The Woman Question?

In the last blog, I cited figures showing the incredibly disproportionate white male vote against Hillary Clinton. Clinton won women last Tuesday by 12 points and lost men by 12 points: a total 24-point gap, the widest gender gap ever in a Presidential election.

There are many contributing factors to why Clinton didn’t win the Electoral College vote, but the one of the major factors is simply that a great number of white males didn’t want a woman President. Now, you can give me lots of other reasons why Clinton didn’t win, but none of them, even together, explain the size of the anti-Clinton white male vote.

People voted that way because they didn’t trust Clinton? That’s obviously true. But why is it true, given that Trump has been proven to be more deceptive, and a greater liar than Clinton? Not to mention that he’s screwed contractors and others out of what he’s owed them? And why do men seem to be so much more willing to ignore Trump’s lies than Clinton’s? Especially given that in every income and education level, men are more against Clinton than women?

Roughly seventy percent of adult males are in the labor force and roughly sixty percent of adult women are in the labor force. Women tend to be paid less, and by all logic, would seem to suffer more from hard economic times. If the reasons for voting are economic, as so many claim, why do men’s votes differ so much from women’s?

Is education a factor in the difference between men’s and women’s votes? Regardless of the level of education, more men than women voted for Trump and against Clinton.

Roughly seventy percent of U.S. households consist of two adults, and the vast majority of those are male-female. That means that similar social, economic, and other pressures impact both, yet there was the widest gender gap ever between men and women’s voting patterns.

In general, women’s votes tended much more to follow past economic and social indicators and past voting patterns than did men’s. The major difference in this election was that one candidate was a woman, and while women’s voting patterns didn’t change all that much, men’s did.

Please don’t give me all the excuses. All the reasons thrown up don’t explain the magnitude of the gap. The only thing that does is that a great many men (and even some women) don’t want a woman President…and all too many of them will never acknowledge that, and some are very, very good at rationalizing why they couldn’t vote for Clinton on other grounds.

It’s still rationalization.

49 thoughts on “The Woman Question?”

  1. Joe says:

    Correlation is not causation. The fact that more men voted Trump does not imply that men don’t want a woman to lead. It just implies they don’t want that woman leading the country.

    Being a woman doesn’t magically make you a good leader. Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel are two recent examples poor leaders. In fact, we are suffering from a dearth of good leaders, be they male or female. Obama ranks higher to my mind, not because he’s been great, but because he’s been less bad that most of the others. Our political system seems to select for venal and corrupt people.

    Hillary Clinton is not a competent leader, unless your standards for competence are abysmally low. During her recent stint in the State Department, she caused the collapse of the Libyan government which resulted in more terrorism throughout Africa and vast migration flows to Europe. Donald Trump may have stolen some workers’ wages, but he hasn’t pursued policies that resulted in the breakdown of an entire country. Hillary Clinton was involved in supporting “good rebels” in Syria, when even amateurs interested in the situation see that this policy is no different than when we armed Taliban in Afghanistan to get rid of the “nasty Soviets” and propped up Islamic terrorists. Despite knowing that Saudi Arabia and Qatar was supporting ISIS, she ok’d vast increases of weapons sales to them. Innocent people in Yemen are dying right now because US weapons are killing them. Saudi Arabia is targeting farms, so as to starve and kill off the population. As “diplomat in chief” for the US, she pushed hard for military intervention in Syria. As “diplomat in chief”, she thought it a good idea to call Putin a dictator and a bully. This would stupid enough if you took it literally and just considered the fact that Russia is the only country that could flatten ours in 30 minutes. But it’s also complete rubbish, since Putin actually turned Russia around from being a failed state as it was at the time of “our good friend Yeltsin”, to quote Bill Clinton. Replacing him would be crazy. Putin maintains an uneasy coalition of pro-westerners and pro-eurasianists. The pro-westerners (Medvedev’s group) only have the support of 5% of the Russian population. If Putin goes, his coalition will be replaced by a government that hates the West and is less aligned with our interests.

