Saturday, October 10, 2015


Since 9/11, party discipline has broken down, globally.
  • Blair was ousted by Browne.
  • Obama stole Hillary's chance in 2008, and Bernie Sanders is doing the same in 2016.
  • In Australia - since 2010, there has been a series of intra-party coups with Rudd being overthrown by Gillard and then Rudd returning the favor followed by the election of the other party's leader - Abbott who has just been tossed by his caucus for Turnbull.
  • Marine Le Pen,  the most popular politician in France and leader if the National Front, recently tossed her undisciplined and antisemitic father out of the party.
  • The Labour Party in Britain, just elected as leader an extreme left-winger - who has promised to undo Blairism: Jeremy Corbyn; this after a very nasty intra-party contest. Many long-time labourites think this could be the end of the Labour party.
  • In the House of Representatives, the right-wing base of the GOP has basically overthrown the Speaker AND his heir apparent.
I think these instances are similar and reveal something about the political era we are presently living through: the age of global catastrophes, some real and some imagined - but all exerting powerful effects on our politics and of course our lives.

In simplest terms, the last 15 years have been filled with horrific events which portend worse events and which politicians have relentlessly campaigned on, and the mass media has hysterically reported on year after year.

This hysteria about impending crises and catastrophes is why there is less party discipline and more intra-party fighting all over the world.

In the USA, the left feels that we are about-us to suffer an imminent global climate catastrophe, that black men are under systematic and nearly genocidal attack by cops, that women are paid 75% of what men earn, that there is a rape epidemic on our college campuses, that the 1% have pillaged the economy, that we have a mass murder epidemic fueled by weak gun laws, that voter ID laws are a massive and racist attempt to disenfranchise millions of blacks and Hispanics, and the GOP will take away your right to abort your pregnancy.

And they say if you vote for the GOP, then the end is near. And their followers believe them even though NONE are true:
  1. The global climate is stable the last 18 years despite the fact that CO2 has doubled.
  2. Black men are mostly killed by other black men and not by cops - whose presence in the ghettos of the USA actually reduces crimes against blacks.
  3. Job for job, women and men make the same salaries in the USA. The oft-cited figure of 75% comes from comparing what all women make and what all men make and comparing the two numbers - but this doesn't take into account that men and women tend to work at different types of jobs with different levels of average income.
  4. The rape epidemic statistics appear high - as if 20% of women who go to college are raped - only because the surveys which have generated this high number define rape down so that any unwanted advance is tantamount to rape.
  5. US Census figures reveal that there has not been an increase in so-called income inequality.
  6. There has been a decrease in mass murders in the USA, not an increase even though there are more guns than ever.
  7. Voter ID laws target fraud, not blacks or Hispanics - who are just as capable of getting photo ID as whites. And, despite what leftists claim, there is lots if voter fraud in the USA, almost all by the left.
  8. Abortion rights are limited in Enlightened left-of-center Europe to the first 12 weeks, but when GOP politicians suggest limiting it to 20 they're called fascist chauvinist pigs.
But the facts - all linked to above - do not matter: leftist voters believe the leftist spin and think the right has put us on the edge of an abyss. The constant harping, by leftist politicians and their allies in the media, on these "looming catastrophes" has created a feverish urgency, and this is what fuels the intra-party divisions on the left. It is tougher to get people to toe the party line when they believe so much is at risk RIGHT NOW. The outsider, socialist Bernie Sanders, appeals to the urgency more than the party's heir apparent, Hillary Clinton. And Biden can only stop Bernie if Biden runs with the radical Warren.

A similar urgency exists on the right, but - unlike the bogeymen of the left - these urgencies are real:
  • Iran really is a growing global threat.
  • Global jihadist terror really is a global threat.
  • Putin really is a growing global threat.
  • Our national debt really is a growing threat.
  • Our economy and the global economy really are teetering toward recession, barely propped up by central bank's moves that are all having diminishing returns.
  • Organized disrespect for police has led to a lack of law and order, and this is leading to a resurgence of violent crime.
  • Unchecked immigration without assimilation really is lowering wages and increasing social disintegration and reducing social cohesion.
Most people sense these are true; they don't need politicians or media talking-heads to tell them. And they know what needs to be done:
  • more defense spending and a more assertive foreign policy which is more supportive of our allies; 
  • spending cuts; tax cuts; reduction of regulations; 
  • support for our policemen, border patrol and all law enforcement; 
  • and control of our borders.
People on the right see real, urgent problems with simple and principled solutions, and the fact that these simple and principled solutions have not been fought for by the GOP leadership has made the right extremely frustrated and it is this frustration which has led to the intra-party battles on the right.

If these real problems are not solved - and solved soon, the global implications are catastrophic because without an economically sound USA capable of, and willing to, lead the free world, the free world is doomed to fail under the pressure from global jihad, Iran, Putin and China.

To sum up, for the last 15 years we have faced continual stress: 9/11, the crash, the never-ending recession, Iran, ISIS, Putin annexing Crimea... 15 years of anxiety, and as a result there is global desperation in the world today.

And on the left, this has been sublimated into a desperate fear of phony crises, fears fomented by the leadership of the left which has created the hysteria on the left which has fueled the intra-party battles which threatens their coalition.

The intra-party battles on the right are fomented by the grass roots and are based on a correct reading of the real dangers facing us here and now... dangers we must start attacking as soon as possible or they will surely become catastrophes for us and our allies.

We can and should start this new offensive by electing a new and effective Speaker of the House.

UPDATE: via Glenn Reynolds, academic study reveals that there's more polarization on the left than on the right.

I am arguing above that this is caused by the hysteria fomented by the left's leadership and the mass media they dominate.

The left needs to deny that the real crises are real, (and that the public should only pay attention the ones they harangue about), in order to maintain the belief among their followers that their agenda is the only effective one.

The sad truth is that leftist policies have never succeeded to solve the problems leftists focus on even when they were real. Now the problems they claim their policies can solve are not even real, and therefore, nothing good can possibly come from them. At best they can only be a waste of resources and time, two things we do not have enough of anymore...