back to article Kotkin: Why Trump won

Why did Donald Trump win? He filled a vacuum that was vacated by both Democratic and Republican parties, says Joel Kotkin. Kotkin is one of a small handful of writers who highlighted the role of Silicon Valley's oligarchs in American society. No fan of The Donald ("a horror" is how he described him back in June when we talked …

  1. J. R. Hartley

    You get the politicians you deserve.

    Simply don't fuck Bernie Sanders over and Trump wouldn't have won.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: You get the politicians you deserve.

      My feeling from the beginning was that a Clinton Saunders campaign would have swept the board but the Democrats (and the Republicans too, it's a universal failure) have become the "elites" and are unwilling to share power without getting a payback. Therefore Trumps victory was inevitable.

      All societies seem to go through a big change like this after 100 years to so - my hope is that some good will come out of this eventually. The only thing that's certain at this point is that Trump will probably disappoint both supporters in parties - relax, it's just reality TV writ on a larger stage.

    2. Spudley

      Re: You get the politicians you deserve.

      That's debatable (and of course impossible to prove one way or the other). Sanders was pretty divisive as well, and many of his policies would have been very difficult to swallow for the same kinds of people who couldn't bring themselves to vote for Hillary either.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: You get the politicians you deserve.

      Polling's not got very good PR at the moment but Sanders polled consistently higher than Hillary. I suppose they decided not to do that because there'd be fewer opportunities to move money about.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You get the politicians you deserve.


      Below is a smoking gun email from 1/2/15 proving that the Clinton Campaign was in collusion with the DNC from the start. "Coronation" doesn't begin to describe this... but the 3rd bullet point is particularly telling. Notice also that the White House was involved.

      It must have scared the hell out of HRC that Sanders picked up so much momentum. But of course, THIS is precisely the reason why people supported him over HRC.

      1. fandom

        Re: You get the politicians you deserve.

        Absolutely, after all it's clear that someone that can't even deal his own party would have made a great president.

        1. sisk

          Re: You get the politicians you deserve.

          Absolutely, after all it's clear that someone that can't even deal his own party would have made a great president.

          Given how much the Republican establishment hates Trump I'm really not seeing your point here.

          Honestly I think Bernie would've buried Trump. Once you get outside of the far left Hillary has a reputation for corruption that's second to none in American politics, which no doubt helped Trump achieve victory. Whether it's been earned or not is irrelevant. What matters is that the average American just doesn't trust the woman. And even with that Trump barely won. In fact he actually LOST the popular vote by almost half a million votes. Bernie, on the other hand and like Trump, has a reputation for being brutally honest, a rarity for professional politicians. Whether they agree with his politics or not most people feel they can believe what he's telling them, which would have counted for a lot against Trump.

          Now me, personally, I think we're going to find out that Trump did a lot of telling people what they wanted to hear. For example, I don't believe for a moment that the man is stupid enough to build a $300 billion wall that will, at best, serve as a minor obstacle to something like 25-30% of illegal immigrants coming into this country. Nor do I believe he's actually dumb enough to think he can get Mexico to pay for it. It makes a great speaking point when you're dealing with people who haven't seen any immigration statistics, but anyone who's actually looked at the numbers knows that the entire idea is laughable at best and utterly insane at worst. Trump's a lot of things, but idiotic isn't one of them.

    5. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: You get the politicians you deserve.

      My sense of Trump and Sanders was they both realized there were large numbers of Americans being tossed into the landfill by the "elites". The hinterlands have been hammered economically for years and the residents have been accused by ignoramuses of being just this side of Hitler for years that they got fed up.

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    Missed it......again.

    Yes it is, like Brexit, a protest vote. The problem is that, if the <bien pensant</I> soft-left luvvies want to know what's being protested against, they really need to look in the mirror.

    It's the "We know what's best, you should vote how we tell you to vote because it's the right choice because we say it is" types who the hate is for. The big problem here is that these idiots just can't understand....because they're right....obviously. The reason that they can't understand why people voted the way they did is that, in fact, they just don't understand people, even if they like to think that everyone is just like them. The fact is that, actually, most people have far more in common with bankers and industry captains that with, say, Michael Moore.

    I reckon that it's pretty much the whole press and all the "right-on" types saying how horrific Trump would be that gave him the win.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missed it......again.

      Yeah, it was "political correctness", wasn't it. *cough*

      If that was the case, I suspect that was as much a representative proxy issue for the voter base that feels abandoned and unrepresented by the Washington establishment.

      Not an American here, so correct me if I'm wrong. But I got the impression that the Democrats started to *really* sell out and become beholden to coporate interests from the election of Bill Clinton in the early 1990s onwards; i.e. following policies that they needed to have to get elected rather than those which reflected their principles. (A la Tony Blair over here a few years later).

      And that it was that abandonment of their principles, and becoming just a different flavour of corporate-pandering party to the Republicans, that isolated them from the voter base that they took for granted until it finally snapped.

      If they were still to the left of the Republicans (because, of course they are), the "centre" (sorry, "center") ground of US politics has undoubtedly shifted right- at least in the pro-business sense- in recent years. It's been observed that many of Nixon's policies would be practically "socialist" by modern US standards.

      Anyway, at the risk of saying "I told you so", I knew damn well Barack Obama wasn't going to deliver half of what people expected of him in 2008, because he was still a product of the political establishment and beholden to the same capture by corporate interests that the rest of the Democratic Party was.

      Hillary Clinton may have been the lesser of two evils, and I'd much rather have seen her elected for that reason, but she was utterly establishment and too associated with the 25-year-old status quo to have come across as anything other than uninspiring.

      I was surprised that Bernie Sanders got as much traction as he did, given that he defined himself in terms that included the word "socialist" (normal to most of the world, but in America pretty much read as "COMMUNIST!!!!11111") and you have to wonder what would happen if he *had* been chosen.

      Would he have run into the "socialist = COMMUNIST!!!!!11111" unelectability brick wall once he had to appeal beyond his existing support base, or would Americans have finally got over the stigma and stopped knee-jerking against their own self interest?

      Or at least, that's how I see it- but I'm not American, and I've long known that it's a mistake to assume (that just because they speak a form of the same language) that Americans think the same way that I do. Especially the non-coastal types in the "flyover" states- this is a mistake that many people in Britain make; they think that they know America better than they do from watching Hollywood and American TV series.

      But those are not as representative of America as a whole as some people think. Do not be fooled by the apparent familiarity- Americans are more alien than they first appear.

      Anyway, good article at covering why Trump got elected without coming across as excusing or endorsing him, nor as a blatantly partisan attack on Hillary Clinton.

    2. David Webb

      Re: Missed it......again.

      Yeah, the Left is really starting to piss off the moderates (not right nor left) with their "we know what is best" attitude. If Trump had not won, would there be protest marches, would California be wanting to leave the US? I don't think so, if Trump had lost the right would have said "fix!" and got on with their lives for the next 4 years. When the Left doesn't get things their way they try to work out ways in which their own views is the correct one and everyone who didn't agree with them was wrong.

      Brexit? Left's stance is "well, X amount of people didn't/couldn't vote so NO BREXIT!" Now it's "I didn't vote for Trump so he's NOT MY PRESIDENT!", not really sure they quite understand how an election works.

      Trump won, lets just get through the next 4 years and see how bad a job he does, then the next president can come in on a "Make America Better Again, With Patches, America 3.0!!"

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. HausWolf

        Re: Missed it......again.

        The Right didn't have Texas proposing the secede the last two elections after Obama won?

        The Right didn't have 3% militias claiming they are ready to go to Washington to "take our country back" training in the woods with live fire exercises as recently as last week ?

        You never heard "you Lie" at a State of the Union speech (which was a blatant disregard of protocol)?

        Enjoy your victory lap.. but enough of the lies from the right pretending they are reasonable, Trump has told enough lies for everyone.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Missed it......again.

          The "You Lie" though was perfectly accurate and very well deserved. Obama is simply a more glib liar, but a constant and deliberate liar all the same. His disrespecting the Supreme Court justices was even worse, a complete disregard for protocol, and one barely criticized at all.

          No, we'll all be very well rid of the worst president ever.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Missed it......again.

          > "The Right didn't have Texas proposing the secede the last two elections after Obama won?"

          Dude, that's just Texas. What country you living in?

          > "The Right didn't have 3% militias claiming they are ready to go to Washington to "take our country back" training in the woods with live fire exercises as recently as last week?"

          Yeah, the "Right" has this big standing army locked and loaded, ready to spring into action. Doesn't everyone know that? They're poised to swoop down on Washington DC and surgically delete Congress and the Supreme Court the moment Trump gives the word.

          As for the "You Lie" thing, Obama was junk talking those congress critters, and one of them decided he'd had enough for one president. You got a problem with speaking truth to power?

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Missed it......again.

          "Enjoy your victory lap.. but enough of the lies from the right pretending they are reasonable, Trump has told enough lies for everyone."

          Yep. But it's quite bewildering to those of not in the US how moderate Trump suddenly sounds compared to ranting and, what seemed to me, outright slander he uttered during the campaign. Compare his campaign trail comments about Obama with the comments he made after meeting him at the Whitehoue today. Likewise his recent post-win comments about Hillary Clinton.

          It's a bit like a couple of boxers beating the shit out of each other and then going for a pint together afterwards.

          It does make us outsiders wonder just what happened and what might happen once he's sworn in.

      3. Captain DaFt

        Re: Missed it......again.

        "Trump won, lets just get through the next 4 years and see how bad a job he does,"

        Might not actually be that bad.

