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After MAGA, a new Trump rises His supporters no longer believe the country can be saved

(Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)

(Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)


January 29, 2024   9 mins

As America inches ever closer to its next election, the rest of the world is now forced to face the fact that Donald Trump is almost guaranteed to be the Republican nominee, and the favourite to return to the White House. It wasn’t supposed to be this way: surrounded by scandal and dogged by several attempts to imprison him through lawfare, he ought to have been weak coming into 2024. But all attempts to stop him have failed. This time around, he was challenged by half a dozen political opponents contending for the Republican nomination. Trump, refusing to even attend any of their debates, handily crushed them all.

To many on both the Left and the Right, this is an almost inconceivable state of affairs. His popularity seems nearly impossible to justify, and thus people come up with equally fantastical or belittling explanations for his success. To some, Trump appears like some sort of hypnotist, a snake charmer who has simply mesmerised much of the electorate. To others, the “explanation” begins and ends with concluding that Americans have simply gone insane.

But America hasn’t gone insane, nor is Trump — a man who has occasionally been booed at his own rallies, even by his own most loyal supporters — some sort of hypnotist. The appeal of Trump in 2024 is quite different from the Trump that rode down that golden escalator eight years ago and promised to “Make America Great Again”. In fact, you don’t hear that particular slogan chanted very much at all these days. This might seem paradoxical, but it really is not: as the belief in “MAGA” has waned, the power and appeal of this new Trump has only waxed. This is no longer a man who promises to make America great again — and this is precisely the reason why many American voters still feel that they need him.

The growing constitutional crisis now taking place on the border between Texas and Mexico illustrates this dynamic. The governor of the Lone Star State, Greg Abbott, recently did something truly audacious: he mustered the Texas National Guard and ejected federal border patrol agents from a piece of the border. This was a clear breach of both written and unwritten rules in today’s America, but Abbott persisted, claiming the migration crisis was simply too great to ignore. But as the Biden administration offered Texas a 24-hour ultimatum to stand down, with an implied threat of seizing federal control over Texas’ National Guard if he did not, around half of the governors of the US’ 50 states openly pledged their support to Abbott. Trump himself took to social media to urge every loyal governor to send their own national guardsmen to Texas to shore up Abbott’s efforts to plug the hole in the border, federal government be damned.

Some observers have dismissed this all as a form of political theatre, a showy gimmick to shore up votes in the upcoming election. But it is far more serious than that, and it has its roots in unresolved political fault lines that go back nearly 200 years. To introduce those fault lines, it’s useful to look at a somewhat similar example outside of America: Japan’s great 19th-century revolution, where the centuries-long rule of the Shoguns finally ended.

A very quick history lesson is in order here. Towards the latter half of the 15th century, Japan’s Ashikaga Shogunate began falling apart, as various powerful feudal magnates began waging bitter feuds against each other. At the beginning of the 16th century, central power had collapsed, and Japan fractured into many small, mostly independent feudal states. This was the sengoku jidai, which is usually translated here in the West as “the warring states period”. This lasted for more than a century, until a succession of warlords managed to unite most of the country under their rule through a combination of war and diplomacy. By the year 1600, the battle of Sekigahara finally consolidated national hegemony in the hands of Tokugawa Ieyasu, who then went on to found the Tokugawa Shogunate, which lasted all the way to the revolution that finished it off in 1868.

What makes this little bit of Japanese history relevant to America today is that the events that took place in Japan in 1868 were, in more than one sense, merely a continuation of old grudges left over from 1600. Not every powerful samurai daiymo (feudal lord) supported Tokugawa’s side at Sekigahara, and the people who picked the wrong side back then (or simply tried to sit on the sidelines) were given a permanent black mark for the next 250 years. They became the tozama daimyo, the outsiders; as they were seen as politically unreliable, they were now permanently barred from holding higher office in the Japanese bureaucracy.

By the middle of the 19th century, however, Japan was no longer stable. It now suffered from a massive social crisis, as the Samurai only became poorer and the commoners became richer. It had been forcibly opened up to Western trade, and this led to massive inflation and economic instability. It also suffered from an invasion of foreigners, who by dint of their superior military technology, the Japanese could not stop. The issue of foreigners walking around Japan like they owned the place was particularly galling, and it was this issue that served up the spark for the Meiji revolution. But as the revolution started, the unsettled grudges from all the way back in 1600 came roaring back to life; the most dogged opponents of the Tokugawa shogunate turned out to be families such as the Mori, the Date, the Shimazu and the Uesugi: in short, the losers from 1600. A quarter of a millennium had passed since Sekigahara, but they had not forgotten those old slights.

When America fought its own civil war between the northern states and the southern confederacy, the issue at the heart of the dispute was slavery as an economic model, yes, but also something much more basic than that. The southern states genuinely believed that the United States had been formed in such a way that the federal government was meant to be a servant to the states, and not the other way around. They weren’t interested in spreading slavery to the north; they wanted to leave, indeed they asserted they had the right to leave the union if they wanted to.

This basic disagreement on the nature of the United States, the true role of the federal government and the prerogatives of the states has never truly been settled. As in Japan, overwhelming political might could suppress dissent effectively, but it could never make the dissenters truly renounce their point of view.

Underscoring this, too, were the major political transformations undergone by America since its inception. It wasn’t really supposed to be an empire, with hundreds of bases all over the globe. It wasn’t meant to invade the world and invite the world, or to play world police and to overthrow governments left and right. This is the extremely open secret at the heart of the American empire: it wasn’t actually meant to exist. But that empire does exist today, and for a very long time, dissent on the nature of what America should be has been both politically and militarily pointless. But that situation is now clearly changing, and as Texas sends its guardsmen to plug the hole in the American border, they are at the same time slowly unleashing those old grudges that America could only bury but never resolve.

When Abbott was presented with the demand to stand down, he published an open letter justifying his own actions. That letter was carefully written, and it was written specifically to resurrect old conflicts. Citing James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, he accused Biden’s government of illegally abandoning its duty to protect the states. Biden, sitting idly by as America faced an unprecedented migration crisis, was in fact refusing to defend Texas from an invasion. With the federal government having failed in this most basic task, the supreme legal right to self-defence reverted back to Texas, and thus Abbott was doing what the constitution allowed him to do — even demanded that he do — which was to protect Texas.

To invoke the constitution to justify your actions isn’t exactly a novel thing in America. But if one reads Abbott’s letter, it’s clear that the constitution he relies on is not the “modern” constitution. It is not the same document that is now being used to justify transgender rights, diversity and inclusion initiatives, or federal school lunch programmes. It is the constitution of a much older America; America from before the empire, before the civil war.

Just like Japan could sweep its more intractable problems under the rug for 200 years, only to have all those problems come out with a vengeance once its economy crashed and its military position weakened, so has America stuffed most of its own serious contradictions into the closet. But that only works as long as things are stable, and America today is seeing its empire crack and split apart. The federal debt is exploding, inflation is busy ruining people’s living standards, the country’s military dominance is slipping. Americans by and large no longer trust their own government: they think the country is heading in the wrong direction, the economy is terrible, and they increasingly see other Americans as enemies rather than people with whom they simply disagree with.

Even before Abbott invoked the ghosts of Madison and Hamilton to consecrate the Texas guardsmen’s defiant stand against the federal government at Eagle Pass, the ghosts of the American civil war were clearly already making their way back into popular consciousness. Statues depicting figures from the civil war — and even of founding fathers or older presidents — have increasingly become a flashpoint for a real political and cultural struggle. A low-intensity war on the past is now being waged across many states, but the removal or destruction of statues now only has one effect: to harden hearts and solidify the battle lines being drawn in the sand.

Consider how, in late 2023, a statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee was taken from its monument in Charlottesville, decapitated, and then melted down into ore, from which new art pieces were supposed to be created. The point here was to destroy the past and to usher in a new, better future. What happened afterwards is telling: pictures of Lee’s molten, red-hot face began circulating on the internet, and it was immediately appropriated as a symbol of resistance. Far from destroying the ghosts of the civil war, the statue’s desecration only roused them further from their long slumber — it only further sharpened the growing divide in America between an “us” and a “them”.

It is here that we must return to the meaning of Trump, and why so many people feel that he is still needed, even in 2024. If one looks past the fairly dishonest slander by his many critics, it’s pretty obvious that Trump’s basic message in 2016 was one of hope. America was broken, the forever wars were based on a lie, the dollar didn’t buy as much as it once did. Sure: all of that was true, and Trump proclaimed that he was the only one who dared to say this openly. But he was also the only one, according to himself, who could fix these things. America used to be great; vote for Trump, and it would be made great again.

That hope is mostly gone now, and it is not the focal point of Trump’s campaign. There isn’t much point in making “America” great again in 2024, because by now it is becoming increasingly clear that there is no such thing as a singular “America” that is capable of being made great. There are in fact now different Americas, completely separate and irreconcilable ideas of what the basic political dispensation should be. This was of course also true back during the period when America fought its bloody civil war. Back then, one particular America silenced all the competition, for the simple reason that it was victorious on the battlefield. But now the American empire is fraying, and more and more people sense that it can’t be revived. In other words, suddenly, the old rules no longer have to apply: those old grudges that were hidden and papered over by a century of military and economic dominance are now rapidly becoming relevant again.

