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Election 2016
Live-Blogging the Election Returns [NOW CLOSED]

WRM 2:42 Secretary Clinton has called President-Elect Trump to concede. One of the great upsets in American history is now a fait accompli. On MSNBC I am hearing welcome appreciation for the limits that the Constitution imposes on elected officials. Not sure how that will resonate with the vitriol that will be expressed toward the Electoral College should Clinton end up winning the popular vote, but political consciences on both the left and the right are known for their flexibility.

WRM 2:28 It looks as if Donald Trump has become the President-Elect of the United States. It’s not a development I expected, and it’s not the one I hoped for. It’s possible that the tables will turn yet again; as I write, even Fox hasn’t called the Electoral College for Trump — and Clinton may well win the popular vote.

I was one of the majority of Americans who wished we had had a different set of choices this year. However, whichever candidate ends up with a victory, however close, the country can win if winners, losers and conflicted voters can rally around the common ideals that still hold us together as a people.

Both candidates had flaws, but both spoke for some important truths which deserve to be honored and remembered. Secretary Clinton offered a steady if not always stirring defense of the American global strategy that, warts and all has provided the world with a long stretch of prosperity and which has prevented new wars on the scale of the global conflicts that almost ended civilization in the first half of the twentieth century. That strategy needs to be revised and updated for a changing world, but the ideas on which it is founded remain the strongest bulwarks of our security and prosperity. Clinton also spoke for the values of tolerance and cosmopolitanism that are an essential part of any humane and liberal society. Again, contemporary liberal and cosmopolitan society needs to be reformed and renewed; but the baby is holy even if the bathwater is foul.

Donald Trump, not always eloquently or effectively, also spoke for important truths. American elites have forgotten that this country wasn’t made for the products of fancy families and fancy schools. This is always a place which has honored regular people and depended on their moral and political wisdom. This isn’t a country in which the elite is supposed to uplift and retrain the ignorant and bigoted common people; too many of those privileged with fine educations and blue chip credentials and connections have come to arrogate the moral leadership of the country to themselves. Some of the ideals such people support are valuable ones, but the elitist contempt for the moral insight and personal dignity of the average American is much more corrosive than many of our nearsighted and insular elites understand. Trump’s appeal comes in large part from his insistence, in the teeth of the contempt of the fashionable and the ‘enlightened’ of the central importance of the American nation in the political value system of our country. The American people are not a random collection of strangers bound together only by a common interest in making money; we are not a bloodless and bodiless collection of philosophers held together by a set of abstract ideas. We are a people: a living, historical and cultural community that has deep roots in the past. American citizens owe a special care to one another which is different from the duties that we have to all humanity, and we have, or we ought to have, a special duty to serve the interests of the American people in our dealings with foreign powers. The cultural bonds and the history that unite us contain their fair share of injustice, but we cannot build a common life on a shared contempt for and horror of the American past. Trump at his best stands for an attempt to reintroduce some vital elements into our common life, and the willingness of so many tens of millions of Americans to overlook their qualms about him testifies to the importance that these ideals have to so many of our fellow citizens.

No matter which candidate won tonight, half the country was going to be disappointed and many people would be angry. No matter which candidate won, the task of turning a campaign into an administration would be a difficult one. And no matter which candidate won, he or she would be taking office at a time when the global situation is more explosive and dangerous than it has been in many decades. The world order creaks on its foundations, and the global economy puzzles even the wisest of our central bankers and economists.

Let us pray for our new President-Elect — whoever that may be — and for the United States and the world. We seem to be moving toward a crisis point in both foreign and domestic affairs. May the God of nations bless, enlighten and preserve the President of the United States.

WRM 1:45: Big loser tonight: Obama and his legacy.

WRM 1:42: Cake now baked.

HZC 1:40: AP calls PA for Trump. If that’s right, this is really over.

WRM 1:34: Really important series of tweets here from Megan McArdle:

 

WRM 1:30: Marine LePen sends her congratulations: “Félicitations au nouveau président des Etats-Unis Donald Trump et au peuple américain, libre!”

HZC 1:17: With Toomey win in PA, the GOP retains control of the Senate.

WRM 1:16: If the numbers go Trump’s way and he wakes up as president-elect in the morning, he’s going to have to deal with a geoplitical panic as well as a financial market meltdown. Nothing Obama can say will make much difference; Trump will have to start charting his course in foreign affairs.

