I KNOW WHY YOU'RE SAD.

On paper, Tuesday was a good day for Democrats. They took the House for the first time in eight years. Several important Governorships (in advance of post-Census 2020 redistricting battles) were won. Notably vile Republicans like Kris Kobach, Scott Walker, and Dana Rohrabacher lost. The high-visibility Senate races Democrats lost (Missouri, Tennessee) were pipe dreams anyway. You already knew that Florida sucks, hard. So you're not sad because "The Democrats did badly."

You're also not sad because Beto lost, or Andrew Gillum lost, or any other single candidate who got people excited this year fell short. They're gonna be fine. They will be back. You haven't seen the last of any of them. Winning a Senate race in Texas was never more than a long shot. Gillum had a realistic chance, but once again: It's Florida.

No, you're sad for the same reason you were so sad Wednesday morning after the 2016 Election. You're sad because the results confirm that half of the electorate – a group that includes family, neighbors, friends, random fellow citizens – looked at the last two years and declared this is pretty much what they want. You're sad because any Republican getting more than 1 vote in this election, let alone a majority of votes, forces us to recognize that a lot of this country is A-OK with undisguised white supremacy. You're sad because once again you have been slapped across the face with the reality that a lot of Americans are, at their core, a lost cause. Willfully ignorant. Unpersuadable. Terrible people. Assholes, even.

You were hoping that the whole country would somehow restore your faith in humanity and basic common decency by making a bold statement, trashing Republicans everywhere and across the board. You wanted some indication that if you campaigned hard enough, rednecks and white collar bloodless types alike could be made to see the light that perhaps the levers of power are not best entrusted to the absolute worst people that can be dredged up from Internet comment sections running on platforms of xenophobia, nihilism, and racism. In short, you wanted to see some evidence that corruption, venality, bigotry, and proud ignorance are deal-breakers for the vast majority of Americans.

And now you're sad because it's obvious that they aren't. Even where horrible Republicans like Walker or Kobach lost, they didn't lose by much.

So I get it. It's depressing. There's no amount of positives that can take away the nagging feeling that lots and lots of people in this country are just…garbage. They're garbage human beings just like the president they adore. These people are not one conversation, one fact-check, and one charismatic young Democratic candidate away from seeing the light. They're reactionary, mean, ignorant, uninteresting in becoming less ignorant, and vindictive. They hate you and they will vote for monsters to prove it.

Remember this feeling. Remember it every time someone tells you that the key to moving forward is to reach across the aisle, show the fine art of decorum in practice, and chat with right-wingers to find out what makes them tick. Remember the nagging sadness you feel looking at these almost entirely positive results; it will be your reminder that the only way to beat this thing is to outwork, outfight, and out-organize these people. They are not going to be won over and they will continue to prove that to you every chance they get.

96 thoughts on “I KNOW WHY YOU'RE SAD.”

  • I needed to hear this to verify I'm still sane. No Comey, no emails, no (known) Russian interference this time. Judt gerrymandering and voter suppression, which is part for the course. This garbage fire is what majorities of voters in a number of places really actually do want. And those people must be beaten soundly and repeatedly. My question is: where is our Mitch McConnell?

  • "the only way to beat this thing is to outwork, outfight, and out-organize these people"… According to the Brennen Center for Justice: In Ohio, even if Democrats win four seats with around 26.07 percent of the statewide vote, they are not projected to compete for a fifth seat until their statewide vote share reaches 54.71 percent, an increase of 28.64 percentage points. More info at source: https://www.brennancenter.org/publication/extreme-gerrymandering-2018-midterm
    TL;DR when the deck is stacked against you, it's nearly impossible to win.

  • Harriet Berman says:

    We won the majority in the House. We won the opportunity to fight in the ring. We no longer have to stand helplessly outside, while Trump pummels our democracy and everything it stands for. All you say is true, but if we can put an end to the gerrymandering and the voter suppression, you will see that there are many more of us than were represented in this election.

  • ps I should say thank you for sharing taking the time to write and share this. Your post expresses how I feel and my sadness upon realizing how many Americans are proudly willfully ignorant and/or feel they are superior bc they are white. It pains my soul.
    Growing up in the north, I recently realized how ignorant I was of the dog whistles in the south, of which everybody down there knows EXACTLY what they are code for (like "Bless your heart" means GFY). The south hasn't completely moved on since the civil rights movement. I've counted on these people dying out and their attitudes with them, but they've engrained it into their children and communities. Misogyny too. And they present themselves as Jesus' favorites. They USE their own lord and savior as a cudgel against anyone who isn't like them.
    OK, enough of being a total Debbie Downer so thank whichever of the 4,000 gods you like, WE WON THE HOUSE!!

