Eight years ago I watched the United States elect Barack Obama. For the first time in many years I felt some hope for that country. As I’d watched it over the previous few years, especially since 9/11, I was concerned that the level of racism and sexism in the most powerful nation on earth didn’t seem to be reducing as fast as the rest of the developed world.
In 2008, the rest of the world had an extremely negative view of the United States, and especially her president. We were angry at the country too – it was largely as a result of the Republican deniers that so little was being done about climate change.
Barack Obama changed all that. Whatever issues there were, whatever your opinion of his decisions, you knew he thought deeply and carefully.
As a result, the respect the rest of the world had for the country rose significantly.
Suffice to say, approval of US leadership has improved significantly since Barack Obama became president.
Before the polls closed, I saw some exit polls on Fox that showed that 37% of those voting were scared of what would happen if Trump was president. That’s more than a third of the country. Another 29% were concerned.
The figures weren’t good for Clinton either – 29% were scared of her presidency and 24% were concerned.
However, think about what people who are scared of a Clinton presidency are scared of – they’re scared of things like Christians not being able to force their views on the rest of the population. They think (correctly) she won’t seek to overturn Roe v Wade, or marriage equality.
And unfortunately, many of them are white people who are scared of people of colour.
These are not actually things it is valid to be scared of.
Those of us who are scared of Trump are scared of economic collapse, nuclear proliferation, Russian hegemony, the collapse of trade and more.
The two aren’t even comparable.
And it’s already happening – the Futures Index has been plummeting since it began to look like Trump might win.
Gold, on the other hand, is rising, which is what happens in times of trouble.
According to the CNN exit polls:
53% say that Donald Trump doesn’t have the temperament to be president.
61% say that Donald Trump is not qualified to be president.
So why the f**k did so many people vote for him? Because those figures mean that some of the people who voted for him recognize that that he’s not capable of doing the job!
I can’t believe this is happening,
52% say that Hillary Clinton IS qualified to be president.
It’s not over yet. There’s still room for Clinton to win. We’re still waiting on New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Nevada but Trump is leading in the first three.
Whatever happens tonight, Trump is a loser. He’s a racist, sexist, xenophobic, elitist, misogynist pig. Apparently at his campaign headquarters in New York, they have been chanting “Lock her up.” We do not need people like this in charge of the most powerful nation in the world.
I really want to post this, so I’m going to do it anyway:
And then there’s this:
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Hillary represented the status quo of a corrupt establishment that includes the great majority of both Dem and Rep politicians. That was always Trump’s strength and why I thought Bernie would have had a better chance. While I’m surprised so many women in particular are voting for such a crass person, it seems pretty clear that the driving factor is that people dislike the corrupt and unresponsive system even more.
Now I think we should all give jam his fair chance to gloat.
I think you’re right Ken about what people think she represents. I still can’t believe that they would vote for someone like Trump though when that’s the alternative.
And yes, j.a.m. gets his chance to gloat.
Hello, I enjoy your columns….. since it appears trumps going to be president I want to ask you how can me and my 2 kids and two dogs move to New Zealand ??? I can do odd jobs and I don’t eat much. 🙂
I’ve always tried to figure out analogies to certain situations. It seems like Donald Trump is a ignorant arrogant little boy who has all the money he wants, and he decided he wanted to fly an airplane as a pilot for united airlines, so he bought the airline, talked to a lot of pilots ,
groped a lot of stewardesses, and got his way into the cockpit, and he’s making all the people he knows to get on the plane.
So now he’s a “pilot “, like tonight he is a “president”
The only problem is he doesn’t KNOW HOW to fly an airplane, and the planes on the runway traveling AT hundred miles an hour already.
And it appears we’ve actually made this person the president.
And 50 million voters don’t seem to care?
I’m sorry I’m venting but I am 50 years old and I’ve got two young daughters—- and I’m watching the television news tonight and I’m actually feeling physically ill.
I feel like I’m living in a literal nightmare.
As someone who doesn’t live in the United States I’m interested in your opinion, what do you see a year from now?
