Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2016 Election

Some belated comments on the recent Presidential election.  I considered not voting as I was going to be out of state on election day and the result seemed a forgone conclusion.  However voting by absentee ballot isn't all that hard and it is never likely that your individual vote will matter.  So I ended up preserving my perfect record of always voting in Presidential elections.

I voted for Trump.  Obviously Trump is a seriously flawed candidate so this was more an anti-Clinton vote than a pro-Trump vote.  I got a hostile vibe from Clinton and many of her supporters, that they would prefer to win the election without my vote.  This of course didn't endear her to me.  For what it's worth I didn't get the same vibe from Obama. Perhaps he is more open minded or perhaps politics has just gotten more divisive in the last few years.  Anyway it's hard to get someone's vote if you are unwilling to ask them for it.

Of course once you have decided you don't like someone it is easy to find things about them that annoy you.  One such thing in Clinton's case is the nepotism angle.  When George Wallace got his wife elected Governor of Alabama (when he couldn't run himself) no one (as far as I know) claimed this was some great breakthrough for women.  But somehow if Bill Clinton had gotten his wife (who is unlikely to have become a national figure if she hadn't married Bill) elected President we were supposed to pretend she had accomplished this on her own and that it was some major feminist achievement.  Now this is hardly the only example of nepotism in politics but at least when there is a blood connection (as with the Bushes) there is a possibility that political talent runs in the family.

Another thing I found annoying about Clinton was her private email server.  Now you can certainly make the case that this while a dumb mistake wasn't that big a deal.  However in course of defending her, her supporters repeatedly made assertions contrary to my understanding of the regulations about handling classified information and preserving federal records.  Since my understanding is based on courses I am required to take every year as part of my job I am inclined to give it some weight.  Now one of the defenses made on her behalf is that these rules don't apply to the big shots.  While it is true as a practical matter that big shots can often get away with stuff that would get lower level people in trouble this is maybe a defense her supporters would have been better off not making.  

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