How I knew Trump would win; no gloating

Up front: I have no idea if Donald Trump will make a good president.

Also, I make no analysis of policy here. I’m not here to gloat about a Trump victory I didn’t stump for. I’m not here to claim it’s about the wall or Hillary’s infamous “basket of deplorables” comment. I have ideas, but of that I am not certain.

All I was certain of was what I saw in a swing state that I have lived in for the last year. I’ve been all over Florida, from the “redneck Riviera” of the panhandle to Miami. I learned what parts of Florida were deep red, deep blue and purple.

I knew before the national polling experts and pundits that Florida, at least for this election, would go for Trump. As such, so likely would the presidency. Here’s how:

You might have heard about the “I-4 corridor” in the national news. Interstate 4 cuts through central Florida like a backslash on a keyboard, from Daytona Beach, westward through Orlando and Tampa/St. Petersburg. It’s a curious 133-mile long swath of the state, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. It includes the site of NASCAR’s signature event, Disney World, franchises from the top five team sports in the USA and a gorgeous drive across Tampa Bay.

It’s also noteworthy in that north of the interstate is blood-dripping Republican red — Jacksonville, the Panhandle, etc. South of I-4, by a three-hour drive on the turnpike, Miami is midnight Democrat blue. So I-4, which has both urban areas and rural, is mixed. Win I-4. You likely win the state. You also are in excellent position to win the presidency.

I often work in Sanford, infamous for the Trayvon Martin killing. Both Trump and Hillary Clinton held events in that little town. Trump drew thousands. Hillary drew hundreds.

When I leave Sanford, I take I-4 home. There are three pedestrian bridges before I reach my destination. For weeks, people lined the first bridge holding Trump/Pence signs. They also bought billboards on the side of the freeway and built their own on major roads. Not the campaign, mind you, regular people. Some signs were likely illegally placed on the side of the highway for Trump. I saw nothing for Hillary.

I also drove I-4 in its entirety to Tampa to see two NFL games. Same story, except for pedestrian bridges. I saw people shill for Trump at a tailgate for a Rams-Bucs game.

When the “Access Hollywood” tape surfaced, I saw people line the streets in front of Altamonte Mall with their “Make America Great Again” signs. I saw four get out the vote demonstrations last weekend before Election Day. These areas allegedly went for President Barack Obama in two elections. (I don’t know for sure. I wasn’t here.)

I saw the power of belief — where it wasn’t enough to simply vote. People had so much faith in the candidate they wanted to spread the word like gospel. Republicans don’t do that stuff. Democrats specialize in that.

I spent three days in the pro-Clinton Miami area and saw nothing like that. No bumper stickers. No flash mobs. Nothing.

This is something millions never saw in the press or in their own security bubble of California. When I tried to be the canary in the coal mine, I was shouted down by people who weren’t here. I was dismissed by people who claimed to know Florida would automatically vote Clinton because what California says goes.

Now many of you are shocked and angry. I tried to warn you.

Instead, you in California want to blame Florida, the same state that voted for Obama. That’s not a particularly fair response.

Here’s what you don’t know about Florida. Here, people say, “I like Hillary because…” or “I don’t like Hillary because…” In California, it’s “If you don’t like Hillary, eff you.” There’s a huge difference. Californians are not interested in political discourse. They are only interested in capitulation.

I never even argued in favor of Trump. Marco Rubio was my guy in the primaries, although I eventually voted for John Kasich because Rubio took the bait of Trump’s taunting. It didn’t sit well.

But on Election Night, I sat in an easy chair and watched my Facebook feed go from premature gloating to impatience and ultimately, rage. 

Permit me one nongloating political forecast: The Democrats and liberalism are not dead. They have four years to figure something out. Maybe they’ll even have an idea or two in time for the midterms. If I see energy for that outside of the Calibubble, I’ll be honest enough to let you know.

I’m voting for myself

Unlike millions of people, I’ve been at peace regarding the upcoming presidential elections for quite a while. I preferred Marco Rubio, although I eventually voted for John Kasich in the Florida primary.

Donald Trump won the nomination. OK. So be it. I basically sat back and went about my business.

I’m not a #NeverTrumper as much as I am a #We’reGettingAHorriblePresidentRegardless guy.

Soo… I’m writing in myself on Election Day.

This is not some hacky joke request for you to vote for me, like that brutally unfunny Bud Light Party ad campaign. It’s simply a private protest vote.

I can’t argue for any of you to vote for Trump, and that was before Friday’s little bus bomb. I’ve caught the guy lying, too. Trump is an alpha male with an incredibly strong mindset. He is the guy who can look you in the eye five seconds after saying something messed up, then deny he ever said it in the same breath. It’s an incredible nontalent.

Um, but Hillary Clinton has that same disease. Oh, she most certainly does. She confessed to it in yesterday’s WikiLeaks dump. Boots on the ground in Syria? Wall Street can be trusted to solve Wall Street? I have a public position and a private position?

