Boaty McBoatface and the Rise of Trump

Global elites show contempt for voters on issues large and small - hence, Trump.

Perhaps without meaning to, the Wall Street Journal has explained the rise of Donald Trump to the position of presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States:

Notable & Quotable: No Boaty McBoatface

The UK's new polar research ship is to be named RRS Sir David Attenborough, despite the title "Boaty McBoatface" previously topping a public vote.

A website inviting name suggestions had attracted huge interest, with Boaty McBoatface the runaway favourite.

But Science Minister Jo Johnson said there were "more suitable" names.

On Friday, days before Sir David turns 90, it was announced that the £200m vessel will be named after the world-renowned naturalist and broadcaster.

Sir David said he was "truly honoured" by the decision.

While the polar ship itself will not be named Boaty McBoatface, one of its remotely operated sub-sea vehicles will be named Boaty in recognition of the vote.

This, in a nutshell, describes the reason for the disgust of voters, both American and foreign, with their respective Establishments.  In America, this is being expressed by the throngs adulating Mr. Trump - the Establishment cavalierly ignores their strongly-expressed views, and The Donald is the only guy they've seen in their lifetimes who they think has a prayer of forcing the elites to say Uncle.

Consider the lesson of this apparently trivial news story.  Despite "huge interest" by Britons, and their clearly-expressed desire for a specific name for a research vessel which had been paid for by vast sums of their own hard-earned and forcibly-extracted tax money, their votes were ignored because a member of the Establishment preferred something "more suitable."

What's worse, the Establishment rubbed salt in the wound by naming one of their tiny underwater research probes, not even "Boaty McBoatface" which voters desired, but simply a derisory "Boaty."  The arrogant Establishment not only ignored the will of the people, they mocked it.

It would be hard to find a better example of the Establishment's utter "in your face" contempt for we ignorant peasant voters whose labors pay their salaries, padded expenses, and gilt-edged pensions.  It could be argued that "Boaty McBoatface" is a ridiculously inappropriate name for anything that costs £200m, but perhaps the voters wouldn't have felt so strongly about it if they didn't already feel totally ignored about every other issue that actually matters.

Consider how the American Establishment has created two existential threats to America over the long-running vehement objections of the voters who are supposed to actually control the government.

Open Borders

It is an objective, demonstrable fact that our half-century policy of allowing millions of illegals to come in freely, is destroying the nation we know and love.  As we've documented previously, these socialist "free lunch" hordes have no intention of adapting themselves to American ways.  They don't even want to learn English, even though everybody knows it's the difference between a poverty wage and some hope of a decent living!

Another million votes for Donald Trump.

Unlike earlier immigrants who worked hard to take on American ways, illegals want to adapt America to themselves.  The Democrat establishment wants to sign illegals up to collect welfare and to vote for more spending; the Republican establishment wants cheap workers to keep wages down.  Neither establishment cares a whit what actual US citizen voters want on this vital matter.

Our current immigration policy has continued for decades despite huge voter discontent.  In one of her more transparently delusional lies, Hillary has said that the Mexican border is secure; Sen. Rubio was working on a plan to grant amnesty to all the illegals who're already here despite running on a platform loudly proclaiming the opposite.  Only Mr. Trump, and to a lesser extent Sen. Cruz, has spoken about stopping this threat to our way of life.

Make American Solvent Again

The Time magazine cover of April 25, 2016 said:

You owe $42,998.12.  That's what every American man, woman, and child would need to pay to erase the $13.9 trillion US debt.

As with most issues, Time got it wrong by understating the problem.  Their vaunted calculations and journalistic research did not bother to address unfunded and unbudgeted but longstanding liabilities such as the Social Security deficit, Medicare spending, and government employee pensions.

Several years ago when our well-documented national debt was many trillions lower than it is today, USA Today added up those liabilities along with the debt and concluded that every American household actually owed a bit more than a half-million dollars.  There's no way such massive debt can ever be repaid.

Government spending is totally out of control and has been for longer than almost any of us have been alive.  To keep the party rolling, the establishment is covering obligations by printing new money out of thin air, but as even the legendary Alan Greenspan admits, this isn't working anymore.  Our feckless leaders from President Obama on down keep telling us not to worry that all these new greenbacks will cause inflation and they cite statistics that they claim show that there is no significant inflation.

We voters who buy groceries beg to differ.  My wife says that the cost of a basket of groceries has at least doubled since Mr. Obama took office.  By a strange coincidence, the cost of food is massaged out of the official inflation figures!

My wife discussed this with some welfare recipients we know.  At first, they were pleased that their payments had gone up under Mr. Obama, but when my wife pointed out that costs had gone up more, they had to agree that they were worse off than when Hope and Change arrived in Washington.

