The College, The Aftermath, and The Donald: Moving Forward.

On November 7th, 2016 I hopped on my social media page to make a political post. I had been avoiding doing such things for the better part of a week, disgusted as I was with the upcoming Presidential election. I had been focusing my political acumen during this time on some upcoming local and state issues on the ballot, as well as who I was gonna go with for Governor (I went with Greitens, fellow veteran and former Navy SEAL, but just barely as the Democrats had a respectable candidate with Koster- Greitens won).

Like a lot of Americans I was just damned tired of the suppressive fire coming in from all directions. From the right I was sick of seeing memes about people walking out of their homes armed to fight an insurgency if Clinton won – that’s called sedition, brutha, and pretty sure that’s a tad of an overreaction. From the left a certain smugness about what was about to happen and the demonizing and belittling  of people who chose to support The Donald, because there couldn’t be any other motive for voting Trump other than half the US population being excited about donning Ku Klux Klan hoods and forming lynching committees.

Simply put, I was sick of the lack of any intelligent conversation of any kind, as well as a disturbing eagerness for blood on both sides. So, considering this, I posted the following:

“In 36 hours, this year and a half long madness should finally be over. Let’s be honest, we couldn’t have done much worse in our choices this go around, but at the end of the day, there has been enough hate across the entire political spectrum. Let’s work together to make sure we are being kind to our fellow Americans…..This election could cause irreparable damage to our country, our systems of government, and our way of life…whatever your definition of that is to you; but only if we let it…let’s all try to take a non-partisan, positive approach to the aftermath, whatever end.”

Oh such wishful thinking naïve young me from a week ago.

At this point were about chin deep in it, America, and it is really starting to smell. So, I’m gonna drop some reality here and now, in attempt to combat the post-election hysteria going on in the corporate media, on social media feeds, and on our streets. If you’re as sick of wading thru this bullshit as I am, do read on.

1. The Electoral College

constitutional_convention_1787-1024x672
“Pssst…Hey Franklin…I got an idea that will totally mess with people…I think I will call it the Electoral University”

I’m going to knock this one out first, because it’s a personal pet peeve of mine and I want to get on to other points. The National Archives has a great little synopsis of what the electoral college is and it’s function, which I will quote from here:

“The Electoral College is a process, not a place. The founding fathers established it in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens.”(1)

“The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators.” (1)

The point I want to stress here is the Founding Fathers didn’t simply create this process out of some random whim, but rather for a very well thought out and considered compromise. As we all learned (hopefully) in our high school history and civics classes, our Congress created a system whereby large population states like Virginia had voting power representative of their population (The House of Representatives), and smaller less populous states like Delaware could also have their voices heard by a representative body in which every state had two elected officials equally (The Senate).

The electoral college is a small, but critical pillar of this system. It ensures that voices are heard across the nation from all walks of life, not just the big cities. The men who created the electoral college were men of the Enlightenment who read John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, Adam Smith, and Maximilien Robspierre. They were educated in tried and proven British and French law and government systems, and perhaps most importantly they were students of western classical history. One of the key lessons taught by that history is that absolute Democracies (like Greece), are inherently more unstable, riddled with internal rivalries, and ultimately more self defeating than representative Republics (like Rome). Absolute Democracies are doomed to fail. The Founders knew this. The electoral college recognizes the vote of the majority while at the same time recognizing the little guy out in the countryside. It couldn’t be more equitable or fair.

I feel like this shouldn’t even be an argument…how ably we agree on politics on social media should be proof enough that we need this system of checks and balances, it’s an amazing system to be damned proud of; so for God’s sake can we please stop trying to dismantle our own Government a piece at a time?

I’m looking at you, Maine and Nebraska!

For the Clinton voters out there: sometimes you get the Bear, and sometimes the Bear gets you. Don’t go squealing because it didn’t work out this go around for your side, because next time, it might!

2. The Aftermath

On the eve of election night, despite a closing point gap, big media was confidently projecting a significant Clinton victory. In my own conversations with people, I assessed a very narrow Clinton victory with a disputed popular vote and Clinton taking the electoral college.

What happened of course, will forever be US election history.

Whether it’s FOX, MSNBC, or CNN, I look at modern mass media mostly as propaganda engines for whatever cause either is supported by the ownership or gets the better ratings. So I watched with a good deal of satisfaction as all the efforts of the left leaning media to manipulate the minds of voters fell apart on live television. News people, political analysts, and  pollsters all were struck dumbfounded as state after state went to Trump. They simply couldn’t understand it, and despite a modicum of professionalism the anti-Trump bias was pretty plain to see from a careful observers point of view.

