Dueling Lawn Signs

Sundance at Conservative Tree House asked for readers to supply what he calls “ground reports” on the upcoming election. Since the current political atmosphere is so toxic, and most polls are so obviously bogus, collective anecdotal accounts of what’s happening are all we have to go on.

Rather than clog up his comments section with my remarks, I’ll post them here instead. But first I want to recycle a joke from four years ago. It was relevant in October of 2016, and it’s even more relevant today:

“When this dreadful election is finally over, I hope we can still be friends, even if we are in different internment camps.”

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During the last two or three weeks, the number of campaign signs in people’s yards in this part of Central Virginia has really exploded. In the region I’m personally familiar with — which comprises a rough triangle having Charlottesville, Lynchburg, and Farmville as its vertices — Trump signs outnumber Biden signs. In my immediate neighborhood, however, the Biden signs are ahead. My neighbors are mostly black, which I assume is one of the main reasons for the difference.

In fact, putting a Trump sign in the front yard is the same as saying, “A white family lives here.” I have yet to see a single Trump sign in the yard of a house whose inhabitants are definitely black.

The converse is not true, however. There are enough white Gutmenschen in the area — especially retired transplants from Yankeeland — to give Biden a strong showing among the palefaces. Among the white population, the Biden signs are usually found in front of middle class or upper middle class houses. A trailer or double-wide inhabited by white people is almost certain to have a Trump sign, if it has any sign at all.

A couple of other correlations are worth noting. The first is the display of American flags. I haven’t seen any yards with Biden signs that also fly an American flag. The Trump supporters, on the other hand, are very likely to have a flag on a pole, or hanging over the front porch.

For the last year or so I’ve noticed a sign that some people post in their front yards: “Love thy Neighbor / NO Exceptions”. I wondered what particular import the message had, but now that election season has kicked in, the correlation is clear: If a “Love thy Neighbor” yard has a campaign sign, it’s inevitably a Biden sign.

This leads me to conclude that the “Love thy Neighbor” initiative is about race. I take it to mean: “You lousy racist! You need to be high-minded like me.” It’s virtue-signaling, in other words. It can be found in the front yards of both black people and white people.

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There’s no way the entire Commonwealth of Virginia will go for Trump. The demographics of the state are now dominated by dense concentrations of snowflakes, federal employees, and culture-enrichers in the Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy, a.k.a. Northern Virginia, plus the more progressive zip codes of the Richmond area and Tidewater. And Charlottesville, of course, which habitually votes just to the left of Ann Arbor.

Taken county by county, Trump would win, but the majority of the population in the Old Dominion is loyal to the Communist Democrat Party.

The Fundraiser That Wasn’t

This fundraising post was “sticky” for two weeks. Scroll down for lots of posts that were put up after it first appeared.

Update August 30 5:30pm EDT

I’m struggling with the new payments service, trying to find out how to make a form, or get a quick link, for a donation button. Until I manage to do that, snail mail is the only option. If you would like to make a postal donation, please email me at gatesofvienna {at} chromatism {dot} net, and I’ll send the address to you.

Since the last time I posted an update, more snail-mail donations have come in from the following places:

Stateside: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, West Virginia, and Washington

Canada: British Columbia

A big thank you to everyone who sent in their contributions. Your generosity is astonishing!

Email acknowledgements have gone out to most of the donors, and the rest will be sent shortly.

The Fundraiser That Wasn’t

Update August 25 8:00pm EDT

A week ago I thought this was going to be a normal quarterly fundraiser. I started it in the usual fashion, with an opening post on Monday for the fundraising “octave”. Then I woke up on Tuesday morning and discovered to my dismay that I’d been shut out of PayPal. After a conversation with the lady in the Terminations Department (as I think it was called), I was left in no doubt that I had been cancelled for my political opinions.

This eventuality was hardly unexpected; it’s not like I’m the first to be cancelled by PayPal. Over the past couple of years I watched the big guns go down one by one — Jihad Watch, Tommy Robinson, and numerous others. Since I’m just a tiny popgun in the “racist” scheme of things, my day of reckoning was delayed. But it had to come someday.

Hitting this speed bump made me decide to keep this post on top for a few extra days, to make sure that everyone gets a chance to see it. Newer stuff will continue to accumulate below it.

