Wednesday, December 14, 2016

My 2016 Election Concession...

Dear Trump Voter,  You won.  I Lost.

It is a beautiful  early Winter day here in London. The weather has been unseasonably mild for mid December. (It is in the upper 50’s Fahrenheit this week). But the Christmas decorations are up in Central London and the city sparkles and shines, even without snow. So I was feeling pretty good, even somewhat smug as I saw the predicted high temperature for Madison, WI today. (12 Degrees F.) That feeling quickly dissipated however, upon seeing the news report about the final result of the election recount in Wisconsin.

After all was said and done, it was Donald Trump who actually increased his margin of victory in the Badger State, by 131 votes. (Hillary Clinton added 713 votes to her total, and Trump gained 844 new votes.) The recount resulted in a total net increase of 837 ballots.

A number of old friends in WI have sparred with me on Facebook over the recount, Russian intervention in the US Election, and what the Trump victory might mean. On more than one occasion over the past few weeks, I have been told that I need to “get over it, cuz Trump won.” A fact that the WI recount result has clearly underscored with added emphasis. So there…. Nyygha!

You know what? They’re right. So to all the Trump voters back in my Childhood home of Wisconsin, I concede. Donald J. Trump won the election by  winning 74 more electoral votes than Hillary Clinton. The fact Hillary Clinton beat Trump by nearly 3 million more total votes, while frustrating, isn’t how our system works. Donald Trump won the election. He is the President-Elect and come January 20th will be the 45th President of the United States.

Granted, there are a few things you voted for in your support for Trump that you clearly are not going to get. Hilary Clinton isn’t going to be charged with any of the imaginary high crimes and nefarious deeds Trump cited to milk applause at his rallies. Sorry, but nobody is going to “Lock her up”. Also, lets be real, you are not getting a wall with Mexico. Not because of political or social opposition, it’s just not physically possible.

 Which brings me to what you actually ARE going to get for you vote.

Congratulations, you are getting a fact-free federal government. The one hallmark of Donald Trump’s historic victory, ( and yes, we all can be honest here and admit it truly was historic), was the total lack of any need for facts. Or rather,  just making up your own facts when reality disagreed with you.

When the unemployment rate was really less than 5%, you just said; No it isn’t… it’s over 40%! When over 90% of the global scientific community agrees on the fact that man-made carbon emissions are a leading factor in changes to our climate, you just said; No it isn’t! The whole thing is a Chinese hoax!

 When you lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes you just said; No we didn’t! Everyone who didn’t vote for us, voted illegally, so we really won!   You voted for , and will now get a Federal Government that will simply make stuff up, when reality doesn’t support the talking points.

Speaking of the climate. You voted for coal, and for oil.. Bigly, as the President-Elect likes to say. You voted for a foreign policy that will put the profits of Exxon-Mobile as the foremost interest of the United States around the world. 

 You voted to reward the dictator of Chad for waging war on his own people. You voted reward Russia for waging war on its neighbor by allowing them to revive a half a TRILLION dollar oil deal between their state owned oil company and Exxon.

Let’s not forget Coal, because you voted to reopen coal mines in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Not only that, but you voted to eliminate air quality standards, clean water regulations and gut the federal agency responsible for overseeing it all.    So this is what you are getting for at least the next four years. An executive branch that is composed  almost entirely, of  exactly the sort of  people you believed you were voting against. 

But you won!  So you get to eliminate health insurance for over 20 million people. With no alternative to fill the gap.  You voted for "repeal" without any sort of replace.   There is no Trump or GOP health care plan beyond going back to the lack of a system the US had before the Affordable Care Act Many aspects of the GOP “proposal” are clear: It would permit health insurers to cover far fewer services than they have to cover under Obamacare, and it would reduce federal subsidies for buying insurance, pare protections for people with pre-existing conditions, roll back funding for Medicaid, and convert Medicare to a voucher-type program.

Trump hasn’t said what this would cost, or how many people would end up with insurance – what we do know is that number will be far smaller than it is under Obamacare. So when all those newly re-employed coal miners get Black Lung, better hope their voucher is enough to cover it.

But you won. So by all means tear up all the trade deals and go try to renegotiate them. Then try not to wonder what happened when the good faith and credit of the United States collapses. But you won, so you get to spend millions of dollars in tax payer money to pay companies to not move jobs overseas And to then call it a victory when those same companies only move most of the jobs overseas.

But you won, so you get to turn Social Security over to the same system and players who completely crashed the economy in 2007, People who actively sought to make money on people losing their homes. So sure, why wouldn’t you want them to be able to make money on people losing their retirement. What could possibly go wrong?

But hey, you won! You get a President who will use social media to attack anyone who criticises him. You also voted to get a Vice President who has promised to make  it legal to treat anyone who is   Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgendered as not just less than equal in the eyes of the law, but less than human in the eyes of the law. You voted to make the government the entity that decides what is best for a Woman’s health. You voted to make sure Corporations have greater civil protections than you do .

But, as you keep reminding me, you won. So you get a new domestic police force with the sole mission of rounding up people. You get internment camps for undocumented immigrants. The irony here is that for years the fever-swamp on the American Right Wing was convinced Obama was building secret concentration camps for Gun Owners, Christians, and anyone who reads Breitbart news.( Funny how that never happened?) Yet you clearly had no qualms voting for the same idea for anyone who in your view “might not belong here”

For the past few weeks I was pretty upset about all this, But you wake up, the sun is shining, the weather is mild. I still have both private health insurance AND universal health care. I still live in a country where the Conservative government pushed for Marriage Equality. I still live in a country that is actively developing alternative energy and doesn’t care if Trump throws tantrums about Wind farms near his golf course. 

 I still live in country that despite it’s own internal struggles with xenophobia, understands you cannot wall yourself off from the rest of the world.    So congratulations on your great win Trump voters! The rest of the World may, for a little while, lament your choice. But soon, will move on, quite content without you.

China, Russia, (definitely Russia), India, and many others will smile and applaud, as a Trump Presidency completely destroys what is left of the American Manufacturing sector. Mexico, Japan and South Korea will quietly cheer when the talking heads on FOX News gleefully announce the idea of a living wage in the United States is dead and gone.

While at the same time, taking heads over on the FOX Business Channel will be insisting that bank executives who, when they crash the economy again, and need to be bailed out by taxpayers, must still receive multi-million dollar bonuses, as those are necessary to "keep America moving forward".

You won. So please do shout hallelujah as Mike Pence leads the charge to legalize discrimination against anyone who isn't a white, (supposedly ) heterosexual, evangelical Christian. Chant “drill baby drill!” as the National Parks are handed over to Oil Companies, Timber Companies and Mining Corporations. You won’t need to worry about helping your kids with their homework as the GOP finally will finally be able to eliminate science from public schools.

You won. So you get to go ahead and teach American kids, that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, and the human race began with two fully formed people, who rode around a garden on dinosaurs, chatting it up with talking snakes. All those students in India, Japan, South Korea and China thank you for freeing up all that space at Universities. As American students won’t be able to fill out the applications let alone get in. But hey, all that “book-learnin’ “ is just a liberal plot right?

You Won,  so you get to try to remake  the United States of America in Donald Trump's image. So please go ahead,  beat your chest proudly and talk of "American Exceptional-ism'. But when you start to wonder why all that American Greatness hasn't  trickled down to you, and get upset about it,  please remember;  You won.  This is what  you voted for.  

There is no point beating around the bush anymore so I wont.   I conceede.  You won, I lost. So I say to my Republican and Libertarian friends, good luck. The rest of the world thanks you, for all you have done ... to eliminate the United States as their competition.

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