Friday, November 11, 2016

Two Rabbis Comment On Our Election. Lee Greenwood and The Extreme Left's Goons! Strassel/Intimidation.

The goons rioting and protesting  Trump's legitimate victory.
Shelby Steele discusses the dichotomy between the philosophical positives of conservatism and how they are viewed. (See 1 below.)
When Obama passes the baton to Trump  it ain't as big as when Obama received it from GW.

I wonder what Obama is going to do with his phone and pen now that he no longer has any use for  it as if he ever did?
Rabbis Pruzansky and Sacks provide thoughts on our election and offer advice on what it may mean.  (See 2 and 2a below.)


Then, Pat Caddell. (See 2b below.)
Trump has become a master at manipulating the mass media.  Donald makes over the board comments and the goons  and fascists on the left execute what he says and never intended doing. 

Don't forget this is the same mass media who jumped all over Reagan and his comments about Russia and they too wound up with egg on their face. Save us from the elitists.

What the Soros crowd protesters are proving is how prophetic is the message in Kim Strassel's book on Intimidation .

On This Memorial Day, I urge every one to read what Lee Greenwood wrote in the 1980's:


If tomorrow all the things were gone
I'd worked for all my life
And I had to start again
With just my children and my wife

I'd thank my lucky stars
To be living here today
Cause the flag still stands for freedom
And they can't take that away

And I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me

And I gladly stand up
Next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA

From the lakes of Minnesota
To the hills of Tennessee
Across the plains of Texas
From sea to shining sea

From Detroit down to Houston,
And New York to L.A
Well there's pride in every American heart
And its time we stand and say

That I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me

And I gladly stand up
Next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA

And I'm proud to be and American
Where at least I know I'm free.
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me

And I gladly stand up
Next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA

Written by Lee Greenwood • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

1)Trump, Clinton and the Culture of Deference
Political correctness functions like a despotic regime. We resent it but we tolerate it.


