Starstruck & Party-Fanatic: The Moral Paradox of Trump Support

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Donald J. Trump’s poll numbers in California have cratered down to 28%. If he actually does that poorly in the election, he will set a record for poor performance of a presidential candidate in California. Ever.

What is difficult to explain is why he isn’t doing that poorly everywhere. Let’s just review what Trump says he stands for:

* Manhandling of women without their consent

* Torture

* Suggested that crime in Baltimore spiked because we have an African-American president

* Jail time for women who have an abortion.

* Reducing taxes paid by billionaires.

* Stigmatizing Latinos as rapists and felons

* Revival of the Ku Klux Klan without the sheets

* Carpet-bombing civilian cities to get at ISIL

* Unconstitutional treatment of US citizens of Muslim faith

* Passage of political libel laws as a means to censor the press

Most Americans are opposed to these planks of the Trump platform. So why is he still winning any states in the polls?

I think there are two things going on here that give Trump a floor in many states that he does not have in California. Those two things are his celebrity status and blind party loyalty.

Trump is a celebrity of a sort we have never had run for president. Ronald Reagan, a B actor in his youth, was not in the same category. When Reagan ran for president in 1980 his acting days were long behind him and few people in the electorate cared about his old black and white films. Trump, in contrast, was on a popular reality show for 11 seasons and until just before he announced his run. Early in its run, the Apprentice got as many as 20 million viewers. It is true that the audience rapidly dropped thereafter, but nevertheless Trump was before millions of people a week.

Most politicians have to spend time introducing themselves to the public. Most everybody knew who Trump was. I have a strong suspicion that this name recognition has inflated Trump’s poll numbers in the generals. That is, there are a lot of Americans who don’t follow politics. 42% of them don’t bother to vote in a typical presidential election. Many of the rest aren’t paying much attention until September and October just before Election Day. So in most years when pollsters call in August and ask people who they are voting for and name the two candidates, I think they probably get a lot of suspicious answers because some proportion of their sample has never heard of that person or can’t describe what the candidate stands for.

Not so in the case of Donald Trump. (Hillary Clinton, of course, also probably has high name recognition, but she hasn’t been in people’s living rooms the way Trump has. And no, I don’t mean it that way.)

Moreover, Americans are often forgiving of their celebrities’ foibles. Celebrities are there to entertain us or offer us power fantasies, not to behave themselves. Los Angeles prosecutors notoriously have an uphill battle in getting jurors to convict even obviously guilty celebrities. Whereas Americans at least always used to be puritanical in their expectations of politicians, they are tolerant of moral lapses in the Hollywood set. Trump confuses many of them because he is both a celebrity and a politician, but many are more willing to be lenient with him than they likely would be with some lawyer they’d never heard of who was running for office.

The other distorting variable here is party loyalty. Perhaps the rise of social media has cemented party polarization in the US. There were people in the old days who voted Clinton and then voted Bush (white Protestant women did so in droves). But party loyalty seems to have solidified with the rise of social media. Maybe it is embarrassing to switch sides in public when you’ve been involved in Twitter or Facebook slamming matches on behalf of the last party you voted for.

A lot of Republicans are clearly clinging to Trump despite the Billy Bush tape and subsequent charges from the women he’s groped. These include evangelicals and ‘blue hairs’ (the little old white ladies who are reliably Republican and usually morally censorious). Some 82% of self-identified Republican women are still supporting Trump, groping and all.

So why is California different here? Well, in part it just no longer has many Republicans. About half of the some 40 million Californians are registered to vote. About 28.9 % of those registered voters are Republicans. So the party-loyalty distorting factor may still be at work there. But the GOP in California long ago tied itself to the declining white population (now a minority) and so suffered an implosion. National GOP policy and certainly that of Trump is making the same mistake, which is why they can’t win national presidential elections any more.

Second, Trump has lost many women independents, those famous ‘soccer moms’ who voted for Bill Clinton and then switched to W.

So we should expect Trump everywhere to be getting about the same percentage support as the percentage of registered voters who are Republicans. Hence, he wins in Alabama. And he might even do a little better than that, gaining those independents (especially men) willing to wink at a celebrity’s hi jinx if only he will get the Federal government off their backs and halt immigration.

I usually don’t hold people’s votes against them on moral grounds. People make their own judgments in politics and there are good people in both parties.

