ChrisWeigant.com

The Incredible Shrinking Trump

[ Posted Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 – 15:52 UTC ]

The biggest thing America gained with the election of President Joe Biden was the freedom to ignore Donald Trump once again. And it seems, with each passing day, that more and more people are happily exercising that freedom. Trump is fading. Call him the incredible shrinking Donald Trump. This was what went through my mind upon hearing the news that Trump's personal blog/website (all it ever really was, despite Trump touting it as a "a new social media platform") had turned out the lights and disappeared from the internet. It didn't even survive three Scaramuccis, which is a pretty short life span indeed for something Trump had promised would rival Twitter and Facebook and all the other social media platforms which had evicted Trump from their sites. A month later, Twitter, Facebook and the rest of them are doing just fine, while Trump's site is dark after only 29 days, due to lack of interest.

It is (thankfully) getting harder and harder to even remember what things were like before Biden was sworn in. The calm normalcy we're all experiencing now in the White House has started to erase the horrors of a president who spent most of his time watching cable television and tweeting his rage at the world. I personally not only welcomed this change, I have helped it along as much as I could here, by only writing about Trump when it was strictly necessary -- which is happening much less often that it used to. But let's just remember for a moment where we used to be.

I am not alone in saying that I dreaded reading the news each morning. Trump had a propensity for tweeting things out in the wee pre-dawn hours, so by the time political writers sat down to work for the day, Trump usually already owned the news cycle. His outrageous tweet from the early morning hours would be all anyone was talking about -- what it meant, who was angry, who got attacked, what other world leaders would think, the reaction from those who had already reacted, how we should all interpret it -- that's what the day's news was going to be about, often no matter what else happened for the entire rest of the day. If the media's interest in the story waned, then Trump would just send out a follow-up tweet fanning the flames once again. He would react to the reactions. He loved the immediacy of it all, and how he could dominate the entire conversation all by himself. By the time the evening news rolled around, Trump's tweets would often be either the lead story or the second story viewers saw.

This exhausting cycle happened on an almost-daily basis. Why not? Trump knew how well it worked, and Trump absolutely loved seeing himself on the news each night. The media simply could not pass up his catnip, so they pounced on it virtually every time.

That was then. This is now.

Now, I seldom hear about Donald Trump -- what he's doing, what he's saying, or what he's been up to. Instead, I hear much more about what he already has done to the Republican Party, and what his protégés are now doing. I hear about the lasting nature of Trump's influence, but not about what Trump is doing right now to influence much of anybody.

There's a big reason for this sea change: Trump is no longer newsworthy. He has become, instead, a broken record. He keeps repeating the same old line: the election was stolen from him, and nothing else matters. People aren't just tired of hearing this by now, they are downright bored by it.

This is one big reason his blog failed. Trump just had nothing new to say. If he had been making truly newsworthy statements -- proposing a different agenda for Republicans to counter Biden's popularity, proposing different foreign or domestic policies, or even weighing in on other Republicans' various efforts to do so -- then perhaps things would have been different. Instead, what Trump offered was endless whining about the same old thing -- how he lost, but just refuses to accept it.

If Trump had been making news, perhaps the media would have started paying closer attention. Perhaps his name really would have crept back into a few news cycles. He wouldn't have the dominant position he held previously, but at least he'd be getting some press. Instead, political reporters everywhere checked in with his blog every so often, saw exactly the same thing over and over and over again... so they collectively shrugged, and moved on to other stories. If Trump had been more relevant, he would have received more coverage and probably driven a lot of traffic to his blog.

Since he didn't, the blog shrivelled. It wasn't any fun, especially since it didn't even have a comment feature -- there were no dissenting voices, only Trump's own. By the end, only a few thousand were even checking it every day. This is a big difference from the 80 million followers he used to connect with on a daily basis just on Twitter alone.

Trump has been mostly silent on the 2022 elections, except where he has his own political scores to settle. Republicans in the House and Senate desperately want Trump to move on from his obsession with the 2020 election and instead help them out in the next one. But that would require Trump to care about someone other than himself, so that's not likely to happen any time soon. The rest of the party is held hostage by having to pay fealty to Trump's Big Lie while also trying to move beyond it and think more about the future. Trump isn't going to help with the second part of that at all.

