On “Historical Literary Character” Studies

Suppose a work of narrative literature records a character acting in a wider historical context without any direct fantastic elements occurring in that wider historical context. Examples may include the First Book of the Maccabees, the Sherlock Holmes stories, the Taylor Prism, Catch 22, the Kurkh Monolith, The Awful Disclosures of Maria Monk, Romeo and Juliet, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and The Hunger Games. The first question one may want to ask is:

How did the text’s author understand it? Did he understand it as a propaganda piece? A work of entertainment? A revelation of hidden knowledge?

-This question must be answered definitely before attempting to use a text as a historical source.

What did the author use to compile his/her narrative?

Even if the author meant his work to be a piece of history/biography,

However, some types of scholars, most notably biblical ones, sometimes forget the above questions to immediately begin asking

Thus, we had the monstrosities of Historical Solomon and Historical Jesus studies.

Notes on the Primary and General Elections in Wisconsin and Michigan

The swing to the Republicans from the primary to the general was, in both the Wisconsin and Michigan cases, clearly better correlated with Trump GOP primary vote share than Trump GOP+Dem primary vote share. Which makes sense, due to the Trump Democrats.

In both the Wisconsin and Michigan cases, the swing to Trump was uncorrelated with the Sanders share of the Democratic primary vote. However, multiple regression analysis reveals that (apparently as a result of counties like Ionia and Isabella in MI swinging to Trump) independent of other primary vote shares, Sanders share of GOP+Dem primary vote was correlated with a swing to Trump.

Muskegon v. Ottawa Counties

Heavily Dutch Ottawa County, MI (the only county in the region to vote for George McClellan in 1864, but which has always voted Republican since), has the second-lowest percentage of White voters voting for Obama in Michigan. The county just North of it is Muskegon, which had half its Whites going for Obama in 2012. What’s going on?

Muskegon had a similar electoral profile to its neighboring counties right up until the election of 1936, when it developed a substantial population of New Deal/Reagan Democrats. After the Reagan aura faded, it resorted back to voting Democratic.

Muskegon had a lower percentage voting for Cruz than any neighboring county, while the same percentage of those voting for Trump as neighboring Newaygo County.

Characteristics of the Parties

First Party System

(1788-1828)

Second Party System

(1828-1854)

 Third Party System

(1854-1896)

Fourth Party System

(1896-1932)

Fifth Party System

(1932-1958)

Sixth Party System

(1958-2000)

Seventh Party System

(2000-?)

