As an American citizen who considers himself relatively well informed as well as deeply invested in the future of the nation, the 2016 U.S. Presidential election has been simultaneously bizarre, exciting, depressing, entertaining and embarrassing. In particular, yesterday represented perhaps the most overwhelming news day of my lifetime from a purely political perspective. The purpose of today’s post is to provide readers with an updated analysis of the race, and how I think things have changed. At this point, I’ve watched the disturbing and vulgar Trump audio a couple of times, and I’ve gone through enough of the Wikileaks Podesta emails to have a more informed opinion than I did yesterday. This post isn’t going to try to inform readers of how I think voters should react, but it will focus on how I think they willreact. After all, my opinions are of little to no significance when it comes to what will happen on November 8th.
As disgusted as I am with the current state of the financial industry, I learned a lot of very valuable lessons from my decade on Wall Street. One of the most significant of them is incapsulated by the saying “you need to trade the market you have, not the market you want.” So what does that mean?
It means that you can be completely convinced that the market is rigged, unfair, irrational and wrong (and you can be right), but that’s not necessarily going to make you money — and if you’re involved in the buying and selling of securities you really only have one objective: make money. This is why the best traders are typically not the smartest people in the room, but they tend to possess more wisdom, judgment, and understand momentum better, than their peers. They accept that things are the way they are, and they play the game accordingly. I learned this lesson the hard way, by personally losing a lot of money trying to trade a market I thought should exist as opposed to the one that did. Losing money is a great way to be taught lessons, and Wall Street taught me many.
Many things in life come about as the direct results of your actions, but many other things are completely out of your control. The understanding and acceptance of this reality is one of the things that I’ve always found appealing about eastern religions/philosophy. The 2016 Presidential election is a perfect example. I’ve been writing and warning about many of the societal problems currently enveloping us since at least 2008. I’ve pushed ideas of non-statism, community, ethics, Constitutional principles, etc, hoping that I along with many others could tilt the inevitable populist backlash against status quo corruption, fraud and evil toward a positive message. Yet despite all of my efforts and energy, we got Trump. One of the worst possible messengers for a populist backlash ended up being the only person to make it to the final round. If it were up to me, the current race would look something like Ron Paul vs. Bernie Sanders, but here we are with two incredibly sick, twisted people to choose from. There’s nothing I could’ve realistically done to prevent this outcome, so now I need to accept the race I’m given, not the one I want.
Acceptance; however, doesn’t mean abandoning your principles, and in this case I’m proud to say I never did. Despite my absolute disgust with Hillary Clinton for all that she is and all she represents; despite my genuine desire for a successful populist movement in America, I never became a Donald Trump supporter. I always felt he was a bad guy, and I’m not in the habit of helping bad people reach the pinnacle of power. I don’t have a dog in this fight and I never did.
That said, I have steadfastly maintained that I thought Donald Trump would defeat Hillary Clinton this entire race. I’ve stuck with this prediction the whole time, even earlier this summer when everyone was proclaiming him to be finished I wrote a piece titled, Don’t Count Out Donald Trump Yet. As such, you need to understand that I’m not writing this piece as someone who harbors a bias against his odds of success.