Friday, February 12, 2016

Macho Man vs. the Pussy

Among his achievements Donald Trump has now instigated a national conversation about pussy. Before Trump no one would ever have dared utter the word in polite company. Now everyone is talking about it.

Ignore the fact that Trump claims merely to have been echoing a phrase intoned repeatedly by one of his supporters, namely that Ted Cruz was a pussy. Why did the Trumpette say such a thing? Well, she was saying that Cruz was apparently not sufficiently vigorous in his support of waterboarding.

Since Cruz did support waterboarding as a means of enhanced interrogation, Trump’s supporters were accusing Cruz of being weak for not embracing torture.

It feels like a distinction without a difference. And, since Cruz has spent much of his time in the United States Senate as an army of one leading a war against the Washington establishment, it makes very little sense to call him a “pussy” unless you want to explain why you were not on the front lines or even on the back lines in the struggle.

Of course, Trump was striking a blow against political correctness. As long as that disease infects American culture, and as long as people are at their wits' end trying to figure out how to put an end to it they turn to Trump. How better to destroy political correctness than to be scrupulously and repulsively politically incorrect.

Better yet, since most sentient Americans understand that the country is becoming increasingly feminized—of women, by women, for women and for Muslim refugees—what better antidote could there be but a man who is not ashamed and apologetic about being a male, about being a white male, about having earned certain privileges, and even being especially crude. After all, Trump is the family breadwinner. In the Cruz family, the role falls to his wife, the Goldman Sachs managing director.

For his followers, Trump represents manliness on steroids. You can be sure that no one ever called Donald Trump a pussy. That must be the reason why his followers love him. They are convinced that in a Trumpified world they will not be harassed into saying that Caitlyn Jenner is a woman and will not have to fight to ensure that their teenage daughters do not have to share the shower room with a biologically male being. In a Trumpified world they will retain the right to believe that there was a reason why traditional marriage was always the norm in human societies.

In a time when the night riders of the thought police are terrorizing classrooms all over America, and where children are being forced to call their teachers things like Mx Jones, Trump represents righteous rebellion against imbecilities are being force fed to children.

As for the conversation about pussy, or really about what it means for a man to be called a pussy, one turns to the estimable Lizzie Crocker, who has researched the question. Obviously, calling a man a pussy sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger calling some men “girlie men.”

Crocker sheds some light on the issue:

“Pussy” as an epithet is derived from the pejorative connotation of “girly,” as in a domesticated pussycat, but some experts say it is largely devoid of misogyny when delivered as a crude insult.

“I think that for most people, you can use ‘pussy’ pretty safely without having it be interpreted as a direct reference to a woman or a woman’s body part,” Michael Adams, a lexicographer and professor of English at Indiana University, told The Daily Beast.

As for the etymology of the word—point which intrigues us all-- Crocker has done the relevant research:

A Slate podcast on the “etymological quirkiness of the word ‘pussy’” explains that the earliest documented examples of “pussy” in the English language were in the late 1500s, when it was used to describe a girl or woman exhibiting characteristics associated with a cat.

It was first evoked by the moralizing English pamphleteer Philip Stubbs in his famous Anatomy of Abuses, a rant about the debauched nature of theater, gambling, alcohol, and marrying at a young age. He argued that young husbands and wives could not afford to raise children, and that young men were seeking wives for no reason but to “have a pretty pussy to huggle.”

Linguists have said that Stubbs’ use of “pussy” here is simply a euphemism for “woman,” not her private parts.

She continues:

It wasn’t until the late 1600s that “pussy” became associated with a woman’s vagina, in a song by an Englishman named Thomas Murphy. Murphy’s “pussy” is a double entendre referring to both a woman’s cat and her vagina.

Not until the early 1900s did “pussy” refer to a cowardly man--as in a “wuss” or a “sissy.” Soon after, pussy made its first overtly sexual debut in a 1937 novel about the garment district in New York City, in which a character says of a union brawl, “I wouldn’t miss a second of this for all the pussy in Paris.”

Calling a man a pussy is something like calling him low energy. It suggests that he is less than a man, that he is too weak to be called a real man.

After Crocker, we also take a glance at Jill Filipovic, who has written a column about pussy for Time Magazine. As you will see Filipovic is a feminist zealot, thus a woman whose thought is clouded and confused by ideology.

She raises this issue:

It’s ludicrous, of course, that this word remains an insult lobbed between straight men, who presumably like the things well enough. It’s also an inaccurate synonym for “weak,” given that vaginas themselves are pretty sturdy and resilient, as far as human orifices go. But we know Trump, or the swarms of people who regularly use the word as an insult, aren’t talking about vaginas. They are talking about the people who have them: women. And they have a lot of contempt for women.

