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Culture War Roundup for the week of August 14, 2023

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Update. Perhaps I should just include it in the thread I created below but I feel like they go dead.

I complained at the Iowa State Fair that Vivek wasn’t taking the mask off. Here he is. Calling transitioning as a child barbaric. Perhaps this is a sign of really good public speaker that he can be aggressive in one venue and come off compassionate in a different venue.

Musks also retweeted this speech and I’ll include his summary so you don’t have to click thru.


  1. God is real.
  2. There are two genders.
  3. Human flourishing requires fossil fuels.
  4. Reverse racism is racism.
  5. An open border is no border.
  6. Parents determine the education of their children.
  7. The nuclear family is the greatest form of governance known to mankind.
  8. Capitalism lifts people up from poverty.
  9. There are three branches of the U.S. government, not four.
  10. The U.S. Constitution is the strongest guarantor of freedoms in history.

Strategy interests me. The billionaires who were backing Desantis seem to be looking at Vivek now. They like myself don’t like Trumps persona. I now think Vivek is probably the best salesman for the GOP. Especially if they want to make arguments the PMC will listen to. Desantis I believe is the best get shit done member of the GOP. If you get where I’m going Vivek will make a lot of sense as the frontman President with Desantis as VP. Trump is the best at throwing a raving party and he’s really good at taking punches from the left and keeps moving forward. Which has bought him a lot of trust in the gop.

Strategically the GOP best move is to keep Trump as the poll lead until like March/April. Let them develop their lawfare election strategy. Then slide the nomination to probably Vivek maybe Desantis. The issue with this and one of my biggest problems with Trump is he doesn’t care as much about advancing an agenda as he cares about Trump winning. But for winning an agenda my thoughts today is this would be a very good strategy for winning.

Next thought. Vivek said “God is Real”. I assumed he was Hindu so was trying to figure out what he meant. So I had to go look at his Wikipedia and find out what that meant. He’s a monotheistic Hindu. I don’t know if that’s a true belief or something adopted to be more palatable to the right. Could be something explored in the election that he at some point will likely need to explain.

The other thing I thought of when he said God is Real is Marginal Revolution ran an article on St Thomas preaching the gospel in India. So I thought with him saying God is Real it might mean he was a member of that community. I didn’t even know about old Christian communities in India until yesterday. So perhaps there is a connection between St. Thomas and Monotheistic Hinduism. I do recommend reading the marginal posts as initially they thought St. Thomas wasn’t real but then some archaeologist found some stuff that confirmed a lot of the story.

God isn't real, of course, and I doubt Vivek thinks so either. Hinduism is remarkably tolerant of atheism.

As a sidenote, I've been impressed by him. I think his willingness to be ruthlessly realistic about limits to America's commitments to Taiwan is a breath of fresh air. Reminds me of 2016 Trump. I still think Ye Olde Orange Man is a clear favorite, but if he gets barred from running due to legal issues, I think Vivek is a top contender. I wouldn't call him very charismatic, but he at least isn't robotic like DeSantis and unlike DeSantis, his campaign feels less controlled by donors and GOPe activists.

I think Trump's secret was that he intuitively understood that GOP conventional wisdom isn't actually that popular among the grassroots and so breaking with it hardly carries punishment with the voters - quite the contrary, in fact. If Vivek grasps the same fundamental truth then he has a very good shot.

I think his willingness to be ruthlessly realistic about limits to America's commitments to Taiwan is a breath of fresh air.

While he's honest about wanting to defend Taiwan only because of semiconductors, his claim that domestic manufacturing will supplant TSMC by 2028 seems patently absurd to me.