Liberal Americans misunderstand the appeal of Trump at their own peril

Political Spectrum
It’s like Myers-Briggs, but with real-world consequences. Like actual warfare.

For the record, I do not support Trump. Not even a little bit. I find him to be an insufferable buffoon whose only contribution to society is an unintentionally hysterical Twitter feed, wherein the sheer frequency of his retweets of white supremacist conspiracy theories is reason enough to disqualify him from holding any government position of any kind. I wouldn’t trust him with installing a park bench, much less safeguarding the nuclear codes.

But there’s a narrative that has taken impenetrable shape among the American left at the moment, which is that Trump is the inevitable result of decade after decade of pent-up white rage, spilling out in a toxic morass of racist, homophobic, sexist, nationalist fervor. These people, liberals say, are freaked out about how the United States is becoming a more open, tolerant, and diverse nation, and are shouting and screaming to hold onto their position of power before it’s too late.

This exact narrative, for some reason, has been applied to several entirely unrelated events, from Trump, to GamerGate, to Ghostbusters, for some reason. In every case, it is grossly mistaken. And in the case of Trump, it is downright dangerous.

If the only disagreement that an anti-Trump protestor is able to muster is “you’re so racist!” then they’d better be prepared to look like a complete idiot, because many of the Trump supporters are going to be well-prepared with a library of actual arguments that’ll demolish these antics and relegate the tactic of childish name-calling to the pathetic refuge of the desperate and stupid where it belongs. In fact, they are already doing so. And in many cases, they are winning.

That’s right, people. Trump supporters occasionally have actual arguments. And ignoring this indisputable fact is only going to make them entrench deeper into their chosen camp if all anyone can do in response is to call them a bunch of homophobes.

Now, I must clarify: I do not think Trump is the answer to their prayers. See paragraph 1. But if you want people not to vote for Trump, shouting at them is a stupid thing to do. But if you don’t have a single clue as to what the hell they stand for, that’s all you’ll be able to do, and you shall be destined to fail. Just take a look at all the anti-Trump protests, and how utterly worthless they have been this whole time.

Here’s a tip: If you’re going to accomplish nothing, you might as well do nothing.

A better strategy, as any non-idiot would tell you, is to actually learn what the hell they have to say. Not only is this far more effective in terms of being able to debate the issues, but, as an added bonus, this does not take particularly long.

Here are the major issues concerning Trump supporters, as I see them:

Trump issue #1: We’re getting screwed over by trade deals

People can make fun of Trump manufacturing his clothing line in China all they want, but a single business moving production back to the States isn’t going to do much of anything for the overall problem. A lot of people think that sending manufacturing jobs off to China has decimated the middle class, and, combined with the outrageous expense of college tuition these days, this is a huge concern. Not only are a lot of low-skilled jobs gone, but the high-skilled jobs are often out of reach. Without a path toward economic stability readily available for a wide range of people, we are in for some painful years, and a great deal of social unrest.

Is there a way to get those jobs back? Maybe, maybe not. Some of those are low-skilled jobs that are awful anyway, so maybe we can let those go. But some of the higher-skill manufacturing jobs, the kind that have the potential to pay well, might be the perfect answer for the non-college-educated, working-class people who just want to go into work every day and make a decent living. Failing that, perhaps we could look into alternatives, such as significantly lowering the cost of college education, so more people could participate in the mid-to-high-end job market. We’d also have to improve the pre-college public education system significantly for this to be most effective, which would be helpful on its own.

But this problem will not be solved by just calling people sexist.

Trump argument #2: We’re getting screwed over by immigration

This is a contentious issue, and I’ve seen conflicting pieces of information regarding it. One side says immigrants are taking all the low-end jobs, while the other side says immigrants are taking all the jobs wealthier people don’t want to do anyway. I am inclined to agree with the latter, but again…this is not a convincing argument for those who agree with the former.

