Britain, America, and now Australia

So, the Australians, like the British, and the Americans, confound the polls and disappoint the pollsters and the left (redundancy alert, mostly). Why does this keep happening, and what lessons can we take from its recurrence? David Catron in The Spectator has some ideas.

[I]magine an election in which one party promises to save the planet and the opposing party pledges to save your job. Which is more likely to get your vote? For most people, those who support families and coach T-Ball on weekends, the answer will not require a lot of soul searching. You may have, for various social reasons, told some pollster that the “Save the Earth” party has your support. But it’s a lot easier to focus on the environment if one can count on a steady income. Consequently, in the end, you’ll vote for the “Paycheck Party.”

This shouldn’t require enormous prescience to predict, yet it consistently surprises the pollsters. The latest election in which they managed to miss the blindingly obvious just took place Down Under between the Labor Party and the conservative Liberal-National coalition. Like Brexit and the 2016 presidential election in the United States, it was a whiff for the pollsters. Labor — which ran on combating climate change, clamping down on fossil fuels, and raising taxes — was the universal favorite. Just before the vote, the Washington Post gleefully reported:

Opinion polls and betting markets predict Australia’s Labor Party, under the leadership of 52-year-old former union head Bill Shorten, will handily defeat the Liberal-National party coalition that has governed the country for five-and-a-half tumultuous years.… The Labor Party wants Australia to generate half its electricity from solar, wind and other renewable sources by 2030, a huge shift for a nation with the world’s fourth-largest coal reserves and the eighth-biggest natural gas industry.

Well, schadenfreude is fun but I shouldn’t gloat too much, Right up until the results I really though Mittens Romney was going to win. How lucky for us he didn’t, if Mittens had defeated Obama, we’d still be in the doldrums caused by the globalists, instead we have the resurgent vibrant economy that Trump brought with him.

In a country like ours, where voting is voluntary and turnout fluctuates significantly, it’s all too easy to create a polling model that includes inaccurate assumptions. And, for a survey to be statistically valid, it must be based on a random sample. This presents real challenges in a nation whose turnout in presidential elections tends to be about 60 percent of eligible voters. But this shouldn’t present an issue where voting is compulsory. Yet election analyst Kevin Bonham told SBS News that the consistency of Australia’s recent polls is “suspicious”:

It’s like one poll can be three per cent out and that’s what you would sort of expect now and then by random chance. But all the polls being out by that amount in the same direction and getting all the same results is something that absolutely cannot happen by random chance.… It’s absolutely proof of a systematic issue.… If they are doing true random sampling independent of each other, there is no way that they would all get results so close to each other at the same time.

Hilariously, some of the excuses that have been offered are not merely inconsistent with compulsory voting, but suspiciously reminiscent of those made by left-leaning statisticians in the U.S. Some “experts” suggest that the Australian samples contained too many educated people. Sound familiar? As with Brexit and the Trump election, the idea is that “smart” people are over-represented, so naturally they skewed the poll in the “smart” direction. This is what University of Melbourne statistician Adrian Beaumont suggests in The Conversation.

Beaumont claims, without evidence, that educated people are “probably” more likely to respond to surveys. Likewise, he avers that Morrison had a “much better connection to those with a lower degree of educational attainment” than did the leader of the Labor Party. He also fails to provide any objective data to support this assertion. A far more plausible explanation is provided in the Wall Street Journal by Tom Switzer, the Directorof the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney. It involves a species of voter similar to the “shy Trump” supporter:

Shy voters now shape Australian politics. During the past three years, television and social-media outlets created a climate of opinion in which it was politically incorrect to oppose identity politics, high taxes, wealth redistribution and costly climate-mitigation policies. In the privacy of the voting booth, “quiet Australians,” as Mr. Morrison calls them, decided that their interests lay in a low-tax and resource-rich market economy.

