1. Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing,
Refusal to Learn the Lesson of
2. Donald Trump Will Be President. This is What
3. Thomas Frank: ‘Donald
Trump Is Moving to the White
House, and Liberals Put Him
4. Revenge of the ‘Deplorables’
5. Here It Comes: Trump's 100-Day Plan to "Make America
is a Nederlog of Thursday, November 10, 2016. This is the day after the
day after the American presidential elections, which were won by Donald
Trump, who is in my (quite firm) opinion both a neofascist
() and insane (and I am a
psychologist: he is a grandiose
narcissist, which is a psychopathology).
As to Trump and Clinton, here is Mencken:
American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars;
the men they detest most violently are those who tell them the truth.
Basically, what follows is a survey of
some of the first attempts to grasp the implications of a Trumpian
is a crisis
log with 5 items and 5 dotted links and it consists of five
deliberations on the meanings of Trump's election as president of the
Item 1 is by Glenn Greenwald and seems
mostly correct (to me ); item 2
is by Jon Schwarz, also on The Intercept, but this seems mostly
incorrect to me;
item 3 is about Thomas Frank's opinions,
which seem mostly false to me; item 4 is by Robert
Scheer, and seems mostly correct to me; and item 5
is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams (that I am very glad this
still exists) and is quite correct in my eyes.
part, for the moment --
In case you visit my
Dutch site: It was OK for two days now, but again didn't work out
in Holland the last days: It keeps being horrible most days. And it
still does (10.xi.2016).
case, I am now (again) updating
the opening of my site with the last day it was updated.
(And I am very sorry if you have to click/reload several times
last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. 
In case you visit my
It does not work correctly, and indeed fails now in the same ways as
xs4all: You seem to be systematically denied all news abput updatings.
And I think now this happens intentionally on both my
sites, for this did not happen for 20 years on the one, nor for
12 years on the other. (10.xi.2016)
I am very
sorry, and none of it is due to me. I
am simply doing the same things as I did for 20 or for 12 years, that
also went well for 20 or for 12 years.
keep this introduction until I get three successive days
in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen
for many months now.
Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit
The first item today is by Glenn Greenwald on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
The parallels between the U.K.’s
shocking approval of the Brexit referendum in June and the U.S.’ even
more shocking election of Donald Trump as president last night are
I do not know, and these "parallels" are
(at best) analogies, which tend to be partial. But OK:
Here are two that I can see.
First, the confident plans of leading
politicians and political parties were unexpectedly voted out by a
(small) majority  of the voting population. And
second, those voted in, it turns out, were the rich deceivers,
profiteers, and degenerates whose associates have grown extremely rich
by thirtyfive years of systematic enrichings of the already rich by
There are more, but these seem the most
important. A shorter form is that one group of deceiving political
elites who had the power for eight years was shifted aside by another
even worse group of deceiving political elites.
Here is more Glenn Greenwald:
The indisputable fact is that prevailing
institutions of authority in the West, for decades, have relentlessly
and with complete indifference stomped on the economic welfare and
social security of hundreds of millions of people. While
elite circles gorged themselves on globalism, free trade, Wall Street
casino gambling, and endless wars (wars that enriched
the perpetrators and sent the poorest and most marginalized
to bear all their burdens), they completely ignored the victims of
their gluttony, except when those victims piped up a bit too much —
when they caused a ruckus — and were then scornfully
condemned as troglodytes who were
the deserved losers in the glorious, global game of meritocracy.
Yes indeed, although I would probably have
formulated this differently. But yes: Since Reagan won the
elections, the rich elites have been in power and ruled for
themselves, and only themselves, for 35 years continuously,
indeed quite independently of whether a Republican or a Democrat was
elected: Both were for the rich, although they differed on
Next, we arrive a three points Glenn
Greenwald singles out. Here is the first:
Yes, but (i) these are the present elites of
the Democratic Party, which (ii) for the moment consist of Clintonites.
think that will last long, because it seems likely that both the
present elites and the Clintonites will rapidly disappear or at least
loose a lot of influence and power.
