Understanding America?

Via Bill Kerr’s blog https://billkerr2.blogspot.com/2020/10/understanding-america.html

It was an enormous surprise 4 years ago when Trump was elected. Another surprise was that this was predicted by Michael Moore. Btw Moore is again warning not to count our chickens before they hatch. What then arose was a need to explain this. After a little research I thought I had discovered reasonable explanations:

  1. The elephant curve, that middle America was either making no progress or going backwards economically. They were angry and voted for an angry outsider from the political establishment, Trump.
  2. The Democrat candidate, Hilary, was a pathetic self serving liberal who promoted identity politics and eschewed class politics.

At the time I felt Michael Hudson was on the right track in calling for a break up of the Democratic Party. His analysis, along with the late David Graeber, identified the central problem that both Parties were and are captive to Wall Street.

Over those four years as a casual, part time observer of American politics I felt those two explanations were sufficient to explain what was going on.

Four years later, is there a need to update this analysis? I have been searching and now think I know a little more.

Russia gate, based on flimsy evidence, was a failure of the Democrats to face the main reason why they lost, namely that their candidate and policies served the elite and would not improve the situation of middle America.

BLM is a race based movement with some legitimate claims but does not clearly identify the key issue in America, namely, the dire economic situation of the growing precariat.

China. Niall Ferguson, when interviewed by Coleman Hughes, identified the main good thing that Trump has done: clearly identified China as a real and growing danger to the world

Joe Biden is in cognitive decline and his political history shows he is either a scumbag (eg. with regard to the whistle blowers Snowden and Assange) or a non entity. The Democrats could have appointed a moderate reformer like Bernie Sanders. They chose not to which indicates they have learnt nothing new of value over the past 4 years.

The Lincoln Project, Republicans who are anti Trump, do make occasional entertaining videos but are dishonest in the way they promote Biden.

Institutions such as the New York Times and Universities have by and large been taken over by the woke movement who believe such things as:

  • Democrats lost last time because of Russian interference
  • Russia remains an existential threat to US democracy
  • Free speech has some importance but anti racism is far more important
  • Only fascists, nazis, white supremists, terrorists and racists support Trump
  • Assange belongs in prison because he helped Trump last time

Now the social media giants (twitter, facebook) have yielded to the pressure and are censoring their feed in support of Biden. The fearless, free press, where is it?

The culture war against a main stream media that has long stopped trying to tell the truth will have to go on whoever wins the election.

There are people in America, outside the main stream media, who make sense to me. I describe them as just informed citizens, of varying political allegiance, who have the blinkers off, are passionate about finding the truth and have growing numbers of supporters. Here are some of their names: Michael Hudson, Glen Loury, Coleman Hughes, John McWhorter, Glen Greenwald, Niall Ferguson, Matt Taibbi, Joe Rogan

The current choice, in the words of Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper, is between one bowl of shit and two bowls of shit. Coleman Hughes is supporting Joe Biden since he feels it might lead to a less deranged left wing as opposed to a more deranged left wing (if Trump wins). Take your pick.

If you think the above is on the right track and want to hear it better argued then watch this interview of Glen Greenwald by Joe Rogan:

21 thoughts on “Understanding America?

  1. Bill I see it a bit differently and yes I too was pole axed by the Trump victory. He got almost to within 3 million votes of Hillary and I thought that he would do a lot lot worse than that.
    He has definitely established a base among people who feel that the modern world has left them behind and it is a big group.
    The reality for me is that Karl Marx then myself then the US political establishment embraced Free Trade. Free trade has opened up the world economy ” In fact, the big success over the last generation was that the world made rapid progress against the very worst poverty. The number of people in extreme poverty has fallen from nearly 1.9 billion in 1990 to about 650 million in 2018.”
    This event of world historic proportions is because of free trade.
    Trumps base are the victims of free trade and automation and yes Karl and me are big fans of automation. But there is a cost and the people who lost their jobs in Michigan and Pennsylvania are the causalities. But this process is not a stranger to the worlds people, just ask the mill workers of Manchester, the steel workers of Japan or the ship builders of Whyalla.
    Now these displaced people have put their faith in a snake oil sales person of a politician which will eventually prove to be a dead end. Even before covid he never created any coal jobs any that he did create with idiotic tariffs were swallowed by automation and good for automation who really wants to go underground and hack at rocks. What these people need is relocation and retraining and organising politically to develop demands rather than wait for Jesus to deliver. Just as Glen wants to tell blacks the hard truth anyone who cares about the displaced needs to tell them the hard truth Those jobs aint coming back. Trump aint saving anyone but himself and if you want something you have to get off your own ass and get it.


  2. “You have an incumbent President with a massive recession, an unemployment, rent and foreclosure crisis, and an out-of-control pandemic, and this is what the Democrats are able to do with it.

    When will the time time come when self-critique of Dem ideology will be warranted??”
    Glen Greenwald


  3. I feel my article is inadequate because it fails to understand and discuss how Trump supporters think. To understand that listen to Scott Adams debate Sam Harris:

    Now thinking I went too readily from Trump is a joke to grasping at an explanation of his victory (which fitted my existing filters and was partially correct) without really getting it at a sufficiently deep level.


