Coincidental Trump Followers

Over a year we have rehashed and overanalyzed the Presidential election of Clinton vs. Trump to the point that the average citizen is sick, tired and wishes to move on. Additionally, there is almost a bizarre method to attempt to get into the mind of voters and dissect why they voted the way they did? What was intended to be a landslide victory for one party took a sudden turn to elect what people describe as a country critically divided and with outside election influence?

While it may be true that the nation is politically and socially divided. There may be some rather obvious reasoning as to why there are Trump supporters? I remember a time where Senator Jesse Helms would win by a landslide in a state where Democrats outnumbered registered Republicans. Yet if you asked any North Carolinian how they voted you wouldn’t hear the name Jesse Helms at all. It is a cryptic and secretive voter scheme to protect the politician that people love to hate. It is somewhat like a Trump rally. You may not know any Trump supporter but are surprised to learn of an unsuspecting individual that attended. This is how and will remain the taciturn election cycle.

But the Trump election is somewhat similar to the Helms scenario. Perhaps Trump supporters are slightly xenophobic, conventionalists, or seek strict societal controls? Trump supporters are far less inclined to care about who is not telling the truth, facts, sexual improprieties, corruption, political correctness, or free press. Sure, these descriptions follow an ethical rule, but to Trump supporters, these issues don’t put food on the table or hold much merit.

I was recently at a Target store and overheard two African American women carrying on a conversation. What made this particular conversation stand out was the two were using colorful words such as fuck, bitch, shit, motherfucker and other expletives somewhat loudly where others could hear – including children. I looked over at other patrons watching body language and facial expressions which ranged from deep glares to curled lips. As the two women walked towards the checkout, I could overhear a woman saying to another man “people like that are the reason our country has so many issues.” It was a stark and loose comment that perhaps Trump supporters may have considerable prejudiced viewpoints mixed with authoritarian aggression such as social manners and common courtesies while in public. However, I wonder what would have happened if the two African American women would have been Caucasian? Would anyone notice or express similar facial expressions? Trump supporters will argue that the ‘N’ word should never be used. Yet pop culture continues to frequently use the ‘N’ word in lyrics and conversation. It fuels the opposite as double standards amplifying a further divisional standard.

This brings me to the Trump allegations of sexual harassment and improprieties. The typical Trump supporter doesn’t give a hoot about Stormy Daniels or the list of Trump sleepovers or issues. Why? Because most Trump or conservatives firmly believe consent between two people is just that. It is the attitude that private matters between two parties are none of our business.  Basically, you can claim to be a virgin one moment but cannot declare a mulligan to reclaim your virginity. It is not up to public inspection. The average conservative politician may voice concern about a sex allegation but usually finds the words, “the victim shouldn’t have allowed herself to become vulnerable” or something closely related to that effect. Conservatives and Trump followers think that sex crimes belong in one category where overwhelming evidence demonstrates the classical rape sequence. Anything beyond that is he said – she said story. Social justice warriors are attempting to change that by challenging judges that don’t rule the way they deem necessary and fair. But time will ultimately tell when Trump styled judges eventually find their way to the bench to dismiss or overturn based on evidence or conditions.

As for facts, free press, and corruption it can be argued that politicians have been violating this for eons and will continue to do so as a right of passage or interpretation. Let’s face facts that lobbyists and dollars run the nation – not politicians. American political corruption has been the core of our institution, and a catalyst for pop culture television shows ever since the introduction of the West Wing. As Americans, we love a scandal so much that the Trump administration has made a complete four-year live television series keeping scandal in news headlines. It is so compelling that we have no idea what legislation has been introduced and passed over the past year. In fact, we can barely name any of the Trump cabinets – unless they are under investigation.

A reason the country is divided may be because of how we have separated the dialog. Our advocates are the press with questions not of the typical American individual – but representing particularly social justice or trending feeds. The average American is not glued to Facebook, Twitter, or other social justice sites. Americans are fighting legal battles, high-interest rates, watching Family Guy, and just barely above water avoiding any mention on social media as it may be the result of not having a job. In contrast, the Trump supporter is engaged with any tactic necessary to introduce or forward anything that appears real, truthful, and conventional. Afterall, that is what typical America seems to want no matter what the cost.

