Jonathan Pie’s take on the election

November 11, 2016 • 2:15 pm

Courtesy of the Godless Spellchecker, who sends Americans his condolences (and this video), we have ranting reporter Jonathan Pie’s (real name: Tom Walker) take on the election. (His schtick is to play a reporter who rants when he’s off camera.) He’s exercised, but there’s considerable truth in what he says:

96 thoughts on “Jonathan Pie’s take on the election

  1. I saw this yesterday and thought…
    that rings true and i felt rested like it was me that was having a rant and then off to the bog to really lay it to rest!

  2. I am really tempted to repost this video on Facebook but I won’t because of the liberal (no pun intended) use of the F word. That being said I believe nearly every word out of Tom Walker’s mouth.

  3. I’ve seen many debates attempted by the left on the issues. What they got back was right wing and Fox News talking points as well as “Lock her up!” and a level of vehemence and drivel I’ve come to expect, but not at that level.

    Yes, the left has problems, but many on the left are fighting back. The right gave up long ago and it continues to shed those who don’t live up to their purity tests.

    When some on the right said they couldn’t support Trump, did any of them admit Trump was the result of Republican policies of demeaning, demonizing, marginalizing and spewing hatred at their political opponents?
    A few and they left the party. The vast majority treat Trump like he sprang up out of nowhere.

    As I said in another comment, the left in the US seem to throw every other election by staying home in droves. Regardless of who is running.

    1. Things were debated to death. Republican talking points were debunked by many, over and over. Trump is an explicit climate change denier that was caught lying many times and making misogynistic comments.

      Trump voters voted for Trump anyway.

  4. I saw a documentary on the telly just now, that (unrelated to the US) was in part about our former President Wulff who had to step down due to scandal. The president in Germany is the highest office, but has only representative function (the actual ruling is done by the chancellor). They are to sign documents and shake hands, and every now and then say something wise, but not interfere with the day-to-day business.

    What brought Wullf down? He was invited by businessmen, and got a few small advantages, say, a good hotel room deal. Nothing of this was illegal, and the money involved was trivial for this league. But it did add up, and the press was hungry after these ancedotes. He felt hounded, and one day delivered a rant onto the mailbox of a journalist, saying that he thought they were friends and that he’d strip off the gloves when they’d print another such (relatively trivial) story in their yellow paper.

    And yet, this brought him down. Some found it unfair. Other said, someone who is such careless and doesn’t seem to have a sense of appearance maybe can’t keep interests separate. It was simply too much, even if all perfectly legal. A journalist concluded, for certain offices, you have to be exacter than exact, and that’s expected. The whole “it’s entirely legal to accept this money/benefit/perk” even if completely true doesn’t apply for such positions.

    So to bring that back: Trump is almost certainly worse than Clinton, but in my mind, she didn’t understood how to keep appearance, at least. For example, the idea was that Wasserman Schulz has to resign, because it was found she did something wrong. It was somewhat symbolic, since her role was also becoming obsolete, as Clinton was poised to run in the election. So what did Clinton do? She directly hired her “friend” again, making her previous resignation a complete mockery, and on top slapped every Sanders supporter in the face. It was such a simple thing. Despite that Clinton was as veteran politician as one can get, she clearly didn’t get this lesson.

      1. Indeed! I should add that where I write “Trump is almost certainly worse” I meant in this particular area. He’s obviously far worse overall.

  5. Yes, I’ve been following ‘Jonathan’s’ videos for a while now. He’s very sharp and this video is certainly his most confronting and hard hitting piece yet.

  6. “We don’t debate anymore because the left one the cultural war.”

    One quibble: Successful engagement requires some lack of incorrigibility and willingness to recognize maladaptive reasoning on the other side. But otherwise, yes. Pusillanimity is not an elixir for remediating abominations.

  7. Well, that is a good rant and I liked most of it. But I did not agree with all of it. One thing I would like to ask about: What difference would Bernie have made? Are we to seriously think that people who voted for Trump would vote for Bernie instead? I can’t get my head around that one.