But I think there is a moral deficit in anyone still willing to vote for Trump, despite all the racism, fascism, sexism, and sexual predation. If our two-party system and our current modes of communication have led us to this place, it is time to rethink them. Otherwise the Republic is in danger.


Related video added by Juan Cole:

CNN: ” Polls: Gains for Trump in Florida, New Hampshire”

44 Responses

  1. One thing left out of this commentary is the appeal of Trump vis-a-vis deindustrialization. When he stands in front of shuttered factories and issues his usual blustery threats against corporate chieftains moving jobs to Mexico, it strikes a chord.

    • Absolutely.

      The United Auto Workers and Intl. Brotherhood of Teamsters unions were during the 1950s and 1960s clearly the most politically influential labor unions in America and were largely run out of Detroit. The UAW was one of the few national labor unions not based in Washington D.C. – but in Detroit, and the Teamsters, despite being nominally headquartered at a 9-million-dollar building in the District of Columbia, was heavily controlled by its Detroit-based Local 299, headed by Jimmy Hoffa. Local 299 had the highest membership of any Teamster local in the U.S. and that local membership consisted heavily of over-the-road truckers hauling new automobiles.

      Two events occurred which shattered the prominence of those two unions and Detroit’s primacy as the center of industrial power in the Midwest:

      (A) a little-known young business entrepreneur named Malcom Bricklin entered into a distributorship agreement with Subaru in the mid-1960s to import compact cars made in Japan into the U.S. consumer market – which led by the 1970s to Japanese automakers controlling an ever-widening share of the American market;

      (B) the opening up of the Mexican labor force to U.S. automotive suppliers – aided by the North American Free Trade Agreement – led to the Big Three Detroit automakers outsourcing parts and components to Mexican factories – many owned by American businessmen – and causing the layoffs of UAW workers.

      Detroit has declined from a population of 2 million in 1950 to less than 700,000 today – with the median value of a Detroit home currently about $10,000. The UAW today has lost hundreds of thousands of members since the late 1970s as well as political influence; Local 299 of the Teamsters likewise has only fraction of its 1970s era membership and the international union has lost the vast political clout it enjoyed under Jimmy Hoffa and Frank Fitzsimmons.

      Detroit-based General Motors, once the largest company in the world, filed in 2008 (its 100th anniversary) for Chapter 7 bankruptcy with over 90 billion dollars in accrued debt; Chrysler, the nation’s third-largest automaker, was purchased by foreign interests after its stock shares became worthless. Only Ford – through prudent family management and intensive cost-cutting measures – and without any federal loan bailout – survived along with its shareholders.

      Detroit is America’s most stark example of very extreme deindustrialization – and the noxious effect upon the public interest.

      • Detroit had already declined to a little over a million when I got here in 1984. Sugrue argues that mechanization in the 1950s and 1960s was primarily responsible for the decline of the workforce, and that then race came into play. Neither Japan nor Mexico bulks large in his well-researched work, and there isn’t any essential reason Detroit could not have flourished with such competition.

        • “……..then race came into play…..”

          In 1970, blacks amounted to about 43% of Detroit’s population and today its about 83% – if one adds Hispanic, Asian and Arab minorities in Detroit the city’s total minority population approaches 90% today.

          Blacks in union leadership has been almost non-existent in Detroit-based labor union locals of the Teamsters and construction trades – although the United Auto Workers has openly promoted racial diversity and inclusion and had Mark Stepp, an African -American, serve as an international vice-president during the 1970s and 1980s.

          “……[n]either Japan nor Mexico bulks large in his well-researched work……”

          The Economic Policy Institute estimates that 700,000 American jobs were lost since NAFTA went into effect with Michigan and Indiana being the hardest hit:

          link to

      • A large contributing factor that led to Detroit’s downfall as an automotive giant were the “sweetheart” deals between the United auto Workers Union and the automotive companies. This had nothing to do with Japanese comptetition or Mexican labor. It had everything to do with a combined wage and benefits package that reached $71.00 per hour in the 1980s. The auto companies priced themselves out of the market. Japan just made a better product at lower cost.

        • “A large contributing factor were the “sweetheart” deals….”


          Big Three management justified their own salary increases on the raises given to the UAW workers.

