Thomas Frank: YouTube Censorship and Now What’s Happening in Kansas –

Yves here. This fine talk between Thomas Frank and Paul Jay covers a lot of important ground about burgeoning censorship, with Jay just having one of his segments yanked from YouTube for the apparent sin of featuring some Donald Trump’s January 6 speech.

Nevertheless, Jay cited a remark by Frank in Le Monde Diplomatique, and it unintentionally highlights an issue that has bothered both Lambert and me: “The mob attack on the Capitol frightened us all.” Huh?

First, Lambert has been offended by the fact that Congresscritters feel that the country should be up in arms because they were scared for a few hours, as if it’s a natural privilege of our lords and masters to have the rest of us ever and always maintain their emotional equilibrium. This in a country where a 80 million citizens are now food insecure. Right now, 14 million people in Texas don’t have potable water. Over 30% of the renters in the New York metro area are behind on their payments and are likely to be evicted when the moratoriums end, which they eventually will….what happens then? We are living in a failed state, yet we’re supposed to identify with the feelers of our soi disant leaders.

Second, who is this “us all” who are scared? What pray tell did ordinary citizens have to worry about with respect to January 6? Far and away the riskiest thing most people do is get in their car. Unless you are a politician in some very contested position, or a cop in a spot with strong blue/red fault lines, or a National Guardsman, there’s no reason for January 6 to have evoked fear. Despair and disgust, maybe, but fear?

I was in New York City during 9/11. I had worked in One World Trade Center for two years, on the 95th floor (the plane hit at the 97th floor). But I lived seven miles from the Twin Towers. I was never once afraid. Distressed about all the reports: of death of a fellow tenant (a blonde 24 year old who’d just been hired by Cantor Fitzgerald), of no one being found in the rubble, of the jumpers, of the people trapped on Windows on the World, knowing they were going to perish. And also jarred by the collective disequilibrium, since a lot of people were acutely distressed even though they weren’t in any real way impacted. I attributed that to two things. One was that many believed the world is a safe place, and 9/11 shook that faith. The second was that those who were getting more overloaded, either by being physically close (as in were regularly smelling the acrid smoke of the smoldering pit and hearing sirens going in) or by watching a lot of TV (particularly the frequently replays of the towers collapsing) were the most unhinged.

I don’t mean that discussion to come off as chiding if you really were scared. But I suggest you also consider: why were you? Perhaps like AOC, the scenes triggered a PTSD type flashback. But if not, to be more blunt: how were you played?

By Paul Jay. Originally published at TheAnalysis.net</strong>

aul Jay

Hi, I’m Paul Jay, welcome to theAnalysis.news, please don’t forget the donate button at the top of the webpage.

Thomas Frank wrote in a recent essay published in Le Monde Diplomatique ,  “This essay is not a brief for free speech absolutism, or an effort to rationalize conspiracy theory or an attack on higher learning. It’s about the future of the Democratic Party, the future of the left, and here is the suggestion I mean to make: the form of liberalism I have described here is inherently despicable. A democratic society is naturally going to gag when it’s told again and again in countless ways, both the subtle and gross, that our great national problem is our failure to heed the authority of traditional elites.”

Thomas ends the essay with this, “The mob attack on the Capitol frightened us all. But for Democrats to choose censorship (via the monopolists of Silicon Valley) as the solution to the problem is a shocking breach of faith. There are many words one might describe a party that, over the last 30 years, has shown itself contemptuous of working-class grievances while protective of the authority of the respected…but ‘liberal’ isn’t one of them.”

That was Thomas’s piece in the Le Monde Diplomatique. This is interesting timing to discuss these issues, YouTube just took down an editorial I was about to publish that called for Trump to be charged with sedition and treason, and also called for an investigation of Mitch McConnell’s role in the events of January 26th.

In the piece, I ran footage of Trump’s speech meant to incite the crowd on January 6th. I ran this footage to show what Trump’s role was that day. That seemed to be enough for YouTube’s algorithm to delete the story.

Of course I appealed. But what the hell business is it of YouTube to use an algorithm to censor me? That is, assuming it is a mistaken algorithm. I got a message saying they were taking down the videos that stated the elections were won by widespread fraud, which of course, my piece didn’t say at all. Perhaps YouTube didn’t like my focus on the coup that Trump and Flynn tried to organize, more likely, automatic censorship.

But one day perhaps, there’ll be other keywords to trigger a takedown. I have still no answer to my appeal to YouTube. Perhaps they have an algorithm that hears the appeals.

Now, joining us is Thomas Frank. He is a political analyst, historian, and journalist. He co-founded and edited The Baffler magazine, and has written several books, most notably ‘What’s the Matter with Kansas?’ in 2004, ‘Listen, Liberal’ in 2016. His most recent book is ‘The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism’, and you’ll be able to find an interview I did with Thomas about his book, if you look around theAnalysis.

Thanks for joining us, Thomas.

Thomas Frank

Paul, it’s my pleasure as always. I like that quote that you gave, his famous last words. It’s literally the last words of the story, and in some ways, it’s my epitaph as a political writer. I’m sorry, I’m in a very morbid mood these days for reason-

Paul Jay

How can one not be, but elaborate?

Thomas Frank

It’s just I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about and going over the transformation of liberalism in the US, since the rise of Trump, and going back and looking at the Obama days and stuff like that, and how we’ve lost sight of so many of the things that we used to care about.

Now, I don’t want to be too negative about all this, because so far Joe Biden, who you and I talked about him, I had real doubts about Joe Biden, but I really like what he did. I really like what he’s proposed, the gigantic spending package. I’m very much in favor of that.

And I think it’s interesting that he learned from the lessons of 2009, from Obama’s failures, which the larger American liberal movement still won’t even acknowledge were failures. So there’s a lot to be happy about with Biden. But looking at the movement as a whole, no, it’s scary what’s happening to us.

Paul Jay

Well, talk a little bit about your focus on the monopolists of Silicon Valley, and this censorship, it’s really remarkable. I mean, it’s not like people that think that there’s widespread fraud and they created the election result, can’t find this somewhere else. And the fact that if they can censor that, they can censor anything.

Thomas Frank

Yeah, I’m not one of those people. I don’t happen to think that there was widespread fraud, and none of the evidence that anybody’s presented is in any way persuasive to me. But I just want to point out to you here for a second, Paul Jay, that people cry election fraud every four years. They always do this.

I mean, Democrats did it after 2016. Remember, that’s the point of Russia gate, was that the Russians somehow interfered in the election and made it, you know, it’s illegitimate, et cetera.

They did it in 2004. I remember that one. There were all these stories about it, casting doubt on the Ohio… Both sides do this all the time. I have never been the person that buys into election fraud theories. But I just want to point out that criminalizing talk about it, which is basically what we’re talking about here, not criminalizing, but censoring, talk about it, is a step into the unknown. That strikes me as dangerous stuff.

Paul Jay

I also think YouTube is doing something else. Within about the last month or so, our YouTube numbers started to really grow. I just started thisAnalysis thing less than a year ago. We didn’t get serious about even putting stuff on YouTube until maybe six months ago. For a long time, we were actually feeding from Vimeo and I wasn’t even bothering with YouTube, because it’s so hard to start getting traction there.

But we did, and then we started getting some serious traction. Our videos were doing in the tens of thousands, and then all of a sudden, they’re not doing tens of thousands. I’m quite sure I can’t prove it, but I think the algorithm that can find, because I used some footage of Trump, and delete something, they can also use algorithms to control how much something gets promoted, how many views it winds up getting, and they can do that based on the same, you know, looking for content, that for one reason or another they don’t want to do well.

Thomas Frank

Not only that, but have you, I mean, I can’t wait to see how this particular conversation goes over, because I’m sure we’re crossing all sorts of red lines now. But what if I start talking about historical election fraud? So as you know, I’m from Kansas City. Kansas City, through the 1930s, had the most corrupt political machine in America.

It was famous for this, this guy’s name was Boss Tom Pendergast.

Paul Jay

Wow. More than Chicago?

Thomas Frank

At the time, yes. Chicago later became, you know, Daley and all that became notorious. But Kansas City was famous for this. Harry Truman was one of Pendergast’s proteges. But Pendergast would famously, in the late 30s, boast it to a national magazine, about the methods that he used to run up these incredible scores, like 99 percent majority for the Democratic candidate. How do you do that, Tom Pendergast?

And he told them, and he described all the different methods. He was real up-front about it. That’s how Kansas City used to be.

Paul Jay

If we talk about that, and maybe we talk about how the stealing of the election in Chicago for Kennedy.

Thomas Frank

Yeah.

Paul Jay

So if we talk about election fraud in Chicago, which is widely acknowledged now, that the senior mayor, Mayor Daley, helped Kennedy steal the election in Illinois, is this going to get now taken down by.

Thomas Frank

So the stuff in Kansas City is a matter of journalistic record. Like I said, Pendergast admitted to it. He was proud of it. They talked about it all the time. There’s all of these accounts of it. He went to prison later on for this stuff, so it’s not like it was a secret or anything.

And the methods they used are actually, I mean, we don’t want to go down this rabbit hole, because it’s actually fascinating, because he contrived… You know, Missouri is a big state, and he only controlled one city in Missouri, but he was able to use that, and get his people elected governor, get his people elected senator, win statewide races.

He was very clever the way they did this, so well, we don’t want to talk about this, seriously. We could go on and on and on-

Paul Jay

Another time. Well, let’s talk a little bit more about Kansas because in your article, you write about Johnson County.

Thomas Frank

Yeah.

