A view from abroad

by Grania Spingies


Stock markets are plummeting, and in spite of almost every poll predicting a comfortable win for Hillary Clinton only a few hours ago, the opposite has happened.

Lesson learned: almost no-one can conduct an accurate forecast anymore. This is what the NYT shows having happened to their polls (and they have been aggregating a number of them) in the last few hours.


The other lesson I hope people learn: it’s not in the least bit helpful to demonise the “other” party supporters to the point where some people insert the word Libtards or Rethuglians into normal conversation. The only thing that this indicates is that if we inhabit an exclusive bubble of like-minded people we will struggle to have an accurate understanding of anyone who thinks differently. The content of your social media feed is not an accurate reflection of reality, and that goes for both sides of the fence.

It’s also overly simplistic to cry racism and blame this on white supremacists. If it were just blatant racism, then the voters who swung this election surprise against all predictions would have made sure that 8 years of Obama never happened. For similar reasons, it is also unlikely to be rampant sexism either.

That isn’t to say that those who voted for Trump have not been callously indifferent to the fact that their candidate was prepared to espouse every fascist, sexist and racist position in his drive to get votes. Yes, there were undoubtedly racist and sexist voters. It’s not possible for them all to have been motivated by sexsism and misogyny. Again, demonising everyone who votes differently doesn’t win you elections; nor does it change hearts and minds. At this point America is not going to sort out any internal messes by turning on each other and deepening the chasms. You need to find a way of understanding each other’s concerns and issues and bridging the divisions that are very evidently there. We are going to have to try to understand what seems incomprehensible if anything constructive is to come of this.

Kenan Malik had this to say.


The days to come will be filled with post-mortems of how the polls could all be so wrong. Right now the only comforting thing I can think of is that one day this too will be a footnote in history.

Oh, and this.


That’s us there.


This too will pass.


  1. Merilee
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink


  2. TJR
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    The 1992 UK election was “the Waterloo of the opinion polls” and I’ve been calling the 2015 UK election “the Stalingrad of the opinion polls”.

    Can anyone think of appropriate escalations of these for the Brexit and Trump votes?

    The Pearl Harbor of the opinion polls?

    • Mike
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      The Hiroshima of opinion polls.

      • Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Well said!

      • ToddP
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        The Extinction Level Event of opinion polls.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      The Donald J. Trump of poll failure. He is sui generis.

    • eric
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      As I pointed out a few days ago, 538 had noted that Trump was only behind by the margin of poll error going into the final day. So the polls were off, but not incredibly far off. 3% or so. I believe 3 or 4 elections in the past 30-40 years have been off the poll results by more than that.

      So, reading “Hilary +3 points, +/-3 points” as a lead was okay. Reading it as a lock was somewhat wishful thinking on the Dem’s parts.

      • TJR
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, estimates were something like P(Trump win)=0.25 and of course 25% chances should happen 25% of the time.

        It just feels more surprising than it should do.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:32 pm | Permalink



  3. robin
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Yes, this too shall pass – but not until after women’s right to govern their own bodies has been legislated away, not until public education has been gutted if not eradicated, not until xenophobia has cost the lives of thousands of people – not only in the US but around the globe, not until Putin has had his way with Europe and the Middle East, not until Planned Parenthood is defunded, not until the middle class has been pushed down into poverty, not until medical insurance has become too expensive for the majority of the public, and not until Trump and his family have made themselves extraordinarily rich…

    Yes, this will pass, but not in my lifetime.

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      You left out the end of net neutrality.

      The lines of communication will again be only for the rich. L

    • Rita
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Robin. Sadly.

      • Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        And the privatization of Social Security.

        It’s the end of the world as we know it, but Pete Peterson and Peter Thiel are feeling fine.

  4. Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Some were actually right in 1933 when critiquing the Chancellor. Nothing good will come from this.

  5. Linda Calhoun
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    “You need to find a way of understanding each other’s concerns and issues and bridging the divisions that are very evidently there.”

    That assumes good faith on both sides.

    Republicans have been wearing their bad faith like a badge of honor for the entirety of Obama’s presidency, and indeed even before that.

    I would dearly love to live in a country where your proposal was possible, but I don’t. L

    • Christopher
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Sadly I must agree with your statement. This election is a mandate to destroy modern liberal democracy and no matter what we do, what we say, what words we use, we are officially an endangered minority. The other side has consistently refused any and all good faith and good will gestures since 1992. Now they control the whole of our government there will be no reason whatsoever to act in anything but bad faith and the spirit of compromise has given up the ghost, if you will.

  6. Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    The racism was not “supremacist” or “blatant” but deep and long-lived. It saw any recognition of or aid to non-whites as anti-white racism and government tyranny. That racism carried out a pretty successful effort to “make sure the 8 years of Obama never happened.” And now they have an opportunity to “erase” those 8 years by undoing Obama’s hard-earned accomplishments. What is happening now will not be “a footnote in history.” It may well be a new section comprising several chapters.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      “The racism was not “supremacist” or “blatant” but deep and long-lived. It saw any recognition of or aid to non-whites as anti-white racism and government tyranny.”

      Well put.

    • Historian
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Consistent with your viewpoint is the Republican obsession with repealing Obamacare. This will be the highest priority of the next Congress. For Republicans and their ignorant white supporters, Obamacare represents a handout to the undeserving freeloaders, i.e., minorities and hence must be destroyed. The fact that 22 million people will be once again denied healthcare bothers them not all. I wonder how many of these 22 million voted for Trump. These fools will be in for a rude shock when they no longer have healthcare insurance or a poor Republican substitute. If the Republicans should decide to privatize social security and Medicare (despite Trump’s supposed opposition to this), we’ll see how the old baby boomers that voted for Trump react to this. As a baby boomer myself, I loathe my fellow members of this cohort who voted for Trump. They truly epitomize selfishness.

      During those Obama years when the Democrats had a majority in the Senate the Republicans used the filibuster rule (60 votes out of 100 needed to pass legislation) to block a lot of legislation. We’ll see if the Republicans take hypocrisy to a new level and repeal the filibuster rule when Trump takes office. If they don’t, the Senate Democrats will have the power to block legislation as the Republicans did. We’ll see what happens.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      I agree with Mike. That was well put.

      And the losses among ethnic minorities that Clinton suffered compared to Obama seem to me (in my non-expert opinion) not really a result of poor campaigning but primarily a result of sexism.

  7. Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    … it’s not in the least bit helpful to demonise the “other” party supporters to the point where some people insert the word Libtards or Rethuglians into normal conversation.

    Very good point. In the UK, a lot of the reaction to the Brexit vote has just been to insult half the population. Well, that’s much of the reason they voted as they did!

    Kenan Malik’s tweets are perceptive. Sometimes mainstream politicians in Europe and the US need reminding that the basic principle of our nations is that we are *democracies*, not nations ruled by a “mainstream elite” idea of how the world should be.

    The UK voted for Brexit because the “mainstream elite”, both in Europe and the UK, had, over a decade or more, simply taken no notice of widespread concerns of the populace.

    NB, The UK stock market is up 0.6% and European markets are steady. The US is steady this morning. There’s been a bit of a reaction, but not a crash.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      + 1. We need to remember that democracy means rule of those elected by the majority, not rule of those whom we find best.

      • FiveGreenLeafs
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, and, I would add, that politics (at its core) is the art of careful observation and compromise.

        If you try and bend the twig too much, it will most often either hit you back, or just break…

        • Posted November 9, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          How do you compromise with people who aren’t willing to compromise? Filibuster anyone? The problem is not that the left side of the twig doesn’t know how to bend; it’s more like tug of war. If both sides agree to compromise and exert equal force, then nobody goes in the mud. But the right does not want to compromise and apparently has way more people willing to pull on their end.

          • FiveGreenLeafs
            Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

            For me, at the basic level, a human society contains people with very different personalities and character traits. Aspects of a human being, that are partly heritable and after adolescence are fairly stable for the rest of an individuals life.

            Some are more individualistic, free spirits that thrive on new experiences, novelty and change, some like stability, predictability and favors a strong community, with shared norms and values. Some are outward looking, some inward looking.

            It is self evident (as I see it), that you can not create a society that maximizes both sides of this equation simultaneous. If you try and change the society towards one side, the other side will experience rising alienation, discomfort, anger and fear.

            Compromise, here, is to realize these limitations. If you belong to one side, you may need to compromise you ideal vision of a future “prefect” society, and trade that for a more realistic and stable balanced version, that take into consideration the needs of the other group.

