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    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Thane15- thank you for your lovely words. Just a morning bitter ramble, really, when I should be studying Spencer’s ‘The Faery Queen’. Quite appropriately, I’m studying (or should be) a passage where people come across a personification of Despair, who attempts to talk them into suicide by using their weak points. Despair is about right, around now.

    Clinton is a little shady, that can’t be denied, but trying to untangle that from the misogyny thrown at her. You’re right about the deep voice thing. If she didn’t have a fairly, for a woman, deep voice, can you imagine what they would have said instead? Shrill, most likely.

    I think we are seeing, in both the USA and the UK, a nostalgia from some past golden age of self sufficiency. People wanting to go it alone. And I’m not the biggest fan of globalism. But it’s naïve. And a man who thinks it’s ‘smart’ rather that wildly unethical, to avoid paying taxes is not the man to reboot the USA’s economy.

    Think to the positive, Trump has considerably less support from his own party than Obama did, and Obama’s hands were often tied. He’s not going to get to build a wall. It just scares me because there are people in my nation who think that the Prime Minister should have had the right to make a promise to the people that went against British law (i.e. make the referendum binding without Parliamentary voting on it). What people often forget about fascism, is the popular support that put the dictators in place. It’s the cutting out of the middle men of the independent Justice system and the constitution, making the people in the street feel empowered and stirring them up, tapping into resentments and sending them after  scapegoats. That isn’t, for example, to blame the German population for the Nazi’s. But mankind is considerably less intelligent as a mob than as individuals. Power tends to corrupt, and that includes the feeling of power that can come from being in a large, noisy, angry crowd.

    Right, back to the cave of despair. I’m also studying Shakespeare. You know one reoccurring theme? Fear of someone who has popular support, especially someone who can control the crowd. Not such much the elite fearing the general population, as one member of the elite fearing another member of the elite who could mobilise the general population to their own ends.

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @JanetteB- interesting quote, who was it?

    I think, from a non conservative side, I’d put it like this. Simple, selfish arguments have a punchy power. Appealing to more direct self interest is easier. ‘Take our country back’ sounds more powerful than ‘most of the votes in the EU go our way’. ‘This much a week goes to the EU’ than ‘actually when you consider trade deals etc, and the funding the EU gives out, Wales financially benefitted from EU membership.’ ‘British jobs for British people’ than ‘actually, nationwide, immigration has no impact on employment levels, and how exactly are you trying to define ‘British’ anyway?’

    Corbyn appeared to lack conviction for the EU because he isn’t a great fan. So his argument was rather negative ‘do you really want these people (Torys) to rewrite UK law?’ and the positive aspect ‘giving up all our influence over the EU is not going to improve it’ came across as weak. They were valid reasons to vote stay, but people wanted fist pumping. Clinton was more qualified for the job. Trump isn’t remotely qualified for the job. It lacks zing.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @miapatrick One of my favourite poets, William Butler Yeats. I find it strange that so many of the great poets were of a conservative frame of mind.

    Yes politics in simple sound bites, quick quips because most people don’t have the time, energy or interest to think beyond that. What always saddens and frustrates me in equal measure is to see people on election days who are clearly heading in to vote for the party that will simply trample them. I usually hand out “how to votes” at elections a deeply depressing exercise which often leaves me despairing of democracy.



    Mudlark @mudlark


    @janetteb ‘s quote is from W B Yeats’ poem ‘The Second Coming’ ; lines that have been echoing in my mind for some time now.

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed and everywhere

    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst

    Are full of passionate intensity.

    It was written in 1919 in the aftermath of World War I and on the eve of the Irish civil war, but in full it is not quite as pessimistic as these lines suggest, because it goes on to invoke his quasi-mystical belief that history is cyclical.  The concluding lines are

    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    Waking to the news this morning felt even worse than the morning of June 24th, and if it weren’t raining, and the rain forecast to continue all day, I would be spending as much time as I could in the garden, trying to work off the low mood.

    There may be enough Republicans in Congress who did not support Trump as candidate willing to try and frustrate his most disastrous policies, but that isn’t saying very much.  It depends, also, on who he chooses for his Cabinet and as advisors, because by all accounts he does not have the attention span to be a hands-on President, and seems  so far to have shown little patience with efforts to brief him on what he will need to know, or willingness to listen to advice

    At best the next four years look anything but rosy, not least in foreign policy, where he will probably have most influence, and when it turns out that he can’t deliver all he promised, especially in relation to the economically deprived regions of the US, the anti-establishment mood there is likely to get even uglier.

    Anonymous @

    @miapatrick @janetteb

    Miss Mia, you sound like a very learned and intelligent person indeed -you are also hopeful. This is a great thing. I know the Doctor teaches/believes in hope!

    I totally think you have it there -the idea (and it was mentioned by Janette) that quips are powerful and easy to remember-they roll off the tongue.

    I think of Sport’s cries and how simple and powerful they are? I didn’t think politics would be like that.

    I am watching Wolf Hall -one of Mum’s fav telly shows with Mark Rylance and I noticed that there was great fear for him when he started to be noticed- to have some power and so they defeated him.

    I imagine some of the history has been changed to fit the story but it’s interesting anyway. Janette you’d know a lot about this being a history researcher and writer and MiaPatrick if you study literature then you would know history too.

    We’re learning a bit about English or British History but not so much as mum did (she had to learn all the Queens and Kings of England).

    @craig thank you for that great song by Frank….erm…great, I’ve forgotten his name. I was singing and singing that. In 3 mins he packs SO much into the song. These days me mates listen to a 6 mins song with 2 verses and the chorus over and over. Borrriiiinng. 🙂

    I was listening to the Mamas and the Papas today and one of my fav albums, Pet Sounds. Oh and Pink Floyd. So much good music out there. Should I live to be 90 I’ll never know it or listen to it all (I haven’t listened to any classical music much except that incredible piece about Aberfan. I’m still cold from hearing “falling”).