  • I'm not happy but I'm less sad than I should be, I guess.

    NY has dem control of both the senate and the assembly for the first time in a while AND a dem (like Obamaclintonz), Andrew Cuomo re-elected Governor.

    Note to Bobby Bork's rotting carcass:

    Dear Bob:

    We will not be slouching towards Gomorrah, here in the empire state–we'll be runninng like we're ALREADY on fire!

  • Well, now that Trump has fired Sessions and installed a Federalist Society DOJ pick who has stated that Mueller's investigation was improper, we can add more to why we are sad. But you know what? Florida voted to get rid of denying the vote to felons, so things may finally change down there in America's Grease Trap. Last I heard, the results were not final in GA. And there might be some lawsuits a'comin' there.

    But in this "lame duck" period, Trump and the Repugs may be able to institute martial law, declare the election results invalid and we'll be permanently fucked. And yes, it makes me REALLY sad that half of my fellow Americans think this is fine. Because they've owned "the libs."

  • OMG! Thank you! I have never felt so isolated! I live in the bootheel and it is so horrible! They voted for a self-proclaimed anti LGBT state rep. Look him up Hardy Billington! He put up billboards and wrote a book about the “evils” of being gay! His claim is he is pro-life and pro-2nd amendment! He is disgusting! I worked so hard for our candidate, Robert Smith! And people justify their vote with “well, he’s a democrat and you can’t trust them”! I look at family and friends and just can’t believe it!

  • This, this, this. I'm bookmarking this page. It's so depressing. If I died tomorrow the silver lining would be that I'd no longer have to live in a world where Trump is our president. I wish I could share this on facebook but I know people in my family and at work who ARE these awful people. Yet they're not awful. But they're also awful. It depresses me how otherwise good people can also be so vile and evil at the same time.

  • It's not only okay but praiseworthy to be a smirking, judgmental, dehumanizing elitist, so long as you have the correct political and social views. Otherwise, it's objectively reprehensible behavior.

  • Thanks for this, your thoughts are spot-on. Quick note: in the second-to-last sentence of your second-to-last paragraph, I believe you mean “uninterested” instead of “uninteresting.”

  • Being Australian, never having been to the US, I usually think my opinion of your politics is unwanted and pointless, but lately I've seen a LOT of friends who think like you, like me, and are quite scared of your current administration…the rest of the world sits in fear of what it will do next, even as we laugh at your country for electing such an immature child to your highest office…I, for one, am glad that you now have some sort of check on his ability to institute stupid, scary, policies, but I will not celebrate until he is out of office, and, yes, it is possible for beautiful human beings to be awful in their political beliefs whilst still be beautiful human beings in every other matter, because we are not a single idea, we can be total opposites within ourselves…I pray to my deities every day that more US citizens will see the light and truth and vote the bullshit out

  • I think I will commission this as a spangled wall hanging for the corner shrine.
    The one with the impaled Trump doll on the altar.

  • What percentage of US Citizens resident in the US actually voted? Not what % of those said by voter supressing officials to be eligible, but of actual CITIZENS. Beause to my mind Ctizenship gives one the DUTY as well as the RIGHT to VOTE. I know it certainly does in Canada, as my (then) small son was asked by the Judge, when we went to be interviewed to deem our suitability for Citizenship of Canada, "What Rights and Responsibilities will being a Citizen give you"? My son replied that he'd be able to Vote in Provincial and Federal Elections, and stand for Political Office. Oh, said the Judge, SO YOU wish to become our Prime Minister one day? Oh No, he replied; My sister will be Prime Minister! AH, smiled the Judge, Our Very First Lady Prime Minister? NO, said a very determined small boy; I hope that by the time she is old enough we will have had several WOMEN PRIME MINISTERS! Although neither of them have got into Politics as adults, they do both make a point of always voting and of being aware of the issues of the day. Canada is very different from the US in so many ways, which makes it all the sadder for us to see our neighbour in such turmoil.

  • Ed, they knew all that already when they voted for him. Don’t get mad, get punitive when the tables turn.

    The important thing is that I mixed a gin and tonic last night watching the results come in, entirely because of Ed.

  • Flying Squirrel says:

    No. 250 years of slavery, 150 years of resentment that it was taken away, followed by… resurgence. The only way to beat this thing is to take it out back and shoot it. Obsolete government, obsolete culture. I live in MA so am up for partitioning (but fuck you NH) vs. some sort of societal catastrophe, but I'm also old, childfree and enjoyed a nice privileged white male's life, so whatever.