            Over the past 30 or 40 years, this balance (twig) has been pushed (I think), way to far (and to fast) in one direction, i.e. the individualistic, free spirit side, which has among other things, broken down trust and social capital in many western societies to an alarming degree. Because of this, I think we now will experience a potential drastic reversal with dramatic effects. Brexit, Trump, and the rise of nationalist parties all over Europe are (to my mind) the first signs of this process.

            The historian (and cynic) in me, would note, that you reap what you sow…

            • Carl
              Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

              You sound like Jonathan Haidt (that’s a compliment). I confess to being a freedom loving extremist. I deeply resent anyone crowding the space I see as mine alone. I can tolerate a wide diversity of values, but sometimes there is the inevitable clash.

              • FiveGreenLeafs
                Posted November 10, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

                Really? I certainly take that as a compliment 🙂

                I think the crucial point here is appreciation and respect for our differences and human limitations, that, to my mind limits the type of societies that are viable in the long run, (or how fast you can realistically change them).

                We need, I think, become much better to go beyond our (individual) selves, and to try and understand these aspects.

                And that, I think, requires some level of fundamental mutual dignity and respect. Not of ideas, but as human beings…

      • Gordon
        Posted November 10, 2016 at 4:13 am | Permalink

        “democracy means rule of those elected by the majority,
        If that had been the case wouldn’t Clinton have won?

        • Posted November 10, 2016 at 6:07 am | Permalink

          You should ask an American. I have trouble understanding their elector system, why it was introduced in the first place and why it is still kept. Some commenter here informed me that an analogous situation got Bush Jr. in the White House.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted November 10, 2016 at 4:17 am | Permalink

        Errr, no. That’s representative democracy. Democracy per se is government by “the people” as for example at a mass meeting on the Pnyx.
        We’re approaching the capability of returning to “direct” democracy, though for several non-technical reasons I’ve never heard of a system actually in action. Since it would be death to politicians, I expect the introduction shortly after the turkeys vote for doubling up of Christmas *and* Thanksgiving.

    • FiveGreenLeafs
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      I think you are on to (what I think) is a very important point, namely, that what happens now, is to a great degree (in the big stroke of history’s paintbrush) self inflicted.

      I would argue, that we are currently living through, what in retrospect will be seen as a significant historical shift, politically and socially in US and the old West Europa.

      While it is often trivial (in my experience) to spot these, “after the fact”, the tricky bit, is to catch them “on the fly”, so to speak.

      The dangerous part I believe, (if I am right), is that so many people, especially on the left, is so blind or in denial to (what I think) is its main underlying web of causes.

      To be fair, there have been some on the left who has warned about this for a long time, Alan Sokal (of Sokal Hoax fame) among them…

      Personally, I am neither left nor right, since I think both sides have core political values that are in direct conflict with scientific evidence, and vice versa – but often different ones.

  8. Darrin Carter
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink


  9. Frank Bath
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I think it is true that people don’t like to voice their true opinion if it runs counter to the perceived ‘correct’ opinion. They may even deliberately lie to upset the apple cart.
    E.g. I voted #Brexit, knowing the probable economic consequences, but I was loathe to tell people for fear of being abused as a racist, nationalist, etc.

    • Justin Seabury
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      If you vote for a racist and a misogynist, then you should be called on it. And you should be considered one as well. You are who and what you vote for.

  10. Zado
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    The one silver lining I can spot is, perhaps paradoxically, in foreign policy. Donald Trump will soon command the most powerful military in the world but, based on his rhetoric, that’s the one source of power he will be reluctant to use.

    One of the few consensuses we share as a country is that the Iraq war was a debacle and that the only nation we should be trying to build up is our own. The current for military interventionism is at a very low tide right now, and I’m reasonably confident Trump will keep it there.

    So, whatever else may happen, he won’t drag us into WW3 (probably).

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Trump *is* WWIII when it comes to domestic and foreign policy epistemology. I’m not above an ad hominem—especially when all attempts at legitimate criticism have failed.
      Sadly, all attempts at electing a legitimate candidate have certainly failed.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      The current for military interventionism is at a very low tide right now, and I’m reasonably confident Trump will keep it there.

      So, whatever else may happen, he won’t drag us into WW3 (probably).

      The GOP playbook has been to get into wars. How will The Orange One resist beating his chest using the US military? What happens when his schemes go awry? When the President of Mexico insults him?

      You are YUGELY more confident in Drumpf’s ability to restrain himself than I am (and than anyone should be).

      • Zado
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        That’s the paradox, people. I’ve heard Trump (“Drumpf”? Really? That was surely one of John Oliver’s lamest bits) best described as a “proto-fascist authoritarian cult leader.” The primary difference between him and the leaders of previous fascistic movements, however, is that neither he nor his followers have expansionist dreams. They’re isolationists. They want to keep the troops home.

        So what’s restraining him from starting foreign wars? The same populist movement that ushered him into office.

        Domestic violence is a different matter.

        • Posted November 9, 2016 at 11:16 am | Permalink

          Yes, really Drumpf! Or The Orange One (speak not its name).

        • Posted November 9, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          It was not a lame bit. You perhaps think Oliver was just inventing a silly name with which to tease Donald? He was highlighting Trump’s hypocrisy regarding Jon Stewart’s change of name.

      • Zado
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        (One which I’m not nearly as optimistic about.)

        • Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          The man’s very existence is an existential threat of violence. The mentally challenged bull just broke into a China (cue voice) shop and I don’t think I’ve ever been more revolted by another human being. Are we supposed to take this cartoonish gas bag seriously??

          We do ourselves a disservice by normalizing the terrifyingly abnormal. What a goddamn nightmare.

          • Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

            In foreign policy, Trump is an isolationist, like Bush was in 2000.
            The further problem with Trump is that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to the Middle East.
            Remember the second Presidential debate when he said that Syria and Russia were fighting IS (and he thought that was a good thing)? He evidently has no idea (or is lying) about who Assad and Putin are killing. If you read what he said then, it doesn’t make sense. I’d love to be a fly-on-the-wall when he gets his first ME briefing.
            I’ve heard that in the Cold War Kissinger told Nixon that the strategy was to make the Soviets think that RMN was mad, and therefore to keep them off balance about US use of a first strike.
            The problem with Trump is that I do think he is unhinged: you only hope that there is a distance between the arbitrariness of his thought processes and the wisdom of his decisions.

            • Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

              Yes, and everyone in the briefing room (including the interns) will know more than he will. But, thanks to us, once he gets settled in and begins to feel his unhinged orange confidence glow, the arbitrariness of his impetuous thought processes will only be matched by the unbridled recklessness of his inexperienced decisions. It will be both risible and miserable.

    • eric
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Neither of them was going to involve the US in a literal WWIII. However, Putin is celebrating, and Europe may have to contend with Russian actions similar to Crimea but on a larger scale. I fear Russia will be ‘sending aide into troubled FSU countries at their invitation’ in February 2017, knowing the US will do nothing about it.

  11. Ullrich Fischer
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Just as with Brexit, the lies of the regressive left have given undeserved credibility to the populist right. The voting populations seem to be mostly split into two bubbles of lies … lies which are self-evidently lies to those in the other bubble… and to the far too few voters not in one of those two bubbles.

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      The other lesson I hope people learn: it’s not in the least bit helpful to demonise the “other” party supporters to the point where some people insert the word Libtards or Rethuglicans into normal conversation.

      Srsly? I am being told this on a blog which has taken to regular use of the term “regressive left”?

      • Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        “Regressive left” is not a label for all of the left. There are plenty of leftists who are not.

        In contrast, the terms: “Libtards” and “Rethuglicans” are intended to apply to all such voters

        • Posted November 9, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          Yes, and the labels “regressive” or “authoritarian” refer to clearly spelled out criticisms.

  12. Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    All I know is that we have a fight ahead of us. While I’ll concede that not all who voted for Trump are irredeemable, he did stir the cockroaches out of hiding and they will be emboldened by this victory.

    I half expect that Trump will not turn out to be the champion of rotteness that he played to rile up the voters, and my optimistic side thinks that there will be plenty of schadenfreude coming my way, but if the worst comes to pass then we must protest every incursion against decency and liberty. We can’t just hightail it to Canada, especially those of us with the privilege not to be directly impacted by immigration policies and ethnic profiling. When tribalism and racism become policy, we must speak out against it and not let this be an easy victory or walk back into the complacency that allowed this victory to happen.

  13. Nicolas Perrault
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Trump’s honeymoon with the disgruntled will be over at some point. He is too vacuous to deliver anything of value to his constituency. I suspect that he is already on course to becoming one of the most detested individual in American history. How this egotistical, nasty, unstable and vengeful man would react should this materialize is plenty frightening.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 4:25 am | Permalink

      Oh he’ll deliver things to his constituency (and anyone within +/- 2 R⊕) alright. Not what thy hoped for, but they’re on the way.

