Notes on Trump 55 – Nearly half US voters see each other as America’s biggest enemy

National Survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters

Conducted November 29-30, 2020
By Rasmussen Reports

[Question] “Who is America’s biggest enemy as 2020 draws to a close – Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Trump voters or Biden voters?”

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

Voters See Each Other as America’s Enemy

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

U.S. voters now regard each other as a bigger enemy than Russia or North Korea and just as dangerous as China.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 24% of Likely U.S. Voters think Biden voters are America’s biggest enemy as 2020 draws to a close. The same number (24%) see China as enemy number one.

Nearly as many (22%) regard Trump voters as the biggest enemy, while 10% view Russia and seven percent (7%) North Korea as the largest threat to the United States. Eleven percent (11%) are more wary of something else. …

A deeper dive finds that 37% of Republicans feel Biden voters are the biggest enemy, just edging the 34% who feel that way about China. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats think Trump voters are the biggest threat, far and above the danger posed by all the others.

Voters not affiliated with either major party rate China, Biden voters and Trump voters all equal as threats.


  1. Wisconsin Supreme Court refused to hear election dispute by 4-3. Referred to lower court.
  2. Georgia recount confirmed Biden by similar tiny margin.
  3. Kelly v Pennsylvania explained in Notes 54 and comment is still not on SCOTUS docket. Presumably today’s conference of Full Court will decide how to handle it. Pennsyvania Supreme Court won’t and has issued order refusing stay of its lifting of injunction imposed by lower court preventing completion of Pennsylvania election to decide what to do about likely unconstitutionality of postal voting.

Pennsylvania VBM Certification Challenge

  1. Trump made important 45′ video on election rigging – mainly re postal voting. Speech and media reaction likely to significantly increase hostilities. No mention of Kelly v Pennsylvania. But if, as I expect, SCOTUS does prevent completion of Pennsylvania election pending hearing it will be widely seen as support for Trump’s claims of rigged election, assisted by media reaction to it.

So far 628K views, 128K comments, 296K shares

Some (partisan) background on overall conflict over postal voting:

  1. Michigan legislature oversight committee is holding video hearings of “non-existant” evidence from Giuliani’s witnesses to fraud. Some flaky, some convincing. 5 hours of video.

It looks to me highly likely that the numbers of voters who consider each other to be the biggest enemy of their country will continue to increase.

Conditions still ideal for populist demagogue building right wing mass based party.

Worth taking the time to understand what is happening.

66 thoughts on “Notes on Trump 55 – Nearly half US voters see each other as America’s biggest enemy

      • I pressed “Clear Filters” at the link for and saw a large list of documents but have not read them. If there are any that others have found particularly interesting please add direct links to them.

        There is no doubt that large numbers of voters are already convinced and will remain convinced the election was rigged and that matters independently of the evidence long term. It was not the result of actually reading any such documents. Most people simply don’t. They listen to each other and people they trust, which does not include the media that has been demanding Trump’s removal for four years repeatedly claiming that he lost fair and square and it is outrageous to dispute this in court.

        But at the moment the relevant evidence for court cases is what matters most. That requires clear and convincing proof that the irregularities could have determined the result or were systematically organized so that the election was not conducted according to law.


    • If anybody else wants to follow the youtube link for Voter Integrity Project. I watched it from start to 30′ then gave up. The actual analysis started at 7′. The 23′ I watched did not strike me as proving anything much. See link I provided on the postal voting issue 2020 at wikipedia. Any election will have some “irregularities” including possibly some organized. Republicans insist that it is vitally important to strengthen ID checks to prevent this, mainly in hope that it will discourage low commitment Democrat voters more than it discourages more Republican voters from voting. Democrats insist on opposite with claims that blacks would be “suppressed” from voting by any such requirements for ID etc. This was greatly intensified in 2020 by covid making postal votes desirable with a major difference between Democrat and Republican likelihood of using it. The opportunity and motive for intensified “irregularities” was clearly there but I didn’t see anything in the 23′ I watched that could convince a court it was likely to affect the result. Georgia had the narrowest margin but also the most tightly enforced electoral monitoring.

      Did not watch the rest but I think this stuff is a distraction from the central issue.

      If, as appears likely, there was organized exclusion of observers that IN ITSELF makes the result invalid. No evidence should be needed as to what the people with motive and opportunity actually did AFTER unlawfully ensuring that observers could not collect evidence of what they were doing.

      BTW a GOP observer who was also from Voter Integrity Project DID give convincing evidence about deliberate exclusion of observers during the 5 hour video of Michigan hearings I linked.


    • About 24′-25′ into this video:
      Finally gets to the central point. Excluding observers makes it as certain there was fraud as that icecream will melt on a hot day.
      As he says, everything else is a distraction.
      The full chain of custody and observation is minutely specified in election regulations and in contests that matter the competing parties assign observers to watch every step with every ballot and keep their own records to compare with the official tallies.
      Instead of hearing the evidence on whether there were just misunderstandings about covid social distancing or systematic exclusion, lower courts held that there was no such requirement by dismissing cases without actual trial of the evidence.


  1. The PA constitutional case was refiled at SCOTUS on December 3 following refusal of Supreme Court of PA to stay their decision on previous day.
    The separate case re excluding observers will more easily get to trial if this simpler case prevents completion of the election.
    I am not as pessimistic as Scott Adams about SCOTUS.


