WTF Just Happened

I did not follow the US election very closely over the past few months. I was sick of hearing about it, everyone including FiveThirtyEight was quite sure Hillary Clinton would win, I went to bed knowing that I could check the results in the morning. “Remember Brexit”, I told people last night, “She’ll probably win, but you never know!”. I didn’t really believe what I said, but my training keeps me from making definite claims about anything that is not definite.

So this morning, I did not rush to my computer, but eventually got around to it, thinking I would know what I would find. I didn’t.

The President of the United States, for the first time in history, is a Bright Orange Cheeto. Bright orange cheetos everywhere are rejoicing at their historic representation, I’m sure, but the rest of the world is shocked.

I posted before about the concept of protest voting and why a progressive might want to allow a Trump Presidency to happen. Admittedly, I wrote that very early on, before half of the shit on Trump came out. Either way it doesn’t matter, he is President now, so all I can do is hope desperately that the silver lining appears, and that his election will throw gas on the progressive fire that was lit by Bernie Sanders so that next time, in four years, a true progressive is elected, and real change happens.

Here’s hoping.


  1. says

    The democrats have just discovered why running an unexciting candidate has its downsides. Nobody (including me, though I live in Pennsylvania and voted for her) was excited by Clinton. Trump’s supporters were excited.

  2. sonofrojblake says

    The massive arrogance and sense of entitlement of the Democrat campaign in general, and Hillary in particular (“Why am I not fifty points ahead??”), has come home to roost. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll learn anything from this. I hope I’m wrong.

    • starskeptic says

      Jon Lovitz as Michael Dukakis, “I can’t believe I’m losing to this guy, he can’t even form complete sentences…”

  3. secondtofirstworld says

    Hello thoughtsofcrys,

    I posted before about the concept of protest voting and why a progressive might want to allow a Trump Presidency to happen.

    I wish to start by addressing this sentence. As is it known to many, Americans and other parts of the world define words like progressive differently. In other words most American progressives are liberals. The dynamics between religion and social conservativism suppress almost all efforts to be an actual progressive. Heck, wishing universal, single payer healthcare is being branded as being ahead of its time, instead of, y’know, being behind it with more, than half a century.

    Based on exit polls, every millennial and slightly above in age range has voted for Clinton in a majority. Even among them, people born other Reagan only delivered 51%, and 9% percent went to Johnson and Stein, and whoever else was on the ballot besides the 2 major candidates. Based on race and incomes, yes, most white people did not vote for Clinton, including college graduates. Among women, in a majority only single women voted for Clinton. The majority of veterans did not vote for Clinton, which was a clear message on the VA situation, except addressed toward the wrong person. The majority of natural born citizens voted Trump, and most of them weren’t first time voters.

    From this point on, the influence of physical and social media becomes more evident. Voting for Trump happened because they disliked Clinton. Which issues were the most important paint a parallel reality based on what the candidates talked about. The main quality was bringing change, which somehow equals Donald. Fascism is known for “tolerating” contradictions, here’s one: Trump voters make over 50k a year, yet are convinced trade deals take jobs away. Economics and common sense would say, the poorest, out of job people would support that, but they voted for Clinton, and people less affected by it did not. Rejection of reality doesn’t end there. I’m not gonna lie, a major sh*tstorm is coming up after the Islamic State is dead, what with opposing desires among Kurds, Shiites, Sunnis, Assad, Russia, Western forces, Turkey and Iran, but even Democrats and Clinton voters are convinced the fight against the Islamic State goes only somewhat well. In reality, the Islamic State is know where the Third Reich was in March of 1945, on the verge of dying surrounded by coalition forces. Not knowing that isn’t solely on Trump supporters.

