koko: Tuesday’s measurement of our electorate

An attempt at organizing thoughts & readings

Tuesday (and early voting in the weeks before) was a measurement, and though decisive, not a very complete or illuminating diagnosis of our population, any more than taking a person’s temperature characterizes their health. Our electoral health is not good.

Current projections indicate the final totals will be 306 nominal Trump electors and 232 Clinton. Assuming those numbers are decisive, they are the ones that matter, but there are many other numbers that are, and should be scrutinized. Except for the popular vote, which looks to be 60+M each, with maybe 1+M margin for Clinton, the rest of the numbers won’t be official, are only estimated, and won’t really be known. If there was a way to repeat the vote multiple times, as if the election were an experiment or a four games out of seven World Series, the electoral numbers might result in a different president. But that won’t happen this time.

Ever since the Tuesday evening electoral indicators, I’ve been trying to organize my thoughts and collect readings that resonate. Writing has given me some solace. I hope this can give insight and paths to keep on keeping on.


McGovern and Dole weren’t candidates[1]

Many of us didn’t have a presidential candidate we really wanted, were more voting against one of the two likely winners. That’s not unusual for me; I think I’ve abstained, or voted against a candidate, as many times as I’ve enthusiastically voted for a presidential candidate. I voted against Trump. Many “abstained”: Voter turnout at 20-year low in 2016


Michael C. Wright, ESPN: Of all of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s remarks about the election, I thought this was one of the money quotes: “I couldn’t imagine being a Muslim right now or a woman or an African-American, a Hispanic, a handicapped person, and how disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it’s just beyond my comprehension how they ignored all that. So my final conclusion is, my big fear is… we are Rome.”[2]

It his hard to understand how women could vote for Trump, after all the things he said before and after the Megyn Kelly question, but many did:
One Factor in Hillary Clinton’s Defeat: Lack of Support From Some Women Voters
The Women Who Helped Donald Trump to Victory
Barbara Bush: Trump’s treatment of women “unbelievable”
George W. Bush’s daughter attends Clinton fundraiser in Paris

It is hard to understand how Hispanics could vote for Trump:
Another election surprise: Many Hispanics backed Trump

It is hard to understand how African-Americans could vote for Trump:
America elects a bigot
Trump got more votes from people of color than Romney did. Here’s the data.
White supremacists think their man won the White House

It is hard to understand how Muslims could vote for Trump, but some did:
I’m a Muslim, a woman and an immigrant. I voted for Trump.

It is hard to understand how Christians could support Trump:
Trump Elected President, Thanks to 4 in 5 White Evangelicals
The deep disgust for Hillary Clinton that drives so many evangelicals to support Trump


It did happen

Though I didn’t want him to win, for weeks I’d been steeling myself for the likelihood that Trump would win. My apprehension started earlier in the year when I started seeing people I considered rational advocating Trump’s candidacy. Long before I noticed, back to August last year, Scott Adams was explaining why he considers Trump a “master persuader“.

The 2013 Supreme Court decision against the Voting Rights Act of 1965: Section 5 and the subsequent state law changes had long caused apprehension.

The limits of Clinton as a candidate seemed ominous. Her husband had seemed more in tune with the electorate when he ran, latching on to “it’s the economy” and “feeling your pain” [2]. When Hillary referred to a fourth of the electorate as a “basket of deplorables”, I was shocked. Saying “deplorable” seemed so wrong. Referring to so many that way seemed much over estimated, even accepting that term for the overt racists, etc., and a political blunder worse than Romney’s “47 percent” fiasco. The email controversy seemed both overblown in general and horribly mishandled by Clinton. Though Hillary is probably as honest as any politician, her lack of transparency in matters like this is disturbing to me and egregious to others.
5 Missteps That May Have Doomed the Clinton Campaign

Then Scott Adams explained 10 reasons he considered Clinton more dangerous than Trump: Unhypnotizing a Clinton Supporter

It seemed obvious that whichever way things went, half the country was going to be even more distraught. That was as scary as either candidate being president.


A change was gonna come

The day before the election I heard a black Michigan woman on the radio explaining why she was campaigning for Trump.

The Clintons were undone by the middle-American voters they once knew so well

Trade, Not Immigrants, May Have Been Key Motivator of Donald Trump’s Voters

“The fear felt by one part of America this morning is the fear another part of America has felt for a generation,” Silicon Valley CTO explains why Trump happened

Donald Trump’s Victory Was Built on Unique Coalition of White Voters

For Trump Voters, Uncertainty Mixes With Elation

Not long ago, I overheard an acquaintance exult “he destroyed both parties”.


Genghis Khan and his brother Don
Could not keep on keepin’ on”

Keepin’ on keepin’ on

It’s Going to Be Okay & It’s Going to Be Okay – Follow Up

Robert Reich: What Donald Trump’s Election Really Means

Being American in the Trump Years

Autocracy: Rules for Survival

How We Fight

Denounce the Hate, Mr. Trump


  1. A close friend, a long time Republican, and I were talking before the 1996 elections. He told me of feeling compelled to vote for McGovern in 1972, against Nixon, in spite of strong disagreements with McGovern’s agenda. In 1996, I felt compelled to vote for Dole, in spite of my misgivings about his policies, to vote against Bill Clinton.
  2. Longer version: Gregg Popovich uncensored: Full transcript of thoughts on Donald Trump
  3. THE 1992 CAMPAIGN: Verbatim; Heckler Stirs Clinton Anger: Excerpts From the Exchange
    Feeling your pain
    Clinton’s Debate Moment

Added after 11/11:
Blue Feed, Red Feed
What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class
The Right Way to Resist Trump (cites May 19, 2011: Dodging the Trump Bullet)
“No President”: the despair, fear, and resolve of the next four years

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