Early Morning Thoughts on the Day After
Posted on November 9, 2016 Posted by John Scalzi 320 Comments
Because, like I suspect a great many people, I couldn’t get to sleep tonight.
1. Well, I certainly missed that turn of events, didn’t I? To be fair to myself, pretty much everyone missed it — apparently even Trump’s pollsters thought he was going down in defeat last night — but I’m not responsible for other people, I’m responsible for me, and, well: Missed that one totally. I never thought Trump would win the election. I was wrong. He won it. My being wrong is on me.
Would he have won it with a different opponent? Would he have won it if the Supreme Court hadn’t gutted the Voters Right Act? Would he have won it if a significant number of people hadn’t voted for third party candidates? Or if James Comey hasn’t done his little email stunt in the last couple of weeks? These are interesting questions that don’t change the fact that in this reality, Donald Trump is the president-elect. The woulda, shoulda, coulda of things is irrelevant to that.
2. With that said, it is of note that the polling for this election cycle was essentially disastrously wrong, and — again to be fair — it was pretty much only Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight who warned people that if it was wrong, that the predictions for the race would fail in basically the manner that they did. Silver and his site predicted the outcome incorrectly just like everyone else, but he gets credit for saying “if I’m wrong, this is how that’s going to work” and as far as I can see pretty much nailing that. So, yay, Nate Silver? I would have rather it gone the other way and we all had a post-election laugh at his over-cautiousness. But it didn’t, and once again Silver is the smartest dude in the room, for what it’s worth.
Be that as it may, there is clearly something systematically wrong with how polling is being done. If poll after poll had Clinton leading in states she went on to lose, and often leading by more than a margin of error, then something’s going on. I don’t mean in a conspiratorial, “the polls are being manipulated, man!” sort of way. Again, it’s something systematic in how the polls are conducted and who they are reaching (and probably also something to do with this particular election cycle in itself). How does that get fixed? I’m sure someone will tell us. Maybe Nate Silver.
Much of my confidence about this year’s election was rooted in the polling, which had been reasonably accurate for the last few election cycles (both presidential and congressional), and like I said, while I own my own mis-estimation and being wrong, it’s also a fact that I was wrong along with a whole lot of people, including people for whom polling is their actual job. It’s a discomfiting place to be.
3. It will be no surprise to anyone I’m unhappy with the result of this election. Donald Trump was manifestly the worst presidential candidate in living memory, an ignorant, sex-assaulting vindictive bigot, enamored of strongmen and contemptuous of the law, consorting with white nationalists and hucksters — and now he’s president-elect, which is appalling and very sad for the nation. I don’t see much good coming out of this, either in the immediate or long-term, not in the least because if he does any of the things he promises to do, his impact will be ruinous to the nation. Add to the fact that he’s the GOP candidate, and the GOP now will have the White House, Congress and will appoint the next Supreme Court justice, and, well. There aren’t any grownups in the GOP anymore, and we’re going to find out what that means for all of us.
Here are some of the things it could mean: A conservative Supreme Court for decades, backtracking on climate change, the repeal of Roe v. Wade, curtailment of free speech, loss of medical insurance to millions, tax policy that advantages the wealthy and adds trillions to the national debt, punitive racial policies, the return of torture as a part of the military toolbox, and a president who uses the apparatus of the US to go after his personal enemies. And these are only the things Trump has said he’s ready to do — we don’t know what else he will do when he’s literally the most powerful man on the planet, with a compliant legislature and judiciary.
The GOP conceit is that somehow they will be able to control Trump, which is a theory that’s worked so well up to now. More realistically, I think the best that can be hoped for is that Trump simply becomes apathetic and bored and leaves actual governance to others, i.e., the Dubya maneuver. This didn’t work particularly well then, but it might be marginally better than the alternative. But no matter what, I don’t have much optimism for the next four years.
4. I’m a well-off straight white man, which means of all the segments of the population, the Trump years will likely punish me the least — I may have to adjust my investments so I don’t lose tons of money when the stock market tumbles (or just be willing to ride it out, just like in 2008), but otherwise, in the short-term at least, I’m likely to be fine. I can’t say the same for my friends and loved ones who are women or minorities or LGTBQ or who struggle financially to make ends meet, or some combination of all of those. I wish I could say to them that it’ll be fine and that they’ll be able to ride out the next four (or, God forbid, eight) years, but I can’t. Trump, himself racist and sexist, brought a bunch of racists and sexists and homophobes to the dance, and now he’s obliged to dance with them. Things could get pretty ugly for everyone who isn’t a well-off straight white man. Things are likely to get ugly.
A lot of my friends are scared of Trump’s America, in other words, and they should be. As Maya Angelou once said, when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. Donald Trump has shown us over and over again who he is; the worst of his supporters — the ones who will now feel like they have free rein to indulge their various bigotries — have shown us who they are, too. And while not every Trump voter is among the worst of people, they share the responsibility of having made anyone who isn’t straight, and white, and male, and well-off, less secure, less safe, and more frightened. That’s what they bought for us when they pulled the lever for Trump.
5. And we have to face up to fact that it was white people who brought Trump to us — Trump got the majority of white men and white women who voted. We can parse out why that was (and we can talk about how the minority vote was suppressed), but at the end of the day, the fact remains: Trump will be in power because white people wanted him there.
If Trump’s administration indulges in the racism, sexism and religious and other bigotries that Trump and his people have already promised to engage in, we can assume it’s because his voters are just fine with that racism, sexism and religious and other bigotries — even if they claim to have voted for him for other reasons entirely. After all, Trump didn’t hide these things about himself, or try to sneak these plans in by a side door. They were in full view this entire time. If you vote for a bigot who has bigoted plans, you need to be aware of what that says about you, and your complicity in those plans.
I voted against Trump — voted against him twice, in fact, since I also voted against him in the primary — and I voted against him in no small part because I found his bigotry shameful, and still do. I am proud that he did not get my vote; I’m as proud of that vote as any I’ve offered up. And as an American, I have no plans to take his bigotry lying down. I hope you won’t, either.
6. That said, it might be a little much to ask people to stand and fight today. It was a long night, and a depressing night, for a lot of us. Take a day. Or two. Or a week. Or however much the time you need for yourself to get your head around this thing.
But at the end of that time, I hope you come back to us. Looking at the numbers as they stand right now,
Trump won by just about 300,000 votes Clinton got at least 100,000 more votes than Trump out of about 120 million individual votes cast. There’s a lot of us who will stand with you, when you’re ready to stand again with us. There’s work to be done over the next four years and beyond. We need to get to it.
Low turn-out. The Berners and others who stayed home will not be forgiven.
Voter suppression. Sad that to win the race they had to prevent people from voting.
Sleepless night here as well. Preparing to have conversation with 12 yr old daughter in a few hours.
I agree with you, John. We need to take a breather and then we need to get back to work. As the saying goes, the greatest steel is forged by the fires of hell. I think this might qualify.
Am I the only one who feels like it’s the end of “The empire strikes back”?
We had “A new hope” with Obama, we’re now seeing the backlash.
It helps to think we’ll still have “Return of the Jedi” to look forward to.
Polling has been weird for a while, in the UK at least, both in the last election and brexit the pollsters were seriously out of wack with what happened.
I do wonder if some of the same factors as bexit are in play here as well.
2016 is truly turning into annus horribilis. It’s depressing beyond description.
I have a question for you, John, actually. Given that your profession allows you to be mobile, does this actually make you think about emigrating? If not, can you envisage a scenario where you would seriously consider it?
As always you have hit the nail on the head. I have been out of the country for the last 2 weeks and for the first time in my life will not me returning to my country with a sense of pride and belonging. As a strait white male I can not begin to imagine how this result will make those who are not feel.
There’s almost no way Trump wins the popular vote. It’s already down to 200,000, and Clinton still had lots of votes from the West Coast to be counted. It’s looking, right now, like Clinton will win the popular vote by a larger margin than Gore did. And lose the electoral college by a lot more than Gore did.
I followed your blog last night & found it more truthful than any talking head. I am scared. A single, middle age white woman who is financially strapped. Thanks for, as always, telling it like it is
I’m also not sleeping. I did have a reasonably good night’s sleep after W was re-elected, even though I was depressed about it. I am in despair. I have physical pain in my chest from grief. My husband is not American and we have been seriously contemplating emigrating. Just the pain of the thought of going into exile is….I can’t explain it. I know other people have…and came here. The land of the free. Now I don’t know whose country this is…but I don’t feel like I can breathe free here any longer.
My four-year old listened to my description of the election as “a man who doesn’t like to help people who need it just became president.” She immediately asked what she could do to help. I showed her a magazine from a charity and she asked to give them all of her savings… and her future allowance.
Sometimes it’s the kindness & goodness in the world that has the power to surprise us.
“The GOP conceit is that somehow they will be able to control Trump, which is a theory that’s worked so well up to now. ”
They don’t need to control him in the same way now, though. His outbursts, bigotry, etc. won’t actually de-president him. The only control they need is for him to sign whatever bills they put before him, which I imagine he’ll do if enough tongue-bathing and ass-kissing is involved.
So my guess is that Cruz, Ryan, etc. see him as a much better choice for president than Clinton. And the uncontrollable stuff he does probably won’t affect them too badly, so what’s not to like?
I voted against Trump. Not the first time I voted for the losing side. But this is the first time I’ve really been afraid of what the other side will do. I’m hoping people will dislike it enough to vote during the mid term elections and turn Congress blue. But, meanwhile, I’m close to normal retirement age but not on Social Security yet, my retired military vet husband is in a nursing home on Medicaid … well, by the end of those two years, if they destroy Medicaid / Medicare / social security the way they say they want to, I could be homeless. That scares me personally. And I also am afraid Trump winning will embolden all the bigots out there, including engaging in actual violence instead of just verbally abusing those they are bigoted against.
On the other hand, I suspect a lot of those on the far right felt like their world was going to end when Mr Obama became President. But beware, right wing nuts, eventually the tide turns; the pendulum swings back. You won’t be in control forever, although I’m sure they will try to re write the rules to further disenfranchise those who disagree with them ‘for their own good.’
Yes, I’ve been on the losing side before. But this is the first time I’ve been so depressed, & afraid of what is going to happen to our country, & our future. I keep telling myself we will survive. But …. but …. but …. I still worry.
The pollsters, clearly, got it wrong. They will undergo some deserved soul-searching.
The aggregation sites (538, Upshot, Princeton Election Consortium) are a different story. PEC’s final model gave Trump a 6% chance of winning the election. That’s comparable to missing an extra point in the NFL, snow on Christmas Day in Washington DC or London, or drawing three of a kind in poker.
It’s unusual, but not totally shocking. It doesn’t mean the underlying statistical model is broken. If somebody draws three of a kind, you don’t assume cheating. It’s a normal and expected thing to see occasionally in poker.
As this article explains, from a mathematical point of view Nate Silver’s methods are highly questionable: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/whats-wrong-with-538_us_581ffe18e4b0334571e09e74
Silver basically hacked his model to inject additional uncertainty and hedge his bets. It doesn’t mean the other models are wrong. It does mean he looks more savvy as a fortune-teller, and given that’s what he does for a living, that’s a pretty good outcome for him.
I am despondent. I don’t know what more I could have done.
What hurts the most is to see my fellow white middle-class women turn their backs on other women, not to mention people of color, immigrants, and the LGBT community.
I’m wondering if the percent of people without landlines has finally hit a tipping point in regard to polling. It wouldn’t surprise me if many of Trump’s followers do not have landlines for financial reasons.
I also wonder how many people who were planning on voting for Clinton stayed home because the polls indicated she was going to win with ease.
John come over here to Canada.
And after the initial shock has worn off I have words:
America is going to be in the hands of a man who can be trusted with a Twitter account?
‘Cant’ be trusted”
Regarding the “Dubya maneuver”: I strongly believe that Trump does not care much for actually governing and thus don’t fear his policies. The problem is Pence: a hard-core evangelical regressive. Pence will be the reason the whole thing goes bad.
As we await the White House being turned over by USA’s first black President to one endorsed by the KKK, it’s well to consider that four more years of the GOP haplessly failing to implement the 2013 Autopsy Report recommendations will be a godsend to the Democratic Party, and getting voters fed up with the Trumpublicans’ voter suppression and unprecedented gerrymandering,.and in a mood to end them forever.
A Trump doing the ‘political outsider’ crazy dance is one thing; a Trump screwing up the economy, the military, international relations, and just about everything else is going to be harder to hide. It’s going to be four years of the most inept administration in the nation’s history; one whose brain-trust will be built on the collective neural firing power of Breitbart, Alex Jones, Drudge, and 4chan, the Dems should get ready to take advantage of that.
Oh, and I hope it’s occurred to Obama that he could mass-pardon most of the (overwhelmingly black) voters disenfranchised for life for long-ago past crimes, before he leaves office, and thereby reverse at least that bit of voter-suppression.
I already wanted to help my wife emigrate to me (in Australia) as quickly as possible, but now it’s become imperative. She’s disabled and reliant on medical insurance that Trump intends, most likely, to strip from her, and if that happens, she’ll just flat out die. Meanwhile, the state of our relationship allows her access to my government’s medical insurance and social security from the get-go, and I know that, disabled or not, she’d be an asset to my country.
Which, I guess is the most depressing thing, here: America just elected someone whose very presence pushes out marginalized people who could have done good for them, for fear of their lives. Exclusion becomes the watchword, and I’m not sure the Trump supporters even recognize that people like us could ever meaningfully contribute. They’ll never know what they’re missing.
If you form your opinions of who Clinton and Trump really are, based on information gleaned from the same sources which provided such palpably wrong polling, it may well be worth revising your sources of information, or at least considering broadening them somewhat.
One of the recent disconnects that struck me was that Democratic leaning reporters, unable to understand Trump supporters, asked other _reporters_ about the motivations. How about engaging with the Trump supporters directly to understand their motivations.
I don’t even have a horse in this race….
I think it’s a “compliant legislature” that you have in mind, or possibly a “complaisant” one if that’s how you roll.
I voted for Gary Johnson. The only bad thing that people have to say about him is that he momentarily blanked out on what Aleppo is. Big deal. Doesn’t come close to Clinton’s negligent mishandling of classified behavior (or as Comey put it in the announcement that everyone thinks exonerated her: “extremely careless in handling classified material”) which is enough of a deal breaker in and of itself for someone who is going to be given our nuclear codes. Or Trump’s filter-free way of behaving.
The feeling in China and Russia is that Clinton is more of a hawk than Trump, and would have been more likely to provoke an armed conflict than he would. I agree with that assessment, but we’ll see how it goes.
One thing I can say though: it is inappropriate to the point of being counterproductive to call Trump supporters bigots, racists, that we may now live in a, quote, “failed state and society” (read Krugman today) and so forth.
They’re Americans just like you. They’re just as kind, giving, and tolerant as you are. They want America to be prosperous and free, just like you do – but in different ways. So you do yourselves no favors by painting half of America with the foulest labels you can devise. But if you want to know why the polls skewed so far away from the truth this time around? Because they’re afraid to tell you how they feel. (And because they were consistently oversampling Democrats, as the Podesta emails revealed.)
So I think both sides need to calm down and learn to come together and stop slinging so many harmful words at their own friends, family, and neighbors. It’s been a hateful election, but it needs to stop now.
I read that article. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now. 538’s model is sensible given historical polling errors and the limited dataset. Other obvious warning signs are the author talking in subjective terms about the implausibility of certain maps (which would have been much closer to reality than the models he favored) e.g.
“There is not a remotely plausable map that has Clinton with less than 200 EVs, let alone less than 150 EVs, which occur in at least one percent of 538’s model runs”
Doesn’t seem so speculative now!
Further, the author’s belief that financial/hedge-fund/economic management and predictive skill go hand-in-hand is laughable (hint: they don’t; there is a reason it’s referred to as ‘the dismal science’).
WooHoo Trump Won WooHoo!!!
This election has been deeply troubling, a blight upon the mind of America. I am shocked that someone like Trump could even run, never mind be elected. Watching the election results rolling in was surreal, something out of another dimension. Do I know my fellow Americans so little that I could not see this? Am I that estranged from reality? A terrible failing on my part…
But vilifying him further is likely not going to do much to make things better. I am reminded of wise words:
“Hope is a slighter, tougher thing even than trust… In a good season one trusts life; in a bad season one only hopes. But they are of the same essence: they are the mind’s indispensable relationship with other minds, with the world, and with time. Without trust, a man lives, but not a human life; without hope, he dies. When there is no relationship, where hands do not touch, emotion atrophies in void and intelligence goes sterile and obsessed. Between men the only link left is that of owner to slave, or murderer to victim.” – City of Illusions, Ursula K. Le Guin
I seek hope, and trust again to follow it.
We must hope, we must be vigilant, we much come to trust and know each other better. We must all work together for a better life. That is the way forward.
It’s been a dark night. The sun will rise again.
PEC’s author has apologised for errors in his assumptions. But IMO his basic method was sound. A few weeks ago he discussed how different assumptions would bring his Trump win probability up from 5% to 10% or so. IIRC the Upshot estimated 15%.
5%, 10% and 15% events are not terribly unusual. Don’t bet the farm against them happening. They are not in any way ruled out by the PEC or Upshot models. What those models do effectively rule out is Trump getting 400+ EV, which still looks like a good call to me. Trump appears to have scraped a narrow win in the popular vote and a slightly larger (but far from overwhelming) one in the electoral college, not won in the 400+ EV blowout which Silver computed as plausible.
Silver could have saved himself some effort, flipped a coin a few times, and declared the odds were 50-50. That wouldn’t make him a genius, and it wouldn’t make coin-flipping a sensible way to forecast elections.
I feel like I just lost an old friend to a particularly nasty form of cancer.
One thing I can say though: it is inappropriate to the point of being counterproductive to call Trump supporters bigots, racists [….] They’re Americans just like you. They’re just as kind, giving, and tolerant as you are. They want America to be prosperous and free, just like you do – but in different ways. So you do yourselves no favors by painting half of America with the foulest labels you can devise.
This is certainly true of some Trump voters. However, I personally know a number of Trump supporters (many of them related to me) and you know what? I’ve heard every last one of those people say shockingly bigoted things in my hearing. I’ve heard some of them speak wistfully about the good old days when the high schools in my town were all white, before minority students came in and ruined the schools. I’ve heard some of them talk about the Jewish conspiracy that runs the world. One of them believes that the 19th amendment was a mistake and women shouldn’t have the vote. One of them became a vegetarian in college because he admired Hitler so much that he tried to base his life on his hero. I’ve heard them talk about how they’re fighting to keep individual Muslims out of their social groups (like, say, the card playing group at the local senior center) because all Muslims are evil. I’ve heard them talk about how much they hate hearing people speaking other languages in the local grocery store because it makes them feel like their country doesn’t belong to them anymore.
There are definitely Trump voters who aren’t like that, I’m sure. But not the ones I know. And I have no reason to believe that the people in my family/neighborhood aren’t typical.
“it is inappropriate to the point of being counterproductive to call Trump supporters bigots, racists, that we may now live in a, quote, “failed state and society” (read Krugman today) and so forth.
They’re Americans just like you. ”
Some of Trump’s supporters ARE bigots and racists. The white supremacist community is massively behind Trump. Yes, they’re Americans; Americans can be bigots and racists.
And I don’t think it’s counterproductive at all. Just smiling politely at this crap and going ‘they’re Americans.’ doesn’t help. People need to see that being openly racist still gets you criticized. Even if it didn’t stop Trump.
Very little sleep myself. Watched the results come in with a small group of very distressed progressive folk here in north Texas and then finally had to crawl back home just before Wisconsin and Pennsylvania went down the tubes. A lot of people stunned beyond belief.
We have essentially two months and change to figure out how to salvage something from this wreckage, and how to make our stand against what promises to be the most disastrous presidency in our history. At the moment, though, I can’t muster much coherency.
There is every prospect that this country is about to go through a time of serious testing. If you pray, pray; then we need to dig in and work.
All I can say it will be grimly amusing to watch the reactions of the grouchy old white people who have been voting to repeal the Sixties for years when the GOP instigates its repeal of the New Deal.
It will be amusing to watch the grousing when all the policemen and firefighters who voted Trump find their unions gutted.
It will be amusing to watch the nice suburban women who couldn’t bear to vote for Clinton (which I’ll admit to be the hardest thing to understand) find themselves reduced to being nothing more than sex objects again.
It will be amusing to watch the young men who think that a Trump presidency will give them the right to be macho just means that they get to die in the conflicts that Trump’s miscalculations brings on.
One has to get your pleasure where you can.
And oh yeah, and I’ll swear the loyalty oath; internal immigration begins now.
Oh well. At least you’re very pleasant and upstanding neighbours will be happy that their choice to endorse all that bigotry and racism and rape has been validated. Make sure to congratulate them on a job well done when you go over for the rich, white folks neighbourhood barbecue.
The word that comes to mind is Schadenfreude
Having said that, the world won’t end. Now to see if people who said they would leave country will do so. I bet not
Wow. It’s looking like Clinton actually pulled more popular votes than Trump. But at this point, what difference does it make?
And Nate Silver certainly did have more than an inkling that the polls were off, way off, this cycle.
