It’s not that Trump’s election increased anti-immigration sentiment, the authors say—it just made people already inclined toward restrictionism feel less of a need to conceal their preferences.
Regardless of whether Trump actually builds a wall or successfully gets his travel ban through the court system, it seems that his rhetoric has created a fundamental shift in the way Americans talk (or don’t talk) about immigration policy—and probably other sensitive issues, as well. That the president survived the Access Hollywood tape, the Megyn Kelly feud, and his remarks about the Khans (to give a few examples) might have also had an “emperor has no clothes” effect on certain social taboos.
In some ways, the “Trump effect” on P.C. has probably been positive. To the extent that critiques of the elite consensus on immigration and globalization and social liberalism had become off-limits, creating a stifling and anti-democratic environment where people were afraid to even express their concerns lest they be ostracized and condemned by their social betters, it is healthy that Trump’s election loosened limitations on acceptable discourse.
At the same time, civilization rests on a certain set of social norms, which are far more powerful than laws in shaping behavior. If everyone made all of their private opinions public—if dinner guests always told the host how they really felt about the food, if drivers always shared with police their opinions on being pulled over, if Supreme Court justices announced that their opinions were based as much on guesswork and intuition as the text of the Constitution—many of our institutions would work less well.
For 50 years we’ve been told that those norms are outdated and need to be ignored. Let it all hang out. If it feels good, do it! Now we’re supposed to worry about the erosion of Society as a restraint?
“On occasion, more than the media would probably like to admit, we have not told the story of conservative Americans — disenfranchised Americans — who believe that they are losing their country,” Byers said, in a segment first flagged by The Right Scoop. “The story we have largely been telling is a story that is more or less in step with the arc of history as defined by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”
The CNN senior media reporter continued with a qualifier: “That doesn’t mean we favor them to win. It just means that that sort of vision of a progressive future — a global future — and that is not one that resonates with so many conservative American voters.”
Who is he kidding? We all know who they favor to win.
BACK CHANNELS: Historian Doug Wead tells Fox News other presidential administrations have used them. Teddy Roosevelt. JFK. Why, Obama and the Iran deal!
IF YOU’RE AN IMPORTANT DEMOCRAT RELATED TO OTHER IMPORTANT DEMOCRATS, you can be busted for child pornography and get just $7500 bail. “Jacob Schwartz’s father is Arthur Schwartz, a prominent Manhattan attorney, community activist, and DNC operator. Schwartz served as counsel to Bernie Sanders during the 2016 election. He was also a delegate during Barack Obama’s 2008 run for president. Schwartz has also represented SEIU, several unions, and served as general council to ACORN from March of 2009 to October 2010.”
Plus, So when do Democrats actually win something? “Powered by seething anti-Trump sentiment, the Democratic Party keeps turning in strong performances in special elections in Republican-friendly districts. But they still haven’t won any of those races.”
It’s a moral victory, though. And that should be good enough, right?
THE HILL: 10 Senate seats that could flip in 2018. “Democrats reeling from a devastating election face a daunting task: the 2018 Senate map. It favors Republicans in a big way. The GOP will be defending just eight seats, while Democrats must fight for 23 — plus another two held by independents who caucus with Democrats.”
If you’re looking for races where volunteering or donating might make a difference, here you go.
K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: After-school staff allegedly locked boy inside ‘torture’ compartment. “A 6-year-old boy was repeatedly jammed into a dark hole in a closet ceiling by sadistic staffers at an after-school program inside a city school, The Post has learned. After being hoisted by the crotch and lifted headfirst into the pitch-black compartment as a form of punishment, the terrified kindergartner would be locked — ‘kicking, screaming and crying’ — inside the tiny classroom closet for ‘God knows how long,’ his mother Porsche Gaddy told The Post.”
GUY BUYS MOVIE TICKET, INTERNET OUTRAGED: “After years of progressives demanding that businesses bake cakes and open bathrooms, it’s cathartic to see them reverse their position when it offends their consciences. Miller is offering them a minor, even friendly, clinic on the brave new world they have created.”
WEIRD THAT THIS ISN’T GETTING MORE COVERAGE: “French President Emmanuel Macron praised President Donald Trump’s ‘capacity to listen’ and his ‘intention to progress with us.’ Macron hailed this as ‘one of the true outcomes of this G-7.'”
