They Are Not Morons

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, November 17th, 2020 - 76 comments
Categories: Deep stuff, Donald Trump, labour, poverty, uncategorized - Tags:

Donald Trump will be back for another go at the Presidency in 2024. Donald Trump has the mightiest and most powerful political brand in the United States, and he has gained the total fealty of the Republican Party. As he did in 2016 he will continue to crush all before him.

Unless the remaining centre-left generates strategies that are executed so well that people feel the difference good politics makes, the elements of populism arising again will stay ready like the elements of a bomb.

There was no overwhelming voter-revolution against the policies and practices of the Republican Party. There was therefore no clarity provided that would solve the debate about how the Democratic Party or indeed other centre-left parties should position themselves on cultural and economic issues to maximise their electoral appeal and gain stronger majorities.

There are very few countries in Europe in which the radical right is not ascendant. The stronger left are in freefall, and the Green parties are providing no more than token replacement and within limited realms.

So the challenges that are faced in the United States, in Europe and the UK, and in Australasia, haven’t changed. Political leaders on the left need to fashion both a less elitist identity and a more credible economic policy. They can’t rely on an alternative populism to the hard right – because among other things social democrats assert that policy instruments sustain the institutional trust that suppresses populism in the first place.

As Thomas Piketty among others has noted, parties of the left have become increasingly the parties of educated, metropolitan elites. The most important signal of this in New Zealand’s recent elections was the win by the Greens in central Auckland. The unions that sustained the left for so long have now at least in New Zealand been reduced to serving the public service (which they do really well). But with their influence in sustained decline, the rise in influence of the finance and banking industry, and corporate interests has been massive.

The cultural gap between the elite identity of centre-left leaders and party affiliates, and those most vulnerable, can be easily illustrated by how the cultural elites dismiss the 70-plus million Americans who backed Trump in this election by portraying them as thick fools who vote against their own interests. Turn on MSNBC, or CNN, or hundreds of the youtube satirical sites and fill yer boots.

The question of why leftie righteousness prevailed only narrowly needs to be faced squarely by the Democratic Party – and that is the same question that the left more broadly in Europe hasn’t answered either in their massive losses since 1989.

On economics, the left – including our own Labour government – still lacks a good answer to the burning question of our time: Where will good jobs come from? New Zealand has a government that is facing an economy quickly burning off tens of thousands of cheap and weak jobs: seasonal fruit pickers, café and hospitality staff, English language education, and retail workers.

Centre-left governments starting up in 2020 have, if it is possible, even more to contend with than ever before: they are some of the last holdouts of a set of movements that peaked nearly a century ago. But they face a world rocked by chaos and with few other centre-left governments to cooperate with anymore.

So the Democrats in the United States, and Labour in New Zealand, face similar quandaries: reinvent progressive taxation but only if it shows the public sector can take the extra money and execute well; invest more in education and infrastructure but only if it delivers attainable futures we can all see are really going to happen for our lives; and invest more in healthcare to prepare for the next wave of public health crisis. Even all of those done well is no longer sufficient.

The policy instinct of our Provincial Growth Fund was right: communities where good jobs disappear pay a price that goes beyond economics. Drug addiction, family breakdown, and crime rise within them. People become more attached to traditional values, less tolerant of outsiders, and more willing to support authoritarian strongmen.

Unless the remaining centre-left generates strategies that are executed so well that people seel the difference good politics makes, the elements of populism will stay ready like the elements of a bomb.

An alternative – the path of our current government – is to support business to the maximum and essentially remain left in name only insofar as it makes existing public institutions stronger. That is, to forget the idea of being “left” altogether. Their first two major moves of government were to provide massive loans to business, and to sign another trade deal which may or may not benefit citizens, and whenever it is ratified.

What saves New Zealand from U.S. populism isn’t the popularity of our political leaders – because our leaders since 1999 have been amazingly popular as well as effective. What saves us from populist instincts is our basic sense that we are heading in the right direction (check out the series starting over five years ago) and that we have strong trust in our public institutions, which is in turn reflected in the strength of our democratic participation at around 80%.

This social and cultural cohesion despite rapidly worsening inequality and poverty is what gives the New Zealand Labour government more breathing space in three years than the U..S Democratic Party has in four years. Yet we know where an unrealistic political high goes: down and down fast.

It remains up to the parties of the left to develop solutions that go beyond redistributive instruments and into addressing the hard question about where the really good jobs are going to come from. Because that’s where people get on top of their bills, start saving, and start giving us the capacity to see that the left delivers more for us and our family than the political right does.

