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You can fool enough of the people all the time

It was the premise of the Politico article that drew me in. It was the claim that politics of 2030 would be shaped by the ghastly presidential election of 2016. There would be big changes to come.

Given the tumult of the times, I don’t doubt that one bit. The contest between The Hillary and The Donald, and all the odd and shifting v*ter alignments and policy preferences around it, is bound to reverberate into the future. It’s something I’ve thought a lot about. I wondered if others were coming to similar conclusions. So I read.

And read. It’s quite a long article.

And I read. Only to discover that the author, the highly respected Michael Lind, believes that the politics of 2030 will look … pretty much like the politics of right this minute. Same interest groups that are now developing. Similar alliances. Further shifts based tidily on shifts we’re already seeing. That’ll be the big change sparked by this election; not much will change except around the edges.

Which is bushwah.

Aside from the fact that nobody knows what the years will bring — a meteor strike, a military coup, a dictatorship, a landing by aliens, or even just a decade or two of sheer boredom — that’s simply not the way trends work. Monkeywrenches get thrown in. The unexpected has to be expected.


I have a friend who froths with rage and grief that so many people in the gun-rights community enthusiastically support Trump.

She can probably understand those who say they’ll hold their nose and v*te for him because well, at least he’s not Hillary. But she’s devastated by the ones who say, “Yeah, baby. Trump. He’s my man! He’s gonna get rid of gun-free zones, appoint conservative Supreme Court justices, and kick D.C. butt!”

She’s outraged by their naiveté (which is not the word she’d use, BTW) and she’s grieving for whatever might be left of the republic.

But you know, it’s a lot easier, and better on the digestion, when you accept that the much-vaunted republic was toast a long, long time ago.

Life is not only happier, but more productive, when you accept you’re doooomed (politically, at least) and go about living a free life in spite of it all.


Lind took a good question, extrapolated from the present, and came up with a respectable, but uncreative answer. This is what’s more likely:

The politics and policies of 2030 will be influenced by the presidential election of 2016. No doubt about it.

Observing the impugnity of the corrupt and powerful, more corrupt power seekers will push and shove solely to serve themselves as president of the U.S.

Seeing the brawl of mediocrities that politics has become, fewer decent people will even be remotely tempted to place themselves into that fray.

Seeing that nobody gives a damn any more whether a candidate is lying, candidates will lie bigger and bolder than they do now. Hey, it works!

Seeing how money and pull matter, fewer and fewer people will determine who runs, who gets funded, and who wins. New laws will pretend to curb this, but surprisingly each new law will actually hand more power to the already-powerful.

Interest groups will clamor for ever more money, attention, and privilege and will tear at the remaining flesh and bones of the country like rabid jackels.

Seeing that “stroke of the pen, law of the land” works so well, fewer and fewer presidents will bother even paying lip service to little things like laws and constitutions. (Yes, you think that’s already happening now but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.) Congress will posture and foam at the mouth — and make no real resistance.

Seeing that stupidity and vulgarity pay, candidates will soon begin to look and act like President Camacho from Idiocracy. But with less class and charm.

There will be exceptions. Reformist candidates will occasionally rise to the top. Intelligence and dignity will sometimes prevail, as v*ters weary of the growing trash heap of terrible politicians. Congress will make efforts to retake its authority. But the reformers will make, at best, a temporary difference, if any. The long-term trend will be downward.

Decent people will get madder and madder, no matter how many phony efforts are made to placate them. More v*ters will drop out. Others will become more desperate and will v*te for worse and more dangerous candidates as time goes on.

Others will … go Outlaw.

The empire will fall.

We will not always get the presidential equivalent of Caligula or Nero. The government will be ridden by a parade of mediocrities whose names and deeds will be lost to history — each one doing his, her, or its bit to make matters just a little, teeny bit worse.

But that’s all right. We will live around them


We who’ve been around long enough not to be taken in by convenient political lies might wonder how others can be so blind and trusting.

Abraham Lincoln may or may not have said, “You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” But he knew very well how you could fool a foolish electorate. Generations of school children, to this very day, learn that “Lincoln freed the slaves.” Which is an obvious, and easily debunked claim, and one that Lincoln himself perpetrated and perpetuated. But try to debunk that claim, even 160-some years later and the typical Trump or Hillary v*ter (or even good, patriotic non-v*ter schooled by gummint) will think you’re a nutcase. Or in contemp-speak, “a hater.”

The bottom-line truth is that if you control government, you can always fool enough of the people to get them to fight your wars, obey your diktats, hate those you want hated, hand over a huge portion of their wages to you, and trust everything you say even when they have abundant reason to know you’re a chronic liar.

And that, too, is a trend that’s only going to increase.


So for God’s sake, don’t bother trying to save the people who think that whatever The Hillary or The Donald proclaimed yesterday is exactly as true, or even truer, than the prenicious (but opposite) nonsense they proclaimed the day before. And don’t get yourself a migraine worrying about such folks.

They are beyond your help.

Reach out to the ones you see falling away from all that. Give a hand to the ones whose eyes are opening. Show them there’s a different course than cynicism and despair. Welcome as many as can be welcomed into the Outlaw Tribe.

We are the tribe that will survive the fall. The tribe without illusions and false hopes. The tribe with the wit to see reality and use what we know to prevail.


  1. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal May 25, 2016 6:01 pm

    Apologies, but this link has been shared to F*c*b**k.

  2. Iwoots
    Iwoots May 25, 2016 6:11 pm

    “So for God’s sake, don’t bother trying to save the people who think that whatever The Hillary or The Donald proclaimed yesterday is exactly as true, or even truer, than the prenicious (but opposite) nonsense they proclaimed the day before. And don’t get yourself a migraine worrying about such folks.

    They are beyond your help.”

    Beyond help? I must respectfully disagree for one simple reason: I used to be one of them.


  3. LarryArnold
    LarryArnold May 25, 2016 8:44 pm

    I used to be one of them.

    But were you still a true believer when someone convinced you to change, or had experience already left you vulnerable to change?

  4. Jim B.
    Jim B. May 25, 2016 8:53 pm

    The Baby Boomers are retiring starting now and will go on for the next 20 years. I doubt we’ll get to 2030 without stuff changing. I do predict that the Boomers will bitch about the amount of their SS checks and that’ll be when SS breaks. Especially when you hear of reports that most people don’t even have couple thousands dollars in the banks, not even for emergency purposes.

    As for Trump and gun control, remember, that Trump is a resident of NYC, the birthplace of America’s first gun control law. He would be used to that.

  5. LarryArnold
    LarryArnold May 25, 2016 9:17 pm

    My short-term prediction, barring teotwawki events, is more rules insulating the “approved” candidates from rude interlopers, and the two main parties from third-party challenges.

  6. R.L. Wurdack
    R.L. Wurdack May 26, 2016 5:50 am

    Win 10 is a shining example of what’s to come. Forced behavior will increase until the turnout at the polls is 7 percent.

  7. Fred
    Fred May 26, 2016 7:39 am

    Being new to your blog (not the fight) I had not read your Freedom Outlaw post. Now I know what I have been lacking, Panache. I like that, break the law with style and substance. I have to work on breaking the DoD training that has me somewhat inhibited.

    Lawbreaker, with style! It’s a journey not a goal. Funny.

  8. jed
    jed May 26, 2016 2:18 pm

    @Shel: It’s always possible to make it worse. Imagine all the parts done on a synthesizer, using sampled animal sounds, with vocals by The Chipmunks.

  9. Shel
    Shel May 26, 2016 3:17 pm

    I was thinking of the visuals.

  10. Iwoots
    Iwoots May 27, 2016 6:56 am

    First of all, thank you for being patient. I considered responding yesterday, but the answer just didn’t “feel right”.

    The most accurate answer to your question would be that I was “vulnerable to change”, but outwardly I was “a true believer”.

    Claire wrote “Reach out to the ones you see falling away from all that. Give a hand to the ones whose eyes are opening. Show them there’s a different course than cynicism and despair. Welcome as many as can be welcomed into the Outlaw Tribe.”

    I would argue that while there are those who are clearly “falling away from all that”, there are more who look about, ‘feel that something is wrong’ but have only known anti-freedom labeled as freedom.

    Those are the ones who when you ask if they believe in the Constitution and the rights listed they answer “Of course”, but they admit that they have never actually read it, you hand them a pocket-sized copy. Those are the ones who when they vilify “those scummy anti-war protesters”, you ask them if they are willing to read a 14 page PDF by two-time Medal of Honor recipient Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler – your choice whether of not to mention at the time the title “War is a Racket”.

    In a sense, Claire is right. “They are beyond {my} help.” My job in this mess is to try to point people to freedom. Whether “they” choose to help themselves to a big messy pile of freedom, or choose the neatness of slavery is their choice.

    {Sidenote: I apologize in advance for rambling on – and ‘No’, I am not choosing the freedom of rambling, I just plain ramble. Hopefully I have made enough sense to answer your question.}

  11. Fred
    Fred May 27, 2016 10:40 am

    Iwoots and LarryArnold, I pray you won’t mind if jump in here. I love this conversation. This is something I do know about. Being Christian helps, I know how to evangelize and proselytize. I think we should choose something we know and have a knack or passion about. I choose 2a but others are states rights, jury nullification, prepping, off grid, and others including, Hardyville-ing, or heck, start your own.
    If I might humbly offer what I do;
    1. Find young, first time and new shooters. Make sure they have a good time at the range. Explain how hitler/mao/stalin/etc took the guns and killed millions. Offer to help them learn more about shooting and self defense. Rinse, repeat.
    2. Make sure reps at all levels know that control/confiscation will not be
    tolerated. I’m not afraid to engage my sheriff, local, state and fed reps. I
    tell them exactly where I stand. Rinse, repeat.
    3. Track, forward and reply to important legislative activities. (see step 2)
    4. I personally do not engage the enemy directly. They are illegitimate. I stay on offense, always.

    I know that many here will not work “within the system” and that’s fine. But look at pro gun as an example; we are on offense and winning huge at every level. So are the states rights folks winning big but it’s a slower, tougher slog.

    After these folks that I meet get to know me a little then they learn that not only am I pro gun, I’m a Christian, pro militia, pro freedom from gov, heterosexual, white, southern, male. But wait, through our interaction they have already learned that I’m friendly, helpful, kind, and open minded and that we share a longing for a better future. And they have already learned that all those “crazy gun nuts” at the range were very friendly and all they talked about was being safe the whole time.
    Then they flick on the news and it hits them. They think “I’ve been lied too.”

    This battle is, one soul at a time. That’s what I do; your mileage WILL vary, as has mine. And Claire, whether she knows it or not, is paraphrasing Jesus when she indicates that the results are not hers, the job is to convey the message.

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