How Did Trump Get Elected?

November 8th, 2016—  a day that will live in infamy— when a dark campaign of xenophobia, racism and sexism lead to the election of Donald Trump: an unqualified con-artist demagogue, as the next President of the United States.

I fixated on this election for a great deal of time. When thoughtful people I relied on for insight were proven wrong one after another, my amusement gave way to concern. Satire stopped being funny. When the outcome became clear, my first reaction was to curl into the fetal position and weep at the thought of the damage this choice could lead to. Then came the rapid cycling through the phases of grief, with the only solace being that I’m not part of one of the unprivileged groups that our next president so viciously attacked during his campaign.

Trump’s message of change built a coalition of voters dissatisfied with the status quo: the economically insecure, the party loyalists, the evangelicals, the white nationalists. Some facet of his message was enthralling enough that Trump’s voters were willing to overlook or tolerate what so many of us perceived as disqualifying.

Like the victims of Trump University, these desperate Americans made a poor choice about who might lead them to a better future. Obama couldn’t help them flourish, why would they choose more of the same? Their plight was difficult for me to comprehend from inside my liberal elite bubble where I’ve been blinded by good fortune.

Democrats like me could have made a wiser strategic choice. I chose Hillary because I thought she would be a considerate leader who could moderate the partisan divide. I also thought she could beat Trump. But the people who determined this election were in no mood for levelheaded continuity.

I didn’t understand the resentment and animosity that people had towards Hillary and the establishment she represented. I didn’t understand the apathy and disaffection that so many have with the system. I didn’t foresee the confluence of ignorance, gullibility, hyper-partisanism, bad information security and nefarious foreign interloping.

This is the first of a four-part series of blogs. Next, I’ll write about what Trump could do, who let Trump happen, and how Trump can be resisted. These are difficult to write, I won’t have all the answers, but I hope that these words achieve more than my own personal catharsis.

[featured photo by Gage Skidmore]

Please Vote for Hillary Clinton

 

In 2003 we invaded a sovereign nation with the goal of keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of a tyrant. Now we face a similar decision. Even if you disagree with everything she stands for, Hillary Clinton is the only viable and sane choice for president.

My Daughter’s futures are at stake. Will they grow up in a country that can accept men acting the way that Trump does? Will Trump become a role model for the boys that they will have to deal with as they mature? God forbid.

To conservatives republicans who intend to stay loyal to their party’s nominee. The reckoning that your party must have will only be made worse by electing this demagogue scoundral. Your once great party and the House of representatives they control will still be able to prevent Hillary from achieving any major legislation that you stand in opposition to.

To my evangelical Christian family members in the midwest who think that Trump might nominate Supreme Court justices that oppose abortion and LGBT equality. There is some chance that he will but, but it won’t be worth sacrificing the values of decency and kindness that you hold dear.

To my Libertarian, Green and Independent friends who plan to vote for Johnson, Stein or McMullin. These protest votes will narrow the margin of Clinton’s victory and could effect the outcome. Until there is ranked choice / instant runoff voting, these protest votes are insignificant compared to the threat that Trump poses to our nation and our species.

To my “friends” who are repeatedly calling for an armed uprising after the election doesn’t go your way: you will find that not all liberals are pacifists. If you knew the hell of war, you would not be wishing for it. Go spend some time in Syria and your craving for violence will be extinguished.

For the good of our nation, Trump and Trumpism must be crushed in a landslide. The wider the margin of victory, the less chance that any post-election violence will spiral out of control. Let’s not take any chances.

I don’t believe that Hillary is the lesser of two evils. I don’t believe She’s evil. She isn’t perfect, she will make mistakes, but I am pleading for you to give her your vote.

Anxiously yours, -Henry Koren

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Don’t Let The Internet Get Blacked Out – Stop The PIPA And SOPA Legislation

The Protect-IP act in the senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House are dangerous legislations that can have a destructive affect on the Internet.

SOPA and PIPA would endanger the internet as we know it.  It can endanger the operators of URL shorteners.  It will endanger user generated content.  It will push the internet underground into fragmented dark nets which will make anti-piracy detection and enforcement more difficult.

I’m proud to have the representation of Jared Polis in the House, where the bill seems to have been recently shelved.   Jared recently discussed the issue on Reddit. I’m lucky to have him as my congressman.  However, the PIPA remains alive in the Senate.

Here’s what Jared Polis recommends you can do to influence the opinion of your representative or senator:

 “in order of impact from most to least:

1) Show up at a town hall or talk to them in person, check their schedule w their office
2) phone call, ask for the Legislative Associate in charge of the issue
3) Snail mail
4) email
5) post on their facebook wall or tweet them
6) sign petition”

My Colorado senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet recently withdrew their support for PIPA because exactly this kind of action.  Don’t believe that you can’t make a difference!

Hank Williams Jr.: You Don’t Know What An Enemy Is

Sadly this kind of rhetoric is not so uncommon from my fellow countrymen:

Williams remarks about how Senator Boehner’s golf match with President Obama was like Hitler playing golf with Israeli Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is politics at its ugliest: rattling the sabers for a second civil war.

I say on behalf of the veterans that fought in WWII.
I say on behalf of the Jews whose lives were snuffed out in the Nazi concentration camps.

Hank: You don’t know what a real enemy is.

Guest Blog: Hamiltonian vs. Madisonian Constitutional Interpretations Of General Welfare

My inquiry as to the meaning of “general welfare” in the constitution garnered a huge amount of discussion on both Google+ and Facebook. Among other insightful responses, the following post by Mila Jacob Stetser bears repeating:

The Constitution was written over two centuries ago and is an actively re-interpreted and occasionally amended document. The Supreme Court exists specifically to interpret the Constitution within the context of modern situations that are not always clearly covered or even conceived of under the original language of the document as written. Health insurance didn’t even exist for almost another 100 years after the Constitution was ratified, so it stands to reason that the ‘founding fathers’ had no concept of it at the time.
Continue reading Guest Blog: Hamiltonian vs. Madisonian Constitutional Interpretations Of General Welfare

Battle Of The Cross-Post Flame Wars: Google+ vs. Facebook

I know some people hate people who cross post to different social networks, and I’ve seen threats to un-follow people who do, but whatever, that’s how I roll.  Today, I posted the same thing to Facebook and Google+:

I’m no constitutional scholar or supreme court justice. But Article 1 Section 8 of the constitution says that congress has the power to provide for the general welfare of its citizens. To me, the individual health insurance mandate seems to fall under that clause.

Facebook post:

http://www.facebook.com/henry.koren/posts/10100413231352884

Google plus post:

https://plus.google.com/114211481371943139895/posts/9qGDWepRZsf

This forked into two separate but heated discussions… Continue reading Battle Of The Cross-Post Flame Wars: Google+ vs. Facebook

Donald Trump Eviscerated By Seth Meyers At White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner

This is some amazingly funny stuff here:

Part two… Continue reading Donald Trump Eviscerated By Seth Meyers At White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner

Jared Polis and Evan Ravitz on National Ballot Initiatives

Found this video of my friend Evan Ravitz who runs Vote.org asking our U.S. representative Jared Polis about how he feels about national ballot initiatives:

Continue reading Jared Polis and Evan Ravitz on National Ballot Initiatives