We must stop dismissing the supporters of populists as essentially morons. Or else we and the Democrats could be in for another rude awakening in just a few years from now.

The weaker of us are not morons. In fact, they might just be right.

76 comments on “They Are Not Morons ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Change is coming more quickly than we imagine. The climate is becoming feisty, unpredictable and dangerous, habitats are being fatally extinguished and the pandemic is far from over. Smart kindness, a reconnection between people and an realisation of the intimate connectedness between humans and all other living things will result in governance that can not be easily described using existing models.

    Authoritarian patriarchs need not apply.

    smiley

    • Patricia Bremner 1.1

      Robert you are so good at describing what is happening. Our roses are huge and open quickly for the remaining bees. This is the first year we have not seen Tui. The winds have swirled and twisted taller plants. One day can have thunder hail winds and sun. We have already had night time temperatures which verge on uncomfortably warm.

      Feisty and unsettled conditions may be our future. We are examining those things next to our unit for their propensity to burn. The two old pine planted long ago by others as a wind break on the section edge will be replaced by natives.

      Good to read a comment from you. How is your manmade bush progressing?

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        By "manmade bush" did you mean beard?

        Going well, thanks 🙂

        A proliferation of forest gardens across the globe would change everything for the good – I'm convinced of that!

  2. RedBaronCV 2

    Govts are still in the business of redistribution -they tax and then give it to private business to run services for profit. Education in the UK is an excellent example. That type of redistribution needs to stop. If private education and health for example are so good they can stand on their own two feet without the rest of us helping with either tax funds or the law.

    Must be a pithy slogan in there some where.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    In a nation founded on genocide and slavery; lynchings, land locked parochialism, and huge numbers of Evangelical Christian adherents existed long before Trump and the utter debasement of the modern Republican Party.

    “Morons” may offend some, but IQ levels are dropping in States, “junk food=junk thinking” and social media has affected people’s cognitive ability and attention spans. White people will be a US minority in 20 years–and they know it!–and do not like it.

    A major problem is getting left parties to act left. Neo liberal hegemony has such massive gravitational pull that few are willing to try and escape the force. But it will have to happen as Covid and climate disaster demonstrated throughout 2020.

    If people are behaving like dicks, and much worse, why accept that because there are lots of them? The left needs to acknowledge the pain of the displaced working class and lead the charge against corporate hogging of wealth and power. The big political story up until 2024 will likely be Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and friends continuing to organise a movement to change or move on from the Democratic Party.

  4. Stuart Munro 4

    It would be a mistake to presume that the reason the Left despise Trump necessarily springs from identity politics – he has a collection of vices that any educated person for the last several millennia would recognize unfits him for any representative or public service role.

    the left need to fashion both a less elitist identity and a more credible economic policy

    There's the rub. When I brought the issue of slave fishermen to the likes of Lianne Dalziel and Ruth Dyson and Tim Barnett their only concern was to protect the Russians, not the rule of law, or the long term health and viability of the fishing industry.

    They were so insulated from working people they could not imagine anyone wanting to do the job, much less pursuing a career in the industry. And the industry that formed in the shadow of their prejudice naturally failed to recognize the critical issues that emerge managing and growing a complex interaction between human and wild populations. So we have an industry riddled with conservatism and incompetence, well behind even the by no means world-leading Australia, monopolized by frankly, the worst of men – union busters and slave ship operators and serial fishery and environmental law breakers. Scum have been allowed to drive the scrupulous operators out, and the vast potential of the sector, and the human potential of its professionals have been pissed away like the ketone-laden residue of an after-match function.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.1

      Wow. Awesome post ! And absolutely.

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        It occurred to me, reading about government not listening and protecting the Russians, that we get off very lightly from the debacle of wrecking one of their premier cruise ships in 1986. That may explain some quietly hidden agreement to think favourably of Russians who would rightly say 'You owe us a lot'.

        I don't know what started me thinking of the Russians and their cruise liner the Michael Lermontov grinding and sinking out of Picton. I've looked up the details and told the basic interesting points with some links on Open Mike.

        I was talking to a maritime union rep down here a few years ago and referred to a long-ago report relating to Nelson, about guns being presented in disputes over fishing waters or catch. He looked at me seriously and said that it wasn't true. But I do have a mind that hangs on to matters that intrigue me, and there appears to be intrigue in the fishing business.

        • Stuart Munro 4.1.1.1

          It's a complicated story – friend of mine did a lot of work on it.

