Why some people voted for Trump

The Washington Post has a continuing page, “Why I voted for Donald Trump,” with these instructions:

Last week, The Post invited supporters of President-elect Donald Trump to tell us why they voted for him. Below is a sample of the responses. To contribute, visit wapo.st/whytrump.

It’s useful to read this, because one can see a panoply of reasons that go beyond misogyny and racism.  Now the responders had to gave their names, and of course it’s a self-selecting site, so take that into account. Nobody will say they voted for Trump because they don’t like blacks or Mexicans.  Nevertheless, have a look at it. Yes, there is stuff about gay marriage and about supporting “Christian values”, but clearly not everybody who voted for Trump is, as Ana Kasparian put it, “fucking stupid.”  I’ve put some of the categories in bold with the answers underneath them. Here are a few.  I disagree with all of these, of course, as I think Clinton was the far superior candidate. I was surprised to see that several people mentioned “political correctness.”

But have a look at these (when more than one person answered in each category, I’ve noted that):

Business experience

I am white, I am a woman, I am pro-choice, I am educated, and I voted for Donald Trump. The government needs to be run like a corporation, simple as that. Of course humanitarian issues are of concern to me, as they are to every American. His degrading language toward women bothers me, and his views on global warming are a problem for me. I do not 100 percent love Trump, but I am convinced he can lead this nation.

I was part of the silent majority. My friends would bash those who leaned toward Trump and comment on how insane, uneducated and racist his supporters were. I was afraid to speak my mind because of the possibility it might hurt my reputation socially and professionally. I respect everyone’s opinion and vote, and it’s wrong to be ridiculed for supporting someone you have a right to support. I scrolled through my Facebook page on Election Day personally hurt. Friends accused Trump supporters of not loving them because they are gay, a woman, a person of color or an immigrant. My stomach dropped knowing what might happen if someone found out that I supported him and that they thought I did not love them for that.

I voted for Donald Trump because he can create change for our country, economy and world.

[Other person]: It was time we had a businessman with strong executive skills leading our nation back to capitalism. We must reverse the trend toward socialism, and who better to make that change than a capitalist?

[Other person]: Unlike most Americans, I know how to compartmentalize and separate my personal opinion of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and my belief about who is better for the job. I have always said — years before Trump was ever interested in politics — that the country should be run like a business. Meaning the United States should be led by someone who knows how to delegate, and understands complex budgets, negotiation and leadership.

Political correctness

Donald Trump came to Burlington, Vt. — Bernie Sanders’s home town — in December. I stood in line with a few thousand people and was confronted by a few hundred people protesting Trump’s appearance and those supporting him. I was still on the fence, but after that rally I knew without a doubt Trump was going to be our next president. He had tapped into what the everyday Joe — and Jane — were feeling but had become PC-shamed from expressing.

[Other person]: We need to focus less on individually placating all the groups that make American wonderful and more on solving issues related to the economy and foreign adversaries. Tap-dancing around our national debt, our failure to contain Iran and North Korea, and our long-term unemployed citizens helps no one

[Other person]: I am a gay millennial woman and I voted for Donald Trump because I oppose the political correctness movement, which has become a fascist ideology of silence and ignorance. After months of going back and forth, I decided to listen to him directly and not through minced and filtered quotes from the mainstream media.

Islam and failure of administration to address it

My entire family — five Muslim immigrants from Turkey — voted for Donald Trump in Florida because of the Democratic Party’s pandering to Islamism. As people who have actually experienced Islamism in its purest form, back in Turkey, we supported the candidate who promised to help us fight that issue, regardless of any of his other policies. For us, the people of the Middle East, this election was just too important to hand over to someone such as Hillary Clinton.

The media

The media did the United States a huge disservice in covering this campaign. As I watched, I got the impression that voting was a mere formality. The commentary was all about how Hillary Clinton was set to get down to business once the pesky election was over. It was obvious watching the election returns on several networks that not one of them prepared for the possibility of Donald Trump triumphing. Why was that?

[Other person]:  I voted for Donald Trump because the media was so incredibly biased. They were unhinged in their obvious role as the Clinton campaign propaganda machine. The collusion was just too much.

Hillary’s flaws

I remember the Clintons from back when they tap danced around the Gennifer Flowers story. Then came Whitewater and then Hillary Clinton’s billing records were nowhere to be found, and then there was Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton looked right at me through the TV screen and said “I did not have . . .” The lies never stopped. Then came the Clinton Foundation, foreign donations and the emails. I have 100 percent Clinton Fatigue.

If Bernie Sanders had been on the ballot, I would have voted for him, even though I agree with him on virtually nothing. But he seems to be honest and stands up for his beliefs and not for enriching himself.

[Other person]:  I voted for Donald Trump because the media was so incredibly biased. They were unhinged in their obvious role as the Clinton campaign propaganda machine. The collusion was just too much.

[Other person]: I’m a 40-year veteran of law enforcement, and my two sons are cops as well. My three sons-in-law are in the military. Hillary Clinton convinced me that she does not support my profession or the military. I also believe the Clintons were wrong for accepting so much money for speeches. They were being paid for access, which is wrong.

[Other person]: I voted against Hillary Clinton, and for Donald Trump, because Clinton compromised our national security by putting classified information on a personal email account and allowed people without security clearances to access that information. As a retired federal employee with a security clearance, I have protected classified information. Failure to do so has resulted in prison for many, and rightly so.

The problems of the middle and working classes

I am concerned about my impossibly expensive health insurance and the impact on my family. I am concerned about undocumented immigrants and the Democratic Party’s propensity to give and give to everyone. The middle class is in dire condition. I haven’t had a raise in 10 years. I couldn’t stand the thought of four more years heading in this direction. My decision was based on my fiscal needs.

More conservative direction needed

I voted for Donald Trump on the calculated bet that he would nominate conservative Supreme Court justices. The Constitution is a social contract, not a poem to be variously interpreted. If people want to permit gay marriage or abortion for any reason, then make both legal through the legislature, not via an unelected oligarchy rewriting the Constitution.

The Democratic Party’s machinations

I voted for Jill Stein, which my friends all yelled was a vote for Donald Trump. I don’t fully disagree. It was clear early on in the Democratic primary contest that the mainstream media discounted Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) even when he was winning states. Then the Democratic National Committee emails came out, and I had proof of what I suspected. The Democrats and the mainstream media had handpicked their candidate and were manipulating us. They felt entitled to shove Hillary Clinton down our throats. I’m glad they didn’t get away with it.

h/t: Ed S.


  1. Taz
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I think one of the biggest reasons people voted for Trump is because they’re Republicans and he was the Republican candidate. For many people is doesn’t go much beyond that.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Big reason – coupled to the “destroy the Clintons at all costs” directive.

    • Serena
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Right. The Clinton campaign clearly thought, “Well, Trump is so awful, not at all like a normal Republican, lots of Republicans will repudiate him.” Their calculation was proven woefully incorrect. Some people do not care about how a politicians acts, as long as they have an R beside their name.

      • Travis
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        The same applies to the letter D.

        Didn’t something like 90% of registered democrats/republicans vote along party lines (as always)?

        • Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          We on the left are also susceptible to tribalism, sure, but can you name a Democraric candidate for any high office that was/is as professionally unqualified and morally bankrupt as Trump? I don’t think we on the left have been given a reason to break party lines the way Rs have.

          • Travis
            Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:28 pm | Permalink



            I mean, isn’t the whole email + foundation + corporate ties disqualifying someone in some way for presidency? It comes across as either malicious or incompetent imo.

            • Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:30 pm | Permalink


            • Walt Jones
              Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

              In comparison to Trump’s business practices? Or his foundation. Oy is right.

          • pali
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 12:11 am | Permalink

            I know plenty of people across the spectrum who viewed Hillary just as negatively as they did Trump. Him they viewed as buffoonish, racist, sexist and ignorant – her they viewed as dishonest, corrupt, and a servant only of the elite. Many of them felt the former set of vices were less of an issue than the latter.

          • frednotfaith2
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 6:29 am | Permalink

            I’m a registered Democrat but when it comes to voting, I’ll review all major candidates and if a Republican seems better suited than the Democrat based on my evaluation, I’ll vote for the Republican. Case in point, on this years ballot, a Democrat candidate for the Florida House turns out to be a religious fanatic while the Republican seemed far saner. That’s exceedingly rare and overall I find Republican platforms deplorable so I’m not voting lockstep for Democrats just because i’m a Democrat but because overall I find their platforms far better than that of Republicans.

          • Kyuss
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 11:26 am | Permalink

            but can you name a Democratic candidate for any high office that was/is as professionally unqualified and morally bankrupt as Trump?

            Hillary Clinton? Perhaps more qualified (we could argue that) but definitely just as morally bankrupt.

    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      I concur wholeheartedly The person who said they would have voted for Bernie if he was running is, for lack of a more kind way to put it, full of shit.

      • Mark Sturtevant
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        The electorate is strongly polarized now so maybe this is in effect an outdated view, but oddly there is (was?) a sizable # of people known as swing voters. They will vote D or R, depending on who they think is best or least flawed.
        If that is still true, it is not hard to believe there were some #s of people who voted for Trump that would have voted for Bernie had he been on the ticket. At least one respondent said as much.

        • Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          I think the percentage of swing voters is quite small actually. At least anecdotally, the people I know who voted for Trump would not vote for a Democrat even if the Democrat was a combination of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington running against Adolf Hitler and Sarah Palin on the GOP ticket.

          • SA Gould
            Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink


          • Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

            I also agree.

            Politics is where human tribalism rears its ugly head the highest.

          • eric
            Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

            As of October 2016, 32% of Americans self-identified as Democrats, 27% self-identified as Republicans, and 36% self-identified as independent. See here.

            Whether you consider 36% to be ‘quite small’ or not is a judgment call. 🙂

            • Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

              Whether or not to trust their self-reporting as “independent” is the key.

              I’m well acquainted with many “independents” who are really just Republicans. Of the most conservative sort.

              • Posted November 22, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

                “I’m well acquainted with many “independents” who are really just Republicans. Of the most conservative sort.”