The current election—regardless of its outcome—reveals something tragic in the way modern conservatism sits in American life. As an ideology—and certainly as a political identity—conservatism is less popular than the very principles and values it stands for. There is a presumption in the culture that heartlessness and bigotry are somehow endemic to conservatism, that the rigors of freedom and capitalism literally require exploitation and inequality—this despite the fact that so many liberal policies since the 1960s have only worsened the inequalities they sought to overcome.
In the broader American culture—the mainstream media, the world of the arts and entertainment, the high-tech world, and the entire enterprise of public and private education—conservatism suffers a decided ill repute. Why?
The answer begins in a certain fact of American life. As the late writer William Styron once put it, slavery was “the great transforming circumstance of American history.” Slavery, and also the diminishment of women and all minorities, was especially tragic because America was otherwise the most enlightened nation in the world. Here, in this instance of profound hypocrisy, began the idea of America as a victimizing nation. And then came the inevitable corollary: the nation’s moral indebtedness to its former victims: blacks especially but all other put-upon peoples as well.
This indebtedness became a cultural imperative, what Styron might call a “transforming circumstance.” Today America must honor this indebtedness or lose much of its moral authority and legitimacy as a democracy. America must show itself redeemed of its oppressive past.
How to do this? In a word: deference. Since the 1960s, when America finally became fully accountable for its past, deference toward all groups with any claim to past or present victimization became mandatory. The Great Society and the War on Poverty were some of the first truly deferential policies. Since then deference has become an almost universal marker of simple human decency that asserts one’s innocence of the American past. Deference is, above all else, an apology.
One thing this means is that deference toward victimization has evolved into a means to power. As deference acknowledges America’s indebtedness, it seems to redeem the nation and to validate its exceptional status in the world. This brings real power—the kind of power that puts people into office and that gives a special shine to commercial ventures it attaches to.
Since the ’60s the Democratic Party, and liberalism generally, have thrived on the power of deference. When Hillary Clinton speaks of a “basket of deplorables,“ she follows with a basket of isms and phobias—racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and Islamaphobia. Each ism and phobia is an opportunity for her to show deference toward a victimized group and to cast herself as America’s redeemer. And, by implication, conservatism is bereft of deference.Donald Trump supporters are cast as small grudging people, as haters who blindly love America and long for its exclusionary past. Against this she is the very archetype of American redemption. The term “progressive” is code for redemption from a hate-driven America.
So deference is a power to muscle with. And it works by stigmatization, by threatening to label people as regressive bigots. Mrs. Clinton, Democrats and liberals generally practice combat by stigma. And they have been fairly successful in this so that many conservatives are at least a little embarrassed to “come out” as it were. Conservatism is an insurgent point of view, while liberalism is mainstream. And this is oppressive for conservatives because it puts them in the position of being a bit embarrassed by who they really are and what they really believe.
Deference has been codified in American life as political correctness. And political correctness functions like a despotic regime. It is an oppressiveness that spreads its edicts further and further into the crevices of everyday life. We resent it, yet for the most part we at least tolerate its demands. But it means that we live in a society that is ever willing to cast judgment on us, to shame us in the name of a politics we don’t really believe in. It means our decency requires a degree of self-betrayal.
And into all this steps Mr. Trump, a fundamentally limited man but a man with overwhelming charisma, a man impossible to ignore. The moment he entered the presidential contest America’s long simmering culture war rose to full boil. Mr. Trump was a non-deferential candidate. He seemed at odds with every code of decency. He invoked every possible stigma, and screechingly argued against them all. He did much of the dirty work that millions of Americans wanted to do but lacked the platform to do.
Thus Mr. Trump’s extraordinary charisma has been far more about what he represents than what he might actually do as the president. He stands to alter the culture of deference itself. After all, the problem with deference is that it is never more than superficial. We are polite. We don’t offend. But we don’t ever transform people either. Out of deference we refuse to ask those we seek to help to be primarily responsible for their own advancement. Yet only this level of responsibility transforms people, no matter past or even present injustice. Some 3,000 shootings in Chicago this year alone is the result of deference camouflaging a lapse of personal responsibility with empty claims of systemic racism.
As a society we are so captive to our historical shame that we thoughtlessly rush to deference simply to relieve the pressure. And yet every deferential gesture—the war on poverty, affirmative action, ObamaCare, every kind of “diversity” scheme—only weakens those who still suffer the legacy of our shameful history. Deference is now the great enemy of those toward whom it gushes compassion.
Societies, like individuals, have intuitions. Donald Trump is an intuition. At least on the level of symbol, maybe he would push back against the hegemony of deference—if not as a liberator then possibly as a reformer. Possibly he could lift the word responsibility out of its somnambulant stigmatization as a judgmental and bigoted request to make of people. This, added to a fundamental respect for the capacity of people to lift themselves up, could go a long way toward a fairer and better America.
Mr. Steele, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is the author of “Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country” (Basic Books, 2015).

New post on Rabbi Pruzansky's Blog

Image removed by sender.

