Thursday, November 24, 2016

Fakery and Bullshit - some Trump reading

It won't be dull with President Donald Trump in the White House, with even the transition period providing plenty of comment.  Here's a few reads to keep up to date.

At the UCL Mishcon Lecture last night, Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian gave the liberal tour-de-force warning of the appalling times to come under President Trump.  More on that below, but one article he recommended is the Tony Schwartz one from the New Yorker.  Schwartz ghost-wrote the Trump book "Art of the Deal", and in a fit of buyer's remorse, as Freedland put it, came clean about the real Donald Trump.  The New Yorker piece is here.

Trump has tried to re-awaken the memory of the Republicans' favourite president of recent years, Ronald Reagan, but how good was Reagan really?  An article in Salon suggests Reagan was the most ill-informed president to ever take office, and slept through much of his presidency - read it here.  Some may indeed be wanting Trump to sleep throughout most of his presidency as well - but that would mean leaving the governing side of things to Mike Pence, Stephen Bannon and Reince Priebus, with Mike Flynn steering foreign affairs.  Hardly a recipe for calm.

Salon gave Chris Christie one of their un-coveted "Bullshitter of the Day" awards and it makes entertaining reading here, as Christie tries to persuade everyone he'd rather play out his governor's term than accept the non-existent role coming from the Trump team.

Freedland also mentioned the phenomenon of "fake news", and the Washington Post carried a great expose of it in this piece, as they interviewed two prolific - and definitely not true-believing - manufacturers of news to the gullible right. Perhaps the most eye-opening thing you'll read this week.

Oh, and that Trump victory?  Two million votes behind Clinton, as this Politico report reminds us.  Forget the "Revolution in America"; what about "A broken democracy"?

Finally the Mishcon Lecture itself, as delivered by Jonathan Freedland and attended to in person by a few of SGS's finest and brightest, can actually be accessed in glorious video here.  If you missed it, give it a watch.  Well worth an hour of any Trump sceptic's time.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Live Blog - After 3!

0445  There's no actual winner, but - in the old Nixon phrase - if present trends continue, Donald Trump will be president of the United states tomorrow.  It's not the most elevating of thoughts, but it is democracy.

0406    Has Hillary given up? (

0358  Michigan has been Democratic for 20 years, and tonight The Donald, our Donald, looks to end the reign. Currently ahead by over 40,000 votes, this will be a big win for Trump if he pulls it off. Ever divided, the room is buzzing with debate reminiscent of that between rival sports fans. Thobiyas and Smitho are still supporting Clinton to her last breath (although morale is low), and us deplorables are loving every second. Trump still looks more certain to be the President with every update.

Alex and Ben M

0356  Election night carries on at SGS. Our very own Smitho is in the first stage of grief - denial. Currently staring sadly at the MSNBC news stream, when asked who he thought would win he claimed it was 'too close to call'. Well, the rest of us have managed to call a Trump victory, much to his dismay. As Smitho tries to distract himself with talk of tomorrow's morning routine, the rest of us prepare ourselves for the nights continuous entertainment. Sutton Grammar's Trump campaign has proudly claimed new members over the night*, and we are happy that others have seen the light.

Alex and Ben M

* I think "claiming new members" is something of an over-statement; there's been an acceptance of Trump's probbaly victory, and a belief that he will be so disastrous as to possibly ruin the Republican party beyond repair in four years' time.  Parties find it more difficult to recover from a bad president than just a bad candidate!  GM

0345 Trump looks set to win. If this election has proved anything, it's that politics is the art of the possible. Today, Americans have stood up for what matters to them the most: culture, national identity, and a burning desire to dismantle the political establishment. For too long the American people have been told that their opinion does not matter; that their patriotism is a bad thing; and that their opinions are bigotry. The vote for Trump was not an ideological one, nor a supportive one, it was a big 'f*** you' to the elitist political class. Trump's success has reverted America's changing status from a grand republic to an insular oligarchy. Trump's success is a victory for democracy.

Ben M. and Alex B.

0344  So Ben Muir wants to share this:

0335  Tonight was supposed to be the night when liberal, left-leaning America cast off the chains of aggressive right-wing rhetoric and twitter-based hate campaigning . It was supposed to be the night when US citizens recognised that political experience and hard graft outweighs bare-faced lies and hyperbolic promises. Tonight is in fact the night when anti-establishmentarianism and anarchism paved the way for US voters to vote for the lesser of the two evils, and in turn elect ‘the Donald.’ Goodbye cruel world.


