458 Comments

This is such a good piece. A few thoughts from a miscellaneous tech/finance guy that has been thinking about these issues as well:

1) When a society starts to get squeezed economically, some sectors get hit first,

and therefore get motivated first. E.g. Academia and the Media, where as you point out the pay is terrible. Well, that's where all the liberals are. So the liberals get motivated first. In general, all the conservative professionals & ownership class have done well over the past few decades economically and are not politically motivated. I've met plenty of 8 & 9 figure conservatives, and all they want to do is go hang out in Sun Valley etc.

2) Identity is another big driver in the disparity of political motivation. "Boomerism" spoiled the energy of a generation, but Boomerism is not evenly distributed across Identities. If I am Jewish, I grew up in the shadow of the Holocaust, not the warm embrace of post-WWII American prosperity. If I am an Indian or Chinese immigrant, or a Black American, I did not have this spoiling / demotivating Boomer experience growing up. The vast majority of these high motivation identities are Dem.

3) None of these dynamics are necessarily stable. My amateur sense is that in any given society, the left tends to radicalize first. Left people are inherently unhappy (lots of data on this point), and unhappiness is motivating. But, left radicalizing leads to right radicalizing. So, you get a race for the left to consolidate gains before the right can come back from the golf course.

4) So, to your point, if you are on the right, things are going to get worse before they (might) get better. Because until things get worse, you just can't effectively motivate your side. The scary thing for those of us that Just Live Here, is that the farther behind the right falls, the more aggressively it has to fight to catch up. So it gets trapped between either surrendering to the left, or empowering its own radicals & strongmen (perhaps this is the 1920's / 1930's Europe problem - obviously the socialists/communists "shot first").

5) Trump can be interpreted as the most radicalized part of the right, the non-college whites that have spent the last few decades getting hurt and therefore getting motivated, trying to force the elite part of the right to radicalize as well. It didn't work because Trump is a rich guy that doesn't really care and it was easier to just lie and get into twitter fights rather than take serious action against left controlled big institutions.

7) It remains to be seen what happens if and when the right wing elite does get motivated. That is, people like Sean Hannity go from *pretending* they think and care that they're losing the country to actually thinking and caring that they are losing the country. I think they will decide they prefer not fight, and either accept the "New America", or take their money and leave the country. But, TBD.

Thanks again for the piece.

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re: Left being 'inherently unhappy' - I find the 'neurotic level' incredibly high in NYCity especially among females (and if you want to slice it even further Jewish females - it's off the charts). It feels unhealthy being near them; there's no rationality, it's all 'feelings'.

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What "didn't work" with Trump? All the stuff he did (tax cuts, regulation rollbacks, border wall) are popular with conservatives. Trump "worked" in the same way any Republican enacting Republican policy "works" for conservatives.

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Trump enacted little legislation of consequences outside of the tax cuts. He was successful of changing the tenor of our foreign policy stance, but was not successful at bringing our allies onboard or otherwise crafting a coherent strategy. He ultimately did very little to transform our institutions or bureaucracies.

It will take a more organized and effective person to bring about meaningful change for the "Trump movement". There are candidates out there that can do it, but Trump himself isn't it.

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1-4 are excellent points. The issue is how much worse is it going to get before it gets better?

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Do you have any data around academia and media being hit first in economic downturns? Repeatedly, analyses of our modern economy find industries affected most include retail, restaurants, travel/tourism, leisure/hospitality, service purveyors, real estate, & manufacturing/warehouse. Are these what you consider unhappy, liberal economic sectors?

As far as energy for political activity, people who believe every pregnancy should go to term are among the most motivated. People who are afraid their children will be turnt by reading the wrong library book, or have their feelings hurt by learning that slavery was central to the founding of the country, are pretty loud; it's not uncommon for their pet issues to be what politicians run on. Didn't Youngkin win Virginia by promising that CRT -- a grad school level topic -- won't be allowed in K-12 schools? GOP candidates don't win office without pretending their religion and right to own guns are continually under threat. Those issues, which stand in for a pols' true goals (minimizing taxes and regulations on their donors), wouldn't resonate unless their base hadn't been trained to see persecution where it doesn't exist.

Rightwing media is, funnily enough, the opposite of a free market endeavor. While squealing about communism, it's a billionaire-sustained propaganda machine organized around stoking rage and panic. The biz model relies on fearful and angry customers tuning in to watch animated alarmists warn them about black criminals, communists, their "religious freedom" being endangered by strangers' sex lives, family planning, and marriages, large black rapists, socialists, China, shadowy Jews, the deep state and the new world order, pedophiles, and especially "they."

The audience for this hype is overstimulated by fear, anger, and wounded entitlement. The "fuck your feelings" gang who deludes themselves it scores points by calling other people "emotional" continuously shits their pants while posting all the outrageous items they lift from the MSM in order to screech "they don't want you to know ____!"

Then they turn up and behave horribly at school board meetings, surround women's reproductive care clinics with hostility, spit on, rip the masks off and worse to random people they come across in public, openly fantasize about mutilating and murdering Pence, Fauci, and every single person trump hired ("only the best!") and fired ("I always said they were terrible!"), or anyone who dares to report a correct vote count, writes a factual article about or attempts to hold trump accountable for crimes, rush to social media to document yet *another* masked driver in a car alone...

And you think liberals are unhappy and more politically motivated? Pound for pound, you'll find more seething, and many more sharpened flagpoles, in GQP households.

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>In a democracy, every vote is supposed to be equal. If about half the country supports one side and half the country supports another, you may expect major institutions to either be equally divided, or to try to stay politically neutral.

>Yet Republicans get close to half the votes

They do not.

This is fundamentally very flawed. 48% of Americans are democrats or democratic leaning independents as opposed to 38% identifying as Republicans or republican leaning independents.

So to start off with, an entire tenth of the populace is a massive difference when you are mass marketing. Then we can get into asymmetrical support for the parties by age. It is no secret that the democratic party is much younger than the republican party, and marketers prefer to target populations at the start of their consumption lifespan than at the end of them.

Also democrats are generally closer to empirical reality on issues than Republicans, meaning that supporting republican causes will generally involve intentionally being incorrect

And finally, the essential framing imposed by the first paragraph is wrong: nothing about the allocation of capital or the actions of market actors is "democratic"

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"Also democrats are generally closer to empirical reality on issues than Republicans, meaning that supporting republican causes will generally involve intentionally being incorrect"

LOL -- Nothing that the left says on gender or transgender issues, and virtual nothing the left says on crime has the benefit of being empirically true! In fact the truth in areas of gender and crime statistics are thoughtcrime that is liable to get the speaker banned.

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If truth were the goal of the left, they wouldn't censor everything they disagree with -- they would engage in debate in the pursuit of truth. But they flee debate and seek censorship, overwhelmingly. In history, the side of censorship has never been the side that puts truth first.

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In history there has never been a side that puts truth first, only small pockets here and there.

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Perhaps this is so, but the active measures to suppress discussion even slightly outside of the left's year zero orthodoxy is indicative of a sinister enterprise.

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...and you can't carry with that one.

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Seriously - the only people who believe this canard on "censorship" are Faux Noise and LieMax watchers. Many of us do have concerns with the extreme voices - e.g. silly cancel culture - but then some Republicant opens their mouth and we see real problems - killing innocent people by the state, anti women agendas, anti-poor movements, and of course voting rights ...silly fellows who want their lies to be treated like facts are funny but not taking them seriously is not censorship- it is just enjoying a fact based world

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Says the guy who uses BS terms like 'Faux Noise', 'Lie Max', 'Republicant', 'anti women', 'anti-poor', ad nauseum. You can catch brain pathogens from consuming too much propaganda, you know... It's like surfing the Net without an antivirus program.

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Or watching " conservative outlets" to get a real chill!

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Eh. I don’t have much trouble picking the wheat from the chaff in the right-leaning media. The sanctimonious framing on the left, OTOH... The BS on both sides is completely, laughably, head-shakingly obvious. It’s just that more people really seem to buy the left BS. Sad.

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The right is intellectual in its framing, while the left is visceral. Rightists will argue that their ideas are good, but leftists will argue that their ideas are believed by good people (and that anyone who disagrees is outrageously evil.)

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That is because Democrats are BS - Better Said!

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Only if you redefine 'fact' to mean 'woke Democrat narrative,' but I suppose they're redefining all sorts of terms ('white supremacist' is a good example; apparently, like the leader of the Proud Boys, they no longer even need to be white).