His smartest move in both financial and geopolitical affairs is to quickly gather the kind of team he did not pull together during the campaign and begin to project a calm and competent image abroad.

WRM 1:15: It isn’t just financial markets that are heading to chaos on the news of Trump’s surge. South Korea, in the middle of a political crisis of its own, is calling an emergency national security meeting to discuss the implications for Korean policy of a Trump win.

WRM 1:14: The rage of Dems if Trump wins with a minority of the popular vote, a tie in the electoral college, and then wins in the House — and then leads the country in a radically different path — will be bad, bad, bad.

WRM 1:00: World financial markets were melting down as Trump neared the 270 mark tonight. Trump’s first real test has come upon him even before the final votes were tallied. He now needs to reassure global markets that the core focus of his economic policy will be to restore healthy growth in the United States.

WRM 12:45: While Hillary needs to win almost everything that is left, most of what remains is part of her natural turf. We’ve had one humongous surprise tonight; we might still get another. Unlikely — but so was the first one.

WRM 12:41: Special snowflakes all over the United States are discovering that you can’t hide from reality.

Liberals making ultra-comfortable cocoons have only made themselves unable to understand or communicate with much of the country.

HZC 12:24: President Obama’s poll numbers are strong right now, but Democrats should turn on him tomorrow. His mangled handling of Obamacare—pushing through something so unpopular and failing to sell it—and his inability to project confidence on terrorism combined with his executive actions on immigration all helped Trump—and the GOP surge in statehouses and Congress over the past eight years.

Obama’s arrogance—which is ultimately a political arrogance—might not be fazed, but hopefully the similar arrogance of people around him will be. Democrats are not good at governing. Because governing isn’t just about doing what social scientists say is smart. It’s about doing things that people will like and accept.

WRM 12:11: Dow futures down by 838 — bigger than 9/11.

WRM 12:07: According to FiveThirtyEight, Trump is outperforming Romney with minorities. And with women. In other words, Latinos, women, and blacks are putting Trump over the top. That’s a story you probably won’t hear very much. Assuming it holds when better numbers come in, it’s a story you should hear much more.

WRM 12:03: Hillary now needs to run the table.

NMG 12:01: I wonder how many liberals are now wishing that a Supreme Court had handed down a strong rebuke to executive powers in U.S. v. Texas this spring.

WRM 11:46: The oldest lesson in American politics: drive the Jacksonians out of your party and you drive your party into the wilderness.

WRM 11:35: It could easily go to 269 each, then to the Electoral College where Trump wins. Georgia, Utah and Arizona would make it 269. She now needs one of the Romney states to win.

JW 11:34:  If Trump wins, it’s possible that the the period between the end of the Cold War to Trump’s victory will be remembered as a distinctive period in world history, in which a unique post-cold war internationalist consensus prevailed in the United States. In 2016, Brexit and Trump marked the end of that consensus in the West.

JW & DM 11:28: The political consultant class of both parties needs to go find another line of business. The fact that Trump is doing at all as well proves that these people are snake-oil salesmen—outright frauds. All the “ground game” and and technological prowess that the Obama campaign demonstrated proves to be completely secondary to the fact that it turns out that democracy turns on personality. And Hillary has a weak one.

JW 11:23: People have been talking a lot about what Republicans need to do to regenerate their party and capture the center. These results seem to suggest another possible question: What do Democrats need to do to re-capture the center?

WRM 11:18: Trump winning the popular vote by 3 percent. Still many votes to count in deep blue states like CA, but pretty amazing nevertheless.

HZC 11:16: Stock markets falling down even more now. Asian markets off over 4 percent. Uncertainty is freaking out investors.

WRM 11:00: Fox now calling Florida for Trump. Florida, NC, Ohio. Trump is now in the race.

HZC 10:58: What seems clear is that Trump has galvanized the GOP base in a way no candidate has in a long time. He’s outperforming Romney and McCain all over.

WRM 10:54: Mike Gallagher (R), a promising new face in Wisconsin, is projected to win his House race.

WRM 10:47: Detroit — where the blue model has crashed and burned and Dems basically have nothing to say, much less to do about it.

