We have officially become the election cycle and the spectacle of North American’s non-parliamentary, English speaking democracy has begun. For me this is a time of both extreme bemusement and unending frustration, but at least I watch from a seat abroad. For there is a populist anxiety a blaze in the states, and you can smell its rancid leak through most of the media-saturated world. In many ways, my “resting asshole face” will be on nearly flashing constantly in the general direction of pundits with there normal panoply of selection, confirmation bias, bold assertion mistaken for argument, and ideological tell spinning. The various chatrooms and forums will be filled with screams of “cuck” met with screams of “problematic” as the various ideological hacks of Western world–for even British newspapers seem to make hey misleading the public about American politics now–as I slowly think that the reactionary Nicolás Gómez Dávila and the ultra-leftist Amadeo Bordiga were both right about one thing: the immaturity of anything with the pretense to call itself democracy.
Indeed, you think nations would find a cheaper way to out the worse amongst us. This morning I slept through the “exciting” Iowa Caucuses because I am far closer to Greenwich mean time than any American has a right to be. I woke up to cries of Ted Cruz winning the Iowa caucus being a sign of… I don’t know what. You mean the evangelical pandering candidate won the state whose primary organization method favors local on the grassroots people-moving? No, you don’t say, churches are great at that as you might have noticed. That might explain why Huckabee and Santorum won the last two caucuses. You know, the two people that if Richard Dawkins stopped senilely complaining about feminists he would see as public enemies number 1 and 2 in the US.
What is abnormal about that is how normal it is.
So the Republican base continues its ideological civil war but past trends of history are past trends. Or, as Bruce Carlson would say, my history can beat up your politics. (Except when it can’t). Nate Silver and co have moved from hard nosed polling towards over favoring priors in ways that have made them slow to predict things. Nicholas Nassim Taleb gets the last laugh most of the time, but on this, it was completely predictable. That said, Silver is right here:
The actual results in Iowa weren’t that far off from our forecasts there, however, since our model correctly had Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio projected to overperform the polls and Donald Trump projected to underperform his, along with a close margin on the Democratic side.
The more unpredictable development is the civil war between “It’s My Turn” and “Larry Sanders Doesn’t Seem to Understand What Socialism Actually Means.” The polls are head-to-head, and already that are accusations of Clinton vote rigging. Well, if some of her operatives are caucus-rigging, they really don’t cheat well given the votes may as well be decided by a coin toss. Still, it is important to remember that Sanders, even in Obama years, would have been seen as a candidate like Dennis Kucinich or Mike Gravel just an election cycle ago, and traditionally only got the percentage currently afforded to somewhat O’Malley or Jim Webb. While I tend to feel about Hilary Clinton the way Doug Henwood does (and I feel about Bill the way Hitchens did), I predict some hardcore Bernbot interference.
I also predict more lawsuits about Ted Cruz not being “natural born.” That commie.
What we are seeing though is punditry around disillusionment of American democracy. Until the 1990s disillusionment, on national campaigns, investment in masochistic rite of voting remains high. People will celebrate this even though this election also indicates that people are fed-up, they are fed-up with being fed-up, and gosh darnit, they are going to… totally take it some more. Let’s give it the old college try. We can always try again when our hopes are dashed on the rocks of hope.
Yet, there really is a great chaos under heaven, let’s see who wastes it. In Democracy, don’t get sad, get machiavellian. If you don’t, don’t cry when you get more of the same Bourgeois-bootlicking managerial class twiddle. At least let it be either from people who write well or understand statistics if we are doomed to that fate.