The Official 2017 Guide to Avoiding Offensive Halloween Costumes

Halloween is one of the year’s most exciting holidays. Unfortunately, insensitivity and intolerance have been clouding the joyous occasion in the form of offensive Halloween costumes for decades. In 2017, more and more people are waking up to the hatred on constant display every October 31st. Momentum is heading in the direction of social justice and equality.

Before you select your Halloween costume this year, have a look at the following list of common costumes that promote hatred and bigotry, so you can be sure to find a more inclusive Halloween costume idea:

Vampire

Vampire

Vampires are often associated with the Romanian region of Transylvania. Dressing up as a vampire for Halloween perpetuates the stereotypes that all Romanians drink blood and have no reflection. This is not true of all Romanians.

Zombie

Zombie

Dressing up as a zombie may seem innocent, but it’s actually insensitive to groups whose ancestors suffered through the Bubonic Plague and other pandemic diseases (ex: Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, the Americas). Illness is not something to be made light of.

Ghost

bed sheet phantom

Thinking of going with a simple ghost costume? Think again. Many people have had a friend or family member pass away within the past quarter century, and a ghost costume could trigger unwanted memories. This applies to angel and devil costumes (for deceased Democrats and Republicans, respectively) as well.

Pirate

Pirate

It should be obvious that pirate costumes are out of the question as plundering is not something to be celebrated. Plunder is just plain wrong.

Bunny Rabbit

Bunny

Bunny rabbit costumes may have been socially acceptable before 1953. But since the launch of Playboy Magazine, bunny rabbits have come to represent mass exploitation and objectification of women. Women who dress as bunny rabbits are kowtowing to the patriarchy whether they like it or not.

Princess

Princess

Princess costumes encourage harmful gender roles and stereotypes. The misogynistic “ess” assures that princes will aways come before princesses alphabetically, an oft-overlooked reinforcement of male superiority that remains deeply ingrained within our society.

Firefighter, Police Officer, etc.

fireman

Firefighter, police officer, soldier, professional athlete, cowboy, and superhero costumes are a gross embodiment of hyper-toxic masculinity. These costumes should be avoided at all costs.

Skeleton

Skeleton

There are children starving in Africa. Get it? Got it? Good.

Witch

witch

Dressing up as a witch may remind some people of Hillary Clinton. This could cause seizures and even strokes among those of us living under the reign of a Nazi, fascist, white supremacist, rapist, Russian agent named Donald Drumpf.

A Better Alternative

racist

Instead of causing offense by wearing one of the aforementioned costumes, why not celebrate our rich diversity by dressing as a Native American, a Vietnamese rice farmer, a Geisha, a mariachi performer, a Hasidic Jew, Princess Moana, a German Nazi, a Radical Islamic Terrorist, Caitlyn Jenner, or a minstrel show dancer.

Let’s make cultural sensitivity the name of the game this Halloween!

***

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The Official 2017 Guide to Avoiding Offensive Halloween Costumes

The Case for a Libertarian/Green Unity Ticket

The Libertarian and Green parties are not going to make much electoral headway at any point in the near future. The Democratic and Republican parties have embarrassing approval ratings, but, somehow, this has not affected their duopoly’s reign over American politics.

Contrarily, Gary Johnson did receive nearly 5 million votes in the 2016 presidential election, and Jill Stein received over a million to boot. Johnson’s popular vote tally was the greatest in Libertarian Party history, and Stein’s was the greatest Green Party turnout since Ralph Nadar in 2000.

Together, the 6 million or so ballots cast still pale in comparison to the 60+ million votes that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each received. But the third parties made some noise.

Rather than continue to hopelessly lose, it might be in both parties’ best interests to work together to effect better results in US elections.

Let’s first acknowledge that Libertarians and Greens align beautifully on a wide range of important political issues.

While I can’t speak for all Libertarians (and cannot speak for any Greens), I imagine that large portions of the constituencies on both sides agree with me in believing that ending America’s interventionist military policy is the most important issue of our time. When Noam Chomsky and Ron Paul are on the same page, it’s a great opportunity to put our differences aside to accomplish something of such great importance.