HZC & WRM 10:42: A big piece of this story so far seems to be blacks not turning out for HRC in anything like the numbers Obama saw. They will make or break it for her in Michigan. But with turnout looking low in Wayne County (Detroit), this is a big miss for Hillary with blacks.

JW 10:33: If Democrats lose White House they will have nothing — Republican House, Senate, Supreme Court, presidency, and overwhelming majority of state governments. Strongest dominance of single party since before New Deal and perhaps before.

HZC 10:29: Now, NBC projects VA for HRC too. Meanwhile, Republican Barbara Comstock—who had tried to keep her distance from Trump—is projected to win in northern Virginia/the DC suburbs.

SK 10:24: NYT has Trump at 80% shot to win the presidency, but Clinton has the edge on the popular vote. An electoral college/popular vote split portends nothing good for our democracy or national unity.

HZC 10:18: Asian markets are taking a huge beating.

WRM 10:16: Now the dollar is crashing too.

WRM 10:14: Media melting down, as are the markets. Dow futures are now off more than 500 points. Meanwhile, Nate Silver has Hillary’s chances down to 55 percent.

WRM 10:11: Fox calls North Carolina Senate for Republican Richard Burr. That’s big.

WRM 10:10: If Trump pulls this one off, it will follow one pattern of US elections since 1992: in every race when there isn’t an incumbent, the voters have gone for the less qualified outside candidate over the experienced candidate. Clinton in 92, Bush in 2000, Obama in 2008.

WRM 10:04: Clinton’s Pacific Firewall — California, Oregon, Washington will change the electoral math. Georgia and North Carolina still haven’t been called. That’s bad for Trump at this point.

HZC 10:02: New Hampshire is still very close, with only 35 percent reporting. Trump is up by about a point. Kelly Ayotte, meanwhile, who is a lynchpin for the GOP in the Senate, is up by about 2.5 percent. Given the geography of where has yet to report, it’s still too early to call.

HZC 9:58: Fox calls VA for Clinton. Big for her, if it holds.

DM 9:55: There is no way that anyone should see any kind of narrow victory for HRC, should it transpire, as anything other than an indictment of the status quo. If HRC tries to do anything other than be deeply chastened, if she wins, nothing good will come of it. The media will try to spin this as some kind of primal scream by the racist white voter. That would be a horrible mistake. However this plays out, this is a resounding indictment of business as usual.

SK 9:51: Not long ago, NYT’s Frank Bruni was talking about “HRC’s resounding mandate” coming out of this election. I thought that was questionable at the time, but it’s looking even more ridiculous now. Even if she wins.

HZC 9:50: We’re starting to see why the Clinton campaign focused so much late-stage energy in Michigan.

WRM 9:45: Nate Silver still has HRC at 75; NYT has Trump at 59. Both show GOP in Senate.

DM 9:42: Trump’s is a campaign almost completely without a ground game or strategists. Think of the millions wasted on this stuff.

BH 9:40: More seriously, for all this talk about money and ground game favoring democrats, at the end of the day, the first rule of campaigns is having enthusiastic people who will campaign for you for free.

HZC 9:07: U.S. stock futures are down with HRC still not closing in Virginia or Michigan, to say nothing of North Carolina and Florida.

WRM 8:52: Virginia not being called for HRC so far is a bad sign for her. But Georgia not being called for Trump by now is a bad sign for him.

WRM 8:48: HRC is struggling more than expected in Virginia, it seems. Would the emails and the classified stuff particularly hurt her with normally blue government workers in Virginia?

JW 8:45: We are seeing very clearly why the Electoral College—as opposed to popular vote—favors Trump: Trump’s “safe” wins in states like Texas and Georgia will be in the single digits, while HRC’s in NY and CA approach 20. As Nate Silver says, if Trump wins, will “possibly include an Electoral College-popular vote split.” We can view this as undemocratic, or as effective functioning of a system designed to force geographically-dispersed majority coalitions.

BH 8:38: Another point on the European comparisons. All this talk of a “Brexit effect” from Trump surrogates and DT himself is completely overblown. In fact, the race had gotten very close, Brexit was ahead in polls in the last few weeks though Remain was very slightly up in the last days (but 1 or 2 pts). Bookies and financial markets clearly gave the victory to Remain but polls were quite tight.

