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I'm Loyal to Nothing Except the Dream


Here’s the data you requested.

A new survey by the Pew Research Centre of 40,447 people in 37 countries shows that trust in Mr Trump pales in comparison with Barack Obama’s final ratings. Whereas 64% of those surveyed had confidence in Mr Obama to do the right thing, just 22% are similarly optimistic about his successor, whom they described as “arrogant” (75%), “intolerant” (65%) and “dangerous” (62%). Citizens in Western Europe put no more stock in Mr Trump—who took office just five months ago—than they did in George W. Bush, the architect of the highly unpopular war in Iraq, when he limped out of the White House in 2008. Respondents’ approval rating for America overall has also slumped, from 64% to 49%.

There is one interesting outlier here. Guess which country it is!

Trump is terrible for America, but fantastic for China. I expect them to take full advantage.


Thank you for replying with some data.

That supports your assertion that Trump has undermined our status in the world (within the context, of course, of public opinion). Anything about weakening who we are or undermining our values?

Again, I’ll reiterate than I’m no fan of Trump and I personally find him repulsive. But I think the hysteria over him is far more of an issue than the man himself. It’s far more disturbing to me how easily so much of the country–on either side–has fallen victim to a mob mentality and the notion that the end justifies violent means so long as you hold a supposed moral superiority than it is that we have a buffoon as president.

To that point, I believe you’re right that our values have become undermined. But Trump is nothing but a canard insofar as why that truly is.


The founders were well aware that people are born with vastly different potential. Whether it is because of genetics or the alignment of planets is immaterial. I certainly don’t know, I don’t claim to be a scientist. What is obvious to anyone not shackled by political correctness and in fear of his job is that some people are born tall with the potential to play basketball, some people are born with pipes and the potential to sing opera, some people are born smart with the potential for high levels of abstract thought, and some people aren’t.

There is no doubt that you do not run your business and you personal life on the basis of “all men are created equal”. You seek out the best when hiring, and while you know that being born smart with the potential for a high level of abstract thought is not a sufficient requirement for employment in your company, it is certainly a necessary requirement. This does not make you a eugenicist, though perhaps it makes you a raging hypocrite.

That these obvious facts of life even need to be said, that saying them in certain widening circles can lead to shunning and a lost job is a sad testament to where we are. Witness the firing of the Google engineer who stated the obvious about men and women. The denial of science and common sense is astounding.

Despite your customary fascile comment, I’m sure you know full well that the founding fathers in the Declaration were talking about man before God and law.

I’ll share your concern about Trump as a eugenicist when he implements policies that support eugenics. In the meantime, the most eugenic policy we have now is tax payer funded abortion. If you want to see how a real eugenicist speaks, listen to the words of Margaret Sanger, the patron saint of Planned Parenthood.

Furthermore, if you are truly concerned about eugenics, the assisted suicide movement, which was pioneered in the Netherlands, is gaining ground in California. There is no separating euthanasia from eugenics.

PS. You claim Trump believes in the inherit genetic superiority of certain races. He may very well, for all I know, but I missed that in the video you supplied. Can you tell me where he has stated that?


Very well said. Thank you.


Nothing about that was remotely correct or based on plausible science, much less obvious:

Are we talking about a company, with an explicit profit motive and no reason to exist other than to make money, or are we talking about a government, that is designed to serve all human beings fairly and equally, and guarantee critical public services for everyone? These are very different things.

Also, not all people are the same height or gender! How is that even possible if all men are created equal, Jeff! Answer me that!

Gee David you really got me there. Not all people are the same height. Or the same gender.

Unless you’re being intentionally obtuse, it was obvious that I was referring to “all men are created equal” in the context of government since I literally quoted it using an image from the Declaration of Independence. So pretty much … you’re being intentionally obtuse. My advice to you is to stop.

Note that as Facebook and the like approach world scale, they do begin to resemble governments more than we might like, and need to behave accordingly. The concept of “free speech” on Facebook is legitimate in a way that “free speech” on a random internet forum is not at all.

We all know – it’s certainly obvious now if it wasn’t already obvious in January – that in Trump we have elected the worst president in the last 100 years, maybe even the last 200. So we should do nothing about that? Don’t complain and advocate for change, just suck it up because that’s the way it is?

Part of the “hysteria”, as you call it, is the realization that Trump is a 100 or 200 year storm, a real low point in American democracy. Acknowledging that means advocating for improvement and fixing what’s broken here so badly, such that our kids have less chance of dealing with another Trump.


