There’s a reason I have jumped into this lake of fire, and that reason is that I cannot resist asking rude questions of the following flavor - so I may as well get it out of my system.
Several Rude Questions for people who have spent the last four years raising their voices to blame the decline of America on Trump.
What did you actually do to improve race relations?
What did you actually do to improve America’s image abroad?
How many lives were destroyed by Trump’s War on Terror?
What did Ben Carson do to ruin his government agency?
What opinion did Kavanaugh write that proves he was unfit?
Is your opinion of American news media higher or lower than when Trump took office?
What is the most significant demonstration of the separation of powers that put the proper checks and balances on White House excess since 2016?
Whose directions were more important to you during COVID, your doctor’s or your government’s?
How many times did you march? What have been the results? How do you know?
What is the single biggest lie Trump’s opposition got away with?
You can answer in the comments section or don’t. I have no further questions. Except, I’m kinda inclined to take wagers against those who believe Trump doesn’t not wish to return to civilian life. Just like I did with those who swore Barack Obama would be shot. It’s always patently obvious to me how hypocritical it is to opine against Trump playing golf when one actually hates everything he does in office.
People tended not to believe me when I told them I don’t care who got elected President. It’s because I’m Stoic. Somebody else gets it. So I quote them: (emphasis mine)
Many ancient Greeks advanced an ethic of right living and proper action. In his Confessions, Marcus Aurelius contends that actions ought to be virtuous regardless of circumstances. An action is right if it’s courageous. A discourse is proper if it’s humble. While the Stoics considered knowledge of the truth an essential element in an ethical life, it was only one consideration among many. They believed that it is the small, habitual actions that determine the morality of an individual, not her political beliefs or connection to systems.
The Longview Revisited
Before the election results were official, I looked back into the non-existent Facebook record of my pithy statements. Sometime before the coronavirus, I swear I said that the I’d be happy if the great mediocrity of Biden wins just to shut everyone up. He surely wouldn’t have the energy to go tit for tat over every little tweet. But we’re still more than two months from the Inauguration and everybody and their dogs are coming up with some form of rationality lipstick for what they assess ‘this election means’. It takes more than a week you passive aggressive blowhards. None of us are that genius. So let me just deal with my own foolishness. In July of 2018 I said:
In this age of identity politics, we are faced with an interesting problem. Aspects of personality and identity have been wrangled into the debate. This is not the basis for making policy or judgment, and thus cannot produce anything but accelerated friction between rivals. But the good side is this. Actual personality and identity are too fluid to sustain any long standing coalitions in a democracy. Factions will rise and fall.
I still believe this. I think the Culture War will be shut down a notch as people continue to die of COVID. The more people learn that their own doctors’ advice might not be any better than that coming from the White House, they’ll have to live down their political accusations of death by misinformation they were so quick to level.
Understand that media will profit on the thrash. It's in their interests to make personality and identity matter in their coverage of 'political debate'.
Still right about that. And you have to stay with Facebook to defriend people. The height of useful idiocy.
So what remains to be seen is whether our current obsession with identity and personality will continue to fragment party factions. Will actual uniting principles make policy more a matter of principle, or will sloganeering and arm twisting propel charlatans to party leadership?
There’s still a chance. Let’s see what happens to Mayor Pete, and let’s see who Reince Priebus hangs out with next year, shall we?
Conservatives on the American Right have witnessed the latter as well as the inability to manage and leverage the previous popularity of the Tea Party. They have opted to sheepishly but slavishly accept the mandate of Trump on the single principle of electoral power over Democrats. Liberals on the American Left are still experiencing the fragmentation and are more likely to require yet another messianic figure to suppress the differences between Progressives and Socialists in their ranks. Intersectionality is destroying them.
Smart liberals have been smacked on the back of their heads by the contemptuous actions and commentary of their fellow traveling Progressives. The Squad leader literally tweeted that she’ll be hunting down ‘Trump enablers’ for her new enemies list.
The Republicans should have found a way to flip the McCain Palin ticket. They left the resentment of the Tea Party out in the rain to sour and fester, delivering the leftover passion to Trump who governs like a pimp. The Republicans need a real father, Trump is a sugar daddy.