JW 8:36: Upshot chance of HRC win down to 77 percent, from 85 at beginning of night.

SK 8:31: Not totally unexpected, but remarkable comeback for Young in Indiana given Bayh’s advantages going into that Senate race: huge war chest and longstanding record as Senator and Governor. 538 has an interesting chart showing Young’s comeback since August.

HZC 8:29: Republican Carlos Cubelo is up 12 points in his Florida House race. That’d be another important win for the GOP.

WRM 8:27: Fox calls Indiana for Young. That’s a big win for the Republicans.

JW & HZC 8:26: With Florida essentially even, are we headed for a repeat of 2000? As a reminder, if things stay within .5 percent, that triggers an automatic recount. Right now, vote totals appear closer even than they were between Bush and Gore. Clinton can win without Florida—as can Trump, of course, but it’s much less likely—but we should be preparing for a long night ahead in the Sunshine State.

HZC 8:19: One of the big lessons of this election will be about how and how much campaigns matter. Trump basically had no consultants, ground operation, and his fundraising was comparatively lackluster. Meanwhile, his coordination with state and local efforts was poor. If he wins, it will be a huge blow for thousands of campaign consulting firms—a huge business which has expanded tremendously in recent years.

But if Clinton wins, it may well come down to her superior campaign operation—and her relative ability to stay on and propagate her message. There’s been a huge effort to turn out Hispanics, for example. African American turnout still seems down based on early returns, but Hispanics are voting in record numbers. If the democratic political machine can win this for Hillary, that will throw a lifeline to the consultants and pollsters and others who have built businesses on dubious results.

WRM 8:16: Fox calls Florida for Rubio. The Senate is looking better for the GOP, and GOP insiders must be wringing their hands about a lost chance.

JW 8:14: CNN has it down to 0.2 in FL. If it ends within 0.5, there will be a recount. Trump needs to win to stay competitive in Electoral College but Hillary has paths without it.

SK 8:11: Senator Lindsay Graham voted for Evan McMullin, but it’s also telling that he did not disclose that vote until today. Same with Bush’s non-vote. I think it shows how Republican elites, even those who oppose Trump, were scared to wholeheartedly campaign against the GOP nominee—which shows Trump’s hold over the party, and Republican fears of alienating Trump’s base.

DM 8:10: Thoughts from a first-time recent-immigrant voter: Maybe this is a normal election in some sense, but it struck me as I was making up my mind how much negativity played in my decision. So much has been said about how Trump ran an unprecedentedly negative campaign. But the truth is I voted for Hillary because I feared a Trump presidency. And the one Trump rally I attended, most of the people I talked to offered similar rationale: “Trump was not my first choice. But Hillary must be stopped.” Maybe this is par for the course for American Democracy—I don’t know, I’ve only observed it and never took it to heart like I have this time around. But it doesn’t feel healthy.

HZC 8:05: The Vermont gubernatorial race could go to GOP candidate former Lt. governor Phil Scott. Vermont, despite being the home of Senator Sanders, is hardly far-left. Before its current governor, Peter Shumlin, was Jim Douglas, a moderate Republican who was generally well-liked. Shumlin’s signature effort while in office was single payer health care, and it blew up in his face.

BH 8:02: I just spoke to French media. They are very interested in the situation in Michigan. If Trump manages to be competitive there, similar strategy as Marine Le Pen who tries to appeal to disaffected blue collar workers in Nord Pas-de-Calais, old industrial regions with high unemployment.

RA 7:56: Fox says senate control undecided; tight races too close to call.

BH 7:56: HRC taking strong early lead in Florida and North Carolina now (only 28% of votes counted in the latter).

SK 7:55: I wonder if the elites might have had more of an effect if they had coalesced around an anti-Trump alternative. We saw lots of soft Trump opposition and discomfort from Republican elites, but no concerted effort to support a challenger. Even Romney, who perhaps was most outspoken in opposing Trump with his speech back in March, never wholeheartedly threw his support to another candidate.

RA 7:51: Englishman Abroad checking in with the news that Mr. Brexit, Nigel Farage, has said that he would accept a job in the Trump White House — and that he has already booked the flight.

HZC 7:49: Stock markets getting jittery.

