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Trump Whisperers

Trump Whisperers

flag***Correction. Chris Arnade grew up in the South, much like me. With temperatures running this high, we’re making a lot of mistakes.


There will be a special place in hell for the “Trump Whisperers,” the writers of feely faux-think pieces describing the “plight” of Trump voters. Like prophets of old, they declare that the plague of Trump is divine retribution for our sins, a judgment for our calloused embrace of the knowledge economy and global capitalism. Having hardened our hearts to the suffering of noble, misunderstood, “real” Americans, we must either turn from our evil ways or face yet greater travails.


These treacly dispatches from coal country or northern Florida always include the “big tell,” the line that lays bare the mindset that gives them their special odor. Chris Arnade is one of the leaders of the genre, making a name for himself with rich, deeply sympathetic dispatches from Trumplandia. Here’s an example of the big tell from one of his pieces:

“For much of my own life I was a Wall Street trader, sitting behind a wall of computer screens, gambling on flashing numbers.” Uh huh.

In other words, these are amateur anthropologists in a strange, exotic land of WalMarts and guns. They project a fairy-tale narrative onto a picture they do not understand, taking the gibberish they are hearing and translating into a relatable story of the “oppressed” and “forgotten.” Globalization, my ass.

For starters, Trump is not getting the bulk of his support from “the poor.” His hardest of hardliners are aging white people earning modestly above middle incomes. They are, however, pretty consistently “left behind.” They are white people, overwhelmingly men, usually without a college education, who for reasons of choice or circumstances did not participate in the great boom of the past thirty years, the largest expansion of wealth in the nation’s history.

What these people have lost over the past few decades is not factory jobs or middle class incomes. Political and economic liberalization has badly weakened the shadow social safety net that used to insulate white people, especially lower and middle income white men, from conditions everyone else had to endure.

If you actually listen to Trump supporters describe their reasons for supporting him, you get some version of this:


Nothing these people say about Donald Trump makes a lick of sense, from the Clinton email narrative to the claim that Trump “tells it like it is.” Their arguments make no sense because they aren’t going to talk about their genuine motivations. Pretending that race doesn’t matter is more central to the American identity than baseball.

For poverty tourists determined to find a compelling story, the nonsense spouted by Trump supporters is an invitation, a blank canvass. Trump Whisperers are determined to translate this gibberish into a neo-Marxist story of working class angst. It takes a lot of work and a soft focus to pull this off, but they are trying.

For someone raised blue collar in East Texas who has listened to these people when they feel comfortable enough to tell the truth, a clearer picture emerges that has nothing to do with “economic anxiety.” You’ll hear clarity from Trump voters under one circumstance, and only one circumstance – if they feel safe enough (or drunk enough), to tell you “what I think about The Blacks.” Sometimes they’ll substitute Mexicans or in a rare case even The Jews. And increasingly, you might hear what they think about “radical feminists,” which is code for their wives (or ex-wives).

Want to see an antidote to the Trump Whisperers? Read what people from white working backgrounds say once they’ve escaped. Kevin Williamson at the National Review drew fire for his cold assessment of the Trump phenomenon back in March. Williamson is no alien to Trumplandia. A native of Amarillo, a place where I spent my holidays and summers in a trailer park, he sees this scenario pretty clearly. Speaking of the Trumpsters, he explains:

Nothing happened to them. There wasn’t some awful disaster. There wasn’t a war or a famine or a plague or a foreign occupation. Even the economic changes of the past few decades do very little to explain the dysfunction and negligence — and the incomprehensible malice — of poor white America. So the gypsum business in Garbutt ain’t what it used to be. There is more to life in the 21st century than wallboard and cheap sentimentality about how the Man closed the factories down.

There’s a clean, mathematical test available to determine whether white angst is about economics or race. Voters in the primaries had an opportunity to nominate a Democratic candidate who devoted his entire campaign to a Rooseveltian program of democratic socialist economic outreach. Alternatively, they had an opportunity to vote in the Republican primary for a race-baiting Fascist. Guess which guy white voters picked.

Stories written by soft-core sociologists about the plight of white people hit me in a particularly personal place. I grew up white trash in one of those forgotten hellholes that people like Arnade like to visit, patronizingly admire, and then leave. These places were hellholes decades ago in their imaginary prime. They were hellholes eighty years ago when writers like James Agee came to ogle their inhabitants and muse on their simple virtues. Now they are hellholes with fewer people and less going on.

Nothing about these places has changed apart from the fact that the rest of the world got better, a lot better. And most importantly, the world has gotten better for people like African-Americans, Hispanics, and women; people whose suffering used to give Trump voters some relative comfort.

These voters chose Trump because the election isn’t going to change much of anything about their lives. The place where they live will continue to be a hellhole under a President named Trump or Clinton. Trump isn’t offering them a chance to improve their town, he’s offering a chance to destroy better places; a chance to turn everything into the kind of hellhole they are content to inhabit.

Mealy sympathy-pieces about backwater towns in thrall to Trump offer a certain comfort to everyone else. We would all be relieved to discover that this national nightmare was just a big misunderstanding, another example of “elites” failing to listen to the common people. We could just hug it out.

Sorry. I’ve been listening to these people my whole life. We are not facing some new problem born of globalization or capitalism or trade. We are facing America’s oldest, most stubborn problem.

When white people feel their hold on power slipping, they freak out. And it always starts with the folks at the bottom, because they have the highest relative investment in what it means to be white in this country. There’s not a damned thing we can do about it other than out-vote them and, over time, out-evolve them until this crippling and occasionally lethal national glitch is slowly worked out of our bloodstream.

Politics in a democracy hinges on an openness to understanding, the quest for empathy. As the Trump Whisperers are demonstrating, that quest can go wrong, especially when both understanding and empathy are stunted by cultural distance. Our drive to find common ground can end up legitimizing or even romanticizing toxic ideologies. All values are not equal. Some values deserve to be aggressively marginalized. Some values should inspire more anger than sympathy.

The people who write these travel-slumming pieces should be sentenced to live in Southern Mississippi for at least five years without access to their trust fund. Then they can come back and tell us about their heartwarming lessons from their time among “real Americans.”


  1. Viking

    So, after 9 days of turmoil, Comey says “Never mind.” Has the FBI become the Keystone Kops or what? I’m afraid, however, that this 11th hour announcement is probably too late to have a significant effect on the election. The damage has been done.

    1. I agree, Viking. It makes today’s announcement look totally irrelevant. 40 million people have voted, and I daresay, the vast majority during this 9-day period following Comey’s ill-advised announcement. Chuck Todd said tonight it may cost Dems 1-2 Senate seats, which would cripple a Clinton presidency if the Gop retains the Senate.

      This is inexcusable and Comey and all within his division that leaked or participated improperly in this matter should be fired for cause.

    2. Viking, no one outside of those who think Clinton’s Satan incarnate gives a flying flip about Comey or her damn e-mails. Any so-called swing in the polls was due to differential nonresponse ( Aside from the first presidential debate, there’s been effectively nothing that’s dramatically swung this election, not even The Tape. Seriously. When you look at recent polling, screw the margins and look at the actual demographic numbers.

      There is not a single thing in there to suggest that Trump has a chance at victory. This is where the race has been for months, and if anything, the polls are almost assuredly underestimating Clinton’s strength. Polls are fundamentally predicated on the past and so they’re ill-suited to account for sudden changes in the electorate, like the surge in the Latino vote or the coming Millennial wave (fyi, over 50% of all newly registered voters in Ohio were Millennials, no surprise there). It’s over.

      And as for Chuck Todd, always beware when a pundit says the words “maybe”, “might” or “could”. Unless you’ve got actual numbers to back that up, best to chalk it up to a media pundit trying to scare up a few more viewers or clicks.

      1. I respect the experience of the pundits I watch – Steve Schmidt and Nicole Wallace, as well as many others. I disagree about the impact on Clinton’s campaign with Comey’s announcement 9 days ago. Her polling numbers dropped by half – immediately and it has taken all this time to stabilize. The real question to ask if how much damage has been done in the 9 days of early voting – to down ballot races especially the Senate.

        We are all coming at our views from different perspectives – all of which have merit and short comings. I acknowledge I can be wrong, in fact, I hope I’m wrong, but if not, we will all look back at the big events that moved this campaign – including the audio tape of Trump – for how they impacted the election. The tape may not have moved Republicans away from Trump but it didn’t help him with undecideds and it helped Clinton. We will see….We’re all interested and hopeful this will turn out well for Democrats.

  2. Question for you, Chris. There’s a great deal of speculation on how the Senate races will end up. Presently, most polls have it tied at 50/50 giving VP Kaine the tie breaking vote.

    What happens to Kaine’s seat? It will have to be filled and Republicans are already vetting candidates for a special VA election. Suppose a Republican wins? Wouldn’t this tip the Senate back to the GOP under a tied scenario? As I appreciate it, if Dems are able to only pick up 4 seats (let us hope for this at a minimum…), the only way to avoid flipping the tied Senate back to the GOP would necessitate that Dems win 5 seats from the get go to neutralize any possibility of a GOP VA state capture of Kaine’s seat, not 4 as is being tossed about.

    1. Google helped me figure this out:

      Virginia is one of 36 states that opts to have their governors to make an appointment when a senator’s position is vacated. There are three stipulations:

      “(1) The governor’s appointee must be of the same political party as that of the vacating Senator.
      (2) If the vacancy occurs before a specified date preceding the regular primary (…VA: 120 days), the election is held in the following November; if the vacancy occurs within the specified period preceding the regular primary, the vacancy election is held at the second November election after the vacancy occurs.
      (3) The governor makes an appointment by selecting from a list of three prospective appointees submitted by the party.

      Per wiki: “McAuliffe’s appointee would serve until a special election in 2017, and a regularly-scheduled election for Kaine’s seat will be held in 2018.” That would keep the Dem Senate count for almost one year while both parties jockeyed for candidates.

  3. I think we generally know this, but it is always a bit shocking when laid out on screen.

    From 538:
    Republican elected leaders don’t look at all like America’s electorate.
    87% of House Republicans are white men.
    43% of House Democrats are white men.

    In 2014 just 34% of eligible U.S. voters were white men.

    The House Democrats will get a little more diverse this year, and the House Republicans will actually get a bit less diverse.

    Thanks to several issues (e.g., gerrymandering, apathy, power of incumbency, etc), the GOP is going to hold the House for at least the next 4 years (except maybe if Trump wins on Tuesday) and probably longer, but they are going to get squeezed and squeezed into a smaller and smaller geographic and cultural bubble.

    I do not think a sizeable group votes for a candidate solely because the candidate is a black/female/Indian/gay/Hispanic/Asian/etc, but I think it sure does make it easier to vote for someone who seems to relate to your background and experiences easier and maybe kinda looks a little like you.

    1. Homer, Females are MIA in chairmanships in the House and Senate, as well. It’s a “man’s world”. At least the number of women being elected to Congress has been rising, but they are vastly under-represented in leadership positions, even given seniority/experience. When Democrats are in power, women chair committees and sub-committees, but their GOP female counterparts aren’t so lucky.

