2016: The Year of National Liberation

2016 was a year of national liberation. It is the much-awaited-for beginning of the remediation of all the disasters that have accumulated around the world since 2011 (the real strange and awful year, in my humble opinion, with only 2014 and 2013 close behind). Duterte was elected in the Philippines, bringing a new age of pragmatism to that country’s politics. Brexit, opposed by a strange union of anti-market left-wingers and rich wall street types (almost never a good combination) for reasons that struck me as, at least on the Left, highly duplicitous, passed by a respectable margin, throwing the elites into hysterics. No other event, not even Trump’s sensible calls for friendliness with Russia in mid-to-late December, attracted so much hysteria from the filthy establishment press when it happened. The reaction to Trump’s win on the night of November 8 did not come close to the sheer quantity of scrambled brains that happened late in the evening of the 23 of June. In Syria and Iraq, the situation remains mixed, with ISIS and the rebels having lost more territory than they gained, but ISIS recapturing Palmyra late in the year after its loss of it in May, testifying to the continued weakness of the Syrian Arab Army and the incompetence of the Russian Air Force. Mosul remains a tough nut to crack for the always-incompetent Iraqi Armed Forces. ISIS was substantively defeated in Libya, and al-Qaeda lost al-Mukalla to government forces in Yemen, as Houthi North Yemen held on to its effective independence. The Gambia also experienced a welcome shift in power late this year. Sadly, however, the Freedom Party of Austria failed to win in a golden opportunity just after Trump’s victory via a flawed campaign strategy, to be clearly contrasted with Nigel Farage’s successful one.

Russia’s elections resulted in a big win for the Russian establishment.

This year has been a great one for showing the duplicity, the scumminess, and the absolute untrustworthiness of every branch of the mainstream press in every corner of the First World. They form a bubble completely disconnected from the real world, and their manifest failures this year -too numerous to count here- demonstrated them to be unworthy of America’s public attention.

The economy wasn’t bad this year, but it wasn’t good, either. If it was good, the election outcomes would have been quite different. If it was bad, Hofer might have pulled out a win.

What remains the most surprising occurrence to me this year is not any of the phenomena that shocked the filthy elites, but Hillary Clinton’s primary victory -how could so many Blacks, Hispanics, and urban Democrats vote for such a flagrantly corrupt and establishment-embodying person? Don’t these people want to better their condition? Don’t these people want free healthcare, for goodness’ sakes? Why would these people have so much love for the candidate of Goldman Sachs? Thankfully, Hillary Rodham Clinton, who openly encouraged most of the establishment’s very worst instincts, from mindless Russophobia, to support for Black crime and criminals, to massive overreliance on Wall Street donations, to calling the Saudis an important ally (in what?), to complete lack of concern for Constitutional principles, suffered a narrow, but clear loss in nearly every state that mattered, including my home state of Michigan. Otherwise, this year would have had extremely different consequences for the future, and I would not be writing this with anything near the sense of optimism I am now. Like it or not, sometimes, in a reversal of my dictum, the world does not revolve around Moscow. Sometimes, the world revolves around Washington. And this is the first man who’s come to Washington who has been so hated inside it, as well as in his home county of Manhattan. Good.

Good year; 4/5. Would watch again.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

17 thoughts on “2016: The Year of National Liberation”

  1. “Otherwise, this year would have had extremely different consequences for the future,”

    Sounds like you have predictions about what will happen because Trump is president. What are they?

  2. So, you predict…

    – A solid wall will get built (and presumably be patrolled?) along the entire length of our southern border, as promised? Do you think Mexico will pay for it?
    – Trump will appoint justices with a record of being more conservative than the rest of the existing Supreme Court, or whose opinions prove to be such throughout their USSC careers?

    If that’s an accurate summary of your first two predictions, then I bet bragging rights against both of them.

    How are you measuring racial conflict and stupidity in the Middle East? And what role do you expect Trump to play in each?

    1. New solid wall will be built on at least 1/3 of the border and at least 2/3 will be walled or fenced in some way by the time Trump leaves office (currently, only 1/3 is walled or fenced in some way). This will take time to build.

      As for justices, yes, that is a correct interpretation.

      I can’t make estimates as to what portion of the cost Mexico will pay.

