335 days, 3 hours, 25 minutes and 12 seconds

So Donald Trump has been president for just shy of one year (335 days, 3 hours, 25 minutes and 12 seconds as of right now) and, as such, there will inevitably be a lot of year-end hullabaloo about what exactly he accomplished during this time. Well, believe it or not, he accomplished a lot. In particular, two things that will have a very profound impact on your life.

One, the repeal of net neutrality. This repeal will have an immediate effect on you. This is just huge. Is Trump single-handedly responsible for it? Certainly not, but the eejit he placed in charge of the FCC, Ajit Poo or Pai, is. No less than one week after its repeal and three major ISP’s have already announced rate hikes for 2018. Who benefits? Why the corporations of course. Who suffers? Why the citizens of course. 

Two, the tax thing. Yea, this won’t have a dramatic immediate impact on most people, but it will in the long-term. To say that the majority of Americans will ultimately be fucked by this overhaul is a complete understatement. It’s like saying Ron Jeremy has an average sized dong.

Oh, and in what can be no small coincidence, both AT&T and Comcast have announced that they are giving hundreds of thousands of employees $1,000 bonuses. Is this a result of the Net Neutrality repeal or the tax overhaul? Both. Because both have almost immediately enriched the corporate coffers. And it must have enriched them A LOT for them to be doling out bonuses to the rank and file.

And don’t believe anyone that tells you this new tax structure is going to benefit the middle class. To say that is like saying you’re on a diet while snarfing down an entire cheesecake. 

There is literally NO evidence that supports the success of “trickle down” economics. None.

But I’ve written about those two things already.

I woke up this morning wondering just exactly why people voted for him in the first place. One year later and it remains a confounding thing to me, so I decided to do a little looking around…on the Internet, obviously.

The first place I looked was The National Review (yes, I look at differing points of view). There I found an article written on November 7, 2016 by Dan McLaughlin. This was so well written that I thought for a millisecond that being a conservative made sense. At least this guys kind of conservative. But that was only for a millisecond.

He details the three best arguments for voting Trump, the instrumental argument, the structural argument and the moral-hygiene argument. You’ll have to read the article to get an understanding of each, but they’re good arguments. A year later, I’m not sure how much water they hold (except for that moral-hygiene one…Trump has no moral hygiene), but they were good arguments then. While I may disagree with him, there is some welcomed legitimate reasoning in the article.   

The key takeaway I found looking at why Trump got elected as president? I’d love to have some snarky remark here, but I don’t.

Basically, the electorate felt that a vote for Trump was simply NOT a vote for Hillary or the Clinton’s. Even IF she won the popular vote (here again, the popular vote does not elect the president…as we’ve seen twice in 20 years). By that logic, there is hope yet, provided that the Democrats can find people who are in no way affiliated with the Clinton’s.

Man, people really hate them. 

So, from right after the election last year, here are some real-life reasons people voted for Donald Trump. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and these are only excerpts, so you must take that into consideration. Nonetheless, it makes for a fun examination into the why of Donald Trump, especially in light of both the FCC ruling and the new tax thing (and as I write this the U.N. has just passed a measure implicitly condemning the Trump administrations recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital…(big sigh) is war just around the corner?).

I would be curious to see how these folks feel now. I suspect media outlets will hop on that soon, if they haven’t already, and begin talking to Trump voters one year later. 

November 9, 2016
The Guardian on-line:
*Some names have been changed.

Rachael
34, Indiana, small business owner
I hope that Trump’s experience as a businessman will enable our country to operate more effectively when it comes to managing our money.
If by that you mean the Trumpian business model whereby you overextend yourself and end up bankrupt, repeatedly…then we are on course.

I want to change America to serve the people instead of a political system that wants to serve itself.
Well, that didn’t happen. And if you really want it to change, be the change you want to see happen. Don’t rely on some nitwit to do it for you.  

I’m so tired of the media and Democrats bellyaching about Trump getting voted in. It’s what the people wanted! 
No. It really wasn’t. At all. 

There is a whole other part to this country outside of your newsroom walls that actually thinks differently from the mostly liberal ideas that most news outlets put out there.
This is true. There does tend to be an east and west coast media arrogance, be it conservative or liberal, that permeates the majority of MAJOR news outlets. 

We are middle America, we are the hardworking people who are holding this country together with our roots, and we are ready to have a country that keeps its cheque book in balance like we do with our private bank accounts. 
I can almost hear a Bob Seger song in the background. Uhh, I don’t think she was familiar with Donald Trump’s, or really the US Government’s, check book.

