I don’t know why we’re having this conversation.

In order to persuade Trump voters, I’d have to understand them first. Believe me, I’ve tried.

For months I’ve been imagining the closing argument I would post the day before the election: a devastatingly persuasive case why voters should choose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.

To a large extent I’d be preaching to the choir, of course, since most of my regular readers already agree with me. (That’s true for just about all bloggers.) But I’m sure a lot of them have friends or relatives who are undecided or leaning towards Trump. My convincing analysis would be something they could forward or quote, or maybe it would just help them marshal their thoughts before making some argument of their own.

It was a pleasant fantasy. But now it actually is the day before the election, and I have to admit failure: I can’t hope to convince Trump voters, because I can’t understand them. I can’t fathom why we are even having a national conversation about making Donald Trump president. Why did anyone ever think that was a good idea?

I’ve tried to understand. I’ve spent months listening to the Trump supporters I happen to run into, watching interviews with them on TV, reading books and articles about them, and even quieting my own revulsion as I listen to Trump so that I can look deep inside myself for something that responds to his message.

I got nothing.

As guys with erectile dysfunction often say: This doesn’t usually happen to me. I didn’t support John McCain or Mitt Romney, but I understood how other people could. (In 2012 I wrote an article claiming that Romney could win if he’d run as a problem-solver rather than an ideologue. I even included a campaign speech he could give.) Sure, I often thought “I don’t agree with that” or “I don’t think that’s true” when I watched McCain or Romney. But with Trump it’s different. All I can think is “What the hell is wrong with that guy?”

So I have no idea what his supporters are thinking. I can repeat some words back to you, but I can’t grasp why anyone believes them.

“Politicians have screwed this country up. Maybe it’s time to give one of our top businessmen a chance.” This could be the start of an interesting national conversation, if Trump were a top businessman. But he’s not, he just plays one on television. [1]

Yes, I know, Trump is rich. [2] But that’s because he was born rich. He inherited a New York real estate empire from his father, and the last few decades have been good to the New York real estate market. On the other hand, just about everything he’s done on his own, outside his father’s shadow — the bankrupt casinos, the failed airline, the mortgage company he opened just before the real-estate bubble popped — has been a disaster. Romney was right about Trump: “A business genius he is not.”

Now, I have to admit, he did pull off one good trick: He turned inherited wealth into celebrity, and then turned celebrity back into wealth (by charging people for the right to put his name on things he had nothing to do with). But you know who else has mastered that maneuver? Paris Hilton. Strangely, no one ever tells me that Paris Hilton should be president.

What else is he good at? He’s good at getting government subsidies. He’s good at avoiding taxes. He’s good at stiffing the small businessmen who work on his projects. He’s good at scamming middle-class people out of their money. If that’s the kind of stuff you admire in a businessman, then I guess Trump is your guy.

But the businessmen I admire see into the future. They change our lives by creating new products and new ways of doing things. They build opportunity for others. They bring prosperity to their communities, and enrich lots of other people, not just themselves. [3]

Donald Trump has never done any of that.

He’s also never done anything remotely like being President of the United States. And whatever you think of government service, President is not an entry-level job. We need somebody who can go in already knowing the major players, the major issues, and the nuts-and-bolts of how government functions. That’s not Trump, as you can see whenever anyone pushes him past the slogan level. [4]

I think Trae Crowder (a.k.a. the Liberal Redneck) nails something here:

Look, it’s like this. Think of your football team. Imagine y’all have been bad for years and years — not a stretch in my case. And imagine they fire the coach, and they come to you as a fan base and they say, “Look. You’re gonna love this new guy. He promises we’re gonna win twice as many games. We’re gonna score all kinds of points. He’s gonna go get our touchdowns back from the Mexicans. It’s gonna be awesome.”

You’d be like “Hell, yeah. That’s what I’m talkin’ about. So where’s he coming from? Where’d he coach at before this?”

And they’re like, “Oh, actually he’s not a football coach. He’s a European soccer coach with the emotional intelligence and fingers of a fucking six-year-old. Also, he rapes.”

You’d be like, “What the fuck? No. Why would we do that? That would be an embarrassment to our program, to everything we stand for. No.”

Wouldn’t you?

“He’s not politically correct.” When did avoiding political correctness become a blanket excuse for being an asshole?

When Trump waves his arms around to make fun of a disabled man, when he suggests that Natasha Stoynoff isn’t attractive enough to assault, when he critiques Hillary Clinton’s butt in front of thousands of cheering fans, when he says that an Indiana-born Hispanic judge can’t be fair to him because “he’s a Mexican“, when he taunts a bereaved mother of a decorated Muslim-American soldier — that’s not “politically incorrect”. He’s just an asshole.