I expect the solution would be to improve the economic situation of every country across the globe, but that’s not going to happen within a single election cycle. But those who feel like they are losing out to what they view as a fairly tolerant immigration policy need alternative job prospects, not just pointless rhetoric. Perhaps something like raising the minimum wage would help, because then there’d be no reason for people to get frustrated with immigrants willing to work for lower wages, who are then seen as lowering the wages of everyone around them in doing so.

But this problem will not be solved by just calling people racist.

Trump argument #3: PC culture is destroying America

I hate to side with the man on anything, but Trump is 100% right on this one. Political correctness is not merely, as certain people will tell you, “treating people with respect.” It has become such a pervasive force that certain issues can never be discussed, no matter what, for fear of offending people who will take to the streets and shout about it, or worse.

Europe, for example, is having a severe problem right now with politically motivated crackdowns on “hate speech,” which consist of little more than “perhaps all these people coming from other countries with radically different values compared to ours might be cause for concern.” Speech like this is censored from social media, removed from newspapers, and, in some cases, those who dared say such things are threatened with jail time. Really.

Truth is not hate speech. It never was, and never will be. The battle of ideas needs to be won with better ideas, not with scare tactics and censorship. If you can’t win on the strength of your arguments, you deserve to lose.

And this problem will not be solved by just calling people homophobic.

That said, Trump is not the answer. Anyone who looks to a man who’s infamous for suing anyone who says mean things about him and thinks “this guy is totally going to fight for freedom of speech!” is a sadly mistaken individual.

But if the left continues with the narrative of calling everyone a racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, whatever-phobic bigot, those people…who know they have actual reasons for being on that side…are just going to say FUCK YOU.

It happened with Brexit, for exactly the same reasons listed above. Can it happen again, in the United States?

I don’t know. But that’s enough for me.

Start listening, lefties. Before it’s too late.

About SnarkyNomad

Eytan is a pretentious English major whose rant-laden sarcastic tirades occasionally include budget travel tips and other international nonsense. You can follow his every narcissistic word on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

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46 Comments on “Liberal Americans misunderstand the appeal of Trump at their own peril”