Nate
58, Pennsylvania, retired from the federal government
I was a Democrat for 39 years, but my children and grandchildren need an America that is out of debt.
Welp, he picked the wrong guy for that! Not that I think Hillary would have done anything to decrease the debt, but I honestly don’t think she would have been as brazen as to add 1.5 TRILLION dollars to it.

I think it is important to note this guy is retired from the federal government…so he is reaping all the benefits afforded a retiree from the federal government, a pension and healthcare being chief among them. This probably explains why he was a Democrat for 39 years

I believe Trump will be a good president because he knows how to make deals, deals that will make America prosperous again.
Yes, he knows how to make deals. Not very good deals and deals that are almost always awful and typically only benefit he and his cronies, IF they are beneficial at all.

Andrea
Florida
I cried when I left the polling location because I don’t like Trump at all. I was deeply saddened to vote for him. His personality, his mannerisms and his inexperience repulse me.
Jesus! AND you still voted for him. Amazing.

However, he is only a four-year investment and I am trusting in the checks and balances of our country to prevent him and his poor-judgment from damaging the country too much.
Oops. Too late.

I personally do not have a gun but I strongly support the right to bear arms recognising it as a right that ensures protection from government tyranny. I am also against abortions.
Fucking Florida. NO ONE WANTS TO TAKE GUNS AWAY FROM ANYONE AND THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO ONE IN THE UNIVERSE THAT IS FOR ABORTIONS. Simply put Andrea, it’s about having a discussion about gun control and it’s about the choice, a WOMAN’S choice.

Paul
Ohio, software engineer
Four years is a long time but there is always impeachment, and the next election. It’s a risk but one the American people are willing to take.
This is the American presidency. Impeachment can not, and should not, be used as a “whoopsy, do over”.

I’ve previously voted Al Gore, Bush, Obama, Obama, and now Trump. I hope for a sincere shake-up and a breath of fresh air. Trump is a slimy scumbag, who wears it like a badge of honour.
JESUS! AND you still voted for him. Amazing. 

Countries may be laughing at us but it took some balls to elect Trump last night. I don’t think a single person who casted a vote for him felt good about it. I sure didn’t, but felt like there was no other choice.
Testicular fortitude is not a legitimate reason for voting. One year later and I have no doubt that countries are bellyaching in laughter. As the deficit surges and the Chinese continue to buy our debt, I think it may be China who gets the last laugh.

There are always choices. You can write a name in (as the aforementioned conservative McLaughlin did) if you feel we live in such a dual based society where it is either win or lose. And why wouldn’t you? That is certainly the image that is jammed down our throats. Trump perpetuates the myth that you are, and accordingly must vote for, either a winner or a loser. The reality is that it’s just not the truth.

Arlene
New Jersey
Trump won’t take nonsense from anyone and he doesn’t have any special interest he has to make happy. He’s for the people!
On this, I completely agree. He is for the people. HIS people. The rich people  and corporations (who are now considered people) and BOTH are dutifully being served by him. For the people indeed, just not average people.

Heather
43, Kansas, small business owner
Trump understands and supports the American dream; no matter what you have now, if you work hard you can better yourself and positively shape your wealth and future.
WHAT?! Kids come out of college with an average of 40k in student loans that must be repaid almost immediately. Companies know this and therefore hire recent grads at rock bottom salaries, thereby creating a society of indentured servants. And the truth about 401k’s is that they are practically DESIGNED to benefit corporations and money managers, NOT individuals. You can work your ASS off your entire life and be left with absolute shit all. Since the mass acceptance of 401k’s is still relatively new, it is latter-day baby boomers and Gen X’ers who will begin to feel the full ramifications of the abortion that is a 401k.

While I still believe in the American dream as a concept, I honestly see less and less evidence that it exists any longer. And that isn’t necessarily a reflection on Trump. That’s been a slow degradation that has been going on since the 80’s. Yep, we can begin the blame game with the Republican deity that is Ronald Reagan.

Trump fails and he fails better.
Can’t argue with that.

I voted for Trump to keep the minimum wage hike down, retain our constitutional gun rights, and keeping close to the constitution and immigration.
Keeping minimum wage down is one of the single biggest threats to democracy (what little remains of it).

Ugh, NO ONE WANTS YOUR FUCKING GUNS!

The constitution that was written by rich, white, land and slave owners? Check. Trump is doing exceptionally well there.

I hope welfare will be scaled back and employment will once again become the preferred way to support oneself.
Employment has ALWAYS been the preferred way to support oneself, but when the jobs LEAVE and are replaced with ONLY minimum wage jobs (when they are replaced at all) what can be done? Busting ass at two jobs, working 70-80 hours a week to make maybe what someone may make on disability…if I am being honest, I’m not so sure I’d take the 70-80 hours a week slinging food and/or wearing a blue smock at Wal-Mart.

