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Analysis/Commentary

The Ivory Motte

On the Backs of Giants

When I initially developed the conceptual framework for this analysis, it rested on the idea of concept creep. However, John Murawski at RealClearInvestigations recently wrote a thorough detailing of “Motte and Bailey” argumentation and its emergence in online debates. Since this is a much more detailed description of a parallel occurence, I will use his framework here to describe the ‘forking’ of the BLM movement.

Basically, the BLM Bailey refers to the extended version of BLM that is being pushed by Google, Facebook, and the NYT – the totalitarian, cultural Marxism that is seeking out to destroy the livelihood of all who don’t embrace its ideology. The Ivory Motte is the simple, impenetrable stronghold of the movement – the undeniably true statement that “Black Lives Matter.”

By keeping the slogan uncontroversial and attacking abstract concepts like ‘racism’, they can bully skeptics into compliance and attack anyone who crosses their cultural revolution as ‘racist’ and destroy them socially and financially. By muddying the waters, they can use BLM to push more and more radical policies, such as trans rights, giving benefits to illegal immigrants, and eliminating police departments.

Note: Henceforth, the ‘Ivory Motte’ will refer to Twitter SJWs; the ‘BLM Bailey’ will refer to the ‘footsoldiers’, the undefined mass movement based around mutual respect and police reform. It reverses the analogy above but provides a clear explanation of what’s happening.

“Closer to the hole next time? Let me get my chapstick and I’ll pucker up…”

-Drew Brees

Common Jumping-Off Point

To be fair, these two aspects of BLM have a common starting point; namely, that black lives matter. It’s where they go from there that makes them distinct and causes the confusion that those in the Ivory Motte use to push THEIR goals at the expense of those in the BLM Bailey. It’s why liberals can’t say ‘Black Lives Matter’ without adding ‘trans’ in the middle, and it undermines those on the street simply looking to live in peace.

As a mass movement within the black community, the goals are very simple: black people want to feel like their lives are valued equally. Nothing more; nothing less. For the record, this isn’t a view almost any Republican disagrees with** and can be best achieved with some national policing reforms (that will benefit both blacks and police) and A LOT of local activism.

This could have been done years ago, and would have been but for the fact that this doesn’t go far enough for the cultural Marxists in the Ivory Motte. They need to exploit a fundamentally just movement to achieve their more radical goals.

**Now that Steve King is gone…

Cultural Marxism

Simple equality isn’t enough for the Ivory Motte; these people have been ‘educated’ by elite institutions to see the ‘systemic racism’ that encompasses all things American. Therefore, the system itself must be destroyed. It’s about ‘oppression’ – certain groups are oppressed, and ALL oppressed groups must come together to fight the oppressors*. Even if these goals are admirable, they distract from the main goal of BLM – getting cops and black people to stop killing each other.

This allows them to expand the BLM movement from one of simple human decency into a broader movement that encompasses the radical ideas of AOC-style Cultural Marxists. By starting with a common enemy – Donald Trump – and a vague goal – fighting oppression – they can piggyback on a legitimate social justice movement to push an extreme, partisan agenda.

*Donald Trump and an intentionally ambiguous group of ‘white men’.

Two-Front War

The resulting confusion allows Cultural Marxists to co-opt otherwise well-intentioned people. People take up the banner of BLM thinking they’re fighting for basic human rights; they end up fighting for men to compete in sports with women. Furthermore, the BLM slogan allows them to censor and silence any criticism or legitimate questions and gain the support of conformists and cowards.

The result is that – at the same time ‘good’ BLM-madness sweeps the nation – a backlash to the overreach of Google, Twitter, and others pushing ‘bad’ BLM is brewing. Unfortunately, this results in well-meaning activists getting caught in the crossfire since no one knows whether ‘Black Lives Matters’ means the Motte version or the Bailey version.

Exploiting Blacks -An American Tradition

Of course, keep in mind what’s important to both groups. Personally, the Ivory Motte is much more likely to have a personal interest in advancing the extremes of the LGBTIA+ movement than have a problem with police violence. Economically, they have a vested interest in maintaining illegal immigrant labor. Local policing issues are of little interest; it’s all about #TheResistance!

Since the Ivory Motte finances BLM, they get to call the shots. It’s no accident, then, that the movement quickly became the ‘Black TRANS Lives Matter’ movement, with BLM providing nothing more than a convenient cover for Cultural Marxists.

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Analysis/Commentary

Tuned Out?

A Biden Bump, or the Return of the Silent Majority?