    G’night (I’m knackered -new word!)



     ‘anti-establishment’ (in brackets, people like Farage and Trump with their massive fortunes and connections are all talk about being anti-establishment)

    That is because they need something to hide that they are playing the race card, the oldest and most disgusting trick in the political book.

    There will be blood.

    lisa @lisa

    Today an earthquake happened on the planet and there will be serious ripples.   I am deeply deeply

    saddened beyond words.  Last June I became a volunteer for the Democratic party The reason was

    that I saw the field of Republicans and it worried me.  I wanted to see some one competent become

    President. I didn’t care if it was Bernie or Hillary.  On June 19th  the GOP gave the nomination to

    a racist fascist.  In my guts I knew that red state America felt angry  but it was much worse

    because we all would get Trump! He is unacceptable to me. His presidency will be unacceptable.

    A few days later the UK voted for Brexit.   I have many good friends  living in the UK and  they

    all voted for Brexit and I understood why.  They didn’t want to send their tax dollars to  a central

    bureaucracy that they felt didn’t represent them and they didn’t like all the “over reaching regulations”.

    If blue state California where I live could do a similar Brexit from the rest of the states I would support that.

    Trump and the GOP will roll back laws and regulations that will effect  all Americans. Also, I do NOT want

    to send my tax dollars to support  a racist fascist President!  I feel the same way as all the Brexiteers.

    I believe in Brexits!   I fear that American democracy may go into a crisis. If I was British I would

    totally support Teresa May getting the best Brexit deal and I would own the Brexit. I would participate

    in the November 23 protest march.  Yesterday will not be the same as how everything will be in weeks

    and years to come.  These ripple effects will be  seriously felt thru the whole world including Europe

    and the EU. The Brexiteers saw the EU the same as I now feel about Washington DC and  I am very

    depressed today.

    I believe this planet really needs a Doctor!



    Mudlark @mudlark


    they need something to hide that they are playing the race card,

    In the case of Trump there was no real attempt to hide it;  he certainly he did nothing to discourage it in those who attended his rallies, and he seemed happy enough to accept the endorsement of white supremacist organisations such as the KKK.

    There may very well be blood, especially when the left-behind of southern and middle America end up finding themselves even worse off.

    Forget my attempts in my post above to discern light at the end of the tunnel: I spent the morning masochistically trawling US news sites and now feel profoundly depressed.  The bottle of single malt my brother left behind after his visit looks very tempting, but perhaps I would be better off re-watching season 9 of Doctor Who.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @Thane15  @janetteb  @miapatrick @mudlark

    I read that 70% of Trump supporters think life was better in the 1950’s, and wish America could go back to that. !!! Tell that to women, and blacks, and gays, and so many others that were downtrodden or persecuted in the golden era of America. And of course Thane is absolutely right, it’s astonishing to think that these people really believe that Trump can give them their old lives back. For better or worse, those days are gone. In my unsympathetic moments, I think that if they would suck it up and educate themselves, instead of sitting around complaining that the factory jobs are all gone, they and the rest of us would all be better off. But they don’t like the new world, can’t accept it, and won’t adapt to it. And then someone comes along and tells them things that they really, really want to believe, so they believe. There’s bound to be horrible anger somewhere down the road, when these people all realize that they’ve been had.

    One thing that saddens me is this “Make America great again” business. Because what made America great in the first place was immigration, innovation, and the ability to adapt to circumstances. Not a desire to turn back the clock and keep people out.

    My husband and I were talking with a friend last night about the government, and the dilemma that awaits them. Many, many of these Republicans repudiated Trump during the election. What will they do now? Will they speak out against him if necessary, or will they just fall into line, happy to have their majorities back? We shall see who has any integrity, I guess.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @Thane15     I am devoting my day to music and cooking, two things I can do to create positive energy. Friday is Remembrance Day, and tomorrow is a school closure day, so today my son’s school has Remembrance Day assemblies all day. He is in the choir, so he gets to spend much of the day in the auditorium singing, including multiple goes at the national anthem. I told him that today, he really has to sing it like he means it!

    @mudlark     Omg, the whisky. I was so tempted last night, but I didn’t do it. Tonight, however, I  there might be mojitos as I am cooking Cuban food. And we all deserve a little sunshine today (it’s not happening outside here, either!).

    Anonymous @


    I think  you may be talking about the same thing: the only way this is like Brexit is the fact no -one really believed it would happen. So Brexit =Bad and Trump =Bad.

    You can’t leave the Union. Remember those wars?

    But I feel very sad for you and for all the work you did. It must break your heart. Condolences and thank you for all the work you did  as a volunteer. I had hoped to celebrate with you and so would’ve Mum.

    Hugs from Ozzieland

    Whisht @whisht

    I guessed and feared that Trump would… trump.

    As with Brexit, people have voted for ‘change’. Whatever ‘change’ means or brings – just not ‘more of the same’. Sadly Remain and Clinton were painted as ‘more of the same’.

    Unlike others here, I don’t think that people that voted for him will be angry at him when he doesn’t deliver what they want or he promised.
    He’ll blame Senate/ the Establishment/ foreigners/ others for stopping whatever he wants.
    If he does get what he wants, then he’s “making America Great again”.
    (The election’s not rigged anymore it seems).
    He’s never wrong, never fails; its someone else’s fault. Which is the warm and easy feeling that his supporters want.

