The Power of Trump

I admit I underestimated Trump. Until a few days ago the best I could say about him was that he is a friendly and upbeat guy. I still think he isn’t fit for the office of the Presidency (maybe he would be fit to be mayor of New York?) and I doubt he will be a success, but you simply do not hijack one political party that dates back to Lincoln and lay waste to another that dates back to Andrew Jackson (a Trumpian figure in his own right) without strategy and cunning.

Trump would be a more fitting sucessor to Jackson on the $20

Tubman is cool, but Trump would be a more fitting successor to Jackson on the $20

Perhaps the parties were fragile and ready to be smashed like the idol with feet of clay – the Biblical author came up with a brilliant image – but no one saw it until after the fact.
Trump’s great weakness is that he says whatever is on his mind at the moment, even if it contradicts whatever was on his mind the moment before that, but it is also a strength. The other day he mentioned that the problem with Palestinians – Israeli relations was that the Palestinians were never asked to give anything in negotiations, it was always the Israelis giving something up. He then said that had it not been for Merkel letting a million rapey Arabs walk into her country Britain would not have jumped the E.U.
The governing ideology states that Israelis must give into Palestinian demands even if those demands put their own security at risk, that is, more Israelis have to get murdered in horrific ways in the short term so the rest of the world can have peace in the long term. I guarantee that a few hundred thousand Israelis heard what Trump said and agreed.
The governing ideology sees mass migration of unskilled labor as an unalloyed good with no possible downside and if you disagree you are a racist, even as Paris and Berlin are shot up and little girls and boys get raped (hussies should have been wearing burkas!). I am sure plenty of Brexiteers heard Trump and silently agreed.
Trump’s power is that he says the forbidden things people are thinking but are afraid to say. Trump’s victory shows how fragile the governing ideology is, which is why people are freaking out.
Whether this translates to success for Trump over the long term I cannot say.

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27 comments

  1. “Trump’s power is that he says the forbidden things people are thinking but are afraid to say.”

    This is true. What’s so ironic to me is that in any other context that would be called hearing the voice of the people, actually serving our interests. What I keep asking myself is why are these things we are thinking, “forbidden?” Who is forbidding them and why? Are they sinful things or simply the truth trying to get out?

    Now of course, not everything we are thinking should be given a voice or acted on, but that sense of having been silenced and shamed for so long, that it feels disconcerting, forbidden, taboo, to actually give voice to these thoughts, is a bit disturbing. In many ways we’ve become so accustomed to lies in politics, that speaking the truth now feels wrong. Trump’s power actually lies in his unfiltered honesty, and we now perceive that as a kind of character flaw.

    1. Are you aching to bring back the words nigger and faggot? How about segregation? Or are you only for killing gays if it’s black ones in Africa?

  2. If by “forbidden things” you mean things the evidence doesn’t bear out, then yes. From the year 2000 to know the middle east crisis has seen the death of 9.5 thousand Palestinians and 1.5 thousand Israelis.
    Germany took in many more times the number of refugees than the US, and yet the Florida massacre occurred. What you’re missing is taking the step back to see the logical progression (or lack thereof.)

  3. Spikes in sex crimes and terrorism are unrelated to the migrations?
    Brexit was not a result of the migrations?
    Palestinians targeting civilians is on the same moral level as Israelis targeting militants?