The reason the left leaning media missed what was going to happen was because they became victims of their own propaganda. For over a year they have been constantly beating the drum of “Trump can’t win” , “Trump is the most horrible man humankind has ever produced”, “voting Trump makes you racist”. What they missed was what the core appeal was to the majority of Trumpeteers. I wrote on this in my previous blog post a few months back, which I will shamelessly quote from:

  1. As demographics in the U.S have steadily changed from a majority white to a more racially diverse population, there has been a subsequent backlash by that same former majority about perceived loss of the American Dream.
  2. That well educated, financially stable liberal elements in the United States have by and large ignored those concerns, and worse, broad brushed all such people with said concerns as ignorant and racist.
  3. That Trump understands those concerns and addresses them, loudly and proudly, without a hint of concern for political correctness – and thus has become a very ironic advocate. (2)

In short the left media, and liberals in general, were guilty of group think and of believing their own propaganda. The only person I will credit with actually recognizing these issues on the left was Senator Sanders. Writing an Op-ed just after the election, Sanders said the following:

“Millions of Americans registered a protest vote on Tuesday, expressing their fierce opposition to an economic and political system that puts wealthy and corporate interests over their own. I strongly supported Hillary Clinton, campaigned hard on her behalf, and believed she was the right choice on Election Day. But Donald J. Trump won the White House because his campaign rhetoric successfully tapped into a very real and justified anger, an anger that many traditional Democrats feel.

I am saddened, but not surprised, by the outcome. It is no shock to me that millions of people who voted for Mr. Trump did so because they are sick and tired of the economic, political and media status quo.”(3)

If you are a regular reader, you will know I viscerally oppose Bernie Sanders’ Socialist agenda. I do, however, respect the man. I think he is a principled guy that is generally wanting to do right for the country and the little guy. I also think that in a Trump vs. Sanders contest, Sanders would probably have won.

Sanders and this blog realized what the real appeal of Donald Trump was to voters. Unfortunately,  a year and a half of leftist propaganda on television, on social media feeds, and elsewhere on the internet is currently having significant reverberations on the streets of our great country. There is a new movement going on currently, which I like to call

#anthingbutTrumpLBGTQblacklivesmatteroccupysomethingIhatehorsespleaseGodgivemeacausetorebelfor

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This disparate group has a laundry list of grievances; some real, some perceived. I for one am strongly against the horse hating lobby. Unfortunately, what this group hasn’t grasped in the past, and what they continue to fail to grasp, is that street protests that often lead to property destruction and outright violence are not going to advance your cause. That shit only works in third world countries. Further, it’s the antithesis of the orderly transfer of power liberals so feared would not occur if Clinton won. So, while it may be cathartic to its participants, it’s ultimately bad for the country. We have been tearing each other apart for too damned long this election cycle. Rather than shrieking out against our very legitimate election results, try to have your voice heard by pushing whatever efforts you feel are necessary thru your local, state, or federal representative body or focus group.

But please, get your ass off the street and stop breaking shit, people got to get to work, and all that hate isn’t going to get you anywhere.

3. The Art of Dealing with The Donald

donald-trump_png
Told ya so!

 

He wasn’t my first choice.

Or my second choice.

Or…my third…

Let’s just cut to the chase: This man is an asshole.

I didn’t like his vulgar manner, and I certainly didn’t believe him electable. His draft dodging antics during the Vietnam War and comments about John McCain pissed me off as a veteran. Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. If this election has done anything in the final analysis, it was to restore my faith in our system.

Why?

Because, despite late night talk show hosts, corporate media, social media feeds, Democratic Party efforts, Republican Party efforts, and a metric shit ton of Clinton campaign dollars thrown against him, here is a man who overcame all of that to be elected as the grassroots populist candidate. This man was truly chosen by the people.

You may disagree with those people. You may (and should) speak out against his hateful rhetoric. Just don’t deny his legitimacy. Doing so does nothing but undermine the democratic values of our Republic.

I have been pleasantly surprised by some of what has happened since the election. President Obama and President-elect Trump have been having constructive discussions according to media sources and Trump has been making efforts to ease fears of some of the groups that fought so hard against him by appointing women and openly gay men to leadership posts. Bernie Sanders has made statements that he will be willing to work with Trump on the issues.(4)

Whether these are mere token efforts or real efforts at bringing the country together remain to be seen. There are some media outlets which are not even waiting for the final vote tally to undermine mutual accord between the left and the right. The Huffington Post in particular is coming out guns blazing. The interesting part to me is some of the first stories (which I index below) clearly shows they still don’t get it. They still think that the only plausible reason for a vote for Trump is abject racism and hate. (5)

If we want to bring the country together, it’s gonna have to start with mutual respect for one another, and each other’s views. You can’t label half the nation as a “basket of deplorables” anymore than you can label the other half as un-American without consequence.

A final thought from the moderates stuck inbetween during this insane election. America is tired of the protesting, and a lot of America is tired of being called immoral for having traditional values. If the left continues to stick their collective fingers in the center-right’s face and call them racist, mysogynistic, and gay hating because they vote for a certain candidate, drag them out of their cars and beat them because they vote a certain way, and burn American flags because you can, moderates that don’t even like said candidate may just vote a certain way out of spite for those actions.

Food for thought. People don’t like to be insulted and most liberals and conservatives sure as hell take offense to flag burning.