The Empire Strikes Back

by Rabbi Pruzansky

    The simplest way to understand the Trump victory is to recognize that since 1952, the United States changes the presidential party in power every eight years, the only exception being the dispatch of Jimmy Carter after just four miserable years, and the extension of the Reagan eight years with four of GHB Bush. Otherwise, it is like clockwork – R, D, R, D, R, D, R, D and now R again. Of course, there is much more to this election cycle.
Four years ago in this space, I published an essay that went viral: “The Decline and Fall of the American Empire.” It lamented the Obama victory in 2012 and how changes were coming to the United States that would leave the country unrecognizable to many of its citizens with domestic policies that were more socialist and foreign policies that shrunk America’s role in the world and made the world a more violent and dangerous place. It further lamented the decline of politics in America that depicted a good, decent man like Mitt Romney as a monster and ogre who gleefully threw the elderly off cliffs, deprived the ill of their cancer medication and delighted in firing hard-working people.
It was nearly impossible, given the demographics of American life, to see a plausible path to the Republicans ever winning the presidency again. One of the ironies of this riotous, unpredictable and unprecedented presidential campaign is that the only Republican who could have won was not really a Republican and certainly not a Republican for a long period of time. For make no mistake: a conventional Republican – a Bush, a Cruz, a Rubio, et al – might have been preferable to Donald Trump in theory, but such a conventional Republican would have been eviscerated, lambasted, vilified and scorned in actuality, and would have lost the election.
I remained puzzled about the almost universal support of Democrats for Hillary Clinton, despite her personal flaws, and the Republican “never Trumpers” who refused to support their party’s nominee because of his personal flaws. And both were flawed, which is an understatement. But Trump’s policies always trumped Trump’s personality, and I was always at a loss to understand which of Hillary Clinton’s policy prescriptions for America were preferable to those of Donald Trump. But too many Republicans, including columnists, pundits, activists and even some rabbis (who might not be Republicans), were so turned off to some of Trump’s faults that they were completely blind to Clintons’ when they weren’t rationalizing them altogether. Too many people did not recognize that there was no moral argument that could be marshaled on behalf of either candidate, but Clinton supporters were particularly dismissive in that regard. The only morally consistent approach was to concede that both candidates were deficient and that one’s vote was based on policy. That was my approach, as well as to acknowledge that Judaism prefers leaders with skeletons in their closets (Masechet Yoma 22b); it keeps them humble.
 Here in Israel, there is, for the most part, a great sigh of relief. It is anticipated that Obama’s grudging support for Israel and his embrace of Iran will both be reversed, and that the world will learn again to respect and even fear a resurgent America. It is also anticipated that President Trump will craft a new foreign policy that rejects the chimera of a “two-state solution” and supports the right of Jewish settlement throughout the land of Israel. That will be a welcome and revolutionary change, even if it happens subtly rather than overtly. The fear of the Obama “December” surprise is still present but less burning. A presidential recognition of a “Palestine” can be reversed and a UN resolution critical of Israel, settlements, support of a Palestinian state, etc., supported by the US might be vetoed by…Russia, whose president has better ties with Netanyahu than Netanyahu had with Obama. Perhaps President-elect Trump could weigh in on that matter with Putin as well.
There are numerous takeaways from this most unusual election.
      Polarization. It is not just that the electorate is divided, but rather the persistence on the left in portraying the right as evil, not just wrong, has led to the despair in so many parts today over the Clinton loss. How can “evil” win?? This pattern dates back to Obama’s first term and is now entrenched in American life. With evil, you can’t compromise; with evil you can’t even dialogue. Those who vote for evil must be evil! And one should then not wonder why children – from kindergarten through law school – are being kept home from school today in droves so their troubled parents can try to explain how “evil” could prevail. Here’s the approach they should take: another opinion is not necessarily evil but different. There is no one solution to the problems that confront America. And there are people who can occasionally do or say bad things but that failing does not necessarily make them bad people. That goes for both candidates, not just one. We are all imperfect and we must learn to accept the imperfections of others if we hope to live in the world without becoming insane, vengeful or perpetually angry. Endlessly citing this or that word or phrase as if it defines the human being who uttered is a caricature, not an analysis.
      The Failure of Punditry and Pollsters. There are people who make their living making predictions, and they were almost all wrong, and in very predictable ways. Once it became socially unacceptable to support Trump – and many of the pundits and writers were the ones who made it socially unacceptable – it was clear that polls were not accurate and would miss 3-5% of the voting public, at least. That is exactly what happened, as Trump’s margin of victory was extremely narrow in several states that facilitated his victory.
It also vindicated Trump’s campaign model that should drive so many “professionals” batty. He spent relatively little, spoke his mind, eschewed handlers and messaging, and spoke directly (even occasionally tactlessly) to the people. Unlike Hillary Clinton, who shunned the media like the plague and felt like answering questions was beneath her, Trump was omnipresent on television, interviewed again and again, and then again. Free advertising, very human and personal, and a brilliant strategy.
Do not underestimate the resentment that the Trump candidacy engendered in the professional political class. He is the ultimate outsider in a world where to be an insider is considered a success. Trump is the guy who walks in unannounced from the parking lot, becomes the team quarterback and wins the championship. (There are such cases – Johnny Unitas, Kurt Warner, and probably dozens of people reading this.) Those who toiled in the system and either wouldn’t or couldn’t are naturally brusque with the one who did and could.
The Republican Party is Floundering. Some of its most principled people refused to support Trump, because of both personal blemishes and policy heresies. But it should recognize that it is increasingly talking to an electorate that is deaf to its values, uncomfortable with personal responsibility, uninterested in its policies and – for many – addicted to the free stuff that only Democrats can offer. It is safe to say that the Trump phenomenon cannot be duplicated, so where does that leave the GOP, alienated in large part from its standard bearer?
Ganging Up. Americans like a fair fight, and Trump was opposed by the full weight of one party, much of the other, the presidency and the tools of government, and especially by the mainstream media whose collusion with Clinton (including slipping her questions before debates and checking articles with her before publication lest something displease her, as Wikileaks revealed) made them not the reporter of news but makers of news and attempted shapers of outcomes. That was never supposed to be the role of the independent media, and the few outlets or individuals who actually presented fair and balanced coverage were not only honest and a credit to their profession but reaped the windfall of high ratings. They became a refuge for Trump supporters, whether tepid or passionate. Donald Trump became the underdog despite the media’s best efforts to make him the bully. People saw through that, saw the ugliness of the insider dealings and the cattiness of released emails, and saw the pay-to-play schemes – and recoiled from them.
Narrow Margins. Republicans should not gloat. Once again, the Democrat candidate won the popular vote. That is somewhat misleading because if California is taken out of the mix, then Trump wins by several million votes. Nonetheless, Republicans still have won the popular vote only once since 1988, and future prospects are not good unless…Trump is successful in his quest to strengthen the inner cities and reach out to other communities traditionally marginalized by Republicans and patronized by Democrats. His direct appeal to blacks and Hispanics was a welcome shift from prior Republican tactics. As America is becoming less and less white, the Republican Party will become a permanent minority unless it changes its approach to the electorate. Ronald Reagan’s America does not exist anymore.
Les Deplorables. That being said, was there a greater gaffe in memory that Clinton’s contention that half of Trump’s supporters constitute a “basket of deplorables”? That was arguably worse than Romney’s statement that “47%” of Americans don’t pay federal taxes and therefore have no skin in the game. At least Romney’s statement was a fact; Clinton’s slur was a direct attack on the integrity and decency of the supporters (“irredeemable”) of the nominee of a major American party. Rabbis quick to see Trump’s offenses glossed over Clinton’s outrages. Others, impressed by Clinton’s graciousness at a seder, ignored her similar graciousness towards Suha Arafat, kissing, hugging and praising Yasser’s wife right after she accused Israel of poisoning Arab wells in order to murder Arab children. Trump had no monopoly on “deplorables,” most of whom were not deplorable at all, and some of his critics would have benefited from a little more self-awareness. There are bad people on the right – and on the left; truth be told, bad people did not play much of a role in this election.
Rigged System. The Deplorables had only to open their eyes and see the special treatment, the unequal justice under the law, and the outright criminality of the Clinton enterprise to realize that this election demanded more than sitting at home and whining about the worthlessness of voting. The double standard was, to borrow a Trumpian term, “disgraceful.” The corruption, under Obama and Clinton, of the FBI, the IRS, the FCC, the EPA, and much of the rest of the alphabet exceeded anything that Richard Nixon had carried out. The schemes of the Clinton Foundation were breathtaking in scope, and its entire business model was built on Hillary Clinton winning the presidency and rewarding her donors. That is not to be, and the book is still open on whether it will continue as a legitimate charity. Will Obama, before his term ends, pardon Clinton for any and all crimes? I would expect it.
The Death of Political Correctness. Donald Trump is not a politician, and will be the first person since Dwight Eisenhower to assume the presidency never before having held elective office. Being a non-politician, and indeed the antithesis of Hillary Clinton, he did not poll test and focus group every word he uttered. He was refreshing, even if occasionally crass and crude. Certainly the latter is unbecoming, and Trump matured (is that the right word for a 70 year old?) as the campaign neared its end. But most people recognize the unseemliness implicit in the revelation of private comments (or emails). Few but the most pious among us would like to be judged by what we do or say in private; if that were untrue, the curtain business would fail and we would all live in glass houses.
But Trump, one can hope, has put an end to the petty tyranny of political correctness. He said what he thought was true regardless of who was offended by it, and the reactions – often overwrought but occasionally justified – reflected life in an era in which freedom of speech has been curtailed, people watch their words constantly (and not for always salutary reasons) and the thought police are ubiquitous. It wasn’t always like that. There was a time when an offended person, group, or class would just be told to grow up, and if the offense was unintended, a classy person would apologize. Now, the offenders are publicly mocked, excommunicated and sent for sensitivity training. The most intolerant among us are those who frequently hurl epithets like racist, bigot, sexist, -phobe, etc. at someone with whom they disagree. Generally speaking, they are the ones who are the most apoplectic about the results of this election.  Maybe they should just grow up?
One lesson of this election is that Americans are tired of being told what to think, whom they should like or dislike, that their traditions and values are hateful and that an unelected class of scolds gets to sit in constant judgment of their every utterance. Trump was a hero to those Americans, and anathema to the thought police. Those vocally liberated voted for Trump in droves and thumbed their noses at their supposed judges. Democracy is a most unruly form of government.
One by-product of this election and the PC malady is that the Democrats continue to view the electorate not as individuals but only by a group identity.  We are not individuals but whatever ethnic, religious, gender, racial or national attachment we have. How limiting – how degrading is that to every person who is then expected to think and act and vote like the group to which he or she is a part! Are we supposed to vote someone because the candidate is a Jew, a black, a woman, a Latino, or something else? Nothing could be more anti-intellectual, demeaning or shallow. That too should end. It won’t, not yet anyway.

