On and Off Balance

Here we are, a couple of days past the middle of the year, and almost eight months after the election of Donald Trump to the presidency … and I swear that the lunacy has not died down in the slightest, but is now ratcheted up to eleven, or even twelve. (Gratuitous Spinal Tap reference.) The classical five stages of grief are supposed to be denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, but it’s clear at this point that the Hillary and Bernie partisans are stuck fast at the ‘anger’ stage – and appear to be egging each other into higher, farther, deeper and more intense demonstrations of denial and anger. It’s almost … well, operatic. Like a spectacular ten-car pile-up on the interstate, one can’t even look away from the spectacle – especially the spectacle of establishment news media personalities and institutions losing their freaking minds over Donald Trump.

The reason for this insensate anger is another source of bewilderment for me. I mean – I thought he was one of them, a big-city, big-money and flamboyant-with-it guy, pretty much a moderate Democrat, sort of liberal socially, someone that establishment media figures in New York had palled around socially with for decades. Is it because he is an apostate in their eyes now? Or were they so invested in Hillary, so convinced that she had it in the bag, and that CNNMSNBCBS would carry her over the finish-line, and when it turned out that they couldn’t – this is the tantrum of a very sore loser? Is the media hatred caused frustration over having lost, by excessive and undeniable partisanship, all authoritative credibility with the flyover-country citizens? All that old black political magic that used to work so well – favorable press, celeb endorsements, polling, media appearances, a constant stream of paid political ads, huuge spending – couldn’t get Hillary into the White House, or budge the needle in a Democrat-friendly direction since. I don’t even want to get into the flat-out hatred boiling over on social media and in comment threads in various places, the hatred of liberals for conservatives of just about any stripe.

Is it as as commenter at Samizdata suggested, when one of the regulars there linked to a recent Sarah Hoyt post?

I have often considered that there are a lot more people who have degrees of mental illness out there than we generally realise. Most of the time they can function relatively OK, if surrounded by good people who try and keep them on the path of sanity, however if they are steered in the wrong direction … their inherent bias towards fantasy thinking will mean they go down the wormhole when a more sane person who stop and think ‘Hang on a minute here!’ I think the reason we are seeing more of the misdirection now is the internet – its all there on everyone’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, and 100% accessible to all, whereas in the past such people would probably never have been exposed to such twisted thinking. Now they are, and they lack the critical faculties to determine what is true and what is false.

Discuss, if you can bear it.

17 thoughts on “On and Off Balance”

  1. I have some lefties in the family, three of my children.

    Two are lawyers, which seems to be related. One is married to a professor of psychology who has been psychoanalyzing the family since they were married several years ago.

    He and she are lefties and angry. We are not on speaking terms since the 2012 election when she posted “Yo Vote.'” I interpreted that as bragging about illegals voting and gently teased her on facebook about all the Democrats that had lost elections that day.

    The response was furious and that was before Trump. I can only imagine what it’s like now.

    The oldest daughter is a lefty but somewhat reasonable. She is the FBI agent who told me she would not vote for Hillary last September, which I considered significant.

    Those two are lawyers.

    My middle daughter is also a lefty but lives in west LA so I am not surprised. She is also the one who went to Cuba about 20 years ago and realized it is a prison. She was hoping (I overheard a phone call with a friend) that it would show Socialism worked. Sadly for her illusions, she is fluent in Spanish and quickly figured out what was going on.

    Still she, the last one, is who said “He’ll be impeached” when her mother asked her about Trump.

    I think it is a sort of disbelief that this could be happening when the future had already been arranged.

    None of them have any assassination fantasies but they are pretty sane.

  2. OT but I am listening to Caro’s biography of Johnson on audible in the car and am struck by how much is about the west Texas Germans.

    We are still on Sam Johnson’s life so far and he was regarded highly by the Germans for opposing and defeatinjg abillmin the Legislature that was very anti-German in 1918l

    My uncle has told me that there were portraits of the Kaiser in Chicago public schools before the war,

  3. When I read or listen to the most distraught, I am amazed at the shallowness of their thinking. All they seem to be able to come up with his hyperbole, slogans and inferences that do not follow any rules of logic given known facts.

    It seems to me that what we are seeing are the results of the dumbing down and indoctrination of the educational system top to bottom. They want answers that suit their utopian paradigm and will accept it solely on that basis.