For the time being I’m fundraising by snail mail. Those who want to donate and don’t already have the address, please email me at gatesofvienna {at} chromatism {dot} net, and I’ll send it to you.

So far the results have been encouraging — a fair number of envelopes have arrived in the mail. I’ve already started writing the thank-you notes. I really appreciate your willingness to pitch in. And at least five people who have never donated in the past were affronted by what PayPal did, and wrote to ask for the address.

Even so, there’s no doubt that PayPal’s heinous actions will reduce the amount I can successfully raise. Not everyone will be willing to send money by regular mail, and the logistics for overseas gifts will be tricky.

The big question is whether the reduction will be significant enough to threaten the continuation of this site. Everything should proceed as normal for at least another quarter — I have enough savings to cover that.

In the meantime, I’m determined to find a substitute for PayPal. I’m in the throes of attempting to set up an account with a new service, but the interminable process of account verification is still incomplete. So keep your fingers crossed, or send up a smoke signal to the fire god, or say a novena for me — I need all the help I can get.

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Socialism Really is a Cult

Our Dutch correspondent H. Numan takes a look at the bizarre wave of socialist madness that is currently raging on both sides of the Atlantic.

Socialism really is a cult

by H. Numan

A bit of a bold statement, I know. Let me explain. There is nothing wrong with being social. After all, we humans are social animals. However, socialism as a political ideology is wrong. Very wrong. Socialism doesn’t work. It lets others do the work. Socialism has failed wherever it was implemented. It sometimes took a while, but it always failed. The few states left over that really are socialist are failing or going to fail. No question about it. With one exception: China. But China is first Chinese, then Chinese, then a long time nothing and finally they are socialist. Sort of socialist, that is.

Now, China has always been an absolute monarchy. Not surprisingly Mao ruled as one too, and so does the present emperor — who is titled president for life now. Not emperor, but effectively the same thing. Just a different name. He isn’t socialist, he’s Chinese. Red was always the preferred color for the Chinese. Red being the color of socialism is just an extra. All Chinese companies are effectively, if not outright, state-run organizations.

China has two major problems that it cannot solve: first of all, their failed one child policy. By the time China becomes a real superpower their army will be made up of old fogies with crutches and drips. Don’t underestimate that problem. China already has huge problems finding sufficiently capable soldiers at this very moment. Imagine what it will be like in twenty years, when they really will have an enormous manpower problem.

The second problem is corruption. Corruption is ingrained in Chinese society, regardless of ideology. Socialism only makes it worse, much worse. The current Chinese leadership is more worried about the reliability of their army, specifically the top brass, than anything else right now. If worst comes to worst, we can always buy a couple of Chinese army commanders. The leadership knows it, and dreads it.

On the bright side: China is not interested in conquering the world. Just the business part of it. On the not-so-bright side: they’re damned good at it. China is a problem for the future. Right now we have bigger worries. The first is socialism, and the second one is mohammedanism. More about mohammedanism in another article.

So let’s get back on topic. Socialism is a cult. You see it in America, where the Democrat party is anything but democratic right now. And in England, where the Labour party should rename itself the Stalinist party. Likewise, in all western countries social democratic parties have been taken over by diehard old-fashioned communists. And … the left is again losing. Again, because they have learned nothing from the past. Like Louis XVIII of France, the king who replaced Napoleon: they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.

Jeremy Corbyn even had the gumption to say: “We have won the debate, but failed to achieve a majority.” His followers blame everyone — except themselves. They blame the ‘extreme right-wing media’ for their loss. And of course the silly, stupid and antediluvian electorate. Anyone and anything, except themselves. Now, the media in Europe are about as left-wing as Pravda was during the heydays of communism. It was Corbyn (and his minions) who vilified themselves. Not the media.

For Corbyn really is a vile person. He is a warm supporter of every socialist dictator alive. Kim Jong-Un, Maduro and Castro among others are his friends. Corbyn is a virulent antisemite, though he calls himself anti-Zionist. It’s exactly the same, but being antisemitic is nowadays punishable by law. Hamas and Hezbollah are his friends; they fight against the capitalist Zionist conquerors of their country. The media did all they could to soften Corbyn’s words so it wouldn’t hurt him too much. Labour adherents who say the BBC is a right-wing broadcaster are delusional.

