Such a nice crowd.

Unfortunately I know people, to include some in my own family, who are Trump supporters and who think that Fox News is “fair and balanced.” I also know some people, including one here at KP, who think that voting for Trump is all good because it will break the status quo politics represented by Hillary Clinton.

Many of the people I know that have chosen the Trump/Fox News view of the world bristle at the suggestion that they have issues with race/ethnicity/gender/Islam/sexuality/foreigners/poor people/disabled people/whatever. Some of those who think that voting for Trump is an anarchic stroke of tactical genius appear to ignore the concerns raised by these suggestions or believe them to be untrue. Allow me the right of rejoinder with one link.

It may not be a statistically significant sample of opinion among the Trump/Fox News “nation,” but I believe that this compilation is emblematic of what lies at its core. And if this is the base sentiment behind Trump that is being championed by Fox News, then the situation, if not the very character of his campaign, is indeed a giant basket of deplorable.

Say what you want about Ms. Clinton (and I shall write something about the false narrative about her at some point), she does not attract this type of folk. In fact, she repels them, which is as good enough reason to vote for her as is anything else.

30 thoughts on “Such a nice crowd.

  1. Hmmmm, how to reply to this without turning it into a tit for tat, he said, she said type post (which is not what I am aiming for).

    Probably the best start is to differentiate the people in your first sentence from those in your second. I am in the second sentence but I am not in the first.

    Second is to acknowledge the right wing media bias of fox news and its scum pool of commentators but to reiterate that not all trump supporters would fit this bill, nor is there any indication that most would.

    Third would be to point out, as I did in my post on Trump/Clinton, that trying to paint the core narrative of trump supporters as being one of hate missed the point of why people are supporting him and that while I acknowledge the level of vitriol on the right in the US (its hard not to), lets also acknowledge that stuff like that can come from the left also (its just that its often seems acceptable to say “die trump die” on that side of the line).

    Fourth I will strongly (but respectfully) disagree with your statement that Clinton “does not attract this type”. That seems like a very large generalization to make and in effect reverts back to the Clinton=Good, Trump=Bad argument which I was arguing against previously.

    I get the point you are making, and its a valid one, but you are painting it in such vivid terms that, like a lot of politics in the US, you invite reply in kind which leaves us at a point of talking at each other rather than talking to each other.

  2. Of course I separated the two types of Trump defenders. That was apparent in the first paragraph.

    Did you even read the comments in the link? Do you actually think that there are Clinton supporters that are in any way comparable? Since when does anger at the establishment translate into the type of comments seen in that link?

    These questions are rhetorical. I know where your stand on the issue and do not need to have it reiterated because as you say, we will be talking past each other. All that will do is clutter the thread with unproductive argument.

  3. The usual big business status quo certainly seems a saner choice than…… I really don’t know where to begin with describing Drumpf!!
    However if it was not for the fallout that the rest of the planet would have to suffer, I rather agree with the following words posted by a friend on farcebook.

    “Part of me thinks if the US can’t have Bernie Saunders then Trump is a better option that Hillary.
    The US political system is like a high functioning alcoholic – just because it mostly turns up to work on time and the cops hardly ever knock on it’s door everyone pretends there isn’t a problem.
    President Trump would be the equivalent of waking up naked in a park and discovering the job and family are both gone. Maybe the US really needs this sort of rude awakening so they can admit they need to make some major changes and sort their shit out properly.”

  4. Sorry Dave, your comments got sent to the Trash bin for some reason.

    I like your friend’s assessment but disagree with it. I would continue the analogy by saying that the alcoholic guy wakes up angry and lays waste to some hapless old ladies and children sitting on nearby park benches, then goes on a P bender. Trump is not part of the solution and can never be because he represents the worst that US society can offer (and least the monied side of US society). In fact, given his corruption, his lies, his cheating, his absolutely deplorable character, he would only make the political system worse by bringing in his particular brand of authoritarian populism. Think of Dutarte in a tie, but with a few more external constraints on his behaviour–constraints that he will hard to loosen.

