Louise: Right. This is going to be quicker, slightly quicker than normal, but it’s Louise Mensch, Vox Day recording this debate, which Vox suggested that we do after the election, but I think that after the election is the coward’s way out and beneath us both. Because, after the election you can redo your prediction to say in light of everything how right you were. Why didn’t astrologists ever predict anything before it actually happens? First of all, let’s put our reputations on the line by giving our predictions for the overall winner, and by approximately how much. You go first, Vox.
Vox: I am actively and eagerly looking forward to the ascension of the God Emperor, Trump. I think that he is not only going to win, I think he is going to win by a larger percentage than people expect. I think that he’s probably going to win by a margin by a of at least three percentage points nationally, possibly more. In terms of the electoral college, I have absolutely no idea.
Louise: Oh, that sounds like a chicken-out to me. I got to say, I got to say. Winning the election is when you become the president afterwards.
Vox: No, he will win the electoral college vote, I just don’t know how much. I don’t know what states he’s going to win, because given the unreliability of the polls, given the fact that one poll in North Carolina had Hillary Clinton up by thirteen points, and another one had Trump up by four, it’s impossible to make any sort of reasonable calculation of this, the best efforts of Nate Silver and other poll watchers, notwithstanding.
Louise: Yeah, I do agree with you that the polls are very volatile, and I will say that, we can get to the FBI in a minute, but I think putting that aside, it’s completely normal. This happens in every election I have ever seen that right before the election a big spread narrows in what is essentially a two-party choice. That always happens. I think if you look at Silver, he said people were coming back to the Republican ticket before the FBI thing dropped down.
Now, I think that it’s going to be the other way around. I was a little nervous, I don’t deny it, over the last couple of days when the polls started to tighten, but I’ve had a good look at the early voting data, and what I see in that is women are voting disproportionately to 2012, and in much greater numbers, and they’re voting early, which is a sign of enthusiasm. In my experience as a politician, people vote against things usually. They don’t vote for things. It’s very rare, Regan aside, you hardly ever get a grateful electorate, saying, “Wow, you’re doing such a good job.”
I was told when I started running that “Time for a change” is the most powerful slogan in politics. Now, in this case, you’ve got a really weird situation, where women, I think, including especially whites, college-educated white women, are voting against Trump. That level of enthusiasm against him, I think is bigger than men’s enthusiasm for him.
I think she’s going to win, I think Clinton will win the popular vote by three percent, and that’s actually a pretty margin, and it would lead to a big margin in the electoral college. I think she will win the electoral college with possibly slightly less of an advantage than Obama, Obama’s last election, but she’ll win it comfortably. I’m not that worried about it now. I think that she’s going to take Florida.
Vox: I’ve been predicting a Trumpslide for literally months. In fact, one of our dark glow designs tee shirts is a Trumpslide tee shirt, and I’m entirely confident that the sales of that are going to go through the roof after November 9th, because I think that we’ve seen the movement in the polls that I felt was necessary. There was a strong and consistent movement right up until the whole pussy gate encounter brought an end to that. That’s when I started to think, “Okay, maybe he’s going to win, but he’s not going to win big.”
Louise: Wait a minute, let me just interrupt you for a sec, totally typical girl. Are you saying that you never thought that he was going to lose, seriously?
Vox: No, I’ve never been convinced that Hillary was going to win.
Louise: Well, that’s-[crosstalk 00:04:43]
Vox: At no point in time did I think that Hillary was going to win. I’ve always questioned the legitimacy of the polls, particular this year. I think mostly because when I look at the sampling that they’re using and the adjustments that they’re using, it’s been quite obvious that they’ve been putting a heavier thumb on the scale than they normally do. Any time you tip the scale [crosstalk 00:05:00]
Louise: I un-skewed the- [crosstalk 00:04:59]
Vox: There is Democrats and far fewer Republicans in the sample, you know, you know it’s not accurate.