          The fishing industry has conspired to fraudulently obtain large numbers of work permits under false pretenses, for decades, with collusion from Immigration right up to the Ministers. Nice bit of work for the fraud squad.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.1.1.1.1

            Indeed. I remember talking to someone involved fishing industry….they said quite dangerous people. You could have an "accident"…..

        • PsyclingLeft.Always 4.1.1.2

          Wow, re Mikhail Lermontov read Stuarts link….bloody bizarre? !

          Stepanishchev asked the pilot directly: “Captain, why are you taking us in so close?”

          Jamison was confident and calm. “There is no reason to worry,” he replied. “There is enough water in that place.”

          Jamison obviously a man with a hyperinflated self opinion….

          also..

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Mikhail_Lermontov

          'the Russian navigator, chief officer Sergey Stepanishchev was sent to prison for 4 years "with labor" and fined $US30,000 because he did not overrule the pilot'

    • arkie 4.2

      Piketty said in the linked paper:

      without a strong egalitarian-internationalist platform, it is difficult to unite low-education, low-income voters from all origins within the same party.

      You're right, this doesn't represent the NZ Labour party, nor the Democratic party.

      • greywarshark 4.2.1

        If high education are voting left, will that portion of that class encourage better education for the lower strata. But all of them can's sit or stand in dainty offices. The rising lower group need jobs different from the high education and income ones.

        If the two education-intrested could combine and the reasoning group of low income and that of the higher income could nut out a business and society model that is okay for both, ie many lower income don't want to be inside all day even if it is more pay. Get a living wage, and the opportunity to have a house and have some time to enjoy it, with settled work rosters that can be relied on, then we could get somewhere. People who aren't interested in education can't accept new ideas, can't grow, and tend to repeat models of behaviour that they know but which may need to be revised.

    • Pat 4.3

      hear hear

    • Patricia Bremner 4.4

      The spiral to the bottom led by "Increasing Profit" and slave like conditions and wages is in ALL fields. It showed in the conditions and pay of our "Essential Workers"

      This is the model which enriches Billionaires, introduced to NZ by Bill Birch with the Contracts Act.

  5. Chris 5

    Is that Helen Clark, Jimmy Savile and Matthew Hooton in that photo? I guess it's not that surprising they're mates.

  6. Tricledrown 6

    Trump won't be back ,the Republicans don't like losers anymore than National.

    • woodart 6.1

      quite correct tricledown. trump is the first sitting pres for many yrs to get the push. being a loser trying to get back in wont work. the repubs will be looking for someone younger, possibly a latino. without all of the baggage that trump has.

      • mpledger 6.1.1

        Yea, Trump is going to be too busy dealing with court cases backed up while he was president.

    • roblogic 6.2

      The next Republican candidate will continue along the fascist/Trumpian road to perdition, but will be a lot more presentable and coherent, thus more dangerous.

      Biden Won, but has Trump Broken America?

      "America’s a society fracturing along three lines: race, education, and geography. Rural whites with less education supported Trump by large margins — despite the horrors of the last four years. That “despite” is key — because this was not a normal election, after a normal Presidency. Trump seems to have abused his power in every way imaginable, with plenty of help from the GOP — America became, in the eyes of most of the rest of the world, a society having a fascist collapse, replete with camps, bans, raids, purges, hate, demonization, Gestapos, and so forth.

      The only people who didn’t understand this, sadly, were white Americans — even educated liberals — which is why Biden barely eked out a victory."

  7. Pat 7

    Who are these 'Left' of which you speak?…certainly not NZ Labour nor the US Democrats.

  8. WeTheBleeple 8

    It's not going to be easy not calling Trump followers, or Billy TK followers for that matter, morons. Because some of them – are freaking morons. And the poor misunderstood and abandoned claims of some fail to account for the expensive and new boats trucks guns bats flags offensive t-shirts and cans of mace so many of them seem to possess.

    Trump's spell will largely be broken when he's turfed out. Sure the hardcore cultists may stay in his sway, but to say he'll come back, pah, he'll go hide under a blanket, like he's done since he lost. He's a useless bumbling farce of a force now. He had all of the American Government to help him and he achieved nothing but disaster and petty grievance policy. Owning the libs. What a pathetic loser.

    As the truth dawns on many faces not completely lost to reality Republican's will fall to infighting with much finger pointing, hair pulling and chest beating, blame, factions… this will seal their fate for many years to come. It's like when National's facade was cracked wide open soon after they'd lost control of the narrative.