      1. The Villages certainly counters the increase in Latinos in Florida since they are all old white retirees. However, nearly all the places mentioned in that article that switched from D -> R have switched a while ago (at the latest, by 2010). The places to look to are Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties (i.e. the Tampa area). Hillsborough (which contains Tampa proper) has been doing very well recently, as evidenced by the large recent increase in population. Pinellas is essentially lots of communities of old, rich retirees that tend to be very swingy: I can’t say that they are really Trump or Hillary types.

      2. I am no political scientist. But we have had a large increase of Puerto Ricans who vote Democrat. Hillary being a woman and Trump being so popular with woman means she will pick up many women. And she is white which sadly to say help her win some votes Obama lost. Many of those from the North East are Democrats anyway. There has been a surge of Hispanic registering and voting. Any Dems who would vote for Trump are probably already registered Republican awhile back. This is I think what Chris wrote awhile back simply created drama to sell newspapers not accurate projection. I think she will win but not by a large amount.

    2. Darn it all, Homer, I did not get the memo that I was supposed to vote for the person who looks most like me. Unfortunately, it’s too late, I’ve voted on Friday.

      I’m a fair-skinned, blond-haired, blue-eyed female. I suppose I should have identified with Hilliary. I wonder why not …

      I quite like Governor Susana Martinez. I’d much prefer her if she were running.

    1. A bigot surrounded by bigots. Guess what his appointments as POTUS will be?

      Here’s the back story on the man who was seized by security at the NV Trump rally. Say what you will about the Guardian, but they get the news before American papers. I have found their reporting to be dogged and accurate. Decide for yourself. I had 5 posts from other journals (CNN, Politico, The Hill, NYT, WaPo) and none of them provided either the name of the accused nor an interview, nor a full story about what happened. The man was released without charges which validates his version of events. Guess there are lots of creative ways one can get media coverage and public sympathy.

      1. Note: The Trump campaign is still using the NV “faux” attack for propaganda despite full knowledge that it was a man with a sign. I have not seen ONE American newspaper or online source other than “The Guardian”, a British publication, explain what really happened other than Daily Kos.

        This is newsworthy as it frames the entire Trump campaign of its blatant appeal to fear and outrage, never bothering to admit or correct errors. There is a lot of blame to go around this election, but HRC has not been given the same pass that DJT has received. This is inexcusable.

    2. I was just thinking about Trump and his surrogates (Chris Christie and Gen. Michael Flynn) who attended the intelligence briefing(s) by the DNI. Why would anyone have confidence that Trump will safeguard the information he received if not elected? (He slyly shared comments following the first briefing about how the agents’s body language showed they didn’t like Obama). It’s pretty scary when you think about it. Thank god the information they receive is limited, but one wonders whether Trump in a moment of pique might share more than he should or suggest through innuendo something he learned.

      I guess the only thing we can be grateful for is that it was a DNI (Department of National Intelligence) doing the briefing and not the FBI. However, the Clinton briefing did take place in the NY FBI office building….that very same office where all the leaks have been generated about the Comey email investigation.

  4. Chris,

    Not sure if you’re into foreign / military policy as much, but there’s a great blog called the War Nerd I’d recommend. But what’s relevant to this post is that the blogger is from Fresno and he always talks about how people in hardscrabble places like that are just *mean*.

    In one memorable post, he joked that where he grew up, people would happily call in an airstrike on their own town if it meant just a few people in Malibu, ensconced in their beach houses with their exciting lives and pretty wives, would be hit by shrapnel.

    That’s essentially a Trump voter’s mentality right now. Unfortunately, he doesn’t realize that if Trump were elected, the Malibus of the country would still do just fine… (maybe that would have been an effective advertising strategy: instead of advertising how bad Trump would abuse his own voters, show how little Trump would hurt the cosmopolitan city slickers they hate? Oh well, too late now 🙂

    1. Here’s a great quote from one of the War Nerd’s posts, talking about the Hazare, the ethnic minority in Quetta and the Pashtun, the majority:

      “What happens, anywhere in the world, when a dominant tribe figures out that its traditional victims are moving up, passing it by? If you said, “The dominant tribe, realizing that education is the road to success, does its best to excel in school,” please put on this tall cone-shaped hat and sit on that stool in the corner. No. What happens is that the dominant tribe begins killing its rivals in the most horrible ways it can figure out”

      It sounds like a surprisingly sound analysis of what Trump supporters are feeling right now (although thankfully, with a lot less violence). I don’t want to draw too many parallels between Trump supporters and terrorist massacres in Pakistan, but I do think there’s a universal human trait here that we sometimes refuse to recognize.

    2. EJ

      The War Nerd is written by Dr John Dolan, a poet originally from Colorado. His poetry is very good if you’re into postmodernism (which I am.) He writes the columns in the character of “Gary Brecher”, an overweight ill-tempered data entry clerk from Fresno, California. Dolan, however, is not from that town (or indeed ever lived there, according to Wikipedia.)

      Dolan is currently doing a podcast series with the journalist Mark Ames, in which they discuss wars and other matters. If you’re into his columns then don’t be stingy, cough up to listen to the podcast. It helps fund more poetry.

  5. What are the safeguards if the race is close? WaPo looks at the changes put in place in 2002 and how important they will be should the count be extremely tight.
    What they don’t go into is what happens if the electoral college vote ties……Last night I saw a WA state elector (Indian extraction), former Bernie die-hard, who has stated unequivocally that he will not vote for Clinton regardless how his state vote turns out. (This is a blue state and normally, electors vote as their states have voted, but are not constitutionally required to do so…) Thus, should there be an electoral tie, this man would essentially hand the election to Trump.

    Bernie to the rescue!!!! Jump on a plane and go talk to that guy! It may be critical.–and-thats-okay/2016/11/04/b93e6ca4-a294-11e6-a44d-cc2898cfab06_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

      1. *……it will need to be a lot more then one).

        The courts would step in pretty quickly if this kind of action caused a constitutional crisis.

        This guy in particular is just a typical activist anyways
        I tjink he said he’d never vote for Trump either.

    1. Yup. With the dual influx of a skyrocketing Latino population and particularly younger Puerto Ricans, that’s enough to turn Florida more or less solidly Democratic on the national level in four years.

      More locally, it portends disaster for Republicans. With FL’s state Senate map already evenly divided, that expanding influence will likely push more and more districts into competitiveness and potentially into the Democratic column. Same goes for the state House and particularly once its districts are redrawn.

      What’s uncertain yet is whether that difference has already overcome the gap between presidential and off-year elections for FL governor. Keep in mind that Gov. Scott’s reelection came at a sparse single point each year in ’10 and ’14, Republican wave years. Barring an exceptional Republican candidate, that doesn’t bode well.

      To be sure though, all of this is predicated on Democrats continuing their registration efforts and giving these people a reason to vote. They must not be taken for granted and Dems have to let them know that their voices are being heard and acted on.

      1. Solid points, Ryan. FL is particularly important because of the large number of electoral votes it commands. Like you, I’m excited about increased participation by current minority groups, but agree that Democratic advances should be earned, not merely the best alternative. What will be really interesting in years and elections ahead, is how state and national priorities may/will change when Hispanics command majorities. I hope that they will have long coat tails and invite Blacks and Asians into their governing presence. Imagine a nation where diversity is celebrated rather than denigrated….I’m afraid we still have some ugly years ahead to get to this point …. gosh, the Senate is so important…we can struggle through a majority House (though they have promised retribution if Clinton wins and total obstruction) but if SCOTUS is stacked, it is going to take so much longer for lasting, deep change to occur in America.

  6. Fun fact: I’m voting for President and just discovered that the Californian American Independent Party fully endorsed Trump and it even shows up as one of his parties on our ballot as “Republican, American Independent”.

    If you didn’t know the AIP “was” founded as an explicitily segregationist party and remains out token nativist, racist extreme right party out here in California. This is only marginally less weird than the parties on the ballot for Trump being listed as “Republican, American Nazi Party”.

  7. Great rumbling taco trucks, Batman! Nevadans are killing it tonight on their last day of early voting.

    Clark County’s (Las Vegas and a Democratic stronghold) previous record was 48,000 in early voting. They’ve blown past 55,000 and counting with more votes still coming in. This is nuts.

    It’s not just Nevada. Hispanics in FL have exceeded their early turnout in ’12 by 152 freakin’ percent! That’s just crazy.

    It’s the same story in states all across the country. Has the sleeping giant finally woken up?

    1. Let us hope so, Ryan. I also think a shout out is due for retiring Sen. Reid. He is having one last great fling in turning out the vote in NV…hope the end result will give him something to always remember.

      It’s wonderful that Hispanics are being engaged in the political arena. I have said it before but it bears repeating: When our current minority becomes a majority, it will be interesting to see how they treat those who demeaned and ignored them when they become leaders in the halls of Congress and in state legislatures. I welcome the change.

    2. This is basically the scenario I discussed in the odd topic forum for a Clinton landslide that significantly outperforms her polls.

      Since they need to weight the polling data to “likely voters” that means they need to adjust the raw data to a groups historical voting patterns. If any given years turnout is similar to previous years turnouts (which probably happens most of the time) then all is good. But if you have a noticeable increase or decline in a large demographics voting turnout, then the polls could be fundamentally wrong.

      In this case, if the Hispanic and Millenials turnout is significantly higher then usual (which, anecdotally, I believe will be the case) then there could have been a “silent Hillary vote” all along, and polls showing a 1 or 2 point HRC lead could actually end up being closer to 10.

      Also, with Florida having such a surge of Hispanic voters, and Trump being a uniquely toxic anti Hispanic message, there are starting to be whispers that Florida could join the Blue Wall soon, which would basically force changes (or more likely, destroy) the GOP. They would be start every presidential election already having lost. That would be the death knell for any national party, to have lost all chance at the white house except for the blackest of swan events.

      I’m starting to get cautiously optimistic that this could be a wave election. The House is probably not going to flip, but I think the chance of a presidential landslide and a Senate majority is over 50%

      1. Rob,
        I so hope you’re right, but I don’t think there’s any way that any established measure can be applied to voter turn out in this election. Large pool of undecideds in battleground states, “silent” Trump supporters who are don’t want to be identified as such, new registrants, rise in Hispanic voting (yea), decline in Black voting, defection by registered Dems, ramped up GOP voting….It’s going to be a long night…or a short one….

        What I am more concerned about is the Senate. That’s a nail-biter and without the Senate, a Clinton win will be impotent.

        I am sure we will all be burning the midnight fuel Tuesday……Stock up on popcorn and tranquilizers ! (or maybe a home brew, eh Fifty?)

      2. This Guardian article lays out the depth and breadth of despair and anger that is festering across America’s poor enclaves. It is helpful to reflect upon the fact that there are legitimate issues in America that have not been addressed for way too long…Most of these poor people are registered Democrats but they feel that the party has done nothing to help them.