  14. Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    As ever, Kenan Malik’s observations are on the money particularly in relation to the collapse of the existing consensus coupled with the rise of reactionary political movements. One other contributory factor has been the failure of left/liberal movements to present an attractive or coherent alternative. In the UK we see this with the retreat of the Labour party into a hard left faction and the near total collapse of the centrist Liberal Democrats.
    Depressing times….

    • somer
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      The Clinton’s had always been too free trade and evangelical in their tone about spreading democracy abroad. But there is a bit of tendency in the West to expect perfection in politics which is just not real life, and there are too many left movements that are not in touch with current limitations.

      The point is to have the best intentions for people overall but to be ready to guard against thugs abroad which often involves messy and sometimes unpleasant negotiations, alliances or breakups. Domestically it means guarding against unreasonable or unduly powerful special interests and personal/family corruption posing as ideological (or religious) purity. Ideologies have to adapt according to the times but the goal should be the most fairness and good conditions that can be acquired overall in the circumstances of the times

  15. Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I think our only hope is that Drumpf will be a replay of Jesse Ventura here in Minnesota.

    An ego so huge it couldn’t cooperate with anyone and flamed out in a pool of whining.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Nothing is more seductive when applying for a critical job than being an unqualified outsider. If only more oncologists took this approach.

      • Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        And general surgeons, pilots, generals, bridge engineers, rocket scientists …

    • Historian
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

      You may be correct about Trump. Even if this should be the case, the damage he could do in the next four years may be beyond repair. We do not know for sure what he is going to do, but if he attempts to honor his campaign promises, the future is bleak. We do know with a great deal of certainty what the right wing Congress will try to do. All in all, for those who label themselves progressives, the next four and possibly eight years will be hell.

  16. sponge bob
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    “It’s the economy stupid”

    People’s finances are what matter most. If a candidate can’t project how he/she will help everyone financially in a meaningful way, they cannot win.

    Details on what is projected don’t matter. Just that _something_ comes across as helping financially.

    All other matters are secondary, imho, when it comes to getting elected.

      • sponge bob
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Pure fear-mongering without data to back it up.

        The markets are Green for the day,so far, after coming back from futures being limit down during the election.

        We shall see what the future holds, but it’s pretty unfair (and unscientific) to jump to conclusions about the world wide economy this early in the game.

        • Posted November 9, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          I didn’t, the Nobel Laureate economists did.

          • sponge bob
            Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

            Yeah, Krugman. He walked back his comment a bit. Word is that we’ll probably see a bunch of infrastructure spending. Pelosi is onboard with this.

            I’m all wait and see on this one. Did not prefer either candidate myself.

    • Harrison
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Trump made jobs a big part of his campaign and it resonated with voters who were worried about their job prospects.

      His actual policies are very unlikely to make those promised jobs a reality, but the Dems still failed to offer any alternative.

      • Posted November 9, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Because emails! Thousands of them, you see. This conveniently took up about 80% of Clinton’s media exposure.

        • Harrison
          Posted November 9, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

          Glenn Greenwald of all people has it figured out:


          The American left failed to win the working class vote when they easily could have. The working class fled to Trump because his promises of economic protectionism, as unlikely as they are to actually work, was the only olive branch being extended them. The modern Democratic party has taken the working class for granted and vilified them.

          Dems used to be the party of the working class. They could be again if they get their house in order.

          • Posted November 9, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

            But many of those factory or assembly jobs have permanently ended and there is not going to be a strong enough safety net to help with any vocational transition thanks to the austerity hysteria of Paul Ryan’s manifesto. They use the debt ceiling as a form of political weaponization to cut social programs.

            I suppose the rural working class will have to settle for the fantasy that Trump will transform a country of 318.9 million people into a lily white Thomas Kinkade painting.

          • Tim Harris
            Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

            Greenwald’s analysis is excellent.

            • Filippo
              Posted November 10, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

              Just wondering – is a journalist like Greenwald a member of the “working class”? If not, is he a member of the “non-working class”?

              • Tim Harris
                Posted November 10, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

                I suggest that you try to answer your question yourself, and perhaps spell out to yourself the implications of your question, and the implications of the possible answers.

              • Filippo
                Posted November 10, 2016 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

                Thanks. I have. He is not a member of the “working class.”

              • Tim Harris
                Posted November 11, 2016 at 5:26 am | Permalink

                No, he isn’t. And what follows from that?

    • Historian
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      To say it’s the economy is far too simplistic. John Cassidy at the New Yorker has nicely summed up the Trump appeal:

      “The Trump movement, like the Tea Party movement it supplanted, is a reaction to the socially liberal, polyglot America that is rapidly emerging in the twenty-first century. Representing an older, whiter, and more embattled tradition, it is constantly evoking what it sees as a lost Valhalla—a place of plentiful jobs, rising living standards, conservative social values, fewer immigrants, and minorities who knew their place. To a large extent, this lost America is a myth. Since its inception, practically, the United States has been roiled by technological change, large-scale migration, economic conflicts, and ethnic and religious tensions. But it is a powerful myth, which Trump—Mr. Make America Great Again—plays to shamelessly and effectively.”

      The pscyhological-cultural element of people yearning to return to a mythical past should not be overestimated. This is why the Trump movement is totally reactionary. I wonder where the white working class will go when Trump disappoints them, which I think is inevitable.


  17. Adam M.
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    People despise establishment politicians right now, and they’d rather stay home or roll the dice on Trump than vote for another establishment politician. If the Democrats wanted to win, they should have nominated Sanders rather than pulling the dirty tricks they did. 😛

    • DiscoveredJoys
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      I’ve read that once Donald Trump received the Republican nomination, Hillary Clinton was exactly the wrong candidate to stand against him. She was far too open to criticism of her alleged wrongdoings – true or not – and that presented Trump with an easy target and enabled him to dictate the campaign on his terms and not to her strengths.

      • Simon
        Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        The problem with that analysis is that Clinton’s strengths had relevance only to the political chattering classes and ideological left, not to the working masses. Targets don’t come easier than Trump, anyway, and the media certainly did go after him. Face it, the Clinton campaign was over entitled and incompetent.

      • Filippo
        Posted November 10, 2016 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Apparently Trump could not be too open to criticism.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      + 1

  18. busterggi
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    At last the US will take its’ proper place as the 1st of all nations*.

    (on the list of thired world dictatorships)

  19. Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with this post. I understand the point and it’s a noble one, but I think it dramatically overestimates the intelligence and even the humanity of the average voter. One candidate back-pedaled after accurately describing a plurality of her opponents supporters as deplorable, the other candidate shout, “they can go f*@k themselves into the mic at a rally and we see who won the election.
    What do we gain by pretending that people voting against their own best interests are Rhodes scholars? What do we gain by coddling the delicate feelings of people who speak about 2nd amendment solutions?
    Maybe us liberals should spend less time trying to end the fighting, and in doing so cultivate a cheap sense of moral superiority, and more time actually trying to win the fight. The Amercian electorate is not a sober, rational gathering of reasonable adults, it’s the crowd at Wrestlemania. Politics in the US will continue to be defined be the most hateful, most ignorant and least educated among us until we realize this fact.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink


    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      “…and more time actually trying to win the fight.”

      How? If you think that most voters are cretins, how do you get them to align with liberal and progressive principles?

      • Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        The Orange Emperor with his gold-plated rooms will demonstrate how great these principles will be for his cherished voting bloc.

      • Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        By actually standing up for them. When liberals grouse about not offending the delicate sensibilities of their opponents while those same opponents speak gleefully about 2nd Amendment solutions, we lose ground. Every. Damn. Time.
        Give people a clearer choice. You can stand for real populism and progress, or you can stand for retrograde absurdities. We’ve tried coddling their feelings, we’ve tried pretending that their making informed decisions and what’s the result? Eight years later we’ve elected a Republican that makes liberals pine for the days of Bush/Cheney.

      • Simon
        Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        One of the most off-putting attitudes of progressives is that reason leads to their political beliefs. Progressivism is as much dictated by personality and emotion as conservatism. The left tends to have accentuated compassion and low conscientiousness while the right is the opposite. Neither trait is inherently superior.

        • Carl
          Posted November 10, 2016 at 11:14 am | Permalink

          Another who takes to heart Jonathan Haidt’s perceptive theory.

        • Posted November 10, 2016 at 12:35 pm | Permalink


          1) Recognition that AGW is a real problem that needs to be dealt with is not based on reason?

          2) Support for gay marriage is not based on reason?

          3) Support for more health care coverage to more people is not based on reason?

          4) Support for pro-choice is not based on reason?

          5) Opposition to policies such as rounding up all illegal immigrants and tossing them out of the country is not based on reason?

