Anticipating the Trump Presidency

13 Nov

 

 

[Prefatory Note: The post below was commissioned by the global-e journal ( http://www.21global.ucsb.edu/global-e ) and appears there as Volume 9, No. 3, November 2016.]

 

 

In the weeks prior to the American presidential election I received a large number of independent messages from progressive friends abroad who were either expats or citizens of other countries. I was not too surprised that almost every message expressed hostility to Hillary Clinton, but I was shocked that so many were opting for Trump to win the election or advocating a stay-at-home boycott or third party vote believing that neither Trump nor Clinton deserved support, and there was no basis for making one preferable to the other. I shared some of these sentiments, but overcame my doubts about the better option as the campaign wore on, becoming increasingly definite about supporting Clinton, initially as the lesser of evils and later more affirmatively, as she had become a woman unduly victimized by the nasty virulence of Trump’s hurtful misogynist slurs. I increasingly felt that my overseas friends were out of touch with the internal dynamics of American society, specifically, not appreciating that Trump’s election, in view of his campaign, would be a dark day of foreboding, hurt, rejection, and despair for African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, women, and supporters of progressive causes.

 

The views of my pro-Trump foreign friends have over the years been consistently humane and congenial. Their various reasons for being anti-Clinton or pro-Trump resulted from adopting predominantly structural outlooks or reflect preoccupations with specific substantive concerns. The structural arguments were two-fold: first, that both political parties in the US were equally subservient to the logic of neoliberal globalization (‘the Washington consensus’) that they believed was the source of many of the worst evils in the world, making Trump seem almost like a third party candidate who was challenging the core elements of economic globalization. For them, the only moral response was either to boycott the election altogether, as it made no difference which side won; or alternatively, take a chance with Trump, as he at least seemed likely to repudiate NAFTA and kill the TPP.

 

A second structural argument, often overlapping with the first, was that the military industrial corporate complex was embraced by the mainstream of both parties, making American global militarism bipartisan. Such a view was reinforced by the degree to which the Washington national security establishment and neocon think tanks overwhelmingly stepped forward to support Clinton, including many prominent Republicans, fearing that Trump would choose a security path that was adventurously dangerous or, worse, might even pursue an anti-militarist neo-isolationist foreign policy. Trump so threatened the Republican national security establishment that Washington’s political elite generally agreed he would make an unreliable and irresponsible leader of the American ‘global state.’ Trump’s repeated calls to rebuild America’s allegedly broken military capabilities were almost irrelevant, given his disorienting comments about alliances, nonproliferation, and regime-changing interventions. Although Trump’s challenge to political correctness in the security domain was anathema to Washington’s political class, it was music to the ears of my foreign friends.

There is a third version of structural analysis, ignored by my friends abroad, that seems helpful in explaining what happened in the American election. It is the extent to which various forms of ultra-nationalist populism are succeeding in electing leaders throughout the world by large margins, including Russia, India, Japan, Turkey, Egypt, Philippines, and now the United States. The Brexit vote in Britain, along with the rise of right wing political parties in Europe, exhibit a similar backlash against globalizing tendencies and foreign interventions that have in turn engendered menacing transnational migrations of desperate people fleeing war torn zones and escaping from extreme poverty. These migrations fuel chauvinism in the West that toxically interacts with economic stagnation, high levels of unemployment, terrorist anxieties, and closely related threats to indigenous ethnic and racial identities. In effect, right wing populism is a response to the failures of Western political, economic, and cultural systems to protect the material and psycho-political wellbeing of their respective national populations.

 

Over all, my foreign friends were generally opposed to Clinton’s global security agenda, especially as it pertained to Russia and the Middle East, and preferred Trump’s vague generalities and even regarded his inexperience as an asset. The pro-Trump arguments here concentrated on Clinton’s past record of support for regime-changing military interventions in the Middle East and her support for a No Fly Zone in Syria whose establishment would almost certainly result in a confrontation with Russia that could escalate into yet another American-sponsored regime-changing intervention in a Muslim country. Such an intervention was particularly feared as it could easily lead to a new cold war, with hot war dangers. More than a couple of my correspondents quoted her chilling remark in Libya shortly after Qaddafi’s capture and grisly execution, “We came, we saw, he died,” feeling that it embodied the heartless geopolitics in the Middle East that had produced the current regional turmoil.

