US Election: I know this place is dead but...?


The Freeman
Jan 6, 2011
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I mean this is pretty huge, right? At the time of posting it looks like Donald Trump is gonna be the new Commander In Chief. It's 4:20am here and I'm following it. Thoughts?

I'm no Hillary fan myself but I can't understand Trump actually winning. Help me understand, dudes.

what the flying **** america

are the US and UK having a contest to see who can **** everything up the quickest or something?
Polls had Hillary with just enough of a lead that a slight Trump victory fell just within the limits of a not unorthodox systemic polling error. Most models underestimated this because the polling error range can go either way, so an unexpectedly huge Hillary landslide was also feasible, plus they didn't take into account the high number of undecided voters increasing uncertainty. It's mostly being attributed to an oft speculated upon (but hard to actually predict) phenomenon whereby Trump might energize a ton of blue collar voters in rural or struggling areas that have been completely politically inactive until now and, again, a large number of independents who disproportionately split to Trump. I also think there's an element of, "Oh, Hillary has this state locked up. I don't like Trump, but I hate her. I'll vote Trump to show my dissent via protest vote" and, surprise, those states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, were secretly swing states.

There's also this little thing called the Electoral College system. It's a real gem the founders developed before the President was even democratically elected. Originally he was picked by a group of 'electors', representative of the people, and that has been shoehorned into a popular election where 48 states are winner take all. These electors live on today as the embodiment of a completely arbitrary and random phenomenon by which the candidate receiving the most votes will not win the Presidency in close races. It also gave us the beloved George W Bush in 2000. Hillary won the popular vote by 200,000+ votes, but alas.

It's worth noting that very few people are actually that happy about this. Less than half of the people vote and polls showed that more than half America had a negative view of both candidates. Most traditional conservatives and republicans aren't very fond of him, liberals hate him, obviously, and basically anybody who isn't white probably doesn't care too much for him. America is going through the grieving process and anticipating what this might mean for the next four years. I'm hedging my bets on surprisingly mediocre with a big dash of odd, and a reasonable chance of presidency ruining if not impeachment level scandal/corruption. I think the real question is how he'll deal with a fully Republican congress. Unity, that could lead to a lot unchecked shit going down, both Republican and Trumpian. Disunity, and/or Congress doing its job of checking Executive power, and it should be less unilateral partisan changes. The former is more likely though, sadly. The important thing is that the Democrats do not blow 2018 and 2020, they should be teed up perfectly so it's all on them.
Here's the thing. Trump is a racist, misogynistic blow hard with worse public speaking skills than George W. But he isn't a career politician.

Certainly Trump got the racist, misogynist blow hard demographic to vote for him, but he didn't win because of them. We may have far too many of those people, and deplorable is the appropriate word for them, but they're far too few to win an election alone. The majority of Trump voters are not like that.

Hillary was to most people the human embodiment of the 'dysfunctional at best' political system that we have been forced to abide for so long. She is the status quo, a literal stereotype for a career (and most would say corrupt) politician and represented everything we hate about our government.

It really is like Brexit, but not because of racist undertones (honestly they're just coincidental) but because people are trying to shock the system the only way they can. There are really only two ways for political reform to happen. Violent revolt which we have seen so many times in history, and voting. People are desperate for a significant change, and of the two viable candidates, Trump represents the best chance of that because he has never been a politician. Honestly I'm almost relieved she lost, because I feel like that could have been a breaking point. The protests we are seeing now against trump, I think, would be nothing like those we'd see against Hillary. Those people are armed, and seeing yet another corrupt politician win despite so many Americans despising everything she represents could make those people feel like voting is no proper recourse to getting true representation. Which would leave only the one other option.

Trump won for the same reason Bernie Sanders would have won. Bernie represented the same chance for a radical upheaval of our political system, and despite being a long time politician he had a record for standing up to the corruption he saw in our government. He just never had the power to drastically address it.

Long story short, the corrupt political system tried to save itself by ****ing over Bernie in the hopes that his similarly threatening counterpart Trump would be so detestable that people would rather have another heaping serving of status quo than elect him.