    The Podesta emails that Wikileaks published were very relevant to the election. Instead of addressing the corruption the documents revealed, the Democrats just blamed Russia. 17 intelligence agencies said Russia was the source of these documents, they claimed. In fact only 2 agencies said that were it Russia, it would be consistent with previous things Russia has done. Let’s remember that the current Democratic president has grown the NSA which spies on every other country’s politicians (see Angela Merkel’s complaints that were ignored). The Democratic party’s candidate, Hillary Clinton, complained in her emails that the US hadn’t interfered in other people’s elections when she thought they should have. So the level of hypocrisy was quite incredible.

    Wikileaks said that the following 20 minute documentary is a good summary of the Podesta emails for people who haven’t been paying attention:

    Hillary Clinton of 2016 was a bad candidate, and it had nothing to do with her being a woman. It’s her fault and the DNC’s. Not America’s, so can we stop wasting time trying to shift the blame onto “bad voters”?

    1. JakeB says:

      Joe, I’m just going to observe that the tenor of your comment implies that the gender gap Mr. Modesitt refers to was therefore caused by women being too dumb to notice all these things about Ms. Clinton, whereas the men were not, or that the women simply didn’t care because all they cared about was electing a woman.

      1. Joe says:

        I did not claim that anyone is dumb. Being misinformed is not equivalent to being dumb. Being misinformed given the tsunami of pro-Hillary-Clinton and anti-Donald-Trump coverage isn’t particularly surprising.

        I’m claiming the notion that the statistics about female and male votes are misleading, and a way of blaming the electorate, and not the candidate herself. Since 53% of white women and 63% of white men voted Donald Trump, one cannot claim “Men voted Donald Trump and women voted Hillary Clinton”. The broad categorization is wrong and one is applying statistics incorrectly to give a misleading impression.

        Clearly some women did feel that having a woman President would be some great wonderful event, and trumped all other concerns. Hillary Clinton actually encouraged that thought. But simply because she did not win does not mean that this aspect of her presidential candidacy was determinant for the rest of the electorate.

        Clearly many of those who are currently minorities felt terrified by Donald Trump and voted for Hillary Clinton for that reason. I have a lot of sympathy with their fears.

        But just because Donald Trump isn’t a good candidate doesn’t mean that Hillary Clinton was one either.

        Americans noticed this. Donald Trump won the Electoral vote, but he didn’t win the popular vote. His victory is a fluke of the Electoral College system. The voters basically said “no-thank you” to the question of who should be candidate: 46% of the electorate voted for no-one as President, including people who voted for local ballots, for Congress people and Senators means something.

        Hillary Clinton’s failure should not be underestimated or discounted. She lost against Donald Trump. Donald Trump, a hotel manager who likes plating everything with gold, and who is moreover a billionaire. What an unlikely champion of the common people. He was ridiculed by the Republican Party, universally despised by the media, celebrities, and intellectuals… And yet he won the Primaries and didn’t even kill his chances at the Presidency. Hillary Clinton, the darling of the media, the ultimate insider, and the candidate of a party which has a history of representing the common people, could not beat him. To fail quite that badly is truly remarkable.

        To fail, and then to flail around blaming the FBI, the Russians, the voters, everyone but oneself is quite shameful, and concerning. Unless the Democratic party addresses the real concerns of the populace, they won’t be voted back in for a long time.

        Personally, I’d be happy to have a female President. I supported Jill Stein, but would also consider Elizabeth Warren. But that’s because of what they stand for, not because of their gender.

    2. As you’ll find out in a forthcoming blog, I’m well aware of the deficiencies in the Democratic presidential campaign and candidate. That wasn’t the principal point of the blog. The question is why men voted so differently from women. Not a single point you made addresses that. You simply ranted on Clinton’s and the DNC’s problems and deficiencies. If those deficiencies were so glaring, why did they impact the voting patterns of men so incredibly much more than those of women?

      1. Joe says:

        If you truly think what I wrote is a rant and did not address the point, there is little more I can say.

        Enjoy signalling your virtue. Blaming people for being men, white, or whatever else doesn’t provide any actual solutions to the real problems such as climate change.

        1. You’re still missing the point. I’m not blaming men for being men. I am saying that a significant proportion of men voted differently from women, and that the reason seems to be that some men don’t want to vote for women. None of the reasons you offer hold water in terms of comparing the differences between male and female voting behavior, but you seem to think that they do.

          As for climate change, how will Trump solve that when he’s declared it’s a hoax?

