That’s all for now folks, take care of yourself out there.
Washington D.C. —
Inspired by U.S. President Donald Trump and others that say “I alone can do this”, the country formally known as the United States of America (which will be producing its next album with symbol sign, in the color scheme of the flag) collapsed economically, politically, and socially as 326,374,365 people decided to join the self-starter entrepreneurship movement and just do their own damn thing.
Originally hailed as a great thing by Ayn Rand worshiper, professional “very serious person”, and lifelong recipient of taxpayer handouts Paul Ryan, who extols the virtue of the young-ins needing to learn the value of hard work, the movement to move more and more people to reconnect with and rejuvenate the American Dream collapsed upon itself a couple of hours ago.
The American Dream, the abstract and opaque notion that every US citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative, fell apart ultimately when every US citizen simultaneously decided to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative–which left the country with zero consumers by the end of the day.
The Dream had for years and years been weakened and narrowed to become an overly economic dream, says Jonathan O’Brien, whose consultant firm O’Brien Strategies he just started earlier today. Kramerica industries, an Upper West Side one-man corporation that as far as we know contains a man, a messy apartment, and what may or may not be a live-chicken, concurred with this assessment.
Matters were further complicated politically as every US millennial whether they were the constitutionally-required 35 years old or not declared their intention to run for the Presidency in 2020.
Yes, America was filled with such grandiose ambitions all day from announced runs for the White House all the way to a local man hoping to share his music with the neighborhood, so long as sharing required the passing over of an Alexander Hamilton.
Washington, D.C. — In front of hoard of angry constituents, reporters who make five figures and are bizarrely more despised than politicians who make six figures, and several casual passer-bys, Rep. Boone from the state of Fremont, stressed that it was critical for the “next generation to receive a high quality education, and that the children are our future.” Statements like these make Boone, who has represented a midwestern district in the equally midwestern state of Fremont, feel better about his decades-long inaction in the policy areas of health care, energy, the environment, taxes, and jobs. From all appearances, his offering of this olive branch of “education” to constituents that have suffered greatly after the decades long outsourcing and automating of several factories in the district, landed mostly on deaf ears.
Boone, a member of the Democratic-Republican Party and co-chair of the Freedom and Liberty in the Same Sentence Caucus, will most likely be re-elected, with his particular brand of cultural populism that features literature, billboards, and T.V. ads every two years citing his critical work on “stopping the hipster invasion of Fremont.” This type of campaign may especially resonate this year, as Fremont youth have taken to starting bands, sitting at coffee shops, and painting graffiti on sidewalks with phrases like “All You Need Is Love” and “Make Peace, Not War”, rather than working two to three minimum wage service jobs to pay rent.
“There is a real youth crisis today, this generation just doesn’t know the value of hard work”, said local Rep. Boone supporter and sometimes staffer William Carlisle, who is paid handsomely each cycle to more or less drop litter on the ground in the form of “lit drops” that the heavy midwestern wind inevitably blows away into the street. These funds come mostly from pharmaceutical and insurance lobbies to kill health care reform, and from the chamber of commerce to kill increases to the minimum wage, “We’ve gotta re-elect Rep. Boone next fall”, exclaimed Carlisle. “He knows how to keep the hipsters out of Fremont like Jon Snow and the White Walkers.”
Rep. Boone plans to serve 6 or 8 more terms before turning things over to his staffer, who by then at the youthful age of 51, should be very adept at quoting platitudes about educating the next generation to do all of the work that he refuses do to do.
Rep. Boone could not be reached for a quote on this article, and this journalist kindly requests that hate mail sent by his supporters be kept within the realm of legality and respectability.
It’s nine o’clock on a Wednesday night, #HipsterJesus walks into a Brooklyn coffee shop that also serves alcohol at night (because of course they do) and in the corner the camera pans to Carson Starkey and Troy Olson. Carson is nursing a bourbon, and Troy, who had not drank alcohol in eight months, is drinking a Brooklyn Lager and talking about “Joe, Jane, and Union John.” His arms are moving wildly before Union “pounder of pavement” Carson interjects about the 2018 results:
That was a fine impersonation of the season 2 episode of The West Wing.
