Tag Archives: 2016 election

Counting the votes

A quote for the day:

It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything. – Joseph Stalin

I think it’s obvious at this point that Clinton’s people are going to try their damnedest to steal the election next month.  They’re hoping the actual vote will be close enough so the steal won’t be noticeable, but I think they’ll try it even if they have to stretch and risk getting caught.

Why?

Because they’ll believe they are doing the right thing.  They’ll believe that it “must” be done.

If it happens, well, that will be mighty interesting won’t it?

Additional Remarks on the First Debate

I don’t believe it was a blowout in Clinton’s favor by any means.  Trump  did get in some good points, and Clinton did make some errors.  However, if we’re keeping track of mistakes made last night, Trump made more than Clinton, and Clinton herself came out stronger than most Trump supporters were expecting. Trump also did not control the frame, Clinton did (with a lot of help from a shill moderator). That in itself is the biggest point in Clinton’s favor. On the other hand, Clinton did seem a lot like the snobby girl who thinks she knows better than everybody else what’s good for them.

A lot of Trump supporters spent a good deal of time speculating about how exactly Clinton would fail to make it through the debate without some sort of health-related incident: would it be a seizure, a coughing fit, a full-on collapse? Having none of those things happen was not a pleasant surprise at all. I actually spent a good portion of the debate wondering how in the hell her docs managed to prop her up so well. (Later last night, I believe I had the answer: embalming fluid!!) In all seriousness, the concerns that have been raised about Hillary’s health are still there. Not only that, it’s now obvious that whatever the problem is, it’s not totally debilitating, which means she has even less excuse, legitimate or not, to keep covering it up. The People have a right to be  informed, truthfully, about what’s going on.

A big part of why I’m so bothered by this debate is personal: I was really hoping for such an extreme blowout of Clinton that my parents would be convinced to switch sides.  Or at least my father. However, that is probably not a  realistic hope, which means I was setting myself up for disappointment.

I was also hoping to see Trump convey himself similarly to how he’s been at recent rallies. He’s changed his style a lot recently, in an effort to reassure middle-of-the-road voters that he’s not the nutjob warmonger that the media says he is. On that front, I don’t think last night was entirely a success.

Reports and discussion I’ve read this morning indicate that quite a lot of viewers think Trump did better than I thought he did. Many online polls are giving Trump the edge.  That is good news.

Frankly, I am thoroughly sick of this whole campaign, and just want to get on with the business of making America great again.

[edit] Here’s an interesting take on the debate by Scott Adams.  Very much worth a read.  He is more observant than I am, particularly with regards to Clinton.  I spent a good part of the debate with another browser window covering up her face so I didn’t have to look at it. :) Of particular interest is Adams’ contention that Trump may have lost the battle last night, but by doing so he won the war.

The First Debate

Trump got his ass handed to him tonight.

It’s true the odds were against him. He was up against The Clinton Earpiece, and whatever superdrugs they’ve been pumping her full of for the last month. He was up against a debate format that favored succinct, prepared responses rather than a multi-layered, complex communication style. He was up against Clinton getting first crack at all but one of the topics, thus allowing her to set the frame and bait him into wasting 3/4 of his time refuting her bullshit instead of telling people what they really need to know about Donald Trump. He was up against her clearly being fed the questions in advance, even though that was not supposed to happen.

Beyond that, he was up against her derisive, condescending attitude, obviously designed to piss him off and get him to punch back hard, as he tends to do, thereby casting Clinton herself as the Poor Helpless Female™, under attack by a big, sexist male bully simply for telling “the truth.” Worst of all, he was up against the Clinton media lie machine, and a public prepped for months with a constant barrage of misinformation, misdirection, lies by omission and even outright falsehoods. Nobody can refute months worth of lies in two minutes, and anyone who tries is not going to get his real message across.

All of that is true. What’s more, surely Trump and his people knew to expect it going in. Trump is, after all, the person who coined the term Crooked Hillary. He’s been calling out the dishonest media for over a year, as well as pointing out, time and time again, how completely rigged the whole system is. The Trump team certainly expected that this debate would not be a level playing field by any stretch of the imagination.

What was not obvious tonight, though, was how in the world they thought they were going to deal with it. What Trump needed was a “Kobayashi Maru” maneuver, something to shatter the whole Clinton/media paradigm and enable him to own the game in one move. Unfortunately, coming up with that sort of thing is a tough call, and whatever plan they had tonight was clearly not up to the challenge. Trump’s performance tonight was simply not effective. It was unconvincing to anyone who wasn’t already a Trump supporter. Worse, Clinton’s performance, while a bit Mondale-esque at times, was basically the sort of thing that the proverbial swing voter is looking for. She was not only reassuring and “presidential,” but even a little humorous at times, and, worst of all, humorous at Trump’s expense. Her goal tonight was to reinforce the manufactured image of Trump as a blowhard and a buffoon, and it worked.

I’m relieved there are two more debates. Trump is going to need both of them to make up for tonight.

This all sounds incredibly pessimistic and defeatist, but wait. I’m not done yet. In spite of tonight, I am still optimistic that Trump can emerge as the overall winner of the debates. His performance at the next two will be substantially better than tonight.

How do I know this? Because I’ve seen him improve like that before. His ability to learn from his mistakes and improve was one of the very first things that impressed me about him, well over a year ago. It was a key factor in my decision to wholeheartedly support Trump, and since then, I’ve seen him do it again, several times. He’ll sit down with his people and they’ll go over all the mistakes and missed opportunities from tonight, and when the next debate comes on the 9th, we’ll see something much better than we saw tonight.

