Monday, April 20, 2020

The Political Fallout

Let's talk about the politics of this brave new world.

What will the left learn from this?

Nothing. They never learn.

Will The Public Change Its Views?

The American public is largely right-of-center. I would say the numbers are 55% right, 45% left. For a number of reasons, the voting doesn't turn out that way, but in terms of values, this is what I see time and again in terms of fundamental values. Will this change?

Believe it or not, both ideological sides are terrified the public has gone the other way. Neither is correct. That said, the left has more to worry about.

Trust in Government. The right frets that people will now look to government for solutions. That's wrong, though. The government has screwed this up so badly that no one is happy with them. The response has been chaotic and incompetent. Decisions were made, criticized, reversed, criticized and abandoned. Medical equipment was lacking, broken and ineffective. Quarantines came too late and a poor case was made for them. Between Trump and the Democrats, there has been constant whining and name calling. The shutdown orders have been bizarre. Who is essential? Who the hell knows! What's legal? Who the hell knows! The bailout is a mess. Congress can't get out of its own way. Bill Maher actually pointed out that the Democrats have been so gloom and doom that they've handed Trump the high ground. That's true. And interestingly, a study of Twitter found that the vast majority of people have kept a really good humor during this period... which runs counter to how the Democrats are acting, showing the public isn't believing them.

No one trusts the government.

No one trusts the experts anymore either. Trust in experts is the liberal sneak-totalitarianism, but it's failing here because the experts have accurately predicted nothing, ludicrously-wrongly predicted everything, and have no idea how to solve anything except to say get used to the new normal. No one wants to hear that. Of course estimating that 40,000,000 20,000,000 1,000,000 500,000 150,000 80,000 60,000 Americans will die didn't help either. Nor did not knowing the symptoms. Even worse, the Democrats are now tearing the experts apart for political reasons, which has freed the drones to hate the experts who are ruining their lives, and even now people are only listening to the experts they like and only the things they say the people agree with.

Trust in authority is weaker than ever.

So will we shift right? Not in a general sense, but to a degree. Take the election...

The Election. Elections are hard to call, but the left definitely hurt themselves. For one thing, they've made Trump look like a genius. They attacked everything Trump said would work only to be proven wrong and do an about face a few days later. If you make Trump look smart, then you're a fool. They have been so nasty too, at a time of crisis no less, that they are leaving a disturbing taste in people's mouths. Lindsey Graham made the first solid attack on this basis today, saying Pelosi hates Trump to the point of hurting our nation. All of that hurts them, as have missteps in blocking the stimulus package.

Add in that the virus deprived the Democrats of all the free PR of the election campaign, that Joe Biden looks even dumber than ever, and that the left is just not lining up behind him and things do actually look ugly for the left at the moment. And in trying to make this virus about blacks, they will alienate the very white voters they need in swing states who lost their jobs or were scared to death. So, I would say Trump's odds have improved.

But elections are temporary. The real question is, will this change people's views on the issues? For that, let's look at the specific issues.

Prison Elimination. The left has been trying to shut down prisons for some time, with considerable recent success. This virus gave them the perfect moment too to open the doors and let out all the minor convicts. But then they lamented the death of a pedophile in prison. Bad choice. And a killer they let loose in Florida immediately killed someone when released. Bad choice. And they laughed at Harvey Weinstein getting covid, a total undercutting of their own argument. The public wasn't thrilled with prison reform as evidenced by the lack of clamor for these releases, and how it played out killed the movement. Prison reform looks dead.

Welfare/Guaranteed Minimum Income. Will people become dependent on the government for money? Hardly. The government's efforts (at the state and federal level) have been such a cluster-fudge that no one views the government as a reliable way to make a living. No one qualifies for unemployment. Those that do still aren't getting their checks. And the system is broke. Anyone who sees this as a new way to remake society is smoking crack. Perhaps even worse, the people who have gotten their $1200 checks have not been grateful for the "gift," they've pretty much seen it as "finally getting something back." That's not an attitude that shows any positivity toward government largess... it's an argument to stop taking as much in the first place.

But there won't be jobs! We'll see. I suspect the economy will rebound much faster than people think, and even those who are hurt, they won't see a piddly, late government check as the solution. They will want jobs. Is this enough for the public to move right? Possibly. It is for sure, though, that there will be no move to the left.

