Monday, November 04, 2019

The lost election of 2020

This NYT piece by Nate Cohn tosses icy water on the faces of all Dems.
Across the six closest states that went Republican in 2016, he trails Joe Biden by an average of two points among registered voters but stays within the margin of error.

Mr. Trump leads Elizabeth Warren by two points among registered voters, the same margin as his win over Hillary Clinton in these states three years ago.
The problem, as always, is the purple states. They will decide the election.

Personally, I prefer Warren, and not just because she has the best policies and seems to be the smartest of the smarties. Biden has a relatively minor skeleton in his closet (nothing to do with Hunter) which could damage his chances if revealed at the right moment.

Plus, there's the age factor. Although I've always liked Biden -- and will always defend him against bullshit attacks from both the Trumpers and the prog purists -- his time may have passed. Frankly, the 1990s should have been his decade; unfortunately, he shared that decade with a certain Big Dog.

Warren may have destroyed her chances in the general election by embracing Medicare For All. I hate to make that admission, because I myself have long favored Medicare For All -- which could literally save my life. But face it: There's no way to implement such a program -- not with this Congress and Supreme Court, and not with this public. Warren killed herself over a hopeless fantasy.

And before you say it: Yes, I am infuriated that our press forced Warren to come up with specifics on how to pay for her fantasy-plan. In 2016, Trump was allowed to utter vague, pie-in-the-sky nonsense about health care. He never offered anything like a specific plan then, and he still doesn't have one. His voters don't seem to care.

The problem is that Dem voters and Trump voters are two different things. Democrats demand stats and figures. Warren should have known that.

Biden's "Obamacare plus a public option" is more politically palatable in the election, and there's even a chance (not a large one, I admit) that he might actually be able to enact such a program. I could live (speaking literally) with "Obamacare plus a public option."

On the other hand: Warren used to be a Republican, and thus should have some insight as to how the other half thinks. If she wins the nomination, she must find some credible way to pivot right. First step: Show flexibility on health care. A possible second step: Criticize the monstrosity that feminism has become, particularly in academia. A female candidate has more freedom to offer such a critique.

And that brings us to a wider topic...

Why Dems lose. Although I am to the left of most Dems on many issues, honesty compels me to admit that the Democratic party is too far to the left of most Americans. Cohn's data proves that all of those talking heads on MSNBC had it wrong: The election cannot be won by "energizing" the black electorate, most of whom live in the blue states. It can't be won by appealing to "woke" college kids and to feminists.

It can be won only by trying to convert white working class voters. White males. Straight white males. Must I include the term "cis"?

One factor insures that the Dems will lose the upcoming election: Identity politics.

Feminism, race, LGBT-whatever. Our obsession with categorization is a form of national suicide.

Dems: Just shut up about "identity" stuff. Talk about jobs. Talk about corruption. Talk about health care. Do not talk about categories.

Feminism is unpopular, even with women. Gender equality is very popular (thank God), but feminism really is cancer. The movement really has been taken over by crazies.

By this point, most Americans do not have a problem with gay people. Most Americans are fine with the idea of a gay president or a gay child or a gay co-worker or a gay whatever-else.

But Americans do have a problem with progressives who talk ALL THE FUCKING TIME about gay and trans people. Despite the ridiculous misperceptions spread by our media and by activists, gays amount to only around 4.5 percent of the population according to Gallup. (In previous posts, I've cited polls which put the number even lower.) Gender dysphorics-- i.e., the transgendered -- constitute 0.5 percent of the population. (You thought the number was higher, didn't you?) Yet progressives act as though this tiny sliver of the the human race is the only sliver worthy of consideration.

As for race -- I've been around a while, and I'm certain of this: The best way to create a colorblind society is not to talk about race.

I know, I know -- this advice goes against everything we customarily hear. "It's time for us to have a national discussion about the history of slavery and ..."

BOOM. You've lost the election. Right there.

"But it's important to have an honest conversation about white privilege and..."

BOOM. You've lost the election. Right there.

"But reparations are..."

BOOM. You've lost the election. Right there.

Black people, think about your own experiences in dealing with white people. Isn't it true that, if you get into a fascinating conversation about non-racial issues, the atmosphere suddenly become a whole lot friendlier? People stop feeling insecure or anxious. They feel comfortable.