Margaret Thatcher once said one of the greatest problems of our age is that we are governed by people who care more about feelings than they do about thoughts and ideas. Perhaps that will change as well.
There have been bitter and divisive elections in the past in the United States; obviously 2000, but also 1860 (the Civil War followed Lincoln’s election, after he succeeded James Buchanan, still the last president who previously served as Secretary of State) and 1828 and 1824 (the ruthless battles between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams) come to mind. Some of those campaigns were even dirtier and more vicious than this one. But the world needs a strong America; the dangers around us are real and cannot be wished away. We can only pray that Donald Trump, who has so many good instincts in many areas, will be focused and responsible. In many ways, he is similar to Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, whose tenure started but didn’t end well. Trump will surround himself with good people – Boltons, Giulianis, Flynns, Huckabees, Carsons and others. Life goes on. We hope and pray for the best.
Mark Twain stated that “if voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it.” Twain, at least here, and now, was wrong. The citizens of the American empire have chosen to change course. The people have spoken. Long live the people.
Is this good for the Jews? Time will tell. Disappointments are inevitable in life but we are ever hopeful. God’s hand controls our destiny. But what is always good for the Jews is this: learn Torah, observe the Mitzvot, daven with sincerity, perform acts of kindness, stand with Israel and come to Israel. If we do that, then only god things can happen.