    1. Do you really need to ask those questions? Repeat after me: correlation is not causation. Migration is not *the cause* of terrorism, nor is it the cause of rape. Brexit was definitely *not* result of migration as the UK has only taken in 1600 migrants, 600 of which were to Scotland. So you can perhaps say Brexit was influenced by lies and exaggerations about migration, but not by migration itself.
      As for the Israeli-Palestinian issue, it’s incredibly complex. 1948 saw 700,000 Palestinians expelled or forced to flee their homes. Some of them have been living as refugees ever since. Have you looked at the actual numbers of civilians vs. militants killed? The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights has good statistics: http://www.btselem.org/statistics

      1. So the uptick in rapes in Stockholm was inevitable and unpredictable like the weather, and could just as easily been committed by Swedish guys but by some weird trick of fate it has been all Arab perps?
        That is called pissing on my shoes and telling me its raining.
        And it looks like you – like Palestinians – are a proponent of Bronze Age ethics of warfare which makes no distinction between combatant and non-combatant, collateral and intentional causalities. A Palestinian intentionally blows up schoolchildren at Sbarros, an Israeli fighter pilot attacks a military target aware there is the risk of civilian casualties, same thing in your book, right?

      2. Nope. It’s called mathematics. And mathematics deals with specifics. The Swedish case is an interesting example because you’re arbitrarily setting the variable as Muslim or Arab. It could equally be set as Poor. Perhaps even uneducated. That’s why mathematics is so important, it’s how we arrive at precise conclusions.
        You didn’t read the statistics, did you? Israelis kill substantially more civilians than militants. Commenting before checking the numbers is where your mistake lies. You’re going with the flow of an ideology rather than questioning each position on its merits. That’s how people get this:

        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/de/PiratesVsTemp%28en%29.svg

  4. Not long ago I posted once again about the catch phrase, “correlation is not causation.” Drives me absolutely nuts because it is forever being misapplied and used as an excuse for refusing to look at cause and effect.

    The left’s response to the Trump election is a good example. They cannot figure out what happened, must be Russians trolls, the election was stolen,etc. Not at all, there is simply causation and correlation at play here.

    1. Correlation is not causation is simple mathematics. In the same way a specious argument can be built implying Islam is responsible for rape, one can be built implying Catholicism is responsible for a spike in child rapes on various years. Or we can take the proportionally small number of female clerics in Christianity and quite easily build a case of Christianity making women second class citizens.
      The problem with that variety of statement, however, would be that the religion itself is not the (proximate) cause of the offence. In the migrant case the German numbers are so statistically insignificant, they’re actually expected. Out of 1 million migrants, even if there were 1000 cases of rape or murder (which there weren’t), that would equate to a 0.1% risk. That means 99.9% safety, which is an acceptable safety value according to measures across the board. In fact considerably more safe than, for example, FDA safety standards.
      Knowing how to differentiate the two things is how we know scurvy is the lack of vitamin C, not the lack of magnesium.

      1. How comforting that must be to the victims! I can imagine Merkel sitting with a rape victim or the relatives of someone killed in a terrorist attack: “The risk was entirely acceptable. We knew of course that one or two rapists or terrorists would sneak through and ruin some lives, but what is that compared to the glories of me looking good on TV? And look, if any of these 3rd world illiterates finds a job it will drive down the cost of labor! You know the saying, you can’t make an omelets without breaking a few hymens, uh, I mean heads, oh, eggs, that’s it.”
        Now in the Israeli example, I happen work in the aerospace industry and am up to date on themes like limiting collateral damage and close air support, areas where the Israeli air-force is considered the gold standard. Other countries don’t have the skill at precision bombing they do. The Israelis could present the exact same argument that Merkel makes: “Yes, we vaporized two of your five your children, it is what happens in war. We didn’t want to kill them, but we knowingly accepted the risk that there would be innocents in the area, just like every other country would. In fact no other nation on the face of the planet is as good at not killing bystanders as we, so really, you should be thanking Allah it wasn’t the Russians or one of your own backwards governments doing the bombing or you would all be dead.”
        Between the two governments justifying the collateral damage of their actions the difference is whom they are inflicting the damage on. In one case it is a government inflicting it on its own citizens to whom they are supposed to be accountable; in the second it is on someone else’s citizens, for whom they don’t have direct responsibility, in a state of war, and to whom they are not accountable.