          6) Opposition to retrograde protectionist trade practices, such as punitive tariffs, is not based on reason?

          And on and on and on. Some of the positions that conservatives hold, such as their position on climate change, are so contrary to the evidence that they are the very definition of unreasonable. As long as there are facts of the matter that can be gathered on these issues, there is always the potential that one side will have a better grasp of them and reason to better conclusions than other sides. I can’t say that I understand your post at all.

          • Carl
            Posted November 10, 2016 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

            If you hadn’t missed Simon’s point, you might see your post is more evidence for that point.

            • Posted November 10, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

              Please explain the point I missed then.

            • Posted November 10, 2016 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

              Also while you’re at it, can you address how being a climate change denialist is not a less reasonable position than someone who recognizes that AGW is true and that energy policy needs to address it?

            • Carl
              Posted November 10, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

              The point is that nearly everybody has reasons to support their views, but those views are not arrived at by cool Spockian examination of all the facts. There is an inescapable emotional component at work.

              People with damage to portions of the brain known to control emotion, can be perfectly rational. But, as Haidt explains,

              Their [people with such damage] emotionality dropped nearly to zero. They could look at the most joyous or gruesome photographs and feel nothing. They retained full knowledge of what was right and wrong, and they showed no deficits in IQ. They even scored well on Kohlberg’s tests of moral reasoning. Yet when it came to making decisions in their personal lives and at work, they made foolish decisions or no decisions at all. They alienated their families and their employers, and their lives fell apart.

              The best among have an exceptionally strong emotional drive to intellectual honesty. They can use that to overcome less powerful emotions, and let reason help guide them. The rest of us achieve that only on occasion.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      I think that this attitude from the elite is exactly what got Trump elected.

      • Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        When are conservatives making terrible decisions ever going to be held accountable?
        It wasn’t liberals whom actually voted for Trump and yet . . . blame the “elite.”
        I’d rather be elite and condescending than ignorant, narcissistic and racist. When do we get around to criticizing THAT?

        • Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

          Here is the situation as I see it: Many ordinary Americans see massive immigration (particularly illegal immigration) as a threat to their living standard, and the Muslim immigration (no matter how legal) as a security threat. What is the answer of the elite? “Your fears are unfounded, because every single community on Earth is composed mostly of wonderful people, except you redneck Americans who are nasty racists and xenophobes and need to be reformed or replaced!”

          • Posted November 9, 2016 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

            Yes. That’s what I said. Word for word. Let me ask you this and then you’ll be free to put words in my mouth again, why is the word elite a pejorative to you? See when I see people using that word in that manner it strikes me as exactly the same kind of anti-intellectualism that I was talking about, but I guess that went over your head.

            • Posted November 9, 2016 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

              Because of the feeling that some people are better than others and should have more rights.
              (For the record, I’ve also been there, numerous times.)

              • Posted November 9, 2016 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

                Not once did I say people should have less rights. I said the American electorate is a childish, superficial, willfully misinformed lot and I stand behind my statements. Next time you want to get on your high horse and call someone out, mtry to have some semblance of a clue. All I did was express an opinion, all you’ve done is give me me a bunch of barely intelligible crap for it. Fuck-off and enjoy President pussy grabber.

            • Posted November 9, 2016 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

              Here is what you actually said:

              “I understand the point and it’s a noble one, but I think it dramatically overestimates the intelligence and even the humanity of the average voter. One candidate back-pedaled after accurately describing a plurality of her opponents supporters as deplorable…
              What do we gain by pretending that people voting against their own best interests are Rhodes scholars?… The American electorate is not a sober, rational gathering of reasonable adults, it’s the crowd at Wrestlemania. Politics in the US will continue to be defined be the most hateful, most ignorant and least educated among us until we realize this fact.”

              If someone had written the same about any other group of people, I guess you would be among the first to scream bloody murder.
              You are distancing yourself from your less educated fellow countrymen whom you call hateful (though your own words do not poor love), and your words sound a teensy-weensy step away from a suggestion to deprive the plebs of voting rights.
              However, I acknowledge that at least you do not use racist/sexist rhetoric; but I have seen commenters on this blog dismissing Trump supporters as “good ole white boys”.

              • Posted November 9, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

                “Pour”, of course. It is my spelling that is poor.

              • Zado
                Posted November 9, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink


                I personally find the disdain leveled at non-college level workers remarkable in this climate. “If you aren’t making enough, get a degree!” is the default response to blue-collar expressions of economic anxiety nowadays. As if it makes sense that every person who wants a livable wage be required to have a four-year secondary education.

                The reality is that unskilled American workers have been put into direct competition with foreign labor over the past few decades by ineluctable economic forces. There is no real solution to this problem. And the scapegoating mentality of Trump supporters is deplorable. But when they’re offered “more of the same”–which is, in fact, an accurate assessment of Clinton’s policies–vs. a demagogue who promises change*… Well, it’s hard to blame them for voting in the demagogue.

                *Not that he actually can either, which is what makes this election so ridiculous.

              • somer
                Posted November 9, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

                +1 and great comments from Zado too.

              • Posted November 9, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

                So you out words in my mouth last tome, now you can predict my actions. And somehow I’M the arrogant one. If another group of people had elected a foul-mouhted sexual predator you bet your ass I’d put them out on front street. I’m not making iunwarrented snap judgements about conservatives, I’m impugining their decisions, or is an elitist such as myself not allowed that priviledge?

              • somer
                Posted November 10, 2016 at 1:06 am | Permalink

                Bobsguitarshop points out the Republicans always fight dirty and deserve to be called out. He isn’t talking about patronising political exclusiveness/rampant identity politics, but “it dramatically overestimates the intelligence and even the humanity of the average voter.” just seems to scrub over the motives of all trump voters. Vile as Trump is I get the feeling that his most crass moves (massive deportation drives, walls, wholesale social service cuts, slashing at women’s reproductive rights etc) are secondary or not the issue for most of his voters. They just want tarriffs and protectionism, an end to or curbing of free trade deals/investment in manufacturing jobs/construction projects. Maybe they think he can fix housing and loan rates too though he never said. Never mind if its realistic or not.

          • somer
            Posted November 9, 2016 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think its an immigration issue (though the Mexican Hispanic movement across the border is definitely an aspect of it), so much as an economic issue and also a security/security cost issue. I do see the point bobsguitarshop is making and racism and sexism is involved in many (perhaps most) cases but the primary concern is the economic and security burden

      • somer
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        I think The Trump vote was largely real economic issues for the white working class, mostly males (that it will be very hard to solve – and Trump, being an exploitative property developer albeit a fairly good deal maker and businessman – is not the one to solve it). Also defence – the less well off disproportionately make up the military and there has been not much reduction of US military involvement since end of Cold War. “The War against Terror” and all the issues around it added to the concerns about military costs – including attitudes to Muslims.

        Secondly (and normally a different demographic) it was the well off and/or religious and often older people wanting tax cuts, small government and/or religious concessions

        Amongst many whites, it was discomfort with changing (especially more Hispanic) demographic – in areas where there are more Hispanic people

        There were also identity and status fears re changed role of men in post industrial economy, loss of status to the highly educated and being left behind, ignored (and patronised), general insecurity about the stresses of the new order of accelerated change. And human condition of romanticising (or forgetting) the past where the 30s are forgotten and the peculiar circumstances of the 50s and 60s boom are all thats remembered.

        Finally, people are sick of being told they are wicked just because they are born in a particular group, and with identity politics pursued to the extent that it shuts out the majority or is completely unreasonable

        In the end a lot of women who were expected to vote Clinton voted Trump – esp from the first (white working class) group

        More Hispanics voted Trump than expected (The Mexicans, who hate Trump are concentrated in the W and SW; many are religiously conservative and the non Mexicans are not so anti Trump)
        Even a few more African Americans voted Republican than last election.
        And then quite a lot of people decided not to vote at all …

        • somer
          Posted November 9, 2016 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          and of course regarding “Amongst many whites, it was discomfort with changing (especially more Hispanic) demographic – in areas where there are more Hispanic people” A lot of this is basically racist, as are some of the identity/status fears

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 4:33 am | Permalink

      Somewhat related to your point, and because I’ve got 5 minutes before the second bus,

      demonising everyone who votes differently doesn’t win you elections; nor does it change hearts and minds.

      Seriously, when has a politician ever been much concerned with winning hearts and minds over trying to get “their” demographic out to vote.
      “hearts and minds” is for politicians who do not think that they are winning on the “bribe the electorate” front.
      The other way of putting it might be “wallets trump hearts and minds every time”.
      I don’t think I’ve seen much use of the “Trump trumps” potential yet. I’m sure it’s coming.

