Liveblogging the 2016 nightmare

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7:08pm/4:08am: I will finish this liveblog with this thought: I did not support Trump (and I definitely did not support Hillary), so there is no surprise that I have great concerns for the next four years. But Trump is now President, so perhaps it’s a good time for all of us broadly on the right who are not his fans to pray tonight/this morning that he may turn out to be a better man and a better president than we expect him to be. There is so much at stake for the United States and for the whole world, including Australia, that I’d much rather be proven wrong than proven right. So Dear Lord, please make me a bad pundit. That’s it; now it’s in Your hands.

6:34pm/3:34am: As pretty much everyone on Twitter is now observing, it’s such a joy to see the left suddenly rediscover the value of limited government, checks and balances, accountability, and freedom of speech.

6:15pm/3:15am: Who will be the first left-wing commentator who will pick up on Trump’s plan to put millions of unemployed building highways as an echo of Hitler?

6:00pm/3:00am: Behold, our new First Lady:

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#MakeAmericaGreatAgain

5:55pm/2:55am: Trump’s victory speech. Very subdued, very measured. It has been a long campaign and it has been a long day, so perhaps not surprising.

5:19pm/2:19am: A beautiful news/advert juxtaposition on the New York Times home page:

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Something about a small-town working class patriot taking on an army of zombies.

5:16pm/2:16am:

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One for the annals of progressive hypocrisy – Hillary doing exactly what the left was outraged about when Trump mooted it in the last debate.

It’s delightful to watch.

5:14pm/2:14am: Australian leftie analysis:

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Better luck next time with a female nominee who is not a corrupt felon.

4:34pm/1:34am: Former American Enterprise Institute scholar and former (centre-right) Polish Foreign Minister, Radek Sikorski:

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Translation: 26 years ago the Berlin Wall fell down. Today, most likely, ends the era of post-Cold War stability. We will miss her dearly.”

If you are an Eastern or Central European right now the booming sound you’re hearing from the east is not artillery (yet) but champagne corks popping at the Kremlin. You would be very nervous and furiously Googling the size of your defence budget. This region has been very ill served under the Obama presidency and all the indications are it will be even worse served by Trump. At least Obama pretended to be alarmed  by Putin.

4:30pm/1:30am: The most fascinating map of the night from the NYT:

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4:16pm/1:16am: Excuse me, I’m laughing too hard:

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4:00pm/1:00am:

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We are seeing a complete realignment in American politics, the most momentous since, and complete undoing of, the New Deal: the Republicans are now a party of the working class and the Democrats of the plutocracy.

3:22pm/12:22am: I’m going to go Godwin, but in a reverse-than-usual analogy. Do I feel good that the Nazis have been defeated? Hell yeah. But by the Red Army?

This is in a nutshell why I feel so disconnected from the result. I understand why people voted Trump, and in some cases sympathise (for example political correctness, the mainstream media, disconnect of the elites, open door immigration). But the Grand New Party of populism, protectionism, isolationism, a party that coddles up to America’s enemies like Putin, is not my party. And these are the respectable policy positions of Trump’s Republicans – I’m not even talking about the whole alt-right/white nationalist new wing with its very thinly disguised neo-Nazism and vile anti-Semitism. This is no longer a party of Reagan, and maybe that’s because today’s America is not Reagan’s America anymore, but this reality only makes me more melancholy tonight.

3:20pm/12:20am: More tears at Clinton HQ:

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3:11pm/12:11am: The hopeful list of celebrities who promised they will leave America if Trump wins. For God’s sake, let’s not admit them to Australia. There is such thing as “character test” if you want to migrate here.

3:01pm/12:01am: I took some time away from the circus to finish watching History Channel’s excellent “Sons of Liberty” mini-series (though initially it did reduce the Independence cause to the level of Sopranos-in-Boston). God only knows what the Founders would have made of America tonight. “You mean I have to condense the whole Declaration to 140 characters?”

1:37pm/10:37pm: It’s safe to say that both parties nominated the worst, most unsuitable and most baggage-laden candidate possible. As many people noted before, only Hillary could win against Trump and only Trump could win against Hillary. Any decent candidate on either side would have meant a historic-size landslide tonight. As it is, it’s likely that of the two, Hillary has shown herself to be the worse candidate for her party. Cringeworthily worse. The Hillary-hatred, and the hatred of “business as usual” and the hatred of “the Establishment” are real and stronger than most people suspected. Legions of pundits will pore over the results with a magnifying glass over the days and weeks to come, but one thing seems clear to me: this is not just “angry white people thing”; I suspect we will find out that large numbers of minorities have voted for Trump; these are the real “shy Trump voters”.

1:25pm/10:25pm:

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Exactly the same happening in Australia, I’m told. A lone Trump supporter called “racist c***”. But of course.

1:18pm/10:18pm: The Clinton campaign HQ right now:

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Enjoying the sounds of heads exploding throughout the American and Australian media. I just wish it could be in happier circumstances.

1:11pm/10:11PM: What a bizarre year:

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1:06pm/10:06pm: Money ill spent:

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1:01pm/10:01pm: The US stock market and Mexican peso crashing.

