Welcome to the 24th issue of The Outsider Perspective, brought to you by The Beltway Outsiders.
Good morning and welcome to the first Outsider Perspective of a new era: President-Elect Donald J. Trump. This issue is going to cover Election Day, the results, and what to take from the election. The normal sections I do on foreign policy and domestic policy will come back next week when I cover them in relation to the new administration. By then we’ll have a better idea of the people who will fill out major policy positions and how those people will impact issues. I’ll also cover what we know about the first 100 days of the Trump administration.
Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Cubs, and… President Trump
I’ve received no reports on whether hell has frozen, the four horsemen of the apocalypse are upon us, or we’re about to be wiped out by SMOD 2016 (“Sweet-Meteor-O-Death“). I also don’t appear to be in a computer simulation or a medically induced coma. So the only thing I’m left to conclude is Donald J. Trump is now President-Elect for the United States of America and about to take over the free world.
[insert every shocked face emoji and gif you can find here]
Let me get one thing out of the way before going any further. As a conservative, watching Hilary Rodham Clinton lose in spectacular fashion to a reality TV icon, public pariah, and THE WORST candidate EVER nominated by a major political party is, without question, the most incredible news story ever. It needs a monument in Washington DC. Whenever I feel bad. I will remind myself: Hilary lost to Donald. And I will feel better about myself. God bless America.
Reality check: Donald J. Trump is President-Elect. There’s A LOT of work to do for conservatives. We are the only political check against the liberal side of Trump’s populism. 2016 was a wave election for Republicans. But not for conservatism. It’s very important to note that distinction. Trump did not win on a conservative mandate, platform, or message. That distinction is the difference between a rubber stamp for Trump and a check/balance. Democrats may have lost this election, but this was the 3rd consecutive Presidential loss for conservatism. That should be a sobering thought for those glowing in the new Republican majority in Congress and across America.
Let’s jump into the 2016 electoral numbers.
Election 2016 by the Numbers…
The top line: Trump will likely finish with 306 Electoral Votes to Clinton’s 232 (Michigan is still being counted, but Trump is expected to hold). How did this happen? First, Trump won his “must-win” states of Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio. He did this and held the Romney 2012 states. Trump then broke through the Democrat’s longtime blue firewall in the Midwest. Trump won Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. That produced the following map:
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 10, 2016
The one asterisk next to that map is this: Main split its delegates for the first time in history, granting Trump one elector. And it’s worth noting: Trump only lost Minnesota by 1.5%, or roughly 43,000 votes. In other words: Clinton lost the entire midwest with the exception of Illinois and Minnesota. This is a monumental shift in the electoral college. If Trump has flipped the Midwest and won over white working class voters, he has flipped the Democrat’s blue firewall into a Republican firewall. The electoral votes granted by the Midwest offer an electoral cushion that make Florida and North Carolina less important to win.
This cannot be understated: If these states have been flipped, Democrats have been made electorally irrelevant. They exist only as a coastal elite party out of touch with the rest of the country. I emphasize the word IF in this statement because if you flipped 1 out of every 100 voters, the map immediately flips back to Clinton. As Nate Silver has pointed out:
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) November 9, 2016
If you flipped 1 out of every 100 voters, that would equate to a 2 point shift in the polls back to Clinton. Which flips the Midwest back to Democrats. Plus they gain Florida. Effectively, Trump and Clinton switch places and we’re talking a completely different narrative. For future Presidential elections, the million dollar question is this: “Is the Midwest voting for Donald Trump? Or are they voting for the Republican Party?” If it’s Trump, Republicans have been given an Obama-like coalition, they only turn out for the personality, not the policies/party. Hence why I caution anyone saying this was a win for conservatism. We don’t know that for a fact. We only know Trump’s populist appeal to white working class voters has changed the electoral landscape.
Here’s another way to think of how rapidly this has shift our political landscape: Since 2000, without Obama, Democrats have only won one election year: 2006. A wave year full of Republican corruption. You add in Obama and things look better with 2008 and 2012. Obama won big in 2008 with a recession and blue wave behind him. He struggled more in 2012, his coalition was showing signs of cracking. But every other year except 2006: GOP domination. And it doesn’t stop there. The picture isn’t much better if you go back to 1980. Obama is a once in a generation politician who combined the unique ability to merge white working class voters with record high minority turnout. He did it so well, most analysts thought he had buried Republicans forever. He’s not on the ballot anymore. Democrats can argue all they want about the popular vote. This election should be harrowing for them and their odds of holding major positions in Congress and winning the electoral college.