    1. Agreed. Despite many annoying, censorious, masochistic, and unproductive manifestations of the regressive or far left, the far right is famously less receptive to open dialogue regarding interpersonal decency and the project of building social cohesion. Debating a fundamentalist is a good example of this dynamic. Emotion and dogma “trump” one’s ability to acknowledge the most conspicuous forms of available evidence.

    2. The one way Bernie might have made a difference is in voter turnout. He was energizing the young and many others who felt ignored by the center-left like Clinton, and that may have made quite a difference. However, would it have been enough to make up for any of the center-left or center who would have been scared away by his “socialist” ideals? Would it have energized the right and center-right to vote against him? Who knows? But as the Democrats failed to turn up in numbers seen in the last two elections, this may have been enough to swing the ancient and corrupt electoral college towards a Democratic win. But, it really doesn’t matter one damn bit now. Not one damn bit.

    3. There was a poll out today,not at all scientific, indicating that a significant percentage, about 20%, of Trump’s votes would have gone to Bernie had he run. Even if it were 5%, and Hillary supporters didn’t switch to Trump, it would have spelled victory.

    4. Initially Sanders and Trump were somewhat similar on 3 main policy positions; trade, immigration and foreign policy.

      Both opposed TPP and foreign adventurism such as the Libya fiasco. Also, they both recognized the role immigration can play in depressing wages.

      Sanders relented on immigration though after being questioned by the awful Ezra Klein of the horrific

      I know a number of right-wingers who were considering Sanders as a 2nd choice behind Trump until he changed on immigration and capitulated to BLM after they bullied him off the podium in Seattle.

      1. Your post confirms my opinion that Sanders is unfit for president. A president should not cave in five seconds after some nobody bullies him.
        BTW, I do not regard Libya as a fiasco. It may well seem so to Americans who have happily forgotten the “Creep” Gaddafi. Libya is of course in turmoil and decent Libyans are shocked and depressed, but there are very few Libyan refugees in Europe. Sub-Saharan Africans sailing from Libya are legions, but almost no Libyans.

    5. Apparently so, although I don’t know in what numbers. Also, according to some reports an important group of voters who gave Trump the win were white working class who voted for Obama last time around. Possibly, if Bernie would have run instead of Hillary, these people might have voted Democrat.

    6. Yes, we are.
      As Pie pointed out, not all Trump voters are racist or hateful.
      Many are just sick of the status quo, distrustful of the political mainstream, disenfranchised.
      Those people would have been motivated to vote for Bernie, a candidate with integrity and offering genuine change
      It’s also reasonable to claim that turnout would have been far higher for Bernie, especially amongst young voters who voted overwhelmingly blue.

  8. Are we to seriously think that people who voted for Trump would vote for Bernie instead?

    No. But perhaps many of those who didn’t vote at all might have been inspired to vote?

    1. Many Trump votes came from Hillary-hating independents troubled by Hillary’s email scandal, by the DNC sabotaging Bernie, and by Hillary’s pay-to-play seminar fees and foundation donations. Hillary was a flawed candidate, or if you prefer, was easily made to appear flawed by Republican strategists, from the outset. Trump easily mowed down a dozen adversaries in the Republican primaries, and it seemed likely, to me at least, that if he could train himself to stay on topic, Hillary would be in serious trouble. It took Trump a little longer than I expected, and Huma Abedin’s email cache gave him a last-minute boost. Good video of a sad state of affairs.

      1. I’m a liberatarian. After the government and wall street caused the housing market bubble and then bailed each other out, I had, had enough. The only issue I cared about was ending crony capitalism and establishment politics. Bernie would have been fine. I disagreed with him on several issues (but he would have been tempered by the other branches of government) so he was a win for me. However, I was pissed his supporters abandoned what I thought was one of his main platforms–corporate greed–and for Hillary. Yeah, slap in the face. I voted for Trump. At least the establishment hated him. that worked for me. And let’s face it, the President is just a talking head, with nuclear weapon control sure, but I actually do believe he is a decent human being. Hes an egomaniac, but he isn’t racist. He might be sexists though. Oh, and I’m a lady. The DWS and DB incidents were just fuel to my personal Hillary fire, more evidence of fucking the middle class openly. Anyway, just my take. Are there lots of people like me? I’m not sure. most of my people voted for Gary Johnson. I voted for Ron Paul in 08 and 12, I was tired of losing.

