Going into 2020, it seemed like Trump was on course to roll to an easy reelection victory over whomever the Democrats eventually chose as their nominee. Even once it became clear that Biden had locked up the nomination, his obvious mental decline combined with the lack of genuine enthusiasm for his candidacy made it feel like Trump was the prohibitive favorite to win in November.
But that was months ago, before anybody knew what 2020 had in store. Everything has changed, apparently. Polls now show Biden destroying Trump both nationally and in all the major battleground states:
Is Biden really 9 points ahead of Trump nationally? There was even an NY Times poll that came out a week ago that showed Trump down 14points to Biden nationally.
Is Trump really that unpopular? Is Biden really that popular?
If you go by the news media and social media, absolutely. Social media is all about Black Lives Matter and putting Trump out of his misery.
But something just doesn’t feel right about those poll numbers.
I’ve got some pro-Trump theories on the main factors that will decide the 2020 election:
The Silent Majority: we’ll get into this more later but the basic idea is that as the country burns and the corporations publicly swear their fealty to BLM, the silent majority of Americans have steeled their resolve to take their country back in the fall. So many people have been red-pilled over the past month or two. Many have been black-pilled (it’s hard not to be with a nonstop feed of America burning on social media). For every clout-chasing white girl on social media posting BLM support, there’s way more people out there who have been Mega Redpilled, and maybe even turned into full-blown racists. They’re just not publicizing it. This is the Silent Majority factor that is working against Biden.
Virtue Signaling White Women: Are they really going to swing hard towards Biden? The Democrats’ win in the 2018 midterms was widely attributed to suburban moms who were disgusted by Trump’s Twitter account and his “lack of decency”. But the problem with that theory was always this: they didn’t vote for Trump in 2016 in the first place. And it’s not like they didn’t know about Trump’s “lack of decency” in 2016. The “grab ’em by the pussy” tape leaked before the 2016 election. All the angry “pussyhat” ladies were marching and Letting Their Voices Be Heard basically the day after the 2016 election. It’s not as if all the Women’s March participants were Trump supporters who swung hard against him between election day 2016 and inauguration day 2017. Trump lost white female college grads 51-44 to Clinton in 2016. It’s not like they left him for the Democrats in 2018, because they weren’t with him to begin with. In 2018, Republicans lost white college women 59-39, but that was with Trump not on the ballot.
This leads to the next point: You can’t just assume the 2018 electorate is the same as the 2020 electorate. Republicans won huge in the 2010 midterms and still lost handily in the 2012 election. Democrats’ victory in 2018 does not in any way guarantee a smashing victory for them this fall. Having the President on the ticket is a massive game-changer no matter how you slice it.
2016 redux? There were multiple times in 2016 when it felt like the final nail had been pounded into Trump’s coffin. There were even times in 2016 when it was hard to tell if Trump actually wanted to win the election at all. Maybe there is a method to Trump’s madness. He seems to just be sitting on his ass while the country burns, not bothering to do anything but tweet like he’s a bystander instead of President of the United States. Maybe he’s under more significant quarantine than we’re led to believe. Maybe he’s being sequestered in a basement just like Biden is. I don’t know. Whatever it is, it seems like he’s lost control of the country. And yet, we’ve been here before in 2016 when it seemed like he completely lost control of his campaign and had even given up. Yet he still ended up winning. So I won’t count this guy out.
Now for a (potentially) pro-Biden theory:
Urban black voters: the anti-Trump energy in the cities will outweigh the “Return to Normalcy” energy outside of the cities. The Elite’s main goal in provoking the race riots is to juice up black voter enthusiasm for Biden. It’s why they chose Biden in the first place: because he’s popular with black voters. A big reason Hillary lost in 2016 was because she did not get the same black voter turnout in the big cities that Obama got. It’s probably why she lost Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin–because Democrats in those states rely on black voters in Philadelphia, Detroit and Milwaukee, and they just didn’t show up for Hillary the way they did for Obama. So the goal for 2020 is to get black voters motivated to vote for Biden. Will the race riots do the trick? It’s tough to say now, but I think the real question is: will the gain in black voters be more than Biden’s loss in white voters? Because the Democrats have pushed a lot of voters–and not just white voters, but voters of all colors–into Trump’s arms. Most people–black, white, Hispanic, Asian, whatever–prefer stability to chaos, normalcy to abnormality.
And the thing is, Biden was actually set up to do fairly well with white voters–at least better than Hillary did. Biden appeals to blue collar workers, especially in the upper midwest. That is precisely the area that flipped from Obama to Trump and put Trump in the White House: Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa. When Biden was Obama’s VP, his main job was to campaign in the Rust Belt and appeal to blue collar whites. But now it might be a moot point because Biden is inexorably associated with the inner-city race riots.
Regardless of what the polls say, I just don’t think there’s been that much of a backlash against Trump. Trump has definitely irritated a lot of his base supporters by not doing much in the face of these riots, and not being more aggressive in re-opening the country. But it’s not like those people are going to vote for Biden. That just makes no sense.
But still: the polls! It’s hard to just completely ignore the polls. But what if the polls truly are bullshit. The elite is pulling out all the stops to try to defeat Trump. So why wouldn’t they rig the polls? They started race riots and carried out a Plannedemic in order to swing the 2020 election. What makes you think they’d balk at rigging the polls?
It’s easy to see why they’d rig the polls. Lots of Trump supporters on social media are despondent, basically resigned to the fact that Trump is going to get wiped out in the fall. They talk a big game about not believing the polls, but I don’t think many of them truly believe the polls are fake and can be disregarded entirely.
But if you view it from the perspective that the Elite is doing everything in their power to steal this election from Trump–months of quarantine, race riots, mail-in voting, social media censorship and purges–then it really wouldn’t be much of a stretch to believe they’re trying to turn the election into a self-fulfilling prophecy by showing poll after poll after poll of Trump getting slaughtered. Eventually even the most ardent Trump supporters start to believe it.
The point is, I just don’t see how Trump can be so far behind. Something feels “off” seeing him down 9+ points in a poll. It just doesn’t accurately reflect the mood I’ve observed in this country in talking to people over the past few months. Yes, that’s all anecdotal. But I’ve been to multiple different states across the country over the past few months and the general consensus is that people want to return to normalcy. People do not like what is happening in this country right now.
Also, I don’t think I’ve met a single Biden supporter. As in, a person who is genuinely excited about voting for Joe Biden. Instead, it feels like the people who have always despised Trump just despise him more obnoxiously than ever now.
Honestly, I feel like the events of the past month have turned more people into Trump supporters, albeit secret Trump supporters. They’re all afraid to admit it.
The idea that Trump is now losing big because he’s lost white support in the suburbs, I just don’t know if I buy that. All the BLM riots and protests of the past month–CHAZ included–that’s all associated with the Democratic Party.
By this point I think most people realize that a vote for Biden is a vote for this:
I really can’t see suburban whites voting for that. I can’t see non-college whites endorsing that with a vote for Biden.
Maybe people are lying to the pollsters. Maybe, like 2016, people are scared to admit they support Trump. I would say today’s social climate is even more hostile to Trump supporters than 2016’s was. 2016 honestly feels like child’s play compared to 2020. It could be that simple of an explanation.
Or the polls could be flat-out rigged. I don’t know.
But whatever it is, the polls just feel wrong. Despite what you see on the news and on social media, Americans are not happy about what is happening right now. They want this country to go back to normal. Guns are flying off the shelves. First-time gun-buyers are a common sight. There are millions of Americans who now for the first time in their lives feel unsafe in this country, and it has shaken them to their cores.
That is not an atmosphere conducive to a Biden win.
As I see it, the only place Biden is winning is in the polls and on social media. It could be that I have completely misread the country and don’t know how people are really feeling. But I think I’ve got it right. Social media and the news are not an accurate portrayal of America.
If Trump is going to lose, it’ll be because his supporters stayed home (not likely, because most realize the stakes of this election) and because the Democrats rigged the election with all their mail-in voting (which may have been the motivation behind the Plannedemic all along).
It feels like now more than ever, the polls exist not as a gauge of the political climate, but as yet another way to manipulate and direct the political climate.
We now finally have evidence linking Obama to the Spygate scandal:
“Shocking”? I don’t know, Senator. I’ve been expecting this for years.
Anyone who has been following this thing closely since the beginning has known that Obama knew the whole time what was going on. But now we have some proof, in the form of Peter Strzok’s hand-written memos about the Flynn ambush.
Not only that, but we have Biden being involved, too. Add another scandal to the list along with Ukraine.
Here is a photo of the hand-written Strzok note. It’s kind of tough to make out:
The third line down says “VP: ‘Logan Act'” as in it was Biden who suggested using the Logan Act as a pretense to go after Flynn.