JW 7:45: It’s notable that aside from GWB, the party—voters and elites—have coalesced around Trump to a much larger extent than we might have expected a year ago if presented with the possibility of him becoming the nominee. That’s a good example of nihilistic partisanship. Our parties are strong and weak at the same time. Weak in the sense that they are empty vessels for whomever is nominated and because elites have little control over who is nominated; strong in the sense that they tend to close ranks around the nominee, no matter how far he diverges from stated principles.

HZC 7:43: Mute your TVs and listen to something more interesting: a conversation WRM had with Larry Kudlow and others last week at the Hannah Arendt Center.

SK & WRM 7:40: According to Reuters, President George W. Bush did not cast a vote for president this year.

Trump fails to carry ex-GOP presidential candidates. Not sure when in American history, if ever, this has happened.

NMG & HZC 7:37: AP calls for Senator Portman in Ohio. Portman ran a very effective campaign in what was, as of several months ago, supposed to be a close race. But he’s been up in the polls for months, successfully labeling his opponent, former governor Ted Strickland, as “retread Ted.” Portman, like many Ohio Republicans, basically ignored Trump the whole election season.

Also of note: Portman has been a big free trade advocate in the past, and Ohioans are particularly skeptical of free trade—it’s an issue that helped Trump there in the primaries. Portman’s ability to pull off such a convincing win is an impressive feat, and will surely be studied by politicians and campaign consultants for years to come.

HZC 7:29: Rubio is running about 8 points ahead of Trump in Florida so far. If this holds and Trump loses, it will only add fuel to the “told you so” fire on the right.

NMG 7:27: If Clinton wins, the narrative of why will be more important than usual. If conservatives/Republicans can successfully argue (or even, less likely, the media perception simply is) that the margin of victory came from “not Trump” voters, rather than “yes, Clinton” voters, that will have a significant impact on our politics going forward. Another way to think of it: does Clinton fulfill her mandate tomorrow (defeated Trump!), or in the first hundred days (by implementing her agenda). The difficulty in articulating, say, the top five issues that she’d bring forward is not a bad sign of which one it is…

JW 7:25: With 10 percent reporting, Evan Bayh is down 9 percent to Todd Young. This was one of the tossup seats; good for GOP Senate hopes.

WRM 7:18: NC and Ohio both close. If Trump doesn’t win both (plus Florida and New Hampshire), very hard to see how he stays competitive.

WRM 7:15: Important to take note of the Tim Scott re-election. Scott is the first black South Carolina senator since Reconstruction, and he’s now won a full term. It’s a sign, perhaps, that the racial polarization is a bit overdone. In grander terms: A conservative African American wins enthusiastic support from conservative whites in the state that started the Civil War.  Roll over Jeff Davis.

HZC 7:13: You all should check out this great piece by Nick Gallagher. Just up on the site. Did Obama see the Trump movement coming?

WRM 7:07: One possibility: the Senate might not be called tonight. If nobody gets 50% in Georgia, there would be a runoff.

JW 6:58: Also about to close: Virginia. This is a state that has become out-of-reach for the GOP given rising ethnic diversity and education levels. Bush won it both times but so did Obama. Trump’s campaign is trying to add states like Ohio and Iowa to the GOP coalition; a more conventional candidate like Rubio or Bush might have tried to add Virginia.

NMG 6:51: During the early stages of the Revolutionary War, General Washington was so inexperienced and the British Commander, General Howe, was so untalented, that, as one strategist has commented, “Any other General in the world other than General Howe would have beaten General Washington; and any other General in the world other than General Washington would have beaten General Howe.” There are a lot of pundits and GOP and Democratic strategists out there today thinking the same thing about Trump and Clinton.

JW & HZC 6:48: Polls in Florida and New Hampshire close in 12 minutes. We might soon start seeing results that decide the race. Counting will go faster in New Hampshire, and we’ll get a sense of how well the Trump movement—whites without college education, mainly—is performing. Meanwhile, if Clinton wins Florida, the race is probably over.

WRM 6:44PM: The big night that we’ve all been waiting for is finally here, and the greatest show on earth is coming to a climax. Democracy survives in part because it is the most entertaining form of government, and by that standard American democracy has never seemed more secure. In 2016 the presidential campaign took on the look and feel of a television reality show, a development that redounded to the benefit of the only political candidate in American history to have actually starred on such a show.