What is a landslide is how we embrace media and television to watch a scandal unfold and change right before our eyes. We are no longer concerned for the poor, homeless, wrongfully convicted, starving, needy, and the impoverished. As long as we have our reality television show filled with distractions and unfounded analysis so will the rhetoric of blended real and fake information.

Democrats felt the Bern on Election Day

Democratic Party and Hillary campaign staffers ultimately shuttered out Bernie Sanders supporters.

Since the day after the election, I have watched media outlets nearly overload its own circuits at how Trump miraculously won. It is somewhat like watching and listening to everyone taunt that Santa is coming to town, but he fails to show. That suggestion alone may be another reason that Hillary lost the election. Sure, we could go through all the conspiracy theory rhetoric claims from Russia, the CIA director, voter fraud and other issues. But one thing is very clear, the Democratic Party and Hillary campaign staffers ultimately shuttered out Bernie Sanders supporters. The Democratic Convention was perhaps a warning that Sanders supporters would alienate its own party on election day.

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What I failed to hear from Hillary over the course of her campaign was her connection to the working class. Instead, I would argue that Trump made a much better connection with these voters primarily with his snake oil sales pitches. Hey, it doesn’t have to be true, but you do have to connect to get voters to the polls. Apparently, Trump won those voters while Hillary alienated the Sanders camp. There was little or no mention about Bernie’s visions and how to mesh those camps together, other than just get to the polls. This was, in my opinion, no way to connect with its party and perhaps a crucial part of how Hillary lost an election. What I did hear over and over is that Hillary would be our first female president. While I would have been grateful to witness that moment, it didn’t provide a credible quality to my needs as a voter.

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Many political observers felt during the election cycle that the Republican Party was dead. Instead, Trump rebranded it and sold it to the American people. The Democratic Party had a fracture all along and pretended it had no outstanding issues. The biggest problem was that it didn’t rally its own party to show to the polls and perhaps abandoned nearly half of its Sanders supporters along the way. I would argue that the Democratic Party might be on life support or in need of some anti-anxiety medication for future elections. Perhaps the Democratic Party needs to rebrand itself. It’s going to be a huge struggle now that we have a Republican president and Republican controlled house and senate. There is also a significant possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will shift towards becoming majority conservative. Was the Republican Party really dead? I think not. It was the Democratic Party that became complacent and overly confident of the American people. It was the Democratic Party that fell asleep during this election year and incidentally gave out Ambien pills to the Sanders supporters it should have been energizing all along.

Election Conspiracy Theory

When I hear “Conspiracy Theory” I tend to roll my eyes and shut down my listening ability. To be quite honest I don’t find much if any credibility at all in conspiracy planning. Today I was in the car running some errands and noticed a few lingering campaign signs along the roadway. What struck me was during the entire election cycle there was not one Trump or Clinton sign visible. I shrugged it off thinking perhaps the television ads alone were enough. But as I was listening to the radio I heard something about Vice-President Elect Pense saying, “If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences.” I began to think perhaps our general election could have been hacked but not in the traditional sense.

Naturally, all eyes are on voting machines and ballots. But there are strange anomalies during the canvas stage. For example, when Britain held a referendum on whether to leave the European Union (Brexit) all polls seemed to lean on remaining. The result was a shocking exit plan. Immediately afterward media outlets were trying to understand or interpret polls versus ballots. Nearly the same circumstance occurred with Trump versus Clinton. All polls appeared to lean towards Clinton, but the result flipped traditional blue states to red.

What if, just what if the canvas data and polling information were skewed and adulterated by Russia or another nation? Of course, this would be the most surprising identifier of events to alter an election and perhaps the most ridiculous theory. But it could be possible.

What presents an argument for my case is the Stuxnet program. Stuxnet is a computer worm that was developed to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. What is most intriguing about the virus was its ability to go undetected. The worm also infected a nuclear power plant in Russia. The Stuxnet program was not intended to harm computers and networks. Instead, it was designed to alter and reverse data calculations. That program ran during the George W. Bush years until 2015. That is a long time to go undetected.

