Posted in Rants on January 26th, 2016 by Ed

Defeatism and liberalism go hand in hand in the US. Those voters who survived disasters like the candidacies of George McGovern and Michael Dukakis are no doubt scarred by the experience, and the younger generation of voters will never again trust the American public after watching it re-elect George W. Bush in 2004 (ignoring context and the feebleness of the Kerry candidacy in favor of an endless "How could you?" aimed at the electorate). This makes sense. It is also, however, terribly counterproductive. In 2008, for example, resources that could have been put to productive use in competitive races were instead wasted on the Obama campaign in states in which it had double-digit leads in the polls. "The polls must all be wrong," they thought. "Oh god, the McGovern dreams are happening again," they said, followed by soft weeping.

Certainly overconfidence is a bad attribute to bring to an election. A balance between that and paranoia exists, though, and we're seeing considerably more of the latter from Democrats who are absolutely convinced that we are a mere 11 months away from President Trump. I have listened to an entire Carlos Mencia comedy special and yet this is still the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Like Trump's supporters must do, Chicken Liberals (gosh I'm clever) must do a handful of things to convince themselves of this possibility. And by handful I mean like a dozen, every one of which must work out in reality in Trump's favor.

1. Pretend the Electoral College isn't a thing. Lacking a basic understanding of the way the president is actually elected will greatly enable this fantasy. Just pretend it's a popular vote or, I don't know, a contest to see who can get interviewed more on CNN.

2. Ignore every previous election. "Who needs data when I've got this theory!" said every person in history who was terrible at constructing logical arguments.

3. Pretend that Trump is better and more likeable than previous Republican losers. Media darling and widely respected war hero John McCain and plastic billionaire Mitt Romney, both charming in that unpleasant, avuncular way that people who like Republicans tend to find Republicans charming, fell dramatically short of getting elected. They didn't lose – they were crushed in the Electoral College (which, for a refresher, is how presidents are elected). Despite being generally not entirely horrific human beings, they failed, and yet the most repugnant person on the planet is going to be more appealing. Somehow. But certainly…

4. Pretend that Trump is going to bring new voters out. Millions upon millions of them. It is crucial to ignore the fact that his core supporters, uneducated white people, don't vote. Half of the people at his rallies probably aren't even registered, and since his campaign is rudderless and unprofessional nobody is in charge of making sure they're registered. Also, the ones who vote aren't already voting Republican. No. They must be disaffected Democrats.

5. Insist that Trump's effect on the Republican voter is solely additive. Yep, he's just gonna bring all these new people out in droves. And of course there's no chance that he could drive anyone who would otherwise vote Republican to stay away, right? He's only the most disgusting person in the country after all. There's zero chance that, like, the GOP would lose in Hispanics what it gains (theoretically, allegedly) in white morons. And it's impossible that something like, let's lowball it and say 1 out of 20 Mitt Romney voters finds Trump too repulsive to support. Five percent isn't much, right? Wait it's actually three million people.

6. Exaggerate the flaws of the Democratic candidates. Even though the Democratic field clearly has two strong candidates similar to the dynamic it had in 2008, make up some theory about how everyone who would support them will magically turn away at some point because, I don't know, let's say "the media."

7. Imagine that the GOP candidates are going to fall in line to support this asshole, whom they all loathe. I bet the process of getting their 57 candidates to rally around this human excrement will go smoothly!

8. Live in a world in which no one from the GOP's high rollers would bankroll an independent run by a moderate, or at least what Republicans call a moderate. The Koch Brothers seem like the type to take a Trump candidacy in stride. Lying down, even.

9. Forget that Donald Trump has never succeeded at anything, ever. This, the hardest thing to do in this country, will be the first thing he succeeds at. That seems plausible. Granted we're already pretending he has the attention span necessary to see this through 11 months of hard campaigning so I guess we can take it a step further.

10. Ignore the fact that Trump hasn't even won a single primary yet, and that his "team" does not appear to understand or to be executing even the most basic fundamentals of campaigning. Just get on TV a lot, say a bunch of stupid shit, and magically everyone comes out to vote for you. Yep, that's how our nomination process works.

I could go on but I'm already bored with the stupidity of this entire scenario. When you have no choice but to speak to someone who is claiming that Donald Trump can win the election, ask them to tell you which are the states that superficially pleasant, charmingly incompetent upper class twit Mitt Romney lost in the Electoral College but Trump is going to win. Keep asking the question until you get a list of states or an admission that they don't know what the Electoral College is. Look for a convenient exit. Point at a bird or something. They distract easily.