Given that the Clinton campaign was defined throughout this interminable election by its inability to get potential supporters anywhere near as fired up as they had been for candidates like Obama or Bernie Sanders, the torrent of emotions that came pouring out of Clinton voters last Tuesday and Wednesday is, in a vacuum, surprising. I saw adults literally weep. Is it possible that anyone could be that broken up over missing out on four to eight years of centrist, lukewarm New Democrat "I've got it! Civil unions!" horseshit? Are there people in the world at this moment who are legitimately crushed that America will miss out on the Hillary Clinton presidency?

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Of course there aren't. OK, maybe a handful. The narrative has said that the sadness that overwhelmed so many people in the wake of this election had nothing at all to do with Hillary Clinton and everything to do with fear of a Trump presidency. Clinton eerily paralleled the Kerry / Edwards campaign in the end, making a persuasive case for why the Republican opponent is terrible but offering nothing to recommend themselves beyond "We're really experienced! I've been in Washington forever!

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" and essentially expecting voters to motivate themselves out of sheer terror. Indeed, many people (particularly people who don't happen to be white, male, or white and male) did so.

Even the Fear of a Trump Planet narrative doesn't explain the powerful emotions that the election brought out of so many people. I'm as bad at reading minds as the next person, but what I hear when friends, strangers, students, random internet commenters, and media figures talk about this election is a shattering sense of disappointment. Not in Hillary Clinton, who was little more than a cipher, but in the people around us. In the people who voted for That Man. It is not too extreme to say that for a lot of voters, particularly younger ones, the outcome on Tuesday seriously shook their faith in…well, mankind.

Many people subscribe to a school of thought called "optimism," or so I'm told, and they like to believe that their fellow man is fundamentally good. They believe that when presented with a racist demagogue who does not even go through the motions of pretending like he has a plan or knows what he is doing, they will not fall for it. Being people of character and decency, they will say "This charlatan is offensive in every way and we should be embarrassed even to be considering him." People would like to believe that the American public could not elevate to the White House a candidate who is openly racist, xenophobic, and misogynistic, because that would imply that millions of the people we share this society with are those three things or at least possessing sufficient moral cowardice to overlook those qualities in a candidate.

On Tuesday, all of us alike learned that, yes, America is – pick one – worse than we hoped or as bad as we suspected. We learned that 61,000,000 American adults eligible to vote, essentially half of the electorate, signed off on a man with zero experience (governing or otherwise), a child's temper, the attention span of a fly, and without any substance to his rhetoric that would not be familiar to someone who has studied the speeches of Mussolini or Franco. Yes, we know our institutions are strong. Yes, we know there are checks and balances. But even if a Trump presidency is nowhere near as bad as many expect or predict, nothing will ever change the fact that the man our fellow citizens voted for was the racist demagogue. As I said weeks ago, this election has done lasting damage. It doesn't matter at this point if Trump moves to the center and becomes the wisest, most enlightened statesman in history – we all saw how they cheered when banged the xenophobic drums, we all saw the crowds wink and cheer when he talked about "certain areas" and "certain people," we saw them act like a colorized film of an old fascist rally when he barked about "Law and Order", we all saw the "Lock the bitch up" shirts, we all saw them worked into a frenzy when he talked about killing and torturing, we all heard them chanting, we all saw them make excuses for every horrendous thing he has said and done. Nothing can undo that.

That's why people cried on Wednesday and on Election night. Nobody gives a shit about Hillary Clinton, and the fact that we are in the current predicament casts that fact in high relief.
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But we wanted to believe that our neighbors, our families, our fellow citizens were better than this, and now we can't. We know now going forward that we can never give the people we share this country with the benefit of doubt or tell ourselves that they are kind, decent people who could Never Do Such Things. We have seen them do it. We know better now. It is not a pretty thing to see when hope dies and is replaced by hard, cold mental armor.

144 thoughts on “THE LETDOWN”

  • Robert Walker-Smith says:

    I will admit to having been as surprised as anyone else when I saw the news last Wednesday morning. I'd purposely gone to bed the night before without checking.

    Haven't gotten blackout drunk in a while; glad I saved it for something meaningful.

    The idea that almost half of everyone who voted either took a steaming shit on my marriage or decided that Other Issues warranted doing so was genuinely upsetting. The idea that voter turnout was as low as it was is possibly worse.

    My sole consolation is living here, where we do, where most people, most of the time, treat me like a person.

  • I've spent the last six years as a community mental health therapist working to improve the lives of countless whites, blacks, Hispanics, gays, single mothers, and Muslims. Not only to potentially save the lives of those who suffer, but to play some role in rehabilitating impoverished segments of the population while advocating for social justice. I treat the impecunious with no less respect than I would treat private pay clientele, and I try to reach people of different backgrounds in ways that are accessible—taking a personal interest in their families, concerns, aspirations, mental heath symptoms, and daily struggles. Then, suddenly, some narcissistic, gold-plated, pussy-grabbing Neanderthal with bad hair and an attitude problem comes along to degrade my efforts by emotionally appealing to the nation's worst concatenation of misogynists, racists, anti-intellectuals, and paranoid zombie isolationists—all the while implying that this is how to make America great again. Thanks. Thanks a lot asshole.

  • ConcernedCitizen says:

    I admit, I am one of those who realized America is "worse than we hoped" on Wednesday. Indeed, I still cling, in the aftermath of the election, to the ideal that some semblance of rational thought motivated those who voted for Trump: they recognize the neo-liberal forces of globalization that have taken their jobs; they resent the political correctness emanating from left-wing, elitist universities; they realize that Washington needs to be shaken up by someone outside the Beltway tit-for-tat consensus.

    But I think I am wrong. Rational interest had nothing to do with it. The difference between the last presidential election and this one occurred on the Democratic side. Less people voted for Clinton than for Obama. The people who voted Republican are the same people who have always voted Republican, and they were not at all dissuaded by the most obscene, fuck-other-people, "blood and soil" nativist language to which Trump cynically gave voice. Indeed, that seems to be what they wanted to hear all along.

    So yes, this election has done permanent damage. I can't quite look at my fellow Americans the same way, and I can no longer wave away the fact that "democracy" and "demagoguery" have the same prefix.

  • Yeah, pretty much. The consequences of this election are going to be horrible, of course, but when I try to explain to others – people who are not as broken by this as I seem to be – what I always come back to is that "Americans are not the people I thought we were."

    Sometimes it seems to me that my entire adult life has been one of constant, devastating disillusionment. I was a finance major as an undergrad, and then I discovered that the financial sector is mostly just about ripping people off and stealing as much money as possible. I became a lawyer, and discovered that the courts have very little to do with justice; they are, instead, in the words of an old partner of mine "just the place where corporations go to cut business deals."

    After decades of following politics, I know now that there are very few public servants who actually believe their job is to move us toward a more perfect union; instead, they understand their job to consist of grabbing as much as they can of the public commons for the benefit of their private donors.

    And now I understand that millions and millions of my fellow Americans – when given a choice – will vote for hate and bigotry and fear instead of competence, decency and respect.

    It's been a week, and I know it will get better – somehow – but I can't see that from here.

  • Faintly McAbre says:

    Thank you – thank you for this. I've been crying intermittently since the election results became clear (mostly while driving, but also in the shower, and sometimes at my desk at home), and this is helping me process the grief.

  • I don’t know how to feel about Trump — he’s personally loathsome, obviously, and he inarguably campaigned on the Mussolini Platform — but I don’t think he actually gives a shit about any of the awful things he said or promised to his pathetic followers, or has any plans to follow through on anything substantial. He already looks as if he’s throwing all his most popular "policy" positions down the media memory hole & he hasn’t even taken office yet. I’m almost hoping that (personal awfulness aside) Trump turns out to be the political equivalent of the monster in the closet that, once your mom turns on the light, resolves itself into a pair of pants hanging sideways on a clothes-hanger. But I’m still scared! These are terrifying times.

    I am, however, positively ecstatic to have a legitimate excuse to cut ties with every conservative asshole I know who humped Trump in public. I’m hanging every Trump-flavored hate crime off them like millstones and sinking them to the bottom of Lake Watch Me Ignore You Forever. "You voted for a candidate endorsed by the KKK, you racist! Everything bad that happens in my country is now your fault forever!" I’m going to say, when they ask me why I’ve unfriended them on Facebook and I’m refusing to speak to them or reply to their stupid messages about Christmas presents. I have generally tried to be pretty easygoing about other people’s life choices up to now, but fuck all that shit. Your faith in a god that can’t remember, from one holy, inerrant chapter to the next, whether or not he would like his followers to murder people in his name — that counts against you. Your passive-aggressive Ozzie & Harriet LARPing — penalty. Your sexual hysteria about birth control & abortion — you lost all your points. You look like you’re even dreaming about using the words "blue lives matter" in a non-comedy context — have a seat on the bench. I’m not putting up with these people for even one second anymore. I’m not legitimizing their delusions by pretending they’re just another way of looking at the world. These revanchist morons seem to think they’ve won a victory, here, in the 'culture war'; I hope we can all surprise them.

    I love your blog, by the way! I’ve been following it stealthily for years.

  • Steve in the ATL says:

    I was thrilled to vote for Hillary; more excited than I have been for any other vote I've ever cast. My wife and daughter were the same way (other daughter we aren't sure about). Same for my friends and sane family (sister was thrilled to vote for Trump; she carries at least one gun at all times and is certain that her rural Tennessee town is a top target for brown/Muslim terrorism).

    Hillary is far more liberal than you suggest in this post, and would have been one of the all time great presidents.

    Also, I am in Phoenix, AZ today and accidentally drove down Peoria Street. I felt your pain.

  • Gotta agree with Steve up there. Hillary Clinton was a big deal for me, anyway, the opportunity to vote for a smart, experienced feminist who came from a working-class background and put herself through school, who was committed to reproductive rights, addressing climate change, student debt, maintaining higher tax rates for the wealthy et al, et al, doesn't present itself every day. Or ever, for that matter. American voters in swing states took a look at her and decided they'd rather have an idiot with a penis. I am crushed and I did cry. I don't feel like an American right now; I'm proud to be from the West Coast, where our values don't include hate, racism and misogyny. These other "Americans" who wanted "change" are about to get what they voted for; this is the only bitter satisfaction I will get from this election, to watch him break every promise and destroy and cheat his followers. Some fun.

