Pizzagate – A Darkly Alternative View:

Everyone knows the story – A pizza place that tried to support Hillary Clinton for President was found to be a center point of a nationwide pedophile network, complete with photos and paintingsor not, depending on whom you talk to. It even got to the point where someone walked around with a machine gun openly within the place – and when he didn’t find what he was looking for, he ended up being pasted as part of the international illuminati conspiracy.

Anyway, here’s a theory that’s been knocking around my head for a bit. It’s quite dark, but here it goes…

The Alt-Right, along with its allies both on the ground and in cyberspace, have been bullying women into silence for the past few years. Anytime something comes up that seems a bit more uppity than these folks believe women should be (not quite down to “serving them beer and sandwiches, ever ready to oral them upon command;” but they’re working on THAT) they dig up information, bombard them with tweets and facebook posts and generally flood them with hate with the hope/expectation (they’ve both succeeded and failed, so both fit) that their target will shrink away from their life.

However, with a change in the Presidency (and a confirmation of on-the-ground information), the question comes up: Can they ramp it up? Can they strike against a man just like they’ve struke against many women – pick the target, strike without provocation and act in such a way as to destroy the target?

And if nothing else, it looks like their test was a success. Even with the armed person walking around looking for evidence.

Now, the thing about this is there’s nothing about whether the rumors of rampant child abuse were true or not, nor even if this place is real – I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the pizza place was a plant placed there a couple years ago, ready to be used as a test case if/when the time came, and the time came. What matters is that the alt-right was tested to see if they could take the fight against men – and, it appears, they passed muster.

First Time as Tragedy, Second Time as Farce

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

– Karl Marx, Der 18te Brumaire des Louis Napoleon

I chatted with a woman who lived through WWII in Lithuania, and she said that Trump reminded her VERY much of Adolph Hitler, complete with the “popular vote” (The National Socialists only got 40% of the votes the one time they asked people if they liked them – and this, after they had taken power and with a wildly unbalanced, biased ballot) and lots of people rapturously in love with him. In short, she saw what had happened and what was happening to the people.

She is very pessimistic about the USA’s future and for good reason – she sees the same stuff happening here that happened there, and unlike with Germany (where three armies had massed and were ready to sweep down on The Fatherland) there’s no nearby armies or obvious invasion point where an opposing army could sweep through and stop the madness (even if a bit late for many people, as it was in Germany). Add to the fact that her home nation is presently being threatened by Russia again, and she feels very stuck, alone and vulnerable where she lives – and too old to do anything vital, to boot.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

So, now we have Trump as president. He’s proceeded to remake various parts of the government in his own image and is trying to turn various departments into 1984-like reversals of themselves (Or more fully into those self-reversals, however you wish to view it. However you view it, the reversing is presently being attempted.)

And the sad thing is, we’re watching everything happen as bafore. The creation of alternative press and means of communication, “alternative facts” (either lies or true isolated or small-scale, dead-stub items blown out of proportion and made out to be the active, thriving norm), an active group of people who insert hatred into their every comments at anyone or anything they don’t like, and a general atomizing of the opposition into millions of individuals, the occult religious right casting their spells pretty much unstopped.

Now, here’s where the farcicality comes deeply into play:

  • Before the various parties had to create their own press and eventually take over established outlets. Today’s corporatist right had a whole new area to move into, and a quickness that seems to have fully escaped the left.
  • With all the ways to communicate, one would think there’d be a way to debunk all the false facts and small items blown up beyond proportion. However, these new forms of communication seem to have given full power to the lie and the half-truth, whereas the whole truth seems always flat-footed and almost defeated before it can even rise up (except when in service to the lie, in which case it seems to be given wings)
  • What once had to be organized from above over time can now be posted, taken and shot around. Train the people enough, and you don’t even have to send orders – the people will act independently in the service.
  • Just like in Germany where there were plenty of leftist groups and one National Socialist party, presently the left is in the middle of battle, with many individuals recalibrating their desires to a more personal level. Meanwhile the right has achieved union between the armed forces, the police, and the Domestic Spying apperatus and is waiting for corporations to come on board (since they have powers even the most powerful Tyrant can’t have). They have begun thinking nationwide and are probably banking their forces for when a little firepower becomes necessary (why shoot your guns when your enemy walks to the furnaces by themselves, on their own free will through your mere suggestion?).
  • The original Nazis took their occult symbolism seriously, making the point of tying their symbols to pre-Roman Germanic tribes. Especially the Swastika, which before the Nazis put their own spin on the symbol was well-beloved as a symbol for good luck and victory, was tied (however tenuously) to a pre-Roman Germanic tribe. For the modern-day Nazis (alt-right my ass) we have Pepe the Frog, an Egyptian dark force of destruction which has become the de facto deity of the alt-right in a preemptive attempt to neutralize all humor (a tactic taken from the TEA party, who themselves came up with the term “Tea Bagger.”).

