GOP Strategist Weighs In On Where Republicans Go Now That The Midterms Are Over


NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Whit Ayres, Republican strategist and pollster, about the results of the midterm elections and Republican strategy going forward.

Trump's ham-handed attempt to remove, if not correct the excesses of Neoliberalism would make him a heroic figure to the working-classes of the world.  However, his desire to pattern himself after the great Fascist leaders of the 20th century prevents this.

John Higgs posits that the intellectual justifications for the policies that led to the Great Divergence are commonly referred to by the term neoliberalism.  Neoliberalism was a school of economic thought that dated back to the 1930s, but it only became the orthodox belief system for politicians and corporations following the election of Margaret Thatcher as the British prime minister in 1979 and the arrival of the economist Paul Volcker as Chairman of the US Federal Reserve in 1979.


Neoliberalism, at its heart, argued that the state was just too dumb to be left in charge of people's well-being.  It just didn't understand the nature of people in the way that the markets understood them.  It had only a fraction of the information needed to make good decisions, and it was too slow, inept and politically motivated to put even that knowledge to good use.


As the neoliberalist saw it, the role of the state was to put in place a legal system that protected property rights and allowed for free trade and free markets, and to protect this system by military and police forces.


State-owned industries needed to be placed in private ownership and run for profit.  At that point the state had to step away and not interfere.  Private enterprise would take care of the rest.


Neoliberalism was always going to create inequality, but it claimed that this was for the greater good.  If a small elite became immensely wealthy, then this wealth would “trickle down” to the rest of society.  Or in a phrase which came to symbolize the 1980s, “greed is good.”


Wealth didn't trickle down, needless to say.  It passed upward from the middle class to the very top.  Few economists now take the idea of the trickle-down effect seriously, but the thinking behind it still colors much of the discussion about global economics.  It is still common to hear the very rich described as “wealth creators: rather than the more accurate “wealth accumulators.”


Yuval Noah Harari in 21 Lessons for the 21st Century (2018) discusses The Drama Of Decision-Making.  Harari states that most people don't know themselves very well.  When I [Harari] twenty-one, I finally realized that I was gay, after several years of living in denial.  That's hardly exceptional.  Many gay men spend their entire teenage years unsure about their sexuality.

Now imagine the situation in 2050, when an algorithm can tell any teenager exactly where he is on the gay/straight spectrum (and even how malleable that position is).  Perhaps the algorithm will show you pictures or videos of attractive men and women, track you eye movements, blood pressure, and brain activity, and within five minutes display a number on the Kinsey scale.


Such an invention could have saved me years of frustration.  Perhaps you personally wouldn't want to take such a test, but then maybe you'll find yourself with a group of friends at Michelle's boring birthday party, and somebody suggests that you all take turns checking yourself on this cool new algorithm (with everybody standing around to watch the results—and comment on them).  Would you just walk away?


To the best of our scientific understanding, there is no magic behind our choices and creations.  They are the product of billions of neurons exchanging biochemical signals, and even if you literate humans from the yoke of the Catholic Church and the Soviet Union, their choices will still be dictated by biochemical algorithms as ruthless as the Inquisition and the KGB.


The liberal story instructs me to seek freedom to express and realize myself.  But both the “self” and freedom are mythological chimeras borrowed from the fairy tales of ancient times.  Liberalism has a particularly confused notion of “free will.”


Humans obviously have a will, they have desires, and they are sometimes free to fulfill their desires.  If by “free will” you mean the freedom to do what you desire, then yes, humans have free will.  But if by “free will” you mean the freedom to choose what to desire, then no, humans have no free will.


If I [Harari] am sexually attracted to men, I may be free to realize my fantasies, but I am not free to feel an attraction to women instead.  In some cases I might decide to restrain my sexual urges or even try “sexual conversion therapy,” but the very desire to change my sexual orientation is something forced upon me by my neurons, egged on perhaps by cultural and religious biases.


Why does one person feel ashamed of his sexuality and strive to alter it, while another person celebrates the same sexual desires without a trace of guilt?  You can say that the former might have stronger religious feelings than the latter.  But do people freely choose whether to have strong or weak religious feelings?