  • I suppose it's too much to hope that, when the inevitable disaster occurs and his administration implodes, Groper Caudillo will tell his devoted followers that they must drink the kool-aid and follow him to paradise.

    Would take a lot of fuel to burn the corpses, tho, there is that to consider.

  • I have to somewhat disagree with you on this one. Yes people generally suck, but why?! I think it comes down to that when push comes to shove, we are *all* single-issue voters because something has to be your number 1. And while I would like to think that everyone would prioritize others' civil rights (my number 1) over their own shit, this has never proven to be true. Hard to prioritize someone else over yourself or your family when you feel like you're drowning, if that's founded or unfounded (IMO almost always unfounded on the right).

  • You are mistaken. A lot of people voted for Hillary because she was the best candidate, and they were happy to have the opportunity to do so. She won, you know, and is still winning as the votes continue to be counted. If it were not for vote suppression and the electoral "college", a cheat system for when the powerful don't like the outcome of a democratic voting process, she would have been proclaimed the winner.

    Hillary is a person a lot of us would be very pleased to have a beer with, or a cup of coffee.

  • I disagree. Many people genuinely felt crushed (including me) because we also missed out on a first woman president (which would've been historic) and what that would've represented. I'm surprised (and a little disappointed) that you didn't consider that aspect.

  • Damn right this middle aged straight white guy was absolutely stoked at the idea of a President Hillary Clinton, as were my wife and daughters.

  • Also if people are crying because Hillary lost, check your fucking privilege. I've been crying because of the fears that my gay / friends of color have expressed to me, when a friend told me about a child who asked if he now has to be a slave, and when a friend told me about his Latino students crying in school all week because they're afraid they won't be able to finish high school or they'll be taken away from their families. That's what you should be crying about.

  • Don't know why you're so surprised.
    Just read the commenters on this or any other blog, of whatever political hue, and you'll soon realize how shallow the pool of public opinion.
    And never mind the bloggers themselves!

  • Nobody who was past the age of reason in 2004 has ANY excuse whatsoever to be SURPRISED by the result. Shocked, horrified, fearful, fine. But "How could they?" is not a legitimate question unless you were in diapers when the Pig People wore Purple Heart bandaids and called their opponents treasonous terrorist sympathizers and voted for a man who, while at least fundamentally literate, probably wouldn't blow Trump off the field in a game of checkers.

    Because I remembered that stupid people like to vote for other stupid people, and there are a LOT of stupid people in the US, and they can be made to vote with the right combination of messaging, when those returns started coming in I wasn't in the LEAST surprised. To be honest, the election of Obama in 2008 was a MUCH bigger shock, orders of magnitude bigger.

  • I'm with all the people who voted for Hillary, for all the reasons they stated. From lawyer through First Lady of Arkansas to the present, she's been a strong force for families of all types, women, and children.

    As a parent of two 20-somethings who both had major social events this year, I sadly had to witness the piteous mewling of the wimmen-hatin' man-babies. The same ones who cried piteous tears because a Ghostbusters remake with GIRL COOTIES had the power to go back in time and RUIN THEIR CHILDHOODS FOREVER! Eleventy!11! were the ones who insisted they'd NEVER EVER vote for a woman president…because REASONS (mostly cooties). Since they didn't get their fondest wish with St. Bernie, they were voting Trump to burn the place down, which of course is the correct response to grown man-babies (mostly white) who don't get their waty.

  • Let's see. We've turned tv news into a reality show, so is it any wonder that a reality tv star won the Presidency? Everyone knows that the election is a goddamn popularity contest– look at 2000. Dull, experienced Al Gore got beaten by a draft-dodging, coke-snorting fratboy who managed to conceal his silver spoon upbringing and Ivy League education behind a facade of aw shucks cornpone Texas bullshit. (Yes, I know Gore "technically" (OK, ABSOLUTELY) won, but who was in the White House for eight years?) Reagan? Pretty obviously a dimwit, but hey, that sunny personality! Obama, fronkly imo, kind of an empty suit, but hey, he's good-looking and wittty, and had damn good speechwriters.

    This recent election was Lisa Simpson vs. Nelson Muntz (he's the bully). What did you THINK was gonna happen? I expected Clinton would win in a squeaker, thanks to the Mighty Wurlitzer and the (jacked) polls, but was not nearly as shocked as most. Still cried a little the morning after, and I KNOW BETTER. Mrs. Clinton was a terrible candidate whom I'd never vote for (red state, haters), but I was still upset that we managed to elect an overtly racist, know-nothing, pussy-grabbing Giant Evil Baby President.

  • don't know about everyone else, but I'm a Mexican-American woman (yes, a native-born US citizen—the bigots don't seem to care either way). I have to fight back panic when I realize that a quarter of the electorate either doesn't want me and my kind here or simply doesn't care, and another 50% didn't even care enough to bother voting. I have family and friends who are Latino, black, Asian, Muslim, Jewish, physically or mentally disabled, LGBTQ, or who rely on ACA-guaranteed healthcare or Medicare for lifesaving treatment (e.g., treatment for advanced cancer). And our President-elect has held true to his campaign words thus far by naming a white nationalist as his chief strategist.

    So no, this isn't mere disappointment. This is fear and pain and impotent

  • I don't agree re: Hillary. She presented us with sound, well thought out policies to address some of the most urgent issues we are facing, and given her reputation for "back room dealings," I think maybe she could have gotten a lot of it done. I think she would have made a good president, and I think a lot of other people think that too. She wasn't as far left as I would have liked, but since many people in this country aren't as far left as I would like, that seemed like a reasonable compromise for me to make. I voted for her because I wanted her to be president.

  • I affirmatively voted for Hillary, not just a vote against Trump, because I've liked her since the 90s and think she'd be an excellent president, just like a lot of the people commenting above. She's done things that I think are bad and things that I disagree with, but so has Obama, and I voted for him four times, counting the primaries. I'm genuinely disappointed and saddened that she lost, and I'm also afraid to see what comes next. Because the other side of that coin was that the prospect of a Trump presidency is truly bone-chilling, and I can't think of a way at this point that the next four years will have a good outcome regardless of what's coming.

  • Thank you, Jen. It's easy for straight white dudes like myself to just say, "yup, America's fucked, whatever" when we are unlikely to suffer any personal consequences like having one's parents deported, or being shot by a cop for no reason, or simply being harassed for wearing a headscarf. And Bannon is fucking terrifying.

  • You were too uncharitable regarding Clinton supporters. Other people have pointed this out but I just wanted to add one more voice to those who saw a vote for Clinton as something positive and worth getting excited about.

  • Don't give up now. Trump is on record over and over again saying some of the most deplorable sh*t ever uttered in public. Make Trump supporters eat it. Make them defend it. All my friends, family and acquaintances on Facebook who have stated they voted for Trump, are being asked repeatedly to defend his statements accompanied with an explanation of why their choosing a person who says these things scares and disappoints me. A letter to the editor appeared in our local newspaper defending Trump. My response, a list of just a few of the things Trump said and a request that the author explain his support for the statements. To paraphrase that Popovic statement, these are statements we would punish our children for making, and this is the person you want to lead the country, the person that best represents us? Shame and embarrassment are powerful motivators. People wanted to be able to vote for and support a shameful and embarrassing candidate to lead our country and not be responsible for it, lets make them eat that.

  • What happened was that a whole lot of very sheltered adults learned what I, and every other non-standard person, learned a very long time ago as children.

    That people are complete assholes towards other people that are not "like me", for whichever definition of "like me" they happen to be using.

    For instance, during this election, we learned that for a whole lot of people, "like me" is defined as "sharing my particular and exact views on the value/importance of a political candidate".

    I read a lot of the commentary that's been made by people of my left-leaning political persuasion in the last week, and I make a few choice word replacements. I wonder, briefly, how those same people would react to reading their own words, but coming from someone else and using those few choice replacements. I wonder if they're even conscientious enough to realize it.

    "Tumblr or Stormfront" is a depressing game to play, just so you know.

  • Yes, I was very excited about voting for Hillary. I've thought for a long time that she is intelligent, competent, and really cares about people. She's too hawkish on foreign policy, but that's the only area where I had any doubts about her.

    She's not exactly a natural politican, but as far as issues and being able to accomplish anything at all positive with a Republican congress I would have taken her over pretty much any other plausible alternative.

    I really don't understand all this anti-Hillary stuff on the left…

  • This is a country where up until this year tens of millions of people and local and regional governments still openly displayed, without stigma, a symbol of their disapproval that the right to own slaves was taken from them by force 150 years ago. The moral decrepitude of American culture isn't subtle, and never was.

    But yeah, I actually thought we were turning the corner for real after 60 years of hand-wringing. Turns out the corner isn't even in sight yet.

  • Jeremy Jacobs says:

    I guess I'm another middle-aged white guy who was really excited about voting for the first female president, and is very disappointed by what happened. My heart aches for my mother, a contemporary of Hillary's who felt her own struggles against misogyny would be redeemed by this election, and for my college-age nieces who just saw clearly that they can become anything they want, as long as there isn't a less qualified man up for the same job.

    I do agree with you that we saw in this election that a vast many Americans are not the decent people we imagined them to be. The silver lining is that I no longer feel I have to pretend to give a damn about any of these 61 million racist fools.

  • What geoff said.

    I look at my situation in a deep red state and realize that very little will change for me as a white guy. Sure, locally, we said "Trump has the right ideas","bring back the death penalty" and "no money for community college expansion" but how does that change my life? Not much. I might even benefit personally through a bit lower tax rate.

    My support for Sen. Sanders was a (caucus) vote for the idea that we can live in a world that is win win. Everyone can be better off if we "all pull together as a team". My vote shifted to Sec. Clinton despite her hawkish nature in foreign affairs and her lack of desire to regulate the finance industry because she, at least, represents the better part of our human nature.