Vermont  Mostly Federalist Solidly Whig  Solidly Republican  Solidly Republican  Solidly Republican  Mostly Republican  Solidly Democrat
Party of Business Interests-Hamiltonian Ends  Federalists  Whigs  Republicans  Republicans  Republicans  Republicans  Republicans
Party of Big Government- Hamiltonian Means  Federalists Unquestionably Whigs (excluding Nullifiers)  Republicans, but tending to both  Both/Neither (tending away from Republicans) Definitely Democrats Definitely Democrats Definitely Democrats
Party of Manhattan Democrats  Democrats, mostly  Democrats  Democrats, mostly Democrats Democrats  Democrats
Party of Primary Industry Democrats Democrats, mostly Democrats Democrats in wheat, Republicans in coal Republicans in wheat, Democrats in coal Republicans in wheat, Democrats in coal Definitely Republicans
Party of States’ Rights Democrats Democrats, for the most part Democrats Democrats, for the most part Neither Members on both sides, but leaning Republican Republicans
Party of Free Trade Democrats Democrats, certainly Democrats Democrats Democrats, but leaning Republicans Generally Republicans At this point, who knows? Mostly Republicans.
 Black Party  No such thing.  Democrats (e.g., Van Buren)? Definitely Republicans  Republicans  Democrats Definitely Democrats Definitely Democrats
 Party of Militarism Federalists Democrats Democrats at first, followed by Republicans during and after the war  Republicans  Both, but more Democrats  Republicans  Republicans
Party of East Virginia Solidly Democrats Solidly Democrats Solidly Democrats Mostly Democrats Mostly Democrats Solidly Republicans Split -trending Democratic
Party of West Virginia Split Split Split Republicans Mostly Democrats Definitely Democrats Definitely Republicans
Party of the Wrong Kind of White People Democrats Democrats Definitely Democrats Democrats Generally Democrats, but trending Republican Both, but trending Republican Republicans
Party of Recent Immigrants Democrats Democrats Democrats (whites only; no Asiatics allowed) Democrats Immigration mostly closed; irrelevant. Mostly Democrats. Split, but more Democrats Democrats
Party of Sound Money Democrats Democrats Democrats Republicans Republicans Republicans Republicans
 Party of Minnesota N/A N/A Solidly Republicans  Republicans Democrats Solidly Democrats Democrats
 Party of Women’s Rights Federalists Both Republicans Republicans Split, but more Republicans Split, but strongly trending Democrats Democrats
 Wisconsin Southeast Germanic Party N/A Democrats Democrats Republicans  Split Republicans Republicans
Voter Turnout Low Soaring High Falling Moderate and Stable Moderate and Falling Moderate and Rising
 Polarization in Congress Rising, peaking, and disappearing Low and shrinking High and rising High and shrinking Very Low and shrinking Low and rising High and rising
Party of serious Catholics N/A Split Democrats Mostly Democrats Democrats Democrats Definitely Republicans
Most Democratic State Kentucky Arkansas, then Texas Georgia South Carolina Mississippi or Georgia Minnesota Vermont
Least Democratic State Connecticut Massachusetts or Vermont Vermont Vermont Vermont Utah Utah or Wyoming (Whites only: Mississippi)
Biggest Swing towards Democrats N/A Connecticut Kentucky Nebraska Minnesota Massachusetts Vermont
Biggest Swing against Democrats N/A Kentucky Illinois Connecticut Nebraska Mississippi West Virginia
Interstate Presidential Popular Vote Polarization ??? First Highest, then persistently Low Moderate Very High Declining (High to Low) Low-Moderate High and Rising

Mitt Rmoney’s Remarks on Trump and IS

I absolutely despised Mitt Romney ever since I heard he was running in 2011. I openly supported Obama over him, though I didn’t vote. Romney was a bought finance-capitalist platitudinous robot who had a history of flip-flops, held positions no better than Obama, was unelectable, and had money in Bermuda, Switzerland, etc. Rubio’s act is much like that of a Cuban boy. Romney’s was literally robotic and totally inhuman. He was completely horrible and was incapable of making America great again. Naturally, this dogshit of a person went on to openly condemn a man whose endorsement he begged for back in 2012. Even though Donald J. Trump, the only man who can even remotely save the nation, won Rmoney’s home state on Super Tuesday with 49% of the vote-the highest support for the Donald yet seen in the nation- Rmoney still proceeded to smear Donald J. Trump, champion of the common man, with these blatant lies:

What he said on “60 Minutes” about Syria and ISIS has to go down as the most ridiculous and dangerous idea of the campaign season: Let ISIS take out Assad, he said, and then we can pick up the remnants. Think about that: Let the most dangerous terror organization the world has ever known take over a country? This is recklessness in the extreme.

-“We are fighting ISIS. And Assad is our enemy.” Trump’s words here were ambiguous. He didn’t actually say that, but did show agreement with the interviewer’s presentation of that sentiment. What he actually said was “Why aren’t we letting ISIS go and fight Assad and then we pick up the remnants?” The problem is, the full episode of 60 minutes Romney is talking about is not even available online for us to grasp the full context of what is Trump talking about.

1. Trump does not want the U.S. to get involved in anti-IS combat in Syria until the U.S. could build a new, non-Assad government there.

