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My Thoughts on the US Midterm: Voting against Trump to Defend US Institutions and Keep the GOP from becoming the National Front

Recent Blog Posts - Sat, 2018-11-10 07:45
My Thoughts on the US Midterm

This essay is a re-post of a post I wrote for the Lowy Institute before the election explaining my vote against Donald Trump’s Republican party. This post went viral on Twitter; thank you.

One thing I wish I had emphasized more in retrospect is that Trump is turning the GOP into the National Front. I mention that in the essay, but the more I think about Trump’s impact on the Republicans, the more I think the National Front is the right model for where the GOP is going. The NF is a lot like Trump himself: semi-authoritarian, racist, gangsterish, flirting with anti-semitism. No wonder Bannon and Marine LePen get on so well.

I say all this as a deeply disaffected lifelong registered Republican. I voted a straight Democratic ticket this week just because of Trump’s threat to America’s institutions. I figure I will stay a registered Republican for the 2020 primary, to vote against Trump there. But if Trump wins re-election, I see no choice but to register as a Democrat. The GOP will be unrecognizable at that point – basically the American National Front by 2024. I imagine a lot of other center-right natsec types are probably thinking the same. This whole thing is so depressing, because the US actually needs a coherent center-right party as a part of checks-and-balances in a two-party system.

The full essay is after the jump…

 

One of the worst clichés of US politics is that the next election is the most important ever/in your lifetime/in recent history, and so on. When I worked in US politics in the 1990s, I heard this all time. Americans are bewitched by the notion that elections represent major turning points in national life. American news coverage flogs this notion relentlessly – likely to drive up viewership by inflating the stakes – and election gurus in the US like Karl Rove, Frank Luntz, and James Carville have built careers around this idea.

Midterm elections are generally spared this overwrought breathlessness. Without the presidency at stake, that impact is automatically lower. But most presidential elections in retrospect are not hugely consequential either. Something that happens regularly every four years cannot be special by definition. When I think of US elections since the Cold War, the only two that in retrospect leap out as the ‘most important in my lifetime’ are 2004 and 2016.

2004 was critical, because the American war in Iraq was on the ballot, as well as a president who had lost the popular vote in 2000. George W. Bush’s 2004 victory solidified both the legitimacy of his presidency after the deeply divisive Florida recount, and the continuance of America’s most misbegotten conflict since Vietnam.

But 2016 must be the most important post-Cold War American election. The US elected a deeply unserious reality TV star who has since trafficked authoritarianism and far-right social themes few thought Americans would respond to in the 21st century. Donald Trump has brought to the fore far more racism than most white American elites thought was out there in American life. Trump has also exposed an authoritarian temptation in the US population which almost no one thought possible in the world’s oldest democracy. Trump has governed as a fairly orthodox Republican, but he was elected with aggressively reactionary themes which startled everyone and revealed greater fragility in US democracy than anyone thought, especially after the rather banal, centrist Barack Obama presidency.

This is the closest the US has come to an authoritarian in the presidency in its history – no, Donald Trump is not an authoritarian or fascist, but he is closer to that position than any of his predecessors. When I speak before business audiences in East Asia, I am routinely asked if Trump is America’s Mussolini or wants to be a dictator. Trump’s language on Twitter, such as calling the media ‘the enemy of the people,’ is frequently semi-authoritarian. And the recent decision to end birthright citizenship, a constitutional right in the 14th Amendment, via executive order is an astonishing act of authoritarian overreach which will almost certainly land his administration in court.

Trump is also remaking the Republican party in his own image, which increasingly looks like the semi-fascist National Rally (formerly the National Front) in France. The US has never had a blood-and-soil nationalist party, but if one watches Trumpist media, most obvious Fox News, in the weeks running up to next week’s midterm election, the messaging is drenched in racialism, if not openly racist.

Hence, the 2018 midterm has emerged as the most important midterm election in a long time, certainly in my lifetime. This is the first time since 2016 for American voters to respond to Trumpism as a governing philosophy rather than just campaign sloganeering. If the Republican party’s majority survives in the Congress, Trump, Congressional Republicans, and GOP voters will take this as a validation of the Trumpist turn of 2016. Non-Trump Republicans like Jeff Flake and Paul Ryan will continue to quit. They will be replaced by Trumpish National Front-style politicians. Trump himself will double-down on the racial and ‘deep state’ themes that seem to be rewarding him so richly. And Trump voters will feel themselves liberated from ‘political correctness’ to be more openly racially provocative in public, as in Charlottesville last year.

