Four views of America (Left & Right) showing that we’re ripe for realignment

Summary: Understanding our time requires information, which the info superhighway delivers in excess, but also the much rarer perspective. Here are excerpts from four essays by keen observers that reveal much about today’s America. One from the Right, one from the Left, a Liberal, and a Conservative. Each tells us something. Perhaps most important, that Liberals and Conservatives have grown tired and stagnant. So new ideas and leaders Left and Right have begun to emerge, a familiar pattern in US history.

Singularity Eye

 

Contents

  1. Matt Taibbi sees the humor in the far-Right’s rebels.
  2. Mark Steyn sees Trump as a strange song in our farcical elections.
  3. Heather Patton sneers. She doesn’t look, let alone see.
  4. Another observer well-worth reading: P.J. O’Rourke.
  5. For More Information.

These deserve to be read in full.

(1) Matt Taibbi sees the humor in the far-Right’s rebels

Griftopia
Available at Amazon.

The Dumb and the Restless” by Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone, 7 January 2016 — “Ammon Bundy and his band of weeping, self-pitying, gun-toting, wannabe-terrorist metrosexuals are America’s most ridiculous people.”

The opening is fantastic (no spoilers, read the essay). He follows this with some powerful insights.

First of all, when did it become OK for cowboys to cry in public? The coolest thing about the Gary Cooper-Clint Eastwood-James Coburn-Yul Brynner-style cowboys is that they never said a damned thing. They walked slow, asses sore from all that riding, and kept things to a syllable or two if they could manage it: “Whiskey.” “Bath.” “Draw.”

… Every time these people open their mouths, it’s comedy. Earlier this week Bundy gave an interview to CNN in which he tried to play up the “We come in peace” meme they’ve been pushing from the start. Like the “nobody’s wearing camo except the camo I’m wearing” line, “It’s a peaceful protest, except for the rifles which we won’t use unless we have to” is also high comedy, although not a single person in the group seems to realize it.

Bundy seems not to get this, however. He’s convinced that this will all get worked out, as soon as the federal government releases the Hammonds from prison (what is this, a list of demands from Hezbollah?) and hands over a healthy swath of federal land to private ranchers.

… these people are dangerous, but their ridiculousness is a huge part of who they are. … their boundless self-pity, their outrageous sense of entitlement and their slapstick incompetence as rebels and terrorists are absolutely ridiculous. Sure, it may not help, but how can we not laugh?

(2) Mark Steyn sees Trump as a strange song in our farcical elections

After America: Get Ready for Armageddon
Available at Amazon.

Notes on a Phenomenon” by Mark Steyn, 9 January 2016. It has many interesting observations. Here are a few that I found of interest.

On Tuesday night, my daughter and her friends went down to Claremont, New Hampshire to see Donald Trump in action. … The reserved seating at the front of these events is usually held for the big donors. Trump has no donors, so there are no money guys who’ve paid for access hogging the best seats. Instead, they were taken by folks who’d been backing him the longest.

… He’s very good at this. … {It was} hilarious. … He has a natural comic timing. … I was listening to Obama’s gun-control photo-op at the White House … when he wants to get laughs, he knows how to do it. Trump’s is … looser and more freewheeling. … he doesn’t need writers, and scripted lines; he has a natural instinct for where the comedy lies. … some of the gags can be a little … mean-spirited.

… I think it would help if every member of the pundit class had to attend a Trump rally before cranking out the usual shtick about how he’s tapping into what Jeb called “angst and anger”. Yes, Trump supporters are indignant (and right to be) about the bipartisan cartel’s erasure of the southern border and their preference for unskilled Third World labor over their own citizenry, but “anger” is not the defining quality of a Trump night out. The candidate is clearly having the time of his life, and that’s infectious, which is why his supporters are having a good time, too. Had Mitt campaigned like this, he’d be president. But he had no ability to connect with voters.

… Karl Rove says that campaigning is all about the efficient use of the dwindling amount of time you have … But as a practical matter it’s led to the stilted robotic artificiality of the eternally on-message candidate – which is one of the things that normal people hate about politics. And Trump’s messages are so clear that he doesn’t have to “stay on” them. People get them instantly …

So much presidential politicking is now complete bollocks, as rote and meaningless as English panto or Chinese opera conventions. Trump doesn’t bother with any of that.

… It’s assumed by the GOP establishment that once the field narrows Trump will bump up against his natural ceiling. I think the opposite is true. …

Silly photoshop of Trump as a bird
From the Daily Kos, 8 Dec 2015.

(3) Heather Patton sneers. She doesn’t look, let alone see

A right winger wraps his mind around Trump” by Heather Patton’s (“Digby”) at her website Hullabloo. Glenn Greenwald called her one of the “leading and most admired commentators” of the “Progressive blogosphere”. She has the full monty of Leftist delusions, that they’re opinion-makers for America. She posts a silly picture of Trump (above), as if these change any minds. She mocks, without even the pretense of understanding the sources of his popularity or why he’s bad (“fascist!”). She prints the full column, ignoring this at its end: “© 2016 Mark Steyn Enterprises (US) Inc. All rights reserved“.

