The Mourning After


The President-elect is Donald H. Trump, and I’m keyboarding this through the fog of a mild hangover.

That’s right.  Our President-elect is a reality TV star whose trademarked line is: “You're fired.”  The same dude whose candidacy was thought to be a cadaver after a tape recording was leaked on which he bragged of committing acts of sexual assault on women. Among the choir of the outraged were his own party’s leaders, some of whom asked him to step aside so that his running mate could take the lead spot and at least stand a chance of defeating Hillary Clinton.

A month ago I started worrying out loud about a reverse-Bradley effect—that millions of people would turn out to vote for Trump who had been too embarrassed to admit it to pollsters (and friends). When it was reported last night that there were unanticipated huge turnouts and I saw the long lines of what looked like attendees of Trump rallies I thought, “Uh oh. Here we go.”

The majority of voters picked Clinton, but Trump won the election because…well…I guess you could say because the system is rigged. Trump won where it counted—most of the swing states that get to decide who will be President went his way.  Watching those states on the map turn red one-by-one, my wife suddenly became a strict constitutional constructionist: “I’m pretty sure the Founders intended that only the original 13 states should have electoral college votes.”

The Rust Belt and working class Americans in general are far more pissed off than people like my wife and I imagined. They want America to be great again. We're all going to find out what that means. Buckle up.

Here's my baker’s dozen laundry list of predictions:

  1. We'll live with the Supreme Court we’ll have as a result of this election for the rest of our lives. That toothpaste is out of the tube and isn’t going back in.
  2. Obamacare is kaput.  (Most of us on still live in California—we'll see if the state replaces the ACA with something more akin to socialized medicine. Probably not.)
  3. There won't be a Great Wall of Trump on the southern border, and Mexico isn't going to pay for it (and neither will Congress), because big business and big agriculture want cheap labor.
  4. Ditto #3 for trashing all those trade agreements—it’s not gonna happen, because big business doesn’t want it to happen. Trump will tweak a few things (as routinely occurs with international agreements) and call it a “huge” renegotiation, but NAFTA and the rest aren’t going anywhere.
  5. Mammoth tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations will result in runaway deficits, just as when Bush II took office.
  6. The Middle East will continue to be a tar pit for the United States.
  7. At least one of the Trump kids will be a cabinet member. (I mean that as a joke…but is it?)
  8. The 30+ year trend of the richest Americans consolidating the majority of the nation’s wealth will continue, and the Rust Belt will continue to rust.  (To be fair to Trump, this would have continued if Clinton had been elected.  It’ll just be faster now.)
  9. Nearly all of the people who talked of moving out of the country if Clinton lost to Trump will stay put, in part because places like New Zealand (my favorite option) don’t really want us.
  10. Trump will never release his income tax returns. Not after the audit is concluded. Never. Just put out of your mind the notion that we’ll ever know how much the dude is really worth.
  11. The Clintons will likely be just fine (but see #12 below).
  12. Trump will use the powers of the office to seek revenge against those who he believes slighted him over the past year or two.  The GOP’s leaders have a short window of time to get on their knees and beg forgiveness if they want to be excluded.
  13. There won’t be a second term.

A tip of my ball cap to my colleague R.V. Scheide, who was right all along.  There was no stopping the Trump Train.

Steven Towers
Steve Towers is co-owner of a local environmental consultancy. After obtaining his Ph.D. from UC Davis and dabbling as a UCD lecturer, he took a salary job with a Sacramento environmental firm. Sitting in stop-and-go traffic on Highway 50 one afternoon, he reckoned that he was receiving 80 hours of paid vacation per year and spending 520 hours per year commuting to and from work. He and his wife Elise sold their house and moved to Redding three months later, and have been here for more than 20 years. His hobbies include travel, racquet sports, taking the dogs on hikes, and stirring pots. He can be reached at
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48 Responses

  1. trek says:

    I hope OUR new President Trump sticks with his promise to “lock her up!”

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Really?  Your one hope is that Trump proves to be vindictive once he takes office?  Even after the Republican who runs the FBI said the latest round of investigations didn’t alter the FBI’s conclusion that she shouldn’t be charged?