“He’s one of us.” You were born filthy rich? You attended expensive private schools? You’ve spent a bunch of your life hanging around with supermodels in Manhattan nightclubs? No? So how exactly do you feel similar to Donald Trump or imagine that he identifies with you?

Not only don’t I think Trump is “one of us” (whoever you think “we” are). I wonder if he even knows any of us, other than as flunkies he can boss around.

“But Hillary is so awful!” Really? Did you happen to watch the Benghazi hearings on TV?

This was like the eighth investigation of Benghazi, so by then every little detail had already been analyzed to death. And to hear folks like Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh tell it, Hillary had practically murdered those four guys with her bare hands. So a Republican-controlled House committee finally gets Clinton right where they want her: testifying under oath on national TV, where they can finally make her answer for every horrible thing she did.

And you know what? They didn’t lay a glove on her.

That’s a typical Hillary Clinton “scandal”. Fox and Breitbart and so forth are really good at ginning up wild charges and whipping their audiences into frenzies of rage. But when someone has to back those claims up with real evidence … there never was any.

Now we’re watching the same thing happen with her emails. (Remember how we got into the emails? That was where Republicans were going to find the smoking gun that nailed her for Benghazi. Seen it yet?) Again: lots of wild charges, lots of rage. Actual wrongdoing? Not so much.

For comparison, Trump faces a real court case that he managed to put off until after the election: his Trump University fraud. (He’s going to lose that lawsuit, because he really did defraud those people.) You know whose family foundation is a seething pile of corruption? Trump’s, not Clinton’s. Whose friends in the media have been hushing up scandal? Trump’s. His wife broke those immigration laws that he supposedly cares so much about enforcing. And the guy he tapped as the head of his transition team — the guy who is going to staff the new administration, in other words — is Chris Christie. Christie staffed his own administration in New Jersey with people who just got convicted of felonies.

What else could you be thinking? I can’t guess. Maybe you’re for Trump because you like being on the same side as the KKK and Vladimir Putin. Maybe you think American politics needs more playground insults like “Lyin’ Ted” or “Crooked Hillary”. Maybe you enjoy being told that you that you didn’t just see what you saw or hear what you heard. Maybe you’re sick of political spin and would rather hear a candidate tell whopping lies instead.

I know, I’m grasping at straws here, because I really don’t understand.

Donald Trump as President of the United States? I’ve got nothing to say. Why are we even having this conversation?

[1]  To get a sense of just what a manufactured character the “Donald Trump” of The Apprentice is, listen to the men who manufactured him: the show’s editors.

Setting up story beats to justify the contestant that Trump ultimately fired required editorial gymnastics, according to the show’s editors. Manipulating footage to invent a story point that did not exist organically is common in reality TV editing, although with The Apprentice, it proved a tremendous feat.

“We’d often be shocked at whomever Trump chose to fire,” Braun explained. “Our first priority on every episode like that was to reverse-engineer the show to make it look like his judgment had some basis in reality. Sometimes it would be very hard to do, because the person he chose did nothing. We had to figure out how to edit the show to make it work, to show the people he chose to fire as looking bad — even if they had done a great job.”

[2] Though probably not as rich as he says he is. He claims to be worth $10 billion, but some estimates place his net worth at less than a billion. You have to wonder why he has systematically avoided revealing anything (like tax returns) that could give us a clearer idea of his actual wealth.

[3] For enriching other people, look at Sam Walton or Bill Gates. Lots of ordinary folks are millionaires because they got close to those guys early in their careers and then hung on to their stock options. But the most frequent story you hear from people who have worked with Trump over the years is that he cheated them somehow.

[4] Take his signature issue, immigration: Do we need a “deportation force” to round up all 11 million undocumented immigrants and force them to leave? Or do we just focus on the “bad ones”, as President Obama is already doing? Trump says different things at different times, because he’s never really thought about how any of this works.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • carolannie1949  On November 7, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Basically it is the rage at the end of the good ol’ white boy clubs, where the patriarchal twits could survive regardless of talent if they knew the right people. https://tzimiskes.blogspot.com/2016/11/trump-trust-and-our-political-divide.html

  • Bonnie McDaniel  On November 7, 2016 at 8:54 am

    To add to your list of “maybe’s”

    Maybe you’re a straight white guy who is upset because somehow you think “your” country is being taken from you.

    • 1mime  On November 7, 2016 at 10:16 am

      The fallacy with that argument, “straight white guy who believes his country is being taken away from him…” is that it isn’t just “his” country. It’s “our” country, all of us – straight, gay, black, brown, white, rich, poor, male, female.

