Voting With Their Middle Finger

Politics everywhere is hotting up:

In the USA, Donald Trump got 46% of the vote in the Nevada caucus. That’s his highest margin yet. And it looks like he’s benefited from Jeb Bush dropping out of the race. Next week, on Super Tuesday, a dozen states will be voting for their nominee, and if Trump continues to grow in popularity, he looks set to win many of these states too.

What’s the attraction? ZeroHedge:

Let me help you, gentle confused pundits: Trump comes across like a plumber who’s struck it rich: he’s got a beautiful (immigrant) wife (second, third or fourth, who’s counting, the guy has it made), he speaks his mind regardless of who’s offended, and he doesn’t bother with bean-counter trivialities like a carefully scripted agenda that includes all the key demographic groups.

Or, to put it another way, Americans are voting with their middle finger:

In any event, The LA Times is out with a new piece that explores why South Carolina voters are overwhelmingly coming out in support of Trump. Excerpts are presented below, but John Baldwin, a used-car dealer from Greenville summed up the mood quite succinctly: “We’re voting with our middle finger,” he declares. We imagine Bernie Sanders’ supporters would say the exact same thing, if asked. A message to Washington’s entrenched political aristocracy: Americans have just given you the finger. Literally.

It’s not very much different in the EU, where voters are increasingly giving the middle finger to their own entrenched political aristocracy. In the UK, Conservative big hitters Michael Gove and Boris Johnson have joined the Brexit campaign. And now the Dutch and the Czechs are talking about holding their own referendums too. I bet there are plenty more countries who’d like a referendum.

As for the Syrian mess, I hope this is true:

NATO to Turkey: Start a war with Russia and you’re on your own

Which may have something to do with a new ceasefire brokered by Obama and Putin:

Under the deal, signed off in a phone call between Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin, the Americans will take charge of keeping the Syrian rebels in line, while Russia has responsibility for the Syrian government side led by dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Or maybe this:

It’s Time to Kick Erdogan’s Turkey Out of NATO

…nearly three decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, NATO members still make the same solemn vow to one another, known as Article 5, that they made in 1949: that an attack against any member state will be considered an attack against all member states, and will draw an immediate and mutual response. For nearly seven decades, this combination of factors has been the potential Achilles heel of NATO: that one day, its members would be called to defend the actions of a rogue member who no longer shares the values of the alliance but whose behavior puts its “allies” in danger while creating a nightmare scenario for the global order.

After 67 years, that day has arrived: Turkey, which for half a century was a stalwart ally in the Middle East while proving that a Muslim-majority nation could be both secular and democratic, has moved so far away from its NATO allies that it is widely acknowledged to be defiantly supporting the Islamic State in Syria in its war against the West. Since Islamist strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in 2003, Turkey has taken a harshly authoritarian turn, embracing Islamic terrorists of every stripe while picking fights it can’t finish across the region – including an escalating war with 25 million ISIS-battling Kurds and a cold war turning hot with Russia, whose plane it rashly shot down in November. With those fights coming home to roost – as bombs explode in its cities and with enemies at its borders – Turkish leaders are now demanding unconditional NATO support, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu declaring on Saturday that he expects “our U.S. ally to support Turkey with no ifs or buts.”

About Frank Davis

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30 Responses to Voting With Their Middle Finger

  1. harleyrider1978 says:
  2. harleyrider1978 says:

    Erdogan his days are numbered anyway. the turks hate the guy and he is involved deeply with the middle eastern mafia besides selling oil for isis and making millions out of it for himself and likely plenty of EUROCRATS.

  3. wobbler2012 says:

    Desperate state of affairs in the USA if it comes down to a choice of who gets in the White House between Trump and Hilldog.

    • wobbler, I so STRONGLY agree! :/ I’d see a world with either Trump or Hillary as prez as a world heading back into the 1960s “OMG! We could have a NUCLEAR WAR AT ANY MOMENT!” situation. Both candidates, for their own reasons, would feel strongly that they had to “prove themselves” on the international front and would likely react in very risky ways to moves by Russia or China.

      – MJM

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Mike neither Hillary or trump are stupid enuf to launch nukes. It takes more than just a president to launch missles like that. Its a joint chiefs of staff call not just a presidents.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Mike remember the MAD principle MUTAUALLY ASSURED DESTRUCTION. It still applies.

        • MAD has unfortunately been moving toward BAD: Blurry Assured Destruction. I’m pretty sure both the US and Russia have been playing with micro-nuke technology. Picture a last-ditch ISIS enclave covering ten city square blocks but hardened deep underground. Would we sacrifice 10,000 American troops’ lives in storming the place? Or drop a micro-nuke on it?

          And once you open Pandora’s box….

          Plus, accidents can happen: you get a string of events going and suddenly you find yourself almost FORCED to take “the next step” because of all the little, comparatively innocent steps you took leading up to it.


        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Mike the MAD principle has been in place for decades,yes some rogue country like Iran gets a nuke or a dirty bomb that could escalate things. But a bunker buster bomb will take out what you describe.

