The white trash effect.

Shouldn’t it be entirely normal for a trashy country to elect a trashy president? (Propublica) The US elected a buffoon under entirely benign economic circumstances; but his election is sure to end that.

“The question was suddenly no longer why Democrats struggled to appeal to regular Americans. It was why so many regular Americans were drawn to a man like Donald Trump”

“Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence”

From the traditional right:

“Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster… Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible.”

“The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin.”

From the traditional left:

“The stressor at work here is the perceived and real loss of the social and economic advantages of being white.”

“People voting for Trump are mostly a notch higher on the economic ladder”; but they still identify with white trash, or as they would call it, being “normal americans”. Except their normality means self righteousness, guns, racism, bigotry and drugs.

Who will carry the torch of progress, hard work, respect for others? Why would they?

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The causes of populism.

Economics is a big one, but not the main explanation; the US has been in the doldrums but spared a major crisis, mostly because of Obama’s decisions. The loser mentality accounts for a much bigger explanation: the exact opposite of the can do mentality that did so much good for the US in the past.

The US elected a wrecker, but destroying is not enough, something has to be put in place of the current system, and he’s clueless; which means the necessary reforms will not take place in the next four years, and the economy will tank, hurting those who were reckless enough to vote for him the most.

A populist is someone who promises whatever you want to hear to get elected, but then has no idea how to deliver on what he promised.

In this Trump is no different than any other US politician; except he has the nerve to claim never to have made any such promises. A man is only as good as his word, and Trump has none.

The downfall of the US, predicted.

5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win (Michael Moore, huffingtonpost, 07/23/2016).

  1. The resentfuls.
  2. The resentfuls.
  3. Hillary Clinton.
  4. Sanders voters; another kind of resentful?
  5. Vote for the heck of it; more resentment.

So 4 resentment reasons, one unpopular candidate. Self interest? Self esteem? The country’s interest? Pride in your country? Nowhere to be seen. And now they are the laughing stock of the world. But then, there has always been more than a touch of insanity in the US.

 

Quote

Welcome to the age of stupidity.

Fear won: The troll in power.

Yell real hard, lie, grope, repeat. An understanding of the facts? The stakes at hand? Solutions? Not needed, in fact they’re just a nuisance. Your own personal power is everything, at the expense of your own country.

Guess what, we’ve been before, it’s called history, and democratic ideals have been but a blip. Real ideals, not loud talk debunked by facts. A real upholding of democracy, not sustaining puppet regimes and invading other countries. Welcome to the Middle Ages part II.

Brexit was a very bad omen, Trump confirms it: democracy is fragile and requires an active defense. Citizens will be easily misled by politicians looking for short term gain, at the expense of the entire country.

In understanding why the US debacle happened, we must resist blaming the victim. Trump remains a loser even in victory.

The United States of resentment, not of progress: it’s always someone else’s fault, it’s all a conspiracy. A woman president? After a black president? No way.

Basic apathy. A Democrat after eight years of another Democrat? Not likely. Bubbles: not everyone appreciates reason in the US, not when you resent those that got an education.

Personal ambition above all else. The US does love its cowboys, black hat or white hat. Everything else sounds like a wimpy compromise.

Consequences, oh yeah, those:

Uncertainty. What mood will President Grope wake up in? What daily act of insanity will that entail? This won’t be Trump the menace, this will be Trump unhinged, on top of the world, with zero checks and balances. This is Trump’s alternate reality with no connection to the real one. If the unthinkable has happened, let’s think beyond: dictator Trump, for however long he lives? There’s nothing to stop him.

The first casualty: the economy, of course, thanks to that uncertainty. All those millions of resentfuls will be the first to get fired, thanks for playing, suckers. But the one in power doesn’t care about the economy or the suckers, they’re just part of the game, ask Putin. Everything that was taken for granted needs to be verified, and that’s going to make everything more expensive.

The United States has been cut down to size. You cannot aspire to greatness when you stoop so low. Yes, you were stupid enough to vote for him, and thanks to the Internet you won’t have to travel abroad to feel the weight of disdain: So, this is an american? What new act of stupidity will you perform today? You just provided the perfect excuse for petty dictators the world over to pour bile on any alternative: so, this is what democracy produces? A Trump? What’s he got that I don’t have?

Remember children, good guys always lose, lie, yell your way to power like President Trump did, these are your values, they’ve always been, never mind so called christianity, which was always an excuse.

Other countries need to take stock: you don’t reason with a madman, and you certainly don’t expect him to be the world’s sheriff. Given the state of the US economy and the protectionist rants, you won’t even be able to count on it to buy your products.

What do we do now?

We cannot leave politics in the hands of politicians. We cannot take so much for granted. We cannot be shocked by stupidity, we cannot let it pass unabated. We need to build a positive alternative, as we cannot go back to the old solution of compromises. We need to succeed where everyone else failed; and we need to show this alternative as better at each step of the way.

The media is toothless, both old and young, it can only talk to its own bubbles. We need to be the media. We need something better than the daily news of fear, and we need to keep in check the feral politician. The principle is easy, and old: Cui Bono? Who profits from this?