In addition to war abroad, the parties agree that ending the failed War on Drugs at home is a no-brainer. We could start by legalizing marijuana then discuss how many steps further we can agree to go.

Libertarians and Greens want to restore the 4th Amendment too. This means discontinuing the Patriot Act and pulling back the overreach of American intelligence agencies. We are on the same page in believing that individuals are innocent until proven guilty and that privacy is a right.

I’m sure there is more overlap, but these three major issues set us apart from the bigger parties right off the bat.

Of course, we disagree on economics, worker’s rights, environmental policy, and a whole lot more. But to each Libertarian and Green reading this, would you risk leaving most of the status quo in place in order to guarantee wins on peace, pot, and privacy? I know I would. Let’s take care of some important business first and discuss the minimum wage and fracking later.

Before we can change policy, we have to play politics. Our strategy could go something like this.

In presidential elections, we need to establish our unity ticket candidates as soon as possible. All press is good press, so getting the names out early will improve our chances of getting recognized and eventually supported. This means holding primaries early, months before the Democrats and Republicans.

We’ll also have to determine which party gets the presidential nod and which gets VP. I believe the fairest way to do this is to compete for participants in the primaries. Each party should allow voters registered in their respective party as well as independents to participate in primary elections. Whichever party gets the most total votes (amassed by all candidates, not just the winners) in the primaries has the rights to the presidential position. The vice presidential candidate would be the winner of the primary with less participation.

Not only would this be a fair way to determine who gets the presidential nominee, it would also encourage our parties to register more voters and get independents involved. It would appear to be a contest, but function more like a marketing campaign.

In congressional, state, and local elections, we’d have to work together too. Like the presidential strategy, we would judge which party to support based on primary elections. But since congressmen and other elected officials lack running mates, whichever party receives less primary participation would drop out of the race altogether and direct their supporters to vote for their Green or Libertarian counterpart.

For example, let’s imagine that during midterm elections a senate seat in Iowa is up for grabs. The Libertarian and Green parties would hold early primaries to determine their respective nominees. If all Libertarian candidates receive a combined 80,000 votes, and all Green candidates receive 90,000 votes, the winner of the Libertarian primary would concede and endorse the winner of the Green primary. Ideally, this candidate would get on the campaign trail and explain why the Green candidate’s anti-interventionist, anti-drug war, anti-spying position makes him the lesser of three evils among the Democrat and Republican candidates despite supporting many policies that run contrary to Libertarian orthodoxy.

Another agreement we should reach is that both parties should favor pro-choice/pro-second amendment candidates. There is a rift among Libertarians on the issue of abortion. Those who lean towards Reason Magazine tend to be more pro-choice, while those who lean towards Anarcho-Capitalism are often pro-life.

I imagine that Greens are more unified in desiring gun control measures than Libertarians are on the issue of abortion. Thus, I must admit that I am asking for more than I am risking as a Libertarian myself. However, let’s face facts and acknowledge that the fight against the Second Amendment is a losing battle. With more guns in American hands than there are individual Americans, and with a clear and unambiguous Constitutional Amendment telling us firearm ownership is our natural right, guns are not going anywhere. Let’s come to terms with reality and meet in the middle to better guarantee enthusiastic support from each of our bases.

Surely, some Green and some Libertarian individuals would be unable to stomach a vote for the other side. However, this may not be a total loss. With the Libertarian-Green strategy in place, Republican and Democratic candidates may be forced to alter their positions to accommodate third party hopefuls. While in a normal year, Democrats would expect to get a large share of disgruntled Greens, and Republicans would feel the same about Libertarians, the major parties would know that they’ll have to earn their votes instead of playing the lesser-of-two-evils game. Third party hopefuls would have a cause and motivation. The major parties would not be less able to rely on cynicism.

Popularizing the big three issues Libertarians and Greens align on could go a long way in influencing the two major parties in general. As we grow our bases, Republicans and Democrats will have to change to market themselves to us. And why prioritize a divisive issue like taxes or healthcare when they could appeal to us as a monolith by saying they’ll legalize weed?

This plan is not foolproof by any stretch of the imagination, and dissenters would be quick to frame one side as exploiting the other. But with zero representation in congress, what exactly do we have to lose?

***

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The Case for a Libertarian/Green Unity Ticket

The Great American Gun Debate

*Shooting occurs*
 
A: Thoughts and prayers to th…
B: Enough thoughts and prayers! We need to do something!
A: What should we do?
B: We should do A, B, and C!
A: We already do all of those things.
B: Well, then we should do D, E, and F!
A: None of those things would have had any impact on any of the mass shootings that have occurred.
B: Well, then we should do G!
A: That’s literally impossible, both politically and physically. It would start another Civil War.
B: You don’t care about the children at Sandy Hook!
Fin
The Great American Gun Debate

#TakeAKnee: A Guide to Courage and Non-Courage

Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem last year and the ensuing spectacle of demonstrations across the NFL have, to say the least, ignited passions across America.

My personal take on national anthems and flags is that when they are being honored, it is desirable to show respect to the people around you by abiding by local customs. Although most of my politics align with an anti-statist mentality, I love America and honor it when given the opportunity. It upsets me when individuals choose to raise personal political issues at these times.

As an expat currently residing and teaching English in Thailand, I display respect when the Thai national anthem plays. Twice a day, “Phleng Chat Thai” plays over radio and television broadcasts, through PA systems in buildings, and on loudspeakers publically. Everyone stops in their tracks silently or hums along until the anthem is done.

(Note: I have observed shrinking public adherence to this tradition since the 2014 coup d’etat.)

I do as the Thais do. Not necessarily because I respect Thailand or its government, but because I want to be polite and respectful towards the people around me. The Thai people have accepted me into their country with open arms, so it is the least I can do to express my gratitude.

But my personal feelings about flags, national anthems, and politeness have no bearing on what others must do. Each man has his right to express himself in his own way. And I have the right to be offended by and criticize his actions.

Six points I’d like to get out of the way before getting to the issues of courage and non-courage are:

  1. The cause one stands for has no bearing on an individual’s right to protest a flag or national anthem. Protest itself is protected, not protest for particular ends.
  2. Colin Kaepernick appears to be a Socialist, so I oppose his broader agenda. On the issue of the relationship between police and black Americans, I wrote this piece last year. As for the hundreds of players and other franchise employees who have demonstrated since, I can’t say whether or not I support their causes as I don’t know what each individual kneels for.
  3. I used to be a diehard NFL fan. But six years in Thailand have strained my relationship with the NFL as games are played after midnight Thai time. Injecting politics and identity politics into the NFL makes me less likely to watch in the future.
  4. Donald Trump is winning. Politics is about persuasion, not being right or wrong; factual or mistaken. As it currently stands regarding optics, “ungrateful” and “rich” professional sports players who get arrested once a week are standing against America, and Donald Trump is sticking up for the country and its military. Persuasively, the kneeling players are hurting their cause unless they want Trump to be president through 2024.
  5. Donald Trump’s tweets have been so egregious that he may have blown the opportunity I described in point #4.
  6. I have no reason to believe Trump’s or the general public’s outrage over the demonstrations is rooted in race or racism. As usual, race hustlers are seizing this opportunity to promote their cause just as Trump is “defending the flag” for his political career.

***

I believe what the kneeling NFL players are doing is courageous.

According to Merriam-Webster, courage is mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. The players are taking a moral stand against the wishes of their fans and, in all likelihood, their employers and endorsements. They are putting their reputations on the line and facing backlash. All of this could negatively affect their careers and futures.

Courage is all about putting skin in the game to do what you believe is right.

Obvious examples of courage are soldiers disobeying unjust orders, firefighters entering burning buildings to rescue strangers, and anyone who puts themselves between bullies and their prey.

Less obvious examples that occur on a daily basis are special education teachers persistently attempting to educate the seemingly unteachable, eyewitnesses and journalists testifying truthfully even if it undermines an angry mobs’ preferred narrative, and, now more than ever, individuals expressing politically incorrect opinions they believe are important.

I have seen several great examples of courage, as well as many examples of non-courage, over the course of the past year.