In short, with everything known and the easy mockability of the American Nazi Party (Just like Hitler and the Nazis, before THEY took power and showed force), we’re watching history repeat itself. It’s a farce (complete with Russia taking advantage…), especially since where the first time is always looking over its shoulder to make sure the backside is covered the second time is able to learn and thus half-ass their way to power.

In short, we know what’s happening and it’s happening anyway. Hence it’s being a farce.

Update on South Shore Line Expansion

It’s been a while since I posted on the possibility of South Shore Expansion – mainly because it ended up being a nonissue (Valparaiso didn’t want any commuter trains coming to them to begin with, and in the end it seemed that the expansion was looked at out of duty instead of actual desire and forward planning), my enthusiasm for the project nonwithstanding. However, there are plans afoot and it looks like they’re serious for once.

To start with, though, we’re talking about a smaller footprint – nearly a Stub line in many ways, as the plan only goes so far as the Dyer-Munster city limits. I would have thought they would have wanted to at least go as far as to the Dyer Amtrak station and turn that into a true stop instead of what has to be seen now as a glorified Amshack (it is nice, but since there’s no ticketing and the station is used but twice a day…), but it appears that future plans for the West Lake line involve a station closer to US 30 in Dyer itself, and a station at the present Dyer Amtrak station would probably cause problems – especially once commuter-based development starts near the station, wherever it may be placed. Maybe they could move the Dyer Amtrak station where the South Shore Station is when the South Shore is finally extended south from the Dyer-Munster border.

How serious is this? Well, they’ve started drilling holes along the bicycle trail in Munster, checking out the soil conditions for the expansion. Now this shouldn’t be an issue simply because The Monon Line was laid and used between 1880 and 1980, however the land was originally a swamp and a flood plain before a system of ditches drained the area and turned Munster into the Suburban Paradise that they prides themselves as being. While one could make the case that the land along the old rail line should be stable, it doesn’t hurt to check,as there have been lines built over old swampland that have ended up doing some mean leaning over the years.

There’s also plans for development towards the north end of the new line. It’s contingent on the Hammond Alternative being built (look towards the bottom of the PDF for the details), but if both the Hammond Alternative and the development get built it would make for one hell of a revival in the central part of Hammond and probably extend things south towards the downtown area (where there’s a station planned, may I add).

Finally: It looks like there’s finally some activity going on with expanding the South Shore Line. I wish they could have maybe done something along these lines back in the mid-nineties, when the track was still halfway decent, there was no rail trail bridge across the Little Calumet River and the EJ&E still independent and quiet enough to cross at grade (I’m sure the added cost of building a bridge across the now-extremely-busy branch of Canadian National helped convince them to end the new rail line at the Munster/Dyer city limits, had the line already extended to Lowell as has long been planned they could have gotten CN to help them build a bridge over their new property), but even if I die before the line gets fully built it will be worth it.

A Conspiracy Theory – From the Economic Side

While I don’t make a point of embracing Conspiracy Theories, I’m not about to say Conspiracies do not exist. After all, even if you limit the structure to units of three (one leader, two followers who lead their own unit of three down to the level of direct action – an idea taken from Heinlien in “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress”) you can cover a lot of ground with organization and structure (with the action twenty levels down, you have one supreme leader leading a ground “army” of 524,288 with actions that can aid the whole, be tailor-made to the specific locale where the actions happen and give plenty of cover to the middle levels. Expand the number of followers who lead their own group in the model, and you get greater reach with fewer levels, plus the ability to act and react quickly – units of eight would bring about 823,543 foot soldiers at the eighth level of organization, giving the on-ground units the strength and ability to react on the fly and still giving cover of sorts to the middle levels.). All you need is one guy who knows what he wants to do, people in sympathy with his wishes in the two levels below him and the ability to insure that actions are taken on at the lowest levels without the ability to link to the top.

So, having bored you with that aside, let me put forth a Conspiracy theory that seems, to me, to make more sense than many others I’ve heard:

1) A few corporations have decided to take control of the nation. Just take over the government and starve it to the point where it could be drowned in a bathtub (note that I didn’t say they WOULD do it, just that they COULD do it). Even given the best of intentions, the worst can be assumed since what they’re going for is total power, and thus total corruption.

