Some memorable aspects of #USElections2016

 •  Filed under Politics

State of the American democracy

  • Just 43 to 52% of respondents say they would be willing to support the next president:
  • Paul Krugman: "Whatever happens, however, let’s be clear: this was, in fact, a rigged election. The election was rigged by state governments that did all they could to prevent nonwhite Americans from voting ... The election was rigged by Russian intelligence, which was almost surely behind the hacking of Democratic emails, which WikiLeaks then released with great fanfare. Nothing truly scandalous emerged, but the Russians judged, correctly, that the news media would hype the revelation that major party figures are human beings, and that politicians engage in politics, as somehow damning."

  • Many conservatives might have sympathized with an issue here and there that Trump raised. But his various innuendos have typically pushed true conservatives away. Here's David Frum: "I more or less agree with Trump on his signature issue, immigration. Two years ago, I would have rated immigration as one of the very most important issues in this election. But that was before Trump expanded the debate to include such questions as: “Should America honor its NATO commitments?” “Are American elections real or fake?” [emphasis added] “Is it OK for a president to use the office to promote his family business?” “Are handicapped people comical?”"

  • Trump: "there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day"

Did the media do its job?

Eroded trust in data

All of Donald Trump’s Four-Pinocchio ratings, in one place - The Washington Post:

After falsely asserting the “real” unemployment rate was 42 percent, Trump suddenly tossed out a new estimate of “22 to 23 percent.” But this was also wrong. His figure is still more than double the most expansive rate published by the U.S. government, which at the time was 9.9 percent. That means there are about 35 million “unemployed” who Trump has not accounted for — and as usual the Trump campaign refused to explain how he came up with his estimate.

Polarization

  • Very few states are now expected to flip parties over a 4-year period. That did not use to be the case. One apparent symptom of polarization:

Source: vox.com

Peaceful transition (?)

Shaming methods

Will people "just move on"? Mostly yes.

  • Candidate Trump did not release his tax returns, and it was a big deal at first, but then questions surrounding those documents were quickly overshadowed by other stuff... "He and his team spread an falsehood about why he couldn't make his returns public and then eventually shrugged the story away; as with so many aspects of his campaign that in a previous cycle would have been doom-inducing, the Trump camp bet that he could get away with it and eventually everyone from the media to the voters themselves would have to move on."

An anti-cooperative mindset

Andrew Sullivan: Trump, America, and the Abyss:

He has no concept of a non-zero-sum engagement, in which a deal can be beneficial for both sides. A win-win scenario is intolerable to him, because mastery of others is the only moment when he is psychically at peace. (This is one reason why he cannot understand the entire idea of free trade or, indeed, NATO, or the separation of powers.)

Stranger things

  • There are some peculiar similarities between the Bernie and Trump teams & mentality. When the Trump camp talked of the supposed necessity of a revolution, the usual response was: "scary!". The Bernie Sanders insisted at his rallies that forging headlong into a revolution was the right path to take, he was mostly met with cheers and applause...

  • Two Democratic electors said they might rebel and not vote for Hillary Clinton. Two Republican electors (one in Georgia, and one in Texas) said they could break their pledge as well. (See also: A Wikipedia entry on Faithless Electors)

  • USA TODAY; 25% of Millennials prefer a meteor to wipe out humankind to Clinton or Trump; They're almost certainly kidding, but treating democracy as a joke... a sign that you're living in 2016...

  • The discourse about economics has been so random that articles like No, Depressed American Towns Do Not Look Like Zimbabwe had to be written...

Hours before the elections, we saw...



Photo credit: katreischl