Paul Jay

And how Biden actually won Johnson County this time, and I saw in the last election, while the Republicans won Johnson County, it was a much more narrow margin. Yeah, much closer, and you described Johnson County as forever being a wealthy Republican county. So what’s-

Thomas Frank

Well forever, this is a place that’s only had a large population since World War Two. Kansas City proper is in Missouri for the most part. Johnson County is in Kansas. It’s a white-flight suburb that exploded in population after World War Two. It very famously had, I think, the largest contiguous suburb in the world at one time. It’s where I grew up, actually.

And they built these gigantic, you know, spreading out over the prairie, all of these suburbs. And today it’s a huge part of the Kansas City metro area, but it’s always been Republican. I looked this up, the last time it went for a Democrat was in 1916 for Woodrow Wilson, and it was a rural county at the time, a farmer county.

But it’s always been Republican ever since, and I grew up there in the ’60s and ’70s and ’80s, and it was one of the most Republican, I mean, if not the most Republican place in America. Intensely, deeply Republican. Voted for whoever ran against Franklin Roosevelt, voted for Barry Goldwater over Lyndon Johnson, voted for Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy, on and on and on like this.

And Republicans dominated the place. The governor of Kansas lived there. Several governors of Kansas lived there. Anyhow, they were the ruling class Republicans. This was also, it’s not just a Republican place, it’s by far the richest county in the state of Kansas. It’s the richest part of the Kansas City metro area.

The little neighborhood that I lived in was extremely wealthy. My family were not wealthy. But this is the kids that I grew up amongst, and they were the ruling class of Kansas City, and they were the ruling class of the state of Kansas. That’s who they were, and they were Republicans by definition. That’s what ruling classes were.

So for me, the connection between money, power, and the Republican Party, was always obvious. This was second nature. This is something you didn’t even need to nail down. Well, these were what are now called moderate Republicans.

These are Bob Dole style Republicans, Dwight D. Eisenhower style Republicans, and that kind of Republicans, sort of ruling class, highly educated, affluent, white-collar Republican, these people have been switching to the Democratic Party as fast as their legs will carry them. And you saw this in 2006, it’s been trending this way for a long time.

But Johnson County, Kansas, this is the last straw, at least for me. I mean, this is the place I grew up, right? This is not some distant thing that you read about in a news magazine. This is for real. This is the people that I know, and they went for Biden. So for the first time since 1916, over 100 years, it went Democratic.

Paul Jay

What happened? Did they vote for Obama?

Thomas Frank

No, they haven’t voted for, I mean, there’s people there who voted for Obama, but they haven’t voted for a Democrat since 1916. So, no, Obama did not win Johnson County.

The New York Times has granular-level, like neighborhood-level election data. They just put it up on their website. So, of course, I had to spend hours looking at it block by block through Johnson County, and just the transition in the last four years is extraordinary. I mean, they’ve been converted as a whole to Biden-ism, if you want to call it that, you know, away from Trump.

Paul Jay

Well, to a large extent in American politics right across the country, what party you support is part of your identity. It’s almost like what football team you’re for. Switching from Republican to Democrat is a shift in identity. What caused that?

Thomas Frank

Look, Paul, this is, in my opinion, the big subject of the day. And unfortunately, we aren’t really able to talk about it, haven’t really talked about it all that much in America, because our attention has been filled by other things. These guys ransacking the Capitol on January 6th, Trump’s ridiculous claims of election fraud, all of this nonsense that’s been going on. We haven’t really sat down and gone through this.

But when you do go through it… People are emailing me, do you hear this in the background? It’s absolutely maddening. They know I’m on with you, and so they won’t leave me alone.

But there’s a larger shift that’s going on in American life that we really haven’t got our heads around, and that is that the ruling elite of America are changing sides. The ruling elite themselves haven’t changed. Those people in Johnson County that I grew up among, they’re still the ruling class of the city.

They own the place. They’re still the ruling class of the state of Kansas. But now they identify as Democrats, not as Republicans anymore, and you go across the board and this is… Look, Paul, when I was growing up, and you know this is true, Republicans routinely outraised and outspent Democrats in the elections. That was the nature of our two-party system, going back to Franklin Roosevelt, going back further.

I mean, Roosevelt was outspent in those elections in the ’30s, what, 10 to one? I mean, these insane amounts, and it’s always been that way. Well, not anymore. Biden outraised, well, Hillary too. Both Hillary and Biden outraised and outspent the Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

There is in both cases, in 2016 and in 2020, there was an extraordinary coming together of the elites of America behind the Democratic candidate, and you can talk about which elite groups those are, but it’s pretty obvious. It’s the, you know, wherever an elite group can trace its power or attribute its power to credentialled expertise, you know, white-collar elites, they’re with the Democrats.

Trump still had some elite groups with him, like big oil, coal, casinos, real estate to some degree, your classic elements of the business community. But by and large, I mean the white-collar elite has moved over to the Democratic Party. And I would also say in this, I call it in my story for Le Monde Diplomatique, I call it a “Coalition of the Aghast” because that’s always what we are with Trump.

It’s like, oh, my God, I can’t believe what he’s done now. But it’s Hollywood, it’s Silicon Valley, it’s Wall Street, it’s the newspapers. Of course it’s journalism. It’s big pharma, it’s the medical industry. What’s really crazy about it, though, is that this coalition of elites who now identify with the Democratic Party, this includes the CIA.

Paul Jay

Yeah.

Thomas Frank

That’s the little detail of the Trump years that just blows my mind. Anyhow, this is an aspect of the Trump years that we haven’t really come to terms with in America. I think one of the most shocking things about it, is that since the election, you’ve seen business, by and large, abandon the sinking ship that is the Republican Party.

I mean, you saw all these Wall Street banks say that they’re not going to… And Biden outraised Trump pretty seriously on Wall Street, but Trump was no slouch on Wall Street. He still had a lot of Wall Street billionaires on his side. That’s where the battle is fought these days, but not anymore.

I mean, since the January 6th, can I call it bullshit? Am I allowed to say that? All the craziness-

Paul Jay

You can only say it once, you’re not allowed to repeat it.

Thomas Frank

Okay. Since the attack on the Capitol, all of these business interests have just abandoned the Republican Party, and it is amazing to see this happening. It is a realignment of elites in this country. I don’t know if it’s going to stick, now that Trump is out of the picture, maybe everything will go back to normal for the Republican Party. But I doubt it Paul, because we’ve been moving in this direction for such a long time.

Paul Jay

Yeah, I think there’s maybe two things going on here, more than two, but two, I would point to. A very significant shift in thinking on behalf of the financial sector, and thus the corporate elites on the issue of deficits. They’ve really understood that this pandemic moment, and the possibility of a 1930s style depression or worse, is what has been predicted, that there’s simply no longer fear of inflation within any one site. So you can just create money and throw it at the problem and-

Thomas Frank

Wait, Larry Summers thinks it’s a danger.

Paul Jay

Well, he’s like a real outlier, and I don’t know why.

Thomas Frank

Isn’t that crazy? The world is changing so fast that the Democrats aren’t listening to Larry Summers anymore. It’s extraordinary.

Paul Jay

And I listen to Bloomberg Radio and I was listening to people from hedge funds and stuff saying they think 1.9 trillion is too small. There’s some people there that said, you really need something closer to $4 trillion, but there may be another $2 trillion coming because Biden says this infrastructure green plan is going to be another two.

Thomas Frank

Yeah.

Paul Jay

So it looks like it could be about four.

Thomas Frank

This pleases me. Everything you’re saying right now makes me very happy. I’d love to see stuff like this.

Paul Jay

I think where the problem is going to come is somewhere down the road, when the economy starts to come back, then the voices of the austerity hawks are going to come more to the fore, and the reason isn’t because they’re really going to still be so worried about inflation, because I think who knows when and where or if that ever comes back.

But I think what the Republicans, and including the business sector, are concerned about, but at the moment, less concerned, is workers get used to getting checks in the mail from the government, especially if those checks are more than $7.25 an hour they’ve been making. You know, it’s the issue of disciplining the working-class.

Thomas Frank

There you go. So it hasn’t really sunk in yet, but that’s, of course, always in the back of these people’s minds. You know, look, you’ve got a unionization effort at a big Amazon warehouse down in Alabama. That is extraordinary. And there is so much anger out there, among working-class and small business people. You could easily see this go to the next stage, and then, well, who knows. Who the hell knows, Paul? Then we’re talking about a completely different scenario.

Paul Jay

Well, they’ve let the genie out of the bottle. These guys wrote, these guys meaning the banks, I’ve been quoting this in one of my pieces, but Larry Fink from BlackRock, who’s a Democrat, was even talked about a possible secretary of the Treasury.

He said that as much as they don’t love a lot of things about Trump, his quote was, Trump ticked off everything we had on our bucket list.

Thomas Frank

Yes.

Paul Jay

All the deregulation, all the tax cuts.

Thomas Frank

He got all the judges confirmed.

Paul Jay

So they rode the gravy train of this megalomaniac. They nurtured his megalomania. But then eventually he outlived his usefulness, because he just got too damn crazy when he wouldn’t transfer power.

Thomas Frank

You might say the same thing about the Republican Party generally. You look at all the crap that the Republicans have done, do you remember my book, ‘What’s the Matter with Kansas?’ ?

I mean, all of the crap that they have done and said to win elections, and then what they  deliver is what these Wall Street guys want. And over the decades, they’ve done the most incredible favors for these people. And then they go out and win elections on entirely different grounds.

I’m going to change the subject on you very slightly. I was reading a biography of George Bush senior recently. Do you remember this guy? I was in college when he was running in ’88. No, it was a year after I graduated from college. And I just disliked this guy so much, because of the campaign of 1988. Do you remember this?

