What’s in it for me?
This is what will decide this election. Voters decide based on self interest. Even though they don’t like a candidate, they’ll vote for them if they believe they will benefit somehow. That’s why Trump, in spite of his manifest disqualification for office, has a 20-25% chance of winning (according to Nate the Great). And, for some reason, a lot of voters think a Clinton win would be good for them, personally, so they’ll vote for her in spite of their dislike of her.
Trump is an economic nationalist, and this is proving to be one of his strengths. After WW II the United States subordinated its economic nationalism in order to win the Cold War. Our trade policies were strategic, and were somewhat divorced from our own self interest. It made sense at the time, but needs a total do over, by real free traders who will be unabashedly promoting American economic self interest.
I think those are the facts, and Trump is exploiting them ruthlessly. If this is what the election is about, he wins. There are a whole hell of a lot of people who are pissed off about the loss of work to overseas. Their anger may be misplaced, and in some cases they’re Luddites, but there are a whole lot of them.
I’ve been operating under the assumption that once Trump has been completely exposed as the liar and fraud that he is, that he’ll sink in the polls. Now I’m not so sure. Maybe people are so completely and totally pissed off that they don’t care. Gov. “Fast Eddie” Edwards of Louisiana used to sat that the only way he could lose an election would be to get caught in a room with a live boy or a dead woman. Maybe Trump is like old Fast Eddie was, bullet proof.
A few weeks after I got to Europe in the fall of 1967 I smuggled a Mercedes from Munich to Tehran. I was working for a gang of Iranians. I’ll never forget coming across the Turkish border from Bulgaria. Bulgaria was dirt poor, but it was European, part of the West. Turkey had an entirely different feel. It was an alien culture to the only one I knew. Everything seemed different. I took a bus back to Istanbul from Tehran, and got to make a lot of stops in little towns in rural Turkey. On one sunny day I took off my shirt to soak in some sun. Man, did that get some ugly stares.
I hitchhiked from Istanbul down to Greece. Back to the West. It was a great relief. What I learned in my little trip is that Islam and the West are night and day. I think it all comes down to women. We treat women as equals, they treat them like chattel. That affects everything, and is why they’ll never successfully modernize.
My policy to the Muslim world is benign neglect, interrupted by occasional police actions.