A Ramble on Trump by Richard Sale


I began this piece with these words.

   We are responsible for the rise of Trump. Every time we have not made the extra effort, every time we leave something undone that has moral or spiritual and intellectual value, every time we don’t do something honest or good or worthy, we provide the soil for a man like Trump to rise and flourish.

     We have allowed ourselves to become slaves to the poking of gadgets or TV news or reality shows –every time we let apathy overcome the force of effort and let us evades the effort required to read and study in order to understanding how the world works and our place in it we have created Trump. He is the mammoth created by our own laziness, ignorance and irresponsibility. Every time we tried to be just like everybody else we provided ground for the rise of Trump.

     Our country was formed by aristocrats, men of learning and man of breeding. They knew that society is by nature aristocratic. They said so. The Founders were men of the world: they were lawyers, farmers, planter-business men, speculators, investors. They feared popular uprisings (Is not the rise of Trump a kind of popular uprising?) They were suspicious of democracy because they thought individual self-interest “the most dangerous and unbrookable quality of man,” and it was their aim to control it. They gloried in the feeling that they were doing something new that benefit the bulk of the people. They did not think that the superior person is a petulant individual who thinks he is superior to the rest. In their lives, they made great demands on themselves, piling up duties and displaying the stamina to conquer difficult obstacles; they were driven by their own idea of perfection and warned against excessive self-interest and greed and self-aggrandizement. People who had no ideal of perfection were chaff, and they were the wheat. No society was possible without moral and intellectual standards. It was the effort to develop them that infused pride to people’s efforts.

“There is a degree of animal spirits and showy accomplishment which enables its possessors to get a start in the majestic world, says Hazlitt. He goes on in another essay, to describe people who “strut and swagger and bluff and jostle his way through life, and have the upper hand of those who are his betters in everything but health and strength.”

   The Founders, bewildered and speechless, would gaze helplessly at today’s political world.

     “I love the poorly educated,” Trump trumpets. In other words, he praised the commonplace mind, as if being complacent is the only goal of life worth praising. The commonplace mind has a right to rule and wield power even if it is commonplace. Talent, taste, wit, learning, culture, courtesy have no value. They buy nothing. Gone are the select, the qualified, and accomplished. The world in Trumps eyes has been mistaken all along. Never mind what civilization has worked so hard to achieve. He is going to make the Earth great again.

(At this point, I stopped and began again. What useless words!)

We Fail the System, the System Doesn’t Fail us.



   The current political strife in America is merely a symptom — it’s not the disease itself.

     The hard fact is that all political systems, like all civilizations, are successful only for a limited time. For a time they are valid, but after time passes, they succumb to their inborn flaws. “In American politics the development of a retrospective and nostalgic cast of mind has gone hand in hand with the slow decline of traditional faith,” said the historian Richard Hofstadter in 1948. That describes American political attitudes today. No political system is eternal; it is valid for only a limited time. As time passes, the defects of the system come to the surface, and they begin to threaten the operation of the old accepted system.   The defects of our natures drag down our political accomplishments.

   What are these defects? They are born in us at birth. I like to think that I am a good person. I like to think that I am forthright, direct, and faithful to the facts. I am loyal and generous to my friends and I dislike my enemies but I dislike them on sound grounds. I abhor prejudice because it is a product of ignorance, and I labor hard not to be ignorant. (Of course, I constantly fail.) I am like most of the people on the site. Most of us conceive of ourselves as basically virtuous. In my own case, I detect all sorts of defects in my nature, but I like to think they don’t tip the balance against me. My defects are only subsidiary factors, not the decisive ones. My stubbornness in some areas: my selfishness, my moral blindness, the termination to always have my own way – these do not have the same weight as my good qualities. Every one of us feels like this, and it is that sort of self-excusing attitude that produces catastrophes in the world because I am like everyone else and everyone else, like me, overlooks that they are a mixture of evil and good. All virtuous people are a mixture of evil and good. That is a standing fact of human history.

     The political strife that we see is not a melodrama, it is drama. Both sides claim to be righteous and label the other wicked. Both are half right.

     Many of the Republicans are being told that the world has failed them, and taken advantage of them. It has ignored or persecuted them. They turn to Trump in order to see their lives transformed from a losing struggle to a triumphant one, ignoring the warning that all glory is fleeting. Of course, a political party that seethes with a sense of injustice, will uses all means to obtain victory over its rivals. In a political contest, members of one side often view the other as not fit to live. Each side convinces itself that the other side can do what it likes with impunity because when a system is unresponsive their needs and fears there is no other course left excepting aggression and overbearing brute force. The great British historian, Sir. Herbert Butterfield, points out that when it comes to competing forces, changes in a rival’s predominance, its growing strength, will tend to bring a new type of leader to the surface. Thus, we witness the rise of Trump.

     Unfortunately, as soon as victory is gained, his group will soon exhibiting the same hateful traits that before they despised. Success poisons. Success unbridles a group’s worst traits. Their very success will stimulate rapid jealousy in their vanquished opponents. Plus the defeated will become more defiant and restive, and each party will be locked into its own system of self-righteousness. Neither of them retains any possibility of knowing the authentic fears of the other. Both sides will return to being anxious about the designs of the other. In such a contest, the defects of both sides will come to rule and dominate, and a victory of one of them over the other will make things worse. The problem of the defects of human nature is always lurking in every situation. They just wait for their chance to deform any triumph and vitiate its effectiveness.

     Victory is not permanent. Each side plumes itself on its good intentions and believes that the defects are all the other side. Hence the bitter conflict, yet in some sense, bitter conflict is embedded in the situation from the outset. The great British historian Herbert Butterfield observed that “…even though side is aware of its own fears and apprehensions, it always fails to enter properly into the counter-fear of the other party” Neither is capable of realizing that a complete victory over the other is impossible. No political group can achieve absolute security, free from risk, exempt from threats or fears except on terms that will act to alarm its rival.

     It is easy to make judgments if you see only one thing at a time, if you aware of only one side of the issue. What is required is that we must try to see the all the sides of a conflict, which demands having a stereoscopic outlook. There is a bright side. What is ignored is that each rival party acts to moderate in the end and improve the other.

   But the chief point is that all political systems are under judgment because of the moral defects of their leaders and their followers.


   Every civilization caters to the greed and cupidity of its members. Cupidity is one of the glues that hold a society together. There is a greed for glory, a greed for money, a greed for fame, and a greed to be noticed, a greed for unlimited power over others. Organizations are set up to satisfy the cupidity of a group, but again, the inner defects of a group tend, over time, to rot the system and impair or pervert its effectiveness We forget that our moral defects are always acting to undermine our ideals. If not curbed, those rival greeds act, in the end to destroy the will to do things in common for the good of all.

     Butterfield issues this warning, “History gives us glimpses sometimes of appalling things that can happen when the whole order of things breaks down,” mainly because good and evil are so closely intertwined in the personalities of all of us. When anarchy breaks out after a shooting or a police strike, people who view themselves as respectable citizens suddenly loot or burn or steal or beat other people because the social order has broken down and the restraints of conscience have been broken as well. The rule of law keeps very fallible people behaving much better than they really are.

     Edmund Burke once said that any society is better than having no system at all, the worst course resulting in a society’s inability to defend the weak against the strong. In such a case, we all would be reduced to Thomas Hobbes’ view, in which no human being is able to trust another human being because all human beings are in a state of war. But this is true – even if a society produces a new, more virile order, the defects of human nature are always there, always a work, always energetic in neglecting or weakening the good, and all of are responsible for the quiet, gradual undoing of our ideals. We endure society because it curbs weakens and limits rapacious self-aggrandizement and boundless egotism. But in history, we have all seen how political power behaves once it believes it enjoys impunity. The unspoken goal for every political group is to establish its own tyranny over others. Trump may promise all he likes, but in the end he confronts the same obstacles in human nature as the rest, even in victory.

   Whenever I think of Trump or Hillary, I remember the ominous lines of Yeats:

   Surely the Second Coming is at hand.     The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out     When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi     Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;     A shape with lion body and the head of a man,     A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,     Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it     Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know     That twenty centuries of stony sleep     Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,     And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,     Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

   And be warned. As Butterfield said, “Providence may even have given you what you want, only in order to destroy you with it.”


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113 Responses to A Ramble on Trump by Richard Sale

  1. J says:

    It appears that Ankara assassinated Russian MI Head in Lebanon in early January

  2. AEL says:

    Well, I am pretty sure I understand every word in this article. However, strung together in this particular order, my head starts to spin. Sort of like looking at an overly complicated moving engine – pipes, wires and funny struts spinning in all sorts of directions, but no single thread to figure out how it all fits together.
    Is there more to this article than “WASF”? If so, please take pity on me.

  3. Tyler says:

    What the hell did I even read here?

  4. SmoothieX12 says:

    “The political strife that we see is not a melodrama, it is drama.”
    With all due respect, and I am an avid reader of Federalist Papers, if you call this a “political strife”, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Some points this essay makes are great and I agree with them, but they are not new. Trump is a symptom but is anybody out there better? Then again, how do we define “better”? Until United States identifies itself as a nation (and I am not going to go into it now), this “strife” will continue. But, then again, Federalist Papers are not politically correct today–no diversity at all. Right now, the US is in the process of shedding last properties of a nationhood.

  5. cynic says:

    The 18th century has ended, even in America.

  6. annamaria says:

    Thank you. It is not easy to admit that aristocracy is more than breeding but the state of mind, self-discipline, and striving for the ideal through work.