    Hillary is not the nicest cup of tea in many regards, but in no way, shape or form can she be compared unfavourably to Trump. Remember that I voted for Bernie in the Florida primary hoping that a show of support for him will influence her decisions when in the Oval Office. I reiterated some of my thoughts on this strategy in a recent post (“Moment or Movement’). I remain of the belief that the best way to shake the system out of its sclerotic stupor is to have a Bernie (and Elizabeth Warren)-influenced Clinton as POTUS.

    It beggars belief that people who do not have to mouth the sound of their words while reading think that Trump is preferable. The racists I can understand. The idiots I can understand. The cynical and bitter marginalised lower educated white folk I can understand. But I cannot fathom why anyone else would join that toxic train.

  5. Wouldn’t surprise me to see Pablo draw up a list of groups who should not have the right to vote. Comes pretty close here. The politics of derision is just too frightfully boring Pablo.

  6. Paul:

    just because I am not a fan of hate merchants and their buyers and want them exposed as such does not mean that I want to deny them the right to vote.

    That includes you.

  7. Pablo: I did read the comments in the link which is why I made a comment. Those are some pretty vile and extreme comments and your trying to link that to the average trump voter?

    Clinton recently had to backtrack and apologize for calling trump voters “deluded”. Whether this was a tactical or actual apology is not important but the fact that she got beaten for making the statement itself. This highlights the fact that even at her level she was not able to make such an attack.

    Fox News is a known right wing echo chamber yes, but internet comments from Fox as the basis for an argument about the core ideal of the average trump voter seems just. like a said, just a bit too vivid.

    Trolling the lowest levels of the internet for evidence is a bit like walking the streets picking up cigarette butts and such in order to make an argument about the state of things, all your ever going to get is trash.

    Perhaps if it had been some sort of actual poll or survey of trump voters followed by a breakdown of the actual demographics that would have worked better. It just seemed very flick of the wrist which is why I said I got where you were going with it but just not how you executed that.

    The only other thing I would add to this discussion is that it seems that one of the reasons why trump has gotten such inexplicable levels of support is because a lot of people who don’t like him have not yet figured out why he is so popular so their attempts to counter him actual feed back into his narrative and empower him further.

    In short, slinging hate at his supporters does nothing to neutralize his, or their, arguments but in fact, in their eyes, validates their position.

    But as always these discussions give me something to think about and between this post and comments from Barbra from my last post I think I have an idea for a new post.

  8. E.A.

    This is getting old.

    I mentioned in the post that the sample was not statistically significant but reflected the visceral hatred–not just anger–of the Trump/Fox support core in its own voice. There are plenty of polls that show exactly that–that the Trump/Fox core is full of deplorables as per Clinton’s definition.

    You are wrong about the impact of her use of the term. After the initial predictable backlash from the Right and her partial retraction (it was the 50 percent part of the comment that was wrong), many have now come to her defense and sparked a debate about what is at the core of the Trump/Fox base. That core is illustrated in my link.

    The FoxNews/Trump synergy is well known so the fact that you ignore it and dismiss the comments as an echo chamber is revealing. The comments section of the largest cable news outlet in the US, one that works hand in glove with the Trump campaign, is littered with dozens of examples of hate speech and calls for the death of a number of politicians and other people based on an assortment of nasty prejudices. And none of this is moderated or countered by Fox but instead is stoked by incendiary headlines on the web pages and by Trump himself at his rallies and in interviews. If you think that this is just selection bias at work, then you are missing the point.

    Your mention of polls is proof that you do not follow the campaign seriously. There are many polls that illustrate every aspect of the Trump/Fox demographic, including the views of the deplorable core. I am not in the habit of “slinging hate” and “flicking my wrist” at serious topics without some grounding, so I assumed you would know about these polls and quite frankly, because I do, I do not feel compelled to write a post around them. It is pretty obvious, not “inexplicable,” why Trump has gotten this far. If you cannot see that, perhaps it is best to get up from your armchair.

