Boy look at all these comments.... The Trump effect is real.

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If you take January 6th to be a more serious threat than I do - and, again, these guys were mostly clowns, with nothing resembling a coherent plan - you still have to answer the essential question of this post: what is gained by getting angry at other people for not having the same emotional reaction as you?

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Thank you for that Freddie, you’re helping me understand why I liked Trump so much. Trump’s affect was the key ingredient. It drove the liberals insane and his supporters reveled in their derangement.

The commentator George Will criticized Trump in a thoughtful column. Trump responded by saying people only think he’s smart because he wears glasses. That’s it! That captures it, that’s what the hat was all about. It was that simple.

Trump was a hero to a certain type of person like me. He was a hero to people who think the elite were self-serving, greedy and endlessly self-righteous. The elite use their education as a cudgel for beating up the working class. They believe it’s a meritocracy and they are deserving of their fate and we are deserving of our fate. Such nasty little pricks and then along comes the bloviating Trump monster. It was hilarious: colon hydrotherapy.

I use the past tense because Trump is an old man (5 years?) and is not really the issue. The working class will need a new champion and the elite are committed to ensuring it never happens again: the rabble were roused. Underneath Trump hate is distain for the working class, the uneducated. Trump: “I love the uneducated “. The elite are vicious, righteous, true believers.

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The liberal rehabilitation of George Bush is absolutely infuriating. I grew up during the Bush years and remember the politics of the era very well. Liberals have no moral ground to stand on if they elect to forgive and ignore such an objectively worse president, in really every way. The only thing that Bush didn't do was be mean online, and that's the REAL, deep seated reason that Trump drove liberals insane- he was directly mean to them. Trump knocked over their block tower in political daycare. Liberals have a cheap adherence to tiny rules that they love enforcing, Trump bucked the trend.

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Excellent piece. I despise the Orange One too, but I'm equally disheartened by what he's done to many of my fellow liberals. Just nonstop freakouts. I watched helplessly as one hobbyist space after another became consumed by woke yelling. I quit Twitter in 2018, and I felt so alienated, like I was one of the bad guys for questioning this mentality, that I started seeing a therapist to work through my worsening depression.

Now that Trump is gone, most of my Facebook feed has calmed down. But there's still a few stragglers who won't shut up about him. It's almost like they miss him, and they miss the fight. They can yell at Ted Cruz or Majorie Taylor Greene, but it's not the same. They want the hard shit, not a vape substitute.

As for me, I'm like "No. Fuck this. I won't live my life in constant fear." So I've gotten more apolitical lately as a result of burnout. Sorry, but I'm sick and tired of politics being wedged into every area of life.

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I often feel like I totally understand where Freddie is coming from. I don't always agree, but I get the battle he's picking.

With this, I completely don't understand it. I mean, clearly some people overstate the specific risk to the government collapsing on Jan 6th, but guys, one of the two major parties fomented a mob to storm the Capitol, kill people and be killed, and 100% of Congress fled or hid in reasonable fear. 35% or so of the electorate thinks, on the basis of a theory pulled out of thin air, that the presidential election was stolen, that the government is fundamentally illegitimate, and that the rioters were wrong only in their civility and poise, but not in their sense that drastic action is necessary to stop the other party from fouling the country in some fundamental way.

This is a huge deal! We don't know if that's the worst of it, or if that's going to look quaint in retrospect. In the meantime, Trump's reign has already meant giving the thumbs up to the ethnic cleansing of Kurds, a fundamental shift in the attractiveness of moving to the United States to the world's most brilliant minds, and cruelty purposely increased on tens of thousands of immigrants.

I just don't understand the complaint here about liberals and progressives -- that we're being too self-congratulatory about opposing this? What is the purpose of being politically active, or being people of conscious, if we don't get together, say this sort of thing is intolerable, and organize to put a stop to it?

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The bewildering thing to me is that the overwhelming response of liberals to Trump has just been scolding. I admit that Trump's victory was a complete shock because I live in a liberal bubble, but my response was that was realizing I had been living in a bubble so I sought out explanations for what had happened. That response probably explains a lot of people in major cities that ended up joining DSA or Bernie's 2020 run, but unfortunately that's not the majority. The majority still, after a full Trump term, seem to think that reciting the right platitudes and denouncing the right things is how we prevent this all from happening again. The idea seems to be that during Obama we didn't scold enough? That's why his two terms led us to Trump?

