Hey, Democrats! We need you to get your act together!

It’s now just a bit over a month since Election Day, and I’m starting to be seriously concerned about the possibility that the U.S. might become a one-party democracy.

Therefore this is an open letter to Democrats; the country needs you to get your act together. Yes, ideally I personally would prefer your place in the two-party Duverger equilibrium to be taken by the Libertarian Party, but there are practical reasons this is extremely unlikely to happen. The other minor parties are even more doomed. If the Republicans are going to have a counterpoise, it has to be you Democrats.

Donald Trump’s victory reads to me like a realignment election, a historic break with the way interest and demographic groups have behaved in the U.S. in my lifetime. Yet, Democrats, you so far seem to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing. Indeed, if I were Donald Trump I would be cackling with glee at your post-election behavior, which seems ideally calculated to lock Trump in for a second term before he has been sworn in for the first.

Stop this. Your country needs you. I’m not joking and I’m not concern-trolling. The wailing and the gnashing of teeth and the denial of reality have to end. In the rest of this essay I’m not going to talk about right and wrong and ideology, I’m going to talk about the brutal practical politics of what you have to do to climb out of the hole you are in.

We need to start with an unsparing assessment of that hole.

First, your ability to assemble a broad-based national coalition has collapsed. Do not be fooled into thinking otherwise by your popular vote “win”; that majority came entirely from the West Coast metroplex and disguises a large-scale collapse in popular support everywhere else in the U.S. Trump even achieved 30-40% support in blue states where he didn’t spend any money.

County-by-county psephological maps show that your base is now confined to two major coastal enclaves and a handful of university towns. Only 4 of 50 states have both a Democratic-controlled legislature and a Democratic governor. In 2018 that regionalization is going to get worse, not better; you will be defending 25 seats in areas where Trump took the popular vote, while the Republicans have to defend only 8 where Clinton won.

Your party leadership is geriatric, decades older than the average for their Republican counterparts. Years of steady losses at state level, masked by the personal popularity of Barack Obama, have left you without a bench to speak of – little young talent and basically no seasoned Presidential timber under retirement age. The fact that Joseph Biden, who will be 78 for the next Election Day, is being seriously mooted as the next Democratic candidate, speaks volumes – none of them good.

Your ideological lock on the elite media and show business has flipped from a powerful asset to a liability. Trump campaigned against that lock and won; his tactics can be and will be replicated. Worse, a self-created media bubble insulated you from grasping the actual concerns of the American public so completely that you didn’t realize the shit you were in until election night.

Your donor advantage didn’t help either. Clinton outspent Trump 2:1 and still lost.

Your “coalition of the ascendant” is sinking. Tell all the just-so stories you like, but the brute fact is that it failed to turn out to defeat the Republican candidate with the highest negatives in history. You thought all you had to do was wait for the old white men to die, but anybody who has studied the history of immigration in the U.S. could have told you that the political identities of immigrant ethnic groups do not remain stable as they assimilate. You weren’t going to own the Hispanics forever any more than you owned the Irish and the Italians forever. African-Americans, trained by decades of identity politics, simply failed to show up for a white candidate in the numbers you needed. The sexism card didn’t play either, as a bare majority of married women who actually went to the polls seem to have voted for Trump.

But your worst problem is less tangible. Trump has popped the preference-falsification bubble. The conservative majority in most of the U.S. (coastal enclaves excepted) now knows it’s a conservative majority. Before the election every pundit in sight pooh-poohed the idea that discouraged conservative voters, believing themselves isolated and powerless, had been sitting out several election cycles. But it turned out to be true, not least where I live in the swing state of Pennsylvania, where mid-state voters nobody knew were there put Trump over the top. Pretty much the same thing happened all through the Rust Belt.

That genie isn’t going to be stuffed back in the bottle. Those voters now know they can deliver the media and the coastal elites a gigantic fuck-you, and Republicans know the populist techniques to mobilize them to do that. Trump’s playbook was not exactly complicated.

Some Democrats are beginning to talk, tentatively, about reconnecting to the white working class. But your real problem is larger; you need to make the long journey back to the political center. Not the center you imagine exists, either; that’s an artifact of your media bubble. I’m pointing at the actual center revealed by psephological analysis of voter preferences.

That center is far to the right of what you would prefer. For that matter it is rather to the right of where I would prefer – but facts are facts and denying them isn’t going to help. You Democrats need to think about what it takes to be competitive on a continuum where Fox News is barely right of center, Mitt Romney was an out-of-touch liberal, and as near as I could tell the politician who actually nailed the psephological center in 2008 was none other than Sarah Palin.

If you do not do this thing, you will continue to lose.

Again, I emphasize that I am not issuing an ideological prescription here. I am not arguing in this essay that the present Democratic platform and strategy is wrong in an abstract moral sense, but rather that that it has become suicidal practical politics. Trump has dynamited almost every connection it had to winning elections, and smarter Republicans than Trump will take the lesson going forward.

Before I get to suggesting some changes, I want to point out that the results of the dominance Republicans have already achieved are going to make your problems even worse than they look now. Those problems don’t end with not having a farm team. State-level control means the Republicans will largely determine redistricting in the 2020 census. Their ability to pass voter-ID laws will surely hurt you as well.

I also need to point out that you shouldn’t count on Republican failure to save you. Yes, I know Democrats tell themselves Republican “hard right” policy actually implemented will alienate so many voters that they’ll come running back to your party. But you also thought Hillary was inevitable and how did that work out for ya? Trump’s popularity has risen as his program becomes clearer. You need to be positioned so that you can cope with outcomes other than catastrophic disenchantment with Trumpian populism.

So, what can you do?

The most obvious thing is that you have to stop contemptuously dismissing the largest single demographic segment of the American electorate. Because believe me, they noticed. So did their wives and children.

This has larger implications than you may yet understand. It’s not just that you need to take any Democrat who uses the phrase “angry white men” out to the woodshed and beat him or her with a strap until he/she wises up. The whole apparatus of racial and ethnic identity politics is turning in your hand, reversing (like your old-media dominance) from an asset to a liability.

(Just to drive the point home, the gender card doesn’t work any more either. Trump is a feminist’s worst nightmare. He won anyway. He came close enough to winning the entire female vote to trigger bitter post-election denunciations of American women in general by feminists – which pretty much epitomizes the sort of reaction that isn’t going to help you.)

Your best plausible case is that the minority groups you counted on passively fail to add up to a winning coalition in the future, as they did this cycle. Your worst – and increasingly likely – case is that white people now begin voting as something like an ethnic bloc. This is, after all, how you’ve been teaching other ethnic groups to play the game since the 1960s.

You will not prevent this development by screaming “racism!”. Here’s a hot tip: people you dismiss as retrograde scum will not, in general, vote for you. In fact, one of the things you Democrats most urgently need to do is banish “racism” and “sexism” from your political vocabulary.

While these words point at some real problems, they are also a trap. They lead you to organize your political pitch around virtue-signaling, exclusion and demonization. That, in turn, can be successful (though repulsive) politics when it’s used against a minority to mobilize a majority or plurality. But you’re in the opposite situation now. You were trapped by your own privilege theory. You demonized a plurality of American voters, and in return they gave you Trump.

If you continue to do this, you will lose.

It is irrelevant whether an actual plurality of American voters actually are as racist and sexist as you think. They don’t think they are, and they’re fed up with being hectored about it. This isn’t 1965, and your ability to tap into a substratum of guilt by white people who deep down know they were in the wrong is gone. What that same move brings up now is resentment.

Speaking of virtue signaling, another thing you need to give up is focusing on peacock issues (like, say, transgender rights) while ignoring pocketbook problems like the hollowing out of middle-class employment.

Again, this advice has nothing to do with the rights or wrongs of individual peacock issues and more with a general sense that the elites are fiddling while Rome burns. For the first time since records have been kept, U.S. life expectancy went down during the Obama years, led by a disturbing rise in suicides and opiate addiction among discouraged unemployed in flyover country. A Democratic Party that fails to address that while it screws around with bathroom-law boycotts is willfully consigning itself to irrelevance.

Many of Trump’s “pro-working-class” policies are objectively terrible; a new wave of trade protectionism is, for example, bound to have dire long-term consequences. But that doesn’t matter, in a political competitive sense, until you Democrats have something to answer him with.

Right now, you have nothing. You have less than nothing, because your instinctive solution repels the Trump plurality. They don’t want welfare, they want jobs and dignity and a modicum of respect. (And, just as a reminder, not to be dismissed as retrograde racists and sexists.)

Now we need to talk about guns.

This is a more particular issue than I’ve touched so far, but it’s one that cuts straight to the heart of the self-alienation of the Democratic Party from the political center.

Again, I’m not going to address the rights and wrongs of gun policy here, just its practical political ramifications. A quarter century ago Bill Clinton – who is as shrewd a practical politician as has ever operated in the U.S. – warned his fellow Democrats that pushing gun control was a sure way to lose more voters than it gained. They ignored his advice and got shellacked in the 1994 elections.

Today voter support for personal firearms rights is at an unprecedented high. This is revealed both in polls and in the wave of state-level liberalizations of concealed-carry laws. One of Trump’s most popular first-hundred-days promises is nationwide concealed-carry reciprocity. From the fact that gun control was slow party suicide in 1994 we can deduce that it’s even worse practical politics today.

And yet, the Democratic Party line is still hostile to gun rights, and less than six months ago its leaders and captive pundits were talking up Australian-style gun confiscation.

If you continue to do this, you will lose.

The Democratic line on gun policy is a perfect symbol of everything that has become disconnected about the party. It reads as corrosive disrespect for middle-Americans who like their firearms, think of themselves as a nation of armed citizens rather than cowering subjects, and use their guns responsibly. It reeks of class warfare, urban elites against flyover-country proles. It’s disempowering, not empowering. It is, in short, a perfect focus for anti-Democratic populist anger.

Here’s what I’ve been building up to:

You Democrats don’t just need to reform your gun policy, you need to reform your attitude towards the voters to a place from which your present policy looks as vicious and absurd as it does to them.

You Democrats don’t just need to reform your rhetoric about racism and sexism, you need to reform your attitude towards the voters to a place from which your present rhetoric looks as vicious and absurd as it does to them.

It’s all of a piece. You’ve forgotten how to be the party of the people. Trump was the price of that forgetfulness. Now, you need to relearn it, for all our sakes.

The alternative is that something like the Republicans, or possibly worse, dominates American politics for the foreseeable future. I don’t want that, and you should fear it more than I do.

So get your act together now.

1,389 thoughts on “Hey, Democrats! We need you to get your act together!

  1. On a related note, the Democrats’ current claims about the looming catastrophe of a Trump presidency (Fascist! Racist!) are going to do real and lasting harm to their credibility when he ends up being merely incompetent (at worst) rather than evil.

  2. I might be wrong, but it appears that you’re saying that Liberals need to *stop being liberals*.

    Do you think the problem is the policy platform and views, or just the implementation of them?

    Cause it’s all well and good to say the country’s shifted to the right, but unless you’re willing to back it up with “and that’s good because Conservative policies are inherently better”, then your argument is weak, and if don’t think that, then why should the left track there?

  3. So how do I reply to that, from the left, Hank? “I hope he blows up the fuckin’ world, just to prove you wrong”?

  4. The parallels with Britain’s Labour party (with Bill Clinton as Tony Blair, Brexit as Trump, and no shortage of candidates for Corbyn) are hard to miss.

  5. >I might be wrong, but it appears that you’re saying that Liberals need to *stop being liberals*.

    If your notion of “liberal” is so opposed to what can win elections, it doesn’t matter what I think about the rights and wrongs; you need to stop being that.

    If your notion of “liberal” is so tied to constant accusations of racism and sexism directed at people who have no such intention, than yes, you need to stop being liberals.

    If your notion of “liberal” is so tied to hoplophobia, than yes, you need to stop being liberals.

    But it’s me not making the choice to tie these things together, it’s you.

    Don’t try to make this about what I want; other than my premise that we need a healthy opposition party, I wasn’t writing from my personal political desires.

    >Cause it’s all well and good to say the country’s shifted to the right,

    I’m not even sure that’s true. I think our intelligentsia see it that way because they took a crazy jog in the other direction 50-60 years ago.

  6. I don’t think the politics has anywhere as much to do with it as pure charisma and demagoguery.

    Trump is politically essentially incompetent, but knows how to play to an audience and a TV camera better than HRC, so pulled a win. There was essentially no discussion of issues for the duration of the campaign: it was all personality politics, which HRC, as a well known wonk, was destined to lose. Another Obama might’ve pulled it out.

    That said, I agree about the Dem leadership and backbench – for a progressive party they sure don’t seem to trust their young people very much. If they did, they might’ve listened to them and run Sanders instead of HRC.

  7. >On a related note, the Democrats’ current claims about the looming catastrophe of a Trump presidency (Fascist! Racist!) are going to do real and lasting harm to their credibility when he ends up being merely incompetent (at worst) rather than evil.

    To quote Douglas Adams: “There is another theory which states this has already occurred.”

  8. The problem is the Democratic party is converged (SJWs always lie, Vox Day also explains it on the universities: https://voxday.blogspot.com/2016/12/shut-down-universities.html )

    The Democrats are for destroying Christian bakeries and transgender locker-rooms. Gay marriage, which was moving slowly but democratically was shoved down the country’s throat and Brendan Eich (I type on the Brave browser) was purged. Most Democrats cheered.

    California just passed more tough gun restrictions. And New York Bloomberg is trying to push it in other states. Cheering in CA, but also an exodus.
    Polarization – red areas are getting redder, blue areas bluer.

    Trump was not a token resistance polite loser cuckservative like Romney. Neither was Ron Paul, but the CuckOldParty machine crushed him.

    But note the reaction of the left. NotMyPresident. Mess with the electoral college. That’s SJW full converged shrieking and virtue signalling.

  9. Plentiful 22 ammo is back on the shelves at gun stores. It’s not as cheap as it was, but my vote for Trump is justified. The Pat Moynihan plan, implemented by Obama, to choke off the Second Amendment by bureaucratic stealth has been stood off for now. It wasn’t as bad for America as when Pat Moynihan and Ralph Nader broke Detroit, but I’m glad it’s gone for now. Politicians who bring it back will be punished. Politicians who weasel will be on the internet forever. Any politician who holds hearings to track the guilty bureaucrats will be rewarded.

    Before the Hillary campaign staked its credibility on Alicia Machado’s good character, I’m sure there were staffers who checked Wikipedia, saw her narco-mafia gun moll background, and watched her sex tapes. But speaking up would have been career suicide. They would have been admitting a lack of faith in the narrative. Pious fraud works great for loyalty testing. I don’t see the D party losing the habit in my lifetime.

  10. Put differently, the effect will be to split CA amd create Jefferson, and WA to produce Liberty, two more red states.

    Democrats are still pushing things that are making WI, MI, OH, PA go from 48% red to 52% red because it makes NY and CA go from 60% blue to 65% blue.

    It was already visible. WI -Scott Walker, right to work, joined by MI Snyder. Even OH with the cucky Kasich. All GOP. With Jerry Brown in CA and two Democrats rinning off for Senator.

    Montana’s (conservative) incumbent Democrat governor won with 50.2% – I.e. almost lost. There are conservative Democrats here in flyover country but they are anathema to the costal elites.

  11. “and I’m starting to be seriously concerned about the possibility that the U.S. might become a one-party democracy.”

    Scrap the Democracy part. It has become progressively more difficult for potentially Democratic voters to cast a vote:
    http://www.commondreams.org/views/2016/12/13/while-democrats-chase-russians-republicans-keep-rigging-elections

    I know no “Democracy” where voters have to wait 6 hours in line to vote (but they did so in Zimbabwe).
    http://www.vox.com/presidential-election/2016/11/6/13542680/there-are-4000-people-in-a-half-mile-voting-line-in-cincinnati-today-this-isn-t-okay

    This is even without considering gerrymandering.

  12. Back when George W. Bush won his first term in office, I watched the shock and hooror and disbelief among my Democrat friends, as they tried to grasp what happened.

    From my viewpoint, it was simple. The Republicans had traditionally been the party of the Haves, trying to preserve and increase the slice of the economic pie they held. The Democrats had been the party of the Have-nots, trying to get a slice of the pie.

    But time had passed, the economy had expanded, and many traditionally Democratic voters realized they now had a slice of the pie and became concerned with preserving it, with taxes a notable hot button. The Republican pitch appealed to them and they switched. I don’t believe either party has fully understood this change.

    When Bush left office at the end of his second term, and Barack Obama took over, I tried to tell folks “Barack Obama did not win because he was Barack Obama. He won because he wasn’t George W. Bush.” His election was a rejection by the electorate of the policies of the Bush administration and what the Republican party had become.

    Fast forward 8 years, and Donald Trump is President, precisely because he isn’t Barack Obama. Hilary Clinton didn’t lose because she was a woman, ran a flawed campaign, or was the person demonized by her opponents. She lost because the electorate lost confidence in the Democratic Party and its agenda.

    A recent book here is “The Myth of the Rational Voter.” The premise is that the real problem with American democracy is precisely that elected officials try to give the voters what they think they want. But what the voters say they want and what they actually need tend to be rather different things, and trying to give them what they want leads to efforts that are mutually contradictory and well meaning attempts to do things that simply can’t be done.

    I think both parties need to get their act together, and recognize the nature of the world in which they currently live. And I think both need to develop leaders, who are capable of telling consituents “What you say you want simply can’t be done, so stop asking. Here are things that can be done, and this is how they will benefit you. Follow me!”

    That will be profoundly disruptive, and the nature of both parties will end to prevent it, so I’m not laying any bets on it occurring.

    >Dennis

  13. The current Democrat in the running to become head of the DNC is Keith Ellison, a radical black Muslim from Minnesota who was at one time a member of the Nation of Islam. I pray to Allah that he’s appointed, as it would all but guarantee their losses going forward.

    I’m one of those spooky evil alt-right supporters the media keeps harping on about – historically speaking, countries with a preponderance of whites or Asians are successful, while countries that don’t possess those demographic groups are unsuccessful. Demography is destiny. When I realized that the Left is trying to en masse import poorly educated minorities to act as voter ‘shock troops’ against conservative whites, I really flipped. Not to mention the intergenerational albatross they’re going to place on the American taxpayer, and the social cost they’re going to inflict in terms of a divided culture and lower national IQ (Jason Richwine from Harvard had a good paper on this – it even got him fired by an SJW lynch mob).

    I grew up in a very white area of the country and remember there being high levels of social trust, low crime, and a general esprit de corps and happiness in the community. You could leave your door unlocked and be reasonably certain that nobody could come and steal your belongings. I’ve since lived in a lot of different places, and can say with reasonable certainty that the more diverse an area is, the less people trust each other/are engaged in civic life. Robert Putnam (also Harvard) has some great research on this, which he always presents with about 10 minutes of handwringing about the importance of egalitarian values to satisfy the anxieties of his presumably liberal audience.

  14. I think when Trump is opposed by republicans, he should take his followers in mass and switch to the democratic party. After a great shuffling, we will have two viable parties again.

  15. “…when he ends up being merely incompetent (at worst) rather than evil.”

    Incompetent is worse than evil. An evil president-elect wouldn’t blunder closer to a war with China than we’ve ever been before even putting his hand within a mile of a bible.

    I’m not 100% sure there’s even going to be a 2018.

  16. I think your worries are baseless. The “Era of Good Feeling” and the collapse of the Whigs in the run-up to the Civil War suggest to me that if the Democrats succeed in making themselves irrelevant they will disappear as a political party, and the Republicans will fission into conservatives and populists, or pragmatists and purists, or along some other plane of cleavage.

  17. The premise of the article is false. The Democrats are still in power and they are still winning. All the demographic trends are against the Republicans and in favour of the Democrats. Being the Anti-White Party still becomes more powerful each cycle. Trump is a blip caused by more American whites realising that they are facing an Anti-White Party, leading to consolidation of the white vote, but the trend is still toward the total white vote, and total historical Republican demographic vote, becoming a strict minority in the United States in the very near future.

    The Democrats will need to rethink their strategy if Trump actually reverses dysgenic immigration and dysgenic fertility in the United States in a way that seems like it cannot be overturned in 2-3 terms. That is very unlikely to happen. What is more likely is that Trump will delay the US becoming a one party state by 10-20 years (this will look like Jeb Bush becoming the extreme right of the Republicans, rather than a literal one party state; there is always space for two figureheads saying the same thing).

  18. Spot on, esr, but one slight error: the 25/8 Senate races in 2018 are simply the respective party seats up for grabs, but are not all in states where the other party took the popular vote.

    anon-to-avoid-the-crap: I don’t know what election you watched, but there were plenty of issues discussed, including Trump’s winning issue: immigration.

    Winter: Oh, please. A secure voting system with IDs is a basic requirement for fair elections, not a sign that Republicans are “rigging” elections. It’s a fantasy that there are significant numbers of eligible voters who cannot get IDs. It’s nearly impossible to live in modern America without photo ID. A post-ID drop in black and Hispanic voting probably measures a drop in fraudulent votes.

    Your example of a long voting line in a city controlled by Democrats is similarly absurd to blame on Republicans.

    As for gerrymandering, it’s totally bipartisan. Democrats loved it and used it to (e.g.) create “majority minority” districts they would always win, and now whine about it when it turns out to have an inevitable side effect that hurts them.

  19. >> a self-created media bubble insulated you from grasping the actual concerns of the American public so completely that you didn’t realize the shit you were in until election night.

    Hey! how you dare lecture them! do you have an idea how hard they worked to screw their fellow countrymen?

    They find themselves in a hole they dug themselves in with sweat and blood, they worked on it night and day, some recognition please!

  20. PapayaSF: those majority-minority districts aren’t just Democrat gerrymandering. They’re actually required by the Voting Rights Act, in a part that did not get struck down.

  21. Jay Maynard: Correct, that part of the Voting Rights Act is one way they used gerrymandering to their advantage.

  22. “Their ability to pass voter-ID laws will surely hurt you as well.”

    Is this a tacit admission that Democrats rely on voter fraud to win elections? Because the only people that voter-ID laws actually stop from voting are (1) dead people, and (2) criminal aliens. Both of which are heavily-Democratic constituencies (heh), and neither of which are actually entitled to vote in U.S. elections.

    This video by Ami Horowitz illustrates how ridiculous the opposition to voter-ID laws sounds. Horowitz visits the UC campus in the People’s Republic of Berkeley, and asks a bunch of white liberal kids about why voter ID laws are bad. Their answers are things like, “black people don’t have ID, they don’t know where to go to get ID, they can’t access the Internet to use that to get ID, and oh, most of them are felons so they wouldn’t be able to vote anyway if they had ID.” Gee, don’t those attitudes sound mighty…racist?

    Well, then Horowitz goes to Harlem, and asks some actual black people what they think about what those white liberal kids said. Their reaction is pretty dumbfounded. Of course they have ID. They know where the DMV is, and how to get there, to get ID. They have Internet access, including through smartphones and tablets, and they know how to use it. They don’t mind having to show ID to vote. And, when hearing what those white liberals think about the issue, they’re…not impressed.

  23. And the new version of ‘racist’ or ‘sexist’ is… ‘neonazi’ – a term which, through abuse and overuse, is becoming meaningless and therefore useless. For an analog, see antibiotic resistance. Should the real thing present, the label-tool will be too rusty to be of any value in fighting it.

  24. Is this a tacit admission that Democrats rely on voter fraud to win elections?

    No, it’s an admission that Republicans rely on excluding the poor and minorities to win elections.

    Even if voter IDs are free, if you’re working three jobs just to keep food and a roof you don’t have the time or money to get the documentation together to get a voter ID. Voter ID laws should be recognized for what they are: a form of unconstitutional poll tax.

  25. “… if you’re working three jobs just to keep food and a roof you don’t have the time or money to get the documentation together to get a voter ID.”

    Then maybe that’s the problem we need to be addressing…that people shouldn’t need to “[work] three jobs just to keep food and a roof.”

  26. Jeff Read: Wrong. You need a photo ID to drive a car, open a bank account, fly on an airplane, buy liquor, collect welfare, and countless other things. The idea that someone is “working three jobs,” and is an eligible voter, but can’t get a legal ID, is absurd.

    Some years ago a very old black women without an ID was used by anti-ID people as a prop. They took her to register to vote, expecting that she would be denied because she did not even have a birth certificate. Well, the state office (PA, IIRC) used other ways to confirm her identity, she got her ID, and that lawsuit was stopped in its tracks. Oops!

    The fact is that the US has the least secure voting system in the developed world. Even Mexico has a more secure system. E.g. California gives driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, and relies on an honor system when it asks them if they would also like to register to vote.

  27. The Democrats are still in power and they are still winning. All the demographic trends are against the Republicans and in favour of the Democrats.

    On the first part, well, uh … what definitions of “in power” (beyond “yes, haven’t left office yet since it’s still December”, but that’s inevitable and irrelevant) and “winning” do you mean, and can you connect them to the real extant world?

    On the demographic trends, note that Eric mentioned the actually true thing that there is no inevitability of demographic mapping to party membership; there’s no law of nature that black people and hispanics and women must prefer Progressive/Democrat policies.

    Indeed, note as elsewhere that Trump did better among non-white voters than “generic Republican”.

    Tell me again that “all the demographic trends” solely favor Democrats, and then explain how each one actually is so, and how the Democrats own those voters forever, and exactly how they do so?

    Because I don’t see any of it.

  28. esr:

    Thank you for another interesting piece. And now, the corrections:

    > Yet, Democrats, you so far seem to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

    Did you mean “…forgotten everything“?

    > Tell all the just-so stories you like, but the brute fact it failed to turn out to defeat the Republican candidate with the highest negatives in history.

    Did you mean “…the brute fact is that it failed…”?

    > …who is as shrewd a practical politician as has every operated in the U.S.

    Did you mean “…has ever operated…”?

    And in a comment you wrote “than yes” (instead of “then yes”) and “…it’s me not making the choice…” (I think it should be “not me” rather than “me not”, but I’m not sure; after all, there’s “forget me not” and the like).

  29. Because I don’t see any of it.

    While he is at it I would like him to address the fact that the left has lost several (all?) of it’s major engagements recently.

    And the fact that they appear to be utterly incapable of making an effective counterattack.

  30. Ugh, sorry for double post. Forgot this point:

    @ESR

    As someone upthread mentioned, you are severely underestimating the degree to which the various factions of the “conservative” movement would be tearing each others guts out with their bare hands if it weren’t for the common enemy.

    Just the fault lines between the National Defense / Evangelical / Libertarian factions contain enough energy to destroy the movement.

  31. I’m not surprised that you brought up guns, given your position on them, and think you have a point there. But I wonder what you think about abortion. As social conservatives like Ross Douthat have pointed out, most people have pretty mixed positions on the issue, favoring something like relatively open access early in the first trimester and increasingly fast and tight restrictions as the first trimester closes and the fetus proceeds to viability. The Democratic party, on the other hand, has taken a hard tack to the left, even adding the repeal of the Hyde amendment to their platform. Their platform is probably always going to leave little to no room for pro-lifers like myself, but on the other hand, a lot of pro-lifers-like-myself took a look at the terrain in 2008 and somehow managed to vote for Obama (who is pretty radically pro-choice) based in part on the olive branches and understanding he offered such folks (I’m thinking in particular of a story he told about a doctor who wrote to him and convinced him to remove some anti-pro-life boilerplate from his website).

  32. @FooQuuxman

    I think you’re right, but what does the timeframe look like? Does the democratic party slowly wither into irrelevance over 20 years, or is it over-night? Does the GOP tear itself to shreds all at once when the Democratic bogeyman is crushed, or does that take a decade or more? How big are the resulting parties? Does it give a supermajority to a coalition between Evangelicals + National defense faction, whilst the libertarian become a small second party, having the existing ex-Democrats form a third?

    I’m not saying ESR’s right about his preference for a stronger Democratic party as a counter to unchecked GOP power, but it’s certainly a reasonable position

  33. “I am not arguing in this essay that the present Democratic platform and strategy is wrong in an abstract moral sense,”

    Don’t pull your punches. Any party that predicates that those supporting it are upstanding and right and those opposing it are abject racists based on the execrable lie of “white privilege” is completely immoral bullshit.

    The Dems need to find some morality as well to adequately reform their party. They’re already coming off like blistering fascists in the wake of this defeat.

  34. Jorge, you need to arrange with Eric to proofread his posts ahead of time. ;-)

  35. > the execrable lie of “white privilege”

    I actually read something recently that made me think of a really good analogy.

    “”” The Tea Partiers’ deep story goes something like this: They see themselves standing in the middle of a long line going up the hill of the American dream. The line isn’t moving, or is doing so very slowly. But these people are patient and work hard to get ahead. They are willing to endure hardship, including losing their homes to polluters, because they believe that through hard work, they will eventually move forward. But as a result of the actions of the federal government, people in the back of the line—minorities, immigrants, the poor—are allowed to cut ahead of the hard-working Tea Partiers. “””

    That’s not really, per se, a bad way to see the world. It’s simplistic, but analogies often are. But, the thing I realized is – within that analogy, the thing liberals refer to as “white privilege” is nothing more than the fact that somehow, the descendants of the – undeniably openly racist – white people of centuries gone by have managed to get all the spots further ahead in line in first place.

  36. Sigivald: Note Trump’s recent meetings with Jim Brown and Kanye West. They seem convinced that Trump is a good guy, sincerely concerned about black Americans. If Trump can get the black GOP vote from about 8% to about 25%, the Democrats will find it extremely difficult to win national elections.

  37. “On the first part, well, uh … what definitions of “in power” (beyond “yes, haven’t left office yet since it’s still December”, but that’s inevitable and irrelevant) and “winning” do you mean, and can you connect them to the real extant world?”

    Their policies continue to be enacted; the net effect of policies enacted is to strengthen their electoral position over time; the permanent bureaucracy openly obstructs the merely elected government in its attempts to stop and reverse Democrat policies, and implement its own policies.

    When the net effect of policies is to reduce Democrat demographics over time and expand Republican, and who controls the elected branches doesn’t much alter these policies, and if the elected branches try to alter them the bureaucracy closes ranks and obstructs them, THEN the Democrats are out of power, rather than just out of office.

    “On the demographic trends, note that Eric mentioned the actually true thing that there is no inevitability of demographic mapping to party membership; there’s no law of nature that black people and hispanics and women must prefer Progressive/Democrat policies.”

    There is no inevitability in terms of *party membership*. What happens is that the Overton Window shifts leftwards, and both parties shift leftwards. Sure, Catholics vote Republican. And the Republicans now enthusiastically endorse the Progressive administrative state for which Catholics voted.

    “Indeed, note as elsewhere that Trump did better among non-white voters than “generic Republican”.”

    By some irrelevantly tiny margin.

    “Tell me again that “all the demographic trends” solely favor Democrats, and then explain how each one actually is so, and how the Democrats own those voters forever, and exactly how they do so?

    “Because I don’t see any of it.”

    America is becoming a low IQ, low future orientation country by genetic displacement.

  38. The election was close in some ways, which makes it hard to be sure about which factors were crucial.

    https://niskanencenter.org/blog/defense-liberty-cant-without-identity-politics/

    I recommend the link– I’ll note that the sanctions against Cuba were not consistent with libertarian principles, but the people who got the sanctions lifted were people who cared about Cubans (some Cubans, probably the majority, but there are pro-sanction Cubans, perhaps especially in the US), not libertarians.

    This being said, I’ve seen leftists reacting in a bunch of ways ranging from blaming one group or another of their own for not trying hard enough, doing bunch-of-factors overviews, and telling each other to quit looking for people on their own side to blame. There is, of course, a lot of blaming people who voted for Trump and/or didn’t vote for Clinton.

    People who didn’t vote at all get blamed less, mostly. This is interesting mostly because of the pressure to vote before the election.

    ““Elections are won not by converting the opposition but by getting out your own vote, and Scudder’s organization did just that. According to histories I studied at Boondock, the election of 2012 turned out 63 percent of the registered voters (which in turn was less than half of those eligible to register); the True American party (Nehemiah Scudder) polled 27 percent of the popular vote… which won 81 percent of the Electoral College votes.”

    “In 2016 there was no election.”

    –Robert A. Heinlein, To Sail Beyond the Sunset, 1987”

    I agree with you about gun control– that it’s alienates a lot of people from the Democrats. I’ve talked with some of them about it, and it seems like it’s so much an identity issue for them that it would be hard for them to give it up.

    PapayaSF, do you have a link for that story?

  39. I have always felt that one party states lead to despair, dread, and death for populations that are subjugated to them.

    Most of my life I have been a conservative leaning libertarian. Never has the Democrat party resonated with me on nearly any issue outside of certain civil rights and first amendment concerns. Concerns, notably, that the modern incarnation of the Democrats have thrown in the trash and burned.

    But I do not want a one party state, even from the party I support. A mindful opposition is Always needed.

    The Dems have been unfaithful in that as well. After Obama’s win in 2008 they took it upon themselves to use the filibuster proof majority to rule as if they had just been handed a one party state that would last generations. Hell they even openly SAID that that was what they had achieved. They failed to notice that the American people get really damn nervous at being controlled by a one party state and the American people removed their “generational” majority after only two short years.

    The crux of the issue is that I think the Republican party thinks about governance and what it can sell the people by promising good governance, and the Democrat party now thinks about how it can rid itself of all these awful citizens that won’t willingly give in to their one party rule.

    Come to think of it, I disagree with your initial premise. The Libertarian party needs to rise, the Democrat party needs to die. And to put it in context, barring almost wholesale change the Democrats will never get a vote from me. Libertarians already have on quite a few occasions.

    So, Democrats can read you post and think about changing, (Prediction, you will be vilified by them for giving them advice) or their party can just go ahead and die.

    I’d much rather have nearly any party other than them become the faithful opposition…

  40. > Well, then Horowitz goes to Harlem, and asks some actual black people what they think about what those white liberal kids said. Their reaction is pretty dumbfounded. Of course they have ID. They know where the DMV is, and how to get there, to get ID.

    Is Harlem really the right place for such a study? (let’s pretend for a moment that it was a scientific study and not a video edited to support a conclusion) Harlem isn’t somewhere you have to go three counties over to find a DMV that’s open more than one day a week, after all. Anyway, the effect of voter ID laws isn’t to actually make it impossible for any one person who is determined to vote, to be able to vote. It’s to increase the amount of time, money, energy required, so that more people decide not to bother.

  41. “Hell they even openly SAID that that was what they had achieved. They failed to notice that the American people get really damn nervous at being controlled by a one party state”

    You don’t think that’s going to happen in 2018 to Paul Ryan’s “new era in unified government”, even if the GOP weren’t coming apart at the seams?

  42. @Jeff Read Hmmm, I’d love to know how that guy working three jobs without and ID managed to fill out the I9 form that required at least one form of ID!!!

    The ID freakout of the Democrats is pure bullshit designed to allow illegal immigrants to vote…. Period. It also allows Dem voters to vote in multiple precincts/polling places.

  43. I agree with many of your observations however the 2.8 million votes that Hillary Clinton won the popularity vote is just as significant. We had 48% vote for Hillary, 46% for Trump and 6% (rather large number for a third party) vote for somebody else.

    The story here is the geographical shift that has gone on. I agree that the Democrats and Clinton totally screwed up by not addressing the needs or concerns of the counties outside of University town and Urban area. Let poise this What If.

    Suppose the agendas of the Urban Areas and Universities continue to diverge from Rural America. What happens when their population continues to increase and now we are facing popular votes difference of more than 3 million.

    I am well aware that the founding fathers stacked the deck so to speak to make sure that Urban areas don’t dominate the political discourse. But at there is a point where the system has to give way to the will of the majority. There is no true conservative majority but it is true the overwhelming majority of the land area of the country is dominated by conservatives.

    For me, I consider myself liberatarian and believe that we need a smaller government with its power chopped up more finely between the different federal entities. I value personal freedom above everything else and while I disagree with some of the particular of the Democratic Party, I agree more with them than I do with the Republicans on that issue. In recent years I been voting Democratic because of that including this one. Well just for President, I voted Libertarian for all the State races.

    But after this election, I am going to resume voting Libertarian for everything. The power of the Federal government is such that it vulnerable to a Caesar and the only way in my opinion is to shrink it to lower the stakes of controlling it. The Libertarians are the only party to consistently advocate for that as well as champion the cause of personal freedom.

  44. Random832

    “It’s to increase the amount of time, money, energy required, so that more people decide not to bother.”

    Stupid, disorganised, uninterested people do not bother. Such people are quite common and constitute a large fraction of the Democrat (and socialister party in every country)-voting population. Which is why instead we hear about weird cases of people working three jobs, rather than the most common and plausible case of people who decide to stay at home and drink or watch daytime TV rather than getting their vote in order.

  45. @Random832

    The problem with your analogy is that many of the people screaming “White Privilege” are actually in line in way in front of the “tea party white people” in your example.

    i.e. the story from a while back about a black student on scholarship being immensely rude to a white waitress at a restaurant where she served him purely because of her skin color. She was in no way more privileged than he was, but he felt entitled to belittle her and put her down because of her skin color. That’s not calling someone to check their privilege, thats being a racist asshole.

    The whole white privilege shtick is racism pure and simple. Per ESR’s recommendations the Dems better dump it like its radioactive if they want to be able to win anything again.

  46. Eric, can you describe a scenario in which some group within the leadership of the Democratic Party reads this post and attempts to implement it’s prescriptions? Nancy Pelosi was recently re-elected as Minority Leader in the Congress and Chuck Schumer will soon be taking over for Harry Reid in the Senate. I don’t see a realistic path unless Donald Trump switches parties.

    My biggest fear is that liberal dogma has effectively become an addiction that is immune to rational discourse. In general, addicts do not change until they hit bottom or die.

  47. People who work three jobs are extremely organised, dedicated, and engaged. They may not be all that intelligent, but intelligent enough to fill out some forms, or find someone who knows how to do it and buy him a beer.

    I would bet money that the enrollment rate of people working three jobs is higher than that of the general population.

  48. @Random832 You are right on your point regarding the 2018 elections. Although I think the Democrat brand is so tarnished that it will not be involved in the pushback against the Republican dominated government.

    The fighting will be coming from inside the party. The Republican primaries of 2018 will be where the interesting political distinctions and discussions will come from. All while the Democrats will keep screaming “racist, racist, sexist, homophobe, islamophobe!!” and continue to get ignored.

  49. @Robert Conley what happens as the rural/urban constituencies drift apart is that migration in and out of areas will turn blue states more blue and red states more red. Eventually we’ll be living in essentially different countries, and shortly after that we will begin actually living in different countries.

    If the Dems keep up this divisive rhetoric and maintain their control of small regions of the country, while losing total influence in all other areas of the country, the fracturing of the union is inevitable.

  50. Jason, there is an opposing factor. People vote to make blue states blue, taxes and regulations become too high, so people leave for red states… and vote the same way. See CA to NV and OR, NY to FL, etc.

    In addition, this happens on the international level: Hispanics leaving Mexico and other screwed-up Latin American countries, and then voting for the same sorts of policies that made their home countries suck in the first place. And now Europe has Muslim migrants, too many of whom seem to want to continue the behaviors that created the same problems that they say they want to escape.

  51. I find the reference of transgender rights as a “peacock issue” interesting because I saw the exchange a different way. Transgender issues are certainly an issue I would expect the Democratic party to pick up. But the way the issue was taken up made me think they didn’t care about the object-issue and instead only cared about the symbology.

    There are many reasons people oppose transgender rights/issues. Some are flat-out objectively wrong, some are matters of opinion. One of these is that straight-cis-males may use transgender bathroom laws to go and leer at women in the opposite bathroom/changing room. This has actually been documented as having occurred. Mandating bathroom access without addressing this issue (even if to say that we think it’s less important than bathroom access) is demeaning and avoids the whole issue.

    If Obama had wanted to address the actual issue, he could have issued guidelines for new Federal building and funded school construction which required a minimum ratio of single-commode/non-specific/family/special-needs bathrooms to be constructed. This would be great for integrating those with physical disabilities who might require the assistance of a nurse, for example. And it provides an accessible bathroom for transgender students. And by focussing on new construction it eliminates the needs for massive capital expenditures while providing a standard which can be used during renovations to address those needs. But that would have been less dramatic, more effective, and wouldn’t have caused massive backlash and outrage.

  52. The democrats have existed as a dog whistle for international marxism for at least 50 years. They will never be a valid counter party to the republicans, and they will never be interested in bringing about some abstract sense of political balance.

  53. Jeff Read: every time I’ve gotten a job, I’ve had to provide two forms of ID for my tax paperwork. Who are these people working three jobs, none of which required them to provide ID?

  54. Robert Conley:

    I agree with many of your observations however the 2.8 million votes that Hillary Clinton won the popularity vote is just as significant.

    Not in a system where you don’t win by getting the majority vote and if you’re sane, you pursue Electoral College votes; as it turns out, the geniuses running Hillary’s campaign actually spent millions on getting more votes to just get more total votes in cities like New Orleans and Chicago. We cannot know how the election would have gone if both had pursued the popular vote total. E.g. how many people don’t bother to vote when they know it won’t count in their local polity?

    But at there is a point where the system has to give way to the will of the majority.

    The majority of citizens? The majority of votes including the fraudulent, which could be upwards of 10% or more? Note the others who have addressed how the current alignments are under stress or perhaps changing, are not historically stable, and how “European-Americans” are now joining the identity politics game … which alone would seriously change the rules of this already changing in this election game.

    There is no true conservative majority

    We’re certainly told by Gallup and company that many more people self-identify as “conservative” than “liberal”; maybe enough of these are No True Conservatives by your definition, but….

    The Libertarians are the only party to consistently advocate for that as well as champion the cause of personal freedom.

    This would be the same party that nominated notoriously anti-gun Bill Weld for VP, who then reminded us of that? Then again, your preference for the Democrats on “personal freedom” shows you don’t think that’s at all important to keeping it….

  55. I think that history will record the moment of Hillary’s loss as the instant when she uttered the word “deplorables”.

    Attacking your opponent is normal and expected. Attacking your opponent’s supporters is simply incompetent.

  56. I’ll agree with some of the others: I expect the Republican party to fracture and form the two main parties of the US. Note how the GOPe is coming out of their shock at the election results and starting to openly help the effort by our betters to delegitimize Trump’s victory with “The Russians Did It!” canard, including the Senate Majority Leader….

    One additional reason which I got from an essay written a few years ago that I can’t quickly find right now is that the Democrats are the party of free stuff, and the free stuff party we’ve been having on trillions of borrowed dollars is going to run out sooner or later (no predictions on when, but it seems inevitable short of a Singularity). If they can’t deliver the goods and they ignore advice like ESR’s and keep playing SJW games, as they show every sign of continuing to do, especially since it has survival power inside the party even if it externally dooms the party, why would we expect them to continue to be major contenders? Heck, they might collapse as quickly as the Whigs did given enough of an politico-economic discontinuity.

  57. @Random Observer

    Yep, I believe thats what did Hillary in too. And if the Democrats do not disavow that statement, they party will die. But, alas, they’re still running around telling people who voted for Trump how much they hate them and wish they were dead.

    ESR, the one thing you left out was the warning that the Democrats really really don’t want the Civil War that their fringe elements are clambering for so badly.

  58. ” We cannot know how the election would have gone if both had pursued the popular vote total. ”

    Yes, exactly. Trump got 30-40% of the vote in heavy “blue” states, despite basically not campaigning or spending any money at all in those states. If the rules had been different, he would have.

    Something else that doesn’t get nearly enough attention: Clinton outspent Trump by 2-1. It’s an article of faith that money is the only thing that matters in modern politics, yet Clinton lost despite spending twice as much money, and despite having the entire mainstream media trying to drag her criminal ass across the finish line.

    It is a very, very good thing for the Democratic Party that Clinton was facing Trump. If she’d been facing, say, Reagan, there simply wouldn’t be a Democratic Party any more, except perhaps as a fringe group like the Prohibition Party.

  59. >Is this (“Their ability to pass voter-ID laws will surely hurt you as well.”) a tacit admission that Democrats rely on voter fraud to win elections?

    I left that ambiguous quite deliberately. It doesn’t matter whether your theory is “Voter ID laws suppress Democratic constituencies” or “Voter ID laws keep illegals from voting”. My opinion on this is irrelevant to the point at issue.

    Either way, the Republican lock on most state legislatures mean that voter-ID laws will be passed and will hurt the Democrats. This is a reality they have to deal with by broadening their appeal.

  60. “I think that history will record the moment of Hillary’s loss as the instant when she uttered the word “deplorables”.”

    I have a friend who almost never votes for major parties. What pushed him over the edge and turned him into aTrump voter was Lena Dunham calling for the extinction of all white men. You see, my friend has sons.

    Have the Democrats repudiated people like Dunham? Like fun they have. Obama even sent his teen daughter off to intern with that crazy bigot.

  61. >It is a very, very good thing for the Democratic Party that Clinton was facing Trump.

    Indeed it was. The next Republican populist they face is unlikely to have near-terminal foot-in-mouth disease.

  62. >Something else that doesn’t get nearly enough attention: Clinton outspent Trump by 2-1

    You know, that’s so important that I may edit the article to add it.

  63. >To quote Douglas Adams: “There is another theory which states this has already occurred.”

    Well, yes. Liberal/Democratic credibility has already been damaged by exaggerated criticism of Trump during this year’s campaign and other Republicans in past campaigns (producing a Cry Wolf effect that likely helped get Trump elected). The disconnect between the hysterical hyperbole of the last month and the likely reality of a Trump presidency will be more of the same – but I think the effect on credibility is likely to have a greater depth and breadth than what we’ve seen in the past.

  64. I recently learned that in 1948 Truman connected Dewey with Nazis, so the tradition goes way back.

  65. [I]f the Democrats do not disavow [Hillary’s “deplorables”] statement, they party will die.

    For me, it was tacking on that we’re “irredeemable”. That’s a very telling word, claimed to even be religious in nature. OK, now I’m impressed, http://www.merriam-webster.com has in the last few weeks dropped the important definition of that word, but it still remains in their “Defined for English Language Learners” and “Defined for Kids” entries. That suggests to me just how significant her statement was, and, of course, how the party is doubling down on it as you note:

    But, alas, they’re still running around telling people who voted for Trump how much they hate them and wish they were dead.

    ESR, the one thing you left out was the warning that the Democrats really really don’t want the Civil War that their fringe elements are clambering for so badly.

    So Hillary is a fringe element of the party? Well, maybe in a few days, they still are holding out hope for “faithless” electors … ah, it’s not actually until January 6th that their votes are officially counted … anyway, no, I don’t think this is a “fringe elements” things. Probably not a majority of the party, depending on how you want to even define that, Trump Democrats were a thing after all, but are you so sure about, say, the majority of the drivers of its policies?

    Seriously, this is a party that deserves to die before they spark another civil war. Which “enough” of them very clearly want to do.

  66. “majority came entirely from the West Coast metroplex”
    And New York City, where, if you shot a gun in Times Square, the only Republicans you would hit are tourists who don’t vote there.

  67. Pithiest summary of the indirect election thing I’ve seen: “It’s not a popularity contest among the voters, it’s a popularity contest among the states, and it doesn’t matter how much New York and California love you if too many other states think you suck. I’m not sure why it’s been so hard for the DNC to grasp this, but if they don’t, after 2020 there may not be much of a DNC left to do any grasping.” (@maradydd in https://status451.com/2016/11/28/its-protein-world-we-just-live-in-it/)

  68. If adults actually take charge of the Democrat Party, what you prescribe could well happen. I’m not holding my breath, however, because virtue-signalling around the issues you identify has become the key element in the catechism that guides those associating with the Left.

    These are people that desperately need to feel elect, and virtue-signalling has become a kind of Free-Mason’s handshake of belonging. (Bumperstickers with which they crap up their cars are another way public signalling.)

    If you haven’t done so, I recommend reading Joseph Bottum’s recent book, An Anxious Age. Essentially what we see in the contemporary American left is the turn-of-the-20th-century Social Gospel, minus the Christianity that that movement was gradually abandoning.

    I’m not religious of any kind. But even I can recognize the telltale signs of people who need to organize around a sense of sin and redemption. Their problem is that traditional religions are experienced in handling that, but their atheism or agnosticism closes off that sanctuary. Hence the personal becomes political.

  69. The real Irony of Trump?

    He ran & won on a traditional Democratic platform. His entire platform is lifted pretty much wholesale from Democratic Populists like Huey Long.

    The GOP President that the Democrats are having conniptions about is a life-long Democrat (Registered until 2009) running on a traditional Democrat platform and was elected by traditional Democrat constituencies (primarily blue collar white voters)

    The fact that this is true shows just how far the Democratic Party has wandered from its roots.

  70. Adam Maas: People keep saying that, but when was the last time the “traditional Democratic platform” included rolling back a major government program, cutting taxes and regulations, restricting immigration, and expanding Second Amendment rights?

  71. Harold, I’ve been answering the flood of articles on Medium about how electors need to vote for someone besides Trump and how they have a duty to our democracy to exercise their judgment…yadda yadda flambé.

    They universally respond with incredulity and outrage when I tell them that they very people whose voices they are attempting to silence through the kind of legalisms that they’re using are the ones who have been crapped on that same way for decades, and are also the same ones who understand the true purpose of the Second Amendment. They just can’t bring themselves to understand that there is a line beyond which the average flyover-country American will not allow themselves to be dragged, and a coup by way of the Electoral College may well be that line.

    Damn straight that there will be a civil war if anyone but Donald Trump is inaugurated on January 20.

  72. >Damn straight that there will be a civil war if anyone but Donald Trump is inaugurated on January 20.

    I’m not certain of this. It might not be the last outrage; it might be the last but one.


  73. hey just can’t bring themselves to understand that there is a line beyond which the average flyover-country American will not allow themselves to be dragged, and a coup by way of the Electoral College may well be that line.

    Damn straight that there will be a civil war if anyone but Donald Trump is inaugurated on January 20.

    The electoral college will in fact become a major liability to the system in the likely event that it votes Trump into office. In practical terms it would negate the purpose it was put in place for, and would ultimately hasten its death as an institution.

    In the unlikely event that enough faithless electors materialize to deny Trump, there won’t be a civil war. The house will pick a moderate republican and life will go on.

  74. >In practical terms it would negate the purpose it was put in place for, and would ultimately hasten its death as an institution.

    No, uma, it wouldn’t. The Electoral college is intended to produce the outcome it just did – that is, require a candidate to have broad support across the U.S. rather than just a geographically-concentrated majority.

    You are not American, so you are excused for not knowing this. Most Americans don’t either.

  75. Papaya- ‘When was the last time a traditional Democratic program included-‘

    Dick Gephardt, 1990s. Seems like two decades ago nowadays, doesn’t it?

  76. OK, there’s some overlap with Gephardt, but not with all the items I listed. And I meant an election platform, not a get-demolished-in-the-primaries platform.

  77. ‘Something else that doesn’t get nearly enough attention- Clinton outspent Trump nearly two to one.’

    I like when rich people openly put a lot of money in politics, for 18th-century political theory values of like. The Passions and Interests of the most financially competent citizens of the Republic are a very proper part of public life.

    I REALLY like when the rest of us stomp a mud hole in their campaigns. !Jeb! Hillary! THANKS!

  78. Excellent article and unusually good comments, IMO. But I would not be so kind to the Democrats as to give them useful information and ideas on how to win again. I for one hope they elect the odious, Black Muslim, Keith Ellison as chair of the DNC. That will ensure their further move to the extreme left and further erode their ability to compete in the future.


  79. > The Electoral college is intended to produce the outcome it just did – that is, require a candidate to have broad support across the U.S. rather than just a geographically-concentrated majority.

    If each state’s electoral college votes are awarded proportionately, as opposed to winner-take-all, the outcome of the election would have been different. And the point you make above (ie. giving flyover states like Montana and Wyoming a greater say in the final outcome) would still be valid.

    The electoral college was not put in place as a ceremonial institution whose only purpose is to rubber-stamp the outcome of each state’s popular vote.


    > You are not American, so you are excused for not knowing this. Most Americans don’t either.

    Of course I am.

  80. When the election wasn’t decided by 6 or 7 PM pacific time it pretty well guaranteed that people in California would turn out to vote for Hillary. Most elections it is a waste of time; it is already decided by supper time.

    The center left in Canada was divided into four parts and lost elections to the conservatives until one major change happened; the Liberals under Trudeau didn’t promise to shut down the Alberta oil patch. Before that the vote was divided, and turnout was low.

    Hillary announced to cheers that a large industry employing quite a few people was going to be shut down on her watch. People aren’t stupid; they heard that loud and clear, and Trump won.

    I agree about the accusations of racism and sexism. It has almost become a mark of honor to be accused by some overeducated jackass of being racist. Not using that accusation would be a huge difference and improvement, and maybe actually allow some of the nasty situations to see some discussion and maybe improvements.

    If the Democrats manage to twist something to get Hillary as president, they won’t see power for a generation.

  81. And us Republicans in California didn’t even have a candidate in the Senatorial race to replace Barbara Boxer. It was a choice of two Democrats. I guess you could say, um, ida know…. Republicans were disenfranchised?

  82. “Even if voter IDs are free, if you’re working three jobs just to keep food and a roof you don’t have the time or money to get the documentation together to get a voter ID. Voter ID laws should be recognized for what they are: a form of unconstitutional poll tax.”

    If you (and the other people thinking voter ID laws are about disenfranchising certain groups) actually believed this, you would have MANY complaints about IDs beyond just voting:

    -opening a bank account
    -buying alcohol
    -getting on a plane
    -buying a firearm
    -GETTING A JOB

    Seriously, the people making these claims are either FLAMING racists or being completely dishonest (or both).

    There is no true conservative majority

    We’re certainly told by Gallup and company that many more people self-identify as “conservative” than “liberal”

    And if you ask about policy positions, even a lot of the self-identifying “liberals” are actually conservatives! By pure policy preference, this country has a HUGE conservative majority – the Democrats have spent decades making it politically incorrect to be “conservative”, or this country would be a VERY different place.

    The Libertarian party needs to rise, the Democrat party needs to die.

    Meh, I don’t care about the name, I care about the ideology, and ideology that drives the current Democrat party definitely needs to die. I do like a lot of libertarian things, but the Libertarian party has consistently been off-the-deep-end crazy in how they run and comport themselves, so I wouldn’t put any hope there. If they couldn’t get their crap together for THIS election, the best chance they’ve had in my lifetime (and the obviously couldn’t), then stop putting your hope there – they’re a lost cause.

  83. You left out a glaring issue and that is Americans do not feel safe and secure from terrorism. The Democratic Party would rather create a safe space for a snowflake but are not serious in dealing with terrorism (mainly Islamic). Many like myself gave the democrat party the middle finger for their narrow and unrealistic view of a dangeraous world. As a Floridian and someone who lives in Central Florida, I like many voters resent the glib answers of gun control and blaming Republicans for gun violence. Ask the residents of Chicago if liberal policies are working for them. The Democrat Party is on the verge of getting its ASS kicked again in 2018 if they do not stop their whining and bitching as they continue to blame racists, homophobes, sexist, islamaphobes, Russia, Drudge, Bernie Supporters, Christians, red heads, cat lovers, etc. for their pathetic performance in 2016. The navel gazing and the echo chamber gets to be replaced with living where real America lives and identify with us as Americans.

  84. PapayaSF:

    Adam Maas: People keep saying that, but when was the last time the “traditional Democratic platform” included rolling back a major government program, cutting taxes and regulations, restricting immigration, and expanding Second Amendment rights?

    Jimmy Carter was arguably closer than you might think to this in office (not being a Republican tainted by Watergate was of course his biggest selling point), except of course for the cutting taxes, and immigration wasn’t a big issue back then. Yeah, he created the Department of Education and gutted the civilian nuclear program, starting before Three Mile Island, but he also signed the bills that ended intrusive, controlling trucking and airline regulation and their agencies, the Interstate Commerce Commission and Civil Aeronautics Board. He and his Georgia crew were smart enough not to mess with gun control, albeit this was during a high period of state gun control. Also appointed Paul Volcker to the Fed, and was capable of getting a clue after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

  85. I keep reading about voter ID and how bad it’s supposed to be. Well – we’ve had it in The Netherlands for ages and no one ever seems to think it is either bad or inherently racist, at least not that I’m aware of. It is just not a point of discussion. Want to vote? Show a valid ID and your name better be on that voter registration list, or else you’re not getting a ballot.

  86. esr:

    >Damn straight that there will be a civil war if anyone but Donald Trump is inaugurated on January 20.

    I’m not certain of this. It might not be the last outrage; it might be the last but one.

    Agreed; it’s hard to see it not lighting a fuze to inevitable civil war, but we’re “slow to anger”. Hillary’s prior verbal attacks turning into real world ones, plus her colossal general incompetence (seriously, the only thing smart she’s ever done since getting her law degree was marrying Bill), makes it hard to see any other outcome.

    Then again, as physically ill as she is, who knows how long she’d live, or who would be really running things after a while.

  87. Look, the Electoral College is not going to do anything other than vote Trump into office. The so-called faithless electors are all Clinton supporters bar one. There absolutely will not be defections on any meaningful scale. And all the nonsense about Boris and Natasha swinging the election for Trump at the behest of Fearless Leader (Putin)? No-one who voted for Trump gives a damn about that, and the people that didn’t don’t count. Trump voters know it’s nonsense (at heart the Democrats know it’s nonsense, too, but can’t resist a bit of drama). Yes, the Russians might—might—have got up to some mischief, but the idea that it had any real impact on the outcome of the election is a further slap in the face to people who are sick and tired of being told they voted for Trump because they’re ignorant, racist Neanderthals. It’s begging the question anyway; the Podesta emails were leaked, not hacked. There has been no evidence presented of Russian involvement, let alone effective Russian involvement.

    This isn’t even the first time that a leak has pointed up the double standard that the Left has when it comes to such things. If it’s a Republican whose communications have been leaked, then the media focus is on the content of the leaked documents (viz. Sarah Palin). If it’s a Democrat that’s suffered the leak, then the focus is on how dastardly the leakers were (viz. Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame). The Democrats loved Snowden and Assange until they didn’t any more. And people see this. They’re not stupid. The raw contempt that Clinton and Podesta and the whole slimy gang in the DNC had for the white working class was on display for all to see. The same people are scratching their heads wondering why it apparently wasn’t a big deal having Clinton run State Department comms through a server that a child could ransack, but some putative shenanigans by shadowy Russkies is suddenly the Cuban Missile Crisis redux.

    None of the current histrionics is harming Trump; quite the opposite. They are further evidence that the Left is still flailing about with no idea of what to do next. I’ve seen toddlers throw a tantrum in the shopping mall, but generally they calm down after a couple of minutes. The adult babies of the Left have been shrieking and wetting themselves for five weeks now, and normal, sane people are just tuning them out.

  88. Russia wanted Trump to win for reasons other than Trump’s expressed love for Putin. Putin knows that Trump says something and its exact opposite in the same sentence.

    Russians want a continuation of the weak Obama presidency and a useful fool like Trump potentially offers better prospects on that front than Hillary. Their aim is geopolitical expansion and weakening the western alliance. Trump offers far better prospects on those fronts. An America paralyzed with internal squabbles over it’s president’s tweets is the America that Russia wants to see on the international stage.

  89. > If each state’s electoral college votes are awarded proportionately, as opposed to winner-take-all, the outcome of the election would have been different. And the point you make above (ie. giving flyover states like Montana and Wyoming a greater say in the final outcome) would still be valid.

    Ummm. No.

    Even with proportionality enforced inside states, Trump would have garnered 274 electoral votes. Do the arithmetic yourself if you don’t believe me.

    But that’s beside the point. Your “tweak” is not the deal everyone agreed to beforehand, not in 1787 and not in 2016. Proportionality can’t be enforced on the states, because they’re sovereign in and of themselves. Their deal, whenever they entered the union, is that they make their own rules about these things and the smaller ones get bonus points just to avoid strict majoritarianism. Break the deal; break the union. If you want to change it, amend the constitution. Good luck with that, given that amendments need ratification by 38 state legislatures, and Republicans control 32 of them outright.

    Coming to 2016, you’re complaining about the rules after the fact, and squirming trying to find some “minor variation” that puts you ahead. That’s bullshit. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it. Since kindergarten, everyone knows it. Yes, you can wave your hands and try to waive the rules ex post facto. No one else is willing to play on those terms. Since the entire purpose of this shtick is to see who ends up king of the hill, it’s pretty pointless if no one will play with you, is it?

    You lost, uma. Whining about it a month later makes you a poor loser. Fiddling the rules after the game is over makes you an arse.

  90. @ESR
    I suspect the Democratic party has shifted too far towards big government, nanny regulation, unionism, crony capitalism & PC identity politics to have any chance at all to recover. It has actively driven the centrists and realists out of the party apparatus and pretty much out of existence. In actuality, it has forced conformity to the party narratives becoming more and more intolerant of alternate viewpoints.

    We have been on a long road to arrive at Republicans controlling 32 legislatures and 33 governors while Democrats control only 13. This only reinforces the conclusion that the Democrats have painted themselves into the corner of their liking.

    @ those who think the GOPe or the NeverTrump GOP factions represent any kind of coherent political assemblage, these folks are mostly the corrupt hogs at the trough segment of society represented by the US Chamber of Commerce and the Open Borders Globalists. Those few are going nowhere as one would expect seeing just how spiked the Jeb! candidacy did in the primaries.

  91. This is even without considering gerrymandering.

    Winter, kindly explain to us rubes how gerrymandering plays a role in US presidential elections.

  92. I think very telling were the Democrats who joked about bankrupting coal companies or going after logging (replace it with eco-tourism) or fracking or pipelines. Meanwhile, millions of people who earned livings through those industries didn’t get the joke. Meanwhile they looked around at dying communities, rising opiate addiction rates, suicides, and a jobless future. The irony is that many of these were traditional blue-collar Democrats voters (like construction union members who supported pipelines). As an aside, these formerly Democrat voters were a tad more conservative on other issues (pro-defense, may own a gun, support the cops, think dudes shouldn’t be in the lady’s room). They used to fit within the Democrat Party, but were shoved out.

  93. @Odd Man Out
    “Winter, kindly explain to us rubes how gerrymandering plays a role in US presidential elections.”

    The original post was not limited to the presidential elections. Neither is voter suppression and related shenanigans. And about voter IDs to combat voter fraud. I have still to see any real evidence that voter fraud is a factor in the elections, or that it even exists.

  94. Would those of you who think a civil war is likely go into some detail of how it would happen? We may need at least a rough definition of civil war.

    I can’t imagine a civil war because the sides are geographically pretty mixed. There could be some deadly violence, but my assumption is that the federal government has the means and the will to squelch it.

    Maybe I’m missing something, but I think you can only have a civil war when both sides have military weapons and organization. It might be possible to whomp up a scenerio where the US military is divided against itself, but I can’t quite get it to gell. One possiblity (certainly good enough for fiction, and possibly already in print) would be that part of the military thinks the US is becoming disasterously dominated by Russia and another part thinks that loyalty to the existing administration still makes sense.

  95. @Nancy Leibovitz
    “I can’t imagine a civil war because the sides are geographically pretty mixed. ”

    That is not much of a consolation. The same was true in Yugoslavia before the civil war.

    However, in the USA I think there are brakes on any civil war. First, there is no recent history of war, just the civil war of the 19th century. Second, the economic and industrial imbalance between the Democratic and Republican parts of the US is more extreme than it was in the 19th century. The Democratic parts generate 2/3 of the US GDP. I think that a secession is more likely.

  96. @Nancy Lebovitz

    The US contains uncontrolled militia violence right now; there are places in the US you cannot safely go because you would be robbed or murdered by militias. The US federal government has argued itself into a position where all effective countermeasures to low level violence are immoral and illegal. A civil war akin to the 19th century war with conventional field armies on both sides does not seem plausible, but the US being made ungovernable by low level violence does.

  97. esr, your advice to the Democrats is crap. The winning strategy for democrats is double down on hating white males, starting with fining you four hundred thousand dollars because all your patches come from white males.

    White males own just about everything because white males create just about everything. So in a democracy the winning strategy, assuming you are successful in smashing families and preventing family formation in the first place, is to promise to take stuff from white males and give white male stuff to everyone else.

    They need to mobilize their base. The best way to do that is to find more witches and confiscate the stuff belonging to witches.

  98. And all the nonsense about Boris and Natasha swinging the election for Trump at the behest of Fearless Leader (Putin)? No-one who voted for Trump gives a damn about that….

    Actually, a lot of us did care in one way that we can be certain Putin did as well: Hillary palpably wanted to start another shooting war, this time with Russia, ignoring among other things the minor detail that it’s the only country than can end the US in 30 minutes. We obviously have our differences with Putin and Russia, but neither of us wanted that outcome, so Trump was the only viable alternative. It was the strongest, at least in the short term, existential argument for voting for Trump, vs. someone who had a major hand in setting way too much of the world on fire.

    None of the current histrionics is harming Trump….

    That I’m not sure of, now that enough GOPe members of the Senate including the Majority Leader have evidently recovered from the shock of the election outcome and signed onto this delegitimization of Trump’s victory. For example, would any of us be surprised if their diminished majority fails to Consent to Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, who’s had successful business dealings with Putin, even got an Order of Friendship medal (which in its older form never counted against Armand Hammer), or many of his other picks they have to vote on, including Mattis for the DoD, who requires a waiver like Marshall did because he hasn’t been out of the military for long enough?

    Of course, there are two sides playing this game, and Trump’s demonstrated he’s very good at it, so these sorts of bad events might not come to pass, but right now it doesn’t look good.

  99. Winter on 2016-12-15 at 05:47:52 said:
    “. I have still to see any real evidence that voter fraud is a factor in the elections, or that it even exists.”

    In some parts of Detroit, Clinton received not merely one hundred percent of the vote, but three hundred percent of the vote. Which is probably why the recount was cancelled.

  100. However, in the USA I think there are brakes on any civil war…. Second, the economic and industrial imbalance between the Democratic and Republican parts of the US is more extreme than it was in the 19th century. The Democratic parts generate 2/3 of the US GDP.

    Perhaps, but what about what I’ll label “essential” GDP? Which parts grow the food, extract and/or refine most of our fuels, or manufacture guns and ammo (the latter is more mixed, but it’s steadily tilting towards Republican parts due to the Democrat’s general anti-business and specific anti-gun policies, plus my side has already “banked” enough ammo to fight such a war by our rules). How much of that GDP will go poof when we no longer can borrow trillions of dollars at near zero real rates of interest, or if things get nasty enough, we start killing exquisitely fragile big Blue cities (way too easy to cut off their power, and note the recent fun with the Colonial Pipeline)? How much will the design and distribution (obviously little of the manufacture today) of new iPhones count in such a scenario? Medicines, ah, that gets sticky, then again aren’t most generics manufactured in Canada or offshore?

    I very much don’t want a civil war to come to pass, but I think the Left is insane if they think they hold a good hand of cards.

  101. >It might be possible to whomp up a scenerio where the US military is divided against itself, but I can’t quite get it to gell.

    I can. People unfamiliar with the U.S. military culture don’t grasp what fervent Constitutionalists our officer class are. A civilian politician ordering the U.S. military to move against an insurrection on U.S. soil had better be damn sure the insurrectionists don’t have a sound Constitutional argument, because if they do a U.S. officer’s training would not only permit but require him to refuse that as an unlawful order. Remember what the swear their oath to; not the CinC, not the government, the Constitution.

    Of course different officers would have different judgments of what arguments are sound. So yes, in the event of civil war a divided military is quite likely. Especially since part of our folk memory is that the reconciliation process after the last Civil War did not involve hanging Confederate officers for treason – in fact, not only were they reabsorbed into the Union Army, it even adopted what was essentially Confederate uniform for some service areas in the West. In effect, we set a precedent for a divided military…

    On the other hand, only a damn fool would try to order the U.S. military to confiscate civilian weapons in the absence of people actually shooting at them. There would be little if any division about that.

  102. >we start killing exquisitely fragile big Blue cities

    Or, in at least one important case, an entire multi-urban blue enclave. The lefty parts of CA are hideously vulnerable to an attack on their water supply.

  103. “Many like myself gave the democrat party the middle finger for their narrow and unrealistic view of a dangeraous world. ”

    And it’s a HUGE portion of why we give the Libertarian party the same finger and then some.

  104. “For example, would any of us be surprised if their diminished majority fails to Consent to Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, ”

    Which is why 2018 won’t be the GOP cakewalk some people think. 8 Republicans are guaranteed a primary if that happens.

  105. ESR, there’s another factor involved: If the US military is ordered to fire on its’ own citizens, it won’t be firing on people in some distant state with evidence of slavery close at hand. It will be firing on its’ next door neighbors, friends, and family members. Which is something a lot of Leftists also forget: there aren’t a neat contiguous group of states you can have Sherman go commit war crimes in. That Hellfire missile will be hitting the house next to yours.

  106. SDN:

    “For example, would any of us be surprised if their diminished majority fails to Consent to Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, ”

    Which is why 2018 won’t be the GOP cakewalk some people think. 8 Republicans are guaranteed a primary if that happens.

    Indeed, an internal, non-violent “civil war” in the GOP is a much safer bet, and many of us are looking forward to primaring a lot of the House GOPe and indeed no doubt some of those 8 in the Senate. But I think it’s the GOPe(stablishment) that’s not going to enjoy a cakewalk, not necessarily the GOP proper. Or as we’ve been discussing, an eventual formal split of the party and displacement of the Democrats … although thinking about the specifics now, I wonder if the GOPe side of the spilt would have much success.

    A formal alliance with the Democratic party in its lamentable state which prompted our host’s posting sounds unlikely, but tacit one, that’s, well, exactly what we’ve seen since 2014 in the “Uniparty” at the national level when the Republicans took the Senate, and that had a great deal to do with Trump’s success. So formal splitting looks far off, at least before 2018, and in the meanwhile imagine the fun of Team Trump playing by his/the new rules and running against a “Do Nothing GOPe (Congress)” in 2018. As was said early on in the primary, “You ‘conservative pundits’ still don’t get it. Trump isn’t our candidate, he’s our murder weapon, and the GOP is our victim“.

  107. >Which is something a lot of Leftists also forget: there aren’t a neat contiguous group of states you can have Sherman go commit war crimes in.

    On top of that, a disportionately large share of our officer class hails from Red states.

  108. You know, I’m sort of “conservative”. I’m glad the democrats (temporarily) lost control.

    But I support California’s secession bid wholeheartedly. I don’t even wish them ill, or bitterly anticipate any horrible future for them on their own: There are parts of California’s culture that seem to work well (against all odds, the aerospace industry still seems to be doing the most interesting work out there), and I’m sure they’ll figure out something that works for them.

    But America needs a divorce. Now would be preferable, since the left is on the outs and it’s no longer “evil racist treason” to contemplate it. I have no desire to dominate or control the coasties, I just want them to stop screwing with our lives, liberties, and livelihoods.

    It’s possible that a looser alliance among states or blocs of states will be better for all concerned: Politics will cease to be tribal warfare between people who hate each other and want to grind each other into the dirt. (It’s also possible that within each smaller state, some parasitic elite will reappear and whip up the same divisions on a smaller scale to loot the country – but at least it won’t happen everywhere simultaneously.)

    If something like this can be worked out (probably a long shot), we can all win and all independently pursue something that works for us.

  109. >Trump is politically essentially incompetent, but knows how to play to an audience and a TV camera better than HRC, so pulled a win.

    I would argue that knowing how to play to an audience and a TV camera is the height of political competence. You can be the smartest policy wonk on the planet, but it’s all for naught if you can’t get elected. Getting yourself elected to the highest office in the country, and as the most powerful leader in the free world, is pretty much the height of political competence.

  110. The problem with a lot of the Democrat narratives about the election fail for one simple reason: this election was excellent for the GOP in general, not just for Trump. The liberals have spent the last month shrieking and crying about Trump, but they have failed to account for the performance of the GOP down the ticket. This was supposed to be a tough year for the GOP, yet they did well at every level. If trends continue this way, 2018 is going to be a Democrat bloodbath because the Dems have to defend a lot of seats in red states. So in that sense, this election was just a continuation of the red wave that began in the 2010 midterms.

    The Democrats failed on many fronts, but the “rising coalition” fallacy may be what dooms them. They assume that Latino’s will always be a Democrat force, much like African Americans have been since the Great Society days, and so more Latinos equals more Democrats in their estimation. But it is not clear that this is the case, and in fact if curbs are put on immigration and efforts at assimilating immigrants are stepped up, there is every reason to believe that many immigrants will lean conservative. (Cubans in Florida, for example, and even an increasing number of Puerto Ricans.)

    Michael Barone has called the disaggregation of America the “great sorting”, as liberals and conservatives concentrate themselves into different enclaves. The Democrats flock to the coasts and the large urban centers; the conservatives concentrate in the suburbs and rural hinterlands. This process will likely continue — California and the New York-Philadelpha-DC metroplex will draw the bulk of Democrats, while the vast interior of America goes on being what it pretty much has always been.

    Running up the vote in California and New York City won’t help the Democrats gain relevance in the rest of America.

  111. Good article. However. a quibble…

    > smarter Republicans than Trump will take the lesson going forward.

    Not convinced there are any. All of the descriptive language about how Democrats are out of touch with the center apply as well to half of the Republican “leadership”. One thing Trump appears to be doing is moving a lot of Republican-conservative outliers into positions of power, something neither Bush was willing to do. Trump didn’t just beat the Democrats; he beat the Republicans, or at least its so-called leadership, as well.

    Reagan showed Republicans how to win 36 years ago. Democrats thought Reagan was a bumpkin, but so did the rest of the GOP “leadership” — even Gorbachev was shocked at how little GHW Bush respected Reagan. They don’t call Republicans “the Stupid Party” for nothing.

  112. a) Lincoln’s war was not a “civil war”
    b) If we do finally have an actual “civil war”, it will be a war of people vs government – and it will swiftly vaporize the government.

  113. > On top of that, a disportionately large share of our officer class hails from Red states.

    Not to mention most large military bases are located in southern states, and most of the rank-and-file members of the military hail from the south, midwest, or mountain west.

  114. Eric: If an Electoral College coup or other overthrow of the will of the people happens and Trump is not inaugurated, and the people did not revolt, what further outrage could there be that would push the people into it?

    uma: About a weak Trump and Russia: I think this will turn out to be yet another case of “be careful what you ask for. You may get it.” How’d supporting an easily beatable candidate work for John Podesta?

    Winter: Think that all the way through. Do you think the American government will stand for a secession? Indeed, I think that’s one very likely vector for the start of a civil war. And there may be no recent history of war among the general population, since the end of the Korean War, but that does not mean that the American patriot does not have the heart of a warrior should it come to that. The US military has gamed out putting down armed uprisings before. When you factor in the likely defection of a nontrivial amount of the armed forces to the side of the rebels, the outcome is not at all guaranteed.

    And as far as voter fraud is concerned, there is a very good case to be made that it foisted Obamacare on us. Al Franken was the last Senator to take the oath of office in 2009 due to a lengthy recount battle. He wound up being declared the winner by 312 votes. There were, later, over 200 people charged with voting illegally, as convicted felons. Do you honestly think that very many of them voted for his opponent, or that they caught every last one?

    Eric: “On top of that, a disportionately large share of our officer class hails from Red states.”
    Something for the Left to think about in this connection: the largest supplier of officers to the US military is not the service academies. It is Texas A&M University. The numbers aren’t even close.

    ams: Sorry. The California Left hee-hawed incessantly over the Texas secession movement as recently as this past March or so. (Remember the resolution at the Texas GOP Convention?) Now that the shoe is not he other foot, I have exactly zero sympathy for them.

  115. Jay Maynard:

    Eric: If an Electoral College coup or other overthrow of the will of the people happens and Trump is not inaugurated, and the people did not revolt, what further outrage could there be that would push the people into it?

    Not Eric, but the outrages whomever they would replace him with would perpetuate or worse on us. If Hillary, this should be obvious, although that assumes the “faithless” electors would swing to her instead of throwing it to the House. Then again, would we be entirely surprised if they chose Hillary? More likely, I’d guess from my quick reading just now of the relevant Amendments, is that they’d game it to throw it to Pence (per 12, by not choosing anyone, per 20, it devolves to the VP elect). And thus we’d assume the Uniparty would continue in formal power, and how our wrath plays out depends on what it does in the interim.

  116. @Jay Maynard “The California Left hee-hawed incessantly over the Texas secession movement as recently as this past March or so. (Remember the resolution at the Texas GOP Convention?) Now that the shoe is not he other foot, I have exactly zero sympathy for them.”

    I’m beginning to think the only political ideology that matters is the right of self-government – which means very local government. If the last century has proven anything it is surely that disconnected far away governments don’t work – whether they be centered in Moscow, Beijing, Brussels, or DC doesn’t matter. The right of (peaceful) succession ought to be considered a supreme non-infringe-able right like free speech, bearing arms, etc.

    I’m gonna suggest that this is at least nominally compatible with ESR’s anarchist view.

    So let California, Alaska, Hawaii and Texas go in peace. And all others everywhere.

  117. @Harold
    Of course under the constitution pursuing the popular vote win is stupid. And it wasn’t my point. Nor is my point that Clinton ought have won THIS election because of her winning the popular vote.

    My point is that if the electoral system doesn’t work to fulfill the will of a large majority then change needs to occur. What is a large majority? That is definitely open to debate. My view is that if for the next few election the Democrats keep winning the popular vote by millions but losing the electoral college then there going to be problems.

    Is it likely that scenario going to occur? Probably not but right now I consider it something more than just an intellectual exercise.

    And in case in point, various state had to deal with this issue over the years. For example Virginia even after the split with West Virginia and the Civil War still had issues with the imbalance of power between the coastal counties dominated by the planters and the interior counties.

    The demographics of this country is changing. It changed several times before and we survived. And now it changing again.

    As a general comment, I am personally tired of both sides mocking each other. I see comments disparaging the coastal and urban enclaves, and comments disparaging the people living in rural regions. Everybody started it. Everybody things they are on some damn fool great Crusade to save the nation.

    The answer is that the nobody is right, the 160 million can’t impose their will on the other 160 million. That in a republic and democracy such as ourselves the only path is to sit down, talk it out, and come to a compromise.

    My personal view is that in the long run is to lower the stakes by shrinking government and distributing power even more than it done know. It also my view that from what remains, still have to function as a social safety net of last resort, still have to prove for the common defense, still has to maintain the infrastructure of the nation, and still safeguard the individual liberates of all citizens regardless of belief or circumstances of birth.

  118. Tom: “I would not be so kind to the Democrats as to give them useful information and ideas on how to win again.”
    What makes you think they’ll listen and heed Eric’s advice?

    “I for one hope they elect the odious, Black Muslim, Keith Ellison as chair of the DNC. That will ensure their further move to the extreme left and further erode their ability to compete in the future.”
    They seem determined to do just that. As a regular reader of Power Line, I’ve been following the Ellison story ever since he first ran for Congress. I have no doubt at all that he’s just exactly the kind of candidate the Bernie-bot Left would love, and that the rest of America will run away from.

  119. @Michael “So let California, Alaska, Hawaii and Texas go in peace. And all others everywhere.”

    It’s already happened. DC, Colorado, Oregon and Washington are in open revolt against Federal authority, giving aid and comfort to the enemy in the war on drugs.

    It’s almost as if the powers not delegated to the Federal Government by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

  120. No, uma, it The Electoral college is intended to produce the outcome it just did – that is, require a candidate to have broad support across the U.S. rather than just a geographically-concentrated majority.

    I think a better mechanism would be switching to a better voting method (instant runoff, Borda count, etc.) in addition to requiring a supermajority of, say, 65% to win. That would mean that as the population of the cities grows in relation to the rural areas, it requires broad support without the messy system of elections.

    The problem with the current situation is that it allows the candidates to focus on a handful of swing states, and that’s it.

  121. Can someone provide credible citations to Hillary getting 300% of the registered vote? That’s … something.

  122. @Winter wrote: “voters have to wait 6 hours in line to vote (but they did so in Zimbabwe).
    http://www.vox.com/presidential-election/2016/11/6/13542680/there-are-4000-people-in-a-half-mile-voting-line-in-cincinnati-today-this-isn-t-okay

    I live in Cincinnati. Those long lines were for early voting on the Sunday before Election Day, not on the day itself, and at the Hamilton County (of which the city of Cincinnati is merely a substantial part) board of elections office, not individual precincts. Note again that this was the Sunday before elections: I have friends whose entire church congregations got on busses after the Sunday service and went down together to vote early, instead of going on their own on Tuesday. I imagine that at least half of those congregations were intended to vote Democrat… but I cannot promise that the other half were not intended to to vote against Hillary Clinton. The city of Cincinnati is a Democratic stronghold; the rest of the county is not.

    And if Mr. Trump’s outreach to the African-American community produces the results is promising, four years from now Cincinnati may not be such a stronghold, either.

  123. If each state’s electoral college votes are awarded proportionately, as opposed to winner-take-all, the outcome of the election would have been different.

    That’s impossible to know; you can’t assume events that played out under one set of rules would also occur under a different set of rules. The players in this game should and do plan their strategies around those rules.

    As a rough analogy, if football switched switched from deciding the winner based on time-of-possession and not points, the games would play out much differently.

  124. I’m a little late to the party, but I’d point out a lot of the first 50 or so comments made a fundamental error in mistaking the Democratic constituency with the Democrats themselves. The Democratic constituency is doing fine right now. Should they get their act together in the next 2 years, they Democrats will do fine modulo the issues they face with unbalanced incumbancies in the Senate. The problem is the Democratic leadership.

    My personal suspicion is that Hillary Clinton has been, behind the scenes, squashing any Democrat who might have been able to upstage her in the Presidency. Unfortunately, it turns out that squashing “everybody less good that Hillary” really hollows out a party, because Hillary turns out to be terrible. We got Obama because as a less-than-one-term Senator, the Clintons never took him seriously. Then he beat her handily. As we’ve seen in the last eight years, that is not because Obama is some sort of political prodigy… it’s because Hillary was terrible. In this election we got a non-Democrat who switched parties and still nearly beat her in a lot of ways (possibly, if you remove fraud, he may have won the popular vote in the primary). Again, not because much of anybody seriously thought Sanders was a good candidate, but because Hillary is terrible. I think that’s why you see such a hollow Democratic party in the 40-60 year old range; that’s the age range that didn’t have enough power already to resist being culled (Biden, for instance), and was in competition with Hillary and had to go.

    Turns out 20 years of hollowing out a party takes its toll. Now the leadership is almost a vacuum at the top. It’s disconnected. I suspect it may have taken its radical left turn because radical leftists were permitted by the Clinton Machine to survive because they were A: less of a threat and B: useful to the Machine to vote for Clinton in the primaries and then leave plenty of room for Clinton to jog to the center, or at least, that was the plan.

    They need to fix this. The structure of the situation almost guarantees they eventually will; a one-party system is not stable under US electoral rules. However, how we get from here to there is not clear. Though at least one aspect is clear; the Democrats need to extract themselves from the Clinton machine. (I’d suggest a strategy of ensuring Chelsea is unelectable at the earliest available opportunity.)

    I tend to agree the Libertarians or any existing third party is unlikely to pick up the slack, but I think the probability of a new Democratic replacement, which I’d still rate quite low, is higher than it has been in decades.

  125. It’s pretty easy to see a world where the US has zero national parties. There are states where the Democrats are such political appendixes that they too could be replaced without affecting much in the state. For the other side, the GOP in NY state is very vulnerable, for instance. That would elevate its conservative party as the second party. I can’t imagine that NY State is the only such state though the third party elevated would probably not be the conservative party but the libertarian one.

    We might do well to go through a period where regionally strong parties have a cage match to consolidate back down to two national parties.

    I can’t find any primer laying out the details as to how to elevate a third party into second party status. The rules would be in each state’s election law but I can’t seem to find anybody who has created a book or a wiki that lays all of them out.

  126. To those of you pondering how a U.S. civil war might, in reality, be possible, may I respectfully suggest you read “Empire” by Orson Scott Card?

  127. No, uma, it wouldn’t. The Electoral college is intended to produce the outcome it just did – that is, require a candidate to have broad support across the U.S. rather than just a geographically-concentrated majority.

    Yet if anyone suggested that any other minority but the “geographically-disperse” deserved to receive disproportionate representation, they would be laughed out of the room.

  128. Also you’ve got a funny definition of “intended”. Decades went by before the situation of “a presidential candidate’s name appears on the ballot, and all the electors for that state more or less automatically vote for the candidate who wins that state’s popular vote” became settled. Were it intended, that would have been the case from the start, and we wouldn’t even have actual electors.

    It’s become a tradition but, like the two-party system, it’s hard to argue that the founders even imagined it would happen, let alone intended it.

  129. Garrett:

    Can someone provide credible citations to Hillary getting 300% of the registered vote? That’s … something.

    You could try your favorite search engine and type in Detroit ballots and find reports from notorious Right Wing Conspiracy sources like the Detroit News, founded in 1873, where they even have video of the State Elections Director explaining what was found. And from the top article by them as selected for me by Google:

    Voting machines in more than one-third of all Detroit precincts registered more votes than they should have during last month’s presidential election, according to Wayne County records prepared at the request of The Detroit News.

    […]

    The problems were the worst in Detroit, where discrepancies meant officials couldn’t recount votes in 392 precincts, or nearly 60 percent. And two-thirds of those precincts had too many votes.

    And by Michigan’s laws, those vote counts stand, cannot be a part of a recount … very convenient, that.

    And here’s a sentence you can search on to get a Detroit Free Press article, or that gives you enough very specific information to find other sources (I’m not including links since that puts me in the moderation queue):

    Most clerks insist the mistakes are made in good faith, but state Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, and some of his colleagues asked for a state investigation into pollbook irregularities, citing Detroit Precinct 152, where only 50 ballots were found in a container that should have had more than 300 votes.

    Separately I read that that container had 10 or so votes for Trump, but the count was all for Hillary. Further digging should get you a total for the overage for Detroit.

  130. It is interesting the paradox we see in the reaction to the idea of faithless electors being brought up in an election where the popular vote did not match the (presumptive) electoral vote. The will of the people matters to one party only in so far as “will of the people” is narrowly defined to the will of some amount less than 50% of the people, whereas to the other party there’s the cognitive dissonance of both arguing a populist position of respecting the popular vote and the fundamentally elitist position of having electors have the right to choose who to vote for.

  131. Eric, very succinct article. A bit windy, perhaps, but the soul of wit does not *always* come with brevity.

    At the turn of the last century before the turn of the last century, the California of the Union before there was a California, was big, bad New York State. When most of the colonial and post-colonial Union consisted mostly of states the size of postage stamps, they also relied on the Electoral College to erect a firewall preventing the Empire State imposing their will on the lesser electorate. Considering the country was only a few election cycles deep, and Washington was ushered in by decree (and therefore only counted in the pre-season standings), there had to be considerable doubt about the wisdom of this direction at the time.

    One can imagine how many trees had anguished Decrees nailed to them, not to mention the rabble rousers with their damned printing presses! Hmph.

  132. > Proportionality can’t be enforced on the states, because they’re sovereign in and of themselves. Their deal, whenever they entered the union, is that they make their own rules about these things and the smaller ones get bonus points just to avoid strict majoritarianism.

    States aren’t completely ‘sovereign in and of themselves’, else the Constitution ‘interferes’ in state elections all the time: see the 15th, 19th, and 24th Amendments.

    Lessig recently made an interesting argument (at https://medium.com/equal-citizens/the-equal-protection-argument-against-winner-take-all-in-the-electoral-college-b09e8a49d777 ) that Winner-Take-All elector methods violate the Equal Protection Clause because (the way I understand the argument) Electors that are elected via a statewide election thus represent the population, and it denies the minority their representation.

  133. >>Trump is politically essentially incompetent, but knows how to play to an audience and a TV camera better than HRC, so pulled a win.

    >I would argue that knowing how to play to an audience and a TV camera is the height of political competence. You can be the smartest policy wonk on the planet, but it’s all for naught if you can’t get elected. Getting yourself elected to the highest office in the country, and as the most powerful leader in the free world, is pretty much the height of political competence.

    …but is the fact that politics-as-popularity-contest triumphs over politics-as-statesmanship and/or politics-as-policymaking a bug, or a feature? I vote bug, in case that was unclear.

  134. Random832, if you’re going to argue that we need to honor the will of more than 50% of the people, here’s one for you: More than 50% of the people said Hillary Clinton should not be president. How about them apples?

    The presidential election is structured as 51 separate elections, one in each state. (Plus DC.) Donald Trump won a majority of them. Each state set them up as winner-take-all, with two exceptions. Trump won enough states to be elected. Anything else is carping after the fact.

    Doing away with the Electoral College would transform the presidency into an imperial ruler, chosen by a small number of elites, and the rest of the country into the elites’ colonies, turned be ruled however the elites please. Anyone who thinks we’ll take that lying down is deluding themselves.

  135. >Doing away with the Electoral College would transform the presidency into an imperial ruler, chosen by a small number of elites, and the rest of the country into the elites’ colonies, turned be ruled however the elites please.

    The EC itself doesn’t prevent this (well, presuming that any small-enough minority qualifies as a ‘small number of elites’). Exercise for the reader: Presuming everyone votes, calculate the minimum number of votes a candidate needs to win, accounting for the Electoral College. Express your answer as a percentage of the total population of the US.

  136. It’s not just that Dems will lose, but that Dems will disappear as they make themselves anathema to the American Public.

  137. >most of the rank-and-file members of the military hail from the south, midwest, or mountain west.

    The discrepancy is even more striking if you look at the combat arms specialties. Those are way more white and way more rural/southern than the military as a whole.

    Overall, about 30% of the U.S. military is made up of people who self-describe as minorities, but have a look at this picture of some members of the 82nd Airborne. What do you see?

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/2/82nd-airborne-deploy-250-paratroopers-iraq-support/

  138. Good article and making the point I have for years- we don’t have a conservative party. We have had a far left of center (D), and a left of center party (R).

    Only quibble I have is the line, “Their ability to pass voter-ID laws will surely hurt you as well.”

    There is no evidence for that, minority participation has been higher under voter-ID laws. Perhaps more correlation than causation– but if you believe minority turnout favors the Dems, there’s no evidence they hurt the Dems.

    Now- if you believe that there is in fact rampant fraud in places like Detroit (more votes shown to be cast then actual ballots turned in) or California – no ID check, millions of illegal immigrants and activist groups telling them they can vote…
    Well, yeah, than voter-ID laws hurt them.

    Although, they do give the electorate more confidence that it is a fair and accurate system.

  139. In parliamentary systems, each faction goes its own way and then after the election they assemble into a Government and an Opposition. In the American system, the factions assemble into coalitions before the elections determine whose In and whose Out. Usually the coalitions are assembled through the primary process, but sometimes major third-parties are stepping stones for constituencies to switch columns. See TRs Bull Moose or the Dixiecrats or Ross Perots Reform.

    In American political history the patterns and communities of interest are slow-changing, but the coalitions they assemble vary over time. Trump’s election is a sign of a realignment, not a cause. The ‘Midwestern working class’ /white-ethnics/deer-hunters/trades unions/whatever you want to call it faction was reliably on the Donkey team a few decades ago and is now trending towards the Elephant. Just like the southern whites/rednecks did a generation before.
    During that same time the Yankees/Northeastern Establishment/WASP/bi-coastal/Ivy League/whatever faction switched from a mixed swing constituency to reliably Donkey.

    The Donkeys as a coalition have several choices to retake power; import new voters (tried it), change the Constitution (unlikely w/o other changes first), or change their appeal to get a coalition of supporters that will win the electoral college as it is currently organized (which is what you recommend). Would Senator Sanders have lost to Trump?