        He's angered the head Republicans, and outraged the Democrats during his campaign, so expect lots of fireworks in the media, but little action in the Belt line as every move he proposes gets blocked, and every thing the House and Senate propose gets shot down by him.

        So noisy, and popcorn worthy, but little gets done, and most damage averted.

      4. Fungus Bob

        Re: would California be wanting to leave the US?

        Perhaps they'd like to go back to Mexico....

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Missed it......again.

      Actually Michael Moore was more or less siding with Trump on this one. It shocked a lot of conservatives. Mike really supports the blue collar workers, and that's who helped Trump defeat the votes from the mega-cities, which were 95% of Mrs. Clinton's support.

    4. Anonymous Coward


      "It's the "We know what's best, you should vote how we tell you to vote because it's the right choice because we say it is" types who the hate is for."

      And I fear some people will never understand, they truly seem to be living in a fantasy world of their own without any ties to the real world. You see the same thing happening in Europe right now. A lot of politicians are "shocked" but there's no reason to change their policies.

      And this lack of insight manifests itself on many levels. Has anyone noticed how often all the polls get it wrong these days? I'm not talking incidents, I'm talking repeated massive mistakes. The Brexit was never going to happen, bzzzt. Clinton would win easily, bzzzzt. And that's only 2 obvious examples.

      I think the people behind those polls are often just as alienated from the world as those politicians are. Yet too stubborn to realize or admit to this. And the media where they sent their poll results too are often just as bad because most journalists don't bother to check their sources these days. Resulting in incidents where total nonsense can make the front page.

      And when the deed is done everybody is so "shocked" and "surprised". Yeah...

    5. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: Missed it......again.

      >soft-left luvvies want to know what's being protested against, they really need to look in the mirror.

      No, that's bullshit. I don't know a single "soft-left luvvie" who is a fan of crony capitalism or the banks or billionaires or Wall St.

      Not one.

      This conflation of the Wall St money machine with people who have a degree and work in the media or the arts is one of the most dangerous things happening at the moment. It's classic divide and conquer.

      The reality is that the aims of the "soft-left" and the working classes have more in common than not. But the Wall St and Washington machinery - the billionaires, the real elites, and their political collaborators on both nominal sides - are desperate to prevent that becoming obvious, because then they'd have a real revolution on their hands.

      So instead we get pretendy populists like Farage and Trump who misdirect the justified rage away from where it belongs, guaranteeing that no matter what happens, the money, like spice, continues to flow.

    6. tycoon

      Re: Missed it......again.

      "The fact is that, actually, most people have far more in common with bankers and industry captains that with, say, Michael Moore." Typos aside, that is an absurd statement. RTFB(iography).

  3. fnj

    It's not "why", it's "how"

    First, let's remember that Trump appears to have LOST the popular vote by a slight margin (counting is not yet 100% complete). Given that a Presidential election depends on the summation of the results in the various States, Trump's win resulted from nothing more than a series of razor-thin margins, many of them so close as to be statistical dead heats. Reading anything more into it than that the country is exactly 50-50 split along ideological lines would be folly.

    Finally, the fact is that he HASN'T won UNTIL the electors chosen to the Electoral College have their individual meetings in their respective States on December 19, cast their actual votes, the results are transmitted to the President of the Senate and certain other authorities by December 28, and a joint session of Congress meets January 6 to count the electoral votes and certify the results.

    How many US citizens (let alone people in the world) actually understand this process?

    1. Rainer

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      Nate Silver at pointed out that 1 out of 100 Trump voters voting for Hillary instead would have essentially reversed the whole election-outcome.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      And your point is?

      I do not recall a single case when the electoral college has voted against what they were elected to vote for.

      While the US system of indirect election is somewhat arcane, it does do what it says on the tin. Electors are elected to represent their state, they vote as elected.

    3. Hollerithevo

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      Yes, that is how the system works and, while only a few states specifically have laws that say that their electoral college reps have to follow the popular vote, the changes of the electors going against the popular vote and putting in Clinton is vanishingly small.

    4. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      I heard this after every election - are you in California and sampling the local weed now it's legal?

      Just kidding - I feel your pain, but the result is inevitable unless Trump takes his oath of office on a cold, wet and rainy day and forgets his hat and overcoat.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      there are also _accusations_ that some Republican-governed states made voting more difficult for certain groups of Americans by tightening the voting ID laws etc. (plus ongoing debate over the re-enfranchisement of citizens following prison sentences)

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      @fnj: Given your very clear explanation (no sarcasm), I'd still say Trump will make it as President on January 6th. I can't see the US electoral college announcing Trump as President elect, but then choosing Clinton as actual President early next year - a possibility I think you're alluding to.

      Has such a swerve ever happened before in US history? Could it really?

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        @AC Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

        Here's the problem... voter fraud exists and it has an impact.

        There were some major issues like 100's of ballots being sent to a single house of an old woman.

        People who cannot vote, registering to vote and voting. This includes illegal aliens and convicted felons who have lost their right to vote. The issue is that they are being (self policed) which is like saying to a convicted felon... go ahead and vote. The odds are you'll never be caught and if you are... its unlikely you'll serve any jail time...

        The larger issue... is automatic voter registration. You get a drivers license, you're eligible and registered to vote. It sounds good, but when you allow illegal aliens or even green card holders to get a drivers license, they are then being registered to vote. (The devil is in the details.)

        Sorry, but both sides play games and if you're in Chicago... even the dead can vote. And vote often.


        1. WolfFan Silver badge

          Re: @AC It's not "why", it's "how"

          The larger issue... is automatic voter registration. You get a drivers license, you're eligible and registered to vote. It sounds good, but when you allow illegal aliens or even green card holders to get a drivers license, they are then being registered to vote. (The devil is in the details.)

          Err... no. I got an American driver's license in 1984. At the time I did NOT have a green card. I was not registered to vote, no doubt because the people at the license place knew damn well that I was not eligible as I waved my Irish diver's license and passport at them when I got the license. Even when I got the green card and went to renew the license, I was not automatically registered to vote. I was not registered to vote until after I got US citizenship... and I had to join a line to do that. It was NOT automatic.

          The rules have changed since I got my license; I was a 'student' and was in the process of getting a master's degree at a fine American university in north west Indiana. An obscure place with a French name and perhaps 10,000 undergrads, you probably may never have heard of it. It is now much, much, MUCH harder to get an American driver's license. Thank you so much, Mohamed Atta.

        2. fishman

          Re: @AC It's not "why", it's "how"

          Where I live (Maryland), to vote all I was asked was my name, address, and month/day of my birth. I didn't have to show any ID.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @AC It's not "why", it's "how"

            Where I live (Maryland), to vote all I was asked was my name, address, and month/day of my birth. I didn't have to show any ID.

            But you were white, so no problem.

        3. Rainer

          Re: @AC It's not "why", it's "how"

          I consider felons losing their right to vote an atrocity and not worthy a nation that once view itself as the beacon of freedom.

          I'm OK with not being able to run for an office while you're incarcerated - but these people should still be able to vote.

          I think there's an irrational fear that because there are so many incarcerated people (per capita, US is no 1, I think) they could all unite and vote for one guy ;-)

          Personally, because the candidates are usually interchangeable and there are so many voters, I consider it to be game of "large numbers". If you throw the dime often enough, you'll settle for a 50-50 distribution, which is what happens during most elections.

          But due to gerrymandering and the winner-takes-it-all principle, you end up with stable majorities anyway.

          1. Dr_N Silver badge

            Re: @AC It's not "why", it's "how"

            "I consider felons losing their right to vote an atrocity and not worthy a nation that once view itself as the beacon of freedom."

            Try the UK. They remove our right to vote after 15 years outside the country.

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

              ""I consider felons losing their right to vote an atrocity "

              British prison inmates can't vote in UK elections.

              CMD fought the EU court ruling to maintain the UK right to deny them this.

          2. midcapwarrior

            Re: @AC It's not "why", it's "how"

            On of the oddities is a felon can be elected for office - and have - even if they can't vote.

          3. Mark 85 Silver badge

            @Rainer -- Re: @AC It's not "why", it's "how"

            Have look here at felons and voting. Many, if not most, states do allow felons to vote either after serving their time or after a period time after release.


   This site further breaks down the various state rules.

        4. John Smith 19 Gold badge

          "Here's the problem... voter fraud exists and it has an impact."


          You won and you're still bi**hing.

          And I recall the line about "Vote the graveyard" from an old Stainless Steel Rat novel a long time ago.

        5. kkreu

          Re: @AC It's not "why", it's "how"

          Could not agree more with your comments. I think the biggest thing people do not realize is this is a big FU to the career politicians regardless of parties. We have a Constitution that should be followed but most citizens do not know what it even says. Another thing that almost everyone gets wrong is that they say the US is s a Democracy which is dead wrong. The US is a Republic. What is the difference? It is one small but drastically big difference. A Republic is the sovereignty in the individual person while the Democracy is the sovereignty of the group. This is why we have all these protest going on because these kids were never taught what the US actually is or what the Constitution says.


      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        Yes - they should have voter ID requirements at all states. You should be required to prove who you are before you can vote. Especially with all of the attempted voter fraud.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: ID

          Voting is a right, not a privilege..

        2. kkreu

          Re: ID

          Agreed. They want ID in CA to get a fishing license and now if you are buying ammo. The pretty much want ID for everything in our daily lives but not when voting. Why because they are discriminatory and racist. Where is the logic?

        3. Myvekk

          Re: ID

          You mean the dead should not be allowed to send in their postal votes?

