As the very late winter storm that hit the northern US has symbolized, snowflakes can be stubborn things. Ever since the Hillary Death Star exploded, or Lady Sauron’s castle came crashing down (pick your metaphor) as Donald Trump was elected President, the entire statist regime has acted as if time itself froze, and has been frantically trying to find ways to cancel what happened. I took a few months off of blogging to enjoy this political suspension of time, or endless time-out being taken by the establishment as they try, like the hapless cats or wolves in the old Mighty Mouse Cartoons, to figure out just “who did this” to them:
But the story of the sore loser snowflakes has been often told in the days that have followed the election, then inauguration of the Donald. What is of more urgent importance is what this iconic election has taught pro-liberty people about beating the whole insider controlled system, what the new administration basically represents, and where we are now in the battle to bring back an order more friendly to peace and freedom. To those issues, I have a few observations.
Lessons from the 2016 Election
Just an itemized recap, not a full exposition:
1. The outsider movement rules. From Brexit to Trump, the populist/nationalist anti-establishment movement has arrived and looks like it’s here to stay. The insider Bush and Clinton dynasties were both crushed, with the Republican establishment in particular appearing like it will be cracked up for at least a decade as a result of the outsider ascendancy. 2016 may be the last time a Democratic candidate positioned as a “centrist” can prevail against the increasingly dominant progressive wing of the party for its nomination.
2. Big money does not rule. The hold the “kingmaker” mega-donors have held over who gets a major party nomination has been broken, or at least an alternative pathway has been found to challenge them. A candidate can spend just 50 million in the primaries, and 100 million in the election battle, and prevail over insider-backed rivals spending 5-10 times as much.
3. The millenial Democrats were right. All year, the Sanders supporters brought much of the same enthusiasm to the Democratic race that the GOP outsiders had. Their ultimate point was simple: if the party had just nominated a likeable progressive with no baggage, instead of appointing an unlikeable, scandal-ridden elite corporate shill, they would have won the thing. Instead, they went with Hillary, and lost. The millenials will be back in four years, in a primary race not controlled by Hillary. This means the “moderate Democrat” model of the Clintonistas is broken with this election, and a Sanders-like or Sanders approved figure will likely be their nominee in 2020.
4) The legacy MSM no longer controls the narrative. The new media finally overtook the elite-backed corporate media with this election, not only with audiences, but in terms of dominating the coverage. The attempts of the MSM and Clinton campaign to marginalize, belittle and smear the alternatives finally met a strong push back, which ended their ability to PC-browbeat people into compliance. Wikileaks destroyed the veneer of integrity the CNN set enjoyed, and it will take them years to regain the public’s trust. The future belongs to Breitbart, Drudge, Infowars, and RT.
5) The blue-collar Democrat cross-over vote is back. Previously called the Reagan Democrats, moderate Democrats without a college degree making under $50,000 are back as a swing factor voting bloc. Trump pried them loose from the Democratic plantation through genuinely engaging them and their concerns about the loss of jobs, and the loss of credibility of Democrat pols on economics. Many of them also want relief from the non-stop obsession of left authoritarians with PC, cultural Marxism/liberalism, and identity politics. The hard left move expected with the next Democratic nominee in 2020 and onwards will no doubt extend the trend of driving blue collar voters away from the party in future Presidential cycles.
6) Trump outperformed Romney in all ethnicities. The 29% latino vote for Trump entirely undoes the original narrative that the GOP “had to” stay away from immigration, and pander to the group in order to be viable in the Presidential election. Trump showed the issue was overrated, or that the latino issue was only a factor in a few battleground states where they have a presence. The latter view has been proven correct based on the election results. That revelation also skewers the open borders, or ‘no borders matter’ position held by those who think that is the only proper libertarian approach to immigration. Clearly, a large segment of the population does believe the borders matter, and thus the government has a right, delegated to it by the people, to appropriately vet migrants seeking to relocate.
