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Donald Trump and the Political Philosophers

Two volumes, over 650 pages of text, and 33 essays, in which academics channel eminent political thinkers from before Aristotle to after Max Weber for their thoughts on Trump and his supporters—there’s a lot to digest in the collections titled Trump and Political Philosophy.[1] Having done my readerly duty, I offer a classificatory framework, with some observations and comments interspersed. Then I draw a few conclusions. Prompted by the arresting combination in the titles (“Trump and political philosophy”), my guiding question as I read was, how best to think about Trump and contemporary America? Can political philosophy help? If so, how? The answer was, yes, but it depends.

In these essays we learn how not to do it, as well as better ways to go about it.  Not all august political thinkers are equally apropos, and not all of the academic mediators were able to avoid partisan studium et ira. More contributors to the second volume crossed the threshold of plausible analysis than did those in the first.  To some extent that may be a function of the difference in their assigned topics. The first volume—subtitled “leadership, statesmanship, and tyranny”—focused centrally on Trump, the second (“patriotism, cosmopolitanism, and civic virtue”) focused on his supporters and on the American context that begat him and them. Trump is a lightening rod and nerves of steel are required to keep one’s wits in considering him. Not all possess that quality.  

Another difficulty is that this division of topics was not, and could not be, strictly observed.  Those who think that Trump is a racist and xenophobe believe that many of his supporters are too, while those who find in Trump a defender of genuine American values paint his supporters in very different colors. The distinction therefore is more for reasons of writerly convenience, than dictated by the complex subject matter. The editors themselves suggest keeping in mind a three-element configuration: Trump; “Trumpism”; Trumpists. My suggestion will be that Aristotle and Lincoln are the most helpful thinkers for analyzing the full Trump phenomenon. That their joint guidance does not predetermine the result is indicated by the fact that supporters and detractors of Trump appeal to both authorities. I will try to extract from that awkward situation what seem to me certain sine qua non’s of credible analysis.  

Criss-Crossing Classifications

In their judgments of Trump, the essays somewhat mirror the views of the American public, although as one might suspect (given that the contributors are academics), in the aggregate they are tilted much more to the portside than the general public. On the Left side of the spectrum are contributors who see in Trump a racist and xenophobe, a white nationalist, with equally benighted supporters. They see in him someone who is a thoroughly vile man, with character flaws that would disqualify from decent society, much less the presidency. His attitude towards truth combines the sophist’s exploitation of the prejudices of his audience with the tyrant’s mad claim to determine truth itself. In volume one devoted to Trump the man, the candidate, and early political leader, Confucius, Thucydides, Plato, Xenophon, Lincoln, Carl Schmitt and others are adduced to add intellectual clout to these charges and characterizations.

On the Right are two sorts of analysts: pro-Trump and anti-Trump, each dividing into subgroups. Among the pro’s are the (almost) unqualifiedly and the qualifiedly so.  Another division among the pro’s is those who defend the man directly and those who do so contextually—that is, as the lesser of two evils. Among the anti’s are those who are adamantly against him and those who are more mixed in their negative assessment. On the right, the pro’s invoke Aristotle, Hamilton, and Lincoln to appreciate Trump, while the anti’s invoke Aristotle and Lincoln to criticize him. The Republican divide between Trump supporters and Anti-Trumpists is thus reproduced at a rarefied intellectual level.   

Both sides are aware of the need to justify invoking these august points of reference, more so with Aristotle, but the American giants as well. As a result, one hears about the relevance of historical perspective and philosophical learning. In some important respects, this is borne out. I will speak of these at the end. But the significant disagreements in judgment dividing these learned writers who appeal to the same authorities also indicate what the medievals knew: that Authority has a wax nose. Or more seriously, that learning needs to be complemented by other intellectual and moral qualities, dispassion and judgment.   

Still, in this internecine debate we can recognize that the right has its canon of authorities, one different from the left. When a member of the Left (John Burt of Brandeis) seeks to apply Abraham Lincoln to today, he reads Lincoln through Kantian and Rawlsian lenses. That distorts Lincoln, and in this volume it distorts Trump. “Mutual recognition” is not equal natural rights and “multiculturalism” is not “Toward a more perfect Union.” And merely applying them critically to Trump is a petitio principii.

Other criteria make for other sorts of categorization. A number of contributors make no serious effort to understand Trump or his supporters as they understand themselves.  They practice eisegesis and projection. Their “analyses” therefore are models of tendentiousness, briefs for the prosecution. In reading them, we learn more about their (usually binary) thinking than the contemporary subject of their essays. As one might expect, most in this category are found on the left, but the right has its derelicts as well.     

How do I know that partisanship and passion distort their vision? The quickest way to see this is to juxtapose their denigrations and demonizations of Trump and his supporters with fair-minded critics, not to mention defenders. The omissions and biases of the denigrators cannot be denied against the fuller record brought into evidence by the latter. The key is the phrase “the fuller record.” In general, where there is an aporia to be deciphered (say, how Trump’s intemperate tweets and his considerate speeches go together), partisans cut the Gordian knot, either fully for or fully against. Complexity and contradiction are not allowed to exist or to provoke thought.

Leslie Rubin—to whom the first volume is dedicated—pens the golden words in her (largely critical) essay: “To be fair, … .” Just above, I indicated one baseline of fairness:  the full range of Trumpian discourse. To that one could add: treating his supporters as citizens with understandable objections to the status quo. In other words, an intelligible political offer accepted by those who evaluated the offer, the offerer, and the alternatives.  These elementary propositions, alas, are too often honored in the breech than the investigation (more so in the first volume, less so in the second). One Trump critic from the Right, Middlebury College’s Murray Dry, ends his Lincolnian cudgeling of Trump by chastising those who voted for him: “The presidency is too important an office for a protest vote.” Professor Dry, however, does not deign to mention that Trump’s opponent was Hillary Clinton. That may have affected the electoral calculus of many.

Thus, B.J. Dobski gets threshold credit for the following nuanced observation:

Trump, in some of his more public statements on behalf of national sovereignty, candidly denounces those calls by ‘citizens of the globe’ to set aside particular national loyalties and embrace a rootless cosmopolitanism. American advantage, not airy abstraction, is Trump’s calling card. But Trump’s more articulate defenses of national sovereignty often get muddled by the nativistic tones of his outbursts on social media and at political rallies.

Here is ambiguity that one can credit, as well as prompting thought:  How do they go together? Do they?