  20. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    I wonder what strategies pollsters will have to devise to deal with a population who are reasonably politically and statistically savvy, and who consciously wish to mislead the pollsters.
    Probably, 3rd party data gatherers (Über-poll, anyone?), who are double or triple blinded as to who is running the poll, and who they’re biased towards. Which would imply a 3~6 fold increase in error margins, or a 9-36 fold increase in sample size (and therefore poll cost).
    No, I can’t see that happening So … smaller multiply blinded and repeated trials to try to estimate P (lie-to-pollsters) and live with the resultant 6-10% error margins.
    Anyone with better experimental design ideas? (It’s decades since I had to do this for “real” in drug trial design classes.)

    • eric
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Find a good (i.e. accurate) proxy question and ask that instead. As an illustrative example, if you determine that someone’s opinion on the economy is a good predictor of who they will vote for, ask them about the economy.

      • somer
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        I think people could sense where such a question was coming from – if a candidate is not conventional (be it left right or whatever) they will think it is not anyone’s business that they are voting for them but they don’t want to be hassled for it

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted November 10, 2016 at 3:42 am | Permalink

        Ah, a internal calibration spike.
        Frankie says “Ohh, errrr, misus!”

    • Simon
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      What percentage of those polled refused to participate? High refusal = unreliable polling.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted November 11, 2016 at 1:13 am | Permalink

        If you try to apply that criterion, then you’ll find all polls are unreliable. And it’ll be a very long, slow and expensive process.
        No, I like the idea of mixing the question of interest with innocuous questions and “spike” questions. Of course, designing the “spike” is going to be tricky. And questions that result in contradictory answers might indicate a truly deranged interviewee … but do you only count the sane?
        Are the insane allowed to vote in America ? In which case, they’re a legitimate part of polling.

  21. Justin Seabury
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    If I could afford to move out to that area of Saturn’s orbit with that lovely far away view of Earth, I would be less frustrated with this elections results.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      At least that would be out of range of WW3 – we hope.

  22. Carl
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Well, the stock market seems to have gotten over Trump’s election, and is now sharply rising. My consolation for having President Trump – completely selling off all my investments a week ago, just in case – has now evaporated.

    Even so, I’m very happy we don’t have a Clinton Presidency (though not as happy as I’d be with an opposite result).

    I’m not that pessimistic about our future. We have a system with checks and balances to protect us. We have a Constitution that guarantees deep and wide liberty. The current administration has stepped on or tried to step on these bulwarks, while many here have reacted with glee. But if we can at last learn to understand and follow the Constitution we will be fine.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Glad to see it’s been normalized already. I take further comfort in seeing how these scrupulously unbiased check and balances (i.e., Comey) have been working so well.

      • Reginald Selkirk
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        I expect the markets could fluctuate a lot for the next week or so

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Stock market way up. I guess investors think that when push comes to shove, Trump will act like a billionaire capitalist.

  23. Craw
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Thank you for a mature and thoughtful post.

  24. tubby
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    It may pass, but due to the nature of the Supreme Court and how much can be done when one party controls the Congress and Presidency it’ll be generations before it does. We’ll be living in Phyllis Schlafly’s wet dream for a long time.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      You will no longer be able to rely on the Federal Constitution to protect your rights. I hope you live in a fairly enlightened State, or you should think seriously about moving to one. Its only a matter of time, in my opinion, before Roe v. Wade will either be overruled or whittled down to nothing and the states will begin banning abortions. The same thing will happen to other civil rights.

      • tubby
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        The ugly part is it may not matter how enlightened of a state I live in. The ban will be applied at the federal level if they don’t think they can rely on states to do it.

  25. Posted November 9, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Soon the apologists and the “he’s not so bad” brigade will begin their assault of specious palaver to assuage the nation’s existential woes. I give Trump credit for unfurling the ultimate sales and marketing con job.

  26. rickflick
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Thanks for that Earth selfie. I highlights how the environmental issues were buried during the election. At some point, maybe decades from now, it will be recognized, finally, as the most important issue.

  27. Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Another view from abroad – or rather next door. I can only hope that the *real grievances* of many Americans start getting airtime, but …

  28. George
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    This is the deep meaning from the election. Democrats are lousy voters. Even worse than presidential years, they do not turn out in the Congressional mid-terms. The Republicans are a white nationalist party that will get 60MM votes for president. In 2008, Obama 69,500 McCain 59,950 (all numbers in ,000). In 2012, Obama 65,916 Romney 60,939. Right now, Hillary leads in the popular vote 59,182 to 59,045. It is likely that Trump will have fewer votes than Romney or McCain. This is not about voter anger or discontent. This is about the white nationalists voting – this time for someone who expressly voices their opinions vs Democrats who cannot be bothered to get to the polls.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Dem.s did not turn out.

    • ToddP
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      I’m left wondering if one of the hard lessons from this is that perhaps there was an over-confidence based on what seemed like a “sure thing” in all these polls. Maybe it’s better to not put so much stock in them because there’s a real chance people see anywhere from 70-99% chance of Clinton winning and think it’s already decided, so they don’t bother showing up.

      • Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        I often had the feeling that this claimed over-confidence sounded like an attempt to talk the desired outcome into happening.

        • ToddP
          Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          You could be right. Ironic, since we are always quick to decry the “wishful thinking” of religious faith.

        • Posted November 9, 2016 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          The velocity of vengeance “Trumps” all efforts towards statistical modeling. The silent majority has become decidedly vociferous.

    • somer
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Voting should be compulsory and there should be a national electoral commission – preferably written into the constitution

    • Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      I predicted months ago: The only way we get a Pres. Trump is if the Dem.s don;t show up and vote.

      That’s exactly what happened — for all the reasons discussed in this thread.

  29. Cody
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Well said. Greenwald has maybe the only piece worth reading on the election outcome.


  30. Hempenstein
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Prior to last night I had been saying that it would be nice if there was a contiguous path of blue states from coast to coast.
    There was a map of the country this morning in my FB feed, too deep now to retrieve, claiming that save for the upper midwest, the country is entirely blue if you just count under (35’s, I think it was). Some consolation.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Except that most of us, whether in Britain or over there, can’t be bothered to vote. I didn’t vote until I was…27…in the 2010 election. Before that I’d have barely looked up from my albums, video games and drugs to notice there was an election happening. And the only kinds of politicians who ever seem to appeal to my age group are fuckwits like Jeremy Corbyn and Jill Stein(Bernie Sanders being an honourable exception).

  31. colnago80
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Germany in 1933, USA in 2016. Nuff said.

    • allison
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Today seems at least ten times scarier than September 11, 2001.

  32. Posted November 9, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    The polls were wrong because they invariably included only “likely voters”—that is, people who have a history of voting. What this overlooks are the millions of angry, white, working-class males who, for the last several elections, haven’t voted because they didn’t believe a vote for either candidate could change “politics as usual.” This was precisely the demographic that Trump tapped into and that totally slipped under the polling radar.

  33. Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Trump wants to put up a wall on the Mexican border. There is a larger, more impregnable wall that exist inside the United States. It separates and protects the 1% from the 99%. It is a financial, legal and often physical wall. From reading all these comments I’m thinking that academics are inside the wall, on the fringes perhaps but inside.

    If you want to know what happens to people outside the wall. and why they voted for Trump read this article by Juan Cole (an academic):


    The life spans in the United States are falling. The death rates of white middle aged men have been raising for some time. Might we have a better response than calling them cockroaches!

    And two personal experiences. I suppose you will consider them minor but I think indicative. I live in Maryland and years ago my wife and I would now and then visit the NIST library in Gaithersburg. You could just drive in. They had a large parking lot with lots of available spaces. We could just walk in, look at a few exhibits, go to the library where I would browse the stacks and obtain copies of a few papers. But since 9/11 the whole facility is fenced off with a guard house. It is closed to ordinary American citizens. No more visiting the library. No more copies of papers. Only employees or visitors with scheduled appointments can enter. A wall that separates elites from the rest of Americans.

    I am a long time user of Mathematica and have written a number of applications for it and even sold a few hundred to scientists. So I participate in the Wolfram Community blog.

    Occasionally they will have postings for hires at Wolfram Research or from people who have specific Mathematica projects. But about a month ago they had a slew of advertising posting by outside recruiting companies for programmers to work for intelligence, defense, government and foreign entities. There was no direct relation to Mathematica other than including it in a long list of languages applicants might have experience in.


    Although it wasn’t explicit, one could surmise that much of this might be related to the collection and retrieval of data from the mass surveillance of American citizens.