The result is that it is now a very open question whether the federal government can succeed in a tug of war with a state such as Texas. Many people are calling for Biden to federalise the Texas National Guard and order them to stand down, as happened during the struggle over segregation half a century ago. But with 25 other governors pledging support — some even pledging to send their own national guard detachments as reinforcements — the Biden administration can’t guarantee victory.

But even if this particular showdown over a piece of Texan real estate ends inconclusively (as it is quite likely to do), the problem will not really been solved. Once states begin to openly defy the federal government, reasserting old forgotten political rights from centuries ago, it’s almost impossible to pretend it didn’t happen. If Biden wins re-election, these sorts of open acts of defiance will become more, not less common. If Trump wins, democrats are likely to become even more fervent champions of states’ rights than the republicans themselves. Either way, obstructionism and paralysis are likely to rule the day — both in the leadup to the 2024 election, and for very long afterwards.

Why then, does Trump keep winning? What is the “secret sauce” that makes people want to rely on him, even though his flaws and failures are extremely well-known at this point? It’s not because he promises to make the current America great again, not really. Trump isn’t going to reinforce all those hundreds of military bases, solve the recruitment crisis, and make sure the next couple of forever wars are ran competently this time. The empire probably can’t be saved at this point; almost everyone now senses that some sort of massive break is coming. And if the empire does break, if the “America” that shunted all competitors aside just like Tokugawa Ieyasu sidelined all those other samurai clans after Sekigahara, what follows will be a war for the future: a war between all those different Americas.

The Trump of 2024 is radically different from the Trump of 2016. Then, people hoped he could fix what was clearly in the process of breaking apart. Now, people instead turn to him for a very different reason: because they think that in the days to come, when America begins the struggle against itself, Trump will hopefully be the one guy actually fighting for their America.

As far as hopes go, the hope now being invested into Donald Trump’s third run at the presidency isn’t particularly optimistic. But is it crazy or irrational? Hardly.


Malcom Kyeyune is a freelance writer living in Uppsala, Sweden

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Samuel Ross
Samuel Ross
5 months ago

What Abbott is doing is protecting his state, because Joe Biden and the Democrats are sitting back and letting it happen. Immigration is the prerogative of the Federal government, but the border of Texas and America’s southern border coincide in time and place. The Feds can abrogate their duty and let the illegal migrants come in their millions, but Texas still can control the border of Texas and protect itself (and other states) from the illegal swarm.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
5 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Letting it happen is bad enough but the Federal Government is outright assisting it.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

The Federal Government is Against the American People – this is what we found out. They are out to destroy America.

Jan 6 response was for One Reason – to terrorize all resistance to their destruction of America. Trump’s absolutely insanely Political Lawfare cases – the Fear of the FBI- DHS -CIA, it has been cultivated so all who would stand up must be in fear of being destroyed.

Yes, it is likely past MAGA and is now trying to stay out of the Gulags. Because surely if Trump loses they will take those who dissent.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
5 months ago

This is off the charts bonkers.
The complaint for years is that the elites were ignoring flyover America, now apparently they are trying to put them in Gulags. This is just huckster talk, the same warped process that tells African Americans that Mitt Romney wants to put them all in chains. What a load of crap.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Perhaps, but talk of re-education camps for Trump voters from high profile figures such as Hilary Clinton and Robert Reich only add fuels to this particular fire.

Aidan Twomey
Aidan Twomey
5 months ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Such incredibly high profile figures as Robert Reich, Secretary for Labor 1993-97. Wowee. I feel like I am taking the crazy pills, listening to people who spend too long on the internet finding out what other nobodies are saying.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Everybody in the public eye is lying about near everything. That bodes ill for the republic, and makes people long for a strongman who will cut the Gordian knot.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Curiously, from over here, we are regularly told Trump lies. Then after a few weeks, it turns out he wasn’t lying after all.
One of the classics was the BBC. It ‘fact checked’ Trumps claim COVID got out of a Wuhan lab. “False News” the BBC said. Then once Biden said it they did a Radio 4 program on why it wasn’t “False News” when BIden said it.
Since then I’ve regularly checked up on things, and quite frankly the one person who appears to tell the truth more often than anyone else, is. Trump!

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
5 months ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

You ignored Hillary

Jae
Jae
5 months ago

He did so conveniently didn’t he.

Jerry Carroll
Jerry Carroll
5 months ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

The Guardian and the NYT are more your cup of tea, also the BBC, CNN, the media literally owned by the government in Canada and so on and on. Time to sober up and begin to worry if you’re on the chop at work.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
5 months ago
Reply to  Jerry Carroll

MSNBC – don’t forget the main source of progressive truth!

Northern Observer
Northern Observer
5 months ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

C’mon Aidan. 
The State of New York changed its laws to allow the Tax case and the Sex assault civil case to go forward. They changed New York State Law specifically to take action against Trump. 
If that is not moral corruption and political tyranny I am not sure what is. 
Wake Up and own the abuses of your faction and work to change them.
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/83-million

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
5 months ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

They were ignoring flyover America.

Then 2016 happened, and they realised those deplorables had votes, enough to have the temerity to challenge the awful candidate appointed by their “superior” elites.

Then 2020 happened, and those same deplorables stood up against all the election hanky panky, the covered up “unsuitable” stories.

That’s why they have stopped “ignoring” the MAGA crowd.

Andrew E Walker
Andrew E Walker
5 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

“they realised those deplorables had votes, enough to have the temerity to challenge the awful candidate appointed by their “superior” elites.”
No they didn’t. That foolish error is grounded in the aberration of the Electoral College. Hillary Clinton polled nearly three million votes MORE than Trump. So she was by far the more popular candidate.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago

and how long have you put up with that aberration? How many Democrat Presidents have been ‘thwarted’ in their attempts to change the aberration?

Andrew E Walker
Andrew E Walker
5 months ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

As a UK citizen I neither put up with it, nor am I in a position to change it. Although there have been several moves to abolish the aberration, none has yet succeeded.

Richard Russell
Richard Russell
5 months ago

The American Founders clearly did not see it as an “aberration”. In fact, there simply was no popular vote for the first three Administrations. The Electoral College is there for a very good reason: to protect the Republic from the very real threat of electoral fraud, that was in such stark evidence in 2020

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I can’t say that my UK based recollection of the news from the US ever had Biden’s apologists ‘ignoring’ the MAGA crowd. They were forever attacking them and telling us to ignore them, but they never appeared to actually do so.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Are you sure?
They said the Biden Laptop was a Russian hoax and the people who said it, in numbers, all turned out to be important actors in the State Security Services.
They said Trump colluded with Russia (it turned out to be Hilary)
They set the State Security apparatus on Parents who upset teachers.
They have thrown the book and a few new versions of it at Trump to an extent that from the outside the US looks more Russian than Russia.
The latest Floyd police body cams, apparently not shown in the court cases, seem to show Chauvin and his colleagues (in the film “The Fall of Minneapolis”) doing nothing particularly bad. Even to the point of implementing the restraint tactic they were trained on. Yet the Police Chief appears to lie under oath to get a conviction.
Then a summer of riots by the BLM, torching many Cities is deemed ‘mostly peaceful protests’ yet what to a UK eye looked like a UK’s Monster Raving Loony Party fancy dress day out in the Capitol, where they took selfies, helped themselves to a few souvenirs then went home, is deemed an ‘insurrection’.
It seems to me that something in the Anglosphere has gone badly wrong. Canada, Australia ,New Zealand, the USA during COVID (and the UK to some extent) all read from the same Hymn Sheet and produced the most shocking totalitarian response of my lifetime.
What I see as the ‘Left’ sowed the wind, and now they fear they may be about to reap the whirlwind. You seem to be a little put out at the result but not bothered about origins.
Perhaps the idea of a “4th Turning” is a true reflection of reality. I hope not, but it isn’t looking good, either in Europe or the US. One thing, however, IF it comes to civil strife, I doubt the left will win it in the US, or anywhere else either.

Jae
Jae
5 months ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

Thank you for educating Mr Twomey, he sorely needs it. He must be reading too much left wing news or something because he’s quite ignorant of what’s actually going on in America.

By the way, the woman who just got 83 million awarded to her, E Jean Carroll, has unsuccessfully accused numerous people of sexual assault, her dentist, her daughter’s boyfriend among them. She’s a loon who named her cat “Vagina”. But NY found a way to prop her up in their corrupt to the core system. I couldn’t find the links to corroborate this as it’s stifled by media online. However, she apparently wrote about it in her book.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
5 months ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

How are those two things contradictory/incompatible?
For a long time the elites tried to ignore ordinary people, now they cannot ignore them they are moving to active hostility and oppression.
I agree with the OP. The actions of the governor of Texas don’t seem like some kind of reawakening of a 150 year old secessionist instinct – more like a desperate attempt to fix a really bad problem that the federal government is actively making worse.

William Miller
William Miller
5 months ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

Touched a nerve, huh?

Jae
Jae
5 months ago
Reply to  Aidan Twomey

With a name like Twomey you must be an Irishman or of Irish descent. So you have no political acumen to speak of, look at the history of Ireland and how the government there has moved to tyranny against its own people. So your comment is downvoted many times because you’re wrong, on politics anyway.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago

Rubbish!

Jae
Jae
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I suggest you go and read the responses to Aiden Twomey, it’ll help to educate you.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Not surprising given that the Democratic Party is now so heavily dependent for campaign funds on George Soros, a man who believes passionately in a borderless world.

