AS292: President Trump, with Eli Bosnick and Andrew Torrez

It f*cking happened. President Trump. We elected President Trump. The first 12 minutes of this episode are my live reaction from Tuesday night when it happened. It may make you uncomfortable. It’s raw and emotional but it’s how I was feeling. I left it in in case it helps anyone feel less alone in this. Feel free to skip it though. After that, I’ve got a truly excellent recording with Andrew and Eli. We commiserate, we give our answers to a lot of the common questions, we laughed, we feared and I feel slightly better knowing I’ll still have these two amazing people and more to get me through this. I hope everyone else is as lucky as I am!

This recording went long and will be in 2 very very action packed parts. Part 2 can be found immediately for Patrons over at http://www.patreon.com/atheist

33 thoughts on “AS292: President Trump, with Eli Bosnick and Andrew Torrez”

  1. What went wrong went wrong back in the primaries. Low turnout is definitely a problem, but it wouldn’t have been the problem it was had we (the Democrats) gotten it. We didn’t get it and we still don’t.

    Back in February they were conducting “general election scenario” polls: “If the general election were held tomorrow, who would you vote for: Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders?” and “If the general election were held tomorrow, who would you vote for: Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?” In these “scenario” polls, Bernie beat Trump by 8 to 12 points. Clinton vs. Trump was a dead heat. What happened Tuesday was evident back in February if you were paying attention. Almost nobody was. When I tried to discuss this with people, I lost them at the word “scenario.” They didn’t get it.

    Going into this election, the electorate were anti-establishment. THAT’S what mattered. That’s still what matters. The electorate were in a “throw the bums out” mood. Trump was their anti-establishment candidate and Bernie was ours. Ours was far, far better, but we didn’t nominate him. Instead we nominated one of the bums that the electorate wanted thrown out. As qualified as Hillary was, she was the antithesis of what the electorate was looking for.

    Besides being as “establishment” as politicians come, Hillary Clinton was (still is) hated with the heat of a thousand suns by white working class males. I’m not saying that’s right for them to do or that every single one of them feels that way, but that’s what I saw with my eyes when I was working. There were a LOT of people who would have voted for Bernie who simply would NOT vote for Hillary Clinton for no other reason than they hate Hillary Clinton. They may have gone for Gary Johnson, they may have stayed home. Some may have actually gone for Trump, but they did NOT vote for Hillary.

    The main problem was that we didn’t get it early on and we still don’t. We lost this before the conventions.

    . . . . . . .

    Do you think Trump will grab Debbie Wasserman Schultz by the [bleep] when they announce her cabinet appointment?

    1. Great comment. I get very annoyed with the tired canard of blaming 3rd party voters for your opponent winning. I have news for you guys, if millions hadn’t voted for trump he wouldn’t have won regardless of third party voters. So maybe you should concentrate on blaming those people.

      On another note, I don’t see it as “throwing away your vote” to vote for those who closely match your political views. In addition to that, I believe that once they reach a certain percentage of the popular vote they start to get public funding and are allowed into debates and such. So there are logical reasons to vote for a third party if they support your views.

      It seems lazy and dismissive to blame them.

      Love the show! You actually cheered me up some.

      1. I’m afraid I have to strongly disagree with your assessment of third parties.

        In the current system in the US, here the winner takes it all and ballots that say “pick your favourite”, third party candidates are a disaster. The only way they can get into power is by taking votes away from the major party that most aligns with their views. This helps the opposition of that party, so voting Green helps the GOP (as more Green voters would be Democrats than Republicans if there were only two parties) , and voting Libertarian helps the Democrats (as more Libertarians would vote Republican than Democrat if there were only two parties).

        The only way that a third party can get into power in a large election is for them to siphon a huge amount of votes from their most similar major party. This happens extremely rarely, and the vast majority of the time, the third party siphons votes, but not enough to win. Instead they just nullify votes for the major party that they should prefer over the other major party.

        How could this possibly change? You’d need a drastic overhaul of the US system. I’m sure Andrew will get into other voting systems some time, but examples of systems that do work with more than two parties are ranked voting, or instant runoff voting. Hopefully here in Canada were going to get one of those before the next election (It was one of Trudeau’s campaign promises and I hope he does it, or our next election could well be the Conservatives Strike Back 🙁 ).

        Unless you have one of those systems, every third party vote is useless. As Andrew said, it does not send a message, because the winner takes it all. There’s so 5% representation because Green got 5% of the vote, there 0% because Green did not get 51% of the vote. This is why voting how you truly feel is a waste of your vote. The only message it sends is that you don’t understand the difference between a ballot and snail mail. You can make real change in the US system by voting – but only if you vote for a major party.