    Trump's spell will break. Those grieving their ginger god are mostly in denial right now especially as he is still in the Whitehouse. When that changes everything changes (in Trump world).

    Generating attractive policy that makes real change for working class and poor Americans is obviously a solution for the left to attract votes, but defeating Trumpism requires a long hard look at so called free speech. The alternate media universe that lives in la-la land is a dangerous subversive divisive crock of shit that should be razed to the ground. All their corporate backers should likewise be hauled over the judicial coals. And social media willingly enabled all of this for a profit.

    Corporates. They're the real fuckers behind all this mess. How will the left deal with them, if at all. Because if they don't, there will be a new Trump to speak for them the people.

    • Tiger Mountain 8.1

      Good points. Trump claimed to feel the pain of the discarded workers-but never, intended to do anything about it!-while delivering billions in corporate tax cuts.

      Trump was skilled in his use of “look over there” Migrants, Muslims, Chinese, Mexicans, non subservient women, blacks, anti racists, that’s your problem right there rust belt people…

      There was a good strike rate in “down ticket” elections for Democrats for Justice candidates and others that supported $15 min wage and Medicare for all. The centre does not cut it.

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        Trump claimed to feel the pain of the discarded workers-but never, intended to do anything about it!-while delivering billions in corporate tax cuts.

        Keep telling yourself that. And check out the MAX data trend covering the last 50 odd years. While of course Trump's rhetoric is mostly an exercise in sustained gaslighting of the entire world, there is no question that in the past four years, until COVID, the US employment rate continued to crawl back up toward the levels it last reached in roughly 2000.

        Whether Trump's policies were the cause of this is irrelevant politically, he could and did take the credit. And this is what matters to most working Americans who have to get up each day (or night) and bust arse to earn a living.

        that’s your problem right there rust belt people…’

        And there’s your problem, a sneering sense of moral superiority.

        • millsy 8.1.1.1

          It would be interesting to see how much these jobs pay. I wouldnt be suprised if they were low wage jobs with no benefits and shitty conditions.

          Trump has largely rolled back worker protections in the USA, and made it harder for unions to exist.

          He would probably outlaw trade unions if he could, like he would probably outlaw same sex relation ships, sex outside of marriage, interracial couples, teaching of evolutions, single parenthood, etc and so on.

    • Gyrogearloose 8.2

      You "Corporates. They're the real fuckers behind all this mess. How will the left deal with them, if at all"

      Maybe you should pause and think a bit on why so many corporate giants, billionaires, and the biggest social media platforms were backing the democrats…..

      You "Trumpism requires a long hard look at so called free speech"

      Do I take it you are against free speach?

      Some of the greatest supporters of censorship of speach are those who went on to kill millions of their own citzens.

      • WeTheBleeple 8.2.1

        'Why corporates were backing the democrats' Golly, so enlightening to hear from you again.

        "Do I take it you are against free speech"

        No, I'm against the freedom to lie. Censorship is quite different to the current news networks claiming a Trump election victory, or mass fraud, or last election it was masses of immigrants are amassing at the border to rape your jobs. It varies in message, it's all BS and needs to be stopped.

        If news is fabricated, it is not news. Various fabrications have all sorts of laws against them. Why not these ones?

        It isn't free speech at all. It's glib bullshit trying to defend such garbage.

      • Stuart Munro 8.2.2

        Do I take it you are against free speach? (sic)

        Free speech in the US context consists in granting unrestricted campaigning rights to corporations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._FEC

        Corporates cannot vote, nor should they be able to campaign. Whatever political rights their shareholders or owners may have are amply covered by their rights to campaign as individuals.

    • Phil 8.3

      Republican's will fall to infighting with much finger pointing, hair pulling and chest beating, blame, factions… this will seal their fate for many years to come. It's like when National's facade was cracked wide open soon after they'd lost control of the narrative.

      This is industrial-strength fantasy thinking, WTB.

      In 2008 Obama swept to power on the back of wide ranging anti-Bush sentiment, only to have his majority in both congressional houses wiped away just two years later. Same thing with Clinton in the '94 midterms after his ascension to the presidency in 1992.

      • WeTheBleeple 8.3.1

        Neither Obama or Bush were a Trump. The typical to and fro of deviations to left and right do not apply to the end of the Trump presidency (it's been so regular so far), or the backlash as people wake from their stupor. They've been lied to, ripped off, led on campaigns of hate… Those who see this will have shame and self loathing to deal with. Trump and all his enablers have a reckoning coming.

        Trump did not simply tack to the right. The 'correction' will be different.