  2. Trump is either conducting a campaign in defense of voting rights or he is running one of his famous scams. In deciding which it is its worth examining the money trail. Since the election the Trump campaign has collected $207 million. You must ask yourself would this man construct a huge lie for $207 million?
    The Georgia run off is going to be interesting on the one hand you have Trump claiming that Republicans in Georgia are part of a conspiracy to rig elections. On the other hand You have Trump urging Georgians to vote next month and on the other hand (yes 3 hands) you have Trump’s extreme but logically consistent supporters who argue for a boycott.


    • 1. Neither of your two theories of what Trump is doing make much sense compared with mine. Trump is successfully consolidating his grip on the GOP and building a mass based right wing party, greatly assisted by the behaviour of his opponents both in the Democrats and the Never Trumpers.
      2. I just read Trump’s 64 page complaint in Georgia and don’t expect it to get anywhere (unlike the PA issues). Perhaps there are some Trumpist judges in Georgia that might uphold it. But there it is far less credible to claim fraud by Republicans counting votes to elect Biden and there is no serious claim that poll observers were excluded. I didn’t read the appendix. If some Georgia court did uphold it I would expect SCOTUS to reverse that. I have no idea why Democrats are so confident that SCOTUS will not uphold complaints about Democrats counting votes to elect Biden in cities like Philadelphia and Detroit.
      3. Trump will be campaigning in Georgia as leader of the GOP. The calls to boycott are as comforting to the media as they are irrelevant.


    • Flynn and the other 3 star general joining in are both deranged. But martial law is not implausible. The US got quite hysterical about 911 with 3000 killed. More people are dying of covid-19 daily now and that is likely to continue right through the current political crisis that the media thinks it can handle by sneering.


    • Certainly not. He should have left it at hung, drawn and quartered. Adding “shot” rather spoils the effect.

      But, as I mentioned, there really is a serious likelihood of some people on both sides getting killed. Trial by media tends to whip up emotions far more than trial in courts.


  3. Scott Adams is not worth listening to. Why? because he states that if you drop ice cream onto a sizzling hot pavement and walk on you can treat the idea that it melted as a fact. What a bogus analogy. Why then cant I say if you drop ice cream onto said pavement a dog will pounce on it and eat it, thats just as factual as Scott’s fact. So we have Scott treating an assumption as fact.
    The other thing he treats as fact is that Republican poll watchers were bullied. Well the poll watchers presented their affidavits in court. The only fact to come out of that was that the judge in Michigan state court said that the affidavits were not credible.
    I took a week off work to watch the election. Apart from sleep all I did was watch CNN and FOX. They had on the spot reporters at many tally rooms I can remember the tally room in Arizona and Pennsylvania and there were several others I just cant remember which reporter was at which tally room. There was intimidation yes sir protesters at Arizona some turned up with guns and for quite a while there a lot of concern for the poll workers. In Philadelphia there was one complaint that made it to TV that a credentialed Republican poll watcher had been refused entry but they got that sorted. Famously when the Fox anchor said that republican poll watchers were not given access the on the spot reporter said 3 times that just isnt true. Now the reporters were stationed at numerous tally rooms dont you think that if a poll watcher had been bullied out of doing their job that they would have complained to the sympathetic media on any of the days that this election ran for.


    • The Pennsylvania Courts have an even less convincing argument than yours. I quoted it and provided a link to here:
      Since they did dismissed the case without hearing the evidence in the same way that you do an issue for SCOTUS will be whether, assuming that observers on both sides were EQUALLY excluded, the Supreme Court of PA erred in holding that:

      ” A violation of the Equal Protection Clause requires more than
      variation from county to county. It requires unequal treatment of similarly situated parties.
      But the Campaign never pleads or alleges that anyone treated it differently from the Biden
      campaign. Count One alleges that the counties refused to credential the Campaign’s poll
      watchers or kept them behind metal barricades, away from the ballots. It never alleges that
      other campaigns’ poll watchers or representatives were treated differently.”

      There has been no trial of the factual issues whatever yet. Your hallucination that you know that the evidence has been considered and found baseless and that you know what happened because you watched reporters on CNN and FOX is widely shared, but not determinative and rather too silly to argue with.


    • They did, and she obviously isn’t. They also had a comparably flaky lawyer called Sydney actually on their legal team. Neither of them is or will be part of their court cases. Blunders happen. I mentioned “some flaky” in item 5 above with link to the MI legislature hearings video. She was there, immediately followed by a couple of poll watchers that were not flaky.
      BTW media is perfectly entitled to focus on these blunders. But after 4 years ranting at Trump in a quite similarly flaky manner it doesn’t have as much impact as it would have if they had any credibility left at all.


  4. “Since they did dismissed the case without hearing the evidence in the same way that you do”
    No no no and no again! How can I dismiss the case without hearing the evidence. No evidence has been produced. I have watched the people being questioned about their affidavits and none offered any evidence. None testified under oath. The Trump lawyers are still looking for evidence.
    Look at what people said at the Michigan House Oversight committee
    Giuliani sad that votes were sent over seas to Germany to be counted.
    Phil Walden says he read the manual for the voting machines and it says they can be hooked up to the internet well yes they can but the people running election cyber security says that they wernt
    Jessy Jacobs says she saw a vote dated Nov 3 and it was still counted honestly she testified that she saw one vote with the wrong date.
    Hima Kolangireddy said lots of things, that to her all Chinese people look alike, that white males were being discriminated against, that she saw votes being counted repeatedly and when asked how many she said I dont know. She said that her expertise was in IT not in running elections which she said she didnt understand the processes of.
    Randy Bishop testified that the election wasnt fair and that proof of fairness needed to be produced much like the birther movement used to argue.
    So lets see where we are.
    The election was a fraud crowd have a number of people with vague claims that they saw questionable stuff including votes being found under a rock
    Then theres the election was OK crowd which includes all the election officials in every state and the guy who ran election cyber security and the department of justice and all the courts that have heard complaints.