                Yeah didn’t the whole tea party movement claim to be independant?

            • gluonspring
              Posted November 22, 2016 at 12:54 am | Permalink

              Most political independents vote reliably for one party or the other.

              • gluonspring
                Posted November 22, 2016 at 12:54 am | Permalink

                That is… they are either lying or kidding themselves when they say they are “independent”.

              • Gregory Kusnick
                Posted November 22, 2016 at 1:16 am | Permalink

                I don’t see how that follows.

                Suppose I’m committed not to any particular party, but to voting for whichever candidate shares my values. But it so happens that one party consistently runs candidates whose values I find odious. How does their failure make me dishonest or delusional?

                What would it take to be a “real” independent? Flipping a coin?

              • Posted November 22, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink


                I think your comment points out that independents are rare because it’s hard to have a neutral position on the major political issues – the ones that would identify you as either left or right – while in effect basing your vote only on the smaller details of each candidate’s platform.

              • Gregory Kusnick
                Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:59 am | Permalink

                My point is that “independent” is not a synonym for “neutral”. To be independent means you make your own decisions rather than voting a straight party ticket.

                This doesn’t preclude voting consistently with one party. As long as the choice is between the Ineffectuals and the Reality Deniers, as an independent I’ll (reluctantly) continue to go with the Ineffectuals. But they’d be wrong to take that as a sign of party loyalty.

              • Posted November 22, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink


                Well, if you mostly hold the political positions on major issues that are endorsed by a party but only have a problem with how those positions are implemented, is that enough to qualify as “independent”?

                I agree that “independent” and “neutral” aren’t synonyms, but it seems to me that to be independent you’d have to be ambivalent about the big issues that more or less define the party. The parties didn’t arbitrarily assemble their views. They coalesced naturally out of an over-arching attitude. If you’re pro-choice you’re also pretty likely to be pro-marriage equality, usw. If you agree with the party on those issues…a rose by any other name, no?

              • Gregory Kusnick
                Posted November 22, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

                Maybe it depends on where you live. I’ve lived in states where being a Democrat didn’t just mean you mostly agree with Democratic policies. It meant that when voting in the primary, you were handed a Democratic ballot with only Democratic candidates on it.

                Independent means rejecting such nonsense and being free to vote for whoever you like, even if the candidates you like are mostly Democrats.

            • Posted November 22, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

              I’ve voted for candidates who are Republican, Democrat, Green, Independent as well other more obscure parties. Living in a high cost area with insane property taxes, sometimes the local Republican makes sense when he talks about cutting the high cost of local Government. I don’t buy that argument on a national scale. Living in a solidly blue state, I often have the privilege to go 3rd party without worrying about throwing the race one way or another. 2016 was the first time I ever voted a straight Democratic ticket, not only because of Trump, but as a statement against the Republicans who played the worst form of politics during his odious campaign.

        • Voltaire
          Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          Some say “real independents” are around 5%

      • David Duncan
        Posted November 22, 2016 at 2:19 am | Permalink

        Um, why?

        Bernie is a decent human being. Unlike Hillary.

    • David Duncan
      Posted November 22, 2016 at 2:34 am | Permalink

      Then how do you explain Obama’s wins in 2008 and 2012? Bill in 1996? Reagan in 1984? Nixon in 1972? Johnson in 1964?

      The above obviously had something going for them that Hillary did not. Else they wouldn’t have got so many from the other side voting for them.

      • Anthony
        Posted November 22, 2016 at 3:10 am | Permalink

        Obama’s wins were 10 million and 6 million more people showing up and voting for him respectively in 08 and 12. This wasn’t about swing voters or a shift to the right, it was millions on the left (shamefully) staying home.

        • David Duncan
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 6:41 am | Permalink

          Why did they stay at home? Surely not because of lack of enthusiasm/respect for the candidate?

          • Anthony
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

            No sarcasm required, that’s exactly why, but in doing so failed to stop a dangerous man from ascending to high power.

            Just like so many in the Brexit vote morning-after who were surprised and regretful, having registered a protest vote never thinking it would actually matter.

  2. eric
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    The government needs to be run like a corporation, simple as that.

    Um, wrongity wrong wrong. A corporation’s purpose is to make money. The government’s purpose is to spend money. A government that “makes” money is not doing its job, as that means that it took tax money from you that it didn’t use on programs to benefit you or anyone else.

    I was part of the silent majority.

    Wrong again. HRC won the popular vote by something like 1.7 million votes.

    • nickswearsky
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly. It is appalling that an educated person thinks that.

    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      No, a corporation is any group of people who are authorised to act as a single entity, and are recognised as such by the law. Not all corporations have a profit motive, and many corporations do not even have shareholders. For example, the Catholic Church is structured as a corporation in many countries, as are many NGOs.

      While governments aren’t corporations, they do have a lot in common with corporations, and many pricinciples of financial management and corporate governance apply equally to them. Like companies, governments raise capital by issuing debt (although they don’t issue equity), and generate internal capital (via taxation). This capital is invested for the benefit of the government’s stakeholders. However, the primary stakeholders of a democratically elected government are the citizenry, rather than shareholders.

      The notion that President Trump might run a more “corporate” government is not in itself a bad thing. The best practices of corporate governance and corporate financial management will likely result in more efficient government.

      • ploubere
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        While you provide a good general definition of corporations, there is still a fundamental difference: a corporation is always a specific enterprise within a specific sector, with goals unique to its mission. A government is an organization with authority to set and enforce laws and regulations within a state, and exercises such authority over all the residents of that state. Two very different things.

        In fact, a “corporate” government doesn’t even make sense. The best governments are those that provide the best life for the residents of that state, and the best politicians are those who act in the interest of the residents. I see very little chance of Trump doing that.

        • Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Precisely. Well-being for the citizens should be the primary role of government rather than selective welfare for the corporate entity.

        • Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          You are right that the legislative function of a government sets it apart from corporations, which (like other citizens) adheres to laws, and does not set them. Nevertheless, corporate and government decisions-makers face many similar challenges, such as how to fund their operations cheaply, and how to run them efficiently. Moreover, both types of organisation are subject to similar conflicts of interest, information asymmetry, agency problems, and adverse selection problems. We’ve learnt a lot about how to deal with these issues from the experience of publicly-listed corporations, and the resulting practices could easily be applied to governments and their agencies.

          The paragraph starting with “… a ‘corporate’ government doesn’t even make sense…” is not correct. All corporations act in the interests of their stakeholders: the stakeholders of a listed company are its shareholders; the stakeholders of a trade union are its members; and the stakeholders of the Association of Girl Guides are girl guides and their families, to list some examples. Similarly, the stakeholders of a government are the citizenry. There is no inconsistency in applying the best practices of corporate finance and corporate governance to governments. In fact, there is a lot to be said for doing so; publicly-listed companies have much better procedures for managing conflicts of interest, to name just one example.

          Of course, whether Trump is the ideal vessel for such a change in the nature of government is unclear.

          • Gregory Kusnick
            Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

            “…corporations, which (like other citizens) adheres to laws, and does not set them.”

            Large corporations can and do set laws to their advantage by hiring lobbyists — something individual citizens cannot afford to do.

            • Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

              The ubiquity of lobbying is one good reason for why government would benefit from the same scrutiny and discipline that is routinely applied to the managers of listed companies. It is likely much easier to bribe your local congressman than the CEO of a listed company. It is also clear that for-profit companies routinely manage their operations more efficiently (often by orders of magnitude) than governments. We have a fairly good understanding of why this is, and it is quite possible to apply these lessons to government.

              • Filippo
                Posted November 22, 2016 at 6:02 am | Permalink

                ” . . . for-profit companies routinely manage their operations more efficiently (often by orders of magnitude) than governments.”

                For-profit corporate charters do not have the comparatively more altruistic scope of the preamble to the U.S. constitution, which putatively views flesh-and-blood human beings as more than merely and solely “human capital” (past slavery and the treatment of women and minorities notwithstanding).

              • Gregory Kusnick
                Posted November 22, 2016 at 11:10 am | Permalink

                “(often by orders of magnitude)”

                Can you give examples of Federal agencies that routinely waste 90% or 99% of their budgets?

            • Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

              The “government as a business” motif is realpolitik on amphetamines—reducing the qualitative to its quantitative essence. Selective indifference under the guise of efficiency.

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately the “best practices of corporate financial management” all too often include minimizing costs by lobbying government for tax breaks, regulatory loopholes, and other subsidies, effectively transferring those costs to the taxpayers.

        How does a government externalize costs? By transferring them to future generations via deficit spending, as corporate champion Ronald Reagan did in the 1980s, running up the largest debt in history in the process.

        Newt Gingrich also talked a lot about running government like a corporation. (Remember the “Contract with America”?) His legacy is a tradition of obstructionism and partisan gridlock that makes it virtually impossible for government to accomplish anything at all.

        So pardon me if I don’t share your confidence.

        • Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

          Actually, the fact that you have such a well-funded, well-organised lobbying industry in the US is a prime example of why you need to apply the principles of corporate governance more thoroughly to government itself. It is a lot harder to lobby the CEO of a large listed company for favours than it is to do so with your local representative in Congress. Why? Because CEOs are better scrutinised and more accountable to their stakeholders.

          Also, you seem to be confusing the notion of a politician who poses as a corporate champion with the notion of good corporate governance. The former is somebody who represents the interests of a particular class of citizens, while the latter refers to a collection of practices designed to improve efficiency, enhance accountability and decrease conflicts of interest, etc.

          • Gregory Kusnick
            Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            The point is that the alleged benefits of running government ”like a business” remain purely speculative. In practice it has never actually worked. Conservative politicians have been touting this approach for generations, and yet somehow the promised efficiencies have failed to materialize.

            This suggests that these politicians are lying about either their plans for such policies, their ability to implement them, or the existence of the alleged inefficiencies they’ve pledged to cure.

            So why should we believe that the next guy promising to make government run efficiently has somehow found the key that everyone else has missed?

            • Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:39 pm | Permalink


              Especially when his own “key” seems to be “hoodwink them”.

            • Posted November 22, 2016 at 8:49 am | Permalink

              Indeed, if the government ran Medicare like a business, no one would have medicare.

              How do you run it like a business, when it doesn’t make money? It only loses money, by design. There are no profit centers.

              As to working efficiently and intelligently, that’s called acting intelligently and is not bound to business in any way.

              Which is not to say that government departments have nothing to learn from business, they do. And I can tell you from personal experience in the Federal government that they do try to do that! The Federal employees are not sitting on their tuchuses playing computer solitaire. I got some of my best professional training as a Federal employee.

              Every administrator I knew did their best to run a tight ship. They were always operating under and inadequate budget and under eternal threat of further cuts. And yet, they worked hard to accomplish the mission assigned to them. So your darned right they tried to learn from commercial businesses!

              The meme that government is just hugely wasteful is a trumped up charge of the right and they will never admit that it’s crap.

              No commercial business would touch Medicare under the parameters it has to work with. There’s a reason for that — and it’s not because it’s a big, fat fruit, full of waste to be turned into profits.

              Trump has no magic levers to pull here. (Just as in the rest of the economy.)

          • Posted November 21, 2016 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

            The real reasons why it’s harder to lobby a CEO than a politician to do something have nothing to do with extra scrutiny in private business:
            A politician by a nature of his job is supposed to listen to constituents and act in their interests. A CEO is only required to act in the interests of his company – and he pretty much decides what the interests of the company are.
            Also, it’s illegal to offer a bribe to a CEO, but you can call it a “campaign donation” and you can legally give it to a politician.

      • Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Given how poorly Trump has done in certain of his corporate ventures: (four (?) bankruptcies, closure of his casino, who knows the current status of his Irish golf course, $25 million settlement with the state of New York (wasn’t it ?) re Trump University to avoid trial, hiring immigrant workers at low wages to build Trump Tower and then stiffing them on payment, not paying taxes some years (other people might love to be able to do this), etc., etc.

        Donald Trump has acted for himself as though he exclusively is his corporations, and he can be expected to do the same as president. His view of “corporation” will be for the 1%, not the rest of us. The so-called wealth of the nation will not benefit us, the lower 99% of shareholders.

        • rickflick
          Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          I can believe Trump is going to have a hard time being president. The role does not fit him even approximately. His entire career seems to have been dwelling on himself and his aggrandizement. He will be forced to think about other human beings on this planet other than himself. This could be a huge strain – although I suspect he will be delegating most of the serious thinking to others.

        • Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

          The Trump Organisation has around 515 subsidiaries. Seen against that, four bankruptcies is pretty good going (failure rates for the subsidiaries of large diversified companies are typically much higher than 1%). Casino closures are also pretty routine, even for successful casino operators (its a business with an unpredictable life-cycle). The Irish golf course is just noise, in relation to the rest of Trump’s business empire, and the $25 million settlement is probably less than his annual consolidated stationery bill.

          By any measure, Trump has been successful in business, although he has also been lucky. Will he be an effective champion for the middle-class voters who propelled him to victory? Who can tell…

          • Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

            How many of those subs are just separate real estate holdings? Often in that industry, each property is just held a unique legal entity.

          • Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

            What about Trump U? Do we need those kinds of business practices in our government?

            And “Trump has also been lucky” is quite the understatement. Do you think he’d be where he is today if his father had been a poorly paid factory worker in Michigan? As usual, pedigree is confused with achievement.

          • jeremy pereira
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

            Didn’t he post a $900 million loss one year? Is that just noise?

          • darrelle
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

            Many experts disagree with you on Trump’s success. Likely the most visible example being Warren Buffet.

      • Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        This is all beside the point.

        Do you think the Trump voter who says “he’ll run the government like a corporation” is thinking about nitty gritty matters of definition? No; s/he is simply thinking “ooh, Trump is good at business (although he isnt), he’ll probably bring that no nonsense efficiency into the Presidency.”

        “No nonsense efficiency” is one of the last phrases I’d use to describe Trump’s business practices.

        • Posted November 22, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

          It’s ironic how we’re discussing the minutia of applying the “best practices of corporate finance and corporate governance” in relation to a narcissistic control freak who refuses to conduct a rudimentary transition briefing with the press while orchestrating Mafioso payoffs on fraud charges.

          Who said that faith was an unreliable epistemology?

      • eric
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        I guess it’s possible that the respondent was thinking about the government in terms of a mission-oriented non-profit, but really, I doubt it. Don’t you? The meme that the government needs to be run more like a business is (IMO) specifically intended to evoke the notion of hard-a**ed corporate CEOs have cut costs while improving product. The people who use this meme aren’t thinking they want the government to be like the Red Cross, they want the government to be like Apple. They are pointing the Dow Jones and saying “be like that.” Which utterly misconstrues government’s mission.

        • Filippo
          Posted November 23, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

          “The people who use this meme aren’t thinking they want the government to be like the Red Cross, they want the government to be like Apple.”

          Yep, IIRC the only safety net with which Apple might possibly concern its corporate self is that which putatively prevents Fox-Conn wage slaves from jumping and committing suicide.

    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      “Um, wrongity wrong wrong.”

      Actually, like, uh, like, righty right right. I won’t repeat what Hardy has explained in great detail, but I also see lots of parallels between sound corporate governance and good executive leadership in a government.

      The major issue with Trump is that while he is a successful landlord, brand-builder and television star, is that sufficient to be considered a successful “businessperson”, in the sense that it would be relevant and comparable to being chief executive of the US? Most of his true business ventures, where he is actually doing something other than collecting rent, have failed. His casinos went bankrupt. He is getting sued for fraud for his real estate “university”. He started a mortgage origination company in 2007 which also went down the tubes.

      Thus, his reputation as a successful businessman seems grossly overstated. Carly Fiorina actually had a much better claim to CEO skills than Trump does.

      • Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        “The major issue with Trump is that while he is a successful landlord, brand-builder and television star, is that sufficient to be considered a successful ‘businessperson’…”

        You may well be right about this; certainly, your views are accordant with those of Warren Buffett, who thinks that Trump’s business skills are limited to franchising and licensing. I don’t know enough to comment authoritatively, but I will say that the number of failures he has experienced is quite small for the overall size of his organisation. I’ve seen something like 4 to 10 failures mentioned, which is insignificant in a diversified company containing over 500 subsidiaries. However, I do believe that his holding company actually came close to overall bankruptcy in the 1990s.

    • nicky
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      And not just the popular vote, she won the EC too, according to the exit polls. Discrepancy between exit polls and official count is a reliable indicator of fraud.
      I’m repeating myself (hoping I’m not infringing da Roolz), but I completely fail to understand, can’t fathom why this is not BIG news all over. Fear of being seen as a sore loser? This can’t happen in the US? Or what?
      Why do so many appear to fatalistically accept a non-elect president-elect?

      • Posted November 22, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Because, to paraphrase the Supreme Court in 2000, it would put the system’s integrity at risk. (Ahem. :))

    • David Duncan
      Posted November 22, 2016 at 2:21 am | Permalink

      Both wrong. The government needs to get out of the way.

      • Posted November 22, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        So, no regulations, eh?

        No need to safety and effectiveness in medicine? No need to limit polluters? No need to limit Wall Street’s capacity to defraud? No need to monitor airline operations or certify airplanes?

        Tort law will take care of all, after the fact?

        • David Duncan
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

          Ever heard of the falacy of the excluded middle? You just walked right into it.

          • Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

            Since you were playing the government is the problem right winger card …

          • Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

            “The government needs to get out of the way”

            I guess your subtle and nuanced analysis of the details went right over my head.

    • Rasmo carenna
      Posted November 22, 2016 at 5:34 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly.
      The problem with business is that it goes after profit and, even if we speak about non for profit corporations, they are very goal specific. A government has to provide for everyone even at a loss and even in fields where no private entity has any interest.
      Maybe I am too European and “socialist”.

  3. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Interesting and painful. Remember these voters add to ~25% of the electorate.

    Another question I am still pondering : how does one chose a president? there essentially are two rules : over 45 and US born, right? The person who says the US has to be run like a business- as meaningless as that is – has nothing to tell her otherwise except other citizens.

  4. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    The government needs to be run like a corporation, simple as that.

    So simple, and so wrong.
    One of the early outrageous things that Trump said (which you have probably forgotten because of all the subsequent outrageous things that Trump has said) was that he would fire the entire Congress. As if the president had the power to do that. The Congress is made up of a bunch of people who were all democratically elected, just like the president, to serve specific states or districts. A CEO might have the power to fire all of his employees, but a president is certainly not in that position.

    The idea that everything, including governments and non-profit organizations, should be run like businesses is just a manifestation of “I have a hammer, everything looks like a nail” syndrome.

    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      A corporation is simply a group of people who are recognised as a seperate legal entity. This includes churches, clubs and NGOs, in many cases, as well as for-profit companies with shareholders. All of these organisations can benifit by adopting the best practices of corporate financial management and corporate governance, irrespective of whether they’re run with a profit motive. This is because they all raise and spend capital, and they all serve diverse groups of stakeholders with numerous conflicts of interest, agency problems and adverse selection problems, etc. I have no problem with governments adopting such practices as well; in fact, I’m confident they would lead to better government.

      • Filippo
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        What do best corporate practices say about how to best “incentivize” (a word frequently bandied about by corporate profit-maximization types) citizens to join the military and go in harm’s way to possibly be killed or maimed for life? Money?

        • Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          How does Médecins Sans Frontières incentivise doctors to risk their lives in war-torn countries? Financial incentives are only one lever corporations use to achieve their objectives; and not necessarily the most important one.

          • Filippo
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 6:05 am | Permalink

            Show me the for-profit corporation with the altruistic goals of a Doctors Without Borders.

        • Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

          I’m sure they would tap into nationalism, patriotism, higher ideals such as making the world safe from tyranny and oppression, career and compensation, and probably a smidge of glory.

          Also, what is wrong in principle with groups and organizations trying to incentivize behavior that they find desirable?

