William Voegeli: The Reason I’m Anti-Anti-Trump

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CK MacLeod

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  1. Avatar Francis
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    Who, among the Republican candidates, is a statesman capable of delivering competent serious governance? No one. Delete the requirement for statesmanship, and Pataki and Kasich both should be competent at being President. And yet their support is within the margin of error of being zero.

    So, no, Republican voters are not crying out for serious candidates. They are begging to be told — as so many of us are — that our problems are easy to solve, requiring only a strong leader executing a businesslike vision.

    It’s a lie. Public policy, especially good public policy, is really hard. If people agreed on an issue, it would already be law. So virtually by definition any major change in any law is going to face significant opposition.

    For example, building a wall between Mexico and the US will be astronomically expensive and require major changes to a lot of laws. Rounding up and deporting more than 10 million people will require billions more, major changes in the relationship between the federal government and the states, an extraordinarily cooperative judiciary and the effective suppression of the dissent of millions of citizens. The odds of all of this happening are likely just about zero.

    What, you think the Democrats are just going to lie down and roll over if Trump is elected? Even if the Republicans take both the House and Senate, the new Democratic leadership in the Senate has a nice clear roadmap for Senatorial obstruction, courtesy of Mitch McConnell. The days of Tip O’Neil and Ronnie making deals have long since gone by the wayside. The parties are true partisan reflections of their voters. Yet every single candidate — Hillary most certainly included — appears to run for office as if the House and Senate didn’t exist.

    And since when has anyone ever been a statesman while alive? Statesmanship is one of those titles vested post mortem when the vicious dissents of the day have been largely forgotten. I confess I find the quoted excerpt to be utterly childish.Report

    • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Francis
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      says:

      So, no, Republican voters are not crying out for serious candidates. They are begging to be told — as so many of us are — that our problems are easy to solve, requiring only a strong leader executing a businesslike vision.

      It’s a lie. Public policy, especially good public policy, is really hard. If people agreed on an issue, it would already be law. So virtually by definition any major change in any law is going to face significant opposition.

      I think I agree, especially with the second paragraph of yours I quoted. But I will harp a little on the part I bolded above: “as so many of us are.” There was a time, not too long ago, that I believed if the ACA was passed, everything would be vastly improved. And while I still support the ACA and think it has improved things in some of the ways I’ve hoped, it’s hard to deny that there have been a lot of problems. In my case, it wasn’t so much the appeal of “business-like” governance as it was a faith in passing a law that would solve a heckuva lot more than a law that would actually be passed could be expected to solve. (Of course, the Republicans’ refusal to help the law along probably prevented at least some of the kinks from being ironed out. So there’s that not-insignificant objection.)Report

      • Avatar Will H. in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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        says:

        I have to say that I disagree with this, and I do so because this is a common misperception, and breaking that chain stands to serve a great deal of good.

        Public policy, especially good public policy, is really hard.

        No, it isn’t.
        It is the structural features weighted toward maintaining the status quo which form undue impediments to good public policy, the main one being public employee unions, which are a de facto arm of the state.
        Examples: Police and correctional officers’ unions, teachers, government employees, and the SEIU.

        Good public policy is simply a balancing of interests.
        It’s not all that hard.

        Overcoming inertia is the hard part, and there are reasons for that.Report

        • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to Will H.
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          says:

          the structural features weighted toward maintaining the status quo which form undue impediments to good public policy

          I think that’s one of the reasons why it’s hard.Report

          • Avatar Will H. in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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            says:

            I definitely can see that.
            My point was more one of the implementation of policy being a very different sort of thing than generating policy solutions.

            Now, I did a research paper not too long ago that focused on the differences in political discourse on the Left & the Right.
            What it showed was that extrinsic motivation with negative reinforcement dominates.
            The Left showed 77% extrinsic stimuli, and the Right 86%; while the Left favored negative reinforcement 84% of the time, as compared with 81% on the Right.

            Which is to say, much of what passes for political dialogue is more hyperbole than anything else.
            But this time, I come with data.

            I’m sure this poses barriers to implementation.Report

        • Avatar Francis in reply to Will H.
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          says:

          I agree that changing public policy, especially in a direction that actually accomplishes the underlying goals, is hard.

          I disagree that balancing interests is not all that hard. The interests to be balanced in financing health care in this country include doctors, hospitals, insurers, pharmacy companies, employers, the self-employed, the young, the old, the poor and the chronically ill. Putting those interests aside, there are fundamental disagreements between and within the principal political parties about the role of the state in the process.

          At a state level, balancing the interests of responding to California’s drought is very hard, in large part because there are fundamental disagreements about what constitutes a ‘fair’ response.

          Unions are the main impediment to good public policy? Wow, there are a whole lot of value judgments and unsupported factual assertions in that particular sentence. You seem to write out of existence the entire Republican party at the federal level.Report

          • Avatar Will H. in reply to Francis
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            says:

            Health care is an issue with an unusually large number of conflicting interests.
            As for this:

            Unions are the main impediment to good public policy [bears]… a whole lot of value judgments and unsupported factual assertions[,]… writ[ing] out of existence the entire Republican party at the federal level.

            The federal part is easy:
            Legislation is still getting passed.
            Regardless of the heated obstructionist rhetoric, legislation is still being introduced with co-sponsors, and passed with 9most often, limited) bi-partisan support.

            As for the statement concerning unions, this has been an area of interest for me at the state level. And I named the big ones.
            SEIU: Donated over $400,000 to Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, more than the next five highest unions combined. And they effectively bought a state government in doing so (super-majority in both chambers).
            Illinois AG, Lisa Madigan was having trouble raising campaign funds for re-election til Dear Old Dad stepped in to help out. The unions,mainly the SEIU, ponied up, and the AG ended up with more in campaign funds than the other 49 AG’s combined.
            A report from the Illinois State Police shows the activities of the Public Corruption unit. It was divided into two branches. The north unit investigated a total of three cases that year, two of them having to do with alleged misdeeds at the AFT’s pension fund. They too bought themselves a state government.
            The correctional officers thrive on barriers to re-entry, and act to set policy toward that end, upping recidivism rates as a means of job security. Tim Kowal wrote about that long ago here. One thing I don’t believe he mentioned was the use of “Victims’ Groups” organized by the union leadership, with overlapping directors and accounts, to direct PR where it might generate backlash for the unions to do so. See Joshua Page’s title: The Toughest Beat (required reading in Public Policy Process class).