          1. Joe says:

            Let me try again. My point is that even a mediocre candidate should have won with a landslide against a candidate like Trump. All the rest is noise.

            Yes, some men don’t want to vote for a woman if there’s a man on the ticket. It’s also true that some women don’t want to vote for a man if there’s a woman on the ticket. But I don’t believe this would swing more than a small number of voters, and therefore I believe it holds no, or so little as not to matter, explanatory value with regard to this election. This low number of biassed people would have been drowned out had either candidate been compelling. Inferring a whole explanation from this weak voting pattern would be a case of garbage in, garbage out.

            Trump will probably be a disaster for the climate, I fear. I might be wrong. He might be persuaded that it would be good for the economy, or energy security, to switch to renewables. But I’m not holding my breath.

            Hillary Clinton, like Obama, would have done too little too late. She wouldn’t have done enough to address it beyond making us feel like we’re doing something.

            The big problem is that capitalism as we currently know it works poorly with the zero or negative growths to which we will need to adapt to this century. GDP grows with energy usage, and energy usage cannot continue safely growing. Energy efficiency helps, but is very expensive to implement versus simply using more energy. Massive taxation and regulation makes Europe more energy competitive per unit of GDP than the US, but only two-fold. Since it is debatable whether renewables can truly replace everything else we use, growth will have to stop and reverse. Here are some relevant figures: Attempting to change capitalism in this country is not for the faint-hearted and not something either candidate would have pursued.

            I’m not happy with this election. It was the equivalent of the intellectual classes and the elite ignoring all the evidence, carefully lining up their guns to their feet, and pulling the trigger. I find it more than frustrating.

      2. R. Hamilton says:

        Perhaps some of those of groups which haven’t yet held the highest office have a loyalty to members of their group that has little to do with qualifications? Whereas others aren’t mostly interested in either advancing OR holding back someone based on group membership (aside from policies or ideology).

    3. Bob Walters says:

      More praise for Putin why am I not surprised?

  2. TOM says:

    Hi Joe. I am interested in which males you would consider to have been ‘good’ leaders if you find Thatcher and Markel to have been ‘poor leaders?

    1. Joe says:

      Both men and women: Roosevelt, Mandela, Eisenhower, Kohl, Miterand, Churchill during the war, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, perhaps Mary Robinson, Aung San Suu Kyi, Ashoka, Lincoln, the Dalai Lama who used to head the Tibetan Government in Exile, Gandhi although I don’t think he ran India. There are probably others that don’t come instantly to mind readily. But not many, as I said.

  3. Frank says:

    Wow. The discussion about the discussion is even so emotionally charged that folks seem to be answering the questions they want, not those asked, and making the same points ad nauseum.

    OK. I’m an older, white, (employed) and college educated male. I voted for Hillary. I didn’t “like” Hillary, and, quite frankly, had to keep reminding myself of the issues and alternatives to “make” myself cast the vote for her (or, against Trump).

    I think LEM has a point. I could “feel” the concern from two illogical perspectives: 1.) I didn’t “like” her. I know that is not reasonable, I don’t know her and I’m not voting for her to be my friend, but to do a job. 2.) I can’t say exactly why, but it seemed harder to vote for a woman I didn’t “like” than a man. I did it, but it was an act of will.

    Politically, I’m all over the board. I don’t like “sides.” I think each issue needs to be examined on its own merits and not via the lens of the Left or Right. I will say, though, that the extreme Right scares me a bit more than the extreme Left, although both extremes are too excessive. I feel my money is more at risk with the extreme Left, my individual rights more at risk with the extreme Right.

    That should be enough to infuriate and/or alienate some of you.

    1. Autumn says:

      I liked your answer, Frank. It was enlightening. I’m not infuriated at all, and I guess no one else is, either. 🙂 Not many people aware of their own ability to rationalize a visceral response. I guess that’s probably what drove the less self-aware individuals to vote against their own self-interest. And their country’s best interests. And the world’s best interest. Ugh.