Not surprisingly, his defenders here largely ignore or downplay the tweets and slurs and focus upon Trump’s considered statements and speeches. In so doing, they bring to light important substantive content ignored by his port and starboard opponents, but they also decline to make a whole of his discourse (which means, of his mind and his character).  Aristotle taught that the rhetorical triangle includes a speaker’s ethos, or character, as well as his various forms of speech. (The third element is pathos, the affective response of the audience.) We will return to this point.

Nonetheless, in this company of academic analysts, the defenders of Trump provide the necessary and useful service of displaying just how tendentious and unjust the unmitigated defamers of Trump and his supporters are. Their tone-deafness, their partisan thinking, is made clear when brought up against speeches he actually gave, as well as well-disposed exegesis thereof. Neither is the whole truth, but the defenders belie the attackers more than the attackers score points against the defenders. What one finally sees is that even academics are partisans and moved by hopes and fears as much as dispassionate judgment. Perhaps not a surprising conclusion.

Aristotle and Lincoln

To this point I have probably reinvented the wheel (if not stirred a hornet’s nest).  Let me draw a few lessons from the better essays, whether pro-or-against. As I said earlier, Aristotle and Lincoln stand out as the most helpful eminent thinkers for orienting oneself toward the Trump phenomenon. Several essays in both volumes invoke and apply Aristotelian teaching. Leslie Rubin enlists him to think about demagogy, and about the middle class in its health and its decline; Ken Masugi invokes the Stagirite on rhetoric and on the art of politics, which is to combine the noble and the necessary, duty and interest, in a common good of civic friendship; while Carson Holloway applies Aristotelian teaching about disgruntled, because dishonored, parts of the polity in order to understand Trump’s appeal and supporters.   

There are good reasons for returning to Aristotle. As an ancient, he doesn’t have a dog in our fights and he can help us escape presentism and partisanship. As the political philosopher, he raises our sights, so we can see have a broader, and deeper, perspective on today.  To begin with, he defined man as the political animal, because the logos-animal, joined with his fellows in discussing the advantageous and the just. So he turns our attention to the speech of political agents. Moreover, he provided expert, one could say, classical, guidance for analyzing such speech in his Rhetoric. As I indicated earlier, he observed that effective political speech was a triangle involving the speaker’s discourse, his character (ethos), and his audience’s reception, especially affective (pathos), but eventuating in action.  

Thus, we have a first template for understanding the Trump phenomenon. Campaign speeches, tweets, and considered speeches all enter into his logos or logoi. They all must be taken into account, and they must placed into a whole that gives them proper emphasis or de-emphasis. “Seriously, but not literally” is the supporters’ reading of many egregiously offensive comments, while his opponents assign the decisive truth to “the Mexican judge” (who wasn’t Mexican) or “I alone can solve” (a tweet-phrase found in the title of an essay [in the first volume] written by Feisal G. Mohamed, a venomous opponent, who reads Trump through Schmittian lenses, that is, as a “commissarial dictator”). Both have to deal with the charge of “fake news” directed at the MSM (examples of which are too numerous to list), but also at Trump himself (ditto).  

Not surprisingly, it is two Trump supporters, one a qualified supporter (Arthur Milikh), the other rather fulsome (Ken Masugi), who pay the most attention to the content of Trump’s speeches.  They carefully display the central elements of his normative understanding of America. For those for whom “nationalism” necessarily means “white nationalism” this will be a bracing challenge. Trump speaks in the idiom of an older America. To be sure, it has been subject to root-and-branch critique by progressives and others. For them, citizenship, the nation, patriotism, sovereignty, and so forth need to be put in quotation marks, radically critiqued, and radically redefined. This difference of understanding is the cause of great malentendus and animosity between the parties; it is also the debate that political philosophy should clarify and, perhaps, adjudicate. Hence the threshold obligation to bring Trump’s view of America and the world to light by attending to its considered expression. Aristotle took political speech in its natural sense, then deepened it, Milikh and Masugi follow that lead; we can too.

Aristotle of course was not a naïf, he linked speech with character: the latter is essential to the credibility of the former. Trump’s character was, and is, a major partisan bone of contention. Two anti-Trump essayists here characterize Trump’s as a compound of “ignorance, greed, and intemperance” and of the sophist’s pandering to the démos and the tyrant’s hubristic claim to determine the truth. It (almost) goes without saying that they deem him a racist and xenophobe, leading fellow “white nationalists” to a possible “regime change.” This, of course, is an extreme, and extremely partisan, take on his character. It does not go without saying (except in certain quarters). Other assessments of his character are certainly possible.  

On the other end of the political spectrum, the decisive facts for his supporters and defenders were that he is an American patriot and that he understands the concerns of those ignored and denigrated by globalist elites and bien-pensant opinion—Hillary Clinton’s “deplorables.” The other parts of his character—his past womanizing, his shady dealings, his habitual hyperbole and lying, his incuriosity, his second nature to counterpunch whenever attacked, all that was secondary. In the case of the last trait, it was a positive in today’s dire circumstances, when the MSM are ranged against not only him but his supporters, along with the Democratic Party and cultural elites. In a context construed this way, any combatant will be given the benefit of the doubt—of many doubts, in fact.

With the last point we have arrived at the final element of Aristotle’s rhetorical triangle, the audience, in this case, the receptive and responsive audience. In their second introductory essay, the editors usefully distinguish between the audience’s rational assessment of their situation and of Trump’s rhetoric and a passionate or emotional one.  Aristotle would counsel the need to consider both dimensions. More broadly, he would observe that, save the rare noble-minded individual, effective political rhetoric has a dual appeal, to nobility as well as necessity, to the duty that tempers and elevates self-interest. Mere idealism will be ineffectual, while mere interest will demean, as well as block the path to any common good.

Perhaps the worst, though, is interest cast in terms of idealism. This dubious combination seemed to many to characterize the Democratic party’s identity-politics, as well as cultural and corporate elite’s diktats. Trump’s supporters preferred his older, more straightforward, articulation of American idealism and interests.  

To simply say that in this they were duped by a huckster, or blinded by economic anxiety, or, worse, followed a xenophobic Pied Piper, as a number of essayists do, starts low and doesn’t even entertain higher or defensible motives; it thus reveals more of the one who imputes such characteristics than it does its maligned target. Aristotelian political philosophy in contrast begins by making the best case of, and for, the partisans in their disputes, before showing their limits. In his essay, Carson Holloway performed this Aristotelian role, just as Milikh and Masugi did for Trump. Despite her impeccable Aristotelian credentials, when Leslie Rubin begins with demagoguery to understand Trump, she doesn’t start where, or as, Aristotle would.