The voting analysis shows that the poorest Americans voted for Clinton; as household incomes increased, so did the numbers of votes cast for Trump. No doubt those voters congratulating themselves for their moral purity in voting Green/Libertarian will be tuning out that inconvenient fact…
I think this also shows that Democrats need to put some time and effort into reaching out to those people in rural America, poorer whites, and so on rather than ceding them to the Republicans and dismissing them as all white trash, red necks, etc. Really, these people should be part of the Democratic constituency, but the dems have not made much of an effort to reach out to them and show them how their interests are better served by the Democrat’s plans than by Republicans. A lot of them voted Republican because they believe Trump and the Republicans will make their lives better. Many of us may think that is a fantasy, but I don’t think any one really presented this to this portion of the electorate in any terms at all, much less in understandable terms. (I hope this makes sense.) Instead these people were in many cases dismissed by those on the left as know-nothings, dumber than rocks, etc. Trump developed a narrative that reached out to these people, fed into their fears, offered them a way back to their comfort zones. The Dems didn’t reach out and try to inspire them to be something better; didn’t try to convince them to overcome their fears. Instead they basically were ignored by the Dems, who seem to think that the advantages of the Democratic platform to “working class people” should be self evident. Obviously it wasn’t. Instead of dismissing these Trump supporters as ‘too dumb to live’ as well as saying all Trump supporters are racists and bigots and so on, I think the Dems need to make outreach to this segment of the electorate a priority. Even the ones who ARE racists and bigots can learn better…
Amazing: I don’t know, how many of the folks on the right who said they would leave the US if Mr. Obama became President actually packed their bags and made that trek?
Oh yeah…one more thing…expect a lot of whining from the folks who are hoping for a new White Male Republic who are now told to shut up and defer to their social betters.
No time to do more than scan the comments now – will read deeper later – but wanted to add a pondering. At a casual glance, all the “celebrity endorsements” do not seem to have helped Clinton and in fact may have hurt her. I say this because pretty often the personal lives and choices of actors, musicians, etc. are a very public mess and, though their money may support campaigns, the average Jane or Joe has little in common with the glamour and the hype of people who appear in tabloids and on magazine covers. It may have distanced Clinton from some voters, which I’m sure was no one’s intent. I think this would be an interesting perspective for some sociology student to study and do a paper on.
I got no sleep. I was to afraid.
One of my friends is genderless and another is a female Jew. They’re both about 3rd place on the fascists’ lynch list. I can’t even comprehend how bad the next 4 years are going to be, but I can assume at the minimum a major economic crash and race riots.
well. goodbye America the superpower. Hello America, the corrupt oppressive bigoted asshole state. Like Russia 2.0.
I’m going to go to class and try to forget that this happened.
Generally, poor = HRC, Rich = Trump
2020. The Hindsight Election.
The question before us now is simple. How far will President Trump go? Based on his history, I think the only logical answer is “As far as he can get away with.” What happens next then, should seem eerily familiar. First he will consolidate his power base. Giuliani, Christie, Rove, Gingrich, they’ll all have a seat at the table,
Next, he goes after his enemies. Ryan will be shuffled off in a hurry, as will anyone else who tried to distance themselves from his campaign. I would almost feel sorry for Cruz, but I can’t muster up the compassion necessary.
But the big question, the real terrifying one, is what happens after that?
The red flag to watch for is a creation of a new police force. Something to “Deal with all that horrible Inner-City Crime, and Keep our Nation safe from Terrorists and Illegals”, that’ll be how he sells it. But if/when that happens, call it by it’s real name.
Once the Reichstag burns…and it -will-, his policies will see to it….it’s game over.
I hope I’m wrong. I pray I am. I fear I’m not.
[Deleted for not adding anything useful to the conversation. Please note, others, that gloating will be summarily removed — JS]
My first thought upon waking up this morning and hearing the news: Veteran’s Day is later this week, and I’ve never felt more ashamed to have fought for this country in my life.
Up 26 hours; still feels like a nightmare.
Right, John. Feel sad and then get back up and go back to work.
I voted as a Republican in the primary (for John Kasich) even though I have been a registered Democrat since turning 18. I voted for her yesterday. We have survived so much as a nation. We MUST survive this. Somehow.
Well, at least Comey called it right.
According to my Fitbit I got almost 3 hours of sleep last night so I guess I’m doing better than some others. I know it looks bleak this morning but our job going forward is to push as hard as we can to ensure that the worst doesn’t happen – don’t stay silent even if its not you personally on the line. On a slightly more upbeat note, it always helps to remember the Adam Smith quotation. “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” We can survive this but it will take work.
On #2, I believe the polls were wrong because the aggressive threats of the far left to destroy key elements of rural society (let’s be specific: guns) made a lot of people so angry that they simply shut down. They didn’t pick up the phone, they didn’t answer polls and that skewed things significantly. This was exacerbated by the insults delivered to normal Americans in the heartland who aren’t stupid, ignorant, racist or “deplorable” but normal everyday people. You start insulting people, they’re going to lash back.
The Obamacare premium increases that had been building for several years also came home to roost at a really bad time for Hillary or good time for Donald. This was a relatively late-breaking event and was still percolating through on election day.
Finally, although I disagree with a number of positions you have taken over the years, I respect the calm and measured approach you take, Mr. S. and strongly support your last point: everyone take a breath. Talking about “fighting” your friends and neighbors is a bad path to travel.
If people want to change, moderate or shift their positions over the next four years (or 2 for the mid-terms) then I, for one, will remain willing to discuss them at that time. I think a lot of your friends and neighbors would also appreciate a less insulting, less derogatory dialogue.
Had a funny thing happen this morning: woke up, opened my laptop, saw the headline “Trump Wins”, felt a cold lump in my guts, and then woke up for real. Consoled myself that it had been just a nightmare, opened my laptop, and … this time it wasn’t a dream.
I don’t know. Still in shock. Now I think I can understand that line out of Firefly: “It may have been the losing side, but I’m still not convinced it was the wrong one.”
I would really like to hear you “talk about how the minority vote was suppressed”. I have not heard of any vote suppression but I have heard and have seen a lot about Trump votes changing to Clinton.
Depressed doesn’t cover it. I’ve got two queer daughters I now live in greater fear for. I’ve never been more ashamed of our country. Hatred and bigotry and bile won out. What is wrong with this country? At what point did people start fleeing Germany? When should we?
The first move by Trump will be to pack the SCourt. Next move, remove term limits then extend terms for Senators, Representarives, and Presidency. After that voting disenfranchisement laws. Then polling tests.
Instant fascist empire. During all this purging of internal ‘enemies’ and tighter controls on the press. Fringe organizations will be used as enforcers until public outcry calls for an organized police state. Why do I say this? I’m a historian. It’s all on repeat.
Could I take a flying guess, and assume you’re NOT like any of the Americans the President-Elect compared to rapists and ghetto-dwellers who can’t walk down the street without being shot?
Can I assume you’re NOT one of the Central Park Five whose guilt the President-Elect is sure of despite all evidence to the contary?
Can I assume you’re NOT one of the Black Lives Matters activists the President-Elect considers “thugs” and “disgusting” for engaging in peaceful protests.
Can I assume you’re NOT a woman who, according to the President-Elect, should be “punished” for the abortion that may well have saved her life?
Can I assume you’re NOT a victim of sexual assault who has been sent a pretty clear message that the President-Elect doesn’t give a rat’s arse about touching women without their consent, so don’t hold your breath hoping anyone in his administration will either?
Can I assume you’re NOT one of the LGBT+ people the Vice President-Elect is on the record opining should be tortured with taxpayer-funded “conversion therapy,” fired at will because of “religious freedom” and arrested if they use the “wrong” public bathroom?
Can I assume you’re NOT a journalist the President Elect “joked” about having beaten up — or murdered — for daring to write something he didn’t like?
And I know you’re not the opponent he “joked” about having imprisoned, like some tinpot despot.
If you’ve answered yes to any or all the above question, you can also assume I’m really in no mood to be lectured on calling bigots and the people who vote for them exactly what they are.
Once the Trump voters realize that a very heavily armed demographic with lots of combat training and experience is about to discover that the old Libertarian idea of “Freedom is the choice between working and starving” is being implemented via the Ryan Plan, and there aren’t any new jobs coming, they are going to be very unhappy with their choices.
Few of things that have occurred to me that go some way to explaining:
Firstly people do not like admitting to an actual person they don’t know (eg a pollster) that they’re a bit racist but in the privacy of a polling booth who is going to know?
Bloody hell were a lot of Clinton supporters smug, self satisfied gits or was that just my imagination? People don’t like being sneered at or patronised, particularly when they are suffering a bit of status anxiety (did nobody pay attention to the “Brexit” referendum?). Trump offers them a way to make them feel better by openly sending non white, non straights to the bottom of society again.
The amazing hypocrisy of so called Christians.
Given a choice between two pretty rubbish options people will often decide to try the option that they think is different.
The Primary system as currently operated manifestly fails to select the best candidates far too often and I suspect deters people who might otherwise consider running because they know they will have to spend a year or so slagging off (and being slagged off by) the very people they need as allies even before they face the actual “enemy”. Not to mention pishing god knows how much money up the wall.
I am scared. I have up until now had a very broad spectrum of people in my family and friends. I have yet tho hear from a single person in the middle to right part of the spectrum that it will be ok, that they will respect the rights of women and minorities, that the worst was hyperbole.
“They’re Americans just like you. They’re just as kind, giving, and tolerant as you are. They want America to be prosperous and free, just like you do – but in different ways. ”
I’m not feeling particularly charitable towards anyone wishing to call themselves kind, giving, and tolerant while simultaneously voting for a xenophobic racist, sexist nationalist who displays a stunning lack of interest in informing himself about international politics and supports policies that effectively shred parts of the constitution.
No. Today I will not look favorably upon fellow Americans who decided their anger or misogyny was far more important than protecting the citizens of this nation from the very real harm Trump’s policies and rhetoric will cause. (And in the case of rhetoric, have already caused.)
Continuing to claim to be kind and tolerant of others after such an ugly vote is denial.
continuing dialogue and criticism of such an action and the ramifications on people of marginalized groups – people who are Americana as well – has become even more critical. Otherwise we run the risk as a society of repeating the still recent past – sacrificing the safety and rights of marginalized groups to placate our own feelings of fear and insecurity, with an end result of reaffirming white (male) supremacy.
I am pretty sure they are not just as kind and caring as the other people I know, because the other people I know are generally opposed to sexual assault.
Throughout this whole cycle I’ve desperately hoped my perspective was wrong, that my experience as a 51 year old white Southern male didn’t represent the majority of the country. On one of your posts during the primaries when you said that Trump wouldn’t win the nomination, I commented something to the effect that it seemed more likely than not to me. After he secured it, on an early post when you said he wouldn’t be president, I commented that I was deeply concerned that many whites would hide their real views from pollsters because racism and sexism were still somewhat socially unacceptable, but would still vote Trump. (Perhaps that careful parsing of words and management of your public face is a more white, Southern thing, but I sensed it in the air around me.) I’m horrified at the results, but not surprised at all. White America remains deeply racist and sexist. Very little has changed. Hate and fear win out more often than not. People seem to forget or gloss over that stark truth about human nature. Although not precisely on point, I’m still reminded of something Orwell wrote in “All Art Is Propaganda.”
“In a Society in which there is no law, and in theory no compulsion, the only arbiter of behaviour is public opinion. But public opinion, because of the tremendous urge to conformity in gregarious animals, is less tolerant than any system of law. When human beings are governed by “thou shalt not,” the individual can practise a certain amount of eccentricity: when they are supposedly governed by “love” or “reason,” he is under continuous pressure to make him behave and think in exactly the same way as everyone else.”
The following quote is much more on point. Trump is power in a form white America understands. He is what we worship. I think the election results make that fact impossible to deny any longer.
“People worship power in the form in which they are able to understand it. A twelve-year-old boy worships Jack Dempsey. An adolescent in a Glasgow slum worships Al Capone. An aspiring pupil at a business college worships Lord Nuffield. A New Statesman reader worships Stalin. There is a difference in intellectual maturity, but none in moral outlook.”
People who say, “Bernie holdouts” or “third party” or even, “voter suppression” are ignoring some things. One is that the Democrats nominated a deeply unpopular person as their candidate. The unpopularity was undeserved, and she was imminently qualified to be President, but you can’t ignore that she carried baggage we all knew about.
Secondly, the notion that “the Republican Party is done because of demographics” is pretending that the future of the country’s demographics exist now. When white men vote as a block, particularly non-college educated white men, they’re the single biggest voting group. They voted together. That’s partly because the Democrats ignored them in their campaign, partly because they too see the future demographics and loss of power.
Now we hope that Trump will govern like those on the right feared he would, as a closet liberal. We know he’ll take care of his own first, so regulatory changes are coming that will help real estate scammers and bankruptcy artists like him. Hope some sane members of the Republican Party, and there are some in congress, will check the worst excesses of their party. Acknowledge the Republicans kicked the Democrats asses when they moved to take state houses, and work there. Work on 2018 mid-terms. Keep your own scruples.
I suspect the real failure in polling was that a lot of Trump voters didn’t report their true plans to pollsters. When the media coverage for your candidate is full of stories about how horrible a person he is, you tend to call yourself “undecided” even if you weren’t.
That and anyone who switched away from the Libertarians would go Republican rather than Democrat, so Johnson’s declines in the polls were absorbed by Trump, not Clinton.
I woke up this morning still tearful. Where is my country? Where is the place where women, minorities, and those of different faiths are seen as human beings with full rights and protections?
Too hurt and sad to go on, besides, I, like all the disenfranchised, have to put on a brave face today despite the resounding call that I don’t matter.
Crap crap crap.
I was hoping for the same thing as in 2008. That the polls were nearly tied, and since they’re biased toward people who still have a land-line and answer then phone when they don’t recognise the caller ID, the polling bias was toward Trump voters, so since Clinton was leading in the polls even by a bit, I figured we were good.
I’m absolutely furious with everyone (news media and others) who assumed a Clinton victory and projected that. I kept telling them it’s not over until Tuesday night.
And now I’m feeling sick and shaking. It’s like someone very close to me died unexpectedly in a car wreck or some such. I’m racked with anger and grief. And I’m discovering (with a couple of surprises) which side of this election some of my relatives are on. Oy.
The problem with polls are that you almost never know really what the input filters are, and thus what the biases are. You’ll get different results if you call at 9am vs. 1pm vs. 4pm vs. 6pm vs. whatever. Very slight differences in wording of the initial greeting or the questions might make the difference between one response or the other (or being hung up on). Maybe the skew from polls to votes is because Clinton supporters were more likely to pick up the phone and say how they were voting, but Trump supporters were more likely to hang up (and therefore not be counted on that survey)?
According the FiveThirtyEight there’s a group of states who are working on an agreement that would effectively short-circuit the electoral college. I think that would be a great outcome. It wouldn’t eliminate the xenophobia and hate that drove this election, but it would help eliminate this stupid pantomime of candidates jetting around to “battleground states” at the last minute.
What angers me most of all is the stupid short-term memory of the voting populace. If the election was right after any of the debates, Trump would have been squashed.
Sorry to vent. As a society we have so goddamn much work to do. I’m sick and frustrated and angry.
Thanks for all the notes of calm, John. Take care of you and yours, everyone.
I agree that complaining about the fact that we now have Trump is an exercise in futility. As much as I want to stand up and shout I told you so to the Democratic party about how horrible of a candidate HRC is, and how their stacking the deck for her has hurt us. It will change nothing. It won’t even make me feel better, help identify the problems, or most importantly help us fight Trump.
And we must fight the small handed orange monster. He terrifies me, and I am also a well off Christian white male. He exemplifies everything I teach my children against. They and I have friends and family who he and his ilk will target. I find it sadly fitting that he is elected on the anniversary of Kristallnacht or “the Night of Broken Glass”. I am at a loss of how to explain to my children that someone filled with so much hate is now a role model to the world as our commander in chief.
Not only is he filled with hate, but he has failed at running almost every business he has tried. He has gone bankrupt 6 times, and thinks that is acceptable for the US govt as well. He will gut environmental protections, back out of the Paris Accord, and cancel on the Iranian Nuclear deal. I am not even sure how to try to start trying to negate the damage he will cause.
I think it is important to fight. But I also think it is important to look at how we got here and how to keep it from happening again. If that is not part of the fight, then this will just happen again. Part of the fight should be pushing for more open and fair elections, trying to end the two party system, getting money out of politics, and most importantly getting politicians to be beholden to the people again.
I strongly feel part of Trumps allure was the hatred in America for politics as usual. You could not have any more embodiment of that than Clinton. I know people who thought Trump was evil incarnate but voted for him anyway simple because they felt the system was broken. We need to fix that system so people come back productively rather than destructively.
Right now I sit terrified and feeling lost. But I am also hoping we can all pull together and use this crises to help push us in a better direction going forward. I feel one should never to let a perfectly good crises go to waste, and it should be obvious at this point that is exactly what I think we are in. To that end I think everyone, both those who thought this was sewn up and those who thought she was going to lose, need to do a good examination of everything that went wrong. That way we can create a plan to more forward together. And that was one thing HRC got right, we are stronger together. And we need all of that strength right now.
To quote Douglas Adams: “Don’t Panic!”
Your next president isn’t Hitler or Mussolini, not even a Salazar. (I am German, I know what I am talking about). Trump is a douche, a loud mouth and above everything else: Trump is a con man. No con man ever delivered what he promised. Ever.
If you want to know what the next four years are going to be like, then take a look at Trumps track record. Look at what he promised and what he delivered. Look at Trump University, Trump Casino, Trump Steak and all the other nonsense.
He is Rob Ford and Boris Johnson and the Monorail-Guy from the Simpsons. Not more.
Breathe. Take a nap. And start counting down the next 1424 days.
Well, that was not the result I was hoping for. Thanks John for your analysis and thoughts on this election. You helped this moderate Republican* feel comfortable in voting for Hillary. I am legitimately concerned about what a Trump presidency will bring. I have family who voted differently than I did, and they are good people who don’t agree with Trump, and find him deplorable, but they have been so brainwashed in the last 30 years to distrust and hate a Clinton. Yes, she had her problems, and there are questions about corruption, and her emails, but she was competent. I don’t think she would have been an amazing president, but she would have been, at least competent and better than average. I’m a youngish straight white male, but I’m not rich. I’m solidly middle class, I have a white collar job and my wife works, and we make enough and a little extra to invest and save. My healthcare is covered by my work. That said, I am fearful for my friends and family who are not like me. My sister is blind, and another has chronic illnesses. Their health insurance is paid for by the ACA, and I’m happy about that. I don’t want them to lose it. I am part of a religious minority, not one targeted by Trump, but an attack on any minority, be it religious, ethnic, whatever, is an attack on all minorities. My own religious and family history has been one of persecution, state sponsored violence, and forced migration in the United States.
* I don’t know if I can call myself a Republican anymore,nor am I a Democrat as there are too many parts of that platform I am morally opposed to.
Bryan above hits it dead on the head. I’ve been saying things like this since last year when it looked like Clinton was going to be the Dem candidate.
“People who say, “Bernie holdouts” or “third party” or even, “voter suppression” are ignoring some things. One is that the Democrats nominated a deeply unpopular person as their candidate. The unpopularity was undeserved, and she was imminently qualified to be President, but you can’t ignore that she carried baggage we all knew about.”
The frustrating thing is the Democratic Party must have known that. I guess they nominated her because the Clinton’s had enough pull to put her in the top job? With any luck they’ll realize that, and nominate someone with less undeserved baggage next time. I presume they won’t nominate her again; she’ll be pretty old by then, and VERY old at the end of a possible second term.
And I agree with Craig Michael Ranapia in his comment above. Nothing is ever served by failing to name hatred and bigotry for what it is. As an older, reasonably well-off white male, like John I’m somewhat insulated from the fallout. I’m not in any of the groups Trump and his followers will directly target. Assuming Trump doesn’t actually launch nukes or doesn’t manage to make himself President for Life (which I wish I could be certain was a joke) there’s a good chance I’ll escape relatively unscathed. Even climate change is unlikely to have its worst impact before I’m dead.
The same cannot be said for my children and grandchildren. It’s not true for many of my friends and loved ones. I’ll do what I can to help, of course, but I’m not sure how much one middle-aged, white man can do. There really are no limits to the depths hate and fear can plumb. And our country has a long, deadly history of white terrorism. Make no mistake about the direction in which we are turning.
My wife and I just went to see Cabaret a week ago. Rarely has something seemed so prescient.
God I hope you’re right. I will cling to your message as one of the cornerstones of my desperate hope that it will be Ok. Thank you.
Right now, I’m hoping for the Jesse Ventura Effect, where a showman who was elected by the force of his personality soon found out he couldn’t *govern* by the force of his personality and flounced out after one term. That might be the best we can hope for.
I just really hope that someone is going to all of the women he has abused and have gone public with that abuse with safe sanctuary. Because the one thing I do believe he will do competently is go after them again and again using the power of his office until he destroys them for telling the truth.
When you say you voted “against” him, did you in fact vote HRC? If not you are part of the reason he’s President.
kevinmriley @ 8:08am — Here’s one way:
“Southern states have closed down at least 868 polling places for the 2016 election.”
So IIRC, white rural people were Democrats for economic reasons, largely, until Lyndon Johnson oversees civil rights institutions like affirmative action and continued integration. They abandon the party because they realize they’re going to not have all the economic and social power anymore … which means over the decades they and their offspring who choose to follow are slowly turned to the anti-union, anti-social safety net, anti-antitrust POV the GOP fosters. Instead of blaming those dangling the “anti” carrot – including anti-social progressive – for their resulting stagnant wages and job losses, they choose to eye the Democratic Party’s rising beneficiaries and participants (mnorities, women, other poor people with even less social clout than poor whites and still not doing better economically) as their collective devil.
