By Dr. Ed Berry, PhD, Physics
November 29, 2016
Politics is like the sport of sailing. In a world-class competition, you may have 30 to 50 competitors, all very experienced, smart sailors. You all have identical boats. You have a level playing field. You have no control over the wind, the waves, the current, or your competition. You control only where your boat goes.
Competitive sailing is like a three-dimensional chess game where you must make a new decision every second. The race lasts about two hours. The wind may be 5 to 25 knots. At the end of the race, you will have made about 7200 decisions. You are physically and mentally exhausted, but not so much that you can’t attend the evening parties.
You have one race per day for several days. At the end of the series, the team that made the fewest mistakes wins.
In the last race, you may have to forego first place to assure that you beat your closest competitors in the series … like I did in a world competition when I won first place in the series by purposely getting third place in the last race.
In politics, we call this the art of compromise. We never get 100 percent of our desires in politics but by compromise, we can get much of what we want. If we refuse to compromise, or vote third party, we will get little of what we want. Compromise is part of the Art of the Deal and smart politics.
Donald Trump won the nomination because he made fewer mistakes than his Republican competitors. He won the presidency because he made fewer mistakes than Hillary Clinton. His detractors criticized his every action that they thought was a mistake. But Trump is smarter than his detractors. That’s why he won and they lost.
Similarly, now that Trump has won, we should let him do his job. We should not try to micromanage him. We should not criticize his decisions. Trump is smart and his data sources far exceed ours. What may seem like a bad decision to us, is very likely the best decision in the big picture.
Opinions about why Trump won are as many as there are pundits but here are the facts. Trump won because he had the best game plan, “Make America Great Again,” and he did not make very many mistakes.
Trump appealed to the disenfranchised working class, many of them lifelong Democrats. He appealed to the nationalists and populists. He appealed to conservative Evangelicals He gathered the support of all four faces of the Republican Party. No other Republican candidate had such wide support.
Donald Trump won because his candidacy became a people’s revolution. This song from Les Miserables describes the candidacy of Donald Trump. Understand this song to understand politics:
Do you hear the people sing?
Singing the songs of angry men?
It is the music of the people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!
Shocked at their loss, Democrats want to eliminate the Electoral College and choose presidents by popular vote. They don’t understand that America is a Republic. America is modeled after the Iroquois Federation of Hiawatha. Each state votes independently. The Electoral College gives each state one vote for each Senator plus one vote for each Representative. That was part of the deal when each state joined the United States. Democrats want to change the deal.
Rather than eliminate the Electoral College, how about we simply count the states? Trump won 30 states. Clinton won 20 plus Washington, DC. The states choose Donald Trump for president. That is why the Democrats will never get two-thirds of the states to approve the elimination of the Electoral College.
Clinton won Washington, DC, with 92.8 percent of the vote. That shows how strongly the Democrats control America. They dominate the bureaucrats. Washington, DC, has 3 electoral votes, the same number as Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Alaska.
The fewest mistakes also determined the election results in the political microcosm of Montana. The Montana GOP did a good job. They properly took credit for GOP wins in Montana. But they were lucky and they could have done better.
The Montana GOP was lucky because Donald Trump’s popularity pulled all the Republican candidates ahead. The Montana GOP made a mistake in not realizing Trump would win by so much. Many tea party players who dominate the Montana GOP did not support Trump.
Here are the results of Montana’s key statewide votes.
Montana’s vote for AG Tim Fox not only reelected him as Attorney General but also assured his election as Montana’s next Governor in 2020.
Montana’s second most popular candidate is Congressman Ryan Zinke. His reelection was a significant win over his opponent Juneau. Democrats tried to defeat Zinke by advertising Zinke’s support of Trump. They failed to recognize Trump’s popularity among Montana voters. Their advertising helped Zinke win.
The only Republican to lose a Montana statewide race was governor candidate Greg Gianforte. Gianforte’s opponent was incumbent Democrat Governor Bullock, certainly a worthy opponent.
Montana GOP’s and Gianforte’s mistake was to not connect Gianforte with Trump. I advised Gianforte personally to connect himself with the Trump campaign and to adopt Trump’s positions on the issues.
Gianaforte did not attend Donald Trump’s widely-viewed primary rally in Montana. Zinke did. Bullock beat Gianforte by 52 to 48 percent. Trump beat Clinton 61 to 39 percent. Had Gianforte associated his campaign with Trump’s, he would have gained at least 5 percentage points and won the governor’s race.
A former Montana Congressman, who advised Gianforte and the Montana GOP, continued to claim on Twitter and Facebook that Trump could not win. He was very anti Donald Trump. I argued that his logic was wrong and that Trump was going to win, and win strongly in Montana. His response was to call me “stupid” and block me on Twitter and Facebook. His political mistakes helped Bullock beat Gianforte.
Republicans Stapleton, Rosendale, and Arntzen also won their statewide races. Rosendale and Arntzen won by small margins and were helped more by Donald Trump than by the Montana GOP.
Democrats would have won more legislative races of they had simply connected their Republican opponents with their votes against the critical 2015 legislative bill, SB 262, Montana’s Last Indian Water Compact.
This bill was a clear example where the voters supported the Compact and the tea party Republicans opposed the Compact without good reason. AG Tim Fox and Governor Bullock supported the Compact and they won reelection.
Governor Bullock could have used the Compact against Gianforte because Gianforte contributed to many Republicans who voted against the Compact. Had Bullock done this, he would have raised voter awareness of the Water Compact vote, and helped Democrats win their legislative races. Lacking this attention to the Compact, unaware voters reelected many Republican legislators who voted against the Compact.
In conclusion, the team that makes fewest mistakes wins.
© 2016 Edwin X Berry, PhD – All Rights Reserved
Dr. Ed Berry is editor and publisher of edberry.com based in Bigfork, Montana. He has a PhD in Physics, is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist, and an expert in climate change who takes the position that our carbon dioxide emissions are insignificant to climate change.