It was all about culture war stuff. There was no discussion of what Reagan had done. I mean, Dukakis was this terrible namby-pamby Democratic candidate, wouldn’t call himself a liberal. Do you remember this? They called it the L word. He wouldn’t utter the word liberal.

And Bush beat him by talking about flag burning, the Pledge of Allegiance, and above all, this idea that he was letting this racist meme about letting black people out of prison, to commit crimes. Do you remember this, the Willie Horton TV commercials?

Oh, my God. It was like the worst election ever. And George Bush traveled around America in a bus, eating pork rinds and hanging around with country and Western singers, and touring flag factories. So that’s how that election unfolded. It was just the absolute worst. But then, yeah, Wall Street gets what they want. They get what they want.

Paul Jay

So in Johnson County, you’ve got this more educated group of Republicans now switching to Democrats. In your article, you even talk about you can find Black Lives Matter signs on people’s lawns.

Thomas Frank

All over the place, yeah, in the wealthiest part. So this little enclave where I grew up, that’s where you see the stuff that I described. And I went back and looked… I mean, these are some of the wealthiest people in America.

Paul Jay

And Biden overwhelmingly won Kansas City.

Thomas Frank

Yeah. This is a suburb. He won every single precinct in this neighborhood that I’m talking about. I went back and looked at the data. He won every single precinct. This shift is extraordinary. I mean, I know it’s gradual and it’s been a long time coming. I know that. But still we’re here, you know, it’s finally arrived.

Paul Jay

Talk about some of the counties in Kansas.

Thomas Frank

Well, the poor counties are still with Trump.

Paul Jay

But hang on. If I’m looking at the history of a few of these counties where Trump won by 80, 90 percent, they’ve been, except for like one of, I think this one county I was looking at is called Chautauqua or something like that?

Thomas Frank

Chautauqua, I don’t know, it’s been a while since I-

Paul Jay

Well they voted Democrat, once in 1932, never voted for FDR again. The median income is $28,000.

Thomas Frank

Yeah.

Paul Jay

And I mean it’s a really poor rural area.

Thomas Frank

These are people who-

Paul Jay

Yeah, what is their belief system?

Thomas Frank

Have really gone down the drain. So a lot of these places, and this by the way, takes us back to my current project about populism.

Kansas is the place that gave us, gave the world, populism. The word populism and the political movement, and it was a left-wing political, a left-wing farmer movement that largely came from Kansas. Kansas is where it became prominent. And at the time, this was in the 1890s, Kansas was caricatured as a radical place.

You know, this place where everybody was crazy left-wingers and there, you know that Great Plains radical tradition survived up until fairly recently, you still would see pieces, like bits of it in places like North Dakota and Minnesota, up until very recently. But yeah, in Kansas, it disappeared after about the 1930s.

But it’s fascinating that these people keep moving right as their lives, as their local economies are destroyed. Farmers, as you know, Paul, are uniquely in the grip of monopoly, you know, Big Ag, in a way that’s difficult for people who don’t live in a place like Kansas. Difficult for us to understand.

And the funny thing is these farmers know that, it’s not like they don’t understand that, but the Democratic Party has real trouble reaching out to them, and winning their votes. I mean, it’s a complicated story, but these are people who, when you talk to them, are capable of saying things and believing things that are really quite radical, quite left-wing.

But when the national election comes along, yeah.

Paul Jay

Like, for example?

Thomas Frank

Talk about monopolies with them, yeah. Hell yeah. They want those things broken up. They want their power, the power of the big corporate concerns taken away. And of course they love the federal farm programs.

You know, that keeps them from the… This is, in some places, the only thing standing between them and destruction. An example of what I’m saying, I’m not from Kansas, but from Iowa, which is very similar. Although Iowa is still capable of going Democratic from time to time, but in 2008, Barack Obama, running for President in the primaries, do you remember?

And nobody thought he was going to win at first. It was supposed to be Hillary’s year, 2008. And Obama comes out of nowhere. He’s a politician, he’s a senator from Illinois, comes out of nowhere, and wins the Iowa caucuses. You know, big upset. And the rest is history, as they say. Well, how did he do that?

One of the ways he did it, is Obama had been in the Illinois state legislature for many years, and he understood farm issues, and he understood that one thing that really makes farmers mad, is Big Ag, agricultural monopolies, and every farmer faces these.

I mean, they control your life. If that’s what you do, if you’re a farmer. They control every aspect of your economic life, of your life as a farmer, and Obama went around in Iowa and promised to break up these monopolies, and the farmers loved that.

And that’s how he beat Hillary. Now, then he becomes President, Paul, and here’s the lesson. Ask yourself, what did he do about it? Well, nothing. Nothing.

And eight years later, these counties that Obama won in that gave him the Iowa caucuses, these all go for Trump, and that’s the disaster, and it is a recurring theme in that part of the Midwest.

Paul Jay

I was reading again quickly about some of the history of these counties on the border of Missouri and Kansas, and during the Civil War, there was one Black regiment fighting a Confederate guerrilla army, and it was a big battle that took place, and then a few years later, there was a slaughter of I think some former Confederate soldiers went into a Black area and slaughtered a bunch of Blacks.

Thomas Frank

Is this during the Civil War or before this? So Kansas famously had the Civil War before the rest of America.

It was called Bleeding Kansas. I’m going to show you something. So that’s the picture that hangs on a wall in the Kansas state capital, and it shows John Brown, he’s got a Bible in one hand and a rifle in the other. His hands are red with blood. And Kansas is where he operated.

]

That’s where he killed all these Missouri slaveholders, because there was a border war between the two, over whether Kansas is going to be a free state or a slave state.

And basically that’s the founding of the state, is guys like John Brown and other abolitionists that moved out there deliberately to fight slavery. This is, like I say, five years before the Civil War, to block the advance of slavery to the west by force of arms.

And that’s where the state began. And so, yeah, they fought pretty viciously with the slave owners from Missouri, and in the Civil War, there was this one, I don’t know if this is the incident you’re describing, there was one of the worst Confederate, well, he was a terrorist. His name was Quantrill, came over from Missouri and burned Lawrence, Kansas, and shot and killed everybody they could get their hands on.

Paul Jay

I think that is the one.

Thomas Frank

It’s the worst civilian massacre in the Civil War, and it was because Lawrence, Kansas was the big abolitionist center at the time. And then the Kansans came over and they got Missouri back. I mean, this is all, you know, it’s just incredibly bloody and awful what they did to each other. But, yeah, it went on and on and on.

Paul Jay

Well, in terms of some of these areas that have been voting Republican forever and are very pro-Trump, 80, 90 percent, how much is this the cultural passing on of this race war?

Thomas Frank

Well, the thing is, that these were places that were on the good team back in those days.

Paul Jay

Did they stay Republican forever?

Thomas Frank

Well, the Republicans were the good guys in that war.

Paul Jay

Back then, yeah. Right back when Lincoln-

Thomas Frank

That’s actually one of the interesting things about Kansas, is that it’s remained loyal. So you have other states where the flip has been a partisan flip, like West Virginia, which since the early ’90s has gone to the Republican Party.

West Virginia used to be profoundly Democratic Pro-Union, you know, the United Mine Workers, all that thing, all those strikes, and stuff in the ’20s and ’30s. But Kansas has been Republican all along. But it’s a different kind of Republican now, than back then. They’ve gone way, way, way to the right.

Well, all of these places have, Paul. This is the frustrating, fascinating story of our time, and I’ll tell you the truth, I’m sick of talking about it. I mean, I wrote about this 20 years ago now. And the reaction at the time was that it was not right to attack conservatism in the way that I did, that this was not permissible to say the things, everybody says this stuff now. You can call Trump any name you want, and liberals will celebrate you for doing that.

Well, when I did this back in 2004, it was regarded as extremely controversial. And then there was a big backlash against the book by people who said that this wasn’t happening. So my idea was that the white working-class was moving to the Republican Party, or moving to conservatism, is the way to put it, from the moderate Republicanism to the… You see what I’m saying. Big movement to the right.

Paul Jay

But I think it’s important to say the white rural working-class, because I’m not so sure it was in big cities.

Thomas Frank

No, a lot of this was in cities, or in the suburbs anyway. So in a place like Wichita, I spent a lot of time in Wichita when I was writing this. And I would also say in some of the suburbs in Johnson County, that your viewers don’t need to know. But Olathe and Shawnee, the more blue-collar suburbs, were the ones that were supporting this shift to the right. And it happened in Kansas, happened everywhere.

Paul Jay

But a lot of them did vote for Biden. I mean, Kansas City must be majority working-class and-

Thomas Frank

Oh, of course, what you’re talking about. Yeah. KCMO yeah. Hell yeah. Yes, yeah.

Paul Jay

I think there’s an urban and rural split.

Thomas Frank

Up until now this has been a phenomenon mainly of white working-class people. I mean, that’s who we’re talking about here.

Paul Jay

But even within the white working-class, isn’t there a significant difference between the urban white working-class and the rural white working-class?

Thomas Frank

Yes, but I don’t know if that’s the difference. I would say the organized and the non. I mean, union members have, by and large, remained loyal to the Democratic Party in a way that non-union members… Look, you’re right, but I just think it’s a bigger story than that.

I mean, rural is farmers. Farmers are not even a majority in Kansas. They’re not a majority anywhere. You’re talking about small-town people, things like that? Yes. That is a big part of the story, yeah.

