Monday, May 30, 2016

How to Put Conservatives Back Together Again

After all the division and the tearing-apart of the 2016 election what happens next for conservatives and Republicans? John O'Sullivan gives us a tour d'horizon that reminds us that we are always arguing and divided.

But he makes important points about the Trumpites that need to be shared. Especially the question of entitlements.
Conservative writers have long pointed out that the present structure of such payments is fiscally unsustainable, destructive of self-reliance, unrelated to the contributions beneficiaries have paid in over years, likely to undermine the dependent–worker ratio on which the entitlements depend, and much else. 
Easy for us to say. But the ordinary voters are on the sharp end of entitlement reform and they see things differently.
Most suburban conservatives don’t see it that way, however, and in particular they distinguish morally between different kinds of transfer payments. As Rod Dreher found when talking to his father, they think that welfare payments going to idlers are quite different from Social Security payments going to retirees. In the first case, they reward vice and/or encourage dependency; in the second, they are the return on their investment in America as hard workers, good providers, helpful neighbors, potential draftees, and patriotic citizens.
Hmm. The way I've read about it, suburban Americans argue that they paid their dues, and by God, they are going to demand they get their reward. It's in the Trust Fund, right?

My own view is slightly different. Ordinary Americans are taxed up the Wazoo with payroll taxes, which is profoundly unjust. So they are right to have a bloody-minded attitude about getting back their contributions with interest.

So then John O'Sullivan comes up with his reality check, borrowing from James C. Bennett and Michael J. Lotus in America 3.0, and their prediction of the "Big Haircut."

"Haircut" is the term generally given to the treatment of bondholders when a government entity won't pay its debt. Nothing will happen to entitlements until a government debt crisis that forces everyone, even Democratic politicians, to agree on a solution in which everyone shares in the haircut.

In other words, big changes are afoot, but the times are not yet ripe.

In the short term, I can't help feeling, the action is going to be the growing rage against the injustice and the oppression that the Obama progressives have been dishing out to the people that think of themselves as "typical Americans."

So if conservatives and Republicans want to do anything they should be doing stuff that helps more people identify as typical Americans. One recent suggestion was to start hearings in Congress about the Asian American quota at Harvard and other selective colleges.

By the way, I just finished Chapter Ten in Alexis de Tocqueville's The Old Regime and the French Revolution and he talks about the disaster of the old regime's policy of divide and conquer and of concentrating all power at the center. It ended up that the whole nation was divided against itself, nobles against the middle class, middle class against the peasants and everything in between. So the French ended up with the Hobbesian war of all against all.

It really is better to avoid a top-down government of experts, and a divisive identity politics that sets every group against every other. You never know when you are going to need the nation to be strong and united.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Tocqueville's Other Book: The Old Regime Before the French Revolution

I finally got to the end of Deirdre McCloskey's overmannered Bourgeois Equality, and then lightning struck. I just happened to stumble over a copy of Alexis de Tocqueville's The Old Regime and the French Revolution in the remainder stacks at HalfPriceBooks. For $1.00. Plus tax.

OMG.

Tocqueville argues that the French Revolution changed nothing in France.

Really. The most famous event in European history and it changed nothing? Surely you are joking, Mr. T.

Here is his argument in two lines:
1. Before the Revolution, France was a centralized top-down administrative monarchy. 
2. After the Revolution, France was a centralized top-down administrative monarchy/republic, whatever.
Yes, but what about them aristos, the nasty chaps that got sliced up by Madame Guillotine unless they were saved by Baroness Orczy's Scarlet Pumpernickel?

Good point. But the nobility under the ancien régime was no longer a feudal aristocracy. Its power had been sapping away for centuries. In the years before the Revolution France was governed by the Royal Council, le Conseil du roi, and the council was headed by a Controller-General. The Controller-General governed France through Intendants in each généralité, all across France.

