Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Putting Trump's victory into historical perspective


Here is a good article about the Trump election in relation to other important US elections.


Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

aides - assistants

to vie for something or to vie to be - (vie rhymes with eye) to vie for something is to try hard to get something, to vie to be something means to try hard to be something. Marco is vying to become the most famous poet in New York City. One of the most meaningful, although often painful, lives involves vying for justice.

ostentatious - if you are ostentatious, you are a show off, you like to be seen and are often flashy or colorful. So basically the article is saying that Trump's followers are trying hard to show off the most they can about Trump's victory over Clinton, because Trump likes this kind of attitude and behavior.

The claim deserves close inspection. - Is their claim correct? We need to look more closely at what they are saying. 

least qualified - the writer says Trump was one of the least qualified candidates because he has no prior experience in politics. But this is why many people voted for him - they do not like the corruption (dishonesty and crime) that occurs among professional politicians in the USA.

the shape of the Supreme Court - this means how the Supreme Court will change when Trump makes appointments to it.

the prospects for war - the chances or odds of war happening.

the shredding of regulations - right now there are a lot of laws (regulations) controlling the amount of pollution companies can create - if these regulations are shredded it means they will be torn up or destroyed. There are also many banking and business regulations that Trump may abandon (get rid of).

the social safety net - these are social programs which are funded by the government to help people who need help - like the elderly or the chronically ill or single mothers.

to realign - to realign something means to put something in a different order or to move things from one category to another.

mobilized populist passions - he got the people excited and many common people voted for him because he called himself the first common-man to run for president. To mobilize something is to get something moving.

he ushered in expansionism - to usher something in is to lead something in; an usher helps you find your seat at a concert or sporting event; he caused the United States to begin to expand more in a westward direction.

to refine something - to make something purer.

a coalition - a grouping of business people and wealthy farmers, in this case, became the core of the Republican Party while he was president.

to forge a coalition - to create a coalition (group) through hard work; to forge something is to create it through a long process involving fire (like creating a sword).

The New Deal was a political program to help Americans survive the Great Depression.

to shake up voting patterns - in this case it means to change voting patterns a lot. To change voting patterns means that some people of some groups have tended to vote for one party, but now they change and vote for another. Black people used to always vote Republican (Abraham Lincoln's party) until Franklin Roosevelt came along and then this changed that voting pattern and they started voting democratic.

evangelicals - very religious and conservative Christians.

to bring someone into the fold - to bring them into your party or onto your side.

decisive - certain, sure.

durable - lasting; so the writer is saying that these changes didn't last very long (Reagan and Obama).

a shift - a change of category.

a higher turnout - more Republicans voted.

a drop-off - fewer Democrats voted (Because they were upset about the Bernie sanders situation).

a swing state is a state that sometimes votes Republican and sometimes votes Democratic. Each state carries a certain number of electoral college votes - whichever candidate wins over 270 electoral votes, wins the election. Hillary won the total number of votes but Trump won the electoral college votes due to swing states voting for him.

striking - a difference is striking if it is really noticeable.

decisively - clearly, easily, no doubt.

singling out - choosing from among a bunch of choices.

draining the swamp - a swamp is an area of stagnant water (old, dirty, smelly, rotten water), Trump compared Washington D.C. and the US government to a swamp and said we need to drain it (get the water out and eliminate it.

a gambit - a trick, not something serious, something to gain attention.

a consulting company - a company that provides advice; in this case, since Lewandowski has a connection with Trump, he may be offering to help companies influence Trump.

protectionism - protecting the US economy through high taxes on imports.

white nationalism - the belief that the country is better of with white people in power.

it won't sit well with them - they won't like it.

to warm to something - to start to like something.

to capitalize on resentment - to capitalize on something means to take advantage of something, to use something to get some kind of benefit; so the writer is saying common Americans became upset with highly educated and wealthy people and wanted revenge against them. (I don't buy this - I am not sure why he makes this argument. I think Americans were fed up with corruption, war and lies.)

urban and academic elites - people from the city and universities who seem to be powerful and important.

Clinton personified that attitude - Clinton was the type of person who was a perfect example of a member of the urban and academic elite. (I don't buy this either - Hillary appeared very corrupt - dishonest, not trustworthy.)

anecdotal evidence - this means the writer doesn't have 'real' evidence or proof, but his evidence is based on 'anecdotes' or what he heard people saying.

his strongholds - areas that were especially sympathetic to Trump.

consigned - categorized.

a basket of deplorables - losers, human garbage (Hillary said that the people who supported Trump were a 'basket' or collection of human garbage. This upset a lot of people and hurt her greatly because it made her seem very arrogant.

the challenge is daunting - the attempt to make this a long-lasting victory will be daunting or difficult.

imprimatur - a stamp of approval, a formal mark of approval (a Trump imprimatur, here, means something that came from Trump and is still approved of by Trump).

Putin becoming a Jeffersonian Democrat - the writer is trying to be funny. Jefferson believed in small government and total freedom.

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