So that's my advice to America. Let's talk about sports, cooking, cars, clothes, astronomy, philosophy, Marvel superheroes, plumbing repairs, furniture, southwest vacation spots -- anything but RACE RACE RACE.

The problem with young "woke" progressives is that they keep talking RACE RACE RACE in order to prove how virtuous they are. They are just like the Nazis -- constantly harping on accidents of birth in order to avoid confronting their own mediocrity.

Right and left, black and white, male and female, the planet is filled with human beings who can't bring themselves to admit the hardest of all truths: Most of us are failures. We can't cop to our unimpressive resumes, our humiliating lack of accomplishment, our inability to come up with a truly original idea. We definitely don't want to admit that our rotten jobs and rotten kids and rotten lives might be our own fault. Horrified by our inadequacies, we feel compelled to blame some Evil Other: Jews, blacks, whites, males, communists, Nazis, Republicans, Democrats, the CIA, the FSB, the Illuminati, space aliens -- really, anything will do, as long as it is Other. If we didn't have an Evil Other to blame, we would have to blame that mediocrity in the mirror.

That's why the Alt Right is the way it is.

That's also why the left-wing Woke Ones are the way they are. They hope to conquer their obvious feelings of inadequacy by constantly proclaiming their virtuousness, and by constantly berating your lack of virtue.

The Woke Ones force everyone around them to see history, society, art, science and religion in race-vision. And what has been the result? Things keep getting worse.

These are the most racially tense times I can recall since the 1960s. Klan membership, miniscule for decades, has shot up. After constantly being told that they are irredeemable, working class white males have made a predictable turn to the Alt Right. Former libertarians have traded their copies of Atlas Shrugged for Mein Kampf. Donald Trump, one of the most loathsome human beings ever to defile this planet, is the fucking president.

Try to understand, Woke Ones: If you keep talking RACE RACE RACE, people will keep thinking RACE RACE RACE. And if everyone is constantly thinking RACE RACE RACE, guess what happens? The society inevitably becomes a lot more racist.

This unwanted outcome will happen despite your best intentions.

Think about it. You don't keep saying SMOKE SMOKE SMOKE in a household where people are trying to kick cigarettes, do you? You don't keep saying BOOZE BOOZE BOOZE in a household where people have a history of alcoholism, do you?

And you sure as hell shouldn't keep saying MCDOUBLE MCDOUBLE MCDOUBLE to a guy with cardio issues who is trying to stick to a diet of fish and beans.

The left created Donald Trump. The Woke Ones will never admit it, but they are the authors of that historical crime.

"Why I No Longer Identify as a Feminist." Earlier in this post, I linked to this superb article by Helen Pluckrose, a left-leaning British intellectual whom I just adore. I can't resist quoting her at some length.

Pluckrose grew up feminist...
I don’t remember ever not being a feminist. I toddled in marches of the 1970s with my mother.
She remains committed to egalitarianism. Unfortunately, feminism took a different path when it became infected by an intellectual virus called postmodernism. Like its elder sibling, fascism, postmodernism explicitly rejects reason and the values of the Enlightenment.
People are often confused about what postmodernism is and what it has to do with feminism. Very simplistically, it was an academic shift pioneered by Jean-Francois Lyotard and Jean Baudrillard which denied that reliable knowledge could ever be attained and claimed that meaning and reality themselves had broken down. It rejected large, overarching explanations (meta-narratives) which included religion but also science, and replaced them with subjective, relative accounts (mini-narratives) of the experiences of an individual or sub-cultural group. These ideas gained great currency in the humanities and social sciences and so became both an artistic movement and a social “theory.” They rejected the values of universal liberalism, the methods of science and the use of reason and critical thinking as the way to determine truth and form ethics. Individuals could now have not only their own moral truths but their own epistemological ones. The expression “It’s true for me” encapsulates the ethos of postmodernism. To claim to know anything to be objectively true (no matter how well-evidenced) is to assert a meta-narrative and to “disrespect” the contrary views of others which is oppressive (even if those views are clearly nonsense.) The word “scientism” was created for the view that evidence and testing are the best way to establish truths.
Liberal feminist aims gradually shifted from the position:

“Everyone deserves human rights and equality, and feminism focuses on achieving them for women.”

to

“Individuals and groups of all sexes, races, religions and sexualities have their own truths, norms and values. All truths, cultural norms and moral values are equal. Those of white, Western, heterosexual men have unfairly dominated in the past so now they and all their ideas must be set aside for marginalized groups.”