France used to have authentic popular governing institutions. But the absolute monarchy, operating
through the Royal Council, slowly sapped away all the popular and feudal institutions, replacing them with a pure bureaucratic organization through which everything in France, from the fall of a sparrow to the conduct of war, was controlled by the center in Paris.

By the time of the revolution the nobility had no power, but it did have privileges, and especially exemptions from taxation. So everyone hated the aristos, because of their privileges. The middle class hated the stuck-up aristocrats, but they moved heaven and earth to buy some official position, which provided them with an income and an exemption from taxes.

What about the workers? Well, in 1789 we are talking about farmers, and they mostly owned their own farms because the aristocracy had been selling their land off for a while and the peasants were buying. The peasants, of course, hated the fact that they were the ones stuck with the short straw, paying the taxes and supplying the cannon fodder for the militia. So they hated the middle class.

Everyone hated everyone else and they were ready in the old Paris brickyard, you might say, to settle scores with a vengeance once the starter bellowed: gentlemen, start your engines.

But did these warring tribes demand independence from the center? Not a bit of it. Tocqueville writes about various schemes for improvement and reform.
The ends proposed by the reformers varied greatly, but the means were always the same. They wished to make use of the central power, as it stood, for shattering the whole social structure and rebuilding it on lines that seemed to them desirable.
Everyone looked to a strong central government to solve their problems.

The comparison with our own times is chilling. Tocqueville argues that in the old feudal times people got on pretty well. There were parlements and the Estates worked together, middle class and nobility, to solve problems. People up and down the social scale had the power and they used it sensibly to work out their differences. The towns were mostly self-governing, and so they governed themselves.

But by the time of the revolution nobody had any power except what they could wheedle from the Intendants and their subdelegates. So they retreated from politics and governance and argued about precedence. The guild of lawyers demanded precedence over the plumbers, and so on. And they schemed to win privileges and exemptions and government jobs.

By the time of the revolution, according to Tocqueville, France was already pretty equal: there was not much to tell between a noble and a bourgeois: they walked and talked and thought the same. But they imagined enormous differences in blood and in the quarterings on their escutcheons.

Enough said for now. Here is the heading for Chapter Ten, next up.
How the suppression of political freedom and the barriers set up between classes brought on most of the diseases to which the old regime succumbed.
Hello liberals! How is that divide-and-conquer race, class, and gender politics doing for you today?

Because I wonder. I wonder if one day your divisive politics might throw up a man on a white horse promising to Make America Great Again.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

McCloskey Again: Why Not Call The Book "Bourgeois Rhetoric?"

Deirdre McCloskey has finished her magnum opus Bourgeois Trilogy with Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World. And now I've finished the book, all 787 pages.

Start over: Conservatism's Big Problem.

I'm afraid I have a problem. What was the point of the third volume? McCloskey has said it all already. Here is how I understood her message five years ago after Volume Two hit the stores, in answer to the question What did it? What made the Bourgeois Era?
The key thing that changed, according to McCloskey, was not technological change, but a cultural, rhetorical change. About three hundred years ago, around the North Sea, societies started to respect the commercial bourgeoisie and the things that it did. It allowed, for the first time, the bourgeoisie to do what comes naturally, to innovate and change things.
I already went through saying that I didn't think she had anything new to say a couple of days ago. But I hadn't quite finished the book, all 787 pages, back then.

So when I got to the end of the book, I read that the Bourgeois Revaluation "came out of a rhetoric that would, and will, enrich the world." You mean, just like she said back in 2010 in Bourgeois Dignity?

OK. So why not call the book "Bourgeois Rhetoric: How I am right and the Guys That Say It Was Capital or Institutions are Wrong." Because that's what the book is all about, picking fights with other academics and going into the long grass with the Oxford English Dictionary to show when "innovation" ceased being a pejorative.

I tell you what I am looking forward to. I am looking forward to the day when racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe is no longer a liberal pejorative, but a pathetic joke.