At the end of the day though, what’s done is done, so everyone take a deep breath. It’s gonna be ok. We’re all still Americans. The election is over, no-one is being rounded up and sent to internment camps, and the sky is not, in fact, falling. If you still simply can’t get over President-Elect Trump, however, don’t worry; it’s only four years.

Until then, love your family, help a friend, and just be good to each other. Just try it out . Be constructively active in your community. Your happiness and well-being are going to be much more fulfilled by those factors than by whoever is in the White House.

Thanks for reading and God Bless America.

(1) https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/about.html

(2) https://wordpress.com/post/runningforthehillsblog.wordpress.com/1160

(3) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/12/opinion/bernie-sanders-where-the-democrats-go-from-here.html?_r=0

(4) http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/trump-names-senior-aides-sharp-contrast-43518329

(5) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-media-weak-60-minutes_us_5829d42fe4b060adb56f4433

(5) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/steve-bannon-chief-strategist_us_5828e1d4e4b0c4b63b0d33d7

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3 thoughts on “The College, The Aftermath, and The Donald: Moving Forward.

  1. I agree with about 99% of this. There’s a few minor points I would like to make.
    1. I don’t think the backlash is about a white perception of losing the American dream as much as it’s about the other items you discuss. Specifically, it’s a backlash against being called racist, sexist, and bigoted because of holding traditional values. It’s addressed wholly here, but your sentence about backlash in particular still feels a little like an over-simplification.
    2. It wasn’t only white men that voted for Trump. In fact many outlets (including NPR – sorry no footnote) are noting that Trump received a larger percentage of hispanic votes than Obama. It’s interesting because, at the end of the day, people vote based on what they think will affect them, not necessarily on the character of the person running for office. The annals of US political history are filled with excellent examples of individuals who were continually elected even after known character flaws, which brings me to my third and final point.
    3. This one will drive liberals nuts. In terms of character and policy views, Donald Trump is most like former President Bill Clinton. Draft dodger? Check. Womanizer? Check. Trade de-regulation? If it’s in his favor, check. Cozy up to the unions, despite some views on trade de-regulation? Double check, especially for Trump if it means making statements about tariffs on goods from Mexico. (Might even be a discount double-check). In fact, Trump may be more of a President Clinton than Hillary would have been to voters longing for a return to the 90s. In fact, the biggest difference between Trump and (Bill) Clinton is Trump’s brazen honesty about who he is and his flip-flopping over the years. While I don’t admire any of these characteristics, the honesty is refreshing.

    I would also like to state that I find it sad that the third-party candidates aren’t being discussed as much in these results. I personally voted for Gary Johnson. He received approximately 3.1-3.3% of the vote, depending on which source one chooses to take into consideration. Before that’s dismissed as a small minority, it represents a few things. The first is that, had those votes gone to Clinton, she would have won Wisconsin and Michigan, and possibly Pennsylvania (again, that third one depends on the source). Had they gone to Trump, you’re also talking popular majority, which gets rid of the ridiculous electoral college debate. It also represents a greater whole number of people (on the scale of 3 million) than even the most generous estimates of transgender individuals in America. In spite of these facts, I am continually told that I threw my vote away. Worse still are the people that would vote for someone who admittedly broke our nation’s espionage laws but did so “without criminal intent” (paraphrasing – and since when is intent a legitimate defense for breaking laws?) because of some misguided idea that this person has more foreign policy experience. While true, President Obama had no foreign policy experience and spent almost his entire time as a Senator campaigning for his current job. Sadly, we have forced ourselves into a two-party system when other candidates more closely fit what most Americans are looking for. Why didn’t Bernie supporters turn out en masse to vote for Jill Stein? And why didn’t the NeverTrump Republicans break ranks and vote for Johnson? Had that happened, the election results would have been a lot more interesting, and America might have gotten something better than a choice between Bill Clinton’s corrupt wife or his evil twin.

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    1. Nick,

      These are all great points and appreciate the commentary. The counter culture backlash against traditional values is an important aspect of the discussion. I felt it necessary at this juncture to express the economic, rather than social arguments, because those are things both left and right can have constructive debate on economic theory. Social agendas are by and large much more emotional. The other points I wanted to get across were about the electoral college, and how wrong the left media has it (and just how much they are tearing this country apart).

      Your points on Johnson and Stein would have been great corrallorys to the overall discussion.

      Like

  2. Nice one Amigo.

    Because I’m “into the whole brevity thing” (~The Dude), I submit:
    -People riot cause it’s exciting and they like smashing shit. The issue of the riot/protest, secondary at best.
    -Anybody who doesn’t see the bias in the media needs to check their pulse. The solution: get news from a cross section AND/OR tune into BBC or other outlet. (No RT or FARS please…CNN if you must)
    -Trump was my number two at the outset. After going to rally, Kasich seems like a better man. Trump more electable with the masses. MAGA.

    You want something to rebel against?…
    Let’s fix the 24th Amendment OR fix the tax code. You want to vote? Not unless you got some money in the game (or blood). Seems to me a good way to undercut motivations for catering to, and eventually creating, a nation of social-welfare dependent troglodytes.

    Like

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