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The USA could not be more pro woman if it tried. There is no anti woman anything in the west

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Boy, are you ever wrong on that issue! As an MD you should know better. But you are a great example of republican dogma - the left is trying to censor "free speech." That is why trump disbanded so many media outlets from his "news conferences." That was why he was so critical of most media. It had to agree with trump or get slandered. So, my belief is that republicans, especially the ultra - right are for censorship - when it comes to books , literature, the media, the body.

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How many of those media outlets were silenced? None! The left cancels books and authors whose ideas they disagree with. The right merely wishes to remove explicit pornography and grooming material from the reach of young children

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There is no room for ignorance and stupidity. Get lost , preferably in a library!

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They each have their weak points. I would say that climate denialism has more long-term, material consequences than gender juju, even though for specific people that might be really bad. And I admit that climate change isn't an existential threat. It's just a matter of how much a giant, expensive pain in the butt it will be.

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What many "deny" about the climate is that it is a crisis and that anyone can reliably predict it. Few would deny that climate changes but any reasonably intelligent person would certainly recognize that no one, so far, has managed to predict it even 10 years in advance! To spend trillions on fruitless attempts to change a climate that no one knows how to control would be insanity except that it's actually just a way to control voters through hobgoblins and enrich ones friends.

Do you actually believe, Andy, that the world is going to burn up if we don't do something? Do you actually believe that the politicians on your team believe this as they jet around in private planes, buy oceanfront mansions and use more energy than 100 average citizens? Do you actually think they would be calling for open borders knowing that the carbon footprint of the average illegal alien grows enormously once they cross the border? If you do believe that you are, I am afraid, a fool.

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I'm much more on the develop cheap nuclear and better storage for renewables, plan Netherlands-like flood protections around port cities, and stop selling subsidized flood insurance for the beachfront mansions you mentioned so that people will go ahead and move away. It seems like ground transportation will mostly electrify itself over the next 25 years and maybe short-haul air transport. My hot take is you won't get the carbon you put into rail back in the US before mid-range electric or hybrid flights get cheap.

Open boarders is a hardcore libertarian idea that I have some sympathy for — as someone with a skillset that wouldn't be hurt too much by it, but the left would do well to can that idea as soon as the current racial moral panic ebbs away.

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Well this is the point, isn't it - the people claiming that Global Warming is an existential threat to the "habitability" of Earth then pivot to propose solutions dependent upon an impossible multilateral international regulatory regime and other measures which consist of items on their long term political wish list anyway. They don't say "and that's why we should cut red tape to increase nuclear energy, and in the meantime find engineering solutions to the more acute effects of this phenomenon."

In any event, people on the right are correct to be skeptical. Global Warming only became a front line political issue (it isn't really - most voters don't rank it in the top 10 or so of their concerns) after the 2000 Presidential Election and aftermath when it was suggested that Al Gore would continue his "leadership" by addressing Global Warming (which was not a priority of the Presidential administration in which he actually served).

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The Paris Accords aren't impossible. China, for example, has made good progress.

The rest of the world, and the majority of Americans, understand the severity of the climate threats. Only oil companies and the people who believe their propaganda, put out by the politicians, media, and think tanks they own, can even pretend otherwise.

The idea that concern about global warming started with Al Gore's electoral defeat is a theory you came up but failed to test against reality. Jimmy Carter put solar panels on the White House. Do you think homes that have been washed away or burned down are habitable? Have you noticed that's happening more and more, all over the world?

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Who, exactly, is calling for "open borders"? Like, specifically, where in a paper or speech is any powerful Democrat suggesting that "open borders" be a plank in the Dem platform?

And do you think carbon footprints are divided up like countries? That people trying to enter the US only have children once they arrive here? Do they also start taking international flights and cruises once they cross the magic line?

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> And do you think carbon footprints are divided up like countries? That people trying to enter the US only have children once they arrive here? Do they also start taking international flights and cruises once they cross the magic line?

Well, a big part of open borders is that it increases world GDP. More prosperous people fly more.

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What happens if you are wrong?

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"Isn't an existential threat"?? WOW! At this point - before it gets really abd - we have several 100,000 dead every year, and tens of millions of migrants. The increase in overall heat in different countries - including the US - is modeled to show dramatic drops in life expectancy - and remember that COVID-19 pandemic - as forecast in the US' National Intelligence Assessments is because of climate change - just multiply this by 20 - even if we do not have a dimwit in charge for the next one, the death toll will still be huge

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Can you point to ANY "modeled" climate predictions over the last 40 years that have been correct? Nothing the climate alarmists have predicted has come true! Why are you so convinced they are right this time? If you employed a stock broker with the record of the climate lobby you would be bankrupt.

Wake up, buddy, they've never been right.

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stop reading Bjorn Lomborg (assuming you can read more than a Faux Noise "story" and you will see that your statement is just wrong

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Apparently you know of no correct predictions made by the doom and gloom crowd either but that doesn't seem to slow down your irrational faith. Why not read Bjorn Lomberg? He's an intelligent, well spoken critic of both sides of the debate. Interesting you pick out a "lujewarmer" to cancel. His moderate position must scare you and your ilk.

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Yeah, cause thats what keeps america citizens up all night losing sleep... worrying about climate change. Ya

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There is no serious debate over whether climate change is happening, none. The only serious debate is over how fast it's happening and how to stop it. All indications are it's happening even faster than scientists predicted a few decades ago. We're in big trouble.

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"Big Trouble"?? Well not from climate change which most agree is happening but which is 1. Happening slowly ( about 1 degree C/century) and 2. Mostly seeming to have beneficial effects.

The biggest "trouble" we face is political and social not climate or weather related which is obvious if one follows even basic statistics. Poverty worldwide is falling faster than anytime in history while wealth continues to grow across almost all demographics rich and poor. Food production outside a few isolated segments continues to increase. Droughts, fires, hurricanes and other severe weather are on a slight downward trend over the last 40 years.

Where, exactly, is the climate related trouble?

Most of the measurable warming has been in cold regions of the far N and, to a lesser extent, in the far S and then mostly at night. I don't think the Siberians and Inuit view nightime winter temperatures being a little warmer as "big trouble"! The truth is there is a lot of hysteria around this whole issue that is, so far, completely unjustified. While there may be more crime and poop in the street in San Francisco and other left coast cities for most of humanity life is improving, particularly among the very poor. There is actually lots to cheer about if one doesn't get caught up in the propaganda spewed by our media.

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WRONG! It has been an ongoing challenge but, not for the weak minded. And your comparison is a non sequitur - doesn't make sense

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It would be interesting to see how the NASA study was done as it disagrees with much of what I have read about the models grossly overestimating warming. My guess is that they are adjusting the models to close the discrepancies that open up year after year and then claiming these adjusted models closely "predicted" the future climate when they did nothing of the sort. The below study contradicts the NASA study you cited and they can't both be right.

https://www.cato.org/blog/there-no-hiatus-global-warming-after-all

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https://www.hoover.org/research/flawed-climate-models

Gistemp, unfortunately, doesn't tell one much. The inherent errors are far to great and outweigh the projected changes. Interesting that they don't want to use UAH satellite temperature records that actually measure the WHOLE planet's temperature multiple times a day. Makes one wonder, doesn't it?

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How about rising global average temperatures? Polar ice diminishing year on year? These things are easily verified to be happening. Unless you think an institution like NASA is in some great climate hoax.

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Existential threat means everyone dies. Half the people on Earth could die — which is pretty unlikely with just climate change — and it's not an existential threat. Unless climate change triggers a nuclear war or something, it probably won't kill everybody — even a bird blue with a 60% fatality rate and as contagious as measles wouldn't do that. It'll probably kill tens or hundreds of millions of people and immiserate even more — although largely in the poor global south — but you do have to balance that against your other priorities. The poor will always exist. Some people will always be f----d. Life will never be fair.

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Gods - what a silly statement - this is why pink bois piss people off - it is an act of gloating privilege to write off a a few million dying for the right to drive a gas guzzler. And luckily we live in a world where such statements are increasingly seen as cruel and needless - a better - morally and intellectually- questions would be to ask - how do we generate abundance for all of us!

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He wasn't writing it off; he was just pointing out that it isn't an existential threat, which has a fairly concise, widely-agreed-on definition: an existential threat is something with a non-trivial chance of causing the human species to go extinct.

He presumably agrees that the worst case scenarios would be very, very bad, but there's an extremely important distinction between things that are merely very, very bad and things that are existential threats, and we should try not to get the two categories confused.