Lincoln, one could say, was an Aristotelian in his bones. Speeches mattered, they were among the highest forms of political action, while other forms, including political organization (establishing the Republican Party) and, ultimately, military action, were essential as well. The context and lodestars of action were important too. For Lincoln, the relevant context was the ominous advance of pro-slavery sentiment in the country and the lodestars were the Constitution and the Declaration, properly understood. In these areas too, partisans differed significantly in judging Trump.

His opponents judged him to be a constitutional ignoramus as well as a budding fascist.  Even Trump’s supporters had reservations about his understanding of the principles and structures of government. After giving Trump a Hamiltonian thumb’s up for his understanding of commercial greatness’s contribution to the strength and well-being of the republic, Arthur Milikh wondered if Trump sees its necessary link to republican self-rule. His essay therefore ends up being a qualified endorsement, a tutorial, and a caveat: Trump needs to read his Publius.   

This acknowledgement of constitutional illiteracy on Trump’s part does not mean or entail that he is a dictator or tyrant, actual or potential, but it does forebode problems of effective governance, not to mention deficiencies in explaining the legitimacy and propriety of his actions and aims. Similarly, unlike Lincoln who worked tirelessly at party organization and created the Republican Party to resist slavery, Trump was an outsider to the party that elected him. He had no standing in, or with, the party, and cooperation with its (in many ways rejected) leaders would, predictably, be a problem. Combined with the character formed by his free-wheeling business career, his extra-party status would mean that he was singularly unequipped for executive tasks such as oversight and would lack the institutional knowledge to tap into party talent.

His supporters either ignored these things or had fantasies in their regard.  In their eyes what mattered was elsewhere and was more important. He fought against political correctness (often offensively), he validated their straightforward patriotism, he recognized and privileged citizenship over other statuses, he extolled the nation in the face of, and against, globalism and internationalism. He understood them and he was fighting back for them.  

In this vein, he talked about “draining the swamp” and about “taking back” control. In other words, he appealed to the experience of ordinary Americans that they were excluded from consideration by their purported “representatives” and “betters” and denied a voice in determining the direction and meaning of the country. Their country.  Their country. Constitutional niceties therefore were secondary. Both parties’ leadership had demonstrated that they didn’t count. Here was a life-vest, a champion.      

So, what might Lincoln say today? First of all, I’m struck by what he couldn’t say. In his day, he could appeal to the Declaration, to “the faith of the fathers,” and to the mysterious ways of the Almighty. He could appeal to the Constitution, properly interpreted. In our day, natural rights are largely a dead-letter and Christianity, a source of division, not union, humility, and repentance. For a determinate part of the country the Constitution is “living,” and for another it is “in exile.” To what can one appeal today to bring together Americans as Americans?

Can the Political Philosophers Teach Us Anything?

As for what he might say about the Trump phenomenon, here one must necessarily be speculative (and be aware of partisan selectiveness). In this collection, one could compare and contrast the pro-and-con essays that invoke Lincoln, and judge better and worse applications, if not a clear winner. What both groups agree on is that Lincoln masterfully dealt with “the crisis of a house divided.” Our house is quite divided today. Trump, however, is far from the sole or prime cause, he is a symptom and galvanizer of existing divisions and tensions. And he will pass, whether in 2020 or 2024. A Lincolnian would therefore say that the deeper contemporary need is for a credible Americanness and for a statesman and party that credibly articulate it. I don’t know if such is possible today, but it certainly is a great desideratum.

For its part, political philosophy could make (at least) two contributions. It could conduct a review of the constitutive American debates over national identity from the Founding to today. America, one will (re)discover, is just such an ongoing debate. That may be grounds for hope. Furthermore, in an Aristotelian spirit, it could lay out the best cases for, and the limits of, today’s major partisan views, and remind each party of the necessity and nobility of civic friendship.  

Given the hornet’s nest which is contemporary America, however, anyone speaking to the partisans about such things would have to embody the lessons of Aristotle’s Rhetoric and model himself after Lincoln. Alas, given these utopian requirements, I strongly suspect that political philosophy’s main task for the foreseeable future will be to analyze and chronicle the ongoing division and fracturing of America. I only hope that it doesn’t lead to the bloody dissolution of 1776 or the bloodier dissolution of 1861.

[1] The full list in Trump and Political Philosophy includes Confucius, Thucydides, Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, Plutarch, Alfarabi, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Shakespeare, Rousseau, Publius, Kant, Burke, Tocqueville, Hegel, Lincoln, Nietzsche, Weber, Schmitt, Adorno, Horkheimer, Gramsci, Strauss, Kojève, and Deleuze.

Reader Discussion

Law & Liberty welcomes civil and lively discussion of its articles. Abusive comments will not be tolerated. We reserve the right to delete comments - or ban users - without notification or explanation.

on June 17, 2019 at 10:18:51 am

Absolutely this is the most accurate and interested articles regarding the schizophreniform President Donald Trump!

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Dr Mangi Mfunga Mangi
on June 17, 2019 at 10:22:34 am

Have Fun in The Resistance!
Google>>> Etsy Trump Three Dollar Bills

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Jim Polichak from Long Island
on June 17, 2019 at 10:30:41 am

Yet, one should point out that over the years, it has been demonstrated that "spontaneous remissions" account for a larger percentage of *cures* for this ailment than does psychiatric intervention.
Perhaps, the Resistance should cease.

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gargamel rules smurfs
on June 17, 2019 at 10:46:51 am

Lincoln irreparably damaged the American Constitutional Order when he destroyed the founding concept of state sovereignty. If the ground of the contemporary dichotomy does indeed lie between 'progressive globalists' and republican Americans Trump's election was a response to that insult.

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Robert Cheeks
on June 17, 2019 at 15:34:42 pm

“I alone can solve” (a tweet-phrase….)

[Trump’s] defenders here largely ignore or downplay the tweets and slurs and focus upon Trump’s considered statements and speeches.

So we might be tempted to dismiss Trump’s megalomaniacal “I along can solve” tweet—except that it echoed his megalomaniacal “I alone can fix it” teleprompter-aided speech accepting the Republican’s nomination for president. In short, megalomania is not some fleeting aspect of Trump's psyche; it's dug in.

His opponents judged him to be a … budding fascist….

Feisal G. Mohamed, a venomous opponent, … reads Trump through Schmittian lenses, that is, as a “commissarial dictator”….

[C]onstitutional illiteracy on Trump’s part does not mean or entail that he is a dictator or tyrant, actual or potential….

[For Trump’s supporters,] Constitutional niceties therefore were secondary. Both parties’ leadership had demonstrated that they didn’t count. Here was a life-vest, a champion.

