Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Parataxis and Politics

Seth Lipsky, America's leading journalist, has published a piece in his New York Sun blog, "Parataxis and Politics,"  about the New York Times's CEO Mark Thompson's forthcoming book about how language has caused a deterioration of American politics.  Responding to the article, not to the book, which I haven't read, I write this:

As usual, the Times deflects its responsibility for decline, a phenomena we New Yorkers, who have suffered decline due to the Times's policies, have lived with for decades.  

Perhaps the turning point in American political discourse was the Times's support for Walter Duranty's lying about the mass starvation occurring in Ukraine during the 1930s.  More recently, political correctness in universities has spilled over into all walks of life.

We have a Supreme Court that is confused about the difference between jurisprudence and legislation; we have a K-12 education system that is confused about the difference between education and enhancement of self-regard; we have a higher education system that is confused about the difference between education and ideology; we have a media that is confused about the difference between journalism and propaganda.  All of this derives from left-wing authoritarian equalitarianism (mistakenly called "liberalism"), which has been increasingly influential since the Progressive era and of which the Times has been a leading voice.

De Tocqueville saw that conformity to social pressure would, in a democracy, contribute to tyranny of the majority and that the wonderful elite that founded America could no longer contribute to what he called the "small parties" that pander to mediocre public opinion.  

What we see today is the product of a failure of opinion of an elite made mediocre by a failed education system, a system  that has further reduced American mediocrity of the past.  The Trump phenomena is the last gasp of those who remember a better America, who have been badly educated by a bankrupt elite--in large part comprised of the Times's readers--and who, propagandized and badly educated, have no idea of why the nation is stagnating. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Barack Obama's Grim America

 The Albany Times Union opines that Donald Trump's America is grim and divisive.  It was Barack Obama, though, who created the divisiveness.  Trump is the bigoted antithesis to Obama's bigoted thesis.  Both sides reject the liberalism that was characteristic of laissez-faire America.

Trump's critics might ask why so many lower-income whites feel disenfranchised.  One cause is a stagnant real hourly wage that contrasts with America's economic performance until the 1960s, a period which covered laissez faire, Progressive, and New Deal eras when there was less government and harder money.

The Obama administration has tended to marginalize working class and poor whites.  Two examples are the remark Obama made in 2008 about rural Pennsylvanians clinging to religion, guns,and xenophobia while, at the same time, defending his own participation in Jeremiah Wright's church. What religion does Obama cling to?

Through his massive subsidization of Wall Street, in no small part through what has euphemistically been called quantitative easing, Obama has served elite interests well, and unlike Trump, the media, which reflects elite biases, has given Obama a free pass.   

Trump is a reaction by poor whites, the reaction of an interest group that Obama created by default through his forging of an alliance of elite and minority interests that excluded Trump's supporters. Unsurprisingly, America's elite-focused media continue to appraise the Obama administration based on his pandering to their interests, and they claim that groups that threaten those interests are divisive 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Trump Is the White Obama

Donald Trump is the first candidate to grasp shifts in the nature of press, and he has capitalized on Twitter, brief sound bites, and Facebook memes. He is a reality television star who has brilliantly played the new media system. At the same time, he has benefited personally from the Fed's monetary system that is the root cause of the wage stagnation that angers his supporters. It is healthy that political elites have been given a wake-up call, but the issues that Trump emphasizes are sideshows in comparison with the Fed, so the true American elite has little to fear from Trump, who will keep the corrupt system in place and use immigration to rechannel working class frustration just as Obama picked at racial scars to do so.