The Peasants Are Revolting

PeasantsPitchforksby James Ray Deaton4/10/16
They certainly are! It’s clear that old-guard elites of both parties fear freewheeling democracy and the inconvenient choices of the great unwashed masses. I mean, talk radio audience types and base voters of both political parties can really screw up the best laid plans of mice and members (elite party members, that is). Things have not gone well for the national committees of either party.

Hillary’s super-delegate fix on the Democrat side and the anti-Trump machinations of elites on the Republican side reveal that movers and shakers in both parties fear the vote tallies of the Plain People of America. Those ignorant rubes simply refuse to cooperate. The ghost of James Madison is waxing while Jefferson’s wanes.

Yes, the Founders did distrust straight-up democracy and built “mob rule” safeguards into our system of government and presidential elections —representative republic, indirect democracy, the Electoral College and all that. But this primary season has been eye-opening for many voters. Is the system rigged or does it just seem that way?

No matter how many state primaries and caucuses Bernie wins on the Democrat side, Her Royal Thighness remains a pant-suited juggernaut. Thanks to the super-delegate system that rewards party insiders, HRC is way ahead in delegates and Her name is nearly always preceded by the words “presumptive nominee.”

When The Donald was riding high in delegate counts, all kinds of strange endorsements and party leader maneuvers were made to undercut his advantage. Deep thinkers everywhere united to denounce Trump and Trumpism. There were media reports of secret party-elite confabs designed to thwart him. At this point they seem to have worked in denying Trump a delegate count lock on the nomination. Talk of an open or contested Republican convention abounds so as to deny Trump (and/or Cruz) the nomination.

It’s enough to make you believe in a third party. Maybe a party that plays by the rules. Maybe a party that accepts the vote of the people. Maybe a party that gives more than just lip service to election year sloganeering. Maybe a party that doesn’t seem to change the rules in the middle of the game because things aren’t working out the way the coaches planned. It’s enough to make you think party know-it-alls (left and right) don’t really trust you and me to vote the “right” way — and don’t really know it all — at all.


James Ray Deaton, one of six known conservatives living in Berkeley, Calif., is a graduate of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
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15 Responses to The Peasants Are Revolting

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    We shall see what happens. Note that even now, the Fire Witch has more pledged delegates than Sanders, due to her overwhelming victories in the South (which were a consequence of her strength among black voters). And if he catches up with her, some of those superdelegates may decide to change their minds (to the extent that liberals have minds, of course).

    As for Trump, note that he still hasn’t won a majority of votes in any state (though he did in the Northern Marianas). Cruz did in Utah, and he’s come close more often than Trump has. “The people” aren’t with him, merely a large group of devoted, committed (and many of them should be) followers. In multi-candidate races that was enough to give him a big lead; now he’s starting to trail Cruz more often with only one other rival to take a few votes away.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      The people” aren’t with him, merely a large group of devoted, committed (and many of them should be) followers.

      This made me think of Groucho Marx in “You Bet Your Life.” (Turn to audience, take cigar out of mouth and raise eyebrows)

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    It’s enough to make you believe in a third party. Maybe a party that plays by the rules. Maybe a party that accepts the vote of the people. Maybe a party that gives more than just lip service to election year sloganeering. Maybe a party that doesn’t seem to change the rules in the middle of the game because things aren’t working out the way the coaches planned. It’s enough to make you think party know-it-alls (left and right) don’t really trust you and me to vote the “right” way — and don’t really know it all — at all.

    I hate to disabuse anyone of their beliefs, but politics has always been politics. Some of our previous national leaders may have been of higher character than those who now rule us, but we have had only one Washington.

    Besides the normal human trait of romanticizing the past, I believe the main reason we are noticing how venal present leaders are, when compared to those in the past, is due to the fact that Government has grown so large and expansive that it effects just about everything we do. This was not the case even eighty years ago. In those days, the crooks in government had less control over all of us.

    Most human beings, not being terribly bright, it has taken us a while to figure this out.

    I also believe an important inflection point came with the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United vs. FEC. With this decision, the Supreme Court made it possible for big money interests to pour, virtually, unlimited funds into politics. It was no longer vital for candidates to solicit money from many smaller contributors. And with fewer, but larger contributors, candidates were more attentive to fewer voices.

    It is only natural that these interests, many of which have very close contacts to government, should spend big bucks to insure that government writes legislation in favor of such interests. These interests are also willing to spend bundles of cash to insure anyone who might threaten their interests will not be elected.

