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December 12th 2016 print

Peter Smith

The Voice of Flyover Country

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote and should be president, so goes the Democrats' lament. True, but those votes came from just two states very much out of step with the rest of the US. In conceiving the Electoral College, America's Founding Fathers knew what they were doing

flyover countryDonald Trump won 306 Electoral College votes to Hillary Clinton’s 232. Trump calls it a landslide. That is perhaps going a little far too far I think. Nonetheless, the US electoral map is a very Republican red apart from particulars areas of the West and East coasts. There hangs a tale.

How many times have we heard it? Clinton won the popular vote. The latest figure is by 2.6 million. You can find these updated figures on Dave Leip’s Atlas of US presidential elections. At the latest count — apparently it isn’t quite all done — Clinton obtained 65.54 million (48%) votes to Donald Trump’s 62.86 million (46%). It seems like an impressive margin of the popular vote went to Clinton. Certainly people like Michael Moore find it impressive. And it is not hard to hear it being repeated ad nauseam by Democrat commentators on US TV.

The accompanying conclusion on the part of Democrats is that Trump’s mandate is problematic. Accordingly, so it goes, Clinton has a right to feel hard done by and to keep on whining about Russian hackers and fake news stories queering the pitch. And, through surrogates, fund Jill Stein’s disingenuous recount efforts in States narrowly won by Trump, ostensibly to verify voting integrity. Meanwhile, she is not contesting New Hampshire won much more narrowly by Clinton; by less than 3000 votes.

I took the popular vote at face value. The trick is to win 270 or more Electoral College votes, not the popular vote, and losing the popular vote and winning an election is not unknown. But, hold on, I thought, this winning margin of the popular vote for a losing candidate is extraordinary.

It is extraordinary. The extraordinary part of it is that if you take out California, which Clinton won by 4.27 million votes, Trump wins the popular national vote by about 1.6 million. In Los Angeles alone Clinton won the popular vote by 1.7 million. If you take out New York, as well as California, Trump wins the popular vote by a margin over three million.

I’m not sure what this all means. But it seems significant enough for commentators to at least remark on the remarkable fact that without California, never mind New York, Trump wins the popular vote very handily. In fact, I have not heard this mentioned during all of the times I have heard the popular-vote narrative being played out – even, so far, on Fox News.

Now I know Californians are Americans and deserve to be counted. But it is a strange business when a little over 4% of the land mass contains sufficient numbers of Democrat supporters to outweigh the significant weight of Republican support living in the other 95% plus of the country. It is a powerful endorsement of the Electoral College system.

Perhaps the Founding Fathers envisaged the need to protect American values from the future growth of populous coastal progressive enclaves. Though, it is hard to imagine that they could ever envisage the culturally destructive mindset of modern progressives. I live now and can’t begin to grasp it.

Let me see. Here is a taste. It starts with an assumption that we can have things we can’t collectively afford if only we tax the rich. That the most successful, free and prosperous nation in the history of mankind is irredeemably wicked. That white supremacism is rampant. That white people disagreeing with that nonsensical delusion are racist. That people who want to control borders are racist. That people who want to deport felons among illegal migrants are racist. That people who support cops defending themselves against black thugs are racist. That people fearful of Islamic supremacism are Islamophobic. That people who value unborn life are misogynistic. That people who oppose gay marriage are homophobic.

It is a form of madness which in its final stages shows itself in political correctness, trigger warnings, safe spaces, and microaggressions. In California it isn’t recognised as untoward because the imbeciles have largely taken over. Thank God for the unwitting foresight of the Founding Fathers and for the majority of sane people living between California and New York.

Peter Smith, a frequent Quadrant Online contributor, is the author of Bad Economics

Comments [25]

  1. Patrick McCauley says:

    I think New York is connected to Sydney under the sea. California like the past, is another country. Perhaps they could amalgamate with Cuba ? Apparently the Canadian Embassy website blew up during the week after the election with applications from Americans wanting to emigrate. Lets hope they all make it, and renounce their citizenship – then Trump will be a shoe in for the popular vote in 2020.

    • nfw says:

      Isn’t amazing how the luvvies lied about how they would move to Canada, although some even mentioned Australia and New Zealand. First of all the simple arrogance of just going where they want to be without asking the locals is typical. But the really amazing thing is how none of them lied about wanting to move to Mexico or Venezuela or Pakistan or Africa (okay one said South Africa but he lied too) any other place where the economy is in poor shape, the locals are predominately muslimic and/or it’s a garbage dump. They are the sort of people and places they are always defending and want more of in the west but don’t seem to want to share their typhoid/cholera infested water and human rights records in situ. Can’t work it out.

  2. en passant says:

    I believe Trump has offered his private plane to fly the lying ‘celebs’ to anywhere they would rather be. So far, no takers.

  3. Jody says:

    I think we’re seeing the rise of a new order in this country of which the Cronulla riots was but one physical manifestation. The division of society into sharply delineated groups is useful only as a ‘divide and conquer’ mechanism. The politically correct militia will ensure the ideology remains front and centre in a full-on assault on the polity. Just as we saw market meltdowns such as 2007/8 which eroded peoples’ assets, sent the stockmarket into a crash, almost saw the failure of the financial system in the USA I believe we are headed for a different kind of ‘crash’. The welfare crisis will put this in the shade. We are heading for a crash of Greek proportions where the burden of welfare has proven to be the tipping point for an economy which is unable to get back onto its feet largely because of the people themselves. The militant demand for debt relief and an ever-spiralling public spend is what we face here in the cultural fight over who gets what. Now we are expected to believe that the community can afford the cost of “family violence leave”, just to name but one new ‘initiative’ from the Left. Clearly, this side of politics just doesn’t WANT to get it and they’re hell bent on draining the coffers of everything they can for themselves; in short, the very same mindset they have complained about for decades in relation to business and investment.

    I don’t feel one bit optimistic about the outcome. How long can government go before succumbing to this kind of pressure cooker of demands?

    • pgang says:

      Jody I think it’s worse than even you think it is. I’ve been unemployed for 3 years, picking up whatever dregs of work come my way every few months. Our household is basically bankrupt, and we are crawling along scratching out an existence. Thankfully my wife had the good sense to start a teaching degree last year (she’s an unemployed scientist). The bureaucracy in NSW no longer recognises a grad dip so she had to waste an extra year doing a Masters, which was run by insane people as you can probably imagine. It nearly brought her undone, but hopefully next year we will at least have an income (probably from the taxpayer). Last week she was accused of ‘plagiarising’ her own work. I kid you not. This from a university teaching teachers (Newcastle uni, take a bow).

      As for myself I’m an engineer with two decades of experience. I’m a clever guy, which I can attest to by the results of pointless psychometric testing I’ve been put through for non existent job opportunities. But there is nothing out there for me – nothing. It’s not just me. Anyone who loses their job these days has had it. An extremely intelligent and hard working friend of mine in his forties has just signed up for the dole.

      And meanwhile our government sits on its useless arse talking about magazine sizes for shotguns, while the likes of Bernardi live it up on massive junkets. Goodbye credibility. The people know what’s going on. We can see the devastation that is befalling Australia because everybody knows somebody who is affected by it, and there is a great deal of rising anger in this nation at the fact that we have killed off our industries, our economy and our entrepreneurial spirit.

  4. Bill Martin says:

    Ironic to the extreme, is it not, that during the election campaign when Trump refused to give his unconditional assurance of accepting the election result in the event of him losing, he was mercilessly attacked and vilified by all and sundry. Yet another stark example of different standards applying to the progressive left.

  5. Keith Kennelly says:

    Pgang

    No entrepreneurial spirit isn’t dead. It is still around. I’m one. I have three businesses. One now in the early stages of manufacturing start up. The other two have been around for 25 odd years.

    All I’ve seen, is not the death of entrepreneurial spirit, but the growth of know all graduates who don’t know how to achieve. I’ve seen most of these kacd (know all can’t doers) take over The media, government and the bureaucracy. The mostly all hail from an entitled attitude, resenting profitable business, hating the wealthy and wanting to impose taxes and devoid of anything sympathetic leaning to invention and development.

    That’s the crux of the problem.

    In business I have never received any help from government. I employ 8 people and have spent 30k on developing a packaging machine, over the past 2.5 years. I managed to sell two machines for 10k each last week. My first attempt at selling them. Iestimate a market of 400 machines Aust wide in two years and future exports to far exceed that.

    My factory now employs one man to weld and assemble them … at this stage. I am investigating robotising the assembling and will sell them under license in Trumps America.

    All parts ar llocally sourced and must come from local, Taiwanese or US manufacturers.

    The only government I see is the Taxation department. And they’ve only ever got their hands stuck out for money.

    Unions? I’ll tell them to F off and back it up with violence if I have too.

    I’m sick of all the whining and bullshit from all those who draw their income from ‘government’ ie people like me.

    I’m 62 and my businesses only just gives me sufficient income to live moderately and develop my new business.

    Yet because I drive an Audi, own a yacht and real estate assets I’m rich and apparently expected to supply everyone else with a lavish lifestyle.
    And begrudge me a 1.5%tax break.

    I reckon I’ve had enough.

    If you don’t change to belong here, can’t do something productive or are one of the racist ‘elites’ , or limited to and by the ‘degree’ you got, And try and tell me what to do and say change your attitude or I’ll immigrate to Trumps America.

    Youse can’t afford that.

    I never gained a uni education. And life hasn’t been easy, at 36 I was a sole parent of too tiny tots, 2 and 4. I raised them alone. They went to public schools. I received a benefit for a couple of years as one of my businesses failed. Ever since I’ve lived on my wits. Not always within the law. I survived and made good and eventually formalised and legitimised all my businessses.

    At 52 I had stage thee bowel cancer. It took me nearly 10 years to recover, and I still suffer the effects from the 12 months chemo.

    I haven’t had a partner because I put my children first for twenty years, then got sick for 8 years and now the women I like are all too young. Women my age are soiled, spoiled or old.

    Your life is no match to what I’ve done yet you’re the one whining.

    Get the f out and make you own living, like I’ve done.

    • pgang says:

      What a strange person you are Keith. What has anything I wrote to do with you and your life experiences? The irony of your comment on whining is something else. I’d say your life is no match to what I’ve done in fact, if you want to split hairs and/or compare penis size. Who cares. Get over yourself, I do make my own living, and it really sounds like you’re the whiner who needs to get the f out.

    • Jody says:

      I’m not sure I like your characterization of women your age!! There are some chislers, sure, but many genuine people out there who are lonely. The trick is to become a friend first, sharing common interests. But keep your financial affairs very separate, no matter what.

      I suspect Trump’s America will become more ruthless as he lines up his king pins from business to put their snouts in the trough. But it serves the progressives right; they have to be smarter and less demanding themselves. They created the petri dish where Trump could thrive.

  6. Jody says:

    Oh dear, this has really turned ugly. I’m sorry about people not being employed in the area where they have their qualifications; the fellow next door, at 23, lost his job as a Geologist in the Hunter Valley mines. He started afresh in a carpentry apprenticeship and he’s going gang-busters building houses. One day he’ll have his own business which will force him to work 24/7 (just as all self-employed people do) and put his putative Geology wage in the shade.
    Inevitably he will at some time be hit by a ‘housing downturn’ but many people I know who are self-employed in building have survived these in the past by specializing. That and working wives helps.

    Life is tough; no doubt about it and I’m sorry to hear about pgang’s challenges and can only wish him the best. But I really was initially talking about the Left and its ‘crash or crash through’ approach to the national cake and who gets what. They’ll be damned if the public service, universities or Qangos go without – not on their watch, Greece or no Greece. There has to be another way!!!

    And pgang’s wife’s experience at Newcastle University; that’s my alma mater so you don’t have to tell me about the fools in teaching courses there.

  7. Keith Kennelly says:

    Pgang it is you who claimed entreprenial spirit is dead. … and whined about how unemployed or unemployable you are and that how hard things are and that your qualifications are worthless.

    I’m an entrepreneur. That you could not recognise that from what I said and the contrast to your bleating about sums up all I’ve said.

    See you are in that ‘elite’ class of people who think with your qualifications and your life experience you are owed a job.

    I’m in the class of people who think I owe it to myself to create my own job.

    And you think I’m strange. Yep of course you would, in your world you don’t see people like me you only see other victims.

    I’ve never given up.

    Three years unemployed is resignation.

  8. Keith Kennelly says:

    Jody

    How many women between 55 and 65 have you dated, with a view to a longer term relationship?