 

Although these perceptions are anecdotal, I find them revealing and disturbing. Because American elections, especially this one, seem so important to people in other countries, the results are watched closely, sometimes more closely than their own national elections. Early reactions to the Trump victory in Mexico and Russia reveal contradictory priorities in various parts of the world. The Mexican reaction has been reported to be one of uniform shock and sorrow, as well as feelings of deep concern for their relatives and friends living in the US or worries that remittances from America for very poor families would now be in jeopardy or heavily taxed. In the streets of Moscow, there was rejoicing, since Russians, whether they liked Putin or not, seemed convinced that Trump would act as a practical business man and work toward cooperative relations that would help both governments diminish the frightening tensions currently associated with NATO, Ukraine, and Syria, and avoid any further downward spiral in relations that they quite reasonably feared would be the trajectory of a more ideological Clinton presidency.

 

Outside the U.S., many people, whether American or not, tend to view the Trump victory and the Clinton defeat through a single-issue optic that mostly pertains to international economic and security policy. In contrast, those living here in the United States, if drawn to Trump, are likely to be attracted by his anti-establishment outsider outlook combined with their own internal preoccupations with national economic policy, especially jobs and trade, and cultural liberalism (e.g., gays, pro-choice, race, immigration, and recreational drugs). Trump supporters with a more self-consciously conservative bent believe he would keep the Supreme Court appointment process in Republican hands for the next four years. This prospect alone apparently led many wavering suburban Republicans to vote for Trump in the end, disregarding qualms that might otherwise have kept them home on election day.

 

In his victory speech, Trump sounded gentle and benign, promising to govern for all citizens as a unifying leader, stressing the need to rebuild the decaying American infrastructure and even offering gracious praise to Hilary Clinton for a hard fought campaign. Unfortunately, this cheerful aftermath is bound to be short lived. Major struggles loom, and will begin as soon as Trump announces his appointments of cabinet members and key staff. Not long after some doubtless provocative choices, bitter policy controversies will emerge a he seeks to implement his programmatic priorities: scrapping Obamacare, NAFTA, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Iran nuclear deal. Altogether, this will sadly erase from the books the best parts of the Obama legacy. It is not a pretty picture without even considering whether Trump will follow through on his most notorious pledges: mass deportation of ‘illegal’ immigrants, imposition of an airtight anti-Muslim immigration ban, and the construction a police friendly ‘law and order’ regime to combat ‘black lives matter’ activism and inner city crime.

 

In this period, American resilience will certainly be tested, probably as much or more than at any time since the American Civil War. The haunting uncertainty is whether the likely incivility of the Trump presidency will decisively darken the political destiny of the country, or only be a transitory period of regression. Can the creative energies of resistance and reform build a transformative movement of sufficient strength to balance the Trump juggernaut? On this slim possibility, somewhat prefigured by the primary campaign of Bernie Sanders, our hopes rest for a resilient and resurrected America again dedicated to achieving peace abroad and justice at home.

 

There is a final observation that deserves commentary and reflection. It should not be overlooked that Clinton won the popular vote by a comfortable margin (thanks to California) despite her high unfavorability ratings. If not for that peculiar anachronistic American institution—the Electoral College—Clinton would be the winner, Trump the loser, and political gurus would be busy telling us why such an outcome was inevitable. With real world clarity, it is mere cocktail party phantasy to think that American democracy will sometime soon be democratized by counting every person’s vote equally. Entrenched Republican Party interests will never let the US Constitution be so modernized, but what this popular vote does confirm is that country is almost evenly divided, and that progressive values continue to enjoy a slight majority. It is therefore wildly premature to think that this election signals that the American people have descended into the swamps of racism and nativism, but it will still take a vigilant opposition movement to prevent Trump’s government from imposing its horrendous agenda on our collective future.

 

 

 

 

In the weeks prior to the American presidential election I received a large number of independent messages from progressive friends abroad who were either expats or citizens of other countries. I was not too surprised that almost every message expressed hostility to Hillary Clinton, but I was shocked that so many were opting for Trump to win the election or advocating a stay-at-home boycott or third party vote believing that neither Trump nor Clinton deserved support, and there was no basis for making one preferable to the other. I shared some of these sentiments, but overcame my doubts about the better option as the campaign wore on, becoming increasingly definite about supporting Clinton, initially as the lesser of evils and later more affirmatively, as she had become a woman unduly victimized by the nasty virulence of Trump’s hurtful misogynist slurs. I increasingly felt that my overseas friends were out of touch with the internal dynamics of American society, specifically, not appreciating that Trump’s election, in view of his campaign, would be a dark day of foreboding, hurt, rejection, and despair for African Americans, Hispanics, Muslims, women, and supporters of progressive causes.

 

The views of my pro-Trump foreign friends have over the years been consistently humane and congenial. Their various reasons for being anti-Clinton or pro-Trump resulted from adopting predominantly structural outlooks or reflect preoccupations with specific substantive concerns. The structural arguments were two-fold: first, that both political parties in the US were equally subservient to the logic of neoliberal globalization (‘the Washington consensus’) that they believed was the source of many of the worst evils in the world, making Trump seem almost like a third party candidate who was challenging the core elements of economic globalization. For them, the only moral response was either to boycott the election altogether, as it made no difference which side won; or alternatively, take a chance with Trump, as he at least seemed likely to repudiate NAFTA and kill the TPP.