  • Lindsey Henry says:

    I am not sad. I am realistic. I know that it will be a tough few months (through February) and Trump will be trying to manipulate the law, or attempt to. I know it won't work. I know he will try a bunch of stuff. I know it will be rough going for a while. I get it. I know there will be victory in the end of this horrible mess. I know that this stuff had to happen in our world of events. We all needed to become aware of this stuff. It will all turn out fine.

  • Had to crush my wife's high, first thing this morning.
    Her: "Yay! The Democrats took the house!"
    Me: "Yes. According to historical precedent, the Republican agenda will continue apace. Pelosi is already talking about bipartisanship, babe. Dems in the house won't change shit"
    Her: "Oh…"

  • Ann Maria Bell says:

    Not sad, terrified. The escalation of right wing hate was not repudiated by the election results, quite the opposite: the ugliest campaigns (FL, GA) were the most successful.

  • Very sad because I live in Florida..I was hoping for a change…the worst of the worst won…by less than 1%..i do not like old people any more..and Christians…so divisive..I would not dare talk politics with anybody unless they attack my beliefs..then i’llspeak Up.As a naturalized citizen, I used to enjoy american history…now I am part of the most ignoble time..then I thought that maybe the history books I chose to read were mostly about the best part of us which Obama will be. The evil may have been there all along but we don’t recall that as much as the best parts

  • Nope. You’re sad because you have convinced yourself of something that is not true and because of that, you no longer have the ability to seek the truth. It’s. Just. That. Simple.

  • defineandredefine says:

    "You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the New West. You know…morons."

  • Please read some Sean Blanda on Medium. Subscribe to his eye-opening Discourse newsletter. I get it – you're channeling your rage in posts like this. You're using histrionics to make a point. It makes for a riveting read (that will never go viral because you're not seeing beyond your own nose.) "Give UP on people?" Your hate is showing through. https://medium.com/@SeanBlanda/the-other-side-is-not-dumb-2670c1294063
    DISCLOSURE: I was a Republican. I voted conservative. I did NOT vote for Trump. I voted for Hillary. I voted largely blue in this mid-term election. I haven't "seen the light" or had an epiphany. I was a Republican, prior, because I was a FISCAL CONSERVATIVE fed up with the narrow-minded, reversely prejudicial narrative of The classic California Democrat I’d been swarmed by my entire life. Their hypocrisy nauseated me (but guess what? I still loved them through it. Something you could try?). I left the Republican party when they propped up a horrible human-being for President.

    But I still AM what you say doesn’t exist: People ‘who switch their voting preference.’ And yet, I also am what you hate. Gentle writer Ed of this unfortunate post my friend shared on Facebook that I made the mistake of clicking on: you would make 5 trillion times more progress in your effort to help your countrymen “see the light” if you laid down your weapons (your hate-filled rhetoric) and tried listening and LOVING more instead. Your rage? I get it…I have it too – imagine your OWN political party betraying your values so heinously…putting your hopes, dreams and vision for your country into a blender and pureeing them to goo to sauté on the orange blob in the White House? But you have to channel that rage into something more charitable to your fellow human being. That is where breakthroughs are made. Neither yours not my hatred for Trump is fixed, mitigated or turned into anything useful by HATING on the people who voted for him.

    Let’s all grow a heart, please. ❤

  • @Inkberrow, GFY. Please. Spare us all your sanctimony unless we actually start seeing some repentance from these shitheels en masse.

    The time for growing a heart is over. The few exceptions to the rule of America don't lift people out of poverty and erstwhile oppression.

    Thank you, Ed. If only elected officials had the courage to say this much without being scared for their jobs.

  • Donna Sattler says:

    This is a keeper. It’s so hard to look Neighbors in the eye when they are genuinely shitty. It’s a good reminder we have to look towards 2020.

  • Such a great post, such a thoughtful and necessary post. Thank you. It would have been nice to also mention the devastating blow to Stacy Abrams and the high likelihood of election fraud in Georgia. I am very sad about that particular thing in addition to the larger landscape you captured here.

  • @ CAm Anderson:

    Love thy right-wing-nut neighbor? Sure! But also work like hell to remove their chosen candidate from the levers of power. Because the wingnuts are running the right-wing show now, and the only candidates they’re nominating are Trumpian. So until the “FISCAL CONSERVATIVES” stop supporting the neo-Nazis and their allies, yeah, we’re all gonna be disappointed in you. But hey: bless your heart.

