Will We Get a Gorbachev?

The Soviet Union was an abomination.  It tortured and killed its most loyal citizens on an industrial scale that had never before been seen.  And then it exported the formula abroad to places like China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba and Venezuela.  Up until recently the legal apparatus in the United States specifically forbade the techniques and tactics that the Soviets used.  But with the passing of the Patriot Act and the weaponization of the Judiciary we have the ingredients needed to institute the purges that Stalin perfected in the 1930s and unleashed on his people to such devastating effect during his long and nightmarish reign.

As an example, look at the techniques used by the FBI and the Justice Department in conjunction with federal judges like the vicious thug Emmet Sullivan who persecuted General Michael Flynn even after the Justice Department admitted that they had no case against him and dropped the prosecution.  Or look at the recent imprisonment of the harmless protestors who were involved in the January 6th “riot.”  Here is the federal justice system imprisoning without bail harmless Americans who are much less dangerous than all of the Antifa and BLM criminals who are still rioting and destroying federal property in Portland, Oregon with impunity.

The Soviet Union finally reached a point after seventy years of torturing its citizens that it could not continue.  Decades of terror and insanity had finally killed off all belief in the system among the populace and this was terminal for the vitality of the state.  After all, once even the stupidest of the people know it’s all a sham, they stop caring about anything but getting through the day.  It finally reaches the point where life is characterized by the saying, “They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work.”  When a dispirited population that is barely kept alive on the meager output of their own slave labor is the basis for a supposed world power it doesn’t take forever before the whole thing just falls apart of its own accord.  The upkeep of nuclear weapons and the fighting of foreign wars requires dedication and  morale.  Terrorized slaves lack those qualities.

The United States and the Soviet Union are very different places.  And even granting that the power of the federal government augmented by its alliance with the tech companies like Google and Facebook is a frighteningly powerful force to wield against private citizens and even state officials.  But I still believe there will be a reaction to this attempt to subjugate the free people of this country by the thugs who are attempting to use the Stalinist playbook against us.  Americans are not Russian serfs.  They have a history of being free.

I have no proof that there exists a base of people in one of the red states that will stand up against these thugs.  But I think it will happen.  And if it happens at all it will inspire a groundswell of the same resistance in a thousand places.  And that will put an end to these creatures.  Because if the American people ever get their freedom back again, they’ll take steps to put an end to the laws and individuals that have allowed this tyranny to exist.  They’ll cancel the Patriot Act.  They’ll shut down the FBI and start from scratch.  They’ll put every one of the FBI and CIA and media hacks who lied and persecuted innocent men during the whole Russiagate witch hunt on trial.  Comey and Brennan and the rest of the Obama cronies will be thrown into prison and left to rot.  And then we should empty the federal judicial bench all the way up to the Supreme Court and replace them with citizens who have worked for a living and even if they’ve never been inside a courtroom, they would be better judges of their fellow citizens than all these ivy league intellectuals who let us suffer under the current regime.

For me the only question is who will light the match?  Will we have to wait until our country is falling apart at the seams before we get our Gorbachev?  I hope not.

A Bonfire of COVID Masks

We are a week into the middle of winter and with the recent cold snap and with the snow that will be falling today and tomorrow I’m falling back into the New England mid-winter trance.  Luckily without my typical commute a lot of the wear and tear on my body and mind are reduced to a reasonable level.  In the past I would have to get up at 5 am and clear the snow for two hours before commuting to work and then drive home and still having to clear the rest of it in the dark before collapsing into bed.  Now with my new and improved lifestyle I get up at 7 am, eat breakfast, play blocks with my granddaughter for a little while then leisurely and efficiently go out and clear the snow once it stops falling.  I’ll probably break it up into two sessions with a meal in between to relieve the monotony and warm my old bones.  Camera Girl has made a really excellent Chicken Butter Nut Squash Soup so I’ll be properly fortified for the second half of the operation.