          Janitors who were UAW members earned as much as $74,000.00 per annum and earned the jealousy of young entry-level engineers were earned less than they did.

          U.S. Senator Carl Levin unsuccessfully sought heavy tariffs on Japanese imports to thwart the growing market share.

          The Subaru and other Japanese imports of the 1960s were considered deathtraps and a joke among the auto experts. By the 1980s however, Japanese imported cars had a reputation for quality and affordability among U.S. consumers.

          The 1980s were considered a glory decade for the auto industry in Detroit with record profits and Lee Iacocca being touted as a possible presidential candidate in 1984 and 1988. The generous collective bargaining agreements the UAW had with the Big Three led to long term pension and medical insurance trust obligations that came to destroy both GM and Chrysler during the G.W. Bush administration.

          Many auto suppliers from Detroit, such as Lear Corporation, Collins & Aikman, Delphi and others who supplied automotive components such as seating and car interiors filed for bankruptcy as Mexican automotive factories produced the same components for far less cost.

          Lear Corporation, a 10-billion per year revenue seating producer in the 1990s, saw all of its shareholder equity wiped out in a bankruptcy filing in the following decade.

  2. * Reducing taxes paid by billionaires.

    “Trickle down economics” is a con that goes like this…Give the rich more money and they will share it with you. (Belly laugh)

    Simply put…with the browning of America, Trump is the Great White Hope to the “Lock her up” mob.

    Exporting 11 million immigrants, forget that it would take twenty years, billions of dollars, overburden our courts and an immigration police force the size of an army, that kind of rhetoric is mother’s milk to his Wrestlemania following.

  3. Regarding carpet bombing of civilian cities, most Americans are proud of what we and our allies did during World War II. That included the bombing of civilian cities such as Hamburg, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. So Trump’s moral compass is aligned with that of the average American, at least when it comes to bombing civilians.

    • There is no evidence that ordinary Americans understood that Dresden was fire-bombed or that if asked beforehand they would have approved of this tactic. They certainly would not today.

      • While ordinary Americans may not approve of firebombing Dresden today, they are quite content about the nuclear bombing of two Japanese cities in WWII. As recent as six years ago when I was discussing the WWII with otherwise reasonable people, they were quite adamant that it was the right decision and it saved the American lives. There was no recognition of the reports that Japan had already signaled willingness to stop war nor was there any remorse at the innocent civilian lives lost in Japan.

        • General Douglas Mac Arthur and Admiral Chester Nimitz – who disliked each other – both felt that the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima violated the ethical code they were taught as members of the U.S. Armed Forces as far as avoiding civilian casualties.

          Most Americans feel that the fact an estimated 100,000 lives of U.S. servicemen were saved justified the A-bomb attacks at Hiroshima an Nagasaki.

        • In fact, the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki did save American (and Japanese) lives by shortening the war and rendering an invasion of the japanese home islands unnecessary.

          Scholarship over the last two decades, MAGIC decrypts of Japanese diplomatic traffic, and the evidence we have of the deliberations of Japanese officials and the Emperor indicate that the Japanese were not ready to surrender. They approached the Soviet Union (which was not a belligerent against Japan and had no standing to negotiate on behalf of the allies), but they offered no concrete terms themselves.

          Moreover, we know that what the Japanese had in mind was more an armistice rather than a surrender. It included no allied occupation of the japanese home islands, no allied war crimes trials (which if conducted at all would be conducted by the Japanese themselves), and continued Japanese occupation of Manchuria (Manchukuo, as the Japanese called their conquered puppet state). This would have been a case of the vanquished dictating terms to the victors and was unacceptable, particularly given that the Japanese initiated the war and the atrocities they committed in its execution.

      • Wait, what?! “No evidence”?”Would not today”? I guess it depends on how you define “ordinary Americans” and read the electorate. Seems about half the electorate is quite happy to “make the sands glow”, “bomb the shit” out of “them”, and believes it okay to murder families of suspected terrorists. Far too many people respond to the Orange Menace’s barbarity and are supine even at Clinton’s “soft” cruelty as regards various foreign policies.

        No, that’s by no means “all Americans”, but it’s a helluva lot – too many. Too too many. And a good number would fall into line if the propaganda machine got fired up (see Afghanistan, Iraq I and II, etc.)

        Che disastro!