Paul Jay

Yeah. Because I think one of the critiques I would make, and I think you’re making too, of the liberal class, the Democratic Party, corporate Dems leadership, is they’ve just ignored rural life.

I have an interview I’m coming out in a couple of days, with Henry Giroux, and we were talking about this. The deterioration of the educational system in rural America, the lack of just basic knowledge because the schools are just so terrible. And, you know, Obama had this thing where all he did was push testing, but they did nothing about actually giving people a better education.

Thomas Frank

Obama is the classic example of this, because he actually did, like I said, that famous story from Iowa in 2008. In some ways, he owed his presidency to rural voters in Iowa who rescued him, and then he did nothing. But if that doesn’t show you that there is potential to win these people, and if you go further north in the Great Plains, you still find rural areas that were Democratic until very recently.

Look at the map of Minnesota some time. Now look, all these areas have flipped to Trump, or just about all of them. But I mean, even places that were, like you go back and look at the counties that the Socialists won in the year 1912. They won a county in Kansas, by the way, this is Eugene Debs, he was popular in Kansas. He lived there for a while. He was a populist.

But all of these places have gone way to the right, you know this, and a really depressing one and a disastrous one, and the Democrats have, by and large, been extremely complacent about this. They have taken very few steps. I mean, no steps to do anything about this, because they think they’ve got a plan that can’t fail, which is the demographic change.

The groups that are growing in American life tend to vote Democratic, and so they don’t think that it really matters. They think they don’t need to do anything about it.

Unfortunately, what I’m describing is just pure complacency by the Democratic Party, because they think that demographics are going to deliver everything to them and they don’t have to do anything differently.

Paul Jay

And they can win without 74 million voters?

Thomas Frank

Yeah. By the way, isn’t that a fascinating thing that Trump did so well with… I mean, Trump did much better than anybody thought he was going to do. Everybody was predicting a Trump wipeout. Well, because he’s this massively discredited President who did a terrible job.

I mean, his response to COVID is nothing short of catastrophic, you know? Dreadful President. But he wasn’t repudiated in a way that other Presidents have been. That was, sorry, got to hold still. That was shocking to me. That was startling to me.

Paul Jay

Some of the Democrats I’ve talked to, corporate Democrat types, they just write off this 20, 25 percent of the Trump vote. That’s right-wing evangelical. Oh, they’re evangelicals, but this used to be Christian socialists. Just because someone’s Christian doesn’t make them right-wing?

Thomas Frank

Well, we’re dancing around this point here, which is that liberalism, once upon a time, all of these different groups were part of the liberal coalition, and liberalism has lost these people over the years.

You know, I’ve been reading a lot of stuff about the 1930s and about Franklin Roosevelt. And Franklin Roosevelt was immensely popular among the people that we’re describing. Franklin Roosevelt is the first one that gave us a legitimate farm bill. He basically took these old populist proposals and made it into the modern-day farm program. Well, Roosevelt did that. That was a Democrat that did that, and these people loved Franklin Roosevelt.

You look at a state like Missouri, was so Democratic. Now, in this case, there being Democratic goes back to the Civil War. This was a state that wasn’t part of the Confederacy, but slavery was legal in Missouri, but along the way, they became the good Democrats, and when I was a kid, Missouri voted for liberals and Democrats all the time.

Harry Truman was from Missouri. We talked about Pendergast at the start of this show. Maybe I should shut my mouth right now, before I dig myself into a hole. But just look at the maps of Missouri now. They don’t win anything outside of the big cities in the college town. They’re just wiped out as a party, in a state once that they absolutely dominated and there are many examples of this all over the map.

But these are all people who used to vote Democratic, or their parents voted Democratic, or people in their situation voted Democratic, and the Democratic Party has lost these voters. And this is being brushed under the rug again, because the Democrats just won. Biden won. We don’t have to worry about it.

Thomas Frank

But I’m here to tell you, this problem is not going away. Trump might disappear, but the problem itself, the larger problem will not disappear.

Paul Jay

Well, the appointment of the Secretary of Agriculture did not encourage people that were looking for some change, what’s his name, Vilsack?

Thomas Frank

Vilsack, he’s seems to be a friend of Big Ag, the very companies that I’ve been talking about.

Paul Jay

Because at this time, when there’s actually a lot of support for a big infrastructure plan, and some real money going into the economy, I mean, now would be the time to really throw money into these areas.

Thomas Frank

Hell yes, absolutely. Yes, but that requires a certain innovative thinking that I haven’t seen from the Democratic Party in a long time, although, hey, look, I don’t want to be too negative. I mean, maybe Biden is, look at this, I’m focusing, maybe Biden is the man to fix everything. I don’t want it to be today, but seriously.

I mean, he’s not Bernie Sanders or anything. He’s not even Elizabeth Warren. But he is… Yeah, I don’t know. I don’t want to be too optimistic about him either. So I’m just going to shut up about that right now.

Paul Jay

Yeah. I mean, I don’t, I’m not-

Thomas Frank

I want to give him a chance, you know?

Paul Jay

Yeah. I mean I would go step by step and judge based on actual policy, but I think because this unique moment that I said earlier, where the finance and corporate sector is pro deficit spending and don’t care-

Thomas Frank

It’s quite incredible.

Paul Jay

Because of that moment, some decent policy might come out, and we’ll see.

Thomas Frank

All sorts of things are possible. Yes.

Paul Jay

I mean, on the foreign policy side, there’s a couple of, the Yemen thing’s good, I think, but a lot of the people he’s appointed are real old guard and interventionist, and the rhetoric about China and Russia is all ramping up.

Thomas Frank

Yeah, well, you in Canada, you can worry about that. We don’t care about that here in America. Foreign policy stuff. I mean, yeah, I do. But your average American doesn’t give a damn about that. That’s strictly Canadians. I’m sorry. I’m just. I’m teasing you. I’m teasing you.

Paul Jay

Well, I’ll put on my Canadian hat. There’s a great line in Lorax where the guy offers Lorax a bribe of some sweet cookies or cakes, and he eats it. He says, I’ll eat them, but I’m highly offended. That’s kind of the liberal elites, isn’t it?

Thomas Frank

Yeah. So anyhow, we’re in this crazy time in America and we started off the show talking about your incident of being censored by YouTube, which is-

Paul Jay

Let me just say that I’m going to release the editorial again. I hadn’t actually made it public. It was still non-listed, because I just wanted to look at it. I’m doing some rewriting of it, and I’m going to release it again. I’m still going to have Trump quotes in it. And if it does get deleted again, I’m going to feed it from something else and then I’m going to do a video on YouTube anyway, talking about YouTube censorship, and then I want to see if my video about YouTube censorship gets taken down.

Thomas Frank

Yeah, of course. Hell yeah. We can’t talk about censorship, censor that. Anyhow, we’re finally discovering the price of allowing all these Silicon Valley monopolies to take over our conversation. This whole period of COVID, where it’s like all of our conversations now have to have this stupid intermediary sitting out there in California selling us.

So I remember a book that I read long ago by a great author called Earl Shorris, and he was describing the rise of the advertising industry, and he said the genius of TV was that it put advertising between us and life, in, it started with the 1950s and the 1960s there.

And that’s the genius of Silicon Valley, is that it’s like they’ve captured personal communication, that’s what social media is, and they own it. And here in COVID time, that’s what we have. And now you’ve got these liberals, Democrats, constantly calling on Silicon Valley to censor people’s communication with each other, to crack down on them in this way.

In fact, The New York Times does this all the time, which is ironic because they’re a newspaper and they’re supposed to defend the First Amendment and everything. But that’s where we are in America today. These companies have this incredible power. And instead of taking that power away from them, which is the obvious thing to do, we sit around and fantasize about how we can coerce them or persuade them into using the power to damage our political enemies, which is, Paul, it is so dangerous.

It is so foolish to think that, I mean, liberals thinking that they have the upper hand in some censorship battle. It’s like, my friends, you have not read history, if you think that you’re going to win the censorship battle, it just doesn’t work that way.

Paul Jay

When you say take the power away from them, what does that mean?

Thomas Frank

From Silicon Valley? I mean, break them up. I mean, these are monopolies. We have laws against this stuff. We haven’t enforced those laws since the 1980s, but the laws are on the books. This is one of my huge critiques of the Obama administration, is that they didn’t do… The Silicon Valley social media monopolies were coming together while Obama was President and he didn’t do anything about it. In fact, Google, et cetera, et cetera, Twitter, Facebook, he did the opposite.

He identified with them. He brought all these Google executives into the White House. He did all these events with Mark Zuckerberg, remember, because Zuck was cool. Do you remember all this?

And yeah, he did the opposite of what he should have done. In fact, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, they had this doctrine. We’ll get back to foreign affairs here. They had this doctrine, they called it Internet freedom. And we were going to force Internet freedom on everyone in every country in the world. This was going to be a big element of our foreign policy.

All of these crazy things since the Cold War ended, Paul, these ways that we have of rationalizing American power around the world, I mean, you could write a whole book about that, but of course, you wouldn’t be allowed to talk about it on social media. That would be immediately censored.

But Internet freedom was one of the big ones, the idea being that countries had to allow Silicon Valley companies to do business within their borders. That’s what Internet freedom meant. Everybody in the world has to have access to Facebook. That was US foreign policy. That was our government doing that.

And now these people are censoring you. Censoring literally you, Paul Jay.

Paul Jay

And they don’t want to deal with the underlying issue of why millions of people believe such crazy shit. It’s an issue that’s included in the education system, in the culture. They don’t believe it because there’s social media, social media helps it spread.

Thomas Frank

I would also say they don’t believe it because they’re stupid. And I would go one step further that they aren’t also, not all of them are racists. I mean, we have all these ways of brushing these people off.

