Election Open Thread

A few half-baked observations which I took over from Facebook. Consider this an open thread:

+ Trump is a venal, empty chiseler and narcissist, but other countries have elected cretins before and survived (I'm lookin' at you, Italy).

+ The fact that Trump said some rude things didn't matter. Both because his message overwhelmed them, and because ordinary people (1) say words like 'bitch', 'fuck', and 'pussy' all the time; and (2) find Hillary's pre-masticated euphemisms boring and condescending.

+ Most of Trump’s campaign bluster was just that. He won't be able to actually do those crazy things, and knows this. He lies to get what he wants, and that's what his campaign rhetoric was.

+ He will quickly get bored with the tedium of actual governance, and delegate. Much will depend on whom he picks.

+ To the extent that his election thrusts a big fuck you finger to smug, insular elites inside their self-congratulatory filter bubbles, it's a good thing. Those people could profit from a bracing lesson in humility.

+ Identity politics is a dead-end. It elevates race, gender, sexual orientation and other aspects of identity to virtues in and of themselves, and views everything reductively through that narrow lens. Once you open that Pandora's box, you realize that white people can do identity politics too. Hillary’s anti-Bernie speech in which she repeatedly pointed out that ‘breaking up the banks’ would not eliminate racism, sexism, homophobia (those modern heresies) etc. was a perfect example of this worldview. As we've just found out, this sort of posturing leaves a lot of people cold.

+ Trump has promised to reduce America’s needless military presence abroad and let other countries regulate their own affairs with minimal US interference. If he actually follows through on this, the results would be positive. Hillary's hawkishness would have been more dangerous than Trump's isolationism.

+ Trump doesn’t care about climate change, but then again that genie is out of the bottle and can’t be forced back in. The world is already getting warmer, and all the various climate accords would have done little to change this. Now’s the time to look into other solutions.

+ Everyone take a deep breath. The US will survive, the world will survive. There will be a referendum on Trump's first two years in 2018, and a chance to kick him out two years after that.

And who knows? Maybe he'll mature in office. Nah, that ain't gonna happen.

4 thoughts on “Election Open Thread

  1. Agree with you more and more these days. If the liberal press and the self-appointed political pundits had spent more time listening to what Trump’s supporters were saying in the midlands, and spent less time whipping up this phony hypocritical spasm of self-righteousness, maybe they would have seen this coming. That said, they are used to democrats stupidly following what they say. Trump is going to be a car wreck–but one that is needed. Maybe this will buoy up some of the populous groups in Europe. Sweden needs a Trump car wreck very badly. Absolute idiots (all Clinton clones) in power for years. Total arrogance and condescension for the “white” Sweden. Bring it on!

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  2. > Trump is a venal, empty chiseler and narcissist, but other countries
    > have elected cretins before and survived (I’m lookin’ at you, Italy)

    Berlusconi cut a deal with Gaddafi as did Mitterand and Chirac, as does Merkel with Erdogan. Unlike Merkel he saw to it that he didn’t get stiffed. Stiffed as in having the entrails torn inside out. Else, he was as corrupt as the Italians wanted him to be. Personally even crasser than Trump he was yet an asset to his countrymen if only for his sleazy dealings with third world dictators he knew how to handle which saved Italy from being swamped, losing its sovereignty as we do now. No cretin, not by far, just ugly, you let antipathy cloud your judgement.

    Hillary saw it fit to have Gaddafi killed, killing the US ambassador en passant, conducting that and other state business on an unsecured mail server, not encrypting her mails, mixing private and official correspondence, deleting possibly incriminating mails afterwards. In the same vein I’m not too impressed by your take on trump’s crazy plans, him possibly getting bored soon, or those identity politics, we’ll see about that. I’d bother to argue but I still think that you take politics to be some kind of fascinating gentleman sport while I have too much skin in the game,* same as other commenters here.

    * again, sock is ok

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  3. Ed West’s take on identity politics at spectator.co.uk.

    Two quotes he cites:

    “Trump voters are opposed not to identity politics but to identity politics for everyone but them. That’s one important lesson of the night.”

    “The thing about playing identity politics is that eventually everyone figures out they should do the same thing.”

    Not to be wished for by the civic minded but when not-so-progressives elect a new people by importing ringers that’s what they get, thanks a lot. One of the reason why thinking about eg 711 is so tremendously off-putting to progressive thinkers is because it makes clear that there’s not much value for them to add. Once you acknowledge that we’ve been there and have done that, over and over again, it becomes clear that shiny baubles don’t help, which is sobering if you’re in that business.

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