  7. bks says:

    “It is ironic that the United States should have been founded by intellectuals, for throughout most of our political history, the intellectual has been for the most part either an outsider, a servant or a scapegoat.” –Richard Hofstadter

  8. Valissa says:

    LOL… thank goodness for that! Those aristocratic men had a fashion sense that is thankfully only available to view in museums and, of course, short YouTube videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEjcQb8Fdyc
    Also for your viewing enjoyent, a great sketch from the Jimmy Kimmel show… “Trumped” Starring Matthew Broderick & Nathan Lane https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OemqVWi_R0k

  9. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Richard Sale,
    Mayhap you should add “Hillary” after every “Trump” in the first section: “Every time we have not made the extra effort, every time we leave something undone that has moral or spiritual and intellectual value, every time we don’t do something honest or good or worthy, we provide the soil for a man like Trump or a female like “Hillary” to rise and flourish.”
    After reading your essay I re-read the “Gods of Copybook Headings”. http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/poems_copybook.htm
    “Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
    And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
    That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
    And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.”
    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Your essay was a pleasure to read… Thanks.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  10. leCashier says:

    Ben Franklin to J Shipley March 17, 1783. He writes about the problems with England in 1783 but sounds so much like the US today
    “Let us now forgive and forget. Let each Country seek its Advancement in its own internal Advantages of Arts and Agriculture, not in retarding or preventing the Prosperity of the other. America will, with God’s Blessing, become a great and happy Country; and England, if she has at length gain’d Wisdom, will have gain’d something more valuable, and more essential to her Prosperity, than all she has lost; and will still be a great and respectable Nation. Her great Disease at present is the Number and enormous Salaries and Emoluments of Office. Avarice and Ambition are strong Passions, and separately act with great Force on the human Mind; but when both are united and may be gratified in the same Object, their Violence is almost irresistable, and they hurry Men headlong into Factions and Contentions destructive of all good Government. As long therefore as these great Emoluments subsist, your Parliament will be a stormy Sea, and your public Counsels confounded by private Interests. But it requires much Public Spirit and Virtue to abolish them! more perhaps than can now be found in a Nation so long corrupted.”

  11. Bill Herschel says:

    “In interviews, even lifelong Republicans who cast a ballot for Mr. Romney four years ago rebelled against his message and plan. “I personally am disgusted by it — I think it’s disgraceful,” said Lola Butler, 71, a retiree from Mandeville, La., who voted for Mr. Romney in 2012. “You’re telling me who to vote for and who not to vote for? Please. There’s nothing short of Trump shooting my daughter in the street and my grandchildren — there is nothing and nobody that’s going to dissuade me from voting for Trump,” Ms. Butler said.”
    “William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine, said he would work actively to put forward an “independent Republican” ticket if Mr. Trump was the nominee, and floated Mr. Sasse as a recruit. “That ticket would simply be a one-time, emergency adjustment to the unfortunate circumstance (if it happens) of a Trump nomination,” Mr. Kristol wrote in an email. It “would support other Republicans running for Congress and other offices, and would allow voters to correct the temporary mistake (if they make it) of nominating Trump.”
    Freedom! Freedom! Fight for Freedom! Give Freedom to the Syrians! To the Libyans! Uh, but remember you are not free to decide who to vote for. A clique of ideologues and plutocrats will decide that for you.

  12. xbrowning says:

    Thomas Jefferson on a constant peril:
    “I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them but to inform their discretion.”

  13. optimax says:

    Trump’s plan to make America great again is brilliant. Our countries population will reduce enough, through involuntary and voluntary (Hollywood will move to Matamoro, the neocons, Beijing), emigration that our country will return to its pre-Columbian Eden, with clean solar electricity.

  14. oofda says:

    Source? Interesting.

  15. Tel says:

    The situation is somewhat different to what has been described.
    People do not feel that “the system” as a whole has failed them (i.e. democracy has failed them). What has happened here is that conservative voters feel that their own party and the political media have failed them (i.e. a particular group of people sold them out).
    On the “Progressive” side of things there might be elements of this as well, with the rise of Sanders, but not enough to be significant. The “Progressives” are satisfied with their gains and willing to follow the “more of the same” option.

  16. Grimgrin says:

    “What is hateful is not rebellion but the despotism which induces the rebellion; what is hateful are not rebels but the men, who, having the enjoyment of power, do not discharge the duties of power; they are the men who, having the power to redress wrongs, refuse to listen to the petitioners that are sent to them; they are the men who, when they are asked for a loaf, give a stone.”
    – Wilfrid Laurier
    Trump has chosen his moment, wether by accident or design, almost perfectly. He’s riding a wave of people who do not trust a goddamn word out of the mouths of the press or politicians, because they feel they’ve been betrayed, over and over by those same institutions. Watching the powers that be criticize Trump is like watching someone punch smoke. You cannot attack if you cannot connect, you cannot connect if you have no credibility with the people you’re trying to convince, and all their thrashing serves to to is spread the smoke around.
    As for where it all fits in the grand scheme of things; maybe I’m just cynical, but I think that there’s something profoundly enjoyable in imagining yourself at the end of the world, or on the precipice of catastrophe. Clinton will just be Obama with more dead people in the middle east and less goodwill from the left. Trump will be a president with no support from his own party. Not so much a lame duck as a duck that’s being basted with hoisin sauce on a rotisserie somewhere. As for the Hitler comparisons floating around: a few followers scuffling with protestors does not a Sturmabteilung make. All said I’d answer Yeats with Eliot: “Not with a bang, but a whimper.”

  17. Thanks Richard as always for your insights. I would argue that demographics not policies has wreaked havoc on the parties, both DEMS and Republicans. It is actually all a battle to sustain the incumbency party that rules Washington with few notions of sacrifice and sharing IMO.
    One reform that might help is President not picking their running mates. Perhaps an open convention.
    Another might be a modification of the system to require candidates for President to pick top ten choices for each cabinet position and announce the same. Presidents should not use their Presidential picks as a jobs program for friends and family [JFK was in error picking RFK for AG IMO].
    But while the seeds of destruction mat well rely on each of our errors the Washington game of picking sides underlies our political destruction.
    BTW I would argue the ages of the various candidates is instructive in its own way.

  18. annamaria says:

    Here is an illustration of the ziocons’ hysterics: “Neutrality or peace in the Middle East.” https://www.aei.org/publication/neutrality-or-peace-in-the-middle-east/
    The bloody ziocon lot prefers to keep their children closer to home but wants other peoples’ children to die for the Project.
    “And what about the “New Israel”, is it not a creation of the Rothschild slave bankers and the law firm run by Lloyd George, who later became Prime Minister of Great Britain?” http://www.voltairenet.org/article186019.html

  19. LeaNder says:

    Richard, I hate any type of basically psychological assessment on any text, but after I read your first passage I somewhat wondered about the impact of your mother, never mind how much you struggled with her.
    In any case as I may have told you somewhere else, I did and still do struggle with mine. Never mind my mother was a humanitarian versus someone on rigid religious ground. 😉
    But yes, “democracy” is somewhat more difficult then some of us would like it to be. Which no doubt may make it exploitable.

  20. Mark Gaughan says:

    “Federalist Papers are not politically correct today–no diversity at all.” What are you saying here? The population then, wasn’t diverse. Madison, Hamilton, and Jay were gentlemen and they were courteous.

  21. Bobo says:

    ARamble it was……
    Change is upon us and that agent of change is Mr. Donald Trump. Yes, we have done this to ourselves in allowing good men and women to represent us in Congress who then turn into neutered instruments of stagnation as they forget what they are there for and covet the worldly goods thrust upon them to vote in someone else’s direction that has no bearing on those who elected them. A perfect example is that good man from Kentucky who upon the election of the present president tossed out “you will only be a one term president” now he tosses out “we will not let you have a SCJ”. Yes, change is upon us or a little give and take will occur.
    Williard of the nine car garage fame tells us not to vote for him but others and he will get screwed in the convention….wow…the American people have been proven right again in not electing that individual. He does not realize he just tossed the red cape in front the front of the bull.
    The best thing for us all is that we will finally see the masses come out and elect a new president and the participation of the masses will be the most of all time. What could happen as it is only for four years. Change is Coming.

  22. Mark Gaughan says:

    A little bit more from Yeats’s poem: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

  23. Mark Gaughan says:


  24. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    re: “Let us now forgive and forget. Let each Country seek its Advancement in its own internal Advantages of Arts and Agriculture, not in retarding or preventing the Prosperity of the other.”
    The US of A quit doing that over the course of the 19th century and have been storing up treasures in hell for ourselves ever since. Now they’re starting to ooze back into our world.

  25. steveg says:

    IMO Mr Sale is channeling his inner
    George Will Krauthammer etc. ivory
    tower elites. Trump is not about a
    battle of white knight philosophers
    handing down dictums from Mount
    Olympus. What is next from the critics
    property owners only to vote? The
    average shmo,thank you very much,
    has been used and abused by the
    powers that be through out our glorious
    history. Wars,union busting, not a great
    fan but how does a large work force
    negotiate fairly for the collective?, and the
    latest scourge “out sourcing ” jobs to
    third world countries plus bringing third
    world people here. Is Trump the answer
    or a bridge to the next phase of America.
    People have all the information now if
    they chose to look. Politics in the modern
    age are not quotations from a philosopher of
    long ago. To quote another Clinton,George,
    “Take no prisoners, show no mercy”

  26. Bill Herschel says:

    From the AEI article, the dead hand of Condoleeza “Mushroom Cloud” Rice reaches from the grave once more to grab the throat of the average American:
    “The hardest part about national security is explaining how and why it matters, in the sense of having an actual impact on the lives of Americans. Our security policy has been failing for years, and has failed so badly in the last seven years that the failure is now resulting not just in growing risk but actual attacks on our people and our way of life.
    Radicalized Muslims are killing Americans, in the United States. Our homeland is being attacked through cyber space. American sailors and citizens are being seized abroad, in violation of our rights. Terrorist governments are getting lots of weapons, including nuclear weapons and cyber weapons and maybe bio-weapons, and that means there is quite a good chance that terrorists will get those weapons too.
    The Chinese are establishing hegemony in the East and South China Sea, a part of the world that is vital to our economy, which means vital to your job, your family, and your ability to pay your mortgage. And the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party don’t care about you; they care about their own power and their own interests. As a matter of fact, all other things being equal, they’d just as soon hurt you as not.
    That’s true of all our adversaries: ISIS, the other terrorist groups, the leaders of North Korea, Russia, and China. They kill their own people when it advances their interests and sometimes when it doesn’t, and they’ll kill Americans if it advances their own interests, and maybe even if it doesn’t, when they think they can get away with it.
    Right now they are getting away with it. The United States is slapped around all over the world, and if America doesn’t elect a president who takes that seriously, the next stages of escalation will be something you won’t be able to forget after two or three days.”
    I believe the sailors who were “seized” were in a US Navy gunboat within Iranian waters and were released the next day unharmed. Was the Navy, in the spirit of this article, seeking a casus belli?
    This article is pure propaganda. Trump has certainly gotten to what he calls the “donors”.