 

A second structural argument, often overlapping with the first, was that the military industrial corporate complex was embraced by the mainstream of both parties, making American global militarism bipartisan. Such a view was reinforced by the degree to which the Washington national security establishment and neocon think tanks overwhelmingly stepped forward to support Clinton, including many prominent Republicans, fearing that Trump would choose a security path that was adventurously dangerous or, worse, might even pursue an anti-militarist neo-isolationist foreign policy. Trump so threatened the Republican national security establishment that Washington’s political elite generally agreed he would make an unreliable and irresponsible leader of the American ‘global state.’ Trump’s repeated calls to rebuild America’s allegedly broken military capabilities were almost irrelevant, given his disorienting comments about alliances, nonproliferation, and regime-changing interventions. Although Trump’s challenge to political correctness in the security domain was anathema to Washington’s political class, it was music to the ears of my foreign friends.

There is a third version of structural analysis, ignored by my friends abroad, that seems helpful in explaining what happened in the American election. It is the extent to which various forms of ultra-nationalist populism are succeeding in electing leaders throughout the world by large margins, including Russia, India, Japan, Turkey, Egypt, Philippines, and now the United States. The Brexit vote in Britain, along with the rise of right wing political parties in Europe, exhibit a similar backlash against globalizing tendencies and foreign interventions that have in turn engendered menacing transnational migrations of desperate people fleeing war torn zones and escaping from extreme poverty. These migrations fuel chauvinism in the West that toxically interacts with economic stagnation, high levels of unemployment, terrorist anxieties, and closely related threats to indigenous ethnic and racial identities. In effect, right wing populism is a response to the failures of Western political, economic, and cultural systems to protect the material and psycho-political wellbeing of their respective national populations.

 

Over all, my foreign friends were generally opposed to Clinton’s global security agenda, especially as it pertained to Russia and the Middle East, and preferred Trump’s vague generalities and even regarded his inexperience as an asset. The pro-Trump arguments here concentrated on Clinton’s past record of support for regime-changing military interventions in the Middle East and her support for a No Fly Zone in Syria whose establishment would almost certainly result in a confrontation with Russia that could escalate into yet another American-sponsored regime-changing intervention in a Muslim country. Such an intervention was particularly feared as it could easily lead to a new cold war, with hot war dangers. More than a couple of my correspondents quoted her chilling remark in Libya shortly after Qaddafi’s capture and grisly execution, “We came, we saw, he died,” feeling that it embodied the heartless geopolitics in the Middle East that had produced the current regional turmoil.

 

Although these perceptions are anecdotal, I find them revealing and disturbing. Because American elections, especially this one, seem so important to people in other countries, the results are watched closely, sometimes more closely than their own national elections. Early reactions to the Trump victory in Mexico and Russia reveal contradictory priorities in various parts of the world. The Mexican reaction has been reported to be one of uniform shock and sorrow, as well as feelings of deep concern for their relatives and friends living in the US or worries that remittances from America for very poor families would now be in jeopardy or heavily taxed. In the streets of Moscow, there was rejoicing, since Russians, whether they liked Putin or not, seemed convinced that Trump would act as a practical business man and work toward cooperative relations that would help both governments diminish the frightening tensions currently associated with NATO, Ukraine, and Syria, and avoid any further downward spiral in relations that they quite reasonably feared would be the trajectory of a more ideological Clinton presidency.

 

Outside the U.S., many people, whether American or not, tend to view the Trump victory and the Clinton defeat through a single-issue optic that mostly pertains to international economic and security policy. In contrast, those living here in the United States, if drawn to Trump, are likely to be attracted by his anti-establishment outsider outlook combined with their own internal preoccupations with national economic policy, especially jobs and trade, and cultural liberalism (e.g., gays, pro-choice, race, immigration, and recreational drugs). Trump supporters with a more self-consciously conservative bent believe he would keep the Supreme Court appointment process in Republican hands for the next four years. This prospect alone apparently led many wavering suburban Republicans to vote for Trump in the end, disregarding qualms that might otherwise have kept them home on election day.