Jeff, you are the one who appeared to be deliberately obtuse by bringing in the Constitution and the government in response to EJT when he stated that is was indeed obvious that people are a born with different levels of ability. It was obvious that he was not talking about men’s standing before government and law. Furthermore, there is nothing in any of his comments in the past that I can see that would lead anyone to believe that he thinks that men should not be equal before the law.

And yet you appeared to take issue with EJT’s statement of the obvious by posting a picture of the Constitution and telling him he was wrong. Perhaps you were making a joke or much more subtle comment that went over my head? If so, I am sorry for not getting it.

I am left not getting your point.


Jeff, it’s remarkable how two people can really talk past each other, isn’t it?

I think I see what happened here. You started by posting a video where Trump makes clear he believes that people are born with different levels of talent and ability. No where in the video as far as I can tell does Trump state that he is for government that does not treat people equally before the law. Yet that is apparently what you saw - in fact the only thing you saw.

I saw the video and saw Trump being his usual boastful self, but saying nothing that isn’t obviously true about people. Apparently EJT saw much the same thing. He commented on it. You assumed that he was defending people being treated differently by government. It is you who conflated equality before the law with the inequality of nature.

In your mind Trump is obviously the worst president in 100 or even 200 years. That latter would make him virtually the worst in the history of the country. Given this, I can see how you might think it is inconceivable that as the worst ever president he could possibly believe that people are and should be equal before the law – that cannot possibly compute, given, just to take one recent example, that FDR interned Americans of Japanese descent during WWII.


Let’s see. What’s this whole topic about? Oh yes, the President of the United States of America. So you’re saying that he was off topic, making some irrelevant comment that didn’t warrant followup? Or maybe he was talking about the President?

Many of those clips are from campaign speeches when he was running for president. As a white supremacist, when you see a future President of the United States telling people, on the campaign trail, with a MAGA hat on …

Do we believe in the gene thing? I mean, I do.

… that leads directly to

As an individual citizen, sure, Trump can believe and say whatever he wants. But we hold the President to a higher standard. He is the highest ranked elected official and thus represents us all. And sentiments like

I have great genes and all that stuff which, I’m a believer in.

I always said winning is somewhat, maybe innate. Maybe it’s something you have, you know, you have the winning gene. Frankly it’d be wonderful if you could develop it, but I’m not so sure you can.

are unbecoming of a nation literally founded on the principle that all men are created equal… and on top of that, America is known as the Land of Opportunity, not the Land of Winners With Great Genes.


I think we all agree that you don’t like Trump’s style.

He says a lot things that rub you the wrong way - things like “at some point, you’ve made enough money” or “you didn’t build that”, “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor”, “we want to bankrupt the coal industry”, " we want to make electricity very expensive". “Americans cannot go on keeping their thermostats at 72” , “I don’t speak Austrian”, etc.

As I said before, when he actually implements or proposes an unconstitutional law, or a policy that violates the spirit of the Declaration, or some abuse of the FBI or CIA, like spying on the American press, or using the IRS to persecute political enemies, or using energy policy to enrich favored companies, or when he lies to the public about the reason an American ambassador was murdered in a foreign land, or when he receives vast sums of money from foreign governments via a private foundation set up by his wife, or if he runs all his email through private servers so none of his doings are tracked or stored according to government regulations and sunshine laws, I’ll share your concern. Maybe, 'cause I’m sure I left out many things in that list.

By the way, there is no doubt that he will do some of the above, indeed, has already done so, just as every president has before him, to a greater or lesser degree, many of them like Obama, no doubt much worse.

Right now, you’ve got nothing but world opinion polls (that would have rated Ronald Reagan the worst ever president as well), opinions from the New York Times (ditto about Reagan), and your own hysteria (worst president in 200 years!), which, as entertainingly explained by Scott Adams, you probably cannot see or understand.


We’ve also got the sentiment of Americans on top of that

Currently at 37% approval. How does that compare with presidents in their first term since 1945?

So you’re correct – all we have is “nothing” but every bit of data available, showing us Trump is clearly the worst president in the last 100 years, if not the last 200.


Firstly, you’re assuming your conclusion here. By what context, again, are you judging Trump to be “the worst” president we’ve had in 100 years? Just about all of what you’ve cited boils down to an appeal to the majority fallacy: Trump’s the worst because look at how many people say he’s the worst!

But what is it, exactly, that you’re fighting for? What change, exactly, do you want to see? What has Trump actually done that you’re protesting? A huge swath of the American public has decided to engage in this sort of empty virtue-signaling, but there’s precious little of substance behind any of it. Let’s face reality–businesses have now adopted “Hate is not welcome here” as an advertising gimmick. That should tell you something about the nature of this revolution. It’s a trend, not a movement.

