Highbrow pundits, listeners, this is Zeeb, I am here posting something from my other podcast, Unsupervised Learning on, you know, potential for civil war and conflict in the United States with a political scientist, Richard Hanania.
I think it's very important that people listen to what Richard has to say because he is very well informed.
And so I am doing a special crosspost. I hope you enjoy it. This podcast is brought to you by the Albany Public Library, main branch in the generosity of listeners like you. God, getting these people to get my. Rozi Khan's unsupervised learning. Hey, everybody, it's Zeeb, I am here with my friend, Dr. Richard Hanania. Can you introduce yourself, Richard?
Yeah, sure. I am the president of the founder of the Center for Study of Partisanship and Ideology. We under we research social psychology, political science, underexploited topics in the social sciences. I'm also a research fellow at Defense Priorities, where I write about American foreign policy. Yeah, that's about it now. So, you know, Richard, I've talked to you before, you know, we know each other online and whatnot, and, you know, I've talked to you about foreign policy, those sorts of things, the election.
And now I want to talk to you about what's going on in the United States right now as we speak in the middle of January after January 6th, which I think is a date for most listeners in the United States that I don't need to elaborate. But there was some violence that happened on the Capitol, our legislative building for the federal government on January 6th, crowd of pro Trump people.
And, you know, there's a lot going on. Lynne Cheney just came out saying that she's going to vote to impeach. She's number three among the Republicans.
So a lot of a lot of shift is happening. You wrote an article in The Washington Post.
I don't know how many months ago was that article? Was that op ed in the wall?
I remember because it was the Sunday before the election. So was something like October 31st, November four or something like that.
So it was basically throwing cold water on the idea that there could be a civil war, some serious conflict. The United States, which is which is a you know, it's a model.
It's a theory that people were putting out there a couple of months ago. So now we have violence. Police officer died. Someone was shot in a federal building. Facebook, Twitter kicked Donald Trump off their platforms. There is rumors of violence everywhere in all the capitals and marches. Has this updated your model in any way?
And then also, can you just tell us really quickly, you did a Blogads TV with Bob, right. And so I'll put the links are there for the show notes. But you know where you outlined your theory? I told Bob why you do not believe a civil war will happen in this country. So could you talk about that and any updates since then?
Sure. So, yeah, I you know, I can't take credit for what I've been summarizing from the Civil War literature and the blogging since TV and then the Washington Post article. But basically the idea is and it's you know, it's an idea that I'm just taking and sort of applying to modern America. Is that the model of civil war that most people are working off of is a grievance based model. If Americans hate each other and they do hate each other more than ever, we have a lot of data on that and a lot of sort of anecdotal anecdotal data supporting that so that that part is true.
The idea is that we're getting closer to civil war. We're getting closer to conflict. Now, if you look at actually the civil war literature, what predicts civil wars, basically having a poor country, having some kind of political destabilization like, you know, like like decolonization or something like that, it's just some external shock or are also, you know, geography that poor states can't reach. It generally does not happen in rich countries. In fact, it's never happened in a country anywhere close to the United States, anywhere close to as wealthy as the United States.
Does that mean it can't happen? No. But I mean, all we really have to go on is the past and technology changes and society changes in response to technology and economics. So you never know. But if you're just going past with the past as a guide, I would say civil war is highly unlikely. Now, looking at the circumstances of the United States today and wealthy countries today and sort of which way has technologically pushed, hasn't made a civil war more likely or less likely or other kinds of mass violence?
You know, my my intuition is to say probably less likely because you have these you have the Internet, you have these channels of communication, you have these epistemological bubbles, and everyone has their own news channel and website and social media. So maybe you say, OK, there's more there's more division. At the same time, the police, the FBI, the NSA, they have these things, too. And if you think it's lack of state power that causes civil war, then the state has really never been better positioned to to head off threats to it.
So whether it's been whether my model has been updated, I'd say no. I mean, I never said that bad things wouldn't happen in the United States. I mean, I think that bad things can happen. This was I would not downplay what happened on last Wednesday. They breached the capital. They had these five people died. Three Trump supporters died of their own health problems. One of them was shot by a Capitol Hill police officer and one Capitol Hill police officer was beaten to death.
It's obviously terrible. There's videos of these people going around chanting worse. Mike Pence, where's Nancy? I don't think they were looking for them to have a nice conversation with them. So it was a pretty it was a pretty big deal and a pretty awful, awful thing. But but civil war or something else? It's a civil war, a civil war or something where depending on the definition news, usually it's generally a thousand people die a year in armed conflict.
And I don't see that happening. I mean, the worst case scenario, I've updated my priors a little bit, I'd say on like political instability, whether we can have we can't just have it. We can just have a coup. We could have a coup, a coup is not a civil war, and I think if we did have a coup, it wouldn't end in civil war because one side would just have the government and that would be it.
So it's up to my priors on that a little bit. People say that if there was a smarter Trump, maybe he could have pulled this off. I think that's I think that's probably true. But I don't think you can bank on a smarter Trump ever coming along. I think he was sort of a unique character, the sort of connection he had with the republic. He still has with the Republican base the sort of way his mind melded with them and then combined with his personal traits of just not caring about morality in any way.
That's that's a unique individual. And like, you know, you could say, well, take that individual must make him a little smarter and maybe things work out differently. Well, you never know if you're going to get that. That could be that could be like a unicorn. So, yeah, I think our Constitution is a little more fragile than I thought. Do I think that we're going to start we're going to see people killing each other in large numbers in the next few years?
No, I still don't believe that. All right, so so civil war for political scientist, you are a political scientist, has a technical definition of a thousand people being killed in conflict within the country, Dewdrop?
Yes, exactly. And sometimes there's you know, there's people will use different definitions. But generally that's that's the most you know, that's the most commonly used definition.
All right. And so, you know, I guess that by that definition, we've only had the civil war, the 60s then because there were conflicts and, you know, instability.
But I mean, a thousand seems a lot. Oh, yeah, I mean, but you have to have a cut off, you have to have a cut off somewhere, right? I mean, they can't be you know, if you consider every time there's a mass shooting, civil civil war than we've had, we've had multiple civil wars every year for the last decade. You know, that can't be right, too. So, you know, it's easy to say, you know, that, you know, I predict bad things are going to happen and then bad things happen.
And you're right. But, you know, you have to sort of discuss each of these things differently. Right. Is a civil war likely while there's certain causes of that? Is is a coup likely or not? There's different causes of that. So you have to you have to think about sort of these things individually. Bad things will happen is not a prediction. And I predict bad things will happen in the next few years, too, as just, you know, we have to be specific about what we're talking about.
Yeah. I mean, one thing that I am noting is, you know, we're talking about civil war and coup.
And, you know, I want to ask you about what you mean by coup, but it looks like a lot of the elite. Right. Is turning on Trump rather quickly. I mean, they were not they were not totally bought in ever anyways. It was obviously partly just self-interest. But, you know, if you look at the front of National Review, it is not feeling very Trump friendly right now. People like Madison Cawthorn are now turning on their previous flirtation with violence.
Lynne Cheney, as I mentioned at the beginning, comes out in favor of impeachment. McConnell, who was never a big Trump fan, is sending signals that he's happy with, you know, an impeachment. Just saw a headline right now. Meghan McCain said some really negative things about people who rush. Did you see that?
Not not specifically Meghan McCain saying that other stuff.
Well, I mean, she's married to that Dominic, who owns or not owned.
He runs he founded the Federalist.
So which is probably the closest to mainstream conservative media. That's PROMACTA. I mean, not talk radio, not American greatness or whatever. So I think that that's a signal. So BITD as president elect, he's going to be president anyway. Would it be a coup if I mean, how do you define a coup, would it be a coup if they impeach Trump and, you know, he can never run again? I mean, I don't really know, like how we classify that.
Well, no. I mean, I think a coup would be to impeach him. I mean, that's all that's all legal procedure running, you know, having invading the capital and sort of physically intimidating them to not certify Biden's vote, I think is something closer to Cuba. I don't I don't put much stock in sort of the Republicans turning on Trump. I mean, I'll I'll tell you the I would I would still be shocked if they voted to impeach him even after he's gone.
The thing is, the the you know, it seems like a lot.
Liz Cheney is number three in the House among Republicans and then medicine. Cawthorn didn't actually say, hell, impeach him, but who said he said that he regretted going along with the stop the steel stuff and the other. There's Adam Kinzinger and one other congressmen. And these these aren't surprising. These aren't people who are who are sort of a hardcore Trump is before. We haven't really seen we haven't really seen that break yet. And I think you have to understand American politics in the context of everything is about polarization.
