Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Donald Trump is here to stay even if he loses

OK, I don't know that. Maybe the man isn't here to stay. Maybe he goes back to partying with 18 years and 1 day old models. But Trumpism is here to stay for sure. To see why, look at this table:
Free trade, globalism "People before money"
Pro-LGBT, anti-racism, multicultural Clinton Sanders
Pro-family, Christian, pro-life Ryan Trump

Theoretically all four quadrants could have a political party. Practically in a winner-takes it all system only two major parties can exist, taking two opposing quadrants. Off-quadrants only have protest parties and mavericks.

Decades ago the Democrats were in the Sanders quadrant and Republicans were in the Ryan quadrant. Reagan would be just as surprised over the policies of Trump as JFK would be of Clinton. Now the map is rotated, these old position became niche and the two mainstream positions are Christian/Protectionist and Progressive/Trade. Why?

Because the Reagan/Ryan quadrant is a political vacuum. While Sanders-supporters exist, there aren't Ryan supporters among the people. The reason is simple: the free trade optimum is firing expensive American employees and hiring either immigrants or moving the factories to cheaper countries. You can't support and fire the same people at the same time! If you are pro-business, you must not care about the white middle class. It wasn't true in the age of Reagan because much lower globalization. "More jobs" automatically meant "more American Jobs". As a free trade believer, I'm pretty sure Bill Clinton created more jobs than Reagan. Just not for Americans.

This was always the case in Europe. We'we always looked at the US politicians wondering why are they so weird: for me a "conservative" was always like Trump: pro life, Christian, nationalist and trade-hater, while "progressive" was always like Clinton: pro-LGBT, pro choice, secular, multicultural and trade-lover.

Trump has to stay because the "deplorables" have no other choice. They can't vote for Ryan or Clinton who took their jobs and won't vote for Sanders who denies their values. I am sure that the Republican party will split and the Ryan party will join Clinton while the Trump party will stand on its own, with a clear message of social conservatism and economic protectionalism. Ryan and his buddies denouncing Trump isn't opportunist behavior. They see now that their position cannot hold and they must choose between their trade beliefs and their social beliefs. Those who choose pro-life over free trade are campaigning for Trump. The others are negotiating their way into the Clinton party.

I'm not sure what will happen with the Democrats, especially after Clinton absorbed the Ryan people. While in Europe having a Conservative, a Socialist and a Liberal party is common, the winner takes it all election system of the US doesn't allow a third strong party. There cannot be a Sanders party and a Clinton party at the same time and after the Ryan-conservatives are absorbed, Sanders-like Dems will have no chance to win the Dem pre-election. They face the same choice as Ryan: having to choose between their economic beliefs and their social beliefs. It's clear that for Sanders himself and Warren the choice was made: their pro-woman, pro-LGBT beliefs won over their pro-middle class beliefs. For the supporters, it's not sure, especially if the next Trump candidate won't be an obnoxious figure like "The Donald". It is possible that millennials will vote en masse for the Trump party in 2020.

Of course this is still true if Trump wins. Just the "Trump Party" will keep the "Republican" name and infrastructure.


Anonymous said...

It can't be free trade when one side (eg, China) depress their currency and keep their workers as virtual slaves. That is what destroys the middle class. "Against free trade" is not accurate. Free trade is fine as long as all start equal and by the same rules. When Trump complains about NAFTA he is not complaining about Canada.

Anonymous said...

They vote for Trump because he doesn't take their jobs?

You think he is building his hotels etc from US produced goods? You think his goods on sale are produced in the USA?

Trump is as much a man of principles and "the people" as Nigel Farage is....and, people who think an ex-investment banker represents them or their interests are as much in denial as people who think someone who outsources jobs to China will bring jobs back to the USA.

Free Trade has massively benefitted the USA, other countries than China exist. Deals made in Africa which mean it is cheaper to buy imported tomatoes than home-grown ones in countries there do not benefit those countries. Trump will do nothing to equalize trade, he knows it benefits him and his businesses, and those of his friends.