Of course, Trump may be down but he's not completely out of the game yet. He still has grand plans for what he wants to do next. Part of this will be resuming his rallies. Trump loved speaking to large adoring audiences more than anything else about politics, and he's been off the trail for a long time. So when he does start making speeches to his cheering fans once again, he'll at least feel a little more relevant. But will he be, even then?

If, as expected, Trump spends all his time in these upcoming rallies rehashing his 2020 election grievances and concentrating solely on himself and his perceived victimhood, he's not exactly going to be making news. We've heard it all before. Especially the political journalists, who are just largely going to take a pass on giving Trump more exposure. If he's not making news, he doesn't deserve such exposure, and he likely won't get it.

The only time Trump will be truly relevant again is when he decides whether to run for president again in 2024. But nobody expects this to happen until (at least) after the midterms next year. If he made an official announcement now, he would be much more constrained in how he can raise and spend money. So he will wait.

By the time he does make this announcement, however, perhaps (just perhaps, mind you) it won't even matter. Perhaps the Republican Party (and its base voters) will have largely moved on. Trump will still remain a major figure to them, but perhaps they won't exactly relish supporting him as their best chance at contending for the White House again. If he still hasn't moved on from endlessly frothing at the mouth over the 2020 election, many Republicans will likely realize that's not really an effective platform to run the party's whole 2024 campaign on.

Of course, Trump being Trump, he's likely to try a few gimmicks in the meantime. Currently, he seems to be lost in a new delusion -- that he will somehow magically be "reinstated" as president, after fake ballot "audits" are completed in Arizona, Georgia, and elsewhere. There is no sane or rational basis for such a belief. There is no constitutional or legal path for this to even happen. Joe Biden is just never going to be escorted out of the Oval Office mid-term, for Trump's triumphant return. It is sheer folly to even think any of this. It is delusional behavior, plain and simple, and yet it has been reported from multiple sources that Trump actually believes this is going to happen. He even has a timetable -- he'll be back in office by August.

Perhaps this is just a variation on the "end times" theme that charismatic religious figures have successfully used (to fleece people) over and over again. A date is set when the world will end (or when Trump will return to power). January 6th, perhaps. Or January 20th. Or March 4th. Or, now, some unspecified date in August. When September dawns, the faithful will be asked to believe that some future date was the real prophecy, and to now fixate on that one instead. Hey, it works for doomsday religious cult leaders, right?

Trump has also reportedly enlisted Newt Gingrich (of all people) to come up with a snappy "Contract For America 2021." An actual platform document full of actual proposals, in other words. Whether those proposals are merely retreads of things already present in the GOP or new things Newt has dreamed up, though, it's doubtful if it'll have much of an impact. Perhaps Republican candidates will have to give it lip service during their campaigns, but if it's anything like Newt's first Contract For America, it will contain a lot of stuff the average voter just doesn't care about at all. It'll be flashy (I'll give Newt that much credit), but it likely won't be all that important, in the end. At least, not to the actual voters.

Trump is also threatening to start a real social media platform, one that (in his dreams) will cause the destruction of all the other ones who plotted against him. He's trying to get some media mileage out of this prediction of a rosy, Trump-infused future as well. But doing so would take a minimum of tens of millions of dollars -- perhaps hundreds of millions -- just to get the site up and running and ready for the traffic load. It would be a giant money vacuum from that point on, too, as it would take further infusions of cash just to keep it maintained. Is Trump really willing to spend such a vast sum of money on something he used to get for free? Doubtful, at best. Also, it would be complicated, with plenty of decisions to be made -- and that sort of thing has never really interested Trump all that much, to put it mildly.

Rallies, at least, Trump knows. He can even charge admission, or "donations," to cover the costs. And he gets in-your-face adulation from thousands of cheering supporters. So maybe that'll be all he really manages to accomplish over the next few months. Maybe that'll be enough for Trump -- he can then convince himself he's once again the most powerful political figure around (all other evidence to the contrary).