Right. The midterm episode. All that money spent by both sides. Few districts change. Here we are at the end of the road and Dems have barely climbed over the 200 seat mark. The GOP can only deal with 13 defections now…
Democrats lack a uniform message in Congress, other than restoring what Barry achieved in his first 2 years and refraining from destroying health care.
So many campaign groups started up in the wake of the ’16 result, so much grift, so few results. My flight to the nonprofit sector was well timed, where we… actually help people out. A foreign concept to investment bankers and real estate financiers and developers and inheritors of extreme comfort.
The disgruntled citizens… mostly disgruntled and white… are sad that NAFTA still exists. Because Mexicans and The Wall. And WalMart still pays badly. President Trump hasn’t made a deal to fix poverty because the Chamber is busy repealing minimum wage laws.
But what did we expect? As the Margin of Error pointed out last year, only people that went to Harvard and Yale think Donald Trump is a populist.
I’d like to think that it’s possible for me to get a job with Sherrod Brown’s presidential campaign as a policy analyst or speech writer. But that’s not certain post-2018. I’m inclined to stay in Minnesota now that Tom Emmer is governor. Too much work to be done here.
Well it’s good that he won’t have his senate duties to distract him from the campaign trail if he does run now that Senator Josh Mandel is in office. (Troy takes a drink of his lager, then a drink of tea, alternating) At what point did it set in for you that there would be no wave in ’18?
When Democrats settled on defending Heidi Heitkamp as the least bad option. And she lost. Because that’s what red states mean… tough terrain.
All those polls showing a generic ballot lead of 10 percent probably hurt. We still won the total ballot by 6 percent but that is not enough in a gerrymandered America.
We’re still in deep minority position across the states. Republicans outspend Democrats 3 to 1 in the legislatures and governors’ mansions. Which for the GOP, creates an endless pipeline of nutty Sam Brownback-style candidates. Infrastructure being what it is…
I wish the D-trip heeded our calls to think locally.
Colin Peterson will assume leadership of a rural think tank designed to “help” Democrats. Mostly to spew nonsense about the importance of the 2nd Amendment and why women are uppity.
What do you make of the surge in third parties on the left in safer seats? This falls along with my theory that although activism and involvement is at an all-time high, it’s independent and separate from the Democratic establishment, as may have given up on the party. Registration and caucus/convention turnout was down… people seem to be doing what Bernie is doing… a wait and see approach. Neither building the viable third party that is more progressive and populist nor effectively taking over the Democratic Party. Hurry Up….and Wait.
Well they can’t find regular access to parties, jobs in campaigns or activist groups. I don’t blame them for avoiding the regular channels of political organizing. Lord knows we’re familiar with that. Even if the WFP is a smaller outfit, it’s a platform for ideas. Ones that people believe in.
Right. I’m relatively convinced that if a neoliberal beats a progressive in the 2020 primary the party is done… sure it’ll limp along for a few more cycles, propelled by boomer lefty outrage… but the numbers will dwindle and so many younger folks will want out. And the resulting aftermath, well if you are well read on political problems in developing countries, if I may use that term here in the way academics and researchers have used it, you’ll know that revolutions are led by under and unemployed professionals and intellectuals. It’ll be fascinating to see neoliberals, Dukes and Earls that had the right last names and believe in the “magic”, let’s call in the Force, against a bunch of Han Solos cynically claiming that “hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster…”
Maybe the residents of Williamsburg will be ready to join the military when Tom Cotton becomes President, if only to revolt and re-enact Les Miserables.
It was getting late and Carson had a plane to catch tomorrow morning at JFK, and a campaign to plan for. It was a foggy night and he walked slowly and carefully… with the magic of Bruce Springsteen in his ear and the words of the late, great Senator Paul Wellstone saying “we all do better when we all do better.” Troy watched from sidewalk and the scene looked not unlike this….
Full disclosure, I’m an amateur historian. But I’ve always read and loved history. Much of my private, personal (not academic or campaign experience) political education has been learned and read through a historical lens. I’ll do my best, but I’m no pro.