GREGG ALLMAN HAS DIED: Complications from liver cancer killed him. He will be buried in the same cemetery in Macon, Georgia, as his brother, Duane, and Allman Brothers Band bassist, Berry Oakley. Gregg Allman wrote Whipping Post, a song I admire.
The interesting thing is, if we’re a computer simulation, scientific atheism becomes problematic. If there’s a God in the code, then there’s a God in the code. Even if it was just put there by Koschei The Deathless (“Who made things as they are,” or coded them, whatever) to satisfy Jurgen’s grandmother. And given the state of software, the fact that Koschei, though fussy and well-meaning, isn’t very effectual also makes sense. . . .
Sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money. Even if you have massive oil reserves and a climate where practically anything will grow. Plus: “The cause of the starvation is obvious. Even under the most benevolent of socialist regimes, the government is ill equipped to operate such a complex system. And this one is far from benevolent, with the party leaders more interested in ensuring their own comfort and security than that of the rank and file. But all of this was predictable because, as we’ve said here more times than I can count, this is how socialism ends. Every. Single. Time.”
Socialism will never go away for the same reason that Ponzi schemes will never go away: On the one side, it appeals to the greed of the marks to get something for nothing, and on the other hand, it appeals to the greed of the people running the scheme, who don’t care what happens to the marks so long as they get theirs. Did I mention that Hugo Chavez’s family is worth billions now?
In recent years, scientists have plumbed the molecular depths of the body and surfaced with tell-tale biomarkers of aging, some of which extend to the brain. Now, researchers are harnessing another tool, neuroimaging, to measure the organ’s age, and using that to predict how long a person will live…
…Cole and his colleagues recently devised their own technique of predicting the biological age of people’s brains using a combination of machine learning and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
As for determining if someone is brain dead, voting for Hillary is definitely a tell-tale marker.
It’s also the case, of course, that men pay for most healthcare, while women consume most of it. So perhaps both are being rational.
IT’S NOT THAT I DISAGREE WITH THIS NECESSARILY, it’s just that the “it’s compassionate to provide less care” thing sure seemed to pick up as soon as ObamaCare passed. Can Comfort Care At The ER Help Older People Live Longer And Suffer Less? “Ouchi had pursued emergency medicine to rescue victims of gunshot wounds and car crashes. He was unprepared, he says, for what he encountered: a stream of older patients with serious illnesses like dementia, cancer and heart disease — patients for whom the life-saving techniques he was trained to perform often only prolonged the suffering.”
WHEN I WENT LOW-CARB MY TRAINER TOLD ME TO SWITCH TO WHISKEY FOR THIS VERY REASON: How much sugar is in a glass of wine? I don’t like especially sweet wines, but I don’t care for the puckery tannic ones my brother likes either. But the total amount of carbs in a glass of wine isn’t all that high, really.
THEY TOLD ME IF DONALD TRUMP WERE ELECTED PRESIDENT, OPEN SEXISM WOULD RUN RAMPANT. AND THEY WERE RIGHT! Man Buys Movie Ticket, Breaks Internet. “In other news, the Alamo Drafthouse theater chain has announced several women-only screenings of Wonder Woman. . . . A man bought a ticket to see a movie. The movie theater sold him that ticket. He says he plans to sit quietly in his seat and enjoy the film, just like everybody else who bought a ticket. Here’s a sample of the reaction so far to this completely commonplace occurrence.”
Bake me a cake, feminists.
JUDICIAL WATCH: Hundreds Vote Illegally in North Carolina after Court Bans Election Integrity Law. “Less than a year after a federal appellate court sided with the Obama administration to strike down North Carolina’s election integrity reforms, a state audit reveals that hundreds of votes were illegally cast by felons and non-citizens in just one election. Voter impersonation, double voting and irregularities in absentee ballots sent via mail also tainted the election, according to the investigation conducted by the North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE). The probe analyzed records from the 2016 general election.”
The reputation of the judiciary is already sinking. If voters believe that it’s allowing voter fraud, it will sink much further.
A lobbyist friend who visited Capitol Hill recently came away horrified. “I now am ready to believe that the partisanship is so unhinged that it’s a threat to the Republic,” she writes in an email.
This Washington hysteria comes at a time of full employment, booming stocks, relative peace and technological marvels like an electronic robot named Alexa who fetches and plays for you songs of your choice. What’s the fuss about?