The complete and utter chaos in Metropolitan America over the past month has dented Trump’s already dismal approval rating, causing analysts in the media to begin drooling at his inevitable demise. Of course, the polls looked bad for Obama* and Bush at this point in their presidency, as well. However, as Harry Enten at CNN correctly pointed out, the numbers are worse for Trump than historical incumbents. So, what to make of the recent Biden Bump?

As a tentative Trump supporter, I’ll explain my lack of concern. First, I’d like to start with a caveat.

Follow the Evidence, Jackass

Before I fail to take my own advice, a word of caution. Biden is indisputably ahead in the polls; in fact, Trump’s approval has been historically low throughout his presidency. It’s also been sticky – it’s shown an almost unheard of level of stability throughout his administration, lacking the oscillations typically seen in presidential approval ratings.

Still, there appears to be a subconscious, cultural awareness that Biden is fucked. He only recently took the lead in prediction markets, which had been anomalous in showing the trailing candidate as a favorite. Even now, he’s only at about 55-60%, which strikes me as low given the data. Furthermore, early polling is tenuous, at best.

Without further ado, then, let’s explore some of the reasons I’m skeptical of Biden’s ability to hold his lead.

Summertime Tune-out

First off, summer is for beers and bikinis, not for politics. As the weather gets nicer, people spend more and more time outside with their families and less time thinking about politics. It’s interesting to me that Biden’s bump in the head-to-head almost exactly mirrors Trump’s decline in approval following the COVID/BLM craziness – it implies that the Biden Bump is a result of decreased Trump support rather than an increase in Biden’s support.

Why does this matter? Let’s review the re-elections of the last two presidents…

It’s a choice (just not yet)

Both Obama and Bush looked beatable. Both times, the opposition party was divided between ideologues and pragmatists. Both times, the opposition party went with the least offensive, most ‘electable’ candidate. Both times, the opposition party lost.

Obviously, history doesn’t always repeat itself, and humans rely too heavily both on the recent past and pattern identification to inform their decisions. However, it’s a familiar playbook for a Trump win**. Both times, it was largely the result of Kerry/Romney trying to be as milquetoast as possible, hoping to cruise to the White House on opposition to President Bush/Obama alone.

In both cases, this allowed the incumbent to frame the debate as a choice, and by focusing their messaging on attacking the opponent, they were able to win re-election. Biden’s been hiding in his bunker, and the spotlight has been on Trump. However, when the campaign starts in full in September, Biden has some serious messaging problems.

B(iden)LM and Antifa

The Defund the Police movement and the Seattle Autonomous Zone provide serious messaging challenges for Biden. As the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party, it will be easy to associate him with the crazies. This goes doubly given his age and the fact that gender/race is the main criterion he’s using to choose a VP who has a greater than average chance of becoming POTUS. If Obama can successfully link McCain to Bush, Trump will have no problems linking Biden to the more radical elements of his party.

Questions of health aside, Biden’s going to have to answer some real questions come election time. The debates, in particular, will be key. My guess is, when faced with the failure of Democrats on the local level to manage their cities, the electorate will be hesitant to have the same people advising De Blasio advising their President.

Online Exodus and Progressive Totalitarianism

Perhaps the surest sign of an impending Trump comeback is what’s been going on online in recent week. J.K. Rowling, an outspoken progressive, has just been canceled for daring to defend biological sex***. Twitter has taken to censoring the President, the media won’t show press conferences for the most powerful man in the world, and the NYT’s openly suggests emotionally abusing family members unless they join the left-wing cause. These people are literally eating their own.

The Ku Klux Klan’s ‘Person who Menstruates of the Month’, according to Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe.

Generally, when I want to know who’s winning, I look at who’s ‘on-tilt’. Despite the media’s desperation to see a Trump freakout, he looks pretty calm to me. He’s kind of just standing there, holding a Bible, and tweeting a lot (but no more than normal). The fact that Krugman and others are trying to purge academia is another sign that the ivory tower subconsciously understands it’s losing control – that’s why Facebook employees are desperate to silence opposing viewpoints.

Can Polls be Trusted?

I always hesitate to ask this question because people always attack the polls, and those people are almost always wrong. They’re usually crybabies who don’t like what they’re hearing and would prefer to bury their heads in the sand. However, polls are often off, and often in a very specific way. For example, polls didn’t see 2016 coming in part because they were wrong about working-class, white voters, despite having the national numbers pretty accurate.