    And what he did (and the Brexiteers did) was not appeal to rational thought but instead to emotional triggers, which quite frankly Advertising has been doing for decades. And it works. We want to believe these things, we’re given license to (“look other people think this too!”) so we do.
    We’re not idiots – others agree with us.

    And always its others who are to blame, never ‘us’ who can make the difference to ourselves and others by ourselves.

    “Make America Great Again”
    Pronouncing “white” as “g-r-e-a-t” is one of the more egregious uses of dog whistle politics I’ve heard.
    The anger he’s used to energise people (and divide them) may take a long while to calm down (even after he tele-prompted his “work together” acceptance speech).
    Sadly the Secret Service will be kept busy (a ‘superstar’ now at an even higher level – thoughts of Reagan come to mind).

    I’ll find music somewhere. Not sure what or when (and am away from my iTunes until weekend).



    As with Brexit, people have voted for ‘change’.

    Older white people have voted for change; but turnout was the worst since 2000. Trump got fewer votes that Obama x 2, Bush x 2, Romney, McCain …. and Clinton.

    There is no groundswell of support for him, just a very, very broken electoral (and political) system – much as over here.

    Just as, over here, the Labour Party needs to reconnect with its base (something it is failing miserably to do), so must the Democratic Party.

    lisa @lisa

    I  don’t really think Hillary did enough to get the largest coalition she could have.  I strongly

    believe she made a critical mistake when she didn’t make Bernie Sanders her Vice President.

    She lost a  very big chunk of the Bernie coalition and they all took the low road and voted for

    Trump because they didn’t care if they blew up the system.  Susan Sarandon was very vocal

    about these pervasive feelings.  These were all the independent and very progressive left leaning

    Bernie followers!  This is what made the red states redder.  These are the same folks that voted for Obama.

    Twice!   Its why  Hillary lost the electoral college although she actually won the popular vote.  In other words

    more people actually voted for her!  It was actually not one of our largest turnouts either.

    Probably due to that unlikeability thing about both of them which  I feel particularly scorched because I never

    found Hillary unlikeable!

    Anonymous @


    she made crucial mistakes and whilst her email scandal was relatively small people saw her as ‘establishment’ . Her email scandal compared with Trumps failure to pay taxes was a small issue but then a lot of Americans don’t believe in taxes and would love to support flat taxes -even though they dont work.

    Nations with higher taxes have better systemic health and education.

    In Oz we dont believe in user-pays. We believe in standing for everyone – we all pay for health. We all pay for education. We all pay for the environment. We believe in whats fair.  We understand high taxes.

    What I’ve never understood and @pedant and others like @mudlark could help me, here. Why is it that these people all stand up and say: “America can be great again. We are a great blessed nation in the eyes of God. We are the most free country. We are the best and the most powerful.”

    Because if this is patriotism I don’t want it. I’m not a nationalist but I am a federalist. Something, in this country we study from Year 6 including detailed study of the conventions of the UK parliamentary system and the US Constitutional system.

    I always followed Mum’s idea that “Family First” is a bit of a joke. Democracy is the only way we know to ensure that someone’s family gets what some other family needs and deserves. Families are based on patriarchal  beliefs which I don’t hold with. I love our family but it’s not more needy than anyone else’s.

    Anonymous @


    I just saw your post. I didn’t know that the turnout was poor. See, on telly, the reporters were talking about how there were huge lines outside voting areas and that people (lots of Latinos and Latinas) were waiting over an hour.

    I just felt that we were being told that more people than ever were voting. People who had never voted before.

    Also, why did the rust belt vote for Trump?

    Is it because that area has a large manufacturing system?

    But I thought those jobs dried up during the period after the 1950s and the Korean War? Would that be right?

    If so, where are these jobs going to come from?

    Another thing. If he says “America is going to opt out from all those wars”, what will happen to defence spending and all those soldiers who have jobs with the army?

    I know that the last time this happened was during the end of 1989/90 when the climate of the Cold War changed and the army/navy/airforce  lost many of its service people to early retirement.

    What will happen to those jobs and will he still support the veterans?

    And what about China’s relationship with the States? And Japans? If he puts up tariffs and stops trade then how will America pay for the things he’s saying will happen?

    On another note, I didn’t like Clinton’s rhetoric. In Oz, Julia Gillard didn’t talk that way. It’s about what she (Clinton) would do  -not whether she’d be the first female president or not, imho. But that may have been her supporters talk.

    lisa @lisa


    Americans think they are a great nation for the same reasons that a dishonest businessman thinks he’ll

    make a great president.   Its a pathology that I think you will find to varying degrees in many countries.

    But its also a way of reinforcing a belief system by repeating it.  Its also about national identity because

    the USA is made up of so many different peoples form so many different places that its a way to bring

    us all together into a coalition.

    About your question on China I really think Trump is going to abandon to a large degree our presence

    in the South China Sea and  Asian Pacific.   He will probably let Xi Jinping do whatever he wants in the


    Best wishes to you and Mum!


    Anonymous @


    Attitudes to “great nations” isn’t something you’d see in Oz rhetoric.

    As for a coalition of  races,  Oz is an example of a country  made up  immigrants/’others’. But rhetoric of bringing us all “together” is rare. It’s redundant and better politicians know it.



    Get a results map of the US (link below, but wait a mo) and you will see three main areas of blue: the north east on the hinterland from DC to Boston, centred on New York; Illinois, centred on Chicago and the west coast, centred on Greater LA/ San Francisco/ San Diego but reaching to to Seattle. These are the three great metropolitan regions of the North America; cultured, outward looking and international in outlook (Chicago has the biggest futures and options market in the world, bigger even than London).

    Even in Red states you will see that the largest cities (Miami, FL; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, PA,, for instance) usually voted Clinton.


