The day of shock and horror

For months now I have been asking various friends and people close to me, who say they can’t stand Donald Trump, whether they had read anything he has written or viewed any of his speeches. I wasn’t a Trump supporter, and I am too distant from the American period in my life and work to be able to judge him properly. But my question was usually waved away. The reason for asking was that all we saw of Trump in Australia was a succession of ten-second clips from speeches, usually showing the Republican contender saying something thought to be outrageous. On numerous occasions, close to the poll itself, there was little about Hillary Clinton at all, only her opponent, and Trump as a bigot, a fool — a caricature of a contender. There were and remain serious objections to Mrs Clinton, but one saw little of them until the FBI reported that it was re-opening investigations into the e-mails found on an aide’s husband’s laptop, seized because he was under investigation for another matter. That little crisis passed, and all the opinion polls seemed to be saying that she was a shoo-in.

I was aware from my American sources that there were suggestions the other way — that, for example, Trump’s crowds were two to three times larger than Clinton’s, that those crowds were exercised about politics, not pop-stars, that opinion polling in rural areas showed strong support for Trump, and so on. An American visitor told me that he had been to a Trump speech,  that Trump was a fine speaker who could energise a crowd; at that speech, he said, women seemed to outnumber men in the audience.*  But how could anyone here be confident about any of this? We depend enormously on the mainstream media, newspapers, television and radio, for our knowledge of what is happening elsewhere in the world, and even what happens here.

And those conduits to reality were spectacularly wrong. Tom Switzer, a panellist on the ABC coverage of the election, which I watched for more than four hours (the longest continuous viewing of television on my part for years) said that he had egg on his face. He was astonished at his own growing recognition, over those hours, that Trump would win. Other panellists, and other contributors both here and in the USA, were more than astonished. They were annoyed. Former Foreign Minister Bob Carr, I thought, was close to furious. The Daily Telegraph the morning after had on its front page a photo of Trump with the legend ‘WTF?’ This wasn’t supposed to happen.

In New York the mood at the glass building that served as the scene for the Clinton post-election party (Hillary was scripted  to point to the ceiling in her climactic moment and say that she had at last broken through) grew more and more sombre as the evening wore on. Some of those in the crowd began to weep. The ABC reporter at the scene kept saying that there was shock and horror. Mrs Clinton never appeared to her followers (which did astonish me), and telephoned her concession to Trump. Over at the Hilton, the base for the Trump crowd, there was growing jubilation. I was not surprised by the fall of states, if only because I had other sources of information. But I still thought Mrs Clinton would win. I tried to guess at the likely turnout and thought that Trump might get 60 million votes. He is a little shy of it at the moment, but he could reach that figure when all the votes are counted. She is a tad ahead of him, and she might reach 60 million too.

So how did the unexpected happen? Let’s start with the media. Over the past few months, even on Channel Nine, I felt that there was a clear preference for Clinton, and there was no doubt about the ABC’s position: she was the only possible President. For months we have been given a couple of stereotypical pictures, a bombastic, vulgar, pretend billionaire without any political or even military savvy, against an experienced, knowledgable, attractive woman. I knew both pictures were cartoons, but repetition has its effects. What I have seen in this portrayal is the cultural position of those who occupy the key posts in our media and the universities as well as the American. Trump is the antithesis of their perspective on life and the world. From their position he was both a buffoon and menace. Mrs Clinton was familiar, experienced, safe, and like them. They would have voted for her if they could, and in the USA they would have voted for her in droves. And they don’t talk to people other than those within the culture, something pointed out by an American commentator. All of this applies to the media portrayal of One Nation in Australia. Its support is systematically ignored, and the leader is lampooned. No one asks why it is that half a million Australians voted for her party and its candidates. They must be ignorant rednecks.

And the media depended on the opinion polls. How did they get it so wrong? There are two technical answers. The first is that opinion polling is not as accurate as it was fifty years ago, when I was doing my own survey work. In the 1960s we could sample electoral rolls (accurate), and write nicely to the respondent asking for his or her assistance, saying that an interviewer would call, would have ID, and would be polite and experienced. Our response rate was over 80 per cent, and there was little variation across the country. For virtually all our respondents this was the first time they had been interviewed, and they enjoyed the experience. Those days are long gone. I think I have been interviewed by telephone four times this year, and I am being surveyed by the Internet almost after every purchase, hotel stay or opera visit. There is resistance by the respondents, and the response rate must be a good deal lower than it was in the 1960s.

Then much of the interviewing is done by phone, and some of it by mobile phone. Does everyone have one of these devices? The penetration of mobile phones into both the USA and Australia stands at about 80 per cent. Who is less likely to have one? Rural dwellers, the poor, those without jobs. Who voted for Trump? Among others, just such people. My guess is that the Trump supporters were systematically under-sampled throughout the campaign just as Brexit supporters were in the UK. Trump himself kept insisting that the polls did not convey the truth. ‘Brexit, Brexit, Brexit. Plus, plus plus!’ he intoned on one occasion that I saw. Well, he was much more accurate about the outcome than the Clinton camp. Another guess is that, faced with differing poll results about intention to vote (and there are many more polling organisations in the USA than there are here), there was a tendency for the editor to choose the poll that was in tune with the paper’s own position. That is, after all, how most of us operate: we choose the data/paper/article/ statement that accords with our own view. It’s hard not to do it, though I try.

There’s a vast amount more to know about what occurred, and even more to know about what will happen now. Those who think that the Trump election is the end of the world as we know it (and the passionate are always more certain about the consequences of the results of elections than the rest of us) should take comfort from the 1980 victory by Ronald Reagan, who was thought not to be able to string words together, to be far too old, to be lazy and to be just the sort of president who would launch the world into nuclear war. I heard that kind of doom rolled out last night. I am unpersuaded, as I was in 1980. In fact, Reagan’s eight years look pretty impressive now, when you look back. He had the wit to choose good advisers. I expect Trump to do much the same. There’s quite a lot of similarity between Trump and Reagan, in terms of what people said about them and what their positions were/are, which you can see here.

The only person who mentioned ‘climate change’ in the whole day was Bob Carr, who said something like ‘Well, that’s the end of doing anything about climate change!’ I hope he’s right. The candidates avoided the issue almost completely, though I caught Trump saying that he would roll back the Paris agreement. Since that is a toothless and meaningless agreement, it’s not much of a promise. But he might appoint someone sensible to head the USA’s  Environment Protection Agency, which seems to have its own doom-laden vision of America unless coal and oil are kept in the ground.

