Home Politics What I Learned from the 2016 Election

What I Learned from the 2016 Election

17 min read
People travel to other lands to discover the people, the culture, the architecture, the history and the technology. But few realize that somewhere in the background is the political landscape that shaped what they see and/or “allowed” to see.

Welcome to Traveling Boy’s Travels in Politics — specifically, American politics. We know there are many other blogs and websites out there that are heavy into this subject but what makes this blog different is we genuinely want to learn from each other. Most people have little patience listening to opposing views because they are only met by irrational emotions. It is Traveling Boy’s  mission to provide this “safe” environment for all sides to vent in a respectful way. We welcome opinions from both sides of the political arena. To ensure equal access, we have assigned an overseer for each side (Tedward for the Democratic side and David for the Republican side). Both of these overseers will make sure everyone “behaves.” And just to be clear, the views and opinions expressed are not necessarily that of Traveling Boy.

Definition of the U.S. Democratic Party (D)
Liberal | Left Wing | The Party of the People
The political party that promotes social and economic equality. They believe in the welfare system. They want the federal government to participate in the economy. Their concept of fairness is taxing the rich to help the poor. They support social programs such as labor unions, affordable education, universal health care, equal opportunity, consumer and environmental protection, LGBT (Lesbians Gays Bisexuals Transgenders) rights, Women’s rights, anti-gun laws, access to free abortion, freedom of many religions yet separate from state laws, free speech, free press, transparency, evolution, sex and racial equality, lenient immigration, lenient drug restrictions,  etc.. The majority of media lean left. Jews, African Americans, immigrants, “the poor,” millenials, celebrities from the entertainment industry, scientists, educators — tend to vote Democrat. 

Definition of the U.S. Republican Party (R)
Conservative | Right Wing | The GOP (Grand Old Party)
The political party that promotes free enterprise and private ownership. It does not want the federal government meddling in people’s lives instead they encourage personal responsibility. Their concept of fairness is supporting business so it will grow and create more jobs. They want lower taxes, freedom from labor restrictions, less government spending especially on social programs. They support Judeo-Christian values.  They believe in self-protection with rifles and guns. They are pro-life (ie. against abortion) and promote adoption. Fox media is one of the few who lean right. The capitalists, the rich, business owners (especially big business establishments), military, Christians, gun owners, people from the southern states — tend to vote Republican.

 

Note: Although there are other political parties (ie. the alternative “Third Parties” like the Libertarian, Independent, Green Party, etc.) this forum would like to focus on the two mainstream organizations. If Traveling Boy feels there is enough interest, we will include other party viewpoints in the future.

To start the discussion, we thought we’d ask about the 2016 Presidential Elections. It was the craziest political event in decades. Neither side was completely satisfied with the outcome. Here are 2 different perspectives coming from two different camps.


THE DEMOCRAT SIDE

by Tedward Onward

The 2016 presidential election results will continue to be assessed in the years ahead as the yet resolved issue of collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian Internet propagandists and pot stirrers is unveiled.  We do know that Russian interests did in fact work to impact the election in a variety of ways.  The simplicity and speed of social media captivates many with alarming ease.  There is much more to be uncovered by Special Prosecutor Bob Mueller, which may reveal to what extent that interference was successful.  Because of the power and influence of the Internet and social media, how political campaigns are run have entered new territory.  If our nation truly cares about democracy then it will have to seriously examine who and how political races are handled, establishing laws to limit illegal/outside influence.

It is known that many registered Democrat voters (particularly young and female) did not bother to vote for the candidate that represented their party, and thus self-inflicted harm to their own best interests.  Those who assumed that Clinton would win were caught in their own naïveté.  Voting is a critical component of our open democratic system of governance.  Not voting is foolish as it lessens one’s involvement, leaves it up to others.  Over half of those who could vote did not bother; a majority of them being Democrats.  It is unfortunate that voting is wasted on so many who do not bother to do so. Voting is a right, an obligation, and a privilege.  And for many the right to vote was and continues to be hard fought, a right that has been available for just a century or less to many.  The right to vote, unimpeded, continues to be an issue across many states.  I worry that there are not enough people in elected office and amongst the citizenry who actually care about the various issues that can and do impact elections, from the real potential of electronic vote tampering to intimidation.

In the case of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, not enough members of the media and the public took him as a serious candidate.  In hindsight, there are many members of the media who admit that they did not shine the bright lights on Trump sufficiently, rather saw him as an entertaining side show.  The collective belief by most on the left was that Trump was not electable yet they did not work hard enough to insure his loss at the polls.