    Despite, for example, New York going Blue, upstate New York was mainly Red, save the more populous counties. Also true in Illinois where pretty well only Chicago itself was blue (but enough to bag the state). As a general rule, the further away a county or district was from very large cities, the more likely it was to vote Trump.

    Some commentators said this presented a “urban vs rural” explanation, but trust a geographer to note that the truth is more complex: it is cosmopolitan and global vs parochial and regional. The more likely a voter is to a) be educated b) to have traveled and c) to have met people different to themselves, the more likely to vote Clinton – and that is most likely to be found in the great conurbations especially the east and west coast super-conurbations and it gradually falls off until rural counties are almost universally red. But some central cities went red too.

    Massachusetts (Harvard, MIT, Boston University, Mass General Hospital) was the only state to go 100% Blue.

    Additional note of interest: there is a fascinating strip from Memphis, south along the Mississippi toward New Orleans that is mainly blue. Wanna guess what skin colour is the predominant one there? Despite this block, Tennessee, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi all went red.

    Here is a very cool map to explore it.

    An identical pattern can be seen in the Brexit vote in the UK with most (but not all) of the main centres of immigration and main centres of learning (plus the whole of Scotland and nearly all of London) voting remain.

    It’s about attitudes to race (and in the US disgusting levels of misogyny).

    The comparison between the EU and DC is somewhat offensive, since the EU never elected a fascist to lead it. It is the sort of misapprehension that comes from using Debbie from Derby for information, rather than looking at actual data.


    lisa @lisa



    I’ve seen many of these stories from all over the state.  Time will tell…….

    I don’t believe Debbie thinks Juncker is fascist but just a  very strong advocate for the EU’s centralized

    government.    She  thinks that they may be a new option that can work better for the UK ?

    In any case, it appears that  Juncker does not connect with  the Debbie’s.




    Anonymous @

    @pedant  @lisa

    since the EU never elected a fascist to lead it. It is the sort of misapprehension that comes from using Debbie from Derby for information, rather than looking at actual data.

    Yeah, I remember the Brexit discussions all too well here with certain Debbies saying “oh yes Brexit is necessary as we are sick and tired of being ruled by the EU so far away from us”.

    This is terrible economic thinking. It angers me that ‘stupid’ seems to win.

    That was a cool map and yes the less the ‘cosmopolitan’ the less the likelihood they’d vote for Clinton.

    Any concept of leaving the Union is insane.  Surely cooler heads will prevail @pedant?

    Thank you very much for going to all the trouble of explaining it with a cool and rational head using geo-economist thinking. I really appreciate that Mr P and I know mum will read these pages (or have them read to her) with great interest. The national news is all “this is like Brexit” but then any analogy usually fails the moment  you look beneath the surface.

    Mum was actually talking with her old, old mates 🙂 from Yale and they predominantly voted for Clinton too.

    university educated people with post grads were more likely to vote for Clinton by the sound of things.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant I had to goggle mysogny – how come the women are saying “oh mr trump will be amazing. He loves us.”


    Anyway. as I said “stoopid”.



    Google Stockholm Syndrome;

    But most women aren’t saying anything of the kind.

    The things Debbie The Dunce blame on the EU are actually all – everyone one of them, without exception – actually caused by Westminster (ie UK govt), and a slash and burn approach to public finance – mainly but not exclusively Tory governments from Thatcher to Cameron.  Nothing at all to do with the EU, which underwrote 100% of the UK’s regional development policy, including bringing Toyota to Derby.

    But Debbie is a bit stupid and gullible, since she decided to believe an actual fascist – Nigel Farage – and his easy lie, when he pointed the finger of blame somewhere else (immigrants, using the EU as a proxy), rather than a complex truth.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @lisa      Re Hillary Clinton. Speaking from a Canadian point of view, here she would actually be considered a centre-right politician, with a progressive streak in some areas. Before the Harper years, this type of right-wing party was as right as it usually got in Canada! But many Canadians understand why support for Sanders never really translated into support for Clinton, she’s too hawkish, and too pro-business, for a lot of people here. (Not everyone, obviously!) It seems to me now that where the Democratic Party made their mistake was in not ensuring a robust primary where it could truly be determined if Clinton would have the necessary support. Too many potential candidates chose to stay out of it and leave the path clear for Clinton, presumably out of some notion that it was “her turn”. Coronations are rarely a good idea in political parties.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @pedant     The maps are fascinating. I followed last night on the New York Times website, which had the interactive map front and centre, and yes, it was very clear very quickly that most urban areas were going Democratic. We have a similar disconnect in Canada. Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal have rarely supported Conservative governments (although the suburbs are a different matter). I am pleased to note that all the places in the States for which I have an affection went pretty much blue, and my husband, having grown up in Massachusetts, was proud of the result there. The wonderful Garrison Keillor had a piece in the Washington Post this morning in which he said that Trump had won the uneducated vote.

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @thane15      Canadians, by and large, share your views about that kind of patriotism. The former Harper government tried to tell us differently, but it didn’t go so well in the end. Love to your mom!

    Anonymous @


    thank you yes! I had heard of the Stockholm Syndrome -so I rang Mum  and she defined it for me. SHe needs to feel useful 🙂

    I think I was watching some of the ladies interviewed near and around New York and some women in Australia who work in Australia but are Americans -diplomats and others on the local Oz News programme (informal more) called The Drum and these women spoke about how they really “love Donald”.

    Yep, it’s probably not “most women” at all but they chose to interview these especially in order to get a “different” view point. Some of these ladies said the’y told others they’d vote for Clinton but then didn’t in the final analysis.