    I have always been looking to secure the lives of my grandchild and great nieces/nephews through the accumulation of wealth as a buffer against the horrors of a rigged economic system and a climate that will be a hellscape for their children. My thoughts have turned to, "How can I make money in a Trump administration.", so as to buffer me and mine against the ravages that are about to occur. Sure, that's regression in my outlook and I'm not comfortable with it but I feel I must have their best interests at heart. It doesn't mean I won't donate to the local battered women's shelter, planned parenthood, FFRF, etc., because that is also a way to have their best interests at heart. But… I can only do that if I have the accumulation of wealth that makes that possible.

    There will be no recovery from the damage that's going to take place. Not in my lifetime, not in the lifetime of my grandchildren's grandchildren.

    Oh, my money will never again go to Sen. Al Franken. His early endorsement of Sec. Clinton over an actual progressive Sen. Sanders was a deal breaker.

  • I see there are a number of commenters here who were excited to vote for Clinton, but for most people the main reason they were given to vote for her is that she wasn't Trump, rather than any positive reason to vote for her.

    Considering all the problems with Trump, maybe blocking Trump should have been a good enough reason. But, you need to give people a reason to vote for your candidate. You need to show them what you're going to do to make their lives better, and the Clinton campaign didn't do that.

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    I'll admit that I was, and am, genuinely surprised. It's embarrassing. I am not as cool or cynical as I thought.

    I'm still willing to trade in that Cubs win. Is that doable?

  • Headline: Frank Gaffney now on board the transition team, and working hard on a plan to register Muslims. But voting "against Trump" wasn't good enough? The fastidious white liberals who stayed home or voted for Stein aren't the main problem–racism, misogyny and tribalistic thinking probably added more to Trump's totals. The failure of both major parties to vet and to run fair primaries, and the failure of the mainstream media–now an entertainment media–also loom large. Someone said today that this isn't the first disaster the US has survived. But in all disasters there are many who don't survive. And this disaster was not necessary.

  • I'm with Steve. I was genuinely excited to cast my vote for Clinton — not because she is female, and not because I am female. She was more energizing and galvanizing than she was given credit for. I certainly don't think she is perfect, and there are definitely issue with encouraging any presidential dynasty. But the fact that she wasn't perceived as energizing or galvanizing? Now, THAT, I suspect, has everything to do with her being female.

  • FiddlinBill; the whining about "unfair primiaries" is really getting old. Sanders, an Independent, tried to run as a Democrat, and many of his followers couldn't be bothered to register as Democrats and as such weren't allowed to vote in the DEMOCRATIC primary (<–did you catch the hint there in the name of the primary?). Complaining about it is just more sheltered entitled folk whining.

  • FWIW I "affirmatively supported" HRC and was excited for her historic candidacy in the same way I was Obama in 2008. True if she had lost to a normal Republican I would not despair in the same way. But the idea that no one was excited about Hillary's candidacy is a myth being born before our eyes. It underrates Obama's historic candidacy to compare his turnout and excitement levels to Clinton's campaign. Yes, despite running against Trump and Stormfront and Wikileaks and the FBI and the KGB and 30 years of hatred coordinated between the GOP and it's propaganda arms, many of us were very excited to vote for her and are saddened that we won't get to see what she might have achieved.

    What I'm hearing is a lot of "Maaaan Bernie would have won" *kicks dirt*. Maybe he would have cornered enough of the amorphous illiberal "fuck the system" sentiment floating around to make a difference. Who knows? But I wouldn't have relished seeing the two pugilists batter each other and holler populist slogans any more than I enjoyed the shit show of the actual general election. Don't forget that it isn't as if HRC didn't try to share her plans for CONTINUING to improve the country (seems like the left wing of the Democratic Party forgets almost as easily as everyone else that practically everything is better than it was before Obama). But no one paid attention unless it involved an attack on Trump. So that's what she ran with. "Trump is a dangerous moron" turned out to be a better narrative than "let's continue to make incremental realistic progress toward our goals!"

    But I agree in essence that the outpouring of emotion is against Trump. And it's not just people on the coasts going "OMG I forgot America was so phobic and racist." It's people around the country getting a dark peek into what friends family and neighbors REALLY think. Survivors of sexual assault seeing friends and family support a sexual predator. People made to feel unwelcome in their own country. Thoughtful people who believe in science seeing trust in reason and fact abandoned. The fact that these profound disappointments are often personal shouldn't get lost in the "rural vs urban" narrative.

  • Patrick McNamara says:

    Your silly screed discounts HRC just as simplistically as the Women Haters of the RepubliKlan.

    Go fuck yourself.

  • I experienced everything you just described when Reagan won by a landslide.

    I'm surprised than anyone, since Reagan, has been optimistic or continued to believe in the basic goodness of people.

  • SteveInMN: No positive reason to vote for HRC? How about increased minimum wage? Making college affordable? Protective reproductive rights? Addressing climate change? There was also a cool idea for a youth service program — it got absolutely no coverage except in places like the Atlantic, because everybody else was focused on either 1) whatever entertaining or infuriating garbage was coming out of the mouth of the R candidate or 2) emails. I voted for HRC with pride and enthusiasm, knocked doors for her, registered voters, gave money, threw myself into her candidacy even before I knew who her opponent would be. I'm finding myself waking up in the night and popping antacids. I can't think about any of this stuff without having to suppress tears. Of course, nobody knows what DT will actually do — he doesn't know himself — but unfortunately, the only people left in DC who know how to get their agenda enacted is the Repub congress. American didn't elect Trump, they elected the Ryan agenda.

  • When you're told nonstop for a year that you're wrong for supporting Clinton, you develop quiet enthusiasm because you just don't feel like putting up with that bullshit anymore. And there's plenty of evidence that this country and the lives of people in it are, in fact, better than eight years ago. Gradual, steady progress isn't sexy or hip or exciting and we don't always get what we want when we want it, but it is vastly superior to the alternative, which is this dumpster fire we now have on our hands.

    I was excited to vote for her, and while it certainly wasn't the worst thing about the results, watching a qualified woman lose to this disgusting piece of shit was still a pretty hard blow to suffer.

    If this election has taught me anything, it's that people are really, really fucking stupid and selfish, and racist, more than I ever could have possibly imagined. And, their attention spans and ability to focus or see anything through is pretty much on par with a golden retriever who just so happened to be on the side of the freeway at the same time a truck delivering tennis balls overturned and spilled its load.

  • I was happy to vote for her.

    I was skeptical of her at first. Her performance before the congressional committee and in the debates showed that she's smart, tough and able to think under pressure.

    I will say that my primary vote was a tossup. I liked Bernie but I didn't think he had a shot in the general.

    It's one thing to be tarred by your opponent as a "socialist", it's quite another to self identify as one. I think they would have torn him apart on that one.

    Maybe I was wrong. We'll never know.

  • I was another person who was excited to vote for Hillary Clinton.

    I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary and almost immediately the regret set in. I liked his message, but he is not accomplished – he's a good talker, but he's not a guy who gets things done.

    Clinton gets shit done. I don't agree with her on everything, but she had a great, detailed LIBERAL policies that any Bernie Bro could peruse, if they wanted to. And like Emily said, a lot of women were not outspoken about their support because they would get attacked by people who are supposedly on the same side of the aisle.

    And looking at the recent news about Schumer and his leadership team, the Democrats are doing the stupid thing again. Manchin? Sanders isn't even a fucking Democrat!

  • This election has been so rough because on one side, I've got the friends utilizing DACA who are afraid of losing their jobs and their ability to go to school. Do you know how horrifying it is when someone you've known for years calls you at 3am on election night crying "I'm scared they're going to round me up"? We've got the LGBT folks who are pissed that half the country seemed to overlook their rights. We've got the Muslims who are targeted as well. Gosh, I know a young adult brought as a refugee about a decade ago. She was completely devastated because to her, it feels as though a good portion of the country doesn't want her here, let alone alive.

    And as an Arizona resident (I agree with Steve, our Peoria totally sucks. It's full of trash.) I have to see plenty of the other side. They're my coworkers who smugly say "hey at least we won't have to press 1 for English!" They're the ones with literally no compassion for anyone who isn't a straight and natural-born citizen. They have a complete disregard for how the marginalized feel until confronted by them, and then act awfully confused at why anyone in the vulnerable populations are upset.

    And as a black guy myself, I was totally raised to believe this country had no qualms throwing minorities under the bus. But while I've seen bits and pieces of racism before, I never *felt* it was so widespread until now, in my late 20s. Even if Hillary had won, I was afraid of waking up every morning knowing that tens of millions of people are a-ok with saying garbage that would have me fired and ostracized.

  • As a New Yorker, I voted for Hillary twice for Senate, and voted for her two more times in primaries, and happily for President. I'm gutted by what's happened. I thought she was exactly the right person to elect at this time because of her experience as Secretary of State and her years as a very effective senator with relationships on both sides of the aisle. Her work for women, children, and families is critical to me.

    Instead, I'm now terrified for my Jewish family in the United States. When Bannon and Gaffney start registering people based on their faith, you think they'll overlook the Jews? I'm petrified about global war, economic implosion, and evisceration of civil rights, including women's bodily autonomy.

    Because my fellow Americans couldn't tolerate the idea of a sane and competent woman.

  • I'd be careful talking about "depressed turnout" among Democrats, given that there are still a lot of absentee/mail ballots which have not been counted (mostly in California). That's not to say that there weren't people who voted for Obama in '08 or '12 who did not show up this time around, but figuring that out is going to be more difficult than simply looking at voter turnout figures.

    As for the idea that Sanders would've easily defeated Trump and other nonsense from the left, see Kurt Eichenwald's article in Newsweek:

  • Andrew Laurence says:

    I was about 15% pro-Clinton and 85% anti-Drumpf, but it was the easiest choice I've ever made, and I've been voting since 1984 (Democrat every single time). I have two friends (both women) who were enthusiastic about Clinton because they wanted a woman president. One is old enough to have legitimate fears that she'll never see one in her lifetime. But I think Clinton would have continued the sensible, moderate, inclusive policies of Obama, whom I love and respect a great deal, partly because we have similar origin stories and we both married very, very well. That alone was more than good enough for me.

    I've actually started making serious inquiries about emigrating to Canada or Israel. I hope it doesn't come to that, as I love my country of birth and believe in what it _actually_ stands for, but I'm not going to stick around and wait for the trains to start rolling. My awareness of history may save my life, and I hope my Jewish, Trump-supporting best friend from high school and his family get out too, if it comes to that.

