This is a scratchpad for my current thoughts.
A few thoughts:
We know this was a tableflip against the entire government.
We (I believe) also know that this was powered by xenophobia / racism to some degree.
The question is how much of each it was.
That’s important because the answer (or perceived answer) will determine how the losing sides come to accept the change.
In the best narrative, we didn’t elect Trump. What we did was elect the one person willing to drain the swamp and start over.
In the worst narrative, we just proved that you can be a complete bully and sexist and still win big with women. In that world we’ve basically validated the asshole jock trope where the mean, cheating rich guy still gets the girl (the girl being both America and women in general in this case).
This demonstrated clearly that nobody liked Clinton, which we knew but didn’t fully appreciate. She couldn’t mobilize women, couldn’t mobilize minorities, and couldn’t mobilize liberals. They stayed home while the tableflippers and xenophobes went and voted—many for the first time most likely.
I am most worried about Trump’s judgement with his team. Chris Christie? Ben Carson? These are some of the worst possible people to be in charge of important things. Way worse than Trump in my mind.
Trump now becomes our only defense against a Pence presidency, which I honestly feel would be truly frightening.
I’d love to see Trump kill off tons of unnecessary regulations. I’d love to see him massively simplify the tax code. I’d love to see him clean up lobbying. I’d love to believe that he will do these things because he’s immune to money influence, but he’s not. This is clearly true because he’s obviously still obsessed with money. He talks about his businesses constantly, his product lines, etc. This is precisely the type of person who is likely to accept deals and various other types of bribes in exchange for influence. Let us hope that he can prove me wrong here and resist these sorts of things.
I’m also extremely worried about his hubris. The best thing that could possibly happen for him to realize he doesn’t know much of anything, and to listen to smart people. The problem is his judgement of who is smart and who isn’t. If Huckabee and Christie and Carson are his smart people, we’re in major trouble.
Feminism took a hit from reality tonight, even if most of the choice turns out to be about replacing government and not about him and his behavior or views.
I’m quite concerned about companies tightening up, saving money, and not doing much until things smooth over, which could be in 4 years. That could be catastrophic for the economy.
I can’t wait to see how he’s going to spend way more while taking in far less money. This would have to be powered by tremendous reforms in business and value creation, and I just don’t see how those could happen (or happen fast enough).
I am optimistic on one side, however. Lots and lots of democrats were (and are) extremely upset about the government’s inaction as well. They should try their best to embrace this as a fix. Turn it into something positive and move forward.
I worry about riots in the coming days, and over the weekend. That won’t help anyone.
I worry about a Brownback economy of low taxes and massive deficits, which is at this point expected behavior.
It was genuinely great what he said about Hilary and about unity. Phenomenal to see that.
Pollsters might become one of the first knowledge worker jobs that gets replaced by machine learning.
Another interesting point here that supports this not just being about race is that if Bernie Sanders had another month he probably would have beaten Hilary as well. Why? Because he was tapping into the same feeling that Trump did.
Trump said he’d get lots of Black votes, and did. Remarkable.
Scott Adams will probably get lots of credit for being right all along. It’s not correct. His prediction that he would win because he was special and talented as a persuader. I think, to the Sanders point, this is far more about people wanting sweeping change and he was the only person left who represented that.
There’s another narrative that I thought of but don’t necessarily believe, which is that of a Faustian exchange. Imagine this idealistic, pure Hilary Clinton, who, over the decades, did increasingly questionable things. And each time she’d feel horrible about them on reflection, but she tell herself, “It was for a good reason. It’ll be worth it once I get the power to make positive change.” But then decades later you’re known for your compromises, not for your principles. It’s the House of Cards model. Start pure, take “necessary” steps, but eventually lose your way. Again, I’m not saying that happened, but it’s an interesting possible view.
Another interesting point—Trump spent 90% of his life as basically a liberal. Since he ran against everyone in this election, he could potentially be far less conservative in his execution.
Ultimately, though, I’m looking to turn the corner and be positive.
As I said in a tweet above, everyone is multiple people. There are a lot of bad Trumps. Sexist Trump. Pompous Trump. Arrogant Trump. Etc.
But maybe there are actually good ones as well. And I honestly believe that. Maybe he also actually cares, and maybe he actually does intend to represent everyone and fix things. I do believe him when he says that.
But being well-intentioned and naive doesn’t help much. Bush II was well-intentioned and naive, and took us into Iraq. Obama was well-intentioned and naive and we had 7 years of inaction.
Whatever happens it won’t be boring.