Again, a person might decide to go to church every Sunday in a conscious effort to strengthen his weak religious feelings—but why does one person aspire to be more religious, while another is perfectly happy to remain an atheist?  This may result from any number of cultural and genetic dispositions, but it is never the result of “free will.”


What's true of sexual desire is true of all desire, and indeed of all feelings and thoughts.  Just consider the next thought that pops into your mind.  Where did it come from?  Did you freely choose to think it, and only then did you think it?  Certainly not.


The process of self-exploration begins with simple things, and becomes progressively harder.  At first, we realize that we do not control the world outside us.  I don't decide when it rains.  Then we realize that we do not control what's happening inside our own body.  I don't control my blood pressure.  Next, we understand that we don't even govern our brain.  I don't tell the neurons when to fire.  That's more difficult.  Ultimately we should realize that we do not control our desires, or even our reactions to these desires.


Is Same-Sex-Marriage legal?  If a gay person marries a straight person, this is fraud.  Fraud is intentional deception resulting in injury to another.  Element of fraud are: a false and material misrepresentation made by one who either knows it is falsity or is ignorant of the truth; the person's ignorance of the falsity of the representation; it usually consists of a misrepresentation, concealment, or nondisclosure of a material fact, or at least misleading conduct, devices or contrivances.


Objection to Same-Sex-Marriage is without-merit in secular nation-state like the United States.  Legal marriage has to do with law, not religion.  A license is required before a marriage can be performed.  Such license can only be obtained after medical testing of the couple and, in the case where either party is a minor, by consent of a parent.


“Marriage, n. a community consisting of a master, a mistress, and two slaves, making in all, two,” Ambrose Bierce.


The Union of Church and State is Fascism.  Fascism cannot exist without the co-option of the Churches as Jefferson anticipated:

In 1801, members of the Baptist church in Danbury, Connecticut, wrote to President Thomas Jefferson because the Baptist were a minority religion in Congregationalist New England.  In their letter, the Baptist expressed concern that the state of Connecticut would trample the rights of religious minorities and force them to support the Congregationalist [financially].

        Jefferson replied: “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & God.... The whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”


“Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school, supported entirely by private contributions.  Keep the church and the State forever separate,” Ulysses Simpson Grant.


White Right-Wing Evangelicals & Trump Worship: “For there will be a period of time when they will not put up with the healthful teaching, but, in accord with their own desires, they will accumulate teachers for themselves to have their ears tickled, and they will turn their ears away from the truth whereas they will be turned aside to false stories.... (2 Timothy 4:3-4) 


By the hypocrisy of men who speak lies marked in their conscience as with a burning iron forbidding to marry, commanding to abstain from foods, which God created to be partaken of with thanksgiving by those who have faith... the reason for this ... every creation of God is fine and nothing is to be rejected....” (1 Timothy 4:2-4).


Tree of Life Synagogue: “What does it mean to you people that you are expressing this proverbial saying on the soil of Israel, saying, 'Fathers are the ones that eat unripe grapes, but it is the teeth of the sons that get set on edge?'”

(Ezekiel 18:2)

Adelsons ‘biggest spenders’ in US politics with $55 million for Republicans

NYT: Casino mogul’s relationship with Trump is not about personal affinity but based on a ‘mutual appreciation for something both men have built their careers on: the transaction’

Casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson, left, (Steve Mack/Getty Images, via JTA) and US President Donald Trump, right. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)
Casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson, left, (Steve Mack/Getty Images, via JTA) and US President Donald Trump, right. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

Casino mogul and Jewish megadonor Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, have given $55 million in the last few months to groups working to ensure Republican control of the House and Senate after the midterm elections.

The donations make them the “biggest spenders on federal elections in all of American politics,” the New York Time reported Saturday, citing publicly available campaign finance data.

The couple are very involved in how their money is being spent, meeting with the consultants and political strategists at Adelson’s office in Las Vegas, the newspaper reported. They ask pointed questions and demand campaign plans, preferably in writing, according to the report.

