Nov 11, 2016

Crisis: Greenwald, Reich, Sanders, Gessen, My P.S.
Sections                                                                     crisis index

Glenn Greenwald: Why Did Trump Win? Blame the Failed
     Policies of the Democratic Party

2. Glenn Greenwald: Bernie Sanders Would Have Been a
     Stronger Candidate Against Donald Trump

Greenwald on "Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing,
     Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit"

4. Why We Need a New Democratic Party
5. Trump Won Because Democratic Party Failed Working
     People, Says Sanders

6. Autocracy: Rules for Survival

This is a Nederlog of Friday, November 11, 2016. This is the day my Dutch site exists since 20 years.

As to Trump and Clinton, here is Mencken:

The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who tell them the truth.
 -- H.L.Mencken
Incidentally: Neither the Republicans nor the Democrats told the truth to their voters. And basically, what follows is a survey of some of the attempts to grasp the implications of a Trumpian presidency.

This is a crisis log with 7 items and 6 dotted links and it consists of some deliberations on the meanings of Trump's election as president of the USA: Item 1, and 2 and 3 are all from an interview with Glenn Greenwald that Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh made, and I select Glenn Greenwald as the main speaker in this Nederlog because he is rational, reasonable and usually quite sensible (and most others either are not at all, or less so); item 4 is by Robert Reich on the need for a new democratic party; item 5 is on an opinion of Bernie Sanders that sounds plausible but that is difficult to combine with the known facts; item 6 is by Masha Gessen, who lived a long time in Russia, and who knows autocracies, and has some sensible words of advice (for the most part); while the P.S. is my own brief and clear summary with some recommendations.

-- Constant part, for the moment --

B. 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).

In any 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 to see the last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. [1]

C. In case you visit my Danish site: 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.

I will keep this introduction until I get three successive days (!!!) in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen that for many months now.

1. Glenn Greenwald: Why Did Trump Win? Blame the Failed Policies of the Democratic Party

The first item today is by Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now!:

This starts with the following introduction:

As President-elect Donald Trump heads to the White House to meet with President Obama today, many in the media establishment are wondering how data journalism’s predictions of this election were so wrong. As early as Tuesday morning, many media outlets, including The New York Times, were predicting Hillary Clinton had over an 80 percent chance of winning the presidency. Those predictions evaporated as soon as the poll numbers began rolling in Tuesday night. For more on the failures of data journalism and the Democratic Party, we speak with the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, one of the founding editors of The Intercept. His most recent piece is headlined "Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit."

Incidentally, "data journalism" is as much a propaganda term as is "evidence based medicine": Where these terms are used to make you believe something or sell you something, you can be rather sure you are being frauded.

Taking that for granted, there is one fairly obvious explanation for the utter failures of all "data journalism". It is the same explanation as for Diederik Stapel's incredible psychological genius: He is not a genius, but a fraud.

And I am making this point with two qualifications: (1) it is very probably quite impossible to prove either way: That there was no or little fraudulence or that there was a lot of fraudulence, and/but (2) this perfectly valid explanation for the failures of all "data journalism" is not seriously reckoned with.

I am merely making the point. Here is the first bit by Glenn Greenwald:

GLENN GREENWALD: It’s obviously a shocking outcome, in particular because the not just polling data, but all of the self-proclaimed experts in data journalism, this new field of journalism that has arisen that claims to only view politics through an empirical lens rather than through the dirty ideologies or partisan biases that everybody else is burdened with, assured everybody that it was overwhelmingly likely that Clinton would win. Every model had her at 85 to 90 percent, and yet she lost and lost pretty resoundingly, at least on the level of the Electoral College. She obviously won the popular vote, but that’s not what matters. So, there’s a shock about the fact that all of our empirical models, all of the ways that we try and predict the future, have failed.

As I started saying: There is a perfectly valid explanation for this massive failure, and that is that in fact it was not a failure, and the data on which the elections were based were frauded - somewhere, to some extent, in an unknown way (but one which is technologically quite easy and feasible).

As I also said, it is very probably not provable either way. But it should have been mentioned, I think.

Here is Glenn Greenwald on the enormous powers that Donald Trump (and his team) are going to get:

But then there’s an even greater shock over the fact that somebody who stands so far outside of the norms of our political traditions and ideologies is now the president-elect of the United States and in two months will be sitting behind that large desk in the Oval Office commanding a massive military—in fact, the most powerful and destructive military ever created in human history—as well as a gigantic nuclear arsenal that can destroy the world many times over, a vast spying machine that exists both on foreign soil but also domestically. And this huge apparatus of power that has been built up by both parties over the last 15 years is now in the hands of somebody who, by pretty much all metrics, is clearly an authoritarian without much regard for the constraints of Constitution or law.

