Loose Ends (3)

Was it merely coincidental that yesterday enough Democratic superdelegates declared themselves for Hillary that she could claim to have sealed the nomination? Why yesterday? Likely because today we’re voting out in California, and there is a decent chance Hillary may feel the Bern with the results tonight, which would give Bernie the headlines even though Hillary would still have collected enough delegates through proportional allocation to go over the top. Now if Bernie wins California, Hillary’s campaign can try to control the narrative by saying since the contest was over, lots of her voters stayed home.

 

• Trump-Nader 2016? Stranger things have happened this year. Nader gave an interview to the Pacific Standard yesterday in which he said that Trump is right about the scourge of political correctness:

Now that you mention it, Trump is a fascinating phenomenon. What does his popularity tell you about the electorate and what they want?

Well, and you see this when you walk past construction sites and you talk with white male workers, they feel they have been verbally repressed. It’s hard for someone your age to understand what I’m about to say. They like to stand on a corner and whistle at a pretty lady. They like to flirt. But they can’t do that anymore. Multiply that across the continuum. You can’t say this about that, and you can’t say that about this. And the employer tells you to hush. And perhaps your spouse tells you to hush, and your kids tell you to hush. So they have a whole language that they inherited — ethnic words like Polack. A lot of these people grew up on ethnic jokes, which are totally taboo now. Do you know, Lydia, there are no ethnic-joke books in bookstores anymore?

There used to be?

All the time. There were Negro-joke books, Jewish-joke books, Polish-joke books, Italian-joke books. They used ethnic jokes to reduce tension in the 1930s, ’40s, ’50s. And they’d laugh at each other’s jokes and hurl another one. But it still flows through ethnic America, you know. There are hundreds of things that people would like to say. So here’s this guy — he doubles down on them, he blows their minds. So that’s the first way he got their attention.

Do you think Trump has a point about political correctness? That we’ve gotten too uptight?

Oh, yeah. You see it on campuses — what is it called, trigger warnings? It’s gotten absurd. I mean, you repress people, you engage in anger, and what you do is turn people into skins that are blistered by moonbeams. Young men now are far too sensitive because they’ve never been in a draft. They’ve never had a sergeant say, “Hit the ground and do 50 push-ups and I don’t care if there’s mud there.”

Maybe Ralph is angling for one last shot at the ballot. You can tell, by the way, that the young lady interviewing Nader doesn’t have the slightest clue what Nader means with her clarification question, “There used to be?”

 

Walter Newell of the University of Toronto, author of several fine books about the subject of tyranny including most recently Tyrants: A History of Power, Injustice, and Terror, offers a measure defense of Donald Trump in the Toronto Globe and Mail. He says Trump is not a fascist or a tyrant, and has coherent ideas. But he concludes that Trump is the anti-Reagan:

Some have suggested that Donald Trump is a would-be tyrant. I would say no, not in the full-blown sense of a Hitler or a Stalin. He has no utopian blueprint he intends to impose on America by force. Ancient writers would probably have called him a demagogue. For them, demagogues mirrored the worst aspects of democracy. They incited the mob against their betters. Braggarts with a love of wealth and pleasure, they epitomized the most vulgar kind of behaviour.

Does Mr. Trump stand for coherent policies? Despite flip-flops and vagueness, I think he does. It’s just that he combines them in a way not done by anyone before, at least not within living memory. As a nativist, protectionist, fan of big government and quasi-isolationist (he would annihilate the Islamic State, but withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Pacific), he is the anti-Ronald Reagan.

Worth reading the whole thing. The complete article overlaps with something else Nader said in his interview about Trump:

And the third thing is, he’s a hybrid. I call him a Rep-Dem. He’s got Social Security, Medicare, he’s probably got a hidden single-payer guy, because he’s been around Canada, Western Europe, understands how it works, talks to business people, they don’t have to pay premiums, all of that. And then he’s big on public works. So that reassures even white, male conservatives and others that he’s not going to be a crazed conservative like Senator Ted Cruz and the rest of them.

Hmmmm.

 

Finally, here’s a great five minute rant about what’s wrong with Venezuela (though it really only requires one word and a half-second to day it):

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