But where people raise up a leader and regard constitutional niceties as secondary—that is, embracing gerrymandering; voter suppression; manipulation of the census; foreign interference; claims that “the people” will insist that he remain in office, Constitutional process be damned; etc.—why does that not justify concerns about autocratic proclivities?

[T]he decisive facts for his supporters and defenders were that [Trump] is an American patriot….

As demonstrated by Trump’s conspicuous gallantry in uniform? His public service in civilian elected and appointed office? His history of charitable works and volunteerism? His deep study of the nation’s history, laws, and foundational documents? His repeated exhortations of national unity and refusal to engage in destructive tribalism? The honor he has shown to the nation’s heroes such as gold star families and POWs? His dogged refusal to do business beyond US borders? His insistence on hiring only US citizens, and to sell only American-made goods, in his businesses? His dutiful practice of paying his taxes?

Or is the claim demonstrated by Trump’s demagoguery—his willingness to kiss flags (literally) and exhort followers to take out their frustrations by physically assaulting people who disagree with him, whom Trump denounces as “traitors” and “enemies of the people”? This looks like simple blood-and-soil tribalism to me.

I would be interested to hear Seaton’s—or anyone’s—defense of Trump's patriotism.

Perhaps the worst, though, is interest cast in terms of idealism. This dubious combination seemed to many to characterize the Democratic party’s identity-politics….

[Trump] appealed to the experience of ordinary Americans that they were excluded from consideration by their purported “representatives” and “betters” and denied a voice in determining the direction and meaning of the country.

How were these people denied a voice? Anyone with even a passing familiarity with US elections will know that 1) white elderly people vote at higher rates than any other demographic group, and 2) rural areas wield disproportionate electoral power by virtue of how the Senate and Electoral College are constituted.

Alas, Seaton neglects to identify these “ordinary Americans,” or to identify what makes them so gosh-darn ordinary. Recall that Hillary Clinton won the majority of the votes for people earning less than $50K/yr., so it can’t be that. What could it be…?

Could it be—Seaton is talking about WHITE PEOPLE? That Trump’s campaign was an appeal to WHITE PEOPLE’S grievances? But oh, let us all now wag a finger at those naughty, naughty Democrats and their self-interested appeals to identity politics. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to Seaton’s race?

Let’s stop the charade. Trump wasn’t elected because he has the attributes of a patriot, or whatever. He was elected for the attributes he DOESN’T have. Specifically, he does not embrace the conventional internationalist viewpoint, and instead was willing to embrace a renovated “Southern Strategy” of appealing to the grievances of white voters without college degrees.

NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT (necessarily). White people without college degrees are a real constituency in the US, and have real cause for grievance. It is not an illusion that life expectancy in the US has been declining for years—especially among rural elderly whites. It is not an illusion that median household wealth has declined for a large portion of the country. It is not an illusion that ever more jobs require college degrees, and that well-paying unionized manufacturing jobs have declined (even as manufacturing output has soared). It is not an illusion that marriage has become less common among the working class, while out-of-wedlock births have become more common. It is not an illusion that church attendance is down. It is not an illusion that rural America is in decline.

(Ok, that one's kind of an illusion. Sure, the most rural parts of America have been losing population, and many rural towns are drying up. But the most populous counties of rural American have always been adjacent to urban America, and these areas have been booming—so much so that they have been re-classified as PART of urban America, which leads to a false conclusion that all of rural America is losing population, when it manifestly isn’t.)

Overwhelmingly, the plight of Americans without college degrees is driven by automation: Tractors, combines, robots, and specialized mining equipment have reduce the number of people required to do all kinds of tasks. If you want to increase employment in rural America, Trump should be promising to Build a Wall around each John Deere dealership.

Yet we would have to be willfully blind to miss the fact that some people project their frustrations onto those evil OTHERS—foreigners and immigrants—and that Trump has pandered to this tendency. But unless you work in the building trades, immigrants almost certainly create more demand for your labor than they consume. The difference between prospering rural towns and dying ones is generally the extent to which a rural town can attract immigrants. For better or worse, most of the children of the Baby Boom don't wanna live down on the farm.

In short, the grievances are real; the alleged solutions (“Build a Wall!” “Ban the Muslims!” “Jew will not replace us!”) are mostly demagoguery. Commenters should recognize both aspects of the situation.

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nobody.really
on June 17, 2019 at 15:53:32 pm

Russ Douthat notes the ongoing "David French-ism" debate, wherein frustrated conservatives are arguing for trends are so dire that the nation needs to abandon civil rights and impose--well, no one's quite sure, but something else. Doughat isn't sold on this idea, but tries to present the argument in the best light. In particular, he makes the sobering argument that classical liberalism has arguably accomplished much less than its supporters would claim. And among other things, he cites Lincoln:

Liberalism has never done as well as it thinks at resolving its own crises. America’s gravest moral evil, chattel slavery, was defeated by an authoritarian president in a religious civil war, not by proceduralism or constitutional debate. The crisis of the 1930s ended happily for liberalism because a reactionary imperialist withstood Adolf Hitler and a revolutionary Bolshevik crushed him. The liberal peace that followed may depend on fear of the atomic bomb.

Have we supporters of civil rights been living a delusion all along? Perhaps it's true that "you can't handle the truth...."

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nobody.really
on June 17, 2019 at 16:06:28 pm

Well, if nobody says it, it must be so.

Yep, Trump is (or is it nobody really) deploying the Ole Suthern Strategy, My boy.
Yep, racists through and through.

C'mon, nobody - the southern Strategy as a predicate of racist politics was DEBUNKED long ago.

You are stuck on this false narrative. And I submit that it is you who are"projecting" your misconceptions about Trump and his supporters on to both Trump and the narrative about Trump, Trumpism (whatever the heck that is). Are you incapable (unwilling, apparently) of understanding that supporting a nations borders, indeed supporting the very concept of a nation IS NOT F'ING SYNONYMOUS WITH WHITE NATIONALISM.

Now please check back with us after you consult the latest Dem Party Talking points. The present ones have grown quite stale.

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gabe
on June 17, 2019 at 16:54:12 pm

most of you gentlemen of psychological persuasion fail to understand one thing that prescribing DSM diagnosis to individuals you dont know haven't worked with and may not be even in the profession is a clearer indication of your own questionable motives and perhaps well being.

thank you

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dan jovanovic , Ph.D.
on June 17, 2019 at 17:13:42 pm

Most academics are rubes. They deserve to be ignored. And why is Larry Arne ignored?