          • Filippo
            Posted November 23, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

            ” . . . what is wrong in principle with groups and organizations trying to incentivize behavior that they find desirable?”

            There’s nothing wrong – in principle – with that.

            I’m saying that there is no monetary incentive that the military/government/We The People can offer a budding Romneyesque MBA/JD venture capitalist/Wall Street financier investor/non-working class type, with $$ signs in his eyes, to prompt him to so go in harm’s way, and, that it won’t do for such a type to lecture working class/working poor types to so go in harm’s way – for patriotic, nationalist, etc. reasons – when he himself is resolved not to do so.

            Some working poor see joining the military as a step up from and out of their modest material circumstances. As I heard the occasional fellow service member not infrequently say, “Three Hots and a Cot.”

        • chris moffatt
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

          Ask Blackwater – Xe – Academi. It’s money.

      • Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Blah blah blah. What do you have to say about Trump’s claim that he would fire the Congress? Because CEO, in-charge types like him can just do that.

        You’re fired!

        • Posted November 21, 2016 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

          I don’t have anything to say about it. The President is no more able to fire Congress than the CEO of a company is able to fire its directors.

          • rickflick
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

            I would suggest that Trump is aware that the congress is an institution independent of the executive branch. This is just some of his campaign bluster to thrill his loyal followers. On the other hand, when he said if the courts overturned Row vs Wade, women would just have to go to another state, strikes me as evidence that his knowledge of issues is tissue thin. This is, to me, the greatest tragedy of his election.

      • Reginald Selkirk
        Posted November 22, 2016 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        All of these organisations can benifit by adopting the best practices of corporate financial management and corporate governance

        That is overly simplistic. We see similar oversimplification when a governor running for national office brags about how his state balanced their budget every year during his term, and why can’t the federal government do the same? The situations are clearly different. Most states are constitutionally obligated to balance their budgets, and states do not have the power to print their own money.

        • Gregory Kusnick
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          Don’t forget Jed Bartlet’s take on how states balance their budgets.

          • HaggisForBrains
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

            Where is Jed Bartlet when you need him?

      • Posted November 22, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        You have a tacit assumption that Federal Agencies are incompetent bumpkins that can’t manage their way out of a wet paper bag.

        This is simply untrue.

        If you think that Federal departments aren’t already applying (or trying to apply) best practices in management, you aren’t paying attention.

        The memes that the government if horribly wasteful, horribly inefficient, and highly redundant are lies promoted by the right wing. As a former Federal employee, I saw none of that.

        Which is not to say that waste doesn’t exist in the Federal government — of course it does, like in any human group endeavor. But it is wildly exaggerated b the right and you are buying into that.

        Trump does not have magic levers to pull.

        When he and the GOP slash the government as they seem set to do, services will be stopped.

        Whose bull will be gored? I guarantee you it won’t be corporate America or the top 1% of USians!

        • Posted November 22, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink


        • eric
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          When he and the GOP slash the government as they seem set to do, services will be stopped.

          Actually what typically happens in conservative years is that they reduce the number of civil servants and declare victory to the public. Then when people aren’t paying attention, they authorize those same agencies to use contract labor to do the same work, which results in the government paying more money to get the same jobs done (because fed workers are, despite Trump’s claims, cheaper than equivalent private sector workers).

          This whole ‘overpaid government worker’ meme is just so absurd. The Secretary of Homeland Security runs an agency of over 240,000 people. For that, they get paid $205,700 per year. OPM also shows that non-political appointees max out at $133,444/year, which is for GS 15, step 10. Find me a private sector company of 240,000 people where the CEO gets paid $205k and everyone else earns less. Go ahead and look, you won’t find one. Government labor is cheap. Hiring the private sector to do the same work will raise the costs of those services. Bringing in private sector CEOs at their current pay will also raise costs.

          Of course, conservative governors somehow convinced the public that high school teachers were overpaid, which is even more ludicrous. So I have no doubt that Trump will convince middle America of the Orwellian doublespeak notion that we have to cut federal salaries in order to make the government more like corporate America.

          • Posted November 22, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

            “Actually what typically happens in conservative years is that they reduce the number of civil servants and declare victory to the public. Then when people aren’t paying attention, they authorize those same agencies to use contract labor to do the same work, which results in the government paying more money to get the same jobs done (because fed workers are, despite Trump’s claims, cheaper than equivalent private sector workers).”

            One has to look no further than “up north” (relative to the US) – Canada under Harper is a key example of the above. Read up on the ungoing trouble with (say) attempts to consolidate certain IT services and how the outsourcing of key infrastructure (like pay systems and email) are ongoing messes.

  5. Reginald Selkirk
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    The Constitution is a social contract, not a poem to be variously interpreted. If people want to permit gay marriage or abortion for any reason, then make both legal through the legislature, not via an unelected oligarchy rewriting the Constitution.

    “Poem” – Big Yawn. I’ll bet they have no problem with the courts interpreting new decisions that they agree with. Scalia’s bally-hooed originalism was remarkably adaptable to his political preferences.

    • Linda Calhoun
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I always wanted ask Scalia what he thought that “well-regulated militia” thing was doing in the Second Amendment. L

    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. “Pursuit of happiness”, not to mention “Liberty” must be interpreted not to include letting LGBTs get married.

      • eric
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

        Similarly, its funny how conservative originalists read “provide for the common defense and general welfare” to not actually include providing for the general welfare, eh?

  6. Serena
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    This comment struck me, “Friends accused Trump supporters of not loving them because they are gay, a woman, a person of color or an immigrant. My stomach dropped knowing what might happen if someone found out that I supported him and that they thought I did not love them for that.”
    She just voted for a man running on a platform to invalide marriage equality, but what made her stomach drop is that some gay people may be mean to her if they found out. Not that those people’s families may lose their rights, though… that’s not a stomach-dropping occurence, I guess.

    • Jeremy
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Not true. Trump is the first sitting president ever to be ok with gay marriage–Obama was opposed to it when he was elected.

      • GBJames
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        The pedant in me requires that I point out that Trump is not a sitting president.

      • ascanius
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Don’t be misled by the Leslie Stahl interview. The Supreme Ct. justices he plans to nominate would overturn it if given the chance. Just as they will certainly overturn Roe.

        Trump is actually against nationwide marriage equality. He believes it’s for the states to decide.


        • Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

          State’s rights!

          Rightist thinking if ever I saw it.

      • eric
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        As ascanius says, this is a very tepid and misleading defense. None of his floated SCOTUS nominations are going to be “ok” with gay marriage.

        Look, it doesn’t matter what he thinks in his head if he acts in an opposite manner. He’s given every indication that his nomination action will be to nominate justices that will attempt to invalidate Gay marriage.

        So very likely, that is going to be part of Trump’s legacy. He gets no A for sincerely liking gay people. You lie down with dogs…

      • James Walker
        Posted November 22, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

        And yet he chose as his running mate a man who signed a bill making it a felony to *apply* for a license for a same-sex marriage: https://www.queerty.com/indiana-will-send-same-sex-couples-to-jail-for-wanting-to-get-married-really-20130709

  7. GBJames
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Lots of nasal amputation in the service of facial spite.

  8. Merilee
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:13 pm | Permalink


  9. Les
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this article. If we want to elect someone other than people like Trump, we have to understand some of the 60,000,000 people that voted for him so we can get some of their votes.

    • Alpha Neil
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Let’s not get carried away here. We need democrats to get off their asses and vote. If Dems had turned out Hillary would have won the election. We need to win over Democrats before we worry about winning over Trump supporters.

    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Ok, speculation here, but I think what we need to do, rather than “understand these people” is improve education. There might be many fewer people to “understand” in that case.

    • jeremy pereira
      Posted November 22, 2016 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      As I understand it, all you needed was a fairly small number of people in a few strategic states to come out and vote for Clinton who actually stayed at home.

      The election came down to a few hundred thousand votes in a few marginal states. The maginitude of the disaster is out of all proportion to the margin of defeat.

  10. BobTerrace
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    So much misinformation and ignorance. I would bet some of them are just hiding their bigotry.

    • bluemaas
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      … … an impressive collection of things with their detailed trappings and fancified regalia these “reasons” here are now given. In the Washington Post.

      But. re, Mr BobTerrace, your “I would bet … … ” thus as you iterate: Even after the election ? Are these folks actually, now, telling their Truths ?

      IF there .were. such a betting venue, I, too, would place wagers that, now named and ballot – outed, most of them — still — are not. Even yet. Up front and genuine in their “reasons” here given.

      I would bet most are still, like that which I read, just today, upon a brother (an actual DNA – one)‘s fb page, woman – loathing and racist. The same brother with whom I have not had a relationship — nor one word — exchanged since y1969, and I had come home at the end of its December to a daddy who stopped Brother up short with, “The reason I went off to WWII, Stu, is so she could go off to Woodstock and then back to NYC and President Nixon speaking there to protest you in VietNam dropping napalm from your jet.”

      The pix xtwo which Brother posts of Ms Hillary Clinton taken after the election showing “such a loser” exhausted and haggard as “proof”, as “evidence” as to “why” that person could not possibly have had just, of just one characteristic alone, the physical strength nor stamina to walk down the street to the end of her block, not to mention, to govern her nation.

      I am thinking, perhaps wrongly but still am thinking thus, that I would prevail upon these wagers.


    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Hiding from themselves, no less.

  11. Somite
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    This is a frustrating read because many of the reasons are blatant misinformation or rationalization.

    Most painful are the ones complaining about healthcare. All republican plans to repeal and replace Obamacare make health care more expensive and difficult to access.

    There is simply no reason to think voting for Trump moves the needle in the correct direction about any of the issues listed.

  12. Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Are you trying to convince us that Trump supporters aren’t as bad as we think they are?
    Everyone of these people was willing to ignore the Trump/Pence racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and other forms of bigotry. Not to mention their anti-science, and other idiotic positions.

    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      I mean sure “clearly not everybody who voted for Trump is, as Ana Kasparian put it, “fucking stupid.”” But what they are isn’t much better.