“P” has got to mean President, as in President Obama.
“D” means FBI Director James Comey. According to Strzok’s notes, Comey said “Flynn –> Kislyak [Russian Ambassador] calls but appear legit.”
I wish I could transcribe more of it but his handwriting is hard to read.
Obama is also quoted as saying, “Make sure you look at things + have the right people on it.” With, of course, “it” meaning the Flynn “investigation.”
Is this the bombshell we’ve been waiting for? No, I don’t think so. There’s still more that should and hopefully will come out.
I want ’em all in cuffs. Obama, Biden, Hillary, Comey, Clapper, Brennan, Rice, Strzok, Samantha Power, Sally Yates. All of ’em.
The White House Twitter account retweeted the President this morning. But Twitter hid the tweet:
If you click on it, you can see the whole thing:
Leftwing “journalists” have been begging Twitter to censor the President since the day he took office. Most of them want him outright banned.
Now Twitter has given them what they want. I’m sure this has nothing to do with the fact that it’s an election year.
This is a major moment in the Social Media Era. The Social Media Giants are now so confident in their own power that they are now comfortable strong-arming the White House. The Social Media Giants are out of control.
As the coronavirus-induced economic shutdown continues, a divide has emerged in Americans’ opinions over What To Do About It. Not so long ago, it used to be that most people agreed that pretty much everything should be shut down and that people should stay home until this blows over. The Trump Administration publicly declared on March 15 that the country would begin “15 Days to Slow the Spread” with the hope that two weeks of social distancing and closure of “non-essential businesses” would reduce the spread of the virus significantly. After the 15-day period, then we could see where things are and potentially allow things to go back to normal. Most Americans were on-board with this plan.
But as time has passed since March 15, two developments have caused a divergence in public opinion into two camps:
“Testing in the US has ramped up significantly, revealing thousands of new coronavirus cases every day. Therefore, the 15-day economic shutdown period will not be long enough, and the country should be shut down for even longer. If we do not double down on our efforts to suppress the virus, then countless more people will die.”
“The collapsing stock market (which has rebounded some over the past few days), spiking unemployment claims, and testimonies from small business owners hurting from the shutdown, show that we need to Get Back To Work ASAP and re-open the economy before this turns into Great Depression 2.0.”
And so now, many Americans are split into the two camps: one that thinks that if we don’t keep it all shut down indefinitely then 1-2% of the US population will die, and another that thinks if we don’t all go back to work ASAP we’ll have 50% unemployment and be lined up around the corner for the soup kitchen by April.
The two camps are increasingly intolerant of one another. The Quarantine Indefinitely crowd thinks the Back To Work crowd wants to sacrifice grandma so the stock market can go back up, while the Back To Work crowd thinks the Quarantine Indefinitely crowd are hysterical idiots.
I’ve got problems with both sides–especially how they act like the other side’s fears are completely unfounded and irrational–but I want to focus on the side panicking about the virus.
Re-opening the economy does not mean “sacrificing lives for the stock market.” This is nonsensical and disingenuous.
The virus is not going to kill a significant percentage of the population no matter what we do. As it stands now, the virus has a death rate of 1.4% in the US. But that death rate is only derived from the denominator of confirmed cases. Loads more people have it or had it and recovered already, and they’re not counted in the official figure of ~66,000 cases. So the death rate is definitely even lower than 1.4%.
You can’t claim that if half the country catches the virus, then 1.4% of those who catch it will die, resulting in the deaths of millions of Americans. The death rate only factors in those who have already been tested. And not only that, if you go to the tracking website, at the bottom it will give you descriptions of the people who have died from the virus. Overwhelmingly the descriptions are like this:
“March 21 (GMT) — New deaths include:
1st death in Minnesota: a Ramsey County resident in their 80s [source]
1 new death in Oregon, first in Marion County[source]
1st death in Tennessee: a 73-year old man with underlyinghealth conditions in Nashville [source]
1st death in Arizona: a Maricopa County man in his 50s with underlying health conditions [source]
1 death in Ohio: an 85-year-old man was an Erie County [source]
2 new deaths in South Carolina: elderly people suffering from underlying health conditions [source]
1 death in California: the first death in Contra Costa County: a patient in their 70s [source]
1 death in Maryland: a Baltimore County resident in his 60s who suffered from underlying medical conditions [source] D.C. schools will be closed until April 27
1 death in Missouri: a woman in her 60s, who suffered from multiple health problems prior to being diagnosed with COVID-19 [source]”
Because we’re now over 100 deaths per day, the site doesn’t provide a blurb for every death anymore. But you can go back a few days when deaths were much lower and get some background information for most of the deaths. Older people with underlying health conditions are the ones dying. This is not to minimize their deaths at all, it’s only to point out that the death rate is not the same for everyone.
The death rate is also going down over time. On March 4, there were 138 people confirmed infected with 11 deaths. That’s a death rate of 8%. On March 13, with 2,126 people infected, there were 48 deaths, or 2.2%. And now, March 25, the death rate is 1.4%. It keeps going down the more testing we do.
“If the number of actual infections is much larger than the number of cases—orders of magnitude larger—then the true fatality rate is much lower as well. That’s not only plausible but likely based on what we know so far,” the professors argued.
The professors cited data from Iceland, China, the United States, and Italy, which is arguably the hardest-hit region when it comes to the coronavirus.
“On March 6, all 3,300 people of Vò [Italy] were tested, and 90 were positive, a prevalence of 2.7%,” the professors said. “Applying that prevalence to the whole province (population 955,000), which had 198 reported cases, suggests there were actually 26,000 infections at that time. That’s more than 130-fold the number of actual reported cases. Since Italy’s case fatality rate of 8% is estimated using the confirmed cases, the real fatality rate could in fact be closer to 0.06%.”
The professors argued that current epidemiological models aren’t adequate for two key reasons.
“First, the test used to identify cases doesn’t catch people who were infected and recovered. Second, testing rates were woefully low for a long time and typically reserved for the severely ill. Together, these facts imply that the confirmed cases are likely orders of magnitude less than the true number of infections,” it reads.”
They also said this:
“Ultimately, while stressing the seriousness of the virus that has infected almost half a million people, the professors aren’t convinced a universal quarantine is the most logical course of action.
“A universal quarantine may not be worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community and individual mental and physical health,” the article concluded. “We should undertake immediate steps to evaluate the empirical basis of the current lockdowns.”
One might object thusly: “Okay, even if the death rate is actually much lower than current figures show, ending the quarantine and allowing people to go about their business as usual means lots of people are going to get it who wouldn’t have gotten it had they stayed in self-quarantine.”
But that’s what we’re having the debate over. Is it really worth it to keep the economy running on half (or fewer) cylinders over a disease that may have a death rate as low as 0.06%? Someone should be able to answer “no” and not be considered evil.
What if people want to take the risk and go back to work and start spending money like normal? I’m sure a lot of small business owners who are hurting due to the quarantine measures would gladly take that risk. Given the number of people who catch the flu every year–CDC says at least 38 million Americans caught it this season–it’s just as risky to go out in public and go to work during flu season as it is now.
It’s not as if right now is the only time that going to work and going out in public put Americans at risk of getting sick. At any point from November to March you have a pretty high risk of catching the normal flu by going out in public and going to work, but most people don’t care–they don’t even think about catching the flu. Now is not the only time it has ever been dangerous to leave your house.
But the Keep Everyone Quarantined! crowd doesn’t want to hear it.
What is behind their extreme precaution and fear? Many, I would guess, see America’s cases of coronavirus (and deaths) increasing exponentially and quickly conclude that we do not have this thing under control, so it is idiotic and borderline-wicked to reopen the economy.
If you look at the data, they’ve got a point:
We’re over 66,000 total cases as of right now after adding about 10,800 today. Yesterday was a little over 11,000 new cases.
In terms of deaths, yesterday was our worst day yet: 225 deaths nationwide.
Today, we’ve had about 151 deaths today as of 7:15pm EST. No telling yet if this the start of a reversal, or if it’s just a blip. Still, things are clearly much worse now than they were even a few days ago.
Italy, however, is starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. It appears daily new cases are leveling off:
Today, Italy had about 5,200 new cases.
Deaths in Italy appear to be leveling-off as well:
Today’s tally for Italy was 683.
So the situation in Italy is by no means better yet, but it at least seems that things aren’t getting worse. It might be too early to say, but it appears the virus has plateaued in Italy.
This does not mean the same applies to the U.S. We began our 15-day period of self-quarantining on the 15th, so we’re only on Day 10. If Americans are doing their part (and that’s a big assumption given that our quarantine was a recommendation rather than a government order, like Italy’s was) then we shouldn’t expect to see things turn around for another several days.