We all know the answer: Donald Trump. The Washington body politic has been invaded by an alien presence and, true to the laws of nature, that body is feverishly trying to expel it. These particular laws of nature demand rejection of anything that threatens the livelihoods and prestige of the permanent governing class.
The “threat” that has Washington quaking is the first serious effort in a long time to curb federal regulatory power, wasteful spending, and a propensity to run up mountainous budget deficits and debt. That’s presumably what the voters wanted when they elected Donald Trump. Democrats—accurately regarded as the party of government—seem to fear that Mr. Trump might actually, against all odds, pull it off.
The Washington Post, the New York Times and other apostles of the Democratic Party have apparently set out to prove that despite their shaky business models they can still ignite an anti-Trump bonfire.
So far, what they’ve gotten is people cheering when journalists are shoved to the floor. Plus:
The Washington community knows how to fight back when it feels threatened. Leakers are having a ball, even if it has taken a lot of journalistic imagination to turn the most notorious leaks into “scandals.” Almost everyone in town has a stake in fending off the Trump threat: government workers and the businesses that serve them, public unions, lobbyists and their clients, owners of posh hotels and restaurants that cater to well-heeled visitors seeking government favors, journalists whose prestige derives from the power center they cover, academics who show politicians how to mismanage the economy, real-estate agents feeding on the boom—to name a few. It’s a good living, and few take kindly to a brash outsider who proclaims it is his mission to drain the swamp.
Mr. Trump is on the attack and Washington is fighting back. Is the Republic in danger? Another question is how much danger will it be in if Mr. Trump loses?
I don’t know why these people think that Trump voters will just stay home and sigh if the Establishment wins. It’s likely to be something much uglier. That the Establishment can’t even conceive of other people besides itself deciding to ditch the rules is just one more reason that it’s unfit to govern.
ALL AMERICAN WEEK BLAST: The 82nd Airborne Division’s annual celebration. This year is special — it’s the division’s 100th birthday. The division was formed in 1917 as an infantry division. In 1942 it became an airborne division.
Kanter was detained last week in Romania after the Turkish government revoked his passport. In a video about it, Kanter said Erdogan is the “Hitler of this century.”
Kanter returned to the United States, via London, on Monday using his green card. Kanter, who claims he routinely gets death threats, said in interviews following the incident he was woken up by his manager in the middle of the night in Indonesia a few nights before and told the Indonesian “secret service and army” were looking for him because he is a “dangerous man.”
Kanter told reporters he plans on becoming a United States citizen.
The Turkish government believes Gulenists were behind the 2016 coup.
New revelations have surfaced that the Obama administration abused intelligence during the election by launching a massive domestic-spy campaign that included snooping on Trump officials.
The irony is mind-boggling: Targeting political opposition is long a technique of police states like Russia, which Team Obama has loudly condemned for allegedly using its own intelligence agencies to hack into our election.
The revelations, as well as testimony this week from former Obama intel officials, show the extent to which the Obama administration politicized and weaponized intelligence against Americans.
President Trump needs to launch a major investigation, and fire a lot of people. And maybe prosecute some folks from the Obama Administration. This is much worse than Watergate, which only involved bugging a single office. Obama basically bugged America.
UPDATE: From the comments: “Seems to me that if anyone is doing Russia’s bidding, it’s jackasses like this guy and Brennan and Comey and the Democrat Party.” Well, if you assume the Russians’ goal is to divide and weaken the United States, whose actions since the election have contributed more to that?
The countermove is to get state legislatures and trustees to defund travel to their conferences, and departmental memberships. In fact, given the widespread Gramscian damage, a move to defund all conference travel, and all departmental memberships in academic associations, would be an effective move.
A MEASURE OF ACCOUNTABILITY: Charges filed against Tim Kaine’s son, others who crashed MN Capitol Trump rally. “The chaos that counter-protesters brought into the Minnesota Capitol in March during a rally in support of President Donald Trump included smoke bombs, mace in people’s faces and fireworks, prosecutors said Friday as they announced charges against eight people. . . . ‘When people seek to prevent others who are peacefully assembled from making their voices heard, it threatens the very foundation of our democracy and I am very pleased that we have gathered sufficient evidence to charge these individuals who we allege unlawfully took their counter protest activities too far,’ Choi said Friday.”
