Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Quick Thoughts: U.S. Election

Wow.  To say that I am surprised is the understatement of the week.  Ladies and gentlemen, your president-elect is Donald J. Trump, like it or lump it.

Speaking personally, I can't fucking believe it.

Some thoughts:

1.  People hate Hillary Clinton.  If there's one satisfying thing about last night's result, it is that Clinton went to extraordinary lengths to manage the Democratic nomination process, ultimately to the ruination of her candidacy.  Her party chose their weakest possible candidate, and she lost to an opponent that almost no one actually likes.  To say the very least, they would have been better served by a more honest process.  Schadenfreude.

2.  Old white people vote.  And there are a LOT of them.  And they really want things to go back to "the way they used to be".

3.  White people are now a voting block.  It's weird to say that, but it's demonstrably true.  According to exit-polling, about 63% of last night's voters were white.  Those folks really turned out for their candidate.  I suspect that Affirmative Action is dead in this country, as are a lot of other programs that have been seeking to redress existing racial inequalities.  I have no idea what's going to come next, but I seriously doubt it's going to involve greater social justice initiatives on a national level.

4.  Republican control of the House and Senate.  We're liable to get some craziness.  Ultra-conservative judicial appointments, lower taxes, and inconceivably low levels of social spending.  Obamacare is dead.  Climate change regulations are dead, too.  Get ready to hear a lot about the power of "clean coal".  If you own a wind-farm or a utility-scale solar project, you might want to talk with a bankruptcy lawyer.

5.  America First is a thing.  This one hurts because it's a repudiation of my father's life's work and of the life I signed on to lead a long, long time ago.  I expect we're going to give the South China Sea to the Chinese and the Baltics to the Russians.  It'll be interesting to see what happens to Poland.  If you live in Germany, you might want to think about firing up your tank production lines.  Whatever happens, American leadership is over.  We may still carry the biggest stick for a while, but we're not going to use it for anything other than ISIS, and they were already losing.

My dad died believing that this had been a wasted effort.
6.  Minority voters didn't turn out for Clinton the way they turned out for Obama.  Okay, that's your choice.  I hope you're happy now.

7.  There won't be a third party.  I thought for a while that Gary Johnson and Bill Weld had a real chance to start a movement, but Johnson wasn't the guy they needed as their standard bearer, alas.  I continue to believe that more choices would lead to better government through more effective coalitions.  It doesn't seem to be going that way, though.

I'm gonna stop with seven and hope that we get "lucky" with the effects of a true outsider-led government.  If Trump can at least reform the military procurement process and the military-industrial complex in general, then that would at least be worth something.

I remain afraid, however, for the future of our nation and our world.

This would have been true with a Clinton presidency as well, but folks, we are well and truly headed into uncharted political waters.

God Bless America!


  1. This country has very consistently been about "America First." Teddy Roosevelt tried desperately to change that, but Wilson had other ideas, and history tends to praise him as the originator of a coalition of nations that had actually begun well before him. We didn't want to enter WWII because of, again, "America First." We're really good at rewriting history, though.

    1. Not sure what to do with this. I agree with what you said, but it doesn't get us to 2016 & our potential problems in Europe.

  2. Well said. #4 really sums up the reasons I couldn't bring myself to consider voting for Trump (even if he hadn't said so many morally reprehensible things about so many groups). I have friends that voted for him to protect the 2nd Amendment, but I can't prioritize protecting one of the 10 amendments that make up the Bill of Rights by using a candidate whose words indicate they don't respect the other 9 amendments in the BoR.
    But this is what the nation voted (or failed to vote) for. So now I'm telling my well-intentioned friends who voted for him that I hope and pray that their greatest hopes for his presidency come true. And that none of my fears of it do.