Sunday, November 6, 2016

Election? What Election?

     One of the benefits of being at the beach is that you don't see the news. (At least we haven't.) We did hear that the Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series -- in fact, we watched part of the game at a sports bar in town -- but other than that we have not turned on the TV in two weeks, except to view one episode of "Madam Secretary" on Netflix.

     So it was a surprise when we woke up this morning to find that we were supposed to turn back the clocks last night. And also, that the election is only two days away!

     I am not a fan of Donald Trump. He is vulgar, crass, obnoxious and narcissistic. In other words, he is emblematic of a particular type of American. He's the loud, obnoxious fraternity brother. He's the aggressive driver with a souped-up engine and purple lights shining on oversized tires and high suspension. Or, as I read somewhere, he reminds many women of the guy they once dated who was pushy, overbearing, sexually aggressive and completely full of himself and nobody else.

     The liberals and the media are beside themselves about Donald Trump, and they call him -- and those who support him -- all kinds of nasty names. According to a lot of people I know, Trump voters are a bunch of racist, ignorant yahoos. Liberals seem to think that they score points by being more anti-Trump than the next person, and there's more than a hint of class bias in their attacks.

     Liberals fear what will happen if Trump wins -- although I think they are just trying to scare people into not voting for Trump. The pundits suggest that gun-toting Trump supporters will claim the election was stolen and they will riot in the streets. But the fact is, I've heard of more Trump campaign signs being defaced and torn down than Clinton signs being vandalized by Trump supporters.

     I actually think it's amazing that despite Trump's obnoxious behavior, and despite his vilification by all but the most conservative media, he still garners support from more than 40 percent of the American public. Support for Trump somehow goes way beyond the angry old white males who resent the loss of their so-called favored status in society.

     It's also ironic that the media have turned so vehemently against Donald Trump. Because they are the ones who created him in the first place, by paying attention to his antics, his outrageous statements, his blatant attempts to manipulate media outlets as they reached for ratings and ad dollars.

     Honestly, the only reason why I am not beside myself about Donald Trump is that I don't think he's going to win. He consistently runs behind Clinton in virtually every poll. The electoral map favors Clinton who starts out with an electoral advantage and seems to be winning most of the battleground states, from Colorado to Florida, from Pennsylvania to Maine. And the stock market is predicting a Clinton win, since it's gone down a little bit in nervous trading, but nothing like the swoon it likely would suffer if it really expected a Trump victory.

     To be honest, I'm not a big Clinton fan either, because she's too much the political hack and not enough the inspirational leader. But I'd take her over Trump any day. As for hoping for someone better, I'll fall back on what Cleveland fans must be saying:  just wait till next time.

     Liberals are in a panic about  a possible Trump victory. But what would really happen in the unlikely event that Trump does win? Honestly, I don't know. Except I'd hope that an obstructionist Congress would stop Trump in his tracks, and therefore we'd have the same do-nothing government we've had for the past four years. So if Trump wins, I'd think after an initial shock, not as much as you'd think would really change in America.

     What will happen if Clinton wins, as I expect? There will not be riots in the streets. That's just professional paranoia. Instead, I agree with the pundits and critics who say business will be done as usual, with a continuation of traditional self-dealing and political favors. What I hope is that Clinton and the Democrats will not dismiss and ignore the 40 percent of Americans who supported Trump. Because . . . do you really think that 40 percent of the American public is racist, homophobic and misogynistic?

     I hope the new administration will see that those "deplorables" have a lot of legitimate complaints about politics as usual, and I'd urge the new (old) leaders to address a lot of their concerns, from lost wages to lost jobs, lost opportunities, and the loss of a way of life.

     Of course, I realize that I have just opened myself up to the possibility of looking pretty stupid in a few days. Maybe I've just had too much sun, and not enough news, in the last two weeks. I should reveal some of my previous political predictions. I predicted that they would never get Nixon. I said Reagan was too conservative, he'd never get elected. And I predicted that Bill Clinton could never win a second term.

     After that I gave up forecasting for a while. But it just seems to me everyone is in such a state of hysteria that they need a voice of reason, a dose of common sense. Besides, maybe this time I'll be right. Even the Chicago Cubs win one once every hundred years or so.

25 comments:

retirementreflections said...

Hi, Tom - While you were taking time out on the beach, my husband and I were in the US for a month. We therefore picked up the non-stop US Presidential frenzy - honestly, we just couldn't avoid it. I totally agree that a "voice of reason" and "a dose of common sense" is much needed right now. Wishing you all good luck on Tuesday!
PS - Thank you for the reminder about setting our clocks back. I am happy to have just gained an extra hour!
Donna

Snowbrush said...

I just found this in the Wall Street Journal: "A Pew Research Center poll found that 4 in 10 Trump supporters said they had a hard time respecting people who support Mrs. Clinton. There was even more hostility among Clinton supporters: Nearly 6 in 10 said they had a hard time respecting Trump backers."

I was surprised that the numbers were that low.

John said...

In the U.K. Many thought it would be unimaginable that the leave campaign would win and we would be leaving the EU. Such a self inflected wound couldn't happen could it? Well it did happen. Just hope the same doesn't happen with you all in the US this week. For the sake of the world not just the US let's hope Hilary wins.

Terra Hangen said...

Since Hillary said one fourth of voters (half of Trump supporters and he is close to tie in polls with her) are in her deplorables basket, she encourages her supporters in their negative views. That is a large number of people she dislikes. I look forward to the investigations of her, the Clinton Foundation, etc.

Carole said...

