Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The 2016 Presidential Election as Story

The one thing we can all agree on today is: Thank gawd the U.S. presidential race is finally over!
November 8 2016
And the long-shot candidate won: Donald J. Trump will be the 45th president of the United States.

Let’s be honest, whether or not you voted for the Donald, no one but the Donald thought he could win.

Keep Calm & Keep Campaigning

Sometime last year I caught a glimpse of his announcement to run, not sure exactly where or when I saw the clip, maybe on a treadmill at the gym, but my thought was: OMG! He’s riding down an escalator with his wife in an off-the-shoulder dress in the Mall of America.

What the heck is this country coming too?
trump tower
The next thing I remember seeing was the New Yorker's cover (July 27, 2015) of a bloated Trump diving into a pool. Again, I wasn’t really paying close attention.

At that point, the only thing that mattered to me was: #NeverBush and #NeverClinton. After all, we don’t do dynasties in the United States … Right?

In February of this year I discovered Diamond and Silk, the hosts of The Viewers View (VV) on youtube. Again, I don’t remember exactly how or exactly when I stumbled across them, but after one episode, I was hooked on their engaging, energetic, insightful, and humorous election analysis. As the year progressed and the election turned REALLY nasty, I relied on every VV episode to keep me sane.

Whatever was happening, those ladies made me think (rethink) and laugh out loud.
Anyway … the night before the election, after the Real Clear Politics average showed Trump ahead in: Florida, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, and Ohio, I stared at the Seabiscuit poster in my office—1938, Seabiscuit Moves Ahead of War Admiral—and thought: OMG! Donald Trump is going to win because he’s moving ahead of Hillary Clinton in all these state polls and peaking at the right time.
Seabiscuit horse, seabiscuit facts
And whether you love or hate or are indifferent to Donald Trump, you have to admit this story, like Seabiscuit’s, is a uniquely American one. With everyone in “the establishment” against him, attacking him, and piling on, he just kept on campaigning.

No matter how much was thrown at him, he just kept on going.

I was astounded. I think we all were. I mean how many of us didn’t ask ourselves at least once during the campaign, How is he doing it? How does he keep going? Where does he get the energy?

I mean, the guy has a work ethic.

And his age!?!?!

Is it because he’s never had a drink of alcohol or smoked a cigarette? Or is the key ingredient to his Energizer Bunny ethos the Kentucky Fried Chicken and Big Macs?

Maybe beneath the spray-on/tanning booth suntan he possesses the faith of an Old Testament prophet.

I don’t have the answers. But as someone who long ago lost faith in both political parties and is a reliable fan of the underdog, I thoroughly enjoyed the 2016 Presidential Election as “story.” It’s an incredible one, and an incredible fighter won against incredible odds.
donald trump news, donald trump today
As Hillary Clinton quoted from the Bible in her concession speech: Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9

Trump never lost heart.

And he never grew weary.

Now, if that was all there was to this story, you might call it inspiring but one-dimensional. Well, life is #NEVERONEDIMENSIONAL.

Going back to Seabiscuit's unlikely and inspiring win over War Admiral during the Great Depression, there were three critical players in that story: automobile entrepreneur Charles Howard, horse trainer Tom Smith, and jockey Red Pollard.

And the Donald—and his indefatigability—was not the only critical component in yesterday's historic upset.

The Relocated Trickster from Down Under

In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a Trickster is a character in a story (god, goddess, spirit, man, woman, or anthropomorphisation), which exhibits a great degree of intellect or secret knowledge, and uses it to play tricks or otherwise disobey normal rules and conventional behaviour. —Wikipedia

Julian Assange, the Australian founder of Wikileaks, who will (apparently) live in perpetuity in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London with a now-famous kitten, played the trickster in the story of the 2016 Presidential Election.

After throwing the Democratic National Convention into chaos by releasing hacked DNC emails on the eve of the convention, Wikileaks relentlessly dropped John Podesta’s (Clinton’s Campaign Chairman) emails on the American public through the remainder of the campaign—up until the final hour, when we learned the Clinton Foundation funded Chelsea’s extravagant wedding. Practically a minor revelation by that point.

I’m not going to recount all the bombs, they’re easily found all over the internet. Their effect: It became impossible to watch Hillary Clinton’s lips move without comparing the yawning gulf between what she professed with those moving lips and the pesky truths exposed in digitally preserved archives.

If that weren't enough, Assange’s interview with John Pilger, released on November 5 threw a great big wet blanket on the second Clinton’s grasp for power.
If you don’t have time to watch the 25 minute video, its two salient points:

As Secretary of State, the war in Libya was Hillary’s War. In overthrowing the Libyan government to advance her anticipated presidential campaign narrative, 40,000 lives were lost in Libya, and an international migrant crises was unleashed upon the globe.

Second point: United States international arms exports doubled in dollar value under Obama/Clinton. (This, while they attacked the constitutional right of their own citizens to bear arms.)

“If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth,”—Julian Assange

Poetic Justice

In 1994 Bill Clinton signed The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 which “led directly to the destruction of African American families, had disastrous economic consequences and led to an escalation in the criminalization of young black boys and girls.”—Goldie Tayler, Daily Beast

In 1996, Hillary Clinton infamously used the term "super-predator" in defense of this bill.

For five decades, whenever a Democratic candidate won the White House, it was a reliable and largely monolithic Black vote that delivered the margin of victory. In 2008 and 2012, more Black Americans than ever came out for Barak Obama. In 2016, Hillary Clinton took their support for granted.

Analyzing county-by-county results for Tuesday’s election, it's clear that Black voters didn't turn out for Hillary. In flipped states, the margin of her loss was Black voters in urban areas.

Why weren't they with Her? Because they didn't like Her anymore than anyone else did, and the Obama Administration has never delivered to this key constituency.

An unlikely but extraordinary cast of characters.

What a story.

Diamond and Silk's Unity Message on Facebook: