Wednesday, November 9, 2016

After the Earth is Scorched - Election Edition!

I awoke this morning to soft rain outside. My thoughts turned to my son's rock climbing gear left out on his climbing wall in the yard.  I had planned to bow hunt this morning, but like many people, I stayed up far too late watching the final act of the kabuki that was our 2016 presidential election.   Like many people, I'm worried about what happens next.  Like many other people, I'm slightly excited that maybe our power structure will start listening to Americans (most notably, young liberals and conservatives who are people of color) and stop with the DNC's and RNC's presumptive entitlement in our lives.   After all, they are not us.  Repeat: they are not us.

Step away from the fear of Trump and the spite for Clinton, and the racist vs. career liar false equivalency (and it was a false equivalency, you know that), and what you have is a very basic statistic:  only twice in the history of our nation have Democrats won three consecutive elections. Equalizing all other factors (which I know is statistically unfair), this gave Clinton very poor odds of winning.  To drill down into that a bit, Clinton was a strong and capable institutionalist candidate in a year where almost 80% of Americans said they were dissatisfied with the institution! And on top of that, was attempting a 3rd straight Democratic presidency, which (repeating myself) is itself statistically unlikely.

Then, if you read, as I did, that Donald Trump's candidacy was intentionally buoyed by the DNC, we see another layer of political dysfunction.  From the DNC/HRC campaign memo entitled "Muddying the Waters",  "We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so that they are the leaders of the pack, and tell the press to take them seriously."  The candidates specifically named as far-right "Pied Pipers" were Donald Trump and Ben Carson.  As it turned out, that strategy sucked - a lot. 

Anyone who knows me knows that I hated the presumptive (or assumptive) entitlement of the Clinton campaign.  I was vexed by the fact that Clinton's career record so clearly swings to the right of my politics on gay rights, racism, "not selling bombs to really bad people" and gender equality, and dangerously left of my politics on constitutional rights, particularly the 1st through 14th Amendments.    I would never vote for Trump, and I didn't.   But in the end, we should not have been surprised that over 40% of women and almost 40% of millenials voted for Trump.  We should not have been surprised that people of color turned out to vote in significantly lower numbers for Clinton than they did for Obama, just four years ago.  

So, now it is done.  Specific areas I will be watching are:

1) Transition in/out of officials at US EPA.

2) Status and pursuit of numerous Clean Water Act federal lawsuits, as well as other actions such as Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act enforcement in the field.

3) Supreme Court nominee process (which inarguably should have been everyone's worry in this election, regardless of political affiliation - at least it got *some* media coverage).

4) Promises on withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

5) Resistence (or lack thereof) to Trump's policy ideas from a GOP Congress.

6) Promises on retaining federal lands in federal control.

7) Promises on attempting to bring China in-line.

Let the experiment begin, I suppose.