Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit tells us. . .

the people are sovereign,

“I cannot praise a fugitive and cloister’d vertue, unexercis’d & unbreath’d, that never sallies out and sees her adversary.”

--John Milton, Aeropagitica (1644)

We don’t, we must not, settle for the status quo.

“Society consists of individuals and a national state, while the mediating institutions — family, community, church, unions, and others — fade and falter.”

--Yuval Levin, The Fractured Republic

The status quo in 2016 are big state -- or the Brussels (EU) superstate -- bureaucracies believing their knowledge entitles them to rule.

“The environment, women’s rights, children’s rights, equality, all of this,”

--Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

So San Francisco's Boxer says, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

And not, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

“As the Democrats have locked up most of the software, design, entertainment, media and financial oligarchy, they have [lost] virtually all of Appalachia, and could also [have begun] to weaken . . . even among union members. [There’s] a growing rift between greens, and their oligarchic and public sector allies and traditional construction and industrial unions. . .green San Francisco elites and Hollywood stars enjoy lives of almost absurdly conspicuous consumption, while urging everyone else to cut back their carbon. . .” [emphasis added]

--Joel Kotkin, Orange County Register

It’s still before the fall. Maybe the people are not yet sovereign, but it’s coming.  

those on top don’t get it,

“simplistic idiocies win elections”

--Charles Murray, National Review

“This election. . . has boiled down to a coin toss between a consistent, calculating liar and an inconsistent, compulsive liar.”

--Heather Wilhelm, “RealClearPolitics”

Conservatives Murray and Wilhelm are like Trump. They see this election personalized in an individual, overlooking the angry, Brexit-type seismic wave Trump is riding.

Listen to John Allen Gay, writing in the National Interest:

“conservatism . . . is skeptical that the intellectual’s tool—individual reason—is best suited for answering complex political questions. . . individuals, short of information, limited in experience, prone to prejudice, often err; wisdom manifests in society, which on net has more information and more experience.”

Conservatives trust cultural norms, distrust the intellectual leader.

it’s time to “be humble”.

A message for all commentators, including me.

“Today, our politics reside in an intellectual cul-de-sac. People only want to hear themselves pontificate, or listen to those who confirm, affirm, and validate. Proof? How many Democrats regularly listen to Fox News? How many Republicans frequently tune into MSNBC?”

--Frank Luntz, TIME

“Opinion columnists who spend any time at all interacting with their readers are well aware of how pitifully rarely we manage to change anyone’s mind about anything. I’m not saying that it never happens, because it does. But mostly, folks read us because they agree with us, and they enjoy having us agree with them.”

--Megan McArdle, “Bloomberg”

Didn't Shakespeare teach “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Islamic threat no joke.

“[Muslims] have fervor and conviction, which in most Western countries are either weak or lacking. They are self-assured of the rightness of their cause, whereas we spend most of our time in self-denigration and self-abasement. They have loyalty and discipline, and perhaps most important of all, they have demography, the combination of natural increase and migration producing major population changes, which could lead within the foreseeable future to significant majorities. . .”

--Bernard Lewis (2007)

Islam is today’s biggest threat to the status quo. Certainly not Russia, China, Brazil or North Korea. But yes to Iran, Pakistan, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, add Shiites in Iraq, in the Gulf States, and even in Saudi Arabia, topped by al Qaeda and ISIS in all their iterations. Islamic extremism is beyond borders in Europe, Asia, and even North America. Islam’s true believers, not Republicans, are the real enemy of secular progressive culture.

Why do liberals ignore Islam’s threat to a decaying West?  

First, because the liberal meme is stuck in the 1960s, when the enemy was privileged white males, and revolution meant (unmarried) women, minorities, and youth -- the backbone of today’s liberal establishment. White males, Republicans, are the enemy progressives fought against then, and rally against now. Muslims, a minority here, seemingly belong inside this wonderful minority coalition. It’s inconvenient -- even un-American -- to take a group that shares the progressives’ anti-privileged white male stance and separate them out simply because some hold extreme religious views.  

Second, because the (privileged white male) enemy in the ‘60s purposefully wasted American lives and resources on an unnecessary war. The lesson of Vietnam. When privileged white males turned 9/11 into another excuse to wage war abroad, progressives responded by as much as possible downplaying the Islamic threat, and by attacking the motives of all who raised an alarm. “No more Vietnams!” progressives fervently proclaimed; avoiding the differences between Vietnamese Communism and Islamic extremism, and between a body-hungry draft and a professional, all-volunteer military.