0331  "Politics is the art of the possible" - Mr. Bartlett quoting Machiavelli as a pretty sound insight into the apparent success of the Trump candidacy!


0330 The North West is prevailing as a Democratic stronghold. In New York for example 40.8% of the votes cast have been counted and 70.8% are for Clinton. Virginia the close race has also turned out a Democratic victory with 94% of the votes cast showing a democratic majority of 48.1%.

Trump has almost certainly going to win the Republican Midwestern stronghold and of course the George Wallace states too.

The glimmer of hope remains in Colorado 54.4% of the votes show a Democratic majority of 49%. New Mexico show a similar trend but these are states Obama won and not exactly toss up states so can we really celebrate it?   

It is becoming increasingly likely that a Trump presidency will occur. I predict a Bush 2000 victory in terms of the Electoral College votes.


0325  As the clock ticks on, it looks more certain with every second that the next POTUS will be Donald Trump. Currently he is projected 140 votes against Clinton's 104, with predictions stating that roughly 280 votes will go to Mr Trump at the end of the night, 10 more than he needs for the win. If he manages this, Clinton has very little chance of disputing the victory. Minds here at SGS have already shifted to 2020, with some of our liberal colleagues even resigning the Presidency to Trump. The current topic of conversation is Mr Marshall's prediction of a Michelle Obama candidacy in 2020, and the prediction of a landslide victory. Well, you heard it here first. Whether we think that Clinton can still make a comeback or that Trump has already won, most of us are certain of a one term Presidency for either candidate.

Still ever hopeful - Alex and Ben M

0307  So the live blog running from eastern polls closing at 12 midnight (British time) to just after 3am are below.  The next tranche begins here, but this time with the more conventional placing of the most recent updates at the top!

And as we start anew, Trump as president looks less like a fantasy and more like nightmarish reality - but a nightmare that only lasts 4 years and could draw the poison from the Republican destruction of US politics.


Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Live Blog

1158pm Of course as the clock strikes 12 Trump has gained access to his twitter, after repeated bans by his campaign team. What is he complaining about this time? Muslims, Mexicans, The poor? This time however, he has practically admitted defeat with his unsurprising allegation of voting fraud. It seems once again that if things aren't going Trump's way he shall complain again and again.


1202  I wouldn't be so sanguine at the moment, given Trump's apparent strength in New Hampshire according to exit polls.  Still time for a big upset, 2016 style!


1210  The Donald currently polling ahead in New Hampshire, suggesting Trump may yet pull ahead. First time the Republicans will win the state since 2000. Let’s go lads. Kentucky and Indiana are also looking promising, with Rand Paul winning his senatorial seat in Kentucky.

Alex and Ben M

Trump currently behind in Virginia, a vital state for a Trump victory. Hopefully he can pull it out of the bag, but this is worrying for his campaign. Updates to come.

Alex and Ben M

1216  Trump ahead 19 to 3 as of right now, a strong start for a hopeful campaign. Trump also polling ahead in Florida. If he manages to win it, he will create an upset and be set on an easy path to the white house.

Alex and Ben M

1218  Next polls to close are West Virginia, where Trump is currently polling ahead. The Donald is managing to hold on to many red states, and has already managed to flip the blue state of New Hampshire, where Democratic hopefully Bernie Sanders once maintained his stronghold. Trumps campaign must be over the moon right now. Updates about West Virginia and Florida shortly.

Alex and Ben M

1224   Getting a sense of liberal hubris as I read of Trump's strong polling in New Hampshire (an Obama win in 2012) and Virginia (crucial state, Obama's in 2012).  Could we really be in for a Brexit plus plus upset, as Trump promised??


1235  Georgia looking like a landslide victory for Trump, with The Guardian claiming nearly 75% of the vote has gone to Trump.

Alex and Ben M

1235  Toss up state North Carolina has extended its voting deadline, currently still too close to call. 

-Alex and Ben M

1236  Ok, ok, we're getting a little too excited by very small percentage reports in some sates so far.  Take Virginia - North Virginia suburbs, which could be large-scale Clinton wins, not yet in.  Georgia and South Carolina not yet reporting could also equal good news for Clinton.  But still very early, and projections are just that.