*I thought Trumps’s acceptance speech, which was repeated by the ABC, was just about right, in its structure, content and tone. He is certainly a fine speaker. Why did I have to wait until he had won to hear an example of his oratory? Yes, I know I could have linked to one of the speeches on his website. But he deserved better from our media — and from those in his own country. He has a legitimate grievance there.


Join the discussion 150 Comments

  • JohnM says:

    The real problem was the mainstream US media seriously distorting the situation. The pro-Clinton spin (rinse, repeat) made people reluctant to admit to pollsters they would vote for Trump because according to the media that was a confession of stupidity. On top of that the US mainstream media reportedly poorly about the large crowds at Trump rallies and the much smaller crowds at Clinton’s. One had to read the “alternatives” like Breitbart to get the full picture.
    Over here, as with many countries, the media didn’t have the bodies on the ground in the USA and had to rely on various US news services, syndicated journalists and columnist and, in the case of News Corp, other parts of the organisation. When the US mainstream was so biased it was inevitable that reports appearing in Australia would also be biased. Even when Australian journalists were on the ground in the USA they were hardly likely to write anything diametrically opposed to what the US media was saying, basically because they figured the US media knew the big picture far better.
    I also suspect that the media didn’t try to understand Trump or perhaps couldn’t because he wasn’t a conventional politician. His comments at times seemed banal but that level was in order to reach all the audience because not everyone has a university education and an MBA. (Compare with Turnbull’s high-brow statements during Australia’s election campaign.)
    Even after I made allowances for the bias I didn’t think Trump would get there, but he did. A fresh breeze blowing through the place can only be a good thing on a lot of levels, especially the sharp lesson it will give the elites. Even if he’s less than a great president just the experience will tell the people of the US a lot about the kind of head of state they want.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    The American public was offered a choice between a crook and a Muhammad Ali of amateur politics.

  • PeterD says:

    You ponder, Don, the question: “So how did the unexpected happen?”

    There are incipient clues in Brexit, some recent elections in Europe where candidates on the right were returned, and the increase of independents and smaller parties in Australia at the Federal level.

    At the roots of these elections s is a deep momentum for change and a disenchantment with mainstream political parties and the rigidities and orientations of such parties. Trump is hardly mainstream GoP.

    Many voters too are looking for more authentic, emotional voices rather than polished rhetoric. Jackie Lambie, Pauline Hanson, Hinch, Bernardi, even Joyce: politicians who say it strong and say it hot rather than the ones who emerge from the Union structures/political staffers etc

    Even professionals with an academic background such as Andrew Leigh – who gave Trump a 10% chance of electoral success – has admitted that he has had to each humble pie, saying polls, like politics and life itself, throws up the unpredictable.

    When this voting change occurs it can seem overwhelming and quite dramatic. I read a comment this morning where a woman thought, following the election of John Kennedy, that he would return the US to the Catholic Church, and after Bill Clinton’s election, a period of pubic depravity would follow [maybe it did!]

    The hypocrisy and charades that mainstream political parties play, as well as their inability to collaborate on critical national issues, erodes voter loyalty. Factions in both major parties, and the lack of genuine leadership are major issues.

    Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump’s voices resonated with many inarticulate or hidden voters. The inequality of wealth distribution in America, and increasingly in Australia, sows the seeds of rancour and perhaps envy, and this is exacerbated when someone like Bronwyn Bishop takes to helicopters or indeed CEOs of big corporation flew to Washington some years ago after the GFC. A film like ‘The Big Short’ portrays the winners and losers. Hilary’s relationship with Wall Street – as opposed to Bernie Sanders’ position – illustrates this as well. There is a huge dissatisfaction with the status quo, with the flow of jobs to China and other countries, amongst those who have lost out; of course those who have to use tax havens are flourishing but can’t really flaunt it.

    The unexpected happened because, in the words of one of our latest Nobel prize winners, the old world is rapidly changing and a momentum for change is accelerating.

  • chrisl says:

    The biggest loser by far in this election has been the main stream media. They used to report the news,now they filter the news. The polling was wrong, wrong,wrong but because journalists don’t know anyone outside their bubble,what else can they report on?
    The blogs of course were the place where the truth could be told without censorship.
    If the main stream media were so wrong about this,what else are they wrong about?

  • Chris Warren says:

    Trump has promised to cut-off funds for UN Climate Change Program.

    He has also vowed to lift restrictions on energy production from shale, oil, natural gas and coal, saying it would provide jobs. He wants to reboot America’s ailing coal industry, as well as expand gas and oil drilling,

    If these threats come to pass – Trump will be a real threat to humanity. Di Natale got it right in the Senate today. Trump is proposing to wreck the Paris Agreement.

    It is probably best to wait until more concrete clues as to what actually intends to do, before making much comment, but it could be that a majority of Americans have voted for their greatest enemy.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      You are a lost cause, Chris, a believer and not an analyst.

      • Chris Warren says:

        One just needs to quote Trump. The analysis falls out of his own mouth.

      • Nga says:

        “You are a lost cause, Chris, a believer and not an analyst.

        What about you, Don? You still haven’t explained why you falsely accused the the AEMO of being a Judas, i.e. a party to some vast conspiracy to demonise coal and promote wind power by doctoring a report into the cause of the SA Blackout.

        Come to think of it, you haven’t even apologised for falsely claiming, in the first instance, that the official position of the AEMO was that the blackout resulted from the inability of wind turbines to cope with excessive wind!

        People in glass houses, Don ….

      • Peter Davies says:

        Sorry Chris, your time is well and truly up. Trump will be forging ahead without your baggage.

      • dlb says:

        I thought AGW was only true in journals
        Meant for leaned types but not for me
        Gore was out to get me
        That’s the way it seemed
        Scepticism haunted all my dreams
        Then I saw his film, now I’m a believer
        Not a trace of doubt in my mind
        I’m warmist, I’m a believer
        I couldn’t doubt it if I tried

      • David says:

        Which bit do you disagree with. I think CW’s summary is factually correct.

  • Nga says:

    ” But he deserved better from our media — and from those in his own country. He has a legitimate grievance there.”

    Absolute nonsense. Trump has vowed to return the world to the bad old days of economic protectionism which will undoubtedly slash economic growth and his foreign affairs policies, which include hopping into bed with Putin, are so absurd that even the GOP military and foreign policy establishment revolted against him and in some cases said they would be voting for Clinton.

    Trump also sort to undermine American democracy by promising to jail his opponent if elected or call the election rigged if not elected. And then there is Trump diddling his own charity and a sending a string of companies into bankruptcy.

