Feb 172016
 February 17, 2016  Posted by at 2:17 pm Finance Tagged with: , , , , , ,

DPC The Wizard Tree, Cathedral Woods, North Conway, White Mountains, New Hampshire 1900

A week after the New Hampshire Presidential Primaries, what lessons, if any, can we take from the dramatic victories of two outsider candidates? Former New Hampshire resident and occasional Automatic Earth contributor Nelson Lebo weighs in.

Note: Nelson writes below that “Trumpification is a clear and present danger” for writers like me “who rely on the best available data, statistics, facts”. But so far I find Trump mostly amusing, and an excellent indicator of what America has come to. And there’s little he can do to make representation of the facts in the media even worse than it is. Turns out, it didn’t take Trump to Trumpify the media. It might well be the other way around, that the Dumbification of the press paved the way for Da Donald. Here’s Nelson Lebo III:

Nelson Lebo: While I’ve lived in New Zealand for eight years, most of my adult life has been spent in New Hampshire, USA – the Granite State – where the official motto is “Live Free or Die.” It’s on the license plate. You don’t get more Libertarian than that.

The state’s unofficial motto is “First in the Nation,” which refers to hosting the first Presidential Primary once every four years (Iowa is not a primary!). First of the first – since 1964 – has been the tiny hamlet of Dixville Notch, whose citizens have embraced the tradition of casting their ballots just after midnight.

Of the nine eligible voters in Dixville Notch this year, five voted in the Republican Primary and four voted in the Democratic Primary. Counting the ballots took 30 seconds. John Kasich edged Donald Trump on the Republican side 3 to 2, but Bernie Sanders crushed Hillary Clinton in a 4 to 0 landslide.

In order to vote in the primary one must be a registered voter: either as a Democrat, Republican or Independent. Registered Democrats and Republicans can only vote in their party’s primary, but Independents may choose either. I lived in New Hampshire for 16 years, and over that time my primary votes got more and more ‘strategic.’ I have voted in both primaries. When I was young I always cast my ballot for ‘my candidate’ – voting with my heart – but as I got older my votes became increasingly strategic – voting with my head.

Left, right or centre, one thing we the people had in common last Tuesday was the rejection of so-called “establishment candidates.”

Voters are fed up with money in politics.
Voters are fed up with cronyism.
Voters do not want a coronation of another Clinton or Bush.

What shines as a beacon of hope for democracy from what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called “the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire” is that no matter how much money and influence the powers-that-be throw behind their candidates, individual voters have the final say. I can’t say that tears came to my eyes when I heard the result, but it did notch up my wavering faith in humanity. Let freedom ring! Let freedom ring!

From this perspective, what happened on the Democratic side is nothing short of a Liberty Bell!

o Every major NH newspaper endorsed Clinton.
o Every establishment NH Democrat politician endorsed Clinton.
o Sanders came from a 50-point projected deficit to win by over 20 percentage points: 60% to 38%.
o Sanders won every demographic – including 70% of women-under-30 – except for over-65s and households making over $200,000.

This result speaks volumes about the current and future generation and wealth gap not only in America, but also in New Zealand and worldwide. In other words, it is a snapshot of what we will see more and more often as Baby Boomers hold on to their wealth and status while Millennials are left holding the bag.

Many of us have seen this form of intergenerational tyranny coming down the tracks for some time. To me it is as simple as this:

In the older demographics, we have a generation or two in America and some other countries who got free university education, bought real estate when it was cheap, and enjoyed decades of cheap energy while destroying the planet’s climate system. Meanwhile in the younger demographics we have a generation or two that did not. Who does not see the imbalance?

Like many culture shifts, this one will move like an earthquake: in creeps and ruptures. The New Hampshire democratic result was a rupture and a week later the aftershocks are still being felt as the political circus moves on to South Carolina. If anything, the gift of “superdelegates” to Clinton will only increase the tectonic activity between voter demographics, as did the condescending and sexist comments from Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem.

The fact that feminist icon Steinem made one of the most sexist comments I have ever heard in an attempt to rationalise why young women support Sanders instead of Clinton shows the desperation of the wealthy, retired left. It appears that as the older and the wealthier and the whiter see their positions of wealth and privilege threatened, they fight and fight to maintain them. As the late Joe Strummer sang, “Now war is declared and battle come down” (London Calling, 1979).

o Among democratic voters in NH the #1 issue was income inequality.