But he will be preaching to the choir. And if he continues his incredible shrinking act, that choir will get smaller and smaller over time. Trump never was concerned much with broadening his appeal beyond his base, and he certainly isn't concerned about that now, either. But more and more of the people who voted for him are going to start concluding that he is now no more than the ultimate broken record -- and that they've heard this song too many times already. Like any broken record, it's gotten to the point where it has become downright annoying, even to those who used to love to hear it, in other words.

Everyone thinks that the ultimate insult is for Trump to be called a loser. This is largely true, but there's another one he's equally terrified of as well -- to be considered boring. Not worth reporting on. Not worth repeating. Not worth mentioning. Not worth the slightest amount of attention whatsoever. And certainly not someone who is going to boost ratings. That (hopefully, at least) could be Trump's ultimate political fate.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

49 Comments on “The Incredible Shrinking Trump”

  1. [1] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    I totally agree about the psychic relief that comes from the former president's disappearing profile in the news media.

    One note grabbed me: your casual reference to "the 80 million followers he used to connect with on a daily basis just on Twitter alone." That rang weird to me, as I am not on Twitter myself, and regularly read various 'reality-check' comments from analysts reminding us that Twitter is a limited and fairly exclusive platform, used actively by relatively few Americans. But among whom are all the political and entertainment media writers, who consequently way overestimate the site's importance in the national consciousness.

    Here's the comment I just dug up when I wanted to see where that huge 80 million figure came from.

    "First, we often hear that Trump has 80 million followers. But is that really the case? According to analytics from the Fake Followers Audit, 70.2% of his followers are fake, which is defined as 'accounts that are unreachable and will not see the account’s tweets (either because they’re spam, bots, propaganda, etc. or because they’re no longer active on Twitter).'

    "That’s not especially unusual among high-profile tweeters. For instance, 43% of former President Barack Obama‘s 118 million followers are fake. But it’s important to understand that Trump has about 24 million followers, not 80 million. That’s a big difference." (Blog DanKennedy.net, 5/28/20)

    So here's another example of how the ghost of presidents past is still haunting us: he has a reputation for dominating the media that far outweighs how much he actually dominated the media - because he dominated the messengers far more than he dominated the audience that was actually out there.

    For instance, not being a fan [ahem], I regularly ignored any stories about him that didn't directly affect national security or his chances of being defeated in 2020, and when I heard his voice on the radio I immediately changed the channel; I blocked any links to his image that appeared on my Facebook newsfeed. I don't think I was alone in developing these coping strategies.

    The other thing that occurred to me as you plotted out his steady future diminishment ('incredible shrinking ... - excellent gag!) is that you don't mention at all his increasing legal and financial liabilities. I'm not sure how an indictment or two, or a loan default or two, would affect his comeback plans or the loyalties and beliefs of his still-solid base. Maybe he would play the victim card from a new suit just as (as you say) the power of the "I wuz robbed" suit is fading. Or maybe the reality check of an actual indictment listing crimes and victims, or a loan suit listing liabilities that far outweight assets, would disillusion and shrink his not yet incredible shrinking base. What do you think of that side of his current trajectory?

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Forget about twitter followers.

    How many people voted for him in 2020 and what percentage of those voters believe that the election was stolen from Trump?

    How much shrinking can he do if he is the Republican nominee in 2024?

    And, granted, I don't watch a lot of American broadcast news but, Trump certainly is still front and center in almost everything I see and hear on CNN. I doubt it's much different anywhere else.

  3. [3] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    74.2 million voters. And about two thirds of them still think biden cheated.

  4. [4] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    So, probably a little short of 50 million

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    So, he ain't shrinking much ...

  6. [6] 
    andygaus wrote:

    What's not shrinking enough is the assault on democracy that Trump enabled and legitimized. Before Trump, it was considered bad form not to concede defeat. It was considered bad form to use physical force, or even parliamentary maneuvering, to try and keep an election from being certified. It was considered bad form to bully state election officials and ask them to find a few extra votes for you. Now all of these things are considered standard politics, at least by Republicans, and we are in real danger of having an election falsified in 2024 if the Republicans control the House.

  7. [7] 
    SF Bear wrote:

    I can think of another bloviator right here on this site who is: "Not worth reporting on. Not worth repeating. Not worth mentioning. Not worth the slightest amount of attention whatsoever." When will his platform dry up?