    Alternately, they can go the way of the American Federalists, the Whigs, the Progressives, and the Jim Crow era dixiecrats. Throw their extreme elements into the inscrit, and supplement their moderate rump with dissatisfied elements of the other party.

  140. “Trump has dynamited almost every connection it had to winning elections, and smarter Republicans than Trump will take the lesson going forward.”

    I think you give the Republicans far too much credit. Those of us who have been outraged by their sheer incompetence for the last three decades were initially more motivated by the desire to burn the republican party to the ground than to elect Trump. Unless we see the corrupt, incompetent, evil old guard sent to the proverbial (preferably literal) firing line and replaced with fresh, Trumpian candidates, Trump’s next 8 years will be the Republican’s last.

  141. Exercise for the reader: Presuming everyone votes, calculate the minimum number of votes a candidate needs to win, accounting for the Electoral College. Express your answer as a percentage of the total population of the US.

    In case anyone’s wondering – by a somewhat naive method, the answer is 23%. Excluding Maine and Nebraska, sorted all states by the number of people represented by each electoral vote (Wyoming and Vermont at the top, California and Texas at the bottom). Added up “50%+1” of the states’ populations, until the number of electoral votes represented by those states exceeded 270. Stopped at Georgia, with an E.V. total of 278. Running it backwards (from the most populous states), you stop at Arizona with likewise 278 E.V. and 30% of the popular vote.

    I do wonder if you could get the number smaller by selecting states so you end up with only 270 electoral votes, but it seems like a hard optimization problem. 23% is damning enough, to anyone who cares enough for the answer to be damning at all.

    “”The EC itself doesn’t prevent this (well, presuming that any small-enough minority qualifies as a ‘small number of elites’)””

    No, see, that’s the trick. They wouldn’t *be* a minority in the scenario described – the only thing that qualifies them as “elite” is that they are geographically concentrated. Because no-one really cares about people, they care about the number of unique stories they can attribute to those people, and to someone who lives out in the country, all the people in the cities run together as one generic blob of urban-ness and therefore should “naturally” get less of a vote.

  142. Although the original post does have some valid points to be made about appealing to non-urban areas, I think the funeral for the Democratic Party is a bit premature. I seem to remember the 2000 and especially 2004 elections leading to a “permanent Republican majority” which evaporated in 2008.

    The bottom line is that two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in history ran against each other. One of them had to win, and did, narrowly (0.8% margin in Wisconsin, for example) by tweaking his message. (Although why anybody thinks a man who literally has a gold toilet is going to be a fan of the working poor is beyond me.)

    What the Democrats need to do is pick up 10% in some of the upper Midwest states (or Texas – Trump won by 9% there) and everybody will be singing a different tune.

  143. Speaking practically, how likely is it that the Democrats will undergo the personality transformation needed to become a viable Opposition again?

    Because the party in its current form reflects the radicalism of the Boomers who turned it leftward in the 1960s, my guess is that the Boomers in charge will need to die off before their influence is gone. Or, more likely, an intra-party coup is staged to move them out of influential positions.

    Nothing in politics is forever, but it appears it’ll take a decade or more for the party to get out of the corner it painted itself into. So figure on one or two addition conservative presidencies (after Trump’s first one) before the Democrats redefine themselves enough to get back into office.

    There’s a lot of Big Government to remove before then, and time’s a-wasting.

  144. I think this goes too far. Clinton lost because of three states where she came up just a bit short. The loss has more to do with her incompetently-run campaign than anything else (i.e., not Comey/PutinWikileaks). If she had bothered to go after Rust Belt votes, rather than laying on her deplorable/irredeemable dis, she would have won those states and we would be in a very different conversation (e.g., that Trump lost because of his “sex” tape that outraged women). Republican majorities in both the House and Senate shrank.

    I maintain that any normal Dem could have beaten Trump, while any normal Rep could have beaten Clinton.

    The question of the states, where Reps truly triumphed, is different. Were they decided by a rejection of political correctness, guns, etc? If it were coattails, that would have been reflected in the House, no? Curious to know where the money went in those races. Trump got outspent 2:1. I’m guessing that’s not true down-ballot, but I don’t know.

  145. >Exercise for the reader: Presuming everyone votes, calculate the minimum number of votes a candidate needs to win, accounting for the Electoral College.

    I don’t think a minimum number of votes can be determined, assuming that an undetermined number of third parties that receive non-zero vote totals are present.

    If you’re looking for the minimum population that makes it mathematically possible to receive 270 electoral votes, this chart:

    http://theweek.com/articles/447714/which-states-screwed-worst-by-electoral-college

    indicates that taking Texas and everything below it would give you 280 electoral votes (enough to win, with 10 spares).

    The whole “popular vote” thing is just a red herring, anyway. As far as I know, with the sole exception of France there aren’t any Western democracies that appoint their chief executive based on a straight popular vote. Canada, the beloved pseudo-destination of disgruntled liberals, certainly doesn’t.

  146. “In the unlikely event that enough faithless electors materialize to deny Trump, there won’t be a civil war. The house will pick a moderate republican and life will go on.”

    There may not be a full scale civil war. But there will be violence, and there will be a lot of blood. Not the type of leftist protests funded by Soros, beat-up random folks you think supported the side Soros is paying you to hassle. Not just burn a few cars or businesses of random folks as intimidation.

    Folks who were part of the ‘Tea Party’ being told they needed to participate in the process to effect change- they did so, peacefully, getting Republican majorities which turned around and ignored what those folks wanted once elected. They supported the polite, well-mannered republican types, nothing. These are the folks who heard Obama say– “You don’t like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election,” To do so, many embraced a candidate they found vulgar, rude, rash– but– perhaps finally someone who would listen and actually abide by the will of the people on at least a couple of key issues.

    They went out and won an election. Use some underhanded method of changing the rules after that- polite politics working within a party didn’t work, embracing an outsider to ‘Go out and win an election’ didn’t work– you have left them nothing but directed, well-executed and targeted political violence. They’ve run out of options.

    There will be blood. There will be violence. It will be politically targeted and conducted by folks who know what they are about and committed to it, and will feel morally justified in carrying it out.

  147. >Although why anybody thinks a man who literally has a gold toilet is going to be a fan of the working poor is beyond me.

    As opposed to a woman whose business model is based on sucking down millions of dollars in “speaking fees” and “charitable contributions” from the likes of Goldman Sachs and Saudi Arabia? Though Trump’s business history is certainly checkered, he has in fact built actual real-world projects, and has in fact employed actual people doing real jobs. Clinton’s only product has been graft. Note what’s happened to the contributions to her “charity” now that the election is over and she has no more clout to sell.

    Trump doesn’t call voters deplorable and irredeemable. Trump isn’t promising to put coal miners out of business. Trump isn’t calling them sexist and racist when they object to this. Trump isn’t adding insult to injury by lecturing the unemployed coal miners on their supposed “white male privilege”. Trump isn’t calling for the unemployed coal miners to go extinct.

  148. You’re underestimating just how flat out evil the now dominant Progressive wing of the Democratic Party has become. Reports of increased suicides and lowered life expectancy in “fly over” country brings about the clinking of glasses and cheers at any DNC social.

    The hollowing out of the middle class as you call it isn’t bad or ignorant policy on their part- it’s the *intended* result, and they thought demographic trends would protect them from the consequences. This is a government that is *actively* hostile to a major demographic, not careless. They want me and mine dead, and as far as many of us are concerned, we’re already in a civil cold war- have been for some years now. If they somehow succeed in subverting the electoral vote, the war will turn hot.

    This is not paranoia. It’s all out there if you doubt me. They’ve been quite open about it for a good while now if you know where to look.

  149. A harsh but probably necessary prescription, Eric. For the sake of the country, we should hope the Democrats take it. All indications to date are that they’re incapable of doing so.

    > If the Dems keep up this divisive rhetoric and maintain their control of small regions of the country, while losing total influence in all other areas of the country, the fracturing of the union is inevitable.

    Bingo. The only question is whether it will be a peaceful separation or not.

    > I agree with many of your observations however the 2.8 million votes that Hillary Clinton won the popularity vote is just as significant.

    This has been debunked several times. They stop counting absentee ballots once the outcome is certain. We don’t actually know who won the popular vote, nor does it matter.

    > He ran & won on a traditional Democratic platform. His entire platform is lifted pretty much wholesale from Democratic Populists like Huey Long.

    Pretty much, yes.

    > My point is that if the electoral system doesn’t work to fulfill the will of a large majority then change needs to occur.

    Do you really think that 35 states will tolerate being dictated to by 15, regardless of their relative population totals?

    And I agree with others that the “basket of deplorables” comment was the turning point in the election.

  150. >It’s become a tradition but, like the two-party system, it’s hard to argue that the founders even imagined it would happen, let alone intended it.

    I elided some history. (And wondered if anyone would be literate enough to bring that up.)

    The intention wasn’t that of the Founders themselves. For them, the EC was a kluge to get around high communications costs, with no principled function. The modern understanding of the EC as a firewall against regional tensions dates from the decades before the Civil War, the era of the early telegraph and railroad.

    At that point, the EC could have been abolished but was not. It did function to cool off regionalism for a while, only to fail under extreme load in 1860.

  151. “Donald Trump’s victory reads to me like a realignment election, a historic break with the way interest and demographic groups have behaved in the U.S. in my lifetime.”

    It was a reaction to two highly flawed candidates; the lesser of two evils emerged victorious. Lower class whites who had voted for Obama twice based on his economic proposals voted for Trump. It was a revolution only in the fact that a non-politician won. Voters still elected establishment types to state and national office.

    “Yet, Democrats, you so far seem to have learned nothing and forgotten nothing. Indeed, if I were Donald Trump I would be cackling with glee at your post-election behavior, which seems ideally calculated to lock Trump in for a second term before he has been sworn in for the first.”

    Seems being the operative word. Much will happen in the next four years.

    “Stop this. Your country needs you. I’m not joking and I’m not concern-trolling.”

    Which means you are concern-trolling.

    “First, your ability to assemble a broad-based national coalition has collapsed. Do not be fooled into thinking otherwise by your popular vote “win”; that majority came entirely from the West Coast metroplex and disguises a large-scale collapse in popular support everywhere else in the U.S. Trump even achieved 30-40% support in blue states where he didn’t spend any money.”?

    Hillary lost the Rust Belt by a close margin in the popular vote. The only collapse is that Hillary ignored the needs of blue collar whites. These same voters will swing the pendulum in four years indeed if the Democrats get their act together.

    “County-by-county psephological maps show that your base is now confined to two major coastal enclaves and a handful of university towns.”

    You conveniently forgot about major metropolitan areas in the Midwest and the political prowess they hold.

    “you will be defending 25 seats in areas where Trump took the popular vote, while the Republicans have to defend only 8 where Clinton won.”

    In some cases by close margins. If Trump doesn’t deliver the goods, those R’s are vulnerable.

    “Your party leadership is geriatric, decades older than the average for their Republican counterparts.”

    Current national party leadership.

    “Years of steady losses at state level, masked by the personal popularity of Barack Obama, have left you without a bench to speak of – little young talent and basically no seasoned Presidential timber under retirement age.”

    Not quite.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/06/24/opinion/sunday/14-young-democrats-to-watch.html

    “The fact that Joseph Biden, who will be 78 for the next Election Day, is being seriously mooted as the next Democratic candidate, speaks volumes – none of them good.”

    Who is seriously taken him into account? Please elaborate.

    “Worse, a self-created media bubble insulated you from grasping the actual concerns of the American public so completely that you didn’t realize the shit you were in until election night.”??This statement is accurate.

    “Your donor advantage didn’t help either. Clinton outspent Trump 2:1 and still lost.”

    She misused her financial resources, since people had made their decisions well ahead of her team saturating areas with political ads.

    “Your “coalition of the ascendant” is sinking. Tell all the just-so stories you like, but the brute fact is that it failed to turn out to defeat the Republican candidate with the highest negatives in history.”

    Because Hillary was a historically flawed candidate. The negative perception of her ability to lead by opposing voters was epic.

    “African-Americans, trained by decades of identity politics, simply failed to show up for a white candidate in the numbers you needed. The sexism card didn’t play either, as a bare majority of married women who actually went to the polls seem to have voted for Trump.”

    ??Identity politics occurs through ideology.

    “The conservative majority in most of the U.S. (coastal enclaves excepted) now knows it’s a conservative majority. Before the election every pundit in sight pooh-poohed the idea that discouraged conservative voters, believing themselves isolated and powerless, had been sitting out several election cycles. But it turned out to be true, not least where I live in the swing state of Pennsylvania, where mid-state voters nobody knew were there put Trump over the top. Pretty much the same thing happened all through the Rust Belt.”

    Those voters lean center-right, not conservative. Major difference here.

    “That genie isn’t going to be stuffed back in the bottle. Those voters now know they can deliver the media and the coastal elites a gigantic fuck-you, and Republicans know the populist techniques to mobilize them to do that. Trump’s playbook was not exactly complicated.”

    Which means that the Democrats, again if they get their act together, will also use that playbook like they have in the past.

    “Some Democrats are beginning to talk, tentatively, about reconnecting to the white working class. But your real problem is larger; you need to make the long journey back to the political center. Not the center you imagine exists, either; that’s an artifact of your media bubble. I’m pointing at the actual center revealed by psephological analysis of voter preferences.”

    ??Political center, indeed. Long journey back? No.

    “You Democrats need to think about what it takes to be competitive on a continuum where Fox News is barely right of center, Mitt Romney was an out-of-touch liberal, and as near as I could tell the politician who actually nailed the psephological center in 2008 was none other than Sarah Palin.”

    Fox is hard right. Mitt is a cuckservative. Palin is nuts.

    “Before I get to suggesting some changes, I want to point out that the results of the dominance Republicans have already achieved are going to make your problems even worse than they look now. Those problems don’t end with not having a farm team. State-level control means the Republicans will largely determine redistricting in the 2020 census. Their ability to pass voter-ID laws will surely hurt you as well.”

    ??Those voter-ID laws may not pass constitutional muster at the federal court level.

    “Trump’s popularity has risen as his program becomes clearer. You need to be positioned so that you can cope with outcomes other than catastrophic disenchantment with Trumpian populism.”

    Populism by an elitist has been a common political American trait.

    “Your best plausible case is that the minority groups you counted on passively fail to add up to a winning coalition, as they did this cycle. Your worst – and increasingly likely – case is that white people now begin voting as something like an ethnic bloc. This is, after all, how you’ve been teaching other ethnic groups to play the game since the 1960s.”

    False News Story. White people personally and individually voted for a candidate they believed would best serve their economic, not racial, interests.

    “The alternative is that something like the Republicans, or possibly worse, dominates American politics for the foreseeable future. I don’t want that, and you should fear it more than I do.”

    When Obama was elected in 2002, Democrats foolishly predicted that the death of the Republican Party. There are similar sentiments here.

  152. One quibble – the idea that this outcome was obvious to everybody except Clinton. It wasn’t – even Trump admitted that as late as Tuesday afternoon he thought he was going to lose.

  153. Why are you so concerned NOW about a single party system? What about the last several decades of de facto single party rule with only a few minor details to distinguish anti-American left from anti-American further left that were all that we had to choose from with regards to politicians? NOW it concerns you? NOW it bothers you? I tell you what; the reforged Republicans will be a much better uniparty than the openly anti-American uniparty that’s ruled the Washington cartel since Reagan at least. That’s the LEAST of my concerns for the future.

    And you also fail to mention another few points that could be significant; the Overton window has ALREADY shifted and will continue to shift. You think the far left r-selected insanity of the Democrats is out of synch with America NOW, wait until we’ve four years, or even eight years, of hearing and seeing that there’s another way to order our affairs after all in spite of the incessant propaganda from our media/entertainment/academic Ministry of Propaganda, EVERYONE can see that that other way actually works.

    You think that protectionism is going to have dire consequences (let’s not, for the moment, get into the history of protectionism in America) and that it’s a given that Americans will continue to accept the mass invasion of our country with hordes of Third World socialists who’s only purpose here is to damage us economically, vote for Democrats, and destroy the country and traditions that are our birthright—do you REALLY think that that paradigm is going to continue? ALREADY Americans ALL OVER AMERICA are asking themselves why they’ve been flooded with people from cultures that will inevitably clash with ours, and what business they have here, and who are the responsible traitors and quislings that brought them here to destroy the peace of our communities.

    In short, as good as this analysis is, it still refrains from assuming that anything will really change.

  154. ‘Fox is hard right. Mitt is a cuckservative. Palin is nuts.’

    Fox is establishment Republican, as per thirty years of Murdoch’s orders. Palin is mostly entertainment, though she was okay when she was in office.

    ‘in 2012, Democrats foolishly predicted the death of the Republican party.’

    Yes, this was a close election, not a death knell. Clinton got caught stealing the primary from a left-liberal, which really annoyed the left-liberals. But who are these left-liberals? Nutbags who live for orthodoxy-sniffing and naked Lena Dunham pictures, or adults like Will Shetterly who want some kind of social democracy that works? If the Democrats go full Lena, they are as doomed as ESR fears and the faster the better. If the Shetterly wing took David Friedman’s Machinery of Freedom challenge ‘I don’t mind if you call me a socialist’ and got some competent administrators for their programs- a well-administered Obamacare, a Universal Basic Income that fires a million bureaucrats and send everyone some money, and they keep Trump’s unwillingness to fight the Russians over, for example, Russia’s Navy base in Syria? I’d be a social democrat.

  155. Everyone seems to be under the assumption that we actually know what the popular vote count was in the November election. The fact is that usually, not every vote is counted unless it could change the outcome.

    On election day, the votes that are cast are tallied up and if a state has early voting, those votes are added in.

    If and only if the difference between the winner and the loser is less than the number of absentee votes, the absentee ballot envelopes are opened and the votes are added to the vote counts.

    This means that the popular vote count is likely to undercount the number of people who voted when a state votes overwhelmingly for a candidate. Since the Presidency is decided by the Electoral College, it is not important just how many votes the winner got.

    In 2000 California Governor Gray Davis ordered all of the absentee ballots counted which increased the number of popular votes for Al Gore. This was not done in any of the states that voted for George Bush because counting all the absentee ballots by hand costs money that could be used for other, more useful things.

    I don’t know if California did the same thing in the recent election but I know that large states that voted for Donald Trump did not.

    The bottom line is that nobody knows who won the popular vote and most states do not spend the money to find out because it doesn’t matter. However, butthurt Democrats should cling to this incomplete statistic to make themselves feel better and to nurture their belief that they are the wronged majority.

  156. If California secedes, I hope that Mexico invades and reintegrates their lost territory.

  157. The intention wasn’t that of the Founders themselves. For them, the EC was a kluge to get around high communications costs, with no principled function.

    Federalist #68 suggests a little more than that. “It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided…It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation…It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder.”

    So if Hamilton had it right, they were hoping the Electoral College would combine features of the House and Senate…with the actual, final selection made by an elite body after debate and deliberation, rather than coming to their vote with their choices pre-ordained. I’m not aware that it ever worked that way even once.

  158. For those folks wanting to identify the popular vote as the true will of the people, there’s an anomaly to deal with. According to this site (http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/index.html), Clinton won the popular vote 65,818,318 to Trump’s 62,958,211 for a margin of 2,860,107 votes.

    But that includes California. Hillary’s vote margin in California alone was 4,269,978 in a state with no Republican running for the open Senate seat! About 13 million voted in California for President, and about 10.5 million voted for the Senate race. This is an anomalous situation to say the least. It’s actually amazing that almost 4.5 million CA Republicans showed up to vote at all for a lost cause. But remove California from the mix, and here are the vote totals:

    Clinton: 57,204,530
    Trump: 58,474,401

    Trump wins the national popular vote sans CA by 1,269,871.

    Now, does this matter? Of course not. As Scott Adams likes to say, Donald Trump clearly lost the contest he wasn’t in. Manipulating things a bit to show that he could have won that contest doesn’t matter in this election either. But suppose NY and IL and MA followed CA’s lead in their next Senate races? Talk about suppressing the vote….

  159. LS: Mexico doesn’t have to invade. The legislature already operates as if California is a province of Mexico and their duty is to further the interests of Mexican citizens.

  160. In deep blue California, Proposition 8 – to ban Gay Marriage – passed by a wider margin that Hillary’s popular vote.

    Brendan Eich was purged from Mozilla over that (get the Brave Browser), but it was well in the past by then.

    If you want the tyranny of the mob in Hillary, then we should also put Gay Marriage to a vote. It would lose by a large margin.

    I detest it when Liberals go to the courts when democracy chooses the wrong result.

  161. Joseph W.:

    [esr:] The intention wasn’t that of the Founders themselves. For them, the EC was a kluge to get around high communications costs, with no principled function.

    Federalist #68 suggests a little more than that. “It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided…It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation…It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder.”

    So if Hamilton had it right, they were hoping the Electoral College would combine features of the House and Senate…with the actual, final selection made by an elite body after debate and deliberation, rather than coming to their vote with their choices pre-ordained. I’m not aware that it ever worked that way even once.

    As I understand it, it was supposed to be a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon style system. With massively lower numbers of voters per elector, like, 30,000? I seem to remember, you’d vote for your elector based on either knowing him, or knowing someone you trust who recommends him. The elector in theory would know the President and VP he was going to vote for to a sufficient degree it would be a minimally informed choice.

    As you say, it may have never worked this way, Washington, the indispensable man of the Revolution, aftermath (e.g. not marching on the Continental Congress to get paid), and of course the new Constitution and wasn’t there a tacit understanding he’d be the first President? So he short circuited this, and I’m not up on the history after that. And of course this was a system that couldn’t scale, which is a general problem with the House, if you’re one of half a million constituents you have much less influence over your Congresscritter vs. the 30K I vaguely remember.

  162. “As far as I know, with the sole exception of France there aren’t any Western democracies that appoint their chief executive based on a straight popular vote. Canada, the beloved pseudo-destination of disgruntled liberals, certainly doesn’t.”

    It’s true, we don’t. Very few of our Prime Ministers ever won power with more than about 33% or so of the actual popular vote at most. And it’s amazing how reliably the fact gets touted as a bug by the press when Conservatives are in power but is utterly ignored when the Liberals are in power. :)

  163. “??Those voter-ID laws may not pass constitutional muster at the federal court level.”

    Alito and Ginsberg’s replacements won’t have a problem.

  164. gcm: “You conveniently forgot about major metropolitan areas in the Midwest”

    Chicago/Milwaukee, the Twin Cities, St. Louis, maybe Denver if you stretch the definition of “Midwest”. Whoopee ding.

    “Political center, indeed. Long journey back? No.”

    Considering just how far to the left Clinton ran and how much farther the Bernie Sanders supporters are saying they need to go? It’s a very long journey indeed.

    “Fox is hard right.”

    No, Eric has it right. Go read Professor Tim Groseclose’s book Left Turn. He examined the media’s political biases and compares them to the American public, with and without the influence of the media. He finds Fox News to be slightly left of center of the American people except for the MSM’s influence.

    “White people personally and individually voted for a candidate they believed would best serve their economic, not racial, interests.”

    Live by identity politics, die by identity politics. If you tell white men that they’re eeeeevil just because they’re white men long enough and loud enough, eventually they’re going to embrace their identity – and vote accordingly. Economic interests, true, but no less identity-based for all that.

  165. And about voter IDs to combat voter fraud. I have still to see any real evidence that voter fraud is a factor in the elections, or that it even exists.

    Then you have had your hands over your eyes. Just go look at the people actually convicted of voter fraud in the last decade…

    Or check out he woman who claimed on national television that she voted for Obama 6 times (and yes, that checked out – she had access to the absentee ballots of 5 other people), and she didn’t get prosecuted.

    Or the precincts that routinely have 100% Democrat voting. Heck, even tyrants like Hussein didn’t claim 100%!

    Or the claims on hidden video from Democrat operatives that they actively engage in such. Surely those are all lies and bravado? Even when those exact people have long histories of being paid Democrat operatives?

    Check out the case of Al Franken, for a great example of obvious fraud. Also, the 2004 election of Christine Gregoire, where King County “found” more and more ballots until the Democrat won, is another.

    If you haven’t seen any evidence of voter fraud, you’re not looking.

    The US contains uncontrolled militia violence right now; there are places in the US you cannot safely go because you would be robbed or murdered by militias.

    Um, what? Unless you’re using “militia” to be “gang” (and they are VERY VERY different), then I have no idea what you are talking about. What color is the sky in your world?

    It’s pretty easy to see a world where the US has zero national parties.

    Then you don’t understand the system – it is inherently two party, where the alliances are made in advance (as opposed to a parliamentart system, where the alliances are made after the voting).

    Any time in American history where that system has problems (a major party split, for instance), the SMALLER political group rules while the LARGER group fights internally. Because of this, there is incredible pressure to make the alliances in advance and outside the actual voting process.

    Exercise for the reader: Presuming everyone votes, calculate the minimum number of votes a candidate needs to win, accounting for the Electoral College. Express your answer as a percentage of the total population of the US.

    Mathematically, that’s incredibly easy to approximate: 50%+1 in 50%+1 of the electoral votes approximates to 25% of the voters. (Slightly less that 25%, actually, due to the extra 2 electoral votes for each state from the Senate.)

    But that’s an ivory tower answer, so phenominally unlikely to happen as to be silly – it requires that exactly half of the voters (plus one) in half-of-the-electoral-votes-worth-of-states (plus one) vote for the winner, and 100% of the voters in the other states don’t.

    That’s like a World Series where the team that won 4 games only got 4 runs total across all 7 games, and the team that won the other 3 games got 50 runs in each of them. Sure, it’s theoretically possible, but nobody actually worries about that, because it’s crazy.

    There will be blood. There will be violence. It will be politically targeted and conducted by folks who know what they are about and committed to it, and will feel morally justified in carrying it out.

    Sadly, I agree with this sentiment, and even more sadly, for quite some time now, I have thought that the path to the lowest body count may well be the intentional, public, “not trying to get away with” killing of public officials by completely unconnected individuals, with the explicit and confessed reason that they were committing terrible crimes against the Constitution and getting away with it. One would definitely be ignored, two would almost certainly be hand-waved away, three MIGHT do it, but probably not… I think four would get the attention of the bureaucrats and our professional “betters”, but it might take five or even six.

    Even so, 8-12 people sacrificed (those doing the killing would stand a better-than-average chance of execution for their HORRENDOUS crime of killing somebody who actually MATTERS!, but even without, they would likely spend the rest of their lives in prison) seems like the lowest loss of life scenario at this point.

    (Heck, how many people have been killed in the race riots and targeted police murders fostered by Obama’s fecklessness in the last year alone?)

    And no, that doesn’t mean I LIKE that, or think it’s a good thing… only that I (sadly) can’t come up with anything remotely likely to have a lower body count.

    “Your worst – and increasingly likely – case is that white people now begin voting as something like an ethnic bloc. This is, after all, how you’ve been teaching other ethnic groups to play the game since the 1960s.”

    False News Story. White people personally and individually voted for a candidate they believed would best serve their economic, not racial, interests.

    In the short-term, it would be so VERY satisfying for you to be wrong, but in the long term, it would be the worst political and racial development in this country in at least decades.

    But Eric is right about how the Democrats have been pushing for it, albeit I THINK unintentionally. The best way to get a group to think of themselves as a group, to ACT as a group, is to attack them as a group and make them group up to defend themselves…

    There has only been one racial group that it has been publicly acceptable to mock and attack racially for my entire adult life (and I’m no spring chicken), and that is whites. If they were to “group up” and start acting like an ethnic group, THEY WOULD WIN, as they are still easily the largest such group, actually a bare majority even (at the moment).

    As I said, in the short-term, that would be great (and watching the Democrat hoist on their own petard would be incredibly satisfying), but in the long term… wow, so so so so SO SO SO SO bad!

    I really wish the Democrats would stop encouraging it so very very much.

  166. > I seem to remember the 2000 and especially 2004 elections leading to a “permanent Republican majority” which evaporated in 2008.

    “Evaporated”? Have you seen the number of governorships, statehouse seats, and Congressional seats Republicans have picked up since 2008? The GOP hasn’t held this much power nationally since the 1920’s. Republicans hold 33 governorships, and control both chambers of the legislature in 32 states. (In 25 states, they control all three.) In 44 states, the GOP controls *at least one governorship or legislative house*.

    All you have to do is look at states like Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Kentucky to see the Democrat wipeout during Obama’s term.

    Trump won a state – Pennsylvania — that hasn’t gone for the GOP since 1988. He also took Michigan and Wisconsin, which (until last month) were considered reliable Democrat strongholds). None of this was accidental, nor did it fall out of a clear blue sky. I understand that Democrats are comforting themselves with the myth that this fiasco was a hundred-year-storm, but the truth is that Democrats have been losing ground steadily since the 2010 midterms.

  167. >But who are these left-liberals? Nutbags who live for orthodoxy-sniffing and naked Lena Dunham pictures…

    Given that Obama sent his teenage daughter off to intern with Dunham, I know where my money would be.

    I wouldn’t even leave my child alone in a room with Dunham, much less let the kid do an internship with her.

    One hopes the Secret Service was keeping close watch on her.

  168. Jay Maynard:

    “Fox is hard right.”

    No, Eric has it right. Go read Professor Tim Groseclose’s book Left Turn. He examined the media’s political biases and compares them to the American public, with and without the influence of the media. He finds Fox News to be slightly left of center of the American people except for the MSM’s influence.

    And two months after the book was published, founder Rodger Ailes announced it was turning to the left, and of course this year he was ousted in a coup and replaced by two Murdoch sons who are said to be a lot more liberal. We’ll see what happens in the Age of Trump and as the contracts expire of various right of center figures on it….

  169. @esr:

    >Yes, ideally I personally would prefer your place in the two-party Duverger equilibrium to be taken by the Libertarian Party, but there are practical reasons this is extremely unlikely to happen. The other minor parties are even more doomed. If the Republicans are going to have a counterpoise, it has to be you Democrats.

    I dunno. If Trump is the future of the GOP, there are a fair number of Republicans (especially, I think, among evangelicals, for whom Trump is morally repulsive and any Democrat is both morally repulsive and suicide to vote for) that could at least hold their nose for a Libertarian (Libertarians would be in favor of a whole bunch of stuff they don’t like, but at least they aren’t of a mind to silence dissent).

    If there’s a similar block of potential libertarians on the left, and if the two blocks could each be made aware of the other’s willingness to vote Libertarian, and if a better candidate than Johnson could be found, it is not inconceivable that the Libertarians could actually replace one of the two major parties.

    Of course, the real nice thing to do would be to get a constitutional Amendment going requiring preferential voting for all federal elections so that the Duverger equilebrium goes away.

  170. “That’s like a World Series where the team that won 4 games only got 4 runs total across all 7 games, and the team that won the other 3 games got 50 runs in each of them. Sure, it’s theoretically possible, but nobody actually worries about that, because it’s crazy.”

    You must open old wounds, mustn’t you? The closest this scenario came to reality was the 1960 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees. The Yanks won three games by double digit blowouts; the Pirates won four by two, one, three and one runs, respectively:

    NYY wins:
    16-3 (game 2)
    10-0 (game 3)
    12-0 (game 6)

    PGH wins:
    6-4 (game 1)
    3-2 (game 4)
    5-2 (game 5)
    10-9 (game 7)

    The Electoral College gave Pittsburgh the World Series title with 4 “votes”
    The Yanks won the Popular vote by scoring 55 runs to the Bucs’ 27 in runs, and 91 hits to 60.

    However, the Elitist Coastal Pinstripes would have petitioned unsuccessfully if they tried, that they dominated the flyover country Bucs from western Pennsylvania in every phase of the game, except, that is, in the only one that counted, and therefore deserved the title.

    To me, baseball isn’t a matter of life and death, its more important than that. There, now I can die in peace.

  171. @Jon Brase “I dunno. If Trump is the future of the GOP, there are a fair number of Republicans (especially, I think, among evangelicals, for whom Trump is morally repulsive …”

    I’m prolly the token “evangelical” that occasionally comments here, but I don’t see much of this reaction among my tribe. We voted for him as president, not pastor.

    “… that could at least hold their nose for a Libertarian (Libertarians would be in favor of a whole bunch of stuff they don’t like, but at least they aren’t of a mind to silence dissent).” Repubs don’t tend to silence dissent either. But the Libertarian official platform contains some showstoppers.

    “If there’s a similar block of potential libertarians on the left, and if the two blocks could each be made aware of the other’s willingness to vote Libertarian, and if a better candidate than Johnson could be found, it is not inconceivable that the Libertarians could actually replace one of the two major parties.”

    That’s a lot of “ifs”, Bro. I wish it could be, but it’s about as likely as the Democrats taking ESR’s excellent advice.

  172. Jon Brase:

    @esr:

    >Yes, ideally I personally would prefer your place in the two-party Duverger equilibrium to be taken by the Libertarian Party, but there are practical reasons this is extremely unlikely to happen. The other minor parties are even more doomed. If the Republicans are going to have a counterpoise, it has to be you Democrats.

    I dunno. If Trump is the future of the GOP, there are a fair number of Republicans (especially, I think, among evangelicals, for whom Trump is morally repulsive….

    That may be so, but they voted for him in a higher fraction that any presidential candidate since they started asking “evangelical” vs. “born again” after 2000, even above Bush in 2004. So I suggest they’re playing a deeper game; for instance, it’s widely believed they are under greater threat from the state than in any time in recent memory. Note for instance the persecutions and prosecutions of those not willing to bake “gay wedding cakes” and even pizza, and the Feds using the law to push for biological men in restrooms with their children, Target’s travails are illuminating.

    I’d guess not since Jimmy Carter was president and started going after their schools. Which makes both of the last two really stupid, you go after people’s children and, well, in the ’80s one thing we got was the “Moral Majority”. And they got a lot more active in politics.

    Trump attacked Political Correctness, and said the bathroom question should stay with the states. He’s a lot more on their side than any cuckservice Republican, and of course pretty much any influential Democrat, and all he has to do to fulfill that promise is to take the DoJ’s thumb off the scales, which his pick for AG suggests will happen (although that will be quite an internal battle; we really, seriously, need to go back to some variety of the Spoils System, so called Civil Servants have turned out to be worst than the disease in way too many domains, here, I would say any lawyer in the DoJ or above).

  173. Pingback: Daily Pundit

  174. “Libertarians would be in favor of a whole bunch of stuff they don’t like, but at least they aren’t of a mind to silence dissent).”

    Oh really? Try telling one that open borders aren’t an unalloyed good, and see how fast the bigot word is heard.

  175. We don’t expect Trump to govern as a Christian; we expect him to recognize that we want to be left alone.

  176. Trump is NOT the future of the Republican Party. He’s an aberration, like The Mule in Asimov’s
    Foundation series. Right now, both Republican and Democratic operatives are trying desperately to see how to get back to The Plan.

  177. Pingback: Eric Raymond on the Democratic Party | Amused Cynicism

  178. The alternative is that something like the Republicans, or possibly worse, dominates American politics.

    Read somewhere, paraphrasing, that after all the violent rent-a-mobs, debate-rigging, transparent press water-carrying and so forth, that if Trump failed the Democrats were *really* not going to like what came next. Whatever.

    The alternative will be something like what happened to the ’94 Republican Wave, where twelve years of legislative control and a bumbling opponent yielded dumbbells, creeps and pocket-liners every bit as bad as Lott, Hastert and Delay. Which then yielded the equally as repellent Pelosi and Reid. We need to break that cycle.

  179. >Oh really? Try telling one [Libertarian] that open borders aren’t an unalloyed good, and see how fast the bigot word is heard.

    I will raise my hand at this point and say that I am both as hard-core libertarian as they come and I have never dismissed restrictionists as mere bigots. Contingently wrong, maybe, but not bigots.

    Reading about Robert Putnam’s research on how diversity erodes social trust has done a lot to move me on this issue. I am now cautiously in favor of immigration restrictions intended to prevent net loss of social trust and capital by preferring immigrants from cultures close to ours.

    I think other libertarians are movable on this score. To move them, what you have to push home is the charge that they are undervaluing social trust relative to the labor input of immigrants.

  180. @Odd Man Out
    > And about voter IDs to combat voter fraud. I have still to see any real evidence that voter fraud is a factor in the elections, or that it even exists.

    Trying to detect voter fraud is raciiiissssst Any effort to detect voter fraud is deemed suppressive.

  181. And next time, don’t nominate a corrupt, incompetent, pathological liar that accomplished nothing in the 30yrs she spent in government

  182. Chris Gerrib on 2016-12-15 at 14:21:05 said:
    > One quibble – the idea that this outcome was obvious to everybody except Clinton. It wasn’t – even Trump admitted that as late as Tuesday afternoon he thought he was going to lose.

    Those who live in a bubble refuse to admit that their is any reality outside their bubble, claim that everyone else lives in the same bubble that they do. We saw the same phenomenon in the Reagan revolution. Not only was Reagan supposedly wrong, a fool, an idiot and a complete moron to believe the Soviet Union was weak and falling, he also supposedly believed the Soviet Union was a big success.

  183. >And next time, don’t nominate a corrupt, incompetent, pathological liar that accomplished nothing in the 30yrs she spent in government

    This is something I could have said, yes. But I was trying to write in terms at least a few Democrats would be able to hear.

  184. “But don’t you understand?? She has a vagina! Wait, that’s not right… she self-identifies as a woman! (My sincere apologies to all women without vaginas! Please don’t get me fired!) The inevitable progress of history requires a woman president, and the sooner, the better. Don’t you get it? It’s the current year! Ugh, I can’t even….”

  185. “The conservative majority in most of the U.S. (coastal enclaves excepted) now knows it’s a conservative majority.”

    What a dimwitted statement. It would be more accurate, but just as stupid, to say that the country has a liberal majority, the ex-confederacy excepted.

  186. Democrats need a young face (white) who is a combination of Joe Biden and Bernie. They need to make an ironclad commitment that they won’t take any special interest money (Bernie model) and banish anyone who does from the party. The rest will automatically follow. The American people are not as right-leaning as ESR suggests. They do not want corporate rule, nor crony capitalist republicans. They like social security, big infra structure spending, medicare, and even the broken Obamacare. Democrats do that, and the next time they come into power it will be a more overwhelming wave than the one that brought Obama into office 8 years ago.

  187. Hey ESR, long-time reader, first time poster.

    Question for you, since this is as close to a “relevant” topic as you’ve written of late for me to pose it, but I recall you expressing the goal of writing a “Code of Conduct” for FLOSS projects that wasn’t obnoxious SJW tripe.

    Unless I missed it, I haven’t seen you mention it anywhere since. I know you’ve been hard at work on paying gigs and that those must come first, but I had been holding out, waiting on your CoC to appear.

    Are you still wanting to do this?

  188. Hillary got more hits than Trump in the baseball game. Therefore, hits should count, not runs, and Hillary should be declared the winner.

  189. A lot of great comments. I would just like to point out a few quibbles.

    Democrats understand that this conservative was a never trumper right up to the point Trump won the nomination. Then I became a never hillary, which I always was.

    The dems posting here are making a huge mistake if they think Trump will govern as a guy with a gold toilet seat, as someone said above. Why would he do that? He is 70 years old and just won the Presidency, he doesn’t need money anymore. The only thing that will motivate him for the rest of his life, is to make everyone forget Reagan. He is a narcissist just like Obama. He saw what happened to Obama. This guy has stolen about half of the middle class away from you, now he is coming for the other half. As the post said, you are in deep shit. Sorry, but I do not think Trump will give a damn about Trump inc in a couple of years, he will be focused on the history books.

    Also, the whole EC argument, jeff greenfield posted an article a few days ago, and since he wrote a book on the subject you should go have a peek. The EC votes must be ratified by each states Sec of State and sent on to congress. If they dont like that vote from the EC they can change it. The EC is just symbolic and not the last word. If all that fails it goes to the congress, and then its even harsher due to each state delegation getting one vote each. Trump will be the next President unless he croaks.

    And the whole civil war thing. I hope the blue states understand that the anger they saw election night was just the tip of the iceberg. There are millions of people who would love for a hot war to erupt. Nothing would ensure the constitution more than a hot war that would allow these people to cull the socialists out of the gene pool. And no way do we allow you to take all the ports on the west coast without a fight. So we could split peacefully, but only if we got say San Diego and the republican counties that grow a lot of your food to boot.

  190. @Jim
    “Trying to detect voter fraud is raciiiissssst Any effort to detect voter fraud is deemed suppressive.”

    So there is no evidence, thought so. Even the most racist of Republicans have not been able to find any proof. See also:

    In 5-Year Effort, Scant Evidence of Voter Fraud
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/12/washington/12fraud.html

    The truth behind voter fraud in Indiana
    http://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2016/10/24/indiana-voter-fraud-real-but-rarely-matters/92508486/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=

    Top Indiana election official alleges more voter fraud
    http://www.indystar.com/story/news/2016/10/18/state-alleges-more-voter-fraud-names-and-birth-dates-changed-on-forms/92365268/?from=global&sessionKey=&autologin=
    (this one is nice, because the fraud was that many voters could not vote because their registrations had been altered)

  191. Elitist liberals will always be elitist liberals who believe in their hearts that their feelings are closer to the truth than the facts belie. That sort of mental illness can not be cured with logic. So, while this was an excellent treatise on the ideological problems that are rendering the democratic party more and more powerless, it reads more as a requiem than a call to action.

  192. this is a party that deserves to die before they spark another civil war.

    Funny you should mention that. I got a couple of people really angry with me when I said that nominating Hillary was the Democrats’ biggest mistake since firing on Fort Sumter.

  193. If there’s a similar block of potential libertarians on the left,

    There’s not. There’s a smattering of left-wingers who occasionally pretend to be libertarians (Markos Moulitsas, for example), but when push comes to shove they love the taste of boot leather.

  194. “I will raise my hand at this point and say that I am both as hard-core libertarian as they come and I have never dismissed restrictionists as mere bigots.”

    esr, you are sui generis, and you know it…. 8-)

  195. “I got a couple of people really angry with me when I said that nominating Hillary was the Democrats’ biggest mistake since firing on Fort Sumter.”

    I also like the (absolutely true) statement that Democrats haven’t been this angry since we freed their slaves.

  196. >esr, you are sui generis, and you know it…. 8-)

    While it is arguably true that I an sui generis, I admit this only to make the observation that I think I am not sui generis in this way. I continue to believe that most libertarians can be moved on this issue by the same logic that moved me.

  197. Random832 on 2016-12-14 at 14:18:13

    That’s called “begging the question”.

    It’s almost as if you don’t realize there have been generations worth of race-based civil rights laws, quota systems, set-asides, agitation, “community organizing” etc. etc. specifically intended to mitigate that initial disadvantage.

  198. @Winter on 2016-12-16 at 06:08:32

    You should broaden your reading.

    Witnesses to the MI recount in Detroit saw instances of scanner records saying ~300 votes were registered. Opening the locked ballot box of the machine found only 50 ballots inside. There were numerous instances like this where numbers could not be reconciled. In these cases, the 300 number is the legally-binding count. 95 vote logbooks “went missing” and still are.

    Democrat districts are always “overrepresented” with these “irregularities”.

    All random chance, right!

  199. esr, excellent essay.

    My late father was an old-time rust belt dem. He wouldn’t recognize the party today.

    I’m not a dem and will never be one, but the competition of ideas is essential. Nobody gains from effectively one-party rule.

  200. Of course there’s no evidence of voter fraud; having precincts with more actual voters than registered is how it’s supposed to work. Not to mention this little gem from Issa’s district; I suspect that if they hadn’t screwed up and gotten caught he’d have “lost”.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/11/03/voter-fraud-california-man-finds-dozens-ballots-stacked-outside-home.html?refresh=true

    The 83 ballots, each unused, were addressed to different people, all supposedly living in his elderly neighbor’s two-bedroom apartment.

    “I think this is spooky,” Mosna said. “All the different names, none we recognize, all at one address.”

    His wife, Madalena Mosna, noted their 89-year-old neighbor lives by herself, and, “Eighty people can’t fit in that apartment.”

  201. The situation reminds me of the ‘dancing sickness’ mass hysterias in the middle ages.

    Looking at the large number of people afflicted, I’m not seeing a path to sanity, or a way in which anyone can (or should) trust Democrats ever again not to turn rabid and ready to do whatever it takes to ‘win’ (and then some).

    Also: how did they get here in the first place? (it’s a long process!) Democrats are insulting people because they despise them, even if you could stop them from being rude and behave with better decorum, they’d still feel the same, just silently so.

    You’re better off using the current vacuum to build a new party with better principles and saner, less bitter people, picked from the pool that currently roots for Trump, and cut lose the democrats for good, because if you ever admit them again, they will eventually revert to using the methods that worked so well for them for years, until they didn’t any more.

    {It’s no different to ending an abusive relationship — you have to work with reality as is, not the dream you’d like life to be}

  202. Pingback: Advice That Will Be Disregarded By The Reds | Western Rifle Shooters Association

  203. > It would be more accurate, but just as stupid, to say that the country has a liberal majority, the ex-confederacy excepted.

    Stupid, certainly. “More accurate”, no.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_state_legislatures#/media/File:United_States_state_legislatures.svg

    Since when were (e.g.) New Hampshire and Wisconsin part of the “confederacy”?

    The Republicans currently control 32 state legislatures. The Confederate States of America only had 11 members. You are not only wrong, but laughably so.

  204. And it’s worth noting that Minnesota’s legislative houses had Republican gains, with the Senate flipping to Republican control – for only the second time in more than 40 years. The first time lasted just one cycle.

  205. Jay Maynard–Live by identity politics, die by identity politics. If you tell white men that they’re eeeeevil just because they’re white men long enough and loud enough, eventually they’re going to embrace their identity – and vote accordingly.

    Except white men in general aren’t falling for the trap set by the radical liberals. Again, that identity is based on their political, economic, and social beliefs.

