December 1, 2016


          At 2:30 a.m. of November 9 our political establishment received a wake-up call that they will ignore at their peril. By that time Donald J Trump had received 306 electoral votes while Hillary Clinton had garnered 232 and the Associated Press pronounced Trump winner of the election. Soon after 3 a.m. he greeted his faithful, who had stayed up half the night at the New York Hilton, with the good news that a few minutes earlier Hillary had conceded and congratulated him on the victory. The crowd exploded in delight and Trump gave a remarkably conciliatory speech, which emphasized that the task now was for the country to get together in order to build a better future for all. The mood at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, Hillary’s headquarters, was decidedly different: stunned disbelief. Hillary herself was too distraught to face her supporters and the disastrous message had to be conveyed by John Podesta, the campaign chairman. Later in the morning she gave a private speech to her staff and campaign workers which likewise was as conciliatory as Trump’s had been earlier in the morning.

          After thanking the attendees for all their efforts she said:


Thank you so very much for being here. I love you all, too. Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country.

I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I'm sorry we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.

But I feel pride and gratitude for this wonderful campaign that we built together. This vast, diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign. You represent the best of America, and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life.

I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort. This is painful, and it will be for a long time. But I want you to remember this.

Our campaign was never about one person, or even one election. It was about the country we love and building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power…


          The following day Trump was invited to the White House by President Obama and the meeting that had been scheduled for about 20 minutes turned into one and a half hours. Trump seemed properly subdued by the surroundings in the Oval Office and the enormity of the task he had undertaken appeared to be sinking in. Obama was gracious and pledged his full support for the transition period, which ends with the inauguration on January 20. This was a welcome surprise and those of us who had been disgusted with the status quo and constant infighting that had reached the gutter level breathed a sigh of relief. Maybe, they thought, Trump will rise beyond the campaign rhetoric and surprise all of us with a government that is free from sleaze and operates on sound business principles rather than political expediency. Maybe, they hoped, Hillary meant what she said and her supporters would heed her message.

          Hope springs eternal but it is always dashed. Reality immediately set in. Regardless of what Hillary and Obama had said, some of Trump’s opponents went from stunned disappointment to fury. Protests, involving thousands, broke out in many of the major cities and all the official news media, with the exception of Fox News, went into overdrive to stoke popular discontent. Trump’s victory had been totally unexpected. All the major news organizations had endorsed Hillary including Atlantic magazine. The latter had stayed above the fray in previous years and from its inception in 1857 had only endorsed Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson. Barry Goldwater’s “extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice” couldn’t be stomached in 1964, just as Trump’s vituperations in 2016. The pollsters also were wrong. Although the race had narrowed in the last weeks, possibly aided by the FBI Director’s announcement that the Bureau was not yet done with looking at Hillary’s e-mail problem, they still predicted her victory. 

          What had happened? The answer seems to be that the elites who try to shape public opinion had misjudged the mood of the country. The economic doldrums, the never-ending wars, the seemingly unlimited illegal immigration, the stalemate in Congress, and the push for “progressive ideas” by the Democrats had alienated about half of the country. An additional section of our people also would not condone the rapid ascendancy of “LGBT” (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals) from a ridiculed minority to a potent political force that enacted legislation, and homosexual marriages were regarded as an abomination. The big cities on the East and West Coast were seen as Sodom and Gomorrah that had to be chastised. They also resented media enforced politically correct speech: euphemisms that mask the truth with the word “gay” for homosexual and “progressive” for the enactment of the 1848 Communist Manifesto as prime examples (May 1, 2009. Looking for Answers). They, therefore, welcomed Trumps’ clear unequivocal speech patterns, even when they offended less radical ears. 

          Let us now consider the actual poll number and voting patterns. The turnout of eligible voters was remarkably low at 55.4%. This was second lowest for the past 10 years, topped only by the Clinton Dole contest in 1996. Highest voter participation was in the 2008 Obama-McCain rivalry where 63.7% cast their ballots. Hillary won the popular vote with 48.0 % vs. 46.3%. But these are not final numbers because some states are still counting votes and Hillary’s margin keeps increasing slightly. As all of us know, this situation also pertained to the 2000 election results when Al Gore won the popular and George W Bush the all-important electoral vote. This time Hillary’s margin is larger than Gore’s was but, as mentioned, this is irrelevant because only electoral votes are legally binding.   