(Though at the risk of pissing off everyone involved here, I should probably disagree with Andy as well - I'm not sure that nuclear war would be an existential threat either. It would presumably kill millions in the cities that one could expect would be hit, but as far as I know, we just don't have enough nukes to get everyone, and people in the countryside would survive and have a chance at rebuilding civilisation).

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Hmm. I don’t think that was the intention or message of what the poster wrote. God, this is a truly terrible medium for communication.

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It could mean lfe or death for future generations, if you cared.

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Jan 9·edited Jan 9

>Satanic panic

>Phonics is bad

>Healthy at every size

>Men can compete in women's sports. No biological advantage

>Homosexuality is 100% genetic with no environmental factors

>Protesting COVID lockdowns bad and will spread COVID, but BLM protests are fine

>BLM riots were "mostly peaceful"

> "Hand up don't shoot"

>IQ is pseudoscience

>There is no racial IQ gap

>Gender wage gap is 100% due to discrimination

>Implicit bias

>That guy with a dong, yeah it's "MA'AM"

>Defunding the police won't lead to an increase in crime

>Russiagate collusion

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>>Yet Republicans get close to half the votes

>They do not.

They do. Since 2010, the Republicans have had >50% of the House vote share twice, exactly as many times as the Democrats. In the last 20 years, Republicans haven't had less than 43% of total House vote share in any election.

Republicans on average get half the votes.

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Allocation of House seats does not necessarily align with the voting preferences of the populations they represent.

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But I didn't say *House seats*, did I?

I said *House vote share*.

As in, add up all of the votes received by all of the Republican candidates, and then do the same for the Democrat candidates. Republicans have had >50% of that number twice in the last ten years (2014 and 2010). So have Democrats (2018 and 2020, though just barely on that last one).

You can easily find this data for any election: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_United_States_House_of_Representatives_elections

That has nothing to do with allocation of seats.

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The Republican House of Representatives won the popular vote in 2016 (at the same time Trump lost time), which suggests a lot of people still vote Republican even though they weren't too fond of Trump then.

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He said "of the vote", not of "party identification to pollsters." When it comes to actual elections, the voters are roughly split in half.

In 2020, Democrats won the federal government by a slight majority, while the Republicans won state elections. In 2016, even though didn't win the popular vote, the Republican House of Representatives did.

As to "empirically on the issues", yeah, sure thing. Enjoy your lockdowns of children out of school even though they have a 0.0002% chance of dying of Covid. Enjoy your restrictions that don't work while your blue states simultaneously top the mortality rates.

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"democrats are generally closer to empirical reality on issues than Republicans" - did you seriously just say that???

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"democrats are generally closer to empirical reality on issues than Republicans"

The empirical reality is that Democrats are most likely to believe media lies, propaganda, and hold incorrect views of reality

https://www.justfacts.com/news_2019_survey_voter_knowledge

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People who watch Fox News are less informed / more disinformed than people who consume no news.

People who develop attitudes and beliefs by consuming rightwing media other than Fox are even more detached from reality. There's been a fair amount of research on this.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/personality-type-as-well-as-politics-predicts-who-shares-fake-news/

"Personality Type, as well as Politics, Predicts Who Shares Fake News

Highly impulsive people who lean conservative are more likely to share false news stories. They have a desire to create chaos and won’t be deterred by fact-checkers."

https://www.cjr.org/analysis/breitbart-media-trump-harvard-study.php

"[P]ro-Trump audiences paid the majority of their attention to polarized outlets that have developed recently, many of them only since the 2008 election season."

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.abf1234

"Results confirm that conservatives have lower sensitivity than liberals, performing worse at distinguishing truths and falsehoods. This is partially explained by the fact that the most widely shared falsehoods tend to promote conservative positions, while corresponding truths typically favor liberals. The problem is exacerbated by liberals’ tendency to experience bigger improvements in sensitivity than conservatives as the proportion of partisan news increases. These results underscore the importance of reducing the supply of right-leaning misinformation."

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This is a very bad post full of cherrypicked info about subgroups; it also ignores nuance.

>"People who watch Fox News are less informed / more disinformed than people who consume no news.

People who develop attitudes and beliefs by consuming rightwing media other than Fox are even more detached from reality. There's been a fair amount of research on this."

No source for this; you likely just made it up.

>"https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/personality-type-as-well-as-politics-predicts-who-shares-fake-news/

'Personality Type, as well as Politics, Predicts Who Shares Fake News

Highly impulsive people who lean conservative are more likely to share false news stories. They have a desire to create chaos and won’t be deterred by fact-checkers.' "

Also from your link: "There was no difference between liberals and conservatives with high levels of conscientiousness."

See this counter evidence as well: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/711133 "In a contrast with previous results, we find no evidence that citizens on the political right are especially likely to endorse false political information."

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"Also democrats are generally closer to empirical reality on issues than Republicans"

To call that statement false is not nearly sufficient to express the extent of its ridiculousness.

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Prove it?

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where exactly do you get that 48% of americans are democrat ? are you out of your mind ? what the hell did you smoke ?

most Aemricans are independent. of the rest is a roughly even split of dems and reps with the current trends since 2015 seeing a shift towards the republican party, or more indeoendents.

If you simply get out of the big blue cities, most of America is either very red or very purple.

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HONESTLY, how much of that missing ten percent difference of republicans are people who for one reason or another just have something to lose by publicizing it? Think about it. Not that I think thats a good thing... but people will literally get fired from their profession for such bs as being seen in a trump rally.

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Excellent post. I think that you could change each instance of "care more about politics" to "care more about imposing their will on everyone else" and come as close, or closer, to the truth.

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While the language of "imposition of will" is a bit of a trap, what is the point of politics if it's not to change the world? I dare say the farmers and workers had to "impose their will" to end Feudalism. Will to power is a central political tenant. What's more interesting is all the evidence that such actions are fundamentally impossible. What I don't know is if that's more true now than when we had Feudalism...if so, a hard row, if not, then hard things happen.

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"what is the point of politics if it's not to change the world?" I think that an integral part of English/American political evolution has been to curb the "imposition of will". That's the point of our Constitution, although it's been warped beyond recognition by now. I'm a libertarian-leaning conservative (or a conservative-leaning libertarian), and it's a VERY hard philosophy to follow, since the urge to impose our will on others is so terribly hard to overcome.

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Feudalism ended in most countries from the top down.

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This is so funny. Your data is interesting - love the ordinal voter distinction. What is funny is your bland equivalence of positions - "conservative" may have been a position pre-Reagan (when dog whistles on "welfare" proliferated) but post Donald the parties of racism, hate, misogyny and so on really do not have a constituency. The simpler truth is that the "right" is not right any more by any sense of values - it is a morally bankrupt collection of liars (Greene, Gaetz, Hawley, Cruz, ...and on) with most of the "thinkers" (Hoover, Cato, Heritage, Mercatus - with a couple of exceptions) being whiny corporate shills. Your bland comment on "National Review suggests limiting voting" as if that is a reasonable position that should be engaged with in a 21st century democracy is amazing - your unwillingness to count the Jan6th insurrection as "conservative protest" shows a hypocrisy when you are digging up a tiny pro gun march! Sigh- read you because I like Tyler Cowen often but if this is the best you guys have - good luck - your grrymandering is only getting you so far. And your stats on health etc are funny - lots of data to the contrary - but they are by academics and researchers so you are better off looking at facebook

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Ladies and gentlemen, in case you were wondering — behold, one of your liberal “elites”.

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First - am elite by any definition of the term. And happy about it. Not sure when elite became a bad word - ah - when you would rather be unkind than thoughtful, rather recite talking points than reflect, and rather blame than reflect- sorry, not sorry

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Umm...no. Maybe you have a credential or possibly some money? But if you are intending to use elite non-sarcastically, it's not typically going to be an elite that gets suckered into talking points the way you apparently have, or uses terms like "republicants" or "libtards".

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One hallmark of elites is that they rarely call themselves elites...that likely puts you in the 'useful idiot' category

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Brahmin Pride! Never fails.

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Unfortunately Brahmin pride fails regularly - however, we are resilient and willing to bounce back!

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Most actually racist people in the world.

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Elite became a bad word around the time privilege did

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“Elite” became a bad word when the supposed elites began the process of owning the rest of us. And BTW, considering yourself “elite” doesn’t make you one anymore than a man considering himself a woman.

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I think that derisive coined terms "dog whistles" directly says bias. Even Bill Clinton understood the broken public welfare system. We just haven't found a better way to build a safety net that reduces dependence. Then the canard gerrymandering which is misused by both parties to perpetuate incumbency. Just like term limits, the politicians will never accept any threat to their terms. Then as the left and right bicker, even to hatred, we see a stalemate developing, perhaps as planned.