1240  Tonight is the night of opportunity.; the night of opportunity for those on the right of the spectrum to disprove the ancient code of pollsters that a high turnout amongst minorities that means a high turnout amongst Clinton voters . Trump is happy. The UK is not. South London waits with baited breath for further information about the swing state up early, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida etc.
Trump is still in this. It is going to be a late one.

Smitho x

1258  Next blue states to close polls are Michigan, Connecticut and Barack Obama's Illinois. Hoping for a red upset along with New Hampshire. #VoteTrump #MakeAmericaGreatAgain

Alex and Ben M

Trump leading in South Carolina by 10% as of right now. If we manage to win Virginia the election may be over for Clinton.

Alex and Ben M

Nearly 80% of the vote is in for Florida, which is looking to be one of the most decisive states of this election year. Clinton is 1% ahead at the moment, but it is still too close to call. This will be an interesting result, and may make or break Trump's campaign.

Alex and Ben M

Neck and neck in Florida, with the Donald under 30 votes ahead of Hillary so far. Tense as ever.

Alex and Ben M

0130  Now as we speak the votes for the crucial swing state Florida are being counted. The attack ads have been far less vicious than say Nevada, perhaps the Koch brothers believe Rubio has Florida secured, but this state is no less partisan.

60.2% of the votes have been determined and Rubio has won 51.5% of them with Murphy trailing behind at 44.9%. The liberal fuelled excitement I felt at an increasingly likely Democratic senate majority is ebbing away. Florida does not have any bearing on other swing states but it is certainly a sad occurrence.  

Let’s hope Nevada goes to the wonderful Mrs Cortez Masto, who could make history as the first Latina woman wo win a Senate seat, perhaps that would be the consolation we need in the face of Rubio’s return.


0136  Over 90% of the vote has been counted in Florida and Trump is still ahead by 1%. We're on the edge of our seats.

Alex and Ben M

0200  At this stage Donald Trump's performance is stronger than most polls would have put it, and the projected share of the electoral college vote between him and Clinton gets ever narrower.  True, there are a lot of races that are currently too close to call, but this is far from the easy win the Clintonites were expecting, if it proves to be a win at all.  Furthermore, the Senate race is not giving Democrats much cause for comfort either; their chances of gaining a small majority - pretty well essential if they want to be able to actually do any governing with a Democratic president - also seem to be receding.


0208  Florida is unfolding to be a see-saw state in the presidential elections. The leader has switched back and forth 3 times in the past 15 minutes. An absolute nail-biter, a potential heart breaker too. 

Let us move on from Florida and look at how the Senate elections are unfolding. Only three states have processed more than 50% of the votes cast. In Indiana 52.6% of the state have voted 53.2 Republican and 41.2% Democratic. In Kentucky 85.6% of the state have voted 57.5% Republican and 42.5% Democrats. It is safe to say that so far nothing is out of the ordinary.


0230 Both politics teachers at SGS  have declared Trump as the likely President Elect looking at the results so far. The Donald must be over the moon with his performance in the polls so far, especially in Florida where it was expected that he would be butchered by the Hispanic vote.

-Alex and Ben M

0235  Trump has almost won Florida, it seems pretty certain. To quote our beloved Politics head “It is Trump’s night” quite frankly. We Liberals are sad. Adam and I are easing into a depressive slump. We are questioning our lives. So where can we find solace and hope?

Well Illinois seems to be a certain Trump DEFEAT. But that is not unexpected. Florida was! It is all too early to speculate but Democratic defeat in Florida is truly upsetting and a huge blow.

Will right wing Populism prevail? I wonder how Marine Le Pen is feeling right now?


0250  I think I want Trump to win.  Clinton's victory - especially with a Republican senate - solves nothing and continues the gridlock.  Trump's victory draws the poison and allows the Democrats to regroup for a clean sweep in 2020, especially after what will be the undoubted disasters of a Trump presidency.  Bring on the Trump apocalypse!

(For a more elaborated argument see here).


0256  The Trump Train has stopped at SGS and picked up both of our Political gurus, as well as these two hopefuls. While many of our reasons for backing The Donald differ, we are currently predicting a Trump victory, and we are happy about it.