    Anyway, I have a black sense of humour, so I’m quite looking forward to the next four years.

  • David says:

    In the popular vote Clinton beat Trump with 47.7% to Trump’s 47.5%. So it is hardly a thumping win to Trump. Something to consider when you are reading the tea leaves.

  • David says:

    and Trump won the electoral college by 14%. So Trump was right, it was rigged after all.

    • dasher says:

      David I think you need to re read how the system works. That was a D- comment from someone who fashions himself as some sort of oracle. Oh and Beasley won the popular vote against John Howard but failed to win the number of seat necessary. Not uncommon…oh and so did Al Gore against Bush. All rigged I suppose.

  • Neville says:

    Don you’ve written a very good summary of the Trump win. Here’s Judith Curry’s version and Jo Nova’s take on the election win as well.

  • PeterE says:

    From the first I thought Trump could win. He had a brilliant primaries campaign talking the talk of the people. He had a good final run and only with the ‘locker room tape’ did I consider that the cheats on the other side might prevail. When ‘The Australian came out with the pre-poll suggestion that Hillary would win and big, I considered that these folk, especially Greg Sheridan, would have egg on their faces and so it proved. The best short analysis I saw was that the opponents took Trump literally but not seriously and his supporters took him seriously but not literally. He is a charismatic intelligent man who will do his damdest. I’m for Trump and against the ghastly insiders.

  • Nicole says:

    Enough, already!

    Bryan M? Peter D? Chrisi? Chris Warren? Nga? Peter Davies? DLB? Neville? Peter E? Don Aitkin?

    If you COULD have voted, how WOULD you have voted for US President? No pontificating or insults, please. Just one name.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Nicole, I would have abstained, since voting is not compulsory, as here. Had it been compulsory, and I’d actually been present for speeches and rallies, I don’t know.

    • dlb says:

      If I had to choose between those two, I’d go very reluctantly Clinton.
      Over at luke-warm Lucia’s site she mentions there are third party candidates in the USA, who if not ratbags would probably get my vote.

    • David says:


    • PeterD says:

      Hi Nicole


      [With some misgivings: I met five US people earlier this year and all of them were aghast at how their political system could throw up two such unattractive candidates.]

    • dasher says:

      Clinton, but now I am right behind Trump, I think there is potential to get things moving. Very interesting times. Oh and the cosseted prats who are whining that they did not get their way, what part of the word “democracy” don’t they understand. I note in typical form Clinton is starting the blame game..FBI first…the list will; get longer but is unlikely to include her own errors.

  • Neville says:

    Nicole , definitely not the silly Clinton liar and crook. Trump doesn’t do a lot for me, but if I was forced to choose I would’ve voted for him and not Clinton. Remember in the polling booth you can refuse to vote if you like.

  • dlb says:

    If you can believe exit polls they paint an interesting picture on swings from the last election.
    11% swing to the GOP by Asians
    8% swing to the GOP by Hispanic / Latinos
    7% swing to the GOP by black voters
    5% swing by former Democrat voters
    Despite Trump’s alleged behaviour there was only a 1% swing against the GOP by women voters.
    Contrary to whom the Democrats are supposed to represent, their big swings were from wealthy educated people i.e.
    2 % swing from earners $50K to $100K
    9 % swing from earners $100K to $200K
    10% swing from white college graduates
    And just to show not all old Fs vote Republican, there was a 4% swing to the Democrats by those over 65 years.
    This goes against what much of the MSM have been saying. No wonder “our” ABC said to treat these results with caution:)

  • Neville says:

    Here’s an amusing comment from one of the blogs————
    A joke out of the US in the last few days … For the first time in history a white billionaire will move into a government funded house recently vacated by a black family.

  • spangled drongo says:

    You can’t fool all the people, all the time:

    Subject: Info From Wikileaks- Hilary & Obama

    So here’s the REAL story. Amb. Stevens was sent to Benghazi post haste in
    order to retrieve US made Stinger missiles supplied to Ansar al Sharia
    without Congressional oversight or permission. Hillary brokered the deal
    through Stevens and a private arms dealer named Marc Turi. Then some of the
    shoulder fired missiles ended up in Afghanistan used against our own
    military. It was July 25th, 2012 when a Chinook helicopter was taken down by
    one of our own Stingers, but the idiot Taliban didn’t arm the missile and
    the Chinook didn’t explode, but had to land anyway. An ordnance team
    recovered the serial number off the missile which led back to a cache of
    Stingers being kept in Qatar by the CIA. Obama and Hillary were now in full
    panic mode and Stevens was sent in to retrieve the rest of the Stingers.
    This was a “do-or-die” mission, which explains the stand down orders given
    to multiple commando teams. It was the State Dept, not the CIA that supplied
    them to our sworn enemies, because Petraeus wouldn’t supply these deadly
    weapons due to their potential use on commercial aircraft. Then, Obama threw
    Gen. Petraeus under the bus after he refused to testify that he OK’d the BS
    talking points about a spontaneous uprising due to a Youtube video. Obama
    and Hillary committed treason…and THIS is what the investigation is all
    about, why she had a private server, (in order to delete the digital
    evidence), and why Obama, two weeks after the attack, told the UN that the
    attack was because of a Youtube video, even though everyone knew it was not.
    Further…the Taliban knew that this administration aided and abetted the
    enemy without Congressional approval when Boehner created the Select Cmte,
    and the Taliban began pushing the Obama Administration for the release of 5
    Taliban Generals. Bowe Bergdahl was just a pawn…everyone KNEW he was a
    traitor. So we have a traitor as POTUS that is not only corrupt, but
    compromised…and a woman that is a serial liar, perjured herself multiple
    times at the Hearing whom is running for POTUS. Only the Dems, with their
    hands out, palms up, will support her. Perhaps this is why no military
    aircraft was called in…because the administration knew our enemies had

    • Nga says:

      The rantings of a senile old man …

      • spangled drongo says:

        You don’t feel that way about Julian, surely, enge luv?

        Say it isn’t so !!!

        • Nga says:

          Many of your comments here are suggestive of the paranoia, neurosis and mania of someone with a moderately severe mental illness. Your above comment is a conspiracy theory that you’ve plagiarised almost word-for-word from a meme that has been running on the conspiracy theory sites that usally report outer space alien, UFO and Big Foot sightings. Truth or Fiction deals with it here:

          But it certainly is revealing to see how Don’s denialist rantings attract the mentally unstable like flies to a dumpster. I guess it proves that if you chose to lie down with dogs, ya gonna get up with fleas ….

