Sunday, November 4, 2018

Two Blowhards Debate Populism: Bannon vs. Frum

In Toronto, Steve Bannon debated David Frum at a Munk Debate. The resolution was “The future of western politics is populist, not liberal."

Bannon defended and Frum opposed.

From an intellectual perspective, it was a disaster. Bannon threw up nonsense and Frum has no clue as to how to knock it down.

From a strict debate skill level, Bannon had it all over the boring Frum. It didn't come across in the youtube version below but Frum was probably even more overbearing to the live audience. I saw Frum recently in Los Angeles on a panel at Politicon and he came across as a pompous ass.

Bannon said that the Trump election was largely a rebellion against the elite and he pinpointed the Bernanke-led Fed bailout of September 18, 2008 as the trigger for the rebellion. Of course, Frum having no understanding of economics did not counter with the fact that the Fed is currently printing money under Trump in the same fashion as the Fed did before the 2008 financial crisis and that the next crisis as a result of this new Fed printing, which Trump wants more of, is likely to lead the country in the direction of more socialism than anything else.

Bannon also hailed the reversal of deindustrialization under Trump and, of course, Frum failed to explain the basics of comparative advantage which would have exploded Bannon's claim of Trump's reversal of deindustrialization as an "achievement."

Bannon then went on to place under the populist umbrella that Trump has now made NATO and the Gulf Emirates work. Frum being a neoconservative did not point out that populist nationalism was isolationist in nature.


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