Election 2016: Take Two, What Happened?

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Early voters at San Francisco City Hall filled out long ballots as they cast their votes one week before the election. Credit Jim Wilson/The New York Times

People who hate government, who are firmly against government are going into government.  People who disdain or disregard the U.S. Constitution (and other laws of this country) may soon themselves forced to or persuaded to follow those laws.

Then there are those who wage war against democracy.  If you fight hard enough against democracy, with a small d, eventually you’ll hurt Democrats.  It may come back to hurt Republicans as well.

How was this done?  It’s as if they’ve found ways to cheat or to rig the game beforehand. To do so, after the fact would increase the odds of being caught or exposed.   Yet if they do so “legally” than does that make it more right or more fair?

First, there’s the issue of gerrymandering.  As implemented, it seems blatantly anti-democratic to me.  It’s a way of enhancing one group  at the expense of another group.  It’s gone too far. As Jessica Post of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, said on NPR this week “So the voters have much less of a stake when the politicians are picking their own voters instead of voters picking politicians.”

Second, there’s the whole Citizens United issue.

Third, there’s the Supreme Court weakening the Voting Rights Act. This led to extreme anti-democratic action.  How much and was it enough to effect the election?  Well that’s a subject for further research.

Then too:

  1. People believed lies and fabricated news stories.  This effected how they voted.  I’m talking about exaggerations, distortions and things made up entirely out of whole cloth.  This came from both dubious media sources and from major candidates.
  2. Talk radio helped to swing the election.  It did so, with an able assist from its twin, a biased and unprincipled internet.  There was also a special “honorable mention” to reality TV.  As we’re all about to find out, just because you think that someone would be good at playing a president on television does not mean that they’ll be a good president in real life.
  3. Hillary Clinton was smeared and attacked as few candidates ever have been.  This went back to the people who started hating her and attacking her when she was first lady.  A lot of this was based in lies.  She could have been a saint or a charismatic superstar and people would have refused to vote for her because of her gender.  I’m sure that there was some of that going on as well.
  4. That said, she could have run a much better and smarter campaign.  Her remark “You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up…”  That may have cost her a state or two right there.  It doesn’t matter that it may be true, to a point.  It was bad politics.
  5. That said, hate helped win the election.  Those who are bigoted, scared and suspicious had their tendencies confirmed.  Just look at the rise in hate crimes and bad behavior since election day.  Bigotry goes hand-in-hand with “America first” jingoism.  They’re two peas in a pod or two sides of the same coin. Then too, there’s the matter of an African American president giving way to the “whitest of whites.”  Yet more than half of America refuses to hate.
  6. Low voter turnout played a major part in the outcome of the election.  Estimates place the turnout at less than 50% of the voting age public.  This is one of the lowest turnouts in quite a long time.  Part of the problem is likely tied to some Bernie Sanders supporters who refused to vote for Clinton.  Others just took it for granted that Trump wouldn’t win.  To all those who came out to vote for Barack Obama but stayed home this time, I hope you enjoy the next four years.
  7. The FBI director influenced the election by saying he was investigating Hillary Clinton.  The last letter especially served to energize and encourage Trump supporters and to discourage Democratic voters.
  8. This is mere anecdotal evidence, but I heard stories of priests and preachers insisting that their flocks vote for Trump.  They called voting for Hillary Clinton a “mortal sin” and a path to hell. I don’t think that there were many preachers insisting that their congregation vote for Clinton.  People look at one or two issues and can’t see the wider, more complicated picture.  There may be little to this, but it’s one more thing that may have swung the election. What about the separation between church and state?
  9. I’m sure there are plenty of other reasons for this loss.  I may add to this post as others reveal themselves to me.  Or not.

Then too:

Gerrymandering:

http://www.npr.org/2016/11/27/503489379/after-republicans-gained-from-redistricting-democrat-state-legislatures-look-to

Citizens United:

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/01/21/5-years-later-citizens-united-has-remade-us-politics

The Voting Rights Act:

https://www.propublica.org/article/voting-rights-by-state-map

https://www.thenation.com/article/the-gutting-of-the-voting-rights-act-could-decide-the-2016-election/

You don’t have to win to win! The Electoral College:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/democrats-popular-vote-presidential_us_582246c4e4b0aac62487dde9

James Comey’s last minute surprise:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/06/fbi-director-james-comey-clears-hillary-clinton-on-new-emails.html

Oops:

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/hillary-clintons-basket-of-deplorables-gaffe

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-gaffes_us_5728d8efe4b096e9f08f43d6

Who are these people?  They can’t all be that evil or that stupid:

http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/rural-america-understanding-isnt-problem

I’m for the recount.  It’s good to know for sure whether the count was crooked at all or not:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_United_States_presidential_election_recount_and_audit

Oh well:

http://www.versobooks.com/blogs/2948-not-a-revolution-yet

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/11/12/post-election-spate-hate-crimes-worse-than-post-911-experts-say/93681294/

http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/38360-trump-in-the-white-house-an-interview-with-noam-chomsky

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/17/american-neoliberalism-cornel-west-2016-election?CMP=share_btn_fb

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/12/donald-trump-conflicts-of-interests/508382/

http://www.alternet.org/economy/krugman-why-trumps-infrastructure-proposal-huge-scam#.WDYEQi9nUj0.facebook

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/robert-reich-donald-trump_us_583dfd2be4b04fcaa4d579c7?section=us_politics

Sore Loser!  Oh wait, he won, right?

http://www.npr.org/2016/11/27/503506026/trump-makes-unfounded-claim-that-millions-voted-illegally-for-clinton

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2 Responses to “Election 2016: Take Two, What Happened?”

  1. don handy Says:

    Were I a cartoonist, I’d have long ago drawn one of someone wearing a “Hilary Sucks – But Not As Good As Monica” t-shirt saying, “Who are you calling deplorable?” It’s too bad Elizabeth Warren didn’t run, but there’s a great piece by John Nichols, on the online Nation, on her today, saying that the fact that Democrats won the popular vote means that we have to fight. Or, to paraphrase Joe Hill: Don’t mourn, organize, resist, fight, protest.

  2. artremedy20 Says:

    Yes organize, resist, fight, protest. Be aware. I was going to get to that in the third (and final for a minute) part of this. I’m a partisan of reality itself. Let’s not destroy the world.

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