    SOme said they changed their minds on the way to the polling boths.

    I notice this culture of blame as Mum calls it operating everywhere . It operated in my house during the kitchen work. It happened at my soccer club and it happens at school with different teachers blaming each other and then they end up blaming me.

    I’m gonna say what Mum would say “fuck me”.

    I got a B+ for a physics assignment but the teacher emailed mum to say “I am a disappointment and cause trouble in my group work” even though the group GOT a B+ because I did all the work! I had to teach them all about the Big Bang because they wouldn’t look it up.

    This woman is a numpty (love that word). Mum wrote a stinging email. I’m not entirely sure she was in her right mind but apparently she rang the head of dept and started sobbing (this isn’t mum at all: and the poor man was SO upset for her and for me!). Heads of Dept are the head teacher of an area like science or English. Some of them -like Home Ec control Tech Design and Music controls Drama but you probably knew that from your family.

    I’ve tried to ‘teach’ people about Brexit but they don’t open their minds.

    Maybe they haven’t spent any time in th e UK? Maybe they don’t know that’s a small country relying on service instead of say, ecology and mining and agrarian economies like ours is and the US is because it has great soil and lots of room for agrarian work. As far as I know.

    If you rely on a service eco then you need the EU. If you have a technology like making vehicles then that comes from the EU. If you have  a university that is built with EU money then what happens when that’s gone.

    But you cant roll it back and you can’t  -in America  – leave the Union.  I totally understand your frustration @lisa and I really think the people in the Clinton camp would thank you for the tireless work you did for them day after day. It must be very upsetting for you and for them. I saw the looks on the women’s faces in the Clinton camp and the big stage. It had all the lights on during the night and all these excited happy people and we watched as these faces went from jubilance (sp?) to despaired. Oh, what a night! “Godawful” said me dad.


    Anonymous @

    @arbutus @lisa

    Thank you Miss Arbutus -I will pass that to mum.

    I love Garrison Keiler (sp)! Mum was taking with her a whole pile of CDs that she hadn’t listened to in ages. And she had one of him and two female singers. I think he wrote the lyrics? I think!

    Yes, I’m learning about the centre/ the left etc and that’s hard to understand but mum said it’s key to politics (everyone I know including the adults I know “hate  politics” -not mum’s close friends. They’re all in shock).

    Yes, many of the pollies here said Hillary wasn’t always likeable that she could be “bullish” and make some really silly statements about Big Business as well as “talking” about health care but not necessarily being able to deliver.

    Some Ozzies went as far as to say “what were the legacies of Obama if Obama care was all there was?”

    And if it gets knocked out then what will happen to the middle classes and the working classes which Trump says he’s “working for”.

    I don’t think that man has worked for anybody in his life! He hates women and said when he was accused of sexual harassment that the “women were all TOO ugly to be harassed.”

    In my church group (which I have to go to) all the kids there follow their parents (I guess I do too) but they were all FOR Donald! I was stunned although I shouldn’t be!

    ichabod @ichabod

    I’m out of shock sufficiently to post now — a friend and I called off a lunch date today because we both felt so gut-punched by the victory of the Deplorables.  And it is pretty much a total victory — White House, both houses of Congress, and pretty soon, the Supreme Court, when that miserable excuse for a man makes his appointments from among his loathsome gang of reactionary cronies.

    And, as has been pointed out in the news, Clinton won the popular vote — not by much, but she did in fact win the election.  To our sorrow and our rage, the Electoral College will nonetheless give the Presidency to Trump.  We are SO screwed.  “We” here is the 57% of the popular vote that HRC got, now nullified by the very system that’s supposed to help guard the country against demagogues like Trump.

    Good discussion here of very, very bad times; and thanks, all, for your thoughtful comments, condolences, and outrage on behalf of the disenfranchised 57%.

    I’m sorry that the Doctor is fictional, and sorry that our hopes have been dashed to pieces with no recourse in sight.  I’m also sorry for my grandkids, but glad that I’m old.  Wish I could feel differently; it’s extremely weird, actually.  Back when W Bush was thrown his election by the Supremes, I felt much the same, and someone recommended that instead of sitting around glooming, I might try some embarking on some large, long term project, like painting a mural depicting the course of mammalian evolution.

    Of course this wasn’t any sort of real-world option, but just thinking about doing it helped restore my long-sight perspective, and that really did help.  Trying to get to that place again now, but I think it’s just too soon.  And it’s got to be a *lot* harder to achieve, given the enormity of this new defeat, and its implications.  My sister has been having anxiety attacks, and so have many people — there are items in the on-line news about various crisis help-lines being inundated with people desperate for something to defuse their shock, fear, and despair.

    Anonymous @


    I’m so sorry. I really am. ** Off youtube today because (well, I should be studying but that’s “munted” as Mum would say) I suspect the Chorus of the Deplorables will be hooting and singing, calling Islamic people out as well as “you faggots and c*** lickers”. I’ve seen this stuff before and I know it’s going to be worse.

    Mum studied in the States but I never ever want to go there. There were plans when I was 18 and I’d finished school to go with the family (at least my dad) but I don’t want to. I know, I shouldn’t worry about guns and ‘terawrists’ but I do but I now I imagine that ordinary people will be picked on too.

    Thing is, if the out of work white men and their wives voted in those rust somethingarother states then why would there be help lines? I’m so confused. I DO understand the Electoral College -from the West Wing. I must have been 5 when It was patiently explained by my cousin and then again the following year and then AGAIN. But I don’t understand how if it was a pretty big vote that so many people don’t support him. I read pedant’s map which is awesome but ‘help lines’?