Yes, indeed, although he did not stand "so far outside of the norms of our political traditions and ideologies" not to be elected (and I am disregarding fraud here).

Here is the last bit from the current article that I'll quote:

And I think that if we’re going to have any kind of constructive discussion in the aftermath of Trump’s victory, it has to include, first and foremost, a discussion about why the Democratic Party has become such a small minority party, a minority in the House, a minority in the Senate, lost control of the White House to someone like Donald Trump, is obliterated on the state and local levels. What is it about the Democratic Party that has caused huge portions of the American voting population to turn their back to it and to reject it?
Put like that, there is an obvious answer, it seems to me:

Because Hillary Clinton (and, it seems, albeit perhaps to a lesser extent, Barack Obama) have sold themselves to the rich and especially the bankers, who paid Hillary and Bill many millions of dollars (the Clintons seem to have amassed around $120 million dollars [3]) "for speeches of 45 minutes", that actually were not in payment for the speeches, but in payment for the extensive services they gave while they were in power, as president or as secretary of state (at least: that is what I think).

And that answer seems to have considerable validity: Many nominal Democrats were upset by Hillary Clinton's extreme sympathies for the interests of the rich

Then again, I do not know how this translates in terms of voters' choices, in part because I know no relevant evidence, and in part because I have given up mostly on rational explanations for voters' choices.

This is a recommended article and there is more in the next article:

2. Glenn Greenwald: Bernie Sanders Would Have Been a Stronger Candidate Against Donald Trump

The second item is by Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now!:

This continues the previous item. You can read the introduction here.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: (..) Glenn Greenwald, many have said that if Sanders had been the Democratic presidential candidate, then perhaps Trump would not have won the election.

GLENN GREENWALD: Right. So, that’s a counterfactual that none of us can know for certain. What I do know for certain and what I wrote about back in March or February, I believe, was the fact that all empirical evidence, which, remember, is what Democratic opinion-making elites and liberal pundits and data journalists tell us is the thing that should guide our thinking—all available empirical evidence showed that Bernie Sanders was a much more popular and a much stronger candidate than Hillary Clinton against every single Republican opponent, including Donald Trump. He was running many points ahead of Clinton on every poll, in terms of who he might run against versus her, in terms of approval rating, in terms of popularity.
Yes, indeed. And it also seems these were the months in which Sanders was seriously undermined by Hillary Clinton's aids (as can be seen from the Podesta emails).

There is this on Bernie Sanders' message (also as contrasted with Hillary Clinton's message):
Look at what [Bernie Sanders] is describing: jobs going overseas, industries being destroyed, Wall Street being protected. You can go back into the '80s, into the era of Reagan and trickle-down economics and the destruction of unions, to find the genesis of it. And then you look into the ’90s, with NAFTA and free trade mania and the liberation of Wall Street from all kinds of constraints, and into the 2000s, when in the post-2008 economic crisis the Obama administration prosecuted not a single Wall Street executive responsible for that crisis, while continuing to build the world's largest penal state, largely for poor people, people with no power. And it’s this inequality, this oppression of huge numbers of people in the name of globalism and free trade, that Bernie Sanders is describing in that statement as why Trump won.
Incidentally, I read this as implying that both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did the same as Hillary Clinton: Each of them - very deliberately, very consciously - served the interests of the richest, indeed rather precisely as the Republicans would have done.

And I think this implication is quite correct. Here is more on "Trump TV":
AMY GOODMAN: And then you have the media part of this—right?—where you have the unending Trump TV, not the new Trump TV, but all the networks’ Trump TV, when it came to Donald Trump. They showed more footage of his empty podium, waiting for him to speak, than they ever played of the words of Bernie Sanders. So you had the endless platform for Donald Trump, but rarely did you have Bernie Sanders showing, in any way, the extent of the speeches that he gave. (...)

