Watching it Bern: Why its OK to vote for Donald Trump

datePosted on 12:20, July 28th, 2016 by E.A.

I’m going to get flak for this little rant but those that know me know I relish debate and will do my best to honestly defend my position.

So let’s address what I see as the 200 kilogram reptillianoid in the room; the fear driven media hyperbole around Donald Trump possibly being president.

At its simplest the argument runs something like this: better the lesser of two evils, Vote Hillary.

Your average democratic voter might make the partisan argument that Hillary Clinton is actually a good candidate while Donald Trump is a bad one. So vote Hillary.

More articulate commentators will go with the position that The Don is the death of the democratic system in the US so in order to save the system vote for Hillary!

None of these arguments (or related others), I believe, actually does the situation justice and all are essentially falling for the false front articulation that it’s better to save the system than destroy it by allowing a vote for Trump which has been articulated through a range of hysterical hyperbole about trump while simultaneously minimizing or obscuring any concerns or criticisms about Hillary.

Now I am not here to praise or bury either of these two dingbats. I find both to be representative nadirs of their respective political parties, and I am not alone in this, as record numbers of US voters on both sides of the line also have a queasy feeling in their stomach when thinking about ticking the box for either of these political bottom feeders.

But I am here to point out that the dialog being had is not always representative or balanced and in fact the current surge in popularity for anti-establishment candidates (something which I have described as “Fukyoo” politics) is in fact a good thing, an antidote to the sick and dying political systems in the US and democracies around the world.

Conversely attempts by establishments and their respective parties to hold onto their power and position by shutting out candidates like Trump and Bernie Sanders at the expense of everybody else is in fact far worse than allowing these people to genuinely poll. It is in essence highly undemocratic and represents a clear step away from democratic practice and principle and a rather elitist move towards Oligarchy or worse by demonizing potential voters through their choice of candidate.

But I can already hear the howls of outrage and the tensing of fingers on keyboards to point out that this is exactly what Donald Trump is advocating. Really? Is that what Trump represents?

US political history from Watergate on has been a slow starting then sudden plunge into the sleazy abyss in which it now finds itself. Scandals like Iran/Contra, both Gulf Wars, Bush I and II, Clinton, Wag the Dog (the practice of bombing other countries by Clinton to detract from his own scandals in the US), the pardoning of Nixon by Ford, almost everything Ronald (and Nancy) Regan (and their minions) did while in office, Dick Cheney, the Neo Cons and all the blow-back from nearly 70 years of Imperial US rule have preceded both Trump and Sanders. They are the true avatars and inheritors of the toxic spill that US politics has become.

Straddling all this is the two party system which now has a stranglehold on the political discourse, a discourse which filters a plurality of views and opinions through two very large and very coarse partisan viewpoints (if only the had considered MMP!). Third party candidates or dissenting views are not allowed and to outsiders the whole thing has the reek of the protestant vrs catholic religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe. Heresy abounds and you’re either for or against, no dissenting opinions allowed!

“But…” I hear you cry “what about democratic manipulators like Putin in Russia, Berscolini in Italy, Mugabe in Zimbabwe and Blair in the UK, who got in under democratic means then decided to stay by gaming the system in their favour all the while perpetuating hideous crimes against their own people and sometimes other nations? That’s what Trump represents, we have to stop him!”

Easy there Tiger, hold on a second. As disgusting as these candidates appear in retrospect did they actually get power through undemocratic means? Did they seize arrive via a coup? No they did not, they made it in through free and (reasonably) fair elections.

And this is the painful and somewhat upsetting thing about democracy; anyone can run for the top job, be they ex KGB spooks, media tycoons, former freedom fighters or centrist politicians. Speculation about what they will do once in power should not preclude them from running for office. For example who has the highest body count attached to their name out of the four I have listed above? Answer Blair for his involvement in the Invasions of Iraq and the blood in the Balkans. Yet he got genuinely elected by popular mandate. Go figure!

