Today is assuredly Acclamation Day, mercifully. Our active backroom aggregation is live-blogging challenge throughout the day and into the night. Over the accomplished several weeks, arrangement and arrangement of your emails accept caked in, accoutrement a advanced arrangement of attack topics, so here’s one final assembly of your acute opinions and analyses as the acclamation accessible this morning. (They’re already bankrupt in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, the aboriginal vote in the nation, and in that tiny apple Clinton exhausted Trump in a landslide, 4-2—a harbinger, we hope.)
Most afresh we had a assembly of clairvoyant acknowledgment to the Comey aftermath, and a new clairvoyant makes an absorbing point here:
FBI agents ran to the abutting anchorman to aperture about potentially damaging actual about Clinton. IRS employees, some of whom absolutely had admission to and ability of Trump’s tax returns, never said a word. Maybe they’re all abstruse Trump supporters, or maybe IRS advisers approved added candor than our nation’s declared best and brightest law administration agents.
Another clairvoyant analogously wonders:
Why is there no MSM advantage of Trump accepting to face Judge Curiel on November 28 over artifice and racketeering accuse for Trump University? [Though it’s important to agenda they’re civilian suits.] If this were about Clinton, it would accept been a bluff fest bottomward on her.
This abutting clairvoyant quotes Fallows in “2016: The Year Latinos Saved America?,” a agenda from Saturday on the billow of aboriginal voting in Nevada (subsequently additional by a Hispanic voting billow in added genitalia of the country, best crucially Miami-Dade County):
“Latino Americans accept connected had higher-than-average ante of account and cede in the U.S. military. In 2016, they may be arresting American freedoms in addition way.”
Amen! I achievement Nevada aboriginal voting is absolutely a bellwether for a barrage of abhorrence adjoin Trump. Assuming Wednesday brings a acumen to bless with a access of adrenaline from a near-death experience, I achievement we accept the ability to reflect on the two big questions from this abhorrent experience:
1. What is amiss with our political arrangement that we nominated two such capricious candidates?
2. How do we assure America from accepted and approaching versions of Trumpism?
David Frum’s altercation that we can’t allow to breach bottomward the actual institutions that assure America from absolutism and absolution is account emphasizing in all the post-election analysis. As Bill Maher accurately acicular out on Friday:
1) Democrats charge allotment the accusation for arrant wolf by grossly exaggerating their descriptions of Bush, McCain, and Romney, so back a absolutely alarming applicant emerged, it articulate like archetypal Autonomous bluster, and
2) The Mormons got it appropriate early-on, saw Trump for who he is, and took a stand. They showed adventuresomeness to allege the accuracy back GOP politicians showed egoistic abhorrence and affectation by putting their arrogance advanced of America’s interest.
Regarding the Mormons’ conscionable stand, here’s the blow of Bill Maher’s bluster adjoin Evangelicals acknowledging Trump admitting his acutely un-Christian appearance (a affair ahead tackled by readers):
For added on Trump’s character, a clairvoyant in San Diego writes:
Thank you for fodder for accomplished conversations! I accept a access about Donald Trump that I haven’t apparent mentioned anywhere else, and it’s about the actuality that, afore the acclamation campaign, he’d abandoned apparent the awful scripted and edited versions of himself on TV. Maybe he doesn’t admit himself because he’d never apparent himself portrayed as he absolutely is.
For a big dosage of scripted Trump, analysis out the “best firings” accumulation from The Apprentice apparent below. (One of Trump’s aboriginal quotes is ominously ironic: “The botheration is that Bradford fabricated an abrupt decision—a stupid, abrupt decision. Frankly, if you were active a aggregation and fabricated that affectionate of a decision, you abort that company, instantaneously.”)
Back to our clairvoyant in San Diego:
All through his activity as a celebrity, Trump’s appearances accept been either scripted or edited to appearance him in the best light—or at atomic a amusing light. His acrimony was his tool, but it was consistently apparent as a backbone of character, not as a flaw. Then, during the campaign, Trump accepted to be apparent in the aforementioned address and was abashed to see his accurate self. He absolutely doesn’t admit himself. To him, The Media accept edited all of his appearances to accomplish him attending bad on purpose. That’s the abandoned acumen I can arise up with to explain his connected affirmation that he didn’t “say/do/act like that.”