    Not very hard to manipulate such a group and convince them that they are in great personal risk from anyone with an opposing position. As background, what percentage of movies have exploitation, conspiracy and unrestrained exercise of power as themes. It has become the dominate assumption about how “others” operate and why things are not utopian.

    Many simply decide that they can live with others having the power and they can keep out of the way and pursue their own peace and some affluence- go along to get along.

    Others, and it seems to me an increasing proportion, are being radicalized and becoming professional or hobbyist true believers who will protest, disrupt and badger designated targets as the web masters direct. There are the really radical elements working inside this movement to turn it violent as has been witnessed.

    The progressive movement generally wants to apply pressure and intimidation, but stops well short of revolution. I think this may be a combination of practical tactics and lack of courage of their convictions.

    I think that some of the softer progressives are starting to wonder if the true radicals can be controlled. There are a few progressive law makers in California that are not so sure they like having the radicals targeting them over single payer health care (which they support, but can’t figure out a way to pay for given their half trillion state debt). Of course to the radicals and the street progressives only the utopian vision matters. Pay for it? Take the money from those who earn it, problem solved.

    I nominate Bernie Sanders and Elizabet Warren as co-poster figures for the progressive movement. They embody all the deep political and economic thought of the modern progressives and have mastered the inflammatory rhetoric that the radicals and street progressives need to hear to know their course is just and worthy of any sacrifice.


  4. “I interpreted that as bragging about illegals voting and gently teased her on facebook”

    We had a similar experience over a series of Facebook posts, and it caused an ugly, permanent family rift. It’s funny how social media amplifies perceived slights. It seems the closer you are to the person, the worse it can get.

  5. I’m the Samizdata regular (thanks for the mention). Your link above does not seem to work. If anyone is interested, the post is But she knows me !”, and Jim’s interesting discussion (from experience) of how like mental illness some of this stuff looks can be found in the comments under ‘Jim, June 19, 2017 at 1:18 pm).

    [Link is fixed, thanks. Jonathan. I fixed it again, to be certain – Sgt. Mom]

  6. Mike K
    OT but I am listening to Caro’s biography of Johnson on audible in the car and am struck by how much is about the west Texas Germans.
    That would be hill country Germans. Central Texas. Johnson City is 500 miles east of El Paso, which would be Far West Texas. Examples of hybridization of Hill Country Germans/Czechs: hot dog kolaches w jalapenos. Tejano music borrowed the accordion and polkas from the Czechs and Germans that came to Texas in the 19th century. Consider Flaco Jimenez, who is not the only accordion-playing Jimenez: brother Santiago Jr. and father Santiago Sr.

  7. You ain’t seen nothin yet!

    Next year NBCBSABCNNMSNBC will subject us to constant analysis of how many seats incumbents lose in midterms. Hopes will rise that a House that will impeach Trump will be elected, ignoring that a conviction in the Senate will never happen. But then the results will come in and Trump’s use of twitter to keep his base together, motivated and confident will be rewarded with gains in both the House, minor, and Senate, large. And the shrieking will really begin, because they will realize 2016 wasn’t a fluke. And then the acts of political violence will increase to the point where more in the middle begin to understand what the left is really about.

  8. Gringo,
    The Czech-German belt in Texas runs from just east of the hill country (Schulenburg and Weimar), then west to the Hill Country (Comfort, Bulverde, New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, Boerne, and Walburg), then on further west to Kerrville, Mason, Hondo, Wall, Rowena, St. Lawrence, and Stanton.

  9. Caldwell, a little further east and north than Schulenburg and Weimer, has an annual Kolache Fest and is very Czech. I have a friend who was raised near there speaking Czech in the home. Learned to drive in the 1960’s in the family’s Model A Ford which doubled as their tractor. These were tough people. Now they have oil leases.

    Brenham southeast of Caldwell is German. North of Waco is another well known Czech enclave with a celebrated bakery on I 35.

    No doubt the highest concentration of German were in the hill country, but they extended significantly in a wide swath at least 100 miles east of that region proper. My impression is the Czechs were not as concentrated, but more widely spread in small enclaves. There are still large gatherings of Texans of Czech decent to celebrate their culture and history as there are for the Texans of German origin.

    Ginny knows much more about the Texas Czechs than I. Texas owes much of its historical and cultural development to these early settlers as Sgt Mom has discussed often on this site. Having a German immigrant grandmother, I can appreciate some of those influences.


