Unraveling the Election

I knew it was going to be close, but I didn’t imagine a win for Trump. And now we’re here. I’ve gotta get shit done today with three hours of sleep. I’m not quite sure how that’s going to happen.

I’ll keep adding to this post all day, as I come across smart articles.

What happened?

59 million people voted for Donald Trump. We can’t write them off as hicks, stupid, insane, bottom feeders, racists, and meth-heads. Well, we did. And that’s the problem. 59 million Americans are pissed off as hell. They don’t like Obamacare and THEY ARE USING OBAMACARE. They didn’t like the cop-bashing from the Black Lives Matter movement, BECAUSE THEY ARE COPS. They don’t like people running around in $90 yoga pants or ordering quinoa bowls from Whole Foods. It’s cultural, it’s political, it’s economics.

59 million people felt denigrated and chose to burn it all down.

What’s going to happen? Well, Trump is going to be slowed down by Washington politics. The bureaucracy and our complicated system of gov’t is going to slow him down, just like it slows down every president. Even with a Republican congress, he’s not going to really be able to build his wall with the nice door.

How much did the third parties screw things up?

Our concerns are not the concerns of half the country. Here, I’m taking Jonah around to look at colleges – colleges that have the price tag of a full year’s income for many families, and other families aren’t getting in the door. Their kids aren’t applying to ten different state schools. Because their public education system haven’t prepared their kids for those opportunities. Their kids are going from high school to a job at Best Buy. They don’t have a game plan for their kids.

And, as I said a couple of days ago, Hillary was a bad candidate. She was. She was deeply unpopular with lots of people because of her privilege and arrogance. And she was blind to her flaws. She was emblematic of a world that has cruelly marginalized them and their neighbors. She never was able to reach beyond her base, while still not quite mobilizing her base. 13% of black men voted for Trump.

What’s going to happen to Paul Ryan?

Income doesn’t explain the difference between the Trump and Hillary voters. It’s college education. That’s huge.

[Too tired to write all at once. This is going to come out paragraph by paragraph all day.]

45 thoughts on “Unraveling the Election

    1. They aren’t mad about people wearing yoga pants and eating quinoa, they are mad about being told that they are less because they aren’t doing so as well.


  1. Wal Mart has them for $12.

    I’m fine with kale. Quinoa, even after I learned to pronounce it, still looks to me like some sort of mini alien tentacles.


  2. Laura said:

    “They don’t like Obamacare and THEY ARE USING OBAMACARE.”

    Or let’s reverse that to “They are using Obamacare AND THEY DON’T LIKE OBAMACARE.”

    ACA is often ruinously expensive for people who do not qualify for Medicaid Obamacare–not just when they’re sick, even when they’re just paying the monthly payments. Hence the blossoming popularity of (possibly shady) “health sharing” plans.


    Here’s an example from that article:

    “Some consumers say they joined ministries to avoid rising deductibles and premiums on the health law’s exchanges, and to be free from the law’s penalty, which starts at $695 next year.

    “Kristine Willington, 37 years old, of Beverly, Mass., found out that her family’s insurance was almost doubling in 2014 to $2,100 a month with a $5,000 deductible.

    “Last year, the family of six joined Liberty HealthShare and paid $475 a month, she said, with a $1,500 annual out-of-pocket cost. Her son’s $30,000 hospital bill was taken care of by members, alleviating her concerns about consumer risk.”

    I have a lot of concerns about this particular development–but you can see why a family facing a doubling of their monthly insurance to $2k would take the risk.

    This is the world of the ACA.


    1. I can’t read WSJ articles, but I think people were unable to separate “the world of the ACA” from “the world of the U.S. healthcare system.” All cost increases in healthcare got blamed on Obama, regardless of whether the ACA had anything do to with it or not (and mostly it was “not”). The Republicans will have to repeal Obamacare and then explain why health insurance didn’t get cheaper after the repeal.


  3. Gutted. Just gutted. And I know that for all that I now worry and fear for the future, I enjoy the privilege of being white and educated and having the resources to avoid some/much of the impact of this new president. I was the target in his last ad but I can “pass” as I don’t look like the stereotype of the ethnic group that I belong too. That’s privilege too.

    For people of colour and LGBTQ and muslims and the poor and women who will lose what little health care they had plus access to birth control plus be harassed on the street for how they look and whom they love – I cannot imagine.

    The anger that fueled 70+% of white men and 53%+ white women to vote for him? I understand a little. I’ve written here about jumping social/economic classes and how my family is working class. They live in a small town that was gutted by the drop in oil prices. They live that rural/urban divide every day. They’re paying the price for moving jobs overseas and for our $5 H&M t-shirts.

    It’s all a jumble. It’ll take some time for me to think this all through.


  4. I always knew that I couldn’t understand the people voting for trump (except the subset that strictly analyze policy differences and were willing to accept a narcissistic bully in exchange for their policies preferences). I don’t think I will understand them now, and I think that I will be distrustful of the analysis done by people like me.

    My heart is shattered, but I will keep fighting for the vision of America I believe in.

    And I’m holding MH to the statement that he’s going to have to join the democrats.

    And the republicans to their promises to fix the country. We passed Obamacare, an achievement I was proud of. What will the republicans accomplish?


    1. Do you like Obamacare the dream, or Obamacare the reality? Because they’re not exactly the same thing.



      “Premiums for midlevel health plans under the Affordable Care Act will increase by an average of 25 percent next year, while consumers in some states will find significantly fewer insurance companies offering coverage, the federal government said Monday.”

      This is what a death spiral looks like. (The feds are promising that 3/4 of those affected will find other plans for under $100, but kinda stinks for the other 1/4, doesn’t it?)

      One of the things I’ve liked least about Trump is his online supporters, who are (without exaggeration) on average the worst of any major party candidates’ online supporters.

      I was chatting recently online with a mid-20sTrump guy, who said that one of his big reasons for favoring Trump was Trump’s promise to put HRC in prison. I told the guy that Trump cannot actually promise that–he can promise to prosecute HRC, but he cannot guarantee a conviction because that’s just not how things work. The Trump guy just did not get it.


  5. And that last question is not rhetorical — what will the republicans — with control of probably all three branches of government do?


      1. No really? Do you think the Republicans in Congress are going to set the agenda for DJT? What are they going to do about Obamacare? What is the first substantive bill they will pass?

        Obamacare the reality for me is the ability to buy insurance directly, without the complicated rules that made direct purchases nearly impossible before Obamacare. It has had a clear and practical benefit for me (though it has not been inexpensive).


    1. Obamacare will be killed, ASAP. I don’t think that’s too hard to figure. It’s the one thing all factions of the Republican Party agree on. I suppose there will be some hand waving toward replacing it, but the only real choices are something essentially like Obamacare, single payer, or a massive increase in the number of people without access to health care. I can’t see the Republicans backing either of the first two options and #3 is the default.

      That and the deportation of illegal immigrants will speed up, greatly.

      And I don’t see how they avoid pulling out of NAFTA. Modifying the treaty would take time to negotiate with Canada and Mexico plus 2/3rds of the Senate. Pulling out takes a majority of both houses of Congress (assuming the filibuster dies, which I expect).


      1. But what does it mean to kill obamacare? Will they get rid of the pre-existing condition clause? What about the people who are currently receiving health insurance through obamacare ? Will they all lose their health insurance coverage? Will the exchanges be shut down?

        As you point out, how we pay for health care is a truly deep problem, exacerbated by the fact that health costs are going up and up and show no signs of slowing (practically, because we have far more health care to offer, treatments and drugs that didn’t exist 10 years ago, let alone 20).


      2. I assume everybody who currently receives health care through the exchanges will have to find it elsewhere or lose coverage, yes. Whether they shut down the exchanges directly or not, I don’t know. They could just repeal the mandate portion if they want to be subtle. Without the mandate, the exchanges (and the pre-existing condition clause) can’t function.


  6. I’ve been thinking about Trump in relation to the Occupy Wall Street/We are the 99% movement, a movement I didn’t agree with at the time and which seems especially dense now. The goal of that movement, to say “we’re all in this together!” against the global elite, missed that the 1% are too far removed from typical people’s day-to-day lives to be a group that people can coalesce and rally against. However, whites who are disadvantaged DO see and resent people like me: the $90 yoga pant wearing dual professional income people who are doing pretty damn well. Not that everything is perfect for us yoga pant wearers, we have our own struggles, but they are less than and of a different kind than theirs. But we can’t see that, or we don’t want to admit that we are much better off than they are, and all of our “we’re all in this together” talk is simply a slap in the face.

    And yet, all of the data so far show Clinton winning low-income folks ($30k and less, $30-50k) and Trump winning every other income bracket. So maybe there is really is no economic story at play here at all, just our basest and most xenophobic instincts. Maybe we just WANT there to be an economic reason because that story is more comforting than any of the other alternatives.


  7. My morning class turned into a grieving session. Granted, it’s highly skewed towards women and northeasterners, but I did ask them first if that was what they wanted, and they were 100% for talking about it.

    They’re terrified. One student said that she is afraid all the plans she has been making for her future are now just not going to happen. Another mentioned that he is concerned about climate change, and we have to do something *now* or we’re screwed. So we’re screwed because Trump doesn’t believe in climate change.

    But when I got back to my office I saw that someone posted an electoral map of what would happen if only 18-25 year olds had voted. Overwhelmingly blue. That gave me some hope for the future… if we can make sure the alt-right doesn’t blow up the system first.

    Also, read this: https://twitter.com/SiyandaWrites/status/796286719058382848

    Explains a lot. I think I have written here about my concerns in the early 90s about young men in Long Island being members of Neo-Nazi groups. These same guys are today pretty pro-Trump. In Maine, after the Somalis moved in to Lewiston in 2000/2001, the Aryan Nation came by to recruit among the young white people in the area.

    It’s so depressing to move backwards in time. 😦


    1. People who are genuinely worried about freedom of speech should look at what President Trump will be doing to the press. He consistently complained that the media covered him unfairly by actually reporting on things he said and did, denied credentials to reputable papers, etc. This will probably intensify when he becomes president.



    2. So, UMC Trump voters voted for Trump so that kids would feel free to shout “I can smell the taco trucks” when (the Filipino) swimmer at my son’s races took the starting block, to taunt my (half Jewish, American-born) son with “go back home, Paki” at a hockey game, and so a group of 12 year olds on my son’s baseball team can say “I’d like to rape you” to a girls watching the game?

      Are those taunts acceptable?

      I’ve never understood the political correctness rhetoric on the right.

      But, more deeply, I think the only analysis I find reliable on why one voted for Trump should come from the Trump voters themselves. Otherwise we are too much in danger of projecting our own world view and what makes us comfortable.


      1. It’s more that they wanted their kids to be able to choose their Halloween costumes, and for professors who support that idea not to be driven from the Yale faculty, or they want their kids to be able to chalk “Trump” on the sidewalk at Emory without the president of the university vowing to use surveillance cameras to track them down and punish them.


    3. Or, more precisely, I should have said, is that the space they hope Trump created this spring and summer and will create into the future?


      1. I think this is exactly right. While some times something wrong happens for what could be called political correctness, mostly it’s just racism or sexism.


    4. And, I’m being a bit facetious, but not really. Because I can see the world in which people say whatever they want whenever they want to. I myself am prone to that habit, and sometimes fail to hold myself back, like when parents enquired on an email list about belief in santa claus and I said my kids have never believed in santa claus, but like their lack of belief in god, I tell them not to share their opinion unless they are asked. I am usually too politically correct (i.e. polite) to share my beliefs on god with people who probably don’t want to hear them.

      My kids can shake off the taunts. They are beautiful, brilliant, privileged, and economically advantaged. We will be able to protect them in almost any contingency and are trained to keep our eyes peeled for signs of any impending tragic turn (they can sneak up on you, but we are vigilant). But I have fears for the vulnerable and will need to be louder in the coming days.


    5. Please stop calling it “freedom of speech.” The issue is not freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is about government using its power to prevent people from expressing their opinions.

      The issue is whether people can say racist, sexist, horrible things without being criticized by another person. No one is stopping them from saying these racist, sexist, horrible things except their own personal shame, which they should be feeling.


      1. No, that’s a complete distortion. What you claim to support is exactly what Elena Christakis advocated, that students be free to wear whatever costume they wanted, and that other students confront them if they were offended, and that the administration not use its coercive power to enforce a costume code. For this heresy, Wendy’s friends drove Prof. Christakis from the Yale faculty. Is there anyone here with the honesty to admit that?


      2. “Wendy’s friends”

        Uh, I don’t know anyone at Yale. However, I’m probably going to be interviewing someone from Yale for a job. I’ll ask him, and if he says “Yes, I drove Elena Christakis from the faculty,” then I’ll definitely support hiring him. Then your statement would be pretty much accurate. I’ll do that for you, y81, because we are likethis.

        Btw, I saw this article about this study, and I thought of you immediately:

        “The new study finds that students with certain characteristics — a sense of entitlement and an orientation to focus on grades — are much more likely than other students to perceive their instructors as being biased.”

        I know you hate “liberal professors” because one of them gave you a bad grade on a paper, but seriously, get over it. Most people don’t nurture their butthurt for decades.


  8. The fellow who hectored reporters and sicced his crowds on people he did not think belonged among them is going to “create breathing space” for “free speech and freedom of thought”?

    For who?

    Judging from your link, y81, it’s for those people who think the basic good manners of addressing and referring to others as they would prefer (aka Political Correctness) is some sort of oppression.

    Thanks for clearing that up. I did not not know that being polite was such a burden, or the equivalent of feeling physically threatened or even attacked.


      1. Another Yale thing. I’m guessing that not very much of the Trump vote was motivated by Ivy League butthurt, but I could be wrong. It’s not one of the exit poll questions.


      1. This is ridiculous. Of course I don’t condone spitting on people. Look at my nym: Ohio *MOM*. Moms do not approve of spitting, even on the sidewalk.

        I can’t see what this incident has to do with anything I wrote. I wrote that one should address others as they wished to be addressed. Now, if someone asked to be spit upon, should you spit on them? No, you shouldn’t misbehave like that, if all your friends were jumping off the roof, would you think it a good idea to follow them for a certain trip to the emergency room?

        Though I admit I did not bother to follow your link, I don’t see the equivalency between what private citizens do and a presidential candidate (and now president-elect) threatening those who disagree with him while he is being video-taped. His menacing words and actions, so documented, may very well continue to have a dampening effect on those who disagree with him. That is certainly not creating any breathing space for free speech or thought.

        Finally, I have no idea who Jerelyn Luther is, so I am sorry but cannot address this concern of yours.


      2. No, Ohio Mom, you said that political correctness is no more than requesting others to call people by the name by which they wish to be called. That is an inaccurate characterization of the phenomenon called political correctness, which in fact involves suppression of speech and violence (a la Melissa Click or the Yale students in the article) against those whose speech is incorrect. You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own factual narrative of current left-wing behavior on American campuses.


      3. Fish falling from the sky is part of the phenomenon that we call rain, sometimes. But not often enough that I should make up a batch of beer batter and heat some oil every time it rains.


  9. Canadian says you can’t move to Canada and to keep your grubby American mitts to yourself:


    “Meanwhile I object to the “I’m moving to Canada” meme. Canada is not a protectorate of the USA. She is an entirely different sovereign country with her own history, with parliamentary democracy, with a monarch and with one heck of an immigration process. Canadians are not just quiet Americans–oh, and by the way, any foreigner who moves to the province of Quebec has to send their children to French-language school.”

    “No-one can “just move to Canada” unless he or she is a Canadian. Everyone else needs a visa.”


  10. whoa, I didn’t know there was such animosity between some of the regulars in this blog comment thread. wow… I haven’t been paying enough attention! Interesting discussions. It seems everyone is white here, most liberal, a couple leaning more to the right, am I right? Interesting. But I’m not very good at argumentation (and I think I comment infrequently enough that most of you won’t really know who I am), so I won’t play my “immigrant card” to add to this fascinating discussion. Sigh… (and besides, I’m a day late, I was teaching yesterday morning, students who were openly crying in class. I let them share their feelings and answered their questions. They wanted to know what happened in 2000, they wanted to know about me personally, about my children).


  11. L-mamae — I am not white and am also an immigrant (although I was raised in Ohio — was bitterly sad about the state of affairs of my former state).

    What does it mean to play an immigrant card? Is it speaking of personal experience?

    So, I hope (and mostly believe) that the folks in Y81’s social circle who voted for Trump want to wear halloween costumes and not to have their kids call my kids names in the street (though, frankly, it would be nice to hear clearly that it’s unacceptable to yell “I can smell the taco trucks” when you see someone you think might be of Mexican descent).


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