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Dependency is a canard used to manage people like you - assuming you are not 1% else you would not be here - so the cries just now about "too much unemployment benefits" bah humbug - your ideology is showing - but the failure of Clinton and Obama is going to be rectified ...hoping AOC and the rest can pull Biden over to the correct side again

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You don’t have to be elite to go to a restaurant and find that they’re operating at half staff because some people prefer to take a government check than work for one. That’s called creating a dependent class that will always vote themselves more of other people’s moneys.

And unless you pass the SB1, the “Taking Daley’s Chicago/Rizzo’s Philadelphia/Tamanny Hall/ Electoral fraud Act” national, you have about a year and a half to finish the transformation of this country into something out of “1984”.

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1 Question Punya. Why would make you happy to see in this country? 10 genders,? Corps and businesses filling quota putting diversity over being qualified for said job? Cancelling peoples lives cause they said something non politically correct? Corona mandates and testing until the end of time? Teaching your young kids in school about homosexuality and trans rights? Murderes arrested and most immediately released back on the streets? I just dont understand whats the appeal nowadays from the left to the average human. Blows me away, really

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AOC?! HAHA. You are now making me think youre possibly a tool account. What next? Bernie was the best person for the job Biden appointing him to handle America's money?

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It’s hard to be plain-spoken when you’re lecturing, professor

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"The party of racism, hate, misogyny..." ~ Talk about someone beyond drunk on the liberal propaganda machine.

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"The party of racism, hate, misogyny..." are really just the wet dreams of Democrats & illiberal LEFT

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Or just facts - like number of Republicants who decided the election was fraudulent - oh sorry, facts and their darn liberal bias. Or that the lies powering racist election laws are obvious to all - including the guys making them. Or that the transgender culture war nonsense that can hurt real kids and families is this generation's version of abortion- sigh =

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How do you extrapolate misogyny, racism, and hate from a protest that turned into a riot? The first women to be elected to a state house or government position was a republican in Wyoming. Is one racist if they believe in meritocracy? What happened to character? Is it right to resist arrest when you have an outstanding warrant? Transgenderism is less than 1% of society so your comment is rather lacking.

To this day I'm perplexed why it is racist to require an ID? Most transactions of an meaning require an ID. You can't get a mortgage or a car loan without one. You cannot receive a credit card, or apply to a college without supplying one, you can't pick up certain medications without one, you can't see a physician or be seen at an emergency room without one, and on and on.

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When a bunch of pink people run a riot, supported by a racist police department that has orders to ignore them, to fight against an election lost by an explicitly racist orange man, and won by black and brown people voting in unprecedented numbers - yes, racist - amusing to see you guys fall over yourselves to excuse your racism, misogyny etc while claiming a lack of facts

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I would posit that calling Trump 'explicitly racist' is at best something of a distortion. At any rate, if the claims in You Are Still Crying Wolf are true (written after he won the 2016 election but before he took office) - https://slatestarcodex.com/2016/11/16/you-are-still-crying-wolf/ - and if I remember correctly, Trump actually won a higher percentage of the black and hispanic vote in 2020 than he did in 2016, but lost the election overall because of a collapse in support among whites relative to 2016. That would suggest that he was not *enough* of an explicit racist for that to be a significant factor among the demographics you would expect to be most worried about it.

Here's my model: Everyone (apart from maybe those with some unusual neurological conditions like Williams Syndrome) has at least a bit of an in-group bias, and race is a really easy axis on which to form an in-group bias; your skin is your uniform, as they say. Thus it is extremely unlikely that we can ever fully eliminate racial bias, we can only approach it asymptotically, with diminishing returns as we apply heavier and heavier pressure, and punish more and more false positives more and more severely, as we try to squeeze out every last drop of racism. But the USA, as of the early 21st Century, was doing pretty well on that score, being among one of the least racist societies in the world (exclusing, I guess, monoethnic societies remote enough to be basically unaware of other races).

However, at the same time as being one of the most racially tolerant societies in human history, the USA had also become one of the most hysterically oversensitised-to-racism societies in human history. These two points may not be unrelated.

On that measure, on a scale of someone-with-Williams-syndrome to literally Bull Connor, Trump is maybe fractionally less racially tolerant than the median white septuagenarian in one of the most racially tolerant societies, but is still far closer to the Williams Syndrome end than the Bull Connor end, and there are far more important things to worry about, including the fact that after decades of gradual impoverishment as their economic base was sold out from underneath them, the average working class white American's only real champion in politics was an obnoxious loudmouth reality TV star with not much of a plan, who failed to embody any of the religious virtues they would want in a leader, but was about the only politician to not treat them with sneering contempt.

I'm also curious about the basis on which you call the Washington DC police department racist. I don't know enough about them to know whether that claim is justified, but it is the sort of claim that one ought to have to justify. (Note that it's not enough to prove that they hassle/arrest/kill black people at a higher rate than their share of the population; you would need to prove that that disparity does not go away when you control for the disparate proportion of crime committed by black people).

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Thank you for an attempt at thoughtfulness. But sorry/not sorry - Donald is a happy racist. He may not be a well thought through and articulate one - but "rapists and murderers", "fine people on both sides", "Proud Boys stand by" are clear enough - beyond dog whistles (welfare mothers) and foghorns- attempts to deny his racism are gaslighting - like pretending there is a real audit in AZ, or that the voter suppression laws are not racist etc etc. Getting votes from some LatinX or Black people is not surprising. First a lot of LatinX - e.g. Cubans are "really white, not like those people". Second, a lot of young men are into the high Id, no Super ego mode of Donald (and Narendra Modi in India, or Orban in Hungary, Bolsnaro in Brazil, Netanyahoo in Israel etc). This just means that their high misogyny helps them ignore the insults to others who are not them.

He is clearly on the "Bull Connor" end - kids in cages, policies of deliberate cruelty etc. It is interesting that long standing racism by Republicants seems to have made you relaxed about norms that are insanely cruel by any high consuming society - you have hungry chidren, sick peope dying because of money, old people dying alone, and children crippled because of bad schools and poor starter jobs - and all this is racially shaped - and all this is OK? Just because you are using physical whips, does not mean that this society is not using race to sort and punish people.

Not sure I called the DC police deptt racist. I said that the response to Jan 6th was racist- compared to the militarised presence on the BLM march. If I said or implied otherwise I apologize - that was an error. I do not know their stats -and will say that a lot of police departments act in systemically racist ways - Ferguson may have been an outlier, but ...here is a paper that analysed how administrative data is mislabeled (remember that officially Floyd died because of himself, the video showed otherwise) - https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3336338

It is a 2019 paper called Administrative Records Mask Racially Biased Policing - and a key sentence is -show the traditional estimator can severely underestimate levels of racially biased policing or mask discrimination entirely. (in Las Vegas terms presto - no racism).

To your claim on the larger number of black criminals (which is an open hypothesis given how badly racist both arrests and records are), here is a study that looked at police violence - from 2016, before it was fashionable - and found that " Black-on-white homicides increase officer-involved killings of African Americans but black-on-black homicides and measures for political and economic threat do not." in other words it is white police "feeling" threatened that increases violence - not actual crimes. The article is "Group Threat, Police Officer Diversity and the Deadly Use of Police Force" https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2778692

I could go on - lots of recent papers too which are more stinging because of ideology (less starting from an assumption that the police are acting fairly) and data (big data, AI etc).

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This left wing Hindutva idiot is a pseudo-intellectual. The left wing is the party of illegal aliens, abortions, single mothers, broken family units, EBT, gender politics, etc. Left wing ideologies have not created winning societies. Usually civilizations at their collapse where at their most liberal point.

There’s no need to respond to this Hindutva chain migrant.

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Not trying to defend OP here, but it's pretty easy to detect voter fraud without IDs. When people turn up to vote (or send in mail-in ballots), tick off the name they give from the list. If their names gets ticked off twice, someone committed fraud, and the case should be followed up. This is what happens in most democratic countries, including the US.

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I find it humorously ironic that you answered my observation of your obvious drunkenness on the liberal propaganda machine by regurgitating more liberal propaganda and agenda points and then claiming them as facts... People like yourself can't see beyond the propaganda and narratives they've been fed, yet claim to be the wise ones. Quite humorous (and sad at the same time). lol... Carry on o drunk wise one.