The article noted more than a dozen people who know the Adelsons who were interviewed for the article say that Sheldon Adelson’s relationship with President Donald Trump is not about personal affinity but based on a “mutual appreciation for something both men have built their careers on: the transaction.”

Sheldon Adelson with his wife Miriam at the ceremony for a new Faculty of Medicine at Ariel University in the West Bank, on August 19, 2018. (Ben Dori/Flash90)

The Adelsons declined to be interviewed for the New York Times article.

The Adelsons have given much of the money to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC allied with House Speaker Paul Ryan, and the Senate Leadership Fund, which has close ties to Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader.

In the 2014 midterm elections, when Republicans were in a much stronger political position nationally, the Adelsons donated $382,000 to federal campaigns and gave $5.5 million to election efforts overall. In the 2016 election, they donated $46.5 million by this point in the election cycle.

Adelson, a major donor to Jewish and pro-Israel causes, was among the biggest givers to President Donald Trump’s campaign and his inauguration.

The couple has not yet given to Trump’s reelection efforts, though representatives from America First Policies, the super PAC that currently is handling Trump’s 2020 reelection effort, recently made a pitch to the Adelsons for financial support with a strategic plan, that the Adelsons called “too vague and unformed,” the newspaper reported. They have not ruled out such support, however, according to the article, citing an unnamed source briefed on the meeting.

The Adelsons, strong supporters in the past of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, were seated in the front row for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new US Embassy in Jerusalem in May, the newspaper noted. The embassy moves and other recent decisions of Trump’s regarding Israel have been in line with the Adelsons’ worldview, according to the Times.

Chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation Sheldon Adelson, center, and his wife Miriam arrive ahead of the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. (AFP/Menahem KAHANA)

“Mr. Trump respects Mr. Adelson’s success as a global casino, convention and hotel mogul — businesses that the president has bought into on a smaller scale. And Mr. Adelson has long demonstrated the kind of bare-knuckles business approach that Mr. Trump identifies with,” according to the article.

Donald Trump and Sheldon Adelson--American Zionists good-for-Israel philosophy rejoices in Trumpism; while American Jewry pays in blood.  “What one Christian does is his own responsibility; what one Jew does is thrown back at all Jews,” Anne Frank.


Views: 33

Comment by mary gravitt on November 14, 2018 at 1:27pm

Midterm 2018 must be examined, not just be seen as the arena of anger.  President Trump because he has no empathy cannot understand that diplomacy is seen as valor in the rest of the world.  He wants to play to his base at the expense of the majority of the American peoples.  He is a businessman, or so they say, and only sees the short term bottom line.

Comment by Robert B. James on November 15, 2018 at 7:41am

        Exactly why Trump is no fascist. Too damn screwed up to run a business, which is how he got his pocket money as Putin’s money washer...after losing every penny of the millions he was given or hustled. He does not see the bottom line...not a clue...short, or long term. 

         Trump has never been well, or lucky. Without the money stolen from Russia flowing through his operations he would be broke or in jail. We would only know him at all from a show like American Greed. 

          The people who follow this sick, ignorant, spoiled life long loser are proof that we have failed as a nation to educate at least a generation of people...perhaps up to 30%.  Without Trump we could ignore our failure...and  American Fascism, which is alive and well here. 

Comment by mary gravitt on November 15, 2018 at 12:39pm

The United States has led its people to believe too much and myth and not in the reality that it has faced since the 1970s.  The American working/middle classes were misled then as they are now in blaming others for our own government's co-option by the Corporations.  However, the worst things that has occurred since the 2016 election is the Union of Church and State, which is full blown Fascism.

Look at the history of the world when the Church was in Charge and the Kings had to bow down to its wishes: The Crusades and the Inquisition.  Europe had no peace until 1945; but Fascism threatens that peace via Steve Bannon and his creation: Donald Trump.

Maybe what we have accepted as the United States empire is about to meet the fate of the Roman Empire.  Trump is so puffed-up with himself that I doubt he would notice.


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