One that stands out is Sally Yates standing up to President Trump. Yates was the acting attorney general, set to serve until Trump had his own appointee confirmed by the Senate. When Trump made his infamous executive order to temporarily ban immigration from several majority-Muslim nations, Yates ordered the Justice Department not to defend the order in court. Here is part of what she wrote:

YatesI don’t know enough to know if I agree with Yates’ assessment in the same way that I do not know enough to know if I agree with what the kneelers are kneeling for. But my opinion has no bearing on what makes an act courageous. Yates put her job on the line (and lost it immediately) to do what she believed in.

Non-courage is my term, and one that you will not find in the dictionary. But it means exactly what it appears to mean: the absence of courage. Non-courage encompasses both cowardice and acts that are neither courageous nor cowardly.

No individual exemplifies non-courage quite like Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Sanders advocates for what he believes in, most famously economic equality. But rather than prove that wealthy individuals can survive well enough with less, Sanders receives a hefty government salary from taxpayers and has recently purchased his third home. Sanders would like the government to confiscate and redistribute enormous amounts of wealth, but he does not have the courage to forcefully take that wealth himself. Sanders surmises to gain power, influence, and more wealth by having his political aspirations come to fruition without sacrificing or risking anything of his own. Little could be further from courage.

Al Gore gives Sanders a run for his money in the non-courage department. Gore has parlayed a career in politics, an industry that produces nothing of value, into a vast sea of wealth. He is now most famous for his environmental activism. But rather than lead by example in leaving a carbon footprint lower than the average American’s, Gore’s swimming pool alone uses enough energy to power six average American households for a year. Gore has only gained from his activism thus far, and loses nothing if his preferred policies are put into place.

In 2002, Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect was cancelled after he said the 9/11 hijackers were “not cowardly.” He in no way implied that they were virtuous or good, but simply said that they were not cowardly. Attributing positive character aspects to terrorists at that point in American life was risky and highly controversial, which made it courageous.

Maher was courageous and right. The terrorists died for what they believed in. Being wrong does not negate one’s courage.

I won’t kneel with the players (and obviously not the terrorists). But for the sake of courage, I will stand for the truth, even if I don’t like it.

***

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#TakeAKnee: A Guide to Courage and Non-Courage

Even Hardcore Libertarians Should Support School Choice

I am a Libertarian and an educator, and I support school choice.

Vouchers would better allow parents, particularly poor parents, to send their children to high-performing schools. Families would also have a better shot at finding schools that share their culture and values, be they religious, secular, or other. A voucher program would force schools to compete. Instead of receiving more funding and more attention for struggling, schools would lose students and the tuition payments attached to them when they fail to produce positive results. Likewise, schools would be rewarded with more enrollment for doing well, and would be forced to either improve or close when their results are substandard.

More charter schools would be great too. Free from the one-size-fits-all regulations foisted upon public schools, charters would have a greater opportunity to experiment and innovate educationally in our rapidly advancing world. Charters would be able to cater to individual students’ special needs, interests, and learning styles, and could also adapt their curricula to benefit families with lifestyles that deviate from the norm.

My mind runs wild when I imagine the chance to alter and update today’s educational systems in America and throughout the world.

Why do we only hire trained teachers to teach? Why not scrap education degree requirements and hire individuals who have actually worked in a diverse range of fields instead? Why not hire military veterans, foreigners, and senior citizens who can interactively share their incredible perspectives and experiences instead of only reading second-hand accounts and textbooks? Why must schools employ so many out-of-touch older teachers who have spent decades upon decades stuck in classrooms? Why not hire college students part-time to teach basic material and tell their juniors how much life changes when they take their next steps in life?

Why have teachers teach the same lessons to four different classes per school year? Why not economize the process by using films and lectures in an auditorium? Why give each unique child the same education in the first place?

Why force children to stay in classrooms all day long? Why not let them roam freely to explore their environment without supervision? Why not march them out into the world to meet and greet local townspeople, ask them how they spend their days, and realize that we shouldn’t take the simple things in life for granted?

I could go on and on. But my pedagogical daydreams are not the crux of this piece.

The point I’d like to make is that despite widespread support among small government advocates, and despite the fact that intuition suggests it is a free market reform, a case can be made to suggest that school choice is not a Libertarian solution at all.