Progressives are trapped in an outdated world view. Dangerous. No joke.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

If 2016 is about race, Trump could win.

Conservative John Podhoretz makes the case that Clinton’s path to victory is much smoother than Trump’s. He’s right. We showed how Trump can win, but added that it importantly depends upon Trump holding every state Romney won, plus Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

It’s important to understand that, contrary to normal thinking, Trump has a better chance of winning the electoral vote than the popular vote.  That's counterintuitive because Democrats have more big electoral vote states they will likely carry than does Trump.

The size of the unmarried women + minorities + youth coalition, which we first wrote about in 2010 and which keeps expanding with our minorities' population, shows up best in national polls. But the election will be won within individual states, not in a nationwide referendum. 2016 could see Democrats beating Trump by millions, but still losing in the electoral college.

Here’s our map showing in brown the eleven states that will decide America’s next leader (click map to enlarge):
Battleground States (in Brown)
If you live in the other 40 (including the District of Columbia) states, the ones marked blue or red, your vote won’t really matter this November.

To win, Trump must hold the Romney states of Arizona (57% non-Hispanic white, 26% Mexican-American), Georgia and North Carolina (two “New South” states with transplanted liberals and large African-American populations). North Carolina, which voted for Obama in 2008 and barely for Romney last time, is particularly at risk for Trump.

Trump then must add Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to win. Pennsylvania, the Keystone State, is THE key state, as was Florida to Bush’s win in 2000 and Ohio to Bush’s re-election in 2004. Obama carried all three twice, and Pennsylvania, 79% white and with its western half the anti-Obama Appalachia coal country ripe to turn to Trump, hasn’t voted Republican since 1988.

Right now, Clinton leads Trump in the poll average for all three, though not by large margins. Trump’s anti-Mexican rhetoric is expected to complicate his winning Florida, which is only 57% non-Hispanic white (however, only 3% Mexican-American).

But if Trump loses Florida’s 29 electoral votes, there is one other narrow path to victory. That path accounts for the remaining five battleground states on the map above.

Race will be very important in this election. Forget talk of non-border states Colorado or Nevada being in play. Their relatively heavy Mexican-American populations will help send them to Clinton. (Arizona is different because like Texas, Arizona's long border with Mexico means whites there hold together in the face of the rising Hispanic immigrant tide.)

The race issue cuts two ways. If race is big and noisy, heavily white states may vote more Republican, more anti-Obama/Clinton than they have in the past. New Hampshire (92% white) voted for Bush in 2000, and Iowa (88% white) voted Bush in 2004. The two states are targets for Trump pick-ups.

If Trump loses Florida and wins both Iowa and New Hampshire, victory will depend upon picking up two of three upper Midwest states: Michigan (16 electoral votes), Minnesota (10), and Wisconsin (10). Wisconsin is 83% white, Minnesota 82%, Michigan 76%. All are mining or Rust Belt and variously suffering in the Obama economy.

The go-white election strategy won’t win over white but progressive Maine, Vermont, and Oregon, but every other state more white than Michigan is either in Trump’s column or on our battleground list. A smart Trump would focus his campaign on the 11 states our map colors brown.

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Democrats you told us, now listen: It’s the Economy Stupid!

Job growth has nearly stopped. For May, jobs grew by only 38,000, the lowest monthly increase since September 2010. From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a graph of U.S. job growth sinking to May’s pitiful total (hit to enlarge):

Friday’s report additionally noted that nearly 95 million Americans over 16 are outside the workforce, a record high.

Also on Obama’s watch, the percentage of Americans below the poverty line has grown from 14.3% to 14.8% — up 3.5%. Real median household income sank from $54,925 to $53,657 — down 2.3%. Food Stamp participants soared from 32,889,000 to 45,874,000 — up 39.5%. From Obama’s arrival through the fourth quarter of 2015, the percentage of Americans who own homes sagged from 67.3% to 63.8% — down 5.2%.

And Gallup CEO Jim Clifton tells us:
For the first time in 35 years, American business deaths now outnumber business births. Business startups outpaced business failures by about 100,000 per year until 2008. But in the past six years, that number suddenly reversed, and the net number of US startups versus closures is -70,000.