McCloskey invokes Edmund Burke as an enemy of innovation, which I regard as a bit of a low blow, perhaps intended to hit the nostaglic Russell Kirk. Burke wasn't opposed to innovation so much as opposed to "sophisters, economists, and calculators," the Newtonian mechanics of materialism. As an opponent of mechanism and materialism he was on McCloskey's side. And his life centered around four great campaigns that fit right into the Bourgeois culture: for Catholic emancipation in Ireland for which he lost his seat in Parliament representing the slave port of Bristol; for the anathematization of the plundering imperialist Warren Hastings; for letting the North American colonies go their own way; and for predicting that the French Revolution would end in the gallows. Nothing very innovative there, of course, just Russell Kirk presiding as a loving lord over his neo-feudal estate at Piety Hill.

Throughout the book McCloskey is likes to equate right wing with left wing opposition to her "trade-tested betterment." I suppose there are righties down the last two centuries that have pushed against the Great Enrichment, chaps like Carlyle and, in the last century, Russell Kirk of Mecosta, Michigan. But their influence has been minuscule compared with the influence of McCloskey's "post 1848 clerisy," the Left. To keep asserting "balance" by hitting the right and left equally is distracting, and pandering to the New York Times set ("My people" in The Bourgeois Virtues).

And here are some more problems that I have with McCloskey. She represents Zola's Germinal as anti-capitalist. So it is, perhaps, in a superficial reading. But in Germinal Zola humanizes the bourgeois owners of the coal mine who know and hate that they are hurting the miners. But prices are down, so what can they do? And Étienne, the community organizer that leads the miners in the strike that destroys their livelihood, leaves the miners at the end of the book and sets off for his next community organizing gig in another town. Did Zola nail the nascent left-wing "activism" culture or what? Maybe I am reading too much into it, for after all, Zola must know that bashing the bosses sells books.

In The Ladies Paradise (now a BBC TV series) McCloskey is equivocal, quoting a bit of anti-Semitism that may or may not come from Zola himself. The hero, M. Mouret, is a counter-jumper brimming with innovative ideas for bringing retailing into the 19th century and inventing that ladies' paradise, the big department store. Among other things, Mouret learns how to use the haute bourgeoisie, including a a rich-bitch mistress and a financier, to grow his business. The heroine, Denise, is the compleat bourgeoise, utterly principled and virtuous in the full seven virtues celebrated by McCloskey in The Bourgeois Virtues. McCloskey equivocates, but I experience The Ladies Paradise as a celebration of innovation and everything bourgeois even as it does not shrink from showing the miseries of the small shopkeepers, that Mouret sees as fools, driven to bankruptcy by the innovations of the big department store.

Another thing. The aristocracy 500 years ago was starting to move away from Hegel's pure Herrschaft. In England, once the Tudors had stripped them of their castles and their private armies, the aristocrats got interested in "improvement," making money by improving their agricultural estates and advancing the agricultural revolution that "hurled" the peasants off the land. So, by 1600 at the latest the landed warriors started to compete in the market economy for the wealth they needed to win at competitive social events in the courts of the absolute monarchs. So the rise of the bourgeoisie did not take place in a vacuum. The king's monopoly on armies meant that the warrior class had to diversify away from war-only. And it did.

But enough of cavil and calumny.

Even though Bourgeois Equality is heavy reading, and does not advance the narrative beyond the first two books, it does not subtract from McCloskey's overall achievement. The Great Enrichment of the last 200 years, that has brought each individual from $3 per day to $100 per day and more, is a stunning achievement, never seen before in history, and the bourgeoisie did it. This astonishing and unique event rests on bourgeois virtues and the culture of the bourgeoisie, that people should have a go at innovation and improvement, and that the established interests should not stand in their way, at least not much. That is something that needs to be said, over and over again, and McCloskey is not too shy to do it.

But what I was hoping for, as I read Bourgeois Equality and its occasional swipe at the lefty "post 1848 clerisy," was an analysis of the clerisy, some theory or depth of understanding that could help us all make sense of the left's negativism and its war on "trade tested betterment." I didn't find that, so I am still pushing my Three Peoples theory, with the People of the Creative Self descending into violence and compulsion to exercise their taste for creativity.

