Fisk of the Day: Tom & Trump Voters

Well, if you’ve been a regular reader of The Declination, you are no doubt aware that I’m not exactly in the Tom Nichols fan club. Some folks might be under the impression that my disdain for him is rooted in his status as a NeverTrumper. But that isn’t the case. My good friend Nicki is a NeverTrumper, and I take no issue with that.

The difference between Tom and Nicki is instructive. Nicki merely disagrees with a political choice, which is part of a long tradition in America, whereas Tom actively disdains Trump voters, and views them as something akin to a teeming mass of idiots ruining his intellectual utopia. Consider this article:

Are Trump voters ruining America for all of us?

Just the title of this article is sensationalist clickbait. Tom pulls no punches in his disdain for the Trumpist peasantry. But if you expect the article to take a more moderate tone, you’re about to be disappointed.

President Trump’s record in his first 100 days, by any standard of presidential first terms, is one of failure. Aside from the successful nomination of the eminently qualified Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, there are almost no accomplishments — and a fair number of mistakes.

Now, don’t add me to the “Trump is perfect” fan club either. I’m rather irritated at his handling of Syria at the moment. But Tom wants us to believe that by “any standard” (he really means by his standard), Trump’s record is terrible. Worse, probably, than any other President. Yet he admits right away that Trump nominated a qualified and decent candidate to the Supreme Court.

That, in itself, is an immense thing. Many of us viewed Trump as a lesser evil precisely for this reason, because we were very concerned about what another liberal justice would do to the Court. Irrespective of his other failures, this was a huge achievement, and Tom just brushes it aside as an afterthought.

The president’s first national security adviser had to quit after a record-setting tenure of only 24 days. The administration’s first major legislative initiative, on health care, crashed and burned in a spectacular political wreck. Foreign policy has lurched from alienating China to relying on China to help us with North Korea. A rain of cruise missiles on a Syrian air base led to a brief moment of hope for those who care about humanitarian intervention (and a moment of despair for Trump’s isolationist base); less than a month later it is all but forgotten by supporters and critics alike because no actual policy emerged from this stunning use of American force.

So he held his National Security Adviser to account when the man screwed up, and this is deemed as a failure. Tom is misunderstanding how a man like Trump thinks. Trump is not thinking of political image (indeed, the idea is laughable), he is thinking in business terms. If you don’t trust a subordinate, dismiss him. Tom’s experience as a former Senate aide may be clouding his view here. If one of Obama’s advisers screwed up, Obama’s first inclination would be to cover it up. When one of Trump’s advisers screws up, Trump’s first inclination is to fire the idiot.

As for China, this is partly a recognition of a geopolitical truth: China is a “frenemy.” In some situations, we must treat them as something akin to an enemy. In other situations, we are best advised to work with them. This isn’t rocket science.

Lastly, the idea that Trump’s supporters suddenly forgot about his attack on Syria is absolutely ludicrous. My feed absolutely exploded with Trump supporters who were angry at him for this and it hasn’t stopped. No, Trump’s supporters may still be largely behind him, but they were not happy with this.

Meanwhile, almost every day produces a cringe-worthy moment of messaging failure, from spokesman Sean Spicer’s bizarre comment about how Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons on his own people to Trump’s claim that his ratings on a television news program were bigger than 9/11.

A spokesman makes a messaging mistake. And Tom puts this on Trump. But this is a Catch-22, because if Trump fired Sean Spicer for doing something stupid, Tom would undoubtedly call that a failure, too. “Trump had to dismiss his press secretary, he’s such a failure!”

Not surprisingly, Trump is at this point the most unpopular new president in the history of modern polling. What is bewildering is that at the same time, 96% of Trump voters say they have no regrets about their choice. How can this be? Is it just partisanship, with Americans so divided that they will simply cheer on their own team and stay loyal beyond all rational thought?

You’d think people like Tom would have learned to take these polls with a huge grain of salt, at this point. I mean, it’s not like they were all wrong about the election in the first place, right?

Anyway, Tom again is misunderstanding what’s driving the support for Trump, what’s been driving it all along. People are sick of being lied to by Washington. They know they are being lied to. They know 2+2 is not 5. You can tell them that water is not wet until you’re blue in the face, but they know you are lying.

Now, they may not be geopolitical geniuses. If you asked them about the capital city of Zimbabwe, or something, they probably won’t know. But they are intelligent enough to realize that they don’t want to send millions of their taxpayer dollars there.