    And before you ride me for considering Israel, I do have considerable differences with its current government, but I can't do anything to change those unless I become an Israeli citizen.

  • A few things:
    "and essentially expecting voters to motivate themselves out of sheer terror. Indeed, many people (particularly people who don't happen to be white, male, or white and male) did so." Sorry Ed, but the numbers I've seen, if true, suggest that Hilary underperformed with just about every demographic.

    I'm not sounding the alarm yet, but to all my fellow straight white males, if things do go straight to hell you better be prepared to stand up. If they're going to take away your LGBTQ friends kids, adopt them instead. The same goes if they orphan the neighborhood Hispanic children. I sincerely hope nothing like that ever becomes necessary, but I'll gladly play that game if it comes to that.

    Lastly, by all means vent right now, but even if half the electorate is comprised of slobbering racists, we can't just write them off and never speak to them again if we want to win in 2018 or 2020.

  • Yeah, sorry, Ed. You're just wrong here. As other commenters have pointed out, there were lots of us who were excited about a Clinton Administration. I was an Obama supporter in 2008 because I thought he would win against a Republican, not because I agreed with his policies more than Clinton's, as hers were — and remain — to the left of his.

    I cried because this is an abomination. Was it bound to happen one day? Maybe. Sure. But after two terms of Obama, a man whose dignity and statesmanship are unmatched in modern American politics, who the majority of this country approves of, for us to do a 180 and elect an authoritarian simpleton with no actual interest in the hard work of politics is fucking disgusting.

    That people are saying Hillary Clinton was uninspiring is gross, too. Maybe you should have paid more attention to what she was actually saying, instead of the bullshit spouted by the Fourth Estate.

  • Hillary was not my first choice (and Bernie was never my choice) for president but I voted for Hillary because she was 100% the better human being, 100% the better candidate and 100% the better leader to move America forward. If you complain that she wasn't an exciting candidate or that they didn't know what her platform was about then that's all on you the voter. As a voter you should have actively done your research instead of waiting for tl;drs from tv reporters. And what does "excitement" have to do with being POTUS. The blame for this debacle is all on the voting public.

    And for all those people who "hope" that Trump won't be as bad as we imagine, just look at the people he is assigning to the various positions. He may not be interested in working and be hands off; but I truly dread Pence, Bannon, and Paul Ryan's agendas more.

    I've decided that if I ever meet or hear a Trump supporter, I'm going to raise my fist and say "Grab them by the pussy" as a greeting. They were okay with Trump saying that and therefore should be happy to hear/own it.

  • There is clearly a cadre of dedicated Clinton supporters but, from outside that fence, it looks like a bunch of aging boomers that misremember the 90's. Yes, the economy was doing great, but that took little or nothing from Bill's actual politics and policies. being a gen-x latino growing up on welfare I remember NAFTA, three strikes, and welfare reform. Sure, she has all the social liberal bona fides, but that's simply not enough to bring out the vote anymore.

    And yes, Sanders would have won. That was clear from polling throughout, and the fact that many crossed over to Trump after Clinton won the primary. All that gas about the "socialist" bugaboo is just sour grapes. The word hasn't meant anything in 20 years. Personal accomplishments be damned, what was she gonna do about manufacturing jobs? Face it, gang: you nominated a neoliberal, neocon, bank hugging party hack in the midst of a populist tornado.

    Lesser evil is not a sufficient campaign slogan.

  • Sanders would not have won. Socialism is still a dirty word to too many red state voters. I've heard them myself. It's ludicrous to think otherwise.

  • How the hell do you go from supporting Bernie's socialist goals and ideas to voting for Trump? That's just white privilege having a temper tantrum because they didn't get what they wanted and probably a bit of sexism thrown in the mix.

  • So, again, there are clearly a lot of enthusiastic Clinton supporters here. I would still contend that the main message I heard from that campaign was to vote to block Trump, and that message didn't resonate with voters.

    But, questions of Clinton's message aside, what should the next Democratic presidential candidate do differently to win the next election?

  • You miss the point. The vast majority of Trump voters didn't yell "Lock up the bitch." But a great great number of them had despaired of Washington fixing the misery of their shit-jobs-dead-towns lives. These people didn't feel they had the luxury of high-mindedness. They'd seen their lives continue to suck under Obama, and they didn't hear Hillary explain how it would be different. Yes, Trump's message was vile, and yes, if Obama hadn't had to deal with a treasonous congress, their lives WOULD be better. But as usual, the Democrats were outflanked by the GOP, and the Democrats failed to find the words that voters wanted and needed to hear. When people are unemployed and broke, they don't have the inclination to put immigrants and refugees first. I'm glad that I can, but the Democrats assumed everyone is like me, and you. They aren't, and I think your essay shows that you don't understand this.

  • I should clarify that question. What I think I'm hearing in the comments is:

    1) Clinton was a great candidate that people here were happy to support,

    2) Even if one didn't like her, Trump was so bad that the right thing to do was to vote for Clinton.

    And despite these strong beliefs among readers here, Clinton lost the election. Some of the common reasons that I've heard around the internet is that she lost because of racism, misogyny, apathy or plain stupidity among voters. I'm not convinced that those are the right reasons, but even if they are, back to the question:

    What should the next Democratic presidential candidate do differently to win the next election?

  • @SteveInMn, good question, but a wholesale purge of the DNC of DLC types and Clintonistas would be a good start. Podesta, Wasserman Schultz, Brazile, Clinton, Kaine; they all need to go and recognized as the losers they've continued to be since 2000. My concern is that they have so hollowed out the party by not supporting state and local organizations (e.g., the Democratic Party here in TN is effectively dead at a statewide level, and that's a fairly recent development) that there's no real "farm team" left to pick up the pieces.

  • Andrew Laurence says:

    SteveInMN: First, there has to BE another election. This is by no means guaranteed. But if there is one, I think the Democrats can count on the votes of all the elderly Trump supporters whose Medicare was gutted as long as they promise to bring it back. After the mess Trump makes, a center-right Democrat should be able to win easily. Also, gutting Medicare will make Trump supporters die off even quicker than they would otherwise, and while this is lamentable, it does benefit our side politically.

  • I also was beyond thrilled to vote for Hillary and I think she would have been a tremendously good president. It's academic at this point, but that type of dismissal, "no one gave a shit about Hillary," and "I see there are a number of commenters here who were excited to vote for Clinton, but for most people the main reason they were given to vote for her is that she wasn't Trump, rather than any positive reason to vote for her" is pretty offensive. There were many parts to the problem, but that kind of casual misogyny on the left of erasing the millions of women (and men) who were passionate supporters has been one of the most depressing parts of this election for me. The Pantsuit Nation FB group grew to over 3 million members in two weeks, and the stories on there about how much people appreciated her and all she's done were incredible. Anyone who thinks she didn't have affirmative support has their own kind of bubble they need to get out of. Not to mention the fact that she was overwhelmingly supported by women and POC in the primary…

  • For Elizabeth Warren to be an effective President, we need to clean the Trumpista Republicans out of Congress first.

    Two years, bitches.

  • I was enthusiastic for Clinton and totally frustrated by all the misinformation and ridiculous hand-wringing over the email thing, along with the Benghazi propaganda. A Trump as President just seemed so absurd…

    No one reason for Clinton losing or Trump winning–it is a big basket of pluses and minuses on both sides…but when considering the meddling of Giuliani's FBI buddies / Comey, Russion Hacking / WikiLeaks…this election was "tainted".

    And what is another scary thing about Trump is the real increase in the odds of another 911-scale event by Muslim extremists. That kind of thing takes real inspiration, and Trump is just the guy for that! One swamp Trump is definitely NOT draining is the one with the Terrorists in it…he's filling it right up.

  • The future of my young daughters just became much darker. It is a sick hurtful feeling inside because of what my children will face in the future. We, as in this
    society, have been fighting against such nonsense all of my lifetime. To see it all wiped out in a day just like that is a bit much to take. HRC is a highly competent
    woman who would have rivaled Obama for an excellent legacy. It isn't a good sign at all when we see Nazis and KKK marching in the street with their victory parades. This is never a good sign of anything.

  • I must strongly disagree with this: "Clinton eerily paralleled the Kerry / Edwards campaign in the end, making a persuasive case for why the Republican opponent is terrible but offering nothing to recommend themselves beyond "We're really experienced!"

    Offered nothing? Clinton's positions and policy proposals were available for anyone with an internet connections, and far more progressive than many seem to want to acknowledge or give her credit for. And she made countless policy speeches. The issue here was lack of coverage because The Media was too busy masturbating to Trump shitshow videos and a nothingburger email "scandal".

    This election did two things: (1) exposed the American media as irredeemably broken and (2) cemented the perception that a large portion – just a hair under half – of American voters are racist, stupid, or both.

  • And I'll add this to my earlier comment – it also exposed a third thing: a significant number of Americans are enabling dilettantes.

    Yeah, I'm talking about Jill Stein voters and those who didn't bother to vote at all. You own this too.

  • Andrew Laurence says:

    Steve-O: If you amend that to "Jill Stein voters in swing states," I'll agree with you. Jill Stein voters in California and New York didn't do squat.

  • I was excited to vote for Hillary too. She was going to continue what Obama started. I was excited to follow the first AA POTUS with the first woman. I didn't think it would be any easier for her than it was for him to work with the other side of the aisle, but I knew she would at least be the firewall we need from the bat-shit nutso R's who want to dismantle everything that makes us a civilized society.

    I just don't see any way forward from the hot mess in which we now find ourselves. Every day brings a fresh new load of racist, xenophopic, misogynistic garbage in the form of the ManBaby's "cabinet". (We should change the name to "basket" for this administration.)

    If we still have a country left after the Yam and his fellow neanderthals, there should be requirements other than BORN HERE for POTUS. Anyone who wants to run should have to be able to pass a civics test, release their tax returns and pass a psychiatric evaluation. This can never happen again.

  • Long term , y'all win (deep breaths Mr. dc)

    Tactical flub by the Ds. The Rainbow IS the future, but the Ds threw away the non-college White boys a little early.