          • spangled drongo says:

            “So, there are credible reports to confirm that the U.S. didn’t disapprove of arms shipments from Qatar to rebels in Benghazi. There are also credible reports that part of Stevens’ mission in Benghazi was to recover anti-aircraft weapons. But claims that Clinton secretly sent Stevens to Benghazi to recover those weapons, or that those weapons were used to shoot down a U.S. helicopter, are based on unnamed sources and cannot be verified.”

            Please stop with the frothing and hysteria, enge luv, and tell us why they may not be verifiable.

            It is your and the dems lack of ability to live in the real world that has brought you to this denialist bind and now all you have left are insults and abuse.

            “Anyway, I have a black sense of humour, so I’m quite looking forward to the next four years.”

            Stop kidding yourself, engie. You simply don’t have a sense of humour, black or white.

      • JMO says:


        Your remark is further evidence you cannot handle the truth.

  • spangled drongo says:

    About 4000 protesters were in the streets of the Oregon city late on Thursday night with chants such as “We reject the president-elect!”

    Doncha luvvit when “democrats” reject democracy and as an intolerant minority get all het-up in case Trump’s campaign rhetoric could spark a wave of intolerance against various minorities.

    The “Trannies against Trump” are getting in early and invading Trump’s safe space.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Some gentle satire from Canada, probably months ago:

    Fear of Trump is driving a liberal exodus to Canada

    The flood of Trump fearing American liberals sneaking across the border into
    Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased
    patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The Republican Presidential primary
    campaign is prompting an exodus among left leaning citizens who fear
    they’ll soon be required to hunt, pray, and live according to conservative
    ideas about the Constitution.

    Canadian border farmers say it’s not uncommon to see dozens of sociology
    professors, global warming activists, and “green” energy proponents crossing
    their fields at night. “I went out to milk the cows the other day, and
    there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn,” said Southern Manitoba
    farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota. “The producer was
    cold, exhausted and hungry. He asked me if I could spare a latte and some
    free-range chicken. When I said I didn’t have any, he left before I even got
    a chance to show him my screenplay, eh?” In an effort to stop the illegal
    aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. He
    then installed loudspeakers that blared Rush Limbaugh across the fields, but
    they just keep coming.

    Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near
    the Canadian border, pack them into electric cars and drive them across the
    border where they are simply left to fend for themselves after the battery

    “A lot of these people are not prepared for our rugged conditions,” an
    Ontario border patrolman said. “I found one carload without a single bottle
    of Perrier drinking water. They did have a nice little Napa Valley cabernet,
    though, and some kale chips.”

    When liberals are caught, they’re sent back across the border, often wailing
    loudly that they fear assassination from Trump high hirers. Rumors have
    been circulating about plans being made to build re-education camps where
    liberals will be forced to drink domestic beer and study the Constitution.

    In recent days, liberals have turned to ingenious ways of crossing the
    border. Some have been disguised as senior citizens taking a bus trip to buy
    cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half- dozen young vegans
    in blue-hair wig disguises, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping
    buses and quizzing the supposed senior citizens about Perry Como and
    Rosemary Clooney to prove that they were alive in the ’50s. “If they can’t
    identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we become very
    suspicious about their age,” an official said.

    Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating
    an organic-broccoli shortage, buying up all the Barbara Streisand c.d.’s,
    and renting all the Michael Moore movies. “I really feel sorry for American
    liberals, but the Canadian economy just can’t support them,” an Ottawa
    resident said. “How many art-history majors does one country need?”

  • Neville says:

    A number of new studies from Greenland etc have found extreme deviations in temp over the last 120,000 years. Here’s a quote from the summary and the link.

    Here’s a quote————–
    Natural’ Global Warming Reaches Amplitudes Of 10°C In Just 50 Years With No CO2 Influence
    8 New Papers Reveal ‘Natural’ Global Warming Reaches Amplitudes Of 10°C In Just 50 Years With No CO2 Influence

    By Kenneth Richard on 11. November 2016

    Climate records from ice cores indicate that abrupt, global-scale warming events with amplitudes of up to 10°C (in the Greenland region) were reached within as little as 50 years dozens of times during the roughly 100,000 years between the last interglacial (~120,000 years ago) and the current interglacial period (11,700 years ago to present). That’s equivalent to a rate of up to 2.0°C per decade of “natural” global warming. CO2 concentrations remained flat and low (~180 parts per million) throughout these warming (and cooling) periods, which are commonly referred to as Dansgaard-Oeschger events. Schmidt and Hertzberg (2011) provide a summary and (modified) illustration of what these abrupt climatic shifts affecting the “Earth’s climate system” may have looked like.

    Schmidt and Hertzberg, 2011

    “Unlike the relatively stable climate Earth has experienced over the last 10,000 years, Earth’s climate system underwent a series of abrupt oscillations and reorganizations during the last ice age between 18,000 and 80,000 years ago (Dansgaard 1984, Bond et al. 1997, 1999). …There are twenty-five of these distinct warming-cooling oscillations (Dansgaard 1984) which are now commonly referred to as Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles, or D-O cycles. One of the most surprising findings was that the shifts from cold stadials to the warm interstadial intervals occurred in a matter of decades, with air temperatures over Greenland rapidly warming 8 to 15°C (Huber et al. 2006). Furthermore, the cooling occurred much more gradually, giving these events a saw-tooth shape in climate records from most of the Northern Hemisphere.”

    – See more at:

  • Peter spinks says:

    Don. In terms of those surveyed. If you were accused (implied) of being a racist, homophobe, etc. etc. etc, by virtually every commentator and main stream media outlet, were you instantly accused of being an irredeemable deplorable, and asked if you Intend to vote for Trump, I think you would tell a fib and say “me? Oh dear me, no, never, he’s’ so very awful”.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    You might. It would depend on how the question was phrased, and the order of questions before the critical one. In my own experience as an interviewer I didn’t find respondents who seemed to dodge the question. But these are different times.
    Ordinarily, at least in a good survey, there would be several questions getting the respondent into the political frame, and then something like (order randomised) ‘What about in the Presidential election on Tuesday, are you likely to be voting for Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?’ If that were the case, the respondent would just provide the name. He or she wouldn’t have to say anything further.