So if you look at the last 10 years, every highly salient, pretty much, I think without exception, any highly salient thing the Congress is voting on has almost always has always, as far as I can remember, broken down along party lines with maybe a handful switch between parties. So what am I talking? I'm talking about Obamacare, which Obama worked really hard to get some Republicans on board. They stayed firm. No Republicans went on board talking about the attempt to repeal Obamacare, which a few Republicans went with the Democrats on.
But it was still I was still, I think Collins. And it was like Collins and McCain or something. I'm talking about Supreme Court votes and then the Trump tax cut, that impeachment and the first impeachment itself. So each one of these was almost a perfect party line vote. Why? I mean, they're structural. They're structural things going on here. The Republicans in particular live in fear of talk radio and they live in fear of being primaried.
And I would I would maybe buy the idea that they would force them out a little more seriously.
If you just watch Sean Hannity tonight and you watch Tucker tonight and Laura Ingraham tonight, I would I would look what Fox News is doing more than what sort of people on Twitter are doing. I think that's what they live in, fear of talk radio and and sort of Fox News.
So, yeah, I think there's there's a there's a little bit of a break for Trump. The the so we have at least three Republicans who are going to vote for the impeachment House. It was zero on the Ukraine and impeachment. Maybe it'll go up a little higher. I'd be very surprised. I'd be very surprised if it went up much higher than that. They're over him. I mean, they they have an excuse now in the sense that he'll be gone in a week.
So they can just say, you know, this is this is divisive. The country needs to move on and they have to vote.
And I think they'll probably you know, there's there's just it's just a I mean, they hate the guy. They're really sick of Trump and what he's done to the party. But but it's they're still scared to death of their base and they're still scared to death of being primaried. And if it's like a 50 50 issue within the Republican Party, but the activist base, like, really loves Trump, I don't think they're going to do it. So you think I mean, let's get a number from you, like so in the house, it's going to be mostly party line.
There'll be a few people that break, but once it gets to the Senate, like how many how many people will vote to convict? I mean, all the Democrats and then.
Yeah, and then Romney, maybe maybe Collins and Murkowski and then Sasse. And that would get you to fifty four. You need 67. And I think there's a big drop off in probabilities after after those, after those four. I think if there's any, anybody else is the usual suspect. You still got a long way to go to get to, to get to sixty seven. Yeah. And I doubt you get there.
Yeah. Yeah that seems, that seems, that seems a reasonable assessment. So no civil war. What's your, what's your. Let's say let's give, let's give some probabilities. OK, let's give some probabilities.
Civil war in 20. I love for people I love.
I love that you do this. This is how every podcast is, how every political discussion should be and then we can fairly judge people.
Well I mean, you know, twenty, twenty one hasn't really started yet. But let's, let's, let's pro-rated a little nine hundred deaths due to internal conflict that like let's call that a civil war. Twenty, twenty one. What's your what's your probability on that. What's your confidence on the probability.
Twenty, twenty, twenty one. Just this what. This one year. Yeah. Oh, close to close to zero, like, OK, point I mean, point one, it's one in high confidence, maybe point two with ninety five percent, one in point for something, one point five, something like that point five would be actually pretty high for a civil war. Right. There'd be one in two hundred I think. I think I'm pretty comfortable with that.
The ninety five.
All right. So let's push this to twenty, twenty eight so it'll be most of the twenty twenties.
What is your probability that there is over those years, let's say like what is your confidence that none of those years have one thousand deaths. Civil war. So I said for the next year, about point two, so these these aren't independent probabilities, you have more, but I don't suspect that, you know, I think Trump is so unique that if it was going to happen, it probably would have happened under Trump. But like I said, there's there's not a great chance that another Trump will come along.
So it doesn't waiting till twenty, twenty eight. I don't think Bump's set up that much. Maybe you go from point to two point four or something like that.
OK, well I mean that's one out of two hundred or one out of 250. You're saying there's a one out of one hundred, one out of two hundred and fifty chance that there is a civil war. I'm just I'm trying to make it seem like.
Yeah, that's I guess that's not nothing. I mean, I have seen people I mean, people should put probabilities because you read these articles and they'll say, you know, we're dangerously close and you don't know if they mean one in a thousand or one in two or one in five. Right. I mean, that could mean anything. So, yeah, it's it's good to put that. I don't know if that's a lot or not, but I generally think when people say civil war is a distinct possibility, I generally think they mean higher probability than one or two fifty.
I bet if you went to a had a predicted market on this, you know, I bet it would be like five cents. Yes. So my mind my estimate is way lower than I sort of have a feel for this because I play these betting markets. So I have a feel of this. I think it would be like a five to 10 percent thing on the betting markets. So my view is much lower than you could say what the conventional wisdom is.
Well, what about a coup? What about a coup in between now and twenty twenty eight? What is your probability of that? Maybe. I mean, OK, so I guess we have to I mean, we we have an easy definition for civil war and I guess a coup would be some kind of forcible removal. So I think something like that, you just look at it and you say, OK, that that's that's sort of outside the bounds of solid legal.
Now, look, if Magga marched to Capitol Hill and they just sort of physically intimidated, like, you know, just sort of a shame if, you know, if you don't go along with this and then they threw out the votes and then they and then they crowned Trump president for life or president for the next four years. Prison for life would be an easy case. Is that a coup or not? Oh, that's sort of a borderline case.
Yeah, I think I think Odzala, as I said, I said by twenty twenty eight point four maybe for civil war. Well, there's only like two elections. So, like, civil war could happen like any time. Well, elections, there's only there's only like two elections, I say probably lower than the civil war. And Biden's going to be president for four years. I don't I don't expect him to pull off a coup. So it may probably even lower than the civil war.
I thought it was. Yeah, I see it more as a theoretical possibility. You just have to have sort of the right. You know, I'm shocked, actually, the extent to which the Republican Party has gone along with Trump's Trump's nonsense. I mean, it's really it's really high. No, it's still holds. And once again, a smarter Trump maybe could pull it off. A smarter Trump would be a very different man and he may never come on, get out of that.
But that just just not something you can bank on. Yeah, I want to come back some territory in a second, but let me ask you about the whole Trump thing, because I've had discussions with people about this, a smarter Trump, you know, a more strategic thinker rather than an instinctive tactician.
I'm being generous with the way I'm describing him, I think. But, you know, let's put it that way, you know, would would have been more effective. Right. But in terms of what he wanted to do. But people point out, well, he probably wouldn't have gotten nominated at one like. Is that do you think that's correct?
Yeah. I mean, I think part of Trump's genius and this is something I go by feeling just I have a lot of friends and family who are, you know, working class or who are Trump supporters, elderly and.
Wait, wait, wait. Elderly Trump supporters.
Have that code, is that code for white supremacists? Well, if you consider Arabs whites a white supremacist, yeah, maybe so. Yeah, they are.
And I think that their minds are so melded with his to me and you receive me and you do not watch do not watch a lot of cable news. Right. I mean, I don't watch TV. Yeah. Well there you go. I mean you're more elite than me. I watch, I at least watch, I watch some TV and I try to watch some cable news just to sort of just to sort of get a sense of where the political culture is.
I think I just think it's necessary to sort of, you know, just have a have a good opinion on these things. And Trump is mind melded with them because he's watching TV all day. Now, even these people that I know probably don't watch as much TV as Trump, but they're watching a couple of hours of Fox News a night and his brain is sort of going in the same places and they go about the same things that that were his brain is a smarter Trump.
What would it be able to do that smarter? Trump like would have to sit there studying like talkradio and studying like Sean Hannity and like seeing how to appeal to them. And human beings have evolved. And I'm sure you know this. If there's one thing they evolve to do is to sort of read other people well. And someone like Josh Hartnett comes along, you say, oh, maybe that's a smart Trump. You know, it's funny. Somebody tweeted, somebody wrote in Newsweek, they're like that.
Watch out for this guy. This is Trump without the stupidity and the open racism. And I'm like, that's what made Trump successful, like the stupidity and open racism. It's not Trump. And like he's not as successful. So you can tell, like, you could feel that connection is not there, how he can talk about bringing jobs back from China. He could talk about immigration, he can talk about elites. And you could talk about people are out of touch us.
And that that doesn't give you the connection. It's not simply that. So, yeah, Trump is a unique figure and, you know, might get very boring after him because people are discounting the possibility that it just goes back to normal. There's Biden, there's come all others, you know, Nikki Haley and Ted Cruz coming down the line. Unless it's Trump himself, I don't really see a smart Trump sort of waiting in the wings.
