Gaybutton wrote:I hope the Democrats realize that if they had gone out and voted, rather than just assuming Hillary Clinton was going to win, then none of this lunacy would be going on
Not being American, I can only look on and comment as an observer. I see a number of misconceptions as well as a number of traits that people seem to overlook.
1. Clinton won the popular vote by a wide margin. Why the US continues to operate its voting on the basis of a completely outdated electoral college totally beats me. After living abroad for so many decades, I have not been able to vote in the UK for almost 20 years. But the constituency voting there also betrays a degree of anachronism, although I recognise the need for politicians who can represent the people of a certain area. Yet if the majority of voters can not expect their party to be the governing party, democracy is surely flawed.
2. The ruling party in both countries seem to have the right to gerrymander far too often. Voting boundaries are changed, usually to benefit the governing party.
3. I thought Clinton would win in 2016 despite being a heavily flawed candidate. She brought the email server controversy on herself and compounded it by not coming clean at the outset. Attempts to cover up such situations rarely succeed because someone will eventually spill the beans. Her campaign was boring and old fashioned. There was nothing exciting about it to make new voters enthusiastic. Her choice of Tim Kane as her VP pick was a disaster. Cronyism triumphing over what could have been a far more appealing pick from the more junior ranks of the democratic political field. To quite a large extent she was responsible for her own defeat.
4. Few thought Trump could win. We now know the strategy behind the campaign, the help he received from the Russians and the damage they did to Clinton. But there is another factor about Trump that most commentators seem to forget. Not only in the USA, actors and celebrities often beat the odds by getting elected. In the USA alone there are plenty of examples - Reagan, Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Al Franken, Fred Thomson, Sonny Bono - even Clint Eastwood at a local level. Apart from Reagan, I have no idea who they ran against. But they started their races with a substantial advantage.
5. In other countries there are many similar examples. Pakistan has just voted in as Prime Minister the cricketer Imran Khan. Anyone who understands Pakistan knows that cricket is a religion there. Britain elected actors Glenda Jackson and Andrew Faulds as Members of Parliament. The Philippines is a sucker for celebrity with many elected to the various political bodies, including actor (and crook) Joseph Estrada as President. The openly homophobic boxer Manny Pacquiao is a Senator and a likely candidate as the next President. India has far too many to mention. Then look at Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Bangladesh, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands . . . The Clinton camp's lack of recognition of this appeal in Trump's candidacy was a big error.
7. As I have got older, I increasingly believe a two party system is inherently wrong and almost the antithesis of democracy. In politics, in my view, there is rarely right and wrong. Yet that is not what politicians in the USA, the UK (I know there is a third party there and for a while it looked as though it might have an effect, but it achieves little), and other basically two party countries believe. So the Obama administration puts in place a lot of changes. Trump comes in and then gets rid of a lot of them. Not usually because they fundamentally believe they are bad. Merely because they want their base to believe they are bad. Pulling out of the Iran deal is one of Trump's greatest mistakes. There was a fascinating debate with Colin Powell and Madeleine Alright about this on Fahreed Zakaria's GPS programme on CNN this morning. One a conservative republican; the other a liberal democrat. Both agreed Trump's action on Iran is near madness. But such are the results of a two-party system.
I am sure others disagree.
PS: Back on the subject, the ghastly Mitch McConnell showed the Democrats to be utterly toothless despite their having some good cards in their hands. Lindsay Graham may have been a friend of John McCain ("I loved him") but he showed that he is no better than McConnell. Schumer and Pelosi have always looked weak. This travesty surely illustrates why they have to go if the Democrats are going to have any chance of taking back the White House.