Without getting too far into the metaphor, I truly am attracted to the orphan angle on the American Right. So many of their grass roots movements have been abandoned by the GOP. It’s their own fault. They thought that they could Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity their way into conventional electoral power year after year and they summarily failed to do anything but punt to rhetorical abstracts of principles of free markets and innovation blah blah, brought to you by Dow Chemical. Meanwhile the party has been run by hacks who demonstrated their own vulnerability to being hacked by Trump. Nothing sounds so pathetic these days as Christian Conservatives who thought Trump was their man. They are orphaned again by the money and vote aggregating algorithm that is the soul of Republican party. Why did all of those good people back Trump? They got nowhere else to go. And so they will remain disinherited bastard ronin, a danger to themselves and others.
The Democrats should have gotten rid of the Clintons and embraced the genuine socialist emotion latent in its electorate. The 'gravitas' of Biden was window dressing that now has no electoral meaning whatsoever. The soul of its party is as old as McCain, boomer nostalgia. Neither Clinton nor Obama lead from the front of the success of Gay Marriage. Democrats control nothing outside of their bubbles.
Oh boy was I wrong. I was as unprepared for the whipcracking of the Woke Mob over the donkeys as anyone. I find it difficult to believe that the Clinton network has been completely dismantled. I think it is partially intact owing to the simple fact that Clintonistas have nowhere else to go in politics than to whatever Biden’s transition team dangles them in the coming weeks and months. Either way, Rahm won’t be there. Or will he? As loathe as I am to talk about generations, it has been patiently explained to me that Elizabeth Warren did not, could not and will not connect to true young energetic democratic socialists. AOC, on the other hand will be forced to wait her turn to get any real power from the likes of Nancy Pelosi. So I think the Woke Mob is doomed.
The business, academic and religious communities of America have nowhere to predictably invest. Both parties will submit at least a half dozen candidates in 2020.
Kamala’s Sorors Ain’t Ghetto
Now let me deal with my most recent prediction and scenario. I have reason to believe that the election of Kamala Harris will have the equivalent effect on grass roots black politics that Barack Obama had on the livelihood of the likes of Tavis Smiley, Cornel West and Jessie Jackson. It will smother them and cast them into oblivion. Because of that and a couple other conversations I’ve had recently, I’m going to get behind this predicted scenario:
Trump Loses - Democrats Stay Blue
Elephants: Since there is no Reagan on the Right, there is no particular place I can see for a soft landing if Trump is defeated. The Enlightenment Liberal Republicans and conservatives will have to up their game to appropriate the Trumpist Tories. They’ll have a chance at the GOP majority. So far as a one term Trump is concerned, easy come easy go. As easy as Nixon. These GOP remainers will need even more intellectual firepower concentrated against the Progressive front that will be gathering power slowly on the Left.
Donkeys: Oh happy day. The normie Blues will crack open the bubbly. While they’re cleaning house and re-establishing ‘normalcy’ in DC the angry Woke Mob will turn on them because, where is our Basic? It will be like MLK vs Stokely Carmichael all over again. Civil society will not be enough for those demanding Woke Power. Biden will be incapable of stopping the bad economy and the bad pandemic, and there will be no bad Orange Man to blame, for long. Government stimulus will be the gateway drug to democratic socialism.
Nevertheless, our international esteem will rise and some kind of sensible foreign policy will be jawboned. Harris will be tasked to smile, wave and blow kisses to all of our Eurofriends and global neighbors. Obama will say something nice to bless this arrangement.
What I know that many do not is that Kamala Harris is a skee-wee. A what you say? She’s in the illustrious and most uppity black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, and if you think Skull & Bones sticks together, you have no idea about how deep elite black cultural societies within upscale black America runs. I should know, AKA is the sister organization to my own fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. Thurgood Marshall was one of us, Clarence Thomas is not. You do the math. In my upscale black community there were more than a few of these signs in closely manicured front yards.