And this is the profoundly undemocratic narrative coming forth in all the anti-trump screeching. Yes he has said some bizarre and at times disturbing things but in many ways he is the same as a candidate who makes all sorts of rash promises while on the campaign trail, only to get a reality check once in office by not being able to deliver on them. Wall on the border with Mexico; not going to happen just on costs alone, banning all Muslims; easier said than done; gold plated trump logo on the White house; … well that’s a possibility.

And in some cases, such as the WW3 worries or Madeline Albright’s comment about “giving the nuclear codes to a man who praises Vladimir Putin and Saddam Hussein” could be defused (no pun intended) by pointing out that Trump has said that US involvement in NATO will be conditional which does not sound like the ranting of a warmonger no matter who his idols are. This also leaves aside Albright’s grim record regarding civilian deaths in Iraq but that’s another story.

But the playing field is not level it seems, as recent revelations about the DNC being secretly opposed to Bernie Sanders and actively working to undermine him all the while saying they were “neutral” have shown. And its duplicity which has torn the Democratic convention in Philadelphia apart with Sanders being booed by his very own supporters when he fronted for Hillary even after the ugly truth of the DNC campaign against him was revealed.

If pressed for an honest answer the DNC might say that they were saving the party from taking the final step off the cliff by preventing  Sanders socialist rhetoric from killing the parties chances in the coming election when in reality Sanders socialist rhetoric was what was making him so popular! And in doing so Sanders was actually stepping away from the wreck of the Democratic Party, at the bottom of the cliff!

And it’s the same for Trump. His message has resonated much stronger than any other Republican contender (not surprising given the morally vacuous shells that got pushed out into the spot light) despite the often ugly tones of his individual statements and in doing so has tapped into the deep wellspring of discontent that has been bubbling away in the US long before Ross Perot ran for president as an independent in 92.

And with Sanders now falling into line behind Clinton all that frustration with the same old faces and the same old system has to go somewhere, which to some extent will go to Trump if Sanders supporters are to be taken at their word (which has been “Anyone but Hillary!”).

So back to the hyperbole, back to the desperate need to avoid Trump by voting Hillary under the assumption that such an action has merit when you don’t really want Hillary either. This is the position more than one possible Hillary voter has taken and talking to my brother and friends in the US has revealed a fear of Trump that’s been stoked by the fires of media manipulation to an extent that they would vote for one person they don’t really want to stop another person they don’t really want.

At the end of the day much of the blame lies with the monolithic two party system in the US which has mechanized politics to such a degree and entrenched various factions so deep into the system that, like the alien face huger in the movie Alien, the victim dies if it is removed. The irony being is that once the face hugger is on its too late as the egg is already implanted in the host and soon the little alien will burst forth in a shower of gore, killing the host in the process. They don’t call them chest bursters for nothing.

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are those aliens. They have come forth in a shower of entrails but they are not the problem; they are the result of the state the system is in. And Hillary Clinton is not Sigourney Weaver running around with a flame thrower and pulse rifle saving the day in this rather tortuous analogy, she is the sinister android, secretly serving the Company by protecting the alien until it’s too late to stop it.

Clinton’s record with her emails, Benghazi and elsewhere is far more demonstrable evidence of dangerous and untrustworthy behavior than anything trump has done.

Clinton has breached national security protocols; Trump has not (yet!). Clinton has narrowly, and many say unfairly, avoided prosecution by the US Justice Department (the head of which was visited, the day before its decision was announced, by Bill Clinton in a completely unconnected, “just happened to be passing” visit) for having a private email server for official government business as Secretary of State no less; Trump has some bankruptcy and a dodgy university to contend with but again this is not on par with exposing state secrets or being considered up for prosecution for doing so.

So I am not buying into the hyperbole and nor will I be regurgitating phrases delivered to me via a compliant media. I wouldn’t be voting for Trump either, I might add, if I was a US citizen but then neither would I be voting for Hillary.

US politics has reaped what it has sown and now it’s time to pay its dues and sinister fantasies about Trump being the harbinger of WW3 are just as much a fiction as the smoke clouds of virtue billowing around Clinton. The two heads, one body, monster that is US politics is dying of its own toxicity and the establishment parasites which have lived off it are dying also.