    I posted a simple reply. It was the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    My reply was removed within 10 minutes. The reason was “We work very hard to foster positive environment on Wolfram Community and cannot allow any discussions outside the Wolfram Community guidelines. This means discussions that stray way beyond Wolfram Technologies topics.”

    So recruiting for unconstitutional activities is “positive” but the 4th Amendment is “negative”. Some things are inside the wall and some things are outside the wall.

    By the way, have any of you people done anything or risked anything to take a stand against unwarranted mass surveillance in our country?

    Note: I did not vote for Clinton or Trump. I found both of them objectionable.

    • Tim Harris
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      I’m glad someone has mentioned Juan Cole’s good article, which makes a similar point to one of Kenan Malik’s, as well of course to Michael Moore’s points. Since prescience has been shown not to be prescient, I recommend once again the historian and political thinker Tony Judt’s perceptive essays in ‘When the Faces Change’ and ‘Ill Fares the Land’ – the last title alludes to Oliver Goldsmith’s famous poem of 1770, ‘The Deserted Village’:

      ‘Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,/ Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.’

      What lies behind the Brexit & Drumpf has been the erosion, as a result of the dogmatism of neoliberal economic policy, of the social democracies that were created in the thirties, forties and fifties to counter the social instability that had given rise to fascism as well as to Bolshevism. Thomas Piketty has written a good book about the mere accumulation of wealth and what it does to the social fabric. Michael Moore is spot-on when he points out that it is not good enough simply to throw accusations about racist rednecks about. Race, as an issue, is, alas, fundamental to American politics, but racism is also exacerbated hugely by the destructive economic policies.

      Perhaps also we might hear a little less about that ready scapegoat, the regressive left, and the lumping together of everything on the left into some amorphous mass that is spinning into the black hole of the Puffington Host; and see some attention paid to serious writers like Judt and Piketty and Bourdieu who seek to understand things and who advance our understanding of what has been, and is, happening.

      • somer
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

        True but a certain section of the left would disproportionately focus expenditure and attention on the few – even if it is at huge cost to the many. They don’t care about the economic or security cost so long as its true to a principle. Whilst minorities need attention and we have certain duties to people living in other countries we have to be realistic that sometimes that has a real cost to people living in our country and be honest about what we are willing to pay, and at what point it becomes unrealistic

        • Tim Harris
          Posted November 9, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I am sure that there are ‘certain sections’ of the populace who want all sorts of ridiculous things on the basis of ‘principle’ (including Wall Street bankers, for instance, who like the supposed principle of the ‘free market’), but I wasn’t talking about them. ‘We have to be realisic’ – where have I heard that refrain before? From the mouths of Thatcherites and the people, mainly Republican but vastly helped by Democrats and New Labourites who bought in to the fre market myth as a way of political gaining power.

          • somer
            Posted November 10, 2016 at 4:03 am | Permalink

            Im not talking about free market – I’m talking about different interests- you can’t cater to unlimited interests including overseas interests – there have to be trade offs and you have to decide whats most important.

            • Tim Harris
              Posted November 10, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

              Thank you, somer, for stating the banal and obvious. It is so banal and obvious that I had never realised it! I am immensely grateful for your really enlightening comment. I shall only add that it is the curious how the interests of the supposedly free market appear to coincide with the interests of particular strata of our splendidly democratic societies.

              • Tim Harris
                Posted November 10, 2016 at 6:45 am | Permalink

                That should read ‘the mysterious workings of the supposedly free market’.

  34. cherrybombsim
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I understand that it is the day for Democrats to wail and moan, but don’t forget that the Republican party also failed to contain this monster. The elites of both parties have lost touch with large parts of their coalitions that aren’t as ideologically pure. A lot of people are feeling ignored, and they just bucked.

    • Simon
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      I must admit to a certain amount of amusement at the left’s version of the “coming to take our guns” dance. There never is that much perspective or self-awareness from either bubble.

      I’m not a great expert on the US political system, so maybe I’m wrong, but Trump doesn’t have free reign to play emperor and he has enemies in the GOP. The talk about emboldening racists and sexists is getting hysterical. It comes from the same collectivist attitude that sees men, particularly white men, as inherently malign and just looking for permission from Patriarchy Central to let loose their inner rapist. I think you’ll find that any pussy grabbing is still likely to lead to a beatdown.

      • Posted November 10, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Doesn’t have free reign, but the other parts of the government are *also* nominally controlled by the same party, which presumably makes things easier.

        Also, don’t forget “making stuff up” works wonders – think of all the “non-wars” that occurred post WWII. I suspect that similar approaches could work domestically, though with likely more awkwardness.

  35. Posted November 9, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    I saw an interview with someone who worked for one or the major pollsters. She said that only 10% of the people they call agree to be polled. Considering this, she thought the polls are surprisingly good. What happened was probably within the polls error bars. If you look at different polls they often are surprisingly different.

    • busterggi
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      And you can bet most of those who don’t agree are conspiracy theory nuts who are afraid that the pollsters are spying on them.

  36. Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    And it gets even better. Giuliani, Christie, and Gingrich will be stealing the holidays this year via appointed cabinet offices brimming with wingnut cheer.

    I can almost hear Lee Greenwood’s nauseating refrain in the background.

    Oh the horror. The Do Lung Bridge is calling us.

  37. Vaal
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Trump with his old school misogyny, would dismiss this post as just “a view from a “Broad.” 😉

  38. Kiwi Dave
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    As one of this website’s more fiscally and constitutionally conservative readers, but not a US citizen or resident and consequently without personal experience of Republicans and Democrats, I don’t know whether to be amused by or in despair at the immediate response to the OP’s advice – don’t demonise your opponents – by several comments attributing bad faith, unreasonableness and nefarious motives to Trump voters along with sky-is-falling predictions about the next four years.

    None of the foregoing is an endorsement of Trump, just a claim that people vote for(or perhaps, strongly against in this election) candidates for a variety of reasons, and straw-manning those you disagree with is not a good start to understanding.

    Perhaps something is happening and you don’t know what it is, Mr Jones.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Keep in mind, there is not enough straw on the planet to sufficiently vilify the odious Trumpkin. Even if there was, he’d burn it down faster than he reversed the polls.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      I must agree with you. Mostly there is more negativity in the responses to this post than the black terminal of the average car battery. I too am neither resident or familiar with the finer points of USian politics but really everyone please stop whining and do something positive. What is done is done and for better or worse you have to live with this and get on with living your lives in what for the outsider seems an amazing country full of lovely people.

    • Carl
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      I can join you on your end of the constitutional and fiscal spectrum. Where Trump is, no one knows for sure. Don’t worry if you know little about Democrat or Republican ideology, you can start on fresh ground as the definitions are being remade.

    • Posted November 10, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Our only real hope is that Trump, in conformity with his normal practice) has been lying 100% of the time during the campaign.

      It could be the case.

      However, the SCOTUS appointments of the next four years could damage our society for several generations.

  39. paul fauvet
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    For the second time in less than two decades, the candidate who came second in the popular vote is going to become the President of the United States. I cannot understand why Americans, particularly Democrats, are not more angry about this.

    The will of the electorate is being thwarted by an archaic, 18th century device, the Electoral College.

    I am not aware of any other country where the person who comes second is declared to have won a Presidential election.

    Just imagine what US politicians would say if an African or Latin American country devised a complicated electioral system that allowed the loser to become the winner.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      If memory serves, and not that good any longer, this electoral system was devised to be the votes for the office and as popular vote kicked in it was retained because going on just the vote of the masses was not thought to be a good thing? That still would not explain why, in modern times they cling to it but is partly where it came from. Please note, many people believe for no good reason that this Constitution, or at least the parts they like, are cut in stone and comes directly from g*d and cannot be messed with.

      Almost anything written down 230 years ago would be far out of date today but then they have the bible as well.

      • Carl
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        Our constitution certainly doesn’t come from god. Most of the people who wrote it would be considered atheists in this day and age.

        They also added provisions to alter the constitution, which has been made use of several times. The procedure to amend the constitution is difficult by design, and that is a very good thing.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted November 9, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          The remark comes from g*d is sarcasm and not meant to be literal. Lighten up Carl. If you believe things written 230 years do not require an update fine. Join that club I was talking about. Facts are, the Electoral system was initiated in Philly with these folks appointed by the states and they did the voting for the president and vice president. The people originally did not do the voting for this office. Soon after things began to change as they always do over time.

          And why this Electoral business in the first place. Well, believe it or not, there was no TV or radio and telephone. People living in one state might see someone on the ballot for president and never heard of him. They also had the big state, small state fear. That is why we have such a ridiculous lack of representation with only 2 senators from each state. By the way, that means two electoral votes for each state. If you think that is fair and balanced you missed out on math class.