Louise: Well, it depends on the state. I mean, for example, we just did a poll in Utah, which I had them check the data because the numbers look weird to me. It was bad for my guy, McMullin and very good for both Clinton and Trump, despite the surging Clinton’s unfavorables. They checked the data, and it was realistic. Then of course another poll, it’s just an outlier poll.
Another poll came out the same day showing again McMullin just behind Trump and just ahead of Clinton, which is what all the other polls showed. I think un-skewing the polls is dangerous. I mean, as a Republician, I did it for the last two elections, to be disappointed every time. Some states are more Republican and Democratic and vice versa. If you’re polling in Utah, you’re always going to have a massive, massive oversampling of Republicans because the state is itself Republician. If you were to poll fifty-fifty, you’d get a totally wrong sample.
Vox: Oh, yeah, sure, but I’m talking about the fact that in a state where the numbers are relatively even, you’re still seeing significant over sampling of populations that tend to be Democratic or over sampling of people who belong to the Democratic party. That’s why you’re seeing some of these ridiculous polls like Hillary Clinton being up fourteen points in North Carolina, or whatever it was recently.
Vox: The thing is, the polls are like everything else in the media, the polls are there to shape the public opinion, to manage public opinion. They are not really there to reflect public opinion.
Louise: That just-[crosstalk 00:06:41]
Vox: I think that the [crosstalk 00:06:40]
Louise: It’s not true. [crosstalk 00:06:41]
Vox: Are also- [crosstalk 00:06:43]
Louise: It’s not true. Look, we commissioned a poll we didn’t like the results of. I didn’t like the results of. Obviously, I’m quite clear that I would like Evan McMullin to win the state of Utah. Didn’t like the results. We published it anyway. I had them check the data, for sure. I mean, it’s just not true to say that people commission polls to manage public opinion. Polls do manage public opinion because just the facts manage public opinion.
Where a pollster has a systemic bias towards one party or the other, aggregator sites like 538 will recognize that. I mean, I remember being a McCain/Palin supporter, and I remember everybody saying, “These polls are rubbish,” because they had Democratic plus seven as the base in a national election, they had D plus seven as the base.
I was like, it’s not going to be D plus seven. Historically, Democratic turnout advantage has only every been D plus three or plus four. That was the first time I ‘unskewed’ . Then of course they were right. If anything, they slightly underestimated the enthusiasm the Democrats had over the Republicans. Aren’t you at least a little bit phased, Vox, by the early vote though? By the actual early votes?
Vox: No, not in the slightest.
Louise: Have you been looking at the early vote numbers in any of these swing states?
Vox: Yes, and I think that you’re misinterpreting the level of enthusiasm that women have for Hillary. I know an awful lot of women who absolutely detest Hillary. They don’t think much of Trump. They certainly don’t think that he’s a fine and upstanding Christian gentleman. On the other hand, they don’t think that he’s a corrupt traitor.
Louise: Yeah, but the people that you know are likely to be in your own group of people, aren’t they? I mean, I live in New York, every here is a raging liberal.
Vox: Where I live, nobody actually gives a damn about the American election. I’m talking about the people that I talk to. If you recall, I’m from Minnesota which is not exactly a conservative stronghold.
Louise: How’s Minnesota voting this year?
Vox: Minnesota will almost surely go for Clinton. Minnesota is the most left liberal state in the country. That is the only one that went for Mondale.
Louise: Right, right.
Vox: It was the only one that went for Dukakis, where he hadn’t even been governor. My American friends are predominately Scandinavian, Lutheran Christian. The sort of people who really do not approve of Trump in any way, shape or form.
Vox: They’re certainly not inclined politically to support him, but definitely to a man, and probably two thirds of the women, absolutely detest Hillary Clinton.