        Here’s where I disagree with where and why these poor have directed their anger. I know Chris has suggested many times that Democrats have taken these voters for granted while ignoring their needs….sound familiar? It should, because if one thinks back, the programs that largely benefit people in these circumstances are primarily Democrat-achieved and reinforced when challenged. Where is the admonition for the GOP who has committed its agenda to destruction of the social safety net while offering nothing to put these people to work? This criticism is levied at Democrats but is this really accurate or simply ignorant of how difficult it has been for the Democratic Party in the face of total obstruction by Republicans to a jobs agenda (Obama’s $700 Billion jobs bill…proposed twice, rejected both times by the GOP), and ongoing efforts to weaken workmen’s comp and unions?

        Where is the GOP plan for these impoverished people? Finally, there are some problems that are simply a consequence of a changing marketplace. The sad part is that nothing has been done to mitigate the loss of jobs due to expansion of free trade, shifting of jobs overseas, or the inevitable increase in technological job replacement. People are being left behind, many have done little to prepare themselves for alternative employment, and they want someone to hold accountable – and it isn’t themselves.

      3. Viking

        Nate Silver’s analysis has been so much more pessimistic than other organizations. Either he’s on to something or he’s hedging his bets. If Hillary wins he can say that she was “ahead” in his analysis. If she loses he can say that his analysis was more accurate than everyone else’s.

      4. Let us hope that Silver is wrong and that he is being “coy”….teasing with fear-packed data so that he can enlarge his reader pool……..I recall Chris stating he has not been as impressed with his analysis this election cycle. We are all becoming paranoid, afraid to believe news that affirms a Trump win and a Senate loss – which is very possible, even as it is impossible to imagine.

        Wednesday can’t come soon enough…but I have a feeling that we are in for a long, hard slog regardless who is elected. Buckle your seat belts and ramp up your exercise program…or, as my husband used to do when he needed to work off anxiety – go out and pull weeds in the garden (-; (I’m trying to be positive…)

      5. Viking

        I’m going to be at a Houston Grand Opera performance on Election Night. The performance doesn’t end until about 11PM so hopefully the result will be known by then!

      6. I hope there is a large string section…lots of soothing tones….(-;

        Here’s what a friend sent me (a Dem) who is hosting an election night party at their home: (She won’t mind my sharing their “secret” recipe.)

        “OOOH, you need the Trump sandwich: white bread, full of baloney, russian dressing, and a small pickle.

        Black Russians could be Black Hat Russians (if your crowd will know what a “black hat” is )
        Or anything chilled, and again use “Chillary” in the name

        What about some sort of “stronger together with gin” themed alcoholic drink?

        And then maybe blue or white ones with shards of sugar glass for Clinton, to represent the glass ceiling?

        If you go the chili (Chillary Clinton) route, you could have, among your fixings, a big block of cheddar cheese and a box grater: Make America Grate Again.

        First, get a basket. Then fill it with all kinds of junk food. Basket of deplorables. I suppose depending on the crowd, that could be offensive. But now I really want to make a basket of deplorables.

        Tic Tacs and Skittles?

        Mixed NUTZ

        You’re wearing a pantsuit, right?

        I’m planning to put all the booze bottles in picnic baskets, to create a Basket of De-Pour-Ables.

    3. There may be more than meets the eye going on here in Nevada. The Trump Hotel in Las Vegas gives its workers wages and benefits that are far below what the employees of the other major strip hotels receive, and its (unionized) workers have been trying for a while to get at least a market rate in wages. However, the Hotel has consistently refused to even start negotiating, never mind increase the pay-

      “Be kind to the help,” indeed.

      1. As an example of how flat out insane the bizarro world that Trump inhabits, he spoke about it at a rally today, talking about how Obama “insulted” the Trump supporter and called it a “disgrace”.

        Uh…..what? You can’t even hold a discussion with Trump or his supporters because they don’t even understand basic, empirical facts. There f’ing video of Obama explaining that everyone’s freedom of speech be respected, ffs.

        Its just…..exhausting, mentally, to think that there’s so many of these morons.

      2. And, their votes count just like mine. Yet, Trump won’t get called out on this lie about Obama and the veteran….because, “it’s Trump”…….It’s sickening…at least you can stay in Canada even though I’m sure most Canadians are appalled at the possibility of a Pres. Trump.

      1. I agree Tracy. I tjink fear of these clowns is overrated. What about that “revolution” in Malheur that the Bundy clan were going to start? They were expecting thousands of “patriots” to come to the refuge. They got a few dozen misfits, oddballs, and societal rejects who left moms basement to come join the revolution.

        I don’t think there’s ever been a historical precedent for a “revolution” started by privileged old dudes who are pissed because they’ve lost a bit of their privilege (as opposed to an ACTUALLY oppressed group whose anger and resentment boils up over years or decades and finally the powder keg ignites). Violent revolutions require immense energy and the support of the larger society.

        If a few ppl tried something, they would be quickly subdued and arrested, and if enough of them did it to become a pattern, public opinion would quickly turn against them and demand that they start to be treated as terrorists.

        The problem is, these old, angry, bitter white men are living in their own bubble and they believe that there is far more support for their ideas and grievances then there actually is. They think the overall popular is feeling just as “oppressed” at the tyrannical gub’mint and that they’re just waiting for heros like them to strike the match before they all join in. This same bubble causes them to believe that somehow Trump is connecting with the vast majority of Americans and they truly believe he’ll win easily.

        It will be fascinating watching them deal with the secere cognitive dissonance they will face on Nov 9

      2. Rob, I think the tempest consists of more than angry, old white men…..If there is one thing that the GOP and Trump have been extraordinarily successful with this election, it’s creating fear and pandemonium based upon lies and vitriol. That is more concerning and it is coming from more than old white men.

  8. Off topic!

    Rudy Guiliani has now said he confirms FBI Insiders Leaked information to the Trump campaign. I am not an expert on the FBI. Nor am i an expert on congress. But would i be out of line to think Rudy should expect a visit from a few FBI agents who will ask him for the names of the agents who let the cat out of the bag! wouldn’t telling Rudy about the emails be illegal? maybe some House committee will ask old Rudy to come in for a chat, under oath!

    1. Viking

      This is a scandal in and of itself. Clinton could make a fuss about it but, at this stage in the game, she’s wisely decided to drop it. The less said about the entire affair the better. It’s smarter to continue the strategy of making the election a referendum on Trump.

      1. Viking – I don’t know that she can “fire” him at will…one would think that the fact that leaks have occurred from within the FBI would provide “cause” for termination, but I’m not sure of that. Comey plus all who leaked need to be purged for dereliction of duty. Rudy Giuliani needs to be tarred and feathered. I don’t guess he is indictable by virtue of passing along leaks? What about Bannon…come on legal eagles, help us out!

      1. The cat calling the kettle black? AKA, Trump campaign railing against the election being “rigged”…..If it’s been rigged, it’s been through their campaign via Wikileaks, Comey, FBI, voter suppression….where can it be said that the Clinton campaign has resorted to these tactics? They. can’t.

    2. Seems like they’d be easy enough to root out. Start with the agents who pestered the Justice Dept to investigate the Clinton Foundation based on nothing other then Clinton Cash, a right wing hit piece with numerous proven falsehoods. Go through all their work emails.

      Then identify all the agents who are clearly hostile to Clinton (it’s likely even the secretaries at the office could come up with an accurate list of them, Im sure these guys are known by everyone) and do the same.

      When you find evidence if leaking, which you will, fire them immediately, and then investigate whether they should be charged under the Hatch Act.

      Same would go for any Hilary supporters who leaked info designed to sway the election for her (although I don’t believe there have been any leaks designed to hurt Trump). This is a bipartisan cancer. The FBI simply cannot ever attempt to pick and choose election candidates using innuendo and unsubstantiated rumor.

      Not even Hoover’s FBI, as bad as it was at times with spying on US citizens, ever did anything like this.

  9. I wonder what the final gender gap will be in that one poll that matters the most. After all nobody has to know how you actually voted:

    The War on Women is real, and has been real for some time how. It’s just that it’s now that the scales have been knocked from the eyes of many GOP ladies.

      1. mary,
        All the women in my family are voting republican as are almost all the men. They have been for decades and nothing Trump has said or done has changed there little minds! of course, that has not stopped any of them from participating in as many government programs as they can:-)!

      2. I was responding to Fly’s comment on how many Texas Republican women are voting for Clinton vs party ticket…. Texas seems to be different in its level of Republicanism. It’s one of the reasons I am leaving this state when I can. I have to find a place with more respect for diversity and women. It is not Texas.

    1. Fly, I wonder how many married Southern women got calls from pollsters and because their husbands were in close proximity, said they were voting Trump, but in reality will pull the lever for HRC? Or even just someone who isn’t Trump?

      I’d bet it’s a non zero number.

    1. ON MSNBC last night, one of the Repub pundits (can’t recall which one) noted that Romney took home 93% of GOP vote whereas Trump is currently polling (which could be wrong, admittedly) at 80%. He will need either “new” GOP registered voters who are not in the files, or siphon off a lot of Democrats, which we know is totally possible. ;

      1. Nicole Wallace was the Repub pundit I referenced. She’s been an awesome commentator. GW Bush didn’t deserve her but he likely would have been in much more hot water without her guidance. Kellyanne Conway, she’s NOT….I am going to have to put her on my list of GOP deplorables.

      2. If it offers any piece of mind, American school children completed their mock election here in the US. The results tabulated and the electoral map corresponding to that vote is included in the results. I offer it because they’ve only been wrong twice (1948…they went for Dewey and in 1960 they went with Nixon). A warning, their results were not close…..and in 2028 they will be voting for real.

      3. I find that comforting because, at that age, they’re mainly just absorbing and repeating their parents’ beliefs. If it’s not close among families with kids, the quintessential American family unit, well . . .

      4. Since we’re looking at “oddball” election predictors, here’s a professorial prediction for you that uses a different set of predictors than standard polling….and he’s been correct for the last 8 elections………He’s predicting a Trump win….Guess there’s a first time for everything, including being wrong……….

      5. The WSJ has as near an endorsement of DJ Trump as they could without saying so.
        Makes me want to gag. The contradictions to fact are astounding. Mr. Murdoch, you have made your mark.

        “All of which means that if she does win on Tuesday, the manner of her victory would damage her ability to govern. Rather than win a policy mandate, she has chosen to destroy Mr. Trump personally. She would face a Congress that wants to investigate her from the first day and an electorate that is polarized and doesn’t trust her. Her instinct would be to lean even more on the left for political support, making compromise with Republicans in Congress even more difficult.

        We’re as optimistic as anyone about the resilience of American democracy, but four more years of aggressive progressive rule would more deeply entrench the federal Leviathan across ever more of the economy and civic life. The space for private business and nonpolitical mediating social institutions would shrink.


        The case for Mrs. Clinton over Donald Trump is that she is a familiar member of the elite and thus less of a jump into the unknown, especially on foreign policy. The case against her is everything we know about her political history.”

        Thank you, WSJ, for your unbiased, clear-headed analysis.