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I am offering facts - but if you are so lost in your fantasies of righteous pink people saving the republic - what to do? horses, water, no drinking

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How would you like to be referred to as "shit brown" colored person? n the right is the racist party hu

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What does the claim that the election was fraudulent have to do with racism?

And why should we be concerned only with the transgender people hurt by red team anti-trans activism, and not with the ... mostly adolescent biologically female people, I suppose, though not exclusively, who are harmed by blue team pro-trans activism? It's not as if there are zero detransitioners whose lives would have been better if the people urging caution about hormones and surgery weren't being shouted down as bigots.

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If transgender concerns were rooted in care not war, there would be greater focus on counselling by real counsellors (not mail order church certificates) and real research by people who spend their lives helping young people navigate a very difficult life problem. It seems a little ridiculous that you expect anyone to believe that politicians who are lying about voting, are proud to be anti-gay, are happily misogynist, suddenly care for vulnerable children - do Medicare expansion then talk about "care"

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To be clear, I'm not claiming that *Republican politicians* who are opposed to the excesses of trans activists are *necessarily* motivated purely out of concern for the demographics most harmed by trans activism; but to the degree that they are *in alliance* on this subject with the people who are trying to limit the very real harms caused by trans activism, I see no reason to *presuppose* that they are acting in bad faith either.

The harms caused to trans people by anti-trans activism are often real.

The harms caused to (mostly) cis women by trans activism are also often real.

And part of the problem is that it is mostly the pro-trans-activism people who are trying to *prevent* honest research on the topic, as far as I can see. To the degree that Republican politicians are our allies in trying to limit the harms caused by trans activists, I see no good reason to presumptively begrudge them that, as long as we are careful to make sure that their policy prescriptions are actually going to prevent more harm than they cause.

You seem to be implying that we should *only* be worried about the harm caused by anti-trans activism, and not about the harm caused by pro-trans activism. But I could be misreading you. Can you clarify?

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Some fair points here - we should be looking at harm/benefits overall and to all populations. And I will say that activism in its nature tends to blur edges and makes for more yes/no binaries than is humanly sensible. The answer to my mind is greater compassion and data - with a scrupulous check on assumptions.

Turning to the places I find your statements troubling-

A) How can we give a bunch of liars and cheats the benefit of the doubt in this instance - what is the reason you would suggest they actually care for kids - when their ongoing rhetoric and policy clearly shows otherwise. To presuppose is rational, to trust divine I guess - but these folk are not on the side of the Divine which offers deep love to everyone not just a chosen few

B) Not sure what the harm to cis-women by trans- activists are - if you are referring to JK Rowling being called our for being asinine - seriously, this is harm? But do you have real cases of harm? Love to see it as this is not an area I have seen much evidence -

C) Again, not seeing much evidence of research being stopped - do see evidence that bigoted presumptions by researchers are being challenged

D) People with "purity rules" tend to cause more harm - this is a red flag for many of us concerned with everyone's wellbeing - "People who value following purity rules over caring for others are more likely to view gay and transgender people as less human, which leads to more prejudice and support for discriminatory public policies, according to a new study." https://doi.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fxge0000537

E) and increasing research on neuroscience and brain structures show things like - "Brain activity and structure in transgender adolescents more closely resembles the typical activation patterns of their desired gender, according to new research. The findings suggest that differences in brain function may occur early in development and that brain imaging may be a useful tool for earlier identification of transgenderism in young people."

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repeat - pink people were the only ones (other than Uncle Tim and a few token black/brown useful foils) who tell the lie that there was a problem with the elections - there were minor problems as is common - and all recred fraud so far is by Republicans - shame that the Lt Idiot of Texas refuses to pay up for evidence of election fraud because it shows up by republicants

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Pot meet Kettle. Sometimes its hard to see the racism/bigotry/xenophobia in oneself. As a wise POC once said; Never apologize for not being what they're used to.

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So glad to see you agree with me - difficult to find people interested in facts in this thread - rock on

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"Republicants!" Oh, what a jape! Do you mind if I employ it?

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Let him go, if he loves his money as much as he thinks of himself, he won't be one of those that donates to the non-right.

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Oh goodness. You are a wee bit misdirected here, my friend. If you have a cogent and considered point to make, please feel free. We’ll wait. Careful, though-your conformation bias is showing.

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1 Question Punya. Why would make you happy to see in this country? 10 genders,? Corps and businesses filling quota putting diversity over being qualified for said job? Cancelling peoples lives cause they said something non politically correct? Corona mandates and testing until the end of time? Teaching your young kids in school about homosexuality and trans rights? Murderes arrested and most immediately released back on the streets? I just dont understand whats the appeal nowadays from the left to the average human. Blows me away, really

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The election was filled with circumstantial evidence that points to massive fraud. You are too blinded by ideology to look at the evidence. There’s statistical evidence, thousands of sworn affidavits (many from Democrats) and the mere fact that they changed election laws by going around state legislations. Stop listening to corporate media that is completely owned by the CCP, and yes, they are owned by them. But you will point to the same media to tell you “no, that isn’t true.” Truly astonishing. Biden just lifted sanctions to allow Russia to continue their oil pipeline into Europe.... but Trump is the compromised one... how do you twist your brain into justifying actions like these?

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What are you going to say when AZ forensic audit is finished?

Your party has disputed every election since Region. You called Bush Hitler. You conceived and executed the Russia Hoax.

It:s racist to demand voter ID? Because minorities can't get or don't have IDs?

You need to listen to opposing media. I recommend Ben Shapiro's podcast for just plain facts. What people are reacting to is your mindless regurgitation of the media's talking points and naming of civilized people whom they hate as though they were some gang of criminals.

For your own sake stop watching the MSM. They are gas lighting you. No really. You have to listen to the oppositions points.

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The election AS fraudulent. Even some Democrats believe that.

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The "insurrection" on January 6th managed to purposefully kill zero people (at least by protestors; there was the lady shot by the police) and to my knowledge burn zero buildings. So it doesn't exactly go against his argument on cardinal v. ordinal preferences. So at basically the pinnacle of recent right wing protest, when they were so worked up that a president supposedly needed to be impeached for how violent they were, they couldn't match a random tuesday night in Seattle or Portland as far as violence and property damage.

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funny - but like most attempts at racist humor, not running well - e.g. Gutfailed

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I don't understand how the above comment was either racist or an attempt at humour - it looks like a straightfoward, non-race-related factual claim to me.

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BLUE TEAM GOOD! RED TEAM BAD!

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Blue team less terrible, red mob ghastly

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Neurosis is a 'Democrat disease' - no joke - walk down a NYCity street and feel the wobbly vibes.

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RW people are, on average:

- happier

- healthier

- live longer

- more good looking

- better in bed

No wonder Libs hate us! There is so much whining and wailing and undiluted COPE in these comments.

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From your mouth to God's ears- wishing you well with all these attributes - why would you imagine that anyone who cares about people would want you to be less healthy, happy, sexually satisified etc? Have more, be happier

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I wish your commentary was more fact based instead of ideological opinion Punya. Both sides have bomb throwers, if one was to be intellectually honest. In regards to dishonesty I would hardly say that either side has the fact or truth market cornered. Still to this day, a disproportionate amount of U.S. government debt is social programs.

Since almost every transaction we make in the United States requires a form of identification, the argument of voter suppression is laughable.

There is no such thing as a pure democracy and thank goodness for that, we are a representative republic. A pure Democracy would result in oppression by the majority over the minority.

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He's just thoughtlessly regurgitating talking points from MSNBC and the Democratic Socialists of America.

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Hi Scott - I am not pretending to be non-ideological. Anyone taking the time to read/comment on a substack is ideologically informed. I will say thya the "both sides" argument is fading desperately - Jan 6th was just the icing on the cake. Michael Harrington's wonderful diagram showing US poverty rates declining till Ronald Reagan and then jumping again is a powerful indictment of policy. And the sob stories about "social programs" would make sense if we did not have such a bloated and inefficient "offense department" (bipartisan foolishness and criminality - e.g. Vietnam, Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela and on) and a ridiculous tax rate on higher incomes, "death tax" and "capital gains" - all of which have led to dramatic inequality killing millions early - social support is far too low and the neo-liberal consensus finally being broken by Biden (!) is a major killer of Americans and a lot of brown people globally

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You need to research and understand the difference between discretionary and non-discretionary spending. Yes, military is the largest chunk of discretionary spend, but the real problem of national debt is non-discretionary

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Don't be ideologically blind - there is nothing "discretionary" about American "Attack" spending - there is little review, no accountability, just a blin and voracious snuffling at the public trough. There are literally trillions missing - and no audits. If there were genuine conservatives around = e.g. people who cared about law, probity, integrity and patriotic values - they would want this fixed - but because all we have are racist war mongers who are happy to go out and kill brown people for no reasonable reason - (and you cannot say "9-11" while you keep sucking up to Saudis) - there is no accountability and lots of rubbish about social spending

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Don't mid-wits like you realise that you offer the most bland, morally righteous and stat denying criticism of the right? You might need to dig a little deeper if you want to look at the set of thinkers who would align with the right in US today, let alone the Republican Party, your search would end at the feet of the founding fathers. Also, an insurrection needs an overwhelming amount of guns. Dems have become anti-liberty and threaten to make the US a tool suited for one party statehood. And Indians like you leave a relatively socialist nation to go and vote Democrat in the states. But then again, that is what mid wits are for.