            It’s mainly the corruption in government, and primarily at the state level, that I’m concerned with.
            And the public sector unions are definitely one of the biggest problem areas.

            I’ve been floating around some reform proposals for about a yeaar now, and I’ve come up with mixed results.
            Recently, I gained key approval from a very-high-up in the ISP concerning proposed police reforms.
            I find it easier to deal with legislators at the federal level than the state level, in Illinois anyway.
            The executive has some good ideas which need refined, but his staff is so inept it looks to be a failed administration for the most part.

            But I’ve done the leg-work before coming up with unions as the culprits.
            The good part of that is that I’m well-prepared to deal with them, as I was a trades journeyman for many years myself.
            That was actually how I go the guy from the ISP on-board.Report

      • Avatar Barry in reply to Gabriel Conroy
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        says:

        “And while I still support the ACA and think it has improved things in some of the ways I’ve hoped, it’s hard to deny that there have been a lot of problems. ”

        So? Note that not even in the Star Wars universe do things not have a lot of problems; the destruction of the Empire didn’t cause a fairy tale ending.Report

    • Avatar North in reply to Francis
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      says:

      In the bleak eventuality, Francis, that the GOP captured the Whitehouse, the House and 50% of the Senate you can bet dollars to doughnuts that the filibuster will be out the window faster than you can say defenestration.Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to North
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        says:

        In the bleak eventuality, Francis, that the GOP captured the Whitehouse, the House and 50% of the Senate you can bet dollars to doughnuts that the filibuster will be out the window faster than you can say defenestration.

        They had control of all three from 2003-2007. There was some talk of using “the nuclear option,” but for reasons I don’t recall (or never knew), it didn’t happen. Democrats, of course, recognized the value of the filibuster when it was on their side.Report

        • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Brandon Berg
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          says:

          Lack of foresight on their part. For example, one of the things they really needed to do — from their perspective — was add one sentence to the Clean Air Act: “For the purposes of this act, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.” Instead, they let the Bush EPA issue a finding that CO2 was harmless. But EPA decisions are subject to court review, and the SCOTUS eventually held that under the language of the CAA, CO2 was indeed a pollutant and must be regulated.

          Less kindly, they seemed to assume that either (a) they wouldn’t ever lose control of the regulatory agencies again or (b) the Democrats wouldn’t jump at the same chance to legislate through the regulatory agencies that the Republicans had.Report

        • Avatar Barry in reply to Brandon Berg
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          says:

          “They had control of all three from 2003-2007. There was some talk of using “the nuclear option,” but for reasons I don’t recall (or never knew), it didn’t happen. Democrats, of course, recognized the value of the filibuster when it was on their side.”

          What happened is that the GOP put a gun to the head of the Democrats, and stated that they’d nuke the fiibuster. The Dems folded.Report

  2. Avatar j r
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    says:

    The best way to fortify Trump’s presidential campaign is to insist his followers’ grievances are simply illegitimate, bigoted, and ignorant.

    Hmm… the best way to make Trump irrelevant is to take serious the claims that immigration is invasion, Mexicans are rapists, all Muslims present a threat to the United States, abortion is murder, international trade is bad for the economy, and that the level of national debt is out of hand, but the best way to fix it is to embark on a slew of very big, very costly infrastructure projects.

    That just might work…Report

    • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to j r
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      says:

      j r,

      Voegeli could hardly be more clear in his distaste for Trump and his campaign. He argues for a consideration of “his followers’ grievances” as not “simply illegitimate, bigoted, and ignorant.”

      The reply is to list a series of Trumpisms to be dismissed out of hand as simply illegitimate, bigoted, and ignorant, apparently under the assumption that they are identical to those grievances or the only answers to them – in other the words the response exactly opposite to the one that Voegeli favors – and then to ridicule Voegeli for favoring it.

      To the extent such lazily dismissive and self-superior reading is typical of the response to the assertion of grievances, it reinforces Voegeli’s prior point about the “self-satisfied and self-deluded.” Of course, here we aren’t, presumably, dealing with the self-satisfied and self-deluded “elites,” but rather with a peculiar but possibly representative sampling of those who share the elite’s views on those grievances and elitist attitudes toward those who hold them – which further strengthen Voegeli’s point, and completes the circle.

      One suspects that Trump despises his followers almost as much as you do. He’s made many prior statements to that effect, but it still seems clear that you despise them much more thoroughly and one-sidedly than Trump does. At least he treats their views as worthy of consideration, unlike you, and he also seems to share their feelings about you. So, of course, they prefer him to you. They lack a rational basis for any other approach – a basis that might be provided by a “statesman” rather than a “demagogue,” to use Voegeli’s terms.Report

      • Avatar Francis in reply to CK MacLeod
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        says:

        Wait a minute here. It is possible to believe (and in fact I do believe) both:

        A. Trump’s supporters have legitimate concerns about the failure of their historic party (these days, largely the Republicans although I expect that Trump is also drawing in quite a few Democrats) to address the issues they care about — largely low wages.

        B. Voegeli’s piece about responsible people being self-deluded is just nonsense.

        The path through the apparent contradiction is to recognize that there is no contradiction at all. Senior members of both parties (again, these days, mostly Republicans) are not self-deluded, they are self-interested. And in their self-interest they represent the interests of their largest campaign contributors, the wealthy. And the wealthy in this country have for decades insisted on federal government policies that keep the wages of working Americans low.

        This can be seen in, among other things, Federal Reserve policy, trade policy and immigration enforcement policy.

        The Republican party today controls both the House and Senate. There is nothing stopping them from passing a bill today that would significantly reduce illegal immigration and the presence of undocumented aliens. It’s just that an effective bill is extremely unpopular. It would include transferring border agents to labor enforcement, dramatically increasing penalties for the use of undocumented labor both directly and through subcontractors, and creating a system whereby employers can easily and reliably verify legal status.