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Orson Olson
on June 17, 2019 at 17:36:05 pm

[T]he southern Strategy as a predicate of racist politics was DEBUNKED long ago.

Tell it to Lee Atwater, the architect of the Southern Strategy.

[S]upporting a nations borders, indeed supporting the very concept of a nation IS NOT F’ING SYNONYMOUS WITH WHITE NATIONALISM.

I agree. Indeed, every administration in recent memory has "support[ed] our nation's borders." Perhaps not coincidentally, cross-border undocumented immigration has
declined precipitously. In 2000, the US apprehended 1,640,000 people crossing the southern border w/o documentation. Last year the US apprehended fewer than 400,000. Thus, it's hard to characterize anything happening at the border as a crisis, given that it reflects a fraction of the flow we used to see.

Moreover, the majority of illegal immigrants arrived in the US perfectly legally--and then simply outstayed their visas. Yippie for "supporting our borders."

In recent years the net number of people crossing the border had approached 0 -- that is, the number leaving matched the number arriving. But thanks to greater restrictions at the border, there are now many fewer undocumented aliens LEAVING than in the past. We have succeeded at locking our current group of undocumented immigrants inside the country.

So, why do people not grasp the fact that the immigration situation has gotten better, not worse? One theory is that they're really bad at math. A second theory is that they suffer from motivated reasoning--that is, they're white nationalists looking for any reason to bolster their worldview.

But here's a third theory: Many people are frustrated with a number of real social problems ALMOST ENTIRELY UNRELATED to immigration--but, in the absence of viable solutions to their problems, they latch onto the solution offered by Donald Trump, whether it's viable or not.

Democrats are in a bit of a pickle 'cuz they also don't have great solutions to the problem of automation and the declining demand for labor. Instead, they cry racism. After all, there's some justification for the claim. But that claim, whether accurate or not, isn't a solution.

A real, if partial, solution may be universal basic income. After all, firms are installing automation because it's CHEAPER; those firms are getting richer than ever. And that's a good thing!

But in a world of increasing automation, we can no longer rely on the labor market as the mechanism to distribute society's growing wealth. And we've always had government (and social) mechanisms to distribute wealth. We now need to crank up these mechanisms, or create new ones.

You can agree; you can disagree. But these are the facts: You can build that wall as high as you like--but it won't keep out the immigrant who arrives by plane, nor restore that job you lost to a robot. Those are REAL problems, and they require REAL solutions--not the nonsense offered up by Trump.

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nobody.really
on June 18, 2019 at 04:15:39 am

Seaton: [Trump] appealed to the experience of ordinary Americans that they were excluded from consideration by their purported “representatives” and “betters” and denied a voice in determining the direction and meaning of the country.

nobody.really: Seaton neglects to identify these “ordinary Americans,” or to identify what makes them so gosh-darn ordinary. Recall that Hillary Clinton won the majority of the votes for people earning less than $50K/yr., so it can’t be that. What could it be…?

Could it be—Seaton is talking about WHITE PEOPLE? That Trump’s campaign was an appeal to WHITE PEOPLE’S grievances?

Fun fact (and not contradicting anything Seaton said): Trump and the nation's journalists like to identify Youngstown, Ohio, as the epicenter of those "ordinary Americans" who shifted to Trump. Yet Youngstown--and the county in which it is located--actually voted for Clinton.

Since the auto factories and tire plants closed, Youngstown has shrunk to a population of 65,000 with one hospital, one full-service grocery store, shuttered schools, and a poverty rate of 36 percent. How could all these "ordinary Americans" resist the lure of Trump?

Who knows? But it may help to realize that most of those 65,000 people aren't white.

In short, if you mean to talk about white Americans without college degrees, it makes sense to say so explicitly, and not to hide behind euphemisms such as "ordinary Americans."

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nobody.really
on June 18, 2019 at 07:25:35 am

This is an intriguing essay. May I first say that the author’s method is so brilliant, hanging the myriad contributions on the scaffold of the political thinkers that those authors referenced and then comparing them at that level. It’s a good thing.

And this author’s wrap begins with, ‘Furthermore, in an Aristotelian spirit, it [ political philosophy ] could lay out the best cases for, and the limits of, today’s major partisan views, and remind each party of the necessity and nobility of civic friendship. ‘. The best cases for and limits of Americans’ political stances would be so incredibly refreshing! This, in a sense, will sort of throw the battling factions out onto a level playing field. And if we on every side were to raise up the value of civic friendship, that would help cobble our divided people together going forward.

Well done.

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Jaynie
on June 18, 2019 at 08:54:46 am

Precisely the point this Old Wizard was attempting to make! I conjure potions NOT psych evaluations - which is what most people SHOULD NOT do.

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gargamel rules smurfs
on June 18, 2019 at 09:16:07 am

But here’s a third theory: Many people are frustrated with a number of real social problems ALMOST ENTIRELY UNRELATED to immigration–but, in the absence of viable solutions to their problems, they latch onto the solution offered by Donald Trump, whether it’s viable or not. "

*ALMOST ENTIRELY UNRELATED* - Would that be things such as the re-introduction of diseases long thought eliminated, i.e., typhus, hepatitis A, plague, and, once again, Ebola? Yep, completely unrelated!!!

How about homelessness, crime, the overall deterioration of our cities AND the provision of services to the citizenry?
Now comes California, the soon to be Third World State, promising FREE medical care to ILLEGAL immigrants. YEP, here is another problem - fiscal - that according to nobody is COMPLETELY unrelated to immigration.

Please dispense these Democrat Party talking points in front of the mirror where they will receive the welcome and applause that you believe they deserve.

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gabe
on June 18, 2019 at 11:09:37 am

*ALMOST ENTIRELY UNRELATED* – Would that be things such as the re-introduction of diseases long thought eliminated, i.e., typhus, hepatitis A, plague, and, once again, Ebola? Yep, completely unrelated!!!

gabe, I don't know where you get your information. But I have adopted a fun tradition of providing links to support for my arguments. Maybe you'd like to try it? Perhaps you could start here.

How about homelessness...?

In their most recent Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, HUD reports that homelessness in the US has declined 15% since 2007. Hispanic/Latinos represent 22% of the homeless--which is about in line with what you'd expect from the fact that 18% of the US population is Hispanic/Latino, and this group tends to be poorer, and thus more prone to homelessness, than the population at large.

Moreover, if some immigrant decides that she'd rather be homeless in the US than preyed upon by gangs in her home country, what's it to you?

...crime...?