The wide disagreement among Americans on the president’s performance, however, is more than partisanship. It is a matter of political literacy. The fact of the matter is that too many Trump supporters do not hold the president responsible for his mistakes or erratic behavior because they are incapable of recognizing them as mistakes. They lack the foundational knowledge and basic political engagement required to know the difference between facts and errors, or even between truth and lies.

They don’t know the difference between truth and lies, facts and errors. They have no political foundation. So, perhaps, they ought to just let their betters run things, right? If other Senate aides have this much disdain for the American people, it would explain an awful lot about DC.

As the social psychologist David Dunning wrote during the campaign, “Some voters, especially those facing significant distress in their life, might like some of what they hear from Trump, but they do not know enough to hold him accountable for the serious gaffes he makes.” In other words, it’s not that they forgave Trump for being wrong, but rather that they failed “to recognize those gaffes as missteps” in the first place.

I’ve about as much confidence in the pronouncements of a social psychologist as I do in the local astrologist, delivering palm readings out of her trailer home.

This was most evident during the campaign itself, when candidate Trump’s audiences applauded one fantastic claim after another: that he saw Muslims cheering the 9/11 attacks, that the United States pays for over 70% of NATO’s costs, that he knew more than the generals about strategy. When he became president, he continued the parade of strange assertions and obsessions.

Except Muslims did cheer the 9/11 attacks. I was just watching an excellent video put out by Prager U, wherein an apostate from Islam described his own family cheering the attacks. And as for NATO, even the Washington Post admits there is some truth to the 70% figure.

The relevant part:

NATO documents show that a majority of NATO members fail to meet NATO’s guideline, established in 2006, that defense expenditures should amount to 2 percent of each country’s gross domestic product. The median spending in 2015 is just 1.18 percent of GDP, compared to 3.7 percent for the United States, NATO says. Just four other countries currently exceed the 2 percent guideline.

“The volume of the US defense expenditure effectively represents 73 per cent of the defense spending of the Alliance as a whole,” NATO says in a discussion of indirect funding. “This does not mean that the United States covers 73 per cent of the costs involved in the operational running of NATO as an organization, including its headquarters in Brussels and its subordinate military commands, but it does mean that there is an over-reliance by the Alliance as a whole on the United States for the provision of essential capabilities, including for instance, in regard to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; air-to-air refueling; ballistic missile defense; and airborne electronic warfare.”

NATO concedes this imbalance has been an issue since the start of the alliance: “The combined wealth of the non-US Allies, measured in GDP, exceeds that of the United States. However, non-US Allies together spend less than half of what the United States spends on defense.”

It depends on whether one is discussing the direct contributions to NATO, or the overall share of military expense by members of the alliance. Of course, Tom knows this too. So I’m not sure why he’s being dishonest in this respect.

To be sure, some of Trump’s voters, like any others, are just cynical and expect the worst from every elected official. Others among them grasp Trump’s failings but fall back on the sour but understandable consolation that at least he is not Clinton. But many simply don’t see a problem. “I think I like him more now that he is the president,” Pennsylvania voter Rob Hughes told New York Post writer Salena Zito.

So Tom picks a single quote by a single voter to a single publication, and then sees this as some indication that Trump voters are somehow blind to his mistakes. Clearly, Tom travels in different circles than I do, where Trump supporters are angry about Syria, and very impatient for the Wall. It’s all over social media, easy for him to see if he even bothered to look. Ann Coulter even publicly chastised him for this, and she was among his most ardent supporters. No, Trump voters are watching him like a hawk. There are exceptions, of course. But does anyone really see Trump getting a second term if he doesn’t produce the requisite Wall? I sure don’t.

There is a more disturbing possibility here than pure ignorance: that voters not only do not understand these issues, but also that they simply do not care about them. As his supporters like to point out, Trump makes the right enemies, and that’s enough for them. Journalists, scientists, policy wonks — as long as “the elites” are upset, Trump’s voters assume that the administration is doing something right. “He makes them uncomfortable, which makes me happy,” Ohio Trump voter James Cassidy told the Toronto Star’s Daniel Dale. Syria? Korea? Health care reform? Foreign aid? Just so much mumbo-jumbo, the kind of Sunday morning talk-show stuff only coastal elitists care about.