Agreeing Loudly dot com introduces you to two new historical series; one that will be locally-based, at least my version of local (New York), and the other a national story intended to give the read perspective on our ongoing, beleaguered, but bizarrely nonexistent national conversation.
I invite you all to help me out on this journey, and point things out that I am overlooking or may have missed. Give your thoughts and feedback and contribute, especially *actual* historian Allan Branstiter of “The Margin of Error” and a frequent “Agreeing Loudly” guest and contributor. As well as Justin Norris, especially for the latter half (discussed below).
Also, especially for longtime residents of NYC and NYS — feel free to join in on the conversation. Come one, come all, and bring friends.
For anyone friends, family, acquaintances, or readers that will be visiting the area — I’ll also try to use this space to recommend really good walking tours or double-decker bus tours that are affordable and valuable.
In the spirit of “piercing bubbles” I’d also like to invite any other amateur or professional historians to contribute to this site and explore their states in a similar or unique manner.
I’ll be covering the New York-focused series in two places: right here at AL.com in the form of longer articles and in more photographic and anecdotal form on Instagram @nycwalkinghistory – which will no doubt be changed to @nywalkingonhistory or @nyswalkingonhistory as goals are accomplished. What goals? Read below:
Double-decker bus tour in Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn.
Goal — in the next three years (2017, 2018, and 2019) — my beautiful wife, Jacki, and I (and sometimes just me) will be doing a walking historical tour on the streets of every neighborhood in the five boroughs of New York City. We’ve already covered nearly every neighborhood in the Borough of Manhattan, and have been pretty decent progress in the Bronx and Brooklyn as well. In the years to come, we’ll be covering the rest of Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn, as well as venturing past CitiField (where the New York Mets, my National League loyalties lie there) in Queens and getting out to Staten Island.
Furthermore, and especially as we get closer to covering every neighborhood in New York City, we’ll be venturing Upstate via the Hudson Valley and into Long Island past JFK airport and be doing for the 62 Counties of New York State what we did for the neighborhoods of New York City.
The second major historical running series that will begin relatively soon is the story of US History as told through Consequential Presidential Elections.
Ideally, I’ll get a bit of an assist from resident scholar Justin Norris, Carson Starkey, Allan Branstiter, etc. for this series. Once again, I’m an amateur historian. And I’ll do my best.
There will be no schedule and the new articles will be published as they are researched, completed, and edited. No time-table and no promises. But I promise this won’t become like Aaron Gleeman’s top 40 Twins of all time series.
A brief rundown of what elections and the time periods around them that I will be researching and writing on:
(Jefferson v. Adams, and the first peaceful transfer of power)
(Jackson v. Quincy Adams, and beginnings of the rural Democratic Party tradition)
(Lincoln v. Douglass v. Breckenridge v. Bell, and the Civil War)
(McKinley v. Jennings Bryan, and Populism on the Prairie)
(Wilson v. Roosevelt v. Taft, the two party system holds, and the Grand Ole Party rejects progressivism for good)
(FDR vs. Hoover, the New Deal, the new policy consensus, and the leader that history called for)
(JFK v. Nixon, LBJ v. Goldwater, Humphrey v. Nixon, a New Generation, a second New Deal, the tumultuous year that was 1968, and the beginnings of the break-up of the New Deal coalition and the New Deal itself)
(Reagan vs. Carter, American Optimism, the opening of an era of boomer short-sightedness, and the beginning of the end for the New Deal)
(Clinton v. H.W. Bush v. Perot, the Democratic Party sells its soul to win back the White House, betrays working people and families, and the boomer Clinton Party triumphant)
(Obama vs. McCain, History made, Opportunities Missed, and the first Information Age election)
Two weeks from today the seemingly endless 2016 Presidential Campaign will wind to a close and the voters (those that have not voted early, which I highly recommend if your state allows for early voting. This will be organized into three parts.
