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mygif

Very well said.

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mygif

Well said, sir. I’ve been hearing all the anti-Hillary arguments – left, right, and indifferent – since last year, and none has convinced me she’s not our best/only hope this year.

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rabartlett said on November 4th, 2016 at 11:18 pm

I’m not (Well, I haven’t) voted third party, but this is the thing. If Trump wins, it’ll be on the people who voted for him. The people who endorsed him. The people who placated his sense of self worth that he could run for president in the first place. (Which may or may not count the Clintons among them)Blaming the act on anything but the perpetrator in the name of “pragmatism” is what retards social progress in the first place.

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“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”

–John Stuart Mill

I am by no means excusing those who promoted and supported Trump of their role in this. Indeed, I find Trump’s candidacy to be an indictment against the Republicans that will and should hound them for decades, possibly bringing their entire party quite deservedly to oblivion. But none of it matters if the rest of us do our patriotic duty and vote against the goddamn scumbag. In this rare case, apathy is genuinely a sin.

Being pragmatic sometimes retards social progress. You know what else retards social progress? Letting a dipshit who abolishes elections and has minorities put to death get elected President because you wouldn’t vote for his perfectly decent opponent for the crime of not being FDR Jesus.

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Let it be noted that not even FDR was FDR Jesus.

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I always thought Bernie Madoff seemed like he would be a pretty likeable guy.

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Sean Martin said on November 5th, 2016 at 8:09 pm

@rabartlett said “this is the thing. If Trump wins, it’ll be on the people who voted for him.”

Ignorant, responsibility-avoiding nonsense.

If Trump wins it will be on the people who stood by and didn’t stop it. On those who threw their votes away voting for a third party or who didn’t vote at all.

On those who, like you, stood by and watched the disaster unfold and made the conscious decision to let it happen. And who afterwards will try to absolve themselves of any responsibility by spewing forth the “Well, *I* didn’t vote for him.” cop out.

Trump as President will not just do permanent and massive damage to the country and the world, but to you personally. YOUR life will be harder. YOU will make less income and pay more taxes. The freedoms and opportunities YOU enjoy will be reduced if not gone altogether.

Does the momentary self-righteous self-deluded smug post-election proclamation of “Not my fault” come anywhere near offsetting that?

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rabartlett said on November 6th, 2016 at 12:51 am

First of all, I said I wasn’t voting third party, or abstaining. Hilary Clinton had my vote. But let me put it this way.

We knew going in Clinton was kind of damaged goods from PR standpoint. She’s been around too long, her record is too public, she’s made enemies, and she missed her last shot at the primary. She’s not someone who comes across as “first choice” for a lot of people. But she still ran. Her base still rallied. When people questioned if she had too much baggage, her proponents would say things like “You just played into the smear campaigns” or “No male politician would be getting this kind of shit”. It was saying “We’re not going to be held hostage by the unfairness of the system, it’s what we believe is right dammit.” It’s being righteous over being pragmatic. And that’s valid. But it’s a fine time to say “Hey, the system is unfair, but you got to play the game as it is, not as you’d like it to be.”

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Gareth Wilson said on November 6th, 2016 at 1:23 am

“Her central fiscal policy depends on what she has literally called “a magic trick” to make money suddenly exist, one which absolutely everyone who has ever looked at it has called actual fucking gibberish. ”

This woman paid for free college using this one weird trick. Economists hate her!

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Oh GOD yes! Trump is a narcissist’s narcissist, and a lunatic besides!

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rabartlett said on November 6th, 2016 at 12:15 pm

By the right now, there’s a public transit strike in Philadelphia, which could tip a very swing state into the red. So if you’re going to be mad at obstinate protests, get mad at that. Not some tinhat in New England.

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It seems like John is at the bargaining stage, for full disclosure I wrote in “Ron Paul 2012” in a full red state so it really wouldn’t matter either way

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Modern conservatism is fascism, and Trump is undeniable proof. North America will be forced to confront this fact very soon. If Trump somehow wins, if the US is that hopelessly stupid, civil war is inevitable.