Here is something to ponder. What if hackers took the original code and altered it to shift election data results. Of course, election officials at the state level are not concerned with polls and data. Instead, they are watching ballots and machine data carefully. But many polls use standard software platforms and continually share random samplings of purchased or shared consumer data. The same data that seems to be frequently hacked at banks, stores, and online. If there is a similar virus introduced and designed to manipulate canvas and poll data, then that would affect any election result. Perhaps the beta test was Brexit? The ultimate test was the recent U.S. elections – If that theory is correct.

I certainly hope that my question about conspiracy theory is not taken as an interpretation of a sore loser. I will recognize whoever is our national leader. But perhaps there may be a clue that something is wrong with our data. We had every indication that another nation may try to influence our election process. Perhaps this was how it was done?

Message v. Audience

Tim Kaine and Mike Pence duked it out at the Vice Presidential Debate. My initial impression of Gov. Pence was he sounded like a confident baritone. However listing to Sen. Kaine was sadly similar to the television character Barnie Fife. Kaine’s tone was interrupting at times muddled with lots of information to provide in response to rhetoric delivered by Trump. Instead, the debate was lost in transit. Kaine seemed to fail on delivering an effective punch line despite having a dossier of Trump failures and past poor performances.

However, when it came to practical answers, Sen. Kaine connected with solid answers. This is where it is tricky. Kaine had the answers, but I feel he did not connect them well to the audience. Gov. Pence did not engage in response to some questions. In some instances, Gov. Pence was either speechless or quiescent. For example, during the debate, Sen. Kaine responded to a question about Mr. Trump and his contentious bias. Instead of responding, Gov. Pence turned away from the camera without providing any comment. It was an extraordinary and restrained moment that may raise further questions or inquiry. However, a remarkable silver lining appeared for Pence. I feel Pence was able to score well with the audience. While it may be true Pence was using up the clock a bit to agitate Kaine; it may prove to be effective and a solid overall tally that Pence may have won the debate.

Sen. Kaine did an excellent job of answering questions and was prepared. What I would have hoped for is for Sen. Kaine to speak to his audience as if he had to assume the role of the President and to slow his delivery in a calmer manner. I felt Kaine missed many opportunities to deliver a simple message. Instead, he sounded a bit like the “guy invited to prom by the girl making it sound as if it is his car in the parking lot- not his dad’s.”

Gov. Pence seemed just as prepared. What I found most interesting was his use of the camera, mannerisms, and control. Pence commanded the camera and audience tone. He delivered a very clear and straightforward message without any supporting plan, proof or confusing statistics. In fact, I felt comfortable with Pence that his performance was fresh and calm. In fact, it felt as if he should be running for President and Trump would be on the Vice Presidential ticket. Reality set in later and my notes could not provide one proof concrete plan by the Trump-Pence ticket. Pence repeatedly mentions to the audience about a “The Trump Plan” mixed with Trump’s enormous business successes without ever delivering validation that it exists for review. It somewhat felt like an episode of an old western movie where the snake oil salesman came to the town. However, what I did connect with is that Pence may have his sights on something greater after this election. Tonight I think he proved that he is a strong future candidate for President.

The poor moderator, Elaine Quijano, didn’t have much control over the debate. Her questions seemed ignored or rejected altogether because of back and forth nit picking. Nearly each issue that Quijano asked didn’t receive a proper answer because the standard answer by each candidate was, “can I respond to that last question?” A moderator should assume control like a good reporter and project manager by remaining focused on the agenda at hand. Maybe town hall debates might put candidates back on track and allow America to get to know candidates better.

Sure, both candidates appeared polished and scripted. However, the bigger issue at hand is not “a heartbeat away” from becoming the next President. However, how will they influence policy and the Senate as a presiding officer and powerful part of the administration? Instead, I think this debate may set the national tone and its impact. What is more important? Getting the message right or connecting with the audience? It should be interesting how poll numbers change after the debate to determine that strategy.

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