Beyond the Brexit analysis, there are
three new points from last night’s results that I want to emphasize, as
they are unique to the 2016 U.S. election and, more importantly,
illustrate the elite pathologies that led to all of this:
1. Democrats have already begun
flailing around trying to blame anyone and everyone they can find —
everyone except themselves — for last night’s crushing defeat of
You know the drearily predictable list of
Russia, WikiLeaks, James Comey, Jill Stein, Bernie Bros, The Media,
news outlets (including, perhaps especially, The Intercept)
that sinned by reporting negatively on Hillary Clinton.
Then there is this, which is quite justified (in my opinion):
Far more significant is what this
shows about the mentality of the Democratic Party. Just think about who
they nominated: someone who — when she wasn’t dining with Saudi
monarchs and being feted in Davos by tyrants who gave million-dollar
checks — spent the last several years piggishly running around to
Wall Street banks and major corporations cashing in with $250,000 fees
for 45-minute secret speeches even though she had already become
unimaginably rich with book advances while her husband already made
tens of millions playing these same games.
Yes, indeed. Both Clintons were massively
corrupt, and indeed made their millions by massive corruptions of
the stated kind (that I indeed construe as conscious payments by
the rich for services done by these politicians for the rich).
But then again I'd also argue that the elites of both dominant
American parties are and have been grossly corrupt, and indeed
the same is probably true of most Senators and member of Congress.
Here is Greenwald's second point:
2. That racism, misogyny, and
xenophobia are pervasive in all sectors of America is indisputable from
even a casual glance at its history, both distant and recent.
There are reasons why all presidents
until 2008 were white and all 45 elected presidents have been men.
There can be no doubt that those pathologies played a substantial role
in last night’s outcome. But that fact answers very few questions
and begs many critical ones.
Yes, possibly Trump owes his election to
his "racism, misogyny, and
xenophobia" (I don't know, but these certainly were strongly in
evidence) and these are important, but it remains to be seen
how these are translated into Republican policies.
Here is the third and last point of Glenn
3. Over the last six decades, and
particularly over the last 15 years of the endless war on terror,
both political parties have joined to construct a frightening and
unprecedentedly invasive and destructive system of authoritarian power,
accompanied by the unbridled authority vested in the executive branch
to use it.
As a result, the president of the United
States commands a vast nuclear arsenal that can destroy the planet many
times over; the deadliest and most expensive military ever
developed in human history; legal authorities that allow him to
prosecute numerous secret wars at the same time, imprison people with
no due process, and target
people (including U.S. citizens) for assassination with no
oversight; domestic law enforcement agencies that are constructed to
appear and act as standing, para-militarized armies; a sprawling penal
state that allows imprisonment far more easily than most Western
countries; and a system of electronic surveillance purposely designed
to be ubiquitous and limitless, including on U.S. soil.
I lived over six and a half decades, and I
don't think "the last six decades" is correct
(although indeed I also am not at all fond of presidents
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Ford - and I can recall all of
these, while they were presidents).
And I date the organized rise of the
political right as dating back either to Lewis
Powell's letter of 1971, or to Ronald Reagan's presidency that
started in 1981, and of these two dates I rather strongly favor the
second (for he got real power: Powell only wanted the Rightists
to organize, but had little power himself).
Then again, all of the last paragraph is
quite true and indeed also very dangerous, because all of this
indeed was and is extremely authoritarian, quite rightist,
and totally anti-democratic from (I quote) "legal authorities that allow him to prosecute numerous
secret wars at the same time" all downward to
the end of the paragraph.
And I think that is the main
lesson: Trump has won, but Trump is an exponent of an
authoritarian, anti-democratic, anti-Constitutional power grasp
that both major parties in the USA have been indulging in since
- for Clinton and Obama were more like regular Republicans than regular
Democrats, whereas the Republicans since Reagan have moved farther and
farther towards the right.
2. Donald Trump Will Be President. This is What We Do Next.
The second item is by Jon Schwarz on The Intercept:
This starts as follows:
I selected this because I wrote almost
precisely the same second sentence (in Dutch). More precisely, with
president Donald Trump I give at most 50/50 that there will not
be a nuclear war in the next four years.
