02m17s Debates (1): nuestra democracia. (Address us in English, pal.)
08m56s Debates (2): grumpy old men. (Bernie barks, Biden gets buffaloed.)
13m38s Debates (3): heart of craziness. (What's the limit?)
18m00s Debates (4): saving graces. (Occasional moments of sanity.)
22m21s Debates (5): prospects for 2020. (A Progressivism Inc. crackup?)
30m20s De Blasio's mask slips. (He's a commie.)
32m18s The future of the West. (On display in Toronto.)
35m45s Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck. (Gets her reparations.)
37m46s Signoff. (Whither the Democrats?)
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your debatably genial host John Derbyshire. That intro was from one of Franz Joseph Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, and here am I to march with you through a summary of the past week's events.
Two weeks ago Radio Derb included a segment in which I passed some comments about provincial newspapers. My boss and fellow expatriate here, Peter Brimelow, said he thought the word "provincial" isn't used much in America, so I should explain it. Anxious not to jeopardize my shot at the Employee of the Month Award, I thereupon added a brief explanation, quote:
I think it translates to "state and local."
The opposition between "provincial" and its opposite, "metropolitan" is one of the oldest in civilized history. The country bumpkin and the city slicker were stock characters in ancient Greek comedy. Probably Egyptians and Sumerians were cracking jokes on the same theme two thousand years before that.
That opposition, that dichotomy between the provincial and the metropolitan has been on my mind this week, for reasons I'll get around to. First, though, let me take a look at the debates this week among the Democratic Party candidates for President.
02 — Democrat candidate debates (1): nuestra democracia Of the two debates, Wednesday's and Thursday's, I rate the Wednesday event as the crazier.
Both debates were pretty crazy, as I expected they would be, but Beto O'Rourke, Cory Booker, Julian Castro and Bill de Blasio pushed this one well out into Looney Tunes territory.
The furthest shores of progressive craziness were reached by Castro, who seems to want abortion rights for men. Or perhaps that's not Peak Crazy. As Greg Cochran pointed out in a tweet:
There is no reason that one couldn't transplant a uterus into a biological male, implant a fertilized egg, and then destroy it.
So I guess we're not talking total impossibility. Abortions for men is as far into the crazy zone as I personally want to go, though.
Bill de Blasio, New York City's communist mayor, told us for the 295th time about the Talk he's felt obliged to give to his mulatto son — you know, the Talk about how dangerous the police are around blacks, liable to shoot them for no reason.
The numbers on that have been debunked more times than I can remember. De Blasio bringing it up yet again gives me the idea for a column, though. I could write about the Talk that we non-black parents give our kids about the danger of wandering into black neighborhoods and such … Oh, wait.
I can't remember anything Cory Booker actually said, but there is something about his affect, his mannerisms that brings to mind the guy on your downtown sidewalk ranting about UFOs, the guy you cross over to avoid encountering.
Likewise with Beto O'Rourke; except that while Cory Booker does the crazy act with some conviction — he really believes in those UFOs — O'Rourke just seems to be trying it on for size. Crazy can be shallow or deep: Beto O'Rourke is shallow crazy.
Bill de Blasio at least addressed us entirely in English. O'Rourke, Booker, and Castro all threw in a few sentences of Spanish by way of asserting their multicultural credibility. So did one of the so-called moderators, Conquistador-American José Díaz-Balart, who works for some Spanish-language TV station, and is not to be confused with his brother, Florida congresscritter and Steve Sailer doppelganger Mario Díaz-Balart.
I think it's deplorable for a candidate for public office to address us in a language most of us don't understand. I thought so seven years ago in the 2012 campaign when one of the candidates extruded this: [Fast talk in Spanish.] That was Mario Rubio pitching for the Vice-Presidential spot on Mitt Romney's ticket. He didn't get it, and I'd like to think that his lapsing into Spanish was one reason he didn't get it.
Sorry, but I can't resist quoting myself from that occasion. Radio Derb, March 30th 2012, longish quote:
The language of our country is English, and our leaders should address us in no other.
John Quincy Adams had lived in Germany and spoke the language fluently, facts that were well-known to the Americans of his time. When he was running for re-election as President in 1828, Adams was asked to address a gathering of German-speaking Americans in German. He refused on principle. Yes, I do know he lost that election; but he was still a better man, certainly a better American, than Marco Rubio.
This country can only work — can only be a country worth the name — under an ethic of relentless assimilation. You settle here, you Americanize yourself, for which the very first step is to master English, so you can join in the national political conversation. John Quincy Adams understood that. My immigrant wife understood it. Marco Rubio does not understand it.
If Bill de Blasio had wanted to strut his ethnicity credentials by lapsing into the language of his forebears, the logical choice would also have been German as de Blasio's father, Warren Wilhelm, was of midwestern German-American ancestry. Is it sly and vindictive of me to point that out? Yes, it probably is. Am I ashamed of myself for having done so? No. Communists are fair game.
03 — Democrat candidate debates (2): grumpy old men. Thursday night's debate was more grown-up, though not by much. One's vague impression was that Thursday's candidates actually were more grown-up — literally, I mean.
The numbers at first seem to confirm that: Wednesday night's platform had mean age 53.4, Thursday's 56.5. However, Thursday night's mean was pulled upwards by the presence of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, both in their late seventies. The oldest candidate on Wednesday was Elizabeth Warren, just turned 70. The median ages for the two evenings were 53 and 54, so there was no really significant difference there. A little lesson in statistics for all you numbers geeks.
I think it was more a case of Thursday night's craziness being concentrated in just one of the participants: a person named Marianne Williamson, who I'd never heard of. She seems to be some kind of vanity candidate. She promised to, quote, "harness love for political purposes," and apostrophized the President thus, quote: "I will meet you on that field and, sir, love will win." End quote. I wish I could have been sitting next to Trump, watching that on TV.
It was of course the grumpy old men who got most of our attention. They didn't do very well. Bernie Sanders wore his angry face the whole time, and barked and yelled in that way he has, but didn't say anything we haven't heard before.
Joe Biden was tossed and gored by Kamala Harris, junior senator from California.
Harris is one of those exotic nonwhites who seem to do well in American politics — like Barack Obama. Racially she's even more exotic than Obama, whose parents were plain-black and plain-white, and only one of them was foreign. Harris's Dad is a quadroon from Jamaica; her mother is from India, ancestry southern Dravidian-language stock, not the Aryan invaders of the north. Kamala Harris had an upper-middle-class upbringing, went to law school, then advanced herself in California politics by the horizontal method with the assistance of Willie Brown, then Speaker of the state Assembly.
The consensus among commentators is that Harris was the star of Thursday's debate. I'll allow that as a matter of style: she was vigorous and forceful. Still, she showed maximum vigor and force when laying into Joe Biden on the subject of busing blacks into white schools. Joe, she said, had opposed busing back in the 1970s.
I don't know if he did or not, but is there really a big constituency out there for the revival of busing — one of the most unpopular policies of the past half century? I can only suppose that this was part of the effort to take the shine off Joe having been Barack Obama's Vice President, which is Joe's main selling point to blacks.
He fumbled and stumbled anyway, and Harris scored points on energy and personality. It's probable that after a week or two nobody will remember that the actual matter of the exchanges was busing.
04 — Democrat candidate debates (3): heart of craziness. The real heart of current Democratic craziness, on plain display both evenings, was the topic of immigration. The candidates left us in no doubt that any enforcement of immigration laws — the people's laws, passed by Congress properly assembled, according to the Constitution — any enforcement of immigration laws is inhumane and unacceptable.
The temperature of discussion about immigration had been raised earlier in the week when a young Salvadoran man and his two-year-old daughter were drowned crossing the Rio Grande near Brownsville, Texas. A photograph of their corpses was placed prominently on the front pages of Wednesday's New York Times and other Progressive outlets.
What had happened, according to the man's widow, was that husband, wife, and infant had left a poor but comfortable home in El Salvador in hopes of getting asylum in the U.S.A., where they could get better-paying jobs. They'd both had jobs, don't seem to have been in serious want, and weren't under any kind of threats or persecution. I don't know what grounds they planned to make their asylum claim on. I presume they had some kind of sob story rehearsed.
Anyway, when they got to the U.S. border they were told they faced a long wait because of the surge of asylum-seekers. They had Mexican visas that allowed them to work in Mexico for a year, so they could have waited it out, but decided to swim the river instead. The result followed.
It's a sad story for sure, but I can't see how the U.S.A. is at fault. Countries have immigration procedures, and only so many staff to carry them out. What was the border post supposed to do when these Salvadorans showed up — just wave them in?
The answer from this week's Democratic candidates seems to be: Yes!
None of the so-called moderators — who included such impeccably unbiased persons as Rachel Maddow and the aforementioned José Díaz-Balart — asked the obvious questions about this. Most obvious of all:
Current world population is 7.7 billion. Surveys show that a sizable subset of that number — several hundred million — would like to leave their poor countries and move to richer ones, with the U.S.A. a prime destination. In your opinion, Mr or Ms Candidate, is there any upper limit to the number we should allow in?
Of course nobody asked that. At any rate, searching the two debate transcripts for the word "limit" got no hits.
While I was at it I thought I'd do a search for "Koch," K-o-c-h, as in "Koch brothers." I had in mind the memorable reply Bernie Sanders gave to Ezra Klein four years ago when Klein asked him about open borders.
[Clip: "Open borders? That's a Koch brothers proposal."]
Didn't any of the moderators in Thursday night's debate think to remind Bernie of that? Apparently not. I wonder why not …
Peter Buttigieg, who is Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, went up a couple of ticks in my estimation when Rachel Maddow asked him why the proportion of blacks in South Bend's police force hadn't increased during his mayoralty. Replied Buttigieg: "Because I couldn't get it done."
You don't often hear that level of frank candor from a politician. Buttigieg went on to spoil the effect somewhat with some boilerplate blather about "systemic racism." Quote:
I am determined to bring about a day when a white person driving a vehicle and a black person driving a vehicle when they see a police officer approaching feels the exact same thing. A feeling not of fear but of safety.
Given the sensationally higher levels of criminality among blacks, a police officer exercising extra caution when approaching a vehicle driven by a black person is just practicing statistical common sense, like taking an umbrella when you go out on an overcast day. It might not rain, but why take a chance?
Still I'll allow credit to Peter Buttigieg for his frankness, and for his generally thoughtful demeanor.
Similarly with Andrew Yang, although here we had less to go on. As everyone has pointed out, Yang is a big-ideas guy, and his kind of big ideas don't condense easily into sound bites. Like Buttigieg, though, he came across as a normal human being that you could have some kind of conversation with, different from Barking Bernie, Jittery Joe, Harpy Harris, or the gal who wants to meet us on the field of love.
Best of all in my opinion was Tulsi Gabbard. That was the opinion of many other viewers, too, to judge from the search results reported afterwards.
Congressgal Gabbard has the advantage of youth: She is the second-youngest in that field of twenty candidates, just nine months older than Peter Buttigieg. She's also easy on the eye. Not beautiful — she's a bit too stocky and high-T to be beautiful — but healthy-looking, with pleasant regular features. If you want to explore that aspect of things further, check out her workout video; we posted it on the VDARE.com Twitter feed.