Indeed, what I’ve found on the issue is the open borders Libertarians talk abstractly about private property and freedom of movement, and do not acknowledge any Libertarian concept of free immigration with protected borders. Meanwhile, the rest of us are looking at the actual scoreboard of freedom, and have noticed we got more government force, more welfare state, less private property rights and less freedom of movement in the last several decades when more open borders immigration and amnesty policies/laws were adopted. Nationally successful liberty candidates like Ron Paul noticed too, and accordingly then developed a more complete libertarian approach to the issue. Trump, despite his many flaws, may show us how the scorecard can move back to more net freedom as he tries to implement his vetting and wall-building policies.
The Deep State: Out of the Shadows
Donald has ‘trumped’ the establishment, but who controls that establishment, to the extent of sustaining an intense massive attack campaign against him for months after the election, including riots, across both parties and the national media? One of the most delicious developments of the last few months has been the normalization of the term “the Deep State,” formerly a not-widely known deep politics term to describe the shadowy establishment persons, tactics and institutions dominating the structure of the American political order. At the heart of its operations are techniques used by supposedly “foreign intelligence” agencies like the CIA or “domestic law enforcement” entities like the FBI to ensure status quo politicians get into power, or continuously get pushed to the forefront (why do we see Sen. John McCain on TV 50 times more often than the other 50-odd GOP Senators?). Meanwhile any alternative figures who in some way challenge the war party/intelligence/bankster complex are defeated, marginalized or utterly disgraced (with assassination reserved as a last resort). Only “conspiracy theorists” used to be associated with raising this and related concepts, or noting the covert ops, surveillance and disinformation campaigns that come with them. But the ferocious push back against Trump (who is instinctively not a status quo person, who somehow got past them) since November 8 has made the elite’s machinations so obvious, that now everybody’s talking about it.
“Whenever the media loses control over a powerful term, be it “fake news” or “deep state,” they react with infantile rage, and immediately demand cessation of the term in its “unapproved” use,” writes journalist Robert Barnes. He points out that the self-styled mainstream media (MSM) is quite upset over this turn of events, as it exposes their participation in the game. “The failure of the media to expose the deep state’s miscalculations and their misdeeds, remains one of the great media failures of the last decade. Why did the media say there were WMDs in Iraq? Because the deep state told them so. Why does the media say there cannot be tapped calls on Trump two days before Wikileaks discloses massive CIA spying capabilities through smart phones, and even TVs? Because they refuse to expose the deep state. Instead, they pen pieces saying the deep state doesn’t exist, or only exists even as an historic idea in Turkey. What a bunch of turkey that is.”
Many or most events of the last few decades come into a vastly different light once the deep state lens is similarly applied. The killing of JFK, as is now widely understood, was probably the result of a push back against his plans of ending intervention in Vietnam, reintroducing the printing of US Notes issued directly by the Treasury (apart from the private banks’ racket called the Federal Reserve), and most importantly, his firing of CIA director Allen Dulles and vow to de-fang the CIA. The Deep State responded by sinking its fangs into JFK at Dealey Plaza—and please note that the key operative/patsy involved (Oswald) was both a CIA asset and FBI informant. Less well noted was the role of the regime in removing President Nixon from office a decade later “over Watergate” (but actually, it was out of revenge for his finally dislodging J. Edgar Hoover as head of the FBI, which is why Deep Throat figure Leonard Felt, the second in command at the agency, so eagerly leaked info to journalist/intelligence asset Bob Woodward).
The techniques of organized political ruination, by bullet or scandal, don’t change much over the decades. Even freelance ruiners like Sen. Joe McCarthy were not immune to being eliminated, as their actions were not in line with, or under the leash of the deep regime. Historian Charles Burris writes “it was the CIA under director Allen Dulles, and the Agency’s Operation Mockingbird media assets (including Newsweek) that targeted McCarthy for vilification and ultimate destruction, just like the deep state Obama remnant operatives in CIA and their contemporary media assets are targeting Trump…CBS chairman William Paley, Fred Friendly, and Edward R. Murrow were part of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Operation Mockingbird to provide deflection and cover for the CIA’s ‘family jewels’ of the day. CBS News president Sig Mickelson (1954-61) was liaison to the CIA. Because of his frequent communications, Mickelson even had a direct private phone line installed to the Agency. CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite was a former military intelligence officer also connected within this elite nexus.”
