Trying to understand the Trump candidacy Part 4

Marion (faithful reader!), just catching up here.

Much news to share.

– At Britain’s Speccie, Rod Little would like to see Trump be US president primarily because of who he’d annoy: “It would be Trumpageddon for all the worst people in Britain, and the prospect is rather attractive” (paywall)

Ah, memories: That’s what so many Toronto folk loved about the late mayor Rob Ford (Ford Nation). He proved that Toronto was a great city. It was an internationally acclaimed city through all the quarrels between Ford and the elite. Toronto was great because of the people, not the pols or the ‘crats.

The worst thing for hundreds of thousands of Eurocrats would be if Trump won and no Trumpageddon ensued. The best thing for them is to scare the world public over such possibilities indefinitely, without any chance to test the claim.

– Recently, I learned that Obama had lectured the media for Trump’s rise:

Obama directly alluded to the nearly $2 billion of free media reportedly received from the Trump campaign to promote his message, lecturing journalists for failing to hold the billionaire accountable.

One would think, at face value, that Obama is simply pointing out what we’ve often discussed: Media empower Trump because they feel compelled to denounce him, thus publicizing his pronouncements for free.

However, as a progressive, Obama surely means more than that. He thinks media should work with the Party to defeat Trump. Indeed, it is probably in former mainstream media’s interests at this point to drop any pretense and become state media, the sort that the U.S.’s global partners and competitors have. They won’t be trusted, but they won’t starve either. Plus, they will have a straightforward basis for suppressing actual news and views and independent media, in favour of the government policies they are expected to promote and publicize.

My guess is, most Americans won’t really notice until they find that they cannot get news they trust except through the rumour mill. Friends are kicked off Twitter for saying what almost everyone in town thinks. The police visit a neighbour because of a Facebook post that caused no actual offense (but fell outside “guidelines”). Welcome to the global world then. Or get off the planet. Or think carefully about where you are headed.

– It’s not really about Trump anyway, as we know.

Yesterday Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had a rather rough tour through the Bronx, which was dotted with angry protestors and the cancellation of a visit to a preparatory school after precious snowflakes felt that Cruz was just too racist, homophobic, and misogynist to enter the premises.

The school’s goals:

All students will be taught by a highly effective teacher in a nurturing environment and will achieve at high levels. Each student will develop the knowledge, skills and values necessary for responsible citizenship and life-long learning. The impact of our collective efforts will fundamentally change public education.

Doubtless, their collective efforts are doing just that. Gone are the days when old Miss Primley, retired suffragette, informed students that one must be polite even to persons who are unlikely to reciprocate, let alone persons with whom one merely disagrees.

Matt Vespa takes a long, long time in this piece to not say what’s obvious: The universities’ humanities faculties cater to baby asshats who don’t want to learn because the universities have nothing much to teach. But staff and faculty want the salaries and perks anyway.

Fortunately, the humanities still have a function and they are fulfilling it. The snowflakes are learning their adult roles there: ‘crats or thugs in progressive governments. That is, the Outer Party in Orwell’s 1984 or (if intellectual failures) the dogs in Animal Farm.

Higher education has not been a goal of the humanities since they stopped teaching grammar (= stopped teaching rigorous analysis of language) or making people memorize dates (historical consciousness), beginning in the 1970s.

Marion, it always happens eventually. The Areopagus ceased too, at one time. Universities arose much later, and resumed the brand. When it looks like everything’s over, something usually survives. In this case, the internet creates the possibility of MOOCs (massive online open courses) for people who want to learn.

– We’re told that two years after the VA scandal, nothing much has changed. The cure will be euthanasia, probably. First legalization, then mainstreaming. At that point, things like the VA scandal just won’t matter so much. Many people would be happy to stop having to think of failures like that as a scandal. The money saved can be used in Cooler ways.

– Meanwhile, the Fast and Furious document dump has been turned over, long after anyone has ceased to care what happened to those people. That’s the secret of governing jobless America, as you know: Don’t frighten the EBT card holders. Give them time to wander into a forgetful haze.

– A new feature is genuine loss of intellectual heft. Take Jonah Goldberg, for example: Look at his argument in favour of continued free trade with unfree nations:

In practical terms, Sanders wants to keep billions of (non-white) people poor — very poor. If America were a flea market, his policy would be akin to saying, “Poor people of color cannot sell their wares here, even if customers want to buy them.”

Indeed? What if the wares were produced by slave labour? Of course they’ll be cheaper, but…

International trade, led by the United States, has resulted in the largest, fastest decrease in extreme poverty in human history. Roughly 700 million Chinese people alone have escaped extreme poverty since 1980, and most of that is attributable to China’s decision to embrace the market economy and international trade. Want to keep Africa as poor as possible? Throw up as many trade barriers as you can. More.

Free trade only really make sense when all participants are free. Otherwise, we are investing in someone else’s misery. It doesn’t end well.

Very well, if Bubba wants to lose his job so that a Chinese guy can have it, I think that he is selfless and commendable. But was Bubba asked whether he minds? Is his government supposed to be acting on behalf of the Chinese?

I respected Goldberg for Liberal Fascism and once wrote some notes to it. But some realities overwhelm even fine minds, leaving the rest of us to scramble to make sense of plain facts.

Reality check: Ultimately, it’s not even about whether Donald Trump is part of a solution that empowers Americans. The astonishing fact is that no one else associated with the GOP chooses to be. One wonders whether the Panama Papers will have any impact. Especially in helping people understand the way the problem plays out in the United States.

Globalization means, among other things, a levelling of the expectations for government. Americans may just now be learning that their government can’t be expected to behave better than Panama’s. And, true to form, GOP donorcrats will tell them that nothing can be done about that. Boob, vote for us anyway. Bubba, get a job.

Of course it’s not happening in as intense a way in Canada yet, but we aren’t the big prize either.

See also: Trying to understand the Trump candidacy Part 1

Trying to understand the Trump candidacy Part 2

Trying to understand the Trump candidacy, Part 3