Alex and  Ben M

0305  I think Mr Marshall is right. Perhaps we liberals should be view a Trump victory as the right path to what The Economist magazine say is crucial in American politics: Republican reform. It may come at an unfortunate consequence that manifests itself in the Supreme Court. The highly commendable and inspiring Ruth Bader Ginsburg wishes to retire but will hold on if there is a Republican president and Justice Kennedy holds the all-important swing vote. Now both, to put this bluntly, may die in a Trump’s presidency and this would give Trump a chance to appoint three Supreme Court Justices (the replacement of Scalia of course). This would be devastating to liberals nationwide considering the list of potential nominees Trump and Co. have released. The potential bright side seems soured.


Tonight's the kind of night where everything may change

We're there.  Finally.  One of the most controversial and divisive presidential elections in American history is drawing to a close, and tomorrow could be the apocalypse, or just business as usual.

Admittedly, everything looks good for Hillary, but predictions in this year of all years are fragile things, to be blasted away by iconoclastic forces.  Who's to say whether or not the utterly devoted Trump supporters don't turn out in such numbers as to give him Florida and the rust belt states?  Maybe Hillary is a far greater turn off than her supporters and admirers would concede.  We could know how far into the lunatic fringe America is heading, or how much she intends to stay in the realm of normality, in about seven hours.

I have made no secret in the last few blog posts of how much I think Trump is a monstrous, appalling abomination of a candidate, or how I think Hillary's poor standing significantly under-sells her formidable strengths as a potential president.  But all of that is naught, especially for this non-American with no vote.  And yet, before the votes start rolling in, there is one final thing to note.

There has been much comment throughout this campaign, notably its latter stages, of how it is a terrible advert for democracy and a turn-off for younger voters.  We should quash this nonsense.  It is what all democratic procedures are.  Messy, reflective of the humans who involve themselves in it, frustrating and sometimes outrageous.  But it is still the way in which humans with free spirits and independent minds can demand changes in the personnel who rule them and challenge the institutions of government and legislature.  It is still the best way of regularly moving power from one leader to the next.  Messy, loud and aggressive as it is, it shines as a beacon when compared with the amoral, brutal authoritarianism of a Vladimir Putin in Russia, or the murderous actions of a President Assad in Syria, or the carefully pre-determined "elections" in the theocracy of Iran.  In too many nations the transfer of power is at the behest of those with the greatest force.  In too many nations the time when leadership changes hands is simply a time to keep your head down and hope you can avoid the fallout.

Democracy isn't meant to be smooth, but it is meant to be liberating, and like it or not this year's election in the US has been no different in that regard from its predecessors.  Long may it continue.

We are going to try and live-blog the election.  The estimable members of the SGS U6th politics set are gathering together to watch the election through the night, and if their wits are up to it they will be sharing some views on this blog.  That's the idea at any rate.  Feel free to check back in every so often to see if its working!

Sunday, November 06, 2016

The Observer's Clarion Call for Sanity

The Observer used to be a fine campaigning newspaper, although it has become a little subsumed within its Guardian embrace in recent years.  Nevertheless, its editorial today provides the best, most vigorous response yet not only to the anti-High Court hysteria of last week, but also of the wider threat posed by a constitutionally blind right-wing movement across Europe.

In its dissection of the British constitution and its evolution, the editorial provides AS politics students with a masterly and concise overview.

In its attack on "the lie factories of Fleet Street", it offers a well executed broadside against the lethal exercise of power without responsibility that the mainstream press still has.

In its defence of the role of parliamentary sovereignty, it offers an articulate case for the virtues of that particular system.

In its linkage to the wider world of right-wing political extremism, from Donald Trump to the authoritarian clampdown of Turkey's President Erdogan, it offers a timely warning against the siren voices of the anti-liberals in our own country.

Finally, whether you agree with it or not, it offers a cogent critique of Theresa May's premiership so far - a premiership not yet affirmed by any general election result.

Today's Observer editorial is both a great campaigning piece and a well-articulated argument about our body politic that can be recommended to any reader, and certainly to the AS student in search of further, well-informed, debate.

What did the Brexiters actually want then?

It was a commonplace amongst Brexit campaigners that they wanted a return to the sovereignty of the British parliament.  They wanted British laws judged by British courts.  What they didn’t tell us was that they only wanted that if it agreed with them. 