      • BobTerrace
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        But what they are isn’t much better.

        Actually, worse. They are hiding bigotry, racism, misogyny and xenophobia.

        • Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink


        • Travis
          Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

          Or they disagree with those accusations and think they are completely overblown.

          • Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

            Given the likelihood of regress on the LGBT and female fronts, a vote for Trump simply cannot be given a pass. Oh, you’re just interested in fiscal policy? Great! So women and gays go under the bus while your fiscal policy, what, blooms? You’d better hope it does.

            • bluemaas
              Posted November 22, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

              jajajaja ! This, aaaah musical beef — your analysis of “Oh, you’re just interested in fiscal policy? Great! So women and gays go under the bus while your fiscal policy, what, blooms?” — is exactly the erudition (but wholly way – better articulated by you, for sure !) that came in to my brain along around 12:30 to 1:00 am {Central} upon the morning of Wednesday, 09 November 2016 !

              I wagered upon this Trump elected – outcome cuz I have witnessed — and self – experienced over and over and over within >52 years — this precise i) “ability” of persons themselves making, money – wise, <$50k to support such a man who never, ever has known, nor will know, their level of paucity and ii) belief that IF another [read that, females or gays] are elevated or uplifted {in ANY way}, THEN that AUTOMATICALLY means that the voter is immediately diminished or has "lost out" on gaining something so noooo f'n – way will she or that lesbian get "what's mine" IF I can do [ie, vote against them] something about stopping them from their gain.


          • Posted November 22, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

            No, not quite: They said (and I heard this many, many times during the campaign) that the media distorted Trump’s position and words — when all the media did was broadcast what Trump actually said.

            It’s hard to misinterpret his mocking of a disabled person or his bragging about sexual assault. Or his words about Mexicans.

            Were it any other candidate, any of his miscues would have ended his candidacy.

            The question I guess is, what about him in particular was enough to overcome that? (Some of them liked those things; but I have to hope and assume they were a minority of his supporters.)

            The only good thing for the Dem.s here is that he’s almost certainly a one-off.

  13. Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I *wish* the WaPo had done this *before* the freaking goddam election instead of now.

    They could have written opinion pieces dealing with this stuff instead of endless repetitions of T****’s scandals.

    Dialogue. Argument.

  14. Historian
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    “I am concerned about my impossibly expensive health insurance and the impact on my family. I am concerned about undocumented immigrants and the Democratic Party’s propensity to give and give to everyone.”

    Others have already pointed out that the government should not be run by a business. The last person you would want running the government is a con artist disguised as a businessman. Notice that this Trump supporter blames the Democrats for the high price of health insurance. The person is oblivious to the fact that health costs are now not rising as steeply as before Obama and equally oblivious that the Republicans blocked any attempt to make Obamacare single payer. Finally, the person is aggrieved by the “Democratic Party’s propensity to give and give to everyone.” This is code for the government giving handouts to the undeserving poor and minorities.

    In my estimation, this person is the quintessential dupe who is attracted to demagogues.

    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      My observation is that few things enrage working poor more than government help to non-working poor, esp. if there is a racial difference.

      • Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:54 pm | Permalink


        The “working/non-working” distinction doesn’t enter into it.

        • Posted November 22, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          I don’t know about the USA, in my country this distinction is the heart of the matter.

    • eric
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      I am concerned about undocumented immigrants and the Democratic Party’s propensity to give and give to everyone.”

      Another laugh out loud moment. Trump’s proposed budget involves lots more debt than HRC’s did. And even now, after he’s won, nobody in his camp and no Republican will say how they plan to pay for it.

      Its like facts just bounce right off their preconceptions. For literal decades, for each presidential race, we go through the same exercise: GOP and Dem candidates publish their budgets. Third party economics shops analyze them. The vast majority of those third party shops declare the GOP one far less sustainable than the Dem one…and the faithful just keep believing that the GOP are more fiscally responsible.

      I just realized: the Dems are the women of American politics. They have to be twice as rational to get half the credit.

      • Posted November 21, 2016 at 10:00 pm | Permalink


        People think Rs are the savers, the efficient ones. Lol. If it’s something they like they’ll spend until the cows come home.

        • Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          Indeed. Anyone who thinks GOP Presidents will reduce Federal Deficits needs consult the data (pink shading is GOP Admins., blue shading is Dem. Admins.):

          • Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:38 am | Permalink

            Please click through: For reasons I presume of WordPress caching images, the updated version doesn’t show here.

          • rickflick
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

            What’s the source?

            • Posted November 22, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

              I compiled these data. All the data are from official US Govt. web sites. Just the normal Govt. record-keeping.

            • Posted November 22, 2016 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

              Mostly: Bureau of Labor Statistics and Census Bureau.

    • Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Here is unemployment in recent years:

      This shows the curve of an excellent recovery from a near-disaster in late 2008. Trump (or Romney or McCain) could have improved on this? Not likely.

      Here’s a wider look:

      This shows a couple of things:

      1. No correlation between top income tax rates and employment

      2. Unemployment is near historic low levels

      Here’s worker productivity (Manufacturing Sector):

      Who’s getting screwed since the Reagan era? The working class. Who has become fat off all that increased productivity? Not the workers, obviously.

      This shows up nicely in relative incomes as well:

      The unfortunate Trump voter has been sold a bill of goods: By the same people who have being doing it since 1980: The GOP and Corporate America.

      * * * * *

      All these data are publicly available. I pulled them off of US Govt. web sites – these are official data.

  15. Pliny the in Between
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, ignoring the bottom feeding contingent that gravitated to his worst statements and behaviors, I just can’t bring myself to understand a Trump vote.

    The Donald Trump presidential bid seemed like a Milgram experiment run by the Republican Party to me. I honestly cannot imagine designing a more cartoonishly vile candidate to test the limits of ignorance, tribalism, adherence to party convention, resistance to facts contrary to ideology, and the extent of poor critical thinking skills, than Trump.

    Spending even an hour studying the man’s extensive history seemingly would have been sufficient to determine that he is not the guy to follow through on any of the promises put forth above.

    • TJR
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      It did look like he was running his entire campaign for a bet. Just to see how ridiculous he could be and get away with it.

      A bit like L. Ron Hubbard with Scientology.

      • rickflick
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

        This has been my feeling as well. It’s as if he was testing the stupidity of the population. As the campaign went along, his utterances became more bizarre and illogical. It was as if he was expecting to be defeated if only he could put out enough garbage. It may have actually stunned and surprised him that he won. He may not actually want the job. Perhaps, to him, it was an elaborate game, like a episodes of a reality TV show where the producers are egging him on the come up with wilder statements to keep butts in seats through the commercials.

        • Gregory Kusnick
          Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          I think this is at best half-true. The idea that his campaign started out as some sort of prank or ironic pose gives him credit for way more subtlety and self-knowledge than I think he’s capable of. This guy is no Joaquin Phoenix or Stephen Colbert.

          So he was seriously seeking the job – without having any clear conception of what the job actually entails. The job he campaigned for isn’t President Trump; it’s Mad King Donald.

          • Anthony
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 3:53 am | Permalink

            There were a few moments near the end where his utterances got so bizarre as to really make me question what could be going on — what trick was this? What kind of strange performance art were we witnessing where patently absurd statements so extreme are floated out there and almost half the people just eat it up?

            The one that went over the top into bizarro land for me was the (I paraphrase) “you could have 650 million immigrants in a week.”

            He did mention that it would triple the current population, so wasn’t some typo or reading error.

            Wired did a back of the envelope calculation on what it would take to land those kind of numbers and came up with 262,000 300 passenger planes, each averaging 20 hour round trips, flying around the clock, one landing in each of 50 states every 16 seconds.

            You could drain the entire populations of the next three most populous countries in the world, Indonesia, Brazil and Pakistan, or take almost half of either China or India.

            Many of his statements were nearly as bizarre, but that one really took the cake for me.

  16. Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink


    From the video on the link above:

    “Let me say it right here — if you voted for Trump, I do think you are a racist. I do think you’re homophobic. I do think you’re a misogynist. Racism, and homophobia, and misogyny are all a spectrum, and you’re on it. You might not be a ‘cheering while a black man gets lynched’ racist, but boy, did you just sell them the rope and look the other way.”

    I also think Charlene’s comment from the thread yesterday is good:


    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Tess Rafferty rant was perfect.

    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

      I’ve read exit polls that for Trump voted 8% of blacks, up to 20% of gays, and about half of white women.

      • Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        People engage in self-destructive and/or inconsistent behavior all the time. Does the fact that there are women who will argue *for* the Quiverfull movement (in a nutshell: men are the masters; women should be kept in the home, barefoot and pregnant) mean the movement isn’t misogynist?

        • Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

          Again, I see 2 sides. The Quiverfull movement is misogynist, but hardly anymore than the alternative: namely, that a woman should abstain from reproduction till her mid-30s, then become a single mother to a baby who is breast-fed in lunch breaks and never gets sick.

          • Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            Who is trying to legislate “the alternative”? Do you think we who voted for Hillary are eager to force a woman to “abstain from reproduction till her mid-30s, then become a single mother to a baby who is breast-fed in lunch breaks and never gets sick”? We are advocating a woman’s right to self-determination, which means a woman can certainly choose to join Quiverfull if she wants, but abortion needs to be legal, contraceptives need to be available at pharmacies, and employer-funded health insurance should cover birth control. It’s Trump’s side that are trying to ban all that. It’s Trump’s side saying “my way or the highway.” I think you’ve fell for the right’s preposterous claim that they are the one and only champions of freedom.

            • Posted November 22, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

              I may have been unclear; I meant that this is a general problem of Western societies, before anyone had even heard the names Clinton and Trump. Ever since contraception uncoupled sex from reproduction, these societies became increasingly hostile to children and mothers. A good example is the recent discussion in some media whether children should be restricted to special compartments on planes, so that other passengers can enjoy comfort. Women all the time receive the message that procreation is their lifestyle choice, which does not allow them to inconvenience other people. While I am pro-choice, I wonder why maternity leave and subsidized day care are not discussed the way contraception and abortion are. I can imagine how a Quiverfull woman can appreciate the chance to have children, to be supported by her husband and not to be shamed about that.

