Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Election 2016: Is It All Over Bar Shouting?

My grandfather had a couple of good lines. The first was "I like the cut of his jib." This is a nautical term, for you landlubbers, suggesting that you like the sails on a ship, a jib being a headsail out in front of the mast. Just what this means when you are talking about the "cut of her jib" I refuse to answer.

My grandfather's other saying was "it's all over bar shouting," which speaks for itself.

Based on what I am reading, a lot of people think that the presidential election for 2016 is all over. Bar shouting.

Here's piece by David Catron in the American Spectator about data denial syndrome. It's about the wishful thinking of Republican supporters in 2012, when they thought the media was undercounting Republican supporters in the polls before the election. Same thing is happening today as Trump supporters accuse the pollsters of undercounting their people. But data guy Nate Silver gives Trump a 20 percent chance of winning.

Then there is the Trump naive beginner syndrome from "Willis Fumbleton," again at the American Spectator, purporting to report a Trump staff meeting.

My guess is that these folks are right, provided that this election turns out like pretty well all elections since Ronald Reagan (2008 excepted). Those elections, from the first Bush to the second Obama were small-ball elections where below-the-radar commercials and turnout efforts won the day.

If 2016 is a small-ball election then the professional electioneering skills of the Democrats will eat Donald Trump alive. I'd say the professionals are betting on a small-ball election, which is the smart way to bet.

The way Trump wins is by transforming the general election the way he transformed the Republican primaries, by playing on the fears of the voters about immigration and the Muslim threat and an out-of-touch political elite that doesn't care about people like me. Then the Joe Soptic ads and the Big Data turnout machines and the elite media narrative don't matter.

That's how Ronald Reagan won in 1980. To the ordinary voter things were coming unstuck. Inflation, recession, gas lines, riots, and the Soviets seeming to advance all over the world.

(Yes, you young'uns. Back in the 1970s we had gasoline price controls and lines at the gas stations.)

In other words, the ruling class wasn't "keeping us safe." It wasn't accomplishing the basic (and really only) function of government, and the people were ready to try something else.

Is it 1980 all over again? There is a simple answer to that: We Don't Know.

But I'll tell you what I think. I think that at some point the political temptation to make a "keep us safe" issue out of Islamic terrorism is going to become irresistible. Why? Because keeping us safe is the only job that government can actually do: keeping us safe from enemies, foreign and domestic. Everything else is rewarding ruling-class supporters.

If you want to understand liberal politics you have to understand that politics must have an enemy. If there is no foreign enemy -- as liberals insist, because western imperialism and colonialism -- then the enemy must be at home, in our native born racists, sexists, homophobes, "haters" and xenophobes. There Must Be An Enemy.

But right now, for liberals, foreigners cannot be enemies, because historical imperialism and colonialism, and Muslims can't be enemies because they are a traditionally marginalized minority.

Now I get to be around quite a few nice educated liberal women. And right now they are still drinking the "hate" and xenophobia KoolAid.

At some point these liberal ladies will get frightened. I don't know what will do it; that's why I'm a lone wolf nobody crying in the wilderness.

The penultimate chapter of Simone de Beauvoir's Second Sex is titled "The Independent Woman." That is a lie. There is no such thing as an independent woman. Woman's safety and security is dependent upon men with guns. It could be a husband or a lover. Or it could be the government and its men with guns. One way or another, women insist on being protected, for absent a protector, women are fair game; they always have been and always will be. If you want to understand more about that go read The Iliad. The whole thing revolves around a captured princess, Briseis, the spoils of war, and whether she belongs to Agamemnon or Achilles. And that's just the beginning where women are concerned.. If you don't want to understand about that, then don't read The Iliad and keep on keeping on at NPR and The New York Times.

Of course, there is no such thing as an independent man either. Men rely on society working as much as women. But not quite. The difference is, of course, children. A woman with a young child is uniquely vulnerable; she must have help and protection. And this is why feminism is so anti-natal; its fantasists imagine they can remove female vulnerability by avoiding childbirth. Sorry girls: whatever you think, There Must Be Children. Children are the reason that men are expendable, and women are not.

Meanwhile we have the presidential election of 2016. Will the "is it safe" moment arrive before November and transform US politics for a generation?

The answer is simple. We don't know.

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