There has been a lot of handwringing about this election, and both candidates are widely disliked and distrusted. But it’s hard to argue that the system has failed: voters have a clear choice between to alternative approaches to both the substance and style of government.

Those who’ve moaned about the end of democracy and the collapse of republican government (as opposed to the collapse of the Republican Party) have, as usual,overreached. The rhetoric in this campaign has been at times overheated and at times vile; there have been demagogic slams and ugly lies. But that is less a departure from the virtue of the past than a continuation of longstanding traditions in American life.

The American people, angry and polarized as many of us are,have been, as usual, remarkably non-violent and civil. Trump voters and Clinton voters stood peacefully side by side in long lines. The long campaign saw some ugly incidents, but, in a nation of more than 300 million facing fundamental issues, not many. America on its angriest day remains more profoundly peaceful, more committed to the rule of law, more deeply civil than many other polities around the world.

People seem to have reserved their ugliest rhetoric and their nastiest cracks for social media; Facebook and Twitter seethed with bitterness. There are those who take that as a sign of national meltdown. This is overstated. Social media is really misnamed; most of us are alone when we post and tweet, and we write and say things online (just as many Americans watch things online) that we would never do in public and in real life.

Social media is a solitary vice; politics is part of our public lives, and our public selves are often — indeed usually — better and wiser than the crazy critters we sometimes become when alone.

There are deep fault lines emerging in America; the social and cultural changes racing through our culture, the decline in social capital, especially among the poor and the lower middle class, the weakening hold of Christianity on the public mind and the public square all raise profound questions about where America is heading.

But for all the sound and fury, 2016 has not been the year when the bonds that bind us broke; American democracy is lively, healthy and full of beans.

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  • WigWag

    Good work by the bloggers but live blogging of an election requires a “refresh” icon. Without one it is awkward to load the new posts.

    • http://www.the-american-interest.com/ Damir Marusic

      WigWag: To repurpose a Croatian tourism slogan, “The internet as it once was…!”

      • WigWag

        Actually it’s a relief. I was afraid the refresh button was originally there but hacked by the Russians.

  • WigWag

    “Virginia not being called for HRC so far is a bad sign for her.” (WRM)

    Whether Clinton ends up winning or losing Virginia, the fact that the race is so close there is a real slap in the face to Mrs. Clinton’s running mate who is, of course, the junior Senator from Virginia.

    Trump won the state where his running mate is Governor (Indiana) going away.

  • WigWag

    “An electoral college/popular vote split portends nothing good for our democracy or national unity.” (WRM)

    One way or the other, our national unity is already shot. The Democrats are mostly to blame. It’s hard to have national unity when the entire country is divided into identity groups which look inward rather than promoting the common good.

    Who can we thank for the ascendency of identity group fealty? The Democrats with a major assist from establishment Republicans.

  • WigWag

    “The political consultant class of both parties needs to go find another line of business. The fact that Trump is doing at all as well proves that these people are snake-oil salesmen—outright frauds.”(JW/DM)

    True enough, Damir, but during this election cycle you commissioned scores if not hundreds of articles from scholars who relentlessly reminded AI readers of how repugnant Trump was. How do you explain the disconnect between your elite bloggers and the tens of millions of Americans who decided that Trump gave them their only shot at a better future?

    • Tom

      The problem, I think, isn’t that elites find Trump repugnant. The problem is that they don’t find Clinton repugnant.

      • Jim__L

        She covers for them, they cover for her. It’s a form of cooperation, but a twisted and corrupt one.

        Oh wait! We can use past tense now — covered, not covers — because she lost!

        And now she may go to prison for what anyone else would have gone to prison for!

        (Happy happy joy joy, happy happy joy joy…!)

  • Angel Martin

    In the words of the great Jackie Gleason: “How sweet it is !”

    • Jim__L

      Let’s form a conga line — everyone now!

      No more Clinton cro-nies!
      No more Clinton cro-nies!
      No more Clinton cro-nies!
      No more Clinton cro-nies!

  • FluffyFooFoo

    Get on the Trump train WRM. Working for the Clintons must be like what it was like to work for Boss Tweed.

    • Jim__L

      I appreciate WRM’s independence of judgement that allowed him to criticize Obama, even when no other site would do so.