  27. LeaNder says:

    Tyler, I sure would like to witness the same type of disappointment on your side as on the side of Obama voters earlier.
    But then, I don’t know much about you, apart from what I registered in our respective clashes. Apart from you military experience, that is.
    Interesting though is that Obama’s change rhetoric seems to have triggered two party outsiders. Isn’t it? With the outsider on the Democrat’s side being simply a variation of the enemy for you?
    The ultimate evil of Obama, besides being black, was to at least attempt to give healthcare to every American? After all there are a lots that don’t deserve it, since they cannot afford? If we leave out the illegal aliens for a while?

  28. LeaNder says:

    Ishmeal, slightly off topic admittedly, what’s your take on events around Zaman in Turkey?

  29. Tyler says:

    No, you misunderstand. If we don’t elect Trump, we get another globalist hell bent on turning America into a 3rd world sewer cum bazaar.
    If Trump turns out to have been lying to us…what exactly would have happened anyway? Heads I win, tails you lose. Just brings down the tottering, rotting pillars we live that much quicker.
    Obama’s “change rhetoric” was just that. In reality the man was a continuance of GWB, and if anything ramped Bush’s globalist “invade the world/invite the world/in hoc to the world” nonsense.
    Obama’s “ultimate evil” wasn’t being black (though he tried to rule like a typical African strongman, mad as HELL about that Constitution). It was the total lack of ability to govern without trying to find end runs around the checks and balances of the government. You really think Obamacare was anything more than a giant insurance giveaway? Lawl. Where are you exactly again?

  30. Tyler says:

    Reminder that the author was a member of Hollywood nobility, so that’s going to color his outlook.

  31. LeaNder says:

    Yeats? I get Eliot, but Yeats? Because of another famous line?
    “Trump will be a president with no support from his own party.”
    Forget it, America loves winners and detests losers. Am I prejudiced?

  32. Jack says:

    What does it say when the neocons say they will vote for Hillary and the Republican establishment are spending millions trashing Trump and threatening to steal the nomination in Cleveland?
    What happened to all those “freedom loving” arm chair warriors who supported the invasion of secular countries in the ME? Not liking democracy at home?
    Folks, IMO, its becoming clear to many Americans that there is no difference between the elites in both parties. This election is quickly becoming a contest between Hillary who is the candidate of the neocon and oligarchic interests and Trump the anti-establishment candidate. I think this could be a historical election where the traditional voting patterns will be thrown out the window.

  33. Fred says:

    You recently penned a pair of posts titled “The Dilemmas of Victory”. Thank you for turning that analysis towards domestic political conduct. It is always enlightening.
    In reflection on your comments on responsibility for our current bumper crop of leaders I’m reminded of the scene in “The Butcher’s Cleaver” where Hope and Claude Devereux visit their summer home in rural Virginia; the one where Hope reflects upon the men gathered ’round the fire while her erudite, cosmopolitan husband, slips into the local custom. he is clothed more rustically, talks more “earthy”; all, not as an act, but as a natural expression of his being. Hope sees these rough men around the fire as warriors of old joined with their chieftain. It is here that Hope experiences a revelation: These are her people. It is a journey our current leaders are unlikely to undertake.
    Viewing the electoral campaign in this vein I agree with your conclusion “we are responsible” but it is a different We than the one implied. Those men around the fire (and I am not that far removed from the warmth of those flames) are looking toward Hope and the one to whom she is attached. They see little of hope and no Devereuxs; only the chimerical figures of lifetime politicians mouthing platitudes. As you warn it is easy, far to easy, to abandon duty, to slink back to the warmth of the fire; to be surrounded by rough men on the edge towards an uncontrollable rage while mourning the the loss of half fulfilled dreams.
    What of our citizens views of our leaders? As Corelli Barnett put it in his description of Generals O’Connor and Montgomery in his book The Desert Generals:
    “… even the unsophisticated are more aware of the genuine quality in their leaders, whether advertised or not, than is sometimes believed in this age of contrived publicity;…”
    In describing the current slate of candidates I’m reminded of the old Southern saying: “A good dog needs no pedigree, and if a dog ain’t any good, a pedigree don’t help him none.” We sure have some finely pedigreed people dropping out of this presidential race. For these leaders pedigrees – college degrees, from the right (leftist) colleges, are the thing of importance. People without them are treated as people without value. It is little wonder that voters are rejecting the Establishment of either political party.

  34. Fred says:

    “…ultimate evil of Obama, besides being black…” This seems a common refrain from far to many that a political policy disagreement with men and woman who are black can only be due to racism. That is sad.

  35. Valissa says:

    It is not only the poorly educated that are supporting Trump.
    The Daily 202: Why Donald Trump’s support keeps expanding https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/daily-202/2016/03/01/daily-202-why-donald-trump-s-support-keeps-expanding/56d4ff58981b92a22d5852ee/
    Many readers would probably be stunned by some of the people who are secretly supporting Trump and don’t want to admit it on the record. His coalition includes not just rock-ribbed conservatives and God-fearing evangelicals but Ivy-League-educated professionals. Some realize he’s not actually that authentically conservative and look the other way. Some, who fancy themselves moderates, admire the businessman’s malleability.
    … The more that Republican elites express alarm, the more a swath of these folks think that Trump might be just the change agent that’s needed to nuke Washington. Remember, most grassroots activists believe these D.C. politicians and talking heads are part of the problem. … “It’s like Dr. Strangelove,” said a tip-top Republican who is closely aligned with the GOP establishment and supported Chris Christie until he dropped out. “People are saying, ‘I’m not gonna tell my friends and family I’m voting for Trump,’ but then they’re pulling the trigger for Trump. I might as well be like Slim Pickens at the end of the movie and just ride the atomic bomb down and see what happens.”
    …check out this letter to the editor that ran in yesterday’s Financial Times:
    **Sir, my wife and I are affluent Americans with postgraduate degrees. We are socially liberal and fiscally midly conservative. We are not the sans-culottes you see as the prototypical Trump voter. We are well aware of his vulgarity and nous deficiency yet we contemplate voting for him. Why?
    Electing the standard-bearer of the Democratic party seems purposeless. The neanderthal Republicans barely respected the legitimacy of Bill Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s election, let alone that of Hillary who would arrive tainted with scandal and the email lapses hanging over her head. We would get four years of gridlock and “hearings”. The Republican tribunes, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, are backward, foolish and inexperienced. John Kasich, a moderate with extensive governmental experience and a willingness to compromise, is an also-ran. The leaves The Donald, really a moderate in wolf’s garb, who would owe nothing to either party and might strike deals, for instance on tax reform.
    Yes, we would be like the good citizens who voted for a “tameable” Hitler in 1933 to get hings back on track. But the alternatives look worse.**
    Here is Peggy Noonan’s thoughtful WSJ post on Trump and his appeal based on the fact that the elites no longer care about those ‘below’ them (any sense of noblesse oblige seems long gone), which I fortunately found an accessible copy of since I’m not a subscriber…
    Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected – Why political professionals are struggling to make sense of the world they created. http://www.investorvillage.com/smbd.asp?mb=296&mn=17577&pt=msg&mid=15791036
    And here is a semi-favorable piece on Trump from a finance and economics writer.
    Trump Haters Are Missing the Point——Washington Has Already Baked A “Disaster” Into The Cake http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/trump-haters-are-missing-the-point-washington-has-already-baked-a-disaster-into-the-cake/
    We’ve got other things to worry about. Big things. At least, that’s what the chief economics commentator at the Financial Times, Martin Wolf, tells us. He says our great republic is in danger of being hijacked by a “narcissistic bully.” You know who he’s talking about. And he says that if Donald Trump wins the White House, it “would be a global disaster.” How does he know that? Would it be less of a global disaster if Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, or Hillary Clinton were elected? Fortunately, Mr. Wolf is wrong about everything. And when he quotes Robert Kagan, a war-mongering Washington insider and Deep State mouthpiece, telling us that Trump is the “GOP’s Frankenstein monster,” we begin to feel a warm affection arising for The Donald.
    We are stoics, here at the Diary. Yes, the people may vote in a monster (what choice do they have?). Yes, Trump may be a global disaster. But at least the voters will get what they deserve. And if it is Mr. Trump who gets the crown, we have no real reason to think he will be a more benighted and misbegotten ruler than any of the others.
    … government has become a much bigger business. As it added to its own wealth and power, smart people discovered how to use it to get wealth and power for themselves. Lobbyists, insiders, and the elite figured out how to get special treatment – privileges, favors, tax breaks, contracts, sinecures.
    The Pentagon got weapons it didn’t even want. The corn states produced ethanol consumers didn’t want or need. And the Deep State – a permanent government of bureaucrats, think tanks, cronies, special interests, zombies, and politicians that nobody wants – made elections merely gestures of mass mythology.
    We are supposed to believe our vote can change the course of an election… and that our candidate can change the course of history. Like most myths, it can’t be disproven. But the odds of it are extremely remote; rye whiskey will accumulate in rain barrels first. The Deep State decides important matters, not elections.

  36. optimax says:

    Yeah, right! I didn’t thin I had to spell it out–Humor.

