By Doug Porter
Barring unforeseen circumstances, Hillary Clinton will be elected as the next President of the United States on November 8, 2016. What remains to be seen is the margin of victory.
As of this morning, nearly 9 million people have already voted. Over the next week-and-a-half, as many as 40 million more people are going to head to the polls. Democrats are doing well in places like Virginia, Florida, Nevada and North Carolina. Republicans are outpacing 2012 levels in Ohio and Iowa. There is no path for Donald Trump if he loses just one of those states.
As much as some talking heads want us to believe the race for the nation’s top job is still an open question, it’s not. Watching some of these clowns try to spin the mounting evidence about the likely outcome would be humorous if it wasn’t so pathetic. And, of course, YOU still must vote.
Still, there are plenty of reasons to be anxious about what the world will look and feel like on November 9th. According to a September Associated Press poll, 56% of Americans said they’d be afraid if Trump won the election, while 43% said they’d be afraid if Clinton won. And 18% of respondents said they were afraid of either candidate winning.
Donald Trump may lose the election, but the legions of the disaffected energized by his campaign will still be angry.
The so-called alt-right and those who saw the Republican nominee’s candidacy as a chance to wreak havoc on Democracy will look to capitalize on this anger. I expect right wing terrorism to spike over the coming year.
Trump’s rhetoric about rigged elections combined with his willingness to play on people’s fears is a dangerous combination.
It makes no difference that according to sociologist Barry Glassner, author of The Culture of Fear, “Most Americans are living in the safest place at the safest time in human history.”
Neil Strauss wrote on this subject in Rolling Stone recently:
“…according to Glassner, “we are living in the most fearmongering time in human history. And the main reason for this is that there’s a lot of power and money available to individuals and organizations who can perpetuate these fears.”
For mass media, insurance companies, Big Pharma, advocacy groups, lawyers, politicians and so many more, your fear is worth billions. And fortunately for them, your fear is also very easy to manipulate. We’re wired to respond to it above everything else. If we miss an opportunity for abundance, life goes on; if we miss an important fear cue, it doesn’t.
“The more we learn about the brain, the more we learn it’s not something that’s supposed to make you happy all the time,” says Andrew Huberman, a Stanford neurobiology professor who runs a lab studying fear. “It’s mostly a stress-reactive machine. Its primary job is to keep us alive, which is why it’s so easy to flip people into fear all the time.”
Fear monger Alex Jones, who’s become a ‘truth’ pipeline for Trumpists, predicts a world war killing more than a third of the planet’s population should there be a Clinton win. Many of the 58 conspiracy theories regularly espoused by Donald Trump have their origins in the fertile imagination of Jones.
Over at Fox News, Sean Hannity spent 17 minutes on Monday night interviewing a man nicknamed “Mr. Fix It,” who’s currently featured on the cover of the National Enquirer. This guy is a self-proclaimed political repairman for the Clintons, who says he bought off reporters, destroyed people’s reputations, and hid Hillary’s ‘sleazy affairs’.
Pressed for lurid details, Mr Fix It, aka Jeff Rovin, was unwilling to share with Fox viewers.
From Talking Points Memo:
“There was an open marriage with the Clintons?” Hannity probed.
“So it’s been said,” Rovin replied, frustrating the host.
Hannity appeared deflated. His primetime interview with Rovin had slowly become less about the Clintons and more about just how little it takes to get a story on the front page of the Enquirer, a tabloid that months ago gave Trump what is still one of his only editorial page endorsements, and that published a bonkers, unsubstantiated story amplified by Trump ahead of the Iowa caucuses that Sen. Ted Cruz’s father (R-TX) was somehow tied to the Kennedy assassination.
The GOP’s Hail Mary
Republicans got the first good news they’ve had in weeks, as word came of an expected double-digit increase in premiums for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
The Department of Health and Human Services must not have gotten the memo about rigging the elections with nothing but pro-Hillary spin under November 9th.
Much will be made of this projected increase over the coming days, and clever readers will be able to discern just how uninformed various media outlets are as stories of doom and gloom appear.
Of course, nobody’s more uninformed than The Donald:
Trump at 930: “All of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare.”
1005: “We dont use Obamacare.”https://t.co/AKL3GBkHt9
— Reid J. Epstein (@reidepstein) October 25, 2016
A few helpful facts may assist you in understanding just how this story gets spun.
- The expected price hikes are for individual accounts in Affordable Care Act exchanges. This amounts to 7% of those with this type of coverage.
- Most people who are insured through Obamacare’s state-level marketplaces don’t pay the full price of their premiums because they get an assist from the government in the form of subsidies. These federal subsidies to help offset the cost of buying insurance are also going to rise.
- With subsidies, more than three-quarters of customers on these plans will be able to find a health plan next year for which they pay $100 or less in monthly premiums, according to the new data.
- The estimated rates for 2017 rates are about the same level that the Congressional Budget Office predicted they would be when the law was first proposed.
- There are serious problems with Obamacare. Insurance companies have pulled out of some state exchanges, meaning consumers will have less options in those states.
- Many of the tweaks needed to address problems with this program have been blocked by Republicans standing in the way of meaningful reform.
- The GOP’s preferred solution involves leaving 21 million people without health insurance.
- Or, in the case of Donald Trump, expecting consumers to suddenly have enough disposable income to invest in health care savings accounts.
- The health care reform law was created as, and continues to be a messy compromise forged between the government and powerful insurance corporations . My solution for that can be expressed in two words: single payer.
Then there’s the other problem Republicans face, namely that no issue has been able to rise above the controversies generated by their candidate at the top of the ticket. Oh, and the fact that only 3% of Americans consider health care to be among the most important problems facing the country, according to a Gallup poll taken in September.
The President Reads Mean Tweets
POTUS Crushes The Donald on late night show:
— Only4RM (@Only4RM) October 25, 2016
Other San Diego Free Press coverage of the 2016 general election.
On This Day: 1955 – The microwave oven, for home use, was introduced by The Tappan Company. 1964 – The Rolling Stones made their first appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” 2011 – After a two-year fight, workers at the Bonus Car Wash in Santa Monica, Calif., won a union contract calling for pay increases, better breaks, and other gains. “They didn’t treat us like people,” nine-year employee Oliverio Gomez told the Los Angeles Times.
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