  4. Rick says:

    L.E.M. – reading the 1st part of your comment it seems that 12% of voters cast their ballot based on the sex. An extra 12% of women to Clinton and an extra 12% men for Trump (a wash?). Considering what we had on the ballot to vote for, sex might be as good as reason as any to choose. But my point is that the 12% seems to indicate both men and women were choosing based on sex. Also since this is the 1st time (I think) the two major parties presented a male vs female presidential choice, the comment about widest gender even gender gap means what? Saying 24% gap of men against Clinton is no different than the 24% gap women against Trump! Not trying to rant or anything, just read this November blog first, this may have been already addressed in prior blog?

    Full disclosure – While I would not vote for Clinton (reasons – my own), I did not feel Trump was an “acceptable” choice either (again reasons – my own)- I did not feel either were acceptable, much less a good choice. So my vote was just a lost cry in the howling insanity of this election year!

  5. R. Hamilton says:

    Sorry, that’s an old chestnut.

    If Condie Rice had run, I would have voted for her.

    If Jean Kirkpatrick were still alive and had run, I’d have voted for her.

    Despite a certain dislike for Hewlett-Packard’s business history, if Carly Fiorina had been the nominee, I’d have voted for her.

    However, between Hillary and just about anyone else, I would have voted for the non-Hillary candidate. Trump was, far from being my first choice, simply the available non-Hillary choice that had a chance of winning.

    That is not about Hillary being female, but about Hillary being a lying, crooked, corrupt, sell-anything-to-foreigners, EVIL person unfit to be a dog-walker, let alone President. That would have been EXACTLY as true if she were of any gender, gender identity, or ethnicity, so long as the resultant person behaved similarly.

    Progressives, socialists, and the like are the enemies of free people, and must be kept from power at all costs. Enough other alternative ideas and approaches exist to give ample choice without them.

    1. R. Evans says:

      What of oligarchists? Are they the enemies of free people too?

      Do you welcome our new hereditary business aristocracy? (e.g. The elimination of the estate tax; Trump’s choosing his children to run his business instead of a blind trust.)

      What of fascists? Are they enemies of free people too?

      1. R. Hamilton says:

        There hasn’t been a serious fascist in this country…probably ever; maybe at the local or state level, but nationally? Be real. Even McCarthy didn’t qualify for that, although he went way beyond what a Senator should do (he wasn’t a prosecutor, and nobody’s job is to be a persecutor); he was often wrong about specific individuals, but he was RIGHT about the State Department being full of people that put other countries first, about Hollywood and universities being full of Marxists, etc.

        Mussolini was the prototype for fascists. When have our trains ever been on time? 🙂

        I have no problem with rich people passing on their vast fortunes, nor trusting relatives over strangers. In general, I have no problem with rich people period, although I’m not even close to one, as long as they don’t lock anyone else out from climbing the ladder. I have a problem with people that think they’re entitled; they should be left to starve (and shot if they riot) or succeed based on the reality that work matters, not on their wishful thinking.

        1. R. Evans says:

          Okay. Apparently what you mean by “think they’re entitled” is in no way related to what I mean by it.

          I wish people with your attitude would go back to the UK. 😛 Because they do, and have always, made it far more difficult for others to climb that ladder (I guess they don’t want the hoi polloi to be competitive with their precious snowflakes):

          And even if that doesn’t work there’s still the nepotistic GOB’s network.

          1. R. Hamilton says:

            Wrong! Everyone should aspire to climb the ladder…but aside from better education (which does NOT require more money), there is very little role for government other that to STAY OUT OF THE WAY.

            And no matter how rich someone is, the mere fact of their wealth is NOT keeping anyone else down.

  6. Phineas says:

    The problem with this argument is that, while there may some people who didn’t vote for Clinton because of her gender, you can’t conclude that any particular Trump voter was influenced by not wanting a woman president. If you want to have a productive discussion (or argument) with someone you disagree with, they have to be able to recognize their position in your critique. If you tell me I didn’t vote for Clinton because I’m sexist without listening to or acknowledging my reasons for not voting for her, it’s just a non-starter.

    1. I have no doubts that lots and lots of people, both men and women, have perfectly logical reasons for why they cast their votes the way they did. What I find absolutely amazing is that there’s a 24 point swing between male and female voters, and there’s apparently a large contingent, largely male, that agrees that both candidates were terrible, but that somehow Hillary was worse, while not nearly so many women saw it in the same way. To deny that there has to be some some gender impact/influence at work, particularly when Trump ran a highly misogynist campaign, and particularly when there was a discrepancy between sexes across all education and income levels, strikes me as ludicrous. Clearly, since women’s voting patterns didn’t change that much, and men’s did, a larger and significant percentage of men perceived the candidates differently than did women, but when I suggest this, a number of men seem to take it personally and think I’m accusing them of being sexist. Why so defensive? The discrepancy exists, and so, while all the factors raised could explain why Clinton lost and why voters could perceive her as a lesser candidate, they don’t explain the discrepancy between male and female votes.