Louise: Well, I do think what’s absolutely clear including in our Utah poll, is that people do not like either of the two major party candidates. That is abundantly clear. The data on that hasn’t wavered since they were both nominated. It just hasn’t wavered at all, which is an amazing indictment of the system, is that you’ve got two people who for the first time, Americans don’t like, and have to make a choice between. I said to my kids, it’s like, “Would you rather be burnt alive or shot?” You know, well, shot, but I’m not particularly happy about it either way. Is that where we are?
Vox: To a certain extent. The thing that people don’t seem to grasp about Trump, especially people who are opposed to him, is that very few of us who are Trump supporters, especially who were early Trump supporters, ever had any concern or interest about the man’s personality. I think that one of the early pro-Trump slogans, back in the early primaries, was “I support Trump because fuck you.”
Louise: Oh, yeah. Totally.
Vox: That’s not a group of people who care at all about any of these potential, “Oh, Trump said this or did this.” So what? We want a wall. We want no more Muslim immigration. We want no more large-scale immigration period, in fact, we would like to see lot of people sent back to their home countries.
Louise: Well, good luck with that, mate. It’s so funny. You know that Trump told the New York Times that he’s not going to build a wall and that you’re a bunch of suckers, in the primary. You know that right? Do you believe that he didn’t say that?
Vox: The question is who is he lying to? If he’s lying to the people and he’s just going to govern like every other member of the elite, then we’re going to have a civil war and a lot of people are going to die.
Louise: No you’re not. You’re just going to feel like silly old suckers. Look, in your heart of hearts, okay, let’s try something else. Right?
Louise: One thing you said about Trump that I agree with and it’s what I cling onto because I don’t want to believe that half of America are terrible people that don’t give a crap about Vladimir Putin taking over, is that Trump is, you said, well I recognize that he’s lying to me taxes and pro-life and all that stuff, and I don’t really care because I’m not really voting for him for policy. I’m voting for him as an avatar, I may be paraphrasing here, but what I took away from it, was that you were voting for him as an avatar of anti-political correctness, which is I think is the only valid reason that anybody could have for supporting Donald Trump.
Let’s face it, the way the guy has lived his life, he’s a massive Globalist. He was in Davos just a few years ago and it’s his own blog. It’s still up on ABC, written in his, he wrote it, it’s not being paraphrased, it’s like literally an article, where he says, “I’m for Globalism, and borders are a thing of the past. They’ve got to go” – to a bunch bankers in Davos. I’m assuming that people know that he’s lying about being the Globalist stuff, and they don’t really care, but they just see him as an avatar of rebellion.
Vox: I think that was the initial impetus for his support, but what I think that it’s quite clear that Trump has significantly changed his opinion on those things, like a lot of us. I used to be a free trader. I was raised on Milton Friedman. I could spew Henry Hazlitt free trade dogma with the best of them. It wasn’t until after we began to be able to see the effects of NAFTA, after we began to be able to see the effects of free trade and the free movement of peoples, and all that sort of thing, we realized, wait a minute, this is a massive mistake. This is a huge mistake.
I believe that Trump, like me and like a lot of other people, has rethought his previous support for Globalism, for open borders. Even people like Ron Paul, and his son, they’re a lot less open borders than they used to, just because for the first time we’re no longer talking about theory, we’re dealing with reality, and the reality as Americans have discovered much to their chagrin, is very, very different than the rich, prosperous everybody loves each other scenario that-
Louise: Hold on, let’s talk about reality there. Listen, it’s not wonderful for me to have to say this as a conservative, but objectively speaking, America has got much more prosperous under Obama, the economy is doing well and unemployment is colossally down. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, who disinvested Trump, we can talk the big cowardice of the GOP another time, you guys use the word, cuck, a lot, and I wish you weren’t being proved right in all the wrong places.
The cucks are on the side of Trump. My goodness, some guy insulted my wife, I surely wouldn’t be endorsing him. Anyway, Scott Walker, after having disinvited Trump from Wisconsin starts saying, “If you want more of the same of the last eight years,” he put out a tweet saying, “Vote Hillary Clinton.” It went viral. Everybody went, “Thanks, I will,” and they started replying to him with graphs showing the unemployment have plummeted under Obama. On what do you base, other than raw feelings, your assertion that Globalism has made America poorer? On what economic data do you base that?
