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What was the major factor that assisted Trump win the presidency in your opinion?
I lean towards free media exposure as the major factor.

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powder 8 Jan 26

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Wacky gerrymandering and the electoral college. Because Hillary won the popular vote.


The Obamacare Premiums for 2017 that came out on 11/1/2016.

My premiums went from $500/month to $1866/month, and even after paying the premiums, the coverage sucked.

BD66 Level 8 Jan 27, 2019

I blame reality TV and the smooth production of "The Apprentice" that created the illusion that Trump was somehow a business person of merit and belonged in a boardroom in charge of people's career....


I think part of it was ordinary people, unhappy with the status quo, being insulted as deplorables.

@powder Yes indeed. People were being asked to choose from two alternatives that made no real difference to their lives. Trump seemed to offer something radically different. I'm not surprised so many voted for him.

@powder Yes, I think Sanders would have made a difference. Maybe I see in him a combination of sincerity and a belief in social democracy. I would have voted for him anyway, if I were American.


I was "all the above" and then some, but what it boils down to in my view is that Trump is the only candidate who claimed, however falsely, to be able to address the concerns of the disenfranchised. Other than Bernie Sanders anyway. I think Trump and Sanders represent, respectively, the toxic and humanistic approach to addressing populist concerns. But it ended up being Clinton vs Trump and it was no contest. I really had to hold my nose to vote for Clinton, but for someone impatient for understandable bottom-line change that improves their personal life, Trump looked way more attractive than Clinton.

It was a perfect storm of that and other factors though. Russia clearly helped; the antiquated electoral college clearly helped; as to rejection of Democratic policies, I'd ask, what democratic policies; as to voter turnout, yeah low turnout always favors the GOP; and as to Trumps mastery of media exposure, of course it's one of the few areas he has any actual expertise in. Beyond that ... there's the enablement coming from evangelicals; the lack of critical thinking skills in the population generally; and in my view, the behavior of the GOP in completely capitulating to and embracing Trumpism, which to me can only be explained by their total desperation in terms of having an actual defensible position, combined with the high likelihood that GOP leadership itself has reached a critical mass of corruption and control by external influences including, likely, Russia yet again.

@powder It is true that FB and Twitter (and others) made the efforts of actors like Russia much easier, but yes I think the concern is justified, though probably not for the unfocused reasons a lot of people think it is. Russia has, it turns out, been playing the long game, spending years patiently infiltrating and compromising the government, primarily via the GOP (directly and indirectly via, e.g., the NRA) but I have no doubt that eventually it will come out that they made a few inroads with the Democratic Party as well. The behavior of congressional leadership is only fully explicable to me if some of them are threatened by Russian kompromat, same as Trump.

It's hard to come to such conclusions without sounding like a bug-eyed McCarthyite, but I assure you it's a dispassionate, non-panicky position. Russia is not all-powerful, it's just acting in what it sees as its rational self-interest under the leadership of a ruthless autocrat. It has been disciplined and systematic in doing so, for years, and apparently far more than we collectively realized or thought likely. And it is not just Russia, but Saudi Arabia and others as well. Our leadership has been for sale to the highest bidder and this is the result.

@powder If a right wing government in the US is in Putin's interest, why not in Venezuela? The extreme right is far easier to manipulate in the particular ways he'd want to. As for Trump, Venezuelan oil and related business opportunities are the bright shiny object.

I'm sure Putin has some moments of buyer's remorse because Trump is a missile that's hard to precisely aim, but on balance I think his wildest dreams have been realized. We have not stood up to him in any substantive way, our alliances have been undermined and demoralized, some of the sanctions have been lifted, he gets zero push back in the Crimea, we're abandoning Syria to him, etc. Bases are still in Poland, but those bases are there because of NATO. He doesn't want to screw with the bases, he wants to screw with NATO, the basis of the bases, if you will. Still playing the long game.

Since all of our intelligence services have a high degree of confidence that Russia hacked the DNC emails, and they have the resources to have done it, I think it's safe to say they did, directly or indirectly, even if Trump doesn't. What they arguably did or didn't expose is beside the point. That's like saying that if I break into your house and steal your TV, and in the process expose your meth lab, I did the public a favor so I shouldn't be charged with burglary. That's just standard-issue what-about-ism, which ironically is a favorite Russian disinformation tactic.

There's no question that the US government is and has been corrupt, and the idiots who keep prattling on about how "we're better than this" are sadly wrong. The Russia investigation has exposed how others are now able to exploit that corruption, and in some cases, how they were responsible for it to begin with. The question now is what we're going to do about it.

There's also no question that US society is in decline. The people who have the real power -- the plutocrats -- have done a pretty good job of keeping the majority of us fat, dumb and "happy". It's not all bad news though. The rise of the Nones suggests at least provisionally that the hold of religion is waning, and although Christian fundamentalism is a dangerous cornered animal, it is also doomed in my view (long game again, but probably not much more than another generation in terms of its political power, if that). That plutocrats are now targeting the middle class for dismemberment reflects at least in part that they see us becoming too educated and affluent and therefore too clueful and hard to control. The number of women, minorities and young people voted into various political offices last year is encouraging (though still in danger of being too little, too late).

We'll just have to see how it all plays out I guess.

@powder []

I am not sure why you are so invested in Russia being a virtuous actor.


IMO the major factor that explains Trump’s election is that he presents a bald-faced blustery, bold front. I think that for many people Trump represents leadership—they felt drawn to the guy because certain subconscious cues were triggered. Most people are not all that analytical—they go with gut feelings. Trump’s style certainly seems to offend a lot of people—he’s something different and many people are uncomfortable with the unorthodox.

The trouble with Hillary is that though she is a nice church lady and all, at heart she’s not very inspiring as a leader.

The most wolfish of wolves will be the leader of a wolf pack.

Trump is the head wolf's wet dream for his support of the plutocrats who run and control the unsustainable industrial capitalism. His support for the fossil fuel industry alone is obvious evidence. That humans actively engage in the destruction of their own ecosystem is beyond insane. That a little mercury in my drinking water is unacceptable is not a far left position.


The Electoral College

@powder No, not unique, but it did help him win and is a major factor in determining who becomes president despite the popular vote.

"The Electoral College". THIS!


In my opinion the dark, hidden racism, xenophobia, white supremacy and white nationalism.


A shit opponent from the Dem's

@motrubl4u If you mean by that, Bernie, i am all with you on that one.

@powder I will have to say that Gore had his downfalls, but compaired to Bush Jr. he was a nobel lauriate

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