In my less demanding routine I have the chance to reflect on the unfortunate aspects of this new world that we live in.  Here we are almost a year into this absurd lockdown and most people in New England really believe that we are in the midst of the bubonic plague.  I half expect to see the cartman leading his pony around with the pile of cadavers shouting, “bring out your dead.”  The local tv coverage and the attitude of the people you meet when you do go out is that we are all struggling against unbelievable odds to survive the ravages of the Andromeda Strain.  Apparently, we’re all heroes now.  It sounds like the nonsense the Soviets used to spout every time the tractor factory came close to meeting the quota.  “All hail the revolutionary fervor of Assembly Line B Night Shift!”    When a country that did nothing about the virus like Sweden has, after a year, a slightly lower per capita death rate than a country like America, that threw all its small businesses off a cliff, you have to wonder just how detached from reality people are.

Based on the fact that California and New York are beginning to loosen the restrictions on such dangerous activities as opening your front door and breathing in the shower I am hopeful that by the end of winter we will at least be allowed to visit friends and relatives without the neighbors calling in a SWAT Team on us.  And that will be big.  I found that not seeing my various family members was the worst part of this travesty.  And not just family.  I have friends that I am dying to see face to face and share a burger and shoot the breeze with.  This lockdown is harming us physically.  It’s harming us mentally and it’s harming us spiritually.  As I’ve mentioned I’m reading Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago.  And compared to the atrocities the Soviets perpetrated on their people even the lockdown is minor.  But it is related to what they did.  It is psychological warfare aimed at damaging people’s self-respect.  We’re caged animals and they ratchet the punishment up and down just to torture us.

So the cold weather is a perfect symbol of the Gulag that has been built for all of us living in the blue states.  Maybe now that Dementia Joe has been nailed up on his scarecrow pole in front of the White House they’ll let us free.  Or maybe they won’t.

I have one exceptionally cynical old friend who claims that we right wing folk are just sheep and no matter how much abuse is heaped on us we’ll just continue to take it without doing anything more forceful than complain.  He thinks that anything that’s going to happen will have to happen in a red state and even that will be in the nature of orderly and peaceable action.  I’m of a different opinion.  Even in the bluest of blue states, I think a point will be reached where people will revolt against this abuse.  Somewhere a spark will ignite the tinder and a crowd will start a bonfire of these stupid masks and put an end to this idiocy.  And I hope I happen to be nearby to join in.

The House of Cards

The United States in the 20th century proved itself to be the most formidable nation state on the face of the Earth.  It settled two world wars, invented nuclear weapons and put a man on the moon.  It also oversaw the implosion of the only other nation that rivalled it in military power and influence.  It has the reserve currency for the whole planet and invented countless processes and products that define modern life.  It was the engine that rebuilt the face of the human civilization and dictated the terms of acceptable behavior for almost every country.  And finally, it dragged the whole world into the digital age and gave the internet primacy over every other way of communicating.

And that immense success was built on the cooperation of a continent straddling nation that saw themselves as a free people who were allowed enormous freedom in exchange for allowing their fellow citizens to enjoy that same freedom.

Here we are about seventy-five years after that immensely powerful country defeated the enemies of civilization in World War II.  But now its richest and most influential citizens have decided amongst themselves that they no longer want or need a free citizenry.  They see a new vision of the future.  In this new world this elite would become the de facto rulers of the world.  And the rest of the human race, including the rest of the Americans, will be their servants.  And even the status as servants will be contingent on how much trouble they make for the masters.

And to bring about this new world they are using the tremendous power and influence of the United States government as their weapon.  Having been given the fig leaf of the Patriot Act they can use the combined surveillance capabilities of the intelligence agencies and their vassals, the Tech Oligarchs to spy on anyone who disagrees with their agenda.  And they can use the Justice Department and the Courts to enforce these agendas by dealing out unlimited prison terms to anyone they deem a threat.