You’re terrified. I’m terrified too.
It’s not hyperbole to say the United
States, and in fact the world, will need some luck to get out of
this one alive.
And Jon Schwarz also draws lessons from the Trumpian presidency. Here
is the first:
We can start by sharing whatever
educated guesses we have about what we should do for the next few
decades. Here are mine.
No, I don't think so at all and I
good reasons, that start from the fact that both of my parents were in
the communist resistance against Nazism in WW II (as in fact only few
Dutchmen were), and more or less consequently were doing politics all
their lives, as their main occupation.
1. If you can, make politics one
of the centers of your life.
Politics is absolutely a matter of life
and death. Treat it like it is.
Twenty years ago U.S. elites had so
successfully depoliticized America that simply caring about politics
was like having a super-weird hobby.
I do not criticize my parents for their choices (they certainly
mostly go back to their being genuine members of the resistance in WW
II, which were also rare, noble and courageous choices) but I did not
have their experiences, and I chose at age 20, indeed also after a lot
of reading and refuting Marx , for science rather
Indeed, this is the rational choice if you are interested in truly
understanding the real world, for all politics is not first and foremost interested in truth but in power; all politics
rather than scientific;
and nearly all politics is, for that and other reasons, almost
certainly deeply mistaken, at least intellectually, and probably
There is considerably more I could say, but the brief of it is: If you
are interested in having rational and probable
opinions, choose for science rather
than for politics.
Here is the second point of Jon Schwarz:
2. White liberals must step up
right now in the right way.
If there’s going to be any political
force that can resist Trump and build a livable future, it will be led
by African Americans, Latinos, and young people from all backgrounds.
The role for older, richer white
liberals will be important but painfully different from what they’re
used to. They’ll have to support other people’s priorities, put up
money for things they don’t control and use all of their social power
to protect Muslims, immigrants, and every threatened minority.
No. This is also a political
decision with little rational foundation. (Also, I do not know
what would make "African Americans, Latinos, and
young people" so very special in understanding
what is true:
For me, it doesn't matter what race or gender you have, but it
makes a lot of difference how much you have learned about the
how much you know of real science and
Here is the third point by Jon Schwarz:
3. We need a story.
The core belief of the technocrats who
run the Democratic Party is that people rationally evaluate facts and
then make decisions.
In reality, humans all have an
emotional, internally consistent story running inside them all the time
about the world and their place in it – and if they encounter any
“facts” that contradict this story, the facts just bounce right off.
Ironically, this is demonstrated by how Democratic technocrats
emotionally reject all the evidence for this.
No. First of all emotional stories
are either not consistent or else are in major
disagreements with palpable facts. Second,
everybody has at least one and probably several ideologies , simply because these are essentially stories
which are easy to get and for that reason alone (apart from many
others) is probably false
and certainly one-sided.
What "we need" is more factually
correct explanations. (But I agree only a minority is interested
4. We don’t need a third party,
we just need a party.
When and where are the next Democratic
and Republican Party meetings in your neighborhood? You don’t know,
because neither the Democrats nor Republicans are political parties in
the historical sense. Mostly they just demand we send them money and
then yell at us about voting every few years.
While it has almost passed out of
Americans’ living memory, parties used to have regular, local meetings
where everyone got together, yammered about politics for a while, and
then drank beer. Elections were the culmination of what parties did,
not the starting point.
I might have agreed if this had been
formulated differently, like so: "We don't need a third "party", we
political parties, rather than committees of and for the rich". Then
again, while I might have agreed with that, I also doubt this is possible
in the USA, and indeed it has not been shown there since the
1920s or so.
5. We need non-corporate media.
Corporation television funded by
corporate ads will never, ever hold political charlatans accountable.
That’s not part of their business model.
The core problem is that accurate news
isn’t profitable. It never has been and it never will be. Newspapers
made it seem like it could be for about 30 years after World War II,
but that was an illusion: The news just piggybacked on what people
cared about more, like sports and classified ads. As soon as technology
made it possible to deliver it all separately, the news business
Fortunately, there’s a patriotic
solution: public funding.