2) People start and keep volunteering for President. Whether it’s Ross Perot (successful businessman doing actual service to the economy), Mitt Romney (Successful at strip-mining the nation) or Donald Trump (Successful at marketing his name and strip-mining those who wish to believe); it’s a businessman. And the idea is NOT necessarily to succeed immediately (certainly NOT with Trump) but to get enough people to the point where they would accept a businessman as the Political Leader of the Country (President of the USA).

3) Once success hits, have the others ready. Put your plans, and if you’re right about corporations being strong enough to run things, you will gain everything your wish and more.

The good thing about this plan is, you don’t even have to assume evil or greedy intent – you can even assume good will and the limits of his circle. Donald Trump’s cabinet position nods are basically the people who’ve known him and stood by him during the election, he knows these people and has an idea of where they go. What they do afterwards is not necessarily his problem (meaning he ain’t going to necessarily manage them), and since they are in sympathy with his wishes (or orders) their actions are multiplied.

And since Trump is in actually working for the corporations (just like the present leader of Sears/Kmart is actually working for Wal-Mart and is happily destroying the two corporations for his masters in Bentonville, Arkansas), the corporations get their wish of directly controlling the government. They can shrink the government as much as they like (or, more likely, dare – after all, you need a way of enforcing corporate will while keeping corporate hands clean…), as the idea of starving the beast is to make it bend to your will and keep it operating solely to serve its commands, NOT necessarily to kill it (hence the COULD drown in the bathtub idea).

(That, of course, doesn’t mean the government will keep that way forever. If a government is made weak enough to drown in a bathtub, it WILL be drowned in a bathtub at some point – and not necessarily by the group that created the situation for their own good….)

What DO People Want?

To start, my version of a joke I remember reading in the late seventies (The story made more universal is posted here, as this was written specifically in service to the point made in this posting):

There was a Soviet Era farmer who lived on one of the Soviet farms, and he was farming on his personal plot of land (this was the time when the Soviet Union decided to allow their farmers a plot of land for their own use) when his plow uprooted an Old Persian Oil Lamp, so he picked it up, brought it to his Soviet era cement block and got a cloth to wipe it down. After a few rubs with the cloth he loooked up and saw that there was a stranger eminating from the lamp where the fire would have been lit.

“I am the Genie Of The Lamp. You have freed me, so I shall give you three wishes. What is your first wish?”

“My first wish is that I get a better, newer hut. This hut is sturdy but old, and I wish for something sturdier and newer.” The Soviet farmer said.

“Your wish is my command.” The genie said.

And the Soviet farmer found himself in a familiar looking hut, only with an extra bedroom and better construction complete with wood used where the wood would be more useful, or as a beautifier. The Soviet farmer looked over his new hut and deemed it good – better, even, than he would have wished for.

“What is your second wish?” the Genie asked.

After a second’s thought, the Soviet farmer replied “I wish for me a wife to help out with the chores and make this house a home.”

“Your wish is my command.” The genie said.

And before his eyes the Soviet farmer saw a woman standing before him. She was nice to look at, stocky enough for the chores she would have to do, a ready helpmeet for the day’s work – and, with a pleasure that surprised even him, he surmised that she was as eager to comfort him during the nights as she was ready to help during the day. The Soviet farmer looked over his new wife and deemed her good – better, even, than he would have wished for.

“And what is your third wish?” The genie asked.

The Soviet farmer paused for a bit, thinking over what he might want. His eyes then went over to his neighbor’s plot of land, and how, instead of one cow and one bull, he had three cows and one bull – enough to actually create a surplus of milk and calves for the neighbor to sell. And a smile came to the Soviet farmer’s eyes.

“You have your third wish?” The genie asked.

“Yes. Remove two of the neighbor’s three cows. Leave him one cow and one bull, but the other two must disappear.” The Soviet farmer said.

The idea, of course, that that the normal person would want for other people to benefit from their labors and (good, productive) plans and that it took a destructive political system to make people wish instead for the impoverishment and destruction of others. Thus, we laugh at the system that would cause the farmer to wish ill on the neighbor instead of at the farmer (Although there’s some laughter aimed at the farmer, as well – why not laugh AT him, since he chose to damn his neighbor instead of raise himself up?).