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Republican strategist Ana Navarro just wrote a piece on why she early voted for Clinton. Saddest thing I’ve read from the elecction. Not because she is voting for Clinton, but because she sounds so betrayed and hurt by her own party.

She even mentions how she considered writing in her mother, but she’s voting in Florida and is afraid to give Trump the win that way.

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I actually dislike the “don’t vote third party” for this chief reason: most of the people I personally know who are voting third party? Would vote for Trump if absolutely pressed between the two. I WANT them to vote third party. And if I were as convinced as they are that Clinton is Killer Rights-Stealer Awfulness, with Trump as the alternative, I’d vote third party too.

I think the virulently-anti-Hillary folks are paranoid or deceived or delusional, and I’m glad for people who hammer home points 1 and 2 as strongly as possible. Hillary is qualified, capable, and more moral than Stalin, which meets all my minimum qualifications. (And Trump fails on all three.) But if I genuinely thought she failed on the last point? I would encourage people to vote third party. Lesser evil only works if the person is less than evil, and after this election, I’m no longer convinced that we won’t someday face an election with two major party candidates who are intolerable.

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Well, looks like Trump won.

Fuck.

Better go kill myself.

Not sure if I’m joking.

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Christian Hansen said on November 9th, 2016 at 12:06 am

He did it

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bad internet decisions said on November 9th, 2016 at 12:19 am

Lloyd: It’s rough right now. I feel you, intensely. I am pretty upset and terrified myself. But we can’t try and work to pick the pieces of this whole deal up afterwards if we’re not here for it.

http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ is there 24/7. If you gotta talk to somebody, please do — there’s no shame in that. Please take care of yourself.

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I don’t fucking care.

This whole fucking country is fucking fucked and I want no fucking part of it.

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Just some guy said on November 9th, 2016 at 2:39 am

Bad Internet Decisions,

Thank you for posting that. I’m at a personal low point. And then this election happened, and I don’t even know what to say that doesn’t sound weak. Pathetic. Cliché. Like I’m just trying to make something about me. I just got off the phone with my husband, and he could hear that I’m just at this breaking point with how I feel about myself, and the future, and our culture, and that overwhelming sense that not everything won’t be OK tomorrow. He’s trying to get off work early, but I don’t think he’d make it in time.

I decided to stop by here one more time, because the bloggers and commenters are usually a source of reason and intelligence. And as soon as I finish posting this, I’m going to the website, and I’m going to find a number to call. And if I have to, I’ll go check in…somewhere? I don’t even know where you go for this sort of thing.

But honestly and sincerely, thank you.

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mygif

God. Fucking. Damn it.

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Heksefatter said on November 9th, 2016 at 1:38 pm

The US is fucked. The world is fucked. I can’t joke about this.

This may truly be disastrous for the entire world.

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Shit

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Democrats brought this upon themselves by allowing Hillary to run instead of Bernie.

Enjoy your eight years of Trump.

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Corrin Radd said on November 9th, 2016 at 7:05 pm

A nation of deplorables.

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>If Trump wins it will be on the people who
>stood by and didn’t stop it. On those who
>threw their votes away voting for a third
>party or who didn’t vote at all.

I’m pretty sure it is first with the people who voted for Trump, after which it is with the people who didn’t vote for Hillary.

I mean the ones who didn’t vote for Hillary, that’s like the people who accidentally leave their babies in the car in summer and those babies die – it’s a major fuckup. The ones who voted for Trump are like the ones that beat their babies with a hammer until they’re dead, that’s intentional evil.

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Why not place all of the blame on Hillary? She’s the one who ruined her party’s chances for selfish reasons. Chasing her foolish dream of being the first female POTUS, instead of assessing the situation objectively, realizing that Sanders was the more popular candidate with the masses, and doing the right thing. Stepping out of the contest for him, maybe accepting that running mate position that Bernie graciously offered. If she had done that, there’s a very good chance Trump would still be just a loudmouth who owns a few casinos.

And she’s the one who completely botched her own campaign, making no promises to the disenfranchised in the flip states, instead insulting them, calling them racists, “deplorables”. That’s a great way to garner support, Hillary, spitting accusations at the people who are suffering. Great tactic. Wonder how it didn’t work. Her campaign amounted to sabotaging her party and herself.