Yes and no. That is, non-corporate media
are very much needed, but I do not know how to get
them. And also, I think Schwarz is wrong about the paper media, which
were carried by their advertisements.
But since these have moved to the internet, it seems paper media may be
As to Schwarz's solution: Yes indeed - except
that it will not happen under Trump, indeed except for
such public funding as so far has kept Common Dreams, Truthdig, Mother
Jones, ProPublica and some others alive and writing.
Here is the sixth point of Jon Schwarz,
that he misnumerated:
Hm. You shouldn't give up because you never
should give up, until you are mortally ill, at least.
But the reason is - I am sorry - poor: Trump will be in charge in a
little over two months time, and the rich grabbed nearly everything
they could grab.
7. Be not downhearted.
Don’t give up. As bone-chilling as this
moment is, it also proves that no one’s in charge and just about
everything in America’s up for grabs.
3. Thomas Frank: ‘Donald
Trump Is Moving to the White House, and Liberals Put Him There’
The third item is by Alexander Reed
Kelly on Truthdig:
This is from an article by Kelly, but I
will quote only from Thomas Frank. Here is the first bit:
No, that is mostly baloney.
Start at the top. Why, oh why, did it
have to be Hillary Clinton? Yes, she has an impressive resume; yes, she
worked hard on the campaign trail. But she was exactly the wrong
candidate for this angry, populist moment. An insider when the country
was screaming for an outsider. A technocrat who offered fine-tuning
when the country wanted to take a sledgehammer to the machine.
She was the Democratic candidate because it
was her turn and because a Clinton victory would have moved every
Democrat in Washington up a notch. Whether or not she would win was
always a secondary matter, something that was taken for granted. Had
winning been the party’s number one concern, several more suitable
candidates were ready to go.
First, only 55.7% of the people eligible to vote in fact
voted. Indeed that is considerably less than in 2008, when 62.2%
of the people voted. And second, Clinton polled a little more
than Trump (200,000 votes to be precise) but she lost in the Electoral
College. Third, the main reason why the Democrats lost is that key
Democratic voters did not bother to vote. (And this may be due to
the fact that they had to vote for Clinton, but then again, with nearly
45% of the eligible voters not voting I do not know this was a
very important reason.)
Here is the second bit:
If Trump is a fascist, as
liberals often said, Democrats should have put in their strongest
player to stop him, not a party hack they’d chosen because it was her
turn. Choosing her indicated either that Democrats didn’t mean what
they said about Trump’s riskiness, that their opportunism took
precedence over the country’s well-being, or maybe both.
No, that is also mostly baloney. In fact,
Trump is a neofascist 
but that is an aside: The reasons this is mostly baloney are above:
Nearly 45% of the eligible voters did not vote, and Clinton
only narrowly lost.
Here is the third bit:
With the same arguments repeated
over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views
all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like
tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here’s what it consisted of:
• Hillary was virtually without flaws.
She was a peerless leader clad in saintly white, a super-lawyer, a
caring benefactor of women and children, a warrior for social justice.
• Her scandals weren’t real.
• The economy was doing well / America was already great.
• Working-class people weren’t supporting Trump.
• And if they were, it was only because they were botched humans.
Racism was the only conceivable reason for lining up with the
I am sorry, but this is also baloney, for
it treats most voters as if they were blind unthinking idiots.
Possibly many were, but then Frank should have said that, rather than
list the obvious idiocies and inanities that were in mainstream
And here is the fourth bit:
How did the journalists’ crusade fail?
The fourth estate came together in an unprecedented professional
consensus. They chose insulting the other side over trying to
understand what motivated them. They transformed opinion writing into a
vehicle for high moral boasting. What could possibly have gone wrong
with such an approach?
Again I am sorry, but this is more
First of all, there are at least two
groups of journalists: Those who work for the mainstream media, and
those who don't. I read both daily, and I much dislike the
former, whereas I more or less like the latter, indeed also in case I don't
agree, simply because there arguments tend to be better.