Alexei A
Alexei A
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

They are also heavily dependent on the many lies they’ve been spewing and the allegiance of the MSM/social media to spread them.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Samuel Ross

Biden can’t shut the border down by himself and neither can Trump. Trump was able to shut the border for illegal immigrant crossings, with emergency powers because of COVID-19. He tried another time, before that but didn’t follow through. He boasted he would force Mexico to pay for the wall and that didn’t happen either. He wouldn’t be able to close the border to illegal crossings just by demanding it, any more than Biden can. However, Trump plans to take control of the judicial branch of government so he can do anything he pleases, otherwise Known as a dictatorship. Anyone interested in how he plans to do that should read ‘Project 2025 The Presidential Transformation Project’, on Wikipedia, and if that doesn’t put the fear of god in you, more fool you.

T Bone
T Bone
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Clare- we know you didn’t read it. Based on your past comments there is no way you understand anything that you talk about. You simply wait for Left Wing “Experts” to take complex texts and summarize them for you. You trust them to do this completely without bias.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

I didn’t read what? And who are the “we”? I wonder why you feel the need to attack me instead of countering what I said with some facts.

T Bone
T Bone
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

The Presidential Transformation Project says nothing about “taking over the judiciary.” That’s a blatantly obvious conspiracy theory.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  T Bone

It says the plan is to reshape the Executive branch, not the Judicial branch. I got that wrong, but I’m surprised you didn’t just correct me about that, instead of dismissing the whole thing by trying to invalidate me. I thought when I wrote Judicial that it didn’t feel right and was going to double-check, but I forgot.

T Bone
T Bone
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

How do you mix up the judicial and executive branches in a point about Executive Authority? It absolutely invalidates everything you said.

The President IS the executive branch. Why would a new President that disagree with the current Executive not transform it into something that works better.

Jae
Jae
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Nice try. Nobody’s buying it.

Simon Templar
Simon Templar
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I have no idea where you get your information, Clare, but you need to check other sources. The Biden White House can simply enforce the laws that are on the books. The Democrat deep state won’t do that, because chaos and destruction of the American nation-state is the goal of the New Left. Our political masters play straight from Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” to make Trump a hideous boogie man as a distraction from them whittling away property rights and democratic rights on the way to a new progressive charter. Open borders means there is no longer an ‘us’ – that means that ‘we’ no longer have a say in how our country is run. When voter ID is not required and borders are open, what is the electorate?
Via inflation and crippling Federal debt, economic power is increasingly taken from the US working population and siphoned up to the Federal government – because “we” can’t be trusted with regulating our own lives. The ruling class already controls 9/10 of the media, who simply parrot DNC talking points, usually verbatim. If that’s not a dictatorship, then the word has no meaning. If you prefer, it’s an oligarchy.

Richard Russell
Richard Russell
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Oh, Goodness! Now we’re quoting Wikipedia (!?!) as some sort of “authority”…

Jae
Jae
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Hahahaha! Wikipedia is where you get your information on Trump and actually believe it. Right there you lose standing.

Kate Madrid
Kate Madrid
5 months ago

Oh my gosh. This is so convoluted. And more of the same total unwillingness to deal with the actual job President Trump did as president. People will twist themselves into these incredible pretzels so they can keep saying the only reason to vote for president Trump is because Racism, in fact, not just racism but southerners are still trying to refight the civil war. It’s so, so crazy.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
5 months ago
Reply to  Kate Madrid

That line got stale back in 2016. Pretty funny since Biden was instrumental in getting stiffer sentences for crack cocaine over regular cocaine and was one of the chief architects of the ’94 Crime Bill (Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994). I mean the guy pretty much deserves a lifetime achievement award for throwing black men in prison. Look up Hillary talking about “super predators” sometime for extra fun.

0 0
0 0
5 months ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

Of course he did that, that’s where the wind was blowing at the time. Biden has no real convictions of his own, and possibly no real genuin beliefs. If he does, they don’t really matter because he’s too cowardly and self interested to stand by them. He’s a weak vain petty little man who got to where he was because he made himself useful the more powerful persons then himself, not because he’s talented or capable, he’s actually quite mediocre in terms of ability, it is easily controlled by those more powerful then. The thing is that the political system is full of people like him and that’s all awful. Such people can be harmless in times of prosperity and stability, but we are not in such times and thus such people in such conditions often tend to oversee disasters.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  0 0

I’m not sure Biden has any belief except perhaps that he is still alive, and sometimes looking at him and his performance, I wonder if he sometimes even finds that hard to believe.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Kate Madrid

I agree. Trump was the first US president to call out the many ways China has been screwing us, the first to act with decisiveness regarding our southern border, the first to call our NATO “partners” out for not contributing to its mission. He presided over the defeat of ISIS in Iraq. He more than any other entity succeeded in finally getting the corrupt Clintons out of politics. I have never cared for his personality or style but he deserves credit for those things and for relentlessly enduring the shameful political use of the apparatus of government to attempt to destroy him. And as for racism, anyone who believes the US is intrinsically racist is willfully blind.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Trump may be no friend of China, but he doesn’t have a bad word to say about Russia.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

….which is why he would have a chance of settling a compromise peace in Ukraine. With China, he understood early on, that for now measured confrontation is very necessary.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

I think he is more likely to want the sort of peace that sells Ukraine out.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Americans don’t want to pay for another European war. It’s that simple. We think Europeans should take care of their own back yard. Trump wants to do what is right for Americans- legal Americans.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Methinks, Martin, Ukraine has been sold out long time ago. And not on Trump’s watch. 🙁

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

At least it’s war against Putin has been funded so far. If Putin wins, he will invade other countries soon enough.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Ukraine was bought and sold well before this war. It might be interesting to see how much of it the Bidens got. Ukraine is stuffed. They want to recruit 500,000 new troops. A complete Army and they are picking up men and boys from the streets to achieve it and that is according to their own media.
The Ukrainian diaspora may well never go back. The best bet for Ukraine is accept a deal now. Russia is already manufacturing tanks and missiles (according to UK reports) daily to match their losses. Heaven knows what the Ukrainian losses are, but they can’t win. Their dreams of using Western Weapons will lead to WW3 if we aren’t careful. Military nutters over here are already suggesting the UK produce a ‘Citizen Army’ Why? Because like the US, the patriotic UK working class who supply the men aren’t interested in joining a woke service that sees them and their families as the ‘problem’.
Trump isn’t the problem, he may be the solution.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Wasn’t he the guy who told Germany to stop buying Russian gas? Maybe I’m wrong.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

I don’t recall him saying that. He did say that Germany (and indeed the rest of NATO) should spend more of their budget on defence. It’s one of the few points on which I agree with him.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Actually, I stand corrected. He did apparently tell Germany to not be so reliant on Russian oil and gas in 2018.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Here it is, and the German’s laughing to his face. Though as I said before. Had the US not treated Russia as the Soviet Union, something to be stomped on and surrounded, there would have been no problem. Russia was a solid business partner until the West tried to screw them.
https://twitter.com/nowthisnews/status/1044740334306058241
The irony is the ‘sub-titles denying it’ – effectively it was. Which is why BASF and many other German firms are moving frm Germany to China or the US.
So whilst Trump was right about the dependence, it didn’t make Russia to be a bad partner. The US certainly knew about the destruction of Nordstream 2 IF NOT the NATO is useless because it was blown up under the noses of NATO.
Had NATO not kept trying to isolate Russia resulting in the 2014 Coup, Russia would still be supplying gas. In fact Russia wanted to join NATO, We should have accepted them if we weren’t going to scrap NATO after its opponent the Warsaw Pact disappeared.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yes! And he suggested that European countries pay their promised share (2% of each country’s GDP?) to fund NATO which most hadn’t done in decades. We have had feckless leadership in the USA until Trump arrived on the scene.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

All the leadership in the West has been feckless for decades. We became rather like the British Empire’s Edwardians, comfortable and so not interested in politics or power, but more interested in leisure. That leaves the committed to handle the levers of power and it seems across the Anglosphere we’ve let self-interested fanatics do what they like best, play politics BUT then to achieve power. Now we are paying the price for letting the inmates run the asylum.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Since Reagan, you mean? He didn’t kowtow to any Russians. My favourite line of Reagan’s was: “My version of how the Cold War ends is ‘We win, they lose'”.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

He was, and the German’s he told laughed, literally, to his face. It’s on the Web somewhere. Still he was actually wrong. The Russians believe it or not are people you can deal with. They never reneged on their deals unilaterally, They still supply the EU.
The only issues with gas were when the Ukrainians kept ‘diverting it’ as the pipelines went over their territory. Hence the first of the Nord Streams to Germany. The second one never got used thanks to the US.
The irony is many will now say “but Russia used the gas as leverage’ – true, but the US used the banking system with Russia, Goose, sauce and Gander spring to mind. AND who blew up Nordstream 2?
It wasn’t the Russians. German money went into that pipeline, so some “friend blew it up’ – why? The gas went from Russia to Germany, not the other way around.
The consequences of the US meddling in Russia’s backyard is catastrophic. It as much as the current US(Anglosphere splits) are changing the world order.
Brexit didn’t help the EU, but the Ukraine conflict is likely to bring it to its knees as the Germany banker is de-industrialising fast thanks to their insane Green Energy not being viable now Russia isn’t supplying gas.
Victoria Nuland may find history gives her a starring role in the creation of a new, bi or even multi-polar world, and the eventual demise of the EU.
The UK demise is self-inflicted, only Brexit gives us the hope we can remove our ruling Uniparty and rescue ourselves. Trump may do the same for the US assuming the left don’t find another legal ploy to screw him.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

He did not think Russia could be trusted, being a great believer in energy independence.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

That was quite sage of him. Russia can’t be trusted, and won’t ever be able to be trusted.