  • Anthony  On November 7, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Your confusion is a result of taking these people at their word in good faith. They are not being honest with you, and their real motivations are not actually that complicated.

    The majority of Trump’s fans are voting for him because they hate minorities and immigrants more than any other political concern, and Trump talked the most crap about minorities and promised to hurt immigrants the most. Every other reason they give for supporting him is just a weak smokescreen or dishonest rationalization, because most people are too cowardly to own up to their bigotry.

    This is why Trump’s base is overwhelming ultra conservative whites, and why white supremacist groups love him.

    • 1mime  On November 7, 2016 at 9:53 am

      You may be correct, Anthony. If nothing else, this ugly campaign has clearly exposed the shallowness of the religious right. Forget all the moral standards Trump has violated repeatedly over his life, “she lied”…

      • Simpleton Of Course  On November 7, 2016 at 11:16 am

        I think it’s the other way around.

        The secular left has out-maneuvered the religious right for years by not being hamstrung by any moral standard at all. All is fair game for them if it furthers their agenda.

        Trump is just them finally responding with the same disregard.

        This is a dilemma that the left imported from the politics of foreign countries mired in constant corruption and scandal.

  • Terry Newberg  On November 7, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Thank you for a good Monday morning post – I don’t understand them either, except to the extent many Trump voters are maybe entranced, enthralled by conspiracy theories, that the memes spouted by Trump and Fox news people and right wing commentators have gone deep into their consciousness. I have a roommate who’s a life coach, who talks about spirituality (and ascension, and her guides) all the time, and yet she bought into all the conspiracy theories about Hillary – rabidly so (though she’s not voting for anyone since she doesn’t vote) and who’s looking forward to Trump overturning the established order so it can all start fresh. She’s maybe more “intelligent” that a lot of Trump supporters, but just as psychically vulnerable to all the projections onto Hillary that have been pumped out for years, and just as vulnerable to the idea of final battles between good and evil, etc. (maybe more so, since her psychic sensitivity is part of her healing gifts as well – she just can’t see the split in herself). I’ve been a “true believer” myself in the past, so I know how strong a grip those ancient deep seated memes can have and how difficult it is to become free of them, to no longer be psychically engaged in the battle between “dark” and “light.” Just as Hitler’s followers got swept up in that battle, maybe a lot of Trump followers also feel part of it; I don’t know. Maybe it’s something our primal “lizard” brain responds to, and basically his followers are responding from that level of consciousness in themselves, which is why no amount of reason can touch them.

    Just some thoughts about it all.

    Terry Newberg


    • Simpleton Of Course  On November 7, 2016 at 11:12 am


      The leaked emails are not conspiracy theories. They are empirical evidence of corruption, cheating democratic processes and a two-faced approach toward Americans.

      It is a dangerous level of partisanship that causes a person to dismiss that evidence as being the product of having a “lizard brain” or being swept up by Hitler. THAT is how we go from having political parties to having regimes.

      • Tom Amitai (@TomAmitaiUSA)  On November 7, 2016 at 12:37 pm

        What “corruption” was revealed in the stolen, NOT “leaked”, emails? What “cheating the democratic processes”? A debate moderator passed along a question that any candidate who actually had positions based on reality should have seen coming and already been prepared for? We’re supposed to believe an FBI that has proven itself to be highly hostile towards Clinton declined to recommend she be charged because of…what exactly? They’re afraid they’ll be found dead from self-inflicted wounds in a park, or die in a plane crash? Where’s a ROLL EYES emoji when you need one?

      • weeklysift  On November 7, 2016 at 1:17 pm

        I’ve had the same reaction to the leaked emails that I’ve had to the other Hillary scandals — when you drill down to the details, there’s not much there.

        I’m assuming that your “two-faced approach” comment is about Clinton saying that you sometimes need a public position different from your private position. That seems obvious and honest to me. I doubt there’s anyone in politics who reveals their most unpopular views, or who goes into a legislative negotiation planning to wind up where they started.

        This is why the Constitution was hammered out in secret. If everyone had to take public positions on everything as it came up, they could have never have come to an agreement.

      • Alex  On November 7, 2016 at 1:36 pm

        “I’m assuming that your “two-faced approach” comment is about Clinton saying that you sometimes need a public position different from your private position. That seems obvious and honest to me. I doubt there’s anyone in politics who reveals their most unpopular views, or who goes into a legislative negotiation planning to wind up where they started.”