Vaginas may be sturdy orifices, but try explaining that to the activists who want to defend women from rape culture. Vaginas may be sturdy orifices, but they also seem to be especially vulnerable.

Naturally, like the good feminist she is, Filipovic believes that most men hold women in contempt. Thus, she believes that when a man calls another man a pussy he is asserting that he is a Real Man. And then she makes the salient point that feminists have overthrown men, especially white men, and that men are pissed off:

They like men, though. Real Men. The kind who made America great back when America was great — the kind of man Trump is running as. The secret to Trump’s success with Republican voters isn’t that he’s un-PC or that he says what he thinks or that voters agree with his outlandish policy proposals. It’s that Trump is a symbol of a kind of unalloyed white-male entitlement slowly on the decline. His supporters miss it, and they want it back.

White men want to feel special again. They want an identity too. And for a long time, what defined them was power and authority. They were the breadwinners in their families, and with that financial control came authority over their wives and children. They were the bosses at work. They set the culture norms and the discourse, and their interests and experiences and opinions were simply recognized as “American.”

That’s what Donald Trump embodies, and what he promises to bestow. It’s why his gaffes never quite seem to derail him — crude displays of male entitlement don’t hurt you when you’re running on crude male entitlement. It’s why his own history of multiple divorces and marriages to models and bankruptcies and gold-plated everything don’t make Republican voters conclude that he’s immoral or decadent or wasteful or foolish. Trump’s ethos is simple: he does whatever the hell he wants and he never has to say he’s sorry. If that’s not the dream of the adolescent American male, what is?

The true story is not that these men hold women in contempt. Say what you want about Donald Trump—and I have not refrained from offering my views—but surely he does not hold his daughter, for example, in contempt. No one is going to say that Ivanka is some kind of hothouse flower of suppressed womanhood.

No, what matters here is that Filipovic and her feminist sisters hold men in considerable contempt. They systematically derogate and denigrate what men have achieved and condemn them on the grounds that they are suffering from the privilege of white entitlement.

Ask yourself for a moment what kind of men made America great. Was there something wrong with the group that Tom Brokaw famously called the greatest generation? Was there something wrong with winning World War II and rebuilding America in its aftermath?

The men who did it did not feel entitled. They were willing to fight and die for their country. Should they have received some recognition for their strength and their victories? Should they have received respect for the privileges they earned? Is there something wrong with providing for your family or for being the boss at work?

Well, Filipovic thinks that everything was wrong with the old days, with the time of the greatest generation.

In her words:

His tagline, “Make America Great Again!,” harkens back to an America ruled by white men — before desegregation, before gay rights, before legal abortion, before many women could have credit cards or bank accounts, before raping your wife was illegal, before more than a handful of women went to college. For many Americans, America wasn’t actually so great in the Good Old Days. But in their opposition to feminism, to abortion rights, to wider contraception access, to marriage equality, to thorough and effective school desegregation, to family policies that would make it easier for women to remain in the workforce, the GOP has fetishized the Good Old Days not just in rhetoric, but in policy that aims to take us back to them.

One notes that the first steps toward desegregation were taken in the 1950s, by members of the greatest generation. But now, according to the politically correct zealots, everything that those white people accomplished is worthless because the country did not have same-sex marriage and abortion on demand. During the 1950s, one must notice, more than a handful of women went to college. Back in the day before feminism, young women did not hook up, either… but I suppose that that was bad too.

Filipovic considers such activities to be adolescent dreams, but surely she does not believe that America’s founding fathers, the men who fought the civil war, the men who won two world wars were acting like adolescents.

Unfortunately, she is blinded by her ideology and by her contempt for men.

In her world, America’s new version of greatness involves victories in the culture wars, especially in the wars against white men and against Anglo-Saxon culture:

But for their disillusioned brethren today, there’s something clearly soothing and inspiring about this soft-focus rearview vision of how America used to be — a sense that at some point, roles were clearly delineated and everyone knew their place and straight white men were on top. Today you can go to a wedding and there’s no bride.  Glamour magazine’s Woman of the Year used to be a strapping male Olympian. One of America’s most famous and beautiful pop stars just did a Black Power salute at the Super Bowl. Everyone, it seems, has an identity that matters, a modifier for “American.”

I would emphasize that the true enemy, sometimes named, is Anglo-American culture. The Anglosphere won two world wars in the twentieth century. It won the Cold War. For that many people will never forgive it. And those who attack the Anglo-American branch of Western Civilization are really trying to re-fight the last wars… by using psy-ops to make America less competitive. One must recognize that they have enjoyed some considerable success.