I’m very sure that is true, we have seen it in Britain, in America, and now in Australia. If you make the average citizen feel like an oppressed minority in his own country, who exists only to do what his betters tell him to do – well with the people who led the world into freedom, again the British, the American, the Australians, those whom De Gaulle called “The Anglo Saxons” (he had much right, love of freedom is one inheritance that we all have of that foggy, damp, island off the coast of Europe) well, you’ll get a revolt, peacefully at the ballot box, and historically, if that doesn’t work, more direct means will come to the fore.

We are all rather ‘Deplorable’ like that.

And so, Britain, then America, and now Australia, that’s the first round.

The second round starts Thursday when Britain will elect European MPs. I suspect the European Parliament is going to be interesting, because I think the British are going to send a bunch who will be more likely to give an Agincourt Salute than further the ‘European Project’ and I also suspect that quite a few in Europe will once again follow.

Welcome, Australia, to the Counterrevolution!

Ultima Cumaei venit iam carminis ætas;
Magnus ab integro sæclorum nascitur ordo.
iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna,
iam nova progenies cælo demittitur alto.

From the  Eclogue of Virgil:

which translates as follows:

Now comes the final era of the Sibyl’s song;
The great order of the ages is born afresh.
And now justice returns, honored rules return;
now a new lineage is sent down from high heaven.

Trumping the UN, and Cutting Our Own Throats

If you haven’t seen President Trump’s excellent speech at the UN, here it is.

There are quite a few highlights, but the only one I’ll put here is this:

We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants “Death to America,” and that threatens Israel with annihilation, to possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on Earth. Just can’t do it.

Long ago, like Lou Aguilar at The American Spectator, I saw the 1953 movie The War of the Worlds. I remember it much the way he does, especially this:

The setup comes soon after the A-bomb fail. A desperate general tells physicist Gene Barry (in a superb stoic performance) that there’s nothing more his military can do against the Martian war machine, and the last best hope for Earth is for Barry’s band of scientists to develop some sort of chemical weapon. They drive trucks full of scientific equipment into the last city standing, Los Angeles, only to have its panicked residents manhandle Barry, smash his equipment, and seize the truck in a suicidal attempt to flee the Martians. “They cut their own throats!” declares the shaken Barry to his colleagues.

The image of a berserk crowd destroying its best long-term bet for illusory gain could be a metaphor for the upcoming midterm elections. Under the management of Donald Trump and the Republicans, this country has seldom been in finer shape. It enjoys record-high employment, consumer confidence, stock value, and rising wages. Two nuclear threats have been reduced, and a terrorist caliphate dissolved to attain that most elusive balance of peace and prosperity. And none are benefiting more from this condition than the three pillars of progressive identity politics — blacks, Hispanics, and women. Black, Latino, and female unemployment have never been lower.

He is exactly correct. These are by almost any measure, the good old days, and they are improving by the week. But what are we seeing? A slow moving soft coup in the government, a revolt of the opposition party who is putting their thugs into the streets, just as the Blackshirts and Brownshirts were in Italy and Germany in the 20s and 30s. Not to mention the spectacle of one of the best judges in the country dragged through the mud (not of his creation) for partisan political purposes. The whole garish spectacle has become sickening, and must be tamped down, or we will see violence in the streets.

This is all quite literally insane. It threatens the freedom of the United States, and cannot be tolerated. Jefferson wrote in The Declaration of Independence, and we all believe that: “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

Surely, one does not throw prudence to the wind when things are going well for almost everyone. Only a deluded fool or an ideologue (often the same thing) would even think of such a thing. But that is where the United States is.

Well, in just a few weeks we will have an election, the projections run from a blue wave to a red tide, with the blue wave getting more press (given the press’ bias, that should surprise no one) but even conservative pollsters are warning of such a thing

But Lou’s last paragraph is spot on so it will end my post as well.

It really is a War of the Worlds, between the real world and a fantasy one. Right now, the fantasists are leading. If people vote them into power this November, they will be cutting their own throats.