The elites, the journalists and policy wonks have very strong disdain for the hoi polloi. It’s utterly obvious. I remember when GamerGate first became a thing, and gamers were shocked about the articles from game journalists explaining that gamers were racist, sexist, homophobic monsters. And then said journalists were surprised that the people they were insulting suddenly didn’t like them very much.

The American news media, policy wonks, some scientists (most notably involved in climate change research) and otherwise have been doing this for decades. And now Tom is surprised that some Americans who may not even like Trump very much are nonetheless not overly concerned when he attacks those people.

In my own circles, I’ve seen a number of people who didn’t even vote for Trump nonetheless sprouting “schadenboners” at seeing how the Left and the news media are collectively melting down over his election.

There is a serious danger to American democracy in all this. When voters choose ill-informed grudges and diffuse resentment over the public good, a republic becomes unsustainable. The temperance and prudent reasoning required of representative government gets pushed aside in favor of whatever ignorant idea has seized the public at that moment. The Washington Post recently changed its motto to “democracy dies in darkness,” a phrase that is not only pretentious but inaccurate. More likely, American democracy will die in dumbness.

Who defines the public good, Tom? That’s always the question. We haven’t had a representative government for as long as I’ve been alive. It’s been an oligarchical farce, masquerading as a democracy. Occasional exceptions like Ronald Reagan were never enough to right the ship.

Tom’s fascination with calling everybody who disagrees with him stupid may be a rather extreme form of projection.

Those of us who criticized Trump voters for their angry populism were often told during and after the election not to condescend to our fellow citizens, and to respect their choices. This is fair. In a democracy, every vote counts equally and the president won an impressive and legitimate electoral victory.

Even so, the unwillingness of so many of his supporters to hold him to even a minimal standard of accountability means that a certain amount of condescension from the rest of us is unavoidable.

In every election, we must respect the value of each vote. We are never required, however, to assume that each vote was cast with equal probity or intelligence.

So the conclusion of your whole rant is exactly nothing, Tom. All it serves to do is provide you with some rationalization for why you can act condescending to Trump voters, and call them stupid.

Look, I’m not exactly Trump’s number one fan, Tom. In fact, I said some months back that in better times, I’d want to keep a man like Trump as far from the levers of power as humanly possible.

But what you’ve been missing, while putzing around political circles, is that middle America is falling apart. And the whole time it’s been falling apart, the media, the policy wonks, the politicians, celebrities, and talking heads kept telling us: “you need to sacrifice more, you need to give up more.”

Stop driving cars so much, they said. Pay more taxes, they said. Give up your nice home and comfortable energy budget. Black Lives Matter and yours don’t. You’re racist, sexist, homophobic, hateful, and bigoted. You’re stupid, they said, and so we’re going to tell you how to live. We’re going to micromanage your life for you. Then, if we decide to get in a war in some third-world shithole, you need to go die for us. And if we feel like throwing away the victory bought with your blood, too bad, because we’re smart, and you’re stupid.

After decades of this mistreatment, men like Tom are surprised that the American electorate flipped them the bird and said “fine, fuck you, enjoy Donald Trump, assholes.”

Tom, you sit there talking about how American democracy will die in dumbness. You’re wrong. American democracy is already dead. It was dead when the Democrats cleared the field for Hillary Clinton’s anointment. It was dead when the GOP tried to force Jeb down our throats. It died as the GOP establishment gained all major levels of federal power and still surrendered to the Democrats on almost every point of contention they thought they could get away with. What the people want is irrelevant to Washington. There is no democracy here. Not much of a republic either.

What the layman in the street sees is a steady expansion of government power, and a steady erosion of his fortunes. He sees more of his liberty disappearing, and more of the politically-connected getting whatever their hearts desire.

He may not be learned in the way some of us are. He may be a regular Joe, scratching a living, who never had the time and money for college. But that doesn’t mean he’s stupid. That doesn’t mean he can’t see what’s going on right in front of him. He may not necessarily understand why this is all happening or be able to articulate the exact mechanisms behind it. But he can nonetheless see the effects.

You’re pissing down his back and telling him that it’s raining. And then you’re wondering why he doesn’t trust you anymore.

Food, Virtue Signalling, and Narcissistic Supply Part II

A few days ago, the media attacked Donald Trump for his habit of ordering well done steaks. Naturally, I had a lot to say on the topic, as snobbery of any form grates on the nerves.