It's All Racist! This argument has worked in terms of scaring blacks into staying on the reservation. It's been so effective they are trying it on Hispanics now... first major article today. But this is just preaching to the choir and the left knows it. I don't even see the Democrats pushing some sort of fake race bill to protect blacks to try to exploit it. That tells me it's not resonating with whites. And that makes sense. They did their best to scare whites and those whites will not be sympathetic to the diminishment of their fear in favor of others' fear. No change with the public.

Gurl Power! The feminists have tried to exploit this by screaming about a wave of domestic violence and Trump being rude to delicate female reporters. Neither has gotten any traction. We know this because there's zero follow up by the Democrats and little airplay. Add in the left sweeping Biden's alleged sexual assault under the carpet and feminism seems like an issue to be ignored. In fact, perhaps the biggest piece of evidence is that despite the millions of parents who are currently home schooling (and the healthy market in hilarious memes for how much they supposedly hate it) there has been zero support for paying K-12 teachers (most all women) more. All of this confirms the trend of the public just not caring about "women's issues."

As an aside, Yahoo did something interesting with sports last month. They ran contests to vote on the best teams in each sports league's history (e.g. NFL, NBA, MLB, etc.). Looking at the number of votes gave a great indication of the level of interest the public has in each sport. The best women's sports came in far below every male league, and did so on the order of 1/10 of the number of votes. This is despite decades of Title IX and the feminist media pushing the "female sports are loved" narrative.

The Environment. Environmentalists have been thrilled with the changes: cleaner air in China, pollution down 44% in India, animals returning to abandoned areas, clean water in Venice. They think this will help the bees. They haven't caught on to the fish thing I mentioned last time yet for some reason. Either way, these are all admittedly good things... but terrible for their cause.

Why? They think people will see the cleaner planet and say, "Yay, let's fight for more!" But the reality will be different. People will see the earth healing itself in a week and will say, "That was fast. I guess pollution is not really as deep a problem as we've been told." That's what the public did when the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act worked... they decided that was good enough.

Think about global warming too. If temperatures don't noticeably drop this year, then the whole argument that economic activity creates warming will be seen as a fraud. But if they do drop, then people will think it's easy to fix... or has been fixed. Shouldn't we have reversed almost all of mankind's warming in the past month? Why not? Good luck explaining that! Moreover, people will have seen the extreme cost of what it takes to do this, i.e. what the environmentalists want, and the lack of benefits to them. That will make them less likely to see that as an acceptable fix now. Even worse, notice where the pollution improved. There are no vanishing clouds of pollution over the US... just China and India. That tells people we already have done a great job of cleaning up here, so they will ask why we need to do more? This was a trap for environmentalists and will set them back generations.

Even the anti-plastic campaign, which was on the verge of victory-level social acceptance is about to implode as people now turn to plastics to improve health and safety, e.g. visors and barriers and plastic test kits and devices that facilitate "no-touch" shopping.

Hard shift right.

Peaceniks. The out-of-commissioning of the aircraft carrier and China's provocative moves in the Pacific combined with the fear that China is engaging in chemical/biological research and lied through its teeth to let the world be infected has scared people enough that there will be no desire to make peace. People felt vulnerable. They will want strength so they never feel that way again. Shift to the right.

Unionists. There have been steady attacks on Amazon and then on grocery stores for keeping their workers working despite the risks. "They need unions to protect them in the future!" Yeah, except neither job actually seems hazardous and we needed Amazon and the grocery stores to keep us alive, so any threat to cut those lines and hinder them will not be taken well. Besides, both sets of companies seemed to act responsibly. Look for this to have hardened views against unions as the public will not want to be held up by unionists in a crisis. This play was a mistake. Heck, Democratic governors didn't even chastise these companies.

I think these are all long term changes. This current generation will always be colored by what they saw during this period and the above was it. The left tried to scare them, would not stop whining, tried to make this political to exploit it, and pushed all kinds of things that felt wrong to the public. The public's reaction will be to distrust their policies even more.

So how does it all end?

Forget the rallies. Political rallies never change anything. They come after the change has happened. What changes the world is spontaneous disobedience.

Look to the fall of communism. What killed communism was nothing political. It was average people deciding en mass that they simply weren't going to follow the rules anymore. So they left their homes and did things that were forbidden. In so doing, others joined them spontaneously and their sheer numbers overwhelmed the authorities (like with speeders) and suddenly the system collapsed. This is how it's happened throughout history in almost every country and with every instance of true social change. Bad regimes collapse when normal people suddenly decide to go to the beach.