Scragged has shown that our society will collapse if spending isn't cut, and we will lose the America we know if illegals keep pouring in.

Unlike all the other candidates, Mr. Trump has loudly and proudly addressed both issues.  Sen. Sanders has rightly identified some serious economic problems, and even proposed some helpful policies, but overall his prescription of confiscatory socialism is merely pouring oil on troubled flames.  Whereas once he understood that illegal immigration destroys the American working class, now that he's a serious presidential contender he's as open-borders as the rest of the elite.

Unlike many conservative pundits, we believe that both party Establishments actually do understand the voter anger.  The problem is that their response is merely to worry that they might lose their comfortable positions feeding at the public trough, and thus to attempt whatever lying, cheating, and stealing they think is required to keep those ignorant rubes in their proper place.

Sure enough, what does the Wall Street Journal say about Mr. Trump and the "unwashed peasant" and "racist" masses who support him?

David French wrote in National Review, a kind of conservative Bible: "The party of Lincoln is in ruins. A minority of its primary voters have torched its founders' legacy by voting for a man who combines old-school Democratic ideology, a bizarre form of hyper-violent isolationism, fringe conspiracy theories, and serial lies with an enthusiastic flock of online racists to create perhaps the most toxic electoral coalition since George Wallace."

They didn't bother to point out that Mr. Sanders' "Free Lunch" coalition would be far more dangerous because it would accelerate our overall collapse.  No, they simply echoed the left with the usual mantra of racist-sexist-bigot slanders.

Like the British, our elites have total contempt for the voters' legitimate concerns.  Unlike the British, we fought a revolution to get rid of divinely-anointed kings, and there's still a strong streak of American desire to flip the bird to The Man whenever possible.

Will it be possible this time, or have things gone so far that what the voters want truly doesn't matter anymore?  It's unclear, but this election will send a powerful signal one way or the other.

Will Offensicht is a staff writer for and an internationally published author by a different name.  Read other articles by Will Offensicht or other articles on Foreign Affairs.
Reader Comments

I couldn't agree more.

In the case of both Brits and Trumpsters, the idiocracy wants Boaty Mcboatface because they value entertainment more than appropriateness. (In the case of Trump, appropriateness of philosophy, ideology, statesmanship, language - pretty much everything.)

Instead of making a careful informed decision, the idiocracy chooses to follow the circus act for kicks.

Feels good to stick it to the establishment.... even though the current choice is clearly far worse.

Boaty McBoatface. Heh, what a perfect analogy for the Trump movement.

May 8, 2016 9:37 PM

Based in the presumption it is true we'd every one, have owed $42,998.12¢, had the feral government's debt 13.9 Trillion Dollars, the actual debt owed by every man and woman and child is Seven-Hundred and Forty-Two Thousand, Four Hundred and Thirteen Dollars and Fifty-Eight Cents. (USD$742,413.58¢)

This calculated on the actual aggregate debt of around Two Hundred and Forty Trillion Dollars -- arrived at by adding in unfunded liabilities to the existing "hard" debt.

May 8, 2016 11:12 PM

Reader Allen did exactly what I wanted to do but haven't the numbers to do. Wish he'd publish the details of his calculation.

May 9, 2016 1:40 AM

.... Allen did exactly what I wanted to do but haven't the numbers to do. Wish he'd publish the details of his calculation ....

.... Based in the presumption it is true we'd every one, have owed $42,998.12¢, had the feral government's debt 13.9 Trillion Dollars, the actual debt owed by every man and woman and child is Seven-Hundred and Forty-Two Thousand, Four Hundred and Thirteen Dollars and Fifty-Eight Cents. (USD$742,413.58¢)

.... This calculated on the actual aggregate debt of around Two Hundred and Forty Trillion Dollars -- arrived at by adding in unfunded liabilities to the existing "hard" debt ....

Pretty simple, "bush," math: $42,998.12 divided by (the fictional) 13,900,000,000,000 and multiplied by the actual: 240,000,000,000,000.

Two-Hundred and Forty Trillion Dollars being the sum of the activist-"Democrat"-bureaucracy-looted, robbed, ravished-and-raped, feral government's owed "hard" debt plus its "unfunded liabilities" -- or (future) owed "hard" debt, by another name.

The vast RICO-racketeering, organized-criminal hordes that trade as the "Democratic" potty, which gang owns, operates and controls the machinery of every level and branch of government in America and has long long long been engaged in its systematic looting, long ago (around the time its corruption of the immigration processes began to alter America's demographics and its control of the nation's voting machinery and voter rolls ensured its ownership, also, of every election's outcome) it became dissatisfied with what it could steal from cash and assets on hand - as it were -- and began borrowing against the good credit of the (fifty) united States --- and stealing that, too. All the while protected from prosecution by its also wholly owned, operated and controlled and rule-by-fiat "courts."