    • The US did not engage in carpet bombing in Europe, only in Japan under Curtis LeMay. The approach by the Americans and the British were completely different. The US believed that we could carry out accurate precision daylight bombing of military targets and US commanders accepted the heavy losses that came with that. The British began that way, but found the losses unacceptable and switched to night time area bombing. Most all of the bombing of Hamburg, especially that which led to the firestorm, was carried out by the RAF. While the USAF participated in the bombing of Dresden, it was a British initiated plan and they did most of the bombing. The USAF tried again to carry out precision bombing (mainly a rail yard), but failed because of all the smoke and a lot of US bombers missed the city completely. As for US attitudes, most civilians had little idea of the horrors of the war because US press sanitized the news and US censors kept a lot of information away from the public. Also, attitudes towards the Germans were different than that towards the Japanese. Both among civilians and soldiers, there was much more enmity toward the Japanese than the Germans.

  4. I think that Trump’s celebrity status helps to explain his appeal, as does the tendency of many Americans not to follow politics closely unless it is on Fox News. It still amazes me that Trump gets away with ranting at “crooked” Hillary when his own track record puts to shame anything she has alleged to have done.

  5. I find it hard to understand, as a liberal Californian, how anyone could vote for this guy. Especially minorities and women. Voters from those groups who vote for Trump are like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders. What we have seen is that most of the Republican Party is now divorced from reality and easily swayed by propaganda. Plus, I think it is safe to say that about 20% of the American people are racists, misogynist, xenophobes, and/or authoritarians. And about 20% of the populace also believes that the sun revolves around the earth, so there ya go. H.L. Mencken once said that no one ever went broke by underestimating the intelligence of the American public. Churchill once said that you can count on Americans to do the right thing, after they have exshausted all the other options.

  6. The other factor you failed to mention is that Hillary Clinton is despised by left and right alike in historic numbers. If any Republican , other than Trump, were running against her, she would lose big.

    The majority of citizens think the country is on the wrong track and they are angry. Clinton, the Wall Street candidate , promises more of the status quo with maybe a little bit of progress around the edges to keep the pitchforks away, so long as it doesn’t hurt the bottom line of the 1%. The biggest factor helping Hillary is the fact that she is a woman and her campaign has essentially revived the notion of a special place in hell for any woman who doesn’t vote for her. If she were a man, the race would be much closer, even against the idiot Trump.

    • Conversely, (per your first paragraph) if the Democrats had nominated pretty much anyone else, that nominee would have Trump eating his dust, probably a 70-30 percent split.

      Antoinetta III

      • I think that’s easy to say because this hypothetical non-clinton candidate has not been scrutinized by an opposing party with a multi-million dollar oppo-research budget.

  7. Celebrity status and blind party loyalty, but also a weak candidate and years of anti-Clinton propaganda.

    Probably those latter two haven’t had much traction in CA because the Republican were simultaneously imploding here, significantly keyed on Trump’s primary issue (anti-immigration; basically the flip side of appealing to white voters).

    His other main issue, saving smokestack industries, doesn’t have much traction in CA since relatively strong air pollution regulations largely ran them out of the state decades ago. And those regulations, along with related climate action, are popular (people do like to breathe), further dampening Trump’s appeal.

    • For those who don’t know, the Republicans played the anti-immigrant card with Proposition 187 in 1994. It doomed their party to minority status as Hispanics and other minorities grew until they now make up a majority of the population. With Trump you will start seeing this occur in many other states like Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Florida. Even Georgia may go Democratic in the next presidential election cycle. New Mexico and Colorado seem to also have already become Democratic states because of these demographics.

  8. And we shouldn’t neglect the lack of a Trump campaign in CA, which feeds back on the very weak Republican down-ticket situation. Dems have about two-thirds of partisan offices, and notably the US Senate race that in past years would have served as a statewide nexus for campaigning even in the absence of a strong Presidential candidate features two Democrats.

  9. Many of Trump’s supporters are not inquisitive about government and politics in general, but there is a good reason, they get all the information they need from right wing talk radio. And the information they get is presented in dramatic detail. Rush Limbaugh might spend a half hour just explaining the criminality exposed in one of the hacked emails. In my area he is on three hours, followed by a lessor of his ilk for another hour or so.