      1. Phineas says:

        I wasn’t really trying to argue against the idea that gender bias might have influenced the election results. I just don’t think it’s a constructive way to frame the discussion, if the goal is to convince people to vote differently next time or even just have a conversation that promotes understanding. The vast majority of people who voted for Trump are not going to think ‘I didn’t want a women to be President’ has any resemblance to their actual reasons for voting the way they did. You can’t have a productive conversation with someone if you think you know their motives and positions better than they do.

      2. Phineas says:

        Here’s an alternate way to spin the election statistics: After two terms of Reagan, both men and women trended Democrat until Clinton was elected (it took an extra cycle, but the trend was there even in 1988). After two terms of Clinton, both men and women trended Republican and Bush was elected. After two terms of Bush, both men and women trended Democrat and Obama was elected. After two terms of Obama . . . only men trended Republican. Viewed that way, you could argue that it wasn’t men but women who were influenced by the gender of one of the candidates this election cycle. (Granted that doesn’t explain the origin of the gender gap, but it does explain why it’s so wide this election.) Of course, it’s perfectly ok to vote for a candidate just because she’s a women. But even most people who didn’t vote for her would admit that that’s not a sufficient explanation for why so many did.

      3. Joe says:

        Probably economics. Men have been losing work to women because they are cheaper. But men in traditional environments still believe that they should be the breadwinner, and so do their wives. Hence the 43% spike in suicides among 45-64 year old males in the US.

        See “Labor Force Participation Rates” at and choose “all men” and “all women”.

        Suicide statistics:

        Your 24 point statistics seem wrong. The AP says 13.

        I still don’t believe it’s particularly informative.

      4. R. Hamilton says:

        Group loyalties cloud thinking (and I think that’s enough to explain the disparity), yet if all women had voted for Hillary, she’d have won. Hillary’s problem was being Hillary with all the baggage that entails, which isn’t about being female. Being female was among Hillary’s assets, not liabilities. Same with Obama: would someone whose qualifications were “community organizer” and voting “present” a lot have been nominated if they were white? Far from being devalued by significant numbers for their gender or color, both probably got some totally undeserved benefit of the doubt.

        I think that going against group loyalties was a frequent occurrence: other considerations aside, people either vote for more of the same, or for the opposite. Trump was the available opposite of Obama, while Hillary was just another left-leaning corrupt institutionalist.

        Had the Democratic nominee been a female version of Bernie Sanders (much as I despise him and all socialists), the outcome, or at any rate the disparity, might have been very different. At least he too would have made plenty in his own party uncomfortable.

        However little one may like Trump, if he overturns enough domestic political fiefdoms, he’ll likely have been worth it.

  7. Scott says:

    My analysis is quite a bit simpler: Trump was a better showman than Clinton. In today’s world, politics had devolved into, “Which set of lies do you prefer to believe?” At the end of the cycle, more people choose “Trump’s Truths” over “Hillary’s Holy Words.”

    The surprising thing to me is the petulant reaction of those who didn’t get the outcome they hoped for. Our society is exhibiting an entitled mentality reminiscent of a spoiled rich kid. “I didn’t get what I want so I am going to smash things until mummy pays attention.”

    This is not the level of maturity needed to instill confidence in our public voting. And we wonder why a showman won the election over a mere politician?

  8. Daze says:

    HL Mencken’s handy quote (Baltimore Evening Sun, 26 July 1920) seems more apposite as time goes by:

    “As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

    Some more of his:

    “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

    “The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.”

    “The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic.”

    “Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule—and both commonly succeed, and are right.”

    “Explanations exist; they have existed for all time; there is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.”

    And finally:
    “On one issue, at least, men and women agree: they both distrust women.”