  37. Jack Nix says:

    Mr. Sale,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Donald Trump. I read an earlier article you wrote, and have been waiting for the follow up.
    I agree with what you say, but at the same time am pleased with the pox he has placed on the house of the Republicans. They have always been stirring the pot for more and more military interventions, turning our media outlets into their own personal Pravdas.
    You, Col. Lang, and the other contributors to this site provide a much needed counter weight.
    Thanks again,

  38. Jackrabbit says:

    Feels like scapegoating, Mr. Sale.
    You give a free pass to those who pushed Democracy off the ledge by blaming the long-dead hi-rise architects (only after questioning and releasing the workmen that built the hi-rise).

  39. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I think the problem is mainly that Obama turned out to be a package deal that mixed less than ideal even if better than status quo health care reform with a lot of continuation of what we’d been terming Borgist policy. If you recall, many folks here were actually favorably disposed to a more radical reform of the health care system: even a single payer health care reform was generally viewed favorably by many SST particpants, including the colonel, if I recall correctly. Instead, we wound up with a bloated, complicated, and very expensive program that enormously profits the insurance and pharmaceutical industry at the taxpayer expense. Just a barely minimal improvement.
    On every other front, we got a lot of hectoring, pompous posturing, condescending and patronizing attitude, and hardly any real change. No, Obama did not start World War 3 over Syria or Ukraine, the way some other lunatics wanted to, for which we should be grateful. But I don’t know if we should be thrilled over a slightly less crazed person when all other alternatives are completely nuts. On the domestic front, the economic situation is not getting any better for most of the 99%, even as the top 1% seems to be doing fairly well. People may be getting jobs again, but at a considerably lower pay and vastly less security. Not really the hope and change that were offered, and we are being told the only reason we are not thrilled is because we are white and Obama’s black (note: I am not white, but someone actually told me that to my face seemingly obliviously. I was quite amused, to say the least.)
    The great thing about Trump is that he is the only person who is openly recognizing all these problems. He has no solutions beyond what I think are crazy publicity stunts (the wall, the torture, the talk about “good trade deals”) but you can’t get real solutions unless you recognize the problems in the first place. With Trump or Sanders, one can hope that they might actually do something real since they at least talk about the problems in the open. But actually electing them as leaders will be a big giant gamble, especially given their associates. Personally, I have no idea what to think: crazies who refuse to acknowledge that there are serious problems to begin with, or those who recognize the problems but seem a bit detached from sanity themselves.

  40. Stephanie says:

    A poorly educated mind is not necessarily a commonplace one, although the two did combine disastrously in George W. Bush, he of the “gentleman’s C.” People aspire to be like Trump. He’s not giving them leave to be ordinary, he’s telling them the elites are screwing them, which just happens to be true. They like him because he’s not under the elites’control, which is also true. Populism has its good and bad aspects. In the Trump phenomenon both are on display.
    The sight of Oven Mitt trying to beat back the barbarians at the gate was amusing, but the depressing fact is that none of the other GOP nominees, even the relatively sane Kasich, has ideas about foreign policy that are any better than Trump’s and, in the case of Marco “Bombs Away” Rubio and Ted the carpet bomb man, are notably worse.
    If the Republican frontrunner were anyone not named Trump, the nomination would be deemed to be sewn up. Yet the party establishment is trying to prop up the empty suit Rubio on the basis of a win in Minnesota and a possible win in his home state. Fox News was blatant in its bias against one candidate, Trump, in last night’s “debate,” openly attacking him and letting the other candidates do so. It’s okay to do this now?
    I should note that I think Trump in the White House is an appalling notion. But I have no more taste for the “elites” who are now massing their forces, and checkbooks, to take him down and, in effect, steal the nomination.

  41. Walrus says:

    The proximate cause of the rise of Trump is that “the Elites” have failed to govern in the interests of the average American for some considerable time and said average Americans have discovered this fact. Trump merely channels their anger.
    The elites perceive Trump to be a threat to thier continued domination of Government and will do anything and everything to remove the threat he poses. Mr. Sales excellent essay observes, I think, that we are fast approaching an inflexion point, at least in American history, where the Hoi Poloi are no longer willing to continue to endure the discomfort they are being subjected to.
    It remains to be seen whether Trump, once elected, will fold into a “biddable” clone of the other recent Presidents Clinton, Bush1, Bush2 and of course Obama or whether he will be a successful reformer. Hilary Clinton is, of course, a non issue in this campaign. If she wins, it represents a triumph of gender and other single issue politics over common sense, nothing more, and the American misery will continue to deepen.
    The heart of the matter for Trump is to break the campaign finance model that continues to allow the very rich ( and even the governments of foreign countries) to dominate American politics. I don’t find it ironic at all that such action would be attempted by a billionaire member of the elite because empires are quite resistant to external challenges, instead they hollow out from within.

  42. Haralambos says:

    I came upon this piece several days ago. It is dated from Sept. That said, I found it prescient: http://tinyurl.com/neerq7q
    It is Frank Rich. I used to read the NYTimes for his columns more than anything else. The article is very long, but it is well worth the time it takes. This Rich’s earliest example of an American character that might serve as the prototype: “What has made him [Trump] more entertaining than his peers is not his superficial similarities to any historical analogues or his shopworn celebrity. His passport to political stardom has been his uncanny resemblance to a provocative fictional comic archetype that has been an invigorating staple of American movies since Vietnam and Watergate ushered in wholesale disillusionment with Washington four decades ago. That character is a direct descendant of Twain’s 19th-century confidence men: the unhinged charlatan who decides to blow up the system by running for office — often the presidency — on a platform of outrageous pronouncements and boorish behavior. Trump has taken that role, the antithesis of the idealist politicians enshrined by Frank Capra and Aaron Sorkin, and run with it. He bestrides our current political landscape like the reincarnation not of Joe McCarthy (that would be Ted Cruz) but of Jay Billington Bulworth.”

  43. annamaria says:

    The article is authored by Jim Talent, an alleged Christian and pro-lifer. Mr. Talent is a “senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the director of the Marilyn Ware Center for Security Studies’ National Security 2020 Project. As the leader of a team of AEI defense experts, Talent is working on the formulation and promulgation of a new paradigm for defense policy, planning, and budgeting.” Mr. Talent has never served in the military, but for the American Enterprise Institute, competence and professionalism in certain matters are a big No-No. (Therefore the elevation of the opportunist). Mr. Talent used to run a big D.C. lobbying firm that “represents major corporations, like the coal industry.” We can be assured that Mr. Talent’ alleged pro-life stance would never ever affect his cordial relationships with the corporate US polluters guilty of poisoning people of all ages including children and pregnant women. http://earthjustice.org/blog/2015-march/reining-in-the-coal-industry-s-assault-on-public-halth

  44. SmoothieX12 says:

    Yes, I am aware of that and it was precisely my point. In the country in which some school districts reject Mark Twain as politically incorrect, even Federalist Papers or, for that matter, Constitution may become at some point offensive.

  45. no one says:

    Mr. Sale, was Jefferson a vulgarian too? He played the same games as Trump.
    “Jefferson hired a writer to pen insults rather than dirty his own hands (at least at first). One of his most creative lines said that Adams was a “hideous hermaphroditical character which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.” Adams’ Federalists carried things even further, asking voters, “Are you prepared to see your dwellings in flames… female chastity violated… children writhing on the pike?”

  46. JMH says:

    Mr Sale,
    Bottom line, HRC is a tool of neo-liberal corporate oligarchy and a war monger. Trump is neither of those things.

  47. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Slightly? This is completely off topic.
    I am delighted with the infighting between the gulen and tayyip camps. It is an excellent show. Hope it gets worse.
    I am also delighted by the discomfort Trump is causing the Borg.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  48. James Loughton says:

    Trump supporters see him as the alternative to the Borg. They believe that the Borg has consistently ignored and abused the interest of American workers whom the Borg refers to as consumers.

  49. BB says:

    Agreed. It’s either Trump or globalist interests controlling. It is astounding how globalist forces have marshaled all of their forces against Trump. They seem to release a Trump attack every 2 minutes from HuffPo to NRO. I love the armchair arbiters of etiquette and decorum condemning Trump’s temperament, but my God, how is any man– especially an alpha male– expected to be unfairly attacked from a million directions and not lash out?? Frankly, I don’t know how Trump has been able to withstand the onslaught and continue to be positive. Even in the debate it was multiple tag team attack against Trump. Trump is our last hope to head off the obliteration of America as we know it. If it’s not Trump I will no longer feel obligated to give a sh*t about domestic or foreign issues. If a high-IQ’d billionaire with a dynamic personality can’t bring people around, then I certainly can’t make a difference. As a two-percenter in Massachusetts, with no kids, I have a lot less to lose than Middle American conservatives supporting Cruz because of his “principled conservatism”. Good luck with that.

  50. Kooshy says:

    IMO, Obama was a phony, even a phony black, his health care is a BS and another phony, someone who couldn’t afford to pay $600 per month before OC now with OC, still can’t afford to pay $540.00 a month. That isn’t a solution for small people, that is mandating everyone to pay insurance companies.

  51. Grimgrin says:

    More the contrasting themes of incipient apocalypse and quiet pathetic death between the two poems. The rhetoric around Trump is a little overheated, for a candidacy and potential presidency that seems likely to end in a rather mundane and miserable manner rather than a some terrible conflagration.
    As for loving winners, maybe. On the other hand, Trump has been winning for a wile and the only big name he’s had go over to his side is Christie who would probably look more at ease on stage if someone was pointing a literal gun at his head. There are republicans already talking up a third party run against him in the Presidential election. That they’re even floating that trial ballon suggests it’s unlikely the Republicans would fall in line behind Trump.

  52. no one says:

    Kooshy, Just so you can know, the insurance companies aren’t getting anything out of O’care. They’re all losing money on it b/c it was structured so that would obviously be the outcome. The big companies are pulling out of the O’care market. O’care is dead on arrival, just nobody has pronounced yet.

  53. Lars says:

    Here is the best take on the Trump problem that I have seen:

  54. scott s. says:

    I suspect many people viewed the candidacy of Jackson in the same way. These for the most part tried to cobble a fusion party with other factions, united chiefly by their dislike or distrust of Jackson, into a Whiggish party.
    scott s.