At the moment, it is still possible to argue that Trump is an ‘accidental president.’ He lost the popular vote, apparently did not want to win, does not take the job seriously, and does not seem to have much of a policy agenda beyond his grievances – ‘owning the libs,’ attacking anything Obama did, feathering the nest of the Trump conglomerate. But victory this fall would end this option for dismissing Trump. If 2018 and 2020 do not deliver a sharp rebuke to the GOP – not just Trump, but the GOP in general – the Trumpist turn will continue. The GOP will become even more extreme than it is now, especially on race and constitutional norms of fair play.

As asymmetric polarization worsens, the country will become increasingly ungovernable. Trump’s constant race-baiting will worsen race-relations, and the GOP will drift toward a National Front-like white party dependent on an aging racist coalition. As these voters pass away, the minoritarian Trump coalition will prove itself unable to win races without constitutionally gimmickry. Under Mitch McConnell and Trump, the GOP has already experimented with questionable constitutional maneuvers, such as extremely strict voter identification laws, leaving a Supreme Court seat purposefully unfilled, militarizing the border, government shut-downs and debt default threats to blackmail Democrats, endless filibustering, and so on. All this will worsen, and the GOP in power will increasingly spark constitutional crises.

Entrenched minoritarian Republican rule, especially of a harsh, Trump-National Front variety, will also likely breed a backlash on the left. Indeed if Trump wins the 2020 presidential election without the popular vote, a constitutional rupture may loom. That would be the third time in just twenty years – 2000 and 2016 also – that the Electoral College has thrown the election to the GOP which otherwise would have lost. The American left may well feel that America’s governing institutions are structurally tilted against them and blocking their earned victory. That a Trumpized GOP will refuse to govern as a center-right party congnizant of the narrow margin of its victory will make this anger on the left even worse. How will it respond? On the streets if it does not believe it can win elections?

I say all this as a life-long registered Republican. I have voted in GOP primaries since I was 18. I have been a general election swing voter since the GOP began to radicalize under Bush II, but I never switched party registration, because I figured the GOP needed someone to vote for moderates in the primaries. While this was uncomfortable under Bush and then Sarah Palin, under Trump it is a disaster. I voted a straight Democratic ticket (via absentee) for the first time in my life in this election, including for one candidate I believe is inferior to his GOP opponent. But this is absolutely necessary, and I hope any American readers will do the same. Donald Trump is a threat to both American democracy and liberalism. He is turning the Republican party into the racist, semi-authoritarian National Front. He needs to be decisively defeated at the ballot box this week and in 2020. The best way to do that is to vote mechanically for Democrats under Trumpism is defeated.

Robert E Kelly
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science & Diplomacy
Pusan National University

@Robert_E_Kelly

 

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Turn to Busan ceremony to honour Canadians' service and sacrifices in the Korean War - Mirage News

Busan News - Sat, 2018-11-10 05:12

Mirage News

Turn to Busan ceremony to honour Canadians' service and sacrifices in the Korean War
Mirage News
Minister Mélanie Joly to kick off cross-country tour and make an announcement related to the development of Canada's new federal tourism strategy. From: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. /Public Release. View in full here.

Media Advisory - Turn to Busan ceremony to honour Canadians' service and sacrifices in the Korean War - Benzinga

Busan News - Sat, 2018-11-10 05:08

Media Advisory - Turn to Busan ceremony to honour Canadians' service and sacrifices in the Korean War
Benzinga
OTTAWA, Nov. 9, 2018 /CNW/ - Stéphane Lauzon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence will participate in the annual Turn to Busan commemorative ceremony to pay tribute to Canadians who ...

and more »

Silk Worm CHALLENGE in Korea | 번데기 도전

Recent Blog Posts - Sat, 2018-11-10 03:25

Why would anyone ever want to eat silk worm pupae? Well, I'll tell you.

Silk worm pupae - known as 번데기 - were once an insanely popular Korean snack for both young and old. They're a cheap source of protein, and despite their appearance (worms? bugs?) taste pretty... well, edible.

During the Korean War and after, protein was scarce as it was being used for the military. Regular citizens didn't have many reliable and affordable sources of protein, so they turned to silk worm pupae. Well, not quite. Silk worm pupae were already a popular snack in Korea well before the Korean War (silk worms were originally brought over to Korea from China), but the Korean War helped popularize them and increase their demand in Korea. It was that necessity for cheap, edible, and reliable protein that drove the snack into becoming how famous it is even today.

These days young people avoid it due to the smell, appearance, texture, and even taste. Personally I think none of those are too off-putting, and it actually tastes quite nice, but I can understand why these days with so many other types of meat and snacks and fast food available that people no longer prefer eating silk worm pupae. But as a cultural experience, you won't find anything else quite like it.