  1. Snarky Nomad! Nooooo! This was my last internet refuge where there was no Trump, other then pornhub; actually i did see a video the other day involving … let’s just say i never watched the whole thing, but then who ever watches a whole porn video. Im just kidding i don’t watch porn, or do I? whichever gains my following comments more respect is where I stand. Actually I think porn is a scourge on society, enough about porn; the only thing grosser then porn is talking about porn. Don’t get me wrong when the elections come in the fall im going to be very sad I can only pray if He doesn’t get in that He do another season of the apprentice but maybe he could do ‘Political Apprentice’ with all the failed republican candidates wouldn’t that be fun, that was actually a dream i had. Anyway I love the angry rants, anyone not angry right now has their head up their ass or lives under rock eating bugs singing acuna matata (sp?) with their warthog friend and a weasel (Timone was a weasel right?). The news is bad for your health so Im not judging unless you’re american then for the love of God don’t vote for…. whoa I almost let it slip in which case most people would stop reading this if they support another party and this is the biggest problem here which despite my better judgement is where im going to join in this conversation. People on both sides don’t really seem to understand the othersides positions and have fallen prey to the tactics of the media to brainwash you to pick a side based on two issues i think that to me are definately not the two biggest issues; that is Hillary’s Emails and the Fact that Trump says some racist sounding things maybe, I will not concede he is a racist. I just think we live in such a PC culture that any form of honesty sounds racist not to mention this is just a political tactic from the left. In fact there’s a video of someone from Clinton’s campaign talking to one of the leaders of black lives matter telling him to amp up the rhetoric of Trump bieng racist. Anyway if you can’t see this i feel sorry for you but its going both ways and has sadly become the primary issues whcih is what I think your point was. The truth is most people aren’t thinkers and are easy prey to this so for the rest of you I think hosting real conversations about the issues would have a tremendous sway over the rest of the sheep. Im sorry but in your defence the media has worked overtime to convince you these were the main issues and I get it you don’t care about politics and understandably so as they generally don’t affect your life in any meaningfull way. Trump I think has single handedly brought in more people who don’t follow politics then perhaps in any time in history, so amidst all your bashing Left you have to give him that. This is a good thing that will forever shape politics whether he gets in or not. The problem is he brought in people that have never followed politics and don’t have a clue and are dominating and derailing the conversation on this. I respect people like this that live simpler lives and just don’t give a shit about politics I really understand this viewpoint and it’s a testament to Trump that He’s brought these people in from both sides to either love him or hate him. It means he’s talking about shit people connect with and can understand, to me that’s a true sign of intelligence and leadership. I am perhaps in this category of simple people, Im a mere painter who doesn’t really follow the politics of my own country cuz it’s so friggin boring and doesn’t really amount to much for the middle class though i do follow some of the bigger issues. Maybe this is the problem, politics has become so complicated the average person can’t understand it which just really amounts to how much the government is taking from you and where they are spending it. My government takes 40%, that’s socialism and to care about what person will be taking this money and how they will spend it is not really something that interests me anymore. I loath their existence and would like to see a dramatic restructing of government and I think Trump has inniated this change by exposing atleast some of this corruption. In Americas case the whole ship could go down in a couple years if someone doesn’t sort out your declining economy and for this reason I think Trump is the right man for the job.. The guys a highly succesfull business man which is exactly what America needs right now, and before you go on some rant about how he started with millions and had dozens of failed businesses etc. (You’re doing it again, following the bullshit rhetoric meant to attack areas which are the greatest threats to the other side) Anyone in business will tell you that someone with that many businesses (hundreds) is going to fail at a lot more then Trump is in regards to the whol bankruptcy thing, again it was personal bankruptcy and is something business do regularely and is a shrewd business tactic. Before you discuss the ethics of such a tactic or any of the ethics of Trumps business practitces or just any of his ethics, the man is shrewd and tough and this is exactly what America needs. If your house is burning down and you had a choice between a rookie fire crew or a notoriously racist but affective hall full of veterans which would u choose. Ok bad example as again I don’t think Trump is racist, well no more racist then anyone else. Deep down inside I think were all profiling other races making observations i have to do this as a paint contractor cuz stastically i get screwed by indians, will i work for indians yes but I profile them first to see how canadian they are. It took me 4 months to find a nice place in the city i live in because many of the residents are indian and they were profiling me I don’t blame them; most of the white people who will live in an area of town where there are mostly indians are usually unemployed addicts who party a lot, that is a fair observation and i think its stupid and even dangerous at the politcal level to not do this; it’s exactly whats happening with the muslims. I think the only racism there is is one not bieng honest with another race as you would your own thereby patronising them or two believing in our heart that one race is essentially better then another. i personally love diversity which is part of why i live where i do but im hesitant to work for them as their business culture can generally be corrupt particularely in the construction industry. I know for a fact there are many indians who are moving away from this and essentially becomins more canadian and God bless them I pray they succeed. If your country goes into another recession who do you think will bail out the banks again with trilions of dollars, YOU. So for the single reason that I think Trump is Americas best chance at not entering another recession i think He is the best man for the job for one or maybe two terms. The Problem is y’all see your president as some noble leader, or hero when really his job is CEO, Chief Executive Officer, he makes half a million a year and his first job is to protect you and second to help create an economy for you to be succesfull and third arguably to provide some measure of social welfare and in this way I don’t know of a government that isn’t socialist. In the beginning The presidents role was very limited which ws the entire point of the bill of rights but has become something closer to Dictator which is something All the founding fathers feared perhaps more then anything. The one thing that set your Country apart from the rest was the power of the Senate and I thnk this is the second greatest threat facing America. At some point, not going to mention any names the President starting infringing on the role of the senate and supreme court enacting unconstitutional laws without congress and for this reason I think you need to restructure your government before you have a full fledged dictatorship. I see these as the two greatest threats to America followed by terrorism and Global Warming and I think Trump is the best man for the job on all these accounts only considering all you have left is Hillary who is useless. Anyway this rant is your fault Snarky Nomad so whenever you’re ready to get back to travel and cool gear I’d be happy.