Remember that point while stories come out with the Clinton’s blame everyone but themselves, and the Atlantic starts writing about whether the Democratic Party is finished (it’s not, people always overreact). It’s amusing to watch this switch, however, when Democrats penned a million think-pieces about how the Republican Party was going the way of the Whigs. I remember reading and arguing against the Sam Tanenhaus think pieces of 2006-08 titled “The Death of Conservatism.” Right now, very serious people are wondering the same about Democrats. The Republican and Democratic parties have been completely shaken to their foundations. That should be the takeaway. Neither is walking away the same from this election.
Clinton may very well win the popular vote by a narrow margin (votes still being tallied). So where did Clinton and Trump exchange the key deciding votes? That takes us to the mechanics of the race…
How did we get here?
For those read last week, you’ll know my prediction of a race was a tied electoral college. My theory, using Sean Trende’s theory of the “Missing White Voter” was that Trump would over perform and Clinton would underperform. I thought the crack would come in Virginia. I was wrong. The irony of this: my underlying analysis was right, but the states I picked were wrong. Let me revisit the key sources I used:
To make my prediction, I’m using the data from RealClearPolitics, FiveThirtyEight’s model, and trends I’m seeing in individual polls. The demographic trends and tools I’m using come from FiveThirtyEight and a project by Sean Trende and David Byler at RealClearPolitics. I would also recommend a four-part series by Sean Trende: “The Case of the Missing White Voters, Revisited” (the initial 2012 piece is here). What Trende described from 2012-14 is effectively what the Trump campaign is trying, albeit nowhere near as refined.
Back in 2012, Sean Trende, an analyst at RealClearPolitics who has greatly influenced my thinking on electoral politics, published a book called: “The Lost Majority: Why the Future of Government is Up for Grabs – And Who will Take it.” His theory was that President Obama’s coalition for victory was not a new transformative coalition that would change politics forever. Instead, Trende argued that Obama’s coalition was a much smaller version of Bill Clinton’s coalition. It combined white working class voters with other groups to create a winning coalition. The main point was this: Obama was building off of white working class whites in the Midwest to build a coalition for victory. Trende argued at the time that this coalition was not Obama-specific and could be won by either party.
At the time he published the book, he was mocked because President Obama went on to win his second term. And everyone believed Obama had built a new transformative coalition. Liberals ignored the warning signs in midterms without Obama that their coalition was slipping. They just assumed they had less committed voters. They were wrong. Here was the key part of my prediction that was 100% dead on:
The Obama coalition will not hold together completely for Clinton. She’s not showing the ability to turn out blacks in high enough numbers. And her gains with Hispanics won’t be enough to overcome the deficit with black voters. Her main problem is that she’s running up her popular vote in states like California, Texas, New York, and deep blue New England states. Deep red states are also going to be closer, but that won’t help in swing states. Clinton likely wins the popular vote because of her gains here. But, as Nate Silver has noted, her gains aren’t where it counts: Electoral Votes.
