Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Election Aftermath

Protesters in Oregon burn American flag in reaction to Trump's victory. (Source: "Election fever boils over: Trump and Clinton supporters brawl outside the White House as violence erupts across America"--Daily Mail).
     Well, the polls were hopelessly wrong while the predictive models were correct. Donald Trump is the President-elect, much to the anguish of the liberals on the left and the progressives in the Republican party. To the disgust of the effeminate elites, Trump's victory was one of middle-America. Forbes notes this morning:
America is a nation of many economies, but those that produce real, tangible things — food, fiber, energy and manufactured goods — went overwhelmingly for Trump. He won virtually every state from Appalachia to the Rockies, with the exceptions of heavily Hispanic Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, and President Obama’s home base of Illinois.
     From the point of view as a prepper, I am, of course, pleased with the outcome of the election. I think we dodged a bullet--that being a war with Russia. As I've noted in this space, the last several months have seen worsening tensions, military buildup along NATO's borders, the EU scrambling to find enough troops to call up, and calls from Hillary to provoke a direct conflict with Russia over Syria. Of course, the possibility is still there. Obama still has time to drag us into yet another war, or, perhaps, Putin will use the time between now and the inauguration on January 20, 2017, to take advantage of our current weak leadership. However, I doubt it. We have been given, I believe, a slight reprieve. We may even be able to return some modicum of stability to the Middle-East.

     I am also pleased, because, notwithstanding the violence by some Clinton supporters, we have temporarily staved off a civil war. I was serious when, earlier this year, I stated my belief that Trump represented a last chance to affect change via civil means. I don't know if Trump will be able to do so, or even willing to do so, but, nonetheless, it is an opportunity. The consequences of a Hillary win, on the other hand, was plain to see.

     Like many of you probably did, I sat up late to watch the election results come in. Mostly I watched PBS, but was also flipping to the coverage from CBS, ABC, and NBC to see what was happening. Early in the evening, the media seemed happy, almost gloating, as early exit polls indicated that Hillary should do well. I stopped watching in order to grab some items from the store and prepare dinner for my family. Then about 8:30 pm (MST) I went back. The transformation was dramatic. The media was glum and discouraged. As events progressed, I thought that some of the media presenters might break down in tears. I found it interesting on how reluctant they were to call states in favor of Trump. I've watched past elections where states would be called for a particular candidate after only a small percentage of votes had been cast. Last night, although a few states (e.g., Idaho, Hawaii, Utah, Alaska, California, Oregon and Nevada) were called quickly, the media refused to call others (e.g., Pennsylvania, Florida, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Georgia) long after the counting had reached 97-98-99% of the precincts reporting having been counted when there was no way that the sole remaining county or precinct could in no way affect the outcome. NBC, for instance, still had Trump at around 214 or so electoral votes when he gave his victory speech; then, suddenly, before the speech was over, it was able to put him over the 270 mark. PBS was somewhat more honest, having him up to But it was merely part of the media's march through the stages of grief--in particular, denial and anger.

     And we saw plenty of both. I remember one of the so-called reporters attempting to figure out what message the voters were sending, asking in an agonized voice: "What do they want? What more could they need? What more could we do for them?" Another pundit on PBS angrily remonstrated: "How could the polls, the pundits, the smartest people in America, get it wrong?"

     There was also the bargaining or reasoning stage--attempting to justify their disdain for the "country class," to borrow Angelo Codevilla's term. David Brooks, who was also on the PBS panel, hard, early on, starting blaming the results as being the result of racism by working-class whites, even after another panelist noted that Trump was actually receiving less of the white vote than had Romney. I see that in his New York Times column this morning that Brooks is still blaming the vote on what Hillary termed the deplorables, writing: "That would be progress and even inspiring, but — maybe because of the candidate who is leading it — the [white] working-class revolt has been laced with bigotry, anti-Semitism, class hatred, misogyny and authoritarianism that has further rent the American fabric." Paul Krugman goes even further, stating:
We thought that the nation, while far from having transcended racial prejudice and misogyny, had become vastly more open and tolerant over time. 
We thought that the great majority of Americans valued democratic norms and the rule of law. 
It turns out that we were wrong. There turn out to be a huge number of people — white people, living mainly in rural areas — who don’t share at all our idea of what America is about. For them, it is about blood and soil, about traditional patriarchy and racial hierarchy. 
Yet there were others that reached even the acceptance stage last night, actually acknowledging that the media was disliked (oh, and there were howls of bitter rage that Trump supporters had dared mock journalists), and that they were disconnected from the pulse of America.

     I would be lying if I didn't admit to a strong feeling of schadenfreude. To the comments from the pundits last night asking how Trump will justify his actions to a 47 or 48% of the country that did not vote for him, my first thought was to emulate Obama and just tell them: "I won." I want to see the entertainers that swore they would leave the United States if Trump won to be true to their promise. But mostly I am pleased because the country was about to crash on the shoals, and we needed to reverse tack to avoid disaster. Now I only hope that we can do so.

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