Paul Jay

Even if racism plays a role, you have to ask, why?

Thomas Frank

Where does that come from? Yeah, exactly.

Paul Jay

Why, yeah. Why does the racism seem to be growing in these times?

Thomas Frank

That’s exactly right. But we don’t want to ask those questions. We want to demonize. I think that was the matter with Kansas was about, was like, let’s dig into this, let’s drill down a little bit. Let’s go out and talk to these people, and let’s see why they’re doing things that look superficially so self-destructive and so damaging, and in fact are self-destructive and are damaging.

Why would someone do this? And then you talk to them and you start to get an idea about why. That aspect of the conversation is, well, it’s not present, let’s put it that way.

I’ve been reading, like I said, when we started out this conversation, I’ve been reading a lot of stuff about liberalism in the Trump era. And that question, the “what’s the matter with Kansas?” question is basically off-limits. These people are to be villainized, vilified, and condemned, and a lot of them certainly deserve that, and racism certainly is not tolerable. I agree with that.

Thomas Frank

But we don’t ask that question anymore. We just want to shut them up.

Paul Jay

I think part of the problem is that the liberal answer to these people is, quote unquote, defense of the role of government. The problem is, there’s so much truth that government is so much an extension of big money of corporations. The one percent, that you can’t defend government without saying, yeah, you’re right.

To a large extent, government is the problem, but not the way Reagan said. Government is the problem because it’s so much an extension of corporate interest.

Thomas Frank

Which has become very difficult for people to understand or to say in America, that that government actually acts on behalf of Wall Street interests all the time. I mean, for God’s sakes, Paul. Remember when I first met you, the Wall Street bailout, that’s when we first started having our conversations, was in the aftermath of the biggest favor government has ever done for any interest. And it was for those guys.

Paul Jay

All right, just quickly to end, what do you think of this impeachment of Trump business?

Thomas Frank

Well, we know it’s going to fail. The Republicans have said that. But look, I’m of two minds about this. I want to move on? Of course. I want to see Biden get some really amazing stuff done. On the other hand, there has to be accountability for this asshole. There has to be accountability for what he did.

And, you know, in all the different ways that he did it, you can’t just let something like January 6th blow by. Now I know we’ve already got… Those people all broke the law and we’re going to be prosecuting them. By the way, there’s all sorts of ways in which this is… I both want accountability. I want them to go after Trump and I want to have it all out.

But in some ways I think it’s too little. In other words, I think it’s not enough. I want to know, to go back to the “what’s the matter with Kansas” question. I want to see sociological survey of these people. Who the hell were they? What in the world were they thinking?

Because they seem to have come from all over the place, all different walks of life. They’re united by their bizarre faith that Trump somehow won the election. But other than that, they seem to be from all over. Anyhow, I want to know more about them. I want to see sociological surveys. I want to see congressional investigations, and not just demonizing them, not just saying this was bad. We know it’s bad. We know how bad it is.

It’s really bad. But I want to know who these people were. And I want to know why the Capitol Police dropped the ball. Like, what the hell’s going on there?

Paul Jay

Well, that’s what my editorial is about. Because I think the January 6th is the third act of a failed coup. The real stuff happens in the lead up to January 6th, and there was at least the American Manufacturers Association, right through to 10 former Secretaries of Defense, they all thought a real coup was taking place. And the Financial Times editorial board actually called it a coup on January 4th, said there’s a coup taking place. So that’s what my editorials about, so people can look for it.

Thomas Frank

The funny thing is that it was so incompetent, as these things go.

Paul Jay

He’s delusional.

Thomas Frank

It’s like Trump’s lawsuits. It’s like they’re a joke. They were so stupid.

Paul Jay

It tells you something about the political structures of America, something so incompetent, and a guy so delusional, can get to the point that the hierarchy of American elites, including the military, were really concerned about what was happening.

Thomas Frank

Yeah. Anyhow, all of this needs to be out there, and there need to be hearings, and we need to understand it. And I mean, like understand it for real, not just like calling people names and pointing out that Trump is a dumb shit and that Trump’s a racist. Those statements are true. But we need to go further than that, and we need to go further than that as a country as well.

Thomas Frank

But anyhow, I don’t think it’s going to happen. So I both want accountability. I want more accountability. But I also think it should be broader than just Trump’s impeachment. And by the way, it’s already clear that the Republicans aren’t going to let it happen.

Paul Jay

Yeah, I think he should be charged with sedition and treason, but I don’t think it’s going to happen, because if the truth of how close the United States got to a coup ever comes out, it completely smashes the whole international reputation of the United States as the stable guardian of global capitalism.

Thomas Frank

I know.

Paul Jay

So I don’t think it’s going to come out.

Thomas Frank

It’s already in ruins. The mantle has to be passed to Canada. Oh. Oh, Canada.

Paul Jay

All right. Thanks for joining us.

Thomas Frank

I’ve been reading a history of Canada also. During COVID, I’ve got this huge stack of books that I’m working through. What’s his name? Francis Parkman, and it’s a history of the French in the new world, so of the origins of Canada, in Quebec and everything. Wow, fascinating. It’s really, really interesting stuff. I don’t know if anybody reads this guy anymore, but.

Paul Jay

Well people, when they dig in and when they’ll find out the self-righteous bullshit of Canada’s humanitarianism and internationalism, it’s all BS. Canada got to ride the US global gravy train. You know, we’re like the 10th largest arms manufacturer in the world.

Thomas Frank

I did not know that.

Paul Jay

Yeah, it goes on from there. Anyway, thanks for joining us, Thomas.

Thomas Frank

It was a blast. We’ll talk again soon.

Paul Jay

Yeah. Thank you for joining us on theAnalysis.news, and please don’t forget the donate button at the top of the website.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

48 comments

  1. Taurus

    The prospect of social unrest on a massive scale is – to me – much scarier than 9/11. For precisely the reasons you cite – Millions of disaffected people, a lot of them armed. We are sitting on top a powder keg. And while you focus on the pageantry and lack of organization during the Capitol riot, I look at it as the half-hearted opening salvo of what is to come. As in, there is a very high probability that we will see a real insurrection in the not too distant future. While I wish for change, I do not wish for a revolution. Revolutions eat people.

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      Debt eats people by eliminating hope. Lack of hope, desperation, causes revolutions.

      Very very few in Texas today can pay their debts. The amount of damage to dwellings is massive, and the scale will only become apparent after the thaw.

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        Oh, and:

        >But if not, to be more blunt: how were you played?

        I am not being played. You are the one that’s avoiding reality, to “be blunt”.

        I am not scared. I am angry. This country, messed up as it was, has taken a turn for much, much worse. These people are idiots, but somebody smarter and harder-working than Trump (not a hard person to imagine) is gonna take the reins.

        You don’t seem to even get it. Of course there wasn’t going to be another attack on New York. Just like there will never be any sort of violence reaching me in the woods.

        The problem again, is what kind of political system we will be living under 10 years from now? I may not be here by then, you may not, but if I have grandchildren, what kind of country and world will they live in?

        I care about that. Deeply.

        Reply
        1. Massinissa

          Chris, that statement was in regards to 1/6/2021.

          I’m scared. I’m angry. I feel the same way you do. But your comment doesnt mention 1/6, and I don’t think that’s what you’re angry about that either. I’m upset with this country increasingly being unable to do basic things every country in Europe can do.

          I too am upset about what’s going on, and both parties of congress, and the economy, and eviction crisis, and the political establishment being more clueless than at any point since the 1890s, and I’m worried we are at the beginning of 1930 (where most of the job losses from the crash of 1929 happened), and I’m tired of the Dems trying to gaslight us, and i’m tired of the Republicans doing… Whatever the hell the Republicans are doing now, I can’t even tell, and i’m tired of… I’m so tired of all of this. But the line specifically was about 1/6, which, if anything, was an event that gave me a chuckle, in how inept both the rioters and the political establishment are. Yes, I too am worried about what the implitcations of this event will be for the the future, but the event itself was a farce, and in and of itself it has never scared me or upset me, and it doesn’t seem to have done that for you either. I’m pretty sure whoever you were talking to with “You don’t seem to get it” ( Thomas Frank? Yves and Lambert?) was not talking about anything beyond the event itself and the congress-critters throwing an enormous and counterproductive hissy-fit over it, with them pretending as if passing more law restrictive crime laws to ‘punish’ any future transgressors is actually going to fix anything.

          Reply
    2. Lambert Strether

      > I look at it as the half-hearted opening salvo of what is to come. As in, there is a very high probability that we will see a real insurrection in the not too distant future.

      All the more reason to keep a cool head.

      “Fire and fear, good servants, bad lords.”–Ursula LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness

      Reply
    3. dcblogger

      I had a similar reaction. This was not generalized disorder, this was a mob intent on attacking our elected leadership for the purpose of forcibly preventing the peaceful transfer of power. That video the House managers showed is truly terrifying. I think it is an indication if the shape of things to come.

      Tom Cotton won’t use a mob. He will just invite Eric Prince and his mercs to march in a take power and the hell with DC’s gun laws.

      Reply
      1. Anarcissie

        I don’t think you’re considering what it takes to fight a civil war, which is what Tom Cotton and his mercs marching in would immediately lead to. If you already have most of the military leadership on your side, a coup, maybe. But many people including the present military would not support Tom Cotton and a bunch of mercs, and some of them would fight them. And to fight a civil war, which is a modern war, you need a lot more than a bunch of tough guys with guns. You need a structure of command and control, you need supply and logistics, you need communications and intelligence services, and lots of money and material goods — in short, infrastructure, so that you can sustain combat for more than a few days. Tom Cotton and Eric Prince, to my knowledge, don’t have any of this. If they came up against a trained, organized military force there’d be nothing left of them but a wet spot on the ground. This is why Hitler, after the clown show of the Beer Hall Putsch, organized his own private army.