    1. Matthew Hargraves says:

      You’re quoting someone from almost a hundred years ago about the state of our modern society? Just to be clear, almost nobody today was alive at that time – definitely less than a tenth of a percent of the electorate.

      To say that it’s still relevant today is like saying that someone’s statements about race from the 1920s are 100% spot on… you know, after eight years of a black President.

      1. R. Evans says:

        “The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

        Human nature doesn’t change in a hundred years, or even 2500.

  9. Matthew Hargraves says:

    I think that a lot of people voted for different reasons. Clinton did make her campaign about gender, with the slogan “I’m with her”. I know people on the right who voted for her because of that, but I know plenty of people in the center who voted against her because they don’t believe that’s a reason to vote for a President.

    Joe’s statement about how Trump hadn’t done anything to take down nations is a false equivalency, as Trump wasn’t in a position to do so. Also, Clinton didn’t cause Libya’s downfall, but the Obama administration didn’t exactly make Libya a stable country. That’s on Obama, as Clinton was really just doing the job her boss told her to do. Faulting her is like saying that Colin Powell is a bad man because Bush lied about WMDs.

    I can tell you right now that the left (and I’m a strong left leaning person) is really pissing me off lately. The SJWs have pissed so many people off by calling them everything, including a white man (which many treat like it’s an insult) that this is part of a reaction to that emotionally abusive trend. The left doesn’t say “we disagree, let’s talk about this”, they say “you’re a white male, you’re arguments and statistics are flawed because you’re a white male and don’t understand what other people go through” and half the time it’s when you’re trying to say “I agree with you, but…” When the left can’t even handle someone agreeing less than 90% without engaging in emotionally abusive behaviors by telling them that their opinion is invalid and that they are a bad person, there is something wrong.

    I’m not voting for Republicans, but I can tell you that the socio-emotional warfare that the left is engaging in doesn’t have many people I know incredibly happy.

    The left hadn’t ceded the moral high ground to the right, but to the gutter, as they are both mucking around in the sewers trying to see if they can find the grossest shut to throw at the other, not realizing that they are both covered in shit.

  10. Wine Guy says:

    I am a white male.

    I did not vote for either Clinton or Trump. To do so would have made me feel as if I were taking a bath in lye.

    This begs the question of why did men vote for Trump and not Clinton. It is clear why women did not vote for Trump.

    Frankly, I do not know why people voted for either one. The fact that they did mystifies me.

    All we as a collective nation was vote for the ‘best of the worst.’ If you vote for the top person of the bottom 10% of a group…. you still get a person who is in the bottom decile.

    1. Frank says:

      Wine Guy –

      I completely understand your feelings of revulsion regarding the Dem/Rep candidates, but, at the end of the day you did have a chance to affect the choice of which of the two bad choices we got. I didn’t want either, but felt the one of the two was worse than the other, and voted accordingly.

      Unless you thought a 3rd party and/or write-in had a chance of making a difference, I can’t see the choice of not picking the lesser of the two evils being anything other than avoiding the responsibility of voting.

      I’m not judging, honestly, but as intelligent as you obviously are, political bent not being the issue, I just don’t understand.

      1. Wine Guy says:

        I voted Libertarian for 3 reasons:
        1. See my above comment.
        2. I tend to agree with a compassionate libertarian outlook and
        3. if they could make 5% (and this was a good year to try), they would qualify for matching funds come 2020 and hopefully give people a 3rd option besides Washington-powerbrokers-who-lean-Right and Washington-powerbrokers-who-lean-Left.

        A 4th reason: “intelligent” as I am, I live in California. No matter what I vote, no matter what I say, this state was always in Clinton’s pocket. And my vote wasn’t wasted: I actually voted. I voted how I did for considered and pondered reasons.

        And finally, I voted the way I did so I can look myself in the mirror afterwards. There are enough reasons to avoid that for that already. Anyone who is honest with himself knows this. There was no need to add more.

        1. Wine Guy says:

          This does beg the question of whether or not a libertarian would accept it…. it is voluntarily given, so…. it is a definite maybe.

        2. Frank says:

          Thanks, Wine Guy.

          I could quibble with some of the reasons, not that my opinion make them wrong, but the 4th is an excellent point, especially in view of the results.

          I stand informed. Much appreciated.

