A Philosopher's Blog

After the Election

Posted in Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on November 7, 2016

The systematic efforts to demoralize American voters and to create a toxic political environment have resulted in perhaps the most vitriolic election cycle in modern memory. While some people do like their candidate, much of the electorate seems to be motivated by their loathing of the opposing candidate. As such, most voters seem to be voting against Trump or Hillary rather than for them.

The demoralizing of the electorate has proven to be an effective but ultimately destructive strategy. On the “positive” side, demotivating voters through suppression tactics (such as voter ID laws and cutting back on early voting) and fostering an attitude that voting is ineffective has proven beneficial to certain candidates—they get elected. On the negative side, the foundation of democracy is being eroded as people lose faith in the democratic process. This disinvestment on the part of citizens contributes to the decay of American society and will no doubt to prove to be a significant factor in the decline and fall of the American empire.

The creation of a toxic political environment through such means as exploiting fears of race, class and religion has also proven to be beneficial to some in the short term. There have also been sustained attacks on key institutions, ranging from the government in general to the election process in particular. The political parties have enjoyed fevered victories through poisoning the political body. Trump provides an excellent example of this—his willingness to go beyond the moral limits of other Republicans (and his free media coverage) helped h7im grope his way towards the White House. These victories come at a price in the form of divisiveness and the fanning of the fires of hate. Institutions that are essential to the functioning of the nation have also been corroded and eroded, thus weakening the United States.

The battle between Hillary and Trump is the logical result of these approaches and one of them will be president. While there is always talk of reconciliation after elections, the last eight years have revealed that the Republican Party is quite comfortable with obstruction and the Democrats have not proven strong enough to remove the blockage in the pipes of government. While some have pointed to racism as a factor in the case of Obama, the Republicans seem to be even more intent on blocking and thwarting Hillary if she wins. John McCain, once known for being willing to work with Democrats, has already vowed to block anyone Hillary nominates to the Supreme Court. While this would yield short term political advantages to some Republicans, this approach is fundamentally damaging to the country. In addition to damaging peoples’ confidence in the institutions, keeping the court at eight judges will be problematic. This would only get worse as judges die. In theory, the senate could eliminate the court in this manner, which would be disastrous.

If Trump gets elected, the Republicans might do the same to him, depending on who he selects as his nominees. If the Democrats take the senate, they might decide to block Trump’s nominees and point at the Republicans when they are criticized. Naturally, a senate controlled by Democrats would most likely approve Hillary’s nominee. From the standpoint of restoring the court to its full membership, the election of Hillary and the success of the Democrats in the senatorial races are probably the best bets. Of course, conservatives might not be happy with her choice—at least in regards to social issues. However, Hillary is essentially a moderate classic Republican, so she would probably appoint a fairly moderate judge. Who would be perceived as a radical liberal by those on the right. Of course, there is more to the presidency than just appointing judges—there is also doing the business of the executive branch. This could also prove problematic.

Trump is already scheduled for court dates, so those will presumably interfere a bit with his presidency. While Hillary is not yet scheduled for any court appearances, the Republicans are already planning out years of investigations. In addition to wasting time and millions of dollars in public money, these investigations will (as intended) most likely greatly dampen the effectiveness of her presidency. After all, spending countless hours testifying will eat up her time and the investigation will damage her reputation more and weaken America’s standing in the world. After all, foreign leaders will realize that such a divided government will be weaker, less effective and not paying as much attention to the world. But, the Republicans will gain a short term political advantage at the cost of eroding America’s power and standing in the world—which is presumably totally worth it. Of course, Hillary could have elected to forgo running for the good of the country; but she is also very focused on her own advantage. The Democrats probably will not take the House, but if they do, then Hillary will have much smoother sailing. This might be good for the country. Or not.

While Republicans have not planned years of investigations into Trump (should he be elected), some have claimed that they intend to oppose him when he goes against the party ideology. Trump is likely to do just that and Democrats will certainly oppose him, so a Trump presidency will also almost certainly result in the continuation of the standoff between the presidency and Congress. But, perhaps the next president will be able to do some things.

Hillary has, of course, many detailed plans and policies and an established track record. As such, it is easy to predict what she will do and this is business as usual. While not great for the working people of America, business as usual is not the worst option. Continued growth and increased employment seem like good trends. She will also presumably keep the Obama social programs on track, which is not the worst thing that can happen.

Trump has no track record in politics, but he does have an awful record in business—presumably he will use his business skills in office. This would seem to be a bad thing. Trump speaks in vague generalities and untruths and often makes no sense, so it is difficult to say exactly what his policies will be. Presumably he will try for the wall, try to kick out illegals, and use his secret plan on what is left of ISIS. Or whatever—one cannot really say what he will do. However, given his complete lack of experience, his temperament, and the skill set he has displayed in his reality shows, it would be reasonable to predict that he would be a disaster as a president. But, perhaps he will do shockingly well. His supporters claim he will surround himself with good people—perhaps they can run the country for him and do a good job.