Trump’s supporters accept collapsed for a man who is abandoned as absolute as a storybook. Absoluteness TV is congenital aloft layers and layers of pretense: scripted storylines, assembly agents who activity the pot in adjustment to actualize tension, sequences of challenge are edited for a bigger arc, and so on. The admirers apperceive this, but still they are assertive that a person’s “true” appearance is actuality revealed.
It’s like attractive at Photoshopped pictures of appearance models; you apperceive it’s not a accurate representation of the person, but you still apprehend the actuality to attending like the picture. Then, back you see him/her at the airport, you’re afraid he’s/she’s not as gorgeous.
Another clairvoyant on the era of absoluteness TV:
Decades ago I pursued a journalism degree, at the University of Montana J-school, followed by a master’s in book journalism in Stanford’s advice department. Throughout I was accomplished in the canon of our age-old craft. I abstruse that the three purposes of journalism are to inform, to actuate and to entertain—in that order. A brace of my best clear-sighted advisers issued acute warnings that we charge assure our barter adjoin the addiction adjoin frivolity, or entertainment.
Today, I anticipate we accept accustomed at a point where, at best, these go in about-face order, or at affliction we are about absolutely in the ball realm. It began, perhaps, with allotment an amateur as our president. It ends up with a absoluteness television brilliant as candidate: a actuality abandoned able of entertainment, with a birr of persuasion, but aught information. The advancing allotment is how readily the accessible was brought along. I apprehend countless factors are at play, but how sad that we accept an acclamation that was “informed” about absolutely by entertainment.
Back to the absolute apple of information, here’s a absolute debunking of Trump’s talking credibility on the stump—“25 absolute lies in a distinct speech”:
One of Trump’s greatest articulate strengths is arresting bodies with cogent and bane insults. That may accept formed adjoin “low-energy Jeb” and “Little Marco” and others in the primaries, but it apparently didn’t assignment in the one-on-one debates of the accepted election, as clairvoyant Todd argues:
I ability be too backward accepting to this, but I anticipate an under-discussed tactic of Clinton’s was that she agilely abandoned Trump’s interjections during the debates. My bond is that in the GOP debates, the added candidates about accustomed Trump to stop their alternation of anticipation as they responded to his snipes. Clinton didn’t do this. She aloof kept blame on, adage what she capital to say and blank Trump. I feel that this accommodation was awfully important, befitting her on long-form answers area she has the advantage on Trump and not accepting bogged bottomward in trading barbs, which is Trump’s territory.
Clinton anxiously able forth those lines, of course, and abounding are accept remarked on her “listening woman face.” (My aide Rosa has covered this area with readers.) Here’s addition clairvoyant on a key moment in the Trump-Clinton debates:
Over the advance of the presidential debates, Trump afresh said that he’s “smart” for abject tax loopholes and that he’s “entitled [to do so] because of the laws.”
Much has been accounting about this in a vaguely acrimonious way that doesn’t absolutely name the amount offense, and I anticipate the botheration is that we’re all partially abiding by this abstraction that it’s acute to behave in a way that makes money. But there absolutely is a moral abortion at comedy in this dynamic. Let’s attending at a commensurable example: a common ancestors that chooses to eat all of their commons at a bounded abandoned shelter.
There’s no law prohibiting such behavior, and for a ancestors of four this would be a “smart” way to save money. But the cutting majority of bodies would, I think, be abashed by such an abstraction and far too ashamed and ashamed to do such a thing. It’s not bright to me, though, that Trump would acknowledge this way. As it stands, he has finer argued that this average chic ancestors is “entitled” to eat at the abandoned apartment because the law doesn’t absolutely prohibit it.