          Today, in modern times there is no reason to have this electoral system. The original reasoning is all gone. It is not democratic at all. Same as our Senate is not even close to democratic. Lots of changes should be made to the original documents but like I said – some thing – they came down from heaven.

          • Carl
            Posted November 9, 2016 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

            Randall, I recognized the sarcasm – I took it as an opportunity to inform anyone reading about the proud pedigrees of some of the framers.

            Our differences are about political philosophy, not math. I favor the checks written into the constitution against majorities. I don’t revere these checks because they come from the Constitution, I revere the Constitution because it has these checks, among other reasons.

            I even think the 17th Amendment was a mistake.

            If you don’t think the majority should be feared, try this thought experiment. In modern times, all we need is an internet vote on any issue or law. We don’t need a Supreme Court or a legislature. We can decide everything instantly through our keyboards. This would be a true nightmare.

            • Randall Schenck
              Posted November 9, 2016 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

              You have your checks and balances all wrong. There is no check or balance to the 2 senators per state. Today it is plan and simple unrepresentative govt. The checks and balances were between the branches of govt. Like veto power, like judicial review or overriding of veto. Even from house to senate and who did what. As I said very clearly earlier, the electoral system was created so that these people would vote and choose the president and vice pres. The were presumed to be most knowledgeable people in a state selected by the state legislature. To let people at large vote was considered a bad idea and as I said they very likely would not even know who the people running were. That is not checks and balances, it is 18th century thinking and reality of the time. The electoral system you see today is simply left over and rigged up through the legislature to spread those numbers based on votes within the state. There is no check and balance to 2 senators per state. Why should 500,000 people in Wyoming cancel out 37,000,000 in California? Do you think those founders thought about that? Not likely since there were not even 4 million people in the country of 13 states and none of them were going to vote for president or for senators.

              • Carl
                Posted November 9, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

                “As I said very clearly earlier, the electoral system was created so that these people would vote and choose the president and vice pres. The were presumed to be most knowledgeable people in a state selected by the state legislature. To let people at large vote was considered a bad idea and as I said they very likely would not even know who the people running were.”

                I see this as a strong check on the majority. You don’t? Now that the individual states have decided to restrain their elector to follow the popular vote, it isn’t so much.

                The senate was created with two per state, with full knowledge from the founders that some states were much more populous than others. That’s the part of federalism that gives certain powers to each individual state. It is another check in the system. States happen to maintain a specified amount of autonomy and power. You may not like it, but I happen to. I don’t operate under the assumption that pure majoritarian rule is the ideal we should seek. One of the strengths of our system is allowing states to try different ways of doing things, and the rest can learn from their experience and individuals can choose to relocate to suit themselves.

              • Randall Schenck
                Posted November 9, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

                Regarding the two senators per state decision, that was a compromise with the small states, such as New Jersey with the larger states, Virginia, Pennsylvania because the small ones believed they would be overwhelmed and out voted by the large in Congress. It was a them against us mentality. But that does not mean it was not a bad idea. James Madison thought it a very bad idea but he lost in the vote. The other item you speak of is Sovereignty, and who should have it. The federalists thought it must reside in the federal government. The anti-federalist thought it belonged to the states. This again was a great compromise to get the deal done. So in the end, sovereignty would be shared. Initially Madison thought that was a disaster. He was very disappointed when he lost that argument and vote as well. The fight over sovereignty, therefore has been a prime struggle in the United States ever since. But in the beginning it was a necessary compromise to share it or have no Constitution at all. So what I am attempting to say here, is these things were compromises that were necessary to get a constitution, and not ideas that everyone agree on even in Philadelphia.

              • Carl
                Posted November 9, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

                Sure it was a compromise. I happen to like the result (when amended as I explain below). I take it you didn’t? Madison may not have gotten everything he wanted, but what was gotten he defended vigorously in The Federalist Papers alongside his Federalist opponent, Hamilton, who wasn’t 100% happy either.

                Yes to “get the deal done” compromises were made. The most egregious (though also necessary to keep the whole project from being still born) was corrected with a civil war, and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. That also put an extremely important check in place – prohibiting any state from stepping on the rights of citizens.

    • Carl
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      If you haven’t studied American and particularly our Constitutional history, you may be forgiven, but the electoral college is neither archaic or ill advised.

      It is one of the many checks and balances our founders put in the constitution. After the revolutionary war, the former colonies were governed by the Articles of Confederation. These were deeply flawed, and a constitutional convention was called to address the problem of too much democracy – majorities were riding rough shod over minorities at will. The result was the brilliant document we have. It allows the people to be self governing while protecting their rights from government and majorities.

      • somer
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        but is it to the extent that it fosters an in-built prejudice against effective National government? and, combined with the very short terms of office of the lower house (whose members are constantly in election mode so susceptible to noisy lobbyists) creates in perpetuity a two party system with very weak policy cohesion

        • Carl
          Posted November 9, 2016 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

          I’m not sure I grasped your question?

          • somer
            Posted November 9, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

            I meant that there is rather too much States power in the system and the terms of the lower house of Congress are so short that members are in continual election mode – subject to lobbies whereas the states house or Senate – with its much longer term and disproportionate power – is not nearly so subject to those pressures

            • Carl
              Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

              That certainly captures how things are. I disagree that the states have too much power though. In some ways, states don’t have enough power. For example, some states have legalized marijuana, yet it still remains a federal crime. Just as states can’t step on liberties protected by the federal government (14th amendment), liberties guaranteed by a state should be protected from federal grasping, or so I wish.

    • sponge bob
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Keep in mind that most of the US govt is elected by popular vote (i.e. Congress, the ones that do the real damage).

      The President is elected by the Electoral College. So it’s not like the popular vote doesn’t matter… it matters a lot, just not as much for the President.

    • een
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, we had a similar situation here in NZ under first-past-the-post elections. More people overall voted for the left-of-centre candidate, but the right-of-centre candidate won by carrying a majority of the seats in Parliament.

      There was a lot of unhappiness about that, and it ended up with the electoral system being reformed into a proportional representation model, which delivers a Parliament which has a much fairer reflection of the national vote.

      As far as I know, the only Western democracies that still have a first-past-the-post system are the USA and UK. Interesting.

      Oh yeah, the other thing we have here is an independent Electoral Commission. That body is responsible for setting the electoral boundaries, running the election, establishing the polling booths, checking the returns, doing re-counts etc.

      I have to say that leaving those aspects in the hands of the parties, as it seems to be in the USA, leaves a whole lot of room for dubious practices. I also understand that many people in the USA are very proud of the Constitution, but treat it as though it was devised by God-like beings, and can’t be improved upon.

      Which is bizarre when you look at some of the elements that made sense a couple of centuries ago – like the primaries that progress across the country at the speed a horse travels, and voting on a Tuesday so that it doesn’t interfere with market day or the Sabbath…

      • Carl
        Posted November 9, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        You need a better source of information.

        The U.S. does not have a “first past the post system” and our Constitution says nothing about Primaries or Tuesdays.

        “God-like” is not the description I would use for the good atheists who wrote the Constitution. If you doubt they were extraordinary political philosophers, say so publicly and display your self as a fool. The Constitution as originally written has been improved – greatly improved on occasion, and the means to do so is part of the document itself.

        Our political parties do not officiate over our general elections.

      • Posted November 10, 2016 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Canada is still also “first past the post”. The Liberals campaigned on reform for this and are dragging a little on doing something.

        IMO, ranked ballot (with “none” as a choice), mandatory voting (“none” allowed). If “none” wins, then do something like force a bi-election with new candidates required.

        I would also be in favour of Canada (and elsewhere) having “jury senates”, to compromise with the “political class”. But that would require constitutional amendment in our case.

    • Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Here’s my read on this:

      1. In order to get the Constitution signed by the states, many compromises were made. One of them was giving the “small states” proportionally bigger say in the federal government: 2 Senators for each state,regardless of its population, and minimum one representative (House).

      2. The electors of the Electoral College were apportioned the same way.

      3. Only House members were originally popularly elected: Presidents still are elected by the Electoral College and Senators were elected by State Legislatures. The founders did not trust “the mob”.

      4. Changing from the electoral college would require a constitutional amendment, and these are notoriously hard to pass. They typically require serious needs/events (e.g. ending slavery, women getting the vote). There simply isn;t the political energy to drive such an amendment over it’s required activation energy.

      — Cheers

  40. Vaal
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Aside from the sheer incoherence and emptiness, mixed with danger, of Trump’s agenda, I was looking forward to just not
    having this man in my face anymore.
    He has been unavoidable for the last year just on a visceral level I find him repulsive to look at and to listen to.