    Liberal impatience and a dose of intellectual elite snobbery (like we see around here) did y'all in this time.

    The future is Red and Brown and Yellow and Black…just not for a few more election cycles.

    You got this…


  • Per Noah:
    "a great great number of them had despaired of Washington fixing the misery of their shit-jobs-dead-towns lives… They'd seen their lives continue to suck under Obama, and they didn't hear Hillary explain how it would be different."
    BUT: "yes, if Obama hadn't had to deal with a treasonous congress, their lives WOULD be better."
    People have so vigorously chosen to consume and believe information from sources that are not just biased but in some cases totally divorced from the truth — and now a large swath of the country consistently blames the wrong people for failing to help them. Yes, I agree with you that the failure of Washington to improve red staters' lives can be laid squarely on the obstructionist R congress — yet Obama is blamed unthinkingly, as if it's common knowledge. How can we break through the firehose of misinformation currently aimed at the electorate?

  • Trump won in suburbia. He won among the $50,000+ demo.

    Now if the Trump administration does any of the terrible things people think they might do, will suburbia even notice? If they notice, will they blame it all on the foot dragging by the Democrats?

    Not much and definitely.

  • Thanks for the cheering words, bb in GA. We are just worried about how much destruction can come about in those few more election cycles…

    I was really devastated by the news through election night that Trump was winning and then that he won–and that the Republicans had won both houses of Congress. Sick realization swamped over me in waves when I thought of all that they could turn to shit with their Sewage Touch–and also I thought of the terror that anyone who isn't straight, white, male and native-born must be feeling. It's only been a week and they are already talking about registries for Muslims. Registries. For Muslims.

    And yes, I had hoped against hope that my fellow Americans were not that fucking stupid and deluded. For once I am really sorry that I was right all along.

  • I'm going to try to keep this short, lord knows I usually fly off the handle and type a novel.

    1) Never underestimate the racism and sexism of white people. I know, not all whites, but having worked in black neighborhoods for YEARS I got to hear white people (vendors, other customers, etc.) talk shit about the black people that they work with or around. They said lots of racist or just-about racists jokes, lots of "well, you know"comments, etc. Lots about welfare, etc.

    2) Speaking of welfare, people who work 40+ hours a week and are barely scraping by are obsessed with people who "get something for nothing", be it food stamps, "welfare", or Section 8 housing. Absolutely obsessed. They are angry, and for good reason, that they can barely live paycheck to paycheck, with any extra expense or job loss/ hour reduction threatening to leave them destitute. The "Make America Great Again" slogan plays right into these people's wheelhouse. They want a return to the idea that working full-time would lead them out of poverty. The jobless poverty of the Rust Belt is extremely similar to the jobless poverty of the inner cities of the 70s and 80s, which lead to an increase in crime and drugs. Which brings me to…

    3) Look at the increase in heroin and opiate abuse in the Rust Belt and suburban communities. Why is it happening? Same reason the crack "epidemic" hit the inner-cities in the 80s: no jobs, no hope, no future. And people are scared as people they know and love start dropping dead of overdoses or get AIDS or whatever from heroin.

    So when someone who appears successful (Trump really isn't that successful, but this is something that has been covered elsewhere in greater depth) comes along and says "I'm going to fix this, I'm going to make it like it 'great' again", even though that "greatness" is a bogus construct of how *some* people were successful during the imagined national memory of never, it's easy for people who already are having a hard time to fall under the sway of this type of logic.

    While crime is down overall and the economy is improving overall, the Rust Belt has been left behind for a variety of reasons. Youngstown stunk when Bush was in office (I lived around there before Obama was elected) but as the years have gone by, things have not gotten better, and so a candidate who was competent but not flashy has the deck stacked against her.

  • Andrew Laurence says:

    @mothra: I AM straight, white, male, and American born, but I'm just Jewish enough (25%) that Hitler would have had me killed. Also, I'm an outspoken advocate for racial equality, and in the "minds" of white supremacists, that makes me a niggerjew and worthy of execution.

  • @ Steve-o: So, you're saying it's for the voters to come to the candidate, not for the candidate to, IDK, convince them? Or is that just another lesser evil argument?

    @Noah: Given his performance when he had congress I don't see how Obama was going to improve rust belt lives. Yes, they can now qualify for medicaid, but that's a pretty sad substitute for a decent job. This is not to say that he hasn't been a good president (Cuba, Iran, ACA, fixing the VA, etc…) but none of that was going to provide what these people are really needing. Hillary was promising more of the same. Increasing the minimum wage means nothing to a person that remembers making $35 per hour.

    @vista: While I tried to talk them out of it, they had a certain kind of logic on their side. After a more than a decade of continually losing ground they were convinced that their only salvation lay in radical change. Sanders promised that, so (quite mendaciously) did Trump, while Clinton promised more of the same policies that got them there. Recall that, in Weimar Germany, the Nazi and Communist parties regarded one another as recruiting pools.

    Many of you seem to have been the "winners" of the past 20 years, and particularly the post-Bush recovery. Stop and consider how it looks to the people who are still on the losing side of that. All the recovered gains, in both salary and total wealth, went to 20% of the population. Unemployment is down, but only because of record low labor force participation. Jobs have been created, but they are almost all low wage service jobs rather than the kind that were lost. In those conditions no one should be surprised when people start throwing Molotov's.

  • @bb

    A lot of those non-college white folks are my in-laws. Southern Ohio is part of Appalachia.

    Surprisingly, they split pretty evenly this election. The holidays are going to be really interesting this year.

  • @Khaled: "Speaking of welfare, people who work 40+ hours a week and are barely scraping by are obsessed with people who "get something for nothing", be it food stamps, "welfare", or Section 8 housing."
    The majority of people making <$50k/year voted for Clinton. Let's turn our attention to the folks who are (relatively) comfortable and voted for the racist, misogynist, fascist, know-nothing demagogue rather than the hyper-competent, liberal, lifetime civil servant who has been systematically vilified by the press for the last 30+ years (starting when she was the First Lady of Arkansas).
    I think that a lot of people making $50k fit your description above, especially when it comes to healthcare subsidies. So when the fascist demagogue tells them that he’s going to “Make America Great Again ™”, they hear the dog whistle rhetoric for what it is: white people get to be on top again, and the upper classes get to lord it over the lower classes again. Especially when it’s combined with the bullhorn rhetoric about Muslims and Mexicans spewing from the fascist’s mouth.
    We need to get the message out there starting now – while using examples given to us by the fascist regime as they pop up – that the fascists are to blame. That the Democrats offer alternatives to misery, hatred and spite that will improve everyone’s lives, and we’re not going to leave the Rust Belt (among many others) behind. How that message is crafted is going to be the difference between winning and losing in 2018.

  • I'm an upper-middle-class, middle-aged, married, heterosexual, white, Christian male. Heck, I even own guns.

    By all rights I should be jumping for joy right now. I'm going to get a big tax cut.

    So why is it that I'm filled with existential dread right now?

  • Andrew Laurence says:

    Major Kong: Because you care for others who are not so fortunate, and for the preservation of our democratic institutions? I'm right up their with you except for the guns and I also bear the map of Israel on my face (one Jewish grandparent). I'm beginning to make serious inquiries into emigrating. I've never considered emigrating before except for the "Maybe it would be fun to live in another country for a while" variety. Now it's the "run for my life" variety.

  • To loosely quote Steven Colbert: "This is what it feels like now that America is great again."

    I was happy to vote for Hillary. A very bright older woman who has such a resume worked for me.

    Here it is a week later and I have yet to hear more than one or two friends admit to voting for Trump. Today I was asked how do you like the new government we are about to have? When I asked about the vote, I was given a lecture on how school lunch programs might be positively affected by

  • @ Major Kong: Because the color of your skin, your money and your guns aren't going to amount to a hill of beans when somebody insults the twitchy manbaby and he reaches for the nukes instead of Twitter?

  • Also a big Hillary fan here. I worked quite a lot for a campaign, and I've never done that in the ~3 decades of Presidential campaigns for which I've been of age.

    All of these shitheads who are crying this week who didn't work for the campaign can go fuck themselves. All this was perfectly predictable. To cry out now and say "what can we do" is like wailing after you let your kid drown in the pool. The critical time for effective action is past. The last time the GOP had all parts of the government was a few months before the Great Depression and leading to World War II, and we didn't even have committed KKK psychos in the White House at that time. Now it's all boot-in-the-face forever from now on.

    Crying when they didn't take the opportunity to make a difference? Fuck em. Every racial attack is blood on their idle hands.

  • Oops. Sorry. I hit the wrong key.

    Anyway my secret Trump voter friend was happy that maybe now lunch programs will get some "scrutiny," Food stamps the same and that finally the ACA will take the beating it deserves. This old usually rational friend still evaded the question. I get this shit every day.

    I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it wasn't only the flyover states that put Trump over the top. I guess when my asking just what kind of drugs it would take for someone to vote for Trump, the answer is: He was on TV stupid!

  • Oh well, at least the chosen Trumpsters will get to shoot shit, feel entitled, grab some shit, say awful shit, and avoid the inconvenience of having to share a terrestrial biosphere with other human beings who are only looking for a hand out. The ethical consideration of others and the sustainability of the planet is no match for the lure of equal-opportunity deregulation.

  • I am heart sick about how this election turned out for many of the same reasons expressed here.
    But it makes me pause and introspect.
    In retrospect I saw this coming a long time ago when I gleefully listened to a lot of conservative talk radio hosts that were slinging crap about the liberals and how they were destroying the country. I remember gloating and feeling part of the fun they were having. They had some good points. But later, I began to realize that a whole lot of the things they were saying was not the truth and began to investigate my own thoughts. Why did I believe the things I believed?

    It was the power of propaganda pure and simple.