Vox: Well, first of all, let me point out that I am an absolute expert on this. I’ve written a book on it called, Return of the Great Depression, and I’ve also written on the existence of free trade. The fact of the matter is that the numbers being cited are absolute and complete fiction.
If you simply take, even if you take the existing numbers, which as I demonstrate in a chapter in Return to Great Depression, are complete and utter bullshit, if you just simply take the numbers reported and you divide them by the debt numbers, what you can see is that America is not wealthier. America is absolutely poorer. The only different is they’re saying well, “Because you’re getting paid fifteen percent more, we’re going to ignore the fact that you’re now fifty percent more in debt.”
Wealth is not only income. Wealth has to incorporate debt, because if you owe the debt, then that money is not yours. Every single American is considerably worse off in wealth terms statistically. Now, obviously, a small set of the population has done very, very well because both their income and their wealth has gone up, but for the average American, some of their incomes have gone up, a lot of their incomes have gone down, but overall, the level of wealth of the United States is vastly and significantly down. I’ve got posts about this on the blog.
Louise: Okay, I’ll take your point, because I also believe in managing the national debt, however, as you know, a little bit-
Vox: We’re not talking national debt, we’re talking private debt.
Louise: Oh, you’re talking about private debt, not national debt? You’re talking about the overall level of indebtedness of American households, like for example, mortgage debt, that kind of thing?
Vox: Yes, yes. If you look at, it’s not just households, but it’s also corporate debt. It’s everything except for the state, local and Federal Government. If you look at the situation, it’s catastrophic. It is collectively at a point that is considerably worse than it was leading up to the great depression.
Louise: You know the difference between now and the great depression, if I may say so, is that interest rates are practically zero. Debt and money leverage, you can call it debt, I can call it leverage. Leverage is practically free at the moment. In Britain, in Europe, we look with envy at Americans’ amazing thirty-year lifetime fixed rate mortgages.
I sometimes wish that sadly my husband is not a big fan of rental property. I wish he were, because if I had my druthers we’d just be buying and renting and buying and renting because money at the money moment is practically free. When you look at big ticket items like mortgages, the ability for Americans to have the American dream of owning their own house has never been greater. Isn’t there an argument to be made that while money is so cheap, Americans ought to be using debt as a tool for finance.
Vox: No, because they don’t have, in addition to the price of debt, you also have to be able to carry the debt. You also have to be able to make the payments. Americans are in such bad shape that even though the cost of borrowing the money is essentially nothing, they still can’t afford to borrow it, and make the payments. That’s why we’ve seen, for example, if you look at the total credit market debt, which is all the debt combined, national, private, etc. That’s really the best way to look at the situation.
The thing that’s slightly scary is that for sixty years, there was a constant rate of debt growth. All the way up to 2008. It was like clockwork. Then since 2008, we haven’t been in deflation, we’ve been in a state that’s called credit disinflation. That means that the debt is still increasing, but it’s not increasing fast enough to allow for real economic growth.
We’ve been in that situation since 2008. The reason is, this is why they cut interest rates in the first place, because the idea was, well the debt is too expensive, so we’re going to cut the rates, make money cheaper and then people can borrow it. Because people don’t have any wealth left to burn, because they don’t have the ability to service the debt, that means that we’re in a situation that Paul Krugman used to call, “Pushing on a string.” It’s free to borrow the money, but if you can’t pay it back, it doesn’t matter whether it costs you nothing or not, because you can’t pay the money back.
Louise: Right, well I certainly do agree with you, being that my first husband was a real estate appraiser, and he saw the financial crash coming a long time before everybody else did, because real estate appraising is the canary in the coal mine. He saw FHA loans in particular, being granted again and again. He would re-appraise a house that was being foreclosed on because an FHA Federal Housing Administration Loan had been granted to people who could not pay their mortgages. Often under the name of diversity programs. You have to have a certain proportion from this racial group, and if you do not, then it’s discriminatory.