      Racial conflict is measured by percentage of Americans worrying “a great deal” about the problem of race relations, as measured by Gallup:
      http://www.gallup.com/poll/190574/worries-race-relations-reach-new-high.aspx
      Stupidity in the Middle East is to be measured by number of combat deaths and deaths from terrorist attacks relative to Obama’s second term in the Middle East and North Africa (including Afghanistan, but excluding Pakistan).

      Trump’ll be the president; he can do a lot.

      1. I’m skeptical about how much Trump can influence the levels of racial conflict and ME stupidity as you defined them. How would you convince me he can influence these in any significant way, and that changes in levels of these during his presidency aren’t just mostly a coincidence?

        I’d still confidently bet against the first two predictions.

        1. How would you convince me he can influence these in any significant way, and that changes in levels of these during his presidency aren’t just mostly a coincidence?

          -We don’t have a credible glimpse into the Hillaryverse, so no real way to distinguish Trumpian wisdom from coincidence. So the best we can do is to judge Trump relative to Obama here.

          I’d still confidently bet against the first two predictions.

          -On what basis?

      2. Racial conflict and ME stupidity, even as you’ve defined them, seem almost completely outside the control of any single person unless that person A) is very influential among certain groups of people and B) uses their influence in some very specific ways. (E.g. a president who had a lot of sway among young black men could potentially make rioting look uncool to some critical mass of them.) Would President Trump be influential among the right groups? And if so, how?

        I’d confidently bet against your first two predictions on the basis that Trump is a not-so-crypto-centrist with no desire to build a wall or run anything but a very politically moderate administration that maintains the status quo, and he only really cares about one or two issues that aren’t of much interest to most Americans (renegotiating trade deals, etc.). But c’mon, you must have already known that’s what I’d say.

        1. “Would President Trump be influential among the right groups? And if so, how?”

          -He’ll be President! Of course he’ll be influential. The only question is “how”? I doubt the New York Times will be as interested in making its entire front page about matters such as Ferguson (as it did in 2014) under a Trump administration, and Trump, being President, will have the final say as to how all American foreign policy is run.

          1. Is Obama influential on you?

            I don’t see why Trump would be influential in a productive way among the people with a direct impact on, say, race relations.

            1. “Is Obama influential on you?”

              -That’s an ambiguous question, too broad to answer in depth.

              “I don’t see why Trump would be influential in a productive way among the people with a direct impact on, say, race relations.”

              -I think his pro-law-and-order stance would reduce Black Lives Matter agitation, as BLM would have no chance of getting their agenda through the executive branch.

            2. Well, the LA riots did happen under Bush I, but he was a moderate Republican. Bush II was less of a moderate Republican, and race relations were better under him.

            3. Your theory is evidently that as the president moves rightward, there are fewer race riots.

              Wikipedia has a list of riots and incidents of civil unrest in the USA. You can scan them by decade. There were plenty of riots under all kinds of administrations including very conservative ones, and many of those riots had to do with race.

              For instance, the Ossian Sweet riot (and, I think, the Rosewood massacre) happened under Coolidge. And I don’t think I need to get into all the race riots that happened under Nixon. And then the numbers under Reagan and Eisenhower are considerable too.

              Even if that evidence wasn’t there and we pretend your model of presidential influence upon racial tension is accurate, you are assuming Trump will be to the right of, say, Bush II. I do not share that assumption, and in fact my bet is he will turn out to be to the left of Bush II and potentially Bush I as well.

            4. Wikipedia lists fewer riots under Nixon than under Johnson. And Nixon was sort of a centrist; only somewhat to the right of Eisenhower (who was notoriously ideologically ambiguous). Wikipedia lists fewer riots under Reagan than under Carter and nearly as many under WJC (when crime was declining) as under Bush I.

              “you are assuming Trump will be to the right of, say, Bush II”

              -I suspect, overall, he will be nearly identical on the political spectrum to Bush II overall; maybe slightly to the left. Pence is far more conservative than Bush I, or even Cheney.

      3. “I suspect, overall, he will be nearly identical on the political spectrum to Bush II overall; maybe slightly to the left.”

        According to your theory then, that seems like a pretty weak basis for predicting Trump will have a positive impact on race relations.

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