While it was sure that Trump would get more of a specific fraction of the black vote for a number of a predictable number of reasons, you have to understand the extent to which the black professional class of the legal, teaching and other liberal arts persuasions are dialed into Harris’ particular frequency. Many such black Americans are self-appointed canaries of racism’s mines of whatever shallowness or depth. Ellis Cose accurately called that attitude ‘The Rage of a Privileged Class’ back in 1994. They will have the first word and they will persist to have the last word. Their word may be all most equally professional non-black Americans ever know. As such, they are deeply invested in examples of unimpeachable black competence and power. Harris will deliver.
The Idiot-Proof Basics
All that said there are a couple megatrends that I see coming out of this shallow blue puddle result. The one that intrigues me the most are the machinations between the Fed’s policy of high liquidity, the countervailing numbers of rising employment figures, the disappointment of the Woke Mob and electoral weakness of The Squad and the odd coalition of supporters of Basic and whatever the New Blue Zoo will do. I think that there’s a real opportunity for the infrastructure of Basic to be rapidly put in place by a Biden administration. Stimulus will continue as the pandemic continues, this must be, and it is a no-brainer for Biden to shutup all opposition from his left by launching the slightest hint of a trial balloon in that direction. Exactly how many brains does Biden have? He’s smart enough to know how stupid he is, and as weak as Harris makes the Woke Mob by her very ‘cablinasian’ existence in the White House that alone will not bust the ghosts of Bernie and Elizabeth Warren. The streams of Pink and Blue will have to be crossed over Basic and then it’s done. Over. Finita la commedia.
Let me explain, and I’m only going to tell you this once so listen up OK?
Joe Biden can, in one commonsense move, can start the revolution that millions of Americans have been waiting for, left, right and center. The coronavirus is not going away, therefore the demand for stimulus is not going away. The burden on state unemployment benefits is not going away. The needs of the unbanked are not going away. So how do you get a trillion or so into the hands of 150 million households? You hire Jack Dorsey or some other cyberbaron to wave a magic marketing wand over a newly minted USBasic cryptocurrency which can be instantly accepted everywhere EBT is accepted. You do a minimum KYC and let it be like cash and shovel out $600 per week per account out of a new line item from the Federal Reserve. Inherent in the currency is that you cannot spend more than $100 per day. You can’t convert it to more cash than the grocery store or gas station or McDonalds wants to give you back and you can’t save more than $1000 bucks. The tank can’t be filled more than that. This is the very definition of stimulus, because it’s a cryptocurrency that has its own built in rules. It’s Venmo for everyone, even the homeless. Even the elderly. Even the mental.
We have the technology. We can make stimulus stronger, faster, better. And we can turn it off arbitrarily. 300 people from Silicon Valley could build it in a month. Just keep it away from the likes of Elizabeth Holmes. I guess that’s why it has to be Jack Dorsey - somebody who is already too public to hide a tits-up job. Think about it. A crypto application funded by the Fed and authorized by the Federal government that’s as easy to use as Tik Tok. What could possibly be more attractive than that?
This is where a general UBI gets its nose in the tent. It’s Federal Reserve money so it’s less political than you might think. You just need the President and Congress (ugh, now it gets depressing) to make the legal authorizations and appropriations necessary to make it happen and give it a stupid acronym they can promise to sunset when the virality of the virus is insufficient to require lockdowns.
Everybody loves it. Silicon Valley Trump haters who want to sting him back over Tik Tok. Security people who want a national ID. Voter fraud people who want a national ID. Crypto people who hate but need the Fed. Payment systems people who want to honor the new currency. Banks who want to avoid crypto without a Federal recourse. Basic enthusiasts on the Left and Right and around the world. Oh yeah, and the people who need the money. Almost forgot.
That’s the big megatrend that could happen sooner rather than later, depending on whether or not this idea goes viral. Either way, I’ve thought about this kind of two-tiered economy before. It’s one of the premises of my book, also coming to you sooner or later.
That’s all I see. I honestly expect the Culture Wars to enter a short haitus while the dancing in the blue puddles continue until SOTU 2022, because too many smart people know the Woke Mob needs to sit down and shut up, Andy Ngo cannot stay anonymous for much longer and people you and I know have actually died, and all of the protest marching that was done this year didn’t change that at all.
One more note. This is brilliant.