By Ken Perrott 13/11/2016 10


 

I know – it is easy to blame others for an accident or a tragedy than it is to accept responsibility oneself. But I am amazed at the blame going around at the moment over the US presidential election result.

Trump’s election is being blamed on racist Americans, red-necks, the uneducated “deplorables,” Republican voters, third party voters, etc. People are out in the streets demonstrating, venting their anger on social media and generally working off their anger at a result that should not have been so surprising.

Not all, of course. Some people are looking at the results more critically – refusing to make such outrageous claims about their fellow citizens. I just wish more would do so.

In fact, the voting figures just do not support the outrageous claims being made. It is a bit simplistic to take just the bare party votes – but even these should give food for thought.

elections

Fewer voters supported Trump than supported the Republican nominee in 2012 – almost 700,000 less. But the telling figures is that far fewer voters supported Clinton than supported the democratic nominee in 2012 – about 5 million less!

The difference with 2008 is even more striking – 8.7 million less.

The fact is that Democratic voters turned away from the democratic nominee in their droves. They did not go to Trump – they just didn’t vote.

It seems that both Clinton and Trump turned at least some of the voters off in this election. But the vote went to Trump because many more potentially Democratic voters just couldn’t bring themselves to vote for her.

Those anti-Trump demonstraters out on the streets at the moment are attacking the wrong target. They should get stuck into Clinton for being a lousy or unsuitable candidate. And the Democratic establishment for manipulating the system to allow her to become their candidate.

 


10 Responses to “US elections – who should you be angry with?”

  • For once Ken, I agree with you. Furthermore, the anti-Trumpers are playing the usual dirty tricks of cherry picking, blowing some things out of all proportion, and making spurious links between things that suit their agenda. Although by no means perfect, Trump is way better than Clinton in some important ways. Can you imagine the leaders of Russia or North Korea being able to enter into meaningful dialogue with Clinton? Being a businessman, Trump knows how to negotiate with difficult people, and knows how to make them feel at ease. I’m pretty sure that not even the FBI director felt at ease with the thought of having to deal with Clinton as president, nevermind foreign dictators! To my eyes, Trump comes across as a well meaning guy who wishes to avoid conflicts (somewhat Reagan-esque). She comes across as a wall of cold steel. While a victory for gender equality would be a beautiful thing (to use a Trump expression!), I’m not sure how Clinton would fare in an international arena still dominated by alpha males? Sounds like a bit of a tinderbox scenario.

    • Stephen, there wasn’t much in my article for you to agree with – just a simple observation that more potentially Democratic voters didn’t vote than potentially Republican ones.

      It is in the nature of politics, and in the nature of humans, to cherry-pick and distort so as to pursue their agenda. Sp please don’t give the impression I see this as isolated to “anti-Trumpers.”

      What makes the cherry-picking and distortions of the anti-Trumpers much more relevant at the moment is that Trump was democratically elected, he will be the next US president and it is immature to cry about that and keep repeating that cherry-picking and distortion. The mature thing to do is let events proceed, give Trump a chance, and fight him on those policies (when they appear) where he should be fought. I also think we should support him on any good policies that he produces.

      The one thing (probably the only thing) I saw Trump better than Clinton on was his willingness to fight terrorism and cooperate with Russia in doing so. Clinton was an absolute disaster in this area.

      However, I don’t think the Russians necessarily preferred one over the other (their approach is much more sophisticated than that). Any president will be forced to talk to the Russians, or not, according to the situation. And, don’t forget, the establishment neocons are still in power and currently working very hard to change Trump’s policy on this – or outright prevent it.

      I am not sure how North Korea came into it.

      What I have learned, or had reconfirmed for me, is the absolute partisanship of the news media (and many of my apparently self-described rational “friends”). People have been believing their own propaganda and now have to face up to that fact if they are to move on.

      Apart from the willingness to cooperate in the fight against terrorism I am holding back on drawing any other conclusions about Trump. Partly because of the partisan media (meaning I don’t have good information), Trump’s extreme rhetoric (it is only now that some of this rhetoric is getting converted to policy that we can get a better idea of what President Trump will be like), and the fact that Trump is a political newbie (which makes him very difficult to judge). Incidentally, the last point is a reason why many overseas leaders, including President Putin, are being careful not to draw conclusions about Trump at this early stage.

    • Adding to my point that Trump may be prevented from cooperating with Russia to fight terrorism:

      In Spetmebr the Russians and the US reached an agreement to do just this. It was approved by the Stae Department and the White House, but the neocons worked behind the scenes and torpedoed it. They will do the same with Trump.

      The interesting thing is whether Trump will have more balls than Obama and publicity stand up against them.

    • Robin – why?

      Your unwillingness to present any discussion certainly doesn’t encourage me to.

  • Hey Ken, I still see more agreement than disagreement between us on this issue! Maybe you are correct that Trump may be prevented with cooperating with Russia to fight terrorism, I don’t know, but one thing is clear from Trumps words (e.g. https://www.rt.com/news/366647-trump-syria-isis-russia-relations/), and that is that he isn’t interested in meddling in other countries political affairs if doing so puts the US in conflict with Russia. This sounds sensible to me, given that US Presidents aren’t supreme rulers of the world, and therefore should concentrate on solving domestic problems. Anything which reduces tensions between the US and Russia sounds sensible to me, and Clinton wasn’t going to be of much use on that front. So, even if Trump can’t cooperate with Russia, he can still perhaps avoid further escalation of tensions. I think this issue is far more serious than getting the first woman president elected, which is why I think Trump is a better pick than Clinton overall (despite both candidates having both good and bad points). So, I don’t think that Trump’s willingness to cooperate with Russia was just a reaction against terrorism, but more an acceptance of the reality that Russia is a powerful superpower and a potentially useful business/trade partner, so nobody gains anything from alienating them. The worrying issue now is the extent to which Trump is being accused of being a racist. It is so difficult to determine the true extent, if any, of such claims, but accusations of this nature are easy to throw around (and I suspect that the Clintons and/or their supporters could well be busy furiously stirring the pot on this issue). Deporting illegal Mexican immigrants is not “racist”. Putting stricter controls on Muslims in the US is also not “racist”. For a start, neither Mexicans nor Muslims are races! Many/most terrorist acts in the US are committed by Muslim extremists. If their actions put innocent Muslims at a disadvantage (like being denied entry to the US), then the blame for that rests with the terrorists, not with Trump! Same goes for Mexican immigrants who cause trouble. They ruin it for the rest of them.

    • Yes, Stephen, you can see some areas of agreement with me – now. My point though is that my post was purely about the voting figures – I was not making any judgement about the candidates (except that Clinton must have been a bad candidate for so many democratic voters to abstain.

      Ashton, I think in the end some of Trump’s rhetoric will not seem so harsh when translated into policies. For example – his wish to deport illegal immigrants guilty of crimes is purely a continuation n of Obama’s policies (he has deported 2.5 million apparently).

      I think Trump was been guilty of harsh rhetoric (and I have called him a buffoon for this) – but then again so was Clinton and the media excused her. Her neo-McCarthyism and linking Trump to a foreign “dictator” or “strongman”, implying that a foreign power was manipulating the elections – possibly even rigging them – were atrocious statements and the media should have roasted her for them.

      They were statements quite unbecoming of someone aspiring to become president and be involved in negotiations with other countries. With her experience as secretary of state, she should have known much better – and the media should have pulled her up for them.

      Perhaps both candidates were actually buffoons. 🙂

  • “Putting stricter controls on Muslims in the US is also not “racist”. For a start, neither Mexicans nor Muslims are races! Many/most terrorist acts in the US are committed by Muslim extremists. If their actions put innocent Muslims at a disadvantage (like being denied entry to the US), then the blame for that rests with the terrorists, not with Trump! Same goes for Mexican immigrants who cause trouble. They ruin it for the rest of them.”

    This of course makes sense. On that basis, no christian caucasians should be allowed into the USA since the vast majority of banking fraud is committed by people this ethno-religious group . As I recall, the mafia is an Italian sourced group of criminals, so I expect that all Italians will also be proposed for exclusion.

    They only have themselves to blame.

  • @Ashton Dempsey

    Yeah, not quite the same! Banking fraud and mafia crimes are not, to my knowledge, being perpetrated in the US by immigrants more so than by non-immigrants. That is the key difference. If it could be shown that the mafia in the US are comprised mainly of Italian immigrants, then that would be a reason to exclude immigration of Italians. But, at any rate, my point was just that none of this makes Trump a “racist”. Whether or not it is an effective or fair strategy is another issue. If Trump really did have a racist agenda, I’m sure that Obama would be making a great deal more noise than he is actually making.

  • Spot on analysis. I’m an expat-American who has been paying close attention to this election all along. I totally agree with your points. I supported Sanders and was so frustrated that the DNC allowed all of the Super-Delegates to go to Clinton before the first primary votes had been cast. That is the very opposite of democracy. By giving Clinton an insurmountable head start in the delegate count, they basically gave her the nomination. The rest was just a game of ‘let’s pretend the voters matter.’ Of course she proved to be un-electable in the general, so they picked a loser. Anyone running on a “change” platform would have beaten Clinton. This time the ‘anyone’ was Trump. This does not end well …