02.14.2016 06:50 PM

Divisive: the modern political era, figured out

It’s written about at length in today’s New York Times Magazine (go buy it, don’t go online to get it for free). Brilliantly. 

But here’s the greatest practitioner of division candidly telling George Stephanopoulos about his intended strategy, months ago:

“I’m being divisive right now because I want to win.” – Donald Trump

I know it doesn’t always work – cf., Stephen Harper’s barbaric practices hotline, Tim Hudak’s anti-foreigners ads, ad nauseum – I know. 

But it’s working these days more than it used to, isn’t it?



  1. Al in Cranbrook says:

    Won’t work for Trump, either.

    He made a total ass of himself last night, and I think this will be the moment people look back on as when it all started going south for him.

    CBS poll on who won the debate…


    Rubio – 32%
    Trump – 24%
    Kasich – 19%
    Cruz – 12%

    Good turn around for Rubio, especially after the MSM beat him over the head relentlessly with his slip up in NH.

    Looking at polls in other states with upcoming primaries, Rubio is trending up, and in second ahead of Cruz in a number of them.

  2. Jack D says:

    Canadians have grown way too acquiescent about being America’s hat. I get tired of telling people you cannot project American culture and politics on to the Canadian landscape, no matter how similar the two countries may seem. Donald Trump’s divisiveness works in America because there exists an environment in which xenophobia thrives. American culture has become incredibly complacent that its produced an aversion to challenging narratives.

    Believe or not, our Conservatives in Canada would not qualify to be referred to as conservative by Republicans in the US. While a canyon of difference exists between “left” and “right” in the US, the differences in Canada are incredibly nuanced by comparison. So, while using issues like identity politics only galvanizes a minority of misguided fundamentalists, it alienates a vast majority of Canadians who have no appetite for such thoughts. We don’t live in an environment in Canada that is conducive to visceral hatred of one another based on differing political, religious or social views like they do in America. Canada is a centrist country with slight variations of perspectives but seldom right-left conflict in traditional terms.

    Trump knows this about America. He’s exploiting the situation by pandering to a highly reactive demographic to stay on top and stay relevant; he doesn’t care about the issues unless he can gain from it. If his supporters suddenly started cheering in favour of gun control, he’d demand the constitution be amended to exclude the right to bear arms.

    • SG says:

      And who says Canadians are smug and have a superiority complex? Certainly not evidenced at all in this screed!

      • Jack D says:

        I’ve never once, in my life, heard anyone refer to Canadians as being smug or having a superiority complex. In fact, I’ve only heard quite the opposite. So your sarcastic insinuation is pointless.

        But, for the sake of discussion, lets just say Canadians had a superiority complex. Why not? Admittedly, inherent in Canadian the experience is a depth of humility; but from time to time, I believe Canadians should recognize and appreciate how much better off we are than other western nations. We’ve always been a beacon of liberal democracy in the western world. Where pluralism thrives with Canadian culture.

        Personally, I’m thankful to be living in a country that values collective harmony over fractured division. Perhaps thats something you have yet to appreciate, SG.

        • SG says:

          Goodness. Did you have tears in your eyes when you typed that? Personally, I’ve never found Canadians to be at all humble when it comes to patriotism and left-leaning Canadians, with their obsession to differentiate themselves from Americans, often remind me of the “Rah rah rah! USA is da best, bruh!!!” attitudes found among Southern US conservatives.

  3. e.a.f. says:

    CBC ran an interesting BBC documentary on Donald trump this evening. It was entertaining, funny, and very very scary.

    Trump is doing well at this point because he appeals to the disenfranchised in America and they are uneducated.

    We have Trump making all sorts of wild promises he can not keep. the U.S.A. belong to NAFTA and has signed on to the TPP.

    Loved his claims to bring jobs back to America. The documentary was clear where he had his line of clothes made–China and India.

    The man is dangerous. If he is actually elected president I do expect to see the revolt of the Generals. I don’t believe they will give him the “red button”.

    Scotland isn’t that keen on the boy either.

    • Peter says:

      Trump is doing well at this point because he appeals to the disenfranchised in America and they are uneducated.

      Do you mean like FDR? Anyway, as a good progressive, what do you suggest they do to check the influence of all those uneducated, disenfranchised Americans? Should they bring back literacy tests? And by the way, seeing as they, like us, have had several generations of universal compulsory public education guided by secular curricula and a progressive bent among teachers and educational administrators, how did they end up with so many uneducated voters that the very fabric of American democracy is at risk?