If daily new cases and deaths do begin to slow in the next few days here in the US, then hopefully we’ll be able to avoid the “Everyone Dies/Great Depression 2.0” debate. You would think it’s a no-brainer to err on the side of caution and keep the country locked-down for longer, given that if things really get out of control and we do suffer massive amounts of deaths, we’ll have an economic depression anyway. So why not just play it safe and keep everything shut down for even longer?
Well, the Back To Work crowd would argue that it’s a false choice to say we have to choose between a hundred thousand people dying (or more) and another Great Depression. And they’re right: I don’t think there’s any scenario where tens of thousands of Americans die from the coronavirus.
Trump seems to have made up his mind already. Last night, he tweeted:
“The cure cannot be worse than the problem.” This is essentially what the Back To Work crowd is arguing; we can’t wreck our economy for a virus that has only infected 66,000 people in a nation of 330 million. The Back To Work crowd also points out that the Swine Flu epidemic of 2009 was worse than this, with over 115,000 confirmed cases in the US and over 3,400 deaths, and we did not freak out anywhere near as much as we are now. We never considered shutting our economy down for that.
Trump tweeted this today:
He’s completely correct. I don’t doubt for one second that a major reason most “news” channels and bluecheck “reporters” are pushing non-stop fear porn over the virus is because they think it’ll hurt Trump. Does the media want an economic collapse? Absolutely. They think it will turn the country against Trump.
Trump has figured out the game. While the vast majority of the Keep It Shut Down! crowd feel that way because they’re genuinely afraid of the virus, the media, which is chiefly responsible for making all these people so scared is completely exploiting this situation. And since Trump is aware of what they’re trying to do, he’s pushing for things to go back to normal soon.
In Trump’s most recent press briefing tonight, he said “There are large sections of our country, probably, that can go back to work sooner than others. We’re looking at that. People are asking ‘Is that an alternative?’ and I say absolutely, that is an alternative.”
Trump is targeting Easter (April 12) as hopefully the day everything can go back to normal, and that would mean almost a full month of social distancing. That seems like enough, but the Back To Work crowd says it’s too long, while the Quarantine Indefinitely crowd thinks it’s insanity.
But I don’t see why we can’t, after the 15-day period, lift the quarantine for parts of the country that haven’t been hit as hard as others. After all, more than half of the nation’s cases right now are in the immediate New York City area:
We definitely should not lift the restrictions on NYC anytime soon. But for the rest of the country, as long as we take the necessary precautions and avoid New Yorkers, it should be fine.
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo says the peak is still 2-3 weeks away for New York, but that shouldn’t mean the whole country has to remain shut down. Quarantine New York. Don’t go there unless you absolutely have to, and when you return, self-quarantine for 14 days. Don’t leave New York unless you absolutely have to, and if you do, you self-quarantine for 14 days.
We can and should keep the current restrictions in place for the most at-risk subsets of the population, namely the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions. Keep the elderly–nursing homes especially–cordoned-off while the rest of us go about our business as usual. This seems like the path Trump is leaning towards, and to me it makes perfect sense. It’s a smarter, more efficient selective quarantine policy rather than a blanket nationwide quarantine.
But the Quarantine Indefinitely crowd is still very upset by this. Most of them, I’d guess, are motivated primarily by fear.
Specifically, there’s a widespread belief that This Virus Is Just Different, uniquely bad, and that if you catch it, it will permanently damage your health. Is this true? It could be true. It’s not really known for certain yet because it hasn’t been around for very long. But stories about how the virus left male survivors sterile turned out to be false. As far as permanent lung damage, that could well be true. But it varies from person to person. Probably most people who get it will recover and be just fine for the rest of their lives.
The regular flu and the common cold can even can have lasting effects on your body, from hearing loss to Guilliane-Barre Syndrome and even lasting lung damage. The Wuhan Virus is not the only widespread virus that can potentially inflict permanent damage on your body. Yet all the scary stories in the media have people convinced they should be downright terrified of getting the coronavirus.
But others in the Shut It Down! camp–I’d say a minority, but definitely a sizable number of individuals, and predominant on social media–are motivated by something else. It’s not really fear of the virus and mass deaths, either.
Some people just want to watch the world burn. Most of them are younger people, and this, right here, is the closest they’ve ever been to Chaos.
Maybe they’ve grown up on too many post-apocalyptic movies and video games, but they feel like life would be more fun if society collapsed. I’m not sure the reason, but there are a lot of people out there who want society to collapse. To them, the near-total shutdown of the economy is “cool” because it’s such a break from the ordinary. And some feel that if it continues for longer, then society itself will totally collapse, and after that, a new type of society will arise from the old one’s ashes. And it will be Better, they imagine.
I know this because I have a little bit in me, although not nearly as much as when I was younger. Really, it’s more of a yearning for adventure that cannot be satisfied in our world of urban/suburban orderliness and 9-5 jobs. So, some people think, maybe if everything collapsed and we went back to the Stone Age, life would be full of adventure. And maybe, if there is a “great reset” of human civilization, I could end up on top.
This Societal Collapse Fantasy largely disappears once you’re invested in the stock market, but there are still lots of people who want to see the world burn.
Whether it’s young would-be socialist or anarchist computer-chair revolutionaries, or simply people who hate the modern world and wish for things to be completely different, there are a lot of people that are secretly (maybe even unconsciously) hoping the coronavirus basically brings the modern world to its knees. (And I’m not saying these are bad people for hating modern society! I’m no fan of modern life myself. But I don’t think society needs to collapse in order for me to get the kind of life I want out of it.
That said, I still think the broad majority of the “THE VIRUS IS GOING TO KILL US ALL!” crowd are motivated by fear of the virus rather than a desire to bring down the modern world.
Fear is a very powerful emotion. Some would say it’s the most powerful. Most people who are gripped by fear cannot be reasoned with (although some can). The only thing that will snap them out of the fear currently governing their words and actions is if real-world events prove their fears to be overblown and unfounded. And even then, they will credit their own over-cautiousness for the fact that the world didn’t end.
The people gripped by media-induced fear–while most of them certainly have noble intentions and valid reasons for being fearful–can’t be allowed to call the shots here. We just have to move forward and get the economy firing on all cylinders again. Eventually the people who want to stay quarantined until August will get over it.
All that said, when we do re-open the economy, we should still emphasize washing our hands and social distancing and generally try to keep our hands in our pockets as much as possible. We should wear masks and gloves whenever possible and not look at people who do wear masks like they’re crazy. We should avoid large crowds of people and mass gatherings for at least another month.
But we should re-open the economy ASAP. Small businesses can’t hold out much longer.
The government has told many of them to shut down, and so businesses–small and large–need a way to recoup lost revenues. You can’t just tell businesses to shutter and then not expect to compensate them for lost revenues. That’s pure evil. Bailouts or bust. Wall Street nearly killed the global economy back in 2008 and they got bailed out. You could even argue that the big banks that survived ’08 were rewarded for their recklessness.
Those were bad bailouts because the banks didn’t deserve them.
This time around, however, the bailouts are infinitely more justifiable. Most of these businesses are not in trouble because they were reckless and immoral, but because they were simply doing what the government told them to do. There is nothing wrong with a bailout here.
Not every case is the same, of course. For instance, the airline companies that nickel-and-dime the hell out of us (carry-on fee, booking fee, checked-bag fee, seat selection fee) and spent 96% of their free cash flow over the past decade on stock buybacks, now they want a bailout because they have no money?
That’s the kind of stuff that should piss Americans off. But still: what else are we supposed to do? Let the airlines go belly-up? It might Feel Good for a little while to see those greedy bastards get what’s coming to them, but it would be terrible for our country in the long (and short) run. (Thankfully, it appears the stimulus bill will prohibit stock buybacks for any company that gets government money. I still think the weasels will find a way to weasel around this, but it’s at least encouraging that this language has been included in the bill.)
If, by keeping the economy shut down well into April and we force businesses to fold–both mom and pop stores and the larger publicly traded companies–then it will only accelerate the consolidation of our economy, in other words, monopolization. The big trend of the past 20 or so years has been consolidation: the big firms get bigger by buying up the smaller firms. The market share of the various sectors of the economy held by the largest corporations has only increased over the past couple of decades, and if we let businesses fail now, that will only get worse.
This is what happened in 2008-2009 and it’s what’s going to happen today if we let small businesses fold.
What I’m trying to say is that there’s a lot of validity in what the Back To Work crowd is saying. It will be very bad for our country if lots of businesses have to close, and not just because of all the people who will lose their jobs. The big corporations that can weather this storm just fine will emerge with more power and market control.
