Cross Post: Roger goes to Washington

An old joke in New York newspaper circles imagined Armageddon as reported by the city’s rival rags. The pre-Murdoch New York Post, then owned by the genteel leftist Dorothy Schiff, pitched to the interests and sympathies of its core readership: “End of World: Jews and Negroes Suffer Most”. What brings this to mind is the headline that runs across the top of this morning’s ink-and-paper Times:

Democrats, Students and Foreign Allies
Face the Reality of a Trump Presidency

Can’t you just savour the dilemma facing the Times men, women and persons who drafted those few words? So many victims set for the gibbet, so little space on one front page to list them all. What of all the other groups allegedly destined to be ground beneath the Trump jackboot? What of environmentalists and homosexuals, Muslims, Mexicans and sundry other swarthy sorts, unionists, bureaucrats, women, the elderly, universities, endangered species, entire cities, the US legal system and perhaps, as any Times editor worth his organic, non-iodised sea-salt would have put it had space permitted, the very fate of the planet itself?

The sense of shock, of appalled and near-bilious dismay that such a man could have beaten Saint Hillary is everywhere as I write, a scant twenty-four hours after the votes were tallied. On yesterday’s bus to New York two of my fellow passengers were very glum girls indeed. They were students most likely, sporting backpacks, Hillary buttons and matching pairs of red and puffy eyes. As we shuffled aboard, the taller laid her head on her friend’s shoulder and heaved a few more tears, the perfect picture of heartbroken misery.

It was lovely to watch.

And it only got better as the shock and horror of democracy’s result on November 8 inflicted its dreadful torments on Generation Snowflake, whose serried brat-allions, summoned by social media, turned out to march down Fifth Avenue that night. I heard about the protest over dinner with my son, a dual-citizen who lives in New York and whose phone was running hot with Facebook messages from contacts variously de-friending him or simply heaping abuse on his tousled head.

“I’ve just been called a fascist again,” he said with a rueful smile after a message from his gender-fluid cousin interrupted the poori and chicken-liver appetiser. His crime against leftist sensibilities? He had observed via Facebook that there might well have been another Democrat destined for the White House if Team Hillary had not rigged the primary system in order to render Bernie Sanders a mere annoyance, rather than a bona fide contender. He had a point. The landscapes of the fulcrum states that went with Trump or swung to him—Michigan, Wisconsin, all of the South—are punctuated by empty factories, silent mills, grim prospects. An old-fashioned, soak-the-rich class warrior might, just might, have won those votes. As it was, those citizens’ blue-collar lot was to be worse than ignored, it was to be loudly scorned. This was the wasteland of the “deplorables”, as Mrs Clinton so ill-advisedly described them.

Take West Virginia, for example, which Mrs Clinton won easily in 2008 when contesting the primaries against Barack Obama. This year, back in May, she told a town hall meeting in Ohio, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Her hand-picked audience, balanced as any assembly Tony Jones and the Q&A crowd-stackers might summon to provide that show’s on-cue bleating, cheered lustily and the candidate basked in their adoring approval. Back in the mountains of West Virginia, where Stonewall Jackson kept the Union at bay and coal has been the lifeblood for generations, that was enough to doom her prospects. Sure, as an afterthought she went on to promise new jobs building wind turbines and the like, but she might more convincingly have argued that her husband is a moral and upright man.

Federal programs have come and gone, with billions of dollars poured into alleviating backwoods poverty, yet the communities remain poor. A working coalmine is a bird in hand. The vague promise of replacing it with “green tech jobs” very much a case of flipping the bird, as Americans call the one-finger salute, at those whose votes she needed.

My son’s phone kept beeping messages of scorn, including self-shot video footage of his cousin screaming “Sieg heil” outside the eponymous building that served as Trump’s campaign headquarters and nerve centre. This was too good to miss, so we polished off the Kingfisher lager and made haste from the Upper West Side to Fifth Avenue. Later, when I checked the Australian papers on the internet, I would be informed by aghast columnist Madonna King that the crowd was composed of vile racists and rednecks chanting—and I kid you not—“We hate Muslims, we hate Blacks, we want our great country back”. She had been gulled by a hoax picked up from a parodic website and re-broadcast without the blessing of a moment’s reflection to consider the account’s veracity. That’s the thing about roping a dope, as any conman will tell you: you can only fool those who want to believe. Ms King’s hard-wired reaction to the Trump victory was a case of confirmation bias. She believed what she wanted to believe because, well, the way she feels carries far more weight than the few grams of logical, rational, analytic capacity at her disposal.

Nor was the former Brisbane ABC radio host and vendor of subjective appraisals alone in crediting that a vast posse of Klansmen would assemble in the middle of Manhattan. Other keyboard ticklers amplified the same false story, thereby honouring their preconceptions about America and Americans. If you think that way, if you prefer to frame the US in the rhetoric of an Al Sharpton or a Black Lives Matter agitator, then a mass eruption of spontaneous racial hatred is the most natural expectation in the world. Perhaps their mothers were scared and scarred by too many viewings of In the Heat of the Night.