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Conspiracy Theories? We Have Them A-Plenty

Ever since J. Christian Adams, a career Department of Justice attorney, resigned in 2010 (during Obama’s first term) due to his own unwillingness to turn a blind eye to Eric Holder’s highly charged racialist program within the DOJ, I’ve been wondering when the corruption would be called to account. But it never happened. It never happens in the Democrat Deep State…unless, like Sidney Powell, you know where to look.

No, I didn’t know of her either, but I sure plan to follow what she has to say as this plotting is unloaded on a sickened American electorate. Can They manage to kill off the first capable president we’ve had in more than a generation??

This is a woman after Diana West’s own heart. Mine, too. She not only knows American jurisprudence, but she knows where (some of) the bodies are buried.

From her book page on Amazon from 2014 [five years in, and it’s still selling]:

Sidney Powell was an Assistant United States Attorney in three judicial districts under nine United States Attorneys from both political parties. She represented the United States in 350 criminal appeals and represented private parties in another 150, all resulting in more than 180 published decisions. She was the youngest Assistant U.S. Attorney when she began practicing. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute and the past president of the Bar Association for the Fifth Federal Circuit and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers.

Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice is a book she prayed she would never have to write. It’s written in the style of a legal thriller to be enjoyable and understandable to non-lawyers, but it is the true, behind-the-scenes insider perspective on major litigation during the last decade. If you think you know the truth about what happened to Arthur Andersen, Merrill Lynch, Enron, and former United States Senator Ted Stevens, think again. You won’t know the truth until you read LICENSED TO LIE. It tells a very human story that every informed citizen, lawyer, and judge should know. The foreword to the book is written by Judge Alex Kozinski, one of the most brilliant legal minds in the country. He is the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, but he wrote the foreword in his personal capacity.

She also writes for the New York Observer…and her opinion pieces have received over 16,000 facebook posts, countless tweets, and other methods of “sharing.” […] They include 1. All the President’s Muses 2. Holder Protects Corrupt Prosecutors 3. War on Wall Street 4. Meet Emmet Sullivan (the IRS Judge who scheduled a hearing for July 10); 5. One Two Punch (IRS faces Two Federal Judges), and others. Her news articles and opinion pieces may be found here. These outstanding stories have been picked up multiple times by the Drudge Report, Investors Business Daily, Breitbart, Fox News, Greta Van Susternen, and countless other blogs and reporters. She is the only published authority on federal Judge Emmet Sullivan, former White House Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler, and now Mueller team special prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, and others.

She has been featured on Fox News, the CATO INSTITUTE (broadcast on C-Span), NewsMax TV, and countless radio shows. She has spoken on the topic of prosecutorial misconduct for two federal judicial conferences and numerous bar associations. Her website is here.

This book has over nine hundred customer reviews, overwhelmingly five-star, and they have continued to accrue over the five years since the book came out.

[NOTE: This post has been moldering in my Drafts since the video was brand-new. I’m sorry it’s no longer au courant, but my health (or lack thereof) interfered. While not breaking news, the main elements in this story will continue to drag their sadsack selves through the purgatory of American national politics. If I find any further Sidney Powell commentary, I’ll post it for you.]

Old Sobersides

JLH sends the saga of Miz Hillary in verse form. One can only hope that the shade of Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (father of the Supreme Court justice) is not overly agitated tonight…

Old Sobersides
by JLH

Ay, tear her tatty logo down!
Too long has it made us sigh,
And many a face has had to frown
At what “justice” let go by.
Vince Foster, Seth Rich and others, too —
What is it they may have seen:
Travelgate, Filegate, Whitewater all true,
In the service of the Queen?

Erupting bimbos, Tammy Wynette,
The little woman wasn’t pleased.
Hillary Care was not a good bet.
Nuclear secrets for the Chinese,
And who knew pork bellies could be so swell,
If their futures were bright enough?
And who knew the Russians would pay so well
For that radioactive stuff?

Now, a former first lady has little to do,
When hubby’s not home at night,
Unless public office comes into view…
Get that carpetbag packed up tight!
So she walks the Senate like one who belongs,
And fades right into the crowd:
How to look brave while going along,
And skim off whatever’s allowed.