    That you do not and still feel compelled to comment in spite of my request for you to desist descends to the level of trolling. That is particularly unfortunate because it is coming from inside the house.

  9. At the Redneck and Fascist Society meetings we usually like to reiterate and recognize our bigoted and sad little stance on life.
    We are racist and xenophobic because we like stuff that white people like . We are stupid and ignorant obviously, because we are not progressive. We tend to have engineering and medical degrees instead of the superior social science truth .
    But many of us are lowly manual workers. We are hillbilly like a West Virginia coal man, because some are just even farm workers, and truck drivers.
    One of our worst features is the presence among us of Christians, a peculiar group, which does not support the wholesale rape, murder and violence of the peaceful religions..
    We are sexist because we think that there are only two sexes instead of three or four, we think homosexuality is an aberration, and our men have little interest in women’s toilets.
    The women themselves of course are just wenches, some of them raise children, but anyway hardly a fine arts degree among any of them.
    You know all these things about us because we vote the wrong way. A truly progressive society could probably give us say half a vote, properly recognizing our lowly status. It would not do to take the vote away completely because you people are democrats.
    We foam alone in our rooms and on our web sites of hate, foam and dribble about turning away the barbarians at the gatesand secretly some of us even say that we will protect ourselves against violent invasion of our society.. .

    The Clintons are evil. Around and within them is decay, and criminality.
    It is widely recognized that Hillary Clinton is a pathological liar, is robotic, and without the humanity so obvious in most people.
    More of interest to you who see her as a leader, is the fact that
    Hillary Clinton is in the mid stages of Parkinson’s disease
    She has Parkinsons well past the early stages, and likely known to her for several years. Her symptoms are characteristic of, and consistent with Parkinsons.
    This includes the coughing, the short circuits, and the head lolling.[ slow nodding ]
    The head lolling is a side effect of long term treatment with L dopamine.
    She had falls in the early part of this decade, and would have been diagnosed some years ago.
    One of the symptoms is brain freezing, [ short circuit ] where everything just stops for several seconds, and then there is a mechanical recovery in the next few seconds.
    Other symptoms are the way she works her hands, crosses over the middle finger, and presses hand close to chest to prevent the shaking or tremor. Her tremors are held back with dopamine.
    You can see that big black man very close to her all the time, to catch her if she falls, and to cause distraction when she freezes.
    She will be interesting when she goes into the President debates, because her symptoms and condition are becoming widely known, but unreported by her faithful idiot press.
    Visual or auditory stimuli can make Parkinson’s sufferers freeze. These symptoms are only partly relieved by her minders, and they are the reason she will not attend stressful Press conferences. The coughing is caused by motor neurological changes.
    She may well go into the Presidency still. We have had sick Presidents before.
    The sicker she is, the more other around her can control things.
    She would only be in charge of domestic policy anyway, and a tick in the box for more warlike activity in the East, and more Islamobama worser at home

  10. Pablo:

    Apologies for the length in advance but lets unpack this a bit before it gets out of hand as I said at the start I wanted to avoid tit for tat posting.

    In keeping with the idea of talking with you and not talking at you I persist not to troll but because the purpose of things like a blog is to discuss these things, even when they do appear tired or closed arguments.

    And I think this appears old because we have been talking at crossed purposes (re US politics) in the past and unlike almost everything else you do on this blog its become very clear that you have strong feelings about the outcome of this election, as you say “skin in the game” which is not a bad thing, being passionate about things is what makes life worth living.

    But I again point out that the normal balance of your work is not present when commenting on US politics when it relates to trump/clinton. Your views are passionate and also rather partisan (as seems to be the dynamic of US politics in general) and rather than ignore them why not make them clear.