You see, if you have a yen to be creative you have two options. You can innovate and submit your innovation to the trade-testing of the market. Or you can declare war on society and force it to bend to your brilliant ideas. There are two ways to get to Scotland, the high road and the low road. The "post-1848 clerisy," the People of the Creative Self, chose the low road, and for sure, they got to Scotland before ye. But millions of people have suffered and died for their sins by the bonny banks of Loch Lomond.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sorry, Charles Murray, You Don't Get It

I revere Charles Murray, who has written books about politics that, I hope, will stand the test of the ages.

We are talking about Losing Ground, which told us that the liberals knew that their Great Society welfare programs weren't working. But they did nothing to fix them. Then we are talking about Coming Apart, a look at White America from 1960 to 2010, which told us that the bottom 30 percent of white America was not doing well. In fact, the men tend not to work and the women tend not to marry. Now, of course, we are learning that the white working class is dying of despair.

But today National Review is publishing Murray's #NeverTrump piece, "Why 'Hillary is Worse' Doesn't Cut It."
Barring a startling turn of events, Donald Trump is going to be the Republican presidential nominee. There are good reasons to question his fitness to occupy the presidency, because of both his policy positions and for reasons of character.
Perfectly true, but it misses the point. It assumes that the US is in normal mode, where we want a solid citizen on the bridge to watch the dials and suggest a course correction or two.

Yes, Trump's policy positions are a mess, and his character is questionable. And he lies. But that's not the point.

Let's trot out my catchphrases.

Government is force. That means that people on the receiving end of government aren't going to like it. At some point they are going to do something about it.

Politics is violence. It is not about choosing a guy with the best policy positions and who has never lied to us. It is about choosing a leader who will fight for us. That's what Hillary Clinton says in her slogan "Fighting for Us." The fact is that we conservatives and the GOP have done a lousy job of fighting for the typical American that votes Republican. We have allowed liberals to blame the white working class for the sins of racism and sexism, and the white working class has been dying of despair until Trump came along and spoke their language. And how. Have you heard him speak at one of his rallies? He doesn't make grand gestures, he just speaks in a low-key way that sounds like he is letting his audience into his confidence.

Government is injustice. It doesn't matter how the ruling class justifies its rule, to the people on the receiving end it looks like injustice. And sooner or later they are going to get really mad about it. On top of this the activism culture of the Obama years believes in government action as a founding principle. It thinks that un-negotiated administrative and regulatory action to implement the agenda of its supporters is politics as usual. It is not. It is injustice, straight up, and it is making people crazy with impotent rage.

System is domination. All the wonderful programs that liberals have been pushing for the last century have this one problem. They are administrative systems, on the Newtonian mechanical model. They treat humans as billiard balls to be knocked around a pool table. System is domination, and humans don't like to be dominated.

Politics is civil war by other means. Politicians like Barack Obama and the whole liberal culture like to think of government as helping people. It is not. Government is forcing people. And then they get mad.

Government never learns. This is baked into the cake of government. If government is force, then the whole point is not to listen to people saying "this doesn't work" or "this hurts people like me." Government is a bulldozer. It pushes through to victory, no matter the casualties. Victory isn't everything, it's the only thing. And anyway, as any leader knows, if you admit to mistakes then people are likely to start looking for another leader.

The bottom line is that conservatives and the GOP have failed to protect its voters, the people that think of themselves as typical Americans. So to complain that Trump doesn't have coherent policies, or the right character, misses the point.

And anyway, when did any party have coherent policies? All political platforms are a sludge of bad ideas gussied up for the ball. And as for character? Eisenhower was bonking his driver through World War II. Kennedy was bonking everything in sight. LBJ, nuff said. Ronald Reagan got divorced. Clinton, as a Democratic friend delicately told me in 1992, had a silver zipper. George W. Bush was a drunk. And so on.