Ian_S
Ian_S
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Russia is a 2nd rate power that at most will take over European countries on its doorstep and glower from its manger while drowning in vodka. Bad for the Poles and Czechs and so on, not really an issue for anyone else. Just another installment in the ongoing centuries-long saga of land wars in Europe. China on the other hand is a 1st rate world power, with a mission to dominate the planet. Which could be ok if you don’t mind giving up freedom. Trump’s priorities are sound. That said, he probably won’t achieve anything because his entire bureaucracy is woke and will undermine him, like last time.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  Ian_S

There is no way Putin invades Poland. It’s the biggest military power in Western Europe. If he can’t defeat Ukraine, he will be in big trouble in Poland

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The Poles will hate Russia no matter what happens. If they get Lvov back, they may be mollified though.
And Ukraine is dead already. Vast millions have fled, maybe for good. A million of young men destroyed, either dead or badly wounded. And the west looting the farmland there, and anything else of value. Just like the west looted eastern Europe, only harder. Putin will take Donbas; already has. The rest will be picked over by the neighbors… maybe leaving a rump. My sense of it.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

What a crap show. All of it could have been avoided.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The Poles will hate Russia no matter what happens.
Surely everyone hates Russia. Russians are a fundamentally unlikable people. It is a mystery why their athletes are allowed to compete in international sport.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Ian_S

The Czechs have been looted by the West, and are being screwed by the EU for a change. Attitudes toward Russia are mixed.
As for the woke bureaucracy undermining Trump if elected, you got that right.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  Ian_S

Russia will NOT trouble the Poles or the Czechs unless they interfere. Russia has only ever occupied Russian speaking areas of the surrounding countries and usually in response to the Russian speaking minorities being targetted.
The biggest mistake other than going Woke, that the West has made is to turn Russia away when they wanted to join us. Now we have acquired a powerful enemy. Not in terms of say, Western Military Might, but in terms of economic and natural resources. The world is NOT going to live off windmills, and Russia has lots of resources.
This February a meeting of the BRICS ,IIRC, will become the focus of much interest, It will take place in Russia and there are rumours it may announce a reliance on gold as a backing for international trading and currency. The aim being for the BRICS to detach themselves from reliance on the $ and the US banking system. IF it happens, then the price of gold, it is suggested, will go through the roof. The consequences for Uncle Sam and the $ hegemony could be catastrophic, but even if not, they won’t be very good at all.
IF it happens, it will be on Biden’s watch.
The EU may also not recover from the self-inflicted wound of sanctioning Russia.
As for Woke bureaucracies, somehow I think Trump won’t put up with those for very long. He knows who screwed him and who may decide to try again once he’s left office. The only question is how quickly and effectively he can achieve his aim.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Ian_S

I think it is incumbent on the West to make Russia a bankrupt 3rd rate power that can’t even maintain internal security.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Why should he? Russia was stuffed by NATO and the coup of 2014. The Nazi’s were in the Ukraine. Canada’s parliament so dumb re history, that they even applauded an ex Waffen SS Ukrainian when Zelensky visited.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

“The Nazis were in Ukraine”. In 1943 they were, sure.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

It sounds to me you have very little understanding of the dynamics at play here.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lee

All I know is that when Xi Jinping goes, China will in large part “go back to normal”, whereas Russia will still be fundamentally untrustworthy.

0 0
0 0
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I will give him all that you said, but Trump’s problem was that his methodology was sloppy and his efforts often half-hearted. Trump’s a good tactician but a bad strategist, he is the type of leader who wins battles but he loses Wars, fights bravely but not wisely and is often error prone. Trump’s issues is he can’t really finish the things that he starts when comes to politics because he’s terrible at politics, his attempts at intervening in electoral and Congressional politics have been disastrous, his candidates often lose, and attempt to enact legislation often fail. Trump is a smart and cunning person, but those qualities are often negated by the fact that his priorities are screwed up. His problem is he can’t put off personal gratification and thus loses sight of what’s really important and what’s of tangible value, he’s obsessed with validation from others which leaves him prone to being manipulated. When it comes to the cause of populism in America, in some ways he’s a he’s more of a liability the strength to the movement, a weakness that has enemies often exploit. When it comes to choosing between gold and Glory, he always goes for Glory. But glory is fleeting, but gold lasts forever. If he played his cards right he could have had both, but Trump doesn’t work that way, thus often prone to self-destruct.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
5 months ago
Reply to  0 0

Trump has the defects you list but the Trump Administration was – despite the chaos and missteps – surprisingly effective. After thirty years of continuity, it pushed the system in new directions in sustainable ways on China, halting further globalisation, corporate tax reform and, most importantly, placing the well-being of the bulk of the population back at the centre of political debate. Biden’s adoption of many of the policies is a tribute to the Trump Administration. The immigration issue is, of course, the major exception.

The challenge is that Trump may have been the cheerleader for many of these changes but was – as you suggest – too managerially inept to make them happen by himself. They depended on various lieutenants prevailing in the infighting e.g. Peter Navarro on China.

If Trump wins a second term, he will be even older and managerially inept. As with Reagan’s second term, it will probably be the lieutenants who drive policy. We will need to analyse the composition of his team very carefully.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  0 0

Just wondered what was more important during his Presidency that he didn’t deal with – election fraud!! Where were his managerial failures.? Unfortunately it’s very easy for commenters to pontificate in areas, when you read between the lines, they know little about. And of course they will never give specifics.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  0 0

When the ‘weakness’ to exploit requires the tactics used by the Democrats, I’d say it suggests he isn’t weak. As I’ve said before, from the UK the Democrat hunting in packs to get Trump has made the US look not just like a banana republic, but a second rate one.
I also think that he won’t want to leave behind any trace of Woke in the bureaucracy that can target him once he leaves office for the second time.
Having said that, the US seems to have gone even more insane that the UK, so I wouldn’t bet my house on any of my ideas.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

He also worked hard of the Abraham Accords, and that is something that even God appeared to have found hard.

Ron Kean
Ron Kean
5 months ago
Reply to  Kate Madrid

It’s so, so crazy that people are giving you thumbs down. I wonder if there are few patriotic Americans on this blog and too a great majority of liberal Europeans. To accuse Trump supporters of being hypnotized ignores Trump’s record. I won’t list reasons now but his record is public knowledge. Rather than us supporters being hypnotized I’d suggest the writer from who-knows-where in Sweden suffers from a form of derangement common on the Left. Nothing personal. It’s a condition whose symptoms include a hate that influences reasoning.
Rather than being hypnotized rubes, we consider ourselves possessors of common sense using votes to express common sense to reverse the insanity of the Woke and today’s elites who flood civilized nations with unvetted strangers too many of which will choose not to assimilate. Their disruption, arrogance and ploys for power are a Frankenstein’s monster unleashed upon peace loving Judeo/Christians and rather than point to an obscure esoteric Japanese period it’s potential is more like the loss of Byzantium or other civilizations who’ve grown too complacent and leisured thinking the worst will never happen to them.
Trump supporters will put up one more fight. Trump supporters will use speech, the keyboard and the vote in an effort to return America to a place (forgive a lighter note) of apple pies and hotdogs where men are men and people are judged more by their character than the color of their skin. And this battle is not futile. It’s real and contemporary. It’s being waged right now on blogs and the border. Win or lose in November, it’s game on.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Ron Kean

Don’t you mean Rome? There NEVER was a Byzantine Empire.*
Otherwise an excellent synopsis of the current hysteria that surrounds this vexed issue.

(*A term ‘invented’ by the German scholar Hieronymus Wolf in the 16th century.)

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
5 months ago

I’m nitpicking today! From Britannica:
Byzantine Empire, the eastern half of the Roman Empire, which survived for a thousand years after the western half had crumbled into various feudal kingdoms and which finally fell to Ottoman Turkish onslaughts in 1453.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago

Well Britannica is WRONG!

No contemporaries called it the Byzantine Empire or even themselves the Byzantine Emperor. They were the ‘linear’ descendants of Caesar, and as such called themselves Romanoi or Romans up until the last final hour, just before lunch on Tuesday the 29th of May 1453.

As I said before Wolf ‘invented’ the word to assist his scholarship. There were also plenty of ‘Renaissance’ Italians, Raphael for example who were only too keen to rubbish the fact that New Rome or Constantinople had lived on for nearly a thousand years after ‘old’ Rome fell to the Visigoths 476 AD.

The term Byzantine did not enter English historiography until Dr Smith’s seminal work “A dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography” in 1853.

Pedantic perhaps, and true none the less.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
5 months ago

What thoroughbred Roman would call those effete pederasts his equal? Pedantry be damned, the TroiĂŠ were no Greeks!
If I may quote The Sopranos:
“And the Romans, where are they now?”
“You’re lookin’ at ’em, asshole.”

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Welcome back Sir! We’ve missed you!

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

But what did the Romans ever do for us (apart from the aqueduct, sanitation and the roads….)?