GLENN GREENWALD: Right, and I think there’s a lot to unpack there in terms of how the media functions and in terms of the media role in this election. So, let’s begin with the fact that Donald Trump’s public persona prior to this election was consecrated and constructed by one of the most powerful media organizations in the world, if not the most powerful media organization in the world, which is NBC News, which—or NBC, rather, which for many, many years paraded Donald Trump in the format of a reality TV program, watched by tens of millions of Americans, that portrayed him as the embodiment of the entrepreneurial spirit. He marched into boardrooms, in charge, and unflinchingly fired people who weren’t working up to standard performance. He built new businesses. He was the embodiment of everything that Americans are taught to revere. And this is the person who, for decades, has been a racist, a demagogue, a con artist, and yet NBC turned him into this swaggering hero at great profit to itself.

I admit to not having seen any of this (and I don't live in the USA and anyway have so little patience with TV that I haven't owned one for 46 years now).

Here is some more on the same phenomenon (of praising Trump lavishly, and paying no attention to Bernie Sanders):

And so, already, he was a byproduct of media worship. And then, once the campaign began, the media, as you said, nonstop fed on Donald Trump, to the exclusion, certainly, first and foremost, of Bernie Sanders, but even to the other candidates, who got far less TV time than Trump did, because he was a ratings gold mine.

So the idea that Donald Trump, the billionaire, celebrity, TV star, should constantly be heard from, whereas Bernie Sanders, the old Jewish socialist from Vermont, who nobody took seriously, doesn’t need to be heard from, with all of his boring speeches about college debt and healthcare and the like, in that choice is a very strong and pedantic ideological choice that the American media embraced and played a huge role in enabling Trump to march to the primary.

Yes indeed. And the conclusion is (it seems to me) that the American mainstream media's utter corruption - for that is what it amounts to: they sold Trump because selling Trump made them a whole lot of money - is one of the greatest factors in Trump's election.

This article is also recommended, and there is more in the next:

3. Greenwald on "Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit"

The third item is by
by Amy Goodman and Nermeen Shaikh on Democracy Now!:

This continues the previous item. You can read the introduction here.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Nermeen Shaikh. Our guest is Glenn Greenwald, who wrote the piece, "Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit."

NERMEEN SHAIKH: Glenn Greenwald, in that piece, you write, quote, "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." You point also to the many analogies between Brexit, the decision by the British public to exit the European Union. So could you say a little about those analogies and how Trump fits into wider public sentiments, not just in the U.S., but also in Europe?

In fact, I reviewed it yesterday. Here is Greenwald's summary:

GLENN GREENWALD: It’s incredibly striking, but also very alarming, how similar the path of Brexit was to the election of Trump, because just like with the U.S. election, in the U.K. during the Brexit debate referendum, British elites, outside of this kind of circle of populist, right-wing Murdoch types, pretty much were unified across ideological and party lines. You had the Liberals and the Labour centrists and the sort of more establishment Conservatives united in opposition to Brexit. And they essentially stayed online all day on Twitter telling each other how smart they were and praising each other’s columns, saying that Brexit was this grave threat and this unique evil.
And then, both before and after you had this result, what you saw is not any notion of accountability. Why are there so many people wanting to leave the EU? Why are there so many people supporting this person so far outside the norm? No accountability, no self-critique. Only a way to distract attention from their own responsibility by just spouting hatred and disgust for the people who are being insubordinate.

As I indicated in my review, I am less convinced about the relevance of Brexit for the USA than Glenn Greenwald is, indeed in part because I know a lot about
the logical difficulties involved in analogies.

But Glenn Greenwald is quite right about the complete lack of any responsibility and any accountability of virtually every member who has reached the elites of finance of power: Once you belong anywhere to the few tenthousands that either have the most money or the most political power, it seems that therewith you are wholly freed from any responsibility or accountability for your own actions.

And this is the same everywhere: The rich and the powerful systematically deny any personal responsibity or accountability for everything they do or leave undone, except for those things that are massively popular.

Here is the last bit that I'll quote from Glenn Greenwald, and with this bit I disagree:

GLENN GREENWALD:  (...) And so, a lot of people who voted for Brexit, a lot of people who voted for Trump understand exactly all the arguments that were made about why each of them is potentially destructive and so dangerous, and they did it, not despite that, but because of that, because they want to punish and ultimately destroy the institutions who no longer have any credibility with them and who they believe are responsible for the suffering and the lack of security that they experience in their lives without anyone really caring about it at all. And until we start to address that and until institutions, elite institutions, take responsibility for it, those things are going to continue to fester and grow, and it very well may be the case that Trump and Brexit are just the beginning of this very alarming cycle, rather than the peak of it.