Nations get lumbered with men on white horses when the regular ruling class has failed to do its job. And then things get worse before they get better.

But I will continue reading your books, Charles Murray, because you are a national treasure. And this one parting shot. Doesn't your By the People: Rebuilding Liberty without Permission kinda tell people to kick over the traces and start disobeying administrative government, because injustice?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

McCloskey Again: 787 Pages For What?

The third volume of Deirdre McCloskey's Bourgeois Trilogy is out, Bourgeois Equality: How Ideas, Not Capital or Institutions, Enriched the World, all 787 pages of it.

And I am left wondering: what exactly is new in the third volume that had not been thoroughly thrashed out in the first two volumes, The Bourgeois Virtues and Bourgeois Dignity?

So I went back through my McCloskey Week blogs of 2010 to see what I had understood from reading the first two volumes.

OK, so the first volume was all about The Bourgeois Virtues, that, whatever the bourgeoisie says, it is not a Prudence Only operation, but a culture that embraces all the virtues, the four classical virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Courage, and the three Christian virtues of Faith, Hope, and Love.

There is a lot of stuff in Bourgeois Equality about the limitations of Prudence Only, and a restatement of the need for all the virtues. Frequently.

The second volume was Bourgeois Dignity. Here McCloskey pointed out that the rise of the bourgeoisie coincided with the upvaluing of the middle class and the things that it did.
People stopped sneering at market innovativeness and other bourgeois virtues exercised far from the traditional places of honor [in religion, politics, and war].
Instead people started to approve of innovation, at least until the clerisy started to badmouth it. And so we got the Great Enrichment of the last 200 years from $3 per day per person to $100 per day per person, and more.

So what is left to say in Volume Three, Bourgeois Equality? I think what is left is to lay down a thundering World War I artillery barrage to assert without limit that McCloskey's ideas about the rise of bourgeois virtue and bourgeois dignity are right and everyone else's ideas about accumulation, about technology, about science, about capital markets, is wrong.

What is new is that McCloskey has come up with a new catchphrase to replace "capitalism," which has been a leftist pejorative at least since 1848. She calls our current way of life "trade-tested betterment." She means by that bourgeois entrepreneurs coming up with innovative ideas for betterment, such as, oh, smartphones, and then submitting them to the test of the market.

The villains of Bourgeois Equality are the people of the "clerisy." But the clerisy were marked out already in The Bourgeois Virtues, as the "opinion makers and opinion takers... readers of The New York Times...  book readers... My people. Like me."

So I guess that explains the gratuitous swipes at conservatives as equally to blame for standing in the way of "trade tested betterment" as the post-1848 clerisy. You gotta throw some red meat out to the lefty intelligentsia or they won't read to the end.

But does it work? The New York Times reviewed The Bourgeois Virtues, damning it with faint praise. But Bourgeois Dignity didn't rate a review. However, The Wall Street Journal gave McCloskey a chance to write up Bourgeois Equality last weekend, so that's all right.

I get an eerie feeling, reading Bourgeois Equality, because McCloskey seems to have read the same books that I have. She's all over the Dutch for inventing the modern economy; she's all over the Dutch invasion of Britain in 1688. She takes a strong line against Karl Polanyi and his Great Transformation. She admits coming late to Willa Cather, as I did, and she's dipped into Charles Taylor, as I have.

But she seems to miss out on Hegel. Hey kids. I am talking about Hegel's Master and Slave (Herr und Knecht) thingy from his Phenomenology of Spirit, which I am reading from Alexandre Kojève's Introduction to the Reading of Hegel. The big point of the Master and Slave thingy, in my view, is the valorizing of work. The Master, according to Hegel, who wins the Fight to the Death, appropriates the work of the Slave, and lives a life of leisure. But the Slave, forced to work for the Master, learns to transform the world by his work, transforms what is given, and transcends himself and learns about personal autonomy. In other words, the Slave, through his work for another, learns to value freedom and autonomy and learns how to transform the world by his work. He is on the way to becoming a true bourgeois.