Dermot O'Sullivan
Dermot O'Sullivan
5 months ago

The man who took on Britannica! Fair play.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Kate Madrid

Kate. I don’t even know what you are trying to say. Is this pro-Trump or anti. I just can’t figure you out.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
5 months ago

Probably the best analysis of how and why America is where it is that i’ve read. Of course, no solutions are being offered; because there aren’t any (as yet) and it’d be foolish to do so. I think the main point the writer makes is that Trump himself isn’t offering solutions, but simply hope to those who can’t abide the way things are going; simply by saying “this isn’t right” out loud and clear, a rejection of the status quo.
At one level, the resurrection of old fault lines in the American state injects some meaning into current events. So, rather than seemingly chaotic, there’s a thread that can be followed which started at the outset of American history which provides a sense of continuity, and appears (to me at least) to be strangely comforting. The comparison with Japanese history was enlightening too, although almost unnecessary except in the sense that states have ways of evolving with some commonality. This too, seems strangely comforting in a time of flux.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

IDK, I’m not convinced of the Japan analogy. I don’t think the border issue is bringing up old grievances. Abbott is fundamentally opposed to the federal govt’s approach to border control. He’s simply using whatever tools he can to justify his position.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

The writer’s thesis is intriguing. There is huge resentment over Democrats/Liberals/Progressives who are trying to reshape the nation in what they think would be a more ‘equitable model’ – ie according to their definition . It started with the Civil Rights legislation which a number of academics have asserted set up a parallel Constitution which has created friction with the ‘Founding Fathers’ Constitution. Aside from destroying statues, today, we hear leftists who want to ‘pack the Supreme Court’, get rid of the Electoral College among other changes to voting mostly to take power away and reconcentrate it in liberal urban areas, not to mention that the liberals use the courts to get what they want rather than seek consent of the people at large (Dobbs ‘abortion’ comes to mind). It is also liberals who ironically declared ‘sanctuary cities’ contravening federal law, ie they will not cooperate with ICE (deportation authority) but now they are dealing with illegal migrants which they have to service which is costing specific cities billions which they are hoping to extract from the federal govt eventually. That will be another battle.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Thanks for that detailed addition to the original article, the point about a parallel Constitution in particular, As old wounds re-open, the liberal elite are doing their utmost to try to insulate themselves from the effects, leaving the rest of the population to almost fend for themselves. The result? Trump, who at least recognises the problem and is willing to give voice to it.

Emre S
Emre S
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

I really liked the article myself – it seems to have some unique and valuable insights into what’s happening in America including the Japan parallel. I find this kind of insight is rare to come by since academia by and large refuse to engage with the topic, and the few who do tend to be analytical types (e.g. Peterson, Lindsay) who prefer to operate on first principles instead of doing social commentary.
This is becoming eerily close to the prediction of that Russia scholar who predicted an American break-up of states into 2 or 3 parts some time ago (can’t recall the name). I recall laughing at it a while back as Russian fanciful thinking, but it’s been quite good at predicting the trajectory so far.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago

The thesis that this election is darker than 2016’s MAGA theme is what keeps the majority of thoughtful Americans awake at night. Setting aside Trump’s personal characteristics, from a practical standpoint who will join him in his administration now? Yes, some of his cabinet heads and other appointees in 2016 were goofy, but others–no matter their conservative predilections–were at least capable people. Nikki Haley is one example. He has burned through all of the thoughtful conservatives that might serve to buffer his excesses. Only the nut cases are left.
As to the notion that the antebellum American South had no aspirations to expand slavery, you are misinformed about US history. The Compromise of 1850, Bleeding Kansas, the efforts to acquire Cuba were all manifestations of the South’s aggressive efforts to expand American slavery.
The current state of American politics devolves from far more than the revival of grievances rooted in the Civil War. That is an oversimplification that fails to recognize that the fault lines in America today are far less North-South than Urban-Rural. Austin, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia are far more Progressive politically than most towns in upstate New York.
As for the tensions between federal and state government, the recent actions of states would not have occurred except for the vacuum of meaningful action by the federal government on issues of real importance to American citizens. The federal government has for some time responded more to Big Tech, Big Academia, Big Media, the Victim-Industrial Complex and Wall Street than to its taxpayers. Trump’s lack of a filter on his mouth means that he lies to them less than the Bidens, Obamas, and Clintons. It’s not much but it’s all they really have right now.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

For the life of me, I don’t understand why this gets down votes. I might disagree that Trump won’t be able to get thoughtful conservatives, but it’s certainly plausible.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

The Republican Party has a wide and talented bench compared to the Democrat Party which was eviserated – losing over 1,000 – state, local and federal elections as a result of the Obama mid-term – and never really recovered. There’s lots of Republican talent which would gladly step up. Moreover, the Hoover Institution and several other groups are identifying talent and working on plans should Trump be re-elected with the intent of getting off to a quick start. Lots needs to be ‘edited’ and repaired after the disastrous Biden years.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Trump’s treatment of his past appointees has been universally horrid. He is not surrounded by a large body of experienced Republicans who stand ready to pull on the oars for him. No political figure who served in Trump’s previous administration benefitted from it and many had their careers ruined by it. Who of those young Republicans being vetted by think tanks wants step up to be the next loyal Rudy Giuliani? Pence and Haley are but two examples of how he rewards those who have served him. Trump is a unique phenomenon of direct democracy: he and his base are powerfully joined but without any intermediary layers of true political organization with any degree of talent. No matter how many well-meaning think tanks cultivate young conservative talent, few of those bright newcomers will line up to be thrown under the Trump bus when it suits his ego. He will be down to the Marjorie Taylor Greene types.

R.I. Loquitur
R.I. Loquitur
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

“Setting aside Trump’s personal characteristics, from a practical standpoint who will join him in his administration now? ”
Well, if he would only follow Javier Milei’s lead he wouldn’t need so many. As with abortion, it’s clear (at least to me), that the Federal government has overstretched its intended authority, mostly via the USSC’s expansive reading of the Commerce Clause. Paring the Federal government of numerous agencies which are duplicative of state agencies (HEW, EPA, DEA,…etc.) would limit his necessary appointments while, at the same time, put a real dent in the deficit! It would also have the added benefit of making D.C. area real estate much more affordable!

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  R.I. Loquitur

Javier Milei is only the latest iteration of the perpetual Latin American doom cycle of swinging back and forth between the extreme Left and extreme Right. Everything he does will be undone when he is inevitably replaced by his polar opposite. That phenomenon is exactly the peril that the United States now faces: endless cycles of flamboyant disruptive figures who satisfy the blood-lust of their base without establishing a political equilibrium conducive to stability. We are racing towards becoming another banana republic.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Trump is the result, not the cause. From here in the UK the US and Canada both look like Banana republics. I suspect we are one election away from the same fate.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Milei is a bit unusual in being a Latin American Right-winger who doesn’t wear a fancy uniform with lots of gold braid on it.

R.I. Loquitur
R.I. Loquitur
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Free Market Libertarian = Right Winger?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

A dictatorship if Trump gets in that’s his plan. Please read Project 2025.

Northern Observer
Northern Observer
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

A lot of the near elite types on the right are ready to join Trump 24. Biden’s misrule has convinced people that the time for fear and equivocation is over. If we don’t commit and really fight we wont have a country anymore.

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

If things go as planned, then I believe there will be no issues with maga supporters who have proved their worth over the past eight years. So there will be no Bill Barr, no Pence, No Wray, etc.
The one thing Trump may have learnt is that actions speak louder than words. (also there will be no second chances).

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Trump has actually said that he’s a victim.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
5 months ago

Well written

One does have some unease in the Civil War analogy though, the specter of racism means there is a huge room to misunderstand the writers point. Passing over that though – yes. It is exactly that the Federal Government has usurped the power of the throne (the people). haha, the example of the character ‘Wormtongue’ in Lord of the Rings…….

The Deep State and Unparty are captured by the elites of Tech, Finance, and Corporate, and thus have captured USA.

It all is what is called 5th generation war. Capture by the philosophy of Postmodernism of Medea, education, entertainment, social media – and expelling the Christian Philosophy which created USA through the Enlightenment Liberal of the Constitution Writers and zeitgeist of the late 1700s. One of Freedom based on both Rights And Responsibilities. That the price of freedom is Duty, Honesty, Rule of Law, Justice, Hard Work, and Patriotism.

We are captured by Evil basically. They have a plan for us and the West. It is the destruction of the Middle Class and skilled Working Class. Those are hard working, meritocracy, have both money and morals, and so under Democracy vote for what is best for the nation. Those have to be destroyed to conquer a Democrat Nation from within. All the weirdness you see about you – that is the Fifth Generation Warfare weapons and Battles – and we are losing terribly.

Voting for Trump is also the 5Th generation warfare of Defense, defending against the Fifth Generation Warefare Attackers. This is an Existential Crises. If lost it will likely be forever, with AI as they are harnessing it against us. It is 1939….. and 1984 is the goal.

Trump is the last rallying of the forces of Enlightenment Values, and if lost will become the horrific dystopias we have seen last century, only without the chance for escaping them. There will be no Cold War, as there will be no bastion of Freedom left in the world. It will just be Cold.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago

Trump is the last rallying of the forces of Enlightenment Values.” Did I read that right? List of major Enlightenment figures: David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Adam Smith, Voltaire, Donald Trump….

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

…yep that’s right Martin. Enough of the the thinkers and talkers, now for the (literal) actor.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

It would be a bit more convincing if Trump had actually read some books at some point in his life.

