Trumperica Rising: The Dawn of Donald Trump’s Presidency, digital art by Bonnie Follett
It is the dawning of the Age of Trumperica… Age of Trumperica… Yeah….! Trump-e-ri-ca! (To be read with the music of the song Age of Aquarius made famous by the group 5th Dimension in 1969.)
Oh yeah. I have been trying to put together my first personal blog post regarding the subject of Donald Trump winning the 2016 presidential election. Where on earth to start? I have been quite speechless by the hullaballoo going on.
11/14/16: Please do not read the remainder of this blog post before reading the Massive Disclaimer that will be completed and posted by end of day 11/14/16.
Lots of people are quite happy and gloating about it. Others are quite afraid of what he’ll do with his presidency, some are acting out over the top here and there, others going back to daily business seemingly unscathed, and still others are engaging in public protests, some violent, some peaceful. The protests containing a violent component, blocking of traffic or property damage get far more media coverage than peaceful protests, because it’s just more fun for the media outlets.
Trumpsters feel vindicated and somehow superior because their candidate won a contest based on electoral votes, and some of them continue to blast liberal elitists (the latest catch-all label encompassing anyone that didn’t vote for Trump) as whiners for complaining and for noticing that Hillary Clinton won the direct vote of the people by over 600,000 votes and counting (update 11/19/16: her lead now at 1,265,379 of verified vote with ballots left to be counted and with Michigan to report at end of November. Her popular vote lead is 48.0% of the vote to Trump’s 47.0%.) Trumpsters continue to blast me and others every time we post or comment on FB or Twitter, other blogs, videos, etc. Non-Trumpsters are complaining on social media about Trump, studying “what happened,” wearing safety pins to signal to people who may feel in danger that they are “safe” people, or joining together in “support” gatherings. Still others (not me) are going out to protest Trump’s election in the streets.
The electoral college does not make their formal vote until December 19th, and meanwhile Trump is considering and picking his likely candidates for the cabinet positions. Many have commented on his odd cast of characters so far, so divergently opposite to the last administration. For us liberal elitists (gee – I feel like I should at least be able to have a fancy car, a mansion in LA, or a penthouse apartment in NYC or something like that to go along with the label)… anyway – “liberal elitists” are starting to talk about forming a Resistance (as if this was a dystopian sci-fi movie) to keep putting pressure on the new president, new administration and this “right-wing” movement (I think there’s more catch-all labels for them now too but I forget) as they go about destroying and un-doing progress in America that took decades to put together: environmental regulations, climate change agreements, gay rights, women’s rights, health care for more of the people, etc. You can add to that brief list from wherever you are standing.
So if you hoped the political stress would all be over after the election, it is NOT. Deep divisions remain and may only get wider! The two factions squeak farther apart every time a right winger gets all snarky ordering non-Trump voters to go crawl under rocks, eat shit and die, dry their salty tears, and that sort of thing. The Democrats seem far more interested in engaging in discussion, but when all you get back is over-simplistic right-twisted “truths” asserting right extremist self-righteousness, attempts at discussion start to seem a little pointless.
Trump attempted humility and called for unity in his election speech and looked like a deer in the headlights on his first visit to the White House where he met with Obama. (I had to wonder what it is like for a man who knew very little about government or international issues to suddenly be thrust into a position of being in charge of these things and I think reality was starting to sink in.) Meanwhile he tweeted that the many protests of his upcoming presidency were “very unfair” and somehow pumped up with “professional” protesters. He has not yet learned or accepted that with the presidency comes very vocal criticism that will likely last as long as he does (4-8 years). And SNL skits too! So get working on that enemies list because there are millions to be put on it!
