17 thoughts on “News/Politics 12-21-16

  1. Irishman Ian O’Doherty wrote this piece right after the election. (Sorry about the length – I would have simply put up a link, but then y’all would have had to register at the site.)

    An Irish Reflection on the 2016 Election in the Colonies

    Tuesday November 8, 2016 — a day that will live in infamy, or the moment when America was made great again?

    The truth, as ever, will lie somewhere in the middle. After all, contrary to what both his supporters and detractors believe — and this is probably the only thing they agree on — Trump won’t be able to come into office and spend his first 100 days gleefully ripping up all the bits of the Constitution he doesn’t like.

    But even if this week’s seismic shockwave doesn’t signal either the sky falling in or the start of a bright new American era, the result was, to use one of The Donald’s favourite phrases, huge. It is, in fact, a total game changer.

    In decades to come, historians will still bicker about the most poisonous, toxic and stupid election in living memory.

    They will also be bickering over the same vexed question: how did a man who was already unpopular with the public and who boasted precisely zero political experience beat a seasoned Washington insider who was married to one extremely popular president and who had worked closely with another?

    The answer, ultimately, is in the question.

    History will record this as a Trump victory, which of course it is. But it was also more than that, because this was the most stunning self-inflicted defeat in the history of Western democracy.

    Hillary Clinton has damned her party to irrelevance for at least the next four years. She has also ensured that Obama’s legacy will now be a footnote rather than a chapter. Because the Affordable Care Act is now doomed under a Trump presidency and that was always meant to be his gift, of sorts, to America.

    How did a candidate who had virtually all of the media, all of Hollywood, every celebrity you could think of, a couple of former presidents and apparently, the hopes of an entire gender resting on her shoulders, blow up her own campaign?

    I rather suspect that neither Donald nor Hillary know how they got to this point.

    Where she seemed to expect the position to become available to her by right — the phrase “she deserves it” was used early in the campaign and then quickly dropped when her team remembered that Americans don’t like inherited power — his first steps into the campaign were those of someone chancing their arm. If he wasn’t such a staunch teetotaller, many observers would have accused him of only doing it as a drunken bet.

    But the more the campaign wore on, something truly astonishing began to happen: the people began to speak. And they began to speak in a voice which, for the first time in years in the American heartland, would not be ignored.

    Few of the people who voted for Trump seriously believe that he is going to personally improve their fortunes. Contrary to the smug, middle-class media narrative, they aren’t all barely educated idiots.

    They know what he is, of course they do. It’s what he is not that appeals to them.

    Clinton, on the other hand, had come to represent the apex of smug privilege. Whether it was boasting about her desire to shut down the remaining coal industry in Virginia — that worked out well for her, in the end — or calling half the electorate a “basket of deplorables,” she seemed to operate in the perfumed air of the elite, more obsessed with coddling idiots and pandering to identity and feelings than improving the hardscrabble life that is the lot of millions of Americans.

    Also, nobody who voted for Trump did so because they wanted him as a spiritual guru or life coach.

    But plenty of people invested an irrational amount of emotional energy into a woman who was patently undeserving of that level of adoration.

    That’s why we’ve witnessed such fury from her supporters — they had wrapped themselves so tightly in the Hillary flag that a rejection of her felt like a rejection of them. And when you consider that many American colleges gave their students Wednesday off class because they were too “upset” to study, you can see that this wasn’t a battle for the White House — this became a genuine battle for America’s future direction. And, indeed, for the West.

    We have been going through a cultural paroxysm for the last 10 years — the rise of identity politics has created a Balkanised society where the content of someone’s mind is less important than their skin colour, gender, sexuality or whatever other attention-seeking label they wish to bestow upon themselves.

    In fact, where once it looked like racism and sexism might be becoming archaic remnants of a darker time, a whole new generation has popped up which wants to re-litigate all those arguments all over again.

    In fact, while many of us are too young to recall the Vietnam War and the social upheaval of the 1960s, plenty of observers who were say they haven’t seen an America more at war with itself than it is today.

    One perfect example of this New America has been the renewed calls for segregation on campuses. Even a few years ago, such a move would have been greeted with understandable horror by civil rights activists — but this time it’s the black students demanding segregation and “safe spaces” from whites. If young people calling for racial segregation from each other isn’t the sign of a very, very sick society, nothing is.

    The irony of Clinton calling Trump and his followers racist while she was courting Black Lives Matter was telling.

    After all, no rational white person would defend the KKK, yet here was a white women defending both BLM and the New Black Panthers — explicitly racist organisations with the NBP, in particularly, openly espousing a race war if they don’t get what they want.

    Fundamentally, Trump was attractive because he represents a repudiation of the nonsense that has been slowly strangling the West.

    He represents — rightly or wrongly, and the dust has still to settle — a scorn and contempt for these new rules. He won’t be a president worried about microaggressions, or listening to the views of patently insane people just because they come from a fashionably protected group.

    He also represents a glorious two fingers to everyone who has become sick of being called a racist or a bigot or a homophobe — particularly by Hillary supporters who are too dense to realise that she has always actually been more conservative on social issues than Trump.

    That it might take a madman to restore some sanity to America is, I suppose, a quirk that is typical to that great nation — land of the free and home to more contradictions than anyone can imagine.

    Trump’s victory also signals just how out of step the media has been with the people. Not just American media, either.

    In fact, the Irish media has continued its desperate drive to make a show of itself with a seemingly endless parade of emotionally incontinent gibberish that, ironically, has increased in ferocity and hysterical spite in the last few days.

    The fact that Hillary’s main cheerleaders in the Irish and UK media still haven’t realised where they went wrong is instructive and amusing in equal measure. They still don’t seem to understand that by constantly insulting his supporters, they’re just making asses of themselves.

    One female contributor to this newspaper said Trump’s victory was a “sad day for women.” Well, not for the women who voted for him, it wasn’t.

    But that really is the nub of the matter — the “wrong” kind of women obviously voted for Trump. The “right” kind went with Hillary. And lost.

    The Irish media is not alone in being filled largely with dinner-party liberals who have never had an original or socially awkward thought in their lives. They simply assume that everyone lives in the same bubble and thinks the same thoughts — and if they don’t, they should.

    Of the many things that have changed with Trump’s victory, the bubble has burst. Never in American history have the polls, the media and the chin-stroking moral arbiters of the liberal agenda been so spectacularly, wonderfully wrong.

    It was exactly that condescending, obnoxious sneer towards the working class that brought them out in such numbers, and that is the great irony of Election 16 — the Left spent years creating identity politics to the extent that the only group left without protection or a celebrity sponsor was the white American male.

    That it was the white American male who swung it for Trump is a timely reminder that while black lives matter, all votes count — even the ones of people you despise.

    You don’t have to be a supporter of Trump to take great delight in the sheer, apoplectic rage that has greeted his victory.

    If Clinton had won and Trump supporters had gone on a rampage through a dozen American cities the next night, there would have been outrage — and rightly so.

    But in a morally and linguistically inverted society, the wrong-doers are portrayed as the victims. We saw that at numerous Trump rallies: protesters would disrupt the event, claiming their right to free speech (a heckler’s veto is not free speech) and provoking people until they got a dig before running to the media and claiming victimhood.

    But, ultimately, this election was about people saying enough with the bullshit. This is a country in crisis, and most Americans don’t care about transgender bathrooms, or safe spaces, or government speech laws. This was about people taking some control back for themselves.

    It was about them saying that they won’t be hectored and bullied by the toddler tantrums thrown by pissy and spoiled millennials, and they certainly won’t put up with being told they’re stupid and wicked just because they have a difference of opinion.

    But, really, this election is about hope for a better America; an America which isn’t obsessed with identity and perceived “privilege;” an America where being a victim isn’t a virtue and where you don’t have to apologise for not being up to date with the latest list of socially acceptable phrases.

    Trump’s victory was a two fingers to the politically correct.