Now, in this case, there is an interest caveat. American politicians are generally better than their oppressive counterparts and they keep their fingers on the public's pulse. Thus they know how to give just enough freedom to prevent the rebellion. Let the guy going 5 over go and focus on the big speeders... keep the system alive. It's the same here: the lockdown is phony. Colorado is a good example of this. We are under a cower under the bed order. Yet, I can go anywhere and do anything without fear. Really, the only people being held prisoner are hair dressers, dentists, and a few small businesses. Everything else is open. I went to the park today to walk the track with over a hundred other people. Grocery stores are hoppin'. The lines at McDonalds are long. The gun stores are packed, as are the liquor stores. Got my oil changed. Neighbor bought a car. We are under lockdown, but there is no lockdown.

In Texas and Florida, they opened the beaches because those governors knew that if they didn't, crowds would soon appear and the whole lockdown would collapse. So now the beaches are open. The parks are next. Colorado initially closed the liquor stores and pot shops until people growled... then the governor made them essential. Michigan's governor seems to be the only one with a tin ear and it will cost her. Show me a celebrity in California who isn't posing out for exercise or on a drive or getting groceries or doing a photo shoot. All of this is for show, so it will end when people get tired of the pretending, and at that point the governors are going to declare the crisis magically over.

That's how this one ends.



AndrewPrice said...

Long one, but there was much to say.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - fascinating thoughts. I particularly was interested in the reaction to environment. I have had a laminectomy two weeks ago tomorrow and have been low key. Without requiring you to write a whole article, I would be interested in why voting does not follow the split you mention (55-45). I do worry because the non-leftist path to electoral victory has always been paper thin. On the one hand, Trump has been a lightning rod for both sides and left coalesces more around hate him than love us. I have felt the left needs blacks to turn out and I am not sure they will despite the ham handed attempts to make him “Obama”. I don’t see this gang of 50 plan going anywhere do you?

tryanmax said...

NPR, which is an early indicator of which direction other leftist outlets will pivot, is running nonstop stories on the secondhand consequences of the shutdown: on mental health, on inequality, on 'vulnerable populations,' on neurotic upper class white women, etc. So far, they're maintaining the standard for a "responsible" reopening be measured in tests. As antibody tests come online, this will become a proxy for speed. In other words, the left is about to pivot to "Trump isn't opening the economy fast enough, he wants people to die."

AndrewPrice said...

Hi Jed, All of my thoughts are based on how people have responded (consistently) throughout history. Take the environmental thing. There was a clear need -- well-known animals dying off, burning rivers, brown clouds over cities. So they passed laws addressing those things and they all went away as issues. The public's response was to tune out again. So environmentalists had to find cute animals that were dying or very clear examples of things people liked being destroyed to ever get the public to care again, and then the public only cared about those specific things.

These changes show that (1) the world really is already fixed for the most part, (2) can heal itself in a week from what we've done. Most people will see that as "oh, there really isn't a problem." That's going to kill the environmentalist agenda which is based on theory, not anything that can be seen. And with the temperature issue they have a real problem: either they are wrong about the cause or the fix is easier than they claim. All of that suggests they will now struggle to get public support.

I can talk about the left/right thing. The short answer is culture. The right doesn't understand it and loses the vital battle or the hearts and minds of the public.

The election will be close. But the left has shown themselves to be ultrapolitical and tone deaf during this crisis, like an alcoholic they can't stop shoving "discrimination" in the faces of people who feel discriminated against, and they've given Trump armor and energized his base.

As an aside, I've seen lots of proof that his response to this virus has guaranteed him Florida because he's drawing a lot of Hispanic support. There are even hints of growing black support, which will kill the Democrats. Plus, have you noticed the lack of gays?

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Two thoughts. First, yup. They are trying to politicize this to energize their base. "You are a victim because white people used you as human shield... men raped all of you because you had to be home... VIRUS made your mental health worse and Trump tried to scare you (Trump?)... and so on." Basically, they are victim-pandering for each of their constituent parts.

