Thursday, November 10, 2016

Deplorables 1, Sanity 0

A few things we can glean from the Wisconsin exit polling:
Third party candidates either held Trump back from a blowout or cost Clinton the election, more likely the latter. Again, third party candidates are a wrench in the system. Unless we move to something like an instant run-off voting system, third party candidates are destructive. Other than a sense of smug self-righteousness, what do Johnson and Stein voters have to show? 
Persons 45 and older seemed to have tipped the election to Trump. Amazing that folks receiving, or close to receiving, Medicare and Social Security would vote for the party that wants to end those programs. I really have no clue what these people think Donald Trump or the Republican party will do for them. 
Those with only some college or a high school diploma or less tilted toward Trump. Ignorance is bliss.
The US Elections Project estimates that 128.8 million Americans cast a ballot in 2016, out of 231 million eligible voters — a turnout rate of 55.6 percent. Thus, around 45% of eligible voters did not vote. In 2012, there were 153 million registered voters out of 235 million eligible voters. Nearly 133 million people voted in that presidential election.
Wisconsin, by a thin margin, went for Trump. Odd. Has the state learned nothing from the disaster that has been Scott Walker? 
Persons identifying as religious leaned toward Trump. How is this even possible? Trump is one of the most obscene and deplorable candidates to ever run. He's mean-spirited, twice-divorced, sexist and racist. Not really in keeping with the teachings of Jesus. So, how about this, all you conservative gas-bags talking about values and family and church, shut the fuck up! You are full of shit. You have no spine and Jesus is ashamed of you. Grab 'em by the pussy!

The majority of non-college educated white women (64%) voted for Trump. Unbelievable. Do they really think Trump gives a shit about them? I can only play armchair psychiatrist and assume these women must really hate themselves to vote for such a vile and sexist man.

The fact that any women or any person who calls him or herself religious would vote for Trump is sad and disturbing. As a John Mulaney joke states, "You have the moral backbone of a chocolate √©clair."

Lets flash back to the George W Bush presidency. Mired in war, economy in ruins, retirements wrecked, there really wasn't any good news from the two terms. Since President Obama, millions now have health care, unemployment is down from over 10% to under 5%, the stock market is at all-time highs, and the country has seen years of steady job growth, to name a few positives.

Trump voters were supposedly voting for change. Do they want to go back to the recession economy of George W Bush? I guess I'm still feeling a bit squishy about what the Trump voters actually want. I mean, platitudes are great, we want our country back, make America great again, build a wall, kill health care...but how and what exactly is Trump going to do? Exit polling showed Trump voters believe he can "bring needed change." (Although, again, the things they seem to want to change would make all of us worse off, not better.) Their most important issues were terrorism and immigration. Funny, Obama was actually Commander in Chief when Osama bin Laden was killed. Net migration from Mexico has been negative every year since 2008. So, really, what are you talking about? I have a hunch (as always) it's about taxes, deregulation, racism and sexism.

They really can't logically claim Trump would be better for the economy. Just leading up to the election, with the chance of a Trump victory, the market began a downturn. As the headline the day after the election stated, Trump Win Leaves Dollar, Stocks, Mexican Peso Reeling. Investors fear a Trump victory could cause global economic and trade turmoil and years of policy unpredictability.

Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote. More of the people that actually voted wanted Hillary Clinton to win (and 45% were either discouraged, disenfranchised or didn't vote). Yet the antiquated Electoral College gave the victory to Donald Trump. The Electoral College is gerrymandering at the Federal level. If we must keep the Electoral College, why not just give the electoral votes that match the percentage of votes won? Using Wisconsin as an example - Trump got 48% to Clinton's 47%, thus, of Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes, Trump would get 4.8 and Clinton 4.7. Or we could just go by the popular vote, seen as that best represents direct democracy.

One of the lessons we can take from this election is that Republicans, or at least those voting that way, really have no principles. Voting has become a contest for them. The ends justify the means. They really don't care about the details. They just want their guy to be in power...and then they make excuses and outright lies when the reality of that candidate doesn't match the rhetoric.

Another lesson Democrats need to learn, which I thought they would have by now, is that they need to, just as the Republicans do, passionately and relentlessly pursue and push the policies they want, win, lose or draw. Can we make elections public? Get rid of Citizens United? Get rid of the Electoral College? Get rid of gerrymandering? After Gore v Bush one would have thought this would have been a more pressing issue for Democrats.

Also, how about making voting a national holiday? Turnout for elections in the U.S. is embarrassing. Not to mention the fact that Republicans are continually trying to restrict voting rights and disenfranchise voters. (Yes, Republicans are cheaters, just like Donald Trump.) How about more polling places. Newer, modern voting equipment. More early voting. If anyone really cares about the will of the people, democracy, the constitution and all the other bromides that get shouted around, voting would be a mandatory duty of American citizenship.

And, as far as elections laws are concerned, can we put some rules in place for what can be televised in election ads? We allow outright lies to pass as persuasive campaigning. Can we exercise some control over the allowable content of campaigns like the Canadian Elections Act, which sets out various provisions regarding the publication or broadcast of election advertising?

As Bruce Bartlett put it, "The lesson of this election is that when the media normalize racism, sexism, fascism, lying & stupidity, it has political consequences." This is truly horrifying; to think that our nation is still so sexist, racist and stupid. Donald Trump and a pliable media have normalized our national discourse into a reality television program.

All of this has left H.L. Mencken's quote ringing in my head, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Indeed, a good portion (but not a majority) of America has now shown itself to appreciate lies, chest-thumping and stupidity over all else.

America hits new landmark: 200 million registered voters
Clinton clenched the popular vote, but both candidates missed out on half of voters
Michael Moore: Morning-After To-Do List
Hillary Clinton’s campaign was crippled by voters who stayed home

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