  8. [8] 
    TheStig wrote:

    “The Incredible Shrinking Trump”

    I believe that Stormy Daniels coined that phrase.

  9. [9] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Trump is alive and well here.

    Why write about things like Tom Perez joining a union busting law firm when you cam remind people that Biden is not Trump?

  10. [10] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Elizabeth re: [2]

    Although I don't watch TV, I check the CNN news feed twice daily. I was sure you were off base in claiming that the former president remains omnipresent on CNN, because that wasn't my impression at all.

    So I went over to check and hey! There he is, leading three or four stories at the top of the screen, though not the major headline ones. I was wrong and you were right.

    But... I think that speaks well of my ability to filter the man out of my consciousness almost completely by now. As I noted in my first comment, I wonder how many other people have found peace (relative to the world at large) by doing the same? And what does that say about the effectiveness of judging a politician's national impact just by counting media appearances or tweets.

    When a tree falls in the forest, but none of the millions in the forest is listening for that fall anymore, does the tree make a noise?

  11. [11] 
    TheStig wrote:

    I still dread reading the news each morning. Trump-ism has gone viral. Literally. China built it. If we keep repeating it - it must be true. Even if we have to change the details every day.

    Republicans and their sleazy news outlets are stealing this from Orwell’s Animal Farm....which I mostly remember from 8 th Grade English.

  12. [12] 
    TheStig wrote:

    JohnM-1

    Great comment!

  13. [13] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    SFBear (7)-
    Don't hold your breath waiting for that.

    I'm not going to stop now that I am beginning to make progress.

    See The Ralph Nader Radio Hour on the The Carbohydrate Economy episode at 57:30 when Ralph is addressing listen questions in the Wrap-up when he addresses my comment on the Fair Taxes/Violence in Gaza episode.

    Now you can hate Ralph for that as well as for costing Gore the 2000 election. :D

  14. [14] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    Trump may not have new ideas, but Ralph Nader just entered a new idea into the public discourse (see comment 13).

    While Ralph seemed to miss the point in his comparison to The Audience Network, you can see my comments in response in the Carbohydrate Economy episode and follow the comment on the Fair Taxes episode to see where the comment was cut off when read on the carbohydrate Economy episode.

    But the idea is now in the public discourse.

    Why not write about this new idea instead of more articles trying to keep Trump from disappearing?

  15. [15] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Trump certainly would be doing a worse job.

    https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/06/03/people-are-dying-joe-critics-call-bidens-vaccine-sharing-plan-woefully-indequate

    Could this be a contributing factor in the increase of activity at the border?

  16. [16] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @caddy [fpc],

    W had 8 years for his troubles to come back and bite him, in spite of significant 2nd term course correction. thankfully donald's failures hit soon enough to prevent a second term. but one of the consequences of biden's success is that there's less of donald's leadership to hate, and therefore less movement in public opinion. not to mention that W never really had a cult of personality the way donald still does.

    of course, there's no cult of personality like the cult of pie, which is always worth reporting on, repeating and mentioning.

    mince and cheese pie. viennese pie.

    alevropita. galatopita.

    chiffon pie. parmesan pie.

    grasshopper pie. apple cobbler pie.

    ice cream pie. rice dream pie.

    cherry pie. berry pie.

    peach pie. quiche pie.

    meat pie. sheet pie.

    low-carb pie. rhubarb pie.

    prawn pie. pecan pie.

    pork pie. torte pie.

    succotash pie, baby smash pie,

    chocolate mousse pie. grapefruit juice pie.

    key lime meringue pie, orange tang pie,

    tourtiere pie, kiwi pear pie,

    turkey-quail pie, steak & ale pie,

    chicken pot pie.

    got pie?

    get edible.

    JL

  17. [17] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John,

    When a tree falls in the forest, but none of the millions in the forest is listening for that fall anymore, does the tree make a noise?

    When it comes to you know who, I think the answer is a resounding YES! But, I don't think that is the right analogy, anyways. In any event, if millions ignore him, there are millions who don't. Ignore him at all of your peril, in other words.

