Who let her speak?

You see this so often on these sort of political talk shows.  They fill the panel with people who broadly share the same views and throw each other soft, leading questions which allow each person to make some oh-so pithy remark about a right-wing politician generating raucous laughter from the audience.

But very occasionally it all goes wrong and somebody who is not on-message slips through the net and is invited to speak, and by the time the rest realise a mistake has been made it’s too late.

This is worth watching.  Look at the faces.  They look as though this is the first contrary opinion they’ve heard in their lives.


(Via Adam in the comments.)

Walloons good, English bad

Plucky little Wallonia, a French-speaking part of Belgium, is threatening to derail years of negotiations between the EU and Canada by refusing to agree to a new trade deal.  Apparently, under Belgium’s constitution, the Wallonians Walloons (thanks, dearieme) have a right to do this.  EU leaders are now falling over themselves to get to Namur, where the hold-outs have their gang hut, in order to persuade them to come on board.

One is permitted to contrast the reaction of the EU leadership towards Wallonia in the past few days with their reaction towards Britain voting to leave the EU and, prior to that, Prime Minster David Cameron’s attempt to get some concessions ahead of the vote.  One would have thought that accommodating a country of 60m people would be of greater importance than a region of 3.5m to the EU, but obviously it’s not.  To see why we first need to look at an Forbes article on the subject written by Tim Worstall, who speculates as to why the Walloons have rejected the deal:

There are some out there who are simply hostile to the idea of any trade deals at all. This is an undercurrent in left wing and environmental politics over here. There are actually people so deluded about economics that they think that trade is something bad, to be avoided. Goods and services should be locally produced and locally consumed. Economies should be small and self-contained. Yes, I know, it’s an absurdity but it’s a very real current in European politics. The various Green parties near all sign up to this idea as do all too many unthinking leftists. They’re all failing to see that it is trade with its attendant division and specialisation of labour which make us all so much richer than our peasant forefathers.

We then need to look at a post on another blog which I now rather embarrassingly cannot find (I thought it was at Nourishing Obscurity, but I haven’t been able to locate it).  It was a photo taken in Brussels of a street sign which bore the name Salvador Allende Square.  As the blogger noted, if places are being named after communists in non-communist countries, that tells you a lot about the local politics.  France is no different: the Parisian suburb of Montreuil has an Avenue du Président Salvador Allende.  Lyon has a Salvador Allende Tram stop, and Nanterre a Salvador Allende public car park.  Paris also has a Karl Marx college.  The city of Brussels even has a tribute to Salvador Allende on their webpage.

Time of for an anecdote.  I have an acquaintance here in Paris who worked through from the 1970s to early 2000s for EDF, the French state power company.  He told me the company was “openly communist”, which I took to mean the management and employees were either communists or communist sympathisers.  Because of EDF’s nuclear expertise, my acquaintance used to travel to the USSR, North Korea, and other communist states to share nuclear technology.  He told me he went as a visitor to the top-secret bomb-making facilities in the Soviet Union where there were portraits of the Rosenburgs on the wall.  I’ve included this anecdote just for fun.

The point is that Belgium, France, and many other European countries are far more left-wing than England is.  I say England because Scotland, and to a lesser extent Wales, are more left-leaning than England but even they are not as left-wing as places like France.  In France, the Socialist party holds power and is being challenged from the left by a Communist party.  By contrast, the communists in England consist of a gaggle of clowns who think the Soviet Union is still in existence, and the socialists under the banner of Labour only managed electoral success when they shifted rightwards.  When Labour ran as socialists under Neil Kinnock they were roundly rejected by the electorate.  Britain’s most successful post-war Prime Minister in terms of time in office was the decidedly anti-communist Margaret Thatcher and the second was Tony Blair who the left-wing hated for abandoning socialist principles.  Now Labour is being led by socialists and communists and they are a laughing stock who stand zero chance of attaining power unless they ditch this lot for some who are much further to the right.  The only place in London bearing Karl Marx’s name is his grave.  The closest we have to Salvador Allende avenues in the UK are places named after Nelson Mandela which lefty councils foisted upon cities during the apartheid struggles.