    I shouldn’t address this, but that’s another parallel reality: when asked how the criminal justice system treats people, less than a quarter of Clinton voters think it treats everyone fairly. That’s in concert with the self evident Trump view, that there are no problems. On the issues of healthcare and government power, most people think it has done too much. In other words, they agree with Johnson, but don’t vote for him. However, here comes the first surprise: when asked about how favorable the sitting president, the Democratic and the Republican candidate is, 18% found both candidates unfavorable, and 49% of that 18% voted for Trump. 63% of the polled find Trump not honest and trustworthy, 21% of said 63% voted for Trump. 60% percent of the polled did not find Trump qualified to be president, 18% of said 60% voted for him. Asking having the temperament to be POTUS, about Trump 63% said no, one fifth of them voted Trump. His treatment of women had only bothered Clinton voters.

    Lastly, it should come as no surprise, that neither debates had swayed Trump voters, but the worst thing comes now: When asked if they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, only 5% said yes. Most of them voted Clinton for obvious Pence… I mean, reasons. However 14% of that 5% percent voted Trump even with the knowledge that his VP, who could possibly de facto rule like Dick Cheney did will make their lives miserable. Instead of here’s hope, one should follow Alice and C.G. Jung to find out how deep the abyss goes, because it did stare back, and it seems being unfavorable as a candidate is even stronger, than self interest.

    As for non-America, one quip of his caught my ear: “we will work together with nations, if they’re willing to work with us”, which is a nicer way of saying we’ll become doormats. All in all, I feel sympathy for Trudeau as now he has a new refugee crisis to manage, as evidenced by the crash of the nation’s immigration website.

    • secondtofirstworld says

      Okay, I made a technical blunder, only the first sentence is meant to be in quotations, the rest is my addition, and if anybody could be as kind as to point me toward the possibility, how I can edit it, is most welcome.

      @sonofrojblake comment #7:

      I would so agree with you, if the analogy weren’t completely wrong. The basic mistake here is, and seemingly not realizing the same driving force behind the Trump hype: the thing beating communism wasn’t capitalism (as Westerners like to put it) but democracy. Go no further than China or Russia to see, that the mechanisms and dynamics can and do exist in lack of democracy. Oppression had failed, but even “we must nationalize key sectors” conservatives are not above courting undemocratic countries to finances their policies. As such, you can see 2 things in post socialist countries: for one, they demonize parties borne out of the previous system, but make deals with former oppressors, and two, many of their social decisions, even if they’re conservatives mirror those of the former communist elite.

      The second issue, and in this post socialist countries are on the same page as Trump voters: civil liberties are a good thing, but don’t expand it. Seemingly crippled by the effects of globalization, both camps reject basic human equality with other people who are not them. They feel entitled to be enriched by its positive effects, because they belong to the majority, which is why college educated and some non-heterosexual whites voted Trump.

      Replacing a movement by its very core founded on the economic power of the US and replacing it with nationalism is a recipe for class-based discrimination and genocide. In the very, very dark and deep underbelly of the Tea Party voter base, people exist who adhere to the Nazi idea, that economic crises as such physically don’t exist, but are mere concoctions of a secret cabal hellbent on destroying a nation, who only wishes to protect itself. Of course, those circles omit the fact (on purpose) that Hjalmar Schacht, before being jailed by Kaltenbrunner has made a lot of deals on that supposed market to finance the Nazi machine.

      If nationalism, more specifically after financial meltdowns, fascism replaces the current system, it will only create echo chambers were all useful and beneficial ideals lose merit and existence. This frustration had met with the individualism and exceptionalism, not foreign to liberals and progressives in America. The unique take, that personal individuality and responsibility has no upper limits, and a different/unorthodox solution can be created, that’s why Sanders failed. When his proposals became public, even like minded Democrats said it’ll cost too much, not even thinking about the fact, that billions poured into the military on unused technology serving the sole purpose of reelection alone would cover it.

      Fascism won, because the victors of WWI feared social ideals and despised each other enough to not do trade outside their respective colonial empires and also ignored the costs of keeping up said empire, so no ally helped the other. This election was like if Churchill had asked only the people of the British Isles if India should get independence. Thinking that they don’t because they’re children in need of guidance was not a singular opinion of Churchill, but the curriculum of generations.