      3. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

        "made voting more difficult for certain groups of Americans by tightening the voting ID laws"

        so that people couldn't a) vote more than once, or b) vote when they're not AUTHORIZED [like illegal aliens, reside out of state, etc.] ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

          A variety of techniques have been alleged in the past to deter or otherwise create a barrier to a citizen voting. That it is blatant gerrymandering based upon an exaggeration of the actual amount of voter fraud is the issue.

          There also did use to be a law that meant that States with a history of gerrymandering through voter registration (poll taxes, see Harman v. Forssenius for instance, or literacy tests) had make extra effort to counter such practices. (the Voting Rights Act of 1965)

      4. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

        "While the US system of indirect election is somewhat arcane, it does do what it says on the tin."

        correct. it ALSO gives a bit more clout to non-populous states. Many of the compromises ca 1787 regarding the framing of the U.S. Constitution were compromises between people who wanted each state to have equal representation, and who wanted individual people to be equally represented.

        The electoral college basically rubber stamps the individual state's election results. It can work both for or against a candidate. but in MANY ways it more equally represents what's going on across the entire nation. So it stays, because it works, and because 'tradition'.

        It also forces candidates to campaign OUTSIDE OF MAJOR POPULATION AREAS. That's a GOOD thing. Otherwise, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, and New York City would decide EVERY presidential election. Yeah, don't go there...

      5. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

        the US electoral college announcing Trump as President elect, but then choosing Clinton as actual President early next year.

        In theory at least, there isn't anything to stop an Elector from casting his (or her), own vote with, or without the blessing of his (or her), Constituents. Other then possibly inciting some major butthurt on the nation.

        But this part of the Electoral College is IMHO, a complete historical anachronism, that should probably just go. To put it in as simplistic terms as possible. Think of the Electoral Voters as Absentee Snail Mails, and the US Capital as the Polling Station. Which is exactly how it was designed to work some 200 years ago, before the advent of say the Telefon, Radio, 24h News, and the Internet.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

          It is not like it is quick and simple to change, the electoral college is set in the constitution. To propose an amendment changing it requires passing by a 2/3rds of the House and 2/3rds of the Senate; then 3/4 (38 of 50) states.

          It is not like the big state vs little state is a new dynamic either, there were a lot of concessions that had to be made for the original 13 separate countries as they saw themself at the time to pool political sovereignty. Rural and swing state governments would literally be voting to lose influence further to the biggest states which are already seen as having more influence and advantages.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

        And if 1 in 200 Obama voters in 2012 had reversed their votes in key states, Romney would have won. Your point was ....?

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

        Somehow denying Donald the election is not going to happen:

        1) When you put your "X" next to the Donald's name, you are actually choosing his slate of electors to represent your state in the college. Donald names his slate of electors for each state. Who are the most rabid Donald supporters in your state?--you'll find a good number of them by looking at the Donald's slate of electors.

        2) Congress is controlled by Republicans and is going to wave the results out of the Electoral College through. Donald won the Presidency, and while a lot of Republicans in Congress would have preferred Jeb Bush or Ben Carson or somebody else, if they wave the Donald through they get to pass bills out of Congress and Donald will pretty much sign all of them. The only check on this is if the Dems can hold together a filibuster in the Senate. If Congress fails to validate the results out of the college, then they lose President Trump, his campaign and his more vociferous supporters, split the Republican Party, and look like loons bringing on constitutional chaos.

        Meanwhile there is still Hillary Clinton in the wings with support of a tiny majority of the American electorate, much of big business and wall street and all of the media and entertainment industries. Congressional Republicans who think they can deny the Donald and put one of their own in the Oval Office would be playing right into the Democrat's hands

      8. Frumious Bandersnatch

        Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

        > I do not recall a single case when the electoral college has voted against what

        > they were elected to vote for.

        It has happened. A total of 157 times since the USA was founded.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

          That was interesting. As an outside it seems pointless bother with the electoral college at all, at least for those states which enforce voting only for the pledged candidate.

          My reading of the process and the background for why the EC exists seems to be a safety valve put in place in case an outright corrupt nutjob "wins" and so can be rejected by "the great and the good" but the system itself has been subverted into a rubber stamp "tradition" process. Probably by a lack "great and good" people.

    7. WolfFan Silver badge

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      Why is it that some people downvote posts for simply stating facts?

      It is a fact that the counting of the vote is not yet complete. At the time I write this, Michigan is still counting. They are at 96%. Donny has 47.6%, Hil has 47.3% Given that most of the votes to be counted come from places like Wayne County, the possibility exists that Hil could come from behind and take Michigan, not that it'll be enough to push her over the top.

      It is a fact that many of the states won by either Don or Hil were won by very thin margins, which means that they were lost by very thin margins. At time of writing, Don has 2,279,210 votes in Michigan, Hil has 2,267,373. Of roughly 4.75 million votes, counting those wasted on Johnson and Stein, Don is leading by 12,000. That's a very tight margin. There are multiple other states where this kind of thing is true. If one third of the 50.7 k who voted for Stein had voted for Hil instead, she would be leading by a very thin margin.

      It is a fact that given the very close margins, reading anything other than a 50/50 (or, given the number who didn't bother to vote, more like a 30/30/40) split is folly. (Yes, you read that correctly. More people didn't bother to vote than voted for either one. Allegedly the most contentious election in recent American history, and 40% don't bother to vote.)

      It is a fact that, until the Electoral College says so, Trump still hasn't won. And even then, he hasn't won until Congress says he has. Now, the chances that the EC fails to say he won, or that Congress doesn't certify are very, very, very low, but they ain't zero. (Zero's in sight, though.)

      And it is a fact that damn few US citizens understand the process.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

        "And it is a fact that damn few US citizens understand the process."

        Sadly, that's not a problem unique to the USA. Here in the UK we had people claiming Gordon Brown was never elected as Prime Minister and again, that Theresa May was not elected as Prime Minister.

        1. Mooseman Silver badge

          Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

          "Here in the UK we had people claiming Gordon Brown was never elected as Prime Minister and again, that Theresa May was not elected as Prime Minister."

          To be fair, neither of them were. What people don't understand is that they don't vote for a PM they vote for a party, but the political system has become so personality driven it's hard to see the difference. Once the leader of the elected party steps aside the party can choose a successor, its just that if it happens to be in government we end up with a new PM.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

            What people don't understand is that they don't vote for a PM they vote for a party

            I've never seen a party written solely on a ballot paper for a general election. No PR in general elections and only one person chooses the PM in Britain.

            1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

              Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

              If you want to be picky people vote for a person, that person is (usually) a potential MP of a party, and the party that forms a working majority wins, usually with the same leader as entered the election.

              It should be technically possible for MPs that won a majority of constituency vote to immediately switch affiliation, for the winning party to thus change, or even if it won for the PM to instantly change.

              Hell, in the snowball chance in hell scenario, shouldn't it be possible for the PM to decide to quit as an MP, switch to an opposing party, have that gain a majority and continue on as the PM leading the opposing party..

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

            "To be fair, neither of them were. What people don't understand is that they don't vote for a PM they vote for a party, but the political system has become so personality driven it's hard to see the difference. Once the leader of the elected party steps aside the party can choose a successor, its just that if it happens to be in government we end up with a new PM."

            Exactly my point. We never vote for a Prime Minister unless we happen to live in the party leaders constituency, they win, they retain the leadership AND the head of state invites said leader to form a government. There has been at least one instance in the past where the monarch chose a person not even elected to Parliament and asked him to form a government, which he did, and therefore was truly an unelected Prime Minister.

      2. Zare

        Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

        I find this good comment, just one thing to add. In this elections Democrats cannot blame third party candidates for the loss in most states, including Michigan. The thing is that, just as Stein took votes from Hillary, Johnson took votes from Trump (and Johnson had 3 times as many votes as Stein). So in my opinion, had third party candidates been forbidden, Trump would have added more or less all 3.6% from Johnson, and Hillary could have counted on Stein voters - 1.1%, so the difference would have been even bigger for Trump - which I find amazing but that is how I see it. Hillary could consider herself practically lucky that Johnson and Stein were in the race, because Johnson took more votes from Trump than Stein from Hillary.

        But I would say that discussion about third party candidates is missing the point. If Democrats cannot win against Trump who, in my opinion, at one time or another, insulted every group of people in America, then they have only themselves to blame and not Stein, Johnson or Facebook.

    8. Filippo Silver badge

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      That won't happen. Having the electors subvert the vote, while technically legal, would open a can of worms so big and stinky that Trump would look like sunshine and rainbow by comparison. I'm confident that everyone in charge understands that.

    9. Ian Michael Gumby

      @fnj Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      First, you have to remember its not the popular vote what matters is what happens in the electoral college and Trump crushed Hillary. (As of last count, Trump will win AZ and MI which will add 29 more votes.)

      To your point. Many don't understand the process and its a rare thing for a person who casts the vote in the electoral college to not vote as their state dictates. One individual spoke out and would have had to pay a $1,000 fine if he didn't cast his vote for Hillary and she won his state. (Which I think she did.)

      There will be no revolt and everyone agrees that Trump won.

      The sad issue is the protest marches. I have no sympathies for the cry babies.

      The one positive thing people miss is that with Trump in the WH, everything he does will be watched closely by the press. (Who are extremely biased against him). He will be the most transparent president because he will be under the microscope24/7. (Unlike Obama who's administration was not transparent at all unless you mean it was more openly blatant at the corruption that occurred on his watch.

      Sorry, I digress... but to your point. At this point. The votes are a formality and he will take the oath of office. As with any President, god help us all.

    10. Brangdon

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      It's true Clinton won the popular vote. However, if the popular vote mattered, then both parties would have campaigned differently, so the result might have been the same.

    11. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      Apparently at the moment? 9 People don't.

    12. MSmith

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      Well, Trump was ahead by 1.3 million votes. Then I went to bed. Then Philly 'found' a box of absentee ballots they 'forgot' about. Then Detroit found a lot of votes... Shockingly, all 1.5 million of these last minute found ballots was for Hillary Clinton. Add this to the hundred thousand or so non-citizen votes in Virgina, the felons allowed to vote by executive order.... Yes, Hillary got the 'popular' vote.

    13. Ilmarinen

      Popular Vote (Re: It's not "why", it's "how")

      Yes, I've been watching this. If we take out the likely dead and bussed voters it's probably narrowly for the Trump.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Popular Vote (It's not "why", it's "how")

        Lets base it on an IQ test, double digits, family history of in breeding no vote.....<G>

    14. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      The popular vote, that's irrelevant, the candidates campaigned for the electoral college votes because that's what matters. You simply cannot claim with any veracity that if the candidates had in fact campaigned for the popular vote that Clinton would have won.

      And Obama won in 2012 with pretty thin majorities in a number of states.

      Face it, we're all lucky to escape the rule of the kleptocratic oligarch Hillary Clinton. Kotkin is right about her being the crony capitalist to top all crony capitalists.

    15. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      > "Trump's win resulted from nothing more than a series of razor-thin margins..."

      Incorrect. Very few of the state results were razor thin. The States with huge megacities went for Clinton by double digits, while practically everywhere else went Trump, often by very large majorities. The country is split alright, between the large cities and the people in flyover country.

      1. midcapwarrior

        Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

        "The States with huge megacities went for Clinton by double digits, while practically everywhere else went Trump, often by very large majorities."

        Need to get you a map.

        He won texas, florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio. States with "huge megacities"

        Hate won

        Hope lost

        Interesting to watch the dismay on the right when he can't fulfill his promises.

        Just like the anger on the left with Obama not making all their wishes come true.

        In this case they'll find reality is a b*stard

    16. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      "How many US citizens (let alone people in the world) actually understand this process?"

      Probably not many :-)

      I was interested to see from the count stats that it appears Trumps party merely retained their share of the vote, Clintons party lost some of their share and the overall turnout, despite the press reports of "mass turnouts" amongst certain racial groupings, remained more or less the same. As an outsider, it seems to me that Trump "won" based on either Clintons supporters not turning out or voting for one of the other candidates in protest. In other words, Trump didn't "beat" Clinton, Clinton lost her own supporters to "don't like our own candidate, vote for anyone other than Trump or Clinton"

    17. Myvekk

      Re: It's not "why", it's "how"

      I understood it from the start. And I don't even live in the U.S., let alone a citizen.

      After all, I have read "Bio of a Space Tyrant" by Piers Anthony.

  4. Dr Scrum Master

    Town vs country:

    (The map looks remarkably similar to the Labour vs Tory map of the UK.)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Astonishing to see a good article from Cracked, but I have to say, it's absolutely on point. If you don't live here, it's almost impossible to comprehend just how large the country is, and just how many rural communities there are. And yes, they're dying. Throughout my childhood, I watched as just a few hours north, the paper mills died one by one. Entire towns all but vanished.

      On the coast, the fishermen whose families have lived their for literally hundreds of years are being driven away by higher taxes on their land, because NY millionaires want summer homes on the water. They've never known anything else but the sea and their way of life, where do they go?

  5. LDS Silver badge

    "Hillary would surely have succeeded on competence in any other election, no?"

    No. She would have lost easily much earlier to any other sensible candidate - in many ways Trump was lucky his contender was Ms. Clinton.

    Why the Democratic Party had only one candidate (but an outsider with no chances like Sanders)? She would have lost the nomination too against any sensible Democratic candidate - so "somebody" ensured there were none - strange, because there was no president seeking for a second mandate.

    Why Clinton didn't keep the Secretary of State role? Was it a cunning calculation to stay away from any current administration mistake? Was her stint at that place a show of competence, or not? Lots of mistakes, in the US foreign policies, in those years. Obama's ones, or Clinton's ones? Having been a US lawyer and a President's wife doesn't endow you with magical foreign matters knowledge - if's a field that requires of lot of time actually spent abroad and on the specific matter.

    As a Senator, did she show much competence?

    Someone, I don't remember who exactly now, wrote that Ms. Clinton was a very weak candidate, under many aspects. She was kept afloat by Trump being a real risk, but it wasn't enough.

    1. fishman

      Re: "Hillary would surely have succeeded on competence in any other election, no?"

      "Why the Democratic Party had only one candidate (but an outsider with no chances like Sanders)?"

      There were two other candidates - Martin O'Mally, and Jim Webb. They were totally ignored by the media for the Hill vs Bern show.

      1. Myvekk

        Re: "Hillary would surely have succeeded on competence in any other election, no?"

        "There were two other candidates - Martin O'Mally, and Jim Webb. They were totally ignored by the media for the Hill vs Bern show."

        Or should that be the 'Bernie Hill Show'? Given all the confounding antics the main candidates in this election were up to suits a Yackety Sax theme tune.

    2. MSmith

      Re: "Hillary would surely have succeeded on competence in any other election, no?"

      Remember, Trump was the Republican nominee because he was the only Republican Hillary Clinton could hope to beat. She and the media made a concerted effort to make sure he was the nominee, just like they made sure she was the Democratic nominee. Remember during the Democratic debate when the moderator refused to let Jim Webb speak at all? Now you understand...

      The Clinton's have always been good at legalese "None of those emails was MARKED classified". She never ran on competence, she ran on EXPERIENCE. This is experience in the Dilbert sense of the word. In the "You messed up the entire Middle East, you have a lot of foreign policy EXPERIENCE."

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Catch this video by Some Black Guy

    Spot On and hilariously funny.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why is it that the most watchable political screeds from minorities come from those who have turned against their masters in the Democrat party? I guess it's the righteous anger at being screwed for so long, starting with Democrat slave holders and then the Jim Crow Democrats of the Old South, right up to today's Dem party that just assumes blacks are theirs forever. Because, racism!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Labels, labels, labels . .

    Not for the first time reading an AO piece I find myself baffled by the labels used, e.g. 'a "coalition of elites", such as academics, greens and minorities'.

    I'm sorry, since when are minorities an elite? Did I miss a meeting? Either that or 'elites' doesn't mean what I think it does.

    Also, every use of the word appears to be pejorative. What about the positive aspects of elites; elite athletes, thinkers, innovators?

    I think I grasp what is being attempted to convey but when fairly common words seem to be bearing new and unfamiliar weights I really can't be sure. Since this isn't, in essence, a political site what about speaking in general terms, i.e. normal usage of words, for those of us with a casual interest?

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Labels, labels, labels . .

      "I'm sorry, since when are minorities an elite? Did I miss a meeting?"

      A few, by the sound of it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Labels, labels, labels . .

        The talk of elites is slightly misleading in that what is actually happening is a battle for power between two different elite groups - I thought this was even clearer in the UK for Brexit.

        BTW, I liked the comment on the Last Leg yesterday (from memory):

        "its true, in America anyone really can be elected president - even a rich white guy"

      2. disgruntled yank

        Re: Labels, labels, labels . .

        I would say that the only sense of "minorities" in this context would be that if you add a few members of minority groups into the mix, you can look more diverse than perhaps you are. Having said that, it is as pointless to talk of minorities in that sense as it is to talk of "white privilege" without clarifying whether you mean the coder in Silicon Valley or the miner in West Virginia.

        Americans love elites, provided they can determine the grounds of their election. The NFL draft gets a lot of press coverage. Are you a Navy SEAL? Men will in general respect you. Things get murkier when the accomplishments needed for joining the elite are less visible, or involve matters of less interest to most of the population.

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Labels, labels, labels . .

        Those elites must be up to no good, why else would the police be shooting them? They must have done something wrong.

      4. Ilmarinen

        Re: Labels, labels, labels . .

        Well said Andrew.

        And nice that you are still here :-)

    2. PatientOne

      Re: Labels, labels, labels . .

      "I'm sorry, since when are minorities an elite?"


    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Labels, labels, labels . .

      By definition, elites ARE a minority.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Criminal Enterprise

    I'm sure I am not the only one fed up with articles telling me why I voted the way I did.

    I voted against the Democrats in the hope we could:

    1) Return to the rule of law. The executive branch is not exempt.

    2) Prevent the use of government agencies as tools to persecute the opposition.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Criminal Enterprise

      Prevent the use of government agencies as tools to persecute the opposition.

      Are we talking about the FBI's antics in the last couple of weeks? The eight Benghazi investigations of the last couple of years? Blocking the CDC from reporting on firearm violence? The state (Georgia?) whose legislature voted to ban civil servants from mentioning climate change in any official report about flooding or extreme weather?

      1. WolfFan Silver badge

        Re: Criminal Enterprise

        The state (Georgia?) whose legislature voted to ban civil servants from mentioning climate change in any official report about flooding or extreme weather?

        That would be Florida. They have denied doing so, but not very convincingly.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Criminal Enterprise

        No, the use of the IRD to harass opponents, and don't try to deny that happened, they not only admitted it but Federal judges have ruled that they're still doing it. This was one of the major complaints against Nixon that he tried to sic the IRS onto his opponents, but they wouldn't. Obama didn't even have to cross that line, the IRS was sufficiently colonized by Democrats that they did it anyway and all Obama had to do was provide cover. No one has punished (retiring on a full pension with a bonus is not a punishment as such) for this highly illegal action.

        And all the MSM, the elite commentariat stayed nearly entirely quiet on this. Well, if Trump does the same in reverse will you just accept it as well ?