But it turns out Americans would rather eat shit than eat another spoonful of that. Electing trump is like throwing a wrench in the gears to stop a runaway machine that's trampling people. What I suspect will happen is that Trump will indeed shake shit up so that the pieces will never quite go back together again, but will **** over so many of us that we will elect someone less moronic as soon as humanly possible (impeachment or just after one term hopefully). Once the wrench breaks the machine enough to stop it, we can begin to rebuild it to serve us once again.
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I agree with your general point Koyrn, but I think you're overestimating the Trump "base". I think one of the things that won't be discussed in regards to this election, because it takes a remarkable result and makes it dull, is just how typical the election ended up being for the most part.

No, the vast majority of Trump's supporters probably aren't very deplorable, or at least that wasn't their reason for voting for him. Most of the data seems to indicate that people voted for Trump in spite of his poor character and actions, lack of qualification, and awful statements, not because of them. I agree that what made the real difference are those who don't have a distorted rosy view of Washington because its systems and "insiders" have either completely left them behind economically or didn't do anything to help save them. But even though that made the difference, that doesn't mean it was a very significant one.

Nate Silver wrote a pretty interesting article. Premise: If 1 in 100 Trump voters had voted for Clinton instead, that would've given her a 3% popular vote lead and probably at least the electoral margin Trump got. That 1% swing would've completely changed the way we're talking about the election. "Trumpism resoundingly rejected, Republicans scrambling to distance themselves and prepare for 2018 and 2020". But instead the 1% difference has flipped that story on its head and people think the sky is falling. In a winner take all system it can be easy to confuse the whims of a very, very small minority with the will of the entire country.

The question is, who are the not 'left behind' voters? Well if history and polling have anything to say about it, the vast majority of them are people who would pick literally any person in the world if their name appeared on the ballot with an (R) beside it. At the end of the day, these partisan slaves did the real work of voting for Trump. The forgotten folks who had never voted in their life just got him over the finish line. I have sympathy with his 'base'. How can we blame a group who has been completely disregarded by current institutions for taking a chance on Trump over someone who was virtually guaranteed to change nothing? But I find the career Republicans without a will of their own pretty revolting.

So the election went just about as anyone might've predicted two years prior if they had no idea about the candidates. Presidents virtually always have two terms, but after that Americans give the office to the opposing party. The economy makes a difference, but the economic indicators indicate a decent but not excitingly prosperous economy (which many particular people still haven't felt the benefits of), so that's more likely a negative than a positive for the Democrats. Republicans did their thing, Democrats did theirs, and American history was repeated as it always has (with three or four exceptions) since the dawn of the two parties.

Also, just to play devil's advocate, I think it's very questionable whether Bernie Sanders could've won this election. As sad as it is, Hillary Clinton may have been the best (certainly at the time of choosing) that Democrats had. Bernie may have energized young people, but it's uncertain whether he would've done any better with minorities (Hillary at least has a good connection with Obama), and he certainly would've done at least a little worse with women (a, not being one and b, having a harder time capitalizing on Trump's disgusting words and probable actions). On top of that, there's no way there wouldn't have been some fallout with older and less liberal democrats with someone who doesn't even run away from the word "socialist" on the ballot. I mean, Trump was a struggle, but eventually conventional Republicans got him to mostly fill his agenda with pretty typical Republican policies (it's not like he has convictions to betray). It's much harder for me to imagine a Sanders "pivot" towards a more palatable campaign for people who aren't super liberal. So you can imagine a much more intense traditional Republican and conservative turnout and a drop in what would've been Hillary's most reliable voters. I think Biden may have been able to do it, but I largely view Bernie as a bit of a pipe dream.