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I recently came across a post by an activist group bemoaning that Derek Chauvin was being kept in solitary in prison, which apparently constituted privileged treatment in their eyes. Their point was, still no justice!!!

And I’m like, seriously? First, cops in jail are always kept separate from everyone else because being shanked is not part of their sentencing. Second, what more do they want done to Chauvin for it to be “justice”? Put him in a hair shirt then let him be murdered in prison? He was found guilty on all counts. That’s the most justice that can be given in our system.

I also heard a lot of negative commentary about how the prosecutor said “this is not an anti police case” or something along those lines (i watched the whole trial but i can’t remember the exact quote). And again, it’s NOT. Chauvin is not a proxy for American policing. He was an individual man on trial for the murder of another individual man. The fact that he was found guilty could be built upon because it offers a toe hold against egregious police crimes. But it’s not going to be built upon if we’re complaining that the prosecutor didn’t prosecute all of American policing, or that Chauvin isn’t being publicly stoned to death.

You are so right, Freddie. It seems that huge swaths of liberals/SJWs are so fixated on the panic and outrage that they aren’t taking the small victories when they come and building on them. To use a popular term, it’s trauma these folks want to *live* in, rather than do the work of dealing with it and moving forward.

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The irony here is that capitalism is the answer, not the problem.  Bezos, Wall Street, the CIA are NOT capitalism but oligarchy.  Socialism would pour fuel on this fire and lock them into complete rule, which is what you see in all socialist countries; a tyrannical state in league with an elite class that do their bidding.  AOC would bring about oligarchy on steriods, although I guess we would all get crappy schools and sub-par healthcare, while the elites got their own tier of services.  Equity and all.

We need something more like Denmark, an extemely capitalist state with strong anti-trust and and a strong safety net for all.  The irony here being, the populist Republicans are better set to do this, especially now that the clown car of Trump is gone.  (I say this as a liberal woman married to a Dane having spent a fair amount of time there.)

Here's what makes Denmark work along with which US party is most likely to implement.  Please note than when I say (R) I mean populist R and not the neocon Romneys and McCains who are virtually indistinguishable from Clinton, Obama types.

1. Strong borders and strict immigration enforcement. (R)

2. High barriers to benefits without work; ie welfare work requirements (they will train you to work but work is a requirement for benefits for all but the most disabled). (R)

3. Very nearly a flat tax.. all but the poorest pay taxes. (R)

4.  A low corporate tax rate.  (R)

5). A heavy reliance on oil extraction for financial security.  (R)

6) Support of small business and entrepreneurism rather than corporate control. (shifting to R)

7) Cultural homogeneity (you can be any color or gender you want but you are required to speak Danish and follow Danish culture to live in Denmark.) (R)

8) Highly religiously tolerant. (D - but the hatred of all things Christian no matter how positive and the love of all things Muslim no matter how abhorrant means they are losing ground here.)

9) High personal taxation. (D)

10)  High amounts of government transparency and local control over tax allocation.  (R)

Trump was the wrong person to lead this populist uprising, but there is a reason he gained minority votes across the middle class.  The Scandavian model looks a lot more like what Republicans are evolving into.  The populist left would cement the worst aspects of our current system of oligarchy into place despite their best intentions in my opinion.

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When someone says "Trump is the worst President in American history" I find I can safely ignore everything else they have to say about politics or history or America. It reveals either a lack of knowledge or morality.

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“At every stage we must ask “how do our efforts improve the lives of ordinary people?” You are forgiven for experiencing the last five years as a series of traumatic surprises, but your rational mind has to have the composure to understand that politics remains at heart the flow of capital and the large-scale imperialist projects that are undertaken to ensure it.”