An independent judiciary and the separation of courts and political partisanship have long been held to be the foundation stones of healthy democratic societies.  So long as courts remain above the fray then political acts can be called to account and subjected to an impartial judgement.  Politicians can too, if the need arises.  We have a strong legal system because it protects us.  We have it because we, the people, deserve that protection against the unbounded ambitions of our political leaders. 

Parliament offers up a different level of protection, but one that is no less crucial to the well-being a state’s citizens.  With proper parliamentary scrutiny, a government – the executive – cannot get away with arbitrary rule or unchecked authority, the key components of dictatorships throughout history.  It is always a dangerous sign when the leaders of an executive in a democratic society start to rail against the very institutions designed to stop their descent into arbitrary and dictatorial rule. 

It was the desire to ensure that such institutions of checking distant authority were local and robust that infused so much of the Brexit leaders’ campaigning.  One of their primary complaints against the European Union was the lack of accountability of its too distant institutions. 

The unbounded Brexit hysteria about the High Court’s ruling on Article 50 has revealed them to be little more than the populist demagogues we always suspected, rather than the guardians of a uniquely British system of calling power to account.  It is a bizarre reversal.  Their Brexit view takes on a different perspective.  Perhaps their railing against the EU was not about constitutional principle all along, but simply about the fact that they detested its political views. 

And then there is the marvellous, if wholly misleading, invocation of the “people’s will” in the Brexit criticism of the High Court.  The “people” do not act as one, and never have.  In the Brexit referendum the “people” were pretty broadly split.  Just under 17.5 million people did indeed vote to leave, but just over 16 million voted to stay.  That is a difference of less than 4%.  By no reckoning was the vote a sweeping indication of the will of all of the British people.  Nigel Farage, the defining  figure of the campaign, certainly never used to consider such a small majority to be decisive.  He claimed – before the referendum – that if only a 4% majority voted to stay in the EU, then the referendum would have to be re-run.  So the “people” cannot be invoked on the Brexiters’ side without substantial qualification.

Theresa May’s initial virtue as a new Prime Minister – one who has not of course received any mandate as leader from the British electorate – was that she understood the need to act upon the result of a referendum in which she had played only a very lukewarm role.  She was right in that.  But where she has begun to sully her reputation is in her failure to recognise that the democratic authority of the referendum was severely limited.  Limited by its tiny majority, and limited by the fact that it provided only a simple decision – to leave the EU – but left unanswered any questions about how, or even why.  Certainly the referendum provided no guidance on the mechanism of leaving.  This is where parliament correctly reasserts itself.

The UK is still a parliamentary democracy.  The occasional use of referendums doesn’t alter that.  At best, the referendums provide a direction of travel.  They do not suddenly cede a mythical popular authority to a government to do whatever it will, without recourse to parliament.  The dictators of the twentieth century favoured plebiscites as a form of underpinning for their own regimes.  Theresa May and her government are nowhere near that line, but they are favouring a similar methodology for their own purposes.

The response of the Brexit press to the High Court ruling has been rabble-rousing, inaccurate and unappealing.  It has placed the ruling as an attempt to stop Brexit rather than an attempt to restore the sort of parliamentary sovereignty that Brexiters once advocated.  It is one thing for a fickle, commercial and foreign-owned press to be irresponsible and wilfully ignorant.  It is quite another when the government in power seems to go along with it.  The Justice Secretary has revealed herself to be nothing more than a craven political hack, unworthy of the ancient duty and authority of the Lord Chancellor position which is still part of her title.  Mrs. May should be careful not to replicate the tawdry image that her Justice Secretary has acquired.  After all, she has no strong mandate herself.

This election belonged to Trump and his supporters, whoever wins

This has been an extraordinary presidential election.  In its outsize anger, ugliness and insurgent appeal it has beaten every modern presidential election into a grey shadow of virtual irrelevance.  For some presidential historians you have to go back to 1828, the culmination of a four-year long populist campaign by General Andrew Jackson against the Washington establishment led by President John Quincy Adams, to find a similar one.  Even then Jackson did at least have some concrete public achievement behind him. 