And so after a few hundred years of white men in charge and a few decades of losing some social capital to groups of people white folks had historically built their collective wealth on with cheap or free labor – just because we thumbed our noses at white men out of the ability to actually finally be able to DO so, and called out their willful lack of education (I don’t mean college degrees; I mean basic public school education we all had access to, white boys more readily than others) and bigotry – POC, women, LGBTQ people and others already still disadvantaged by and large economically and socially, have to kiss white folks’s asses (mostly men’s) to hold on to basic rights and freedoms?
“You made fun of us!” is what I’m hearing. “You better say you’re sorry! And give us back our lordship! Don’t be uppity and nasty!” That is what it sounds like.
Yeah … those of you lamenting the poor rural whites not getting listened to: I grew up a poor rural white girl. I lived in rural white America for much of my adult life. From my vantage point, rural white men never had to give up a blasted advantageous thing out of their own lives as things became socially and somewhat economically better for women and POC and gay and trans folks. They just had to watch and fume while their skewed version of Jesus was offended (by things real Jesus was stated not to have cared about, oddly). Statistically, the great mass of us are all economically poor, white and otherwise – so it’s not like they could be jealous of our riches. But hey, we made fun of ignorant and outdated attitudes and beliefs that historically were used to keep our types down for hundreds or thousands of years. Our bad.
So, what now? Well, if rural white men want to talk about how they’re maligned and beaten down and disadvantaged, I’ll listen and talk. But I’m not giving back any of my social capital and I’m not kissing ass, and they still need to be reasonable. Time will tell if that’s a fairytale.
I think you’re making the mistake of assuming every successful dictator was somehow some sort of savant or evil genius. And that’s simply not true. For the most part, they were simply able to read the mood of the populace and manipulate it to achieve their goals. And most of them were discounted until it was too late to stop them. Are we past the stopping point with Trump now? That’s really the question, and I don’t know the answer. Hopefully not. Unfortunately, only history will be able to judge if he’s another Hitler or Mussolini based on what he actually manages to do. And the problem with such judgments is that they come too late to help those who suffer under despotic rule.
Well, I guess that’s it for the sole remaining superpower. America might survive – I can’t imagine Trump having a good midterm election – but America’s soft power is all but finished. The US no longer looks inevitable, and most of the free world will for sure not acknowledge it as their leader. Russia will have a free hand in Europe as a result, and China’s going to have a free hand in Asia. It was already looking like the Asian Century; America definitely won’t be a part of that now.
One of the things I heard a lot about during this election is about how there’s lots of “good people” out there. That’s never really been true, unless not killing and eating your family is the bar you have to clear. Most people aren’t good, or bad. They haven’t really thought about morality much and how it applies to them. They go with the crowd. Most of the Trump supporters I’ve heard from don’t even live in the same universe. Given that most of the right-wing people I talk to here DO, I’m guessing it’s less of a cultural gulf and more what Maya Angelou said, that I should believe that they genuinely do live in a completely different universe, one where Trump is what they wanted and reality is what they don’t. What’s needed here isn’t understanding of what they want. What’s needed here is an understanding of what influences them, and what’s keeping them from seeing reality. (Exhibit A: Glenn Beck, who never bought that Trump was the Great White Hope and found himself ousted from Republican graces. Suddenly he’s sounding like a normal conservative man.)
On an unrelated note, the modern, professional version of deprogramming suggests firstly introducing the patient to how abusive systems apply pressure to conform.
Finally, as an outsider: the email thing was always fucking stupid and anyone who thought it meant anything needs a big dose of perspective. UK civil servants have left laptops with classified info on trains. This was not a crisis that needed a year to talk through.
I wonder if Peter Thiel is looking at Vice President Mike “Conversion Therapy Works!” and regretting his strong advocacy for Pence’s election.
Oh, I forgot to mention: Robert Gates was the warmonger in Obama’s cabinet. Worth looking up how many wars he encouraged America into at the CIA.
No wiredog. Peter Thiel is a rich, white gay man and none of that applies to him. He’s demonstrated he doesn’t care about anyone but himself, so I don’t expect harm inflicted on children matters a whit to him.
You make a good point. But in there is another minor point of hope.
The thing is, I don’t think Trump is very bright. He’s not very good at reading people, except perhaps in the limited situations like getting them to jump up and cheer. I don’t know that he has any idea how to get people to do what they don’t want to, which is one of the qualities of a leader.
I’m hoping that the really smart people at the GOP are right now meeting, saying “holy shit, what have we done, how do we control him?” and between now and January 20, they’ll have met with Trump and have a reasonable way of going forward that *might* not completely burn the country to the ground. Unfortunately a big part of that will be really nasty legislation packages that will set the country back 40 years or more, but I think that’s preferable to Democrats, Republicans, and Trump getting into a 3-way deadlock on all legislatin and Trump getting so frustrated he starts sending drones after people he doesn’t like.
My eleven year old niece is furious. I was so heartened to see. So many young poc take an interest in the election, though.
But yeah, she’s absolutely furious. Yes, that is the correct word.
Van Jones called it a Whitelash!
You’re absoloutely right, there. Because one thing this doesn’t change is sexism with the idea that if the Democratic Party had just nominated the right man (which would have happened only her cronies hasn’t CHEATED) then it would obvious have worked out differently. And yes, matthew, you’re doing it no matter how passive-aggressively you’re going about it.
You can relitigate the Democratic primary all you like. If you want to actually get involved in the party and/or lobby state legislators for legislation to change the absurdly baroque status quo, I warmly encourage you to do so.
But if you really think it’s a given that Bernie Sanders would have won against Trump’s shit load of ear-splitting dog-whisting racism and economic populism? Well, I think you’re presuming an awful lot not in evidence.
Spam email from the Gap clothing store this morning. Headline: “Since packing everything you own isn’t an option … ” on a selection of coats and clothes billed for “comfortable airplane travel.” HMMMMMMM. Ouch.
I am not sure if I will be alive to see what happens in 4 years. I have a preexisting condition (Crohns disease); I was lucky enough to be in school before the ACA and so covered, but now I’m unemployed post-graduation and I have to take medicine that costs $2500 a month to keep my disease under control, which is only possible due to the ACA medicaid expansion. If I go off it because I can’t afford it (and 2 months paying that will more than bankrupt me), I’ll end up in the hospital having my intestines removed, which I won’t be able to pay for and will wipe out any remaining funds, and then I won’t be able to pay for the post-op care or medicine which will likely result in my death. To preserve my own life, I am now having to look at international positions, which given I can’t get a job to get experience to get a job, is not looking good.
Even here in New England, a lot of people were turned off by Hillary and Obama promising to keep on doing what they’ve done the last eight years, realizing that that might not be a good thing. We’ve seen the beginning of a failure or massive re-do of Obama-Care with the attendant price increases which disproportionately affect lower paid workers , and we’ve watched Hillary fail to answer any and all questions with a direct answer. I was also tired of the press cherry-picking the news for us, and it was wonderful watching them go from “we won” eight years ago to the somber depressed cataclysmic attitudes last night and this morning.
I found it intriguing over the last month as I traveled to a number of “battleground” states on business that there were very few campaign signs for either candidate, but what signs and bumper stickers I did see greatly favored Trump. Hopefully, Trump can make the transition from braggart and billionaire to President, and hopefully the idiot GOP people who turned against him will see that supporting Trump is in America’s best interest.
Yeah, Bernie was an actual Socialist, the GOP would’ve gone after him every way they could. Starting with “Socialists are running Venezuela! Bernie is a Socialist! Bernie will do for America what Socialists are doing for Venezuela!”
The LATimes poll had it right from the beginning. I kept hoping they were wrong.
Pollsters have now missed three elections in a row — the 2015 UK Parliamentary Election, the Brexit Vote, and this.
Nate Silver’s “Well, we at least guessed right on how we could be wrong” is the last thing I want to hear. What I want to hear is “How do we fix this?” and if the answer is “we can’t” then STOP POLLING.
It was such a great week beforehand. Birthday. Cubs finally win. Now it’s ashes. God, we are so deeply fucked here. The New Deal is dead, SSA & ACA will be gone, Roe vs. Wade is getting overturned…there are so many wrong things that are going to happen.
And then it will get worse.
I live in Chicago. You know, his wretched hive of scum and villainy. The city that told him to go away during the campaign. I predict the bad things will happen here first.
Oh, as an aside: Forget legal marijuana, the Feds are going to start enforcing the law. If you’re in the “legal” business, get out now and get out of the country, because you’re guilty as hell under current federal law.
Aside #2: The media that enabled this is going to be destroyed. Not sure if this is a good thing, but this is the guy who remembers every “insult” and he’s going to make them pay.
Gary Johnson was more than the difference in a few battleground states (at least Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida), but then we don’t know if those voters would have gone to Clinton otherwise. Currently it looks like Clinton did win the popular vote.
The clock will soon be ticking to see when Trump commits an impeachable offense.
I guess the best scenario is that not much continues to get done in the years ahead.
I am dumbfounded, angry, and sad. I’m trying to funnel these emotions into something positive. Today I’m going to donate to Planned Parenthood since they will have a huge target on their back for the next four years. I’m also going to donate to RAINN to help counteract a misogynistic president who laughs about and perpetuates sexual assault. Looking for other suggestions for good charities to help the people that will be targeted by this next administration.
Why do you believe a GOP Congress would ever impeach him? He basically has at least 4 years of immunity from prosecution to do whatever he wants to do.
The real problem with polls is that they are only effective so far as the people who read them actually go out and vote. A poll result is not a broadcast from two weeks in the future.
Make no mistake. We’ve elected a rapist to an office where he can pretty much do whatever he wants to women with impunity. He’s immune to prosecution while in office and can pardon himself for any crimes he commits. Please don’t underestimate the breadth and scope of power we invest in the presidency.
Going back through the comments, I see a repeat of stuff I’ve heard after most Presidential elections: doom, gloom, and apocalypse. Happened with Obama’s first election, happened with the Bushes, happened with Clinton, happened with Kennedy and Nixon. Always sucks to be on the losing side (been there many times), but America is America; we survived Nixon, Johnson, Carter and Obama, and we will survive Trump. Despite controlling the House and Senate, there is a lot of inertia against President-elect Trump making any huge inroads to changing things if the GOP maintains its pissant attitude toward him (look at how many of Obama’s campaign promises never reached the light of day); I see that as a much larger problem than Trump himself
Recent elections have all been close to 50-50 in the vote despite some large differences in the Electoral College vote, and Trump soon will find that getting good people on his staff and in his Cabinet, and maintaining this electoral support will be hard without making many compromises and political promises. Hopefully he will approach inauguration day with a patient and considered mind.
I would like to address a couple of the concerns you bring up in your post, and maybe talk a few of you off the ledge.
First, for the LBGT community, Trump is honestly a lot more accepting of you than Clinton ever was. She pandered for your vote, but she was totally against gay marriage until it became a politically damaging position for her. Trump couldn’t care less what your sexual orientation is, and he wants everyone in his tent. Go on over to /r/The_Donald and see how many rainbow flairs there are, it’s a bunch of folks. Also plenty of minorities, immigrants and women. Yeah, yeah, I know Pence is his VP, but, if you think anyone but Donald J. Trump is making the important decisions, you haven’t been paying attention.
The media and the left spent a year and a half trying to convince America that Trump is literally Hitler, but he’s a guy who has hired women and minorities for decades to fill the top positions in his companies and paid them at the same rates as anyone else. Until he became a candidate for president, he was lauded in the African American community for his genuine good works and outreach, including awards from the NAACP. No one called him a racist until he ran for president.
What you need to understand about Donald Trump is that he wants to be THE BEST PRESIDENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. He wants to succeed in making America great. That really is his agenda. He wants to negotiate great deals for Americans with other countries. He wants to make the economy strong (that’s the only way he can succeed, and he wants to succeed more than anything else in the world).
Trump wants his big orange face on the side of a mountain, and he isn’t going to get it there by shitting on half the people in America.
So, lighten up and quit believing the crap you’ve been fed by the political machine of the other side. Donald Trump wants you to come to love him. He wants to win. ALWAYS. Winning the election was just the start. Dividing the country like Obama did won’t win him anything. He’s going to have to bring Americans TOGETHER to get his real agenda done.
Also, we are a lot less likely to get involved in a war with Trump than we were with Clinton. Remember, all the establishment Republicrats were against him too. He really was a third party candidate. I can even see a scenario where he puts Jill Stein in his administration.
I know a lot of you disagree with every comment I make on this blog, but let me assure you, from someone who worked on the Trump campaign, WE WANT TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT FOR EVERYONE! And we don’t want to roll back the advances the country has made in equality and tolerance. That is just not in the game plan. We don’t hate minorities or immigrants or, for god’s sake, women!! We just want our country to be safe, and immigration to be limited to those who go through the system legally. We don’t want a bunch of people flooding in who want to change our country to be less tolerant and less safe, that’s all.
So, relax my liberal friends. Good things are coming our way! We’ve elected a guy who knows how to go along to get along. He gets things done. He builds things and negotiates the best deals in the world for himself and his family. AND WE ARE ALL PART OF HIS FAMILY NOW.
Donald Trump wants to win for America, and he wants you to love him. It may be motivated by self-interest, but that’s ok. Everyone is motivated by self interest. At least with Trump, he doesn’t need to sell influence to foreign interests and wall street to make himself rich, like a certain other candidate I could name.
Anyway, welcome to the biggest show on Earth. Come on in to our big, inclusive tent. All Americans are welcome!
I agree with you John about Nate Silver. He caught crap for his model being so “pro trump”, and his model, while not correct, was the closest by far. And he was also the one warning about the electoral college and the Midwest.
Hey, Billy, you know that asshole who comes to the funeral for a toddler killed by a drunk driver who tries to tell the grieving parents that their deceased child is in “a better place”?
That’s the nicest analogy I have for your post.
@Pat Munson-Siter: Many such voters are never going to be convinced as long as certain tenets are part of the Democratic ticket. I think you’re right that more outreach is necessary…but a large portion of the working class, rural vote are groups like evangelicals, who are never going to OK with things like abortion, LGBT rights and many other items that are part of their platform. I don’t think any amount of outreach is going to convince some voters to side with groups that embrace things their religion specifically tells them is sinful or wrong. I’m certain that many voters went to the polls not for Trump, but for the Supreme Court positions that he’ll have access to and that they’re hoping will overturn Roe v. Wade and other decisions they disagree with. I’m not sure how you get past that.
Thanks Elizabeth Janes. I don’t know all of the specifics, and I voted by mail so it voting locations didn’t really affect me, but I’m definitely against closing polling places (without valid reasons). I do, however, like the idea of limiting the federal reach into voting and I have no problem with requiring voter IDs. It is really easy for just about any American citizen to obtain a valid ID. I don’t see how requiring an ID would suppress anyone’s right to vote.
Billy Quiets post was not bothering me, not encouraging me, but not offending me until:
AND WE ARE ALL PART OF HIS FAMILY NOW.
Is it just me that heard that in some kind of creepy cult/body snatcher pod tone?
And Billy, I guess YOU’RE MY WIFE NOW, DAVE
(google League of Gentlemen if you are creeped out by MY post)
I can’t get past the cruelty, Billy Quiets.
I just can’t get past the cruelty.
I have to go along with Thomas & Storm at Sea – Trump’s MO is to go into business with a group of people, mess things up in the name of feeding his ego, and then accept a hefty payment to go away. Those in control of the purse strings will get cheated and dumped on and enraged, and little guys and people who have no other option will get bankrupted, but hey, business is business and it’s each man for himself. “Let the Buyer Beware” is in full effect.
So I’m going against Scott Morizot – Trump is not a dictator. He’s a conman, a shill and a shady businessman who is in it for his ego and as much money as he can get. “President of the United States” is short hand for “The Most Powerful Person In the World.” (This is either willfully forgetting, or never bothering to learn in the first place about the checks and balances put in place to keep people like Trump from going full dictator.) And what’s not to love about being the “most powerful person” when your ego is all you care about? I fully expect Trump to mess with the political process and politicians because it will feed his ego. (He’s already pissed off a number of Republicans just by being him. Extended, up close, familiarity will breed a lot of contempt.) Because Trump’s Ego will piss off the professional politicians and their egos, I expect they will either pay him off to “siddown and shuddup” or he will be impeached by a bunch of pitchfork wielding Republicans.
No matter what happens… Interesting times.
Billy, I have to admit, I can’t figure out if you’re being intentionally disingenuous or if you actually believe what you’re saying. ‘And we don’t want to roll back the advances the country has made in equality and tolerance.’ doesn’t sound convincing when Trump specifically said he wants to roll back the Supreme Court decisions like Marriage Equality and Roe v. Wade. Your basic message is ‘Do you really think he’d do terrible things? That I’d help a terrible person to do them?’ Yes, I do. I see lots of evidence that Trump does what’s best for Trump and ONLY Trump. And from what I can tell, Trump cares not at all if he is universally loved, despite what you’re implying. The campaign has been entirely about that very fact. The notion that ‘Trump just said that to get elected, he’s really a nice guy and will do great things….somehow’ is not a particularly compelling argument.
“It will be amusing to watch the nice suburban women who couldn’t bear to vote for Clinton (which I’ll admit to be the hardest thing to understand) find themselves reduced to being nothing more than sex objects again.”
Trump will accomplish this how, exactly?
“It will be amusing to watch the young men who think that a Trump presidency will give them the right to be macho just means that they get to die in the conflicts that Trump’s miscalculations brings on.”
Luckily, we won’t find out how many would have died in the war with Russia that Clinton’s no-fly zone over Syria would have started. I predict that no US troops will be sent into any new foreign conflict during Trump’s term, and that in four years the number of US troops fighting overseas will be the smallest it’s been since the Iraq war.
John, I love your books and buy everyone.
I voted for Trump and am overjoyed that he won and that Congress remained in FOR control.
Before you kick me off the thread, let me put my two cents in concerning the election.
I will not pour salt in your wounds. I’ve been where you are the two times Obama won. The nation had always been center right politically. People are tired of government getting into every part of our lives.
The last Democratic president worth a dam was Harry Turman. And he dropped two A bombs on Japan. The world does not respect or fear Obama or Clinton. We need a strong leader. I think now have one. Like I said, I don’t think anyone here will agree with me. Just sit down, take a breath, and don’t overreact.
@Erik V. Olson:
Polling is hard. That’s why polls have a margin of error.
This is nothing new. Obama overperformed his polling by more than 3% in 2012, but few people took much notice because he had been projected to win anyway. Clinton underperformed by a similar amount this time. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/general_election_romney_vs_obama-1171.html
Why? I’m not an expert in the field, but it doesn’t seem to be a lack of money or statistical expertise. To some extent, this is just a hard problem, like weather forecasting. Unexpected storms are not a reason to give up on trying to forecast the weather.
The USA has had bad presidents before, but all of them had a minimum level of competence. They understood the system, both its formal rules and unwritten customs, and mostly worked within its norms. They knew how to serve as an administrator and head of state. Some served better than others, but at least they understood the fundamentals of the job.
Trump doesn’t, and has no interest in learning. It’s not just his bigotry that scares me, but his proud and obstinate ignorance. He makes George W Bush look like FDR.
Now, imagine a few months or years down the line if Trump is feeling bored and frustrated. The Constitution, laws, and recent precedent give him very wide latitude on how to use the armed forces and intelligence services. The damage he could do with this power is almost beyond comprehension.
Except for a federal court IIRC, when Trump was convicted for housing discrimination. There was also the matter of his embracing anti-Obama birtherism. What exactly was this NAACP award, and when was it given?
Trump may very well want to be the bestest president ever. The combination of his bigotry and incompetence means he will fail, and he is likely to do a lot of damage in the process.
Yeah you were wrong, but I’m glad that you posted a lot of positive thinking posts about the election, it got me through hell week. And has inspired me not to loose hope or to give up. So thanks you.
Much of what I hear you saying is what I have been hearing from the media over the past months; about how horrible Trump will be for the country. It is very obvious that the polls and the media have been wrong… I think that it is conceivable that you are wrong about what this means for the country too.
If people say bigoted things, do bigoted things, and vote for a bigoted candidate, they shouldn’t be surprised when people call them bigots. I suppose you can make the argument that voting for a blatant, unapologetic racist and misogynist doesn’t necessarily make someone personally racist and misogynistic, but for practical purposes, the distinction seems pretty irrelevant.
Listen, I’m a millenial woman (I’m 24) and although I *did* vote for Hillary Clinton, I pretty tired of the condescension from older women, presuming that sexism is the only reason young liberals of different stripes dislike her and preferred Sanders. I don’t like that she voted in favor of the war in Iraq, I don’t like *any* of her Latin American foreign relations policies, which proved to be hugely destabilizing not only in the coup in Hondouras but other countries, I don’t like that she used to be anti-gay-marraige and she supported Bill Clinton’s 1994 Crime Bill that ravaged the black community, and while she payed lip service to Black Lives Matter it never seemed like she had an actual plan as to oppose police brutality.
And then in many more issues, she was tepidly positive. She supported $12 minimum wage, not $15. She supported reducing college student debt, not eliminating it. She supported tweaking the ACA, not instituting single-payer (which is vital for the 29mil Americans who are now not only unable to afford insurance but also are being charged fines for being too poor to afford insurance).
Like, forget the emails and the “scandals” and the bs. I disliked her —intensely– because she does not care, sincerely, about people who are unlike her– black people, indebted college students, Latinos with relatives still in Hondouras, the Phillipenes, and Venezuala suffering under chaos, gay people before 2008.