I don't see him pushing for stopping those free trade deals. What he means is "Someone is actually standing up to us internationally, and we cannot have that".
He won't follow through with China, they own a lot of the US debt, and they also provide all the cheap products people love. Unless you realistically think people will start paying 30-40% more for goods across the board in the name of supporting their own people?

The problem with the USA is that it is dependent on low skilled manufacturing, which other nations have passed along the economic chain a while back.

Hanging onto your coal mining in the 21st century is beating a dead horse, but, telling people you will keep it is easier than telling them you will retrain them.
He would do far more for the US economy if he promised to retrain everyone into 21st century jobs, but, that might lead to more income equality, and, god knows we cant have that, right?

99smite said...

Trump is not pro-capitalism in the sense that capitalism means "free market" with global rules for every market participant. He has profited enormously from protected markets, his building projects were underfunded and ended in bankrupcy several times, leaving a lot of workers and small entrepreneurs without pay...

What we experience here is a crisis of this predator capitalism. The financial sector was saved by the governments without holding the bank leaders responsible for the crisis.

Scientific, economic analysis of behaviour of asset managers show that they acted "rightfully" within the system.... Only with devastating consequences...

Our governments have failed to put a legislation into action that will prevent such consequences... Right now, we are steering towards the next financial crisis... Real estate prices are sky rocketing again due to all-time low interest rates, while these low interest rates prevent decent profits. Assurance companies are struggling with that problem as well, money is no linger invested in RL economy but in asset management/financial products which are purely speculative...
Bets about the RL economic performance of large companies outvalue the business value of these companies by factor 10!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is also a problem for the english economy, it is heavily dependent on speculation...
These business models have no realistic future as there will be a european financial transaction taxation soon...

The system of interest rates favor the rich and ALWAYS lead to a distribution gap, and the "poor" become poorer and the "rich" become richer.
If incomes from large wealths would be as heavily taxated as labour work, we would see a very different picture in our societies...

maxim said...

You might find this interesting:

Also i have long considered that we need to move from a 2d political matrix to a 3d political cube, adding collectivist / individualist axis.

For example, this test constantly places me in the "left-wing liberal camp", but you won't find me agreeing on a whole lot with left-wing liberal individualists.

Gevlon said...

@99smite: I'm not sure non-predator capitalism can exist and this is the point of Trump and Sanders.

@maxim: you don't agree with what they say. You agree with what they do. Hint: they lie a lot.

Slawomir Chmielewski said...

Considering that almost all of the labels you use are incorrect, the whole article is pretty much worhtless.

Open (internationally) market is not open market. Sure, they remove tarriffs and then add so many certificates, quality checks, industry standards and other red tape that only big companies can trade. Look at trade deals which run into thousands of pages, full of exclusions, checks and balances, special privileges and requirements.

China is so damn cheap mostly as the result of lower taxes, tarrifs and social contributions, actual salaries in urban China are nowhere near as cheap as they were 20 years ago. When you tax energy at 80% or more and then make your citizens use solar that costs twice as much as Chineses coal plants, there won't be any competition, ever.

Both republicans and democrats, irrespectible of their names, are heavy socialists, with Democrats leaning towards Marxism and Republicans towards NationalSocialism. Both ideologies are insanely inefficient and dangerous. The only real conservatists and open market party are Libertarians, but every time they present facts the liberal media start screaming emotional bullshit. Most people are M&S, so the libertarians never get votes as a result.

If you let children vote, do not be surprised by extended holidays, free ice cream parlours and mandatory holiday parties - all the things children love so much.
If you let women vote, do not be surprised by welfare programs, large governments and forced equality - all the things women love so much.

Luobote Kong said...

Two party systems - as in the US and UK inevitably result in each of the two parties becoming a coalition of interests. The most successful party being the one that ticks the broadest range of boxes. Historically, this has been classified in broadly Left and Right political terms. But as you note, that consensus has started to break down. Free Trade is increasingly incompatible with 'traditional' values. In the UK the right of centre conservatives are torn between leaving Europe and the benefits of free trade with Europe. The two positions are not really compatible but neither are any other realignments with elements of the left which has similar dilemmas. Essentially the old established ruling parties either need to fundamentally change or more likely they will be replaced by new organising principles that can build coalitions. I don't think Trump is particularly inclusive so while the groundswell he represents might live on, I can't see he has any future if he doesn't win this election.