      This is still America, I hope.  We don’t put our political opponents in prison following elections.

      • trek says:

        Why, are they to be held above the law? That goes for both sides.

        • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

          It’s not about being above the law.  It’s about due process.  Trump doesn’t get to lock her up just because he promised to do that.  That’s not how it works……at least up until now.

    • Rod says:

      You’re right trek.  I’m gonna watch this play itself out.  I felt cheated and disrespected by the Clinton gang.  Modern thugs on a personal mission of manipulating emotions via political aspirations of Americans.  We’re not quite as dumb as the Hillocrats thought.  We saw the light when all they saw was dark.

      When the chips do begin to fall, the Washington DC swamp will be a healthier location for beneficial and helpful government standards of ethics.

      When the Trump family campaign for the second term reaches full stride, Clinton might be a sad memory for all Americans.

      Hill should have divorced herself from ill years ago, she would now be the president elect.  She has always been above his immaturity.  Talk about being chained to a heavy burden.  The lady has guts and good intentions, she needed a clean platform.

  2. Barbara Rice Barbara Rice says:

    I already took one comment down. Please refer to the Comment Policy above, especially:

     “Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it.”



  3. Rod says:

    In spite of how deranged the 2 campaigns were seen to be……they dredged-up some much needed dialogs on social problems in America.  That’s a good thing.  We’ve never seen Susan B. Anthony followers to be such a negative voice concerning sexism and racism. They wrecked their candidate.

    I entirely enjoyed the win by the candidate who was alienated and abandoned by his own political brokers (republicans.)  Now that’s a victory for all Americans.  My hope is that Trump will remain a businessman first and foremost, stay detached from political cats who can make problems.

    There was a moment late last night, when California first got on the electoral vote map.  There it was— Shasta County was red while rafting in a sea of blue.  That was impressive!  It reinforces my love and respect of Shasta County values and conservative ideals.


  4. Hollyn Chase says:

    Great article Steve, I like the way you think. But I love the way your wife thinks . . .

    I sincerely hope you’re right about #13–but it might be worse: Cruz?


  5. I’ve been a registered libertarian since the first Clinton administration. Yesterday, though, I cast my vote for Hillary. I was blown away when the numbers started rolling in – because I’ve been following ALL the online polls and felt I had a grasp of the situation.

    OY!! SO wrong – because the pundits and talking heads THOUGHT they knew who the Trump voters were. They saw noisiness and nastiness at rallies and assumed that these people were representative of ALL Trump voters.

    I can tell you – I know many Trump supporters – they aren’t rally-goers, they aren’t in-your-face about it — but they wanted a Washington outsider to finally have chance, and Trump was it. The Trump supporters that I know are good people,  well aware of the Trump’s flaws — but the only alternative was yet ANOTHER Washington insider.

    I appreciated Barack Obama’s message today: “We’re Americans first.”  We have much to gain by listening to each other and doing our best to understand each other.

  6. Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

    Regarding #7 of my predictions:  I just read that Donald Jr. is lobbying his dad for Secretary of Interior.

    Could be worse.  Could be one of the other candidates for that position—Sarah Palin.

    • cheyenne says:

      Steve you are right on about Trump voters being embarrassed and not voicing their choice before the election.  They kept quiet because of all the name calling against the “deplorables”.  But they spoke loud and clear at the ballot box.

      One of those cabinet spots, AG or HS or ICE, will probably be filled by the new unemployed Sheriff Joe.

      And I think HRC “deplorables” comment did as much harm to her campaign as Romney’s “47%” comment did to his.

      And we in Wyoming now have a Cheney as our lone House member, is that good or bad for us?  She won’t be here long as she probably has her bags already packed to move back to Virginia and be with the eastern power structure.

      And I heard on the news that those in California who threatened to move out of the country are now trying to move the whole state out of the country.  Is that true?

      • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

        Bruce — I think you’re right that the “basket of deplorables” comment lent to the impression that Hillary is an elitist, but do you really think Trump supporters remained quiet and polite right up to the point where they entered the voting booths?  We all saw the footage of his highly energized rallies—dwarfing Hillary’s in size and enthusiasm.  We saw the “Trump the Bitch” and “Hillary Sucks, But Not Like Monica” T-shirts. We heard the “Lock her up!” chants and “c*nt” expletives.  And we saw Trump himself issue comment after comment in which he insulted women and minorities—he and his followers subsequently dismissing any negative reactions to follow as “political correctness.”

        It was the nastiest campaign in more than a century.  You can’t honestly believe that the lion’s share of the vitriol was coming from the Clinton side.  That simply doesn’t pass the laugh test.

        Regardless of what you think of Michael Moore, the documentary filmmaker, you have to admit that his “5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win” predictions well before Election Day seems brilliantly prescient today.

        Sheriff Joe is facing criminal charges.  I seriously doubt he’ll be nominated to a cabinet post.

        I haven’t heard anything about Californians trying to secede from the Union.  I’m sure Mexico would gladly take us back.

        • cheyenne says:

          Steve, everything you say about Trump is true so why didn’t HRC defeat him?  There are more Democrat voters than Republicans but now I’m hearing that many Democrats didn’t vote.  Did they think they didn’t need to because the media and all the posters said HRC would win in a landslide.

          As far as Sheriff Joe, Trump will pardon him deja vu to Ford pardoning Nixon.



          • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

            I posted the link to Michael Moore’s prediction of Trump’s win because I think it’s the best explanation I’ve read as to why Clinton didn’t beat him.  In part, it’s that Trump energized the GOP base.  Clinton didn’t do likewise.

            As I’ve said, part of what happened, I understand completely:  The middle and working classes have been getting hosed for 30+ years and they finally decided to light a match and throw it in the pile of oily rags in the corner.  I get that, absolutely.

            What I don’t get is the appeal of a Putin-esque authoritarian who appears to be a contemptuous, egotistical, petty, self-serving  bigot.  If that’s our King Leonidas, we might as well all fall on our swords now.

        • Breakfast Guy says:

          I see that Michael has said this as well:

          Demand that President Obama sends a Special Prosecutor to investigate who and what was behind FBI Director James Comey’s illegal interference into the Presidential election 11 days before the vote was held.

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      There’s a precedent there.  One of Sarah’s predecessors — Governor Wally Hickel of Alaska — was appointed Secretary of the Interior by Nixon.  Nixon fired him because Hickel opposed Nixon over bringing in the National Guard to Kent State.

      There’s a funny story about that incident.  Hickel’s secretary was named Yvonne.  During the after-firing get-together, Hickel said, “Yvonne, send a telegram to Nixon saying, ‘F**k you!  Strong letter to follow.'”

  7. JeffG says:

    Correction:  the majority of voters did NOT pick Clinton.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I stand corrected.  Plurality.  More votes than any of the other candidates, including the President-elect.

      • JeffG says:

        Yet, despite an increased population, fewer actual votes than either Romney in 2012 or McCain in 2008.


        Anyway, Tilden was the only candidate to win a majority of the popular vote but lose the electoral college.

  8. R.V. Scheide Jr. says:

    The train is just getting rolling and everyone’s invited to jump on board. Tax cuts and deficit spending, here we come!

    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      Thanks for forwarding the invite, but I think I’ll be trying to derail the Trump Train rather than getting on board.  The impulse to throw a match on the establishment edifice and see how much of it burns*, I get. The rest of it—particularly the authoritarianism facet—turns me off completely.

      *Here’s the thing, though: Have you ever visited Washington D.C.?  Everything is made of stone.

  9. Doug says:

    What I came away with from the election and Trump’s victory was that there is more hate, fear and xenophobia in America than I thought. Who knew? I knew there was some but not this much. Friends on this side of the Big Pond (France) are scratching their heads wondering what happened. I’m hoping our new president can work with the international community as partners; like it or not we’re ALL in this together.

  10. Frank Treadway says:

    Those quiet white males with seething racism, still fomenting from Barack Obama, finally came out of their closet and stabbed Hillary in the back, as they weren’t about to let no woman be their Commander-in-Chief. End of story and the beginning of a shock and awe part of our history.