Moreover, Trump has another big advantage that Clinton doesn’t have: Tonight was Clinton’s be-all-you-can-be performance. It was everything she’s got, the very best her campaign and their media shills (not to mention her doctors) can come up with. She can’t improve any more than she already has. But Trump can. One of Trump’s greatest qualities is his ability to learn quickly, to make adjustments, and to improve. He’s going to need that now. We all are.

So long, farewell, da da da da da da-ahhh!

I saw a link to this over on Vox Day’s blog yesterday.

Executive summary: Matt Walsh has decided to leave the Republican Party due to Trump being the presumptive nominee.

My remarks:

The GOP was in dire need of a remaking.  This has happened to political parties before, and will happen again at points in the future.  It’s an inherent part of the American political process, a reflection of the facts that 1) the way votes are counted means, mathematically, that the most stable arrangement is a two-party polarity, and 2) the needs and concerns of the People change over time, in reflection of changing conditions in the world.  Those two facts together result in a need for either one, or preferably both, of the dominant political parties to periodically remake themselves in order to accommodate the new reality. What has happened is the formation of a new political coalition, a process which, in America, happens before the election rather than after (as in multi-party democracies).  This year the process happened to be particularly contentious, but it’s nothing more than the system working the way it is supposed to work, including anyone with influence trying to game the system, as they always do. The unusual thing this time is that the game-players didn’t come out on top the way they normally do.  This is a huge victory for ordinary people.

Furthermore, the fact that the Republican party reached this point sooner than the Democrats, who are also very obviously in need of a reality check, is a good thing, as it makes them more relevant to current conditions.  I expect the Democrats will undergo a similar process in four to eight years, but for now, regardless of who they can come up with as their nominee—Clinton, Sanders, or some alternative like Biden—it’s the GOP/Trump coalition which is right now more firmly grounded in reality. Trump and his supporters made that happen. The Democrats are still traipsing around in ideological la-la land, making themselves look more and more stupid with each passing day.  How is this not the best possible outcome for anyone other than leftist nutjobs, illegal aliens, and multinational megacorps hell-bent on perverting the political process to their own ends?

So, with due respect to Mr. Walsh, “So long, farewell, etc. etc.

Super Tuesday

Big day in the Republican presidential primary races!  Will Trump pull ahead to a decisive lead today?  Will the absolutely insane anti-Trump media blitz of the past few days have an impact, perhaps enough to lose him a state or two? Or will swing voters recognize it as exactly what it is: a desperate attempt to fling a truckload of shit in the hope that just a little bit of it will stick?

Perhaps the stickiest shit flung is in relation to the David Duke “endorsement.” Laughably, the whole thing turned out to be false, unless you want to really indulge in some hairsplitting: Duke himself stated clearly that he does not endorse Donald Trump, although he does plan on voting for him. That is an interesting distinction, because it’s possible the only reason Duke is making it is that he knows full well an outright endorsement would possibly damage Trump’s reputation. However, he could also be making it simply because a candidate with positions so congruent to his own as to actually merit his endorsement is not to be found in this race. That would make Trump, in his eyes, the most pragmatic choice of half a dozen less-than-adequate candidates. It is certainly not unusual for people to vote that way.  Myself, for instance: I voted for Romney in 2012, but would not consider that an endorsement.  I voted for him because I didn’t want Obama to win, that’s all.  I did, however, gladly support Ron Paul in the 2012 primary, and I’d agree that really does constitute an endorsement. See the difference?  In particular, when you compare Trump’s position on illegal immigrants to that of the other GOP candidates, do you see the difference? Which position do you think Duke agrees with?

Beyond that, though, you have the simple fact that Duke’s alleged endorsement is irrelevant anyway. I will illustrate: Let’s say some weirdo genius is able to resurrect Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Gengis Khan from the dead and they all endorse Trump, enthusiastically and unequivocally.  Hitler yells, “Jawohl! Herr Trump ist der best hope for betterment of the master race and containment of das internazional Jew menace! All hail Deutschland!” Stalin proclaims Trump the exalted savior of World Communism, champion of the working class and the reincarnation of Karl Marx; and Khan insists that he and Trump could have a grand old time invading, conquering and pillaging diverse lands while relishing the lamentations of the enemy women.  What the hell difference would any of this make, exactly?  Would Trump’s position somehow be changed because of these endorsements? Would he be different somehow?

The answer is simply, no, Trump’s position would not change, Trump would still be Trump, and it doesn’t matter if a candidate is endorsed by an extremist whose views he doesn’t share.  It is in fact irrelevant, unless you happen to be of similar mindset to a six year old: “That other kid that I hate says he likes you, so I am going to beat you up, scum!!”  It’s completely ridiculous, and I say that as someone who, as a kid, was actually subjected to that type of asinine behavior (on one occasion).  It is certainly unworthy of people who purport to be serious political commentators, politicians or journalists.  The expectation of disavowal is clearly a shibboleth, and a lame attempt to push Trump down the slippery slope of liberal virtue signalling.

I have little doubt that typical Trump supporters understand all of this, at least at a gut level.  Whether or not swing voters get it is something less certain, but we’ll see.  One advantage that Trump has at this point in the race is that his primary opponents have pretty successfully managed to tar and feather themselves. Everybody knows Cruz is dishonest and Rubio is out of his depth, even their supporters (who nonetheless don’t want to admit it to themselves).

It’s going to be an interesting night.