The Field is Full of Horse Manure But I'm Wearing Good Boots: Some Election 2016 Lessons

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The Field is Full of Horse Manure But I'm Wearing Good Boots: Some Election 2016 Lessons

There are several lessons that can be learned from the recent election and our reaction to it. While some of my points will focus on Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton, I will also make a few points about President Obama.

Whenever an incumbent president leaves office because of term limits, his party’s nominee to succeed him partakes of the credit for the predecessor’s accomplishments; however, that nominee is also held accountable for his predecessor’s mistakes. I am not suggesting that this “rule” makes sense, but it is simply what happens in election campaigns. Additionally, prior to this election, the president was campaigning for Clinton. He suggested that people should vote for Clinton to preserve his legacy. Therefore, his baggage became her baggage. So I will address some of the president's actions which had an impact on this election.

1. Too much, too fast

The United States is not a left leaning country. Of course there are segments of the population that embrace socialism and communism or less extreme leftist ideologies, but those segments do not represent a majority of Americans. It is possible for a charismatic leader to convince the masses to change their political course but it must be done slowly and incrementally. Most people simply do not embrace change if it occurs too quickly.

That is one of the mistakes of the Obama administration. Because he was limited to a maximum of 8 years in office, he wanted to leave a “legacy” of “progressive” change, so he pushed the country in the direction where he thought it should go, but he pushed too hard, too fast, and there were too many people that resisted.

The backlash that occurred was not a "white-lash" of white voters being angry at Obama because he was black. It was a backlash of voters who were tired of a progressive, liberal agenda that was pushed on us repeatedly. Yes, the backlash of voters were primarily white, because black voters traditionally vote en masse for the Democrat candidate. That does not mean that the backlash was racially motivated.

2. Promises that were not delivered

“Premiums will go down by an average of $2,500 per year. If you like your plan, you can keep your plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.” Weren’t those some of the selling points for Obamacare? Obviously, those promises were not delivered; in fact, what we were given failed miserably. Premiums went up on an average of $4,100 per family. People lost their prior insurance plans and they had to find new primary care doctors.

President Obama is not the first president to make promises that were unfulfilled.

While campaigning in 1988, then Vice-President George H. Bush (president from 1989 to 1993) promised that there would be no new taxes during his administration. When he enacted a new tax during his first term, the Democrat candidate in the next election (Bill Clinton) crammed that promise down his throat, and President Bush lost his re-election bid in 1992.

If those promises about Obamacare had been kept, it may have been Trump acting gracious in defeat.

3. Establishment media is losing its power

Media power in politics probably got its biggest boost with the 1960 election. John F. Kennedy was a handsome young man, a war hero, and an educated Ivy League product. Richard Nixon was uncomfortable, not media savvy, and had already experienced a scandal (Google “Nixon Checkers Speech.”) Kennedy challenged Nixon to four debates and Kennedy knew how to play to the audience. He was generally regarded as the winner of the debates. The election was very close and many viewed the debates as the difference. The power of the media in presidential politics was born with this election.

The Field is Full of Horse Manure But I'm Wearing Good Boots: Some Election 2016 Lessons

For the next 50 years, CBS, NBC, and ABC (plus CNN and MSNBC when cable TV became commonplace) enjoyed a growing power to not just report on the campaigns but to influence them. While the Democrat party has never openly confessed to possessing a distinct advantage with the media, the recent revelations about CNN giving Clinton debate questions in advance of the debates, and asking for questions to pose in an anticipated interview with Trump, certainly suggest that the relationship between the media and the Democrat party is cozier than it should be.

However, the proliferation of alternative news sources, such as online sources, combined with the popularity of talk radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Neal Boortz, and Herman Cain, has started to dilute that influence. Additionally, the power of WikiLeaks to reveal information that the mainstream media would never report/never investigate cannot be overestimated.

In future campaigns, reliance on the traditional media influence would be very ill advised.

4. Polls are simply wrong

When I was a young man, I frequently heard my father say, “Liars figure and figures lie!” Of course, it is a rather pedestrian platitude, but it is often quite apropos. In this election, the polls told us that Clinton was leading Trump. Her supporters thought that the outcome was as certain as if it has been pre-determined. Many of the pundits told us that Trump would lose by a very large margin, perhaps even in a landslide favoring Clinton.

They were wrong . . . but you already know that.

Why were they wrong? At times during the election, I entertained the possibility that the poll results intentionally were being engineered to favor Clinton. “Convince his supporters that he is losing and they will lose some of their motivation. Some voters will even stay home on the assumption that their vote has no chance of making a difference. I really don’t know if CNN, CBS, etc. conducted biased polls but, if they did, that does not explain all of the poll results. FoxNews polls showed Clinton leading. If FoxNews had any reason to bias their poll, it would have been in favor of Trump, not against him.

