Rivers renames the USA - now the The Divided States of America (The DSA)

Rivers 100x100By Ray Rivers

November 11th, 2016



They’re red and blue, plastered across the map of America, the divided states representing the divided state of America. And it hasn’t changed much over the years – the reds and blues are pretty constant from election to election, except for a handful of battleground states.

donald-trumpYes I called the election result but that wasn’t my preferred outcome. Now it seems that the glass ceiling will have to wait. And if Hillary was doing this for womankind, it didn’t work since nearly half of all female voters chose Trump anyway. But then this contest should never have been about gender… or sex. It should have been about the next four years. There was this entitlement thing. Again, Clinton and her cronies believed it was her turn, that she deserved to be president because she got beaten out by an African-American in 2008.

Trump’s folks called her an elite though she, and not her opponent, had pulled themselves up from a humble beginning. But she acted the part, perhaps overconfident in the knowledge that she was the the only qualified candidate. So she went high when he went low and allowed herself to be branded as corrupt and crooked by someone much closer to that description.

For at least a couple of generations now we have been conditioned by the television set. And when we get bored watching a re-run we change the channel to a reality show – its easy to do. Perhaps Clinton didn’t understand that the people wanted change, and not that phoney ‘yes we can’ change they were handed back in 2008. Even if unemployment has fallen to historic lows under Obama, slinging burgers is not the pathway to becoming part of a dwindling middle-class. The American dream just wasn’t working out for all those angry white voters who ended up propelling Trump into the White House.

Trump fist upTrump went rogue. End free trade! Build a wall! Kick out illegals! Tear up the climate change deal! Ban Muslim immigrants! Drop out of NATO! Make love with Putin! Plain speak so nobody could accuse the real estate magnate of mincing words. And when the pollsters and the media prematurely pronounced his imminent defeat, the voters thought what the hell? What have we got to lose? It was a Brexit echo, and it sure looks like Trump played that card from the beginning.

It should have been Hillary. Not because of some sexist reason, but because she was qualified and had some very progressive policies, which she rarely even got to talk about. Baggage drags you down, and she had too much, the flip side of all that experience. And then there was how she got be the nominee. Yesterday’s candidate won her party’s nomination with a stacked hand.

Nobody can say that Bernie Sanders would have performed better, but he was at least liked and respected for his years of experience, his ideals and his ethics. Perhaps the millennial crowd would have come out for him, because they sure didn’t for Hillary. And Bernie and Trump would have at least been fun to watch in debate.

usa-electoral-mao-2016Still, had it not been for the FBI intervention at the eleventh hour, which reinforced doubts about her character, Clinton might have won. And the FBI will likely get off scot-free, since the Republicans are in control now. Isn’t that’s how politics works – the winners get it all?

America was a nation divided before this election, those perennial red and blue states. And it won’t get any less divided over the next four years. Because people don’t always vote in their own self-interest, and they keep voting like they always did. And there can only be two parties in that very imperfect democracy south of the border, where check and balance has transitioned to confrontation and obstruction.

hillary-clinton_3Hillary Clinton graciously wished Trump a successful presidency, whatever that means. One should expect he will be as divisive in governing as he was in campaigning – and big league. Some politicians focus on what unites us… ‘stronger together’. Others use racism and sexism to drive a wedge between the people, and pit one against another. It’s called divide and conquer. And it worked in the Divided States of America.

There were protests on the first two days following the election. Wouldn’t it have been more effective for those young people to simply have voted? After all, it won’t be long before governing America will be the responsibility of their generation.


Rivers-direct-into-camera1-173x300Ray Rivers is an economist and author who writes weekly on federal and provincial issues, applying his 25 years of involvement with federal and provincial ministries.  Rivers’ involvement in city matters led to his appointment as founding chair of Burlington’s Sustainable Development Committee.  He was also a candidate in a past provincial election.

Background links:

Hillary’s ConcessionTrump’s Lies –   Bernie and Donald –  What Happens Next

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4 comments to Rivers renames the USA – now the The Divided States of America (The DSA)

  • Geldron Williams

    “I” can say that Bernie Sanders would have performed better: he had integrity and he was a fighter. Bernie’s crowds had also been much larger than Trumps. Hilary deserves less of the blame for the loss than the Democratic bureaucracy and the rank & file of the party itself. “Girl-power” is not always a good thing. Worse than letting the party down, it gave Trump no effective challenger for what the US voters wanted:change. Although Trump won the presidency and both houses of congress, it is the US citizens who are the big losers of this colossal mess. The line between fascism and corporatism has always been blurry and we will get no clarity with Chairman Zigheil in charge.

    • Phillip Wooster

      You will find that Trump is quite pragmatic; he is no ideologue. He owes little to the Republican right and nothing to the self-entitled left. His positions will focus on solutions that will straddle party lines–I suspect the Republicans are more anxious about his centrist views. Meanwhile Canadian liberal elites are undoubtedly in a near-panic state that the silent majority in Canada will also be looking for a voice. The days of out-of-touch governments, whether federal, provincial, or local, are fast coming to an end.

  • Absolutely insightful and well balanced. I hope this gets the wide circulation it deserves.

    For me, the most fascinating element in the slow motion guillotine was the expressed desire for change with absolutely no coherent statement on what that change was to be. “It’s gonna’ be big, it’s gonna’ be great” is not a policy statement. It was an amorphous response to an equally amorphous rage. We’ve yet to see what Pandora’s box holds for us.

  • Phillip Wooster

    Actually, the map is misleading. Look at the map of the congressional districts–it is much more revealing. What it shows is that rural and small town America and many of the suburbs voted for Trump while the large urban areas were Democratic strongholds. The silent majority–ignored by the political parties and particulary by Washington, found its voice in Trump. They wanted change and particulary the end of being told what to do by an entitled, condescending liberal class. “Drain the swamp” resonated with an electorate that felt the politicians were out of touch. The great lesson of this election is that silent majorities in other countries and jurisdictions will learn from this populist uprising. In 2018, we have the same opportunity to drain the swamp in Queen’s Park and at City Hall.