Wednesday, June 5, 2024

SciAm gets Trump Derangement Syndrome

Scientific American used to be the worlds greatest popular science magazine, but now it is filled with politics and pseudoscience.

Now it has this article from an Australian Politics professor:

Donald Trump is now leading in many polls and could retake the U.S. presidency, despite numerous scandals, indictments and erratic behavior. Explanations for his popularity focus on factors like white identity, right-wing authoritarianism, nationalism and populism.

U.S. politics has included people with these predilections for many decades, however, so the puzzle of Trump’s appeal remains. ...

We differentiated the most loyal Trump supporters from the rest of the American population, including those who merely voted for Trump and supported his policies, by measuring three aspects of Trump support: unquestioning credulity, exemplified by the belief that he was in fact the legitimate winner of the 2020 election; ...

Most strikingly, we find they are highly conscientious, a measure of self-reported characteristics including carefulness, dependability, orderliness and self-discipline. Conscientiousness is significantly associated with all the three cultlike aspects of Trump support.

Support for Pres. Trump is not so tricky to explain. Pres. Biden is one of the worst Presidents ever. He is responsible for foreign policy disasters in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Gaza. His reckless spending has caused high inflation. He has allowed the USA to be invaded by millions of foreigners. He is too senile to do the job. His VP is even worse. He has pursued bogus prosecutions of his political enemics. He appoints incompetent leftist minorities. He supports the sexual mutilation of children.

Pres. Trump, on the other hand, presided over four years of peace and prosperity. He would have been re-elected, but for changed voting rules that allowed the collection of million of votes whose casting and counting could not be verified. Trump won a majority of the votes cast and counted on Election Day.

This professor even found that most Trump supporters had conscientiously examined the evidence, and found Trump to be the better man. But this article makes no mention of all the objective reasons for concluding that Trump was a better President than Biden. He blames authoritarianism, while Biden is much more authoritarian then Biden.

As an example, those who resisted covid vaccine mandates nearly all support Trump over Biden. This shows that Biden is the authoritarian, and his supporters like his authoritarianism. Also, only an auhoritarian would prosecute his political enemies.

The Scientific American of a few years ago would never have published such a trashy partisan and illogical article.


  1. I agree with David Stockman: Trump was a horrible president who loaded us up with more debt than any president in history. The lockdown was on his watch. All he did was keep us out of foreign wars.

    1. Stockman has peculiar opinions. He now supports RFKjr. The lockdowns were mostly from Democrat governors. Trump opposed the lockdowns. All debt is from Congress, not the President.

    2. Trump was for the spending and even wanted to oust Thomas Massie from the GOP for opposing it. Now, he's campaigning for more tax cuts but no spending cuts to entitlements or the military. He's an orange clown who will do nothing but add more debt to our economy. The two party system is completely absurd. David Stockman had him pegged from the beginning:

      We shouldn't mince words. Donald Trump is unfit for the Presidency (or any public office) because he is the ultimate Caesarist politician. He craves power in mega-doses purely for the satisfaction of his Brobdingnagian ego yet has virtually no policy principles that might constrain any lunge into state action that strikes his fancy.

      As it has happened, today's stagflationary economic mess, shipwrecked central bank, and impending fiscal calamity are all the fruits of exactly that kind of Caesarist aggrandizement of the state. We are referring, of course, to Trump's disastrous final year in office when he endeavored to be the Great Man who vanquished the so-called Covid pandemic.

      Indeed, that's how we got the hellacious lockdowns, quarantines, public hysteria, mask mandates, and foolhardy stampede into forced mass injections of an unproven and evidently unsafe vaccine.

      To be sure, all of this Covid-fighting mayhem was cooked up by Deep State apparatchiks led by Dr. Fauci and Dr. Brix. But they got turned loose on the American economy and public only because The Donald latched onto their misbegotten schemes to "stop the spread" as an opportunity for the Great Man in the Oval Office to rescue the nation from an alleged existential threat to society.

    3. You are mixed up. The vaccine mandates were entirely under Biden. If Trump really craved power as you say, then he would have used the covid crisis to seize emergency powers. He did not.

    4. You didn't read the article. Stockman:

      To be sure, all of this Covid-fighting mayhem was cooked up by Deep State apparatchiks led by Dr. Fauci and Dr. Brix. But they got turned loose on the American economy and public only because The Donald latched onto their misbegotten schemes to "stop the spread" as an opportunity for the Great Man in the Oval Office to rescue the nation from an alleged existential threat to society.

      In the first place, conservative principles would have strongly militated against even consideration of a coercive one-size-fits-all, state-driven mobilization of quarantines, lockdowns, testing, masking, distancing, surveilling, snitching, and ultimately mandated mass vaxxing. That would have been the last resort option, meaning that it would have taken overwhelming evidence of a black plague style nightmare to even table these totalitarian actions.

      At the same time, the parallel excuse that "the staff made me do it" doesn't let him off the hook, either. If Donald Trump had possessed even a minimal regard for constitutional liberties and free market principles, he would never have green-lit Dr. Fauci and his Virus Patrol and the resulting tyranny they erected virtually overnight. And most especially he would not have tolerated their continuing assaults as the lockdowns dragged on for weeks and months.

      In this context, the one thing we learned during our days in the vicinity of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is that any president, at any moment in time, and with respect to any issue of public import, can call on the best experts in the nation, including those who might disagree with each other vehemently.

      Yet in the early days of the pandemic—when the Virus Patrol's terrible regime was being launched—The Donald was either a willing participant or negligently passive. He made no effort at all to consult experts outside of the narrow circle of power-hungry government apparatchiks (Fauci, Birx, Collins, Adams) who were paraded into the Oval Office by his dilettantish son-in-law and knucklehead vice president.


      Trump unleashed the Virus Patrol's boot heels on the American public on March 16, and then immediately embraced a fiscal and monetary compensation strategy that in essence said, "shut it down, lock them up, pay them off."

      In fact, in a tweet on March 18—just two days after he launched sweeping lockdowns across the nation—The Donald made the linkage abundantly clear:

      For the people that are now out of work because of the important and necessary containment policies, for instance the shutting down of hotels, bars and restaurants, money will soon be coming to you. The onslaught of the Chinese Virus is not your fault! Will be stronger than ever!

      From that point on it was Katie-bar-the-door when it came to shutting down the economy and social life and curtailing personal freedom and property rights.

    5. You quote Libertarian sources, but the Libertarian Party just nominated a presidential candidate who was in favor of the vaccine mandates.
      Knowing what we know today, Trump could have done better. But Trump did not shut down the hotels, bars, and restaurants. That was done by Democrats. And you have not presented any argument that Biden did any better than Trump. The choice in November is between Trump and Biden, not some hypothetical libertarian conservative science medicine genius.

    6. In a Reason podcast interview, Oliver stated: "I do believe that private businesses should be able to make decisions about whether or not to require vaccines for their employees or customers on their private property. That's a legitimate exercise of property rights in my view."

      He went on to clarify that while he opposes government vaccine mandates as a violation of individual liberty, he believes private entities have the right to implement vaccine requirements as a condition of employment or service based on their own risk assessments and policies.

      The libertarian position was to allow for human challenge trials to speed vaccine approval and to get the slow FDA out of the way. Moderna designed the vaccine in a weekend. Does an 87-year-old care about side effects? The old should have gotten them right away.

      The non-aggression principle suggests the same as Samuel Butler, where the criminal are treated as sick and the sick are treated as criminal. To spread disease that kills people is not in alignment with the non-aggression principle. The only problem was that the vaccine didn't limit the spread as much as anticipated.

      Trump went right along with the entire fiasco, spending and all. His tweets and bullying prove it. He even wants to lower interest rates and spike more inflation. Clown! The man is a fiscal disaster waiting to happen.

    7. So vote for Oliver if you think he is truer to your Libertarian principles. I was just commenting on a science magazine preferring Biden over Trump for entirely unscientific reasons.