        Is that bill moving? No.Report

        • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Francis
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          says:

          these days, largely the Republicans although I expect that Trump is also drawing in quite a few Democrats

          Based on…..?Report

          • Avatar Francis in reply to Morat20
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            says:

            nothing whatsoever except an intuition that anyone who has those kinds of poll numbers must be getting at least some cross-party support.Report

            • Avatar Morat20 in reply to Francis
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              says:

              You do realize that all the polls of Trump are, by and large, restricted to registered Republicans because he’s running in the GOP primary. The closest to a full poll would be the occasional head-to-head matchups, where he functions somewhat at or below “generic Republican”.

              Intuition is a pretty poor sell, especially given yours appears to be wrong.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Morat20
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                says:

                Tangentially, one thing I haven’t really seen analyzed at length is the effect of ‘Independents’ on these polls. Its a frequently observed thing that there’s been an increasing number of people that don’t self identify as Republicans, but will nonethelessless pull the lever that way more often come a general election.

                Is the skimming ‘independents’ off the top of this pool of voters having an effect of concentrating Trump’s support? I think it’s possible.Report

        • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to Francis
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          says:

          Francis:
          A. Trump’s supporters have legitimate concerns about the failure of their historic party (these days, largely the Republicans although I expect that Trump is also drawing in quite a few Democrats) to address the issues they care about — largely low wages.

          Low wages – or stagnant wages – is certainly one issue they care about and mention, but it is far from the only one that they care about and mention, as any familiarity with the immigration issue as argued on the Right – or in Voegeli’s piece – would show. Steinle and San Bernardino do not seem to be about low wages. (Anyway, I thought the whole thing was really supposed to be about bigotry, at least according to the good people.)

          Voegeli’s piece about responsible people being self-deluded is just nonsense… Senior members of both parties (again, these days, mostly Republicans) are not self-deluded, they are self-interested.

          Voegeli uses the expression “self-deluded” in his concluding paragraph, in the following sentence:

          A disreputable, irresponsible figure like Donald Trump gets a hearing when the reputable, responsible people in charge of things turn out to be self-satisfied and self-deluded.

          I believe that “self-satisfied” includes those pursuing their “self-interest.” The delusions have more to do with the attitudes and conduct of elites, politicians, officials, and their defenders and supporters in political contexts – for instance, as Voegeli describes, the belief that the populist or Jacksonian reaction arises via manipulation by talk radio hosts and demagogues, instead of (also) the reverse: that, as Voegeli argues, the demagogues flourish when democracy falters (or is perceived to have done so). Also delusory, in Voegeli’s view, would be the refusal of Republican elites to recognize, even in the wake of repeated rebellions from the ranks, that the solution to their political problem would be more of the same. He points to the fall of Eric Cantor and the apparent determination in its wake to re-package the same package, but there are plenty of other things he could have mentioned. The delusion of Democrats currently in power would be that their “fecklessness” and confused or antithetical priorities escape notice or cannot reasonably be taken as indicative of deeper differences.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to CK MacLeod
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            says:

            Fwiw there has been plenty of talk about stagnating wages on the liberal side. It is usually discussed around the idea of inequality and the rich getting all the benefits while everybody else is getting not much. Also see Occupy Movement with their discussion of the 99% vs. 1%.Report

          • Avatar Chris in reply to CK MacLeod
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            says:

            Anyway, I thought the whole thing was really supposed to be about bigotry, at least according to the good people.

            Seriously man, try harder.Report

            • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Chris
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              says:

              @chris
              There is definirely a concerted effort on the part of vanguard-y social (and economic) liberals to deny that economic concerns drive Trump support at all, and to say that it’s *all* about bigotry and backlash against loss of white & often male privilege. Iglesias & Beutler are making a big thing if it. There’s been a bit of pushback from within Vox very recently. (Check my Twitter feed.)

              I know you like to make a bit of a thing about hating and not having time for mainstream liberal drivel. That’s great, but that kind of means you’re not in a position to correct others about what’s being said therein. This is what’s being said. It’s slightly contested, but right now I’d say that the “correct” liberal view is to see the Sanders-type economic-rooted view of Trump as a papering over of the real, exclusively racist, dynamic.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Michael Drew
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                says:

                Oh, I know it’s a thing. I’m not even sure that it’s not largely a correct thing, even if an acute existential angst contributes to it. The linked article certainly doesn’t give us any compelling reasons to believe otherwise, and CK’s defense of it through a combination of passive aggressiveness and outright dismissal leads me to believe that he has nothing to offer on that either. But he could at least try.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Chris
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                says:

                I don’t know that CK is defending the view I’m talking about; after all he says that low wage (growth) is “certainly” part of of it. The Yglesias view (and he’s not at all the leading exponent, just a prominent one) damn near seeks to flatly deny that.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Drew
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                says:

                Michael D,

                I’m curious about this. Could you link to an Yggles article outlining that view? It sounds crazy.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Michael Drew
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                says:

                Thanks, MD.

                Yeah, after thinking about it what you said above that’s pretty much what I expected from Yggles, actually. Something like “the data shows that working white’s spending power hasn’t diminished over the last twenty years, so the claim that it has is irrational. Ergo!!, the only rational explanation for Trumpism is racial bigotry.”

                Course, if you look at Trump’s official campaign page, about the only thing you see there wrt policy is stuff that effects the working class, and in particular (I suppose) the white working class: clamp down on illegal immigration, restrict H-1B visas, change trade policy with China, etc. So there’s that.

                On the flip side, it seems to me that identifying labor discontent with illegals and outsourcing is perfectly rational (even if Yggles commitment to neoliberalsim requires him to say that economically everyone is better off as a result of those policies) for folks out there in the labor/wage market world. I’ve yet to find a community in which lots and lots of manual labor isn’t performed by illegals, and that includes some of the higher end trades like plumbing, electrical and finish carpentry.