 

In his victory speech, Trump sounded gentle and benign, promising to govern for all citizens as a unifying leader, stressing the need to rebuild the decaying American infrastructure and even offering gracious praise to Hilary Clinton for a hard fought campaign. Unfortunately, this cheerful aftermath is bound to be short lived. Major struggles loom, and will begin as soon as Trump announces his appointments of cabinet members and key staff. Not long after some doubtless provocative choices, bitter policy controversies will emerge a he seeks to implement his programmatic priorities: scrapping Obamacare, NAFTA, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and the Iran nuclear deal. Altogether, this will sadly erase from the books the best parts of the Obama legacy. It is not a pretty picture without even considering whether Trump will follow through on his most notorious pledges: mass deportation of ‘illegal’ immigrants, imposition of an airtight anti-Muslim immigration ban, and the construction a police friendly ‘law and order’ regime to combat ‘black lives matter’ activism and inner city crime.

 

In this period, American resilience will certainly be tested, probably as much or more than at any time since the American Civil War. The haunting uncertainty is whether the likely incivility of the Trump presidency will decisively darken the political destiny of the country, or only be a transitory period of regression. Can the creative energies of resistance and reform build a transformative movement of sufficient strength to balance the Trump juggernaut? On this slim possibility, somewhat prefigured by the primary campaign of Bernie Sanders, our hopes rest for a resilient and resurrected America again dedicated to achieving peace abroad and justice at home.

 

There is a final observation that deserves commentary and reflection. It should not be overlooked that Clinton won the popular vote by a comfortable margin (thanks to California) despite her high unfavorability ratings. If not for that peculiar anachronistic American institution—the Electoral College—Clinton would be the winner, Trump the loser, and political gurus would be busy telling us why such an outcome was inevitable. With real world clarity, it is mere cocktail party phantasy to think that American democracy will sometime soon be democratized by counting every person’s vote equally. Entrenched Republican Party interests will never let the US Constitution be so modernized, but what this popular vote does confirm is that country is almost evenly divided, and that progressive values continue to enjoy a slight majority. It is therefore wildly premature to think that this election signals that the American people have descended into the swamps of racism and nativism, but it will still take a vigilant opposition movement to prevent Trump’s government from imposing its horrendous agenda on our collective future.

 

 

 

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13 Responses to “Anticipating the Trump Presidency”

  1. Schlüter November 13, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    Dear Professor Falk, I must confess that I´m also a friend who sees Trump´s declared concepts on foreign policy as less dangerous for our survival despite his many other horrible attitudes. It´s a tragedy that the progressive forces in the US haven´t yet been able to form a powerful progressive Party.
    What has to be said: it´s not at all sure that Trump will be President.
    See also:
    „US Elections are Over, Trump Won: Will He be President in Face of Neocon Power?“: https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2016/11/12/us-elections-are-over-trump-won-will-he-be-president-in-face-of-neocon-power/
    Cordial regards

    • Gene Schulman November 14, 2016 at 6:50 am #

      I am not sure anyone “blew it”. It was time for change after years of oligarchic rule. Trump represents that change. Of course, one could think of many better candidates to bring that change about, but I believe Trump can be reined in, and he will probably be no worse than Nixon, Clinton, Bush, Obama, or a now non-existent Hillary. We lived through their dystopias, and we’ll live through the perceived coming one. The right-wing trends in Europe; Le Pen, Theresa May (Brexit), et al. will not necessarily benefit from Trump’s election. He just may be the warning alarm which prevents their success. Not that I approve of ugly Trump and Trumpism, but at least I feel there is now reason for hope. Had Hillary won, suicide (Camus) would have been on my agenda.

  2. ray032 November 13, 2016 at 12:09 pm #

    Richard, I share your perceptions to a large degree, but you posted the article twice.

    Watching from CanaDa, I saw the choice being between BAD or WORSE.

    I agreed with Trump the system is rigged, and the Corporate owned MSM has an agenda that does not always reflect Truth. I agreed with him we have to talk with Russia, but that didn’t make him a Russian stooge as he was portrayed by Clinton and the MSM. It makes common sense the two major Nuclear powers work tirelessly to resolve the differences of perception in this world, and not act out of the Pride of Power.

    Like most people, I was shocked to see him as a serial liar, casting grossly exaggerated absolute aspersions out there having no basis in fact, and not being challenged by the media. Lacking any humility being so ego-centred, with such a thin skinned Authoritarian streak, the red flags were obvious.

    His announced tax policy giving billionaires like himself huge cash back, while spending more on the US military at the same time is the Bush tax policies carried over from his 8 years in the White House. He is surrounded from Billionaires and Wall Street advisors, the same evil he accused Clinton of being associated with.

    It’s significant half the eligible American voters did not vote. The silent majority politicians always claim to have on their side remained silent.

    When more than half of those who did vote, voted for Hillary, the Republicans got only the endorsement/vote of 25% of the American Public.

    For Reality reasons, that cannot be considered an overwhelming “mandate” from American People no matter how much Republicans spin that way.

    If Trump and Republicans govern oblivious to those Realities, they will beget great tribulation and conflict into the US.. They will usher in to the US, the same chaos the US brought to the Middle East since 2003.