    In my posts on NZ politics I am very partisan as I generally favor the left/progressive views over the right but I have equally lambasted the left and center in my posts. I try to acknowledge my bias as otherwise I would be misstating my position or diluting my arguments.

    Normally your posts on KP are clear, well reasoned and while not free of bias (because we all have bias) your bias is clearly indicated but you balance that with solid facts to support you.

    Your post yesterday did not mention any of the polls you have just mentioned, it referenced a single page of toxic comments and drew a rather large conclusion from that.

    If I did something similar (say comparing the range of comments coming out of whale oil as a good basis for core national party supporter beliefs) I would be rightly taken to task by possibly yourself or others for such a thing.

    And I am not denying right wing media bias in the US but normally you (the generic you not the specific you) would balance such a claim by noting the possibility of Left wing media bias as well in order to ensure a reasonable balance of material because its would seem vastly improbable that media structures in the US would be capable of right wing biases only, various outlets are known to favor left or right views.

    Also I stop here to reiterate that i don’t like trump or support him but that does not stop me from having an issue with what you are saying here.

    None of that is a personal shot at you but if the shoe fits you have to wear it and saying that hate is core narrative of trump supporters (and referencing a not statistically significant source as the basis of your claim is not helping) is not demonizing trump but declaring anyone who supports trump to be in line with the toxic (including wishes for death of Clinton) screed of comments on fox news forums.

    I am pretty sure that’s not actually the view you hold on the millions of people in the US who support trump. You must know someone who is a trump supporter who is not of that ilk. Nor do I think you would actually be wishing for the death of trump (as per some of the comments about clinton were). Just making that clear so you don’t assume I do think you are like that.

    I get you are passionate about this but again I go back to my comments from the past in that you are playing the very same game you are decrying when going after trump supporters rather than trump himself and using such a flawed source to do it.

    As you have noted Clinton is pretty much primed to win so what value lies in taking the debate to the level of demonizing all trump supporters (and I note that while its fox news that does not automatically mean all those hateful comments on there were actually from trump supporters either; could be Cruz or some other republicans or perhaps even a democrat!) rather than attacking trump himself (which given what he says and does would be far more productive)?

    Your going to be unhappy for me saying this but in everything else you do on this blog you clearly have examined your biases and can be dispassionate about what you post, including dealing with comments, but in this regard you don’t seem to be doing that and I understand because you cant be dispassionate when you are passionate about something, I get that but its time for you to acknowledge that.

    And I say this because you are constantly reading me wrong, you react to my comments (in this area) as if they are an attack on you, they are not, and you react with comments implying that I don’t know what I am talking about which is more a technique to silence debate rather than the truth.

    If you have a genuine issue with being trolled on this blog thats one thing but nothing I have said in this regard has been me trolling you. I simply don’t agree with you on this matter and again blogs thrive on such commentary as its what makes them blogs and not private records of one thoughts and opinions. I never post here without thinking of what I post might draw others to say in commentary.

    Whats clear now is that on the issue of US politics we are not be able to agree, not because you are right and i am wrong or vice versa but because our views and opinions on this differ greatly.

    I do ask that you don’t play the “expert” card in the future on this though as there is no such thing as an expert on politics in the manner your implying and if you can assume that I know something (in the context of your current post) then please extend the same courtesy to me as well rather than make comments implying otherwise or you make its so that I have to write long replies like this to ensure that I am covering all my bases rather than assume we can start this debate at a more reasonable level.

    In short I don’t like trump, you don’t like trump, I don’t like Clinton, you like clinton; I see US politics as fundamentally flawed/empire in decline; you see US politics as still viable and vital.

    But if I say/post something about NZ politics here and you take me to task I will not react in the way you have done here (I will not at any point make a direct attack on you or anyone else or imply that they don’t know what they are talking about) and I do ask the same courtesy (lets keep this professional), in house or not.