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dont eed to sit at the feet of racist slave owners - you should read your own history - assuming you can get beyond cartoons from Fake Noise

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You lost me at “dog whistle”. Sorry.

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too loud?

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Scott Alexander has a good piece on why accusations of dog whistling are often counterproductive. Worth a read: https://slatestarcodex.com/2016/06/17/against-dog-whistles/

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I think we can distinguish between two very different things that one could mean by racism / hate / misogyny.

First, one can take the attitude that everyone should be held to the same moral standards, compete on a level playing field etc, and that if as a matter of fact one race is more likely than another to commit violent crimes and are therefore disproportionately subject to the attention of the police, or if one sex is less likely than another to be interested in maths-heavy stemlordish careers and thus be under-represented among the highest echelons of tech company employees, so be it; everyone was given equal status under the law/equal opportunity at the time of the job interview, etc., and unequal outcomes happened to be the result.

Second, one could take the attitude that if some demographics are over/underrepresented in some societal outcome that we care about, that is prima facie evidence that the people getting the crappy end of the stick are being actively discriminated against by the people who are overrepresented among the successful outcomes - and that we are morally bound to apply counter-pressure by actively discriminating against the demographics that are doing better until equal outcomes are achieved.

I think it's fair to say that the first position is more common among the red team and the second position more common among the blue team today. But note that it's the second position that is actually racist/sexist in the classical sense of discrimination against individuals on the basis of their membership of race/sex-based categories.

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This is a fantastically thoughtful and insightful response.

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Thanks. As a general rule, understanding that two people are using the word 'racism' to mean completely different things, can dissolve a lot of pointless argument :-)

For instance,

https://hwfo.substack.com/p/the-two-confusing-definitions-of

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Thanks for that substack reference. One day I will discover how to find such things via search, but otherwise I must depend on citations provided. Seeing the R(2) described improves the dissonance among many.

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Ah the left. They never argue the facts, everything is personal because facts are irrelevant to them.

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And you end up proving his points exactly. Well done. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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That’s a cliche-ridden view of the right’s political landscape, obviously one steeped on the left’s propaganda and talking points, like we’re all racists, misogynists and so on. The truth is that there’s been a battle fought in the GOP between patriots and RINOs, the ones Reagan used to call “country cub Republicans”. The reason why the left hated Trump enough to try to get him out of the White House by means legal and extra legal, is simply that he remade the GOP into the party of the American working man. That must (and should) scare the hell out of you.

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Well made point. Trump wasn't captured by donors who required favors; if anything he may have been inspired because the donor class rejected him. So he was trying to create policy to improve general economics. The two parties, united by their donor bases, really are but one with politicians seeking re-election, constantly dependant on their donors. His success in creating policy that was not always Republican angered some of his own party. His leadership skills were a downfall given he didn't use others well, but having a non-politician was useful in seeing reality.

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Negative IQ comment

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did you like the show? ghastly - the best right wing comedy is Bow tie boi Carlson

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Yeah, cause thats what keeps america citizens up all night losing sleep... worrying about climate change. Ya. Insurrection... the one day of the other 364 when the left is burning and destroying cities that trump voters had a riot that wasn't half as bad as the typical ones. WOW they even got you using the term insurrection ! hahah. Go away, Punya. Youre drunk

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How did people lose the ability to be objective or logical? The only side of racism, hate, and bigotry is not he progressive left.

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The pure condescending sneer of "lol we are the party of academics and researchers and you are the part of facebook users" is literally what this whole post was about. You know there is some truth to it when it hurts the liberal psyche so much that you have to leave a 200 word comment with underhand insults.

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Oh come on. You know what's not liberal? White evangelical churches and their congregations. And that activity is almost wholly wed to republican politics these days. Money given and active participation in the religious realm among conservatives dwarfs that of liberals. I'd argue that faith and faith adjacent politics are key to the cardinal preferences of conservatives. To exclude the institutions of faith in this analysis dramatically aids in the thesis that EVERYTHING is liberal.

Listening to political talk radio is similar. That's a choice made almost exclusively by conservatives. And it's a political choice that feeds the conservative inc. ecosystem. Instead of bopping to some tunes or getting updates on your favorite sports team (apolitical middle ground), many conservatives choose their local Rush clones to rage them all the way home. Liberal talk radio always fails. To say that all media is liberal is just plainly wrong.

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"You know what's not liberal? White evangelical churches and their congregations. And that activity is almost wholly wed to republican politics these days."

The first part is true. The second part is false -- that is, while evangelicals are conservative, their activity is literally focused on their religion, NOT on politics. If the commenter had spent much time in churches, the commenter would know that. Churches talk about God and faith, which should surprise nobody -- that is definitional. That money flowing to churches is NOT flowing into political campaigns.

And arguably that is a big cause of imbalance. Many have observed that for liberals, politics IS their religion, which they are devoted to the way conservatives are devoted to actual religion.

Religious zealotry applied by the left to politics instead of actual religion would support Hanania's point about Cardinal Preferences.

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"White evangelical churches and their congregations. And that activity is almost wholly wed to republican politics these days."

Mine isn't. Our congregation is fairly politically diverse. And I wager a good number aren't either. We tend to be more concerned with religious matters.

Of course you would be right to point out there's certainly a larger-than-is-maybe-healthy percentage of evangelical congregations whose makeup trends Republican, but in what sense? The demographic sense? Certainly.

But in the activist sense that Richard is focusing on? I'm skeptical. I've been a churchgoer my entire 38 years and have yet to see a voting drive or politicking from the pulpit at any of the 7-8 churches I've attended, and my circle of evangelical friends' churches haven't done that either to my knowledge. This makes me very skeptical that it happens as much as the common wisdom says it does.

Of course, it does happen. I've seen the reports. But how much of our knowledge of that is a function of a media promoting a certain narrative and how do you quantify how much that actually happens compared to progressive mainline congregations?

Aside from that, why include white evangelical congregations at all? They're not an institution in any traditional sense of the term. White evangelical churches don't speak with one voice, they're all over the place in terms of beliefs and priorities, there's 200 denominations with more created every year because they fight with each other, and they aren't in any traditional sense an institution. Nobody speaks for them. No one is in charge. There's no governing body. The group has its celebrities, who aren't even universally known among the church, and they all have as many critics within the evangelical world as fans.

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Completely wrong, google the 'Johnson Amendment'. Churches are explicitly forbidden from using tax-exempt donations for political activities (no such restrictions apply to, say, unions or public colleges).

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This entire argument that "Institutions Are Liberal" is based on a fallacy. It's a false dichotomy that there are exactly two options, and (better yet) that they map to the two current American political parties. There's quite a bit of intellectual diversity in academia, media, culture, etc... What there *isn't* is a specific set-aside of 50% of all seats at the table for Movement Conservatives. This largely because Movement Conservatism is an agenda-driven ideology. Frankly it would be bizarre if half of all positions in, say, academia were reserved for Maoists. Or Objectivists. Or adherents to some other narrow ideological movement.

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It is entirely fallacious to say that there's serious intellectual diversity in academia. Look at law schools for goodness sake, there are a grand total of 3 (4 if you stretch) conservatives at Harvard and probably none at all at YLS (Chua maybe counts, but that to is a huge stretch?)

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Again, the fallacy is the conflation of "Movement Conservative" with "conservative".

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What then ye arbiter of definitions, should conservative mean? It always stuns me how folks make this argument. If a large plurality/majority of people that self-identify as one school of thought or another agree that you aren't a member, you can't just baldly assert that you are with any credibility.

