November 09, 2016

Man, unable to prove he is not an orangutan, becomes President of the United States
  • I am not swift enough to put two links in the post. Obviously, the second link would acknowledge the results of last night's election.
    I went with my wife to a 9:30 movie last night ("The Magnificent Seven") so that we wouldn't have to deal with the stress of watching the results come in. The plan was to go out to the car after the movie and see the results. Based on all of the polling I had looked at, I was assuming Clinton would win. I loaded cnn on my phone in the parking lot of the movie theater shortly after midnight. We were both excited. At that point, the headline was something like "Coming Down to the Wire." I was shocked at that. I scrolled for less than five seconds before seeing that he had won Florida and Ohio. At that point, it seemed apparent to me that she lost. Of course, she did. We stayed up until around 3:00 trying to process it. I am still doing that. I think I took around eleven Ambien to get to sleep last night. Anything under ten tonight will be a success.
  • Last night I finally fell asleep around 2:30. I tried to go to bed at a reasonable time, but my stomach was in knots. I also chose not to take any Ambien as I thought it might be wise to take a night off from that.
    Stress is fascinating. I have been so worked up the past two nights that I couldn't find peace when I tried to sleep. Maybe that will be how it is again tonight, or maybe it won't. There will be nothing that is better or worse about the situation. It will be exactly the same. Yet for some reason, the stress of it all will subside over time. Maybe it will subside all at once. I don't know.
    I have never really lost anyone who was very close to me. Obviously, I know people who have. I imagine it to be a crushing weight that feels like it will be last forever. Somehow, it doesn't. Somehow, people who suffer some great loss manage to put it behind them and move on. I look forward to having this behind me. I am not a big fan of trying to fall asleep with knots in my stomach.
  • I am trying to hope for the best. What else is there to do? I have stopped paying attention to the news, as that seems to be helping with my stress, but I do understand that there are a considerable amount of people out there protesting. I am not sure what there is to protest. The voting booth was where people had the opportunity to express their preference. When President-elect Trump (just trying to get used to saying it) does something in office that people strongly disagree with, then it would seem to be appropriate to protest. Protesting because the candidate you wanted to win did not win does not seem to be a very valid reason for protest. I cannot help but think that this might set some sort of precedent where we have to tolerate supporters of the losing candidate protesting every time. While I have my own issues processing what happened and how I feel, it seems to me that the best thing to do at this point is to hope for the best and hope everything is okay.
    I mean, what are the real concerns about him being President? One is that all the Republican dream policies will get enacted now, but that is not anything that is unique to Trump. In one sense, things might be better with Trump than they would be with a different Republican President. It's not like he kissed the ring of the Republican Party during the election process. I think he may be happy to piss them off and not go along with everything they want to do. In that sense, it may be better to have him than someone else.
    Another concern is that he will say things that are offense to groups of people and to other countries. I think this one is unavoidable.
    The other big concern is that he will do something insane like drop a nuke on Syria. This is probably my biggest concern. I am imagining Putin talking him into dropping a nuke (Russia won't have to take responsibility and it would destroy any US credibility/goodwill in the world). My imagination can be excessive sometimes, and I expect this is one of those times.
    Mostly, I hope that he just doesn't really like being President. If that happens, I doubt he will run again. I think other people who don't like being President run for re-election because they want to accomplish something on some issue that is important to them. He seems to have no issues. He won, and he would rather not lose. If he does run again, it will be a nightmare for whoever runs against him. He will start or threaten a war at the appropriate time to help him get re-elected. He will encourage the smearing of his opponents and will have government resources to be able to do that.
    In summary, I hope he thumbs his nose at the Republican Party at times for kicks, and I hope he gets bored with the job. A man can dream.
  • There are plenty of factors at work to explain the vote in any election. So many people seem confused by the result of this election, and it certainly was not what the pollsters were forecasting. However, it was within a few percentage points of predictions. There have been countless explanations about why he won. Many of those explanations are undoubtedly true to one degree or another.
    I look back at the 1992 election. I think Ross Perot took 19 percent of the vote, Clinton had 43, and Bush had 37. Perot had never held public office. Much of his support came from the fact that he was not a Republican or a Democrat. Much of his support came from the view that we needed someone from outside of the establishment to take over. So we had 43 percent prefer the Democrat, 37 percent prefer the Republican, and 19 percent prefer someone from outside the establishment. Had Perot not run, some of his voters would have voted for Clinton, some for Bush, and some not at all.