      I hope that that independence continues, through a Trump presidency.

      • FluffyFooFoo

        I do too and that is why I come to the American Interest everyday to see what he and others have to say. Although WRM couldn’t help himself from referring to people as “Trumpkins” and trying to argue near the end of the election that Hillary “we came, we saw, he died” Clinton understands the world better than Obama or Trump.

        • Jim__L

          Well, Hillary’s inclinations seem (seemed? Are the Clintons now effectively past tense? God grant it be so!) to be modeled on the elite foreign policy establishment — moreso than Obama, and certainly moreso than Trump.

          I’m not sure how much good it’s done anyone — particularly anyone in Libya, to take the most famous example — but Hillary’s overall Weltanschauung is aligned with that of WRM’s caste, even if her talents are decidedly lacking.

          Trump is a wild card, a gut-feel improviser, with a potential to be a bigger cowboy than GWB. No wonder people who make a living watching all this and being aware of it in detail, can’t connect with someone whose views are simply the distillation of the wisdom of the Jacksonian crowds.

          Maybe that’s the secret. Trump’s point of view is extremely indirect — it is informed more by the judgement of Americans who may or may not know more than he does. For specific implementations, this is probably not the path to success. But for formulating the US’s overall position, it may be a precisely faithful manifestation of what Americans will support — and that’s an important thing to know. It’s what “being in touch with the electorate” is all about.

          That’s important. Critically so, for formulating durable policy.

          • FluffyFooFoo

            I agree with a lot of what you say here. Well said.

            I’ll add that I think that the foreign policy establishment is chock full of yes men and women, and largely led by progressive idealists who tell themselves and others that they’re realists when in fact they’re not. Trump recognizes their con, I think. We’ll see. I personally don’t see him having the potential of being a cowboy like George W. Bush. He’ll do the right thing and do it big, if it is required (like how Andrew Jackson threatened to invade South Carolina during the nullification crisis). Will he get a lot of details wrong thanks to his own ignorance? Probably, but I also think he’s going to get the world to respect the United States as they should and like the American people deserve.

          • f1b0nacc1

            As always, an intelligent and reasonable assessment….
            Let me point out though that WRM and his caste (a wonderful phrasing!) are somewhat self-serving in their analysis. After all, they define the problems as so difficult and complex that only they can truly understand them, which by a staggering (and surely unintended) coincidence means that they must be left in charge and unaccountable. Other than credentials, just what reason do they offer for this?

          • Jim__L

            It’s tough to implement a strategy if you don’t know the territory. The problem is, they’ve been implementing the wrong strategy.

            I think that if Mead’s caste wants to remain not only relevant but be actively constructive in a Trump administration, they need to step back and act as local guides would act, not as big-picture leaders themselves.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Yes, knowledge of the terrain is important before implementing a strategy, and nobody is seriously advocating ignorance as a positive virtue. The academy can play a vital role as advisors, guides, sources of information and even wisdom.
            The problem with the academy is that they have never been satisfied with being guides and advisors….they long to be masters. WRM’s comments reek with ill-disguised loathing that the peasants have rejected his caste’s wisdom, and are actually thinking of making their own (horrors!) choices. This is not Plato’s republic, nor should it be…the Founders understood this altogether too well, yet another example of their prescience….

  • Boritz

    “He [Trump] now needs to reassure global markets that the core focus of his economic policy will be to restore healthy growth in the United States.”

    That would be a major upset to the status quo of the Obama recovery which Hillary would preserve and which would have reassured the market. The market likes business as usual.

  • theGOONIES

    Hillary is on a plane heading to dubai. She out a here . Her pedo campaign manager sends her crowd of idiots home.

    I will drink my fill of tears tomorrow

  • ljgude

    “WRM 11:46: The oldest lesson in American politics: drive the Jacksonians out of your party and you drive your party into the wilderness.”

    By family and education I am a New Yorker and Jeffersonian but I grew up among the dirt poor Jacksonians of back woods New Hampshire. Defund a war that cost 58,000 American lives and maybe it was a mistake. Throw away all the lives that were lost taking Baghdad and Basra, Tikrit and Fallujah Tal Afar and Mosul and then leave Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods holding off the jihadis for 13 hours and you will discover exactly what difference it makes…….now.