    • I’m curious. Please provide a link to the description of the MI hearings that you are relying on.

      “Hima Kolangireddy said lots of things, that to her all Chinese people look alike, that white males were being discriminated against, that she saw votes being counted repeatedly and when asked how many she said I dont know. She said that her expertise was in IT not in running elections which she said she didnt understand the processes of.”

      I watched that bit of the 5 hour video that I provided a link for and believe you are referring to one of the witnesses I regarded as credible. I did not make a note of the spelling of her name, which was demanded by a Democrat member of the MI legislature hearing the evidence (and who did so in an intimidatory manner and without asking any other question).

      Here is the 45′ excerpt from the 5 hour video that is being shown on Trumpist sites. The blond haired woman leaving the witness table at the start is the completely flaky witness mentioned previously and the chair’s mumbling at the start is about the reaction to her flakiness.

      Immediately following that excerpt there was some unconvincing (though less dramatically flaky) evidence from a military “cyber expert” on rigging voting machines. You would be able to locate Hima’s evidence on the original hearing 5 hours easily and see that the Trumpists excerpt is accurate and the report you are giving is ridiculous.

      There is no reseamblance other than the name of the witness between what you describe and what actually happened. I am assuming you got both the spelling of her name and the account of her evidence from some report that you haven’t provided a link for.


  5. I went over the clip that you posted.
    Hima says in relation to the same votes counted repeatedly “was there an overcount yes, was it off by thousands, I cant tell” at the 4 minute mark.
    “I do not know how your system works” at the 35 minute mark
    “All Chinese people look alike” at the 38 min mark
    “White males are being discriminated against” 39 min mark
    So I guess we have some Republican poll watchers saying that they witnessed votes being stolen all night 11 minute mark and I guess that we could find Democrat poll watchers that would say that they saw nothing. What we dont have is evidence from someone non partisan or some discrepancy in the tallies or something on film these tally rooms had CCTV and it got live streamed or some discrepancy in the voter role to the people in the poll book. Its really hard to do massive fraud involving thousands of people without someone coming forward.


    • I take it you won’t provide a link to the report from which you got your first description of Hima’s testimony.
      Anybody else watching the video can judge for themselves how pathetic your echoing of the Democrat “debunking” is.
      It would still be helpful to provide a link to where you originally got it from since you obviously had not watched the video until now.
      Reporting like yours is typical of why a con artist like Trump was able to get 70 million votes despite presiding over quarter of a million deaths.
      It isn’t logical but the natural repulsion people have to such blatant distortion of things they can watch themselves tends to make them assume that Trump is telling the truth merely because he also despises and denounces such crap as “fake news”.


  6. There is no link! I watched the same video that you linked to thats how I can go over it and get the minute by minute timings for my comments, what I could not find was your claim that some Democrat on the panel asked her to spell her name. So just tell me what minute that happened. If you cant well we will know who is the one that makes things up.


    • You watched the 45′ video of Hima’s testimony which got from a Trumpist web site by googling the name you spelled. You had not watched that video when you wrote your description of her along with several others that obviously came from an anti-Trumpist site.

      I did not see the Democrat asking her to spell the name in the 45′. It is in the 5 hour vide I linked in point 5 of this post.
      Actually it was at 1hr 34′ and was to a previous witness Jesse Jacobs whose maiden name was much longer. Since I watched both parts together (and the completely flaky one between) I thought the Heema’s surname was the one asked about. It wasn’t but the intimidatory aim was clear.


    • going to bed. enjoy the video. Others should watch the 45′ to understand how Steve reports as well as to see whether there is some evidence that needs to be considered.


  7. come not hard if you are telling the truth
    . I did not make a note of the spelling of her name, which was demanded by a Democrat member of the MI legislature hearing the evidence (and who did so in an intimidatory manner and without asking any other question).


  8. So thank you. So you wrote that a Democrat committee person asked Hima to spell her name but now you are saying that that it was not Hima but Jesse Jacobs.
    Its OK we all make mistakes.


  9. This clip at the 1 hour 36 minute mark shows committee person C.A. Johnson asking Jessie Jacobs how to spell her maiden name. I agree that this was nonsensical.


  10. Change of subject from the details of how this election was rigged (or alternatively, the dog took my icecream, mum) to the question of why it is very hard to believe that it wasn’t rigged

    Interesting article by Glen Greenwald on how Bernie Sanders has capitulated to the Deep State forces that have been undermining him for years

    I’ll see if I can still do a proper link of the same thing: After the Deep State Sabotaged His Presidential Bid, Bernie Sanders Mocks Those Who Believe it Exists

    “rigged elections, fake news and the Deep State”

    Democrats have the form here eg. rigged the election against Bernie Sanders competing with Hilary Clinton in 2016 (wikileaks evidence provided)

    Plenty of Fake news from Jeff Bezos owner of the Washington Post

    Clear that the Deep State with all their resources prefers Biden to Trump

    So with the 1% and the Deep State on the side of Biden how could even the more popular of the two (Trump) win?