Little did I realize that Nicholas Nassim Taleb was going down a similar road at more or less the same time. He captures the essence of food snobbery here:

I once had dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurant with a fellow who insisted on eating there instead of my selection of a casual Greek taverna with a friendly owner operator, his second cousin as a manager and his third cousin once removed as a receptionist. The other customers seemed, as we say in Mediterranean languages, to have a cork plugged in their behind obstructing proper ventilation, causing the vapors to build on the inside of the gastrointestinal walls, leading to the irritable type of decorum you only notice in the educated upper classes. I note that, in addition to the plugged corks, all men wore ties.

 

Dinner consisted in a succession of complicated small things, with microscopic ingredients and contrasting tastes that forced you to concentrate as if you were taking some type of exam. You were not eating, rather visiting some type of museum with an affected English major lecturing you on some artistic dimension you would have never considered on your own. There was so little that was familiar and so little that fit my taste buds: once something on the occasion tasted like something real, there was no chance to have more as we moved on to the next dish. Trudging through the dishes and listening to some b***t by the sommelier about the paired wine, I was afraid of losing concentration. I costs a lot of energy to fake that I was not bored. In fact I discovered an optimization in the wrong place: the only thing I cared about, bread, was not warm. It appears that this is not a Michelin requirement.

It’s fascinating because it’s so true. Most high-end restaurants I’ve been to operate more or less as Taleb describes them. The server will spin a line of bullshit about the wine pairings, lecture us on the acidity of this or that, and attempt to sell us on the exclusivity of the place. Everything is unnecessarily complex.

There have been exceptions, of course. There is a high-end steakhouse near where I live called Bern’s Steakhouse, and it apparently has some renown, given that out of town friends often gravitate toward it. In that case, the place lived up to the hype. The steak was excellent, among the best I’ve had, along with what is probably the best french onion soup I’ve ever tasted. But the building itself is sort of run down, and the wait staff doesn’t lecture you on the menu, or the pairings, or any of that garbage (this despite having one of the largest wine collections in the world). And the menu is simple. You go there for steak, and the accompanying sides, and that’s pretty much it.

But such unassuming high end restaurants are the exception, not the rule. For the most part, be prepared for a lot of pretentious bullshit about why complex ingredient lists and overpriced wine is proof that you have an elevated palate, that you are special in the way those dirty unwashed masses aren’t. As Taleb puts it, they have corks plugged up their asses. It must be uncomfortable.

I couldn’t imagine living that way.

As Taleb tells us, this extends beyond food, however. When people get to thinking this way, everything must be complex, special, expensive, and out of reach of the unwashed masses. It’s about differentiation, thinking yourself better than others.

When people get rich, they shed their skin-in-the game driven experiential mechanism. They lose control of their preferences, substituting constructed preferences to their own, complicating their lives unnecessarily, triggering their own misery. And these are of course the preferences of those who want to sell them something. This is a skin-in-the-game problem as the choices of the rich are dictated by others who have something to gain, and no side effects, from the sale. And given that they are rich, and their exploiters not often so, nobody would shout victim.

It’s not just when they become rich, however. It’s when they start to climb above the teeming mass of humanity. Remember when Hillary Clinton looked positively baffled by a beer tap, when looking to do some kind of misguided blue collar photo op? There she was, with a fake smile and a beer glass full of foam, looking for all the world like she would rather be anywhere else.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hoists a beer during a tour of at Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, Wis., Tuesday, March 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton hoists a beer during a tour of at Pearl Street Brewery in La Crosse, Wis., Tuesday, March 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Beer, you see, is the peasant’s drink. Unless you’re becoming a beer snob, I suppose. Either way, though, it’s too simple and plebbish for a refined power broker like Hillary. I bet she’s one of those women who sniffs the cork repeatedly before deigning to pour a glass of wine. Oh hell, silly me, what am I saying? She probably pays somebody to pour the wine for her.

I think most Americans daydream on occasion about what they would do if they were supremely wealthy. I asked one of the redneck gearheads at the local muscle car meetup about what he’d do with a few million bucks.

“I’d buy a GT350. Supercharge it,” he replied.

Simple needs for a simple man, I suppose. No Ferraris or Lambos for him. He just wanted to go fast, and to hell with the rest of the bullshit. There was no talk of servants, or mansions, or outings to the fanciest French restaurants. It was all about the go-fast.