                My general beef with pinheads trying to provide analyses of what the plebes are up to is that the pinheads think floors are transparent: since they’re “smarter” than the grunts, grunt-logic is necessarily accessible to them. I mean, these are simple, unsophisticated, pretty stupid people, right? If they weren’t, they’d have Matty Yce’s job.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Michael Drew
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                says:

                I noted to CK somewhere else in this but low wages and the stagnation of many in the middle and working class has definitely been an issue liberals have talked about. it goes under the rubric of inequality or talking about the 99%. There has been a lot of frustration with the D’s for being averse to talking about or doing something due to their own centrism. Certanily Sanders has made an issue of it. There isn’t anything about Trump’s discussion that is foreign to liberal ears of wage stagnation per se.Report

              • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to Michael Drew
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                says:

                @michael-drew I’m clearly not defending the view that “it’s all bigotry.” I mentioned that form of reductionism – to which we’ve all been exposed, including at OT, repeatedly – in response to Francis’ effective reduction of Trumpismo to a response to “low wages.”

                Thanks, though, for confirming what any honest and well-informed observer of the Trump discussion ought to be aware of: the spate of articles, posts, comments, shouts in the night and the morning, from left, right, and center, attributing the phenomenon to racism or racial resentment and identifying its main impetus as racist. On this thread, for example, we have the claim that Voegeli, in affirming the the case of the Trumpists, is just trying to dress up racial bigotry and Islamophobia in presentable clothing. Not exactly the very first time that I, or I suspect anyone here, has seen accusations of that type, made in that way. Remember the Coates-Chait debate?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to CK MacLeod
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                says:

                I think a lot of people actually DO support Trump outa racial bigotry. Various white nationalist groups have praised Trump and believe his candidacy represents a changing of the tides, so to speak. So I’m not sure what you’re getting at up there….Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Michael Drew
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                says:

                If it’s not clear, I meant his defense of the linked article, which focuses less on jobs than on terrorism and immigrants committing crimes (well, one).Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Chris
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                says:

                Got it. My mistake.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Michael Drew
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                says:

                The piece says that a significant number of people (a whole identity group, perhaps) are willing to (say that they will) vote for Trump in the primary, despite his being an objectively awful candidate, because not only are Mexican criminals and Muslim terrorists a serious threat, but also the government, which is to say the Obama administration, has failed miserably in their job to protect us from Mexican criminals and Muslim terrorists.

                As I said before, the evidence given that we should take these concerns seriously is first that Trump is so awful but still polling well, and then later that a Mexican criminal and a Muslim terrorist got in and the Obama administration didn’t say precisely what this identity group wanted to hear about Muslim terrorists the at some point.

                If you find this sufficient to rule out bigotry, then perhaps you can explain it to me. The only other person here who has stated that it does so has displayed no interest in explaining it to anyone.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Chris
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                says:

                @chris @ck-macleod

                On my read, the piece offers a number of anachronistic explanations for the Trump wave, and then just falls back on the ones everybody knows about. Which is to say, Trumpmania was already underway by July 1st, the day Steinle was shot (though that’s close enough to be plausible as a case driving earlyish support), and obviously was a tsunami overtaking the political world by November 13th (Paris, which he curiously doesn’t mention but obviously fits the narrative), and December 2nd (San Bernadino, with subsequent developments he mentions, i.e. the “we can’t read social media” story.)

                The only potential causal hypotheses he lists are the ones we all pretty much already accept: dissatisfaction with immigration policy, and in particular the GOP’s inclination on the issue, and general disdain for the existing leadership class (not limited to “weakness” on immigration, but including it.

                As you say, this suggests that the author is fairly concerned with shoehorning in his own critiques of governance and topical anti-Obama talking points in addition to explaining the phenomenon. Sure, San Bernadino reinforced the narrative Trump had advanced of government incompetence (in these people’s minds), but that narrative had clearly already taken hold, so it can’t have been causal.

                But those two broader points immigration in particular and government weakness in general as motivating concerns behinds Trumpism are fair enough AFAICT. The issue is whether it “rules out” bigotry, and then also whether some of these concerns are themselves expressions of deeper economic insecurity. I don’t think any of this rules any of the rest of it out.

                Where I’m left with the piece is wondeingr what exactly the author’s problem with Trumpism is – the phenomenon, not the man. If the man were just a little less execrable, I’m not seeing where this piece would not be pretty much a full-on defense of the political wave that’s happening as justified. It largely is that now – the opening paragraph is little more than throat clearing, and, indeed doesn’t even say it agrees with condemnations of Trump. It says it’s hard (not impossible) to disagree with them (try as the author might?), and that the author can think of nothing new to say to epress his own condemnation of Trump.

                The piece seems to me to be as near a defense of Trumpism as could be published in a “respectable” publication like CRB. I can imagine it being an impassioned defense of the phenomenon, as I say, if it were behind a slightly more presentable candidate. But if it were, the levels of racism within the legitimate concerns would/could well be equal. And those levels are very much real in the Trump phenomenon. The presence of concerns about governance and politics that, even if disputable, can be genuinely felt, doesn’t exclude the simultaneous presence of bigotry. All of which could (but might not) be ultimately driven by economic insecurity.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Chris
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                says:

                If Obama were doing his job, workplace violence would be back in the hands of real Americans, where it belongs.Report

              • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to Michael Drew
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                says:

                Well, there’s an obvious reason why Matthew “Sometimes a few thousand people have to die in Bangladesh to have cheap consumer goods” Yglesias tries to paper over the valid economic pressures the white (and I’d add, the Hispanic, Black, Asian) working class is under.Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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                says:

                “The white working class has valid concerns” and “the white working class’ concerns led to Trump” are different things.Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Chris
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                says:

                This is correct, and why I have to roll my eyes at the attempts to shroud their ethnic rage behind economic concerns.

                Stagnant wages is a stick that gets pulled out only when discussing immigration, then swiftly put away when talking about off shoring or labor unions.
                It’s a cynical trope that no one on the right believes.Report

              • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Jesse Ewiak
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                says:

                As I intimated, MY is far from alone in this view. It dominates a significant section of the left. Many of those people have never said impolitic things about Bangladeshis on the record.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Michael Drew
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                says:

                @michael-drew

                I would say that this is an issue where the Democratic-supporting and left-leaning people in the U.S. are split. You have a lot of people who are on MY’s more free trade policy and also lot of people who post sound amazingly nationalistic when they rail against “cheap goods” from Bangladesh or China.