    All that being said, Trump is the President-elect. I’m sure he is relishing seeing all those Republicans that disavowed him, now wanting to jump aboard the gravy train with the 4000 influential jobs he can now dispense to his establishment supporters that will maintain the status quo of the political system he was elected to change.

    It is a smart move on his part to have his trusted children part of his Transition team vetting the job applicants. If John Bolton is in his Cabinet, forget reconciliation with Russia. He is a war mongering neo-con of the 1st order.

    When I saw him hunched over in his chair in the Oval Office, he appeared to me to be thinking, ‘what have I done? This is so much bigger than I bargained for and maybe I got in over my head.’ There will be an intense learning curve for him.

    Your readers may not agree, but I saw his whole election campaign through the perspective of this Vision for the Future published 40 years ago that is unfolding with the Trump election.
    “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November to do God’s bidding: To tell the world, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of Babylon,” he said.”…………….He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a war with Russia.”

    On the 1st part, Donald Trump essentially campaigned on the idea the Days of the US are numbered if he is not elected President. It’s other words, but the same General Idea he is Trumpeting.
    On the 2nd part, there is no doubt the US neocons are pushing for war with Russia.

    With that past experience, I had to suspend all speculation on the winner until the results were in. We will have to wait and see what Trump does and give him a chance and keep an open mind until we can see what he does. It’s possible he may turn out to be a great agent of change. I have adopted a wait and see attitude and posted the following comment in all the online media I frequent, including The Washington Post.

    “A nation that is given a choice between a tawdry celebrity and a corruption queen is a nation under judgment. And it is under judgment”

    The Signs of the Times indicate not only the US, but this entire world is under judgment.

    The Billionaire President-Elect has much experience with workers that performed the work that made him rich.

    Now that the VP is a Christian fundamentalist, and the Christian Evangelicals supported Trump, discarding the many Biblical references concerning the Rich, I now wonder if they will bring to his attention, this “Prophecy” from their Bibles they never discuss in Public with their TV platforms, but insist the People must follow all Bible teachings?

    Go to now, you rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
    Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten.
    Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. You have heaped treasure together for the last days.

    Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by FRAUD, cries: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

    You have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; you have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
    You have condemned and killed the just; and he does not resist you.

    Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
    James 5

    The last line does imply “regime change” of the rich elites the worker-voters elected Billionaire Trump to bring about in the USA.

    I can only hope and pray, the Future President Trump is born again from the divisive Candidate Trump, being like Clinton exposed in the email as having one policy in Public for the election campaign but another one in Private, and will make the spirit of the letter in his victory speech a constant guiding light, governing his behaviour and decision making for the next 4 years,

    “I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone — all people and all other nations. We will seek common ground, not hostility; partnership, not conflict.”

    • eclecticblonde November 15, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

      Interesting article and comment section. Of course I am one of the “Deplorables” that voted for Trump and that was wholeheartedly. We watched never ending news coverage from CNN and MSNBC/ABC/CBS that were riding the Anti Trump wagons long before he made some of his more famous missteps. It was amazing to watch it in action, the hate and libelous info spewing from the mouths of journalists, the outright lies about what he had said or done. When Hilary, with FBI investigations, sexual predatory husband and pay to play foundation received glowing remarks and praise. We sat there wondering where our glasses of koolaide where?

      I don’t know if Trump will make a good president or if he will send the US spiraling down some deep dark hole. Yes, he talks like a sailor and is crude and rude at times. He is also smart, shrewd, surrounds himself with people that do know the answers and is not afraid to change or say something we don’t like. He is a businessman and the US needs someone that will NOT pander and make fair and equitable business decisions. I do KNOW that Hillary Clinton is a liar, cheat, money hungry, disloyal woman. That she was a woman and a candidate meant nothing to me. She would sell out anyone for money and that includes the country she would preside over. She was appointed as Secretary of State, and while in office, and after, she proceeded to use her connections and position to facilitate financial ‘deals” with corporations, leaders, and at worst nations that the US has on watch lists. All of this in a “pay to play” scheme that she and her campaign tried desperately to dismiss. The emails were “stolen” so they didn’t count as evidence. To top that off, the mainstream media focused solely on Trump and his saying the word “pussy” than the Clinton running a pay to play scheme or having her housekeeper print off national security emails at her home.