This has been widely debunked. Seriously, gabe, if you'd turn off Fox News every now and then, you might learn something.

....the overall deterioration of our cities...?

???

Our cities are booming. We are now a majority urban nation. Real estate prices are skyrocketing because everyone wants to live there.

It's our rural areas that are deteriorating--except for those areas blessed with an influx of immigrants.

...AND the provision of services to the citizenry?

True, immigrants require services--just like non-immigrants.

This American Life did a two-part study of the consequences of Hispanic immigration to Albertville, Alabama. It found that between 1990 and 2010, SNAP (welfare) usage in the county increased from 8% to 16%. Wow, that's a lot. But in the rest of Alabama, where immigrants are rarer, SNAP usage increased MORE--from from 11% to 26%. Why the difference? Alabama is a predominantly rural state, and immigration restores vitality to small towns. In the absence of that vitality, the local high school closes. The local grocery store closes. The local restaurant closes. And you end up with a boarded up downtown with a church and a bar--and a whole lot of unemployment.

But yes--immigrants consume public services, just like the rest of us.

Now comes California, the soon to be Third World State, promising FREE medical care to ILLEGAL immigrants. YEP, here is another problem – fiscal – that according to nobody is COMPLETELY unrelated to immigration.

Yup, poor Third World California. It has become such a hellscape that everyone's fleeing--as evidenced by the collapse in real estate prices. Oh, wait--my mistake; demand is huge and prices are soaring. Gosh, what could that possibly mean?

So every state with illegal immigration has been forced to adopt California-style legislation? No. That should tell you that the cause of this new public expense is not illegal immigration, but the preference of California citizens (via their representatives) to provide care. And if that's their democratic choice, what's it to you?

Seriously, you don't live in California; you don't pay California taxes--yet the very idea that those dirty, diseased, unworthy brown people might get healthcare just EATS at you? Please reflect on this, gabe. Is this really the person you want to be?

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nobody.really
on June 18, 2019 at 12:42:29 pm

In contrast to Mr. Obama, the acclaimed legal scholar, Mr. Trump has limited the Executive Branch abuses by Tsars and unaccountable agencies that were based in relative interpretations or plain defiance of existing laws.
Trump goes with the flow of modern social media parlance to give his opponents as good as he received. His opponents' lack of sufficient lies have prompted them to borrow the Russian lies from the Russian sourced, Clinton campaign financed Steele dossier as they justified an espionage operation by Obama administration officials to gather more dirt for ham sandwuch and obscure FARA charges.
Lincoln's wit was not always conventional, but he got the job done. Aristotle might decry the polictically correct persecutions founded in a neomoral paradigm that promites vice over virtue. Trump has retained enough lessons of history to prevent the country from reliving economic malaise and a renaissance of revisionist Socialist constructs.
I just read that Trump saved the country 25% on the newest F-35 fighters and hopes are that he can do the same for many government programs - including finding savings in the off budget entitlement programs where the Social Security program still had 6.5 million people over the age of 112 on the rolls.
As President, Mr. Trump has hit homeruns in several of his Presidential addresses. His off the cuff tweets may offend some, but his political opponents and the parrots in the press are ptiducing exponentially cruder utterences as tgey debase themselves in their swamps of vice.

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Cjones1
on June 18, 2019 at 14:57:36 pm

There you go again gleefully galloping along on your White Horse (Mescalido, by any chance of Grateful Dead fame and with the same intoxicating effects, perhaps) and casting aspersion, innuendo and vile charges against those who do not agree with your rather odd perceptions, or rather LACK OF perceptions of the world around you.

One does not normally look for a literary citation WHEN STEPPING OVER SHIT on the sidewalks of Seattle, San Francisco, LA, etc. As the good SCOTUS Justice has opined, "I know [shit] when I see it. The same is true for needles, garbage, rats / vermin and dilapidated old RV's posing as housing units. Nor do I need to seek quotations from Madison, T. N. Coates when confronted with aggressive beggars.

Perhaps, it is because your eyes are still recovering from the shock of Rachel Maddow's visage that you are unable to discern for your own "preachy" self that the cities are failing, that good order and discipline are absent.

Rather, you would assume what you perceive to be the high moral ground and attempt to demonstrate that you are indeed in possession of such high qualities by questioning the motives of others:

"yet the very idea that those dirty, diseased, unworthy brown people might get healthcare just EATS at you? Please reflect on this, gabe. Is this really the person you want to be?"

Is THIS the person you really want to be. One who arrogates to himself the only true and compassionate position? He who may level vile charges and slanders at others with whom he disagrees.
Funny thing is this;
Recently that very phrase "dirty brown people" has been popular among the Proggies (such as you) and thay have shown an ever greater tendency to attribute such perceptions to those on the right. Perhaps, it is you who needs to cease your newsviewing (MSNBC, CNN, Dem Party HQ) as, and I repeat for the "nth" time; I do NOT watch the news, nor have I done so for some 30 years.
(I do occassionally read tea leaves, mon ami, Odd, I found them to be reasonably more reliable than the media in general. -HA!)

Begin first by observing the world. Walk the streets and skip over the poop, etc. Can you still say that there are no problems. Visit California, its cities and now according to VD Hanson even the rural areas, where crime is now rampant, order is decaying - and then tell me that immigration has not had a negative impacy.

And oh BTW:

Ever consider just WHO would (or could) take all of those jobs on home and small commercial construction sites that have been the province of illegals from Mexico? How about BROWN Americans?
And just for the record, my own little construction / landscape company (post retirement) I hired dirty brown people:
Brown - because of skin colr
Dirty - because we moved dirt and mortar
BUT American Brown people.

So, reverting to my Queens, NYC vernacular:

Shove it up your pretentious / posturing butt and your White Horse's butt as well.

It ain't racist, it is financial.

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gabe
on June 18, 2019 at 15:46:20 pm

Shove it up your pretentious / posturing butt and your White Horse’s butt as well.

There you go again, automatically assuming my horse must be white. It’s always white, white, white with you.

Except when it’s red. Or, in summer, rosé.

How’d you get into the construction/landscaping biz?

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nobody.really
on June 18, 2019 at 16:01:06 pm

Something you miss, is the distinctions between cities housing markets as described by Glaeser and colleagues, by Demographia, and others. House prices are not solely determined by "demand", they are also determined by "supply". In fact some US cities with highly elastic housing supply, manage to be the fastest growing, faster than California in fact, and still have systemically affordable house prices. The affordability constitutes an attraction. Plenty has been written about internal migration patterns within the USA; it is overwhelmingly "from" the unaffordable cities "to" the affordable ones.