    1. I generally don’t like jumping on board with trendy topics, but the Trump situation is a symptom of a much larger issue, which is the split between the left and the right, and the sheer hatred that each side has for the other. It can’t go on like this without horrific problems.

      However, I don’t think Trump is the solution. Listening to him speak for more than 30 seconds inevitably results in something absolutely preposterous coming out of his mouth. The left doesn’t have to demonize him to make him look stupid. And if global warming is the 4th biggest problem we face…Trump is going to be useless. He thinks it’s imaginary. So I have a hard time thinking it makes sense to support him, if that’s an issue you consider relevant. I think people are painting him to see him the way they want, but it’s just a dream. Deep down he’s just a rich schoolyard bully who gets daily media attention.

    2. LOL, Pornhub is a refuge from the political storm whipping people around. I feel ya man.

      It seems like all the sites I’ve been following for years now are now morphing into bully pulpits for their founders to raise social and political issues that are way outside the scope of their site’s content. Hell, a couple weeks ago I had to leave a Facebook group of my old college fraternity because the Supreme President [sic] felt compelled to start pontificating on the civil unrest over all the police shootings.

      This is Snarky’s site, so he can do as he wishes. But I’d come here to see what new travel pants are available, not to hear what Trump is or is not. I have my own thoughts on that. And if I want to engage in that conversation with others I go to the appropriate forums.

      I just wish people, and bloggers, would stay in their lane.

      1. I’m conflicted about this. Although I agree that certain sites seem to have incorporated personal political positions into their otherwise journalistic content, and that it annoys me, I have always thought of this place as a personal blog about travel, travel gear, and lessons learned from the road. One of the biggest reasons I travel is to understand different people, cultures, and political systems; the “lessons” learned don’t have to be personal, but can be things like discovering how the prison systems in all sorts of other countries are simultaneously smaller, more rehabilitative, and less cruel than that of the US. Thus I consider political discussion as falling into the scope of the topics available for discussion here. You don’t have to listen, but as it’s my blog, and political perspective is a big part of the reason I value a visit to another country, it’s part of what I’m going to discuss.

  2. I think what really bothers me is the death of discussion. Both sides use labels for the other person, -ist or -phobic are common ones. Labels are always in the extreme, and rarely reflect the nuanced positions that most people have on any subject. There’s also the common trope: “I’m intolerant of intolerance” where someone gets to define intolerance by their own definition. Safe zones and PC talk also suppress honest discussion. And lets not forget the “I’m offended” defense. The problem is that the truth is usually offensive to someone.
    In short, I’m seeing people try to shut down discussion through bullying and name calling. I wonder if their argument is so weak that they can’t support their position?
    One thing is certainly true – if you refuse to discuss things with the other guy you’ll never get an opportunity to change his mind.

    1. Very true. It seems to be getting to a fever pitch at this point, with everyone shouting at everyone else. Check out the Rubin Report for a calm, open discussion about ideas, even in cases where the host thoroughly disagrees with the guest. I wish more people would do that.

    2. I agree with Snark, however as a black man the kool aid on the democratic plantation is bad juju. The one great thing traveling this country is understanding you get what you deserve. Freedom also is not voting…besides when you travel one usually discusses what’s current…

  3. Thanks so much for suggesting people offer actual arguments and offer actual facts and examples.

    Here’s a thought. The rule of law has always meant that the law in the US applied to everyone not “special rules for special people” such as children from Central America or those who overstay their visa. Trump supporters would like immigration law enforced. Is that so crazy?

    Also, great clothing and gear reviews.

    1. Immigration is tricky, because no matter what you do, someone’s life is going to get worse. Either you let people in who are looking for a better life, and that frustrates people living here, or you kick them out, and their lives suffer for it. Some studies say immigration is economically beneficial, others say the opposite. I think we should welcome a certain number of skilled and unskilled workers, but the trick is getting the quantity right, and I don’t know if I have an answer for that.

  4. Absolutely immigration is and has been very beneficial for the US. Immigration in a prior age was based on people helping people, family taking in and helping new comers get on their feet, get a job, find a place to live, so they can save and give their children a better life.