    1. It is throwing insults at people whom you want to convince that doesn’t work.
      As far as I know, Trump hasn’t deliberately insulted people he hoped would vote for him. Indeed, he has said things offensive to women and Latinos, and a large proportion of both have voted for him. But they are likely to have had strong motivation that would not be swayed by a couple of insults.

    1. Hicks was a wonderful ball of simmering rage. His bit about Rush Limbaugh is his version of the aristocrats joke. If a stand up routine ever needed a trigger warning, this is it.

  9. It would have been worse if Bernie had have won the nomination and then lost to Trump. It would have made it look like genuine desire for progressive change had been defeated, rather than the establishment.

  10. Of course, let’s not forget the double standard dictating how professional women are expected to behave in public forums compared with what men can get away with (verbally and behaviorally). Despite a poverty of contagious passion at times, I believe Hillary handled herself with composure in the face of such an obnoxious brute. After watching the second debate, I vicariously experienced how a woman must feel when enduring such relentless bullying by a bombastic lummox.

    1. What, you don’t think the American polity woulda shaken it off just the same if Hillary had been caught on a hot mic sayin’ she grabs dick without asking?

    2. +3
      But on the other hand Clinton was all dignified control and Trump all passion. When people are angry and hurting passion wins. And it did.

      1. Yeah, and remember–if Hillary had campaigned more emotionally (there was plenty of honest emotion in her speeches and debate performances) it’d have been characterized as hysterical, weepy, weak, unstable, shrill–all the things people tend to disparage women with. Catch 22.

  11. I suspect this fellow is doing a job on the left with justification although again, this situation did not happen over night this is a long slow journey for the democrats to to get here and it cannot all be laid on Hilary. One person did not make this happen. Also, one party did not make this happen. Does anyone remember a few years ago this crazy thing appeared within the republican party. I believe they refer to it as the Tea Party. That was one sizable warning that something was going off the tracks. The goofy party was not nearly goofy enough so it had to go to extremes and that was the Tea party. How did they democrats react to that – I don’t think they did really. Some tried the wall street sit in but that never went anywhere. Responding to further right with further left is not a successful strategy.

    The Trump thing is anti-Washington, not just anti-Hilary. He is putting his kids in charge of transition. Good luck with that republicans and have a nice day.

    1. It seems the simplest lesson to take from recent election cycles is that the winning formula appears to be: charisma + message = victory

      Plug in whatever ideology you choose and off you go. A message (of hope, change, dissatisfaction, transformation, anything) delivered in charismatic fashion with conviction and energy will inspire. A scripted, formulaic, robotic performance (e.g. Hillary) will drain enthusiasm and sap momentum.

      Obama, Sanders, Trump…these are the models going forward. Hell, Trump often spoke in complete stream of consciousness gibberish, but he hit the right notes when he needed to and energized people enough they gave him their vote. Even if they found him a repulsive human being! His message resonated.

      Hillary, by comparison, was a mannequin with a half time show celebrity musical act stapled onto the script. Al Gore was a wooden robot speaking like a bedtime storyteller.

      Dubya…well let’s not talk about that.

  12. NOW the Democrats DESPERATELY need someone with Great Society domestic policies but Realistic Foreign Policies to preserve the Western alliance and an acceptance of national borders that hard headed working class people as well as minorities would vote for both of whom stayed away from the polls in droves.
    Trumps win has and is vastly fuelling EXTREME LEFT VS EXTREME RIGHT positions. Marie le Pen and Nigel Farage are ecstatic. So are some Corbyn supporters (and his brother) saying if Trump can do it they can do it (think they’re wrong there).

    The problem with regressiveness is it is destructively high-minded which has encouraged cocooning and virtue signalling in the young. And yes, righteous ideologies ultimately don’t care about actual humane outcomes they just blame the other side. And we get a monster like Trump with an cabinet of incompetents. A kind of fascism which looks like motivating the democrats to move to the new (green friendly) kind of communism

    Despite what Bernie says the international world does actually behave differently from the domestic one. That doesn’t mean being a traditional hawk who defines “survival” as constantly expanding power and seeking to expand power. The aim is defensive and cooperative.