    And now…at least 4 years of him as President, his voice and visage being ubiquitous as possible. My gut won’t be able to take it.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      My gut has been ruined since 10pm yesterday evening. I’m still sleep deprived and numb.

    • Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      His voice, his voice
      the horror, the horror

  41. ToddP
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    As of right this minute ALL the markets are currently up over 1%.

    I don’t even know what dimension this currently is. I feel like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode.

  42. Posted November 9, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    I’m fairly amazed that the turnout was only 53%. Surely everyone disliked at least one of the candidates enough to vote?

    • Harrison
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      I think part of the lesson of yesterday is that just not liking the other guy often isn’t enough motivation for people to go to the polls. They need reasons to like their guy.

      Clinton should have learned from having lost against Obama’s campaign. He was very good at winning hearts and minds, especially among working class Americans.

  43. madscientist
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    I think it shows how angry people are at the usual gang of politicians; they hope against reality that Trump will somehow be better. Unfortunately with the entire of Congress and the presidency controlled by the GoP I think we can safely bet on a lot of awful laws being passed. I’m betting that we have freedoms curtailed, the gun lobby comfortably assured of the status quo, and the government weakened for the benefit of the wealthy. Oh, I guess no change since the Dubbyah administration.

  44. ScottG
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Yes this may past. But not for a generation. Not after too many women have died, too many children lost, Too much damage caused.

    your optimism is unfounded. In One Moment In Time the Country showed that we cannot even choose a leader in our own best interest.

    we find ourselves at the mercy of a side, of a party so willing to disregard evidence for their beliefs and we are truly doomed.

    ideology has beaten and destroyed reason and accountability.

    • Posted November 9, 2016 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Yes, and it isn’t going to be easy to “play nice” with a man who has a clinical personality disorder.

      Anyone know a good DBT therapist on Pennsylvania Ave? Some patients are responsive to Abilify, but Trump may need a few sessions with an optogenetic specialist.

  45. Posted November 9, 2016 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Now that the obstructionists are in full control, at least no one will be able to accuse Democrats for the effluvium of GOP-infused turd stew that’s about to coat the nation’s rotting, polarized carcass.

  46. Posted November 9, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Why stop at 8 years for Trump. He has two sons.

  47. Posted November 9, 2016 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Clarity has been proven to be elusive when humanity historically have been in similar situations. Perhaps it is better to admit how murky our interface with reality is than to embrace aggreeable optimism. Then we have a chance to prevent disaster for so many.

    In addition to reading Tobias Stone’s thought experiment, don’t miss his response to his detractors:
    View story at Medium.com

    And boy did that rust belter, Michael Moore, get it right!

  48. Dale Franzwa
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Loved that shot of the “pale blue dot”. Hope it doesn’t turn orange over the next few years.

  49. Richard Thomas
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Recommended reading: Jason Brennan’s “Against Democracy”.

  50. Alpha Neil
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Before the election I thought the Republican party was doomed. Now it is clear that it’s the Democrats who need to rebuild their party. One thing that’s irritating (among many) is the fact that the southern states that basically handed the nomination to hillary didn’t even go for her. It’s time to change the primary system. The democratic establishment is so out of touch that I don’t know if they even realize that this election result is largely their fault.

    • Carl
      Posted November 9, 2016 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      This is dead on concerning the Democrats. But you were also correct before the election result. What was the Republican party is dead and the election was the funeral. Whether the party can dig out like a zombie remains to be seen.

      The Republican primary system needs a good overhaul as well.

      • Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

        “The Republican primary system needs a good overhaul as well.”

        Yes, every GOP person I heard interviewed on NPR yesterday was saying this. They think the Trump victory was a one-off due to his celebrity and her notoriety.

        I agree.

  51. Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    People confused narcissism and stentorian bravado for leadership. Soon we will see where this really leads us…

  52. Larry
    Posted November 9, 2016 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Wow, this write-up makes the situation sound trivial. Why focus on things that amount to a small footnote (“…demonise the “other” party supporters to the point where some people insert the word Libtards or Rethuglians…”), and ignore the much more serious issues of the threat to global warming, secular rights, women’s rights, and public education are not serious? I felt like a just read a post about a minor television episode.

    • Marta
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink


      Because you know what those losing Clinton losers need right now?

      That’s right!

      It’s a lesson on how those losing losers need to compromise with the supporters of the racist, misogynistic, illiterate shithead the winners elected.

      Because TONE, by god:
      “it’s not in the least bit helpful to demonise the “other” party supporters to the point where some people insert the word Libtards or Rethuglians into normal conversation.”

      Seriously? Fuck that. I’m coming for them in the tall grass. The names I call Trump and his supporters are the very, very least of their problems.

      • Simon
        Posted November 10, 2016 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        It isn’t about tone, it is about coming to terms with what has happened and not being so closed-minded as to think that reality is obliged to conform to your own interpretation or opinion and that deviance therefrom is criminal.

        Do you perhaps hail from a collection of blogs ironically styling itself as freethinking? I only ask because the keyboard commando bit at the end is reminiscent of that place.

        • Larry
          Posted November 10, 2016 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          Simon: And so you wrote to tell us that because Marta’s, mine, and others’ views do not conform to your view of how the world should operate, that you feel justified to tell us we are wrong? In other words, if our opinion had conformed to yours, you would be find and dandy with that. Uh huh. I see.

  53. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted November 10, 2016 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    From the ill-wind-that-blows-nobody-any-good side –

    The TPPA is dead!!


    Trump just killed it.

    At least for now.

    This ‘trade agreement’ that I’ve described as a Pandora’s Box of evil was a trojan horse, a charter for multinationals, monopolists, lawyers and patent trolls in the guise of a trade agreement. It had plenty of woe in it for everybody, particularly on the left. In its provisions for multinationals to sue governments for damages it threatened just about every social or environmental measure a government could propose. Minimum wages? Pesticide / chemical regulations? Allowing parallel imports? Stopping polluters? Encouraging competition? Almost by definition, if it’s good for us and the environment, it’s going to cost somebody money, and it they’re a multinational they can threaten to sue. Call it lobbying with a shotgun. It would have required us (and other countries) to amend a host of our own laws, and none of them in the interests of our citizens.

    If Trump does nothing else good in four years, killing the TPPA is a yuuge plus from where I’m standing (and that’s firmly on the New Zealand left).


    • somer
      Posted November 10, 2016 at 1:57 am | Permalink

      True it had lots of crap sides though I hope we wont have too much trouble strengthening trade in E Asia if the US market gets tighter.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted November 10, 2016 at 2:09 am | Permalink

        I’m not against free trade as such (though I do recognise that sometimes protection of local industries is warranted). Just that the TPPA was in many respects anti-free trade and had so much baggage attached.

        It started many years ago as a small agreement between NZ, Chile and Vietnam or something like that, before a lot of other countries got on board and, unfortunately, so did the multinationals.


        • somer
          Posted November 10, 2016 at 2:41 am | Permalink

          I agree

        • Posted November 10, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          Many suggest that free trade should be between approximate sized economies only. I don’t know how big those three are, but they are relatively small compared to (say) China, Japan or the US, so maybe that made sense.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted November 10, 2016 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

            It isn’t the big *economies* that are the problem. It’s the multinationals (who often are imbedded in the big economies – but they’re equally capable of subverting-by-lobbying economies of any size) seeking to advance their commercial interests by twisting these agreements into other forms.


  54. macha
    Posted November 10, 2016 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    I have to say that Cassini picture cheered me up loads …

  55. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted November 10, 2016 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    On a lighter side, has anyone predicted yet that Mr Trump’s victory ‘would result in a civil war and a national orgy of rape, incest, and adultery’ ?


    Bunch of lily-livered slackers you are.

    How about ‘having procured young American virgins for the Russian czar’ ? (Considering the amount of spam I get from alleged Russian ladies just begging for it, I find that an ironic reversal).

    Lowering the Bar has a brief review of some of the more entertaining elections of years gone by when standards of debate were higher.


  56. Posted November 10, 2016 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Thank you Jerry for the perspective.

    This too shall pass.

    And of course the “View from Abroad” is most refreshing.

    Carl Kruse

  57. Cindy
    Posted November 11, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The DNC is the party of the neocons now. They want a repeat of Iraq with future war in Syria. It is no surprise that the Bushes and Bill Kristol support HRC. The Dems are liberal in name only. Both parties are owned by corporate fascists. Trump is essentially a third party candidate – which is why the RNC establishment rejected him. He only got the nomination because the Republican plebs suport him – people that the elite don’t believe should have a vote, right? Yeah, I see a lot of that coming from liberal circles now, since Brexit, and it is revolting.

    Anyway, this article is a good read. RFKs speechwriter talks about why the DNC is no longer the party of liberalism:


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