  10. The people in the MSM are just following orders. The are creative employees but employees none the less. They were selected for their ideology so they would more eagerly serve their employers’ bidding.

    The problem is they have no mental ammunition and can only fall back on their old tricks – which aren’t working beyond their core audience.

    The employers will see the waste and try some other ways to herd the sheep before long.

  11. This believer in “hold your nose and vote for Trump” recommends that you continue holding your nose while still celebrating the fact that he kept Hillary out of office. Anything else you get out of him is a bonus. Meantime I do enjoy his toying with the media. What larks, and so thoroughly deserved.

  12. In Fredericksburg, some born after the WWII and whose ancestors settled around the time of the Civil War were bilingual.

    Czechs emphasize cooking traditions but also language ones. I’ve been to several functions in the last year where hymns were sung in Czech. The CEFT board meets four times a year: its mission is to establish the teaching of Czech. They endowed a chair at the University of Texas, a fellowship for a visiting scholar whose responsibility is setting up Czech lessons for the community at A&M; and, perhaps the most successful, are large endowments at the UNT for exchanges of Czech musicians and the production of a Czech opera every other year.

    One paper made the argument that the Czechs followed the black land areas of Texas (she laid down a map of Texas, the overlain Czech belts and black land belts were remarkably similar). I thought this passion was Texan – though I should have known better from my friends in college. When my daughter took Czech at Nebraska, she received a check midway through the semester – tuition for that course was subsidized if students stuck it out. UT has a German Project; it included oral histories in German of Texans. A smaller but equally warmly felt project has been run – off and on, when the money and the energized student coincides – on the Texas Czechs.

    (I’ve been an unengaged observer at so many meetings, 3-day conferences on topics like the accordion, typed early drafts of books in the old days when people did that – some of the information has seeped in.)

  13. “That would be hill country Germans. Central Texas. Johnson City is 500 miles east of El Paso,”

    Shows you how much I know about Texas. Well, El Paso is closer to Tucson than California and that is as much as I know.

  14. I am as perplexed as you Sgt Mom. Contrast this with the election of Obama and the disappointment of conservatives.

    Maybe this is a combination of “a sure thing” that Hillary would win and Trumps dismantling Obama’s executive orders, to the nomination of SCOTUS.

    The media had invested itself so heavily in a Hillary win they are apoplectic.

    Slightl;y off topic but there was a wonderful op-ed in the NY Post anout the media and conflict of interest.

    I urge you to read what a past editor of the NY Times handled the issue with a reporter and how it is today. Heck, I’ll repost it. The media rage is due to so many of its people having a personal interest in Hillary’s victory I suspect.


    “Here is a true story about how Abe Rosenthal resolved a conflict of interest. A young woman was hired by the Times from one of the Philadelphia newspapers. But soon after she arrived in New York, a story broke in Philly that she had had a romantic affair with a political figure she had covered, and that she had accepted a fur coat and other expensive gifts from him. When he saw the story, Abe called the woman into his office and asked her if it was true. When she said yes, he told her to clean out her desk — that she was finished at the Times and would never work there again. As word spread through the newsroom, some reporters took the woman’s side and rushed in to tell Abe that firing her was too harsh. He listened for about 30 seconds and said, in so many words, “I don’t care if you f–k an elephant on your personal time, but then you can’t cover the circus for the paper.” Case closed. The conflict-of-interest policy was clear, absolute, and unforgettable.”

  15. Mike K
    OT but I am listening to Caro’s biography of Johnson on audible in the car and am struck by how much is about the west Texas Germans.

    Death 6
    North of Waco is another well known Czech enclave with a celebrated bakery on I 35.

    That would be the Czech Stop and Little Czech Bakery, located in West, Texas, which is located in North Central Texas. West, Texas is not to be confused with West Texas. LBJ’s hometown of Johnson City tends to be closer to West, Texas than to West Texas.

    Mike K, if you want to get more confused by Texas geography, consider this. Houston is not in Houston County, but in Harris County. Austin is not in Austin County, but in Travis County. Dallas is in Dallas County. Midland is in Midland County. El Paso is in El Paso County. San Antonio is in Bexar County, but at least there is no San Antonio County.

  16. I am confused by the quote from Samizdata. Is this a far left Liberal talking about a far right crazy conservatives or vice versa?

    I know I could determine this from the original post but I think it is fascinating that the quote could be believable from either end of the political spectrum.

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