  55. rjj says:

    I am seeing a lot of headline hyperbole about big Cruz win in Maine but few numbers.
    Maine has a maverick voter problem (Perot and Paul did well here and then there is Gov. LePage). Republicans had a management strategy in place – fewer polling places -district rather than local. Dems vote locally tomorrow.
    [all snips from different sources below line]
    Maine Republican Party officials say 18,650 voters turn out, three times as many as in 2012, and give the Texas senator 12 of the state’s 23 delegates.
    “There are 22 [other sources say 20] locations set up for Saturday’s event, and large crowds are expected.”
    “Rick Bennett, chair of the Maine Republican Party, said this year’s caucus event will be a hybrid between a caucus and a primary.
    Bennett said the change comes after the 2012 caucus was a “disaster” with straw polling and chaos when Ron Paul supporters disrupted the process.
    Bennett said that won’t happen again.
    Political analysts said the hype will likely benefit presidential candidate Donald Trump.
    “Politics is filled with unintended consequences that has wound up empowering Trump; the more places that Trump wins with a larger share than others, the more delegates he’s able to amass because of the winner-take-most system,” said Ron Schmidt, of the University of Southern Maine.”

  56. LeaNder says:

    Fred, it was superfluous in this context, no doubt. I shouldn’t have added it. Reminiscences of some of our earlier clashes …
    Tyler is right about this: “You really think Obamacare was anything more than a giant insurance giveaway?”, of course. …
    I really did not take a closer look, thus have no idea to what extend it could have been, as Tyler seems to suggest, intended. It felt more like surrender to hyped up propaganda by special interests at the time. And yes, I read shocking personal tales from people in troubles and enormously high fees too, e.g. from one cancer patient.

  57. robt willmann says:

    This interesting photograph, usually in a cropped version, has started to appear some. Taken in July 2008 at a Joe Torre foundation golf benefit at the Trump National Golf Club in New York by a New York Daily News photographer, it shows, left to right, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump, Michael Bloomberg, Bill Clinton, Joe Torre, and comedian Billy Crystal–
    No outsiders there.
    Tonight, 5 March, Trump gave a press conference of sorts in West Palm Beach, Florida. You could not hear the questions asked, but the subject of waterboarding came up. Trump backtracked completely from his earlier bombast that not only was he going to do waterboarding, but more than that (meaning torture), and also his debate statement that the military will obey his orders in that regard. He actually acknowledged that there are laws and regulations that are supposed to be followed, and he said he would follow them, but that he wants to get those laws “extended”, meaning, changed. Maybe his sister called him up (she is on the federal Third Circuit Court of Appeals).

  58. LeaNder says:

    From “the domestic front” to “recognizing … problems” while having “no solutions” it feels to me, there may be something much bigger ahead over here too.
    I am trying to wrap my head around a critique of neo-liberalism, its genesis and its application in Russia post 1989 at the moment. With a focus on law having to serve the economy.
    To not go all the way back to Modernist “poememes”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLV4_xaYynY
    Recall the support for a health care reform here. A nurse surfaces on my mind. But I doubt that Tyler supported it then. Am I wrong? I cannot at this point in time imagine, he would support anything that originates in the “wrong camp”.
    “(note: I am not white, but someone actually told me that to my face seemingly obliviously. I was quite amused, to say the least.)”
    I am pleased about that. Nutshell: I didn’t like the idea of a gravestone marked with “Sic Semper Africanus” for “Saint Trayvon of the Skittles”; but I respect his personal experience may have left traces, if I recall correctly the dead of his sister … if true.

  59. Valissa says:

    Yawn… “authoritarianism” and “fascism” are very common labels for Trump used by many liberals/Democrats. Every 4 years the left brings out those labels for Republican candidates. Typical liberal propaganda. Dog whistle politics at it’s finest. No real thinking required. Meanwhile strong denial about how authoritarian the Democratic party has become. Both parties are run by their elites in an authoritarian fashion, ignoring and/or propagandizing their grass roots (into hating the “other”) as much as possible. At least the little people of the Republican party are attempting to fight back.
    Is Trump really any more authoritarian than Hillary? Or Obama, with all his czars and signing statements and prosecution of whistle blowers?

  60. LeaNder says:

    I thought, you may be delighted, although I sure wish I did grasp it as well as you do. Irony Alert: First the military, now the Islamic competition lots of conspiracies against poor Tayyip.
    Over here Millî Görüş was the main topic in the post 9/11 universe. But it faded from attention and the news by now. I wasn’t aware of the gulen tayyip struggle before reading your comments.
    Yes, off topic, but why not misuse Richard’s comment section, while you are around. Hoping he forgives me. 😉

  61. Brunswick says:

    You need to visit DKos, and other Dem sites.
    The infighting between the Dem camps has become brutal and vicious, to the point that Kos is bringing in the “ban hammer” on the BernieBro’s, ( 58% of his site, but none of the “Front Pagers”, on March 15th, when his site will be All Hillary, All the Time.

  62. Question for the pollsters! For all!
    Please rank the candidates of all parties on probable ballots in descending order of all as to whom you as a voter will never vote for as President?
    IMO Trump and HRC may be the first choice but for very different reasons.
    And why is Ross Perot not discussed as adversely impacting voters for Bush [in 1992] and Dole [in 1996]? Am I wrong?

  63. Fred82 says:

    For me, it is quite simple.
    Trump is the best realistic option being offered in 2016. I won’t vote for HRC, am not enamored by Cruz, and Webb is off the table.

  64. Stephanie says:

    As you say, the Federalists gave as good as they got:
    “… the profound and fearless patriot and full-blooded Yankee, [who] exceeded in every possible respect his competitor, Tom Jefferson, for the Presidency, who, to make the best of him, was nothing but a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father, as was well known in the neighborhood where he was raised, wholly on hoe-cake (made of course-ground Southern corn), bacon, and hominy, with an occasional change of fricasseed bullfrog, for which abominable reptiles he had acquired a taste during his residence among the French in Paris, to whom there could be no question he would sell his country at the first offer made to him cash down, should he be elected to fill the Presidential chair…”
    Damn that Southern corn.
    However, the Founding Fathers had more than enough political virtues to compensate for their political vices. Mr. Sales’ central point is surely correct.

  65. Valissa says:

    That’s typical behavior for those sites. Once upon a time I hung out at those sites when Bush was prez thinking that they would be part of the much needed “political change.” Hahahahaha… boy did I learn my lesson. I remember 2007 it was OK to discuss all the Dem candidates (there were 6 or 7 of them IIRC), and then as 2008 came along and the heavy campaign season and fewer and fewer of the candidates were acceptable to talk about. Until finally came the big rift between the Hillary supporters and the Obama supporters, when many people left DKos and started their own political blogs. It had finally stopped being OK to support Hillary at all and it was only Obama all the time. I haven’t been back to Dkos since early 2008 when I left in disgust at all the tribal bullshit and increasingly obvious propaganda, but I can see the same games are still going on. I guess all the reasons why Hillary was so bad, bad, bad in 2008 are no longer true and history was been rewritten.
    Now that I am an avowed nonpartisan and realist, and no longer participate in non-rational partisan discussions about politics, I am a much happier person.

  66. rjj says:

    and Nader.

  67. Swampy says:

    Try this:
    “If Trump gets the Republican nomination the neocons are through as a viable political force on the Right. That’s why National Review devoted a whole issue of their magazine to the theme “Against Trump.” That’s why the neocons’ allies in the media are going after him hammer and tongs. That’s why neocons like Robert Kagan are openly declaring they will support Hillary Clinton, while others – including the formerly libertarian network of organizations funded by Charles and David Koch – are financing a “Stop Trump” campaign. There is even talk of the (impractical) idea of running a third party candidate in order to take votes away from Trump.”

  68. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Au contraire, the rebellion of the progressives is very significant, and pose just as much of a threat to the party, and maybe even more so, than the Trump phenomenon does to the GOP. The reason is that the Democratic Party’s nomenklatura (federal and state elected officials, senior paid party operatives, wealthy donor/activists, etc) and its volunteer activists (caucus & convention goers, door knockers, phone bank folks, etc.) either aren’t aware of the depth of the disaffection among their grass roots supporters or don’t give a damn. The grass roots tacitly showed their disgust in 2010 when they didn’t bother to show up to vote in the off-year elections enabling the GOP to take over both houses of Congress and many state houses. If Sanders is perceived to have been denied the nomination because of a tilted playing field I expect many of his supporters to either voter with their butts on the couch again or cross over for Trump. Hilary, on the other hand, will probably get crossover votes in the other direction from various flavors of disaffected Republicans.

  69. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    My favorite example of electoral campaign invective from that era is from John Randolph, IIRC, although I don’t recall what he was running for. “My opponent is very competent but utterly corrupt. Thus, like a rotten mackerel in the moonlight he both shines and stinks.”

  70. Lars says:

    The point is that authoritarian regimes never end well. Not that I believe Mr. Trump will ever get to implement any policies, but he will be followed by others with the same inclination. We may even see an re-enactment of the 1852 election.

  71. Tyler says:

    These are the same people who support Obama when he decides who to kill via robot sky assassin over his Monday morning corn flakes.
    “Vox.com” lmao. Hopefully Emperor Trump executes the entire staff of that fishwrap by making them do deadlifts until their hamstrings explode.
    Up your game Lars.

  72. My understanding is aggregated with Gore Nader votes made no difference but perhaps wrong.

  73. I viewed and heard interesting interview on a FOX channel this Sunday AM with the DILBERT cartoon creator. Billing himself as an expert on hypnosis and persuasion he stated Trump the best persuader he has heard as a politician and predicted Trump overwhelming victory in November.
    Wonder if others saw the interview and what they made of it?

