Wednesday, November 09, 2016

President Elect Trump: How the Pundits Got it all Wrong


[Nyerges is an independent, and is neither a Democrat nor Republican.  He is the author of several books including “Extreme Simplicity,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” and “Squatter in Los Angeles.”  Information about his books and classes is available from]

First, I’m not a fan or supporter of either Clinton or Trump.  Out of a country of 300+ million, were they really the best that the two-party system could give us?  In fact, several good candidates on both sides were thrown under the bus during the campaign season because they could not compete with the deep pockets of either Clinton or Trump.  So sad!

I fully expected Clinton to win. All the commentators said she would win.  All the polls showed her being the first female president.  I was looking forward to a Clinton presidency with neither happiness nor fear, just more of the status quo.   I was not able to wrap my head around a Trump presidency.  Does he even know the intricacies of how Washington works?

Both Clinton and Trump had some big strikes against them, and that “dirty laundry” had been gone over and over in the media.  Both had unsavory elements, and a few come to mind now.

Where to begin? Trump’s female-groping and bar mouth seemed too undignified for a president, though OK for a wrestler.  And in one of his building projects, he agreed (meaning, contractually “gave his word”) to pay a certain amount to an architect, but later decided to pay much less. “I’ve already paid too much for this project and I don’t want to pay more,” said Trump and so he paid far less than the agreement.  Really?  Trump knew it was wrong but he was able to out-lawyer the architect.

And Hillary – where to begin?  The e-mail scandal and potential loss of national secrets and lying about it certainly didn’t help her.  And Benghazi still leaves me wondering if she was asleep at the wheel as Secretary of State.  She reportedly told the families of those killed in the U.S. Embassy that “We’ll find the people who made that video.”  Really?  How about “We’ll find the killers”?

In the end, they were the last two standing.  They’d won all their party’s primaries, and then, on election day, there was one left standing.

In the punditry that followed, they all wrung their hands and asked “How could this have happened?  How did we get it so wrong?”  These media pundits more or less blamed white hillbillies for Clinton’s loss, as if all the white rednecks who are normally out in the woods hunting in November came in just to vote down Hillary.  Really?  Do they really believe that’s what happened?

I think the answer is much simpler.  The American public had two choices, both bad and unsavory in too many ways.  Who would ever want to say that they supported Trump?  If you are a Republican, yours was not an ideal candidate, and he was easy to dislike and disavow, as many of his own party did.   Assuming you were asked by a pre-election pollster, I suspect that most said nothing, or lied.

In the end, the people spoke, via the electoral system.  Was it the so-called silent majority?  Maybe, maybe not.  Who really knows? 

Most people I know experienced very little political excitement this season, just annoyance that it all droned on for so long.  I often heard that we had to choose the lesser of two evils, that we had only two choices.  Though I’m sure there were many who liked Trump and his message, I’m just as sure that many were simply voting against Clinton.  In the end, voters do not vote for “ideas,” but rather, they vote for the very real people who are presented.

I noted that several people posted their anger on Facebook, stating that they would do everything in their power to block and undermine Trump.  OK, I understand that. I pointed out to one person that he now sounds like all the Republicans who, after the Obama win, said that they would do everything in their power to block and undermine Obama.  Many kept good on that promise.

“Yeah,” this person retorted, “but the difference is that I’m right.”  Hmmmm.  I didn’t respond, but I thought it very sad that we don’t see that we do precisely what we accuse our adversaries of doing when the shoe is on the other foot.

If the many protestors in the streets now want to do something positive, they should begin now, and not wait until after the next election which doesn’t go their way.  If they want to start a new party, start now. If they want to abandon the Electoral College, first find out why we have that system, and then, if they still want to abandon it, do the work that’s required to make that happen. 

The United States has one president, and whether I personally like or dislike him or her is irrelevant.  I respect the office of the Presidency, and I respect the founding Principles of the United States.

1 comment:

Ellen Robin said...

I wish you well. I appreciate your articles on giving thanks and on the Trump election.
I believe that a large silent number of the Sanders supporters, upset that the Democratic National Convention, one which, as has its counterpart RNC argued before our courts, that it is neither a democratic institution, nor democratic functionally, but rather a club, and which private club cheated the electorate out of their choice for President, voted against Clinton.

With regards to the more native American Indian population, it is an unfortunate fact that they were manipulated by the British, French and Spaniards into thwarting the colonists' westward expansion. That led to a deeply embedded and long enduring prejudice in the psyche of a European immigrant sourced population. They were willing to stand by and watch a genocide. Of course, they were not the first, and having happened and happening repeatedly, we haven't seen the last of such.
Sincerely, Mitchell Robin