Some of the local Bernie fans I've interacted with are really not reality-based at all. The time I tried to point out to a couple of them that their ammunition-shortage conspiracy theory was just a lightly-adapted version of a long-running right-wing conspiracy theory was ... memorable.
The alt-left and the alt-right have been on the same page quite a lot lately.
Especially those Bernie-or-bust types who are threatening to cut off the nose to spite the face and vote Trump. Bobby Kennedy's speechwriter sounds like one of them, on the grounds that the Dems are bigger warmongers than the GOP. The firmly reality-based Noam Chomsky has cautioned against such nose-cutting:
He’s less militaristic? Is he really? I mean he says it’s easy to get rid of ISIS — we just bomb the shit out of them. That’s less militaristic? What happens if you do that? You get into a war with the Islamic world. That’s exactly what ISIS wants; they want the West to read their playbook. Like Al-Qaeda, what they’re dreaming of is a major Western attack which will mobilise the whole Islamic world and you’ll have a huge war and maybe they’ll come out of it, so yeah, let’s do that.
What are his domestic policies? Increase the military budget — it’s already more than half of discretionary spending, but let’s increase it. Cut back taxes on the rich — no new resources. It means there’s nothing left for the government, essentially, which is fine by them — at least they’ll have a government for the rich — that’ll stay of course — but any possible beneficial thing that could be done is gone.
Furthermore, you enter into immediate conflicts with other countries. You impose high tariffs on China. What do the Chinese do? Say thanks? They’ll want to react! Kill the Iran deal? Fine, that isolates the United States. Europe will probably continue, so the U.S. is just isolated. So we get into a situation: the line is, everyone’s attacking us, cheating us, we need a bigger military — we’re at war with the world. That’s less militaristic? I mean, it just doesn’t make any sense.
How the ‘Great Paradox’ of American politics holds the secret to Trump’s success (audio version) – on what drives people with every reason to vote against Trump to support him instead. Wondered where this one was going at first, but it winds up with a fairly strong thesis.
TL;DR: when "temporarily embarrassed millionaires" become "permanently embarrassed millionaires", they blame everyone below them for holding them back. And as one of the commenters in the article posted, "a generation ago these men were all [George] Wallace Democrats. It only appears as a paradox to well rounded people willing to consider the big picture."
This is the fundamental reason for Trump's popularity, I think, rather than a sudden rise in ignorance and bigotry in the US population.
For the same reasons, Bernie Sanders rode the same wave for those of a more reality-based persuasion, but he had to start from a zero base against the well-connected and well-known Hillary.
Either way, the politico-economic orthodoxy of the past generation is slowly but surely imploding. 4 years ago, the WaPo's David Smick wrote as such, and that there was no obvious model to replace it at the time. That model could well be some kind of populist revival, be it alt-right Trumpism or neo-Leftist Corbynism.
I hope the ComCom grows a pair and rejects the merger. But even if it does, I suspect the damage is done and Old Media has crossed the Rubicon. I can no longer sit on the sidelines and watch our broadsheets go tabloid by stealth.
If your ad blocker allows it, white-list any NZME/FF/NH articles by the likes of Matt Nippert and Kirsty Johnston, and leave it on for the yellow journalists in our midst. Sites like The Spinoff have started to creatively disrupt Old Media, and every little crowdfund counts. In the end though, we need what it takes to starve the yellow journalism beast. Further ideas are very welcome.
Speaking of the Daily (Hate) Mail, at least it's been a tabloid rag from the start. What's been happening at NZME is a more insidious case of a broadsheet devolving into a tabloid, and in danger of taking the Overton window with it.
Is it a Privileges Committee offence to concoct an astroturf group on the hoof?
"Bollocks" seems to work in any situation. And my Twitter feed was briefly reminded of that moment when Ron Mark mumbled the F-word, and the sign language interpreter translated it as a middle finger.
And even further back, Canada's Pierre Trudeau once told a group of striking truckies to "mangez de la merde".
As someone pointed out, offering an online option while reducing school support funding for older disabled students suggests another group who may be 'encouraged' to opt for the former 'choice'.
Online learning is an adjunct to traditional learning, rather than a replacement for it. And there's the digital divide issue - would pupils be required or not to supply their own computer devices, which cost a whole lot more than a few pencils and sheets of paper?
For learners with pervasive developmental disorders like ADHD or autism, a highly immersive approach such as that of a trade apprenticeship likely fits them best. Computers in the home can't necessarily replicate that, if the ultra-high dropout rates for MOOCs are anything to go by.
And from experience, Eton-esque private schools are hotbeds of applied Social Darwinism where classmates tread on anyone perceived to be weak for the fun of it. My folks thought it was a good idea at the time.
From 2013, still rings true. Big Farming in America remains a rentier racket, and it's a key reason why the TPPA can't be called a free trade agreement.
What I find most bizarre is that US farmers, who have this image of being freedom lovers with a loathing for pinko-socialist bureaucrats in Washington, accept handouts from the state. It seems so . . . un-American! Aren't they embarrassed?
When the Business Roundtable was in its prime it used to bring out zealous American academics that were so right wing they made Ayn Rand look like a raving Marxist. They lectured New Zealand on the benefits of the free market and getting government out of our lives.
I used to like interviewing them as I would always ask them what they thought of the billions of dollars of government handouts doled out to US farmers. They would smile nervously and say of course they didn't agree with them but it was all politics and nothing much could be done about it. What hypocrites! I always felt they would have been more useful staying home and preaching to their own politicians and farmers.