                Just this week someone on my FB feed posted a picture of a plaque from the Woodstock, NY education department. The plaque said something like “This was a local factory that produced goods until you started buying cheap vases from China.” or something like that.Report

          • Avatar Francis in reply to CK MacLeod
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            says:

            But why do Trumpistas care about illegal immigration? Fear of the competition for blue-collar work is certainly one reason, and one that the Democrats and “elite” Republicans could address if they so choose. Naked bigotry and racism is certainly another. But appealing to naked racism tends to be a non-starter in the elite political environment. Coded appeals tend to far more acceptable.

            Again, I don’t think you or Voegeli have made the case that anyone is delusional. To the contrary, it seems to me that most of the relevant players are very clear-eyed about the consequences of the decisions made over the last few decades. The problem is more that having created a monster no one is quite sure how to tame it.

            Oh, and this bit — “confirming what any honest and well-informed observer of the Trump discussion ought to be aware of: the spate of articles, … identifying its main impetus as racist.” — is just ugly. Confirmation bias is bad enough. Confirmation bias which asserts that anyone who disagrees is dishonest and uninformed is poisonous. How do we even have a debate on the point? How many is a “spate”?Report

      • Avatar Barry in reply to CK MacLeod
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        says:

        “Voegeli could hardly be more clear in his distaste for Trump and his campaign. He argues for a consideration of “his followers’ grievances” as not “simply illegitimate, bigoted, and ignorant.””

        He’s just playing a dishonest anti-anti- game rather than coming out and stating a pro-Trump position.

        The Tea Party has had years to come up with something that’s not a blend of racism, lies and frank stupidity mixed with pig manure and allowed to fester in the August sun.

        They have failed to do so.Report

  3. Avatar miguel cervantes
    Ignored
    says:

    well he does certain things for effect, what is amusing Trump’s plan is what apriori, the Mexican govt has done with it’s trespassers, actually they don’t allow them to settle in the country, the specifics are the more achievable goals, that Sessions put forth, like the CSP’s more strict dragnet of jihadi elements,but the party doesn’t listen, so like that cell phone company ad ‘do you hear me now’Report

  4. Avatar Aaron W
    Ignored
    says:

    I read this half expecting something insightful, and came away disappointed as it was just a bunch of petty complaining the Obama administration.Report

  5. Avatar Gabriel Conroy
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m torn between the spirit of the quoted portion of the article–which I knee-jerkily agree with, but have not read the entire article–and with @j-r ‘s very good point in his comment above.

    Maybe a way to reconcile my two responses is to focus on the facts of what Trump has said, and on the inconsistencies and inchorences J-R points out, and to shy away from saying that the whole phenomenon is with us simply and only because of bigotry and “ignorance.”Report

    • Avatar j r in reply to Gabriel Conroy
      Ignored
      says:

      Read the article. It is mostly just a bunch of more erudite complaints about Muslims and Mexicans. It is the academic version of Trump.Report

      • Avatar Aaron W in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        Yeah, and he even falsely attributes a quote to David Frum and links to David Frum’s article… and then you read the article and the quote was actually from Donald Trump.Report

        • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to Aaron W
          Ignored
          says:

          Voegeli:

          That 21st-century American government seems neither particularly good at these tasks, nor particularly abashed by its failures, bolsters the Trump campaign’s central message, as distilled by the Atlantic’s David Frum: “We are governed by idiots.”

          Frum:

          Coulter’s core message, “immigration isn’t working as promised,” is joined to a second message equally central to the Donald Trump campaign: “We are governed by idiots.”

          Not clear from the context at all that the statement is quoting anyone, and is not in fact Frum’s own “distillation” – or that it would make a difference.Report

      • Avatar Gabriel Conroy in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        I just read it, and I….hmmmm….well….maybe the quoted portion, by itself, might be defensible, but in context…why don’t I just retract what I wrote above.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to j r
        Ignored
        says:

        Exactly. The author has a conclusion, and used Trump to get there with little in the way of argumentation. We’re told that Trump’s awfulness means his supporters’ concerns are serious, and what’s more, that it means they reflect actual problems with the county, with no real argument about why the awfulness should produce either conclusion. Then we’re told of some misstatements by politicians and two rare, disparate events, and told that because of these statements and outliers, the concerns are real (the same conclusion we’re supposed to have arrived at because of Trump’s awfulness, but now given as the reason for Trump, so that the circulatory reveals itself).

        With selective quoting and reasoning from outliers, the whole piece is in the same genus, if not of the same species, as conspiracy theories.Report

        • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to Chris
          Ignored
          says:

          The author has a set of perceptions that you are free to dispute, but which I think are rather indisputable – which isn’t to say they should trump all other concerns, only that the charge that he has constructed them out of fantasy or in some circular process or in the manner of a conspiracist is baseless.

          A significant percentage of the population – the Trump constituency, on the immigration issue overlapping the Republican “base” – cares relatively intensely about something, or actually a set of things, that, as it happens, you may not care very much about if at all. You may not care about immigration or illegal immigration very much or at all. You may not even believe that the USA has a legitimate right to restrict entry at all, or you may believe that immigration of any type is always good or on balance good. You may not care very strongly or at all about “law and order.” You may not believe that the Steinle murder or the San Bernardino massacre matter very much, or that what made them possible matters, or that the reactions to them matter, or that they stand for very much, but those would be differences over real events and policies, not over conspiracist insanity.

          Voegeli very apparently believes that these concerns are not merely valid, but in effect define legitimacy or possible legitimacy at all. After reviewing the reactions to Trump across the mainstream right and left, he anticipates the assertion, above, that “[Trump’s] supporters’ concerns” are not “serious”:

          It follows that were these Americans less alienated and better informed they would realize that even considering a man such as Trump for the White House is completely unjustified by the nation’s objective circumstances. We’ve enjoyed better times, the argument goes, but we’ve endured worse times. The present situation is not unmanageable, nor is it being so badly managed that we should reach beyond the standard presidential applicant pool to entrust the job to a figure who combines the most alarming qualities of Huey Long, George Wallace, and Ross Perot.