    Michael–“I’m prolly the token “evangelical” that occasionally comments here, but I don’t see much of this reaction among my tribe. We voted for him as president, not pastor.”

    A president who among a number of “your tribe” would state unequivocally runs directly counter to Christian beliefs. It would seem then principles in the end do not matter given his past conduct to those strident religious folks who voted for him.

  206. In the early 20th century there were a lot of new theories in the physical sciences that solved new problems; quantum mechanics, relativity, and plate tectonics for example. But because the new learning disrupted old models no one who mattered was allowed to endorse them until the old guard who made their names proving the old models died.

    Something similar will happen in politics. The Democrat party will continue to champion its current policies until the organization collapses, or its machinery is captured by a charismatic mutant, or there’s a generational turnover of the leadership cadre. Seeing what the youth are up to in the universities suggests what will happen after the turnover.

    Duverger’s law says that in the American electoral system there will be two Parties. For branding purposes they’ll probably continue to be named Democrat and Republican. Sociology & history say that there are always factions. But which factions group together into the two coalitions, and what policies they claim to champion, is in continual realignment.

  207. >In the early 20th century there were a lot of new theories in the physical sciences that solved new problems; quantum mechanics, relativity, and plate tectonics for example. But because the new learning disrupted old models no one who mattered was allowed to endorse them until the old guard who made their names proving the old models died.

    This is not true. It’s an ahistorical myth peddled by Thomas Kuhn.

    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=40

  208. @GCM “A president who among a number of “your tribe” would state unequivocally runs directly counter to Christian beliefs. It would seem then principles in the end do not matter given his past conduct to those strident religious folks who voted for him.”

    You miss the point. Again, we’re voting for a president, not a pastor. Neither Billy Graham nor Mother Teresa were on the ticket. AFAICT we have not in living memory had a candidate that did not go “directly counter to Christian beliefs” to some extent. That’s the hand we’re dealt.

    Nebuchadnezzar wasn’t exactly a stellar role model, but that didn’t keep Daniel from serving him loyally (within limits) as circumstances demanded.

  209. I’m a (small-L) libertarian myself and also am seeing free-trade-globilization in a more nuanced light these days. For one, Brexit and Trump strongly suggest it isn’t sustainable as a strategy anyway, at least in full-bore absolutist form. I also just read James Scott’s ‘Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition have Failed’. Mostly that dissects disasters in urban planning and collective agriculture, but the pattern it documents of ignoring second-order effects and local conditions while pushing a top-down ideology from undemocratic institutions is pretty baked-in to the free-trade/open-borders stuff too, and that ought to give us pause.

  210. Couple of thoughts (I agree with most of what you wrote).

    I don’t think this election will be enough to convince the Democrats they are wrong. My guess is that they’ll do something incredibly foolish like put Ellison in at DNC, double down on opposing Trump due to his being a “white supremacist” and end up getting destroyed by him in 2020–think McGovern but with a larger core of states that are blue under all circumstances (e.g., California).

    The bigger threat to them, though, is that Trump ends up delivering political goods to his constituency and persuadable voters. Example: just read a story about Carnival Cruise Line outsourcing their IT and forcing their current employees to train their H1-B replacements. What happens to the tech crowd votes who have been against the Republicans on social issues if/when Trump actually starts calling out companies that pull this sort of stunt and punishes them for it? Particularly when the alternative is an Ellison-aligned party with spokespersons yammering every day about “white privilege”? Or if he goes even further and sets off the political dynamite of reparations?

    One final thought; a Trump win does save the Democrats from making a political error that could have driven them in the wilderness permanently–jamming through the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing HUD initiative. I’m not sure where the party got the idea this was a good thing…but the political consequences of essentially eliminating local zoning control and forcing suburbs to cede control to central cities (which is what it would have led to) would have been truly astonishing to watch.

  211. This post fails to mention the 800 pound gorilla sitting in the corner in the Al Gore T-shirt. Environmentalism and the AGW cult in particular has done more to alienate middle America than PC culture ever has.

  212. @Michael “You miss the point. Again, we’re voting for a president, not a pastor.”

    Consider: the GLBT movement is a reaction to the Moral Majority 1980s Christian movement. There absolutely were Right-leaning people in that era calling for government enforced morality based on their interpretation of Biblical doctrine.

    Whether that community consciously realizes it yet or not, the last decade or so has been an object lesson for them in the danger of legitimizing the use of government force to enforce sectarian social norms.

    I know that’s the lesson I’ve learned.

  213. >I also just read James Scott’s ‘Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition have Failed’. Mostly that dissects disasters in urban planning and collective agriculture, but the pattern it documents of ignoring second-order effects and local conditions while pushing a top-down ideology from undemocratic institutions is pretty baked-in to the free-trade/open-borders stuff too, and that ought to give us pause.

    That is an extremely good book and I recommend it to all.

  214. >Environmentalism and the AGW cult in particular has done more to alienate middle America than PC culture ever has.

    I don’t think that’s true, though perhaps it should be.

  215. >Whether that community consciously realizes it yet or not, the last decade or so has been an object lesson for them in the danger of legitimizing the use of government force to enforce sectarian social norms.

    I cannot resist pointing out that libertarians did not need to be mugged by reality to get this one right.

  216. “I cannot resist pointing out that libertarians did not need to be mugged by reality to get this one right.”

    You must not read Reason.

  217. “Detailed reports from the office of Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett show optical scanners at 248 of the city’s 662 precincts, or 37 percent, tabulated more ballots than the number of voters tallied by workers in the poll books.”

    This does not say “more than the number of registered voters the district”, let alone “three times as many Democrat votes as there were registered voters in the district”. Please find a citation to a reputable source that actually supports Jim’s claim. I can’t even find any article making the claim at all (though I’ve seen it in comments elsewhere), reputable source or otherwise.

  218. Ssssshhhh. Hush now.

    “Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake.”
    — Bonaparte

  219. @sleevesockshoe:

    “I recall you expressing the goal of writing a “Code of Conduct” for FLOSS projects that wasn’t obnoxious SJW tripe. Unless I missed it, I haven’t seen you mention it anywhere since. […] Are you still wanting to do this?”

    Have a look at my Erbosoft Project Code of Conduct. If you like it, and you don’t mind the harsh language, you can put your name on it instead of where it says “Erbo” and “Erbosoft,” and use that. (I may have to include an explicit addendum on it as to how you can do that.)

  220. I’m not sure much structural change is necessary for Democrats at the presidential level. They seem to do quite well when they don’t nominate a stiff. And even their recent stiffs have done reasonably well (e.g. HRC and Gore didn’t lose by much).

  221. Has anyone mentioned that the current hysteria over the electoral college, over-the-top name calling, race-baiting, and outright lying about Trump’s (and his voters’) motivations seems very close to yelling fire in a crowded theater? They are weaponizing the snowflakes.

  222. I’m just LOLling it all the commenters here who still can do nothing but bash Trump and his supporters. Way to miss the entire point.

    TLB: Typical Liberal Bigotry

  223. @esr –

    > Reading about Robert Putnam’s research on how diversity erodes
    > social trust has done a lot to move me on this issue. I am now
    > cautiously in favor of immigration restrictions intended to prevent
    > net loss of social trust and capital by preferring immigrants from cultures close to ours.

    Alternatively –

    How about immigrants, regardless of their culture of origin, who come here and assimilate? They can keep their quaint traditional holidays, favorite native dishes, and harmless cultural practices –

    but, they have to learn and use English in public (including being educated in English), have to conform to the dominant social paradigm, etc., etc.

    The Ashkenazi did it. The Irish did it, and we all got St. Patrick’s Day to <STRIKE>get besotted in</STRIKE> celebrate. The Italians did it, and we all got gloppy red sauces and pasta to happily stuff our faces with. There were thousands of Slovenian and Croatian immigrants who came and settled in Cleveland in the early decades of the 20th century (my wife’s grandparents were some of them), but today, except for their last names, they are as wholeheartedly Middle American as anyone else. Other examples can be found.

  224. John D. Bell: Of course there are many examples of successful assimilation. However, they happened in an age prior to the multiculturalism delusion. (E.g. Teddy Roosevelt’s attack on the concept of “hyphenated Americans.”) None of those groups were large enough to change the overall ethnic balance of the country, none of them insisted on official multilingualism, and none had any revanchist movements. (I’m looking at you, La Raza and MEChA.)

    Muslim immigration was nearly non-existent, and given what I would argue are the inherent anti-liberty aspects of that religion, I have no reason to expect their assimilation here to go any better than it has in any other country.

  225. @Random832
    “Please find a citation to a reputable source that actually supports Jim’s claim. I can’t even find any article making the claim at all ”

    Thats because there isn’t any evidence. All the Republican administrations have turned every stone to come up with evidence. They could not.

    The only thing ever turning up were (hundreds of) thousands of minority voters who’s votes did not count or who were obstructed when they tried.

  226. @Parallel “Consider: the GLBT movement is a reaction to the Moral Majority 1980s Christian movement.”

    Perhaps, but I don’t think the cause-and-effect is that clear cut. The LGBTABCXYZ push would likely have happened anyway.

    “There absolutely were Right-leaning people in that era calling for government enforced morality based on their interpretation of Biblical doctrine.”

    Yes, but such have been with us in every age. And since the government is going to enforce SOMEONE’S morality it may as well be ours. Pick your poison.

    “…the last decade or so has been an object lesson for them in the danger of legitimizing the use of government force to enforce sectarian social norms.”

    I’ve encountered no-one, save yourself, who perceives that lesson. I don’t. I think the lesson we learned is that if war is what they want then war they’ll get. It’s just another aspect of what Jay Maynard, et al commented about above.

    Thank you for the thoughts.

  227. Winter, are you willfully obtuse or simply stupid? I saw at least three posts above with detailed accounts of the fraud. Respond to those specifics instead of crowing on about there not being any examples.

  228. @PapayaSF –

    > Muslim immigration was nearly non-existent, and given what I would argue are the
    > inherent anti-liberty aspects of that religion, I have no reason to expect their
    > assimilation here to go any better than it has in any other country.

    Anecdotally, of course –

    My personal physician is a Muslim immigrant from Pakistan. As is her husband (he’s also a physician). They are among the leaders of a prominent mosque and social center in my community, which is the spiritual home of many hundreds or possibly a few thousand Muslims from the world over. Each fall they put on an International Festival highlighting the cultural traditions (and foods!) of their countries of origin, as well as giving tours of the facility to the general public.

    These Muslims have assimilated. They live in peace and friendship with the rest of the community, and the non-Muslim community supports them. (When a whacko firebombed the mosque a few years back, many Jewish and Christian community leaders took up a collection to help them repair the damage.)

    I have not personally listened to the sermons given by their imam, but I’m sure that he is a “moderate” or “reform Muslim” (if such a thing can be spoken of, like a Reform Jew). It may well be that they are, in some deep theological sense, “not conforming” to the primary teachings of their religion. But in a functional sense, they are Muslims who are fitting in well with the rest of a contemporary Western culture.

  229. Of course it’s possible for individual Muslims to assimilate, especially when they are a tiny minority. But a look around the world indicates that the higher their proportion of the population, the more trouble they are (on average). Polls of American Muslims do not give me hope, and those are the beliefs that they are willing to tell pollsters.

    Another source for my worry is the experience of France. The first Muslim immigrants from the colonies in the ’50s and ’60s were little to no trouble. It’s their grandkids who are burning cars, committing terror attacks, and joining ISIS.

    To relate this to our original topic, I suspect that Trump’s talk of stopping Muslim immigration was a large part of his appeal, and there’s little hope that Democrats or Libertarians or Greens can win while being pro-Muslim immigration.

  230. @John D. Bell
    A thought experiment … if someone were to ask them … if they had to choose, for the governance of the U.S., would they pick the U.S. Constitution or would they pick Sharia law?

    If they hesitate in the slightest to pick the constitution, then you know they have not, in fact, assimilated but are just (quite sensibly) playing the game.

  231. “How about immigrants, regardless of their culture of origin, who come here and assimilate?”

    As far as I know, “assimilation” is and has always been a multigenerational process. A process that can look to outsiders to be standing still as the pool of unassimilated first-generation immigrants from the same culture of origin is constantly replenished, even if the individual families are assimilating. You can only say “The Italians did it” because there aren’t any significant numbers of new immigrants from 19th-century Italy to make you think they didn’t.

  232. > Other examples can be found.

    In the past. In the present, wake me up when our primary educational system and cultural/political overclass show any actual interest in supporting assimilation.

    >but, they have to learn and use English in public (including being educated in English), have to conform to the dominant social paradigm, etc., etc.

    What? That’s raaaaaacist! Also hegemonic, white-privileged, and cisnormative. You evil white nationalist neo-nazi, you!

    People who think that way run our educational system.

    We have some housecleaning to do before the historically normal pattern of assimilation can in fact be normal again.

  233. >Are you still wanting to do this?

    Yes, but NTPsec has been eating my bandwidth so totally that I didn’t even blog for two months.

  234. @esr –

    > >but, they have to learn and use English in public (including being educated in English), have to conform to the dominant social paradigm, etc., etc.

    > What? That’s raaaaaacist! Also hegemonic, white-privileged, and cisnormative. You evil white nationalist neo-nazi, you!

    Yup. It’s our nation – conform to that least set of common values, or GTFO!

    > People who think that way run our educational system.

    > We have some housecleaning to do before the historically normal pattern of assimilation can in fact be [normal] again.

    Regrettably all too true.

  235. > In the unlikely event that enough faithless electors materialize to deny Trump, there won’t be a civil war. The house will pick a moderate republican and life will go on.

    The Twelfth Amendment says otherwise. I quote: “… and if no person have [majority of the electoral college], then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding THREE on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately….”

    If “voted for as president” is electoral college, Trump and Clinton are the only two people who qualify”. If “voted for as president” is popular vote, I don’t know whether it’s Stein or Johnson who get added to the mix.

    Regardless, the House can not choose anyone it wants – it has to choose from a list of at most three people and those people are already known.

  236. uma on 2016-12-14 at 23:52:02 said:
    > In the unlikely event that enough faithless electors materialize to deny Trump, there won’t be a civil war.

    Go ahead. Burn the reichstaag.

  237. John D. Bell on 2016-12-16 at 15:08:01 said:
    > These Muslims have assimilated.

    Have they?

    Whenever a jihadi kills some people the press goes to his mosque to find some moderate Muslims, and instead of finding Muslims apologizing and saying ‘jihadis go to hell”,

    the press gets told “hey we are moderate muslims, and you infidels had it coming for doubting our wonderful moderation”.

  238. winter is simply a liar. Lots of episodes like this….. except that Democrat officials (Soros’ Secretary of State Project is how you get them) never allow actual investigations.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/11/03/voter-fraud-california-man-finds-dozens-ballots-stacked-outside-home.html?refresh=true

    Quote: The 83 ballots, each unused, were addressed to different people, all supposedly living in his elderly neighbor’s two-bedroom apartment.

    “I think this is spooky,” Mosna said. “All the different names, none we recognize, all at one address.”

    His wife, Madalena Mosna, noted their 89-year-old neighbor lives by herself, and, “Eighty people can’t fit in that apartment.” End Quote

    Likewise the FEC never investigating Obama’s illegal donations via disabling Address Verification Software. I can personally attest that you could use a credit card number with an address and name that didn’t match in both 2008 and 2012, BECAUSE I DONATED MONEY THAT WAY. No way to tell where the money came from or whether the donation limits were exceeded.

  239. “I think the lesson we learned is that if war is what they want then war they’ll get.”

    And if this kind of incentive structure keeps up, the lesson is that if they’re scared of you they leave you alone.

  240. I don’t believe there’s a lot of voter impersonation going on, though there do seem to be cases every election of someone filling out a bunch of ballots for other people.

    The real fraud happens further back in the process, at voter registration time. I don’t know how it works in other states, but the only barrier to an ineligible or non-existent person being registered in California is the fear of signing an “under penalty of perjury” statement, when nobody ever gets prosecuted for that. You can pick up a handful, or box-full, of voter registration forms, fill them in with non-existent people, and so long as you check the correct boxes, there will be no checks done to verify the existence of the voters you created out of thin air. Much less will there be a check that they actually *are* U.S. citizens, or are actually 18 or older. If a whole bunch come in the same packet from the post office, all in the same handwriting and claiming similar addresses, someone might get suspicious. But a few minor precautions would be enough to prevent detection.

    Unless you forget to vote for them for every election over 2 2-year election cycles. (That’s usually 4 to 6 elections – municipal, statewide primary, general, two years apart.) Then the registrar will send you a postcard, marked “do not forward”. If they get it back, marked as “moved” or “not at this address”, they’ll send you another postcard, telling you that your registration will be canceled if you fail to respond. Eventually, they will cancel your registration.

    If you re-register at a different address in the same county, and put the old address on your form, your old registration will be canceled. If you don’t, there’s a chance your old registration will be canceled, and a chance it won’t be. If you move to a different county, and put your old address on the form, your new county of residence will (eventually) send your name and address, along with others from the same county, to your old county’s registrar, who may or may not actually cancel the old registrations. So even if you do everything right, there’s a chance you’ll end up registered in more than one place.

    So when it comes time to vote, you send in the forms for all your fake voters to get absentee ballots, fill out the ballots, then drop them in the mail. Nobody knows the votes are fraudulent. A non-citizen who registers, and checks the box saying they are a citizen, can show up at a polling place and not be challenged. Even on the rare occasion they’re asked for an ID, they can show their drivers’ license, which doesn’t have any indication of citizenship status, and will get to vote.

    In short, at the Registrar of Voters, nobody knows you’re a dog.

  241. Pingback: Daily Reading #4A | thinkpatriot

  242. Actually, Andy, the three candidates are the top three vote getters in the Electoral College – and a faithless elector can vote for whoever he damned well wants to. If 269 electors voted for Trump, 232 voted for Clinton, and the remaining 37 voted for me, then the three names the House could choose from would be Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Jay Maynard.

    (And if that prospect doesn’t frighten you, not much will.)

  243. @styrgwillidar

    They went out and won an election. Use some underhanded method of changing the rules after that- polite politics working within a party didn’t work, embracing an outsider to ‘Go out and win an election’ didn’t work– you have left them nothing but directed, well-executed and targeted political violence. They’ve run out of options.

    There won’t be any changing of the rules. If faithless republican electors don’t elect Trump and give him 270 votes and instead enough of them go rogue and put in some other republican name (e.g. Romney, Kasich etc) the house will decide the election.

    There will be blood. There will be violence. It will be politically targeted and conducted by folks who know what they are about and committed to it, and will feel morally justified in carrying it out.

    Who is going to start aiming their shotguns against whom? The Donald Trump republicans against the Megyn Kelly republicans.

  244. uma on 2016-12-16 at 23:01:32 said:
    > Who is going to start aiming their shotguns against whom? The Donald Trump republicans against the Megyn Kelly republicans.

    Trump is our weapon against the party. The democrats are the inner party, the cuckservatives are part of the outer party. Push comes to shove, we are going to kill them all.

  245. Elections are a way of not having civil wars. Ideally the election result should be indicative of who would win a civil war, so you can get to the outcome a civil war would produce without all the killing and destruction. If you allow women and blacks and people without property etc to vote, then the election result is likely to fail to reflect the likely outcome of a civil war. If women and people without property get too grabby, a civil war then is incentivized, in that white men of property would be substantially better off with the civil war outcome than the election outcome

    If one faction or the other then burns the Reichstaag, providing a schelling point on which a civil war can be started, the incentivized civil war becomes likely.

  246. ESR:>Cause it’s all well and good to say the country’s shifted to the right,

    I’m not even sure that’s true. I think our intelligentsia see it that way because they took a crazy jog in the other direction 50-60 years ago.

    The jog started about 45-50 years ago. Read this post by Charles Murray.

    Read it! It explains a huge amount of what is going on now.

    Murray analyzed data from the General Social Survey. He found that the seven major socioeconomic segments of the population were all close to centrist circa 1972. Since then six segments moved slightly to the right. The other segment (Intellectual Upper Class) moved far to the left – as far to the left as the other six moved right combined. (Murray posted his analysis in 2009; the trends he found were linear and very steady, and have probably continued for the last seven years. So the gap is even wider now.)

    Read this post!

  247. “These Muslims have assimilated. They live in peace and friendship with the rest of the community, and the non-Muslim community supports them. ”

    Have they? Or are they simply following in the footsteps of Mohammed, who when he was living in Mecca, wrote all the peaceful Suras in the Koran that he created the doctrine of Abrogation to justify replacing with the Suras he wrote in Medina after he had an army of followers to convert by force?

    http://www.inquiryintoislam.com/2010/06/what-is-abrogation-in-islam.html

    As long as we don’t allow enough Muslims into our countries to constitute a significant threat, they will probably live fairly peaceably…. as long as you consider the inevitable body count when one “rediscovers his faith” to be a price worth paying for their contributions to diversity.

  248. Andy:

    > In the unlikely event that enough faithless electors materialize to deny Trump, there won’t be a civil war. The house will pick a moderate republican and life will go on.

    The Twelfth Amendment says otherwise. I quote: “… and if no person have [majority of the electoral college], then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding THREE on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately….”

    Except they can ignore the “immediately” upon which go further into the 12th and check out the 20th Amendment’s modifications of it, the VP elect gets it for a while, and then it looks like the outcome depends on what laws they have or will pass per my tired reading of it just now.

  249. SDN:

    Likewise the FEC never investigating Obama’s illegal donations via disabling Address Verification Software. I can personally attest that you could use a credit card number with an address and name that didn’t match in both 2008 and 2012, BECAUSE I DONATED MONEY THAT WAY. No way to tell where the money came from or whether the donation limits were exceeded.

    And a lot of these in 2008 were foreign, you can tell because they have odd non-integral dollar amounts characteristic of currency conversions. I looked at the FEC reports for my own home town of 55K that’s all but totally Red, and found several of these.

  250. I think our intelligentsia see it that way because they took a crazy jog in the other direction 50-60 years ago.

    The jog started about 45-50 years ago.

    What a coincidence, that’s right around the time of the documented KGB program to infiltrate the American academy.

  251. >I think other libertarians are movable on this score. To move them, what you have to push home is the charge that they are undervaluing social trust relative to the labor input of immigrants.

    With too many libertarians I’ve encountered, if they were neurologically capable of comprehending social trust they wouldn’t be libertarians.

    But that’s just my observation, possibly an excessively bitter one.

  252. Jim said “If you allow women and blacks and people without property etc to vote, then the election result is likely to fail to reflect the likely outcome of a civil war.”

    This second civil war some southerners talk about is nonsense. There is no going back to only white men voting.

    Jim said “Push comes to shove, we are going to kill them all.”

    Armchair warrior much?

    Michael said, “You miss the point. Again, we’re voting for a president, not a pastor. Neither Billy Graham nor Mother Teresa were on the ticket. AFAICT we have not in living memory had a candidate that did not go “directly counter to Christian beliefs” to some extent. That’s the hand we’re dealt.”

    The point is lost on you. As a Christian, the choice was simply–neither Hillary nor Trump. Their longstanding behavior has been more than “directly countering Christian beliefs”.

  253. GCM, nobody’s talking seriously about going back to only white men voting. But the second civil war may well happen, if the people’s expressed will is overthrown by the elites who can’t stand the result.

    And “neither Clinton nor Trump” is not a viable position to take. We were going to get one or the other. If you can’t stand either choice – as I couldn’t; Trump was not in my top 10 choices – then you pick the least bad, which is what I did.

  254. >With too many libertarians I’ve encountered, if they were neurologically capable of comprehending social trust they wouldn’t be libertarians.

    Pretty inferior grade of libertarian then. I really don’t think I know any with that problem.

  255. @GCM “The point is lost on you. As a Christian, the choice was simply–neither Hillary nor Trump.”

    So glad you’ve got this whole Christian thing figured out. Shall I nominate your scrawling for inclusion in the canon?

    Mt 10:16 ¶ Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (KJV)

    We voted for the mostly-friend in order to defeat the full-on-evil. Hisssssssssss!

  256. GCM, it won’t be hard: cut off the food supply running through all those red counties, and you’ll be eating each other.

  257. >Pretty inferior grade of libertarian then. I really don’t think I know any with that problem.

    Having a hard time believing you haven’t met many libertarians on the spectrum, you don’t really have what it takes to *get* societal trust, how it works, what it means and how it fails.

    In my experience they just *assume it*, and act extremely bewildered in situations where it isn’t present.

  258. Hmm, above there should be a “who” instead of a “you” at one point.

    Also wanted to add a couple of things about Muslim immigrants and assimilation.

    There is almost certainly a self-selection effect that those who come here are more likely to be ones who *want* to assimilate, and get away from the pathologies of the old country.

    Like a friend in HS who was born in Pakistan, and for some reason was always warning us to be careful around Pakistanis, as they were crazy and dangerous.

    Anyway I’ve known personally several of both kinds – those happy with assimilating, and those who expected others to go out of their way to accommodate old world customs. So hard to generalize.

    But it is worth pointing out that social dynamics change when you get larger numbers of any one ‘type’ of immigrant. Above a certain critical mass, they can and do coccoon, and become much more resistant to assimilation (hey assimilation is difficult and disorienting, after all).

    I imagine this effect is even stronger in groups who are known to have a certain percentage among them prone to get all murdery in response to deviation from group cultural norms.

  259. @Greg “There is almost certainly a self-selection effect that those who come here are more likely to be ones who *want* to assimilate, and get away from the pathologies of the old country.”

    That may have been true in the past, not anymore. Now there is a significant contingent of La Raza types, drug gangs, criminals, ISIS fighters, and other jihadi’s of various stripes.

  260. Likely still true, but not *relevant*. See the rest of the post, especially the last paragraph.

    This is a special problem among cultures where ‘social conservatism’ comes with the belief it justifies murder.

    I once had a Muslim coworker who had a noticeable, visible fear of beards. I never had the heart to ask why, but I can imagine.


  261. GCM, nobody’s talking seriously about going back to only white men voting. But the second civil war may well happen, if the people’s expressed will is overthrown by the elites who can’t stand the result.

    If the result is overthrown it won’t be by the elites. It would be by republican electors. The elites have other means of undermining Trump while he’s president if he steps out of line, and ultimately can get him impeached.

    Trump is not the “will of the people”. He is the winner of the election as per election rules. There is a difference between the two. If the country enters into a crisis phase because of Trump it will quickly become even more clear that he is not the will of the people.

  262. >In my experience they just *assume it*, and act extremely bewildered in situations where it isn’t present.

    I see. That’s a different problem than I thought you were pointing at. What I thought you were asserting was that most libertarians are incapable of understanding the concept when presented to them.

  263. >If the result is overthrown it won’t be by the elites. It would be by republican electors. The elites have other means of undermining Trump while he’s president if he steps out of line, and ultimately can get him impeached.

    Definition of elites seems to expand and contract as needed.

    No, electors of any party are part of a political elite, and if any defect it will likely be due to pressure exerted by media and cultural elites, aided by other political elites. (There was one state, iirc it was PA, where the existing state gov’t doxxed the electors, which had never been done before. Why would they do that?)

  264. >I see. That’s a different problem than I thought you were pointing at. What I thought you were assetring was that most libertarians are incapable of understanding the concept.

    No, I’m asserting that many libertarians I have known seem to be incapable of understanding the concept.

    It’s something ambient that they’ve gotten used to and take for granted, but really don’t grasp.

  265. Eric, that was a great, beautiful post. I don’t agree with all of it, but dammit dude, what a Tour De Force! With that said, I’ll take it point-by-point:

    ESR: First, your ability to assemble a broad-based national coalition has collapsed. Do not be fooled into thinking otherwise by your popular vote “win”; that majority came entirely from the West Coast metroplex and disguises a large-scale collapse in popular support everywhere else in the U.S. Trump even achieved 30-40% support in blue states where he didn’t spend any money.

    I’m not entirely sure this or the following paragraph is “true,” and I’ll get into the reasons later, but you’ve certainly written up a valid worst case scenario for the Democrats. Were I in charge of the Democrats, I’d be acting and thinking like your idea here is true. In large part this is what the Democrats get for firing John Dean and dumping his 50-State strategy… nobody down-ticket with the budget and organization necessary to push the Democratic POV! I think when the history of the modern Democratic Party is written, the firing of John Dean will be seen as a pivotal moment.
    .
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    ESR: Your party leadership is geriatric, decades older than the average for their Republican counterparts. Years of steady losses at state level, masked by the personal popularity of Barack Obama, have left you without a bench to speak of – little young talent and basically no seasoned Presidential timber under retirement age. The fact that Joseph Biden, who will be 78 for the next Election Day, is being seriously mooted as the next Democratic candidate, speaks volumes – none of them good.

    Agreed. Once again, note the firing of John Dean. One of the recent Democratic down-ticket candidates, someone with years of experience, commented extensively on this, reporting the lack of a contact person for downticket races, the lack of coaching, the lack of organizing help, etc., stuff which had been present years ago but wasn’t currently present, but I didn’t save the link.
    .
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    ESR: Your ideological lock on the elite media and show business has flipped from a powerful asset to a liability. Trump campaigned against that lock and won; his tactics can be and will be replicated. Worse, a self-created media bubble insulated you from grasping the actual concerns of the American public so completely that you didn’t realize the shit you were in until election night…

    …but the brute fact is that it failed to turn out to defeat the Republican candidate with the highest negatives in history. You thought all you had to do was wait for the old white men to die, but anybody who has studied the history of immigration in the U.S. could have told you that the political identities of immigrant ethnic groups do not remain stable as they assimilate. You weren’t going to own the Hispanics forever any more than you owned the Irish and the Italians forever. African-Americans, trained by decades of identity politics, simply failed to show up for a white candidate in the numbers you needed. The sexism card didn’t play either, as a bare majority of married women who actually went to the polls seem to have voted for Trump.

    You’re right about this on a meta level, or maybe on a long-term level, but not on a practical one for this election. I should also note that Republicans are facing some very similar issues as their electorate ages out. Once again, if I ran the Democratic Party I’d take this issue very seriously going forward.

    However, for this election, I think Hillary got caught in the perfect storm, more or less as follows:

    POOR DEMOCRATIC STRATEGY, TACTICS, AND EXECUTION: You’re is absolutely right about this and I don’t plan to write any more on this subject because its so bloody obvious. Once again, note my comments on Howard Dean above.

    TWENTY YEARS OF ANTI-HILLARY PROPAGANDA: Does anyone remember “Hillary had Vince Foster Killed” Or “Crack pipes hanging from the Christmas Tree?” And from there forward for twenty-four years all the way to PizzaGate. By the time she ran for president there were people who wouldn’t have voted for her if she’d received an endorsement from God written across the sky in letters of fire.

    THE ANTI-HILLARY MEDIA: Hillary definitely had many, many weaknesses as a possible president, but if we’d heard about “three bankruptcies” or “frequently doesn’t pay people what he owes them” or any of Trump’s other negatives as frequently as we heard about “email” Hillary would be our President elect right now. (Many of us are in I.T. and we all know about C-Level types who make the occasional really bad decision about technology, so it’s not the end of the world. Slap her on the wrist and move on.)

    FOLLOWING OBAMA: For a variety of reasons Obama made it very difficult for any Democrat to win. The main issue here is his complete lack of a spine. He kept trying to play the game by Marquis of Queensbury rules while the Republicans continued their tradition of kicking the opposition in the nuts, and he clearly doesn’t understand the first rule of dealing with a bully.

    RUSSIAN INTERVENTION/FAKE NEWS: I don’t think these issues are nearly as important as the hard-core Democrats imagine them to be, but they both clearly happened and had their effects on the election.

    COMEY’S OCTOBER 28th LETTER: ‘Nuff said.

    REPUBLICAN VOTER SUPPRESSION: Also nuff’ said.

    REALLY BAD POLLING: Obviously every pollster around screwed up badly. This may or may not tie into the issue of Russian hacking. (Is Putin smart enough to hack the pollster’s computers instead of the voting machines? Interesting question…)

    If you could go back in time and make sure any two of those issues went the other way we’d end up with President Hillary. Unfortunately, Hillary didn’t get caught in that perfect storm while running against John Kasich or Mitt Romney. She got caught in that perfect storm while running against Trump, so we ended up with the greater of two evils.

    I’ll also note a couple other things in passing. First, the essentially suicidal practice of not having an auditable voting trail in all states. Not particularly for Hillary’s sake, but just because it’s so incredibly fucking stupid in every way imaginable.

    Second, I’m not sure that Obama would have the necessary spine to release a full report on Russian hacking even if it was completely necessary. He’s been a gigantic disappointment in the spine department.

    I’ll put the rest of my response on another post; I don’t want to get eaten by your moderation software


  266. > No, electors of any party are part of a political elite,

    They are not. They are your typical Joe Blow lifelong member of the republican party.

  267. ESR: But your worst problem is less tangible. Trump has popped the preference-falsification bubble. The conservative majority in most of the U.S. (coastal enclaves excepted) now knows it’s a conservative majority. Before the election every pundit in sight pooh-poohed the idea that discouraged conservative voters, believing themselves isolated and powerless, had been sitting out several election cycles. But it turned out to be true, not least where I live in the swing state of Pennsylvania, where mid-state voters nobody knew were there put Trump over the top. Pretty much the same thing happened all through the Rust Belt.

    That genie isn’t going to be stuffed back in the bottle. Those voters now know they can deliver the media and the coastal elites a gigantic fuck-you, and Republicans know the populist techniques to mobilize them to do that. Trump’s playbook was not exactly complicated.

    I’d phrase the whole thing a bit differently. The Republican Party knows how to get the lower-class Whites to vote conservatively. I’m not sure all those voters have actually “become conservative.” Note for example that polling which took place prior to the party conventions revealed that Bernie Sanders, much further left than Hillary, had a much better chance of beating Trump than Hillary. All that said, I’m not sure that our differences on this issue make much of a difference operationally for the Democrats. As you’ve noted the Democratic Party desperately needs to reach out to this demographic and Hillary completely failed to do that. For all practical purposes your advice to the Democrats on this issue is correct.
    .
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    ESR: That center is far to the right of what you would prefer. For that matter it is rather to the right of where I would prefer – but facts are facts and denying them isn’t going to help. You Democrats need to think about what it takes to be competitive on a continuum where Fox News is barely right of center, Mitt Romney was an out-of-touch liberal, and as near as I could tell the politician who actually nailed the psephological center in 2008 was none other than Sarah Palin.

    If you do not do this thing, you will continue to lose.

    Here is where I deeply disagree with you, for both moral/philosophical and real world reasons. America deeply loves the Liberal agenda, if it is presented in a poll, in neutral language, outside of an election year. I’m not talking about the leftward 1% of the Liberal agenda here, but the basics; better and cheaper health care, equality between the races/sexes, more money spent on education, higher taxes for corporations/rich people, etc. Unfortunately we have a media that responds to Hillary’s ideal of putting more money into education by reporting on emails, with the occasional “Benghazi” thrown in. It’s a little like George Wallace’s story (pardon me) about getting “out-n*gg*ered.” (For a really dark view of politics, google “george wallace outn*gg*ered”)

    If we had real news coverage it would get reported like this:

    “Today Hillary said, “I’m going to put more money into Education, particularly science and math,” while Trump said, “Vouchers are the answer.” (Note the actual comparison of the candidates positions on a single issue, which I never heard reported in the news preceding the election.)

    In the real world we get “Clinton charity possibly crooked” followed by ‘Trump said, “Crooked Hillary!”‘ followed by “Hillary said she’s not crooked and Trump’s charity is horrible.” Followed by – and this is appalling – absolutely no reporting on how organizations which rate charities grade Trump’s charity versus Clintons!

    In short, it’s not possible to make assumptions about whether the electorate is actually conservative in the absence of accurate news reporting to the people about a candidate’s actual positions.
    .
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    ESR: Before I get to suggesting some changes, I want to point out that the results of the dominance Republicans have already achieved are going to make your problems even worse than they look now. Those problems don’t end with not having a farm team. State-level control means the Republicans will largely determine redistricting in the 2020 census. Their ability to pass voter-ID laws will surely hurt you as well.

    I agree with this and the surrounding paragraphs, particularly about the farm team, but consider the implications. What Trump is really saying to the white lower-class when he talks about deporting the illegal immigrants and banishing the Muslims is “I’m going to make America great again by clearing out your competition for jobs! Labor prices will rise when 20 million U.S. residents are sent away.” But for some very complicated reasons having to do with education, demographics, and the way corporations work, this won’t solve the problems. (Maybe more on this later.)
    .
    .
    ESR: The most obvious thing is that you have to stop contemptuously dismissing the largest single demographic segment of the American electorate. Because believe me, they noticed. So did their wives and children.

    This has larger implications than you may yet understand… The whole apparatus of racial and ethnic identity politics is turning in your hand, reversing (like your old-media dominance) from an asset to a liability.

    Generally I agree here, (with my prior caveats involving poor news reporting still present as a minor counterweight to your ideas.) I also agree that identity politics are played out, and I far prefer the idea of a “melting pot” to the idea of “diversity.” Hillary did one of her famous “listening tours” before the campaign, but she clearly didn’t spend enough time in the bars and bowling alleys of the rust-belt states. I’d also note that calling Trump voters “deplorables” plus her campaign lashing out at women who voted for Bernie as “anti-woman” was very poor strategy. The “dirty tricks” campaign against Bernie also backfired badly. It got her elected in the primary, but a small percentage of Bernie voters were, quite naturally, unwilling to forgive her.

    I suspect that the best possible strategy, which Trump fell into by accident, is uniting the middle class voters who have already gotten screwed with the middle class voters who are either currently getting screwed or are up next for screwing. Now there’s a voting block!

    Continued on another post to avoid the moderation software!

  268. @ Jim Doherty


    >>And the whole civil war thing. I hope the blue states understand that the anger they saw election night was just the tip of the iceberg. There are millions of people who would love for a hot war to erupt

    And there are several billion people in the world, with unlimited number of fighting age males, who have a stake in your side losing. But none of that would be needed. The war, in the unlikely event it happens, would be short and quick and your side would be swiftly defeated.


    >> Nothing would ensure the constitution more than a hot war that would allow these people to cull the socialists out of the gene pool.

    That was tried in the past. It was the nazis who nearly got culled out of the gene pool by hybrid semi mogoloid race. If the western nations did not race against time to save what they could of Germany, that culling would have been near total. It took 45 years after that for socialism to crumble. And the only thing that crumbled in practice was socialism in its most extreme forms.


    >>And no way do we allow you to take all the ports on the west coast without a fight. So we could split peacefully, but only if we got say San Diego and the republican counties that grow a lot of your food to boot.

    The jolly good manifest-destiny imperialists such as you will be shipped back to their European homeland where they belong. They can dress in their funny wigs and imagine a world that belongs to them.. on the playstation that is. And that of course applies to those amongst you who have enough intelligence to be among the surrendered rather than the vanquished.

  269. ESR: You will not prevent this development by screaming “racism!”. Here’s a hot tip: people you dismiss as retrograde scum will not, in general, vote for you. In fact, one of the things you Democrats most urgently need to do is banish “racism” and “sexism” from your political vocabulary.

    While these words point at some real problems, they are also a trap. They lead you to organize your political pitch around virtue-signaling, exclusion and demonization. That, in turn, can be successful (though repulsive) politics when it’s used against a minority to mobilize a majority or plurality. But you’re in the opposite situation now. You were trapped by your own privilege theory. You demonized a plurality of American voters, and in return they gave you Trump.

    Yeah, pretty much. One of the most important things a political organization can do is arrange voter priorities in order by the numbers; highest at the top. Unfortunately for both Democrats and Republicans, the biggest priority for Americans is the way industries are leaving for places with cheaper labor, infrastructure, health care, and the financialization of the economy, which the money people behind the parties really don’t want to see addressed. So the Republicans signal their virtue by means of religious arguments while the Democrats signal their virtue by touting the virtues of the enlightenment, but neither party addresses the real issues, and both parties are vulnerable to tripping over this one. It just happened to the Democrats first. (Imagine Bernie Sanders throwing this one in Marco Rubio’s face!)

    This is as much an ongoing historical trend as something the Democrats are faulty on. Look back 30 years at that “horrible corporatist, fascist running dog” Ronald Reagan and how his administration handled the Savings and Loan crisis… by arresting and convicting 1100 bankers! Note how George Bush II and Barrack Obama arrested… no bankers at all! Bernie Sanders could have carried off an anti-corruption campaign, but there’s no way anyone would have bought it from Clinton.
    .
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    ESR: Speaking of virtue signaling, another thing you need to give up is focusing on peacock issues (like, say, transgender rights) while ignoring pocketbook problems like the hollowing out of middle-class employment.

    Again, this advice has nothing to do with the rights or wrongs of individual peacock issues and more with a general sense that the elites are fiddling while Rome burns. For the first time since records have been kept, U.S. life expectancy went down during the Obama years, led by a disturbing rise in suicides and opiate addiction among discouraged unemployed in flyover country. A Democratic Party that fails to address that while it screws around with bathroom-law boycotts is willfully consigning itself to irrelevance.

    In some ways you’re absolutely right about this. The ways in which you’re wrong have more to do with the way this stuff is reported by the media than anything else. Let’s imagine that Obama’s Dept of Education gives two orders. The first tells schools to give more class time to STEM issues and rebudget some of their Federal money to hire more and better math/science teachers. The second order is to make it easier for transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. Which order gets reported on Fox News?

    On the other hand, the elites are fiddling while Rome burns. If you got one thing right, this is it!

    What you’re missing, once again, is that either party could get their butt kicked on this one. What surprised me more on the whole “fiddling while Rome burns” issue is that Democrats didn’t throw the Zika issue in the face of the Republicans – that’s a mommy issue if ever there was one! The Democrats don’t just need to play better defense on this one, they need to play better offense too!
    .
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    ESR: Now we need to talk about guns…

    The Democratic line on gun policy is a perfect symbol of everything that has become disconnected about the party. It reads as corrosive disrespect for middle-Americans who like their firearms, think of themselves as a nation of armed citizens rather than cowering subjects, and use their guns responsibly. It reeks of class warfare, urban elites against flyover-country proles. It’s disempowering, not empowering. It is, in short, a perfect focus for anti-Democratic populist anger.

    Let me list the objections I have to this:
    .
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    ESR: You Democrats don’t just need to reform your gun policy, you need to reform your attitude towards the voters…

    And you bring it home. For all my disagreements, this is very good work, possibly the best thing I have read on the elections since November 9th.

  270. Troutwaxer, your remarks on the election merely repeat the various excuses and delusions that the Democrats have been peddling to avoid serious analysis of the party’s problems. None of the things you mentioned had more than a trivial effect on the voters in Pennsylvania or Michigan who gave Trump his margin of victory in the EC. Look at what moved them: the “hollowing out of middle-class employment”; the “apparatus of racial and ethnic identity politics”; even the “ideological lock on the elite media and show business”. These are not just long-term issues – they were the issues that swung this election, and the Democrats have to face them now.

    Frankly, I don’t see any way the Democrats can navigate back to the political center from where they are. Their basic concept of government as a benevolent patron handing out largesse to dependent clients hasn’t really been viable in the USA since the early 1970’s, and everything that’s happened since has only made the failure obvious. They went in for the peacock issues and identity politics to compensate for that; now that those are failing too, they are bereft. What the Democrats really need is a new guiding principle, a new conception of what governments are for – and you can’t just order one of those through Amazon.

  271. uma: “They are not. They are your typical Joe Blow lifelong member of the republican party.”

    As it happens, I know someone who was selcted a couple of times as a Republican elector for Minnesota. (Talk about always the bridesmaid, never the bride!) He’s been the Republican county chairman for my county for years. That makes him part of the party elite. He tells me that the same is true of all of them: longtime party workers who have risen to the top of the ranks and stayed there.

  272. “America deeply loves the Liberal agenda, if it is presented in a poll, in neutral language, outside of an election year. I’m not talking about the leftward 1% of the Liberal agenda here, but the basics; better and cheaper health care, equality between the races/sexes, more money spent on education, higher taxes for corporations/rich people, etc.”

    Not at all. America loves the general Democratic agenda if it is presented as a list of benefits, without mentioning the costs or explaining the policies that are supposed to lead to those benefits. When the explanations are provided America balks.

    Running through your examples, “better and cheaper health care” generally means a nationwide compulsory health insurance plan, a copy of Britain’s NHS, or the PPACA. We know from observation that these ideas do not make health care better or cheaper. “Equality between the races” means preferential treatment for some ethnic groups to compensate them for injustices to their ancestors. We know from observation that this doesn’t even lead to material equality between the favored groups and the disfavored, and if anything it stokes hostility between them.

    “More money spent on education” is a policy intended to ensure children are well-educated; in practice, however, it only allows schools to pay for administrators and equipment that don’t help students learn, and shelter schools from the wrath of parents whose children are graduating without having learned anything. And “higher taxes for corporations/rich people” founders because it leads to corporations closing factories and offices in the US and making new facilities in other countries, while rich people put their money into arcane tax shelters, foreign banks or bribes to politicians instead of funding new businesses.

    Progressive policies do not lead to the Progressives’ stated goals; this has been demonstrated for going on eighty years. It doesn’t matter whether Americans approve of the goals – what’s important is whether they approve of the policies, when they understand their real results.

  273. A lot of the current discussion is focused on Trump’s take-down of the Clinton political machine, but he first did a Sherman’s March-To-The-Sea through the Republican primaries and soundly defeated a pretty stellar (and diverse) cast of heavyweights in the GOP. Arguably, they made all the same mistake in regarding him as a buffoon and assumed that he would evaporate when confronted with traditional political tactics and lots of campaign money. Jeb Bush spent a fortune and lost so badly that he should really consider going into hiding. But they all fell, despite representing a wide range of standard archetypes.

    I think Eric is right. Trump’s election may very well be a Black Swan event and we are headed into uncharted waters now. If Trump executes a smackdown of Ryan and McConnell during the first days of his administration, he will aggrandize an enormous power base. A flame-out of the Democrats may not be the only pillar to fall, and old school GOP pols may be headed for extinction as well.