In short it’s the Arab Spring, US style, writ large across Western Democracies as average citizens come to realize that those who are supposed to represent them are not fulfilling the task they were elected to do and are now expressing extreme discontent by delivering spoiler candidates into the fold, not as a genuine alternate (although I think Sanders could have pulled that off until he turned Judas) but as a resoundingly Joker like solution to the failure of the system. As Alfred says in the Dark Knight, “Some people just want to watch the world burn”

In this context both Trump and Hillary are two fiddlers fighting over who gets to play while Rome burns spectacularly. I think Machiavelli would be very disappointed in both of them.

18 Responses to “Watching it Bern: Why its OK to vote for Donald Trump”

  1. James Green on July 28th, 2016 at 12:49

    Hillary and Trump are not even remotely comparable.

  2. E.A. on July 28th, 2016 at 12:55

    And we have our first taker!

  3. Hardly on July 28th, 2016 at 13:13

    E.A. – what specifically did Clinton do wrong in relation to Benghazi?

  4. E.A. on July 28th, 2016 at 14:10

    Hardly: Clinton was briefed on the deteriorating situation in Libya prior and while not directly responsible for security there should have least fallen on her sword for the failures.

    That said she has been untruthful about her emails and her email server and how much she really knows may never be known but its clear that she was briefed and was warned about the security situation.

    I’m aware of the political nature of this particular story as a foil for Clinton but an internet search from across the spectrum brings up a wide ranging but consistent line that she was aware of the situation and that claims that the attack was spontaneous do not seem to have been true.

    At the least she took a risk on a fluid situation and people died because of it.

  5. Pablo on July 28th, 2016 at 15:50

    Well, this is disappointing. Anyone who thinks that Trump and Clinton are remotely comparable, or that Trump is not a danger to US democracy, needs his head read. For a person supposedly on the Left to say so indicates an adolescent anarchist bent (“explode the contradictions, explode the contradictions!”) or a short-sighted shallowness of thought this is disqualifying on the face of it. Clinton is one of the most singularly qualified individuals to run for the presidency; Trump is the single most unqualified individual to run in modern times.

    Your list of charges against Clinton are no more than Fox News talking points. Her use of a private email server was a practice inherited from her predecessors and one that was used by the likes of Bush and Cheney (using RNC servers). The idea that she somehow is to blame for the events in Benghazi is ludicrous: A SecState does not control the security detail for an ambassador; the ambassador chose, against advice, to travel via land without security backup to an undermanned consulate and CIA outpost in Benghazi; the CIA and Central Command decided not send reinforcements immediately–none of these decisions had anything to do with her. Although she fudged the real reasons for the attack on the consulate after the fact, that was about the extent of her culpability. And lets not even mention the fact that under the Bush 43 administration US embassies and consulates were attacked 20 times with more than 60 dead. Were there any investigations? No. Was anyone charged with negligence? No. So lets try to be fair and balanced on the issue, please.

    Your comments about media manipulation of the Trump threat are hogwash. The media treated him with kid gloves during the primaries and only now is rounding on him about his self-proclaimed record and the idiocy of his promises. if anything he has been given way too much free airtime in which to broadcast his vile worldview.

    Sanders joined the Democratic Party last year in order to run in the primaries. It should not be surprising that the DNC tried to subvert his campaign. He knew that going in.

    He has done well to galvanise fresh blood in the party and he will remain a force in it for some time to come. He conceded to Clinton with grace, something his supporters should do as well. Those who say that they will vote for Trump, Jill Stein or not vote at all are petulant children who need to grow up and if nothing else take a lesser evil approach to the November ballot. Because in Trump, the evil is real. There may be much to dislike about her when it comes to policy (especially foreign policy), but saying that Trump in office would be better than her on any policy matter is just plain nuts.

    It is true that the US two party system is broken but you conveniently ignore the obstructionist, race-baiting role that the GOP has played over the last eight years when it controlled Congress. Worse yet, the notion that somehow the country deserves Trump, or that Clinton is just another establishment politician not worth voting for even in the face of his candidacy, is grotesque. You write as if this election is about the presidency alone when in fact it is also about the “down ticket” races for the Senate and House; a myriad of state and local offices, and most importantly, who will get to nominate Supreme Court justices (up to five seats on the bench) for the next forty years. To ignore these details betrays an ignorance of the stakes involved that is astounding for someone who purports to be a political blogger.