      6. Tonight, msnbc. reports newest WSJ/ABC poll which shows better news for Clinton, though still an incredibly tight Senate race. I’ve checked all the poll clearing sites and none show it yet so guess it was for limited release….Should appear tomorrow am.

      7. I posted clips from yesterday’s WSJ editorial on a “Clinton presidency”. Because the articles I link from the WSJ are probably pay-walled, I will post in entirety, the WSJ editorial on Trump in today’s weekend edition. It is worth noting that the paper’s preference is clearly Trump. There are many good points in the article that describe how a President T would likely govern.

        “The case for Donald Trump is political disruption. A broken Washington needs to be shaken up and refocused on the public good, and who better to do it than an outsider beholden to neither political party? If only that reform possibility didn’t arrive as a flawed personality who has few convictions and knows little about the world.

        The best hope for a Trump Presidency is that he has aligned himself with enough sound policy impulses that he could liberate the U.S. economy to grow faster again. He would stop the crush of new regulation, restore a freer market for health insurance, unleash U.S. energy production, and reform the tax code. His default priority would be growth, which the U.S. desperately needs after a decade of progressive focus on income redistribution and the worst economic recovery in 70 years.

        Assuming Republicans hold Congress, the House GOP has already put many of these reforms in legislative language. Mr. Trump could adopt them as his own reform agenda and get a fast start on governing. With a GOP Senate he could fill Antonin Scalia’s seat on the Supreme Court with someone from the fine list of candidates he has publicly released. For many voters, the future of the Court is by itself enough reason to support Mr. Trump.

        Yet while this could be a 1980-like moment of economic renewal, Mr. Trump is no Ronald Reagan. The Gipper came to office with a coherent and firmly held world view formed by decades of reading and experience as a Governor. It isn’t obvious that Mr. Trump reads anything at all. He absorbs what he knows through conversation and watching TV, and he has no consistent philosophy.

        This makes it hard to predict how he would respond to the shocks and surprises that buffet any President. His firmest policy conviction seems to be that trade is a zero-sum game and that America is losing from global commerce. But if he follows through on his vow to withdraw from trade pacts, impose tariffs on imports and punish U.S. companies that invest abroad, he could cause a recession. The main economic battle in a Trump Administration would be between his pro-growth domestic reforms and his anti-growth trade policy.

        The strongest argument against Mr. Trump, as Hillary Clinton has recognized, concerns his temperament and political character. His politics is almost entirely personal, not ideological. He overreacts to criticism and luxuriates in personal feuds.

        President Obama’s greatest failure has been to govern in a deliberately polarizing fashion, and Mr. Trump’s response has been to campaign the same way. If the businessman loses a race that Republicans should win this year, one reason will be that his often harsh rhetoric has repelled women, minorities and younger voters. He ignores or twists inconvenient facts, and even when he has a good point his exaggerations make it harder to persuade the public. Yet a President needs the power to persuade.

        The least convincing Never Trump argument is that he would rampage through government as an authoritarian. That ignores the checks and balances in Washington that constrain GOP Presidents in particular. If Mr. Trump wins, the media would awaken from their Obama-era slumbers and dog his Administration with a vengeance. The permanent bureaucracy would resist his political appointees, working with the media to build public opposition.

        The more realistic concern, especially for conservatives, is that Mr. Trump would be as haphazard in office as he has been as a candidate and thus fail to change Washington as he has promised. Mr. Trump would start out with more than half the country disliking him, and most of his advisers lack government experience. Too many blunders or an early recession could cause voters to sweep out the GOP Congress in 2018, setting up a return to an all-progressive government in 2020.

        Another risk comes from the negative impulses on the political right that Mr. Trump’s meanest rhetoric has awakened. Populism has its uses, and the media stereotypes of Mr. Trump’s supporters don’t capture their variety and general goodwill. But populism becomes dangerous when it is rooted too much in ethnicity or class.

        Mr. Trump’s Breitbart posse has a vendetta against Republicans on Capitol Hill and is motivated by brooding resentments that too often veer into white-identity politics. If Mr. Trump indulged these sentiments as President, he would further polarize the country and alienate non-whites for a generation.

        Then there is the biggest Trump gamble of all—foreign and security policy. The good news is that Mr. Trump wants to rebuild U.S. defenses that have eroded on Mr. Obama’s watch. He would be more candid about, and more aggressive against, the Islamist terror threat.

        Yet the irony is that Mr. Trump shares Mr. Obama’s desire to have America retreat from world leadership. Beyond “bombing the hell out of ISIS” and “taking the oil,” it isn’t clear the Republican has any idea what to do in the Middle East. As a rookie in world affairs, he would be unusually dependent on his advisers—if he listened to them.

        His seeming bromance with Vladimir Putin is especially troubling given the Russian’s aggression in the Middle East, Europe and cyberspace. Presidents Bush and Obama also underestimated Mr. Putin’s revanchism, but Mr. Trump has been all too nonchalant as Russia presses ahead. His instincts to retreat to a Fortress America could invite more aggression from Russia, China and Iran.

        The Wall Street Journal hasn’t endorsed a presidential candidate since 1928, and if we didn’t endorse Ronald Reagan we aren’t about to revive the practice for Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Trump. Yet one of them will be the next President. The choice comes down to the very high if relatively predictable costs of four more years of brute progressive government under Hillary Clinton versus a gamble on the political unknown of Donald Trump.

    2. Koctya, that’s an interesting poll. One reason I tjink why it is oddly predictive (as evidence by it calling most elections) is that school children are sponges, and they’re at home with their parents, they hear their parents talking over dinner, and more often then not they’re going to take their parents views and internalize them.

      My 8 y/o haaaates Donald Trump, even though he likely knows no specifics about the campaign. He doesn’t pay attention to it, other then he hears my girlfriend and I talk about it from time to time. As for myself, I would have been a strong GOp supporter in my childhood if I was allowed to vote due to my conservative father.

      In some ways, it acts as a proxy vote. I cant imagine many 7-9 y/o’s having the independence of thought to examine each candidate on their own merits for themselves. They just absorb what their parents say. Maybe the margins are wrong, but I think this poll, which seems like sort of an oddity, might have legitimate predictive power.

      1. You may have heard this last night at the Jay Z/Beyonce’ concert where they endorsed Clinton, who quoted from the stage:

        ” “Jay memorably said something we should all recall: Rosa Parks sat so Martin Luther could walk. And Martin Luther walked so Barack Obama could run. And Barack Obama ran so all the children could fly.”

        Paying it forward through personal sacrifice and commitment.

  10. While I’m a non-white immigrant to the US, I can offer a different perspective due to my location: north-central Florida. It’s quite obvious from living here that the towns north of Gainesville, FL and in the panhandle are for the most part white and poor. There are no industries and therefore no jobs period. The level of anger in the local folk (gleaned from conversations) is palpably high and I for one cannot blame them.

    1. Let me guess these panhandle residents also continue to vote for politicians that do not believe in government investment in infrastructure. They are pull yourself up by your bootstraps people upset that actually pulling oneself up by the bootstraps is pretty difficult when the straps are gone.

      Trump is real strong there because he feeds their anger but as usual they overlook those that actually do try to help them. You know because of gub’i’mint and libruls.

      I find it harder to do more than just pity these people.

      1. Turtles Run said “but as usual they overlook those that actually do try to help them. You know because of gub’i’mint and libruls….I find it harder to do more than just pity these people.”

        Yes, all of that is true. However, it’s hard for these folk to get access to good information because of their perception that government and the liberal elites only care about under-represented minorities. My sense is that they think that if you’re poor and white (and from the south), then you’re on your own.

      2. Then these poor white folks are listenting to the wrong news channel, Anand. I wonder how many of these tune into only FOX news? Low information, built in resentment can lead to poor choices…They “do” have a choice in this election and if they are making it for Trump, they are once more buying into the elite argument that only Repubs care about their needs and can “fix” their problems. Like they have already? Really? Dems may not do enough, but they do plenty more to help poor working people than the Republican Party has ever even considered. They are not getting credit for it and possibly this is their fault for not educating the working class adequately, but it is not from lack of effort through defense/expansion of the safety net to strengthening of workmen’s comp laws, and on and on.

      3. Agreed Turtles. I have no sympathy for those angry for whatever reason when they keep voting for those that are responsible in part for their problems.

        Gov’t investment in healthcare, education, infrastructure etc is not only important for a healthy economy, it is essential. If ppl continue to blindly vote for a party that hates gov’t, thinks it is the root of all evil, and continues to harm their base by pushing tax cuts for the rich above all else, then they lose any sympathy from me.

        It is as asinine as environmentalists who as furious at the destruction of the environment, and they keep expressing that rage by voting in Big Oil friendly politicians. It makes no sense.

      4. The people who bitch about gov’t being broken, but elect people who promise to break it, are the worst. True karmic payback would have Grover Norquist’s house hit by a cat5 hurricane and a 10.0 earthquake (just him and his small gov’t devotees) Then he could see just how much a gov’t “small enough to drown in a bathtub” helps him out.

    2. Anand,

      I also live in florida. These people you speak of vote consistently for Republicans. The Republicans in turn blame teachers for the poor education the children are getting while cutting school funding and paying teachers as little as possible. the Republican consistently vote in statutes that are anti environment. These same neighbors voted for Rick Scott who ordered state employees not to use the term “Global Warming”, even tho Florida will be devastated by said “Global Warming”!

      The east coast of Florida was hit by an algea bloom this year that is caused mainly by a lack of regulation. i have talked to people effected by this event. The stink is overwhelming. The economic cost high. But if you ask who you voted for, they say they vote Republican! I could go on and on! But Florida is filled with people with little education and even less ambition. They vote for their guns and for voter ID. End of rant:-))!

    3. Key fact about those North Florida towns – they’ve always been poor. In fact, they are probably as well off today as they have ever been by any objective measurement. Only one thing has changed for them over the past thirty years – other places, and other people, have seen their circumstances improve far more. These folks have seen their lives improve, but they are also farther behind other places, and other races, than they have ever been.

      That’s the element of this scenario that everyone seems to have overlooked which helps explain why these people are willing to set the world on fire. Their circumstances are actually improving. They are angry because certain other people’s circumstances have improved far more. Even more importantly, in order to have any hope of keeping pace they have to abandon a way of life which is never going to be very economically successful. They don’t want to move to Atlanta or Jacksonville or Orlando to get good jobs that are waiting for them there.

      In order to arrest their relative slide, they are happy to wreck the entire global economic and political order. I have no sympathy for these assholes. Let them rot.

      1. Chris,
        What fascinates me about the Republicans, and i give them reluctant respect for this, is they have put together an agenda that couples certain things some people, all who have divergent points of view, together. Guns! if guns are your priority, the republicans have you covered. abortion! same thing! Taxes! If you are a billionaire the Republicans will save you millions a year! Eliminate the ‘Death Tax” save the poor billionaire tons of money! Minorities? Republicans will suppress their vote and make it look like a legitimate thing to do!
        None of these groups have much if anything to do with the other but they are all tied together by one party, the Republican party! It is shear genius how they did it! The Republican party is screaming that they have to protect a conservative Supreme Court. I would be hard pressed to find any time this court has decided on the side of the working man. But some people seem to think a right wing court will help the angry white male make America great again!