  11. Wayne Kernochan says:

    Hi Mr. Modesitt,

    It’s been a long time, I know. I am commenting here now because it appears that I will not be commenting much in the future. I am getting too old, and it is clear that my opinions are increasingly irrelevant to anyone. If you are curious about my pessimism, I suggest that you see my latest climate change post at

    I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you not only for your superb books, but also for your patience with my comments on your blog posts. You should know, in return, that imho your blog is of higher quality not only than that of most other authors but also a large proportion of the blogs I see as part of my work or my interests — and you have maintained that quality throughout.

    I will add this, in response to the post: Oddly enough, the criticism of Clinton in the campaign has actually made me feel better about her. I will cite two examples that I have personal experience of:

    1. The Clinton Foundation. My mother-in-law worked for the Rockefeller Foundation, so I have some familiarity with their workings. I was surprised to learn that the Clinton Foundation followed a new model: Instead of “outsourcing” its charity work to outside sources, it spent the money on in-house personnel who then went out and performed the charity work on-site. Not only does this make the Foundation much more efficient by cutting out the middle-man, it also makes it more transparent, as the operations of those workers are much more easily discovered and scrutinized. Parenthetically, I should note that the Trump Foundation, as documented by Kurt Eichenwald of Newsweek’s exhaustive research, appears to have been run as a tax dodge, with business debtors asked to pay to the foundation rather than Trump’s businesses, and all documented foundation expenditures going either to Trump personally (his son Tripp’s Boy Scout fee) or those of his businesses (renovating the fountain in front of one of Trump’s properties).

    With regard to the private email servers, here I must pull rank on everyone. I helped design one of the first email systems at CCA in the early 1980s, and it was used by the CIA, which meant I had to get NSA-level clearance. I have been following email security as part of my job ever since. I can vouch for the fact that most users, in the government or out of it, in the military or out of it, typically did not understand the full ins and outs of email security — and if the effectiveness of good security has increased exponentially since my day, so has the effectiveness of hackers. I find no fault with Colin Powell for keeping a private email server, despite the fact that it was almost surely easily hackable — and I find it more and more plausible with each detail that comes out that we are simply witnessing the bumblings of security amateurs attempting to bridge the personal emails of any administrator and the increasing requirements of NSA-driven software security. If one simply sits down and reads the copies of the emails that have been released to the public with an open mind (and it appears the new material will be no different), what strikes one is the purely personal or bureaucratic nature of these. If anything, it seems to me that Clinton did a pretty good job considering the amateur nature of her setup, her not at all unusual ignorance of today’s email security, and the unprecedented demand for State to be in sync with military/homeland security setups that are much more personally invasive than pre-9/11.

    1. I hope you don’t give up posting entirely. I’ve always appreciated your comments.

      1. Wayne Kernochan says:

        Since you request it, I will do my best 🙂

  12. Alistair Hermann says:

    While in a fantasy setting, one can postulate a mechanism for the creation of a secure power structure (leading to the benefits that flow from that outcome), in practice no one has more than briefly managed such for the past thousand years.

    Thus our systems of government over that period – democracy included – suffer from the classical high-low manoeuvres that tend to increase tyranny while distributing power over time.

    Today we see a high – the academic-media complex and its associated functionaries. We see a low – the so called ‘victim classes’. And in the middle we find the working class and middle class folk that are rather ironically called ‘privileged’.

    Those in the middle – and especially their men – are vilified, treated with contempt by high and low, using the ruse of their so called ‘privilege’ – the remnants of western civilisation.

    Hillary has acted as the focal point of this institutionalised contempt and vilification – ‘the deplorables’ – and you wonder why men did not vote for her? She serves a utterly foreign value system. She denigrated them personally.

    Far better to ask ‘Why would they?’.

    Again, this is reality. We don’t have a Rhenn, or a Quaeryt to slip unseen into the halls of power and act determinatively when gross abuses are taking place.

    But a champion stepped up. Human, flawed, but a man who championed their values, their needs – those very values derisively called ‘sexism’ and ‘racism’ by the high-low forces set against them. Who stood by his men – even those considered the most contemptible by the forces arrayed against him – through thick and thin.

    And you have the audacity to ask why people voted for him. Why men voted for him.

