Posts by Kirk Serpes
Speaker: No, there isn’t a popular…, in reply to
Hi Denis, yeah I agree with you for the most part. The cozyness of the mainstream left with neoliberals who created the economic crisis def did not help - and Clinton was the worst possible candidate to put forward. She alienated the base and didn't pull votes from the other side either - worst of both worlds. In think we need to do more research on the midwest to see if it was whitelash or neoliblash.
There's actually a pretty steady trend of the loss of WWC votes in over last few decades from the Dems. The thing is over that same time both sides followed the same economic ideology (for the most part), but only one side became very socially liberal. Which kinda leads me to think that is election was more a reaction against the culture war. Would having a more economically left candidate help? Absolutely!! That would have probably shaved of a 1-2% of Trump's lead in some key states in the rust belt and gained like 5% with the left.
I guess my message is that liberals need to tell the whitelash movement to fuck themselves and to expect non-cooperation on every single thing they propose just like they did when Obama was elected in an actual fucking landslide (twice). And next time we find some socialist gay Latino Muslim to run because that would probably fire up the Dem base/coalition again.
The US is too polarised to meet the other side halfway. It's become very clear from the last few cycles that centrist establishment candidates don't win and that you need to throw red meat/vegan patties to your base rather than try to extend olive branches to the other side.
Speaker: No, there isn’t a popular…, in reply to
I didn't need much convincing that a lot of men wouldn't vote for Clinton because she was a woman but I would really love someone to explain to me how a majority of women voted for Trump? It was like 53% or something. I really hope someone is focus grouping that shit because I just really can't fathom how.
Speaker: No, there isn’t a popular…,
Okay there's one other area there that I didn't quite address that's worth mentioning. The competing economic vs cultural back lash narratives. One says that large number of white people living the rust belt have been left behind by the modern economy and this is their protest vote. The other says that the speed of cultural change in the US, starting with a black President, but also LGBT rights, BLM, etc has rattled the rural white middle class who can't recognise their country anymore and want things to go back to the good old days.
In reality it's probably a bit of both, but you can't ignore the fact that most of the coverage of this election was not dominated by discussion of economic policy but about race and gender issues (to put it very mildly). That's not to say a lot of people didn't vote against Clinton for her neoliberal policies, just that it wasn't the dominant theme, nowhere near enough to tip the scales I think... I could be wrong but this felt a lot more like a cultural backlash to the rapid pace of culture change. While part of me says fuck'em. They need to get used to the other people having as much rights and visibility as they've enjoyed, another calmer part of me says maybe we need to be less dickish about how we hold it over them in popular culture. After all they did vote for a black man twice.
Either way the economic centrism of Clinton did hurt her with the left activist base. They were never as excited about fighting for her. They didn't preach about how she would change the world to their friends and family 24/7 as they did with Obama, and that mean turnout suffered. The election felt toxic and most of the time progressives didn't defend Hillary the same way they defended Obama from all the attacks. That meant a lot of voters saw her as "just as bad" as Trump and just didn't vote for either for either of them. That's how she lost the lead Obama had.
Also yes I know there are many different varieties of "left". And for the purpose of this very quickly written blog I kinda used that term a little too broadly at times. There's the DNC elites DWS, Clintons,etc, the cultural elites like Bee, Oliver, etc, the far far left like Occupy, Jill Stien, the mid-far left of Bernie, etc, the business left mostly based around Silicon Valley. All those groups LOVED Obama but only one of them loved Clinton. Most were meh, some were all out anti. The Obama coalition isn't the Clinton one.. every successful candidate creates their own but she didn't. It's not that she didn't try to appeal to the rust belt workes, or BLM activists, or whatever, it's that most of them never really bought it. Be honest, even you knew that she would sell us out at the first opportunity if the going got tough. There you go, that's your enthusiasm gap.
Well the mainstream left (esp in Britain) got caught in an ideological corner. The blame for the neoliberal reforms had to fall on someone. Too many people are worse off. But obviously they didn't want to point the finger at their elitist mates which left the door open for the xenophobic right to ride in and point the finger at immigrants and brown people. It's a much simpler narrative than what the left and centre right have been trying to sell. A good lesson for centre-left parties across the world. Either take on the ideology that caused this mess or prepare to see xenophobic fascism steal your base.
Speaker: A simple strategy for Trump to…,
What interesting is that Latinos are suddenly signing up to be citizens in very large numbers, just so they can vote against Trump. Historically turnout in the Latino community has been pretty low but this clown might just change that. http://www.npr.org/2016/05/14/477811056/are-more-latinos-becoming-citizens-because-of-donald-trump
Speaker: Data Love or: How I learnt to…,
Another great bit of analysis on why the Republicans aren't going to be able to win in November. Essentially a house divided cannot stand. Both Cruz and Trump are well hated within the GOP, while most Dems could live with either Hillary or Sanders. The Dems have been very very disciplined in keeping ideological and culture war battles in check so that whoever wins will have a united force behind them.
Speaker: The real problem with the ‘Kiwimeter’,
Cheers for taking on the stupid. Yep other than the slightly outrage inducing questions there were also ones that were plain confusing, as in I didn't know what the meant. Stuff like "Do you support NZ intervention overseas"... as in Syria or in the Pacific Islands? Rather large difference, even assuming the point was trying to find out which people like bombing Muslims more than others.
Speaker: Data Love or: How I learnt to…,
I've been watching S4 of House of Cards (it's gone from great to awful) and what's interesting is that they're dealing with really high gas prices which is obviously affecting the President's popularity. Now contrasting that with reality, gas prices are at an all time low, the recovery is going well and unemployment is relatively low and the only people really killing Americans are the Police and wingnuts with guns (or their toddlers). On the whole the country is doing much better than it was 10 years ago. Yet the social unrest? Just goes to show how political rhetoric can distort reality to make people think that things are crap. We saw Tony Abbott do the same.
Unfortunately for Trump and his supporters this is not Australia. The demographic math doesn't work to well for them. His base of white males already vote in very high numbers and there's very little he can gain from throwing them more red meat. But the people who he keeps pissing off, i.e. Latinos, African Americans, Asians, etc don't traditionally vote in large numbers, but he's driving them to the polling booth. That's what the Republican establishment is terrified about, as he would cost them not just the Presidency but also their down ticket candidates and as such the Senate.
They also don't trust the guy any more than the Democrats. They know he's not ideologically aligned and an incredible narcissist. He's just better at playing their tactics than they are. When in power he could and probably would go against them and their elites interests. He needs attention to keep his ego going and will do whatever gets him said attention regardless of ideology.
Let's just hope there are no major scandals or actual terror or economic threats as that could actually create enough fear and panic for the voters to pick an "outsider" like him.
Speaker: Are we seeing the end of MSM,…,
One of the things that came out of the Journathon was the need for a professional body to lobby on behalf of interests of all media - radio, print, TV, web, as well as the journalism schools. This is a public good, and if ad revenue doesn't pay for good journalism, the public should via government. Ofc that won't happen just because it's a good idea, journalists and media orgs will need to learn to advocate for their profession. Nobody else can do it for them.
Speaker: Data Love or: How I learnt to…, in reply to
Yeah that def true. It's a LONG time to November and a lot can happen to upset everyone's predictions. Another terrorist attack would change things dramatically, as would significant economic troubles... or the usual political scandals. This is less a prediction and more a tactical response from a left wing perspective based on current information and trends.