The elites here are using the template that other totalitarian states have used in the past to control their populations.  The Russians, the Cubans, the Chinese and the other Marxist states have been successful in the past at setting up a regime based on surveillance and fear.  Russia was able to keep it going for about seventy years.  The Chinese have done even a little better, but that may be because we have funded their industrial economy in the last thirty years.  But our elites think they have the whole Marxist problem licked.  No more talk of communist economics.  Market capitalism is mother’s milk to these men.  No, they have come up with a corporate state that they believe has all the advantages of democracy and communism without any of the disadvantages.  It has the prosperity of the western countries without the messy results of free elections.  It has all the dictatorial control of communism but without all the starvation and bad consumer goods of the Soviet Union days.  So, everybody wins!

Well, except for people who want to live free lives the way they want to.  Because certain things will have to go away.  The biggest thing is freedom.  It’s too expensive.  We can’t let the proles have things we don’t want them to have.  Like families, their own homes, cars and luxuries like air conditioning and good food.  Those things will be reserved for the elites.  The proles will get a guaranteed minimum income, free drugs and unlimited internet porn to keep them from noticing their futures and lives evaporating away.  And they will get the satisfaction of knowing they are saving Gaia, their true mother.

It’s been a pretty effective plan.  They’ve used the schools, colleges and the media to convince an entire younger generation that only evil people want freedom and a future.  They’ve coopted all of the corporations and this effectively silences the working age population too.  The only ones left to object are the self-employed and the older people.  And as long as they kept alive the illusion that our leaders were selected by fair elections the people who saw things going the wrong way had the hope that things could be set right.

The 2020 elections put an end to that.  The mask is off and we can see that the United States of America now has as illegitimate a government as any Latin American banana republic.  And not only that, but most banana republics have nowhere near as much control over the lives of its citizens as the United States has.  The pretense that Americans enjoy freedom of speech, religion, free association, and the right to bear arms has also been shattered.  And the surveillance state will use its capabilities to punish anyone who tries to use these former freedoms in ways the state does not like.

So that’s a pretty grim picture.  Are we doomed?  Maybe not.  The United States has a large population that is not used to being slaves.  I think there is a reasonable chance that somewhere in the red states a resistance movement will spring up and act as a power center for a larger revolt against our masters.  After all, in the last analysis the elites are depending on the US military to enforce obedience to the anti-freedom policies of the US government.  If a big strong state ever told the federal government to pound sand it is not a foregone conclusion that the army is going to come in and kill Americans to make them submit to tyranny.  In fact, I think even the elites know this in their hearts.

And that is how we come back to my title.  A democracy ultimately depends on the consent of the governed.  If the governed learn that the democracy is a sham then that automatically removes the consent.  And if the free people of the United States decide that they’ve been enslaved the whole thing will fall like a house of cards.

The last two times there have been revolts they were led by the elites.  This time that may not be possible.  President Trump is the closest we’ve come to one of the elites jumping onto our bandwagon.  It doesn’t mean he is the only one.  But most of those people are too bought into the existing power structure to want to start breaking things and risk being dragged off to prison or worse.

So maybe this really has to be a peasant’s revolt.  I’ve heard that’s an impossibility but I think that just means it hasn’t been done lately.  The good bad news is Dementia Joe and his woke friends are spoiling to cause more grief.  It really only takes one good spark to start a forest fire when conditions are bad.  And conditions are definitely bad.

New Year’s Day 2021 Ruminations

So, I’ve read all the New Year’s predictions, resolutions, discussions, whatevers.  Basically, nobody knows much of anything.  We’re in uncharted territory and everybody is guessing based on insufficient data.  Well, nothing new there.  Just more so.

The rain we got last week erased the snow so Camera Girl and I were virtuous today and went for a long walk in the woods this morning just to start the year off right and that gave us a chance to talk.  And I think we both feel that the COVID inoculation will at least reduce the lockdown nonsense at least somewhat.  Maybe we’re kidding ourselves but that is what we are talking ourselves into at this point.  And I’m guessing that most people are also at the point where they are going to be unwilling to let this lockdown nonsense go on much longer.  Maybe I’m giving Americans more credit for having backbone than they deserve.  But we’ll see.