      You are correct, a lot of Americans are TIRED of the globalism that is spreading. Taking care of the poor, poor,under-deserved populations of the world. We’ve been fixing the leaking roofs of other countries for so long we didn’t take care of ours and now it’s caving in on us. That people in our country or entering our country without proper documentation will be told to leave? If you entered any other country without documentation you would be made to leave, yet WE are the ones in the wrong. Our country is so racist that WE ELECTED a black president not once, but twice! Can Canada or the UK claim that? There are many Americans who can barely take care of themselves and a current administration that actively recruits ways to help other populations. We have a progressive age of young people that are out of touch with the working class and think that because they wear a safety pin it makes them a better person. We have a group of activists that label everything from the Electoral College to people who don’t like Rap music as racists. Yes, we have many problems as a nation. Problems we are trying to face head on and find solutions for.

      This is America. home of the free, home of the “cry-in, non-voting, protesting activists, home of the entitled, give-it-to-me for free, home of the dying middle class.

  3. Beau Oolayforos November 14, 2016 at 5:54 am #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    We thank you, as always, for the calm, even-handed commentary. Excuse me, but the Constitutional amendment process is not, I believe, exclusively in the hands of ‘entrenched Republican party interests’, and the Electoral College could eventually go the way of the articles which valued a black man as 4/5 (or whatever it was) of a white.

  4. Jim C November 14, 2016 at 9:01 am #

    Interesting article. But I think you ought to re-examine your assumption that Clinton would have won were it not for the electoral college system.

    If the election were based on outright majorities, the campaigning would have been conducted differently to reflect this. Furthermore, dissenting voters who were discouraged from voting in states with obvious majorities would have bothered to vote, because their votes would have “counted” – eg, Repugs in California, or Dems in Alabama.

    You could probably calculate what the differences would have been by looking at the unexpected Trump majorities in the swing states, where people on both sides of the divide had an incentive to get out and actually vote.

  5. Walker Percy November 15, 2016 at 11:19 am #

    Richard, the idea that the Democratic Party failed this election cycle is inaccurate. In fact, Democrats picked up 4 senate and 7 House seats, and they won the popular vote for president. If not for the anachronistic electoral system that gives extra power to small, rural states, Hillary Clinton would have won the Presidency.

    The biggest loser of all is Barack Obama, who should have gone down in history as the man you saved the world at a moment of panic and ruin, but whose legacy will now be reversed by a bunch of know-nothings. It turns out that our first black president wasn’t so brilliant after all, ruining our faith that racial equality is a dream worth working for.

    • Kata Fisher November 19, 2016 at 1:41 pm #

      Hi Walker,

      I am glad that hasbarish did not destroy you alive.

      Last night I had a dream – a just bizarre one – every time I tried to write something here — I had snakes coming at me – but it was people that I saw in assembly that were like snakes. It was just series of mind-like flashes in the dream.

      I woke up — not knowing what to think and believe about it. To me it was a nightmare. I understood that that it was a nightmare.

      Then after some reflection I understood it about it — but the understanding was not for me. It was for my children.

      I told them just as I understood as bizarre as it was:

      These are the groups of of peoples that you should have never have anything to do with unless you are ordained: Jews, Muslims and all other Christianity that does not hold on to the Latin version of Nicene Creed (in their values, vision and mission) – unless they are 1) Irish, and 2) Italian (in dissidence).

      After I understood this — I was a bit distressed. But then, I understood further and I even could laugh.

      I understood that these people groups are extremely Anti-Spirit in the Church-Catholic and Anti-Church Catholic – even extremely blaspheming.

      Do you think this is discriminatory — or even evil to pass that on to my youth?

      These prejudices just hit me this morning after I had that dreams about snakes – and I am starting to think and believe that is absolutely legitimate — due to a specific patterns.

      So, without delay – I told that to my children. Unless I am corrected by anyone – I will be grinding into them these legitimate prejudices that I imminently understood and received this morning.

      • ray032 November 28, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

        Kata I can only read your comment through this lens;

        Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience, the race that is set before us,
        Looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

        For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds.
        Hebrews 12:1-3

        If Christ Truly lives in you, you need not worry about your worries, and the people you do not let in your presence.

      • Kata Fisher November 29, 2016 at 11:58 am #

        Dear Ray,

        I totally agree with you about that.

        In addition to that — there is to much going on.. who would know — if all things that were/are hidden would not come to light, just as well? The light would have to expose them?

        And then — when those things are so — the Actual Church would be named and claimed to be a radical hater and irrational — unreasonable thinker and vicious oppressor?

        It may be bit fragmented — I had brainstorming and exercises over weeks about some things:

        This morning, I continued with throwing away religious books away! One was on the global mission (a college book), and other was the poetry book. In addition to that, I threw away two books that were given to me by a friend — of course, I threw them away only with her consent to do so. She was not sure that she wanted them back, at all. Then we totally, and certainly agreed that they must be just thrown away.

        I wrote Yesterday: “I had intensive exercises today — Like all heavens were down. Then, I started to light the candles that I took to perpetual; chapel — just during the week that mother died. Then I went down stairs and I started pulling books and books of the shelfs — strait into the trash bags and the dumpster.”