That’s exactly what happened. The Hispanic voters Clinton turned out were in largely meaningly less states for competitive electoral votes. And you can see this when you compare how she fared against Obama 2012 on the county level:
— Tom Bonier (@tbonier) November 10, 2016
These are counties that Clinton performed better than Obama 2012. Note the positioning on the electoral map: California, Texas, Washington, Georgia, Arizona, Illinois, and Utah. She flipped none of these states from the Romney 2012 map. She just closed the margin a little bit. Notice the Midwest, very little to zero improvement. And all the other improvement is very scattered and not concentrated in swing states or a problematic region. The only states where her improvement mattered were Florida and North Carolina. And she lost both. Now, compare that map to what Trump did:
— Tom Bonier (@tbonier) November 10, 2016
Look at the clustering of heavy new Trump support over Romney. Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Minnesota, and Missouri. All key states. He didn’t improve on Romney in a major way in Florida. But the key in Florida was the presence of Senator Marco Rubio, who won more than 750,000 votes than Trump statewide and likely helped push Trump over the edge. In other words, Trump was able to ride Rubio’s coattails. The same happened in Wisconsin, where Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, and Ron Johnson used their incredible ground game, which has turned back multiple recall efforts the last 6 years, to pull Trump over the finish line. The last important note: Trump’s last minute travel blitz across these states was incredibly important. This election featured a larger than normal undecided group of voters. And Trump won them:
— Norah O'Donnell (@NorahODonnell) November 9, 2016
Returning to my analysis, Trump needed 2 key events: 1) A lock down of white voters, and 2) Clinton underperforming among minorities specifically. He got both. Clinton failed to excite black and hispanic voters enough to vote for her like they did Obama, and Trump hauled in white voters and evangelicals as if they were voting like a minority group (more on this shortly). So why did this happen? We can’t say for sure, but Sean Trende had these followup thoughts after being proven right (read the entire piece):
Who were these missing whites? If you look on the second page of the article, you can see a map I created of Ohio, comparing turnout in 2008 to 2012. It was fairly obvious that turnout was strong in urban and suburban areas, but weak in rural areas. I reasoned that these were probably people who liked George W. Bush and perhaps John McCain, but were turned off by Mitt Romney’s wealth and patrician air. If Republicans nominated someone with more working-class appeal, I reasoned, these people could be motivated to vote.
In 2013, after all the votes had been counted, I was able to perform a more thorough analysis. It became apparent to me that these voters were blue-collar, rural and lived in areas with strong showings for Ross Perot. This reinforced my view that if Republicans softened their economic libertarianism and nominated the right candidate, this bloc might turn out and help the party win with only modest improvements among nonwhites.
This provoked great controversy. To this day I am a bit perplexed, as I was effectively saying to Democrats, “You were correct, the GOP has to make some changes to its approach in order to win.” Part of the backlash was plainly inspired by people who did not read the article. More importantly, my observation was expressly limited to the idea that missing whites could help the GOP win. People interpreted this as advocating for a “whites-only” GOP, which I expressly disclaimed, both in that article and in a subsequent piece.
There’s one more piece that needs to be discussed before moving on. A lot of people want to argue that this election was about racism. As in, the bulk of this vote shift was due to a racist shift by Americans. Liberal elites are pushing this narrative in particular. Here’s the problem: that assertion is NOT supported by data. There is a racist segment of Trump’s support. That is undeniable. I generally refer to them as the “alt-right.” But, racism does not explain the voting shift. The deciding factor in the election was working class voters that flipped from Obama to Trump. Nate Cohn at the New York Times explained this well:
The truth was that Democrats were far more dependent on white working-class voters than many believed.
In the end, the bastions of industrial-era Democratic strength among white working-class voters fell to Mr. Trump. So did many of the areas where Mr. Obama fared best in 2008 and 2012. In the end, the linchpin of Mr. Obama’s winning coalition broke hard to the Republicans.
The Wyoming River Valley of Pennsylvania — which includes Scranton and Wilkes-Barre — voted for Mr. Trump. It had voted for Mr. Obama by double digits.
Youngstown, Ohio, where Mr. Obama won by more than 20 points in 2012, was basically a draw. Mr. Trump swept the string of traditionally Democratic and old industrial towns along Lake Erie. Counties that supported Mr. Obama in 2012 voted for Mr. Trump by 20 points.
The rural countryside of the North swung overwhelmingly to Mr. Trump. Most obvious was Iowa, where Mr. Obama won easily in 2012 but where Mr. Trump prevailed easily. These gains extended east, across Wisconsin and Michigan to New England. Mr. Trump won Maine’s Second Congressional District by 12 points; Mr. Obama had won it by eight points.
These gains went far beyond what many believed was possible. But Mr. Obama was strong among white working-class Northerners, and that meant there was a lot of room for a Democrat to fall.
That fact was obscured by national exit polls that showed Mr. Obama faring worse among white voters than any Democratic nominee since 1984. But Mr. Obama fared very poorly only among white voters in the South. He ran well ahead of Mrs. Clinton just about everywhere else.
The exit polls also systematically underestimated the importance of these white working-class voters to Democrats. In general, they overestimated the number of well-educated and nonwhite voters.