And this is why the EU leadership – particularly the French and some Belgians – cannot stand Britain: we are right-wingers who lean towards free markets and capitalism whereas they are made up largely of socialists.  A good number of French and other Europeans believe that the EU should be more socialist and more powers granted to the centre, whereas most British believe the exact opposite.  Socialist Europeans know they cannot attain, or retain, power at the nation-state level (or make the books balance) and so are attempting to do so at the EU level: Britain leaving represents a setback to this goal.  Listen to Francois Hollande – a socialist – saying Britain must “pay the price” for leaving.  What price?  Scuppering the plans of European socialists?  Whereas the Walloons are good, old-fashioned socialists pushing back against capitalism, and so they get treated with kid gloves.

It is also enlightening to look at how the Remainers in the UK lean politically: most of them are left-wing.  Having failed to bring about many of their desired policies via national elections, they have been quite content to see them imposed via the EU where socialism holds much more sway.  They know that without their fellow travellers in Europe, socialist policies in England are pretty much dead.

A lot of the anger around Brexit is not actually about Britain leaving: it’s about communists, socialist, and other left-wingers not being able to join forces and impose their policies on the English who are stubbornly centre-right.  And this is why it is getting so damned bitter.

Social Engineering

Staying on the subject of gays:

A bill that would have wiped clean the criminal records of thousands of gay men has fallen at its first parliamentary hurdle.

The private member’s bill would have pardoned all men living with UK convictions for same-sex offences committed before the law was changed.

Mr Nicolson says he was motivated by his work as a BBC journalist in the 1990s: “I made a documentary in the 1990s looking at the discriminatory laws which criminalised gay men.

“There were some shocking injustices. Men were arrested aged 21 for having ‘under-age sex’ with their 20-year-old boyfriends,” he said.

Section 12 of the Sexual Offences Act 1956 concerned buggery.  Which means 60 years ago politicians sat down and decided what two grown men of sound mind could and couldn’t do to one another, and how the rest of the country should treat them.  Does this sound reasonable to you?  It doesn’t to me.  There is an argument that this is what the majority population wanted, but I don’t see any reason why the wishes of the majority should be taken into account when two independent adults decide what they’re going to do behind closed doors.

Had the principle of individual freedom and liberty been in force in 1956, this law would never have come into being.  This is why the war cry of the gay movement was “Get the Government out of the Bedroom!”, implying what two men get up to is no business of the government’s or anyone else.  On that basis, the gays of the day would have had my full support.

Across the Atlantic there is a parallel: pre-Civil Rights Era laws requiring blacks to be segregated from whites, and the two treated differently.  At some point legislators sat down and determined that blacks should be treated differently from whites, and anyone breaking these laws – be they black or white – would be subject to criminal prosecution.  Regardless of whether a free individual of one colour wanted to interact with a free individual of another, this was prohibited by law, which in turn was justified on the grounds that this is what the majority wanted.  Only if individuals are truly free then they can associate with whomever they please, and it ought not to be a matter to be decided by the majority.

My point is that not so long ago legislators put severe restrictions on supposedly free individuals as to how they could interact with each other based on rather arbitrary criteria beyond the individuals’ control.  They justified these laws by saying that this is what the majority wanted and it was for the greater good of society.  These laws, the majority agreed, made for a better, safer society.

Only now we look back and most people are in agreement that these laws were an abomination and ought never to have been passed.  Hence the attempt now to pardon those in the UK and the rioting and looting in the USA.  I’m being ironic about that last one.

Fortunately politicians and the voting public learned their lesson that individual liberty and freedom is paramount and governments have no business passing legislation as to how free individuals should interact (short of causing actual physical harm or loss of property, reputation, etc. covered by laws that have been in place since Man first wandered out of the Great Rift Valley).

Oh wait.  No, actually they didn’t.  With breathtaking hubris they determined that although the last lot of politicians and voters were catastrophically wrong, they are much smarter and hence are able to write laws setting out exactly how individuals must interact in a hideously complex society to achieve the absolute optimum outcome in terms of happiness and security for all.  Clever folk, eh?

So now we have laws which actively discriminate between people of different skin colours and religions, insist that gender – which can be changed on a whim – should be both ignored and acknowledged simultaneously, maintain an ever-growing list of sexual orientations all of which deserve special treatment, allow grown men to wander into women’s toilets a fundamental human right, and make formal (and even informal) criticism of all of this practically illegal.

Whatever happened to the principle of all humans are equal?  Or the principle of individual freedom?  Well, that’s the problem: there are no principles being applied, it is simply a small group of people deciding this is what they want to do, claiming a democratic mandate, and forcing it on everyone else.  Just as they did when they criminalised gays and made blacks drink at a different fountain.

