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Articles of note

"Bernie Sanders, closet moderate?" Politico, by Nancy Cook

"Trump's America," Wall Street Journal, by Charles Murray

"I can't hate Donald Trump," Slate, by Reihan Salam

"'Sexism has nothing to do with it': Camille Paglia on Hillary Clinton, Gloria Steinem — and why New Hampshire women broke for Bernie Sanders," Salon, by Camille Paglia

"Risk grows of markets sparking recession," Wall Street Journal, by Greg Ip

"This is why you can't afford a house," Daily Beast, by Joel Kotkin

"A country breaking down," New York Review of Books, by Elizabeth Drew [Review of various books on US infrastructure]

"Advanced Ligo: labs 'open their ears' to the cosmos," BBC News, by Jonathan Amos

"Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month," Washington Post, by Peter Holley

"An alternative Black History month," Wall Street Journal, by Jason Riley

"Liberal intolerance is on the rise on America's college campuses," Washington Post, by Catherine Rampell

"In defense of football," National Review, by David French

New Hampshire: rage against the political machine

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The rise of Sanders and Trump reflects the decay of the establishment.

 Read my spiked article in full here.

Recent articles of note

"Trump, Sanders, and the revolt against decadence," New York Times, by Ross Douthat

"How both parties lost the white working class," New York Times, by R.R. Reno

"The Clinton system," New York Review of Books, by Simon Head

"Serf's up with California's new feudalism," Orange County Register, by Joel Kotkin

"Lessons of demopolis," Aeon, by Josiah  Ober

"The trouble with 'racial awareness' on campus," Los Angeles Times, by Brendan O'Neill

"The totalitarian doctrine of 'Social Justice Warriors'," Observer, by Cathy Young

"Public spaces then and now," City Journal, by Fred Siegel

Takeaways from Iowa

Iowa caucus Cruz

Finally, some real votes, rather than polls.

Going into Iowa, Donald Trump led in the polls and dominated the media coverage, and he hoped that Iowa would be the start of a stampede across the country. That didn’t happen: Trump came in second with 24% of the vote, losing to Ted Cruz with 28%. On the Democrat side, the polls indicated it would be a close match, and it ended up being as almost as close as it could be. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders ended up in a near-tie, with Clinton squeaking it out by 49.9% to Sanders’ 49.5%.

What does Iowa mean for the race? Here are some initial observations.

Republicans

  • Return to traditional Iowa dynamics. The Republican who wins Iowa traditionally does so by winning the Christian/evangelical vote. This held true this year, as that is exactly the group that Cruz targeted and won. It was rumored that Trump had started to win over these voters, but it didn’t happen in Iowa.
  • Ground game trumps celebrity. Cruz’s organization was impressive, with lots of campaigning boots on the ground and ties with local influencers, like church pastors. The Republican turnout was very high, up a huge 50% on 2012. That is a testament not only to the unusual, Trump-circus, and up-for-grabs contest among Republicans this year, but also to old-fashioned mobilization. There was something heartening about seeing Cruz's grassroots organization beating Trump’s media-led, celebrity-driven campaign.
  • Republican establishment is back in it. The Republican establishment doesn’t like Trump or Cruz, and, before Iowa, polls showed the vote was split among the candidates they do prefer. They will therefore be pleased that Marco Rubio had a strong showing in Iowa: he came in third with 23%, beating expectations and almost catching Trump. They will now hope that the mainstream Republican vote will consolidate around Rubio, and make him a strong challenger to Trump and Cruz. At the same time, I wonder if the establishment will quickly pivot from sigh of relief to overconfidence. In particular, you can almost sense a relief that they can return to ignoring all of the working-class Trump voters and their concerns, and go back to talking about tax cuts and standing up to Putin.
  • Cruz has narrow appeal. Iowa is a good first step in Cruz’s attempt to corner the Christian/evangelical and Tea Party market. But he is narrow, often sounding like he wants to be President of the South. It is hard to see him broadening his appeal, even within a Republican party that has turned more conservative over the years. And, as many have pointed out, Iowa has not been a great predictor for the eventual nominee.
  • Trump is not invincible. Iowa is a blow to Trump’s self-promoted image as an unstoppable “winner”. He should come out on top in New Hampshire (his lead is 22 points – yes, “yuge”), but a narrow victory or surprise loss would be damaging, perhaps fatally. Trump has brought new voices of society into the political process – in particular, workers without a college education. But this group is also one that hasn’t voted in recent elections, so it remains to be seen if they will follow-through for Trump. Moreover, this group, while important, is not enough for Trump to build a majority on.
  • Rubio is still unproven. While the establishment will try to rally around Rubio, it remains to be seen if he can deliver on that. One week from now we’ll see if in New Hampshire he can break from the establishment pack of Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and John Kasich. For what it’s worth, I also believe he is over-rated as a candidate. The Republican elite love him due to his demographics (young, Latino) and for espousing their favored policy positions. But he strikes me as an inexperienced and untested figure, seeming to always speak in the same over-caffeinated, slightly manic way, and coming out with much-rehearsed soundbites. Of course, he could improve over time in that regard, but a good part of the reason Trump has gone this far to date is down to people being unimpressed with more conventional Republican candidates, including Rubio.

Continue reading→

Treating Trump supporters like an exotic tribe

stand_with_trump1

The bigotry of elites who sneer at those who back The Donald.

Read my spiked article in full here.

Why The Donald trumps the opposition

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The clueless attacks on Trump have fuelled his campaign.

Read my spiked article in full here.

Obama’s “biggest fear”? The American people

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From guns to speech, terrorism has become an excuse to limit liberty.

Read my spiked article in full here.

Recent articles of note

On ISIS and Paris:

"Why do jihadis seem so evil?" Pandaemonium, by Kenan Malik

"Mindless terrorists? The truth about ISIS is much worse," The Guardian, by Scott Atran

"ISIS sings the same tune Hitler did, promising Utopia in the end," Russia Today interview with Scott Atran

"What is the driving force behind jihadist terrorism?" by Olivier Roy, presentation to Bundeskriminalamt autumn conference, November 18-19, 2015

"What ISIS really wants," The Atlantic, by Graeme Wood [from March 2015]

"The terror strategist: secret files reveal the structure of Islamic State, Spiegel Online [from April 2015]

"College students say remembering 9/11 is offensive to Muslims," The Daily Beast, by Robby Soave

Others:

"Euro-Trump," The New York Times, by Thomas Edsall

"Tech titans want to be masters of all media we survey," Orange County Register, by Joel Kotkin

"Gambling the world economy on climate," Wall Street Journal, by Bjorn Lomborg

"The oldest divide: with roots dating back to our Founding, America's urban-rural split is wider than ever," City Journal, by Victor Davis Hanson

 

 

The University of Racial Indoctrination

University of Missouri President Resigns As Protests Grow over Racism

The rise of the race therapy complex on campus.

Read my spiked article in full here.

 

Why American liberals *heart* Pope Francis

Thumbnail : Why American liberals *heart* Pope Francis

His visit has given the PC elite some much-needed moral authority.

Read my spiked article in full here.

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