  • MikePM

    Folks, we just witnessed perhaps the biggest middle finger ever delivered to the power structure in the history of western democracy.

    The weeks and months ahead are going to be interesting indeed.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Yes, we must congratulate right side voters and their candidates on being the dogs which chased the tire on the moving car. They caught it and may now discover that not only do tires not taste good to dogs, but that dogs have no idea what to do with tires other than maybe pee on them.

      Red America suddenly inherited every problem of every sort. Regardless of rhetoric about causes for this or that, the GOP now owns responsibility for them all going forward.

      • MikePM

        You’re right. Being the president is a serious responsibility, and a LOT harder than doing a reality show. I hope Trump realizes the seriousness of what he has gotten himself into now.

        All I know is that we need real change, because the status quo of what we’ve been doing these last 16 years isn’t working, except for those lucky enough to be at or near the top of the pyramid.

        • FriendlyGoat

          We wouldn’t be nuts for thinking that voters have asked for more of what was done in the first half of the last sixteen years than what occurred in the second half, would we?

    • Jim__L

      I think that it’s particularly telling, that Hillary Clinton won Washington DC by a 90% margin (260,223 to 11,553) but lost both the popular vote, and the Electoral College.

      • f1b0nacc1

        In fairness, I think it is likely (if it hasn’t already happened, to be honest, I have been too busy to look at the numbers this morning) that she already has passed Trump on the popular vote. Given the gigantic margins she was going to get in CA, NY, and IL, it is almost impossible to imagine that it would be otherwise….

        • Jim__L

          Hm, looks like you might be right — 47.7 to 47.5. Although I have to say, a lot of conservative Californians stay away from the polls because they don’t believe their vote counts anyway — and they’re right.

          It simply baffles me why the Democrats aren’t more into State’s Rights. I mean, with their chokehold on so many coastal states, why aren’t they insisting that California (say) can simply ignore the Federal Government, as a matter of principle?

          Maybe they’re trying to have their cake and eat it too… look at the CA marijuana initiative. Lefties get to have what they want in California (against the Fed), yet still impose their views on other subjects on more traditional states (through the Fed).

          That’s not going to fly, and it shouldn’t. Either California and Alabama each gets to go its own way, or California has to fall in line too. That would be supportable by any measure of justice and logic.

          • f1b0nacc1

            You misunderstand the Liberal mind….for all of their protestations of tolerance, they are completely intolerant, they reject diversity of anything but the most superficial sort. Federalism is anathema to them because it permits alternatives to exist…such a thing cannot be permitted!

  • Jim__L

    WRM, please post this passage from the above text, as its own article. The TL:DR effect might leave it without the attention it deserves.

    “Donald Trump, not always eloquently or effectively, also spoke for
    important truths. American elites have forgotten that this country
    wasn’t made for the products of fancy families and fancy schools. This
    is always a place which has honored regular people and depended on their
    moral and political wisdom. This isn’t a country in which the elite is
    supposed to uplift and retrain the ignorant and bigoted common people;
    too many of those privileged with fine educations and blue chip
    credentials and connections have come to arrogate the moral leadership
    of the country to themselves. Some of the ideals such people support are
    valuable ones, but the elitist contempt for the moral insight and
    personal dignity of the average American is much more corrosive than
    many of our nearsighted and insular elites understand. Trump’s appeal
    comes in large part from his insistence, in the teeth of the contempt of
    the fashionable and the ‘enlightened’ of the central importance of the
    American nation in the political value system of our country. The
    American people are not a random collection of strangers bound together
    only by a common interest in making money; we are not a bloodless and
    bodiless collection of philosophers held together by a set of abstract
    ideas. We are a people: a living, historical and cultural community that
    has deep roots in the past. American citizens owe a special care to one
    another which is different from the duties that we have to all
    humanity, and we have, or we ought to have, a special duty to serve the
    interests of the American people in our dealings with foreign powers.
    The cultural bonds and the history that unite us contain their fair
    share of injustice, but we cannot build a common life on a shared
    contempt for and horror of the American past. Trump at his best stands
    for an attempt to reintroduce some vital elements into our common life,
    and the willingness of so many tens of millions of Americans to overlook
    their qualms about him testifies to the importance that these ideals
    have to so many of our fellow citizens.”

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