There’s also talk about this being a racially-based election, white guys wanting to “take back” America as if it had left them. I don’t bother too much with this issue because it obscures issues that are more important to me. And I do not think (I have to say this or somebody will accuse me of thinking this) – I do not think that everybody who voted for Trump is racist! They had other issues of importance to themselves that drove their votes. And I have spent time on trying to understand more about that too. But I will leave it to them to describe or justify why they voted as they did, and to detail out the horrible suffering they claim to have been enduring like martyrs for the past 8 years. Now it’s our turn to bitch about it all! 🙂
So do we give him a chance? It’s not my job to be gracious in the transition or after he’s sworn in. There is some degree of giving him a chance, but highly wired to thoughts of “I know he will F up” and “Now we find out if he really is evil-intentioned or just a rich boy in the White House candy store.” Or could he turn out to be a better president than we think, at least for some people on some issues? He certainly ran a dishonest, nasty, name-calling negative campaign. The strategy worked. And certainly his camp was involved in much under-handed dealing (such as contacts with Russia they denied but Russia affirms). I can’t imagine all of that just goes away now in order to “give him a chance” and a “free pass” to cancel out everything from the past. So in short, he has to prove himself as someone who can actually be a leader for ALL Americans. I think he will prove to be a big ole mistake and that it will not be as easy as he thought it would be. But it still made some people somehow feel happy and vindicated that they got a Republican-in-name into office. That is so very nice for them, so they do need a honeymoon period. But for me…. see my response below.
My Response to the Trump Presidency
I took the initial deep depression and the feeling of a huge dark cloud over America and decided to be more vocal about stuff. I continued to remind people of Trumps crap from the election cycle, and becoming more vocal helped lift the depression and helped me to feel a little more patriotic as well, even though many right wingers have expressed many times in many ways that anyone who is a democrat or “liberal elitist” is not at all patriotic and for sure gets up in the morning to spit on the flag, etc. And they are very quick to complain about protests around the country with a “Get Over It!” , even though supposedly we still have a First Amendment Right to Free Speech. Is that over now too? I have no doubt that if the Popular Vote vs Electoral College wins were reversed that they would be shouting “Rigged!!!” and having their own protests in the streets and Trump would have already had his lawyers file a lawsuit for recounts and fraud and system rigging, and God know what else. Americans are a crazy people!!! I found a photo of a sign outside a pub in England that said: “All Americans must be accompanied by an Adult!” Kinda makes sense, doesn’t it?
Anyway, I early on signed a Petition to the Electors about Casting their Vote on December 19th for the winner of the popular vote (Clinton) and spread that around to others. I figured it couldn’t hurt and at least shows the dissatisfaction with the current system. I kept a watch on her lead on the NY Times election web page as her lead consistently went up every day. I continued my barbs at Trump, and I have often had to do a little research on areas of the civics lessons I had forgotten. I was reminded that the USA is a Democratic Republic not a straight-on Democracy and that each of these two types may have different consequences. Of course this came from a right wing meme that offered no citations for its accuracy, but I took the meme as a clue to look it up and learn more on it. I also had not thought much about the electoral college since 2000 when Gore lost to Bush, but it really is a clinker. Two elections now have clearly favored Republicans and eliminated the vote of half a million people even mattering. Do we really need this thing at all? I’ll put a link below on electoral college history, with some other links – related info, petitions and videos I came across in the last few days.
The Electoral College – Reform or Abolition?
Originating in 1787, and modified in 1803-1804 creating the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution, the Electoral College system was based in stacking the deck in favor of slave-holding states, so they could count their slaves (not able to vote) as part of their population and gain more electoral votes for their state: the election-rigging of the time clearly a factor. There was also a belief at that time that the electors were a little bit smarter than the rest of the population and might need a way to “correct” the popular vote if it went way off course and elected someone unqualified for the job. Democrats now see this as having a reverse effect in the 21st century (while of course Republicans see it differently as it favors them). There was another less important consideration in its creation too – that less populated states and territories might want some leg up on representation compared to more populated states, but that was not the main meat of the thing or the main intention for the changes to the 1787 electoral system. The intention was to rig the system a little to maintain power where power was wanted. The idea that it remains any kind of a safeguard placed on the popular vote has been an illusion. It has been rarely (if ever?) used to change an election, probably won’t with this one either, but who knows until December. Things have been pretty heated.