What about what about Don Jr.? Do you have you watch cable TV? He must be. I think he shows up on there. I mean, what about his instincts? What about his abilities, do you think? Regression to the mean.
Yes, regression to the mean. As far as connection, you know, just going up. The thing about cult of personality, they seem to pass on genetically pretty well. The air becomes sort of the the selling point. They have the upper hand, which all the, you know, sort of like a like like a king who goes off, you know, who goes off after a revolution and they try to reinstate him because there's sort of name brand recognition of the monarchy.
And just that's where all that's where all the monarchs are going to go. So if Don Junior wants it and Trump gets behind him, you know, maybe I don't think it's going to be as deep of a connection. But if he's plugged into that universe to Trump doesn't seem to like his son as much as he likes Ivanka.
And if we don't, we don't we don't need to talk about the reasons for this.
I mean, come on. I think it's I think it's I think I think that would be pretty natural preference, actually. But, yeah, I think she's underrated as part of, you know, people who think that Trump is some is about actually owning the lives of, like, being plugged in to talk radio and like talking about girl sports and trends and girl sports. If you think that's what Trump is about, then you think it's Don Junior.
If you think it's just a cult of personality and then, you know, just about being able to sort of, you know, just being there and having Trump's blessing and just sort of going up there and just saying whatever. And then Devika would be much more appealing, I think, to normal Republicans and moderates. I think people are sleeping on her as potentially the true heir.
So basically, Ivanka is is is Jacob and dodgin. You could be eesa.
Maybe we're throwing out we're throwing out some references there. So I'm going to let me just for the listener.
I mean, I think a lot of you guys will know, but basically a regression to the mean means that, you know, indicates, let's say that you have someone with exceptional characteristics. So, for example, in a sports analogy, would be Michael Jordan, arguably one of the two best basketball players in the history of the world. There's an argument whether LeBron James is as good. So let's just say one of the two. So Michael Jordan has several sons, many of them, I think at least one of them played in college sports.
But he wasn't actually that great as a college athlete, but he was still a college basketball player, which is still considerably better than ninety nine point nine nine nine percent of people who play basketball. Right. So, you know, he had some talent.
But Michael Jordan is exceptional in many ways on many dimensions. And if you have a characteristic genetically, which is not entirely heritable, there's a lot of noise parameters, noisy factors, perhaps development, perhaps environment, perhaps contingency and happenstance that lead to Michael Jordan being who he is. Like, why exceptional on all these metrics? Well, the genetic part is heritable. It's going to go to. So they're tall, they're probably pretty muscular, they're pretty athletic, there's a lot of people like that, but Michael Jordan has a lot of special things and some of those might just be random and they're not going to transmit to the offspring.
So you have these cases with exceptional individuals who do not have offspring who are nearly as exceptional, even if the offspring are OK. So Michael Jordan, the sons are OK.
They're much more athletic, the typical person, but they're no Michael Jordan, who's you know, he's one of the best basketball players in the history of the world. Right. And so that's what I'm saying is, you know, if Donald Trump has these exceptional tactical, instinctive characteristics of connecting to the MCG people, this doesn't seem like it's necessarily going to be a very heritable characteristic.
It could be due to various things in his life and in his experience combined with his personality. And so that's why I say maybe it's regression to the mean, because Don Jr. on paper is actually a much more Balga person. He's much more conventionally conservative. But, you know, there's a whole biographical stuff that you could look up about, Don Junior, and how his dad doesn't always respect him. You know, so there's that issue. Can you talk can you talk about what a selling point is?
Also, a selling point is just sort of a place where, you know, but it's a place. How do how do I explain? This has been what I taught game theory at UCLA, but it's it's been a while. So the selling point is basically somewhere where everyone agrees. So you want to coordinate in some way. Right. But, you know, it's a coordination problem and that you don't know me and say we lost our phones and we want to meet in New York City and we're going to be in New York City, but we can't coordinate the exact the exact place.
Where would you go?
Where would I go? Empire State Building. I'd go to Times Square so close, we'd go somewhere in Manhattan, we'd go somewhere in Manhattan. But that's the idea. If he would have said Times Square to you and said, yeah. So I think point is basically somewhere where you can people can coordinate, doesn't it doesn't have it's sort of like an unconscious process.
Right. So if you're a monarchist, you usually you gather around the first born son of the king and you try to try to have a counter-revolution. So the idea is that Trump is sort of a cult of personality. And I think with Trump, what he was at in 2016 was sort of a selling point for everyone who hated PC and he was just swallowing up so, so much attention that he was there.
And so if Magga has a you know, if Mac is going to go somewhere and Trump is whatever he for whatever reason, he doesn't run again in twenty, twenty four, which which, you know, he still might. The idea is that an heir could be would be the most natural person for sort of magnetic guard. And then putting aside I mean that's assuming independent coordination, putting aside the possibility that Trump just says, hey, this is my heir, which you would probably be more likely to do for one of his offspring than for some for some random congressman.
So, yeah, that's that's the idea. So, yeah, I think if there is an heir to Magga, it has to be it has to be literally another Trump. Otherwise these are just different people fighting and none of them has that sort of star star power, that quality that just makes them stand out and makes everyone, everyone come to them and to the party at the expense of everyone else. So, you know, we're talking about dynasties here, so, you know, I'm a population geneticist, I have like kind of a cognitive toolkit.
I have some experience, I have some heuristics that I use to interpret the world.
So I like to ask you as a political scientist, you know these sorts of questions just for the listener. Just give you some context why I asked you these sorts of random questions, because for you, they're not as random dynasties. Like, what do we know about political dynasties in democratic societies? Like we have had a few, but not nearly as many as, say, India or some other countries.
Yeah, I mean, politics is one of those things where, you know, people debate how much talent and connections matter and various things like that. I think that politics is one place where clearly connections matter a lot more than any than anywhere else. So you do you know, the probably the best predictor of being a president or being congressman is having a father who was we don't have dynasties in the same way that they do in India, where the for example, or they just sort of go on forever.
Bush's you know, they have there was a father, a father and the son and there was a grandfather to next generation will see. But our politics seems to be a little bit too open for it to go beyond two to three generations. But, you know, you could see you could see how it makes sense. You know, politics is to a great extent. You know, it's a great extent of finding these sorts of coordination problem, people working together, finding a sort of a natural person to put their support behind.
It's about brand names. It's about, obviously, the connections, knowing how to do it. So, yeah, political dynasties, political dynasties are common in democracies, but not as much as some other place. I'd say the US, you know, I don't know that much about like somewhere like France, but sort of a more elite system where, you know, my understanding is the French are the French leaders are selected among an academic elite. So people like Le Pen, who are sort of outside of that, my understanding is that in a lot of European countries, it's not as if they're even more or less like they're even less likely to be dynasties than the United States.
But, yeah, I mean, we could be I mean, the the thing about the Trump movement, it's something new. I mean, I do believe it's not just it's not just the natural culmination of sort of the Tea Party or what the right's been doing for the last 30 years. I think he's brought a lot of people into politics that weren't there before. I think the Tea Party, for example, 10 years ago, was a lot of people who are already Republican activists who had conservative views, who were just sort of angry and and they were reacting to Obama.
And and it was something like we'd seen before. Trump is know some of those at some of the same people. But it's also a lot of people who seem not to have been that involved in politics before. That's why he's actually pretty good for Republican turnout. Democrats had this idea that if they just got turnout high enough, they would just sweep elections forever. And and they were freaking out over Texas in the last election because the turnout was so high.
They could just see from the early voting, they said we have a real chance here. While turnout Trump is Trump is really populist in the sense that a lot of people like him who aren't normally involved in politics while Tea Party was just, you know, a lot of high, high propensity voters becoming involved. And then the sort of the same thing we've all seen with the with the GOP. So because Trump ism is something new, I think the dynasty model sort of makes sense for understanding it in a way that it doesn't for something else.
Like if it's an ideological movement, you think there's an ideological er if it's just a cult of personality, then you wouldn't expect an ideological heir because, you know, there is some ideology sort of to Trump. But I don't think I think if you're thinking in ideological terms, you're sort of missing what's going on. Yeah, that's I mean, that's that's. That makes sense, I mean, that's a really good point. So, you know, let me ask you then, what's going on with Georgia?
I'm, you know, because of everything that happened on the capital. And I want to loop back to that. I want to loop back to these people, the the the Viking guy and all of this weirdness, you know, but Georgia, the Democrats won two Senate races, which is pretty shocking to me, actually. I still have it, like totally internalized it that Georgia voted for Biden. And then there's a follow up with the two Senate races, like have you looked into that as a political science scientist?