Regardless of who gets elected, the next four years could be really bad. So bad, in fact, that future historians might mark this election as a key point in the decline and fall of the American Empire. If so, it is also on us—democracy gives us the government we deserve.

 

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3 Responses

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  1. ajmacdonaldjr said, on November 7, 2016 at 8:30 am

  2. ronster12012 said, on November 7, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Michael

    ………………………………………………………………………..
    “The creation of a toxic political environment through such means as exploiting fears of race, class and religion has also proven to be beneficial to some in the short term. ”
    …………………………………………………………………………

    You say that as if all fears are groundless. Some fears are indeed justified and it takes more than just shouting “fearmongering” to show that they are unjustified or exaggerated.

    …………………………………………………………………………….
    “There have also been sustained attacks on key institutions, ranging from the government in general to the election process in particular. ”
    …………………………………………………………………………….

    Again, the question is whether those attacks are justified or not, rather than the attacking itself. What exactly is the need to avoid criticism at all costs, even if those criticisms are shown to be justified? Why would anyone, for example, accept a rigged election(but only if the ‘right’ candidate ‘wins’)?

    …………………………………………………………………………………….
    “Trump provides an excellent example of this—his willingness to go beyond the moral limits of other Republicans (and his free media coverage) helped him grope his way towards the White House. ”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………..

    Moral limits ffs??? We are talking about politicians not saints. Anyhow,other republicans are all bought and paid for which is why they won’t rock the boat.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………….
    ” These victories come at a price in the form of divisiveness and the fanning of the fires of hate. ”
    …………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Please explain why hate is a bad thing. We all hate some things and love others, though some try to dishonestly gain a rhetorical upper hand by claiming that only their opponents hate. The tactic of yelling ‘hate’ is getting quite tired. Many are waking up that it is just propaganda….

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………..
    ” Institutions that are essential to the functioning of the nation have also been corroded and eroded, thus weakening the United States.”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Yes, like the FBI, renewing allegations yet withdrawing them without having read the 650000 emails found on Weiner’s laptop. Comey obviously doesn’t want to die a sudden and mysterious death…..so yes, institutions have been eroded and corroded.

    …………………………………………………………………………………..
    “While some have pointed to racism as a factor in the case of Obama, the Republicans seem to be even more intent on blocking and thwarting Hillary if she wins. ”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………

    Racism? That too is getting tired. How did he managed to get elected in the first place if racism were a factor…unless it was a ‘positive’ racism, elected POTUS for being (half)black? And getting a Nobel peace Prize for being (half) black too. Obama really benefited from pro-black racism .

    ……………………………………………………………………………….
    “Hillary has, of course, many detailed plans and policies and an established track record. As such, it is easy to predict what she will do and this is business as usual. ”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………

    Business as usual? Is that a good thing considering the US debt? Her desire to start WW3 in support of ISIS?
    Her being owned by Goldman Sachs and all the other usual suspects? Her selling favours via the Clinton Foundation to all and sundry? All so that you can have a female prez???

    ………………………………………………………………………………………
    “Trump has no track record in politics, but he does have an awful record in business—presumably he will use his business skills in office. This would seem to be a bad thing. ”
    ………………………………………………………………………………………..

    IIRC,some of your presidents were failures outside of the presidency. Abraham Lincoln was one of them, no?

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………

    “However, given his complete lack of experience, his temperament, and the skill set he has displayed in his reality shows, it would be reasonable to predict that he would be a disaster as a president. ”
    …………………………………………………………………………………………….

    You really shouldn’t confuse ‘reality’ TV shows with….reality. Free tip, they are all as scripted as Pro wrestling. No one actually wants to watch real reality….

  3. TJB said, on November 7, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    My prediction is that Hillary will win, but this will turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory. Here is why:

    1) The Wikileaks disclosures have shown how deeply the press is in the talk for the Dems. The mainstream media have lost all credibility with anyone paying attention.

    2) The Dems have lost the bulk of the white middle class. These “deplorables” are not going to forget or forgive.

    3) The math doesn’t work to have both open borders and a welfare state.

    4) There will be lots of terrorist attacks from poorly vetted migrants.

    5) Much more will come out about the Clinton Foundation’s pay to play.

    6) Anybody who has ever held a security clearance knows that Hillary got a free pass that no one else would get. This means that the military will hold her in contempt. Probably the FBI, CIA, and NSA, too.

    7) We will find out that Hillary is, in fact, in quite poor health.


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