Second, you are right. The left is starting to realize that much as they've mocked Trump for trying to get us all killed and ignoring safety, the public wants this to be over. The expected mass wave of death never came and each day the crisis seemed more and more remote. Yet, their experts are predicting 1 or 2 years more... or forever. That will never sell, so they need to pivot to "Let us out, Trump you oppressor!"

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, there was an interesting admission by Chris Cuomo during all of this. He apparently had a temporary epiphany and realized that he was profiting on a system that is purely fake -- lying pundits who come in and play according to scripts. And for a brief moment, he saw how fraudulent that was.

He promptly backed off, but in that moment, he truly understood our political class. Too bad it didn't really wake him up. He could have done a lot of good by calling out the victim industry.

AndrewPrice said...

As an aside, I wanted to toot my own horn. Here are some things where I was well ahead of the curve and you were informed before it "became a thing":

1. Coronavirus hit rich/celebrity circles first. I think the media will catch on after enough people do.

2. Meat shortages

3. Pointing out that all the numbers are fake (the media has caught onto that in China and Europe (starting to see articles on Italy, France and Belgium) and may soon see it here too).

4. Apple stock. Called the bottom within $10 on a $300 stock. BTW, if you own it, sell it for now. We're near a short term top.

I think that's not bad for virus coverage. :)

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, to add more political crap...

1. Third world countries are too poor to deal with VIRUS and need more foreign aid

2. More women that men work in essential jobs, so women are at risk!

3. School lunch programs are going broke!

4. This is endangering endangered species because somethingsomething no money!

Also, there will never be sex scenes in films again because of VIRUS!

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - I was also interested in your comment as to why people vote differently than the 55-45 split. Some come to mind, and if you feel it is better done in a separate post, that is fine.

AndrewPrice said...

Hi Jed, That's what I meant -- I'll do it in a separate post.

Short answer: The biggest reason is culture. The political right is out of touch with the American public and completely underestimates the importance of culture. So the left gets to define the herd mentality without opposition from the right. The end result is that the public sees the right as scary and uncool even as they agree with their views.

In fact, what's funny is that people will agree with things the right advocates until they learn who is advocating them, then they will oppose them.

ArgentGale said...

You weren't kidding about this being a detailed article, were you Andrew? It's a good one, though, and covers a lot of ground nicely. You're right about how bad the federal and various state governments have screwed this up while the private sector came through, including things like the car companies manufacturing ventilators and alcohol companies making sanitizer so that's a win for the American spirit there. The various governments ruling things like cancer biopsies as elective procedures while considering abortions essential (and same for Pelosi attempting to use it as a poison pill on the stimulus bills) isn't a good look either no matter how you feel about the issue in question. All while leftists hatefully accuses people opposed to the shutdowns of wanting grandma to die and wishing them and their families death by Kung Flu. I'm guessing stuff like this will do some damage to the various socialized medicine schemes as well?

I knew about the prison releases but hadn't tied them to prison reform efforts myself but outcomes like the Florida killer are so obvious you'd have to be a politician not to see that coming. "Finally getting something back" is indeed the main thing I'm hearing about the stimulus checks, too, so I'd say you're right about them being taken with a feeling of resentment towards the government as opposed to gratitude, especially as the magnitude of errors involved becomes clearer. I also hadn't heard anything about unions sniffing around Amazon and grocery stores but somehow I'm not surprised they had a hand in pushing for strikes and the like, nor am I surprised that they failed. For whatever it's worth Americans like to work and don't like it when people throw needless roadblocks in their way.

(Have to split this, sorry)

ArgentGale said...


Interesting observation about the environment and why pushes for harder restrictions have never gone through. Also interesting that they haven't noticed the the fish thing. Mother Nature really is one tough old lady and the Sun will do as it pleases as well and while that's no excuse for wanton pollution it's a good sign that the Earth can take care of itself. Somehow I'm not surprised that the main countries with less smog were China and India too yet it's America who has to be shamed by St. Greta (glad her 15 minutes are up) and have crap like the Green New Deal show up in Congress... These people don't do reality well, do they? I hadn't considered the angle of people wanting more military strength in light of everything else China is up to, including the initial Kung Flu coverup, but it makes sense. Then again I haven't heard of any war protests since Bush so that part of the left's base has been completely off my radar anyway.