She clearly just assumed she would win because “it’s her turn”. That’s the same mistake Romney made against Obama. Arrogance. Sense of entitlement. There is no your turn, my turn, that’s not how it works, and assuming that it does means this happens. You have to actively give people reasons to vote for you when you campaign, and “I’m a woman”, “I’m a Clinton” and “the other guy is a buffoon” are not reasons.

It’s all Hillary’s fault, all of it. She will never be president and she shouldn’t be. Not with an attitude like that. Not when she thinks people owe it to her. When she thinks people should just give it to her in exchange for nothing. Trump didn’t think people owed it to him, and he’s hardly the picture of humility. But he was more humble than Hillary was. Because Trump made promises. Trump tried to win people over by promising them things they wanted. Sure, it’s probably all lies, he’ll probably ruin everything, but promising something is way better than promising nothing.

The Democrats need to take a long hard look at themselves after this and try to learn their lesson. Hillary won’t, she’s too far gone up her own ass, but the party might still have hope.

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krrp, The Democrats cannot possibly learn this lesson. It’s exactly how Ann Richards lost to George W. Bush, campaigning on a platform of “how can you possibly vote for this guy?” And when that didn’t work, Gore campaigned on the exact same platform. All the Republicans ever have to do to win a race is put up a candidate who is objectively not qualified – the Democrats seem determined to fall for it every time.

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Except that Sanders wasn’t the more popular candidate. More people voted in the primary for Hillary. Sanders’ supporters might have been more passionate. They might have turned out when hers didn’t. And maybe, maybe, that would have made the difference. But the fact of the matter is that more people in the primary voted for HRC than for Bernie. Objectively, that’s how we decide who gets to run (after we filter it through another level, because nothing in American politics can be easy). In fact, on Tuesday, more people voted for HRC than Trump.

Also, your assertion demands that we accept that 9 months of ugly campaigning against Trump and scrutiny from the media wouldn’t have dug up anything ugly in Sanders’ past. We don’t know that. It’s an interesting thought exercise, but Sanders lost the primary fairly.

The real issue is the Original Sin of the American Republic is still biting us in the ass. Our entire government is made up in a way to enhance the political power of people in rural, low population density areas. It was set up that way to keep the slave-owning south happy, and to keep them well represented in the halls of power to keep the north for simple outlawing slavery. Ever since then, we, as a country, have paid a price. More people vote for democratic representatives than GOP? Who cares! More people are represented by the fewer number of Democratic senators than all those GOP senators? Who cares! Need to have equal representation from Wyoming, where there are more sheep than people, and from California.

There are more people in New York City than in 39 of the states. It’s bigger than Virginia! There are more people in Columbus, OH than in Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont or Wyoming. As a result, urban centers are forced to accept the backward (socially) and destructive (economically and ecologically) policies of the rural parts of the country. Even today, our dark and ugly history is still keeping us down, and we’re not addressing it.

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@krrp: Since this seems to be turning into the unofficial commiseration thread, I’m going to go with it, but let’s be honest–in an election this close, everyone’s theories about what went wrong are right.

Was it that Hillary was too damaged by years of bruising right-wing smear campaigns? Yes. Was it that Hillary isn’t as dynamic and inspiring as Barack Obama? Yes. Was it Republican suppression of black voters in at least three key states (Ohio, Wisconsin, and North Carolina)? Yes. Was it third-party voters? Yes. Was it a media that never treated Trump’s scandals with the seriousness they deserved, while falling all over themselves to report everything the Russians leaked to them? Yes. Was it that the new Democrat coalition, which is made up of minority voters, simply isn’t going to respond with the same intensity to another elderly white person saying “Vote for me, I know what’s best for you”, and the Democratic politicians need to match the Democratic voting base if they’re going to win elections? Yes. (Which is why no, Bernie Sanders wouldn’t have won this either. If African-Americans won’t turn out for Hillary, they sure as hell won’t turn out for Bernie.) Was it the FBI director’s last minute decision to try to gin up a scandal out of nowhere? Yes. Was it an underestimation of the appeal overt racism still holds in America, and a “whitelash” against Obama’s presidency that finally hit someone who wasn’t as good at campaigning as Obama? Yes. Was it the Electoral College, which everyone suddenly remembers every four years is a really stupid and terrible idea that doesn’t make any sense and doesn’t fulfill its intended purpose anymore? Yes. The fun thing about an election campaign that lasts over a year and is decided by less than a few hundred thousand votes is that every damn thing is a factor.

