|Election night 2016 was like seeing a red wave of piranhas|
On Election Night I watched as the TV showed the maps of the states with the counties outlined. It was a sea of red with a few bits of blue. It looked to me like a wave of red piranhas descending upon a little blue minnow.
On the morning of the election, my friend told me not to worry—all the polls said that Clinton would win. I told her that poll results were based on population models and that this was such a crazy year that the models could be wrong.
Now the pundits are explaining the predictive failure of the polls by saying maybe certain groups refused to be polled. I’ll add to that. Maybe certain people, like me were over-polled. One night, I participated in five different polls. I wanted to be polled.
Who are the “Yahoos”? They are low-information voters who are swayed by slogans and headlines. They are also the “Deplorables”—the racists, the sexists, the xenophobes, the haters. They are also the Republicans who put party over country.
Pussy vs. Policy
The wave of red meant the yahoos were winning. It was the victory of pussy over policy. I use the word “pussy” as a stand-in for scandal. The media was primarily interested in scandal and not informing the public on the issues. Scandal is sexy—it sells newspapers and ad time, and it gets clicks.
The news media no longer feels that it should inform the public on issues. The news media is now nothing more than entertainment.
Here is a case in point. I was watching MSNBC which is considered the most liberal of the three major cable news channels. The network was a doing a live remote showing Hillary giving a speech on her economic policies. After a few minutes, the network cut-away. The anchor said, “We’ll come back if she says anything about the emails.” Then he turned to a panel of three pundits discussing the emails.
Trump coverage followed the same emphasis. Grope-gate got endless coverage. I must have seen that clip of the bus a thousand times.
No wonder people say, “They never talk about the issues.” Not that the people actually care about the issues. If they did, they could have found them on Hillary’s website. They only bring up issues as a way to defend the voting decision they made for other reasons.
Nonetheless, Trump’s positions were so simple and so visceral that he was still able to communicate his stand on the “issues.” He had a bunch of one-liners he repeated over and over. “Build the wall!” “Ban the Muslims!” “Bring back jobs!” “Defeat Isis! “Lock her up!” (The last one is not technically an issue, just an applause line.)
There was nothing behind these empty slogans; Trump never said how he would do any of these things (and he will probably never actually do any of them as president.)
The Crook vs. The Idiot
“The Crook” vs. “The Idiot” became the shorthand way of explaining the choice. Neither characterization was actually true. But who in the media had time for truth? They were too busy capturing eyeballs with entertainment.
People didn’t want a crook or an idiot. Some chose not to vote at all. And some who did vote, left the choice for president blank.
“Crooked Hillary” is a myth.
The big problem for Hillary is that if she tried to defend herself, it only made her sound guilty. Recently, I learned that if you try convince a person that a cherished belief is untrue and the more facts you present to prove that their belief is wrong, the more the person will believe that they are right. There is no way to prove your innocence. As Bill Maher joked, “How can you prove she is not a witch, if you don’t let us dunk her.”
She couldn’t defend herself, so I will defend her here. Let’s go through the charges leveled against her one by one.
Honesty: Poltifact found Hillary to be more truthful than any of the other presidential candidates, Including Bernie Sanders. Poltifact found that Trump told nine times more lies than Hillary, yet Trump was considered the more truthful one--Maybe because Trump’s lies were entertaining.
The emails: There was absolutely nothing noteworthy about the so-called email scandal.” When Clinton decided to use a private email server, as she had done as a Senator and as previous Secretaries of State had done, I’m sure she never thought it mattered. She was not doing it for nefarious purposes. And national security was in no way harmed by her using a private server.
The FBI investigated the emails for over a year and concluded no crime had been committed. Comey said, “It wasn’t even close.” Unfortunately, he said a lot of other things also, despite the fact that the FBI had never before commented publically on a case. Even when they recommend indictment, they don’t comment.
Comey, a Republican, couldn’t indict Hillary, so he decided to smear her. Twice!
As KellyAnne Conway, the chair of Trump’s campaign, said “It doesn’t matter if it is true or not, the damage has been done.” Conway could barely contain her glee.