        The various Clinton investigations, well, the easy answer was appoint an Independent Prosecutor or appoint a grand jury to investigate; someone/something at least nominally independent. But they wouldn't do that because then Clinton would be too hard to protect. Face it, she's a crook and has been one for a long time. No one else in the USA would get away with what she's been allowed to get away with.

        From the FBI evidence that has been released we can be quite certain that she is guilty of three serious crimes: Perjury before a federal Judge (stating that she released all relevant emails from her time at State, we know for certain that she did not); Obstruction of Justice (subpoena issued 3 March to retain existing emails, 25 March over 33,000 deleted and wiped); and Security breaches which do NOT require intent to be proven. All of those carry the threat of serious jail time. I suggest you review the cases of Scooter Libby and Martha Stewart for an idea on how those crimes may be treated for non-elite Democrats.

        The rule of law must apply to everyone, giving high placed criminals like Clinton a free pass is antithetical to democracy and the very concept of equality before the law.

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Criminal Enterprise

      Out of curiosity - what makes you think that the Republicans in general and Trump in particular will be any better?

      Or is that just a high faluting way of saying you fancied a change?

    3. Blank Reg Silver badge

      Re: Criminal Enterprise

      Odd choice since Drumpf has advocated doing exactly what you don't want happening.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Criminal Enterprise

        "Odd choice since Drumpf has advocated doing exactly what you don't want happening."

        Not so odd when you consider that for most elected officials, the odds that they'll do exactly the opposite of what they pledged (While still paying lip service to the the claims) are much better than even.

    4. thomn8r

      Re: Criminal Enterprise

      *Prevent the use of government agencies as tools to persecute the opposition.*

  9. Alistair

    Times, they are a changin'

    FD: Canadian. Born in Mass. Decided, when things were what they were in 75, that it was not a good thing to be a geeky, awkward teenager with a US passport visiting relatives in the US.

    @J.RH -> yes, yes you do, in general.

    Trump. How the Hell did they elect trump?.

    There's lots going around about Bigotry, Hate, Misogyny, White Male, etc.

    Kotkin's got the right idea. What is stunning is that no one has noted just *who* has been stuck to his side all the way through.

    Trump is for "Change".

    Hillary is for "More of the Same".

    I seriously seriously doubt that the vast majority of Hillary voters voted because she going to continue the oligarchic evolution that has been happening in the US for the last 40 years.

    I seriously seriously doubt that the vast majority of the Trump voters voted because he is going to run around grabbing pussies and shooting Muslims and kicking Mexican landscapers out of the country.

    What happened here was that Hillary represented "more of the same" and Trump represented "change".

    What change? - for some: kick those wimmins rights actinazis in the nuts

    for some: kick those black lives matter twats off our streets.

    for some: lock them furriner terrists up before they bomb my walmart

    for some: drop that trade deal that will cost me my job.

    But - -the HUGE majority on the street, just want the overall political entity that owns the US -> From the breakfast table to the 4 pillars to be changed.

    Not all Trump voters are misogynistic, racist, religious nuts, even if *some* of them are. Most of them are just tax payers who've watched things from the late 80's devolve in the excited snakes and honestly believed that Trump could do something. ANYTHING to change the course the country was on.

    Well. I'm quite sure things will change. They always do. Not sure if *any* of us are ready for the ride. But it will happen.

    Just a suggestion in my view. If you have any debt anywhere, pay it off. now.

    1. Teiwaz

      Re: Times, they are a changin'

      Look back at the Obama campaign - the voters then thought they were voting for change.

      Did they get it?

      Not really. He got some changes through, he didn't get a lot of others he wanted. Chances are, a lot of those changes will be rolled back under the new administration.

  10. Teiwaz

    I wonder what happens...

    When he proves to be no up to all this proposed change?

    (Wondering much the same after the Brexit is finalised and the UK has been out for a while and nothing much changes).

  11. disgruntled yank

    A couple of things

    First, GW Bush lost the 2008 election as much as Obama won it. Once people got their 3rd quarter 401K results, John McCain was doomed. A lot of people who should have known better took the 2008 results to be the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. It is not impossible that Obama did also. Certainly, he acted as if he had more of a mandate than he did.

    Second, the Democratic Party painted itself into a corner starting in 2000, assuming that the happiness of the Clinton 1990s would carry through. The leadership ignored the ill will that for some bad reasons and some good ones attached to Hillary Clinton. I suppose that she could have won in 2008; but she was selling inevitability, and once Obama put a crack in that belief, she could not get the nomination. In any case, she is not the politician her husband is. She has never needed to be.

    Third, in my day one learned about the Electoral College in grade school. As best I can recall, there has very seldom been an elector who disregarded instructions--three or four since 1800.

  12. breakfast


    I believe every outlet has to have at least one Why Trump Won piece and this is one of the better examples. Certainly looks from here as though the Democrats lost at least as hard as Trump won, but then it's hard right? You lived your whole life in a certain environment and it has always worked out fine for you, why would you expect that to change? Seems like a lot of Washington had no idea how thin the ice they have been skating on for decades had grown. Will be interesting to see what comes of that.

    Something that seems to be is missing from a lot of analysis is that nobody outside cities votes Democrat. Maybe if they acted like they were remotely interested in people outside major conurbations, the map wouldn't be a huge red expanse between a pair of thin blue brackets. But then this time around they didn't really seem that interested in anyone really.

  13. Your alien overlord - fear me

    What I don't understand is

    how can someone not elected into the Senate/Congress get to be President?

    1. disgruntled yank

      Re: What I don't understand is

      Perhaps because the US does not have a parliamentary system of government?

      Governors have had a lot of success running: Carter, Reagan, Clinton, G.W. Bush. Senators elected directly from the Senate (i.e. without a VP stint in between) have had a good deal less. Most recently there was Kennedy, and before that Harding. Off the top of my head, I can't think of anyone who was elected directly from the House of Representatives.

      If you haven't been elected before it usually works out best to have been a general, it is true.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: What I don't understand is

      it's the anti-politician anti-establishment sentiment of the times, actually. An outsider like Trump had that advantage from the beginning. 6 years ago people voted anti-Obama by electing Republicans to a majority in the House, then 4 years later, the Senate too. What did Republicans do with all that power? They CAVED IN to Obaka on *EVERYTHING*!

      Hence, "the establishment" can't be trusted. An outsider was needed. Trump saw the need, and filled it like an Entrepreneur. And there you have it.

  14. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    I think this viewpoint is accurate - it was well stated in May 2nd issue of The New York magazine earlier this year:

  15. Palpy

    Blame it on the elitists?

    Bullshit. It's the triumph of the American reactionary impulse. The "Make America Great Again" movement is about a return to the "golden 1950s" -- when the KKK was still lynching blacks, coal miners were poorer than they are now and died by the hundreds in unsafe mines, and the river where I live was so polluted no-one fished or swam in it.

    The Trump win is a win for the know-nothings, facilitated by years of fear-mongering and phony anger from self-serving media personalities. The right in America is not conservative. It is reactionary, and as is almost always the case, the reactionary harks to a golden era that never was, while trumpeting ignorance and a willful disregard of reality.

    *shrug* I came of age when the US was fighting a stupid and brutal war in Vietnam, the National Guard was using live ammo on protesters, and to many of us the government was the enemy.

    Ain't my country no more, man. Maybe it never was, though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Blame it on the elitists?

      And total bullshit back at ya. Trump's win is a triumph over the "know everything, learn nothing" brigade who somehow believe that the common herd are undeserving of democracy and need someone to think on their behalf.

      The KKK may have been lynching Blacks, but they were Democrats so why link them to Trump ? Hillary Clinton after all is more closely associated with the KKK than Trump through her "mentor" Robert Byrd.

      And you want to blame the media, that tiny slice of the media that supports Trump when 99% of the MSM don't just support Clinton (and Obama even more so), they drool over them, they have sexual fantasies over their "beautifully creased suit trouser leg"; did you see that picture of the media on the plane with Clinton, sheep like adoration in every face. The media, so totally in the tank for Hillary that even they noticed it on occasions.

      It probably isn't your country though, you'd be more at home in Cuba or Venezuela by the sound of it, taking part in herding recalcitrant non-believers to the camps where you can deal to them properly.

      1. Palpy

        Re: BS back -- you might reed --

        moor kairfully, AnonCoward.

        I didn't "blame" Trump for KKK lynchings.

        What I'm talking about is the way the Trump campaign harnessed American reactionary sentiment.

        "Reactionary" is used to describe those who favor a return society to a prior condition -- a status quo ante -- which, in fact, never existed, or never had the characteristics they imagine for it. (See deffy of reactionary.)

        Trump himself waffles, of course, having variously singled out the 1930s or the "late 1940s to 1950s" as "times when America was great". But generally American reactionaries tend to hold up the 1950s as a time to return to. My point is, they aren't.

        Professional mouths like Limbaugh and Hannity and Michael Savage and Beck have been coughing up their particular brands of anger, hatred, and irrationality for decades. Trump connected with the trash-fires these guys have been stoking among the right wing. He connected with the reactionaries. Not with conservatism.

        And the fact that almost exactly half of voters went for a tax-dodger, a cheater who doesn't pay his bills, a braggart who played through 6 bankruptcies and boasted about assaulting women, a wanna-be who changes his "policy positions" faster than a baby with diarrhea goes through diapers -- the fact that so much of America went for that guy does indeed make this older fellow feel like an expat in the country where he was born.

        No matter. I done been through the 1960s and 1970s, the shame of America supporting Pinochet and Rios Montt, not to mention disco and the failure of the war on drugs. The stupidity of invading Iraq. I done been around the block. Several times.