When Bill said “Two for the price of one”
No one could have guessed the price.
This inexorable couple is just never done.
They are back like undaunted lice.
The only way to stop this first woman’s run:
A black man’s program of hope.
As Highlander says, “There can be only one”
And Hillary runs out of rope.

But all is not lost — to the victor come the spoiled.
Run the Department of State?
So what if you’re looking a little bit soiled —
After Kerry, who needs to be great?
First, our uranium buddies of old
Need a friendly re-start.
The wording is wrong, so we are told —
Google Translate’s not worth a… damn.

Her greatest achievement was Ghadaffi’s demise.
Some minor Americans died too.
Parents, wives and children apprised:
There was nothing we could do.
We came, we saw, we made a mess.
Move on; there’s nothing to see.
“What difference now if I should confess —
I’d get off on a guilty plea.”

This time is different, there is no Barack.
We all know that now it’s my turn
No one has the guts to mount an attack…
But I think I “Feel the Bern,”
Doesn’t he know everyone has been paid?
Why is he still around?
This is not how the game is played.
I’ll pound him into the ground.

So what if I fixed some things here and there?
He can whimper all he wants.
So what if he doesn’t think it’s been fair?
Who asked him to leave Vermont?
And now I am off to the race of my life,
And I’m running against a clown!
Dirt and rumor against him are rife,
He’ll likely be run out of town.

Hey! Why am I not way ahead right now!?
Where are these polls coming from?
Who are they talking to, anyhow:
Deplorables, reactionaries, dumb!
I KNEW it — that damned electoral thing —
Now it’s gone and cost me the race!
Who cares what tune the “flyovers” sing?
They’re a colossal waste of space!

I will not be Trumped by that arrogant jerk,
But my hands are not lily-white…
Oops, I mean: Now y’all gots to git to work,
‘cause we gots us a rilly tough fight…
Ze basket of deplorable sink zey have won over us;
We’ll show zem “Si, se puede, señor”…
And we are woman, just hear us cuss!…
And we are gayer than ever before!

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Bannon Goes Against a Modern Pope in a Post-Modern World

A reader’s comment on the shrinkage of the Easter worshippers drew me to this.

Dr. Turley has some surprising information on Steve Bannon, late of Breitbart News and of the Trump administration. And as it turns out he’s moved on — ever a restless spirit — to Belgium, where he has started a group called “The Movement”. Not a felicitous name but then his organization is going to be fighting for nationalism and against the globalist sludge, so maybe…

I have paid little attention to Steve Bannon, though the general outlines of his life (he’s a Virginia boy and Irish to boot) have been out there in the ether, where we see ideas and personages and some of what we see sticks. So this video required that I do a bit of research. I took the quick and dirty route, through the muds of Wikipedia. Sorry, but it’s all my health/stamina allows. Thus, from the Wiki on his life:

Bannon is supportive of several European right-wing populist national conservative movements such as the Hungarian Fidesz, the French National Front, the Spanish Vox, the Dutch Party for Freedom, Alternative for Germany, the Italian Northern League, the Brothers of Italy, the Freedom Party of Austria, the Sweden Democrats, the Finns Party, the Flemish Vlaams Belang, the Belgian People’s Party, the Polish National Movement, and the Swiss People’s Party.

Another wiki, this one on Bannon’s Movement group, says:

Bannon initially discussed his plans for the organization with The Daily Beast, saying he wanted to create a populist “supergroup” bloc that could win up to a third of all 700+ MEP seats. He said he thought of the idea when he was invited to speak at an event hosted by Marine Le Pen. Bannon also believes that Sweden’s 2018 elections created the perfect timing to launch The Movement.

The Movement stands as a counterpoint to George Soros’ Open Society. Bannon has referred to Soros as “evil but brilliant”, and expressed a desire to promote nationalism instead of globalism.

Finally, an American paying attention to Europe. Overdue but welcome. By the way, he spoke out against Tommy Robinson’s imprisonment. He is also moving directly against Pope Frankie — Deo Gratias! — before that dude single-handedly destroys the Catholic Church. Bannon is a devout Catholic and appears to be a bit of a Don Quixote, though he refers to himself as “a Cromwell among the Tudors” [my paraphrase of his summation of life among the Trumps].