Today will be the Presidential Election itself. One week from today will be the Congressional elections in the Senate and House. And the day before the election will be the Gubernatorial and state legislative elections. I’m doing it this way for two reasons: one, the Presidential election has historically been very static in the weeks leading up to the final vote and especially in this election, everyone has feels very, very strongly about well….something. Two and most important, the President isn’t a dictator. At best, the President has third most control of any politician in this country over daily lives. The individuals that have the most at stake in who becomes President, members of the United States armed forces, vote at alarmingly low rates.
Presidential Election Predictions
The Popular Vote.
Hillary Clinton (D) – 48.0%
Donald Trump (R) – 43.0%
Gary Johnson (L) – 5.0%
Evan McMullin (I) – 2.0%
Jill Stein (G) – 1.5%
Other – 0.5%
What to Watch For:
- West Coast polls won’t close for awhile, the popular vote will look closer than it ends up because heavily Democratic states like California, Oregon, and Washington have not reported yet.
- The big surprise here would be Evan McMullin finishing ahead of Jill Stein. This is because I expect some Stein supporters to come home to the Democratic Party and because Jill Stein has been incredibly underwhelming all cycle, just like in 2012. While I respect the enthusiasm and some of the principled stances of members of the Green Party and Jill Stein herself, like Gary Johnson, she has been way out of her element all cycle. In her defense, the normally funny John Oliver struck a low blow when he made fun of her for playing in a very-early 90’s Indigo Girls sounding rock band. There are many other reasons to not support Jill Stein for the highest office in the land, there is no need to ridicule someone’s incredibly healthy hobby or past career.
- I rounded to the nearest .5% for simplicity sake.
- I also think a good slice of the traditional GOP (as in they voted for Romney and McCain) electorate who are dissatisfied with Trump as nominee come home, we’ve already been seeing evidence of this the past few days.
The Electoral College.
Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com
Hillary Clinton (D) – 323 EVs
Donald Trump (R) – 209 EVs
Evan McMullin (I) – 6 EVs
This is the danger of making predictions two weeks out but I will discuss a few with you.
- Iowa (GOP) – has been trending GOP the last few cycles, has two GOP Senators, a GOP Governor, and is a state I was personally on the ground for in 2008, a spectacular experience, and 2010, still the biggest landslide defeat I and another member of this podcast has ever been apart of. It was a brutal cycle, but unlike other parts of the nation, the red trend and swing in Iowa is real and could be a harbinger of things to come in the Upper Midwest generally.
- North Carolina (DEM) – is this the new Virginia for the Dems? I think so. But it will still be razor thin if the polls state as they are in the final two weeks. I think most of the close MoE states will ultimately break Hillary Clinton’s way because she actually has an organized campaign on the ground, unlike Trump.
- Florida (DEM) – another state that the GOP could have easily had this cycle on their column had they not nominated Trump. Expect Marco Rubio to run 5-6 points ahead of Trump here. If this state is called for Hillary before 11 PM, we’ll have a shorter night.
- Georgia and Arizona (stay GOP, but someday…) – these are two must-holds for Trump. If Hillary pulls off the upset in Georgia, she has won in a landslide. If she wins in Arizona as the polls show now, she has possibly won more electoral votes than Barack Obama did in 2008. I see both of these states ultimately staying the lightest of red, but they will continue to slowly trend blue in upcoming cycles at the local and statewide levels.
- Ohio (stay GOP) – this is the state I feel the least confident about, but I think Trump pulls this one out and benefits from lower youth turnout in college towns, combined with a noncompetitive Senate election in the GOPs favor. Large turnout by key Democratic constituencies kept this in Obama’s column in 2012. If Ohio is won by Hillary it will be on the strength of the ground campaign, where investments are considerably less than they should have been due to Hillary having easy paths to 270 without Ohio and incumbent GOP Senator Rob Portman being up by double digits.
- Nevada (DEM) – a state that has always been strong for Hillary Clinton, both in the 2008 and 2016 Democratic Primaries and in 2016 General Election polling. This is also part of a broader blue trend over the past decade in the Southwestern United States that includes New Mexico, Colorado, and perhaps soon, Arizona.