Yeah, I know – to explain the joke is to ruin it. Stick with me on this.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Now focus on the election of Donald Trump for the Presidential office, and while Hillary Clinton received 2.5 million plus more votes Donald Trump won the Electoral college by turning the once-prosperous and once Democratic rust belt into a newly-reddened Republican outpost. A trend that started in West Virginia in 2000 (where a state that was once an island of Blue in 1988 (Yes, Bentson was a Democrat) turned into a Red Spear aimed at Pennsylvania, DC, and New England) spread into Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and affected Michigan enough to turn the state Red, and while one could say that more people wanted Hillary than were willing to pick Trump (Nearly 1 in 5 Trump voters felt he was unqualified to become President but voted for him anyway, hence “were willing to pick” instead of “wanted”) enough people voted for Trump in enough states that Trump was able to pull off the victory.

The result? Not enough activity along the lines of the Tea Party in 2008 yet (organizing, preparing to take over from the ground up. Yes, Corporations United helped, but if you’re going to be the party for the poor you need to activate the poor as a replacement for money. The Democrats used to understand that, when the Republicans have always paid their workers the Democrats used to rely on volunteers.), although many see it as necessary (thank God). So far I’ve read oodles of posts stating that everyone who voted for Trump was Racist or – WORSE YET – willing to accept racism, that robots and AI automation would make Trump’s promises IMPOSSIBLE for him to deliver on (never mind outsourcing to Mexico or “Moving headquarters to Europe”, stuff that Trump seems to have had an immediate effect on even before making it to office), that Trump played the working class for fools, and that the left was getting ready to LAUGH at the white (yes, let me put THAT word out there) working class for abandoning the party that had, in the past, protected them and made their dreams possible. In short, they mocked those workers and former workers instead of considered how to win them back (heck, they even have plans of turning to Arizona and Texas to replace Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Pennsylvania for future wins).

Well, here’s the thing: When you run on the idea of “It was my turn eight years ago, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for finally realizing it,” go out of your way to dismiss the serious challenges to you that rise up from your base, and run on the idea that you’re owed the votes from 69% of the population (everyone EXCEPT non-hispanic white males – and that’s not including gay men or the transgendered posing as male out of a wish to survive through the hell that is non-urban life), don’t be surprised if your wish gets frustrated.

But enough on that. This post is focusing on the nearly one in five Trump voters who, deeming Trump unqualified, still voted for him. People who, having watched their neighborhoods, cities and services gutted for the sake of WalMart, China, Manhattan, San Francisco, the DC area and their state Capitols (although many of the State Capitols look ragged once you walk a few blocks from their Capitol Domes or their professional suburbs), having seen trade treaties trump their efforts to improve their towns, having seen the party many of them once turned to diss on them and seek out the favor of those who wished them harm, having observed the concentration of medical services into the larger cities to the point of knowing that “emergency service” for their town has been redefined as taking them to the hospital to put an official time to their death by something that would have been a minor occurrence in the big city, having seen education go from something which could help to something used to hold you down (through the incessant testing requirements and the loans what will tag you as unemployable even as they drain you without remorse or recourse), with even the decent sized cities (with jobs that pay enough to help you live) being made too costly for you to move to, had decided (while putting it in their own words) that Lenin was right – that any cook should be able to run the country, and that while Trump would probably make only peppery dishes (note that Lenin originally warned the others about Stalin, saying that “Stalin will make only peppery dishes.” You know how that turned out….) that they would rather see a patently unqualified Mr. Trump take office over the supposedly overqualified Mme. Clinton.

And, having seen all the above, they aren’t necessarily looking for benefits to themselves and their way of life – they only wish for what may harm those who seem to wish to harm you. A person who no longer cares most highly for improvements in your own life will instead wish for the debasement of the lives of people whom they feel has hurt them, whether harmed directly, indirectly or not at all.

Imagine the following issues, with the specific desires attached to them:

In short, it’s a wishlist of things NOT meant to benefit those who voted for Trump but a wishlist of harm to be done to those who wouldn’t have voted for Trump this election.

And these folks who voted for Trump against their own better judgement, who voted to get back at their “liberal,” citified folks and their minority-self-identifying allies (again, let’s call it what it is – I can’t and won’t say Racism had absolutely no part in this, just that I don’t believe it is the only thing that matters), they’ve already had their votes validated by the unremitting panic of the left. All the effort towards turning Republican Electors into betrayers (never mind being made “unfaithful”) was to laugh, and if one knew how to cut through the news one finds out that Clinton could NEVER have made 270 even with the states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania if the electors in quite a few States had had the Freedom of Conscience intended by the Founding Fathers.