    All ten of the things Juan listed at the top are convincingly explained away by Limbaugh and all. Convincing to those who believe that only right talk wing radio is correct, and have contempt and full distrust for the elite, gun confiscating, socialists that command the rest of journalism.

    Right wing talk radio gives its listeners so much hate and conspiracy, that whatever their shortcomings, they have good reason to suspect it’s not of their own doing. (The real world journalism would also give them quite a few suspicions, but for reasons beyond the very existence of Hillary Clinton and the rest of the socialists, a euphemism for Communists.)

  10. I’ll offer up another possible explanation.

    We’ve turned into a kvetching nation. Fanned by rightwing media outlets – TV, radio and the internet – (largely) older white conservative types have gravitated to the faux narrative that the US is in decline, morally, economically and militarily. It’s a load of horse manure but it’s resonating with this apparently large cohort of folks who are quite receptive to this message to the point where they believe that it’s true. Obviously, the nation faces serious issues and the deinstrializAtion of areas like Youngstown or Scranton speak to larger, structural challenges that the political elites need to tackle – yesterday. But a few blotches do not make a ridiculous exaggeration true. The tragedy here is that the people who are most vulnerable are putting their trust in a guy whose policies really will make their fears a self-fulfilling prophesy.

  11. My Jr. high school teacher more than 50 years ago explained the reasoning of moderate and low income citizens who vote Republican:

    “Republicans are rich. If I vote Republican maybe they’ll make me rich too.”

    Of course a public schools civics teacher who said that in class today would be fired.

    • Leo – It’s not the words, it’s his current actions and abysmal ignorance that closes Trump out. BTW pick another talking point . The one you are using is stale to moldy.

      AS long as fossil fuel is involved the U.S. will be at war no matter who is President. And do you really want the markets to crash?

      ” Amazing the disconnect.” indeed.

  12. Professor Cole, the above cited list of non-electable positions which Trump stands for is all embarrassing U.S. history. What Trump and his followers are doing now is much more important in it’s potential destructive nature.

    • Trump is using Republican money to develop a system which can “determine the personality of every single adult in the United States of America,” said Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica who is developing Trump’s system.
    • Actively undermining long-standing American institutions such as our national election process.
    • Promising a purge similar to Turkey iif elected. “Draining the swamp”.
    • Followers promising open rebellion if Trump is defeated.

    Professor Cole, you are very correct, “the Republic is in danger.”

  13. I agree with all of Juan’s criticisms of Trump, but Michael Moore’s take on why many “ordinary”, non-racist people in Ohio and Michigan may vote for Trump (yes, even though they may dislike him, too) rings very true to me- and is very worrisome: this is from Jimmy Dore’s show.
    Jimmy, from TYT, was a huge Bernie backer but can’t stand Hillary
    and now supports Stein:
    link to

    At the very least, this shows why Hillary’s “deplorables” comment was, well, deplorable. Things just aren’t that simple.

    Juan, you are based in Michigan so I wonder what your view is of this.

    • what I think is that if working class people think Trump is on their side they are making a big mistake.

      • The Michigan Republican Party several years ago was instrumental in promoting Right-to-Work legislation that eventually passed the Michigan Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Snyder. The GOP in Michigan (as is Trump) is the darling of non-union workers.

        The popularly-elected university boards in Michigan (Wayne State University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University) currently have Democratic majorities that have approved generous collective bargaining agreements with the unions representing the faculties.

        At Wayne State University, for example, an 8-year collective bargaining agreement was approved by a board of governors with a Democratic majority just before the Right-to-Work law took effect.

        At University of Michigan, student tuition rates rival those at America’s elite private universities – even though U-M receives copious public funding, largely due to U-M’s Board of Regents – with a Democratic majority – approving favorable collective bargaining contracts with the union representing faculty members. The Democratic Party state conventions in Michigan are usually replete with AAUP, American Federation of Teachers and other teacher’s union members who either receive delegate seats or are campaigning for university board candidates that promote these unions’ agendas

    • Clinton implied that half of Trump’s supporters were racists.
      I think that was charitable. She meant “racist by American standards.” Those standards are themselves based on the belief that White culture and hierarchy represent some sort of natural superiority proved by infallible markets, and minorities are still expected to one day capitulate to them. Nearly all Republicans and many or most Democrats actually believe that. But many of those Republicans, in turn, believe in overt use of violence, starvation, and social humiliation to achieve that noble goal. Most Democrats want punishments to be used against minority persons for individual misdeeds, not collective punishment against a criminal race whose members are all guilty of “something”.

