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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Culture wars, Uniparty, and Deep Values research

artwork from Conservative Treehouse

A few days after the election, the William A. Jacobson (Legal Insurrection blog) interviewed "Deep Values" researcher Anne Sorock, since she predicted a Trump candidacy and a Trump win before he even rode down the escalator. Her comments intersect in many places with the Conservative Treehouse’s ongoing exposure of “the Uniparty” and why Trump’s candidacy was an alternative. He was unique in offering the potential to destroy the unholy alliances between the donor class, the political class, and corporate media. Some extracts from the interview appear below:

WAJ [William A. Jacobson]: When I asked you who you supported at CPAC 2015, what made you not just respond, “Trump,” but insist upon it when no one else thought he would run much less win?

Anne: I remember that day we spoke at CPAC. The giddy atmosphere of insiders and wannabe-insiders  was almost ominous. I had been working at The Frontier Lab on mapping disaffiliation by conservatives from using the term “Republican” to describe themselves. These conservatives had had enough after 2012, being told to get in line and vote for Romney, and then the RNC Autopsy report came out basically as a rubber stamp to keep pursuing the same tired strategies.

Those aware of the Autopsy felt it simply confirmed what the Romney debacle had already shown them – that the GOP and its parasites were incapable of reforming themselves. The only answer was an outsider to blow it all up.
. . .
At the time, I was following these threads about conservatism:
The desire for a concrete way to demonstrate the action of “standing up for your beliefs”

Concern that they had been enabling “bad behavior” of the GOP in the same way that a parent enables a child. A taste of empowerment that had come from interaction with the Tea Party movement, but yearning for more.

WAJ: What about this outsider aspect?

Anne: That was the functional part — being an outsider would allow him to do what previous candidates, and all candidates being considered, were incapable of. And that was absolutely reject the king-makers at CPAC and in DC in general.

There was so much anger I had been cataloging at those in charge. There was a seething sense of being disrespected by those in charge. One of the insights from my research at the time was that when people were asked to “choose the lesser of two evils,” they were basically dropping like flies from the Republican label. They might vote that way, but they resented it even more each time. They were looking for an anti-hero.
. . .
WAJ: So why didn’t all the others predict Trump, especially in the consultant/market research community?

Anne: Polling about the economy, jobs, national security, etc., might reveal superficial insights, even move the needle a few important points, but it failed in one major respect. They were asking about issues that are, at best, the outgrowths of their deeper concerns, but not explanatory or helpful in making predictions. What you don’t know about, you can’t ask about.

WAJ: What should we understand about the Americans who supported Trump that we still continue to miss?

Anne: They may care about all these conservative issues too, but they recognize that the enemy is within the gates. Our culture is what’s being eroded. Small government may be the mechanism to restore much of our country’s greatness but it isn’t the emotion, the value, that drives our country’s unique role in the world.

Read the rest here.

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