    We get some of the brightest, most open minded coming to the US for a new life. Often they open channels of commerce with their home country to our mutual adventage.

    What we can’t afford is to add thousands of people to the welfare rolls; moving them into subsidized housing, giving them EBT cards, sending their kids to the government schools, and providing Medicaid services by the tens of thousands. Some can be added to the rolls, but the number has to be managed so as not to overwhelm the system.

    Finally they need to be encouraged to aquire the skills and values that lead to success and prosperity; such as honesty, getting a job, working hard, being punctual, etc.

    Our current immigration law needs to overhauled. Why grant a college degree and then refuse them a green card?

    That said the law is the law. Millions of immigrants have entered legally. Don’t make a mockery of their honesty by allowing anyone who sneaks in to stay. And if an illegal commits a crime, deportation should be forever.

    It is time for a change; to change the law and enforce it uniformly.

    1. I did hear an interesting report saying that letting illegal immigrants into things like Medicaid would actually be a net positive; most of them are younger, and therefore have fewer health complications, so if they’re paying into the tax system, they’re going to put in more than they take out. A lot of immigrants leave once they get older, going back to their home country after they’ve accumulated some savings, so we’d end up being fine that way. Plus if there is a medical issue, you can treat the worker and the work continues, instead of having to find someone new, and the worker is screwed because of lost income.

  5. Rather than readdress all the issues I’ll just voice my dilemma. I can’t stand the sight/sound of Trump and just cannot bring myself to vote for someone who is so undeserving of the presidency. So here’s the problem… I’ve been ‘saving babies’ from abortion for about 40 years…and Hillary will most surely nominate pro-aborts to SCOTUS. Trump may nominate his pro-abortion sister but “says” we can trust him to nominate strong conservatives to the court. I’ll feel guilty ‘helping’ Hillary win by not voting at all or voting for a 3rd party who cannot possibly win. Oh what must I do! (I’m hoping for some drastic changes between now and 8 Nov :)

    1. People usually talk about the lesser of two evils, but this time, it’s really true. But yes, the lesser of two evils is the right choice. I just wish the Democratic party would realize how downright dangerous it is to run a candidate that’s that vulnerable.

      1. One more thing Snarky,

        I read American Thinker and National Review every day and am often impressed with what I believe to be exceptional insight on today’s political happenings. Well, today was another exceptional article about why the ‘Trump Supreme Court argument’ is a flawed one. I needed this, so I’m passing it on…read to the end and you’ll be glad you did. It’s here….

        http://www.nationalreview.com/article/438669/donald-trump-supreme-court-trump-card-argument-flawed-hillary-clinton-may-not-be?

  6. Thank you, SnarkyNomad! I support your blogging about the current US presidential race and agree that it fits in perfectly with the overall mission of your PERSONAL blog. And thanks for all the travel tips as well!

    1. No problem. Happy to hear someone sees this place as a way to express a little more than just helpful tips. That’s what I’m happy to concentrate on, but things like these are the whole point of the travel experience in the first place, and that’s what I’ve been writing this whole time.

  7. We are a country of laws and I believe in enforcing them.
    If you don’t agree, change them…but breaking them will never, ever, get sympathy from people who believe in doing the right thing.

    1. Hmm, I’m not sure which side you’re talking about, although my first thought is the anti-Trump protestors, who are just fueling their opponents without seeming to realize it. Very silly of them.

  8. Jobs: That isn’t the result of trade deals mate, it’s people, including Trump, offshoring and cost cutting as much as they can. There’s a reason the Triangle Shirtwaiste Factory Fire happened in New York in 1911, and a similar fire happened in Bangladesh in 2012. Human rights aren’t free; whatever the capitalists and libertarians will tell you.

    That and education. You know how a country takes advantage of new industries as old ones are automated? By having a populace with the skills to do so. Education as a business for the benefit of a few or education as a public service for the benefit of many.