Going into the New Year I think everyone wants to know how and where the rebellion begins.  Or even if.  Because let’s face it, it’s possible nothing happens.

What shape will action take?  I assume it will be a leader deciding to step forward and begin organizing a movement that changes things.  That begins to oppose the actions and ideas from the Left in a demonstrable way.  Not just talk, results.  To my mind that will look like a governor and legislature of a red state announcing a law that rolls back some unconstitutional action of the federal courts or the federal bureaucracy that penalizes the citizens of that state.  Maybe they nullify some of the actions of the federal government that curtail civil liberties.  Maybe they look at any actions of the bureaucracy that overstep the powers that the federal government is given in the Constitution.  For instance, recently vernal pools have been declared navigable waters as an excuse for allowing the federal government authority over how private citizens treat their own property.  Such outrageous overstepping of their authority has become common.  A state championing the rights of private citizens being attacked in such ways would protect those citizens from having to take on the gargantuan power of the federal government alone.  It would also be wildly popular with the common people and would guarantee enormous electoral success for the politicians smart enough to do it.

Or maybe it will be a business leader who decides to break ranks from the corporate monolith and starts to court the favor of the normal people on the Right.  Maybe a tech company decides to become the new PayPal but makes a point of saying that it believes that “all lives matter.”  Or it publicizes the fact that it donates a portion of its profits to a traditional religious charity, one that pointedly adheres to biblical beliefs about traditional male and female family roles.

Or maybe it will be some private individual who stands up to the mob.  Maybe it has already happened.  Maybe it was Kyle Rittenhouse.  His trial will be coming up.  Maybe he will be the spark that wakes up the sleeping giant in this land.

Or maybe nothing happens.

So that’s what I’ve been pondering today.  The new year begins and no one really knows what will occur.  I’m an optimist.  I think we shall see a leader step forward and try to channel the anger and dissatisfaction with the current situation and build it into something permanent.  And I know that’s what we really need.

Here’s hoping that is the way it goes.

Lend Me Your Ears

“Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears.”   Shakespeare surely could craft a line.  A few weeks ago, I was watching Brando’s take on Mark Antony in Julius Caesar.  He gave the line a different emphasis.  Instead of declaiming it as a sonorous prologue to his eulogy of Caesar he barked it out as a command for silence from an unruly crowd.  It came off odd, almost jarring.  It wasn’t what I expected.  But it could work dramatically and it went along with Brando’s portrayal of Antony.

And it occurred to me that here was a man standing in the center of the Roman Republic surrounded by the common people and willing to stir them up while his murderous enemies were just down the street.  He took his chance to wake up the people, to stir them to life.  Rome in 44 B.C. was already in the midst of a long series of upheavals as the extreme wealth made possible by the army’s conquests fueled the oligarchs in their systematic destruction of republican life which guaranteed the eventual rise of Augustus and the Empire.

So, Shakespeare read Plutarch and imagined a late republic demagogue haranguing the Roman street to incite them to mutiny against the Senate in favor of the party and friends of the murdered populist dictator of Rome.  And he throws around the words ambitious and honorable and can make the first seem like a lie and the second sound like an epithet.

It’s very unlikely that what Marcus Antonius actually said to the Roman crowd could be translated into anything like what Shakespeare had him utter but the spirit of the conflict is there.  The Roman people were being dispossessed by their ruling class.  Citizenship was being diluted by extension to the provinces and the government was ruled exclusively by and for the rich.  Staggering number of farm slaves made it impossible for the small citizen farmer to compete with the enormous plantations that the rich senators ran.  Army service became an endless and prison-like sentence.  Rome was becoming just like any eastern despotism that had preceded it.  The only thing lacking was the title of king.