Libertarians believe in laissez-faire Capitalism. That means hands off. In a free market, goods and services are owned, bought, and sold by private individuals and groups. Exchanges occur at will, not coercively via the hollow end of a gun. Libertarians reject the nanny state and instead proclaim let the buyer beware!

The most extreme iterations of Libertarianism suggest there should be no government at all as it is coercive in nature. More moderate Libertarians are comfortable with the state handling limited amounts of legislation, law enforcement, the defense of the nation, and a handful of other responsibilities.

But as far as education goes, there is quite a consensus across the Libertarian spectrum that education should ideally be privatized with no government involvement whatsoever (and especially not at the federal level). In other words, schools should operate like businesses where customers (in this case parents) shop for the best products and best deals until they are ready to voluntarily make a purchase (in this case paying tuition) or refrain from doing so altogether.

Public schools and Libertarianism simply do not mix. For something like a public school to exist in a Libertarian society, and I imagine many of these kinds of effectively public facilities would, funding would come from a community or city of willing participants, all of whom would have the option of withholding subsidy if they decided to. By definition, these facilities would not be public at all as the general public would not have the right to access them. Access would be granted only to those who own a stake in a given school as well as anyone else whom these stakeholders permit.

School choice does not remove the key component that separates the free market from central planning: funding via coercion.

In a school choice system, taxes would still be collected to pay for education. The major difference is that schools that receive public funding, which are largely public at the moment, may be privately owned as well. Privately owned charter schools and conventional private schools that accept vouchers would both be privately owned institutions on the receiving end of state-confiscated money.

I hate to say it, but the economic system in which the state operates private businesses is called, well, Fascism. And this could bring hardcore Libertarians to a difficult crossroads.

But it shouldn’t.

The truly privatized option is too far outside mainstream political consideration to be worth falling on our swords for. Therefore, we can either a support a mildly Fascistic school choice system, or we can support a patently Socialist public school system.

Politically, Libertarians are often more principled than pragmatic. When choosing between a warmongering Keynesian Republican and a warmongering Keynesian Democrat as a representative, many of us choose a third option, even though he or she lacks a realistic chance of winning, or abstain from voting altogether. In this instance, the realistic options are so bad and so inevitable that taking a principled stand is probably the right thing to do, however hopeless it may be.

But in other situations, we tend to go the pragmatic route. When choosing between legalized gay marriage or keeping marriage between a man and a women, many of us rebuked this false dichotomy and asserted the government should have no role in marriage to begin with. However, as Libertarians believe in equal protections under the law, we were overwhelmingly supportive of and satisfied with the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage throughout the United States. Our favorite option, zero government involvement in marriage, was virtually implausible, so the lesser-of-two-evils route was the way to go.

At the moment, school choice is more similar to the gay marriage dilemma than the Clinton vs. Trump debacle. Our favorite option, zero federal involvement in schools, is not going to happen any time soon, so our best bet is to support politicians and initiatives that go in the school choice direction.

Unlike getting the government out of marriage, school choice has a solid amount of support. The teachers unions and the politicians they control are a formidable obstacle. But enough of the public is persuaded by school choice to give us a real shot at taking another step towards the Liberty we desire.

Libertarians should not be cynical on the issue of school choice. We should be fired up.

***

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Even Hardcore Libertarians Should Support School Choice

The NFL’s Sexism Must.End.Now.

A recent op-ed in The New York Times has me fuming.

The day after Beth Mowins violently obliterated the glass ceiling of sports broadcasting by becoming the first female to call a game of “Monday Night Football,” Chicago-based sports journalist Julie DiCaro shined a light on the sexism Mowins is already being subjected to.

Her piece begins:

“Shrill.”

“Grating.”

“Like listening to my ex nag me.”

“Sounds like my mom yelling at me.”

Women in sports broadcasting are used to men criticizing their voices. In my three years in sports radio, I’ve had more men complain about my voice than everything else about me combined — and trust me, there are a lot of other things they don’t like about me.

“It has nothing to do with you being a woman,” they tell me, “I just can’t stand the sound of your voice.”