        It should be added as well that crazed right-wingers are not the only people who can buy guns and learn how to use them. Liberals, radicals, minorities, the rich, the poor, the smart, the dumb, all kinds of people can and do have guns. It’s something for us all to think about.

        Reply
  2. hemeantwell

    The prefacing comments make the mistake of reducing the political menace of the militias to members of Congress. Yes, an upshot of the Jan 6 attack — I come down on the fact that people had to flee because they had reason to fear for their safety, so to talk of pageantry is seriously blinkered — was to make MoCs take the militias more seriously. And, yes, on the other hand that seriousness could be used to further suppressive efforts.

    But you really need to think beyond disquiet among Washington elites and their indifference to the material plight of millions to how it’s being taken by activists out in areas where there’s strong Trump support. People on the left are not in a state of fear, but they are more worried about the possibility that rightist gunheads will engage in attacks on the left. When Trumpistas talked of taking the state capitols the idea of opposing them was nixed not only because it appeared to be pointless political theater, but also because people were afraid of getting shot. We are doubtful about the likelihood of “massive social unrest.” But we are concerned about the possibility of events such as the Greensboro massacre, which has become a focus of heroic nostalgia among the right’s gunthugs and which might tempt people who increasingly have less to lose. The first step in successful terrorism isn’t about making someone feel certain they will be harmed, it’s making them have to think about it, to gauge whether you’re in harm’s way, and go round and round about whether you’re being paranoid or prudent.

    And this — an article about some guy in Georgia going more or less crazy, shifting wildly from soft left to locked and loaded and out for leftists — doesn’t help.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/18/us/W-McCall-Calhoun-Jr-georgia-capitol-riot.html?searchResultPosition=11

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith Post author

      If there was any real organized effort, there would have been another uprising at the Inauguration in DC and state capitols. There was none. This was a damp squib.

      And as John Siman, who was ACTUALLY THERE, said the feel in the crowd was like a frat prank, giddy and goofy rather than angry.

      Reply
      1. hemeantwell

        I think it’s a mistake to use homogenizing terms like a “feel in the crowd.” For some people it may have been time for drinks and grins, other people were ready for combat. Treating all of the latter as though they were goofy poseurs ignores the history of the groups that participated. The Proud Boys, Oath Keepers, 3 percenters and other groups have membership lineages that intermingle with the groups that Kathleen Belew talks about in Bring the War Home. As she discusses at some length, one of their principle organizing strategies is to operate within more mainstream groups and to use their events to recruit and radicalize. This seems to be exactly what people like Caldwell, one of the Oath Keepers present, were trying to do.

        I think we may be talking past each other and that there are two questions here 1. Was the crowd insurrectionist? 2. Did some in the crowd pose a danger? I agree that it did not constitute an insurrectionary threat. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t elements in the crowd who posed a threat to the safety of some political leaders and that they would not think of their actions as contributing to an insurrectionary political climate. I don’t think the danger is one of insurrection, but of a spiral of serious political violence that would twist politics into even more spectacular forms and set off even more state repression. Germany in the 70s might be an example.

        Reply
  3. Anatman

    The Democratic Party, the war party, the party that controls Hollywood, Broadway and social media IS the home of the ruling class. The rest are just “the deplorables” aren’t they? The working class are now more likely to vote Republican as a result of this kind of contempt. You need to get out of your echo chamber and start taking the long view not only to understand 2016 but to understand the current climate of fear and loathing in the U.S. Americans don’t want their troops in Syria or their navy in the Black Sea courting trouble with Russia and Turkey among other things. This is why people voted for Trump in 2016 and if things keep going the way they are they will bring him back in 2024.

    Reply
  4. stefan

    The first time I remember talking about the rural/urban divide was the 1994 off-year election when Clinton got clobbered. (Actually, pointed out to me by my father, who grew up in Russia where rural/urban tension is more of customary, traditionally recognized ‘thing’.) I saw it as a result of culture war policies along the lines of ‘gays in the military’.

    This was also around the time that Luttwak (later retweeted by Rorty) was pointing out that turbo-capitalist globalized geo-economics was going to eviscerate the livelihoods of mom and pop commerce. What was underestimated was the extent to which middle America was going to get eviscerated in the bargain.

    If Biden is going to succeed, he needs to find a way to revitalize that formerly-productive part of America which has been stripped and crushed down to its foundations by neo-liberal capitalism. This is going to require a real industrial policy, a more balanced trade policy, tax reform, reforms in education, and a lot of unfamiliar hard work.

    Reply
  5. Wukchumni

    I like how Thomas Frank is a ‘laughing assassin’ as opposed to Chris Hedges ‘prophet of doom’ who has me wanting to hoist the noose over the rafters…

    Is there an interview consisting of the 2?

    It’d be akin to matter & anti-matter mixing together…

    Reply
  6. lyman alpha blob

    …they are more worried about the possibility that rightist gunheads will engage in attacks on the left.

    If you believe the statistics, minorities and the left account for a very large portion of recent gun purchases. I have very good friends who have done so. Should rightist gunheads be frightened?

    If you believe all the unattributed quotes and tweets and social media posts floating around, the Capitol rioters were incensed at both Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence. Perhaps a sign that “right wing” radicals are beginning to focus their disenchantment at the right targets, rather than just hating on “lefties” in general, as the stereotype goes.

    The people it serves to have neighbors in fear of their neighbors are the Diane Feinsteins and Mitch McConnells of the world – they would like nothing better than to see people divided against each other so they can continue to plunder us while we fight amongst ourselves and fear each other.

    Donald Trump would have been laughed out of the primaries if politicians from either party had done a damn thing for anybody other than their wealthy donors, but they have done nothing for decades. If the politicos in DC don’t want rioters at their doorsteps, then govern better. If all they’re going to do is barricade themselves in while they continue to do favors for the wealthy, then they should be afraid.

    I truly believe we need to stop thinking about things in terms of “right” and “left”. OWS had it right – there are a lot more of us than there are of the corrupt elites. David Graeber pointed that out. Adam Curtis’ new film begins and ends with Graber’s quotes about brining a better world into being by imagining it that way. We need to stop buying in to the elite narrative of “left” vs. “right”, good “democracy” vs. evil “socialism”, black vs. white.

    I too would like to see substantial change for the better without an armed revolution. But we all know the quote about what happens when peaceful revolution is made impossible. The last thing the elites want is for the pissed off “right” and the pissed off “left” to realize they have a lot more commonalities than differences, so that should be the first thing the rest of us do if we’re ever going to stop the downward spiral we’re on. And it’s just possible we’re moving in the right direction there. Good friend of mine is a bigtime hunter, owns dozens of firearms, and would not mictorate on Nancy Pelosi were she aflame, much less vote for a Democrat. Last time we visited he had Jimmy Dore in his news feed.

    Solidarity, people. We’re all in this together. And if things do go pear shaped, make sure you know what the real sides are lest you pick the wrong one.

    Reply
  7. 430MLK

    I want to comment on Yves’ observation about the feelings “we” had.

    My own perspective (from far away, listening in 10 minute spots through NPR as I made my daughter breakfast, snacks, lunch and then watching the evening news) was one of _relief_ and not fear. Trump’s rhetoric, which circulated for over a month and was then ratcheted up and disseminated widely by all media sources both friendly and hostile to him, ultimately resulted in a small-by-DC-standards protest. Of that small-by-DC-standards protest, a smaller group spun off to do a version of “let’s encircle the Pentagon” activism. Of that smaller group, maybe 200-400 broke into the capital. And of that even smaller group, there was relatively little actual violence, if one does not consider smeared feces and broken windows as actual violence–and there were next to no actual guns employed. However cray-cray people want to label Trump supporters, the bottom line is that this demonstrated that most of the country (whether Trump supporters or Biden supporters or neither) was not down with the use of armed resistance when pushed to do so by their president, social media outlets, and oppositional media. Further, the riot was cleared out in 6 hours and, to a person, all representatives disavowed the violence.

    In a country that is _legally_ armed to the teeth, I take comfort in that lack of actual gunfire, in those relatively small numbers who gathered, and in the near-zero follow-up by armed resistors at state capital houses. This was not a demonstration of armed militia power, but of its weakness. We’re not really as violent (at the moment, and only in regards to our own citizens) as our rhetoric suggests. For whatever reason, this is restraint–the working of what’s left of our corrupt civil society.

    Of course, in a country as armed to the teeth as ours, this can change, which is why I agree with Lambert’s position on the need for keeping a cool head that eschews the long American tradition of inflicting vengeance on large groups of people.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Guns brandished in public are pretty much verboten in DC, which is why there wasn’t any shooting, as the perps knew they’d be looking at a long stay in the all bar motel in displaying their manhood. (almost all gun incidents are perpetrated by males in our country)

      Reply
      1. lyman alpha blob

        Which proves the point that this was not an “insurrection” or a “coup”. If people were seriously attempting to take over the government they would not have cared about the laws of the government they were about to overthrow.