  74. Valissa,
    With reference to this and also an earlier comment of yours on this thread, in which both a letter to the ‘Financial Times’ and also David Stockman’s response to a column in that paper by Martin Wolf were discussed.
    Unfortunately, articles in the ‘FT’ are behind a subscription wall – and as one can only get (if I recall right) one free one a month by registering, it probably isn’t worth the trouble for most people.
    But looking at recent articles and comments on these, a very interesting story is unfolding. And here the responses to the Wolf article really are very interesting – so it seems worth providing the relevant link, which is
    https://next.ft.com/content/743d91b8-df8d-11e5-b67f-a61732c1d025#comments .)
    Currently, there are 1003 comments on the article. And if you look at the ‘most recommended’ ones, I think it is fair to say that there is a ‘sense of the meeting’, which is brought out in the opening of the response at the top of the list, from one ‘MarkGB’, which has 199 recommendations, including mine:
    ‘Even if everything you say about Donald Trump is true Mr. Wolf – you are still missing the point.
    ‘This isn’t about Donald Trump. Look around you and you will see a trend unfolding across continents – a backlash against ”establishment politics” and ”career politicians” right across the globe. Independence movements, referendums, ”populist” and ”fringe” parties gaining traction in every region you look at. But nowhere, it seems, will you find the ”victims” of this backlash asking themselves some fundamental questions, like – How did we screw up? What have we done, and not done? Why are people so angry? What has led to this state of disgust with our doings? For that is what it is Mr. Wolf – disgust. And I share it.’
    What we are seeing here, in my view, is a fundamental change which has been building up for some time. In recent months, a gulf has been opening up between articles in the ‘FT’ and commentators.
    As to the articles, we have had ‘Borgist’ propaganda in an ever more hysterical form. Some of this comes from staff writers – in addition to Wolf, their Chief economics Chief Economics Commentator, there is Gideon Rachman, their Chief Foreign Affairs commentator, and David Gardner, their International Affairs Editor.
    On top of this, there have been columns from, among others: Richard Haass, Dennis Ross, Ivo Daalder, Larry Summers, Simon Schama, and Danielle Pletka.
    A good deal of this has involved a defence of what some – including our own Tyler – describe as the ‘invade the world, invite the world’ approach to things.
    But, I am coming to suspect, the increasingly hysterical tone of these articles reflects a realisation by their authors that they are, as it were, ‘losing control of the narrative’.
    The notion that the concerns that lead people to support Trump can simply be dismissed by some silly-clever research into ‘authoritarian’ personalities, based on not very meaningful questions about child-rearing, is patently stupid. And the notion that one simply dismiss these concerns is increasingly seen as both stupid and dangerous, by very many people in this country, and elsewhere, who themselves heartily dislike Trump.
    My own view is that our situation is unprecedented. At no previous point in British political history have élites been ‘autistic’ in the way that they have come to be over the past generation.
    What the commentators on the ‘FT’ have been trying to explain to people like Martin Wolf is that if they do not ‘snap out of’ this ‘autism’, everyone is going to pay for it, including themselves.
    Whether they will succeed is very much an open question. But it is important that this situation – where people like Wolf, in writing like article like this, find that they have very little support among their readers, is really very new.
    I am not countering on their ‘sobering up’ – but not entirely ruling out the possibility, either.

  75. Lars,
    ‘The point is that authoritarian regimes never end well.’
    What is this supposed to mean?
    Actually, democratic regimes have been so rare in human history that the question of whether they are durable has yet to be answered.
    However, for what it is worth, let us explore a contrast.
    In China, the Communists introduced market reforms, while suppressing ‘democratic’ dissent.
    They are now hailed as the coming economic superpower – and have brought more people out of poverty, more rapidly, than other other government in human history.
    In Russia, the ‘liberals’ were brought into power, as a result of Gorbachev’s ‘reforms’.
    The result was an economic collapse which produced human misery on a scale not seen since the Stalin years.
    And the notion of the ‘reformers’ – and many others – that if they accommodated the professed security concerns of the West, their own would be accommodated, turned out to be complete bunkum.
    Those of us who thought this – alike in the Soviet Union and the West – turned out to be Brzezinski’s ‘useful idiots’. (I was one!)
    At every conceivable point, Russian weakness was systematically exploited.
    Historically, the prestige of ‘democracy’ has gone up and down, over the decades.
    It was at a nadir in 1931 – but much higher by 1945. In 1989, it was at a zenith.
    At the moment, it has been heading down into the doghouse.
    Do you seriously think any rational Chinese or Russian, looking at the antics of contemporary American or indeed European politicians, would think that these are a model to be emulated?
    We had our opportunity, and we blew it.

  76. SAC Brat says:

    Today’s interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB4jK-mQCug&feature=youtu.be
    An earlier CNN interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kydKTVLmP58
    It has been interesting to follow Adams’ analysis of Trump. Contrast that with all the experts and pundits who see what they want to see and try to fit Trump into their own worldview. It reminds me of Kenny Roberts racing in Formula 1 motorcycles and everyone complaining about his technique being wrong but he was winning.

  77. Thomas says:

    “It reminds me of Kenny Roberts racing in Formula 1 motorcycles and everyone complaining about his technique being wrong but he was winning.”
    Good analogy as Kenny Robert’s dirt track experience allowed him to break from the road racing norm, just as The Donald’s media experience has turned the political entertainment industry upset side down.
    This election is not so much about the man Donald Trump, but the question of the ability of the system to be corrected through the peaceful means of the elections, because if not then the age old way of societal changes comes into play. May the Borg Brotherhood get over their collective brain freeze to realize this.

  78. Blaker says:

    ” At least the little people of the Republican party are attempting to fight back.” And what about the rise of Sanders in the democratic party? Is his phenomena not also the little, disregarded people of the Democratic Party fighting back? I find it interesting that on this site there is much talk about how Trump is sending the elite into convulsions, but nary a mention of how Sanders is accomplishing a similar feat among the Democrats.

  79. turcopolier says:

    if you think SST is partial to the Democrats you have not been paying attention. FWIW I agree that the Sanders phenomenon represents an equally damaging scenario of the Democrats. If it were not for the unreasoning love for the Clintons displayed by Blacks she would be toast. pl

  80. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Nowadays, it is pretty hard to sum up what “neoliberalism” is any more, since it has been so thoroughly mixed up in political lingo.
    I suppose, in the end, neoliberalism amounts to letting people make money whatever way they like. In the former communist blocs, it took a lot more sinister turn where people in charge simply sold off valuable public assets to line their own pocket, while, in the West, especially in the U.S., application of neoliberalism seems to have been a bit different: Wal-Mart is probably the best example.
    The origins of Wal-Mart’s success is not too well-known even in the U.S., and I imagine that it is probably not well-known in Europe, so let me explain briefly. Sam Walton was a ruthless business genius who incorporated both information technology, and later, free trade to build a retail empire. He saw a vast underserved market in small towns in middle America and decided to use heavily data driven inventory management system using a lot of computing power to capture that market far more efficiently than existing mom and pop stores. Later, Wal-Marts also benefited from cheap imports from abroad. So he created a lot of value, but destroyed a lot of small businesses that couldn’t compete. There’s no question that he created a lot more value than he destroyed, most of the value created went to himself and other wealthy investors while the value that he destroyed belonged mostly to small town business people and their employees.
    I think the story of Wal-Mart captures the current spirit of neoliberalism better than anything: vast economic value created by aggressive use of technology and reliance on technology coupled with, eh, rather predatory business practices toward both competition and labor, with disdain for regulation that sought to curb their practices as “inefficient,” often by taking big risks. The net consequence is that the net economic value grows, but in highly uneven and in a dangerously unstable fashion, especially since the firms’ predatory practices destroy the future demand for their own goods and services.
    Yet, if aggressive use of technology, free trade, and making lots of profits in general is a good thing, what’s wrong with unfettered neoliberalism? All these have come to be accepted as natural state of mankind among many today, not only in United States, but in many parts of the world, and very few people seem interested in openly challenging this.

  81. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Yet, O’care did ensure that a great deal of money would be spent propping up the insurance industry’s bottom line. I suspect that, in the short run, they may be losing some money, but it is not clear that this will continue into the future. In fact, I seem to recall people openly wondering about the sustainability of O’care arrangement, although I don’t know the numbers off the top of my head.

  82. FB Ali says:

    In the usual fashion of US politics, attention is being focussed solely on Donald Trump. The real story, I suspect, is the people who are supporting him.
    A recent article by Chris Hedges is titled “The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism”. It is worth reading at:
    Uri Avnery, another percipient observer, also discusses this phenomenon in his piece at: http://tinyurl.com/jv6j9ur
    If correct, this is the real story. All that Trump has done is to recognise this phenomena, and cleverly become its ‘face’ and spokesperson.
    As Hedges says, even if Trump loses his bid for the Presidency, the fascism that has arisen among those left out of the economic structure to fend for themselves will continue and grow, and is likely to seek more violent outlets.

  83. Akira says:

    What is most sinister about the Trump spectacle is exactly what was so sinister about Obama, this sort of prefabricated entertainment product completely displacing the political with a fake celebrity Messiah. Obama was an experienced politician with star power. Trump is just pure star power. This is the real domination of the spectacle, the point at which the distinction between politics and entertainment no longer exists.
    In the classic Science Fiction movie the Forbidden Planet, the mystery of the vanished civilization was that a great scientific race had destroyed itself when its supreme technological power unleashed the destructive force of its own Id. The politically weaponized entertainment spectacle is a propaganda technology of extraordinary power. Now it has fallen into the hands of our American Id, Donald Trump, who has risen out of New York harbor with radioactive twitter breath to do the Godzilla on the entire Republican Party establishment.
    And yet who among us can honestly say we aren’t enjoying the show?
    Or that Romney, Bush, etcetera, didn’t have it coming?
    Trumpzila vs the Hillary Monster is going to be the most entertaining election in a century, a sort of mad funeral dirge for our civilization.
    The great eschatological drama of our American apocalypse is appropriately enough a no holds barred cage match between a sleazy salesmen and a soulless technocrat.
    You get the radical subject you deserve…

  84. turcopolier says:

    FB Ali
    I read the article and thought it exaggerated. This is written by a man from the far Left who abhors traditional American values and those who hold them dear and who desperately wants continuation of the Obama/HC post 60s program of transforming the US into a country in which traditional Americans of all races, origins and religions are marginalized. pl

  85. rjj says:

    Hedges is an interesting guy. Minister with two Harvard degrees. https://newrepublic.com/article/118114/chris-hedges-pulitzer-winner-lefty-hero-plagiarist
    If it is the lumpen voter to whom Trump appeals, it must not be the fundies but the hordes of off-put fellow aristos with Harvard degrees who are supporting Cruz.

