Friday, November 25, 2016

The domestic media still hand-wringing over the election results, so it takes an "outside" observer to set things "straight"

I have to admit that the UK’s The Guardian is one of the few news outlets that honestly reports on the goings-on in this country. It doesn’t have an “agenda”—well, it does, it swings decidedly left—but unlike American outlets, it calls things by their right names. While many news outlets like CNN are blaming Hillary Clinton’s defeat on gender-based “considerations,” this is obviously overstated, since those voting for Clinton for the sole fact that she is a woman likely far outnumbered those who voted against her simply because she is a woman. Like millions of voters in this country I did not vote for either Clinton or Donald Trump, and like over 40,000 voters in the state of Washington, my vote went to a write-in “candidate.” 

I have given my reasons for doing so, and quite a few voters shared similar sentiments. “Millions of Americans, out of belief or habit, disgust or bad timing, didn’t listen” to urgent appeals to vote, observed the Guardian. “Then on 9 November, Donald Trump declared victory over Hillary Clinton and the country was facing mass protests and questions about who turned out to vote.” Of course, some “non-voters,” like David Jones in Arizona who are anti-government, “libertarian” flakes, told the Guardian that he was an advocate of “non-violent protest” and claimed that “it would take an exceptional candidate–one who would eliminate the federal reserve, end direct taxation and shrink the military–to suit his philosophy of nonviolent anarchism.”

Other voters “blamed laziness and the toxic campaign rhetoric. ‘I couldn’t stand paying attention to any of it, so part of me started to feel complacent’” said one, who nonetheless regretted it. “When it came time to vote, it was too little too late”—apparently to vote for Clinton. Some non-voters would have voted if Bernie Sanders was on the ballot, which I would have done as well. But because the pro-Clinton media and the Democratic Party colluded to stop Sanders’ momentum, this apparently made a significant difference in first the corrupted “super delegate” count and in the very “red” states in the early primaries, that gave Clinton a seemingly “insurmountable” lead that obviously influenced voters late in the primary season. 

Thus “Some simply felt excluded. Non-voters in Washington state and New York, solidly blue states, said they would have voted had they lived in swing states. Others expressed disgust with the ‘corrupt’ system, and called voters their accomplices.” Furthermore, “People feel that conditions in their neighborhood don’t really change…In a lot of depressed neighborhoods you’ll encounter people who feel that no matter whether Democrats or Republicans get elected, conditions in their neighborhood don’t really change. And that’s not an unfounded belief.”

The Guardian noted that even nonvoters were “surprised” by Trump’s election, taking for granted that Trump’s boorish behavior, repeatedly broadcast by the pro-Clinton media, would be enough to prevent “guilty” people from casting their vote for him. But Clinton’s “untrustworthiness” that seemed a daily news item via email leaks did an even “better” job in depressing her vote. Still, those who were “surprised” by the result hoped that Trump’s “outright un-American” policy ideas would be planted on unfertile ground, while others believed that Trump’s nativist and xenophobic proposals that were based on paranoia and bigotry would begin a “conversation”; more quizzically, some voters hoped that his election would “dumb down” the conversation for Trump on his other ideas concerning financial regulation and health care to level that even “normal people” can understand.

One thing about Trump’s election is that being a political “outsider” and “novice” may make things considerably more complicated for him than he thinks. The “system” is too “big” and fraught with competing interests that he can’t control. Sure, Wall Street seems very happy about things for now, given his promise to do away with regulation, but that’s only “good” for the “take the money and run” types, not for the average working American. History has shown us that presidents who know too little and allow underlings to “run” the country (Grant, Harding, Reagan) tend to have the most corrupt administrations, and with “players” like Jeff Sessions, Steve Bannon and those on his “short list” for Interior Secretary, personal if not legal corruption seems a not unlikely outcome. 

Not voting in this past election does have its shortcomings, but besides keeping one of most personally corrupt candidates in this nation’s history out of the White House, we have a chance to find out what this country is really “made of.” Some—if not most—of us will not like what we see, but at least it will give us an opportunity to call things by their right names, for a change.

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