Again, this wouldn’t be an issue if Mme. Clinton had a record of supporting the Working Class against the Rich and Scheming – indeed, her election would have properly been seen as an inevitability. However, as has been well and often written, Hillary was a partner (and NOT just by being married) of Bill during his time as President, and many of the bills that Bill passed that have harmed the poor and working class – NAFTA, GATT, China’s “Most Favored Nation” Status, Three Strikes, Mid-nineties Welfare Reform, The Telecommunications act of 1996, the ending of Glass-Steagall – all were done with her working behind the scenes, helping and guiding her husband with the stuff. So, in short, the woman has a record (along with her Husband) and it’s not good (yes, hindsight is 20-20. Hindsight is ALSO the form of judgement that lasts, as it has the advantage of allowing people to see the results of the choices).

Harm someone enough and you may find that person wanting your harm, even if they are more deeply harmed by the harm you receive. They will gain their consolations from the harm you receive and your empuzzlement at your schadenfreude.

Hence 2016. Hence Trump and the nearly 1,000 elected seats – both in the states and nationwide – that have shifted from Democratic to Republican hands.

– – – – – – – – – – – –

Of course, the story of the (Soviet) farmer usually ends at the point of the third wish, as if all we needed to know was that he had learned to hate his neighbor farmer for having more than he. However, I had always wondered how the story ended, and here’s what I ended up writing:

“As you wish.” The genie said.

And suddenly the Soviet farmer’s hut was back to the way it was before he had the wishes, and slightly more worn to boot. The wife was also gone. So was the Old Persian Oil Lamp which had housed the Genie.

The farmer looked over to his neighbor’s yard and found that the neighbor had but one cow and one bull – and was weeping for the loss of the two other cows.

And the Soviet farmer was glad, as he had gotten what he had truly wanted with the third wish even as the memory of what he had had after the first two wishes was fading into the realm of unattainable fantasy – no longer even something to wish for, which it had been before he had found the Old Persian Oil Lamp.

And at that point I end the story. The point has been made.

On 2016

Yeah, I know about the deaths, the votes that point to much smaller worlds under the rule of corporations, the signs that we have passed peak cellphone (exploding Samsung S7s, iPhones (and all things Apple) with fewer holes than necessary), the troubles my friends have suffered (from wildfires in Tennessee to financial issues that take their sweet time to tighten the screws), and the fact that These United States are actually two nations, each nation dreaming of subjugating the other (If I was a betting man my money would be on the Rednecks, as they have the guns and know how to use them. The Urban Elites only use Proxies, and proxies can always turncoat without remorse.).

Probably the worst thing about 2016, as long as you kept things on the Macro level, was that it seemed that there were dark forces that have been hell-bent on breaking things up. Quite a few of the deaths were of people who’s life work was the bringing together of various peoples for fun or serious business. The two major elections (Brexit and Trump/Clinton) split their respective nations in two, quickly degenerated into bitter fights, and were decided in ways that seemed to aim towards the atomization of the non-corporate world. And while everything seemed to be atomizing in the public sphere, Corporations were combining (and very likely consolidating their powers in various ways) while the Armed branches of the Governments were gaining unity. And while the left seemed desperate to find fantasies to hang their hopes on (to the point that what they were agitating for threatened to make their own candidate PATENTLY unelectable), the fantasies of the various versions of the right seemed to be being made real before the world’s eyes.

(And I shall only mention the Muslim refugee issue here to note that people forced to run have no real reason to give up their beliefs or even to moderate them – they were happy enough with those beliefs where they were and didn’t exactly choose their present living place, unlike the immigrants of years past who came for economic opportunity and thus had good reasons to make peace and moderate themselves into society.)

Makes one wish to have stayed in 2016, however painful it may look. After all, if the world is about to drop into the abyss, better to be frozen before the drop than to go over and deal with the impact below.

Going to the micro level is a bit different. For me, it was actually a year of finishing some unfinished business. Baggage that I had held onto for too long was taken care of (not all by me, but I did my part), priorities were adjusted to fit into my new situation, and hard decisions were actually made. For the first time in my nearly 52 years (outside of certain isolated moments) I can honestly say that I’m an adult.

Now if you’re expecting a speech on how things are improving, you’ve come to the wrong place. 52 (or soon to be 52) is not 25, and the more-than-doubling of my years has left my body in a worse place than before. Twenty-plus years of sitting down on the job (taxi driving/transport) hasn’t helped, nor has carrying 100+ pounds of excess weight for eighteen plus years, nor gaining it like mad before then (I hope to lose SOME of it in the next couple years…).