And it’s a great idea to analyze these failures. But it’s a terrible idea to cast blame for them. We all want to make sure this never happens again, but “enjoy your eight years of Trump” isn’t doing that. It’s pretending that the problem belongs to someone else. And that isn’t true.

Personally, I think the lesson Democrats need to learn is that the candidate needs to resemble the party. If Democratic voters are younger, more diverse and forcefully progressive, they need another Obama. (Not literally. Michelle ain’t running, let’s all put that to bed.) The days when Democrats can appeal to minority voters with a well-meaning white person are over. Minorities want a seat at the table, not just a voice in their corner, and it’s time to recognize and respect that.

That’s worth remembering, once the civil war ends and we’re rebuilding our nation from the diverse group of balkanized “shatterstates” that formed in the wake of the death of Imperator Trump. (Which really sucks for those of you not annexed by the Glorious Canadian Republic like Minnesota.)

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@John
” Was it the Electoral College, which everyone suddenly remembers every four years is a really stupid and terrible idea that doesn’t make any sense and doesn’t fulfill its intended purpose anymore? Yes.”

Actually, the EC does fulfill its purpose. It amplifies the voice of rural voters over those of more densely populated areas. It was always meant to do that.

We’re looking at 2 years, at least, of GOP dominance in government, largely because our system doesn’t base representation on population, but rather, on arbitrary lines of where states or voting districts are. And it was always designed to do so.

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@Sisyphus: That was what pissed me off so much about that David Wong article, urging sympathy for the Trump voters. They aren’t poor because they have no representation, they are poor because of the people who they select to represent them.

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@Grazzt I think his point was they had no cultural representation (though I might be thinking of a different article). They are over represented politically, but in the media, they aren’t. So we have a disconnect where people in cities don’t understand why our government acts like it does and hate them. And rural folks don’t understand why the media doesn’t just tell the truth (as they see it) and hate them. And that we’re all selective in our media now, and insulated from each other, means that we, none of us, understand the others.

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@Sisyphus: The Electoral College would only genuinely be working as functionally intended if all the electors looked at each other, said, “……yeeeeeeeeeeeaaahnope,” and just elected Hillary because Trump. Its literal, stated intent was to act as a bastion against demagoguery by ensuring that sober, wise men could overrule the will of the people in the event that the people chose poorly.

I’m not saying that should happen, or even that I want it to happen. I think at this point, anything done to deny a Trump presidency would wind up causing a hell of a lot of damage in and of itself. But if it’s not filling that function, it’s not worth having.

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@Sisyphus: There was also a bunch of stuff talking about how their economic problems are ignored by Washington. Which is true, because politicians in Washington know they can get away with it as long as they make the right noises on cultural issues. Rural America has exactly the government it wants, it just isn’t going to solve any of their problems.

And by “Has”, I mean up to this point as well. Remember, before the election the Republicans controlled the House, Senate, and the majority of State legislatures and governorships. They still have that control, plus the Presidency. I honestly don’t know what the Democrats are going to do. I wouldn’t be shocked if they need a new left wing party to replace them, at this point. I saw that happen to our (Canadian) Conservatives.

@John Seavey: I think this just points to a larger problem: a simple majority is a terrible way to choose a leader. There are too many people with too many problems and mutually exclusive view points. I think what needs to be done is a weakening of the head of state, and transferal of more power to the head of government. Forcing the person on top to have to rely on the support of his fellow legislators is the best defence against demagoguery.

And if Congress is so dysfunctional right now, it’s partly because they can scapegoat the President. An obviously powerless President would help resolve that.