    Neither of these are the fault of trade deals, all of which the USA is the supreme bargaining leader anyway (my country gets screwed by trade deals, your country is the one with the screws), both of them are the fault of a radically right populace.

    Immigration: People, including Trump, will happily pay sub minimum wage with unsafe conditions to people desperate enough to work for that, and they’ll shun citizens for those jobs. That isn’t a new thing. That also isn’t an immigration problem, it’s an enforcement problem, and a moral problem, and you could stop immigration entirely and nothing would change. On the other hand if society was less cutthroat then you could quadruple the intake of immigrants and not have a problem.

    PC culture… See the problem is with “truth”. I hold there are objective truths in this world, but for most people truth is whatever they say it is. Hating on immigrants is hate speech no matter how you dress it up.

    Give me a half decent arguement that isn’t pure racism and I’ll change my mind, but it’s been decades since I started listening to such arguments and I’ve get to find something reasonable. The world isn’t overly PC, it’s just that we have higher standards for “truth” these days and if you say immigrants are ruining society and causing massive increases in crime then I’m going to want a bloody source.

    Homosexuals don’t cause earthquakes, abortions don’t cause bushfires, and brown people aren’t mindless savages. Poor people also aren’t feckless spenders, homeless people aren’t pathologically lazy, rape victims don’t deserve it, wealthy people haven’t earned it, and this world ain’t PC.

    It’s the problem with your non packing posts. You’re ideologically hard right and it shows since you move from evidence and facts to, well, ideology. Which is cool, I like differing opinions. I like telling them how they’re wrong. :P But it’s always a noticeable change.

    NOTE:

    Someone’s going to whine about how they aren’t hard right, so compare Eisenhower (a Republican President) to Sanders (fringe left) and that should demonstrate quite nicely how far the centre point of American politics has shifted. Try Ike’s National Defense Education Act for instance. Not hippy peace and love for everyone but a purposeful move towards military superiority by spending on something far more powerful than tanks and bombs. These days known as entitled commie handouts. All the more sweeter since Eisenhower was facing down the USSR at the time. :P

    1. Man, “ideologically hard right” is so blatantly incorrect that’s hard to issue a defense. You might as well have called me a Martian or something. I am in no way hard right, or even soft right. But oh well.

      My point here was that these are the arguments the right has put forth. You can disagree with them, and for the most part I do as well, but you have to do something besides call them racist to win the debate.

  9. Eytan
    You are correct about the fact that alot of Trumps supporters have other things on their minds then race hating women hating etc.
    However, those counter narratives are what are accepted replies.
    The truth is there is no real left/right (in the seats of real power) but a 1/% plutocracy and they all are ok with decimating the American middle class.
    I will disagree with you on one point and that is the phrase “politically correct”.
    Please define it exactly, you really cant.
    It is used by the right as a “shame” word, a word used exclusively to end a conversation NOT to further any discourse. It is used to SHUT down an opponet. The left has a similarly used word and that word is racist. Over time that word and its definition have changed to where it is useless.
    When it is used it is also used as a shame word, used to shut down further discourse.
    I also want to have help with travel pants as I am confused by the terms travel pants and soft shell pants.

    1. Political correctness is defined differently by different people, so it’s hard to pin down. But I’d say that if you’re so worried about offending people that you end up doing real-world damage as a result, then sensitivity has gone too far.

      As for travel pants vs soft shells: It’s a confusing mess. But I would say travel pants are more like your typical hiking pants from a camping store, whereas soft shells are stretchier, stronger, and usually a little thicker, but only slightly. They’re generally much more comfortable, and feel more like regular pants.

      1. “Politically Correct” is a term coined by the Right to show what the Left will will not tolerate dispute with. For example, we on the Right must be careful not to object too strongly to child slaughter (abortion) or homosexual marriage (Mirage) or we’ll suffer the awful consequences of the Left, a shouting down or outright protest against our own beliefs/opinions. Or even court! But when we finally refuse to be politically correct any longer, we are deciding to take a strong public stand to work to protect the unborn and to get back the proper definition of marriage, and to simply take a public stand whatever issue the Left has decided we should shut up about already.

