Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

15 November 2016

Post-Mortem Observations on the 2016 Election

Hillary Clinton is claiming that she lost the election because FBI Director Comey re-opened the investigation of her criminal e-mail activities days before the election.  In reality, her speculation and that of many others claiming a single reason for her loss, or for that matter a loss in any close presidential race, is simply silly.  It was a close contest and the loser was the loser for many, many reasons.  Yes, changing one or two choices the candidate made might have made the difference and brought victory instead of defeat.  But, almost always there are many choices any one of which might have changed the outcome of the election.

Broadly speaking, Hillary might have had a more positive attitude toward allowing businesses to grow, and she would have won the election.  In fact, she might well have won the election had she simply not been a threat to those who earn a living in whole or in part due to the coal industry and due to the fracking of oil and gas.  She very barely lost Pennsylvania with its 20 electoral votes and while she lost Ohio rather more decisively, it was still an obtainable state.  Hillary especially lost votes in western PA and in eastern and southern OH, relative to Obama's results.  See the US map on the front page of The Wall Street Journal of 10 November 2016, which color codes the degree of the Democrat vote loss relative to the 2012 election.  These are areas in which coal was long a mainstay to the economy and in which the recent booms due to oil and gas from fracking operations have produced an economic revival.

So, did Hillary lose the 38 electoral votes of OH and PA because she was threatening the fossil fuels and all the service providers of these areas?  Had she won those votes and still lost Michigan, she would have had 270 electoral college votes to Trump's 268 electoral votes, assuming his win in MI holds up.  Her completely bogus and irrational vendetta against these industries may well have cost her the election.  Irrational choices often have direful consequences. As hard as I have fought to argue against the false catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis and such additional bogus claims such as measurable harm from mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants, Hillary's loss of the election due to her desire to destroy the fossil fuel industries is sweet indeed.

Of course, Obama had himself threatened the coal industry, but many people did not take that so seriously back then.  Whatever his predilections, they may have thought that Congress would keep him from destroying the industry.  As it happened, Obama used the regulatory agencies to do that destruction, so a Hillary following him and using the same strategies had to be taken as a more serious threat in this election. In addition, the growth of the oil and gas production in eastern and southern Ohio and in western Pennsylvania was remarkable in the four years straddling Obama's re-election, with the realization of the importance of fracking to the benefiting areas of OH and PA taking some time to occur to much of the population in those areas.  Try as hard as Obama's EPA did to find an excuse to attack the fracking practice, they had limited success in doing so, though pressure among the "environmental" Democrats continues to mount for doing so.  Some unnecessary and wrongheaded regulations based on the catastrophic man-made global warming fraud are in the pipeline now.

Some Democrats like to make a big deal about Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote by about 798,000 votes.  Of course the rules are that one has to win the electoral vote, which requires the candidates to try to appeal to people across the nation.  This requirement helps to minimize factions in politics, which we surely have more than enough of as it is.  It helps to keep candidates from just favoring those who live in high population density areas.  It helps to keep them from stomping on the interests of those who live in low cost of living areas too much.  In other words, it penalizes those who want to exterminate the industries that some people depend upon for a living if they do not live in those high population areas.  It means that if you promote a minimum wage of $15 an hour for the entire nation, you might incur a political cost for the concerns that many people living in low cost of living areas, almost always outside high population density areas, will have about losing their jobs or their businesses.  It even serves as a bit of protection against those who would discriminate against people based on their ethnicity, since ethnicity is not evenly distributed across the country or between low and high population density areas.

Hillary needs to grow up and realize that she lost the election according to its rules.  Of course, it is too late for her to ever grow up.  But others may still have that within their grasp.  The claim that those extra 798,000 votes mean much is diminished by a number of additional factors.  For one, the Democrats rack up a few hundred thousand illegal votes in presidential elections.  In addition, because the most populous state of California, which is heavily Democratic, had a Senate election in which both candidates on the ballot were very leftist Democrats, the Republicans of that state had much less incentive to go to the polls than did Democrats.  As a result, Trump did not get many votes in California that he would have had if a Republican had been allowed on the ballot in that Senate seat contest.  The Democrats of California have found an interesting way to diminish the meaning of the popular vote for the presidential elections.

It is interesting to note that Republicans in the elections for the House of Representatives received 3.1 million more votes than did the Democrats running for House seats.  The Republicans won 238 House seats to the Democrats 193 seats.  Republicans won 22 Senate seats (counting LA which is not technically decided until December) and the Democrats won only 12. Trump won 30 (counting MI) of the 50 state popular vote contests.  Even with a Republican presidential candidate who was not all that popular, the Republicans trounced the Democrats.  Nonetheless, such a beating can be reversed in the next election cycle if the Republicans do not keep enough of their promises, such as finally repealing ObamaCare and allowing the economy to grow.

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