Beyond the Politics of Anger
This is not politics as usual. The American Presidential election, the Brexit vote and the rise of extremism in the politics of the West are warnings of something larger, and the sooner we realise it, the better. What we are witnessing is the birth of a new politics of anger. It is potentially very dangerous indeed.

No civilization lasts forever. The first sign of breakdown is that people stop trusting the ruling elite. They are seen as having failed to solve the major problems facing the nation. They are perceived as benefiting themselves, not the population as a whole.

They are out of touch and surrounded by people like themselves. They have stopped listening to the grassroots. They underestimate the depth and breadth of popular anger. That happened in both Washington and Westminster. The governing class fail to see the blow coming. That is how the party of the status quo is defeated by the candidate of the angry party, however incoherent his or her policies actually are.

Therein lies the danger because anger is a mood, not a strategy, and it can make things worse not better. Anger never solves problems, it merely inflames them. The danger down the road, as it has been throughout history, is the demand for authoritarian leadership, which is the beginning of the end of the free society. We shouldn’t forget Plato’s warning that democracy can end in tyranny.

There is only one viable alternative. It is not a return to the status quo. It is bigger than traditional divisions between the parties. It is the creation of a new politics of hope.

Hope is not optimism. It begins with a candid acknowledgment on all sides of how bad things actually are. Vast swathes of the population in Britain and America have not benefited from economic growth. They have seen their living standards fall, relatively and absolutely. They have watched while traditional jobs have been outsourced to low wage economies, leaving once-thriving industrial centres as demoralized wastelands.

