Something Will Have to Give

The New York Times, a former newspaper, published the results of a series of polls that they held in the six most hotly contested “swing” states, between Joe Biden and Donald Trump.  Trump won five out of six.  The only one Biden picked up was Wisconsin which was within the 4% margin of error for the poll.  Of the five Trump won, all but one (Pennsylvania) was outside of the margin of error.

State   Trump   Biden
    %   %
Nevada   52   41
Georgia   49   43
Arizona   49   44
Michigan   48   43
Pennsylvania   48   44
Wisconsin   44   47


So, what does this mean?  Well, if I were to guess, I think it means that independents in these states think Biden is doing a lousy job running the country.  And since the independents are the least ideological voters, their opinion is probably the most objective.  Two thirds of independents are saying they’d rather vote for the guy who is being indicted in four different criminal proceedings in four different jurisdictions around the country.  They’d prefer a man who has been demonized by every news outlet, the FBI and the Justice Department.  And impeached twice by the House of Representatives.  Essentially what they’re saying is, they want to vote for this guy precisely because all of these people say they shouldn’t.

Now imagine if these poll numbers remain where they are or increase right up to Election Day 2024.  And then suppose that we have a rerun of 2020 where the people go to bed on election night with Donald Trump up by insurmountable leads in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Michigan but the polls get shut down without a completed tally and then after a few days or weeks of “finding” absentee ballots Joe Biden miraculously pulls ahead by a few thousand votes.

Well, I think that would be the end of people believing in the electoral system in this country.  After all, the label “banana republic” has already gotten fairly wide currency after the partisan prosecutions that the Justice Department has been indulging in for the last four years.  I’m guessing that comparisons of our electoral system to Sadaam Hussein’s will become quite common after that.

But the important question is, what practical difference will people’s perception of voter fraud make?  I mean, the fraud will still allow Democrats to control the White House and maybe the Congress.  And that will eventually allow the Supreme Court to be packed with progressives.  Will it matter if no one believes in the elections?

I think it will.  It won’t immediately topple the government.  The United States still possess formidable resources and many of its institutions are somewhat functional.  But history has shown that a republic that loses the trust of its citizens in the fairness of its institutions eventually radicalizes the common people and leads to recourse to a revolutionary alternative.

Rome succumbed to revolt once the republican government became corrupt and tyrannical.  And it’s not necessary to go back two thousand years ago to see what happens to a tyrannical government, even a powerful one once the people have lost faith in its legitimacy.  We only have to look at the Soviet Union.  When people discover that elections are fake their relationship to the state is no longer one of ownership.  It becomes purely transactional.  And so, if the government that presides over these fake elections also fails to provide prosperity, then the only thing that can keep it in power is brute force.  Slaves don’t work any harder than they have to.  In the Soviet Union there was a saying, “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.”  Well, we’re headed there.  Inflation means that people are working two jobs and still aren’t able to save up to buy a house.  But they see illegal aliens given free housing and welfare.  I don’t think Americans are ready to live that way.

Something will have to give.

Are the Wheels Coming Off?

I would be the biggest liar on the planet if I said I know how all this madness ends.  The masters of the universe running the show in Washington and on Wall Street may think they do or maybe they’re just making it up as they go but even if the geniuses think they know how all of this turns out there have been some developments in the world.  Things have changed.

A lot of the latest developments haven’t gone very smoothly.  The COVID mess cost trillions and has unleashed high inflation on a system that was running flat for more than a decade.  So, the Fed has been raising the prime rate by a quarter of a percentage point at a time for the last year and that has started to destroy the liquidity of the smaller and weaker banks.  Two of them folded this week and Biden had to guarantee all of the big accounts that weren’t already covered by the FDIC limits.  And now the Fed will have to back off the rate increases and that will re-ignite inflation.

And now the Ukraine war is disrupting the energy supply for the whole western world and rearranging the balance of power between the West and the rest of the world.  And just to make sure no domino is left standing Biden starts a war of words over Taiwan.

Now it may be that some tremendous super computer has worked out all the moves of a five-dimensional chess game that includes all the financial and geo-political variables.  All these moving parts are completely accounted for.  And all of this ends with Joe Biden getting his face added onto Mount Rushmore.

But then again maybe not.

Starting with COVID and moving through the George Floyd riots, the breakdown of law and order in the cities and now the economic and financial disruptions, people have heard from Joe Biden and his minions how everything is getting better and nothing is unusual.  The Ukrainian war is going very well and there is nothing unusual about us engaging in brinksmanship with a nuclear superpower.  The plummeting stock market is just another sign of how dynamic the US economy is.  Empty store shelves and double digit increases in food prices are nothing to worry about.  Crime was much higher in the 1970s so what’s all the commotion about a few murders and the fact that Walmart and some drug stores have closed down in some cities?  What’s to worry about a few Mexican drug cartels taking up residence in Long Island and Washington?  Why shouldn’t the government increase taxes by six trillion dollars?  How could that go wrong?  It’s only billionaires being soaked, right?

Everything is hunky dory.  Nothing to worry about, nothing to see here.

I don’t know.  It’s usually wrong to bet against the ability of the American people to believe the unbelievable.  But we may be getting close to the tipping point.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t believe that the people in charge would let a little thing like popular sentiment get in the way of winning the federal elections.  Far from it.  But we may reach a point where our country resembles the situation that existed in the Soviet Union right before the fall.  People will be told about the glorious conditions all around them but all they’ll see is incompetence, injustice, plundering and poverty.  They will understand that everything they are told is a lie and their entire loyalty will be to whoever can help them survive in an irrational world.

So, we’re going to find out just how smart our rulers really are.  Maybe they really are super geniuses and their plans to get rid of the majority of us through attrition will succeed.  They’ll control the temperature of the pot and slowly boil the frog without any fuss or muss.  And once we’re all gone they can get back to returning the planet to a pristine eco-paradise where transgender elves frolic through the fields while the few necessary serfs harvest the organic crops and enjoy their cricket based diet.

But I kind of think the wheels are beginning to fall off the cart.  Maybe the plan isn’t quite as perfect as advertised.  Maybe Big Brother won’t win.  What do you think?

No One Talks Collapsing Empires Better Than the ZMan

My favorite dissident has what I think is a fascinating discussion of what happens when an empire, e.g. the Soviet Union or the Romans starts to die.  He discusses the transition from central rule to oligarchs.  I think he makes some truly excellent points.  We may already be quite a ways along the process.  And he shows how differences in circumstances can lead to different outcomes.  A good read.

The ZMan’s Monday Morning Double Header Hit Two Home Runs

On Mondays the ZMan has his usual post and also puts up a post on Taki’s Magazine.  Today both of them are very worthwhile.  On his site he discourses on the analogy of prison life to our current environment and how freedom of choice has been banished from the public square by a pseudo-religion.

On Taki’s he compare the current American political regime with the Soviet era and likens trying to figure out what the Left will do next with how Kremlinologists in the West of that era tried to read the tea leaves by the Brezhnev’s expression during filmed ceremonies and pontificating on what it meant.

I enjoyed both posts quite a bit.  The ZMan is on his game this morning.  A good start to the week.