Before the election lots of people who supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary said that they would vote for Jill Stein because they couldn’t bring themselves to vote for an establishment corporatist like Hillary Clinton. In response to the election of Donald Trump a number of former Clinton surrogates and campaign workers have tried to blame the election result on third party candidates, particularly Jill Stein. Not only do these right-wing Democrats show an inability to count, this explanation does not address who or what is actually to blame. There are many reasons why Trump won the election, but Jill Stein’s candidacy is not one of them.
Since the election nearly two weeks ago a chorus of Democrats have come out and argued that people should ‘give Trump a chance’. This has come from people of the Left like Bernie Sanders and people pretending to be of the Left like Hillary Clinton. Both of them are wrong. I understand that this is part of the peaceful transition of powers but if they legitimately mean that the entire country should essentially let their guard down to see what Trump will do then they are wrong. It is important that everyone who opposes what Trump has said he will do doubles down.
The polls were wrong. The pundits were wrong. The people have spoken (although there is a caveat to this last one). Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the United States. The result capped a terrible night for Democrats in which they also failed to retake control of either the House or the Senate. This piece will try and give an overview of a lot of different topics, namely the breakdown by the numbers and the consequences of the election. Let’s dive into the madness.
Donald Trump has dedicated a large amount of his campaign deriding the media and the Clinton campaign. This wasn’t especially surprising as there is a vast industry on the American Right castigating the ‘liberal media’, even though the US media is more biased in favour of corporate entities that prop up both Republicans and Democrats. Regardless of the truth of the statement, the idea of the US media being in the tank for the Democrats has become a famous talking-point and negative coverage of the GOP or conservative politicians can be linked back to this falsehood. For a very long time this has been a dormant concept and in some cases has just been a throw-away line by the Right, but Trump has now used this mistrust of the media to jettison facts.
At Washington University in St Louis, MO, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squared off in a town hall-style moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and ABC’s Martha Raddatz. The debate came in the wake of the Trump Tapes scandal in which audio of Donald Trump making incredibly unsavoury comments about women. There were a series of moments that caught my attention, some for obvious reasons, but it’s also worth pointing out what wasn’t mentioned tonight. The moderators were incredibly passive and because they have been inculcated in a media culture that values entertainment over actual news, the array of faux controversies was enough to keep the candidates occupied.
The first US presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump just finished and there are some important things to note. The debate was held at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, and was hosted by NBC News hose Lester Holt. I don’t normally commend the media on occasions like this, because they are shit, but I have to congratulate Holt on asking legitimate questions and sticking to policy substance. It’s worth pointing out that he let a lot slide during the debate itself but again his performance was much better than I expected. Having covered debates in the past I am aware that perception is everything and irrespective of who I believe did better, my opinion is largely irrelevant. Nonetheless here’s my initial take on this evening’s events.
I don’t normally make a big deal out of a single poll because there could be rounding errors, or it could be an outlier, or there could be flaws in the methodology, but a result revealed in this particular poll made me perk up. A recent Washington Post/Survey Monkey poll shows a number of states placed in the ‘tossup’ category that wouldn’t usually be there. This category includes states that were previously purple like Ohio and Florida, but also Mississippi and Texas. The poll actually puts Trump behind in Texas. For me whether or not this poll is accurate doesn’t matter, but what this poll can potentially galvanise does.