Some people call this Social Engineering, and it’s a good term.  But engineering is all about the application of principles, not doing whatever a gaggle of people fancy doing this week.  If you tried to build a bridge like this it would collapse.  As will our society if we keep this up.

Legal Tyranny

I was taking the piss a bit with yesterday’s post on this idiocy, and I think I ought to take it a bit more seriously.  Let’s consider this again:

Dr David Adamson, one of the authors of the new standards, said “It puts a stake in the ground and says an individual’s got a right to  reproduce whether or not they have a partner. It’s a big change.

“It fundamentally alters who should be included in this group and who should  have access to healthcare. It sets an international legal standard.  Countries are bound by it.”

A supranational body has basically passed a law determining how taxpayers’ money must be spent without any consultation with the respective governments or citizenry.  Wars have started over less than this.

And we have a doctor – who probably considers himself to be of unquestionable moral standing – stating this with the cold, bureaucratic arrogance of a Waffen SS officer informing a village of Belorussian peasants what’s going to happen to all males over twelve.  Things like this make me think, not for the first time, that Diderot’s quote left off a line regarding doctors.

But the bigger issue is that the last decade, or perhaps two or three, has seen social change being forced through societies not via the ballot box but top down through the courts.  More and more often we are seeing small but determined minorities bullying governments into passing laws, or interpreting existing ones, which compel the majority to adopt social attitudes with which they clearly don’t agree.  Governments and their supporters are simply bypassing the political process of obtaining popular support for their policies and simply writing them into law and arresting anyone who doesn’t comply.  If they can palm this off onto supranational organisations such as the WHO or UN – who have no democratic mandate and have no right to pass legislation in any country – then so much the better: they can simply sit back and smugly say “it’s out of our hands, it’s the law”.

Antonin Scalia’s dissent of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision contained a stark warning regarding this practice:

Until the courts put a stop to it, public debate over same-sex marriage displayed American democracy at its best. Individuals on both sides of the issue passionately, but respectfully, attempted to persuade their fellow citizens to accept their views. Americans considered the arguments and put the question to a vote. The electorates of 11 States, either directly or through their representatives, chose to expand the traditional definition of marriage. Many more decided not to.1 Win or lose, advocates for both sides continued pressing their cases, secure in the knowledge that an electoral loss can be negated by a later electoral win. That is exactly how our system of government is supposed to work.

This is a naked judicial claim to legislative—indeed, super-legislative—power; a claim fundamentally at odds with our system of government. Except as limited by a constitutional prohibition agreed to by the People, the States are free to adopt whatever laws they like, even those that offend the esteemed Justices’ “reasoned judgment.” A system of government that makes the People subordinate to a committee of nine unelected lawyers does not deserve to be called a democracy.

Few people heeded this warning, and we can expect to see a lot more of this kind of thing.  But sooner or later they are going to overstep the mark badly: one of the benefits of the democratic system, as opposed to a top-down legal tyranny, is that issues can be properly thrashed out and general acceptance obtained from the populace before people start being thrown in jail for non-compliance.

This won’t end well.

Life, Liberty and…er…Some Bloke’s J*zz?

It was only a matter of time before our masters started tying themselves in knots due to their own stupidity:

Single men and women without medical issues will be classed as “infertile” if they do not have children but want to become a parent, the World Health Organisation is to announce.

In a move which dramatically changes the definition of infertility, the WHO will declare that it should no longer be regarded as simply a medical condition.

The authors of the new global standards said the revised definition gave every individual “the right to reproduce”.

Until now, the WHO’s definition of infertility – which it classes as a disability – has been the failure to achieve pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sex.

But the new standard suggests that the inability to find a suitable sexual partner – or the lack of sexual relationships which could achieve conception – could be considered an equal disability.

That’s generally the problem with insisting somebody has the right to do something that requires the cooperation of one or more people.  It’s why the right to get married was so stupid: what if you’re too damned obnoxious to find a willing partner?  Have your rights been violated?  Apparently so:

Dr David Adamson, one of the authors of the new standards, said “It puts a stake in the ground and says an individual’s got a right to  reproduce whether or not they have a partner. It’s a big change.

“It fundamentally alters who should be included in this group and who should  have access to healthcare. It sets an international legal standard.  Countries are bound by it.”