Anyone with even a passing grasp of New York City’s political ecology would have known the purported redneck rally had to be a furphy. On election day, Manhattan voters favoured Mrs Clinton by a margin of better than 90 per cent, with the city’s four other boroughs not far behind. You might have found someone dressed as a Klansman a few days earlier at Manhattan’s famous Halloween parade through Greenwich Village; then again, it would likely have been nothing more sinister than a reveller draped in a bed-sheet and pretending to be a ghost. In New York, whose current mayor is an avowed leftist and former activist on behalf of Nicaragua’s unlamented Sandinista regime, public fun comes only in strains of the politically correct.

Yet somehow those Australians who are paid to report or interpret events on the other side of the Pacific appeared to know little of the United States and understand less. Fairfax Media’s Paul McGeough, for example, chronicled the primaries with frequent references to Donald Trump’s imminent demise. The day before the election he even succumbed to a Dewey-beats-Truman moment in assuring Sydney Morning Herald and Age readers that “America’s nightmare” was about to end, as Trump was set and certain for a thumping. Not to boast, but at Quadrant Online, which I edit, I had that same day urged readers to put their money on Trump at the handsome odds then available. It’s not that I’m clairvoyant, just that, and here modesty must be set aside, I had actually done the reporting, gone out and taken a close look at the country where I spent twenty-six years of my working life.

Eight days earlier I had touched down in Florida, picked up a rental car and begun a serpentine journey north towards Washington, stopping off along the way at the homes of old friends and pre-divorce in-laws. Over in Tampa, my one-time brother-in-law, a cable-television installer who runs his own small business, was all for Trump. Racism had nothing to do with his preference. “It’s the goddamn IRS,” he said, “they’re auditing me again. Someone needs to get the tax man off our backs.”

Further north, on the Florida–Georgia border, the proprietor of a hole-in-the-wall Hispanic lunch counter and provender of delicious Cuban sandwiches (ham, pork, cheese and crunchy dill pickles on a press-toasted roll) was coaxed to candour by my foreign accent. Hillary was chueco—bent and crooked—and he wouldn’t be voting for her, despite what the media said would be a near-unanimous manifestation of Spanish-speaking support for the Democrat in the Sunshine State.

That was near Jacksonville, where one of McGeough’s no-more-astute colleagues reported that a heckler had been ejected from a Hillary rally for screaming “Bill’s a racist!” Australian reporters in the US must be deaf as well as biased, apparently; the actual cry was “Bill’s a rapist!” and it was heard often. If you wonder why Trump’s vulgarian boast of grabbing female crotches and getting away with it failed to tip the scales against him, the fact that his opponent has been an apologist for a lifelong sexual predator might just have something to do with it.

The thing, though, that most of all telegraphed the possibility of an election-night upset was the signs. It is the American custom in the political season to plant front-lawn placards proclaiming the resident’s support for one candidate or another. On the run from Fort Lauderdale across to Tampa—the celebrated Alligator Alley, which the pundits said was vital to Mrs Clinton’s prospects and which they believed would heavily favour her—there was but one Hillary sign to be seen, just one, while scores proclaimed allegiance to Trump. It was also on that leg of the trip that another manifestation of support for Trump became obvious. Finger-scrawled in the dust on the rear doors of many big trucks, one word: TRUMP. Whoever the pollsters were quizzing, they weren’t to be found in the nation’s truck stops.

How could the press corps have missed such an obvious imbalance in signage, such a disparity? Well here’s a clue, drawn from something I witnessed first-hand during Mrs Clinton’s run for the Senate in 2000. At the time I owned a weekend cabin in upstate New York, and when the local radio station announced that Mrs Clinton would be making a campaign stop nearby, I drove across, not as a member of the working press but as a curious rubbernecker. I was early and thereby privileged to watch her advance party set up a trestle table, load it with jugs of “homemade” lemonade and then station two photogenic moppets behind a sign proclaiming “Cool drinks 50 cents”. Not long after, the candidate’s motorcade rolled down the road and stopped at the table, where the candidate sampled the kiddies’ wares and posed for photographs. The trestle and its children were packed away almost before the sound of the accompanying press bus had faded to the inaudible. Those reporters were being taken for a ride, literally and figuratively. What was worse, they seemed to enjoy the charade.

And so my journey north continued, weaving in and around the I-95 main highway up the east coast. Here, too, the traffic gave a clue to the “unexpected” result of November 8: plenty of Trump bumper stickers and, again, but a single mobile endorsement of his rival—that one was plastered on a Prius also emblazoned with a “No Nukes” label and an adhesive plea to keep the US safe from fracking. When I pulled alongside the male driver, grey and old enough to know better, he had a ponytail.