        That’s not just politics – that’s LIFE. Does ANYONE say exactly the same thing to their boss that they say to their wife? If people didn’t have different positions in public and in private we’d all be convicted for slander.

      • Simpleton Of Course  On November 7, 2016 at 4:10 pm

        Tom Amitai.

        It doesn’t matter that the emails were stolen. In fact, it makes it even worse that someone had to steal the emails in order for us to find out what the Clinton camp really thinks. We’re not talking about inconsequential positions there. The emails reveal that they are working to deliberately deceive the American people.

        The cheating went beyond the question. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign over the scandal. Amazing, Clinton immediately hired here afterward!

        And having the question in advance speaks to honesty. Not whether or not someone could be prepared without it. An honest person would not try to get away with an advantage like that. It is another example of Clinton deceiving people.

        The laughable thing about your FBI argument is that the recommendation of the FBI is not the measure of wrong-doing. We know that because other people who have made lesser infractions with classified material have received much more strict treatment from the law. You can theorize about why Comey made his recommendation. But, that doesn’t really matter that much. The fact remains that Clinton mishandled classified information in a way that has resulted in other people going to jail.

      • Simpleton Of Course  On November 7, 2016 at 4:17 pm

        weeklysift. No. I wasn’t thinking of the public vs private position comment. Though, I do think that your characterization of that is generous given the context that it came out in.

        I was thinking more about all of the groups and individuals (black leaders, Christians, etc.) that her camp denigrated in emails to each other while approaching those same groups differently in person. Pretty much the definition of deception and being two-faced.

      • Simpleton Of Course  On November 7, 2016 at 4:19 pm

        Alex. Your assumption was incorrect. That isn’t what I was thinking about regarding the two-facedness of Clinton and her team.

        You are right that most people have different positions between their boss and wife. However, most people (I hope) don’t denigrate their wife in comments to their boss. That is a more apt comparison to what the Clinton team has written.

      • weeklysift  On November 7, 2016 at 5:01 pm

        Simpleton: I’m just not seeing what you see in those emails. Under pressure, people blow off steam by making snide comments about the people who are making their lives difficult. That’s human. Bernie admitted they’d find a lot of negative stuff about Clinton people if his staff’s emails got hacked.

        Last week or maybe two weeks ago, I linked to a right-wing article about how these emails “denigrated Catholics”, and again, I couldn’t see it. I think there’s a lot of hyper-sensitivity on the right.

  • John Atherton  On November 7, 2016 at 10:47 am

    “How can conservative, Christian, values voters back a thrice-married, philandering, candidate for the presidency, who trails a record of stiffed creditors, broken promises, and ruthless practices behind him?”
    “Maybe because communities that feel themselves besieged tend not to look for moral exemplars—instead, they seek out champions.”
    “The eclipse of white, Christian America is not a paranoid fantasy, so much as an empirical reality. As PRRI’s Robert P. Jones has written, fewer than half of Americans now identify as Protestant, and white Protestants comprise less than a third of the country. For the moment, a slender majority of actual voters remain white Christians—but they fear their racial and cultural eclipse. It’s among them that Trump exercises his greatest appeal. When a group has, for centuries, had its values and beliefs operate as the default assumptions of a society, the loss of that privilege is real, painful, and alarming. And when a politician promises to arrest its slide, even to reverse it—to make them great again—it can be a hard pitch to resist.”
    “Trump takes this a step further. He paints a dark picture of decline and dysfunction, that—for all the factual problems with its specifics—matches the mood of a majority that finds itself in the minority. And he offers up his ruthless pursuit of his own self-interest not as a vice, but a virtue. He will, he promises, be equally ruthless as the champion of his voters.”
    Trump Is No Moral Exemplar—He’s a Champion
    Yoni Appelbaum October 2, 2016

  • stlounick  On November 7, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Thank you for this post. Trump just gives them a dream for themselves and for their children. And folks do want to believe in dreams and possibilities. Trump says a return to productive lives for blue collar workers (those without the skills and education for our modern business society) is possible with tariffs and enforcement of immigration rules. After all, it’s hard to train a welder to be a software developer. So folks are listening and believing in this dream. Trump promises a few tweaks and it all returns to these people.

    And they really don’t apparently mind being rude about it. Every time I hear someone basing political correctness, I hear a bully who has no manners or consideration. Don’t have to be poor to have that….Trump has it in spades.

    And how much attention have our political elites paid to the devastation that globalization has left in its wake? There’s a lot and it’s been ignored.

    • Simpleton Of Course  On November 7, 2016 at 11:06 am

      You don’t even realize how insulting your comment is. Those poor dumb welders just can’t keep up!