          1. I’m sorry it took me so long (more than a week) to get to this.

            That video is utterly ridiculous and one of the most disingenuous things I’ve seen this election cycle, other than Kellyanne Conway.

            Of course those 9% of Dems are to blame! And of course those non-voters are to blame! In an election this close, there are so many different factors which could have had a major impact on the outcome.

            The point is that the third parties did still have an impact, maybe if Jill Stein hadn’t been running such an anti-Clinton and watch-the-world-burn campaign, there would have been just a little less Dems voting Trump because they weren’t convinced by BS propaganda from the third-party trying to join the adults table.

            Third parties might not have elected Trump, but they absolutely helped elect Trump.

            What’s more, the point that guy in the video made trying to counter what Rachel Maddow said is complete bullshit. If you vote third-party, then you really don’t care who is president. The election is a binary choice. His comparison to Reagan’s landslide, and making the dumbass point that people therefore should have all voted for the winner is full of shit and I have a hard time believing he doesn’t know it. No, you shouldn’t have voted Reagan, you should have voted for the most likely candidate who wasn’t Reagan – ie. the Democrat. It’s a two-party system and without significant changes to the rules of the game, that will never change. The only third parties have ever done is spoil elections. Fuck.

  2. I too am bummed to have Trump “elected”. I’m disappointed that you don’t seem to have a problem with the Electoral College. Name another democracy that does that. I live in Kentucky and I feel that my vote is useless as Trump was way out in front. And surely you agree that there are many fucked up aspects to the whole process including the ridiculous drawn out primary system translating into delegates, the money, the PACs, the lack of proportional representation (winner take all), etc. My question to Thomas, Eli, and Andrew: if you agree that the system sucks, and all we ever do is vote for the better of the major 2 (aka lesser of two evils), how will this EVER change?

  3. Tried to warn you. Tried to explain why people didn’t like Hillary. Tried to explain why people like Eli are causing a rift in the left between authoritarians (like him) and libertarians (like me). That makes someone like Trump or Johnson appealing to enough people to tip the thing.

    When Obama was running against Hillary in the 2008 primaries, did he malign her supporters? No. Hillary and the DNC worked against Bernie behind the scenes, they called male Bernie supporters sexist “Bernie bros” and brought out feminist icons to say that female Bernie supporters were sluts (Steinhem) who deserved to burn in hell (Albright).

    We stood together in OWS because we wanted to fix corruption greed on Wall Street. We supported Wolf PAC because we wanted to remove corporate influence in our elections. We wanted to legalize weed (and decriminalize other drugs) so we can stop this failed war on drugs that cause so many people their lives and freedom. We protested the Iraq war and the hundreds of thousands of innocent lives it cost, in addition to trillions of dollars. We protested the invasion of our privacy and loss of liberty when the Patriot Act was passed.

    Then we found ourselves facing down the embodiment of everything we didn’t want and she (Hillary) is telling us WE’RE scum, but we should vote for her because she deserves to be president (false).

    There is nothing more narcissistic than the slogan “I’m with her”. No, you joke of a person, YOU’RE WITH US.

    She wasn’t.

    But we were supposed to vote for her to shatter the glass ceiling because womyn!

    I support GamerGate. Pandering to feminism is a bane, not a boon. You underestimate how desensitized we have become to feminist virtue signaling.

    Hillary was our Mitt Romney. I was able to see it; why couldn’t you?!

    She was a flip flopper (good luck finding a policy position she hasn’t changed her mind on when it became politically expedient to do so)
    she was a corporate a corporate shill (how many billions did the clinton foundation raise directly from those we are protesting against?)
    She was massively corrupt (c’mon already, it’s so obvious)
    She was out of touch with mainstream americans (my god that Pokemon GO joke was the worst thing ever).

    I lat the blame on feminism.

    Sounds absurd but I do. If Hillary was a man, there is zero chance he’d beat Bernie. A corrupt, establishment, center RIGHT (yeah she’s a conservative), flip flopper, out of touch career politician with a closet full of baggage (real or not) beating out Bernie?

    Nah. This was a failure of identity politics. The right was so sick and tired of the constant shame game from people like Eli that the alt-rise rose and they had one motto “IDGAF”. Trump rose out of that and said “i’ll say what I like, NO MATTER HOW DETESTABLE” and it resonated.

    Why?

    Because we’re all sick of it.

    Everything is sexist. Everything is racist, transphobic, misogynistic, abelist, islamaphobic.

    Shut up.

    Smile for Trump. This is your failure.