      This election had split liberals from Sanders-type progressives, and posited the plight of non-white people and the poor as “I hear what you’re saying, but this sounds like a you problem”. If the fruits of neoliberal ideals had truly failed, voters of Trump wouldn’t earn more 50k a year, and have a college education. Democrats may be elitists (as is the GOP), but so are their voters, as if the people who voted for Obama had kept their Democratic vote, there wouldn’t be a “Live from Washington D.C., it’s Saturday non-PC! Tonight’s host, Chris Rock, musical guest Kid Rock. Stick around, we have a great effigy for you tonight!”

  4. EigenSprocketUK says

    @Marcus #1, it’s not enough to run an exciting candidate against predictable and boring candidates.
    Case in point: Jeremy Corbyn is the popular leader of the UK Labour Party (in opposition). He can be as popular as he likes, and as excitingly progressively unpredictable as he likes, but his own parliamentary party hates him, wants to undermine him, and the papers are training the public that he’s going to fail the next election spectacularly.
    Some of his own party even want to lose the next election just so that they can say “look, see, that’s what happens when you put an exciting progressive in charge”.

    So yes, Trump’s supporters were excited. But that only happened after the media accepted him as a viable candidate and it gave him enough momentum for to say “well, he ain’t perfect, but I’ll cast my vote for him because my fears are, right now, more important than the concerns of non-whites, LGBTs, and women

  5. sonofrojblake says

    I just had a little epiphany. Here’s what I think just happened: a Berlin Wall moment. In 1989 the wall came down, and it was possible to say, at that point, that communism had failed.

    Well, as of 2016, neoliberalism has failed. Free-trade-promoting, bank-bailing-out, business-as-usual complacent “if you’re against uncontrolled immigration you’re a racist” liberalism is dead. The left needs a new set of clothes. It needs to remember its roots representing the working people of the home country (whichever country), and set itself properly in opposition to the 1%, instead of courting them. The people have spoken, the bastards, and the left can choose to listen to them or condemn them, but it’s a different world now just like it was a different world in 1989.

  6. sonofrojblake says

    @EigensprocketUK, 5:

    Jeremy Corbyn is the popular leader of the UK Labour Party

    Jeremy Corbyn is the leader of the UK Labour Party. To describe him as “popular” is fanciful. Sure, he’s popular with the children behind “Momentum” and similar fellow-travellers who call each other “comrade”, people still banging on about the miners’ strike. But nationally, he’s a joke, and not the kind of joke Americans tell – the kind of joke that can get elected. He’s the kind of joke you hope someone will talk after, instead of just staring at you awkwardly and allowing the embarrassing silence to stretch out.

    His inevitable loss of the next general election is not what happens when you put an exciting progressive in charge, it’s what happens when you put the worst kind of tacitly anti-Semitic 1970s loony-left throwback in charge by mobilising a crowd of easily manipulated naive and youthful thugs.

    I have never voted anything other than Labour in my life – local, general and European elections, going back three decades, I have ALWAYS ticked the Labour box. I shall not tick that box while that man is leader. I know from talking to my former-Labour voting friends (i.e. most of my friends) that I am not alone in this. We are, as a middle-aged lefty demographic, depressed by Brexit and angry that the party we’ve supported all our lives seems bent on destroying itself from within, instead of forming a proper opposition.

  7. says

    Perhaps insulting the voters is a bad idea.

    I mean, her campaign spent the back half of the primary, and the following months, telling her opponent’s supporters that they were “children”, “racist” and “sexist”. Referring to their concerns as “fairy dust”, “entitlement”. This being people on her own party.

    Then she proceeded to refer to her General Election opponent’s base as a “basket of deplorables”.

    In the past few months, “White male” has gained usage as a sort of insult among her base, despite the US being a white majority country.

    All of these unenforced errors are the product of the extreme arrogance of a person who thought she had this shit in the bag and decided “You know what? I don’t need this assholes to win, I can lose them.” and a couple thousand idiots who nodded in support and refused to see that this was a mistake.

  8. sonofrojblake says

    Perhaps insulting the voters is a bad idea

    Ya think? It’s funny, when Mitt Romney privately wrote off th 47%, everyone on the left recognised that as a TERRIBLE gaffe.

    And yet they treated the public “basket of deplorables” comment as funny. Still laughing?