If you were to reconstruct Obama’s coalition, it would be: 1) minorities, 2) millennials, 3) women, and 4) working class white voters in northern states. Trump took a large chunk of the 4th leg of this coalition and Democrats had no one capable of replacing that leg. As Nate Silver noted before election night, Clinton’s gains with Hispanics would not be enough to counteract any losses in North Carolina or the Rustbelt states. This underscores something else: These are not racist voters. These are 2008 and 2012 Obama supporters. These are the famed moderate blue collar white Democrats of Bill Clinton fame. And Democrats have shoved them out of the party. This is also why I caution my conservative friends again, these voters are not conservatives. The equivalent in the South would be blue-dog democrats.
You can argue that Trump or the alt-right hold racist views (and I’d be inclined to agree on that point). And you can make a persuasive argument that Trump has given a voice to overt racism (a point I’d agree on). But this was not, as Van Jones on CNN asserts, a “white-lash” election. These are former Democratic voters who Democrats took for granted and ignored. Combine that with underperforming with blacks and millennials (also taken for granted by Democrats) and you achieve Clinton’s loss. Some progressives are beginning to see this truth, but if you watch the news most do not. If Democrats double down on their current path, Trump will win re-election. Because with the current Trump coalition, he has a red firewall that Democrats are going to struggle to breakthrough.
Finally, we can retire one trope of elections: Citizens United. Arguing that Citizens United is bad may be popular among liberal elites, but it’s not bad. Donald Trump defeated the largest super-PACs in the Republican Primary that backed Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Jeb Bush. He then went on to spend half the money of Hilary Clinton and defeated her super-PACs. Citizens United did not cause Trump. Clinton was the benefactor of Citizens United. I’ve argued multiple times his lack of money spending would harm his campaign. I was wrong. And Democrats are wrong that Citizens United is destroying the democratic process of the country. The same lesson can be taken in Brexit as well. The entire Remain campaign was better funded, had more corporate support, and was overtly supported by the government, and they lost.
The Republican Wave election
2016 was a wave election for Republicans. They hold a Senate majority, a House majority, and changed the electoral map for the Presidential race. Republicans now hold a commanding lead across the country from top to bottom. Republicans have built their national lead from the bottom-up. Here’s a quick list of what Republicans hold majorities in now:
- The White House
- The Senate
- The House
- Majority of State Legislatures
- Majority of State Governorships
- Likely Soon: The Supreme Court
For some context, in 2008 when Obama took office, Democrats held leads in most of these areas. Since then? See for yourself:
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) November 10, 2016
This isn’t to say Republicans are ascendant and will soar forevermore (see Trende on why there’s no such thing as a permanent majority). But it does underscore a movement on the state level towards Democrats the longer Obama has been in office. The longer Republicans hold those local offices, the more decimation Democrats will have at the national level. And right now, the Democratic Party is decimated. In fact, I would argue they truly only have 2 current officeholders who are capable of mounting a Presidential run in 2020: Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker. And of the two, only Booker has a shot. Warren would suffer the exact same turnout problems as Clinton with blacks, hispanics, and working class whites. She’s a rich, coastal elite who is the equivalent of Rand Paul for liberals. Booker has more appeal and would unite minorities, but he’s even more light on experience than Obama. And he has nothing notable to attach his name to in the Senate. The Democratic Party could be shaken by an outsider like Trump as well. Someone like Marc Cuban would be a perfect example. He’s set himself up perfectly for a run at Trump in 2020 (for future reference, that would be my prediction of the 2020 Democratic field: Warren, Booker, and Cuban. Maybe. Even more interesting question: Does the Democratic Party nominate a white candidate in the next 2-3 Presidential cycles? What lesson will the Super-Delegates take from this?).
But in the immediate future: Democrats have no viable turnaround path. They can attack the House, but it’s an uphill battle. 2018 is set up brutally for them, particularly the Senate:
I believe anything can happen in midterm elections, but MAN the 2018 senate races are brutal for Democrats. pic.twitter.com/8xFUyh6B0Y
— Sean T at RCP (@SeanTrende) November 10, 2016
First, the only state Republicans will struggle to defend in 2018 will be Nevada. They hold strong leads in every other defense state. Some of those states could shift as Trump fills out his administration as well. The GOP will have a target rich environment just in the states where Trump won a majority of the vote: West Virginia, North Dakota, Montana, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Maine, and Virginia will provide 13 rich targets for Republicans. And if Democrats face harsh turnout issues, like they have in the past, Republicans have the chance to rack up a filibuster proof majority (60+). And you can bet if I’m thinking this, Mitch McConnell is thinking it as well. If the GOP holds the House again in 2018, Donald Trump will have the complete keys to Washington for his entire first four years.