That night, checking in late at a North Carolina motel, I asked the desk clerk who would win the White House. She was white, thirty-ish, a single mum and, according to the mainstream media narrative, an almost-certain Hillary supporter. She paused for a moment—America is a respectful society, a place where people generally go out of their way to avoid giving offence—then said, “Well, it won’t be her.” I asked why and the reply was twofold—Hillary had told too many lies; and “that husband of hers”. Had one of Mrs Clinton’s pollsters been within earshot, the campaign’s panicked efforts to make sure Trump did not take the state would have been even more frantic. The polls said it would be a close-run thing. It wasn’t, as events turned out. Trump triumphed there as well.

And so to Washington, with some 2000 miles on the rental car’s odometer, much of it on minor state highways and back roads. A friend with whom I had worked on a US news magazine told me I was crazy to think Trump had a chance. That night, watching CNN and the other cable news stations, the accepted wisdom was amplified, not to mention enhanced, by a rather selective use of fact, quote and sound bite. Trump, CNN reported, had been endorsed by the “leading Ku Klux Klan newspaper”. Leading indeed! The Klan is a spent force in America, bankrupted by lawsuits and left behind by a population that long ago moved on. In Louisiana, where lynched blacks were the “strange fruit” of Billie Holiday’s famous song, there is a dark-skinned governor of Indian descent, Bobby Jindal, who would not have been allowed to sit at a Woolworth lunch counter in the bad old days.

On election night I strode with thirsty purpose from my room to Harry’s Bar, off the lobby. It was packed and all the television screens were covering the results as they were tallied and states were declared blue or red. At first, early in the evening, the young woman on the stool beside me was the picture of effervescent confidence. The early voting numbers from Florida—tallied previously in camera and posted the moment the polls closed—put Mrs Clinton ahead, then further so. But then my neighbour’s smile faded. Those early returns had come from the southern tip of Florida, a Democrat stronghold where early voting had been particularly strong, but they were being gradually overtaken as more northern precincts reported their numbers. “Trump has Florida,” I opined, noting that the Panhandle—the narrow strip that runs along the northern edge of the Gulf of Mexico—would be a Trump stronghold. It is known as the Redneck Riviera, so no surprise there.

Towards the end of the evening, as the map was being painted mostly red, my stoolmate was so upset she screamed, “Don’t talk to me any more!” Perhaps suspecting that I had made like a recent president and let an ambling hand come to rest on her knee, the barman suggested it would be best if I left the premises. I did. An armed society is a polite society, and I had no wish to test the forbearance of fellow patrons equipped with misplaced chivalry and something more dangerous than a high-decibel shriek. As my smile at Hillary’s looming defeat was wider than Trump’s growing lead, the barman probably did me a favour by banishing me from such glum and angry company.

In the wee hours of the next morning, the woman confidently predicted by multitudes as the breaker of the ultimate glass ceiling found herself so thoroughly defeated, not to mention distraught, she could not bring herself to front the cameras and deliver the formal and traditional acknowledgment that her hopes had gone down for the count—a count of 228 Electoral College votes to 290, to be precise. Television’s talking heads were gasping, the pollsters blabbering.

The quest for an explanation other than the most obvious—Mrs Clinton is both tainted goods and a dreadful campaigner—took off in all the predictable directions. She had been rejected because she was a woman or—the narrative that emerged more dominant—she had been laid low by the votes of racist rednecks. This was a further manifestation of what might be called Madonna King Syndrome. Something happens, something unpleasant and unexpected, something that is beyond the ken of those who are so very certain of the way things should be, and their only explanation is that virtue, the sort of virtue Ms King no doubt believes herself to represent, must have been defeated by the base instincts and dumb bigotry of the lesser and loathsome. If you want to talk about blind prejudice at its most myopic, look to the likes of Ms King.

Still, she and so many others had an excuse for believing in the inevitability of Hillary’s triumph, as the vast bulk the mainstream media had been in the tank for the Democratic contender throughout the campaign. CNN fired Donna Brazile, Al Gore’s one-time campaign manager, for leaking questions that were to be asked at town hall meetings. Why supposedly impromptu, meet-the-folks gatherings were only presenting questions written in advance and approved by organisers is a story well worth pursuing, but so far nobody has bothered. Likewise, according to Wikileaks, other reporters had been e-mailing their stories to Team Hillary for vetting and amendment before sending them on to press or computer screen.

In another example of the craven, bended-knee attitude of the US Fourth Estate, reporters solicited questions from Team Hillary that might embarrass Trump and his surrogates. Not that this is solely an American vice, as anyone would be aware who saw the Seven network’s Mark Riley ask Julia Gillard at the National Press Club how the media might be of greater assistance. It seems that to be the very model of a mainstream media journalist one needs a certain narrow, fixed and port-canted worldview. Blame it on groupthink or the blinkered education doled out in university journalism schools. Or just blame it on sheer laziness. It requires some effort to leave the office or climb off the campaign bus and put “dirt on your shoes”, as the editors of old used to say. Whatever the factors, as newspapers die, this campaign and its coverage are a good reason not to shed too many tears for a business that has thrown away that single asset even more valuable than advertising revenue: its credibility.