Again and again, the numbers were being fudged in order to make loans to people who couldn’t afford them. Whether or not you should have provided more help so those people could have afforded to make the actual payments. People were getting the mortgages with no guarantee that they could make the payments, and those loans were going bad. They were really going bad, and you could kind of see it coming. There was kind of this belief, I’m sure you lived through it as well as me, that property would never go down, everybody was on a rocket road to the moon for all time. As a result, people just fell over themselves to fudge the loan numbers.
But before we bore everybody to death with a sensible discussion of macro and micro economics, which I see that is, although interesting, developing into like everyone’s eyes have glazed over and they’re like, throw some more poo at each other, like monkeys in the zoo.
Let’s metaphorically do that. What do you think … okay, let’s give each other spears, because I know you don’t have long, we have less long for now than before. Let’s start with you again. What do you think will happen to America, if, as I confidently expect, Hillary Clinton is elected president? What do you think will be the consequences if she is elected?
Vox: The worst consequence is that she will bring Ukraine into NATO. That will cause Putin to invade and take Kiev. I was actually arguing that there was a rational case for Putin to consider doing that if he thought Hillary was going to win because it would be better for him to invade Ukraine before it becomes a NATO member.
Louise: You’re saying that Putin, you believe these Putinbots who basically all push this whole “draft our daughters” meme thing coming out of Russia, I’m sure you’re too sensible to deny, that Putin has a hand in this election. You believe what Russia is saying that Russia would, let’s say Hillary Clinton did bring Ukraine into NATO, which I don’t thing she’s got any intention of doing. Let’s say that that happened. You’re saying that you think that Vladimir Putin, with his rust-bucket army of nothingburgers, is going to declare war on the United States by invading a NATO country? Is that what you think?
Vox: I believe that Russia will do that, yes. I don’t think there’s any question that, they’ve made it pretty clear that Ukraine is never going to be permitted to be a part of NATO.
Louise: Like they’ve got a say in it. Ukraine will be a part of NATO if we decide it will.
Vox: They do if they take it first.
Louise: Well, yeah, that’s true.
Vox: That’s the one fear.
Louise: That’s true, that’s true.
Vox: The other big fear is that Hillary’s first action or her first objective would be to amnesty all of the illegals in the United States, and thereby ensure a permanent Democratic majority.
Louise: Yep, I think that’s a perfectly reasonable fear and probably will happen. Boy, do we deserve it, the GOP. I think that will happen. I support the Gang of Eight, broadly speaking, so does Trump. Your biggest disappointment, I think is going to be, if there is a President Trump, which may God forbid, I think the first thing that he will do is implement his touch back amnesty plan, as he said, they can go out and come back in. He’s also said that they don’t even have to do that by leaving the country. They can just go in and out of the consulates. God, his supporters are going to be so mad.
My fears are that Trump who is unconstitutionally working with the FBI against the United States, it’s quite terrifying, really, is going to obviously do whatever Vladimir Putin says. Abandon the Syrians to the mass murderer Assad, and allow Vladimir Putin to sort of peacock you, saying American strength. Putin I think is a great example of what happens when America is weak, for which I blame Obama entirely.
I can blame this whole crisis on the president for not respecting his own red lines. Obama was just like the Democratic equivalent of the GOP people saying, “I un-endorse Donald Trump…. Oh no, alt-righters and trolls have got at me, I re-endorse him, Hillary is worse.” That attitude is exactly what Kerry and Obama did when they said, “We’ve got a red line, Assad crosses the line, they do nothing. The entire situation therefore is laid at the door of American weakness.
Vox: You’re not afraid that the FBI has an actual case and that Hillary is going to be indicted? That doesn’t concern you?