Liberal feminism had shifted from the universality of equal human rights to identity politics. No longer were ideas valued on their merit but on the identity of the speaker and this was multifaceted, incorporating sex, gender identity, race, religion, sexuality and physical ability. The value of an identity in social justice terms is dependent on its degree of marginalization, and these stack up and vie for primacy. This is where liberal feminism went so badly wrong. When postcolonial guilt fought with feminism, feminism lost. When it fought with LGBT rights, they lost too.

So aware of Western imperialism having trampled on other cultures historically, Western liberal feminism now embraced their most patriarchal aspects. A Western liberal feminist can, on the same day, take part in a slut walk to protest Western women being judged by their clothing and accuse anyone criticizing the niqab of Islamophobia. She can demand the prosecution of a Christian baker for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same sex-couple, and condemn the planning of a Gay Pride march through a heavily Muslim area as racist. Many intersectional feminists do not limit themselves to the criticism of other white, Western feminists but pour vitriolic, racist abuse on liberal Muslim and ex-Muslim feminists and LGBT activists. The misogyny and homophobia of Christianity may be criticized by all (quite rightly) but the misogyny and homophobia of Islam by none, not even Muslims. The right to criticize one’s own culture and religion is seemingly restricted to white westerners (The best analysis of “The Racism of Some Anti-racists” is by Tom Owolade).
In addition to their failure to support the most vulnerable women in society, intersectional feminism cultivated a culture of victimhood, negatively impacting all women in society but particularly young women. Women are oppressed, we are told, by men explaining anything, spreading their legs on a train and committing vague sins like “expecting unequal amounts of emotional labour.” If they call out to us or proposition us, we should be terrified. If obnoxious men attempt to grope us or succeed, we have experienced an appalling sexual assault from which we may never recover. Not only are we oppressed by seemingly all men but by anyone expressing anti-feminist ideas or feminist ones we don’t like. More than this, we are rendered “unsafe” by them, particularly those women who are trans and may have to hear that a trans exclusionary radical feminist has said something in a place they don’t have to go to. It is hard to imagine how women manage to survive leaving the house at all.
Yes, I've quoted too much -- yet you still haven't read the best parts. If you've ever wondered why That Bastard Cannon turned against feminism, read Helen Pluckrose. And if you want to understand the deep, primal, chthonic reasons why Americans voted for Trump and will do so again -- you must read Helen Pluckrose.
Comments:
The model that makes sense to me is about currency. People issue their own currency for use in the company store, their tribal reservation, religious cult or political group. That's not a problem in itself but it becomes one when they insist that their currency be universally accepted; that store-holders sell them goods in exchange for worthless tokens printed up for private use. The world is not your tribe and is under no obligation to accept your funny-money private tokens. Wake up Dems.
 
Uh, I'm a straight white male, and the Democrats have not lost me.
 
"Warren used to be a Republican, and thus should have some insight as to how the other half thinks." I don't think so. There are no Republicans today who think the way Republicans thought when Warren was a Republican.
 
"Right and left, black and white, male and female, the planet is filled with human beings who can't bring themselves to admit the hardest of all truths: Most of us are failures. We can't cop to our unimpressive resumes, our humiliating lack of accomplishment, our inability to come up with a truly original idea. We definitely don't want to admit that our rotten jobs and rotten kids and rotten lives might be our own fault. Horrified by our inadequacies, we feel compelled to blame some Evil Other: Jews, blacks, whites, males, communists, Nazis, Republicans, Democrats, the CIA, the FSB, the Illuminati, space aliens -- really, anything will do, as long as it is Other. If we didn't have an Evil Other to blame, we would have to blame that mediocrity in the mirror."

That's probably one of the most astonishing things I've ever read. It's true.

 
This is almost a Sermon on the Mount.
 
"That's also why the left-wing Woke Ones are the way they are. They hope to conquer their obvious feelings of inadequacy by constantly proclaiming their virtuousness, and by constantly berating your lack of virtue."

And that's why Trump is the way he is...a sad, deluded failure blaming anyone but himself. Don't be Trump.
 