Okay, marvellous.  So what do we do about this?

In the UK, it is illegal to pay surrogates, resulting in a severe shortage  of women wanting to take on the role.  Similarly, there is a national shortage of sperm and eggs, with donors only  able to receive expenses.

There is a shortage of sperm and eggs – which I suspect exists pretty much everywhere – and now the WHO is saying everybody has a right to somebody else’s, and countries are legally bound to provide them.  Presumably if they can’t make up the shortfall in the private sector, governments are going to have to create state enterprises in which people are employed to sit around doing nothing but wanking all day.

Business as usual, then.

Not Funny

This is a never ending problem, isn’t it?

Around 200 people walked out of Amy Schumer‘s show in Tampa, Florida, on Sunday when she called Donald Trump a “orange, sexual-assaulting, fake-college-starting monster,” according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The paper claimed Schumer was met with loud booing about halfway through the show when her jokes switched from raunchy topics to more topical matters, including gun control and the upcoming presidential election.

Artists, actors, writers, comedians – and I use those terms charitably – of a left-wing bent cannot resist the temptation to use their popularity as a platform to sound off on politics.  The result is usually tedious in the extreme.  Take this by way of example:

During her show, she asked a Trump supporter to join her up on stage so he could explain why he was voting for the GOP candidate. The audience member responded that he was voting for Trump mainly because he didn’t trust his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

People paid money to go to a comedy show and found themselves in a political Q&A session.  No wonder there was booing.

This comes from living in a bubble.  I am sure Schumer’s hilarious jokes about Trump go down a storm among some audiences, i.e. those who share her politics to the letter.  They then take their show to the wider world and find nobody is laughing.  I remember when Chris Rock first burst onto the scene with Bring the Pain, which was fresh, pithy, and hilariously funny mainly because he was providing an insight into black American culture that had never been described in such terms before.  Fast forward a few years and he’s on stage saying “Barack Obama!  Barack Obama!” and his audience is going wild.  This isn’t comedy it’s politics, and it only works if your audience shares your political view.

Not that you can’t make money out of it.  John Oliver seems to do extremely well out of telling sophisticated, educated Europeans and Democrat-voting Americans how thick Americans are.  But he’s preaching to the converted: they’re not laughing because he’s funny, they’re laughing because he is telling them what they want to hear and allows them to feel smugly superior.  A decent joke shouldn’t depend on who you want to win an election.

I don’t know if right-wing comedians do the same.  I expect they do, but they don’t get allotted the same airtime on the likes of the BBC and regular columns in newspapers.  I also expect right-wing comedians would be hounded out of the studio by a baying mob of the Permanently Outraged if they broached any subject which was even remotely controversial, i.e. immigration.  I suspect a lot of this has to do with state funding, with any budding artist or comedian needing to pass a strict political test before being commissioned.

If this keeps up, the arts in the west is going to look like that of Enver Hoxha’s Albania after a decade or two.

Yet More on Brexit

A namesake, fellow engineer, and former colleague/boss from my pre-expat days makes a welcome return to my comments section with this observation:

The brexit aftermath has been a clusterfuck of the highest order

I couldn’t have put it better myself!

I get asked a few questions about Brexit by overseas folk.  One of the common ones Europeans ask is “Why were they allowed to have a vote?  Ordinary people can’t make these sorts of decisions!”  Which is as compelling an argument for divorcing ourselves from Europeans as any I’ve seen put forward to date.  The answer, of course, is UKIP realised a lot of British people didn’t like being part of the EU (for whatever reason) and demanded a referendum.  The Tories, fearing they might lose seats otherwise, acquiesced to UKIP’s demand in their manifesto leading up to the 2015 General Election.  In other words, the people were denied a vote for decades and eventually got one when politicians thought they might lose their seats over the issue.  It’s the same reason why unemployment is so high in France: their population demands it.  Democracy in action!