What went on? Like, I know the mainstream narrative is that there was a depression in turnout on the margin in among the Trump people, either because Trump wasn't on the ballot or because he discourage them from showing up because he was claiming that it was going to be fraudulent anyway. Do you have any insights on that?
I mean, yeah, I've looked at I've looked at the data that probably you have looked at, too. Yeah. Georgia, I mean, is an interesting case. And there was a New York Times story about Stacey Abrams, actually. And I would actually right there was the New York Times podcast, there was also also an interview with her. And I was sort of as a political scientist, I say I was impressed with sort of her acumen.
She wasn't a lot of a lot of political analysis to sort of politically correct.
So what Stacey Abrams says in this interview is that, you know, people in Georgia always wanted to go after these moderate white voters or whatever white voters we can get. And the best predictor by far is race and how you vote in the South. So I'm just going to just try to get as many black votes as possible and we're going to go over that. I mean, if you have this demographic that votes 90 plus percent for you, I mean, you want to turn that out to the greatest extent possible.
The black population is much higher in Georgia than it is in the in the American electorate as a whole. I think it's something like 30 percent or something like that. So this was this was her idea. And I don't know why it hasn't been replicated. Somebody else everywhere else, like maybe like there's just other things going on in Georgia and or maybe Stacey Abrams is just that great of a political strategist. I don't know if that's the case, but, you know, there does seem to have been a lot of increase in in registrations and then, yeah, the turnout.
The New York Times just has a great graphic on where turnout went up and where it went down. So it went down more and it went down everywhere because it's a runoff. There's you know, there's a drop off compared to the general election, but it went down more and white working class districts compared to to compare it to African-American places. And when when the races are that polarized, the election almost becomes like a almost becomes like a census, especially non college whites in the south, or they're they're overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly Republicans.
So it's completely plausible to me that Trump walking around. I mean, he went to I mean, this is not small. Like he went to war with the governor and the secretary of state, who are both both Republicans. He told people the election was fake. I mean, there was there's videos of Irana McDaniel, the RNC chair, going down to Georgia and having your votes tell her why should we even vote like it's not going to count.
And so, you know, this is a one two percent difference from the from the presidential election. It's not it's not it's not shocking to me, especially after the what I saw, Biden won. And then I saw what Trump was sort of doing after that. It wasn't shocking to me that the Democrats also took those two seats. So it matters. It matters. It matters. Maybe not all that much. Now, the the median voter is Joe Manchin rather than Susan Collins or whatever in the Senate.
But, yeah, I mean, it's a lesson. Don't don't tell your voters the election is fake. Yeah. This is this is a clear case of Trump looking out for himself more than he was looking out for the party. And I think given the given what we saw in the November election, it wasn't really surprising that they took the Senate seats.
Still, do you know Adam Alkies that George Mason do you know of him? No, I don't. OK.
Anyway, he's we've been mutual followers for ten years. And apparently Assaf is a big fan of his Twitter account.
You know, like Coleman Hughes, he follows Coleman Hughes and a couple other people that are actually interesting. So maybe we're getting a maybe the intellectual dark web that has has affected Republicans and Democrats.
Are you saying USCIRF is a member? He is a are you saying Eric Weinstein is controlling the Senate?
It could be and it could be.
OK, that's I don't know. I don't know if I should put this podcast out in public. We don't want to incite it and sometimes people will follow it. We'll follow other people and they'll follow like one hundred thousand people like Obama follows like fifty thousand people or something. So if you're followed by Obama, it's no big deal. And I looked at stuff is actually the number of followers that it's not that much. It's like a few thousand. So like every single person in that that he's following, he knows a little something about.
So, yeah. I mean, it's interesting. It's great that he's following the news. I hope he has an influence on him.
Well, I mean, if you look at ourselves browser history, it could be that he's actually loaded the website Cuil that.
What do you think and who is more likely to have read it regularly, your typical Republican congressman or your typical Democrat? Probably a Democrat, frankly. Yeah, I think so, too. Yeah, I mean, just the moderate Democrats, you know, they might I don't they're not even going to hate Reid.
It's just because the left is so far left that, you know, they secretly just read it because they always have the thing that they're angry about. So I think that that's what's going on there. So let's talk about probabilities in Georgia. So, you know, we talked about the special election and they won both. Well, Warnock is up again in twenty twenty two. What do you think are the chances that the Republicans take it back? Do you think it'll regress back to the mean?
Well, here's the thing about midterm elections. Almost always the president's first midterm election. Whatever whoever wins the presidency, the first midterm election, they lose seats in Congress. So and this is just such a regularity, you know, for the last several decades, going back to like Truman and before that before Truman. I don't know if it goes back. I know it goes back to at least Truman. So you've got you know, you've got seventy seventy five years of, like, the modern era of this of this being a regular role.
So, yeah, midterms tend to be tough for the incumbent party that the Tea Party wave was during Obama's first term. You saw that that during Trump's first term, his first midterm, you know, they lost they lost the house. George W. Bush was an exception to this, but this was only like a year after 9/11. And so he was sort of riding high off of that. But generally, yes. So I think that yeah. I mean, you get regression to the mean.
I don't know what the new meaning is in Georgia. Maybe the new menas is a 50 50 state. Yeah, it's like sort of Colorado or Virginia. They were they were red states and they went blue very quickly without much time as purple. But, you know, give a 50 50 is the mean and and get us senators and congressmen and senators tend not to do good if they're belong to the same party as the president. Democrats say probably more likely than not.
Republicans take it down maybe 60 percent. I don't know. Well, I mean, that's a pretty good shot, though, for, you know, it's not we're not talking Alabama here where there was a freak event. Yeah, Alabama and Georgia are not are not the same. Alabama's Alabama's more solidly red. So. So, yeah, yeah. The Republicans probably favored in a neutral year. Maybe that's it's about it's about even but in a Yeah.
In a midterm year with with Warnock and then with Democrats in control of Congress, you know, it's easy to be in opposition. I mean, you could see why this makes sense. Things go wrong. And then just like, you know, you just say, well, that's that's the president. He sort of gets all the heat for it. And so you can see why this would happen. So, yeah, more likely than not, it would probably go back.
I think the you know, the Senate map, I think is relatively good for I have to look at the Senate map for 2012 to the map matter so much, it matters a lot more than it used to individual candidates and their qualities don't seem to matter as much as partisanship anymore. So, you know, if you look at the layout of the map, you'll get a better idea than than probably looking at the individual candidates who the Republicans nominate.
I mean, Georgia to matters. I mean, there they could be going into civil war for themselves. They have the camp. You know, the governor is going to be basically the target number one of the MAGGA people. And, you know, who knows how that shakes out. So it'll be a lot interesting to watch. Yeah, I mean, that's one way to say it, so, you know, I did have to do a podcast earlier with David Shaw, the famed heterodox Social Democrat, you know, on Cancelable.
And, you know, he was he was pretty based on the map and how it was pro-Republican.
But after the last couple of months. And what's going on between Magga and anti Bagua Republicans, I wonder if that matters as much because there might be a lot more infighting on the right in the next couple of years than you would rationally have assumed. Like, what do you think of that question, that consideration?
I think the I think there's a great possibility that Macka just gets shut down, that the the Trump just loses every every megaphone he has. He's he's not on Twitter. He's not on Facebook right there. I don't I don't see them reinstating him any time soon. I think Fox News didn't like him before he became president. I think they're they're sort of over him.
And so you need you know, you need you need a way to mobilize this. This thing needs a way to survive. I know. I was just saying he could have a dynasty unpredictable. I, I could see it go anywhere from he disappears to he you know, he sort of continues controlling the party. But, you know, now that I think about it, I think the the deep platforming is is just a really, really big deal.
And yeah, I guess I guess what I look at it now. I know that's why maybe the air is better because Don Junior and Ivanka can at least tweet. Maybe Trump tries to tries to force them to give them as it gets them Bantul. But, you know, they're going to actually have Twitter accounts while he doesn't. It's going to be fascinating. I mean, the the thing is about the Republican Party is that he used to be actually about, you know, would you get primaried?
It was about issues. So the Tea Party was sort of like, you know, you spent too much, you're too big government. There was this sort of this thing of preparing people for being too too friendly to immigration. This would just be do you like Trump enough or you know or not. And once the platform is gone and once the presidency is gone, I don't know how durable that'll be. I mean, he's he's he's still president.
I mean, literally being the president of the United States is a huge, huge platform. And, you know, people are going to sort of be drawn to you just for that. Once that's gone, I don't know. And you could just see the Republicans just sort of, you know, just sort of going back to normal and going back to what they've been. I don't know. It sort of depends on. The party is just interesting because it's so ideologically adrift, I mean, it's not like there's these factions where some are saying, you know, we need bigger government.