I like Bannon — his energy, his dedication, his willingness to fight back. Despite what the naysayers claim, he’s not a Jew-hater, he doesn’t trust Islam, and he’s not racist. Get over yourselves, NAACP.

What Is Our President Up To?

Does anyone know?

Tucker Carlson has some ideas:

But even he never mentions the elephant in the room: THE BORDER WALL.

My vote for Trump began as an ABC – Anybody But Clinton. But he sold me on the wall. Lord knows the socialist Dems had long abandoned our sovereignty; does anyone recall back when they were for a wall?

So I figured forceful action would remedy that, but it turned out all we got was lots of words – logorrhea at times – but no action in our beleaguered southwest.

Oh, President Trump! Tais toi and start building. That was your strength in real life: building stuff in the most over-regulated city in the world. We believed you.

Maybe Tucker Carlson is right. Maybe the White House is not the place you want to spend your seventies. I’d suggest stepping aside for some other GOP candidate, but they’re little better than the Dims…

An Astute Response to “Immigration is a Right”

From September, speaking at the U.N.:

Promoted by the MSM without any commentary. How refreshing.

The (current) leading comment says:

He protects his own country. Migrants from underdeveloped countries cause only problems. They are not apt to live and work in a highly developed country like the US. They should first start to do something in their own countries. Many migrants come from countries with rich natural sources. Just have a look at Venezuela. It has one of the biggest reserves of oil. There is no reason why Venezuelans have to migrate.

Put your own country in order.

The Puzzle of American Elections: the Midterms

Dr. Turley explains the phenomenon known as “the American mid-term elections”. They have their own rhythm and rationale:

Our Congressional District, Five, is the biggest in Virginia and takes in a lot of blue bubbles – e.g., Charlottesville. So I was sure the (in)famous Leslie Cockburn (Alexander Cockburn’s sister-in-law) would sweep through those urban enclaves. I was so wrong, so delightfully wrong.

I wish Denver Riggleman III the best and hope his ideas prevail. The House will shift to blue, but at least our District is still red. Just think, we have Nancy Pelosi back with the gavel again. Her looney-tunes pronouncements, her private, government-funded flights home to California and her heavily-fenced estate will continue. But the botox may be over. One can hope.

Meanwhile, in the Swamp, the boats are taking on water. Whatcha wanna bet all those along for the ride are looking for golden paddles?

Anchor Babies’ Scam and the 14th Amendment

This video by Dr. Turley is quite succinct about the issues surrounding the latest Trump kerfluffle. Make no mistake: while Trump’s announcements may look random, they’re not. Unlike his tweets, his public announcements are part of his larger design to put a halt to the depredations he sees being inflicted on the U.S.

This time, we have President Trump’s announcement about his decision to sign an Executive Order doing away with the concept of anchor babies as a way to get a toehold in the U.S. If you listen carefully you can hear leftist heads exploding from coast to coast.

Dr. Turley provides a brief explanation of the origin of the 14th Amendment and its later abuse by “open borders” advocates. He enlarges the picture to include Europe, pointing to Denmark as leading the charge for welfare “chauvinism” – i.e., that benefits belong first of all to citizens, not to immigrants. [To Danes: please walk across the bridge and tell that to Sweden.]

This latest announcement by President Trump simply follows up on his promise during the primaries to end the whole anchor baby scam. He and Jeb Bush went toe-to-toe in this conflict of ideologies. This new announcement – that he’ll sign an Executive Order ending it – now comes during the last week of the mid-terms. The timing is on purpose.

No wonder there is growing interest about Trump among the black populace. They have been the big losers in the immigration scuffles. Perhaps the Dems thought they had “the black vote” sewed up, thus making it safe for them to promote the new victims…Trump is about to change that, has already changed it. Whether the change makes a difference in the outcomes of the mid-term elections remains to be seen.

How Many Genders are Fluid?

Dr. Turley discusses where Trump is headed with queer theory. [Hint: to the trashcan where they keep busted ideologies]

This isn’t the first roll-back on the fluidity wave theory of genders; that happened in May. Back then, the website Buzzfeed ran with a scary headline, “The Trump Administration Just Rolled Back Rules That Protect Transgender Prisoners”. Here’s part of it:

[…]

The Bureau of Prisons now “will use biological sex” to make initial determinations in the type of housing transgender inmates are assigned, according to a notice posted Friday evening that modifies the previous policy.

