In fact, Trump was supported by 2 fantastical alternate realities. His pillars were the alt-right and the alt-left. So congratulations, alt-left, this recession's for you too.
What alt-left am I talking about? See below.
But before I get to the alt-left, an aside. You may want to reconsider your stance on gun control. If Trump changes his stance on gun control, and agrees with you, and succeeds in stripping us of firearms, you will not like the result. Consider the possibility that the Founders were right.
Now, let's look at the alt-left. Alt-lefters, the rest of this is for you.
In 2008, I observed with deep melancholy that the Democrats were going to take a referendum on the Iraq war and interpret it as eager support for more government control of health care. And so they did, with not even enough compromise to persuade just 1 (!) Republican to their side. This is alt-left reality distortion at its finest. But they did not stop there, they did not even stop when they got the wakeup call as the Democratic heartland of Massachusetts chose a Republican (!!) in an off-season election to cast the vote to enable a Republican filibuster. Despite all this, on they went, alt-left reality bubble in full force. If you want to stimulate profound and enduring rage from people who have just found out how helpless they are in the face of government interference, this is how you do it. Next time someone hits you on the head with a baseball bat, pay attention.
Personally, I don't think Obamacare is any worse than the awful system we had before it. It just shifted winners and losers (personally, I was a loser, but so be it). But regardless of the virtues of Obamacare, the timing was unbelievably hostile to the needs of the country. Here we were in the midst of the darkest recession in living memory, and the government decides to force people to pay for services they don't want, and makes a commitment to every employer in the country that their costs for employees are going to go up a lot, and no we won't even tell you how much "a lot" is. If you think this didn't discourage employers from hiring, and didn't encourage them to maybe even lay off a few more since they were now more expensive, then your refusal to acknowledge how real humans respond to real incentives is another example of the alt-left reality bubble at work. It is a far more damaging alternate reality than the one in which Obama was born in Kenya. I cannot help wondering, if you hadn't pissed off so many people and caused the recession to go on longer than it needed, perhaps we could have avoided this explosion of wrath. The next time there's a devastating recession, take it seriously.
Another part of the alt-left mantra is that only perfect answers, following every canon in the alt-left cookbook, can be accepted. And so there we were in the darkest depression in living memory, and Boeing was building a new factory. As soon as Boeing had spent all the money to get the factory ready, the Democratic attack dog in charge of the NLRB, working for the unions regardless of national consequences, shut it down. And so the recovery from the recession took even longer. And I could tell more stories like that one, of Democratic government nailing shut the doors on businesses eager keep workers working. But the lesson is: Next time anybody tries to build any factory anywhere in the USA, even if it's in a state with a low min wage and nonunion workers, celebrate the victory.
When the Democrats held both the House and the Senate, and still couldn't get anything cast into legislation because of the filibuster, the alt-left started scrutinizing the system to see if they could somehow beat it, because it was so un-democratic. The filibuster, they said, thwarted the will of the people. Welcome to irony. Be thankful the Founders were wiser than you.
The alt-left cookbook says the only solutions to global warming that meet alt-left canon are solutions that cost trillions of dollars and punish people with higher prices, more debt, and more regulations, all to protect us from something that probably won't do grievous harm until 2050. The rational reaction of a person who is not steeped in physics and chemistry is to deny this dark view of the future (at least until the state of Florida is underwater). Yet geoengineering may be able to fix this problem for 1% of the defense budget. Today, the rightwing media prevents talk of cheap geoengineering solutions because they are in the alt-right denial bubble. And the leftwing media prevents talk of cheap geoengineering solutions because they are in the dark alt-left must-punish-people bubble. At a trivial cost of 1% of the defense budget, no one would bother to object to eliminating the risk even if they thought it was foolishness. You'd think a sane Democratic politician would want to solve this problem quickly and cheaply, just to keep the coal miners' union from defecting, to say nothing of saving Florida. But not in the alt-left bubble. For the alt-left, there can be no acknowledgement that their trillion dollar price tag understandably terrifies. Time has come to acknowledge that cheaper solutions with less government control of our lives are better.
And congratulations to the alt-left on convincing us that we are no better off now than we were in the 80s. This is typical dark alt-left nonsense fully supported by statistics, utterly refuted by fact. Compare the smart phone, tablet, or laptop you are using to read this blog, with the smart phone, tablet, or laptop you used to read blogs in the 80s. What? You say you didn't even have any of those things in the 80s? Exactly. Important safety tip: if you fill people's heads with dark nonsense, they will not necessarily draw the conclusion you want them to draw about how to fix it. You were selling a dark alternate reality before Trump came on the scene. He just leveraged your groundwork. Consider a little common sense, especially when the nonsensical statistics support your fondest biases.
Next congratulations to the alt-left Sanders faction. You wanted to kill international trade. You won big. Except that a look at the numbers suggests that it's not evil foreigners suffering malnutrition who are stealing those jobs. Over 80% are lost to automation: the USA makes more steel than ever before, but with a lot fewer people. The alt-left actually shares a common dark fantasy with the alt-right. Learn to smell the occasional fact.
I see in the news that the alt-left now thinks the real enemy is the electoral college because hillary is winning the popular vote by 0.2%. You really think that that is the deep underlying problem here? But neither candidate actually even managed to get 48% of the popular vote. There is no democratic majority for Democratics or Republicans. If you were serious about believing that 50.1% is somehow mystically wiser than 49.9%, you would insist on a system in which the winner is the party that forms a coalition with the Libertarians, who got most of the rest. But the alt-left does not actually believe in majority rule. They believe in tweaking the rules until they win. In what way is this different from the alt-right? Oh, and by the way, you'd think, faced with an existential threat to the nation, you might want to extend a hand to the Libertarians anyway, and admit that just a few of the regulations you can't get enough of are probably bad ideas, and oh by the way, the Big Bird subsidy really is probably a waste of precious taxpayer dollars. Gaining half the Libertarian vote would have won the election. But oh no. Every dollar spent by government is too virtuous to consider leaving unspent. In the future, consider gathering a coalition that can actually win a majority.
And you can stop blaming the Koch brothers for your failures to achieve government-managed nirvana. The Kochs don't like Trump any better than you do. Despite the frothing at the mouth of the leftwing media, the Kochs aren't even right wing conservatives. Just ask any left liberal lawyer who knows anything about their efforts to repair the criminal justice system. The Kochs are business oriented libertarians, willing to hold their noses against the vile social issue positions of Republicans for just a whiff of deregulating, non-favorite-playing rules that might soften the kind of economic crash that creates elections like this one. You don't have to agree with the Kochs (even I don't, often enough), but to escape the alt-left bubble you have to stop heaping the same sewage on everyone who disagrees with you. Some of us oppose you because our equally sincere compassion leads us to different conclusions. Focus on the real dangers that emanate from dark alternate reality bubbles from both left and right.
And while you're reconsidering your own hatreds, stop blaming the superrich and the evil corporations for everything. A few of them -- the only ones ever mentioned in alt-left media -- are almost as vile as you think all of them are. But none of them wanted Trump (well, exceptions can be counted on one hand). When you start believing that the biggest problem in your society is you aren't dishing enough punishment to the people who build the billion dollar industries that employ the tens of thousands of new workers, you are playing Russian roulette with the golden goose. Don't you know how that story ends? Because some of the people who voted against you still remember.
You wanted revolutionary rule by the thinnest of majorities, believing, for some mysterious reason, that they would always embrace the darkness and hatred of the alt-left reality bubble. You got almost everything you wished for. Welcome to paradise.
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