    There was a very strong call this past year for a candidate who was from outside the establishment. Bloomberg thought about running. Trump threatened to run as an independent. Much of the praise Trump supporters heaped on him had to with their view that he was an outsider. Trump received the anti-establishment vote.
    He also was the Republican nominee. As such, he received the Republican vote. So for the first time I can recall, one candidate was able to pick up the establishment vote from his own party and also pick up the anti-establishment vote typically reserved for independents. This is something he likely will not be able to do in four years. It will be difficult for him to be perceived as the anti-establishment candidate after having been President for four years.
  • I haven't read anything in six days now. I have not watched anything, though I inadvertently watched part of a 60 Minutes interview with Trump last night. I saw only a bit, and it didn't get me too worked up. I will likely be able to start reading political things soon. My sleep has been pretty good, and I am not walking around with quite that same feeling in the pit of my stomach.
    Part of me wonders if I should just try to disengage a bit. I know about 1000 times more about Trump, Clinton, and the election than the average person. What did that get me? Nothing. Knowing more about everything did not enlighten me in some way that influenced my vote. Rather, it just increased my stress and my frustration with my fellow man. Ignorance is bliss, right? I won't be able to totally tune out (nor would I want to), but I wonder if it would be advantageous for my mental health to just know a lot less about politics.
  • As a non-UnitedStatesian, I can only give you my condolences for the passing of your nation as it once was.
    And given the planned backpedaling on climate deals, the world as it once was.
  • Thanks for your condolences, farlukar.
    Trump has proven to be quite uncooperative with the Republican Party throughout the election, so I am hoping that he will continue to do that during is his presidency. That is about the best I can hope for.
    Regarding the climate, I am worried, too. Every little bit does indeed help, so any deal he backs out of will be costly. I am not very optimistic about the future as it pertains to climate. There is not the political will to drastically reduce carbon emissions. There is not the political will to reduce the world's population. It seems to me that both of those things are necessary. Of course, from everything I've read, those things would not be enough. Still, every bit helps.
  • It has always been a bit difficult to understand how Nazi Germany happened. I can understand it now. To be clear, I don't think that Trump is going to authorize the mass extermination of people based on their race or religion, but I do so see how these things progress in steps. I highly doubt that Hitler ran around in the early or mid-thirties announcing that he was going to send the Jews to camps to die. It was a process.
    Right now, enough people are comfortable with the idea of keeping a database on Muslims, keeping people out of the country based on their religion, and building a wall. These should be steps that go too far already, but they are obviously not. As political opponents and minorities continue to get demonized, the public can accept things gradually going further. People want to be winners. They want to be on the winning side. People will tolerate a great deal more if they think they are on the winning side than they would otherwise.
    I thought about Trump dropping a nuke somewhere in the Middle East the other day, and I was thinking about how that would guarantee his loss in the next election. Then I realized that it would do no such thing. I imagined the Republicans I know looking at me with a straight face and telling me that dropping a nuclear bomb prevented us from being nuked and that it led to fewer foreign deaths than a continued war would. These same people right now would absolutely be opposed to nuking any country for almost any reason. But after much propaganda and the knowledge that it was their guy who did it, I am quite confident they would come around to defend those actions. In fact, I am sure it would lead to his re-election. It is all so sad.
    So many of the Republicans I know thought Trump was the cartoon, anti-intellectual buffoon that I think he is one year ago. Somehow, they no longer view him that way, despite the fact that he has acted like the cartoon, anti-intellectual buffoon they thought he was for the past year. Now they not only tolerate him -- they fully embrace him.
  • Words have meanings. Those meanings and those words can be important.
    "Lie" is an important word that has completely lost its meaning. For example, my secretary recently said to me, "I made an appointment for you today at 4:00. Wait - I lied. It's at 3:00." No, she didn't lie. She was wrong. The two are completely different concepts. Everyone is wrong. Not everyone lies. A lie is consciously misrepresenting what you already know to be the truth. Not everyone does that. But since the word "lie" has now been cheapened so much, everyone lies under this new definition. So lying is not unusual at all.
    This is really problematic. So when my opponent says "the economy is doing great" and I disagree, I can say he is lying under this new definition. If I say I have never met with Osama bin Laden and it is easy to prove through audio/video/witnesses that I have, then I am lying, too. We are both liars. The two are equivalent. That is so very, very dangerous. And that went on a lot this election. It takes a certain kind of person to assert things to be true that the person knows are not true and are demonstrably false. When we don't even have a word for that anymore, we have problems.