    May you live in interesting times.

  274. @Jay Maynard “That makes him part of the party elite. He tells me that the same is true of all of them: longtime party workers who have risen to the top of the ranks and stayed there.”

    I’m gonna guess there’s some variability across states and districts. One of the electors from Arkansas happens to be a close friend. He’s only been active in Repub circles for about 5 years and has risen pretty fast in their ranks. He is retired blue collar. He’s received thousands of emails, some threatening, for him to go faithless. His answer: “When hell freezes over”. He’s had a Trump sign in his yard for months now.

  275. @Jay Maynard:


    >> He’s been the Republican county chairman for my county for years. That makes him part of the party elite. He tells me that the same is true of all of them: longtime party workers who have risen to the top of the ranks and stayed there.

    By that definition, so much of the country would be be part of the “elite”.

    Try banning fractional reserve banking, and returning control of the nation’s money supply to the people for a change. That would get you in conflict with the real elites who run the show. The greek people (a nation of 11 million) have been in conflict with elites for almost 10 years. Who do you think came out on top?

  276. Troutwaxer: “In short, it’s not possible to make assumptions about whether the electorate is actually conservative in the absence of accurate news reporting to the people about a candidate’s actual positions.”

    This is the old leftist canard about how all they need is better messaging, and they’ll win. They’ve been saying it for years, and not winning. Perhaps it’s not the message, but the actual ideals, that Americans want no part of? Your poll results notwithstanding, whenever someone pounds the free-lunch socialist agenda, they lose.

  277. “winter on 2016-12-16 at 14:37:40 said:

    Thats because there isn’t any evidence. All the Republican administrations have turned every stone to come up with evidence. They could not.

    The only thing ever turning up were (hundreds of) thousands of minority voters who’s votes did not count or who were obstructed when they tried.”

    Do you ever tire of being wrong?

    Here’s a highly liberal news source citing a large study:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2014/10/24/could-non-citizens-decide-the-november-election/

    Here’s the study itself:

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/document-archive/non-citizensvote/

    Here’s a couple of local news sources reporting a couple of different types of election fraud:

    https://youtu.be/2hjmKBfrycQ (an NBC affiliate)

    http://cleveland.cbslocal.com/2013/05/31/ohio-poll-worker-convicted-on-multiple-counts-of-obama-biased-voter-fraud/

    Golly, it took all of 30 seconds to find this “non-existent” evidence. But that’s ok, the NYT told you what to think, so you go on telling yourself whatever you want to hear.

    Now, go ahead and show some empirical evidence that voter ID suppresses or disenfranchises minority voting. Take your time. I’ll enjoy posting the empirical evidence which refutes that nonsense.

  278. “The main issue here is his complete lack of a spine. He kept trying to play the game by Marquis of Queensbury rules while the Republicans continued their tradition of kicking the opposition in the nuts, and he clearly doesn’t understand the first rule of dealing with a bully.”

    Troutwaxer, you are simply delusional. Period.

  279. “The war, in the unlikely event it happens, would be short and quick and your side would be swiftly defeated. ”

    https://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/what-i-saw-at-the-coup/

    “Dennis had always assumed that the combined might of our armed federal agents and their SWAT Teams, reinforced with local police and, if necessary, the National Guard or even the Army, could crush any conceivable right-wing reaction to his plan. But social network analysis couldn’t find snipers who were not part of any network. That’s when we began to hear of “The Militia of One.” In the end there were too many rifles, and too many willing shooters. A number that was constantly heard was twenty million. That was the number of Americans who supposedly went deer hunting every year, against less than 200,000 armed federal agents.


  280. >> A number that was constantly heard was twenty million. That was the number of Americans who supposedly went deer hunting every year, against less than 200,000 armed federal agents.“

    I’d wager my bet on the 200,000 federal agents with their armada, and the unlimited support from the rest of the world over your militia any time of the day.

    The reason is simple. The vast majority of your 20 million hunters (assuming they belong to your militia), will quickly cower in and make the mental transformation that “life is not too bad after all” as soon as the bullets start whizzing. For a simple factual reason. That life is not too bad indeed!. The die-hard lunatics will be far far fewer than the 200,000 federal agents.

    If we were dealing with 20 million dispossessed, sharpshooters living under extreme oppression and misery I’d be a little worried. Since we’re not, this kind of a civil war, if anything, will be swift and will result from not hearing from your side for another 100 years. By which time, demographic and economic developments in the rest of the world and here will have practically solved the problem for good.

  281. Uma, you assume that 200,000 federal agents will all simply salute and start arresting and/or shooting half the country. I’m no historian, but I don’t think that’s how civil wars work.


  282. >> Uma, you assume that 200,000 federal agents will all simply salute and start arresting and/or shooting half the country. I’m no historian, but I don’t think that’s how civil wars work.

    They won’t shoot half the country, and they won’t be the ones to fire the first bullet.

    If you’re counting on defections, that is indeed a possibility and how civil wars work. The issue at stake here (“Donald Trump”) is not exactly the kind of issue that will result in defection of entire divisions with their aircraft carriers to blockade the west coast. Donald Trump is not the kind of figure/issue who will divide honest, honorable and well-meaning army officers right down the middle.

    It will result in individual defections here and there. Sure. Which, if anything, is a good thing because the remaining force will be of one heart and one conviction.

  283. My point is that you are dreaming if you think 200,000 federal agents are going to follow orders to use force to prevent Trump from taking office. Most would think they are being asked to participate in a coup, and they’d be right.


  284. >> My point is that you are dreaming if you think 200,000 federal agents are going to follow orders to use force to prevent Trump from taking office. Most would think they are being asked to participate in a coup, and they’d be right.

    And how exactly is he going to take office if the EC then the house denies him? He will flee into tornado alley and organize an militia army to march on Washington Mao-Tse-tong style.

    What the 200,000 federal agents will do will depend on how events play out, and who the house would elect instead of Trump. If it is a competent fit-for-office republican (e.g. Romney, or Kasich), I’d have zero worries. If it was Hillary, then it would be a coup and the coup will fail, because a) She is even more hated than the Donald b) she is totally incompetent to take over the reigns of power and manage the country under such troubled circumstances.

  285. The EC won’t stop Trump, and even if they did, the House would not stop him. You are fantasizing and grasping at straws. Give it up. It’s going to be President Trump whether you like it or not.


  286. The EC won’t stop Trump, and even if they did, the House would not stop him.

    I never said that the EC would deny Trump. I said it is highly unlikely. Go back and read what I wrote again.

  287. >Oh really? Try telling one [Libertarian] that open borders aren’t an unalloyed good, and see how fast the bigot word is heard.

    If I had had more free time over the last few days, I would’ve pushed back on this. There’s only so much voluntary exchange possible with someone who comes over and thinks you might screw with him on a deal merely because that’s what he’s become used to in whatever kleptocracy he grew up in.

    Those of you with reasonable familiarity with game theory are no doubt aware of the Tit For Tat player in the iterated prisoner’s dilemma. It has a lot of nice properties, not the least of which is that it seems to hit the sweet spot between being intuitive, being simple, and tending to win in the long run. It also has a nasty habit of settling into a permanent defection mode if it’s surrounded by enough other TFT players who got hit the same way.

    I don’t have to believe immigrants are lesser human beings to believe they’ll drag their destination society down; all I have to believe is that they’re tired of being screwed all the time. They’re like anyone ditching a leaky boat for a less leaky one. I take it as a point of pride that they prefer my boat, and I believe most of them by far would rather fix my boat, make it better, and consequently have it become our boat. But I also know if I take on too many at a time, this boat might sink as well, and no one will be better off.

    So, much as my libertarian side would prefer otherwise, I’m compelled to throttle the rate at which we take on newcomers, roughly to the rate at which we can bring them online as fellow boat maintainers.

    This is one of the reasons I will say I have a libertarian side, rather than that I am a libertarian. I am libertarian only contingently.

    At any rate, I see Eric beat me to it.

  288. “I’d wager my bet on the 200,000 federal agents with their armada, and the unlimited support from the rest of the world over your militia any time of the day.”

    If we look at real world examples here, this quickly becomes a poor bet. Note how the Tsarnaev brothers shut down a major American city for four days. Two poorly equipped and poorly prepared people with a pistol between them. Local law enforcement resources can be quickly overwhelmed by a handful of people. The so-called “armada” of 200k FBI agents will be completely swamped by just handfuls of people acting independently in several locations throughout several states. They are simply not equipped to deal with anything “large” scale.

    And the idea of the “world” lending assistance to the U.S. in such a scenario doesn’t even pass the laugh test. Who, precisely, do you think is even willing to lend their support, let alone prepared. The only possible countries I would think could even consider it are some of the Western Euros. But these are the countries that – when they actually do deign meet their minimum NATO requirements – routinely underperform in third world countries.

    Not that I’m promoting or relishing the idea of armed conflict within the borders, but any serious analysis that’s been performed on the subject has rather quickly concluded that it would be costly, bloody, and nowhere near easy to resolve (or determine the outcome).

  289. “Donald Trump is not the kind of figure/issue who will divide honest, honorable and well-meaning army officers right down the middle.”

    Donald Trump? Probably not. The principle that the people get to choose their government? The Constitutional order? The idea of elections being honored and not overruled by the elite? Don’t be so sure.

    As for the world intervening…extremely doubtful. World governments are extremely loath to intervene in civil wars. They’ll stand aside and let us slug it out.

    Be careful what you ask for. You may get it.

  290. Pingback: Hey, Democrats: reform your attitude | ????????? ???????

  291. Doctor Locketopus

    > …but have a look at this picture of some members of the 82nd Airborne. What do you see?

    A hard rain of chaos and pain.

  292. uma: “a competent fit-for-office republican (e.g. Romney, or Kasich)”

    You mean the kind of collaborationist that thinks the Republican Party shouldn’t argue over goals, simply means, with the Left? Such a person would be seen as little different from Hillary Clinton, although less overtly criminal. It would do little to stave off the righteous anger of the flyover-state American who thinks that he’s finally gotten to have a say in how our country is actually governed.

    Go-along-to-get-along Republicans are an endangered species. If we learn nothing else from this last election, we should learn that.

  293. To all pushing the tired argument that the US Government is unbeatable … you really have nothing to say until you’ve done a bit of reading on 4GW. Beating superpowers at their own game is a well worn path.

    I know of no-one who really wants that war. But I continue to be amazed at the number who are resigned to the fact that it’s coming. And the number who believe it’s already in motion.

  294. Michael, I’m constantly amazed at antiwar leftists who are constantly unhappy that we’re losing soldiers to asymmetrical warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, and yet think the very same American military will crush Americans like bugs.

    But then, consistency has never been a hallmark of the Left.

  295. tz on 2016-12-15 at 16:33:50 said:
    > Brendan Eich was purged from Mozilla over that (get the Brave Browser),

    Been running it a month or so.

    It needs a bit of work to be useful.

  296. And I am resigned to that war, but I do not believe it’s coming…yet. We will know the truth of that story tomorrow.

    There are two more hurdles: the Electoral College vote tomorrow, and the Congressional certification of the results on January 3. I think it exceedingly unlikely that either will result in anyone but Donald Trump being inaugurated on January 20.
    Still, the possibility is nonzero, and I’m keeping my ammo dry and my guns clean.

  297. gmmay:

    If we look at real world examples here, this quickly becomes a poor bet. Note how the Tsarnaev brothers shut down a major American city for four days.

    More relevant, perhaps, would be the example of the vastly more competent, but not really all that competent on an absolute scale and nuts to boot Chris Dorner. When he started hunting the police, they completely lost their shit, even to the point at shooting at innocents who in no way resembled him or his vehicle (and expending 10s, probably well over 100 rounds without killing either occupant of that pickup truck). Not all police will be as grossly incompetent as the ones facing Dorner or the younger Tsarnaev brother (note how prior to that they managed one blue on blue shooting, and after, they draw their parameter inside where he was hiding, it was only after they relaxed the lockdown that he was found by a civilian, and again they engaged in contagious firing against someone who wasn’t shooting at him … and didn’t kill him).

    Now, here we’re mostly talking about the 3/4 million or so state and local police, but the Feds haven’t generally been impressive either. Sometime bumbling idiots like at the start of Waco (some, maybe all of the BATFE fatalities were own goals) or Ruby Ridge, sometimes Kill Them All (but I doubt God Will Know His Own) Einsatzgrupen when they’ve had the time to assemble overwhelming force, and note how they decided discretion was the better side of valor at the Bundy Ranch, after being put on notice there would be not more free Wacos and noticing how they wouldn’t fare well against the numbers and arms assembled against them.

    So, we’re not exactly quaking in our boots at the prospect of a civil war against these forces. The military, after their seasoning in the sandbox, is another matter, but who and on which sides they’d break is, as has been discussed, very open to question (although at long range, with personal weapons, they’d be in trouble in numbers, come to think if it, at least the Army with their chopped down M4s, and the Marines soon enough I gather). And none of these can prevent us from one form of draining the swamp, you might say, by killing big Blue cities wholesale if they get nasty enough, which would put into question just exactly who they’re fighting for as the latter’s numbers plummet.

    Few of us on my side want any of this to happen (some are so sick of our not so cold civil war they want it done and over with), but we think and prepare carefully about it because it’s very clear the other side will just not leave us alone, and their aggressions may someday leave us with no better choice.

  298. “””And there are several billion people in the world, with unlimited number of fighting age males, who have a stake in your side losing. But none of that would be needed. The war, in the unlikely event it happens, would be short and quick and your side would be swiftly defeated.”””

    First, I find it laughable to believe that one side will get all the support needed from the international community, when both the Revolution and the Civil War gave plenty of motivation to get outside help, but that outside help was *very* hard to get. If our culture war were to go hot, it would more than likely become such a steaming mess that the world wouldn’t know what to do with it.

    Also, I personally have no idea who would win a Civil War, but I do know this: one of the surest ways to start a long, bloody, drawn-out war is to have at least one side convinced that it will be quick and easy.

    And if your bravado, and the bravado expressed elsewhere is any indication, we’re well on our way to a massive, bloody, drawn-out civil war…

  299. “And none of these can prevent us from one form of draining the swamp, you might say,”

    Then there’s the other forms of swamp draining in the article I linked to.

    1. “The media lies, the media dies.” MSM shills will quickly discover just how interested they are in continuing to broadcast government propaganda when it earns them a bullet. They won’t have 24/7/365 security, and any militia can multiply the effectiveness by conspicuously leaving alone any of them that either stop lying or simply quit their jobs.

    2. Don’t target the frontline troops; target the bureaucrats who send them. The Sheriff of Nottingham may be able to hide in the castle; his Men can’t both enforce his decrees, collect his taxes, and stay hidden…. and they won’t have continuous security either. Offer them the same deal: resign and live, or stay and die. How many will stay for someone they don’t even like, say De Blasio?

    There’s another factor bozos like uma overlook: their targets aren’t just in compounds in the woods, they’re her next door neighbors. When the Hellfire missile hits, who does she think will be the collateral damage? Likewise the passthrough bullets…. and they aren’t going to let the target know what’s coming by evacuating.

  300. I’ve said this before (and it’s the reason I value hacking so highly). Macro-scale social dynamics, and the attendant evolutionary trends, are being actively modeled using a Game Theory based engine modified by stochastic mathematics. This has been ongoing since the 80s and the newest variants are inputting data from social media in real-time. Guessing based upon anecdote and conjecture is an ancient habit, but it’s not a reliable tool in the modern era.

    Our species is one of the most individualistic on the planet. That is not a trait we should aspire to lose.

  301. “More relevant, perhaps, would be the example of the vastly more competent, but not really all that competent on an absolute scale and nuts to boot Chris Dorner.”

    Absolutely. there are tons of real world examples of “trained” LEOs (at various levels of government) performing abysmally against fewer and less well-equipped belligerents. Perhaps a bit more abstract, but see how easy it is to shut down an entire airport/school/shopping center with a simple phone call bomb threat? The havoc that a small group can wreak with mere phone calls is terrifying.

    4GW is real, happening around the world, it’s effective, and anyone who doesn’t realize this is either ignorant, or denying a very clear reality.

  302. @ Michael Brazier

    Troutwaxer, your remarks on the election merely repeat the various excuses and delusions that the Democrats have been peddling to avoid serious analysis of the party’s problems.

    I think that specifically in this election there were some very special issues which Hillary tripped over. However, on a more general level, 80 percent of Eric’s advice is nonetheless very appropriate for Democrats in the long term, (and probably going back to at least 2010.) I would be absolutely, amazingly thrilled if some high person in the Democrats was reading this thread and taking careful notes on what Eric wrote!
    .
    None of the things you mentioned had more than a trivial effect on the voters in Pennsylvania or Michigan who gave Trump his margin of victory in the EC.

    Trump won several states with very low margins of victory, thus “trivial effects” could have changed the outcome of the election easily, because Trump won Michigan by 10,700 votes, Wisconsin by about 22,000 votes, and Pennsylvania by around 48,000 votes.

    The big issue is that these facts doesn’t make Eric wrong – most of the issues he raised are very valid. They just how that Trump’s victory was very fragile. A Democratic Party which paid attention to the issues Eric raises would have cleaned Trump’s clock. Trump is very lucky he was running against a weak candidate at the (hopefully) absolute nadir of the Democratic party.
    .
    What the Democrats really need is a new guiding principle, a new conception of what governments are for – and you can’t just order one of those through Amazon.

    Agreed completely, and this is one of the things that gets debated at places like Daily Kos on a daily basis. The progressive Democrats deeply desire that the party pay much more attention to paycheck issues which affect the white working class and they analyze the problems of our country in terms of jobs, infrastructure, health care, jobs, education, bringing manufacturing back to the U.S., jobs, higher taxes on corporations and wealthy people, jobs, better regulation of the banking industries, bringing Glass Steagal back, jobs, and a more appropriate distribution of wealth. Did I mention jobs?

    But that analysis doesn’t make it to the highest parts of the Party, both because of the Clintonian ideal of “triangulation” and also because the big money donors don’t want any party running under that analysis.

    Eric is absolutely correct about the other major failure of the Democratic Party, which is that the Party has no interest building more powerful state and local organizations, and they couldn’t give a fuck about down-ticket races. This lack of interest is where Democrats really lose big, because the Republicans pretty much run a candidate for every office from Dog-Catcher on up through school boards, city councils, etc., all the way up to the national level, and every one of those Republican candidates is talking up the Republican party line, frequently without any opposition at all due to the Democratic national party not giving a shit about the minor races. When I say that the firing of John Dean was a pivotal issue in recent Demoratic failures, this is what I’m talking about.


  303. >> The principle that the people get to choose their government? The Constitutional order? The idea of elections being honored and not overruled by the elite? Don’t be so sure.

    There is no constitutional order that is threatened here since there is precedence for faithless electors, and also precedence for the house choosing the president.

    People choosing their government: If that is not done according to the one man one vote principle then it is not really people choosing their president. It is something else. That something else might or might not be close to the will of the people. The electoral college vote does not mirror the will of the people in each state. It’s winner-take-all. If electors were divided according to the vote with some mechanism for breaking ties that would be closer to the will of the people while still favoring smaller states. Videos here and here on trouble with electoral college. There are even those who argue that winner-take-all rules violate the equal protection clause of the constitution.

    Donald J Trump won according to the rules. The will of the people is not Donald J Trump. I think that would be a good summary of where we are.

  304. @uma

    You crow that the Whites would be wiped out by 7 billion people with plenty of fighting age males. JAD made a good point that only people who can actually fight and win civil wars should be the ones voting. Otherwise an election is a poorly calibrated gauge. With Russian Whites (7,000 nuclear weapons) and Trump’s military supporters (another 7,000 nuclear weapons) united, the opinion of Africans and mestizos won’t matter one bit.

  305. uma: “There are even those who argue that winner-take-all rules violate the equal protection clause of the constitution.”

    Yeah, I’ve read Professor Lessig’s posts on Medium. He won’t answer the one question I ahve for hi: if the situation were reversed, would be be arguing as strenuously that the Electoral College select Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton?

    All of the leftists who screamed about damage to our democracy should Trump not recognize the results of an election he’d lose are the ones screaming that the Electoral College should now change the rules after the game was played.

    The election was won according to the rules as everyone understood them by Donald Trump. That is the will of the people, by definition. The popular vote does not matter.

    Yes, there’s precedent for faithless electors. A few, no more than five or six, total. Yes, there’s precedent for the House making the choice.

    None of those precedents apply, because none of them happened under the circumstances that now obtain.

    Thus, an Electoral College coup is just that, and will be seen as that by the people in flyover country – you know, the ones who understand the Second Amendment is not about hunting.

  306. @ Michael Brazier

    Not at all. America loves the general Democratic agenda if it is presented as a list of benefits, without mentioning the costs or explaining the policies that are supposed to lead to those benefits. When the explanations are provided America balks.

    This is, in essence, one of the “Big Lies” told by the Republican Party. The idea that the Government can’t ever help with any problem, that legislation will always make any problem worse… For any problem there is good legislation and bad legislation. Bad legislation is poorly written, doesn’t consider facts or incentives, builds in booby-traps and doesn’t include auditing, accounting, or transparency. Good legislation does exactly the opposite. (My favorite bad law is the No Child Left Behind act, signed during the Bush II era, which mandates that schools have better test scores EVERY YEAR, or else. Think about that one for a few minutes!)
    .
    I won’t bother with all of your issues, but National Health can get you either Cuba or France, depending on how it is written and implemented. Note that most of Western Europe has NHS in some form and that people live long healthy lives; somehow these countries have not turned into smoking craters. Also note that a well-implemented NHS gives people much greater freedom; they don’t have to stay with dead-end jobs or psychotic bosses to qualify for healthcare.

    Equality between the races doesn’t have to mean “forced equality of outcomes.”

    I live in California and our high taxes work just fine – we’re still a land of very high opportunity. People love living here and our infrastructure is getting better daily; lots of long-needed work is taking place now that we have a large Democratic majority in our state house and senate.

    Etc. Legislation is as good or bad as the people who write it.

  307. Troutwaxer: “…higher taxes… jobs.” Just one of the inherent contradictions in progressive thinking. Pick one.

    Uma: “There are even those who argue that winner-take-all rules violate the equal protection clause of the constitution.” LOL. More progressive delusion that the 14th amendment supersedes the rest of the Constitution. It does not.

  308. @ TomA

    A lot of the current discussion is focused on Trump’s take-down of the Clinton political machine, but he first did a Sherman’s March-To-The-Sea through the Republican primaries and soundly defeated a pretty stellar (and diverse) cast of heavyweights in the GOP.

    Trump thinks like a businessman, and he knew the Republicans were vulnerable to a hostile takeover. Right now he’s busy making soothing noises while he puts in a new management team, which might or might not have the same objectives as the old management team. Interesting times indeed.

  309. The will of the people is that their state use the electors that a majority of them choose (or, in a few cases, that it be proportional). The expressed will is that each party chooses electors, the people vote on a party, and that party’s electors vote for the President using their best judgement, which by then is understood to be very likely to be whatever candidate received that party’s nomination.

    For the people to want electors to be faithless, is to have a person vote for, say, the Republican party, and to hope that that state’s Republican electors dislike their party’s nominee so much that they vote for someone else. It’s not going to be Clinton; if that’s what a voter wanted, that voter would have voted for the Democratic elector. The best they’re presumably hoping for is someone other than Trump or Clinton, with the best case scenario being both candidates short of 270 and the decision going to the House. Right now, that would require 37 faithless electors – practically all of Texas, or a combination of other states.

    The will of the people is not that it be popular vote, or at least it hasn’t been until now. But to declare popular vote to be the will of the people now is dishonest. To quote a very astute-minded liberal friend of mine (herself a Clinton voter): you can’t vote under one system and then re-declare the rules of that system after you’ve seen the tallies. If popular vote had been the will all along, both candidates would have campaigned very differently.

  310. “I live in California and our high taxes work just fine –”

    I live in the Netherlands with even higher taxes. And our ciuntry is still fine.

  311. @ gmmay

    4GW is real, happening around the world, it’s effective, and anyone who doesn’t realize this is either ignorant, or denying a very clear reality.

    Exactly.

  312. I think we should all hope/pray/do magic… whatever spiritual acts make sense to everyone, that no large group on either side decides that a revolution is necessary. And let’s also work to make sure that nobody in power on either side decides to do some damnfool thing which makes some large group of people believe that the best solution to their political problems is to shoot someone.

    And if you do think you might take part in a revolution, don’t fucking post about it online. Ya stupid or something?

  313. [That Americans will balk if shown the cost of government programs] is, in essence, one of the “Big Lies” told by the Republican Party. The idea that the Government can’t ever help with any problem, that legislation will always make any problem worse…

    I shouldn’t have to tell you that this is itself one of the Big Lies told by the Democratic Party. But apparently I have to remind you of all the information available to any American about government cost overruns and low-quality programs. I invite you to interview local parents about what they think about the quality of their kids’ education, given what they pay in property taxes, or reports of the amount spent per student in various states, and how those states’ rank in test scores. Or visit your local DMV, particularly one in a more crowded town or city, and observe how clean it is, and how fast the service is, and how high the fees are. Or read nearly article you can find about the F-35 program, in a locale that doesn’t depend on building a part for it. Or how many people think it’s a good idea to tell you you can’t do something that you know does them too little harm to be noticed. How many examples of bad legislation do you need?

    Now, you seem to want to bypass all those examples with

    For any problem there is good legislation and bad legislation.

    But this in turn assumes we can all tell the difference between good and bad legislation, and that we all agree on it.

    Suppose I offered you the following deal: you give up all the good legislation in your locale, and in return, you also do away with all the bad… including the bad that costs you. I then remind you that you can take the resources that would have been spent on all that bad legislation, and instead spend it on enacting all that good legislation on your own. Would you take that deal? If not, why not? And do you think everyone around you would react the same way?

  314. winter:

    “I live in California and our high taxes work just fine –”

    I live in the Netherlands with even higher taxes. And our ciuntry is still fine.

    Any county in the “Western World” with more violence against political figures? Two assassinations, at least one MP who had to flee the country because the state refused to protect her, and no free expression enforced by the court system? Youth euthanasia? A total fertility rate at 1.7-8 (2.1 is simple replacement level)? A declining life expectancy?

    Yeah, the Netherlands are doing just fine.

  315. I ran across a comment the other day about Dutch housing, that suggests that “fine” depends heavily on what part you’re looking at:

    The way the Dutch system works is that you have three types of housing:

    – Rent-controlled housing
    – Free market rentals
    – Subsidized home ownership

    These are strongly linked to income/wealth. The poorest people live in rent-controlled housing, the richest buy a house and the people who fall in between are screwed (not rich enough to buy a house, but renting is actually more expensive for them than the monthly costs if they could get a mortgage). […]

    There is an increasing shortage of rent-controlled housing due to various reasons. Local governments are legally required to reserve a certain number of rent-controlled houses for refugees, based on the number of inhabitants, but independent of the actual amount of rent-controlled houses available. In some places, this means that large percentages of rent-controlled housed go to refugees.

    The result is that the people who are on the waiting list for rent-controlled housing have to wait even longer. The average wait time is 8 years, with the maximum being 21 years. In Amsterdam it is 14-17 years.

    Now, imagine divorcing or wanting to leave your parents’ house and then having to wait for these periods before you can move on with your life. This really, really, really makes people upset.

    One may of course say that housing controls have nothing to do with high taxes. But the common free-market counter to this is that in a society with high taxes coupled with high programs, these things tend to all be of a piece. The state necessarily has to put restrictions on how its services are employed in order to avoid taxes becoming overtly ruinous or services becoming overtly useless.

    Suppose the Dutch were shown how housing works in various parts of the US. They might find the rent-controlled parts of some urban centers to be too similar to justify the drawbacks of moving. OTOH, they might look at parts of flyover country, with houses that are half the price of the coasts, along with the lack of restraints on when they could move out, and decide this part wasn’t so bad. (Well, maybe only if they were allowed to homeschool.)

  316. “I live in California and our high taxes work just fine – we’re still a land of very high opportunity. ”
    You live in the West Coast metroplex – most likely, somewhere on the San Francisco peninsula – and you have a job that pays a salary in the low six figures. Don’t trouble to deny it, it’s evident just from your writing that one sentence.
    Go sometime and take a hard look at the Central Valley farms. Talk to the people living there, and see if they think California is still a land of opportunity. Or, if you can’t spare the time for the road trip, read some books and essays by Victor Davis Hanson.
    You are living a sheltered life, and you have no idea what the policies your neighbors praise are really doing to your native state.

  317. “I live in California and our high taxes work just fine – we’re still a land of very high opportunity. People love living here and our infrastructure is getting better daily; ”

    Which is why renting a U-Haul CA to TX costs 3 times what TX to CA costs. Hundreds of businesses taking off from CA every year for the last 10 years.

    You took the brown acid and are still tripping.

  318. “which might or might not have the same objectives as the old management team.”

    The reason he got a lot of people’s votes, and his Cabinet picks are proving it, is that he’s going to govern like the old management claimed it did.

  319. I’m reading these recent posts, with particular attention to the exchange in which Uma was taken to the woodshed. It’s fairly obvious that Uma has zero knowledge of Red State culture, and probably has a picture of it derived from far left hate sites.

    Uma, I realize that one of your favorite memes is the “chicken hawk” meme, in which you very selectively pick certain figures on the right who did not serve in the military, mostly for perfectly legitimate reasons, and thereby insinuate that this is pretty much universal on the right. I’m guessing that you probably think that the military are mostly antigun leftists like you, and I suspect you also think that you, by extension, are one small step away from being a war hero yourself.

    So let’s do an experiment. You should walk into a bar in Oceanside, CA, that’s frequented by active duty Marines. State loudly that all Republicans and NRA members are draft dodging cowards.

    For our entertainment, you should have a friend filming the exchange. The friend is absolutely essential, since you will be in no shape to run the camera yourself.

  320. @Alpheus:


    >> First, I find it laughable to believe that one side will get all the support needed from the international community, when both the Revolution and the Civil War gave plenty of motivation to get outside help, but that outside help was *very* hard to get. If our culture war were to go hot, it would more than likely become such a steaming mess that the world wouldn’t know what to do with it.

    Examples from more recent history would be more relevant and more representative of international dynamics. A good recent example would be the apartheid government in south Africa which was engaged in practical civil war with the non-white population there. There was overwhelming international support against the apartheid government that brought it down. Not to mention military support to factions fighting the apartheid regime. The stakes are much higher in the US.

    A civil war in the US, if it lasts for some time, will most likely play along the lines of white nationalists vs. everybody else. It won’t exactly be between two constitutionalist sides with equally nuanced readings of the constitution where a lawyer would be needed to tell them apart.

    If nuclear weapons are secured, there maybe those countries with an interest to prolong the conflict and destroy as much of the US in the process. That is a big “if” though, and under normal circumstances the rest of the world has a strong vested interest in soundly defeating the dark forces.

  321. @ Michael Brazier

    You live in the West Coast metroplex – most likely, somewhere on the San Francisco peninsula – and you have a job that pays a salary in the low six figures.

    Actually, I live about 75 miles east of LAX, and make somewhere between 60-80,000 annually depending on how often I work. I’m on call 24/7/365 except for vacation/sick days. My rental house has no garage and is about 12000 square feet. My wife’s disability pension pays substantially less than I make and doesn’t include medical benefits.

    I’m an optimist, and with good reason. I’m the great-grandchild of immigrant parents, and their descendants are all college-educated people with decent life-skills. BTW, I just bought a Prius, which gets twice the gas mileage of my previous car and damn-near pays for itself.

    On the subject of California’s infrastructure, there have been major freeway projects running since Brown got elected again, and we’re finally running a surplus in Sacramento. They just finished re-working the 15/215 intersection, and it’s beautiful. The 710, 91/15 intersection, and the 10 between the 57 and 605 are still being rebuilt. They’re working on a bridge over the 215 near Hemet, and have rebuilt that corridor extensively. In short, substantial parts of Southern California’s freeway system are being extensively rebuilt.

  322. @Jay Maynard:


    >> Yeah, I’ve read Professor Lessig’s posts on Medium. He won’t answer the one question I ahve for hi: if the situation were reversed, would be be arguing as strenuously that the Electoral College select Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton?

    I think it is better to focus on the ideas and arguments than the motives. We practically have minority government here in the US. This is because of gerrymandering, and winner-take-all electoral college. You can point your finger at democrats and suggest that they started the whole gerrymandering thing or whatever. At the end of the day, this is what we have, and you cannot claim that the minority that ends up forming the government reflects the “will of the people”.

  323. “””If nuclear weapons are secured, there maybe those countries with an interest to prolong the conflict and destroy as much of the US in the process. That is a big “if” though, and under normal circumstances the rest of the world has a strong vested interest in soundly defeating the dark forces.”””

    Yes, there’s an international interest to knock the United States down a peg or two, but I fail to see how that’s been any different than the two times that I mentioned.

    And I find it highly amusing that you think that the “dark forces” in the United States are that much different from the dark forces of the Soviet Union, or of Communist China, or of Castro’s Cuba, or of Hitler’s Germany, among so many other examples.

    I just don’t see why the world would immediately choose sides in an American Civil War when, time and time again, evil has reared its ugly head all over the world, and the typical response has always been a mixture of political quarantine, subtle behind-the-scenes political manipulation, and sanctions.

    Most countries just aren’t all that interested in being drawn into another country’s civil wars.

    That doesn’t even take into account the international economic effects that will percolate through the world as America’s economy destabilizes….

    It all depends on the circumstances of the given civil war, though. Who knows? With the debt the US is in, combined with the threat of invasion from outside countries mixed with internal bloody turmoil…the US may very well attempt to take over the world!

    Yeah, like that would ever happen, though…at least, not again…

  324. @ PapayaSF

    The problem here is that you’re blaming California’s problems on the people who are trying to fix them. (Your posts shows what depthless googling can accomplish.) The actual story goes something like this: In 1978 California’s voters passed Proposition 13, which had two effects. First, it lowered property taxes. Second, it required a 2/3 majority for both the state or the municipalities to raise any kind of taxes, including sales tax. The people who proposed the amendment were two Republican anti-tax advocates, Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann. (The problems Proposition 13 addressed were real, but it was massive overkill.)

    After Proposition 13 passed and then-Governor Brown left office, we had Republican Governors from 1982 to 2010, with the exception of Gray Davis, who got recalled 3 years into his first term after tripping over a bomb left in the law by Pete Wilson (a Republican) prior to Wilson leaving office. In short, California did not raise taxes and had a negative revenue flow for about 25 years, as we’d badly damaged our property tax base and the ability to raise taxes didn’t exist! Meanwhile, California is one of the biggest economies in the world and really needs a decent tax base.

    In short, Republicans nearly bankrupted our state and royally screwed up our educational system! Proposition 13 dropped about 20% per year off of our school budgets. In 1978 we were one of the best school systems in the nation. Now we’re number 48. We did a lot of borrowing during those years (“borrow and spend” is MUCH worse than “tax and spend.”)

    At this point we have a Democratic Governor and the necessary 2/3 democratic majority in both houses to raise taxes again… and look at my earlier post – stuff is finally getting fixed!

    Taxes are funny things. They are, in essence, your admission fee to civilization. They get you police and fire departments. They pay for inspections of food from farm to table, including restaurants and markets. They pay for building inspections and code enforcement. They paid for your education, plus museums and public libraries. They pay for roads and infrastructure and even foster care for orphaned/abused kids. They pay for national defense. But nobody wants to pay them, and the level of ignorance is so high that people don’t make the daily connection between the money that’s withdrawn from their paycheck and the fact that they receive food every day that isn’t rotten or infected, such that a minor outbreak of e coli will frequently make national headlines.

    The level of ignorance is so high the people actually want to reduce taxes below the level of viability for their own government making one of the ten largest economies in the world into a debtor state! And by the way, California Republicans, your taxes will be used to pay the interest fees on the money we borrowed so you poor whining babies don’t have to pay taxes!

  325. Why does Troutwaxer keep bringing up the Watergate guy? Am I missing something?

  326. Eric, with all due respect, WHY would you ever want to publish this? Granted that it’s spot on, it would be far better for the cause of freedom (and anti-snowflakism) to let the DemonRat party crumble, because what replaces them is bound to be better — either the Libertaians, or Ross Perot’s Reform party or something similar, or even a new centrist party.

    Propping up the Democrats only means more New Deal welfare-statism and anti-federalism, more overregulation and overtaxation of business, more big spending, and a continuation of our present path to becoming a banana republic the same way most countries in Latin America got there. That does not help solve America’s problems. It IS America’s problems.

  327. Troutwaxer, trouble is, problems are often caused (or at least made worse) “by the people trying to fix them.” (E.g. the War on Poverty, or the $240 million/year that San Francisco spends on the homeless.) Your complaints about Prop 13 amount to: “If only property taxes could be higher.” But that prices people out of their homes. Your complaints about California education, entirely controlled by Democrats for decades, amount to: “If only we could spend more money.” But CA spends a lot per pupil, and that doesn’t correlate well with success. (Of course, part of that is our insistence on educating a large chunk of Latin America.)

    And soon, our education will take another step backward, due to a stupid proposition that makes it easier to push kids into bilingual education, which will retard English proficiency, but hey, the unions and ethnic activists are for it, and more poverty means more work for anti-poverty types, and more social division means more work for the anti-racism types, so from a leftist point of view, it’s all good.

    Taxes may pay for civilization, but California is proof that more taxes don’t necessarily make you more civilized.

  328. @ Paul Brinkley

    Why does Troutwaxer keep bringing up the Watergate guy? Am I missing something?

    The Watergate Guy was John Dean. The person I’m referring to (and I’ll be horribly embarrassed if I got his name wrong) is Howard Dean, who was the head of the National Democratic Party in 2008. He didn’t like the Clintonian ideal of “triangulation” and instead pushed for what he called a 50-State Strategy, which demanded that every House and Senate race have a Democrat running, supported by the national party. This is both because you have to spread your philosophy of government if you want to win any race – demographics change over time – and as insurance in case the Republican opponent was arrested for bribery or kiddie porn or the national Republican party did something horrible.

    Dean was responsible for Democratic gains in the House and Senate in 2006 and 2008, but Rahm Emmanual couldn’t stand him and he was ousted from his position shortly after Obama took office. (One of the many reasons I don’t like Obama much.)

    To get back to Eric’s original post, one of the reasons the Democrats fail so often is that the head of the Republican Party is aware of the Republican candidate for Dog Catcher in Bumfuck Alabama and is using the race as a training opportunity for that Republican candidate, who might run for town council or mayor or even a higher office later on. As for the Democrat in the Bumfuck Alabama Dog Catcher’s race, the national Democratic Party doesn’t give a crap. This is one of the reasons the Democrats are failing, and Dean was trying to address this issue.

    His ouster was enormously significant.

  329. @Troutwaxer “Taxes are funny things. They are, in essence, your admission fee to civilization.”

    So anyone who doesn’t pay taxes is uncivilized? Better be careful–talk like that can get you labeled racist or worse!

  330. Here’s why Democrats will likely not get their act together. While their stated intentions are to help the poor and underprivileged, they ignore important root causes, and advocate a narrow set of solutions (basically: more government).

    Over a century ago, progressives revolted against the older view of poverty, which could be summarized as a combination of “It’s God’s will” and “It’s your own fault.” Instead they talked about social forces, discrimination, and various forms of injustice. While they weren’t entirely wrong, they have now so de-emphasized the “It’s your own fault” part that they are nearly blind to important root causes. E.g. we now know single motherhood is a huge predictor of poverty, crime, drug abuse, mental illness, and a lot else.

    And yet, Democrats are loathe to admit this established fact. Instead they blame poverty and crime on capitalism, racism, sexism, colonialism, Republicans, the police, taxes that aren’t high enough, and anything else. (I’ve even seen libertarians blamed!) In other words, anybody except the individuals becoming single mothers. Then they continue to subsidize and de-stigmatize single-motherhood, making the problem worse, and say that people like me are “blaming the victim.” In their ideology, the victims have no agency, and no role in escaping their plight. They are helpless pawns of all-pervasive social forces.

    The solution to poverty is pretty well-established: finish school, get any job and keep it, save your money, don’t commit crimes, and don’t have kids until after you are married. Sure, it’s boring and old-fashioned, and not everyone can do it, things happen, but if everyone at least tried to do those things, their chances of ending up in poverty would drop dramatically. But the modern left seems congenitally unable to give up their love of government programs, and their reluctance to look at how individual choices so often cause the problems they deplore. It’s more convenient to blame often-phantom “isms.”

  331. uma: “A civil war in the US, if it lasts for some time, will most likely play along the lines of white nationalists vs. everybody else. It won’t exactly be between two constitutionalist sides with equally nuanced readings of the constitution where a lawyer would be needed to tell them apart.”

    You’re letting your leftist view of the world – that everything hinges on race – control your thinking. A civil war would be the heartland vs. the coasts. There are lots of non-white-nationalists (why didn’t you just come out and say “raaaacissts!!!” like you know you wanted to?) who will fight to stop a coup.

    And berating people for not being nuanced is just another sign of your elitism. “Nuance”, to the people of the heartland, is simply a flag that the leftist raising it is trying to tapdance around what’s right and what’s wrong and push their preferred view of the world. When someone says “nuance”, I grab my wallet and my crotch, because they’re trying to screw me or rob me.

    “This is because of gerrymandering, and winner-take-all electoral college. You can point your finger at democrats and suggest that they started the whole gerrymandering thing or whatever.”

    That’s because they did. It wasn’t until the Republicans made massive gains in 1980 that districts in Texas started to reflect the actual proportions of Democrats and Republicans in the state. Yes, the Democrats started it, and they’re reaping what they’ve sown…aided and abetted by a piece fo their own lawmaking, the section of the Voting Rights Act that forces racial gerrymandering in drawing up districts. That section was not struck down when the outdated parts of the law were.

    If you claim that Donald Trump and the Republican Congress is not the will of the people because gerrymandering, then you have to grant the same to most of LBJ’s so-called Great Society. Will you? Of course not. It’s a hard-left program, and those are always the will of the people, right?

  332. “Examples from more recent history would be more relevant and more representative of international dynamics. A good recent example would be the apartheid government in south Africa which was engaged in practical civil war with the non-white population there. There was overwhelming international support against the apartheid government that brought it down. Not to mention military support to factions fighting the apartheid regime. The stakes are much higher in the US.”

    That’s an extraordinarily inapt comparison. That was in no way a “practical” civil war by any use of the word. The population was nowhere near as armed as that of the US, nor was the culture comparable. And the international “community” certainly didn’t send in troops.

    As Alpheus points out and you admit, the stakes are much higher in the US. Any significant armed conflict in the US will send shockwaves around the world since the US supplies roughly 25-30% of the world’s wealth. Is the international community going to impose sanctions and boycotts against the US as they did with South Africa? That’s another point that doesn’t pass the laugh test.

    So please, be specific in your argument – which countries are capable of intervening, which have the will to do it, and what does that intervention look like?

    And spare your fantasy arguments about white nationalists comprising the majority of one side.

  333. @Alpheus:


    >> And I find it highly amusing that you think that the “dark forces” in the United States are that much different from the dark forces of the Soviet Union, or of Communist China, or of Castro’s Cuba, or of Hitler’s Germany, among so many other examples.

    Those are all dark forces indeed. As is the white nationalist right. There is no reason why it should be either/or.

    The rest of the questions can be easily answered by one simple answer: 1) The world today is not what it was 200 years ago. 2) Unlike what you think, many if not most, active foreign powers in the world do in fact interfere in civil wars. In the modern era, I am happy to go over every civil war with you starting with the Spanish civil war and ending with the Syrian civil war.

  334. @uma: At present, the only nation capable of sending a serious military force across the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans is the United States. No one outside North America could intervene in a civil war in the USA, even if they wanted to.

    @troutwaxer: Prop. 13 passed (in a landslide IIRC) because for the previous decade, whenever California’s governments found they were running out of money, they automatically raised taxes instead of cutting expenditures. Property taxes, in particular, went so high that many people (such as retirees on fixed incomes) were being forced to sell the houses they’d lived in for decades. In effect California was consuming its taxpayers’ capital to pay for its operations before Prop. 13 passed; the initiative forced the State into (temporary) restraint.

    You should also consider that Texas, which has an economy roughly the same size as California’s, manages to maintain an infrastructure of equal quality without high taxes or massive public debt – to the point that large numbers of people and companies are moving from California to Texas. (That’s the point of those U-Haul statistics: U-Haul charges so much more to people leaving California because it often has to drive the trucks back from their destinations empty.) How is it that Texas can maintain its roads and power grid on a fairly low tax base, when California spends so much more to less effect?

  335. Troutwaxer on 2016-12-18 at 20:18:16 said:

    Hard to believe people still trot out that Prop 13 canard to this day. But it’s funny that you think anyone here hasn’t heard of that nonsense. There are plenty of analytical take-downs of that argument that most here are probably familiar with, but I did like this little gem:

    “Second, it required a 2/3 majority for both the state or the municipalities to raise any kind of taxes, including sales tax.”

    Quelle horreur! That the people should impose requirements on their elected officials! What other of those 2/3rds type requirements give you the vapors?


  336. >> So please, be specific in your argument – which countries are capable of intervening, which have the will to do it, and what does that intervention look like?

    That all depends how events play out. Countries don’t have to send in their armies. The smart ones would not. I am sure it would fairly easy to recruit million(s) of colored mercenaries if the prize was the “lebensraum” called the red states. Plenty of over-populated hell holes out there in the world who would welcome any opportunity to escape their “potatoes famines” into vast expanses of north America.

  337. Uma, you crack me up. You should be writing dystopian science fiction. Pitch it to a publisher (or filmmaker)! George Soros hires “millions of colored mercenaries” in Africa and the Middle East, and promises them the Great Plains states. Simultaneously, Carlos Slim funds a Latin American invasion to take back the Southwest. The DNC forms brigades of feminists, gays, ghetto gangs, and pajama boys. The white nationalists are outnumbered… can they survive to form even a small homeland?