I also get asked why Nigel Farage was “allowed” to resign and walk away from “this whole mess he created”.  Foreigners have this odd perception that being on the winning side of a referendum campaign entitles you to run the country.  Supposing I campaigned for an airport to be built on Skomer Island because I thought it was vital to Britain’s economy and long-term national interest.  I launched a website, whipped up local support, went on TV, and generated enough support that people were considering putting themselves forward for election on this single issue in Conservative safe seats, and the incumbents were worried.  A lot of people, it seems, really wanted this airport on Skomer.  Eventually the Conservative government, who were heading into a tricky General Election, decided it might be prudent to adopt this odd policy and put it to a popular vote, as is the custom with new airports on Skomer.  They did, the Conservatives won the election, and a referendum was held.  We won.  After twenty years of non-stop campaigning, I find my lifelong ambition has been achieved: Skomer will get its airport.  Now I can sit back and let the government’s Department of Airport Construction get on with building it.  I can’t wait to take a flight out of there and buy a toy puffin in duty free.  Except the next morning there’s a knock on the door.  There’s a mob outside, and they’re angry.

“Oy!,”  they say.  “Why are you still in your pajamas?  You need to get cracking on that airport!”

“Eh?”   I reply.

“”C’mon!” they say.  “It was your idea!  So we need to know where the runway will go, how many passengers we can expect in the first few years, how much concrete is needed for the terminal building, where the batch plant will go, what potted plants go in the departure lounge!  There’s a lot to do, sunshine.”

“But what about the government’s Department of Airport Construction?” I ask.  “What are they doing?  What did they do when Gatwick got built?”

“Oh, they never wanted this airport in the first place, so they’ve decided not to get involved.  Yeah, that’s the way it works apparently.  So, about that access road, my friend has a pub nearby and he’s worried that…”

You get the point.  Nigel Farage was not permitted to assume the role of government of the United Kingdom because he lead a successful campaign for Brexit.  This simply isn’t how Britain works.  The elected government, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, is responsible for running the country and they were responsible for implementing the outcome of this referendum – not Nigel Farage or anyone else.

David Cameron must take the lion’s share of the blame for this.  He ought to have put in place a plan of action in the event of a Leave vote winning.  I fully understand that he didn’t want to be Prime Minister in such an eventuality, but his resignation ought to have formed part of this plan.  This should all have been thrashed out by the Conservatives and possibly even put to the public before the vote.  Instead, our political classes assumed the Remain vote would win and everything would carry on as before.  Only things didn’t go according to plan and they got caught with their pants down.  Cameron – who was the man responsible for running the country regardless of the result – just threw his hands in the air and walked away.  He makes the captain of the Costa Concordia look like Chesty Puller.

Since that moment it has been a complete mess.  The Tories are making an utter hash of the whole thing because they have been caught totally unprepared.  You can blame Farage and those who voted to leave all you like, but the Tories are the ones who put themselves forward to run the damned country – and that includes managing every eventuality, not just the ones they like (such as telling us how much sugar we should be putting in desserts).  The Remainers are all over social media lamenting that Labour is in such disarray and the country needs a competent opposition.  Oh yeah?  What would Labour do?  Simply repeat the complaints of the losing 48% in the hope that things will improve?  Or would they just ignore the wishes of the winning 52% and dismiss them as racist thickos?  In other words, do exactly what they did when in power for 13 years.  Yeah, that’ll work.

The problem is the political classes are useless.  This is the reason why Brexit is a clusterfuck, because our current crop of politicians – from any party – would make a clusterfuck out of just about anything.  They couldn’t empty water from a welly boot if the instructions were written on the bottom.

Take a look at the mess that is the British railway system.  I have neither the knowledge to comment authoritatively on this nor the desire to acquire it, but it went from an awful state-run British Rail to an awful mess of private and quasi-private operators who seemed to be caught in a veritable thicket of regulations and bizarre incentives which has resulted in misery for the travelling public but doesn’t prevent the company executives from doing very nicely out of it.  And the taxpayer is still footing the bill.  The Lefties in Britain who get misty-eyed when thinking about giant factories belching smoke and producing substandard goods in grim towns oop narth think this is evidence that the railways should never have been privatised.  In other words, because the political classes have screwed something up we ought to leave it in the safe hands of the political classes.  Uh-huh.

The scenario where doing something sensible (e.g. getting rid of British Rail) and demanding it is done it competently seems as alien to British minds as a house without a minuscule patch of rough concrete they call a “garden”.  Which is why, despite my free-market ideology, I think privatising the NHS would be an absolute disaster.  It would be exactly the same as the railways: a cosy stitch-up between politicians, civil servants, and private “service providers” where conflicts of interest and back-handers abound and the result is a conspiracy against the public who will see worse outcomes and bigger bills.