2. But, if Russia wants to prop up the Assad government, it can do that as well.

Trump: The Style Guide

Here’s a video of Trump (as linked to by the Lord Keynes, a very Trumpian Berniebro, anti-Marxist, anti-SJW, anti-free-trade, anti-Austrian, anti-neoliberal, and anti-PoMo).

Note that Trump says absolutely nothing wrong and everything right in this video. As this is so, it is not the substance I’m gonna examine here, but the style.

The transcript:

Erin:
Vladimir Putin today was at the UN,
so is Barack Obama.
They could not be more different when it comes to Syria.
Barack Obama saying he wants Bashar al-Assad removed from power;
Putin says he thinks that’s an enormous mistake, not to cooperate with Vladimir Putin,
which man is right?

Donald:
OK,
so I’ve been saying this for a long time,
and I’ve kept it low.
and I really understand what’s going on in Syria,
because you look at it,
first of all, it’s a total catastrophe,
it’s a total mess,
and we’re helping to make it a mess.
Now we have ISIS.
And ISIS wants to go after Assad.
But we’re knocking the hell out of them,
even though it’s not a very full blown thing,
we’re still dropping bombs all over the place and
you know, look, they’re not exactly loving life over in Syria.
So we’re stopping them to a certain extent from going after Assad.
We have Russia, that’s now there.
Russia’s on the side of Assad
and Russia wants to get rid of ISIS as much as we do, if not more,
because they don’t want them coming in to Russia.
And I’m saying,
“Why are we knocking ISIS, and yet at the same time, we’re against Assad?”
Let them fight, take over the remnants,
but more importantly, let Russia fight ISIS, if they want to fight them.
Let them fight them.
In Syria.
Now we can fight them in Iraq,
but if you think about Iraq,
we’ve spent two trillion dollars,
thousands of lives lost,
wounded warriors who we love and I love all over the place-
why don’t we have it Iraq?-
And did you see-

Erin:

You said you’d put ground troops in Iraq…

Donald:

Well, what we’re going to have to do

Japan Before its Opening to the West

*Excessive use of the death penalty (including for women for adultery)
*Suicide as a punishment common and honorable to the family
*Extraordinary longevity
*Dense population
*Large cities
*High intelligence
*Very appreciative of foreign knowledge
*Most intellectual East Asians
*Civil, very good manners
*Beautiful women
*Elegant women
*High-energy
*Jovial attitude
*Sociable
*Drinking games
*Muscular
*Superior to Mongols and Tartars
*Mostly hard-working
*Government officials tightly restricted by other officials
*No dowries, except some paid by the husband
*Primogeniture
*Modal monogamy
*Legal divorce, but difficult for the poor due to sunk costs
*Property taxation based on land length
*Some occasional effective income taxation for the rich
*Taxation on crop output
*Very poorly-trained army
*Very poor shipbuilding
*Lots of fishing
*City gates, but no city walls
*Lots of markets; no bargaining
*Ubiquitous outdoor bathing, with numerous public baths
*Excessive tolerance of nudity
*Much tobacco use
*Eat much less than Europeans
*Tables and chairs rare
*Like growing plants and flowers
*Very suspicious of foreigners
*Strict prohibition against any foreigners not connected to trade, except in times of necessity
*Hats only as protection against rain; fans protect against sun
*Land uncultivated for over a year is considered abandoned
*Many blind people
*Beggars rely entirely on religious motives
*Low buildings (due to earthquakes)
*Prostitutes not considered disgraceful, but customers are
*”particularly fond of the marvelous, the strange, the monstrous”
*City fires a daily occurrence
*Internal passports and checkpoints
*A sort of pantheism or panpsychism common among intellectuals
*”most of the grandees are either freethinkers or downright atheists”
*No real religious conflicts or sectarianism
*Key uniting Supreme Being is the Emperor, with indifference as to specifics of worship
*Far better theater than in China
*Women can participate in society, but have absolutely no rights

The Party Sorting Trap

As I’ve been glancing at some trends which might illustrate the changes in the incentives driving regions to become solidly part of a U.S. political party, I’ve been struck by the recent trend of party sorting. Fundamentally, the two American political parties are not ideological parties. Fundamentally, they are empty vessels that tend to get filled up by whatever ideas (not even necessarily ideologies) and personality types the voters see fit. Despite frequently voiced warnings, it is impossible for America to have a one-party future. Since neither of the parties can die, it is inevitable that they change with the times to become more attractive to the median voter.