The unprecedented extent to which the Democrats have tried to delegitimize Trump’s presidency, starting the day after the election, has done tremendous damage. But most of the tongue-clucking from pundits is aimed at Trump, for some reason.
At first I scoffed. There couldn’t be any more unlikely a theocrat than Trump, what with his misquotes from the Bible and speculation that he hasn’t been in a church more than twice since the inauguration. But then I realized that the liberal paranoiacs were right. Except not in the way they think. Instead of seeing Atwood’s fictional Gilead as a near-future militant fundamentalist Christian elite dystopia, we should see it as the mostly secularist elite dystopia we live in right now.
Take those elite-class Wives. Liberals typically assume the 1% consists of striped-pants tycoons off the Monopoly board who reliably vote Republican and want to cram retrograde religious ideas down people’s throats. In fact, as social scientists (Charles Murray in “Coming Apart”) and political analysts (Michael Barone, writing recently for the Capital Research Center) have observed, it’s the Democratic Party that’s the party of the 1%: the tech and finance billionaires, the media and entertainment moguls who cluster in expensive ZIP Codes around metropolitan Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Washington.
Those folks aren’t known for their church-going, and they vote in favor of liberal social and economic causes from abortion and immigration rights to sustainable energy to higher taxes. They contribute heavily to political campaign, and with their upper-middle-class epigones they run the culture, deciding who gets banned on Twitter, which kinds of “diversity” are allowed on campuses, and what television programs we’ll be allowed to see. Today’s overclass Wives typically hold Ivy League degrees, “lean in” to high-status careers, and stand with Planned Parenthood.
We also have a rigidly defined caste of Marthas (and “Marthos,” their male counterparts), because the Wives and their high-earning husbands need them to mop their floors, care for their children, mow their lawns and trim their trees, all for bargain-basement wages. And so we have the irony of Malibu declaring itself a sanctuary city out of “solidarity” with its servant class, many of whom are in the country illegally, who can’t afford to live anywhere near their wealthy and high-minded masters and mistresses.
Finally, the Handmaids. As in the fictional Gilead, real-life elite-class Wives have something of a fertility problem, although it’s related not to environmental degradation but delayed marriages and childbearing attempts of women who pursue high-power careers. Thanks to 30 years of advances in egg-transfer technology since Atwood published her novel, today’s gestational surrogates don’t have to get into embarrassing “threesome” sexual positions with the Commanders and their Wives in order to do their jobs. And they tend to be drawn not from the ranks of political dissidents, but from the financially strapped Econowife class (military bases are common surrogate-recruiting centers) who are willing to put up with a year’s worth of uncomfortable hormone treatments and possible pregnancy problems for the $40,000 or so that they receive.
Dan Hay, creative director and executive producer of Far Cry 5, is standing in front of a TV displaying the word pressure, written out in all caps. PRESSURE. He’s telling a room of games journalists about the game he’s wanted to make since the 2008 recession, one that engaged with the rise of rural, American militias during Obama’s presidency. What if, Hay said, one of these groups so dedicated to preparing for the end days of America decided to actively push for it, instead.
But he couldn’t find enough support for the game: the core premise seemed “unrealistic.” After all, the world—the western world, it is implied—was “a global village.”
* * * * * * * *
Though the game’s “key art” and first teaser trailer focus only on the cult, Hay’s presentation (and many of the assets that Ubisoft sent to the games press for today’s embargo lift) additionally evoke a more mundane, almost idyllic Hope County: Bait shops. Main street bars. Little league fields. Two bedroom homes with flags out front. Taken alone, these parts of the FC5 press blast read like a love letter to the “fly over states” like Montana.
Responses to that key art over the past few days has been mixed, including arguments that FC5 will simply be about killing stereotypical, white “rednecks.” This response (and Far Cry’s own history) shows why this focus on “everyday” Montana is necessary. Far Cry as a series has always labored over transforming beautiful, distant places into chaotic playgrounds—these are even the words Hay uses to describe the series, “beauty and chaos”—and it has often done so with limited or mishandled interest in the inhabitants of these places.
Hat tip, Kathy Shaidle, who adds, “No word on when the same company will be doing a video game about Muslim terrorists.”
That’s different because shut up and maybe they’ll all go away.