  11. “So with the 1% and the Deep State on the side of Biden how could even the more popular of the two (Trump) win?”

    Bill you seem to be playing this game with your own facts ie Trump the more popular? On what planet is Trump more popular? Trump up against the deep state with his anti deep state policies like adding billions to the defense budget, like securing the borders, like negotiating tougher trade deals like demanding that NATO members pay. Just how has he gotten off side with the deep state?
    Is the 1% against him well the Dow Jones would say no. Did the 1% object to receiving substantial tax cuts from Trump?
    Why is it hard to believe that this election was stolen? Well because the Trump appointed guy who ran election cyber security said that theres no evidence. The Trump appointed head of the Justice Department said that there is no evidence. A number of Republican appointed judges have ridiculed the idea. Pro Trump Governors have said that elections in their states that they ran were fair. The multiple recounts in Georgia showed that the electronic tallies matched the hand count. The partial recount in Wisconsin paid for by Trump found even more votes for Biden and the witnesses that Giuliani presented stated that votes have been found under a rock, that he saw votes being stolen all night and that people should have voter ID because all Chinese people look alike to her.


    • 1. Trump was both far more popular than Biden and far more unpopular than Biden. It was basically an election about Trump and most people were against him so somebody else with very little enthusiastic support did win the larger number of votes.
      2. Despite being a billionaire with policies favourable to the rich it was very obvious that Trump was an outsider hostile to the “establishment” or what he calls “the elite” and this hostility was reciprocated by the 1% (also by the 0.001% but perhaps less so). The mutual loathing between Trump and the “Deep State” intelligence agencies was highly visible.
      3. US Presidential elections are determined by the Electoral College vote (and possibly by prior and subsequent unusual developments), not by the popular vote.

      It was hard for you to believe the election was stolen because you base your view of events on whose opinion you trust, which is also your method of arguing and refuting opposing views. It is a very common approach but not scientific. You don’t have the very deep distrust of liberals and Democrats that is quite widespread and not scientific either. You don’t understand the reasons for that widespread distrust of opinions you trust because understanding it would require a radically different worldview from yours.

      I do not trust the opinions of people who claim it was stolen any more than I trust yours or the people you trust.

      Here are a couple of links from the comments on the Glen Greenwald article Bill recommended that outline some of the things that convince some of them. They don’t convince me but you don’t even know what sort of arguments are actually being put forward and simply rely on liberal media’s “debunking” to repeat their talking points.

      The evidence I think should be taken very seriously is a purely factual issue. Were observers systematically excluded? That evidence has not yet gone to trial. No amount of spouting opinions about it matters.


  12. Arthur you make assertions that I disagree with, you say that I don’t read articles that I link to or that I must have got information from some undisclosed liberal source because I haven’t watched the video of the hearing. Overall you seem to be trying to construct a straw man which is a reasonably common debating technique. The straw man that you seem to be creating is a depiction that I only know liberal arguments and am unaware of counter arguments. May I assure you that in this debating trick you are just plainly wrong.
    PS this post needs no reply as I have no interest in debating this point.


    • 1. Use separate line for links:
      Above should work in browser. Yours on same line did not.
      2. Ballot harvesting like this is a commonplace irregularity unlike to swing large numbers. Large scale ballot harvesting requires systematic weakening of the systems designed to enable detecting that and/or exclusion of observers. I am aware of evidence of that for PA, WI and MI but not aware of it for AZ.
      3. Any further discussion should be in current Notes on Trump 56 rather than here in Notes 55.


    • Interesting. Directly opposed to what’s actually needed. A left. The utter emptiness of centrist politics is what produces the “bipartisan” divide but they want to go back to it. Naive for them to try it from below during this election. But I imagine there will be attempts to replace the collapse of both parties from above, as with Macron in France.
      Centrists tend to be open to dialog with themselves. In opposing corruption one might hope they would also oppose election rigging. That ought to be a point of unity amongst pretty well everybody except for tiny minorities of outright fascists of both “sides”.
      In my brief look I did not see any sign of interest in that. If they take a “radical” centrist stand for the Republic they will be part of the necessary dialog. If they don’t they won’t.
      Actually it is worse than that. I did not seen any mention of opposition to the “woke” efforts at censorship etc. There is far more scope for unity among people disgusted by corruption who care about democracy than there is for just those who are centrists.
      In particular revolutionary democrats are intensely “partisan”. Smoothing it out to harmoniously take turns is the opposite.


  13. hi arthur,
    I think you need to look more closely.

    Their FAQ
    says it’s not a political party and it’s not centrist so they have thought about those issues. Given those points, you could draw a comparison with Neither, yes?

    It may not be prominent on the Unity 2020 site but Bret Weinstein was cancelled by wokes (check wikipedia)
    and this is clearly one of his main motivations. Just watching the session b/w Weinstein and Taibbi where they take it as their starting point that the wokes have taken over Universities and discussing how alarming that is and how hard it is to turn it around:

    I’m looking at it more from the POV of finding the voices in America that are seeing through the new normal media of Google / Facebook / Twitter and their rapidly escalating massaging of thought. Bret Weinstein is one of those voices IMO. Yes, the news has always been massaged but in the hands of big tech isn’t that getting much worse? (I heard earlier today that Scott Adams has been booted off YouTube for his election rigging allegations)

    I like their “THE UNSPOKEN MAJORITY” bar graph (although not sure whether it is true either) on their home page which provides a counterpoint to the Rasmussen survey that Democrats and Republicans are living in bubbles that are hostile to each other.