        • Phil 8.3.1.1

          In pretty much every key race across the nation, Trump's results were worse than the Republican Senate or House candidate in the same location. That says to me that the American public don't much like Trump, but they're (comparatively speaking) ok with the Trump-like principles and policies being taken by the Republican party as it stands today.

  9. RedLogix 9

    Thank you Ad. This is more or less the post I've been trying to write, over and over for some years now, and not succeeding.

    Trump's remarkable success, despite all the blatant flaws of the man, tells us that there is a community of interest that as you say, the modern elitist identitarian left refuses to engage with.

    The US two party system (forced on them by their FPP system) means that the big two parties are mostly just brand vehicles for broad, often loose, and always shifting coalitions of voter interests. And while the union movement is much stronger in the US (despite decades of offshoring, they still have a substantial industrial working class) … it's now much more closely aligned with the Republicans (not necessarily Trump himself) than most people here realise.

    All it would take here is a National Party populist, another Muldoon, actively chasing this very substantial interest group, and suddenly the NZLP's magical majority might well look very wobbly indeed.

    And sitting about blaming the other guy for our lack of enduring success, is the strategy of losers. Everyone knows this.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      The question of why leftie righteousness prevailed only narrowly needs to be faced squarely by the Democratic Party

      And if not for the COVID crisis it would not have prevailed at all; Trump would have romped in.

      But the question you ask has indeed been put to the left repeatedly since at least 2016, and with few honourable exceptions (Andrew Yang springs to mind), it's been dismissed as beneath their intellectual pretensions to answer.

      • Phil 9.1.1

        The question of why leftie righteousness prevailed only narrowly needs to be faced squarely by the Democratic Party

        And if not for the COVID crisis it would not have prevailed at all; Trump would have romped in.

        The impact of Covid should not and cannot be underestimated. But lets be absolutely clear: successfully defeating an incumbent president, who had an array of fundamental economic and social factors in his favour, is a task of Herculean proportion that Biden and the Democrats have pulled off.

        • RedLogix 9.1.1.1

          is a task of Herculean proportion that Biden and the Democrats have pulled off.

          If the Orange Man Bad was really that awful, it should have been child's play.

  10. WeTheBleeple 10

    'the modern elitist identitarian left refuses to engage' with this 'community of interest'. John 11:35.

    If you remove the bat-shit crazy and the reprehensibly racist from the dialogue you may find no real problem with engaging.

    Also, if the dialogue doesn't tend to put people to sleep.

  11. Trump might come back for another go in 2024 if his health holds up. But by then he'll be 78 years old, and I strongly suspect we could see a marked physical deterioration before then. Stripped of the powers of office, and the oxygen of publicity, he'll shrink visibly and assume the unmistakable appearance of the elderly man he actually is. The same sort of thing happened to Mussolini, Ceausescu and other dictators once they were booted out.

    • Phil 11.1

      … we could see a marked physical deterioration… The same sort of thing happened to Mussolini, Ceausescu and other dictators

      I see what you did there.

    • Maurice 11.2

      … so he may become the "winner" that Biden is?

  12. aj 12

    Surprised the word Brexit didn't come up in this, but of course the post applies equally to the situation in the UK

  13. greywarshark 13

    The blonde in the middle of the above image with her mouth wide open holds up a placard saying 'The Silent Majority Stands with Trump'. She ain't silent obviously, quite shouty possibly. So I wonder what her noisy message is to Trump. I'll keep quiet if I can have a nice condo to retire to in Florida and for all ageing beauties, and vouchers for hairdressers and cosmeticians so we can keep morale up? (That's if his verbosity gives her an opportunity.)

  14. Corey Humm 14

    If you wanna know how Biden will govern just look at Virginia, run be democrats at every level of government and it has the lowest living standards and lowest minimum wage and working conditions in America and every election in Virginia, Dems say to activists they'll raise wages workers standards and then they put it off. Virginia has no limits to what corporate donors can donate and that's who virginian Dems govern for, donors, academics , suburbia They don't care in virginia if this turns off working class voters because they can win just off suburban voters and all they need to do to excite them is announce a token identity issue (that progressives will support but does zero for working class people including working class minorities)

    I fear what we'll see from the center left globally is what we've increasingly seen for decades, corporatist, free trade worship and at best tinkering and when polls get low tokenist gestures on socially progressive issues like gender sexuality race that everyone sensible agrees with but nothing but status quo economics. The left will increasingly only appeal to educated professionals academics. They'll say look how progressive we are our cabinet isn't full of straight white male bankers lobbiests and lawyers our cabinets full of lgbt, bipoc and gender diverse bankers lobbiests and lawyers. I say this as an lgbt+ person by the way it's just corporate lgbt+ policies don't make any of the lgbt+ people I knows lives better but economic reform would.