As the Democrat candidate for the White House, Hillary Clinton left enough to be desired.  Though she was very experienced in matters of The District and the White House, there were many Independents who simply would not lend their vote to her in the national election.  Clinton ran on established, old-school values, which turned out to have limited effect on getting the additional support she needed.  Trump exploited certain key issues amongst white voters in those states suffering unemployment and underemployment.  No doubt fear and loathing by angry white voters helped Trump secure just enough votes to win the key states.  Well informed and thoughtful voters would not have chosen Donald Trump to represent them and run our nation.

In desperation, with no other seemingly viable candidate who called himself a Republican the Republican party and many of its members felt that they had to support Trump with their vote because they could not stomach the idea of Hillary Rodham Clinton as their president.  The United States is simply not ready to put a woman in the White House, foolishly choosing someone with no political knowledge nor experience, who never actually believed he could get elected.  The cost to the United States and beyond will be felt for many years ahead due to indifference by too many.

And of final note, FBI Director James Comey’s mishandling of the Clinton emails matter shortly before Election Day, coupled with not disclosing the extent of the investigation of the Trump campaign’s interactions with a foreign power put a dagger in Clinton’s hopes.  Regardless if by error in judgment or other motivation, the impact of someone with the power of the FBI Director cannot intervene/interfere in a race, all the more so shortly before votes were cast.

THE REPUBLICAN SIDE

by David Alexander:

The 2016 election was the saddest campaign I have seen so far in my life. Were these really the two best people each party had to offer? Each candidate seemed to have major character flaws in one form or another. I was truly conflicted on how to vote and didn’t make a decision until the morning of the election. I went into the voting booth fully expecting Hillary Clinton to be elected president as the polls indicated. But as the results started to pour in, my jaw dropped as I saw the Rust Belt starting to turn red. One of the biggest lessons I learned was to not trust the polls. Even now, I’m sure the pollsters are scratching their heads wondering what went wrong.

I came out of the election cautiously optimistic that perhaps Donald Trump could get some positive things done. While I’m far more conservative than him on policy, I was happy that, at the very least, Hillary Clinton wasn’t in office to advance a liberal, progressive agenda. Thus far, his greatest achievement has been appointing Neil Gorsich to the Supreme Court. I still think he can accomplish much more good.

Unfortunately, though, in many ways, he has become his own worst enemy. Whatever goodwill he might curry among those of us willing to give him a chance, he loses with each Twitter comment he makes insulting someone’s appearance or intelligence, or each press conference in which he bungles his messaging on a sensitive issue. Even some of the other good things he might be working on are drowned out by the media’s obsession with the person of Donald Trump, and they aren’t entirely wrong for paying attention to these things. A president ought to be held to a higher standard.

If he wants to accomplish good in this country, the first thing that’s going to need to change is him. Otherwise, this is going to be a very long and wearisome 4-year presidency.

 

WE INVITE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW


OUR SPONSORS:

Visit Norway Switzerland Sitka, Alaska Discover Montreal Visit Berlin
Visit Holland Cruise Copenhagen Sun Valley Wow Philippines Quebec City Tourism
Load More Related Articles
  • Politics in the NFL

    National Football League (NFL) players have been protesting the Trump administration’…
Load More By TBoy Political Referee
Load More In Politics

12 Comments

  1. TBoy Political Referee

    September 22, 2017 at 1:22 am

    Thanks to both of your perspectives. It’s interesting that both of you feel that the best candidate for either party did not make it to the primaries which forced the American voters to choose between the lesser of the two evils.

    Reply

    • Tedward Onward

      October 26, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      As Hillary Clinton will not likely ever become President of the United States it will be impossible to ascertain between her and Trump who actually was the “lesser of two evils” as POTUS. I am not going out on a limb in declaring that Donald Trump will be the worst president this nation has seen. Trump is writing his legacy with endless lies, racist comments, his completely unacceptable “presidential” behavior, general laziness and incompetence in the post. And for his other activities (possible obstruction of justice, possible presidential campaign collusion with the Russians, his finances and more, patience remains as the investigations continue; then how they may be handled thereafter). George W. Bush spent a lot of time whacking floral bush on his ranch in Texas, but Trump will far, far outdo him in his endless hours spent on his golf courses. Trump is both un-presidential and non-presidential in behavior, thus in fact.

      Reply

  2. The Independent

    September 25, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    I think it’s good to remember that many of our popular Presidents today –> Washington, Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, JFK, Reagan, etc. were very unpopular during their time. Yet they made decisions that they believed were good for America rather than what was popular. And that is what makes America great. We are a collection of opposing opinions yet somehow we have managed to maintain being the most powerful country in the world.