Without doubt, Sanders is the income inequality candidate and Clinton is not. I find it troubling that Hillary was paid reported speaking fees of $600,000 (US) by mega investment bank Goldman Sachs, but refuses to release what she spoke about. Goldman Sachs was at the eye of the financial hurricane that started in 2008 and has only grown richer and more powerful since. I seem to recall Clinton saying during a recent debate something along the lines of, “Of course Goldman doesn’t expect anything in return.” Right…

On the Republican side, NH had its largest turnout ever. Here is my favourite headline: “After running xenophobic & racist campaign, Donald Trump wins easily in New Hampshire.”

I have written about the Trump phenomenon in the past, most recently naming him my Person-of-the-Year for 2015:

Donald Trump is my Person of the Year. Who else has made a bigger splash in 2015?

Pundits say he plays on anxieties that exist among a certain voter demographic. He appears fearless in his attacks on political correctness. Bombastic is a term we hear to describe him.

But I say his most significant accomplishment has been in mastering a communication technique and ideology that has grown to achieve a critical mass of cultural significance: the double down. This is not to be confused with KFC’s Double Down – a beef burger between two pieces of fried chicken breast with cheese and bacon.

Doubling down takes many forms. It can mean making a false statement, and instead of admitting the mistake, vehemently insisting on the ‘truthiness’ of the statement in the first place. Alternatively, it might mean coming up with bad policy and then working tirelessly to try to justify it. It may be throwing good money after bad. In Trump’s case, it also means making outrageous or controversial statements and refusing to backtrack.

Doubling down means never having to say you’re sorry.

Trump is my Person of the Year not because he invented the double down or that he is the only person that does it, but because he has given it a living, breathing form. He is a meme with a comb-over and a personal jet.

Trump’s political success relies on the fact that many people only accept information that fits their existing worldview. Facts don’t matter. Research doesn’t matter. Trained experts don’t matter. As Ray Davies sang in 1981, “Give the people what they want.”

The Trumpification of Western society has reached its watershed moment. It marks the end of apology.

For writers like me and Ilargi and Nicole – who rely on the best available data, statistics, facts and sound research to build a case – Trumpification is a clear and present danger.

Like Sanders, Trump speaks to the economic angst many Americans feel. While both men have a populist message, they appeal to vastly different demographic sub-cultures. The irony of course is that a billionaire businessman has convinced thousands of minimum wage Joe Blogs that he will look after their interests. Right…

When I lived in New Hampshire I remember driving the back roads and seeing run-down, crappy mobile homes in the middle of nowhere with Republican lawn signs out front – Bush, Dole, Romney, McCain – and wondering why these people actively vote against their own economic interests.

Alongside Clinton, the biggest establishment candidate on the ticket was Jeb Bush, whose advertising budget in the state meant that at the end of the day his campaign spent $1,086 (US) per vote. He finished fourth, barely ahead of Marco Rubio.

The takeaway message from New Hampshire is powerful but not new. Voters in Greece have rejected establishment parties – twice. Voters in Portugal recently rejected the establishment. Voters in Iceland did so years ago and their nation is now thriving.

So what’s behind all of this rejection? I reckon it’s because you can only push people so far. As Popeye the Sailor is famous for saying, “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more.”

While Trump is a classic Bluto character – large, loud and aggressive – Sanders retains a classic Popeye attribute that has endeared him to an increasing number of voters: “I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam.”

Trustworthiness and integrity were the number one characteristic New Hampshire Democratic Primary voters were looking for in a candidate. From this perspective there can be no doubt about last week’s overwhelming result.

Home Forums That’s All I Can Stands, I Can’t Stands No More

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    DPC The Wizard Tree, Cathedral Woods, North Conway, White Mountains, New Hampshire 1900 A week after the New Hampshire Presidential Primaries, what le
    [See the full post at: That’s All I Can Stands, I Can’t Stands No More]

    Dr. Diablo

    Voting against their interests? Let’s review:

    Republicans: Endless wars, destroying the Bill of Rights, killing unions, outsourcing jobs through NAFTA and TPP, banker bailouts, raising deficits and taxes, destroying veterans, cutting services.

    Democrats: Endless wars, destroying the Bill of Rights, killing unions, outsourcing jobs through NAFTA and TPP, banker bailouts, raising deficits and taxes, destroying veterans, cutting services.

    So you’re fretting over which sign in the front yards? You’re batting for which team here?


    Just another articulate intellectual rationalizing his emotional world view via a lot of words. All the author had to say was: Because I am smarter than all of you, my choice is better than your choice, unless of course it iscalso my choice.

    I support Trump. Do I think he is the best person for the job? Do I think he can change the course of history? No. Do I think he will be marginally better than the the other choices I have been given yes. That is democracy, I get to choose who screws me.


    Good title. That’s certainly my motto for what a thick-black-smoke-spewing train-wreck of a society in which we live in the USA in 2016!