    It was a brutal rejection of the nonsense narrative which says Muslims who kill Americans are somehow victims. It took the ludicrous Green agenda and threw it out. It was a return, on some level, to a time when people weren’t afraid to speak their own mind without some self-elected language cop shouting at you. Who knows, we may even see Trump kicking the UN out of New York.

    Frankly, if you’re one of those who gets their politics from Jon Stewart and Twitter, look away for the next four years, because you’re not going to like what you see. The rest of us, however, will be delighted.

    This might go terribly, terribly wrong. Nobody knows — and if we have learned anything this week, it’s that nobody knows nuthin’.

    But just as the people of the UK took control back with Brexit, the people of America did likewise with their choice for president.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. A long article Tychicus, but it can be summed up in one short paragraph:

    Fundamentally, Trump was attractive because he represents a repudiation of the nonsense that has been slowly strangling the West.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m not sure people feel safe to speak their mind again. I still see/hear a lot of shaming if you don’t go along with the election-was-stolen narrative playing at least in my community. 😦

    I’ll be attending a family wedding next week with my lips firmly planted together on this subject–though my relatives may simply be in a celebratory mode. Here’s hoping and I probably should be praying, too. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. That is good, Tychichus–but it is probably a violation of copyright to post the whole thing and not just a few sentences or paragraphs of it.

    Like

  5. It isn’t just where you are Michelle, although I do live near the first stop of the Thank You Tour. People are in an uproar over how much it cost the City and a tree being cut down.

    Like

  6. Our community has tried seceding from the city of LA before, but to no avail. We’re just as liberal here, for the
    most part, but feel we don’t get our fair share of stuff

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good read, Michelle, I’m passing that on to a couple colleagues (who are secular moderate-conservative kinda but who are
    tired also of the liberal chorus that surrounds us right now)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. “Kevin B | December 19, 2016 at 5:39 pm
    Bob Buckles, can you explain this comment, “He was not anyone I wanted, God chose him for one of the nominees…”? You sound as if you are saying you could vote for Trump because God chose him as a nominee but you could not vote for Hillary because God did not choose her as a nominee.”

    Kevin, I was not ever going to vote FOR Hillary. I wanted to vote FOR someone. The 2 Bushes were the last Republican I voted FOR.

    A friend, my insurance man (we were in each others weddings) went to high school with Trump, a military high school. They were in the same company. Trump was a year ahead. My friend said that Trump might pleasantly surprise me, in a good way.

    I still am mystified that Hillary was so easily nominated. It is obvious to anyone that she was crooked. She didn’t obey the law about emails. She was above the law. She wanted to cover-up something.

    The stories about her treatment of people whose job was to give up their own lives to protect her disgust me. She was/is not worthy of them.

    Democrats shut their eyes to Hillary’s character and behavior. They easily nominated her. What little respect I had for them blew away in the wind. Individuals, can be OK. Party people, scum, evil. They need prayer and repentance.

    I was having trouble putting my thoughts down about voting. There were 4 people on my ballot for President. Those were my choices to vote for. I am a Republican. Always have been. I have never chosen a Democrat for any office. This was my 13th Presidential election. I didn’t like Trump. Hillary, eewwww! I could not in vote for Hillary. I bought into “Don’t throw away your vote.”

    Besides that, who can resist these?
    /Users/maryannebuckles/Desktop/Screen Shot 2016-12-21 at 1.27.21 PM.png

    /Users/maryannebuckles/Desktop/Screen Shot 2016-12-21 at 1.31.53 PM.png

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tychicus, Thanks for posting the Irishman’s article. Much of it is right on point, particularly the parts dealing with Hillary’s weaknesses as a candidate.

    However, he completely misunderstood why the Democrats are now so furious. Very few of them are “wrapped tightly in the Hillary flag”. Half of them voted for Sanders and even the ones who voted for her in the primaries did so because they thought she was more electable than Sanders.

