Red states will go for Trump, blue states will vote Hillary.
The next president will be chosen by voters in purple states. And by only a relative handful of voters. By the numbers, there are more Democrats than Republicans in each swing state. But Republicans vote in greater percentages than do Democrats, so the race will be close.
Trump voters are more enthusiastic than are Hillary voters, but there are fewer of them. The race will be determined by how many Hillary voters stay home.
Conversely, Trump appeals to a segment of the electorate that has been disenfranchised for decades. Proof of that phenomenon can be seen in the astounding turnout in the Republican primaries. Trump won more votes than any Republican presidential candidate in history.
Independent voters appear to be breaking for Hillary. The question being whether they will break her way in sufficient numbers to offset the loss of votes to Jill Stein by progressive Democrats and the loss of votes by stay-at-home Democrats.
Under 30 voters fueled Bernie Sanders’ campaign, and supported him by margins exceeding 80%. While they are nearly unanimous in their opposition to Trump, they are almost as indifferent to Clinton. Absent other motivations to go to the polls it is unlikely Hillary will enjoy anything like the support that Bernie commanded among young voters.
To use a sports analogy, Hillary has a wide, shallow bench. Trump’s is narrower, but considerably deeper.
A generous estimate of the states that could be in play is this list: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico. North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
If you do not live in these states, you will have no say in who will become the next president.
My suggestion to animal activists in other states is to vote for Jill Stein of the Greens.
The animal movement has never had the possibility of accomplishing so much as it has with prospect of a Trump presidency.
Most animal activists who criticize Trump point to Trump’s serial killer sons who hunt big game and post horrific pics of themselves with poor creatures they have murdered for fun. And while Trump himself does not hunt, like Bernie Sanders, he condones and supports hunting.
Trump also owned a steak company and buys his wife furs.
At first glance, Trump seems an unlikely ally for animal activists, and an even more unlikely savior of animals.
Most animal activists are shocked when I explain that Trump will save more animals each year than has the entire worldwide animal movement over the past 50 years.
A generous estimate of the average number of animals saved by the animal movement is about one million per year, primarily cats and dogs. That equals 50 million over the last 50 years.
(A disheartening aside, that is about the number of animals that will be murdered in slaughterhouses during the next work shift.)
And it is about half the number that President Trump will save each year by abrogating our trade agreements with Mexico, Canada, Colombia, China, Korea, Vietnam, Peru, etc.
Trade agreements kill animals. Hundreds of millions of animals every year die specifically because of our trade agreements, which make it cheaper and more profitable to produce animal corpses. Using Third World labor, US companies ship animals overseas to be tortured, slaughtered, butchered, and returned to the US for sale in American stores and restaurants. Trade agreements require that nations forbid Country of Origin labeling to prevent consumer boycotts. The Obama administration has already enacted such a ban on labeling. Trade agreements override US labor, environmental, and anti-cruelty laws. They make it impossible to ban live export for slaughter of for animal sacrifice in the Middle East, dooming hundreds of thousands of sheep, lambs, goats, and calves to imprisonment in ships’ holds for weeks before being cruelly murdered by religious zealots.
Trump opposes trade agreements. Hillary Clinton supports them.
And Trump has promised to repudiate and abrogate every trade agreement to which the US is a party.
If Trump does what he has promised, it will mean tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of animals saved every year.
It will be the most sweeping blow for animals in history.
And it will be accomplished by someone who does not really care about animals.
Electing Trump should be the primary goal of every American animal activist. It is more important than anything the animal movement has ever done.
If animals are you priority, you have no choice but to vote for Donald Trump. But if you are like most people, you have priorities that are more important to you than the animals.
Most animal activists are politically progressive, and many are swept up in the euphoria of the prospect of electing the first woman as president. For those with such an agenda, the fact that Hillary Clinton is perhaps one of the greatest enemies that animals have is unimportant. Clinton’s support of trade agreements causes the suffering and deaths of hundreds of millions of animals each year, yet she manages to pay lip service to animal welfare concerns on her website and thereby silences many activists who do not take the time to carefully look at the policies or her record.
The revolving door between industry and government is common to both Republican and Democratic administrations. Bankers are appointed to Treasury, Big Oil lobbyists go to Energy and Transportation, Big Ag alums and executives get appointed to Interior and Agriculture, Big Pharma controls the FDA and the National Institutes of Health, the military industrial complex gets Defense and Homeland Security. All greased by political bribes and legally sanctioned corruption.
Usually, the appointment of Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior occur well beneath the radar, and are neither challenged nor closely examined by the media.
But the policies of those Secretaries affects millions of animals. Agriculture is responsible for all animal agriculture and production in the country. All feedlots, factory farms, slaughterhouses, packing plants, and the rules and regulations that govern them and the inspectors and inspections which enforce those rules and regs, and Wildlife Services, which kills millions of inconvenient wildlife for the cattle industry..