    Unlike you and your armchair bloviations I have skin in the US political game because I vote there. I have friends, family and children there. I fear for their future should Trump get elected. And that, if for no other reason, is why I am with her.

    It is one thing to write polemical posts. It is another to write silly rants as provocations. This post is the latter and reflects poorly on the blog.

  6. E.A. on July 28th, 2016 at 20:37

    Pablo:

    I’m going to have to respectfully disagree on a few of the points you have made but first I want to address the fact that I know what I wrote was going to draw ire when I went in and that your reaction has confirmed that.

    Im not endorsing Trump, in any way shape or form, and I made that very clear, but US politics is so partisan that I knew someone would have to reply, I wasn’t expecting you per se but I knew someone would.

    But that’s not baiting, its proving a point.

    NZ politics is not this divisive, few political system are, and no we don’t have candidates of that caliber but heavily partisan reactions like yours confirm that debate about the opposing candidate is not possible and that in doing so you are demonizing every single person that would vote for him. That’s the very point I was making and sadly you have confirmed that.

    You even confirm yourself at the end of your post that your not really voting for Hillary but simply to oppose Trump. Your viewing this situation through the two party lens and putting party above principle by admitting that the US system is severely broken but your still going to support it. Do you genuinely believe, given that your not really for hillary, that things will get better under her?

    As for defending the actions of the DNC regarding Sanders or Clinton and her private email server I don’t buy it and neither do a lot of people (including the FBI). I get my info from many sources and Fox is not one of them. Again its soooooo very partisan that reiterating the actions of the DNC and Clinton in a negative light draws such a venomous reply.

    also I am aware of what happens when a new president comes in, re the political flow on effect, but thats neither here nor there at this point, the point is Trump has been demonized to such a degree in the fires of partisan rhetoric (and lets be honest here, do you really think he is going to start WW3?) that they are very reasons that have made a candidate such as him exist.

    And its the sheer bloody minded partisan frenzy of the current electoral process that has helped create him.

    I get that you support the democratic cause and that you have a personal interest in this, thats understandable but such a position, when you see only things from the perspective of fear, a word which you use in your post (you fear for the future), that shows how twisted this election has become.

    I might not like National and John Key but at no point do I fear him or any effect or reaction because when we give into fear we get what is going on now, the kind of reactions which are more emotion than thought and are less rational than we like to suggest even when we want to stay calm and be rational.

    You may not like Trump and what he says, I certainly don’t, but if your going to call out everyone who supports him or attempts to discuss the way in which US politics resembles a carnival of fear more than a political debate, then your never going to get to a solution for the mire that US politics is in, it cant be solved by just having one side win by shouting down the other.

    I also wish to point out that at no point in my debate, did I endorse Trump, or ignore the shady side of US politics in the last 60 years (including bush and Cheny et al, I mentioned them explicitly, something which you have ignored). But as someone who doesn’t have “skin in the game” I am not as attached to the outcome as a citizen such as yourself, that gives me a more detached viewpoint than you given how you have reacted here.

    But lets say horror of horrors and Trump gets in, what does that say about US politics? What does that say about the people who voted for him? Are they all ranting nut cases or deluded fools? I would guess that they might view democrats and their positions in just the same way but might be happy about their choice for president. Time will tell on that one.

    So I am going to end with something which might get me kicked off this blog but I believe in having the difficult discussion no matter what because that should be the political goal we aspire to. The fact that we might have differing positions but that we can debate them like adults is key (I do get the irony here given how much i do demonize politicians in my posts but don’t let some angry adjectives fool you).

    So what I have to say is that if Trump gets in I don’t think he well be any worse than G.W.Bush, yes he many be lousy and yes Clinton might, and I say might, be a better choice but the US will not sink beneath the waves just because he becomes president.