      2. Goodness. We can all be wrong, and it’s starting to look like my ability to judge how you process information may have been off.
        As you don’t seem to understand the math- and you’re resorting to emotional appeals, let me try to explain it to you with something basic, like chicken.
        The consumption of chicken in a minority of cases (in the US alone) results in “salmonella (which) causes approximately 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, 450 deaths, and an estimated-$365 million in direct medical costs in the United States” PER YEAR.
        How comforting? How dare they! How very dare the government allow the sale of chickens! The murderous Obama’s and Clinton’s and Bush’s!!! Making freedom loving, decent Americans prey to such a dangerous thing like chicken eating. How dare they!
        First of all, grow up. Second, count. Decisions by ethical adults have to be made measuring the wellbeing of the greatest number of people.
        Your highly unethical proposition is how many can/should we sacrifice for the well being of a single tribe. It’s the opposite method of how we’ve built civilisation.

      3. We arrange our part of world by means of the nation-state which is in theory accountable to its free citizens. There are other ways to arrange things, we could have the governments accountable to God through the mediation of the church, or we could have tribal elders who govern by the oral traditions from our ancestors, but we have this system.
        The nation-state protects its own interests, hopefully in an enlightened way, and the interests of its citizens to whom they are accountable and for whom they are responsible.
        If the government begins acting contrary to the interests of its own citizens and in favor of the interests of the citizens of other countries, to whom is it accountable? For who does it act?
        Why, only to and for itself. At which point you are no longer a free citizen, but a subject.

      4. That’s precisely why we learn how to mathematics works.
        Mrs. merkel’s decision is in fact in the interest of the nation state she leads. She’s corrected the aging factor single handedly. And saved on education and health costs dramatically by integrating people who were already highly educated, vaccinated adults.

      5. So, rape solves the demographic problem?
        Lay back girls, and think of Germany!

      6. Reverse the equation. What do you sacrifice otherwise? What does +800,000 mean to the health system contributions? To taxes?

      7. Right now, nothing, since only a handful of the migrants have jobs. If I recall about 40 have been hired by DSL. The rest are thus far unemployable.
        If public ethics is nothing other than a calculation of what evils you can inflict or allow for the sake of aggregate benefits, then Merkel must be judged a failure. For the sake of fixing her demographic problem she has done irreparable damage to the E.U. She anticipated that some Arabs would rape boys and girls and blow people up, and judged this to be acceptable collateral damage, but failed to anticipate that Britain would say fuck it, we’ve enough Arabs, we’re gone.
        She foresaw the unfortunate rape/blow-shit-up tendencies of the Arabs, but not the anti-rape/blow-shit-up “bigotry” of the Brits.
        It would have been better to not let the migrants in, correct? So it is impossible to really know what is for the aggregate good, correct? So estimating future benefit is no way to govern a nation, correct?

      8. Do you not see how ridiculous your comment is? This is precisely why religious people don’t like mathematics and evidenced based approaches, it allows you to change your position along the way to give it airs of credibility.

        1. Nothing is risk free. Taking in immigrants of any kind involves an expected statistical degree of risks. I’m pretty sure there are rape spikes every time waves of immigrants move to any country because a percentage of them will be criminals. (Whether they’re Irish, Italian, Spanish or Libyan). A percentage will also be hard workers, another percentage will learn the language quickly, another will go on to integrate the work force immediately, others will pursue education- and so forth. So the way you’re formatting your argument would have to mean that immigration shouldn’t happen at all because of the risks- which is idiotic on its face as immigration has been a driving force of development. Over 90% of the fruit and vegetable pickers and processors in the UK are migrant workers. In Spain those workers are North African. In Germany they’re Eastern European or Turkish. Without them prices rise dramatically, quality of life drops dramatically and we go back to living the hardship of the pre-war era.

        3. There’s no “irreparable damage to Europe.” That’s Trump-like hogwashery. Oh goodness, the rapes and terrorism destroying Europe!!!! Let’s see, on a high death year like 2016, less than 200 people died in the EU from terrorism- meanwhile a whopping 2900 per year die in Africa from Hippopotamus related deaths. Every year. Let’s ban hippos!!!