Poll Numbers and Missions

President Trump’s polling numbers seem ridiculously solid, don’t they, no matter what the news? Robert Merry at The American Conservative noticed this too. And he undertook to explain it.

There’s an underlying reality lurking in the remarkable poll numbers released Monday by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News. They showed that Donald Trump’s approval rating declined by only two percentage points. That despite the fact that the president suffered what was by any measure a devastating week, with a former campaign chairman convicted on fraud charges and a former lawyer copping a plea on campaign finance violations and implicating Trump in the mess.

Trump’s frenzied political enemies promptly smelled blood in the water and circled the vessel like hungry sharks. Surely, they concluded, this bolt of bad news would undermine Trump’s political standing and begin an erosion that would lead to his eventual demise, either at the next presidential election or, they could only hope, sooner.

But the WSJ-NBC poll showed that 44 percent of voters approved of Trump’s presidential performance, as compared to a 46 percent approval rating just before last week’s bad news. As the Journal noted in reporting the latest results, the difference was within the poll’s margin of error and hence statistically insignificant.

Welp, I wasn’t surprised, since I couldn’t figure out what any of those charges had to do with Trump, exactly. Does he have some political allies that are not completely honest? Compared to whom? Hillary? Fauxohantas? Bernie? Give me a break, as Senator Bumpers commented in yesterday’s post, likely none of us could stand up to this level of intrusion, let alone a real estate developer in corrupt New York.

And then there is this:

Because this isn’t about the fate of Trump so much as the future of America. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump opened up a series of fresh fault lines in American politics by advocating new directions for the country that no other politician would discuss. They included a clamp-down on illegal immigration and a serious reduction in overall immigration after a decades-long influx of unprecedented proportions; an effort to address the hollowing out of America’s industrial capacity through trade policies; an end to our nation-building zeal and the wars of choice spawned by it; and a promise to curtail the power of elites who gave us unfettered immigration, an industrial decline, endless wars, years of lukewarm economic growth, and an era of globalism that slighted old-fashioned American nationalism.

Yep, I don’t have any real investment in Trump, but I sure as hell do in Making America Great Again, or even as good as it was when I was young. And that is the battle Trump is leading, and so far appears to be winning.

You all know that I spend a good bit of time on British, specifically English, blogs, and have many friends there. Especially with Brexit, they are fighting much the same battle, to make Britain Great Again. What do I hear most from them? “We need a Trump.” And they do, they need someone unafraid to lead, to openly love Britain, and its history, and to work fearlessly to restore its future.

But that base, as Silver’s ongoing survey aggregations and the WSJ-NBC poll make clear, is ironclad. The Trump constituency isn’t going away, and any impeachment initiative from House Democrats in the new Congress is only going to further tighten its knot.

I think that is putting it mildly. Unless they have a clear-cut reason for impeachment, much clearer than the Republicans had with Clinton, and so far, at least, they do not, they risk far more than political capital, they risk the foundations of the Republic. It is that big potentially. And that dangerous, to them, and to us all.

And that is interesting. In 1774 about a third of the colonists, and a third of Englishmen were taking the Patriot side in our dispute with the King. A third of each were taking the King’s (the Loyalist) side. And the remaining third on each side of the pond were doing their best to stay neutral – going along to get along. Not very different really from today, and we know what happened then, and I don’t think we really want a repeat.

Polling, and Blue Waves

David Catron at The American Spectator has a most interesting article up about the coming alleged ‘Blue Wave’. In short, it comes down to, don’t believe the polls, not any of them.

Let’s begin with discredited forecasters. The above-quoted CNN story and most other media reports about the resurgent blue wave relied heavily on a recent analysis by Sabato’s Crystal Ball, which changed 17 House ratings in favor of the Democrats. CNNand the rest of the media reportedthis as if it had come from the lips of the Delphic Oracle. But Sabato’s prognostications invariably overestimate Democratic prospects. In 2014, for example, the Crystal Ball’s projections did so in every category — House, Senate, and Governorships. They did it again in 2016, as the Richmond Times Dispatch gleefully reports:

The final Crystal Ball had Democrat Hillary Clinton winning the White House with 322 electoral votes to 216 for Trump.… The Crystal Ball also projected that the Democrats and Republicans each would have 50 U.S. Senate seats and that U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, as vice president, would have the tie-breaking vote.