Beyond George Soros and the likes of the predatorily-grifting Cli'tons, Harry Reids and Donald Drumpfs -- and a relative few others of their ilk -- there is little to show for the Two Hundred and Forty Trillion Dollars of debt, current and future.

But as long as there are "Democrats" -- and RINOs -- the debt will continue to grow.

And our beloved fraternal republic, to die.

B A.: - L A - Califobamacated - USA -- and The Very Far Away

May 9, 2016 3:03 AM

Thinking about the Boaty analogy more - which is really quite well put - and I read Will's last sentence:

"Will it be possible this time, or have things gone so far that what the voters want truly doesn't matter anymore"

What's happened is that one extreme is being used to counter the other. Because the Establishment has failed so badly to hold up liberty and retrain themselves, voters are rushing to the opposite end of spectrum, using absurdities and cretins, to embarrass the Establishment.

Do voters believe deeply that what they want "truly doesn't matter"? Yes, and it's been that way for a decade or more. Younger voters rush to that conclusion right off.

When 18 year-olds hate Mom and Pop's rules, what do they do? Write carefully worded rebuttals that are slipped under the bedroom door for their parent's consideration? No. They dye their hair pink and get tattoos.

Immature angry people tend to self-destruct in order to hurt those around them.

There is now a large voting block, on both sides of the aisle, that uses pink dye and tattoos at every election as standard operating procedure. Burn it down, embarrass/hurt those involved, record and publicize any slight gaffe no matter how slight it is.

The Establishment sucks, and the immature angry side sucks. Those left in between are dwindling.

May 9, 2016 8:39 AM

Boaty Mcboatface? The article would have been stronger had it explained why a name like that, meaningless to a "rebellious Yanks" like me, got traction in the first place.

Ooh, I have no admiration for democracy. The Founders were contemptuous of it. After all, it's the system whereby the majority picked Barabbas over Jesus Christ.

May 9, 2016 1:11 PM

Calvin, the British government wanted to name a new boat - a huge $200 million research ship - and decided to let British voters decide the name. They put out a survey requesting names. The goal was to see which British figure or name would be most requested. Victoria, Churchill, whoever... hopefully a science figure (Turing? Darwin?) since that was the boat's purpose.

A group of immature cynical netizens wanted to see if they could swing the results, so they did an online campaign to push for "Boaty McBoatface" - a random name made up by the group to sound as silly as possible.

Offensicht says:

"Despite huge interest by Britons, and their clearly-expressed desire for a specific name for a research"

There was no huge interest by most Britons for this name. It was an online group pushing to be humorous. And there was no clear desire for this specific name because the name has some other meaning. It was picked to be as obviously silly to the observer as possible.

The entire exercise was to show that the Nobility would not really allow the Commoners to get their way, which is childish since obviously no person with any common sense would expect an important expensive vehicle to be permanently named this way.

It's like a parent asking their child "what do you want for dinner". The child responds "cotton candy" and the parent says "no, something real" and the child says "see, you never really let me choose".

May 9, 2016 1:29 PM

Boaty McBoatface was an incorrect name for that. The Attenborough is a SHIP not a boat. (There is a difference)

A more appropriate name would have been Shippy O'Shiphead

May 9, 2016 5:12 PM

You guys are all taking this too seriously. Scragged is obviously an inside joke of some sort, or perhaps they are just trolling.

May 12, 2016 3:01 PM

As a retired Englishman , I have time on my hands to follow the 'Boaty McBoatface' farrago, and the author is on very thin ground indeed if he uses it as an exemplar of 'them versus us'.
The name is very obviously a Scottish conceit and joke. No-one either side of the border ever really imagined a decent sized ship would be given that name-we English in particular would have disapproved. Social media did not hum with anger when the name was given instead to the vessel's submarine, and the ship was named instead after the universally revered St. David.
There are plenty of real examples this side of the pond of the Establishment running roughshod over the wishes of the public, but this is most certainly not one of them.

May 20, 2016 5:31 PM

Quite so, Anthony.

When hoi polloi resort to such foolishness, they deserve to have their wishes ignored by people who have made more profitable stewardship of their God-given brains.

I'm reminded of what happened to Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown as "proof" that unwashed black males are in constant danger of being shot on sight by someone from an eerily revived Ku Klux Klan, this time with no need to cloak their evil by wearing hoods.

May 20, 2016 6:55 PM
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