However, polling is not an exact science, and the internet has given pollsters access to unheard of amounts of data. What I’m not sure about is how heavily they depend on the internet to gather this data. However, given how far left the ‘online world’ has veered, and how incredibly toxic it has been to conservatives in particular, I have to wonder how many Trump supporters have simply ‘signed off’.

Silicon Valley isn’t America

The toxicity of the online world towards conservatives is compounded by the summer weather and the fact that most of the country is reopening. I’m sure many progressives and pollsters will dismiss that they could ever be wrong about anything; after all, how could anybody just ‘sign off’ from the internet?

The answer is simple – most people aren’t dependant on it. Even given the number of people working from home, in most of America it’s pretty easy to simply go outside and ignore all the anger, venom, and rage in our cities. More importantly, the areas where this is easiest are also the areas that are most heavily Republican.

We’ve seen this ‘the world revolves around me’ perspective screw the ivory tower before. Weirdly enough, my example comes from video games. Diablo III had a disastrous launch; in fact, it’s when I quit playing Diablo games. A large part of the issue was ‘constant connectivity’ – people didn’t want to shell out money for a game they could only play when they were online. Even in 2012, Silicon Valley couldn’t comprehend that not all Americans had a constant internet connection. They haven’t become more open-minded in the interim.

Summary

Basically, Biden is being considered the presumptive favorite; lacking contradictory evidence, this is a fair assumption. However, once Biden emerges from his bunker, he’s going to have some questions to answer.

I think he’s going to have a hard time keeping such a diverse, energetic coalition together, especially given the recent radicalization of progress

*Actually tried to link to NYT, but it’s behind a paywall because real journalism involves telling people what they want to hear then begging for donations.

**Not that this President follows any playbooks…

***You know, second-grade science.

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Analysis/Commentary

What’s the Matter with Blacks?

Progressives are again blinded by their view from the Ivory Tower

It’s been sixteen years since What’s the Matter with Kansas? was released; yet, academic Marxists are making the exact same mistake with another key constituency; African-Americans. This being America, blacks are getting the worst of it, of course; Soros-supporters never tried to burn Kansas to the ground. Instead, they just talk down their noses to us at every opportunity (see, e.g., Seth McFarlane, Samantha Bee, Jimmy Kimmel, literally anyone else in Hollywood/New York).

To white progressives, the issue is simple: Trump. He’s the bogeyman; take him out, and all their problems will go away. On this, blacks and white progressive have had common ground. Trump is racist, and his policies go against those supported by black leaders and the civil rights movement. However, common ground isn’t a common raison d’etre. Getting rid of Trump won’t get rid of the problems facing the African-American communities across the country any more than their problems went away with the election of Obama.

Well, electing Obama didn’t stop Stanley’s heart attack…maybe if I let rich, white kids burn down black neighborhoods without consequence…

-Steve Carell’s real-life logic is somehow stupider than Michael Scott’s.

‘The Squad’ doesn’t care about local concerns; local concerns kill blacks

It wasn’t Donald Trump who knelt on George Floyd’s neck; it was Derek Chauvin. I’m sure we’ll be hearing plenty about the details of this case in the coming month, and that’s the point. At the end of the day, George Floyd’s death was the cause of a local individual, who may well have known Floyd, making the individual decision to kneel on a man’s neck for ten minutes. The solution isn’t banning Trump from Twitter, checking ‘white privilege’, or acknowledging the micro-aggressions blacks face from systemic racism. The solution is not having officers on the force who are as irresponsible as the three on the video. That doesn’t happen when local, progressive officials are so focused on saving the world that they ignore what’s going on in their own communities.

Nationalization = Neglect

Take a look at The Squad ™’s agenda following their election. Other than AOC costing her district jobs (because work=oppression, #fightthesystem), they have purely been focused on getting progressives elected at more local levels of government and shunning Bernie for not being progressive enough to reject an endorsement from a man who thinks that men should fight men and not women.

These progressive activists are most successful in urban districts, including black districts, where they use racial anger, coupled with the fact that blacks CAN’T vote for Trump/GOPers, to push progressive candidates into office, often replacing long-time, moderate Democrats. Once elected, these college-kid SJWs don’t want to deal with ‘little things’ like complicated, local politics; they want to save the world. This involves pushing policies involving LGBT and immigrant rights, as well as confrontational, anti-cop policies. This is what they care about, and if they want to advance, they need to establish their progressive credentials.

