It was beginning to look a lot like a Trump presidency as I started writing this. I’m leaving a space in this opening paragraph to confirm that at the end.
So it seems that 2016 is shaping up to be quite a big year for the world. Who’d have thought it? And yet here we are.
Yesterday, when I was planning for this post, I prepared for both outcomes. If Hillary had won, I’d have said these things:
- Oh Thank God.
- Sort of.
- Because now America will be gridlocked for yet another four years (even after the Trump campaign lawsuit disputes are settled). The Republicans will likely hold the Senate and the House both now and at the mid-terms in 2018 – and they’ll spend their time preventing any of her legislation from getting through, and everything will generally be on hold.
- Because she is so unpopular, and because she will be so hamstrung by the Republicans trying to save face with all those disappointed-Trump supporters, she’s only likely to last a term in office.
- At which point, we’ll face another chaotic election.
- And the next four years will basically be a bipartisan hiatus, with a lot more growing frustration and/or rage.
- The only thing that might eventually have pulled through: some compromise moderate-liberal-conservative-ish Supreme Court nominations.
- And basically, any progress would have been via Supreme Court ruling.
- So basically, the world’s ‘great democracy’ would have undergone a technocratic interregnum.
But because Trump appears now to have won the presidency, I can say these things:
- For the first time in a while, at least there is a Republican President, a Republican Senate, and a Republican House.
- This should mean that the legislative deadlock will be broken.
- Who knows, perhaps DJT will settle down now that he’s not being challenged by a woman? And perhaps he’ll actually do some economic things that are actual actions rather than compromising half-steps?
- After all, he appears to be able to do almost anything and to say almost anything – and still win.
- And hey, if DJT turns out to be a fascist as everyone fears, and in cahoots with Putin, and goes all egomaniacal-dictator-with-his-own-TV-station, then the American people will learn some valuable lessons. After all, most of the rest of the world has at least some kind of passing affiliation with dictators (Europe, South America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa…) – but the US seems to have escaped that particular scourge. Until this morning, potentially.
- Also, I know we’re worried about World War III – but Trump is popular with many of the problem children. So at least there’s that.
- And in 8 years time, assuming that he doesn’t manage to change any electoral laws, there’ll be some newly-refreshed perspectives amongst voters.
Other points to note:
- Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com is looking pretty vindicated in his constant harping-on about polling errors.
- Pollsters are looking particularly stupid today.
- As is that Votecastr experiment. So so far off the mark.
Also, the stock market appears to be tanking.
If you’re feeling depressed today, consider self-consoling with a stock-market shopping spree.
Rolling Alpha posts opinions on finance, economics, and the corporate life in general. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rollingalpha.
rhinegold November 9, 2016 at 08:19
Except Nate Silver has been completely wrong as well. And his numbers have been completely useless… Really the way economists/mathematicians think that everything can be explained by maths is insane.Reply
Jayson November 9, 2016 at 08:52
Well no – that’s not entirely true. The fivethirtyeight model was built off the back of polls, and those polls had margins of error. Nate Silver’s model basically gave Trump a near toss-up shot at the presidency – 2 to 1 odds for Hillary are not anything like a certainty. And their consistent defense (in the face of much criticism, I might add!) was likelihood of correlated polling errors. The other polling aggregators had Hillary as a near-certainty.
Also, we still need to see whether Hillary wins the popular vote.
Either way, it is what it is at this point!Reply
Rich November 9, 2016 at 15:21
Michael Moore it turns out had pretty good foresight.