  • Nicole says:

    Welcome to Babel: Almost all of you have tripped over your tongues in response to my simple question and request for a one-name reply (but thank you, David).
    I live in Canada. I have watched CNN’s often-live coverage of Donald J. Trump 10 hours a day, everyday, since his bizarre announcement that he would seek the world’s highest office. Admittedly, my fixation was unhealthy, but I have heard (often in real-time) unfiltered lies, intolerance, hatred, and mysogyny fall from Trump’s face more often than I dare say you would have in Australia. One well-crafted, externally written acceptance speech does not a balanced candidate make.
    Donald Trump is a practiced liar, a self-aggrandizing narcissist, a charismatic huckster, a whining bully, a fear-mongering racist, and (ahhhh, yes, Don!), a climate-change denier.
    For intelligent people such as yourselves to use weasel-words and equivocations to “normalize” and rationalize America’s choice of this dangerous, self-serving, temperamentally unfit person is appalling. Yes … This is “America’s choice.” But as thinking people, you and your government have an obligation to speak up in calm, reasoned, intelligent words whenever this fool sets a foot wrong at home or abroad.
    The (going-to-hell-in-a-hand-) basket of deplorables won’t do that because they are incapable and gullible.
    Many sensible Americans won’t do that because they will live with the choice they’ve made.
    Republicans in Congress and in the Senate who voiced early objections are now fearful afraid (one of the Donald’s Strumpets said in an interview yesterday that “Mr. Trump has a long memory and we’re keeping a list” of those who have opposed him. In a September television interview, the same woman said: “Every critic, every detractor, will have to bow down to President Trump.”
    Trump has already appointed his three oldest children to his transition team.
    Nearly half of eligible American voters didn’t go to the polls. Their loss. The world’s loss.
    Bickering and prattling in this venue is a start. Write the editors of The Australian (right-wing, yes, but other viewpoints do squeak through), The New Yorker, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune … Look beyond your borders. TALK. THINK. MARCH. Passivity will get you nowhere.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      This is a discussion site, not a court of law. You are at liberty to ask for a single word, and other readers are at liberty to think about their responses. As it happens, there are proper responses to your request that cannot be put into ‘just one name’, like mine.

      CNN is available in Australia, and there are other sources of news here as well. From the primaries on, it has been easy to follow the campaign — indeed, hardly possible to ignore it. I recognise your feelings and position, but sixty million Americans don’t agree with you. I remember quite well the similar reaction to Reagan’s election, and I expect that much the same sequence of events will be true in Trump’s case.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Nicole, Trump is not as foul-mouthed as Hillary, he is more left wing than George W and he’s been elected under a system that is better than most.

      What’s not to like?

      So I suggest that you grow up, stop behaving like a spoilt brat and improve your collective, lefty, ugly, red faces by helping to regather all those “Madam President” magazines.

      Meanwhile, the situational irony is delicious !!!

    • dlb says:

      Nicole, you seem to hold black and white thinking, most commonly seen in the religious.
      How could we give you a black and white answer without any qualifications. The funny thing is many of those that have dumped formal religion still exhibit black and white thinking in other areas i.e. Trump bad, Clinton good, climate change bad, refugees good etc, etc.

      Its a grey world out there, best handled with an open mind.

      • Nicole says:

        I disagree with your first sentence and completely agree with your final one. I requested a one word response for whom would you vote not to stifle comment, but to get a sense of which way the wind was blowing and to further invite comment. I didn’t suggest Trump v. Clinton was an easy equation, but of the two, which would the group consider the less flawed?

    • PeterD says:

      Hi Nicole,

      As one who responded to your question, I don’t accept that I have “tripped” over my tongue when Indicated I would vote for Hilary. It is not a ‘GotYa’ moment whether you indicated a vote for Clinton or Trump or abstention. The real challenge is to explain the result. When you specifically request just a name, you are indicating that you don’t want any accompanying thoughts or analysis.

      Most political decisions are complex and it is a mystery to me, for instance, why more women, and other disaffected groups did not come out in stronger numbers to support Hilary. In an era of globalisation and free trade agreements, there are substantial winners and losers and there is little doubt that Trump took away some of the Democrat support base in terms of non-college, white males, those resentful of immigration etc

      Hilary was in my view defeated by larger forces in American political life and her point that the FBI intervention was a critical point also has some merit in my view: it occurred at a critical time though rescinded in the final days. The huge disparity in incomes at the top and bottom of the social structure is a critical factor – established classes like to protect, even enhance advantages they have – and why not trumpet democratic, laissez faire principles and argue that ‘it’s each one for themselves said the elephant as it danced among the chickens”.

      I agree with your points about Donald Trump and in the years ahead, if a crisis point occurs, impeachment remains an option. How out-of-work white males will benefit from President Trump eludes me and his closest adviser circle – family members – is bizarre, but then again Bush, Clinton & Kennedy families all endorse(d) a bit of nepotism.

      This election marked new depths in the US about standards of decency in debates, about commonly accepted political strategies, about the role of the media, even perhaps about trashing one’s predecessor’s legislative program but much of this is still to be clarified.

      • Nicole says:

        I agree with everything you’ve said, Peter. My jaw has dropped many times, the most recently within the past 24 hours, when Trump sought the highest level, top secret security clearances for his children.
        This election will be talked about, written about, and studied for decades. I very much doubt Mr. Trump will complete his term in office, preferably through impeachment..

        • Nicole says:

          I’d like to correct this. USA Today reported this morning that “Despite reports suggesting the contrary, a transition team official says Donald Trump did not request or begin paperwork to have his children gain top-level security clearance, according to a pool [i.e., reporters’ pool] report. The official told the pool of reporters Monday that it wasn’t something he was expecting right now.”

          For me, as a former journalist, the words “begin paperwork” and “wasn’t something he was expecting right now” raise pink flags, but not red ones.

      • Nicole says:

        I agree with everything you’ve said, Peter. My jaw has dropped many times, the most recently within the past 24 hours, when Trump sought the highest level, top secret security clearances for his children.
        This election will be talked about, written about, and studied for decades. I very much doubt Mr. Trump will complete his term in office, preferably through impeachment.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      Nicole, anybody who spends 10 hours a day watching TV has a serious problem.

      In a democracy, you are entitled to disagree with the result of an election (usually about 50% of the population do), but you are not entitled to change it. I do not see Trump as being either a danger to democracy or to world order, and I expect to be around in another four (or eight) years to find out.

      • Nicole says:

        I had to smile at your first sentence. I’d be the first to agree.
        But watching CNN’s strong American focus in North America v. what I suspect is the international programming you’re seeing has certainly given North Americans a very clear understanding of Mr. Trump. CNN’s US programming was Donald Trump all day, every day. It became a joke to turn on CNN and know his name would be mentioned within the first 30-to-45 seconds of any news program.
        I do believe his short temper, short attention span, bombast, and narcissistic viewpoint make him dangerous. Only yesterday, he again said that he “knows more than the generals.”
        I haven’t argued that the result be “changed” – only that its potential consequences are alarming.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          “its potential consequences are alarming”

          Since there are credible assertions that Putin ‘winked’ at the downing of a commercial jetliner, I don’t think Im terribly alarmed.