Of course, in the real world, men go to work not because they lost the Fight to the Death with the Master but because, as Willa Cather writes in The Professor's House, when a man is "very much in love and must marry at once" he needs a job. It is not the Master that enslaves him and puts him to work but his love for Lillian.

There is not a word of this in McCloskey, and this is a scandal. How is it that I, a mere racist, sexist, bigoted homophobe conservative, can find out that every serious lefty is supposed to have read Kojève and that I should too so that I can understand the mind of the left and at this very moment am reading it faithfully and learning it and inwardly digesting it while shooting star McCloskey completely missed out on it?

I guess it is back to the drawing boards for McCloskey, to get started on Volume Four.

Meanwhile, I am coming up to the last section of Bourgeois Equality and hoping that it will be a Battle of Kursk barrage on the "clerisy." But who knows?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Bathrooms and Gramsci and Thermidor

I got in a lot of trouble with the commenters at American Thinker last week when I wrote that Trump is Thermidor, meaning that he represents the inevitable reaction after the virtual reign of terror by the SJWs during the Obama administration.

I think that the commenters' main problem was the reluctance to equate Trump with dictator.

Now here's a piece in the American Spectator about the transgender bathroom debacle and Antonio Gramsci's march through the institutions. What is going on here? Ralph Benko answers:
The left is advancing a cultural revolution of radical egalitarianism, creating a new cultural hegemony of which the Great Bathroom War of 2016 is but the most recent element.
Conservatives don't have a clue about how to counter this, Benko writes. Instead of arguing about the danger of rape in the bathroom, we should argue from the innocence of modesty.

Well, yes. But I think that Benko is missing the point and that my argument, from Crane Brinton and his Anatomy of Revolution is the right one. The point is that a march through the institutions culminating in a real or a virtual reign of terror and virtue is something that ordinary people hate. They don't want to be bullied and reeducated and have their lives turned upside down and made to mouth words they don't believe in. And sooner or later they react against the Jacobins, the Bolsheviks, the Red Guards, the SJWs. They may not react with violence, but the fact is that, as Brinton writes, a reign of terror and virtue puts society into an impossible stress that cannot go on forever.

My analysis of the Obama years follows those that point to the collapse of the Democratic Party everywhere outside the White House. Congress? Republican. States? Majority of Republican Governors and Republican legislatures. Rebellion by the GOP primary voters. I read today that there are a lot of GOP primary voters that didn't vote in the general in 2012.

In other words, ordinary Americans are rebelling against the Gramscian march through the institutions and the totalitarian SJW virtual reign of terror in which you will be made to care about the left's agenda or you will pay the price. But they are not talking about it, because you are not allowed to talk in SJW America.

The problem with a reign of terror is that you don't end up back at the status quo ante. That was the problem with Napoleon. The Directory and Napoleon ended the reign of terror and Made France Great Again. But Napoleon also lost the Second Hundred Years War against the Brits and France has never been the terror of Europe since.

So I don't think that the Gramscians will go on marching through the institutions forever. For one thing, lefties tend to hollow out and destroy the institutions that they invade. That's because humans are social animals first, not political animals, and institutions have a social purpose before they have a political purpose.

But I do think, following Ralph Benko, that a Return to Modesty is part of the solution. Oh yeah, there's a book by that name, by Wendy Shalit. Here she gets to make her point in The New York Times!

Every woman I know is defined by her love and her modesty. Oh yes, women can be pretty immodest when they are looking for a mate. But otherwise they define themselves by their loves, their modesty, and their privacy. That is why it was not evil oil companies, but women, that led the migration to the suburbs. Women do not like to raise their children in the city, not unless they are total rich bitches that can afford nannies and car service and so on. Ordinary woman want to retire to a quiet place to bear and raise their children. And then they want to plant a garden. What an idea!