        1. I can’t say I agree with you on those issues, but there are some others that I think are more nuanced that what the left would like to believe.

          1. Sorry so long to reply; But your reply and Jane’s just highlight what I was saying.
            PC is used so as to be meaningless.
            On the Missouri state campus white guys were screaming “Hey Nigger” to a fellow student (female) and when they were called on it the reply was PC run amok.
            In those situations the right is so concerned with free expression it makes a constitutional scholar swoon. However when those same conservatives see football player exercise this speech rights, well that is unacceptable speech and he should be fired. So much for free expression and look who is PC now.
            Lets not get too into it now, what with trigger warnings, safe zones, etc.
            Trying to shut down speech that a side wants silenced is nothing new, Just question what it is that CK and Jerry Seinfeld are complaining about and if it is truly just too much sensitivity or just an excuse to be a prick.
            You said you were an English major so you know that words can be nuanced and powerful and that any use by the MSM is most likely not designed to inform but to egg on controversy.
            ANYWAY on to Merino shirts. I admit i love them as well but, there is always a but. They dont have to be expensive, regardless of if the lambs have to eat.
            A little story. Years ago in the eighties I bought a set of Duofolds with an exterior of marino wool and thermax interior. Still have them and they are great.
            When I bought them fleece was all the rage and very expensive and wool was “an old fashioned joke” and very cheap. Someone even bragged that he refuses to wear any clothes that are made with natural fabrics. I had to go with what I could afford. So wool it was
            My point for the ramble is this: “what was once old is new again and for a younger generation (you) that means exotic (and an excellent fabric) and an excuse to rake you a bit.
            There truly is no reason a merino tee shirt should be almost $100. IIbean has some for about $29, and that should be about right.
            I also heard of Costco having some in their Canada stores from the mills that supply Cloud Vail. Anyway my point is that with a little pressure the price could begin to normalize and reflect its true worth.
            Remember after Patagonia came Polar Tec and the prices of fleece came down. BTW PolarTec is Patagonia’s supplier.

          2. I think it might be that a lot of wool is grown in Australia, and their minimum wage is something like $20 an hour. If most wool were grown in South America, Africa, or Asia, it might be quite different. But you’re right that supply and demand is also driving up the price.

  10. Louis C.K. makes a solid observation and a great analogy about this election:

    “The American government is a very volatile, dangerous mechanism, and Hillary has the most experience with it. It’s like if you were on a plane and you wanted to choose a pilot. You have one person, Hillary, who says, “Here’s my license. Here’s all the thousands of flights that I’ve flown. Here’s planes I’ve flown in really difficult situations. I’ve had some good flights and some bad flights, but I’ve been flying for a very long time, and I know exactly how this plane works.” Then you’ve got Bernie, who says, “Everyone should get a ride right to their house with this plane.” “Well, how are you going to do that?” “I just think we should. It’s only fair that everyone gets to use the plane equally.” And then Trump says, “I’m going to fly so well. You’re not going to believe how good I’m going to fly this plane, and by the way, Hillary never flew a plane in her life.” “She did, and we have pictures.” “No, she never did it.” It’s insane.

    1. Argh. It drives me crazy. I mean, I spent some time looking at the arguments of the pro-Trump side, and it’s true that they’re being unfairly characterized by certain media outlets, but I still think it’s crazy to think that a man with zero experience who brags about how great he is will do anything but be a total disaster.

  11. I’m more concerned about what comes after Trump on the right-side and what comes after Clinton on the left side. These two candidates demonstrate how meaningless party-politics has become and how similar these parties are when it comes to the economy, corporatism, and permanent war.

    1. I think there’s something going on right now, on both sides, which is going to screw up a lot of things. On the right, there’s the split between “traditional” conservatives, and the alt-right (which isn’t discussed as accurately in the media as what it actually is; I’m not saying I like it, but people are bad-mouthing it for inaccurate reasons, and if you’re going to bad-mouth something, as least be accurate about it).