Louise: They can’t indict her, as you know, constitutionally they can’t. All they can do is make a recommendation to the attorney general who will decide herself whether or not to impanel a grand jury, who would then indict. If the attorney general doesn’t accept the recommendation the FBI have no case. Am I afraid, no, partly because of the Wall Street Journal Report yesterday, which I think was very fair and presented both sides of the internal argument.
The reason I’m not afraid of this is because the FBI agents who are leaking to the press right now know that what they’re are doing is both illegal and unconstitutional. As agents, they have to keep confidential investigations confidential. QED, they’re not doing that, as we can plainly see, and therefore as they, themselves, are lawbreakers, I’m not interested in their politically motivated attempts to bring a prosecution. The prosecutors have already said there’s there, mate, there’s nothing there. You’ve got a couple of agents throwing a hissy fit.
Vox: Okay, let’s take a step back. The NYPD doesn’t, and the New York prosecutors do not need the attorney general to approve. Do you have concerns on that score?
Louise: Well, put it this way. Here’s what I love about the NYPD, and I speak as a New York resident, I haven’t heard any leaks from the NYPD. They’re not briefing the papers, they’re not calling the Hill, they’re not talking to Bret Baier, they’re not leaking to the New York Times. These are law enforcement officials who obey the law. That is something that I would respect a hell of a lot more.
I do think, I’ve said this before, that what’s been released by Russia through its agents, Wikileaks, working with Trump, is that there may be some stuff in it that’s criminal, but to me it’s like, if you don’t have a warrant and you search my car and you find a marijuana joint, you can’t use that in the prosecution. As far as I’m concerned, it’s all fruit of the poison tree when the history books are written.
One of the things I think is sad is that whatever wrongdoing there is, if it’s been exposed by the Russians, a foreign power against the United States, it should not be covered by the media. I mean, Heat Street, I’m editor, but it’s not my personal blog. If I had total and complete control, if it was my personal blog, we wouldn’t cover Wikileaks at all, because I don’t like working with the Russians. But it’s not, it’s opinions and my opinions are different, because I wear my bias openly on my sleeve, I have my McMullin avatar on my twitter.
I think part of the complaints about media bias just to step out of this for a second are that the media don’t admit their biases. I’m not a reporter, I’m a commentator. I couldn’t be a reporter because I’m a political animal to the marrow of my bones, and I have no objectivity. I think actually the best safeguard the media could adopt in future is just to be open and honest about your bias.
I hate Donald Trump. I’m not a huge fan of Hillary Clinton, but she’s a million times better than Donald Trump. I’m “Never Trump,” I’m not “Never Hillary,” and I infinitely prefer Evan McMullin to both of them. I’m completely open about that on Twitter and elsewhere.
Vox: That’s right. Some people ame to me and they were saying, well, “How come you’re friends with Louise when she was making suggestions to the Clinton campaign?” and I said, “Well considering that she’s been openly Hillary Clinton on her site from early on, why would there be anything wrong with that?”
Louise: Right exactly. At the time I had to, you know, I was all hashtag #RepublicansForHillary on my Twitter. Evan McMullin did not enter this race until August of 2016. The emails that you saw there were from February. I stand by them. I’m really proud. I hear your dogs going. Does this mean you have to go? We might be out of time here.
Louise: Okay. Let’s be out of time. All right. Let’s pick this up after the elections, Vox. That was great.
Vox: Let me just say that one of us is going to be sending a book to the other and I’m hoping you’ll be reading mine.
Louise: Wait, I want your book anyway. You send me your book anyway. Send me your book now. I mean, can I get it on Kindle? Well brace yourselves after this debate, because I’m going to review Vox’s book and I’m extremely excited to read Vox’s book. One of the great things I love about him, as opposed to many other members of the alt-right is that he stands for his opinions, he is a real person, I don’t have any problem with that whatsoever, and I like to step out of my own bubble. Thank you again, and we’ll be back in touch for a future debate.
Vox: Okay. Bye bye.