    • I will look again more closely as I only looked at video and text from front page, which did focus on third party candidature in this election (and announced suspension of the campaign). As mentioned I did not see any reference to media massaging etc eg the “woke” cancellation issues you draw attention to. Did see explicit centrism, not at all like Neither campaign here.

      In particular the bar graph was about the moderate majority excluding the “extremes” of progressives and conservatives.

      Among politically active minority I do think the hostile bubbles are very real.

      Will look again later.

      Meanwhile, please link to their position on election rigging. It is rather central but I did not see it mentioned and I assume it is the sort of thing centrists don’t want to think about as it makes it difficult to appeal to both sides.


    • Ok I read the two links. wikipedia page certainly indicates Bret hostile to woke cancellation. Did see passing reference to something related in faq.

      But faq strongly confirmed my impression of 100% centrism. They are not a party because they have no policies!

      What could be more quintessentially empty centrism than this:

      “What are the policies?

      Since the 1800s, partisan campaigns have been selling public policy and promises in exchange for votes. These promises are quickly forgotten or betrayed once the party is in power. It is the corruption of both parties which allows this false narrative to persist.

      We believe leaders should talk about strategies for solving problems, rather than pretending they have all the answers. Leadership is about teamwork, and the Unity2020 White House is predicated on building a diverse and capable team, ready to serve the public.”

      That is equivalent to saying “They are corrupt. Trust me instead”. That sort of stuff is DISGUSTING.


  14. The issue that I see as central is media manipulation before (for 4 years), during and after the election. (I say this arthur, rather than the rigging issue because (a) rigging is not yet proved (b) my take is that the Supreme Court will put the politics of keeping Republic together ahead of legal truth … and so that issue transforms into electoral reform for 2024)
    Without a whole series of big lies from MSM / tech giants it seems obvious to me that Trump would have won. The latest iteration is the banning by YouTube of anything that mentions election fraud even though more than 30% of Americans still think there was fraud.

    I like this article by Matt Taibbi which compares 2016 media lies supporting Hilary Clinton with 2020 media lies supporting Joe Biden:
    Note that real journalists (those who speak uncomfortable truths) are now migrating to substack (subscription site) where their work won’t be censored and as an alternative source of income if they are cancelled from their day jobs.


    • 8. I’ve read Taibbi link and agree with it:

      “The YouTube Ban Is Un-American, Wrong, and Will Backfire
      Silicon Valley couldn’t have designed a better way to further radicalize Trump voters”

      This is a stupid, dangerous, wrong policy, guaranteed to make things worse.”

      He’s been saying that for years and I’ve have too.

      But I take it more as a symptom of bipartisan decay than of an actual shift to a different form of rule. The corrupt intelligence officials trying to manipulate elections in support of the Democrat establishment are just that. They could not have designed a better way to radicalize Trump voters. It isn’t coming from the “Deep State” which does exist and is not that stupid. People like Brennan and Clapper are as deranged as Mike Flynn.


  15. 1. I agree that rigging is a) not yet proved. b) remains to be seen whether there will be a trial. Up to now hey have been asked to expedite a decision to intervene without trial of the evidence and have refused. They might make the mistake of simply avoiding the issue by declaring it moot once election is over. But it would be a VERY big mistake and would help intensify the divisions.
    2. EITHER WAY electoral reform will be a central issue right through to 2024 and Democrat media are positioning Trump as its champion.
    3. I thought it was obvious that the sheer extremism of the media was benefiting Trump and that he was well on track to win as a result of their heads exploding about Russia etc. I wrote nearly 50 posts here about it and have nothing to add.
    4. Despite Trump’s pathetic lying and boasting, and general unsavouriness AND TOTAL INCOMPETENCE CONTRIBUTING TO QUARTER OF A MILLION DEATHS the sheer absurdity of the media had turned so many people off them that he actually increased his vote instead of fading away. If he had got a popular majority (which there is no sign of whatever) it would have been BECAUSE OF, not DESPITE the media big lies actually being more ridiculous than his own.
    5. Trump simply does not have the reach to convince such large numbers of people the election was rigged. The media does and is getting close to having convinced a majority that there is something VERY FISHY by their extraordinary behaviour recently. What possible effect could banning videos about election fraud from youtube have other than to discredit the censors.
    6. I have enjoyed Matt Taibbi’s articles before and will read that link but have not done so yet. Trump was largely created by the media focus on him in the Republican primaries. They thought it would damage the Republican party if it ran an obvious loon so they gave him lots of air time. He then wiped out the Republican establishment and defeated the Democrat establishment, which ran a candidate this time less hated than Clinton but even more expessive of a party in a serious decay as the Republicans.
    7. Media lying is very normal bourgeois politics. Current levels of hysteria are not.


    • In response a couple of positions I am exploring:
      – the main reason Trump was successful is that the growing disadvantaged or going nowhere class in the USA (be it the unemployed, the precariat, or the 99%) had no where else to go. The success of Trump can be traced back to the policies of Bill Clinton who reversed the FDR New Deal legacy and moved the Democratic base to elite professionals. This was continued by Obama although in very different economic circumstances. Yes, requires more elaboration
      – the new media is thought control by algorithm which is a qualitative shift from old media. A Facebook news feed is an echo chamber by design (same for instagram, twitter, tiktoc etc.). Most citizens are information poor and therefore brainwashed in bubbles. If they watch the ABC they are brainwashed, if they read The Australian they are brainwashed, if they rely on social media they are brainwashed. I think the points you make about people seeing through media over reaction (eg. YouTube banning election fraud videos) are only valid for those who actively seek out multiple political viewpoints, a tiny minority.