The following figures from exit polls are still preliminary and may be revised to some extent when more information becomes available, but they do tell a story. The country split largely between urban vs. suburban and especially rural with the latter going to Trump. It also split on racial lines. Whites favored Trump by 58 vs. 37% and the pattern was even clearer for white men with 63 vs. 31%. For white women the figures were 43 vs. 53 %. Hillary had banked on the women’s vote, especially in the last week of the campaign, but they did not vote as a block. The subdivisions are of considerable interest. Republican women couldn’t stomach Hillary and voted with 89% for Trump. The marital status also made a difference. Married women voted for Hillary with a margin of only 2% (47 vs. 49%) but for unmarried ones the numbers were 62 vs. 33%. For married men the choice was clear, Trump won by 58 vs. 37%, but unmarried men leaned toward Hillary with 46 vs. 45%. Educational status as well as age also played a role. College graduates and those with additional university degrees went mainly for Hillary. But even within this group the racial split with whites favoring Trump was apparent. The age of 40 years also was a watershed; those of less than 40 went for Hillary, over 40 for Trump. In addition religion was a factor. Members of Christian religions (Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, others) voted with 57 vs. 37 % for Trump, while Hillary received the Jewish vote with 71 vs. 24%.

In summary: only slightly more than half of the country voted because the rest could, to a major extent, not accept either one of the two nominees. Of the votes cast they were about evenly divided with 26.5 % for Trump and 26.3 % for Hillary. In other words neither one of the contestants received a mandate and for the country to function it would be essential that the conciliatory note struck by Trump as well as Hillary and Obama be heeded. But this was not the case. Human emotions again overwhelmed reason.

The media, after expressing their disappointment, continued with attacks on Trump repeating his campaign oratory as if this was now enacted legislation. His cabinet appointments are lambasted and comments made years ago are held against them. This attitude denies a fundamental principle of human nature that allows the changing of one’s opinion when new evidence becomes available. This was well known to the Romans who used to say: tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis – times change and we change with them. To deny change is a fundamental mistake, which unfortunately is being repeated now. They threw down the gauntlet at Trump. A typical example is an article by Charles M. Blow in the The New York Times of November 26 headlined: “No, Trump, We Can’t Just Get Along.” The insert stated: “You don’t get a pat on the back for ratcheting down from rabid.” This is incendiary language that cannot possibly be good for the country.

An added complication arose on November 23 in the person of Jill Stein MD, the presidential nominee of the Green Party who obtained 1% of the total votes cast on November 8. Up to 2006 she was a respected physician but at age 56 exchanged her work of helping individual patients for curing the country and the world. She became a full-time political activist. While one might applaud her for this career change at the height of the Iraq debacle, she apparently forgot the physician’s Prime Directive: Nil Nocere – First of All Do No Harm. On Wednesday of last week her website started to collect funds for a recount of votes first in Wisconsin and subsequently Pennsylvania and Michigan.

At present it is still unclear what started Dr. Stein on this quixotic expedition for recounting votes but some disturbing elements in regard to fund raising have emerged. Initially she asked for approximately 2.5 million dollars for the recount effort in Wisconsin. This proved to be no problem. The sum arrived within 12 hours and more money came in torrents. The dollar amount needed for the three recounts was, therefore, raised to about 7 million and this was met by Monday November 28, which was prodigious feat. Although her website states that the money came in small amounts from grassroots supporters, this was not readily believable. It was immediately pointed out that her entire campaign that extended for more than a year had only raised somewhat over $3 million, while she now obtained essentially the same amount within a 24 hour period. It was also noted on the Internet that identical sums of money, $160,000, had arrived on an hourly basis for 24 hours, even throughout the night when donors were bound to have been asleep, suggesting a computer operation. By November 28 it was reported that the recount effort had reached over $7 million. Obviously we can’t trust everything that appears on the Internet, but there is certainly enough smoke to warrant an official investigation. We should find out where this money comes from.

There are additional problems with the recount fund drive. There is no guarantee that the states in question will actually perform a recount and in some it may be meaningless because the electronic voting machines did not issue paper receipts. This makes it impossible to check individual votes. Furthermore, Stein’s website explicitly states that surplus money will not be refunded but used for “election integrity efforts and to promote voting system reform.A statement, which like so many others from politicians, we have to take on faith.

This continues to be an evolving story as an Internet report of Monday November 29 showed under the headline “Stein sues after Wisconsin refuses to order hand recounts.”   


The Wisconsin Elections Commission agreed Monday to begin a recount of the presidential election on Thursday but was sued by Green Party candidate Jill Stein after the agency declined to require county officials to recount the votes by hand.

It will be a race to finish the recount in time to meet a daunting federal deadline, and the lawsuit could delay the process. Under state law, the recount must begin this week as long as Stein or another candidate pays the $3.5 million estimated cost of the recount by Tuesday, election officials said.