    What is the response from the SJW camp?

    “Racism won! Clearly we need to scream racist at everyone louder and more often if we’re going to fix this!!! We didn’t demonize white men enough! We need to call for more censorship! TONE POLICE ALL THE PEOPLE!!!”

    Good luck with that.

    Tea Party of the left.

    1. Agree with most of what you said except flip flopper… you’re a representative of ppl. Your views should change overtime.

      But the point I agree with most is everything is racist etc.

      Side note: I think most ppl voted for trump because they felt her lies and lies of her actions were worse than his lies or language. The fact wiki leaks got a hold of “emails” is enough. The fact that ppl died on her watch regardless of anything else was enough. Ppl didn’t like she was trying to be president when bill was there. Ppl didn’t like anything she did with her foundation over seas that ppl were hurt or left out. Ppl didn’t like Bernie seemed to get screwed.

      This was a year of change. Either Bernie or trump were going to win. And democrats pick a person that didn’t represent change and had yuge flaws… even if didn’t break laws. Not picking Bernie is how trump
      Won.

  4. While we can say where the Johnson votes that made the diffence in Florida and Pennsylvania would have gone, we can be confident that without Stein’s 50000 in Michigan, that state at least would have gone to Clinton.
    Also Wisconsin, but that would have taken nearly all of Stein’s 30000, rather than a little over a quarter as in Michigan.
    No doubt when Trump either abolishes the EPA or gets rid of half the rules and withdraws from the Paris accord, they will still feel smugly superior and continue to insist both candidates are the same.

    1. How do you know where those votes would have gone? They may have voted for trump, they may have not voted, etc…. It’s lazy logic to just assume they would go to the candidate you like. Just face it, over 40% of the country voted for trump, that’s why he won.

      1. While we can never know how a Stein supporter would have voted if not for Stein, you could argue that maybe the Trump supporters actually wanted Clinton to win, but voted for him as a protest vote.
        For Johnson, it is true that is hard to see which way his supporters would have gone if he wasn’t available. His economic policies are more similar to the Republicans, but his social policies closer to the Democrats. This isn’t the case with Stein. On pretty much every issue, the Greens are closer to the Democrats than the Republicans, and on the issues they pretend to care about, such as the environment, they are far closer.
        Either way, if you accept the logical conclusion that they would be far more likely to go for Clinton, or view them as selfish and deluded so possible Trump supporters, anyone who voted for Stein or Jonson doesn’t get to pretend to care that Trump won the election, doesn’t get to pretend to care about LGBT people and doesn’t get to pretend to care about the environment. And the same if you think more than 3/4 would just have stayed at home, shrugged their shoulders and said they don’t care who wins the election.

          1. It’s even STUPIDER THAN THAT! to clame that half of Gary Johnson voters would vote for Clinton. In the hypothetical gun-to-the-head question you have to vote Clinton or Trump. USING MATH if half voted for Clinton then half would vote Trump and it would be a dead heat. If The GTTH Johnson voters said 51% Clinton and 49% Trump then 1000 voters would give Clinton 20 extra votes. It’s bulls**t, I don’t know what the GTTH Johnson voters would say but it is probably at least 70% Trump. And that is not counting the pissed off people that would say in a hypothetical GTTH situation I would hypothetical shoot myself. When you talk about the GTTH Stein voters you might get %90.

            I want someone to show me one state where %100 of Stein voters would have tipped the state. and that is assuming that the Johnson ballots were thrown in the trash.

  5. I listened to the show this morning and I was amazed. What Thomas and most others are feeling is how most people of color feel all of the time at such events. For blacks, people under-estimate the level of racism that most of us have been describing for over a century. We’ve been here before, we will weather this, it’s back to business as usual.

    For blacks in particular, our younger people are not fans of the Clintons. Getting mad and saying fuck you to groups of people who abstained from voting in this election doesn’t help because we’ve been here many times before. We are generally effected by the great ideological battles but rarely part of the conversation so a level of cynicism and lack of participation can be expected.

  6. I feel like we shouldn’t shortchange Nate Silver and 538. He had Trump at 28% chance of winning. This was more than 3x as high as Romney in 2012. If I told you there was a 1 in 4 chance of your sandwich having a turd in it, would you still eat that sandwich?

    1. I was going to say the same. Not sure what Andrew was reading at 538. They said the uncertainty was much higher this time because of more undecided voters and their inability to be confident that a model calibrated to past elections could properly account for a candidate like Trump. They also repeatedly pointed out that Clinton had an EC disadvantage to the point she needed to win the national vote by 2% to reliably win the EC … Remember they pegged her at a 3% lead.