      • Over 70 million people have overeacted to the media. That is not a tiny minority. The media is SPECTACULARLY ineffective. The ideas of the rulingclass are the ruling ideas. At present ruling class ideas intentionally promote division which keeps people from uniting against them. That is unusual. Usually ruling class ideas promote national unity and acceptance of rule. Speeches about “healing” from Biden are a blast from that past but in reality it is about denouncing the other side as disruptive rather than actually trying to smooth things over. The two party system normally functions to persuade the followers of each to accept compromises with the other (as is still the case in Australia). It is doing the opposite in the USA.
        Most people do not think independently. But they are turned off by both sides. The only reason they support one side is that they are more turned off by the other and the division is roughly equal. Using the term brainwashing for this process is thoroughly misleading.
        Actually most people are FAR better informed than they were in the sixties AND far more progressive. What’s missing is the small minority of leftists.
        If the people Trump appeals to had somewhere else to go they would indeed have gone there. Bernie Sanders might have performed that job within the framework of ruling class politics as FDR did and the New Deal did. What’s needed is a left that gives people somewhere else to go now that ruling class politics is cracking up and becoming totally absurd.


  16. Bill I agree that Clinton played his role as I wrote on your blog

    Bill your comment about people buying a house using a mortgage from a bank is wrong. Banks do not give home buyers a bad deal. The correct comparison with a home buyer is a home renter. People who rent a home are significantly worse off in the vast majority of cases over people who buy. Everybody has to live somewhere and there are only 2 choices.
    As to a proper analysis of 2008 heres a proper analysis.
    The crisis of 2008 started with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. This treaty condemned Germany to pay crushing reparations to France and England. These reparations were so crushing that if Germany was to pay in gold it would have to find more gold than had ever been mined up to that time. Germany overcame this problem by borrowing money from the USA. It worked well because the 1920’s were boom times and there was plenty of money to borrow. Germany paid France and England who in tern paid the USA back the money they had borrowed to finance WW1. It was a glorious house of cards the US gave money to Germany who gave money to France and England who gave money to the US who gave money to Germany. So just hold that thought for a moment and we will return.
    So the roaring twenties are on us, massive borrowing massive expansion of agriculture on the great plains as the plain grasses hardy deep rooted plants were replaced with wheat. Banks were booming people borrowed to buy land and buy shares with borrowed money. America has thousands of unregulated banks.
    Then the music stops Wall street crashes, in 1930 theres a drought in America that lasts 5 years, wheat farmers and the banks that lent them money go to the wall. Then the German banks crash, no more reparations no more repayment of loans. Thousands of American banks go bust and we have the Oklahoma dust bowl that was so well described by Steinbeck. If you want reading the first chapter of Grapes of Wrath is brilliant. (as is the first chapter in Log in the sea of Cortez but I digress)
    Now out of all this mess the US congress comes out with the Glass Steagal Act. A banking regulation act part of the new deal where banks had to choose between being Wall Street commercial banks or Main Street mortgage banks. No longer could the wizards of Wall street get their hands on home loan money banking on main street became boring and predictable.
    70 years go by and then Congress pass a bill to repeal Glass Steagal and President Clinton signs that bill November 12 1999.
    So now we have Wall street financiers giving out home loans giving them to people with a poor credit history the housing market goes wild prices go up people are falling over in the rush to get people into houses.
    But these Wall Street guys realise that these loans are sub prime but if you bundle them together call them a derivative then you have a brand new product. Strong arm S and P or Moodys to rate them as AAA the highest rating there is you can then sell them to pension funds because they only buy AAA rates products. Sure some loans might fail but whats the chance they all will fail? So theres a property boom in the US and Spain and Ireland funded in Europe by money in the European north seeking the higher interest rates in the European South. As councils in England send their savings to Iceland where their huge banks are offering way better interest than they can get locally, all being funneled into the massive housing boom in Spain and Ireland.
    Then just like the lending boom of the 1920’s ended so does the lending boom of the 2000’s
    Just like the 1930,s the President is reassuring and optimistic until he realises that he’s looking at the possible death of Capitalism. Then its panic stations.
    One of the measures taken was to resurrect Glass Steagal this time under the name Dodd Frank but Dodd Frank was only ever a pale imitation and has since been significantly watered down and the current President wants it gone completely because he stands for deregulation.


  17. I spent several hours last night reading through the comments on Taibbi’s article, starting after my item 8 and stopping when Tablet crashed at 1:30am without having got to end. Only skipped one subthread of 200-300 that looked like starting yet another of many pointless exchanges between people in one or other of the two bubbles.
    1. Volume is already unmanageable. Different forms will be needed for such discussions but clearly there is a milieu that wants to discuss.
    2. Was pleased to see quite a few posts explaining that the “woke” and “cancel” and identify politics stuff is not left but coming from corporate liberals to promote division instead of class unity against them. That’s my view.
    3. Apart from that I did not see any actual left analysis. Bizarre that they are having to defend basic concepts of free expression against people openly opposed and claiming to be progressive.
    4. While Taibbi is excellent on that issue his background of hostility to the obvious manipulation and the intelligence agencies is from opposition to Iraq war. There would be no room there for a perspective opposing isolationism and protectionism and supporting globalism. Hopefully one would not simply get shutdown and ignored as elsewhere but it would probably be necessary to just avoid those rather important issues to be taken seriously in discussion. They are all committed to anti-corporate views from a pro-isolationist anti-globalist perspective.
    5. Mercifully spared from the sort of incoherent economic analysis just given by Steve. But there was no sign of any other concepts about how capitalism actually works either. Common ground was a sort of vague populist idea that it is all a rip off that should be dealt with by preventing corporations stealing rather than a mode of production based on exploitation of wage labor by owners of the means of production.
    6. Anyway I was again cheered that there is a milieu for discussion (as with Greenwald article). But no idea yet on how one could participate productively at substack. Hope others experiment and gain experience.