    Trump will definitely run again and win the nomination maybe not the presidency though meanwhile the Democrats will be in civil war in four years time as the progressive wing which is being increasingly and wrongly blamed by the center right wing for the failures of the center right wing , will only grow, hell every candidate in a swing seat who endorsed Medicare for all won, Biden lost florida but a $15 min wage referendum won in a landslide, Pelosi by backing Kennedy over Markie made herself powerless to stop primary challenges of sitting Dems and progressives will win more more and more and will demand real change and they aren't going to just sit back and allow Kamala to be annointed the 2024 primaries are going to be intense.

    If the left doesn't actually get real on economic reform the left could lose the working class and poor entirely either to non voting or to right wing propaganda

    I hope I'm wrong. I hope Biden surprises us all I hope Jacinda surprises us all but time and time again they've shown us who they are and that is managerial leaders who at best tinker and at worst stand in the way of progressive change and when someone shows you who they are you over and over you should believe them

    • Andre 14.1

      Interesting cherry-pick, going for Virginia. Virginia's status as a Democratic-tinged state has only emerged in the last decade or so, prior to that it has been much more Republican.

      Looking at states ranked by minimum wage, Virginia shares the federal minimum wage ($7.25) with a bunch of other safe Repug and swingy states. The highest minimum wages are found in Washington ($13.50), California ($13.00), Massachusetts ($12.75), all solid Democratic states. The swing state with the highest minimum wage is Arizona ($12.00) while the highest safe Repug is Alaska ($10.19).

      https://www.richstatespoorstates.org/variables/state_minimum_wage/

      Dunno where you got the idea that Virginia has the lowest living standards. Places like Mississippi or Alabama usually take the honours there. The list below has Virginia 7th best.

      https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/quality-of-life-by-state

      Again, Dem states tend to be high on the list and Repug states tend to be low, although in this ranking there's a few more Repug states creeping into the better slots weakening the correlation.

      Maybe you just looked at working conditions ranking and extrapolated that? On that ranking, Virginia does indeed share bottom ranking with Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. But ooh, look at the best states. All Dem, again.

      https://policy-practice.oxfamamerica.org/work/poverty-in-the-us/best-states-to-work/

    • greywarshark 14.2

      Good to read sensible sounding stuff Corey H. And it backs what thoughtful others have forecast.

  15. Macro 15

    More than 1 in 400 Americans tested positive for Covid last week. To put that into some sort of perspective I thought "How many of my townsfolk might that represent in our town of 8000 people?" That's 20 cases. Just imagine, in a small town, 20 people have Covid… Yet in a survey published yesterday, 40% of Americans plan to go to a gathering of over 10 people in the coming holiday season.

    https://whatthefuckjusthappenedtoday.com/

    If that is not moronic behaviour, I don't know what is.

    • weka 15.1

      that's a really good way of thinking about it (the small town thing).

      It's very hard to understand what is going on in people's minds. Some will be in denial at the Trumpian level, but I expect others have a degree of cognitive dissonance and/or they can't cope and need to do 'normal' things. And yep, plenty of stupid.

      • Macro 15.1.1

        Yes. We had 2 cases in Auckland (with a population of around 1.6 million) a week or so back, and the country went into a tail spin. A 1 in 400 rate of infection would mean 4000 people testing positive in a week. The virus is completely out of control in the US, and Trump has done absolutely nothing except play golf and foster super spreading events around the country. How anyone could vote for such incompetency is beyond understanding.

        The GOP are playing a very dangerous game at the moment, because having kowtowed to Trump over the past 4 years, and enabled his continual despotic behaviour, they cannot now speak up against him. There are 2 critical Senate positions still to be decided in Georgia (and the subsequent control of the Senate). If they were to criticise Trump right now, they risk upsetting the moronic base.

  16. Sacha 16

    Donald Trump will be back for another go at the Presidency in 2024.

    Pfft. He will be dead by then. Barely functioning now.

  17. McFlock 17

    No leader is supported by an homogeneous mass. Some trumpists support him because they will profit off his policies. Others support him because he normalises their bigotry. Some support him because he could play to a crowd – charisma, of a sort. And yes, some of them are fucking morons, voting as a blind reflex to real or perceived hardships that they cannot articulate.

