Moore: The Presidential Election Is Not That Important

Monday, November 07, 2016


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To what extent is our overall happiness level impacted by who is the President of the United States? In my opinion, it’s largely psychological.

Yet if you’ve been watching the news, particularly cable news programming, over the last year, one would think that the election would have to be the most important thing in your life. There have even been reports of people “unfriending” one another on various social media sites, particularly on Facebook, over political disagreements.

I wouldn’t assert that the presidential election isn’t important. Electing the most powerful person in the world is undeniably a very important decision. After all, the person can start wars, negotiate trade deals, and appoint Supreme Court Justices.

Life Goes On

But if your favorite candidate doesn’t win, it won’t be the end of the world. America will continue to be great. Entrepreneurs, the risk takers, the people who fund our government and make American freedom possible, will continue creating miracles on a daily basis. The private sector will survive, and in my opinion, thrive.

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Nonprofit organizations will continue serving the needs of society’s most vulnerable. They’ll also continue working to create solutions to problems in society such as injustice.

Our public servants--police officers, firefighters, and armed service members, will continue doing a superb job protecting and keeping us safe.

Americans will continue donating to charity--both with their money and their time. People will continue spending their time volunteering in animal shelters, food pantries, or at other social service agencies.

Folks will continue spend time and enjoy the company of friends and family--the sources of true wealth.

Most people’s happiness is based on their micro-level issues. I’m referring the strength of their interpersonal relationships, job satisfaction, and personal health. None of those things will be affected by tomorrow’s results.

Change? Not So Much

People who disagree with me will argue that Donald Trump’s immigration policies present real dangers to folks who aren’t here legally. However, I don’t believe Trump really intends to round up millions of people and deport them all. I think that his plan is mostly rhetoric intended to stir up passion for his base that believes such a plan would be logical, feasible or humane.

On the other side of the political spectrum, the people who dislike Hillary Clinton tell me that she will usher in corruption like America has never seen before. Like many others, I’m troubled by Clinton’s tendency to use public office to benefit her friends and personal interests, but I don’t think any continuation of that proclivity will impact the vast majority of Americans on a deep level.

There are few bigger political junkies than me, yet even I’ve been looking forward to tomorrow when the election will finally be over, and a winner will be declared. Believe me, whomever loses the election, most likely Donald Trump, will concede the election. It’s rare in world history, but in America, the peaceful transfer of power is the norm, and expected. The awesome tradition will continue.

I urge everyone to get out there tomorrow and vote your consciences. But don’t get too upset if the outcome doesn’t go your way. It’s not the end of the world.

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Russell J. Moore has worked on both sides of the desk in Rhode Island media, both for newspapers and on political campaigns. Send him email Follow him on twitter @russmoore713.


Related Slideshow: Trump’s National Advisers with RI Ties

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Ken McKay

Chief of staff to former Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri, McKay has woven a trail of key GOP appointments for himself that have led him to his latest position, when he was brought on board the Trump campaign in April as one of his top advisers. 

McKay was former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s chief of staff, and was the Political Director at the Republican Governors Association’s under Chris Christie’s chairmanship -- and was a key Christie consultant this presidential cycle until the the NJ Governor stepped down and threw his support behind Trump.

“McKay’s a huge asset for Trump. He’s got both the national ties, and he’s got the inside the beltway relationships that Trump doesn’t have,” said Rhode Island political operative Jeff Britt. “McKay’s well liked and well-respected in a way that Trump isn’t, and I think that will have an effect.”

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Jim Murphy

A recent shake up in the Trump campaign has been the hiring of veteran operative Jim Murphy as its political director — who had served as advisor to former Rhode Island House Minority leader Brad Gorham when he ran unsuccessfully for Attorney General in 1990.  

Murphy has worked with other presidential candidates including Bob Dole and Mitt Romney, and is the former president of the Republican PR and lobby shop DCI Group.

Gorham's son Nick, who is a former state representative, remembers Murphy’s involvement in the race. Brad Gorham passed away in 2015. 

"Jim Murphy was a nice guy who helped my dad, but it was a tough year for Republicans, which is non unusual for RI," said Gorham.  

Photo: LinkedIn

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Paul Manafort

Trump's now top campaign strategist has GOP ties to Rhode Island, having been a top campaign aide for former Rhode Island Governor Ed DiPrete in the 1980s.

Politico mentioned Manafort's DiPrete connection when he joined forces with the presumptive GOP nominee in April; Manafort's presence on the national stage has been well documented.

"For Trump, who has cast himself as an outsider to the Republican Party firmament, there could hardly be a less outsider-y pick than his new hire. Manafort was uniquely predisposed to become an insider in Republican politics: His father, for whom he was named, served as mayor for three terms in New Britain, Conn. When the elder Paul Manafort died in 2013, his obituary noted that he had served as a delegate or alternate delegate at past Republican national conventions," wrote Rebecca Berg for

Another DiPrete operative — Marc Palazzo — had been named in the press as having had recent conversations with Manafort, but Palazzo told GoLocal he is not involved with the campaign in any capacity.


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