      9. You misread me, probably as a result of looking down your nose. The Germans calculated the risk of terrorism and decided it was acceptable, but did not calculate other risks such as the political strain put on the E.U. The “permanent damage” is NOT the terror attacks, but Britain leaving. You might think the British response was irrational but that is irrelevant, it is still a consequence.
        One of the problems with the utilitarianism you propose is that it presupposes that people operating in a complex open system (as opposed to a closed, controlled system) know the effects of their actions, but they don’t, so it simply doesn’t work in practice.

      10. The UK leaving is by no means permanent damage. It’s something that needs to be worked around, but will have its upsides. First and foremost is that the UK will no longer be a gateway to tax havens. Tens of thousands of jobs in the financial sector are going to be transferred to Europe. Many in planning as we type. The British response was irrational in the same sense supporting Trump is irrational- there is no evidence for the claims the Brexiteers and Trump have made. Stopping free trade makes countries and individuals poorer.

      11. OK, you are engaging in apologetics now; this is a post-facto justification.
        You seriously think that had the Germans anticipated Britain or any other nation leaving the EU they would have allowed the migrants in? Are you claiming that the Germans did anticipate the political fall-out and Brexit was all part of their master plan for the betterment of man?
        It is like saying Bush invaded Iraq because he wanted a Shia-Sunni civil war, or Obama pulled out of Iraq because he wanted ISIS.

      12. I’m claiming Brexit wasn’t based on Germany taking in the migrants it took in. That wasn’t a campaign issue. Farage made (alleged future) Turkish migration an issue. You can see how they framed it here: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/661387/Migrant-crisis-Nigel-Farage-Turkey-EU-visa-free-travel

      13. Border security was part of the reason for Brexit, just as it has been a major concern in other European nations. Given the election was so close, if 1% of voters were afraid of Britain not having control of its borders because of migrants (these, or the promised future waves some EU folks have been gushing about), then it would have decided the election. I suspect it was more than 1%.
        So unless Brexit was also part of some German master plan for the betterment of humanity, it should be counted among the consequences of the open-door policy and an example of why utilitarian statecraft does not work.

      14. You do realize my point is that campaign was fraud, right?
        Johnson, Farage and co. and all the Murdoch papers warned of the risk of those 77 million Turks flooding into the UK.
        Do you know what the population of Turkey is? 75 million. So apart from moving their entire population to Britain they would have have to reproduce very quickly during the migration to make those figures plausible.
        What won the election was fraud.

      15. Does not matter. If people saw a wave of migrants being welcomed into Europe and that switched 1% of them to vote “Leave” then Brexit was consequence of German policy, which makes your theory of utilitarian governance impossible to practice, QED.

      16. Really? If you have three factors: a, b and c, are you sure only one of them is a variable? And for that matter the smallest percentage?

        US media loves to use that fallacy. The “swing vote” of 10% will decide the election… The reason that’s a defective equation is that numbers in the larger groups aren’t immutable. The “swing” can occur within the majority itself- making the majority group weaker or stronger. So when measuring you have to go A(x), B(x), C(x)- and in all likelihood the smallest percentage is in actuality the least significant factor mathematically. Large Hispanic Jewish Lesbians aren’t the vote that “decides” elections, the members of the largest pool are the most significant.
        So the 1% theory isn’t mathematically sound 😉 It’s just an easy media narrative.

      17. Now you are just evading.

      18. Evading? Not at all, I’m demonstrating how easy it is for a narrative not to match the reality. Just as is the case of the terrorism debate. Europe is at record levels of safety, and yet the discourse presented by Brexiteers and Trump is the opposite of that.
        The example I gave shows how importance is (wrongly) placed on one variable which isn’t actually the decisive factor.

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