I mean, there are there really are. But what they're fighting over is the election real? You know, are you going to fight for Trump? This is what's causing the split, right? And Trump goes away. Maybe they'll be fighting over something else that maybe maybe they're not. Maybe the Trump people just sort of get discouraged and are not involved in politics for a while. I don't know what the future of the Republican Party is. Sort of a it's sort of hard.
It's hard to guess. Yeah, so, I mean, you know, before the unpleasantness of the of the six and even maybe in early December, I was assuming that the Republicans would win back in twenty, twenty two. Now I'm very uncertain. So like, you know, estimate probability, I'd say like 50 percent, like I know what I know what the history is.
But, you know, if you lose 10 to 20 percent of people because of ideological faction or cult of personality, these sorts of issues, you're going to lose.
So, I mean, what do you think about that hypothesis that Trump is also a great mobilizer for the other side, too? So I don't know if the resistance why moms are as excited when it's Biden trying to pass some incremental raising of taxes or, you know, incremental health care bill.
You know, are those people going to be as excited as they once were? I don't know. Right. So it's, you know, the Trump going away sort of cuts both ways. You could imagine you just go back to the place where the high propensity Republican voters show out, you know, show up, which was sort of seen as the norm 10 years ago on the Democrats, less so. I mean, one thing that was interesting in the Purdue Purdue Loffler Georgia races is that the the areas that were highly educated, white, swung much more towards the Republican senators.
So they sort of came home with these people who did not like Trump all that much. So the sort of high propensity voters might be going back to the Republican Party, you might get a depression in the crazy people on sort of both sides and it might be a good Republican Party. I just I just don't know. This is a you know, it's easy to predict. I think they're not going to be a civil war. I think it's harder to predict the future sort of trajectory of American politics.
They're just a lot going on.
Well, I mean, I guess if I had asked you this question, because, you know, I'm not I'm not a political scientist, I'm just a simple geneticist, you know, if you had asked me this question in the middle of November, I would have said, well, I mean, I'm pretty confident that the Republicans are going to take back a twenty twenty two because, like, look at the results and, you know, they they did OK even with Trump as a headwind and he's not going to be on the ticket anymore.
Twenty, twenty two. And I know about the midterms, blah blah blah, all of these things.
But the last month. Has been crazy. You know, I mean, it's I mean, it's it's it's been crazy, and so now I'm just really uncertain of these sorts of truisms of these patterns.
Yeah, I think that yeah. I mean, if someone told you three years ago, one of the main intellectual forces in the Republican Party would be the belief that satanic pedophiles were sort of running the world and Trump was going to save us from them. I think you would have said that was that was pretty crazy. And it doesn't seem like, you know, I think Kuhnen is actually going to go away, too. I think they're going to go all the way into the alzugaray.
And I think that I think the platforming in the censorship sort of works. You could imagine a world where Republicans sort of see Silicon Valley as doing their dirty work for them and they lot they'll fundraise and sort of saber rattling against them. But secretly, they're happy that they're they're taking care of this Trump problem for taking care of the Trump problem for them. You know, I think it was a little bit like that with 2016. A lot of people are being bad in 2016.
Twenty seventeen were sort of ultra white nationalist people like that. Republicans were happy to see them go. They were patrolling Ben Shapiro more than more than anyone else. Kuhnen might find itself in a in a similar place. And the Republican Party could, you know, sort of just run these generic suits who win elections just because of the backlash to openness. You're right that the last month has been crazy. I think if we had an election today, like with all the crazies, that the Republicans would be in a little bit of trouble.
But attention spans are short. And in two years, if you know just the headline, start being about something. Biden feel that if something bad happens, Republicans just sort of smile and look nice and and get ready for twenty, twenty two, you know, you never know. Things could bad things could just snap back to normal. I wouldn't, I don't you know. Yeah. I went to a couple for me, I went through this roller coaster too because I like you right afterwards.
I thought that the Republicans were actually in good shape. Just as long as it's not Trump, you know, they're going to be OK because, you know, there's just this backlash. And this was a terrible situation for Republicans just because Trump has never been that popular. Biden was the most moderate candidate, I think. And then the coronaviruses, I think a lot of things just sort of lined up for them pretty well. And they barely won.
Right? They barely they barely speak, as I said. Oh, Republicans have a I have a decent future. And then the Republican the infighting came. I'm like, oh, my God, Trump is going to be just a thorn in their side for the next few years, like stopping them from being normal. And then Trump got the platform. And I'm like, wait a minute, this might work out for Mitch McConnell after all. You know, I think that that problem might be solved for them.
So so we'll see if you change your mind on something like that three times in two months. You know, I wouldn't make I wouldn't hazard too much predictions about what's going to happen two or four years down the line. Yeah, you know, I wouldn't either I just I just want to be concrete in that. It seemed like a return to normalcy in a way was feasible in November, but. Oh, I think I think it's more feasible and I think Trump is uniquely important, I just think that he's just such a singular figure.
And I think if he just goes away, I mean, I think the odds of going back to normality are much. I don't I have not one of these people who believes in deeper forces. I mean, that they exist. But often it's just it's just a really unique politician is there and he's doing some stuff. And if he's gone, you know, the the craziness that's sort of associated with him goes with him. OK, OK, so the craziness that goes with it, you know, is associate with him goes.
So a lot of the people, like some of the people who rushed the Capitol, were normal upper middle class retiree types, which is pretty bizarre. But that you had like the Viking guy, you had the guy, the son of the judge in New York. You had baked Alaska.
Just you had a lot of random weirdos, weirdos just kind of disappear or are they here to stay? Yeah, I mean, people you know, it's like different parts of the population become mobilized at different times in history, depending on sort of, you know, this. So there was a lot of people who were maybe a sort of white nationalists are inclined in that direction who when they saw Trump in twenty sixteen and really galvanized them because there was somebody saying some stuff that was foregrounding the immigration issue, talking about stuff they cared about and antifa, you know, where were they, you know, five years ago they were you know, they were probably just broke college students.
They were doing occupy, they were doing what Occupy Wall Street before that. You know, Ross Perot brought out a lot of voters that just some people just didn't like either party. And this guy sort of talked like a businessman. He was sort of a proto Trump. And those people were low propensity voters that happened to turn out for Ross Perot. So you have these different points in history. And so, you know, Viking man was Viking man.
He had his genetic genetic qualities and his, you know, his unique personality as an individual and these other people dead. And if you if you transport him into nineteen nineties, nineteen ninety six presidential election and it's Bill Clinton and Bob Dole, and the joke in popular culture was there's no difference between these two. They're just two white guys in a suit. Right. Viking man doesn't care about politics. He gets into whatever video games, extreme sports.
I don't know. I don't know what like man does in his free time. Right. But he just stops caring about politics because there's there's not somebody who really speaks to him in that way. So you can imagine. Yeah, they they they they go away. I mean, that's it could be as simple as that. They, they, they're, they're still living their lives but they're just they're not mobilized. They don't feel like they're not energized, they don't feel like there's a movement that that's theirs and things sort of go back to normal politics.
Yeah. I don't know. What's a Trump Trump mobilized a lot of these kind of. I don't want to say young losers, but, well, I read your mail. That's right. There's a certain group of young guys drinking beer, marginally employed.
And these aren't most of the because the average voter is just the average Republican. But there's these people on the margin and they get a lot of airtime and newspaper coverage because they don't have to be marginally employed.
I don't know if that's a great predictor. They could be very successful, whatever they could be successful entrepreneurs, small business owners. I mean, I don't I don't know necessarily. They have to be large. So maybe some are marginally employed and they see Trump as someone there for them. But I think it's more of sort of a cycle psychological trait that, you know, not very intellectual. You don't like brokenness and, you know, you have nothing in common with these Republicans who just to to talk about tax cuts and small government.
And if that's the choice, you just don't care about politics. You don't get excited about it. And you're giving a guy like Trump was just like a businessman and telling you, you know, satanic pedophiles around the world, you know, conspiracy theorists are just the conspiracy theories are the most underrepresented people in in Congress and among elites, just like a guy who's sort of friendly to conspiracy theories. Every conspiracy nut subculture likes them from, you know, from 9/11 truthers to a.
A. taxers to, you know, just covid.
Denial's to Kuhnen. Right. So just does the fact that this guy is sort of a it's sort of a signal he's open to that he's sort of the same kind of guy as you. And he's you know, he's sort of this he's got this sort of macho personality and he's he doesn't care about really ideas. They just sort of wants to win and attack elites. And and that that appeals to a certain person. You don't always have that choice, right?