  86. rjj says:

    Who knew Kansas and Nebraska were full of bolshies!!!???

  87. Fred says:

    If I run for office again I’ll have to use that line of Randolph’s.

  88. different clue says:

    Did Mr. Walton build the Walmart bussiness in two stages? Stage one the data-driven just-in-time maintainance of store-shelf inventory to underprice little competitors all over small town America? If the value he created and moved up the ladder to himself was more than the value he destroyed, including the unmonetizable value of social stability built around small-bussiness involvement in and employment-support-of local communities, then we could say he created more value in stage one.
    If outsourcing to China and elsewhere was stage two, and really ramped up after the passage of WTO and MFN for China, then I think he destroyed more value in stage two than he created. Transferring jobs from America to China merely transfers creation of material objects of value from America to China. It doesn’t increase the number of material objects made, meaning no more gross overall value in no more gross overall things made. And if the things made in China were/are lower quality than the same things made here had used to be, then each China-made thing is less valuable than its American-made predecessor. I would again invite everyone here to compare a made-in-China Stanley Thermos findable in most any store to a legacy made-in-Tennessee Stanley Thermos if you can find one. (When I read someone had bought Stanley and was moving all its production to China, I bought several made-in-Tennessee Stanleys against the day when they would all be gone.) Quality-reduction is value-reduction. And even
    worse,moving all that industry to China created a situation where it takes burning twice as much coal in China to make a unit of material production as what it used to take to make that unit in America. That means twice as much carbon-skydumping for the same old amount of stuff, destroying ecological value all over the earth. Plus all that coal burned in China has gassed and is gassing bunches of mercury into the air. Most of it falls back out into the Pacific Ocean. Over the last few years tuna from the Pacific Ocean has contained 4% more mercury each year than the year before. How much value is THAT destroying? So it seems to me that Walton’s stage two ( outsourcing) has destroyed more value all over the earth than the value of the money that Walton has gained for itself from the outsourcing.

  89. different clue says:

    no one,
    Really? Big Insura is losing enough money on Ocare that Big Insura is pulling out of the “Oxchanges”? I don’t think that was Obama’s intention. I think Ocare was structured as a huge multi-decade giveaway/bailout to Big Insura. I think what is happening ( and this is being discussed sometimes at Naked Capitalism) is that enough people are discovering how bad their Ocare plans really are that they are failing to renew. And enough other people are learning how bad the plans really are that they are failing to sign up to begin with. And they won’t sign up until the tax penalty amounts to more money than the cost of signing up plus the cost of deductibles and co-payments plus the negative value of narrow networks and etc.
    I don’t think Obama wanted that outcome any more than Big Insura wants it. I think Big Insura may not pay Obama as much money as Obama was expecting after he leaves office, if Obamacare works out this way.
    I also think that Congress will try to pass legislation imposing years of hard time in prison for refusal to buy health insurance . . . to make Obamacare work THAT way. Will a public seething with sullen bitterness be able to prevent their Congress from passing such a law? Will such efforts prepare the ground for a new attempt to get taxfunded Single Payer CanadaCare for this country?

  90. different clue says:

    I would suggest a new word for Think Tanks like AEI. I would call them Spinmills. (Anyone who likes that word please feel free to use it and spread it around. If no one likes that word, it will die a quiet death right here in this comment).

  91. different clue says:

    ex-PFC Chuck,
    Perhaps we will end up with a 3 Party System. Democratic Populists on the Right, Democratic Socialists on the Left, and Depublicrats in the Vital Center. The Clintons, the Bushes and the Obamas can all join the Depublicratic Party and keep eachother company. Birds of a feather, and all that.

  92. BB says:

    The great eschatological drama of our American apocalypse is appropriately enough a no holds barred cage match between a sleazy salesmen and a soulless technocrat.
    You get the radical subject you deserve…

    Trump is a sleazy salesman?? Guess if you listen and believe the establishment and media. Coolidge said that the business of America is business. Trump turned a million dollars into a 10-billion dollar company. A few weeks ago the NY Post (Michael Goodwin?) had an op-ed on how it was Trump who turned around Manhattan and NYC. This “sleazy salesman” has the backing of multi-billionaire partners whom Trump has done business with for decades (Icahn, Wynn, Hirschfeld, Kushner, Ruffin, et al.). Maybe they are all sleazy as well?? To quote Trump, whatever. I’ve read lots and lots of commentary during this election and I have only heard one criticism of Trump as a candidate that seemed somewhat legitimate, and it came from the the guy who runs this blog. Col. Lang made a good point that Trump does not know how government works. Funny enough, a week later Trump said he would pick a VP who had political experience and knowledge of how government works. Then I read a Reuters story that said Gen. Michael Flynn is one of Trump’s unofficial foreign policy advisors. Either Trump or one of his advisors reads this blog.

  93. different clue says:

    That may be in part because the MSM has dropped a Cone of Silence over Sanders and is trying to embargo any news about him at all as much as it can. Less is said about Sanders, therefor less is said about what the Sanders campaign means.

  94. Fred says:

    ‘losing control of the narrative’.
    I think that sums up quite a bit of what is going on in the global MSM – to include social media. The right has pointed out the blatant hypocrisy of Facebook with its blocking of any negative commentary on refugees. The same is true on Twitter, with the creation of a “Trust and Safety council” and the resulting “shadow banning” of users. Amongst the first being Milo Yiannopoulos, whose fans responded with #jesuismilo (You have to appreciate the irony there). The market has responded with a nosedive in Twitter share price. (So much for the fiduciary duty of the executives.) Need I point out that it is those most opposed to the pro-immigration, pro-PC policies that are being banned?

  95. Fred says:

    The Democrats do not have any candidate that could reasonable be called an outsider and the voters choices are going to have a quite limited impact due to the party’s use of “super” delegates. The Republicans have a different set up and different candidates.

  96. Fred says:

    Gore lost Florida because a bunch of bleeding hearts, a few of whom I know personally, were stupid enough to vote for Nader.

  97. Fred says:

    FB Ali,
    I appreciate the insight Uri provides but this is a bit over the top:
    “The Trump we see now is a very shrewd campaigner, a winner, a candidate who has an uncanny talent to channel the misgivings, resentments, anger and bitterness of the lower class of whites, who feel that their country is being taken away from them by corrupt politicians, blacks, hispanos and other riffraff.”
    There are two “hispanos” (to use his term, not mine) running for President. They are United States Senators Cruz and Rubio, of Texas and Florida respectively. Of course everyone on earth knows American hispanics only vote Democratic. The bit about David Duke and projection from “failure to repudiate” to thus being a KKK supporter is even worse, though he did apologize. Duke and the KKK have been a waining force in American politics for more than a generation. The people of Louisiana repudiated him 25 years ago when he ran for office. That’s the repudiation that matters.

  98. Lars says:

    Time will tell, but it did not end well for Germany, Italy, Japan, or for that matter, the Soviet Union. What motivates the authoritarians are fear and anger. People with those conditions do not make good decisions.
    History has also shown that if authoritarians are elected, the first thing they do is get rid of any opposition.
    I am not convinced that your examples of China and Russia will have open ended economic progress. I have personally experienced strong government stewardship of the economy and while it works well for a time, it will eventually reach a ceiling.

  99. no one says:

    “Instead, we wound up with a bloated, complicated, and very expensive program that enormously profits the insurance and pharmaceutical industry at the taxpayer expense.”
    As the Col. is wont to say, never attribute to conspiracy that which is explainable by sheer incompetence.
    United is pulling out of O’care. I work for one of the other really big insurance companies and I swear to you that we are losing significant money on O’Care and there is no end in sight to the hemorrhage of $s. We recently removed ourselves from the Florida market and will probably be making similar moves elsewhere.
    I have personally worked on the O’Care financials and cost drivers and could write a book on the topic of why O’Care must have been designed by absolute morons on a hope and a prayer. I’ll just touch on a few of the fatal flaws here to give you a feel.
    First, there was the notion that young healthy people would be so happy to have insurance available that they would all sign up and, since they don’t utilize much, the $ they paid in would cover the costs of the really sick high utilizers that would also sign up. But this did happen. We got all sick people and none of the healthy ones.
    Second, and related to the first, is that the incentive to sign up was always stupid from a cost/benefit standpoint. If you’re a low utilizer, why would you pay a premium to support high utilizers when the penalty at tax time is way lower than the cost of the premium? You wouldn’t and they didn’t. Apparently young and healthy people don’t assess the risk of a serious (and expensive) illness and the need for insurance the same way that the people prancing around in DC do. Also, for young people, even if a premium is just a few hundred bucks a month, it’s still can exceed what they are able to pay. Unlike DC, young people can’t just print money.
    Third, the whole pre-existing conditions coverage – what O and crew fantasized about was that people with pre-existing conditions would sign up, cost a lot, but then, as they got healed, they stay insured and cost would go down and premiums would eventually cover the initial high cost. Also, the healthy young people that never materialized, would cover the initial cost. Then there was – and still is, despite what lying GOP candidates say – a fund that acts like re-insurance to cover the insurance companies when O’Care costs get beyond a certain level.
    But none of this worked out the way it was planned because, fourth, what has actually happened – and was predictable based on the incentives and rules – is that really sick people and those with pre-existing conditions sign up for coverage when they need it; sometimes, literally, in the emergency room. They get expensive care for a few months, then drop out of insurance. Frequently they don’t even pay the premium during the few months when they were covered and utilizing healthcare. The law says that for three months after signing up medical care must be delivered even if the premium isn’t paid. The insurance companies and healthcare provider have to eat the cost. I know for a fact that a lot of low income women signed up around about the time they were going to deliver a baby. They go into the hospital deliver, sometimes a premie (very expensive) and then waltz out without ever paying a dime of premium money. That’s just one example.
    Fifth, because of the problem with signing up, not paying premium and receiving care and insurance and providers eating cost, many providers are refusing to see O’Care members. If we (insurance) can’t contract with providers, we can’t carry a product.
    Sixth, there is an incredible amount of outright fraud and abuse. I don’t work in the investigations area so I’m not sure why this is occurring, but I am told that, again, it has something to do with the way O’Care is designed that lends itself to criminal activity.
    I could go on, but hopefully you’ve got the picture. A concept built from pure fantasy that is ill suited for real world application. Kind of like the unicorn army in Syria.