      2. Chalk it up to my Millennial ignorance, but a part of me just doesn’t get it. We know that Trump supporters, by and large, aren’t financially strapped or struggling to pay the bills every month and yet they clamor about Making America Great Again. They have the means, so why don’t they go out and see the world? Seriously. We live in an age where if you want, you will never run out of things to do, people to meet or places to go. And yet they don’t.

        Is it just the impact of a generational upbringing that frowns upon these things? Regardless, it comes across as an infuriating mix of laziness, fear and ignorance that those with the means don’t seem to value it.

      3. “Regardless, it comes across as an infuriating mix of laziness, fear and ignorance that those with the means don’t seem to value ”

        There’s also the angle of living vicariously through Trump- he tells it like it is!!! He says what they want to say, but don’t because they don’t want the social backlash. The sexism and racism and xenophobia is a feature, not a bug. Yet they whine about being called “deplorable”. Or embrace it as badge of honor. They are assholes.

      4. Having dealt with many of these people over many years on a personal basis, I could not agree more. To resent others for what they have while benefiting through jobs because of their success is the height of ignorant hypocrisy. Further, many, many lacked skills or higher education – by their choice. Then they complain about not being able to move up. Tough. In that area of FL, community colleges abound, military bases are everywhere and for most, there is simply no excuse not to further ones education.

    4. That’s an interesting observation, Anand. We lived in the Destin, FL (panhandle) area for several years. We were residents when Walton County was re-zoned in large vertical sections to allow greater representation of retirees in the rapidly developing coastal area. Essentially, the argument was that most of the revenue generation for Walton County happened in this area, but the seat of power was north of the bay. A deal was struck and the power more equitably shared by this new district configuration.

      The problems of those north of the coastal area were that most of the jobs were in the service industry. Chamber and business interests combined forces to bus people in from north of the bay to work in coastal communities, because real estate was too expensive for those in service jobs to live in the area(s) where they worked. Many were grateful for the job opportunities and many were resentful. My personal feeling was that coastal development provided employment opportunities that would not have been available to those living north of the Bay in small, primarily rural and agricultural communities. There were opportunities for jobs outside the service sector if talents matched needs, but most of the positions were service related.

      FL has a long history of poverty areas serving pockets of great wealth. The irony is that before the development of these wealthy enclaves, jobs were even more limited, but exposure to the “haves” breeds resentment rather than appreciation for the jobs they bring. It’s like the old saying, “I didn’t know I was poor until the man across the street told me I was, as everyone else lived exactly like I did!

      1. My concern is that we’ll start seeing militias and a breakdown in society if the current fragmentation gets worse. Look at it from the perspective of these people in north central Florida. They’re seeing sand n**gers like me (actually monsoon n**ger, but I digress) show up in their neighborhood and do well while not participating in their shared culture and worldview. How are they supposed to feel when they seem to be falling behind economically while the culture is passing them by.

        Chris says “In order to arrest their relative slide, they are happy to wreck the entire global economic and political order. I have no sympathy for these assholes. Let them rot.”

        This doesn’t help. There has to be a way to bring back into the mainstream certain aspects that appeal to social conservatives while reducing economic inequality for everyone.

      2. You are a good person, Anand, to care about people who seemingly have little regard for those who are different. I have less patience with them and make fewer excuses for them.

        If you read the WaPo link, you will see what is very possible. America, land of the free….but not if you’re brown and frequently, female. I am very discouraged by what is happening in America. Appalled, actually.


    5. In the early sixties my dad retired in the Jacksonville area from the Navy into a recession. He moved to Orlando to find work walking away from his house. Cry me a river. If there is no oppertunity where you are at you go where there is. The problem is those peoples lack of imagination and initiative.

  11. V L

    One of the more interesting, but least convincing arguments I’ve seen on the right is that the left’s savaging of Mitt Romney in 2012 is one of reason’s we are dealing with Trump’s extremism today.

    Right wingers argue that Mitt Romney is an honorable man who was unfairly smeared by the left as a bigot.

    Let’s do an experiment.

    Let’s start with this report about Trump’s renting practices in the 1970s.

    Next, watch this video of an interview of Donald Trump in 1989.

    Watch this compilation of Trump interviews starting in 2011.

    Now think about Donald Trump. Picture him in your mind. Go over all the things you know about him.

    Now I want you to watch this video from February 2012.

    How do you feel about Mitt? Would you say that video shows someone behaving in a way that is worthy of respect?

    You don’t get to beg for the political endorsement of someone who is known to be a bigot and then cry about being seen as one yourself.

    The revisionism of the right about Romney’s record with Trump is one of the more disgusting things to emerge from the Never Trump campaign.

    The right is very sick if it can’t even acknowledge that Mitt Romney was essentially Trump’s first mark and that the set up for Trump’s infiltration started with the 2012 campaign.

    1. I’ve not heard anyone say that Romney was savaged by the left, but I don’t listen to a lot of right wing stuff.

      If anything, I thought the position on the right was that Romney wasn’t nearly conservative enough, and that is why he lost.

      The days of 2012 seem almost quaint in terms of “savaging” compared to what we have today.

      1. V L

        Well there’s that too which is also conveniently forgotten. Mitt got pushed toward Trump by the same people who are championing him now.

        But what I wanted to focus on the idea that the charge of bigotry is unfair makes little sense.

      2. Dare I suggest that one of the reasons Romney lost was that more people wanted Obama to win? It is hell for a billionaire who has been extremely successful all his life (including who his parents are) to admit that he was not the choice of the majority of the people in America. Undoubtedly, the 47% comment hurt him but it didn’t doom him. Romney did garner 93% of the Republican vote so I don’t know that he was shunned by his party….it was more a matter of more people wanted Obama to have a second term and they outvoted the Republicans……which is exactly what is going to have to happen going forward to end racism.

    2. One can easily debunk this theory.

      If savaging honorable men with unfair and dishonest attacks led to the rise of demagogic psychopaths, then the rights treatment of Obama would have led to a Che Guverra/Hugo Chavez/Fidel Castro blend to win the Democratic nomination this year. That obviously didn’t happen .

      And frankly, the attacks on Romney were far more grounded in truth then those lobbed at Obama. He WAS mainly representing the interests of the 1%. His party WAS (and remains) very unfriendly to minorities.

      1. I hope that Obama one day writes his “tell all” book. The way Republicans have treated him and his family ranks with the worst, most arrogant treatment of any sitting president. He has shown great restraint and dignity in the face of “you lie” and total obfuscation of his efforts to govern. A pox on the GOP houses!

      2. Viking

        Despite the treatment he received, the best revenge for him is leaving office with a good approval rating and knowing that, despite all the GOP resistance, he managed to accomplish quite a bit. I’d bet most Americans would prefer to keep him in office if it was possible. History will be kind to him.

      3. Even though the jobs report wasn’t as good as hoped, unemployment dipped below 4.9% today which indicates more people are employed and fewer have stopped looking for work.

        I watch a fair amount of CNBC (financial commentary/news). Over 300 economists have signed a letter opposing Trump because they feel he would be so bad for the market. The sentiment expressed by several CNBC commentators was that the negative markets we’ve been witnessing are due to the fear that Clinton will lose. Wall street is pulling for Clinton…and it isn’t because of her donor list, it’s because she’s sane. Those of us who are retired with investments do have cause for worry although as I have already stated, I am far more worried about what is happening to our country than I am to my savings. But, I guess I could move to Canada (-; with savings…….

      4. Don’t know if this bullish economic update via the WSJ will be paywalled, but here is a link:

        “Hiring by U.S. employers remained healthy in October as wage growth accelerated to its strongest pace since the recession, signaling solid momentum in the labor market and broader economy just days before American voters elect a new president.”

    3. In my mind the need to pander to the extreme right wing was one of Romney’s biggest problems. Romney governed MA fairly well. At heart I believe that he is a fairly moderate person. However to secure the nomination in 2012, he had to pander to the right wing and go so far to the right and betray his inner instincts, that he had no chance of actually winning the general. Romney’s Dad was a moderate Republican and could have made a decent president. However, today’s GOP is so far to the right of the GOP in that time that there is no comparison. Romney’s Dad would have been driven out of today’s GOP as a RINO. Mitt Romney would also be driven out, if he held elective office.

      1. Romney governed MA fairly well. Yes, with the strict parameters of a strong state legislature limiting and guiding his way. No one has said Romney isn’t a smart man, but he is an elitist by virtue of birth, personal success, party affiliation, and,

    1. Cooper’s final statement, credits “the lousy economic performance of the Obama years” as a reason for the rise of Trump. I’d like to dig deeper into this assumption. Growth has been slow – but steady. The financial crisis of ’08 wiped out many people’s nest eggs and their single largest investment: their homes. Unemployment has gone from over 10% to less than 5%. Our federal deficit has been halved. ALL of this has been achieved without ONE LICK of help from Republicans. In fact, it is fair and accurate to state that the “lousy economic performance” of the last 8 years can be largely laid on the back of two points: the Great Recession that resulted from fiscal policies of GW Bush et al, and total obstruction by the Republican Party for funding a massive jobs program (as requested not once but twice by Pres. Obama), and grinding government to a near crawl.

      The solution, per Mr. Cooper, is to come in from the flanking side: “…(use) federal laws and social shaming on one hand and the carrot of full employment, mass unionization, and social democracy on the other. I believe that they — or perhaps their children — will grudgingly appreciate it in the end.”

      Unions may have their dark side, but they supported the very group of people who have the only legitimate axe to grind in their disgust with the establishment. Their choice to support Trump is their right even if it is the wrong solution to their problems, but their options have been few.

      Time. It will take time. But I can guaran-damn-te you that under THIS Republican Party, no progress will be made for the masses who are crying out in anger and frustration. They are choosing Trump and they are choosing wrong. They will have to be responsible for this choice should he win. The GOPe has made the calculated decision that they will ride whatever crappy coat tails they can find to keep power. If the majority of America fails to understand this, the process of acceptance of diversity and social progress will be delayed, but, it will come. White people better hope that when they are in the minority, the new brown majority will treat them better than they were treated.

  12. Mark commented on his friend’s desire to stop the ‘browning of America.’

    We’ve passed that.

    Recently, in a UHD meeting room of seating about 150 people, many from two local high schools, I reckoned roughly 10 audience members were obviously white. Everybody else was brown, the products of all the various backgrounds that make Houston so interesting.

    The gathering was organized by a handful of white female professors and high school teachers.

    The get-out-the-vote organizer was a black male with with an upbeat personality. After the meeting, he took those kids on a GOTV walk though the neighborhood.

    The guest speaker was a Latina judge.

    This event could be perceived as a nightmare for some white males, doncha think?