Nicholas Nassim Taleb explains that even if the costs were reversed, he’d prefer a pizza over the bazillion-course microscopic servings at the fancy place:

Let’s return to the restaurant experience and discuss constructed preferences as compared to natural ones. If I had a choice between paying $200 for a pizza or $6.95 for the French complicated experience, I would pay $200 for the pizza, plus $9.95 for a bottle of Malbec wine. Actually I would pay to not have the Michelin experience.

Of course, this isn’t to say that if you genuinely liked the complex food that it’s somehow wrong to eat it. Neither, should it be noted, should you forgo the Ferrari if you can afford it, and if you really want one. The key is to avoid the artificial narrowing down of your options, in some misguided attempt to signal your superiority:

Many have been mistaking this idea for an advocacy of Spartan choices rather than something about the restriction of freedom.

If you’re poor, you can have the pizza, or nothing. If you’re rich, you can choose the pizza or the fancy food, as you prefer. You should not say no to the pizza just because someone is trying to sell you on the superiority of complex food. Neither should you deny yourself the fancy shit, if that’s what you really want.

But whose desires are you satisfying at that point?

I’ve found in my short time on this Earth that most people espouse things that aren’t them in spades. I used to think it was a drive toward artificial conformity, you know, the traditional cliquish high school behavior writ large. But I find that this operates in reverse, too. At times they choose something precisely because they don’t want to be associated with some group. Ask any Mustang guy what he thinks of the Chevy Camaro. Buying a Mustang is as much about avoiding being a Camaro driver (jokes about mullethead, Miller Lite drinking GM guys abound). And the wealthy patrons of Michelin’s don’t want to be seen crawling around some neighborhood pizzeria. That’s for plebs!

It’s funny, because the virtue signalers often spout cliches like “be yourself!” You first, asshole.

All of this is artificially restrictive of choice. Becoming wealthy is supposed to grant you more choices, not take them away, not pigeonhole a person into the sort of vapid, petty-tyrannical, I’m-better-than-you snobbery espoused by our political class.

And it makes you think. How much of what they say or do isn’t even based on their own preferences, but based on some kind of desire to signal superiority? Social Justice is signalling moral superiority. Food snobbery signals superiority of taste. And then there is the sort of Dunning-Kruger-esque desire to signal intellectual superiority by barfing word salad like the privileged cisnormative heteropatriachal conspiracy, or some bullshit. I mean, if you don’t like white guys, I’d actually prefer if you just said that. You’re still a racist shit, mind you, but at least you’re not a pretentious racist shit.

Put simply, if you like well done steak, order away. If you prefer pizza to Michelin’s, get yourself a pizza. And if all your friends are virtue signalling their food superiority, you probably ought to get new friends.

Food, Virtue Signalling, and Narcissistic Supply

Recently, there has been some foofarah over the President’s food preferences. Namely, he likes his steaks well done and slathered in ketchup. The horror! The utter, unmitigated gall of a man to order food the way he likes it!

You know, it’s funny. My father still orders his steaks well done, and I’ve never quite understood why. Medium rare to medium has always struck me as the best balanced steak. I really don’t care for a bloody mess on a plate, so rare and blue rare are right out. If I wanted that, I’d just go to the Serengeti, chuck a spear at some wild animal, and eat the flesh raw. But well done, indeed, cooks out much of the flavor. So, yeah. Balance. But what business is it of mine to harp on a man for what he likes to eat? It is enough that I’ve my own preferences, and another man has his.

Food virtue signalling, or more aptly, food snobbery has been a thing for a very long time. And like political virtue signalling, it is all about display one’s superiority over another based on some irrelevant metric. “Look at me,” says the narcissist, “I’m superior because I like my steak rare.”

Of course, it is not merely steak that has suffered this effect. Wine has traditionally been a strong bastion of snobbery, but the practice has moved to craft beer. Now, again, don’t get me wrong, I like craft beer. For the longest time, I thought I didn’t like beer, because I found Bud, Coors, and Miller Lite to be foul-tasting  beverage abominations. But therein lies the point: I found them foul. Another man might like them. Indeed, even today these beers sell like hotcakes. Obviously somebody likes them.

If the President wants a Bud Lite, get him a damned Bud Lite. And just because you drink Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA (which I also find foul, by the way, as it’s a totally overrated beer in my opinion) doesn’t mean you are a better man, or have a more “elevated” palate, or anything of the sort. Here’s a great video about the irritating nature of the new craft beer snob types that have been popping up in trendy bars around the country:

 

Some years back, I remember reading about a blind taste test of wines, and a number of Napa valley California wines beating out French wines among the French. Naturally, the French were angry about this. You can’t virtue signal your superiority if you’re just rating what tastes good. Or, put in simpler terms, the French taste testers couldn’t cheat and give their own a leg up.