The walk from West 72nd Street to the anti-Trump protest took about thirty minutes, but there was no need to hurry, as the marching throng had only just begun to tap the deep wells of its bitter fury. The first thing, the most striking, was the cookie-cutter sameness of those who had turned out to denounce the result of an entirely democratic election. With few exceptions, the oldest faces—other than my own—would not have been much more than thirty, with most demonstrators of college age. The overwhelming skin pigment was whiter than any Westchester country club.

The truculence being paraded down Fifth Avenue seemed the product of political disappointment and a consequence of errant parenting. This was Generation Brat in full voice and the self-absorption was deafening. The anticipated pleasure of victory on election night had been denied them, so the response was a tantrum. The election was invalid, yelled a bearded young fellow from beneath his fashionable man-bun, never bothering to exclaim why the orderly and honest exercise of a nation’s franchise needed to be overturned. At another corner, an obese young woman was being hugged in her tearful misery by a coterie of friends, all equally upset. There was the chanting of predictable couplets—“Hey, ho, / Trump’s gotta go” and “Dump Trump / Dump Trump”—and vows and pledges to oppose and frustrate “the racist Trump agenda” at every turn. Had these children never before been denied that for which they wished? Evidently not, and now they were throwing a tantrum worthy of toddlers. And not just in New York: across America similar rallies were congealing. Need it be said that the petulance was reported with great sympathy in the Australian media?

This is where the next few years will be very interesting indeed. When George W. Bush was elected in that 2000 squeaker, ultimately decided by the US Supreme Court, the opposition was rude, loud, obscene, very personal and constant. He was made a figure of ridicule and fun, as prescribed by Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, the handbook of the agitated Left. Much the same treatment was meted out to Tony Abbott, who could not even wink at the idea of taking a talkback call from a dirty-talking phone-sex granny without being immediately vilified as a misogynist. Bush and Abbott suffered such treatment in stoic silence as their poll numbers declined. Donald Trump, a man cut from very different cloth, would seem unlikely to do likewise.

Roger Franklin is the Editor of Quadrant Online. This article was published in the December issue of Quadrant. Subscribe here.

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55 Responses to Cross Post: Roger goes to Washington

  1. cui bono

    Taking on the meeja. TA should have. Dutton does.

  2. Smufti

    the cookie-cutter sameness of those who had turned out to denounce the result of an entirely democratic election.

    Surely you jest.
    Whatever happened recently in the USA can be called lots of different things, but to call it “democracy” is a stretch.
    Turnout was 58.8%.
    Of those who voted, 48 percent of the national vote went to Clinton compared to Trump’s 46.7 percent.
    Looking at it another way, 41.2% had no say at all, and of those who did, more voted for the unsuccessful candidate than the winner.
    Democracy?

  3. Tom

    Franklin is just doing what a journalist is supposed to do as his job of work. The fact that 80% of the US and Australian mainstream media are misreporting the US election and, in some cases, actually making shit up about it, as Franklin reports, is the astounding story of our age. You can’t even rely on journalists to do their jobs and tell you what actually happened because they’ve become disciples of an elitist ruling class determined to deny democracy and self-determination to the proletariat who they consider too stupid to make decisions for themselves. It’s grotesque that those who undertook to defend the public interest are now desperate to undermine it.

    The West’s Enlightenment, 300 years down the track, has actually produced a generation of uneducated buffoons incapable of learning who are determined to destroy it.

  4. Pete of Perth

    41.8% couldn’t be bothered to pull their finger out and vote smuf.

  5. woolfe

    So what? And why would you vote Smurf?

  6. OldOzzie

    If only the Liberal/National Party had someone that understood the following, rather than the Greenie Lord Waffles of Wenworth and Lady Lucy Turdbull

    From Wall Street Journal

    Trump’s Charm of Not Being Obama
    The new White House won’t fail to embrace the jobs that fracking and pipelines can bring.


    Mr. Obama came in saying fossil fuels were running out and prices were destined to rise, and instead got the fracking revolution, whose related employment boost was arguably a factor in his re-election victories in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Yet he couldn’t stop looking this gift horse in the mouth.

    Unshrewdly, in the name of satisfying his climate-change constituents, he needlessly launched a regulatory war against coal as cheap natural gas was already doing the job for him. Result: Democrats became the enemy in coal country.

    He pandered to his green friends on the Keystone XL pipeline. Result: Mr. Trump is inheriting a rebound in natural gas fracking and an associated infrastructure boom that is just now heating up again in time for an incoming administration to get credit.

    Natural gas fracking (far more than Trumpian trade policy or browbeating of companies like Carrier) is the force reawakening manufacturing opportunity in the Rust Belt, timed perfectly for Mr. Trump’s arrival.

    Holding back development was not the depressed gas price—that’s what attracts manufacturers—but the lack of infrastructure, specifically pipelines, to get the gas to prospective plant sites. Blame Mr. Obama and his Keystone theatrics.

    A Brazilian company, Braskem, just opted to build a $500 million plastics plant in Texas, not Philadelphia—home to 85% Obama voters—for one reason only: lack of pipeline infrastructure.

    Mr. Obama, note, pays this price for climate gestures that were purely symbolic, having no impact on climate, and especially purblind given gas’s role in reducing U.S. CO2 emissions.

    His gestures were destined not to survive his presidency in any case. All he did was shoot himself, his party and American workers in the foot.

    Mr. Obama paid lip service to tax reform, the giant dividend from which will now be collected, yes, by Mr. Trump.

    His Iran deal was supposed to reveal Mr. Obama as a bold, creative, unblinkered foreign-policy innovator. For better or worse, Mr. Trump is already on a path to revise America’s relations with the world in far more daring fashion.

    One dividend may already be coming in, judging by Saudi Arabia’s surprise decision this week to wave the white flag in its price war against fracking. America is no longer a country that benefits from low oil prices. All the indicators are turning up: rig count, “frac sand” prices, the share prices of domestic energy pioneers like Chesapeake and Oneok.

    A Rust Belt renaissance that might have recaptured for Democrats the lost love of the American worker will become a halo for Team Trump instead. Shell is going ahead with a $6 billion petrochemical plant on the site of an old zinc smelter on the Ohio River in hard-hit Appalachia.

    The plant, known as Shell Appalachia, will generate 6,000 construction jobs for several years, plus 600 full-time plant jobs, plus thousands more jobs indirectly for companies that make plastics, steel pipe, sound proofing for gas compressors, pickup trucks, housing etc., etc.

    A Thai company is eyeing a second giant ethylene plant nearby in eastern Ohio. Guess who will get credit for lifting the fortunes of a region presidents have been promising to help since Kennedy?

    Mr. Obama was too blinded by his shibboleths, his own brand of political correctness, to let good things happen in a way that would let him take credit for them.

    He failed to lean in favor of things that were working—like fracking, like corporate America’s steady effort to encourage more consumer involvement in disciplining health-care costs, which ObamaCare might have borrowed from.

    Mr. Trump can still screw things up. His trade-war talk, his eagerness to meddle in plant-siting decisions, could be poisonous to a gas-fueled manufacturing boom conspicuously linked to the world.

    Fully 60% of the $170 billion in planned petrochemical investments tied to fracking now in the works are funded by overseas investors. These investors come because they think of America as a lawful, trustworthy place to do business.

    But Mr. Trump, our new dealmaker-in-chief, also has a pragmatic streak as big as Manhattan’s Trump Tower. He will make mistakes but here’s betting they won’t be Mr. Obama’s mistakes of smug obliviousness.

  7. OldOzzie

    Some comments from the Wall Street Journal Article above

    his true calling was to read news from a teleprompter – what a shame he frittered away 8 years only to be remembered as America’s worst president, ever”

    “Yeah and it took a lot of ineptitude or applied greatness to out do Jimmy Carter as the worst.”

    “Three words:

    Worst
    President
    Ever”

    Somehow Hope and Change morphed into Depression and Desperation for many Americans during Obama’s torturous reign
    Trump will be the Disrupter in Chief of this sorry tale, bringing a pragmatic optimism to the country that his whiny predecessor could never muster or understand.”

    “No more lectures. No more ISIL. No more condescending smugness coupled with terrible policies.

    smug obliviousness”…perfect….BHO please just stop talking

    So very happy he and his legacy will soon be just a bad memory.”

  8. Smufti

    So what? And why would you vote Smurf?

    I’d vote, given the opportunity, because in the last 50 years 562 Australians (521 in Vietnam and 41 in Afghanistan) were killed in wars instigated by those on power across the Pacific. If the Yanks can’t be bothered getting off their backsides to vote, than the unused opportunities should be made available to those of us in this country who care about the future of our children.
    Either that, or our elected representatives discover the courage to develop independent foreign policies, some thing that I’ve not sen in my 69 years.

  9. Oh come on

    Great piece, Areff! You can belt out quite an article when you’ve got your game face on.

    My olds were doing a Euro tour recently. In their meanderings, they bumped into two American couples on two separate occasions. Both claimed to be Democrats. Both said they were voting for Trump because Obamacare had made health insurance ridiculously more expensive for them, and they didn’t know when the exorbitant premium hikes would end. Single issue Trump voters, all four of them were.

    It’s a small sample size to be drawing conclusions from, but their testimony backs up a lot of what was reported in the non-hack) media about healthcare being a serious D’rat weakness. And as the margin of victory was so thin, surely Obamacare cost Hillary the election. I’m certain practically no one switched their vote from GOP to D’rat on the strength of Obamacare alone, but it seems likely a sizeable number would have flipped from D’rat to GOP due to the impact of the not-so-Affordable Care Act.