  • Actually, I AM sad that Marsha "Crazy As Fuck" Blackburn (CAF-TN) is going to be my US Senator in just a few weeks. We've gone full retard.*

    *Not a random ableist slur. Look it up- you're already on the internets!

  • I don't think it's necessary to call people garbage who are voting garbage or thinking garbage. I live in Indiana, and much of what you say resonates, and it was disheartening to listen to Pelosi sounding conciliatory, but at the people level? Neighbor level? I need to hang on to the fact that it's garbage in garbage out that these people are suffering from. Fight the garbage, not the people.

  • Left winger opinions!!!! Anyone who like Trump or republicans are all white supremisists and deplorable…. untrue to the core!!! Proud patriots are what we are!!! If you don’t like America!!! Move!!!

  • I'm more scared than usual. So, yeah, you know why there's sadness.
    But the overwhelming dread isn't from sadness, it's from fear.

    Not only are a lot of people authoritarian-followers, but we have a leader who would like to capitalize on this, against the tradition, rules, laws, and greatness of the country.

    I'm scared because so many people prefer a ruler to a leader.
    I'm scared because many prefer a comfortable scapegoat to the truth (and the scapegoats vary, to be sure—but xenophobia and embarrassment/perceived-impotence make a vicious combination.)

    So I'm sad, too, because I'm not confident in this long-game approach. I'm thinking this might be the end.

  • Not sure how "fiscal conservative" jibes with big tax cut plus big military spending increase.

    I can remember waaaaaaay back to the year 2016 when we were worried about "The debt!!!!!"

    Man, I'm sure glad they fixed that little problem in January 2017. I've hardly heard a thing about it since then.

  • 2 stories – An 82 year old female hospice patient in Texas voted for her first time in her life – straight republican – and died before election day. (WaPo). I personally saw an 80 year old bring his very autistic 50 year old son for same day registration and to vote the first time – also straight Republican. This isn't "marketing" where we need to have "fun" candidates. These folks know that this is a war and they are fighting the Battle of the Bulge. They are voting for their way of life ( white supremacy ) and as such everything is on the table. To them, America and white supremacy are one and the same, and if you don't like it, leave – Right "Paula"?

  • Dr. Claw–

    It's not sanctimony–I have no qualms about pamphleteering invective in and of itself. I'm just lampooning the familiar, recurring hypocrisy of leftist levelers and faux egalitarians every time the People they purport to live for fail to live up to their airy, hand-mirror expectations.

    Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot killed an awful lot of the People because their arrogant ideological certitude could not be considered to be up for reexamination or even modification. So it was bad and stupid and insane and lazy People blocking what otherwise was inevitable progress.

  • For the "fiscal conservative" above – please consider that "small government" cannot educate the poor ( and brown ), or provide the poor with healthcare. "Small government" cannot stop racist or sexist employment practices. "Small government" cannot stop corporations from dumping toxic pollution where poor people live. The results of "fiscal conservatism" always end up hurting poor and brown people. Consider this quote from Lee Atwater , former head of the RNC –

    You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger" — that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me — because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger."

    So please consider the possibility that you have been duped. Having grown up in the suburbs a child of "white flight" parents, I too was a Republican until I learned I was a dupe ( when Bush invaded Iraq after lying about WMD – I realized that *everything* the R's said was possibly a lie) . Yes, you don't like Trump because he make his racism so obvious. You understand racism is bad, so YOU are motivated not be racism but by "fiscal conservatism". The reality is that you have been fooled and you are continuing to fool yourself. You call for "love" because you hate feeling like you are a bad person. SO STOP BEING A BAD PERSON. Read This: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/dispatches/2012/04/11/why-john-cole-switched-parties/

  • To vote Republican at this stage of the game means one of a handful of things:

    1. To be profoundly ignorant of what the party has embraced and their actual policies, probably due to a diet of right wing propaganda from the usual sources (Faux News, Breitbart, InfoWars, Sinclair Media, etc.).

    2. To be an outright racist, authoritarian, fascist or the like.

    3. To not be an outright racist, authoritarian or fascist, but to be comfortable with being allied with them to achieve your own policy goals.

    Category 1 I feel some kind of sympathy for, to a degree. The rest of them can get fucked as far as I am concerned.

  • And as for "long game" – Women's suffrage movement stared in 1848 – passed in 1920. That's 72 years. Fred Koch started the John Birch Society in 1958 – Unified Republican control in 2016 – that's 58 years. We have to fight because it is the right thing to do – and we may not succeed in our own lifetimes. We need to do it anyway. “You are not expected to complete the task (of healing the world), but neither are you free to avoid it.” – Pirkei Avot 2:21

  • I was a Republican up until Gingrich went scorched earth in the mid 90's.