And, yes, OBVIOUSLY Trump is worse. Trump is horrifying, I’m horrified. But actually, it is legit to be a little pissed off at the Democrats too. They got behind the wrong candidate. You’re right, nobody can know for sure if Sanders would’ve been elected, or is Clinton would’ve won if she’d gotten Elizabeth Warren on her ticket instead of Boring McBoringdude. But I CAN say for sure, and have been saying it since the primaries, that Clinton’s nomination is proof that the Democratic party may never be truly progressive or support progressive interests, and lecturing from older women makes me want to tune out, not sign up.
It’s done and we hopefully will survive (I have my doubts).
But, I would like to ask everyone to consider sending this request to President Obama:
In your final days as President I would like to ask two things:
1. Issue a blanket pardon of Hillary Clinton. I know she has done nothing that warrants prosecution, but that will not stop a vindictive Donald Trump from attempting to extract vengeance. Please pardon her so she is not subjected to more turmoil in her life.
2. Fire James Comey. Please do so immediately. He used his office to impact the outcome of the election and that should not be tolerated. Please fire him immediately. If Trump wants him back he can re-appoint him, but I think you should have security escort him from the building.
Don’t mourn. Organize.
I’m not so much scared as I am pissed off, frankly.
When I went to bed, it was clear that DT was going to take it. I managed to sleep, though not well and not long, thanks to a nonfiction book I had going that took my brain out of real life just enough to let me calm down.
First thing I did this morning was check my 401(k) balance. It is down $5000 which may just be normal market movement. I’ll check it again tomorrow and if it is down further, I’m converting to cash for the duration. I’m 51 and can’t afford a 20% loss like what happened in 2007.
The only remotely good thing about the national election results is that now the GOP has literally no excuse for being do-nothings. If they actually get to work, we will see whether they intend to serve the country at all. And if they turn around and start dismantling the progressive measures that truly do make America great, I hope people will recognize that for next time, and govern themselves accordingly.
I was so excited to think we would have a woman president in my lifetime. Don’t see how that can happen now. :-(
So it turns out the death spasm of the GOP isn’t a one act play, it’s going to be a full-length, blood and guts horror show. Just remember America, you asked for this. I do think (hope?) in the long run this presidency will be frightening enough that the GOP will take a different tack in the future, or that more moderates will desert them. It’s not the apocalypse, but it certainly won’t be a pleasant decade ahead.This may be the death spasm of the dinosaurs but they still have a good shot at knocking out a few walls with their flailing.
This is something I posted elsewhere but it reflects my opinion
Youv’e been here before, some music
Now stop panicing and start fighting back=do a Tea party on the Democratic party and take over from inside then build an alternative. Fight every election-even the Assistant dog catchers assistant if its elected, show that democrats can run things. The way to win is to play a long game and ORGANIZE .
Fight every Republican action through the courts-you might not win but will get publicity and slow things down. Both you and we in the UK have a press problem, how do we fight this?
Find a candidate for 2020 very soon, if possible avoid the primary farce-the electorate will thank you.
Do not wait, fight.
oops sorry for the embedded video my fault
My biggest concern is that many of his handlers are from the ALT-Right. With a very right wing GOP controlling both houses, this could be very, very bad. I hope our democracy can survive it.
again: Don’t look at what Trump says and promises, look at what he deliveres.
About the possibility of turning a democracy into some kind of dictorship:
Short answer – I recommend Robert Paxton “Anatomy of Facism”, it gives you a good measure about how and why Germany and Italy (and other facist countries) turned out the way they did.
Long answer – You need a really broken system (e.g. the Weimar Republic never had a goverment that lastet more than 18 month, there was no real supreme curt and the president could dissolve parliament with very little reason). You need the country’s elites, because no man rules alone, (the political class in Germany and Italy worked together with the facists in fear of a communist revolt). You need the absolute control over your pary and absolute loyalty on all levels (something that Mussolini never archieved). You must be able to turn your party into state in the state. Even when you get all of that, then there is no guaranty that you can keep the power.
It sickens me to think of that man as Commander-In-Chief. I cannot imagine a decent American would serve under him.
I am going to have to place the blame on the insurance companies. They flexed the muscle memory of when they ruled America and it created a reverberation. Then fate chuckled and tossed in a few wild cards.
It really started when they (the insurance companies) manipulated the GOP into drawing the teeth from the Affordable Care Act. They have manipulated it ever since. About a year ago they started the rumble by pulling out of the plan.Those who remained then hiked the shit out of prices.
That scared those who have been disenfranchised enough to not vote since 1956 to vote in mass. Those are the rural people such as farmers and former factory workers.
We have to do more than despair. We need to make sure our Congressmen and Senators don’t let Trump’s supporters get out of hand. I don’t think our big problem will Trump as POTUS. It will be the radicals from the fringes of both campaigns that create the biggest problems.
After Brexit I was remembering the newspaper articles about the unaddressed and devastating poverty in many parts of Britain, and how those people had been ignored for years. Last night I was remembering articles that spoke of a ~35% unemployment rate among non-college-educated white men that was largely ignored while we celebrated an overall low unemployment rate. I wonder if we are feeling the pain of trying to progress without bringing everyone along. I do not mean to excuse racism and misogyny, but I wonder if we had addressed those real economic concerns, if we would have found Trump to be so popular among that group.
I sincerely feel betrayed today
For all their tolk about resisiting Trump, too many Berniebots refused to do the right thing. They stayed home instead of fighting the racist guy
Basically some upper class college whites decided that it was Sanders or nothing, and we end up with the misogynist in chief. Sad day for us
So…. How many of you would have been happy with Gil Rodham as the Democratic candidate? Doctorate of Law from Yale, children’s rights activist, close advisor to Governor and then President Bill Clinton, advocate of universal health care for all Americans, two-term Senator from New York, and Secretary of State. (While Secretary of State, he rejected the use of the insecure State computer system, which was later hacked, in favor of the customized, up-to-date Clinton Foundation system, which has never been compromised.)
Ben, Real unemployment was a big part of it. Not just non-college-educated white men. A huge number of college educated folks are underemployed or unemployed. Many, many people can’t find work in their major. Not to mention what’s going on in the inner cities. Minorities have been sold a bill of goods. Are they any better off than they were before Obama was elected? Nope. Look at Chicago. Disgraceful.
The economy played a big part in this.
I’m Canadian, and I’m sympathetic. I love the US and consider “y’all” to be my spirited brothers and sisters to the south. I wish I could go down to mainstreet America this morning, hand out hugs, and buy you beers as needed.
I’m scared of the direction your country’s about to go.
I’m also feeling a little smug when I look at my own political leaders (even the ones I didn’t vote for).
But mostly I’m feeling sad for you guys. And a little scared.
I wish there was more I could do.
“This is either willfully forgetting, or never bothering to learn in the first place about the checks and balances put in place to keep people like Trump from going full dictator.”
Actually this precisely my cause for concern*
I don’t think those checks and balances exists, the way they ought to. The GOP is nakedly anti democratic, with no real interest in governing or compromise, and they are amazingly partisan. I don’t think they will stop him. Likewise, the GOP will get to select at least one Supreme Court justice, so I don’t feel particularly great about the odds of him being stopped from being particularly stupid there.
There might be sufficient checks and balances to stop him from immediately causing the apocalypse. But that’s not what I’m worried about. I’m not even hugely worried about the immediate misery that is pretty definitely going to happen (I, at least, likely won’t have insurance after next year, for instance) – that’s stuff that’s fixable, probably.
(And I realize I’m being callous there. No insurance for me will be an inconvenience, but people are probably going to die because of the repeal of the ACA)
What worries me on existential level is that the GOP knows they’re on the losing side of demography. And now they’re in a situation where they’ve had a successful election based on white nationalism. Nothing about their past behavior makes me think that they’re going to move away from something that worked.
Which means that they’re going to work harder on voter suppression by institutional means. Which means they’re going to work harder on gerrymandering. And that means the rise of people coming down the pike are going to feel, accurately, like the government doesn’t represent them and that they don’t have a place in the system.
That’s the kind of thing that brings down nations. That causes actual violence.
I’m not saying that WILL happen, but I’d rate it a whole more likely to destroy the nation as it exists than terrorism ever will.
*Which is massively understating it – I am actually fairly terrified.
Fair enough – I can go the rest of my life without ever again hearing Susan Sarandon (or anyone else) telling the world that she doesn’t vote with her vagina. Who the hell does that outside Alt-Right jerk-off fantasies? Let’s stop pretending that condescension is a one-way street, because I very rapidly got tired of being call a ‘Shrillary’ or a ‘corporate stooge’ every damn time I expressed the option that Clinton was very far from flawless but she wasn’t the damn anti-Christ either. I’d say the same thing about Sanders come to that. I could write a book on both of them, but I don’t have the time or energy to write it and I’m certain Mr. Scalzi doesn’t want to host it.
And you look here, I’m a forty three year old mixed race gay man. If I sat on the sidelines until a perfect candidate came along, I’d still be waiting. The glory of a secret ballot is that people can vote – or not – for whatever damn reasons they please – even if I think they’re stupid or down right evil. But I’ve never felt I’ve had the luxury of sitting an election out.
And can I say, of course, it’s ridiculous to say sexism is the only driver for opposing Clinton. But when you’re posting sexist memes? Making degrading comments about a woman’s clothes or appearance? Or calling her Shrillary C**ton? Or, yes, demeaning women who support a woman you don’t like as “vagina voters”?
Well, yeah. I think it’s perfectly reasonable to surmise you might just have some issues with women in public life that are sexist in nature.
The Democratic Party faces two significant intellectual challenges: First, it needs a theory of defeat, a basic explanation why it lost last night’s election. Second, it needs a theory of victory, an explanation how it can win future contests.
This process of “strategery” is linked to two pressing challenges: First, the Democratic Party needs to devise a strategy to counter the Trump Administration/Republican-led Congress. Given the general expectation among Democrats that Hillary would win by a mile, it is doubtful that much thought has been given to this requirement.
Second, and most importantly, the Democratic Party is currently led by elderly white people, who are, shall we say, rapidly approaching their sell-buy dates, if they haven’t already exceeded them. Who gets to lead the Democratic Party over the next couple of decades is what’s at stake.
Never has been being right felt so bad – I called it for Trump when he got the nomination, Clinton was just too hated a candidate.
As a rich older white straight dude, I have the “luxury” of just ignoring the next four years, apart from benefiting from the tax cuts. The Dems have no chance in the midterms, Trump doesn’t care about social policy so we’ll see:
– Acts defining marriage as between one mand and one woman
– repeal of Obamacare
– Banning of abortion/removal of contraceptive cover from what’s left of the health insurance market
– withdrawal from the Paris climate change accords
States rights will only matter when their policies match the new theocratic regimes.
And a Supreme Court lost to the liberals for 20 years.
So I’m going to unplug and wait it out. There’s absolutely nothing that can be done for the next 4 years, so why worry about it? The Republicans have a clean sweep abd without SCOTUS, a free hand to do whatever they want.
Trump probably won’t fix the legitimate issues that many of his supporters want fixed: high health care costs; loss of jobs to automation and globalization, etc. Clinton probably would not have been able to either. These are hard problems and they might actually not have feasible solutions. The global living standard is rising, but America’s per capita is multiples of the global mean. Falling back to even a rising global standard amounts to grim meat hook future for most of us. Plus you hit the ecologic sustainability of such lifestyles. Health care costs are rising because people want care they could not have gotten a few decades ago (because the treatments did not exist) or would not have needed (because they would have died 10 years earlier.) If health care is expanded to include more people, the cost to society has to be borne somewhere, even if we adopt single payor or an NHS model. If it’s not the sticker shock of rising ACA premiums, then taxes will rise instead. College costs become more and more burdensome for the middle class, but college becomes more and more necessary for entry to the job market. If you don’t have the aptitude or the childhood training to go to college, exactly what do you do in this society anymore? In a decade how much opportunity will even a degree purchase for you?
Clinton promised to fix problems that a) are not problems for a large part of Trump’s base OR b) no one else has been able to fix after decades of trying.* She also ignored a few problems that are of greater concern to Trump’s base than the average American, either because they A) are overblown by Trump’s base in relation to their impact in reality, or B) conflict with the priorities of the Democratic base.
Trump promised to let you be free to be who you are again (and face it what most of us are is an asshole.) Not very ennobling, but much more feasible, particularly for values of “you” that correlate with Trump’s demographics.
There’s the credibility gap in a nutshell. Trump’s voters knew he was promising at least one thing he could probably deliver FOR THEM. That’s a kind of honesty, right?
PS: according to the returns, most of the young people voted for HRC. Maybe middle class middle age white women should fight the next war alongside Boomer men.
*For this purpose it does matter why they cannot be fixed; only the results matter. So the fact that Republican politicians or their base or the federal political structure may have contributed to the lack of solutions is not germane for understanding the mindset of these voters.
I can’t get over how Hillary treated that room last night. I know the vote was not finalized, but SHE should have given that short speech Podesta gave. Those disappointed supporters, many of them who had been fighting for her in the trenches since the start, had been there for seven hours. She can’t throw them a bone and come out and say what he said?
She instead has him go out, send them all home, and shortly thereafter calls Trump to concede. She was not waiting for better news. She just wanted them to go away. This is the sort of thing that keeps people from ever connecting with her, or in the end voting for her.
I think Sanders would have won, but had he lost, he would have been out there.
I don’t normally chime in on these threads, but as a Brit I feel I need to pick up O.W.M.504’s assertion that:
“The world does not respect or fear Obama or Clinton.”
Actually, lots of parts of the world have deep respect for both Obama and Clinton. Far more than they will ever have for Trump. You need only read the international headlines for the last couple of days to know that. Clinton is a hugely experienced politician with an understanding of the global political climate. Obama … well, frankly his public persona is just phenomenal. Pretty much everything I’ve seen from Obama in the last six months has raised my opinion on him. In fact, if you don’t need him when he leaves office, the UK could do with a good political figurehead about now… ;)
Fuck this bigotted country and all its fucking bigots who voted a bigot as fucking president.
Anyone have a good reason to have faith in humanity? I am all tapped out.
My husband and I barely spoke five sentences to one another this morning. There’s just nothing to say. (We both voted Clinton. It’s not disagreement.)
I am ashamed and so sad…
I am hoping that the actual election on December 19th will prove the worthiness of the Electoral College for its purpose; the suppression of demagogues who sway the uneducated to voting for them. I may be in denial, but I am fine with that for a month.
I think to pollsters reported what they were told. I believe many people said ‘Hillary’ to appear PC and placate their friends. But in the voting booth, their true feelings came out.
I am heartbroken and terrified (and spent the last night confirming that, indeed, it takes two guys to order a nuclear strike and an entire chain of command to carry it out, at least one of whom I am hopeful will say “fuck this, no” and take the consequences) and have had an hour and a half of sleep.
What I’m trying to remember is something S.M. Stirling said in his Emberverse novels: the circumstances may change, but the learning doesn’t vanish. More people than ever know someone who’s LGBTA (McRory’s out!) or a POC or a Muslim. More people than ever (and even some businesses) have heard about climate change and are starting to address that. More people believe that women have the right to handle their own sex lives and the consequences.
We have a lot of work to do, and I’m embracing my new identity as an underground counterculture activist (and, worst case, fundraiser/coordinator to get people with unwanted pregnancies across the Canadian border) but I’m holding on to the notion that, whatever the administration does to our laws, we’ve still learned what we’ve learned over the last eight years.
Let the impeachment hearings begin?
That’s exactly what we would have heard had Hillary won. Although with a Republican Congress it might be up to the American people to force one, or many. Whatever it takes.
In any case, I CAN foresee a Dump Trump sooner than later type of ordeal on the road ahead.
I can’t decide whether Hillary Clinton, or for that matter the country, would be better off if (a) Obama pardons her on his way out of office, or (b) Trump appoints a special prosecutor to go after Clinton, and she is tried and acquitted.
Thanks for posting this. I could barely get out of bed this morning and I’ve been avoiding reality as much as I can. But I opened my inbox and saw your post and thought “well, this should be safe.” I’m horrified of what the next four years or more may bring. I’ve never been more disappointed in my country. I know we will all move forward again but right now I feel like just falling on the ground and staying there for the next four years. You are right though, I need to stand up eventually and speak out for what I believe in because obviously my government isn’t going to be able to do it alone.
Thank you again. Now I’m heading out to the library to face the public. I’m hoping no one tries to engage me in political talk while I’m at the desk.
I’m shocked but probably shouldn’t be. Like others, I ignored the groundswell of fury from people who felt that a sophisticated, liberal political apparatus (especially embodied in a woman) did not represent them. That’s the red splash on the map. The fact that their own concerns may have screened out what’s fair to others unlike them was something they either didn’t see or didn’t care about. What horrifies me is that I don’t think that red groundswell understands that this president does not care about them. He’s allied with a whole different economic stratum.
I think we’re in for decades of aftermath damage, but maybe we could have avoided it with better dialogue. I have no idea what we could have said to stop this, but it’s hard to give up the hope implicit in the belief that we missed something there.
I came to work, but I’m gutted and trying not to cry. That wouldn’t be fair to others in this company. All I can do is stay quiet. And it’s not like I can find anything to say.
That attitude is exactly why you lost.
Just want to add that people here who think Trump might not be so bad don’t seem to realize that the Supreme Court can repeal the New Deal. All of it. Trump’s court can decree that all the things the Alt-Right states want (voter suppression etc.) are reserved to the states under the Constitution, and all the things liberal states want (minimum wages, universal health care, Federal monies for college, etc.) are unconstitutional. Please look up Lochner v. State of New York, 1905 Supreme Court decision. That can happen again.
And for all of you who comfort yourselves with the thought that Trump will keep us out of a war, do you remember Bush campaigning on a pledge to invade Iraq? I don’t. Trump has said that immigrants are very, very dangerous ISIS terrorists. Why shouldn’t a man who lies so freely not actually admit ISIS terrorists into the country? Remember the memo “Bin Laden determined to strike in America”? And after a nice big terrorist attack — or a series of little ones, if the public proves reluctant — we’ve gotten ourselves yet another little war.
I sincerely hope and wish this won’t happen. But I see nothing in place that will stop it.
Michael Moore called it some time ago: millions of “Fuck You” voters will give Trump the keys to the kingdom.
Anger and hatred will tear our house down.
As for the delusion that Trump voters are “just the same” as everyone else- they are not. Hate and love, divisiveness and inclusiveness, ignorance and intelligence, rage and peace— none of the basic pairs of opposites are “the same”.
The specific underlying forces driving individuals and groups are always the key to understanding outward events. Refusal to perceive the difference between negative and positive forces in real life indicates a serious loss of fundamental human survival skills.
Which is exactly where we are now, as a nation.
Well, now we know which alternate universe we live in.
Why did the polling get it wrong? I heard down here that the undecided percentage was much higher than usual – over 10%. If those undecided were mostly people who had decided to vote Trump but wouldn’t admit it to a stranger then there is your explanation.
I believe this is just another sign of the world saying eff you to politicians: – Greece’s Syriza, Brexit, Trump – and next year France and Germany have elections. Unfortunately politicians are politicians and they just can’t help themselves – getting (re)elected is all that matters to them.
Are presidential dynasties dead now? I hope so. We saw Jeb Bush tarred with anything W had done, and Hillary was blamed for all Bill’s failings. Chelsea would be mad to try to become the first US female president with all the baggage she would have.
I’ve been reading Alan Taylor’s American Revolutions which has been a real eye opener of how false the perceived picture is of your revered Founding Fathers; the 1780’s version of todays 1%. The Republic was their answer to democracy which they abhorred. And Trump is an example of that democracy: – a demagogue who is not beholden to his betters.
Has anyone coined the word to describe what’s just happened? Trumpageddon is one I’ve heard.
Maybe Obama’s final presidential act should be “I pardon Colin Powell, Dick Cheney, George W Bush and Hillary Clinton for deleting emails”.
I’ll conclude with the words of a congressman in 1799: – ” ‘We the people’ does not mean them”. The times they do change but also they stay the same.
@Billy Quiets: “That attitude is exactly why you lost.”
As theories of defeat go, starting with the proposition that hate makes people stupid–regardless of race, creed, or color–is a good place to start.
Yep, here’s a link to a Clinton supporter with some class and grace.
I know no one reads this far down the comments thread, and this isn’t really much help anyway, but all last night and morning these lines were all I could think of:
I’m sure many people will be quoting the more famous lines from that poem in days to come, but I think that’s about as accurate a description of how I feel right now as anything I’ve ever read.
Billy Q: and your attitude is not why “you” won. Just remember that.
Billy Quiets: While I think the country has faced far worse than what’s coming, I do think national cohesion might get worse before it gets better. If Trump confuses what it took to gain power–a classic negative campaign–with what it takes to govern effectively, we are going to look back on the Bush-Obama years with a longing that seems hard to imagine at the moment.
Probably shouldn’t publicly admit we don’t support Trump anymore. He’ll find a way to come after us with the force of the government behind him or just protect his fans who do.
Rex Little wrote:
“It will be amusing to watch the nice suburban women who couldn’t bear to vote for Clinton (which I’ll admit to be the hardest thing to understand) find themselves reduced to being nothing more than sex objects again.”
Trump will accomplish this how, exactly?
“It will be amusing to watch the young men who think that a Trump presidency will give them the right to be macho just means that they get to die in the conflicts that Trump’s miscalculations brings on.”
Luckily, we won’t find out how many would have died in the war with Russia that Clinton’s no-fly zone over Syria would have started. I predict that no US troops will be sent into any new foreign conflict during Trump’s term, and that in four years the number of US troops fighting overseas will be the smallest it’s been since the Iraq war.”