  10. Tracey

    Thank you, Mr. Franklin. I can’t remember the last time I so enjoyed reading an article. You’ve won me over and I will begin my subscription to Quadrant this week.

  11. Mr Bunny

    Was watching the US NBC election coverage. At one point, as thinks became dire for Clinton, they cross to a reporter at a Latino watch party in Florida. They were very sombre. The reporter referred to a lots of families there with “undocumented” family members – read: illegal immigrants. She spoke with one sad 16 year old girl from who was on her own because her parents had been deported to Colombia. She wanted to be with her parents and was afraid that if Trump was elected that would not happen. A female adult with her said she was caring a for a number of Latino children who were virtually orphans because their parents had been deported. A couple of obvious points arose:
    The parents had been deported under the Obama government; they were illegal immigrants; and the children could rejoin their parents at any time.
    Had this interview been shown prior to the election, Trump would have won by a greater margin.

  12. Harlequin Decline

    Excellent as always.

  13. Oh come on

    If the Yanks can’t be bothered getting off their backsides to vote, than the unused opportunities should be made available to those of us in this country who care about the future of our children.

    Self-entitled moron. You have as much of a moral claim to vote in a US election as an American has to vote in one of our sorry affairs.

    How many hundreds of thousands of Australians died in the UK’s wars? Using your boneheaded logic, we ought to be sending MPs to Westminster, too!

  14. Siltstone

    Very well said Roger Franklin.
    One wonders how many tens of thousands of “journalists” there are in the US of A and how many actually bothered to take a look on the ground like Quadrants’ antipodean visitor? And of those, how many know how to interpret what they see and hear?

  15. HRT

    Smufti, I reckon you are 17… etc former conscript and lifelong critic of all things American.

    Do I get a ciger?

  16. Somerville

    Blame it (the cultural marxist bias of the media) on ……….. the blinkered education doled out in university journalism schools.

    Any government that was serious about conservatism would de-fund university programs in journalism; and most other other university departments; They have degenerated into cultural marxist indoctrination centres.

  17. OneWorldGovernment

    Cuban sandwiches (ham, pork, cheese and crunchy dill pickles on a press-toasted roll)

    I thought this was universal.

  18. Far Right Heretic

    The parents had been deported under the Obama government; they were illegal immigrants; and the children could rejoin their parents at any time.

    The children should have been deported to. Birthright citizenship needs to be scrapped, it is a ridiculous fiction invented by a leftist Supreme Court deliberately misinterpreting the words of the US founding fathers. Children should be given the citizenship of their parents, not their birthplace.

  19. Mark A

    HRT
    #2226637, posted on December 4, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Smufti, I reckon you are 17… etc former conscript and lifelong critic of all things American.

    Do I get a ciger?

    You surely get one, at least from me. The minute I read his rant I thought ohoh that must be numbers

  20. Herodotus

    “Geez Roger can write.”

    It’d be a pleasure to read, even if one didn’t agree completely!

  21. A Lurker

    You surely get one, at least from me. The minute I read his rant I thought ohoh that must be numbers

    I thought the same yesterday – time after time the Cat keeps drawing him back .
    Rather pathetic behaviour really.

  22. Dweezy2176

    What a class piece of writing! Thoroughly impressed 10/10

  23. Anne

    That’s a great read. Thanks Roger.

    You hit every nail on the head.

    Shared widely.

  24. Ant

    He was made a figure of ridicule and fun, as prescribed by Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, the handbook of the agitated Left.

    And many a Trumpbot.

  25. Siltstone

    BorisG #2226679, 1:42 am
    Thanks for linking “Interesting analysis of the rise of Nationalism.”

  26. alexnoaholdmate

    Smufti is Numbers.

    Even down to the whining about how close Australia has been to America over the last seven decades.

    Pretty transparent.

  27. Looking at it another way, 41.2% had no say at all,

    No, they willingly declined to vote. I think we can safely conclude that Smufti is a stranger to truth.

  28. Robbo

    The weeping wailing Clinton lovers are still howling their grief here in Australia. I thought that life couldn’t get much happier but that squealing bunch of dumb bum cry babies have put a big smile on my face.
    I am not a huge fan of Trump but he gets my applause for beating that bloody awful liar and crook Hillary Clinton and her disgusting creepy husband. One thing is for sure and that is that no matter how bad Trump might turn out to be he will never be worse than Obama.

  29. Helen

    Made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck reading this, Roger. Like a Melbourne Cup winner coming home. Thank you.

  30. Smufti

    No, they willingly declined to vote. I think we can safely conclude that Smufti is a stranger to truth.

    To say that 41.2% willingly declined to vote is at least an unfounded assumption, and at most a gross misrepresentation of the reality.