The Hillary campaign initially distanced itself from this “grassroots” effort but on November 26 lent its support in spite of President Obama’s expressed wish not to do so and its conflict with Hillary’s statements made on November 9. This adds a new dimension and makes ascertainment of funding sources even more important.

We may now ask what and who is behind this effort to deny Trump his victory. The “Who” is as yet unclear but not the “What.” The recount effort is a sideshow, the real purpose is to bring pressure on the Electoral College to deny Trump their vote. Let us, therefore, remember: on November 8 we did not vote for a person but for a party! The party appoints the electors who cast the actual vote for the person. This leads to the anomalous situation that in a country of somewhat over 324 million, of whom somewhat over 135 million cast their ballot, 538 electors decide who will be President.

I have previously discussed this situation but it bears repeating. This indirect voting process is anchored in the Constitution because the framers had a problem with the so-called slave states. The popular vote would be a decisive disadvantage to them because a) slaves had no vote, and b) there were too few white voters to counterbalance the greater numbers of the North. This led to the compromise that individual Negro slaves were to be regarded as 3/5th of a person. This raised the number of inhabitants of a given state to an acceptable level. It now would require a constitutional amendment to change the situation. Although slavery is no longer relevant, geographic factors still remain and less populated states would in essence be disenfranchised. The more numerous East Coast combined with California would dictate the outcome of the popular vote. But there is an additional anomaly of the current system: the country spans four time zones. If the eastern and central states were to procure the needed 270 electors we who live in the West need not bother to vote because the election was already decided before some of our votes had been cast, let alone counted.

Californians, because of their large number and Democrat political leanings, resent the current situation. It is therefore no surprise that Mr. Daniel Brezenoff, Deputy Chief of Long Beach’s mayor, availed himself of Choice.Org to start a petition drive to pressure individual state electors to change their vote from Trump to someone else. The petition was an immediate success and to date has more than 4.6 million supporters. The names of the electors are available on the Internet and individual pressure can readily be applied. James Evans, Utah’s Republican Party Chairman who by the way is the first African American to serve in this capacity, wrote: “I have had electors reach out to me about the statute saying: do I have to vote for Trump?” For Utah the situation is clear: all of our six electors are duty bound to cast their vote for Trump. But unquestioned obedience to the party’s champion is not necessarily the case in the rest of the nation. About half the states allow their electors to change their vote. It has been estimated that if about 37 Republicans deny Trump their vote he will lose the election. Although this scenario seems far-fetched at this moment this election has been so full of surprises that we can take nothing for granted any more. This is why this month’s headline carries a question mark.

What are Jill Stein’s vote recount effort as well as Mr. Brezenoff’s petition drive supposed to accomplish? Stein says that she is not doing this to get Hillary the presidency but only to know if Russia had hacked the voting machines. Although there is no evidence for this it would make no difference at this point. This is, therefore, obviously not the reason for her action and this is why we should, as soon as possible, find out where those 7 plus million dollars she has so far collected came from. Brezenoff wants to remove Trump from the top of the ticket.  He insisted that the Constitution gives him the right for his actions. What does the Constitution really say? Article II Section 1 spells it out and we are currently at the third paragraph of that section. The electors have been appointed and they will cast their vote on December 10.  The list of names will then be forwarded to the President of the Senate, Joe Biden. On January 10 “the votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of votes shall be President …” But this is not followed by a period. There is a comma and the sentence continues with semicolons attempting to cover all contingencies that might arise. One of them may well become reality on January 10 and is the reason why I am now continuing to quote from the American Civil Liberties Union pamphlet with where I had left off


, if such number be a Majority of the whole number of Electors

appointed; and if there may be more than one who have such Majority and

have an equal number of votes, then the House of Representatives shall

immediately chuse (sic) by Ballot one of them for President; and if no person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List said House  shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of the States shall be necessary to a Choice.


Unless the Left were to desist from its current course of action, which is unlikely, this may be a glimpse into January of next year. Since this document is open to legal interpretations, especially in regard to the definition of majority, the November election might end up in chaos. Although Republicans currently have a majority in the House with 247 seats they do not have the “super-majority” of two thirds which Democrats might filibuster for. So let me ask again: who is the real force behind this potential road to chaos?

 Obviously, the recount situation did not sit well with Trump who called it a scam and more recently he alleged that millions of illegal aliens had voted for Hillary, which in his mind accounted for her margin. But the people who are now shaping Trump’s appointments should take notice. The pride of having received a mandate from the American people is misplaced and far from the truth. Although they have achieved a majority in the Senate, the House and on the grassroots level, where most of the counties are now in Republican hands, this masks the deep split between average citizens which extends down to the family level. The dislike of Trump is visceral and conciliatory attempts to the effect: well, let’s see what he does rather than what he said, are of no avail. At Thanksgiving dinners a rule of “no politics” had to be enacted in a number of instances, in order to keep the peace.