The question for my time is “how”? With better party sorting, the parties will find it much more difficult to cross over.

The first question must be “where are the True Cores of the Republican and Democratic parties”?

At present, the ideological distance between House Republicans and Democrats is enormous. The Republican presidential candidate who is most popular among young Republicans (or at least used to be before the Rubio drop-out) is Ted Cruz, a fire-breathing ideologue (and demagogue) who is much further from the positions of the median voter than is Hillary Clinton. The Democratic presidential candidate who is by far most popular among young Democrats is Bernie Sanders, a fire-breathing ideologue who is much further from the positions of the median voter than is Hillary Clinton.

However, there are glimmers of hope. It is not Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders who are winning their respective races, but Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The True Core of the Democratic Party is becoming more and more minority-majority. The political preferences of young people are not fixed for all their lives; they can change over time.

It is extremely unlikely that Trump alone can change the Republican party.

Farmers, Foragers, and All That

Puritans evolved into Berniebros. Border Reviers evolved into Huckabee voters. Might modern-day Mormons evolve into Berniebros?

 Pre-Roman English–> Puritans–>  19th Century Vermont, Western NY–> Modern Vermont
 17th Century Scots-Irish–> Prohibition-era Scots-Irish–>  Modern Scots-Irish (Huckabee voters)
 Syncretist–> Social-Conservative-Non-Pluralist–>  Social Conservative-Pluralist–> Irreligious -Hippie/SJW
 Pre-Modern Africans  Modern Africans
Animist, non-doctrinaire -believe their religion Monotheist, doctrinaire -still believe their religion. Height of moralism. Extremely high marriage rate.  Stopped believing their religion; now only believe in it. Still strongly moralist, but now quite ecumenical. High marriage rate. No longer believe in their religion. The religion is now equality (whether, as in NYC, Social Justice, or, as in Vermont, economic equality). Tend toward the anti-neoliberal Left. Extremely low marriage rate.

 

Four Types of Republicans

Once, while looking at the New York Times’s primary map, I found that Marco Rubio won the rich inner city voters of Atlanta, Cruz performed best in the middle-income suburbs, and Trump performed best in the White Georgian countryside.

I also examined the New York Times’s list of 2012 and 2016 exit polling results from Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. I found that there were basically four types of Republican candidates:

1. National Republicans -These are the candidates most likely to win the White Georgian countryside.

2. Conservative Republicans -These are the candidates most likely to win Iowa. Overtly religious. The marriage gap is strongest with these. Slightly more likely to win women then men. Strongest base is moral majority and values voters concerned about abortion.

3. Establishment Republicans -These are the candidates most likely to win Manhattan Island.

4. There are also Libertarian Republicans, who are most popular among young independent atheist men who admire true conservative ideology, principle, and character. Such candidates are strongly favored by their voters and win no last-day-deciders. Some overlap exists between voters for Libertarian Republicans with with Sanders voters. These candidates are most likely to win the youth.

Ted Cruz combines conservative, libertarian (he did best with young people, probably has a very strong marriage gap, and is overtly religious), and, in Wisconsin, possibly even establishment aspects. Huckabee and Rick Santorum combined national and conservative aspects. Trump combines national and libertarian aspects. Romney was what one might call an establishment guy, though his vote shares in the general election were similar to that of a conservative republican. Kasich is an establishment Republican through and through. Gingrich was a national Republican. Ron Paul was a libertarian republican.

As a rule, Establishment Republicans fail to connect much with voters.