      Now on top of that, Trump is mainstreaming those relatively disorganized Republicans who actually believe that minorities are genetically inferior and irredeemable and must remain under subjugation forever even if that requires the dilution or elimination of their right to vote.

      Which, in my book, is an act of war, beyond the crimes of Wall Street against the American people.

  14. I keep wondering, what would DT have to do in order to have his faithful leave him? Lying is not enough. Racism hasn’t chased away true believers.
    Even if he was proved to be a rapist, probably no effect on DT supporters-the proof would be evidence of conspiracy.
    Suppose that he was videotaped murdering someone? Would that be enough? Or would this hypothetical murder be called self-defense?

    Sigh. I can’t figure out what the moral standards of DT supporters are. He’s Dirty Harry and can do no wrong.

  15. Trump stands for all those negative things and more, but the core of his support has been his ability to tap into a nascent New American Populism that is opposed to key elements of the neoliberal consensus that has ruled this country for decades:

    1. Massive foreign immigration. The fraction of foreign-born people in the U.S. has reached levels (~14 %) not seen since the late 1800s. This helps enrich elite investors while driving down wages for the working class.
    2. Trade deals that have reduced the wages of the American working class while enriching elite investors.
    3. The system of legalized bribery that yields and endless stream of political candidates that promise the moon but once in office only respond to the concerns of the wealthy campaign donors.

    The key aspects shared by these 3 policies are: they have resulted in the shafting of the working and middle classes for the last several decades now, they are massively unpopular with the majority of the population, and both the Democratic and Republican parties support them to the hilt.

    So when someone comes along who promises to actually address the concerns of working people, and isn’t an obvious scripted puppet with campaign donors pulling their strings, many people are going to fall for it, despite all his other flaws. Trump is not the answer but so many people have been watching their futures declining for so long they are desperate to believe in somebody. Since Clinton II is not going to do anything for them, watch carefully the next election. Many people will be more desperate and alienated, and if someone with more political skills than Trump can harness that . . . watch out.

    • Theodore Roosevelt was a populist Republican that confronted the corporate trusts with antitrust legislation and targeted political corruption.

      Both Trump and Roosevelt hailed from from New York City, were Ivy League educated and are not “traditional” Republicans. but rather they can be safely labeled as “outsiders”.

      It is the “outsider” perception of him that may propel Trump into the White House.

      • Theodore Roosevelt was much more a progressive Republican than a “populist,” as we understand that term today. (And as it has been applied to both Sanders and Trump.) Nevertheless, the parallels you draw between Roosevelt and Trump are insignificant compared to their differences. Roosevelt had a keen sense of the U.S. national interest at a time when the U.S. was coming into its own. He knew how the system worked and was able to move forward on both the domestic and international fronts with calculated boldness.

        Trump, on the other hand, lacks a sense of the U.S. national interest and the ability to move it forward. Unlike Roosevelt, Trump is a blowhard with little intellectual capacity. Rather than calculated boldness, Trump is just plain reckless.

        It may be, as you say, that the “outsider” perception of Trump may propel him into the White House. But that would just confirm that his supporters are as ignorant and reckless as he is.

  16. His followers see him not as having climbed to the top via the acceptable way. They see him as having no respect for the corrupt context through which he wangled his way to the top. Pirate ethic.

    Thus, they see him as a true critic of a corrupt, failed, debt-driven (not demand-driven) system…through and through. As spokesman for the newest minority, they see him as champion of the underdog. This latter aspect was related by a sociologist on Democracy Now whose first name I can’t remember at the moment, last name Hochschild.

    His followers don’t know the difference between debt-driven and demand-driven, or debt-led as opposed to demand-led. Because of all the phony schtick, they don’t know how typical a scamster he is (extracting wealth from legit folks). If he won they’d get the opposite of what they’re anticpating.

    I agree that the celebrity factor is large. There’s an involved history/etiology here. Our entertainment (cable, Netflicks) has fallen down. Movies seem to create alternate versions of corruption (for drama’s sake). People take the fiction for gospel because it seems as complicated as reality. In many cases IMO it’s more complicated, and in effect diverts folks from attempting to understand what’s going on (movies in general do not attempt to explain things the way Oliver Stone’s films do). The apprentice for example. It purported to portray what success requires in a healthy system. It was only portraying what’s required when narcissists are in charge…which is vastly more complex. And so…things boil down in essence to really no principles–one must gamble without any understanding of how enterprises might work in a rational system.