    And these special interests have an interest in keeping government large and profligate.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Well-funded independent PACs long predated the Citizens United decision. The first was set up by Big Labor, and for a long time largely had the field to itself. Then, in 1980, came NCPAC (the National Conservative PAC), which ran several mega-million ad campaigns against incumbent Democrat Senators. The latter struck back in 1982 by making NCPAC itself an issue.

      In the early 1996 Oregon special election for Bob Packwood’s seat, Ron Wyden eschewed negative ads — even as the labor unions ran independent negative ads against his opponent, Gordon Smith. (Wyden won, but Smith won Mark Hatfield’s seat that November.) This is the basic problem with independent ad campaigns. Was Wyden sincere, or just clever?

      As for big corporations taking advantage of the decision, the reality is that as long as Versailles-on-the-Potomac can control their fates, they will seek to influence it. How much of that is bribery by the businesses, and how much is extortion by the politicians?

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        As for big corporations taking advantage of the decision, the reality is that as long as Versailles-on-the-Potomac can control their fates, they will seek to influence it. How much of that is bribery by the businesses, and how much is extortion by the politicians?

        You make my point. It is both bribery and extortion,(one hand washes the other) but because of the size and power of government the magnitude of the criminality has grown to unheard of proportions.

        Well-funded independent PACs long predated the Citizens United decision.

        But nothing on the scale and numbers which have arisen post Citizens United.

        • NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

          Maybe, KFZ, but Citizens United was correctly decided by the Supreme Court (for once) and overturning it is a Democratic Party priority for a reason: the decision itself overturned part of the terrible McCain-Feingold “Campaign Finance” law that allowed the government to criminalize political speech – in this case, a movie critical of Hillary Clinton.

          Now the Democrats are hopelessly corrupt, and are basically running a bribery and extortion ring calling itself a political party. Yes, they collect money from businesses, but if we could reduce the size and power of government (which should be the Conservative priority), they would have much less ability to do so. On the Republican side, the problems would be lessened but the GOPe basically exists to serve these large business interests whereas the Democrats are primarily interested in amassing more power. Therefore the GOPe would still do everything it could even with reduced power to serve those interests.

          I would suggest, then, that to reduce Democratic corruption we vastly reduce the power of government, while to reduce Republican corruption we insist on electing honest Conservatives who serve us rather than E-men (often masquerading as Conservatives, e.g. Marco Rubio) who serve the Chamber of Commerce.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            I would suggest, then, that to reduce Democratic corruption we vastly reduce the power of government

            I would delete the word, “Democratic” from the sentence and leave it at that.

            As I have said before, there has always been and always will be corruption in government. We conservatives understand this and try to follow your the second suggestion, i.e. to elect honest men. But even honest men can become corrupt once in government. Power can do that.

            Thus the best way to cut corruption in government is to cut government. Take away the arbitrary powers which the Federal Government has voted itself over the last century and the effect of government corruption would shrink like a balloon without air.

  3. NAHALKIDES NAHALKIDES says:

    Each party’s rules are so complicated I don’t suppose any of us here at ST is truly conversant with them. Nonetheless, James is certainly correct in noting that both parties’ elites wish they could do away with those pesky voters and just pick the candidate of their choice. The situation on the Democratic is predictably worse; there the super-delegates are so numerous that it was they and not the elected delegates who ultimately decided that Obama and not Hillary should be the nominee in 2008. Yes, our President was on the national ballot not because he won a majority of Democratic voters but because Party bigwigs selected him over Hillary – another indication that the Democratic Party no longer functions the way a party in a free society should.

    What is most troubling on the Republican side is that the elite, which I shall refer to as the GOPe (for “Establishment”), did not immediately rally to the aid of Ted Cruz once it became apparent how well Trump was doing in the early primaries. So much does the GOPe hate Cruz (a great point in his favor) that even now with Trump dangerously close to sewing up the nomination it refuses to back him – Marco Rubio has quite obviously received his orders from the GOP money-men not to cut any sort of deal with Cruz, in return for which they presumably will support him in 2020.

    The Establishment has obviously discussed a number of schemes, a couple of which have been written about approvingly in NRO, by which Trump could be denied the nomination without Cruz having enough delegates to stop him (i.e. without backing Cruz!). They are, needless to say, scurrilous, underhanded, and certain to lead to defeat for Republicans in the fall as too many Republicans would be outraged should Trump have a majority and still be denied the nomination. And if Cruz does have the delegates to stop Trump but not to win an outright majority himself, the GOPe plans to commit electoral suicide by nominating neither man but rather an E-man such as Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan. Bob Dole is still alive, sort of, so they might as well try to run him again while they’re at it.