    Paging Harry Turtledove!

  338. PapayaSF: “Paging Harry Turtledove!”

    For the love of all that anyone holds holy, NO!!!!!!

    I don’t want to have to slog through 6500 pages of his writing to see how it ends!


  339. >> Uma, you crack me up. You should be writing dystopian science fiction.

    Sadly I lack the talents there. My mind is little more than a pushdown automaton operating on facts and predicates


    >> George Soros hires “millions of colored mercenaries” in Africa and the Middle East, and promises them the Great Plains states. Simultaneously, Carlos Slim funds a Latin American invasion to take back the Southwest. The DNC forms brigades of feminists, gays, ghetto gangs, and pajama boys.

    You must read a lot of Ann Coulter, to think that the platoon that will pull you out of Rush Bimbo’s rear end, where you’ll no doubt be cowering in, will be made of feminists, gays, and pajama boys. Do you hear the black helicopters in the sky in your hideout? It’s time…

  340. @uma

    As an Asian, I’ll bet on the Whites winning against “colored mercenaries” (I presume you mean, blacks and Mestizos). The Whites command, and can create, most of the nuclear weapons. They are the majority of highly disciplined praetorians. They can incinerate whole continents.

    The idea that Dashawn and Shaniqua can take on nuclear armed Russia is ridiculous.

  341. I’d also note that calling Trump voters “deplorables” plus her campaign lashing out at women who voted for Bernie as “anti-woman” was very poor strategy.

    That wasn’t strategy at all. It was pique over the very idea that anyone would decline to obey her, and bewilderment that reality wouldn’t cooperate with her narcissistic world view.

    Besides all of her other faults, the woman was incompetent at campaigning. She botched it this time, pretty much the same way she did when Obama blew her out of the water with his content-free “hope and change” blather.

  342. esr on 2016-12-17 at 13:16:05 said:
    > > With too many libertarians I’ve encountered, if they were neurologically
    > > capable of comprehending social trust they wouldn’t be libertarians.

    > Pretty inferior grade of libertarian then. I really don’t think I know any with that problem.

    This will land me in the perdition of moderation, but:
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4d/Steinberg_New_Yorker_Cover.png

    I bet you don’t know anyone who voted for Nixon either.

    BTW, he said *neurologically*, not intellectually. Which tells you the sorts of Libertarians he’s talking about. I know more than a few of them myself.

  343. Taxes are funny things. They are, in essence, your admission fee to civilization.

    You can fuck right off with that idiotic cliche. Taxes are the price we pay for not standing up to those who seek to rule us.

    The price of civilization is behaving in a civilized manner: Trading with others instead of taking what you want at gunpoint.

  344. Harold:
    > (although at long range, with personal weapons, they’d be in trouble in numbers, come
    > to think if it, at least the Army with their chopped down M4s, and the Marines soon
    > enough I gather)

    I’m not *quite* sure what you’re getting at, but if you’re saying what I think you’re saying the “chopped down” M4s are still able to hit accurately (given optics) out to 350/400 yards if the rifle’s not in too bad a shape and the trigger puller’s got the mad, mad skillz to do it.

  345. Republicans nearly bankrupted our state and royally screwed up our educational system! Proposition 13 dropped about 20% per year off of our school budgets.

    Bullshit.

    In California, we’re spending vastly more per pupil than we did 20 years ago, and the results prove that throwing money at a problem doesn’t fix it. Just look at that disgusting monument to bureaucracy that the LA USD built for themselves, that office building full of useless tax parasites consuming six-figure salaries and never seeing the inside of a classroom, while they fight tooth and nail, lying their asses off at our expense to try to turn public opinion against charter schools.

  346. uma on 2016-12-17 at 19:01:20 said:
    > And there are several billion people in the world, with unlimited number of fighting
    > age males, who have a stake in your side losing. But none of that would be needed.

    What they *really* have is a stake in “my” side winning. Otherwise the whole f*king world will look like Cuba, Venezuela, the poorer parts of China and Russia.

    > The war, in the unlikely event it happens, would be short and quick and your side
    > would be swiftly defeated.

    You’re delusional.

    I hope that it doesn’t happen. I *really* hope that. Because it will be a long, long fight and it will wreck the economy for a couple decades–decades that I really need to be madly pounding a keyboard to make money for my retirement, not shivering in a hide on the side of some hill somewhere[1].

    But understand this, I buy bullets by the *case*. I don’t play call of duty, I play IPSC. I don’t play Madden Football, I lift heavy shit in the gym. I don’t play dungeons and dragons, I practice with dull (but otherwise real) swords. I don’t do bong hits and go snowboarding, I strap a couple sticks to my feet and ski *up* the mountains (usually between 8 and 10 thousand feet in elevation).

    Over quickly? Yeah, thinking about it it might be.

    But not the way you think.

    See, and I keep trying to push this point home, we don’t have to fight soldiers and cops. They aren’t the problem. We can go around them.

    [1] Which I really won’t be either, as it won’t be fought out in the country side. There’s nothing there of value that can be taken and held. No, it’ll be fought in the cities and suburbs, and on the networks.

  347. Troutwaxer on 2016-12-18 at 14:06:42 said:
    @ Michael Brazier

    Not at all. America loves the general Democratic agenda if it is presented as a list of benefits, without mentioning the costs or explaining the policies that are supposed to lead to those benefits. When the explanations are provided America balks.

    Troutwater:
    > (My favorite bad law is the No Child Left Behind act, signed during the Bush II era,
    > which mandates that schools have better test scores EVERY YEAR, or else. Think
    > about that one for a few minutes!)

    So I’ll agree that it’s a dumb law, but with VERY careful manipulation of the tests and the results it could take about 30 years get from a score of 70 to a score of 72.

    Because there is aways 70.1, 70.2 …

  348. Troutwaxer on 2016-12-18 at 20:18:16 said:
    @ PapayaSF
    > … In 1978 California’s voters passed Proposition 13, which had two effects.
    > First, it lowered property taxes. Second, it required a 2/3 majority for both the state
    > or the municipalities to raise any kind of taxes, including sales tax.

    > After Proposition 13 passed and then-Governor Brown left office, we had Republican
    > Governors from 1982 to 2010, with the exception of Gray Davis, who got recalled

    Calling Schwarzenegger a Republican is technically true, but only because anyone can claim to be part of any party (I was living in CA for the first term he was in office. What a pathetic loser).

    > 3 years into his first term after tripping over a bomb left in the law by Pete Wilson (a
    > Republican) prior to Wilson leaving office. In short, California did not raise taxes and had a
    > negative revenue flow for about 25 years, as we’d badly damaged our property tax base and

    Why do tax rates need to keep going up every year?

    Why can’t politicians live within their means?

    > the ability to raise taxes didn’t exist!

    Yes, it did. You just had to convince 2/3rds of the people that whatever bit of graft or corruption you’re proposing was worth it.

    But the state would rather piss money away on bullshit social programs, protecting bait fish and building statues of shit piles. Well, technically that was the city of San Jose (srs. Google “San Jose Statue of shit”. First several links…)

    There is no reason that tax RATES have to increase every year unless there is a significant event (war, earthquake) that increases outlays.

    But California state pensions are *massively* over generous, the state government is almost as corrupt as Chicago, and they spend on *stupid* shit.

    > Meanwhile, California is one of the biggest
    > economies in the world and really needs a decent tax base.

    It has one. It also has a socialist mindset that is doing to CA what that same mindset did to Venezula.

    > In short, Republicans nearly bankrupted our state and royally screwed up our
    > educational system!

    Yes, because those mean old Republicans wouldn’t let us steal as much money as we wanted.

    Let me ask you this, if tax *rates* need to go up every year, what happens when they hit 100 percent?

  349. Uma:
    > 2) Unlike what you think, many if not most, active foreign powers in the world
    > do in fact interfere in civil wars.

    No, they do not.

    Well, not the way you imply. Russia is not involved in Syria’s civil war out of magnanimous feeling of brotherhood. It’s a way for Putin to get Russia’s foot back into the middle east and start growing Russian Empire back to what it looked like in the days of the USSR.

    To the extent that countries (generally) get involved in other nations civil wars it’s either to tear a chunk off for themselves, or like Russia claimed to do with Crimea–assert that they were there to help Russian ethnics.

    Now, if you manage to arrange to get an atrocity or two on the evening news you MIGHT get the UN to send it “peace keepers”, but all that manages to do is drive up the average cost, and down the average age of prostitutes, increase the V.D. rate in the under 12 set, and get a lot more women raped.

    No, “most” active foreign powers do NOT interfere in Civil Wars the way you are implying.

  350. @Harold
    “Any county in the “Western World” with more violence against political figures?”

    Since WWII? Yes. What happened around 2006 was rather complicated. I would say stupidity in the secret service and infighting in the ruling conservative/right wing party were at the root. Nothing of which had anything to do with taxes.

    @Harold
    “Youth euthanasia?”

    Ever sit next to a bed with a youngster dying in the most excruciating agony?

    @Harold
    “A total fertility rate at 1.7-8 (2.1 is simple replacement level)?”

    Rich people get fewer kids. EVERYWHERE in the world. It just means we are rich.

    @Harold
    “A declining life expectancy?”

    That is new to me. But maybe you mean that other countries in Europe have faster increasing life expectancy? Yeah, our governments have been lax in banning smoking and reduce drinking.

    A total fertility rate at 1.7-8 (2.1 is simple replacement level)? A declining life expectancy?

  351. > The smart ones would not. I am sure it would fairly easy to recruit million(s) of colored mercenaries if the prize was the “lebensraum” called the red states.

    History tells us that white people usually defeat nonwhite people. Eg the black regiments in the civil war were hilariously useless. Which is one more reason why it is a poor idea to give equal votes to nonwhites.

    By and large, history is white people fighting over nonwhite people, rather than with nonwhite people. Nonwhite victories are a result of white backing, typically state department proxies defeating pentagon proxies. This is true even of wars with the high IQ east Asians, though they are considerably tougher than the others.

  352. > Rich people get fewer kids. EVERYWHERE in the world. It just means we are rich.

    No. People with emancipated women get fewer kids. We have more children than very poor people with equally emancipated women.

    Similarly, Spartans failed to replace themselves, Romans failed to replace themselves, as did civilized people near the end of the Bronze age.

    In our society, rich men have more children than poor men, but highly educated women have fewer children than less educated women. If you control for education, smart men and smart women have more children than equally educated stupid men and stupid women, and similarly rich men and rich women. The problem is that educating women is disastrously dysgenic and extremely bad for fertility. Because we educate our smart women, they are failing to reproduce, which results in a major reduction of IQ every generation.

    Women should not be educated past puberty, and before puberty should be taught about being wives and mothers. They should be under the authority of their fathers until they are under the authority of the husbands.

  353. @Jim “History tells us that white people usually defeat nonwhite people.”

    The 332nd Fighter Group and the 442nd Infantry Regiment might beg to differ.

  354. @Parallel
    Usually does not mean always, quite apart from the fact that you’re citing small groups auxiliary to white people when you should be citing the Umayyad Conquest of Iberia or the like.

  355. uma, just how will your mercenary army get here WITH supplies? You see US troops being put on commercial airliners and flown over; what you don’t see are the prepositioned supplies waiting for them. Or the weapons and ammo are put on huge planes — which no other country outside of Russia has — or on ships that we’re rich enough to have just sail around waiting for nothing else…

    And the US military is just likely to unite on keeping them out and let the bureaucrats go hang. This isn’t 1917 Russia and Battleship Potemkin.

  356. > > “History tells us that white people usually defeat nonwhite people.”

    > The 332nd Fighter Group and the 442nd Infantry Regiment might beg to differ.

    Back when they were black, they were a joke. If they are your poster girl, proves my point.

  357. The 332nd fighter group got a distinguished unit citation for an incident where they were escorting bombers, and lost three fighters and two bombers to the Germans losing four fighters. Clearly the authorities were scraping to find something to give them a citation for.

  358. >The 332nd Fighter Group and the 442nd Infantry Regiment might beg to differ.

    There are sporadic exceptions, but the racist upthread has a point. Except it isn’t one about race but about culture; “white” cultures do not in general get beaten by “nonwhite” cultures, and since the Industrial Revolution it hasn’t even been close.

    This isn’t biology as destiny, it’s the operation of a particular cultural package that combines citizen soldiers with technology-intensive warfare. Which is why the 332nd Fighter Group and the 442nd Infantry Regiment could win despite not being biologically white; both organizations are culturally white.

    Victor Davis Hansen has argued persuasively in “The Western Way of War” that this culture package originated in early Classical Greece. I think he’s a bit too cavalier about dismissing the Japanese and the Ummayyad expansion, but that over the long run his general thesis is nevertheless sound. Aristocratic horse soldiers cannot beat citizen-soldier heavy infantry. Cultures with the technical capital to build Maxim guns cannot be beaten by cultures that lack it. “White” is an accident, this is essence.

  359. Giving Madame Curie not one but two nobel prizes for work that would have been completely unremarkable if a male scientist did it shows there are no great female scientists, and giving 332 a distinguished unit citation for a completely unremarkable mission shows there were no competent black units.

  360. Both those units were led by a chain of command that was considerably paler, so they don’t entirely refute his point.

    But as to his implication that there is some sort of innate military superiority in skin color: “non-white” troops with the culture and war-making philosophy Americans have “appropriated” from any number of sources do just fine.

  361. “Back when they were black, they were a joke. If they are your poster girl, proves my point.”

    Sir, you’re such an ignoramus you don’t appear to know that 442nd was composed of Japanese-Americans.

  362. esr:
    > Cultures with the technical capital to build Maxim guns cannot be beaten by cultures that lack it

    When whites invaded India, India and England were approximately technologically equal, though England was rapidly advancing while India was decadent and in decline, but a quite small number of whites still defeated Indians in a completely one sided fashion.

    US armies equipped black regiments and white regiments exactly alike, but the performance of black units was always embarrassingly bad.

  363. > > “Back when they were black, they were a joke. If they are your poster girl, proves my point.”

    > Sir, you’re such an ignoramus you don’t appear to know that 442nd was composed of Japanese-Americans.

    332nd was black. And authorities gave them, like Mary Curie, an affirmative action citation. Poster girl principle applies. If the poster girl for group X sucks, everyone in group X sucks.

    Obviously Japanese can fight and are roughly comparable to whites – but then recall that Japanese routinely defeated vastly larger Chinese armies, and that the Chinese are pretty good compared to other nonwhites.

  364. Uma, I find it hilarious that you almost certainly would mock and deride as racists the people who talk about the problem of white genocide, but here you are openly speculating about attacking some of the whitest parts of America and importing literal armies of brown people to invade and conquer them.

    And have you considered what the likely short-term results of this would be? You have not. Have you heard of the rapefugees in Germany and Sweden? Probably not. It wasn’t covered by the people who deliver your preferred (blindered) view of the world.

    And have you considered what the likely long-term results of this would be? You have not. In fifty years, a hundred tops, the fertile, well-maintained lands these armies of browns got imported to would be just as barren and worthless as the lands they left. They are incapable of maintaining the agriculture, infrastructure, etc. This is proven by the simple fact that they don’t have it now.

  365. William O. B’Livion:

    Harold:
    > (although at long range, with personal weapons, they’d be in trouble in numbers, come
    > to think if it, at least the Army with their chopped down M4s, and the Marines soon
    > enough I gather)

    I’m not *quite* sure what you’re getting at, but if you’re saying what I think you’re saying the “chopped down” M4s are still able to hit accurately (given optics) out to 350/400 yards if the rifle’s not in too bad a shape and the trigger puller’s got the mad, mad skillz to do it.

    Although those skills won’t have to be quite so mad with the transition to M4A1s with consistent semi-auto trigger pulls. But marksmanship is just not something the Army has given a damn about since sometime in Vietnam or thereabouts, and while that’s very much not true for the Marines, switching to M4s (and not M4A1 per what I just Googled) will degrade their capabilities.

    And in truth few of us with deadly sniper rifles, excuse me, scoped bolt action hunting rifles firing bigger bullets with more design margin for all things including accuracy, seriously practice at even 300 yards, and very few beyond that, for range access reasons if no other. But the greater capability in each of these weapon systems would very likely play a big role *if* the military limited themselves to their individual weapons, or are put in a posture where they have to at best.

    Of course, they have nasty things like grenade launchers, crew serviced General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), mortars and on-call artillery … which just means that if we play that game by their rules, we’ll lose. So of course, if it comes to it, we have no intention of doing so; rather, at worst, the US military will learn for the first time what it’s like to not have a secure rear. As others have noted. And it won’t require all that many of them to be on our side to greatly even the odds in this area.

  366. Jim”

    > > “Back when they were black, they were a joke. If they are your poster girl, proves my point.”

    > Sir, you’re such an ignoramus you don’t appear to know that 442nd was composed of Japanese-Americans.

    […]

    Obviously Japanese can fight and are roughly comparable to whites….

    If they’ve culturally learned that the non-combatant arms are every bit as vital as the combatant ones. Which makes the 442nd not directly comparable to the Imperial Japanese Army et. al., for they had “whites” supplying them with logistics, intelligence, cryptography, non-combat engineering, etc. and were trained in our cultural way of war. Which I’m sure they had no difficultly soaking up, especially with “white” superiors who bought into our way. In fact, wouldn’t most have started the process without the homeland Japanese formal inculcation in their way of war?

    They also had our superior technological base to draw upon, much greater raw industrial might, etc. Better strategy in general at all levels, and I assume little or no attachment to too clever schemes that fall apart if the enemy, who you may not understand so well, doesn’t act as you expect him to.

    How the JSDF will preform in the coming years … well, I’m afraid we’re going to learn that :-(unhappy because I don’t want war, especially in the East Pacific; if it breaks out in a big way, immediately buy your next batch of electronic toys, for there won’t be more for some time…).

    (In an odd way of exposition, this by and large covers the reasons Imperial Japan lost so badly when they started fighting us, even faster than either of us expected.)

  367. The problem is that educating women is disastrously dysgenic and extremely bad for fertility.

    It would be nice if we had data on this that wasn’t confounded with {Women who have gone through a system that is actively suppressing birthrates}. Till then, this data is worse than useless, because it pretends to be a complete answer while providing a convenient distraction from the indoctrination centers known as schools / colleges / universities.

    You and all the other Fixers Of The World would not be such laughingstocks if y’all could tell the difference between {the world as it works}, and {the world as it works when someone is deliberately sabotaging it}. You might not be so fast to put on the jackboots yourself if you did.

    If the poster girl for group X sucks, everyone in group X sucks.

    Leans that way, but the strong version of your assertion is false.

  368. jdgalt:

    Eric, with all due respect, WHY would you ever want to publish this? Granted that it’s spot on, it would be far better for the cause of freedom (and anti-snowflakism) to let the DemonRat party crumble, because what replaces them is bound to be better — either the Libertaians, or Ross Perot’s Reform party or something similar, or even a new centrist party.

    No, unless we remove the Left from the polity one way or another, and absent genetic engineering we’re nowhere near to, self-regenerating. Maybe even really hard wired into us if you think there’s something to the r/K thesis, they’re r aligned and that’s a winning formula as long as resources aren’t scarce or you tune your society for r in hard times like the Kurds do.

    So I assume ESR is assuming there will be a party of the Left, and he wants it to not be entirely pathetic. That’s one of the reasons I can see the Republican Party splitting and one wing of it becoming the new Left party, heck, Reagan styled himself as an FDR Democrat, and Trump is more in that direction than e.g. Calvin Coolidge and not all that much Alt Right. It’s just that that segment of the Left has been systematically driven out of the Democratic party since the “’60s” or so, and without successfully addressing the mechanisms that allow that, his thesis is hopeless. E.g. r style outgrouping.

  369. FooQuuxman:

    The problem is that educating women is disastrously dysgenic and extremely bad for fertility.

    It would be nice if we had data on this that wasn’t confounded with {Women who have gone through a system that is actively suppressing birthrates}.

    How about Iran in particular and much of the Islamic Middle East? There it sure seems like it doesn’t take much of an education for women to reduce their fertility rate, although you’d need to make sure there aren’t other factors “actively suppressing birthrates”.

  370. > Except it isn’t one about race but about culture; “white” cultures do not in general get beaten by “nonwhite” cultures, and since the Industrial Revolution it hasn’t even been close. This isn’t biology as destiny, it’s the operation of a particular cultural package that combines citizen soldiers with technology-intensive warfare. (…) over the long run his general thesis is nevertheless sound. Aristocratic horse soldiers cannot beat citizen-soldier heavy infantry. Cultures with the technical capital to build Maxim guns cannot be beaten by cultures that lack it. “White” is an accident, this is essence.”

    Culture doesn’t arise in a vacuum though, so I propose to split the difference. There is no essence, there is a mutual feedback loop between culture and biology. For example, “Whites” from about 500AD until recently had mostly* banned consanguineous marriage, resulting in outbred mile-wide-inch-deep networks, breaking up medium-scale “clan” solidarity in favor of varying degrees of both smaller-scale individualism and larger-scale loyalty to nations or entirely abstract principles.

    (Meanwhile in Pakistan, the majority of marriages are consanguineous, and every “inbred yokels” stereotype the left has ever had about the right would more accurately be applied to the Extended Middle East.)

    And this, among many other things which I do not mean to discount and only neglect for lack of time and space, from Hanson’s mention of Classical Greece to the British canals that helped the economic-material environment that allowed for development of the Maxim gun, is one of the factors which contributes to having nice things like technical capital and citizen-soldiers rather than aristocrats.


    *if Captain Counterexample is about to object “but the Habsburgs”, please look up “mostly” in the dictionary. Then look up “outlier” while you’re at it, and “dog bites man” (in academese, salience bias). The majority of the time I hear about the Habsburgs it’s someone bringing up Charles II of Spain who still managed to live to 39, but who spares a glance for Pakistan outdoing every last famine-stricken third-world African hellhole with its stillbirth rate of ~5%?

  371. @FooQuuxman,
    “Leans that way, but the strong version of your assertion is false.”

    Please explain how that’s a “strong version” of Jim’s assertion? It seems to be a partly overlapping different assertion. I get the impression that partisans for black soldiery hold up the 332nd as a shining example in ways that partisans for PETA don’t hold up Scott’s incident as a shining example, hence one is a poster girl and the other is rage-clickbait.

  372. @Jim
    “No. People with emancipated women get fewer kids. We have more children than very poor people with equally emancipated women.”

    Not even close. The USA has a higher birth rate than Europe and Japan because they have more immigrants that come from poor countries. It takes a generation of so for birthrates to fall. Fertility has a lot to do with the family you grew up in yourself. Education works in women because it increases the effective wealth of families (better food, better health, better housing, better child care, better finances).

    And if we go to Arab countries and Africa, there we see already falling birth rates. Increases in wealth lead to decreases in fertility. You are right in one thing: Fertility is higher when women are “slaves” of their men an in-laws. Because men want more children than women (why would that be?). However, in the end, the wealth rule even works in men.

    But we all know that slavery is good for breeding humans. There is ample historical evidence, even (especially) from the US.

  373. > > People with emancipated women get fewer kids.

    > But we all know that slavery is good for breeding humans.

    Even if coercion were necessary to keep birth rates sufficiently high for a culture to survive, which seems to be Jim’s core thesis, wouldn’t specific coercion to reproduction (or, semi-equivalently, payment to do so, funded by coercive taxes on the rest of the population) be far less of a “nuclear flyswatter” than requiring the culture to have women subservient to men in all aspects of their lives?

  374. “My favorite bad law is the No Child Left Behind act, signed during the Bush II era, which mandates that schools have better test scores EVERY YEAR, or else. Think about that one for a few minutes!” This isn’t so much a bad law as it is a bad implementation. The issue isn’t adequate yearly progress, it’s how cohorts are defined.

    The law does NOT demand that cohorts be defined by current grade level. They could be defined by the year they entered first grade. So the normal progression from grade to grade would provide AYP until the cohort reduced in size via graduation/drop outs to the point where the law doesn’t require it to be tracked. Unless it’s a truly awful school.

    The idea of defining cohorts this was was brought up on a blog (USS clueless maybe?) back when the law was being debated, but the education establishment doesn’t think that way and stupidly and universally went with grade levels. The law more or less let the Department of Education decide, and through either malice of foolishness (Hanlon’s razor isn’t always right) made the law nonfunctional.

  375. @Random832
    “be far less of a “nuclear flyswatter” than requiring the culture to have women subservient to men in all aspects of their lives?”

    But subsernience of women is not just a means to jim, it is a goal in its own right.

    (if you did not noticed, Jim’s comments are awefully much like those of our venerable advocate for the reintroduction of chattel slavery James A Donald)

  376. @Jim

    “History tells us that white people usually defeat nonwhite people.”

    History is full of counter-examples, ranging from the Crusades to the Tuskegee Airmen, to Vietnam. And didn’t Patton have a Black tank battalion that did extremely good work?

  377. @ ESR

    Which is why the 332nd Fighter Group and the 442nd Infantry Regiment could win despite not being biologically white; both organizations are culturally white.

    But the idea of “White Culture” is not entirely true. White people inherited an extremely hard-to-use system of numbers from the Greeks/Romans, and we replaced it wholesale with Arabic numerals (which derive from India) in the Middle Ages, so we got columnar arithmetic, algebra and the zero from the Arabs.* I don’t know much of the history of mathematics, but IIRC we only saved Geometry out of the Greco-Roman complex of mathematical ideas. By the time of Al-Khwarizmi (we get the word Algorithm from his name, and he’s worth googling) the Arabs were doing everything else better than we were mathematically, including Al-Khwarizmi’s corrections of Ptolemy!

    It’s also worth noting that much of our “Greek and Roman” culture was rescued from Arabic sources after they were burned in Europe by fanatical Christians as “unholy.” In other words, the idea that “White Culture” is in fact “White” is simplistic at best – there’s a ton of Arabic stuff there, but it’s generally not acknowledged.

    It’s also worth noting that the Mayans had the zero too, and did better predictive and calendrical astronomy than we did at the time (with the exception of building gadgets like telescopes.) When I reach the afterlife I’m going to kick Diego De Landa** in the nuts.

    * I don’t doubt that Roman/Greek mathematicians knew about the concept of zero; they just had trouble writing it down.

    ** Fanatical Catholic Priest who ordered the burning of the Mayan books as “unholy” before he’d actually learned to read Mayan and knew what they said.

  378. For anyone who wants to create an interesting science-fiction environment, how about a universe in which the Islamic Golden Age was not ended by the Sack of Baghdad by the Mongols. Instead, some Arabic sage invents gunpowder, the Mongols are driven off, and the resulting world is ruled by enlightened Arabs from the very cosmopolitan Baghdad of the 13th century. Google “Golden Age of Islam” and “House of Wisdom” for an introduction.

  379. @Troutwaxer
    In what if history. What if Zheng He had been a little better at marketing his explorations and the Ming had exploited South Asian trade? Say, also using Chinese gun powder technology?

  380. @Troutwaxer

    It’s not “most” of what we know about Greece. It’s “all” we know about Greece comes from Arab sources.

    Greece is a middle eastern civilization pure and simple. It is genetically middle eastern and an outpost of middle eastern civilization on the continent of Europe.

    Northern Europeans invented this “Greco Roman” hubris fairly recently. Greece and Rome are polar opposites of another. So much so that no self respecting person with elementary logical analysis faculties would even dare to combine the two into one phrase/sentence.

    Add to that that recent discoveries in Egypt seem to point out that much of what we until recently called Greek math(e.g Pythagoras) was in fact Egyptian math.

    The middle easterners, not infected with the hubris virus and DNA defects that make this condition malignant among northern Europeans, were faithful transmitters to all that survived in their libraries when they could have attributed all that shit to themselves. Modern archaeology and DNA science has utterly decimated Europeans’ narratives about themselves and their imagined “continued civilization for the last 3000 years” that even ESR mistakenly blogged about. The history of England (one of the extreme hubris infested cultures) is practically having to be rewritten after DNA analysis proved that Englishmen are hardly Germanics but instead were civilized by superior Germanics who successfully imposed their culture on them (elite dominance model).

  381. @uma

    > It’s not “most” of what we know about Greece. It’s “all” we know about Greece comes from Arab sources.

    Not quite true – unless you want to count the Byzantines and the Irish as Arabs.

    > Northern Europeans invented this “Greco Roman” hubris fairly recently. Greece and Rome are polar opposites of another. So much so that no self respecting person with elementary logical analysis faculties would even dare to combine the two into one phrase/sentence.

    There’s probably some element of truth in what you are saying (in that Greek and Roman cultures were more different than modern people are generally aware) but it is so hyperbolic as to strain credulity. I know several classicists who would probably challenge your assertion, let alone a “self respecting person with elementary logical analysis faculties.”

    > Add to that that recent discoveries in Egypt seem to point out that much of what we until recently called Greek math(e.g Pythagoras) was in fact Egyptian math.

    The Egyptians invented geometry, certainly. But for them it was merely a land surveying tool (literally “measuring the earth”). So far as I know, the idea of treating geometric shapes as abstractions, and constructing deductive proofs based off of that, was a Greek invention.

  382. @Iliamander.

    Explain to me what exactly is the new information that we gained about Greek philosophy, society, culture that comes to us via Ireland. Maybe I am ignorant on a detail or two and would love to be educated.

    As for your point about abstractions it’s incorrect. Inventing geometry to begin with starts with abstractions and abstract thinking.

  383. @ Troutwaxer

    >It’s also worth noting that much of our “Greek and Roman” culture was rescued from Arabic sources after they were burned in Europe by fanatical Christians as “unholy.” In other words, the idea that “White Culture” is in fact “White” is simplistic at best – there’s a ton of Arabic stuff there, but it’s generally not acknowledged.

    Augustine (4th-5th century AD), Boethius (6th century AD), Aquinas (13th century AD), etc. These Christian saints all built explicitly off of the Greek philosophy that was available to them, so the narrative of fanatical European Christians condemning classical philosophy as “unholy” has a few holes in it. The relationship between Islam and the classics is similarly complicated.

    As for “white culture” it’s worth remembering that Christianity itself is a Semitic religion.

  384. @uma

    With regard to the Irish, I am simply referring to the fact that Irish monks helped preserve many works from classical antiquity.

    With regard to geometry, unless you sources that I don’t, history indicates that Egyptians simply used geometry for land surveying. Yes, they were essentially creating abstractions of property boundaries, but they were not (to my knowledge) in the business of constructing proofs about the mathematical properties of right-triangles. Nor were they necessarily considering the ways in which geometry might be useful outside of land surveying.

  385. It’s not “most” of what we know about Greece. It’s “all” we know about Greece comes from Arab sources. (…) Northern Europeans invented this “Greco Roman” hubris fairly recently. Greece and Rome are polar opposites of another.

    @uma, kindly explain why, in your view, the Eastern Roman Empire had Greek displace Latin as its official language, and was called “Greece” by the Vikings.

  386. @uma
    “Greece is a middle eastern civilization pure and simple. It is genetically middle eastern and an outpost of middle eastern civilization on the continent of Europe. ”

    I would turn that around, Middle Eastern culture is a descendant of Hellenic (Greek) and other Mediterranean cultures, and so are the Romans. As the classical Greek speak an Indo-European language, I doubt that they are full descendants of the same stock as the non-Indo-Europeans that make up the Semitic, Egyptean, and Berber people

  387. @Iliamander

    We don’t know whether/not they were in the business of constructing proofs. But why assume that they weren’t when Greeks viewed themselves as little pupils when comparing themselves to Egyptians on matters of knowledge and learnedness.

    What we know about Greeks via Arab sources could in fact have even been skewed to give Greeks even more credit. This is evident to me as someone who can read the ancient Arabic texts and well versed in matters related to Islam that would explain the skew.

    Muslims had a doctrine that “the transmitter of heresey is not a heretic himself” and given that philosophers were in deed persecuted during some dark periods in Islamic history it is not inconceivable to think that many Muslim philosophers would have escaped persecution by watering down their heresies and/or attributing them to the earlier Greeks.

    Re Byzantium

    If you are referring to Syriac texts in what was Byzantium it validates what I am saying rather than negates it.

    I use the word Arab loosely to refer to middle eastern Semites. Arabian is the more accurate term (ie people of the Arabian plate)

  388. >White people inherited an extremely hard-to-use system of numbers from the Greeks/Romans, and we replaced it wholesale with Arabic numerals

    And we replaced it. Part of the “white” cultural package is that we appropriate the hell out of any culture we come in contact with. You take this kind of behavior so much for granted that you don’t realize how atypical it is and how intensely conservative other cultures generally are.

    See for example the Chinese, who launched an Age Of Exploration of their own with Zheng He…and shut it down. Or the Islamic world’s refusal to adopt the printing press until very very late because it could not reproduce joined cursive letterforms properly. Even the nuttiest conservatives in what we now call “the West” wouldn’t do this sort of thing.

    Jared Diamond is a flawed thinker, but one of his better insights is that this trait was a second-order effect of competition between polities arising from the fragmented geography of Europe.

  389. uma: “My mind is little more than a pushdown automaton operating on facts and predicates”

    Well, that would explain why your understanding is context-free.

  390. Winter:

    The middle East invented practically everything related to civilization. From agriculture to metallurgy to the wheel. From wheat to the dozen or so cows from which all modern day cows (animal food supply) are descended. From law to calendars to libraries to arithmetic to writing systems to alphabets. To assume that all higher order knowledge started with the Greeks would defy overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    If u add to that modern day DNA evidence which definitively proves that Greeks are genetically near eastern (ie Arabian plate) +north African (largely Egyptian) and then European, the picture then becomes more more clear and complete.

  391. @Michael Brazier

    uma: “My mind is little more than a pushdown automaton operating on facts and predicates”

    Well, that would explain why your understanding is context-free.

    Not bad! Not bad indeed! Who said that angry white male savages are incapable of humor? Must have been some ugly feminist whoso only male suitors were from the savages.

  392. @esr


    >> And we replaced it. Part of the “white” cultural package is that we appropriate the hell out of any culture we come in contact with. You take this kind of behavior so much for granted that you don’t realize how atypical it is and how intensely conservative other cultures generally are.

    This is in deed just about the only redeeming qualitiy for “whites” as pertains to story of humanity’s progress. And it explains much of their success.

    “Whites” are cultural followers who excel at appropriating other people’s cultures and transformational ideas and do that with remarkable success, productivity, and benefit to their people and, to a lesser extent, the rest of humanity.

  393. @Jim: For some time now, through a whole bunch of your blog postings, you can’t seem to ignore any chance you have to denigrate Mme. Curie and her work. I guess you just don’t know much about physics and how it works. Experimenters like her are just as smart and just as important as theoreticians. We need both in order to make any progress. Please Google the Solvay Conference of 1927. You’ll find a group photo where she is sitting in the front row between Planck and Lorentz, with Einstein nearby. Those people were certainly better qualified to judge her and her work than you are. STFU!

  394. >“Whites” are cultural followers

    A lot of the time we’re leaders, too. Ain’t no Arab that birthed the Industrial Revolution, even if we used their numerals to do the math. That was a genuinely new thing in the world.

    I’ve been thinking recently that one of the single most important and unappreciated facts in human history is the strange IQ dispersion of European males. It’s so much wider in comparison with other human populations that we generate more geniuses per capita than the Chinese, even with an average IQ significantly lower. Put that together with the intrastate competition fostered by Europe’s geography and the appropriationist “white” cultural package and *boom* world domination. Not clear any one or even two of those factors would have done it.

    (I learned to think this way from Jared Diamond. He wouldn’t be happy about my judgment that population genetics is a factor, though.)

  395. Okay, so Uma, since the only smart thing whites can do is steal from other races, please tell me about the black people who invented the airplane, computers, the internet, modern antibiotics, democracy, the modern conception of civil rights? Hmmm, who were these non-white geniuses, you stupid, arrogant racist?

  396. @esr


    >> A lot of the time we’re leaders, too. Ain’t no Arab that birthed the Industrial Revolution, even if we used their numerals to do the math. That was a genuinely new thing in the world.

    There is no transformational idea there in the abstract sense of transformational ideas. More like incremental progress coupled with economic evolution there. The concept of a machine and the first machines were not invented by whites. The medieval Muslims had some pretty sophisticated machines including practically all the hydraulics later incorporated into steam engines.

    The only transformational idea to have come from whites was the printing press (re) invention centuries after it was invented in china with one exception. That it was particularly well suited to alphabetical writing system appropriated from the phinecians and resulted in the mass dissemination of knowledge and ideas and changing the destiny of humanity for good.


    >> the strange IQ dispersion of European males

    I think you attach too much importance to one test. Middle easterners are low on the IQ scale yet they are miraculously the cultural masters who invented nearly all the transformational ideas. The Mongols are 20 points higher in IQ and contributed zero to civilization. And had it not been for lower IQ Arabs who decisively beat them back the native population of Europe would have been thoroughly decimated and displaced by those Mongols who would have settled in large numbers the more attractive European lands.

    The question of human intelligence is far more complex than a stupid 10 minutes test. There are some “utterly useless” whites (in a civilizational sense, to borrow some words from immigration debates of 100 yrs past) who I am sure throught all their history have had the IQ distribution u refer to.

  397. Uma, what have Muslims (or Arabs) contributed to civilization in the last 500 years or so?

  398. @Papaya

    Not much. But the trends are going to eventually shift once the “white” advantages that resulted from their thievery of the the new world begin to disappear.

  399. And yet, it was the Scots/English that started the Industrial Revolution and the French/Germans that developed Industrial Chemistry.

    Nothing new has come from the Arabian peninsula for centuries, and they were at best the conduit for the idea of others.

  400. Uma, you sound like one of those pathetic “Black Athena” types, who think the Greeks “stole” everything from Africa, which supposedly accounts for the lack of economic development in Africa over the centuries. But ideas and cultural developments, even if “stolen,” don’t get taken away from whoever invented them, they just get duplicated.

    As for the Arab world, no, sorry, things will never shift in their direction, because they don’t read.

    As Johns Hopkins researcher Niloofar Haeri concludes in her contribution to The Cambridge Handbook of Literacy (2009), throughout the Arab world educated people find reading very difficult, don’t like to do it, and do as little of it as possible—even the librarians.

    Why this uniformly strong dislike of reading?

    TL;DR: Arabic’s consonantal script means that you must first understand something before you can read it. Result: poor literacy.

  401. Racial pride is stupid. Racial shame is stupid. You aren’t a statistical average of people who look like you. Their accomplishments aren’t yours. Their follies aren’t yours. If you aspire to accomplishments of your own, learn from everyone who has made useful progress in $field, and do the work. Bragging about what someone else has done doesn’t make you superior to someone else, and who are you to say what any given person can’t accomplish if he is the one making the attempt?

    If you’ve absorbed your culture passively like a robot being programmed, that is its own problem. Treating people as if they are indelibly limited by the culture of their birth is another part of that: Humans are human because they can learn. The attitude towards adult humans is that they don’t belong to their “culture” or their race. Their culture belongs to them.

  402. I propose we lock Jim and uma in a room together and let them hold a deathmatch over the question of whether the white race is superior or inferior to the rest of humanity. All in favor?

  403. Evolution is a process, not a plan. What is extant is what worked in evolutionary timescales. Northwestern Europeans evolved high intelligence as an adaptation to their environment, which posed many difficult survival challenges related to extremes in seasonality. It’s not about arrogance or dumb luck, it’s just the natural consequence of how evolution works.

  404. “The attitude towards adult humans is that they don’t belong to their “culture” or their race. Their culture belongs to them.” should read “The attitude towards adult humans should be that they don’t belong to their culture or their race. Their culture belongs to them.”

    Anyway, individualism, self-ownership, and kleptomaniac cultural appropriation: it’s an attitude that should properly belong to anyone who wants it. :-P

  405. “Middle easterners are low on the IQ scale yet they are miraculously the cultural masters who invented nearly all the transformational ideas.”

    Uh…No…. Back when they didn’t let religious fanaticism get the best of them they appropriated the best ideas of all they were in contact with. (The ‘Arabic’ numerals came from India; there’s some evidence that the Indians got them from China.) They had copies of Greek manuscripts that they had the sense to preserve, and learn from. You can see further if you can stand on the shoulders of giants.

    “The Mongols are 20 points higher in IQ and contributed zero to civilization.”

    No again. They certainly were a nuisance when they were building their mountains of skulls, but once they were done with the conquering, for about two centuries they kept the roads open between Europe and China. The knowledge that got to Europe during that period was very important to Europe’s development.

    “And had it not been for lower IQ Arabs who decisively beat them back the native population of Europe would have been thoroughly decimated and displaced by those Mongols who would have settled in large numbers the more attractive European lands.”

    The Arabs did not beat them back and save Europe. They slammed the doors between Europe and China that the Mongols had kept open. The Europeans were forced to try to discover alternate routes by sea, which led to their ‘thievery of the New World’.

    I really wish that people would stop waving around IQ test results. I have a high IQ, and have learned that it DOES NOT MAKE ME SMART!

    Remember Ponella’s Law:”People are smart and stupid at the same time.”

    I’m 70 years old. In all that time I have not seen any evidence that any group of people, anywhere, is any smarter or stupider than any other.

  406. uma: “There is no transformational idea there in the abstract sense of transformational ideas.”

    To this, I have just two words: assembly line.

  407. Michael Brazier on 2016-12-19 at 15:47:35 said:
    > > uma: “My mind is little more than a pushdown automaton operating on facts and predicates”
    > Well, that would explain why your understanding is context-free.

    And to paraphrase the philosopher Ronald Reagan “operates on so many facts that aren’t true”.

  408. @ TomA.

    Northwestern Europeans evolved high intelligence as an adaptation to their environment, which posed many difficult survival challenges related to extremes in seasonality.

    That’s why the Arabs invented Algebra and we didn’t; because their harsh desert environment was so very difficult to live in that they have evolved to be more intelligent than us! And let’s not forget about the mighty Eskimo! Their environment is so harsh that many of them have evolved hyper-intelligence and do not die, but simply transcend!

    /snark

    (You do see exactly how ridiculous your position is, right?)

  409. Hey Paul Brinkley! Did you ever see my post about “The watergate guy?” It got stuck in moderation for awhile and you might not have seen it. I just wanted to make sure you got your question anwered.

  410. @LS:


    The ‘Arabic’ numerals came from India;

    In Arabic literature they are called Indian numerals, and Indian arithmetic (decimal arithmetic) (ie credit given where due). The Indians of course appropriated the earlier babylonian/Mesopotamian math and improved it and figured better glyphs/notation for representing the numbers.

    A group of people X do not have to be either/or (appropriator vs originator of a transformational idea). Some groups are neither. Others have strong or weak elements of both or either. In the case of northern european whites it can be safely said that they are by far the most effective appropriators, not originators, of transformational ideas, and definitely cultural followers.

    You can see examples of that in the culture of America. Jazz, blues, hiphop, R&B, rap, salsa music originate with non-whites. Whites, though, have excelled in appropriating that stuff and improving it. Some of the best rappers are white.


    The Arabs did not beat them back and save Europe.

    Of course they did. Not out of a desire of saving Europe but out of a desire of avenging Baghdad. Shortly afterwards, the Mongols fragmented into different khanates and never recovered beyond that point. All of Europe could have easily ended up part of golden horde.

    Europeans, though, being the sadistic savages they are, do have a fetish for their rapists but rarely ever appreciative of those who brought them civilization. That is why they speak with such glowing terms of the Mongols, and that is why some of those bad ideas have inadvertently worked their way into your thinking.

  411. @ Random Observer

    You can fuck right off with that idiotic cliche. Taxes are the price we pay for not standing up to those who seek to rule us.

    So let me ask you a question… do you really want to inspect everything you eat yourself for e coli or listeria? Do you know how to perform those inspections? Do you own the right equipment?

    Do you want to personally inspect every building you enter to make sure it is earthquake/hurricane/flood/tornado proof? What about the cement used in these homes and buildings? What about the plumbing? Can you prove that lead pipes were not used the drinking fountains? Do you know how to perform such an inspection? Do you own the proper equipment? Will the owner allow you to perform such an inspection?

    Do you wish to inspect every electrical appliance for proper grounding and handling of other issues which might electrocute you or someone you love? Do you have the capacity to do this safely?

    What about street lights and various forms of traffic control, such as stop lights and street signs? Do you think they appear due to magic? What about those roads? Where do they come from?

    Etc. I trust my point is not lost.

  412. @Jay

    I don’t think you understand the rules of the game you are playing. The assembly line isn’t transformational because it was invented by white people.

    @ some moron

    > It’s also worth noting that much of our “Greek and Roman” culture was rescued from Arabic sources after they were burned in Europe by fanatical Christians as “unholy.”

    Pure, unmitigated bullshit. Muslims sacked the ancient libraries and burned the books (“they will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous”), and now ignorant pricks give them credit for saving the culture they tried so hard to destroy. Hundreds of years later, same story.

    Oh, and by the way, the notion that muslims invented math is a very new idea. Within the last 100 year or so, it has become popular to give arabs (or muslims, depending on the agenda of the idiot) credit for all inventions that happened in places that they eventually invaded. If you look a little, you’ll see that most of their ancient contributions came from Assyrian and Babylonian civilizations, sometimes more than 1000 years before Islam, and most of their more recent contributions came from the descendants of conquored nations. al-Khwarizmi, for example, was Persian.

    @troutwaxer

    I don’t think that even a single thing you listed is actually paid for with tax dollars. I’m not positive on a couple of them, but all of the construction ones are fee services. In most places, the electrical inspector, for example, pays the state for the privilege of collecting bribes from electricians. Ditto the plumbing inspection. Construction materials are tested by private companies. Even the standards are written by unions and then adopted by governments.

    Oh, wait, I spoke too soon. Down at the very bottom, you mention traffic signals. Those are indeed paid for with tax dollars.

    Was it you earlier that said “Taxes are funny things. They are, in essence, your admission fee to civilization. They get you police and fire departments.”? I didn’t bother writing down the name, but I think that was the start of your current line of BS.