- Utah (Independent) – discussed further below. I see McMullin pulling this off with just over 30% of the vote, followed by Trump and Clinton being somewhere between 20 and 30% of the vote.
Clinton – 5 best and 5 worst states.
Best: California, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Vermont.
Worst: Utah, Wyoming, Oklahoma, Idaho, West Virginia
Trump – 5 best and 5 worst states.
Best: Wyoming, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Kentucky, Kansas
Worst: Utah, California, New York, Vermont, Maryland
- Evan McMullin wins the state of Utah and its 6 electoral votes.
- Why? Because the significant Mormon population in Utah does not trust or like Trump for a variety of reasons and because he is a favorite son who is on the ballot there, as well as 10 other states (a few of which he will also do relatively well in considering he has received next to no attention by even non-major party standards). Overall, McMullin is on the ballot in 11 states and those states, especially Utah and Idaho will drive his 2% national margin.
- Evan McMullin, a career CIA officer and former Peace Corps member and just 40 years old, will then run and win office statewide in Utah once Orrin Hatch retires, which he will do relatively soon because unlike the Democratic Party, the GOP actually builds a bench, cares about its farm system, cultivates talent, and despite its image as being an old white guy who is afraid of change, they have considerably more young leaders than the Democratic Party does.
- Voter Turnout, despite this historic election, is lower than in 2012 and is the lowest since 2000 when George W. Bush controversially defeated Al Gore to win the Presidency.
- Why? Because despite declarations on the ALC2C podcast and on The Margin of Error podcast – fear and hatred of the other side only drives turnout to a point. To reach historic or large (by American standards) turnout you need a positive, optimistic, and hopeful message and the candidates need to have above-the-water favorability ratings.
- Favorability ratings are about likability and are a better assessment of a candidate. Approval ratings are the assessment of how well a President is doing their job.
- In the last six decades, the two years where turnout was the highest were in 1960; where both John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon had sky high favorability ratings. In 2008, while much lower than the famous Kennedy-Nixon election, Barack Obama and John McCain had the highest favorability ratings of the modern political age throughout most of the campaign. This was quite an accomplishment considering the era we live in right now – characterized by increasing government gridlock and partisanship, vitriol, and the public losing trust and confidence in American institutions.
- Simply put, voting FOR something is always more desirable than voting AGAINST something. Fear and hatred of the other side does and has worked politically in past decades, but only if it is combined with lower turnout, which is ultimately the goal with those campaign tactics.
- Clinton, for breaking that glass ceiling and making history.
- The world, for avoiding a Trump Presidency, an idea that terrifies many around the world to no end. Gambling on a personality as volatile as Trump with the largest nuclear arsenal at his fingertips would strike fear into the hearts of a lot of people. They’re not alone.
- 2020 GOP nominee, who gets to face an incumbent that enters office with -9 to -10 favorability ratings and the general historical trend of an incumbent party not securing a fourth consecutive administration unless it is the Great Depression and WWII. In other words Hillary Clinton will have to do a very, very good job as President and have a lot of voters actually think that to have a fighting chance at re-election. Of course the caveat to this is if the GOP still… cannot get its act together for a national election, which brings me to…
- Trump, not for losing the election, although that I’m sure will bother him considerably. No, he is a loser even if he wins by some miracle because he has dragged American politics and the honor of the highest office in the land to perhaps its lowest point in our history. Barack Obama, no matter what you thought of his policies, is a basically good and decent man. While I disagree with Mitt Romney, John McCain, and George W. Bush on policy, I always believed they woke up each day wanting to do what is best for their country. Trump has ran this campaign for the glorification of his own ego, has further divided an already divided country, and through his hateful and spiteful rhetoric, has brought out the worst sides of some of us.
- His supporters, who will be cast aside and derided by most of the GOP elite after this loss. Some have reached Donald Trump’s levels of despicable behavior throughout this campaign cycle, many have lost faith in the two-party system and the economic system as well, and no matter why they are voting for Trump, they all still deserve a country and political leadership who serves the public trust and common interest, rather than special interests. As do all Hillary Clinton, Evan McMullin, Gary Johnson, Jill Stein, Pirate Party, etc. supporters.