    Oh, please, stop with the generational war thing. Why are so many baby boomers not retiring or going back to work? Because those on fixed income are being massively screwed by ZIRP. What led to insanely high home prices you can’t afford? Fed policies, not up for a vote by baby boomers. What led to massive increases in college costs? Bankruptcy protections granted BY GOVERNMENT to lenders who then gladly lend to anyone for any useless degree, sub-prime lending redux, which then results in “what the market can afford to pay” college costs, the amount that can be afforded being GREATLY increased by those LOANS.

    And what have the millennials given us? Women’s rights, civil rights? Already accomplished by baby boomers. How many have broken away from their tweets about what they’ve had for lunch, looked up from their iToy screens, and actually marched against ANY of the ridiculous wars where TRILLIONS have been wasted along with thousands of lives while accomplishing absolutely nothing other than turning the entire Middle East into one huge and dangerous quagmire. I HAVE. Where were you?

    So, don’t make this into some kind of generational blame war. You’ll lose.


    “For writers like me and Ilargi and Nicole – who rely on the best available data, statistics, facts and sound research to build a case – Trumpification is a clear and present danger.”

    Yeah, so if Bernification. Look at Bernie’s foreign policy history: westward ho the slaughter! Did he have the facts when he voted the way he did? If he did, he’s a dangerous man. If he didn’t have the facts, why didn’t he?

    “Sanders supported Bill Clinton’s war on Serbia, voted for the 2001 Authorization Unilateral Military Force Against Terrorists (AUMF), which pretty much allowed Bush to wage war wherever he wanted, backed Obama’s Libyan debacle and supports an expanded US role in the Syrian Civil War.

    More problematic for the Senator in Birkenstocks is the little-known fact that Bernie Sanders himself voted twice in support of regime change in Iraq. In 1998 Sanders voted in favor of the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which said: “It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime. […]

    Even Hillary belatedly admitted that her Iraq war vote was a mistake. Bernie, however, has never apologized for his two votes endorsing the overthrow of Saddam. On the rare occasions when Sanders has been confronted about these votes, he has casually dismissed them as being “almost unanimous.” I went back and checked the record. In fact, many members of the progressive caucus in the House, as well as a few libertarian anti-war Members of Congress, vote against the Iraq regime change measures. […]

    Even though Sanders markets himself as an “independent socialist,” in fact, he has rarely dissented against the Democratic Party orthodoxy, especially when it comes to military intervention. That should permanently settle the notion of whether Bernie is a real Democrat. With the blood of 500,000 Iraqi children on his hands, surely Sanders has already won the “Humanitarian Warrior Seal of Approval,” which leaves us with only one haunting question: Was it worth it, Senator Sanders?”

    Blood Traces: Bernie’s Iraq War Hypocrisy

    Now, he’s probably backing the U.S. in Syria because, being the so-called good samaritan that he claims he is, he wants to save all those Syrian people from ISIS. If that’s the case, then he’s a man without facts, which makes him a dangerous man, and just another “useful idiot” that the elite use to help them overthrow governments. Who is supplying ISIS with food and weapons, Bernie?

    IMO, these “useful idiots”, devoid of facts (or else he knows the facts, but looks the other way) are the most dangerous of all. They aid and abet the world’s psychopaths because they are too stupid to see what is really going on. Have you heard Bernie screaming out that there were no weapons of mass destruction, that he was duped, that the American people were and are being lied to, that the U.S. is nothing more than a killing machine? What’s that I hear? Oh, yeah, silence.

    He’s a dangerous man because it appears he gets half the facts, doesn’t think things logically through, and does not see the big picture. Is he new? No, he’s been around a long time. Perhaps getting half the facts and being elected by people with of the facts is the ticket to longevity.


    Ilargi, check your premise. We don’t live in a democracy, we live in a Debt-Money Monopolist fascist empire state with a razor thin veneer (works only on the gullible) of democracy that has kicked to the curb the true limited democratic REPUBLIC that should have been erected in 1776.

    A house built on shifting sand and all.

    Trump is complete scoundrel, but so is everyone else in the race. To pretend like any of the Debt-Money Monopolist hired gun Machiavellian rhetoricians is more legitimate than another, without addressing the fraud of the entire system that encapsulates all these frauds, is to be “smart for nothing.”

    Trump is a liar. Bernie is a liar. If Hillary isn’t a full fledged demon, she almost certainly wants to be one. Jeb is deep in the Debt-Money Monopolist lair.

    See, the Debt-Money Monopolists know the average person is only able to focus on personalities. They can’t focus on systems, hence, this Debt-Money Monopolist system is “hidden” like an elephant in the middle of the room that is stomping people in the room to their economic death.