  11. Paul Scott:

    I saw your comments in the Trash through no fault of our own. Please re-send them, contrary as they may be. I tried to approve all three of them and they disappeared into the ether one by one. Must be that secret Lefty truth filter going into overdrive.

  12. The USA Democratic domination of Media regurgitation is over. Clinton’s health is now the main issue of the campaign. ‘Washington Posy’, and your friends over there ‘Politico’ are now prepared to print the truth. NBC ABC to follow. Twitter and Facebook will have to back down in the next day or so.
    Her collapse on video will see her in the back seat from now on.. Clinton is in mid stage Parkinson’s disease, and exacerbating factors.
    The conspiracy was fact. She is unfit for Presidency. Also there is massive rebellion over the FBI political back down over the emails, ordered by Islamobamababble .

    Trump for President unless their death squad gets to him.
    A brave New World is coming. Long live Nationalism

  13. E A Blair writes “I see US politics as fundamentally flawed/empire in decline; you (Pablo) see US politics as still viable and vital.”

    I think this is the key to the dispute. There is a similar dynamic going on here in New Zealand, where society can categorised into five groups according to attitude towards the electoral system.

    The first group are the “primitive believers” who glorify the Westminster system as Britain’s great contribution to global civilisation. They speak about the system with enthusiasm and vote with conviction. Yet they are a small minority, even among members of parliament. These days it is rare to hear a heart-felt speech extolling the virtues of the Westminster system.

    The second group is the “eternally hopeful” who are disenchanted with what Westminster has delivered, but who cannot bring themselves to make purely pragmatic voting decisions. They, then, also vote with conviction. They are the sort of people who would have voted for the Communist Party or Social Credit Political League under First Past the Post system, and who now vote for Mana or ACT under MMP. But not all ACT voters are eternally hopeful (take away the accommodation between National and ACT in Remuera, and their true number would be revealed), and there are some in parties like New Zealand First who are eternally hopeful, in the sense that they would continue to vote for New Zealand First even if it had no constituency seats and was consistently polling well below 5%. In other words both ACT and NZ First have some eternally hopeful supporters but they are also supported by a large number of pragmatists who vote on the rational presumption that their vote will deliver some sort of influence over the exercise of state power.

    The third group is the “pragmatic” majority who adopt Churchill’s ironic view that while Westminster is a deeply flawed system, it is better than any of the alternatives. These folk vote without a lot of conviction, often on the basis of “the lesser of evils”. Many are swinging voters who by definition don’t have a lot of faith in the system or any of the parties. However they still tend to see the eternally hopeful as spoilers who “waste their vote” or “split the vote” thus allowing the triumph of the “greater of two evils” (whether that be from the right or the left)

    The fourth group, the second largest, are the apathetic un-involved. They do not see the system as capable of representing their interests or relevant to the conditions of their existence. They do not vote, and by and large they engage in no form of political activity.

    The last group are “tangata o te ao hou me te rangi hou” who reject the Westminster system entirely, but unlike the apathetic uninvolved, propose and actively promote an alternative, whether theoretical, actual, or a combination of both. They do not vote, do not support any political party, and do not acknowledge the sovereignty of the British crown, but are for the most part organised and active in various groups, the largest of which, however, has no more than 14,000 formal adherents.

    The three middle categories overlap a good deal, and individuals can move between them, or even have a foot in each. This is the source and ground of the tension between Pablo and E A Blair. Blair seems to be in the second category, Pablo closer to the third. The curious, perhaps counter-intuitive fact is that the fiercest clashes take place at the centre of the spectrum, between the pragmatic majority and the eternally hopeful, as between Blair and Pablo. There is very little if any conflict between those at the edges (the primitive believers and te tangata o te ao hou) because they occupy different political spaces. However the predominant view among te tangata o te ao hou (which I tend to share) is that over time the middle will hollow out as people gravitate to the edges and at that point we will see outright conflict between two fundamentally incompatible systems of government. In the meanwhile, of course, the fiercest antagonism is between the pragmatists and the eternally hopeful, which is really based on their differing ideas on whether to take a short or a long term view of what is possible and what is realistic. Because there can be no rational answer to such questions (which are determined by circumstance) conflict naturally ensues.