  • Neville says:

    Nicole you couldn’t be more hopelessly wrong. There is a day for people to have their say to elect a leader and when he/she is elected they must be able to govern. To come out on day one after election day and violently protest is just displaying abysmal ignorance on behalf of the totalitarian left.
    Even Obama and Clinton have endorsed Trump as the next President of the USA and they have both congratulated him and asked the American people to come together to lend him their support.
    What is it you don’t understand about democracy and the rule of law and the simple common sense that your side of politics cannot win all the time?
    This is the turn of the Republicans after 8 years of the Obama presidency and if you don’t understand that the other side has won and has the legal and moral right to govern you should hang your head in shame. The left’s violence and totalitarian extremism disgusts me and they have no respect for democracy at all.

    • Nga says:

      ” The left’s violence and totalitarian extremism disgusts me and they have no respect for democracy at all.”

      Take your pills, Neville.

      -The Republican controlled senate broke a convention that is necessary to make democracy work by refusing to hold a hearing for Obama’s SCOTUS nominee,
      – Trump threatened not to accept the election result if he did not win
      -Trump threatened to jail his opponent
      -And there are plenty of incidents in which Trump supporters bashed people, including punching a frail 69 year old woman in the face:

      • Neville says:

        Nga, the king hit of the elderly woman was appalling. Let’s hope they charge him and he faces the full force of the law.
        But the left attacks on Trump supporters involved hundreds of Democrat supporters hunting people down and bashing them. Here’s just a sample , showing these ignorant cowards doing their dirty work.

        And here is an elderly, homeless black woman who is knocked over and mocked by a big crowd of cowards just because she supported Trump. Some of the cruel jibes plus laughter thrown at her while she lies defenseless on the ground is gut wrenching. They even go through her basket of personal items. There are crowds of these Democrat supporters involved who are absolute scum.

  • Paul Wright says:

    Hi Don,
    A myth has already grown up suggesting that the polls were wrong. This is misleading.
    True, some of them were wrong, as was bound to be the case when their results were so scattered.
    But some were very close as can be seen from the Real Clear Politics website ( ).
    In measuring the 4-cornered contest, the only polls published on the day of the election (IBD/TIPP and LA Times/USC), showed that Trump was ahead.
    Of the 10 national polls measuring the 4-cornered contest, which were published on the day before the election, 2 suggested Trump was ahead, 3 suggested that Clinton had a lead of 3% or fewer (i.e. within the margin of error). In the rest, Clinton was up to 6% ahead.
    Anyone following the polls would have concluded that the race was too close to call.

  • Ross says:

    Just to lighten the mood a smidge.
    From Andrew Bolt on his blog: Headline: “This result proves bullying and smears, will never succeed.”
    Well, I laughed.

  • spangled drongo says:

    There’s still plenty of shock and horror in the pipeline:

    “Trump has even suggested abolishing the agency entirely, although that would be an uphill political climb. Trump has picked a top climate change skeptic to lead his EPA transition team — Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute — and has promised sweeping reforms in the agency that’s long been a target for industry groups and Republicans who say its rules overreach.

    “If you look at the seven stages of grief, I’m still in denial. I will not look at the news. I will not read the news,” said an EPA career employee.”

    Retire before you get sacked:

  • Nicole says:

    To summarize my points and yours, that’s what makes horse races.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Stop reading your favourite media, Nicole.

      Their hysterics will lead you to destruction.

      Get over it !!!

      ‘With the election of the deplorable Trump, the ruling class has been deposed. To them it is the end of life as they know it. “The world changed late last night in a way I couldn’t protect us from,” screenwriter Aaron Sorkin wrote in Vanity Fair. “That’s a terrible feeling for a father.”

      “Where does this leave us?” Paul Krugman wrote in The New York Times. “What, as concerned and horrified citizens, should we do?”’

      A lesson for the “virtual worlders”.

  • dlb says:

    After watching last night’s Media Watch I doubt some in the media will be getting over it.

    “Even John LeBoutillier, a commentator from the Republican side, suggests the war could escalate now that Trump is heading for the White House.

    JOHN LEBOUTILLIER: As he becomes President now and time goes on, we’ll see if the media will try to exact revenge on Trump for what he did to them. They might. It took five years but the media got Nixon. They were a big part of nailing Nixon at the end after he’d been a big enemy of the media for his whole career.

    Meanwhile, will the media pay more attention to those people in the Rustbelt and the rest of America who believe the system has betrayed them? “

  • spangled drongo says:

    Is this a xenophobic fascist counter-revolution or is it the Second American Revolution?

    And will we be smart enough to repeat it here and elsewhere?

    • Ross says:

      Gosh Dangles, you really are excited arn’t you? Let’s see how it pans out.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “Let’s see how it pans out.”

        That’s the spirit, Rossie. Be brave! You can do it!!

        But this is how it IS panning out amongst bed-wetting lefties over losing a two to one chance. Imagine how they would cope with a real problem.

        Or even CAGW?

        Here are more of them needing safety pins:

      • Nga says:

        I think the only thing that keeps the ragged old heart in the Strangled Dingo’s corpulent flesh beating is hate and spite …

        • spangled drongo says:

          Enge luv, is that really the best you can say in defence of poor, brain-washed, spoilt children, the progeny of people like you, who are destroying their lives with your shrivelled philosophy?

          What the Trump era will hopefully achieve amongst the smarter of the lefties is some degree of reflection and awareness of how stupid they have become and what they should do about it.

          Just think, enge, this may possibly be to your advantage. [If you fit that category, of course]

        • spangled drongo says:

          More brainwashed, kindy kids recycling their Lefty parents tribal tripe:

          The After School Klub at Newtown Public School in Sydney confirmed it held special lessons to comfort students upset at the result of the US election.

          “The kids were upset and chanting ‘we hate Trump’ and these are kindergarten kids who are five and six years old,” The After School Klub’s supervisor, Bek Ames, told the Inner West Courier. “Some of the kids were saying we should kill Trump and Trump should kill himself.”

          Charming children.

          And the hypocritical hatred goes on:

          “Many were angered by the sign and, after the hashtag “Rape Melania” was used tens of thousands of times on the social media platform, the far-flung network was condemned for allowing such a violent suggestion to trend, especially in an age when sexual violence against women occupies a prominent place in the public discourse.”

          “Melania Trump is a former model and is now going to be the First Lady of the United States.

          But hours after her husband Donald Trump won the Presidential elections, she is being slut-shamed on social media. Strangely enough, by the “liberals” who have criticised her husband for his sexism and misogyny.”

          Now, situational hypocrisy, raw hatred awa irony.

          But insightful enge will read all this as entirely my hate and spite.

          You need special analytical skills to be able to do that.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Qudrant is living in an alternative reality, fuelled by lies and cartoons such as:

      “very shady lady extols XX chromosomes as a prime qualifier for the White House, ”

      This is a blatant lie. I feel sad for folks who swallow this stuff, hook line and sinker just because it panders to their prejudices.

      • dlb says:

        Not sure what you are on about Chris?
        The only cartoon I could see was Hillary driving a car over a cliff, not particularly offensive, not particularly funny.
        The article today with Hillary’s picture was about the damage caused by free trade and the voting patterns of various groups, certainly nothing degrading about Hillary being a woman.

      • dlb says:

        Oh I see Chris, you were looking at SD’s linked article. Certainly not the sort of article one takes too seriously, seems to be conservatives letting off a bit of steam. Left no impression on me, went through my brain like a neutrino through the earth.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Yes, dlb, when you have a brain like chrissie’s that is trawling for reasons to be offended [Mr 18c] he is always going to go off half- cocked about the bleedin’ obvious.

          Plus he just doesn’t have the wit to even be aware of his PC prejudices.

          Good articles like this that are needed to balance the undrained swamp water are simply wasted on our chrissie.

          I do hope he doesn’t harm himself using all those safety pins.

        • Chris Warren says:

          I think it may be best to just ignore spangled drongo unless it makes a reasonable comment.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Is this reasonable enough for you then, chrissie?

            In that link of mine re Quadrant were other salient links to the dubious quality of our Hillary which you simply chose to ignore and make a sweeping statement that the obvious major theme of the election [a woman for president] was “a blatant lie”

            Do you think that it is “a reasonable comment” now, to call you a liar here?

          • Ross says:

            @ Chris. Who?

          • Ross says:

            @ Chris. Who?

  • Ross says:

    Hi Don,
    Got an email from an Australian friend currently working at the University of North Carolina.
    Unlike the media, she sensed a Trump surge, so went out and actively campaigned for Clinton.
    All her academic colleagues and their friends seemed non committed. “Odd” she thought, but whatever.

    After the result, she was stunned to find how many of her fellow academics had actually voted for Trump!
    Confused, she asked them why. ‘Change’ was the one word answer. “We just needed…change.”
    Why had they kept it to themselves? She continued.
    “We were too embarrassed to admit it publicly”. (Struth!)

    That ‘might’ explain some of the polling, but it’s anacdotal, so who knows?
    I’m curious though, Don. I know you said you would have abstained from voting, but as an old academic, do you think you might just have done the same thing?
    Not judging, mind you. But who’d have thought?

    (PS; Big shout out to Margaret. Hope you’re not doing it too tough.)

    • Don Aitkin says:

      How would I have voted had I been an American? No idea. As an Australian observing from afar, I would have abstained had I been offered a binary choice by a pollster.

      Best I can do.

      • Ross says:

        Fair enough. But clearly many academics at the UNC said the same thing to pollsters and colleagues. Then voted for Trump.
        Just a bit strange, I thought. My friend was gobsmacked.

    • margaret says:

      Singing tunefully @Ross:
      “At first I was afraid, I was petrified …
      Do you think I’d crumble?
      Did you think I’d lay down and die?
      Oh no not I.
      I will survive,
      hey hey I will survive”
      Snippets of song from Gloria Gaynor
      Thanks for your thoughts Ross.

  • David says:

    Prof Lichtman, who predicted the Trump win is also predicting Trump will be impeached by his own party. I reckon the idea has legs. Think Abbott. A hypercritical opposition leader from the lunatic fringe who’s “attributes” include

    Climate change denialist
    A politically incorrect male who is not afraid to “scratch” himself in public

    Similarly, Trump is also a policy lightweight, who is unpopular with US population (Trump got 2 million votes less than HRC) who became an accidental leader. I can see that the Republicans will be itching to flick Trump as soon as they can, in much the same way as the Coalition put Abbott out to pasture. I give them 6 to 12 months.

    • spangled drongo says:

      ” (Trump got 2 million votes less than HRC)”

      Why don’t you check where all those extra votes came from, Davie?

      “The popular vote was so popular it seems 3 million people from other countries voted too”

      {thinks, I wonder why they would vote for Hillary?}

      Meanwhile Penny Wong and Labor want to jump into bed with Asia.

      Without any idea of new US foreign policy they reckon a Republican President spells the end of the US/Aus alliance.

      Mark Latham:

      Former Labor leader Mark Latham, who once described ­Coalition MPs as a “conga line of suckholes” for their support of the Iraq war, was last night scathingly critical of Senator Wong’s position. “The truth of Penny Wong’s position is she’s arrived at the right destination but through the wrong process because … she’s ­actually citing a major shift in foreign policy direction without any foreign policy detail,” he said on Sky TV. “This hasn’t been done on the basis of the Americans got it wrong in Vietnam, the Americans got it wrong in Iraq, the Americans have had it wrong in the South China Sea; it’s none of those things. Penny Wong’s objection to the US is Donald Trump and the objection relates to identity politics. They’ve demonised Trump, in many cases on faulty ground, to say that he is against the Latinos and blacks and everyone under the sun … And Wong has foolishly ­fallen for this and has made, shamefully, a foreign policy decision on the basis of identity politics and political correctness. The ­process is a shocking reflection on the modern Labor Party.”

      Lefty, knee-jerk reaction the world over.

      Why wouldn’t all the world’s proggy lefties like Davie et al convince themselves that any minute now Trump is gun’ dah !!!

  • David says:

    Did I say Trump would be out by 6 to 12 months. Make that 3 to 6 months

  • spangled drongo says:

    Does Rossie think that by imitating an owl he can perhaps achieve wisdom?

    Meanwhile, some actual details behind the day of shock and horror:

    “The popular vote was so popular it seems 3 million people from other countries voted too

    The main (only) argument keeping the Clinton-camp’s hopes alive is that she won the popular vote by 600,000 votes. But a study by Greg Phillips of suggests as many as 3 million votes were cast by illegal immigrants. Who knows, Trump may have won the popular vote if there had been ID checks, something the Democrats do everything they can to stop. Indeed Obama even explained before the election that non-citizens should get out vote. Snopes has tried to claim this is false, but even their “in context” quote shows Obama was responding to a question about “undocumented citizens” and people at risk of being deported. There are apparently 4 million dead people on U.S. voter rolls, and the Democrats don’t want them to stop voting either.