    US politics as it is today is the way it is because of both the democrats and the republicans and while Clinton might appear the more virtuous candidate at the end of the day both of them are constrained by the system they inhabit and that system is severely broken, probably beyond repair, facing that fact and trying to find solutions, like a candidate such as Sanders was proposing, or a political steam valve like trump will become (a short term cathartic release for the frustrations of many in the US who are not living well) may be the only way forward despite how unpleasant it looks.

    Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better and sometimes the truth is ugly, real ugly.

    Happy to discuss.

  7. Pablo on July 28th, 2016 at 20:52

    EA:

    We can discuss your future on this blog in private but at a minimum you have to mature in your writing and take the privilege of posting at KP seriously. This is not a forum for your little snarky in-joke rant fests. I have committed many sins here but being silly is not one of them.

    Your view from afar “lets blow up the system” rant only demonstrates that you really do not care for those who may be have a Trump presidency inflicted upon them, or the global implications his election will have. That is where we differ. And BTW, I am not operating just from a positon of fear. Had you bothered to read my previous posts on the US elections you would have known that I actually have a grasp of the complexities involved. You do not.

    As for your endorsement of Trump–it is on the friggin’ title of the post.

  8. Dennis Frank on July 28th, 2016 at 21:05

    Have to disagree with Pablo this time. The essay reflects my own view so accurately that I couldn’t find anything to disagree with.

    Both candidates are seriously flawed. I would choose Trump if I had to, purely on gut instinct. Authenticity is the essential criterion. The Dems have to play the sexist card to maximise their prospects – they know they can’t get there on merit

    I suspect Sanders has been offered a cabinet post to play along, and media citations of policy shifts are a deceit strategy. Deceit has come naturally to leftists since Stalin showed how to do it at the top level (see Trotsky’s autobiography). Notice Obama’s blatant lying about “the most qualified candidate ever”.

    Obama thinks enough voters will fail to remember that George Washington defeated the British to ensure that the USA became an independent nation, and became president due to that qualification. You could cite Jefferson likewise as architect of the Declaration of Independence. Or Eisenhower for his World War Two victory. No doubt there are others similar that he thinks US voters won’t remember. Such bullshit reveals Obama’s contempt for Democrat voters. Pathetic. Trump’s verbal screw-ups pale into insignificance in comparison.

    Hillary Clinton was a Goldwater Girl back when Richard Nixon was a moderate Republican standing against the extreme right-wimger. Have you heard her explaining her hard-right political origin in her speeches? I doubt it. Honesty is a virtue. To exhibit it would send the wrong message to her Goldman Sachs owners.

  9. E.A. on July 28th, 2016 at 21:21

    Pablo: I have flicked you a private email. It says what I need to say in private so please respond if you need to.

    Apart from that, The title, nor the tone of my post is exactly “blow up the world”, its making a point that keeping alive what is flawed and broken is as much of an issue as candidates like Trump.

    In essence I was trying to point out that demonizing the voter for their choice is not good politics. In short its playing than man not the ball, as they say in sports.

    Political systems and their societies change, go though change and develop new ways to operate. MMP in NZ was one example and we did not need to get to the crisis point the US is in before we made that choice, a rather good example of NZ politics being pragmatic than partisan.

    Again, I get that emotions are high, but I do understand how the US political system works, but I repeat that’s not the issue here, what is is that the debate is being framed in terms which preclude discussion or debate and favor hard rhetoric at all costs.

    But lets take a step back here for a moment and see if we can find some things to agree on.

    I dont think either of us disagree that Trump is a terrible candidate, I think we both agree that the US political system is a major issue so where we do disagree is around Clinton and if the system can be saved or not.

    Why don’t we direct our energy into those areas as I think even there we may still be able to come to a fair degree of consensus on issues.

  10. Barnard on July 28th, 2016 at 21:48

    Wow! From a blog I’ve always admired, that sadly was one of the most juvenile, ridiculous and ultimately narcisstic rants I’ve had the misfortune to read.
    I realise this kind of vacuous ‘burn the house down’ leftism passes for radical these days, usually from people for whom the difference between a Clinton and Trump make little difference to their lives, but the incoherence of the arguments were quite something.
    Pablo covered most of the substantive points, but ultimately ‘silly’ covers it.