That politicians have demonstrated time and again that they make a clusterfuck out of everything they touch is a strong argument in favour of severely limiting their remit.  The political process is simply not a good instrument for handling more than a select few issues, and there are an awful lot more that it is manifestly unsuitable for.  Yet the supposedly cleverest people in our society – the self-declared experts – think that expanding the remit of politicians and continuing in a supra-national, continent-wide political regime that determines power limits for our kettles is a good idea.

I have another plan.  Start hanging politicians at random and when the screaming reaches a crescendo tell them the fun’s over and their remit’s been reduced.  They can start by keeping the streets clean and the bins empty and we’ll see how they’re doing after a couple of months and take it from there.

It’s not about Trump

I’m going to weigh in on the US Presidential elections again, and I’ll stop doing so when I think I’ve run out of stuff to say.

I read three blog posts this morning that I thought, when combined, illustrate the point which I think the vast majority of the world has missed by a mile, including the supposedly enlightened, educated middle-classes.

The first is from the ZMan:

One of the many things that has been exposed by the Trump campaign is that America does not have a two-party political system. It has a 1.3 party system.

The truth is that about a third of elected Republicans would prefer to be Democrats…There is another third or more of the party that is not interested in rocking the boat. They just like the good life and generally think the status quo is pretty good, at least for them. In another age, many would have been seat warmers in the Democrat Party, but time and circumstance put them in the GOP.

The portion of the country that self-identifies as liberal is around 20% and the portion that identifies as conservative sticks around 40%. The rest are low-tax liberals and conservatives that live in liberal states. In all probability, this group of “moderates” breaks 2-to-1 to traditional American conservatism.

The math suggests that about half the country has no party representing their interests. At best they have a third of one party, which happens to be controlled by the other party. The other 5/6ths of the political class speaks loudly and aggressively for the 20% of the public that identifies as liberal…The House leadership has made it clear that the troublesome right wingers are to remain quiet and out of the way or else.

In other words, the Republicans no longer represent those who used to vote Republican (in much the same way Britain’s Labour party abandoned their core supporters years ago and relied upon hatred of The Other and family habits to keep them voting).  This is a point most people fail to realise: those moderate, reasonable, smart Republicans didn’t win the nomination because they are Republicans in name only and have no intention of looking after the interests of those Americans who identify as Republicans.  As the ZMan says, they are basically Democrats (with the grand irony being that Trump is also a Democrat).  Why Europeans should not only understand this point but also take note of it is because it is highly likely the same situation applies in their own countries.  It is absolutely the case in Britain.

The second is this one over at Cracked, which is not generally known for its right-wing outlook, which explains the vast cultural divide between rural America and its cities:

See, rural jobs used to be based around one big local business — a factory, a coal mine, etc. When it dies, the town dies. Where I grew up, it was an oil refinery closing that did us in. I was raised in the hollowed-out shell of what the town had once been. The roof of our high school leaked when it rained. Cities can make up for the loss of manufacturing jobs with service jobs –small towns cannot. That model doesn’t work below a certain population density.

If you don’t live in one of these small towns, you can’t understand the hopelessness. The vast majority of possible careers involve moving to the city, and around every city is now a hundred-foot wall called “Cost of Living.” Let’s say you’re a smart kid making $8 an hour at Walgreen’s and aspire to greater things. Fine, get ready to move yourself and your new baby into a 700-square-foot apartment for $1,200 a month, and to then pay double what you’re paying now for utilities, groceries, and babysitters.

In a city, you can plausibly aspire to start a band, or become an actor, or get a medical degree. You can actually have dreams. In a small town, there may be no venues for performing arts aside from country music bars and churches. There may only be two doctors in town — aspiring to that job means waiting for one of them to retire or die. You open the classifieds and all of the job listings will be for fast food or convenience stores. The “downtown” is just the corpses of mom and pop stores left shattered in Walmart’s blast crater, the “suburbs” are trailer parks. There are parts of these towns that look post-apocalyptic.

I’m telling you, the hopelessness eats you alive.

And if you dare complain, some liberal elite will pull out their iPad and type up a rant about your racist white privilege.

It really does feel like the worst of both worlds: all the ravages of poverty, but none of the sympathy. “Blacks burn police cars, and those liberal elites say it’s not their fault because they’re poor. My son gets jailed and fired over a baggie of meth, and those same elites make jokes about his missing teeth!” You’re everyone’s punching bag, one of society’s last remaining safe comedy targets.