The problem (apart from all the other problems) is that it is impossible to predict where this will lead. A big reason I always felt Trump wasn’t the lesser of the two evils is that we have no idea how he will react in so many situations, other than badly because he is so petty, spiteful and quick to anger. At least Hillary is the devil we know. The only thing I think we can be sure of is that we’ll continually be embarrassed. I just hope we won’t continually be horrified too.
I completely agree with this.
All those people who thought that blowing up the system was a good idea might actually realize they’re wrong. Well, one can only hope.
And poor Melania. She’s got more than four more years before she can leave him.
And I wonder which British newspaper will use the headline Pussy Grabber in Chief?
I don’t think Trump will be much of a president. He doesn’t want the *job*, he wants the kudos, the title, and the access it gives him to further his brand.
This means that either he will simply showboat for four years, leaving all the actual work to his VP (horrors), or he will find some way to step down (if it isn’t found for him by some pesky court case).
To back up the first option, recall that Kasich was told (when one of Trump’s minions sounded him out for the VP position) that he had the chance to be the most powerful VP ever – which coming after Cheney is a pretty damn big deal.
I agree he won’t want to do any of the real work, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be involved. I don’t think he’ll be able to help himself. For instance, even if Pence does get a major role, Trump will likely publicly override him (often?) as he did during the campaign. What’s interesting is that Pence is much more establishment Republican and so will be more reactive to the grown ups in the party, and he’ll also be far more concerned about their record as he wants to be President next. I’m not saying there will be a coup, but the dynamics are certainly interesting.
At least there will be no shortage of blog topics, Heather 🙁
Is that supposed to be the silver lining? It seems to be made of cheap tin foil.
My pathetic attempt at glass half full.
I agree – I don’t think he really wants the job either, and he’ll want it even less when he realizes he has less power than he thought. All those people who thought they could control him are in for a surprise too.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he at least tries to arrange it so he doesn’t have to live in the White House, but in his hotel up the road.
And we don’t want Mike Pence in charge either. He’s a dominionist from way back, and when it comes to social policy he’s a worse option than Trump.
I think you are absolutely correct. The very scary part of that is that Pence is a dyed-in-the-wool theocrat as evidenced by his actions as Governor of Indiana.
I like the airline analogy by the way.
As I said below, I think the Paris climate change agreement could be toast.
SCOTUS isn’t looking good when it comes to social issues and electoral reform. Abortion rights and marriage equality could be over.
Healthcare is in serious trouble because the GOP has all three branches. Obamacare is screwed along with healthcare for the poor, those with chronic conditions, and many others.
The economy will initially pick up from the current disaster, but it will eventually tank even worse because if Trump and the GOP institute things like Trump’s tax plan, the whole structure of the economy will be screwed.
Russia will probe the US to see how they would react to a test of NATO. If he thinks Trump won’t intervene, Putin will invade eastern Ukraine next summer and take over enough territory to give him a land corridor to Crimea.
If that goes well and Trump keeps letting him get away with stuff, Putin will invade the Baltic states.
In the meantime, Kim Jong Un will have got his nuclear weapon working. Trump will call his bluff and South Korea and maybe Japan will be bombed. Trump will say it’s not his problem. China will take over North Korea. Trump won’t see what’s wrong with that.
President Trump (we have to get used to saying that without gagging) will set new records for:
Days on the golf course
Number of assassination attempts
Number of breaches of the constitution, especially for trying to prevent the press speaking freely
Scandals involving his sexual behaviour
Scandals related to conflict of interest
I also predict an increase in hate crimes.
I think that’s enough to be going on with!
It says a lot about a chunk of the current American society – but then there was also BREXIT.
I wish there was the option of another planet I could go to.
I blame the Internet. Most of the news you see, if you are not a critical person who selects the news sources, is right-wing, sexist and religious garbage, amplified by twitter that makes people think that in 140 characters you can communicate ideas. Trump knew this and, and used twitter to fool the masses with meaningless theatrical slogans. I loved the internet when it was a Unix application, and it should have remained so. The Internet has created a whole class of non-thinking individuals whose brains are manipulated by tweets and other nonsense.
Me too Martin.
A bad US president screws the whole planet, not just the people who voted for him.
Let’s hope aliens don’t choose the next four years to turn up.