That’s why I call the overreactions to Trump hysteria. This isn’t really about how bad Trump is, but rather how not like Trump everyone else is.


Overt cruelty?

That’s just what happened today, by the way. I guess you missed the “many sides” bit from 2 weeks ago, as well?


Remember when Obama so famously stated that he had a pen and a phone when he wasn’t getting any traction with Congress vis a vis immigration reform?

Congratulations! You have now just learned a very important lesson about the transience of executive power. If you really believe one president undoing the fiat policy of his predecessor is “overt cruelty”, then perhaps you might want to pay more attention to the branch of government actually charged with creating law?


Looks like Trump was not only correct, but a ahead of the curve. Nancy Pelosi is following Trump and condemning Antifa:

I am glad to see she did so, if only somewhat belatedly. Unfortunately given the explicit and tacit support that Antifa has had from the media and the Democrats, it may be far too little, far too late.


Isn’t it rather shallow, not to mention short-sighted, to base one’s opinion of Trump on public opinion polls?

And really, “every bit of data available”? Is this a joke coming from a self-styled “data scientist”? Even if we were to look at somewhat more meaningful data, like the stock market indices, or unemployment numbers, or housing starts, it is not possible to rate a president in his first 6 months by “looking at the data” - indeed, probably not possible to rate a president at any point by “looking at the data”. The data says nothing without interpretation, without context, without logical argument. I certainly would not say he is the best president in 100 years just because the stock market, say, quadrupled in his first 6 months.

What are you going to say about Trump six months from now if his public approval ratings go up? Will you change your opinion of him? Will he all of a sudden NOT be the worst president in 200 years? Furthermore, there is a very meaningful opinion poll that will be conducted in 2020. What if he wins that poll in a landslide? Does this make him a great president?

Trump may very well go down in history as a very bad president. But the idea that “every bit of data available” proves this now, today, is utterly silly.


I agree that empowering the executive branch too much because you have a rational president versus an irrational one, is indeed a dangerous thing. The whole point of American government was, and is, checks and balances. Bureaucracy by design, so one irrational actor can’t do much harm. The downside is that things move more slowly, but this is an acceptable tradeoff – you don’t want government that blazes through policy without weighing the pros and cons, and hearing from everyone who will be affected by those policies.

The problem is that the party in control of congress seems fine with a lot of the current presidential irrationality, and aren’t interested in the “checks and balances” part of the menu as long as they retain power. I think they’re going to pay a terrible price for that in 2018 and 2020 though.


I just noticed that the quote block doesn’t seem to be preserving italics, at least in the preview box. You emphasized “remotely”. Is that intentional? Just wondering.

Anyway, since you call yourself a “scientist” rather than a leftist, I was wondering what you think about what these actual scientists had to say about the memo, and why they are wrong, and you are right.

“The author of the Google essay on issues related to diversity gets nearly all of the science and its implications exactly right.”


Already addressed in the article I linked

Feel free to read it more closely as needed.


I find it amusing that you think that two journalists with no obvious scientific backgrounds of any kind are better qualified to judge the scientific research on this topic than the scientists who are publishing it.

As Geoffrey Miller says in the Quillette piece I linked:

For what it’s worth, I think that almost all of the Google memo’s empirical claims are scientifically accurate. Moreover, they are stated quite carefully and dispassionately. Its key claims about sex differences are especially well-supported by large volumes of research across species, cultures, and history. I know a little about sex differences research. On the topic of evolution and human sexuality, I’ve taught for 28 years, written 4 books and over 100 academic publications, given 190 talks, reviewed papers for over 50 journals, and mentored 11 Ph.D. students. Whoever the memo’s author is, he has obviously read a fair amount about these topics. Graded fairly, his memo would get at least an A- in any masters’ level psychology course. It is consistent with the scientific state of the art on sex differences.


Not just in my mind:

Most important, he is the first president to fail to defend the nation from an attack on our democracy by a hostile foreign power — and to resist the investigation of that attack. He is the first to enrich his private interests, and those of his family, directly and openly.

He is the first president to denounce the press not simply as unfair but as “the enemy of the American people.” He is the first to threaten his defeated political opponent with imprisonment. He is the first to have denigrated friendly countries and allies as well as a whole continent with racist vulgarities.

George Washington warned that the actions of a president “may have great and durable consequences from their having been established at the commencement of a new general government.” If history is any guide — especially in light of the examples closest to his, of Buchanan and Andrew Johnson — Mr. Trump’s first year portends a very unhappy ending.

The author? Sean Wilentz, a professor of history at Princeton.