  100. LeaNder says:

    different clue,
    basically it feels to me that Naked Capitalism is doing a good job, thus, I wouldn’t really blame it for some people that may have the wrong ideas from following it.
    But your idea, that you may wind up in prison for not paying your health care sounds a bit odd. As do your comments about China.
    during post graduate studies I did a bit of economics and law. Limited since it was a special program for people in the art, and thus in law e.g. a main focus was contract law.
    I have to admit that I always felt drawn more to law then economics, thus the basic impression I came away with, was that the central formulas used in economics are always about reducing the costs of labor. Notice, I also learned e.g. how to leverage your gains, if you reduced your investment and used a high percentage of funds from a bank ideally with low interest rates.
    Let me use a different product example. As far as I know Apple produces in China too. I would guess since production is more cheap over there. Now its probably based on the rule of reducing labor costs. What’s your guess, are Apple products worse – or must somehow be at least the same after that based on the consumers being the products? What about investors expectations?
    Ages ago I read an economist (Swedish, if I recall correctly) who drew my attention by using the wisdom of the arts in his field. One of his fields of attention was health care, public healthcare in some North European states.
    It’s pretty obvious that in this field more and more economics are taking over too. The problem in this field as in others is to control the costs. One of the things he focused on were the times people had to wait to get the necessary treatment.
    I have an old school friend in Great Britain, that needed an operation on his eyes. Now he didn’t pay the operation himself, due to the time he had to wait. Quite the opposite, he was horrified that the operation would not work out, and that, he had always troubles with them, but he feared he wouldn’t be able to see again.l
    Now he and his wife choose the best specialist in London and paid themselves. And you know what, the operation turned out bad. Now his hesitating to have his second eye done too.
    Let me give you another example. A friend of mine suffered from Cataract. I researched for him the best available doctor over here. It went well. Around the same time a relationship of his who was insured with a private insurer and thus gets special treatment, or a prof to do the operation, using special clinic with origins in the States also had an operation. In her case matters did not turn out well.
    We have a two central health insurance institutions over here. One is what we call public and one is what we called private. In one case you simply go to the doctor and give him your card and he gets refunded via the system. In other, the one in which you are insured privately, the money demanded is more transparent for you. There are also doctors that only treat private citizen, I suppose since they are refunded better. If you are insured privately, either based on your own decision or because you are a civil servant, like a teacher. You are sent the bills, which the insurance company then refunds you for. My sister, a teacher, likes the system.
    Private insurance companies, not the one my sister has, I would assume, usually pull in young people. Obviously since they are cheaper. There’s one crux, there is a time limit in which you can return to the public insurance company which has rather stable percentages, sometimes they are slightly raised be minor degrees. But if you are insured in a private insurance company and miss the point to return, you can get into serious troubles. The rates may be raised way beyond the amount you can afford.
    Now thankfully I am rather healthy. Thus I may have spent much more over the years in my own private public insurance then was spent on me. On the other hand, there seems, not completely sure, but the doctor that operated my mother told me so, in her case–she was 86 least year–she may not have gotten the treatment she needed in a purely state health system. Now I guess, her kids would have convinced her to pay privately. But it seems, that in her case there would have been more serious checks if it was still worthwhile to let her have this treatment somewhere else.
    The problem, no doubt may be more difficult then you imagine. To not go into related lobbies and their special interest and power in the field. They often are stock companies who while no doubt investing in research have to deal with their stock holders too.
    I have no time to proofread this, I already babbled way too much.

  101. Babak Makkinejad says:

    My impression is that many people in the United States, Left, Right, or Center, are profoundly unsatisfied with what has happened in the United States over the last 40 years – since the election of Ronald Reagan.
    The sentiment around the candidacy of Donald Trump reminds me of the sentiment I heard in 2008 from a European-American – almost crying – telling me: “He (Obama) will take our country back.”
    They are now looking for the Prince Charming on his proverbial White Horse. The world being what it is, they might have to settle for the horse.
    Which, of course, leaves the larger question unanswered: “Were you, the Electorate, asleep at the wheel when you let things progress to this point?”
    I recall editorials by Paul Sweezy, a Harvard-educated Marxist economist, and by the American conservative Patrick Buchannan, 40 years ago, both warning of the economic policies that were being pursued by successive US governments.
    The Electorate ignored them.

  102. LeaNder says:

    Sorry, I shut up now again: But this is a serious blunder. The rest does not seem that important:
    ” in my own private public insurance ”
    I always was insured via what I called public insurance companies versus private in our system. I hope you got the idea though, that it is basically on a collective mechanism that allows elder citizen to not be forced to pay rates beyond their means later.
    The system works basically like this: As employee you pay around 10% of your income. Slightly different from company to company. So far employers paid half of it. More recently this has been tweaked slightly to the advantage of employers. Would you consider paying 5% to 7% percent of your income over the years as exploitative, even more since you also are deducted taxes?
    The argument that you have to remain competitive and otherwise shift jobs somewhere “better”, no doubt may have helped in this context. And it surely contains more then a grain of truth.

  103. different clue says:

    no one,
    I absolutely believe and accept that your company in particular and the private health insurance bussiness in general is losing money. I am just saying that Obama did not have a secret plan to engineer Obamacare to make you lose money. Obama had an openly stated goal to guarantee locked-in profits to the insurance industry for decades to come. This rolling pullout of the insurance companies from the Ocare exchanges is not what the Obama group had in mind. They thought it would work exactly as sold, and that Obama would collect hundreds of millions of dollars of job-well-done gratitude payments from the insurance industry after he leaves office.
    With Obamacare working out badly for the industry, I think he will get a lot less gratitude payments from Big Insura than he was counting on. If money given to Obama is traceable, I expect very little of it to have Big Insura fingerprints on it.

  104. different clue says:

    My idea is that when Obamacare has plunged deep enough into its Death Spiral that only heroic measures can save it, I strongly suspect that Congress will try to pass new laws requiring hard time in prison for people who willfully refuse to buy their legally force-mandated insurance. No such laws exist now. Any effort to pass such laws would stir new levels of rebellion and rejection in the public.
    My views on China seem very straightforward to me. I know it is hard to find China Stanley thermoses and legacy Tennessee Stanley thermoses in Germany, but if you can find them, compare them and see what you think. And ask yourself what value China has created by selling poison pet food, melamine milk, lead paint toys for children, hydrogen-sulfide-offgassing sheetrock, tires where the tread strips right off while you are driving, etc. Explain to me what value China is creating by racing past America in terms of carbon skydumping and poisoning all the tuna in the Pacific Ocean with coal-based mercury. Show me the value.

  105. Nick says:

    If I may:
    – Romney’s speech was significant in that it telegraphed the party leaderships’ refusal to support Trump or recognize him as the nominee.
    – While Trump’s supporters rightfully look askance at Romney, the potential wihholding of the party’s support in the general election is nothing to sniff at: without the arty’s expertise (yes, they still have some), GOTV operation, staff, and of course, $$$, Trump will have to dig deep into his own pockets, which he has been loathe to do up to this point. Or, he could fold, which although not likely is always a possibility. Hard to predict what he will do next.
    – Agree that the anti-establishment feelings in both parties are running high. I think the next wave of politicians that flow into the new space crated by Trump and Sanders will be truly interesting. The GOP as we have known it is dead- and the Democratic party faces a similar fate if they fail to heed the warning that Sanders represents.
    – If the GOP denies Trump the nomination, as it appears to me they will, and he decides to stay in as an independent, which I think he will, the conservative vote will be split, Hillary will take the WH and nominate Obama for the Supreme Court. Checkmate. (OK, I just threw that last bit in to be hyperbolic)

  106. different clue says:

    The idea that we have to shift jobs somewhere “better” to remain “competitive” contains no inherent truth whatever. It contains the artificial cardboard replica of truth, a cardboard replica of truth which was artificially engineered into existence by the artificial passage of Forced Free Trade Agreements. And it can be equally artificially engineered right back out of existence by the abolition of Forced Free Trade and the restoration of Militant Belligerent Protectionism.

  107. Fred says:

    “The Electorate ignored them.”
    I disagree. A portion of the electorate started voting Republican; meanwhile another portion believed the tales on NAFTA told by that previous charismatic Democratic president. Now they are years old and not any richer and thoroughly fed up.

  108. no one says:

    different clue – I agree. What I meant by designed to fail/negatively impact insurance companies was that it sure looks that way, but I accept that the design was the result of bungling and over absorption in fantasy; and not conspiracy.
    Back on topic – not sure what Trump has in store for us by way of healthcare insurance. Should be interesting.

  109. Stephanie says:

    Trump is a genuine outsider in terms of power politics. Unlike many of the other GOP hopefuls, he has no zillionaire sugar daddy (unless you count his own daddy) and he is beholden to nobody and nothing in the political power grid, which is part of his appeal.
    As far as waterboarding, etc., Trump, Rubio, and Cruz have all voiced support for torture and maintained its legality. Cruz and Rubio add a few more qualifiers, but that’s about it. There really is not much space among the Republican candidates on the matter. Trump is blunter.

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