The REAL Wildcard in the 2016 Election

by: Dave Cox

With all of the craziness coming to a hopeful conclusion this week, I’ve been struggling with understanding exactly how we got here and, more importantly, how to wrap this up and summarize it into something that makes some modicum of sense.

  • Email scandals
  • Bombastic statements
  • Wikileaks
  • Blurred lines between government and charity
  • Pay-for-play
  • Greed
  • Entitlement
  • Unchecked political power
  • Unconstitutional proposals
  • Sex scandals
  • International interference
  • Leaks
  • FBI investigations

This list could go on and on – potentially without end – but that’s old news by now. The left latches onto their torches and the right (specifically, the populist right) latches onto theirs and the grand political wheel of finger pointing, demonizing and burying the opponent spins out of control. A lot of people believe that Donald Trump is the obvious wildcard in this election because he is a loud, brash, unapologetic outsider. Are you ready to have your mind blown? That’s actually not the case at all. In reality, Hillary Clinton is the wildcard. Think about it: Bernie Sanders tapped into a populist, frustrated and angry left. Thousands upon thousands of people attended his rallies. Hell, people practically worshiped the guy. He tapped into the anger and frustration of people on the left who felt let down by the system as well as by their leaders and he brought in countless people who weren’t terribly interested in traditional politics at all. At times it looked like people were attending the greatest rock show ever produced at his rallies.

Sound familiar?

With very different policy points, it all sounds an awful lot like the rise of Donald Trump. Trump struck a chord with an entirely different population of folks than Sanders, but they share the same kind of frustration as the Sanders supporters. They feel that the system has failed them and that they finally have a chance to flip a big ol’ middle finger at Washington. He fills arenas with supporters, some of whom border on manic. They hang on to every word he utters and they take every opportunity to tell the political system that they’ve had enough of their shit. He has brought in countless people who didn’t identify as Republicans or Democrats or even independents. They were just pissed off and they needed someone to carry the mantle for them. Trump was winning to be that guy.

Good or bad, THAT would have actually made sense in some strange way: The angry, frustrated and alienated left versus the angry, frustrated and alienated right in a head to head battle of pure populism. It would have been the ultimate convergence of a political shit storm and it would have produced the love child of a severely ailing political system as our next President, regardless of the winner.

But that didn’t happen.

The angry populists forgot one thing: THIS system is about strategy, planning, weirdly drawn districts, a solid ground game, political favors, lobbying, corporations, and nod-and-wink moments between the political elite. In other words, the wildcard this time is Hillary Clinton and her 40+ years of perfecting the minute details of the election process as it stands today. While Sanders filled coliseums, Clinton targeted key donors, pivotal districts and big-time influential supporters. While Sanders created such a frenzy that people were getting his likeness tattooed on their bodies, Clinton was making sure she left no stone unturned across the primary map, particularly in the early primaries where momentum can make or break a campaign. She had the giant machine that meshed perfectly with the gears that have been in place for decades – or perhaps even longer. She had the sheer political muscle to squash a populist uprising within her own party with relative ease. The GOP had 16 other guys who thought the same thing, but they couldn’t figure out how to rally behind just one of them, thus they quickly, and unceremoniously, failed.

In another odd twist that could only accompany the 2016 election, the Libertarian Party decided to play it safe and nominate their 2012 candidate, Gary Johnson, who garnered just under 1% of the popular vote the last time around and an 11th hour Libertarian and liberal Republican governor as a hopeless means to bring in folks from both sides. In other words the “Party of Principle” tried to lure us into their tent with a freaking vanilla milkshake. Not the good kind of milkshake that makes your heart happy, but the bland kind that you have to get because the other milkshake machine with the really good flavor is broken.