        And what I see coming now is more of the same sh*t.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Blame it on the elitists?

      that's right, Trump is going to turn on the pollution spigots, filling every body of water and every existing water table with CARCINOGENIC TOXIC WASTE, and THEN make sure that all non-whites and women are OPPRESSED. I guess now that it's the 21st century, we can construct OPPRESSION-BOTS that look like Daleks, cracking electrified whips, and yelling "EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!" We'll power them with Arduinos since they're made overseas.


      (you actually BELIEVE that? Too much wacky weed, I think)

    3. Hardrada

      Re: Blame it on the elitists?

      "Bullshit. It's the triumph of the American reactionary impulse. [...] The Trump win is a win for the know-nothings..."

      Like the Neoanderthals who took over the US during the Stoner Age? This is hardly America's first peasant revolt. We have a pretty long tradition of them :)

      "The right in America is not conservative."

      Correct. A lot of us don't mind. I mind some of their policies very much, but I'd say the same of Democrats.

      "the reactionary harks to a golden era that never was, while trumpeting ignorance and a willful disregard of reality."

      You mean like environmentalists who think that 'going back to nature' means moving back into the Garden of Eden? At least the alt-right in the US only wants to go back 60-70 years, not 5,000 :P I'd argue that bringing back the '50s is a more realistic goal than getting rid of Evil Technology altogether.

      "The 'Make America Great Again' movement is about a return to the 'golden 1950s' -- when the KKK was still lynching blacks, coal miners were poorer than they are now and died by the hundreds in unsafe mines, and the river where I live was so polluted no-one fished or swam in it."

      Yep, and now we're drugging little boys literally to death for the crime of being energetic. Back in the bad, bad '50s*, that was called motivation. One of my childhood friends died on Monday from a lifetime of drugging. The drugs knock out basic reflexes like swallowing, putting you at risk of drowning on your own saliva in your sleep (if you can sleep at all). Even if you don't, it's like being waterboarded all night, every night for your entire life.

      You're a callous person if you think that our current system is ethical or kind. I personally find it downright ghoulish.

      (*By the '50s, I mean Fermi's 1950s, Darwin's 1850s, Voltaire's 1750s and Descartes' 1650s. When H.G. Welles Time Traveler said "I am too Occidental for a long vigil. I could work at a problem for years, but to wait inactive for twenty-four hours--that is another matter," every one of Welles' contemporaries would have nodded knowingly. The modern Enlightenment was driven by human motivation. You're speaking for a culture that didn't exist before 1970, and won't exist by 2070.)

      As for coal miners, one word: Technology. It's safer now, and we also have gas, passively safe reactor designs, and quite a few other options. Besides, how would you have run your beloved universities and heated their huge edifices without coal? Remember, we're talking about the 1950s.

      And your river? Maybe you've forgotten that private households raked their leaves into the street every fall and burned them. The resultant pollution was quite a bit worse than anything VW has been accused of recently, and probably on par with industrial pollution at the time. People also changed their cars' oil in their driveways, diluted the refuse and poured it into the ground behind their garages. One thing that you can say for a Superfund site is that at least you can clean it up. What are the odds of cleaning up 50 million undocumented household sludge-piles?

  16. 0laf

    Those who felt pushed have pushed back

    Fundamentally it was a big FU from the quiet majority that don't really factor into the thinking of the metropolitan elites. Either the politicians or the press. The more these voters were told not to vote for Trump the more they wanted too. It pretty much didn't matter what Trump said or did as long as he wasn't anything like the usual politicians. It was a rational choice for many it was an opportunity to flip the bird at Washington.

    Brexit was a big FU to politicians as well, and it might well set the pattern in elections across the west.

    I can only imagine that for wise Americans being asked to vote for Trump or Clinton was like being asked which leg you'd prefer to be shot in.

  17. SeymourHolz


    All these salty and spicy comments are delicious.

    M A G A

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The shock.

    Part of the surprise of the whole thing is because there's a massive swathe of the population with unpleasant views, beliefs, ideas, whatever who have effectively been gagged by society.

    Now you have no idea what they think, they aren't in the streets with placards, they aren't writing editorials, they aren't presenting breakfast TV, you can't hear them alone in the dark, screaming at the telly, waiting, just waiting, to vote...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The shock.

      And most of them voted for Obama, but couldn't stomach doing the same for the uber-crony Clinton.

  19. nilfs2

    Why Trump won?

    Because most merkins are idiots, look for the presidential elections results if you need proof

    1. fishman

      Re: Why Trump won?

      "Because most merkins are idiots, look for the presidential elections results if you need proof"


    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why Trump won?

      Good way to convince people of your argument.

  20. Tikimon

    Pushback against smug righteousness

    Funny how a left-wing idea or candidate is defeated, and it's because people are stoooopid and racist and just horrible people. Yet when the left wins, it's a glorious mandate from an enlightened electorate. This kind of smug, insulting arrogance is just the kind of thing many Trump voters were pushing back at. Being told "You're either with us, or you're a Misogynistic Racist Fascist Nazi!" rightly gets people's back up.

    Plenty of people voted not for Trump, but to keep out a person they saw as a greater threat. In other words, "Please Not Another Clinton Or Bush". Given her widespread backing from The Establishment, she's capable of doing far more damage than the Total Outsider. Trump can say or propose anything he wants, but Congress must put it into law or not, and the Supreme Court can strike anything down. I'm not for him, but I fear him less.

    This election was a repudiation of Hillary (rejected twice now), both political parties, and their attempts to control elections. If we had had a better candidate, we would have gladly voted them in.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Pushback against smug righteousness

      Pretty close, I gues.

      Except for the "left-wing" bit. Ain't no such thing in The States since the 1930ies or so. The lads from Beyond the Fringe got it right.

      On the other hand, let's not forget the silver linings.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real reason is...

    Stupid people are taking over. Just surf the interwebs to see it in action. Words are spelt wrong or incorrect grammar is used. If you dare to point it out you are ravaged by the mob. So bad, dumbed down things become the norm. Searching for things on some sites will error if you use an apostrophe. So you have to spell it wrong to get a result. These dead heads are now voting and they are the majority so we get Brexit and Trump. It is a brave new world.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: The real reason is...

      AC - your rant comparing 'interwebs' spelling errors and incorrect grammar to Trump votes is so laughable, I'm almost sorry I had to downvote it.

      If anything, the spelling/grammar errors on 'teh intarwebs' is MORE evidence of a dumbed-down "indoctrination" system in lieu of an education system, gummint planning and administration at its "finest", but I digress...

      1. Ilmarinen

        Re: The real reason is...

        Think it might be just a wind up (but you never do know!).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The real reason is...

        bombastic bob

        When will merikans understand irony and sarcasm....

  22. ma1010

    This article is right on

    Kotkin makes some very good points here. Trump won because people are sick of the elitists who run both political parties. Trump won the nomination very much over the opposition of the Republican leadership. As I've said, people are sick and tired of the usual suspects running things.

    On a related subject, Trump's victory is amazing because he had to overcome a concerted effort on the part of almost all the mainstream media to defeat him. Most of our media was so pro-Clinton, it was ridiculous.

    When I was a child (long ago), news broadcasters had a code that they would (and they seemed to try to) present just the facts and not slant or spin stories politically. There was probably a bit of bias here and there, but it wasn't a major thing. Nowadays, the mainstream media very clearly has their little agendas. They couldn't be more obviously slanted than if Dr. Gobbels was in charge of a Federal Department of Propaganda (albeit with a very different agenda from Gobbels himself, of course). Major news organs in this country nowadays are more about entertainment and political propaganda than information. There's hardly even a pretense of "balanced" or "unbiased" reporting.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trump's victory has NOTHING to do with social class at all

    Trump won because the vocal minority finally found their voice after 8 years of tyranny under the Obama regime. The majority of U.S. citizens voted their conscience stating loud and clear that they have had enough of the political crimes of Obama and his criminal conspirators.

    Any basic research of Hillary and Bill Clinton exposes outrageous violations of U.S. law and governmental positions including getting U.S. military personnel killed through Hillary's gross negligence. The FBI is currently wading through thousands of Hillary e-mails that were on an insecure persona server in violation of U.S. national security laws for which she should spend the rest of her worthless life in prison - but she won't. The masses voted against everything that Hillary and the Obama Cabal have done and stand for. Voters despise these criminal career politicians who willfully violate the U.S. Constitution for personal gain.

    Hillary's "Foundation" is the biggest pay-to-play governmental BRIBE/Collusion fraud in U.S. history. Voters did not want another 8 years of rape and pillage by Hillary and the U.S. "political Machine". THAT is why Trump won by a landslide. The people have spoken and now it's up to Trump to deliver or get booted out in four years.

    1. Palpy

      Re: "the majority of U.S. citizens voted their conscience..."

      ...and, actually, favored Hillary Clinton by about 200,000 votes. She won the popular vote, albeit very narrowly.

      Not to say there wasn't huge distaste for Clinton. Obviously there was.

  24. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    the article gets it right

    I rarely see a political commentary article that even CLOSELY gets to the truth. This one did pretty well, I think. Well done!

    And yes, the backlash against POLITICAL CORRECTNESS was a *HUGE* factor in this election. When your own MOTHER says you're a racist and a bigot and want women to stay in the kitchen, for supporting Trump, you KNOW something's going wrong!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is interesting how quickly things can change

    Back around 2012 or so, before Benghazi, Hillary's approval ratings were sky high. The traditional wisdom was that it didn't matter who the republicans ran against her, they'd have no chance. But Benghazi and all the republican inspired hearings (where were they for all the people Bush/Cheney left twisting in the wind in Iraq?) chipped away at her popularity. But her real damage was self-inflicted, using that personal email server and not coming clean and admitting it was stupid from the get go. She defended it so long by the time she did apologize for it, it read like the apology a guy about to be executed makes in his last words - too little and way too late.