The culture warriors who are defending the oppressed peoples of the world, who are defending the Islamist terrorists and the refugee rapists, hate white Americans and white people in general.

They hate the bad old days when roles were delineated, when people knew who they were and where they were. In the bad old days people knew what they had to do and what they should not do. White men were often on top because they had accomplished things, not because they were running a vast conspiracy to suppress women and gays and the transgendered.

Of course, America has given non-white, non-males multiple opportunities over the past few years. But that is not what the culture warriors want. They want to sow dissension, they want people to turn against each other, they want Americans to be the hyphenated Americans that Theodore Roosevelt famously reviled. Doubtless they believe that America would have done better in the world wars if its armies were co-ed and if they were led by lawyers from the ACLU.

Culture warriors like Filipovic have scored many victories of late. Perhaps the Trump candidacy suggests that someone has finally been willing to call their bluff. 

Of course, when it came to the question of whether women should sign up for the draft, Trump said nothing. Ted Cruz came out forcefully against it.

The trouble with Trump, if I can put it this way, and I have often put it this way, is that he is not made of the same stuff as the men of the greatest generation. He looks more like a caricatured version of manliness than the real thing.  He is more machismo than manliness. He is what manliness looks like in a feminized culture. 

No one would dispute his success in real estate and reality television. But, to believe that his real achievements in one arena will naturally translate into great success in a completely different arena is folly. Trump has succeeded by posturing. If, at some point, he is obliged to try to fulfill his political promises, we will see whether he is a real man or a macho man.

26 comments:

Ares Olympus said...

Just coincidentially I had just called Trump a "pussycat bully" this week, but I'm sure I've never called anyone a pussy. My meaning of "pussycat" wasn't a girly man, but someone who was transparently vain, and manipulatable by flattery, you know, like being giddy when he learned that that CuteBoy in Russia thinks well of him.

Okay, maybe that is a little girly.

Nick said...

"Pussy" gets used all the time. This is a non-issue. Grasping at straws to try and tear down Trump once again. You've spent too much time in NYC. After all the failures. Cruz is a first term senator. Not as if his experience is so great.

Leo G said...

The feminist, like a lot of pundits, keep on saying "Trump resonates with the Republicans because..." Funny that. According to the exit polls from N.H., he was resonating with a lot more then old white male Repubs.

A lot of people are fed up with all the BS that has been heaped upon them in the last 40 years, including blacks, gays, hispanics and WOMEN!

Ah, but remember, there is a special place in hell if young women do not support old women.

Anonymous said...

If you want to know why Trump is so popular read this article.

http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/2015/November/39/11/magazine/article/10829676/

priss rules said...

"Before Trump no one would ever have dared utter the word in polite company."

'Polite' company now hails Lena Dunham.

The new elites are vulgar and trashy.

Brian Williams publicly praised his daughter getting a 'rim' on TV.

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/tv/news/a34956/girls-rim-job-lena-dunham-explains/

Polite company or PC says a homo man's anus is the equivalent of a mother's sex organ that gives birth to life.

The face of polite company as promoted by the establishment:

http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/caitlyn-jenner-at-women-of-the-year-awards-never-thought-id-be-here-20151011

priss rules said...

Is a homo's anus a poosy?

David Foster said...

"He looks more like a caricatured version of manliness than the real thing. He is more machismo than manliness. He is what manliness looks like in a feminized culture."

An interesting insight, and it probably also works the other way around...when one gender is excessively dominant in a society, the other gender emphasizes its sex-specific characteristics in a stereotypical way. I'm reminded of something in Evan Hunter's novel about teenage gangs, 'A Matter of Conviction.' Describing some Puerto Rican girls in NYC, he says: "They are dressed in what might seem like good taste were it not for the high pointed thrust of brassieres. They walk, too, with an exaggerated femininity, as if anxious to emphasize their femaleness in what must seem to them a male-dominated society."

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thank you, David.

Ares Olympus said...

p.s. Speaking of machomen and pussies and if anyone has 50 minutes of their life to waste, there's a new Funny or Die video showing a lost video Trump made in the 1980's of his book "The Art of the Deal."
http://www.funnyordie.com/trump_movie

You can see the Trump branding in action, like hislooking at blueprints of the Trump Tower, and writing "Bigger" and "More classy" on it and passing it back. You imagine he'll say the same thing to the blue prints for his wall with Mexico.