What really made her stand out from the Wednesday night field, though, was her sensible comments about foreign policy. With Iran in the news this past few days, it was mighty refreshing to hear a Democrat say, quote:
Donald Trump and his cabinet, Mike Pompeo, John Bolton, and others — are creating a situation that just a spark would light off a war with Iran, which is incredibly dangerous. That's why we need to de-escalate tensions. Trump needs to get back into the Iran nuclear deal and swallow his pride, put the American people first.
I can't truthfully say I stood up and cheered at that point; but for a few seconds, at least, my eyes stopped rolling.
In last week's podcast I did a rough correlation-of-forces analysis, identifying some major factors that will determine next year's race, and trying to guess their weight. The first determinative factor, I said, would be the quality of the opposition.
On this week's showing, I have to say, I think the quality of the opposition is lower than I thought, and Trump's chances correspondingly higher. I still think it's going to be uphill all the way for him, against massive bias in the media and social media, and his own disappointing failures, especially on immigration. I feel better than I did, though.
What gives me most hope is that, based on these two debates, the Democrats, for all their angry energy and rhetorical talent, and for all the solid media support they'll be getting, the Democrats are missing some key point; a point that Donald Trump, for all his weaknesses and failures, for all his stupid cabinet appointments and broken promises, has grasped.
What is that point? I think you can see it more clearly if you look across the Atlantic at the Brexit mess. Helen Dale had a very good article over at the Law & Liberty website June 19th, title: Brexplaining the UK's Future. Sample, speaking of the 2016 Brexit referendum:
Any political party that won an absolute majority (52 per cent) of such a large turnout (72 per cent) should be in legitimacy clover. It would be able to do anything … during its term of office. But this colossal fissure is between governors and governed, not Government and Opposition. As a result, the Mother of Parliaments has transformed itself into a legislative Blunderdome. Brexit is blowing up Parliament where Guy Fawkes failed.
The old fissure, she is saying, the fissure between toffs and proles, between capital and labor, Tory and Labour, no longer matters very much. This new "colossal fissure" opening up is opening up on both the left and the right.
Britain's Labour party, the party of social democracy, has both Leavers and Remainers in quantity. Working-class people in the old provincial towns and country districts distrust big supranational institutions run by foreigners; they want to leave the EU.
Metropolitan intellectuals, on the other hand, get a moralistic charge from showing their love for the whole world, especially via uncontrolled mass immigration.
Both groups have traditionally voted Labour; now they are on opposite sides of that fissure.
Likewise with the Tories. Globalist business types increasingly regard national borders as a nuisance. Traditionalist Tories out in the shires, however, cherish their patriotism and honor their national heroes.
I've over-simplified there. The situation in Britain is massively complicated by local nationalism, especially Scottish and Irish. Still, watching this week's Democrat debates, hearing the studio audience whoop and holler as Bernie Sanders railed against Wall Street and, quote, "the big money interest[s] who have unbelievable influence over the economic and political life of this country," I wanted to yell back at him: "YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT!"
Those big-money interests are globalist and internationalist, just like the Democrat-voting college administrators and Corporate HR directors and big-city yuppies. The seriously big-money people, like the bosses of Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, and Google, would have been at home in that debate hall, whooping along with the audience. And the Republican Party donor elites, the ones Donald Trump defeated in the 2016 primaries, are on the same page.
On the other page are millions of working-class people in, again, the old provincial towns and country districts, people whose parents voted Democrat, and perhaps still do out of habit.
Allied with them are don't-tread-on-me patriots, military and law-enforcement types, evangelicals and gun enthusiasts, at all economic levels, who are fed up with reckless demographic change — who want the country their children live in to bear some reasonably close resemblance to the one their parents lived in.
Red, blue; provincial, metropolitan; nationalist, globalist; The fissures opening up all around us map only very approximately — less well with every day that passes — onto our traditional party platforms. Bernie Sanders urging on his followers to eat the rich is missing the point … by a mile.
Will Democrats eventually get the point? If they do, their party could be in for its own Donald Trump moment. As my pal the Z-man posted yesterday, quote:
If 2016 was the year Conservatism Inc. finally cracked, 2020 could be the year Progressivism Inc. has its crisis.
