Total Pageviews

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Positives of Trump's Victory - from a Canadian Who Thinks Both Candidates Were Terrible

Name one thing you liked about Trump's campaign. If you can't, consider the possibility that your political views are unbalanced and biased. If you look hard enough, you should never agree or disagree 100% with a political platform.

Name one thing you disliked about Clinton's campaign. If you can't, similar problem.

There's no point listing the obvious reasons Trump is a terrible candidate. I also won't be listing the less obvious reasons Clinton was a terrible candidate. Instead I want to give a unique perspective on the 2016 election results. I haven't seen anything like this yet: the positives of Trump's victory - from someone who thinks both candidates were terrible.

Money in Politics
This is the first time since the 1950s that the presidential candidate who spent the most money did not win. Clinton spent about 600 million, Trump spent about 280 million (1 2). You may argue that money doesn't cause the winner, it's just a symptom of a winning campaign. In other words, donors are wise and want a good relationship with the winning candidate.

Even if that's true, Trump's lean campaign is a good thing for US politics. Money spent on Clinton's 2016 campaign was literally taking money out of politics.

Bureaucratic Bloat
This is from Trump's brief platform posted weeks before election day:

"THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated"

I think this is an incredible idea. A comment on reddit says the Code of Federal Regulations had one million rules in 2010, the 2013 print has 174,545 pages. I don't have a better source but that's certainly believable, no? Canada has done this with great success: "In British Columbia, regulation has been reduced by 40 percent." The rule is designed to ease the burden on businesses.

An entire industry of legal work has been constructed by legislators, lawyers, and accountants. I don't think this was malicious - just a natural result of human nature. Nobody wants to review old laws, but everyone has ideas for new ones.

War
This is the first time in modern history that a president will have no military experience. Even though military contractors stock prices surged upon his election, I do see Trump's lack of military experience as the first step in the long process of separating military interests from the executive branch. Suddenly, you can be a US patriot and president with no history in the military. That's a good thing. A quick note: Clinton also has no military experience, but possibly not out of choice.

Health
"Fix our broken mental health system. All of the tragic mass murders that occurred in the past several years have something in common – there were red flags that were ignored. We can’t allow that to continue. We must expand treatment programs, and reform the laws to make it easier to take preventive action to save innocent lives. Most people with mental health problems are not violent, but just need help, and these reforms will help everyone."

Sounds great. I really hope this moves forward and doesn't get buried by everything else. Note how the proposed solution is not arming teachers with guns, or increasing security forces in schools.

Technology Skills Suddenly Matter
Regardless of what you feel about Clinton's emails, there's no argument that it seriously hurt her campaign. This may be the end of an era. It's no longer safe for politicians to be "extremely careless" with their use of technology. In the future, more technology consultants will be hired in politics. Campaign staffers will get more technology training so they don't get phished. Politicians will have to learn about encryption and privacy. That's all great! Especially in contrast to the current state of things:

"A few years ago, US Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan revealed that her fellow justices on the High Court were not technologically savvy. They didn't really understand Facebook and Twitter, she said, and they still communicated with each other by writing memos on heavy ivory paper delivered by an aide."

Politicians that know more about technology pass better legislation. Had Clinton won, I don't feel that the penalties for technological illiteracy would have been so pronounced.

Trudeau's Wisest Move Yet
Leader of the NDP, Tom Mulcair called Donald Trump a fascist and urged Trudeau to do the same. Another positive behind Trump's victory is revealing that Trudeau has a good temperament for international politics. Mulcair wanted to place a landmine in Canada-US relations, a landmine which we would have just stepped on. Instead, Trudeau patiently waited. Trudeau already identifies as a feminist. We know he disagrees with Trump on social issues. What is there to gain by throwing insults at a vindictive presidential candidate?

Not a Democracy?
Recent studies out of Princeton and Harvard conclude that the United States is not a democracy. Recent US elections rank the lowest among developed democracies on campaign finance and electoral registration. In the past decades, public opinion has had nearly zero influence on hundreds of the biggest policy decisions. Instead, the side with more money overwhelmingly wins.

Over the past several years, I've grown more and more certain that the US is only able to elect leaders that respect corporate interests.

Trump proves that the Republican party is able to elect a candidate they dislike. I didn't think that was possible. Did you? It turns out that the Republican leadership do not totally control their half of US democracy. That's a good thing. Americans still have the power to choose their future. Americans that don't like their leadership have an honest chance to express themselves in the next election. I didn't think this was the case before Trump's victory.

The Democratic party secretly, internally opposed Bernie Sanders up to a year before the primaries. I'm not saying Sanders would have won without this opposition, but it certainly didn't help. Would Trump have done as well had the Republicans picked their candidate a year in advance? I'm not sure. Probably not.

The Future
Americans' distaste for both Trump and Clinton is record breaking. Both parties have utterly failed to inspire or represent American citizens. It's also clear that neither party is happy with the outcome - even the Republican leadership mostly denounced Trump before his victory.

For better or for worse, the Republican party listened to populism. The Democrat party listened to their elites. Everyone will learn from the result. I think both parties will learn from 2016 and choose excellent candidates for the next elections.

No comments:

Post a Comment