Interior controls the Bureau of Land Management which conducts the cruel, ongoing wild horse roundups.
Both Departments are invariably headed and staffed by industry alums,lobbyists, and politicians wholly owned by Big Ag.
But this election cycle, if Trump becomes President Trump, his animal murdering sons may be appointed to positions in the Trump administration. Both Eric and Donald Trump, Jr, have expressed interest in being involved in public land policy and land use.
If there were to be appointed to anything involving Interior or Agriculture, the animal movement should rejoice.
Never in American history has animal welfare, animal protection, or animal rights ever been on the national stage. Eric and Donald, Jr, would catapult animal issues to the forefront of national attention and debate.
Neither could possibly be any worse than all the mainstream animal murderers who have held those positions. But their track records as trophy hunters would make any appointment among the most controversial of Trump’s presidency, and would not only educate the public and grow the movement, it would turn animal issues into political capital and liabilities in future elections.
The litmus tests I employ for every election is which candidate will do the most for animals or which will cause animals the least suffering. Even Bernie supported hunting and dairy farms, so even the best candidate in the race was greatly flawed. Of Trump and Hillary, Trump has said he will repudiate our trade agreements. Were he to do so, HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of animals would not be slaughtered each year. Think of that number! Every year Trump would save easily twice the number of animals as has been saved by the entire worldwide animal movement over the past 50 years.
Voting for Trump is only helpful in those states where he might be able to defeat Hillary, so called “battleground” or purple states. Purple states include or may include Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico. North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
But for Sanders voters in red sates, those carried by McCain in 2008 or Mitt Romney in 2012. there is nothing to be gained by voting for Trump, as he will carry those states against Hillary with or without Sanders voters. Same with deep blue states like California and New York. Hillary will comfortably carry such states, so a vote against her is wasted. Might as well help Jill Stein.
Sanders supporters in deep red or blue states have the opportunity to make a profound difference to the American political landscape by voting for Jill Stein of the Green party. While the likelihood is minimal that such votes would do anything to affect the outcome of races in those states, the cumulative effect of a wave of Green party votes could operate to help the party reach the threshold of 5% of the vote to qualify the party for federal funds.
For progressives there are two compelling reasons to elect Donald Trump. And one of them should be important to all Democrats, including those who support Hillary.
The House of Representatives is in Republican hands. It has been since 2010, when Republicans won enough statehouses and legislative chambers across the county to control reapportionment after the 2010 Census. Republicans gerrymandered congressional districts which means they were able to draw district lines in such a way to concentrate huge Democratic majorities in a few districts while giving Republicans majorities in many more districts. So even with more Democrats in a state, there are more congressional districts controlled by Republicans.
The result? A Republican majority in Congress for ten years! And we cannot undo the damage until 2020.
To undo the damage, Democrats must win enough governorships and state legislative chambers in 2018 and in 2020 to be able to control reapportionment after the 2020 Census
And that will be all but impossible if Hillary is elected president. If elected, Hillary will be the most unpopular newly elected president in US history.
She will face legislative gridlock occasioned by Republican control of the House, even with a likely newly retaken Democratic majority in the Senate.
She will get nothing of consequence accomplished during her first two years.
It is highly probable she will be even more unpopular two years into her term than she was when elected.
Even a highly popular president is at a disadvantage in delivering the vote in midterm elections. In 2014, Barack Obama was enjoying net positive approval numbers, yet Democrats lost seats in the House and Senate, and were swamped in state races across the county.
In 2018, Hillary will do much worse.
A similar result can be anticipated in 2020 with an unpopular Hillary Clinton at the top of a national ticket. A popular president has limited coattails, an unpopular one is toxic in down-ballot races.
Bottom line is that it will be nearly impossible for Democrats to win enough state houses and legislative chambers to control reapportionment in 2020. Republicans will be able to do again what they did in 2010: Gerrymander the House.
They will control the House for another ten years! Democrats will be shut out until 2030.
If Trump is elected president, the exact opposite occurs. Trump will be the political pariah, having accomplished nothing in his first two years, faced with the same gridlock that Hillary would have had to face. Democrats will sweep the 2018 elections, carrying state races across the country.
Democrats in all likelihood will nominate a progressive in 2020, energizing the base as Bernie did this year. They will handily defeat President Trump and carry down-ballot races for governors and state legislators, assuring Democrats of control of reapportionment.
Every elected Democrat in the country should be terrified of running Hillary Clinton in 2016. That they are not speaks to the mass myopia occasioned by herd mentality.
Progressives have the prospect of redefining the Democratic party as an equally compelling reason to work for the defeat of Hillary Clinton.
With Hillary and her Wall Street cronies out of office, the project of rebuilding the party into a progressive one becomes infinitely easier than if we had a President Clinton obstructing Bernie’s revolution and setting the Democratic party’s agenda.
With President Trump the opposition, progressives will be able to nominate Elizabeth Warren, Russ Feingold, or another member of the democratic wing of the Democratic party in 2020.