    I am still in shock (even though it is years later) that I could have fallen for the blatant falsity that I was listening to every day.
    That was a long time ago and for the last several years or so I have been very much a socialist. I used to hate that word with a passion. Socialist !
    I have done a lot of reading and listening and I feel that I have a better understanding of history than I did those years ago.
    My point is that all this hate for people who voted one way or another is misdirected and very damaging.
    I supported Bernie but when he asked me to vote for Clinton I did.
    But I was very pissed at how the DNC handled the primaries. I felt betrayed. I became distrustful of the Democratic Party because I had been fooled before by propaganda tactics. I felt I was being manipulated and I didn't like it.
    I firmly believe that there are millions of people in America that are just like me but perhaps have not yet seen through the veil (as hopefully I have).
    There has been so much BS tossed around on both sides that people just don't know what to believe. And to suppose that people are racist and bigots just because they bought into the propaganda that they were fed is just not right. This is name calling, and it does not serve any constructive purpose. Worse yet it galvanizes them against anything you have to tell them. They have been sensitized to your rhetoric.
    When you add the religious aspect to propaganda it becomes an even more dangerous weapon.
    The problem with elitism is that the vocabulary that is being used to persuade people is exactly the wrong language to be using.
    When on the TV news you hear about mostly the macroeconomic scale, GDP (what ever that is) and then talking heads spouting off about what congress is going to do about this or that it leaves the average American feeling that none of it is making any sense. It is not that people are stupid, it is just that none of it actually makes any sense, but elitists go on talking as if it does. Use of bigger words makes you seem smart but the average Joe sees right through this.
    It is callous and offensive.
    When people are offended by what they hear in the news it means that what ever message a candidate may have will go unrecognized.
    One of the two candidates did not understand this.
    So I think that what really needs to happen is that there needs to be a political party that is willing to actually understand what they are talking about and be able to put it into words that will actually be heard by the electorate and not sound like a bunch of smoke that is being blown up our collective asses.
    Most Americans will support someone that has a real message.
    Bernie had a message that I could very easily understand, and he wasn't just blowing smoke to get elected. He had been saying the same thing for many years. His message was so simple that anyone could understand it.
    He was consistent with his message everywhere he went.
    He did not use negative campaign messages and when he did point out the flaws in his opponents logic, he was respectful and gracious.
    He never talked down to anyone.
    That is the kind of candidate that can win an election.
    Ok I am over it. Bernie didn't win the primary. I get it.
    Still I can wish for it next time.

  • Madmax: "That's not to say that there weren't people who voted for Obama in '08 or '12 who did not show up this time around, but figuring that out is going to be more difficult than simply looking at voter turnout figures."

    Nationwide, so far, Trump has 320K (0.5%) more than Romney. Clinton has 3.5M (6%) fewer than Obama 2012, 7.8M (11%) fewer than Obama 2008. I'd need a lot of late-tallied Clinton votes, *and* diabolically effective voter suppression, *and* fine-tuned speculation on where Lib/Green votes "came from" and "would have gone," not to think a decisive number of former Obama voters sat this one out.

  • Fifth Dentist says:

    So a few years ago the Postal Service proposed closing some rural post offices because Congress decided to burden it with funding its pension plan out for 75 years in a five-year period. Because assholes. It didn't matter that it was running a profit and would deliver a fucking postcard to some Alaskan island inhabited by two people and 50 polar bears.
    Anyway, so, I go to this rural PO in the area to do a story for the paper where I work. I talk to this 80-something-year-old lady about what it would mean for her to lose the facility. And she tells me about some hardships, etc. Like she would have to make a much longer trip to pick up packages, blah, blah, blah.*
    Then. Then. Then, mother-fucking goddamn then. She says it's Obama's fault because he's a Muslim.
    I've been dealing with stupid people for many years, so I kept on my poker face. The little old stupid racist ***** walked out and the postmistress gave me this sympathetic look like: "Please don't put that in your article."
    There are millions of people that goddamn stupid woman who voted for Trump. I mean, it is impossible to even attempt to communicate with such people.
    Yes, Obama's evil Muslim plan is to shut down this post office in a town he's never heard about . It's not even a city; it's a crossroads, for fuck's sake! And hundreds of other towns he never has nor ever will hear of.
    Because once the Muslims cut out mail service, Sharia law will be imminent and Christians will be fed to wolverines.
    And Congress was the reason the Postal Service had to look at ways of dramatically cutting back because the 'baggers want to privatize all that shit, anyway, so people can pay out the nose just to have mail delivered.
    Insert the part in the skit where John Belushi screams "I can't take it" and keels over with a heart attack. That's how I feel at my country right now.

    * Fuck those children whose parent's food stamps were cut and don't have anything to eat all weekend and summer when they're not in school. She may be inconvenienced by having to drive an extra five miles to pick up her goddamn Grit magazine.

  • Dear bb in Jawjuh:

    I don't like Hilary, as if it matters; I would have voted for her if she clubbed to death and ate Harp Seal pups on a live feed

    I despise Trump and everything he stands for. He's never been anything but a p.o.s., lying fuckbag, opportunistic grifter. I am confident, to an alarmingly high degree, that the only silver lining in a Trumpligula reign of meanspirited dumbfuckery is that George Bush the Lesser will be allowed to become the SECOND worst fucking PotUS, ever.

    That a substantial fraction of people are too stupid to understand that Trump and his cronies will fuck them with zest is depressing, but prohibition, at least, seems unlikely unail after they've finished gutting social weflare programs.

  • This wasn’t an election, it was a reality show lizard-brain 24/7 wankathon that sent corporate "news" profits through the roof.

    THAT’S what Hillary lost to.

  • Oh, and Trump should just step the fuck aside. "This was a stunt. I admit it. I don't know how to swim and I'm in the deep end of the pool with an anvil. Hillary Clinton won the goddamn election. Accept it, all you sucker dumbfucks including the media. All I want is to go to my fake gold bedroom and eat a cheeseburger. Everybody go away. I’m out."

  • I've a spate of pity for anyone who reads this sort of faux-intellectualism—strings and strings of propositions, all with proofs left to the reader's procrastination—& never stops and says, "is that really true?" or "could this be a mischaracterisation?" or—for the truly cynical—"does Ed »really« believe this stuff?"

    I can't say I'm surprised though: every one of the shallow-thinking commenters in your 2 previous threads couldn't even »define« the "-isms" they'd used to describe PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP. Perhaps grade inflation is driving some really out-of-control Dunning-Kruger?

    > That's why people cried …

    You really think so? It didn't have anything to do with the sexist demagoguery & denialism pedeled by almost every USA news outlet?

  • On a distantly semi-related note, if I have to listen to one more motherfucker come at me with their Both-Siderism, I'm going to punch them square in the teeth. To engage in that bullshit is to dismiss the gravity of what's fucking happening here. For instance, Trump just made fucking Steve fucking Bannon one of his chief advisors. A guy who peddles neo-nazi bullshit propaganda *as a profession* has his hand up the ass of the anus-mouthed leathery orange potato that is representing America on the world stage, and empowering the fucking ghouls that live underneath the local Walmart to crawl out of their goddamn holes and start brutalizing Those Darn Coloreds in the name of "national purity". If you respond to that fact with, "But the Left is guilty of doing mean things because they're mad about it! So *we're all wrong* here," then fuck you. It's called a false equivalency. There's nothing normal about this. So stop fucking normalizing it.

  • Andrew Laurence says:

    Right. A colleague told me before the election that neither candidate had any business being president. Another colleague posted something on Facebook that equated Trump's serial sexual assaults with Bill Clinton's serial CONSENSUAL sexual actions with women other than his wife (and to this day we don't know whether the Clintons intended a monogamous marriage – not all couples do). I think it makes the both-siders feel morally and intellectually superior and "above it all." As if politics were some sort of sporting event and not a matter of literal life and death.

  • Currently forcing myself to read Asymmetric Politics: Ideological Republicans and Group Interest Democrats – oh, it burns…

    Nonetheless, as the authors cite chapter after grueling chapter of evidence for the ideological organization of the Republican party, I feel as if I'm having a deja vue of my midwestern upbringing in the Catholic Church. The parallels are creepy, right down to the dogma, authoritarianism, misogyny, self-righteousness, beleaguered minority mentality… even corny holy card art [not in the book, seen elsewhere]

  • Well, well, Orange is the New Black.

    FWIW, half of the American population are not the only ones crying over this outcome. It's a terrifying reinforcement of the alt-right movement occurring widely in the 'western' world. The brown people are coming, the brown people are coming! What a shallow, childish, pettish, self-limiting view of the world.

    bb in GA is right, can't believe I said that ;), but globalisation of humanity, and all human rights, will reign in the end. Provided we survived the white-lash long enough to get to that end. Because the other end has a racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, narcissistic, megalomaniac with his hand on the launch button. Thanks, America. I know, I know, there were others there before you, but still.

    I'm sure you're all busy re-reading 'It Can't Happen Here', but quit crashing our immigration website. Cuz from our view, we're one of the only bastions of sanity left in the world, and given the state of our affairs, that's saying a lot. That, and we've learned that just like Mike Meyers predicted, a large number of you can't be trusted not to tell the pollsters what sounds good in public, and then pull the lever to the gates of hell when no-one can see you.

    Good night, America. And good luck. To us all.

  • It suddenly occurred to me Michael Moore said much the same thing in his Jesse Ventura comment. Tell him he can apply.

  • I for one thought when Hillary said she hadnt made her mind up about the xl pipeline and the fantastic money she made giving talks to bankers that should have been jailed, thought fuck it . I did what I could working for Burnie, did what he said , vote for a great progressive platform. I voted for her , I did so because I didn't want my grandkids to live in a fascist nation . I would like to think when I die I didn't leave them a doomed planet but really if she couldn't beat this Asshole this was obviously the wrong pick for a candidate . If you we're all excited to have her well bless your heart .I had her sign Inn my yard , in my County that cost 25 bucks for a little plastic yard sign or you could donate an hour of volunteer time . I got mine from my neighbor who was running a phone bank. I live in Ohio , she lost, surprise surprise

  • I loved Hillary. But during this election, that was fused with anxiety over the possible success of her competitor. That drove me to do as I have never done: volunteer to phone bank. There times. And I really hate getting those calls. I really don't think it's fun to make them.
    I am not a conspiracy nut, but the constant rain of email killed Hillary. This campaign was a vengeance campaign in more ways than one: Trump against Obama; Gingrich, Giuliani, Assange, and Putin and FBI against Hillary. It was personal and predatory. And between groups. That's just one part of the analysis: I have others.
    Now we have this suggestible brat, this wannabe cool like James Bond misogynist running things on the face, with an anarchic alt- right alcoholic whispering into his hearing aid. I still love Hillary; I always have. But it is now fused with anxiety over the future. It's likely that nothing that follows will unbind me from Hillary now.