Do you think you'd want to try them?

The post Silk Worm CHALLENGE in Korea | 번데기 도전 appeared first on Learn Korean with GO! Billy Korean.

DUI Victim in Busan Whose Case Sparked New Law Dies - KBS WORLD Radio News

Busan News - Fri, 2018-11-09 18:30

DUI Victim in Busan Whose Case Sparked New Law Dies
KBS WORLD Radio News
A South Korean man left brain dead after being hit by a drunk driver in September died Friday. Busan Metropolitan Police say Yoon Chang-ho died a little after 2:30 p.m. in the hospital. The drunk driver struck him September 25th near Haeundae Beach.

Nail Polish Set

Busan Classifieds - Fri, 2018-11-09 18:13

Non-Gel nail polish set- 7,000 won ( Includes nail art pens, 18 nail polishes, and 1/3 bottle of nail polish remover)

Gel nail polish set (includes lamp, remover, 11 nail polishes) (Only used 2 times)- 15,000 won

 Buy everything- 20,000 won

I will provide the cotton pads to use with the remover too.

 

*I am not interested in selling individual colors. They must go as sets.

Busan 2018: Festival round-up - CineVue

Busan News - Fri, 2018-11-09 17:40

CineVue

Busan 2018: Festival round-up
CineVue
Slowly emerging from the political turmoil and boycotts it had faced the past few years, the Busan International Film Festival 2018 was one of rejuvenation and reunion for the community. This year's festival saw a rise in metrics all around ...

Mosquito Repellent

Busan Classifieds - Fri, 2018-11-09 14:13

Mosquito Killer Set

Plug-in + 3 refills- 8,000 won (plugin can swivel)

26 lavender Coils- 5,000 won

Blue plug-in- Free

 

Buy all 3- 10,000 won

Seoul, F-visa, full time, Native teachers for elementary level ASAP

Busan Jobs - Fri, 2018-11-09 12:29

 Kangnam-Gu, Seoul * ASAP

Full-time Academy teaching position

* F-visa's only

 

CES is looking for a full time native teacher starting from at the end of December 2018.

We are also looking for a trustworthy teacher with responsibilily working in the friendly atmosphere.

 

Pay: KRW 2.2-2.8m including housing

Working hours : Mon - Fri 1-7pm

 Location: 3min walk from Gangnam-gu office station(subway line 7)

Student: kinder and elementary level provided with class materials

Benefits: insurance, pension, severance pay and 10 days paid vacation

 

Please send me

- your resume with recent photo

- nationality

- current location

- starting date

- visa status

 

* We only accept native English teachers.

* Email me: cesinkorea@gmail.com

Thank you.

 

 

Does the school pay monthly contributions into a Pension Plan? :  Yes Are you a licensed recruiter? :  No

Twister game

Busan Classifieds - Fri, 2018-11-09 12:13

Used Twister game- 5,000 won

SPECTACULAR Working Hours 9:00-4:30 near Hongdae, Mapo, Yongsan, Gangnam, Apguje

Busan Jobs - Fri, 2018-11-09 09:52

SPECTACULAR Working Hours 9:00-4:30 near Hongdae, Mapo, Yongsan, Gangnam, Apgujeong-Seocho, Jamsil for March 2019 start offering 2.20 -3.00 million won + Housing or 2.65-3.45 without housing.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

YBM Head Office is looking to hire Native English Teachers for our company-owned YBM PINE schools for March, 2019 first day of teaching. PINE schools are extremely popular among teachers as they provide premium working conditions and the schools are located in the most sought-out areas of Seoul & Busan.  See the specific locations listed below and target the programs you are keenest to teach for the new school year 2019.

PINE offers great working conditions and compensations!

*Very competitive salaries such as 2.65 to 3.45 million won for no-housing contract option

*Provided single housing contracts offers 2.20 – 3.00 million won

*Fantastic compact-schedules 9:00am – 4:30 pm for many locations or 9:00 am to 5:30 for GATE

*Full compliance with Korean Government Medical Insurance, Korean Pension Tax and Severance pay

*Smaller classes than public schools (6-18 students)

*Get detailed information and position location before you sign the contract

*Work among other foreign teachers. Most schools average 8 to 15 English Native Teachers

*Fully developed curriculum and updated by the R&D team at the YBM head office.

 

You can choose more than one position as listed below and YBM Head Office will help you get the position that best matches your qualification, experience and preference.