      Finally, they also pointed out that her polling lead in NC, Mich, Fl, and PA was vulnerable to fall in unison because state votes are not independent (i.e. similar states are likely to shift together).

      Knowing all this I was really nervous as the polls closed and was pretty much sure it was President Trump by 9:30 ET, even if I desperately tried to hold out hope for several hours that Detroit would come up big and the last counts in rural PA would come up low …

  7. Thomas,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You put into words exactly how I feel. I am sorry for you, sorry for my 2 young kids with disabilities, sorry for all of us. Thank you, Andrew, and Eli for helping all of us get through this.

  8. Have to say I agree with Thomas that failure to turn out the Democratic vote looks like cause number one at this point.

    I remember watching the NYT live results model and noticing that in key states where the rural vote came in first (e.g. PA) the model at first remained fairly confident of Clinton victory because it expected large urban votes to come later. On the flip side, in states where the urban vote came in first it seemed to (at first) expect the Clinton leads to hold.

    Time after time, as the results spilled in from Florida, then NC, then PA and Mich, the model started to realize the expected urban Dem votes were coming in short and the rural Rep votes were coming in big and Clinton’s odds evaporated in the space of 30 minutes.

    In the end, it looks like millions of registered Democrats couldn’t be bothered to at least try to stop a President Trump.

    I’m sure you can have a good debate about why the Dem vote didn’t come out … Bernie or Bust’s fault … SJW fault … Hillary’s own fault. For now, I am just thankful that I am privileged to be able to say Trump is “not my President” since I’m not an American, so I’ll leave that argument to the rest of you.

    1. Argh, my perfectionism forces me to point out that the Rural vote came out first in Michigan and the Urban vote came out first in PA.

    2. “. . . failure to turn out the Democratic vote looks like cause number one at this point. . . .”

      That’s an extremely accurate analysis: If more people had turned out and voted for Hillary, she would have won. But WHY didn’t more people turn out?

      I wanted Bernie bad, but when we fucked up and didn’t nominate him, I got behind Hillary and even donated money to her campaign. But—I still held my nose as I marked the ballot for her. If you pull off ALL the labels and hose off the whitewash they had to apply to mollify the Bernie Bros, the woman is a right-of-center Republican. The only thing she isn’t is a whackjob, which is why I had to at least try to elect her instead of trump. Maybe some folks just couldn’t even hold their noses.

      1. I listen to The Scathing Atheist/Cog-dis For entertainment, but If I want hard hitting political commentary I listen to Kyle from “Secular Talk” YouTube. He was 90% accurate. After the first few republican primaries, he called Trump as the republican nominee. Once Hillary was called Dem, he said it is going to teeter-totter all the way to the general election. People were saying Hillary win by a blow out, Kyle said, “if you think it will be a blow out you are fooling yourself”. He predicted that Hillary would win by a squeaky close election. And she did win the popular vote by 0.3% but lost the election.

        Hillary was one of the worst possible candidates that the Democratic party could have nominated. At every turn she sold out to the big money interest and moved to the right. I have long since abandoned being a follower of Michel Moore. but he did say something correct. He said, “When the American people are given a choice between A real Republican and a Republican-lite, The will choose the real Republican.”. She kept running to the right and forgetting her base.

        The Numbers (rounding to the nearest 100000) bare this out In 2008 Obama ran the general as a left-wing candidate He got 69.5 Million Republican got 60.0M. After 4 years the American voter realized Obama was not going to be able to do every thing he said, and they noticed that Obama had moved to the right. But we said,”hay, Obama has to deal with all those Republican ass-holes in congress.”, so we cut him some slack. Still The Dems lost 3.6M going from ’08 to ’12 at the same time the Reps picked up only 1.0M. In 2016 Hillary seized the nation in all her sellout glory and loos the Dems 5.3M votes when compared to 2012. At the same time will all the Trump fervor he whipped up, he still lost 0.8M compared to the Reps in 2012

        [Continued to my next post]
        Ps. still vote Hillary

        1. Yes. Yes. Yes. He hits too many nails right on the head to even count. One thing I hadn’t heard put quite the way he puts it is the bit about the polls being wrong because people can’t say what they think. Amen. I came from the defense contracting biz and to get a defense contract you (your company) must enforce all of the PC/affirmative-action crap on your employees exactly the way the government enforces it on theirs. The resulting atmosphere is just this side of a police state. You can be fired—yes fired—losing your salary, your health insurance, and whatever pension you have vested—for making an un-PC remark. This is not an exaggeration. So people learn very quickly to keep their friggin’ mouths shut. They don’t learn to embrace Political Correctness or to embrace Affirmative Action. They learn to keep their friggin’ mouths shut. The undercurrents of resentment, however, remain—always.