As an aside: It makes me wonder how many red state Democratic Senators up for reelection will be running to work with Republicans on repealing Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and other issues. And if Republicans gain a filibuster-proof majority, we may see Thomas retire from the Supreme Court to guarantee a successor.
All of this said, Republicans should not grow complacent. Ruling parties come and go. We’re only 8 years removed from Republicans being the decimated party at the end of George W. Bush’s second term. As Trende has observed:
I’ve long said there’s nothing wrong with the Democratic coalition that a Republican presidency couldn’t fix. Just how American Politics goes. There’s a reason that no president leaves his party in better shape in Congress or the states than he got it. Governing is really hard.
The last point I’d make on the Senate election is this: It is very likely that GOP Senators pulled Trump across the finish line in close states. Nearly all the Senators ran AHEAD of Trump in each of their states. Rubio in Florida, Portman in Ohio, and Toomey in Pennsylvania. I’ve read Trump’s camp argue the exact opposite of this, Kellyanne Conway in particular, but the evidence is in the data we have: GOP Senators ran ahead of Trump AND this election featured more straight ballot voting than any previous election for the Senate. Which means, the GOP effort to save down-ballot Republicans may have also helped win the hard swing states for Trump. And as Harry Enten noted at FiveThirtyEight, voters didn’t seem to care whether or not their Senator claimed, said nothing, or disavowed Trump. This should disprove any talking points from the Trump camp that the only Republicans who lost were #NeverTrump Republicans. This simply isn’t true. Trump underperformed GOP Senators.
What to take from the 2016 election
There’s still a lot of data to come in from the 2016 election. But the hot takes and narratives are already trying to spin the election. I would take three lessons from this election. First, this was the epitome of a culture war election, fought and argued far differently than we’ve seen in the past. Democrats were bitten by the identity politics game they’ve been pursuing for the last decade and a half. Second, this was the news cycle election. The person who held the negative side of that cycle for the last month lost the election. This is especially true on social media. Third, Donald Trump and Republicans aren’t the ones with an issue accepting the results of an election. Democrats are.
Identity politics bites Democrats back
Johnathan Haidt, moral psychologist and author of The Righteous Mind, said the following after the election:
Democrats, please: Do not respond by doubling down on identity politics. That is poison in a multi-ethnic democracy.
His point, which he made again here, was that Democrats have been engaging in identity politics for years. And the group they’ve left out of the conversation, white working class voters, were voting against this message. He told people to watch Clinton’s initial campaign kickoff video and note who she left out: white working class voters. The very group she ignored. If you note her concession speech, she did the same thing again. Which indicates in the aftermath of her election, she failed to see how not connecting with and showing empathy towards this group cost her.
Donald Trump may be a horrible candidate on every level, but he was talking directly to this group throughout his campaign. And this is important, because it reshaped how this group voted. As Nate Cohn said:
How to think about this election: white working class voters just decided to vote like a minority group. They’re >40% of the electorate.
One of my favorite Twitter accounts, PoliMath, made a similar observation on Democrats:
That moment where you built a party on identity politics, then realized you excluded too many identities
That’s effectively what happened. Democrats ignored part of their coalition and it cost them. Liberal smugness won’t solve this problem either. I believe Democrats have opened a similar rift with Hispanics and African Americans. And if the GOP is smart, it would reach out and expand the coalition. This likely won’t happen… because the GOP isn’t smart when it comes to minorities. In fact they’re dumber than rocks. But I’ll still hope people like Paul Ryan, Justin Amash, and Tim Scott can make inroads despite the GOP.
