Trump’s election is not the end of the world

A few weeks ago, Democrats and liberals ridiculed Donald Trump for saying he might not accept the results of the Presidential election, and hinting of protests and riots if it was rigged against him.

Now some Democrats and liberals are protesting the results of the election and asking members of the Electoral College pledged to Donald Trump to go back on their word.

Clinical psychologists in New York City and elsewhere are flooded with calls from people who need help coping with their fear of Donald Trump.   Little Hispanic and Muslim children are terrified that Trump supporters are going to come after them.

Donald Trump giving victory speech (AP)

Donald Trump giving victory speech (AP)

They literally believe that the election of Donald Trump is equivalent to the election of Adolf Hitler.

I don’t want to make light of these fears.  I think people really are afraid.

Trump’s election was a bad thing.  A lot of people are going to be hurt because of the Trump administration (for that matter, many would have suffered under a Hillary Clinton administration).

American democracy survived Dick Cheney, Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy.  I am confident it will survive Donald Trump.  I highly recommend watching the 12-minute Ian Welsh video above and reading the links below for perspective.

Trying to negate the Electoral College vote is a terrible idea.  The effort is bound to fail, and will discredit future demands by liberals and Democrats to respect the rule of law.   Even if it succeeded, it would set a bad precedent of setting aside election results by fair means or foul.

The Electoral College has existed for more than 200 years.  It is what it is because of a compromise that was necessary to create a United States in the first place.   Progressive and liberal presidents have been elected in the past through the Electoral College system and have just as much chance of being elected in the future.

I don’t think Donald Trump will be a good President.  His lack of self-discipline and his record as a dishonest businessman lead me to expect an administration that is reactionary, corrupt and erratic.

But, in terms of policy, I don’t see him as all that different from a generic Republican such as Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.   They are all for deregulation, privatization, tax cuts for rich people, more spending on the military and less spending on everything else.   In a few ways, a Trump administration might be less bad than the others would have been.

My expectation for the election was that Hillary Clinton would win, and that her administration would be pro-war and pro-Wall Street, setting the stage for a right-wing populist victory in 2020.  This could have happened if she had won a few thousand more votes in certain states.

As it was, the right-wing populist won sooner than I thought.  Now it is up to Trump to cope with the coming recession and with the rise of anti-American sentiment worldwide.   If he fails—and a better man than him might well fail—the other side will get another chance.

Republicans dominate the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the federal government, as well as many state governments.  But they all, except for justices and judges, want to be re-elected.  They are subject to pressure from voters and at risk in the next elections.   Politics hasn’t come to an end.

LINKS

You Are Still Crying Wolf by Scott Alexander for Slate Star Codex.

When the Shouting Stops by John Michael Greer for The Archdruid Report.

∞∞∞

Afterthought.  Notice that Ian Welsh said something different in his video than Scott Alexander and John Michael Greer said in their essays.  Alexander and Greer said the threat of a Trump presidency was exaggerated.  Welsh said you needn’t let the thought of a Trump presidency make you miserable and afraid, especially when you don’t know what it will bring.  Two different things.

 

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4 Responses to “Trump’s election is not the end of the world”

  1. ashiftinconsciousness Says:

    Trump’s handlers are clever. They had him proclaim he would be victimized by election fraud while he was committing election fraud – all the time knowing it would be ridiculed. Then, people looked foolish complaining about his election fraud. Clever.

    Hopefully, society will wake from the dream we’ve been caught up in and begin to evolve as a species.

    Like

    • Dave Weaver Says:

      Thank you to Phil Ebersole and ashiftinconsciousness for your thoughtful thoughts. My thoughts as a fellow American is: The Electoral College is a bonafide part of the constitution. The role of the Electoral College as a safety valve for demagogues is well documented. Just because the nation never had to use that safety valve before doesn’t mean it should never use it.
      I think in the court of public opinion it’s clear that the Emperor has no Clothes. Even among mainstream Republicans. And who are the electors if not mainstream Republicans?

      Phil – you are worried about precedent – so that for the next election we don’t lobby the electors. How about this: In the case that the Popular Vote winner and the Electoral Vote winner differ then it will be customary for the Electors to vote their consciences.

      If the popular vote and electoral vote are the same then it indicates a mandate which would be more compelling for the electors. However – between November 8th and December 19th surely some of the electors will have seen things that will have given them pause. Perhaps Trump has been treating them all to his luxury suites. I honestly don’t put anything past Trump. That’s the problem. That’s America’s problem – and the world’s.

      Liked by 1 person

    • philebersole Says:

      Progressives and Democrats would do well to remember the Serenity Prayer – “God grant me the courage to change the things that can be changed, the serenity to accept the things that can’t be changed and the wisdom to know the different.”

      Things that can’t be changed.
      # The Electoral College
      # Two Senators for every state

      Things that can be changed.
      # Gerrymandering
      # Voter suppression
      # Lack of progressive and Democratic appeal in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain states.

      The United States Constitution recognizes state sovereignty as well as citizen sovereignty. The one part of the Constitution that can’t be amended is the provision that every state, large or small, is entitled to two Senators.

      The selection of the President based on the Electoral College vote rather than the popular vote also is based on the idea of state sovereignty. To amend it would require a super-majority including the votes of states that benefit from the present set-up.

      Changing gerrymandering would be difficult because it would require votes of some people who benefit from the present gerrymandered system. But it has been done. California is an example. The recent court decision overturning the North Carolina gerrymander is another.

      The same is true of CrossCheck and other means of canceling voter registration by bogus means.

      Finally it is nowhere written in stone that Democrats and progressives cannot carry small or rural states. They have done so in the past; they may do so in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

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