For someone who gets paid primarily to say sports words on the radio, listeners hating the sound of her voice is somewhat troubling.

Obviously, any attempt to blame female broadcasters’ voices, as opposed to their vaginas, for disapproval of their job performance is a blatant lie. Sexism is clearly running amok. Men don’t want women involved in sports analysis. And that’s gross.

DiCaro continues:

The response to female broadcasters’ voices is not new. Sports are commonly perceived to be an arena for men — by men, of men — and anything that disrupts that makes some men uneasy.

What is it about men that makes them feel so entitled to sports? Is it the fact that all the players are men? Could it be that they have spent their entire lives playing sports with other men exclusively? Perhaps it’s the unique bonding experience men partake in when participating in full-contact sports like football. It’s a true mystery that no one can ever figure out.

Later in the piece, DiCaro notes:

Some men insist they turn to sports to get a break from women. This is something I hear more than you would probably believe.

THAT’S IT! I am FURIOUS!

Men needing a break from women? This is INSANE, and completely inconceivable! It’s pure, irrational sexism and hate!

I, for one, refuse to stand for such misogyny! It’s 2017! Doesn’t anyone realize this? The time for action is NOW!

I think it’s about time for men to quit hogging the NFL and pestering all the women who just want to enjoy the game without the annoyances intrinsically brought about by the opposite sex.

Men have filled every position in football ever since its inception! All the players are men (Vinny Testaverde, Chad Pennington, and Mark Sanchez are just a few examples)! All the officials are men! All the coaches are men! All the broadcasters are men! It’s the most transparent cesspool of toxic masculinity that takes place in our society! It’s almost as if men intentionally created the perfect environment to enjoy themselves at the end of a long work week that excludes women ON PURPOSE!

Action must be taken, and it cannot be taken frivolously! Here’s what we must do: Women should take over every job the NFL has to offer. That’s right, EVERY JOB! Women players, women coaches, women pylons, everything! Kick out all the men, and give women every position in the NFL. It’s their turn, STUPID MEN!

Once women occupy every position in the NFL, the stupid men should go away and START THEIR OWN LEAGUE! Let women have something to themselves FOR ONCE! Is that too much to ask?

Women shouldn’t have to feel pressured by men to have to watch what they say or risk facing ridicule and scrutiny. What if a woman said something as a joke, but men took it too seriously and out of context and got her fired for it? Can you imagine? The presence of men alone is enough to disturb women who are just trying to enjoy the game that they love.

Men, your time is up. Surrender the NFL to women immediately, and go watch football by yourselves. Let women do their thing!

The NFL’s Sexism Must.End.Now.

Bernie Would Slaughter

I really do not like Bernie Sanders. And I mean really.

As ferociously as I promote civil, well-reasoned, dispassionate political discourse, I admit that I have a hard time keeping my cool when the Vermont Senator is a part of the subject matter at hand.

Bernie Sanders politics are almost entirely antithetical to what I believe in. Even when we overlap, it tends to be for wildly different reasons. In February, Sanders proposed legislation to allow Americans to purchase pharmaceuticals from abroad (it would eventually fail in the Senate). At the moment, many of these purchases are abridged or prohibited due to trade barriers that are in place thanks to lobbying from Big Pharma. The result of this protectionism is artificially high drug prices at home in the US. I imagine that Sanders wants to tear down these walls as a way to punish Big Pharma and because, in this instance, he feels there are benefits to permitting consumer choice. I, on the other hand, believe that government has no business telling Americans what they can and cannot buy nor who they can buy from, so Bernie Sanders’s seal of approval should be irrelevant. I also believe that free trade is a boon to economic growth and keeps prices low in general. Sanders thinks government should determine when to allow the free exchange of goods and services across national borders because big government knows best.

Beyond politics, I believe Bernie is a hypocrite, a horrendous role model, and a demagogic snake.

Sanders claims to stand for the working class and the poor, yet he owns three houses and has never had a real job. Instead of getting his hands dirty as a public school teacher, putting his life on the line as a fireman, or otherwise directly contributing to making the world a better place, Sanders has spent nearly four decades collecting a generous, tax-payer-funded paycheck in various positions of government. He earned over a million dollars last year.

