Thursday, November 10, 2016

If Russian hackers did not generate Donald Trump's victory for Vladimir Putin, it probably was driven by racists in America's small, rural communities

If you don't find it possible that Russian hackers tampered with U.S. election results on behalf of Vladimir Putin -- and I find it both possible and likely -- you probably have to face a grim reality here on our shores: Race relations in America are way worse than many of us thought.

A considerable amount of election analysis suggests the presidential contest was more than a race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton -- it was a referendum on the eight years of our first black president, Barack Obama. If that's the case, the resulting picture is not pretty.

Throughout election night, on any television network, analysts and number crunchers kept saying "rural counties" (comprised of mostly white people) were going for Trump. It didn't matter if the state in questions was Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, or other -- white country folks were turning out in droves for Trump.

This is not breaking news in a normal presidential election -- in fact, I kept thinking, "Are they rehashing numbers from Bush v. Kerry in 2004?" But this hardly was a normal election. Republicans, in their primaries, had chosen Trump, probably the most unqualified, poorly suited presidential candidate in American history. And the notion that a New York City-based billionaire developer understood the problems of country white folks -- or was capable of doing anything about them -- was laughable.

So why were they turning out in mass to support Trump? Part of the answer might come from a commentary at The Guardian by Thomas Frank (author of What's the Matter With Kansas? and other insightful works). Consider these words from Frank:

What happened on Tuesday is a disaster, both for liberalism and for the world. As President Trump goes about settling scores with his former rivals, picking fights with other countries, and unleashing his special deportation police on this group and that, we will all soon have cause to regret his ascension to the presidential throne. 
What we need to focus on now is the obvious question: what the hell went wrong? What species of cluelessness guided our Democratic leaders as they went about losing what they told us was the most important election of our lifetimes? Start at the top. Why, oh why, did it have to be Hillary Clinton? 
Yes, she has an impressive resume; yes, she worked hard on the campaign trail. But she was exactly the wrong candidate for this angry, populist moment. An insider when the country was screaming for an outsider. A technocrat who offered fine-tuning when the country wanted to take a sledgehammer to the machine.

Frank was taking the "Hillary Clinton was the wrong candidate" road, which I don't necessarily agree with. After all, Democratic primary voters chose her over three other candidates, so it's not like someone handed her the nomination; she earned it, as did Trump. Clinton, according to all reasonable analysis, wiped the floor with Trump in all three presidential debates. Plus, if Russian hackers determined the outcome for Trump, any Democrat was doomed.

But let's consider that last sentence above, the one highlight in yellow, from Thomas Frank. Why would the country want "to take a sledgehammer to the machine"? That phrase points directly at Obama and rural racism.

It's beyond debate that Obama inherited a shipwreck from George W. Bush, and slowly guided America back to a more prosperous path. Can life still be tough in farm country? I'm sure it can, but I'm not aware of much (or any) evidence that suggests Obama is to blame for that. If anything, he has kept things from being even worse than they would have been under John McCain and Mitt Romney.

So it makes no sense for white country folks to turn out in droves to support Donald Trump -- unless the thought that a black man had resided at the White House for eight years was too much for their racist hearts to bear, and they weren't about to support Hillary Clinton, who had been appointed to a key cabinet post under Obama.

Josh Moon, of Alabama Political Reporter, put it in the most blunt terms I've seen: Writes Moon:

The third reason Trump won is America is filled with racists.

I don’t care if you don’t want to hear it. It’s true.

Since the election of President Obama in 2008, the growth of race-based hate groups has exploded. The hateful rhetoric surrounding racial discussions is at an all-time high, and much of that is due to the very purposeful division of this country by conservative groups.

They have spent the last eight years convincing many of those stupid white people I mentioned above that Obama was plotting to steal their hard earned money and turn it over to the black people so they can buy spinning rims and lobster with food stamps. Through Fox News, dozens of fake-news websites and hundreds of conservative talking heads on radio, they have spread a message of fear and anger to a group of people who took the bait and swallowed it.

It’s so bad that a good chunk of this country believe that crime rates are up (they’re down drastically), murder rates are at all-time highs (also down) and that cops are being shot by black “thugs” at record rates (also down).

The misplaced anger from these gullible racists was evident at Trump rallies, and he stoked it.

That’s why it was so easy for his followers to dismiss his crass comments about women, to look the other way when nude photos of his wife from a magazine shoot hit the media, to ignore his admitted ignorance of world affairs, to be unconcerned that he wouldn’t turn over his tax returns to support his grand claims of business successes and to belittle any attempt to point out Trump’s toddler-like temperament in every setting.

They didn’t care. They could only see the anger.