    Do you disagree with this premise? If so, I must be lying.
  • I dipped my toe into the waters again by trying to read a little bit about politics yesterday. Still too soon. My stress level does continue to go down, but I am still not quite there yet.
    I spent considerable time prior to the election reading those long election threads on metafilter. I didn't really bother to comment there as they moved to quickly. However, I was struck by how idiotic some of the things were that people were saying. People would say things like, "The Republican party is dead now. Democrats will win every election. Look at the demographics." Being that Republicans at that time controlled most governorships, most state senates, the US House, and the US Senate, it seemed like such a bizarre claim to make. Obviously, it was not only a bizarre claim, it was also idiotic.
  • Who are you even talking to?
  • No one? Anyone? You?
    Mostly to myself, I suppose. Maybe this is some sort of therapy for me. If it is saving me the cost of a therapist, then I think tracicle will have to bill me.
    Did the guy who went on and on about how the election was going to be rigged just actually refer to someone's claim that the election was rigged as "a scam?" And after all the conclusions from the media about how their coverage may have been irresponsible, does CNN have screaming headline now about Trump calling a call for a recount "a scam" rather than focus on the merits or concerns that have caused someone to think a recount might be appropriate?
  • It's more activity than the site has seen in a while, and it sounds like bernockle has to get it out somewhere, so maybe win/win?
  • I definitely do have to get it out somewhere.
    Why did this bother me so much more than Bush v. Gore in 2000? Other than wishing that Kerry had won, I don't remember being too worked up after that election in 2004.
    I think the answer is really two-fold. One part is that she was favored in pretty much every single poll. I completely expected that she was going to win, right up until it was clear that she wasn't. That wasn't the case even in 2000. The polls in this election just seemed to be drastically wrong, so that created an element of surprise that just hadn't really been present before.
    I think the other reason is that the presidency means something to me, and I think it has now been stripped of that meaning. Sure, Nixon was a crook. Sure, Bill Clinton was a lying philanderer. But they both were very qualified to be the president. Nixon (I believe) had been a senator. He had been the vice president. Clinton had been a governor. These were serious men with serious qualifications. I can think Bush was a dolt all I want, but he had been the governor of Texas. He had done what was required to be considered for the highest office in the land. Trump has done nothing. He has never held an elected office. He has never been actively involved in a political cause or a charity. His election smashes the notions I previously held about the office.
    It used to be that you could look down the road and say that there are a couple hundred people who might be qualified to be president in four years. Now, apparently you can look down the road and say that there are millions(?) of people who might be qualified to be president in four years. I mean, I guess I am really just a twitter account away from being qualified myself.
  • Well, that was awful. I was just talking to a friend of mine who is (I believe) a moderate Republican. Three or so months ago she told me she was going to vote for Gary Johnson. I never asked her after that whether that vote changed or not. I am pretty annoyed by this "millions of voters illegally voted for Clinton" nonsense that Trump said. I think it is a crazy and dangerous thing for the President-elect to say. If he really believes that, then he needs to launch a huge federal investigation right away. If he does not really believe that, then the public needs to understand the problem with having a President who makes things up. I think that much of the public does know he makes things up. Some of those people don't care. The people who do not realize he makes things up are the people who need to be reached.
    Anyway, she responds by telling me how hypocritical it is of Hillary Clinton to participate in a recount because she promised to accept the results of the election and how hypocritical it is of people trying to get the electoral college people to change their votes. I responded by trying to point out the difference between saying results are inconsistent with polling and other data so it would be a good idea to examine that information (Clinton/Stein position) and saying that millions of people voted illegally with no evidence (Trump position). This got me nowhere and caused me to get into an almost-argument with a friend. It was very frustrating.
    What should I have said? I don't know. Maybe, "We are talking about what the President-elect said and whether it is true or irresponsible or dangerous to say. It doesn't matter what other people say. It doesn't matter whether other people are hypocrites. What other people say or do shouldn't allow the President-elect to make things up. Focus on what he said."
    I am dreaming, of course. That wouldn't have mattered, either. And she is a moderate Republican.
  • Yuck. I had a bunch of dreams about Trump last night for the first time in a while. I also had an even more terrible dream about a kitten dying. It was not a good night for dreams. In that respect, I suppose you could say that my dreams about Trump were my best dreams of the night.