The new economy is here to stay, but needs to adapt to the reality of these new middle ages: generate value, solve problems, but take into account that a lot that was taken for granted will need to be validated. You cannot take reason for granted, you cannot take rights for granted.

What Donald Trump says about the US (it ain’t pretty)

From can do on a grand scale to self righteous whiners: where did it all go wrong?

Trump Crybaby

Crybaby and the end of the GOP.

An ill prepared buffoon would have been driven away in tar and feathers; now he gets to rant on TV and online; and there’s people ready to listen to this drivel. But he’s a mere puppet of circumstance (and Putin), a symptom of a wider problem. Of course electing a man child can only make problems worse.

tarred_and_feathered_by_angusmcleod-d4ehkhe

Tarred and featherd: when the US knew better. (http://angusmcleod.deviantart.com).

Disenfranchised? Or merely self righteous and deluded? Is someone else the source of all your problems? If you think everything’s a conspiracy you’ve surrendered your right to think things through and do something about it. Want to be the victim, or solve things? The latter is called progress, and for a long time the US excelled at it: by doing exactly the opposite of what Trump does.

Yelling harder doesn’t make it right. Somehow the US became a hot bed of angry people; angry because they feel disenfranchised and powerless, because no one listens to what they have to say, which is of course all that matters in whole wide world. Stop yelling and listen to yourself. You are making a scene and it’s ridiculous. Laugh at yourself, it’s healthy, and move on.

Wishful thinking won’t solve problems. Many of the problems are real (the real estate debacle which accounts for a big dent in the American Dream, a recession since 2008, the changing labor market, the ups and downs of many industries), some are self inflicted (invade other countries only to generate more terrorists, hello?), but burying your head in the sand and yelling real hard cannot solve them.

If you think it’s about Hillary Clinton vs Donald Trump, think again. Trump only does lies, lechery and spite; none of which makes Clinton a saint, or even a popular choice, but her issues are but a spec compared to Trump’s mountain of dung. You are being bamboozled by a guy who will promise anything and everything for power, at the expense of you and the entire country.

“Making America great again” is idiotic. The media played along in the name of sacrosanct impartiality; you cannot remain impartial in the face of blatant stupidity and lies. You can and should aspire to a new greatness, but you cannot turn back the clock, things have changed way too much: the economy, other economies like China, world wide terrorism. Get a grip or get carried away by the torrent of history.

The US is now the laughing stock of the world, as it prepares to even consider voting for Bozo the Tangerine Tinted Buffoon; but it’s nervous laughter, as previously phlegmatic Brits stunned the world by doing a Brexit*, and Colombians voted against peace: stupidity on a grand scale is very much a possibility. The consequences for the US and the world would be nothing short of catastrophic.

Think it doesn’t matter? Think again. Yes US politics have been nauseating for a long time, and reform is urgent; but thrashing at everything is not the answer: the tree of democracy needs an urgent pruning, not being uprooted in favor of {populist of the month}.

*Brexit: stupid and unexpected thing, done for the wrong reasons.

Britishness vs Englishness

Bifes Mal Passados (which translates as uncooked steaks?): Portuguese academic describes English as ‘filthy, violent and drunk’. Anyone who has been to England has experienced at least two out of three with his or her own eyes, every single Friday is drink till you drop day; what’s interesting is the reaction in the UK to this:

Britishness: The world seen from a higher plane, stiff upper lip, fair play, the rule of law, self deprecating, sophisticated, dark sense of humour which is much appreciated everywhere, one of the important places in the world.

Englishness: The world seen from a much smaller place, feel outraged when faced with the obvious, lash out, pettiness, ignorant provincials from an island to the north west of Europe.

What they have in common: geography, truly, unmistakably and irredeemably dreadful food. When faced with the latter the British will shrug and accept it, think of the saving graces at Waitrose; the English will utter something about the great English breakfast (disgusting) or look to start a fist fight.

How did this sense of Englishness survive Britishness, given rising standards of living over centuries? Should the Union be dissolved simply on this evidence?

Education vs success (Heather Havrilesky)

Learned Helplessness (Bookforum, via Le Nouvel Observateur): “Do we want to populate our planet with self-concerned, ultracompetitive warriors, or compassionate citizens?”

The answer will be obvious and completely opposite when read in the US (success means money, everyone else is a loser) or France (success means a balanced human being).

The deeper question is the same for all children, and follows Elizabeth Spiegel’s approach: help kids be responsible for their actions; show them their mistake but don’t put them down, help them overcome obstacles; this goes against the cult of the rich, self righteous sociopath in the US, but also against expecting the State to provide the means to achieve “normality” as in France.

There is a further element: the weight of social / psychological issues: what if normality means failing? What if any sort of progress, social, cultural, monetary, is frowned upon by those around you? This is a reality at least in all of Latinamerica, African-American US.

Problem: Hollande seemed a nice guy, is now seen as incompetent; nasty but hyperactive Sarko still lurks.

Consequence: nice people need to learn how to put the nasty, dominating people in their place, show how pathetic their “success” is; this has an extension for social democracy caught in between vociferous extremists.

Consequence: tiger moms are particularly ridiculous.