Will the Paris climate change agreement be the first one to be broken? That’s one his GOP colleagues will let him break. Florida might change their mind about him real quick.
The school my wife teaches at, here in Australia, held a mock-election. Michelle Obama won.
Now THAT would have been a good result!
Michelle Obama championed “good for you” school lunches that were not well-received by the clientele, so it’s not clear she’d win any school elections here.
I am truly ashamed to be a US citizen today. My niece (who has been tearing up all morning) just reminded me that today is the anniversary of Kristallnacht. A very fitting irony.
I said on another site something like: I had faith in the people of the US. It was misplaced.
It would seem that the driving force behind Il Douchebag’s victory was the record turnout of uneducated (ignorant) white working class men. The pundits mostly opine that they are angry at being marginalized and mostly ignored and not respected. So their solution was to elect an obvious sociopath as president. Apparently, these lowlifes deserve to be marginalized and looked down on contemptuously.
Yes. It’s just another version of throwing all your toys out in a tantrum because you’re required to stay in your cot.
Well, it actually looks like she won, but for the antiquated and anti-democratic electoral college. And on current vote count, Trump hasn’t yet caught up to McCain in 2008. The real difference is that Clinton is 6m votes short of Obama in 2012, not to mention 10m behind him in 2008. Her base just did not turn out. The negative motivation of a Republican candidate that makes Bush look like Eisenhower wasn’t enough. The lesson for Dems is that people have to actually want to vote for you. Lesser of two evils doesn’t work forever. Will they learn, or will they resort to their usual denialist scapegoating?
Just read this article that makes several points well.
Nate Silver, who took heat for predicting that Trump had a better chance to win than most other poll aggregators, has an interesting take on why the predictions weren’t really all that wrong.
Yes. Also, in places like Michigan and Wisconsin the Dem vote was down significantly, especially among African Americans. If they had come out in the same numbers as they had for Obama in 2012, she would have won those states. Because of that, I’m starting to think that the Comey interpolation was of much bigger significance than I thought. It confirmed a prejudice against Clinton, and made Dems just not want to vote for her. Republicans, otoh, were still keen to vote for their candidate.
When the first Comey announcement came out, even I began to wonder of I had been wrong about Clinton. I can imagine it would have had quite an effect on someone not that keen on her anyway.
And here’s another good analysis from Silver.
Never mind 2008: Clinton ran about even with Kerry’s result 12 years ago, and on a significantly larger population base. Meanwhile Trump underperformed President Bush’s total that year. (Either data-driven GOTV isn’t all it’s cracked up to be — or without it, turnout would be truly abysmal.)
But it depends on the state. In several states (enough to swing the electoral college, as it happens), Trump actually outperformed Obama 2012. So it’s a little too pat to put Clinton’s loss down to base turnout.
Turnout depends a lot too on what else is on the ballot in a given state and year.
Trump did slightly better than Romney among non-college whites, 67% versus 61%. Not sure that’s enough to be decisive.
In any case, these deplorables you deplore so haughtily were the backbone of the Democrat party for most of the 20th century. So if you like big government, you can thank them.
While I agree with most of your post, Heather, I don’t think the market reaction is a bad thing. Wall St would have reacted similarly to President Bernie, because they would react badly to anyone who threatens to change the system that drives inequality and division in the US.
In fact, I think they will adjust to Trump soon enough, once they realise that the guy who wants to cut taxes on the rich again is really more on their side than the man in the street after all.
Yeah, I said on another comment that the markets will settle soon enough. A big part is that they don’t like uncertainty, and he’s as unreliable as they come. This though is a more concerning development: (bugger I’ve lost the link). Anyway it was about a steep rise in defence stocks as some kind of arms war like in the 80s is expected with everyone increasing their stocks.
Barron is thrilled. Instead of being cooped up in a 58th floor penthouse, he’ll get to grow up in a house with a big back yard (and a missile defense system).
I imagine he’d be thrilled too – it must be ghastly for a kid cooped up inside all the time in a penthouse. Imagine never getting to run around outside on the grass as a kid!
I heartily agree with Donald.
I’ve got another one from that day I’m going to put in a post as well.
@Ken: I gather you arrived at that opinion the same way he did.
I doubt that would be a good assumption to make.