    I doubt Bernie realises he has moved away from more conventional socialism to Gramcism which is against states and institutions in the world – he doesn’t believe in upholding states or institutions of negotiation or alliances to moderate their interactions – he thinks that we should simultaneously fix the worlds problems and as a stock position assume the best of the world

    For 30 years Trump has said he wants to dissolve western and other alliances and any aid payments and make everyone else pay for security. He has rebuked any right of the Palestinians to the west bank and said Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel – he has said Assad and Putin are the good guys against ISIS – If infuriates Muslims with his uber overt pro Israelism (without any military backing I’m sure) and he really is dumb enough (not to say immoral enough) to ally with Assad and Russia to get them to deal with ISIS – and all the sunnis in Syria as well – then theres Iran. He’s been very bellicose against Iran – if he goes to war with Iran there is just NO WAY russia would back him. russia would leave him to it as Putin, unlike Trump, is very clever and America would be at war with the whole Islamic world – having just screwed Nato (re Russia) infuriated China economically, and left the south china sea and beyond for it to impose whatever conditions it likes on surrounding countries. I hope to goodness they are not that foolish when push comes to shove in any of these things but particularly the middle east

    1. The global trade regime was getting too developed and needs a reset – like economic systems need a different approach as they get out of kilter and stop delivering for most ordinary people. Trade now is too dominated by massive corporations and the financial system is overdeveloped and full of dodgy instruments like derivatives, endless tax havens (even in most US states) and hedge funds.

      Not all these things can be fixed but wind back/end of a number of international trade instruments will be necessary and will go some way to fixing the other things that concentrate corruption and unproductive investment.

      But this HAS to go with realism about the foreign security issues

  13. Very nice. There is a shitload of scared, unhappy people out there. I’ve known this for a long time. It’s always better when I talk to ‘them’. First impression I get from so many: “Wow this guy is actually nice even though he does not believe in God.”

    Talk to them. It works.

  14. Talk to them? Just talk to them? Has this ranting dunderhead ever tried to talk to them? How do you respond when “them” explains that global warming is a hoax, that the climate has been getting hotter or colder for millennia and that therefore we needn’t and shouldn’t bother doing anything? That it’s all a libtard plot for govm’t control? YOU talk to them, or explain how so that I can. Nuts. When the facts cease to matter, when motivated reasoning is the norm, I, for one, cannot usefully talk to them. I’ve tried.

      1. Which means you undoubtedly knew and interacted with many people who voted for Trump. Were they all terrible human beings? Were none of them good neighbors who would be glad to help you out in a pinch?

      1. In case it wasn’t clear, the rant had an underlying premise: that it’s possible to sway people on the rabid right. While that may be true for a small minority of them, it is not for the vast majority. If fact’s don’t count, and someone is closed to the possibility that she is wrong, what paths are left to pursue? Try it before you respond again. Let me know how it went.

    1. You have to find a way, because shutting them down and insulting them sure as hell will not make them vote against Trump.

        1. I don’t think so. It is a long-term problem and any solution should also be long-term. To me, it is clear that nothing serious can be done before the global population growth is zero. Yet, all talk about climate change policies is about what Westerners should do, and never a word about the countries that have no intention ever to pass the demographic transition. If you behave as if you are not yourself serious about your words, you are unlikely to convince your opponents.

          1. And guys like Myron Ebell will make sure it remains a long-term problem. The backlash against “scientism” has been met with manufactured obstructionism. Not sure we want to spend another decade convincing the general public not to go back several decades.

    2. You don’t discuss politics, science, or religion. You talk about how to refurbish a piece of furniture. Ask them how their day is going. You talk to them about a new tree you planted in your front yard. Let them know of a great cat photo you saw online.

      Patience. It takes years not, Tw**ter seconds to change minds. Respect is earned. It’s not a thing you deserve just because you are right.

      If I integrate over my lifetime I have only changed about maybe ~100 people (I was a teacher), especially with regard to a belief in the supernatural. I’ve been persuading people for about 20 years. If I remove teaching as an influence, I might have changed 10 people. That’s comes out to about one every two years.