Or you can just watch the 1 minute trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJm-E38G3-0

Amazingly someone has already written a wikipedia article on it, and no "Spoiler alert" warnings, so watch out if you like suspense.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump%27s_The_Art_of_the_Deal:_The_Movie

Kenny Loggins has the theme song, "The Art of the Deal" Perhaps he'll will allow Trump to use it for his campaign?
http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/530035ac7a/kenny-loggins-music-video

I found a copy of the words here: https://trnsz.com/~jhj/
-----
The Art of the Deal
Some guys are poems with beautiful words
Some guys sing songs about flowers and birds
But that ain't who I am
That kind of crap ain't me

Some guys are sculptured in plastic and steel
Some losers paint paintings, abstract and surreal
I don't get it
That kind of crap ain't me

Can't you see
Oh
The only art I've ever been able to feel
Is the only art that matters
The art of the deal
The art of the deal

There's nothing better or quite as sublime
Signing your name on the dotted line
That's all the beauty I need in my life
That and a big titty Eastern blonde wife

Oh
The only art I've ever been able to feel
The only art that gets me off
Some people make TV shows like Golden Girls
Or Different Strokes
Some people make We are the World
And give American money to some African folks
I'm on my own
I shall overcome
That is the man you see shaking your hand

Oh
The only art that matters to Picasso and Pollock
[inaudible]
The only art that matters is the one that makes me squeal
So forget those other losers
Is the art of the deal
The art of the deal
The art of the deal
The art of the deal
---------

Anonymous said...

"It wasn’t until the late 1600s that “pussy” became associated with a woman’s vagina, in a song by an Englishman named Thomas Murphy. Murphy’s “pussy” is a double entendre referring to both a woman’s cat and her vagina."

But no one did it better than Mrs. Slocombe:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD2PZALMNAs

Dennis said...

Interesting that every thing early feminists said they did not want to be they have made possible. Here we have the specter of three aging feminists, telling young women who they should vote for while at the same time shaming them and making them into "sluts." Its as if these aging feminists have started a travel business for young women, but the only travel available is a "guilt trip" and the road to personal degradation as a victim incapable of intelligent thoughts and actions Is it any wonder that many of these young women have little use for these aging harridans whose only reason for living is to be practice misandry and to act their betters.
With this kind of feminism this certainly makes Trump a man of this time and he plays it well. Trump stands tall because feminism, diversity, multiculturalism and PC have truly made the ludicrous mainstream with a significant number of the electorate truly angered by having to deal with such garbage. Almost everyone wants to believe in the greatness of their country and the possibilities it should be able to provide. To many Trump sounds absolutely wonderful. And why wouldn't he given the bilge that passes for the academy and its graduates understanding of the world around them. A significant number of them are afraid of words and ideas. It is a joke that keeps alienating anyone with active brain cells.

sestamibi said...

"He is more machismo than manliness. He is what manliness looks like in a feminized culture."

This is because the feminist bait-and-switch tactic used over 50 years has been extremely successful. What we were sold as "equality" became nothing more than a naked grab for power--to take ALL positions of leadership leaving men with nothing, and to put men in prison (or even have them executed) on a whim because their pwecious widdle feewings were hurt.

In such a world, your characterization is just as Chateau Heartiste would describe it, and in such a world, it makes no sense for a man to make any kind of commitment. Rather, it is quite rational for him to score as much pussy as he can without any qualms or regrets.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Trump is fast becoming an American antihero. I'm not sure where this is all going to go, but I think Peggy Noonan captures what is happening in her most recent column.

No one trusts anyone anymore. Why? Because so few people have principles and can be their word. It used to be called "honor" until we had a coordinated attack on standards in this country. In economic terms, it creates uncertainty. People can't thrive amidst uncertainty. They can't invest confidently. This is what has happened with the American character, particularly young American men.

The reason the word "pussy" gets thrown around so much is because there are so many young men who have no ambitions, no honor, no self-respect, and the run around demanding that people give them the respect they "deserve." This just in: you don't DESERVE anything. You earn it.

And that's the rub, that's the problem. I've heard more women say "He's a pussy" (whoever "he" may be) in recent years than I heard it out of a woman's larynx in all the years before that.

There is a decline in our civility because there is little trust in our institutions, in each other, or much else. Everything is politicized. So we see Trump as the manifestation of the WASP brute: unrestrained, uncouth, immodest, etc. He is a caricature, an antihero of what it previously meant to be an American man. That's because the American male archetype has been destroyed by the small elements of our society who hide behind "rights," taking potshots at people who stand up. It used to be that such people wouldn't make it out of the schoolyard without a black eye. Now we have "zero tolerance" policies for everything.

We have lawsuits to settle everything. Our politicians lie. Our religious leaders have been emasculated.