No, I definitely do not believe that (boldings and italics added) "a lot of people who voted for Trump understand exactly all the arguments that were made about why each of them is potentially destructive and so dangerous": This makes far to many unvalidated assumptions, and also attributes far more rationality to ""a lot of people" than seems far or rational to me.

But by and large Glenn Greenwald is one of the journalists who is rational and reasonable, and this was sensible reaction to the horrors of a Trumpian presidency.

And this article is also recommended.

4. Why We Need a New Democratic Party

The fourth item is by Robert Reich on his site:

This starts as follows:

As a first step, I believe it necessary for the members and leadership of the Democratic National Committee to step down and be replaced by people who are determined to create a party that represents America – including all those who feel powerless and disenfranchised, and who have been left out of our politics and left behind in our economy. 

The Democratic Party as it is now constituted has become a giant fundraising machine, too often reflecting the goals and values of the moneyed interests. This must change. The election of 2016 has repudiated it. We need a people’s party – a party capable of organizing and mobilizing Americans in opposition to Donald Trump’s Republican party, which is about to take over all three branches of the U.S. government. We need a New Democratic Party that will fight against intolerance and widening inequality.

Hm. For one thing, I think it is rather unlikely that "the members and leadership of the Democratic National Committee" will step down, and for another thing, I think it is too late: Trump has the power, and Trump will abuse it, and that may
include destroying the Democratic Party. (I don't know, but I do know he has the power to do so.)

There is this on Hillary Clinton's defeat:

Hillary Clinton’s defeat is all the more remarkable in that her campaign vastly outspent the Trump campaign on television and radio advertisements, and get-out-the-vote efforts. Moreover, her campaign had the support in the general election not of only the kingpins of the Democratic party but also many leading Republicans, including most of the politically active denizens of Wall Street and the top executives of America’s largest corporations, and even former Republican president George HW Bush. Her campaign team was run by seasoned professionals who knew the ropes. She had the visible and forceful backing of Barack Obama, whose popularity has soared in recent months, and his popular wife. And, of course, she had her husband.

This is all true. I have given one alternative explanation (in item 1) viz. that Clinton may have won the elections but the results were - somehow, in part - frauded, but I agree that, while that is possible, it is very probably impossible to prove.

Here is Reich's sum-up of what happened economically since the year 2000:

Median family income is lower now than it was 16 years ago, adjusted for inflation. Workers without college degrees – the old working class – have fallen further. Most economic gains, meanwhile, have gone to top. These gains have translated into political power to elicit bank bailouts, corporate subsidies, special tax loopholes, favorable trade deals and increasing market power without interference by anti-monopoly enforcement – all of which have further reduced wages and pulled up profits.

Wealth, power and crony capitalism fit together. Americans know a takeover has occurred, and they blame the establishment for it.

The brief of it is that the few who had the political power sold much of it to the few with the financial power: Both groups profited enormously, and both did so at the costs of the 90% who had to pay for most of it.

Here is some more on it:

The Democratic party once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party has been taken over by Washington-based fundraisers, bundlers, analysts, and pollsters who have focused instead on raising campaign money from corporate and Wall Street executives and getting votes from upper middle-class households in “swing” suburbs.

Democrats have occupied the White House for 16 of the last 24 years, and for four of those years had control of both houses of Congress. But in that time they failed to reverse the decline in working-class wages and economic security. Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama ardently pushed for free trade agreements without providing millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs means of getting new ones that paid at least as well.

Yes. Here is - again - what happened in the American economy from 1950 till 2011:

That is: From 1982 till now (for it continued after 2011) the 10% of the richest picked up nearly all gains in income growth, and indeed from 2000 onwards, the "income growth" of the 90% was negative: it did not grow but it shrunk, all to the great profit of the 10%.

There is more in the article, but the above shows why the existing Democratic Party, with its existing leadership, utterly failed, except for the 10% of the rich, to do anything much for the non-rich since Ronald Reagan.

Perhaps part of the explanation is that the leadership of the Democratic Party all belong to the 10%?

5. Trump Won Because Democratic Party Failed Working People, Says Sanders

The fifth item is by Lauren McCauley on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

Adding his voice to the chorus of condemnation heaped on the Democratic Party in the wake of Donald Trump's election victory, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Thursday attributed the Republican win to the failure of the liberal elite to represent working people.

"It is an embarrassment, I think, to the entire of [the] Democratic Party that millions of white working-class people decided to vote for Mr. Trump, which suggests that the Democratic message of standing up for working people no longer holds much sway among workers in this country," the progressive senator and one-time presidential candidate told the Associated Press.