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The problem here is that in narrowly defining "real conservatives" you're simultaneously broadly defining everyone else as "liberal." That's the fallacy. The question "Why are so many in academia liberal?" seems like a mystery until you reframe it properly as "Why are so many in academia not perfectly aligned with the ideology of American Movement Conservatism?" The answer is "because there is ideological diversity" in academia (and elsewhere). What movement conservatives want is for exactly 50% of academia to be reserved as an intellectual monoculture of folks who will toe the line.

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I disagree that what sensible folks want is an even 50-50 split, after all's there's unrelated factors as to what careers appeal to folks along the track of this article. Its more that the numbers are much more disparate than anyone would accept in any other context re underrepresented groups. Political contributions are a blunt measurement, but see this tweet for an example: https://twitter.com/ProfRobAnderson/status/1333146713545080833?s=20

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And further, like it or not, a rather large portion of the country are what you insist on calling "movement conservatives." If we're concerned about democratic representatives, why isn't it a problem that those stats don't match up with almost any public institution?

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"the entire argument that institutions are liberal is based on a fallacy"

Stopped taking you seriously right there

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Understood. That’s the epistemological environment we’re operating in.

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Come on, dude. Its not debatable that its an eyebrow raising ratio of liberal and non liberal. Thats like saying hollywood isn't disproportionately largely liberal

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Yes, evangelical churches tend to be conservative. But that ignores all the other churches and synagogues that are explicitly liberal and explicitly political. Including the black church, where it is simply assumed.

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Gerrymandering needs to end, it muddles our understanding of voter distribution in the US. It is not in fact a 50/50 split down the middle, there are on average more liberals than conservatives but you wouldn’t know that based on voting districts specifically drawn to favor republican control. It’s also why some people are in favor of ditching the electoral college system. I think things seem more left leaning now because that is what the majority of America is today. It’s a natural transition.

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A simple look at the aggregate popular vote in U.S. House of Representatives elections contradicts ABow's claim. Here are those totals for the last decade:

2020: D + 3.1

2018: D + 8.6

2016: R + 1.1

2014: R + 5.7

2012: D + 1.2 (Republicans won more seats)

2010: R + 6.8

So there is one election where Republicans won fewer aggregate votes but still more House seats. The overall trend, however, is a close to 50:50 split between the two parties, with a party winning control of the House if it prevails in the aggregate vote total.

Gerrymandering of course influences what the particular districts look like and how votes translate into number of seats, and both parties do it when they have the chance.

There are structural reasons, however, for Democratic House candidates to end up with many "wasted" votes in extremely safe seats. Specifically, the overwhelming partisan splits of large cities such as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, etc. push in that direction. And any "natural"-looking geographically compact House districts would concentrate, for example, the 80+% of Philadelphia voters who vote for Democratic presidential candidates into a limited number of overwhelmingly Democratic House districts.

One *could*, of course, find a way to draw districts snake into pieces of these cities and then out into suburbs, exurbs, and rural areas until the partisan advantage in hypothetical districts drops to 60 D / 40 R. That would just be its own sort of gerrymander, however.

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Those House vote totals are readily available at Wikipedia, by the way - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_United_States_House_of_Representatives_elections

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Biden only won 51-47 in the popular vote (that ignores all of those voting region issues).

I really don't think you can say the institutions of the country reflect that balance. They're more like 90-10.

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You're making a category error. Republicans have favorable Congressional Districts because they win more off-year elections for State legislative offices. Presuming that R/D national vote numbers for Congress on 2 year cycles (as if people don't vote for candidates) reflects not only the partisan, but the ideological makeup of the U.S. is foolish. You want to look at the R/D breakdown in a Congressional District that swings D and ignore that 6 out of 8 State legislators in that District are elected Republicans.

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many of those state legislatures also are republican due to gerrymandering, most notably Michigan and Wisconsin. If your doing an analysis on culture, the vote totals really do matter more than seats won

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So it's turtles all the way down? It seems like you're just looking for the most facile explanation to hand waive away GOP legitimacy - all of these things are the product of the political process in which the GOP does fairly well.

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Great post. Shouldn’t conservatives just get into power and radically defund all the public institutions that are captured by woke orthodoxy. Universities, NGOs and Charities all have various directs streams of revenue from government grants to tax exceptions. Any culture war minded government could just whittle those back.

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Conservatives were in power, what did they do with it? They passed a $1.9 trillion tax cut for rich people and corporations. Now all they got is culture wars -- no policies, nothing. And pretending Trump won the election that he lost by a landslide.

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Agree in the US context, but the culture wars were prominent before Trump got elected, and probably a reason he was elected in the first place. In the UK conservatives have been the party in power for over a decade and the 'culture wars' are still predominantly "left wing". Part of me thinks the excesses of cancel culture and political correctness are convenient for conservatives at the ballot box, thus there's little imperative for them to do anything about it because they perceive it might help them in elections.

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US conservatives don't seem to stand for anything, except supporting Trump (and opposing whatever Dems want to do). The 2020 GOP platform was literally only, support Trump. That's why you get endless culture wars about Dr Seuss, Potatohead and whatever Tucker Carlson is fuming about, IMO.

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I find it interesting that you see the right as the aggressor in these cultural battles, and that you think "opposing the predations of people who seek to harm you" isn't a viable political program.

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They're not "cultural battles," they're people pretending to be outraged at "happy holidays," or that a few obscure Dr Seuss books won't be printed again. Fox etc had to pretend it was Grinch and Cat being "canceled" when it was actually hopelessly dated books you never heard of before. When was the last time you read "If I ran the Zoo"? Stick to "Cat in the Hat" or Lorax.

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Bryan Caplan’s “Simplistic dissection of Left and Right” agrees with you: -

1. Leftists are anti-market. On an emotional level, they’re critical of

market outcomes. No matter how good market outcomes are, they can’t

bear to say, “Markets have done a great job, who could ask for more?”

2.

Rightists are anti-leftist. On an emotional level, they’re critical of

leftists. No matter how much they agree with leftists on an issue,

they can’t bear to say, “The left is totally right, it would be churlish

to criticize them.”

I think this is true in the US because rightists sort of ended up worshiping corporatism because the left hates (hated!) corporations.

Now that tide seems to have turned which is why this post is so interesting - and the right has such an indentity crisis.

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I would argue the GOP has gone so far to the right (condoning an attack on Congress, Trump attempts to steal election, Trump corruption), it is not feasible for most corporations to lend support right now. A modest rise in corporate tax, not even to pre-2017 levels, is not as important as that.

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You would argue that ad infinitum. And you'd be wrong. But would would argue it more nonetheless.

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Is that the strong man crush argument

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I suppose so, I guess another interpretation is just “defund the ...” in the form of austerity. “Strong man crush” always sounds more like promoting allies within the institution and then abolishing it, which requires both skill and nepotism.

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But that will be more difficult because the bureaucratic class also tends left and conservative political leaders are less effective managers. Think about Parkinsons Law and Public Choice Theory. You will not be unable to undo as quickly as your opponents are able to redo or expand. You would need to be able to hold power long enough to accomplish this task and also put in place the means to make its reinstatement difficult. Holding only half the politely would not be sufficient. You would also have to act against status quo bias. And don't forget the medium voter hypothesis. You can only undermine as much as the median voter will allow. The median voter will not agree about defunding every NGO, uni, or charity. All the while the press will undermine you and your efforts. That will serve your political enemies within your camp and your opponents. Quickly you will lose your standing.

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It isn't just the press/incumbents that would undermine such an approach. The sheer ineptitude of the people one can recruit to such a cause is a serious problem. Expertise actually matters when one is trying to competently run an organization. This is laid bare in totalitarian states where this approach is taken to its logical conclusion. You end up with Lysenko types rising to the top and Potemkin facades. Think "Elite Strike Force Team".

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Another way to look at this is that the political distinction is, people who's sense of personal values combined with self reliance and responsibility results in a focus on individual freedom of endeavour verses people who go along with the leftist academic rhetoric that we would all be better off if collectivist empowerment catered for our desires. Thus explaining why the left are more "active" (in an activist way) because they are trying to convince and agitate a collective response. Whereas the right is primarily busy getting on with their personal endeavours.

This is the message the left will never admit... they want us to sacrifice personal freedom and responsible endeavour for collectivist benevolence. Without admitting that a balance is needed between the two.

Andrew M

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I think the biggest mistake you make is this: "Elites naturally rise to the top of everything - media, academia, culture". Every group of elites attempt to decide who else becomes elite, in essence who joins the club. If the current elites value competency then the above statement is mostly correct. However, the current group of elites in the country do not value competency, they value adherence to ideology. Becoming an elite doesn't really involve being better or more competent at anything at this point, just how much you're willing to adhere to the dogmas of the elite's ideology.

