Review of Martin Gurri's "The Revolt of the Public," the book that called both an uprising and a reaction
I've often used Trump as a scapegoat for the reason I play golf. I took golf up right about the time Trump become POTUS in 2017. I would often say that was the moment I gave up on American politics. I, like a lot people, become very cynical of politics after Obama's first term as POTUS, and I voted Green where I could in 2012. I was done casting "lesser of two evils" votes. I've completely stopped voting since 2012 with the exception of some local voting to help kill some bad legislation. By the time 2016 come along, I wasn't feeling the Bern. I certainly didn't think Hillary Clinton was beatable, and Trump was a sideshow spectacle dominating the 24 hour news cycle, but I figured who was taking this guy seriously.
Well, it turned out a lot people with voter registration cards took Trump very seriously. I couldn't wrap my head around the appeal, and I think a lot people thought the same way. It was like - that guy, really? The man that was a unintended creation of the swamp in Washington was going to go to Washington and destroy his on habitat? It was just to surreal and convoluted to wrap my mind around the seemingly mindless support for Trump. But, it was happening right in front of everybody playing out on America's biggest stage - the POTUS. Those who dared to dream of a Trump Presidency and those that just couldn't imagine it was possible. The dreamers' dream came true, and Donald J Trump become 45th POTUS.
I certainly didn't care for Hillary, and you could see there was no energy outside of the DNC for a Clinton presidency, but she was the establishment choice. The major media companies all deemed her the next POTUS of the US on election night. Then the voting results told another story. It was not going to be a Clinton dynasty after all. Ol' Orange's supporters came out to vote while a lot of potential democratic voters stayed home. Several factors may have been involved in the turnout of 2016. They've all been discussed and dissected.
I live in Mid-Missouri, and that's where I play a lot of golf these days, and in early 2017 when I started to "seriously" take up the game, well, I take the game seriously, but it doesn't take me too seriously. I found out a lot people that play golf in Missouri love Donald Trump, and they were elated that Trump was in the Oval Office. You couldn't help but over hear a lot of conversation going on at the driving range. I started wearing headphones while I practices my swing at the driving range. I didn't engage anybody. I am not a people person. I don't dislike people, I just don't want to talk with them. So, I kept to myself for the most part, however, over time I became a regular at the driving range/par 3 course. People started to notice me, and small talk turned to conversations.
I am fat middle age white guy that's playing golf, so most assume I'm a republican. So, people at the course would discuss their political ideologies with me. There was a particular group of old Marines that took a liking to me. I would even play the par 3 course with them from time to time. I have family that supports Trump, and my wive's family is almost all Trump supporters, so I was not surprised by some of the things I heard from people at the golf course, but unlike my family or my wive's family, I would engage more with the people at the golf course. I don't talk much politics with love ones.
I found out from the old Marines and couple people I work with that they didn't really care for the character of Donald Trump, but they truly thought, and still do believe, Orange was going to go to Washington and clean it up. It's kind of the liberal thinking in regards to old Joe Kennedy, who was an absolute crook, that his past as a thief and lying cheat would serve the American public well because he knew all the cons and how to work them, so he was the 1st Chair of the Securities and Exchange committee. I'll let your bias or knowledge of the Kennedys let you figure out how that turned out for the American people.
Trump was sent by his voters with a mandate, most in good faith, to shake up Washington. He was a slap in the face to a lot of the "liberal" democrats. He was going to build a wall, he was going to stop corruption in Washington and he was going to run America like he ran his very "successful" business. They all believed this because he was on TV and he said he was very successful thousands of times, and if America would just vote him in, America would be great once again.
For some of his supporters, they are able to compartmentalize him. They accept that he's a womanizer, crook with ties to the mob and at best a sexual harasser, but the trade off, for his supporters, is that Don is super savvy businessman that knows all the angles and dirty tricks to get the America back on Its feet again. Well, that was the logic from what I gathered from my interactions with republicans at the golf course. They took him for what he was presented to America as by network TV - a successful business man that didn't take no for an answer. And his mandate was to tell US government - You're Fired!
What I'm seeing now, and I could be wrong, is the establishment reclaiming the center by using "woke" ideology ...they can hold onto power if they pander to the loudest online and stifle dissent via Big Tech, Big Media, cancel culture, etc. So the Democrats are taking massive amounts of power now thanks in large part to Trump, right? They know it, everyone knows it. So either they will dominate by achieving both a cultural and political "revolution" - woke and progressive combined, or those who can't tolerate the new rules of the strident puritanism will revolt in 2024.
Rathergate was triggered by a blogger named "Buckhead" on Free Republic. Here is his opening analysis that ultimately led to the memos being discredited (From https://freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1210662/posts?page=47#47)
Howlin, every single one of these memos to file is in a proportionally spaced font, probably Palatino or Times New Roman.
In 1972 people used typewriters for this sort of thing, and typewriters used monospaced fonts.
The use of proportionally spaced fonts did not come into common use for office memos until the introduction of laser printers, word processing software, and personal computers. They were not widespread until the mid to late 90's. Before then, you needed typesetting equipment, and that wasn't used for personal memos to file. Even the Wang systems that were dominant in the mid 80's used monospaced fonts.
