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Who Elected the Wrestler-in-Chief?

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Photo by Mark Taylor | CC BY 2.0

Here in the U.S., the spectacle of a president wrestling a symbolic opponent to the ground, in this case the media, wasn’t a necessary symbol for those who have known for a long time that something is very, very “rotten in the state of Denmark.” Something besides the wrestling episode could be culled by those sufficiently primed to understand psychological and political undercurrents of behavior. We have someone unglued in the presidency and a mass media that has long been the sycophant for those in power and those with extreme wealth.

The fact that a person of limited capabilities is in the wheelhouse of the most powerful and aggressive nation on Earth gives many pause. The alternative of no less than a warmonger to our new wrestler-in-chief was no cause for celebration either. Hillary Clinton and the leadership of the Democratic Party are still fighting to win the hearts and minds of an electorate that has long-since tired of the insanity that is the national election process, a process that has turned into a reflection of the new Gilded Age.

Amid all of this, and as a footnote to Mrs. Clinton’s “basket of deplorables [sic],” is the wrongheaded analysis of what went wrong with the actual vote, if indeed Mrs. Clinton’s victory would have actually been a result that amounted to what went right.

Social science  practitioners are trained to form theories or guesses about society, test those guesses in studies, and draw conclusions in the form of logical conclusions. It’s a very imperfect process, but it works to a degree. How different research in the social sciences is from the bogus Electoral College system of electing a president that negates the concept of one person/one vote. The defects of that system are so glaring that when huge sums of money are factored into the electoral process, and then hordes of people are kept away from the polls by various stratagems of voter suppression, it is not hard to conclude that the system is so fixed as to be laughable. Indeed, no other representative democracy on Earth elects its leaders other than through the will of the people. Since the U.S. is no longer a functioning representative democracy, criticizing this electoral lunacy is not particularly productive.

George Edwards writes in Why the Electoral College is Bad for America that “The United States is the only country that elects a politically powerful president via an electoral college and the only one in which a candidate can become president without having obtained the highest number of votes in the sole or final round of popular voting.”

We live in a society where logic and reason have been turned on their heads and relegated to the dustbin of history.

There is accurate polling data from the November 2016 election that is far superior than much of the original polling data that showed Mrs. Clinton as the victor even as the evening moved on during election night.

The demonstrable truth is that most of Trump’s voters were not working-class voters, as was wrongly noted in The Atlantic magazine: The “billionaire developer is building a blue-collar foundation,” (“It’s time to bust the myth: Most Trump voters were not working class,” The Washington Post, June 5, 2017). The two social scientists who wrote the article found that “Trump supporters were mostly affluent Republicans”…  “[O]nly a third of Trump supporters had household incomes at or below the national median of about $50,000.” And another surprise to those who want to lump Trump supporters together with those whom Trump egged on to violence at some of his campaign rallies lies in the undeniable fact that just about the same voters who supported Trump in November, supported him during the presidential primary season.

And those well-off Republicans who voted for Trump during the primary election season not only had more money, but also were “well” educated… wrong again! A full “70 percent of all Republicans didn’t have college degrees…” So, a conclusion can be reached that lots of Trump supporters had money in their pockets, but didn’t have college degrees. The writers found that: “one in five white Trump voters without a college degree had a household income over $100,000.” In an apples and oranges comparison, it might be worth noting that it’s the bottom fifth quintile of the economic system that fights the endless wars in which the U.S. is now engaged. It’s a kind of topsy-turvy Alice in Wonderland view of those who fight endless wars for the elite and the elite who elected Trump.

The coalition of blue-collar white and working-class voters weren’t the ones who gave us Donald Trump, wrestler-in-chief. Deplorable is not exactly a term that most social scientists would feel comfortable with, and in any case, it wasn’t so-called deplorable people who elected Trump as president.

And in yet another replay of nonsense, this from the Group of 20 summit in Germany that ought to give comfort to the Democrats, The Boston Globe reports that “President Donald Trump opened his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin by raising concerns about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters, (“Trump reportedly presses Putin on election; Russia denies interfering,” June 7, 2017). The whole world is watching and is arguably in as much danger since the end of the Cold War and drivel is the best that Trump can do while 10,000 marched in the streets on Friday and dozens were arrested!

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Howard Lisnoff is a freelance writer. He is the author of Against the Wall: Memoir of a Vietnam-Era War Resister (2017).

CounterPunch Magazine


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