    • Bill Im an hour into this pod cast and Scott Adams in defense of Trump being despicable in his dealings with Trump Uni victims and ripping off sub contactors in his building projects and who enters dressing rooms of teenage employees and who posses falsely as a charity donator says “people tend to be fairly despicable when you drill down” Does the pod cast raise itself to a level above this sort of analysis or am I wasting my time listening?


  4. I have no idea what the Democratic party should do about their ideology. I would assume that ideology takes a back seat to results.
    When you look at results its reasonably impressive. 73 million people voted for Biden.
    Biden holds a 3.8 million lead in the popular vote.
    More people have voted for Biden than any other candidate in any US election ever.
    When you consider the huge question of voter suppression and the actual physical difficulty of on the day voting in poor areas its an amazing tribute to the American peoples dedication to their right to vote.


  5. Interesting trend in the vote of black men. Yes, 80% did support Biden (and from what I understand that is why the Democrats picked him rather than Bernie Sanders). But Trump won more black male votes than any Republican going back to McCain. How do we explain this trend if the reason Trump won in 2016 was the white working class losing jobs? How do we explain this trend if Trump is a racist / white supremists etc? Just trying to understand America.


  6. My explanation for Trump expanding the vote among black voters is that he is a great salesman. What do we think when we think Trump and the economy. Well most people would answer that Trump was good for the economy and that blacks under Trump never had it so good. Thats a general perception but it is also a distortion of reality presented by Trump the great salesman. The reality is that in the first three years of the Trump economy economic growth was less than in the last three years of the Obama economy.

    Click to access did-trump-create-or-inherit-the-strong-economy.pdf

    Mr Blow also presents the figures of black men voting for republicans but this is a bit of slight of hand. Yes only 5% voted for MaCain but his opponent was Obama.Yes11% voted for Romney but his opponent was Obama. Those figures make sense to me they mean that 95% of black men voted for Obama, then 89% of black men voted for Obama (he was pretty disappointing) Then 87% voted for Hillary. 82% voted for Biden I think because they had sipped the Trump Koolaid.


  7. OMG the dead people are voting story and yes sometimes people vote using a dead persons identity it is possible. But just think about it, first you need to obtain the absentee ballot of someone who has died before their name is purged from the role. There are just not enough of the recently dead to make this a significant problem. Its a really really small threat to democracy.
    The real problem in US elections is voter suppression.
    Glen Loury argues that blacks arnt oppressed by the system but by themselves. Scott Adams peddles dead people voting nonsense and regards people as fairly despicable.
    These arnt gocha moments these are just an accurate reflections of their positions.


    • > Glen Loury argues that blacks arnt oppressed by the system but by themselves. Scott Adams
      > peddles dead people voting nonsense and regards people as fairly despicable

      And yet Steve, they do help me understand America 🙂 when their full context is included. Sam Harris didn’t understand Scott Adams either but he did understand gotcha.


  8. Oh dear Scott hypothesizes that Trump should play his non existent card of refusing to leave office unless the Democrats agree to a digital audit of the election. So just to be clear Trump should threaten an action that he cant exercise (because its insane that a President would physically attempt to squat in the Oval Office) in return for an action that the democrats cant provide.
    Even from Adelaide I can see that the running and auditing of elections in America is a state responsibility and like every thing else each state approaches their responsibilities in their own way.
    What anyone who wants an audit must do is to petition state legislatures. This doesnt need the democrats most state legislatures are in Republican hands.
    Tangerine Mussolini has until January 20th to leave the building after that security will escort him from the premises.
    PS Barry what happened to my song link?


  9. On reflection I do suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome its no secret that I hate the bastard on so many levels and I do acknowledge Bill that you are trying to get to the base of why a lot of poor and working people have become attached to his brand and this more than anything fuels my anger that people whose lives have been so much reduced by Capitalism. Rather than taking some form of effective action they fall for what I believe is his great con trick in populist nationalism. I hate populist nationalism it gives you Mussolini, Hither, Thatcher and Galtieri to name a few.
    Good luck in your effort to understand America I wish I did.


    • Thank you Steve! Remember the saying “One day like a miracle it will disappear”. My form of TDS was ironic detachment but in the end the need to know got the better of me.

      I watched the Kamala and Joe victory speeches today. “We will govern for all America”. All lies. btw how long before Kamala takes over? A black woman as president – but after the Obama experience that is very far from inspiring.

      OK, Trump told a lot of lies too. One thing early on I found interesting was he kept going on twitter, that became his regular contact with his base. Main stream media was “fake news”. How much is fake and how much is real, from MSM and from Trump? Maybe 90% fake, I don’t know.

      Media has changed too. The new way is a combo of twitter, articles and interviews including long form interviews. Joe Rogan doesn’t know much about politics but over 7 million people listened to his interview with Ed Snowden.

      The “Social Dilemma” movie has a slogan, “If you are not paying for the product, you are the product”. You have to search for commentators that are trying hard to speak the truth. I have my list. I’ve resisted this up until now but am now prepared to pay them if necessary. eg. I just signed up to Glen Greenwald. No doubt your list will be different to mine but I think it’s the way to go.


  10. PBS do an interesting set of interviews 45 to an hour and a bit each, series is called Front Line Americas Great Divide also another one with Bolton called the choice 2020
    They interview Scaramucci, Coulter, Schmidt, Bannon, Reich, Luntz, Rhodes, Axelrod, Megan Kelly and Sims.


  11. Pingback: covid-19 – Notes on Trump 52 – “platitudes matter” | C21st Left

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