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« Post-Election Reading List | Main | A Halloween Horror Story »
Wednesday
Nov092016

Clinton v. Trump

A few rough thoughts about our election, and Donald Trump, who will be our next president.

  1. I wanted Clinton to win, mainly because I disliked Trump so much. But I voted against Hillary in 2008 because I didn't want the wife of a former president becoming president herself. The presidency isn't a prize to be passed among a small number of elite families. Was Chelsea to be next? Michelle Obama? But we didn't do much better with Trump, choosing a white male billionaire celebrity. That isn't exactly breaking the concept of elitism.
  2. People in the country hate the government. Many see the government as a mechanism for funneling money and power to the super-rich. In that respect I agree. I just think the solution is not to turn the apple cart over and set it on fire.
  3. People hate Obamacare not because it exists (though this is true of Republican elites) but because it doesn't work for them. One thing I think I heard loudly in the run up to the election is that people are upset that Obamacare has not solved their health insurance problems. I think they want help in health care, but they want effective help, not a bureaucratic dog and pony show.
  4. The problem the average American faces is a lack of hope. People work without any hope of seeing a better life. People are angrier about this than anything. Millions of people work jobs in fast food, driving, lawn care, and have no hope of doing anything else. This is a sad thing, and neither political party gives a damn.
  5. Barack Obama is disliked by millions of poor whites not so much because of racism (although I do not doubt that factors in) but because he represents globalism. As do the Clintons. Poor Americans have seen industry disappear in this country, and they watch as technology takes their lives away. Uber puts cabbies out of work. Computer systems have elminated the jobs of transcriptionists, secretaries, file clerks, librarians, and many more and replaced them with nothing.
  6. Technology ploughs along, destroying lives in the process, most all of them poor. Self-driving cars will end the careers of millions of employed drivers. Consider that one of the richest companies in America, Facebook, is worth billions and only has a few hundred employees. This is typical of tech companies. They generate a huge amount of money for a small number of lucky people, while putting regular people out of work.
  7. The key to this election was encapsulated in Hillary Clinton's problems with the West Virginia miners. These people have been put out of work by technology, and it was clear that Clinton had done little or no thinking about how to assure them that they would be able to make a living. She just offered more education, which to them means student loan debt and not necessarily better prospects.
  8. The great fault of liberal globalism is lack of religion. To people left out of globalism, liberalism feels like an atheistic denial of human values and God. It also feels like an abandonment of American values. To me, this makes some sense. You can't open all borders and have complete exchange of ideas without losing something of your own identity. Of your own religion. There has to be a balance between the two. Right now, there is nothing in politics designed to protect the culture and values of people not part of the technological revolution. That is, rural whites and poor blacks.
  9. To people who accuse Trump supporters of being sexist, racist, xenophobic, and small-minded, I agree with you up to a point. But people resort to these vices when they are afraid. What no one has wanted to do is ask where the fear is coming from.
  10. I fear Donald Trump is not a good vessel for this energy for change. He is not, I think, capable of tearing down Washington and erecting something useful in its place. Maybe he can, but I don't think so. We could be in for a hard time.
  11. Stop the crap about running to Canada. The reason the Democratic party keeps failing is because when it gets beaten it doesn't bind together. Everyone just runs off and hides. Ideas that are worth fighting for when you are ahead are worth fighting for when you are behind. Or they weren't ever ideas in the first place.
  12. Forget about the damn emails. There will be a lot of soul-searching and wailing about this issue, but I don't think it had much to do with it. Except to the extent that the emails revealed a Clinton who thought she was too big for the rules. She could have saved herself from the issue by handling it differently, but Trump would have found something else to pound her with. Clinton excudes a sense of being out of touch with the common people. Even I can see it, and I'm pretty elitist myself. I can't image her telling an off-color joke, drinking beers at a bar, pumping her own gas. I know Trump has similar problems, but somehow these limitations stick to her much more than to him. It is probably related to her association with globalism, which makes her an unsympathetic figure.
  13. Finally, I confess to the sin of hubris. There was way too much hubris on the Clinton side. Who is to say that educated liberals really know best? Who is to say voters are too dumb to know what they want? The people chose. They chose Trump by the tens of millions. Is it really my place to judge them as stupid, or racist, or wrong?

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Reader Comments (2)

Am I going to spend the day reading back issues? I think so. You are a great and learned writer!
March 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJo Ann Martin Nicholas
Thanks for writing, Jo Ann.
April 2, 2017 | Registered CommenterMichael Hebert

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