    As for finding peace, that happened for me the moment I knew Biden was elected president. In fact, I no longer feel the urge or necessity to engage in US political affairs, including of a foreign nature! My long held interest in US foreign policy was what lead me to Biden in the first place way back in the late eighties.

    But, I just can't quit this place and all my friends like you, even if my non-brief contributions here are a thing of the past. :)

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    John,

    But... I think that speaks well of my ability to filter the man out of my consciousness almost completely by now.

    It certainly does!

    Just don't let him sneak up on you when you're not looking...

  19. [19] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    You fruitcake/lib guys should be mourning the passing of the incredible shrinking Trump. His shrinking is killing all your fake news peddlers, you know, the ones who assured everybody that Russiagate was factual but the virus lab-leak theory was pure conspiracy crazyness, because St. Tony would never deceive us.

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @crs,

    most of us love our country more than we dislike trump, so there's no cause to mourn. and it's fruit PIE guys, thank you very much. ;)

    JL

  21. [21] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    You just missed the point. And, stop spreading fake news, okay?

  22. [22] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Of course, by 'you' I meant crs. Ahem.

  23. [23] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    CRS,

    You are SUCH a fruitPIE!

    Heh.

  24. [24] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Yeah, well, sometimes having a moderator is a good thing. :)

  25. [25] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Stucki,

    You have a bizarre obsession with russiagate. We have all read the reports and understand them, have you?

    As for virus lab-leak theory, I've read quite a bit on this, what conspiracy crazyness are you peddling here?

  26. [26] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    What is Antifa?

    Our friends at The Lincoln Project weigh in.

  27. [27] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    BB

    My favorite part of the Russiagate hoax was the lengths your team went to to prove that Trump had secretly enlisted Russian help in hacking the emails of the DNC and of Hillary, AFTER the orange moron had done that very thing ON NATIONAL TV, fer gawdsake!!

  28. [28] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    [8]

    Haha! That's a Snark of the Day award for you, buddy!

    Regarding Trump Stormy may yet face charges of Inciting an Inch Erection.

  29. [29] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Stucki,

    You do realize your russiagate obsession is approaching par with Don Harris and his OD obsession, right?

    Most reports I have read say the Trump administration tried to enlist Russian help but the Russians were: no thanks, were good. So maybe you need to define what you mean by "your team"...

  30. [30] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Trump just had nothing new to say. If he had been making truly newsworthy statements -- proposing a different agenda for Republicans to counter Biden's popularity, proposing different foreign or domestic policies, or even weighing in on other Republicans' various efforts to do so -- then perhaps things would have been different.

    Trump isn't newsworthy anymore. He's done lasting damage to our Country but he's not done trashing the Republican Party. With rare exceptions (see Cheney, Liz) Repugs remain simply terrified of Trump's supporters and don't have the gumption to usher Trump off the political stage, stage right, of course.

    Whatever some in the right-wing alternative universe media may say, I can definitely see Trump announcing a 2024 run not because he wants to be President again (ain't gonna happen) but rather simply to grift more money from the rubes.

    And it's likely that at least some New York State indictments will have been handed down by then. Dollars to donuts Trump will play the "The deep state is out to get me" victim card.

  31. [31] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    BB [29]

    If not ever perceiving a reason for changing my mind constitutes an "obsession", then I guess I'm obsessed, but I certainly do not bring up the subject with any frequency approaching that of Don with his favorite theme.

    However, the best part of any political dispute is the opportunity to say "TOLD YA SO", so I'm not likely to forget it anytime soon.

  32. [32] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Bashi (29)-
    Not even close.

    CRS on Russiagate is nothing compared to the Deathocrats obsession with Russiagate after 2016 or CW's obsession with promoting instead of exposing THE Big Lie.

    As for me and One Demand, you can call it an obsession if you want but there is nothing wrong with being obssessed with saving democracy from its enemies in the big money party that pretends to be two.

  33. [33] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet (16)-
    Another consequence of Biden's "success" is that Biden has been successful at implementing the SOP when Deathocrats are in control of providing excuses why promises can't be fulfilled rather than reasons to do them and work to achieve them which is what gave us Trump and GWB to begin with and will again provide the same results in the future. (see comment 15, the 15 dollar wage, public option, just to name a few)

    Not the kind of success that will inspire citizens.