Joe, you can't wake the "woke".



 
Biden is old, but so is everyone else in this race. Warren is past 70. So is Trump. Sanders is older than Biden.

My personal prediction for the next election is one Mr Cannon will not like: President Sanders. He was the only one leading Trump in the poll in the article. He's got the small donors, which I'm aware this blog speculated to be the Russian government four years ago, but who they really are doesn't really matter. He's also the more popular candidate in the rust belt states that a Democrat will need to take back to win the election, due to the electoral college.

Warren isn't to blame for this, but her supporters in the media have been saying stupid things. Calling her a better Sanders, and saying voting for Sanders over her is sexist, for example. Unless she follows the advice in this post she is going to become the feminist candidate, and then it's good night Vienna.
 
"If you fail, it's your own fault", eh?

Nice GOP/Libertarian talking point there.

The problem with the non-elite GOPhers is not that they blame other people; but rather, they blame the WRONG other people. They blame uppity non-whites, uppity hippies, uppity sexual non-conformists, uppity non-believers, uppity youngsters, and (ahem) uppity wimmin and uppity eggheads. They should blame the plutocrats and their political and media minions (and, nowadays, Putin as well).

The people who blame themselves pose no threat to the oligarchs.

Likewise, the people who blame other people even lower in the hierarchy than they are pose no threat to the oligarchs.

This, of course, is why the oligarchs spend so much of their ill-gotten gains to brainwash Moron-Americans (h/t Gene Lyons) into blaming anyone but the oligarchs.
 
"Nice GOP/Libertarian talking point there."

I agree in part. But what you don't comprehend is that, deep down, people DO blame themselves for their failures.

Trust me. I'm an expert. An expertise in failure. When it comes to failure, I have a sort of genius.

I didn't really understand the Great Depression until I read a certain passage by a writer who lived through that era. Can't recall the exact wording, but the gist was this: Every guy who lost his job at the factory blamed himself and hated himself. He blamed himself even if the factory shuttered and self-blame was irrational. His wife was weeping, his kids were hungry, and he couldn't look into the mirror without feeling pure loathing.

A lot of guys like that tuned into Father Coughlin. A smaller number read the Daily Worker.

The same pattern obtains today. Consider the feminist who keeps concocting new charges against the "patriarchy": Does she have anything ELSE going for her? Could she run a business or make a scientific breakthrough?

The losers who take Richard Spencer or Alex Jones seriously -- are any of 'em capable of writing a great book or painting a great painting?

All bigots -- white nationalists, Black Muslims, the supporters of Trump, the supporters of Modi -- are losers who crow about accidents of birth because that's all they have. How many of them have demonstrated creativity, brilliance, insight?

The fanatical disciples of Ayn Rand or Murray Rothbard -- how many of them are actually capable of coming up with an innovative new product to sell?

I could go on and on, but the point is made. If you are a follower of...well, of ANY philosopher or philosophy, you are, by definition, not a leader. You're a minion. A redshirt. To use an old-fashioned term, a spear-carrier. Inwardly, you know that if you were truly capable of coming up with just ONE truly original idea -- and then executing that idea effectively -- your life would be much easier, your name would be honored, and your existence would be justified.

I can honestly say that -- on rare occasions -- I've proven to be one of the few people capable of coming up with truly original ideas. I can't claim that they were GOOD ideas, but at least they have had the virtue of being unusual. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), my ability to capitalize on these ideas -- to profit from them -- has been terrible. WORSE than terrible, despite having had certain advantages and opportunities. Thus, my failure in life is even more inexcusable than that of the average person.

But the only person to blame is that dunderhead in the mirror.
 
Perhaps you feel that you must justify your existence, Mr. Cannon.

I do not feel that I must justify mine.

In a decent society, one's existence does not need to be justified.

Simply being a human is enough.

The social democracies understand this. The USA, sadly, has not yet caught up--largely due to the successful bamboozlement of the white masses (reminder: I am also a non-elite white male native-born citizen).

Merit ("deserving", "earning", it has many names) is a myth, and a toxic myth at that.


 
I agree with both of your points. However, in order to change the Narrative, we need a new one.
https://www.ted.com/talks/george_monbiot_the_new_political_story_that_could_change_everything/transcript?language=en
 
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