We need a new economics of capitalism with a human face. We have seen bankers and corporate executives behaving outrageously, awarding themselves vast payments while the human cost has been borne by those who can afford it least. We have heard free-market economics invoked as a mantra in total oblivion to the pain and loss that come with the global economy. We have acted as if markets can function without morals, international corporations without social responsibility, and economic systems without regard to their effect on the people left stranded by the shifting tide. We who are grandparents know only too well that life is harder for our children than it was for us, and for our grandchildren it will be harder still.

We need to rebuild our social ecology. When a civilization is in good order it has institutions that provide support and hope in hard times. In the West these have traditionally been families and communities. Neither is in a good state throughout the West today. Their breakdown led two of the most important thinkers in America, Charles Murray on the right and Robert Putnam on the left, to argue that, for large sections of the population the American dream lies broken beyond repair. The sooner we abandon the politically correct but socially disastrous view that marriage is outmoded, the better.

We need to recover a strong, inclusive sense of national identity if people are to feel that those in power care about the common good, not simply the interests of elites. The West is still suffering from the damage done by multiculturalism, living proof that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Unless we can restore what George Orwell called patriotism as opposed to nationalism, we will see the rise of the far right, as is happening already in Europe.

The religious voice is important also, and I say this not because I am religious but because historically the great faiths have given people a sense of dignity and worth that was not tied to what they earned or owned. When religion dies and consumerism takes its place, people are left with a culture that encourages them to buy things they don’t need with money they don’t have for a happiness that won’t last. It is a bad exchange and it will end in tears.

All this is big and deep and serious, and it will need us to move beyond the confrontational politics and divisive zero-sum thinking that have so brutalized public debate. Anger is always a hazard of politics in ages of rapid change, but it has not always been as dangerous as it is now. The revolution in information technology has transformed the entire tone of global culture in the twenty-first century. Smartphones and the social media empower groups that might otherwise lack a collective voice. The Internet has a disinhibition effect that encourages indignation and spreads it like contagion.

A politics of hope is within our reach. But to create it we will have to find ways of strengthening families and communities, building a culture of collective responsibility and insisting on an economics of the common good. This is no longer a matter of party politics. It is about the very viability of the freedom for which the West fought for so long and hard. We need to construct a compelling narrative of hope that speaks to all of us, not some of us, and the time to begin is now.

2b) Patrick Caddell: The real election surprise? The uprising of the American people
 For more than two years the American people, in a great majority, from left to right, have been in revolt against the political class and the financial elites in America. It is a revolt with historic parallels, most closely resembling the Jacksonian revolution of the 1820s. It is an uprising. It is a peaceful uprising of a people who see a country in decline and see nothing but failure in the performance of their leadership institutions. And they have signaled their intent to take back their country and to reclaim their sovereignty.

Unfortunately, the analysts, the pollsters and most importantly the commentariat of the political class have never understood, and in fact are psychologically incapable of understanding what is happening. And for the entire cycle of this presidential campaign they have failed to grasp what was happening before their eyes – for it runs counter to everything they believe about themselves.

In truth, they are suffering from cognitive dissonance  believing in their righteous superiority and are not capable of realizing that it is they who have become the adversary of the American people. And therefore they have been wrong, in this entire election cycle, every step of the way.

For them, American politics only began yesterday. They know little history and have no appreciation of the collective consciousness of the American people. Whether it is the campaign of Bernie Sanders, who came within a hair’s breadth of knocking out the coronated nominee of the Democratic establishment or on the other side, the emergence of the total outsider Donald Trump, the most improbable candidate of all. In truth, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, sucked from the same trough even if it was from opposite ends. But the critical point that is missed, by almost everyone, was that neither Sanders nor Trump created this uprising. They were chosen vehicles – they did not create these movements, these movements created them.
In less than a day we will know how far this revolt has come. But, make no mistake, whatever the outcome, this revolt is not ending, it is merely beginning.
In less than a day we will know how far this revolt has come. But, make no mistake, whatever the outcome, this revolt is not ending, it is merely beginning.

Several years ago, I began, with my colleagues at Armada, an ongoing, in-depth research project on what has become known as the “Candidate Smith” project. A good friend of mine, Lee Hanley, who sadly just passed away, volunteered to begin this project with only one charge: that we explore my hypothesis that something profound was happening in the collective consciousness of the American people.

