Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Post Election Reactions - It's a long one

This morning I woke up to emails from friends in Britain sympathizing with me. They warned of hate crimes they saw after Brexit because actual racist people saw this as affirmation that their country hated foreigners. They felt they could act out. My friends still mourn the loss of their country's personality. 

A message came from Axel in Germany telling Sal and I that we could come live in his apartment to escape the wave of conflicting ideals in America and that most of Germany is terrified of a Trump presidency. 

A co-worker from Canada IM'ed me this morning, quipping that their immigration site went down from the amount of people wanting to see what it took, but that we should seriously consider moving to Canada because they have good beer, better hockey, and awesome cities. 

I'm sure Americans all over heard similar stories from foreign friends. Back in May, CNN searched for countries openly endorsing a Trump presidency. Time Magazine found that Trump has alienated much of Europe. They found the likes of Sri Lanka, China, Russia, Zimbabwe were among the countries where Trump was popular and literally the rest of the world didn't want him to come to power.

I'd love to join the droves of people that always say, "I'm heading to Canada." But that's not the answer. 

After seeing Missouri almost completely voted against everything that I did, I thought, maybe Sal and I pick up our bags and move to a more moderate or blue state. 

But I love my country and my city. (I hate my state) Me leaving doesn't solve anything. It just takes another voice away from what is now the opposition voice. 

I was never going to be 100% happy as no one should be with who our leaders are. There should be some ideal you don't agree with. Blindly following a party is a terrible way to run a political system.

I have socialist tendencies that I know are a pipe dream that can never exist. I'd love to have a nationalized health service, free or reduced higher education costs, gay marriage, easy access to women's services, real work toward solving oncoming global disasters such as global warming, limited resources, exploding populations. 

As someone that knows what it's like to pay 60% of your salary to medical bills and student loans, I would gladly pay 30% in taxes to pay for higher education and have a nationalized health service. 

Is it because I support all of that? Not necessarily, but I do think as long as what you're doing doesn't affect me, I shouldn't tell you not to do it. 

Breaking it down poll by poll

President Trump vs Clinton vs Johnson vs Stein

This was a tough one to swallow. As I said before, we had some terrible candidates to choose from. 

I had hoped for a couple things. 

The third parties would get enough votes to be taken seriously next election. They did not. 

Clinton would win if for no other reason than we stay the course for now. The past 8 years have been constantly getting better for Sal and I. We've been able to get a house, we've been promoted and given raises, many of our friends have gotten married and bought houses, we have gay friends that feel comfortable coming out, women have made great strides in equality in the workplace. 

It was a huge positive swing from where we were, 25 and scared of our future at the end of Bush's presidency.

It's not fair to break down Trump supporters as racist and sexist. I know most of them are not. A lot of votes weren't pro-Trump, they were anti-Hillary.

There are a lot of people in the rust belt that have seen factories leave their small towns for Mexico and China. They grasp at this version of America where they have a fair chance at a living wage, wave American flags along parade routes, and know their neighbors. Instead, they feel stuck in these small towns that are dying because industry left. 

But I did hope Trump would shake the foundation of the Republican party. I was hoping long time supporters would take a good long look at what it had become. 

I had hoped that Evangelicals would see Trump as a walking character of vice and someone who doesn't appreciate the sanctity of marriage. He's a man that's been divorced multiple times, has openly admitted to adulterous activity, and encouraged former wife Marla Maples to get an abortion. He's the embodiment of greed, lust, gluttony, pride, and wrath. 

I had hoped the moderate Republicans would be repulsed by his anti-semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-Mexican rhetoric. They'd look at his economic policies and realize the deficit he would bring if unchallenged to do what he pleased. They would call for their party to reign it in a bit.  

But here we are. The popular vote was barely skewed in Clinton's favor, but the electoral college system put Trump in power. It's a system that we know the rules for and try to play to it. And this time, Trump won. 

Democrats now have to look in the mirror and figure out how they were beaten by a guy that was barely supported by his own party. They have to figure out if it was worth skewing the primary for Hillary.

Sal came barreling up the stairs to wake me up at 2 am when they announced it, frantic and almost in tears. All the progress we thought we were making. All of the hope and the things we loved about the Obama presidency, all of it is being handed to Trump. 

Not only is it being handed to Trump, but unless his party challenges him, he has almost no opposition. There's not a Republican President, Senate, House, Governor majority, State Senate, and State House and probably Supreme Court. 

This is not something to celebrate. No party should ever gain that much power. It disrupts all of our checks and balances. 

US Senator - Kander vs Blunt

Kander was sort of a dream Democratic candidate. He was moderate, good looking, served in the military, and was taking on a lame duck when Missouri could use some change. Missouri has been in a terrible financial situation, rank 32nd in education, and got a C- in our transportation and infrastructure

I thought this would be where we saw the most likely change. But it not to be. 

Governor - Koster vs Greitens

I didn't really have anything to say about Koster. I was picking him because Greitens and his supporters just seemed like terrible people. Every time I picked up the phone or read one of his flyers it was just very machismo and "you gonna try to take our guns pussy? I'll punch you in your face." So I voted Koster, mostly to be against Greitens. 

State Treasurer - Baker vs Schmidt

I actually voted Republican on this one. Schmidt had more experience and better economic policies. This is the only election my candidate won.

Tobacco Taxes

Both of these as written makes it sound like a good thing. Increase the tax on tobacco by a certain amount and it goes to schools and roads and such. 

But there's something shady here. Tobacco companies were the ones supporting these. Places like the American Cancer Association, American Lung Association, Cancer-Free Kids Association all opposed it. It's the way the amendment was written. It basically seems like this will be a way for Tobacco companies to get good press and more money. 

I voted against both of these. They both passed. 

Voter ID

On it's face, I support this one. But with the caveat that it's easier to get IDs. This amendment as written is going to create another hurdle for people to vote and the people it's going to affect the most are the poor and hourly workers. Ones that may not have a drivers license. They are going to see that they have to pay for a non-drivers license and get it updated every few years and basically say, "It's not worth it."

I voted against this measure.

Campaign contribution limits

This was a tough one for me. I went back and forth. I hate how much money plays into politics nowadays. I would love to strangle it out. 

But it also said it would cost the state a lot of money per year to enact this law. Money that if Missouri history holds true will come from roads and education. 

Ultimately I voted yes on this, hoping that the change it will force in future years may ultimately balance out the price. 

Sales Tax Limits

This was a hard one. Do we start taxing labor industries such as hair stylists, massage parlors, etc.? The income for those workers is already pretty low for something that costs so much. 

But, inevitably marijuana will be legal. (It's going to be everywhere in the next 10 years) This would also allow Missouri to tax marijuana growers and dealers and boost the state income by a ton. Income we are desperate for. 

I voted against this measure only because Missouri hasn't even entertained Medical marijuana, so figured we could revisit this in the future.