      And you talk about other people being rude and not having manners? lol

      • stlounick  On November 7, 2016 at 11:37 am

        And do you realize you are deflecting from the real issue by a personal attack? Do try to stay on topic…..how are low education, high skill workers to earn a living wage to support a family with the exodus of these jobs due to automation and globalization. I certainly don’t find the GOP creating jobs–as could be done with our crumbling infrastructure (water, sewer, electric, non fossil fuel power). So what do you have as a solution? Try not to attack.

      • weeklysift  On November 7, 2016 at 5:10 pm

        I’m not seeing “poor dumb welders” in stlounick’s comment. Just a recognition that people are not clay that can be remolded at will.

      • 1mime  On November 7, 2016 at 5:21 pm

        To that point, what has the Republican Party EVER done “for” working class people? Supported a stronger safety net? NO. Cut welfare? YES. Cut foodstamps? Yes. Expanded Medicaid? NO. Supported an infrastructure program following the Great Recession that would have put millions of out of work blue collar people in jobs they could perform? NO. Made it easier for all people to vote because this is one right that all people should not have to fight for? NO.

        I could go on and on but this is why Black people and other minorities as well as women are telling the Republican Party adios. It’s high time.

    • Simpleton Of Course  On November 7, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      stlounick. How on earth can you interpret what I wrote as a personal attack?

      I addressed your comment, which is incredibly condescending. Not only did it typecast the capabilities of people in an entire trade, you dismiss Trump supporters reasoning as simply being a dream.

      Your entire theory is actually an ad hominem attack on those people. Instead of addressing the substance of their complaints, you characterize them as just wanting to dream.

      You seriously don’t see how insulting that is?

  • Simpleton Of Course  On November 7, 2016 at 11:00 am

    I find this article incredibly ironic. The pompous, faux-perplexed attitude of it is incredibly off-putting. Maybe people are tired of being condescended to like this.

    There have been an abundance of genuine scandals and short-comings in the government we have had under Obama and Clinton. Given that, the suggestion that a rational case can’t possibly be made to vote for a change or that Clinton is worse even than a buffoon is insulting and disingenuous.

    Michael Moore probably summarized it best in his video. A big F you to the abundance of Nurse Ratchets our country seems to have produced.

    • weeklysift  On November 7, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      No, actually. Obama has run a remarkably clean administration. Name one genuine Obama scandal.

      • 1mime  On November 7, 2016 at 2:26 pm

        Name one genuine Obama scandal……..He sneaks cigarettes…….

      • Corey Fisher  On November 7, 2016 at 3:41 pm

        Well, stuff like the NSA spying revealed by Snowden and drone strikes have been ongoing under Obama, though those aren’t generally considered to be linked to him in the public eye. So, I’d argue that maybe there should have been some legitimate Obama scandals that we didn’t pay attention to, because we were too busy dealing with the Obama scandals that weren’t (birtherism, he was pulled into Benghazi a lot early on, anything related to “gonna take all our guns”).

      • Simpleton Of Course  On November 7, 2016 at 3:54 pm

        One? lol

        Obamacare (multiple scandals and short-comings from the cost of the web site to the lie that people could keep their policy at the same cost)
        Fast and Furious
        The IRS scandal
        Blaming Benghazi on a video
        Snooping on James Rosen
        Leaving a vacuum in Iraq that ISIS filled
        The red line in Syria
        The reset button in Russia
        Solyndra and other not shovel ready jobs that wasted millions
        Attacking Libya without congressional approval
        Trying to float Bowe Bergdahl as a Jessica Lynch story

        Nixon voluntarily resigned over less.

      • weeklysift  On November 7, 2016 at 5:04 pm

        Simpleton: A list of over-hyped crap. Not a real scandal among them. A lot of the stuff on your list is just policy disagreements, not even remotely scandalous.

        Nixon broke laws and needed a pardon. Claiming any of this compares to Watergate is just silly.

  • Bill G  On November 7, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Unfortunately, we’re having this conversation because we’ve failed to educate a wide swath of our society with critical thinking skills beginning at K-8. Along with reading, writing and arithmetic, we need to incorporate mandatory and formal yearly classes that teach logic and other critical reasoning and decision making skills from the earliest. Otherwise, too often the default becomes sloppy and/or lazy uniformed thinking….especially on subjects many people have only spectator interest in.

    • California David  On November 8, 2016 at 1:08 pm

      Sorry, Bill, school isn’t the solution. If you are raised that educated, reasoning people are weak and that passionate, action oriented people are strong, then you can fail a critical reasoning class just as easily as you do a reading or arithmetic class. Teachers have to check themselves all the time not to always choose the first hand raised or respond to the shouted answer, and with class sizes as large as they have become, they often don’t have the luxury. They are also in a No Win situation with loud, opinionated students who spark debate and discussion in their classrooms. If they let them talk, they will monopolize the lesson and if they shut them down they also shut down others who might have something valuable to contribute.
      Society needs to admire what it has done sometimes, rather than looking at problems and theorizing solutions. When Hillary wins today, we should not look at it in any other way than its being an achievement for all of us. That we have removed our biases, we have examined the words of many bullies who make the issues more about them and their style points than about what’s good for all, and we have found no factual basis for agreeing with them. Hillary’s great; I don’t mean to say anything bad about her, but putting our faith behind someone who’s educated and reasoned rather than charismatic and passionate has been a leap for us. I hope that America will continue down this road to reason.

      • 1mime  On November 8, 2016 at 2:55 pm

        Here, here, CA David! When people start thinking for themselves, stop watching FOX as their only source of information/opinion, there will be an awakening in our country. When the Ann Coulters, Grover Norquists, Newt Gingrichs, Rudy Giuliani, Sean hannity, and Linbaugh’s of the world are finally relegated to a subset of one’s information sources, then maybe people will start thinking independently again. It wasn’t always this way. The Republican Party has fomented this cultivated, bigoted mindset and they own it. Let them fix it.

  • Anonymous  On November 7, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    I think you have their reasons down, pretty much. You just can’t see actually believing what they do. Most especially, from talking to them, they have the “But Hillary is so awful” belief deep in their bones. Like, they are outraged–see it as the absolute height of partisan hackery–that anyone would even question that her dishonesty and corruption is off the charts. It’s not regarded as a debatable point. I’ve tried. “But Politifact–” “I can’t believe you’re bringing up Politifact. It’s basically an arm of her campaign.”

  • BenH  On November 7, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I think that at its core, it is much more simple than that. Most people voting for trump only care about one thing. They do not want to share. Whatever it is – land, power, money, jobs, resources etc. They do not want to share and to that end who the president is or how they act doesn’t matter as long as they promise not to make the voters share.

    • Simpleton Of Course  On November 7, 2016 at 3:58 pm

      So, in your eyes, Hillary Clinton represents sharing?

      We’re talking about someone who became extremely wealthy in a short time without building any kind of business.

      The idea that she is all about service and sharing is laughable. Bernie Sanders, maybe there is a point there. Hillary? Has there ever been a more self-serving politician in the history of the country?

      • 1mime  On November 7, 2016 at 4:09 pm

        Evidently Wall Street is hoping Clinton wins….Market closed up 371 points….Look at the leaders who are supporting Clinton and compare them to those who are supporting Trump. Clinton had 57 major newspaper endorsements (several who had NEVER made an endorsement of a Democratic presidential candidate. How many did Trump get? Two major papers (one of which is owned by one of his major donors…Vegas Herald) plus: the Enquirer. I feel for those people who have lost jobs, homes, hope. But voting for someone as patently unqualified as Trump is a choice they are making for all the wrong reasons…Yes, it is their right, but it is also the responsibility of every voter to “own” that vote and live with the consequences – whichever candidate one supports.

      • Simpleton Of Course  On November 7, 2016 at 4:35 pm


        YES. Evidently Wall Street DOES hope that Clinton wins. I wonder why that would be and what Elizabeth Warren thinks about that? One minute, Clinton doesn’t pander to Wall Street. The next minute they just love her! Unbelievable.

        You asked me to look at the leaders supporting Clinton and then proceeded to list people that I don’t consider leaders at all. In fact, the idea that journalists are supposed to lead anything goes against the most fundamental concepts of journalism.

        The bigger question here is how did we get to a point with TWO terrible choices? I think that having a media that constantly mixes activism with news has allowed the politicians of the left to get away with scandals that would have sunk any other politician only 30 years ago. Trump is actually the creation of the left. After the left has regularly ignored or even given high profile media jobs to scandalized Democrats, some on the right have decided that they will now go ahead and let someone with glaring flaws through as well.

        Nixon voluntarily resigned. We all should have expected as much out of Clinton and Trump. But, we’ve gone too far down the rabbit hole for that.

      • 1mime  On November 7, 2016 at 4:48 pm

        Trump is the creation of the Left?! I have no more words for you. There is no point. Out.

      • weeklysift  On November 7, 2016 at 5:12 pm

        Of course Wall Street wants Hillary to win; or rather they want Trump to lose. Investors are deathly afraid of Trump starting a trade war that sparks a global depression.