  11. Hardly on July 28th, 2016 at 21:50

    While I completely disagree with E.A. I think his mindset offers an insight into a rationale that people will vote on. I think he needs to take the hits for what he says but ultimately we need to accept there is a portion of the population that think like this. If there wasn’t trump wouldn’t be where is he.

    Hopefully they stay home. The republicans haven’t had a good presidential turnout since 2004, and that was driven by gay marriage ballots in many states. I can see a lot of republicans staying home and I wonder how many polling companies have missed this effect in their polling calibration. It is impossible to predict after all.

  12. E.A. on July 28th, 2016 at 22:39

    Barnard: You might not like what I have said but I will echo Hardly’s point that there is a reason why Trump is the republican candidate. It is, as I said in my post, the monster in the room, that no one wants to talk about.

    You might not comprehend Trump, but enough people do and he is now running for president of the US.

    The very reason he is candidate is because the standard political partisan attack has become such a thing that the system has now produced a candidate which is immune to it and that continuing to use such attacks which helped create him in the first place do not weaken his position, they in fact have helped him get the nomination. will they help him get the presidency too?

    Also, you may have missed the point of the title, I’m not actually advocating burning the US to the ground, but reforming the political system. hence the “Bern” not “Burn”.

    As for my “incoherent” argument, I don’t think you got my point if you think its incoherent, I suggest you go back and read again whats been written.

    Narcissistic I may be but there is nothing incoherent about illustrating the highly partisan nature of US politics and the results its now achieved in people like candidate Trump (or Bernie Sanders).

    The fact that many on the Left are unable to comprehend the success of Trump and are now boosting for a candidate which they are often not so keen on but will vote for because its the only option they think they have can be seen as the ultimate failure here.

    Demonizing Trump, might make him loose the November election, and I say might because one year ago, few would have even thought he would have made it this far, but he has shown that there is a new way to play the game and in that sense he is the future of US politics, if not him then someone like him.

    If the Left is really serious about changing things and stopping people like Trump some soul searching is required about how the language of politics is spoken.

    The objective idea that Hillary is a better candidate than trump is probably true, but that will not stop him from gaining the presidency given how things are going.

    Do you really think endless histrionics about how he is going to start WW3 and the like is going to change the minds of him and those who will vote for him in November? If you do more fool you. They didn’t stop him from getting the nomination, despite all the opposition.

    When you, or anyone, can provide a coherent alternative to why Trump now has the Republican nomination and could take the presidency, apart from what I have proposed then I will gracefully bow out of this debate and admit I was wrong and take the other labels I have been given.

    I would add that the range of titles I have been plastered with does seem to show that a lot of posters here are prone to knee jerk reactions and instead of actually arguing or discussing the point will just go for name calling like you have done. Your in effect proving my point arnt you.

    Until then prepare for more upsetting and “juvenile” rants, possibly not from me, but from others, as the reality of what is happening is going to keep on until a genuine attempt at reform is made.

    As with other I am happy to discuss.

    Hardly: I don’t think hoping trump voters will stay home in November is going to be enough. Something better is required.

  13. Pablo on July 29th, 2016 at 07:54

    I guess the good news is that E.A. succeeded in getting a rise of out me and others. I am not sure that should be the main objective of any post but it did what it set out to do.

    In the adult world we often have to make hard choices and hold our noses when doing so. We often do not get our preferred outcomes, solutions or candidates. We adopt second best or lesser evil strategies to cope with the impossibility of achieving first choices all of the time. That is the case here.

    Besides the tone, the two fundamental flaws in this post are that Trump somehow is no worse than Clinton and possibly better for disrupting the political status quo; and that he is going to win. For all E.A.’s talk on having a finger on the pulse of the US electorate, that is simply untrue.