White working class voters weren’t the only group to acting in this fashion. Evangelicals followed suit with white working class voters, voting for Trump in with higher margins than they did for Bush, McCain, or Romney. Trump won evangelical voters by 23 points. Evangelicals voted like they were a minority group. Not without reason, as Megan McArdle noted:
One thing liberals consistently failed to understand is how events of the last 8 years have convinced Christians they’re under existential threat
That fear is not without merit. A great example is here. But, I argue this fear has led the American Church to demand a “King Saul” to rule over it. They’ve looked around to other nations and groups in America involved in identity politics, and they want their own identity politics fighter/king. They clamored for Trump to be given the crown, and they’ve been given exactly that. They’ve done this despite the warnings given to them, like Samuel did with the Israelites. Ross Douthat, conservative columnist in the NYT, had a similar observation back in March of this year:
Executive-branch Caesarism has been raised to new heights by the last two presidents, and important parts of the country have responded by upping the ante, and — like ancient Israelites in the Book of Samuel — basically clamoring for a king.
That clamor is loudest from the Trumpistas and their dear leader. Donald Trump is clearly running to be an American caudillo, not the president of a constitutional republic, and his entire campaign is a cult of personality in the style of (the pro-Trump) Vladimir Putin.
But the response to Trump is equally telling. The alleged wise men of the center keep imagining that the problem with Trumpism is just its vulgarity and race-baiting, and that a benevolent technocrat could step in and lead the country out of gridlock and polarization, into the broad, sunlit uplands of reform.
…Tellingly, none of these Trump-era enthusiasms involve a reinvigoration of congressional prerogatives or a renewed push for federalism and states’ rights.
Quite the reverse: They all imagine that the solution to our problems lies with a more effective and still-more-empowered president, free from antique constitutional limits and graced with a mandate that transcends partisanship.
There’s a reason the clamor for a strongman is a recent phenomenon. It’s occurred just as we’ve eroded the checks against executive power. And instead of restoring the foundation of American authority to a limited Constitution scope, the Church is clamoring for a king. Like the Israelites looking around at strong leaders. The American Church has looked around and seen Obama, Putin, the rise of the cultural left, and has demanded its own version. They see a strong leader and have voted for that strongman. Much like Samuel during this period of time, I find this urge utterly appalling and against everything the country was founded upon. And much like Samuel did with the Israelites, Christians in the church were warned repeatedly of the dangers. But their fear of Clinton overruled anything else. So they were given their strongman. Trump may do some good. That doesn’t mean he was the best answer.
The News Cycle Theory proves true
One of the theories I had written about was how the news cycle would govern the election. Whoever led the news cycle going into the final weeks of the campaign would end up losing the campaign. Clinton was the person who led the last weeks of coverage. After Trump weathered the Access Hollywood tape storm, the election started tightening just before the Comey letter hit.
The full effect of the Comey letter will be impossible to ever tease out from a natural tightening in the race. Trump had started closing ground prior to the letter. But it does seem to have done three things:
- Rallied Republican voters around Trump. This brought Trump back into a competitive position in the polls. His campaign immediately became more disciplined, keeping him out of the spotlight and her in it.
- Injected chaos into the Democratic camp. Democrats went into a complete meltdown over the letter and started baselessly attacking Comey. A non-partisan man they praised only months earlier. This made the story appear bigger than it would have been otherwise. The Democratic reaction made Clinton appear shadier than the letter ended up being. The public ended up asking the question: “If it’s nothing, then why are the surrogates acting crazy?”
- Moved late deciders. It probably helped push late deciders back towards Trump when they were deciding on whether or not Trump or Clinton was a better change agent. Trump won the late deciders vote in all the swing states and rust belt states.
The news cycle election revealed something else: social media news sites are more powerful than mainstream news sites right now. The number of fake news stories and memes shared among hardcore supporters of Clinton and Trump were extremely high. This gave space to even more harmful hit jobs than the mainstream media could ever print. These fake news sites posted every rumor and fake article they came across.
These social media pages and sites are the new form of email forwards from the earlier days of the internet. People used to joke that everyone had relatives who would forward along blatantly false or horrible hit jobs against candidates. People don’t forward emails as much anymore. But they do post and share things from their favorite conspiracy level social media accounts. And this was a huge benefit to Trump.
Trump’s support was overtly driven on Facebook and Twitter. Clinton focused more heavily in traditional media spaces. And her ineptitude at social media garnered considerable mocking when it was revealed it took 12 hours for their team to engineer a single 140 character tweet.
Between the fake news and Clinton leading the final weeks of news coverage, the news cycle decided the election. Or, at minimum, was a major factor in deciding it.