    Voted for Reagan twice, Bush Sr. once, Perot in '92 and Clinton in '96.

    Officially switched my affiliation to Democrat after I saw what they did to McCain in the 2000 primary.

  • Paula! At least! Speak! In! Complete Sentences! Or we will dismiss your "truths" for what they are.

    (Hint: Tweeting is not communicating.)

  • CAm Anderson:

    Thank you for the somewhat thoughtful response. I would only reply that a "conservative" complaining about hypocrisy is almost painfully and laughably sad and blinkered. Especially when it was the "conservatives" who have ballooned the deficits, crashed the economy, wasted money on ridiculous "defense" spending programs, on and on and on. I would suggest spending your hard earned and saved moneys on a mirror? They seem to be lacking in your abode.

  • Oh Jeez. Inkblot is bringing up Mao and Pol Pot when discussing modern American Democrats?

    He is becoming a parody of himself…which is really, really hard.

  • Brian M–

    Given that Trump is a neo-Hitlerian fascist and ICE is a new Gestapo filling concentration camps with kidnapped children, I was just trying to fit in around here. Meanwhile, Mao and Pol Pot were doctrinaire leftists who blamed the People en masse for reality's pesky failure to meet their ideological expectations. Big Ed the Leftist is seeing monsters in much the same spirit, as are many of the other low-rent Party nabobs here.

  • There have been plenty of nasty authoritarian regimes in history that weren't the Nazis (or Stalin).

    The history of Latin America is chock full of them. Not to mention Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Philippines and South Korea.

  • I'm all for G&T getting a broader readership, and Ed getting all sorts of cool writing gigs. But some of you really need to make it so 'those' relatives can't see the things you share. They keep wandering in, shitting brain dead conservative or centrist garbage all over the place; some of them go out of their way to use big words and flowery language. It's…it's just a big mess.

  • This is awesome,and I will repost it. I have known and felt this way for sometime. My only solace? "To the forces of evil, filth, and hypocrisy; I know who you are, and what you are. Look into my eyes; you have not fooled me."

  • Paula . . . Bless Your Heart . . . and Kiss My Brown Ass. Now if you'll excuse me, I have an apple pie baking in the oven.

  • And yes – they are not dumb. They do not vote against their own interests. It's just their investment in white privilege is more important than their economic interest. Give a tax cut for billionaires White privilege is everything to these folks – "When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression". If you have spent your life feeling superior because you are white, you want that for your children and grandchildren. They want to feel superior for being a christian, for not being gay. Do you think they ever will want to be EQUAL with "those people". Never. So all you naysayers – take your "love your (white supremacist) neighbor" claptrap and Bless Your Hearts.

  • By the way, Brian Kemp has officially resigned as Secretary of State in lieu of a recount between him and Stacy Abrams. If Abrams is defeated, which is the most realistic possibility considering the circumstances – She should seriously consider the possibility that perhaps her true calling is to become Secretary of State, where she could really clean up the voter mess in her state. Of which she is truly aware.

  • I do feel sad, for all the reasons you listed, but a little context is important here. It wasn't 50% of the electorate that voted for White Supremacy, etc., it was only ~25% because half of the electorate didn't vote. That's still a lot of bad voters, but when judging all people, we must look at all people. Not caring enough to vote at all might make you a bad person, but not the same kind of bad person as someone who votes for oppression and injustice. So temper your despair, I guess? Fighting torpor is different from fighting fascism.

  • Major Kong–

    Congratulations on knowing that authoritarian regimes don't have to be leftist. If you like, I will call you Major Obvious from here on. Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot, the ones I cited, however, led Marxist-Leninist regimes, and committed mass murders of tscores of millions of supposed unworthies (to live), all in the name of the golden People leftists claim to love and believe in as such. Hence their reference here in light of Ed's own toxic misanthropy, which is every bit as self-referential and selective as that of right-wingers. That's the point.

    Satrap–

    If the folks here indeed prefer a purer partisan cloister for partisan reach-arounds, I'll be happy to move on. Meanwhile, if you have anything substantive to back up your as-yet empty claims about my content, you'll avoid sounding like a passive-aggressive sorority girl whining about the Wrong Sorts being allowed on the homecoming committee but without the guts to say it directly and back it up with specifics. If I'm "brain dead", I'm afraid so far that makes you an above-average houseplant.

  • beenhereforawhile says:

    Hey everybody, remember a long time ago we decided not to feed the trolls? They're just…tedious.