    No, the Democrats are furious because they HATE Trump. They see him as a lying, ignorant, deranged, amoral con man and sexual predator (which he is) and a wild-eyed conservative (which he is not, but he has behaved as they have been taught to expect wild-eyed conservatives to behave).

    The Republicans really hated Hillary and the Democrats really hated Trump. That is why the election was so close.

    Like

  10. I’m quoting a good part of this piece because it isn’t an essay but a comment on an essay linked above (http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/fellow-liberals-tired-of-you/)

    kgasmart says:
    December 21, 2016 at 10:50 am

    As recently as two years ago I was a very outspoken agnostic liberal. I hope I wasn’t as obnoxious as the SJWs are today but maybe I was, in retrospect. I did a lot of sneering. . . .

    But in more recent years, there have been many signposts on my way back to conservatism, signposts that I didn’t really recognize as such at first, though I do now.

    The first came when my wife was pregnant with our youngest son, in 2009. At six months, a routine ultrasound turned up something that looked like a significant deformity; it appeared as if his spinal cord was split around a piece of bone in his back, then “tethered” to another piece of bone. On the basis of this we went for more testing a major metro children’s hospital; the worst-case scenario was that he might not walk and could have neurological damage.

    One of the doctors we saw, an orthopedist, I think, said something along the lines of – “Well, you’ll be having an aboriton then.” Not so much a question, but a statement; virtually all middle-class parents in our situation get an abortion.”

    I was offended, even angry. I’d always been pro-choice, but all I could think at that moment was, this isn’t some clump of cells, this isn’t some mere deformity – this is my son. And I wondered who could or would abort in that situation.

    For as it turned out, the initial scans were wrong. More intensive testing revealed our son simply had a curvature of the spine, scoliosis, and at age 6 he’s happy and fine.

    The whole situation rocked my view on abortion.

    Then gay marriage. I argued strenuously in favor of it, saying – and believing – that if families are the essential building block of society, why would we want to prohibit people who love one another from making a legal commitment to one another? But shortly after the court rules, I saw this article in the Daily Beast which in effect admitted that gay marriage had been a Trojan horse all along:

    According to a 2013 study, about half of gay marriages surveyed (admittedly, the study was conducted in San Francisco) were not strictly monogamous.
    This fact is well-known in the gay community—indeed, we assume it’s more like three-quarters. But it’s been fascinating to see how my straight friends react to it. Some feel they’ve been duped: They were fighting for marriage equality, not marriage redefinition. Others feel downright envious, as if gays are getting a better deal, one that wouldn’t work for straight couples. …

    The title of the piece was “Were conservative Christians right about gay marriage all along?” And the writer’s answer is clearly “yes” – in your face, all you people who thought the issue was about equality.

    I did indeed feel duped – and angry. It was another signpost on the road to conservatism.

    Then social justice warriors became a thing. I saw my liberal Facebook friends trying to outdo one another with their virtue signaling. Long-time white friends posting about how all white people need to check their privilege and examine their souls, because all of us were guilty of the sin of racism on some level, and we must atone for it.

    Give me a break. This wasn’t just a signpost, it was the exit sign.

    But, it occurred to me they were preaching – this is the new fundamentalism; they sneer, they flaunt a smarmy self-proclaimed sense of moral superiority just as the fundamentalists of the Bush era did. I detested it then – and I detest it now.

    And it occurred to me at some point that as a 23-year married father of three, I have far, far more in common with religious conservatives than I realized. It benefits my kids to live in neighborhoods amongst people who value stable family relationships as we do, who teach their kids prudence and self-control and the value of deferred gratification. It benfits my kids to believe in something greater than themselves and their own pleasure.

    The one place I haven’t gotten to it belief itself. I can’t shake my agnosticism. But I have come to realize how bad an idea it is for my agnosticism to be an organizing force in society, because frankly it isn’t that. The ethos of “do whatever you like” means no community consensus. Radical individuality destroys any sense of shared purpose.

    Liberalism as it’s currently practiced yields only divisiveness and moral preening. And like your writer, I want something better for my kids – and for myself.

    Liked by 3 people

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