12:38pm/9:38pm: If Hillary loses it, I will be ecstatic with the end of the whole sordid, corrupt Clinton mess (until Chelsea decides to run in 2028). Bury it and put a stake through its heart. But I will not be ecstatic at all that it’s at the hands of someone like Trump.

12:16pm/9:16pm: This might just be managing the expectations but it doesn’t look too exuberant:

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12:05pm/9:05pm: This:

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11:57am/8:57pm: My favourite tweet of the night so far from a major network:

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11:40am/8:40pm: When both candidates are Voldemort – beloved children’s character has his own “I Voted”sticker:

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11:38am/8:38pm: In a very early call, NBC says the GOP has retained the control of the House of Representatives. If that’s the case it’s very good news, because whoever is in charge there will be a need for some adults in the legislative branch. I just hope that the Republicans can finally grow some spine and start being Republicans.

11:20am/8:20pm: What a strange election. In 1980 I was too young to get my head around the issues, but in 1984, as a 12-year-old in a post-Solidarity, post-martial law Poland I was (quietly) barracking for Ronnie Reagan, still my favourite president for all sorts of sentimental reasons. Then in 1988 I cheered on as George Bush Sr. won, only a few weeks before my parents and I were due to leave Italy for our new home in Australia. I have been as GOP as you can without being an American (does my grandfather’s birth in Chicago make me a quarter Yank?), and this is the first time I feel completely cold and detached from the usual election campaign and election night excitement. I have blogged for months about how appalling a candidate Hillary Clinton is, but by the same token I have found Donald Trump to be a buffoon without any class and temperamentally unsuited for the highest position in the land (as is Hillary, for different reasons), and whose policies, such as they are, don’t reflect “my” conservatism (free market, free trade, strong and principled foreign policy). If I were an American citizen I would most likely be voting McMullin, since the Libertarian Johnson is another sad joke in a year full of sad political jokes. As it is, I’m glad I don’t have a vote. I can understand why some of you are voting Trump, and I understand why some of you are voting Hillary, even if I don’t necessarily agree. I can only hope that no matter who wins, the United States is better and more resilient than that and can get its shit together and rebuild (and that includes the Republican Party). The world needs you.

10:49am/7:49pm: An exit poll we can all believe in:

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10:47am/7:47pm: Nice touch:

Just a few steps into the Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, N.Y., up the curve of a cobblestone walkway on a low hill, is the grave of Susan B. Anthony, a leader of the movement for women’s suffrage who lived about three miles away.

On Tuesday, her gravestone was nearly invisible beneath a coating of “I Voted” stickers and behind a line of hundreds of people who came here to pay their respects. They left notes of thanks to a woman who was arrested when she dared to vote and who did not live to see women granted that right.

I’m pretty sure though that Susan B Anthony would not advise women to vote with their vaginas.

10:35am/7:35pm: Arabs Are With Her: 66 per cent of those polled in the swing states of  Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip support Hillary. Only 11 per cent want to Make America Great Again. Results not surprising, considering how much money the Clinton Foundation received from the Middle East. Sixty-eight per cent of Saudis support Hillary. They won’t let their own women drive cars, but they would like to see Clinton drive her country into a ditch.

10:29am/7:29pm: My sentimental favourite Marco Rubio (something about a conservative with migrant roots resonates with me, not sure why) is smashing it in Florida, yuuugely outperforming Trump’s presidential vote vs Hillary. I guess we’ll never know.

10:22am/7:22pm: Richard A Epstein: “No matter which candidate wins this Tuesday’s election, the nation is likely to continue the downward slide that started with the election of Barack Obama as president in November 2008. In the last eight years, the nation has fractured morally; it has failed to grow economically; and it has been continuously embarrassed in its foreign affairs.”

Read the whole thing.

10:18am/7:18pm: Status: also true

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10:14am/7:14pm: Status: true

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10:00am/7:00pm: Every time I read reports about problems with voting machines (“Every time I would push a candidate for the Republican party, it would come up for the Democratic candidate,” said voter David Drane in Pennsylvannia) I think how stupid it is to trust machines with the most important political action a citizen can take. Machines malfunction, machines can, are, and will be hacked – voters can’t and don’t. Some might laugh at how old-fashioned we Australians are, with out paper ballots filled with pencils and counted manually by the electoral workers under the watchful supervision of party scrutineers, but the system enjoys an almost universal confidence. It might be slow and it might be time- and resource-consuming but no one in Australia ever thinks that their vote might have been magically changed by George Soros or Russian hackers. Often the simple things in life are the best.

9:57am/6:57pm: A Democrat celebrity makes a joke, gets crucified, deletes:

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9:25am/6:25pm: Seems to be a common sentiment. Well played NYP:

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9:15am/6:15pm: Simply adorable:

Though what sort of stupid question is “do you actually love each other?” You can love someone despite political differences. God knows, I love all my friends who are supporting Trump as well as those supporting Hillary.

9:00am/6:00pm: For the worst of the county-by-county exit poll analysis but the best of the election night commentary, memes and general absurdity, there is only one place to go. I think it might be The Daily Chrenk. I’m not sure, but we will find out. I will be liveblogging throughout the day (Wednesday Australian time) and throughout America’s long dark night of the soul (Tuesday). Stay tuned, keep coming back and keep refreshing. Fools to the left of me, jokers to the right, here I am, stuck in the middle with you, my dear reader.

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