A careful scholar of Roman and American history would surely tell you that history never repeats itself but merely echoes universal human themes in every age and place.  But to be totally honest, it’s close enough for me.  We’re watching free men turning into serfs before our eyes.  Just as the Roman republic was rotted out by the power of the wealthy to outmaneuver and finally enslave the plebeians, just so, we are being manipulated and disenfranchised by the elites and their globalist minions.  We are being propagandized and gaslit and being stripped of our heroes and our history.  We are being displaced and disposed of.

Well, let me try it on for size.  My platform isn’t the Roman Forum after the death of Caesar but it’ll have to do.  I’m not eulogizing an assassinated leader I’m mourning for the murdered American Dream.

Friends, Americans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears.

What is going on now is not America.  Even during the Civil War, we had recognizable Americans on both sides fighting over issues of freedom and independence but both sides considered themselves Americans down to their toes.  Now we live in a country where almost half of the people living here hate America and all it stands for.  All they like about it is its wealth and they are quickly arranging for that to be swallowed up in a paroxysm of violence and destruction.  This is not a civil war; this is an invasion.  An alien ideology is being fostered and spread by these anti-Americans and the elites are supporting this invasion because they no longer think of themselves as Americans but as citizens of the world, or better, as the rulers of the world.

So, this harangue is for my countrymen, for those who are proud of America, not for the anti-Americans.  They can go to hell.  Think of this as an occupation.  Many occupied countries have survived and finally thrown off their conquerors.  Think of the Russians and the Mongols.  What is important is to find a way to protect you and yours from the effects of the occupation.  You have to protect your way of life and the things that make life worth living.  Take pride in your heritage and history and find others that do too and form a community with them.

And work to overthrow the invaders.  Never cooperate with their anti-American programs.  Never support their businesses or leaders.  Support anyone who shows pride in America and refuses to knuckle under to their propaganda.  Support them financially, politically and personally.

Pass along traditional values to the next generation.  Teach them the true history of the United States and tell it honestly with all the bad along with the good.  Let them know that America wasn’t a land of saints.  It was a land of free and courageous people that fought and competed in a tough world where there were winners and losers and that they created the greatest country ever seen on God’s green earth.  Tell them the truth about the subversion of this country and how it works.  Protect them from the degenerate and dishonest forces that exist to corrupt the young.  Explain to them the dangers of the world around them and how to find the good things in life that have real meaning and then support them in their journey through a world that is difficult for the young.

And enjoy life.  Find good people who believe in the things you believe in and spend as much time as possible with them.  Do all the things you enjoy and do it apart from the evil and the stupid.  There is no joy in their company only anger and disgust.  Let them spend their time among their depraved and insane allies.  They hate us but they have no love for each other.  Let them consume each other in their rage filled game of intersectional virtue signaling.  Depriving them of access to normal people is one of the best punishments you can bestow on them.

And beware of the moderates.  If they claim to be able to see the point of view of both sides of this war as equally valid then keep them out of any community of Americans you want to build.  They’re useless and worse than useless.  They will turn on you when things get tough to garner favor with their friends on the Left.  They will destroy any organization they find.  Stick with people that believe what you believe.

And most importantly don’t despair.  The ranks of our enemies are full of the weak and the stupid who have allowed themselves to be hypnotized by awful people who only want to destroy the things that they themselves cannot enjoy.  We will win if we show determination.  These people will have no legacy.  Their values do not support life.  They destroy it.  We can prosper and grow but they can only blight and wither everything they touch including themselves.  So, chin up.  You’re part of a nation of millions of people who believe what you believe and love the same good things you do.  And they’re too smart and courageous to be kept down forever.  We’ll find a way and we’ll get our country back.

What Are the Priorities for Us in the New America of Neil Gorsuch, BLM and Antifa?

So here we are, the newly minted super-conservative Justice Gorsuch finds transgender rights in the Constitution of the United States.  And under the reliably spineless leadership of John Roberts every major case from illegal immigrants to Second Amendment rights were dynamited against us.  And there was absolutely no fig leaf for any of these decisions.  The Supreme Court is a disaster.  I no longer expect any relief from that Court.