How do I know the first? I don’t. However, Trump ran with a Christian Dominionist VP, who I expect to do the heavy lifting of day-to-day governance and by all evidence Pence believes that “The Handmaid’s Tale” is a road map, not an awful warning.
In the second case we’ve just elected a chaotic hot mess of a man to the presidency who is mostly motivated by vengeance and you don’t know what is going to happen.
I expect that there will be a “Hundred Days” fandango to try and undo the Twentieth Century and bring on Gilded Age 2.0; where the rich get theirs and everyone else is supposed to know their place.
As for the next war the Trump Cabinet sounds like it’s larded with people who have it in for the Iranian government, and who are contemptuous enough to believe it will be easy to beat it down; just like Iraq was going to be easy.
The bottom line is that the Trump operating procedure is to screw people over and often and I see no reason to expect that to change.
Does anyone remember Guiliana’s first mayoral race, against David Dinkins? The polls said Dinkins was going to win. He didn’t. People flat-out lied to pollsters. Same thing happened here.
First face to face conversation this morning. A very nice person at work, who I don’t know very well and happens to be a black female, said to me as a conversation starter “Well, I hope you’re happy. He’s your President, not mine.” :(
The foundation for Trump’s wall seems to have been already laid.
“the circumstances may change, but the learning doesn’t vanish…”
I wish I believed this, but too many books have vanished from the world, leaving only their titles or a snippet of text to remind us that they once existed.
If you really believe what you said about Trump’s big happy family, I fear you are more deranged than he is. The evangelicals who signed up for Trump certainly didn’t do so to play kiss in the ring with the people they’ve hated and demonized for decades. They want their revenge for all the perceived slights that reality has inflicted on them over the years.
At least the election year is over for the rest of the country. We have a runoff for the Senate seat that is currently held by David Vitter. It’s between Republican John Kennedy and Democrat Foster Campbell. Louisiana has four more weeks of electioneering to go through. 😞
Someone above mentioned an impending Reichstag fire– my money is on either an “assassination attempt” or a “terrorist bombing of the Capitol” which provides the excuse for a newer, more inclusive and bigly PATRIOT act. Probably just ahead of the mid-term elections, so the GOP control of all things is guaranteed to be in place when rubber-stamp time rolls around.
I’m very sorry it’s come to this, Mr. Scalzi. It’s not like you weren’t trying to warn people.
Oh Billy, americas firsy black president is getting replaced by a man who refused to rent to blacks and is heartily endorsed by the KKK. Americas first main party female candidate was defeated by a man who bragged about sexual assault and is accused by a dozen women of committing sexual assault.
Of course it was bigotry.
I think rural and working class white people have legitimate reasons to feel left out of the economy since the 2008 recession. I wish them good luck in getting their supposed populist champion to actually give a single fuck about them, or do a single thing that actually benefits them economically.
Why even vote if your vote does not count, ie, the Electoral College?
For those, who say ‘America will survive this.’, no. It won’t. America is gone. Dead and buried like the two week corpse of a skunk. We’re now the laughing stock of the world.
Donald Trump is in charge with, a republican house, senate and supreme court behind him. Say goodbye to social security. Say goodbye to healthcare. Say goodbye to the EPA. Say goodbye to public education.
It’s nice to say fight, but frankly, I’m too old. I can’t see how I’ll live long enough to see a tenth of the damage about to be done to this country undone.
At this point, I can see two takeaways from this election:
As mentioned, the polling was inaccurate. I suspect that people who hang up when a pollster calls are more likely to be those who see polling as part of the political establishment, and therefore they don’t play. I don’t know how to get around that.
And two, the influence of mass media just isn’t what it used to be. Every time Trump made one of his asinine statements (roughly every five seconds) it was dutifully reported and discussed. And then it was ignored by Trump voters.
Since Hollywood has a stage and a microphone, because we look to them for entertainment, they felt they could force their ideals on the rest of the country.
America just told them to go &*@% themselves.
I suspect neither you, nor anyone else who believes that “It is really easy for just about any American citizen to obtain a valid ID” is true will read down this far, but let me point out that this is manifestly not the case. Let me put myself forward as an example:
I’m a thirty-something white woman, currently unemployed due to a recent move, out to a suburb with little/no public transportation in a one-car household where that car has to be out of the state most of the time for my husband’s job. The CLOSEST place to me where I can get an updated state ID (which is often seen as a suspect form of identification, even though it requires EXACTLY THE SAME documents to obtain as a driver’s license, just not a driving test) is three towns over – so I can only get there when my husband somehow doesn’t need our car during standard business hours M-F. We’ve lived here three months and I haven’t made it over there yet. How much harder is this single parents who have to work two jobs to pay their rent? For citizens of limited English? For people of any background who simply have no access to a car at all?
It is laughable to believe that obtaining an ID is “really easy”. And requiring one in order to vote mostly disenfranchises exactly the populations that the Alt-Right wants to not have a voice. So maybe think again about the whole ID thing.
I was up until about 3AM going over this. I cannot believe that Trump won. I realize that his supporters were impervious to facts, but this is insane. I expect our next war will be with Iran.
More thoughts in my LJ: http://filkerdave.livejournal.com/1318617.html
People do read all the way down the comments here; I know it’s unusual but that’s why Whatever continues to be a place where people engage with each other as well as Scalzi. And, for what it’s worth, those lines ring true to me.
So, from across the pond where we continue to provide an example of just how badly things can go wrong in BRexit, I would say that you can expect attempts, veiled or otherwise, on your rights as citizens. Nigel Farage, who is now one of Trump’s pals, having campaigned for British laws ruled on by British Judges, is incandescent with rage because British Judges ruled on British laws and he didn’t like the decision they reached. The decision has been appealed to our Supreme Court, and all 11 Justices will hear that appeal next month; Farage is planning a march of 100,000 people on the Supreme Court to encourage them to stop being Justices of the Supreme Court and start grovelling to ‘the people’, provided, of course, ‘the people’ in question agree with Farage.
This is not an outcome any rational person would welcome; we fought for centuries against government by despots. We even had a civil war about it, and to this day neither the Queen nor Her Ministers can set foot in the City of London without the permission of the Lord Mayor. I have no doubt that Trump will revel in power, and take anything he can get away with; it is the nature of the beast. I can only urge you to be aware that what Farage does today is a guide to what Trump will do in the future. Fortunately Farage doesn’t have any nukes…
John, remember last week when you wrote about the Cubs screwing up a minor plot point? Here’s Charlie Stross today:
The US democracy has a lot of bugs that heavily contributed to this. The two elephants in the room:
1) You have to register to vote for yourself. Seriously, this is unworthy of a democracy and makes voter suppression far too easy
2) The electoral college heavily distorts the public will. In every other democracy, Clinton would be a winner. To know that this system was implemented to give slave holders extra voting power makes it all the more disgusting.
I am tempted to go ask everyone who said, “STFU about the Voting Rights Act, we got gay marriage!” what they think now, and what they’ll think if same-sex marriage ends up being undone.
Personally, I’m not too worried. Democrats need to act as obstructionists, maybe take a page or two from the GOP handbook on how to do that. We don’t need a 9th Supreme Court justice, it’s not in the constitution. And Trump will be a one-term president.
But just to nip it in the bud, a vote for third party was not a vote for Trump — a vote for Trump was a vote for Trump.
The same disenfranchisement that caused Brexit reared it’s head with this vote. They were promised “Change” by Obama and got none. They started Occupy and the establishment shut it down. This vote, I see, is just the latest outcry from that movement. Yes the anti-everthing-that’s-not-white-and-male was mixed in with that vote, but they’re seriously not that big of a sentiment, this was an indictment of the establishment, and it’s time that we actually started to listen to that message that they’re trying to tell us. As someone on my twitter feed said, Trump won because rich people got too greedy and the “99%” are fed up with it (and yes, it’s ironic that a rich person won, but I guess they figure that he’s anti-establishment enough).
Scott Morizot said: “Why do you believe a GOP Congress would ever impeach him? He basically has at least 4 years of immunity from prosecution to do whatever he wants to do.”
The GOP establishment privately hates the man. They all were really hoping they could just keep their mouth shut and appease their base while Hillary did the heavy lifting of getting rid of him, but they would all rather be dealing with Pence. With GOP control of the House and a Senate that’s 51 compliant Republicans and a bunch of Democrats who certainly have no love for Trump, it’d be very easy to just stage a bloodless coup to give the Presidency to someone they feel they can work with.
I’m not saying they’re going to, but Trump doesn’t really have allies in the Republican party. Just people he’s using and people who are using him. That’s a marriage of convenience that isn’t going to last four years.
Polling has come to be so inaccurate (Brexit, Trump45) because it has not evolved.
Nowadays, people express their views online. A phone survey is like a tape cassette player in the world of iTunes.
This will probably get me kicked off but– “Billy Quiets” can piss up a rope.
Stop the razzle-dazzle that Trump just wants what’s best for me. Sure, as long as he still gets more out of the deal.
He’s a con-man who has gotten away with all kinds of crap just because he can.
He’s surrounded by toadys who’ve sold out any moral standards they had.
He tried to evict an old lady just to build a parking lot for a casino.
He’s a magnet for people who’ve gotten their feelings hurt–as in “How dare someone from Hollywood try to tell me who’s the better candidate! They think they’re so special!” third-grade acting out.
The thing that’s upset me the most about this election is that I’ve lost some respect for people I love because they voted for Trump. I didn’t have that happen for Reagan, the Bushes or Romney.
@FTLNewsFeed: That’s the joke. He *is* part the establishment that has called the shots in the US for the last few decades: rich people. And he is member of the party who went to bed with money like no other. Ever heard of the Koch brothers?
kevinmriley: There’s also this:
“Consider North Carolina, the epicenter of GOP voter suppression. Just days after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder—thereby allowing the state to restrict voting without federal oversight—the overwhelmingly Republican Legislature requested data of voting preferences by race. The legislators then promptly passed an omnibus bill that, in the words of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, ‘target[ed] African Americans with almost surgical precision.’ A key provision of the new law slashed early voting, including several days of Sunday voting, which black voters favored. As the state explained in court with startling candor, ‘counties with Sunday voting’ were ‘disproportionately black’ and ‘disproportionately Democratic’—a fact that persuaded the Legislature to severely cut back early voting.” — from http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/11/07/those_insanely_long_early_voting_lines_were_a_result_of_republican_voter.html?wpsrc=sh_all_mob_tw_top
NC also eliminated polling places on university/college campuses.
Ari Berman’s Twitter whatever (feed? stream? timeline? Sorry, haven’t yet learned the lingo) has many links to stories of individuals having to go to what seem extreme lengths to get state-approved IDs. (I haven’t yet read his book https://www.amazon.com/Give-Us-Ballot-Struggle-America/dp/1250094720/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
so can’t give a personal recommendation.)
A search for “voter suppression” yields a depressing wealth of articles.
As I wrote earlier today, in an email to an American friend of mine:
“My gut feeling is that the polls got it wrong because most of the undecided knew in the darkest places of their hearts that they would never vote for a woman. How else could anyone be ‘undecided’ about this election, about the suitability of Trump? I get the pied piper crowd: fearful people want to believe – but those undecideds? Nah. That never made sense to me. Mysogny is the new racism: most people know enough to keep quiet about their own but in the privacy of a polling booth…?”
Not kicked off but a reminder not to go after others personally here. Only warning.
For everyone who feels gutted and afraid like I do, at the very least, in 2018 all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested. If this presidency is what we fear it will be (and I have no optimism left in me after last night) in two years we can at least take back Congress and at least attempt to stem the damage Trump will cause. And possibly impeach him, if he truly steps over the line.
Sorry John–I wrote that in anger and sent it off. I don’t like being lied to.
Mr. Scalzi: Back on 11-October, in “Trump, the GOP, and the Fall,” you averred that Trump was absolutely not a Black Swan. I silently disagreed with you then, and today I ask you: *now* can we say that Donald Trump is a Black Swan?
He’s exactly whom the GOP was working toward, although again, probably in his form specifically. So, no, he’s not a Black Swan. He was planned and expected.
The same disenfranchisement that caused Brexit reared it’s head with this vote. They were promised “Change” by Obama and got none.
So they voted for the exact people who ensured that Obama was unable to provide change?
The word for that is ‘idiot’.
Re: ‘They were promised “Change” by Obama and got none.’
The same people who controlled both houses during Obama’s terms will continue to control both houses during DT’s POTUS term. IMO, the VP-elect is the designated go-between and the reason the GOP didn’t actively try a dump-DT campaign. DT could try getting his own way via Executive Orders which require a solid majority to overturn/stop … which may lead to some actual dialogue and compromise between parties on issues.
Since I am across the pond, I find some aspects of the event today incredibly ironic.
The country which embodies, advocates and rather aggressively promotes the virtues of representative democracy as a form of government has now chosen as their leader someone that multitudes of people across the rest of the world find unsuitable and abhorrent at best. Moreover, this occurred in spite of the other candidate actually winning the popular vote.
While I extend my sincere condolences to the American people today, maybe it is time for a little more introspection and a little less of the whole manifest destiny/exceptionalism crap? I am not suggesting that these are considerations that Trump is capable of introducing into the discourse, but worth thinking about, IMHO.
In a town in the next state, a polling volunteer was “showing” people how to vote by punching the Trump button for them. God knows how many votes that person tried to rig before caught and ejected from the polling place. This happened to a friend of mine and she complained and reported until that person was removed. I’m sure somewhere out there someone could have been doing that for Hillary too. I don’t know.
As for the election results: Sob.
And we have to face up to fact that it was white people who brought Trump to us — Trump got the majority of white men and white women who voted. We can parse out why that was (and we can talk about how the minority vote was suppressed), but at the end of the day, the fact remains: Trump will be in power because white people wanted him there.
According to CNN’s exit polls (first one up in the Google search), one in five non-white voters voted for Trump (including 8% of black voters, 29% of Latino voters, 29% of Asian voters, and 37% of “other race” voters).
And while we’re at it, 42% of women, 45% of college graduates, 37% of post-graduate degree holders, 41% of those making under $50K and 14% of the LGBT voters all voted for Trump.
It’s certainly true that the majority of white voters supported him, but the instinct to point the finger of blame at one race of people and hold them responsible for all of the potential ills that are set to fall upon us is exactly the kind of behavior that Trump exhibited which made me vote against him.
Brian Greenberg: “It’s certainly true that the majority of white voters supported him, but the instinct to point the finger of blame at one race of people and hold them responsible for all of the potential ills that are set to fall upon us is exactly the kind of behavior that Trump exhibited which made me vote against him.”
I want to believe that Trump will get impeached over his next parking ticket—I mean, at least with Pence there’s no risk of starting a nuclear war out of pique—but the Republican establishment has spent two years trying to neutralize Trump with one Cunning Plan Which Can Not Fail after another. Why should this plan succeed? Given the spite that Trump’s true believers are likely to demonstrate towards his enemies, how many Republican Members of Congress are willing to stick their heads in such a noose?
“Sufficient unto the day are the troubles thereof”. Before panicking, wait and see what Trump and Congress actually do. We really have no idea–Trump is a lying liar who lies, so nothing he said during his campaign is worth the time to write it down.
The U.S. President is not a dictator; he doesn’t make or repeal laws, Congress does. Speaking of which, if anyone looked at the actual Republican platform, the plan is not to repeal the ACA back to status quo ante, but to reform it–though probably giving it a new name so they can claim to have “repealed Obamacare”. Apparently the Republicans figured out that a lot of their constituents prefer to have functional medical insurance than not.
No matter who gets appointed to fill the empty slot(s) on the bench, the U.S. Supreme Court cannot arbitrarily toss out previous precedent and law any random day of the week; someone has to bring a case in front of them.
Some less apocalyptic predictions:
1) I think Trump is going to be rudely surprised to find out that being president makes you such a public figure that there is no possibility of libel or slander suits against detractors–saying rude things about the president is, by definition, political speech, and thus absolutely protected by the 1st Amendment.
2) I think those foreign interests that have loaned Trump money are going to be rudely surprised to find out that they’re not an exception to his habit of screwing over his creditors.
3) People you’ve repeatedly called “xenophobic racist bigots who don’t deserve sympathy” will, for some reason, not give a rat’s ass about your problems or your candidates.
@naysayer1111: “The electoral college heavily distorts the public will. In every other democracy, Clinton would be a winner. To know that this system was implemented to give slave holders extra voting power makes it all the more disgusting.”
It’s even more perverse than that. The original purpose of the electors was to prevent demagogues from gaining power by having a layer of electors between the people and the government. That is to say, the electors were supposed to discuss and select a president, and they were supposed to protect us from people like Trump. Of course, it has never worked that way in practice, even in the early days.
DH and I are very concerned this morning. If Trump has the same economic effect as the recession of 2008, it’s doubtful we can keep the shop open, which will put the 3.5 (we outsource some of our accounting) people who work for us our of a job. Then again, I don’t think Trump particularly cares about small businesses like ours, because if they meant anything, they would be part of the 1%.
Meanwhile, I go to my job at the library, where the rest of the staff is in varying states of horror and shock. Anyone who comes in with intent to gloat loudly or say anything political today will be quietly invited to take it elsewhere. I am out of patience.
Last night I opted to be rested & depressed rather than exhausted & depressed; translation: I could see what was happening and decided to have one last night without confirmation of the outcome that we got. My 12 year old called the President-elect an a**hole this morning and I pretended I didn’t hear so I didn’t have to reprimand her. Normally we try to keep the cursing to a minimum.
I want to believe that Trump will get impeached over his next parking ticket—I mean, at least with Pence there’s no risk of starting a nuclear war out of pique—but the Republican establishment has spent two years trying to neutralize Trump with one Cunning Plan Which Can Not Fail after another. Why should this plan succeed? Given the spite that Trump’s true believers are likely to demonstrate towards his enemies, how many Republican Members of Congress are willing to stick their heads in such a noose?
Why would it matter? You could easily argue that Pence would be WORSE than Trump.
Wow, deep breaths everyone. A Trump presidency is not going to be great, but I don’t think it’s the end of our country either. We’ll be fine, a step back maybe, but that happens.
There are two Americas in this country and one side doesn’t see, hear, or understand the other. All talking in echo chambers. Listen to some conservative talk radio, it’s depressing, but there it is. I live out in the country in very blue upstate NY. I’ve got a few more liberal neighbors, but all the others I’m fairly sure are Trump voters.
Are these friends and neighbors bigots? To some degree yes, I think we are all bigots to some degree.
When they say something disparaging about black people, I will sometimes (depending on the circumstance) tell them how I disagree with them, we’ll talk a little, but I don’t push the subject.
(Again listen to conservative talk radio and hear what they are saying to each other.) What can we do about the two Americas? I’m not sure, more intermixing would be good.
And now for some good news, for those worried about LGBT issues. In this very conservative town where I live we have a high school. (Obviously) My daughter is very active in the theater group, and the way LGBT students are treated there is amazing, everyone is accepted and cherished. (at least that is how it looks to me from the outside and talking with said daughter) So much different than when I was in school, we’ve made some amazing strides. Now some of the parents of the students who are out and gender uncertain and not always happy, but I don’t see anyway the clock is being turned back for these youth. The old white guys are dying, and the young white son is “better” than his dad.
Agreed, John. It is what it is. My wife got ill last night over it all and I’m still not in the best of moods, but we need to take a breather then get back in the game, because we all count and the vote was, after all, pretty much down the middle.
Maybe it had to happen, just so the circus people could have their spin of the wheel. I don’t know. It’s disheartening to realize this was made legitimate by 1 out of 2 Americans, more or less. It’s like I’m a comedian at a gig and no ones laughing. Jokes on me.
JS said: “Much of my confidence about this year’s election was rooted in the polling, which had been reasonably accurate for the last few election cycles (both presidential and congressional)…”
This speaks for me too. The pollsters were pretty close for the last two elections, and even the 2000 surprise happened in the context of polling that was closer than for this election. I wonder if this is a function of a new kind of paranoia and contrarianism that’s fostered by internet and wireless culture. People increasingly don’t respond to pollsters at all, and when they do, many feel compelled to lie out of fear or a desire to protect their own privacy, or simply a perverse desire to get back at the people asking these annoyingly intrusive questions. I’d hoped the numbers of poll avoiders and prevaricators would be even on both sides, or maybe even favor Clinton supporters. After all, younger people and people who are poorer are less likely to have a land line or to take calls from strange numbers on their cells, right? Wrong, evidently.
Those of us who want America to be a safer, more inclusive place for all are numb, sick, and scared today, but those of us who have more privilege than others will need to find ways to reach out and help the most vulnerable. I just wish I could see a concrete way to do this right now when I feel like I’m made of tears.
George Herold: in about 24 years, the white vote will amount to 50% or less of the entire vote. After that it continues to drop. Time is all it takes. One generation thereabouts.
I didn’t sleep well last night either. All the things Trump has said kept playing in my head and turning into actual results. I hadn’t really spent a lot of time dwelling on what could happen because I had a hard time believing it was likely, so it was easier to treat it with humor. Now we get to find out which Trump we actually get. I’d like to think he’ll pleasantly surprise us, but given he’s getting a blank check of governmental branches and what we’ve seen from him over the past 2 years I expect we won’t be happy with the results.
I’ve never drunk alcohol in my life. Never wanted to. Last night was the first time I seriously understood why people get drunk and wished I thought it would help.
The polling error surprises me less than some. I’ve been seeing a lot about the implications of the changes in how people communicate affecting the accuracy of our polling. I don’t know how much of it is the shy Trump voter effect, and how much of it is systemic issues with polling that are difficult to improve upon, but I’ve had a bit of a fear this whole time that the polls could turn out wrong, especially after Brexit.