  • Bored and piling on. I was uninterested in her until I saw some highlights of The Senate Hearing. It was obvious she could take on what they were going to throw at the next Democratic president, whoever they were, and she was likely the only one who could. I was on board after that. But she's no Warren.

  • OMG. You all are the haters. The enablers. The reason so many panty-wasted do-nothings are crying and rioting in our streets. Put on your big girl panties and carry-on. I've put up with your liberal clap-trap nonsense for the last 8 years, now it's your turn.

  • Good rant about the permanent damage that has been done. I've been talking about how alarming it is that half my neighbors voted for a nazi. What's that quote about how easy it is to get half the working class to kill the other half?

    How many women voted for a serial adulterer and a serial predator? Ironic that Clinton was impeached for an affair, no? Obvious there's no moral majority. Obviously the Supreme Court is seeing things when they talk about 'sincerely held religious beliefs'. Everything's negotiable when it comes to the GOP.

    Sad so many lives will be ruined by this randian nightmare. People voted for more women and minorites suffering. Sad for the planet.

  • Yes, there were people who were genuinely excited to vote for HRC. Much like I'm sure there were people who were genuinely excited to vote for John Kerry or Al Gore. But the prospect of an HRC presidency did not get (enough) people fired up to vote – not in the same way people were fired up to vote for Obama. Or Bernie. Or Trump, apparently.

    I infinitely prefer HRC to Trump. I'm likewise terrified and anxious about what fresh hell the next four years will bring. But as Ed pointed out months ago, it is hard to get excited about a candidate whose main argument for wanting to be president is that she really, really wants to. She had too much baggage. People are tired/wary of Clintons dominating Democratic politics. There was no clarification of what her husband's role would be in her administration. There were too many liabilities, and no clear and compelling reason to vote for her was articulated – other than the fact that she was not Donald Trump.

  • A guy who peddles neo-nazi bullshit propaganda *as a profession* has his hand up the ass of the anus-mouthed leathery orange potato that is representing America on the world stage, and empowering the fucking ghouls that live underneath the local Walmart to crawl out of their goddamn holes and start brutalizing Those Darn Coloreds in the name of "national purity".

    So good I had to copy and paste it. Damn, Aurora, sing it, girl.

  • Continuing the Republican Religion analogy, we heretics are not safe. What Republicans have paid their cash money and votes for is validation, and they cannot be contradicted lest that make them look as if they got caught holding the empty bag; all must be assimilated.

    Digby today quotes Lincoln assessing the Slavers' mentality:

    “What will it take to satisfy them?”
    This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly — done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated — we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas’ new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.

  • "I was feeling such a groundswell of their frustration and unhappiness – and even the strong possibility of a Trump victory – that I decided last-minute to travel with my husband and our six-month old daughter to Ketchikan, Alaska the weekend before the election.

    Why? Because I wanted to meet these people. And I wanted them to meet me. Before we had a “Winner.” How else would we understand each other beyond the “black” and “white” which we BOTH have been painted, non-stop, in this vicious election cycle.

    So, I went to breakfast at The Landing on Tongass Avenue and discussed the stakes of the election with third-generation fisherman and learned that their whole life’s work was at stake based on potential Clinton fishing regulations.

    I talked somewhat fervently about the cancer that is radical Islam with Nicole & Jim, who ran the Black Bear Inn and discussed how we all feel unsafe these days.

    And I chatted with Paula, the 30-year bar manager, who explained that almost all of Alaska is owned by the federal government so each vote in this community is REALLY about their ability to support their families.

    Over the course of two days, I met lovely people. Some I agreed with and some I didn’t. Some of them had met a Muslim before and others hadn’t. But all asked me earnest questions about my background, and I asked about theirs. No question was offensive because the intention was non-judgmental.

    On my flight back, I realized that for many of us supporting Hillary, this election was about incredibly important social issues. It was a moral election for us. To most of the people I met on my trip, it was about survival. Literally.

    So when I read Facebook/Twitter posts this morning vilifying 50% of the country for being dumb or racist, I remember Nicole, Jim & Paula and I know that’s not true. But how would I know that if I didn’t meet them and talk to them with an open mind? Only by pulling up a few chairs to PERSONIFY the people we think we hate, will we move beyond “black” and “white” to the way the world really is: grey. Grey is the only way."


  • Maybe the fishing regulations are because after the three generations, the population of fish had crashed?????

    The fear of radical Islam has been largely ginned up in the press…especially in an isolated place like Ketchikan. Given the realities of the place, they should be far more afraid of their own neighbors, like the Bundy Bunch.

    The Alaskan economy is largely based on oil extraction and government transfer payments. And oil extraction has some serious impacts on the environment and affects other aspects of the economy.

    Or, is the bar manager concerned that the forestry companies are not being allowed to clearcut and destroy the landscape rapidly enough?

    I am not sure Glenn Beck is that good a source for reality. How could he even hold a conversation with this mythical gay Muslim Immigrant when he is constantly bursting into tears or selling survival rations and gated libertarian utopia time shares?

  • I am so glad that I don't have children. Fuck, I sometimes get a little nervous about how much my pets cement me in place and people don't care nearly as much if you load them in a crate and give them away to the neighbors when things really start sliding in all directions.

    But honestly, even before the rise of Hitler the Talking Yam, I fail to see how any thoughtful person could look at this globalized fuckyball of runaway climate change denial and mass economic hallucination and decide, "Bringing a living soul into this insanity without its consent really seems like an ethical and pragmatic decision." Wrap it up, people. And fasten your safety restraints.

    "Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
    Won't be nothing
    Nothing you can measure anymore
    The blizzard, the blizzard of the world
    has crossed the threshold
    and it has overturned
    the order of the soul

    There'll be the breaking of the ancient
    western code
    Your private life will suddenly explode
    There'll be phantoms
    There'll be fires on the road
    and the white man dancing
    You'll see a woman
    hanging upside down
    her features covered by her fallen gown
    and all the lousy little poets
    coming round
    tryin' to sound like Charlie Manson
    and the white man dancing"

  • You pretty much nailed me. I've never been an optimist; I didn't think I had any faith left to lose, but it turns out there was still something there. Was.

    The overt stuff is bad enough, but it's even worse than that. Donald Trump is as pure an example of a worthless parasite as the human race has ever produced; even the most ambivalent Trump voter was still countenancing the worst that humanity has to offer. That's why all this talk about "economic anxiety" has been so insufferable. Even on the one valid issue that supposed motivated Trump's supporters, he still had absolutely nothing to offer. He didn't even say the right things, he just crammed the words "jobs" and "factories" into his idiotic babbling every once in a while. Even had the entire election been decided on that one issue alone, there was still no acceptable outcome other than Clinton in a landslide.

    So what we've really learned isn't just that half of the population has no actual aversion to racist nationalism. It's that they lack even the most basic amount of discernment, which means that we as a species cannot be trusted to make the right decision on anything, ever. This was a failure on all levels: the people failed to reject Trump, and all of our institutions not only did nothing to substantively impede him, but instead passively enabled him the whole way. Which means that what we have left to rely on at this point is absolutely nothing. We're finally on our own.

  • If it weren't for the goddam Electoral Fucking College, we would be hearing about HRC's transition activities now (despite the VTY's fatuous assertions to the contrary). We would have exactly the same number of deplorable fellow citizens, but would we feel as bad about it?

  • Michael Olsen says:

    Thank you. You nailed it for me. I was happy to vote for her. I wasn't just voting against Trump. She was the optimal choice when there is never the perfect or even the best choice available.

    Having served in the military and in combat as well as in the intelligence community and having lived in a foreign country and travelled to 30-40 more I have never thought we were above this kind of political behavior. However, I did "hope" that we would just squeak by on the right side of all this. That's what I get for hoping. Hope is another form of want and want is the root of all suffering.

    I am ultimately disappointed and the level of distrust I already had for our fellow man, in spite of the hope I have held that when push came to shove we would do better, has now been kicked up to 11 on a scale of 10.

    We are so big geographically that we have created a situation where people can hide behind the walls of their personal castles and never have to worry about getting along with their neighbor or help them deal with a problem. We have balkanized ourselves into cities and rural areas and the politics of those who see a need to help their fellow man are in one place and those who care only for themselves and are short-sided enough to think that it will not catch up with them live in another.

    I love crowds, but I hate people.

  • Andrew Laurence says:

    @Michael Olsen: I agree. I had no problem with Clinton. I wasn't enthusiastic about her, but I've never had an easier choice, and I've been voting straight Democrat since 1984. Before you get _too_ discouraged, we DID squeak by on the right side. A significant majority of those who cast a ballot cast one for Clinton. It's only the anti-democratic Electoral College which fucked us.

    I actually prefer people as individuals than in crowds. People in crowds tend to stupid stuff because peer pressure.

  • Well, we have 60 million US citizens who have had their secret prejudices, bigotries, resentments validated ever since Goldwater, who have been "informed" by 50 years of Republican winger propaganda, using everything from direct mail, church pulpits, so-called "think tanks" to Fox News and the Internet. They are now thoroughly indoctrinated and resent and hate the rest of us. A giant ass cancer on American society, in other words.

    Now what? We can't even get the motherfuckers out of our state legislatures, let alone Congress. We're living under the Republican Inquisition. Until we take back our government, all the great ideas about improving everyone's general welfare are worth less than shit. We need a Reformation.

  • old white person says:

    @ Mike
    Do you suppose the good people of Ketchikan understand why this gay muslim Pakistani, whatever, if he was not invented by Glenn Beck, is now terrified? Do you think they give a crap?

  • Here it is more than a week since whatever the mess was on that Tuesday. In south western NY, a lot of retired types my age talk about how it wasn't an important election because at least their property taxes won't go up. None of them admit being a secret Trump voter.