I have a few friends who are staunch republicans, and they will vote for Trump. We know to just not discuss politics! On the other hand, my elderly mother who has been a republican her whole life, is voting for Hillary. Mainly because of the vile, x-rated, racist things Trump has said.

I also know some republicans who are supporting Trump over just one issue: abortion. They claim that the abortion issue "trumps" everything else.

I wasn't happy when Hillary talked about the "deplorables". But I am with her. I've been a dem my whole life and I support their platform. I think you are right, at least I hope you are, that Hillary will win.

Rian said...

This whole election has been traumatic... and embarrassing. I'm so glad it's coming to a close. Both sides have made mistakes and have caused so many of us to wonder what people are thinking? How can we be so divided on personalities and issues? But apparently, we are. I really pray that Nov 8 comes and goes without more drama.

Stephen Hayes said...

To make matters worse, November 8th is my birthday and there's only one thing I want---Hillary to win, and I'd like her to win the senate as well.

Anonymous said...

I read this blog often but never comment until now. I really don't care for either candidate. I do feel that if any normal Republican candidate ran besides Trump they would probably have won the election. That being said Trump will further divide this country and pander to the wealthy. Clinton is by far the better choice to lead our country. Hopefully that will come true on the 8th.

christina neumann said...

Well said Tom. I'm a nervous wreck just thinking about the possibilty of Trump. It just is so unbelievable with everything he's said, and done, people will still vote for him. I just do not get it.

Tabor said...

I do disagree that not much would happen if Trump was elected. He does not care about much except winning and getting attention and therefore the machine behind him would move on many issues we would not like and would pay for in debt and economic malaise for many years to come to say nothing of the global hit we would take from most of the rest of the world.

Tom Sightings said...

Snowbrush, thanks for getting my point, which is that we need to dial down the hostility. And Christine, that's my other point ... with everything he's said, he still gets 40 percent and it can't be just the crazies, so we should try to understand what's going on. Finally, Stephen, I hope you have a happy birthday!

Mac n' Janet said...

I don't like either candidate, but hope Hillary wins, though the Republicans are already threatening to impeach her if she does. What a mess.

Mary said...

I have not read, but heard of a book called The Big Sort, which explains a lot of this divisiveness. I've wondered how all this would pan out if abortion and gay marriage were non existent. I'm convinced that's why many people are republicans and will vote for Trump, not that I feel he is religious, but he panders, like they all do. And also why many will vote for democrats to help ensure more liberal Supreme Court judges to keep us from slipping back into the 40's and 50's. Odd to me that it all boils down to religion and the far right's insistance of NOT separating church and state and imposing their beliefs on the rest of us. And the world has so many serious and looming issues far beyond this that should be everyone's concern.

gigihawaii said...

I was pro-Trump because of his stance on immigration, but I have voted for Clinton this year because of her stance on not reducing Social Security benefits.

retirementallychallenged.com said...

I, like many (most?) will be so happy when this embarrassment of an election is over. I would like to think that both sides will come away determined to avoid such ugliness next time, but I'm not that confident. I voted for Clinton with absolutely no reservations... the idea of electing someone so deplorable (yes, I said it) and unhinged as Trump in almost unimaginable (I say "almost" because I never would have predicted a year ago that he would have gotten this far).

Jono said...

Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Reason and common sense seem to be sorely lacking at present. Let's hope we find them afterward at least.

DJan said...

I voted for Hillary but would have voted for Bernie if I could have. I sure hope he gets the Senate, even if it's a bare majority. She will only have two years to get things done before it reverts to Republican control anyway. Sigh, such a divided country. Wish I could have avoided all the angst like you have!

Janette said...

I would have voted for Bernie- as would have my entire extended family
Forty college educated- living in every section of the country. Women and men.
Teachers, Small business owners, military, community workers, mechanic, real estate sales, retired. Mostly fully employed worker bees. From wealthy to struggling.

There is only one amongst us who will vote for Hillary. Funny, he is employed by charter schools (not in Hillary's plank).

I am betting Hillary will win.
You are right-there are lots of people being called loads of names- who need to be listened to. You have to have people with real jobs to keep the tax system going. It is ALL about the economy.

Morgan said...

I would be considered traditionally Republican but it's nearly impossible for myself to even consider voting for Trump.

As I told my very-much-conservative father, Among his three children there have been 6 marriages, 5 children, 3 abortions, 2 statements of bisexuality and a hard core feminist. We will not be voting for someone who limits women rights regardless of his other platforms.

I expect a number of staunch republican wives, in the privacy of the voting booth, intend to vote liberal.

fred doe said...

You sound spot on Dude.

Snowbrush said...

I'm with Fred. Good point, Morgan.

schmidleysscribblins.com said...

No country for Old Men just became Morning in America...they think. Oh the delusion of Americans. zHillary can no take a well earned vacation. And yes Liberals have to do a better job. Begin by reading 'Listen Liberal' and 'White Trash.' At least VA held....just.

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Glad it's over.
Have a wonderful Wed and a fantastic rest of the week.

John said...

Well Tom , it did happen, just like Brexit happened to us. Couldn't imagine it happening, but it did. At least our version of Trump aka Farage,didn't win an election and is not ruling us. The election will affect the whole world but our thoughts are with you in the USA. Good luck, I think you will need it.

joared said...

Interesting point of view. We really don't know what Trump stands for or his plans for accomplishing all the grandiose schemes he pitched that attracted so many people. He did show us that more people responded to the baser aspects of human behavior than we might have thought. Would that his implied fascist inclinations could be glossed over with as much ease as just writing a few words.