Plurality

One commenter was stumping for Trump, announcing that he had the plurality. Donald Trump was able (with the eager help of leftist and statist and establishment media) to achieve the largest small share among 17 initial possibilities. Now that he is the only choice left, he’s very likely to get a majority,and sort of has it now, although there are problems. Trump is the presumptive nominee, but he is not yet the nominee.

The Establishment’s Man

Trump is by many reckonings a poor candidate to run up against Hillary Clinton. But this had helped Trump get this far: He has fared badly in previous matchups against the left’s weak and flawed candidate, so they had supported him through media attention. This is improving, but he won’t be under the media’s full negative attention until he is officially the nominee.

Actually, the left expected Trump to implode, but he was good for ratings. And somehow, a part of the public was so mad at the Republican establishment, and so enamored by Trump’s seeming attacks on it, that nothing else he could say seemed to bother them. So the media’s attention on Trump actually helped him a lot.

Earlier, establishment media (including Fox News, the New York Post, the WSJ editorial page) had supported the establishment’s also flawed Bush and Christie, but were a bit disturbed by the semi-Constitutional Rubio and the very strong Constitutional Cruz. So when Bush and Christie looked doomed, even the nominally Republican portions of the media went blatantly for Trump.

They Think He’ll Lose

So, Leftist media likes Trump because they think he’ll lose. Establishment media likes Trump … well, they hate him less than the despised (and very threatening to the Good Old Boys’ establishment) Ted Cruz. And there is overlap between these two groups, as the largely Leftist administrative and regulatory state also supports the Republican side of the establishment. They’re all seduced by their power and positions, and don’t want to rock the boat. Trump has assured them that he is not as radical as he sounds, and Cruz scares the crap out of both sides.

But everyone expects Hillary to win against Trump. So they got what they wanted: Trump as the Republican nominee. This leaves the US public in an odd place. The national race now seems to have two bad outcomes: Trump loses, or Trump wins. We’ve never had a situation like this before — but other parts of the world have.

Promises and Plurality

In Chile in 1970 there was a convoluted election, somewhat similar to this one, featuring a contest between a fairly free-market type versus an East Germany-backed Marxist and another somewhat less radical leftist. A popular leftist had lurched the country in that direction, rather as Obama has, softening up the country for more in that direction.

The Marxist’s East Germany-designed and -printed campaign posters were everywhere, and they promised free stuff and more money to poor people and promised to attack evil corporations and attack foreign interests who had unfair trade deals with this South American country. And to take the property of large local landowners, the “1%” who had more than their fair share.

The other two split more than 60% of the vote, but this left a plurality for Marxist Salvador Allende of about 36%. Their legislature was, by their rules, to pick between the top two. Right after the election, the people wanting the free stuff and wanting the evil corporations and foreign interests and 1%’ers attacked were protesting to put Allende in power right away. These mobs were often led and agitated by foreign communists. Allende technically won the election, but most people, and most in the government thought he was a bad idea.

Other governments observing this process (including the US) agreed, and tried to discourage the choice of Allende, but foreign and domestic communists in Chile were pushing hard.

The legislature  ultimately picked Allende under pressure from the mobs, but did get him to sign a document that he would actually follow their constitution. Thus, under their laws, he had won. But people had good reason to doubt Allende’s allegiance to the laws of the country, and he quickly ignored the document he signed.

Happy Times in the Beginning

Allende immediately began taking the country into Hell. He refused to pay Chile’s debts to other countries, and he “nationalized” (i.e., stole) the operations of foreign countries and corporations providing everything from copper mining to banking to telephone service. This was used to fund giveaways to people (Allende began a program of giving free milk to every family) so they were happy at first.

He “liberated” the property of large landowners who did not have the right political connections. Allende changed labor conditions in the country in various “pro-labor” ways (including minimum wage and pension increases). This made workers happy too, for a while, as these measures produced an initial increase of cash in the hands of employees.

During the remainder of Allende’s first year (1971), Chile’s GDP actually increased. But these were massively destructive forces he had unleashed.

Most farms larger than 80 hectares had been taken by the government, and agricultural production crashed despite government demands. Most factories could not afford to keep their employees, and industrial production fell despite government demands.

Inflation was already high from the previous leftward lurch, but now it took off — increasing by more than 100% in a single month (August 1972). Why isn’t that happening here? Since the US is the world’s currency, and we can print more of it to soften inflation, it works for a while. Also, the drop in oil (and thus gas) prices due to the US private sector’s new techniques helped a lot to offset other increases. Games are being played with other numbers to downplay inflation. But when we are no longer the world’s currency, we will follow Chile — and Greece, but faster.

Chileans Get Angry

In Chile in 1972, a black market of goods traded outside of government control became rampant. Other countries stopped selling things to Chile on credit, as they knew they weren’t likely to be paid. And Chile immediately demanded huge amounts of credit to address the growing catastrophe of the economic mess he caused. These requests were mostly denied.

Fidel Castro came to visit, saw the increasing grip on people the government was taking as the population descended into deeper poverty, and thought it was very good. But the people disagreed. Allende tried to focus their anger on the evil foreign interests, but this was not very successful.

What was the problem? Massive protectionism (like the tariffs Trump proposes), taking the property of the wealthy (like Trump proposes) and big minimum wage jumps (which he now says he’ll “look into”) will clobber the US economy like it did Chile’s.

Pinochet

The US supported Allende’s ouster, although the revelations of declassified CIA documents showed that this support, and our involvement, was much smaller than had been thought by Leftists.

Chile was so bad off after two years that it was even scaring other rising communist regimes. And finally, on September 11, 1973, a Chilean military leader named Augusto Pinochet staged a coup and took over. His name is actually pronounced “PEEN oh shet” — it’s not French.

The Dictators Club

He was considered “right wing” — and now-dictator Pinochet went after the communist agitators in a big way. He’s accused of “disappearing” a few thousand, whereas leftist dictators from Lenin to Stalin to Hitler to Mao to Pol Pot to the North Koreans did this to millions. But the Left hates Pinochet to this day, and are not bothered by most of these others.

The exception is Hitler — whom they blame on the right, despite his socialist programs and movement name (National Socialism or Nazi for short). So he’s okay to hate. Even worse, Pinochet as a “right wing dictator” brought in a team of free-market experts from the US to fix Chile’s economy, and Chile quickly became the fastest-growing and strongest economy of Latin America.

New Beginnings

Then dictator Pinochet did something else unusual: He wrote a constitution that would end his own dictatorship. He hoped to be kept on as a senator in the new system, and nearly made it, losing that election by only a few votes. He was and still is the only dictator on the planet to end his own dictatorship by establishing a constitutionally governed free country. And that country continued to do well.

But Chile did not learn a permanent lesson from this, and has been heading back left despite the lessons of history and common sense. Trump, now after what he perceives is an America lurching left (a good guess based upon the media) is now beginning his own move in that direction.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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