Another thing that an extra 27 years does is to give a bit of perspective; perspective that people who readily quote Nietzche don’t yet understand. “Whatever doesn’t destroy me makes me stronger” is nice to quote when you’re twenty-five and trying to justify all the evil in the world done to others by others, but grow old enough and you learn that not everything that harms you necessarily kills you. I could easily point to HIV (When the person dies, it’s from some infection or disease that would have been stopped but runs rampant because of the lack of T-helper cells), but there’s plenty of stuff out there that doesn’t kill but weakens, even if you take care of it – stuff that, even in the coccooned times of recent, people learned as they grew older; and stuff which I believe younger people will more and more learn at a younger age as the years go on. I learned this from my Pneumonia fit in 1996 (and have had refreshers since then), all the Universities and Colleges nursing their investments and gutting education also understand this in their own way (Why not protect and grow your unspent funds while you can if you fear there’s a time coming when you’ll have to spend them to survive?).

And finally, there’s the issue of choices. Not every choice is going to be between something bad and something good, or something good and something better – sometimes we’re talking about two or three bad choices, and those are the best choices out there. Sometimes life is like that, and sometimes it doesn’t even give you a choice – “take this reduction in your life, and nobody will care if you’ll like it (or, in this corporacratic world, know that SOMEONE is taking pleasures from your decline; pray that it’s an INDIRECT pleasure…).”

My fear (and expectation) is that, more and more, we’re going to get stuck with these choices – and would have gotten to this point no matter how certain things went this year. Probably the biggest thing the 2016 Presidential election decided was who would get the pleasure of watching the other side take the biggest psychological hits during the rest of 2016, and the Brexit vote merely proved that the “political left” (now the side with nothing to gain and everything to lose with change, hence the quotation marks – they should probably have been called “New Conservatives” at some point in the past twenty years…) had nothing to state positively for their case, a problem that Mme. Clinton shared with the Remainers in the Brexit vote and Mr. Trump exploited (Yes, Sanders had a vision. He may have been made unable to try to fix the nation, but at least he’s trying to fix the Democratic Party at the moment, thank God…).

That’s why I don’t plan on EVER saying “Good Riddance to 2016” the way I did to 2009. I could see things getting better in 2010; I’m not sure that could have ever been said about 2017.

Still, I must go on. There is an alternative to dealing with the future – even a bad future – but it is a choice that is often endowed with lots of radical benefits for it to be even allowed into conversation.

And here’s to hoping that 2017 is a better year – however BLIND that hope is.

Indiana Election Results, 2000 – 2016, or Who Didn’t Vote For President?

Indiana Election Results, 2000 – 2016 (President, Senator, Governor where can be gotten):

Assumption:

People are more likely to vote for President and nobody else instead of vote for everyone BUT President. Observed both directly and through ballot counts.

Results:

President 2016: 2,732,710 votes cast (“all” votes)
Senator 2016: 2,731,452 votes cast (1,258 fewer votes)
Governor 2016: 2,718,674 votes cast 14,036 fewer votes)

President 2012: 2,624,531 votes cast (“all” votes)
Senator 2012: 2,560,102 votes cast (103,129 fewer votes)
Governor 2012: 2,577,329 votes cast (85,802 fewer votes)

President 2008: 2,751,054 votes cast (“all” votes)
Governor 2008: 2,703,752 votes cast (47,302 fewer votes)

President 2004: 2,468,002 votes cast (“all” votes)
Senator 2004: 2,428,433 votes cast (39,569 fewer votes)
Governor 2004: 2,448,476 votes cast (19,526 fewer votes)

President 2000: 2,199,302 votes cast (“all” votes)
Senator 2000: 2,145,209 votes cast (54,093 fewer votes)

Where I got my information:

Commentary:

This election had nearly the numbers of the 2008 election and more than 2012, so the general repugnance towards the election that was expressed throughout this election cycle didn’t result in an absence of voters in Indiana. In addition, the ratio between votes for Trump and votes for Clinton in Indiana were 3:2 (1,556,310 to 1,036,632), so there was no reason to believe that the ballot was being fixed towards either candidate. And yet, 2016 had a smaller difference between Presidential Votes and Senator Votes; and there was a less than 0.1% difference between Presidential and Senator votes in 2016. Every other election had from near 1% to near 4% difference between Presidential Election and Senator/Governor Election.

What this tells me is that there was a large contingent of people in Indiana, just like in Michigan, who voted for various candidates but NOT for President.