    The @realDonaldTrump tweeted “If the election were based on total popular vote I would have campaigned in N.Y. Florida and California and won even bigger and more easily”

    Past presidents that won with lower percentages of the popular vote than Trump (47%) include Abraham Lincoln (39%), Woodrow Wilson (42%), and Bill Clinton (43%).”

    • Ross says:

      Oh dear. Where do you get this codwallop from, Drongo?
      The same place that you get your intel on Global warming? Sad mate.

    • David says:

      Spang, which election did Clinton win with 43% of the popular vote? Every now and then I summon the energy to fact check the waffle that you sprout.

      Candidate Party Electoral Votes Popular Votes
      William J. Clinton Democratic 370 44,908,254
      George Bush (I) Republican 168 39,102,343

      So Clinton won 53.5% of the popular vote in 1992

      Candidate Party Electoral Votes Popular Votes
      William J. Clinton (I) Democratic 379 45,590,703
      Robert Dole Republican 159 37,816,307

      So Clinton won 54.7% of the popular vote in 1996


  • Chris Warren says:

    Looks like Chris Christyie has been served a dose of shock and horror.

    Trump has just booted him out into the wilderness:

    So far all signs are pointing to a Trump standard of governance you would expect in a tinpot Third World dictatorship.

    Acccording to one State Dept official who initially was prepared to work with Trump:

    “After speaking to the transition team, he wrote, he had “changed my recommendation: stay away.”

    He added: “They’re angry, arrogant, screaming ‘you LOST!’ Will be ugly.”

    So there really is an ugly American – its the President.

    Trump says he is going to rule for all Americans – but then includes Frank Gaffney in his gang of “advisers”.

    This can all end up in a very odious political development similar to some past historical patterns.

  • Ross says:

    Hi Don,
    Just on that note about wether people had actually listened to Trumps speeches.
    Have you ever listened to Adolf Hitlers speeches, before he gained power? I recall seeing them on a doco about the rise of fascism in Germany and Italy.
    They’re actually pretty good speeches!
    Speaks to the supposed dispossessed. Alludes to the culprits. Talks about making Germany ‘great’ again. Even uses humour. Got some good laughs.
    I was strangely impressed, as the news reels I’d seen as a child only ever showed him in full rant mode.
    But I still don’t thInk he would have gotten my vote. Something bothered me about him, you know?

    • spangled drongo says:

      And Ross gets to the bottom of the barrel by introducing Godwin’s Law.

      Reductio ad Hitlerum.

      A sure sign you’ve lost the plot awa the argument.

      • Chris Warren says:

        In the new circumstances after the US election, parallels with Hitler are reasonable.
        Its a new world.

      • Ross says:

        Ha ha. Musn’t break Godwins Law, now, Drongo. Because….Why is that again?

        • spangled drongo says:

          Reducing the argument to Hitler comparisons is puerile.

          This is what the US [and Australia as well–1.5 million “Australians” receiving welfare were born overseas] is presently facing but at least the US gets it:

          • Ross says:

            So that would be Godwins ‘opinion’. Good for him. Laws are different, Drongo.
            Comparing Donald’s speeches with Hitlers is perfectly reasonable. They pretty well match, both in themes and tone. Unless there is something there that you don’t want to discuss? Purile? Is that another form of law?
            The fact that you went for a straight deflection to an article on welfare, ‘suggests’ this is the truth.

          • Ross says:

            So that would be Godwins ‘opinion’. Good for him. Laws are different, Drongo.
            Comparing Donald’s speeches with Hitlers is perfectly reasonable. They pretty well match, both in themes and tone. Unless there is something there that you don’t want to discuss? Purile? Is that another form of law?
            The fact that you went for a straight deflection to an article on welfare, ‘suggests’ this is the truth.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Not only puerile, rossie, but you’re on your last gasp.

            IOW, desperate.

            Just like the bulk alibis exuding from all the progressive, lefty media the world over, as a result of their complete stuff-up of being in denial of this election result possibility.

            So don’t feel lonely.

            Only they haven’t been reductio that far.

            YET !!! — But give ’em time.

            The childishness is so obvious to any sane person that it’s called a “LAW”.

            But any’ow, be my guest. Blither on. I’m enjoying every minute and happy to discus it.

          • Ross says:

            I will ban Muslim immigrants.
            I will deport 3 million ‘illegal’ Mexicans.
            I will imprison my political enemies.
            I will crush free media.
            I will halve the tax rates for my friends in ‘industry’.
            No one can recall a more ugly fascist like attack on Americas values.
            I can think of one leader. In another country a while back. But I can’t mention him.
            It’s a ‘law’. Ain’t no argument though.

  • David says:

    Some people see Hitler, but I think Nero. Picture if you dare, Trump roaming the White House at 3 am tweeting in his toga and olive leaves.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Sanity? It’s his opinion, based on very little that is factual, and on a good deal of arm-waving about what he thinks was the case before the election. I wasn’t impressed when I read it, notwithstanding that he is supposed to be an election analyst.

    • dlb says:

      Another neutrino article, I don’t know why they bother.

  • Ross says:

    Other than the English language, Australia and America have little in common, culturely and politically.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Hmm. I remember people complaining in the 1920s (it’s in a book I wrote) about creeping American influence in Australian life, in language, music and fashions. That’s getting on for a century ago. Much of our television is sourced from the US, even if we adapt it. We do notice American sports results, there is an American football league here, and the attempt of Australians to enter American professional sport are written up as if this were important news.

      Politically? Surely we seem to follow the USA in foreign policy. We buy American weapons, and have joint operations with the US armed forces. We don’t have the same party names, we don’t have a President, and we don’t have the same political system, yet there seems to me to be much that is similar.

      What did you have in mind?

  • margaret says:

    “The strange little cabal of Trump fans in Australia won’t notice and shouldn’t be noticed. There is no reason to them, other than an apparent unifying hatred of anything perceived liberal or “left” and a primitive fear of “the other”. They are our own little throwbacks to supposedly simpler times of unchallenged white supremacy.

    And, in time, they may appear as quaint as the English gentlemen near the end of the Imperial Century, puffing cigars and passing the port in London clubs, secure in their knowledge that God was an Englishman. “Sic transit gloria mundi.”

  • margaret says:

    Trump, a man who understands the bottom line. I’m inspired and reassured. C21st Ragtime it is but it’s too late for Ragtime.

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