Analyze the Election or Go to the Circus

Analyze the Great DepressionSorry for being away for a whole day. Not very professional of me. I was down visiting my sister. But at the same time, I was working a lot because work is crazy — not that there is really anything unusual about that. I do, however, have a lot on my mind when it comes to Frankly Curious. In particular, I want to write some things about politics. But I want to stay on the subject of practical politics and theory. I am not interested in political news. I don’t need to analyze why we elected a demagogue.

Every time I hear some bit of news about our new president, it makes me ill. I have very much the same feeling that I had when George W Bush won re-election in 2004. I just wanted the next year to come so that we could start the process and move along. Of course, in that case, it was just a matter of four years. I suspect that this nightmare is going to be eight years. I’m not sure that you all know the way I expect things to go. So let me run it past it.

The Bleak Future

I won’t blame anyone for thinking that I’m full of it. Flip on Dancing With the Stars. At least it is reasonably fair.

The first two years will probably be pretty bad. Trump will get a big tax break for the rich that will be bad for the economy. Poor people will have less money to spend. Even with the economy still struggling, we will probably see a recession over the next two years. But it, like all things, will end. And things will be doing fairly well by 2020. And he will be re-elected. Twenty years from now, he will have the same standing as Ronald Reagan now has in the Republican Party.

Those who think that this next four years will be so bad that everyone will understand and turn toward the Democratic Party are fooling themselves. The truth is that there isn’t any rock bottom — for the Republican Party or for the nation. There’s nothing to analyze because the truth is crystal clear. For people of my generation, things getting steadily worse has come to be normal. So people are not going to rise up and demand change.

Irrational Anger Leads to Demagogues

This film was released 40 years ago this month:

Not a damned thing has changed. Of course, listen to what Howard Beale is saying. He’s mad as hell, but he’s not even sure what he’s mad as hell about. Things just aren’t quite “right.” And the truth is that this is what has brought us the new president. The sense that something is wrong without having any concrete ideas about it is what makes demagogues possible.

What America Wants

There’s been a lot of reporting on the fact that this election was all about email servers and grabbing women by the crotch. But really: is that the fault of the media? Isn’t it the case that we, the American people, don’t want to analyze. Hillary Clinton put together all kinds of serious policy papers on how to address problems that we face. But no one was interested in that.

Even if Hillary Clinton had won the election, it wouldn’t have been because she was qualified. It would have been because people liked her. It would have been because people found her opponent abhorrent. We don’t elect presidents on the basis of policy. The rich get the policy that they want. And the poor know that regardless of the policy, they will get screwed. Everybody knows that things will continue on as they have been. So you might as well sit back and enjoy the circus.

Let’s Try to Think — To Analyze

I’m going to do my best to make people see that policy does make a difference. But I won’t blame anyone for thinking that I’m full of it. Flip on Dancing With the Stars. At least it is reasonably fair.


I will have something to say Leonard Cohen death later. The one good thing about it is that he died before the election results were in.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

17 thoughts on “Analyze the Election or Go to the Circus

  1. Dancing With the Stars?

    Yuck. I haven’t watched cable tv in years. It is all horrible.

    I would rather contemplate my navel.

    Or maybe read a really good book.

    Or take a nap.

    Or excersize (which I do at least once a month btw).

  2. This election is about a lot of different things but one of the big ones is how much women hate other women. Most of the women I know who didn’t vote for Clinton absolutely hate her. Not for any specific reason, just that they do.

    Men should be happy about that-if we didn’t hate each other like we do, women would be running the place.

    • In my experience, about 40 percent of women hate women generally, and about 60 percent of men hate women generally. I think the polling on Trump showed that to be about right.

      I think about 50 percent of women hate men generally, but there is a big change in men of whom only about 20% hate men generally.

  3. Trump is easy to goad and manipulate. Couldn’t Democrats carry him economically for the first two years. Give him energy exploration and infrastructure stimulus and then sabotage him in 2019 by forcing a debt ceiling default?

    • I don’t think the Republicans would allow Trump to spend money on infrastructure. The problem is that the Republican elites have now been largely been taken over by the crazy base. As for the debt ceiling, I think that Democrats still place country above party. I know it’s amazing to think about, given that a majority of Republicans don’t. But it seems to be the case.

      • At this point – I just am concerned that our first amendment rights will be fully respected. Will the press have to be worried about toning things down? Are the laws and traditions with respect to free speech going to be fully respected?

        We will have to wait and see I guess.

        PS sorry I guess I am the one concerned today. Not you :-)

        • Our entire system of government is based on norms. Trump is just the latest in the Republican norm-crushing machine. It’s going to be bad. And I have no confidence that the American voter will notice. If the economy is doing okay in 2020, Trump will be re-elected. And I expect the Democrats will continue on with their failed neoliberal “let’s meet ’em halfway” approach. I encourage anyone with money to invest in banana plantations.

          • From Steve Goodman’s “Banana Republics”:

            Once you learn the native customs
            And a word of Spanish or two
            Then you know they can’t trust them
            Because they know they can’t trust you

            Down in the banana republics
            It is not always as warm as it seems
            When none of the natives are buying
            Any secondhand American dreams

            Expatriated Americans
            Are feeling so all alone
            Telling themselves the same lies
            That they told themselves at home …

            Not your point, of course. But there’s a little space in my heart that says “in case of emergency, break glass.” And behind that glass is just a Steve Goodman CD and some MST3K videotapes.

            Glass officially broken! Good morning, America, how are ya?

    • Wishful thinking -sorry.

      Trump has announced today he will overturn Roe vs Wade.

      We are going to be living in a very very intolerant and unpleasant time for the next two years at least I fear.

      A Republican Congress and Trump. Are there any real checks and balances?

      I hope we do not descend to the level of a banana republic on rights and democracy.

      I am frightened though I refuse to give into pessimism and fear. My guess is

      that this administration is going to be so arrogant and stupid that they will overreach. I look forward to the congressional elections coming up.

      In politics 2 years is an eternity. In other words-be realistic but stay hopeful in the long run…

      • Trump can’t overturn a single SCOTUS ruling until one of the four liberal justices or swing vote Kennedy are gone. Remember, a Trump nominee replaces Scalia. There’s a good chance we pick up the Senate in 2018. Then we’re out of the SCOTUS danger zone. Just gotta pray our justices eat healthy until then. No skiing or parachute jumping, Kagan!

        You’re absolutely right about overreach. These goons will be like Nixon’s!

    • I read the article that he wrote that went around to it. I try not to think about it because I’m terrified. I’m not so worried about what Klein is talking about. I’m worried about what certainly will happen: the Ryan budget and so on. It’s going to be bad. And Americans will rise up from their televisions to go to get some food from the kitchen during a commercial. And that will be it.

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