    • I subscribed to 3 real journalists: Taibbi, Greenwald and Loury and am still following Scott Adams for free. I suppose I’ve come to the conclusion of The Social Dilemma movie, “If you are not paying for the product, you are the product” as it applies to social media (but not open source of, course). Might be able to keep up for the next 5 weeks but probably not after that. Currently Greenwald is discussing the possibility that Trump might pardon Ed Snowden
      This one is free. Even on his subscription articles GG says it is ok to forward them on in a limited way.

      I’ll try to reply to arthur’s earlier reply later. Busy on other stuff and need to fact check a few things.


      • my embedded link (try again) to arthur’s earlier reply didn’t work (again), perhaps I have the Biden disease or perhaps wordpress has gremlins (the 2 lines problem?), here is the long version:

        Still haven’t done my fact checking (about the “fine people” hoax and the “drinking bleach” hoax which proved that Trump supported neo-nazis and was even more idiotic than we thought) but want to raise a couple of points for present and future discussion before it slips away too far into the past.

        arthur wrote:
        “The ideas of the rulingclass are the ruling ideas. At present ruling class ideas intentionally promote division which keeps people from uniting against them. That is unusual”

        My take on that is that the ruling class is seriously divided which is different to saying they intentionally promote division

        “Most people do not think independently. But they are turned off by both sides. The only reason they support one side is that they are more turned off by the other and the division is roughly equal. Using the term brainwashing for this process is thoroughly misleading”

        I don’t really know what those 70 million voters on each side are thinking but see evidence that many (how many?) Trump supporters are more pro Trump than Biden supporters are pro Biden. As for the term “brainwashing” I’m happy to hear a substitute that describes the new media situation we are in. Trump’s term was fake news. In the book I’m reading (Listen Liberal by Thomas Frank) I’m up to the part where Obama transitions from Wall Street to Silicon Valley as his main support base, the digital creative class entreprenaurs, those in the vanguard of real technological progress who left the precariat with nothing, but Trump. Amazon is good for its customers but bad for its workers.

        “Actually most people are FAR better informed than they were in the sixties AND far more progressive. What’s missing is the small minority of leftists.
        If the people Trump appeals to had somewhere else to go they would indeed have gone there. Bernie Sanders might have performed that job within the framework of ruling class politics as FDR did and the New Deal did. What’s needed is a left that gives people somewhere else to go now that ruling class politics is cracking up and becoming totally absurd.”

        If we can’t say clearly what a left is or even how it could be described then it’s a stretch to say how much progress it would make even if it did exist. Whether it’s the thinking right (Adams, Loury) or the anti war left (Greenwald, Taibbi) I get the impression, to varying degrees, that what they are arguing about is how to be a good American patriot.


      • 1. I don’t bother formatting links, especially in comments. Just paste onto a separate new line.

        2. US ruling class more divided than elsewhere. But overwhelmingly anti-Trump. Division between “Never Trump” Republicans and Democrats is very minor. Both sides of Trump/anti-Trump division actively promote divisiveness setting their supporters against the other side as enemies to be fought rather than the sort of differences we usually see in two party systems.

        Trump intentionally encourages Democrats to carry on in the crazy way they do as well as encouraging his supporters to hate as well as despise them. (“Lock her up”). eg the examples you are fact checking were both ambiguous remarks by Trump that were bound to drive Democrats crazy (fine people, bleach). But only “bound to” because they are already predisposed to be driven crazy. Democrats do consciously sneer at the “rednecks” and promote identity based divisiveness, both to keep minorities like blacks “on the plantation” and better off workers divided from unskilled.

        3. Media was ALWAYS virulently hostile to progress. What’s new is the virulence towards different factions of ruling class.
        Media less directly relevant to ruling class ideas being the dominant ideas than earlier. When most people could not read they got ruling class ideas via weekly “sermons” from “clerics” (ie literate people, almost identical with priests and entirely excluding peasants and most workers).
        In sixties workers were literate and left made a lot of impact with just wax stencils against newsprint and radio and TV channels.
        Nothing remarkable about “D notices” and TV channels not showing stuff claiming elections were bullshit.
        Now ANYBODY can “publish” worldwide instantaneously, text, audio and video (and interactive simulations…).
        VASTLY less “brainwashing”. But ruling class ideas still dominant. The agenda is set by ruling class ideas even among those inclined to oppose.

        4. I haven’t read “Listen Liberal” but my favourite 60s song was Phil Ochs “Love me I’m a liberal”. Setting highly paid tech workers v precariat is typical ruling class divisiveness. Common enemy of both is the owners.

        I’m for globalization and eliminating pointless jobs. Online distribution is better for customers AND workers by enabling great consumption with less toil. Capitalism is bad for both. That central truth ought to be obvious since the steam engine but ruling class ideas successfully bury it.