          He argues, to the contrary, that those concerns are, as he later puts it, “not simply illegitimate, bigoted, and ignorant.” He begins by referencing what he deems, and what those supporters may deem, to be essential responsibilities of government:

          It is not, in fact, particularly difficult to explain the emergence of Trumpismo in terms of legitimate concerns not addressed, and important duties not discharged. That such a flawed contender could be a front-runner tells us more about what’s wrong with the country than about what’s wrong with his followers. People have every reason to expect that their government will take its most basic responsibilities seriously, and every reason to be angry when, instead, it proves more feckless than conscientious.

          Much of the rest of his polemic concerns the apparent diminution of those “most basic responsibilities” by those charged with them. Ironically, much of the attack here on Voegeli, or defense of those he indicts – elites including Obama and high officials of Obama’s administration, but also including the Republican elites – consists of treating those responsibilities as diminishable, and of the related concerns as trivial or as “simply illegitimate, bigoted, and ignorant.” In other words, the response to the charge that “Obama et al don’t take these things seriously!” is “We don’t either!”

          The disconnect is perfect. If you presume that someone’s concerns are not possibly valid or sane or morally acceptable, then any attempt to express or act upon them must be invalid, insane, or immoral. The political effect is somewhat predictable, even if the particulars cannot always be anticipated. Bush, McCain, Kennedy, et al, didn’t predict a successful popular revolt against Comprehensive Immigration Reform. They thought they had a winner. The people who gave millions upon millions to Jeb Bush presumably thought they might have a winner, too.

          The American Left, having long since abandoned the working class as such in favor of interest groups, with those most sensitive to immigration dead last on the list of priorities-constituencies, seems quite past caring at all. Twenty-five years ago, the German author (and highly regarded man of the Left) Hans Magnus Enzensberger wrote his essay on “The Great Wandering,” warning, among other things, about the Left (he had in mind the German Left after the fall of the Berlin Wall) making itself appear incapable of action and without credibility – one might once have said, in the eyes of the People, back when the Left thought it cared about the People. You don’t care about what the People, or a vocal segment of the population that cares about the shape of its own identity, care about. You have, in effect, declared your own opinions irrelevant to them, and theirs to you. It’s not surprising if they take some additional pleasure in raising up a figure whose prominence obviously annoys and frightens you. They despise you as you despise them.Report

          • Avatar Chris in reply to CK MacLeod
            Ignored
            says:

            First, you misread my objection. It is not that I am dismissing the concerns (though I do not share them), it is that I am dismissing his argument that I should share them, which he first says is argued for by the fact that someone as bad as Trump is getting the traction he is, and second by selectively quoting misstatements and a couple rare events as evidence that there is something seriously wrong. So, again, he argues that Trump means we should take his supporters’ concerns seriously, because they are serious, and then he argues that they are serious because of some misstatements and rare events. The second part is his real reason for believing it, and the Trump nonsense is nonsense.

            Ironically, much of the attack here on Voegeli, or defense of those he indicts – elites included Obama and high officials of Obama’s administration, but also including the Republican elites – consists of treating those responsibilities as diminishable, and of the related concerns as trivial or as “simply illegitimate, bigoted, and ignorant

            Since this has nothing to do with what I said, I’ll assume you’re talking about someone else. My only point is that he gives us two arguments for taking the concerns seriously (the first circularly dependent upon the second, though he treats it otherwise), and those arguments do not support even a serious consideration of his conclusion, much less adopting it.

            It is an absolutely terrible article. If it’s the best that position has to offer, then we are right to dismiss it entirely.Report

            • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to Chris
              Ignored
              says:

              Chris:
              It is not that I am dismissing the concerns (though I do not share them), it is that I am dismissing his argument that I should share them, which he first says is argued for by the fact that someone as bad as Trump is getting the traction he is, and second by selectively quoting misstatements and a couple rare events as evidence that there is something seriously wrong. So, again, he argues that Trump means we should take his supporters’ concerns seriously, because they are serious, and then he argues that they are serious because of some misstatements and rare events. The second part is his real reason for believing it, and the Trump nonsense is nonsense.

              Whatever you personally believe, he cites numerous examples of observers, from both the Right and the Left, who take Trump or the Trump phenomenon seriously. The Trump phenomenon would be the level of support that Trump has maintained in the polls, along with his related success in dominating the pre-primary political process, as evidenced especially in the relatively poor showings, to this point, of “establishment candidates.” Beliefs or perceptions relating to immigration are critical to the argument, but not the point of the argument. For the purposes of the argument, what matters primarily is that those perceptions or beliefs exist or are strongly held, not whether they are valid or whether statements or actions based on them are justified.

              Perhaps you believe that the Trump phenomenon does not deserve to be taken seriously, by anyone, even though yesterday it or the reaction to it was depressing you so much you were contemplating emigration. If the former is your true view, then I suppose we can presume that nothing you say here, on this thread regarding the Trump phenomenon and reactions to it, can be taken seriously either.

              As for the rest, you remain (perhaps because of your admitted biases) seemingly incapable of processing, or even of entertaining, the arguments on the concerns that Voegeli claims underlie that phenomenon that you may or may not consider serious or significant. Voegeli sets for himself what ought to be a rather low bar, to the effect that those concerns are not “simply illegitimate, bigoted, and ignorant,” and that those holding them are not simply “manipulated” into doing so. The reflections on Steinle, San Bernardino, and so on, are produced in order to show that there is in fact something there -“legitimate concerns not addressed, and important duties not discharged” – tending to reinforce and excite the longer standing complaint with which you are disinclined to sympathize: A woman killed by a repeat illegal immigrant, a massacre, somewhat incompetent, careless, or “feckless” reactions by the President, the Attorney General, the head of DHS, et al.

              As for the deeper or more substantive question of illegal immigration, someone whose purpose was to convince you of its significance on its own terms, which is not Voegeli’s main subject, would be writing about illegal immigration, not about the Trump phenomenon, which is his main subject. For Voegeli’s stated purposes here, again, he needs only to show that that “the followers’ grievances” are not “simply illegitimate, bigoted, and ignorant.”

              Chris: If it’s the best that position has to offer, then we are right to dismiss it entirely.

