Are you ready for President Trump or Clinton the Second? (Join us for #SluggerLIVE)

Well, it’s nearly upon us. I’ve tried to stay away from too much direct comment on the US election, but tonight there will be plenty when we fire up our customary US LIVE blog at 11pm.

We’ve a fair sized team working tonight, and some have already started prepping stories in the background. We’ll try to be a good companion for the evening and early morning.  

Betfair thinks it’s Clinton’s…

But hey, Betfair also thought there wasn’t going to be a Brexit. The betting markets suffer from the same herding instincts we normal human beings do.

For all the criticisms of both candidates, one thing does seem to be clear, the way they’ve polarised this election means more US citizens are likely to vote today than at any previous time in the history of the American Republic.

Trump for all his bombast and his yuge ego, has brought politics to people who had long since given up on it. People who are both for and against him.

It’s also spawned greater and greater endeavour on the part of journalists to find out why chunks of America are so alienated from that country’s political establishment.

For that, I’m afraid to say, in the first place we owe Mr Trump, and secondarily the Democratic Party machine. People do care about politics, but largely when it’s about them (which most of the time, most people feel it isn’t).

In both cases I’m reminded of Joe Trippi’s account of Dean’s 2004 campaign: “the revolution will not be televised”.

TV killed John Kerry, but I don’t think it’s been as much of a key factor in the last two elections. Clinton’s ground game will possibly save her, but Trump’s following is coming to him through an anti-media as much as it’s an anti-establishment pitch.

This is familiar to people in the Republic where the media are famously poor at reading its complex and highly localised general elections.

We are also used to the off message messages the Irish establishment regularly gets back from the electorate via constitutional referendums. But never quite the strength of message that a President Trump would undoubtedly send.

This report from Bangor Grammar students currently in Washington (the still Clintonite centre of the US federal Republic) picked up this telling remark from Eli, a student from West Virginia:

“A country of 300 million people ought to be able to produce better candidates,” he said. “We are better than this. No-one speaks for me. Our system no longer works.”

That’s the question that needs to be answered. Don’t hold your breathe for an easy one. But do join us from 11pm here tonight on Slugger O’Toole… Here’s our slightly tongue-in-cheek reminder…

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • Zorin001

    Clinton, between 290 and 320 in the Electoral College.

    If she wind Florida (as is looking likely) then Trump needs to pull one of the traditional Mid-West Blue states out of the bag, we may have a better idea once we see which way the voting in Michigan is going but I think its a big ask for him.

  • lizmcneill

    Off topic, but harking back to the United stopping articles last week:

    Sadly satire is more truthful than imagining that Aldergrove is a full-scale international airport.

  • Oggins

    What’s your call Mick?

  • articles

    Tempus Fugit. It’s four years since I wrote and published this below on Slugger. More worryingly what I held up as American virtues are all under threat from a Trump administration; truly a sobering thought.

    “Reading Glenn Greenwald’s piece in Pete Baker’s previous post will reinforce in the minds of many their negative views of the American political process and the Presidential elections, and that’s even before we start getting personal about US presidents with our own favourite stories about their stupidity and iniquity.

    This negative coverage will increase exponentially as the election reaches a climax, it always does, and many will sneer and feel superior little realising USA today, UK tomorrow (alright at the next election), indeed Brit analysts are surely embedded already in the respective camps.

    But let’s just remind ourselves of why America is worthy of our admiration and gratitude. This list is based on one I copied years ago from a BBC messageboard, beyond that I don’t have a source.

    For Americans to be able to elect and not re-elect the most powerful man or woman in the world is quite simply…….. democratic.

    1 That they have the moral and political strength to impeach Presidents.

    2 That they can go to war with itself over the issue of slavery.

    3 That they can hold together as one nation vastly separated peoples, both in distance and culture.

    4 For the last 50 years to be the sole power strong enough and willing enough to defend the freedoms of the western world.

    5 To be wise and magnanimous enough to transform Japan and Germany from broken, defeated fascist dictatorships to healthy democracies with powerful economies.

    6 The American Dream. Through hard work, frugality, and self sacrifice people can achieve financial success and social mobility.

    7 Their idealism. They helped create the UN, the World Bank, the World Trade Organisation.

    8 Their belongingness. A million people a year take the oath of allegiance by choice.

    9 Their role as a world policeman protecting shipping lanes.

    10 Their willingness to accept foreign nationals who move to the USA for higher education, who either remain or return to their home country, taking their skills with them.

    I think that’s enough to be going on with but already I hear the first brickbat.

    Yes I know I’m self delusional and that America has lots of ills and inequalities, and has committed many foul deeds in the name of democracy and freedom, and is far from perfect. But, and this is a big BUT. America exists. Utopias do not.

    Bring on the Presidential election but less of the sneering please.

    By the way Langley is watching; contributors may be extradited.”

  • Jollyraj

    Surely they can’t have elected Trump… the Gerry Adams of American politics….

  • SeaanUiNeill

    As it becomes clear that Donald will now be slouching towards Washington to be inaugurated a few months from now, I feel Yeats tugging my sholder:

    “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

    Oh, I know I’m probably not the only person feeling this this morning……….

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    Or the Arlene Foster, depending on your standpoint. Yegads!

  • Ben De Hellenbacque

    And the anarchy is only mere and this morning’s result is an expected consequence of democracy. The US’s founding fathers knew this over 200 years ago so the famous ‘checks and balances’ will come into play. Thank God!

    Our concerns are for his foreign policy (more his capricious outbursts, tactlessness and inexperience) and being Supreme Commander of the US armed forces. Anarchy elsewhere (more of it or worse than the present’s) but not in US territory.

  • Zorin001

    Well that went well

  • npbinni

    Another American royal family bites the dust.

  • grumpy oul man

    Im interested, can you think of any subject or item for disscussion that you cant use to have a go at Gerry or the Shinners.
    And do you think there is any chance of you growing out of this habit and actally contributing in a meaniful way to a post?