Yeah, it’s gonna be an early night. And it was when they were all proved wrong. But we got that wonderful video of the news anchors breaking down in tears, and our country back.

Mark Penn, chairman of the Harris Poll and former pollster to President Clinton from 1995 to 2000, provides a description of the polling business that few pollsters or media types will find flattering. In a recent column for the Hill, he indicted the “pundit-polling-news establishment” for studiously ignoring the blindingly obvious lessons of 2016. In his estimation, the major polling firms and news organizations to whom they purport to provide objective data have made no meaningful changes in the methodology that led them to miss the seismic shift in voter attitudes that led to President Trump’s 2016 victory:

Almost two years later, very little has changed in polling and analysis at major institutions and news media. If anything, the polling has drifted even further from reality when you look at the questions being asked and, more importantly, the questions not being asked. You don’t need polls to see the America you live in. You need polls to understand the part of America you don’t know.

The questions matter. One will get significantly different results if one asks, “Should American immigration authorities rip babies from their mother’s arms?” As opposed to, “Should American immigration laws be enforced as written?”

And that is why polling is so inaccurate, people may, or may not lie to the pollster (the so-called ‘Shy Tory’ thing). They may, or may not, care about any given subject. They may, or may not, almost anything. There’s no check on any of this, what is used for a sample also matters, and on and on.

And that is not good news for the Democrats. They can’t win a majority in either house of Congress based on media happy talk about public opinion polls that tell you more about who’s paying for them than what the voters are actually thinking. Which brings us to all those “news” stories about the generic ballot and the allegedly imminent blue wave. Does any of it really mean anything? Probably not. As Ed Kilgore, by no means a conservative, pointed out over the weekend, “At this point in 2014, Democrats led in most generic congressional polls, but then lost the national House popular vote by nearly 6 percent.”

Is there anything, anywhere said by a Democrat candidate since the Trump election that appeals to even a cursorily regular American trying to make a living? I can’t think of one.

Second, as a report from the Brennan Center for Justice confirms, the Democrats can’t win by merely matching GOP turnout:

Democrats would need to win by a nearly unprecedented nationwide margin in 2018 to gain control of the House of Representatives. To attain a bare majority, Democrats would likely have to win the national popular vote by nearly 11 points. Neither Democrats nor Republicans have won by such an overwhelming margin in decades.

But frankly, I don’t believe that either. There is only one poll that matters, the one taken on November 6th. The only proper course is to vote for what you believe and hope and pray that things will be alright. So far, we’ve survived.

And this year, we’ve got a real mess to sort out, between the GOPe or RINOs (at this point one could say the Koch faction or the globalist cabal) and the Trump supporters, and then there are the Democrats. It’s a third party without the label, really, but it’s up to us to sort it out. But for me, for the first time in my life, I will vote a straight Republican ticket, not that they are that good, mind. The Dems are that bad.

Brother Jonathan on Primary Season

So, does ‘draining the swamp’ still resonate in America? Well, last I looked the Potomac wasn’t in flood stage, so maybe. In fact, I think it is getting worse. Paul Mirengoff at PowerLine has some polling for us.

It does. So finds a poll commissioned by Ear to the Ground and conducted by McLaughlin & Associates.

The poll (of 1,000 likely voters) found that 55 percent of Americans are “concerned” or “very concerned” about “the Swamp,” with 36 percent very concerned. 59 percent of those who identify as “very conservative” said they were very concerned.

Levels of concern increased when the Swamp was defined in terms of “the influence of the network of DC-centric professional bureaucrats, media, and insider elites.” 60 percent said it was important “to eliminate the influence” of that network.