On the last part, at least down here in GA hairstylists/barbers, nail salons, and gyms are opening back up Friday with instructions for social distancing in staffing and workstations with restaurants and theaters to follow Monday (not sure what the instructions are there) so that's probably going to be just the loosening up we need for people to blow all this mess down whether or not the various managers and authorities get anal about the distance requirements (nobody seems to really give a crap outside of the line markers at places like Aldi). At least we have an actual end in sight now!

Overall, it sounds like this is going to shift things just enough for Trump to win a (still close) election without too much trouble. Shame that the right's big problem, the cultural deafness you mentioned, isn't turning this into a definitive moment to rout the left considering how unhinged they've gotten but I don't see that changing any time soon unfortunately. Also, interesting that the left is picking up on the mental illness/domestic violence angle as their likely excuse to turn against the lockdowns since I've seen them both emphasized as second and third order effects by some conservatives and libertarians, especially the suicides stemming from the economic ruin.

Lastly Andrew, you really did call it on those things. Glad you're willing to share these insights with us since they gave me and everyone else who reads regularly some good ways to keep sane in all this hysteria. Treat yourself to something nice once the lockdowns are officially over!

AndrewPrice said...

From the interesting times file...

It looks like the leader of North Korea is going to die. If so, that creates a real mess in Korea. With the US without aircraft carriers and everyone afraid to breathe, look for China to do something... interesting. Now is the moment to do it, if ever.

AndrewPrice said...


Some of corporate America has been great. Some have been shameful... Disney for example has been shameful. I'm doing an article on companies who should be shamed.

Greta? Greta, who? Yeah, I think her 15 minutes is up, just like the Australian fires that were going to define this year. Remember those?

We'll see about opening up. I hope they don't rush and that they prepare people for the idea that this will mean more cases... that's inevitable. Hopefully, people remain super cautious and keep doing the things that have kept people safe.

I would not say this election will be easy for Trump, but I think he's been handed an advantage that makes victory more likely.

The Florida killer thing really struck people as wrong and is the kind of Willie Horton moment that kills a movement.

Grocery stores actually are unionized, but their unions didn't act like fools like the people attacking Amazon wanted. Those people wanted strikes, demands for 50% pay increases, and shutdowns for employee safety. The stores handled it well and the unions let them, and I think the public truly respected that. They did not respect the whiners.

The left hasn't picked a reason yet to switch to opening. I suspect it will just be "because Trump held us prisoner and poor people are suffering." But they have a problem. How do you argue for an opening when you also argue that being open kills union workers and blacks? How do you argue that staying closed saves the world but lets men kill women? See the problem? They are vehemently on both sides and there is nothing they can argue that doesn't victimize one of their core audiences. This will take a strong dose of creative cognitive dissonance.

AndrewPrice said...

More observations before I go to bed...

1. Apparently, this will break up the elite colleges now and they will be forced to somethingsomething because that's been something some professor has wanted to see for 20 years and VIRUS will make it happen. All praise VIRUS!

2. The Daily Exaggerator Mail has put up this article about some mass walkout happening at Amazon tomorrow because of the inhumane conditions. BE SHOCKED!!! Did you know that most of Amazon's warehouses have at least one person who tested positive for COVID?? BE SHOCKED!!! They need hazard pay and better working conditions. THE OUTRAGE!!!

Forget that this is the same crap they've been spewing week after week for years about Amazon being a slave driver. This time it's for reals yo. And forget that they don't even meet the public like fast food workers or grocery store workers, and they don't work shoulder to shoulder like meat packing workers. No, but hey, they are being treated like slaves!! THE OUTRAGE!!!

As an aside, despite the DM making this into a huge thing, 300 employees are expected to participate... out of almost 600,000. Fair reporting, DM, fair reporting.

AndrewPrice said...

The new union focus is Ellen (and Amazon). She apparently hired a non-union crew to help her continue her show and now there are whispers all over the leftist internet mentioning this and telling unverified stories (heard it from a guy who heard it from a guy who knew someone she fired a decade ago) attacking her personally.

It looks almost coordinated... strike the almost

The Amazon walkout either hasn't happened yet or hasn't been successful. The most recent article on it said it was "going to happen Tuesday." That was posted two hours ago. And if you have any doubt this is a union thing, the only person quoted in the article is Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. No doubt the Daily Mail and Drudge will cover it under the headline "END OF WORLD, AMAZON DESTROYED, YOU COULD DIE IN YOUR HOME."

Drudge has really gotten pathetic. He honestly should be ashamed at the spin he puts on things.

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