We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Trump is a streetfighter waging asymmetric warfare against a traditional foe who is reviewing the rules of engagement and consulting the lawyers back at headquarters before doing anything. And all the while he’s getting pummelled. Idealists will say that it wasn’t very presidential, that they didn’t dig into policy and educate the American people, where was the dignity?

Welcome to electoral politics. It’s always been thus. Founding Father John Adams delighted in calling fellow Founder Alexander Hamilton, “the bastard brat of a Scotch peddler.” Adams himself came in for similar treatment during the election of 1800 when he was called an hermaphrodite reportedly at the behest of Thomas Jefferson.

We didn’t get any of that last night. But there’s another debate next week so keep your fingers crossed.

Chris Buskirk

23 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Andrew Douglas

    Do you really think there’s going to be another debate? It’s a toss up whether the DNC retires Biden before the next debate or shortly after the third.

  • Albion's Blue Front Door

    My step-daughter announced, somewhat imperiously this morning, that “even Fox News said that Trump lost the debate.”*

    As I have not seen the show, have no wish to see it or plan to watch any more of them from this side of the pond, it always interest me how one “wins a debate.” Perhaps the only sense that matters is that the winner is the person who scores most, crosses the line first or makes his or her opponent stop playing (or participating). I would therefore doubt any side in this show between two arguing old men has stopped participating because of what was said by their opponent.

    *FWIW she has an American boyfriend who is utterly anti-Trump, so echoing anything but hatred for the man means there can be no rational discussion about any aspect of US politics in our house. In that case my step-daughter has “won the debate” as I decline to talk about it when all I hear is how bad he is and such a failure and racist, etc.

  • Porcupine Pete

    Depends who you ask. Media says Biden won (quelle surprise! 😆 ). Yet strangely not everyone agrees.

  • Jacob

    In the old days the rules were different and the outcome never in doubt. See for example the debate between David and Goliath.

  • John


    If that translates to actual votes Latinos could be the ones carrying Trump over the line in Florida, a very big deal in November. They could also potentially swing New Mexico across to him.

  • John

    Poll taken from a randomly selected sample of SEIU workers, teachers, undocumented Americans, professional sportsmen and the media.

  • Fraser Orr

    Honestly, I found the whole thing an unappealing mess. I think Trump was trying to push Biden to flake out, and I don’t really think he was successful. My feeling about Trump is that he lacked crisp points, good memorable moments, and came across a bit too much of a ranter to me.

    To me, it looked like he wasn’t well prepared. I know he eschews that, and he is right that there is such a thing as overprepared. But I mean if the moderator asks you to compare the records, or explain why you should be elected you should have excellent, succinct crisp, and crystal clear answers to that. Trump was just winging it because he hadn’t prepared properly.

    To me, what Trump needed to do was come across as very strong (which he did, but he came across as rude and bullying too, which is too much) and to have a few key soundbites that were super strong and clearly articulated. He had a few points but they were lost in the noise.

    Biden was a bit bumbling and definitely overwhelmed. But he didn’t fall asleep or say 200 million Americans died of Covid, so for him that is a win.

    But having said that I am usually wrong about these things. Other people seem to react very differently to me about these debates. So who knows. Two old politicians having a food fight is not my idea of good TV, but neither is MMA or Come Dancing, and that is apparently quite popular. Politicians? Pah, a pox on both their houses.

  • bobby b

    Everyone who was going to vote for Trump before that debate will vote for Trump after that debate. Everyone who was going to vote for Biden before that debate will vote for Biden after that debate.

    It was like a NASCAR race with no crashes but many mechanical breakdowns. Unsatisfying and frustrating for all.

  • Exasperated

    I think the Biden tactics were more effective than Trump’s. Trump was bombarded with false or half baked claims and the Wallace questions were framed to incorporate false premises. Though, I understand Trump’s impulse to refute them all, it resulted in him appearing too defensive, too reactive, too disruptive and less coherent. I really thought Trump danced to Biden’s tune more than vice versa.

    Is Trump, presidential? Hell no, and his base doesn’t care. What impact did the debate have, hard to say. I’ve said for four years, It’s not about Trump; it was never about Trump. It’s Middle America fighting back. Many voters reject the assault, by the Dems, on Middle America and the undermining of what makes America, America. They especially reject what the so called “elites” want to put in it’s place. It ain’t a better mousetrap. That’s what the Left and the media, has failed to grasp and why most attacks have failed to make a dent in his base. The Trump voters have nowhere else to go. IMHO

  • Flubber

    The principal complaint against Trump is that he is an uncouth ruffian.

    His supporters elected him because only an uncouth ruffian has the rhino skin necessary to stand up to the relentless pummelling that any republican gets from the shitty media.

    Trump is a symptom of the sickness in the system; he isn’t the cause.

    And we all better pray that he wins, because the progressive cataclysm that will ensue if the puppet Biden gets in is truly horrifying.