  14. “I see US politics as fundamentally flawed/empire in decline; you see US politics as still viable and vital.”

    Would be good to hear your thoughts on this Pablo.

    I’ve met so many educated Americans who don’t vote as they see the system as totally irredeemable that I have come to believe Washington needs a real/violent overhaul to become viable again.

    However I don’t see Trump as the solution. He’s just a lying liar.

  15. “I do ask that you don’t play the “expert” card in the future”

    Have you ever read any of Pablo’s posts? You’re asking an awful lot of him with this!

  16. Art:

    That binary distinction is a false dichotomy that is simplistic, wrong and imputes a a view of mine that simply does not exist. The issue is much more complex than that, especially when you bring in state and local politics. That quote is an example of why I do not want to further engage with the threadjack of an individual with a pathological obsession with commenting on every post and always having the last word regardless of his knowledge of the issue. Again, the operative phrases of the original post were “reflective of” and “not statistically significant.” Everything in the threadjack ignored that point, deliberately it seems.

    Persigny: Other than the occasional personal post, I try to limit my writing to subjects with which I have a degree of professional experience, if not expertise. Others have a different approach and believe that their non-“expert” opinions are just as valid as those that are. So much for the value of higher education. Imagine if the discussion was about astrophysics and dark matter and I asked the astrophysicists to refrain from pulling their expert cards on me because I have opinions too. I would be ridiculed and rightly so. But apparently that does not apply to a political scientist discussing politics.

    Phil: The only pause I get is to wonder why the f**k I allowed this guy to join the crew. I wanted diversity in subjects being written about, not in-house hectoring.

  17. Pablo: “I get is to wonder why the f**k I allowed this guy to join the crew. I wanted diversity in subjects being written about, not in-house hectoring.”

    If you want me out Pablo, just say so, this is your blog and you started it and kindly let me contribute (which I am grateful for) but if you think I am playing the role of in-house s**t stirrer just for thrills then its your call. You do have that option.

    Also, and again always with respect, I have a degree in pol Sci, have worked in government and have a good grasp of politics, as well as you. I have worked in local government and have an active role in community/student politics. So we are both Political Scientists in relation to commenting on politics in the US or NZ and both “experts”.

    This is what I was getting at by saying not to play the “expert card” because I can play it as well.

    I don’t, and would not, critique you for any posts on intelligence and security matters as you are the expert in that area on KP (although again my opinions may differ from yours in that area) but I am not and expert in such (although I have a great interest in the area).

  18. Guys, Guys, Guys cool it! I guess I’m an imposter too. I just stumbled on this blog and thought it was really challenging and interesting. Do you have to be invited to contribute? just askin’!

  19. Barbra:

    Your right, we do need to cool our jets.I’m going to go back to my my part II post (you may notice my reference to your comments in part I) and finish my Asia posts.

    as to your question: I asked Pablo if it was ok to contribute, he said yes. I think he may be regretting that decision now.

  20. E.A: You may have a polisci degree but I doubt you have a Doctorate. Pablo has one. There is a wide gap between your credentials and you would do well to remember that before questioning Pablo.

  21. Thanks Atrotos, for the kind words. I doubt that EA knows much about me and feels that he has as much right to the soap box provided by my posts as I do regardless of subject or our different qualifications and experience.

    One favour to ask of you. As per our comments policy, I would appreciate if you gave a legitimate email address rather than a fake one, to say nothing of the “masked” IP address. We are uninterested in revealing true identities behind pseudonyms and are not in the habit of calling people out unless they violate the comments policy, so subterfuge such as yours is met with suspicion and concern.

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