Friday, November 11, 2016

Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Happiness - Why 2016 was what it was

In the 2016 Republican Primary Votes, Donald Trump received 14 Million votes, which came out to around 45% of the votes cast in that primary (31 million total votes). Hillary Clinton received just shy of 17 million votes from the 30.6 million votes cast in the democratic primary (55%). In the final presidential election, Hillary received just over 60 million votes and Trump received just under 60 million votes.
Point 1 - Each political party doubled the amount of votes it received in the final election than it did in the primary. Each candidate nearly multiplied their received votes by a factor of 4 times.
Sadly, this means that 50% of those who voted in the presidential election did not vote in the primary. They did not exercise their ability to determine the major candidates that we were picking from. I knew of both Democrats and Republicans who requested (in states that allowed it) to vote in the opposing primary <Democrats voting for non-trump candidates like Cruz and Kasich> while still holding to the fact that they were going to vote democratically in the Presidential election, they just wanted to make sure that there would be a Repulican candidate that was "easier to beat". Now, I don't believe that this practice was wide spread, and while I do not condone this action, it is at least a better use of your voting privilege than those who did not vote at all.
Point 2
Population who was eligible to vote = 231,556,622
2016 Votes = 131,741,500 (56.8%)
Voter Eligible Population That Didn’t Vote = 99,815,122 (43.2%)
Registered Voters = 200 million
Registered Population that did not vote = 68,258,500 (34.1%)
More people Didn't vote than the number of people who voted for either candidate.
In 2008 around 70 million democratic votes were cast in contrast to the 60 million republican votes that were cast. 
in 2012 around 65 million democratic votes were cast in contrast to the 61 million republican cotes that were cast.
Again, in 2016 each party received around 60 million votes.
The amount of +/- votes for 2016 was -10 million democratic votes since 2008, to 0 republican votes since 2008.
Point 3
Many of the republican voters had reluctance in voting for Donald Trump in 2016, (potentially 50 - 75% if his 14 million core primary votes did not grow or expand outside of those who voted for Ben Carson, Chris Christie, and the like who went on to endorse Trump) but did so regardless of his personality because they were voting on single issues (the economy and jobs, national security, supreme court justices, abortion)
Point 4
Hillary lost 7 core states that Obama had won in 2012. Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and Florida.
**** Opinions from this point out ****
It appears that Hillary lost this election more than Trump won this election. Trump did little to gain additional republican voters, but to his credit, he didn't lose as many of them that people believed that he would.
Democratic voters as a whole have dropped by 10 million in the last 8 years (5 million down from 2012).
This is probably long forgotten, but Hillary won the 2008 Primary popular vote over Obama 17.8 million to 17.5 million, however, Obama gained 10 additional contests and 250 delegates more than she did.
If you compare Hillary's 2008 Primary base to her 2016 Primary base, they are fairly identical, plus she regained the south and the midwest states of Illinois, Missouri, Iowa. However she did lose Michigan and Indiana in 2016 that she had previously won in 2008. There were a few other contests that filpped the other way, but these were the most significant ones.
By looking at the analysis, and trust me, I hate coming to conclusions based on broad strokes of assumptions, but it appears that Barak Obama received significantly more votes in 2008 because it was very important to people to have a person of color become the president. In 2016 we had a similar opportunity to have a female become president, but the same surge in votes, particularly amongst white women did not translate into an overall voter growth. Would a woman of color had a better opportunity to win or just another woman in general? Possibly, but there is no data there to trust that opinion.
When it really comes down to it, the people who votes against Hillary Clinton didn't (in the large part) vote AGAINST women or white people or democrats, they voted against Hillary Clinton... She's has for a very long time been a very unpopular person in politics in bother personal and professional matters. However, her general unpopularity has always been counterbalanced by her publicity. No other female in politics has had both the longevity and opportunity that she has had.
Does Sexism exist in our country? Yes. Does Cultural based"racism" exist in our country? Yes. Does homophobia and intolerance exist in our country? Yes. Did these factors play as critical of a role in this election as everyone is making them out to have had? NO!
Most people in the "Rust Belt" who voted for Trump responded that their #1 issue was the economy, Job loss, fear of increased taxes to pay for federal government programs, education and healthcare that they would be unable to access to the equal degree that they were being forced to invest.