  • Snorri Godhi


    […] my step-daughter has “won the debate” as I decline to talk about it when all I hear is how bad [Trump] is and such a failure and racist, etc.

    It looks to me like your step-daughter is gaslighting you. You should not allow that.

    I hesitate to suggest a strategy to cope… but in my arrogance i’ll suggest one anyway: dismiss her opinions out of hand, refusing to give any justification for you dismissal; just say that she cannot possibly understand why she is wrong.

    NB: This is a strategy that i use against very close family members. It has not (yet) won them to my side, but it does preserve my mental health. (And no, my disagreements with family are not about politics.)

  • bobby b

    I was sitting in Minneapolis this morning looking out over several blocks of burned-out ruins and barricaded intersections and closed businesses and general devastation, and I remembered how, during the debate, Wallace pressed Trump to disclaim right-wing violence. Trump! WTF!

    All of the violence and riot and ruin in the USA comes from the left – from Antifa, which Biden says is just a feeling, not an organization – and this morning our media says “Trump refuses to condemn right-wing violence”!

    Lying pricks.

  • Albion’s Blue Front Door (September 30, 2020 at 12:40 pm), I did not see this first hand – I have better things to do with my time than watch presidential debates – but I am told that Trump managed to ask Biden often enough whether he would pack the supreme court that Biden shouted “Will you shut up”.

    Assuming this is so, I suggest you do not argue with your daughter about the debate as a whole (i.e. agree to disagree / have no opinion) but instead just suggest that, in getting Biden to go so on-record about his determination not to say, Trump did not leave empty handed.

    If that point can be considered, you might later be able to suggest that those MSM reporters who summarised the “Will you shut up” moment as evidence of how aggressive and interrupting Trump was, without mentioning what particular question Biden was not answering, were not just presenting the facts and letting the readers judge for themselves but pushing a narrative.

    I repeat, I did not see it myself, so commenters here who did are invited to say if I’ve got it completely wrong.

  • Exasperated

    Donald Trump is what happens when both major parties abandon the lower and middle classes to their fates in the name of open borders and globalization. And, then lie about it.
    People who support Trump know he is a stand in for working America and Main Street. He stands in the way of a cynical and willful assault on Anglo-American ideals by the most cocooned and privileged, the transnationals, the Citizens of the World, along with their hangers on in media, academia, foundations, NGOs…. I have no doubt they are willing to sell the birthright of regular every day Americans down the river to feather their own nests and for their own self aggrandizement.
    wildswan said……………….
    “Globalization is more than free trade; it’s ruling by decree and by regulation, not legislation; it’s contemptuous, not representative; it’s social engineering, not landing on the moon. It’s jargon, obfuscation, lying. It’s sex tapes, legalizing drugs, banning salt, studying Big Mac making – not good jobs, It’s feudalism and aristocracy back again….. ” It’s unaccountable, remote bureaucrats, without practical, hands on in the trenches experience, who have no skin in the game, making arbitrary life altering decisions for people on the other side of the world, gutting local communities or what have you. The power is from the top down, politically and economically. Antifa, BLM, and the grandiose moral prigs that dominate media are just the shock troops. Covington was the warning. I hope you watch the Rubin- Barnes interview on free speech cause this is what it looks like.


  • Albion’s Blue Front Door (September 30, 2020 at 12:40 pm), you could also ask her how come a group that Biden called “white supremacist” in the debate has a black leader and many coloured members. E.g., ask her to read the article and explain to you what is wrong with its take.

    Don’t expect it to change her mind, but it just might start her thinking that things are sometimes more complicated than the narrative admits.


  • asiaseen

    What struck me about the few clips I couldn’t avoid seeing was how zombified Biden looked and acted. Minimal facial expression, 1000yard stare a lot of the time and generally that he had a pole stuck up his bum.

  • Exasperated

    “Albion’s Blue Front Door (September 30, 2020 at 12:40 pm), you could also ask her how come a group that Biden called “white supremacist” in the debate has a black leader and many coloured members. E.g., ask her to read the article and explain to you what is wrong with its take.”

    For those who don’t know, this is just my understanding. Proud Boys accidentally originated as a joke by Gavin McInnes. The only requirement is that you be a biological male of any race or orientation who agreed to support Western Values. It’s a guy’s club that exploded all over the world. They morphed over time and some of the chapters came to provide security to speakers (Milo, Ann Coulter, Ben Shapiro) who have been threatened by Antifa, sort of like how the Patriot Guard protects the families from Westboro Baptist church at military funerals. They claim to be Chauvinists, which they say just means nationalist.

  • Paul Marks

    It was Mr Biden who flung the words “liar” and “racist” at his opponent – and told him to “shut up” even though it was actually Mr Biden who interrupted FIRST (with Registered Democrat Chris Wallace doing nothing to stop Mr Biden) – and it was also Mr Biden who pretended that President Trump advised people to inject themselves with bleach.

    But it was “tone” of President Trump that has got attacked – although he speaks in much the same way as other people who worn born and brought up in his part of New York City. In spite of being wealthy and educated (Wharton School of Business – but back in the 1960s, when it was conservative) Donald John Trump was brought up with a New York “working class” accent and speech pattern (due to area in which he lived and the people that he and his father associated with all their lives).

    So this is what the “Progressives” are really objecting to – a Working Class regional accent and speech pattern If you listen to the man you will find that he is NOT using swear (curse) words, and he is not even shouting – he is speaking as someone from his generation and his part of New York (NOT Manhattan) speaks.

    As he has got older this speech pattern has got stronger – as a younger man he sometimes suppressed it. That is not uncommon either – as men get older they tend to revert to the regional accent they had when they were growing up (they are not so obsessed with sounding “nice and correct”).

    Although Donald John Trump was born (I believe) in Brooklyn – he actually speaks with a Queens New York accent, specifically one of the 1950s and 1960s. Exactly when and where he was brought up.

    By the way – Margaret Thatcher used to speak with a regional accent, that of Lincolnshire, and took special speech classes as a young women to suppress it.

    But it could still come out (at least as far as the local dialect is concerned) when Margaret Thatcher was annoyed – such as her use of the Lincolnshire word “frit” rather than “scared” or “frightened” in the House of Commons during a once famous debate.

  • Paul Marks

    On the recent news that President Trump has Covid 19.

    Assuming the test does not prove to be a “false positive” (as so many of them are) – the President needs to act on what has been said since March, take the correct dosage of Zinc Sulphate (NOT just hydroxychloroquine on its own – the medical doctors have been very clear that ZINC must be taken and in the correct dosage) and something like azithromycin (again at the correct dosage) as well – for NON Covid problems his lungs may develop.

    And he needs to do all this NOW under a real medical doctor – someone who sees patients with Covid 19 in private practice.

    The President must NOT wait for the sickness to get worse (he must act NOW) and, he must NOT rely on advice from government “experts” – who are not good people (to put the matter mildly).

    Hopefully President Trump had reinforced his immune system with vitamin C and ESPECIALLY vitamin D. But taking not just hydroxycholoroquine, but zinc sulphate and (for non Covid problems that may develop) something like azithromycin (all at the correct dosages) is vital.

    Hopefully the President has access to real medical doctors – “of course he does Paul – he is the President”, that does not necessary follow. I do not know what doctors are presently in control of the military hospital that Presidents tend to go to.

    The President needs treatment now (see above) – he must NOT wait till Covid 19 (if he really has it) goes into the hospital stage (that may be too late for effective treatment). He can take the needed medications in the Whitehouse – if he has a medical doctor, with a lot of experience of treating Covid 19, to assess the correct dosage.

    Covid 19 has two distinct stages – the President must not wait till it goes into its more advanced stage.

  • bobby b

    Waiting now for Biden to cancel the debate “to keep him from catching Covid . . .”

  • Paul Marks

    It is interesting to note that both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson would be considered “far right extremists” today – for example they were both against Credit Bubble banking (not honest money lending) and explained why, many times. And such things as a Federal Income Tax (with the Federal government looking into every detail of the affairs of the people) would have utterly horrified both men.

    Even Alexander Hamilton would be considered a “right wing extremist”, as even the scale of Credit Bubbleism of the 1920s would have horrified him – as it did Benjamin Anderson, Parker Willis and Frank Fetter.

    Yes Hamilton was in support of some Credit Expansion – but nothing like on the scale of what happened in the late 1920s, as his writings make clear.

    “And present conditions Paul?”

    There would be no difference between Mr Hamilton and the other Founders – they would all (without exception) regard the present monetary and financial system as totally hopeless – WHICH IT IS.

    The question is, not will the financial and monetary system collapse? Of course it is going to fall. But rather – do you want a gang of totalitarians in power to TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE COLLAPSE?

    People such as Senator Harris (who is most clearly a totalitarian) must not have power during the de facto bankruptcy of the United States.

    And justices appointed by “President Biden” would outlaw conservative or libertarian dissent as “Hate Speech”.

    They would do that – so those “Never Trumpers” who say “lose now to win in 2024” do not know what they are talking about.

    If liberty loses now – there is no coming back, dissent will be silenced. The left have made that very clear.

    Elections may still occur – but they will be empty rituals, mere formalities, with all the media and social media pushing the same Collectivist Agenda.

    The totalitarians of the education system (and the rest of the totalitarian establishment) will have won – there will be no coming back.

  • The Wobbly Guy


    If I’m reading the tea leaves right, the right cannot afford to lose to the left any more from this point onwards. Any further defeat means there will be no return, with only the ammo box left.

    If Trump or the right cannot dismantle the Deep State, it seems the US is inexorably doomed.

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