What keeps the unaffordable ones at least stable or growing, is the immigrants from the third world who are prepared to "crowd" in response to the severe cost of space. This is the dirty little secret of all "global cities". It is also the means of the elites who regard those cities as their playgrounds, of getting low-paid workers, and avoiding housing-cost pressures from translating into workforce cost pressures.

California was actually faster-growing back when it too kept housing affordable by means of abundant supply. There is one obvious causation, "sprawl". Only sprawl keeps housing markets systemically affordable. As soon as regulatory or other factors impede sprawl, a housing affordability crisis begins. The global evidence is absolutely clear. Britain has now, for several decades, attempted to "plan" housing supply by means of upzoning rather than sprawl, and it has been a miserable failure. Britain has cities (like Liverpool) whose economic and population trends are similar to Detroit's and yet urban land prices were propped up by the planning system and its rationing of land supply. This demonstrates the importance of "supply" in determining urban land and housing prices.

I have no idea where Trump himself, or members of his administration stand on these complexities. But one thing is clear: it is the coastal Democrat-run cities that suffer housing affordability issues which I confidently predict will prove just as intractable as the decades-long issues in Britain; and it is the "conservatarian" States in the south and flyover country that have the free-market elasticity of land use that keeps housing affordable. This is a question of the deeply embedded underlying regional culture rather than the politics of the moment.

One of the depressing ironies is that if all of the USA's cities had the regulatory and institutional freedom to "grow" affordably in response to opportunity-seeking migration, immigration would in fact truly be closer to as beneficial as its promoters claim. The combined virtue-signalling of "open arms to the world's poor" and "saving the planet from urban sprawl" is the epitome of disaster-courting idiocy. It is also worth noting that the global 0.1% are both liberally funding activism to these simultaneous ends, and making obscene gains in their own wealth, connected with their speculative activities in urban property and mortgage-backed financial instruments.

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Philip George Hayward
on June 18, 2019 at 16:05:54 pm

Well, Mescalido, your horse, must be white as the poor horse was named after the then favorite of us hipsters, mescaline.

Got tired of hi-tech - the silly ass politicking, brown-nosing of co-workers, etc and recognized that the "financialization" of the American economy spelled doom for my craft) resuscitating failing manufacturing operations as all the bien-pensant types just *knew* off-shoring was good for America.

BTW: There is a rather interesting essay in current version of American Affairs Journal on the failure of venture capital markets to finance the manufacturing phase of technological innovations. The VC's love to finance the design stage AND some software production but are unwilling to take on the longer term risk of the 5-10 year development needed for introduction into manufacturing and distribution. Pat on my own back here, I recognized that some 15 years ago. But check out the article.

https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2019/05/financing-advanced-manufacturing-why-vcs-arent-the-answer/

I think you can access w/o signing up.

BTW: It is, in part, because of the effects of this "cowardice" on the part of American finance industry that I am opposed to immigration. Too many opportunities for those "dirty brown" and white / yellow AMERICANS are lost due to the preference for the financially controlled and dominated American corporation to a) make quick and greater profits and b) PLEASE THEIR STINKIN' SHAREHOLDERS - read: 20 something year old stock analysts.

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gabe
on June 18, 2019 at 17:04:41 pm

House prices are not solely determined by “demand”, they are also determined by “supply”.

Yup. And yup, urban planning can and does restrict supply. And yup, with greater demand, we might observe moderated price increases, or even price decreases, notwithstanding strong or even growing demand.

But we’re observing skyrocketing prices. But unless you assume that the existing housing stock is experiencing rapid decline, I don’t know how to explain that phenomenon on any basis other than strong demand. And none of those other statements lead me to a different conclusion.

What keeps the unaffordable [cities] at least stable or growing, is the immigrants from the third world who are prepared to “crowd” in response to the severe cost of space. This is the dirty little secret of all “global cities”. It is also the means of the elites who regard those cities as their playgrounds, of getting low-paid workers, and avoiding housing-cost pressures from translating into workforce cost pressures.

Huh?

Look, compared to life in suburbia, pretty much ALL New Yorkers live in cramped conditions—and many with roommates. This is hardly a new phenomenon reserved for illegal immigrants.

And illegal immigrants are not required to live in large cities. Many live in smaller rural towns (for example, working at a chicken processing facility). Rather, illegal immigrants CHOOSE to live in cramped urban environments for the same reason that anyone else does: Given all the options known to the immigrant, the urban option offers the most desirable mix of burdens and benefits.

In short, I agree that both supply and demand drive the price of housing. I expect that landlords charge immigrants what the market will bear—just as the charge ANYONE what the market will bear. That’s hardly a dirty little secret.

Likewise, supply and demand drive the price of labor. A lack of housing (combined with a lengthy commute) constricts the labor supply, which should drive up the rate of compensation (which may include non-financial compensation—such as the enticement of living in an urban environment, or with people of a similar background).

In adopting zoning laws, are rich people treating their cities as their playgrounds? In a word, YES.

Compare your local Fourth of July carnival and Disneyworld. Both establishments offer rides. But the local carnival generally doesn't charge admission to the fairgrounds; they just charge admission to the rides, and so do not control the number (or quality) of people attending. Disneyland makes it expensive to get in--but imposes little incremental cost (just the cost of waiting) for each ride. In Disneyworld, visitors experience much less poverty--and they pay a premium for the privilege. These are both viable business models, but it's not hard to guess which model the rich favor.

So when I read studies suggesting that the rich citizens of San Francisco don't understand the consequences of their zoning policies, I suspect that's not accurate. I suspect these citizens understand the consequences reasonably well, and prefer the results that flow from those policies. If and when the labor shortage gets sufficiently severe--low supply/quality; high cost--then they may change their zoning policies (or transit policies; these are substitutes). But not until then.

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nobody.really
on June 18, 2019 at 17:23:12 pm

Absotively!

Yes, I am aware of the "supply" side component of the housing market. It may even be more significant than you state AND it does seem to accrue to the benefit of the 0.1 %-ers, who may enjoy their gated enclaves while scurrying forth to the bank to recalculate their ill-gotten gains from this very shortage.
Yet, given the regulatory impediments to the supply, it is at best foolhardy to continue to increase demand, and at worst, bordering on criminal malfeasance. Moreover, to encourage even further saturation of an already densely packed urban area can not but lead to a further decline in good order, discipline and, the Proggies favorites - "sustainability" and "livability".

Our Proggie friends hate "sprawl". They would seem to prefer concentration levels more consistent with a can of packed sardines while proffering a benefits of a "short walk" to Starbucks as an offsetting benefit.

