Trump Finally Stumped, and Other Iowa Takeaways

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The polls didn’t forecast well after all.

Trump was ahead by as much as 10 points in the polls going into the vote. He lost Iowa to Cruz by a substantial margin. Late in the evening, he played it like Pee Wee Herman when he fell off his bike: “I meant to do that.”

By:  Jeffrey Tucker

This article first appeared at Liberty.Me

But even for Trump, this fib was too much. He was on record earlier than day predicting a clean sweep. After all, the polls that he has made his campaign centerpiece said it would happen.

So much of Trump’s campaign has been based on illusion. He alone could make America great! He is Caesar, Napoleon, and FDR all rolled into one! His tacky bragging became worse and worse in the days before the vote. Even for the rabble, rubes, and racists who back him, it gets tiring. In America, people of all classes have some modicum of manners. Maybe illusions are starting to fade.

It also turns out that Trump’s no-show gamble in the last debate cost him. People who waited until the last week to make up the mind voted overwhelming for Cruz and Rubio. This means that the seeming infallibility of his temper-driven campaign finally caught up to him. Pride goeth…

The NRx revolution: not yet.

It is gratifying that Rand Paul ended up doing better than expected, though I’ve yet to see any mention of this in the national press. In the weeks before Iowa, the press has acted as if he didn’t exist — hints of his father’s prior experience. But it turns out that he beat Jeb, the man everyone said a year ago was a shoo-in for the nomination. As you think about it, if you really do oppose the establishment, there’s no better candidate than Rand. So it actually does makes sense that the strange world of CNN/Fox/NYT would ignore him as much as possible. It is gratifying to see that there’s still some life remaining in this effort.

As for the victory of Ted “Carpet Bomb” Cruz, I see only one good take away here. It proves you can oppose corn subsidies and still win with the GOP. That’s impressive. The bombers he wants to fund and deploy to slaughter Christianity’s enemies will have to burn corn-free fossil fuels.

What about the demographics? Exit polls were blunt. If you are religious, you went for Cruz. If you are uneducated, you went for Trump. If you are just plain-old conservative, you went for Rubio. If you are an aspirational young political activist, Rand is for you.

What united them all? The NYT’s put it plainly. The overwhelming political feeling among all Republican caucus goers is that the federal government has failed, and they are sick of it. How that translates to supporting Trump, Cruz, and Rubio is the mysterious disconnect. All three are united on the principle that the U.S. government should be master of the universe.

For some reason, GOP voters have yet to figure out that the military, the surveillance state, and immigration control that they love are integral parts of the government they claim to hate.

The demographics were even more striking with the Democratic nomination. It ended up an even split. Olders voters went for Clinton. Younger voters went for Sanders.

Is Sander’s socialism really what appeals here? If by that you mean nationalization of everything, I doubt it. Sanders had a more liberalizing message on matters of criminal justice and marijuana decontrol — and he sent messages that tacked toward a more peaceful foreign policy. His campaign is a strange reminder that there still exists an older form of socialism that has retained some elements of liberalism.

And yet, there’s no denying that raw envy and deep economic ignorance are two pillars of Sander’s campaign. For those of us who lived through the collapse of socialism and saw millions cheer the end of their tyranny, the success of the Sanders campaign is a chilling reminder that history means nothing. Every generation must be taught anew.

Why pay attention to this circus at all? It’s fascinating to watch the crackup of the old political order. It is happening to both parties and also to the public sector they claim to lead. The future is with borderless distributed technologies, managed not by political elections but by the digital marketplace. This is what is turning the world upside down.

Still, the political sector continues to exist, and thereby becomes more unstable and ridiculous by the day. You can see the unraveling as tragic and terrible, or fun and delightful. I remind myself daily to choose the latter route.

This article first appeared at Liberty.Me