Add onto this problem that Antifa and BLM are now the official enforcement wing of the Democrat party.  In any jurisdiction federal, state or local where they have cover from Democrat elected officials, they are shown to be ready, willing and able to wage literal war up to and including murder and arson against their enemies.  Living in a blue state or even a blue city is tantamount to living in Mao’s Cultural Revolution.  At any time, you can be sucked into a purge or pogrom that really has no limits on what can happen.  Your rights in these jurisdictions do not exist as such.  They can be overridden with no notice and are subject to amendment whenever circumstances make the ruling coalition think they would benefit from it.

Those are the conditions on the ground.  Where does that leave us?

From my point of view that precludes certain strategies.  With the clarification of the role of the Supreme Court I would say any idea that unconstitutional actions will be struck down nationally and thereby benefit people living in blue states is sheer fantasy.  Nothing will be done to restrain places like California, New England, or New York.  They will just make things continually worse until you knuckle under and learn to love Big Brother or leave.

I suppose there are strategies to hide in plain sight in places like these.  I know people who say they can avoid the consequences of living under these regimes and still enjoy life.  I confess I do not possess the coping skills that must be needed to hide your feelings when living in the belly of the beast.  My daily interactions here in New England with the true believers involve mind boggling levels of cognitive dissonance.  It takes every ounce of self-control not to laugh in their faces or explain why the things being claimed are patently absurd.

The alternative then is to revolt against these laws.  Ignoring them or avoiding them by stealth is becoming harder and harder in these places.  Ultimately control over all aspects of life is becoming more stringent everywhere but especially in these blue states.  To the extent that it can be done I suppose that will be the strategy for conservatives living in these areas.  You will have to go underground.  And this means as far as raising children you’ll have to figure out how to work around the indoctrination of the schools and other social settings that the Left has taken over.  This is the Benedict Option that Rod Dreher has talked about.  Ultimately, it’s a temporary measure because eventually they will eliminate freedom of religion entirely.

But from my point of view, the best idea is to live in a deep red state where the political leaders have the means to craft laws that protect their citizens from the unconstitutional consequences of the Supreme Court.  They can make a law upholding the freedom of religion in the Bill of Rights and when the Supreme Court strikes it down the Governor can defy the Supreme Court and say he will protect any of his citizens from federal prosecution.  I could see blanket pardons being handed out on a rolling basis and the bureaucrats in Washington spinning out of control as the President refuses to step in.

A number of states following a plan like this would eventually produce a situation on the ground where essentially you would have two legal entities hidden within one name.  This is sort of like the situation we currently have with marijuana use.  At the federal level and in half of the states it is illegal but in states like California and Colorado it is big business.  The same thing should be pushed as hard as possible for as many different parts of the law as possible.  Just as things like sanctuary cities and legalization of drugs have been dispiriting for our side, freedom of religion would be very dispiriting for them.  It would even have an impact on migration of leftists into red states.  If there weren’t the lifestyle protections available to them, they would be much less likely to inhabit these areas.

So essentially what I am saying is that the deep red states are the only remaining points of resistance to the encroachment of Leftist control.  Everything else has already been conquered.  They will need to be the catalyst for change and that can only happen in conjunction with the four-year protection provided by the beginning of a conservative President’s term.

Hopefully a revolt at the state level will begin and President Trump’s second term will provide that needed protection.

05DEC2019 – American Greatness Post of the Day – Impeachment is Backfiring in the Midwest – Matt Batzel

It’s always nice to see some numbers that confirm what you think is going on.  Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan don’t seem to think Schiff is doing the country any favors.

https://amgreatness.com/2019/12/03/impeachment-is-backfiring-in-the-midwest/

 

 

The Rust Belt Stands Pat

Back in May I read Salena Zito’s book “The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics,” in which she interviewed a varied sample of Trump voters in the rust belt and identified why they abandoned the Democrat Party.