Both sides have supporters — millions of them — who will back them no matter what. Trump was absolutely right when he said he could shoot somebody in broad daylight and still get millions of votes. 

The most telling poll question I’ve seen during this cycle was a secondary question asked by Fox News two weeks ago, where Clinton led by four points. The secondary question was “Why are you voting for this person?” The No.1 response wasn’t the economy, immigration, terrorism, etc. it was “to keep the other candidate from winning.”

So it doesn’t matter what Trump says. Hard-core Trump supporters want to keep the Clintons out. And to the hard-core Clinton backers, the top priority is to keep Trump out. It’s not patriotism. It’s cheerleading.

Many of you have this bottomless well of anger for the other candidate. It kind of scares me a little.

Your arguments, they’re not good enough for me.

Oh, I’ll vote. I want Rubio in the Senate, for example. I like him… Until further notice.

But for all the bluster about Bill Clinton’s actions and Hillary’s smear campaign is worse than what The Donald said. For the gale force of “nobody gives a damn about what WikiLeaks uncovered,” I have a cold splash of water for the lot of you.

People know both candidates are miserable, contemptible, loathsome, dirty, bottom-feeders. Both of ’em. All of your venom, your bluster, your memes from “RightWingNews.com” and Occupy Democrats, your GIFs, your “if you vote for this person, I won’t be your friend anymore” Facebook posts.

All the newspaper endorsements for Clinton? How do these editors feel knowing that Clinton has already been embroiled in scandal and we haven’t even voted yet?

None of all of this fury disguised as political discourse changes the fact that they are both ugly people.

Women do care about misogyny. He needs women to vote for him.

Bernie Sanders’ voters do care that Clinton has been bought by Wall Street, and they fear going to war in the Middle East. She definitely needs the millennial vote.

Trump began his candidacy about 500 days ago. That’s 500 days of your unrelenting wrath. But how does it feel to spend all of that energy knowing that both of them have a profound sickness at the core of their being?

And you want me to argue in favor of Trump? Or hold back vomit and vote Clinton?

Who wins this election? No idea. But I do know the essence of my conservatism is based on self-reliance. Many falsely believe in her, or him. I believe in myself.

And when some poor chump at the Florida Department of Hanging Chads has to tally the ballots, he’ll look at one and ask “Who the hell is James Curran?”

That’s good enough for me.

I finally found something I honestly like about Hillary Clinton

On June 8, the Democratic Party faithful got to take a long overdue victory half-lap when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earned the party’s presidential nomination with primary victories in a handful of states, including my home state of California.

This column, by the way, is not a troll.

They should get to spike the footba… Too masculine? They should get to chest bum… Oh, sexually harassing? Um, they should go to Barnes & Noble and read some Anne Waldman to celebrate.

If her followers want to toast themselves and talk about landmark moments in the country’s history, go ahead. And if pundits want to blather about how the general election is all a done deal, I can kind of live with that — even though I know that’s absurd.

Except for one pile of lunacy written by Vox editor Ezra Klein, which I don’t even have to read because the headline makes everything after it ludicrous on its face. Opines Klein: “It’s time to admit Hillary Clinton is an extraordinarily talented politician.”

When I was satisfied that I had shaken my head long enough for a minor concussion, it behooves me to let you all know that we should be overjoyed by how wrong Klein is. Because Hillary Clinton’s most endearing trait is that she is a shitty politician.

To repeat, not trolling.

The press loves to call particular beltway types “great politicians” as if it’s flattering, when it should be an insult on the level of talking about your mom or a racial slur. Politicians are miserable, craven, disgusting, narcissistic, duplicitous, odiferous piles of megalomania concentrated in a steaming pile of excrement and stuffed in a fancy suit. Why would being called an extraordinary one be seen as a compliment?

Ask yourself, do you trust “the office politician” where you work? Do you enjoy engaging in “office politics”? Go to any dictionary and look up “politician.” The first definition is straightforward, someone seeking public office. Every definition after that includes words such as “manipulative” and “devious.” Here’s a definition of politician I found: “Politics” is derived from the words “poly” meaning “many,” and “tics” meaning “blood-sucking parasites.”

Hillary’s husband was often called an extraordinary politician and his smarmy ass got impeached. Why did he stay in the White House? Because he is an extraordinary politician.

If Hillary Clinton were, in fact, an amazing politician, she never would have lost to a highly inexperienced Sen. Barack Obama in 2007. If she were an extraordinary politician, she would have never had to battle a frumpy socialist who believes most women have rape fantasies until June 7.

No, Hillary Clinton is a lousy politician. We should be happy she is. And if she does beat down you-know-who in the fall, we’re going to be better off for every idiotic thing that she says and does.

Because those mistakes will lead us to describe Hillary as something she doesn’t get called often.

Human.