        Reply
    2. flora

      Maybe the real point was scaring the Congress into passing a new draconian, domestic terrism bill, Maybe that’s the point of “fortress” DC gates and razor wire: keeping Congressment and women frightened. /heh

      Of that smaller group, maybe 200-400 broke into the capital. And of that even smaller group, there was relatively little actual violence,…

      And of *that* smaller group there were many many LEOs and serving military men. I’ll leave my foil bonnet on the table and note that the following statement that there would be a military stand down to “root out” extremists sounded odd to me.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Before the Munich Putsch, the Nazis got training and weapons, including actual machine guns, from the German Army. Many, maybe most, of the various parties’ street fighters were veterans of the First World War with the ostensibly conservative ones getting clandestine government and military support. This idea that it is currently the Leftists or independent, crazy, conservative extremists that are really the problem just baffles me.

        Reply
    3. Jeremy Grimm

      The mob attack on the Capitol neither frightened nor relieved me. I still believe it was Kabuki. I doubt it frightened the Congressmen as much as they were or should have been frightened by the mysterious way the mob attack somehow penetrated the Capitol building. I believe they should be frightened by how they may have been used as pawns. I am and remain frightened by the political and legislative uses for which the mob attack might be applied. I supposed I too am relieved — after-the-fact — that the clownish mob seemed remarkably well-behaved as angry mobs go, and remarkably small. I am surprised reading in your comment that it took 6 hours to clear out the mob. Ahead of the event I ignored the few speculations about Trump and Trump supporters’ responses to his loss that fleetingly caught my attention, although I did begin to wonder what the left-hand might be up to.

      Reply
  8. JEHR

    As I watched the rioters on TV mingling around the Capitol, I switched from thinking how incredulous their actions were to becoming more and more surprised by how easy it was to invade that building and then wondered how such a group could be successful in capturing the people inside, if that is what they intended to do. It looked like playacting until it didn’t look like playacting. Hard to take seriously actions that looked so unfocused and without a solid goal. If that is the definition of “incitement” then I’m even more flummoxed. Then as the hours passed, the cameras caught more and more acts of true violence at close quarters and the riot became a shameful, distasteful and cowardly thing.

    Whatever the riot meant it displayed mostly incoherence in its pursuit.

    Reply
  9. JEHR

    Nice little throwaway about Canada: “the self-righteous bullshit of Canada’s humanitarianism.” Maybe we need that more often.

    Reply
  10. flora

    Thanks for this post. Frank is always great. I recommend “The People, NO.”

    Taibbi’s latest essay on Marcuse fits in here.

    Marcuse-Anon: Cult of the Pseudo-Intellectual

    Therefore, Marcuse wrote, any existing rights and freedoms “should not be tolerated,” because “they are impeding, if not destroying, the chances of creating an existence without fear and misery.”

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/marcuse-anon-cult-of-the-pseudo-intellectual

    So, utube takedowns (although not of the same footage by the big MSM) and cancelling is good because we have to destroy rights to create utopia, or because rights are violence,…or something equally nonsensical, per Marcuse.

    Reply
      1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        Like the saying about theory twerps generally.
        Frankfurt School Theory Twerp: “From each according to his ability” – so workers will each pull their weight working like dogs for The People.
        Laborer: “What are you gonna do?”
        Frankfurt School Theory Twerp: “It is the task of the intellectual to think for you. This is a heavy burden, comrade”

        Reply
    1. martell

      I have not read the article linked, owing to a paywall, but I’ve heard enough second hand to wish that Taibbi would drop it. He’s almost certainly out of his depth here. Given what I know about intellectual history in the US over the course of the past few decades and having personally witnessed the rise of Idpol within the academic world, I find it very unlikely that advocates of cancel culture are drawing much of anything from Marcuse. Sources of inspiration were and undoubtedly remain French, for the most part, either directly or indirectly through importers like Judith Butler. As for Marcuse’s views, I certainly agree that there’s almost nothing there with which to agree and very little is even salvageable (though I am fond of his analysis of the assertion “Nixon is a motherf#$@%r,” which can be found in a footnote to either Essay on Liberation or Counter-revolution and Revolt). But my impression is that Taibbi is offering a caricature or, to use terms favored on NC, he’s strawmanning. The claim that Marcuse favored aristocracy (which is what rule by educated elites amounts to) is a case in point. Late in life he did favor what he called (IIRC) a “long-march through institutions” in which the ground for revolution would be prepared by university-based intellectuals such as himself, but that is different from proposing a constitution for a future, utopian society. Marcuse, as a matter of fact, had almost nothing to say on that topic and, indeed, generally had next to nothing to say about any alternative economic or political arrangements. He was always more Hegelian than Marxist and seemed to think some one improved state of affairs was sure to emerge from the destruction of contemporary arrangements (a bit of myth, called positive negation, that a good many Hegelian-Marxists bought into). As for his claims about tolerance, they are in fact not all that different from claims that certain Marxists, especially those who came to power in the USSR, made about so-called human rights. Their view was that these rights are really just bourgeois rights, insofar as they are relatively recent inventions that are functional for capitalist society. They also thought that defense of these rights was tantamount to defense of capitalism, that revolutionaries would have to disregard them, and that the new society could do without them. Marcuse’s view on free speech is, IIRC again, similar. Under contemporary conditions, he argued, freedom of speech allows for speech that perpetuates repression, domination, etc. If we are really interested in human liberation, his argument went, then we need to repress speech of that kind (first of all in universities, I assume), and that means dispensing with the liberal (capitalist) value of tolerance. Of course, intellectuals such as himself should remain free to teach whatever they like, publish, associate with like-minded colleagues, and so forth. So, he was proposing a version of “freedom for me but not for thee.” As I said, there is next to nothing here with which to agree, but his view is significantly different from the view that any existing rights and freedoms should not be tolerated.

      Reply
  11. Patrick

    “Paul Jay
    I think part of the problem is that the liberal answer to these people is, quote unquote, defense of the role of government. The problem is, there’s so much truth that government is so much an extension of big money of corporations. The one percent, that you can’t defend government without saying, yeah, you’re right.

    To a large extent, government is the problem, but not the way Reagan said. Government is the problem because it’s so much an extension of corporate interest”

    I believe this is the idea that many “anti-government” conservatives don’t understand (not the “players” aka “economic conservatives” but “those being played” aka “cultural conservatives”). And I think this is the point made by Frank in “What’s the Matter with Kansas?”.

    I used to teach a bit (polsci) and I would start the semester with a riddle: If government is a machine, who owns and operates the machine, and how? Large and powerful corporations. Three legs on that stool. One, they are deemed persons with speech rights that therefore can fund our elections with unlimited amounts of money. Two, they can afford high-priced lobbyists. Three, they control the message – what we think and talk about – through media monopoly (three or four media conglomerates control something like 90% of the information we get).

    In other words, “who is your government?”

    As alluded to in the read, southern conservative whites (those rural Missourians Frank mentioned who used to vote as Democrats) voted with the Democrat Party (hat tip Lambert) for one hundred years after the Civil War. Why were conservatives sleeping in the progressive bed? Because you were a traitor to the (lost) cause if you voted for the “party of Lincoln”. That all changed after the Democrats betrayed them by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Next came “Nixon’s southern strategy” and Reagan’s “sunbelt alliance”. And Trump.

    Southern whites have a historical antipathy toward the federal government – after all it waged a “war of northern aggression” against the south, took away their slave property and their way of life, occupied the south after the war until Redemption, and pouring salt on the wound it ended segregation and integrated the school system.

    These folks find it easy to “hate government”, which is really great for powerful corporations that don’t want to be reined in by regulation. What an opportunity – just message the evils of government to the uninitiated – those eager and willing to be manipulated (vote against their own economic interest). Unfortunately these folks aren’t making the connection – they are not asking or understanding “who is there government” – who owns and operates the machine. And that is what is the matter with Kansas, it is what explains Trump and informs today’s politics IMHO.

    Reply
    1. Patrick

      adding that it – not knowing who owns and operates the machine – also helps to explain “what’s the matter with Texas” during this artic freeze.

      Reply
  12. mikel

    I’ve always thought T. Frank’s “One Market Under God” (released around 2000) is another opus that needs more updates and examining.
    It’s especially enlightening because it hit on the skepticism lacking at the origins of many tech overlords and their financial puppeteers.

    Reply
  13. Susan the other

    Interesting discussion, especially about the Jan. 6 siege of the capitol being the “third stage of a coup.” But just like Trump it was more reality-tv than reality. He really was the perfect “president” to schmooze his way through this little piece of theater. And questions remain about just why the capitol was so vulnerable to this breach. I don’t think we are going to hear any of the explanations about any of this. If the US is going to repair itself it will need a new social contract and a new social contract requires new dialog. None of that has happened. It is all being controlled by the political class. That’s fine; they almost look like they can rub two brain cells together these days – so that is actually a vast improvement over just 10 years ago. The fact is no one is allowed to examine the reality of this tv reality. Because the system is destroyed. Call it climate change; pollution; neglect; hubris – whatever. The reality is that nobody needs to participate in an overthrow of the government – they already did that to themselves. The system has always relied on keeping a prosperous country fat and satisfied. Keeping us all “shopping” and “consuming” and blablablah. If we, enough of us, stop spending money the whole thing collapses. It has, imo, already collapsed. And the irony is that this is both a good and a bad thing: we are suffering for basic services, for medical care, for education, even for food and shelter and nobody can figure out how to earn the money to buy these essential things. This is the bad part – that no one in government was able to create a soft landing for hundreds of millions of people. This was malfeasance by our elected representatives. They had better things to do, like give money to big corporations and etc. But the wonderful irony is that they now know how misspent their efforts have been. Like a slow-acting poison, the devastation has reached a level of no return and they are throwing money at it with both fists. We should have realized long ago that the only thing we needed to do to bring down this Great American Farce was just stop participating. And another possibly good thing at this point in our confusion is that it will force us all to address the needs of the environment. Which are even more dire than our own. So this “coup” was just an idiotic but lucky thing that let us move forward and hit the reset button? I think it is just more inept face-saving by the political class. I would not expect them to ever investigate that. I really do think that actual party politics is irrelevant; no wonder I could never decide what I was politically. Can anyone?

