Making Some Sense of the Election

By now, anyone interested in politics has read and/or heard a barrage of contradictory and mostly made-up explanations for the outcome of the 2016 election. Donald Trump will be our next president. Hillary Clinton will not.


(Photo from WDIV, Channel 4 in Detroit.)

Hillary won a plurality of the popular vote; not a majority, but her plurality was larger than Trump’s plurality. Loud proclamations that Hillary won the popular vote may leave the impression that a majority of Americans voted for Hillary for President, but that is not actually true.

The vote totals, so far: 128,928,498; Clinton, 61,289,897 for 47.54% of the popular vote; Trump, 60,589,309 for 46.99%; Johnson, 4,191,755 fo 3.25%; Stein, 1,267,760 for 0.98%; McMullin, 490,524 for 0.38 %; write-ins and others, 1,099,253 for 0.86%. The numbers and therefore the percentages may change slightly – but only slightly – as official and certified vote counts become available. Percentages given here, whatever their other flaws, add up to exactly 100%.

Roughly 57% of eligible voters actually voted this year. In other words, those approximately 129 million votes are only 57% of 226 million registered voters, meaning another 97 million who did not vote at all. Using 226 million as the figure for the number of Americans who COULD have voted, Clinton got the support of 27.1%; Trump, 26.8%; Johnson, 1.9%; and Stein, 0.6%. The 43% who, by not voting, supported nobody for President are by far the largest voting block.

On the “Meet the Press” Sunday morning TV show, Trump’s campaign manager tried to say that Trump “has a mandate” for something or other. That’s just bullshit. Trump has even less of a mandate than Clinton would have if the popular vote elected a President. Both have the support of about 27% of American voters, with active or passive opposition from the rest.

For a more detailed analysis of voter turnout, with easily readable charts, everyone should read this valuable article: No kidding, it’s a must-read, because it deals with the must-understand fundamental facts of this election that any theory about what happened must explain and most do not. Amid all excuses, recriminations & other theories, these are the facts you need to explain.

And this, by me, is almost a must-read. Certainly, it’s in the category of a valuable read. It points to some very important issues that were never mentioned in any of the Presidential campaigns, and what can and cannot be done about them:

The Detroit Free Press ( had several interesting articles about the election in their Sunday, November 13 paper. In more than one, it was pointed out that increasing jobs, particularly manufacturing jobs with decent wages, in Michigan is a top priority among those Michiganders who supported Trump. In another, the author opined that there are at least 4 campaign promises on which Trump should – must, if his presidency is to succeed – reverse himself. One of these is Trump’s position on climate change. These two goals are completely contradictory.

For any President, any Congress or any possible national policy, reducing emissions in completely incompatible with reviving a manufacturing economy which is powered by burning fossil fuels. This is as true for Jill’s Green New Deal as it is for Trump’s deal or Hillary’s deal.

No doubt, some people do not accept that point of view, and will want to show how it is not true. Please do so in the comment section. As long as it is not a personally insulting rant, the comment will be published.

I think the contradiction between a growing industrial economy and reducing emissions is definite. To reduce emissions, reduce activities which cause emissions. I’m interested in why anyone would believe otherwise.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s