    Whenever budgets are tight, the left goes on and on about firemen and police. And then when they get the money, they spend it on diversity consultants and bunny inspectors. And in schools, it is always the poor, underpaid teachers trotted out at budget time, and never the useless paper shufflers.

    Jerry Pournelle is fond of recalling a time when budget cuts at NASA resulted in the closure of a building or two full of administrators. None of the projects missed a beat, and within days no one could remember what any of those people were for.

    When people say they want lower taxes, they are almost always saying that they don’t want to pay for the buildings of of useless drones. No one but you thinks that we should start cutting the people that perform the useful work first.

  413. kjj:

    Back in my teaching days, many years ago, one of the things I liked to ask the class to consider was this: Imagine a government agency with only two tasks: (1) building statues of Benedict Arnold and (2) providing life-saving medications to children. If this agency’s budget were cut, what would it do?
    The answer, of course, is that it would cut back on the medications for children. Why? Because that would be what was most likely to get the budget cuts restored. If they cut back on building statues of Benedict Arnold, people might ask why they were building statues of Benedict Arnold in the first place.

    –Thomas Sowell

  414. @kjj:


    I don’t think you understand the rules of the game you are playing. The assembly line isn’t transformational because it was invented by white people.

    It is not a transformational idea. And if anything it was also proven to be a bad idea in case of auto-manufacturing. Mass production, division of labor, and assembly line production were not invented by whites (google is your friend). Though they achieved their significance in post industrial revolution Europe.

    Much of the rest of your post (except the part about paper shufflers) can be dismissed as rubbish also.

  415. @ kjj

    Pure, unmitigated bullshit. Muslims sacked the ancient libraries and burned the books (“they will either contradict the Koran, in which case they are heresy, or they will agree with it, so they are superfluous”)

    That’s not true of the ancient Muslims. The House of Wisdom in Baghdad had 400,000 books!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Wisdom

    Unfortunately, Islam is currently going through a very ugly phase, mainly due to Saudi/Wahabi missionaries stirring shit up without significant opposition for 2-3 decades (at least.) But earlier in the religion’s history it was very scholarly and very approving of learning, even if the learning was not Islamic.

    On the subject of taxes, I too have a lot of arguments on how they get spent and if I ruled the world I’d definitely tweak the system. But if we’re not going to pay taxes and have the government in charge of the issues I’ve listed, how do you intend to handle them? And don’t give me the Usual Libertarian Twaddle. Every political philosophy has a weakness, and the primary weakness of Libertarianism is that it is not asshole proof!

  416. “””Do you wish to inspect every electrical appliance for proper grounding and handling of other issues which might electrocute you or someone you love? Do you have the capacity to do this safely?”””

    We have a private entity that does exactly this: it’s called Underwriters Labs (UL), and they happen to have a very solid reputation for what they do.

    I fail to see why we cannot have private organizations in other fields that would do the same things. Indeed, just because government provides it now, doesn’t mean that the private sector can’t provide it, or provide it better.

    But there’s another major fallacy that you are making: you are assuming that just because government does some good things, that all that government does is good.

    It has often been said that Cuba has a of literacy rate, and an excellent health care system. I would rather live with the bad government-school caused illiteracy rates and the “awful” health care of the US (which, in my own personal experience and observation, is still within reach of the poor, lack of insurance notwithstanding), and have what freedoms we still have left, than live in the oppressive, government-enforced poverty of Cuba.

  417. An interesting view: Trump’s Victory Is a Pivotal Turning Point in Human History

    But the best part? The Left doesn’t understand any of this, and they won’t reformulate their playbook. They will stick to the same failed script, as we have already seen just in the last few weeks since the election. Years from now, and likely even decades from now, the Left will still be trying their stealth (and not-so-stealth) propaganda/indoctrination/bullying efforts, and they will continue to fail.

  418. @ kjj

    On the subject of Muslims and their books, note the following story, in which the ordinary, non-fanatical Muslims of Timbuktu saved their priceless heritage of books, 350,000 manuscripts in all, some dating back 700 years, from Islamic fundamentalists who invaded in 2012.

    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/Race-Save-Mali-Artifacts-180947965/

    Note how one group of Muslims wants to burn books. The other group of Muslims, in a major win for anyone with a sense of education or history, risks their lives to save 350,000 ancient manuscripts. And people like you can’t tell the difference between one group of Muslims and the other? I’m biting my tongue on some really cutting language!

  419. With regards to the supposed Golden Age of Islam: this was also in a time when the Islam slave trade resulted in the deaths of 100 million people (and no living descendants: between turning the boys into eunuchs and killing the children of woman slaves, the fertility rate wasn’t going to be very high), and a time of heavy taxes of those who didn’t believe in the dominant religion.

    Sarah Hoyt observed that you could tell that the Portuguese liked the Romans: they name their children after the good emperors, and their dogs after their bad emperors. They have *no* names taken from when the Muslims ruled over them. *However*, when the Muslims were driven out, and they were able to reclaim the churches that had been converted to mosques, they left the exits surrounded with the Islamic decorations: they *want* reminders of when the Muslims took over.

    As an aside, I find it an interesting coincidence that Columbus sailed the ocean blue the year that the Muslims were driven out of the Iberian Peninsula.

    In any case, this “Golden Age” was a golden age for Muslims, I’m sure…but for everyone else, I suspect it was more like the modern-day Caliphate that ISIS is working so hard to establish today.

    Come to think of it, Robert A Heinlein wrote a book about what such a golden age might look like. It’s called “Farnham’s Freehold”. I would encourage you to read it, if you haven’t.

  420. @uma
    “Europeans, though, being the sadistic savages they are, do have a fetish for their rapists but rarely ever appreciative of those who brought them civilization. ”

    Indeed, Eiropeans have always admired Sparta AND Athens. To become the most admired man in a European country, you must kill more of your compatriots than anyone else. Stalin is the most admired Russian (although he is Georgian), Hitler among Germans, Napoleon and Louis XIV in France. But they are followed by those who furthered humanity as scientists and artists.

    But on the whole, civilization is a human project. Every culture has learned the trait from another. What you call the Middle East is a mix of Semitic and Indo European cultures with North African added. Of course the Greek are genetically like the middle east. The whole of Anatolia used to be Greek. And the Indo Europeans ancestors who were one of the original developers of agriculture lived in Anatolia.

    The only cultures that do not learn from others are dead cultures.

    Oh, and all racists are fools.

    Btw, the Mongol hordes never invaded Europe because there was nothing of interest to take. Just woods and subsistence farmers. So much for European siperior intelligence.

  421. @Alpheios
    “In any case, this “Golden Age” was a golden age for Muslims, I’m sure…but for everyone else, I suspect it was more like the modern-day Caliphate that ISIS is working so hard to establish today.”

    Obviously, you did not pay attention during history classes. Or maybe schools are that bad at your place. No, the Golden Age of the original Caliphate was Golden only because it was in nothing like IS’ distortion. Many of the important names were not even Muslim. Non Muslims had more freedom in the original Caliphate than contemporary Christians had in Europe.

  422. “””Every political philosophy has a weakness, and the primary weakness of Libertarianism is that it is not asshole proof!”””

    Wow, what a coincidence! This is exactly* what’s wrong with government institutions, too!

    Which is why the Founding Fathers created such a complex system of balances, between competing Branches, competing States, and competing Individuals, it was hoped that the damage caused by jerks would be limited. Sometimes I have my doubts that they succeeded, but they have done better than most people through history….


  423. > They have *no* names taken from when the Muslims ruled over them.

    None whatsoever. Not least of which is “Fatima” the saint they worship.

    The rest of your post (especially about slavery) is about as accurate as your statement above

  424. @troutwaxer

    They had 50 years that weren’t absolute shit for everyone everywhere, out of a ~1200 year span that begins and ends with dirt poor peasants living with all of the modern technology and conveniences enjoyed by late neolithic cavemen.

    P.S. If you are about to start the sad and tired “No true Sultan would burn a library” routine, skip it.

    @uma

    I don’t seek validation. You don’t need to post just to tell me that I’m right.

  425. Esr knows, because he has written elsewhere, that blacks have lower IQ than whites, but he does not believe that this has any bearing on blacks’ ability to be fighter pilots. If blacks had aptitude at being fighter pilots, they would also have aptitude at being racing car drivers, at being engineers, at being mathematicians, and he would collaborate with lots of blacks on his open source projects.

    Esr knows, because he has written elsewhere, that blacks commit much more crime than whites, because of lower future orientation and sociability, but he does not believe that this has any bearing on blacks’ ability to stand in a line of battle, endure fire while marching, and then return disciplined volleys. If blacks were suited for 19th century warfare, they would also be suited for 20th century urban society.

    Esr is not stupid. Very much not. He knows the implications of what he believes about racial differences. The question is what he thinks he is gaining by deliberately playing dumb. This is how Progressipedia describes jim:

    “From the darker bits of the Dark Enlightenment: James A. Donald (JAD, http://blog.jim.com/ ), the guy so racist even Eric S. Raymond calls him a racist and such an asshole even Slate Star Codex regularly bans him from commenting. He comes out with such gems as “National socialism kills people not because it is nationalist, but because it is socialist” and calls white nationalism “moderate leftism”. And he has important information on the Jews. And he’s an anarcho-capitalist. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a non-asshole word from him, though I will credit him with enough sense to realise Bitcoin was unscalable from day one.”

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/RationalWiki:Most_upvoted_to_do_entries

    Jim is so racist that even noted racist esr says he is a racist. The left cannot distinguish esr’s position from jim’s position, and gives esr no credit for the distinction, while jim’s position has the benefit of being defensible and true.

  426. @Winter:


    >> Btw, the Mongol hordes never invaded Europe because there was nothing of interest to take.

    That might have been also. It is very possible they were too dumb (despite their half standard deviation higher IQ than Europeans) to realize that the dark and dingy continent offered far better land prospects than the frigid Siberian wasteland they called home.

    Nobody really fully knows why they fizzled out so quickly. I think the defeat dealt to them by the Arabs played an important role in destabilizing and factionalizing them. Possibly all of the above too.

  427. uma: “In the case of northern european whites it can be safely said that they are by far the most effective appropriators, not originators, of transformational ideas”

    Certainly not. Here are several transformational ideas – ideas that have led to radical changes around the whole world – which are undeniably of European origin:

    Calculus, and other branches of mathematics dealing with continuously varying quantities
    The use of calculus et al. to describe natural phenomena
    Heat engines (steam engines and internal combustion engines)
    Analytical chemistry
    The electrical generator and motor
    The theory of computation and information theory

    Fact is, once you get past 1500 AD it becomes difficult to find technical or cultural developments that do not originate in Europe. The achievements made in other parts of the world all appeared before that date. Over the past five centuries the world has followed where Europeans have led.

  428. @uma
    “It is very possible they were too dumb (despite their half standard deviation higher IQ than Europeans) to realize that the dark and dingy continent offered far better land prospects than the frigid Siberian wasteland they called home. ”

    No, it was a very rational decision. Mongol warfare technology was driving large armies on horseback through the countryside fast. At that time, Europe was covered with thick forests. Not really good for fast charges of 10k plus people on horseback. Then there was the food, or the lack of it. Europe was very thinly populated and food production was low. Cities were small. The average army of the Mongols was larger than some of the bigger cities in Western Europe. In short, nothing you would want to station a few hundreds of thousands of men and horses. And there was no gold left, nor anything else of worth.

    Actually, Europe at that time was economically what the Congo is now. The only export product was slaves. Even the name “Slave” comes from the name of the East European people sold to North Africa then.

  429. @uma
    “Nobody really fully knows why they fizzled out so quickly.”

    I think they were overtaken by the Turks. And the conquered countries learned and improved their technology. As a last cause, they were a minority in the conquered countries. The rest of the population simply overwhelmed them.

  430. @Michael Brazier
    “Fact is, once you get past 1500 AD it becomes difficult to find technical or cultural developments that do not originate in Europe.”

    Never wondered why that was?

    The explanation is simple, it is even covered in “The wealth of nations”, bullion silver and gold.

    Before the discovery of the Americas Europe literally had nothing they could trade with the East. There was nothing the Portuguese could sell to the people in the Indian ocean that they would want to buy. So they resorted to piracy and extortion.

    But after the mines in South America opened, the Europeans suddenly could trade for silver and gold. That kick started the economic development in Europe.

  431. @Michael Brazier:

    You clearly are not clear on what a transformational idea means. It does not refer to incremental progress. It refers to those quantum leap ideas that almost happen almost for no reason whatsoever and the change the destiny of mankind.

    What you mentioned belongs to the realm of incremental contributions after Europeans took the mantle of civilization from those before them. Inventing number theory is incremental progress. Inventing the whole notion of numbers is a transformational idea. Hope it makes sense!

  432. @Alpheus
    “As an aside, I find it an interesting coincidence that Columbus sailed the ocean blue the year that the Muslims were driven out of the Iberian Peninsula.”

    I always marvel about the depth of ignorance I encounter on the internet as a whole, but this place is a reserve on itself.

    No, it is no coincidence. Just as it is no coincidence that Jews were driven out of Spain in that year.

    The expedition of Columbus was financed with the loot of Granada (a soundbite for the simple). Note how the Spanish crown robbed both the Muslims and the Jews of Spain.
    http://sefarad.org/sefarad/sefarad.php/id/13/

  433. “I always marvel about the depth of ignorance I encounter on the internet as a whole, but this place is a reserve on itself.”

    The moron who says Europe had literally nothing to trade with the East until it pillaged the Americas in the 1500s shouldn’t talk. Or are you perhaps defining “the East” to start at Hungary, which produced a quarter of the world’s gold and silver in the 1300s?

  434. @Erik
    “Or are you perhaps defining “the East” to start at Hungary, which produced a quarter of the world’s gold and silver in the 1300s?”

    Ah yeah, and they shipped all that gold from Portugal?

    Europe had nothing to trade with the East but gold. Of which there was precious little left after Charlemagne. Whatever Hungary traded before the fall of Constantinople was by way of the Byzantine Empire. Which looked East, and not West for all its connections. After the fall of the
    Byzantine empire, trade was done by way of the Turks. Btw, the Magyar that occupied Hungary at the time are a definitely Eastern people. More like the Mongols than the “European” people around them.

    Anyhow, that is all irrelevant for those who benefited from Columbus’ expedition, but so not seem to have a clue about how it was financed.

  435. Winter: “But after the mines in South America opened, the Europeans suddenly could trade for silver and gold. That kick started the economic development in Europe.”

    What needs to be explained isn’t why Europe began generating new ideas, but why the rest of the world has not been generating new ideas.

    uma: “You clearly are not clear on what a transformational idea means.”

    No, I have no difficulty on that score. But it’s quite clear that you don’t recognize a transformational idea when you see one. For example, your mathematical education must have stopped in high school; if you had studied calculus you would never dismiss it as a merely incremental step from what came before it. The notion of functions as objects of study, and of the derivative and integral as relations between functions, is basic to calculus as it is to no part of mathematics that came before it. It’s a conceptual leap many students never make. It’s as radical as the concept of numbers as objects of study.

    Similarly, it takes a peculiar sort of ignorance to suppose that Faraday’s first dynamo was just incremental progress from some non-European ancestor. The first sustained electrical currents were produced by Alessandro Volta in 1800; his voltaic piles have no predecessor anywhere. And electromagnetic induction, the principle behind electric generators and motors, can’t be discovered without a sustained electrical current. Faraday’s experiments changed the world at least as radically as the prehistoric man who first tamed a horse, and all his debts are owed to Europeans like himself.

    Must I go on through all my examples?

  436. A liberatarian friend sent me, a proud liberal Democrat, your piece, and I’m glad he did. It contains some good points, including that the Democratic leadership is largely “geriatric,” that the Democrats have been hurt by identity politics, that liberals have sometimes shown contempt for the white working class (Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” was, like Romney’s about the “47%,” itself deplorable),that “the Center is far to he right of what you’d prefer” (though I’d strike the inaccurate “far”), and that the Democrats lost considerable ground on the state level during the Obama years.

    That said, your triumphalist tone is hard to take and your piece otherwise seems to me deeply flawed, politically (especially in terms of political demographics), conceptually, and ethically. In fact, you almost lost me in your first sentence,expressing concern “about the possibility that the U.S. might become a one-party democracy”. Sorry, Eric, but that’s ahistorical rubbish.. Yes, we Democrats suffered a surprising and fairly severe defeat. But consider that the same kind of claims were made after LBJ’s landslide in 1964 (and the GOP came roaring back in 1966), after Nixon’s landslide in 1972 (and the Democrats won the presidency in 1976), and after the Reagan landslides of 1980 and 1984 (here, it took longer, but Clinton won by significant majorities in ’92 and ”96). Significantly, every election since ’96 has been fairly close; the country remains deeply divided among liberals, conservatives, and moderates and between Democrats and Republicans.

    Of course, 2016 was anything but a landslide. Trump lost the popular vote by a close to 3 million vote margin. And a mere 90,000-100,000 vote swing (out of over 130 million votes cast nationally) would have cost him PA, WI, and MI, so that Hillary would now be naming her cabinet members . And Trump’s victory hardly negates the political demographics behind Obama’s wins in 2008 and 2012. In short, this is hardly a time for Republicans, who face their own crisis of identity, to be smug.

    In 2016, the man (Trump) was right for the moment and the way he mobilized disaffected white middle-class voters was unquestionably impressive. But let’s face it: Trump also was a kind of “Rorschach test,” a blank slate who could run largely on the basis of a few slogans and very vague policy stances, as well as by belittling his opponents and . But now, Trump and the Republicans will have to do something they’ve been adverse to: actually govern. We’ll see how that goes…

    Trump also benefited from having a surprisingly weak opponent, one almost as unpopular as he was and one who ran a conceptually and strategically inept campaign — don’t expect a repeat in 2020 — with the campaign also marred by the inappropriate statements of the FBI director, by Russian interference, by particularly low voter turnout (the populace was disgusted as by no other election in my lifetime) and by successful GOP voter suppression efforts that probably made a difference in such states as NC and WI. To mention these factors is not to whine or gnash teeth; it’s simply to begin to understand how in some important ways, the 2016 election was sui generis and that it’s way premature — and I’d argue wrongheaded — to see it as marking a political “realignment”.

    You’re right: the Democratic base is in trouble. with the loss of much — but by no means all — of the white middle class. That point has been made earlier, and frankly better /more in-depth, by such liberal journalists as Thomas Frank and George Packer (I particularly like this, written before the election, by the latter: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/31/hillary-clinton-and-the-populist-revolthttp://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/10/31/hillary-clinton-and-the-populist-revolt0.) But as we Democrats wrongly once wrongly believed they had a “lock” on such voters, it would be equally wrong for Republicans to believe they have such a “lock” today; there are no permanent majorities in American politics, only constantly shifting lines.

    So has the Democrats’ ability to “assemble a broad-based national coalition…collapsed”? Hardly. Where’s the demographic evidence? If the Democrats can find a candidate and a focused message that appeals more to the white middle-class in 2020, the results will be very different, especially if a significant number of those voters are disappointed by what Trump actually produces. In fact, it’s smart Republicans who continue to be anxious about their party’s long-term political appeal: Even in the “perfect storm” of 2016, the GOP lost the popular vote by 2% and basing a strategy on white nationalism is dangerous at a time when the African-American, Latino, and Asian parts of the population are becoming steadily larger.

    Your argument that Democratic appeal is limited to a few coastal “enclaves” is factually wrong. Aren’t you forgetting that the Democrats came within a sliver in Michigan (which they’ve won in other recent elections) and won Minnesota and Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada, and that even in this bad year, they were more competitive in Texas, the second biggest electoral prize, than previously, and came close in Arizona? And what’s with the dismissive tone about the coasts? They’re as much part of the “real America,” as Sarah Palin calls it, as is Alaska or rural Kansas. In fact, Republicans should be concerned by how much of their appeal is limited to states that are significantly more white and rural (like Indiana, where I live) than the national average

    Speaking of building a national coalition, it’s Republicans, not Democrats, who should be worried about their limited appeal to the electorate’s largest faction: not white men but women of all races. Even in this bad year, Clinton won the female vote by 54-42%.

    So much for demographics. I’ve got to prepare for work but will write more about the weakest part of your piece — on gun control — in a subsequent post.

  437. “Before the discovery of the Americas Europe literally had nothing they could trade with the East.”

    “Europe had nothing to trade with the East but gold. Of which there was precious little left after Charlemagne. Whatever Hungary traded before the fall of Constantinople was by way of the Byzantine Empire. Which looked East, and not West for all its connections. After the fall of the
    Byzantine empire, trade was done by way of the Turks. Btw, the Magyar that occupied Hungary at the time are a definitely Eastern people. More like the Mongols than the “European” people around them.”


    If you were going to move the goalposts anyway, you could have picked a more defensible new position.

    Europe had other goods to trade; particular ones in Hungary since we’re on that topic being silver (which one can reasonably countenance being lumped with gold) and salt (which one cannot). In Sweden there was the Great Copper Mine of Falu. Europe had plenty of gold left after Charlemagne, who lived long before the 1300s when Hungary had its aforementioned height of production. Hungary traded elsewhere than the Byzantine Empire, and in particular, both before after Constantinople fell, they traded with Italy, as can be seen in the Hungarian golden forint taking its name from the Florentine golden florin, and Hungary being the second region (at this time including Croatia) the Renaissance spread to. The Magyars having settled Hungary around the time of Charlemagne and being Christianized a century later, I am extremely skeptical of them still being “a definitely Eastern people” as well as marking another point against your trade hypothesis by the same 1300s when Hungarians began the first of about twenty wars over the next two centuries in which they were on the side of various Christian powers against the Ottoman Turks.

    Hm. Between Middle Eastern Greece, Definitely Eastern Hungary, and the inevitable Moorish Spain, I’m curious just how far down the supposed “Europe” is going to be haggled by the end of this thread. Can we reduce it to just England with sufficiently motivated reasoning, perhaps? :-D You could scratch off Scandinavia for being Eskimos and Lapps, then argue that the Lombard conquests disqualify Italy as an extension of Scandinavia, call it an English admission against interest that Ireland and Scotland shouldn’t count, generally write off everything east of the Iron Curtain as Mongoloids, and call France an English possession, perhaps.

  438. @Michael Brazier
    “What needs to be explained isn’t why Europe began generating new ideas, but why the rest of the world has not been generating new ideas.”

    But they did. The Mexicans had wheels, but no draft animals.
    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/223/why-did-the-peoples-of-the-new-world-fail-to-invent-the-wheel

    The Chinese invented wheelbarrows, the printing press, paper money, gun powder, china, and scores of other things. Steam engines where already produced as toys by the ancient Greek.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeolipile

    The wheel and writing and growing food were invented in the middle east. Who even knows who invented the different types of ships that populated the seas. It is difficult to find a people that did not make independent (re-)inventions.

    However, an invention must be integrated in the economy to matter.

    A wheel is not worth much without draft animals. A steam engine is only useful if you have ample steel and coal and a need for large amounts of power. The industrialization of pre-industrial Shanghai was still-born due to a lack of food for labor and raw materials. In the end, the industrialization was “invented” in England in a very specific set of circumstances. It was not invented in France, nor in Germany, nor in Spain or Russia, because the circumstances there were different.

    My question to white supremacists is always:
    “If whites are so superior, what did YOU contribute to the progress of humanity?”
    Because, whenever I met a white supremacist, he was the living proof he isn’t.

  439. @Erik,

    Your examples are all of intra-European trade. We are talking of trade between European countries and “the East”. Please come up with things that were traded with Asia. No one was shipping salt to the Far East, or copper.

    The Far East had products Europeans desperately wanted. However, the Europeans had very little they could use to trade for these products. On a European scale, there was nothing to set up a lucrative trade between Europe and South Asia. As a result, the Portuguese, Dutch, and English simply conquered large swats of land and traded THEIR produce for stuff they wanted.

    The Spanish got hold of the American gold and silver mines that delivered enough bullion to set up trade routes with the Far East. Quite a lot spilled over to the other countries in Europe.

  440. @Erik
    Btw, until around 1000AD, the Europeans did trade large numbers of people as slaves to North Africa. Probably equally large numbers were simply raided by the North Africans in Southern Europe (e.g., Southern Italy and Spain).

  441. Yes, Troutwaxer, I saw your post on John Dean. Which I guess now explains a little of why you kept referring to him at first as DNC chair. (If he ever was, then I’d say that was one of their major problems.)

    Alpheus meanwhile brought up an important point that I’d like to reiterate in a different way: someone being against the government doing something is very different from that person being against that thing being done at all. I’m all for educating a child, for example, but I’m not willing to spend $100,000 to do it when there’s a $10,000 alternative.

  442. @Michael Brazier, you keep spouting facts to rhetorical minded morons. When facts are inconvenient, they are ignored. You have to know this by now.

  443. Is there a law, corollary, tactic, method, fallacy or something which states something to the effect of “Invoking Brandolini’s Law as a defense” or “creating so much asymmetric bullshit as to defy any reasonable amount of time and space to refute it”?

    I mean, the idea alone that the Muslims, Arabs, Semites, or whoever invented algebra is worthy of several paragraphs.

    I just find it comical that the ideological Lefties who usually resort to “But context!!!” as a defense seem to struggle applying it in places where it actually matters.

  444. gmmay, see my comment to Michael Brazier above. You get to a point where the mendacious bullshit is always flowing and all you can do is point and laugh. They will not be swayed by God coming down and granting them comprehension, so there is no point in arguing.

  445. >voltaic piles have no predecessor anywhere

    It is just barely possible this isn’t true. There are some artifacts dating from the Parthian or Sassanid period (250-640CE) in Persia that may have been weak batteries used for electroplating fine metals. This theory is now commonly rejected, but I don’t think the evidence for it can be entirely dismissed.

  446. @esr
    “It is just barely possible this isn’t true. ”

    But it is not relevant. Humanity evolved by tool making, which implies inventions. But when you enter the scientific revolution, inventions roll off the production line faster than you can count. This is like the difference between Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon artefacts. Every Cro-Magnon site contains more (symbolic) artefacts than all Neanderthal sites ever found combined.

    Just as much, after the scientific revolution, more inventions are made every year than in the whole of pre-science history. Although the scientific process was eventually completed in Europe in the modern time, it has spread over the world.

    Yes, people will have stumbled upon voltaic piles in history, but it was Volta who perfected and communicated the technology to the world. The same for almost every other technology. Science is not bound by language or culture. Every child can learn it.

    So, yes, we can trace inventions back to inventors. But in the end, it does not matter that paper, the printing press and paper money were invented first in China. Nor is it relevant that someone in Egypt build a toy steam machine in in 100 BC.

    Unless, of course, your ideology does not allow for these “other” people to be like you.

  447. I am the real Xopher Halftongue (Christopher Hatton). This is the first comment I have posted on this website. I have used this name in many web locations; my Twitter handle is @Halftongue. If you come up to me at a convention (Arisia, anyone?), I will show you the reason for my name. Trigger Warning: really gross scar tissue.

    Thanks to my good friend Hank Griffin for bringing this to my attention. He noted that the comments from the fake Xopher Halftongue posting here don’t sound like things I’d ever say, and of course I never did say them. I’m not sure why this person is impersonating me (and btw, despite my opinions I am a white person).

    Mr. Raymond, Hank Griffin can verify that what I say is true. If I do comment here it will be from this email address; please feel free to email me if you have any further questions.

  448. @ David Szonyi

    You’re new here, so I guess you can be forgiven for not knowing Eric Raymond very well. He was being neither smug nor triumphalist is this post. Rather, he is making a genuine effort to message the leadership of the Democratic Party will sound prescriptions for improvement (which is clearly your aim also). Eric does not seek an argument with you, he just wants you to fix the problems and survive as a political counter-force to the Republicans. You do not need to come here and attack, that is not in your interest. This is how Liberals drive away rational thinkers.

  449. Winter, when someone is claiming that the Europeans have contributed nothing to the stock of human knowledge, thus implicitly denying credit for the scientific revolution to the people who were clearly responsible for it – and this is just what uma is claiming – it is necessary to protest the falsehood and set forth the facts that refute it.

    As for you, I said originally that in matters of the intellect, since 1500 AD the rest of the world has followed the European lead, and I stand by that. The Chinese record of inventions is impressive, but it stops well before the date I gave, as does the Muslim record. Since you seem to think wealth is necessary to intellectual progress, your problem is to explain why the impoverished Europeans began to make serious contributions to human knowledge and the wealthy Chinese and Arabs ceased to do so, at roughly the same time.

  450. @Michael Brazier

    Calculus is incremental progress. Algebra, is also incremental progress.

    Invention of agriculture or metallurgy isn’t incremental. It’s a paradigm shift. Humanity was something before it and became something else after it.

    The printing press changed the destiny of mankind. It resulted in mass dissemination of information and knowledge. A paradigm that humanity never experienced before.

    The printing press is fairly simple technologically. It’s significance isn’t in the mechanics of how it works (which are undoubtedly of interest to geeks). It’s significance is in the paradigm shift it created.

    Some might argue that the internet might be 2nd transformational idea to originate with whites. I am biased in favor of that viewpoint but it is far too early to judge whether it’s ultimate outcome would be a paradigm shift that would change the destiny of mankind.

  451. I get the sense that this transformational/incremental distinction is just an attempt to devalue real progress. By that argument, the Model T, the DC-3, the 747, the Mac, and the iPhone were “merely incremental.”

    But results are what really matter. Becoming rich via boring work and saving and investing is incremental, while winning the lottery is transformational, but so what?

    All this praise for non-Western cultural achievements of centuries past still makes me ask: What have they done for the world lately? What has the Muslim or Arab world contributed in the last 500 years?

  452. David Szonyi: “If the Democrats can find a candidate and a focused message that appeals more to the white middle-class in 2020”

    If.

    Note, please, that it isn’t Trump winning the Presidency, but the Democratic response to his victory, that led ESR to expect a GOP lock on the federal government. What we see in that response is a party in intellectual crisis: a party whose basic electoral strategy has just been refuted by a political naif, and which shows no capacity to understand how it was done. It does no good to prate of demographics in the face of such a failure as this.

  453. PapayaSF:

    What has the Muslim or Arab world contributed in the last 500 years?

    Falafel?

  454. uma: “Calculus is incremental progress.”

    If you think this, you know nothing about the history of calculus. Wikipedia has a decent summary of the subject – read it before you reply.

    “The printing press changed the destiny of mankind. It resulted in mass dissemination of information and knowledge. A paradigm that humanity never experienced before.”

    You admit this much because printing with movable type was first invented in China (where it had little effect, due to the logographic nature of the Chinese script.) Yet you do not admit that electric generators have changed the destiny of mankind – because that technology was invented by a European, you consider it “incremental”.

    In other words, your belief that Europeans are no more than skilful copyists of other, better cultures is not a reasoned conclusion, but a prejudice.

  455. @Papaya

    Your whining makes u look like that pathetic little kid throwing a hissy fit bcz he did not get a star.

    When looking at human progress why limit it to 500yrs? What is so special about the 500yr number?

    People like u were declaring china a lost case 30 yrs and revelling in their imagined superiority. How things have changed in 30 yrs indeed. In another century I am fairly certain they will have exacted a fair blood price in return for the opium wars that were imposed on them.

    History operates in cycles. Only blind morons fail to appreciate or see that. ESR indirectly gave u the answer to your questions. Muslims failed to appropriate the printing press until Napoleon decided to shove it down their throats. They lost 4 centuries in that process.

    The only sure thing about history is that it’s always moving. China fully developed without the resources of the new world. India is well on it’s way and the Muslims are on the way sooner than u might think. Soon the world will look like it always has and you will go back to your previous existence. Herding goats in the Scottish Highlands. Or worse: Fucking with those goats on the Welsh hills. All while the world has moved on!

  456. Ancient Greeks weren’t “Middle-Eastern”. Mencken pointed out “God made Man in his image; and Man returned the favor.” The Greek Gods were brown-haired, and some had gray or blue eyes. Those aren’t Middle-eastern phenotypes.

  457. Pingback: Hey Democrats! We Need You to Get Your Act Together! (Repost) |

  458. do you really want to inspect everything you eat yourself for e coli or listeria?

    Of course not. I would delegate that service to experts, the same way I do today. Your assumption is that only government can perform this function, and that’s simply not the case. Consider the Underwriters’ Laboratories: no governmental authority, but they are nevertheless a highly effective regulatory organization.

  459. “Ancient Greeks weren’t “Middle-Eastern”.”

    Forget it. You’re trying to argue with a parody bot. One need not look past Greek sculpture to see that they weren’t middle eastern. The Lefties here are powered by pure self-loathing and are therefore stuck on stupid.

  460. re: ThomYorke

    It doesn’t work like that. California adapted open primary system whereby you’re allowed to vote for whoever you want in the primary, and the top 2 gets in. The top two happens to be Democrats. The Republicans did field more than 1 candidates, they just aren’t the top 2 finishers. Same thing with my voting district for House, both candidates on the ballot are Democrats. The joy of living in Los Angeles County.

  461. A wheel is not worth much without draft animals.

    Not true. Wheels greatly magnify the capability of human labor. Try moving a load of bricks by hand, and then try moving the same load in a wheelbarrow if you don’t believe me.

  462. @David Szonyi: What if I told you that a major contributing factor to your loss was your side’s obnoxious habit of assuming that long-windedness is impressive?


  463. > One need not look past Greek sculpture to see that they weren’t middle eastern.

    Origin of a people X is determined by genotypes not phenotypes.

    If a Congolese black male has mated with you mother and you were the outcome, your phenotype (hair color eye color) may well be white and you may believe you are white, but your genotype is black Congolese and that’s the way DNA scientists would view you.

    Also one would have to be blind to not spot middle eastern phenotypes in Greek statutes. But that is a whole another discussion which has been rendered irrelevant in the age of DNA science.

  464. “Also one would have to be blind to not spot middle eastern phenotypes in Greek statutes. But that is a whole another discussion which has been rendered irrelevant in the age of DNA science.”

    Looks like we can conclusively add ‘delusional’ to your substantial demonstration of ignorance. But don’t let me stop you. You’re doing so well.

  465. >@David Szonyi: What if I told you that a major contributing factor to your loss was your side’s obnoxious habit of assuming that long-windedness is impressive?

    Long-windedness? Only a minor factor. Arrogance and projection, on the other hand, were major ones.

  466. @uma

    “People like u were declaring china a lost case 30 yrs…”

    Bull. We were declaring communism a lost cause and we were right. China is where it is today because they shed most of it’s worst ideas.

    “China fully developed without the resources of the new world. India is well on it’s way and the Muslims are on the way sooner than u might think.”

    These countries are where they are because they’ve been financed by the globalists with the greatest wealth and technology transfer in history.

    “Soon the world will look like it always has… ”

    I dispute your credentials as a prophet.

    Oh, and you’re delusional as this post and many above illustrate.

  467. Latest Trump Tweet:

    Yes, it is true – Carlos Slim, the great businessman from Mexico, called me about getting together for a meeting. We met, HE IS A GREAT GUY!

    Roger that Ann Coulter.

    Is it a wall or a fence? No no!! It is a fence. Only a fence :-( ? Oh wait! Shoot! Not even a fence!!

  468. On gun control: Can we agree that this issue isn’t like, say, that of tax policies, that it’s literally a matter of life and death? (More Americans have died within our borders from firearms in the past 5 years than have in Iraq and Afghanistan combined in the past 15.) Can we also take a close look at the facts? It’s hard to have a rational, evidence-based discussion on gun control when the arguments of opponents, including yours, are so often counter-factual.

    We liberals and Democrats are vulnerable on this issue in one important way: We’ve sometimes spoken in an undifferentiated, sometimes contemptuous way of the culture of gun owners, as Obama did in ’08.

    But conservatives/Republicans seem to me far more vulnerable — ideologically, if not (yet) politically (though the tide is slowly turning there too) . The fact is that leaders of the Republican Party, from Trump on down, have become little more than hand-maidens of the NRA . Hell, they don’t even want to back funding for governmental research on the (considerable) effects of guns on public health.

    You argue that “Today voter support of personal firearm rights is at an unprecedented high.” Not really — despite propaganda by NRAists who oppose even the most common-sense gun reforms (e.g., background checks on people who buy weapons at gun shows or on the internet, or the widespread manufacture and use of “smart guns”) , a majority of the public, including gun owners themselves — support such reforms; see http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/most-americans-agree-with-obama-that-more-gun-buyers-should-get-background-checks/

    You maintain that “less than six months [Democratic] leaders…were talking up Australian-style gun confiscation” [whatever that is; it’d be helpful if you defined it). They were?? As far as I know, not a single significant Democratic leader — not Obama, not Biden, not Hillary, not Reid, not Pelosi, not Schumer — was calling for mass gun confiscation. (If I’m wrong, please name names and provide evidence.) Otherwise, that line is from the NRA big-lie playbook and you undercut your credibility significantly by propagating it.

    Let’s look at gun facts squarely: I’m personally opposed to the recreational killing of game but I also recognize the rights of recreational gun owners. So did Hillary and do do the overwhelming majority of Democrats on the Hill.But civilians being able to purchase at will firearms for “self-defense”? No. They’re rarely successfully used for such purposes and such use is dwarfed by the use of guns for domestic and criminal homicides, suicides, crime — and then there are the myriad accidental shootings the accidental killing and injuring of children by children.

    There are now twice as many guns as people and way too many in the hands of the wrong folk.Too much of the country is “armed and dangerous” and it’s national disgrace, one in which the GOP has been totally complicit (in part based on a willful misreading of what the Second Amendment actually says). Nothing changes because of the :”gun rights” zealots, whose position is becoming ever more untenable on both policy and ethical grounds.

    Are you among them?.

    .

  469. “Consider the Underwriters’ Laboratories: no governmental authority, but they are nevertheless a highly effective regulatory organization.”

    Accurate but misleading. OSHA requires that a large number of product types used in the workplace be approved. This approval takes the form of certification by third-party organizations which must be certified by OSHA. Underwriters Laboratories is one of those organizations. So while it’s true that UL has no governmental authority, their services are mandated by the government.

  470. > So while it’s true that UL has no governmental authority, their services are mandated by the government.

    Except UL predates the mandate. And since this discussion was about the use of taxes, note that taxes don’t pay for UL.

  471. “David Szonyi on 2016-12-20 at 22:40:28 said:”

    This entire Groundhog Day screed is a wonderful example of the comment above (BassmanCO on 2016-12-20 at 10:33:40 said:) in that you can constantly rebut, dismantle, and refute every claim, but it will simply reappear tomorrow, barely altered…if at all.

    I’d just like to point out this remarkable lack of self-awareness in the following excerpt:

    We liberals and Democrats are vulnerable on this issue in one important way: We’ve sometimes spoken in an undifferentiated, sometimes contemptuous way of the culture of gun owners, as Obama did in ’08.

    Well, it’s more than “one important way,” but I just enjoyed the complete lack of self awareness which followed:

    “But conservatives/Republicans seem to me far more vulnerable — ideologically, if not (yet) politically (though the tide is slowly turning there too) . The fact is that leaders of the Republican Party, from Trump on down, have become little more than hand-maidens of the NRA .”

    GMAFB

    If you want to be taken seriously, make a serious argument. I’m sure the rest will be along shortly to present copious factual arguments for you to promptly ignore.

  472. I guess that, as the initiator of this blog, you have the right just to toss of a comment dismissing someone else’s for its supposed “complete lack of self-awareness.” It’s a way of “psychologizing” an argument rather than engaging it, a way of ignoring some basic facts that are pretty indisputable

    Anyway, exactly what is inaccurate about what I wrote? What GOP leader has backed even the most minimum common-sense gun reform?

    Meanwhile, I’m eagerly waiting for “the rest” — why not you? — to present their “copious factual arguments”. I’ve already presented some facts — unfortunate that you’ve chosen not to respond to them.

  473. @ Alpheus

    ”Every political philosophy has a weakness, and the primary weakness of Libertarianism is that it is not asshole proof!”

    Wow, what a coincidence! This is exactly* what’s wrong with government institutions, too!

    I have to apologize. My comment above was poorly phrased, so let me unpack it a bit: All political philosophies have failure modes. In the case of Liberalism, the failure modes are twofold. First, it can be hijacked by people (communists or similar) who don’t understand that whatever we decide to do politically, we need a healthy form of capitalism to pay for it. (We can argue all we want about what constitutes “healthy capitalism” but without capitalism we can’t pay for our social or moral ideals.)

    The other failure mode of Liberalism is what we observed in the recent election; abandoning economic issues, major questions of prejudice, and safety issues while concentrating on virtue-signalling through an obsession with edge cases, such as worrying more about whether it’s prejudiced to say “Black” instead of “African-American,” complaining of micro-aggressions, or raising a fuss over Transgender bathroom issues, with all this happening while actual major issues, such as the gigantic economic issues in the rustbelt states or the lead in Flint Michagan’s water supply, are ignored by the largest Liberal organization on the planet!

    The main failure mode of Conservatism is takeover by racists, facists, or religious fanatics. We’ve also seen that happen in the last year (to at least a limited extent – I assume everyone is aware that Pence is a Dominionist.) I don’t know if there’s enough resilience in the system to keep things from getting ugly, but the chances of experiencing Fourth Generation Warfare on American soil are very high, and 4GW’s emphasis on infrastructure targets and ROI makes things very ugly for civilians. (If you don’t know what 4GW is, get yourself over to John Robb’s blog Global Guerrillas and read some posts from 2004 or so. He also has a book.)

    The failure mode of Libertarianism lies in it’s belief that the marketplace will weed out bad actors (otherwise known as assholes) in a mostly unregulated environment. Does anyone really think that outlawing the minimum wage will allow wages to “float?” I think its much more likely that a group of sociopaths will reduce wages close to zero in a mad race to the bottom. Perhaps a few “special” skilled workers will be capable of negotiating wages, but anyone in a job which doesn’t require more than a few weeks of training will soon be reduced to an Oliver-like “please sir, may I have some more?”

    Does anyone think that a “good” supplier of chemicals, who spends money and effort to make sure that toxins don’t enter the environment won’t soon be underbid by some psychopath who doesn’t give a fuck about the wee little fishies?

    Etc.

    (Probably the way around this, in a Libertarian paradise, will be to price all similar goods equally, with profit available even if someone does the socially correct thing. Then people will be free to buy from those with good moral values without a loss to themselves.)

  474. @ Bryant

    But OSHA itself has a large budget. Would you like to work in a factory that’s not regulated by something like OSHA? Catwalks with no railing? Toxic chemicals without proper ventilation and storage? Staircases with slick surfaces? You taxes pay for the enforcement of health and safety laws regardless of who vets the electrical gear.

  475. David Szonyi on 2016-12-20 at 23:49:40 said:

    I guess that, as the initiator of this blog, you have the right just to toss of a comment dismissing someone else’s for its supposed “complete lack of self-awareness.” It’s a way of “psychologizing” an argument rather than engaging it, a way of ignoring some basic facts that are pretty indisputable.

    This is called projection. You’ve initiated your “argument” with your own, half-assed “psychologizing” with that objective horseshit about conservatives and Republicans being handmaidens of the NRA. Yes yes, those opposed you have only arrived at their positions through propagandistic conditioning.

    Please.

    You can’t even be fooling yourself here. If you’d like to clean your act up, I’d be happy to address your arguments point by point, but you don’t strike me as interested in arguing in good faith. In the meantime, feel free to do a site search and familiarize yourself with the 3,419 times that each point in your argument above has been refuted.

  476. @Troutwaxer:


    >> The main failure mode of Conservatism is takeover by racists, facists, or religious fanatics.

    You forgot douchebags. (Ted Cruz)

  477. “Greece is a middle eastern civilization pure and simple. It is genetically middle eastern”

    You are clinically insane. Batshit. Barking.

    Yes, modern Greeks do have a fair amount of genetic material from (what you are calling) “the middle east” (Arabs, Turks, and Iranians are NOT the same, genetically or culturally). That is because Greece was run as a Turkish slave state for hundreds of years, with the inevitable genetic mixing that accompanies such.

    Classical Greece was divided among the Dorians, Ionians, Achaeans, and Aeolians, all of whom spoke Indo-European languages (not Semitic or Turkic), and none of whom were “middle eastern” by any reasonable definition of that term.

    The Turks (source of the majority of the “middle eastern” DNA in modern Greeks) didn’t even begin their incursions into the Anatolian peninsula until the arrival of the Seljuks in the 11th Century.

    Hint: the 11th Century was over a thousand years after the end of Classical Greek civilization.

  478. @gmmay:

    Step 1) Watch this video
    Step 2) Read up on DNA science and how it works (e.g. how the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby was found — a story that will be easy for you to grasp and identify with)
    Step 3) Confirm step 1 by reading how greeks described what they looked like in their ancient literature (wooly hair, complexion between pale and dark)
    Step 4) Come back here and talk to us about “copious factual arguments”

    else

    Silence is golden. Especially when it comes to using words you don’t understand.

  479. “Not least of which is “Fatima” the saint they worship.”

    1) Fátima is a village, not a “saint”. There is no “Saint Fátima” that anyone “worships”.
    2) The apparition purportedly seen near there was of the Virgin Mary, not an ordinary saint.
    3) Catholics don’t worship the Virgin Mary, or any saint.

    As I said: you’re barking.

  480. “wooly hair”

    Arabs can have straight, wavy, or curly hair. Iranians and Turks generally have straight hair. None of the common Middle Eastern hair types would be described by a reasonable person as “wooly”.

    You’re one of those “Out of Africa” cultists, aren’t you?

    Tell us the one about how Aristotle “stole his philosophy from the Library of Alexandria”. That one’s my favorite.

  481. “But OSHA itself has a large budget. Would you like to work in a factory that’s not regulated by something like OSHA?”

    OSHA didn’t exist until 1970. Somehow we muddled through.