        Fr. Bill died and priest in juridic person ceased to exist. He built Perpetual Chapel before he died. Celtic Tribes mainly are spiritually excommunicated.

        Celtic Tribes and descendence of illegitimate Israelites are not grafting in — there are no legitimate evangelists.

        “Vow of destruction strips of the wicked and their bones to death.”

        “Angry priest-prophets sees the wicked and they become accursed wicked like accursed fig-tree in their entire body of the devil.”

        Church Charismatic Catholic in prophetic lines will always swear by Holy altar of God and of Jesus Christ and all things on it and will curse the wicked by God’s Spirit and by the Name, and in the Name of God whom King David worshipped and in the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I am sure of it. That is exactly what happens.
        These wicked denominations in Antichrist spirit and in offshoots of satanic-charismatic blasphemies have the curse of death upon them destruction in hell.

        A Radical oppossist!

        Territorial bastards-blasphemers.

        Not only bastards- but blasphemers!

        Vilely accursed blasphemers!

        I noted on November 14: “Actually, Yesterday – I was in a local store- just after the Church, and one of the girls that are on Perpetual Chapel team was just behind me. Between us stood another person – who overheard our conversation about the Chapel.

        I ended up talking to him for more then an hour – just at the store. He told me what was going on locally with the Churches, and especially what corruptees of Masons/cult were doing in this city/are area. He told me that before 2005 -2006 — you could not go to the Church it was that demonic and just awful due to the Masons/cult-priesthood – and that you could not have kids in the School due to the abuses. The entire diocese was infiltrated by the Masonic-cult-priesthood. They had hardly had any valid priests.

        He also said that the current bishop/s cleaned almost all up. He told me that one of the priests that was busted by the bishop due to his connection with corruptees of Masons/cult — was then put under Fr. Bill’s oversee (I knew which priest it was).

        He also said that other dioceses were unable to deal with their abuse/corruption cases because noting did get to the Pope. So they had to collect the cases – take it to Rome — and during the conclusion of the Mass at Vatican — or where Pope was directly available in the audience/ to the audience — hand on to Pope the content/cases that were stored in their case directly to the Pope — right there. He said that no one could do anything about abuses/corruption because have infiltration with the cult — they had to deliver the cases of abuses /reports directly to the Pope.

        He said that Pope John Paul II was a fraudulent, too — from all that was said that was taking place – according to all he understood. However, Pope Benedict has not been confirmed to be fraudulent. Francis may — or may not be, too — he said.

        However, I have serious concerns with satanic charismatic laying hands on Francis — and I do not like changes to the specific Church Order and Teaching. Pope has no authority to make certain changes – just because no one has authority to change inflexible items of Church Order and Teaching of the Church — including the Pope..

        When ever they attempt such unauthorized changes they bring all villes of the devils upon themselves and their people — their cult/followers, and those violators are turned up side down — along with all their pursuits.

        This is the first time that I met a local that was actually talking about local evils that were.

        I am laughing – because I just realized something! (while not funny) – I am still laughing! This is why: the only folks Mason’s/ Rockefeller’s priest screwed within the Church (the man said Mason’s/ Rockefeller’s priest were infiltrated …. I think he said that Rockefeller’s did it with their Masonizm) — they screwed with their cult-priesthood is not actual Church, at all – nor it could ever be because it is not natural – but Perpetual. They screwed their own lines – the Jews of forced conversions! Their work ensured that all False/forced conversion (of Jews) in Catholic Church are never grafted in, and is always being perpetually cut off!

        lol – the Actual Charismatic Church and her offspring is not since 1909 A.D., and not 1500 A.D., and not 1206 A.D., — not even 400 A.D., – but the First Generation of the Christian’s A.D.! Like at the days of the A.D. 0 / 0 A.D.

        Perpetual Ba-jun! (Baboon-perpetual) — in all commandments and authority trough Peter and Paul! The Key’s are always, always, always in possession of mine! I mean not mine – of course! But the Pope says so — the Benedicto! the Papino… We do not have two Pope’s at the same time — legitimately — at all!

        And the girl would certainly would not account to 1/5th of the Pope.

        The Only thing that can’t stand in the presence is

        “A Fly on a dick! Ha, ha, ha!” (I do apologise for this realisation of perverse reality — in bizarre humor.

        In addition to the — that perverse reality was probably the reason why your letter to Nuncio ended up in the dump — never delivered or received.

        So why would one care about anything at all?

        I never asked for this ordination — it was imposed! Imposed? HELL BE WITH IMPOSED THINGS OF IMPOSTOR’S! – but not with ordination.