    Is it that it was the lesser of two devils? I heard one fella on the news saying to an Aussie reporter that he went with the idea to vote Hilary but decided he “hated Trump less”. Hated him Less.

    Let’s take THAT apart. How is this system even workable?

    ANd why was there such a huge orchestral symphony thing which I swear I’ve heard from the West Wing playing him on? It sounded like the new King was being crowned!

    Here, there’s applause and the new PM who has been voted in as leader of the party (whether the Liberals -right -or the Labour -ALP. The Left) walks on the  very small stage in front of the press. And that’s it really. It’s not a large salary and the government house they live in is really nice but it’s no White House. I drive past it in Canberra all the time. People stand around eating hotdogs because nobody recognises the small creamy house behind them! It’s so funny.

    Senate Greens leader (Left) apparently insulted Trump and another Senator got up and totally tore this dood a new one! I was applauding the Greens senator for his honesty because every right wing Liberal party member has sucked up to him including Julie Bishop -our foreign secretary. Google that woman. She’s a poisonous bitch of a snake.

    ** maybe you could join the others with some whiskey? Or is bourbon in America? I learnt that from the West Wing. If we can’t have the Doctor can we have Jed Bartlet instead?  🙂

    Sorry for my swearing. I never normally do but yesterday a lot of things changed 🙁


    ichabod @ichabod

    @thane15  The people calling up “help lines” for consoling conversation are my people, the 57% that worked and voted for Clinton, only to see all that effort and eager anticipation blown sky-high by the reactionary dumb-heads of the Republican party and its toxic fringes.  We’re in shock; they’re celebrating what they think is a win in appropriately (to the crudeness of their candidate) loud, overblown, and colorful fashion.

    There were demonstrations, mostly by young people who voted for Clinton, in the streets of New York, Chicago, Oakland (California — largely a black city), and Portland, Oregon; maybe you saw that on TV news.  People walking in the rain, with escorts of police (probably to protect them from over-exuberant yahoos on the Right), with home-made signs.  Then they all went home (I think).  Sad, and useless, really.  They would all have voted for Jed Bartlett too, I’ll bet.

    Sorry about your own political collywobbles and venomous political vermin — everybody does seem to have them now, but that’s only to be expected: the entire world is facing an oncoming storm of environmental threats and losses, and until Washington DC actually has to be picked up and moved 50 miles inland (it’s built on a swamp) because of rising sea levels, denial and reaction seem to be the standard response here in my “exceptional” country, but not only here.

    If I had some whiskey, I’d make a whiskey sour (if I had some limes, and if I had some rum), but no; so it’s red wine tonight, and yes, lots of swearing.  LOTS.  The cats are looking at me funny.

    More wine; and apologies to you, Puricle.  The mess your generation is facing in your futures is a truly crappy legacy from recent generations; some of us did try, ‘cuz we love and respect yours, but the dunderheads, driven by greed and fear (among much else of a similar stench), have been too much for us.

    I hope you and yours will see much better times.  Best to your mum, always.

    Anonymous @

    @ichabod thank you so much for explaining all that to me. I think Australia is a lucky country in many ways.

    We always thought America was too ; bold and larger than life like some of its movie characters!

    Maybe I’ll go live in a hut with animals and a vegetable garden and “opt out” -Mum’s saying that. Dunno what it means. 🙂

    ichabod @ichabod

    @thane15  We say “going off the grid” here; it means pioneering your own little homestead somewhere, raising your own food, building your own stuff and so on, a bit like the Amish — all old fashioned, but disconnected as much as possible from modern “civilization”.  The “grid” is the electric power grid of wires and stations; solar cells and/or small generators are preferred, I believe.

    I think of it as the modern version of the back-to-nature hippies of the sixties, only with better tools and so on.  We’ve got people here in New Mexico doing that, mostly in communes, but also outside the edges of town.  I run into some of them at the big Trader Joe’s grocery here or the co-op sometimes, so . . . ?


    Anonymous @


    Nope. I just don’t get it. And I thought I did! So, the people vote for the candidate to be president as well as voting for the 100 other reps? Or something? There’s 535 electoral college votes so if 100 are ‘others’ then the 455 of them are….who??

    If the Electoral College is set up so that a large state has a large amount of EC votes then it would be fairer? And that’s how it is?

    But it’s not quite like that?

    EC in 27 states has to follow the popular vote but 23 states don’t have to?

    But who are the people in the EC? Why them and not Jimmy Smith in Detroit who owns a pub?

    Say a regular person/voter votes for a member of the Congress and a member from their state for the Senate then they would ALSO vote for a candidate for president in the SAME party?

    So the EC people tally up the votes and say “yay, there are more votes for the Republican Party so therefore the 18 EC votes from ——-State go to…..x candidate?

    Oh, my stars. Am I right? Anyone? 🙂

    Mudlark @mudlark


    @ichabod is probably still asleep and will no doubt be able to give a more complete answer than I can, but in the meantime I am confined indoors by another day of inclement weather, so I’ll have a stab at answering at least some of your queries – at least according to my no doubt incomplete understanding of the system

    The Electoral College was set up by the Founders of the Constitution because they were distrustful of popular democracy and wanted to avoid a popular vote, possibly driven by factional, ill informed and irrational impulses, resulting in the election of someone unfitted for the office.  The Electors were therefore not bound absolutely to follow the popular choice in the State they represented. But note that when the system was set up there were no organised political parties in the modern sense, only loosely defined coalitions and affiliations.

    The number of Electors for each State is equal to the numbers of members of Congress for that State, so roughly in proportion to population, and currently adds up to a total of 538 (435 Representatives and 100 Senators plus three more for the District of Columbia). They must not be holders of any other political office. Since the 1880s the Electors in each State, with the exception of Maine and Nebraska, have been chosen on a winner-takes-all basis and are normally pledged to vote according to the outcome of the popular vote in that State, though in theory they still could vote otherwise and occasionally one may do so as a matter of judgement or conscience.