      1. These are reasonable points, and I would agree insofar as one is talking to the “undecided” or moderate supporter of wrong-headed or dangerously divisive ideologies. Conversation that is perceived as empathic, accessible, and authentic is a necessary precursor for effective influence. However, there are some arguments that must lose without compromise. Ignorance is no offense, but belligerent ignorance can only be amended with concession that serves the best interest of the whole. Rat poison has to lose the argument in the face of coffee creamer.

      2. Bravo to you. You had a profession as a platform to shape young and unshaped minds, and you used it wisely. But my 70+ year old neighbors – and there are many of them – have opinions and attitudes set in stone. they are anything but malleable. Where facts get in the way of their opinions it is the facts that are the first to go. Fox news is not a news source so much as a religion: it feeds these people their opinions, and they integrate them seamlessly. Like a cult. Those listeners are as incapable of critical thinking as i am of flying. Good luck changing their minds.

  15. Might as well put out my take on the election. I think the blame chiefly falls three ways:

    1. Those who voted for Trump. The majority of those were deceived and will be disappointed fairly soon.

    2. Those who voted for third party candidates. They will regret sooner.

    3. Those who didn’t vote. They will have no right to complain, but that won’t stop them.

    Now we could blame various folks who were instrumental in these various decisions, but really people should try to take responsibility for their own actions.

    The fable of King Log and King Stork is applicable to Trump voters. The frogs asked Zeus for a king, and he sent them a log. The frogs, disappointed in a do-nothing ruler, asked for a change in the status quo, so Zeus took away the log and sent them a stork, who proceeded to eat many of them. Moral for the present day: don’t vote for change just because it’s change. Ask whether the change in question is an improvement.

      1. Don’t forget about the “Pepe the Frog” crowd and their nationalist fantasy to establish an eternal TrumpenReich. These phenotype- obsessed purity fanatics need to attend a forensic anthropology lecture series after receiving mandatory psychiatric inpatient care.

        Some bridges aren’t worth building when intransigence is solidified by belligerent ignorance.

        1. The Trump MAGA “centipedes” are the anomaly factor of this election. They appeared to have zero interest in any policy matters whatsoever and existed purely to troll and trigger regressive leftists and SJWs.

          The only reward they take from a Trump victory is the pain it causes to the types of people who are currently taking to the streets in protest every night. They make video compilations of crying Clinton supporters.

          They call Trump their “God Emperor” and worship him thusly.

          No other party or candidate has anything like that happening.

          1. These Clinton supporters should stop crying in public, and if possible, stop also writing posts how much they cried. This is a sign of weakness intolerable in an adult. On a maternity blog, I read tons of such comments, many also describing how upset their 9-, 7- or 5-yr-old children were. Of course the kids were upset, seeing the god-like Support of the World in tears. Great parenting!

            (Not to mention that showing your weakness makes the enemy gloat.)

            1. I’ve read a few accounts from people who know or are friends with some of the protestors and who have tried having conversations with them about their anger over Trump.

              They say any attempt to reason with the protestors about Trump is met with instant accusations that anyone who could even THINK of accepting Trump as president, anyone who doesn’t think that Trump is literally Hitler is, get ready for the usual refrain…”just as bad!”

              So their logic is: “If you don’t think Trump is Hitler, then YOU are also Hitler.”

              If this becomes the prevailing sentiment of a majority of the left then we are doomed.

    1. I voted for Gary Johnson. I don’t regret it. I can look myself in the mirror — that wouldn’t be possible if I’d given any support to either Trump or Clinton.

      1. Aren’t you special…

        Knowing full well your candidate hadn’t a snowball’s chance in hell, did you ever consider whether a Trump presidency would be any worse than a Clinton one?

  16. Jerry, while you’re away, thousands of young folks in major cities across the nation are out in the streets (the last couple of nights) protesting the election results. Many have signs reading “Trump is not my president.” There is some rioting and property damage as well. Some newscasters have questioned how many of the protesters actually voted.

    Don’t know if you’ll be greeted by any of this on your return but the protests are widespread.

    1. And what about the responsibility of those who have been criticizing and weakening the left incessantly, with adjectives as “authoritarian left” and “regressive left”? Of those of the “right left” who preached that Obama was never hard enough on Islam and nearly preached religious war?