  • Saw a thing recently about how Trumpland is suffering an outbreak of nihilism and suicidal thoughts.

    Really warmed my heart; finally something I agree with Trumpkins on – I just wish they'd hurry up.

  • Inkberrrow, You might consider the first rule of holes, and you are in one. Just in case you are a house plant, listen up, stop digging.

  • Inkblot: "Big Ed the Leftist is seeing monsters in much the same spirit, as are many of the other low-rent Party nabobs here."

    Yep. A parody of himself Inkblot be.

  • Someone is monkeying with (kiss my ass, Andrew Gillum, you whiner) the format of and, oddly, even the timestamp of my submissions. So the house appears to be intellectually dishonest like many of the players. As such, I will spare you leftist swine additional tapdances on your poxy snouts and weak chins. I will return only if asked nicely.

  • I'm not a fan of Trump or all but maybe 3 Republicans but reading this nonsense is exactly the type of over the top hysteria that pushes those moderate average Americans to vote for the Republican or for Trump. You guys should really listen to John Stewart and Bill Maher's recent interviews and shows as those are 2 liberals who do get it and see why the increasingly nuts left pushing further left and demonizing anyone who remotely disagrees with them is backfiring. Hell Trump freaking won even despite having the entire Republican National Committee against him! Maybe soul search as to how that happened and why people would be pushed away from say Hillary and Bernie to vote for Trump, hint it's not cause they are all secret white supremacist.

    Here's a long but excellent read by Vox that everyone should read:
    https://www.vox.com/2016/4/21/11451378/smug-american-liberalism

  • Ah, yes. You were really getting the best of us. The wit and cartoonishly overwrought prose quite cut is to the quick. I'm sure you're serious about not coming back (nobody will ask), and not some jackass who will come slinking back for the attention and opportunity to keep wheeling out the pseudo-intellectual schtick. I'm positive that's not you, and we'll never hear from you again.

  • @John

    If this post. This. Post. Is the type of thing that pushes you, or any other presumably sentient adult, to vote for R's and Trump, it….it really comes across as an indictment of your reactionary stupidity and biases, than anything else. If "Those people are saying mean, shrill, paranoid, or over the top things. Demonizing the opposition, etc…" is an adequate explanation of why someone would not vote for a specific person or party (Democrats in your example), the question becomes.. How the fuck do you then end up voting for the people that brought us Jade Helm conspiracies, Pizza Gate, demonization of the media, dehumanizing of minorities, and all of this "Deep State" conspiracy garbage? Interesting that those things would only be a problem when aimed in one direction or at certain groups. Quite intriguing.

  • @Chris

    Trump has openly expressed admiration for authoritarian leaders like Putin, Erdogan and Duterte. He regularly calls the press "the enemy of the people". He regularly talks about wanting to "lock up" his political opponents. He's expressed admiration for a politician who physically assaulted a reporter.

    https://mashable.com/2016/03/12/trump-rally-incite-violence/#W1jPIYg2RiqG

    At what point does this start to seem just a teeeeeeny bit out of the ordinary?

    I'm old enough to remember Nixon. He never said things like that. Reagan never did. Bush Senior never did. Dubya for all his faults didn't. Even Dick "go fuck yourself" Cheney never did.

    This is not normal behavior, even for a Republican.

    You can call me hysteric if you want but I won't be surprised if he shows up wearing a general's uniform and mirrored sunglasses one of these days.

  • I'm not sad. Democrats in PA made gains in both chambers of the state assembly and we have a democratic governor who will ensure that the district lines drawn after the 2020 census will not be gerrymandered. And it's not 50-50. Democratic House candidates received millions more votes than Republican and Democratic Senate candidates received over ten million more votes (as they did in 2016 and will in 2020).
    There were always assholes out there–lots of them. We should be thankful that Trump has led them to proudly label themselves. Now we know who they are.

  • if you're looking to government structures (including any form of democracy short of direct, small scale arrangements, arguably still not though) at all for some sign of hope, you're maybe just as misguided as any of these other folks who are apparently so much more horrible than the rest ? doesn't matter the party, any hierarchical system designed to self-perpetuate is upsetting ? anyone invested in any party (d, r, etc) or this whole mistake known as "the state" is basically a fascist anyway? the 2 parties can take heart in knowing that they're at least equally delusional & cruel for perpetuating the violence known as 'the state.' oh well, at least some folks regardless of affiliation can still get off on feeling sad & holier than though still too. c:

  • Sorry, not buying the "both sides do it" thing any more. Maybe if it was 1996 you'd have a point but the political landscape has changed quite a bit.