  11. cheyenne says:

    The Democrats can only blame themselves for picking HRC for their candidate. With all the other potential candidates that could have been Sanders, Warren, Biden that only one challenged Clinton while the other two sat on the bench because the parties choice was Clinton.  They didn’t heed the warnings from eight years ago when Obama swept to the presidency.  President Obama was young and he was not a Clinton or a Bush.  This country is tired of Bushes and Clintons.  And I think Jeb Bush would have run into the same problem.

    This country is tired of old people running it.  We want young people running the country, Democrat or Republican.  And as far as HRC is concerned she might as well ride off into the sunset because if she can’t defeat a candidate like Trump, she can’t defeat anyone.


    • Steven Towers Steven Towers says:

      Clinton was a fatally flawed candidate who I swore—SWORE!—I would never vote for because I despise familial political dynasties and because I didn’t want to re-live the eight years of Clinton witch-hunts that we endured in the 1990s. But in the end, I voted for her, because Trump.

      If Democrats had any fire in their bellies (they clearly don’t), they’d be marching on Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s house (or Washington DC apartment) with pitchforks and torches. Trump was right—the nomination was rigged. He didn’t succeed in talking Bernie supporters into his boat, but I personally know Bernie supporters who either wrote him in or didn’t vote.  Not that that mattered here in California, but it surely mattered in Florida and the Upper Midwest.

      • K. Beck says:

        I think the most accurate description of what happened can be found in the article below.

        To the below assessment I would add: what about the 9M (this number comes from something I read on the web, not from the US Gov’t. because as far as I can tell the Gov’t didn’t care enough to even keep track of that number) people who lost their homes because Bill Clinton deregulated the banks. You might multiply that number by 2 if the owners were married, or by 4 or 6 if they had children who are now old enough to vote. Then along comes Hillary, during this election, and says something  about how wonderful the economy was when Bill was in office. OK, but what happened after he left office? He left that whole mess for Obama to try to clean up. Not to mention the fact the whole world was thrown into a depression. I know, I know, officially it was called a recession, but that all depends on where you happened to be standing when the economies went down. I might add to this, while people were being thrown in the street, literally, Bill & Hillary were throwing a $5M wedding for their daughter.

        Then, here comes Hillary with the attitude that she should be the next president. Really? The arrogance was just too much for me. I didn’t vote for either of them. I voted for everything else on the ballot. I wish the statistics showed how many other people did that.

        I hope we are done with the Clintons now.


        Clinton Lost the Economic Argument

        • Beverly Stafford says:

          Between the Clinton and Obama administrations, Shrub was in office for eight years piling up debt.

          • cheyenne says:

            And before Clinton, Bush 1 was in office, president and vice president, for twelve years.  And HRC was part of Obama’s team for six years.  That is over a third of a century with a Bush or Clinton in the upper echelons of the DC power structure.  It was time for a change.

  12. cody says:

    I think that there were quite a few people that do not like Trump, and do not support him, but voted for him anyway because the only other choice was Clinton.  It is not that Clinton is a female, it is just that she had too much baggage, and to many shady deals with the Foundation, and with the people running her campaign.  Sanders or Warren would have probably had a decent shot at beating Trump.

    One rather ironic item on a certain radio network – they defended the Electoral College in the weeks/days leading up to the election (in the midst of “rigged” accusations), but after the election it was referred to as “a flawed system that definitely needs to be looked at”.


  13. trek says:

    The only good words to come out of Hilliary’s mouth this election was her  concession speech. No fist pumping, no yelling or screaming till she was hoarse, no nasty mud slinging commercial breaks against her opponent. Only what I felt was a sincere apology to her party, people and the willingness to stay in government and work with President Trump and company for the betterment of America.  Now there’s a real concept, honesty. She may have won if she would have just resisted the mud slinging and stuck with her plan in a calm and rational voice. Two more words, term limits!