I’d like to think this is mostly just stuff we live through for 4 years and then try to recover from. But some of the implications of a Trump presidency could have some very serious permanent damage. Some of these would have been a problem with any Republican presidency (supreme court, climate change- which the clock is running out on), but others seem very specifically a Trump issue- his behavior could very easily lead us into conflicts for terrible reasons, his comments about NATO, his friendliness with Russia, his encouragement of nuclear proliferation are all things that could end very badly for the world. I hope I’m proven wrong.
On a personal front, a Trump presidency (and again, likely true for any Republican) probably means a destruction of Obamacare, with no suitable replacement. I’m lucky in that I’m gainfully employed and relatively healthy. However I do work for a company involved in improving public health, which may lose a significant amount of business as a result of destruction of Obamacare. So I expect there’s a good chance my job won’t be around much longer. I expect I’ll be able to find another one though so I’m going to get off fairly easy. I really worry about others who I expect will be more seriously affected.
With regards to those folks who voted for Trump feeling that he’d put a stop to the job losses in areas like the rust belt, I would understand their decision better if I believed for one second there was any realistic chance Trump would be able to change their lot for the better. Trump was fully willing to lie about how solvable the tragic situation of those jobs disappearing is to get elected. I don’t really see any way the Democrats can go after those votes with policy that’s as attractive as the lies Trump tells them.
I feel, sickeningly, like we are all in the expendable “red shirt” category now….
Not sure how much this affected polling if at all, but I have a friend who stays pretty embedded in Men’s Rights groups to stay informed about their discourse; he said a lot of the the related communities were telling people to lie if asked who they were voting for to make people feel overconfident about Hillary’s lead.
Tomas? I would agree joyously with all that if not for what will happen to the Supreme Court.
Kevin? Just what choice do those already serving militarily have? The military rank and file are not allowed to quit.
Don’t worry, pretty sure, Greg, that this country IS officially fucked. :-(
I work nights and to stay up all night and think about what a terrible thing that had just happened was sickening. At least we now know where the time stream branches off into the Star Trek mirror universe.
I have friends and family who are adamant they voted for Trump DESPITE the racism, sexism, and general bigotry. I plan to challenge them to PROVE themselves at the first policy proposal that reflects one of the horrific suggestions Trump made during the campaign. Maybe some of the damage can be limited. It’s the only hope I have at the moment.
All we can do is hope that when reality sinks in for Trump, the gravity of his election will elicit some depth of character that has not heretofore given any hint of its existence. But hope is not a plan.
Way back up in the comments, Rex Little suggests, “I predict that no US troops will be sent into any new foreign conflict during Trump’s term, and that in four years the number of US troops fighting overseas will be the smallest it’s been since the Iraq war.”
If we take Trump at his word, he will abrogate the agreement with Iran over nuclear weapon development. I think we can guess how Iran will react to that. (The ayatollah says he would “burn” it.) If they restart working on nuclear weapons and Trump refuses to negotiate, what’ll we do?
(I notice that Shrike58 and David Weingart have similar thoughts about Iran.)
“Trump is a douche, a loud mouth and above everything else: Trump is a con man. No con man ever delivered what he promised. Ever.
If you want to know what the next four years are going to be like, then take a look at Trumps track record. Look at what he promised and what he delivered. Look at Trump University, Trump Casino, Trump Steak and all the other nonsense. ”
This is entirely possible.However it’s quite possible he’ll do something else disastrous.
And if he does start a war in the Mideast and gets tens of thousands of people dead, “ha, he didn’t beat the enemy and take their oil!” is small comfort.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we go back to the Middle East. Taking out Iran has been a conservative dream since before this century. And it has popularity with a lot of the rank-and-file (Arabs, don’t you know, are evil and sexist, and totally unlike the sexists in Christianity because reasons).
OWM: “The nation had always been center right politically. People are tired of government getting into every part of our lives.”
On your first point, not so. People tend to identify as conservative but politically they favor liberal positions (and I’m speaking very broadly obviously).
On the second point,ROFL. If there’s one thing the right wing wants its for government to get into our lives–gays’ right to marry, women’s right not to have kids, couples’ right to have sex “without consequences.” The significant thing is it’s THEIR right, not ours. Just as it’s their right to judge, condemn and villify their inferiors, but when we do it to them it’s PC thought policing.
This is exactly what we’re seeing with Brexit: everyone (including most of the Leave camp) assumed we’d vote to remain. We had the exact analogue of Trump saying he might not concede – Farage saying that a close result (ironically, he picked 52:48 as his example) would mean that the argument wasn’t done.
And when it went against the polls, and the bookies- no-one had idea one what they were going to do. Arguably still don’t.
The best thing for Chelsea might be to move to New Zealand.
Sadly, I think they’re wrong.
Four years ago, we watched the left squander the opportunity to make something positive out of the wreckage of the financial crisis. Their response: the Occupy movement, a movement with no real goals, no plans to achieve anything, or any real underlying philosophy beyond implementing new age-y replacements for parliamentary rules. With no actual goals, it should surprise no one that they accomplished little despite a strong numbers. Why should anyone flock to their banners if no one could articulate any reason to do so?
Flash forward to today. The one bit of light I can see in yesterday’s debacle is that Trump has no actual plan or philosophy to offer his followers beyond reflexively lashing out whenever he feels aggrieved. Without a structure or underpinning philosophy, I expect him to be ineffectual. I suspect the GOP thinks they can sock-puppet him now that he’s in, but I don’t expect that to work any better than their attempts to date have. His followers have no organization, or any actual principles to organize around, much less any meaningful goals to pull together towards. And thankfully, he has no brownshirts. Yes, it’s bad enough he’ll get his pawprints on the Supreme Court, and I don’t think the next four years will be pleasant. However, to his opponents I say this: Use the next four years. Find a positive leader with a progressive plan, and then maybe we’ll be able to come out of this in some better direction.
John, I’m a big fan, but I think Democrats–and I’m a lifelong Democrat–need to face some cold, hard truths.
Calling someone a racist may help you feel superior to that person, but it doesn’t help them be less racist. If anything, it closes off the conversation and makes them less likely to listen to you. And clearly, it doesn’t help win elections. Same thing with calling someone xenophobic, sexist, stupid, homophobic, or any other invective speech. So I have to ask, Do you want to feel superior? Or do you want to help make this country less racist?
If you want to build a winning coalition in this country, it’s going to have to include more than two white males (you and I are a given). That means we’ve got to reach out to a lot of people in rust belt states, Appalachia, and the rural West who have felt like they’ve been forgotten, that no one has done anything for them, that people in the big cities on the coasts either don’t care or actively hate them. And yeah, I’m well aware that the hate goes both ways–I’ve been on the receiving end of it from both Republicans and my fellow Democrats.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t call out Trump for being racist when he makes racist statements. But you can’t assume that anyone voting for him is voting out of racism, or that anyone who criticizes Obama is doing so because of racism. We’ve got to move away from those knee-jerk reactions if we’re going to have a real discussion about policy in this country. And we desperately need that real discussion.
Anthony Wells – a British pollster who has just gone through two massive post-mortems over polling errors (our 2015 General Election and the Brexit referendum) – has a really good set of first thoughts on this.
His view is two things:
First, is the likely voter screen; people from demographic categories that tend not to vote are downweighted in the poll on the assumption that a some of them won’t vote. So what happens if they do? The polls go wrong. They polls underestimated Obama in 2008 and 2012 because they were downweighting black people because they hadn’t turned out in those numbers before. They underestimated Trump in 2016, in part, because porrly-educated rural white turnout was higher than before.
Second, is a more general problem with polling. People who are less interested in and knowledgable about politics are less inclined to agree to be polled, but they vote. If their votes are systematically different from those who are more interested in politics, then you have a problem.
The only poll that got the UK 2015 election right was the British Electoral Survey poll, which randomly selected people (from the census) and then kept going back until they agreed to be polled. If they only included people who were contacted in the first three attempts, they replicated the public polls exactly. Once they added on the people from attempts four to ten, they then got the result right. However, that involved paying people to perform up to ten home visits, and took six weeks to complete (it’s jointly funded by the pollsters and academics and is used to calibrate the polls; there’s no way that regular polling could be conducted like that). UK pollsters now think they can use questions like “how much attention have you been paying to the election news” and “how much TV have you watched” to identify the small number of less-interested-in-politics voters in their sample and weight them up, but until that technique has been tested in an actula election, we won’t know for sure if it works.
Greg: Demographics is destiny is, still, bullshit.
I’m always curious why people feel obliged to say “I’m a big fan” to me. As a pro tip, it won’t keep me from lighting into someone if I think they’re saying something foolish. I’d just skip it.
I should also note I’m not a Democrat, nor have ever been, so if the advice there is pointed at me, it doesn’t apply.
I don’t have any problem pointing out when people are racist or say or do racist things; if they don’t like it, perhaps they should do those, or be a racist. I think people can do racist things without affirmative and with intent being a racist, but in either case I’m free to call them out when I see it.
I do think, and this may be to your point, that one can acknowledge that people may do problematic things without intent or malice and find a way to bring it up without making them feel defensive, and that’s nice when you can do it. Other times, however, just going “hey, that shit is racist” has its value too.
Shock and awe.
I recommend buying stock in the company that makes Xanax.
Felt like vomiting all day.
November 9, 2016 at 7:25 am
Oh yeah…one more thing…expect a lot of whining from the folks who are hoping for a new White Male Republic who are now told to shut up and defer to their social betters.”
You forgot to add “Straight” to you “White Male Republic” to make your bigotry complete.
I’m totally blown away by the “tolerance” on this site. It is inspiring. I love the way commentators here call out all kinds of people, whose heart they don’t know, for racism and bigotry.
I’ve been coming here for nearly a decade. It didn’t used to be this way. People here disagreed on politics, but you could actually learn something here. I stopped coming months ago. I just checked back in to see how bad the intolerance had gotten. Also, don’t lay your ignorance on Trump, there is plenty of it to go around on both sides. Deplorable.
If the thread is not to your liking, you are of course free to leave.
Also, if you think this thread is any different tonally to threads ten years ago, you’re mostly establishing you weren’t around ten years ago.
John, thank you for making this clear, no RHSDP ever delivered on any promise. America is fucked.
I keep seeing concern trolls wagging their fingers at me and saying that I shouldn’t call white people “racist” because, y’know, they find it offensive and they might react by doubling down on whatever behavior and attitudes I am labelling as “racist”.
Do these same friends of humanity rebuke their white peers who call black people “thugs”, or who call Hispanic people “rapists”?
Tried to read all the comments because I dislike repeating a point already made, and probably better than I could have made it. Got a third of the way through and no one was even close.
Talked to many Trump voters, and most said they were voting for him because he is a political outsider who might fix the broken government. They are tired of the two party system; they are tired of partisan gridlock; they are tired of the media dictating how they should feel about, well, anything. They want real change, and believe the Trumpalumpa will change things.
I disagree that Trumpalumpa will change anything. He won’t because he really doesn’t care.
We tend to want to label people who, at one time or another, said or did something abhorrent, as misogynistic, sexual predator, demagoguery, fascist, etc. And we may be right to do that. Why do we think that of them? Because the media showed us that side. I believe Trumpalumpa is all those things.
But I also see that many people no longer believe they are being told the truth, and so vote for their own reasons. This time they want a government that actually governs and, misguidedly believe Trumpalumpa might do that, where HRC will not.
As for the polls: if someone wants to know where I stand on an issue, I don’t mind talking about that. But, when some stranger asks me WHO I am voting for . . . that is none of their business and I feel a moral obligation to LIE about it! Seems a lot to people are figuring the same way.
Wishing we could get a do-over, but the last two years has taken its toll on all of us. Peace. Love. Out.
About the Supreme Court:
Bush Sr. appointed two justices. So did Clinton. So did Bush Jr. So did Obama. And it’s historically unusual for one party to hold the White House for more than two terms, so history shows that we’re kind of in line for a couple conservative justices.
Also the GOP has less than 60 Senate seats aka they can’t break a filibuster. That forces them to work together with the Dems to some degree.
In short: Scotus will be more right leaning, but not to an extrem unsusal degree.
John, did you just change something in the Matrix? On my screen, those green moderator text boxes no longer contain text. But they do contain a faint visage of an award winning science fiction writer who looks a lot like you. Strange. Effect.
I still see text in them, Pedro. Dunno why you wouldn’t. Of course, if you don’t then you won’t see this. Sorry!
I’m not in the mood to be told by anyone – Republican or otherwise – how I should be reacting to this atrocity. There were Trump supporters who declared they’d stage armed revolt if Clinton won. No comparison.
John, I did see the text briefly. Then it vanished. Poof! Just like that. Very strange. Problem is likely on my end, but I have never, ever experienced this issue on your site before. Randomness is running riot these days!
It’s the Russians!
People you’ve repeatedly called “xenophobic racist bigots who don’t deserve sympathy” will, for some reason, not give a rat’s ass about your problems or your candidates.
Why is it worse to point out bigotry than to practice it?
A couple quick thoughts.
1) Mrs. Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate. If she had an ‘R’ behind her name, then I guarantee that many of the people currently bemoaning her demise would have been utterly outraged that she was the nominee.
2) Racism, sexism, and the rest of that stuff are real. But they do not explain this election. The people that are being criticized for voting for Mr. Trump are the very same people that voted for Mr. Obama. In droves. There is a circle there that just can’t be squared.
3) Communication involves listening. The left stopped listening a long time ago, but they went utterly deaf in 2009 when the ACA was jammed through Congress over the reasonable voices that urged a more deliberative process. We were told “elections matter”.
Well they do. And now there are another set of elections that matter. Instead of kvetching about racism, et.al., perhaps this might be a good time to listen to the other issues that are of concern to non-leftists.
(The federal government is far too intrusive. The Constitution (as written) matters. The rule of law matters. Taxes are too high. The deficit is too high. And non-defense spending is the proximate cause.)
4) I’m a little depressed to have been proven correct on the subject of riots so quickly.
I wrote this about this day a couple weeks ago. It’s still holds true.
Pedro, Scalzi: There is a very dim watermark effect in the background of this site. Mostly, it looks like a dirty monitor to me, but, against the green block, it’s significantly more readable.
No idea on the missing text; I see text too.
A very sad day, but as President Obama noted, the sun will rise again. Here, it rose in a beautiful blue sky with sunlight glowing radiantly through yellow maple leaves, which puts things nicely in perspective. My maples were here long before pesky humans, and barring Venus-level climate change, they’ll be here long after we’re gone.
If you’re smart enough to be reading this blog, and don’t fall into one of the privileged categories likely to benefit from Trumpf, think about your neighbor to the north. (Unofficial slogan: “Canada: it just works.”) God knows we’re not perfect, but we need more good people of all colors and accents and religions and orientations. You might have to wait a few days before the Immigration Canada Web site, which is apparently being hammered, gets back up on its feet again.
OK, that being said, John’s right. (Shocked! Shocked I am!) There are times when it’s important to jump ship before the rats take it into their pointy little heads to leave, and this doesn’t seem to be one of them. Not yet. Stay home and fight the good fight as long as you can. And when you can’t fight any longer, give us a call. We still value good people.
Dann: I think the proximate cause of your deficit would be you spending triple the percentage of GDP on your military as most other developed countries, but hey.
This is the first time since the death of Matthew Sheppard that I’ve felt unsafe in my own country. I’m not feeling this way because of the living pile of cheeto dust that’s now “President Elect.” Instead I’m concerned about the “bros,” and homophobes who now feel empowered to take action. Will my husband and I be attacked if we go to the movies? Will we be denied service at a restaurant because the bigots now feel the President is on their side? Can I safely talk about being gay at my place of employment? Troubling times indeed.
Bush Sr. appointed two justices. So did Clinton. So did Bush Jr. So did Obama. And it’s historically unusual for one party to hold the White House for more than two terms, so history shows that we’re kind of in line for a couple conservative justices.
Also the GOP has less than 60 Senate seats aka they can’t break a filibuster. That forces them to work together with the Dems to some degree
One of HW Bush’s appointments was David Souter who turned out, much to GOP dismay to be pretty liberal. Additionally, the court is currently 4-4. Trump will likely get at least 2, possibly 3 appointments. If they skew younger, that could cement the court in place for 25 years.
The filibuster is nonsense. The Ds virtually never have managed one, and if they did, the republicans will just get rid of it.
No comments on the election, I am for now channeling Samuel Beckett and Mel Brooks: “hope for the best, expect the worst”. (I admit to having no idea what “best” could possibly mean at the moment.)
Nate Silver did not consider “what if my assumptions are wrong”. He considered the known problems with polling and accuracy and talked about them upfront. Repeatedly. He was also criticized for effectively double-counting national and state polling effects and using high correlations. (Silver seems to be the only poll aggregator to have read When Genius Failed seriously.) Note that some aggregators (PEC) were quoting 99% at the end.
And the reason economics was first called the “dismal science” was because explaining human activity via “laws” like supply and demand struck Thomas Carlyle as somehow denying our humanity. Later economists of the 19th century picked up on the phrase because it seemed their conclusions were so negative, and that Dickensian poverty would always be the fate of most of mankind.
Social shaming as a political tactic may have lost much of its effectiveness after last night.
Robby Soave at Reason explains: “The left sorted everyone into identity groups and then told the people in the poorly-educated-white-male identity group that that’s the only bad one. It mocked the members of this group mercilessly. It punished them for not being woke enough. It called them racists. It said their video games were sexist. It deployed Lena Dunham to tell them how horrible they were. Lena Dunham! I warned that political-correctness-run-amok and liberal overreach would lead to a counter-revolution if unchecked. That counter-revolution just happened.”
See, none of that bothers a white male who ISN’T those things.
General note: I’m gonna turn off comment when I go to sleep, and I’m likely to go to sleep pretty early (on account of I’ve been up since 5am yesterday and am sooooooooo tired), so expect this comment thread to close at or a little before 8pm eastern. It’ll be back on when I wake up.
Thanks for this thread. I find, in light of recent events, that I appreciate a space where people can disagree and still listen. If I’m to stare at a screen and wonder what the hell Americans were thinking, it is at least better if I can see some of them explain themselves.
I sincerely hope that Trump is not as bad as our worst fears. Those fears are justified, and they will still have been justified even if they do not come to pass. It’s wrong to hope for a disaster so that we can prove we were right. I can’t hope that all those rural whites will eat their words if Speaker Ryan takes away their health insurance while raising taxes on the middle class to pay for upper-class tax cuts, or if Trump starts sending people to Guantanamo. How could anyone hope that?
Ron Stanley cautions us against calling people “[racist,] xenophobic, sexist, stupid, homophobic, or any other invective speech.” Dragoness Eclectic, by contrast, points out that “People you’ve repeatedly called “xenophobic racist bigots who don’t deserve sympathy” will, for some reason, not give a rat’s ass about your problems or your candidates.” So can I just point out an important difference between those two statements?
Ron Stanley appears to be saying that calling racism/sexism/etc what it is counts as “invective speech.” He says we should refrain from pointing out factual things, because the mere act of noting it is just too aggressive. To go along with his suggestion, we’d have to stop fighting for people’s rights and humanity. That’s absurd and unacceptable.
Dragoness Eclectic at least gives us the option of calling people xenophobic racist bigots who nevertheless deserve some basic human level of sympathy. Oh, don’t get me wrong, extending that sympathy isn’t necessarily going to make them any less angry with us for criticizing their worldview. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the “How dare you call me bigoted! Stop that forever or else I’ll show you how bigoted I can be!” point of view. Still, refraining from cutting off all sympathy is the right thing to do if you have the energy/capacity/privilege to be able to do so without causing lasting damage to yourself or others.
Donald Trump’s appeal is all about class. I don’t mean “income” or anything to do with the economy. I mean class. You know, the socioeconomic group in society that you identify with? That notion of class? That’s all over this election.
We’ve been fighting racism by calling it lower class for decades. That tactic got us this far, but we need to leave it behind. For one thing, it makes us more likely to be classist (big surprise). For another thing, it lets upper class people off the hook. We start thinking housing discrimination is just a blip, even as we continue to believe calling someone a slur is a terrible crime. I’m not saying we should stop fighting slurs, to be clear. I’m just suggesting that associating racism with being lower class can distort our viewpoint so that we end up letting other, extremely consequential varieties of bigotry off the hook.
I hope things are not as bad as we feared, but I fear the best case scenario is still not good. Hugs for anyone who wants them, and best wishes to all.
I’ve never lived as a poor white in the rural U.S., so it’s not PC for me to speak for them, but David Wong in Cracked, the comedy Internet magazine, gives a “brick through the window” feeling of how some folks in the non-city areas who voted Trump feel:
To address the misguided idea that Trump’s victory was a wave of white racism, you all might want to know that the percentage of white voters in the electorate dropped from 72% to 70% this election compared to 2012.
But more importantly, Trump actually got LESS of the white vote than Mitt Romney did.
And finally, “Exit polls show that Clinton’s support among Hispanic voters was just 65 per cent, down from Obama’s 71 per cent in 2012 while among black voters support was down from 93 per cent to 88 per cent. Meanwhile support among Hispanic voters was actually higher for Trump, at 29 per cent, compared to the 27 per cent Romney secured four years ago.”
So, it would be nice if ya’ll could quit bashing white people.
Ditto to what Brian Greenberg said. It’s true that a big segment of Trump voters are bigots. But we can’t blame them for this loss because the Republicans voted basically how they always did. Those demographic stats in his favor are not too far off from the previous three elections’ demographics for Bush, Romney and McCain. Also, the popular vote number is about the same- in 04, 08, 12, and 16, the Republican candidate got roughly 60 million votes. So the Republicans are the ones behaving consistently. Considering that the population has grown but the number of people voting Republican has not, and considering the demographic trends, then either more Republicans are abstaining or there are fewer Republicans in the population. It should have been cake for the Dems.