Saul D
Saul D
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

This is actually a really good example of how US history now divides into pre-2016 and post-2016 narratives. If you use the date option on Google and look at when Trump was just a celebrity businessman you’ll find articles on his taste in books and reading (including the cheesiness of picking his own books). Post-2016 the narrative becomes one of an uneducated klutz reliant on TV.
Our histories increasingly have breakpoints – before and after – and changing narratives that play fast-and-loose with the past. It’s also going to get worse quickly. As AI manipulates what might or might not be true, we have to get better at retaining skepticism and a willingness to back-check, even of things we believe are true.

Ian_S
Ian_S
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Given the people who read books have largely formed an elite class actively robbing resources from the hard-knocks & street-wise classes, clearly book-reading is overrated (I have a PhD so don’t look for a simple dismissal of my views based on my supposed gauche ignorance). The picture that always comes back to me is the social structure in the movie Hunger Games. Corrupt, self-absorbed, venal elites in absolute power, versus the remnants of Enlightenment universalist principles of fairness and freedom in the elite-destroyed Districts. We want the elite overthrown. Trump is the only one in the political class who gets it. I don’t care if he reads Baudelaire or not. That’s not his role.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Ian_S

I didn’t suggest that Trump should read Baudelaire, but he might have been a more well-rounded person if he’d read something. In my day (which is more recent than his day) you kind of had to read some things to get through school.

Andrew Barton
Andrew Barton
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

I think we might have had enough of supercilious book readers

Jeff Butcher
Jeff Butcher
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Barton

And their pesky books – throw them into the flames!

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
5 months ago
Reply to  Jeff Butcher

Proud semi-literacy. That the classic example of Jefferson and Lincoln. Oh…wait.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Barton

Obama was a reader and couldn’t get out of his own head
..

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Where does Trump dwell if not in his chattering ego, petty thoughts, and ageing nether regions?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
5 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Barton

We need even more ignorant bloviators who are somehow proudest of what they haven’t even tried to learn?
What Evangelical fanboy thinks Trump has ever read the Bible, let alone absorbed anything that guides him from it?

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Perhaps but you have no idea whether Trump is widely read or not. You are simply making an assumption based on no facts at all. As for Baudelaire, how many Brits have read Baudelaire in the original French. I would wager not too many since, in general, foreign language skills (including French) in the UK is not exactly a national forte. i.e. even those who got up to some sort of elementary French, that wouldn’t be sufficient to actually read Baudelaire.

Mark Gourley
Mark Gourley
5 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Yes I have read Baudelaire in the original French – as part of my degree studies! But it doesn’t have to be a qualification for a politician.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Mark Gourley

No one is suggesting Trump should have read Baudelaire, just something a bit challenging and thoughtful. We just think that’s unlikely to have happened, is the point.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
5 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

As my father would say, “Those who can’t do teach”…..Trump is a doer. What business or job in the private sector did either Biden or Obama ever have? Both are literally government wards as far as ‘work’ goes.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Do we know everything they’ve ever done?

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Why do the Brits need to learn foreign languages? They already speak the World Language (admittedly thanks to the Americans).

Jon Barrow
Jon Barrow
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Wrong way round, in the wide view. English was already a lingua franca pre-WW2 and English-speaking Americans were produced by Britain.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Jon Barrow

A lot of people speak English because it is the language of international commerce, and it is that because of American economic power post-WW2.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

Me, I’ve read Baudelaire in French many times, and War and Peace in Russian. And I’m an MD and a Ph.D. So you’d better heed my opinion.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

That was rather feeble sarcastic humor!

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
5 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

C’mon. Do you think he’s read any serious books since college? If so, how many? How about during college?
Listen to him: He isn’t dumb but he does not care to read or learn about other people except out of naked self-interest or cynical strategy. “2 Corinthians”, Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) is “an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more”?
Be honest. Very doubtful he knows when either the Revolutionary War or WWII began and ended. Granted, these are not established facts, but do you find my informed assessment farfetched?
*And do you think he could tell the difference between Bach, Beethoven, and Strauss?
I’m not saying these are litmus test qualifications but Trump is a cultural ignoramus.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I guess when one is the fount of all wisdom, one seldom has to rely on any other sources.

David Fawcett
David Fawcett
5 months ago
Reply to  Johann Strauss

More people have read Solzhenitsyn than Baudelaire. He’s irrelevant nowadays.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
5 months ago
Reply to  Ian_S

What a ridiculous example in Baudelaire. How about John Stuart Mill or the U.S. Constitution itself?
A “corrupt, self-absorbed, venal elite in absolute power” is exactly what you’ll have if Trump II comes to pass. He’s declared his nakedly authoritarian plans. Or is Trump a regular guy who cares about common folk, sharing more with them than their disinclination to read real books, on average?
He’s written more social media copy than he’s read of anything since 2015–quite sure of that. But there are always some people who support a destructive demagogue, from Huey Long to Joseph McCarthy and all the rest.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Ian_S

Even if you have a PhD (one can say anything here) you may still be ignorant.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

I think he totally acts on instincts, might be not bad in emergencies.

Judy Johnson
Judy Johnson
5 months ago

. . but most of life isn’t dealing with emergencies!

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Probably is when you are US President and fighting the inane policies of the Democrats.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
5 months ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

…but being the POTUS sure is !

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Judy Johnson

Exactly!

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago

Given that his instincts are “Lie, Cheat, Steal”, that is probably not a good thing.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

Exactly! A bit of integrity wouldn’t come amiss.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago

I would say he tends to overreact especially if his ego is wounded.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

It must be time for someone to bring up that “short fingers” thing again. That seems to annoy him quite a bit.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
5 months ago

He attempts to turns everything into an urgent emergency with cartoon villains and heroes–“he alone” to the rescue.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

…Why? So he’d be just like everyone else bound by administrative state groupthink?

N T
N T
5 months ago

this was the most interesting, compelling thing i’ve read on unherd, in a long time. nicely done.
i guess the two questions that really matter, in 2024 are:
* which side will the roberts court choose, facing several cases with states’ rights in play?
* what can, and what will this and the next president do that might serve to bring us together, or further the rift?
i hope that it does not end in violence.
and speaking of violence, there is a very real (small?) possibility that well-meaning civilians may take matters into their own hands, go rogue/vigilante, and start a cross-border conflict with mexico.

David B
David B
5 months ago
Reply to  N T

Your first question may become superfluous as states that find themselves unable and unwilling to accept the legitimacy of the Federal government also find themselves in conflict with that of the Supreme Court.

It can readily be contended that both the Federal government and the Supreme Court have egregiously overreached their legal and political influence. And by egregiously, I mean completely and thoroughly at odds with the principles of the Republic.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago

To the extent that Trump is “fighting for America”, he will be fighting for his America, and what that is will probably change from week to week.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  Martin M

If you look at his policies you can clearly see that ‘his’ America is the America of the Democratic Part pre Clinton globalism and the Wall Street takeover.

Martin M
Martin M
5 months ago
Reply to  Hugh Bryant

Trump’s policies depend on what day of the week it is, and what he perceives his personal interest to be on that day.

Daniel P
Daniel P
5 months ago

One thing that I find interesting is the number of people migrating to red states from blue states.

Anecdotally, it seems that the people that are doing so are not just looking to find cheaper housing and lower taxes though that is certainly a factor. I think it is social too. There are a lot of former Boston people like myself here and we are all moderate conservatives but would probably be thought of as right wing in New England. Same with the people from New York that have moved here. They are more conservative than where they moved from.

And those of us in red states tend to tell the new arrivals “Welcome, but please do not try to do here what you did there.”.

My guess is that the next census is gonna show that the populations in the red states have risen as has their wealth and their economies. That will mean more seats in the house for them and fewer for the blue states.

Think about it, in places like New England and NY and CA, there are plenty of republicans, it is just that they are wildly outnumbered. But they also count for apportionment of house seats. If every republican in CA up and left for TX or FL or GA or WY, then those states would get more seats, CA etc. would lose seats and there would be more republicans in the house.

But this self sorting by geography is also makes things like states banning together against the federal government more likely.

David B
David B
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Republicans departing blue states for red are being proactively replaced by immigrants so as to not only maintain the population-based levels of representation in Congress but even to extend it.
Internal political migration cannot compete with the millions of predominantly blue-voting replacements

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
5 months ago
Reply to  David B

Yes, this point is not well understood by the public.

Seats are allocated based on census data – raw population totals for each state. Not voters, not citizens ….just humans.
What the Democrats have done under Biden’s Presidency is import approximately 8 million illegals. These people are largely headed for blue states, that offer more welfare. They more than outnumber the Americans leaving those states, and will increased the power of the blue states, by growing their raw population size …which hands them more seats.

Some of the Dems even say the quiet part out loud from time to time, such as New York City Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY). In a video that can still be found online, she said when discussing the problems that come with this influx of illegals:
“I’m from Brooklyn, New York. We have a diaspora that can absorb a significant number of these migrants,” …“When I hear colleagues talk about, you know, the doors of the inn being closed — ah, no room at the inn — I’m saying I need more people in my district just for redistricting purposes…” 

I think this important to highlight, because many members of the public are thinking “Ok, well they have brought in millions of illegals, but at least they can’t vote”… well, actually their very presence increases Dem political power. And as the Dems build more political power they will then use it to push for amnesty policies, so eventually these people will be voting (unless Trump is elected, and sends some of them back).

Martin Rossol
Martin Rossol
5 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

That “bodies” are counted for apportioning the legislature rather than citizens is crazy. (And I knew about the practice/rule before reading JJ Barnett.)

Bob O'Connor
Bob O'Connor
5 months ago
Reply to  David B

What is many times misunderstood is that most immigrants are church-going, faithfully monogamous, hard working people who are mostly conservative socially and culturally. They are increasingly voting Republican candidates who espouse these values.

JJ Barnett
JJ Barnett
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob O'Connor

That has been true of certain types of immigrants — particularly those from Latin America who have experience with socialism, as well as Catholic / Christian cultural influences.

But as border experts have attested, in later 2021, around a year after Biden had first flung open the borders, the demographics of who was coming started to shift radically.

Huge upswing in military age males traveling alone, and a shift from Latin migrants to African, Chinese, Middle Eastern and Indian / Pakistani.

It is highly questionable whether young Pakistani Muslim men, or single 30yr old male Somali Muslims, will integrate in the way that a Catholic Cuban family might. I think it would be naive to assume that this would be so, no?

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

I doubt Muslim males are going to turn out shoulder to shoulder with many of the Democrat supporters.

Jae
Jae
5 months ago
Reply to  Bill Bailey

They will do anything necessary to spread the Caliphate.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  JJ Barnett

True. I noticed the preponderance of single males of a certain age, a long time ago, and thought what the hell will they do, not speaking the language or having the right skills in an age of technology?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob O'Connor

And they’re mostly Catholics and don’t use birth control.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

You obviously don’t know much about catholics. Some Muslim immigrants have identified increasing their numbers through immigration and reproduction in democracies will eventually allow them to seize control. In some places in the U.K. their population is increasing exponentially. The Israel/Hamas conflict has both increased their determination and exposed their intention. More and more mosques where radical Islam is preached are being built. Some Pakistani Muslims genuinely believe that Pakistan will be the next superpower and this will happen by 2030.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago

I absolutely agree, Aphrodite. Muslims taking over is a terrifying prospect. Anybody thoughtlessly breeding is a problem.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  David B

How long will immigrants vote Democrat if things start to go pear-shaped?

0 0
0 0
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

The great sorting continues, the productive and pro-social elements of American society are moving to were they appreciate, respected and valued and were they can thrive. Meanwhile the unproductive and anti-social stay were they are and keep doing the things that make life in their places difficult. They do this because they lack social awareness, are content because they somehow benefit from the dysfunction(welfare or employment, politics), or out some warped sense of righteousness or narcissistic indulgence. This is the reason why I don’t have a lot sympathy with the people living in those places and don’t really care about what’s happening there, save as source of amusement or fear that the the fools in are political want to impose the madness on the rest us.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

We have a good many liberal friends moving south as well, as they see northern states as dysfunctional but then they vote for the same craziness when they move to the south. My aunt who lives in Georgia says there are so many Massachusetts people there that a ‘Massachusetts Club’ has formed.

BradK
BradK
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

They are referred to as “Massholes”.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

We left New England for Florida in January 2021, at the height of the Covid panic, when the media was calling the state “Covid ground zero” and its governor “DeathSantis”. We never got the virus, never got the shots, never masked, and never looked back.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago

Bravo!!!

Graham Stull
Graham Stull
5 months ago

Well done.

Dianne Bean
Dianne Bean
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

The problem is that the Feds fought hard to have all people counted in the census, not just citizens. So this huge number of illegals will count in the number of representatives that the states get, enabling the blues to outnumber the reds at the federal level still.

Right-Wing Hippie
Right-Wing Hippie
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

I’m vacating Boston for the Midwest at the end of next month.

BradK
BradK
5 months ago

I left that pretentious enclave 25 years ago. I no longer even bother visiting, though I still have family and some growing-ever-distant friends. More the “hub of arrogance” than the “hub of the universe” they are fond of viewing themselves.

Warren Francisco
Warren Francisco
5 months ago
Reply to  BradK

I’m visiting southern California where I grew up, after living in the wide open spaces of New Mexico and Utah for the last 25 years. This place feels like a decaying post-apocalyptic wasteland now, but growing up here I thought I was in the center of the universe. Life is funny. Can’t wait to get back to higher elevation, fresh air and freedom-loving people.

Cam Marsh
Cam Marsh
5 months ago

Love the San Juan mountains down to Carson Forest and Taos.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  BradK

You sound a bit arrogant yourself.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago

You’ll fit in there.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

I read an interesting op-ed from Doomberg, IIRC, pointing out that increasingly the ‘energy rich fossil fuel’ states are keeping the Green States ‘alive’ – and the ‘fossil/green’ split appears to match the Republican/Democrat split. Energy is what creates civilisations, the more you have to ‘use’ the higher your standard of living. Any ‘split’ in the USA along such lines is going to make for riveting TV, as no doubt someone will document it.

Andrea Rudenko
Andrea Rudenko
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Liberals and conservatives self sorting by geography makes me sad, though I understand it. The more tribal we become, the more we’ll devolve, I’m afraid, focusing increasingly on the small stuff at the expense of the larger, more important (and interesting) challenges. We need the best and brightest of all stripes to move us forward. The tribal paranoia we’re currently seeing closely parallels the rise in mental illness. This is an unfolding tragedy.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Daniel P

Why the hell would most thinking Californians want to move to Texas?!!

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Do you still find yourself stranded in the Lone Star State?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

No, I don’t live there!

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
5 months ago

Open borders and immigration was a poor choice to illustrate the growing divide between Americans. The vast majority of Americans share the same concern about immigration and it is now the number one issue for voters. In a recent poll, 68% of respondents believe the Biden administration should make it tougher to get into the U.S. illegally – including 50% of Democrats.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Many liberal jurisdictions passed ‘sanctuary city’ laws never realizing what that would mean in the event of the invasion that is now taking place. It’s called ‘eating your vote’. Only half of Democrats think Biden should be tougher on immigration- but that number is 75% for independents and 95% for Republicans. Democrats for the most are okay with the mayhem taking place.

Another Username
Another Username
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Democrats are most likely to be insulated from the chaos and largely unaware it even exists. The border crisis is simply not covered in a factual manner in any media they consume.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
5 months ago

Yes, this is probably true for elite (rich & educated) Democrats, but not for inner city blacks who are now feeling the brunt of illegal immigration. In Chicago, the black community is suing the city because it wants to use a community center to house illegals. In NYC, blacks are also outraged that their children are being made to stay home and learn remotely whilst their schools are being used to house illegals as well. In Denver, the local hospital threatens to shut down after having serviced 8,0000 illegals ( 20K visits) with no recompense. Covid did enough damage to the young & disadvantaged and now this. It’s no wonder that blacks when polled are veering away from Biden – especially black men. A majority of people under 35 are now polling for Trump as well….

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

So the Democrats are really going to have to be innovative to win the next election?

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Cathy, Biden and the democrats do not like free blacks. As you know slave owners were democrats. Democrats have now opened the borders to replace blacks. And yet blacks continue to support their democrat masters. Perhaps the IQs coming in from the southern border will be higher than black IQ

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

That’s a nasty, bigoted, and ignorant comment. I find it offensive and I hope you get blocked.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

I doubt that.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago

Shivanthi Sathanandan wasn’t insulated enough it seems.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago

Again, not true. I’m a liberal and none of my liberal friends and acquaintances is ignorant of the facts or uncaring.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

But why are they ok with the mayhem taking place? It reminds me of the Camp of the Saints where the enthusiastic supporters of the mayhem get destroyed by it in the end. But until the last few minutes, they are still “all in.” Ideology before reality…

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

It boggles the mind, but it’s always ‘Orange Man Bad’ and that the Democrats are ‘Saving Democracy’ which is just lunacy at this point and folks are catching on.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Not true, we’re not okay with the mayhem.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

No? Please tell more. Why do Dems keep voting for people guaranteed to promote more mayhem? Like the guy in Chicago…

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

Didn’t Trump create Mayhem?

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

The problem is that 50% of democrats are the most influential parts of their support, most of their academics, bureaucrats, teachers, govt employees, the loud, two face hypocrites who will defend illegal mass immigration to the bitter end while living in large White / Asian upper class suburban locales.

Heather Erickson
Heather Erickson
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Yeah the Dems realized after it was too late. “Oh we’ll be a sanctuary and actively take them in.” And after costing 100’s of millions of dollars and bankrupting hospitals, the Dems are finally like, “oops, bad decision”.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
5 months ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Exactly. I’m a liberal and I’m very concerned about migrants. Who isn’t? I don’t know anyone who isn’t concerned. Commenters should be on the lookout for a documentary called “Exodus” which shows the unimaginable horror and suffering of people in Senegal. They’re starving because fish, their main food source has gone because of overfishing. Then rising sea levels, from global warming, have taken away their homes so they have nothing left. They keep risking their lives making treacherous ocean voyages in small, open boats, trying to get to Spain. Few make it. Watching that documentary, and the one about immigrants coming through the Darian gap, makes it look as though the whole third world is surging towards Europe and America, en mass. It’s very frightening because no one knows what to do about it.

Jon Barrow
Jon Barrow
5 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Generally, it’s more about increased wealth and ease of travel than increased poverty. The migrant sources were unstable before current levels of mass migration.