There’s this thought today that, like correctness in politics, there is correctness in food and drink. There is an Overton Window for acceptable steak. There are some steak places I’ve been to where ordering a medium steak gets me a dirty look from the server. As if to say “how dare you order cooked food from our establishment.” Given that Donald Trump likes his steak well done, I’m sure he’s dealt with much worse over the years.

Folks act like Donald Trump is afraid to try new things, afraid to eat superior food, or some such. It’s lunacy. More than likely, he’s tried his steak other ways in the past, and just likes what he likes. After all, if you like your steak rare for whatever reason, you’ll deal with a lot less dirty looks and peer pressure. Just like, it should be noted, that if you like your politics Leftist, again, you will deal with a lot less hate for it.

cook-a-steak-blue-rare-medium-welldone-2

Rare has been deemed by the nameless food correctness authorities to be the *perfect* steak. Anything else is wrongthink.

 

This is past the point of ridiculousness. Not only must your politics be perfectly correct, according to some nameless, faceless, cultural authority, but your food and beverage choices must be also. Or else, as some outlets have implied, you are not qualified to be President.

I wonder, however, if the people who push such narratives of correctness even believe any of their own bullshit. Do people really prefer their steaks rare in such mass numbers? Or are a healthy percentage of them doing it because the snooty server at the fancy steak place will give you a dirty look if you order anything else?

How many craft beer snobs drink the beer for taste, and how many drink it because it’s trendy? I suspect a great many folks do this out of trendiness. When I went to Germany some years back, I noticed that some of my favorite German beers were incredibly cheap there. I filled up on beer, let me tell you. I remember walking through the aisle of a kiosk store there, and seeing bottled water selling for a higher price than some of the best beers in the world (again, in my opinion). Amusingly enough, German purity laws regarding beer probably meant the water in the beer was probably of better quality than the actual bottled water. But never mind that. I had a great time at the breweries and such.

But one thing that stood out to me was how normally the Germans regarded their beers. To them, this was just how beer was. If you wanted one, you drank one. People weren’t sitting around sniffing their glasses, or some theatrical bullshit like you see sometimes in American craft beer bars.

If you like your beer, you can drink your beer.

It was that way in America, once too. Sure, our beers were probably crappier in those days, but I do miss the idea that if you liked a certain kind of beer, nobody cared. I wonder if steaks were once that way too. Wines, of course, probably weren’t, but we can blame the French for that. Though if you read your Bible, you’ll notice how wine didn’t seem to be a big deal in Christ’s day. Certainly the Messiah didn’t see the need to sniff the cork and aerate the wine before doing whatever with it.

Most of this is just theatrics. Maybe more folks like their steak one way as opposed to another, and maybe more folks like this beer over that beer. But it’s not about that anymore. It’s about putting on airs of self-righteous indignation every time someone does something differently with their food and drink. It’s about saying “I’m better than you.”

For a bunch of Leftists who once tried to ride the wave of prole resentment into Communism, it’s something of an irony. Their behavior has much more in common with aristocratic disdain for the peasantry than any sort of “workers of the world unite” bullshit.

Apparently, you can have infinite number of genders, my friends, but you must order your steak only one way.

For Great Triggering

Here is a selection of inauguration All Your Base highlights.

From Tom Kratman at EveryJoe:

If I didn’t make it clear enough eleven days ago, Donald Trump’s re-election campaign begins now. Moreover, the SJWs, the special snowflakes, the thumb suckers of collegiate campuses, and the legion of the perpetually outraged are all going to help us get him re-elected.

For those who don’t like Donald Trump, think of it as the campaign to keep unutterably corrupt Democrats who hate you because you’re either white or an Oreo/Uncle Tom or, in any case, a doubleplusungood male, or a conservative or other than lesbian female, or at least someone who hasn’t embraced victimhood status, away from the White House silver and china. We all have a part to play in this and we can have great fun, fantastic fun, while we play our parts.

From Vox Day at Vox Popoli:

#GamerGate didn’t die, it evolved and expanded. And now it is Making America Great Again.