To what extent do voters blame Republicans, who after all now control the White House and have majorities in both chambers of Congress, for the failure to curb the Swamp? According to the poll, almost half of Americans (46 percent), and 41 percent of all conservatives, blame Republicans for not draining the Swamp.

Indeed, when asked what is the top impediment to draining the Swamp, 42 percent of voters said it was the GOP. Republicans thus ranked just behind lobbyists.

Well, it’s nice that so many agree with me, but if the Democrats and the Republicans are the cause, what might be the solution? Paul is worried not so much about a blue wave, but that the red tide may stay out next November. He’s right, I’m monumentally uncaring about whether my Senator gets reelected. I’ve had worse, to be sure, but she doesn’t exactly vote as she talks. Well, I supported her in 2012, and that seemed the best thing.

Well, Washington is a seductive place, Hollywood for the not-good-looking, that will be so until they don’t have so much power and money to play with. That’s the problem, isn’t it, if you have power, you can trade it for money, or drugs, or sex, or whatever you want, and you can probably keep yourself out of jail, as well.

It’s not that crude of course, although I bet sometimes it is. But don’t think anyone, including you and me, isn’t subject to it. We all want to be the cool kids.

So solutions, what might they be?

First, vote for people whenever possible with a strong moral underpinning, usually that means an orthodox Christian or Jew, of whatever flavor, but it doesn’t rule out other faiths. But we are not simply strong enough on our own to stand up to temptation.

My personal second rule (for everything from dog catcher to president) is to default to new blood. Quite often I think someone is doing well enough to continue them, but mainly I think it more important to keep them off balance, so they don’t forget who the boss is.

That is advice mostly for the primary, it’s a major advantage we as Americans have, that nearly anyone can run for office. Part of the reason that the British swamp is even more impenetrable than ours is the tight control the parties have over who can run. Remember how many desperately opposed Trump during the primaries? Yeah, he won. Far from perfect, especially as a man. but a man who knows who he is, and has enough money that he cannot be bought. And so he becomes a moral man. And you wonder why the British elite like the denizens of our swamp detest him so – well there is your answer. Brother Jonathon, an English friend called him yesterday. It is apt.

[H]e was ill-mannered and ill-spoken—a boor, a braggart, a ruffian, a bigot, a hick, and a trickster. His name was Brother Jonathan.

Today he is all but forgotten—eclipsed by his upstanding uncle, Sam. But after the Revolutionary War, Brother Jonathan was the personification of the newly independent American people: clever, courageous, not all that sophisticated and proud of it. He was the everyman incarnate. It was the everyman who had led America to victory. And now America looked to the everyman to lead them out from the bloated shadow of Great Britain.

And so like Gadsden flags, tricorn hats, and so much more, our history provides answers for the present. We need an entire Congress of Brother Jonathons. We won’t get that, of course, but the closer we get, the better the result will be.

The Anti-Trump Bourbons

There is a new article out from Victor Davis Hanson, and as always it is exceptional. Let’s take a look.

Just seven months into Donald Trump’s administration we are already bombarded with political angling and speculations about the 2020 presidential race. No one knows in the next three years what can happen to a volatile Trump presidency or his psychotic enemies, but for now such pronouncements of doom seem amnesiac if not absurd.

Things are supposedly not going well politically with Donald Trump lately, after a series of administration firings, internecine White House warring, and controversial tweets. A Gallup Poll has him at only a 34 percent positive rating, and losing some support even among Republicans (down to 79 percent)—although contrarily a recent Rasmussen survey shows him improving to the mid-forties in popularity. Nonetheless, we are warned that even if Trump is lucky enough not to be impeached, if he is not removed under the 25th Amendment or the Emoluments Clause, if he does not resign in shame, even if he has the stamina to continue under such chaos, even if he seeks reelection and thus even more punishment, he simply cannot win in 2020.

