Monday, October 17, 2016

Thoughts on the Election

First, I'd estimate Trump's IQ to be in the 105 to 110 range. That's below the IQ of the average congressman, governor or past president. Both of the Clintons are probably around 140. I'll be voting for Trump, but it would be silly to claim that he knows a lot of facts, has good taste or possesses a long attention span.

How could someone with a 105 to 110 IQ have become a billionaire? He's a natural alpha and his father's fortune must have given him a head start.

Most of his political opinions are typical of working-class, non-Jewish real New Yorkers - white ethnics whose ancestors came here in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the popular imagination these people are Irish and Italian, but reality is, as always, more complicated, and I've known a few with German last names as well.

Why would a son of a multimillionaire be culturally working-class? The above-mentioned IQ issue. Also, his natural machismo.

If you ask an Italian-American elevator mechanic from Jersey or Staten Island about law and order, free trade or immigration, you'll hear the same things that are coming out of Trump. These people were pro-war in the aftermath of 9/11, but turned anti-war in the middle of the Iraq disaster. And they're still anti-war today.

Such people's opinions of Putin and Russia are much more negative than Trump's though. Does that mean that the TrumPutin conspiracy theory is correct? I don't know. It's fun to accuse Hillbots online of peddling a conspiracy theory, but I'll vote for Trump regardless of whether or not he's actually in touch with the Kremlin. Hillary is supported by lots of non-American forces and, what's more important, she'll be much worse for America and the world.

I'm not a pacifist because I sympathize with individuals and groups who defend themselves, but I don't think that America's current military involvements have anything to do with self-defense. In fact, I think that America would be safer if it withdrew from the Middle East.

I like both of the countries in which I've lived, so the idea of peaceful relations between them is very attractive to me.

I don't think that a nuclear exchange or a direct conventional war between Russia and the US is possible because if it was, it would have probably already happened. The USSR acquired nuclear weapons in 1949. Think of all the crises that have happened since then, of all the changes of personnel at the top. What does the absence of direct conflict tell us? That MAD works.

However, Hillary is likely to start new conventional proxy wars with Russia. The Korean, Vietnam, Central American and Afghanistan wars were the largest proxy wars of Cold War I. The Georgian, Donbass and Syrian wars have been the largest proxy wars of Cold War II. These conflicts kill enormous numbers of people, so any humanitarian should be opposed to those who promote them.

Trump is an erratic guy, and along with a large number of dovish statements he's made some not so dovish ones. How do I resolve this problem? First, I go by volume. His peaceful statements have been more numerous. Second, I look at the behavior of the people with the largest stake in this issue. Both the neocons and Putin are acting as if they think that Trump will be a non-interventionist. As I said above, I don't know if the Kremlin is helping Trump with his campaign, but I follow Russian media, and the pro-Kremlin parts of it are indeed pro-Trump.

Even though I'm an immigrant, I support Trump's immigration stance. I freely admit that this is hypocritical. What can I say, I'm comfortable here.

As should be evident from my blog, I'm fascinated by a wide variety of cultures, by their languages, histories, stereotypes and genetics. There are people who spend a lot of energy defending endangered species of frogs or butterflies, and I sympathize with them, but not as much as with the people who are trying to preserve human cultural and biological diversity. I see the prospect of the melting down of humanity into one big, undifferentiated grey mass as a tragedy that should be avoided.

Ever since the Industrial Revolution all of the world's rising powers have had manufacturing economies. England, Germany, America, the USSR, Japan, now China. Deindustrialization is historically linked with declining living standards and loss of international influence. I think that anyone who wishes this country well and who has a realistic, non-libertardian view of economics, would be a protectionist like Trump.

I'm with Trump on the issue of law and order. I think that the Ferguson Effect is real and that national stop & frisk would save a lot of lives.

Finally, and unfortunately, I've never expected Trump to win. Almost the entire power structure hates him, and it's foolish to bet against it. I'm guessing that soft methods will work for the powers that be this time, but if they don't, they'll resort to hard ones.

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