You always you also you always have like, you know, you're the you're only given a menu of a few options at any one time. Right. And in national politics. And some people will pay attention to nothing below the presidency. So like in the primaries, you have a few you know, a few candidates on the serious candidates on each side. Then you have the the presidential election. And, you know, there could be times when there's just nobody who speaks to the people who were storming the Capitol.
That's possible, right? He goes away and, you know, maybe maybe they maybe they maybe they maybe they stay as Republicans. Maybe they get into it. I just I think a lot of those people will sort of love the entertainment value. And I think without Trump, it just it just sort of gets boring. You can listen to, you know, James Jordan and mascot's talking about Hunter Biden's emails. It's just not as fun as Trump calling, you know, Rosie O'Donnell if people's tastes vary a lot.
And and to say this is like, you know, it sounds a little bit insulting or condescending, but, you know, a lot of people like trashy reality TV, a lot of people like Jerry Springer, a lot of people are drawn to this stuff. I don't I don't think we can we can deny this. Well, I mean, so, you know, when Andrew Jackson, who Trump is ostensibly a fan of, came to the United States, you know, he came to the White House, you know, came to D.C., became president, he transformed the presidency and also just the political alliances, whatever the age of Jack's, the big deal, big deal.
But talking to you, it sounds like you're saying Trump could be a flash in the pan. We heard after the election about a realignment working class Republican versus professional managerial class Democrats, perhaps some erosion among young Latinos, especially men, Latin men moving into the Republican camp. But do you think that that's all just kind of noise and that'll just like fade as Trump fades?
Yeah. So, I mean, I have a report with George Whouley guys, CSPI Center, dawg, you could see it. We call it the National Populist Illusion. And it's a very data heavy sort of dive into this idea that Republicans became the working class party. Trump was good for Republican turnout, good for Democrat turnout, too, I'm sure. But if you look at the demographics, know who voted for Trump, it's it's you know, it's pretty much the same people.
I mean, it's the same people who voted before. So it's, you know, the percentage of Republicans, the percentage of white men, there was a big shift from college educated whites going away from the Republican Party and noncollege whites going towards the Republican Party. So Republicans sort of switched college whites for four non college whites.
But income has always been a poor predictor of how people vote. And how did it become a better predictor when Trump came along? One thing David Short talked about is the places that actually have succeeded from globalization, places in Iowa, for example, where they sell soybeans to China or places where they have a industry that's exporting a lot of things, different parts of the country. And those people, if they are college, not educated, if they're non college educated and their white areas, they still shifted to Trump just as much as globalization losers.
It's not about some people are winning from globalization. Some people are losing from globalization. This is this is too you know, this is to a materialist view of politics. It's a class thing where the where the culture while Trump was speaking to a certain kind of person and he was repelling another kind of person. And beneath the surface, most didn't change in how people voted. You know, if you gave the predictors of voting Republican, if you are a married white man was forty five with three children, went to church every every weekend, you were, you know, overwhelming a Trump supporter.
And if you were, you know, a single Latina living in Los Angeles, whatever, you are likely to be a to be a Democrat voter. The other you know, the other thing you mentioned I think is interesting is the Hispanic and Asian and to a lesser extent, black shift towards Trump. I think I think it's real. It's certainly real. Some of those shifts were huge, but the shifts were compared to 2016 where Trump's numbers with those with immigrant communities just had plummeted.
So they had done worse than so. It was sort of a regression to the mean, actually, where the Hispanic vote for Trump was worse than Hispanic votes for other Republicans. George W. Bush probably did better with Hispanics in 2004 than Trump did in twenty twenty. Trump just massively over performed with Hispanics, particularly Cubans. I think there's some foreign policy stuff going on with Cubans and maybe Venezuelans and some of these other groups, but it was more of a regression to the mean and, you know, a big jump from twenty sixteen.
Then it was a realignment. The Asian Hispanic vote about 30, 40 percent, Republican, 40 percent is the high and maybe it's down to mid 20s and Trump twenty sixteen when he really, really repulsed immigrant immigrant communities. And I think it's actually the reason he did better in twenty twenty. I think it goes against sort of the working class, the working class party narrative. I think he just stopped talking about immigration. I think in twenty sixteen he ran on immigration as his main issue.
They tested the theory that you can have a multi working class, you know, multiracial working class coalition by just talking about immigration. And, you know, he plummeted. It was it was a very racially polarized election. Now, on immigration, he actually the policy has been a little bit more restrictionist. He's done a lot of things, a few things. But I've looked at if he talks about immigration and he never talked about immigration at all during the twenty twenty campaign.
And I think it's just sort of a regression. I mean, that it was immigration was sort of the main issue that's turned off a lot of voters. And then when it wasn't that big of an issue in twenty twenty, they sort of came back to Trump. So, yeah, I don't I don't think Trump has shaken. Yeah, that's another that's you know, that's another thing that a lot of things people say are sort of are not backed up by the data.
I think if there's a theme to this conversation, it's that. Yeah, and I will link in the shout outs to your report. Actually, you know, I want to ask you about the Democrats because we've been talking about Trump and the Republicans. I want to ask you about the Democrats, but I want to talk about this new non profit that you started, which is been putting out reports of really great, really interesting. You were on you were on the realignment.
You just you know, we're talking about your stuff, about cultural issues and how you basically rocked Soga and Jedi's whole worldview.
So you made a difference. You made a difference. But can you talk about your nonprofit and also what do you think about. So you have you have, like, you know, Eric Koffman and, you know, I don't know Holly too well, but you have Goldberg, Zach Goldberg.
It's a pretty base to light up.
What do you think about. What do you think about conquests law and what might happen if you guys actually succeed? So I should mention also, you mentioned George, you mentioned Eric, Suzy Milewski is also with us. She's a she's a grad student at USC. She's also she's also great, does a lot of stuff on on NGOs and sort of virtue signalling and then how, you know, from an evidence based perspective, a lot of what they do doesn't work.
So I got to mention her, too. So conquest, this law, is that the one where the is that the one where you become left wing if you're not explicitly right wing? Is that it?
Yes. Yes. And so because you guys are not part of them. Yeah. I mean, look, this it was started with the idea that it was it started the idea that sort of opposition to the mainstream of academia and what it's doing, we draw in academia, too. So it's sort of from within academia in the sense that we some of us are academics and we use a lot of tools in academia that the in the literature that we think are valuable and provide a lens through which to understand the world.
But we don't like you know, we're sort of we're we're hesitant or we're sort of we're trying to overcome the problem of political bias and sort of just the inaccessibility of a lot of the good work that's been done. So, for example, the Washington Post op ed on civil war was just bringing in was just bringing in research on civil war into the American context.
And the the discussions I saw in the newspapers and on TV are sort of been evidence free. So, yeah, I you know, I think it's a personnel policy. I mean, I think we've got a lot of great people. I think a lot of our people have made a name for themselves, not necessarily being conservative, but have just built a lot of intellectual capital as just being good academics, as people who do rigorous database worth work. Zak's Zachares, you know, it's egalitarian in the sense that you can you can go to the public and you can jump the line, even though you're a you are a sort of a junior person in academia.
So Zack, for example, is a graduate student right now. He's a he's still a PhD student. And he discovered the Great Awakening. And Iglesias found and wrote about in Fox. Iglesias actually, I think might have came up with the Great Awakening. He came up with the term.
But but that came up with the data, the result.
Yeah, exactly. So I think the Great Awakening, if you you know, if you listed maybe the five 10 most actually actually, Richard, back up quickly, told the listener what the Great Awakening is.
So I just finished. So, Zach, I mean, I would say it's one of the most important ideas that sort of smart people have adopted in the last ten years. You know, that regarding sort of where our culture has gone, it's become sort of conventional wisdom now. And the Great Awakening is the idea that basically there was a radical shift to the left among mainstream liberal institutions, namely the Democratic Party party, but mainly the press. I shouldn't call them a democratic institution, but just say like mainstream liberal institutions towards a far left views on race, gender, sexual orientation.
So if you go back to The New York Times and it's backed up in data among white Democrats to. Right. So it's sort of a top down phenomenon where you started at the elite level. So if you go back to The New York Times and you look at the the words that they use, The Washington Post, the other major papers, do you see a huge take off around 2010, 2011 and words like systematic racism. Right. And like the words phrases like white privilege, LGBTQ.
I don't know about that one specifically, actually, but, you know, just ideas like this, anything having to do with that, you know, sexism, patriarchy, stuff like that. And you can look at the graph, they're actually beautiful. It just takes off. And then you look at Democratic, you look at opinion among white Democrats and it moves on these issues. So 12 years ago, a lot of white Democrats were anti-immigration. They wanted less immigration.
Obama, you know, reading Obama's memoirs and it's fascinating how much of his time and mental energy was spent on walking on eggshells on these racial issues, because there was idea if you went just a little bit sort of outside the mainstream, there would be this huge backlash, even among Republican Democrats would be widespread among American society. Well, Republicans haven't changed that much on these issues in the last 10 years, but Democrats have. And so now it's more evenly divided on a question like reparations can be even discussed seriously or advocated by a presidential candidate.
That would have been unthinkable even in a Democratic primary five or ten years ago. Somebody actually did a study of how often in the Democratic debates, just twenty, sixteen versus twenty twenty. They mentioned words like black and white and this and that. And it just goes through the roof. You know, just the last four years for the Democratic Party is sort of a lagging indicator. People blame the Democrats and that they serve direct their energy at that sort of Democratic politicians.
I think that's a little bit of a mistake. I think it's a lagging indicator. I think the first thing that happened and Zach. Has demonstrated this in an article he wrote in tablet, sort of lay down the chronology and that it starts in The New York Times. It's just literally The New York Times. I mean, it's that it probably starts in academia. I mean, these ideas were there first. And so it's this top down. It's so it's The New York Times.
It's the other media. And then it's Democratic politicians. And along with the politicians are running the Democratic voter, Democratic white Democrats. And then with that, you see sort of the Democratic Party going rogue. And I think that was sort of that was lagging. That was Obama didn't even support gay marriage. I think until, you know, for gay marriage, I think it's a little bit different. Like around 2011, this was when the Great Awakening was taking off.
And then you see you see like nobody in 2011 or 2012 was talking about Obama until his second term. Right. So, yeah. So I think I'm right. So either 2014, he started supporting gay marriage. So this is like five years after the Great Awakening started. And even then nobody was talking about whiteness. To say whiteness was would have been very strange for a politician. Yeah. So there's sort of a lagging indicator. And it was it was Zach who just, you know, just with data and just clearly sort of in the graphs are not ambiguous.
You look at them, it's just a straight line going up around twenty ten to twenty eleven. And I think people are understanding there was something revolutionary happening and sort of what's been happening with the sort of the George Ford protests and these other things. You've seen corporations go, well I think that's another just lagging indicator that people sort of mistake for causing all of this when it really didn't. Well, so, you know, we're talking about shelling points earlier and I think the George Floyd incident, his death, his killing, I think that was a selling point, right.
Yeah, I think so. I think that a lot of these, you know, even like the more ambiguous cases, would cause a lot of unrest in the inner cities. I think the video of this one was just so terrible that it really just hit people in a different way. Whether it's actually an indication of greater problems with policing, you know, that depends on your politics. Your politics determines what you think about that. But, yeah, I think that's I think that's right.
I think these issues, these concerns about race are always out there and it sort of needs an event for there to be a spark. Well, so, you know, we talked about Republicans a lot and how they were, you know, maybe the Trump era is going to be an aberration. I mean, we'll see, you know, but that's that's what I'm getting from you as your model probability, your model. If you had to put money on it and you do bet on the markets, so you probably would put money on it, right?
Yeah, I there's no you know, there's a there's markets on whether Trump is going to be impeached or not. I, I went, I went no or not. I mean convicted impeach. He's obviously going to be impeached probably by the time, by the time your listeners listen to this. But yeah, I think model is he goes yeah he goes away just because I think the platform is really important. I mean, this happened this these people like Milo and Gavin McInnes were huge in twenty sixteen, twenty, seventeen.
They were causing riots at Berkeley. They're just they're just not there anymore. I mean, you know, it's it's it's sort of a copout to say censorship is going to cause this backlash like. No. Then like every dictator in history who censored his opponents has been making a mistake. I doubt that it usually usually just works. And I think that, you know, people were saying Trump is going to get banned from Twitter on January 20th anyway just because he probably violates the rules a lot.
But now, you know, he's probably just going to be completely de platformed. And, you know, I think the probability is. Yeah, yeah, he probably just goes away because even he has that connection with Republican voters. He just doesn't have a way to speak to them directly, maybe speak the real, you know, the really excited people. You know, they go on gab or they are. They are they go on telegram or whatever.
Wherever Trump goes, he's going to have legal problems, too. I mean, that's that's the thing, too, is civil lawsuits, potentially criminal lawsuits. I think his probability of getting prosecuted has gone up, probably not for for this specific event. It's very hard First Amendment incitement for political speech. And he didn't actually say, you know, go walk in there and break down the walls and go kill people. He didn't say anything like that.
So that's really, really hard to win on First Amendment grounds. I would be shocked if they even tried it. But he's got other things like potentially tax fraud, potentially obstruction of justice from earlier things. And I think just he sort of angered the establishment in a way that, you know, there's always prosecutorial discretion. I think he's increased the possibility that he'll be he'll be got for something. So, yeah, I. I thought Trump would be around forever.
You know, the social media is just so huge. And it's not just Twitter. It's the fact that it came in such a way where like, you know, Instagram and Pinterest and everything else in the world, just random. I you know, I don't see how somebody maintains his sort of, you know, his place in American culture with that. Yeah, I mean, he's he's not the youngest guy, so let me ask you about the Democrats.
You know, in conservative circles, I know there is there's an argument, there's a debate and what I mean conservative circles about private signal groups and stuff like that. And there's arguments about whether Biden will usher in kind of a return to normalcy or a kind of I mean, it's an exaggeration to call it a WOAK terror, but basically the cultural war that the WOAK have been waging against cultural conservatives, social conservatives on most issues, not all, but on most issues.
And will it accelerate?
Will intensify like what is your judgment? Because obviously Biden's profile as a moderate Democrat, but personnels policy and the people that work for Biden are probably way to his left culturally.
Yeah, yeah, that's right, I mean, I wonder what people sort of mean with by will reign of terror. I mean, they're going to come down hard on Kuhnen proud guys.
Like, I mean, when you when you threaten that when you make Congress fear for their lives and you embarrass the government in that way, there's going to be there's going to be repercussions. But I think people sort of see this as a sort of a more long term, you know, a more long term thing. I mean, I think I'm not as alarmist as a lot of people. I mean, what levers does the federal government have while they have, you know, civil rights law disparate impact?
I you know, I think that. Yeah, I think that if you look at that great sort of purchase from social media, they've usually come in waves and it's it's not like a gradual you know, it is in a way, the culture is sort of, you know, a gradual turning up of the temperature, but it's usually waves when something happens. So after Trump won the election, I think there was a big purge on social media after Charlottesville.
I think it became more extreme. It became stuff like banks refusing to do business with people. Right. Not just banning their Twitter accounts. And then I think it sort of leveled off for a while. I did not feel like the censorship was from the top down. I mean, there was a there's stuff going on with the culture and stuff that the government doesn't directly control. But I thought there was a loving leveling off until the Capitol Hill, until the storming of Capitol Hill.
So, look, Biden's going to I mean, Biden's going to come out, come into office. They're probably they might reinstate the title nine, you know, the kangaroo courts, four men accused of sexual assault on college campuses. Or maybe if USCIRF is reading, maybe maybe he exerts an influence on Biden and they don't and especially on the right stuff. I think we're going to see more sort of we're going to see more liberal use of civil rights law, disparate impact, taking businesses to court for being discriminatory and more sort of cases where it's less obvious that that's actually what's going on.
But, yeah, I mean, beyond that, I think I think I'm I think I'm on the side of more normal. I don't I don't see, you know, I don't see anything that's going to be too radical of a break from the past. Well, I mean, you, sir, are the opposite of if it bleeds, it leads because, you know, proposing these scenarios and you just say it's going to be it's going to be back to normal.
Well, there was this incredible New York Times article the other the other day where they talked about Sean Hannity's show. And then the the headline was something like Fox News prepares for a post Trump World. And it was saying Hannity's show Friday night was about the Clintons, the Obamas, Madonna and Kathy Griffin, they said and they had this funny line. It could have been a rerun from twenty fourteen. Right. And then they had it. It was also online and he was tweeting, this is like, why am I paying attention to the stupid person Hannity?
Because he's like important. It is more important than most of the people your your listeners listen to. And as far as guiding our politics and there's another way to talk about, oh, another caravan is coming due to the Biden.
I'm sure it's just a rerun, right. It's an internal loop there. You know, it seems exciting on its surface. But if you look at it and it's sort of just like the same outrageous in the same debates over and over again, what's Biden going to do? He's probably going to try to raise taxes, right? He's probably going to try to get more stimulus funding. He's going to probably try to incrementally increase health care, increase health care coverage, is probably going to do stuff on immigration.