In answer to such assumed expertise, one could answer with Talleyrand’s purported quip about our modern-day Bourbons that “They had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”

Namely, Trump’s enraged critics still do not grasp that he is a reflection of, not a catalyst for, widespread anger and unhappiness with globalization, interventionist foreign policy, Orwellian political correctness, identity politics, tribalism, open borders, and a Deep State that lectures and condemns but never lives the consequences of its own sermonizing.

In particular, the current conundrum and prognostications ignore several constants.

Do Americans Really Believe that Pollsters and the Media Have Reformed?

One, despite the recent Gallup poll, most polls still show Trump’s at about a 40 percent approval rating—nearly the same level of support as shortly before the November 2016 election. That purported dismal level of support is pronounced to be near fatal, when in fact it is not.

That is an important point. Why on earth would anybody believe either the partisan press or the (pretty much) partisan pollsters. They haven’t been right about anything in … (well, I don’t remember, how did Dewey’s Presidency go again).

Do Americans Really Believe the Messenger Nullifies the Message?

As in 2016, many of those who voted for Trump would prefer that he curb his tweets, clean up his language, sleep eight instead of five hours, and follow all the conventional-wisdom admonitions offered about his misbehavior. But that said, nearly half of the country is probably still willing to overlook his eccentricities for several reasons.

Trump now has a presidential record of eight months. Despite the media’s neglect of it, one can sense changes by just getting out and traveling the country. Even in rural central California, one can feel that it really is true that there is a 76 percent drop in illegal immigration, and immigration law is being taken seriously as never before.

It was no accident that the National Council of La Raza without warning dropped its racialist nomenclature and is now UnidosUS (“Together, US”). Why is the Democratic Party now feigning a focus on class, not racial, issues with its new “Better Deal” FDR/Truman-like echo?

Lot in that, isn’t there? We are, for the most part, smart enough to understand that Trump’s Tweeting, if it has any meaning at all, is his method of bypassing the media, which is why they hate it so, especially because it is effective. It’s also one way he controls the narrative, by trolling the Democrats, the Anti-Trump Republicans, and the media (Yes, I did threepeat myself there, there is not a hairsbreadth of difference between them, and we could add more such as the deep state and others).

The trade deficit is even shrinking and lots of companies have announced relocations to the United States, in reaction to record cheap energy costs and a perceived favorable business environment. And all this comes at a time when the United States is neither seeking optional military interventions nor backing away from thuggish aggression, but is trying to thread the needle in restoring deterrence along the lines of “principled realism.”

The point is not just that no one can know the ultimate fate of the Trump agenda, but rather that so far media hysteria and congressional calcification have not stopped perceived conservative progress. The bottom line is that Trump did prove to be far more conservative than Republican establishmentarians had forecast. To his supporters, Trump’s message is usually distinguished from Trump, the messenger. Politically that means pragmatist supporters can focus on his agenda not his tweets, while Trump’s die-hard voters like his Twitter combativeness, viewing it as a long overdue media comeuppance. […]

One of the strangest ironies of the present age is that Trump’s populism (e.g., “our farmers”, “our vets”, “our coal miners”, “our workers”), which saved the Senate and House for Republicans and delivered the greatest Republican majorities on the local and state level since the 1920s, is either ridiculed or ignored.

Yet the more the economy picks up, the more the administration prunes back the regulatory state, and the more the United States restores deterrence, the shriller will be the argument that Trump’s tweets and behavior nullify solid achievement. Just watch.

Will the New Democratic/Progressive Party Really Rebuild the Blue Wall?

Fourth and finally, the less publicized split in the Democratic Party is probably worse than that of its Republican counterpart. The latter did not stop Trump’s victory in the Electoral College, the former helped ensure Hillary’s “Blue Wall” collapsed.

Continue reading The Anti-Trump Bourbons: Learning and Forgetting Nothing in Time for 2020As always it’s quite wonderful, as one would expect from one of America’s greatest minds. So enjoy, and take comfort in his words, a fair amount of damage has been caused, but nothing is beyond repair, let alone America. Especially as long as men like VDH are writing the truth.

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