"You cannot be a party which on one hand says we're in favor of working people, we're in favor of the needs of young people but we don't quite have the courage to take on Wall Street and the billionaire class," he continued. "People do not believe that. You've got to decide which side you're on."

This seems a reasonable explanation by Bernie Sanders, but while I grant it sounds reasonable, it can't be quite correct, as explained by this quotation from the mathematical physicist Peter Woit:

Most of the explanations one hears of Trump’s success don’t hold up if you look at exit polling numbers:

  • Sexism: more white women voted for Trump than for Clinton.
  • Racism: many counties that went solidly for Obama in the past went to Trump this election. Many Trump voters last voted for an African-American President.
  • Revolt of the rural poor whites: While New York City went heavily to Clinton, nearby Suffolk County on Long Island, with a median family income of $100,000, went for Trump.
  • Ignorance, lack of education: Most white college graduates voted for Trump.
There is however a common thread in most stories I’ve read that let Trump supporters say why they were voting for him: they hated Hillary Clinton and found her dishonest.

I agree with Woit here: It is not so much Hillary Clinton's lack of support for the working class that worked against her, as Hillary Clinton's perceived dishonesty (which is considerably wider).

6. Autocracy: Rules for Survival

The sixth and last item is by Masha Gessen on The New York Review of Books:

This starts as follows:

“Thank you, my friends. Thank you. Thank you. We have lost. We have lost, and this is the last day of my political career, so I will say what must be said. We are standing at the edge of the abyss. Our political system, our society, our country itself are in greater danger than at any time in the last century and a half. The president-elect has made his intentions clear, and it would be immoral to pretend otherwise. We must band together right now to defend the laws, the institutions, and the ideals on which our country is based.”

That, or something like that, is what Hillary Clinton should have said on Wednesday. Instead, she said, resignedly,

We must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power. We don’t just respect that. We cherish it. It also enshrines the rule of law; the principle [that] we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them.

Hours later, President Barack Obama was even more conciliatory (...)

You can read Obama's "even more conciliatory" remarks in the above last dotted link, and I think Masha Gessen is quite right about the very great dangers of a Trumpian presidency, and she is also quite right about Clinton and Obama, including the fact that they do not take serious the very great dangers of a Trumpian presidency:

The second falsehood is the pretense that America is starting from scratch and its president-elect is a tabula rasa. Or we are: “we owe him an open mind.” It was as though Donald Trump had not, in the course of his campaign, promised to deport US citizens, promised to create a system of surveillance targeted specifically at Muslim Americans, promised to build a wall on the border with Mexico, advocated war crimes, endorsed torture, and repeatedly threatened to jail Hillary Clinton herself.

Yes, precisely - and in fact Trump may try to jail Clinton and Obama as soon as he is president. (I don't know, but I do know he is completely unpredictabe.)

Here is part of Masha Gessen's advice, which is a a lot more credible than it would be from other Americans, becauser she lived in Russia a good part of her life:

I have lived in autocracies most of my life, and have spent much of my career writing about Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I have learned a few rules for surviving in an autocracy and salvaging your sanity and self-respect. It might be worth considering them now:

Rule #1: Believe the autocrat. He means what he says. Whenever you find yourself thinking, or hear others claiming, that he is exaggerating, that is our innate tendency to reach for a rationalization. This will happen often: humans seem to have evolved to practice denial when confronted publicly with the unacceptable. Back in the 1930s, The New York Times assured its readers that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was all posture.
Yes, indeed. And I do not think Trump is less dangerous than Hitler. Here is how Trump may try to go after his political opponents (of which he has many, which an extremely vindictive utterly unreasonable person like Trump is very much detests):

To begin jailing his political opponents, or just one opponent, Trump will begin by trying to capture of the judicial system. Observers and even activists functioning in the normal-election mode are fixated on the Supreme Court as the site of the highest-risk impending Trump appointment. There is little doubt that Trump will appoint someone who will cause the Court to veer to the right; there is also the risk that it might be someone who will wreak havoc with the very culture of the high court. And since Trump plans to use the judicial system to carry out his political vendettas, his pick for attorney general will be no less important. Imagine former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani or New Jersey Governor Chris Christie going after Hillary Clinton on orders from President Trump; quite aside from their approach to issues such as the Geneva Conventions, the use of police powers, criminal justice reforms, and other urgent concerns.

