So now what?

It is approaching midnight Eastern Standard Time in the US and the election is very tight. However, the chances now do not look good for Clinton or the USA. The best current hope is a narrow win for Clinton but the odds now look good for a Trump win. Either way the vital result of a sound defeat for Trump is not on the cards. That alone means the nastier sections of the US right will feel emboldened.

While it isn’t for me to tell left-wing Americans what to do, I personally need to do something cathartic and write down some thoughts. Ignore, dispute, cogitate over as you see fit.

  1. Many sections of American society that were already vulnerable to marginalization, intimidation or violence will be more so. Supporting one another has to be a priority – finding ways of limiting the attacks and holding the bullies to account has to be a priority.
  2. Don’t spend time on recriminations around third party voters. It isn’t that they didn’t help contribute to the situation but rather it is important to see that it is a distraction and it also detracts from point 1. Alliances and support matter.
  3. Don’t meltdown – organize.
  4. Avoid infighting but don’t compromise on your beliefs and principles either. Spend your energy wisely and remember point 1.

The above is all true if Clinton wins narrowly. A close win for Clinton won’t change the above. If Trump wins remember:

  1. All those points above but more so.
  2. Trump will be a disaster – that isn’t good news because disastrous government impacts greatest on the most vulnerable but it does mean that every election, at every level of government for the next four years will be against the backdrop of an incompetent president.

Beyond the US? This will be tough. The extreme right have been emboldened by Brexit and will emboldened by any electoral gains Trump makes. Point 1 matters where ever you are.Point 3 matters where ever you are.

For the rest of us outside the US, if Trump wins do NOT let right leaning or centrist (or left leaning!) governments normalize or legitimize him. His kind of politics is infectious and weaker countries will be tempted to emulate him. The US Democrats have all sorts of political, constitutional, and societal reasons why they will need to accept the vote for Trump as legitimate. The rest of us are not under the same obligations. Britain, Australia, Canada in particular – our governments have rubber stamped too many bad foreign policy decisions from the US in the past, do NOT let our governments forget what kind of man Trump is if he gains power.

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28 comments

  1. snowcrash

    Yeah on all the above. The only thing I’ll add is that for #2, people should not fall into the whole urban/city vs rural/country divide infighting as well. It’s another distraction, and another attempt to divide and conquer.

    Beyond that…yeah. It’s gonna be an interesting few years. I’m sure Abbot is already sharpening the knives for his comeback. More of the region is gonna follow Malaysia and Philippines by pivoting to China.

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    • camestrosfelapton

      Yup, I think demographic forces and technological change are still working in favour of good (although it might not feel it) but this is a big victory for authoritarianism and it means the US, Russia and China are all working from an authoritarian premise.

      But that just means there is work to be done and bad guys to fight.

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      • snowcrash

        I’m not so optimistic. I’m quite intimately familiar with how effects of a demographic and technological change can be suppressed by a sufficiently motivated central authority. A bit more gerrymandering, a bit more voter restrictions, and you lock in your control over the levers of power for a while longer.

        President Trump makes me concerned. President Trump with a compliant and ideologically extreme legislature terrifies me. Globally, what’s next for these geniuses – withdrawing the Iranian non-proliferation deal? Going back to the gold standard?

        This is uncharted waters we’re in.

        Liked by 2 people

      • thephantom182

        “A bit more gerrymandering, a bit more voter restrictions,”

        Crashy, are you talking about cheating and voter fraud now? Seriously? I thought I was supposed to be a paranoid IDIOT for talking about that stuff.

        You wanna borrow my tinfoil hat?

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      • KasaObake

        No, Phantom. Snowcrash is talking about changes to the electoral register that disproportionately affect those in the poorest areas of the UK. He’s also talking about proposals to cut 50 seats from the map which will disproportionately affect Labour seats.

        These are real things really happening or in the works.

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      • thephantom182

        KasaObake, that simply can’t be. All possibility of electoral shenanigans have been ruled Tinfoil Hat Paranoia by y’all. The Science is Settled, to coin a phrase. UK, USA, all the same.

        Or, so I was told. At some length.

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      • camestrosfelapton

        Hi Phantom, my talking cat said that Trump win. The reason he gave was because of the eldritch power of a deity shaped like a cross between a tangerine and a spider.

        That Trump did, in fact, win does not lend his reasoning any more credibility than it did before hand.

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      • thephantom182

        “Hi Phantom, my talking cat said that Trump [would?] win.”

        Well Camestros, between you and I, one of us has lived in the USA a while and been there recently. Also, one of us correctly called:
        -election fraud
        -poll rigging (massive, that)
        -voter rage
        -Clinton illness (she’s gonna die soon)
        -complete media capitulation to one party (Rachel Maddow MSNBC is my favorite today, she practically cried)
        and the other did not.

        Truthfully I expected to wake up this morning to a Hillary “win” and six months of court battles, just like 2000. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Trump beat her far beyond the “margin of fraud,” no opportunity for mail-in ballots and hanging chads this time.

        Peace be upon the cat, my evidence and reasoning are looking pretty good today, all things considered.

        I thought it amusing that Crashy was talking about corrupt elections this morning, after all of y’all had told me I was a lying paranoiac earlier for mentioning it. Hence my earlier commentary.

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      • thephantom182

        “I think it is a bit odd though how you sound like you lost.”

        We’ve all been losing for a very long time now, Camestros. Government growth never stops, jobs and companies and industries move away to places they can do business, leaving us behind. My country is led by an idiot with good hair. The USA is now led by a New York liberal with bad hair. What’s really sad is, the Americans did better than we have in Canada.

        The only thing to be happy about today is that it could have been so much worse. At least the Americans FINALLY stood up. That’s Obama’s legacy, in a nutshell.

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      • KasaObake

        You’re getting confused between your isolated cases of voter fraud carried out by individuals of various political backgrounds and their own reasons for doing things, and a major political party actively and openly seeking to suppress the votes of their traditional rivals and also removing their rivals’ legitimately elected MPs in a boundary reshuffle. One is a major issue; it’s not the one you’re whining about.

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  2. Mark

    There’s going to be a long hard look at the polling. They could simply have got it wrong, and if so I suspect it’ll be in assumptions about turnout in key demographics, which to be fair is understandable in an election that was ultimately about energising new demographics.

    However, there’s the simpler possibility that this is literally last-minute changes – many many conservatives deciding to hold their noses and vote the ticket after all.

    Or (and partly related to above the above) there was a section of people so embarrassed about who they would end up voting for that they wouldn’t even say his name to an anonymous stranger on the phone.

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      • David Brain

        And, in retrospect, the Brexit polling looks ridiculously accurate by comparison. But I had long maintained that the relentless mockery of one particular group was more likely to lead to a deeper determination to both vote and not talk to pollsters. Combine this with the social media echo chamber, where it had become impossible to understand “them” (whichever side you were on), let alone interact coherently with them, and we shouldn’t have been surprised.
        I still am though.

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      • thephantom182

        Gee Camestros, didn’t I come on here saying the polling was -rigged-? I believe I did, and offered links and everything. Remember the oversampling of minorities? Yeah?

        This is what happens when you do stuff like that.

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      • thephantom182

        Mark said: “Ah, the classiest of trolls, back and refreshed for another gish gallop.”

        You, Mr. Mark sir, of all people, should at least have the grace to admit that I argue in good faith here, and that I have endured a lot of abuse from you personally and others as well. Camestros is at least classy enough to keep it down to making fun.

        I’ve been talking about a simmering revolt in the USA for several years now. All those anecdotes about people yelling in the supermarket? All the crazy sh1t that got exposed on Wikileaks? Edward Snowden fleeing -to- Russia to escape tyranny and possible death?

        None of this was lost on John Q. Public. I’ve been saying it, and you’ve been crapping on me and calling me a troll the whole time.

        Is Trump the guy I’m all excited for? No. He’s a man on a white horse. That’s bad. We don’t want that.

        What we want is a reduction in the size and scope of government. But Trump at least -said- he’d take his foot off the gas, whereas Clinton would have been pedal-to-the-metal all the way, just like Obama. So, lesser of two weevils.

        Incidentally, Clinton didn’t even take the podium last night to deliver her concession speech. Either she’s the classiest woman in the USA, or she suffered a physical/mental collapse of some kind. There is no news at this point, and given all the other evidence these last few months, my money is on collapse. That’s another thing I’ve been saying, and have been accused of being a troll over. Looking at you, Aaron and JJ.

        So a troll, Mark, is a guy who holds a different view from yours. I can happily wear that as a title.

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      • thephantom182

        “Ah, sorry, I shouldn’t have even half-broken my intention to ignore the troll.”

        I see Mr. Grog Hullblender likes this comment. You boys are making it pretty hard for me to be magnanimous today.

        I guess you’re pretty busy, manning the barricades against the hordes of racist bigot homophobes rushing toward you with pitchforks and burning brands.

        Any minute now the horde will descend. Any minute…

        Won’t be long now…

        Here they come! No, wait, its just a bag lady with a shopping cart.

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    • thephantom182

      Mark said: “Or (and partly related to above the above) there was a section of people so embarrassed about who they would end up voting for that they wouldn’t even say his name to an anonymous stranger on the phone.”

      I think it was more the violent anti-Trump activity, Mark. Vandalism, running over road signs, beating people at rallies, all that.

      You think a professional like a doctor is going to say -anything- about Trump when the media is burning the guy alive? Not a chance. Nope, that guy is going to sit quietly, and then vote Trump. He’s also going to hang up on pollsters.

      That’s why we have secret ballots. Thuggery is still a thing in the modern world.

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    • Mark

      Replying to myself is rather egotistical, but anyway….

      This: https://twitter.com/Phil_Mattingly/status/796465102941782017 is relevant to what I said above. It’s a CNN reporter on details from the Republicans of their data and campaigning efforts. Interesting takeaways:
      Their internal model had Trump gaining steadily in the key battlegrounds in the final weeks, but still losing 4 days before the election
      Their internal model seems to have had a much better idea of their turnout than the independent pollsters did – which is hardly shocking given they literally had the inside info
      They concentrated hard on the undecideds they had the info to identify, and had great success in that area – my interpretation is that if they were able to identify them, it was b/c these were Republicans who weren’t prepared to vote Trump.

      We’re still in hot takes territory, and there will no doubt be much better analysis to follow, but I think this is supports a couple of things I said above – the pollsters missed a turnout issue, at least partially b/c it was last-minute changes, and that those last minute changes were republicans being persuaded to hold their noses in the end and vote for Trump.

      If that turns out to be at least one of the explanations then – while it still won’t look good for the pollsters – at least it’s a bit more understandable.

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  3. KasaObake

    The UK is in the process of learning that in order to trade with the global community, you need to engage on global issues. I can only hope the lesson sticks.

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  4. thephantom182

    However gun maker’s stocks are down, another good sign. Perhaps the “new record for gun sales every month” streak is coming to an end.

    Obama may go down as the best gun salesman in American history.

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