    Hillary was the only democrat Trump could have possibly beaten, because she was so disliked and inspired democrats so little they simply failed to turn out in anything like the numbers they did for Obama in 2008/2012. Likewise, Trump was the only candidate Hillary would have had a prayer of beating, even a religious nutjob like Ted Cruz who would never have a chance against a normal democrat would have beat Hillary easily without the election day drama Trump had.

    Every once in a while the democrats seem to nominate someone who "deserves" the nomination as if it is some sort of lifetime service award, like Mondale or Hillary, and it bites them in the ass. The only time the republicans did that in recent history, with Bush Sr., he was lucky in his first try to run against a candidate who had all the charisma of a wet dish towel.

    Republicans better hope Trump makes a better president than he does a campaigner, or they will be in for an epic landslide defeat in 2020. His negatives will only get bigger when he's in the public eye every day for the next four years, and since there is no heir apparent waiting in the wings to run in 2020, they aren't going to hand Trump another weak and widely disliked candidate on a silver platter like they did this time.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    To understand what happened...

    1. Pick any three 'my personal betrayal by the world and what will I tell my beautiful, intelligent, strong yet venerable children about the state of society today' articles from today's Guardian.

    2. Read them - every self-absorbed whiny word.

    3. Think about them for a bit. Try to understand the astonishing levels of petulance, spite and the complete lack of balance. Imagine being stuck in a life with the authors of these pieces. Imagine how you'd feel if your children, despite your best efforts, turned out like this.

    4. Ponder on why we've allowed such self-righteous vacuous idiots to set the agenda for so long.

    Once the heaving has stopped, you'll be in a better position to understand why people voted Trump.

    1. Ilmarinen

      Re: To understand what happened...

      And so too with the Grauniad's broadcast wing, our own dear BBC, with articles such as: "A survivor's guide to unexpected voting results" complete with pictures of weepy loosers. They really cannot understand, poor mites...

      (I expect the right minded will loose in the long run, but let's at least enjoy our two wins this year before they change the rules to outlaw "wrong" voting)

    2. Palpy

      Re: To understand what happened...think venerable??

      I think you mean "vulnerable" children, wordmerchant. Though I suppose someone born wise might be venerable at a young age?

      However, I think voting Trump because you're tired of other peoples' angst is a bit like riding a Chester White hog because you're bored by the angst of horse lovers. It's a choice that just won't work out well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: To understand what happened...think venerable??

        I think you mean "vulnerable" children, wordmerchant.

        I did indeed. I will, of course, blame autocorrect. Thank you for your comment (I am not being sarcastic).

    3. Steven Roper

      Re: To understand what happened...

      Never in my 10+ years as a member of this community have I been so sorely tempted to register a thousand sockpuppet accounts just so I could give someone a thousand upvotes. Absolutely spot on.

      I've long said that I supported Trump myself, not because I thought he'd be a good President, but simply because him being elected would show that people no longer buy into the Ministry of Truth leftist propaganda machine the mainstream media has become. When he won the election (on Wednesday afternoon Australia time) I actually cried with joy as I danced around my house with my hands making V-signs in the air, even though America's not my country, because against all hope I knew finally that millions of other people were as sick of the sanctimonious, self-righteous hypocritical spouters of political correctness as I was.

      You cannot defeat hate with hate. Railing against "toxic masculinity", "white privilege", branding all men as violent predatory thugs, dogpiling children who dress as Polynesians and American Indians for "cultural appropriation", and passing laws turning ordinary, harmless behaviours into hate crimes isn't going to get people onside, it's going to make then angry and fight back. Worse, by hijacking what should have been a noble ideal and turning it into a tool of totalitarian control has undermined - if not outright destroyed - any chance of real equality being achieved, because "equality" has been perverted to mean "special treatment for women and selected minorities while tearing down those evil white males." This bullshit notion of "privilege" is just duckspeak for justifying discrimination and stereotyping of white males while hypocritically claiming the moral high horse against discrimination and stereotypes.

      Now I want to see women be able to better themselves, as much as men. I want to see more women designing bridges, playing football and flying space missions. But for that to happen, why is it necessary to constantly harp on about how pathetic, privileged and perverted men are? So what if a man says something sexually suggestive to a woman? Men are jocularly rude and offensive to each other as well. That's a natural part of masculine culture, and to label it as "bigoted", "misogynistic" and "oppressive" is as evil as labelling feminine culture as "weak", "prissy" and "submissive."

      And if you paint someone as a villian and a bastard for long enough, even if they're a saint to start with, eventually they will become a villain and a bastard just to get their money's worth. This is why so many men are abusive towards women today, where in the past they never used to be. They've become that way because society expects them to be that way. So now, acceptance of women in male roles is further off than ever, because the ideal of it has been misused as a weapon of hate against men. And that's the real tragedy in all this.

      It is the fact that not only white males themselves, but the women who have seen the men they love demonised and attacked at every turn by these hate-spewing, whining PC crybullies, that got Trump elected.

      Sadly, reading those sanctimonious articles in the Guardian (and the MSM in general) shows these crybullies are not learning from their mistake. And the longer they fail to see themselves as the outright bigoted hypocrites they are, this conflict is only going to get worse and worse until it explodes across the West in a burst of uncontrollable violence.

  27. martinusher Silver badge

    Who are the "soft left", the "liberal elite"?

    Trying to portray this as a reaction against a liberal elite or some such is just playing in to the hands of the propagandists. I was talking to an unabashed Trump supporter less than an hour ago and he's beginning to get the first twinges of buyer's remorse; like the Brexiters he's "mad has hell and won't take it any more" but like the Brexiters he's discovered that one problem with protest votes is that you may actually end up winning which will merely be the start of the headache.

    What I've told Trump enthusiasts -- and I know a lot of them -- is that they need to look behind the man to the people backing him. What you see is a comet tail over very unsavory sorts, many bearing an uncanny resemblance to vintage fascists in both outlook and utterances. Presidents aren't dictators, they have to work with a team, and by enabling a very right wing Legislature, Administration and (soon) Judiciary you are not going to be promoting a very working person friendly government. This is something, though, that people are going have to find out the hard way.

    I supported Hilary not because I was an elitist, a neocon (much the opposite) or a warmonger. I just recognized that it was a democratic compromise -- to get what I wanted I had to horse trade (think "House of Cards"). I would have got a neo-con globalist with warmongering tendencies but she would have been saddled with restraints on her actions. Trump has no such prepare for a bumpy ride.

    But as I tell people, I live in California, we passed Proposition 64 so I'm going to be able to get all the weed I want -- and being a retiree (sort-of) I'm going to have the time to enjoy it. Four years will pass in a blink of an eye.

    1. Palpy

      Re: Who are the "soft left", the "liberal elite"?

      I mostly agree. And I have disliked much of H. Clinton's foreign policy as well... though she did do things like make American exports a priority for the State Department, meaning 50% more Chinese saw "Made in America" than before.

      I think Trump will have some difficulty getting even a Republican congress to pass legislation on some of his fruitier proposals. But unfortunately he will be able to do quite a lot with minimal checks on presidential power, as you say.

    2. Myvekk

      Re: Who are the "soft left", the "liberal elite"?

      You are quite right about looking behind the man to see who is backing him. Now, look behind Hillary to see the vested interests there & compare. Are either better or worse?

      Or were the voters just looking for some 'Hope & Change", from the existing political status quo?

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There were enough enough undecided voters on election day that the result was ultimately a voting booth coin toss. That Trump won was the result of pure chance.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There are two aspects to the Electoral College...

    ... and most of you seem to be harping on one. Yes, you can win CA by huge margins, and win a dozen smaller states by small margins, and you have more electoral votes but fewer popular votes.

    That is not the full story. Each state gets one EC vote for each Congressperson (which are allocated by population), and one EC vote for each Senator (of which each state has two).

    That means the 10,000 people in North Dakota (I know, there's a few more that that) get to send three people to the EC. Basically their votes count more than the votes of people in CA, NY, (and yes, TX).

    That may be a good thing, but the fact of the matter is it subverts the 'one person, one vote' much much more than the alleged but rarely proven graveyard vote.

  30. Bob Dole (tm)

    Good enough

    I've read a number of articles talking about Why Hillary Lost or Why Trump Won and the majority of them are so wrong it's surreal. This one was close enough.

    I voted Trump for a couple reasons.

    - His actual policies are far better than hers. The combined policies of Bush Sr through Obama have done nothing but keep the USA embroiled in fights we should never have been in, supported or propped up evil people around the planet, severely strained the relationships we have with our allies and generally destroyed the globes view of us. That had to stop and RHC was more of the same.

    - He's not establishment. I was disgusted by Bush Jr's actions while President, ambivalent about W.Clinton, and livid over Obama's. However I was also disgusted and livid with congress during this time because they absolutely failed to lead. Making things worse - every candidate which had been forward to run against those people were, imho, even worse choices for the country.

    Essentially, I'm as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.

    1. Mooseman Silver badge

      Re: Good enough

      Trump has policies? Other than denying climate change and wanting to build walls?

  31. Hardrada

    On target

    Andrew's interview absolutely nailed it. Kudos for covering US politics better than CNN, Slate, the LA Times and the New York Times.

    I'm a former Democratic organizer, but I just can't support Clinton, partisan universities or a lethargic press.