    I’d like to think that America will still be making the right decisions to lead the future generations regardless of how idiotic our elected officials seem to be.

    Reply

  3. Stevie B

    September 28, 2017 at 4:01 am

    Tedward,

    Why don’t you just outright say that Hillary was the reason for her own destruction? It wasn’t the system, it wasn’t the circumstances, it was Hillary! I’m actually surprised she’s still wandering free as a bird.

    I guess it’s true — there’s a set of rules just for the elite like her.

    Reply

    • Bernard Bernard

      September 28, 2017 at 4:06 am

      For a good understanding of the difference between the two parties go to:
      https://www.prageru.com/courses/left-and-right-differences

      Reply

    • Tedward Onward

      October 1, 2017 at 1:20 am

      Steve B – Your comment that Hillary was the reason for her destruction is sadly far too simple an explanation. Where is your factoring of James Comey’s mishandling of his reopening of Hillary’s “email issue” and no mention to the public about his investigation into Trump and the Russians before the election? Until Bob Mueller (and the various Congressional committees) have completed their work it is far too early to have a better understanding as to what extent the Russians toyed with the campaign (and thus the results of the election), including what/if the Trump Campaign’s involvement was in those efforts. Your surprise that Hillary is still wandering free may soon be surpassed by what may happen to her opponent (and his campaign team). And define “elite.” Isn’t net worth somewhat related to that concept? OK, so Hillary is worth a hundred mill, but Donald claims to be worth billions. Try to be a bit more neutral, thus have a wider perspective. Facts will trump Trump and his believers.

      Reply

      • Stevie B

        October 13, 2017 at 1:17 pm

        True, there were other factors that caused Hillary’s downfall. Perhaps I did exaggerate as you suggested BUT her highly publicized over-reaction after the elections, her blaming everyone but herself in her post-election book (http://people.com/books/hillary-clinton-book-election-night-phone-calls-barack-obama/) shows what a looney she would have made as a President. Not that Trump is not one too — jeez! what a choice we had — but it was her personality (or lack of it or over-supply of it) that was THE major factor.

        One of the many meltdown videos = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOM2uaGFU9s

        How long are the democrats going to blame Russia? Will they keep at it until they get the answer they want? Same thing with Comey. Blame! Blame! Blame! But no admission of their own problems. How do you expect to grow? And I don’t mean just you … talking generalization here.

        As far as money goes, how much did the Clinton campaign spend compared to Trump’s? How much did she spend of her own money? True, Trump has a larger net worth, but something has to be said about using OPM (Other People’s Money). Politicians like Hillary are so good at OPM. At least Trump put a lot of his personal $ on his campaign. Remember, until now, there’s still a big question as to where John Kerry’s campaign surplus $ went to. He’s another “elite” running around free.

        Reply

    • Tedward Onward

      October 26, 2017 at 10:39 pm

      Sure, by saying that Hillary was the reason for her own destruction would be a very oversimplified “analysis.” I am no Hillary supporter (though I voted for her in November, FULLY knowing that she did not need my vote in the state I live in to win that state, thus collect Electoral College votes), and no Hillary apologist. You seem to discount the damage that then FBI Director James Comey did to her campaign a week or so before Election Day, not to mention the unknown (yet) influence that outsiders (particularly Russians) did to convince some (many?) to cast their vote (and thus their lot) with Trump. Everyone gets to be a free bird until charged and convicted. If Hillary has broken laws, then AG Jeff Sessions ought to be coming up with charges against Hillary. And yes, enough elites get certain passes (though I do not condone that). As an elite, will Donald Trump be afforded the same “courtesy?” Stay tuned.

      Reply

  4. Tedward Onward

    September 30, 2017 at 9:31 am

    The following is my response to David Alexander’s comments, “What I Learned From the 2016 Presidential Election?”

    David asks, “Were those the two best candidates that each party had to offer?” Hillary Clinton, with whatever faults a human politician may accumulate over 20+ years of service, was the most qualified candidate to represent the Democrats. I did not vote for Hillary in the primary, choosing Bernie Sanders for various reasons. I did vote for Hillary in November, though she did not need my vote as my state overwhelmingly supported her.

    No doubt that Hillary had some baggage and other events not going in her favor, including James Comey’s mishandled 11th hour reopening of her emails matter (which turned out to be nothing). Bernie Sanders, an Independent, also ran as a Democrat and did far better than many anticipated. In fact, there were those who felt before the election that if he had been the nominee he could have prevailed against Trump. Sanders offered energy and positions that Hillary could not, would not support (she and the party saw them as too progressive). Bernie didn’t have the negative history that Hillary did. I am not sure who will be the nominee for the Democrats in 2020. I was impressed with Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland, in the debates, but he got very little debate time as he competed for the microphone with Hillary and Bernie. O’Malley is not likely strong enough to attract enough voters.