    1. I went to a UCF rally with Obama speaking. The students and outsiders like me were pretty mixed up with all ethnicities. But heck just go out to eat, to many churches and to work you see this same scene. And people of all ages are not just socializing together but marrying. America is going to get browner. And where it is happening it is not a big deal. In the day the Klan was extremely powerful in Central Florida. But the breakdown of prejudice happen here anyway. When a community becomes a minority majority community this happens. It is inevitable for the rest of the country to follow suit. Those outrage white males will be an embarrassment to their grandchildren.

  13. Really, how large (or small I should say) is the group of people voting for Trump because they want their taxes lowered at ANY cost and just vote for anything with an “R” next to its name?

    Because rest assured that hardcore Trump supporters I know in the suburbs of Western California are no more coherent in their support of Trump than your East Texan friends are.

    1. Why, exactly, do some Republicans so fervently clamor about wanting their taxes cut? Go back and listen to Reagan’s rhetoric about “welfare queens” and you see a line that’s subtly drawn, that their tax money wasn’t being used to better ‘them’ or ‘their’ way of life, but rather going to supposedly lazy minorities and immigrants that just come to this country and take hard-working Americans’ (read as white people) efforts for granted and… yeah, you see where this is going.

      Cutting taxes was a two-pronged sword for Republicans that both fit snugly into their revamped message of limited government and a roundabout way of saying to whites that they were on their side.

      There may be a handful that actually buy supply-side economics, but read between the lines and for the overwhelming majority it’s the same race-baiting rhetoric that’s defined Republican politics for a generation.

      1. Oh yes I’m aware of the dog-whistles but I keep hearing about the “Paul Ryan” wing of the party that is purely interested in libertarian economics and always vote Republican out of either being true believers or personal benefit but in reality their actual numbers seem very small.

      2. I worked with too many Blacks and Hispanics to buy the lazy nonsense. My neighbor is a Mexican and he never stops working. Most Mexicans are like that. Reality does not follow the welfare queen fairy tale. When you actually know these people you find that out.

      3. Exactly, Stephen. That’s where racism becomes obvious. It’s an excuse to say that everyone on food stamps, workmen’s comp, unemployment is lazy and feeding off the taxpayer dollar. Most people – certainly not all – when working class, work all the time. I have great respect for the sacrifices they make to cobble together enough income to take care of their families.

      4. Stephen, I believe you are on the side of the angels, but, “My neighbor is a Mexican and he never stops working. Most Mexicans are like that.”, is a tough one.

        In general, it is safe to say, that “Most Mexicans” or most of any group are not like any one thing, except that they generally require food and oxygen.

        The positive stereotypes of huge groups of people are not necessarily a whole lot better than the negative stereotypes.

        Sorry, I seem to be in a cranky mood this morning. Carry on.

  14. I have a potentially oversimplistic question, but I haven’t found it addressed so I figured I’d throw it out there and take one for the team if anyone else wonders about this:

    Considering the chart of ‘tightening races’ in 2012 and 2016 Chris shared in the last post, and considering that Democrats tend to vote earlier and Republicans later, do the polls tighten because less Democrats say they ‘will’ vote for the Democratic nominee, despite the fact that they already have? Or do polls taken once the voting has actually begun say “Have you or will you vote for ______?”

    Just a thought I had when I had five different Democrat friends of mine say, “I put my ballot in, now I’m switching off the election news until Nov 9th.”

    1. First of all, pollsters don’t have access to the trove of inside information like the Clinton campaign does in that they know who is a surefire voter and who might be on the fence about it. The best they could probably do is try to weed out that kind of demographic based on their past voting tendencies, but it’s certainly going to lag behind.

      The reason I bring that up is with regard to the idea that pollsters can somehow weed out between those have already voted and those who haven’t. It’s a mixed bag with results that you’re probably going to want to take with a grain of salt.

      And then, obviously, you come to the conclusion that those who’ve voted may well just not respond to polling requests. Why bother, y’know? So let’s say that in a particular congressional district somewhere, a whole bunch of Democrats have already voted and more Republicans than remaining Democrats are left to vote on Election Day. Do a poll in that particular district and chances are, without some very precision information on the pollster’s part, you’re likely to get a skewed result.

      Let’s take Colorado’s Senate race as an example. Colorado early voting started on Oct. 24th. On FiveThirtyEight, the five previous polls before then had Democratic incumbent Bennett up anywhere from 10 to nearly 20 points.

      After early voting started, we start seeing polls that have him consistently in the single-digits and trending seemingly lower as we get closer and closer to Election Day. See how that works?

      To be sure, only Election Day results can show it beyond a shadow of doubt, but that would seem to fall in line with my theory, in which case that would also portend for a national election as well, in which case take these polls that are showing Clinton and Trump getting seemingly closer with a grain of salt as well.

      1. The “enthusiasm gap” factors into turnout. Yesterday, Trump (by himself) drew a crowd in Selma, NC estimated at 17,000 while Clinton, a mere 30 miles away, with Bernie Sanders and a young Black singer, in Raleigh, drew 5200. That’s a notable difference.

      2. Here’s a snapshot of the two campaigns GOTV….how they’re being organized (Clinton with well know surrogates, Trump with family – no surrogates…I wonder why!). As admirable as Team Clinton’s GOTV organization is, it’s concerning that Trump continues to draw closer withhise relatively non-existent organization. What does that say about candidate enthusiasm? It says a lot about Clinton’s respect from her surrogates, but also a great deal about how much she as a candidate requires this kind of support.

      3. Most (not all) pollsters do a relatively decent job of evaluating and controlling for these types of things, and polling aggregators are almost always going to be better than single polls.

        Some of these discussions sound a whole lot like the folks on the right in 2012 trying to “unskew” the polls.

        We all have theories about what is going on, and we all can find evidence showing either side of a coin, but overall, it is pretty safe to say that the race is tightening up.

        At one point, folks (Chris) had the position of what states could Hillary possibly lose that Obama won in 2012?

        Well, Ohio is not looking all the blue right now. New Hampshire is losing some of its blue, and Nevada is bouncing around like a ping pong ball.

        None of those will swing the election, but if Hillary loses those, she’s going to start sweating a little elsewhere.

      4. @1mime: >] “The “enthusiasm gap” factors into turnout. Yesterday, Trump (by himself) drew a crowd in Selma, NC estimated at 17,000 while Clinton, a mere 30 miles away, with Bernie Sanders and a young Black singer, in Raleigh, drew 5200. That’s a notable difference.

        mime, we can cherry pick all day long about the size the crowds and it doesn’t make a bit of difference. Clinton did a rally in AZ the other day that had 10,000 people and by all rights, that’s pretty good too. President Obama has been campaigning in Florida like nothing else and there have been so many people (especially young people, mind you) wanting to see the president that they waited overnight and in huge lines just to catch a glimpse of him.

        One thing to keep in context. Walter Mondale crowed about the size of his crowds in ’84 and that didn’t stop him from losing 49 states to Ronald Reagan. Just sayin’

        @houston-stay-at-homer: Nevada’s already gone, Homer. Democrats’ machine has built up almost virtually as identical a firewall in Clark County as they did in ’12 where President Obama won the state by seven points.

        Not only that, with things trending as they are, Democrats will not only flip two Congressional seats, they’ll flip the entire Nevada state legislature blue.

        As for NH, again, no. There has not been a single point at which that state has trended red or even light red on FiveThirtyEight and the averages all have Clinton winning the state and Gov. Hassan taking its Senate seat.

        Ohio might go red, but Chris has said that polling underrepresents the vote in the big clusters and cities where the Democrats are, so take that as you will. It’s going to be close either way, so we’ll see.

        There’s no reason whatsoever for Clinton to be sweating right now. Barring a calamity, everything’s going well.

      5. Ryan, 538 is a great polling site but it is not the only one with credibility. Real Clear Politics this week shows Trump with a 1.5 pt lead over Clinton and Ayotte leading Hassan up 2.5 pts. I’ll readily admit to a tight race but I don’t rely on 538 as the irrefutable polling site. These changes are why the Clinton team is all over NH right now (as well as NC where the race tightened).

      6. @1mime: >] “Ryan, 538 is a great polling site but it is not the only one with credibility. Real Clear Politics this week shows Trump with a 1.5 pt lead over Clinton and Ayotte leading Hassan up 2.5 pts. I’ll readily admit to a tight race but I don’t rely on 538 as the irrefutable polling site. These changes are why the Clinton team is all over NH right now (as well as NC where the race tightened).

        Care to bet an extra scarf for Mia on what happens in NH?

      7. Ryan, the manner in which you are responding is making it impossible for me to reply directly. Hope you see this.

        My wager stands….one scarf for Hillary, one for Senate. I think NH is going to be a nail biter and Ayotte is climbing within literally 3 days of the election…… Trump is ascendant as well which is probably helping her.

        My point is that I do not believe there are many “Gimmes” here…

    2. “Some of these discussions sound a whole lot like the folks on the right in 2012 trying to “unskew” the polls.”

      I agree. I’m asking questions about how polling is done, but I’m not looking for reasons to disbelieve the data. Right now I expect Clinton to win by about 3-4 points, and in a plurality versus a majority.

      To Ryan Ashfyre’s point, what I would need to understand if early voting affects polling is to get two states demographically similar, one of which has early polling and one of which doesn’t, and view how the Democratic nominees in down-ballot polling are doing before the early voting starts in one state, and after the early voting has been going on for at least a week or two.

      If the early voting state candidate suddenly sees a negative trend in polling while the no early voting state candidate holds steady, that could portend a polling issue with regard to sorting those who have voted from those who still intend to vote. Also if both trend together, that could mean enthusiasm changes nearer the election regardless of voting logistics.

      And finally, another way to see if this effect happens without such a clean comparison between states, which we could probably do with the data currently available, is to look at the difference between whether Democratic support is DROPPING, Republican support is SPIKING (which seems to be the case), or if the two are reverting toward a mean. The problem with that is that that information is unclear to deduce any specific correlation, much less cause, behind. Hence the desire for a more clean test case scenario with less independent variables.

      Anyway that’s just my thought.

      1. That makes sense to me. I look at lots of polls, lots of analysis (as all here do) and I also pay attention to turnout data and exit data. I admit I am a neophyte, not a professional pundit, but have found that by aggregating a lot of data (including crowds – which are enthusiasm barometers), I get a better picture of what is happening generally. Most of the pundits today are telling interested people to look at state level data as the national polls are not as accurate as the swing state data will be. Of course, the Mook data system for voter identification is unparalled in modern times so I imagine they are looking at precinct level data in addition to the macro picture.

        It is important not to be negative (I am a worry wart as I have stated) but also to not rely on one site or one’s personal beliefs. Mitt Romney and his family can tell you a little bit about that. Never have I seen such a surprised family on election night. It was pitiful and I felt very sorry especially for Ann Romney who was visibly overcome.

    1. Read this in an earlier post and was deeply moved by it. Thanks for sharing it.

      It’s important to try to understand the legitimate reasons some people are voting against the establishment…or at least how they perceive their problems. Talking to one another is becoming a lost art….now it’s all fingers…..texts, emails….few in person conversations or even phone calls.