    The Old Guard Democrats and Republicans can't counter Trump because they're guilty of all of the same things:

    - They say that Trump University was a scam, but our public universities aggressively marketed degrees to students who obviously weren't ready and couldn't benefit. A lot of them were good kids who would have been just fine if they'd taken a few years off, worked, and gotten some life experience, but now they're $20k or $80k in debt and don't have time to learn anything.

    - They say that he's not a real businessman, but he's hardly the only fake winner around. I once quit a tech job where I was no longer learning anything and took a position with Americorps because it gave me health insurance, a chance to meet people in Seattle and a basic living stipend. I was shocked to find that almost all of the entry level Americorps positions were reserved for college students or graduates - even clerical positions. What kind of 'winning class' needs special preferences to land secretarial jobs that qualify them for government food aid?

    - They say that he'll start a war, but Hillary took a more consistently hawkish position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has no regrets about Libya, and responded to Gaddafi's roadside execution by channeling Julius Caesar and saying "I came. I saw. He's dead." Yeah, that's totally stable :-|

    - They say that his supporters are deplorable, but Hillary ran interference for Bibi Netanyahu in the Obama administration, and by extension the settler movement that he caters to. None of Trump's "deplorables" are half as racist, violent or sectarian as Israel's hard-line settlers.

    - They say that his "bromance" with Putin is dangerous, and it probably is to Europeans, but compare Putin's actions in Crimea and Donbass to our ally Saudi Arabia's 2011 invasion of Bahrain and tell me that Putin is the greater threat to democracy. Or compare Russia's human rights record to China's, and remember that Clinton's affluent supporters couldn't wean themselves of Chinese imports if their lives depended on it because they've given up not just the knowledge of how to make things, but also the managerial skills to run organizations that do.

    - They say that he's sexist, but American women will still be able to tweet "I don't need men!" from their slave-produced iPhones under a Trump administration. That's a pretty sweet BATNA. At the same time we will still have very restrictive laws governing sex. How is consensual paid sex (for example) worse than forcing little kids to work in factories making fashion accessories? How does all of this put women at a net disadvantage?

    Hillary has also said that "women have always been the primary victims of war," and she idolizes a first lady whose advocacy of disarmament forced American airmen to go up against Japanese Zeros in Brewster Buffalos (planes so ungainly that they were said by their own pilots to 'fly like a dead pig.' - an assessment reinforced by their losses at Midway, and also by British losses earlier in the war.)

    - They say that he's anti-science, but there are enough internal problems in science right now that I doubt Trump is the primary threat.

    There's no Trumpian excess that Hillary or her supporters weren't also guilty of.

    1. naive

      Re: On target

      Excellent analysis. In the last 25 years, the elitist liberals have taken away our jobs, bought up all the media, enslaved us with debt, feed on our economies like a biblical pest of grasshoppers and get tax breaks in return. They have supported their puppet Hillary with countless millions, the 95% of mainstream media they own had a campaign against Trump that would incurred the envy of Goebbels.

      And they lost.

      May November 8 2016 be a new page in the history books, since it marks the beginning of the end of Liberal-Socialist dictatorship in the Western world. This is a pact of the devil, where the liberals take our jobs to enrich them selves even more and the socialists tax all except the rich liberals.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: On target

        May November 8 2016 be a new page in the history books, since it marks the beginning of the end of Liberal-Socialist dictatorship in the Western world.

        The beginning of the end started a long time ago, Brexit was a trigger, the US election a continuation of feeling. Brexit +10 will be next year with the end of the European Union. Theresa is waiting for the Dutch to make up their minds in March as Brexit may be meaningless after Nexit and so Sturgeon needs to get a move on if she wants a (how the heck can it be) 'independent' Scotland. Oh, and don't forget the French as the French won't forget.

  32. croc

    Trump KNEW that he was going to win, the fix was in. Putin, for just a few hacks on a few machines in a few key states, has bought himself a brand new puppet. It will be interesting to see which way the strings are pulled.

  33. M.Zaccone

    Jobs, jobs jobs , jobs, jobs...

    With Brexit and with Trump, it seems to me that a sufficient minority of voters were fed up up with being regarded as mere interchangeable parts by big companies who were quite willing to screw them over through outsourcing, dodgy visas and all the other tactics many trans-national companies do to maintain their bottom line. And for many all over the world they have seen their costs of living rise and rise whilst what were good jobs become breadline jobs or the jobs are moved elsewhere, or they find themselves training a PFY from Chennai to do their job.

    And they were also fed up that the politicians were always willing to bend the knee to big business but not to their own constituents. The signs have been there if you were willing to listen.

    IMHO Brexit and Trump are not the solutions to these issues, but then the right questions have not been asked. And to quote Douglas Adams:

    "It is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it... anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job."

  34. Matt 4

    Sums it all up

    1. John Dawson

      This guy Jonathan Pie really gets it

      I have been out all day so missed this thread until now. I ploughed all the way through and was about to post the same video, which appears to have gone viral (now around 9 million views) and appeared on my Facebook account this morning. You beat me to it Matt 4 :)

      Anyone still following this thread PLEASE take a look at the video - it sums up so much so eloquently in only 6 minutes! Afterwards some of you may wish to look closely at yourself in the mirror.

  35. 2StrokeRider

    Bernie is a Socialist, which will never fly in the US. He had a lot of support in the Democrat party, and likely was the true candidate without the DNC and Clinton campaign rigging, but he wouldn't have won a general election. Clinton was cronyism of the old school and her scandals were bringing her down. She helped bring down Nixon for far lesser offences.

    Trump is the people's candidate, with the promises to clean up Washington, end failed trade agreements, end the horribly failed Obamacare, and dozens of other initiatives to bring corporations and jobs back to the US. The test will be if he can do it. Is he a Ronald Reagan that can accomplish so much in his first 3 years that his second term is all but guaranteed, or is he flash but no substance? Time will tell.

  36. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    I just want to see Trump make Sarah Palin the Secreatary of Defence, so they can go and "kick some ISIS ass" as they promised!

  37. Milton

    I get it now

    A lot has been said about "dog whistle" politics—saying unacceptably rotten things using words or phrases which have plausible deniability all the while your target audience knows exactly what you mean.

    Hence Trump's rubbish about supposed immigrant Hispanic rapists is really a callout to the gutter-dwellers who think everyone with darker skin is subhuman.

    I notice that he was doing it with encoded attacks on gays, as well. I think that may be the first example of successful 'homophobic encryption'.

    Fetching coat, now ... and no, making a joke doesn't make the activity itself any less nasty. Dark times.

  38. Nikki Radir

    Elephant in the room

    Good points from Mr Kotkin, but there's more to it than this. The elephant in the room is not the GOP, but the spectacular and chilling use of lies, misdirection and insinuation by Mr Drumpf. He has taken the dark arts of both political campaigning and salesmanship further than ever before in the 2016 presidential race, with devastating effect. Scott Adams (Dilbert author) correctly identified Drumpf as a 'Master Persuader' and, more than a year ago, said "I’m going to predict he will be our next president".

    The thing is, that admiration for someone's skills is not at all the same as approval of what they say. The President-Elect has used those skills to advance an incoherent set of policies that sound like the scattergun exclamations of the drunk at the end of the bar: "... an' 'nother thing! We sh'd build a wall to keep them Mexicans out ... 'n' make 'm PAY f'r it too!"

    Sometimes, those drunks say stuff that make sense, but you wouldn't trust any of them to sit on the local parking zone committee, let alone run a country. In this case, we will see Drumpf row back on the less practicable policies, but his own hateful views, and the momentum of his success and the Republican majority it helped create, will assist those on the far right in Congress to drive their agenda. As for the positive stuff, I am not holding my breath for the end of all-pervasive lobbying, super PACs or any other facet of 'draining the swamp', nor do I foresee supposed, shiny, new trade deals reviving the USA's industrial heartland.

    Contrary to the accusations of election rigging, the mechanics of vote counting in the USA are pretty sound. There is another story to be written about the cumulative effect of gerrymandering, the 'data cleansing' of voter registration rolls and the reduction in the number of polling stations: however, this one will not flatter Republicans, I'm afraid. Nevertheless, the count itself worked (I think we will find) and the people have made their choice.

    People are not stupid, and millions have voted for Drumpf for a variety of reasons, many of which make perfect sense. The problem is that so many have formed these reasons from a picture provided by the media that is so distorted, so misrepresentative and so laden with irrelevance, unsubstantiated rumour and insults that it cannot allow a person to make a reasonable choice. There has been an unholy alliance of yer Donald, the mainstream media (look at those ratings!), pro-Drumpf bloggers and websites, scruple-free Drumpf surrogates, social media storms and Macedonian teenagers making Google Adword money from fake Drumpf stories. All this has created the biggest fog of lies we have ever seen in politics. And why should people have to dig behind every campaign assertion to track down the truth, to do their own investigations over and over again?

    I wouldn't let the pro-Clinton commentators off the hook either - for example, taking the piss out of Drumpf supporters was an own goal, as was HRC's own 'deplorables' remark (more than a gaffe, I think). However, the real point here is what won - a willingness to say whatever it took, to appeal to people's fear, to lie, to threaten, to ride the impetus of old prejudices, all done with consummate skill and using whatever was the most promising material to hand - an unreliable source here, an exaggeration there, a rumour, an invention, a mistake and just occasionally the truth. Occasionally.

    So while the election 'worked', in that there were in all probability sound counts across the country and negligible voter fraud, this year in America democracy was totally broken. There can be no valid elections based on lies. We have never seen anything quite like this before. All those cynical comments that we've ever made about politics, politicians and their relationship about the truth have been realised in a campaign that has gone further into the darkness than any in a post-WWII, major democracy.

    Time for us to grow up.

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