Which is why I wonder if this has been the plan all along: a mass economic genocide of small businesses so that big businesses can swoop in and buy all their assets up for cheap. The conspiracy theorist in me fears that this has been the plan all along, and until I see very generous terms from the government on the small business bailout that make it clear the government wants small businesses to come back, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to disabuse myself of that suspicion.
I saw something about the government promising small businesses “low interest loans” and that phrase set off my Conspiracy Alarm. The government is going to force small businesses to shut down and then act like it’s doing the small businesses a favor by offering them “low interest loans” to deal with problems they encounteredfor doing what the government told them?
I certainly hope this is not what happens when all’s said and done. But it might. I guess low-interest loans are better than nothing.
That said, I do think some of the Back To Work crowd’s concerns are overblown.
This chart of the ridiculous spike in unemployment claims is misleading:
I filed for unemployment, but I wasn’t fired. Not all of these people have lost their job. Many of them have actually just been temporarily furloughed.
As for the US economy not being able to handle a two-week pause: European countries shut down for a whole month every year. Scott Adams provoked a good discussion the matter today:
But if the American economy shuts down for a week then everyone goes bankrupt and businesses can’t keep their doors open? What happened to rainy day funds?
Yes, that’s because 300 years ago we were all farmers and our economy did not rely on complex international supply chains and financial leveraging products. People didn’t rely on much other than themselves. They knew how to budget–and I’m not just talking about money, I mean crops and food. They had to stretch the harvest through the winter months or else they died.
The replies to Adams’ tweet from Europeans were interesting:
This Businessweek article from 1993 provides a small glimpse into how life is in Italy during August:
“It’s just no fun being a journalist in Europe during the summer. I had wanted to write about the spiffy new Punto subcompact that Italian auto giant Fiat will be rolling out next month, but nobody answers the phone at company headquarters in Turin. Then I thought, surely BUSINESS WEEK readers will want to know about how the Sicilian Mafia finally seems to be on the run? Alas, every prosecutor I try to call in Palermo is at the beach. Hey, I’ve got it! I’ll do a Letter From Rome–and describe how no one over here works in August. “Now that’s not a bad idea,” says Antonella, my Italian wife, who has been on holiday since July. “And while you’re at it, fetch me another Diet Coke.”
“It’s August again and in Europe that means “out of the office” messages, “closed” signs, and desolated streets. August 1st marks the unofficial start of summer vacation in Spain, France and Italy, and even in times of economic crisis, most employees are dead-set on taking their summer days.
And why not? According to a report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, European countries lead the world in guaranteeing paid leave for its workers. Among OECD countries, 16 of the 18 most generous governments when it comes to paid vacation are European.
Spain and Germany are among the most holiday-happy, both offering 34 days of paid leave each year. Italy and France guarantee 31 days of paid vacation, and Belgium requires 30. These numbers include both mandatory vacation and public holidays.
CEPR reports that the United States is the only nation among advanced economies that does not provide a legal guarantee of paid leave. New Zealand and Australia ensure respectively 30 and 28 days of paid leave, and Canada’s federal government stipulates 19 paid days, with some provinces adding on additional time. Even in Japan, where thousands commit suicide every year because of work-related stress, all employees are guaranteed 10 paid vacation days.
To be clear, many American companies do provide paid leave. According to CEPR, 77 percent of private sector companies offer employees at least some paid vacation, and those workers get an average of 21 paid days.
Still, that leaves nearly 1 in 4 Americans without any guarantee of paid time off from work. Those workers are noticeably overrepresented in the lower classes, notes CEPR. Half of the workers whose wages scale in the bottom 25 percent enjoy no paid leave.”
It seems like a matter of respecting basic human dignity to simply not expect employees to devote their entire lives to increasing The Company’s Profits. Maybe Americans who are off work right now will realize how nice it is to have a European-style vacation, and perhaps there will be a new push for some form of government-mandated paid vacation time for the most over-worked nation on earth.
To be sure, even though European countries have very generous state-mandated paid holiday requirements, it’s not as if it all happens at once. Lots of Americans have this belief that basically the entire continent of Europe shuts down for the month of August, but that’s not entirely accurate. Lots of Europeans do take their vacations in August, but not everyone. There’s a big difference between “much of the economy” and “the whole economy.”
But then again, it’s not as if the whole American economy is currently shut down. I’ve been out and about a few times over the past 10 days and plenty of businesses are open. I guess we’ll see when the Q1 GDP print is release just how much of the U.S. economy was shut down, but I don’t think it’ll be as bad as the alarmists are saying.
The whole point of the European example is that European businesses plan ahead for August, and the fact that all their employees get a full month of paid vacation. I’ve never heard any stories about how Europe descends into chaos and economic depression every August. They get by just fine.
In a globalized world of free trade, free travel and largely open borders (at least in the West, i.e. the countries everyone else wants to move to), we’re going to have to get used to events like this. A viral outbreak in one country will quickly spread and overwhelm the whole world. Maybe it’s time we structure our economy to be more prepared for stuff like this. It’s all part of the game our elites have chosen to play.
Now, all that being said, the one thing both the Back to Work and the Stay Quarantined crowds ought to be able to agree on is that
Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats she leads are not taking this seriously. They’re totally exploiting this crisis to load up the stimulus bill with pork and leftwing wishlist items that are not even remotely pertinent to the matter at hand.
By no means am I saying every last thing the Republicans put into the stimulus bill is pertinent and awesome. I am under no illusions that this is the case. There’s probably tons of corporate welfare and other bullshit handouts put into the bill by Republicans.
But Pelosi is on another level:
She’s trying to squeeze “Green New Deal” agenda items into the coronavirus bill, as if limiting airplane emissions has anything to do with re-starting the economy.
Not only that, she’s pushing for mass amnesty:
Amnesty for DACA illegal aliens? Unbelievable. She’s saying, “If you want to provide relief to small businesses, you have to legalize 800,000 illegals, too.” Can you make it a little less obvious you want to destroy America, Nancy?
I understand that Nancy has to do this kind of shit to appease the Sanders-wing of her party. She’s upholding her end of the deal, as required by Ocasio-Cortez and the rest to allow her to be Speaker: intransigently push for the most radical and idiotic Social Justice™ and Climate Change Cult agenda items at every opportunity.
But still, it makes me wonder: if Nancy and the Very Opinionated Young Women Of Color Whose Voices Will Be Heard she serves aren’t taking this coronavirus situation seriously, then why should I?
As I wrote earlier, I think this economic shutdown was probably part of the plan–whether China’s as part of the trade war, or the elite’s. I still don’t know who exactly was behind this but the goal was to tank the economy and make people give up their freedoms out of fear.
I’m ready to go back to normal. I like normal. It takes abnormal for us to realize how much we like normal.
But I can’t help but think that’s what the special interests and lobbyists want us to feel. They want us to be so afraid of losing our jobs and the economy tanking that we’ll acquiesce to whatever they want in the stimulus bill and just get back to normal. And the rest of us, they want so terrified of the virus that we
It kneecapped China’s economy (America’s primary rival).
Virus hit just before Lunar New Year in China, the country’s biggest travel holiday, for maximum impact.
Also spread in Iran, another of America’s chief geopolitical rivals. In particular, several Iranian politicians have contracted the disease. A prominent adviser to Ayatollah Khomeini died from the virus.
An Israeli company’s suspicious comments about producing a vaccine. It claimed it had already been developing a Coronavirus cure before the outbreak of the virus, and had decided to begin developing a Coronavirus vaccine out of “pure luck.”
There are claims that the virus actually originated in the US, rather than China. At least one Chinese official is publicly claiming that the US military brought the virus to China in Ocotber 2019 under the guise of the Wuhan Military Games, which took place that month.
Of course, while the disease initially hit China the worst and then Iran, it is now spreading rapidly in a lot of countries considered to be America’s allies. South Korea, Italy, France, Spain and Germany are all getting hit badly.
In fact the virus has largely plateaued in China, and Europe has become the epicenter, according to the World Health Organization. Based on the official reports from China, the worst is over for them:
It has plateaued in South Korea and it seems they largely have it under control there, but it is not under control in Europe.
So if this virus was an American bioweapon, there has been an awful lot of collateral damage. But this is all under the assumption that only cases and deaths matter. What if infecting a lot of people wasn’t the ultimate goal for whomever released the virus?
To the extent that people discuss conspiracy theories about the Coronavirus, they think along the lines of it being a weapon intended to kill lots of people.
But I don’t think that’s accurate. If the Coronavirus was indeed a bioweapon, and whomever unleashed it intended it to kill lots of people, by any objective measure, they have failed spectacularly at that. It’s tough to say with certainty just how many people have been infected by this virus given that we’re taking the official numbers at face value and assuming they haven’t been underreported by any country. But even if we triple the official numbers, that’s still not a lot of people in the grand scheme of things.
No, I think if this was a bioweapon, the real goal was something else. To figure out what that something else is, let’s look at what the virus has succeeded in doing:
It has succeeded in spreading fear and disrupting the economy. If those outcomes were the actual goal of the coronavirus, then they didn’t even need an actual disease. They only needed a media fear campaign.
In fact, it seems that every year since Y2K there has been some media fear campaign over something or other:
And don’t forget Global Warming™, which has been an unrelenting fear campaign for the past 15 years.
Why would they want us to be afraid? A scared populace is a controlled populace. And it makes us more likely to give up our freedoms in exchange for perceived safety.
But there is one highly compelling reason that suggests the Coronavirus isn’t a bioweapon orchestrated by the elite, or the Pentagon going rogue, or what have you: it has exposed the structural deficiencies of the globalist world order. Open borders and free trade turn epidemics into global pandemics. Globalization means a virus in one country can spread to countless other countries and even bring down the whole global economy.
Pat Buchanan recently argued quite convincingly that the Coronavirus could end up delivering a knockout blow to the globalist ideology.
“In retrospect, was it wise to have relied on China to produce essential parts for the supply chains of goods vital to our national security? Does it appear wise to have moved the production of pharmaceuticals and lifesaving drugs for heart disease, strokes and diabetes to China? Does it appear wise to have allowed China to develop a virtual monopoly on rare earth minerals crucial to the development of weapons for our defense?
As for the “open borders” crowd, do Democrats still believe that breaking into our country should no longer be a crime, and immigrants arriving illegally should be given free health care, a proposition to which all the Democratic debaters raised their hands?
In this coronavirus pandemic, people now seem to be looking for authoritative leaders and nations seem to be looking out for their own peoples first. Would Merkel, today, invite a million Syrian refugees into Germany no matter the conditions under which they were living in Syria and Turkey?
Is not the case now conclusive that we made a historic mistake when we outsourced our economic independence to rely for vital necessities upon nations that have never had America’s best interests at heart?
Which rings truer today? We are all part of mankind, all citizens of the world. Or that it’s time to put America and Americans first!”
It’s probable that once the dust settles and this thing has run its course, the coronavirus will have done irrevocable damage to the credibility of the ruling globalist elite. Nationalist ideologies have already been growing in popularity since at least 2015, and the rapid global spread of this virus will only boost their appeal.
How many normal people have been red-pilled against globalism due to the coronavirus? More and more people are going to start rejecting open borders and free trade after seeing how a virus can spread around the world. The idea that China’s (or any other country) problems shouldn’t be our problems resonates with people on a very fundamental level.
Now, just because this virus destroys the credibility of the globalist elites does not mean it wasn’t orchestrated. It’s possible the military went rogue and did this on its own, believing it to be in its interests rather than those of the civilian elite.
Or maybe the globalist elite was on-board with the military’s plan and it was simply botched. Never discount the possibility that the elite can be incompetent sometimes. They may be powerful but they’re not all-powerful. They make mistakes sometimes. After all, they failed to foresee that 9-11 and their power grab after it (Patriot Act/mass surveillance, world policing, endless foreign wars, massive ramp-up in military spending, etc.) would backfire into a lot of the driving force behind the resurgence of nationalism and isolationism.
So what’s the verdict? I don’t know. I reflexively distrust the mainstream media/government narrative on just about everything, and the coronavirus is no different. But it’s tough to see how this benefits anyone. The economic impact in America (and everywhere else) is likely to be severe, and if anything, this only further damages the public’s faith in the ruling elite and its official ideology of liberal globalism.
But we haven’t yet seen the endgame. Maybe they’re planning on rolling out some sort of vaccine in the darkest hour that people will desperately accept. Or maybe they’ll use the virus to roll out sweeping policy changes regarding quarantines, lockdowns and other authoritarian measures, similar to the Patriot Act following 9-11.
It’s tough to say because we’re still in the middle of it. We’ll have to wait and see what changes the elite seeks to implement with the virus as justification.
“Trump voters motivated by racism may be violating the Constitution.”
It has finally happened. Let the record show that in the year 2020 A.D., the idea of making it illegal to vote for Donald Trump was first submitted for consideration in the “National Debate.”
“If the Trump era has taught us anything, it’s that large numbers of white people in the United States aremotivated at least in part byracism in the voting booth. Donald Trump ran an openly racist campaign for president, calling Mexicans rapists and criminals, regularly retweeting white supremacists and at least initially balking at repudiating former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Trump made it clear in his campaign that “Make America Great Again” meant that America was greater when white people’s power was more sweeping and more secure. White voters approved of that message by a whopping 58 percent to 37 percent.”
I still think it’s funny that above all else, the central piece of “evidence” of Trump’s racism trotted out by Establishment Propagandists and brainwashed normies alike (the latter being a product of the former) is that Trump called all Mexicans rapists and criminals. He supposedly said this way back in June 2015 when he officially announced his candidacy for President, and ever since that day, the “Trump called every single Mexican a rapist!!!” lie has been cited endlessly as all the proof one needs to say “TWUMP IS WACIST!” But it’s not true. Even the shills over at PolitiFact have rated this claim “False.”
But let’s continue with Berlatsky’s piece. We’ll overlook his false premise and entertain his claim that Twump is Wacist and therefore anyone that voted for him is Wacist:
“Somepoliticians deny the evidence, no doubt because they don’t want to alienate white voters, including prejudiced ones. Othercommentators try to parse whether Trump’s racism will be a winning strategy in 2020. Terry Smith, a visiting professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, offers a different response in his new book, “Whitelash: Unmasking White Grievance at the Ballot Box.” Rather than excuse racist voters or try to figure out how to live with their choices, he argues that racist voting is not just immoral, but illegal. The government, Smith says, has the ability, and the responsibility, to address it.”
Oh boy, there it is.
“This sounds radical.”
“But Smith argues that it’s in line with the Constitution and with years of court rulings. For example, Smith points out that racist appeals in union elections are illegal and that an election in which one side uses racist appeals can be invalidated by the National Labor Relations Board. Similarly, in the 2016 case Peña v. Rodriguez, the Supreme Court ruled that when a juror expresses overt bigotry, the jury’s verdict should be invalidated.”
Great. Two cases decided within the past 15 years are proof that The Founding Fathers would totally support making it illegal to vote for Trump. Yes, this scheme Big-Brained, Prudent and Totally Legitimate Interpretation of the Constitution certainly has deep historical roots and is not in any way a modern, Diversity Is Our Strength-driven perversion of both the law and the very idea of legal precedence. (In other words, a legal system based on “precedence” crumbles when it turns into one dishonest leftwing activist hack citing the ruling of another dishonest leftwing activist hack from a decade prior.)
“When voters go to the booth, they’re not expressing a mere personal preference,” Smith told me. According to Smith, voters who pull the levers to harm black people are violating the Constitution. If the Constitution means that overt racist appeals undermine the legality of union elections, it stands to reason that they undermine the legality of other elections, as well.”
Can I just say something real quickly before we get into this? Why are these Anti-Racism White Knights so monumentally narcissistic? They really believe white voters “pull the lever to harm black people,” and for no other reason. Listen you self-obsessed idiots: other people do not base their voting decisions on you.
Don’t these ethnonarcissists realize most voters don’t base their decisions on sticking it to some other group? Not everything is always about you and your imaginary oppression complex. Good Lord. Poor rural white voters in Kentucky have bigger things to worry about in their lives than “harming black people” by voting Republican.
Is it so completely unfathomable that someone would vote for a different party than you because they perceive it to be in their own self-interest, and not because they think it would “harm” you or some ethnic group you’re trying to white knight for? Get over yourselves, for Pete’s sake.
At the heart of all these racial grievances is an all-consuming narcissism, this belief that outside of your ethnic group, the country is filled with single-minded enemy drones that have devoted their entire lives to making you miserable. As if everyone else thinks about you just as much as you think about you–which is to say, always.
This may come as a shock but the vast majority of the country has better things to do than worry about oppressing you. You think we sit around all day scheming ways to make your life miserable? Honestly if that’s how you view the world you might be clinically insane. I’m not even kidding. There are lots of paranoiacs out there who imagine the whole world is a big conspiracy designed to Get Them; that massively powerful forces are working tirelessly around the clock to Get Them.
Most people vote based on what they perceive to be good for themselves first and their country second. That’s basically it. They don’t base it off of what might be bad for you. I’m sorry to inform the self-proclaimed “oppressed groups” but your perceived oppressors just don’t really care all that much about you one way or another. Very few people in this country have enough time and energy to hatch plans to oppress other people. They’re too worried about their own lives and problems. Hate to break it to you. They don’t think about you anywhere near as much as you think they think about you.
Oh, and normally when people try to presume others’ motives, they usually reveal more about themselves than the other person. For instance, assuming that white people go into the voting booth with the thought, “Which candidate will hurt (outgroup) more?” is probably an indicator that you go into the voting booth thinking that. It’s classic projection, and the left does it all the time. I say it a lot on this site but it’s worth repeating: whatever evil the left accuses us of, the left is invariably guilty of that very same evil. It’s like when that tennis announcer was fired by ESPN for saying Serena Williams used “guerrilla” tactics. He was merely describing the strategy she used in the match, but all the tolerant and progressive liberal execs at ESPN freaked out because as soon as they heard the word “guerilla” they immediately thought of black people. “You just compared a black woman to a gorilla you racist! Even though you didn’t even mean gorilla the animal and we were the ones that immediately thought “black people” upon hearing the word “guerilla”‘
Anyway, there you have it: the shoddy “legal foundation” for the mass disenfranchisement of white voters. Now, the Super Smart Liberals On TV and the Constitutional Scholars can claim this is a legitimate idea rather than a blatant power grab.
Every social or political movement begins as an idea, then it is written or spoken into existence, then it spreads, then it becomes reality.
No chance Noah Berlatsky is the first to have the idea that it should be illegal to vote for Trump, but as far as I know, he’s the first to transmute his ideas to text and have them published at a major Establishment Propaganda Outlet.
This is step two in turning this idea into reality.
By this point it’s undeniable: our enemies are power-mad tyrants who will let nothing stand in their way. They are full-blown totalitarians who will not hesitate for a second to destroy any person, group of people, or institution that stands in their way, including democracy itself. The second they conclude that they’ve lost control of the elections system and that allowing people to vote is a problem for them, they will begin publicly advocating for the end of elections. And they have. They are probably 5-10 years away at most from demanding gulags and straight-up mass killings.
These are the same people that accuse us of “vote suppression” for wanting mandatory Voter ID laws enacted nationwide.
How can it be that they hold these two seemingly contradictory ideas–namely, shrieking about us wanting to “suppress the vote” while actively campaigning to suppress the votes of those who don’t vote Democrat?
It’s only contradictory when you operate under the false premise that they are engaged in intellectual and political debate.
But it makes perfect sense when you recognize that their goal is to seize and hold power by just about any means necessary.
Would voter ID laws be bad for Democrats? Yes.
So they shriek that it’s “racist” to expect minorities to figure out how to obtain a valid, government-issued photo ID.
Do white voters hurt Democrats’ chances in elections? Yes.
So they shriek that white voters are motivated by “racism” (conveniently for them, a term they and only they get to define) and should therefore be banned from voting.
See? There’s no contradiction at all. If it helps Democrats seize and hold power, they are for it. Simple as that.
I first encountered the term “The War on the Private Mind” about five years ago in an article written at the once-proud National Review by the once-respectable Kevin D. Williamson. The idea is that the private mind is the final obstacle to the Liberal Globalists gaining absolute power. As soon as they successfully gag everyone in America through “political correctness,” speech codes and social pressures that make Anti-Racism the highest possible virtue, the final frontier is the very thoughts in your head.
They don’t just want to prohibit people from saying Racist Things, they want to prohibit people from thinking Racist Things.
But how do they know what unvocalized thoughts are in someone’s private mind? You can’t know for sure, can you? Well, it helps when you write the rules: they’ve decided that white people who don’t vote Democrat are racist by default. Of course, whites who vote Democrat are still always just one tiny slip-up away from being #Canceled, and they know it, but the general rule of thumb is that White People are born with inherent sin and rotten souls, so the only way they can atone for their innate evil is a lifetime of voting Democrat and hating themselves for being white.
White people who don’t play by those rules are automatically deemed Evil Bigoted Racists, even if nothing they’ve done or said in their lives proves the charge.
And now, the left is beginning to make the case that it should be flat-out illegal to vote for Donald Trump–and, of course, any future candidate they decide is Racist. Which is to say, every future Republican Presidential Candidate from now until either the end of days or this country descends into full-on civil war.
It’s not so much that they truly deign to know what Evil, Racist Thoughts you hold in your private mind. (Well, I’m sure there are a good many brainwashed fanatics on the left that uncynically believe white racism is the greatest threat to America and must be stamped out at all costs.)
Rather, it’s that purporting to know the (admittedly unvocalized but nevertheless extant) Racist Thoughts inside your head gives them an excuse to revoke your right to vote against them and clears the way for them to forever secure absolute power over you.
Last Thursday night, news broke that President Trump ordered a drone strike on an airport in Baghdad that killed a high-ranking Iranian Military official named Qasem Soleimani.
You have probably seen Soleimani’s picture once or twice in past news stories. He looks like a Bond villain, or a prototypical Hollywood Middle Eastern Bad Guy.
Soleimani is–was–the commander of the Quds Force, described on Wikipedia as “a unit in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) directed to carry out unconventional warfare and intelligence activities. Responsible for extraterritorial operations, the Quds Force supports non-state actors in many countries, including Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Yemeni Houthis, and Shia militias in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.”
Interestingly, “al-Quds” is the Arabic word for Jerusalem, so “Quds Force” actually means “Jerusalem Force,” as in dedicated to the liberation of Jerusalem. He was most certainly at or near the top of Israel’s enemies list.
Solemani was basically Iran’s equivalent of the Director of the CIA–establishing, funding, arming, supporting and even directing foreign paramilitary groups to advance Iran’s interests. So it’s a very big deal that we assassinated him. For those saying that this was somehow not an act of war, imagine if Iran assassinated our CIA Director. Would that be an act of war? Of course it would be. But more on this in a bit.
Soleimani, while accurately described as an enemy of the United States, is different from Bin Laden and Al Baghdadi in that he was an actual government official, and not the leader of a rouge terror group or “non-state group.” That’s what makes this different from the others.
That said, just because he was a legitimate state official does not mean he shouldn’t be categorized as a “terrorist,” or at the very least a terror orchestrator. What do you think “unconventional warfare” means?
Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of many of Americans in Iraq, at least according to former US General Stanley McChrystal, via a New Yorker piece from 2013:
“Suleimani took command of the Quds Force fifteen years ago, and in that time he has sought to reshape the Middle East in Iran’s favor, working as a power broker and as a military force: assassinating rivals, arming allies, and, for most of a decade, directing a network of militant groups that killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq. . .
In 2004, the Quds Force began flooding Iraq with lethal roadside bombs that the Americans referred to as E.F.P.s, for “explosively formed projectiles.” The E.F.P.s, which fire a molten copper slug able to penetrate armor, began to wreak havoc on American troops, accounting for nearly twenty per cent of combat deaths. E.F.P.s could be made only by skilled technicians, and they were often triggered by sophisticated motion sensors. “There was zero question where they were coming from,” General Stanley McChrystal, who at the time was the head of the Joint Special Operations Command, told me. “We knew where all the factories were in Iran. The E.F.P.s killed hundreds of Americans.”
However, others claim Soleimani was the man behind the eradication of ISIS, and that we just killed a guy who had actually done a lot of our dirty work for us–even though our invasion of Iraq is what led to the creation of ISIS in the first place.
And that last part–American involvement in the Middle East being the root of all this–is the rub, isn’t it? After all, had we never invaded Iraq under false pretenses, “hundreds of Americans” wouldn’t have been killed by Iranian-made explosives in the first place.
It is not as if Soleimani sought out a fight with America. He hasn’t killed Americans on American soil. He became our enemy because we were meddling in his backyard.
My best guess as to Trump’s motives here is that it was a combination of pressure from his Beltway Neocon advisers and his own desire to project American strength. We’ll focus more on that latter part first.
Trump has a long and documented history–as a public figure, as a Presidential candidate, and as President–of opposing the Endless, Pointless Wars In the Middle East Beltway Foreign Policy Consensus. But he also wants to make it clear that nobody fucks with the United States and gets away with it.
For years Trump has been saying nobody respects the United States anymore and that Obama was a weak president. It’s no secret that Trump has made it a point to reassert American strength globally and remind everyone that the USA is the alpha nation. Snuffing out a major player like Soleimani is a highly audacious move by Trump that sends a message not just to Iran but to other nations in the world with designs on supplanting America as the top dog–China, Russia–as well as nations that give us a hard time–North Korea, Iran itself.
It’s a very clear statement: this is what happens when you fuck with America, so do not fuck with us.
At first I figured the Soleimani hit was an effort to promote the “Madman Perception,” as taken from the “Madman Theory” adopted by the US during the Nixon administration:
“The madman theory is a political theory commonly associated with U.S. President Richard Nixon’s foreign policy. He and his administration tried to make the leaders of hostile Communist Bloc nations think Nixon was irrational and volatile. According to the theory, those leaders would then avoid provoking the United States, fearing an unpredictable American response.”
But this goes well beyond that. The Madman Theory cultivated the perception that Nixon was a loose cannon that might decide to do something drastic if pushed. In other words, “Don’t even try.” It was about deterrence–a bluff, really.
Nixon merely promoted the belief that he might do something audacious and shocking, Trump, however, actually did something audacious and shocking. No bluff.
In Nixon’s days, the US could bluff because the US was still universally feared and respected. But some 50 years hence, we cannot bluff so easily. America’s words alone could not strike fear into the hearts of our enemies around the world.
So Trump let his actions speak for him, and for America. He went and did it.
I am opposed to the idea of the Forever War. I think we should get out of the Middle East and never return. Let them sort out their own affairs and hopefully, one day, we can just leave each other alone for good.
I certainly do not want war with Iran, or any other country for that matter. In my view the true enemy of all that is good and pure is here at home, for instance:
Uniparty Globalists have done far more direct harm to America than the Iranians could ever dream of. But this is a whole ‘nother can of worms to get into, and I’d prefer to stay on topic here.
So while I’m obviously strongly opposed to yet another pointless war in the Middle East in which young American men will be sent do die on sand dunes in a country that poses no direct threat to our safety, I also realize Great Power Politics is messy business.
When you are the Apex State like the U.S., you have to keep your enemies in check. You have to periodically remind them what happens when they step out of line. From time to time, you have to show them Who’s The Boss, just in case they forget.
There’s a scene in the Sopranos Season 6A (second-to-last season) where Tony, the boss of the family, has recently recovered from surgery and awoken from a long coma in which he was very near death. He begins to worry that perhaps his guys don’t fear him anymore, and that they view him as vulnerable. So one day, while all the guys are together shooting the shit, and seemingly for no reason at all, Tony picks a fight with his new bodyguard Perry Annunziata, a younger bodybuilder-type who is clearly the toughest-looking guy in the room. It takes a lot out of him, but Tony wins, and all the guys look on in a sort of bewildered unease. The message was clear: Tony Soprano is still the boss. Don’t any of youse get any fucking ideas. Capish?
You have to reestablish dominance every so often. When the crown starts to slip, you have to remind everyone who is in charge, or else you won’t have the crown for long.
Most people don’t have the stomach for this type of thing. Most of us are not prepared to kill to assert dominance, and that’s a good thing, because otherwise this world would be a much more violent place than it is already.
This is not unique to America. Every great power in history has had to do things like this. Running an empire is unavoidably a violent and messy business, and it takes rough men who are willing and able to carry out acts of violence, when it is necessary, to effectively maintain the status of great power nations.
No matter how much they try to pretend otherwise, with their tailored suits and speeches filled diplomatic jargon, and their “international forums” and “summits,” all great leaders of nations since the dawn of human civilization have been killers.
I say all this because I want to make it clear that while acts of violence like this may not seem acceptable to us civilians, we must understand that there are instances where violence is necessary. If you don’t believe this, then never watch a movie again, because most movies end with the bad guy getting killed by the good guy.
This is why most people cannot lead nations. Most people–thankfully–are not killers. But never forget: we only enjoy lives of luxury and peace because the men in charge of our country are killers who are feared by those who wish us harm.
Against Trump’s Soleimani hit because you personally don’t have the stomach for violence and killing? That’s good. You’re entitled to your opinion. And you’re right: in an ideal world there would be no violence or killing at all.
But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in the real world where sometimes, men who are tougher than you and I have to commit acts of violence and kill in order to maintain our way of life. If the only reason you oppose this violence done on our behalf is because you personally don’t have the stomach to do such a thing, then you are not helping us at all. Just because you personally couldn’t do such a thing doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
If the only reason you oppose it is because you believe Violence Is Bad, then please shut the fuck up before your weakness gets us all killed.
Weakness and passivity lead to war just as often as belligerence and aggression do. In fact those polar opposites are often the main ingredients in war, as perceived relative weakness in one nation will naturally invite bellicosity and aggression by others.
Bullies prey on the weak. Only strong good guys can stop strong bad guys.
Whether the assassination of Soleimani was one of those instances of necessary violence is of course up for debate. But sometimes, in the the Great Game of foreign policy, you have to kill your enemies. There’s no way around it. This is why the unbending pacifists are almost equally as dangerous to American national security as the bloodthirsty neocons.
Still, the idea of assassinating a foreign power’s high-ranking military official just does not sit well with me. That was my initial gut reaction to hearing this news. For some the first thought that crossed their heads may have been “Hell yeah! We got him!” I did not react that way, personally.
It’s no secret that he Beltway Neocons have been agitating for war with Iran for some time now. Isn’t it curious that somehow, anytime Trump gets us closer to pulling out of the Middle East, something happens to pull us back in? The recent (and likely CIA-orchestrated) US Embassy riot in Baghdad was said to be the work of Iran, specifically Soleimani’s Quds Force operatives.
Attacking Iran like this plays into the Neocons’ hands. They’ve been itching to go to war with Iran for 20 years now. George W. Bush included Iran in his infamous “Axis of Evil” speech. A sizable contingent of the Permanent National Security Apparatus has wanted to take down Iran for two-decades plus now. All the other names on their Regime Change Wish List have basically already been checked off by now (other than North Korea): Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria.
I trust Trump’s judgement. I do not trust the hardcore Neocons who have infiltrated his White House and administration. I do not trust the Pentagon. I would not for a second put past them the idea of feeding the President false or misleading intel in order to guide him toward the neocons’ preferred goals. It is heartening to hear of the many times in the past when Trump has overruled his warmongering advisers–especially that bit about how he wanted to hear from the soldiers themselves about how the war in Afghanistan was going themselves rather than the generals–so he does deserve some leeway here. We should give him credit especially for when he resisted the calls for full-blown war in Syria over a supposed Assad chemical weapons massacre that we now know was totally fabricated for the express purpose of ensnaring America in another war.
But still: if we end up going to war with Iran, it will not only be a devastating and costly slog that will likely last over a decade (if our previous Middle Eastern wars are any indication), but it will be one of the final nails in the coffin of American democracy.
Trump going to war with Iran would prove it beyond a reasonable doubt: the American people have no say in foreign policy. Both parties will deliver Forever War whether you like it or not. If even the great populist outsider Trump can succumb to the will of the Neocon Foreign Policy Establishment, then who can actually overcome them?
At the end of the day, I seriously doubt this Soleimani assassination will lead to a war between the US and Iran, primarily because Iran does not want a war with America. Plus, Trump knows he will lose in 2020 if he starts a war–which the American public has zero appetite for–with yet another country that does not pose a direct threat to our safety.
Normie Social Media is abuzz over the prospect of “World War III,” but this, to me, is a ridiculous notion–not because I doubt Iran would be able to muster a network of allies anywhere close to the one that would confront them in such a conflict, but because Iran would be foolish to even retaliate against us. Iran’s government would be decimated in short order, and the Iranian government is fully aware of this fact.
In other words, no shit this was an act of war. We brazenly murdered one of Iran’s most important military leaders.
But what can Iran actually do about it? I’d argue that an “act of war” is not the same thing as starting a war. Because if the other side has neither the ability nor the will to engage in a war with you, your “acts of war” will not lead to war.
But we can’t keep doing this. Eventually a cornered animal will attack you, whether it has any shot of winning or not.
And even if, as I expect, nothing comes of this, and it does not lead to war with Iran, was this really necessary? Did Soleimani genuinely pose a threat to American lives here? Does this make Americans safer? I really don’t buy it. In my view, all it does is further alienate us from Iran, one of the most powerful countries in the Middle East. It only gives them further reason to hate us.
I simply don’t buy the narrative that everyday Iranians are actually happy we killed Soleimani and that most Iranians hate the ruling regime in their country. Neocons can cherry-pick jubilant testimonials from Iranians as supposed proof that what we did to Soleimani has actually gone over well with the Iranian masses, but I don’t believe it. America was already unpopular in Iran before the Soleimani strike. Now we’re even less popular in Iran. It’s not just the Iranian regime that despises America; I’m willing to bet a sizable majority of Iranian people do, too. And it’s mostly our fault.
It’s obviously bad and unacceptable that Soleimani was said to be responsible for the deaths of many Americans, but those Americans should never have been in the Middle East in the first place. We need to pull out of there for good.
The longer we stay over there, the more enemies we make, the more we will find ourselves in situations like this: going after some Middle Eastern “terror leader” for the crime of killing Americans who should never have been over there in the first place.
She’s shaking with rage. She can barely contain herself. This pampered, rich, elitist Washingtonian is irate at the prospect of American soldiers no longer having to fight and die in Syria. And you’re a “feckless coward” if you disagree with her.
Got that? She’s the brave one–sitting there in a television studio shaking her fist with rage demanding a neverending war in Syria which she personally will never be negatively affected by in any way–and you’re the feckless coward for questioning her.
Lindsey Graham, who never saw a conflict he didn’t want America to get involved in, calls this “a disaster in the making”:
You can tell where Ben Shapiro got his marching orders from, because he said basically the exact same thing:
You know Mitt had to chime in as well:
The Kurds, the Kurds, the Kurds.
We need to remain in Syria to ensure that our allies, the Kurds, aren’t attacked by Turkey–which is a NATO member country, meaning ostensibly our ally.
But wait. Why would our allies want to bomb our other allies?
If Turkey truly is our ally, then why wouldn’t we support its crusade against the Kurds? Or perhaps the Turks are not really our allies, yet nevertheless they’re in NATO?
Do these war shills truly grasp that in expressing concern about the Turks massacring the Kurds, they expose the rotten truth about our whole complex web of “allies,” which is that many of our ostensible allies–countries that we send billions of dollars in aid money to each year, and have pledged to go to war to support–are not actually our allies at all?
And if the Neocons are truly as concerned about the safety of the Kurds as they say they are, then why aren’t they itching to go to war with Turkey? The Neocons are real tough when it comes for agitating for easily-winnable wars, but when it comes to a formidable country like Turkey, where is all that bravado then?
If you don’t actually want to go to war with Turkey to save the Kurds, then I’m going to assume all your Concerned Rhetoric regarding the Kurds is B.S. Because the logical conclusion to all this talk about “saving the Kurds” is that we should go to war with Turkey because Turkey wants to kill the Kurds.
But I don’t hear anyone demanding we go to war with Turkey. Guess they don’t really care about the Kurds that much, huh?
It’s almost as if “MUH THE KURDS!!!!” is a flimsy excuse to justify a neverending military presence in Syria, one which benefits virtually no Americans outside of card-carrying members of the Military Industrial Complex and the Deep State.
Trevor Noah, a guy who claims to be Just A Comedian, took time to lecture his viewers on just how vitally important it is that we not abandon the Kurds, who were so incredibly crucial to our efforts to stamp out ISIS:
And CNN had corrupt former intelligence community boss James Clapper on to explain why Orange Man Bad and Forever War Good:
With cratering viewership and zero traces of credibility remaining, the sole reason now for CNN’s continued existence is to serve as a platform for ex-intelligence community operatives and officials to advance the Deep State’s agenda. CNN is the official home of the Deep State Coup (est. 2016).
Actually, scratch that: basically all of cable news is now a platform to allow the Deep State to continue its efforts to undo the result of the 2016 election:
Tune in to CNN to hear from former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper! Flip over to ABC to hear from former National Security Adviser Susan Rice. Virtually all of cable news is now Deep State propaganda. What an era we’re living in.
There was plenty more neoconnery, but by now I’m sure you get the idea: despite seemingly differing party affiliations, they all seem to be on the same side here. The Uniparty is real:
The Permanent Warfare Shills never actually get around to telling us just how long we should be staying to ensure all of our hard work doesn’t go to waste.
For example, if Trump says, “We should get out of Syria right now,” an honest opponent who actually has a legitimate counter-proposal would say, “No, we need to be there for another year or two, and then it will be OK to leave.”
But they don’t say that. They don’t have legitimate counter-proposals. They don’t have a proposed alternative withdrawal date. They’re not honest.
Instead, their response to Trump is, “NO! We can’t leave!”
So the choice is between leaving now and staying indefinitely, with no timetable or clearly defined (and realistically achievable) objectives.
They never get around to telling us what, exactly, it will take to make it “safe” for us to leave a given country that we’ve occupied. Kurt Schilchter explained it well:
In reality, our Sisyphean attempts to fix the Middle East will never, ever succeed. We’re over there trying to snuff out terrorist insurgencies which we probably funded at some point way back when. Why did we fund them way back when? Because at the time they were portrayed as “moderates” who could help us defeat some other terrorist insurgency–one which we probably funded even longer ago under the rationale that they, too, were “moderate rebels” who could help us take out some other dangerous group (that we probably at one point in time also funded.)
See the neverending futility of it all?
The only way to break the cycle is to pull out forever.
But we can’t do that! Because that would endanger our latest pet jihadis-in-training, who are suddenly the most important group of people on the planet the moment the subject of withdrawing from the Middle East comes up.
All of the sudden, the Washington elite set erupts in rage about the danger our withdrawal will put the Kurds in, so vitally important are the Kurds.
It’s funny: today they’re all shrieking about how much they love the Kurds, but I don’t recall any of them ever mentioning the importance of the Kurds prior to today.
If they cared about the Kurds as much as they’re now claiming they do, then why are they only now mentioning them?
“The only point that everyone here can agree on is that the interests of foreigners are way more important than our own interests. “It is immoral,” they are telling us, “to look out for own people. But it is virtuous to suffer for others–particularly for those who hate us.”
Hundreds of thousands of Americans die from drugs manufactured from our enemies abroad, Mexico and China. How do our leaders respond? They shrug. They couldn’t care less. They do nothing.
But then Turkey threatens to invade northern Syria–a place not one in a thousand Americans could find on a map–and guess what that is? It’s a historic crisis, and Lindsey Graham won’t stand for it!
What you’re looking at is a set of priorities so mindless, and so perverse, there is in fact no fixing them. In the end, the only solution may be the obvious one: relocate the Kurds to Youngstown, Ohio. Only then will Washington finally care.”
Immaculate. This guy is a national hero.
But he won’t get any credit for it because he’s going against the Establishment Current.
That’s how this whole thing works:
It’s noteworthy that Republican politicians are only considered “brave” and “courageous” when they agree with the media. Wow, how commendable it is to agree with the media, Hollywood, academia, Fortune 500, the Military Industrial Complex, and the intelligence community! So much at risk, so brave!
And then, of course, Republicans are called “cowards” who “won’t stand up to Trump” when they do something that is unanimiously condemned by the corporate media, the intelligence community, big business, Hollywood, the Military Industrial Complex and academia. Disagree with the media and they’ll slander your name with negative and outright dishonest coverage. They’ll even try to destroy your career and livelihood. And for the unluckiest of the bunch, the media will work with Congressional Democrats to attempt to frame you for sexual assault if you get on their bad side.
But sure: it’s the people who agree with the media who are the brave ones.
Do leftists realize there is literally nothing brave at all about being a leftist? You cannot possibly be taking a bold, brave stance when the entire Western power Establishment agrees with you.
Taking a courageous stance means–and stay with me here–actually going against the crowd. It means being in the minority. It could even mean losing friends, or even your job.
Don’t like it? Nobody said it was gonna be easy.
You can fit in and be on the same side as the Celebrities and Cable News Media, or you can speak the truth.
But not both.
At some point in the future, there will for every last one of us come a time for choosing: stand for what’s right, or fit in with the cool crowd. It sounds like a corny Dad Lecture from an 80s family sitcom, but it’s the truth.
I hope that readers of this site (and myself!) will ponder the matter and truly understand what all this entails. You will be hated, mocked, scorned and abandoned by fake friends for speaking the truth and standing for what’s right.
It’s not the easy path in life. In fact, your life and career path would be a lot easier if you simply decided it wasn’t worth it to stand up to the warmongers, the abortionists, the secularists, the multinational corporations, your radical college professors, the government bureaucrats, the social justice warriors, the globalists.
But it’s worth it. If this country is ever going to turn around and return to its former glory, it will be due to regular people like you and I making the conscious decision to stand for what’s right and speak the truth rather than fitting in.
It requires an acceptance of the hard truth that you will be forever at odds with–and hated by–Hollywood Celebrities, Blue Checks, People On TV, and in all likelihood some of your friends. People will talk shit about you behind your back and even outright refuse to associate with you, but just know that it’s not because you’re wrong–it’s because they’re wrong. Either they have chosen the cowardly path and prioritized fitting in with the crowd, or their heads have been filled with lies. It’s probably a bit of both.
But never lose heart. Even when it seems like you’re surrounded by brainwashed NPCs and the fight is futile, know that there are plenty of us out there on the right side. The Silent Majority–or, more accurately, the Silenced Majority–remains just that: the majority. Speak up and you’ll be surprised at how many people you know actually agree with you, but are too afraid to let it be known outside of the privacy of the voting booth.
We’re trying to retake a country that has been stolen from us by terrible people. We’re fighting for our posterity, so that they won’t have to live under the rule of these devious occupiers and usurpers.
The odds seem stacked against us, but we have the truth on our side, which means all the lies, propaganda, coercion and dirty tricks don’t stand a chance. All we need is the courage to tell the truth.