    There are no blue states where Democrats have sought to make it harder for white men without a college education to vote, even though that demographic typically votes Republican.

    Democratic candidates did not attack their white male opponents as dangerous because four white men carried out deadly acts of right-wing terrorism in the two weeks prior to the election.

    Democratic candidates for statewide office did not appeal to voters in blue states by trashing other parts of the country considered to be conservative.

    Democratic candidates who ran for office did not advertise their willingness to use state violence against groups associated with Republican constituencies.

  • all I'm saying is that the state is an inherently violent structure regardless of party affiliation. yeh, it's another level of fucked to explicitly appeal to folks wanting to disenfranchise others, commit heinous hateful acts of violence, etc.. that doesn't mean folks who use less explicitly vile tactics while still implicitly supporting the violent structures of the state & the bullshit of colonialist feel-good neoliberalism should get a pass ? if you support the state structures over the people living within & outside of them, you're still probably effectively a fascist ? basically, smash the state, regardless of who has control over it. nobody & no concept that tied to exploitative systems like capitalism should be supported in good faith. you shouldn't be exempt from accountability for supporting the other side of the same bullshit coin just because that side is shinier/you or those you support are "nicer" about certain things than others ?

  • I am sad because I fought for this country. I am no idiot who thinks that we will ever achieve the ideal of what could be, but I used to think we would always strive to do better and get closer. I am disappointed that the reality is that we are in a period of time when the worst humans have control and will do anything to protect that control. I guess if one lives long enough they will live through this.

    Complexity/Chaos theory essentially predicts that these boiling points will happen from time to time when any complex system is pushed hard enough. Unfortunately, these boiling points usually result in violent upheaval resulting in destruction that, up until now, ends up eventually pushing us forward at the cost of millions of lives and a literal rebuilding of everything. Too bad it usually takes about 20+ years to settle back down into a relative steady state – after the destruction. I'll be dead, but my kids will have to live through this during what should be the best parts of their lives.

  • Question for the mail bag podcast episode:
    Are there any laws that could be passed at the federal level to protect the right to vote? For instance: congressional district lines can't split zip codes, states must have X polling places per Y registered voters, all voting machines must produce a confirmation paper ballot for the voter to verify and for recounts.
    Love the show & the blog!
    (and sorry for posting this in comments, I've taken a very strict no social media accounts vow)

  • Smash the state and we go back to whoever puts the bigger gang together gets to rule.

    Except instead of gangs they called them "Royal Families" back in the day.

  • We can see the joys of a weak state right now in Pakistan where raving fundie mobs are demanding the evisceration of a woman accused of blasphemy against the prophet (fbhn) Weak states are also a joy in Brazilian favelas, Afghanistan, Libya,…

    I am…sympathetic…to this argument. But I am too old and slow to enjoy living in a Mad Max World, and just because a few squabbling partisans put together an anarchist paradise for a few short weeks in 1930s Spain (before they were stomped by the Nazis) does not mean I will sign up for the glorious anarchist rvolutio n.

  • Death Panel Truck says:

    I'm not sad. Trump's firewall in the House will be gone. I just keep saying, over and over again: House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy. Despite what happens to Mueller, the House investigations will now begin.

    Anyone who didn't know half the electorate would still vote for Trump in 2018 is delusional. OF COURSE THEY WERE. I am not the least bit surprised.

  • @TMinSJ, the PoliSci PhDs here could answer this better, but:

    "In the US elections are actually conducted by local authorities, working under local, state, and federal law and regulation, as well as the US Constitution. It is a highly decentralized system.[19]

    In around half of US states, the Secretary of State is the official in charge of elections; in other states it is someone appointed for the job, or a commission.[19] It is this person or commission who is responsible for certifying, tabulating, and reporting votes for the state." (wikipedia– Elections in the U.S.)

    So I SUPPOSE the Congress could TRY to legislate some kind of stricter national standards for redistricting, voting, etc., but they've never seemed very interested, perhaps because they're themselves the winners in the whole fucked up process. So, almost twenty years after the debacle in FL in 2000, it's like deja vu all over again. (H/t Yogi Berra)

  • I really, genuinely, don't feel sad. I feel good. This election had the highest turnout for the midterms in fifty years. Enough Americans got off their dead, social-media-addled asses to flip the House and check Trump. American democracy could have died on November 6, but it didn't. We could easily have been well on our way to full-blown fascism, but we aren't. Muslims, immigrants, Native Americans are all on their way to Congress. An openly gay governor in Colorado. Kyrsten Sinema is pulling ahead in Arizona.
    Legalized marijuana in Michigan. And things in Georgia and Florida aren't over yet.