Then again, I say that as a loyal subject of a powerless Queen, so I am pretty biased. :)

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JS: “If African-Americans won’t turn out for Hillary, they sure as hell won’t turn out for Bernie”

No, but he would have captured the angry white lower middle class demographic way better! That’s exactly the demo that won the election for Trump, exactly the people who needed to be siphoned away from him. A lot of the people who voted for Trump, or chose to not vote at all, don’t actually lean hard right at all. They’re just upset at the establishment, upset at the lowering quality of their life, their lack of a future, and were willing to vote for anyone who promised to shake things up. They were there ripe for the picking, and the Dems did nothing to pick them up! You can’t afford to just throw white votes away, let Republicans have them like you’re too good for them. That’s a recipe for… well, the exact thing that just happened.

You can’t rely on the minorities to win you the election if you don’t also appeal to the white majority. Obama was a double success because he appealed to both. But Obama was one of a kind. A magical perfect candidate. You can’t count on getting one of those on demand. Without one, you have to face the white masses, and not place yourself above them, not call them deplorables or uneducated racist scum, but listen to their problems and promise to solve them. That’s what the Democrats need to learn to do.

Otherwise we’re getting a second round of Trump. Likely followed by somebody who makes Trump look like Obama.

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Corrin Radd said on November 10th, 2016 at 9:19 pm

I only consider them uneucated racist scum compared to Krusty.

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Bernie could have taken the half of trumps followers that were not in the basket of deplorables. Bernie is basically a sane more honest trump. He could have split the angry white vote enough to swing the election, joe Biden also would have likely beat trump. Hillary was a flawed enough candidate for trump to exploit.

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Bet your ass if Bernie had lost he would have actually showed up at his election-night rally to thank his supporters, instead of having them dismissed by a flunky

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Robin: Hillary may have been busy calling the suicide hotline helpfully listed above as she realized the thing she had single mindled pursued basically the last 20 years wasn’t going to happen because a sentient mass of cheetos was more appealing to middle America.

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ABritishPerson said on November 11th, 2016 at 3:24 am

@Someguy: if I was her I’d probably be getting drunk off my ass, pointing at the statue of Liberty and screaming “YOU MANIACS!! YOU BLEW IT ALL UP!!”

In all seriousness, our last general election and the EU Referendum should have been a warning to the Democrats. It doesn’t matter if you think the white working classes are filth, they are most of the electorate and you need to make a real effort to address their concerns.

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@krrp Millions fewer voted for Hillary than Obama. They just didn’t turn out. Mostly, exit polls suggest, it was black people who didn’t show up. It was also, to a lesser extent, younger people (although the 18 – 25 demo that voted for Obama now slips to the 22-29 or 26-33 demo, which isn’t the same group of people at all).

@Sly, I don’t see Bernie taking half of Trump’s voters. I think Biden might have won. Remember, though, that to most of rural white America, “socialist” is a deadly insult. And Bernie was, literally, a socialist.

I said it at the start of the primary and I’ll say it now. I desperately wish Joe Biden had run. I understand why he didn’t, and I can’t be angry at him for it, but it would have been far better for the country had he been the democratic candidate.

@Grazzt I think it’s the same one then. Yeah. White guys aren’t lacking for representation in government. I say that as a middle aged, straight, white guy. Granted, I’m college educated and with a job in the IT industry, so not Trump’s demo. In fact, the thing that’s starting to emerge as people slice and dice the data is that this election was decided by education. Hilary won all the states where more than an average number of people have advanced degrees.

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on November 11th, 2016 at 11:51 am

I have a hard time blaming the Democrats for this when Trump ran a platform of EXPLICIT racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, bigotry, pro-rape, etc, etc, and people VOTED FOR IT. What was Biden going to do different, court the racist vote?!?

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@Sisyphus: If Biden wants to be President, not running might have been the smart thing to do. I doubt he could have beaten Clinton, and I’m sure he knew that. Sit this primary out, then on the off chance that Clinton loses he can be the white knight of 2020. The Dems bench is ridiculously small right now, so unless we get someone really fiery at the midterms, I wouldn’t be surprised if he has an easy time of it.