    • billg says:

      How exactly would you know that Trump’s supporters are “uneducated”?
      That sentence alone is a clue into Trump’s success.
      How could 8 years of Hope and Change turn so many Americans into protest voters?
      President Obama upon leaving the White House will have spent more money himself then all the other 43 Presidents added up.
      There are twice as many people on food stamps today then there were 10 years ago in the US.
      Guess the question is, is this what the educated people voted for?
      I think President Obama has been an absolute failure on a number of important issues, but, overall he’s been an excellent President.
      The problem is, as Cam Newton found out last week, to win a campaign you have to tell everyone your superman when you know your not.
      Campaigning on promises you cant keep got Obama elected, it got Trudeau elected, and, it may even get Trump elected.

      • doconnor says:

        Besides the fact that polls show he is more popular with people with less education, there is also the issue that he doesn’t speak in coherent sentences, never mind having coherent policies.

    • Al in Cranbrook says:

      People had better wake up to the reality that Sanders is, in his own way, every bit as dangerous for America as is Trump.

      On that side, what is frightening is how many supposedly “educated” young people, either in or fresh out of colleges and universities, supporting this socialist demagogue have not the slightest clue in hell regarding economics. WTF are they teaching these kids in these institutions of “higher learning”???

      This crank is so far out there in La La Land, it defies description! The latest number I’ve come across is that his platform is proposing raising taxes on Americans over the next ten years by a whopping $18 TRILLION! (I assure all the economically/financially challenged here that this kind of taxation is going to be entirely on the backs of the mythical 1%…a great many of whom will have bailed on the US long before that ever happens, taking their wealth and jobs with them!)

      • Al in Cranbrook says:

        Oops, correction…

        “…taxation is NOT going to be entirely…”

      • doconnor says:

        I expect Sanders understand how the economy works far better then almost any other politican. That’s why he wants to change so much.

        Those trillions in tax increases will displace trillions more in out of pocket expenses at much greater efficiency, fairness and compassion.

        • Al in Cranbrook says:


          Sanders doesn’t know s**t from shinola about economics, and frankly, for that matter neither do any other socialists!

          His policies will chase capital, entrepreneurs, and wealth out of the US so damn fast, Google won’t be able to keep up with them! They’re not going to sit around and wait for quasi-Marxist lunatic to try and rob them blind!

          Called “human nature”, D. And every time ideology butts up against that reality, everything goes to hell! And people suffer…even die. The more extreme is the ideology, the more dire are the consequences.

          • bluegreenblogger says:

            very doubtful. Historically, the tax bite has never been lower. Taxes could literally double, and still be lower than when Reagan left office. Who the heck is going to surrender their US citizenship to go where exactly? And which ‘safe haven’ shall all those Corporations decamp to? There will be a flow for sure, but not that big. The real question is whether or not the US can really earn a good return on the social services he is proposing. Which is entirely possible, seeing that our post war prosperity was built on exactly that.

          • doconnor says:

            Al, you seem to have a poor understanding of the political spectrum on the left. Sanders is a Democratic Socialists who whats to bring Canadians style universal health care to the US. A quasi-Marxist would propose nationalizing Google and the rest of the commanding heights of the economy.

            I know because I am a quasi-Marxist.

            As bluegreenblogger points out, there is no where to run to, since all other developed countries already have most of what Sanders wants to bring to the US.

    • Matt says:


      Making all kinds of promises he can’t keep yo say?

      A guy just won up here in October doing that very thing.

      • Terence Quinn says:

        Amazing that in 100 days he didn’t fulfill all the promises he made. I apologize for his tardiness.

        • Maps Onburt says:

          Terence, NOBODY was expecting him to fulfill all the promises he made in 100 days… but then you knew that didn’t you? Our problem is that he broke at least 4 major campaign promises within days of his first throne speech and you prog’s would have had PM Harper tarred and feathered for same. For YEARS we heard about how Harper backtracked on not taxing Income Funds…. YEARS. Your guy breaks promises like they were daydreams and not a peep…. hypocrites.

  4. bluegreenblogger says:

    Yes it seems to be. It is different from jingoism inasmuch as the enemy is both within and without. It exaggerates our fears beyond all proportion. And it seems to motivate a lot of people.

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