During the election, the media was quite tolerant and even promoted the liberal bashing of Trump supporters. People who publicly endorsed Trump were often held to ridicule and scorn (as if that is acceptable behavior.) Perhaps Trump supporters simply learned to keep their opinions to themselves . . . except when they went to the polls.

Whatever the explanation is, the polls failed miserably. While they promote themselves as being conducted according to “scientific” standards, there is very little science in polling.

5. Failure to take your opponent seriously is a big mistake

Many people thought that Trump was such an obvious buffoon that he could not possible be elected president, so . . . relax, have another beer, don’t worry, everything will be okay. Underestimating your opponent is always a mistake.

In 1776, Great Britain sent an army to America to quell a rebellion of the disorganized, unsophisticated colonists. How did that work out?

In 1861, troops marched out of Washington, D.C. heading south to put the kibosh on an insurrection. Popular sentiment was that the war would be over in 30-60 days. Actually, what happened was the bloodiest conflict in American history.

Simply dismissing your opponent and his supporters by calling them names - believing that is part of a successful strategy - did not work out so well for Clinton and the Democrats.

6. Black Americans still vote in a monolithic block

Based on exit polling data (and, obviously, I am not a fan of polling data), Clinton won 88% of the black vote while Trump only won 8% among that group.

Why? In an election year in which conventional wisdom was shredded and historical patterns were not followed, the black population stayed true to its tradition of block voting for the Democrat candidate. Clinton pandered to the black voters in a quite obvious and condescending fashion:

and it did not matter. I don’t think that black block voting is explained by the suggestion that Democrats actually do more favorable things for blacks but I am certain that is the prevailing belief in the black community. I don’t think that the Republican Party or Donald Trump are racist but they both need to work against the misperception that is advanced by others.

7. Divisiveness will not go away soon

In 2008, we were told that Obama was uniquely qualified to help us unify as one United States of America. Instead, over the past 8 years, race relations have gotten worse. Whenever the media have focused on a police shooting or other incident and advanced the notion that it occurred as a result of racial bias, Obama has often joined in with those efforts – even though he did not have all of the facts necessary to understand the incident. Racially, we are more divided after 8 years of Obama than we were after 8 years of George H.W. Bush.

Politically, we are sharply divided. It has become increasingly acceptable to call people names and disparage them because you disagree with their political views. One of my young Facebook friends posted this yesterday: “If you're not a straight, white, man and you voted for Trump you're an idiot, if you are and you voted for Trump you're just an asshole.”

This FB friend is a college graduate who professes to be a Christian. How can anyone think of themselves as being motivated by love, how can they think of themselves as tolerant . . . and post something that hateful?

Conflicts are not resolved by name calling and bullying. No one is convinced to change their opinion, or their vote, because of “spontaneous riots” organized by backers of the opposing political candidate. We must move beyond the hypocrisy of criticizing divisiveness while ourselves perpetuating it. But I don’t expect this to happen any time soon.

8. Cry babies and not cry babies

Parents who were born in the 1970’s thought that competition and not winning were destructive to the ego development of children. Therefore, they believed it would boost the ego of children to structure activities so that all participants were winners. Everyone got blue ribbons and no one ever lost. How did that work out?

The Field is Full of Horse Manure But I'm Wearing Good Boots: Some Election 2016 Lessons

So, do I want to scream?

The Field is Full of Horse Manure But I'm Wearing Good Boots: Some Election 2016 Lessons

No, because not all young people are like this. In fact, I suspect most aren’t . . . but those who are seem to be getting the attention. Another of my young FB friends posted this message: “I can confirm. I received multiple emails from school faculty, and heard of ‘free hugs’ and counseling being offered. I think it's quite ridiculous and embarrassing. Not all millenials are like this though. There are crybabies in every generation.”

I still have hope for my America!

The Field is Full of Horse Manure But I'm Wearing Good Boots: Some Election 2016 Lessons
The Field is Full of Horse Manure But I'm Wearing Good Boots: Some Election 2016 Lessons
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  • Fathoms77
    Well done. :) Intelligent arguments.

    One thing I'll add is that the media may have lost some of its power because it has been SO far left for so long, that many conservatives have just started ignoring the newspapers. Newspapers have been liberal for a century, of course, but it has been far too blatant in recent years (I worked for them, trust me on this), and radio stations like NPR are just laughably skewed. You reach a point where all you're doing is flipping through the Times and rolling your eyes, largely because it's hugely predictable. "Oh look, ANOTHER article about how gays and every minority on the planet is being oppressed."