  482. @Wannabe Doc

    1) Read my response to your brother gmmay
    2) Fatima is the name of the daughter of Muhammad, founder of islam. First of her name to borrow some game of thrones vocabulary. Also used to name the mother of god herself, who is even more than a saint . I am not a catholic and was typing of memory. The point that I made is even more valid (Moorish names still in use in Portugal, and not least of which used to name the mother of God)
    3) Indeed they don’t. That’s is why they have a fetish for them.

    You’re butthurt. That is all.

  483. @Doctor
    “Classical Greece was divided among the Dorians, Ionians, Achaeans, and Aeolians, all of whom spoke Indo-European languages (not Semitic or Turkic), and none of whom were “middle eastern” by any reasonable definition of that term.”

    Sorry, but the Indo-European (e.g., Hitites) occupied Anatolia since prehistoric times, during which time they were one of the people to develop agriculture. Actually, the population of Europe by Indo-Europeans started in Anatolia. There were even Celts who later moved into Anatolia. And then we have not even talked about the Persians and Kurds, who have lived in the Middle east for a very, very long time.

    In classical times, Anatolia was littered with Greek colonies and people. Up to the Arab and Turkish invasions, a large part of the Middle East spoke Greek. Of course the Greek (and other Indo-Europeans) are Middle Eastern people. They were one of the groups that MADE the Middle East.

  484. @Michael Brazier
    “Since you seem to think wealth is necessary to intellectual progress, your problem is to explain why the impoverished Europeans began to make serious contributions to human knowledge and the wealthy Chinese and Arabs ceased to do so, at roughly the same time.”

    Follow the trail of scientific excellence in Europe. Over time, different countries were the leading scientific superpowers, from Italy, to Great Britain, to France, to Germany, to the USA. This trail follows the rise of their respective economies. And since a few years you see how the USA is struggling to recruit youth in science. Scientific Excellence in the USA is often born and raised in South and East Asia. The USA are now even getting an administration and congressional majority for a party that rejects science.

    So, if you want an explanation of the decline of technological progress in these countries, listen to Republican politicians, or Trump.

  485. @Troutwaxer (?) “Would you like to work in a factory that’s not regulated by something like OSHA? Catwalks with no railing? Toxic chemicals without proper ventilation and storage? Staircases with slick surfaces?”

    What a frickin small minded ignoramus. Why must current OSHA safety standards be assumed a good thing?

    During WWII the (almost exclusively white) workers at Los Alamoshad a different worker safety standard:

    If a proposed experiment was too dangerous for the academics to perform, then the uniformed military technicians would get the job.

    If the uniformed military technicians thought the experiment was too dangerous, they were free to accept an immediate transfer to an infantry unit on Guadalcanal or Saipan.

    Very few did. Go figure.

  486. Winter:

    The USA are now even getting an administration and congressional majority for a party that rejects science.

    A good measure of partisanship is when someone shows the ability to make sophisticated, sometimes overly-complex explanations of their own side’s arguments, but sees opponents in only the most over-simplified, cartoonish ways.

    Or in uma’s case, to refer to challenges as “whining,” with a descent into name-calling. Plus nitpicking. I used the figure 500 years as a nice, round number. My point was: how far back do you have to look in Muslim and Arab culture to find a significant contribution? The only examples you can come up with are even older. I claim that culture has been extremely stagnant for ages. I challenge you to come up with more recent contributions and prove me wrong.

  487. @PapayaSF
    “I claim that culture has been extremely stagnant for ages.”

    Moving goalposts here. If you scroll up, you will find many references to the white “race” as being superior, with IQ etc.. Such genetic differences do not arise in a thousand years or so. Therefore, technological innovations during the last 2 millennia from all over the world rule out any genetic basis for the differences in “innovation supremacy”.

    In the 16th century, witches and heretics were burned all over Europe, including a few scientists. So, up to that time, European culture was everything but “superior” in a scientific sense. Yes, there were good scientists, but they were living in a see of medieval superstition and intolerance. Many of the classics in science from that time were published against banns in many countries. At times, publishing a work on astronomy was dangerous.

    European culture became scientifically superior slowly only 500 years ago. That was the result of a very specific combination of circumstances, one of which was the fractioned political landscape. Had there been a single, dominant empire in Europe, it would have started to ban and persecute “heretics” at some point.

    Other “cultures” were not so lucky, and they suffered under empires that inescapably evolved towards “all change is bad, heterodoxy is a capital offense”.

    If you want to know how this works, look at the Republican party in the USA. There are always groups in that party that want to persecute scientists that say or do things they do not like. And now it looks as if one of such groups has taken over the party.

  488. “If you scroll up, you will find many references to the white “race” as being superior, with IQ etc.. Such genetic differences do not arise in a thousand years or so. “

    Setting aside for the moment the question of whether there are such genetic differences, your assertion that such genetic differences do not arise in a thousand years or so is complete horseshit. A thousand years is 40-50 generations for humans. It’s not only possible for genetic differences to arise in that time, it’s easy. To go up, say, 10 IQ points in that time, you’d need a generational change of about (x)^40 = 1.1, x = 1.0024, or less than a quarter of a percent increase.

    Working backwards, what level of environmental differences does it take to exert enough selective pressure to produce a quarter of a percent’s difference per generation? The brain is a massive energy hog, after all, so it won’t be selected for under all circumstances. Apply the breeder’s equation R = h^2*S, sub in about 0.0024 = 0.6 * S, get 0.004. (h^2 estimates in humans are a touchy topic and vary quite a bit, I’ve mostly seen 0.5 to 0.8 as main range, adjust to taste.) If you’re living in a persistently more energy-rich, intelligence-valuing environment that gets you as much as four-tenths of a percent ahead of your competitors on those scores, where the subset of a generation that gets to breed is on average that much smarter than their parents’ generation, there’s your genetic difference a thousand years later.

    Of course, you can get large effects much faster if you have greater selection strength. If we move from speculation about possible past environmental differences to some possible future footopian government, getting a 10 IQ point differential in one generation is simple: sterilize everyone under ~110 IQ, or otherwise prevent the stupidest ~three-quarters of the population from breeding. The average of the breeding population will then be ~116; regression towards the mean will make the next and subsequent generations average ~110.

    (This assumes a very great deal of ceteris paribus and a normal distribution of IQ mean 100 stdev 15, but I expect the point stands about the general magnitude involved even if the numbers require adjustment.)

  489. Scientific leadership has moved around a bit within the 100+ IQ populations but has never been held by a <80 IQ population.

  490. >Anyway, exactly what is inaccurate about what I wrote? What GOP leader has backed even the most minimum common-sense gun reform?

    You might as well ask “What GOP leader has backed declaring squares to be circles because fuzzy kittens?” “Common sense” is not a description, it’s an attempt to emotionally load the argument by smuggling in the premise that that there is some “common” sense, the speaker knows what it is, and those who reject it are crazy/wicked/outside-the-mainstream.

    Compare the phrase “common-sense abortion restrictions”. The Democratic base would scream like stuck pigs at that that phrase, and despite the fact that I am myself pro-choice I agree that they’d be justified in doing so. It would be the same kind of attempted end-run around the merits of the issue.

    This form of argument is self-disqualifying. It’s deliberate rhetorical dishonesty, or an indication that the speaker lives so deep inside an echo chamber that he or she is totally disconnected from the very existence of other opinions among the non-evil and non-insane.

    Hillary: Australia-style gun control ‘worth looking at’ October 2016. She then lied by omission about the nature of the program, which did not merely offer a buyback but made retained weapons subject to confiscation.

    So, there’s the advocacy you were asking about – an attempt to normalize talk of confiscation by talking up the “Australian” model while (temporarily) suppressing the fact that confiscation was its endgame. By the Democratic Presidential candidate, a month before election day.

  491. Uh, about that “confiscation” of of guns: Read again the very first sentence of the article in The Hill you reference: Hillary talks about a gun *buy-back”* program program. Repeating the distortion of “confiscation” doesn’t make it any more factual. If you’re going to provide something as “evidence,” make sure it demonstrates what you want it to demonstrate…

    About “common-sense: — why all the rhetorical overload? It’s an opinion, just as your “self-disqualifying” is. Now can we discuss what’s at stake? I’m saying that not every crazy person should be able to buy a gun on the internet without a background check, that that’s potentially a hazard to public health. That seems to me “common sense” so I stand behind that adjective. If you disagree, let’s have a real discussion but don’t just try to shut things down with “self-disqualifying” yada yada.

  492. David, if you read a few more sentences in that same article, you’ll see the word “compulsory” modifies the buy-back program being talked about.

  493. “Of course the Greek (and other Indo-Europeans) are Middle Eastern people.”

    “Middle East” is a modern term that includes portions of Western Asia and Egypt. Not Greece.

    It certainly wasn’t in use in classical times.

  494. As previously noted, the sting in the tail is compulsory buyback, followed by legal confiscation of retained weapons. HRC knew or should have known this before advocating the “Australian” model.

    >I’m saying that not every crazy person should be able to buy a gun on the internet without a background check,

    The counter-position is that it is “common sense” that procedural restrictions on gun purchases will suffer mission creep, eventually enlarging to include political undesirables. Exhibit A for this position is the Lautenberg Amendment. (Actually, that’s Exhibit B; Exhibit A is the Nazi gun law of 1938, which was both a legal and practical enabler of the Holocaust.)

    If your common sense says preventing crazy people from buying guns is a good that overrides all considerations of liberty and process costs, and someone else’s “common sense” says that the defense of liberty requires never letting that particular camel get its nose in the tent, what do you actually have in common? Nothing. You have value systems that aren’t commensurable.

    Neither party in this dispute is entitled to describe his position as “common sense.” The attempt is either ignorant or dishonest. Usually it’s dishonest.

    This is why I describe you as arrogant and projecting. Despite being nominally pluralist and tolerant, your “common sense” rhetoric issues from a absolutist presumption that all rival political/moral claims are not only contingently wrong but discrediting to the people who hold them. Whether it’s guns or transgender rights, the song remains the same; the “compassionate” decide, the proles must bend, and dissent is stigmatized as bigotry, truckling to the NRA, or neo-Naziism.

    Here’s a clue: to the student of history, it’s not the proles who look like Nazis.

    Welcome to Donald Trump. Your arrogance put him in the White House.

  495. “1) Read my response to your brother gmmay”

    1) Your “response” consisted of a YouTube video with no citations.

    2) Fatima is the name of the daughter of Muhammad, founder of islam

    So what? Yes, the village was named after her. No, that doesn’t mean there’s a “Saint Fatima” who is “worshiped”, as you claimed.

    “not least of which used to name the mother of God”

    Wrong. Dead wrong. By your “reasoning”, Jimmy Carter being known as “The Man from Plains” would mean that his name was “Plains”.

    Go peddle your fake history to someone else. I doubt anyone here is going to be impressed by it.

  496. “your assertion that such genetic differences do not arise in a thousand years or so is complete horseshit. A thousand years is 40-50 generations for humans. It’s not only possible for genetic differences to arise in that time, it’s easy.”

    Yep. That is what appears to have happened with Ashkenazi Jews, and over almost exactly that length of time.

  497. @David Szonyi

    “I’m saying that not every crazy person should be able to buy a gun on the internet without a background check, …”

    You are aware that NO ONE today can buy a gun on the internet? Least of all crazy people? YOU DO KNOW THAT DON’T YOU?

    Your “common sense” gun law was enacted decades ago.

  498. Step 1) Watch this video

    Ahhh, it’s on the internet, so it must be true. You’re really kicking some ass here.

    Step 2) Read up on DNA science and how it works (e.g. how the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby was found — a story that will be easy for you to grasp and identify with)

    You first, cupcake. You have yet to provide ONE single source for your (erroneous) claims. I found a few studies in about 30 seconds of searching which directly refute your claims, but everyone here is still waiting for you to show some basic intellectual competency first.

    Step 3) Confirm step 1 by reading how greeks described what they looked like in their ancient literature (wooly hair, complexion between pale and dark)

    Refer to my step two response. But I do love how your “citation” here proves something between ‘jack’ and ‘squat.’

    Step 4) Come back here and talk to us about “copious factual arguments”

    Just as soon as you provide something better than a random youtube vid, I’ll be delighted.

  499. To me, “common sense” would suggest that it’s fairly stupid to create weaker prohibitions directed toward people who are obviously prepared to ignore the strongest. That this fact makes it rather obvious that these laws only affect those who acquire their firearms legally. That, thinking logically, the only reasonable course of action after such historically ineffective measures are passed would be confiscation.

    But I realize that many people disagree with my position, which is why I don’t claim the “common sense” conceit. Unless of course you wander in and toss off such nonsense without thinking anyone notices your shitty rhetoric.

  500. @Erik
    “A thousand years is 40-50 generations for humans. ”

    A little population genetics will tell you that not much will change in the genetic distribution of a population the size of the Europe an in 50 generations. And whatever the genetic component of IQ is, it is extremely multi-locus. And then we would assume a serious selective pressure. No such selective pressure has been evident in Europe.

    The Askenazi are both a small population (founder effects) and has optimized the large non-genetic component of IQ.

    @Erik
    “To go up, say, 10 IQ points in that time, you’d need a generational change of about (x)^40 = 1.1, x = 1.0024, or less than a quarter of a percent increase.”

    Which is much smaller than the Flyn effect.

    But ANY change in a population that counts in the tens and hundreds of million of people is exceptional (even in 1000 AD there were 50M people living in Europe). And there was considerable mixing between regions and a sizeable influx of non-Europeans before modern times (Hungarians, Fins, Slavs, Arabs, Turcs). All things that would erase selection and genetic drift. If you had claimed “evolution” to avoid pathogens that kill a third of the population during each wave, probably. But for IQ, no.

    In short, there is nothing that even suggests there was a considerable change in the genetic makeup of Europeans with respect to IQ.

  501. ” and a sizeable influx of non-Europeans before modern times (Hungarians, Fins, Slavs, Arabs, Turcs).”

    Since when are Slavs “non-Europeans”?

    As far as we know, the Slavs were inhabiting the area north of the Black Sea (i.e., in Europe) since the Bronze Age, at a minimum.

    Same with the Finns and the Hungarians. Linguistic evidence indicates that a Finno-Ugric language has been spoken in Finland since at least the Bronze Age. The Hungarians appear to have come from an area west of the Ural Mountains (i.e., also in Europe).

  502. >The Hungarians appear to have come from an area west of the Ural Mountains (i.e., also in Europe).

    Maybe. Some scholars think their heimat was the steppe areas east of the Urals; there are hints of this in the oldest Russian sources from before their invasion of the Carpathan Basin. There are linguistic reasons to believe they might have lived in Western Siberia before that; the closest relatives of Hungarian are two languages still spoken there.

  503. >A little population genetics will tell you that not much will change in the genetic distribution of a population the size of the Europe an in 50 generations.

    The relevant population size is not “Europe”, it’s one segment of the Jewish diaspora, which was largely endogenous. Truncation selection can easily produce large allele shifts in small populations at that speed. It is now pretty clear that this is exactly what happened with the Ashkenazi – there’s been a lot of good recent work in this area.

    Ashkenazi genetics is actually quite fascinating. They show signs of having been selected for intelligence so hard that the genetic blueprints for their sphingolipid metabolism couldn’t keep up, so you get a high incidence of related congenital syndromes like Gaucher’s, Nieman-Pick and ML4.

  504. @Esr,
    ” It is now pretty clear that this is exactly what happened with the Ashkenazi – there’s been a lot of good recent work in this area.”

    I do not dispute genetic drift/selection effects in the Ashkenazi. That is a small, relatively isolated population where you can find genetic bottlenecks and founder effects.

    But we were talking about a genetic change in the population of Europe over the last 1000 years relative to neighboring populations. And this change had to affect a multi-locus trait, IQ. That I find rather exceptional. Exceptional claims require exceptional proof. The population of Europe over the last 1000 years was neither small, nor isolated.

  505. “””I have to apologize. My comment above was poorly phrased, so let me unpack it a bit: All political philosophies have failure modes.”””

    And I still stand by what I said. Every system has a flaw: it consists of a bunch of jerks each working towards their own self-interest. There is no way to get around that.

    “””In the case of Liberalism, the failure modes are twofold. First, it can be hijacked by people (communists or similar) who don’t understand that whatever we decide to do politically, we need a healthy form of capitalism to pay for it…The other failure mode of Liberalism is what we observed in the recent election; abandoning economic issues, major questions of prejudice, and safety issues while concentrating on virtue-signalling through an obsession with edge cases, such as worrying more about whether it’s prejudiced to say “Black” instead of “African-American,” complaining of micro-aggressions, or raising a fuss over Transgender bathroom issues, with all this happening while actual major issues, such as the gigantic economic issues in the rustbelt states or the lead in Flint Michagan’s water supply, are ignored by the largest Liberal organization on the planet!”””

    These two failure modes are actually one: the conceit that they know better than the local governments, and individuals, and businesses, what is right for them, so they must Dictate from on High in order to make sure that everything will be just. When you are the Enlightened Ruler, what you say should be done, no questions asked, and if only people will do what you say, then the world would be perfect!

    The problem with the Left is that they think that Capitalism is a bunch of Fat Cat factory owners and bankers, sitting in closed rooms, discussing how they are going to exploit the poor working masses. The reality is that capitalism is two people meeting together, negotiating a deal that would benefit both; any regulation that gets in the way of this negotiation is an interference to capitalism.

    “””The main failure mode of Conservatism is takeover by racists, facists, or religious fanatics. We’ve also seen that happen in the last year (to at least a limited extent – I assume everyone is aware that Pence is a Dominionist.)”””

    Uh, no. This is the natural tendency of all humans — to fall back on the tribes that we’re born in, and that we identify with the most. While Conservatives have always had issues with racism, their racism pales in comparison to the Liberals and Progressives: between their support for slavery before the Civil War and support for Jim Crow afterwards, their founding of the KKK (and their embrace of a leader of that same organization well into this century as avenerated member of the Senate), their support of eugenics and segregation in the 1920s and 1930s, their efforts to inject race into admissions and employment, and their continued efforts to balkanize inner cities and racial tensions, it is Liberals that have always had the greater issues with racism.

    The failure mode for conservatives is twofold: first, a strong tendency to believe the gaslighting of the Left-leaning media and Left-leaning bureaucracy and government that conservatives are in the minority and on the wrong side of history, so conservatives should give up their principles and “get with the program” of implementing Liberal ideas of having government control every little thing (in other words, to act like losers, even when they win elections); second, a conceit of their own, where they believe *they* can tell the masses what to do, because it will all work out if the right guys are in charge (with them, of course, being the right guys).

    To the degree that Conservatives have liberty on their side, conservatives have the advantage
    : this is the side where you can have fun! Just compare the over-regulation of *everything*
    in California to that of the relaxed atmosphere of Texas. But that’s a third failing of Con
    servatism: whereas the culture is saturated with liberal messaging, conservatives need to learn how to get their message out.

    “””The failure mode of Libertarianism lies in it’s belief that the marketplace will weed out bad actors (otherwise known as assholes) in a mostly unregulated environment. Does anyone really think that outlawing the minimum wage will allow wages to “float?” I think its much more likely that a group of sociopaths will reduce wages close to zero in a mad race to the bottom. Perhaps a few “special” skilled workers will be capable of negotiating wages, but anyone in a job which doesn’t require more than a few weeks of training will soon be reduced to an Oliver-like “please sir, may I have some more?””””

    By your reasoning, though, the very group of sociopaths that you expect would reduce wages close to zero in that mad race to the bottom, would hold wages near to the minimum wage. That this doesn’t happen, though, should be a hint that this mechanism that you are worried about simply doesn’t exist. Indeed, we could go so far as to complain that we need a maximum wage, because otherwise sociopath wage earners would refuse to labor until wages are pushed to infinity!

    Neither happens because there’s an inherent tension between an individual worker’s greed to push salary as high as possible, and an individual employer’s greed to push that salary as low as possible, that always finds an equilibrium. And yes, that equilibrium might be very low for certain jobs — but *why* should sweeping floors and cleaning toilets be valued the same as convincing customers to buy things or developing systems that customers would find valuable?

    When I first started work, I was paid $8/hr part time. By Liberal reasoning, that job should not have existed, because I had a wife and two daughters to support, and that wasn’t sufficient for supporting them. But after a couple of months, my employer decided he liked my work, so he raised my wage to $11/hr (I didn’t even ask for a raise — he was *that* greedy to keep me), and over time I moved on to new positions at different places with higher wages, and later salaries. Without that first job to prove myself, I doubt I would have been able to find employment, and I doubt that first job would have existed if the minimum wage was $15/hr. Now, I *could* have worked as a volunteer for a local hospital, I suppose, until I could increase my skill level to justify $15/hr…but then my wage would have been $0/hr, and I fail to see how that would have been beneficial for me.

    “””Does anyone think that a “good” supplier of chemicals, who spends money and effort to make sure that toxins don’t enter the environment won’t soon be underbid by some psychopath who doesn’t give a fuck about the wee little fishies?”””

    I do. This is because Rockerfeller, in an age where you got what you needed from oil and then dumped everything else into the river, practically founded the plastics age by employing chemists to figure out how we can use every little bit of oil, rather than waste it by dumping it in the water.

    And to be fair to the people of that age, we need to acknowledge that they didn’t fully understand the harms they were doing; nowdays, is it really that difficult to imagine a legal structure where the federal government generally stays out of the way of river dumping, but cities, communities and individuals sue the pants off anyone who dumps vile stuff into their water supply? Surely, we don’t need a federal agency that has the power to declare a farmer’s canal to be “navigatable waters” because the water eventually makes its way to large rivers, and “wetlands” because it’s wet for a ridiculously small unit of time every year (I seem to recall it being 3 days)…

    Speaking of the EPA, why should we take them seriously? When a private entity causes severe environmental damage, they get fined, and someone goes to jail. When they cause the same kind of accident, it’s “Oops, my bad! I hope everyone’s ok! By the way, we need more funding to keep these kinds of things from happening!”

    The notion that having government control would ensure that harm wouldn’t come to the environment, though, is just silly. The Soviet Union had control of *everything*, along with the doctrine that the State was more important than any one individual life. They have done *great* harm to their environment. I am going out on a limb, and make the modest proposal that a country that believes in “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and in the inherent value of the individual is going to find more ways to prevent harm to the environment — and hence, to individuals — than a country that believes that the State is more important than the individual, and thus environmental resources are merely things to be exploited so that we can glorify the State.

    “””(Probably the way around this, in a Libertarian paradise, will be to price all similar goods equally, with profit available even if someone does the socially correct thing. Then people will be free to buy from those with good moral values without a loss to themselves.)”””

    This is called price controls, and it’s always a disaster whenever it’s tried. It’s hardly a Libertarian principle. And, considering that this was *essentially* what the Soviet Union tried to do, I fail to see how it would protect the environment, or the people.

  506. @Doctor
    “Since when are Slavs “non-Europeans”?”

    The Slav languages are linguistically related to Persian. But you are probably right, they lived close to the Black sea for a long time. On this time scale, geographical origins do not matter that much much anymore. All people outside of sub Saharan Africa are genetically alike anyway. And have been in contact repeatedly since pre-historic times.

  507. I decided to look up “Fatima, Portugal” and see what turned up, and the claim that this is a counter-example to my claim is somewhat laughable. According to Wikipedia:

    The name of the town and parish is a rendition of the Arabic given name Fatima ( ????? F??imah), reportedly[3] the name of a Moorish princess whom Gonçalo Hermigues and his companions kidnapped. The knight took Fatima to a small village of the recently created Kingdom of Portugal, in the Serra de Aire hills. According to the Western narrative, Fatima fell in love with her kidnapper and decided to become herself a Christian to marry him. She was baptized and given a Christian name “Oureana”. Arab sources, however, claim that Fatima -as most Reconquest captives- was forced into Christianity,[4][5] but there is no proof to support either scenarios of her conversion. (Fatimah is also the name of a daughter of Muhammad).

    So the claim that this is a popular Muslim name is sort-of right, but oddly sort-of wrong as well.

    But I’m not going to be convinced I am wrong unless Uma can show me popular native-Portuguese names (that is, factoring out Muslim immigrants and their descendants) that match up with rulers from the time the Moors ruled the Iberian Peninsula. Perhaps Sarah Hoyt’s childhood memories are flawed (she’s only human, after all!), but I would think that someone born and raised from Portugal would have a pretty good sense of what names are popular in her original culture.

  508. “””Hillary talks about a gun *buy-back”* program program. Repeating the distortion of “confiscation” doesn’t make it any more factual.”””

    Hey, it’s not our fault that Hillary and Obama like to refer to the Australian model so much. That model does include a buy-back program — but the buyback also included a threat that if you didn’t sell your guns to government, your ownership of said guns will be illegal here on out, and subject to confiscation and jail time for possession.

    If Hillary didn’t want us to conflate the two, she shouldn’t have used an example that conflates the two.

    And if Hillary honestly thinks that gun-owning Americans don’t pay attention to such tiny details, she’s delusional. After the Assault Weapon ban of 1994, gun-owning Americans have been paying attention to the tiniest of details.

  509. “””If you want to know how this works, look at the Republican party in the USA. There are always groups in that party that want to persecute scientists that say or do things they do not like. And now it looks as if one of such groups has taken over the party.”””

    Yeah, because it’s the Republicans that are calling for the jailing of people who deny climate change science, and who have prosecutors embarking on document fishing expeditions so they could sue companies for denying climate change.

  510. Re: the village of Fatima, Portugal, it was named after a Moorish ‘princess’ who converted to Christianity after being taken in a raid.

    As for ancient Greek appearances, Uma might try explaining why both Menelaus and Achilles were explicitly described as red haired or blonde, why Apollo has golden hair, why Athena is often described as blonde (sometimes black-haired in local variations) and gray-eyed. Artemis had auburn or blonde hair. Alexander the Great was a blonde. Obviously their hair color ran the gamut of Indo-European hair colors.

  511. >But we were talking about a genetic change in the population of Europe over the last 1000 years relative to neighboring populations.

    Who’s talking about that? I’m not.

    The way I read the evidence, the genetic traits that later combined favorably with the “white” cultural package and refracted through Europe’s decentralization-favoring geography are much, much older than a millennium. One of the _later_ ones was the development of lactose tolerance around 60KYA. Whatever events produced the unusually wide dispersion of European IQs were probably much, much older than that.

  512. The term “gun buyback” is almost Orwell Ian. How can the government “buy back” firearms that it never owned in the first place (except for old military surplus). But it implies that it does have an original claim on them. What Australia did was order compulsory purchase of firearms with nasty legal consequences for those who didn’t come forward. At least it wasn’t outright theft with no compensation, but it was a government seizure.

  513. “The term cobra effect stems from an anecdote set at the time of British rule of colonial India. The British government was concerned about the number of venomous cobra snakes in Delhi. The government therefore offered a bounty for every dead cobra. Initially this was a successful strategy as large numbers of snakes were killed for the reward. Eventually, however, enterprising people began to breed cobras for the income. When the government became aware of this, the reward program was scrapped, causing the cobra breeders to set the now-worthless snakes free. As a result, the wild cobra population further increased. The apparent solution for the problem made the situation even worse.”

    –Wikipedia, The Cobra Effect

  514. @ David Szonyi

    Why can’t you just say “Thank you Eric for your cogent analysis of shortcomings in Democrat political strategy. We share a common goal in rectifying this problem. I will do my part in bridging this information into my community and hopefully draw some attention from Party leadership.” And then go do just that.

    Picking a fight here isn’t helping anyone. The problem is not that we are broken. The problem is that you are losing.

  515. And of course it’s relevant to mention that Australia’s confiscation program, by their government’s admission, only achieved a ~20% compliance rate.

  516. gmmay, it’s also relevant to mention the steep rise in violent crime in Australia since their buy-back program. Which of course no media here ever mention, but you can here anecdotally from Australians and local news sources.

  517. @Larry


    As for ancient Greek appearances, Uma might try explaining why both Menelaus and Achilles were explicitly described as red haired or blonde, why Apollo has golden hair, why Athena is often described as blonde (sometimes black-haired in local variations) and gray-eyed. Artemis had auburn or blonde hair. Alexander the Great was a blonde. Obviously their hair color ran the gamut of Indo-European hair colors

    That’s a valid question. But first let us agree that a picture is not only worth a thousand words but a million trillion zillion words. The pictures I linked to show how Greeks drew themselves. Written accounts are of far less significance.

    Possible explanations (I am by no means an expert) is that Greeks idolized the Slavic phenotype. They looked middle eastern (as their paintings show) but whenever the occasional Slavic phenotype showed up it was considered beautiful. This is in fact true to this very day in the middle East and possibly explains why most of the slave traded in Slavic women (that Winter posted about earlier) ended up in the middle East (which DNA evidence supports)

    It should be mentioned that European accounts of their own history are not taken seriously by those who look at hard evidence (e.g DNA). Generally speaking Europeans engaged in fabricating fairy tale histories for a variety of reasons. The Church is behind some of that corruption. Their hubris disease I mentioned earlier is another. And various other reasons that are too lengthy to get into here.

  518. uma on 2016-12-21 at 00:21:22 said:
    > @Troutwaxer:
    >>> The main failure mode of Conservatism is takeover by racists, facists, or religious fanatics.
    > You forgot douchebags. (Ted Cruz)

    Ted Cruz’s biggest problem in D.C. (I’m 2 degrees of separation from him) is that he keeps insisting on voting and pushing for the stuff that he campaigned on.

    To the Democrats this is horribly evil as it’s exactly opposite of their destructive agenda.

    To Republicans it is bad because it threatens their graft.

  519. @Alpheus


    > But I’m not going to be convinced I am wrong unless Uma can show me popular native-Portuguese names

    Names of people “Altair” — means the bird in Arabic
    Names of places “Algarve” — region in Portugal means “west” in Arabic.

    The sooner u stop regurgitating/consuming missionary accounts of history the healthier your mind will become.

    Everything that is beautiful about Iberia comes from the Moors. Everything that is ugly and savage (including fabricating la la universe history accounts) comes from the Catholic Church.

  520. Winter: The Slav languages are linguistically related to Persian.

    Yes, but so are English, German, and Italian. And Hindi, for that matter.

    uma: The pictures I linked to show how Greeks drew themselves.

    Upon closer examination of your (once again, unsourced) video, many of the “Greek” paintings in it appear to be Minoan. The topless goddess/priestess figure at 0:34 is definitive. The encaustic painting at 0:49 is from North Africa, and is Hellenistic (i.e., from a region that adopted Greek culture, like Alexandria), not Hellenic (Greek by blood).

    Those two glaring errors alone (and the lack of dates) make this video useless as evidence for anything. While I could waste a lot of time tracking down every image in the video, there’s not much point in doing so.

    The Minoans were not Greeks, but were in fact conquered by the invading Mycenaean Greeks (though not without a struggle — the tale of Theseus harks back to a time when the Minoans were able to demand tribute from the Greeks).

    As far as I can tell, there are NO studies that indicate that either the ancient Greeks or the Minoans were “middle eastern”, genetically speaking. If you have one, please cite it.

  521. Winter wrote: “A little population genetics will tell you that not much will change in the genetic distribution of a population the size of the Europe an in 50 generations. And whatever the genetic component of IQ is, it is extremely multi-locus. And then we would assume a serious selective pressure. No such selective pressure has been evident in Europe.”

    Wrong. Polygenic selection for increased height over the past 2,000 years has indeed been inferred for the ancestors of current inhabitants of the U.K. Your ‘little population genetics’ is inaccurate and factually incorrect.

    http://www.nature.com/news/scientists-track-last-2-000-years-of-british-evolution-1.19917

  522. >As far as I can tell, there are NO studies that indicate that either the ancient Greeks or the Minoans were “middle eastern”, genetically speaking.

    Also the linguistic evidence is against this, of course. The Greeks speak an Indo-European language.


  523. >As far as I can tell, there are NO studies that indicate that either the ancient Greeks or the Minoans were “middle eastern”, genetically speaking. If you have one, please cite it.s far as I can tell, there are NO studies that indicate that either the ancient Greeks or the Minoans were “middle eastern”, genetically speaking. If you have one, please cite it.

    You need to read up more on how DNA analysis works. Some companies (e.g. 23andme) offer tests. Before u understand that, you won’t understand any data. After u understand that you will simply figure it out on your own

  524. “””Names of people “Altair” — means the bird in Arabic
    Names of places “Algarve” — region in Portugal means “west” in Arabic.”””

    I asked for something very specific: popular names of people in Portugal that come from Moorish rulers. Names that are Arabic words, and place names that are directions, don’t fit this category.

    “””The sooner u stop regurgitating/consuming missionary accounts of history the healthier your mind will become.”””

    I am *not* regurgitating missionary history. I’m regurgitating a blog post written by an American citizen who was born, and spent the first twenty years of her life, in Portugal, who in turn brought up this little factoid to question the things *she* was taught in school about how enlightened Moorish rule was for Portugal. She pointed out that Portugal was on the wrong side of the Punic wars, yet embraced the names of the emperors of the Roman conquerors (and still uses the names of Carthaginian rulers)…but Arabic names are oddly absent. At the very least, “Mohammed” in some form or another *should* have survived, considering how popular the name is among Islamic folk.

    “””Everything that is beautiful about Iberia comes from the Moors. Everything that is ugly and savage (including fabricating la la universe history accounts) comes from the Catholic Church.”””

    I’m not familiar enough, personally, with Portuguese culture to say one way or another to make a comment about that I sincerely doubt that *everything* beautiful comes from the Moors, nor does *everything* ugly comes from the Catholics. Indeed, there’s a whole lot of ugly in Portugal, including fabricated la la universe history accounts, that’s the result of Marxist thought.

  525. @esr


    > Also the linguistic evidence is against this, of course. The Greeks speak an Indo-European language.

    The Cameronians speak Indo European these days. Does that make them related to Nordic Swedes? You see where u am going with this?

  526. The Ancient Greeks (Socrates, Pericles, etc.) were descended from people from the area north of the Greek peninsula, who invaded the place and drove the original inhabitants out, ca.1500 BC. (The Philistines of the Bible were probably from a group that fled.)

    There was plenty of trade between the Mediterranean nations which would inevitably lead to the spread of ‘Middle Eastern’ genes among the Greeks. No big deal.

  527. “””There was plenty of trade between the Mediterranean nations which would inevitably lead to the spread of ‘Middle Eastern’ genes among the Greeks. No big deal.”””

    This reminds me of an article I encountered a while ago, with the headline “You’ll never believe what the DNA says about the British people! Only 25% or so of the British are actually British!” and then it talked about all the Nordic, French, Germanic, and other DNA that I can’t remember off the top of my head, that can be found among the British people…

    Yeah, it was unbelievable, unless you had an even vague idea of the history of the various invasions of the British Isles…

  528. David Szonyi: “More Americans have died within our borders from firearms in the past 5 years than have in Iraq and Afghanistan combined in the past 15.”

    When you start off like this, with a demonstration of a basic misunderstanding of the cause of the problem, it comes as exactl zero surprise that the rest of your post is incoherent, with more holes in it than a shotgunned Swiss cheese.

    Hint: People didn’t die “from firearms”. People died because someone – themselves or someone else – shot them. The fault does not lie with the firearm, but the person.

    I am a proud Benefactor Life Member of the NRA. They protect my civil rights from leftists like you.

    “What GOP leader has backed even the most minimum common-sense gun reform?”

    Donald Trump has backed carry permit reciprocity between states. That is common-sense gun reform.

  529. >The Cameronians speak Indo European these days. Does that make them related to Nordic Swedes? You see where u am going with this?

    Yes. You’re being silly and should stop.

    Thank you, we now know a lot about the haplotypes of different ethic and racial groups. Changes in immunoproteins correlate with the language evidence and can be used to reconstruct old migrations.

    The evidence says that the ancestors of the Greeks entered the peninsula from the north and east, radiating from an Indo-European urheimat on or immediately north of the Pontic steppe. The older Anatolian hypothesis has been mostly abandoned because it fails to match the genetic evidence.

    There is a possibility that the migration can be traced back a stage further to what is now Armenia, but this depends on a controversial theory that would significantly alter the accepted phonology of reconstructed Proto-Indo-European. I think the Armenian proposal is plausible, but I’m not a specialist in this area and my opinion probably isn’t worth much.

    Either way, none of the evidence is consistent with the Greeks being ancestrally a Semitic people. There are Semitic and Turkish elements in the modern Greek phenotype, but their long subjection to the Ottomans is sufficient to explain this. Portions of their haplotype that are more strongly conserved look IE rather than Semitic.

  530. Winter, you’re a goalpost-moving serial bullshitter of the first order. First it was “Europe had nothing to offer Asia”, and when this was rebutted with Hungarian gold, the claim smoothly morphed into “Well show me specific Hungarian-Asian trade routes”, ironically right after you claimed that Hungarian trade mostly went through Turkey. Then on the matter of potential recent change in the genetic component of intelligence, dancing between “X can’t happen”, “X is very unlikely to have happened”, and “You haven’t proven that X happened”. So when you say

    >A little population genetics will tell you

    I say, show your work in population genetics like I showed mine with the breeder’s equation. I don’t trust your word for it and I don’t trust you not to run away from the point if I do the work and find population genetics doesn’t tell me what you imagine it tells me.

  531. >If a Congolese black male has mated with you mother and you were the outcome, your phenotype (hair color eye color) may well be white and you may believe you are white, but your genotype is black Congolese and that’s the way DNA scientists would view you.

    Everything is wrong here, all at the same time.

    The mixed offspring of purebred white/black parents, will be genotypically half-half mixed. Nothing else is possible – the genetic inheritance from both parents are always equal, setting aside oddities like mitochondrial inheritance. This is not true for grandparents, however.

    Furthermore, the offspring will always be phenotypically distinct from a non-mixed white. No person familiar with how white people look will ever mistake Barack Obama for a purebred white.

    Whenever it isn’t, it is because you have the wrong biological parents. Babies get mixed up in hospitals, women cheat and people get confused and tell lies. Sometimes, the supposedly black parent is actually mixed black/white – particularly common for Afro-Americans. In my experience, even quadroons can be distinguished from whites at a glance, but counterexamples might exist.

  532. “You need to read up more on how DNA analysis works.”

    I know exactly how it works. You need to cite an actual source or STFU. Sorry to be blunt.

  533. “nor does *everything* ugly comes from the Catholics. ”

    The cathedrals alone serve as a prime counterexample, right up to the 20th century and Gaudi’s Sagrada Família (which, if you haven’t seen it, Google or Bing images and prepare to be wowed).

  534. Everything that is beautiful about Iberia comes from the Moors.

    And it’s at this point that I’m going to suggest that the intended spelling was “Ummah”.

  535. Does anyone else think the dems have become the anti-white party?

    Bill Clinton advised Hillary to say some things to appeal to white working class voters. She rejected this advice, calling it “old ideas.” Her campaign staffers even mocked Bill for suggesting this.

    Appealing to white voters is old ideas? What’s the new idea?

    Progressives openly cheer the “browning” of the country, seeing this as making it more likely they will win elections. This is why they support open borders. Look at California, where the republicans often do not even run candidates for statewide offices. What if the could do this to the whole country?

    One of my progressive friends on Facebook after the election made a comment that “If you are born white, you have nothing to complain about.” As if just by being white, you get everything handed to you on a silver platter. Meanwhile there is an epidemic of suicide among middle age whites in the midwest.

    Liberals are the ones who talk about white privilege, and openly cheer the browning of the country. But this could backfire on them; they may find in the future the base of their party is not much interested in backing white candidates, preferring blacks or hispanics. So no more Bernie or Hillary.

    Whites, and especially white males, seem to be the one group the progressive mind gives itself permission to hate.

  536. To Jay Maynard: Your argument is tired — it’s the old “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” The bottom line is that people *using guns* sometimes kill people (or themselves), and sometimes in mass killings, whom they might injure if they had less lethal weapons at hand. That’s particularly the case for impulsive, mentally unstable people.

    And Jay, please knock off the reference to “leftists,” first because you don’t know anything about my politics, second because the boring stereotype is a way of shutting down minds and just distracts from a serious discussion.

    To ESR: You’re absolutely right: The Hill article does make a single reference to “the compulsory” 1996 Australian buyback program. But what firearms were involved? 5 minutes of internet research would have provided the answer: “The 1996 “National Firearms Buyback Program” took 660,959 firearms out of private hands[2] comprising long guns, mostly semi-automatic rimfire rifles and shotguns as well as pump-action shotguns, and a smaller proportion of higher powered or military type semi-automatic rifles.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_buyback_program). So a lot of Australians were still allowed to keep a lot of guns.

    As for Hillary, the very same article that you referenced noted “She announced a gun control plan this month that did not mention a gun buyback program.” BTW, Hillary’s statement was not made a month before the election but a year and a month (The date of The Hill article is Oct. *2015*).

    Facts matter — at least for people who care about such things (I’m not interested in having a discussion with those who don’t) and so does context. So here’s some context: President Obama has been in office nearly 8 years. During those 8 years, how many proposals has he made or speeches has he given that advocate gun “confiscation.” The 114th Congress has included over 180 Democratic congresspeople and over 40 Democratic senators. How many bills have they introduced proposing such confiscation? Right: The answers are zero and zero. If I’m wrong about that, please cite some solid evidence. If I’m right, isn’t it time to acknowledge that the NRA and its allies are engaging in hysterical propaganda — to put it politely; a “big lie” is more accurate” — on the “confiscation” issue?

    Once that ,manufactured, misleading issue is put to rest, perhaps we can get to a serious discussion on the rights of gun owners versus the rights of them and the rest of the public to have safe environments.

  537. I would strongly suggest that we stop referring to ourselves as ‘white people’. We are the ‘mainstream people’. Many of us are not ‘white’ these days; you can start with President Obama and work your way down, through Colin Powell, Condaleeza Rice, Dr. Ben Carson, Thomas Sowell, Herman Caine, etc. The Progressive Racist Idiots have to know that:

    1. Thanks to immigration and intermarriage, we’ll be a couple of shades darker than we are now; just wait a couple of generations.

    2. At that time we will still be here, laughing at them.

  538. David Szonyi: “Your argument is tired — it’s the old “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” ”

    Yes, it’s an old argument. It’s no less true for that. And lst you think that achieving the leftist holy grail of disarming the citizenry will stop mass killings, just look at the mass knifings that have been perpetrated in the not-at-all-distant past.

    “So a lot of Australians were still allowed to keep a lot of guns.”

    Allowed because the government didn’t actually follow through on the confiscation that the law called for. And what other civil right would you be crowing that the government allowed you to keep?

    “how many proposals has he made or speeches has he given that advocate gun “confiscation.””

    How many times did he speak approvingly of Australia’s compulsory buyback?

    “If I’m right, isn’t it time to acknowledge that the NRA and its allies are engaging in hysterical propaganda — to put it politely; a “big lie” is more accurate” — on the “confiscation” issue?”

    No. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. We’ve see what happens when we get complacent. Never again.

  539. >During those 8 years, how many proposals has he made or speeches has he given that advocate gun “confiscation.”

    At least one Obama speech has echoed the praise for Australian-style confiscation, which is still confiscation regardless of how you dress it up and qualify it. Cite here: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/425021/australia-gun-control-obama-america

    We get a pretty steady sequence of these periodic trial balloons from Obama and the likes of Pelosi and Schumer. They’re all coyly phrased so the speakers can deny they’re talking about confiscation if pressed, because their pollsters tell them accurately that this is a third rail you don’t want to touch anywhere outside of the coastal Democratic enclaves.

    But the message is clear. Especially since we also get occasional mic drop moments from these people, talking to friendly audiences, in which the confiscation cat is let out of the bag.

    Now read this: http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=4912

    Once you do, you will understand why no politician with Democratic or other left-wing ties will ever be trusted on this issue.

    Nor, frankly, do I trust you.

  540. “a serious discussion on the rights of gun owners versus the rights of them and the rest of the public to have safe environments.”

    Here’s a clue for you. In a free society, there is NO right to safety except for what you can make yourself. Anything else is just illusory, designed to lull you into signing away your liberties. The government CANNOT guarantee your safety. Not “should not”, cannot. Is not able to. It’s an impossibility. There aren’t enough cops to ensure that you won’t get harmed by a criminal who doesn’t buy into your disarmed society. He’s not going to care that you have a right to be safe. Criminals, after all, are defined by breaking laws. What’s a law against having a gun mean to them?

    If you want safety, you must create it for yourself. Buy a gun and learn how – and when – to use it.

    Nothing else will work.

  541. Eric, I think I’m ready to give the “confiscation” argument a rest, mainly because the the “evidence” you provide is so weak and unconvincing as to make me think we can’t even read words and facts the same way. That being the case, the whole “discussion” isn’t really one; it’s just verbiage being flung back and forth.

    If you or anyone else does a close reading of The National Review article, you’ll see that nowhere does Obama advocate gun confiscation; it’s just not there, even in an article by an author who wants to indict the president on the issue. What Obama does do is say the Brits and the Australians “have been able to craft laws that eliminate mass shootings” — he says nothing more and nothing less. Even the hapless author of the article is reduced to writing, “the president doesn’t exactly spell out what following the Australian model would entail.” Right, the president doesn’t — because if the author had read what the president t actually said, rather than what he wanted him to say to suit his own polemical ends, he would have noticed that the president nowhere states that he endorses “following the Australian model.”

    Then you allude to “vaguely phrased” “trial balloons” by some Democratic leaders — but don’t cite a damn thing — in short, about as vague and unfocused an argument as there is. Evidence of these trial balloons ? Anyway, my unanswered point wasn’t about “trial balloons” but about bills introduced by Democrats on the Hill, which is the way you get laws and new policies.

    Then you ask me to read what you yourself call “fiction”. OK, I did, but what does it have to do with the “confiscation” (non-) argument?

    Finally, you say you don’t trust me. To be honest, Eric, I couldn’t care less whether you do or don’t; I’m not out to win your friendship or trust. It doesn’t work that way on internet exchanges and it doesn’t matter anyway in policy terms, as neither you nor I am in power. What I do care about is talking to halfway open-minded people, fellow liberals, conservatives, and those in between, about building a better, saner society.