We live in the Empire of Nice, but nobody seems happy, do they? We don't have liberty. You're one step closer to the "bigot" label if you open your mouth on camera. Joe the Plumber taught us that.

And Trump can't be stopped. And Trump says what other people think. There is nothing virtuous about Mr. Trump, he is just a foul-mouth beast who commands attention by his celebrity. He's a reflection of our times, not a prophet of a better American future. The more the political and media elites howl about how bad Trump is, the stronger he becomes. Trump's critics are simply feeding the beast. It's "Network" a la 2016. People are pissed off, and nobody's listening.

You reap what you sow. So we don't like certain elements of The Donald's vocabulary. He's vulgar. But people are latching onto his vulgarity because he's one of the very few who can be authentic and genuine about how he sees the world without being systematically destroyed by the Ruling Class.

The thing that's scary about Donald Trump is we are into the primary season, and it's about to get into full swing, yet we know precious little about how he would lead and run the country. Everyone is so pissed off that they've lost sight of the fact that this is what the electoral process is about. This is why people vote: to influence the direction of the country. What are they saying with the way they are voting? If we listen, we'll find out.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Political correctness is destroying our civilization and way of life. The bottom line is that the people who claim they want the right to do whatever they want to do are the people who are enforcing this worldview and seeking to control speech. But controlling speech is really thought control, which means there is correct way that people should speak on issues related to power. That's a canard, because it is a vocal minority bent on a licentious worldview based on incessant nodding about claims to micro-aggressions they make in to macro-codes. It's really a threat to our society because it is a threat to individual rights.

Ultimately, most Americans do not believe they have any real influence over the direction of much of... anything. Lawyers find other lawyers to overturn popular referendums about what even micro-minorities can and cannot do. Meanwhile, the index of laws and regulations balloons beyond the average person's ability to understand what they are reading, while being subject to a volume of laws that make them fugitives from justice for buying the wrong-sized toilet. Therefore, the law is not a tool of society anymore, it is a baton which elites use to beat the peasantry into submission, given that their "middle class values" are now pedestrian, archaic and... soaked in flammable bigotry.

And so the political elites -- our self-proclaimed and groupthink-validated "thought leaders" -- have now taken it upon themselves to determine what is correct thought. And whoa to to anyone who doesn't understand the power of the Glowing Box to distribute shame and allow anyone with a camera to create their own perp walk for whatever transgressions (real or imagined) they have committed against protected persons. And said persons are victims, so it must be true.

Ares Olympus said...

IAC: The reason the word "pussy" gets thrown around so much is because there are so many young men who have no ambitions, no honor, no self-respect, and the run around demanding that people give them the respect they "deserve." This just in: you don't DESERVE anything. You earn it.

Deserve is an interesting word, implying both positive and negative results. You get what you deserve, right? And if you have a hard life, its because you didn't work hard enough, didn't do the right things, and if you have an blessed life its because you deserved it.

The ideal of the American Dream is certainly filled with the Individualistic ideal, that we're all in charge of our own destinies, and from whatever we start with, we can rise on our own efforts, or fall for a lack of effort. And the Protestant Work Ethic promotes this ideal, and when it works, when people find "hard word = success" they work harder, and see what else they can do.

But its also how Obama and later Elizabeth Warren were mocked in 2012 for saying "You didn't build that."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_didn%27t_build_that

It's easy to be offended by the accusation that your personal success wasn't deserved, wasn't entirely due to your own efforts. The statement surely wasn't intended to offend, but was intended as suggest humility and compassion for those who didn't succeed in the same way, or at least to justify a progressive tax rate as a form of wealth redistribution, where public institutions can exist to help level the playing field, so the American Dream can be true for anyone who works hard.

But if you believe 100% of your success was "deserved", and you imagine others fail for "deserved" lack of effort, then you will feel resentful at things like paying more taxes, and you will feel "punished" for your success, which isn't fair of couse.

It also reminds me of Jonathan Haidt's recent writings about a new paper talking about a transitioning from a Honor Culture towards a Dignity Culture towards a Culture of Victimhood...
http://righteousmind.com/where-microaggressions-really-come-from/

So in an "Dignity culture" fairness is a legitimate concern, and the goal is to give everyone a chance to succeed, while an apparent shadow side of that dignity culture is "victimhood" where people discover they can gain advantages by playing weak, by asking others to do for them things they can do for themselves.

Anyway, back to the name calling, part of the "ideal" of shame culture is perhaps that we all have to be strong enough to defend ourselves, and so its like in sports when you trash talk your rivals, you're trying to provoke them into an emotionally charged reaction that will lower their ability to perform.