It’s kind of hard to know how many people didn’t vote in Indiana since they didn’t collect the numbers (as far as I know) and there were still enough votes for President but little (or nothing) else down the ballot to make the difference in favor of Presidential ballots. However, one can reasonable guess (assumption in place) there were still more no votes for President this election than in previous elections.

Okay, Who Nearly Cost WHOM The Election? 2016

Another close election with close counts and a group of voters angry over having gotten more votes and fewer electors. Where have I seen this before? Oh yes, back when Nader was running and pulled plenty of people from Gore – only it turns out that, of those who would have voted for either of the major candidates, more would have voted for Bush than for Gore.

As it is, we had multiple candidates who ran as third party candidates. There were at least three, and others had effects here and there.

Let’s take a look, shall we? (Thanks, by the way, to Reason for doing the digging.) I’m assuming that your average Libertarian, limited to choosing between Mme. Clinton and Mr. Trump, would probably have chosen Trump at a 3-1 margin (a stat I heard during the campaign from a friend of a friend); with a similar skewering (if not a greater skewering towrds Trump) from McMullin. We’ll assume that Most Green Party candidates would go to Clinton THIS TIME AROUND.

(And yes, I know Hillary won the popular vote by 2 Million Plus. Unfortunately that’s now how we pick our presidents – something about the Tyranny of Majority Rule and all that.)

  • Arizona: Trump beat Clinton by four points; Johnson collected 3.8 percent and Stein collected 1.2 percent. Most likely, Trump would have won more comfortably here if the 3rd party candidates were removed, there is no way for Clinton to with even by keeping Johnson and removing Stein.
  • Colorado: Clinton won by 2.2 percent. Voters also gave 4.9 percent to Johnson, 1.2 percent to Stein, 1 percent to McMullin, and nearly 1 percent more to a collection of third-tier candidates. Remove Johnson and McMullin, and you may flip the state to Trump.
  • Florida: Trump eked out a win by just 1.4 percent here. Johnson, Stein, Castle, and Rocky De La Fuente of the Reform Party between them collected 3.2 percent; Stein got only .7 percent of the total vote. No Dice.
  • Maine: Clinton won this by three percentage points, and Johnson collected 5.1 percent, so there’s a chance he tipped the electors who represented the State’s Senate Votes to the Democrats.
  • Michigan: Trump won this ordinarily blue state by about .3 percent. Stein got 1.1 percent, and Johnson got 3.6 percent. Remove Stein and you get a Clinton squeaker – assuming, of course, that Johnson is forced to stay around.
  • Minnesota: Clinton won by 1.4 percent. McMullin got 1.8 percent, Johnson got 3.4 percent (Making for 5.2 percent together) and Stein got 1.3 percent. Given my percentages, looks like Clinton won another state thanks to the third parties.
  • Nevada: Clinton won by 2.4 percent; Johnson got 3.3 percent. A bit close, especially since Jill Stein wasn’t on the ballot.
  • New Hampshire: Another narrow Clinton win—just a tenth of a percentage point—and another relatively strong showing for Johnson, who collected 4.1 percent. Stein only got .9 percent, so it would appear that Johnson handed yet another state to Clinton (assuming that that’s the only thing third parties tend to do).
  • Pennsylvania: Trump won by about 1.1 percent. Stein’s .8 percent isn’t enough to cover that spread; Johnson’s 2.4 percent would likely have made this state called sooner for Trump.
  • Virginia: Clinton won by 4.7 percent. Johnson, McMullin, and Stein got 3, 1.6, and .7 percent, respectively. So the third-party candidates covered the spread if you include the Green, but the two candidates who were more likely to pull from Trump didn’t have quite enough to cover it on their own.
  • Wisconsin: Stein’s 1.1 percent is just enough to bridge the 1-percent margin between the winning Trump and the losing Clinton. But then what does Johnson’s 3.4 percent do to the results—or, for that matter, the nearly half a percentage point that Castle won while running to Trump’s right (none of whom would have been caught DEAD voting for Clinton)?

So what do we have? Michigan and MAYBE Wisconsin “stolen” from Hillary, accounting for 16-26 votes – assuming, of course, that Johnson (and Castle) stay in the race. Not enough to push Hillary over the top by any means.

Meanwhile we have Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Maine (at least the two senate electors) going to Trump were it not for third parties, accounting for 25-26 electoral votes. Add Nevada’s six electors, and it’s possible that we’d have a true landslide for Trump (as it is, the size of victory is large enough to make normal Democrats uncomfortable).