I want to believe that to the general public of the United States of America, Bernie Sanders is as much of a joke as he is to me. I want to believe that America could never fall for the manipulations and obfuscations of a weasley Communist. I want to believe that Americans understand their rights and are aware of the devastation Sandersian policies have caused throughout the 20th Century and are on display now in Venezuela.

But I don’t.

I don’t believe any of those things intuitively, and I don’t believe them based on the available data.

The Mainstream Media, suffering from massive quantities of cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias, have compensated for their false assumptions and failed polling data by manufacturing fictions about Nazi uprisings and Russian meddling to explain Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton.

But the way I see it, the story is quite simple:

After 16 years of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, the American people, especially lower-income Republicans and Progressives, were angry.

Republicans were angered by Bush’s complete failure to be a Conservative as well as his sending their children off to fight pointless, endless wars. They were angry at Obama for his Global-Citizen (as opposed to patriotic American) speeches, his palling around with people who ridicule them, and his policies and warmongering in general.

Progressives were angry at Bush for everything, and they were angry that Obama did not bring about the Utopia of “Hope and Change” they had expected.

As a result of this anger, Trump’s populism won the GOP nomination, and Sanders’ populism came close to taking down the seemingly unbeatable Clinton machine.

In the general election, Trump and Clinton both lost sizeable shares of their parties. Aside from those, like Dennis Prager, who believe that Leftism is such a great danger to America that any Republican would suffice, or, in other words, aside from those who subscribe to the acceptance of the lesser-of-two-evils, Constitutional Conservatives, movement Conservatives, and Liberty-leaning Republicans refused to vote for Trump in droves. Some, like P.J. O’Rourke, chose Clinton as the devil you know, some went for third-party candidates like Gary Johnson and Evan McMullin, and some probably didn’t vote at all.

Clinton lost Progressives who couldn’t stomach her interventionism or support for multinational trade agreements, minorities who only voted for Obama because of his race, and some of the disappointed youth voters that Sanders had energized.

Likely most consequently, Clinton lost a chunk of white working class voters who supported Obama four and eight years earlier. These voters are fearful of traditionally Conservative economic policies that sometimes cost them their livelihoods, but also fear mass immigration for the same reason. Moreover, these Americans are not persuaded by multiculturalism or hyper-progressive social initiatives like allowing children to choose which school restroom to use based on what gender they feel they are.

While it’s unlikely that Trump picked up many members of the first three demographics I mentioned, he got the working-class whites. By making immigration and trade reform his most prominent issues, by promising to leave Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid intact, and by saying he’d swap American interventionism for “America First,” Trump had put together a winning formula. He even managed to get one out of every ten Bernie Bros according to the available polling data and, to be fair, common sense.

If Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic Primary in 2020, even if he’s 150 years old, he’ll beat Trump in an absolute landslide.

Bernie Sanders would bring together the automatic Democrats, the principled Progressives, the Obama minorities, the frustrated youth, and the white working class. Every left-leaning demographic that Hillary Clinton lost and every unprincipled demographic that Trump and Bernie agitated into the political sphere in 2016 would be Feeling the Bern.

Trump’s support would be reduced to automatic Republicans, anti-Progressive nationalists, Trump diehards, and those who feel that anything is better than Socialism. And that will not be enough to constitute a voting majority.

The only thing that could derail a Sanders presidency if he decides to run for and wins the DNC nomination (neither of which are guarantees) would be a Jill Stein from the other side. In other words, if the Democratic Party were fractured by an insurgent anti-Sanders group, it peel away enough voters to give Trump the edge.

What kind of insurgency would this be? I imagine a third-way feminist revolt. Sanders and his supporters were smeared as sexists from within their own party during and after the last election, and this tactic will be used again. If some on the left are too committed to getting a woman or minority into office, Trump will have a shot at beating Bernie.

I write none of this in celebration. There is no glee in these words. But I am committed to telling the truth. And the truth is that the America our Founding Fathers fought and died for is seldom persuasive to a voting majority of human beings.

Let’s hope I’m wrong.

***

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Bernie Would Slaughter