    There sure were a lot of candidates for the Republican nominee, too many in fact. Most were clearly not suitable and will not run again in 2020. Those who do run will most likely not be the nominee, either. For the moment I might put my money (10 cents) on Bob Corker of Tennessee. The biggest problem within the Republican Party is the complete lack of unity today, actually how fractured they are. What has happened to them in just 12 or so years?!

    As for Trump, he won the nomination for various reasons, including employing an approach never used before by any candidate for president. No doubt that his television notoriety, coupled with a long and storied history in commercial real estate (I won’t bother with Trump University or the myriad of other destined-to-fail schemes) and an over-sized ego, was a hit amongst many who supported him. Claims of draining the swamp (bringing needed change to Washington) and not needing other’s money were just some of the tactics he employed. And of course, he relentlessly attacked Hillary in a classless, perhaps his days as an adolescent in Queens, New York, manner.

    David then states that both nominees had major character flaws. Well, yes, but comparing the two is like comparing the female version of a prize fighter to a rank amateur who began the bout already bloodied. As I noted in my opening comments about lessons learned we still do not know to what extent the Trump Campaign cooperated with the Russians so it is a challenge for me to withhold my gut feelings as to just how irregular the match was. When the dust settles I will be most happy to share my thoughts on how the contest was actually held. As for Hillary, perhaps the three biggest flaws she brought were her sometimes smugness, that she is married to Bill Clinton, and that she is a woman. Sadly, this nation is not ready for any woman as president; I sense that it could be another 20 years before that occurs. As for Trump’s deep flaws, a number of books, including some recently, and more to come will be written about his character (personality). In a nutshell (that happens to be a double entendre in this use), he possess an over-sized fragile ego, is quite narcissistic, can’t tell the truth if he were to read it from the teleprompter, and as those of us who are actually paying attention, cannot be trusted. Trump is a salesman, a modern day carpet bagger, who mostly sells dreams that won’t be fulfilled. See “opportunist” in any good dictionary, with himself as the prime beneficiary of his good will.

    David’s comment that Neil Gorsich (sic, it actually is Gorsuch) is Trump’s greatest achievement so far as president does not say much. OK, credit to Trump for nominating him, but it was the Republican Senate that confirmed him. Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings were largely a waste of time as he skirted question after question. If conservatives were able to step back, take a neutral/non-political view, the nominee’s history in ruling on cases and how the hearings were conducted, they would agree that the SCOTUS has become very political to the point of being out-of-bounds judicially. For the Republicans and Trump, Gorsuch may be Trump’s only achievement for the foreseeable future.

    David notes that Trump’s Twitter comments cost him as he insults others, and each press conference he bungles with his off-script messages makes him his own worst enemy. No disagreement there. Donald Trump is his own worst enemy due to a variety of indisputable facts: his ego trumps his ability to present a reasonable and coherent position, he loves to hear himself talk, he loves to stir the pot for the sake of getting more attention, he insults others in order to try and boost himself, he is incapable of acting presidential as most have before him. The problem is that Donald’s behavior doesn’t just hurt himself, it hurts all of us, and in some ways most of all, the majority who put their faith in him with their vote last November and hence, known as his “base.”

    David then goes on to say that “even some of the other good things he might be working on are drowned out by the media’s obsession with Donald the person, and they aren’t totally wrong for paying attention to these things.” (slightly paraphrased) First, Trump doesn’t “work” on much of anything (other than his image). He was working on his golf game pretty seriously. It has been reported that he has played at least one out of four days since entering the White House. Golf isn’t like a game of tennis or swimming a half mile of laps in a pool. If there were a golf course on the grounds of the White House , with Trump using a golf cart, 18 holes still requires at least four hours. When Trump says he is working hard that likely means on his golf game. Even George W. Bush, who was obsessed with spending days upon days on his Texas ranch cutting brush (there must have been a big issue with all that brush), even Trump has well, trumped Bush by hacking with his golf sticks.

    If Trump actually believes that an hour on the phone or hours of watching the networks to see what they are saying about him is work, couple with tweets, then retracted tweets, he is certainly clueless as to what is involved in being the President of the United States. No doubt that some in the media, including comics, always make fun of the president, regardless of party, as that is one way they produce product, boost their ratings. But with Donald Trump, what he says, what he does, and what he doesn’t do is more fodder than most of the news outlets can handle collectively. His latest goof is going after the NFL and its players for exercising their First Amendment rights by kneeling (or other small acts of expression). Meanwhile our island territories of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are in dire need of more aid than Trump or the slow-to-act Congress, led by the Republicans, can provide. People are dying there and more will in the weeks ahead. Unlike Texas and Florida, there are just too many brown skinned people on those islands. They are not that color from sunning on the beach, either. Yep, the NFL is more important to Trump than what is really important to the survival of millions of US citizens on those battered islands. And like everything he touches, his intended impact on the NFL will fail, miserably.