          So, yeah, I hadn’t thought about it, but that could definitely affect polling. People have been trained with the sociological equivalent of whips and chairs to keep their friggin’ mouths shut—everywhere but the polling booth. Hmmmmm . . .

      2. This election was really a s**t sandwich vs a d**che. But that analogy is really not good, because it invokes false equivocally. I will modify it a little to reflect the challenge that Americans faced. The Presidential race was like an STD-free used d**che vs an Ebola laced s**t sandwich. A used d**che is pretty disgusting but, if it is STD-free it won’t kill you the way an Ebola laced s**t sandwich can.

        I listened to too much Sam Harris on his analysis of Donald Trump. Many people think that there is some sort of invisible hand guiding the human race/USA. But as an atheist I find the idea to be total BS. Nations rise and fall, I can’t predict the future nor do I want to hazard a bet, but a Trump presidency can actually lead to a downfall of the US. Or He can start the downfall and the next few presidencies can finish it off. On a more apocalyptic side, whole species come and go extinct. They say that the sun will continue to rise even with Trump, but that dose not mean that there will be a civilization for the sun to shine on.

        Ok maybe the last half of the paragraph was a bit much. So it is unlikely that Trump will pop-off a nuke just for the f**k of it. But he has talked about dissolving the U.N. I’m not in 100% agreement with the U.N. but it is the best thing we have to control war. The Geneva conventions, same thing. I might bitch about USA but there are only a hand full of nations that don’t treat there own citizens like crap.

      3. It’s refreshing to see someone in here recognize that she is a right of center Republican. There is a lot of left wing horsecrap similar to right wing horsecrap getting laid out in here.

        Some people didn’t want to vote for the Ronald Reagan part 2. That is a perfectly justified position.

      4. There were so many flaws with Hillary Clinton it almost defies counting. Of the many flaws I am going to pick out something that scholarship has a bearing on. I am in no way an economist, but there exist scholar that study that s**t they learn that s**t then they know what the f**k they are talking about.

        When it comes to banking and stock markets, you must must have regulation, if you want the system to function long term. Without regulation to moderate the banking system, you have an outrageous boom/bust cycles. The great depression on the 1930’s was only the last in a series. There were many boom/busts prior. The leaders in the US put into place Glass-Steagall legislation to moderated Wall Street. Under the moderating effects of G-S banks and industry were able hum along just fine and the middle class were able to participate in the US economy. Leaders in Wall Street and Banking were able to get rich just fine. Long as they are good at their job, I DO NOT have a problem with!

        Among economist G-S was considered the gold standard. It did it’s job from 1933-1999, and no one could say that the US economy was being suppressed during those years. Under Mr Clinton G-S was repealed and under Bush II much of the framework that moderated Wall Street and the Banking system was dismantled and then the crash of 2008 happened.

        There were people in banking that not only acted unethically there were people that broke the f***ing LAW. There were laws on the books at the time that said if you do X, Y and Z, you go to jail. Yet none of those crimes were investigated (Bernard Madoff and Martha Stewart had nothing to do with the sub-prime mortgage crash). After being f***ed over by unethical and criminal bankers, the US citizens had to bail the banking system out! That is the anger that started Occupy Wall Street.

        Now Hillary takes donations from those people on Wall Street ho she clams that she will regulate. Wall Street money is the reason G-S was f***ing killed in the first place. As a senator she voted for a bill in 2001 that made it harder for private citizens to declare bankruptcy. Yet after the crash of 2008 she did nothing to hold the bankers responsible. That make it feel like Hillary is rubbing s**t in the faces if the working class and yelling,”TAKE IT, TAKE IT”.

      5. “I still held my nose as I marked the ballot for her.”

        Yeah. Hillary’s horrible, horrible, horrible… I’ll hold my nose and fight back the vomit and vote for her, but don’t forget for a second how horrible, horrible, horrible she is.

        Just harmless rhetoric, since nobody anywhere could be dissuaded from voting for this horrible, horrible person in spite of her horribleness.

  9. Hi Tom,

    Thank you for this episode. I have been walking around like a zombie the last couple of days in shock. I have ignored and avoided the news not wanting to see that asshole T with his smug, arrogant face. I have wanted to cry but was unable to until finally listening to your podcast this morning. BTW, I live in Northern VA in that lovely blue county of Fairfax. I voted and volunteered at phone banks. My state went for Hillary but it was all for naught.

    Keep doing what you are doing and thanks,
    P. Singleton

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