The Post-CIA President
Through these devices, the elite insider regime, enforced by the tentacles of the intelligence community through the major parties and legacy media, has controlled the Presidency and senior political offices for decades, including the election process—which is why alternatives of all third party stripes keep getting single digit results (with the LP’s Gary Johnson being the most recent example), or why non-corporate controlled alternatives (from Paul to Bernie Sanders) within the major parties have found the game fully rigged against them.
Trump (again, for all his faults) represents the first time in 36 years that a non-CIA asset or puppet defeated the deep state, and so can be reasonably called the first post-CIA President of the modern era. Whether this unique situation continues depends on 1) whether he stays alive, 2) whether he continues to shake off unremitting pressure from the war hawks to commit to more long wars in the Middle East, or even confrontation with Russia, and 3) whether he survives the current disinfo campaign to delegitimize him by discounting every factual claim he makes, or trying to make him look like a Russian double agent. Time, as they say, will tell.
The Next Wave
Given the bluntness and various non-coherent elements of the Trump presidency, the most the liberty movement can expect from him to do on its behalf is to act as a continuing wrecking ball, taking on and taking down establishment or globalist dogmas over the next few years. One doesn’t ask for much complexity or precision from a demolition ball, you just let it swing—as that action paves the way for building a better, pro-liberty new establishment to displace the old, statist one. Come 2020 or 2024, the way should be clear for a fully principled libertarian candidate who can get past the deep state obstacles to more realistically obtain the White House. In the meanwhile, the movement can now concentrate on the elections below the level of President, and work on regaining unity via building an ‘umbrella,’ or coalition of factions that can create a viable base for upcoming liberty candidates.
We certainly had the beginnings of such a grassroots network during the early part of the Ron Paul sub-movement ten years ago, but some then claimed many “defected” from the liberty cause and rolled over to populist “distractions” like Trump, or even to white nationalism. In reality, it’s more like many Paul supporters defected from the broader liberty grassroots movement that fostered them, and started glombing for their own version of the very elitism that they were supposed to be fighting against. We went from a unified grassroots under one umbrella, inclusively tolerating the varied members of the coalition, to a “oh we can’t we can’t be too associated with truthers/birthers/tax honesty, or Tea Partiers/socons/10th amendment etc people” mindset that presumed the grassroots must be top-down managed, instead of the network itself managing the movement.
Instead of embracing the populist end of the movement as expressed by the growth of the alternative media, the “top-down” folks buy into and repeat the same smears and false narratives the MSM use to try to re-marginalize it (e.g., wholesale dismissing the alt right as “white nationalist,” or “fake news,” or other forms of deplorable). This is like wanting a revolution, while seeking cultural approval by the status quo that is demonizing us. Don’t they understand the whole point of the old media creating the devil figure is to then “link” everybody and everything else they don’t like (such as the Pauls) to the devil figure? The whole point of the MSM is to stay in control of declaring what is deemed “mainstream” and what is not. Once the movement fully embraces its populist source of support, its unity can be restored, and we can get things done faster for liberty.
And speaking of that Paul Revolution, and the frustrations of those who believe its failure to win represents a defeat of the full liberty movement: There was no decline and fall of the liberty movement during the last decade, because there was no rise. It was a misfire. The movement centered itself around the Pauls with the wide expectation that the presence of an authentic liberty candidate within the two party primary scene would, by itself, result in stronger likelihood of winning a national election.
In reality, both Pauls ran (literally or effectively) educational campaigns that failed to put together a voting coalition that could win even one primary, nor successfully confront and overcome structural barriers to liberty. So the movement, or at least the Paul iteration, misfired because it was not inclined towards growing to embrace really building those coalitions and tackling those barriers. What the electoral future of the Paul movement now entails, given that the GOP will control the White House for likely 8 years, is a de-emphasis on presidential politics and a greater concentration on Congressional and state races. There will (and should) also be a re-engagement of the populist and grassroots segment of pro-liberty sentiment, that DID grow during the decade, even as the Paulite or intellectual side declined. As above stated, the faster that happens, the better for liberty.