Well, in this article she went and checked back with these same voters to see if they had changed their minds.  Apparently their resolve is even stronger than in 2016 that Trump is their man.  And this jibes with the polls taken in these vitally important states.  Formerly, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin were part of the Great Lakes Blue Wall that would prevent any Republican from ever entering the White House again.  But instead of adding Ohio to that Blue Wall it looks like Minnesota may be turning red instead.That would complete the Red Wall from Lake Erie to Lake Superior.  Or let us say from the Atlantic Ocean in Philadelphia to the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca in Minnesota.  Apparently the demographic future we’ve all heard so much about isn’t quite there yet.

Zito is a personal writer.  Her story isn’t about statistics.  It’s about individual people.  It’s like the Trump rallies.  There’s a personal connection.

 

28JUL2019 – American Greatness Post of the Day – The Great Excluded and Our Nationalist Future By Matthew Boose

Living as I do in the thin space between the lumpen masses of the civic nationalists and the bomb-throwing bad-thinkers of the Post America far right I have my days when I long for the good old days when it seemed like if we could just get the tax code straightened out that “we’d be just as right as rain!”

But when I look around me and remember that back in the bad old days of 2015 those bad-thinkers were predicting that the fallout from the Left’s identity politics strategy along with the economic results of a globalist business policy would push normal Americans into a Nationalist direction I see once again that they were right.

And the proof of this is when a mainstream site like American Greatness starts getting closer and closer to the conclusions of the bad-thinkers:

https://amgreatness.com/2019/07/27/the-great-excluded-and-our-nationalist-future/

Without a doubt “The Great Awakening” is upon us.  And that’s good.  Because the awakening is itself a victory.  The fear and uncertainty associated with disinformation is paralyzing.  Damage done by supposed leaders of your own cause are the most devastating.

We’re getting somewhere.

The Great Revolt – by Salena Zito and Brad Todd – A Book Review – Part 1

The full title of this book is “The Great Revolt, Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics.”  When I was told I needed to read this I was a little resentful.  I don’t enjoy reading about politics for the most part.  This may be because lately political books are typically candidates telling us their inspirational biographies and why they are uniquely qualified to save the United States and by extension the whole free world.  Obama, Hillary, McCain, blah, blah, blah.  But I dutifully bought it two months ago and put it into the stack.

So, I started it.  It’s a combination of election analysis identifying the categories of voters who flipped the election to Donald Trump and then interviews with people in those categories.  The analysis is interesting but the interviews are riveting.  As someone who understands the anger over being categorized as a deplorable or being dismissed as unimportant or openly mocked as a defeated yesterday man with no future I was fascinated.  The stories being told by people from small towns and dying cities in the Rust Belt resonated like a tuning fork with what I felt.  Now here I am, an Italian American from Brooklyn living in New England and an engineer working in a 21st century industry and yet I feel more kinship with these unemployed factory workers and small business people than with any of the people I work with every day who don’t believe in any of the things I do.

They voted for Trump for a variety of reasons depending on the type of person or their specific circumstances but as a whole they were voting for the idea that they still counted and couldn’t be just discounted because they weren’t the coalition of tomorrow.  Their grievances weren’t progressive enough and they were too white.  They were old news.  And the interesting thing so far is that all of them that voted in 2008 and 2012 voted for Obama.  I’ve still got a bunch to read and I have to digest the analytical stuff to see what it means to my understanding of national politics but I can already see that the personal stories are the bigger news.  This proves to me that the Trump rallies were very significant.  A lot of these people voted because it was personal.  Trump reached them with his message.  It spoke to them.  These marginalized people in depressed areas of what used to be the industrial heartland resonated to a message from a billionaire New York City reality show cartoon character.  I think this means both parties have abandoned a very large swathe of Americans and if Trump can address what they want he actually could ignite a Populist Revolt.  If most people figure out that they’ve been used by both parties we could have a real awakening and some big things can get done.

I’ll get into more detail when I finish this, but I’ve already learned more about the 2016 election from reading the personal accounts than by all the political analyses that came out in the last almost two years.  I’ve met the people that made Trump president.  Zito and Todd have written an important book.