(First, please say a prayer for him and his wife, Roberta – she suffered a stroke a little while back, and is working through regaining ability to speak. They’re good people.)
Dr. Pournelle is about as knowledgeable about how things really work in politics and diplomacy as anybody, so I tend to take him quite seriously. His November 7th thoughts:
I won’t venture a prediction. I will repeat, Trump makes me nervous; Hillary makes this old Cold Warrior terrified that she’ll blunder us into a war with Russia.
He goes on into areas in which I have no intelligence, but certainly seems of high interest (we have kids who would be of an age to be drafted, if it came to that):
Trump understands Putin much better than either Clinton does. Mr. Clinton let Ms. Albright get us into the anti-Slav position in the Balkans, where there are no obvious good guys, but the Russians have always been pro-Slavic; things have soured since then. We cannot dictate policy in Iraq and Syria, and neither Obama nor either Clinton seems to understand that the Russians take encirclement by NATO very seriously; if we really mean to act as a superpower, the only First World Nation, we need superpower capability; and we not only don’t have that now, we are losing what superiority we have in favor of more entitlements and crony services. I was an aggressive Cold Warrior, but I understood the limits; I do not think the Clintons do, as Obama certainly does not.
Finally, the bottom line, at the bottom and everything:
The nation could tolerate four years of Mrs. Clinton – indistinguishable from a third Obama turn – but I do not think we would enjoy it. I do not think we could tolerate another Hot War, especially one where we have no vital interest but survival.
I worry that we could not tolerate it even without the war, that the long-term repercussions might be so anti-democratic that we, like the subjects under the Chicago Machine, will not be allowed to vote ourselves free. Balancing that worry is the knowledge of how hard it is to maintain unity among power-hungry maniacs – the gullible rubes and useful idiots and envious children can be made to march wherever, but at some point, there will be too many chiefs, too many cooks.
Like the late stage Soviet Union, an exterior strength may mask an interior fragility – perhaps what we’re seeing now are desperate efforts to hold the facade together, because if one piece falls – if, say, Hillary goes down because the cumulative evidence of treason gets just too overwhelming – chances are everybody else goes down, too. I expect Obama to pardon, preemptively, most of his administration and the DNC on his way out the door. That will be interesting. Some huge % of people will totally agree that it was for the best, to keep the jackals at bay, while some larger (one hopes) % will feel justice was horribly cheated.