Open Letter to My Fellow Democrats in America

Dear Democrats,
Having moved to France a couple of years ago, I have had the benefit of following the recent Presidential election at arm’s length – no television news, no mailings, no robocalls. Just internet sites like Flipboard that allowed me to pick and choose between such sources as NPR, Fox, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, AP, CNN, and such.

I’m invested, though. I voted.

Here’s what I think, free of charge and worth every penny.

Progressives are now on the march. Trump is not their President. Well, I beg to differ. Trump is indeed their President, and mine too, just as Obama was the President of the Trump voters who so despised him. It is our job now to hold Trump’s feet to the fire with the same intensity that has led to Obama being criticized relentlessly from both ends of the political spectrum.

Never in my political life spanning over 60 years have I witnessed a torrent of obvious lies spoken by Presidential candidates and accepted by their devotees equivalent to the lies spoken almost daily by all four of the major party candidates. I include the Bobbsey Twins because there were those, as few as they were, who actually voted Green or Libertarian as though either of those clueless twerps represented an alternative. I don’t know if those votes affected the outcome of the election. As we all now understand, polls only have value to the elegantly coifed men and women who read the news or opine about the horse race without any connection to electoral reality. But the idea that voting for either Stein or Johnson was acceptable, either as a protest or because they deserved serious consideration for the Presidency, is ludicrous. I have in the past, when confronted with unacceptable choices, written in Sandy Koufax, a man of unquestioned character, unquestioned talent, and an aversion to the limelight. Can anyone say the same for Stein or Johnson?

Progressives in the Democratic Party are now complaining that Bernie was the better candidate and would have won the Presidency had not the DNC favored Hillary. To that argument, one never to be resolved, I would offer three points.

First, suppose that you are a lifelong member of a club. You work hard, invest time and money. Then one day, a man who for decades had every opportunity to join the club, but who refused to do so, suddenly enrolls for the sole purpose of becoming the leader of the club. His opposition for leadership is a long-time, committed member. How could anyone expect the membership of that club not to have an obvious preference between the two? It’s simply childish to suppose otherwise. We are talking politics here. And politics ain’t beanbag.

Secondly, having spent the entire primary season trashing Hillary and the DNC mercilessly, Progressives have argued that Hillary was a flawed candidate. Their vitriol lasted throughout the primaries and general election campaign. Could their constant, vicious attacks have had a bearing on the manner in which Hillary was viewed by those observing the carnage from theoutside? I would certainly think so. For those on the fence, the rancor demonstrated by people purporting to be members of her own party even after the primaries were over had to have been a consideration.

Finally, marching is bullshite. Petitioning is bullshite. Only voting in an election counts. Man up. And if that phrase is too sexist for you, tough patooties. Man up.

Moving forward, we need to be asking several questions, with one voice, loudly and with conviction.

Has a wall been built along our southern border? Has Mexico paid for it? Have 11,000,000 illegals been deported? Has Trump deported even as many people as Obama has? How many Muslims are on the new national registry? (These aren’t my priorities at all but they were campaign centerpieces.)

On November 8, 2008, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed at 930.99. On November 8, 2016, it closed at 2,139.56, worth 130% more. That’s Obama’s record. How do the markets compare under a Trump administration?

In January, 2009, when Obama took office, the unemployment rate was 7.8%. In October, 2016, (most recent available numbers) the rate is 4.9%, a decrease of about 60%. That’s Obama’s record. How does unemployment compare under a Trump administration? (It’s true that the workforce participation rate declined from 65.7% to 62.8% during the same period. We’ll
track that too.)

Of interest to an expat like me is the strength of the dollar, the exchange rate against the euro. On January 1, 2009, it cost $1.40 to buy a euro. On election day, I could buy a euro for $1.09, meaning that the dollar is 30% stronger against the euro since Obama took office. That’s Obama’s record. Let’s see if Trump’s dollar fares as well.

There are other indicators that we could use – decline in the deficit, inflation near zero, exports up. But let’s focus on just a few, easily determined, generally accepted statistics.

Let’s hold Trump and the Republicans in Congress accountable. If we have lost because the electorate has been pulled to the right, let’s start pulling back from the left. Let’s demonstrate why the better educated electorate votes Democratic. Let’s learn.


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Interesting argument but you lost me at the end when you referred to “the better educated electorate vote Democratic”. You’re insulting a huge majority of people who are entitled to their views, however at odds these views may be with you. They may not have a college degree but might have started up businesses, run companies and have taught themselves without higher education. Education doesn’t make you intelligent, it makes you learned. Other than that, fair point.


I considered your concern when I was composing my post. I left the language in for two reasons. First, an unfailing demographic indicator of voters who rejected Trump drilling all the way down to the local level was the percentage of persons in a district with advanced degrees. Above a certain percentage, that district voted Democratic 100% of the time. Unfailing. The second reason was that, whether it is true or not, Progressives do consider themselves the intellectual elite. In order to qualify for that title, they have to be capable of learning from their mistakes. If you can’t learn, you can’t consider yourself among the elite.

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Hmm, I can’t argue with those figures as people with advanced degrees may be concentrated in areas that require their skills, that’s fair. And I accept they may consider themselves the intellectual elite. But I don’t consider a history professor to be more intelligent than, say, a farmer who left without qualifications but who’s running a large enterprise. Their viewpoints may be different but their votes are equal. I’d say one marker of intelligence is being able to see things from more than one point of view which, I think, is often sadly lacking on both sides of a political debate.