They take it hard. These are people who come from a long line of folks who took pride in looking after themselves. Where I’m from, you weren’t a real man unless you could repair a car, patch a roof, hunt your own meat, and defend your home from an intruder. It was a source of shame to be dependent on anyone — especially the government. You mowed your own lawn and fixed your own pipes when they leaked, you hauled your own firewood in your own pickup truck.

Not like those hipsters in their tiny apartments, or “those people” in their public housing projects, waiting for the landlord any time something breaks, knowing if things get too bad they can just pick up and move. When you don’t own anything, it’s all somebody else’s problem. “They probably don’t pay taxes, either! Just treating America itself as a subsidized apartment they can trash!”

Read in conjunction with the ZMan’s post, who is representing these people in rural America who make up about half the population and have seen their way of life disappear due to forces way beyond their control?  Or more importantly, who was representing them?  The Republican party?  Nope, they’re wannabe Democrats and they despise rural, conservative Americans as much as the inner-city Democrats do?  Nobody was representing them, and they have been derided, ignored, and insulted for a generation or more and finally they’ve had enough:

So yes, they vote for the guy promising to put things back the way they were, the guy who’d be a wake-up call to the blue islands. They voted for the brick through the window.

It was a vote of desperation.

To those ignored, suffering people, Donald Trump is a brick chucked through the window of the elites. “Are you assholes listening now?

It doesn’t matter that Trump isn’t going to solve any of this, just like it didn’t matter that the people who took over African countries turned out to be false prophets when the colonial powers pulled out, or were kicked out.  When the nice, moderate, polite, guys just take sides with those who are standing on your neck you vote for the first and biggest asshole who will at least appear to be on your side.  Charges of misogyny, groping, and all the rest don’t matter one jot at this point.  The educated classes who haven’t figured this out, and continue to show bewilderment at Trump’s popularity and mock those who support him as racist thickos, make Marie Antoinette look like a girl down wiv the masses and her finger on the pulse.

The third post, from Outlander Systems, I found via Bayou Renaissance Man, and makes this point in colourful fashion, so I’ll quote just the end:

Ultimately this isn’t about Trump.

It’s never been about Trump.

And that’s exactly it.  It has never been about Trump as a person since he started leading in the Republican primaries.  It is about what Trump represents, and what he represents is something that two thirds of Republican politicians, the Democratic Party, the American media, and millions upon millions of supposedly smart, insightful, educated people all over the world have got disastrously wrong.  Trump doesn’t represent boorish oafs who grope women, he represents those who are absolutely sick of the cosy stitch-up the establishment classes have imposed on ordinary Americans without a shred of shame or decency.  Trump as a person is an irrelevance, he is merely a conduit for the raging anger of millions of Americans.

As I said in my previous post on Trump, the forces which have brought him this close to the Presidency won’t go away if and when he is defeated.  There seems to be this delusion that if Hillary wins, the movement that has carried Trump will vanish having been shown the error of its ways by a tsunami of Schadenfreude from right-thinking people on Twitter and Facebook.  That simply won’t happen.

Hillary is going to find it hard enough to govern as it is, even supposing her health problems are a right-wing fabrication.  Barack Obama has effectively thrown his hands in the air and walked away from the clusterfuck he’s made in Syria, leaving American forces sat in the desert with no clear objective facing off against Russians whose mission is crystal clear and who have all the political backing they need.  Obamacare is fast unravelling with insurance companies pulling out of the programme and people’s premiums skyrocketting (boo-hoo).  The Black Lives Matter movement is growing in confidence and black men will continue to be shot by policemen, meaning we can look forward to another series of riots in US cities in 2017. Areas which were supposedly gentrifying are going to ungentrify as the police – branded as racist to a man by Obama and his gang – pull back and let Lord of the Flies play itself out on primetime news.  The legislature and courts are going to tie themselves in knots trying to figure out whether feminists have the right to their own toilets or transsexuals can barge on in.

And to whom is who is she going to turn to implement the business end of her foreign policy decisions, quell the uprisings in America’s cities, and enforce the law?  Why, those same ordinary Americans that her and the rest of the establishment absolutely despise.  If Clinton wins and continues with Obama’s policies of gutting America’s institutions – particularly the military, DoJ, FBI, police, and Supreme Court – she might find parts of the country become ungovernable before her first term is out.

As the Zman says:

Popular government cannot work when it is not popular.

This will not end well.

(See also this from Duffy in the comments.)