There is no doubt that a considerable number of our citizens have been frightened by Trump’s campaign rhetoric. His staff should recognize this and forcefully bring it to his awareness. This fear of Trump turning America into an autocratically ruled exclusively white, working class country applies not only to minorities but even grips members of academia and is fostered by the media. While Trump would probably like to see bygones be bygones, their continued efforts to discredit him prevent this from happening. I regard this as seriously ill-conceived because it aggravates the current split in our country instead of leading to a healing process. The media’s actions, thereby, may well produce what they fear.

The current situation is unprecedented in the 66 years I have lived in this country. There had been close elections starting, before I came, with Truman and afterwards with Kennedy, but the current degree of negative reaction and outright panic had not occurred. Truman became an object of jokes as “haberdasher” and when he fired MacArthur a cartoon appeared: Who does Harry think he is; the President? In those days I found myself in the anomalous position of the Austrian visitor having to defend the American President against his countrymen. The dubious Kennedy election was taken in stride because Nixon conceded in spite of knowing that Papa Joe had bought it for his son. During the Primaries in 1960 authorities in West Virginia were paid to vote for Jack and during the election the mayor of Chicago as well as the Mafia were the beneficiaries of his largesse. This was the way business was done and nobody got too upset. But 2016 is clearly different and now some citizens are even talking about the specter not only of chaos but of civil war.

In the April 1 edition I suggested certain similarities between Trump’s and Hitler’s attempts to gain power over the State. They are still valid but the differences between them are equally important. When I saw, as part of the preparation for the preparation of this essay, an article on the Internet,, I thought that it might have further relevant information. The article also appeared on which describes itself as “progressive/liberal, while Alternet regards itself as a “liberal activist news service.” The author was Andre O’Hehir, the critic writer for Salon, and any hope for substantive data was immediately quelled. The article consisted of an anti-Trump tirade. Here is an excerpt:


We don’t know whether the election of Trump is an American echo of the winter of 1932 in Germany, when a fragile democracy collapsed into tyranny and an infamous demagogue rose to power on a promise of economic renewal and restored national pride, with an unmistakable racial subtext. It’s an inflated comparison in many ways: Trump is too lazy and stupid to be a good Fuhrer (sic), and lacks any semblance of a consistent ideology; his true believers are nowhere near a majority, and are unlikely to participate in any form of mass mobilization that involves leaving the sofa. Kristallnacht is more likely to come back as a hashtag than a physical event. But if you’re anything like me, the parallels seem far-fetched first thing in the morning and way too plausible in the middle of the night.


Articles like these do a disservice to the genuine study of what Germany’s winter of 1932-1933 has to teach us. As will be pointed out in a subsequent edition, that will deal with these events, our “progressives” make the same mistake Germany’s left-wing parties did after January 30, 1933 the day when President Hindenburg bestowed the Chancellorship on Hitler. Hindenburg had no choice: the National Socialists were the largest party in the Reichstag and all the others had proven themselves unable to govern the country. The cartoon shown below was copied from Hitler in der Karrikatur der Welt. It was published by the Nazis in May of 1938 and tells the story. The original publication was by the St. Louis Globe on February 2, 1933.



Trump is not likely to ignore the constant taunts and eventually will strike back, especially if he were to sit in the Oval Office with the power of the pen in his hand. Retaliation is anchored in human nature and forgiveness “seven times seven” appears only in the New Testament rather than the conduct of politicians. If the situation were really to get out of hand Trump is likely to declare a state of national emergency and suspend certain aspects of the Constitution, among which freedom of the press would be one of the first. He could even cite Lincoln as precedent for having suspended habeas corpus in the first year of the Civil War.

The “progressive” Left is playing with fire and if the conflagration were to break out they would have achieved a self-fulfilling prophecy. It happened in Germany and there is no reason why it can’t happen here unless saner heads start to study the mistakes of the 1930s and act to prevent their repetition. But it is not only the Left that is making mistakes so is Trump. He still remains his worst enemy by sending tweets that go counter to facts and the announced “Thank-you tour” that will start today in Cincinnati cannot possibly heal the divide that exists in this country. On the contrary it is bound to exacerbate the split between “Us and Them.” This does not bode well for the future.

The Christmas season is upon us and should inspire us with good will towards all. While there might be a Christmas truce between the warring factions in our country it is not likely to last beyond a few days. Human ingenuity seems to be at its wits end and we may be reduced to praying for Divine Intervention.  

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