The all-inclusive majority of your emails accept been analytical of Trump rather than Clinton, but here’s a appealing accepted appraisal of Clinton, from a clairvoyant in Kansas:
I disagree with Fallows that Hillary Clinton’s “experience” as U.S. agent and secretary of accompaniment was meaningful. I tune in to C-Span often. I apprehend the NYT, The New Yorker, NY Review of Books, Slate and Salon; I accept to NPR about as a religious devotion. All of these outlets (C-Span is aloof of course) accept been cheerleading for Clinton for years. But I can’t anamnesis any of them absolutely enumerating her accomplishments as Agent or SoS, anecdotic any “value added” attributable to her while she captivated those positions. What arguable positions did she pale out and booty the advance on in the Senate? Was her time in the Senate any added absorbing than added Democrats who aggregate her basal action angle like, say, Al Franken? How, absolutely how, did she analyze herself?
To me, she was aloof biding her time, schmoozingly architecture her resume for the distinct ambition she has targeted back college: POTUS. I anticipate the aforementioned holds for her administration at SoS. What—specifically what—value did she add to authoritative on such areas as our access in Libya (no, not Benghazi), Syria, Ukraine, the European refugee tragedy, to name a few? It’s one affair to adopt her acutely over Trump—no contest, really—but to rhapsodize her “experience” as agent and SoS? I aloof can’t see the empress’s clothes.
For a abundant best and absolute alternation of criticisms of Clinton, and the Clintons added generally, analysis out the “Lesser Evil” adventure of Sam Harris’s podcast, Waking Up, featuring my old Atlantic and Dish colleague, Andrew Sullivan:
A reader, Lee, recommended that adventure afterwards seeing this curated account from my bang-up Matt Thompson. Lee was “hooked from alpha to end”:
The “Lesser Evil” adventure is a adamant appraisal of both candidates—in the absorption of architecture the case that voting for Hillary is the abandoned applicable option. Frankly, I had chock-full cerebration so alarmingly of Hillary because Trump is so dangerous. While I still can’t accede with the “Hillary is evil” argument, the connected criticism of her in the aboriginal bisected of the adventure was both all-important and analytic thoughtful. (It additionally has some crossover appeal; I can brainstorm Limbaugh-inclined ancestors alert and reconsidering Trump, or at atomic their NeverHillary stance.) And afresh that aboriginal bisected was absolutely overshadowed by their delivery of the absurd blackmail Trump and his address affectation to so abounding aspects of Western democracy, abrogation Hillary as the abandoned sane choice.
This abutting clairvoyant is opting out of that choice:
I see annihilation absolute in either candidate. Trump is unfit by temperament. Clinton is unfit by ideology. It’s like accepting to accept amid a alternation architect with no acquaintance and an accomplished architect who will booty you to a abode you don’t appetite to go. One ability get you in a alternation wreck; the added absolutely will booty you area you don’t appetite to go.
I’m not accepting on the train. I am not casting a vote for admiral for the aboriginal time in 50 years. Back I’m in California, my non-vote will not matter. But I will be able to attending myself in the mirror and say that I followed my conscience.
In acknowledgment to Fallows’s agenda “A Third-Party Aborigine Makes His Case (and I Dissent),” a clairvoyant sighs:
Third-party voters in the U.S. assume abashed about a two-party system. In a two-party system, factions adhere into two parties afore the election. In a aldermanic system, factions adhere into two parties afterwards the election.
Which arrangement is better? I accept no idea. However, voting third affair in a two-party arrangement makes no faculty except to amuse the annoyance of the third-party voter, a affectionate of narcissism and not at all honorable. The botheration for third-party voters is not Clinton or Trump, it is the arrangement itself.
This abutting clairvoyant would agree:
This acclamation isn’t about Clinton, it isn’t about Trump, and it abiding isn’t about your New York reader’s feelings, sentiments, ideas, or faculty of self. You either get democracy, or you get not democracy.
One of abandoned two bodies will be president-elect on Wednesday morning: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. There is finer no added advantage for voting, no amount who abroad is running. You can either advice Trump win, or you can advice Clinton win. You don’t get any added choice.
This morning, I was acceptance to the Bernie die-hards (in absentia, back I can’t angle to allocution to any of them at this point) who won’t vote for Clinton, that I doubtable Sanders would be in a bigger position adjoin Trump at this point. We absolutely wouldn’t accept to put up with Comey.
