Saturday, November 12

Why Did You Vote for Trump?

Why did you vote for Trump?

Rationally, I think I know. Here's my rough, ordered list of why I think people voted for Trump:

1. They have tended to vote Republican anyway (including reasons like limited government and lower taxes)
2. They hated Hilary (lots of baggage)
3. They feel they've gotten a bad deal, especially in the last 8 years of Obama
4. They see Trump as fighting elitism
5. They're conventionally Pro Life

But how did you get over all of the awful things about him personally (including misogyny and racism)? Do you think Hillary is worse? How do you trust him with diplomacy and nuclear codes? Isn't he easy to manipulate?

I'd be interested to know, briefly. Feel free to also link longer-form posts or your own or from other people.

Please keep the discussion respectful of both sides and candidates.

I would prefer that people who voted against Trump or for Hillary (I draw a distinction) not comment on this post.

I want to understand better where my friends and family who voted for Trump are coming from.

Here are a few articles I've read to try to understand better:

Thursday, November 3

My Grandpa, the Cubs and Being a Fan

My maternal grandpa was a devoted Cubs fans for his whole life. He and Grandma were some of the earliest people I knew who had cable, and he watched most of the Cubs games on WGN. (He slept through a lot of the coverage.) They took us to at least two games at Wrigley. He never got to see much success.

I grew up a Cubs fan, but gave it up recently. It's a part of what I call My Bad Sports Life. In addition to the Cubs, I grew up a Vikings and Hawkeyes fan. Until yesterday, these teams had no major sports championships among them. (We also grew up Iowa wrestling fans, and there is a great history of championships there, but it's not the same.)

I realized a few years ago that being a sports fan was making me unhappy. Generally speaking, when my teams won, I felt nothing (beyond maybe relief). Usually those were games they were supposed to win. When they lost, especially games they should have won, I was disappointed. My negativity bias is just too strong. So I basically gave up being a fan. I followed the teams from a distance, but didn't pay close attention and stopped watching them.

And I have to say, I've been happier. I especially don't miss all the time I used to spend watching those games. (Don't worry: there is no posture of superiority here. I spend/waste time in other ways that also aren't particularly productive.)

The Cubs victory last night was great. I'm happy, especially for the true fans. But I didn't watch the game. I was sort of following the score and went to bed after the 9th inning. When I woke up and saw they had won, it seemed almost too good to be true.

I'm well aware that I have not earned this celebration the way true 'fanatics' have. It wasn't worth it to me to go through the lows, so this high is not as high.

That's ok. One of the teams I have rooted for won a championship. In a sense, My Bad Sports Life is over. But in a fuller sense, it ended when I gave up being a fan.

So I smile when I think about the Cubs. And I think about my grandpa.

I drank this glass of wine in his honor, too. :-)

Saturday, March 5

Thoughts about US politics, especially Trump

I see many of you on Facebook asking, especially, how people can support Trump. So I'm trying to look some at how smart, decent conservative friends of mine look at Trump. Below are some thoughts and some links I came across.

One big issue is elitism. Trump followers are fed up with the establishment/elites. They view the system as broken and they're willing to burn it down to get change.

Cruz: Brokered convention would spark 'a manifest revolt'
"Any time you hear someone talking about a brokered convention, it is the Washington establishment in a fevered frenzy," Cruz said during an appearance at CPAC on Friday. "And so they've seized on this master plan: We go to the brokered convention and the D.C. power-brokers will drop someone in who is exactly to the liking of the Washington establishment. If that were to happen, we will have a manifest revolt on our hands all across this country."
And this conclusion:
"If you want to beat Donald Trump, here's how you do it: You beat Donald Trump with the voters," he said.
I don't agree about the 'manifest revolution', but Cruz has a point here.

'Trump is not winning because is a perfect candidate. He is winning because he is the only candidate who recognizes and shares the priorities of millions of voters.'

Some of you have said 'unfriend me if you support Trump'. I think this is a bad mistake that only contributes to further political polarization in our country. I think you should try more to understand why your neighbors are willing to look past some of Trump's big failings.

Go to this link [] and look at the faces. Are you willing to write all of these people off? Are they all totally and completely wrong? Are any of them smart and decent?

We all excuse faults in people on our side. If you like the Patriots, you excuse the ball pressure issue. If you like Peyton Manning, you probably excuse some of the recent allegations. If you like Cam Newton, you excuse the poor sportsmanship.

If you like Trump's willingness to confront the establishment, you excuse some of his 'excesses'. If you like Hilary, you excuse her lifetime of political baggage and questionable financial behaviors and her personal email server as SECSTATE. If you like Bernie, you excuse the unreal economics and impossible political agenda. If you like Cruz, you excuse what others find distasteful for the Libertarian philosophy.
I've been very lucky in life. I've made it into the outer fringes of the protected class. But I'm one generation out of the unprotected class and my heart is still with them. I share their values and, perhaps most important, their religious beliefs. The secularism and "progressive" values of the new elites have no appeal for me. So I get why Trump emerged.
Obviously, the support for Sanders is similar to Trump on terms of being a rejection of the establishment. And who could blame them? I consider voting against all incumbents/establishment politicians to be a perfectly rational strategy.
We are depriving the white working classes of their means to give. As we export manufacturing jobs internationally and as we streamline labor with technology, we start moving people to the sidelines. It’s not just that they have less money, it’s that their identity as providers is being threatened. This is why they are often so against welfare. Even if it would fix their financial situation, it would not fix their identity problems. It would hurt their dignity.
And, America is terrible at giving its citizens dignity and meaning. We have, with the internet, the power for more people to be appreciated than ever before, yet we use it primarily to shame each other. Shaming Trump supporters for being “ignorant bigots” is the worst thing you can do, because their entire motivation in voting for Trump is to alleviate the shame they are already carrying. If you add to their shame, they will dig in further.
Why didn't Romney and the rest of the GOP fight this hard against Obama? Because Obama didn't threaten anything they value. If Obama won, the world of favors and lobbyists and rent seeking would not change. Trump is a threat to that system, hence they are fighting him to the end. Perversely, The way they are fighting Trump makes me believe that he is in fact a threat to them, which makes me look at him far more favorably. If these attacks from the establishment GOP were less frenzied, I would be inclined to agree with many of my friends that Trump is a phony. GOPe panic is a signal that Trump really is the battering ram he claims to be.
There are people who would vote for anyone running against Hillary. There are people who would vote for anyone running against Trump. Do you really think, if you're in one of these camps, that you're that different from those in the other. Don't you just have different principles? Are they inarguably the right ones? Are there decent, intelligent people in the other camp?

And now, since I'm in danger of this becoming a total rabbit hole and my desire to research it more and to be more systematic, I'm just going to fire it and get on with my life. :-)