              • Posted November 22, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

                Shamed for having children? Where does this happen on a large scale? A few selfish hipsters do not a societal problem make.

                Now, having 12, 13, 14, etc children is a different animal. That’s selfish and irresponsible.

          • jeremy pereira
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

            Do you honestly think there are only two choices?

            • Posted November 22, 2016 at 7:55 am | Permalink

              No, there must be others, and they must be better.

              • Posted November 22, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

                Yes, for instance my above description of what most Dems advocate: self-determination.

  17. Linda Calhoun
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    To the person who thinks her health insurance is impossibly high: Trump will solve that. He’ll just make sure nobody has any (except, of course, for the 1%).

    Also, Paul Ryan has said that Medicare “will be gone by the end of next year”.

    Social Security is next.

    For those who view those as “entitlements”, I’d like to know what should happen to the money that I’ve been paying in for over 50 years. This is, in fact, the issue that Democrats should focus on. These are popular programs. When the Trumpers try to eliminate them, or even succeed in eliminating them, we should hang that around the necks of every one of them, both elected officials and their groupies. L

    • Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      The vast majority of Americans have no retirement savings. They are entirely dependent upon Social Security and Medicare.

      The Trump voters are directly in the gunsights of this stuff.

  18. Steve Pollard
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Not for a Brit to comment on a lot of this stuff; but “a businessman with strong executive skills”? Really? Seen from here, he is a man who needed his daddy’s loan to kick-start his career; went bankrupt several times while screwing his creditors and his workforce; and depends on rising property values to keep his balance sheet out of the red. Added to which, he has f*cked up an important Site of Scientific Interest in Scotland by building a golf course on it. What’s not to dislike?

    • TJR
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      A rentier masquerading as an entrepeneur.

  19. Marilyn
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I can’t get over the people who think the government should be run like a corporation!! It is NOT a corp. I know I’m an old lady, but I do remember that in order to graduate from 8th grade (in 1960) we all had to pass a civics exam. We had to know how the different branches of govt functioned at the federal and state level. We were also given a blank map of the United States and had to identify each state by name and include the capital city as well.

    • rickflick
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think these voters are holding themselves strictly to dictionary definitions of “like a business”. What they may have in mind is that through the Bush and Obama years complex issues of policy were negotiated behind the scenes by professionals – which is slow, tedious, boring and frustrating. Especially when the government is divided as it has been. People don’t have the patience for it. They want the government to identify problems and act to resolve them in quick, dramatic ways. However, this is not reality. Bureaucracy is a necessary evil – the making of sausage. A demagogue who struts about like Mussolini and says, “Only I can fix it!” is very appealing in times like these…
      *turns back to the sports page*.

  20. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    These responses also make me wonder if this was the first time they ever tried to articulate their own decision to anyone. “He can create change” is completely meaningless.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      It is. I remember thinking so when Obama was running the first time….

  21. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Very good that you posted this. Much of the articles I have been looking at on this show many of the same answers and or reasons for voting as they did. It is absolutely valuable information for the democrats to obtain if they want to turn things around.

    Certainly many of the things said are wrong but some are not. I am thinking about the guy who said, I don’t want to go another four years with the same thing. It also shows that many people were taken in or suckered you might say, by the con man but we already know this. The most useful tool to avoid the con games of politics is education and a really good campaign game of your own. The apposing candidate did not have that.

    If your credibility is already not good, how do you go after the credibility of another? It’s like listening to a realtor, a used car salesman and a lawyer. Who do you believe. Four years from now most of these people who voted for Trump will be ready for someone and something different. The Test for the democrats is to put together a platform and a person who can capture that segment and not lose half of what they have now.

  22. DrBrydon
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    There is an interesting piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education: http://www.chronicle.com/article/What-Liberal-Academics-Don-t/238428

    • Historian
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      “But the Trump voters I know — and I know them well — don’t come close to fitting into that basket. The thought patterns that led them to support Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton had little to do with race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. They made their choice out of a deep-seated sense of humiliation, a feeling that they’ve been cheated out of their share of our national abundance.”

      The quotation above is from the Merullo article you cited. It reflects the profound ignorance of the Trump voters because they have no idea who cheated them out of their share of the national abundance. It seems that so many Trump supporters suffer from a variant of the Stockholm Syndrome. They identify with their oppressors to be the source of their salvation. Embittered, ignorant people are prime fodder for the demagogue.

      • John Harshman
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        I bet most of those Trump supporters do know who cheated them out of their share: the Mexicans and all the other folks Trump pointed them at. So, nothing to do with race. I guess so. I dunno.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          The important thing that many of us may be missing here is the constant brain wash these folks get because they watch nothing but fox news. They get their politics from the television and generally from fox. I don’t think ignorant is the word but lets say not well read. Most will say they have no time for reading and they have let television take the place of actually reading and subjecting themselves to the other side. Both parents working and 3 to 5 kids and that is what you get. No time for the mind.

          • Blue
            Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

            I would know of this busy – ness and alleged “no time for the mind,” Mr Schenck, especially within parenting along with one’s other make – a – living work, not to forget about, one’s laboring toward having her career dreams come true, too; but.

            But this busy – ness has nothing at all to do with nor is it at all connected to one’s altogether and so seemingly “conveniently” (with re to one’s hidden bigotries) forgetting about and losing, @ her or his extremely private balloting, their very core value of their doing there when voting, so cheaply (ie, free !) and with expending hardly any time at all, … … the Right Thing.


            • Posted November 22, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

              The T is on for 7 hours on average in US homes.

              I don’t think “no time” will wash.

        • Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          Are you saying that massive immigration from/through Mexico, particularly illegal immigration, has no impact over blue-collar labor market?

          • Posted November 21, 2016 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

            Hey, in laissez-faire capatilaism, with unions destroyed, whoever offers to work for the smallest amount gets the job, no matter where they’re born.

          • Posted November 21, 2016 at 10:21 pm | Permalink


      • Posted November 21, 2016 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        Stockholm Syndrome, yes. I’ve argued such w friends on FB.

      • eric
        Posted November 22, 2016 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        a feeling that they’ve been cheated out of their share of our national abundance.”

        I empathize with the feeling, but electing conservative GOPers because you feel like you’ve been cheated out of your rightful share is like the peasants hiring the Sherriff of Nottingham because they don’t think Robin Hood gives enough back to the community.

  23. KD33
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Made my stomach churn. Either the reasoning was silly, or the logic was OK but rested on falsehoods.

    I’ve tried my best to read many of the “I met with my friend who voted for Trump to try to understand” articles, and have not come away with much better understanding, other than many Americans lack basic knowledge and/or critical thinking skills, or (as generous as I can be) were so fed up as to post an “F-U” vote even if they knew it wasn’t in their bests interests.

    Conversely, I think it’s a mistake for Democrats to panic and over-react at this point.

  24. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Jesus H. Christ. Trump was a goddamn birther. And not just a birther, he climbed on top the bandwagon and drove it to political prominence. And not just in 2012, but right up until a month and a half before this election.

    How much more stupid, how much more cynical, how much more racist does one have to be to be denied your vote, people? (And that’s just the start of it; there were a thousand other even better reasons why Trump was completely unqualified to be our president.)

    At long last, you guys, have you no sense of decency?

    • Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Yes. His birther bullshit should have been the evidential Occam’s razor to cut this conspiratorial lummox off forever. Unfortunately, his celebrity status and brazen self-importance granted him diplomatic immunity from accountability. Now it’s hip and respectable to be a tinfoil barker on the midway. Take that establishment!

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      As disgusting as this whole birther thing was, most of the republicans simply do not hold that against Trump or even get the full racism of the issue. Many just say good, he is giving it to the politicians or to the democrats. They don’t think of it in the way that we do. So they just say…no big deal. The idea that it should make this candidate a non starter does not even come up.

      • Kevin
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        The repugnancy of Trump is easily ignored, just as the genocidal, homicidal God of Judea-Christianity is easily ignored.

        Heaven is delicious. Without it there is no meaning to life.

        No proclaimed support for God, then no votes.

        No God means no Heaven. A non-negligle number of these people would die for Trump because he is, by logical extension, their sole defender of Heaven.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Sole defender of heaven is a bit of a stretch. Most of the run of the mill republicans around here, and there are lots of them, do not look at this guy as any thing much to do with religion. Pence yes but Trump, not a chance. Trump talks like them and he acts like them. Of course he does it with a lot more money but he talks simple and they can easily understand. At least they think they understand.

          He is going to make America great again and what the hell that means – your guess as good as mine. But they obviously do not see the danger that waits and the conflict of interests will be, in his own words, huge. He is just beginning the transition and he already is in full promotion of his Trump Tower, with his Trump champagne on ice.

          • Kevin
            Posted November 22, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

            There is lots of pretending and/or avoiding religion from GOP. Old time conservatives who haven’t been to a church in thirty years have no problem supporting a man who will put Jesus back in government.

            • Posted November 22, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

              I still say that calling the Republican leadership and braintrust (such as it is) are inverted Marxists. It is remarkable how much explanatory power that little bit actually has. (It isn’t just the opium of the masses thing, but the bit about history being the history of class struggle, etc.)

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Apparently, they don’t.

      The memory of him mimicking a disabled person was just…I can’t even describe what that did to me.

      • Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Expediency “trumps” ethics.

      • Merilee
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Me, too.

      • Posted November 22, 2016 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Yes, his mocking of the disabled guy will never leave my memory (well, at least until dementia takes over! 🙂 )

    • darrelle
      Posted November 22, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      You have heard the standard counter to that haven’t you? They claim that Hillary herself started the birther movement during her 2008 campaign. I shit you not.

      They get that from an anonymous email that was forwarded around by some Hillary supporters questioning if Obama had been born in the US. But the idea did not originate with Hillary supporters. The idea was first bandied about in a post on the FreeRepublic message board and then the blog Ruthless Roundup in early March of 2008. Both, as you may have guessed, politically conservative sites.

      But conservative propagandists had been sowing lies about Obama’s heritage even earlier than that, as far back as 2004.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 22, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Only the stupid and/or gullible could believe that — and only the pathologically cynical could promote it.

        • darrelle
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          Yeah. It is ridiculous. But, even at a what’s new in research and technology website that I browse regularly where the commentors are mostly all in engineering and other technology professions, this bullshit claim and others just like it are argued by prominent commentors on a regular basis. Even some that exhibit damn near genius level abilities in some technical field or another.

          That is what we are up against. That even among people who have excellent educations, and that are undeniably smart, a significant percentage (20%? 25%?) either have values different enough from us that they have an accurate understanding of Trump and still prefer him, or for various reasons are unable, unwilling or unmotivated to apply their demonstrably adequate reasoning skills to assessing the evidence regarding their political choices. Or some combination thereof. I’m sure there are other categories also, but it seems to me those are the two largest categories.

          People in the latter category may be persuaded to change their minds, perhaps by figuring out how to get them to take a good look at the evidence. People in the former category probably can not be convinced to change their minds by anything, except perhaps a life altering experience of some sort.

  25. josh
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    One thing that strikes me is that, other than a couple who said they would have been Stein or Sanders voters, most of these are standard conservative talking points. They don’t make any sense, but they are the narrative the right has been pushing for decades. Whatever qualms about the Donald they may have had, they were willing to ignore them. The Dems need to be out there actively fighting these ideas and providing an alternative.

    • Posted November 22, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      I regard those sorts of remarks as *sometimes* being like “I used to be an atheist, but …”

      (Both being potentially true, and true sometimes, but also a common rhetorical trope.)

  26. Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:50 pm | Permalink


  27. chris moffatt
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    “…The government needs to be run like a corporation, simple as that.”

    However we need government precisely to solve those problems and provide those services that a corporation wouldn’t tackle because they wouldn’t be profitable. Such as medicaid for poor people, medicare, national defence (as opposed to world conquest), regulation of corporations, antifraud activities, testing of spurious medications, a comprehensive court system, maintenance of transportation infrastructure and any other sphere of activity where the rules aren’t made by the highest bidders.

  28. Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Am I wrong in my perception that political correctness isn’t so much a problem at the level of the federal government? When we see examples of ridiculous PC it’s almost always naive youngsters at uni desperately looking for a cause.

    Additionally, PC is a dog whistle for subtle racism: they don’t want the government “placating” (read: doing anything to help) minorities. Same with the idea that Dems “give and give”. What that commenter means is Dems are giving to the wrong people. Tax cuts for the wealthy and federal assistance for big business is ok, WIC is not. I mean, those nogoodniks might *abuse* the WIC program! No, trickles from on high should suffice.

  29. ploubere
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    There is no good argument for supporting Trump because the evidence for his character and experience are completely damning. He is manifestly not a good businessman, nor well educated or knowledgeable, nor of sound character. His public record shows these things without question, and leaders of both parties have publicly stated that he is not qualified for the position.

    So any argument in his favor has to ignore all of these facts, and as such is a failed argument. These people are massively deluded, or grasping at rationalizations. It’s alarming that we even have to consider this.

  30. Posted November 21, 2016 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    These are self-selected responses that were then WP-selected to purposely convey a “range” of opinions. I don’t think this gives much information at all about why people voted for Trump. You can probably find someone somewhere who voted for him for just about any reason you might like to think up, and the WP is going to include it in their reporting because it gives more of a story to tell. I think we should put way more stock in things like exit polls, where we at least have some semblance of reaching a not-twice-biased collection of opinions.

    I stand by my comment from yesterday on this: Trump won because he was perceived as the anti-establishment candidate (this is bore out in the exit poll data).

    Furthermore, while I agree that not everyone who voted for Trump was stupid, I do absolutely think that everyone who voted for Trump was either ignorant or completely self-centred. This is certainly reflected in all of the WP comments that I’ve seen. Someone votes for Trump because they oppose the PC-movement? How ridiculous! Of all the issues – including those of fundamental civil liberties – they choose to prioritize the PC-movement? That is pure vanity, and – perhaps ironically – a reflection of that person’s staggering privilege. Then there’s the complete self-absorption of the last commenter still whining about Sanders losing the Democratic bid. Nevermind the fact that Clinton won the primaries easily by popular vote (something that those DNC emails had absolutely nothing to do with). So this person decides to vote for Trump to essentially stick it to the DNC? That’s a self-centred anti-establishment vote.

    I have yet to see a single reason for supporting Trump that is not incredibly ignorant or reflects an incredible mishandling of priorities. I don’t think we’re going to get much of anywhere trying to understand what the other side has to say, because I think we already know what the other side has to say – and all the new information I see pouring in only confirms that to me. The Democrats need to present themselves as the party of change, with a candidate who appeals to the anti-authority, anti-establishment leanings of the swing voters who voted for Trump/Johnson/Stein. Obama had that (he was largely seen as a non-insider). They will have to find a candidate in 2020 who has the same.

    • ploubere
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      Well said.

  31. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    The reasons given here are even worse, even more shallow, than I feared.

    Because of Trump’s business acumen? Mister five-bankruptcies, Mister busted-deals-all-over-the-place? The guy who’s screwed every subcontractor he ever laid eyes on, who’s whole life has been a long con, a la Trump “University”?

    Because he’s gonna help the working-class? This self-proclaimed billionaire who’s spent his life in gilded castles, who’s exploited working people at every turn, who’s done nothing but cater to the super rich? This guy who’s never offered up a spot of public service, who’s never demonstrated the slightest sense of patriotism or interest in pubic policy?

    Because you’ve got Clinton-fatigue, because you want to send a big “fuck you” to political correctness and the media? Why you selfish bastards! We’ve got a nation at stake here, and you’re willing to put an unqualified know-nothing in the Oval Office to salve your resentments? Screw you!

    Reading this post takes me right back to where I was two weeks ago tomorrow, the night the election got called for Trump — sick to my stomach and feeling cut off from 47% of my fellow citizens. Makes me wanna cash out, leave the country, go down-island and be a beachcomber, shuck my own oysters and clams, live off the fat of the land, forget about America for a while. Come back in a couple years when Elizabeth Warren announces formation of her exploratory committee, go to work for her to drive this idiotic orange interloper from the people’s house on Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Why? To quote Jerry’s cat-buddy J.C. Oates, quoting Stephen Crane: Because it is bitter, and because it is my heart.

    • Alec
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      “the slightest sense of patriotism or interest in pubic policy?”
      Actually I think that’s an area he’s *extremely* interested in. Public policy, maybe not so much.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, he can jingoistically rattle a saber, if that’s what you mean.

        But he’s never shown the slightest inclination for honest patriotism. He dodged service in uniform during the Vietnam war — got a series of college deferments, and then, when they ran out, got a doctor to write a letter to his draft board claiming a spurious bone spur in his foot. (When questioned about it later, he couldn’t remember which foot it was, and it never kept him from making a tee-time at the country club. So typical of how the stupid-rich got some poor working slob’s kid to pull their kid’s duty in Vietnam.)

        Nor has Trump ever done anything else that remotely smacks of a sense of civic duty. I doubt the guy even voted regularly before this, or ever showed up for jury duty. Now, for the purpose of campaigning, he buddied-up to veterans and put America first. We’ll see how long that lasts.

        • bric
          Posted November 22, 2016 at 5:32 am | Permalink

          I think post-election it is rapidly becoming clear that the only interest Trump has in the President Business is making money and personal aggrandizement; that’s been his career so far so why change now? He has already (again, post-election) had private meetings with Indian property tycoons and suggested to the President of Argentina that he might want to help out on a project. If Congress has the balls to impeach him (and remember Trump is pals with some very shady characters who will be very grateful for a foot in the Federal Budget door) he will have made his money and his arrangements. Walking away regardless of the cost to others is very much his style.

    • darrelle
      Posted November 22, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Take some heart in the knowledge that it isn’t 47%. It seems to actually only be about 24%. The difference are merely people who, for various reasons I’m sure, couldn’t bother themselves to vote.

  32. madscientist
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    I don’t understand the “they’re all idiots” attitude – it might make some people feel good, but it does nothing to address any real issues or to ensure that Trump doesn’t get a second term. Sure enough, the selected responses demonstrate desperation and fear as well as a misunderstanding of how government works. Doesn’t anyone pay attention in their civics classes anymore? At any rate, this gives some idea of why people voted for Trump – but why did people also install a Republican majority in both houses of Congress?

    • ploubere
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Giving them undeserved respect won’t help. Recognizing their ignorance is not insulting them, it is an accurate assessment of the situation and needs to be taken into account in trying to fix this. And I don’t think they even teach civics anymore in most schools.

      Congress was already controlled by the Republicans; the dems actually gained a few seats but not enough. But the repub control is more a result of districting than an accurate reflection of the public. Hillary did win the popular vote, unfortunately it was mostly concentrated in a few districts, and gerrymandering has made most House seats unassailable.

    • darrelle
      Posted November 22, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Why do they have both houses of Congress? Largely because of successful, long term campaigns of lying, cheating and stealing. Dedicated long term propaganda campaign aimed at getting people to believe a false model of reality and thereby vote against their own best interests.

      Long term, very successful campaign to gerrymander enough districts to steal majorities in the houses. If you doubt it look at the statistics regarding gerrymandering, including the extent and with what success the Republican Party and the Democratic Party have done it.

  33. Frank Bath
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:57 pm | Permalink


  34. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    I am afraid that a lot of the comments here simply do not get it and do not either want to hear from the other side or do not care. That is a good way to keep on losing elections. If you talk like the elite that is fine but if you talk to the rest of the world with that attitude you will fail, at least come election time. To say you know why they all voted for Trump and they are ignorant for doing so and basically, you can’t tell me a thing…good luck with that.