      • waltc says:

        Wobbler, I agree too. If the best we can come up with are the two possibly worst people in the country, I think America’s doomed, But since the posters here seem to be politically split–even among R’s and between R’s and D’s– I hope this smokers’s tavern doesn’t turn into a Trump rally with Trump posters dotted along the walls. . One thing I’ll swear to: Bush voters wouldn’t’ve cashed in for Trump who was Bush’s opposite in every way. If Cruz dropped out, it’d be another thing, but Bush supporters? No.(Nor, for the record, did I support Bush.)

        On Brexit: a news show on our liberal-leaning public broadcasting made much of Johnson’s stand and seemed to think (or fear?) it could be influential. It then featured a guest who –aside from saying the advantage might be nationsl autonomy– predicted it would cause financial collapse, causing Britain to lose trade, jobs etc. I’m sure that argument will be used to promote docility and fear among the voters. Fear seems to be the social coin there days

        • Frank Davis says:

          I hope this smokers’s tavern doesn’t turn into a Trump rally

          Not if I have anything to do with it.

          After all, I’m a bit disenchanted with the teetotal Trump. Neither he nor Hillary look set to help out America’s smokers. And that’s my central concern.

          But I think I understand (as best as any Brit can possibly understand) the attraction of the blunt-speaking, politically-incorrect Trump. I saw it from the beginning. Yet I think I can also understand the sheer terror of many Americans at the prospect of a TV star plumber from Queens becoming the next President.of the United States. In the UK, that would be like an East End Cockney eel pie shop-owner Michael Caine-lookalike becoming Prime Minister. How utterly, utterly dreadful!

          Right now, it looks to me like the race is indeed going to be between Donald and Hillary. But I think Donald is going to bury Hillary just like he’s currently burying all his other Republican rivals. She’s carrying a lot of baggage, (and these days even Bill is part of the baggage.) Furthermore, by attacking George W’s record, Trump is now widening his base to pull in the anti-war left (of which I used to be a member). He’s also completely re-writing the political rulebook in the process.

          So I’m expecting Trump to be the Republican nominee. And come November I expect him to win by a landslide. And it’ll be the end of the Clinton-Bush-Obama political era. It’ll be a disaster for the Republican establishment. And it’ll be an even greater disaster for the American left.

          And what then? What would a Trump presidency actually be like? For all the fears about him being a warmonger, he looks to me like an isolationist and a nationalist. What could possibly be more isolationist than building a wall along the entire southern border of the USA? He’s also no neo-con Cold Warrior or globalist. I doubt if he has much time for the UN or the WHO either. He’s already said he could do business with Putin (something no neo-con could ever contemplate), and said he favoured giving Russia a free hand to crush Islamic State (to which Putin has responded by more or less endorsing Trump). And he’s (yikes!) for European states to carry a fair burden of their own security.

          And anyway, to what extent does any US President completely define US policy? He’s going to have to live with a (most likely?) Democrat-controlled House and Senate much like Obama with Republican ones, and a hostile mass media.

          Anyway, I’m not going to be a Trump partisan. I think the year ahead is set to be rather enthralling. But I hope it’s going to be a lot of fun too.

  4. Anyone interested in the Turkey/Russia issue should sit down and enjoy the new Tom Clancy (and clone) novel, Commander In Chief. With bare lip service to being fiction, the novel rather harshly characterizes Putin and Russian ambitions in the Ukraine and other small surrounding states while providing an example of how tensions could rapidly escalate and analyzing how NATO might respond. The “automatic trigger” thing isn’t actually quite so “automatic” since propagandists can almost always drum up an argument about “responses to human rights abuses” or “just defending ourselves from attacks (Remember that Hitler justified Poland partly by some trumped up German-organized “attack” that they claimed Poland was making upon Germany.)

    Actually, I should apologize for the “and clone” characterization. Mark Greaney writes Clancy novels that are virtually indistinguishable from Clancy’s own hand… or maybe even a little bit better. It’s very similar to what Fantasy fans were treated to with Brandon Sanderson picking up the Wheel Of Time after Robert Jordan’s untimely death.

    – MJM

  5. Frank Davis says:

    While we’re on about Trump, here’s Al Sharpton:

    …And that’s when he gets to his keenest observation — the best assessment of Trump’s deepest motivations I’ve yet heard, and one that Beltway pundits who don’t understand the tangled psychological geography of the five boroughs miss: Trump may have been born with millions and erected huge buildings that bear his name, but he still feels the resentment of a gaudy, new-money outsider who has decided to burn down a Yankee establishment that always viewed him as a garish, grasping joke.

    “Donald Trump was a Queens guy,” says Sharpton, who hails from Brooklyn’s Brownsville, the city’s toughest neighborhood, a collection of housing projects jammed hard between Queens and the Jamaica Bay swamps — and the scene of an all-out crack war in the 1980s and ’90s.