        5. Certainly more people enthusiastically pro-Trump than pro-Biden. But it is still a rather small minority of the 70 million plus Trump voters and a very tiny minority of the Biden voters. There seems to be a bit of myth that Trumpists are very attracted by Trump personally. That would be surprising given his repellent personality. I think far more of them are attracted by the fact that he genuinely, despises and fights the same people they despise and want to fight and that the people they despise and want to fight utterly hate him so he is seen as their champion against them.

        6. Yes there is no left and there won’t be while we are unable to clearly explain what a left would be. But certainly it won’t be stuck at arguing about how to be a good American patriot.


  18. Hi Arthur, my argument in a nut shell is that the USA had a banking crisis to which they applied some banking regulations. 70 years later they lifted those banking regulations and 8 years later they had another banking crisis. I think that these events are related. If you have a better explanation I would be delighted to hear it.


    • I do not have an understanding of banking regulations or banking crises. I recommend Maksakovsky’s “The Capitalist Cycle” for a necessary preliminary understanding of Marx’s theory of cyclical crises which I believe it is necessary to grasp first in order to eventually be able to understand the relation between the underlying causes and the more visible financial phenomena. Available free via “Library Genesis”.


      • My point of departure from Marxism comes along the lines that John Kenneth Galbraith wrote, he and I agree that Marx was right in his claim that unregulated Capitalism was inherently doomed to collapse and that Marx thought that Capitalism could not be regulated. Marx wrote about the anarchy of production and how Capital would become a fetter to its own development and literally the working class had nothing to lose but its chains. But heres where JKG and I get off. Capitalism has found two things that keep it going. One is highly developed regulatory regimen and the other is break through technology. As I have written in other threads I think that Capitalism is about to undergo a huge technology lead growth phase through the development of
        DNA sequencing
        Energy storage
        Artificial intelligence
        and Blockchain
        Maksakovsky does develop Marx’s ideas but at a time that I think these ideas were already binable.
        This is not to say that Capitalism wont be replaced by a much better system I think that it will just not in the near future. I would like to see a just society but not to the point where I can convince myself that I can see it coming.
        Now this is nothing more than a difference of opinion and theres no need for any vitriol to be expressed.


      • I would not for one moment suggest that you are capable of understanding Marx’s Capital. You announced many times that you are not interested in anything from the nineteenth century. Maksakovsky wrote in the 20th century. You have an opinion about that “these ideas were already binable”. Your claim is not based on knowing anything whatever about them so it does not even rise to the level of an “opinion” about which one could be vitriolic rather than dismissive and uninterested.


  19. I dont read books any more thats true. I do read a lot of articles and watch a lot of lectures on the U Tube but ignorant? all I can do is quote you
    “Transition will be to an eventual representative Syrian government in Damascus dominated by revolutionaries after initial transition to “peacemakers” but without elements from old Assad regime and at war with Daesh. Important thing will be the international forces required for smooth transition without chaos and massacres. Presumbably initial Russian and Iranian handing over to UN helmeted Germans guarding (and temporarily governing)”


    • Certainly that quote by Steve on November 11 2017 of something I said October 22 had been proved wrong.

      It did begin with:

      ““My guess (only) is that …”

      Perhaps I got it wrong because of too much reading Marx and not enough Youtube?

      More likely from not speaking Arabic.

      Looking back, despite getting lots wrong I still hold the view in final para of those comments:

      “6. I still expect a negotiated transition from the Assad regime, facilitated by Russia and Iran. The territorial gains by the regime could, if they are suicidally inclined, be preparation for an ongoing war in which they hope to remain in charge. Certainly I was not expecting those gains and it confirms my complete inability to get a handle on timescales. But I see no sign that they are inclined towards suicide and no sign that they are gaining forces rather than just territory that will cost them a continued depletion of forces if they choose to keep fighting. As far as I can make out the opposition does not view itself as defeated and reports that it has been are from the same media that goes on about “the Russia thing” in the US.”

      Obviously that has not been proved correct three years later. Equally obviously I am not studying the situation in Syria now and won’t be debating either Syria, Chinese mines in NiuGuinea, Operation Bagration or Steve’s views on banking crises in this thread on the recent US elections.


  20. Just to drive my point home. The next big predictable economic event that could drastically effect the Australian economy is the development of Simandou. But if I just read Marx I will never read anything about this.
    The greatest battle in world history was Operation Bagration. Now if Red Army General Konstantin Rokossovsky had read Sun Tzu he may have taken Tsu’s advice to “Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.” Now Tsu was a great thinker of ancient warfare and Marx was a great thinker on 19 th century economics but do any of us want Rokossovsky to allow the Germans an opportunity to retreat. I don’t. Im glad that the Red Army surrounded and exterminated many units from Army Group Centre and cut off 300,000 German troops trapped on the Courland Peninsular.
    The question for the left is why do they think that the most relevant books were written 100 or 150 years ago. I think that I know why but my answer wouldnt make you any happier.


    • Just to drive your point home. You write a lot and have strong opinions about such matters as military strategy in battles fought before you were born, but you don’t read much. Your opinionated ignorance is not the result of either having read so much Marx that you have no time to study anything more recent nor of studying more recent material so intensively that you have no time to read Marx. No amount of reading ever stopped anybody from being ignorant and opinionated. No amount of not reading ever cured anybody of their opinionated ignorance either.


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