    • Doug
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      If you think that the reasons given by Trump’s supporters are misguided, then you should work on changing their minds. For example, if you think that their fear of undocumented workers is unfounded, explain why, without saying, “STFU, you racist scum.” Don’t say, “Oh, they’ll never change their minds-they’re too stupid.” People can change their minds, but it helps if you don’t look down your nose at them.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Exactly and on specific issues such as the one you explain that is a perfect example and cannot be just brushed aside. But also, the overall position that many have been losing, falling behind and see a dim future for themselves and their kids. You don’t win them over with social issues such as gay rights or even religious issues. Those things don’t put food on the table or money in the bank.

    • Michiel
      Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Then again, when did the Republicans “listen to the other side” in recent elections? And they still keep winning (ok not the presidency with Obama of course, but they still managed to “contain” him pretty effectively).

      And in the end, Hillary still basically won anyway. She won the popular vote by a pretty big margin and, if some sources are to be believed, only lost the EC due to highly aggressive gerrymandering and voter-suppression campaigns by the republicans.

      So, as some people above have already expressed, yes there are lessons to be learned from this for the Democrats and progressives in general.
      But maybe the lesson is more that they should recognise that the fight is not fair or clean, and adapt to that. Though the answer should not be to sink to the same depths as the other side of course.

  35. Hrafn
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Why? My guess would be that a lot of these reasons boil down to projection. Trump was sufficiently vague on policy details, and the campaign sufficiently focused on personalities, that he could ‘be all things to all people’.

    This meant that they frequently overlooked the fact that their ‘reasons’ didn’t hold water on closer inspection. Take ‘business experience’ woman as an example — (i) you cannot run government “like a corporation” (pure focus on profit maximisation, or even cost minimisation tends to provide perverse incentives), (ii) all evidence suggests that Trump is a fairly lousy businessman and manager — just a fairly gifted conman and showman.

  36. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    Apologies for OT-ing – this was too interesting – got it from a Sam Harris tweet:

    “The Electoral College was meant to stop men like Trump from taking office”


    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Very good article but I would always put more or at least as much emphasis on the Senate and how they decided on two from each state. Because in the end, this is why we have such an undemocratic electorate as well. If they had gone for representation in the Senate by population, the same as the house, we would not have all of this confusion to talk about. And it would be more likely that Hilary would now be president.

      The big state/small state feud caused this strange compromise and at the time it was voted on at the convention and the small states won, James Madison was devastated. He was sure that this decision plus the lost of federal sovereignty was a killer and he had pretty much wasted the whole summer. At that time he was still in the Hamilton camp and wanted federal power and a democratic representation of both houses.

      But think about what they knew then and what they did not know. They had no idea how unbalanced the population might get in 200 years. At the time they thought 7 or 8 representatives from Pennsylvania would crush the smaller states with only one or 2 representatives. And no one, not even our finest founders could think nationally all the time, they mostly were thinking at state level. They thought this compromise was good and okay but it turned out not to be. Just think about the California/Wyoming example.

      • Posted November 23, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

        Here are the numbers:

        State, EC Votes, Persons per EC Vote
        Wyoming, 3, 187875
        DC, 3, 200574
        Vermont, 3, 208580
        North Dakota, 3, 224197
        Alaska, 3, 236744
        Rhode Island, 4, 263142
        South Dakota, 3, 271393
        Delaware, 3, 299311
        New Hampshire, 4, 329118
        Montana, 3, 329805
        Maine, 4, 332090
        Hawaii, 4, 340075
        Nebraska, 5, 365268
        West Virginia, 5, 370599
        Idaho, 4, 391896
        New Mexico, 5, 411836
        Nevada, 6, 450092
        Utah, 6, 460648
        Kansas, 6, 475520
        Arkansas, 6, 485986
        Mississippi, 6, 494550
        Iowa, 6, 507726
        Connecticut, 7, 510585
        South Carolina, 9, 513929
        Minnesota, 10, 530393
        Alabama, 9, 531082
        Oklahoma, 7, 535907
        Kentucky, 8, 542421
        Oregon, 7, 547296
        Colorado, 9, 558800
        Washington, 12, 560378
        Louisiana, 8, 566672
        Wisconsin, 10, 568699
        Tennessee, 11, 576919
        Maryland, 10, 577355
        Arizona, 11, 581092
        Indiana, 11, 589437
        Massachusetts, 11, 595239
        Missouri, 10, 598893
        Georgia, 16, 605478
        Virginia, 13, 615463
        Michigan, 16, 617728
        New Jersey, 14, 627992
        Pennsylvania, 20, 635119
        North Carolina, 15, 635699
        Ohio, 18, 640917
        Illinois, 20, 641532
        Florida, 29, 648321
        Texas, 38, 661725
        New York, 29, 668210
        California, 55, 677345

    • Historian
      Posted November 21, 2016 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      In the Peter Beinart article you cited, he notes that the Founders were skeptical of pure democracy. They didn’t trust the masses to make decisions unchecked. Hence, they created the Electoral College whereby “better men” would actually pick the presidents and the senators would be chosen by state legislators. And in many states, voting rights were limited to white men of “property and standing.” Over time the institutional bulwarks to limit the direct input of the masses have diminished. What is often forgotten in this discussion is the role of the primary system, an extra-constitutional device to allow the masses to directly choose the candidates of the parties, both on the federal, state, and local levels. The primary system began to take its hold on the American political system early in the 20th century, a period usually referred to as the Progressive Era. Today, the primary system controls much of how candidates are nominated. The idea was that the “people” should decide who the candidates would be as opposed to political bosses in smoke filled rooms.

      Has the primary system worked to create better government? Political scientists and others have debated the question and I am not going to throw my two cents in here. But, I will say in the absence of the primary system there would be no chance that a demagogue such as Trump could possibly get the nomination of a major party. And the basic philosophical questions remain that goes back as far as the ancient Greeks. Can the masses be trusted and to what extent?

      • TJR
        Posted November 22, 2016 at 6:14 am | Permalink

        If we had the same nomination system here (UK) then I’m sure Farage would have tried to do exactly the same thing.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted November 22, 2016 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        You make a very good point. In the old Convention Days this would never have happened. I have to think those folks back in 1787 held very real fears. True Democracy was a bad word and seldom used. The masses or meddling class as they were called were not ready or able to govern. They did not trust the population to elect their own Senators, let alone president. And they were only considering white adult males.

        Also, the simply fact that a nation wide election was nearly impossible to to imagine added to the alternative ideas.

      • Posted November 23, 2016 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        In my first week in office, I will declare 9 months of gladiatorial games ….

  37. Hempenstein
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    Overriding factor: Cognitive dissonance revealed as a far greater problem than previously thought.

  38. poltiser
    Posted November 21, 2016 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for a balanced view. Both sides in election were horrible. The election was the last (I hope) political drama in a wake of “End of History”…
    Arrogance and greed of establishment unified leaders of both parties in “antitrumpism”, what Trump shows in his “TV – apprentice” style (folk politic – reality show).
    I understand why, but I worry for the future. Is the dictatorship the only answer?
    Or it is only quick fix?
    Or it is only daemon free from constant presence of reason, to tired to stay awake?

    Thank you for the blog. Best regards.

  39. JDW
    Posted November 22, 2016 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    It’s not that people are racist, sexist, homophobic, or fascist. No one ever is. It’s that people -voted- for the guy who invoked racism, sexism, fascism to move his candidacy forward.

    That’s the issue. That’s not something one can wave away with a “yes, but….” I don’5 have a problem returning focus to that. Yes, he promised everyone the equivalent of a full belly, provided he got to betray our shared values. People took him up on that. And that’s wrong.

  40. peepuk
    Posted November 22, 2016 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Racism and selfishness mostly operates outside our consciousness; so we won’t learn much from listening to peoples arguments. Humans are not rational scientist’s and we often make up reasons after the act, whether we like it or not.

    Don’t think Trump-voters are more selfish than Clinton voters; they just have different preferences, and even if they were it’s probably not intentional.

  41. Posted November 22, 2016 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    It’s cute how people claim to know why try do the things they do. They (we) are mostly deluded or not being honest. Their characterizations if person for whom they voted are largely 180° from the reality, ditto in re the person against whom they voted. They can state whatever they will about their intentions: they voted for a race-baiting, misogynistic, dissembling thief. They voted with neo-Nazis and forced-birthers. I’m sure the alienated working people who put Hitler in power had similar “rationales.”

  42. Xuuths
    Posted November 22, 2016 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, but all those “reasons” boil down to them being “fucking stupid.” I mean, business experience?! Multiple bankruptcies is now qualification for the presidency? Not PC? Are any of these parents okay with their children talking to them like tRUMP speaks?

    Nope, simpletons, partisans, racists and misogynists. That explains it all, and that sampling didn’t change anything but give different verbiage saying the same thing.

    Obviously, your mileage may vary.

    • jeffery
      Posted November 22, 2016 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      I would disagree with them being “stupid”: what this election has shown is how easily anger, fear, mob mentality, and shallow jingoistic slogans can bypass rational thought processes. We’ve got a long way to go and got a good reminder this Fall as to just how far.

  43. jeffery
    Posted November 22, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had several people tell me: “Yeah, I know Trump doesn’t have any political experience; that’s exactly WHY I voted for him- we need somebody completely from the ‘outside’, untainted by a political career, to go in there and fix that mess!”

    Talk about “belief without evidence”- in my book, that’s like having a roofing contractor work on your house: when they finish, and the roof still leaks, you say, “I think I’ll go find someone who has no roofing experience whatsoever- THEY’LL be able to fix this!”

    I also thought it odd, all through the campaign, that more wasn’t made about Hillary being possibly the first woman U.S. President in history- it may have operated at an almost subconscious level, but I think many men are still reluctant to have a woman for a boss. Trump’s macho posturings gave an easy “alternative” and his sexual attitudes may well have resonated with many men: “Hey, he lusts after babes, too- he’s a red-blooded man, just like ME!”

    • Posted November 22, 2016 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      I think this is the same mentality that started under W. Bush when people said he’s a President they could have a beer with. It’s just that now the mentality is on steroids. Dunning-Kruger has never been so apparent on a large scale.

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