Now that will be fun to watch!
Imprimis: I routinely refer to Bill de Blasio as "New York City's communist mayor." So far nobody's complained, so I don't need to justify myself. If I ever do, though, de Blasio gave me just the thing on Thursday.
This was at Miami airport, the day following Wednesday's debate. There was some kind of a rally of airport workers wanting better pay and conditions, and de Blasio addressed them, urging them to unionize. He closed his address with the hearty call: "¡Hasta la victoria, siempre!" which apparently is Spanish for: "Ever on to victory!"
That was a catchphrase popularized by Cuban communist leader and mass murderer Che Guevara. Miami, just to remind you, has a big community of Cuban exiles — descendants of people who fled the communist terror being so enthusiastically implemented by, among others, Che Guevara.
De Blasio claims he did not know this; but as Marco Rubio has pointed out, this is a guy who studied Latin American politics at college and honeymooned in Fidel Castro's Cuba in violation of a U.S. travel ban.
So … is it fair to call de Blasio "New York City's communist mayor"? I rest my case.
There has since been an incident in Toronto's City Square — nothing to do with us, I hasten to assure you.
This was on Monday, June 17th. The occasion was a huge gathering, in City Square, of sports fans: precisely, basketball fans. Uh-oh.
Yes, they have basketball in Canada — who knew? Toronto's team, the Raptors, belongs to the NBA. June 13th in Oakland, California the Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors to win the NBA championship — the first win ever for a team not from the U.S.A.
This victory generated a gush of emoting from Canadian multiculturalists, notably Canadian writer of color Omer Aziz in the New York Times. The winning Raptors team were not, you see, old-line white Canadians. According to Steve Sailer, who knows his sports, they are all imports from the U.S.A., and so far as I can tell, all black. Swooned Omer Aziz, quote:
Minorities are now a majority in Toronto. In a few decades, the country itself will be majority brown. And on the streets Thursday night we saw the future of the West.
So Monday, June 17th there was a huge victory rally in Toronto's City Square — more than a million people by some reports. In line with Mr Aziz's dream come true, the celebration was gloriously multicultural, with a large black component. And then, guess what. Washington Post, June 18th, headline: Four people wounded, three arrested, in shooting at Toronto Raptors celebration.
The latest news I have, from Associated Press, June 18th, is that three people have been arrested in connection with the shootings. Their names are: Shaquille Anthony Miller, 25, Abdikarim Kerow, 18, and Thaino Toussaint, 20.
Ah yes, the future of the West.
Item: Congratulations to Ms Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck of Beloit, Wisconsin, now Doctor Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck. Yes, the lady was awarded a Ph.D. by Cardinal Stritch University. And yes, those are her actual forenames: Marijuana Pepsi.
The title of her dissertion was: "Black names in white classrooms: Teacher behaviors and student perceptions." So now you know that she is black. No nonblack person would write a dissertation with a title like that; and if any nonblack person did write such a dissertation, no academic institution would give her a doctorate for it.
Here we are in the strange, precious little world first revealed to most of us by the case of Michelle Obama, whose Princeton bachelor's thesis had the title, if I remember it correctly, "Blackety-blackety-blackety Black Black Black Blackety-black."
Dr Vandyck tells us she works full time at Beloit College, quote, "as the head of a program that helps first-generation college students and those from low-income backgrounds," end quote. Now that she has her doctorate, though, she's considering working as a professor.
I guess I'm fine with that. If she wants reparations for slavery, though, I shall protest. Looks to me like she's already had her reparations.
Stretching somewhat my theme about the old party boundaries mapping less and less well to our actual social divisions, and reaching for some multiracial points in hopes of mollifying an enraged Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck, here to see us out is an old favorite of mine from, oh dear, sixty years ago.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Shirley Bassey, "The Party's Over."]