Democrats refuse to accept the results of a Presidential election for the third time in a row
This century, Democrats have lost three Presidential elections. Their candidates refused to accept or concede at some point after each race was over. 2000 is mildly understandable because of the recount. But the conspiracies and beliefs among liberal elites that Bush was an illegitimate President and Bush v. Gore was a rigged case are believed to this day. Here’s the reality, Bush v. Gore was decided correctly (it’s cited approvingly in cases by liberals to this day), Bush won the recounts, and nothing else exists except conspiracy theories.
2004 with John Kerry and 2016 with Hilary Clinton make far less sense. Kerry lost the electoral college and popular vote. Clinton had clearly lost the electoral college and may win the popular vote by a very thin margin. Neither had a case to refuse to concede the race. Both refused to concede. Clinton sending supporters home before calling Trump was, in particular, cowardly for a person supposed to be a strong defense hawk. It smacked of petulance. I get losing the race was a shocker for everyone involved. But for a person with her supposed experience, she should have been able to address her supporters.
And now liberals are rioting, protesting, and rejecting a Trump presidency. Who is endangering the Republic now? When Trump said he may or may not accept the election results, the media was up in arms over it. When Clinton was a coward in conceding, where was the outrage? Why is the media not up in arms as well? It’s not like these protestors didn’t have a chance. We had an election. A number of states had early voting. Yet, half the population stayed home and didn’t vote. I hated both candidates and I STILL voted.
Liberals were right the first time. Their refusal to accept the results of the election IS dangerous to the Republic. It’s time to swallow their pride and accept the election results and stop fanning the flames of these idiotic protests. Democrats ignored their own base of voters. It’s their fault they lost to Donald J. Trump.
What I’m reading
“The Great Unraveling: Election 2016 Is Propelled by the American Economy’s Failed Promises – U.S. leaders in 2000 anticipated an era of rising prosperity. Much went wrong in ways few foresaw, laying groundwork for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders” by Jon Hilsenrath and Bob Davis, The Wall Street Journal
In this perfectly timed piece, two the best economic journalists at the WSJ team up to analyze how economic choices made during the Clinton administration continue to rule us today. Specifically, they look at how the decisions to soften monetary policy and react to the “new economic order” Clinton and Greenspan saw at the end of the 20th century would carry us into the 21st century. This is worth your time, it provides a different look at history and how the US ended up in a situation with Trump in the White House and the Bernie Sanders coalition knocking on the doors of power of the Democratic Party. This is how it begins:
When U.S. economic leaders in April 2000 gathered in the White House to mark a decadelong expansion, the consensus was clear. Trade, technology and a wise central bank had helped fuel an era of rising prosperity.
Stick to that model, Alan Greenspan, then Federal Reserve Chairman, told the assembly, and “I do not believe we can go wrong.”
Much did go wrong. The economic stability and robust growth the U.S. enjoyed in the previous decade proved to be in its final throes. After 2000, the economy would experience two recessions, a technology-bubble collapse followed by a housing boom, then the largest financial crisis in 75 years and a prolonged period of weak growth.
The past decade and a half has proved so turbulent and disappointing it has upended basic assumptions about modern economics and our political system. This string of disappointments has resulted in one of the most unpredictable and unconventional political seasons in modern history, with the rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.
Median household income, accounting for inflation, has dropped 7% since 2000, and the income gap widened between the wealthy and everyone else. Even though official measures of unemployment have receded from postrecession peaks, seven in 10 Americans believe the nation is on the wrong track, the most recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found.
The 2016 election is shaping up in large part as a referendum on an economic model that is widely seen as failing. Messrs. Trump and Sanders argue that policies celebrated 16 years ago no longer work for most Americans, a message that is resonating widely among those who have most suffered the consequences. Mr. Trump confounded expectations to win his party’s presumptive nomination. Mr. Sanders, though losing his, will take his message to the convention and has yanked his party to the left.
Quote of the week
While watching the post-election protestors, Will Rahn had this observation:
Just occurred to me that we’re about to be hit with a deluge of awful anti-Trump protest music
Video of the week
Really this is more of theme song for the rest of the Trump Presidency. Written by the genius Mel Brooks. Enjoy: “Hope for the Best, Expect the Worst.”
Thanks for reading!