    • secondtofirstworld says

      @sonofrojblake comment #10:

      Romney’s comments weren’t private, he made them at a fundraiser event. Even so, Trump didn’t win because he had roused enough voters, Clinton lost because people, who gave support to Obama went with Trump this time around.

      In any case, the people voting for Trump lost as well, for the simple mistake of sleeping during civics class instead of listening, but then again, the “we’re a republic, not a democracy” crowd has to stand for something. Every voter should know that POTUS can’t bring the Canaan without the approval of Congress, and much what he had promised, he either refuses to deliver on, or can’t, even if he wants to. What veterans and most families with military background want is to not engage in losing wars, and effectively care for the wounded and fallen. In other words, Gingrich will have to have long diplomatic talks on putting the burden of fighting on other countries, good luck with the Brits, just ask Blair and the publicized report on the role of his government in Iraq.

      Second, the so called establishment politicians depend on donations, from people, whose companies operate overseas with good reason, and only need highly skilled workers. Sure, suing them is technically possible, but the economy collapsing under uncertainty is more probable. All in all, there are but few things on which Trump can deliver on, social policies, but even those will only remember Pence, Ryan and McConnell. Nobody should be that naive, that politicians commit political suicide by relying on a fluid and uncontrollable (there, it’s not deplorable, same thing) voter base instead of steady support from real American companies. As for the immigrants: in 2007, Russians enforced a mass deportation, a decision highly welcomed by the populace… until they realized they effing deported the only people who sold them fruits and vegetables. Whatever Trump’s promises, rest assured, many, who are long staying residents, but not yet citizens will be called to do the work others won’t. You probably remember the Take my job initiative, the one whose behalf Colbert worked as a farmer, and testified in Congress. The number of people signing up? 6. Only six people nationwide.

      I’m a descendant of farming peasants, spent a year in an agricultural school as a tractor repairmen, and by a tremendous bad luck I’d have to return to agriculture, I’d rather repair tractors then pick produce by hand. Heck, even the majority of vegan city dwellers don’t own and sustain a farm to make their own, they buy it as they have jobs too. There’s no economic reason behind wanting to mass deport people (which is illegal anyway, forcing clearly identifiable ethnic groups out of a place is a crime against humanity, but paying them to leave voluntarily isn’t) but racism, and arguing that people shouldn’t be called out on that is condoning the act. The problem with that is obvious, a group may leave, but the hate remains, and can turn toward the Irish, the Italians, etc.

  9. Forelle says

    Wait. Are you, 9 and 10, suggesting that Clinton insulted voters and that’s why she lost? As opposed to Trump, who oh so much respected them!?

    What world are you living in? Do you really think that the problem was leftist arrogance blah blah let’s wear a hairshirt and sin no more?

    It seems to me that Clinton’s sin was intelligence, not arrogance. But of course we can always berate her for referring to the Klan and such as ‘deplorables’, and say that this terrible day was her fault.

  10. EigenSprocketUK says

    @Secondtofirstworld (#4): simple html does the trick. For example:
    <blockquote>Quoted sentence</blockquote>
    results in

    quoted sentence.

    don’t forget to close the <html-tag> with the corresponding slash </html-tag>

    • secondtofirstworld says


      Yeah, that was my issue… I’ve already encountered posting a half finished response.

  11. sonofrojblake says

    @Forelle, 11:

    Are you, 9 and 10, suggesting that Clinton insulted voters and that’s why she lost? As opposed to Trump, who oh so much respected them!?

    Yes. But you have to apply just a little more thought than your simplistic straw man version.

    Here’s a short clue: fill in the details yourself.

    Trump insulted minority groups who weren’t going to vote for him for him anyway.

    Clinton insulted precisely the people whose votes she needed to win.

    Do you see the difference? (Hint: the difference is, Trump won).

  12. says

    I’m gonna break your heart by saying this but:

    The US is a white majority country, you can get 0 latinos, 0 blacks, 0 arabs, 0 asians and still win an election. He can afford to insult people like me, and he did. Her campaign couldn’t afford to insult white males, and they did it endlessly.