Undated
The Washington Post

Erin Keefe
22, Manchester, N.H.
I am white, I am a woman, I am pro-choice, I am educated, and I voted for Donald Trump. The government needs to be run like a corporation, simple as that.
Thanks to the likes of you, it is now. And in keeping with today’s typical corporate philosophy, the employees, aka the American public, are getting fucked and fleeced. 

Of course humanitarian issues are of concern to me, as they are to every American.
Well, not every American as it turns out, including the president.

His degrading language toward women bothers me, and his views on global warming are a problem for me.
No-duh.

I do not 100 percent love Trump, but I am convinced he can lead this nation…I voted for Donald Trump because he can create change for our country, economy and world.
I can’t argue with that, he has created change…not GOOD change, but change nonetheless.

Diane Maus
61, Suffern, N.Y.
On Tuesday, I voted Republican for only the second time in my life. The media did the United States a huge disservice in covering this campaign.
Very true.

As I watched, I got the impression that voting was a mere formality. The commentary was all about how Hillary Clinton was set to get down to business once the pesky election was over.
Very true.

My vote was my only way to say: I am here and I count.
Yea, it really doesn’t, but it’s cute you think it does.

I wish President-elect Trump all the best and have hope that Washington will, in the next four years, actually work for all Americans.
Yea, well THAT ain’t happening.

Howard Gaskill
77, Georgetown, Del.
I remember the Clintons from back when they tap danced around the Gennifer Flowers story. Then came Whitewater and then Hillary Clinton’s billing records were nowhere to be found, and then there was Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton looked right at me through the TV screen and said “I did not have . . .” The lies never stopped. Then came the Clinton Foundation, foreign donations and the emails. I have 100 percent Clinton Fatigue. If Bernie Sanders had been on the ballot, I would have voted for him, even though I agree with him on virtually nothing. But he seems to be honest and stands up for his beliefs and not for enriching himself.
Oh yea, this was CLEARLY a vote against Hillary.

Phil McNeish
57, Roanoke, Va.
I am an independent voter who leans slightly to the left. I am a small business owner. I am not an uneducated, deplorable redneck. Donald Trump, despite his imperfections, will be the most left-leaning Republican president of all time.
FUCK ME, I’ll have what he’s having.

Hillary Clinton would have steered the country further to the extreme left, while Trump will be a good mix of left and right.
Hillary would not have done that and no, he hasn’t been and he won’t be.

We, in the middle, are weary of partisan bickering. Trump was our best hope of a president willing to compromise.
Seriously, it’s like this guy has never read anything about Trump or seen an episode of The Apprentice. Compromise is not in Donald Trump’s vocabulary.

Lori Myers
51, Houston
I voted for Donald Trump because the media was so incredibly biased.
They were unhinged in their obvious role as the Clinton campaign propaganda machine. The collusion was just too much.
Seriously, I can’t argue with that. But here again, it was simply a vote against Hillary.

And an almost immediate dissenting and angry voice, before he was even sworn in, that I found interesting.

January 18, 2017
Vox Media

“Since the election, Trump has repeatedly spat in the faces of those that cast their ballots for him. I did not cast my vote for his Cabinet members, many of them rich millionaires and billionaires, despite Trump’s lambasting of Hillary Clinton on her association with Wall Street. I did not cast my vote for his sons who sat next to him during his meeting with tech titans, potentially representing the vast business interests of the Trump company that they now run. I did not cast my vote for Ivanka, whose clothing brand was working out an ongoing deal with a Japanese clothing company when she sat in on a meeting with her father and the Japanese prime minister. I did not cast my vote to enrich the very swamp that Trump promised he would drain.”

For those of you that thought Donald Trump would drain the swamp, it’s probably time to start thinking of him more like a swamp thing than swamp savior.

I want to believe that a number of Trump voters are now regretting their decision, like Sherri above, but I fear that is not the case. And with Trumps recent “success”, which will no doubt be spun by conservative outlets and pundits to increase his popularity; and it will certainly increase his already enormous ego.

But, if the theory holds true that many voters simply voted AGAINST Hillary and the Clinton name, then, since we do seem to live in a binary political world, it’s up to the Democrat’s to find candidates that are solid enough (and removed from the Clinton name) to counter act Trumpism. I hope they do. I hope they exist.

So what does it all mean? Gird your loins, it’s gonna get worse before it gets better…and I’m not convinced it will get better.