    It’s been a long day, and I’ve written this in a rather flat and dry manner. Sorry, couldn’t manage anything more replete, with more examples. Yeah, that tiredness, though, means I know what’s happened to this economy. I know for example there are a lot of Afro-Americans working jobs readers here have no conception of, though for sure yall need some concept. If you’re one of these people with no idea, as Dylan sang…”Look out kid, They keep it all hid.” So, learn what’s hidden…now. Do the research. Then you can speak out with a little energy before the system has you over a barrel.

  17. After weeks of being upset about the Election, and despising Trump, I have put my feelings aside and looked at history. I see three reasons why this is happening.

    1) People resist change, and this is a pushback to an extraordinary two decades of change

    2) People, for all of social media (because of it), are living in information vacuums ( also called echo chambers) . Many Americans have abandoned mass news broadcasts as much as they abandoned print a few years ago. Its easy to not see some stuff that should be talked about if one deliberately gets into the “wrong” information bubble

    3) My neighbors are not as nice as I wanted them to be

    The three events have made a perfect social storm. I know there are many other contributing factors, and drivers, but this is the best way I can come up with to explain the inanity I am seeing

  18. I’m really getting sick of people who use the term “working people” to only refer to Whites in declining industries.
    The next proletariat in America will be mostly non-White. The next labor movement in America will be dominated by Latinos.
    But the crime of these minorities in the eyes of many of my fellow leftists is that they see they might win within the system, and they don’t have a sense of racist entitlement to threaten violence to overthrow it in favor of the seduction of leading a racial caste system.
    It’s damned sick when leftists want that system overthrown so badly that they tell themselves that fascists are proletarians, and that the KKK and Nazis will somehow unleash redistributive justice.
    Trump’s supporters have in fact shown no evidence that they want anything but redistributive injustice, the non-market guarantee of property and extra-legal power for them at the expense of all who are different. Most people at these rallies look the other way while some among them are beating up actual leftist protesters. But how can any leftists look the other way at such a thing?

    And by the way, exit polls during the primaries showed the average income of Trump supporters to be over $72,000 a year, higher than Clinton or Sanders supporters. Some proletariat.

    • “I’m really getting sick of people who use the term ‘working people’ to only refer to Whites in declining industries.

      “The next proletariat in America will be mostly non-White. The next labor movement in America will be dominated by Latinos.”

      Trump supporters are mainly sympathetic to white ‘working people’ in declining industries. The fact that they already see themselves this way (or see others as they were in prior yrs) contributes to an underdog spirit and/or tenacity [Hochschilds, Democracy Now!].

      I forgot to highlight that the Trumpsters’ awareness that something’s radically wrong with America’s economic picture is to some degree encouraging. Optimist Dems share things on facebook like “growth” under Obama and decreases in violent crime, which are distorted viewpoints. It is getting to the point where you have to doubt even general reporting. If you want a general valid picture of economics in the world IMO you have to read a ton to get it. For instance, Jack Rasmus, whom I respect a great deal, is saying Europe will be letting go its embrace of of austerity. Yes, maybe in the center a few smigens, but not for instance in Greece. In the talk-streams themselves (1st link below) Rasmus may digress beyond such a claim…actually made at the Oct 7th talk link (sadly, I’m behind in listening to them). In general, though, these summaries make a better outline re the truth of developments then one could get going through recent articles at michael-hudson dot com. Those are more specialized, though accurate IMO. The problem with saying the EU will rollback on austerity is that in just a few years they’ve abandoned their earlier principles for boosting all members, and resorted to scapegoating members on the periphery [real radical austerity]; and in doing this…they have gone far into doing so. Coming back a bit therefore will only land them in less austere austerity. Just Googling around I found the second piece linked below.

      Rasmus seems to have begun tying more not-so-specifically-econ-issues together in the last three talks, letting go a tad more even of his own expansions on facets laypersons might see as specialized. link to

      same deal with austerity link to

      even nations can end up scapegoated, and even under set-ups established to do just the opposite link to

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