    On top of which, the media treating all this like an overly dramatic reality TV show doesn't help. That tends to attract stupid people, those who aren't interested in issues but love the dumb little sound bites (which Trump was so stupidly adept at offering). That's another reason polls were off. Many Republicans were just sick of the whole mess, avoided the circus, and when it came to vote, made their mark.

    That's sort of how I see it. :)
    Like 2 People
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Girl

  • CheerGirl38139
    Excellent take. Excellent and wise.

    My family could not stand Trump from the get go.

    But in the end, what has happened in a nutshell, is people voted AGAINST Hillary and not even so much FOR Trump.

    And much of that is due to the things that you pointed about her boss. Especially the "Affordable" Care Act, which is and was a farce.

    Thank you for taking the time to write this.👏
    Like 2 People
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • NearlyNapping
    Very good and concise.

    #1 This is core conservative thinking. Liberals don't understand this. In other uses of the word like "conservative estimate" or conservative investment" the word conservative is a synonym for cautious. Conservatives are not against change. They are just against the knee-jerk reaction so common in liberalism. The entire Obamacare thing was a tremendous overhaul on the scale that's never been done in history. Yet it was pushed through as breakneck speed. It was pushed through as one huge package, rather than being done incrementally with a reasonable time to see the effect. Yes, it was too much too fast, and downright irresponsible.

    #4. I've never understood why they are so bad. It's easy to say these guys are idiots, but I know they aren't. Some of these guys have advanced degrees in stats. So why are they so bad? I used to do online surveys, including Harris. Harris was one of the better ones, but even they were set up really poorly at times. In my mind the problem is sample error. But can't the professionals account for that? Can't they at least do better with their range of error, when they claim +/-4% and they are off by 40% instead?

    #6 I'll throw out another block that used to be solid Democrat but has shown signs of moving for some time now. That's the union/labor vote. Democrats don't have as solid a hold as they used to. As near as I can tell Trump tapped into that vote. I imagine he understood that block pretty well considering the business he's in, especially in NYC.

    #7 Divisiveness will not go away. The gap is too wide and I don't see that changing. It's not about this election at all. It's about a line being drawn and saying no more. People complain about the government, how the government is divided, how they don't get things done, how they don't represent the people. But they DO represent the people. It's the people who are divided, and the government reflects that. I think the gap will continue to widen, not come together. I'm referring to the populous, not the government rhetoric.

    I expect the Democrats to do the same thing they did in the 90s after losing the Congress to Republicans for the first time in decades. They toned down their rhetoric and pretended to be more moderate. They might even learn their lesson that just because they got a popular Democrat in the presidency, it doesn't mean there was a fundamental shift to the far left. That was a huge mistake on their part.
    Like 1 Person
  • TadCurious
    Excellent myTake. I agree with your analysis, which is spot on. Here's another thing that happened after the election you might have read about: At Yale, a professor postponed a mid-term exam to allow her students to process the trauma of the election results. I'm not making this up.
    Like 1 Person
    • I believe it, absolutely.

      In 1941-45, men ages 18-30 could scarcely wait to enlist and go fight the forces of evil, knowing that it might cost them their lives. Seventy-five years later, in 2016, say the wrong thing to them and they are "traumatized" and need to retreat to a "safe zone" for free hugs. . . and they wonder why they get no respect from the older generations!

  • RasmusAiken
    Polling Error - My Take With the Left spewing so much hate toward Trump, ("racist, bigoted, neo-Hitler, deplorable, homophobic") his supporters tended to avoid pollsters rather than to admit to favoring Trump. The pollsters would call and they'd just hang up or supporters bypassed pollsters on the street. The same happened during the exit polls.
    Like 1 Person
  • SovereignessofVamps
    Good psot! I had heard on the radio that they said lots of people pretended to vote for Hillary since it sounded better, her acting more mature and all, but then secretly voted for Trump and pretended to hate on him in public.
    Like 2 People
    • *post and I think the people who lied, honestly acted worse than Trump because of their dishonesty.

  • Waffles731
    the younger generation actually voted for clinton
    LikeDisagree 3 People
    • I will assume that these numbers are based on exiting polling, so the validity of the numbers may be questionable.

    • Waffles731

      Clinton did win the popular vote, this is essentially brexit 2.0

    • While I question the validity of exiting polling, I don't doubt that younger people voted for Clinton. Younger people always vote for the Democrat candidate, primarily because that is what the media tells them to do.