      • 1mime  On November 7, 2016 at 5:24 pm

        If there’s one thing that markets hate, it’s uncertainty. Hillary Clinton is competent and boring. I’ll take that and evidently the markets will too, along with over 300 economists including one very special one – Warren Buffett.

  • Dreukrag  On November 7, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Trump is the end result of the conservative paralel universe, economic stagnation and failure of democrats to reach out the county.

    The republicans spent years crafting that web of lies, fox news, AM//FM radio etc to stoke people fears. Them they used the support to pass legislation that goes against their self interest. This create a vicious circle where the problems still remain and ensure people ote Republican to ”fix” it.

    The county has ~ 30% of population but hasnt recovered ffrm the recession. This exacerbate the rural / urban divide. To these people government feels alien. The doesn’t have a gun problem so when city folk try to take them away it a complete overreach aa an example.

    A lot of the right issues can be explained. Global warming and environmental issues for example, threaten coal mining, logging, etc and so can be easily framed as bad since many times the town is built arround one of these. This becomes a existential threat that gets exploited by republicans to get people to vote againsr their self interest.

  • Dreukrag  On November 7, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Cracked wrote about it read it as itz better written them my post


    • 1mime  On November 7, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      That is a great read about a sorry situation. I am all in for trade but with commensurate efforts to backstop job loss from those who are negatively impacted. Re-training, expansion of safety net (NOT reduction of it!), education and new education, guaranteed basic income either as a bridge or permanently, expansion of medicaid (no choice Reddies!)…These things would help address very real problems and help our nation begin to find common purpose.

    • Daniel.  On November 9, 2016 at 4:11 am

      Yeah. That was one of the more illuminating things I’ve read about the situation, actually. It has some conceptual overlap with Red Family, Blue Family.

  • Lionel Goulet  On November 7, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Oh Doug. It’s really very simple.
    1. People do not choose what they choose based on logic, they choose it based on emotion, THEN after the choice is made we build up the logic to support the emotion.
    2. People are afraid; very afraid. Them niggers is uppity and not keepin’ to their place. Women are standing back up when they get pushed down. Jobs need an education and I ain’t got one and the unions ain’t powerful like they used to be. I got my hands but some machine’s doin’ that job now.

    When people are afraid, they follow the loudest voice in the room. Donald Trump is the loudest voice in the room, and they are emotionally committed to follow him. THEN logic comes in, to back up the heart.

    You do not understand why people would want Trump because you think logic is more powerful than fear.

    I wish that were so.

  • Jacquie Mardell (@jacquiemardell)  On November 7, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    My feed is full of evangelical relatives claiming that Trump is a “changed man” now that he is a Christian, that we can’t know the contents of his heart, that we are supposed to forgive him – despite the fact that he hasn’t asked us to, which is what I was taught in Sunday School – and that God can use anyone for his purposes. That purpose being to get rid of Roe v. Wade. That’s what all this is about for them. They will convince themselves of any lie because they actually believe that Hillary wants everyone to have an abortion, and that is only a little bit hyperbolic. When I ask my relatives what their parents would have done if they behaved the way Trump does, or how they would have responded had their own children behaved in that way, would they have said ‘oh it’s ok because I’m/she’s forgiven?’ Of course not because these behaviors are indefensible and the first step toward redemption is repentance. It is all a smokescreen for this overheated abortion issue.

    • weeklysift  On November 7, 2016 at 5:05 pm

      I wonder if this forgiveness stuff ever works for Democrats.

      • 1mime  On November 7, 2016 at 5:16 pm

        My understanding of “forgiveness” would assuredly mean Jesus would have had to be a Democrat. Jesus wouldn’t have had much sympathy for Republicans who are very poor at sharing, take from the poor to help the rich, (Recall the money-changers in the temple that Jesus challenged?) and have a long-standing, pronounced habit of hurting the least among us……Where’s the charity? The love?

  • HA Bond  On November 7, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Me, either. I’ve tried and tried to understand this. I have friends who I have always considered good, honest people who support Trump and I just don’t get it! AUGH!

  • Sharon Ericson  On November 8, 2016 at 5:29 am

    Amen and thank you!! Here’s hoping you reach a few million undecideds with your factual, logical essay.

  • Abby Hafer  On November 8, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Here are two other ways of looking at the current contest and Trump phenomenon:

    1) It’s the elemental conflict of the Boomer generation
    2) It’s about Special Snowflakes.