I would like to find something wrong about Moon's analysis, but I can't disagree with a word. I'm here in Missouri, where I grew up, and I'm told a family member has made it a habit of referring to Michelle Obama as a "man" and a "gorilla." Guess what. He's white and lives out in the sticks.

I guess it's easier for me to think (hope?) Russian hackers interfered with our election. That can be investigated and perhaps corrected -- although I have no idea how.

To think white country folks voted for a carnival barker like Donald Trump, simply to repudiate a mostly successful president because of his black skin . . . well, I'm not sure that problem ever will be corrected.


Anonymous said...

I think Russian hackers did it. Sure, we have stupid people and racist people. But I don't think those problems are bad enough to elect Trump in a non-rigged election.

Anonymous said...

The whole thing smells, and it's a tragedy for our country. Trump supporters have no idea how bad things will get under their guy.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if Trump even wants to be president. He obviously did not study up on basics of the office. Maybe he's bored or just a power whore.

Anonymous said...

My oh My what short memories we have. The seeds for the Willie Horton ads were planted by Al Gore.

Anonymous said...

Legal you are way off point on your assessment. Listening to the talking heads on MSNBC today and their analysis is that the same people who put Obama into office because they were sick of the slick politicians and wanted an outsider are the same ones who voted for Trump because he is considered an outsider and not tied to the lobbyists. I also think your assessment of Obamas success is suspect. Healthcare, race relations, poverty levels, international relations, etc.... are all a disaster under this president. By the way.....I did not vote for Trump OR Clinton. Something to think about.

Anonymous said...

10:44 -- MSNBC must have a dense group of talking heads today. Or maybe they just don't want to confront the problem of racism. But the notion that the same people who voted for a black man also would vote for a racist xenophobe like Trump is nuts. I think Obama won, to a great degree, because McCain disqualified himself in many minds by picking Sarah Palin as a running mate. And Mitt Romney disqualified himself by being caught on tape insulting half the country. Plus, it was hard for a GOP guy to win when the economy was tanking under Bush. Whether you like it not, things are going pretty well under Obama, especially when compared to his predecessor. Thus, wanting an "outsider" makes no sense. One last thing: You suggest people think race relations will improve under Trump. Hah! Race relations are fine, except for black people lying dead in the streets after encounters with cops.

Anonymous said...

Who had motive? Putin did because he needs to consolidate power back home and break up NATO. Who had the means? Putin did because his hackers already have shown they can break the code at DNC, etc. We have plenty of racists, but not enough to elect a goofball like Trump.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that Putin knows Trump is in financial and legal troubles and offered to help him on those fronts, in exchange for enhanced standing, power, and influence on the global stage.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible Putin also hacked the vote totals in GOP primaries? Maybe Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio have grounds for complaints. Of course, Trump probably will offer these con men jobs or money to help keep them quiet.

Anonymous said...

It seems imperative now that Trump settle all these lawsuits because discovery could reveal info about his tax returns, election, Putin etc. This probably is great news for plaintiffs. BTW, no way Trump sues any of those women who accused him of sexual assault, etc. He'll just let dog continue to sleep.

Anonymous said...

This was a giant middle finger from Julian Assange to both Obama and Clinton. We mishandled the Assange case, with massive arrogance, and that's why he jumped in Putin's arms. Without that, Trump doesn't come close to winning the election.

legalschnauzer said...

From Washington Post today:

Moscow had contacts with Trump team during campaign, Russian diplomat says

Anonymous said...

Another possibility-the Clinton campaign was not nearly as smart as it thought it was.

A data driven campaign that missed the need to campaign effectively in places such as Michigan and Wisconsin. Bad polling, bad messaging, bad listening to real people on the ground that were trying to tell them that they were in trouble. Selling Hillary Clinton just like targeted internet ads didn't work any better than the pop up ads. Not too many more votes for Hillary in the right places and she would have won like the polling predicted she would.

A few young number geniuses are now learning what GIGO means. It means a lot when your face is the face of failure. "Ooops, now I know what happened! We didn't think of THAT."

There were a number of highly placed political insiders in the Democratic party and Clinton campaign who were not smart enough to realize that a model is a model, and such a model can't be any better than the data used and the people constructing it.

Ed said...

I think the answer is a lot simpler. The numbers I saw online show that Trump received fewer votes than Romney in 2012. By my reckoning that means at least 5 million Obama voters didn't vote in 2016. Voter apathy possibly driven by the Republican's Clinton smear campaign going back 25 years.

The racists have always been there; they were just more emboldened to show their feelings because of Mr. Pussy Grabber

legalschnauzer said...

White women apparently like "pussy grabbers." Donald Trump got their vote, and they essentially put him in the White House. Isn't that like a Jew voting for Arafat? Unreal.