        I personally do not care at all because I feel just comfortable and cosy as lay-person — and I rater would alway say “A Fly on a dick’s! Ha, ha, ha!” then say this:

        IN satanic seals NUCLEAR Testing ended up way too HOT! It’s getting way to hot, hot, hot — Global Nuclear Warming is durable, irreversible — just as Ice Meltings. Keep going on in things of satanic seals you all! But you all won’t get to far.

        With that “A Fly on a dick’s!” becomes no issue — not really. But Divergent wasp does become issue..

        I do not like religious mocking — but I can’t decline humorous mock!

  6. Beau Oolayforos November 26, 2016 at 3:15 am #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    Is it not arguable that it was the rottenness at the core of the Nixon White House that finally got us out of Vietnam? This is my fondest hope for Trump & the Middle East.

    • Kata Fisher November 26, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

      Mr. Oolayforos

      This is what I understand

      Trump is not the murderer — at least he has not be tripped, coerced or asked to be one just yet — so there is much rational hope that everything will be just fine.

      Trump is not even a hater.

      A Note:

      What will happen to the refugees of the Middle East?

      During Mr Trump’s term? What exactly is happening with the refugees of the Middle East?

      This is probably most troubling.

      Will they be integrated or selectively concentrated (by UNRWA)?
      What exactly is UNRWA up to? Are they still legitimate?

      In reality — who are they and who runs their entire thing? I am starting to wonder.

      Is UNRWA Arab System for refugees of the Middle East? A Legitimate one — or is it rotten at the core within UN, along with the UN?

      During Mr Trump’s term will UN be restructured? Would it be legitimate to restructure it?

      Contemporarily Humans have Nuclear warming and Globally hived ice meltings that may spin out of control very soon — this requires fast happenings. On second agenda It seems to me that refugees of the Middle East and what is UNRWA up to will be most interesting.

      We already know what Globally Psychopaths do, daily with their military warfare agendas.

      Trump is not the murderer — at least he has not be tripped, coerced or asked to be one just yet — so there is much rational hope that everything will be just fine.

  7. ray032 November 28, 2016 at 12:06 pm #

    Greetings Richard! I hope your knee surgery was successful.

    During the election campaign Trump said he would be even-handed with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The US Embassy would be moved to Jerusalem.

    Trump is such a known-unknown enigma. He likes to keep everyone guessing.

    I’m ambivalent about him. He could channel the Spirit of Christ and/or the spirit of anti-Christ, depending on the circumstances? I have to wait and see.

    I’ve stated here and elsewhere, I see his appearance as fulfilling the Vision recorded by THE KANSAS CITY TIMES in 1976,
    “He came to town for the Republican National Convention and will stay until the election in November to do God’s bidding: To tell the world, from Kansas City, this country has been found wanting and its days are numbered […] He gestured toward a gleaming church dome. “The gold dome is the symbol of Babylon,” he said.”…………….He wanted to bring to the Public’s attention an “idea being put out subtly and deceptively” by the government that we have to get prepared for a war with Russia.”

    On the 1st part, Donald Trump essentially campaigned on the idea American workers are wanting, and the Days of the US are numbered if he is not elected President.
    He used other words and pictures, but it was the same General Idea, and spirit of that 1976 letter in THE KANSAS CITY TIMES he Trumpeted, that made him the Future President.

    On the War with Russia part, just pay attention to the MSM with the incessant Russia-Putin demonization in OUR generations these 40 years later.

    I have no doubt others would not agree with the way I see it, and this is a round about way to solicit your expert opinion on this email I received Today?

    I would imagine if you got 30 International Law Scholars in a room, like a room full of Economists, there would be sharp disagreements before there was consensus.

    What is your expert opinion on these points your friend Jeremy Hammond makes?

    ’10 Zionist Arguments You’ve Encountered, But Didn’t Have Answers To’

    1. The Palestinian refugee problem is an unfortunate result of the Arab states launching a war of aggression in 1948 to wipe Israel off the map.

    2. Israel has a right to exist.

    3. In 1967, Israel acted in self-defense by launching a preemptive attack on Egypt.

    4. UN Resolution 242 did not require Israel to fully withdraw from the territories it occupied in 1967.

    5. The Palestinians have rejected every generous offer from Israel to have a state of their own.

    6. Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip is legal — the UN has said so.

    7. Israel launched “Operation Cast Lead” only after thousands of rockets had been fired at Israeli towns from Gaza.

    8. Palestinian civilians were only killed during operations like “Cast Lead” because they were being used by Hamas as human shields.

    9. The finding of the UN “Goldstone Report” that Israel committed war crimes during Operation Cast Lead has been debunked.

    http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2016/11/28/10-zionist-arguments-youve-encountered-but-didnt-have-answers-to/

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