This was this was the Obama this was the Obama sort of agenda. But, you know, just a little more left than it was when even if you look at, like, the work demands, like when they're protesting their colleges and demanding the president step down and you look at their actual demands, it's like higher more diversity. Counselors have more training for staff. It's like this is the least ambitious revolutionary movement in human and human history. So on the left, you know, you have these sort of symbolic concerns.
On the right, you have these you know, these symbolic concerns do. And the you know, the leftists or the right is sort of reacting to the left. The left is actually moving things forward, whether it was gay marriage, you know, 10, 15 years ago. And now it's whether we accept trans women into into women's sports. And then Republicans are sort of reacting every step of the way. They don't they don't talk about gay marriage anymore.
They do know they're afraid. There would be afraid to. They would be afraid to. But then they talk about women's sports. Right. But it's none of these things are going to break society or cause blood in the streets or civil war. And I've actually I mean, I love the entertainment value of it. I guess I shouldn't look I shouldn't look down on those people I talked about earlier who just sort of like the sort of reality show aspect of it, because I sort of like that, too.
And you could tell from my Twitter account that I get a kick out of it, but I'm trying to not pay so much attention to it. Trump made it hard after capital there just so many videos and so many takes on Twitter. But I would like to pay less attention to the daily everyday politics of the stuff and sort of pay attention to more important things like the general trajectory of American society, the rise in China, what's happening to family, what's happening to the culture more generally.
I just don't think the I think the day to day politics is sort of a distraction. Well, I'm going to I'm going to let you go and close out, except I want to say that I have been doing something while you've been talking.
I have been paging down through John Sophs follows and I have been looking at overlaps and he does follow about a thousand people. So it's all right. I'm going to tell the listener.
About Asaph here, we don't want to follow. Yeah, well, I mean, maybe I mean, I, you know, depends on I mean, I do know some prominent people, including well I'm not going to say who who subscribes because I don't want to convict the innocent.
But WCA is right. Yeah. Thomas Chatterton. Williams. Camille Foster. I don't know criminal fast enough, I know that Matt Taibbi, OK? David Shaw, OK, Coleman, yeah.
Zayd Jalani, OK, yeah, my one of my followers, yeah, besides being on my podcast, one of my podcasts before we're buds, but Boomi leaks, who is kind of an edgy centrist account that I do a follow and have followed for many years, at least consistently gets banned for being satirical and has had to kind of tread that line.
But basically they're definitely IID adjacent.
And so Liefooghe. Yeah, Lee Fong, that's the leftist who's int., who's also tough on crime, and sometimes he was it wasn't consensual. He wasn't. He was there was a cancellation attempt on him.
By the way, I'm looking at his account to now see him as a you know, that's that's a sort of an interesting spin given that given the following.
Yeah. I mean, I Lee and I follow each other, actually. So we've not Natalie USCIRF as him. I don't know. Maybe he's a politician. He has to now. No, no.
I don't have data analysis in the Democratic primary. And like, it was like half and half actually. It was the ones that actually I you know, I made a joke that the ones we're doing better are the ones who didn't do him because it was it was Biden and Sanders where the nonwork and then Klobuchar and then like the ones weren't doing so well was like Budha, Judge Harris, Warren, they all had their PR. So they didn't do as well.
So I had this, like, you know, graph with like ten, ten observations which which I thought was funny. But, yeah, that's that's that's also that's actually pretty funny.
There's one more. There's one more. JD Vance. OK, so I mean, these are people that are mutual in terms of like I follow, these are people that I follow.
And so there could be other gems in there.
So anyone who is listening and wants to because I mean, BuzzFeed has done stories of done like what we're doing where we are, we are maybe setting this guy up for some kind of cancellation or announcing of of based on this, I don't know.
I don't what he's going to be in the Senate for six years.
So we're just breaking a story that's going to get broken any way you think.
I mean, what I don't think of the story that's get broken, maybe maybe it's OK that he he I mean, IWD representation do I mean, it's the split.
You have a split. These people who some see Trump as the the answer to openness and some see him as just sort of, you know, this independent sort of openness or sort of feeding into welcomeness. You know, that split is fascinating. And and sort of you know, I w its influence is also interesting because I think if you look at mutuals and sort of Twitter networks, I haven't seen the actual analysis. But just guessing from what I see on Twitter, I think there's more overlap between right wing people and the Iaw than there is with the W and the left, that if you look at Collette's comment section, it could be it could be federalised.
You know, it could be. It could be. And often. But then if you look at the politician level, I can imagine, you know, like these these these Republican senators or these Republican congressmen like Paul Gosar, I can imagine them, you know, reading collect. I can imagine the moderate Democrats more to some sort of, you know, their their base. You know, there's there's a there is there is a market for and this is a little bit what Kesby is doing.
There's a market for smarter conservatism. I'm sorry, but a lot of a lot of stuff out there. And Trump has unfortunately exacerbated this trend is just not very smart. Right. And, you know, you you would hope that people, you know, these smarter people like Kohlman, like Wesley Yang, are influencing actual politicians. That's happening among Republicans and conservative people generally. But at the top levels, that sort of just as intellectual wasteland, it's sort of these these con artists and these marketing talk radio hosts and these Fox News anchors.
And it's just terrible. So, you know, if you know, if you if you just, like, woke and, you know, you're tempted to go in the Trump's direction, but you also you know, you don't like the left. You know, I'd encourage thinking about how you're thinking intelligently about sort of where the opportunity lies and who you can realistically influence. Yeah, yeah, last last question. So you're talking about intelligent conservatives, do you have an opinion on Ben Shapiro?
Not particularly. No, I mean, is it I mean, he's a typical conservative in his views, right? I don't think I have anything to say that would surprise people.
OK, OK. You know, I was just asking because, you know, my hypothesis is he's obviously extremely bright, but he knows what he has to do and B, the way he has to speak to have a lucrative career. Yeah.
I mean, Shapiro. Yeah, it's unquestionably a smart guy. I think he went to Harvard. Did he go to Harvard Law School or Harvard undergrad. Yeah.
Yeah, maybe UCLA undergrad. Harvard Law was one. It was something some combination like that.
Yeah. And and that's pretty smart I. Yeah, I don't think he's just a you know, some people I don't think he's just like a pure grifter like a lot of these people are either. He seems to believe what he says. He's a religious guy. He's got, I think, a wife. And I think he's got a good number of children.
Yeah, I really have nothing to say about Ben Shapiro. I really I can't get excited one way or the other. He's just sort of he's a typical conservative. I think he's got I think he's gone in the eye. Well, I would all say we talked about the Iaw and sort of these intersections between different political factions. I think it's interesting that he was friends with Sam Harris and he was sort of sort of seen in this club. I think I think it's whatever you think is Shapiro, we need more of that.
We need sort of this cross, you know, cross party talking. And Glenn Beck is actually going to be on Eric Weinstein I saw on Twitter today. And that'll be that'll be interesting. I think Glenn Beck, you know, is a little bit more of the you know, the clown is sort of more than the clown camp as far as you know, I think he was literally a part time rodeo clown at some point.
Let's see. Yeah. So he's a little you know, he's a little bit of a clown, actually. You know, he's not completely without integrity because he went against Trump and in twenty sixteen and that was not I don't I can't imagine that was a good business decision. Now he eventually came around to Trump and started to love them. But the fact that it took them like five years of suffering, his business suffering and, you know, to to actually sell out is probably he probably had more sort of integrity there than than most people did.
So, you know, I think I I think a lot of these people, you know, believe almost everybody believes to a certain extent, you know, what they what they tell themselves. And they when they make compromises in the short term, they think it's toward some greater good. Right. They convince themselves there's going to be some kind of reign of terror. So Trump is the only thing holding it back. And, you know, I don't buy that.
But even if you if you see Trump as a horrible person, you could still you know, you could see how somebody would justify supporting him. Yeah, yeah.
I mean, it's a we live in interesting times. You are predicting a little bit more boredom and that that's probably a good thing. So, you know, I've had you for a while. I will let you go and everyone should check out your new non-profit. I will put the links and everything like that. There's really good stuff there already and maybe we'll we'll follow up at some point, Richard. And you know, Richard, if there is a civil war that breaks breaks out, I am going to get you on for a follow up.
You could have Peter Turkson to just you can have just Peter Church and laughing at the background.
And I'll put a I'll put a crayon drawing that shows an exponential increase in violence as a cover for the podcast here.
You fool yourself.
So I try to tell you, OK, take it easy, man.
Thanks for the. Yes, podcast for kids. All right, David.