Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Well, that happened.

This is a political post. 

I'm stunned. Still. In one swoop of apathy and lack of scope, this happened. Well, damn.
First, if you are a pundit, please turn in your press credentials, your notepad and your crystal ball. We thank you for your time and your service but you know nothing. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Because up until last night the conventional wisdom was an openly racist billionaire with multiple bankruptcies and a pending rape case who openly called for violence against his opponents and employed no ground team and no ad buys couldn't win a national election. But this election has proved that conventional wisdom is utter rubbish. Apparently the world is always in flux and all that any of us were ever doing is guessing. 

Eight months ago the big story was the disarray the Republican Party was in, and how it was soon going to be impossible for them to win nationally. In reality, the story should have been the Democratic party and it's less than democratic anointing of a chosen candidate. So pundits, we're done with you. It was a nice run, but we have no more need for this type of "filter bubble" reporting. Here's a lovely gold Casio watch and coupon for extra sprinkles at Dunkin Dounts. 

Because I was actively not paying attention it was only within the past few days, after reading an article I can't find right now, that I realized what central theory Clinton's campaign was organized around. Looking at my own scribblings from just 24 hours ago I can see that I apparently bought into it as well:  "You need surgery. Who do you trust more: A doctor with a malpractice suit against them, or the Manager of your favorite fast food place?" And what strikes me as odd is that it type thinking appears to based on an discredited theory of Ayn Rand, just a tweak away from one formerly embraced by the Republican party elites. This alone should have made it suspect. 

Clinton's campaign, the thrust of it and the memes of it, were based in the idea of meritocracy, the idea that the one who is most meritorious, most educated, best equipped should be the one to lead.  It sounds great on paper, but it's essentially Rand's Rational Choice Theory but with a trail of bona fides as a supplemental. And Rand's theory was hokum because it discounted that emotional tendencies continually bleed through most of our decisions.  

In essence, Clinton felt because she had a fantastic resume, if her interview was just so-so it didn't matter: She was the most qualified candidate. Not the best, the most qualified.  By contrast her opponent had a terrible resume, but his interview was so good the interviewer took him out for a beer afterwards. There is more to leadership and getting elected than merit. Clinton had an inability to invoke deep seated feelings outside the cabal of Democratic elite, who essentially anointed her in 2008 and hung onto that choice into the now. Clinton just didn't excite people, she brought no energy, and much like in 2008 just assumed she was going to win. She presented as the inevitable. It turned out we weren't with her because we wanted to be, but because we had to be. And it showed at the polls. 

*Deep, sad sigh*

With all that said, let's do a quick rundown of where we'll stand in say, a year from now - 

√ The Affordable Healthcare Act will be overturned and replaced by...nothing? Or maybe block grants to the states which in turn won't squander the money because there is like no corruption at the state level. 

√ Corporate taxes are going to be cut to boost job creation and the economy, despite the theory failing to work in Wisconsin and Kentucky. 

√ The military budget is about get a boost. 

√ These will cause the deficit to explode because we'll be taking in less and spending lots more, but because suddenly deficits won't matter anymore, because the Republicans are in charge.

√ The Department of Justice will cease to investigate officer related shootings or even be interested in pursuing them. The SEC, already weak, is about to become completely toothless.

√ The Supreme Court will on it's way to being right-wing conservative to an extreme for the next 30 years or so. Such a lock they might even try to repeal Roe v. Wade.

√ More militarization of the local police. 

√ The Voting Rights act will be completely dismantled if not completely repealed, and emboldened by the success of their previous efforts the prospect of voter registration purges under the guise of protecting the integrity of the vote will become more commonplace. 

√ The Dream Act will be eviscerated 

√ Any type of Affirmative Action may be removed from all aspects of life. Damn a diversity hire.

√ The Post Office may close. All of them. Seriously. 

√ Regulations that protect us from ourselves are about to go the way of the dodo. Because it's not about us its about profit. Profit now rules. 

And finally, and most depressing, the Republican Party is about to go to work overtime to reduce Obama's legacy to that of a political footnote at best, and his memory to that of painting in a museum. The plaque might even just read "This black guy was in charge for a while. Nothing happened." It will be as if the last eight years were but a dream.

But hey, there is work in Arizona! We got a wall to build. 

Damn, damn, damn. 

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