              Yes, I know, we are always right to dismiss entirely that with which we disagree, all the more when we obviously do not understand it and are inclined not to understand it.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to CK MacLeod
                Ignored
                says:

                Is it possible to reject an argument even if you agree with the conclusion? (Not that Chris necessarily agrees with the conclusion, mind.) That is, can I coherently say, “that guy’s argument stinks – one part’s circular, the other part’s unsound”, without committing to any judgment regarding the conclusion?Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to CK MacLeod
                Ignored
                says:

                Then why are you biting Chris’s ankles?Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to CK MacLeod
                Ignored
                says:

                Perhaps because you share his biases, you are incapable of seeing their glaring flaws. See how easy that was?

                Seriously, his argument is not that we should take Trump seriously (we should, to the extent that it is possible he could win the nomination and therefore be a vote away from the Oval Office), but that we should accept that there are serious problems with the country and that is why people are stooping so low as to support a candidate as objectively awful as Trump (something he admits). He doesn’t say why Trump means we should accept the validity of his supporters’ concerns until he gets to the point at which he presents basically two streams of arguments, each with a couple data points: some misstatements by administration officials on immigration/terrorism, a murder by an undocumented immigrant, and the recent mass murder in California, as the evidence that our government is failing horribly.

                My point, then, is simple: he clearly believed this conclusion all along, and Trump’s success has nothing to do with whether we should believe it, as he himself shows when he uses the two events and misstatements as the real reasons why we should believe them. Trump has, in the end, nothing to do with anything; he’s simply the bait to get his reader to his real claim, which is that those examples are evidence of serious mismanagement. My point is that the misstatements and disparate, rare events are no such evidence. What’s more, no rational person would consider such rare events to be such without having some preexisting narrative to place them in, with that narrative then doing the bulk of the causal reasoning work. It suggests, then, that he has still other, unstated reasons for believing what he believes, whether it’s bigotry (I’m inclined to say yes, particularly given that one effect of bigotry is to treat rare events as more revealing of essential truths when they apply to the objects of bigotry) or ignorance (I’m inclined to believe that, too, but bigotry and ignorance are frequent bedfellows) or stupidity (I don’t know this guy, so maybe this sort of nonsense is not his usual fare?) or something else entirely.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to CK MacLeod
            Ignored
            says:

            The Vogelin piece and your defense could be political Mad Libs. How about this.

            You may care about universal health care or people being denied health care due to pre-exsisting conditions or how the drug war effects minority communities or pollution or fill in other liberal/democratic concern. After years of having conservatives ignore and denigrate our concerns and tell us how much we hate freedom and the Constitution how can there not be a disconnect. How can any dem be blamed for over heated rhetoric after republicans have forfeited their basic responsibilities to deal with these real pressing issues. We have legitimate concerns that conservatives did nothing about nor even admit were serious issues instead they said we were race baiting or some such. Really how your people have failed us and deserve every bit of over the top invective, mud slinging, bald face lying and bloviation any Dem can muster. You haven’t listened to these people and they are angry.

            That was easy and i admit i could have used your language more directly. I was a bit lazy. Should i take 10 minutes and completely deconstruct the Vogelin piece into a complete Mad Lib?Report

            • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to greginak
              Ignored
              says:

              It’s “Voegeli.” Vo(e)gelin was someone else.

              Your “mad lib” is, as you concede, “a bit lazy.” I’d say more than a bit because you persist in viewing the other side as simple, uniform bloc, when Voegeli could not be more clear in his distaste both for Trumpismo and its “over heated rhetoric” as well as for the Republican and Democrat elites such as they are.

              As for the rest, that Republicans or conservatives have failed to address concerns that ought to be considered fundamental, or have obstructed reasonable attempts to address them, would of course be a valid complaint. So your lazy mad-lib has a valid form, but the rationalization you pile on top of it is not Voegeli’s, or mine, at any point except in this sense: A “grievance” long ignored, or diminished and disrespected, will tend to produce emotional and even desperate, distorted and disfigured responses – “the starving chew their words” – whether those holding it identify with the Left, the Right, or the black or the white or any other color or group.

              Whether or not you, or those who have ignored or diminished the grievance, “deserve it” in some absolute moral sense may be less significant politically than whether or not you or they have asked for it – and keep on asking for it.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to CK MacLeod
                Ignored
                says:

                Close CK close. The point is that Trumpets are no different then other groups who aren’t happy with the elected gov and feel their concerns aren’t being addressed. That doesn’t’ make them special, it makes them citizens in a democracy. If they are pissed that is fine but it doesn’t act as some sort of cover for their attraction to whatever Trumpy is. If people are embarrassed by Trumpy or think he is unappealing, then own it but don’t blame on that on anybody else but Trumpy and his followers. They are grown up enough to be responsible for themselves.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, let’s look at immigration politics, the bones Trump is harvesting from the fields. Dems have proposed immigration reform which includes amnesty without any substantive changes to “border defense” and so on; the GOPers howl and whine and reject that proposal on the grounds that illegals are here illegally dammit (Cleek!), and also so on.

                Trump enters into the mix by cutting thru all the political bullshit on the right and says to voters “Hey, you want immigration reform that doesn’t include amnesty and strengthens the border? I got it for ya right here.”

                Now, the question is: why should the GOP be embarrassed by this? Seems to me it’s not because he proposed a policy consistent with all the GOP caterwauling over the years, but rather because he exposed the GOP as pandering (and lying) about their desire to implement a real immigration policy.

                The GOP isn’t pissed at Trump because he’s embarrassing. They’re pissed because he’s embarrassing them.Report

              • Avatar greginak in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Trump is saying things many R’s believe but in his typically loud and crass way.

                This of course does not invalidate their concerns or suggest they don’t have a right to their point of view. Nor does it suggest that many of us aren’t allowed to think Trump sucks and blows.

                And somehow Trump is still the fault of liberals. Oh and not liking The Trumper is still being a big meany pants by libs because we aren’t taking his beknighted followers seriously.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                To your last paragraph, Trump being caused by liberals just seems to me like an instance of conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed. Ie., if Trump is bad, it’s because he’s not really a conservative, and hence, it’s not realtrue conservatives who support him.

                Re: the last sentence: this is a pretty standard line of reasoning from conservatives, in my view, namely, that arguments for a position don’t matter but rather the emotional commitment to what would otherwise be a conclusion does. Eg., why no gay marriage? Cuz they feel really strongly that it’s bad.