[…]

The shift comes after four evangelical Christian women in a Texas prison sued in US District Court to challenge the Obama-era guidelines, and claimed sharing quarters with transgender women subjected them to dangerous conditions.

Their complaint alleged housing transgender women — whom it calls “men” — along with the general female population ”creates a situation that incessantly violates the privacy of female inmates; endangers the physical and mental health of the female Plaintiffs and others, including prison staff; [and] increases the potential for rape.”

[…]

Wel, duh. Only those who believe they’ll never go to prison would feel Obama’s policy was a good idea. The lemming Left can only ‘feel’, their ability to reason has long since atrophied.

The New York Times opinion piece (or was it labeled ‘news’ again?) only speaks about a “leaked memo”. It provides no text in the bumpf and no link to the original. That’s because they have an inside source who would be fired from the Permanent Bureaucracy for doing something illegal, and leaking memos to the press is illegal.

My opinion? To continue the metaphor, lock the two sexes into legal concrete and let the deeply frivolous go play with themselves. Especially the pitiable beta male who “married” another guy, the latter claiming his ‘gender’ is canine and has a whole schtick to go along with his delusion. Fido needs a psychiatrist – or a dad who tells him to grow up. So does his “husband”.

Having and Not Having

Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness.
All can know good as good only because there is evil. *

This is a meditation on the vagaries of time as instanced on this, the 14th anniversary of Gates of Vienna. It is also a contemplation of the tensions that surround any notion of goodness, beauty or truth. At least these are my beginning intentions, but bear in mind that essays are ornery critters. They are often heedless of their author’s aims, developing their own signification.

We’ll see what transpires, eh?

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What began as an intellectual distraction from the deep grief due to my daughter’s sudden death has changed gradually into a pilgrimage of sorts; we’re marching to the end, wherever that is. Picking up fellow-travelers along the way, we’ll journey on until Fate intervenes. Some may stay for the entire trip while others drop out as their interests shift. Not everyone can abide the effluvial current that underlies our reality. I certainly can’t.

The often sad and tragic stories we’ve collected over the last fourteen years may be a reflection of a downward spiral of Western civilization as we understand it. How could it be otherwise with the twined efforts of Islam and its fellow-travelling radical socialists? That the former will devour the latter while the mindless sing “Kumbaya” is one possible fate to be contemplated. The coda to that song is probably “Imagine” as sung by China’s National Choir.

But wait! What is that we hear whispering in the wings, waiting to appear? Could it be the muffled voices of a new conservative-populist alliance rising in tentative unison throughout the post-globalist post-empire? They comprise a new chorus rightfully beginning to take themselves seriously as they enter stage right.

Much like the Christian Reformation (credited to Luther, but not possible without the simultaneous populist religious uprisings across Europe), should widespread changes occur, there will be counterattacks, but eventually… if history is any example…

There are severe limits built into the present socialist ethos, where no greater sin than “racism” is possible, nor any greater virtue than “tolerance”. No doubt there will be similar transgressions in the post-secular age. Pray they do not become mirror images of the old sins. Otherwise we will move from chaotic socialism to rigid authoritarianism in our restless search for ontological certainty.

Here’s the thing: Our knowledge of reality has outpaced our ability to digest and comprehend that reality. The human mind flees from ambiguity, is often unwilling or unable to stand in the face of doubt, even if that stance leads eventually to understanding and wisdom. Thus did science and religion draw swords against one another. Yet working together they could inform a far greater comprehension than presently exists.

Will we have the courage to say “who knows?” and wait to see what happens? It takes great patience to wait to see what floats up from the abyss.

The psychiatrist Eric Berne came of age in a time when all American men served in the military. During his stint, Berne created a questionnaire for soldiers he encountered, and from that survey of a cross-section of young American men he created two perceptual categories, two temperaments. He called them Farmers and Mechanics.**

Farmers are those who know they cannot control the greater forces of weather events or pestilence that ultimately affect their crops. While they weed and cultivate, they wait to see what happens. Mechanics are fixers. Things can always be improved or invented out of whole cloth. Though Berne never said so, Farmers are dependent on Mechanics for the inventions that have made their livelihood far easier. But then, Mechanics need to eat, so there you go — another necessary interdependence.