My take on this whole thing (and this is early, so I’m sure reality is more nuanced) is that Clinton lost because Democrats didn’t vote for her- not because Republicans voted for Trump. It might trouble us that Republicans didn’t care that their candidate was a bigot, but if Democrats had turned out in the same numbers as they did in 08 or 12, Clinton would have won.. We really need to own that fact. Clinton lost because loads of Democrats abstained or voted third party. She got about 60 million votes as well. Obama got 66 in 08 and 70 in 12. That means, 10 million fewer people chose to vote Dem this time than last, but they did not vote for Trump either. The same number of people voted Rep. Clinton lost because Dems didn’t vote for her.
So, it would be nice if ya’ll could quit bashing white people.
As a white man, I’ll bash us all I want.
I’m not sure how noting that the numbers of those voting for Hillary Clinton were highest in the poorest and poorer households, and that the proportion voting for Trump increased as household income increased, constitutes ‘bashing white people’.
It looks as if better off people preferred the promise of lower taxes to trying to help the poorest and the poorer; the better off people might wish to spin that rather differently, since it’s a tad unflattering, but the numbers seem reasonably solid.
Just a quick note regarding the conversation up above that says blaming Bernie holdouts ignores the fact that HRC is so unpopular. Uh, no. This is the whole point of that argument. The mature choice was to recognize the very unpleasant reality that a wildly unpopular candidate was, in fact, the nominee- despite enthusiasm for Bernie. And then, like a grownup, recognizing also that either she or Trump would be president. Then making a choice between them. Activism and presidential elections are not the same thing. A presidential election is a process by which a president is chosen. An activist looks at those two candidates and chooses strategically which one will be more likely to respond to their activism. You almost never get to vote someone who is going to respond without strategic activism. So when Bernie holdouts say abstaining or voting Stein is a protest vote, they are either naive or shooting themselves in the foot. Let’s see how comparatively responsive a Trump presidency with a GOP-controlled Congress and a conservative SCOTUS is to progressive activism. Because that’s the world we are in now, and we are there because progressives did not vote.
I am personally am really inspired by the Pantsuit Nation FB group. More than 3 million people saying we aren’t going to take this lying down, already created a superpac and are talking strategically about how to make a difference in the mid-terms in two years time. They are donating to Planned Parenthood, standing up for themselves and others, actively supporting progressive causes and asking ‘what else can I do’? Lot of people who have never been activities before. More than 3 million members already, and the mods so exhausted that therre are 150,000 messages waiting to go up. I’m miserable about the result, but happy about this particular outcome.
I think I’m going to be restructuring my life in various ways. Like going more anonymous if possible. Like giving up on job hunting because at least my current job has health insurance. Like giving up on my job ever hiring more staff since another Great Depression will be coming on. Everything is going to be getting worse for a long time now. The nightmare’s only just begun. Time to adjust to a lack of hope. (And daydream about secession, which won’t happen, but I wish.)
Good thing I already booked an emergency therapy appointment on Friday, but I feel very sorry for my poor shrink right now with what she’s dealing with.
EMMA, the problem that argument is that it goes both ways – if Republican-leaning voters turn out in numbers that party is more likely to win.
It also ignores the voter suppression efforts, and those seem to be mostly undertaken by Republicans and aimed at likely Democratic voters. To pretend that those people freely chose not to vote is to accept that nothing from gerrymandering through to outright murder should have any effect on someone’s ability and willingness to vote. I think that’s wrong.
I agree, though, that it’s significant that the Democratic vote fell much more than the Republican vote rose. Perhaps working to enable and encourage voting would be a useful tactic for Democratic supporters to focus on?
For people who are feeling overwhelmed and flattened by this, who are having trouble processing, who are feeling emotionally numb, I have some coping tips at http://megpie71.dreamwidth.org/68573.html
@Ranapia: “If you’ve answered yes to any or all the above question, you can also assume I’m really in no mood to be lectured on calling bigots and the people who vote for them exactly what they are.”
The people who voted for Trump are people just like you. Patriotic. They care about their country, their families, their jobs. They are Americans just like you, who prioritized different things than you did. This doesn’t make them assholes. It doesn’t make them bigots. It doesn’t make them racists. They’re people. And like most people in both major parties, they are good people.
You are making a mistake when you paint half of America as fascists or bigots. Because you are wrong. And because this hostility is antithetical to the free exchange of ideas that our country is based on.
shakauvm, the assumption that Craig is an American is, I think, not reality-based.
This is the bit which bewilders me; how could anyone with any desire for progressive policies not recognise the immorality of congratulating themselves on their lofty principles when they knew full well that it would put Donald Trump into the White House?
Sensible and serious reporters from my side of the pond have noted that the Western alliance between North America and Western Europe which has prevailed since the end of WWII is now crumbling in ruins, with China willing, ready and able to do far more than provide the Trump campaign with those election caps. Obama has described the NATO agreement as the most important treaty in history, and he was right.
You now have a President-elect who, for example, is happy to dump NATO, thinks that selling nuclear weapons to more or less anyone who asks for them, with certain exceptions such as Iran, is a great idea, and is convinced that we needn’t worry about global warming because it’s a Chinese hoax.
Progressives knew this, but they either sat on their hands or voted for Stein, who, at least in theory, understands why Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accords is a disaster, of catastrophic consequences for our world, yet has apparently convinced herself that her ego comes first.
I just don’t understand why progressives can’t see the real world consequences of decisions they take; as I,said at the beginning of this post that I’m bewildered…
Personally, I’m not too worried. Democrats need to act as obstructionists, maybe take a page or two from the GOP handbook on how to do that.
If there’s one good thing that will come out of this election, it’s that nobody will ever have to talk or care about Hillary Clinton’s emails ever again.
But if there are *two* good things that come out of this election, the near-guaranteed elimination of the filibuster is the other one. Even though in the short term it will increase the damage, if the country survives and politics continue to go back and forth, the next time a sane party is in power the filibuster will be on the trash heap of history where it belongs and that sane party will be able to govern.
One of the sites I mindlessly surfed through today posted Harvey Milk’s famed “Hope” speech. I’ll check it out to feel a little better.
Another site mentioned somebody trying to start up a #NotAllTrumpSupporters Twitter hashtag. I already let off steam on this elsewhere, so I’ll just say it reminds me an awful lot of the #NotAllMen hashtag being deployed when campus rape got discussed at length in the news.
I take voter suppression very seriously and mentioned it earlier in this thread or in the prior one. But that does not account for the missing 10 million Dem voters as it was not isolated to states that had major voter suppression, and since the demographics do not correlate with targeted groups. I think it might have played a small role, and that small role might perhaps even be strategically important when you look at certain swing states, but there is no way it played a big role in the 10 million number as a whole number.
And the argument COULD go either way, but it didn’t. The Republicans voted just as they did in the last three elections- in terms of whole numbers and demographic percentages. As a percentage of the general public, they had a slightly smaller turn out in fact. The Democrats, on the other hand, had 10 million FEWER voters than they did in 08. So it’s not that so many more people voted for Trump. It’s that so many left-leaning candidates did not vote at all. And some voted for Stein. Therefore, it’s unfair to conclude that Trump won because the country is full of bigots. Please note that I’m not disputing the fact that the country is full of bigots or that they voted for Trump. Just that this is not the reason why he won. His success was totally typical and predictable, and the GOP did NOT gain any voters this year or have a good turnout. They were remarkably typical. The problem is that a shit-ton of people just sat the thing out, and looking at the numbers, they were on the left.
Let me say this, and I beg you to consider putting it into practice.
Be kind. Each person you’re kind to is a little more likely to be kind to someone else. Kindness is contagious.
Stand together. Back up your friends and the people you love. Back up the disadvantaged, the helpless. Find your courage to say “No, this is a person – treat them kindly.”
If it gives you any comfort, Congress (even Rep controlled Congress) is overwhelmingly opposed to pulling out of NATO or limiting our defense pledge with other countries so that they can remain non-nuclear.
As for the repeal of the ACA and rolling back the Paris agreement, yes he can do that and says he will and Congress supports it. I wonder about the Iran Treaty as well- I didn’t hear him mention that today but it troubles me because Congress said they would not support it back when it happened- that they were just waiting for a Rep president to throw it out. These things, plus the SCOTUS appointments, actually matter- and for generations into the future. So yea, I don’t get the holdouts either. I’ve talked to them until I’m blue in the face. It does no good, and right now, they are actually GLOATING. Which is upsetting to me because it means they give priority over being right about something (Bernie probably would’ve have done better than Clinton) over real lives and real consequences. The bigotry on the right is upsetting, but not surprising. It’s the progressives that surprised me. I really thought they’d come out and vote in similar numbers as they did for Obama.
And I voted Bernie in the primaries btw and wanted him as a candidate, and I have no love for Clinton and would add that the fact that she is now done with her political career and will not be able to screw anything else up again is not something that I mind. Good riddance.
Turns out Heinlein was prescient when he predicted the Crazy Years. Hopefully the President Elect does not become The Prophet.
I think one of the major reasons why Clinton lost was because of her commitment to a very unpopular Obamacare (ACA) that was broken but couldn’t be fixed because of a Congressional majority dedicated to repealing it.
I work for a health insurance company, and after being the only insurance company to provide policies for the state exchange in every county in our state, my employer dropped out of the individual insurance business altogether because it lost $500 million dollars in 3 years, but it was doing slightly better than break even in almost every other category. This is why the ACA exchanges is seeing 20%-60% rate increases, but the corporate customers are only seeing percent increases of single digit to low teens.
If Trump and Ryan and the rest of the Republicans repeal the ACA, but preserve popular things like covering pre-existing conditions and keeping adult children on insurance plans, it won’t fix why the individual health plan market is current broken, and it’s not going to be fixed by allowing insurance companies to cross state borders (and in states like mine, I suppose allow the incoming insurance companies to be for profit). BTW, one third of Americans are insured by a Blue Cross, and each of the 36 independent Blue Crosses has a franchise for a specific territory, so none of them can expand into other states, except by buying or merging with other Blue Crosses. My personal expectation is that the ACA will be repealed effective 1/1/2018, Congress will turn Medicaid into smaller block grants to the states, and spend the next two years pretending to be looking into a working replacement for the ACA. In general, most people will either need to work for a company large enough to afford health insurance, or go without.
Unfortunately 2018 is a year when most Senators up for re-election are Democrats, and Democrats are notoriously bad at getting out the vote in non-presidential election years, so they probably won’t even be able retake either the House or Senate if the Republicans end up keeping their promises of gutting regulatory agencies, stacking SCOTUS with ultraconservatives, and (boosting the deficit by) reducing taxes for the rich, making it impossible for anyone but the rich to get abortions, deporting millions of illegal immigrants and abrogating long-standing treaties.
As a person who voted against Trump, I still have to ask why are people surprised that Clinton lost?
Yes, Trump, and the Republican Party are certainly worse, but that is like saying that smallpox is not as bad as the black death. People still die. The entire Establishment has been actively increasing the income, and wealth, gap, hollowing out the economy, growing the security state, feeding the corruption, and after doing all that, getting themselves elected by saying the other side’s liberals/conservatives are the reason things suck.
So don’t elect the other guy because things will get worse. But they always do, and has been since at least the late 1970s. Perhaps after seeing things always getting worse even after always voting for the lesser evil, people decided to not vote for the Establishment’s choice this time, but for Cthulhu.
This was going to happen sooner, or later. So I ask again. Why the surprise?
@Shakuvum: No, they’re not “just like us.” They voted against the betterment of the country.
Yes, they *are* bigots. I look like a reject from People of Walmart. I hear what these “kind, patriotic” people say because they think I’m one of them.
I’m not. I despise them. They’ve fucked over not only everyone else, but themselves. And frankly, they deserve what happens to them.
A few thoughts from the north:
Yeah, I feel gut-punched. The Orange Lardsack won. I’m not even upset with him or his voters. He and they are just not good people; how *can* you be if you’re completely OK with sexual assault, racism, and just sheer ignorance? But these folks never were salvageable. The people who’ve really gotten on my tits, as the British say, are the ones who:
1) Refused to recognize that there’s a difference between voting one’s conscience and voting one’s ego; third-party votes in several states were much larger than the OL’s lead, and complaining about the unfairness of “the two-party system” ignores the mathematical realities of first-past-the-post voting, Duverger’s law, the Electoral College, etc.. In short, you vote with the system you have, not the one you want, and if you want alternatives, then why is there no movement toward an alternative voting system, at least on an individual-state basis? Only Nebraska and Maine aren’t winner-take-all? Sad. Too many people decide two months before the election itself that “THE SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE CHANGED!”, when they should have started the day after the last one.
2) Stayed home. The national turnout was right around 50%; if you’re one of the abstainers and suffer under an OL presidency, tough noogies. I’m always both amused and *be*mused by people who complain that neither party “speaks to them”, or some such crap. Especially with young voters, who claim that they’re not listened to, when the reason that they’re not listened to is that historically *they don’t vote*. Want to break a cycle? Go first.
3) Claim that “Bernie would have CRUSHED the OL–the polls said so!” Those polls were taken almost a year before the election itself, which made them less useful than tits on a bull. Moreover, there were an equal number of polls claiming that Cruz would vanquish all comers. Confirmation bias and cherry-picking at their apex. (And let me say here that a Cruz presidency, if nothing else, would have been entertaining purely for the continuing series of vivid insults crafted by Mr. Scalzi. Those made me spew shit out of my navel from laughter!) And anyone who thinks that Sanders would have not been made radioactive to moderates by non-stop “COMMUNIST!” and “SOCIALIST!” slurs from the GOP/RNC is not being honest with themselves, or anyone else, for that matter. Bonus delusionality points if you don’t think the anti-Semitic shit they trotted out on Hillary would not have stuck to an *actual* Jew.
For everybody who ended up crashing our immigration website this morning: A lot of us here in Canada would prefer that you stay to clean up your mess. It won’t get better if you don’t at least try to limit the damage, and you owe it to the disenfranchised, some of whom for whatever reason *can’t* flee to more copacetic pastures, to fight for them. That goes double if you’re one of the folks in the above-named groups.
@shakauvm, you say “You are making a mistake when you paint half of America as fascists or bigots. Because you are wrong. And because this hostility is antithetical to the free exchange of ideas that our country is based on.”
The problem with that is that no one is painting anyone as anything. This is a decision Trump’s voters made about themselves, and the people calling them fascists and bigots are not calling anyone names, but simply acknowledging that fact. If you knowingly vote for a racist, bigoted rapist, then that says you are fine with racism, bigotry and sexual assault, at least to a degree that matters. That’s a decision every single one of those voters made the moment they made their mark for Trump. People don’t get to magically divide themselves from that and decide that they aren’t supporters of racism, bigotry and sexual assault, while at the same time voting for it. You vote for it, you support it, then that’s your stance. I understand that that’s a thought that might make people feel embarrassed about themselves, but you know what? Too late.
It’s not name-calling if you actively chose that name for yourself. His voters should at least have the decency to own it.
“Bonus delusionality points if you think the anti-Semitic shit they trotted out on Hillary would not have stuck to an *actual* Jew.”
“Bonus delusionality points if you don’t think the anti-Semitic shit they trotted out on Hillary would have stuck to an *actual* Jew.”
It scares me. I was up nearly all night watching. This friends is how fascism in the USA begins to happen. I’m a Jew. I won’t go quietly.
“Anyone that votes for Trump is at best a deluded idiot, if not an Asshat”. It’s been said so often that a significant number of people that voted for him for whatever reason they thought was worthwhile, expect to be yelled at for admitting it. So, since they didn’t admit it to their coworkers and friends, they didn’t admit it to the polling agencies.
My dad’s favorite book, the one that stayed on his nightstand well after he passed away was “Give Em Hell Harry”. The title cover had a picture of Harry S Truman holding the newspaper with the headline “Dewey Defeats Truman”.
To some extent the complacency of the assured victory of HRC also played a part since it wasn’t worth the effort of many who wanted her to win. but didn’t need to put out the effort, didn’t.
I would call this the inevitable result of Cognitive Bias.
There’s this sci-fi writer who does an occasionally interesting blog who had some things to say about John Kerry and Shoes back in 2004. The GOP pig-shit bits still apply, I’m afraid. Here’s a link:
Also, this thought from Aotearoa:
@scalzi: the polls were wrong because the “likely voter” models were wrong. And just about every demographic that voted for Obama in 08 & 12 (including college educated white males) did so in lower absolute numbers this year. Not only did the number of Democratic votes not increase, it actually decreased. And Trump did better getting his constituents out to vote. Again in absolute, not just percentages.
As Lincoln is believed to have said, “elections are decided by those who show up” … and the Democrats didn’t. Data here:
Mr. Scalzi and commenters,
I’ve been lurking on this site for a while but never felt the need to post until now. I’m an active-duty U.S. military officer and am normally reluctant to share my thoughts on political matters as I feel it inappropriate to do so in most circumstances.
These are not most circumstances. If anything, last night’s and today’s events are the very definition of what the Chinese meant by “may you live in interesting times.”
Like many of the commenters here, I’ve been in a state of utter psychological shock for most of the day. In fact, I’ve talked to several other non-Trump voters and the symptoms appear to be universal. People tell me that they feel as if they’ve stumbled into the Twilight Zone. I also haven’t slept for 36 hours.
My co-workers were largely pro-Trump, and the current dynamic at work is extremely weird as they all assume me to be one of them as long as I don’t say the wrong thing. I’ve encountered a few others like myself throughout the day, we’re mostly reluctant to speak our minds unless we’re sure that the folks around us are “safe” but we’re getting a little support group/resistance cell together.
I hope to God Trump doesn’t put me in the position of having to resign my commission as a matter of principle or Constitutional obligation. My service has come to define a lot of who I am and I’d planned on having a nice long military career, I’d hate to have to give it up but if it comes to it…well, hopefully I’ll find the strength to do the right thing.
Finally, I’m pleased to make the acquaintance of all of you, and hopefully you feel the same about me. I only regret that we were unable to do so under better circumstances.
@GemmaM, I agree.
I think so much of the problem here is that progressives have confused moral accuracy with pragmatism. It is accurate to say that Trump rode a wave of racism and xenophobia to the White House. It is not, however, pragmatic to run around calling Trump supporters bigots and xenophobes and expecting it to change their minds. Shaming people into doing what you want only works if they (a) care what you think and (b) have basically the same goals and values as you. When neither of those are true, you change people’s minds by demonstrating how your position is beneficial to them and to the goals they do care about. That’s something that Democrats utterly failed at this election cycle. And it does in fact matter that they change their minds, because the core group of Trump supporters–white, working class men–isn’t going away anytime soon.
This is something I’m still struggling with, tbh, because I’m very disappointed and angry right now. But I have the social capital to actually talk to the people I know who supported Trump and be listened to, and it’s my responsibility to do that, I think, because others can’t.
I sincerely hope that Trump is not as bad as our worst fears. Those fears are justified, and they will still have been justified even if they do not come to pass. It’s wrong to hope for a disaster so that we can prove we were right. I can’t hope that all those rural whites will eat their words if Speaker Ryan takes away their health insurance while raising taxes on the middle class to pay for upper-class tax cuts, or if Trump starts sending people to Guantanamo. How could anyone hope that?
“…As democracy is perfected, the [President’s] office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
This is a real quote, unlike many others floating around…
I’m not sure about trump being a “one term president”; I can think of a lot of terms to call him; and I’ve been adding to the list. I work for the National Park Service, and I live in Alaska, and today, I read that he’s considering asking Sarah Palin to be the Secretary Of The Interior. The only bright spot that I can see to that is that Palin hasn’t served out a full term on anything; if she is picked, I’m just wondering how long it will take to repair the damage that she does.
As a libertarian, I’m used to the asshats winning.
Raghavan Mayur and his IBP/TIPP were giving the victory of Trump (as they did one for Obama in the past, and in both cases were accused to be biased) almost spot on. It has been one of the most accurate model around, even more accurate than Nate Silverman. I started reading the reasoning behind the weight on their model weeks before the election and it made a lot of sense. He also noted that the two most accurate model who predicted Trump victory were labeled by the press as biased (as were they labeled as biased when they predicted with a really small margin of error respect to the real results Obama’s victory… twice). When Nate Silver said Trump had about 35% chance of winning, he was also accused by the HuffPost to be tipping the results (they were giving him 1%) to swing the elections… The point is not that the poll (the good ones at least, the one with some math behind and not just gut feelings) were wrong, the point is we didn’t like the story the number were telling about the socio/economical divide (the vote in rural area, the difference in educated vs ineducated people, etc…)
Here’s something to chew on:
(If the link isn’t there, just google “la times usc poll” and it should be the first item in the list.)
Among other things, they asked respondents how likely they’d be to tell an actual pollster that they were planning on voting for Trump; turns out, that was at least part of the source of the polling errors. (This was an online-only poll with complicated math to correct for various problems with online polls.)
I suspect that the way this poll was conducted will be the future of accurate polling. And I plan on watching them closely for future elections, since their model was demonstrably more accurate in this election cycle.
(Apologies if someone else has already posted this; I don’t have the headspace to wade through all the comments.)
I take your point, and its a fair one. Hope you’re going to give my perspective on “pragmatism” a fair hearing.