      Over on the left, there’s a fissure that will eventually split the party in two, between classic liberals, and progressives, the latter of which are now being labelled “regressives” or the “regressive left” by those who still consider themselves classic liberals. They claim the regressive left is pro-censorship, pro-discrimination (in favor of everyone who isn’t white, male, etc), and directly contradictory to liberal values.

      Eventually both parties will split in two, if these problems aren’t solved immediately; or, perhaps more likely, they’ll simply morph into an amalgamation between the two, and do their best to carry on.

      1. I think that split on the left would only happen if those progressives put the the movement (such as it is) over a single personalities (such as Bernie Sanders) and choose to not betray their goals. Sanders shows the limit of movement oriented around a person because the leverage the movement had has been effectively blunted. .Classic liberals pretty much give lip-service to concerns of these progressives and don’t really want to really change anything in a fundamental way. Classic liberals worldwide are losing their appeal i think because of this very reason. They are all talk and token gestures. If these progressives stand firm then maybe there’s a split.

  12. A web forum where political discourse can seamlessly (no pun intended) transfer over to a discussion of the merits of travel pants nomenclature and the market value of marino wool tees, practically mid-paragraph, is they type of forum I can appreciate. Good work, all.

    1. Hmm, not the usual type of comment. Personally I think this is my blog and I can blather about whatever I want (especially since travel to me has a great deal to do with what’s going on in the world, which is why I consider political topics acceptable), but not so many people agree. Thanks for the support, though.

  13. Thanks for sharing.

    My largest concern with Trump is his (possible) nationalistic/protectionist position that could stall economic growth. Sure his unfiltered mouth is less than desirable, it’s actions and policies that greatly concern me. While some of his policies will be pro-growth, it is others that concern me.

    I wrote about those concerns and thought you might be interested.

    1. I agree. I can understand why people want manufacturing jobs to come back to the US, and I want to see the same thing, but I’m not sure he has a functional plan. China is good at mass production of relatively simple products, but other countries have maintained an advantage in manufacturing more complex machinery. Cars, for example. If we’re going to bring back manufacturing jobs, it’s probably not going to be through setting up a t-shirt factory or something.

  14. And since you wrote that, there’s been a lot more of the inanity on both sides. I appreciate the occasional post like this because I’d otherwise be completely ignorant. I never go looking for political stuff because so much of it from either side is the sort of garbage you’ve described. (When it’s not outright lies.)

    1. The “fake news” thing is going to turn everyone into a vicious witch hunter, constantly accusing everyone else of fake news. It’s going to get ugly. Thanks for your appreciate comments, though. I’ll do my best.

    1. The problem is that liberalism has morphed into “progressivism,” which is radically different and shouldn’t be lumped into the same category. Sadly, that’s where we are. I hope the pushback in favor of old-fashioned liberal values continues to gain traction.

  15. The ‘Progressives’ today are the ones that support and promote/worship child-slaughter and sodomy…and mass Muslim migration. Things will not get better. Trump may be able to fix our economy perfectly (which he’s almost already done!) but it’s all coming down….better read “Left Behind” so you’ll know what to do when all hell breaks loose. Amazon…$32 for the 12 book set on Kindle. Watch for the 10 nation …one world government/religion. If you are a Christian you can look forward to this….

    “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle…And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.” (Zechariah 14:1,2,3…9)

    But if you’re not a Christian, you have nothing to look forward to. Ever.

  16. The Right wasn’t upset over “decades” of political frustration. We elected Trump because we were horrified over having to withstand 8 years of a traitor for a president, the worst mistake Americans ever made.

    One word of advice to the Left. Try real hard to start believing in reality, where the reality is…marriage is between one man and one woman and homosexual behavior is a gross sin, an abomination and a vile affection (Lev 18:22/Romans 1:26), and where people want the bloody slaughter of our unborn to stop, where we don’t want our president to give 150 Billion dollars to Hezbollah in Iran or cozy up to Russia in its effort to help Syria annihilate Israel. ETC. In other words, get real, because the Right is not having any of the Left’s phony “diversity”…and all their other antichrist activity.

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