And boys who grow up in team sports discover both the power of cooperative effort AND learn to control their emotions when they discover they can be provoked by name-calling into inferior play, and then they learn how to bully others as well, but not to dominate them, but to teach them to stand up for themselves, like real men do.

But we can see when mothers and women coaches get involved with sports, they want to silence the rough language and aggression, and force all conflict resolution to occur through "rules" and "nice" language. So that subverts this critical periods where boys can learn how to perform in status hierarchies and defend their own place in it, and can make them more passive, expecting others to recognize them just for showing up and doing their best.

And perhaps that's what PC is - its an attempt to suppress aggression and competition in ways that makes it more girly, passive-aggressive, and critical lessons aren't learned.

Myself, when I was a teen I never played verbal put-down games, just observered. OTOH, surprisingly bullies are often nice people often when they're not around people they're trying to impress.

Dennis said...

IAC,

Well said. Idleness leads to contempt. One cannot have this many people without jobs or hope. What I really am worried about is that the anger that is so prevalent now turns into surliness and the idea that "enough is enough." Revolutions always turn out bad and almost always consumes those who start those fires.
Sadly, the establishment just keeps ignoring the fire because they believe they have the means to control that fire. At the moment I am wondering who is going to control this beast that is growing more surly each day. Surely not "feel the Bern." What an appropriate name for an arsonist who loves playing with the matches of discontent. Hillary is so corrupt that she will only feed the establishment that loosed the beast. There must be someone on the republican side who can douse the flames, but all I see is people fiddling while Rome burns. They are so busy trying to destroy each other that they cannot feel the flames licking at their feet. Trump did at the very least noticed that there was a growing fire of discontent. The others kind of know it is there, but are content to believe they can handle it later. Unfortunately the fire will have grown so big no one can put it out.
For me it is hard to see where the people who could come together to kill this beast are every going to recognize their common enemy who lives on their discontent?

Anonymous said...
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priss rules said...

pc-whipped, pussy-whipped, same difference.

Lunarman said...

Maybe I grew up in an environment of men. Maybe I even spent a military career almost exclusively made up of men. I felt like the Geico Caveman reading part of this. The only aspect of this that I did get was the last 2 paragraphs. Strip away the celebrity status from Trump and you up with a vainglorious semi-male, thin skinned and incapable of putting together a viable verbal thought without his irritating mannerisms (anyone else tired of the "awesome" and over use of other similar words, devoid of real substance?). He's a New York City creature, through and through. I don't much care for urbanites in general, but he is in a category all by himself. I'm surprised so many buy off on his shell game.

Lunarman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Dennis @February 13, 2016 at 6:08 AM:

First of all, let's be clear: Trump is not doing what he's doing out of a sense of civic virtue. If he were, he would be more serious. He's getting better on the stump and in debates, but he is still not a serious thinker about issues. The open border is a political scandal, to be sure, and building a wall is a possibility, but continuing to say "The Mexicans are going to pay for it" is ludicrous. As is "Kicking the shit out of whoever messes with us." It may make for good UFC banter, but we're voting for the U.S. Presidency.

Second, you are correct: Hillary is a disaster. She is shrill and a walking embodiment of elite immunity to the rule of law -- fueled by perjury, as it becomes socially acceptable in the upper echelons of our society. And after 7 years of BHO, she and Sanders are still prattling on about how America sucks. How much socialism is enough? The U.S. government already ruined the American economy the last 8 years by enabling the mortgage bomb created by Fannie and Freddie.

Third, I stumbled on something in conversation with a friend yesterday... it APPEARS Trump and Sanders supporters have different motives. Trump voters are pissed at the Republican Establishment and Republican politicians for this era of political correctness and not opposing anything BHO is doing. The reason? They'll be accused of being racists, our new scarlet letter. And that's PC writ large. Sanders' voters hate high finance, and believe the economy is rigged by the financiers... the working class works harder, while "the rich" collect interest checks. That's where the Trump and Sanders people differ.

What UNITES them is the economic change that's been going on since the free trade deals of the early 1990s and since. These deals were supported by the Republican donor class and the Chamber of Commerce (almost the same thing) and the Clinton Administration and it's "Third Way" politics, a la the Democratic Leadership Council. So there's this libertarian approach to finance on the Republican side, and a realpolitik approach to economics on the Clinton side. In the end, both won: businesses were able to arbitrage American labor, putting the American manufacturing worker up against below-$1 wages in emerging economies -- and all the while the public education system continued to deteriorate in working-class communities. No hope for them. On the other side, government employment expanded, along with unrestrained regulatory encroachment and crony capitalism (subsidy and influence in regulatory policy) -- leading to increasing taxes on the middle class (and by the way, a skyrocketing national debt is a long-term note to be paid by the middle class). And if the US dollar ceases to be the world's reserve currency, we can't write the economic rules anymore.

