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PostWhat is Trump's Motivation for Refusing to Accept Defeat? Benefits and Risks (Mendo Henriques, Portugal, 12/12/20 3:59 am)
Hope all is fine with you and your family.
As seen from Portugal, The Donald's movie is worse than a Mexican or, rather, Venezuelan "novela." In short, the US appears to be suffering from various political anomalies.
What does Donald Trump achieve with his refusal to admit defeat, and maintain the narrative that the elections were flawed?
a) Benefit from offers (we will see at what price) of the supporters, which are already more than USD $200 million;
b) Keep the electoral base cohesive;
c) Have a very strong voice in the Republican party.
On the other hand, the risks:
a) That Republican supporters refrain from voting in the Georgian elections, as they consider them flawed; this can deliver victory to the Democrats;
b) That potential Republican candidates for 2024, organize to boycott a new Trump candidacy;
c) It is not clear that the American political system is prepared to elect a leader of the opposition as it exists in European countries;
Perhaps as his niece Mary Trump said, more than transforming the Republicans, Donald Trump revealed the true nature of the party.
It remains to be seen how the Republicans will look after The Donald experience. Personally, it looks like Joe Biden can benefit from Trump's strategic errors. Even without the Senate majority, there are economic and financial paths that he can take as indicated by strategists.
a) The Q-Anon movements and some radical evangelical sects are phenomena of mass political religions that are only paralleled by European medieval Cathars and Albigensians, such is their degree of irrationality.
b) Texas Attorney General Paxton's lawsuit seems a legal aberration, an abuse law, summum jus, summa injuria. Yet, the support it deserved from 18 states and more than 120 members of the House of Representatives makes it similar to a sedition attempt or a soft putsch. It is Jim Crow's territory.
c) The North American "rational center" is still alive in many universities, but it is not at all evident how it is active in civil society institutions.
d) At the root of urban violence, there is an existential dread, that the future is now becoming visible enough to cause severe anxiety in those who are unprepared and cannot adapt to it. Jobs lost during the pandemic will again be lost in the inexorable push towards widespread automation. Urban centers are increasingly multiracial, leaving the decaying ruins of once-pastoral "small towns" littered between transit hubs.
e) There seems to be an inescapable trend towards social democracy in a broad democratic fringe of the American electorate. Bernie Sanders is the best representative of what Karl Polanyi taught, precisely in Vermont in 1944. Nobel Prize Joseph Stiegler has spoken of this.
f) Redistricting/Gerrymandering has reached unacceptable proportions in states like North Carolina. As Thomas Hofeller said, it is politicians who choose voters, and this anti-democratic element corrupts the meaning of vote.
g) The Electoral College system seems to remain healthy as a federal counterweight and a redundancy effect, but the popular voting system is becoming increasingly important, as in Europe.
JE comments: All is well here, thanks Mendo! I would add a "d" to Trump's motivations above: to prove how fervent his base is, as a safety net against prosecution. Who would want to send Trump to jail and risk widespread violence? Today (Saturday) the MAGAistas are planning a Jericho-style demonstration in Washington. Shofar trumpets are one thing; assault weapons are another.
Mendo, I have to disagree with you on one point: Mexican telenovelas are often brilliantly entertaining, although at WAIS HQ we are more partial to the Colombian ones.
Economists Stigler and Stiglitz
(David Duggan, USA
12/13/20 7:24 AM)
In response to Mendo Henriques (December 12th), I believe he was referring to either George Stigler or Joseph Stiglitz. From the context of his post I can't tell which. Both won the Nobel Prize in Economics (Stigler 1981, Stiglitz 2001).
JE comments: Great eye as always, David! Now that I think about it, I never paid much attention to the two "Stigl" practitioners of the Dismal Science. The latter (Stiglitz) is still living and a full generation younger than the former, who died in 1991.
I think Mendo meant Stiglitz, who is markedly to the left of Stigler from the Chicago School. But maybe I'm wrong...
(Mendo Henriques, Portugal
12/15/20 3:43 AM)
I agree with JE that The Donald's movie is as entertaining as a Latino telenovela, if we discount all the pain inflicted by the soon to be ex-president of the US.
My thanks to David Duggan. I involuntarily created a portmanteau name "Joseph Stiegler." As JE pointed out, I meant Joseph Stiglitz who, fortunately, is still around.
JE comments: While Joseph Stiglitz is on our radar, here's his latest (December 8th) opinion piece in the NYT. He asks, at this critical juncture in US politics, if democracy can be salvaged in the wake of the disruptive Trump era.
- Joseph Stiglitz (Mendo Henriques, Portugal 12/15/20 3:43 AM)