I am saying these documents are forgeries, run through a copier for 15 generations to make them look old.
This should be pursued aggressively.
47 posted on 09/08/2004 8:59:43 PM PDT by Buckhead
Hurray for the death of traditional media run by and for the elites. It’s going to be harder to start some stupid but money making war under false pretenses wmd’s etc.
For several weeks I have been researching the psychology of mob rule to try to better understand what is going on and where we are headed. I am in no way qualified to make definitive summaries, but I do find it interesting that many of the symptoms addressed in this article closely mirror much of what I read about the behavior of mobs.
Here is a quote that I found quite revealing...
“Civilization advances by extending the number of operations we can perform without thinking about them."
-Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947)
Whitehead's hypothesis written decades ago makes an interesting basis for our current behavior by bridging over specific targets (Trump, capitalism, socialism, etc....) and suggesting it is advancement itself that is causing the pile up. If I think of the operations I can now perform due to technology and communication, and compare them to just ten years ago, I am gobsmacked.
In pure search for footing, I reach back and renew the old term gobsmacked.
Can one get any more desperate?
Next up: the (in progress) revolt against our utterly fraudulent monetary / financial system. The destruction will come, not from pitchfork wielding voters but from economic law. Specifically, rising bond yields / interest rates. Take cover . . .
All very interesting but...
What if so many people people no longer trust mainstream political parties, experts and media not because they are hierarchical and the internet isn't, but because in the past decades a significant fraction of the public has been harmed by bipartisan economic policies that politicians and the media and expert was telling them would bring prosperity for all and ended up deindustrializing the country and offshoring their jobs and benefitting the upper crust of society. And as to the experts, I for one remember the early days of the pandemic when public health were pontificating that risks of propagation were tiny, that closing borders was a harmful policy pushed by xenophobes, the flu was the real threat and wearing mask was counter-productive, go out and don't pay attention to those scare-mongering conspiracy theorists out there, until they went to the opposite extreme and predicted millions of dead piling up in the UK.
If western political parties and media were as hierarchical as ever but gave people reason to believe they are competent and work for them and care about them and enact policies that benefit them, the same people would not give a thought whether institutions are networks or linear or parallel or sparse or fuzzy or what not. They would cheer hierarchy and authority and experts.
The "prophet" trope may carry a lot more weight than implied in a throwaway byline. Belief systems and group dynamics are hard at work, none more conspicuously than the Qanon mob. The inner workings of the British Royals are being tossed about based on preexisting beliefs present in the "public" and on what is presented as fact by a pair of jilted title-seekers. That line of belief has been long preceded by the Prince Philip Movement followed by some people of Tanna.
It seems a yearning for "what is to come" is a fundamental streak in humanity's makeup.
Stand back from it, if you are wise, but stand by for more alarming trends.
The L.A. Times article says the blogger's name was "Buckhead" not "Bucklehead". I like Bucklehead better though.
I had also totally forgotten about that incident so thanks for mentioning it.
I just finished "The Revolt of the Public." I thought he makes a convincing argument that the internet and social media have lead to nihilism and anti-establishment views.
I was surprised though to hear him completely dismiss the argument that rising economic inequality is also contributing to the revolt of the public. He basically argues that (prior to the pandemic) unemployment was low (which helped everyone), that Trump won some states with booming economies (like Texas), and there wasn't any evidence that Trumps supporters were anything other than the fiscally conservatives that supported Romney, McCain, or Bush.
I feel like there is an obvious argument that economic inequality is also a contributing factor.
For example, economic inequality is at a 90-year peak, you can be fully employed and not able to afford a home, and there is now a huge political divide between the Democratic cities (with booming economies) and the Republican rural areas (which have struggled economically). I also think polling on things like Medicare for All suggests that many Trump supporters are not actually fiscal conservatives.
I'm surprised Gurri doesn't see these points when his analysis on the impact of the internet is so strong.
Who is that on the cover of "The Revolt of the Public?"
"Crisis of Authority." There is no lack of authority; there is a crisis of trust, which authority replaces so that life can continue. Restoring our faith in one another is critical, and starts with agreed definitions of terms. "Fair" used to mean treating everyone the same; nowadays if a law or regulation treats everyone the same it's called institutional racism. "Equal" has two popular definitions: (a) Everyone has the same outcome regardless of input; (b) Everyone has the same access to opportunity. Inequality is a feature, not a bug, of most rational systems.
Buckhead not bucklehead
The hierarchies of power appropriated the BLM movement to circumvent the “Revolt of the Public,” but that seems to be backfiring, possibly now out of the control of elites. It now seems to be morphing into what amounts to Black Communism. Certainly a dangerous place for the elites.
These Black Communists are now utilizing their introduction, like that scene in The Greatest Showman where all Barnum’s oddity acts walk into the Queen’s court, to instill UBI, threaten First Amendment rights and even attack the Queen herself as racist (Oprah & Meghan). Elites may be underestimating the threat, for now, content as they’re luxuriating in profits generated by a government seemingly to have removed moral hazard from their capitalist tool belt, permanently.
The rise of Black Communism - never saw that coming! Nor did Gurri!
Here's a shocker... Matt thinks its Trump's fault... again. Lather, rinse, repeat... C'mon Man!