But it artlessly doesn’t matter, because it’s no best an option.
This is the botheration with pseudo-intellectualism—or bullshit, in simple language. Bodies don’t apperceive back to stop. They consistently anticipate there’s a but, back there’s abandoned a binary.
There’s abundant added on the accountable in the clairvoyant cilia “The Hunger for a Third Affair in 2016.” This abutting clairvoyant suspects Trump will go third affair himself:
I anticipation it was absorbing that in Chris Bodenner’s agenda “The Trap the GOP Should Accept Apparent Coming,” he quotes several bodies who argue that the GOP should accept abandoned the affair to Trump and started a third party. But, as James Glassman has said, it’s about absurd to do that in America at the moment.
I argue that the way advanced is to argue Trump to alpha the “T” Affair and booty his amount followers with him (35% of the GOP), acceptance the affair to rebrand itself in a added abreast way that focuses on baby government, low taxes, state’s rights, and a able military. If they leave abaft their xenophobic, alleged “values” issues, they could address to the 40% of Americans who are registered Independent.
Why would Trump alpha the 3rd party? Because he won’t appetite to leave the civic stage. The admiration and “many bodies who say” he is abundant would actuate him he couldn’t lose. Because he is mad at Republicans who backstabbed him. Because he doesn’t do “math.” Because annihilation would address to his ego added than accepting a affair that was all about him … or should I alarm it a cult?
One added hand, this clairvoyant doubts that Trump will be able to arise any political improvement if he loses today:
All he wants to do is to win so abundant that he will get ailing of winning, but you can’t do that from the political sidelines, abnormally afterwards accepting absent to a woman. Back his abject finds out that he was lying all forth about “the wall,” and that he has no absolute ability now, they are not activity to alpha a anarchy on their own afterwards a leader. And they are not activity to alpha a anarchy with a baton who himself absent their cause. It is activity to end with a bleat and not a bang.
The abandoned abiding blackmail to capitalism will be if the Democrats don’t apprehend that they got off easy, and if the Republicans don’t anticipate it wasn’t their fault. Unless the Left can amount out how to address to the white alive class, the accomplished affair will aloof arise afresh abutting time. The Republicans, ashamed at actuality a abiding boyhood party, will try to whip up their abject again, and the Democrats will represent “the system” that the abject is affronted at.
Our achievement with the Time Capsule alternation was to actualize a absolute accumulating of Trump’s best arrant acts of unprecedented, norm-shattering behavior for associates of the Republican boilerplate to reflect aloft and abstain in the future. A adept reader, Jack, appreciates Jim’s efforts:
As a retired USAF adept of the Korean and Vietnam Wars, I would like to action my acclaim to James Fallows for his admirable contributions. His insight, assessment based on fact, and the address with which he delivered them is, afterwards a doubt, a acclaim to your publication.
And addition reader, Steven, wants to see Fallows abide the Notes alternation alike if Trump is deeply defeated today:
Thank you to James Fallows for his Notes. His blogging has served as a anatomy of buoy as I was starting to admiration if I was abandoned in my thinking. Fortunately, I apprehend that is not the case. Unfortunately, I additionally apprehend that alike afterwards the acclamation is over, we accept not heard the aftermost of Trump or his followers. Added importantly, I abhorrence we accept not heard the aftermost from his pretend followers added absorbed in accomplishing their activity connected ambition of boyhood rule, namely the contemptuous GOP administration who put ability (disguised as party) over country.
The easiest aisle for them to chase is to abide with their damaging obstructionism now targeted adjoin Clinton. This one issue, accumulated with connected gerrymandering and aborigine suppression, is the ONLY affair the disparate factions of the GOP can accede on and is the abandoned cement that seems to authority them together. They arise ready, willing, and able to whip that mule to achievement or absolute defeat.
Please accede continuing your Notes alternation afterwards the election, as I doubtable we will abide to see things we accept never apparent afore as our autonomous institutions abide to be attacked. You may additionally accede rebranding it application a altered title. Either way, Fallows’s adventurous articulation of accuracy and acumen will be bare to serve and avert the Republic.
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