    Either way, the prospect of a 2024 election bid makes my best case even funnier. I hope to see him charged, and claiming to have the 100% bigliest brain in all the world while his legal team try to argue his capacity is so diminished that he can't face trial. Him running for president while that happens would be awesome.

    The repugs supported him because (unlike the left) they support their man, right or wrong. They'll have better candidates in 2024, ones who know how to deal with a manbaby.

  18. Aaron 18

    Before Labour first came to power we had a conservative party and a liberal party that both served the establishment – albeit albeit different wings of the establishment. In the UK conservative and liberal were literally the names of the parties. I think we need to recognise that we are back in that same situation in the Western world with Labour parties now taking the place of the old Liberal parties.

    It was pretty clear when David Cunliffe was the leader here (and even more obvious in the UK with Corbyn) that most Labour MPs prefer to lose an election rather than win it with a genuine socialist as their leader. Their loyalty is clearly to the establishment and not to the working people and until a mass of working people form a new political movement that probably isn't going to change

  19. Andre 19

    They Are Not Morons

    The Waco Kid took one look at this map …

    … and begs to differ.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYTQ7__NNDI

    • Maurice 19.1

      Biden's voters are concentrated in the blue urban areas – mostly surrounded by the red rural areas … from whence comes the food and water the urban areas rely upon.

      The urban areas can be hemmed in and egress controlled whereas movement from the urban to rural areas results in rapid dispersion and entry in to hostile environments.

      Urban dwellers are utterly dependent upon the rural dwellers – whereas the rural believe they can exist without those huge population densities.

      The divide is becoming more and more unstable with the big question being: How can urban populations ensure supplies of food and water if the rural populations decide to not supply them?

    • WeTheBleeple 19.2

      Tried pointing it out several times. Trumps legacy is that the electoral map matches/overlays the covid map as of time of the election.

      So even though the dem cities got hit first, with some effort (and massive resistance) they've slowly lowered cases per population while the 'masks are tyranny' maga moron states are consistently becoming the worse.

      Surely, just this one point, when they wake from his spell, to realise Trump killed grandma in a gamble to keep stocks elevated…

      The backlash in the US will be mighty. Unprecedented when that schmuck is unpresidented.

    • millsy 20.1

      Forcing Christians underground sounds good to me. Kinda over them trying to control peoples lives.

      If I want to have sex outside of marriage, its none of anyone's business.

  20. Descendant Of Smith 21

    I'm not sure in any OECD country you can ignore the impact of population trends though.

    Older white voters tend to be more conservative from all the data presented about voting patterns and are starting to die off and will do so at a increasingly rapid rate. They were born together and will die together – that is pretty immutable really.

    The first baby boomers are turning 75 in another four years they will be turning 79, then 83 (US election cycle) – how much can they continue to dominate voting patterns against younger, more diverse populations.

    It is a matter of when – not if.

  21. ken 22

    Well they look like morons, and they behave like morons.

  22. millsy 23

    I wouldnt call them morons.

    I would call them nasty, bigoted racist, sexist and homophobic puritans who would gladly return to the days were women were the property of men, 'witches' were burned at the stake, blacks were strung up from lamp posts and gays were castrated. If you wanted to identify as transgender, then a trip to the local asylum for a lobotomy or ECT awaited you. Schools taught the Book of Genesis as fact, and anyone who disobeyed the teachings of the King James Holy Bible were forced from their communities.

    This is the society that Trump and his supporters want. Forget the economy, forget COVID, forget everything else.

    US Theocracy is the end game here.

    As an aside, it is interesting that amid all the calls to 'defund and disband' police forces, Trump and his supporters wish to defund the law enforcement agencies that uphold environmental, consumer, labour and food safety laws.

  23. millsy 24

    And, I also think the Trump voters, are on the whole, prudes.

  24. Jackel 25

    These are serious, libelous and patently false accusations Trump and his morons are accusing the left of. But we continue to be nice to them and give them the benefit of the doubt. Frankly morons is too nice a word for them.

  25. RedLogix 26

    And reading this thread I can only conclude the modern left despises the working class:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvAphpNCkZY

    • millsy 26.1

      No mate, the left despises reactionary poseurs in hi-vis who claim to be 'working class'.

      If the left really despised the working class, they wouldnt be supporting high wages, the right to join a union, increased sick leave and social services.

      Paul Embery is a reactionary from way back. The guy thinks that LBGT’s are vermin, blacks should be shot by cops randomly in the streets, abortion should be illegal, and single parents should be forced into unhappy marriages. He also thinks that COVID should be allowed to rip through the population because of the ‘economy’.