    The Electoral College favors Republicans, Democrats need extra effort to get the kind of turnout that could counter the republican’s advantage. Yet, they snubbed independents and the youth during and after the primaries, they downplayed the problems of blue collar rust-belt voters, they put forth a candidate with questionable (at best) decisions on war, trade, crime, LGBT rights, corruption, transparency, etc.

    In an election, the truth matters much less than perception. Even assuming that ALL of Hillary Clinton’s scandals are fabrications, they still have an effect. She was a damaged candidate from day 1 and yet she was enthusiastically put forward by the circle-jerk of democratic loyalists who loved her already, ignoring the warnings of every single outsider saying: “she’s poison, don’t do it, she’s a loser, don’t do it”. Her favorability ratings had always been low, polls showed that a majority of the US saw her as untrustworthy. This is not news to anyone.

    Despite all of this painfully obvious disadvantages, her campaign had been preemptively celebrating for the last few months “doing an end-zone dance on the 50 yard line” as Michael Moore put it. She lost the youth’s enthusiasm by snubbing Bernie Sanders and calling his policies “pie in the sky”, and she made sure she never got it back by rewarding Debbie Wasserman Schultz with a position in her campaign. She might as well take advice from Kissinger on foreign policy despite people calling her a warmon… oh, right.

    She defended NAFTA when people in the rust belt are hurting from the loss of manufacturing jobs.

    Despite being on the record as supporting the border wall and tough on crime laws (along with some horrible dog whistle statements), she just assumed that blacks and latinos would jump into her bandwagon because Not-Trump and such. They didn’t.

    It’s like all of her campaign and her supporters got lost in this whacky fantasy where white people are a niche minority that could be easily discarded without consequence and nagging people was a winning tactic to garner support.

    She underestimated just how disadvantaged she actually was and did nothing to compensate for it, she also underestimated her opponent despite him proving all of his critics wrong every step of the way. That’s either stupidity or arrogance, and I don’t take Hillary Clinton to be a stupid person.

    You don’t strategize around the world you wish you had, you strategize around the world you have. Anything else is delusion.

    • secondtofirstworld says

      As it’s a direct reply, perhaps I shan’t highlight that I direct this on your assessment. 282 thousand and 94 people voted more in the Democratic camp, it’s a well known fact, that Trump has lost the popular vote, so if possible, don’t reverse engineer causes, when the decision laid, as it always does, with the electoral college. This is not saying direct voting is any better, as it depends on how mandates are being distributed. In my birth country, the older system (the newer system is even worse) had allowed parties with the most individual wins to form a government, and with mandates won from party lists and national lists, 42% of the popular vote 52% of the mandates, but 52% of the popular vote meant 66% of the mandates.

      The voter turnout in this election was 55% of all eligible voters, so I do concede, both candidates lost with people not casting a ballot. Those who didn’t, did so, because they weren’t willing to support a third party candidate, and no major party candidates.

      You’re absolutely right about the rust belt anger, except that would have happened without NAFTA for 2 reasons: one, the Cold War ended, and it became enticing to move factories to places, where people work for the faction of the money. Two, corporate tax loopholes, if you’ve brought up Moore, he straight up said and showed it how that begun under Reagan. One can be angry about it, but that’s capitalism, they function to make profit on the littlest of costs. That there’s a weaker social fabric, it’s not the establishment’s fault, but their own, Americans wanted employer based, privatized solutions, and yes, manufacturing jobs are being replaced by robots. Instead of thinking about how that should change, they double down and want to do away with the Affordable Care Act. That’s what young people have abandoned by not signing up, not voting.

      The difference between the will of electors and that of the people is the same, the latter realizes the changes happening (as evidenced by casting ballots on progressive issues), but the former still lives in a reality where the will of the voters can be put on ice.

      I completely disagree with your last sentence, and for one reason: Vicente Fox. He was buddying it up with America while at the same largely ignoring the vacuum left by older cartels being filled up with younger and more vicious ones, and a nation’s security became an issue, which still is, so it’s not like he strategized with what he had, rather what he perceived he had.

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