    2. The irony is that the knowledge economy could easily be the best thing to ever happen to rural and small towns instead of the slow-effect poison that it is currently. There’s no need for the most part for us to be bunched together in large cities. Nowadays, the only real main requirement for any good high-paying job is an internet connection, as you can work pretty much anywhere just with that. With Amazon and other such things, there isn’t really anything you need to go to a major city to buy. In terms of meeting other people, we really only meet with our own little cliques at work and online as it is. In fact, the cost of living alone may be starting to get people to spill out and leave the major cities. I know I’d much rather be looking at trees and mountains on my morning commute than cars and buildings.

      The only thing stopping more of them from doing it is that they don’t feel that safe. As a gay man, and a born and bred city-slicker, I still feel far safer in any supposedly crime ridden inner city neighborhood (because I know how to keep myself safe and not get into trouble, of course) than I do in rural Caucasia-stan. Given time, however, maybe things can change. Some of my rural relatives are completely accepting and are totally wonderful people; some are completely dead to me.

      1. Nice as those higher-paying jobs are and as much as I believe we should be encouraging and investing in them as much as humanly possible, how would that contribute to the broader economies those areas need to sustain themselves? Furthermore, a lot of those jobs need education above and beyond college-level, and that’s something that takes a dedicated amount of time, something those areas don’t have. They need help now.

        What you’re saying is great for the long-term, but it does nothing immediately.

    3. shiro, I read that article twice over and I’m hear to tell you that Mr. Wong, while he does make some valid points, doesn’t f’ing get it, or if he does, he certainly isn’t willing to face up to it.

      What he does is effectively lay out an argument as to how rural America has gotten its lily white ass kicked over the past couple of decades (which it absolutely has) and how we “blues” should get off our arrogant perch, open our eyes and recognize their suffering.

      In truth, and in all seriousness, I fully concede that I could never comprehend the depths of the hopelessness described. Whatever walls my life has thrown in front of me, by all rights I consider myself quite fortunate. I have a good job with a growing income and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t dream of what my future holds with all the belief in the world that I’ll get there eventually. Just imagining what it’s like for so many without that same opportunity is honestly saddening and it’s not right.

      All that said however, and even if I could perfectly understand what rural America has endured, none of that, not one damn bit of it, is an appropriate excuse for their choice, nor would it lead us to resolution. What we have here is a fundamental difference between two groups of people, one wanting to go back to the way things were and the other rushing relentlessly into the future. There was never any hope of reconciling this. That’s the bleak truth that Mr. Wong goes out of his way to avoid.

      Whether they recognize it or not, what these people want is their old world back and that’s just not going to happen. Whether they actually are racist is honestly irrelevant. That doesn’t change that they’ve benefited from the culture of white supremacy immensely and in supporting Donald Trump, they’ve forfeited their dignity in open support of trying to bring that time back at the expense of everyone else.

      I cannot even begin to tell you how much such a thing infuriates me. It should be an absolute truth of our world and our society that a person’s standing should be met by nothing more and nothing less than the strength of their efforts, pursued with a relentless faith in themselves and limitless imagination. Whatever the color of one’s skin or their personal beliefs should be irrelevant.

      However unfortunate or ill-fated these people and their situation may be, I will never excuse the choice they’ve made. It goes against everything I am and I won’t ever forgive it.

      1. For the most part, I agree with you. However, I think the whole point of the article was just to explain the Trump-voter mentality to us blues, not to argue why we should vote for Trump or necessarily feel sorry for them. That said, this bleeding heart liberal still thinks there are some pockets of rural America that can be saved before they die of despair (alcohol, opiates, tobacco. . .).

      1. Note that Judge Biggs is an Obama appointee. Any wonder that Republicans are working so hard to keep the Senate?

        I listened to remarks last night by the attorney who is leading the effort nation-wide to overturn voter suppression in battleground states. This woman has made been fighting voter intimidation legally for decades….job security, if you’re pro-Democrat.

        “Federal courts issued several rulings Friday on voter harassment and election mechanics that favored Democrats, as judges continued to grapple with legal challenges on voting ahead of Election Day.” States impacted were: OH, AZ, NC.”

        More are pending.

        “Ohio decision bars campaigns from voter intimidation activity; Arizona allows get-out-the-vote operatives to deliver mail-in ballots; and North Carolina restores some voter registrations,”

        “A New Jersey-based federal judge also is expected to rule no later than Saturday on whether the Republican National Committee violated a decades-old consent decree barring it from engaging in poll-security activities.” This could extend the court order against the RNC for years that has been in place since the ’80s. Our friends on the right seem as talented at suppressing the vote as they are in getting their base to vote and believe every sordid story they tell.

        As Chris has noted, and as this group knows, a party that depends upon tactics like these should not survive….yet, somehow the party survives to continue its destructive, heinous practices. What will it take to bring the GOP to their knees? When will it happen, and at what cost to our country? If anything, the Republican Party continues to double down on suppression of voting rights and degradation of rights of all who don’t hew to their narrow views. Nothing is too extreme in their efforts to control every avenue of power.

        What is really sad is that America should be building upon the diversity that gives it its strength; instead, our nation is embroiled in a continuous, poisonous situation that eliminates any balance between valid conservative and progressive ideas. Democracy cannot survive much less thrive in this atmosphere. Something cataclysmic is going to happen and it will be so much worse for everyone than the simple effort to share power.

      2. Well, the AZ appeal to SCOTUS was affirmed, overturning the Saturday ruling that allowed ballots to be carried to the polls. As you will see from this SCOTUSBLOG background, the decision is going to have an impact in the state and especially for those who live in rural areas who lack transportation and mail services.
        “In the brief that they filed this morning, the challengers cited Arizona’s “long history of racial discrimination” and emphasize that ballot “harvesting” has long been “one of the most popular and effective methods of minority voting in Arizona.” The burdens imposed by H.B. 2023, they contended, “fall disproportionately on minority voters,” who may face significant obstacles to either voting in person or delivering their early voting ballots themselves. As an example, they pointed to one Indian community in Arizona, the Tohono O’odham Nation, which occupies land roughly the same size as Connecticut but has only one post office and no home mail delivery.

        The challengers dismissed the state’s efforts to justify the ballot-harvesting bar as an anti-fraud measure. Not a single supporter of the bill, they stressed, could point to even one incident of actual ballot-collection fraud. Moreover, they continued, other “substantial security measures” are already in place to combat fraud.

        The challengers also rejected the state’s suggestion that the court’s ruling in Purcell favors the state. If anything, they asserted, it’s the other way around: Reversing the en banc court’s ruling would cause more confusion because ballot collection has been standard practice for many years, and ballot-collection efforts started up within hours of the en banc Ninth Circuit’s ruling. And allowing that ruling to stay in effect would not change election procedures, particularly when election administrators have said that they do not intend to enforce the law.”

    1. I have to call this out.

      You’re linking a tweet that effectively says “Voter turnout is double from 2012” with no data. It just claims that. That tweet itself is a retweet of someone saying, “This poll is misrepresenting minorities,” with no data. That tweet itself is linking the actual poll they’re disagreeing with, that shows data other than they state.

      Unless LatinoDecisions has data to prove their claim, this is the same sort of behavior that underwrites Breitbartian claims of skewery and slant. If LatinoDecisions has a separate post that shows that data, then I’d feel more comfortable accepting the premise.

  15. It seems to me that it was largely racism that got Trump nominated. The concentration of all racists into one party is an unfortunate development.

    A combination of racism and knee-jerk football-fan type partisanship has also allowed him to keep his head above water while refusing to “pivot” in any meaningful way.

    The thing that has gotten him to the threshhold of winning has been the incredible success of Putin, Wikileaks and the FBI at making sure every day for the last 3 months has had headlines containing the words Clinton and Email; the complicity of the press in treating it as news (which is where Birtherism lost steam), and the low-information nature of the most persuadable voters who aren’t bothering to read beyond the headlines, but instead just use it to justify the “both equally bad” fallacy. And if both are equally bad, well, Trump is a star and more entertaining…

  16. I’m a white gay-married male succeeding economically in the global economy and finding myself deeply depressed as the polls tighten. I think Chris touched on something as to the reason… Trump and Trump voters want to hurt me. As a gay man living in Texas I feel the hostility.. I need to know my place! My marriage is not equal. I should not be able to protect my spouse legally because we should have no status. In fact the state should be able to throw us in jail if they please. How dare the Supreme Court invalidate Texas law! Trump will throw us to the wolves, and is a dirty trickster holding our rainbow flag up in the air.

      1. Yes I hate what I find about Peter Thiel. “Mr. Trump will be quite expansive about gay rights.” What?? I guess he is one of these super-rich who wants super-low taxes and is so rich he doesn’t have to worry about things like “rights.”

      2. That’s an interesting article about Thiel and supporting Apartheid. Actually I remember a lot of people in America back in the 80’s supported Apartheid, which now seems to be an easy marker that you were indeed a racist, at least back then. A year or so ago I was watching video clips of Christopher Hitchens talking on C-Span back in the 80’s and the topic was Apartheid. It was very interesting.

    1. Viking

      Mark, I would like to know your thoughts about the Log Cabin Republicans. Given the hateful GOP platform concerning gay rights, etc., it seems the Log Cabin people must be sort of masochistic. Why do they associate with a party that despises them?

      1. Living in Houston I do have one gay friend who is white, a few years older than me, and is fully on board with the Tea Party, Trumpism, etc. I try not to talk about politics with him because he’s a dear friend actually. He tells me that I’m a one issue voter (I’m not) and look at this smart kid Milo Yiannapoulos (gross). The bottom line is that he, and I suspect Log Cabin Republicans, care more about stopping the browning of America, or lowering taxes and cutting welfare (to brown people), than they do about their own personal dignity. In my friend’s case I believe he psychologically doesn’t even identify as gay, even though he 100% is.

    2. There are Islands of tolerance. Orlando is one of those. That is a draw for talented people like you. If we can get things right like education , infrastructure and other amenities that civilize people expect the town will eventually rival other major cities.

  17. V L

    I’ve thought about writing up a forum piece on this but I haven’t had the time so I’ll post my thoughts here.

    As much as black Americans make fun of Trump supporters and think that we would never fall for a con like his, the reality is different. We’ve had and have our own politicians that take on similar dictatorial styles and blindly support them and their nonsense in the name of protecting ourselves or getting back at those who keep us down.

    Case in point, Marion Barry:

    Read this LA Times article from 1990.

    Why Blacks Support Mayor Barry : Attitudes: They find pride in his ability to work way up political ladder despite white opposition. And they see case as part of an attack on their leaders.

    Also this brief article on his legacy after his death.

    The enduring legacy of Marion Barry

    It’s exactly the same. The same appeals to use real wrongs as a reason to overlook the danger a politician represents. The same tribal appeals. The same idea that he represents a departure from the norm and PC language. The same hand waving at his core criminality.

    The difference between blacks in Washington DC then and poor white Trump supporters now is that blacks got no sympathy for the path they chose.