    Many people now think that this system is no longer fit for purpose, and in the case of this election it seems to have resulted in precisely the kind of situation the Founders sought to avoid: the election of someone who is on multiple counts manifestly unqualified for the office of President, whereas his opponent who won the popular vote, if only by a small margin, was – whatever her flaws – very well qualified.

    Voters, faced with choosing a President as well as other candidates for office, potentially including a member of the House and a Senator, not to mention members of their State legislature, may vote a ‘straight ticket’ – i.e. for candidates all from the same party – and probably most do; but equally, if someone who normally votes Republican happens to think the Democrat Presidential candidate is the better choice, there is nothing to stop them voting accordingly, even if they vote mainly or wholly for Republican candidates down ticket.

    It’s all so much simpler in a parliamentary democracy – have you seen the size of some of their ballot papers 😮

    lisa @lisa


    I totally agree with you.

    But the question is if HRC would have seen victory if  Sanders was her running mate?

    I still think Sanders as the VP would have offset her problem with the  “Bernies”  AND

    it would have created an interesting balance of talents too.  Plus Bernie has an ability

    to reach people on the stump in ways that HRC is deficient. I believe this was what lost

    her the election.


    All the traditional republicans that crossed party lines to vote for her

    (and there were a lot)  still would have done so because they were so anti- Trump.

    Tim Kaine  was her choice to  bring along that demographic and it was a big mistake IMHO.


    We all knew over here she would run for President again and tbh  she actually had lots

    of fans that admired her. Even among other potential  candidates!  This was a big reason why

    the democratic  primary field didn’t have 17 potential candidates like the republican side did.

    Unfortunately it was like a coronation even though the woman is smart and competent and capable.

    Yet there is no question that most people over here felt that way too.


    Anonymous @


    thank you for that explanation. I really appreciate it. So the electors are random people who are…chosen by?

    They then vote FOR the members of Congress and Senate?

    After which they go back to their regular jobs so the electors are people like you and me who then do the voting on behalf of the people who are voting?

    Is this right?

    I think I’m stupid, I don’t get it. Ooh boy.


    Anonymous @

    @pedant mudlark did a wonderful explanation but I’m too thick -it seems like the electors in this college don’t hold political office except to vote ‘in’ what the voters have ‘said’?

    So the College votes for the people in the Senate and the Congress and also the presidential candidates?

    its funny but every single website is actually the same explanation and it seems simple but when I try to explain it I realise I don’t even have the basics as I thought the College was a group of hidden people (like the Governors. LOL) who voted the way the State voted but not according to a popular vote except in 24 states where they have to follow the pop vote as it’s the Law there.

    Sorry: I’m brainless. My science teacher is right. Dash off to half day of school consisting of training in 35 degree heat. I can’t wait for England!!



    No, the college is only for the Presidential election. Interestingly, there is no legal obligation by the college to respect the will of the voters. But they pretty well always have.

    Congressmen and women are elected by simple majority (although if I have read correctly Maine has just become the first state to head for proportional voting).

    Mudlark @mudlark


    Before a presidential election the Republican party and the Democrats, and any other candidate on the ballot, each draws up a slate of potential electors, chosen either at a State party convention or by a vote of the party’s central committee.  The nominees will usually be active members of the party in question, though not office holders, chosen in recognition of their service.  In the election the voters are in effect choosing which slate of electors will vote in the Electoral College for the president of their choice, and in some States the list of electors for each candidate may be listed on the ballot, as well as the names of the candidates. So if a majority of voters in a State opt for the Republican candidate, the slate of potential electors chosen by the Republican party in that State will become the members of the Electoral College representing that State.  A fairly clear and comprehensive explanation can be found here

    Members of congress for each State have, as @pedants says, always so far been elected in much the same way as we in Britain elect MPs, by direct majority in a first-past-the-post system. It was only when it came to Presidential elections that the Founders felt that hoi polloi could not be trusted.

    P.S.  Judging from the evidence presented on these boards you are not in the least thick  🙂


    Anonymous @

    @pedant @mudlark

    . Thank you so much for explaining all that to me -again! I appreciate your time and kind patience.

    I thought it was S Carolina going for proportional voting? I know Maine and Nebraska don’t have the “all or nothing” winner- takes-all thing but I thought there were laws in 24 states where the popular vote has to be followed with 27 states having no such law -hence the popular vote seemingly being cast for Clinton which is opposite to the EC results.

    I wonder how many Americans know this really well?


    lisa @lisa


    Here is a good source for everything about American  government stuff

    ( until  the new Trump administration changes things   🙁  )


    Can’t recall if I have ever posted this before, but as the 11th hour of the 11th day approaches, I don’t any of you will mind

    The Known Soldier.

    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    @pedant Thank you for posting this.  Very apt, and very poignant.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    The discrepancy between the outcome of the popular vote and the majority in the Electoral College, which is not unprecedented, is down to the fact that the popular vote is the sum of all votes cast nationwide, resulting in a simple majority one way or the other, whereas the make up of the Electoral College is determined by the results on a State by State basis; so, given that (with the two exceptions) winner takes all in the Electoral Collage stakes, and given that population density varies very considerably from State to State and many of the States which most reliably vote Republican have relatively low population density, if the number of people who vote for the losing candidate is high and not far short of the majority vote in States with a high density of population, the raw number of votes cast for the loser can exceed those cast for the winner.