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Grazzt, in 2020, Joe Biden will be 77 years old.

7 years older than new “oldest President ever elected” Donald Trump.

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@Sisyphus: socialist is a dirty word but people were mad, and Bernie was a less vulnerable candidate then Clinton. People wanted a change and a lot of the message that trump and Bernie were screaming had quite a bit of similarities. Voting Bernie would have allowed you to have your revolution without all of the crazy. Biden is called “middle class joe” and he’s surpassed expectations as Vp. He also would have outmatched trump. Dems ran the one candidate trump could exploit and beat. They did this because she and bill have been power brokering this “house of cards” style for 20 years and trump (with some help from Russia) exposed it whole hog. One thing I can say is that although for economic reasons that no one here cares about I could never vote for her, I really do feel for her, she has worked toward this singular ambition for 30+ years and now it’s never gonna happen in the most spectacular of ways. I’m very sympathetic toward that even if her policy positions as a president are horrible, she’s still been a very effective public servant.

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@Grazzt – in the U.S., head of government and head of state are both the President. And I can think of a million improvements to the Constitution that are more likely to pass than changing that. (Replacing the Second Amendment with a less ambiguously-phrased one that clearly allows sane gun control, for starters. Ditching the Electoral College. Basic minimum qualifications for Presidency. That sort of thing. Still astronomically unlikely to pass, but more likely than completely rearranging our three-branch system.)

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@Gravy Express: “I have a hard time blaming the Democrats for this when Trump ran a platform of EXPLICIT racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, bigotry, pro-rape, etc, etc, and people VOTED FOR IT. What was Biden going to do different, court the racist vote?!?”

No, Democrats are absolutely to blame for this, one hundred percent, and it’s exactly because of shit like you said. That EXACT thing you’re doing right now is why Democrats lost and will continue to lose and frankly deserved to lose. Dismissal of everyone who’s not already converted. Assuming that everyone who disagrees with you on any damn thing is a racist. Assuming that everyone who agrees with the opposition on any issue at all, no matter what, is also a racist. Assuming that everybody who hasn’t had the same life experience as you is evil. Thinking of everybody sitting on the fence as an enemy that’s beneath your contempt. Insulting the voters to their faces. Accusing them of evil when they’re likely people who have literally not done anything wrong in their lives. YOU NEED TO LEARN TO NOT DO THAT. You need to stop acting like you’re automatically right and everyone who isn’t immediately awed by your rightness is not even worth talking to.

Trump didn’t win this election. Hillary lost it. Democrats lost it. They lost it because they’ve grown so god damn arrogant that they don’t think it’s worth talking to any voters that haven’t already sworn a blood oath to them. In a god damn DEMOCRACY. How do you expect to win like that? How? You can’t. It’s literally impossible for the Dems to ever win until they fix that attitude. Even against an obvious incompetent chode like Trump. Even against a joke candidate.

I repeat this because it’s the truth: most people who voted for Trump, or just refused to vote for Hillary, are not racist. They are not evil. They could have voted for a Democrat, if that Democrat was not the worst Democrat on the whole planet. They could have voted for a Democrat, if that Democrat promised change, promised some improvement in their lives, instead of promising just four more years of nothing getting better, then spitting insults in their faces. ‘Cause apparently we deal with voters the same way we deal with terrorists, we don’t give in to their demands.

What platform did Obama run on? Oh yeah. “Change”. People like that word. Especially people who are not doing okay. Now, what platform did Hillary run on? Was it “HOW DARE YOU NOT VOTE FOR ME”?

tl;dr: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLG9g7BcjKs

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@krrp: The numbers don’t back you up here. The same people who voted for Trump voted for Romney voted for McCain voted for Bush; turnout numbers show very little fluctuation here. There’s no evidence that a better Democratic candidate would have peeled voters away from Trump, and plenty of evidence that party mobility is at an all time low.

What made the difference, when you look at the cold hard facts, is that minority turnout was much lower for Clinton than Obama. Any actionable plan for 2020 has to accept as a given that the Republican voters who turned out for Trump are pretty much a lost cause for the Democrats–hunting for a magical candidate who can pick up the white voters by soft-pedaling disgust with the overt racism of the Republican Party is a unicorn chase.