I fail to see how a Trump presidential failure would lead to us "rebuilding the machine to serve us again". I mean, it's not impossible, but I don't really see how the Trump failure is either helpful or necessary for it. I see a Trump failure leading to the inevitable transfer of power back to Democrats and the cycle starting all over again. Meanwhile, I can only imagine Trump adding new and exciting unchecked executive powers to a list of them that's been growing for 16 years. I bet Obama's waking up with cold sweats realizing he's responsible for putting the power to kill anyone in the world (including US citizens) into this man's hands. Republicans will probably pass a recklessly conservative agenda, Trump will do crazy shit, at best embarrassing us far worse than Bush, at worse tearing the country and its sense of decency apart. My only real hope is that he is so bad that he becomes the Nixon of the 21st century and everyone will do whatever they can to avoid doing things which will get them compared to him. Because as of now he's established a precedent of someone who continually and blatantly tells lies, has no regard for the actual work of governing or idea of a President's duties, continually shows contempt for the law (at best, a way he can lawyer himself out of blatantly corrupt dealings, at worst, an inconvenience), and is unable to even exercise basic self control of what they say becoming the President of the United States.
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Okay, I get the whole 'protest vote for change' kind of logic but with regards to Hillary being corrupt, isn't Trump currently being investigated for fraud? And multiple accusations of rape (one with a minor)? If so, I mean, it's certainly shaking up the system but I don't think in the right way or at the right time, and I'm still unsure how Clinton would have been so much worse for the US. Sanders represented progressive change, Trump seems to represent change for the sake of change even if it hurts the nation. I suppose if it is short term and he is impeached then, I guess I'd get it more but that seems risky. What if it isn't short term?

To me a billionaire that doesn't pay his taxes represents the establishment no less than a woman who cosies up to corporations. Plus he's going to have to obey the Republican majority in the house and surely they're not going to let him take apart any systems in place they benefit from? Won't he just be a puppet president now. The $25bn wall and banning Muslims etc. aren't realistic policies and aren't going to happen, right?

I can see the whole lessons learned aspect. Like, 4 years of ineptitude and demagoguery is the punishment for the arrogance of the system and Trump is a protest vote, sure...

But it's sort of like shitting your bed at a hotel to protest bad service and then realising you now have to sleep in a shitted bed.

Either way, informative posts, dudes.
Its not really so much about who Trump and Clinton ARE, but what they are percieved to be. The media bias puts a spin on both and makes it impossible to really know who they are. Clinton has been investigated many times but never convicted. But its portrayed as her "getting away with it" and not her "being actually innocent."

With Trump, he doesn't really hide his scumbaggery. So people interpret that as honesty and trustworthiness. Why? I couldn't tell you. Maybe people appreciate a guy who shoots you in the face more than a woman who shoots you in the back. I mean, Trump literally had cameos in pornography videos, was on a Playboy cover, so him being a chauvinistic character isn't really something he tries to hide.

The taxes issue didn't hurt him at all I dont think, because nothing he did was illegal (as far as we know right now). He used existing lawes to avoid paying taxes, and that was spun like "He knows the tax laws so he can fix them, while Clinton and her friends are the ones created them in the first place!"

Yes, it is like shitting in your bed and sleeping in it, but I think people are desperate enough that they're willing to do that to make their point in the hopes that the establishment sees it and thinks "Holy shit, these people are ****ing serious, we gotta do something about this because they're stinking up then entire hotel"
Yeah, I think Krrrrrn is right, in that it doesn't make a ton of sense, but there is a kind of logic to it.

Basically, comparing Clinton and Trump is like comparing establishment apples and establishment oranges. Clinton is a career politicians with ties to Wall Street and lobbyists and corporations who seems to put her own interests and pursuit of power above all else and thinks anything she does is justified. Trump has basically all the same qualities and ties but without having ever having any formal role within that establishment. This gives him a really weird case to make to the American people. He has essentially said things to the effect of, "I contribute money to politicians all the time and when I go to them for a favor or deal they always roll over for me." As a beneficiary of the system he's raging against he can basically be both be a reliable witness on how it works while still claiming to not be a part of it. He's essentially a rat who goes to the authorities. And it goes on. "I take advantage of the tax system every year, so no one knows how to fix it better than me!" "Everyone else running is beholden to everyone who gives them money, but I already have all the money in the world, you can trust me!" There's nothing airtight about it, but I can't blame people who have been completely neglected in this country taking the option that just maybe might be different over the one that's definitely the same.

Anyway, Trump is already tapping tons of typical "insiders" and lobbyists to support his throne, so things don't look particularly hopeful.