Anti-Cop rhetoric escalates tensions

To make matters worse, part of progressive ideological dick-measuring involves being as anti-cop, and anti-American, as possible. It’s no accident these protesters are burning our flags and disrespecting our anthem. Black people don’t get killed by cops because of a ‘culture of racism’; they get killed by cops because of racial tensions and a culture of distrust between police and the black communities they police. Trying to overcome this distrust by attacking, rhetorically and literally, the police seems like a bizarre strategy (though it makes for a nice tweet).

Finally, anyone with half a brain can tell you that animals (which humans are) are at their most dangerous when backed into a corner. How do you think these cops feel policing a community that hates them and reporting to elected officials who side with those throwing Molotov cocktails? These cops aren’t unaccountable because of Trump; the President has nothing to do with managing street cops. They’re unaccountable because they have nobody in local government they can trust or work with. All the local officials are too busy coming up with their next anti-Trump tweet.

Academics: Too smart for their own good?

Of course, this satisfies the W of SJW, which is all these college-kid progressives wanted – to FEEL like they made the difference. Meanwhile, they can’t see that they, coming into black neighborhoods to spraypaint FUCK TRUMP on some old black lady’s house and beat the local white guy to death before returning to Palo Alto, are the real problem. After all, they canceled Kanye and they voted for Hillary; they aren’t the problem, so if they want to call the cops on a bird-watcher every now and then, well, that’s their ‘white privilege’.

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Analysis/Commentary

Garcia wins CA-25!

Who the hell cares?

In this year’s version of the Georgia Six race, it appears that Mike Garcia ‘s defeated Democrat Christy Smith in one of the key districts flipped by 2018’s #BlueWave(c). For those who don’t know, this was the district that came open when Katie Hill decided to bang half her staff and then had to resign because, for some strange reason, people still care. How much should people care and how much is everyone in the Twit-o-sphere overreacting? The TL;DWR of this is that, as usual, there are a lot of interesting undercurrents, but nothing worth trying to generalize to the national environment or November.

Katie Does DC

Following the Katie Hill scandal*, the seat came open. In and of itself, that draws a big question mark on the reliability of the special election as any sort of bellweather. Furthermore, this was already a seat that (likely) only flipped as a result of the intensity of 2018’s wave reaction to the first two years of Trump. It would have been likely to flip in a neutral environment, or even on favorable (but less than 2018) to the Democrats. Finally, let’s not overlook that the race featured fuck-girl’s BFF and Oppression Olympics partner Christy Smith versus a Navy veteran named Garcia (presumably a solid R candidate). Overall, there is a lot of local flavor that makes me hesistant to look for any underlying truths about the greater political tea leaves.

Nude pictures? That’s horrible! What website did they post them on? There are so many!

*I’d link to an article directly addressing the scandal itself, but interestingly enough, the first page of Google is all media articles taking her side, so just see the Wikipedia above. Also, stop relying on Google for accurate information.

There’s also this disease…

Now, I’m just a dumb farmboy uneducated in your big-city ways of science, but my understanding is that there is some sort of disease out there right now. According to my governor, I’m too stupid to wipe my own ass without detailed federal guidelines, but these educated CA folks are smarter. My point (which is beginning to get lost in the sarcasm) is that this election is going to be entirely shaped by how the COVID crisis plays out. This will change dramatically in the coming months.

Economics versus Health

For better or worse, the battle lines have been drawn. Trump and the Republicans have prioritized reopening the economy over slowing the spread of the disease. The arguments playing out amongst pinheads and pundits are more useless than normal; this disease is going to progress. Within three months, and certainly, by November, we should have a clear verdict on whether the lockdowns were excessive. At the least, we’ll know a lot more. This may be one of the rare elections where both sides get to actually implement their platform/policies BEFORE the election and let the public vote on the results. Either way, expect the environment to change dramatically in the interim.

Garcia hasn’t won…yet

Perhaps the most interesting about this election is the fact that it’s the first post-COVID election to rely on mail-in ballots. There have been a lot of concerns about fraud from Trump and other Republicans. Though our Obama-worshipping overlords in the media have reassured us with more than simple hand-wave dismissals and accusations of racism, many of us in the ignorati still think that it’s not that outrageous an idea that Democrats may try to steal an election. Regardless, the key to any functioning democracy is the losing side must accept the legitimacy of the results of its elections. This has been and continues to be an important test run to the legitimacy of the mail-in election process that, no matter how many opposing viewpoints Facebook may ban, continues to be wrought with legitimate questions of electoral security.

Seriously, though, you’ve got to tell me the name of the website so I’ll know what websites to avoid.
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Analysis/Commentary

Black Voters and Democrats- Analysis

Do Democrats take advantage of black voters?

