Random thoughts on the election

Yesterday I said I just wanted the election to be over. That was a lie. I wanted a certain result, a different result. I just couldn’t imagine this result. To help myself process, I jotted down a few random thoughts.

  • The pollsters missed on Brexit and now this election. Are we in a post-poll world? I know we never answered a poll this entire season. “Sorry, we don’t do polls here. Thanks for your call…” I imagine others did the same or maybe just lied for kicks. If we can prove with an election that pollsters get it wrong, how much credence should we give them for other opinion issues that are not validated with an election?
  • That surveillance state some trusted Obama with? We just gave the keys to Trump, a man with a history of striking back for even the slightest slight. Watch those who stand against him—they are being very brave.
  • Racism is about to get much worse. As I was recently told with a wistful tone, “I remember when being black was wrong…” Or, as I was just told at Starbucks, “It’s good that a white person is the president again.” What?!
  • All the ‘isms are about to get much worse. We must stand up for those who are different.
  • Pray for the health of our supreme court justices. And their stamina. ;-)
  • Those that are expecting checks and balances to operate need to realize that the Republicans also control congress.
  • Many have said that Trump doesn’t mean what he says, that it’s bluster or negotiation or hyperbole. Now we will see. And hope they were right.
  • I remember when Evangelicals questioned whether they could vote for Romney, an honorable man, but a Mormon. The religious test is clearly gone. And maybe that’s a good thing.
  • Both parties nominated candidates so disliked that they only had a chance of winning because of who their opponent was. Expect soul searching by both parties as to how to run a primary. Maybe the primaries would experiment with different voting systems.
  • The Republicans proved that they could win, at least one more time, with just the white vote. That’s a small tent that needs to fold.
  • Trump promised to put Hillary in prison. This could get very ugly and would set a bad precedent in American politics. Obama could pardon Hillary, like Ford pardoned Nixon. But what’s the quid pro quo? Hillary can’t resign. I know one thing: the healing can’t begin if Trump is prosecuting Hillary. And do only losers ask for the healing to begin?
  • Trump who has only recently shown the ability to take advice. Now he has a job that will be impossible to do without taking a lot of advice. May he choose good advisors and listen to them. Based on who he chose to help run his campaign, I’m not hopeful.
  • I’m proud to be in Oregon, where we have 100% vote by mail. No long lines, no voter intimidation. Just lots of time to research the candidates and issues and feel confident that we voted for the best available. It’s time for the rest of the nation to follow suit.

Elections have real results. Here they come…

It’s time to vote!

I'm with her
I’m With Her

It’s election day eve—most will vote tomorrow. Many of you have already voted. That’s great! I voted a few weeks ago.

If you have already know who you’re voting for, you can stop reading right now. I don’t have anything for you other than encouraging you to go vote.

If you’re still undecided after months and months of campaign coverage, I’m not sure I can help you. It’s not you, it’s me. I just don’t understand.

When I originally wrote this post, I tried making three main points:

  1. The presidency is not an entry-level position;
  2. Trump has done and said a laundry list of bad things; and
  3. Trump’s temperament is not right for someone leading the largest military on Earth.

But I deleted it.

My first point doesn’t seem convincing. Obama had little government experience when he ran eight years ago, yet he was elected. This time around, Trump, with no government experience was nominated by the Republicans. At least Obama went to Harvard Law School, became a law professor teaching Constitutional Law, was a three-term state senator in Illinois, and then a U.S. senator. And Hillary’s done a lot, too. Probably even more than Obama. But people don’t seem to think being president requires any prior government experience or legal training. So, hey!

The press and many other influential people have documented Trump’s egregious behavior and how he gives comfort to the worst in our society. I can’t imagine how any listicle I might write would tip the scale on my second point. So, ignore that, too. After all, you’ve been doing a good job of that so far. Maybe you believe the press is biased, even Fox News. Maybe you think it doesn’t matter—because emails. Whatever.