The speeches: Every prominent person in government gives paid speeches once they leave office. (Elected officials are forbidden by law to give paid speeches while in office—that is why Bernie Sanders could claim that he got zero bucks from speeches.)
Corporations do not pay big bucks for these speeches because they want favors. They do it because it is good business—when a high profile person gives a speech for them, they get prestige and more attendees at their conferences.
Hillary also did free speeches and speeches where she was paid much lower fees. She did these speeches in support of charitable organizations and for other worthy causes..
The Clinton Foundation: The claims about the Clinton Foundation are also baseless. No one in the Clinton family took a penny from the foundation. No political favors were ever given in return for donations. Independent organizations that rate charities have always give the Clinton Foundation the very highest ratings.
WikiLeaks: There was nothing scandalous in the hacked emails of Hi8llary’s campaign chair, John Podesta. Yet every day, the media would select one email and carry on like it was a big deal. They would drop the story the next day to focus on the next nothing-burger. Personally, I am amazed that out of 40,000 emails there was nothing noteworthy.
Donald Trump is the Crooked One.
While the media was pounding Hillary, they were ignoring Donald Trump’s crookedness.
Dishonesty: There are too many lies to mention them all. Let’s just take the biggest one--The one where he said that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. He repeated this for years, and then under pressure during the campaign he called a press conference and said “Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.” And then he refused to say one more word about it ever again.
Trump University: Trump University swindled people out of tens of thousands of dollars. It targeted the people who could least afford to lose the money.
Deadbeat: Trump has been sued hundreds of time for refusing to pay small businesses and workers what he owed them for the services they provided. There were hundreds more who couldn’t afford to sue him, so they just had to eat the loss. Some of these businesses were forced into bankruptcy.
He declared bankruptcy six times, but not before he transferred all of the money out of his corporations, leaving his investors to suffer the loss.
The Trump Foundation: Donald Trump set up a fraudulent charitable foundation. He did not register it as required by New York State Law. Trump put very little of his own money into it; instead he solicited donations from other people, and then used those funds to make a gift while taking credit for the gift. He also used the foundation’s money for his personal expenses, including an apparent bribe to Florida’s Attorney General, Pam Bondi, to get her to drop an investigation into Trump University. The New York Attorney General is investigating these frauds—I hope the investigation is not dropped just because Trump won the election.
There’s so much more, but I don’t want to add another 2000 words to this piece. You can read the book shown at the end of the essay.
Donald Trump Runs for President: The Reality Show
Donald Trump’s whole campaign was a reality show. Reality shows are very popular on TV, and this one was no exception. He got well over a billion dollars of free time on TV for his reality show.
Is Donald Trump really, a racist, xenophobe, misogynist, ignoramus, white supremacist or does he just play one on TV? I guess we will all just have to wait and see.
What Trump wanted to do was to set up a media conglomerate for the yahoos. He would have lots of money, lots of attention, and very little work on his part. As he said during the campaign:“If I lose, I go back to a great life.”
I’m pretty sure Trump started this whole thing as a publicity stunt and it took on a life of its own. He wanted to win, but he never really wanted to BE president. Now that he has won, no more great life for him.
The White House is a step down for him. His gold-plated Fifth Avenue penthouse is so much nicer. He’ll have no privacy due to the Secret Service and the press following everywhere (No more pussy grabbing.) He will be under constant attack from the public and the press—he’ll get the blame for everything that goes wrong. He will be in a high stakes game of tug-o-war with Congress.
Trump seems a little more subdued, though he still has his bad habit of tweeting. I think he has quieted down a bit because he is scared shitless
Here's a book by a Pulitzer-Prize wining author if you want more details about the Donald's failures and shortcomings.
This what the yahoos have cost us. They will be sorry for voting for Trump, but those of us who were smart enough to vote for Hillary will have to suffer alone with them Skip down to number 71 for the list. And then see the addendum for more things lost. 1010 reasons just wasn't enough.
101 Reasons to Dump Trump