    For Christ's sake, people. Take a win when you get it!

  • Interesting post. But, definitely not half the electorate. I believe there is a significant number of people who voted for Trump who now see that he's a con-man, inept, and a mistake. True there is a significant number (10-20%?) of the electorate of Trump cultists who believe his BS. But no where near half – I have more confidence in the American people than that.

    I'm OK leaving the Trump cultists behind and moving forward without them.

  • defineandredefine says:

    Kirsten –

    You're certainly not wrong. I'll admit that it's hard for me not to be discouraged that racist pile of garbage Steve King and the terminally inhuman Ted Cruz won reelection. On the other hand, Stacy Abrams, Beto O'Rourke, Andrew Gillum et al are not markers of defeat…not necessarily, anyway. Perhaps they're harbingers of what's to come. Lest we forget, John Ossof lost as well, way back in early 2017. This year Georgia's 6th (my home district and responsible for such miserable humans as Newt Gingrich and Tom Price) sent Karen Handel packing. That district has been republican as long as I can remember, so Lucy McBath's victory is certainly not nothing. Even if she hadn't won, the fact that GA6, a senate seat from TX, and the governor's races of FL and GA were competitive at all is, at the least, encouraging.

    Yet I didn't feel happy or victorious on 7 November. But…I think it's more that I'm not sure what to do next. I'm 36, and I've been by far more politically aware and active in the last 2 years of my life. So my apprehension at this point is because I don't know what we (I) do in the wake of this small victory.

  • Bitter Scribe says:

    My take on this is that, as with most other great tragedies and crimes, there are different degrees of culpability. There's the rabid Breitbart-and-Hannity base, who will never abandon or acknowledge the racism that drives their worldview, and there's the merely complicit, who go along.

    Take my now lame-duck Congressman. He's an establishment Republican who's been walking a tightrope about Trump for so long that the soles of his feet have rope burns. When the Republicans tried to repeal the ACA, he not only fled Washington, he turned off his phone.

    I'm sure he's a nice guy who doesn't kick his dog or anything. And he conceded graciously when a Democrat beat him. But if you're that worried about losing your job, you probably will never be effective. We demand that soldiers risk and give up their lives; is it asking too much that people in government risk their jobs?

  • I turned up with all my hellfire to vote Walker out (and help Baldwin keep her senate seat). At least I was vindicated in both of those races. I STILL can't believe that Walker only barely lost. I thought there was a lot more dislike for Walker in Wisconsin but he won St Croix county and that fact made me sick. Sick that I live in a community that supported that scum bag. I was wrong to think that living so close to a progressive state meant more democrat leanings. Perhaps this is where all the rednecks from MN move?

  • It is sad when you can no longer guilt people in to handing over their money to you.
    THE WRATH OF THE AWAKENED SAXON
    by Rudyard Kipling

    It was not part of their blood,
    It came to them very late,
    With long arrears to make good,
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    They were not easily moved,
    They were icy — willing to wait
    Till every count should be proved,
    Ere the Saxon began to hate.

    Their voices were even and low.
    Their eyes were level and straight.
    There was neither sign nor show
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    It was not preached to the crowd.
    It was not taught by the state.
    No man spoke it aloud
    When the Saxon began to hate.

    It was not suddently bred.
    It will not swiftly abate.
    Through the chilled years ahead,
    When Time shall count from the date
    That the Saxon began to hate.

  • @ Flying Squirrel:

    "I live in MA so am up for partitioning (but fuck you NH) vs. some sort of societal catastrophe."

    Ok, that's enough, mister! I spent time in both states, about equally, for nearly 35 years and former governor, Mildew Topscum (now playing cards with Caligula, Hitler and Stalin) exemplebodied the good, GODLY family values of his party in upholding of GOP values in the 1970's–with a lot of help from Billy Loeb at the Manchester Toilet Reader.

    Massataxxa is fergin' rediquless with their taxbezzlement schemes–while NH has NO income tax and NO sales tax*! And they LOVEZ'em some gunz. All the crimnulz from there come to NH to shop and then go home and kill each other
    in Lawrence, Haverhill, Brockton, Chelsea, Fallreeve and New Beige as well as them other shithole cities in that shithole state!

    Stop at the NH State Liquor Store on your way back to your shitholecity in the Confiscatorytaxrate Colony State!

    So, there!!!!!**

    * Relying instead on sale of tourism, liquor and gambling revenues
    ** Yes, is snark.

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