    The media savaged Barry and called the people who supported him fools.

    Blacks in the city paid a price for electing him. Their support for him tarnished the image of the nation’s capital, drove away sorely needed investment and confirmed the worst instincts of people about blacks.

    His years in office were disastrous.

    Most of the people who participate in this forum I think are old enough to have had an opinion of Barry and his black supporters.

    Tell me how many excuses did you make for them? How responsible did you find them for their own predicament? How concerned were you for the negative effects that their support of this charlatan would have on their lives?

    I bet it wasn’t much and I don’t blame you.

    So many of you are willing to make excuses for Trumps poor white supporters that you would never make if they were another color.

    Don’t deny it, you wouldn’t.

    Poor white Trump supporters have my sympathy for the troubles they have but they get none for how they’ve chosen to react.

    And I can tell you now minorities won’t shed a tear as they too pay a price for their political choices.

    Stop making excuses for these people. Stop telling everyone else we have to coddle their bigotry.

    Stop because you sure as hell wouldn’t make the same excuses for others.

    It’s a tough world and Trump’s supporters need to understand that no one gets to act like a fool without feeling the effects.

    1. “It’s a tough world and Trump’s supporters need to understand that no one gets to act like a fool without feeling the effects.”

      We had a discussion about that notion on the old GOP Lifer blog concerning the people who voted for Bevin for Governor in Kansas. He promised to scrap the state health care exchange, and people who depended on it voted for him because of gay marriage and other culture war issues, then expressed dismay that he might keep that promise. We were not putting on any kid gloves in judging their choices. Other forums I frequent were down right brutal- calling them fools was on the polite end of the discourse.

      We’ve also made the observation that making stupid choices while White doesn’t carry the same amount risk as making stupid choices while Black.

    2. VL, I know you’re time is limited, but when you can, you might read through some of Ladd’s prior posts on discrimination of all kinds as well as the comments. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the honesty and support expressed by all. His archives under would be the place to start. We all benefit from having our prejudices and attitudes challenged, but this is a pretty fine group of people. Those who have time to read and comment on other blogs I feel certain are just as forthright in expressing their opinions as they are here.

      1. Chris, if I might chime in – You have been brutally, frequently, intelligently honest in your assessment of racism, homophobia, xenophobia, sexism, white nationalism, religious extremism…did I forget a “bia” or a “ism”?

        All VL needs to do is use your archival index and go from there.

        I think I’ve decided to go with Thanksgiving “take out” this year!

      2. In reading the referenced old blog post I began to wonder why so many defenders of the supposed principles of the myriad of Republican presidential candidates have decided to no longer participate in comments to your writings. They are at the destination, all those years of surviving rap music and bans on public display of their semi-automatic weapons are nearly over. We could have a President and entire apparatus of government to dismantle all these horrible things which have arisen since we started distributing electricity, no more socialism!

  18. V L

    When people have made the argument that this is some sort of right wing class revolt I’ve always countered asking why haven’t working class non-whites joined in if Trump’s message has so much appeal to those who are suffering.

    Blacks and Latinos have made great strides but the last decade wiped out what little wealth many people had.

    I see the political future of this country as a great race. What political movement will emerge with real solutions to help those in need, regardless of their identity. That is the party that will win in the future. There is no guarantee that will be the left but given the deep hole conservatives have dug for themselves there is no reason to believe that the right wing will figure things out.

  19. Once this election is over, it is certain that pundits will analyze every aspect of it, including a minute breakdown in voter specifics. We may find surprises and great shifts in voting patterns, individually and geographically. I have been disappointed and surprised at the depth of hate for Clinton. Her many shortcomings aside (which I totally recognize), there is simply no basis for the level of vitriol being directed her way and outright rejection of her strengths, which are many.
    Living in TX, one learns that facts are often subjugated in politics and convenience. To hear support for Trump based upon the conditioned, irresponsible belief that Hillary Clinton is “far worse” is to deny rational analysis. Indeed, as appalled as I am with the vehement rejection of HR Clinton, I am not surprised given my close study of contemporary politics. Many of these people, as described in Chris’ piece above, haven’t suffered financially. Instead, , for them their politics is all about eradication of Clinton. I have met a surprising number of younger people whose flippant attitudes and personal justification for their election choices are not focused on race as much as political payback. Yet, if one asks them to describe what they oppose, the lack of substance in their responses is as amazing as it is disappointing.

    This election for me is about change – which many Trump supporters echo. But, I am looking for different changes – changes in our attitudes towards others, equality of opportunity, and fairness. Should the election affirm views and values that differ from my own, I will have to accept that outcome. My deepest concern remains for our country, and as Turtles noted, for our children and grandchildren, who will inherit a less generous society.

    This WaPo piece describes the irony of this election quite well. It mirrors many of Chris’ observations in today’s post and many others.

  20. Fortunately for us, Trump hasn’t been able to keep a long shutting-the-$&@#-up streak going. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t get at least one more foot in his mouth between now and Tues. I keep asking “AM I seeing a remake of ‘The Producers’ here?” My Poe’s detector is shorted out.

    I’ve seen (and participated in) the recurring online discussions, of “some of these Trump people are vile bigots/you’ll never win their hearts and minds THAT way”. I agree with Chris in that if someone is being a racist/sexist/whatever-ist asshole, they should be called on it. Obviously you can sink to their level in calling them out, or you can take a higher road.

    Clinton is majorly flawed, but these claims that she is WORSE than Trump in terms of honesty, temperament, character, etc,? I’ve never had my intelligence so grossly insulted, and I’ve made it pretty clear in the years I’ve posted here that I’m no Hillary-fan girl. Sane vs. insane is obvious.

    1. V L

      What is wrong with calling out racism? How is that taking the low road?

      I don’t think people can’t be reasoned with but I’m not interested in a discussion where I have to pretend that someone who is being bigoted isn’t because I might hurt their feelings.

      The most PC thing in this country is that you can’t confront bigoted people on the right on their bullshit without someone crying about how it isn’t fair, nice or smart.

      1. V L

        And let me also add the only reason this kind of argument is being made is because usually when people on the right are talking they are saying this in rooms devoid of the people being slandered.

        Please make this argument in a place where minorities, gays, immigrants and women can actually hear it and see what kind of reception it gets.

      2. Whenever the occasion permits, I do that, VL. This instance was a private one on one conversation with a lady who wanted me to explain why I was supporting Clinton vs Trump. She didn’t want to bring up politics in the group – which was probably a good idea with this group. She clearly understands where I stand on the issue of discrimination and equal rights even if she doesn’t agree it is an issue!! I will never change her mind nor that of the other 8 ladies who were in the group who are supporting Trump because Hillary is “far worse”…..and, SCOTUS….the whole “life” issue. I am also pro-choice so it is pretty amazing that we could skirt either of these two divisive issues in this gathering.

        One has to make principled stands when and where the situation demands. And, I understand the value to making stands where those who are the objects of discrimination – of whatever kind – see someone standing up for them.

      3. “What is wrong with calling out racism? How is that taking the low road?”

        It’s about HOW you call it out. Do you say that speech is unfair/stereotyping/ prejudiced and this is why? Or do you apply stereotypes in return? Let’s be clear, when people say things that are wrong, they should be challenged. You keep the high road by avoiding the ad hominem. It’s not easy to do, especially if you don’t particularly like or respect the people who are saying the stupid/prejudiced/hurtful things. If I have my way, I’ll have little to no interactions with the diehard Trump cultists. But they’re still going to be around, and I’ll to probably have to deal with some of them sometimes, and my goal is not to sink to their level.

  21. Viking

    In this vein, after referring to Trump supporters as “deplorables,” Hillary Clinton publicly apologized, saying it was wrong to generalize. I would say she was right on. Generalizations are valid if they are an accurate depiction of reality.

  22. Fortunately for us, Trump hasn’t been able to keep a long shutting-the-$&@#-up streak going. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t get at least one more foot in his mouth between now and Tues. and I keep asking “AM I seeing a remake of ‘The Producers’ here?” My Poe’s detector is shorted out.

    I’ve seen (and participated in) the recurring online discussions, of “some of these Trump people are vile bigots/you’ll never win their hearts and minds THAT way”. I agree with Chris in that if someone is being a racist/sexist/whatever-ist asshole, they should be called on it. Obviously you can sink to their level in calling them out, or you can take a higher road.

    Clinton is majorly fla

    1. Andrew Sullivan said this about her,
      “For their part, the feckless Democrats decided to nominate one of the most mediocre, compromised, and Establishment figures one can imagine in a deeply restless moment of anxiety and discontent. They knew full well that Hillary Clinton is incapable of inspiring, of providing reassurance, or of persuading anyone who isn’t already in her corner, and that her self-regard and privilege and money-grubbing have led her into the petty scandals that have been exploited by the tyrant’s massive lies. The staggering decision by FBI director James Comey to violate established protocol and throw the election into chaos to preserve his credibility with the far right has ripped open her greatest vulnerability — her caginess and deviousness — while also epitomizing the endgame of the chaos that the GOP has sought to exploit. Comey made the final days of the election about her. And if this election is a referendum on Clinton, she loses.”

      Because the Dems found no way to get the below into the discussion………..if you live in a city and have participated in the ‘technology’ thang since the 90’s you get it. Otherwise it’s paragraphs of a complicated story and “EMAIL SCANDAL” is easier to read.

      1. If Clinton is elected, whatever authority she has to fire Comey, she should use. I have not seen anything that describes the means by which this is possible, but it should be done. He has 7 years left in his 10 year term. If he sabotaged her on the front end, how will Clinton trust anything coming out of the FBI?

        Also, I have read that Hillary is disliked within the FBI, yet nothing specific as to why. Has anyone here read anything that would justify why those within the FBI would feel this way (other than the director who has clearly made his feelings known.)

      2. Mary, the NY FBI, the NY Police and Rudy Giuliani (not only former Mayor, but former Prosecutor) are all pretty tight. On one level, this is just the preference of powerful law-enforcement figures preferring a pseudo-fascist who professes to love law enforcement, and would clearly not trouble them with pesky things like “due process”. (One point of evidence among many: Trump’s insistence, even now, that the Central Park Five were guilty (they weren’t) and his call at the time to execute them.)

        On another level, these are men who resent women gaining power. Law enforcement is full of men for whom that attitude is barely under the surface, as the women in law enforcement have tended to find. Ask Giuliani’s ex-wife (or just about any New Yorker, ’cause they all had a front-row seat for that very public divorce) how Giuliani thinks of women who don’t do as they’re told. Giuliani hates that he destroyed his own political career with his divorce, while Clinton preserved hers (by not divorcing). Also Clinton made Giuliani look bad (by comparison, not by doing anything wrong) over the 911 first-responders’ health issues.

      3. That may be the “way things are historically” but it is still very wrong. We are witnessing an unprecedented abuse of power by an organization that has the authority to inspect our personal lives with little consequence. It cannot stand. Rudy Giuliani is a disgusting man. Anyone who associates with him in any respect is suspect.

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