Tag Archives: public opinion poll

Immigration: a cause of Brexit, denied by the Left

Summary: The EU’s own polls show that immigration is the top concern of its people. Unless they change course, Britain might be just the fist to leave. Also, after declaring its supporters to be racists, now some on the Left adopt the Brexit vote as an expression of their views and policies. They ignore the paramount role of massive immigration. Their blindness to this is logical, since it is one of their top priorities — and deeply unpopular with the public. Here is some evidence about its role in Brexit, data you will probably not see elsewhere.

One sign of the changing political dynamics in the West is the number of issues which have supporters and opponents on both Left and Right. America’s foreign wars are one example; Brexit is another. The Right more easily claims Brexit as their own, having long-held suspicions of the EU.

The Left also does so, but requires more contortions. Before the vote they described Brexit supporters as racists. But everybody loves a winner, and now some on the Left claim it as their own — for two reasons. First, as a rebellion against the establishment (although co-rulers of Europe, they effortlessly don the robes of outcasts). Second, they attribute Brexit to stress from rising inequality and dislike of the 1%. A good example of this is Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept in “Brexit Is Only the Latest Proof of the Insularity and Failure of Western Establishment Institutions”. I am a fan, but he imposes his values and concerns onto those of the British “leave” voters, without much evidence.

Another example is “Inequality not personalities drove Britain to Brexit” by Matthew Goodwin (prof politics at U of Kent) at Politico — “Angst, alienation and resentment fueled the vote to leave the EU.” At least he mentions immigration, but only mixed in with traditional leftist causes.

These stories do not well match the facts. Most importantly, they ignore the large role of immigration. Greenwald never mentions it. This blindness is understandable. Support for mass immigration is a defining characteristic of the Left today. Greenwald cannot fairly speak of it, so he closes his eyes and pretends the issue doesn’t exist.

Politico gives a more detailed and well-supported analysis: “The behind-the-scenes story of a failed campaign to keep Britain in the European Union”. Note the large role of immigration. For more evidence of this see “Why Immigration Pushed Britons to Brexit” by Reihan Salam at Slate.

For stronger evidence about the key role of immigration in Brexit — and why other nations might follow the UK’s example — see the most recent of the EU’s extensive public opinion surveys: the Autumn 2015 report of the Standard Eurobarometer conducted during 7 – 17 November 2015 in the 28 Member States of the EU. The results tell us much, for this was a significant period for Europe.

“The refugee crisis entered a new phase in summer 2015, when more than 100,000 people a month entered Europe by sea in August, September and October. This means that almost 900,000 refugees and migrants entered the EU by sea in 2015, compared with 216,054 in 2014. During his State of the Union Address on 9 September 20155, Jean-Claude Juncker emphasised the crucial importance of this issue for the EU: “The first priority today is and must be addressing the refugee crisis”. …On 13 November, Paris suffered the most deadly terrorist attacks in France since the Second World War, in which 130 people were killed. Islamic State claimed responsibility.”

The poll clearly shows that people in the EU are very concerned about immigration, and becoming more so: “Immigration is now the main concern at national level…”.

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On the day after Memorial Day celebrate Plutocracy Now!

Summary: The enemies of America’s democracy have stepped into the light. Yesterday we remembered the sacrifice of those who fell defending America. Today let’s see how we betray them through our apathy and disinterest in working the political machinery of the Republic, putting it at risk. Here are harsh facts essential for us to see. Our complacency is their advantage.

"Plutocracy" bumper sticker

Powerful elements of society seek power just as water runs downhill. They find courtiers who devise justifications for their patron’s rule. It’s a fact of history, although the nature of power changes over time — by ancestry, religious office, ownership of land or animals, or by money.

America’s plutocrats have regained the supremacy they held during the Gilded Age, before the reforms of the progressive age and New Deal. Now they lay the foundation to gain even more power. One node of the plutocrat’s power is Silicon Valley, where the 1%’s dreams of power flower undisturbed — as described in this detailed and frightening essay by Corey Pein in the Baffler: “Mouthbreathing Machiavellis Dream of a Silicon Reich“. He examines the roots of Silicon Valley’s magnates’ belief in their unique fitness to rule America.

“It is clear that {Peter} Thiel sees corporations as the governments of the future and capitalists such as himself as the kings, and it is also clear that this is a shockingly common view in Thiel’s cohort.”

For more about the “Dark Enlightenment” see the articles by Curtis Yarvin (writing as Mencius Moldbug) and Nick Land — collected at this website. As successful reactionary movements so, it has gained allies from conservatives. Such as Andrew Sullivan, providing a philosophical gloss to the 1%’s lust for power: “Democracies end when they are too democraticin New York magazine — “And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny.”

“It seems shocking to argue that we need elites in this democratic age — especially with vast inequalities of wealth and elite failures all around us. But we need them precisely to protect this precious democracy from its own destabilizing excesses.”

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A new survey shows Trump’s support among Democrats

Summary: A new report by Mercury Analytics explores a new dimension of Trump’s strength, which continues to defy the experts — his appeal to Democrats. Trump has tapped the suppressed force of American populism, which crosses the lines of our low-legitimacy political parties. It’s too late for complacency; he is only 4 steps from winning. It is not too late for action.

Cartoon by Brian Duffy: "Populist", Jan 2014

It is far too early to say for certain, but 2016 might become a realignment election (like 1860 and 1932). More likely it might begin a slower realignment process. The two major examples are 1892-1896 (business interests bought the GOP, crushing populism) and 1964-1968 (the New Deal ends when the GOP abandoned its heritage to welcome southern whites angry at Blacks gaining full civil rights).

Now Trump has accidentally tapped the long-suppressed power of American populism by advocating restrictions on immigration (as the foreign-born population reaches the proportions that sparked the restrictive legislation of 1882-1924). It’s a geyser of enthusiasm that so far has overcome Trump’s large negatives as a candidate (e.g., no governing experience and erratic personality) and the united opposition of the major institutions and both parties — defying the predictions of almost everybody (those who read my August post were not surprised).

One feature of populism seldom mentioned is its bipartisan appeal, rare in this politically polarized era. The Democratic Party owned populism after McKinley crushed William Jennings Bryan in 1892, and then lost that lock after Johnson pushed through the great 1964-68 civil rights bills (populism has a racist component).

Now populism has emerged, and its ability to reach across party lines opens the possibility for the long-expected realignment of the stagnant political structure. That’s been visible — if ignored — in the match-up polls of Hillary vs. Donald (see the latest below), and explored in more detail by this new report by Mercury Analytics. If Trump casts himself as a populist candidate it would dash Democrats’ dream of a united Left triumphing over a divided Right in November.

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Mercury Analytics

A blockbuster announcement from Mercury Analytics

Mercury Analytics, a technology-driven consumer research and political polling firm based in Washington, D.C. conducted a survey and ad “dial-test” of Trump’s first campaign spot among a national sample of n=916 “likely voters”. The results show, that if the election were held today, between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton has the edge, but would be facing a very tough competitor.

Almost 20% of likely Democratic voters would today cross parties and vote for Donald Trump, while only 14% of Republicans would cross parties to vote for Hillary Clinton.

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