My third point was maybe best made by Hillary herself:

Hillary should know. She baited Trump with Khizr Khan and Alicia Machado. And he bit—hook, line, and sinker. Yet, people who should know better don’t seem to mind, including most of the Republican elites. And they’re experts at military stuff, so maybe the commander in chief’s temperament doesn’t matter. Besides, Trump claimed to have the best temperament. Maybe that confused them.

So, I give up.1 I can’t imagine what I might say that would finally help you make up your mind.

But still, you should vote. Vote for Hillary. Or The Donald. You can even throw your vote away to a third party candidate or a write in. Maybe that would be best. You could say you didn’t vote for either “evil” and feel good about yourself, yet not having made any real choice or difference in the election.

I believe our democracy is best served when people vote. So, at least do that. If you can… :-/


  1. There is one point that I haven’t heard much that means a lot to me. Trump operates in a win-lose world, not a win-win world. He doesn’t feel like he’s winning unless someone else is losing. That might work fine in the business world, when you can keep finding other, new customers, but it doesn’t work in the geopolitical world. America doesn’t win because Mexico or China loses. In fact, America might do better because Mexico or China do well. Maybe this resonates with you, too. I don’t know. It was worth a shot. 

Quote of the Day — Bob Kerry

So, the most accurate answer to the question of which of Mrs. Clinton’s mistakes was most costly is probably one I have heard from a number of people and has been written by many others: She and President Clinton should have moved back to her home state after they left the White House. By doing so, she would have been elected the junior senator from Illinois in 2004, thereby reducing the chances that Mr. Obama would have been in a position to run against her.

Bob Kerry

From a June 8, 2008, op-ed in the New York Times. Hindsight is 20/20.

Hat tip: Bill Jempty on wizbang.

Quote of the Day — Dave Winer

Truth — Hillary has no actual experience to justify the 3AM ad. She’s never held an executive government position. 0 years experience. #

Same with McCain, btw, who makes the experience claims Hillary does. #

Woke up at 3AM to see how I felt about George Bush answering the phone at the White House. No conclusion. Went back to sleep. #

From Dave Winer on Twitter.

Update: Dave weighs in on being my Quote of the Day:

Quote of the Day. Heh. #

Hard to beat that! ;-)

Presidential Candidates in Their Home States

How well are the candidates doing in the primaries in their homes states? Can they carry at least a majority? Is having more than two viable candidates affecting the Republicans? The following charts might provide a little insight to these questions.

John McCain in Arizona

John McCain stands alone as the candidate not to win a majority vote in his home state. Ron Paul is the only remaining candidate who could match this “achievement.”

If the 3% that voted for Rudy Giuliani had voted for McCain, his total would have been 50%. And if bullfrogs had wings… It’s pretty weak support for the likely winner of the Republican nomination.

Mike Huckabee in Arkansas

Republican Arkansas voters turned out to give Mike Huckabee a clear win at 60% compared to McCain’s 20% and Romney’s 14%.

Mitt Romney in Massachusetts

Mitt Romney wins in a squeaker with 51% of the vote in a virtual two-man race against John McCain. The other three candidates received less than 10% of the vote combined.

Ron Paul in Texas

This primary will occur on March 4.

Hillary Clinton in Arkansas

Not much to see here — move along. Hillary Clinton trounces Barack Obama with 70% vs. 27%.

Barack Obama in Illinois

Barack Obama returns the favor by beating Hillary Clinton, though not by quite the same margin, at 64% vs. 33%.

Source: New York Times Election Guide 2008: Primary Season Election Results as of February 7, 2008

A Conservative’s Guide to Voting for John McCain

Clothes pin I offer the following guide to voting in the general election, should John McCain be the Republican candidate:

  1. Affix a clothespin to your nose
  2. Vote for John McCain
  3. Remove the clothespin
  4. Wash your hands
  5. Take a long shower
  6. Know that McCain is better than Hillary or Obama, even if barely…

And remember, there no time like the primaries to get a better conservative candidate.

Photo credit: “Clothes Pin” by BookMama on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons license.