  • @Skepticalist:

    we have a movement here in Central PA to get rid of property taxes which might be the most dishonest, bullshit "tax policy" I've ever seen. How the hell are they going to replace the revenue from property taxes? VAT? HAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA. All because some "fixed income" people can't afford their property taxes on a home they own outright. Shit, they shouldn't have ate so terribly so they don't have to keep buying blood-pressure meds and Lipitor.

  • Well, here's the bottom line: Trumpligula was able to blame Hilary and the demo for what he and his ratfucking cronies will do.

  • @old white person

    The "gay Muslim Pakistani" was most certainly pulled directly out of Glenn Beck's ass. One, it's spoken like a true privileged conservative white person who presumes all "liberals" are lofty white people voting on social issues on the behalf of the Others because it's Morally Correct, while these moose fuckers in Alaska are "voting for their lives" because Regulations Are Destroying America. POC, LGBT+, and non-Christians (among others) were absolutely "voting for their lives", maybe even more so, because the hate and bigotry that Trump churned up at his rallies was directed at them and threatens their human rights, personal safety, and that of their families.

    Two, it also presumes that a gay Muslim Pakistani would ever go to bumfuck Alaska for any reason, let alone just getting up and doing it on a whim (who has that money just laying around to vacation with their infant, much less the time?) for…studying Real Americans in their natural habitat? Yeah…no. Total bullshit.

  • Andrew Laurence says:

    @Khaled: Owning a paid-off house that you live in is no guarantee that you can afford property taxes. If I had my way, only income would be taxed, becauseincome is the closest proxy for ability to pay, as well as for stake in a stable society.

  • Even Glenn Beck is terrified. Come on people, Trump said he could shoot someone and nothing would happen with his supporters. He talked on tape about being a star they let you do it, 11 women have accused him of sexual assault, there's a question of him raping an 13 year old girl, he's appointed Sessions and Bannon to his cabinet, he said he is going to build the wall, he's in league with Putin, he is going to deport all those with a criminal record, he paid $25 million to defrauded Trump University students. How can ANYBODY have voted for him?

  • Andrew Laurence says:

    @with her: People voted for him because they agree with him. People voted for him because they thought his promises were empty. People voted for him due to a visceral disgust (however unjustified) with our candidate. But a significant majority of the pathetic few who voted at all voted for HRC.

  • He's the biggest self-admitted criminal we've ever had and soon to be able to get even more with us. This is deep shit and I have no faith that we'll soon be out.

    It'll take Hollywood quite awhile to catch up…if it still exists.

  • I assume by now most people have heard about this petition.

    I signed and encourage others to. A long shot for sure, but a shot.
    The system of electors seems totally arcane. Time to use it to save the republic.

    Spread the word around. We have one month from today until the votes are cast which select the next president.

  • America loves to pat itself on the back. In the liberal parts of the country, we wring our hands and say "we're not like this" and "America is better than that". I have sympathy for people who are hurting right now, but sheesh. It comes off as pretty clueless.

    The fact is, America was founded by men who would've had much more of a problem with Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama being president than with Donald Trump. The first 80 years of our country were all about killing Indians and enslaving black people.

    Abraham Lincoln might have been slightly better on that point, but he campaigned for president on the position that slavery could continue in the states. He was a moderate through and through when that meant "cool with millions of black people being enslaved". (Still think Hillary's position on free trade or other centrist sins were so bad?)

    While I'm on the Civil War, it's worth noting that "southern honor" is still ruling our country's politics. From "Honor and Secession", by Bertram Wyatt-Brown:

    "In general terms, whenever the public response to claims for respect is indifferent, disbelieving, hostile, or derisive, the claimant for [southern] honor feels as blasted, as degraded as if struck in the face… He is driven to a sense of shame — the very opposite of honor. The response is twofold: first, a denial that he, a persecuted innocent, seeks more than his due; and second, his outraged "honor" requires immediate vindication, by force of arms if need be. This was especially true for the antebellum southerner because he could hardly escape doubts that his section was perceived by the world as inferior, morally and materially…"Everything with me depends upon the estimation in which I am held," confessed secessionist thinker Beverley Tucker. Personal reputation for character, valor and integrity did not end there… As a result, the southerner took as personal insult the criticisms leveled at slave society as a whole."

    What frustrates me about people who are Sad For Our Country is that this was a racist country the day before the election, and there's a huge voting bloc of people whose personal honor feels offended by that being pointed out. Think about what "southern honor" means when it comes to something like Black Lives Matter. "All Lives Matter" really means "pretend police brutality against white people doesn't exist (even though the police are brutal to a lot of poor white people), because it's dishonorable to whites, and pretend police brutality against black people is deserved, because it maintains the social order where whites aren't at the bottom." All Lives do Matter to people who need the American caste system to know their place. Everybody has a job to do and somebody has to be at the bottom. ("God" and "Guns" are also tools to maintain the caste system.

    So. It's a more overtly racist country now than it was a month ago. It's more overtly a lot of terrible things now. But clearly shit wasn't A-OK to start with. Barack Obama, America's Black Friend, was never going to fix things in a fundamental way. Not him alone. Maybe not even him if Democrats had had the legislature. How do you blow up the American caste system? I think the sorting of people by race and class makes that almost impossible. People who have financial mobility move to the coasts and don't have a lot of kids. People who don't stay put and crank out new little Trump voters as fast as they can. So. It ain't going away.

    Everybody needs to quit acting histrionic just because they discovered they now have skin in the game, if only due to the countervailing notion of "northern honor". It's embarrassing. If this election radicalizes any of you, welcome to the club. President Ted Cruz wasn't going to be some walk in the park either. Time to put on the No Fear T-shirt, put a sticker of Calvin peeing on the word 'TRUMP' on the back of your Prius, and get (back) to work.

  • ROFL! Amazing. *Wipes egg off face*… I'd also been mulling a post in my head about something Steve at No More Mister Nice Blog posted, while also having just read all of SteveInATL's comments on here… Got rolling, and…

    Sorry, Ed! Wow. Embarrassing.

  • @Jason Brzoska

    In reference to what you were saying in your post about the possibility of HRC not going low enough…if you may recall, one of her campaign commercials in particular was almost entirely made up of clips of crazy shit that Trump has said, with children watching them on teevee. The end was simply the message that "our children are watching".

    I remember thinking about how this commercial relied heavily upon the premise that it was obvious to the entire viewing populace that his brand of crazy fuckery completely embodies everything we consider completely socially and morally repugnant–and this is a truth held to be self-evident. Problem is…it's clearly not self-evident to a significant portion of the population. There are fawning supporters cheering enthusiastically in the background of these clips. These people are hearing what he has to say and fervently lapping it right the fuck up. They're confronted with this stuff and say, "Yeah…so?"

    So here we are thinking, "If we give him enough rope, he'll hang himself" while not accounting for the fact that, apparently, autoerotic asphyxiation is a widespread fetish and Trump has arrived to the orgy with the booze and the blow. Going "high" really put far too much faith in the American public. I have no idea what her campaign could've done differently; however, not even having to come up with content for your ad probably should've registered as just too good to be true. For such a sack of delusional depraved shits, perhaps she should've just turned to insulting the voters directly.

  • Aurora, I'm with you. I'm not positive that we didn't go low enough, but my analysis concluded, for me anyway, that at least as far as Hillary's public appearances go, her problem was not that she didn't go high enough.

    Having said that, it would be interesting to see a comparison of her ratio of positive to negative ads against those of Obama's and some others.

    And I think you're right — it's very possible, likely even, that all of the terrible stuff he did and said actually helped him. I was just chatting with a friend and we were discussing whether the lesson is that we need to double down on communicating that we're the anti-racist party to turn out more of our own voters, to try to increase the tolerance and understanding on the part of Trump voters, or both. What I won't put on the table is us sympathizing with the racism.

    Once the final voting numbers are all settled, that's something we're really going to need to figure out. I can't believe it, but I'm a bit frightened that not only will we have four years of Trump, we might have eight.

  • Hi,
    I really don't know how I got on this site, but I must say that I am amazed by the number of hate comments made by what are obviously unhappy democrats. For what it's worth, I'm a registered republican, 77 years old, and have voted for both dems and republicans over the years. I voted for Trump. Not because I think that he is a great man but because was the alternative to Hillary. I believe that she is completely dishonest. If you want to place blame for her loss you would want to blame her first, second, and last. She also wanted to continue Obama's policy's which didn't help. All of us have suffered because of his economic policies, especially blacks who's unemployment numbers have steadily increased for the last eight years. As a democratic friend said " 90 percent of the things said about Hillary are false". Exactly the same can be said of the things said of Trump. Furthermore, if you folks think that this election is the end of the world I encourage you to stick around. We will all still here, and better off than we would be had the lying old bag been elected.
    Just thought you might need to know that we all aren't unhappy with the outcome.

  • I disagree that "nobody gives a shit about Hillary". I do. I'm one of the people who cried for a week that the most prepared person ever to run for president lost. She's endured 30 years of smears and shit thrown at her for the outrage of being an outspoken female Democrat. That's all they've got against her, and they've used it to the max. If you have an entire industry trying to dig up dirt and publish it about you for 30 years, people are going to distrust you. That doesn't make it true. She had policies on climate change and the economy that would have helped ordinary people. Those ordinary people said "Hmm, I don't know, emails, seems fishy" and vote for the guy who has thousands of lawsuits against him for defrauding people. She ran against Fox News, Russian hackers, and the FBI, and still got 2.5 million more votes than an ignorant narcissist who doesn't understand why he shouldn't get Taiwan on the phone just because it might piss off China. Yeah, I give a shit about Clinton, and the grave danger we're in because some people decided to vote on "I just don't trust her for some stupid reason."

  • Robert L Bell says:

    The author's inability to see, to understand, and to accept an emotion as valid unless it is an emotion that he wants to see – expressed in exactly the manner that he wants to see it expressed – is typical of the great glaring blind spot that afflicts the self-styled Party Base and renders patently absurd their demands to be handed control of the entire operation.

    You guys are confident that you are really f*cking smart, but you are not the only smart people around and there are a great many important factors that you steadfastly refuse to understand.

    This explains why – despite your pretensions to fitness for leadership over the Left – you guys remain, persistently, a pathetic rump that couldn't organize an ant infestation at a picnic.

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