S C said...

Here's a thought i wanted to throw out there...Most people would agree that Trump has not done anything 'conventional' since the whole thing began. Too, most people would agree the Republican Party didn't give two shits about supporting him. They left him flapping in the wind. Bush Sr. voted for Hillary for gosh sake.

Now people think Trump will go all-conventional, all-republican since he's President-Elect? Hmn...Maybe he will, but what if he decides he'll keep doing it his way and goes on to hire some Democrats for key positions, too?

Either way, it will be interesting, i'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Boy, @12:49, nailed it. Looks like settlement is about to be reached in Trump University case.

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of cry babies. The country has spoken. Trump won. Obama has been a disaster. Clinton would have been more of the same. Democrats are out in the streets starting fires and destroying property that doesn't belong to them. That always makes a lot of sense ! Personally, I didn't care for either of the candidates, but willing to give Trump a try over more of the same old s---.

Mark Hayden said...

The election was about the conflict of interest of the Clinton Foundation. The email crisis was result of Hillary privatizing information of the State Department for Clinton Foundation donors. Unlike Hillary honest politicians do not create a billion dollar trust from those who rely on their decisions .Drain the SWAMP.Eighty percent of voters thought Hillary was illegal or unethical. Multiple politicians use trust funds to receive funds based on corrupt influence. The fish rots from the head.
The Obamacare is nothing but a tax on young and middle age to pay the health care cost of the older . Rates are 12000 a year with 12000 dollar family deductable. Obama care is unaffordable for workers. As for racism , Trump got a higher percentage of African Americans and Hispanics than Romney.

Mark Hayden said...

Sad to see LEGAL SCHNAUZER defending corruption of Clinton instead of exposing corruption.

legalschnauzer said...

Mark: If you read the post more closely, you will see I didn't say one word that defended anything regarding Hillary Clinton. The post is about Donald Trump and the peculiar voting that put him in office. I'm not aware of any corruption that has been proven against HRC. Meanwhile, Trump has admitted to sexual assault and bribery. If you want to run a corruption comparison, my needle shows Trump with a "big lead" in that race, and I've written about it in a number of posts, especially regarding Trump University and Florida AG Pam Bondi:

legalschnauzer said...

Mark: You might check out the apparent $25,000 donation that went from Trump Foundation to Pam Bondi PAC. Such transfers violate federal and state laws, aside from bribery issue. Also, strong evidence suggests Trump Foundation was connected to tax fraud, a likely reason that Trump does not want to release his tax returns. Again, corruption race is not close -- Trump way ahead.

Anonymous said...

@Marc Hayden:
Drain the Swamp? ROTFLMAO

Anonymous said...

Aboard the Eliza Battle Bob Yancy was giving a briefing on the war. The Russian Warship Aurora entered the war zone. I instructed John and Thomas to construct a figurehead of the Russian Goddess Aurora based on Pierre-Narcisse Guerin's painting.
We planted a eavesdropping device in the figurehead and presented it to the Russians as a goodwill gesture. We observed someone secretly boarding the Russian ship at night. Bob placed a tape in the tape player." Thump! Grunt! Clunk! Damn! I am getting too old for this. Oh General! You have fallen a long way to be drinking White Eagle Vodka.Good evening my love. Did you miss me?Oh! what firm breasts you have.Yes! Yes! The reward of eternal youth. To dwell in presence of immortal youth / Immortal age beside immortal youth." Eliza started laughing and said," Baxley is sneaking aboard the Russian ship to romance a wooden figurehead. Nannie Dee is going to be devastated." Everyone began roaring with laughter.
Sheldon entered the galley to inform everyone that the Russian ship has raised the Victory Banner #5,but the banner has a white sickle and a yellow hammer. The Stranger in the Shadows replied," Well the Russian diplomat did say they were communicating with some one from the Trump campaign. I saw a photo of Mike's friend,Cliff Sims from Yellowhammer news, standing beside Trump on election night.People underestimate Mike."
Admiral Tryon began to give a history of the Russian ship Aurora," The hull of the ship was laid in 1897and she was commissioned in 1903.The Aurora which is over 100 years old played a important part in the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. It fired a blank shot ,giving the signal to attack the palace. That event is considered to be the start of a revolution that lead to the creation of the USSR. After world war 1 she was made into a museum."
The Stranger in the Shadows added, " And Vladimir Putin had the Aurora overhauled to mint condition in 2014 and recommissioned her as a Russian war ship on July 16 2016 to send a subliminal message to the world that he would restore the USSR to its past glory. And Trump fired the first shot when he asked Russia to hack Clinton's e-mail on july 18 2016."