And second, the first group (which is much
larger) failed because they desired to fail: They desired
to reflect the interests of the rich or the government, and they did
so, indeed to the extent that many who did not belong to these
- small, well-paid, quite corrupt - class of propagandists
insisted that these were not real journalists anymore, but only
shorthand writers who directly published the
propaganda they got from the government or the rich without
doing any investigative journalism to test its truth. 
4. Revenge of the ‘Deplorables’
The fourth item is by Robert Scheer on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
The people Hillary Clinton derided as a
“basket of deplorables” have spoken. They have voted out of the pain of
their economic misfortune, which Clinton’s branch of the Democratic
Party helped engender.
What you have is a defeat of elitism.
Clinton’s arrogance was on full display with the revelation of her
speeches cozying up to Goldman Sachs—the bank that caused this misery
more than any other—and the irony of this is not lost on the people who
are hurting and can’t pay their bills. This is a victory for a
neofascist populism—scapegoating immigrants and Muslims—and if Bernie
Sanders had been the Democrats’ candidate, I feel confident he would
have won. We were denied the opportunity of a confrontation between a
progressive populist, represented by Sanders, and a neofascist populist.
Hm. Yes and no, but I must start with no:
It was not
a "basket of deplorables" that elected Trump, firstly because about as
many voted for Clinton (in fact: 200,000 more than for Trump), while
such analyses as I have read of the kinds of voters strongly suggested
that both were mostly supported (apart from blacks and
hispanics) in roughly equal fashion by all groups. 
Second, I agree with Scheer that Trump is
a neofascist populist 
(and he also is insane, and I am a psychologist) and
also that Bernie Sanders
would probably have won, if the election had been between Sanders and
Trump - but Sanders was outmanoeuvred, quite dishonorably also, by
Hillary Clinton and her associates.
Then there is this:
[Hillary Clinton is] terminally
So too were the mainstream media, which
treated the wreckage of the Great Recession as a minor inconvenience,
ignoring the deep suffering of the many millions who lost their homes,
savings and jobs. The candidate of Goldman Sachs was defeated,
unfortunately by a billionaire exemplar of everything that’s evil in
late-stage capitalism, who will now worsen instead of fix the system.
Thanks to the arrogance of the Democratic Party leadership that stifled
the Sanders revolution, we are entering a very dangerous period with a
Trump presidency, and this will be a time to see whether our system of
checks and balances functions as our Founding Fathers intended.
Yes, I agree mostly with this - although I
do insist that I am one of the very few who has
consistently said ever since 2008 that the world I am in living in is
in deep crisis, and the crisis is firstly (but not
The few rich enormously increased their
riches over the past 35 years, and they did so at the costs of the many
poor, and quite deliberately, while they were helped by the
mainstream media, and by enormous amounts of propaganda, lies and deceptions that
these - very consciously - spread.
Also, it is my guess that the Trump
presidency will show that the "system of checks
and balances functions [of] our Founding Fathers"
work anymore (with a much radicalized Republican Party that now have
the power over everything, and also can fill SCOTUS as they like). I
hope I am mistaken, but I fear I am not.
There is more in the article.
5. Here It Comes: Trump's 100-Day Plan to "Make America
The fifth and last item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams :
This starts as follows:
At the end of October in Gettysburg,
Pennsylvania, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump laid
out what his campaign called a "100-day plan to Make America Great
plan (pdf) came on top of multiple promises
on the campaign
trail about what he would do on his "first day in office." Taken
together, these vows represent a right-wing
agenda that includes:
- removing "more than two million
criminal illegal immigrants from the country;"
- canceling "every unconstitutional
executive action, memorandum, and order issued by President Obama;"
- suspending immigration "from
terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur;"
- repealing and replacing the
Affordable Care Act;
- allowing the Keystone XL pipeline to
- lifting restrictions on fossil fuel
- selecting a Supreme Court nominee in
the mold of the late Justice Antonin Scalia;
- canceling "billions in payments to
U.N. climate change programs";
- establishing "a requirement that for
every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be
- ending federal funding for sanctuary
Yes, indeed: That seems a fair indication
of Trump's first 100 days. But Trump may try to do more, for a reason
John Nichols formulated:
Make no mistake, Trump now leads the
Republican Party. And that party has in recent years developed an
approach to power. When it does not control the executive branch, the
GOP obstructs the Democrat who is in charge. When it has the executive
and legislative branches in its grip, the GOP acts. Quickly.