    “His father was a successful real estate guy, but they were Queens guys. They were outer borough [and] had to break into the big Manhattan aristocracy. He was an outsider — rich, but an outsider. He was not part of the Manhattan elite. So, he always had this outsider feeling — us against them. So, in many ways, when I read people talk about, ‘Well, do you have a billionaire as a populist?’ He does feel like he’s one of the guys who was shut out.”

    Then, in a hint of a kindred spirit, Sharpton says: “On the other side of the coin … I was shut out because of race. He was shut out because of geography and a number of other things. [It’s an] unforgiving environment, and a city that could easily swallow you up. Easily.”

    • waltc says:

      Sharpton’s appraisal is actually…sharp, Surprisingly.. For Sharpton. But it isn’t the street-guy stuff that turns me off, not at all (I liked Christie, who was blunt-spoken Street) it’s the point at which blunt becomes knee-jerk thuggish, the point at which Street turns into a street-fight, tire irons and shivs in reaction to a dis. It’s the shallow bloated rhetoric with nothing behind it, the ego as easily bruised as a ripe peach, the rampant narcissism (had enuf of that with O), the demagogic pandering, the weather vane policies that daily change with wind (have I mixed enough metaphors?). Trump is about, and he’s only about, Trump. The nation is just the soap box on which he stands and preens.

      • waltc says:

        I wish there were an edit button. …change with THE wind. (“Wind” w/o a “the” in front of it is a fart.)

      • garyk30 says:

        Yes indeed, Trump is a self-centered windbag.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Yep might be but he is likely the next president. At least he isn’t an establishment RINO but I could be wrong. He might end up being as bad as the rest or maybe another Reagan.
          But one things for sure he is better than the other choices like hitlery who we know is total anti smoking Nazi.

      • Frank Davis says:

        I agree that a lot of Trump’s speeches are pretty short on content, and amount to vague promises without specific details. But as for “easily bruised ego” I think he’s shown himself to be remarkably tough, given everything that’s been thrown at him over the past 8 months (which is far more than anyone else). As for “weather vane”, that could also mean that he’s not a dogmatic ideologue, and is prepared to change his mind.

        But I suppose a further reservation I have about him is that he is, in the end, just another very rich man in a political class that’s increasingly made up of very rich people. Trump knows Hillary, and most of the rest of them. What are the chances that quite a few of them will appear in one capacity or other in a Trump White House? Pretty high, I imagine.

  6. Frank Davis says:

    Also Trump Channels Buchanan:

    …Pat nailed it when he said, “Neither party speaks for the forgotten Americans whose jobs were sent overseas. … Both parties are addicted to soft money. Both write laws with lobbyists looking over their shoulders.”

    Today, Make America Great Again echoes Buchanan from the previous generation vowing “to make America a self-reliant nation again.”

    Voters are responding to his call to arms from 20 years ago. “This year is our last chance to save our republic, before she disappears into the godless New World Order that our elites are constructing in a betrayal of everything for which our Founding Fathers lived, fought and died,” Buchanan said. “It is time for a New Patriotism, where America’s sovereignty is wholly and fully restored.”

    Blasting the globalist elite that has presided over the de-industrialization of America, Pat thundered, “And to those who prattle on about our duties to the Global Economy, let me say it again: I’m not running for president of the world; I’m running for president of the United States.”

    When Trump demands an immigration policy that puts Americans first, he is channeling Buchanan, who declared, “We need a time-out on legal immigration, to ease the downward pressure on workers’ wages and to defeat the forces of separatism that threaten us and nations all over the world.”

    The communications architect of the Nixon and Reagan administrations warned of European nations “surrendering their identities and their independence to a super state that pays homage to the god of Mammon. … Shall we, too, yield to their temptation, follow their path, and suffer their fate?”

  7. garyk30 says:

    he speaks his mind regardless of who’s offended

    Trump does not care about other people’s feelings or wants; yet,his supporters think that he cares about theirs.

    Who ever gets elected, will do so with only about one in four adults voting for them.
    10 percent of America’s adults are not eligible to vote.
    Of the 90 percent that are eligible, only 75 percent bother to register to vote.
    Of the 68 percent that are registered eligible voters, only about 75 percent will actually vote.
    Of the 51 percent of the eligible registered voters that actually vote, you only need 51 percent to win the election.

    So, you only need 26 percent of the adults voting for you to win.

    The winner can have about 3 out of 4 adults not wanting their policies and agendas!

    “The will of the people” is BS.

    • garyk30 says:

      We’re voting with our middle finger,” he declares

      Sadly, those folks can not vote from knowledge since most of them could not name the Congress Critters they voted to represent them.

      • harleyrider1978 says:

        Rand Paul is my senator.Matt Bevin the governor. My legislator is a democrat and tobacco farmer whom Ive met 2 times and been written to many times from Wilson Stone.

        All the above are firmly publicly ANNOUNCED and on record as being against any smoking bans.

  8. Cecily Collingridge says:

    *sigh* *yawn*

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Its not the ecig its the lithium ion bateries thats the problem. Watch how each Batt cell goes off one at a time like a roman candle.

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