What we learned in our in-depth research was as astonishing as it was unexpected. It became clear from this really deep public opinion inquiry that American politics has entered an historic paradigm. What is emerging in what had been assumed to be the static political system was about to be reconfigured in ways and that we still do not know fully. But one thing is certain: the old rules of politics are collapsing and a new edifice is emerging.

The conventional wisdom that America is absolutely divided into warring tribes is a tired falsehood. Overall, in the attitude structure of the American people, the elements of this new paradigm are commonly shared by upwards of 80 percent of the population – from the Occupy Wall Street movement on the left to the Tea Parties on the right. The political battleground is no longer over ideology but instead is all about insurgency.
The larger atmosphere is dominated by three overriding beliefs:

First, the American people believe that the country is not only on the wrong track but almost 70 percent say that America is in actual decline. The concept of decline is antithetical to the American experience.

Second, for more than three centuries, the animating moral obligation of America has been the self-imposed obligation that each generation passes on to its children a better America than they themselves inherited. This is what makes us Americans. In Armada’s polling we found that a majority of Americans believe that they are better off than their parents were. But a great majority says that THEIR children will be worse off than they themselves are today. This is the crisis of the American Dream. And it is no surprise that a majority of Americans agree that if we leave the next generation “worse off” that there will still be a place called “the United States” but there will no longer be an “America.”

Third, when asked whether or not everyone in America plays by the same rules to get ahead or are there different rules for well-connected and people with money, a staggering 84 percent of voters picked the latter. Only 10 percent believed that everyone has an equal opportunity.

These over-arching attitudes provide the framework for today’s political revolt.
Unfortunately, I suspect, if you asked these questions of the political, financial and media elite they would have a very different response.

From the time I was a teenager and a self-starting pollster I have had an acute interest in the phenomenon of political alienation.  In our research, the current level of alienation that now grips the American electorate is staggering and unprecedented.

Here are some of our latest results among likely voters from early October 2016:

1.  The power of ordinary people to control our country is getting weaker every day, as political leaders on both sides, fight to protect their own power and privilege, at the expense of the nation’s well-being. We need to restore what we really believe in – real democracy by the people and real free-enterprise. AGREE = 87%; DISAGREE = 10%

2.  The country is run by an alliance of incumbent politicians, media pundits, lobbyists and other powerful money interests for their own gain at the expense of the American people. AGREE = 87%; DISAGREE = 10%

3.  Most politicians really care about people like me. AGREE = 25%; DISAGREE = 69%

4.  Powerful interests from Wall Street banks to corporations, unions and political interest groups have used campaign and lobbying money to rig the system for them. They are looting the national treasury of billions of dollars at the expense of every man, woman and child. AGREE = 81%; DISAGREE = 13%

5.  The U.S. has a two-track economy where most Americans struggle every day, where good jobs are hard to find, where huge corporations get all the rewards. We need fundamental changes to fix the inequity in our economic system. AGREE = 81%; DISAGREE = 15%

6.  Political leaders are more interested in protecting their power and privilege than doing what is right for the American people. AGREE = 86%; DISAGREE = 11%

7.  The two main political parties are too beholden to special and corporate interest to create any meaningful change. AGREE = 76%; DISAGREE = 19%

8.  The real struggle for America is not between Democrats and Republicans but between mainstream American and the ruling political elites. AGREE = 67%; DISAGREE = 24%

These numbers and many, many more from our research paint the true outlines of the emerging political paradigm and the insurgency that it has ignited. In fact, it is the last question above that is agreed to by “only two-thirds” of the American people. Despite everything we are told day and night – that political battle in America is between Democrats and Republicans – two thirds of the American people believe that the battle lines are drawn between mainstream America and its ruling Political Class. THIS is the battle of 2016 and beyond.

These are findings that the reader has likely never been told. For they reflect the legitimate dissent of the American people from the actions and leadership of their establishment institutions. This is something the political class and mainstream media refuse to recognize much less acknowledge.

Befitting the emerging new paradigm, 2016 has already been an election like none we have ever known. But it is not without some parallels to another election.

