaps the likes of Pat Buchanan and Ross Perot before them. None of them had the ‘it’ factor Trump has, thus despite perhaps having the most effective ideas, they were relatively easy for the prevailing establishment and the public at large to brush aside.

This also makes sense in the context of crisis leadership. The main idea in Nassir Ghaemi’s 2012 book, A First Rate Madness is that in times of complexity and turmoil, the best leaders are often the ones who are unconventional and have the ability to think outside the box. During times of tranquility, more even-keeled, square-like types are better to maintain the flow.

first-rate-madness_book-jacket

To show this, Ghaemi explores the mental backgrounds of historical figures such as Winston Churchill and General William Sherman to understand why they were uniquely equipped to deal with the crises they faced. In contrast, square-like figures such as Neville Chamberlain, Tony Blair and George W. Bush were like deer in headlights when the pressure was on.

Trump might be ‘extreme’ and ‘not presidential,’ but in this climate being moderate means criminalizing criticism of an ever expanding list of protected classes by labeling everything as hate speech. Being presidential means refusing to acknowledge threats to society, if those threats come from those protected classes.

2016 is shaping up to be a year of economic and cultural crisis. These crises are born of the Cultural and Economic Marxist dogma. As per the Frederick Douglass quote at the beginning, the rebellion spearheaded by Trump is preferable to the Marxist status quo that it responds to. It is exactly a candidate like Trump, ‘insane’ from the Marxist vantage point, who is most apt to cure a nation afflicted with Marxism.

Conclusion

There is still a long way to go. Trump still may not even win the Republican Primary. However, what he has done to this point has been historic because he has changed the game. If he were to drop out tomorrow, at the very least he would have shown to the political establishment that the masses are tiring of cultural Marxist themes. Political pundits and media outlets can scream that anyone who disagrees with them must be a bigot until they are blue in the face – the bottom line is that in the internet era, the truth is easily spread and widely accessible to those who seek it.

Republicans in recent election cycles have adopted the strategy of trying to win by being a different shade of Marxist than the Democrats. By bringing the silent majority into the fold, Trump has singlehandedly forced the hand of the establishment. If they brazenly ignore what the masses are saying via the ballot box, it will confirm to the public that the elites have it out for them. Bringing the establishment to that predicament alone justifies the price of admission to the Trump Train, which I’ve personally been aboard since last August. No matter how this ends, it is a step in the right direction in terms of the Culture War.