Yes, indeed - which means they have been
acting anti-democratically for quite a few years. Here is more to the
Ryan himself said
Wednesday in the wake of Trump's win: "Now...we will lead a unified
Republican government," and talked of working together toward
"The opportunity is now here, and the
opportunity is to go big and go bold," Ryan said.
this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for
months now. I
do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of
"xs4all" (really: the
KPN), simply because these have been lying to me from
2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control
myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because
"you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which
is the perfect excuse never to do anything
 I am saying
this not because I want to
offend but because I want to explain,
and my own explanatory definition of neofascism is this:
is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with a centralized powerful authority, where
the opposition is propagandized and suppressed or censored, that
propounds an ethics which has profit as
its main norm, and that has a politics that is rightwing, nationalistic, pro-capitalist,
anti-liberal, anti-equality, and anti-leftist,
and that has a corporative
organization of the economy in which multi-national corporations are
stronger than a national government or state, b. A political philosophy or
movement based on or advocating such a social system.
And this is fascism as I
is a. A social system that is
marked by a government with centralized authority and a dictator, that
suppresses the opposition through propaganda, censorship and terror,
that propounds an ethics founded
on discipline, virility, and collectivism, that has a politics that is
totalitarian, anti-liberal, anti-individualist,
anti-equality, and anti-Marxist, that is also authoritarian,
rightwing and nationalistic, and often racist, and that has a corporative organization of the economy, b. A political philosophy or movement based on or
advocating such a social system.
following if you are interested: On Fascism
and Neofascism: Definitions.
(This lists 22 definitions of the term "fascism", and critically
reflects on them.)
 I know a whole lot about philosophy of
science and logic, and I agree there is a distinction between values and facts. Also, most
to be based on assumptions of both values and facts, and for this
reason I often add "to me" when (in part) statements of value are
 In fact, Hillary Clinton pulled some
200,000 votes more
than Donald Trump, but she lost in the Electoral College. (This has
happened before.) And in Great Britain it was a small difference as
 I had read Marx since I was 14,
indeed because both of my parents were communists, and because they had
some eight or so books by Marx, Engels and Lenin.
And I had read considerably more by Marx (and by Marxists) between
age 15 and 20, while I was quite correct about the main things that
split me from Marx: (i) the transformation problem in economics
(ii) dialectics in Marx and (especially) Engels; and (iii) the totalitarianism
of the communist party my parents were members of.
In brief: My choices at age 20 were quite well reasoned, quite well
informed, and quite rational.
 Yes, indeed. And especially if this is
an important choice (as it will be for a rather small minority
only, I am rather certain).
 Yes, indeed. In
fact, in my own theory of ideologies most groups
have some ideology, while almost everybody is a member of many
groups (nearly alli of which also indulge in their own kinds of groupthinking).
 In fact, I agree
that most so-called "journalists" who work for the mainstream media (TV
or printed press) are no longer journalists but are in most
cases (quite consciously also) propagandists
(who tend to hide their own propaganda behind showing proponents of
several views as if both were about equally valid, also
if this is definitely false:
Consider how Trump's extraordinarily many lies were covered by
the mainstream media).
 Here I am
stating the absolute truth
to the best of my knowledge, and like to remark that - in spite of
looking for it - I have not
found many adequate analyses of voters' behaviors and motives (while I
read rather a lot of extremely shoddy arguments that jumped to
conclusions without much or any rational foundations).
 And I like to
say that I am pleased
to say that Common Dreams still exists, for - as I have said repeatedly
before - by and large they are the best alternative media I know.