The reason it has been so outsize, and so ugly, is of course entirely down to just one of its candidates – Donald J Trump.  Everything one says about this election, one is really saying about Donald Trump himself.  He has dictated the discourse of the campaign.  He has consistently dominated the media coverage.  He is the outlier, the leader of an angry, often ugly movement of alienated citizens who just needed someone to take their irrational hatred onto a higher platform.  Donald Trump is their man.  For all of his differences from his supporters – he is wealthy, well-connected, insulated from problems, benefits from rather than suffers from deals with foreign powers – he has become their messiah.   Hillary may be his nominal opponent, may even be the victor on Tuesday, but he has been by far the crucial figure in this campaign.

There is much that appals about Donald Trump, but the most appalling thing is the utterly fanatical, eyes-closed-shut loyalty of his band of supporters.  Democracy, after all, isn’t just about the leaders.  It is about the people who make them leaders.  Democracy is the only system of governance that puts the people front and centre.  And if the image they project, through the leaders they choose, is an unpleasant one, well that is the whole point of the system.  Media pundits may be trying to find ways of describing the wilful ignorance and strongly held bigotries of Trump supporters in more anodyne terms, but you can’t ignore the fact that he could not possibly have got where he is unless a significant number of ordinary Americans hadn’t bought in to his incendiary, falsehood laden rhetoric.  He has never disguised what he stands for, and the excuse that “we didn’t really know what he was like” will never be one that can be used by Trump supporters.  But then they will never want to use such an excuse, because they will never need to claw back from their support for Trump.  He is why they are with him.  His rhetoric reflects their thoughts.  His attitudes – or at any rate the ones he chooses to project – are their attitudes. 
Isolated, angry, alienated, frozen out from the modern political firmament?  Trump supporters are nothing of the kind.  They are wilful players in a toxic campaign and their views, their positions, are front and centre in this campaign.  It is Hillary Clinton, a woman who has tried to pursue her aims of civic improvement through decades of grinding involvement in the establishment process, who seems to be the alienated, isolated individual at times.

It doesn’t how many emails you destroy if you are a private businessman (Trump has deleted many thousands); it doesn’t matter how many lawsuits you face (Trump has some 75 pending against him covering everything from fraud, political subversion and sexual harassment); it doesn’t matter that you can never willingly tell the truth, that you manufacture evidence and make up issues as you go along.  If you are not a “politician”, not part of the “establishment” then for Trump supporters, that’s fine.  Do anything.  You deserve to. 

Even this weekend, the classic Donald Trump post-truth machine has been both evident and rapturously received and supported and re-tweeted by his followers and acolytes.  When President Obama – a man whose moral authority and dignity seem so far removed from the grubby Trumpian realities as to make him seem altogether elevated on another plane of existence – seeks to calm his own crowd, and defend the right of a protestor to make his pro-Trump stand at one of his rallies, Donald Trump himself manages to tell this as an example of the president “screaming” at a protestor.  Trump says he wants to punch protestors in the face; Obama tells his audience to calm down and allow the right of protest.  But in Donald’s world – endorsed  by his supporters – he is the virtuous one and Obama the unhinged fascist. 

Then when another opponent at a Trump rally holds his anti-Trump sign, the paranoia that engulfs the whole Trump campaign sees him being rushed off the stage, his mad audience shout “gun” and then precipitate a mass pile in on the protestor before he is led away with full military escort.  In Trumpland, this becomes brave Donald’s escape from near assassination.  They were tweeting this nonsense long after it was evident that it was nothing of the sort, because truth is subservient to their image of themselves as brave, isolated freedom fighters, rather than violent, intolerant thugs.

This campaign has been ugly because Trump’s supporters are ugly and they need their candidate to be so too.  This campaign has barely touched the surface of any policy discussions because that involves a rationality that has fled the Trump supporters, because it would mean engaging with the world of truth not the world of make-believe which they have constructed.   This campaign reinvents events because that’s the way they fit into a make-believe narrative.  This campaign has seen unprecedented bigotry towards Hispanics, women and blacks, because that is what Trump supporters want to see.

Democracy allows the people to come centre stage.  It is no good simply moving the unpleasantness of this campaign onto the shoulders of one man, since he represents the active desires and beliefs of his supporters.  Donald Trump is successful not because of his own innate brilliance, but because of his native cunning in understanding and encapsulating the vision of his supporters.  This is really the only way to understand how such a man can have come so close to the White House – may even be its resident for four years.  If this democracy looks ugly today, it isn’t because just one man has made it so.  It is because democracy is simply doing its job – reflecting the will of the people.  Tuesday will show us just how many people.