Remove Stein, Keep Johnson, McMullin and Castle: Close Trump Victory
Remove Johnson, McMullin and Castle, Keep Stein: Trump Landslide
Remove All Third Party Canididates: Michigan and Wisconsin look out of place.

So please, stop blaming Third Parties for your loss. There’s not enough there for you, and you could end up REALLY getting embarassed. Stein barely pulled enough votes to get noticed, for that matter.

Just…stop.

Items About This General Election That People Are Missing:

Having read all the hand-wringing from the left that the present election has brought about, three items have entered into my mind:

  1. The Praetorian Guard Made Its Preferences Heard, And Got Its Wish. Remember how the Clinton Emails suddenly were back under examination for a few days before the FBI head James Comey felt the need to quash that rumor? While people were debating whether the FBI had suddenly started trying to sway the election, quite a few people were reconsidering their minds on stuff. So much so that there were articles on changing one’s vote before Election Day, if you had done early voting.
    (For those not in the know, The Praetorian Guard was a group of Roman Soldiers whose job it was to guard the Emperor. Soon after being founded they started involving themselves in picking new Emperors on occasion – after all, if you have to guard the Roman Emperor you’d better like the guy you’re guarding.)
  2. Millions Of Polls Cannot Equal Feet On The Ground. While all the people who put out all the surveys were measuring “Hillary’s Lead,” at least three people I know and read somewhat regularly were catching onto what has happening on the Ground. John Michael Greer of The Archdruid Report saw Trump coming from at least January of this year (2016, in case you’re reading this after Trump is Sworn Into office), Scott Adams spent a year talking about how Trump would win the election, and Michael Moore predicted Trump’s Victory – even went so far as to make an impromptu movie trying to stop what he hoped was a misread of the tea leaves. What these three did (and I did as well, even though I didn’t go so far as to make a prediction but merely kept making a point of reminding people that Trump could win) was walk around, observed and listened. They (and I) heard and saw stuff that everyone else was making a point of ignoring – that there was a bunch of people out there who had been ignored by both sides, and now that there was someone willing to talk to their interests they had a reason to vote.
    This was most obvious in the Midwest, which had been gleefully ignored for most of the Reagan Era. Jobs disappeared, infrastructure began to fall apart, and Most Favored Corporations (WalMart* being the most obvious one) were allowed to milk the area as dry as they could get away with. People were waiting for SOMEONE who empathised with their plight, and they finally got it.
  3. The Republicans (Begrudgingly) Accepted Their Populist, The Democrats Went Out Of Their Way To Reject Theirs. The Election Results Show It. Probably the most interesting thing about Trump’s supporters was that they wer ALL willing to take a look at Sanders, and many of them were actually supportive of his actions. This includes the voters in such states as Michigan (go ahead and declare it for Trump already…) and West Virginia (a state given away to the Republicans by Clinton in the 1990s, and which had just elected a Democratic Governor). Indeed, many people (me among them) believe that Sanders could have won the Election, mainly because the people who voted for Trump out of populism only voted for Trump because he was stating them, NOT because he was a Republican.
    Not only that, but most (if not all) Sanders Supporters were willing to look at Trump, even if in the end they rejected him. The Democratic Party’s devotion to Hillary (never mind the understandable Superdelegates, just the utter fixing that became so obvious as the general election worked its way to the close) ended up insuring that enough people who wanted their voices heard would vote for the one party that was, admittedly, stuck with their populist.

Now I understand that Hillary won the popular vote by nearly three million votes. Still, that doesn’t explain the loss of the Midwest. Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania – all working class, with longsuffering Democratic voters. Something happened to lose the Midwest to the Republicans this election, and if the Democrats view this the way they viewed West Virginia (good riddance) they will live just long enough to regret this.

On The Concept of “Old News”

I get tired of posting stuff and hearing “This is Old News” as if something stopped being worth remembering after a certain period of time had passed.

The problem with that attitude is that if the item talked about is important enough to be repeated, it is knowledge. If someone doesn’t know about it, they NEED to know about it, and therefore it needs to be repeated.

Sometimes people may not know what you know. Not everyone hangs out in the same circles you hang out in, nor does everyone hear everything you hear when you hear it – and, for that matter, that they don’t necessarily care about the same things that you care about at the same time either.

Knowledge transcends timeliness because it stays useful. Even if it becomes “obsolete” it stays useful because it gives a sense of past.

Remember that, please, the next time someone says something that you heard a long time ago.