I have personally seen these frustrations during the ending years of Bill Clinton's presidency when the Tech bubble burst and companies like Enron and the like were exposed for their fraudulent activities that had given everyone the false belief that our economy was doing "GREAT!" when in fact we were losing thousands of manufacturing jobs to other countries like China and Mexico. Everyone was fine with this, because most of "us" didn't want to work in manufacturing, we wanted white collar high level tech jobs in fancy urban cities with air conditioned offices and free breakfast. And since Tech was so aggressively growing, we overlooked this and said, sure the big guys are all corrupt, but all these little mobile start ups is where it's at, and for the most part, that is correct. Moving forward from Bill Clinton, we got ourselves settled in with George W. Bush, and the Reuplicans had their 8 years in the sun, only to realize that nothing happened to our economy outside of little bursts here and there because of increased industrialization during certain war efforts. Bush's presidency was unsuccessful and regaining our lost jobs and creating advanced opportunities. Obama came along and promised change. Change has happened, especially in health care, but not in an overly positive way. The economy settled down from a gigantic housing collapse whose bubble was created back in the 90's by the Clinton "economy growth" facade, somehow survived the Bush administration because, again, we were all just happy to have a republican in office that we ignored the warning signs, and then burst like crazy all over Obama's first year in office because the majority of America was no longer willing to have that overt optimism. The Obama administration had a lot of work to do to clean that up, and in all honesty, they did a pretty good job, the country remained somewhat safe, but the job market was just absolutely killing people. Highly qualified people weren't finding jobs they were qualified for and those who needed manufacturing style jobs were realizing that most of them had been outsourced.
Some might be saying... Ok Brian... but why should you care... you're a "libertarian at the federal level, republican at the state level, and open to democratic programs at the local level" Upper middle class white male who had been handed every privilege in the world, who's daddy paid every cent of his six figure private college education allowing him to live debt free in his little Long Island, NY paradise doing ministry work with Young Life for 8 years, having the millennial dream come true of ignoring financial security and investing all of my resources in making a significant meaning in the lives of those around me... like Louis Ortiz and James Parades, young Latino men. With those who struggled with same sex attraction and identification issues. Not judging them, but loving them and creating an environment for them where they could have a voice, but also a place to feel like they belonged. A place where they could hear about a God who loves them and about Jesus who died, rose, and lived again in a relationship with them.
Why do you care Brian?
Following the events of Hurricane Sandy, my little Happily Ever After fairytale came to an abrupt end.
I was "Homeless", enumployed (I had lost my job just before the Hurricane, and finding a new one became infinitely more difficult), parent with another on the way. Life sucked.
If it hadn't been for our family, friends, and church, we would have been S.O.L. Through their support, and through the availability of programs like unemployment insurance, S.N.A.P.S. (food stamps) and Medicaid, we were able to survive for the last 4 years. My Unemployment ran out rather quickly in 20 weeks, food stamps lasted about 6 months, but fortunately the medicaid coverage for my wife and kids endured for those 4 years. I was able to find employment for pockets of time in places that didn't fit my education background, but hey.. a paycheck is a paycheck... I tried Marketing for a commercial real estate insurance firm for 3 months, marketing for an online furniture retailer for 6 months, sales and logistics at a transportation brokerage firm for 8 months, before biting the bullet and taking some advice form Brian Tome, senior pastor at Crossroads church in Cincinnati, My Father - a chemical engineer for 30 years, Mike Rowe from Discovery channel's "Dirty Jobs" and several others and put my college degrees in a clean little envelop and kissed them good bye as I went to work as an entry level manual laborer for a chemical pigment manufacturer. Physically moving around 60,000 LBS of chemical powder per day in 2,000 Degree Kilns in non-air-conditioned environments, without fancy mobile technology, wearing a respirator at all times.
In hindsight, it was one of my more favorite jobs of all time. It was hard, honest, and repaid me generously for the risks I was willing to take.
RISK is one of the most important words there. I grew up hearing RISK = REWARD. One of the scariest trends in our country is that we are seeing generations growing up with very little risk opportunities, but having strange entitlements to high levels of rewards.
Sure, a man like Donald Trump inherited a $1 million gift and built his company off of that and other assets that he obtained from his family, so you can't really say he took a Huge risk or went from rags to riches, but he did manage Risk fairly well. Unfortunately, many of his practices did include him dumping risk on people below him and stiffing contractors and filing bankruptcy, and it is for those things, along with his general personal behavior, that he did not win my vote. But I can still resonate with his fan base. I know why they are hurting, I was one of them.
If it wasn't for Jesus, I would have been in line with them to vote for Trump. It would have been the right thing to do.
Now that he is president, I look forward to seeing how he and his cabinet can help create a better foundation for our economy and help undo many of the problems that have been overlooked for 25+ years.
I took a big risk and it has paid off. I not have a job doing what I love at my Church, for people I love. I know that seasons of life come and go. I had some bad times, but there are plenty of good times ahead. It's all going to be ok people. Love God, Love People.
Thanks to anyone who read this far, it means a lot, and you were probably one of the very important people in my life that help me and my family get to this point. You mean more to me than you will ever know. God Bless.