Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Causes and Mysteries about Election 2016

A minority of American voters have elected an irresponsible, racist, misogynist, narcissistic, and unqualified asshole to be POTUS and are in complete denial of how they have fucked this country.


In order to achieve this, a number of things had to happen. I review a few of them here. First, women and Hispanics who were presumed to vote for HRC and against Trump did not do so in substantial numbers. Trump could not have won without their support. Second, we learn that the country is perfectly willing to ignore their leaders. Just about every elite politician, intellectual and news source supported HRC, some of them half-heartedly, and opposed Trump. Third, voting Republicans, not their leaders but the rank and file, supported their candidate and the Democrats did not. Fourth, we, the Democrats, won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote. We may have to do something about the Electoral College, but that will be hard. Fifth, you can not run a candidate for POTUS unless he/she is a superior communicator and HRC is not. Sixth, we ran a Washington insider in a year when the country seethed with anger about how the system was failing them.  We had plenty of warning, see the Occupy movement and the campaign of Bernie Sanders. In other words, we, the Democrats, chose the wrong candidate.


I do not understand why the Washington elite has completely failed to understand and recognize the anger about the economy that has been building for over 30 years. 

Also, remember that the Trump vote only reflects the anger on the right.  There is a similar anger but on the left, what we might call the Sanders supporters.  These people were completely and utterly disenfranchised in this election being forced to vote for HRC as a lesser evil than Trump.

There is anger about the wealth inequality. There is anger about a justice system that favors the rich and punishes the poor. There is anger about a tax system that oppresses the middle class. There is anger about a justice system that lets corporate criminals commit any crime and go free.

The Polls

I do not understand why the polls were so wrong, nor do I understand why so many people, including the pollsters themselves, are in denial of the scope of their disaster.  This is as bad as "Dewey Defeats Truman". 

The implications of the polling failure are not commonly recognized. For example, you think you know what percentage of women or Hispanics voted for Trump? Well, you don't. Those numbers come from exit polls. The same technology that was so wrong going into the election. The fact is that this technology is thoroughly discredited. You can believe those numbers if you wish, but I don't.

The Good News

There is good news, its not all bad.

First, Washington needed a wake up call that business-as-usual does not work. Probably nothing less dramatic would have gotten the message across and even so it is not clear that Washington heard the message. Second, Trump is essentially a third party candidate that used a weak Republican party to get nominated and then elected. So if you want a path for a third party to win the White House, one has just been demonstrated for you. Third, Trump does not exactly have the support of the Republican Party. He will not get things all his own way in the Congress. Fourth, Trump has no track record of working with Washington. The last time we had a true Washington outsider, Jimmy Carter, it made a very big difference on what got done and what did not.


I can only hope that this clusterf*ck that is Trump will be a wake up call and that the principle of unintended consequences will apply here.

In the long run, we don't know if this is a complete disaster, or whether it was a necessary transition to a better government.

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