    Reply
    1. Massinissa

      ‘And another possibly good thing at this point in our confusion is that it will force us all to address the needs of the environment”

      You lost me here. We both know that isn’t happening or going to happen. Otherwise I entirely agree with everything else you said.

      Reply
      1. Susan the other

        I’m hopeful that the world knows we have to start conserving, start cleaning up the planet and now is the time. So any break in our assumptions about economies that actually work will have to include an admission that we must become sustainable because the environment cannot accommodate us any other way. My only optimism at this point.

        Reply
  14. Hayek's Heelbiter

    Re Censorship
    As FB etc. are de facto news disseminators, people who use the platform should not be egregiously prevented a priori from stating their viewpoints.
    The process of preventing people with opinions at odds with current orthodoxy out of fear of what they MIGHT say from publishing their opinions is called “prior restraint” and is a violation of the First Amendment.
    Attorneys working on behalf of clients who find themselves victims of prior restraint might find case law established in Inquisition v. City of Charlotte of some interest.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inquisition_v._City_of_Charlotte

    Reply
    1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      But as you will recall when people complained about Alex Jones being shut down hard, “It’s a private company. They don’t have to let you say anything. It’s their platform. They’re a publisher!”

      Isn’t this a lot like when people tried using shopping malls as ‘the public square’? Remember that debate?

      Reply
  15. Scott1

    In reading Michael McFaul’s book “Cold War to Hot Peace” I got what capitalism the Democrats were selling to Russians. The name of it then was “Washington Consensus” and it was basically a Gold Standard Financial system designed as a stock company with deed owners and renters once Russian citizens sold all their stock in the company country to monopolists of natural resources and power. It is just Privatization and Privatization is just Oligarchy.
    The economic system has been taught as finite, and it is when it comes to your town, city, county and state. The touchable world is finite. Out there beyond in Washington, DC there is a whole other system that is infinite. States must be given money because they give money.
    Laws benefit rentiers and those that exploit labor. Hell the increases in rent are for some reason not included in discussions of inflation. I am confuse by that.
    The farmers cannot survive without Federal subsidies. Certainly the schools cannot either.
    Nor really can the rest of us survive without Federal subsidies. The Federal System, the Union can create currency that it can spend to make every other system in the Nation work to levels of a utopia equal to the dystopia that is created by the union of finite systems, the states.
    The nation state with sovereign wealth and non convertible fiat currency is a work of art. It is a fantastic work of conceptual art when the government passes a bill and money to pay for that is simply created with keystrokes. I might call it the creative civil financially engineered system.
    You can call it the modern monetary theory. It is the last idea for unless the deficit line is seen as the spending line representing no loss at all and enabling spending necessary if we are to simply survive during this era of necessary changes to how energy is sourced and distributed.
    Climate Change represents the collapse of the food chain for us as much as it has for all the animals that have become extinct. Nowhere to go and nothing to eat means you die. Nowhere to go and nothing to eat and fatal diseases with no cures comes closer and closer to crisis overload.
    Nowhere to go, nothing to eat, fatal disease abroad, Weapons of Mass Destruction proliferating, and we inch and leap by yards towards crisis overload.
    Someone like Mitch McConnell will prevent spending that does not allow for privatizers and speculators to benefit more than the public they are by oath dedicated to defend. They simply do not get it. Monopolies and Privatization just naturally mean there is no meaning to having a national government.
    If we are for farm subsidies then we are for a UBI and a Federal Jobs Guarantee. We want a US Postal Service that competes with Fed X and UPS at a disadvantage because it is supposed to deliver everywhere regardless of the potential for profit. The bronze plaque in every Post Office says the actual land and the building are dedicated to the service of all American Citizens, not the Trump Family business or shareholders of some private businesses.
    US Post Office Banking would serve the greater good and diminish the dystopian experience of life in the US just by eliminating Check Cashing storefront businesses that overcharge for converting checks to cash.
    An uncensored democratic national experience serves to forestall famine. Dictators give us famine as they have done in Stalin’s Russian USSR and Mao’s China. It may not be that communism is an unworkable system but that any government that abrogates free speech and a free press ends up with incompetence and evil ignorance leading to famine.

    Reply
  16. HotFlash

    Paul Jay

    Well people, when they dig in and when they’ll find out the self-righteous bullshit of Canada’s humanitarianism and internationalism, it’s all BS. Canada got to ride the US global gravy train. You know, we’re like the 10th largest arms manufacturer in the world.
    Thomas Frank

    I did not know that.
    Paul Jay

    Yeah, it goes on from there. Anyway, thanks for joining us, Thomas.

    Um, yaas. So, Mr. Jay, it’s pretty quiet here in Canada. Think there’s any market (b/c, I guess we need a market) for your kind of digging here in *our* country?

    Reply
  17. lobelia

    Applauding Yves’ note:

    Second, who is this “us all” who are scared? What pray tell did ordinary citizens have to worry about with respect to January 6?

    and then reading and applauding Frank’s:

    From Silicon Valley? I mean, break them up. I mean, these are monopolies. We have laws against this stuff. We haven’t enforced those laws since the 1980s, but the laws are on the books. This is one of my huge critiques of the Obama administration, is that they didn’t do… The Silicon Valley social media monopolies were coming together while Obama was President and he didn’t do anything about it. In fact, Google, et cetera, et cetera, Twitter, Facebook, he did the opposite.

    He identified with them. He brought all these Google executives into the White House. He did all these events with Mark Zuckerberg, remember, because Zuck was cool. Do you remember all this?

    And yeah, he did the opposite of what he should have done. In fact, Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, they had this doctrine. We’ll get back to foreign affairs here. They had this doctrine, they called it Internet freedom. And we were going to force Internet freedom on everyone in every country in the world. This was going to be a big element of our foreign policy.

    All of these crazy things since the Cold War ended, Paul, these ways that we have of rationalizing American power around the world, I mean, you could write a whole book about that, but of course, you wouldn’t be allowed to talk about it on social media. That would be immediately censored.

    But Internet freedom was one of the big ones, the idea being that countries had to allow Silicon Valley companies to do business within their borders. That’s what Internet freedom meant. Everybody in the world has to have access to Facebook. That was US foreign policy. That was our government doing that.

    And now these people are censoring you. Censoring literally you, Paul Jay.

    brought back vividly the 2008 Election event that really scared and hit me in the solar plexus (gut) – then never left – having lived and worked in Silicon Valley for decades and sensing the underbelly of it all. That event (actually a series of them) was the jarring, bipartisan, Meritocracy™ Gated ‘Town halls’ at the Googleplex. Those gated town halls – despite that In 2007, Google (mostly consisting of very young ivy and H1-b males) had already been known for its: stark lack of blacks, hispanics, and females, along with its brutal age discrimination. Google had also already been the subject of global privacy/surveillance outrage over: Gmail; Google [CIA/Keyhole] Earth; and Google Street view; mostly in the Foreign Press (particularly in Germany). The outrage was clearly deliberately suppressed in mainstream US news, particularly in the California.

    From 11/14/07 By Karen Breslau ’08 Candidates Stump at Google (emphasis mine):

    When Frances Haugen left Iowa for California, she figured she would never get to see a presidential candidate up close again. But since taking a job at Google a year ago, Haugen has been courted in person by John McCain, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson. On Wednesday, it was Barack Obama’s turn to woo the 23-year-old product manager—and 1,500 of her fellow “Googlers” in a standing-room-only crowd at the company’s Mountain View campus. There he delivered a speech on Internet policy and subjected himself to questions from CEO Eric Schmidt, streamed live on the Web to the search giant’s nearly 16,000 employees worldwide. “I like to think of the [campaign] as a job interview,” said Schmidt, as Obama pretended to look nervous in a sleek red leather lounger onstage under the company’s logo. “It’s hard to get the job as president, and it’s hard to get a job at Google.”

    https://www.newsweek.com/08-candidates-stump-google-97125

    (God I can’t stand smug, arrogant Schmidt, and I love how that Newsweek piece sappily highlighted one of the very few females employed directly by Google at the time; their diversity and sexual harrasement issues – along with the rest of the techno oligarchy – have been infamous.)

    As far as this goes:

    Now, I don’t want to be too negative about all this, because so far Joe Biden, who you and I talked about him, I had real doubts about Joe Biden, but I really like what he did. I really like what he’s proposed, the gigantic spending package. I’m very much in favor of that.

    Huh? What has he exactly done, particularly with his sickening record and Obama, Kamala, Nancy, and so many other California Technocracy Empire pay to players in Congress and Executive Positions, in his ear? Lack of medical care, drowning in debt, and homelessness are deadly.

    Reply
    1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      These social media companies were intelligence fronts from go. Look where the funding came from. It wasn’t some dweeb in his dorm room. Antitrust law enforcement could shut them down in 30 seconds but how else would you draw out and track dissidents? Luckily, younger people seem to find it less than stimulating.

      Reply
      1. Massinissa

        I’m not sure about other social media sites, but on Facebook at least, most of the kids that were born after my late millennial generation have been increasingly adverse to being active on, or even joining, Facebook. At least partially because they know their parents would be watching everything they do. Getting to the point where most Facebook users will be 30 or older. They might be using less popular social media sites like Snapchat or something, I have no idea.

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *