The Upheaval of 2016

The Upheaval of 2016
by Jason Kelly

The polls and the pundits, they got it all wrong,
this year’s election that lasted so long.

Crowds cheered outsiders from the left and the right,
but the pros dismissed both crowds as just impolite.
Saying Bernie and Trump did not belong,
they flagged Hillary as their winner all along.

They loved her experience, they loved her style,
they did not care she might have to stand trial.
With friends at Goldman and a million miles flown,
she was simply “inevitable,” we heard them intone.

Her email server never bothered them a bit,
though she could not explain it, they had to admit.
Her need to hide everything from light of day,
they thought would be fine for the U.S. of A.

Her party disagreed as voters felt the Bern,
but the cronies at the top refused to learn.
They colluded and schemed to thwart the desire
of people wanting leaders they could actually admire.

Down went the Bern, up came the Hill,
away went the chance to ever fulfill
the dream of progressives for a leader to resist
every flirtation from a lobbyist.

Meanwhile, across the other side of the aisle,
an unlikely candidate rose from the pile.

They laughed at the “Drumpf,” his money and his hair.
They called him a blue-collar billionaire.
They said he shouldn’t say most things that he said.
They wanted a normal politician instead.

He ignored them to speak what people wanted to hear,
about immigration, and jobs, and the need to steer
away from globalist open-border pitchmen,
to make America great for Americans, again.

They poked fun at The Donald’s “disdain for the facts,”
never grasping the way his message attracts
voters tired of promises made but not kept
by career politicians entirely inept.

Smug in their fact-checking obsession of late,
critics missed Trump’s message in every debate.
Of Washington’s mistakes, the one that was worst,
was forgetting to care for Americans first.

When media fail and political parties look alike,
the people are left with no choice but to strike.
This year of the outsider brought two to the stump,
but Democrats killed Bernie, leaving only Trump.

Hillary dragged a list of mistakes to retry,
attracting the attention of the F.B.I.
With Bernie relegated to the political dump,
Dems nominated a person less popular than Trump.

Blame? They say it lies with a low-info crowd,
but it’s hard to find fault with what voters disallowed.
Their wants from politicians are depressingly minimal,
but do include the preference that they not be criminal.

This basic sniff test smelled bad on the left,
leaving the presidential ballot bereft
of a person the progressives could rally around
to prevent the “Orange Menace” from claiming the crown.

The only outsider candidate on voting day
was an outcast the media dismissed with “no way!”
With his Twitter account and a straight-shooting style,
Trump surged to the front in the campaign’s last mile.

When the nation looks back on this race for the ages,
they’ll call it a year when voters blew off the sages.
The “experts” said Trump was a racist, and evil,
but the unpolled masses backed his upheaval.

“No puppets on strings for us!” they said,
as the big-money donors looked on with dread.
“No pay-to-play foundations, no meaningless choice.
We’re mad as hell and we want a new voice!”

With Princeton odds for Hillary pegged at 99 percent,
defiant American voters made Donald Trump their president.

Off he goes to the White House, and let’s wish him all the best.
For the world, for the country, for the culture of the West.

To the pundits and the pollsters who did such awful jobs,
to the arrogant academics, to the tone-deaf political snobs:

Put down your cocktail glasses, leave your ivory steeple.
Take a walk down Main Street and meet American people.
Listen to the things they say, find what their lives are missing.
Come to see their point of view and stop your incessant hissing.

This republic of ours is not your toy, it’s not a game to play.
There’s a history to honor, a future to build, and debts we must repay.
Reflect on your duty to honestly report — a skill that’s been forsaken.
Perhaps next time when it’s all on the line, you won’t be so mistaken.

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  1. Malcolm Toussaint
    Posted November 13, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Are you running for office or something? Did I miss something? Stick to investing advice. I’ll be a little more skeptical about anything I get from you going forward, especially if it has any whiff of politics. I’ve already unsubscribed from your emails. This is not what I signed up for.

    • RJM Consulting
      Posted November 14, 2016 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      For Malcolm and those sharing his disdain… Jason is a published author of several investing books. But he is above all a writer. We certainly can bear reading his writing in a different form, especially when one ‘meta-message’ from this is that we all will do better to step outside our own echo chambers.

      It is perhaps the critical takeaway from the election: an inability to listen to the ‘other side’, to appreciate that despite all you might read in the great reflecting mirror of the internet (where the browsers are all designed to feed you into sites and ads that correlate well with what your search history suggests are your “preferences”), the goal of education, and maybe some hoity-toity idea of ‘enlightenment’ is to broaden one’s mind and perspective, not narrow it to previously held beliefs unwittingly being sharpened into pinpointed heads.

  2. Dean Mohrmann
    Posted November 13, 2016 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Accurate poem. As for the basketball coach Gregg Popovich long winded anti-unified press reply. Who cares, America chose a candidate. Get out of your liberal bubble. I’m tired of these hypotheticals that make Trump the end of America… Quite the contrary I believe. USA USA USA !

  3. Paul
    Posted November 13, 2016 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    Nice rhyming, Jason.

    Since you brought it up here’s a sober perspective for all to read on the same subject:

    San Antonio Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich, fears fall of the country with Trump election. Popovich is the coach of the USA Men’s Basketball National Team and one of the most respected coaches in all of sports, not just because of his ability to lead a basketball team, but also because of his overall wisdom. His comments to the San Antonio Express-News: “Right now I’m just trying to formulate thoughts. It’s too early. I’m just sick to my stomach. Not basically because the Republicans won or anything, but the disgusting tenure and tone and all of the comments that have been xenophobic, homophobic, racist, misogynistic,” Popovich said.

    “I live in that country where half of the people ignored all of that to elect someone. That’s the scariest part of the whole thing to me. It’s got nothing to do with the environment and Obamacare, and all of the other stuff. We live in a country that ignored all of those values that we would hold our kids accountable for. They’d be grounded for years if they acted and said the things that have been said in that campaign by Donald Trump.

    “I look at the Evangelicals and I wonder, those values don’t mean anything to them? All of those values to me are more important than anybody’s skill in business or anything else because it tells who we are, and how we want to live, and what kind of people we are. That’s why I have great respect for people like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, John Kasich, who I disagree with on a lot of political things, but they had enough fiber and respect for humanity and tolerance for all groups to say what they said about the man.

    “That’s what worries me. I get it, of course we want to be successful, we’re all going to say that. Everybody wants to be successful, it’s our country, we don’t want it to go down the drain. But any reasonable person would come to that conclusion, but it does not take away the fact that he used that fear mongering, and all of the comments, from day one, the race bating with trying to make Barack Obama, our first black president, illegitimate. It leaves me wondering where I’ve been living, and with whom I’m living.

    “The fact that people can just gloss that over, start talking about the transition team, and we’re all going to be kumbaya now and try to make the country good without talking about any of those things. And now we see that he’s already backing off of immigration and Obamacare and other things, so was it a big fake, which makes you feel it’s even more disgusting and cynical that somebody would use that to get the base that fired up. To get elected. And what gets lost in the process are African Americans, and Hispanics, and women, and the gay population, not to mention the eighth grade developmental stage exhibited by him when he made fun of the handicapped person. I mean, come on. That’s what a seventh grade, eighth grade bully does. And he was elected President of the United States. We would have scolded our kids. We would have had discussions until we were blue in the face trying to get them to understand these things. He is in charge of our country. That’s disgusting.”

    A reporter interjected, but Pop wanted to continue talking. That all led up to his ultimate point, which is sharing his fear that electing Trump was a move pointing to the downfall of the Roman Empire.

    “I’m not done,” Popovich said. “One could go on and on, we didn’t make this stuff up. He’s angry at the media because they reported what he said and how he acted. That’s ironic to me. It makes no sense. So that’s my real fear, and that’s what gives me so much pause and makes me feel so badly that the country is willing to be that intolerant and not understand the empathy that’s necessary to understand other group’s situations. I’m a rich white guy, and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now, or a woman, or an African American, a Hispanic, a handicapped person. How disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it’s just beyond my comprehension how they ignore all of that. My final conclusion is, my big fear is — we are Rome.”

    Popovich spoke to the media Friday about his feelings on the election. He revealed that he is greatly disappointed with the result of the election, and he capped his statement by saying he fears this marks the downfall of the country.

    Popovich deplored Trump’s use of fear-mongering, race-baiting and more scare tactics to get elected. He also noted Trump’s lack of sensitivity, morality and his bullying style.

  4. Carolyn Stewart
    Posted November 13, 2016 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    This read with the musicality of Dr. Seuss’s “Cat in the Hat, such an excellent vessel for your poem!
    I think the “fight for last” in the ethical/morality/criminality race should take up less of our time than the basic points you have crafted with such wisdom. (Does wisdom come from your expat perspective? Or from your anti-pundit experience? Or both?)
    When we all get off our high “elite” horses and realize all of us have been water boarding our own citizenry in the aftermath of technology and globalization tsunamis without regard for their daily financial and emotional lives–we will see that it is a no-brainer to cast a vote in the direction of the “anyone” who might blow up the status quo.
    Thanks Jason for your contribution to the national conversation. You can sit in my living room anytime.

  5. Tahir
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I remember reading your following article, six years ago:

    Do you think this time it’s different? Trump going to prove different than Deemsel and Rupert?

    • Posted November 14, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink


      Thank you for remembering that article.

      The only reason I’m holding out a little hope that Trump will be different on the economic front is that he’s not really a Republican. He’s a third party candidate who was smart enough not to run as one, knowing that they can’t win. Because he’s beholden to no purse strings, and suffers less party loyalty than past presidents, he might be able to buck the trend.

      Frankly, I doubt it. I think the Trump administration will end up a lot closer to normal than most people hope or fear.

  6. jeff nabors
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Mr Kelly,
    me liked. you have quite a few winning abilities! i like reading all your emails, especially this one. so very insightful.

  7. Lien Anderson
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Great poem, Jason. Finally, the Silent White Americans spoke!

  8. Scott Garl
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    Bravo man! I do some respectable poems myself but yours is just insane. Will pass it on.

  9. Norm Harrison
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    Great job Jason. Did not know you had such poetic talent.

  10. marcel
    Posted November 12, 2016 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    Your premise that Donald is not just as corrupt (if not more) than Hillary is incorrect. We’ll see how all his court cases go over the next four years. Do you really think tax cuts for the 1%, massive deregulation, and blowing off Global Warming are what Americans voted for?

    • Brandon Lee
      Posted November 12, 2016 at 4:24 am | Permalink

      “ corrupt (if not more) than Hillary..”

      You’re joking right?

      • Brandon Lee
        Posted November 12, 2016 at 4:25 am | Permalink

        Great poem btw Jason!

    • Randy
      Posted November 12, 2016 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Great poem…. but my sentiments rest with Marcel…. Anyone wish it was Bernie!!!!

      • Posted November 12, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Randy, … no, not at all… but I did hear that Bernie has found a new job as National Economics Consultant for the Government of Venezuela…

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