      • McFlock 26.1.1

        What pisses me off when tories confuse despising ~adjacent supporters with despising the "working class" is that the only reason fascists, capitalists, and even feudal overlords gained and maintained control was because they managed to dupe or bribe enough workers to support them.

        And we're talking about enthusiastic volunteers here, not just unwilling conscripts.

        Do I despise every dupe? No. Do I despise opportunists who see the emerging power bloc as a way to gain power for themselves at the expense of others? Yes, just as I despise lawyers who wave guns at protestors in their "gated community", billionaires who think they can keep demagogues on a leash, millionaires who sit at the table when crimes against humanity are plotted and the best they can say is "there wasn't a show of hands".

        Everyone gets to make their choice. It is not the entire working class that chooses to exploit their fellow people. But whatever helps capitalists in denial sleep in peace, I guess.

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  • ELE LUDEMANN: Trusting locals
    Ele Ludemann writes- A government-knows-best and predilection for central control was another unfortunate feature of the 2017-2023 Labour governments. One of the worst polices as a result of that was what started as Three Waters and became several more. The National-led government is much more trusting of locals ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Legislation to flush away Three Waters has become a certainty – but we must wait for details on th...
    Buzz from the Beehive A  three-day information drought was broken, just after Point of Order published yesterday’s Buzz from the Beehive, and two significant ministerial announcements were made. First, the Budget will be delivered on 30 May, telling us which genuine savings have been made by eliminating waste and which ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Rise of the Lobbyists.
    An unpopular opinion, I love Auckland.Not so much the transport or the house prices - those are pretty dire. But there’s a lot to like. We’ve a vibrant, multicultural city in a beautiful location with, mostly, friendly locals. From the native bush of the Waitakeres to the Gulf islands, it’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The holes in National’s water reform pipes
    Young renters just have to watch on as pipes keep failing and the Government and councils point fingers at each other, because all the incentives are for ratepayers to block rates increases, water meters, water charges and the creation of new entities. File Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: The National-ACT-NZ First coalition ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Health Minister and Minister for Pacific Peoples Dr Shane Reti are reaffirming the importance of New Zealand’s connections to the Pacific by visiting Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa this week.  “New Zealand enjoys strong and long-standing relationships with our Pacific partners - especially in Polynesia, where we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, rau rangatira ma. Tēnā koutou katoa. He tino mihi ki te mana whenua o tēnei rohe.  Mihi mai, mihi mai, mihi mai. Te whare e tū nei, tēnā koe.                               He-wāhi whakahirahira tēnei mō Aotearoa. Ka huri nga whakaaro, ki nga mate. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government awards primary sector scholarships to students
    Six university students studying agriculture and science have been awarded scholarships as part of the coalition Government’s efforts to boost on-the-ground support for farmers and growers. “The coalition Government is committed to improving support and operating conditions for farmers and growers,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. “We’re backing a range ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as a solicitor in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is providing a further $5 million to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank.  “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling,” Mr Peters says.  “That is why New Zealand has contributed $15 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government consults on expanding COVID-19 Inquiry terms of reference
    The Government is delivering on its commitment to enable public input into expanding the scope of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into COVID-19 Lessons, says Internal Affairs Minister Brooke van Velden. “As committed to in both the ACT-National and NZ First-National coalition agreements, the public will be given the opportunity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
    A further $5 million loan has been advanced to the Tai Tokerau Water Trust for Te Waihekeora Reservoir, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.  “Water is a precious resource, Kānoa – Regional Development and Investment Unit at the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment have done amazing work in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
    The Government is progressing changes to resource management laws as part of its 100 Day Action Plan, with the first steps taken to establish a new fast-track consenting one-stop shop regime. “This new regime, which forms part of National’s coalition agreement with New Zealand First, will improve the speed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence the Hon Richard Marles MP and Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator the Hon Penny Wong hosted New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters MP and Minister of Defence Hon Judith Collins KC MP on 1 February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
    The adult minimum wage rate will increase by 2 per cent to $23.15 an hour from 1 April 2024, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden announced today. “This Government is committed to striking the right balance between protecting the incomes of our lowest paid workers and maintaining labour ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
    Increasing the number of security staff in emergency departments (EDs) over the busy Christmas and New Year period improved the safety of both staff and patients, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says. 200 additional security staff (93 FTEs) were provided to 32 EDs in response to concerns raised by ED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago

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