Then again, these same developers, who BTW, are quite ready to employ, numerous illegal immigrants on their construction jobs, are also able, with the cooperation of elected Progressive officials, to charge the taxpayers in excess of $4-500,000 for a 500 sq ft. housing unit in LA and SF.
Nice work if you can get it, isn;t it. Pay "scab wages", make sweetheart deals with Democrat officials and "double your profit" whilst ensuring an ever present "demand" in excess of supply.

In Seattle and King County, the Democrat officials have even advocated requiring that those whose homes have an unused bedroom be required to rent them to strangers. All this to avoid sprawl.

In fairness, many neighborhood residents are vehemently opposed to increased density in THEIR neighborhoods - but being good Progressives, they agree in principle on higher densities - just so it happens in some other neighborhood.
As for regulations, fully 20% of the cost of a new home is attributed to fees, licensing and other regulatory impositions. And one wonders why housing is expensive?

Odd thing is that latest trends indicate that all those millennials who were so enamored of "city living" are now, in increasing numbers, moving to the suburbs.
I guess - You just can't beat SPRAWL.

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gabe
on June 18, 2019 at 17:29:46 pm

nobody:

"So when I read studies suggesting that the rich citizens of San Francisco don’t understand the consequences of their zoning policies, I suspect that’s not accurate. I suspect these citizens understand the consequences reasonably well, and prefer the results that flow from those policies."

Again - Absotively!
Not only do they understand it - they welcome it as it accrues to their benefit (human poop obstacles courses aside, of course)
After all, IT is their version of Disneyland - where the rodents are not only active but welcomes as friendly compatriots who are forever applauding the goodness, kindness and moral uprightness of the good citizens of Disneyland - North.

Then again, there is much money to be made playing the real estate game in SF and Marin County.

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gabe
on June 18, 2019 at 22:03:55 pm

nobody.really: the subject is much more complex than you realise. The ability or otherwise, to "sprawl" absolutely determines in which of two ways the property market will respond. New York remained affordable in spite of its "global city" status, while the urban area around it was sprawling at low density. See Pendall, Fulton et al; "Who Sprawls the Most"? I would agree that there is no explicit growth-boundary policy that has changed the property market in NY urban area; but rural zoning in surrounding municipalities has ended up acting as a de facto growth boundary.

The "skyrocketing prices" are only possible with some kind of constraints on the supply of rural land able to be converted to urban use. It is even possible for a city to "intensify" in response to the market signals you refer to, at stable, affordable prices for both suburban McMansions and CBD apartments. Houston is the world's fastest-intensifying first-world city today as well as one of the fastest-growing, period; and it remains ridiculously affordable for all housing types.

Yes, landlords "charge what the market can stand" when the market is that kind of market. That kind of market is called "extractive", or marked by "monopoly rent". But housing can have "consumer surplus" just like any other products, and for several decades this was the norm. Developers convert cheap rural land into finished housing, in competition with each other, as cheaply as they can; the result is always a housing market with a "median multiple" house price of around 3. California's cities used to be like this, and they were growing faster when they were like this (back a few decades).

You are quite right that immigrants can decide to go somewhere cheaper; I raise the question of what is motivating immigrants to crowd in New York or San Francisco rather than enjoy affordable accommodation in a Southern or flyover-State city; which is the prevalent decision of the "US born" citizen. Many immigrants are indeed choosing the affordable cities; all these cities have a thriving multiculturalism the equal of anything in the so-called superstar cities. My suspicion is that the low-cost cities are getting the better quality immigrants; the smarter, better informed ones; and the ones looking for opportunity for upward mobility, rather than a life of grafting for the crumbs falling from the tables of global-city elites.

Of course many immigrants regard crowding as the norm and may not bother to inform themselves about the potential living conditions elsewhere in the USA. California of course has a critical mass of existing Latino family connections that date back to when it was affordable. I stand by what I am saying; this subject is another one where progressive self-contradiction is major and glaring. If we really want to give immigrants the best "opportunity" of a better life, we can do this as well as avert a zero-sum conflict over urban amenity and income opportunities, between immigrants and less-skilled locals, if we take Texas as a policy model for urban growth management.

"Gabe" gets it - the 0.1% and well-placed progressives generally are just playing exploitive games with their own useful idiots.

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Philip George Hayward
on June 19, 2019 at 16:03:01 pm

nobody:

Here is a link for you. it is typical of what one may find any day re: Los[t] Angeles.

https://hotair.com/archives/2019/06/19/paradise-lost-homelessness-los-angeles/

Zoning "corrections" aside (for the moment), there appears to be anopther problem with THIS Democrat controlled city:
either malaise or manifest incompetence as not a single new "homeless" housing unit has been completed even after $ Big Ones, that's Billy-ions", brudda was allocated.

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gabe
on June 22, 2019 at 00:19:32 am

Donald Trump as a political phenomenon through the notions of patriotism, cosmopolitanism, and civic virtue. Political philosophers have been prescient in explaining trends that may explain our political misgivings. Madison warned during the debates on the Constitution that democracies are vulnerable to factions based on passion for personalities and beliefs; various continental thinkers have addressed the problem of nihilism―the modern loss of faith in objective standards of truth and morality―that in Max Weber’s analysis pointed to the importance of charisma, in Carl Schmitt’s to the idea that politics is essentially rooted in the definition of friends and enemies, and in early Heidegger resulted in the emphasis on the enduring significance of local, rather than cosmopolitan values. The former concerns―regarding demagoguery, charisma and nihilism―will enable an evaluation of Trump as a political character, while the latter concerns―regarding the status of universal versus local values―will enable us to evaluate the content of “Trumpism.” Taken together, these essays seek to advance the public conversation about the relationship between the rise of Trump and the ideological forces that seek to justify that rise.

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John Merry
on July 08, 2019 at 02:27:40 am

I support Donald Trump.

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ts911
on October 04, 2019 at 16:10:07 pm

[…] Donald Trump and the Political Philosophers, by PAUL SEATON, Law & Liberty, JUNE 17, 2019 […]

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Image of Did Your God Choose the Donald to Bring Christians in America to Their Crisis Decision in America’s Story? – The Drama of America: How Will This Turn Out?
Did Your God Choose the Donald to Bring Christians in America to Their Crisis Decision in America’s Story? – The Drama of America: How Will This Turn Out?
on July 21, 2020 at 16:25:05 pm

"But Trump’s more articulate defenses" Lost me there. This was an obviously biased rationale for all that Trump is cloaked as intellectualism.

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bobby

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