    Anyway, I had dipped my toe back into reading some discussions about him/the election, etc. Obviously, I am not quite ready for that. Perhaps tomorrow I will make a post about something very fluffy. I do hope my comments on here are not actually causing me more stress.
  • Sometimes it is difficult to discern between a dream I have and a thought I have while I am in a sleepy dream-like state while in bed. When that happens, it generally feels more like a dream. I think this one was a dream.
    There apparently was some sort of attack or natural disaster at the Oscars or somewhere in Hollywood. Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, and Rob Schneider wound up being the heroes in real life. I saw the preview of the movie being based on this incident. "With Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt playing themselves; and Kevin Hart playing the role of Rob Schneider."
    I did like the idea of Rob Schneider not being famous enough to play himself in a movie version of his own life. I woke up with a slight chuckle. Not a bad way to start the day.
  • What is a woman going to tell her daughter in ten or fifteen years when the daughter asks her why there has never been a President who was a woman? The daughter will certainly ask about Hillary Clinton and ask why her mother didn't vote for her. What will that mother even possibly say?
  • I live in North Carolina. Our governor, Pat McCrory, conceded the election to Roy Cooper yesterday. I heard he is meeting with Trump today to discuss God-knows-what-position. McCrory was one of the few who emphatically supported him. Trump rewards that sort of loyalty.
    A few months ago I joked that I should write Trump a check and a letter offering my support with his campaign here. If he won, there would be a pretty good chance I would be able to get some amazing job in the Department of Justice or something like that. Whereas if I did that with Hillary Clinton, it would have gotten me no such job offer. There is much more of a payoff to supporting Trump than there is for most political candidates. That might help him a great deal when it comes to fundraising in three years.
  • It's back!
    This site was down for a good four weeks or so. Does that happen often? Anyway, how am I supposed to know what I think of Donald Trump if I am not able to type my thoughts into the internet?
  • I dropped them an email, and got a message and a thanks back. Happy New Year!
  • So sorry about the baboon buffoon, bernockle. I wish your despair to be short lived, and hope we all survive this nightmare.
  • I hope so, too. It really continues to disrupt my sleep a bit. I will be so glad when the inauguration is over tomorrow. He should occupy a bit less of the news at that point. I assume I will be able to eventually get back into following current events soon. For now, I still can't.
    A friend of mine is taking tomorrow off and going to her mother's to have a day long celebration. I understand having republican views on many issues. It makes sense to be thinking about how some legislation that she likes might finally get passed. But how can she be excited about him? I mean, what is it about how he is acting or what he is doing that doesn't raise the concern of everyone? I would be aghast if a politician I mostly agreed with on the issues was acting like this.
  • I'm one of the lucky ones disatnced enough from the circus to only hear the groans and cheers. I am averse to commenting on that Other Site, but I feel safe here.
    From here, I can't undestand how so many people still get lured by the sweet talking sof a flim-flam man, who postures and smiles as if he knows as long as he does that it doesn't matter what he says.
    I have one friend here who believes in the lies, and although I respect his intelligence, I can't argue through his gullibility.
    I'll wait until someones dog pulls the curtain aside...
  • Ha! You make me want to buy a bunch of dogs. I'd love to be involved in the ceremonious pulling of that curtain.
    There are lots of reasons why anyone might vote for any given candidate. With Trump, I am sure there were, too. There were the rich people who would vote for anyone who would give them a tax break. There are people who feel so strongly about abortion that they will support any candidate they think might make abortion illegal. But there were people who voted for other reasons.
    One of those reasons that is difficult to figure out what to do about are the people who voted for him because they believe that the democrats/Hillary Clinton are the enemy. How do you deal with that? I have encountered some of these people. They seem to not care too much about policies. They don't care when Trump's views are contrary to their own. They don't care when he says or does something offensive. The most important thing to these people is that Trump simply is not Hillary Clinton. He ought to be able to keep not being Hillary Clinton for quite some time.
  • "Executive Order" seems to be getting a lot of press these days. Is that where they get a bunch of fat cat execs in a line according to ages and the shoot them with trump-ettes?
    I'd buy a ticket for that.
  • But who would ultimately get the money from the ticket you purchase? An executive, of course. An executive of a company that profits off of the execution of other executives.
    If people pay as much attention to Executive Orders as people in my office do to my Executive Memos, then I don't think they will have much of an effect.