    In this country we have a standardised efficient system, because voting is compulsory. Ballots are held on Saturday, so most can get to a booth without trouble. The ballot is designed to be accessible and straightforward and is the same process everywhere. Special arrangements are made for people compromised by distance and ill-health. Australian governments, with all their faults, historically genuinely attempt to make universal suffrage a practical reality.
    In the USA, the “system” is all over the place. If you work at two jobs (as many Americans do) it can be almost impossible to get time off to vote. Restrictions have been introduced which disenfranchise large segments of black and latino voters. Poor Americans often lack the capacity to actually get to the booth.
    Stateside, actually casting a vote, is, to say the least, haphazard. You might tick a box with a pencil. Or you might fill in a bubble sheet. You could push a button on a machine, which punches holes in a ballot. (Hanging chad anyone?)
    Our system is super easy, and that’s by design.
    The US system is, by comparison, messy and difficult. And it’s not “democracy” by any rational definition.

    And Dover Beach, as pointed out elsewhere, wouldn’t recognise the truth if it jumped up and bit him/her on the bum.

  31. Siltstone

    US 2016 November General Election Early Voting

    Total number of [early voting] ballots cast in all reporting jurisdictions: 47,015,596

    http://www.electproject.org/early_2016

    Can’t vote on the day? Vote early (just like Australia), if you care to do so.

  32. Helen

    Trump won because more people cared enough to get out of bed to vote for him than cared to get out of bed to vote for killary.
    If you take out the California effect and the New York effect, I wonder how the ‘total ‘ vote would have gone?

    Anyhow it doesn’t matter because the rules were made and agreed to waay before this election, they werent made up just before or during, to claim victory denied ‘because’ otherwise is typical leftie dummy spitting, Not Fair! Bwaaah.

    hahahaha

  33. Smufti

    Trump won because more people cared enough to get out of bed to vote for him than cared to get out of bed to vote for killary.

    Actually, more people voted for Clinton than Trump. She won the popular vote.
    Trump was elected by 27% of eligible voters.
    But don’t ever let the facts get in the way of your narrative.

  34. Ellen of Tasmania

    Good read. I think Quadrant should think about a weekly podcast. Explore some of the ideas in online or published articles, guest interviews, ‘where’s Roger’ (or other wanderers) skype-ins … you know the sort of thing.

  35. To say that 41.2% willingly declined to vote is at least an unfounded assumption, and at most a gross misrepresentation of the reality.

    In the USA, the “system” is all over the place. If you work at two jobs (as many Americans do) it can be almost impossible to get time off to vote. Restrictions have been introduced which disenfranchise large segments of black and latino voters. Poor Americans often lack the capacity to actually get to the booth.
    Stateside, actually casting a vote, is, to say the least, haphazard. You might tick a box with a pencil. Or you might fill in a bubble sheet. You could push a button on a machine, which punches holes in a ballot. (Hanging chad anyone?)
    Our system is super easy, and that’s by design.
    The US system is, by comparison, messy and difficult. And it’s not “democracy” by any rational definition.

    It’s neither an unfounded assumption or a gross misrepresentation. Voting is asier, probably too easy in the US. Many US states have early voting beginning up to 6-8 weeks before Nov 8 , or absentee voting where people could cast their vote up to 2-3 weeks after Nov. 8. Further, the ballot is easier to fill out than a Australian ballot because you don’t have to rank the candidates by preference, you simply mark the candidate you prefer. There are no restrictions at all seeking to disenfranchise citizens from voting, you nincompoop.

  36. notafan

    Our system is super easy, and that’s by design.

    No it isn’t and despite our system being compulsory a significant percentage don’t vote and quite a few donkey vote.

    You also ignore the tablecloth.

    But your reputation for hating American ‘septics’ preceeds you but do go one with your nonsense

    As for the different voting methods so what? Individual states voting methods are internally consistent and Americans not as stupid as you claim you ol racistbigot.

  37. Helen

    But don’t ever let the facts get in the way of your narrative.

    Hahahaha based on your facts Killary would be captain and she is not, it is TRUMP. Trump is God, and will be there for eight looong years and there is nothing you can do about it, except whine.

  38. Oh come on

    Surely you jest.
    Whatever happened recently in the USA can be called lots of different things, but to call it “democracy” is a stretch.
    Turnout was 58.8%.
    Of those who voted, 48 percent of the national vote went to Clinton compared to Trump’s 46.7 percent.
    Looking at it another way, 41.2% had no say at all, and of those who did, more voted for the unsuccessful candidate than the winner.
    Democracy?

    No. Federal Republic.

    Incidentally, not voting is exercising one’s democratic right. There are plenty of reasons why someone who’s politically engaged may choose not to vote.

    Also, I’m still wondering why you haven’t had a big old whinge about the vast majority of liberal democracies in which it is not compulsory to vote in elections.

  39. Smufti

    I couldn’t care less about “democracies” which don’t dictate our foreign policy.