Whether or not democrats take advantage of black voters is likely to be at the front of everyone’s mind as the Trump campaign appears prepared to make a play for this demographic, something Republicans haven’t done in earnest since Nixon’s ‘southern strategy’. It’s also something for which most people have a reflexive answer – Democrats say no, Republicans say yes. For those of us smart enough to grasp more than two degrees of complexity, the truth is much more complicated.

Say what you will about the Confederate flag debate and Nixon’s ‘southern strategy’, but they aren’t the best way to win over black voters.

Democrats DON’T take black voters for granted…

Republicans will argue, and I suspect black voters feel privately (though they may not admit it publicly), that Democrats take the black vote for granted. It’s an easy argument to make, given the treatment those like Clarence Thomas and Kanye West have received. There seems to be a sense of quasi-entitlement among Democrats that black voters are ‘theirs’ – and a corresponding violent, angry reaction when anyone threatens that dynamic by rejecting African-American groupthink. Furthermore, there certainly ARE some Democrats who do think this way – they just aren’t the norm, in my opinion.

…but they do take advantage of black voters

Still, it’s hard to argue black interests are prioritized by Democrats – their opinions and preferences tend to take a backseat to other lobbies, notably the LGBT community and the progressive left. However, it’s not racism, per se; nor is it a lack of appreciation for the role of African-Americans within the Democratic caucus. It’s simply pragmatism, and in a roundabout way, the Democrats’ mistreatment of black voters can be tied, again, to the Republicans. To understand the dynamics better, let’s take a look at Andrew Cuomo’s failure to legalize marijuana in New York, despite having complete control of the legislature (in 2019; C-19 sunk the legislation this year).

2019 New York Cannabis Legalization – A Case Study

Let’s start with a simplified summary of what happened for those unfamiliar with the debate. Passing over the procedural complexity, a major sticking point in the legislation was how much of the revenue would be given to communities disproportionately affected by the marijuana prohibition, which is a nice way of saying ‘black people’. However, the sticking point wasn’t the money, per se; both Governor Cuomo and the Assembly’s Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes agreed on the principle behind the initiative. It wasn’t even the amount that was the issue. It was control.

Cuomo wanted black voters to take, on faith, that he would distribute the cannabis revenue equitably; this didn’t sit well with Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes.

Governor Cuomo wanted control – he had no problem distributing the money to the black community, but he wanted final say. Peoples-Stokes and others wanted the money put in a separate fund to guarantee it would go to social justice causes; theoretically, Governor Cuomo could have spent the money on education, law enforcement, or any other issue he chose. However, he gave his word that a ‘fair amount’ would be distributed to ‘traditionally disadvantaged’ communities. Regardless of your thoughts on set-asides, it’s hard to blame black voters for not wanting to take a white politician at their word.

Black Voter’s BATNA

A major part of the problem is that black voters simply lack an alternative. Since Nixon, the GOP has made no real effort to reach out to black voters and turned a blind eye, or at least begrudgingly tolerated, views like those expressed by Representative Steve King. As a result, the Democrats don’t have to worry about who black people will vote for – they just have to get as many as they can to vote. This contrasts with other Democratic interest groups, such as unions (whose members voted Trump in droves) and the progressive left (who are more ‘privileged’, i.e., they’re better funded and better connected). As a result, when something has to give, it’s always the black thing that’s the first to go – they won’t leave like union voters and they lack the inside access of progressive activists. They aren’t alone in American politics.

Blacks and Evangelicals

Given the importance of the church in African-American culture, it’s fitting that they would find a political parallel in the evangelicals of the Republican party. Both lag the party proper in education and income; in a sense, they both make up the foot-soldiers of the respective parties and often find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to policy determinations for the same reason – they have nowhere else to go.

If you really like Donald Trump, that’s great, but if you don’t, you have to vote for me anyway. You know why? Supreme Court judges, Supreme Court judges.

Donald Trump’s comments during a 2016 campaign rally, though directed at ‘Never-Trump Republicans’ epitomizes the attitude Republican elites have towards Evangelicals and Democratic elites take towards black voters.

It’s not that either party dislikes or disrespects their respective element. My guess is that, if addressed privately, most activists of both parties would acknowledge their shortcomings. However, politics is pragmatic. When you’re trying to get to fifty plus one, you tend to focus less on those who are solid than those on the fence.

Conclusion/TLDR

Yes, Democrats take advantage of black voters; no, they do not do so intentionally.