To judge by the comment threads, most of our readers are Mechanics, methinks, though there is an admixture of folk who are content to observe what is, without demanding that anything be “fixed”. Sometimes there simply is no fixing for lies, evil or ugliness. Not in this world; but in the next, who knows?

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Understanding Trump Voters: A Good Start

This long book review, only slightly shortened, is the most recent essay on the Witherspoon Institute’s website.

Pundits will be slicing and dicing the Trump Phenomenon ages hence. In the meantime, the authors of the book in question (and the reviewer, too) have captured well the American zeitgeist.

Sadly, in the almost-two-years since Trump took office, it is still impossible to know whether the wishes of the electorate will be honored by their representatives in Washington D.C.; so far there appear to be few, very few, men of good will there. Or women, either, for that matter. It resembles nothing so much as it does a Fellini film.

The bright spots on the political landscape are the Trump rallies that continue as the hallmark of his direct approach to average American people, people whom American MSM would barricade behind their wall of innuendo and fabrications. Trump’s clever work-around will be taken by future presidents to get past these jornolists.

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The Great Revolt: Understanding Real Trump Voters

by Carson Holloway

The country’s ruling elites misunderstood or ignored the concerns of a significant segment of the electorate. The Great Revolt suggests that those elites should move beyond lamenting the misfortune (to them) of Trump’s elevation to the presidency and ponder the mistakes on their part that made it possible.

Almost two years after the event, many Americans — even the most sophisticated political observers — are still astonished and perplexed by the results of the 2016 presidential election. “What happened?” many people wonder —including Hillary Clinton herself, who chose those words for the title of her election memoir. How did Donald Trump, the most unlikely presidential candidate in American history, ace Clinton and her party out of the presidency?

Was it a mere fluke? This, of course, is the explanation favored by many Democrats and even some Trump-averse Republicans. Trump, after all, lost the national popular vote, and his electoral triumph depended on eking out narrow popular vote victories in certain key states. No one can dismiss the possibility that, had one or two details played out differently — say, for example, had former FBI Director James Comey remained silent about his brief re-opening of the Clinton e-mail investigation — Clinton would have prevailed.

Or perhaps Trump’s victory was not a fluke, but rather a sign of a significant electoral realignment. This interpretation is favored by Trump’s most ardent supporters, and, no doubt, by the president himself. Trump may have lost the popular vote, but he won the electoral college vote handily — more handily than any Republican since 1988. Moreover, Trump “flipped” a number of states that had been reliably Democratic for decades. While he only won them narrowly, he far outperformed previous GOP nominees in those states.

It is only fair to acknowledge that Hillary Clinton was not alone in having her presidential aspirations thwarted by external factors; Trump faced a national press corps that seemed determined to destroy his candidacy from its inception. One can only wonder how much stronger his campaign might have been had the media chosen to act as a nonpartisan conduit of information instead of as an unpaid arm of the Clinton campaign.

Confronted with these competing plausible interpretations, how are we to understand the significance of the 2016 presidential election? Salena Zito and Brad Todd try to answer this important question in their excellent and fascinating study of Trump voters, The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics. As the subtitle suggests, the authors are inclined to believe that the 2016 election was no fluke but portends a reconfiguration of the forces that have traditionally shaped American politics. Nevertheless, they are properly cautious about whether Trump’s coalition can be held together and, if so, whether it can remain a governing majority for long.

Who Voted for Trump?

Zito, a journalist, and Todd, a Republican political consultant, make their task more manageable by choosing not to examine Trump supporters nationwide but instead to focus on a relatively narrow subset of them. They surveyed and did extensive interviews with Trump voters from ten counties in five states of America’s Great Lakes region: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

This approach serves the authors well. These states — and these voters — are where the difference was made and where there is something new to be learned. Most of Trump’s voters, after all, are a relatively well-known and well-understood breed: loyal, long-term Republicans in traditionally Republican states. In these Great Lakes states, however, we also find long-time non-voters and even Democrats (including, remarkably, Democratic Party and labor union activists) who were moved by Trump’s populist appeal either to vote for the first time or to walk away from the party around which they had organized their whole political lives.

The Great Revolt identifies and profiles seven kinds of voters essential to Trump’s winning coalition in these decisive states:

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