 

YBM PSA: Actual Working Hrs. are 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (Able to leave at this time year round)

Teaching high level & attentive young children in a real school like environment

*Salary 2.3 to 2.6 million won + housing (9:30 am to 4:30 pm teaching hours all year-round)

*Salary 2.75 to 3.05 million won without provided housing option (Applicant can choose)

 

Apgujeong PSA: Gangnam, Seoul just 2 min walk from Apgujeong station near Han River Park

Yongsan PSA: Yongsan, Seoul 5 min+ from Noksapyeong stn & near HBC & Itaewon

Gaepo PSA: Gangnam, Seoul 5 min walk/Guryong stn, largest ESL school in Gangnam

Secoho PSA: Gangnam, Seoul 10 min walk/Yangie stn and 15 min walk to Gangnam stn

Bundang PSA: Bundang city within 1 min walk to Jeongja stn which is 15 ride to Gangnam stn

Busan PSA: Haeundae, Busan located within the Centum City Mall itself

 

YBM GATE: Actual Working Hrs. are 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (Able to leave at this time year round)

 

Applicants who ideally want to teach young children who speak and comprehend English fluently

Applicants can target Homeroom teacher position or one of the following special subject positions

Science, Art, Musical/Drama/Performance

 

*Salary 2.4 to 3.0 million won + housing (9:45 am - 5:00-5:30 pm teaching hours all year round)

*Salary 2.80 to 3.45 million won without provided housing option (Applicant can choose)

 

Apgujeong cGATE Gangnam, Seoul near Garosul-gil and Apgujeong stn

Jamsil cGATE within walking distance to Jamsil stn, Lotte World, Seokchon Lake Park

Apgujeong GATE Gangnam, Seoul within just 2 min walk/Apgujeong stn

Daechi GATE Gangnam, Seoul 15 min walk from Yeoksam Stn

Seocho GATE Gangnam, Seoul 5 min walk from Shin-NonHyun stn/10 min walk Gangnam stn

 

YBM AppleTree: Actual Working Hrs. are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (Able to leave at this time year round)

 

Applicants who enjoy working and doing fun activities with very young children

*Salary is 2.20 to 2.50 + housing (9:30 am - 5:00 pm teaching hours all year round)

*Salary 2.65 to 2.95 million won without provided housing option (Applicant can choose)

 

Apgujeong AppleTree (Gangnam, Seoul within 2 min walk to Apgujeong stn

Gaepo AppleTree (Gangnam Seoul within 5 min walk to Guryong stn

Seocho AppleTree (Gangnam Seoul within walking to Gangnam stn Seoul Edu. Uni. Stn

 

YBM Learning Tree: Actual Working Hrs. are 9:00 am to 4:30 pm (Able to leave at this time year round)

Applicants who enjoy working and doing fun activities with very young children

*Salary is 2.20 to 2.40 + housing (9:30 am to 4:30pm teaching hours all year round)

*Salary 2.65 to 2.85 million won without provided housing option (Applicant can choose)

 

Apgujeong Learning Tree Gangnam, Seoul within 2 min walking to Apgujeong stn

Seocho Learning Tree Gangnam, Seoul within walking to Gangnam stn and Seoul Edu. Uni. Stn

Mapo Learning Tree Central Seoul near Gongdeok subway stn

Mokdong Learning Tree within walking distance to Omokgyo stn

Jamsil Learning Tree located near Jamsil Lotte World Songpa-gu district

Bundang Learning Tree walking distance to Jeongja subway stn

Busan Learning Tree Located near Centrum station in Haeundae district

 

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Native English Speaker with E2/D10/F-series visa status or documents for E2 visa sponsorship
  • F4/F2/F5/F6 visa applicants must have documents for registration with the education office

 

HOW TO APPLY

* Applicants should submit a short cover email indicating the locations they are targeting along with their available dates such as Feb or early March 2019, attach resume, recent photo and indicate

*Applicants who are already in Korea with an E2/D10/F-series visa can email over their ARC card to speed up the application processing

 

Most of our positions will be for late February and early March 2019 start as per the Korean school year.

 

Minimum date requirement will be March 5th last final day of orientation and earliest date start will be late Feb with several days of paid orientation.

Danny J. Kim

HR Manager

YBM Head Office

Email: danny@ybm.co.kr

 

Why choose YBM?

  1. Reliability: YBM is a multi-million-dollar organization ensuring job security &contract reliability.
  2. Full-Benefits: YBM complies with the medical insurance, pension, severance pay and air ticket
  3. Accessibility: YBM schools are located in the most PRIME districts of Seoul, Busan and Bundang
  4. We are not recruiters! Receive specific information regarding employment before signing any contracts.
Does the school pay monthly contributions into a Pension Plan? :  Yes YBM logo-For Job Sites.png Apgujeong PSA science class.jpg 15_%20Educational%20Equiptment(0).jpg Gate lab room.jpg

BNCT in Busan's New Port achieves 10 million TEU - Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide

Busan News - Fri, 2018-11-09 03:47

BNCT in Busan's New Port achieves 10 million TEU
Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide
BNCT, the newest and most modern container terminal in Busan, South Korea recently passed the 10 million TEU mark less than six and a half years after its first vessel call on February 23rd 2012. To commemorate this milestone, a traditional cake ...

Computer Chair for sale

Busan Classifieds - Fri, 2018-11-09 02:13

Dual-back chair- 40,000 won

Available at the End of December

Busan Jobs - Thu, 2018-11-08 20:13

REAL Academy in Guseo-Dong

is looking for a full-time native teacher at the end of December 2018

(Guseo-Dong, near E-mart in Lotte Castle, not far from PNU)

  • We are looking for a native teacher.
  • We offer the place you want to work - friendly, open minded, and without pressure.
  • We can give references from our current teachers.
  • We offer classes in a row rather than just desk-warming.
  • Working hours are only Monday to Friday and there is the possibility of more hours before or after work.
  • Trust me this school is like no other you have worked.

Let’s set up an interview ASAP, We are good and friendly people, and we hope you are too.

If interested please call Kim Misoog, 010-8533-8968

Location: Busan

Gender: female or male

Starting date: The end of December 2018

Type of Students: Elementary

Working days per week: Monday to Friday - no weekends - no national holidays

Operating hours: 2:30 to 6:30 extra classes possible

Current foreign teachers: four foreign teachers

References from previous teachers available

Does the school pay monthly contributions into a Pension Plan? :  Yes Are you a licensed recruiter? :  No

Public Afterschool Program Teacher

Busan Classifieds - Thu, 2018-11-08 20:13

Hello. This is Kelly's Kingdom.

Kelly's Kingdom is running over 20 public elementarty afterschool program.

We're looking for a part timer or a full timer who can start teaching ASAP with F visa only.

November, December & February: 2-5pm

In January: 9-12am

We can discuss the day and area

Korean coteacher is always with you

 

 

 

 

LOOK: Ella Cruz basks in the beauty of windy Busan - INQUIRER.net

Busan News - Thu, 2018-11-08 19:38

INQUIRER.net

LOOK: Ella Cruz basks in the beauty of windy Busan
INQUIRER.net
Actress Ella Cruz enjoyed the breeze and sights at windy Busan, South Korea for a fun-filled vacation. Cruz struck a pose at the Yongdo Bridge, which only opens once a day. Luckily, she got to see it, as shown on her Instagram post last Oct. 27.

LOOK: Ella Cruz basks in the beauty of windy Busan - INQUIRER.net

Busan News - Thu, 2018-11-08 19:35

INQUIRER.net

LOOK: Ella Cruz basks in the beauty of windy Busan
INQUIRER.net
Actress Ella Cruz enjoyed the breeze and sights at windy Busan, South Korea for a fun-filled vacation. Cruz struck a pose at the Yongdo Bridge, which only opens once a day. Luckily, she got to see it, as shown on her Instagram post last Oct. 27.

Public Afterschool Program Teacher

Busan Jobs - Thu, 2018-11-08 16:05

Hello. This is Kelly's Kingdom.

Kelly's Kingdom is running over 20 public elementarty afterschool program.

We're looking for a part timer or a full timer who can start teaching ASAP with F visa only.

November, December & February: 2-5pm

In January: 9-12am

We can discuss the day and area

Korean coteacher is always with you

 

 

 

 

Rotary president vows support for Busan's host of int'l convention - Korea Times

Busan News - Thu, 2018-11-08 15:34

Korea Times

Rotary president vows support for Busan's host of int'l convention
Korea Times
Rotary International President Barry Rassin speaks at the Korean Rotary's annual conference at the Haeundae Grand Hotel in Busan, Tuesday. He is visiting Korea to attend the three-day meeting which started Tuesday. Courtesy of Korean Rotary ...

WeWork signs deal to open office in Busan next year - Retail News Asia (press release) (blog)

Busan News - Thu, 2018-11-08 14:45

Retail News Asia (press release) (blog)

WeWork signs deal to open office in Busan next year
Retail News Asia (press release) (blog)
WeWork, a global shared work space provider, said Tuesday it has signed an agreement with Busan to make inroads into the country's second-largest city next year. The company signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the southeastern port city ...

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