    And finally, David wrote, that “if Trump wants to accomplish good in this country (for this country?), the first thing that’s going to need to change is Trump. Otherwise, this is going to be a very long and wearisome four-year presidency.” The reader is welcome to declare that I am throwing the towel in too soon on Trump, however, I am flatly declaring that at age 71, and as a lazy and inept a person he is in a position of immense responsibility and with it, potential power, Donald J. Trump is unwilling and unable to change. At best, Donald likes (loves, really) himself and the way he is. At worst, he hates himself but can’t bear to admit it privately and constructively work at it. Trump has virtually no discipline. I am staking a Ben Franklin ($100 bill) on my position.

    Those who are paying attention have learned that Donald Trump should never have been elected, that we are and will continue to pay a dear price on both the domestic and international fronts because of the votes cast for the wrong candidate.

    Reply

  5. David Alexander

    October 9, 2017 at 7:01 am

    This is my response to Tedward Onward on his comments, ““What I Learned From the 2016 Presidential Election?”

    First, saying that people voted for Trump because the country is not ready for a woman president completely misses the mark. For one thing, people who might be influenced by such thinking probably weren’t inclined to vote for her anyway because of other disagreements they would have. I don’t know any swing voters who were on the fence but chose Trump based on the fact that he was a man. I won’t deny that perhaps people like that exist, but I highly doubt they are large enough to have influenced anything. I would personally take a conservative woman over a liberal man any day of the week. The real answer to this question is values.

    I think it’s important to keep in mind what well-informed and thoughtful voters like myself are thinking when we go into the voting booth. We realize that when you cast your vote for a person, you aren’t just voting for a person but for a platform, a set of values, an agenda. Trump, as unlikable as he is, brought into office with him a different agenda and worldview than Hillary Clinton. She would have continued pushing in the same liberal, progressive direction that Barack Obama had taken us in. Those of us who are conservative, believing that such a direction has hurt and will continue to hurt this country, didn’t want that to continue, or at the very least, wanted it to continue to a lesser degree. For me, Trump represented the lesser of two evils. I can certainly understand why those on the other side would vehemently disagree. But despite the evils he perpetrates, he (or maybe, more accurately, those whom he brought into office with him and those he appoints) bring in a much better legislative agenda as well as worldview concerning how government should function and what direction our country should head in. Does that mean I agree with his agenda 100% of the time? Absolutely not. But I believe the net effect on this country will be more positive than had Hillary Clinton been elected.

    Also, as far as accomplishments go, I agree that they are few. But as you pointed out in your other comments, he also has to get along with the Republican Congress, who aren’t exactly united on things nowadays. As much as he might want it to be a one-man show, a large part of his accomplishments will be dependent on whether Congress can put legislation together for him to sign. I’m still waiting for that to happen…

    Reply

    • Stevie B

      October 13, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      I agree.
      There’s a lot to be desired with Trump but he’s still better than Hillary. Not a whole lot … but a little better. He’s not a politician so don’t expect him to act like one, think like one, filter his comments like one. He’s a businessman so let’s judge him by economic numbers. It may be too early to tell. Sadly, his tweets and reprehensible comments do not help.

      Reply

  6. Tedward Onward

    October 26, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    In response to David’s comment: That I wrote (or implied that), “people voted for Trump because the country is not ready for a woman president…” is either a misconstrued deduction of what I did write or the taking of creative factual license in implying that I did say such. This is what I did write in my initial post on “What I Learned From the 2016 Presidential Election:” “In desperation, with no other seemingly viable candidate who called himself a Republican, the Republican party and many of its members felt that they had to support Trump with their vote because they could not stomach the idea of Hillary Rodham Clinton as their president.” It was not I who implied that they did not vote for Hillary because she was a woman. Further, in my lengthy comments to David’s initial post on the topic of the 2016 presidential election, I did say, “Sadly, this nation is not ready for any woman as president; I sense that it could be another 20 years before that occurs.” That statement is directed at the nation (voters) in toto (and not just at Republicans or Trump supporters). It does a disservice to us all when the facts are misquoted or misused out of context.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Politics in the NFL

National Football League (NFL) players have been protesting the Trump administration’…