    Not the kind of success that helps democracy or our country.

    No wonder you only want to indulge your perverted obsession with pie as the reality of Biden's shortcomings are too difficult to reconcile with your delusions- just like a Trumpster!

  34. [34] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    I think that we can thank the pandemic for the uptick in the GOP’s acts of sheer craziness. Being from Georgia and as one of the only liberal leaning members of a very large extended family, I have always been disappointed at how my family supported anything the GOP pitched out of habit/laziness and without investing any critical thought to what that support meant for them or the country in the long run.

    I was disappointed, but I got it — they had kids and families with social lives that they would rather focus on than our national politics! I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, “Both parties are corrupt and filled with liars,” when I tried to talk about current issues. They were just too busy to invest any time into being bothered by politics. They have careers, as do their spouses. Most have 2 or 3 kids who are involved year long in sports, music programs, drama, or some other extracurricular activity. They are involved in their churches, members of civic organizations, and still enjoy having time to read a book or two (or binge-watch Netflix series and follow NASCAR if we are talking about my Mom’s side of the family). My point is this: They do not pay close attention to politics because they have plenty of other things to focus on that are a far more enjoyable way to spend their time than diving into politics.

    And then the pandemic struck and the country came to a screeching halt! Growing up, we ate “home cooked meals” as a family maybe a dozen times a year. None of those occurred in our own home...they all occurred when we traveled to see the grandparents. My family, that used our home in such a limited fashion that it was just a place to use the bathroom and sleep, suddenly was home ALL THE TIME! When you are used to being always on the go...standing still can be a difficult change to your system. Boredom can drive a person crazy... or drive a person TO crazy. My family — that never watched FoxNews unless we were visiting the grandparents — suddenly got into politics and started watching FoxNews every night because they had nothing else to do! This has caused them to “get into” politics for the first time ever — and without any of their normal outlets to focus all of their energy and passion into, they have focused it all onto the GOP and Trump!

    I do not blame them for not realizing that they are being used and lied to by the GOP. The GOP have become masters of using propaganda to get their base to do their will. Fortunately, January 6 was a big wake up call to most of them that Trump was not who they thought he was. They disapproved of the attacks on the Capitol, but they still buy into the thought that the election had issues that need to be addressed.

    The light at the end of the tunnel is that things in their lives are picking back up. Restaurants are opening back up, sports leagues are starting to meet, and they are free to leave their homes again! I can only pray that their interest in politics will go back to what it used to be. Seeing photos of them at Trump rallies — like photos of them in parachute pants and with mullets — hopefully will soon be embarrassments that they try to bury from anyone ever seeing!

  35. [35] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Stucki,

    Not so much your opinion of the matter than the broad brush of generalization you wish to paint the entire left. You have directed an accusation of the entire left against a small subset of the left that least resembles the accusation. In other words you have mentioned being somewhat libertarian. Should I find all the wacky libertarian ideas and assume you strongly believe in every one? Cause' libertarians have some alluring ideas but also some bat shit crazy left of field ones as well...

  36. [36] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    BB [35]

    Sorry, absolutely no "wacky" nor "bad shit crazy left-of-field" ones whatsoever.

    (I'm loathe to get very involved with debating pure political/ideological differences, but I'm curious what it is you find within libertarianism that you feel fits that description, if you'd care to cite some of them - Thanks in advance.)

    CRS

  37. [37] 
    ListenWhenYouHear wrote:

    MtnCaddy [26]

    What I find most interesting about Antifa is that the only proof of them actually existing comes only when they choose to target D-List conservatives who just happen to be promoting new books! You never hear of Antifa groups making public statements to the news media on matters that have national consequences, but amazingly they have local chapters that pop up with websites in most smaller communities that have colleges willing to host these D-List Conservatives on book tours! Even stranger is that those Antifa websites disappear soon after the book tour ends! Now I am not suggesting that these Conservatives (many of whom have been busted creating fake videos meant to fool the viewer into believing their false claims against Liberals in the past) are seeking free publicity by staging the protests of their own book tours — I am flat out saying that they are behind it! They know rightwing media just LOVES any story about mean lefties trying to destroy America and will publish it with very little scrutiny to the accusations being made.