  40. Crossie

    Bush and Abbott suffered such treatment in stoic silence as their poll numbers declined. Donald Trump, a man cut from very different cloth, would seem unlikely to do likewise.

    Being a gentleman in a polite world makes sense but when all but you disrespect the rules then you are a mug for playing fair.

  41. Crossie

    In the above post I meant unwritten social rules rather than legal requirements.

  42. Rob

    The profession of journalism has blown itself to pieces.
    What will take its place and will social media, with all of its dishonest, slanderous, and ugly propagandising, become some sort of default news source for those too lazy or otherwise incapable of seeking out truth and reality? Indeed, has that already happened?
    We desperately need a universally honest and credible media – a need unlikely to be met.

  43. Smufti

    Also, I’m still wondering why you haven’t had a big old whinge about the vast majority of liberal democracies in which it is not compulsory to vote in elections.

    Liberal democracies other than the USA that don’t have compulsory voting don’t determine our foreign policy.
    Any reading of the history since the Korean war makes it completely obvious that Australian foreign policy is determined in Washington, irrespective of party in power in the US or Australia. Many Australians in our military – some of them conscripts – have paid for this with their lives.
    For that reason, Australians should be given the vote in all US elections, given that almost half the Yanks can’t be bothered.
    And the USA is a plutocracy, not a democracy, and has been since the 2010 case Citizens United v. FEC.
    In this respect, the USA resembles the Russian Federation far more than it does other western democracies. With a POTUS whose election most closely resembles a prank, we are in for an interesting time.

  44. BorisG

    Actually, more people voted for Clinton than Trump. She won the popular vote.
    Trump was elected by 27% of eligible voters.
    But don’t ever let the facts get in the way of your narrative.

    It is amazing how some people love it live in a bubble. I am no fan of Trump, but he won according to the democratically agreed rules and that is what matters. It is indeed democracy in action, whether we like the result or not. But some people just love to be sore losers. And had the result been the opposite, I just see the right screaming ‘election rigged’, so this is not a feature of left or right, but of certain personalities.

    It is important to note that were the system based on the popular vote, the turnout in many states would have been a lot different and it is impossible to say what the result would be. The current popular vote tally is no guide to the result under a different system.

    Now, is the current US election system fair, or is one based on popular vote better? Hard to tell. Unlike the senate, where large and small states have the same weight, in presidential poll, the number of electors is proportional to the population. But the margin in each state does not matter. It also diminishes the value of individual votes in staunchly blue and red states, and gives disproportional influence to sing states.

  45. Cradock's Choice

    Smufti
    #2226412, posted on December 3, 2016 at 7:07 pm
    the cookie-cutter sameness of those who had turned out to denounce the result of an entirely democratic election.

    Surely you jest.
    Whatever happened recently in the USA can be called lots of different things, but to call it “democracy” is a stretch.
    Turnout was 58.8%.
    Of those who voted, 48 percent of the national vote went to Clinton compared to Trump’s 46.7 percent.
    Looking at it another way, 41.2% had no say at all, and of those who did, more voted for the unsuccessful candidate than the winner.
    Democracy?

    You appear to be completely ignorant of the US Constitution and the Federalist Papers.

    The USA is not and has never been a democracy.

    This is deliberate.

    As in it was deliberately set up not to be a democracy.

    it is a constitutional, revolutionary republic.

    It has been so since 1783.

    How did you miss this?

  46. OneWorldGovernment

    Smufti
    #2226949, posted on December 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm
    Trump was elected by 27% of eligible voters.

    So he won the majority electoral college.

  47. memoryvault

    The USA is not and has never been a democracy.

    People have a hard time with this, Cradock.
    The USA is not a democracy. It is a constitutional republic.
    Australia is not a democracy. It is a constitutional monarchy.
    The only attempt at a “democracy” in my lifetime was the early days of Libya under Gaddalfi.
    And look at how that turned out.

  48. Smufti

    The USA is not and has never been a democracy.

    Thanks for that.
    Perhaps you understand why many call out the abject hypocrisy of the American state.
    This is the country that boasted that it would bring “democracy” by military force to (in sequence), Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.
    And in the media of late – there’s Cuba.
    It’s great to see an occasional outbreak of unconscious honesty on this site.
    Rare – but heartwarming…….

  49. Delta A

    A riveting post, Roger. Well constructed and very well told.

    Whatever the factors, as newspapers die, this campaign and its coverage are a good reason not to shed too many tears for a business that has thrown away that single asset even more valuable than advertising revenue: its credibility.

    I will regret the death of newspapers, particularly because I remember professional journalism in the days prior to it being hijacked by leftist universities. It would be interesting to read more of your perception of the loss of credibility over the years. Perhaps another excellent post like thos one?

  50. The USA is not and has never been a democracy.

    Thanks for that.
    Perhaps you understand why many call out the abject hypocrisy of the American state.
    This is the country that boasted that it would bring “democracy” by military force to (in sequence),

    Smufti now engages in the fallacy of equivocation.

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