      1. I’d say the responsibility lies with those elements of the left who hold authoritarian and/or regressive viewpoints. They should stop with that and then people would not have to criticize them for it. The left will be stronger without those elements.

      2. It’s quite ironic. When it looked a certainty that Clinton was going to win, lots of people were extremely concerned that this would be the reaction of Trump supporters.

      3. What about them? If people on the left, or the right, or in the middle do something worth criticizing, then they should be criticized. There’s nothing I despise more than the demand for “party loyalty”.

        The people protesting simply because of the election results are crying wolf. Save it for when Trump actually does something that requires strong opposition.

        1. The point about crying wolf is exactly right. Bill Maher said something similar on one of his recent shows. He mentioned how wrong he (and others) were to demonize and over-exaggerate the perceived negatives of Mitt Romney during 2012. Seems like most people, in hindsight, would gladly take a Romney or McCain over the current Trump situation.

          At the moment there are people claiming they’re considering suicide, and Trump hasn’t even made one official action yet. It’s the over-reaction Olympics. What will they do when Trump actually does anything they slightly disagree with? Kill themselves twice?

          I understand there is fear and anger and uncertainty, but it seems like the Chicken Littles have taken over the coop in some places.

      4. Those epithets have been directed at people who are regressive and authoritarian.

        They don’t get a free pass for being on the ‘Left’, particularly since they are only left wing by the standards of the US.

        The y-axis matters.

  17. Having watched a couple of his other videos, I think Pie is really a bit of a fool. He thinks the Labour Party should accept Corbyn as their leader and stop proclaiming him electable. Well he may well be electable, as Trump demonstrates, and he may well win if Labour voters supported him more vocally, as the Republicans just demonstrated demonstrated, but the reason people pronounce him unelectable, is because he is clueless about how to run a party, let alone a country. He is pronounced “unelectable” not because he is unpopular, but because they assume that no sensible person should vote for him.

  18. Perhaps the Democrats should hire a staff of professional psychologists who will provide insights in how to change minds. As a non-psychologist my observation is that changing minds in the political arena is a long, difficult process, similar to trying to convince ardent theists about the foolishness of their beliefs. The right-wing was willing to undertake this decades long journey through the tool of a media that continually played to fear and prejudice. Liberals failed to do this and paid the price. They must begin to rectify this mistake immediately. This, in conjunction with the disaster that will be the Trump administration, may turn things around in four years. Democrats do not have to convince a majority of Trump supporters, perhaps only 10% of them, to again become the majority party.

  19. Just read in NYT where Trump plans to hold huuuuuuge rallies that were the staple of his campaign. His narcissism and need for perpetual adulation knows no limits.

    Weimar 2.0

  20. I agree that when discussing politics one is better off being calm and polite. But if many Trump voters hold irrational views, how will rationality dispel them? People at the bottom of the barrel lash out at those they believe are better off, and the problem won’t go away until life improves in the Rust Belt. And I doubt that will happen under President Trump and his cabinet of horrors.

    Common decency toward others should always be the first option we consider, but beyond a certain point a “be nice to bigots” policy is another form of virtue signaling. Are we supposed to shut our mouths the next time an innocent Black man is killed by the police because it will offend someone in Ohio? Yes, some of the BLM folks were ultimately counterproductive, and listening to college students robotically intone “white privilege” was inane. But it took more than silly college students to throw this election (let’s give Messrs Comey, Assage, and Putin a wee bit of influence).

    I suspect many people didn’t bother to vote because they didn’t believe Trump could get elected and thought a machine politician like Hillary had it in the bag. With luck more will turn out after four years of Trump’s undoubted misrule. In the meantime, we must do our damnedest to help Democratic or left-wing candidates get elected to congress in 2018. Whoever runs for President in 2020 will know that his/her chances depend on campaigning in the Rust Belt and offering voters policies that will protect them from Globalization and improve their lives. Ironically Bill Clinton– who was elected because “it’s the economy, stupid”–argued in favor of Hillary campaigning more in the states she lost, but was overruled by her staff.

  21. The best lecture of my life–on economy, politics, civics, diversity, and more! I have hear many professors lecture at universities but Pie’s take the cake! I was entertained in a very realistic if overly dramatic but truthful way!

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