So the Republican establishment sold out to the Chamber of Commerce, the Democratic establishment sold out to sophisticated financiers. Party coffers are abundantly filled by said constituencies. Evangelicals and unions can't match this kind of money. Business interests are risk-averse, and back political moderates. Financiers are risk-averse, and back political moderates. Meanwhile, the expansion of government interference in the economy through subsidy, regulation, laws, expanding entitlements and a demographic timebomb put free enterprise -- small/medium businesses -- in jeopardy. GE, GM, Google and Wal-Mart will survive economic rocks and turns no matter what happens -- in fact, their army of in-house lawyers and lobbyists will probably write the laws for the politicians and their staffs. This creates barriers to entry for small- and medium-sized businesses. It's a terrible pall on economic expansion and individual opportunity. Meanwhile, manufacturing jobs continue to go off-shore.

Cont'd below...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Cont'd from above...

In the end, what unites Trump and Sanders supporters is opposition to free trade in the form of "free markets" as distinguished from the American tradition of "free enterprise." Free markets are a theoretical elite nirvana. Free enterprise is what allows industrious Americans to take risk and create their own wealth engine... it's gritty, not theoretical at all. Free markets are ultimately hostile to free enterprise because eventually you can't get offshore labor any lower. Meanwhile, you've exhausted middle class purchasing power because there are no good jobs for people with a GED. Not everyone is going to go to college. And saying "Everyone should go to college" is a frightening misuse of resources. It makes a college degreed into graduating from 16th grade. The market is an ass. There is no "free market." Macroeconomics is high-minded hogwash. There is a collection of buyers and sellers making transactions. But the problem is increasing government interference in the form of subsidy, regulation, taxation, etc. There's no room to maneuver. And "the rich" get richer, while middle class opportunity stagnates. Eventually, at the bottom of the middle class, they see the largesse from entitlements and government programs going to the lower and underclass. They see that they're suckers for working. And the middle class shrinks from the bottom on up.

Sure, there are some Republican troglodytes who like Trump because he's a reactionary. And there are people feelin' the Bern who are academics and trendy hipsters who think capitalism sucks (and with it, America... nothing is more trendy and cool among the uber-educated than hating your own country). But for these middle-class voters share one thing in common: they know their economic future is uncertain, and that good jobs are hard to find. They're hard to find because they're in the Philippines, Taiwan and Mexico. This just in: MANUFACTURING CREATES WEALTH. Real wealth, not currency trading and private equity. We've off-shored the bedrock of our economic capability and source of jobs that pay real wages. Yes, we've been able to walk along the last 30 years because low retail prices have insulated us from these wage pressures. But as good jobs are harder to find, and a global recession emerges, this is not sustainable. Retail prices will go up. Wages will remain stagnant. Taxes, assessments and fees will grow to support a government labor force that is never scaled down. And there are increasing barriers to starting a business, including consolidated banks that are increasingly risk-averse.

Charles Murray wrote a great piece in today's WSJ about Trump's support. I encourage you to read it.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Lunarman @February 13, 2016 at 10:32 AM:

Don't forget the other Trump favorites:

"Incredible"

"Horrible"

"Amazing"

"Terrible"

Along with "Awesome," we've amassed Trump's entire vocabulary of descriptors.

Anonymous said...

I'll take an AMERICA-LOVING Trump ANY DAY over a TREASONOUS WEASEL like Cruz.

Cruz’s ensuring passage of the Trans Pacific Trade Deal (TPP)* is MUCH WORSE than just “a politician/lawyer who steps along the narrowest line of technical correctness, so he can say it’s not a lie,” because Cruz is destroying the entirety of the country as a sovereign nation…dragging everyone in it under a “global” thumb.

The TPP is “the other side of the coin of the immigration issue”…except that the Trans Pacific Trade Deal does it all in one big swoop all at once, as opposed to the immigration “invasion” doing it over generations. If you care about one, you MUST also look carefully at the other.

And, as far as Cruz saying how horrible TPP is (yes, he’s “shocked! SHOCKED!” I’m sure…): IT’S JUST LIKE his Holy Roller Revival Tent Preacher act after winning Iowa due to his dirty tricks… playing both sides. It’s like the WOLF saying “yeah…sure is a shame what happened to those poor little SHEEP, ain’t it?”

* May 2015 – Cruz creates a “Fast Track” Trans Pacific trade rider to attach to TPA, which changes the vote threshold for approval/disapproval to a simple majority – thereby ensuring its passage. Cruz also votes down an Amendment requiring congressional notification prior to China/Russia joining deal.

