The Trump Interview

I watched Trump’s interview on Hannity. I can’t stand Hannity but this is a sensitive moment for Ukraine and I wanted to see if Trump would mention it.

And mention it he did, right from the start. It looks like Ukrainians are offering Trump dirt on Biden and Hillary in return for continued support. Obviously, he didn’t put it this way but that’s what it sounds like.

It looks like Ukraine’s president-elect did manage to impress Trump. This is good because the situation is tough, and there is nothing but Trump standing between Ukraine and Nordstream 2.

I’m glad because Ukrainians don’t seem to be blowing it, as we are prone to do. Trump has zero reason to give a toss about Ukraine but it’s been going so much better than what we all expected on election night in 2016.

Last Chance

2020 is pretty much our only chance to get anybody anti-neoliberal in power. Younger candidates and voters don’t have the slightest idea that there might be anything wrong with neoliberalism. I mean, they are very negatively impacted by it, a lot more than the oldsters. But they don’t know it. They have no frame of reference. They diagnose their malaise using neoliberal terminology.

Look at Obama. He was young (for a politician), obviously well-meaning, obviously a good person. But he seemed genuinely incapable of articulating a single non-neoliberal thought. He still is.

The oldsters remember life before the neoliberal revolution. And that’s good. But it’s also bad because their only response to it is let’s go back to the past, Make America Great Again, make America’s taxation system great again. Both Bernie and Trump look to the past for an alternative to the present.

What I’d love to see is somebody who:

1. Understands that neoliberalism creates enormous inequality and consigns many people to the dustbin of history in the capacity of “human waste” (the definition is Bauman’s, in case anybody wants to start assuming this is from Fox News).

2. That neoliberalism is not just about the economy. It’s a “structure of feeling.” There’s an enormous ideological apparatus attached to it, and it’s a chicken and egg situation because nobody can really say which comes first.

Bernie very clearly understands the first but is utterly blind to the second. He won’t succeed at anything as long as he thinks it’s all about a set of tweaks to the taxation and spending system and that by making this system more like it used to be (here or in the Finland of the past) the problem will be solved.

Rich Radicals

The radicalism is not on behalf of people who are actually suffering, fellow Americans who are suffering, on behalf of the 70,000 people who died of drug ODs last year, or on behalf of the people displaced by automation in GM, or whatever, on behalf of those dying American low class towns, it’s really on behalf of theoretical goals…

What they’re really doing is defending the current order. They’re the shock troops of the elites actually. Actually, what you’re seeing is something amazing, you’re seeing for the first time in history a revolution being waged against the working class. When does that happen?

This is Tucker about the screamy snowflakes, the rich brat Antifas, the Twitter radicals, that whole crowd. How am I supposed not to like this?

Radical Fat Liberation

Fitness instructors are Nazis, and high blood pressure in obese people isn’t caused by the weight but by the “stigma around the weight.” And the Christchurch shooter became a mass murderer and terrorist because he was a fitness instructor. Because fitness instructors are… see above.

These nuggets of wisdom were offered in a talk hosted by the Wellness Center (sic!), Women’s and Gender Studies Department, and Center for Equity and Inclusion of St Olaf’s College.

And then we wonder where the idea that academics are nuts comes from. If you are at an institution of higher learning and you believe that health issues detected by science are caused by the science, then what are you but an anti-intellectual freak? What’s next, climate change is caused by studies on climate change? Vaccines cause measles outbreaks? Studies on the danger of smoking cause emphysema?

Also, it’s now very clear that colleges desperately need more funding because more talks like these should urgently be sponsored. And no, folks, it’s not an isolated case of one kooky college. This is everywhere, all the time. Maybe without the use of the word “Nazis,” which made this talk a target of retweets but I’ve been invited to conferences and sent academic tomes imbued with precisely these ideas.

Where Are Anti-neoliberals?

A really interesting question is why there is no strongly anti-neoliberal candidate on either side. We saw 16 Republican candidates 3 years ago and are now seeing, what? two dozen? Dem candidates. And not a single one can articulate a consistently anti-neoliberal position.

There’s clearly an enormous hunger for it. Trump won because he went in that direction (and then was completely neutered by his inner circle and betrayed his voters). People clearly want it. Not all people, of course, and not the people who have any cultural or economic capital. But still it’s an enormously popular position. But nobody is in any hurry to take it.