    You live in a country that has developed two distinct sets of values. One suited to excusing the resource-rich excesses of the urban centres, ever changing, ever becoming more disordered, more chaotic. The other suited to the traditional, rural population that faces resource shortage and the need to make a living from the land every day, that does so in an ordered and consistent fashion, changing slowly, anchored deep.

    The forces of order won this battle. Does their champion fall to the pit of chaos he is now thrust into, or does he continue to somehow, magically, rise above it all?

    Find out in book 2.

    1. Tim says:

      From where I sit in rural England and only looking in from the oustide, I think Alistair has answered LEM’s question.

    2. Joe says:

      I saw an interesting comment online about this: the Trump vote correlates both county-wise and demographic-wise with the people currently suffering from Obamacare sticker shock.

      The prices rose substantially this year, particularly in counties where there is only one Obamacare provider. Since Obamacare is a scheme where one must pay this private insurer or face a fine, it is easy for unscrupulous insurers facing no competition to raise prices with little consequence.

      Poorer people get subsidies, but those slightly better off than the cut-off point are getting hammered ($2800 per month for a family of four for example).

  13. TOM says:

    This discussion is a product of women seeking equality. They have clearly succeeded; but, as with all special interest groups want more. Such a discussion could have occurred 100 years ago but only in the drawing rooms of The Unquiet Souls. Which might support the perspective of looking at the relevant statistics from a swing in the votes based upon the female majority in the western countries rather than the ‘tradition’ of continuing working male supremacy. Interesting none the less.

  14. Devildog says:

    Why can’t this election be just what it is? It is an absolute repudiation of the current political class and its policies and protocols of the last 30 years. Give me a competent Black President who will regulate the financial industry, fix our byzantine tax code and stimulate real family unit supporting jobs that will last. Infrastructure jobs are nice but they are very expensive and do not add value to a product or a service. Free Trade was a good idea but not everyone practices it fairly. Give me a competent woman President that will do it. Give me any President that will have a servant leadership attitude and keep the United States interests first. If we had enough of these jobs, then everything else takes care of itself. Real wages of everyone has been stagnant for decades. My taxes go up but my wages do not. How can I keep paying those taxes? My kids are going to college without the prospect of a meaningful position not really a reality. I hoped and voted for Obama but he could not get things done because he refused to compromise. Hilary offered more of the same. I voted populist for change. I am desperate. If Trump cannot get it done, things could get really ugly fast.

    1. Shannon says:

      I find it interesting that you ask things of the President that he can’t do. Congress is responsible for most of what you are asking for and most Congressional elections appear to have been won by incumbents. The President is responsible for foreign policy, which impacts jobs, and executing Congressional statutes, which encompass the “byzantine tax code” and regulation of the financial industry. Be upset with the correct people. Maybe the problem with changing is that people don’t realize who can enact the change they want.

      1. Alan Naylor says:

        I have made this sort of comment to friends before, Shannon. Even the much berated ‘Obama-Care’, or Affordable Care Act, comes from the Congress that sets the laws of this country. Yes, the president can be a powerful motivator for all that occurs, urging people with his (or her) support in a given direction, but he is not the one who writes the laws.

        People like to blame the president for a vast majority of things which are mostly out of his control. Unfortunately the electorate doesn’t remember that most of the time when they listen to their chosen candidate make their speeches. Trump has made many promises which are well outside the control of the Office of the President. I think that his supporters are in for a world of disappointment if they expect him to stand up to his many campaign promises. (Some of which he has already broke!)

  15. Devildog says:

    The President has the power of the Veto. He can dictate what will become law and what will not. It is his constitutional right as President.

    1. Alan Naylor says:

      This is true, and it’s not true. The president cannot make laws. He can prevent things from becoming law by using the power of veto.(Two very different things)

      However…. Using the power of veto does not mean he’ll succeed. There are consequences to doing so, not least is that Congress can over-rule him with a two-thirds vote. (Excepting the pocket-veto option which is a more complicated item.)

      Additionally every time the president clashes with Congress he is expanding political capital in some fashion or another. He may gain popular support for his actions but politicians have long memories. The horse trading that comes at a later time when he really wants Congressional support may be brutally expensive if he’s alienated Congress by veto-ing everything they send him which he doesn’t like.

  16. TOM says:

    Some support for Joe. Although it does not explain the statistical findings.

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