June/July 2015 – Cruz votes against his own TPA bill, though the rider created ensures its passage.

Dennis said...

IAC,

Well stated reply that covers much of what is driving the problems we face as a country. That said my question its what are we going to do about it. True that both the democrats and republicans have people like Sanders, Clinton, Trump, et al who are, for the most part playing their constituents as useful idiots to maintain the same system with them in control. It would seem we are only changing the deck chairs on the ship of state.
If any thing useful is going to take place then we are going to have to channel this anger into consecutive change. As you state the Sanders and Trump people really want the same things, but do not recognize the baggage of socialism and crony capitalism. Who is the candidate who can bring these people to understand the common enemy they both are dealing with here which is out of control government and the people who profit from that government leviathan. With the death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia we have lost someone whose concept of what and How the Constitution was and still should be adjudicated. Where is the statesman in this sea of political incompetence?
As I stated that what bothers me is that we are through government policies creating a large group of people, especially young men, who are being sidelined because of feminism, PC, diversity, multiculturalism, et al. Idle hands eventually many of these people will recognize that the system is agains't them to the point that they will react negatively to that system. They may find a charismatic person who will bring them together into a force to be reckoned with. I believe we are seeing the foundation of that being played out in cities, schools, et al throughout this country. http://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/andrew-cadman-does-anyone-care-about-white-working-class-boys/
One of the problems with Democracy is that it is essentially mob rule by the majority. It is why the Founding Fathers created a republic with minority protections. Right now those who live for power know they can use the mob to confiscate other workers' money to further an agenda. If we understand that money is a medium of exchange then we realize why this is a detrimate to the economy. If there is no exchange for the money then the economy and those who work in that economy lose.
Again, it is nice to complain, but that solves nothing. We are supposed to be problems solvers and we are not spending much time looking for a or any solution. Our only solution seems to be the other guy is an ass. On only needs to look at how we treat those we disagree.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Dennis @February 14, 2016 at 6:51 AM:

I see the constructive or positive change required as three-fold:

1. A return to an Originalist view of the Constitution and law. Scalia was clear about this: he was not a strict constructionist. To him, being a literalist about what just the text says was stupid, almost like fundamentalism. What Scalia emphasized was original intent of the Founding Fathers. That's why The Federalist Papers are so important: they give us a glimpse of what they were thinking, and what the language meant in their time. We can translate that into our own time, because the timeless principles still hold, so long as the human condition exists. It's very funny that people thought Scalia was such a right-wing arch-conservative. He was very firm on Fourth Amendment rights around search and seizure (like police using infrared cameras to investigate, something the Founders could never have foreseen) because he understood the intent of the Fourth Amendment when it was written. That's not literal or strict -- it's a sophisticated understanding of what the Founders were seeking to create, and that allows the Constitution to LIVE. Not some "living Constitution" where the language is interpreted in a contemporary way -- which means it can say whatever you want it to say.

2. With an Originalist interpretation, we need to stand up for the fact that the Constitution reins-in the Federal government, not the other way around. We are a constitutionally-limited federal republic. We're not a democracy. States have rights that ought not be trammeled upon unless there is an overwhelming, compelling, existential national interest, not a preference of Federal authorities. That's the reason for the Tenth Amendment. You've mentioned an Article V convention, and I have no problem with that, but the Federal government will have to allow that, because it will be a monumental inconvenience to the trend of centralizing power in Washington, D.C. Most of all, we must jettison this nonsense about group rights. There is no such thing. Our country was founded on the rights of the individual, and the limits of state power over him. That's what a republic is all about: the individual citizen is sovereign, and creates government duties to structure society, not the other way around.

3. Our schools must return to an understanding of virtue ethics and provide instruction in the same. Without virtue, democracy becomes all but impossible. In this, we need a separation of church and state in the form of an established religion, but the First Amendment is also about "free exercise." It's about freedom for religion, not freedom from religion. The New Atheists and others are hell-bent on eradicating religion from the public sphere. Yet they replace it with nothing virtuous, and therefore nihilism reigns supreme. Bad news. I'm not saying people have to like religion, but there is a gigantic vacuum of virtue and values in our society. When anything goes, nothing holds us together.

So those are my solutions... and they require a long-term resolve that I'm not sure our decadent country can stomach. But if we get back to the root of what our nation was founded on, and reintroduce a moral and ethical basis for conduct (particularly among males), I suspect we can get our country back on sure footing. Some may say I'm a dreamer, but we did all these things before in building our culture, and I have confidence that we can do so again.