Because here’s something I’ve learned the hard way in my 43 years on this planet as a mixed race, mildly effeminate gay man who prefers reading to sports. Letting bullies punch you in the face, in the hope they’ll get bored and stop before you brain starts bleeding, is a very pragmatic way to get killed
Can we finally put a stake in the heart of the myth that in the last three odd centuries of American history, white people — especially straight white men — have been victimized by a deficit of attention or regard? That the “white working class” (apparently only white people work enough to get unquestioned empathy in election season) are such delicate petals they can’t withstand some straight talk about their own situation and behaviours? THAT is really condescending, not least to the working class men on my mother’s side of the family who aren’t screeching racists whose dicks fell off when New Zealand had not one but two female Prime Ministers. In a row, no less.
I will do my damnedest to convince you of my case, but I’m not going to do it by pandering. I’ll look you in the eye and make my case, and repay the courtesy, and it’s not always going to be comfortable for either of us.
And here’s another pragmatic reality check: There’s a non-trivial number of people I’ll never convince to view me as a human being. It’s not pragmatic to keep kissing their arses and wairing for a miracle, it’s stupidity and moral cowardice.
As one of those assuming the worst because it seems the most likely option, the real fun might be when Trump’s promise to preserve entitlements that benefit old folks runs head long into Paul Ryan’s dream to to gut the Old Deal…apparently as early as lunch! There would be nothing more fitting than for the Movement Conservatives’ dream of manipulating the worst motives people to enable their vision of small government to be blown up by real populism.
@ milenniumcrow, if I remember correctly you have a right and a duty to ignore unconstitutional orders. Plus I think the Pentagon nixed Trump’s plan to murder alleged terrorists’ families.
Hang in there, man. It’s likely that the economy will collapse, then we can elect a lot of Dems in 2018 and stop Trump’s loony agenda.
Fewer voted this election than earlier elections, so there was no real winner. We also have to wait for the turnout of the Electors later, even though that usually goes the way of the election.
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I don’t actually disagree with you in the slightest, for what it’s worth. But I’m a young queer liberal who hangs out online with a lot of other young queer liberals (IRL I am in a rural county of NY that hasn’t voted for a Democratic candidate in decades), and it’s really easy to get caught up in an echo chamber where OF COURSE everyone agrees on the same basic principles, and we can just ignore everyone who doesn’t because they’re assholes and why bother talking to assholes.
I don’t think it’s necessary, or useful, or morally right to gently hold their hands and explain to them why they’re wrong while they’re spitting in our faces, but there’s a wide gulf between ‘ostentatiously sympathize with uneducated white men like they’re some kind of unique snowflakes’ and ‘ignore them entirely because they’re assholes’. They ARE assholes, at least the ones who voted for Trump, but they’re also a voting bloc that can exercise considerable power in national elections, and I’m frustrated by the number of educated liberals I know who thought that the most appropriate way to deal with them in this election season was to point and laugh and then pretend that they weren’t there.
I don’t know. I’m not articulating this very well, but: there’s a difference between saying that we should try to understand why someone thinks and votes the way they do and saying that they need or deserve sympathy and coddling. The latter is useless and immoral. The former is the only way to defeat them. I don’t want to understand Trump voters because I think they’re all a bunch of sad misunderstood woobies who just haven’t been given enough sympathy or respect; I want to understand Trump voters so I can prevent the re-election of Trump, or someone like him.
You’re doing fine, and I’m not sure we disagree on much, if anything. We’re just coming at it from different angles. Thanks for letting me rant in your general direction. :)
I’m going to add something that a lot of Canadians have been resurrecting the past couple of days. It was said by Jack Layton, the leader of our respectable leftist part, between the last election he ran in and his death by cancer. At the time, the Canadian electoral system had just handed an unassailable majority to a man who idolized the policies of G.W. Bush, and who got 38% of the popular vote.
““My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
Looking to the Long Term, here’s where it gets interesting: Sometime in the next 20-30 years, Miami, Phoenix and Las Vegas will be abandoned. Miami because the flooding, Phoenix because it’s too hot to live, LV because they will run out of water. Pay attention to Lake Mead water levels, it’s the single most important number in the US right now. The Republicans actually haven’t thought this through very well: Human nature being what it is, there will be a search for scapegoats when every single South Florida resident becomes an environmental refugee, and the Republicans are the obvious target. The middle east is doomed, and what’s going on in Syria is just a foretaste. I suspect that Trump will just bring on what was going to happen anyway.
(As a side note I wish the US had a functional green party that wasn’t insane, but they don’t. Jill Stein is a nutjob).
I couldn’t disagree more with the notion that “You lost the election because racists don’t like being called bigots so you need to shut up and treat them like their attitudes are normal and acceptable if you ever want to win again.”
Regardless of the extent of the damage a Trump Administration will do to civil rights and protections in this country, his election has already made the US demonstrably less safe by 18 months of a campaign normalizing bigotry.
And the only thing worse? Would be to shut up about that. To abandon our fellow Americans who have in the past 24 hours seen swastikas spray painted on their businesses, Klansman marching in the streets, Muslim women being attacked for wearing the hijab, and school children told to move to the back of the bus. Shut up about that so we can go back to the 1950s and pretend that genteel bigotry is an acceptable attitude? I don’t think so. Just because a campaign that was based on misogyny, islamophobia, xenophobia, and racism won, doesn’t make any of that right and never will.
Not calling racists “racist” doesn’t accomplish anything, regardless of who is in power. Ignoring it, treating it as normal and acceptable, just tells the victims that they don’t matter.
Oh, and actually the other interesting question (to me) is how the Deep State deals with the Donald. I’m sure there are a bunch of very nervous careerists in the State Department/CIA/Defence/etc who are worried that their jobs are about to get a LOT more interesting.
It seems Donald is having trouble filling National Security jobs. Most of the qualified people are saying hell no. On the bright side, there seems to be a good chance we’ll get to see John ‘Bomb Em Back to the Stone Age’ Bolton as Secretary of State.
On this side of the pond there are all sorts of weird arguments about Trump’s victory being trotted out in Brexit Britain; my candidate for the silliest so far is that Donald Trump will need the support of the far right over here, so he’ll cut us a really great trade deal and Britain will be great again.
I may be failing to convey the finer nuances of that argument, due to an unfortunate meeting of head and desk, but I estimate the chances of Donald Trump thinking he needs anyone’s support is around zero. The President will have a Republican Senate, and a Republican House of Representatives, and very, very large amounts of money from all those people who can now fiddle cheerfully whilst the Paris Accords burn.
Post Brexit we have had lots of people who have crawled out from under stones to demonise ‘the other’ with great enthusiasm; unfortunately we also have some politicians using the ‘don’t call bigots bigots’ arguments, notwithstanding the fact that they are legitimising violence in speech and act. And then we have politicians who are bigots themselves; I’d nominate Nigel Farage for the role of Chief Bigot, but he’s much, much worse than that. Bigot, as a word, isn’t up to the job of conveying just how loathsome he is, and, unsurprisingly, he’s become one of Donald Trump’s buddies.
I’ve been trying to think of something cheerful to say, but obviously I’m having difficulties; on the other hand I grew up during the Cold War, and therefore didn’t regard Zelazny’s ‘Damnation Alley’ as wildly implausible. Russia is very pleased by Trump’s victory, at least for the moment, but Trump’s belief that the proliferation of nukes is a great idea will ensure opportunities to experience it for ourselves. GRR Martin has said ‘Winter is coming’, I suspect he’s right…
I’m an occasional reader here of this blog & comments. I know that like minded liberal / progressives mainly hang out here and bolster each other’s beliefs and thoughts. As life-long republican, but reluctant Trump supporter, I do think the mostly group think of classifying all who supported Trump as one or all of the “ists” and other deplorable attributes is amazingly biased against accepting of the differences that make up our country. I think the popular MSM has been successful in doing a form of brainwashing that so divides us. To be fair, there are those on the far right with extremist views of the left. I would hope that we can all tone down the rhetoric and be more accepting of differences of opinions and views. As for Trump, time will tell,but I suspect that he will be effective and implement programs and changes that are more appealing to the middle and less to either the extremes on the left or on the right. Unlike with Obama, the republican congress will not be shy to calling out and stopping any truly radical ideas that Trump might propose. Now .. back to my lurking!
This election was unique in the history of the US. There has never been another one where the losing side was so convinced, right up to the start of the election, that they’d win, AND was so convinced that their opponent was the essence of evil. So I’m not surprised at the panic and anxiety I see here and elsewhere. One of my friends was so upset, even before Clinton conceded, that she was throwing up.
As Gary and others have pointed out, Congress might be Republican in both houses, but much of the party doesn’t support Trump. My hope is that Democrats and establishment Republicans combine for a majority which gridlocks Trump while the rest of us go about our business.
In every country where voting is largely open and uncontrolled by the State apparatus you get political parties and those parties attract, no acquire, a following who will vote for that party regardless.
So in the US example 25% vote Democrat, 25% vote Republican and 50% vote minor parties, float between D & R or just don’t vote.,
Trump was right when he said that if he shot someone in 5th Avenue he wouldn’t lose a single vote. Well, literally he would but figuratively he wouldn’t. 25% will vote Republican regardless of the name on the hoardings; ditto the Democrats.
It is getting part of the 50% to vote your way that wins the election. Obama did this, but those voters just disappeared for Clinton.
Conclusion; – find the person (Obama) or hook (Make America Great Again) to get the extra voters out to vote for you. The base will vote for you regardless.
I thought there was a pretty reasonable chance that Trump would win and said as much in a comment on one of John’s posts after he won the nomination. (And said the same thing about him winning the nomination before that.) I *hoped* he would lose, but I certainly wasn’t convinced of it. In fact, I thought there was a pretty good chance he would. And the same thing was true of large swaths of the people I know. In the world in which I live in the South and probably across much of America, a Trump presidency seemed all too plausible.
But I did not anticipate my reaction to the results at all. I’m an older white male. I had no clue that people choosing to install someone like Trump in our most powerful office would hit the issues that they did. Heck, I wasn’t even aware I was vulnerable in that way. Nor are people reacting to some caricature of Trump of the “essence of evil”. They are reacting to the very real man. He’s a publicly avowed bigot, a sexist who sexually assaults women, including abusing his power to walk in on naked teen girls, a hatemonger, and the archetype of a bully. And he has publicly and repeated espoused policies that will inflict very real harm on many, many people. When people react in fear, including throwing up (and I’m not sure I would like having a “friend” who described my reaction in that manner) it’s a perfectly valid fear that he will do what he said he would do.
Maya Angelou had a very good quote for this situation. “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” We believe Trump is precisely whom he has shown himself to be. And having a person like that as our president is terrifying.
The trouble is that access to voting IS controlled by state apparatus, since the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. That’s a demonstrable difference since the 2012 election.
[Deleted for not making much sense — JS]
I’m breaking with my usual habit of reading all comments before adding my own, because there’s just too much to wade through and I am too depressed by the results. So if I repeat what someone else has said (or someone else has refuted), I apologize. Such is life.
First, some general observations about the election:
1) It wasn’t about third parties. Six months ago it MIGHT have been about third parties, when Johnson was polling at 10% and Stein was polling at 5%. When push came to shove, most of those people voted Dem or Rep. Watching the vote tallies, third-party voting was a little higher than usual, but not much, typically running 2-4%.
Now, if you want to engage in magical thinking where all the Stein voters came over to Clinton, yet all the Johnson voters stay where they are, then yes you can blame Trump’s victory on third parties. But, really???
In truth, if the polls of six months ago had held, Clinton would’ve won, due to third-party effects. As it turned out, they were irrelevant.
2) It wasn’t about Sanders holdouts or the Dems who didn’t vote. Okay, if you want to say it was, then you have to also include the “anyone but Trump” Rep holdouts and the Reps who didn’t vote In your calculations. Because otherwise, again, magical thinking where somehow your side gets a huge boost in turnout vs. the other. Which *could* happen, but… considering that the turnout for this election was distinctly higher than average on both sides, even taking into account the holdouts, really, it’s not a realistic worldview.
If you’re really looking for scapegoat, why not blame it on minority/people of color/women, who also did not turn out 100% to vote; if they had it would’ve tipped it for Clinton. That’s a rhetorical question. Don’t go there.
3) The really, really big demographic divide, the one that pushed Trump over the top, was economic/educational class: White working-class folks who lacked a college degree. The ones they are now calling “Trump Democrats (aka TDs).” Unless I misread the numbers (entirely possible!) that was a much bigger gap than men vs. women, which was pretty big. In other words, unfortunately, it “was about the economy, stupid.” Or, rather, their perception of it. As far as they were concerned, it was badly broken and they went for the candidate who said he was going to Make It Different and they didn’t care what else he said.
Which leads me to depressing conclusions:
Do understand that I was a fervent Sanders supporter. I’d MUCH rather have had him as a candidate than Clinton. It wouldn’t have mattered. He’d have lost, too. Sure, no sexism as an issue, but do you really truly imagine that the TD’s would’ve chosen a Socialist Jew over a Capitalist Christian?! Suuuuure. Plus, the Sanders campaign did a poorer job of reaching out to women and did a totally crap job of reaching out to disadvantaged/people of color/disabled groups. Consequently, it’s hard to imagine Sanders getting a Democratic surge more than Clinton.
Similar analysis applies to Biden or anyone else from the “insider establishment.” None of them even get a surge of enthusiasm; they are business-as-usual Democrats.
What particularly depresses me about this is that this is likely to push the Democratic party further to the right. The strategists will start to try to figure out how to grab the TD’s, which means an even less progressive agenda in the future, and the Blue Dog/incrementalist had already made sure that it was weak sauce.
Coming from the perspective of a radical left feminist queer, I am not filled with delight. This worked out even worse than I could’ve imagined.
Another depressing conclusion:
The Republican gamble on stonewalling the Supreme Court nominee worked. That is really, really unfortunate. Because, in politics, nothing succeeds like success, which means we can expect to see more of that assholery in the future on both sides. Not only will the Party of No stay The Party of No when they’re not in power, but the Democrats are going to be thinking seriously about the same thing. It fuckin’ works. Goddammit.
I hate government-by-asshole.
On the other hand…
The handwringing over the Supreme Court is premature. It would’ve been nice to have a Clinton nominee (VERY nice), but the Trump nominee will NOT restore the Supreme Court to what it was before Scalia had died. Scalia is not replaceable. Trump will return it to a 4-4-1 split but the conservative side will be less influential than it was before Scalia died. We will still be better off (just not by anywhere as much).
Scalia was our worst nightmare. He was one of the towering intellects on the Supreme Court, one of the very best minds who had ever been on it. What made it so much worse, even, was that for the first two thirds of his term (something happened towards the end that turned him into merely a grumpy old man) he was hugely influential. It really was the Scalia Court no matter who was Chief Justice. This was because he was personable, humorous, witty, clever, insightful, and he genuinely enjoyed a good discussion with people on the other side. At least, the ones who could keep up with him.
Listening to that man in conversation, he was absolutely someone you’d like to have as your dinner partner, not because you’d agree, but because there would be serious, legitimate, amiable engagement. You’d have a great discussion.
Which, combined with his intellect, made him hugely influential on the court and that is what made him so dangerous and terrifying.
He kind of lost it in the last decade. But before that, he was a right-wing champion of irreplaceable strength and influence. There is, happily, no one else remotely like him out there.
What Trump will get is a solid conservative and the swing vote will stay the swing vote, but there won’t be Scalia’s massive thumb on the scales. That’ll be an improvement for the progressives.
And, oh sure, if Trump gets to nominate more than one Supreme Court Justice AND the next one to go isn’t one of the conservatives, it’ll become a different story. But that hasn’t happened yet, and based on past track record, I don’t put much faith in the Cassandras’ forecast. The Supremes have proven to be a remarkably tenacious and unpredictable bunch. I’ll worry when and if it happens.
pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. Dragon Dictate in training! ]
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https://viewarts.wordpress.com/2016/11/09/donald-trump-wins-why/ Another view
Gary said To be fair, there are those on the far right with extremist views of the left. I would hope that we can all tone down the rhetoric and be more accepting of differences of opinions and views.
Until his acceptance speech Trump was never about “tone down the rhetoric” and “accepting differences” is the exact antithesis of what he and the Republicans stand for.
It might be handy to read about the “Overton Window”, and how extreme views become normalised as that shifts. After a year or more of far-right lunacy everywhere, people’s understanding of what is normal have shifted. Note that on most world-wide analysis, Sanders is a centre-right pragmatist and Obama is further right than most world leaders (including at times, Putin).
As for Trump, time will tell,but I suspect that he will be effective and implement programs and changes that are more appealing to the middle and less to either the extremes on the left or on the right.
That would be a very pleasant surprise. But as noted above, the middle of US politics is still the far right of the rest of the world – while it would be refreshing to see the USA implement universal public healthcare, I can’t imagine it actually happening.
[Deleted for presenting information in a very obnoxious and trollish way. Greg, if you think you can do it in a way that doesn’t make you look like you live under a bridge and annoy goats, you may try again — JS]
@Greg Sellers —
You celebrate a vicious gang assault of an elderly man. That is remarkable and should be cause for self reflection although it certainly won’t.
Who are the baddies?
I understand while hating poc who want to displace white people in a country white people built, but self-loathing white people like Scalzi need to go into the peat bog.
The democrats ran the most evil person who has ever held public office anywhere in the free world, and you are surprised she lost? No wonder no one reads your crappy books.
[Deleted for being wrong about why I did things. Dan, don’t try to model my brain, you’re clearly not good at it — JS]
Comments like yours are why so many are convinced that all Trump supporters are racists.
This is the link showing the race-based attack which Sellers was so happy about and which Scalzi deleted:
Incidents like that and the celebration thereof are why so many are convinced that all Hillary supporters are racists.
Moz in Oz, you wrote that Putin is to the left of Obama.
* Gave his people the right to bear arms 2 years ago (true)
* Supports the Russian Orthodox Church explicitly
* Authoritarian / law-and-order
* Supports a low, flat tax regime that American right wingers only dream of
* Favors strong military
* Wants his people to make more babies and is against abortion
* Opposes LGBTQ in all its forms; in fact he’s kind of known for that
* Supports rightist like LePen in France
* Kicked out Soros’ NGOs and others
* Finds much more commonality with right-wing countries than left-controlled ones.
Tell us more about Putin’s leftism!
The narrative that America is a nation of extremists far to the right of everyone else in the world is something those on the left tell themselves to justify their own intolerance of the other side. That may have once been true but it is hardly true now. Homosexuality itself is not even legal in at least half the world (while the mere criticism of gay marriage is cause for career-destruction here) and citizenship in most countries is harder to come by than the US. While most readers here get the vapors at the mere mention of the word ‘wall’, Europe, which the American left fondly looks toward, has built a large amount of walls over the past two years to keep out migrants. Our political dissidents seek asylum from our Democrat-led government with Russia and Ecuador. We used to collect political dissidents from leftist countries.
Krugman watching the returns:
“It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover?
Frankly, I find it hard to care much, even though this is my specialty. The disaster for America and the world has so many aspects that the economic ramifications are way down my list of things to fear.
Still, I guess people want an answer: If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”
I guess “collapse, never to recover, ever again” is economist-speak for “end the week at an all-time-high.”
Dan, it’s not that Putin is left, it’s that Obama is on the right. And, as I said on some issues. So, for example, on assassination as a political tool, Putin says no, Obama says yes (actually, “YES!”). On an armed citizenry Putin again says no, Obama says yes. I suspect that Putin also supports socialised medicine to a much greater degree that Obama. I expect there are others.
I’m aware that in the US killing “terrorist leaders” like Allende, Hussein and Castro (oops) is not even widely accepted as assassination, let alone unjustified interference in other countries, popular and not regarded as precedent-setting, but not everyone in the world agrees. Ask a Chilean about 9/11 some time.
“So, for example, on assassination as a political tool, Putin says no, Obama says yes”
I think most neutral observers would give Putin the win in the “makes occasional use of assassination” category.
“On an armed citizenry Putin again says no, Obama says yes. ”
Obama is stuck with the 2nd Amendment and the fact that the 100 million clingers would go down shooting before giving up their gun rights. Does anyone think he would create a right to bear arms where none existed before? That’s what Putin did.
“I suspect that Putin also supports socialised medicine to a much greater degree that Obama.”
Yes, tell us about the glorious Russian health system. Health care in Russia is crap and life expectancies are absurdly low. In America hospitals are not allowed to turn away anybody.
“I expect there are others.”
I hope so, because so far all the examples you gave make my point, not yours.
“I voted against Trump — voted against him twice, in fact, since I also voted against him in the primary” –
You’re a Republican?
This might actually be a safe place to write that Eric Greitens and Roy Blunt are relatively thoughtful, sane people. A semi-bright spot was watching Greitens give his acceptance speech. He started out by being unaffectedly happy and shouting, “We won!” He also referred in the middle to having had fun on the campaign. Who does that anymore? (I refused to watch either Kander concede or Blunt accept. We won’t get as good a candidate as Kander for another 10 years.)
Kasich also looks like a relative grownup.
Two people that I respect from different ends of the Democratic coalition who don’t throw the F word around have used it. You have to take that very seriously.
I don’t know what it means to be a citizen in the country that is coming. I thought just today that Muslim Americans now know that 47% of the electorate is willing to say that they are second class and unwelcome. An advantage we had over Europe as far as radicalization has been thrown away. I’m also personally offended that abject ignorance was rewarded even if my efforts to learn about the world are on the decidedly conventional-wisdom side.
I’m heartened that Scalzi couldn’t sleep and didn’t particularly want to eat either. I made myself lie down at 2:30 am when there were clearly no more results in the near future and couldn’t actually sleep for another hour.