  14. Breakfast Guy says:

    I suspect the straw that broke the deal for Hillary was the republican FBI director’s timely and dubious announcement suggesting email may still be an issue. And of course, the timing of his next statement to clear her- merely a couple days before the election. By that point, a lot of non-informed low educated fence balancers decided she must be guilty of at least something since “crooked Hillary” was a frequent (Trump) talking point, and ended up voting for the candidate who is uniquely unqualified instead.

  15. Beverky Stafford says:

    I think her choice of a running mate did a lot of damage.  He looked like a real doofus during the VP debate, and his constant interruptions made him appear like a Trump clone.  I found myself cringing at his performance.

    • K. Beck says:

      RE: “millions of people would turn out to vote for Trump who had been too embarrassed to admit it to pollsters (and friends)”

      Don’t you think the “basket of deplorables” comment had an influence on the unwillingness to talk to people about their intention to vote for Trump? The arrogance of Clinton was quite amazing. She was her own worse enemy.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        K. Beck — If that’s how it worked—if Americans were so thin-skinned that the phrase, “half of them are a basket of deplorables” would sour them on Clinton—don’t you think that millions of women would have fled Trump after he bragged of sexually assaulting women “because when you’re a celebrity, they let you do anything” and all of the other horrible things he said about women? Instead they said, “Yeah, whatever. Men are dogs on two legs, like we didn’t know that.”  One-third of Latinos voted for Trump. Shouldn’t it have been closer to 0% after he said that a Mexican-American judge should be removed from his ongoing civil court case because of his ethnicity, and that Mexican illegal aliens are the worst people Mexico has to offer—rapists and such?

        Clinton is arrogant—name anyone since Jimmy Carter who ran for POTUS who wasn’t.  But to suggest that she’s more arrogant than Trump—the biggest pile of arrogance married to animus to plop onto America’s political floor since LBJ—doesn’t pass the laugh test.  It’s too easy to say that it was That One Thing that did Clinton in.  But if you insist that it be explained by one thing, the “deplorables” comment isn’t it.

        • cheyenne says:

          Trump was the most unpopular presidential candidate in history.  HRC was the second most unpopular candidate in history and on paper should have won.  Now the latest poll, heh, heh, shows only 46% 0f eligible voters voted.  Who didn’t vote?  One who didn’t vote but started a protest that America needed to change was Kaepernick.  The first thing one does if they want change is vote.

  16. cheyenne says:

    Before President Obama came along a Bush or Clinton sat in the Oval Office for twenty years.  I don’t think this country wanted another eight years of that dynasty.

  17. Vi Lam says:

    Remember how many Americans didn’t even bother to vote in this election!

    • trek says:

      Vi, I believe the trick is to vote in your political parties senate and representatives and have them on board before voting for your parties presidential candidate or you may end up with the peoples choice award or cancelation prize.

  18. Cate says:

    Going full circle here. A reality TV personality has been elected to be the President of the United States. He is a reflection of ourselves, and we are ugly. Our society has confused real life with reality TV.

  19. cheyenne says:

    News Flash.  The latest industry to state they are bullish on Trump being president is the marijuana industry.  As all the states, but Arizona, passed MJ friendly laws the MJ industry is hopeful that a president Trump will change the feds listing on MJ and leave it up to the states.  The industry is going to lobby Trump on how many new jobs will be created by legal marijuana.

    • Rod says:

      OH NO, open minds and positive actions following a Trump win.  What is this country becoming?

      I’ve noticed a large amount of media personalities dressing in green now as opposed to red or blue.

      Can we show the green map?


    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I have a relative who has become wealthy working in the MJ industry.  He’s been a businessman forever, at various times involved in the satellite TV, telephonics, digital music and software industries, usually on the cutting edge, when those business lines are emerging.  He doesn’t own businesses that sell marijuana, but rather services and infrastructure that support growers and sellers. He lives in Arizona, but most of his business is in the states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

      He says that once the feds lift their ban on interstate commerce, it’ll all change.  Phillip Morris and the like will move in and take over production, distribution, and sales.  You small-time growers will have to convince consumers that your “boutique MJ” is just like craft beer.  Good luck with that.

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