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Another Surprise Vote Result?

Web posted on November 22, 2016

A Curmudgeon's View

By Les Enekes

Wow. Donald Trump will be the 45th President of the Untied States. Everyone is in a tizzy because they didn't see it coming. Oh come now, let's step back a bit and take another look. None of the polls last year got our federal election right. Nobody predicted the NDP victory in Alberta. The polls screwed up on the Brexit vote. Now we have the result down south. Has anyone else noticed that there is somewhat of a pattern emerging here?

I don't know about the rest of you, but I am sick and tired of all the polls out there. Every day there is a new one about some issue or another. Weather forecasters are getting it right more often. As I mentioned last year after our election, I make a point of never telling the truth on those rare occasions when I get a call from a pollster. If only five percent of the people questioned tell a lie, it screws up their precious margin of error. I have a feeling that more than five percent did not give a truthful answer as to who they planned to vote for, or who they voted for. I sincerely hope that more people will start doing this. It's time to put the pollsters in their place. One more thing, there were probably a lot of people out there who would never admit that they voted for Donald. Just like we have a lot of people who will never ever admit that they voted for Harper, or even Trudeau by the time our next election rolls around. How did some people ever get elected when nobody voted for them.

There were other factors such as Hillary's unpopularity. A larger than expected turn out of Trump supporters who wanted change combined with many Democrats staying home because they could never vote for Hillary made a huge difference.

Civilization as we know it did not suddenly come to an end. While I don't particularly care for Donald's public approach to the issues, he did have some very valid points about the way things are in Washington (I have a feeling that George Washington would not want to have his name associated with that mess, and would probably want the city name changed). Donald said many of the things that a lot of voters wanted to hear. How much of that was real and how much was being "in character?" Let's not forget that all is fair in love, war, and politics. We all know that the only politician who ever delivered on every promise is the one who promised nothing. He has certainly toned down since the election. In many ways it's still too early to make a final decision. His supporters on the fringes are going to have to cool their jets and stop taking everything he said literally. That holds equally true for his opponents.

By the way, that was not a typo in the first sentence. The United States have become untied. It is not the old north-south divide, it's more of a northeast and west coast vs. the middle. Just look at the maps. I think I have finally figured out why they have the party colours backward to ours. It makes sense for the Republicans to use red(neck) for their colour.

Many of the Hollywood types are having hissy fits. Boo Hoo. Suck it up and deal with it, and feel free to sign up for the colonization of Mars, but don't come here. The loony left is doing what it does best when they don't get their way. They throw a temper tantrum and hit the streets. Then they whine and try every dirty trick in the book until the next election. Not an original thought between any of them. I have seen two year olds behaving better. They should be thankful that they live in a country where protest is allowed. Try doing that in Moscow, Beijing or North Korea. As always, if they did not vote, their protests have no credibility.

Donald could become the greatest president in history, or he could be the last President of the United States as we know it. If he can stop the waste, corruption, and greed (drain the swamp as they say) in Washington and restore things to being government of the people, for the people and by the people, he has a good chance of becoming one of their greatest presidents. If he can get the economy going people will soon forget about some of the outrageous things he said. He is planning on banning any of his cabinet and White House staff from lobbying the government for five years after leaving the job. He is also hoping to extend that to all former government employees. He still needs to expand that to retired elected officials. He also needs to expand it to working for companies that do business with the government. This is a good start.

He will have to be very careful when trying to drain the swamp. There are a lot of alligators, snakes, and other nasty varmints living there, and they are not going to go out without a fight. If he screws up it will take decades to fix, if ever. The biggest challenge will be the law of physics that says that an object in motion tends to stay in motion. There is so much inertia with the way things are done, that it just can't be changed overnight. It will be like trying to stop a freight train using a parachute.

He has an ego the size of the United States, just like Vladimir the Great (in his own mind) (self anointed Czar of all the Russias and anything else he can get his grimy little meat hooks on) has an ego the size of Russia. It will be interesting to see how they really get along once they meet. I would love to be a fly on the wall for that meeting.

Another thing to note is that all presidents have ended up drifting to the middle once elected and reality sets in. When they get all the top secret briefings and find out what is really happening in the world, they quickly change their underwear and realize that no matter what they thought or promised, a lot of it just "ain't happening."

Yes, Donald will be able to do some of the things he promised. He will also have to negotiate and compromise on many of the other issues. Will he live up to all of the expectations of all his supporters, possibly, but not likely. Will he be as bad as his opponents fear? Probably not. Time will tell.

A populist movement, (as it's being called) is growing in many places around the world. Many people have become tired of the same old greedy, self serving, corrupt, professional politicians telling them how to live their lives. Too many countries have become nanny states where it has become a government of the politicians, for the politicians and by the politicians. More and more voters are waking up to the fact that they have been lulled into a situation where the leaders have convinced them that they know what is best for the "great unwashed masses." Look at the number of corrupt politicians around the world. Canada (just look at some of our politicians) and the United States should be better, but we just as bad as any other country out there. People now want change from being over governed and over taxed. Crime and terrorism scare the average person. The Philippines are a good example, with their new President. Take a look at the rise of nationalist (the righteous right) movement in Europe. This is leading many countries from one extreme to the other. I have as much use for the "populists" as I have for the "progressives."

Too many politicians of all political stripes have promised to clean up things, and after getting elected, they are no better than their predecessors. Some have even been charged for corruption. No wonder people are picking the devil they don't know, over the devil they know and hate.

Everyone in Washington is playing nice right now or at least pretending to play nice. The shock will wear off before inauguration day. Then there will be the honeymoon, you know, the period between the swearing in and the cussing out. Let the games begin.

It was close in the popular vote, but it looks like Hillary got more votes, but Donald won the electoral vote. This wasn't the first time that a candidate won the popular vote, but did not win the electoral vote. The way their system works ensures that a few states with large populations do not control the vote. In a way it does make a lot of sense, and maybe not such a bad idea when you think about it. In our system, the rest of the country gets what the voters of southern Ontario and Quebec want.

The Democratic Party will have to reinvent itself over the next two years. They need to make some serious changes to become relevant with the (not so) silent majority. They too will have to turn to the outsiders and get rid of the current elite. On the other side, the traditional old guard Republicans will have to come to terms with their own reality. The reality is Donald shattered two political dynasties, the Bushes and the Clintons.

I wonder what kind of odds would have been given two years ago that Donald Trump would beat Hillary Clinton. I am guessing a $100 bet would have paid off very nicely.

In the mean time, I think I will stay on this side of the border for the next little while and maybe cash in some of my U.S. dollars.

We have swamps in Ottawa and Toronto, not to mention our very own cesspool (not big enough to be called a swamp) at 1 Carden Street and all of them are in desperate need of being drained. Canada's biggest swamp is in Toronto, and is infested with a lot of very nasty varmints. I am looking forward to seeing what happens in all of our upcoming elections. Then there are the federal leadership contests to consider. Things could get quite "interesting" over the next little while.

Keep Calm and Carry On.

Les Enekes can be reached directly by owl. For those not owl equipped, he can be reached at

The views of columnists in The Fountain Pen do not necessarily represent the views of the principals of the publication.

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