    Antifa — hoping to silence a conservative speaker that no one has really heard of and who cannot get any publicity for their upcoming book tour except on the most fringe rightwing outlets — decides to protest the nobody, thus giving them free world wide publicity and notoriety as a result! You might think Antifa would realize that they are only giving the person (they supposedly want to silence) MORE of a voice capable of reaching far more people than if they did not get involved...but strangely Antifa never seems to get that message.

  38. [38] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Stucki,

    I would call the dedication to the gold standard long after that ship has sailed quaint more than wacky but mostly it's the practical applications on the rare times Libertarians get a chance. Lots of humorous individual freedom situations that in a vacuum seem reasonable but when evaluated to the longer term for the entire society become wacky. My favorite is the freedom to feed donuts to bears...

  39. [39] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    BB [38]

    The "dedication to the gold standard" is simply a dedication to sound money (as opposed to money subject to perpetually decreasing value, such as we have.) Neither "quaint" nor "wacky", and you may live to see the downsides of the alternative.

    Not sure what to make of your "freedom to feed donuts to bears" thing. We actually have that 'freedom' where I live, but it doesn't play much of a role in most people's lives.

  40. [40] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Stucki,

    There is about $7.5 trillion of mined and accounted for gold world wide. There are about 18 trillion US dollars alone in circulation. Then everyone else's currency on top of that. At best you are going to get a tiny fraction of gold per dollar or raise the price of gold to match currency volume and make gold's most common use, trinkets to adorn people, unaffordable to most as well as push up the price of certain electronics, one of the few practical uses of the stuff.

    Then there is an asteroid called 16 Psyche in our solar systems asteroid belt that has an estimated $26 quintillion worth of gold as well as much greater amounts of nickel and iron. It's the nickel and iron that's the true value. Huge amounts of metal without launch costs. The gold (as well as platinum) is just the cherry on top. We are sending a probe to investigate that scheduled to launch next year...

    Ya, that ship sailed.

  41. [41] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    antifa? obsessing about antifa is like obsessing about occupy wall street. it's a completely diffuse, completely heterogenous and completely disorganized group of who knows what sorts of people doing whatever random things suit their fancy.

  42. [42] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    BB [40]

    The fact that you measure the amount of mined gold in existence in dollars (as opposed to units of weight or volume) is revelatory of why you apparently fail to recognize the role that gold could play in maintaining a stable currency (precluding monetary inflation) OR (more likely) perhaps that you object to our economy being forced to maintain a stable currency, recognizing that currency inflation is actually a tax on the nation's savings, and knowing that low-earning people mostly have no savings to tax.

  43. [43] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Stucki,

    What you fail to realize is gold is valuable for the same reason fiat currency is valuable for the same reason bitcoin is valuable: Belief. There is nothing magical about gold other than it's shinny and people like to wear it...

  44. [44] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    BB

    Not strictly true. Gold is valuable because the supply is severely restricted. Nobody has ever succeeded in reducing its value by greatly inflating the supply. Money is valuable because (so far at least) people are willing to accept it in trade, but whenever its supply becomes unlimited (Venezuela, Zimbabwe) the value disappears.

    I don't know much about Bitcoin, but I've heard it is also very hard to 'inflate'.

  45. [45] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Stucki,

    the supply is severely restricted

    For now. It is only restricted by technology. What happens if gold becomes unlimited?

    There are insane amounts of gold in the ocean, the deep crust of the earth and the aforementioned asteroid.

  46. [46] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    BB

    If gold ever becomes unlimited it will become far less valuable per ounce (simple law of supply and demand, Econ 101) and would would lose the potential to serve as backing for monetary systems.

    Not that it matters, but I'm betting the "aforementioned asteroid" is a myth.

  47. [47] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:
  48. [48] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    BB

    You might be correct on that I wouldn't know, but as I said, it doesn't matter, unless somebody figures out how to capture it and bring it to earth. Gold in any quantity somewhere in the universe, or on earth but unobtainable, is totally beside the point.

  49. [49] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    No faith in the ingenuity of greed?

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