    To further complicate matters, John Kasich insists on staying in the race even though it is mathematically impossible for him to obtain the requisite 1237 votes on the first ballot. He’s an E-man but doesn’t seem to have the undivided support of the Establishment even with Rubio out of the race, which doesn’t say much for him. His ego may be larger than Trump’s if he really thinks the Republican Party, in time of crisis, will turn to him just because he has a fair chance to win his home state of Ohio.

    Would Trump have gotten as far as he has without crossover voting by Democrats? That is not clear, but certainly one reform Republicans need to push for is an end to crossover voting – why should Democrats be permitted to pick their Republican opponent? The bigger problem remains the nature of the GOPe itself – self-serving, myopic, and incurably stupid.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      If Trump actually has a majority on the first ballot, he’ll win. Even the GOP elites aren’t that stupid, though they come pretty close. Note that the arcane delegate rules operate mainly at the state level and are nothing new. They just haven’t mattered for a few decades because one candidate had it won by the time of the convention. The reason for the 40b rule was not to limit votes (which it didn’t, at least in 2012), but to prevent any interference in the careful convention scripting.

      One problem with getting rid of crossover votes is that many states (especially in the South) don’t have partisan registration. In such states, crossover votes can’t be eliminated. They can even be useful as an indication of popularity IF the crossover votes are sincere supporters. But it would probably be a good idea to get rid of crossover votes in any state that does have partisan registration.

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      To further complicate matters, John Kasich insists on staying in the race even though it is mathematically impossible for him to obtain the requisite 1237 votes on the first ballot. He’s an E-man but doesn’t seem to have the undivided support of the Establishment even with Rubio out of the race, which doesn’t say much for him.

      After watching Kasich during this campaign season, I seriously wonder if he is hitting the sauce. He looks disheveled and acts somewhat comically. He also doesn’t look so healthy. Does the GOPe know something about him, that we don’t?

  4. Timothy Lane says:

    There’s a nice Federalist article linked to at Hot Air that goes into what conservatives need to do post-Trump. The author favors keeping out the old elites, and finding some way to work with the radicals among the conservative movement (such as Ron Paul) in the same way liberals work with the likes of Bernie Sanders. The link is:

    http://thefederalist.com/2016/04/11/how-to-rebuild-conservatism-after-trump/

    • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

      A pretty good article. Clearly, he sees Trump in the same light as many at ST.

      As to why the media can’t destroy Trump,

      Now, part of this dynamic is that pinning a scandal on Trump is like making fun of a clown—highlight the big red nose and floppy shoes as you will, people knew what they were getting from the word “clown.”

      And his rating of the candidates is spot on, in my opinion.

      I embrace refusing to vote for Trump because he’s a corrupt, opportunistic liar. However, Clinton is the one candidate in the race who is as bad or worse on this score than Trump.

      The big thing in Trump’s favor is simple. There is a small chance that Trump might actually do some of the things he promises. There is no doubt, however, that Clinton will screw us all and would sell the USA for a profit.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    The below quote is from a WSJ article dealing with employment and the way the world is changing.

    Electing Mr. Trump won’t shield his supporters from the reality that they are now competing with every other worker on Earth, says Balaji Srinivasan, a board partner at venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and CEO of bitcoin startup 21 Inc. Mr. Srinivasan views the collision between tech culture and Mr. Trump’s populist movement as inevitable, and potentially so divisive that tech’s global elites should effectively secede from their respective countries, an idea he calls “the ultimate exit.”
    Already, he says, elites in Silicon Valley are more connected to one another and to their counterparts around the globe than to non-techies in their midst or nearby. “My Stanford network connects to Harvard and Beijing more than [California’s] Central Valley,” says Mr. Srinivasan. Eventually, he argues, “there will be a recognition that if we don’t have control of the nation state, we should reduce the nation state’s power over us.”

    This is further confirmation of my firmly held belief that we have been going backward, not forward in history. This guy reminds me of someone from feudal Europe where the few elites rule the rest of us.

    Note the man’s nationality. No doubt his cultural background has also influenced his thinking. After all, the Caste System, is also a type of feudalism. These people must be crushed.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      It’s a legitimate question regarding whether protectionism (tariffs, etc.) will wall us off from unfair competition or if this protectionism, as offered by Trump, just promises to wall us off from reality. Could be a little of both, of course.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      It seems that these new elites are unashamed in their total disconnect to those who do the scutwork to keep their pampered lives going. And I’ll bet many of them mocked Romney after the garbage man who picked up the trash at Romney’s California home said he’d never met him.

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