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Why Hillary is winning--a counter narrative

The only election forecast that currently has Hillary Clinton at less than a 90% chance to win the White House is FiveThirtyEight. (85% for polls-only.) New York Times, HuffPost, PredictWise, Princeton, etc. are all above 90% as I write this. Hillary's average lead in the polls, nationally, is 6-8% with a few polls coming in at 12% yesterday. Almost none show Trump winning. Democrats are favored to pickup the Senate.

Lost in the shuffle of Clinton vs Trump is that most Americans are tired of the nonsense. A few thoughtful writers have wondered why there aren't more news pieces about Hillary voters. We have volumes of analysis about the motivations of Trump voters. Far fewer articles about what's behind Hillary's triumph. Why is she winning despite being so supposedly unpopular? I think the true answer is perhaps a caution to both the right and left about the true nature of the American voting public.

They're tired.

It's hard to maintain this level of enthusiasm and engagement in a process that drags on forever and is filled with too many details. It's one reason the party in power usually comes up short in midterms. Forget all the lofty rhetoric about checks and balances...the reality is that people are fatigued and check out. It's hard to be geeky about the process 100% of the time and the Presidential year is the key time where we all come together and make our voices heard about the direction of the nation. We can basically point down one road or the other and collectively choose our own adventure.

In this case, voters are tired of the ridiculous...

The election is not rigged.

The media is not unfairly biased.

Hillary is not a criminal.

The President is not a Muslim born in Kenya.

Americans like and respect immigrants.

Americans do not want their government run like a business by a blowhard used-car salesman who abuses women.

Americans believe most Muslims are not terrorists.

Americans do not believe "abortion is murder" and what you do is between you and your doctor.

Americans want healthcare, education, and jobs that pay well.

We think things are going pretty fantastic under Obama and would like that continue.

We don't believe the right to own a gun is absolute.

We think that the wealthy should probably pay most of the taxes because they have the most.

We think your boss shouldn't get away with paying you crappy wages.

Americans think corporations probably get away with too much.

Americans think gay people and trans people are fine and you're silly if you care how they live their lives. We dislike discrimination.

We think the police shouldn't be able to kill people.

We dislike bullying. We like using diplomacy,

Americans believe in climate change and science.

It's not that you're un-American if you don't believe these. It's just where most people fall and that happens to be where Hillary Clinton lives, politically. Which is a tough pill to swallow especially if you're from a region, group, or interest that is struggling or losing power in the face of some of these shifts in national opinion.

To a small town, white voter in a conservative state, the change we're currently going through is scary. Profoundly so. And I think somewhere we can all understand that even in the face of the screaming intolerance and uneducated viewpoints. It's tough to hear some of things we've heard this election cycle...especially from a major candidate espousing such bigoted, unenlightened views.

How do we reach out to those people? Can we? Is it via direct communication or is the Trump faction best ignored and lifted--eventually--when the political tide lifts everyone? These people saying these horrible things this campaign don't know any Muslims maybe. They experience immigrants in a different way than, say, those of us who live in a major city (that's most Americans) and eat next to one in the lunchroom at work talking baseball.

The American political problem we have right now is not one of "ideology" per se. It's about life experience and interaction with the world. My guess is few Americans who have a passport and have traveled abroad are voting Trump. Trump is, essentially, the insular part of our nation. Not that there's anything wrong with that. The Amish are isolated outsiders, but they're not trying to tell everyone else to use only a horse and buggy. The fundamental problem with the Trump vision of things is that it is absolutely clueless about how the world works for the majority of people.

The reason Hillary is winning has less to do with the particulars and more to do with the attitude of voters who want somebody with mature, left-of-center positions to paddle up the river against the current of endless cynicism in our society. Hillary is not going to solve all of our national problems...but, then again, she is most certainly also not going to cave to the pressures squeezing the political center from both sides. We had high ideals when Obama entered and got a cold pragmatist. Perhaps if we have low ambition for what Hillary can accomplish in the muck we'll be surprised? Here's hoping.



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