    1) Elemental Conflict
    This is Hermione versus Draco. This is the freaks versus the jocks. In most groups situations that I’ve been in during my life, there was usually a group of people who acted like Trump. Loud, intimidatory, loved their own version of fun, contemptuous of those not like them, thin-skinned, and loudly and publicly wounded if people treated them with less than stellar regard. It was a real problem in the college I attended, and again when I was a graduate student in a different country, thousands of miles away. These groups of mostly guys tended to degenerate in behavior as time went on. They would start by being loud and a bit obnoxious, but if anybody commented on this, then that person would be targeted, as would all of his/her friends. As time went on, vandalism started. The greatest amount of ire from these groups of mostly guys tended to be saved for earnest women, who were often the only ones brave enough to call them out early. Usually, the damage and conflict went on for months or even years, and only ended when authorities finally stepped in and took firm action, such as closing down a college frat, or expelling a few vandals with the threat of turning them over to over to law enforcement if they didn’t go quietly.

    So this presidential contest can be viewed as a culmination and distillation of this generational conflict.

    2) Special Snowflakes
    In child-rearing circles, there has been much criticism of both parents and a society who treat their children as so very special that they never gain a reasonable perspective about their relationship with the world. These kids are known as Special Snowflakes, and are supposedly the product of a society that lauds them too much, without expecting real accomplishment from them. For instance, giving every child a trophy for participating in a sport rather than just giving trophies to the standout athletes on the team. According to this line of reasoning, these Snowflakes grow up expecting the world to hand them whatever they want, simply because they are so very very special, and they tend to be whiny and aggrieved when the world doesn’t behave that way toward them. To me, this sounds like the Trump campaign. People who have been raised to think that they are special (whites) (males) without any accomplishment expected of them (less educated whites/males) are finding themselves not getting the breaks, and the public stature, that they have been raised to expect. As predicted by the Special Snowflake hypothesis, when these Special Snowflakes didn’t get their way, they became whiny and aggrieved.

    So it turns out that the Special Snowflakes are not suburban Millennials, but grumpy white Boomers who are voting for Trump.

  • Dan  On November 8, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    “When did avoiding political correctness become a blanket excuse for being an asshole?” – Best line ever! I will be using it… pardon the pun…. liberally.

  • Chris  On November 10, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    I think it’s a lot of things for different people. Some only care about stopping abortion; some only care about gun rights and see any Democrat as a threat to that (however fallaciously); some just don’t want another liberal on the supreme court . Trump isn’t necessarily most of these people’s first choice, but if they care about these things, they’ll vote for him. And some people just like his bluster and will chant “U-S-A” like sports fans for anyone who can puff up his chest and speak their patriotic language. These people may not be racist or sexist; many who voted for Trump see him as a jerk just as much as you, but if you were one of the liberals who saw Bernie as kind of an angry jerk who’s hard to work with, you’d probably still vote for him over any Republican. They didn’t all vote for Trump the person, they just voted for what they care about.

  • Raychel Cole  On November 17, 2016 at 7:26 am

    Wow! Well I hope that by now you have a better understanding of why Trump was exactly what we needed. If not, once things start turning around , hopefully you I’ll be able to recognize actual progress that means something and will benefit America.
    I have zero ability to understand why anyone would vote for Clinton. She has absolutely nothing to show for herself but lies .
    I voted for Trump, among other reasons, because I want someone I can trust . Clearly Hillary can not be trusted . So many many reasons not to vote for that vile woman .

    • 1mime  On November 17, 2016 at 10:29 am

      Couldn’t disagree more.

    • stlounick  On November 17, 2016 at 11:03 am

      US jobless claims hit 43 year low. Happened under a Democrat although I’m sure the do-nothing Congress of the past few years under GOP leadership will claim it as their own. Republican policies are the worst.


  • By With Some Exceptions | The Weekly Sift on November 7, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    […] week’s featured posts are “I don’t know why we’re having this conversation” and “Election Night 2016: an hour-by-hour returns-watching […]

  • […] Finally, an echo of my sentiment can be found in this wonderful post by a fellow blogger titled “I don’t know why we’re having this conversation.” […]

  • […] Entirely too many people are going to vote for Donald Trump today.  Right now, it’s looking like somewhere around 45% of voters will peg Donald Trump as fit to be President of the United States.  This represents a scar on the psyche of our nation that will not easily be healed.  I have no answers to give.  Like The Weekly Sift, I don’t even know why we’re having this conversation. […]

  • […] Ultimately, though, no matter how hard I tried to understand them, I just couldn’t respect anyone so misguided and misinformed as to want to turn the country over to an ignorant huckster like Trump. That frustration boiled over in my election-eve post “I don’t know why we’re having this conversation“. […]

Leave a Reply to 1mime Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: