What Happens When a Liberal Goes to the Midwest for a Listening Tour?

Pundits have lectured liberals since the 2016 election: you need to get out more, meet ordinary Americans, visit flyover country. But will it help?

17 thoughts on “What Happens When a Liberal Goes to the Midwest for a Listening Tour?

  1. It’s not clear exactly how many believe those things. It IS clear that the number is ‘far too’.

    St Hillary promised war with Russia starting on Day 1 of her presidency, so some Trump voters figured Trump was better than that. Trump promised to bring back good jobs to the Rust Belt, and that got a lot of voters who’d stopped voting (since neither party offered them anything) to take a wild chance on Trump (who now promises to make things much worse for them). And, of course, Trump promised to replace the ACA with a plan that had better coverage and lower premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, while the AHCA eliminates Medicaid and provides about the same plan as the ACA for young, healthy people who sign up (but the insurance companies have ways to charge much more when they get older or ever get sick). But Trump still says the AHCA has better coverage with lower premiums, deductibles, and co-pays, even though it has NONE of those things.

    So few promises kept, but there are still people who think Trump is doing all the right things. Obama bombed the Syrian Army a couple of times, but that wasn’t enough. Some see Trump as doing what Obama should have done and they figure St Hillary would have proven all talk and no action. Those are scary voters.

    As are the ones who notice that, every winter, the lows are about 80 degrees less than summer highs and can’t see the slightest evidence of any global warming. They follow St Augustine who said all maths are works of the devil, so they’d never take an average or learn what a regression is. Instead, they read newspapers like the London Telegraph that report that it’s proven that the so-called 2ºF rise in temperatures is fake, the people just subtracted a degree from older temperatures and added a degree to recent temperatures, and the real temperatures have either fallen or stayed the same.

    Let’s hope the people faced with what should be obvious campaign lies will realise that they were lied to, and not do as voters did in ’72 (but I’m not all that hopeful, since I remember Nov ’72 all too well).

  2. Remember how the great economic lights like Paul Krugman had so much to say about the Great Moderation before its abrupt termination in 2007 and 2008? And the sciency mathematical truths of economics? And the End of History?

    Remember how Nate Silver predicted an 85% chance of a Hillary win over Trump? More sciency mathematics.

    And now people are supposed to renew their faith in science without scrutinizing interests of scientistic nature. This is Trump’s critique of climate science and scientists.

    I disagree with Trump.

    I think climate scientists are UNDERSTATING the causes and consequences of climate change. My bets are on an abrupt climate change as abrupt as the abrupt economic climate change that terminated the much celebrated economic Great Moderation.

    Not to worry though; I believe that almost all people alive today will be dead in 100 years anyway. The only question is whether there will be replacements for the missing.

    The species is now on palliative care.

    So I hope against hope that Homo incendiarius will somehow learn to live with less burning of fossil fuels, not to stop climate change but to delay the inevitable climate change.

    Native American Indians drove 70% of large mammals into extinction after their arrival about 12,000 years ago and faced their own extinction until they learned to treat the remaining large mammals they needed to kill and eat as sacred.

    I don’t believe we have the cultural ability to take as sacred that which we now defile.

    • “climate scientists are UNDERSTATING …”

      I’ve heard that one myself, if they told everyone exactly how screwed we are we’d simply give up hope. I’m not in a position to say, but it’s obvious that my local weather patterns have changed in the 21 century – and the global indicators we can see are scary.

      Didja no that the north pole is now a lake for most of the year? The world’s biggest ice berg is just about to break off? Washington State had a forest fire in a RAIN FOREST year before last?

      • I clicked. You took their lowest estimate for Trump. As the election drew near and Trump was fighting with some success in the Rust Belt, they raised his chances to 28%, and St Hillary dropped to just 71%.

      • That’s right.

        On October 17, a mere 22 days before the election, Silver had Trump’s chances of a win up 88.1% to 11.9% over Hillary.

        Silver, reputed genius of polling Obama’s election, was wrong all the way through.

        Just as wrong as Krugman and the corporate-state-recognized economists were about the Great Moderation.

        I suppose some Climate Change Scientist will recognize the impending doom weeks before the catastrophe, when anybody could see it, and then claim to be the genius of Climate Change.

      • Sorry, just woke from a little nap.

        “Silver had Hillary’s chances of a win up 88.1% to 11.9% over Trump.”

      • «On October 17, a mere 22 days before the election, Silver had [Hillary’s]’s chances of a win up 88.1% to 11.9% over [Trump].» And on the following day, Harry Enten at fivethirtyeight kindly explained to the uniniated why Mr Trump couldn’t pull a Truman and defeat Ms Clinton ; viz, nowadays, there are just too many pollsters on the ground for such egregious errors to be made….

        O wad some Power the giftie gie us
        To see oursels as ithers see us!
        It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
        An’ foolish notion:


      • @mhenriday on June 6, 2017 at 1:47 AM

        Right on, Henri!

        Standard English translation

        And would some Power give us the gift
        To see ourselves as others see us!
        It would from many a blunder free us,
        And foolish notion:
        What airs in dress and gait would leave us,
        And even devotion!

  3. ay-yup. It’s that there librul intelekshul elite what done bin needin’ some edjumacatin’

    There’s a ‘Direct Democracy’ movement which argues that we need a government coalition of scientists with the same level of influence as congress. Our current legislators value oil money & superstitious nonsense over the professional opinion of thousands of scientists, we obviously need a little check & balance there.

  4. My first approximations assume that the news you get for free is not worth the price you pay for it, and that a verbal contract is not worth the paper it’s written on.

    I assume news to be guilty until proven innocent.

    News has an uncanny way of reflecting the values of the people who paid for it, reducing it to mere advertising.

    If you buy a newspaper you might think that the paying readership’s interests would be primary.

    What is seldom recognized is that media sells its readership’s eyes to its advertisers, making the readership’s interests subprime, and Facebook worth billions.

    The possibility of becoming a focal point of political discourse is what makes political cartoons both dangerous (to the powerful) and indispensible (to relatively powerless plebeians).

    People can be just as stupid as the media gods choose to make them if they are incapable of sorting crowd-pleasing populist rhetoric (bubbles) from thoughtful systemic analysis.

    So we are (so far, and likely for the future of the now living) doomed to attack each other’s media bubbles while leaving commonalities unexamined.

  5. Perhaps there could be common ground?

    Angels like fairness, do they not, so they must be busy these days, don’t you agree? Perhaps our government shouldn’t be supporting dictators like Saddam then, if someone like him can pull such stunts? Perhaps if they feel that other countries can influence us they’ll agree that we can and do influence them -> so we need to make sure our considerable influence does not actually make matters worse in Mexico, that would only increase the number of people coming here. Perhaps they they could explain to us how exactly Trump is embodying Christian values? 😉

    There are some human needs behind what on the face of it looks like delusions, and a good point can be made that it is the ethical bankruptcy of the neo-liberal establishment narratives that have created the vacuum in the first place, waiting to be filled by faux news. On the nominal left, we have the same problem from chemtrails to Zeitgeist… (and who knows how much of our pet frames are delusional or at least distractions)…

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