So a much better explanation for why most institutions favor the democrats would be that the conservatives in those institutions value competency and so are willing to tolerate people who disagree with them. The other side of that equation values ideology and so is not willing to tolerate those who disagree. This leads to a sort of prisoner's dilemma where conservatives slowly are weeded out from the institutions until said institution becomes sufficiently liberal to fully purge the conservatives.

By the way, this valuing of ideology instead of competence is exactly why the current situation cannot last. When the elites stop producing good art, policy, products, etc. they will eventually stop being elites even as they try harder and harder to maintain their status. How long this takes and what comes after I don't think anyone can predict.

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I think the greater point that you missed is the reason for the difference between liberals and conservatives at this moment in our history. Liberals are currently more engaged in terms of activism and donations, etc because politics has become their religion. They are expressing a quite literal religious fervor.

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WOKE is a religion : ) And the fanatics are out and about in great numbers today.

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this makes for a flashy argument for anyone who already thinks "liberals bad, religion bad" but it's a category error and will never escape your in-group, religious ideology and political ideology are both types of ideology, just because the latter seems intense for you doesn't make it a type of the former, and arguments against the former don't magically attach to arguments against the latter, but instead if you have a problem with *ideology proper* you should be stating it in those terms.

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Part of the mistake of the author here is the assumption that Republicans are half the country, its certainly a big chunk but there are more democrats, just looking at elections dems have won more voted in 20,18,16,12,08,06,00 republicans have won in 14,10,04,02, and in the prez elections where more people turn out GOP has only won once since the 80s. And the real population disparity is greater than this would imply since dems are younger, under 18 cant vote (but teens still influence culture) and people in their 20s vote at much lower rates, plus long term immigrants who often arent registered also lean dem, plus on many issues the support for "liberal positions" is higher than a party may imply, gay marriage, interracial marriage, civil rights, environmental protection, are all more popular than the democratic party meaning many GOP have these "liberal" views. so institutions being slightly liberal means they do match their country. no need to do an analysis of "elites" when its much simpler

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Overwhelmingly Americans support voter id laws.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/poll-75-percent-americans-support-voter-id

And yet corporations were quick to demonize Georgia for enacting voter ID. Joe Biden called it Jim Crow, and left-activists and the media universally portrayed Georgia's mundane legislation as extremist.

This does not "match the country" -- at all!

What can explain this? Hanania's Cardinal Preferences explains it.

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It's not hard to explain. You have constructed a nice little motte (voter ID) and bailey (the 2021 GA law that does quite a bit more) there. Georgia has had voter ID laws on the books for longer than practically any other state. The new objections you're seeing are to the new provisions put in place beyond just voter ID, as well as the context (the big lie) in which they are being enacted.

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Dan could be forgiven for this, since coverage of the Georgia law has focused upon the fever dreams of Stacy Abrams and Raphael Warnock (the latter proclaiming that it wasn't important or advisable to analyze the text of the law itself).

I really haven't heard of any provision of the law which is objectively a burden on the right to vote. Other first world nations' voting procedures are much more restrictive than even the most restrictive States' procedures but somehow we're supposed to be exorcised about modest provisions which secure elections and promote the perception of legitimacy.

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Except we don't have any verifiable instances of non-'secure' elections, even with hyperventilating right wingers screaming about it for decades. Accept this undeniable fact, then ask yourself the question, "Why are we enacting these laws?" It's to disenfranchise poor and disproportionately people of color, who tend to vote Democratic. Not complicated.

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These provisions are prima facie reasonable measures to secure elections employed all over the developed world. A bank doesn't need to have been robbed in order to justify the installation of a vault door.

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FL, after bragging about how secure its elections are, has cracked down on absentee balloting -- though Trump family, DeSantis voted absentee ballot. Some of the measures are designed to sound reasonable, such as checking against voter lists. Then they use out of date lists, that bar everyone named Jose Gonzalez because someone by that name committed a crime long ago. Or they demand a drivers license, and shut most DMVs in urban areas. Or they just flat out shut polls in urban areas, so city residents face hours in line (hence the rule you can't give water or food) while suburbanites waltz in. It is pretending that Trump's lies about "stolen" election were true to ensure GOP doesn't lose in future.

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No you moron there are plenty of cases in the masses. Many states allow voter registration and the DMV with just a checkbox. They never verify for citizenship. Many illegals/green card holders receive ballots. I have come across many cases where green card holders have received ballots or mail to come vote all of them in blue states. They just go to the polls state their name and address and are able to vote in federal elections.

You don’t know how bad the problem is until you’re actually able to detect it.

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No. You are incorrect.

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Besides that, it's pretending that Trump's Big Lie about widespread election fraud, was true. If it was even slightly true anywhere, you'd think they would have won a few lawsuits, instead Trump attorneys lost 65 of 66.

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Well, if I may offer a counterpoint...I know of exactly zero persons who believe that Trump in any way “won” the election or had it “stolen” from him. Not a one. The overwhelming majority of those same-very reasonable, I feel-persons also believe that the voting laws-as described in both their objective language and their intended purpose-make a lot of sense and are not disenfranchising in the least. Yes, this includes people of several different skin shades and walks of life. Your mileage may vary but, well, I guess that’s why we are here.

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GA is getting an unfair rap -- GOP legislatures all over are making it harder to vote, pretending that the big lie, that Trump won the election he lost by a landslide, is true. It's just more blatant in GA because Trump leaned on the secretary of state to try to get him to "find" 12,000 votes and overturn the results. Next time, the legislature can lean on election officials themselves if they don't like the results.

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That allegation, about Trump leaning on a GA official to 'find' votes, has been corrected by its initial fake news publisher: https://www.politifact.com/article/2021/mar/16/what-trump-told-georgia-election-officials/

Full transcript has been released, and it looks like those stories were almost pure bullshit.

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Wrong, I am correct. He leaned on the Sec of State to "find" 12,000 votes and overturn the results. You are talking about a second conversation with an elections investigator. Read your own article you posted. (and that 2nd conversation was far from above-board -- read the transcript). And is it now OK for prez to lobby local election officials? Would it be OK for Biden to lean on them in 2022, 2024 if there's results he doesn't like? Or can only Trump do it?

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Or the fact that you cite Washington imes as if it has any relationship to facts - that rag makes Faux Noise look like the New York Times (and the NYT is a racist little happy in its bubble rag)

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This guy can't even read correctly, the source cited wasn't even the washington times, it was the washington examiner! LMAO

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If the publication has no relationship to facts then you should be able to refute each of the claims easily, correct? Citing the New York Times as some paragon of Journalism doesn't help your case here since it has recently become a bit of a woke-activist-led dumpster fire. To borrow a phrase from the elites that you serve so loyally, 'Do the work.'

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Do you dispute the findings of the issue poll?

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Keep in mind, that's a guy who presumes facts all agree with his preconceived biases.

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The author's mainly talking culture wars. And culturally, most people lean right. Even blacks, who are almost uniformly Democratic, are more conservative in their views than the typical Democrat. There was this book about it, "Conservative but not Republican" which explores why.

So don't mistake Democratic majority in party ID and elections with people actually liking your ideas. Blacks, and to a lesser degree Hispanics, vote them out of racial solidarity and because they get more goodies out of it. Not because they like the elite culture.

I mean, look at Californians, how they vote on those ballot initiatives. Last November, they voted against that labor initiative of making contractors into employees of certain companies. They also voted against affirmative action. And before that voted against gay marriage. All the while giving solid majorities to Democrats in state government.

So don't mistake their vote for you for actual affinity to your ideas, stances, or culture. To many Democratic voters, you're nothing more than Santa Claus, an ATM machine, and an annoying one at that.

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Latinos can lean 'conservative' as well, based on family cohesion and law & order. I nearly fell on the floor this past year when my Ecuadoran housekeeper announced she was voting for Trump. Her reasoning was rather complex too; she said that folks back home were upset that so many migrants had 'invaded' Ecuador largely because it uses USA currency. That made her feel empathetic about how the American public feels about being 'invaded', even though she herself arrived illegally with the help of her mother. She has since become a citizens and a Republican to boot.

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Yes, but the 3-4% population difference between reps. and dems. should NOT account for those jobs charts! All the tech companies, banks, colleges, journalists etc that overwhelming vote and donate blue in those charts are not a 4-10% difference, its literally like 95%-5% correct? So the tiny difference in population is not the problem.

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