Yes. This is my mantra. I don’t think the outcomes we seek (free healthcare, wealth redistribution, etc) are remotely possible as long as the discourse lives on social media. Once we realized government was no longer capable of doing anything for anyone outside the ruling class, all we had left was contempt. Schadenfreude, dunking on the idiot, replying to bad opinion tweets with simply, “shut the fuck up.” To even fantasize about meaningful change via electoral politics—in a world where the president, however idiotic, can have his account torpedoed in an instant—strikes me as purely masturbatory. The problem was and is capitalism, and I’m sick to death of watching powerless people devour each other on behalf of their favorite ruling class team (psst: they’re the same fucking team).

Here in Texas a few months ago, we sat in our sub-freezing home for four days waiting for the power to return. I saw liberals like Marina Sirtis (yes, Counselor Troi) tweet that we deserved it because we voted for Republicans. There I was, a native Texan and a socialist (I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life), watching my vaporous sigh hang in front of my shivering face, realizing that (as you said) nothing is ever enough for them. I also held my nose and voted for the mummy Biden in a Don Draper-esque bid to simply “change the conversation.” It’s never enough.

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Great post. I once polled my millennial friends on the "worst president" in their lifetimes, and a vast majority said Trump with only a couple choosing Bush or Reagan. For the first 3 years, especially, this made no sense for all the reasons you stated -- Bush and Reagan both have staggering body counts on their hands, while Trump was too disinterested in the world to start wars.

When covid-19 happened, I thought, holy shit, he's starting to live up to his reputation -- letting people die from neglect, actively encouraging his supporters to reject masks and precautions. Now his supporters refuse to be vaccinated. Our pandemic body count didn't have to be this high. But I suppose you have to compare it to a counterfactual world where President Hillary Clinton was in charge, with a Congress desperate for her to fail and Republicans ignoring her advice out of spite. Deaths might not have been much lower. She wouldn't have hung hospitals out to dry, though. She would have tried.

Bush and Reagan have more blood on their hands, to be sure, but I can forgive people for histrionics after living through 2020... or I would if they cared about senseless deaths more than crass Tweets, Russia, and January 6th.

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Jun 8, 2021Liked by Freddie deBoer

I first read the title, and thought "oh boy, this is going to be bumpy." Then I read the comments and saw that it was definitely perceived as bumpy. Then I read the post itself. Even though I don't agree with all of it (not surprising, since I don't share Freddie's politics), I found it sober, uncontroversial and un-sensationalistic. I consume other anti-progressive-wokeness content from liberals and those on the left (hardly any from conservatives), and this piece was one of the least vitriolic (actually not vitriolic at all) I've read on this topic: "Yes, Cheeto Man Bad, but the overreaction to him is a distraction and counterproductive to our cause. And saying this does not make me a Trumpist."

Good to see that Freddie's subscriber base is far from a monolith. So glad I left Twitter and Facebook years ago. The discourse here is much more civil and intelligent than the sewage typically slung around on social media.

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>"Everybody must freak out as much as I do" is not a plan

Correct. So what IS your plan, Freddie?

I've been reading you since you first guest-blogged for Andrew Sullivan. I've followed you around the internet, trying to make sure that I caught even those posts that would disappear after a day.

And I still have absolutely no idea what your plan is.

My plan is to elect as many Democrats as possible. Because GWB was very bad, DJT was very bad, but BHO and JRBJr are MUCH LESS bad. And HRC would have been MUCH LESS bad (in particular by NOT appointing literally hundreds of right-wing judges who will be ruling all our lives for decades).

So: please stop complaining about other people's lack of plans, and tell us what yours is.

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You are too smart to buy the Marxist claptrap. Read "From Marx to Mises" by Steele and see what you think.

I don't have any solution to what you call "capitalism," and its problems are real; but if there's anything that's clear, it's that Marxism and communism bring us from unpleasant dream to nightmare.

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Years ago the DNC was the party of blue collar, union voters while the Republicans were personified by William F. Buckley. Now those roles have reversed as the working class flocks to the GOP while urban white collar professionals migrate to the Democrats. Trump is the inflection point for that phenomenon and for that reason along he is historic. Plus his rise takes place against the backdrop of a growing divide between socio economic classes in countries across the planet: the Philippines, Brazil, Hungary, Poland, the UK, etc.

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