- 2018 Democratic candidates for office, who will have their work cut out for them at the start and suffer from a third straight midterm backlash to a Democratic administration.
Two weeks to go. Congressional predictions to come next week. Gubernatorial and state predictions to come the day before election day.
LOS ANGELES, CA—Agreeing Loudly columnist Allan Branstiter received the accolades for his deft and insightful coverage of veterans issues. Jack and Jason, two prestigious and influential New media, poured praise for Branstiter’s work.
“I have been browsing online more than 3 hours nowadays,” Jack remarked about Branstiter’s article covering the obvious plight of a Minneapolis veteran who spend days soliciting the thanks of civilians on Memorial Day , “yet I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is beautiful value sufficient for me.”
Jason was evidently more impressed by Branstiter’s journalistic bravery, explaining “I believe that you simply could do with [just] a few p.c. to power the message house a bit, but instead of that, this is an excellent blog. . . . I will certainly be black.”
Both urged Agreeing Loudly’s editorial staff to pay Branstiter market rates for his contributions to their website. His peers universally agree.
“To be honest,” mused Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal, “as exceptional as Troy Olson and Carson Starkey are, you can find writers just like them pretty easily. Allan Branstiter’s the unicorn of online journalism. You’re not going to find another Allan Branstiter.”
“Forget once in a generation,” stated David Brooks, “he’s more of a once in a lifetime talent.”
Retired public radio personality Garrison Keillor was more subdued in his praise for Branstiter’s growing influence. “I consider it an intensely personal failure on my part that Allan Branstiter hates me,” he said, “I worked for decades under the apparently misguided conception that I was good at my job; however, I’m clearly the embodiment of bad white liberalism and a stain upon the very term ‘entertainer.'”
While the Agreeing Loudly editorial staff could not be reached at press time, Branstiter’s colleague Carson Starkey offered his praise. “Allan Branstiter is the Ta-Nehisi Coates of America’s veteran community,” he remarked. “Inequality and injustice flee at the sound of his keystroke.”
The Associated Press attempted to contact Jack and Jason; however, a “trojan horse” cracked their internal email server and emptied the organization’s trust fund.
Agreeing Loudly Coast to Coast is down one Bill this week. Fortunately, Agreeingloudly.com contributor and returning guest, Carson Starkey joins Pat and Jered to brings his particular brand of pedantic satire to this week’s episode. They discuss whether millennials are to blame for the rise of Donald Trump, embrace the utter dominance of Game of Thrones in popular culture, discuss some important news from the sports world, and share their picks for 2016 third party presidential candidates.
Blame It on Higher Ed – The Baffler
‘Game of Thrones’ Fans Start Kickstarter to Fix Dorne Story – Screen Crush
Inside the GOP effort to draft an independent candidate to derail Trump – The Washington Post
Now that the 10th episode has come and gone, the agreeing loudly crew soldiers forth and tries to find meaning in the podcast’s continued existence.
This week Troy goes on a lengthy monologue of what he thinks the attacks in Paris mean for America’s foreign policy future and makes an ill-fated attempt at a Simpson segue. Jered pops the culture with a discussion on the popularity of video games among adults and what this means for the future of gaming. Pat bookends things with discussions on the top millennial brands and the ups and downs of the Minnesota sports scene.
Will Troy set the record for longest monologue in podcast history? Will Pat be able to stay awake long enough to make it through this week’s episode? Also, where the hell is Bill?
For answers to these questions and more listen this week’s episode of Agreeing Loudly Coast to Coast!
Want to direct download it instead? Click here!
Millennial Musings: Top 200 Millennial Brands 3:05-7:50
Political Parrots: Paris and the Future of American Foreign Policy 8:00-30:10
Pop Goes the Culture: The Popularity of Video Games with Adults 30:15-47:00
Sports Round Up: Vikings and Wild Are Getting it Done 47:05-1:01:40
News From the Front: Live from New York 1:01:45-1:04:00
Where to Find Us/Outro 1:04:00-1:06:39