    The Sanders campaign will have a major, positive impact on a Clinton presidency. Trump’s core demographic–less educated blue collar and lower middle class white people ages 45-70–are a dying breed. They have the highest rates of opiod addiction, alcoholism and suicide in the nation. He needs to get 70 percent of the white vote to win and he will not get that. 80 percent of women, African Americans and Asian Americans oppose him. 90 percent of Hispanics (the second largest demographic group) oppose him. Many “moderate” republicans, including major corporate players and the foreign policy elite, oppose him. And then there are the independents and others who will turn out to vote defensively against him. He will not win and if Clinton campaigns effectively it will be a landslide loss that will fracture the GOP (which is a good thing).

    In any event, I look forward to the presidential debates. She is going to wipe the floor with him. She will talk policy and he will talk Bill, bimbos, Benghazi, emails, crooked this, that and the other, and hurl insults. When pressed about concrete policy and the ways to achieve them, he will dissemble, bluster and bluff. It will be a bloodbath.

  14. E.A. on July 29th, 2016 at 08:47

    Pablo; you might be surprised but I actually don’t want trump to win. Eight years of GW was a terrible bummer and not good for the US and Trump would be just as bad, if not worse.

    But his rise and candidates like him around the world have not fit the usual narrative and have yet to be fully explained in the conventional terms, which was my point.

    Strangely I am also looking forward to the debates but not for any expected bloodbath but because they are the litmus test for articulating the politics of discontent that exist today. If Clinton can keep it on topic them points to her. If trump can wrench it away then points to him.

    But I think the key difference between me and my detractors in this post is that I no longer believe that rationality in political speech/language is the dominant factors when people are this angry and emotional and this is why people like trump can get where he is by saying what he says, his words appeal at that level.

    Anyway, this moment has passed and I am already back to writing/reading for my next post, the Maori party and Maori politics. No controversy there!

  15. GM on July 29th, 2016 at 11:15

    As a long-time reader and occasional poster with family in the U.S., even after all these months I’m still trying to wrap my head around what is happening in U.S. presidential politics. It really does defy many conventional interpretations, which is perhaps why Trumps’ rise has generated so much interest in this part of the world.

    One concrete comment I can make is that, while his posts may not always be structured in an entirely conventional manner, I do very much enjoy E.A.’s writing. It is highly thought-provoking and has fuelled quality conversations in the GM household after the little one has gone to bed. It would be a great shame if he was no longer to appear on KP.

    (as an aside, Pablo, I loved your description a while back of interaction with toddlers as “asymmetric warfare”. Simply brilliant and I can’t agree more)

    I have a more specific comment about U.S. politics which I’ll make separately, but suffice to say that I look forward to the post about the Maori Party, and more quality reading from all KP posters about U.S. politics this year. Thanks all in advance!

  16. GM on July 29th, 2016 at 11:24

    Pablo, you touched on the down-ticket races in your comment. For someone from NZ with (more than a passing but frustratingly still insufficient) understanding of U.S. politics, this part fascinates me.

    What are your thoughts on the potential effects of Trump and Clinton on major down-ballot races, such as in key swing states? I have heard that the Democrats tend to do better in presidential election years. Do you think that the effects of the presidential candidate(s) may be enough to swing the House back to the Democrats as well as the Senate?

    On the other hand, I have heard that there is a lot of residual dislike for the Clintons, which might slow the Democrats’ advance. Do you have any thoughts about how the conflicting variables at work this time might play out?

    Thanks in advance everyone for an always-fascinating blog :)

  17. E.A. on July 29th, 2016 at 12:19

    GM: Thanks, if I can get one discussion going then I consider my work done. :)

  18. Barnard on July 29th, 2016 at 20:55

    I’m perfectly well aware that there’s a reason Trump is Republican candidate, and if you think it’s not been talked about you’ve not been paying attention.

    What was most juvenile about your post, was the ludicrously lazy moral equivalence that’s seems to somehow lump in Hilary, Putin, Mugabe & Blair in the same pot and come up with some rambling shit list of far left Boogeymen and their crimes. As I said, all this has become run of the mill for a lot of the left, I just expected more of this blog
    I’m not sure what Blair’s ‘blood in Balkans’ is even supposed to mean, but I guess it’s some bizarre reference to Kosovo.

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