    • Show All
  • HikerDude
    Yes, agree 100%. I said for months that the polls were wrong because Clinton's people weren't as motivated to turn out as the Trump voters. The media is now left to hand-wring over things that others of us in Middle America have known for a long time. They're baffled that so many voted for Trump, which just reinforces how out of touch they are with real America.
    Like 1 Person
  • Righttobeararms83
    Great take. Best yet. Obama said something for the election and he was right ""dont boo, vote". The Democrats lost the election because quite simply they didn't perform their civic duty and vote. Those "protesters" shouldn't be angry at Trump supporters and democracy they should be mad at the Democrats that were too lazy to vote. Point 8 is very true.
    Like 1 Person
  • Bandit74
    I didn't vote for Trump, but part of me is kinda glad he won because of how obnoxious liberals are with political correctness and forcing their beliefs on everyone.

    There are videos on youtube of them crying, throwing hissy fits, and smashing their tvs after realizing that Trump won. It's hilarious 😂
    • Temper tantrums! It's just a phase they're going through. :)

  • Izumiblu
    Wow, this is probably one of the more profound writings I've seen, certainly on GaG but better than what I've seen in most mainstream news.
    Like 1 Person
  • martyfellow
    Obama was a fraud, promising change, delivering only more colonial wars and austerity and cutbacks at home.
    Trump was a fraud, promising to attack the establishment, much like Obama, but he is more an establishment figure than even Obama.
    Clinton was not so much a fraud. A manipulative, racist, warmongering demagogue.. the Democrats thought they could sell her as less evil than Trump, and hey, they nearly succeeded. At the end of the day, more people stayed home or voted for minor candidates as a protest than voted for the two of them together.

    That half of the voters, the stay at homes and minor candidate people, showed the most sense.
    Like 1 Person
  • BoobMan
    Nice take! Really puts things in perspective. The scary thing is realizing just how much stuff out there that's written and/or reported is deliberately trying NOT to put things in perspective!
    • Absolutely. The two biggest challenges for the future of the conservative movement in the US are neutralizing the political bias in the media and getting political indoctrination out of public education.

  • TheHunter90
    He won, because he can sell his ideas. He is a businessman. a lot people that voted for him are rednecks from rural areas that have zero cure of how the business world works. They're easy to get dope. Really, he is a liberal.
  • TuMeManques
    Oh my gosh I love this take. Everything you are saying rings true. 👍👍
    Like 1 Person
  • Saoirse_Nua
    Lots of truth in there but I think as time goes by when I reflect it will be failure of polling that will fascinates me the most. I don't think we will ever get the most accurate answer to what caused the "Silent Trumper". plenty of theories though. With 20/20 vision, I remember look at Election Day, CNN were interviewing people outside polling stations, I was thinking what was going on they seemed to be a lot DT supporters, are all the stations they are at in Trump country.
    Going back to the polls how were these people missed because it seems that even Trump's campaign missed them, they were quite gloomy for the most part during the actual voting.
  • OrdinaryGentleman
    Saying the media is the problem in all this half right and the other half, wrong.
    The younger generation is simply more educated than the older, better schooling more education and less lies.
    But is trump the desired outcome?
    He made too many promises to deliver, that is certain.
    Which means many groups, including the KKK will be screwed.
    No one knows his plan, but already it is looking rather terrible from a liberals point of view considering the head of EPA transition is a climate change skeptic Myron Ebell... i can't spell his name lol
    • "The younger generation is simply more educated than the older, better schooling more education and less lies. . . . the head of EPA transition is a climate change skeptic Myron Ebell... i can't spell his name lol" Internal inconsistency. :)

      The older generation MAY (I am not certain of this) have slightly less education than the younger generation, but they have much more experience with the world and understanding its twisted ways. The younger generation tells fewer lies? I would not bet the farm on that. How do YOU know that, other than you obviously are more educated and have had better schooling?

    • No i have terrible schooling Private school, but flunked out of that, then public school, got into trouble, far too poor in reality.
      Eh, internal inconsistency when it comes to political discussion over the apostasy (not religious) of science and political ideologies? I would hope there would be consistency if i have conveyed otherwise let me know what i could do to change that. If you mean briefly jotting over points of discussion as simply thoughts then that's just me opening a discussion.
      There is a rather broad gap in between the younger and older generation. The younger has been around long enough to vote people into office but most of the time those that are voted for are those who are simply seen as the lesser evil. They need a chance to be part of the government, they have not had that chance to date.

  • Adigelunar
    perfect take
    Like 2 People
  • Dred1614returns
    Great take! Totally agree.
    Like 2 People
  • MissSakura
    good post
    Like 1 Person