In closing this blog post out, I feel that since our state elections go by popular vote, and don’t need a fake electoral college type “safeguard”, and no irreparable harm has been suffered by using a direct vote system (impeachment is always an option when the need arises) then neither do we need an electoral college system in this century when we vote for president.
But even if we keep the system and feel we continue to need some type of safeguard in addition to impeachment, it is still time after 212 years of it to again study and evaluate the system to make it make more sense and truly be representative and fair. We don’t really need it, but if you want to keep this alleged safeguard, why don’t we make it count ONLY in elections that are excruciatingly close. My proposal – the national popular vote wins the presidency, but if that popular vote is within some expert-advised margin of questionability, then electors have a free option to go with the national popular vote or change their vote to correct a perceived injustice or split their votes to be representative of their state’s voters. Someone has got to have a better idea out there to make it more just and to make the vote of each American count for something.
Basically, we now live in a society where there is plenty of information (more than we want) available on each candidate for the presidency. The information is more accessible than ever before in history. There are Democrats and Republicans and Independents all over the length and breadth of this country. I believe in One Vote That Matters – one vote per person, the most votes win. The safeguard is impeachment proceedings.
(I love disclaimers) The author of this blog post reserves the right to change her opinion at any time, based or not based on additional information becoming available, without being subjected to slanderous allegations that I am a liar , somehow untrustworthy, or am stupid (Of course I am! You are too!). I may refuse to respond to comments that make me feel like crawling under a rock for 4 years. Thank you.
Notice: The artwork above is copyright of Bonnie Follett and is available for prints or licensing through Fine Art America/Pixels.com.
A few Related Links:
1. 2016 Presidential Election Results (New York Times): http://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/president
2. About the Media Coverage of Hillary Clinton during Election (11/11/2016 Newsweek): http://www.newsweek.com/neil-buchanan-cruel-crooked-caricature-doomed-clinton-520125
3. James Comey clears Hillary Clinton once again after second FBI email investigation (11/6/2016 Daily News): http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/comey-fbi-hasn-charged-conclusions-clinton-probe-article-1.2861086
4. President Trump. How and why? Jonathan Pie (11/10/2016 Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/JonathanPieReporter/?pnref=story
5. Stephen Colbert, Trump And Obama, Sitting In DC, A-W-K-W-A-R-D (11/11/2016 YouTube): https://youtu.be/YJDD9WCxYQI
6. Real Time with Bill Maher: November 11, 2016 (HBO): https://youtu.be/oMJvbP3yzMk
7. Michael Moore joins wide-ranging election talk, Morning Joe (11/11/2016 MSNBC): http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/michael-moore-joins-wide-ranging-election-talk-806604867876
8. The Troubling Reason the Electoral College Exists (11/10/2016 Time.com): http://time.com/4558510/electoral-college-history-slavery/
9. Petition to Electoral College re December 19, 2016: https://www.change.org/p/electoral-college-electors-electoral-college-make-hillary-clinton-president-on-december-19?recruiter=590957600&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_facebook_responsive&utm_term=des-lg-petition_update-custom_msg
10. Petition to Abolish Electoral College: http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/keystoneprogress/sign/end-the-electoral-college-12?source=c.em&fb_test=0&r_by=16704163
11. Twelfth Amendment, Wikipedia info on 12th Amendment: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelfth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution
12. Done. Over. He’s Here. Goodbye. Garrison Keillor (11/9/2016 S.F. Chronicle):
13. Moscow had contacts with Trump team during campaign, Russian diplomat says (11/10/2016 The Washington Post):
14. President-Elect Trump: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (11/13/2016 HBO):