    On another subject, it seems that someone has given Trump back his i-phone and he has resumed tweeting. Apparently those protesting the results of the election are ‘professional’ demonstrators, and it’s unfair  (waaah 😥 )


    Anonymous @


    Some how I missed that last night. Thank you for sharing that -it was very timely as well.  poignant (sp) written article.

    winston @winston

    @pedant   Thankyou for that link.  I spent the 11th hour at my Father’s grave. He was a sailor in the Canadian Navy  during the Korean War  and thankfully came back as so many others have not.Lest We Forget.

    @mudlark  I picture Trump’s  keepers sneaking around , hiding his phone under the gold sofa or behind the gold statue or under the gold carpet and hoping he doesn’t find it while they are gone. But Donald keeps searching until he finds it and has to start Tweeting. “Put down the phone Donald and go read a book ( not your own )”

    As a Canadian I fear what kind of problems he can cause us and the rest of the world ,not to mention the environment the racism, the wall and I could go on and on but it depresses me too much. I mean he likes Putin! Rant over. Sorry   Oh yeah there is the KKK.

    ichabod @ichabod

    @mudlark et al —   Well explained, and yep, I *was* asleep, and soon shall be again.  A couple of notes —

    The Electoral College was set up by the Founders of the Constitution because they were distrustful of popular democracy and wanted to avoid a popular vote, possibly driven by factional, ill informed and irrational impulses, resulting in the election of someone unfitted for the office.

    It was also a result of the concern (particularly from Jefferson) that without the Electoral College, states with larger aggregations of voters (ie, cities) would have too much power v. the bigger but more sparsely populated states.  It was also part of a compromise around the issues of slavery, although I don’t recall the exact terms.  It wasn’t just mob rule the Framers were worried about; it was an over-riding power edge accruing to more urbanized states, to the detriment of farmers and plantation owners etc. in rural states.  People are talking about trying to do away with the Electoral College now, but that won’t happen: it works to favor the Republicans now — more rural areas, and they hold power.  Besides, it would take a nation wide series of votes to amend the Constitution, and nobody sane wants to open *that* can of worms (what other changes might be forced by reactionary, misogynist racists, given the opportunity?).

    As for the loathsome Trump, my sister reminds me that he’s been a lifelong supporter of Democrats and contributor to Democrat-supported causes, but said some years ago that if he were to enter politics, he would enter as a Republican because Republican voters are so stupid that they can be led anywhere.  Those are very close to his exact words.  She thinks he might revert to his earlier self after some experience of the actual job of President.

    I think not (given the crowd of evil vultures he seems bent on naming to his cabinet), and in some ways it scarcely matters.  I’ve already heard from a friend about someone who committed suicide last night, out of fear that Trump and the Republican Congress would repeal Obama care, which would mean the loss of access for her to the medicines and care that have been maintaining her life against chronic illness.

    I expect to hear of more such miseries.  This shit is not a joke, especially to POC and immigrants.  It’s a crime.  The man himself is a criminal, and he inspires criminal behavior in others.  Again, a report by a man going out for pizza and having men in a passing vehicle yell “Faggot!” at him and fling a rock that struck him in the face.  My sister came in for lunch yesterday and told me she’d seen workmen scrubbing giant graffiti off an overpass on the interstate — a swastika.

    Of course.


    Mudlark @mudlark


    What you say about Trump’s cynical political about-face doesn’t surprise me. I suspect that he has not, nor ever has had any real political convictions.  He’s just a wheeler-dealer who appears to have benefited very little from an expensive education but is a canny enough business man to know how to work things to his own advantage, if necessary by off-loading his losses onto his investors and refusing to pay contractors what they are owed.

    Watching and listening to him and reading accounts of his rallies, it has been difficult to avoid seeing him as a text-book example of a sociopathic narcissist, living at the centre of a reality constructed from moment to moment and resistant to anything which might puncture his self-image.  He lies frequently and blatantly* and contradicts himself, possibly believing himself when he does so, and says whatever he things will go down well with his audience. In his rallies you could see this operating as a kind of feed-back loop, where he doubled down in appealing to the worst impulses of the crowd.  In his acceptance speech, equally, he turned about and conformed to what was expected.

    An article in the New Yorker reporting the views of Tony Schwarz, Trump’s ghost writer  on The Art of the Deal, supports such conclusions and provides, in addition, the information that he has a minimal attention span and seems – or seemed at the time – to be interested in nothing beyond his own self aggrandisement.

    Today’s headlines report him as rowing back on some of his more extreme policy statements, but I don’t see that as being particularly reassuring. A Republican Party in control of the legislative and judicial branches of government and ready to pander to its most extreme wing will probably find him very easy to manipulate, just so long as he can be flattered into thinking he is in charge.  He certainly isn’t going to be able to ‘drain the swamp’ , even if he ever had any real intention of doing so, or the least idea of how to go about it.

    As for foreign policy, if he thinks that diplomacy is the same as deal-making he may be in for a shock, especially as the leaders of some countries clearly regard him as a ‘useful idiot’; and in the light of this, plus his evident lack of impulse control and tissue-paper thin skin, the next 2-4 years look not only grim but positively dangerous to world stability.


    *Politifact rated more than half of his statements as false or outright, pants-on-fire lies, and only 16% as true or mostly true.

    Anonymous @

    @mudlark @ichabod

    A book on Trump then ?? 🙂

    A book on anything and I’d read it! So interesting -I can come here to the Doctor Who Forum and read about American politics and understand it.

    It’s very worrying Ichi and I think that it will get worse. My Aussie church friends are all “oh yay, Trump got in” and I said “go away you pieces of shit.”

    They’re no longer friends of mine (I’ve been swearing more, I apologise). There were only three of them. Taking applause from their parents I think

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