Here is her analysis. She has managed to miss everything that Steyn said. If this is a “leading and admired” standard of vision on the Left, that explains America’s drift to the Right (e.g., clearer vision and thinking in service of their values).

I’ve replicated the whole thing here because you really need to read it. It fully shows the extent to which the right will go to rationalize their attraction to this no-fascist jerk. I give you Mark Steyn:  …

I like how he says “his fans” as if he isn’t so far in the tank he’s grown gills by the end of that endless paean to an undisciplined, shallow, nasty piece of work who is tapping into America’s dark id.  It’s all in good fun folks.  It’s just entertainment. Like Rush and Coulter. Except it’s not.

Essentially he’s saying that everyone’s so screwed now that they no longer even care about democracy, politics or government. Indeed, they don’t even care about themselves or their families. They’re just looking for a good laugh. Nihilism on acid. And if that’s the case, I guess Trump’s their man.

Why am I not laughing?

(4)  Another observer well-worth reading: P.J. O’Rourke

Parliament of Whores
Available at Amazon.

P. J. O’Rourke is the Right’s version of Will Rogers (although not in the same league). I found many of his books insightful and entertaining (the last I read was Parliament of Whores in 1991), humor mixed with trenchant observations. His does not hide his political beliefs, but does not hit the reader with them either.

I recommend reading Parliament. He gives considerable evidence, drawing a conclusion with which I agree. It probably is not what you will expect, but what America needs to hear.

As for his current views, his interview with CNN shows that he represents the out-of-touch old-white-guy GOP. He knows it, too. It’s as if he was auditioning for a part as supporting evidence in Parliament of Whores.

I was born and bred a republican. … I really do hate it with this immigration stuff. … I mean, everybody’s got to support me, soon.”

See some of his old-guy rants at the Daily Beast. Many of his comments are cogent, but they are divorced from the political concerns and passions of today, and lack a framework that applies to our current challenges. He shows why new ideas and new leaders have emerged from the far right, as they have so many times before.

(5) For More Information

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about this election, which might mark the start of a new era in America (for good or ill).

  1. From August: The Donald Trump revolution, dismissed as all revolts are in the beginning.
  2. Background: Scary lessons for America from pre-revolutionary France.
  3. Donald Trump leads us back to the future, to the dark days of US history.
  4. Two scary graphs about the rise of Donald. Fear fascism. Act now.
  5. Look to the Left to see the force powering Trump and Carson.
  6. The numbers about immigration that fuel Trump’s campaign.
  7. New York shows how Democrat-run cities & states contribute to the rise of Trump.
  8. Good news: we begin to see that we are sliding towards fascism.
  9. Next phase of the Trump revolution: rise of the new populism.
  10. Important: Trump’s hope: a recession might put him in the White House.
  11. The four keys to a possible Trump victory.
  12. New survey shows Trump’s support among Democrats.
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3 thoughts on “Four views of America (Left & Right) showing that we’re ripe for realignment

  • Beginning in 1968, we had a third party every twelve years, right through 1992. We skipped our cycle in 2004, but only because Nader ruined it for third parties in 2000 — every elections since then has been a “base turnout” election… now the base has had it because they’re not angry at other side, but at their elected… And here we are twelve years later….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jordan.

      Great point about third parties! But usually they are just Left or Right extremes breaking from their coalition. While that can tip the election to the other side, there is small liklihood of either Left or Right gaining majority support.

      A realignment election re-shuffles the deck, forming new teams. This can take place within the two-party system (McKinnley-Bryan) or break it (antebellum America and the Republicans). Do you believe either is likely today?

      Like

    • I think that the same cycle is common in many country. here in Italy, 1992 Berlusconi win general election for the first time with a populist campaign against traditional left and right coalitions. We miss the 2001 becouse Berlusconi immediatly before general election buy the third party, Lega Nord, that ask secession of nothern regions (and was at that time first party in 3 on 5). in 2013 “5 star” a populist formation, with a program very close (80% of contact point) with Mussolini 1919 program, no media coverage, only old time street speech+personal blog, became first party and fail to win, for 1 milion vote on more than 30 milion, only becouse they have no minor party with im (the electoral sistem of 2013, declared unconstitutional three month after election, give a huge premium on seats to coalitions), with a campaign…well to give a clear idea of what Grillo (5 star leader) say… same time ago i keep a translation of two Hitler long speech for 1933 campaign. post on facebook and asking to say who is: all (well only 53 reply :)) say Grillo.

      so my points 1) a third party don’t need organisation or money or program 2) they need luck corruption or other scandals immediately before election involving both right and left AND recession, close to the twelve years cycle 3) identify two enemy: the traditionals right and left party AND another depending of local situation: in 1992 Berlusconi keep “red danger”, in 2001 Lega Nord keep all italian that live south of po river, in 2013 Grillo keep “casta” (all people that have political or economic power in the country) 4) a natural or professional actors as leader 5) luck again: left and right that understimating the trouble conduct a traditional left and right campaign 6) i think that both Sanders and Trump have made a clear mistake starting not as third party

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