Honestly, I don't have a clue how this is going to work out, but I do think that women are going to redefine culture and politics to provide more privacy and more safety in a way that lets women live out their lives in a more feminine rather than feminist way. To me, the whole "rape culture" flap is related to this. Women don't like a sexual free-for-all, and no wonder, because it licenses boys to use them and abuse them. But the left has no real answer to the brutalities of the sexual revolution, because we are all supposed to be liberated from our bigoted bourgeois patriarchal culture. No more fathers demanding to know "what are your intentions!" So the lefty future has to replace the culture of modesty with a politics of legalisms in Affirmative Consent. Which is madness.

But there is no way back. Whatever happens now, it will be stumbling over the tangle of 20th century themes, from marriage, to abortion, to careers, to work/life balance, to the LGBT diversion, to the excruciating regulation of everything by big government. And above all it will have to deal with the Jacobin narrowness of the politics-is-everything left.

In other words, it ain't gonna be pretty.

Friday, May 20, 2016

African Americans and the Ferguson Effect

There's a lot of hand-wringing going on right now about whether the "Ferguson Effect" is real or Memorex. There has been a significant uptick in the murder rate in major American cities since the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, by a policeman in August 2014. Is this uptick real, a consequence of police failing to police gangbanger thugs in inner cities, or is it move along, nothing to see here?

Here is stalwart Michael Barone making the central point:
Black Americans were the primary victims of the huge crime increase starting in the late 1960s, and they will be the primary victims again if the Ferguson effect continues to result in more homicides. Can’t we prevent this awful history from repeating itself?
To which I say: who is this "we," Kemosabe? It is "they," the African American voters of the Fergusons and the Baltimores and the Chicagos, who must decide what to do.

Do they want to replace all the white cops with blacks? I say go for it. Do they want to reduce incarceration of young black offenders? No problem.

But maybe some African Americans in these cities will decide to vote for an equivalent of Rudy Giuliani, the man that ran for mayor of New York City and hired a police chief that brought "homicides in New York [down] from 2,445 in 1990 to 328 in 2014." Why not, if that is what they vote for?

Let's compare African Americans with another "little darling" of the liberals, the white working class. Back in the 1930s FDR and the New Deal absolutely loooved the white working class. So the workers got Social Security and union bargaining rights, which was cool for a couple of decades after World War II when you could walk out of high school into lifetime union "good jobs at good wages." But the music stopped in the Sixties as the lumbering unionized industries started to face foreign competition and the payroll taxes on labor started to get serious, and the Dems decided they didn't love the white working class so much as they loooved African Americans and women. So the white working class was left out to dry, and has wandered in the political wilderness ever since.

Today the white working class is all excited about Donald Trump and his slogan to Make American Great Again. Hey, maybe he will, maybe he won't. But the white working class is excited about him and that's democracy.

Same thing with African Americans. For fifty years liberals have loooved them as their little darlings, served them up their First Black President, and what good has it done them? I don't know, but if if blacks want to vote for an empty suit like Barack Obama and white radicals like Bill DeBlasio and various black corruptocrats that is democracy.

Generally what happens in politics is that Stein's Law operates and if something can't go on forever, it will stop. So the people wake up to reality and vote to change things. But they usually wake up too late. That's because most people are tribal and vote with their tribe, which doesn't work in the global society and economy. If you ask me, that is the situation with the white working class. And really, they still haven't got the message. Whacking China and walling off Mexico isn't going to bring the white working class back to life. Getting up every morning and doing what it takes with what you've got is what it takes.

The problem with America is the idea that a wise elite can fix things behind the scenes, using its expert knowledge, while distracting the voters with free stuff like health care and paid parental leave. There are two problems with that. First of all, the elite ain't that wise, and secondly, eventually you run out of other peoples' money to distract the voters. And then you are Venezuela.

Right now, African Americans are torn two ways, if Ghettoside by Jill Leovy has it right. On the one hand they are pissed off that the police fail to catch and put away murderers. On the other hand they get pissed off when the police harass young black homeboys on the street, charging them with petty crimes.

You tell me what to do.