2016 Presidential Election: Some Final Thoughts

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters as he takes the stage for a campaign event in Dallas, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

Congratulations are in order for the Trump supporters. Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States. I am sure you have seen about 12,000 articles already written about what happened and how come the polls were so wrong and blah blah blah. Whatever, there are a multitude of things that happened and in the end, they culminated in President Trump. It is kind of cool when you think about it from a certain perspective. Like the perfect storm scenario or something. Anyways, I am super tired. My brain is definitely fried. But I wanted to write out some thoughts.

First of all, let me just say that the Electoral College…has to go. When I started watching election coverage last night around 9:00 p.m., I thought, it must suck to know that your candidate (Trump) can win tons of states, but since they are lower Electoral votes, it just does not matter. How does that feel being in a state where your vote is kind of insignificant? I mean, some of the channels like to add those states in early before they even call them. You can see California canceling out half of the country. And then as the election started to really swing in Trump’s favor, I realized how it is just as shitty on the other side. I mean, here we are again, winning the popular vote, but losing the election.

I realize this probably sounds like sour grapes, however, it sucks for both sides. I think the Electoral College really disincentives voting. Think about it. We know that a presidential election brings more people out to vote, but our turnout is still pretty low (more on that in a second). If you are a Democrat in California and you get to your polling place and see a massive line to vote, you might just say “screw it, dems always win Cali” and just go home. And look, this happens on the other side too. A Republican in Kansas may not think his/her vote matters because they are not in a swing state. Every vote should matter. People thought Pennsylvania was in the bag for Hillary. I know people who voted third party because “PA always goes blue, so my vote does not matter.” Guess what? Trump beat Hillary by 62,000 votes in PA. 187,000 people voted for either Jill Stein or Gary Johnson. If just a third of those folks vote for Hillary…well she wins PA. See, your vote does matter.

Can we knock off this Tuesday election day shit? I was up until 2:30 a.m., and had to wake up for work at 5:15. I realize that was probably irresponsible of me, but c’mon, who wants to sleep through one of the most exciting elections since 2000 (this may have been even more exciting since so many knowledgeable people had HRC as the clear-cut favorite to win). Either do this on Saturday, so more people can vote and not have to juggle work, school schedules, etc. Or make it a national holiday. I mean, we celebrate Columbus Day for no damn reason, drop that shitty holiday and make Election Day a national holiday. Problem solved!

$160,000,000. That is the amount of money the campaign between Pat Toomey and Katie McGinty cost. Insanity. Only 5.6 million people voted for those two . They could have sent each voter a check for $10 and still had money left over. I am not mad at them for spending that money. I am mad at you. And me. All of us. One of the most common Facebook posts I have seen today has been “thank god all these political ads will finally stop!” Everyone hates them. Everyone bitches about the mailers, the signs, the television commercials, the radio spots. But for some reason, they must work or the campaigns would not spend the money. People always claim they want a politician who doesn’t run a negative campaign. And when one tries to, guess what happens? They lose. Bernie Sanders tried to be positive. He tried to focus on how he would fix the issues and yet, he lost. Ugh, do not even start on the rigged primaries, I will mention that in a second. Stop responding to the ads, let it be known that they do not have an effect on you.

One thing that this election season has shown us is that the primaries are really screwed up. Or should I say, the system which each party chooses their nominee. Since some states use caucuses and some use primaries, and a few have both (maybe it’s just one that does both). I think we saw though that there are ways for the party to commit shenanigans. Super delegates, whatever it was that happened in Colorado (no vote, the delegates just agreed they were going to back Cruz, remember that?)…and now the RNC is discussing the idea of super delegates. Remember, the party decides who is going to run. Unless we do something to fight that system.

We as Democrats need to do some soul searching within our own party. It is funny how we were all “when the GOP loses, they will need to do something about Trump, possibly split the party up or something.” And now here we are…the losers. We have to figure out how to appeal to those voters who left. It is crazy that so many union workers voted for Trump. Years ago they would not be caught dead voting Republican. I read so many articles saying things like “as long as the GOP continues to piss off women, the LGBT+ community, and people of color, then they will never win another presidential election.” Well, that was wrong. Now it is time to figure out how to get them back.

Finally, I just want to say that I do love this country. If Donald Trump can bring tons of great paying manufacturing jobs back to America without destroying the environment, then I will be ecstatic. If he replaces the Affordable Care Act with something better and it provides more people with insurance and costs less, then I will be happy. I do not want to see him fail. I would love to be wrong about him.

I loved what Bernie Sanders wrote:

Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media. People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids – all while the very rich become much richer.
To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.
Well said Bernie!

2 thoughts on “2016 Presidential Election: Some Final Thoughts

  1. I have so much to say, but I’ll try to be short here. I haven’t been able to focus on work for the last day and a half. I can’t adequately express how upset I am that America has voted for intolerance and elected the least presidential president of all time. I fear that telling the electorate what they want despite the obvious untruth of it all will become the new normal.