Rule #2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Yes, indeed. As to "the institutions" many leftish Americans seem to put their trust in:

Rule #3: Institutions will not save you. It took Putin a year to take over the Russian media and four years to dismantle its electoral system; the judiciary collapsed unnoticed. The capture of institutions in Turkey has been carried out even faster, by a man once celebrated as the democrat to lead Turkey into the EU. Poland has in less than a year undone half of a quarter century’s accomplishments in building a constitutional democracy.

Of course, the United States has much stronger institutions than Germany did in the 1930s, or Russia does today. Both Clinton and Obama in their speeches stressed the importance and strength of these institutions. The problem, however, is that many of these institutions are enshrined in political culture rather than in law, and all of them—including the ones enshrined in law—depend on the good faith of all actors to fulfill their purpose and uphold the Constitution.

Yes, precisely. And with the extreme powers Trump got, he can do a similar things as the Polish dictators did. Then there is this:

Rule #4: Be outraged. If you follow Rule #1 and believe what the autocrat-elect is saying, you will not be surprised. But in the face of the impulse to normalize, it is essential to maintain one’s capacity for shock. This will lead people to call you unreasonable and hysterical, and to accuse you of overreacting. It is no fun to be the only hysterical person in the room. Prepare yourself.

Despite losing the popular vote, Trump has secured as much power as any American leader in recent history. The Republican Party controls both houses of Congress. There is a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The country is at war abroad and has been in a state of mobilization for fifteen years.
I am quite doubtful about this rule, rather for the same reason as it would have made no political difference to recommend to the German communists in 1934 "to be outraged" - for keep in mind that with the authoritarian governments both Bush Jr. and Obama pushed, it is possible to arrest anyone and keep this a complete secret, just as it is wise to keep in mind that with the authoritarian governments both Bush Jr. and Obama pushed every American has very probably a secret personal dossier in the NSA, that contains more information about himself or herself than they can recall themselves.

The following rule is more sensible:
Rule #5: Don’t make compromises. (...) In an autocracy, politics as the art of the possible is in fact utterly amoral. Those who argue for cooperation will make the case, much as President Obama did in his speech, that cooperation is essential for the future. They will be willfully ignoring the corrupting touch of autocracy, from which the future must be protected.
I agree: Trump is both insane (I am a psychologist) and a neofascist (see below), and he is an authoritarian rightist who has won the full power, including an NSA that has been for 15 years gathering all the data it could get on absolutely anyone, which will give Trump more powers over anyone than anyone has ever had (and especially over any American).

Here is the last rule:
Rule #6: Remember the future. Nothing lasts forever.

But how long will Trump's rule last? I think he can within four years totally destroy the USA and I also guess he will try to do so. He has more powers than any president has ever had. He can lock up anybody forever, and forbid anybody to say anything about it if they do not want the same happening to them.

I suppose Trump will die sometimes between now and the coming 20 years, but I also suppose he is quite capable of destroying almost everything the USA has stood for since 1776 in the next four years.

As I said: Trump will have vastly greater powers than any president ever had, and he probably knows (implicitly) most things and possibly everything that people can remember about themselves from the NSA.

So no: There may be a future for the USA, but I think mankind may mark itself as quite lucky if the next four years will not end in a nuclear war.


Finally (and I am sorry this is a long NL), here is my own summary of a few relevant points - and please note all I claim for these points is probable truth:

  • Both the Democratic and the Republican public elites are corrupt and fraudulent.
  • The Democrats lost the elections because too few people trusted Hillary Clinton, and too many thought she is a corrupt fraud.
  • The Republicans won the elections because their rich man frauded the voters with promises. (It is a fraud because it benefitted Trump, and did so with lies.)
  • I advice you to read Note 2 and see whether you agree with me that Donald Trump is a neofascist as I defined it there (also without ever thinking of Trump).
[1] Alas, 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 whatsoever for anyone).

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:
Neofascism 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 stateb. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a social system.

And this is fascism as I defined it:
Fascism 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.
See the following if you are interested: On Fascism and Neofascism: Definitions. (This lists 22 definitions of the term "fascism", and critically reflects on them.)

[3] I have read this amount ($120 million) several times about Bill Clinton, and also $80 million. I am sorry I don't have the facts ready, but these ought to be findable (for both Clintons made many speeches to rich bankers, all of which were extremely well paid). In any case, both Bill and Hillary Clinton and Tony Blair and his mate are millionaires who own many tens of millions, and all three made their many millions by "politics". (They did succeed for themselves, and also very well.)

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