    You ought to hear what they have to say about men my age. You’d be truely shocked if you think what I’ve described is ugly. And whatever made you sssume I needed the advice about being friends first? That really is a Freudian slip.

    Trumps America is on the right path. A partway away from Greece and from government by public servants, Eco warriors, the entitled and the experts.

    Mate he has a real sense of humour. I’m still laughing at his appointment of Environmental king, a denier who was once prosecuted by the environment department.

    And what about a Defence Secretary with the nickname ‘Mad Dog’.
    Really sounds like an Attack Secretary.

    He’s appointed a group of industrialists to determine industrial policy. Wow unbelievable.

    If that’s how people behave in universities then I’m thankful I never went to a university. I’d have come out with all sorts of odd ball ideas. :)

    • Jody says:

      With almost five to one women available to men in the age bracket you mention I’m surprised you haven’t found success; that’s why I’ve offered the advice. My sister is in the very dating demographic you describe and she’s had dreadful experiences with males too – but she remains optimistic!! You sound angry.

      I’m wishing Trump well, but I don’t hold out much hope for his success and I certainly don’t think he’ll make America great again. He’s already talking about spending massive amounts more money. He needs to realize the USA has ‘end of empire’ debt levels.

      Not everybody who went to university behaves like a slave to fashion and an unthinking acolyte of the Left. The intelligent people who learned to think for themselves (and whose education extended beyond the university campus) are those who really benefitted from an education and enriched the society.

  9. Keith Kennelly says:

    Jody

    Look your anti Trump prejudice is just so blatant. Just why would it be right when you have been so wrong about Trump in the past.

    It’s time to open your mind, the world of the elites has finished. It’s time to move on mate.

  10. Keith Kennelly says:

    The ratio is more like 10 to one. Most men my age have given up.
    I have many women friends just not one special enough to spend the next 30 years with.

    No not angry just forthright. They are often confused because we live in world of intellectual appeasement.

    We all understand debt levels. It is the legacy of the university trained elites. You all think it cannot be reduced and you all focus on spending.

    Trump is spending money he will save from scrapping the climate Rory’s, welfare torts, obamacare rort, special interest group rirts, import Rory’s, government employee sackings, and believe it or not by actually raising revenue by encouraging self responsibility and industry.

    Billions will be saved on the climate Rort alone.

    He will spend on the military after Obama reduced it.

    Believe me Jody, my experience is everybody who went to university thinks in a group think, that they know better than people who don’t go to university,

    You all socialise together and stick to little cliches when in public groups.

    When was the last time you spoke with in a social gathering, to a forklift driver, a paper deliverer, a cleaner, a checkout person, a painter, a mechanic, a married mum, (stay at home), a part time computer tech, a coffee shop worker, a security person, a prostitute, anyone in a public bar of a pub, a farmer, … ?

    Check you intimate friends, how many aren’t university trained?

    Check how critical you are of people who don’t think or expresses themselves as you expect or are used to? You all find fault. You’ve just done it in here.

    Critically self assess it and you’ll get what I mean. All of us, who aren’t uni trained get it.

    • Jody says:

      You have 30 years to get to know somebody of the opposite sex? Luxury!! Most women I know who are single and over 60 are not the least bit interested in relationships with men anyway, claiming rightly that they don’t have the requisite 20 plus years in which to get to know them. Women have a saying; “Nurse and/or Purse” for what men over a certain age are after. Not always the case, but certainly very prevalent.

      I belong to a U3A music group and more than half of them have no university education so, yes, I do mix with people who don’t have degrees. I often talk to the kind of people you describe in an attempt to glean their opinions on a range of issues. I’d say half of our friends are university train and the other half are not, many being formerly in business for themselves. My husband has no university degree but reads widely and takes an active interest in politics etc.

      Trump cannot hope to raise enough money to pay off the debt and spend on those big ticket items with the measures you mention. Not a snowball’s chance in hell. Read Niall Ferguson on the subject.

  11. [email protected] says:

    The US election showed in detail the voting ‘patterns’/areas. The bulk of people who voted for Trump were from the wealth producing areas of the US, i.e. rural areas and the outer suburbs of bigger regional cities. About 83% of individual counties voted for Trump. Clinton won only in the bigger cities, i.e. the wealth consuming areas and areas dominated by bureaucratic ‘elites’ and welfare recipients. These were concentrated on the west coast [known in the US as the 'left' coast] i.e mainly California, and the North-Eastern States such as New York and Massachusetts.
    We have similar patterns here, the rural [wealth producing] areas vote National, LNP or One Nation, the wealth consuming/re-distributing sectors are confined to the Inner Cities and the welfare dependent sections of society are mostly suburban and in poorer rural areas.

  12. Keith Kennelly says:

    Jody

    Most of us in our 60s will reach our nineties. Yes those are some of the things I’ve heard too many times. The other is they just talk about themselves.
    Many women, I know, in that age group just want a casual relationship with sex. It’s not that they don’t want sex it’s the other stuff they don’t want.

    Yeah but they are not just measures. What if the funding of all climate scams are ended and the military funding of and operations outside the US are also ended.

    There is plenty of saving Jodie … watch.

    Niall Ferguson supported Trump?

    I’d guess not so why would Niall drop his bias in his assesents of what Trump would and can do? You haven’t in fact none of the antiTrump rump have.

  13. Keith Kennelly says:

    Niall Fergusson, An academic who predicted a remain for Britain and the Demise if Trumps election campaign.

    Admitted being wrong on Brexit and changed his opinion.

    How long before he admits he was wrong about Trump and changes his opinion?

    An elitist with so little credibility, Really why would anyone read him, or put any stock in what he says, he’s usually wrong.

    • Jody says:

      He has written SEVERAL books on what happens when a nation is mired in debt. That’s what I’m talking about. He didn’t say Trump wouldn’t be elected (I was at his lecture in March in Sydney). What he said was “populists always do what they say they’ll do”.

      No good just looking Ferguson up on Google; you have to read his books. Your comments are beginning to sound bigoted.

  14. Keith Kennelly says:

    You talk to them. That’s not what I asked?
    I asked whether you socialise with them.
    More than 60% of the people I socialise with were ‘rooting’ for Trump. That’s why I predicted Tump winning.

    I bet you didn’t hear those people you talk to to glean their ideas tell you that. You aren’t one of them and they would appease you,. They do that with all their ‘betters” cos that’s what is expected by their ‘betters’.
    We all have done that. I’m not any more. I’m saying things as the really are and to hell with leaving people to feel good about their wrongheadedness.

  15. Keith Kennelly says:

    There you go again.

    It’s what the elites have done. Can’t accept the truth of what they are told so they sink to personal attack.

    I say forthrightly about women I’ve met, you say Isound angry.

    I say your ‘educated’ experts are wrong and lack credibility, you say I’m bigoted probably about university educated experts.

    Fergusson predicted Trumps demise after the debates, like all the elites.

    Really Jody why is it so hard to listen to and accept what you’re told by someone from the ‘flyover country’.

    • Jody says:

      The Trump experiment could still turn out very badly. You should hedge your bets in case of that contingency.

      Your last sentence, “listen to and accept what you’re told…” is more than a tad dictatorial. That explains quite a lot about your other comments.

  16. Keith Kennelly says:

    I already won onTrumps election. And stand to win more when my double gets up in the New Year. The return of Abbott as PM.
    A bet I placed over a year ago.

    Trump is not an experiment, he’s the President elect of the US. The people elected him, they didn’t elect an experiment. There’s that bias again.

    My last sentence was a question not a dictate Jody. Don’t you know the difference.

    But there you go again. The elites ‘form’. Don’t like the truth of what you hear, misquote or quote out of context, then throw abuse.

    Do you see the element of group think there? It’s common among the university educated.

    So now I’m angry, bigoted and more than dictatorial. Wow a trifecta! I must be the epitome of an angry old white man? :) it’s a wonder I have any friends, community or family at all.

    What you elites lack is what the great philosophersJaques Barzun and Bertrand Russell held with great store. Their links to communities. They held all philosophy is based in emotion (Russell) and comes from the community and is not the preserve of the learned. (Barzun).

    You university educated elites think you know everything and are isolated from the wider communities. That’s why the elites running things have failed so badly and why outsiders are now taking control. The experiment with government by experts is over. It’s just result in a group think (closed) arrogance, debt, wasteful spending, absurd beliefs (climate warming) and the abandonment of the philosophy of westernism. The philosophy that bought us extraordinary growth and development.