                That’s fine, of course. And perfectly consistent with democracy and all that. It just exposes support for certain issues for what they are, tho: not subject to rational debate.Report

              • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Yep, Voegeli clearly blames “liberals” or Democrats or the current administration exclusively for the rise of Trump, because as we know. “bi-partisan phenomenon” means “liberals or Democrats or the current administration.” Likewise, describing Trump as a “third party challenge within the GOP” must mean that it’s all about the Liberal Left coalition. The indictment of “powerful Republicans,” particularly for their refusal to recognize when they have been repudiated, is, of course, really an indictment of powerful Democrats.Report

              • Avatar Stillwater in reply to CK MacLeod
                Ignored
                says:

                Hey, I already told you I won’t take seriously a guy who seriously uses the term “Jacksonian rebuke”. What more do you want from me?Report

              • Avatar Andrew Jackson in reply to Stillwater
                Ignored
                says:

                Shame on the both of you!Report

              • Avatar Chris in reply to greginak
                Ignored
                says:

                This is a good point.

                As I read it last night, I was wondering whether the author would think that an out-there left-wing candidate was a sign that the concerns of his or her supporters should not only be taken serious but be considered valid.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to CK MacLeod
                Ignored
                says:

                But Trump is trying to immanentize the eschaton.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to CK MacLeod
            Ignored
            says:

            Voegeli himself seems to think that 15 murders, out of a population of almost 320 million, calls the legitimacy of the government into question, simply on the basis of the fact that those 15 murders were perpetrated by immigrants. They certainly aren’t indicative of broader trends in rates of violent crime, which continue to be quite low. I’m not sure why I shouldn’t dismiss Voegeli’s own stated concerns as illegitimate and primarily attributable to bigotry.

            To the extent that Voegeli is right about what’s actually animating Trump’s supporters, his own piece provides a pretty damning indictment of them.Report

  6. Avatar Kazzy
    Ignored
    says:

    “A disreputable, irresponsible figure like Donald Trump gets a hearing when the reputable, responsible people in charge of things turn out to be self-satisfied and self-deluded.”

    Or when the people who support Trump shape their perceptions of the people in charge based on a falsehood fueled commercial echo chamber.Report

  7. Avatar Stillwater
    Ignored
    says:

    Personally, I can’t take an analysis of Trumpism which includes the term “Jacksonian rebuke” seriously, especially insofar as it applies to the plebes.

    Sarcastic uses are perfectly fine, of course.Report

  8. Avatar Kim
    Ignored
    says:

    Fascism Rising would make a great title for a post.
    As usual, Americans are too self-absorbed to write it.Report

  9. Avatar Rufus F.
    Ignored
    says:

    Well, this should take the wind right out of Trump’s sails…

    At some point, with luck, the government will be large and powerful enough and run by enough of the right people that elections will be fairly unnecessary.Report

  10. Avatar narciso
    Ignored
    says:

    Who has really held power and implemented their agenda, these last seven years. Certainly not Republicans,
    so who is responsible for the malfeasance, incompetence, and otherwise maladministration. The best thing that can be said is the opposition party has been complicit, and served as a false front like the Trust, That unarticulated sentiment is what is behind Trump’s rise,Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to narciso
      Ignored
      says:

      Power has been split between R’s and D’s for most of the last 7 years. The fact that R’s haven’t liked the policies of the admin has neither been unarticulated or remotely hidden. Little that Trump is saying is particularly new, its the just the way he says it and his personality that has gotten a ton of attention.Report

    • Avatar Morat20 in reply to narciso
      Ignored
      says:

      Why did you change your name?

      And seriously, end your sentences in “.” and not “,”.

      For one, that’s the correct way to end a sentence. And if that’s not sufficient, it makes your posts FAR more readable with proper punctuation.Report

  11. Avatar miguel cervantes
    Ignored
    says:

    Yes, we recall the civility of an era, that included ‘Death of a President’ and Checkpoint. The oblique scene in Kingsman, doesn’t really compare. 93 million people out of the workforce despite the tens of trillions spent and or guaranteed to banks and other instruments. a forever war, that continues to expand despite the ‘jay vee’ and varsity designations of our enemies,Report

  12. Avatar Kolohe'
    Ignored
    says:

    Voegeli’s take is exactly why support for Bush Jr lasted so long among those who would now denounce him. It doesn’t matter what Our Guy says or does – or that he’s really even Our Guy – but his enemies are our enemies and thus, I must support him.Report

    • Avatar CK MacLeod in reply to Kolohe'
      Ignored
      says:

      That’s a pretty telling critique… of the argument other than the one Voegeli makes. He denounces Trump six ways from sundown, and calls (or wishes) for an alternative. His argument is more that the fact that people oppose Trump doesn’t make them “our” friends, or even imply that their opposition is worth supporting, since the form it takes, including an attack on “us” or on people who agree with “us” on more essential matters, achieves the opposite of its supposed purposes.

      Also, I have no idea where Voegeli stood on W, but the perspective he represents defied W on CIR, and helps explain the ease with which Trump seems to have dispatched Jeb. It has also been very open to attacks on OIF, although some part of it would, I suspect, have been open to an OIF with less emphasis on the IF part.Report

  13. Avatar miguel cervantes
    Ignored
    says:

    well burning strawmen is an olympic sport, if Tony Stark ran for president, the grandoloquent tech tycoon, would it be substantially different then trump’s campaign, if the campaign hasn’t lost steam by May, that meme will be drawn out, in coordination with the whole Captain America Civil War experience,Report

  14. Avatar pillsy
    Ignored
    says:

    I read this piece several times, and it took that many times to realize that the crazy details that Voegeli was mustering in defense of Trump supporters[1] were obscuring an even crazier premise. His argument is literally that the fact that Trumpistas are supporting an obvious knave that only an ignoramus or a bigot would want in the White House is evidence that their concerns are not ignorant or bigoted.

    [1] E.g., one of the recent, memorable politically-motivated mass shootings was commited by jihadist lunatics rather than white supremacist or anti-abortion lunatics. This calls the fundamental legitimaticy of our government into question!Report

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