    “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes it’s laws (implied – because I will control the law makers).”– Mayer Amschel Bauer Rothschild

    “The few who understand the system, will either be so interested from it’s profits or so dependant on it’s favors, that there will be no opposition from that class.” — Rothschild Brothers of London, 1863

    They don’t want opposition… and Ilargi doesn’t oppose these people he won’t even admit exists. Rather, he opposes their policies in ways that ensure those policies will ENDURE.

    We need to be good, but we also need to be wise. Good intentions controlled by what are effectively deceptive Satanic forces will be used to further an evil agenda… EXACTLY as has been happening for eons.


    Oh, my, this almost gives a body new hope and faith in our political system, government, banks, corporations, military… uhh, well, maybe not.



    “For the discerning listener, Donald Trump has been critical of U.S. militarism for some time. On Russia, on Syria, on Iraq, on North Korea.

    People say that Trump is loud. But I don’t think he’s been loud enough.

    Last night, he screamed an anti-war stance to the boos of Bush’s and Rubio’s and Kasich’s one percent donors. It’s only half of what needed to be said, but it was a measure of reality that’s desperately needed. […]

    Trump’s truth telling was met with more ridiculousness and lies.

    Jeb Bush described Trumps attacks as “blood sport” which, given the subject matter at hand — his brother’s appetite for illegal war and failure in his responsibility to protect the U.S. public was, to put it mildly, ironic. And then Bush appealed to the values of his family, which, evidence would show, includes hands quite drenched in blood.

    John Kasich’s reaction on Iraq WMDs was to appeal to Colin Powell’s credibility, which has been a late night TV joke for over a decade. […]

    Marco Rubio was perhaps the most priceless — “Saddam Hussein was in violation of UN resolutions, in open violation, and the world wouldn’t do anything about it.” That’s a total lie. Iraq had disarmed and the U.S. did everything it could not to have the UN verify that disarmament so that the draconian sanctions would continue on Iraq indefinitely and they could have their regime… […]

    In fact, it’s quite provable that the Bush administration lied about Iraqi WMDs before the invasion. I know, I helped document such lies at the Institute for Public Accuracy, where I work, before the 2003 invasion.”

    Trump is Right About Iraq, and That Should Stick to Clinton

    People are tired of lies and perpetual war. Trump is shouting out some real truth here when no one else is. We have to at least give him credit for that.

    V. Arnold

    I guess opinions really are like assholes; everybody has one. 😉
    I have questions:
    What if the U.S. really isn’t a democracy?
    What if the primaries/debates (cough)/caucus’ are totally orchestrated?
    What if the elections are completely corrupt?
    What if the popular vote no longer decides election outcomes (2000)?
    What if what you perceive/believe you have genuine choices as to candidates, and the fact is you do not?
    How would having the answers to those questions change your behavior/actions?


    V. Arnold – totally orchestrated, like Trump takes a dive in the 5th round, and hands it all to Hillary, just as planned? Not really a choice, all rigged? Probably closer to the truth than we could ever believe. Good questions. Definitely appears that whoever gets elected ends up being a puppet, a figurehead who follows the orders of big money. What the “people” want is inconsequential. It will take a revolution to change it.

    Dr. Diablo

    What if the U.S. really isn’t a democracy? How would having the answers to those questions change your behavior/actions?

    Not really a choice, all rigged? It will take a revolution to change it.

    …Or not. The effectiveness of politics starts locally and wanes evermore with distance. So if you and everyone got involved locally instead of nationally, there would be a base that could affect and rein in the next level, then the states could counterbalance the Federal, the Federal the other nations, and so on. But nobody wants to do anything, you know…real…if it’s small and annoying like at the local level, where you’d have to talk to your idiot neighbors–half of which are Dem/Rep (statistically). They’d rather talk of “revolutions” and eventually shooting people, presumably. So as you say, we do nothing effective but everything that’s ineffective, and let the system persist.

    U.S. and all political life used to be served in the local party’s club, the Grange Hall, the local service club like the Kiwani, Oddfellows, or VFW, and local matters like insurance, healthcare, community construction, and advancement. Those organizations have power, and cumulatively they can restrain national politics. But only if we have communities, and organizations, and engagement, and duties. We don’t. We have arguments and TV and a lot of griping. If voting were effective, why would they allow it?

    I might seem hard on the author for telling small-town people how to vote, but my point was just this: how are we going to get anywhere if every problem is because “my guy didn’t win?” Surely we’re decades beyond believing this anymore. So why don’t we try something that works and has been proven to work? We’ve tried everything else.

    John Day

    Video of Bernie Sanders, as shown on 5PM news, Chicag 1963, getting arrested for participating in a civil rights protest. 1963 was Early for white kids to be doing that.

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