In 1980, America was gripped with a foreign policy crisis, there hostages being held in Iran, inflation was exploding and the electorate was very unhappy. The country had two candidates for president: the incumbent – President Jimmy Carter and Republican challenger Ronald Reagan. For the first time in polling history both candidates, Carter and Reagan, were viewed negatively by the American people -- although their negatives were nowhere near the level of Clinton and Trump’s unpopularity. While the shock of Vietnam and Watergate had helped propel an unknown peanut farmer to the presidency, there was nowhere near the level of alienation and discontent that now grips America.
I was Jimmy Carter’s pollster and strategist in 1980 and I know, more than anyone, about what really happened. The entire Carter campaign was premised on painting the controversial Ronald Reagan as too risky to be president and too dangerous to entrust with nuclear weapons.

Exactly a week before Election Day there was a fatal presidential debate (that I wanted to avert) which gave Ronald Reagan his chance to make his case. It shook up the election.

The coalescing of voters around Carter began to break down. Within a couple of days Reagan had established a small lead over President Carter.

On the Saturday before the election the race had rebounded into a tie or slight Carter lead. And then it all fell apart.
My polling for the campaign told the story. By Sunday night President Carter was 5 points down and by Monday night the margin had exploded to 10 points down.

The uniqueness of 1980 is this: In the history of American polling this was the only presidential election that entered the last weekend close and finished in a landslide. The only one.

The question on the table now is: could 2016 be the second such election? If it is, it won’t be for Hillary Clinton.
The political class and the mainstream media have a narrative that Trump’s late surge is the result of an intervention by FBI Director James Comey. That narrative, like every one they’ve had over this cycle, couldn’t be more wrong. The momentum of the election was already moving toward Trump before Comey’s announcement to reopen of the Clinton email investigation. That event, like the presidential debate in 1980, tended to accelerate what was already in motion.
No two elections are really the same, whatever similarities they share. And neither are 1980 and 2016.

Here are a couple of differences – In 1980 there was no early voting. Without thinking through the consequences, this reform has resulted in millions of ballots being cast long before the campaign culminates. And that is almost surely an edge for Hillary Clinton and the better organized Democratic Party.

While both elections in 1980 and 2016 feature an American public that attitudinally wants real change there are differences that have already been noted: Many polls show that by just about 2 to 1 voters do not want to continue the policies of President Obama. In 1980 disapproval of Carter’s job performance did not extend to the personal feelings Americans had for Carter and the deep respect they had for his integrity.  (And of course, in both elections, Americans saw the country headed in the wrong direction.)

As suggested before, the alienation and discontent of the American electorate is way beyond that of 1980.
In 1980 the mainstream media was far more even-handed in its coverage and prided itself on journalism and not partisanship.

As I look at some of the deeper polling results, the questions I have been able to inject into the Breitbart/Gravis polling questions of recent days, may be in the end, instructive. As with Jimmy Carter in 1980, Hillary Clinton is far more likely to be viewed as qualified to be president and possessing a better presidential temperament.

But the results of the latest poll are worth pondering: Here are the most interesting questions and answers.   First, voters were asked to agree or disagree with following question:

For years, the political elites have governed America for their own benefit and to the detriment of the American people – this election is the best chance in our lives to take back our government. AGREE = 63% (with 46% strongly agreeing); DISAGREE = 31%

Voters were then asked the same two questions of each candidate: Which is closer to your opinion if (Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump) wins: the political elites and special interests win; the political elite and special interests lose.

By 65 percent to 35 percent voters said that if Hillary Clinton wins the political elites WIN.  And by an opposite margin, the majority of voters said that by 57 percent to 43 percent the elites LOSE if Trump wins.
Significant numbers of Clinton’s own voters believe that her win is a victory for the unpopular elites and special political interests.

So the question is, if these attitudes are salient in the voters’ minds as they vote on Tuesday it could produce the biggest surprise of all in 2016.

But regardless of who wins on November 8 this uprising of the American people has just begun.
Patrick Caddell is a Democratic pollster and Fox News contributor. He served as pollster for  President Jimmy Carter, Gary Hart, Joe Biden and others. He is a Fox News political analyst and co-host of "Political Insiders" Sundays on Fox News Channel.

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