I get it. And I don’t totally disagree with what you are saying. In fact, my point is exactly that if you don’t understand why you have lost, if you soothe your conscious by blaming the other guy, you aren’t demonstrating intelligence. You are demonstrating ego.

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It is rather shameful that you have to denounce people for voting for Trump as unintelligent. To be fair, they did not have much choice.

The mainstream media inflames what Soros chooses. If you believe the rags, then you should look further, because they are full of stories designed to make you angry.

If they voted for Killary then they were accepting that WWIII would start against Russia. The globalists would be pushing through TTIP or now the undercover version CEPA.

Obama since 2009 has launched two undeclared wars, and—as Obama bragged in a speech last year defending the Iran deal—bombed no fewer than seven countries. He has turned a 14-year-old congressional resolution targeting al-Qaeda and the Taliban into a blank cheque for endless war, anywhere in the world. Clinton would have followed in his footsteps. We have Islamic terrorism now thanks to the US invasion; purely for oil but hidden under the guise of something different. I hold the US responsible for the majority of the world’s unrest.

The people are standing up to politicians because they feel their views are never listened to. No matter what political party you vote for, their promises are hollow.

I am pleased Killary did not get in. Those that made payments to the Clinton fund were not the type of people you would want influencing your decisions; and let’s face it, that is what they are given for. Why did Morocco give her so much money? Obviously a plan in there somewhere. They did not do it for love.

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There was one unfailing demographic to tell how a district would vote. If a district had a certain percentage of advanced degrees among the voters, they voted for Hillary. Every time and without fail. Now, I’m the first to say that I don’t think that a college education necessary equates to intelligence. But it’s hard to ignore that demographic. Education equated to a certain vote. A Democratic vote.

Sometimes facts are hard to accept, like the fact that if Hillary had Soros, Trump had Ailes, that the money given to the Clinton Foundation pales in relation to the money that Wall Street has given to Trump to keep him afloat even after millions from his dad to bale him out and after six bankruptcies, including one a casino, for goodness sake. The New Jersey Gaming Commission gave the man a license to print money and he couldn’t print it fast enough to avoid going under.

As far as the Middle East is concerned, blaming Obama is like blaming the guy who has to clean up the poop after a circus parade for the crap in the street. The elephants made the crap and deserve the blame, the elephants as in Republican neocons who thought that they could fix the Middle East by breaking it.

But more importantly, I didn’t call Trump names as you call Hillary. I was speaking to fellow Democrats, blaming them for their failures, asking them that if they think that they are so smart, why didn’t they win? Take off your tinfoil hat and read what I wrote.

I think you are in the wrong forum. What has this got to do with France and the French? It’s just another obvious case of virtue signalling and I think you should take your little rant and flounce somewhere else with it.

Do you say the same to those who have posted about the Brexit? Or do you just prefer British politics over American? I should think that the circumstances that led to Trump being elected leader of the largest military machine in the world might be of interest. And the political tactics that won the election in the US, similar to those leading up to the Brexit vote, may just be a warning sign for the French and other European elections to come. So I don’t feel that I’m out of line with the forum’s guidelines. As is the case with any electronic medium, if you don’t like the program, turn it off.


We discuss all manner of subjects here @blackladder please walk away if you don’t want to get involved in this discussion.

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I’m a fellow American Democrat in France, Ira, though I’m actually in the States now for my daughter’s wedding. I believe Ms Hewlitt supported Brexit so her responses are to be expected.

It is to my eternal heartbreak that our country has made this sad choice. I disagree with Ms Hewlitt that we had “no choice”. There was a choice to vote against ignorance, bombast, racism, misogyny, and lies. Nothing, even economic insecurity, is more important than treating others the way we would like to be treated ( and before people suggest otherwise, I am among the economically insecure - made so in large part by the 1% who Trump will now further enrich).

Perhaps I am a Pollyanna but my grown children include my gay son (who married last year) and three who are black. Nothing stirs more fear in my heart for my beloved children than the re-emergence of the KKK and other white supremacist, homophobic groups, emboldened by the inexcusable rhetoric of a snake oil salesman who “tells it like it is”. If you voted for him, your overriding message to your fellow Americans is that you support his vile words and reject their concerns. I don’t think history will judge you kindly.

Just to clarify,mI didn’t mean “you” as in you, Ira…I know you voted for HRC. I was speaking tobTrump supporters.

I understand. Let me add that I’m preparing a letter to my Republican friends. I think that out job now is to hold their feet to the fire, not only about the campaign promises that Trump has made but in comparison to Obama’s record. Their economic problem with Obama is that he’s presided over the weakest recovery since the Great Depression, completely ignoring the fact that Bush handed him the worst recession since the Great Depression. Reagan and Bush both presided over massive recessions. Republicans don’t want to remember that. We shouldn’t let them forget.

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Katharine … I’m a bit lost. Where in this thread did I saw you had “no choice”. Genuinely I’m puzzled as I can’t see in this thread that I’ve said that and I’m sure there’s nothing edited out.

I must apologise, Sandy. It was Jayne Warner who wrote that.

no probs Katherine, thought I was having a senior moment there!

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