What all of this means is that we have a massive number of people in this country who are fed up, but they underestimated the power of the savvy political elite Clinton wildcard. In Bernie Sanders, he simply had to bear the brunt of being swept away early because of the primary calendar. Despite his experience and a lifetime of being a politician, he was squashed like an annoying little gnat. The messenger was old, but the socialist-populist message was still figuring out its way in American politics. It’s like a baby that’s still in need if diaper changes and is absolutely no match for the well oiled and well connected Clinton machine. With Donald Trump, we have a political puppy who eats the couch when you’re not home and poops under the dining room table. The nationalist-populist message is there, but it’s often ill formed and poorly communicated. On both sides, we have BIG numbers of people who are frustrated and angry and they’re just looking for different ways to ease that pain. The problem here is that anger and frustration alone don’t win elections. Our electoral process was intentionally designed to avoid the wide swinging whims of the day. If either of these messages fully form down the road, they may very well start to shape future elections. Granted, Trump still has a chance in this one, but realistically, that chance is slim because Clinton has known from day one how to wrap up the electoral map and she has the organization and connections to execute it.

So now, on the eve of the election, we have the one surviving populist “backlash candidate” in Donald Trump and one candidate who unexpectedly took on the role of the wildcard in a career politician – Hillary Clinton. I honestly can’t think of a more fitting way to summarize the circus that is the 2016 Presidential election.

VIDEO: Eric July Talks Music, Libertarian Politics and Developing a Brand

By: Dave Cox

I had the pleasure of sitting down with singer, MC, political commentator, lecturer, activist and all around Ancap badass, Eric July, in our home neighborhood of Oak Cliff in Dallas, Texas.

Here’s a summary of the things we discussed; from his politics, to the falling out with his old band, to his upcoming record release with his new band, Backwordz, and a LOT more. You’re going to want to watch this video!

Transcript:

Dave: Both major political parties are making a rift in America that continues to grow.

Eric: “Non-Aggression, Voluntarism… We shouldn’t agress upon others just to be doing it – and being positive and being able to change people’s lives. That’s why I’m here”

Dave: Eric July is trying to right the ship in US politics with music and media.

Eric:  “That to me is what it’s about – being able to set that scene and telling you where I came from.”

Eric: “What’s good everybody,  I’m Eric July – frontman for Backwordz… Backwordz is really just everything coming together. Me as a political commentator, me as an MC… loving hardcore growing up, loving punk rock and metal. We’ve also got some hardcore MC-ing going down.”

Dave: Running track in college and running in gangs – those are just a few things July drew inspiration from. You can see it in their new music video for the song, “Be Great.” You also see him fire back at his last group, Fire From the Gods.

Eric: “The idea of what was actually asked of me was that they wanted me to be a ghostwriter.” He couldn’t take a back seat, so he left the band.  “I really just wasn’t comfortable with that considering the type of material that I wrote with Fire.  Those are things that come straight from the heart.”

Dave: But what inspired his tribute to his old band was what they did to the last song he recorded with them, “Eat.”

Eric: “They just, literally, re-recorded the song and plugged cuss words in there, because I don’t cuss in my rhymes, to try to make it a slight lyric change. Top to bottom I wrote that song and they just re-did it without my consent and just put it out there.”

Dave: July’s style isn’t your typical rap metal. He changed the culture of hardcore with his political rhymes. There’s no way his style could be mimicked.

Eric: “Just from a musician’s standpoint, it is the whackest thing that I’ve ever seen – the corniest thing I’ve ever seen – of a musician. Not even up for debate – the corniest thing that I’ve ever seen.”

Dave: Doing band business independently is very important to July.

Eric: “We started getting offers. We straight up got offers and we declined them because Backwordz is a brand and a message that we stand behind.”

Dave: They’re self-releasing their new record in partnership with Stay Sick Recordings 2017.

Eric: “You see the shirt [the shirt says ‘Non-Aggression – Voluntaryism’] – we have an actual message and things that we believe in and music is more so just the driving force.”

Dave: The message in their music will reach a younger audience that may have never before been interested in politics.

Eric: “You’re impressing me when you go do a Fox News interview. You go write an article that got shared around by a lot of people. You go do some public speaking – a lecture or something – and you got your message out there and plant some seeds. That’s what’s impressive to me”

Dave: Cable TV, blogs, magazines – he’s done them all as a political commentator. Speaking his mind is second nature for July, but it hasn’t always been that way.

Eric: “I was both confused and, I ain’t going to lie, a little intimidated to be honest with you, because you have to understand the culture of blacks. Leftists have a political monopoly in these communities. A political monopoly is really what it is. I didn’t know about Libertarianism until I hit college. I had never heard the word – never ever heard the word. I was confused because this stuff is making sense, but how do I tell my family this? How do I tell my family that I came to this realization that government sucks?”

Dave: A punk rock theme many of us grew up with turned into political awareness when July went to college.

Eric: “Policies like minimum wage and a welfare state have… helped destroy black communities and black families.”

Dave: His key message is to NOT rely on the government.

Eric: “You know, it’s confusing because I’ve been led for… 19, 20 years of my life to believe one way.”

Dave: He also gets haters as a black Libertarian.

Eric: “It comes with the territory and you’ve got a target on your back. I get stripped down every day.  I’ll go to my messages right now and someone’s calling me the N word.  Black folks too, saying… ‘He’s an Uncle Tom. He’s a coon – a house nigga,’ is what they say.  They’re calling us all of these different terms not because I’m a Libertarian because I’m not a leftist. You can be a conservative – which I’m not. You can be a Libertarian, but as long as you’re not a leftist, you’re going to get called those names.”

Dave: His unique perspective growing up gangbanging, performing as MC YG Rippa and setting athletic records gives him a gift to open minds.

Eric: “I want somebody to come at me and call me one of those names and I’ll be like, ‘Well, you’re the one worshiping the same entity that you claim is suppressing you. Who’s really the Uncle Tome here?’”

Dave: Now, his words are more powerful than any diss track.

Eric: “If I’m going to claim to be real then I’m going to put it out there. Once I put it out there I got more comfortable and I didn’t get phased by all them folks talking down.”

Dave: One word describes Eric’s music and politics…

Eric: “One word – REAL.  You might not agree with it but you know that it’s us. You know that we’re getting out there – we’re putting this music out. You hear me write a lyric, you hear me lay it down, you know it’s real. You know I’m coming to you and I’m being honest with you. You know what I mean? I’m being for real with you. And THAT’S what it’s about!”

Trumps Makes Metal Band Slipknot Pretty Good Again

By: Dave Cox

Late last week, Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor told Spin Magazine that Donald Trump’s message is not in line with what Slipknot is all about. “Trump’s message is so anti-Slipknot it’s not even funny, because we have always tried to get people to stand together, and everything he does is so divisive.” Taylor went on to say that Trump’s message would tear people apart in an effort to control them.

In a shocking turn of events, Trump mentioned the band at a recent rally in Gainesville, Florida. Trump stated that Slipknot was “…terrible, just terrible. I mean, the drums and guitar are huuuuge – they’re great, they’re fantastic, but I can’t get behind the vocals. The vocals are horrible. Rosie O’Donnell could sing better than that guy! I will promise the American people right now that I am willing to take over as the lead singer for Slipknot and I WILL MAKE THEM PRETTY GOOD AGAIN!” Moments later, the curtains on the stage opened, and the members of Slipknot, sans Corey Taylor, launched into their 1999 hit ‘Wait and Bleed’. Trump sprinted to the unattended mic at the center of the stage and growled out the opening line, “I’ve felt the hate rise up in me, kneel down and clear the stone of leaves. I wander out where you can’t see, Inside my shell, I wait and bleed”

TrumpSlip

(meme borrowed from the interwebs)

It was actually happening. Donald J. Trump was the front man for Slipknot and it fucking ruled! The crowd was whipped into a frenzy as The Donald shrieked, “Well, I’m a victim – Manchurian candidate, I have sinned by just makin’ my mind up and takin’ your breath away.”

Shortly after the rally, Slipknot issued a press release stating that Trump was taking over lead vocal duties permanently and they are currently planning a world tour in early 2017, pending the results of the election and the final design of Trumps human flesh and saw blade mask.

Geography Lessons From Donald Trump [VIDEO]

By: Dave Cox

Donald Trump mentioned several times that Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, was from New Jersey, and then brushed it off and kept plowing away because it’s important to keep moving forward, even when facts get in the way of the narrative.  To bad Chris Christie wasn’t there to help him.

I really only have two questions to ask about this clip:

  1. 18 months ago, would anyone have thought that Donald Trump had a legitimate chance a becoming the President of the United States of America?
  2. Would anyone believe that Donald Trump would only be the SECOND worst candidate running for President in 2016?

Somebody please wake me up when this nightmare is over! Giant Meteor 2016!!