From Emperor Misha of the glorious Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler:

Thanks to LC & IB Angry Webmaster (whose website you’re already visiting on a daily basis unless you really are into missing out on shit), we find this absolutely full of awesome sauce Youtube vid that he stated we must post tomorrow.

Tomorrow?, we say. Why not get the beat going ahead of time? We hate being behind the curve and, besides, the wondrous sight of Prozi heads exploding tomorrow will only be made better this way. It will be GLORIOUS!

So here it is. Share, spread, make it go viral, memeify the fuck out of it, as our Heirs would say, shitlord it all over the Innertubes until it crushes under the weight of it.

And the great news is that it’s already starting to trigger some Progs. Go forth. Spread the message further. All Your Base Are Belong to Us. Obama is out, Trump is in, and my Schadenboner is taller than the Washington Monument.

As for the inauguration speech itself, Trump said the following, which resonates pretty well with the usual subject matter at The Declination:

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another.

But we are transferring power from Washington D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left. And the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs. And while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land. That all changes starting right here and right now. Because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you.

I can only say that I truly hope he means it. Trump carries with him the potential to reverse a great deal of Progressive damage. But even the mighty Ronald Reagan was only able to arrange a delay in our decline, he wasn’t able to arrest it completely, or turn it around.

And as I said before, this was a Hail Mary pass of epic proportions. It is a thing we are unlikely to see again in our lifetimes, so we cannot count on it happening again. We must keep our momentum. The one thing Trump did, love him or hate him, that no Republican has done since Reagan, is mobilize the Right in a Culture War. Other Republicans routinely cede control of the media, the narrative, education, entertainment, and all other such cultural matters to the Left.

And the Left then uses these things to browbeat us into submission via what amounts to peer pressure and virtue signalling. You’re a big nasty meanie racist (or Uncle Tom) unless you agree with the Left politically.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the only two Republicans in living memory to counter this force were entertainers, actors, people able to mobilize support on a cultural level, not just a political one.

And so we see the tactic that works. We must not just ignore the mainstream media, we must destroy it. We cannot merely have Republican meetups on college campuses, we must dominate them. When Antifa thugs show up to your event, mobilize the Bikers in retaliation. Every dirty tactic the Left has embraced for years is now ours for the taking.

Yes, yes, many of you will find such tactics disdainful. But if an enemy country nuked your major cities, would you not strike back in like fashion, if you were able? If the enemy deploys a tactic against you, and is defeating you with it, it is permissible to counter-attack in like fashion. If you don’t, you merely hand the enemy a weapon they can utterly dominate you with. That is what has happened over the last several decades. So as far as I’m concerned, the gloves are off now.

Trump said no more ceding of the culture to the Left. Now it remains to be seen if he lives up to his immense promises. If he fails, then this will be but a temporary respite. If he succeeds, he could very well be the greatest president in living memory. Some, like the esteemed Nicki Kenyon, are very doubtful of him (but she nonetheless hopes that he can do it). Others are very confident in his abilities. I’m probably somewhere in between those positions. I’ve grown more confident as I’ve seen his cabinet picks, and seen how he adeptly manhandles the media.

The ultimate choice, I suppose, is his. God Bless America, and our new President.

Flag

 

Trump: All Your Base Are Belong to Us

Trump: All Your Base Are Belong to Us

Without further ado, here it is:

And here is the Imgur gallery:

ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US

This morning The Declination was subject to a DDoS attack, I think. It’s hard to tell, but the server was very unresponsive. So if it goes down again later, that’s probably why. I have no idea if the attack was related to my release of this meme, or if it was just a coincidence. Attacks on The Declination are not entirely infrequent. Bookmark the Youtube video and/or Imgur album and share those.

No need to credit me or anyone else. Keep an eye out for Tom Kratman’s column tomorrow…

This was certainly a fun project for me, even if a lot of work to remix and remaster the song. I had some help in the form of Jim S., the “Basilisk”, the Dread Ilk, Marina F. and, of course, Tom Kratman himself.

Share it, spread it, and trigger a liberal today! For Great Triggering!

The Unpredictability of Tuesday, November the 8th

I’ve never seen an election like this…

Back in 2012, I knew Romney would lose. His path to victory was narrow, and I could sense that Florida was going to go for Obama. There were Obama bumper stickers everywhere, and people talking about what a great guy he was (“he speaks so well,” they’d say). There was no enthusiasm for Mitt Romney. To us, he was a perfunctory vote, no more, no less.