Edit: Yeah, forgot to touch on the BS factor. Trump has a "tells it like it is" quality. He doesn't really tell it like it is, but he's 'authentic'. Clinton can spend countless hours perfectly crafting a bland and fake political message and its lack of sincerity will still seem worse than whatever false nonsense Trump will come up with to say off the top of his head just because it doesn't register with people.
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Yeah, forgot to touch on the BS factor. Trump has a "tells it like it is" quality. He doesn't really tell it like it is, but he's 'authentic'. Clinton can spend countless hours perfectly crafting a bland and fake political message and its lack of sincerity will still seem worse than whatever false nonsense Trump will come up with to say off the top of his head just because it doesn't register with people.
Heh, well as far as this goes, the media in the UK is reporting (I dunno how accurately) that he's already u-turning on a lot of his campaign promises. It's at least a positive that his more extreme outpourings of stuff off the top of his head won't manifest in any meaningful way. As for stuff like abortion/LGBT rights and healthcare... The Republican majority with Trump as pres is worrying on that front. Well, it would be for me, anyway, knowing what it's like to have something like the NHS and being constantly angry that the government over here are destroying/privatising it.
I don't think the lgbt community has much to fear. That ship has sailed. Its one thing to prevent people from getting rights in the first place, it's a whole other thing to take existing rights away. Now that the supreme court has declared it unconstitutional to ban same sex marriages, it's game over. Not even Pence could stop that train.

The real concern is for Muslims and, somewhat less so, Mexicans. Unlike homophobia, Islamaphobia is still a big thing all over the world, so discrimination against them would have plenty of support, and Trump's stated ideas about them backed by a Republican controlled Congress could lead to some shit. I have to hope that the USA has learned from its mistakes in that regard though, and that the supreme court will rule on any "muslim register" or the like as also unconstitutional.

I think "the wall" is going too be the same thing as Obama's Guantanamo Bay. He will keep promising over and over that it's coming soon, maybe do a token ground breaking ceremony to prove he is a man off his word, but no significant effort will be out towards it. The idea will live on the horizon indefinitely.
Yeah, I have a lot of doubts about the discriminatory stuff everyone is losing their minds about. I mean, it's possible some things will come to pass, but everyone is on high alert and it would honestly not be very popular. That's why he toned down so many of those ideas in the end anyway. He might put a hard stop on refugees, which is a pity. I could imagine there would be a big spike in deportations, which would be sad, but probably nothing to a scale that alarming. Hard to imagine he could really orphan a bunch of kids, and he certainly can't kick them out if they're citizens. Like I said, the vast majority of his voters probably picked him in spite of and not because of his divisive and controversial nonsense, so I think you're looking at a smaller fringe of people who really have hardline passion for Trump's signature "issues".

As for the wall, I have to disagree. I just don't think he can not do it, at this point. It will undoubtedly be a disaster though. It would take years and so so much money and more red tape hopping than Trump can even imagine. There's no way it's done in four years, so it'll be hanging over his head during that election and I predict (though what are predictions worth anymore?) that he won't win that election. So I imagine it ending up being this big mess that gets transferred from President to President and no one wants to touch it, but you can't just leave it there 20% done. It would be the ultimate symbol of government ineffectiveness, the greatest national bridge to nowhere. Usually you have to start a war half way around the world to have that kind of Presidential legacy.
I don't think the lgbt community has much to fear. That ship has sailed. Its one thing to prevent people from getting rights in the first place, it's a whole other thing to take existing rights away. Now that the supreme court has declared it unconstitutional to ban same sex marriages, it's game over. Not even Pence could stop that train.

Oof, if only you were right. It's like we've entered a golden age of batshit insane regressivism.
The past seems better than present because now we have a horrible president
who made gas prices go way too damn high with our tax dollars. and shit
Trump was a nightmare, Biden is just trying to maintain the awful status quo we had before Trump.

Gas prices are irrelevant imo, and not controlled by US presidents.
Oof, if only you were right. It's like we've entered a golden age of batshit insane regressivism.

Yep, they did more than I expected them to be able to. Same sex marriage is still safe like I thought it would be, I do still believe that ship has sailed for the most part and I don't think the US at large will ever go back to it being illegal. The LGB seem to be pretty secure, people making such a huge stink over Trans was not something I really considered back then. I didn't think anybody cared much about it, and they probably didn't until the GOP decided it was a good vector for their fear mongering.

Roe V Wade being overturned was a pretty huge shock for me. So much for my "supreme court enshrined it so its safe" idea. Of course its less surprising knowing all the hidden shit we learned about a couple certain supreme court justices.

I gotta say, its interesting to be able to come back and see all this, and reflect on what we thought back then with hindsight.

Biden also can't climb stairs.

Trump wears diapers.