Eric-Wubbo Lameijer said...

Gevlon, not having read all your posts, have you ever encountered Jonathan Haidt's book "The Righteous Mind?" In it, Haidt states that there are six moral dimensions (liberty, care, proportionality, sancitity, authority and loyalty), but roughly things can be somewhat flattened onto the 'big 5'-dimensions of Openness (which correlates negatively with disgust) and Agreeableness.

Basically this would also lead to a quadrant, with the dimensions "rationality" and "care"; traditional (and nice) Christians, bit like the Flanders character from "The Simpsons", may be against 'dirty' things like LGBT rights and abortion, while supporting social benefits and opposing freedom of trade as it leads to job loss. "Libertarians" generally lack disgust, but also score low on care. Free trade is okay, since it makes everyone richer. And those who become poorer? Survival of the fittest!

Low care and low openness will lead to typical conservative, gun-toting "rednecks" (of whatever the prejudiced term is), high care and high openness may lead to kind of upper-middle-class socialist parties, which may split (or give rise to another party) whether they sacrifice care for liberty/openness, or liberty for care.

So Kennedy may have been high on 'openness' and care, but prioritized care. Clinton may also like both, but prioritizes 'openness' (possibly in part because big companies finance her campaign, the poor don't). This indeed leaves the 'care' position open, which Trump is handily able to jump into, especially as he is less dependent on external campaign funding than Clinton is. I'm not sure how much Trump really 'cares', but I guess his openness may indeed be genuinely low (or his disgust - respect for sanctity high).

In any case "people before money" may symbolize the care dimension, "LGBT-rights" and such openness/lack of disgust.

Anonymous said...

Liberals are good at diagnosing the problems, yet when offered the solution from "their side" (Sanders) they rejected him in favor of Clinton. Even after removing superdelegates stuff the votes would still elect Clinton. So all liberal talk about economic change is now proven to be talk only.

This leaves only Trump as the least-worst choice for blue collars who want some change. Saying "but he doesn't represent your interest" is irrelevant, since liberals also rejected the one represented their interest. Michael Moore explained this recently, you can look for the video.

Chad Masterson said...

You've got sort of the right idea but I really think you're overestimating how genuine Trump is on protectionism, I think the closest he's ever gotten to mentioning actual protectionist policy is proposing to get rid of the h-1b visa and he immediately backpedaled on that harder than he's ever backpedaled on anything after he brought it up during a primary debate.

He really is just a nationalist who would have no problems implementing exactly the agenda that Ryan sets out for him. It's why all of the unions except for the police union support Hillary Clinton.

I think a much more likely scenario than any sort of party split is that the Republican party will continue to grow more and more radical as the base keeps knocking out anybody who even smells like they might not toe the party line completely, while losing a lot of their political power as demographic shifts (and a possible un-jerrymandering of the house by a left leaning supreme court) continue to make it harder and harder for them to win elections. In a generation or two they might swing back towards the middle after their hard-line nationalist base dies off.

I do think you're right though that there's a definite hunger out there for genuinely protectionist economic policies that isn't being met by either party on the national level but I really do think people are overblowing how important a plank that is in Trump's platform, it's just a convenient political cudgel (Oh what? people don't like NAFTA? I'm going to do the opposite and do it so good folks you won't believe it!") for him not an actual policy position and basically everybody knows it including his base who just like that he's "going after Hillary" on something. For the most part the disenfranchised white population that lost their factory jobs are well... disenfranchised and most of them don't vote and the ones that do tend to vote democrat.

As it stands after this election the "sanders wing" of the democratic party will have a little bit more power after he made a surprisingly good showing in the primaries, and hey maybe in 8 years we'll have a president Warren presiding over a blue senate and house, it's not the craziest thing to imagine.

maxim said...

I don't find myself agreeing with what they do, either.

Provi Miner said...

And there is the problem you narrowed it down to economics (which it always is at the end) every quadrant exists because of economics the social crap is just cover. The real loser are those that don't disguise the economics: the Pauls or the Libertarians.

It is sad that people will vote their pocket book but only if they have social cover.