There were no scandals for Romney. The worst they came up with was something about his dog, a comment about binders, and this notion that his corporate work was somehow anti-American. But to a Leftist, anything a Republican does is Anti-American. He could eat a cheeseburger, and it would somehow be a fascist cheeseburger.

The Left didn’t even call him a Nazi very often — a theme that had been blasted strongly at Sarah Palin, and Bush II before her (McCain, of course, was tarred by proximity to his VP candidate). The reason for this, of course, was that everyone knew he was going to lose.

In fact, that was Mitt Romney’s designated role, to be the graceful loser, and to bow out to the inevitability of Hopey-Changey Obamaness. He was the Queen, sacrificed in a game of chess, but to no particular purpose. “Give up your strongest piece,” said the Left, “it will make the game more fair.” Nobody was surprised, then, when Romney went down in graceful defeat, made his concession call, and Facebook flooded with seemingly positive messages from the 51% to the 49%.

Remember that? The Left sent out pictures of authentic-looking handwritten messages on paper saying “we’re one people, from the 51% to the 49%.” Nobody believed it, of course, we all knew things were swirling the ideological drain, but it was a time when the Left still pretended they thought Right-wingers were actually people.

After GamerGate, Donald Trump, attacks on the second amendment, Social Justice ascendancy on college campuses, and censorship culture… does anyone believe they will write nice messages to us this time around if they win?

No, the gloves have come off. The mask is slipping now. Donald Trump has done us one great service already, for his bombastic bluster has caused the Left to reveal themselves in their final form: the totalitarian SJWs. The Boss Fight has come at last.

Donald Trump isn’t the knight in shining armor we might have wanted for that fight, but he fights nonetheless. We all know that November the 8th is going to go down into chaotic insanity no matter how things turn out.

There is no predicting the outcome of this election. I don’t get the sense of impending loss I did for Romney in 2012. The Hopey Changey bumper stickers that flooded the state are pointedly missing. The Hillary signs are few, and her rallies thin on the ground. But if Trump can fill a stadium with supporters, his bumper stickers and street signs are also missing, albeit for different reasons. Nobody wants their truck burned for a Trump/Pence sticker. Signs, of course, are stolen with high frequency.

The polls are wildly off kilter with one another. Read them, and you will see everything from a 12 point Clinton landslide to a 6 point Trump landslide. Even Nate Silver got into it with the Huffington Post for thinking they had the right of the thing.

Trump, meanwhile, is the clear favorite in Iowa and Ohio, states where Romney disappointed, and whatever the polls may or may not say, one thing IS clear: Trump is doing better than Romney did. Even the most intellectually dishonest of Leftists understands that. That is why their opposition to him is so strong.

Nazi comparisons only come out when someone is a genuine threat. Actual Nazi-ness is completely irrelevant.

Comey reopening the investigation tanked Hillary’s campaign, but will his stance on the thing now save her campaign? Or will it be seen as proof of collusion and corruption at the highest levels?

I have no predictions for you tomorrow, but I urge you to vote. Even if you are NeverTrump, I want you to consider something very carefully: neither candidate is exactly a role model for children, but one candidate may very well be the end of the United States of America.

While I have no specific predictions about tomorrow’s results, I do have some predictions if Hillary wins:

  1. The Second Amendment will be attacked when Hillary gets her nominee in the Supreme Court.
  2. There will be Civil War if she does this.
  3. Amnesty will turn Texas blue.
  4. No Right-of-Center politician will ever win the Presidency again.
  5. America may very well split as was described in Kurt Schilichter’s book People’s Republic.
  6. Such a split would be the OPTIMISTIC scenario. The pessimistic one would be a complete and total Leftist victory – and worldwide Socialism.

If Trump wins, here are my predictions:

  1. Riots in the streets of most major cities.
  2. Violence against Trump supporters.
  3. Agitations for Trump to be assassinated.

Beyond that, I cannot say. If Trump does even half of what he claims, it will be a great relief and breath of fresh air. If he doesn’t, he is still unlikely to be any worse than Hillary.

We all saw McCain and Romney going down in flames from miles away. But for Trump, the best we can say is “who the Hell knows?”

As I’ve said before, vote Donald Trump tomorrow, even if you can’t stand him. It’s not a vote for the man — it’s merely a vote for a few extra years of life for our American Republic, and a slim chance to turn the Titanic around before the end.

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