0 0
0 0
5 months ago

You said, “Trump isn’t going to reinforce all those hundreds of military bases, solve the recruitment crisis, and make sure the next couple of forever wars are ran competently this time.” well the same thing can be said about Biden. The reason is is that both of these mediocrities lack the temperament to do these things or anything else related to it, at least effectively. For Biden, he’s too risk adverse, shortsighted and easily dominated by those around him and only cares about himself and is rotten family that he exploits for his own purposes and dealing with that huge chip on his shoulder born from belief that he’s never been given his due. For Trump, he’s too impulsive, shortsighted and reckless due to an incessant needs to gratify his chronically fragile ego and constantly looking for that illusionary Glory that he feels was denied to him. Both of them are self-serving individuals who care for nothing beyond themselves. Whatever issue or policy that is in question it’s a secondary interest to them and only have their interest when benefits them or they feel threatened. These people really have no real strategy or vision for the country, save for them being president and enjoying the prestige of the office, nothing more or less. They are both deeply insecure men who seek power in order to assange their deep feelings of inadequacy. Everything else in the world only exists to serve that purpose as far as they see it. Neither of these two will be the saviors of America. What’s even more terrifying is that the political system is infested with people like this, there are no saviors on the horizon. Plus I like the Japanese example you gave, political and social systems only have only have power untill people stop respecting it due to believe that doing so no longer serves their interest or they stop fearing it. Power is a social convention, empower only exists only as long as people obey the convention around it.

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
5 months ago

Brilliant essay. The resurfacing of old grudges and the exposure of fault lines in the Constitution as currently interpreted are indeed major and under discussed features of the evolving crisis.

What is left out, however, are the shorter term economic factors precipitating the crisis. If the post 1990s stagnation or decline of the real standard of living of half the US population ended and the steady improvement of the 1940s-90s resumed, then the grudges and fault lines would matter less and return to their former obscurity.

If a historical parallel is obligatory, consider the French Revolution. There were all sorts of grand causes – Voltaire, Rousseau, an encyclopaedia, privileges of the aristocracy, absolute but inept monarchy, etc etc – but if there had not been food shortages in Paris then there would have been no mobs and no revolution.

As President, Trump seemed for a couple of years – prior to Covid – to be offering not only hope but effective action leading to briefly rising incomes. It is the memory of that brief period which I think is the “secret sauce” providing him with much of his current support.

The underlying problem is that since the 1990s the American political system has served more those who finance campaigns than those who vote. The combined impact of globalisation, automation and immigration have benefitted the former but not the latter. For a democracy to adopt and sustain policies for thirty years which hurt around half the population is perhaps puzzling. That democracy throws up Trump as a response should not be. He may be a weird, startling or even frightening figure but he is the equivalent of the sans-culottes crying for bread (and the incomprehension of the Democrats on a par with Marie Antoinette on cake).

As George Bernard Shaw said “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” All the reasonable US politicians joined and served the system which created this problem. One should not be too surprised therefore that it is an entirely unreasonable, utterly egocentric and flawed outsider who has ended up channeling the discontent – if understandably worried about the possible consequences.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

“If a historical parallel is obligatory”.
The French Revolution is ancient history for most, perhaps Weimar and its consequences might have been a better analogy?

Alex Carnegie
Alex Carnegie
5 months ago

I think you are being an optimist if you think any historical analogy is likely to resonate widely these days. History as a subject is in sad decline. I suspect the author has got in right in choosing an obscure topic like the Meiji Restoration where one can claim any parallel one likes free from fear of contradiction (unless there are Japanese readers of UnHerd who might have strong views). In future, I am planning to quote analogies only from Lower Lotharingia and the Sokoto Caliphate and winning every argument.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

It a great pity that our ‘expert’ on all things Japanese, Basil Chamberlain is no longer a subscriber. He was also noticeably knowledgeable on all things Dante and Belarusian monasteries, not to mention numerous other interesting subjects.

Those were the days indeed!

Sadly you have scuppered my attempt to start a conversation about the comparative intellectual abilities of Mr Trump and the late Herr Hitler.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
5 months ago

“I try and tell myself it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. If you tell yourself it doesn’t matter […] then you have earthquakes in India where 400,000 people get killed. Honestly, it doesn’t matter. That’s how I handle stress.” – ReichsfĂŒhrer Donald Trump

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
5 months ago
Reply to  Albert McGloan

Exactly sir!

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
5 months ago

we have to be grateful for small mercies

Andy White
Andy White
5 months ago
Reply to  Alex Carnegie

Some great comments being made especially this one. And the original article felt like fresh analysis too. Thanks folks it’s been educational.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
5 months ago

So now we have a pro-Trump voice also agreeing that the US is heading towards civil war – with or without the shooting. It really looks more and more likely.

Saul D
Saul D
5 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Totally frightening how the narrative-smiths can roll out a talking point then have it slowly take over like a fungus rotting civil discourse. So far violence and riots have been mostly from the left, which then makes it sound too much like a call to arms.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
5 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

It’s taken a huge amount of thought and effort – from Foucault to Alinsky and beyond – to develop the tools needed to control narratives in this way. But they will fail if enough people start to understand how it is done.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
5 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

The increasing polarisation and the consequent risks are not an invention. Unfortunately. The left certainly has its large share of the responsibility, what with the 1619 project, defunding the police, sanctuary cities, and the general cultural woke push, and the George Floyd riots and the official support they got (in the middle of a pandemic, too!). But the right seems equally intolerant. And Trumps push to deligitimate the election and disregard the official vote counts – not to mention the invasion of the Capitol – is an even more serious step towards disintegrating the union.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
5 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I have left the Left and been hanging on rightish forums a lot, not having a real home. And I don’t see people being “equally intolerant.” There is a lot of camaraderie on the Right, and humor, and tolerance for even outlandish ideas. The Right seems to me to be rooted in treating others with courtesy despite some of their opinions. (Viz, many on the Left deplore Unherd, the way it amiably mixes people from both sides. 🙂

Peter Lee
Peter Lee
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

yes we just laugh at Rasmus

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
5 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

The quote below was on Unherd just a few days ago. And (unlike say ‘Champagne Socialist’) this attitude is not a glaring exception either. Yes, I do think there is comparable intolerance on the right (I do not care which side might be 5% worse than he other).

Use of phony propaganda memes like ’hateful right wing’ to refer to the citizen patriots who support the Jan 6 hostages is treason. Anyone spouting this bullshit will pay and we can find you.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
5 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I agree, but this is the Internet. Civil discourse is a casualty of the age we live in. I personally try to ignore stupidity rather than waste energy trying to get rid of it or being upset about it. We may as well try to empty the ocean with a bucket.

Albert McGloan
Albert McGloan
5 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

The Left denied the validity of the 2000 and 2016 elections but as with their psychotic rhetoric, such things are only a problem if the other side do it.

Steve Jolly
Steve Jolly
5 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

In principle, I agree with you, but I also take a longer term view of things. Identity politics and pushing racial grievances for the sake of getting the votes of ‘minorities’ was always going to have consequences if pursued as a long term political strategy. If one labels everyone who opposes their policies as a racist, one should not express surprise when they later find themselves opposed and outnumbered by ‘racists’. ‘They started it’ cannot be an excuse for bad behavior, but it can be true nonetheless. A vicious unprovoked attack is not the same as a vicious attack with provocation. One side is guilty of trying to force the world and its people to conform to its particular dogma so far as race, open borders, gender, climate, the pandemic, and so forth is concerned and one side is striking back in anger. That is simply my reading of these debates as they have evolved over the decades. I do not excuse the Jan 6th rioters who actually committed crimes. Those who break the law should be punished fairly and impartially. To a lot of voters, it doesn’t look like that’s happening when one compares the Jan 6th rioters to the George Floyd rioters of a few months earlier. Such inconsistencies become difficult to ignore.

I will always oppose violence as a means to change. I believe that passive resistance is both more effective and more humane. When passive resistance does succeed, it doesn’t leave behind so much anger and create grudges that span generations. That said, I’m not going to defend the establishment from said violence either. That is the problem really. Most everyone who isn’t a revolutionary for one side or the other simply doesn’t think the system is worth defending. I’m at the point I think the best outcome is some sort of ‘national divorce’ that cedes most power over social and immigration policy to state level governments and limit the national government to military and monetary policy. I’m well aware this would require throwing out the Constitution, and as much as I respect the founding fathers, I know nothing lasts forever. Perhaps its time for a new one.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
5 months ago

The analysis of MAGA is a bit sugar-coated. Surely the point was that Trump offered his supporters a take-over of the whole country, so that all of the US would be run by and for them. Whereas now he has given up on that victory and only offers secession, so his faction can still rule supreme, but only in part of the country

Northern Observer
Northern Observer
5 months ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Trump is a corny “I love Reagan, America Ohhh Yeah” style patriot. He was never up to or interested in subversion or Revolution. It has been his persecution by the Democratic Party especially Democratic Controlled Judges and DAs offices that has made Trump into a Revolutionary figure. He has no choice but to smash the system in order to survive.
I don’t buy Civil War. America ain’t coming apart. This is still a fight for the whole enchilada.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
5 months ago

In other words he was forced to become revolutionary and smash the system, because the system wantonly refused to give him total power any other way. Bad Democrats, bad baad Democrats.

Bill Bailey
Bill Bailey
5 months ago