How to explain the 2016 election to someone who just tuned in

How to explain the 2016 election to someone who just tuned in

By Amber Phillips – Washington Post

Trump vs Clinton

Just 60 days to go! Given that the election campaign has been going on for more than 500 days (Ted Cruz became the first presidential candidate in March 2015), that means it’s basically at our doorstep.

It also means, if history is any guide, that the vast majority of Americans who have treated election news as little more than background noise are starting to tune in.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been paying at least a smidgen of attention to the 2016 race well before the 60-day mark. (If not: Welcome!) Either way, let’s take what we know and tie it up into a nice bow to help our friends and family who haven’t been following closely understand this sometimes-inexplicable election.  [read more]

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  • Clyde Duncan  On September 10, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Bracing for a Trump Administration: Why Trump’s got this – Financial Post

    If you took mainstream media sources verbatim, there is zero chance that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.

    But as is broadly understood by the voting public, the mainstream media is controlled entirely by five major corporate entities that are themselves controlled by what the rest of us call the “one per cent.”

    Thus, the mainstream media can be regarded as little else but a broadcasting platform for their interests.

    At best, it then follows that their “polls” and “opinions” are to be taken with a grain of salt. At worst, they are simply meaningless.

    In understanding Trump’s rise against what is portrayed as impossible odds, it is important to consider the rise alternately of Bernie Saunders and Barack Obama. In all cases, it is frustration with the status quo that provides the wave of support upon which these candidates achieve their respective successes.

    The frustration stems from the demonstrated reality, in administration after administration, that political and financial elite are not capable, interested, or even aware of, the interest of the 99 per cent. With every new president, the vast majority watch the public record unfold on CNN, and see and hear that their interests are not only not being represented, but that they are being systematically polled, categorized, and demographically classified so that candidates can tailor their message to present the appearance of having the electorate’s interests first and foremost on the agenda.

    But the jig is up. Instantaneous transmission of images, conversations and parodies from the entertainment industry (have you watched HBO’s Veep with Julia Louis-Dreyfus? Is that how they really talk on Capitol Hill?) has over-ridden the overpriced spin output of flashy Madison avenue ad agencies. Everybody knows that the elite political class will say and do absolutely anything they and their advisers think will get them to the ultimate power pulpit in the USA.

    There is a sociological reflex that is not often recognized whereby a person who becomes disenfranchised from all social institutions trends toward a misanthropic mindset, preferring to destroy the existing institutions rather than find a way to fit in. Contrary to the conventional “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” wisdom, the ascendance of nihilistic extremism across multiple social strata demonstrates clearly the predominance of the former.

    Trump’s appearance as an option is an opportunity for those feeling disenfranchised – which arguably constitutes the bulk of the 99 per cent – is precisely the opportunity to wreck the existing political apparatus and force a revision that somehow better addresses the needs of the lower rungs of the economic ladder.

    This reality is not projected or reported on in mainstream financial media. It is reality that the mainstream and political elite would just go away. But it is the reality that is propelling Trump to new heights of popularity, despite what is being projected in the mainstream media.

    The political class is terrified that a Trump victory threatens the centuries-old power structures behind Capitol Hill, and could indeed catalyze an end to many of them.

    The mainstream media fails to comprehend that by pointing out Trump’s flubs and lack of credibility and unsuitability for the title Commander in Chief that they are reinforcing and amplifying this sentiment. They’re missing the point that this powerful and growing under-represented majority don’t care about a slick, polished, consistent, pitch-perfect delivery.

    On the contrary, the absence of such underscores the perfection of Trump as the only possible horse in the race who could actually cause the downfall of the favourites, and force a revision to the rules and structures that have evolved to create and protect the political elite.

    The more Trump shoots from the hip, contradicts himself, casts outlandish aspersions against the character of his competitor, the more he tickles the glee factor in the disenfranchised.

    The more Hillary delivers demographically attenuated, glib and professionally synthesized sound bites to her already galvanized circle of supporters, the more she demonstrates that a vote for Hillary is a vote for the status quo.

    The mainstream media, for its part, demonstrates its collusive culpability in projecting and supporting the status quo by focusing its substantial amplification resources on Trump’s foibles – his donations to Pam Bondi’s campaign to induce a cooperative approach to the Trump University debacle, his remarks in superficial support of Putin, his permanent foot-lodged-in-mouth approach to commenting to any woman and women generally – while downplaying Clinton’s flaws.

    The outrage around Bill Clinton’s runway visit with Attorney General Loretta Lynch just as the Department of Justice is deciding whether to proceed with charges against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server during her tenure as President Obama’s secretary of state came and went in a breath. Her sale of access to her office while Secretary of State to various interests has come and gone and resonates no longer in the mainstream.

    All of these things obviate the failure of the American political elite to correctly identify the very real threat of a Trump presidency, and consequently develop a coherent and intelligent defense against his rise.

    For this reason, the odds of Trump becoming the next president are much higher in favour of his eventual victory.

    James West is an investor and the author of the Midas Letter, an investing research report focused on Canadian markets. The views expressed are his own and are presented for general informational purposes only.

  • Clyde Duncan  On September 10, 2016 at 3:03 pm

    Here is the thing: The majority of Donald Trump’s cult are uneducated [less than university – some high school dropouts] white people.

    The thing with Black people and Brown people is we tend to worship ALL WHITE people – class and education don’t mean shit – we got a colonial mentality, where the white people did their thing to us and it stuck.

    Therefore, we will kiss the collective asses of the Trump-cult.

    If we do not stand with the white people who are kicking Donald Trump, we will have another President [ Führer] Adolph Hitler-Drumpf on our hands.

    Then that could take another 4-5 years to get rid of him in another world war.

    Hillary Clinton is a known quantity – she was First Lady; USA Senator; Secretary of State and a successful lawyer.

    So I am standing by Hillary Clinton: she is the only alternative to a narcissist who hates everyone else but himself; an arrogant, ruthless Donald J Trump.

  • walter  On September 11, 2016 at 9:22 am

    Well good luck with that, you see good in the Clintons, more people see good in Trump, most interesting election, coming right up.

  • Clyde Duncan  On September 13, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Actually Walter, someone said that in this USA election there are two candidates – one is a LIAR and the other is a CROOK – I don’t want my children watching this.

    I believe the macho-America – the Rambo-crowd in the USA culture would rather elect a black man than ANY WOMAN …. Shirley Chisholm said as much decades ago. Chisholm felt more discrimination as a woman than as a Black person.

    Walter: If you cannot find any other reason to support Hillary Clinton – TRY THIS: the USA has ran out of options …. Hillary Clinton has Barack, Bill, Elizabeth, Michelle …. and the very best the USA has to offer on the political stage.

    Last night Chris Hayes just put it better than anyone else I have heard so far. He had the wonderful Charlie Pierce on last night to discuss, what else, the Trumpster fire. He played a phone-in interview that The Orange Julius had done that morning with CNBC. In it he once again insulted Elizabeth Warren by calling her “Pocahontas”, and accused the head of the Federal Reserve Board, Janet Yellin of being a political tool of Obama, even though the Fed is a completely apolitical department – More of the same from Donald Trump, I suppose.

    That was the entire point Chris Hayes had to make. He quite correctly posited that Trump had made so many outrageous statements that the press had ceased to notice. To quote Chris from the segment, “You don’t cover the planes that land”.

    Charlie Pierce agreed with Hayes completely, stating that any one of 100 different Trump outrages would have killed the candidacy of any other candidate.

    Insulting a sitting U.S.A. Senator with a racial slur, proposing to ban Muslims, showing his ignorance by trying to politicize the Fed, but none of these stick.

    Sadly, this is not new. In the 1930’s-40’s the Nazis went all in on “The Big Lie”. If you controlled the media, you could say almost anything you wanted to, and the press would report it. And it worked. People became numb to the news, they just came to accept whatever they were told, and if they disagreed with it, they kept it to themselves.

    The big difference is that the press in Nazi Germany had no choice but to go along. Here in the U.S.A., we allegedly have an independent press, that makes a difference. And NO, I was not claiming that Trump is Hitler, I am simply comparing the similarity of the circumstances.

    Donald Trump is doing the same thing. When he started this campaign, his insults to Mexicans and illegal immigrants brought quite the firestorm, which was exactly what Trump wanted, he was calling his junkyard dogs. But as the atrocities continued to pile up, slowly but surely the press lost their interest. Instead of continuing to be appalled at the candidate’s behaviour, it just became “more of the same”, they simply played the clip, or quoted him in their articles and let it go. This is the real problem here.

    The difference between the USA and totalitarian countries is the fact that we have a “free” press to guide us with the real facts. And the press is failing miserably at it. They have become so used to the bullshit and bluster from Trump that they don’t bother to fact check, or do a little investigation into the veracity of Trump’s statements to provide context before just blanket reporting them as just another Trump “quirk”.

    And this is a problem. When the press stoops to chasing ratings or revenue by simply reporting what the candidate said, and not whether or not it could hold any water, they prostitute themselves, and they do a disservice to us, their readers, listeners and viewers. It must stop.

    I give full kudos to Chris Hayes for bringing this issue into a clear and easy to understand focus, and I applaud Charlie Pierce for providing additional examples of the abject failure of the media. God knows Charlie is doing his part in his articles. Let’s just hope some more media flacks pick up on this trend.

    NB: [I doubt it – Not while they are being rewarded with revenues!]
    – Murfster35 – Daily Kos about MSNBC All In – Chris Hayes Reporting

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