    Josh, it’s madness that anyone in Pennsylvania of all places would feel that their vote doesn’t matter. I live in Connecticut, and due to the electoral college, MY vote truly does not matter. Yours matters in a huge way. Anyone who says that PA always goes blue needs a reality check.

    Personally, I never found this election exciting. First, I found it sickening. Then, terrifying. We got to sleep around 2am election night, but then when Linda rolled over and told me what was what around 5am, I couldn’t sleep for the next 90 minutes until my alarm went off. I can’t focus at work. I’m trying not to cry at my desk. I’m still struggling for acceptance. I feel less like I did when Bush won the election and more like I did on 9/11. I know that’s a stupid thing to say. Obviously it’s ridiculous and over-the-top. But I’m describing my feelings. I’m completely shellshocked, and I need to snap out of it, but I’m having a seriously hard time with it. People are supposed to look up to a president.

    I completely agree with you when you say you want Trump to succeed. I do as well. He supports rebuilding infrastructure, which would be great. I wanted that when Obama was pushing it, and now that Trump is in, it doesn’t change how I feel. I don’t care which party it’s making look good. But I fear that we won’t see the consequences of climate denial until it’s too late, I fear that minorities will lose rights, I fear that Trump’s lack of tact will offend foreign powers, and the list goes on.

    I need to get back to work. This hasn’t been quick like I wanted. I guess typing all this out is something I need. Funny, since probably 3 people will ever read it. Whatever.

    The thing I think will help, which isn’t close to happening, is runoff voting. California uses it in some of their elections. Look it up on Wikipedia for details. Bottom line, it would produce more moderate candidates, and also allow third parties to not have a kingmaker effect.

    1. Greg, I think I will work from the bottom up.

      I do like runoff voting. Maine voted to start using it (they went with the ranked voting method). I just do not know how viable they would be for a presidential election…but that might be for another time.

      I doubt that even three people read what you wrote. I read it. Twice actually. I doubt much more that three people even read my blog, but sometimes it just feels good to get my feelings out there.

      Do not misunderstand my post to be me taking Trump lightly. I have been terrified of the idea of him since he announced his candidacy. I am scared of what he is going to do to the environment with terrible policies, or how horrible our school systems may be with Ben Carson as his sec. of education (the dude thinks the pyramids are grain silos). I am 100% with you on all of that, I just did not want to rehash all of that when I was writing this post. This election has cost me friends and probably some family members. They may never speak to me again because I voted for “Killary”, so I tried to be a little diplomatic with my words in order to maybe get back in their good graces. I hate having awkward Christmas time.

      When I say this election was exciting, I just meant that unlike in prior years, where we (liberals/dems/whatever) made it seem that if the Republican were to win, it would be the end of the world! Bill Maher said something about this last Friday. Mitt Romney was not going to destroy the country. Nor was John McCain. Just like in ’04 when I really could have cared less if Kerry won (that was during my period of voter apathy, protesting still because Gore lost, haha). This election felt like it really mattered. There were stakes this time. And as I said, I am definitely terrified of what things may come.

      Until this election, Pennsylvania has voted Democrat in every presidential election during my voting years (since 2000) and even before that going back to 1992. My point is, everyone’s vote does count. Look at Massachusetts. A difference of 860,000 votes. That is a huge chunk to overcome. Now imagine if 20% of the Dems said “eh, no point, we always go blue!” And then you think, what if the Republicans can get 10% of those people who did not vote, to come out and vote for them. All of a sudden, your state flips. This is why I say every vote counts, every vote matters. I realize that my scenario is pretty crazy, but again, isn’t that what Trump and his team were basically counting on to happen? This is why I think we (as a country) need to make a massive effort to really get the 45% of the population who did not vote to actually get out and vote.

      And yes, I was totally doing the same thing as you. I went to bed at 1:30, but spent the next hour looking at my phone. I too was on the verge of tears the entire time I laid in bed. Thinking about how much hate there must be in this country and how my daughter is going to grow up in that environment. It really does hurt. At 2:30, I saw that PA had fallen and I put my phone down and fell asleep. I woke up at 5:15 and checked my phone, hoping there had been a mistake. The rest of my day was spent as a zombie. I snapped at my employees when they asked me questions. I wanted to delete facebook. I was getting so angry seeing so many people post ridiculous things.

      I guess this long response is just my way of saying that you are not alone. Although we have never actually met, I feel like we are friends. I mean, how crazy is it that we have been commenting on each other’s blogs for ten years. I remember when you wrote about having a child and now here I am, expecting my first. These are definitely dark days we face, but I am hopeful that we can overcome them together. (Could I have ended that with a more sappy, cliched line?)

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