These were not people Obama got. He did not “also appeal to the white majority”. He won by recognizing that the majority in America is no longer white, even if they’re the largest single ethnic group, and as long as you can build a coalition of minorities you can actually cut white voters out of the process who aren’t willing to join that coalition so long as you get everyone else on board.

Hillary didn’t do that. That was her flaw, not any failure to make white racists comfortable with voting Democrat. If you take away the message that progressives are being too strident and they need to pick someone who can court Trump voters, you’re going to lose much harder because the Obama Coalition is going to stay home like they did with Hillary only moreso, and the Trump voters will continue to vote the same way they’ve voted for the past two decades.

Bernie might have more of an appeal to those voters, although to be honest I think that there’s a certain amount of bias behind Bernie supporters telling everyone that they just know how popular he was among African-Americans. But he’s not going to get disaffected whites because those people are buying into tribalism over economic popularism. They’re Republicans. And they’re outnumbered. I think that going younger and giving real representation to those minorities is a better way to go. Those voters have proven to be enough to win whatever the Republicans do, and they turn out if given a reason.

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ABritishPerson said on November 13th, 2016 at 5:01 am

Got to be some white devils who didn’t vote though, you might reach some of them if you have a broader message of economic recovery and don’t take every opportunity to make it clear you think everyone who is both poor and Caucasian is inbred vermin with no business being alive. And maybe the republicans won’t nominate such a collection of mad goblins if they don’t think you’re trying to destroy America.

Ha, who am I kidding? Obama tried to be reasonable and bipartisan and unify the nation, look how far that went. It’s too late, you are essentially two countries forced together by tradition and habit.

Good luck in the oncoming civil war, you’ll need it since the other side have all the guns.

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@krrp @John Seavey I don’t think either of you are wrong. Your ideas don’t have to be mutually exclusive. krrp is right- lots of members of the white working class felt ostracized because of the entrenched partisan nature of modern day politics. Trump made them feel like they had a dog in the race. He didn’t just attack Democrats and “PC Culture”, he went after the Republican establishment and trounced them handily. (Seriously go back and watch those debates. It was mostly all nonsense, but that nonsense sounded good to his ever growing base.) Suicide rates in the white demographic are increasing. Correlation to a slowly improving economy, at least from their standpoint. This isn’t a call to pander to racists, it’s a call to empathize with the people who voted for Trump in hopes of putting food on their tables.

Let me take a moment to address the racism that’s readily apparent in part of his base- how much of that base is up to smarter people then myself to figure out- and how we can combat that. We aren’t going to win anyone over by dehumanizing them like they dehumanize us. That tit-for-tat thinking is what’s causing this entrenched tribalism to further divide us. We can’t expect empathy from outsiders if we aren’t willing to extend that gift as well. You can argue about the fairness of having to extend an olive branch to them but – and this is the important part- it would be tactically unsound and unpragmatic to do so. Not unless you want the election every four years to be decided on narrower and narrower margins.

Secondly, what is racism in it’s essence? We say it’s fear of the other and a feeling of superiority. It’s US vs Them. What it really is class warfare masked literally by color. The haves convinced the have-nots, which in this case is the white workforce, that everyone that looks different wants to take their stuff- their jobs, their land, their money, their country. Racism is in the resources. You can’t hate on a full stomach. Snickers was on to something.

John Seavey you are correct- minorities did not show up in force like with Obama. Hillary did however lose minority votes to Trump. Just look at the Latino vote. White women are a minority too. Their vote was split between Trump and Hillary. We can’t afford to assume will just pull all of our base and not need to draw in votes from other political bases. It’s simple math; every vote for your team is a vote that every other team didn’t get. The candidate can focus on the base but that’s just preaching to the choir. At the very least, there needs to be grass-roots emphasis on attracting voters. Go door-to-door. Engage. Empathize.

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Christian Hansen said on November 13th, 2016 at 2:32 pm

@Darin

Moviebob put it better than I could as to how I feel about that. I recommend reading the full thing for more context.

“Here’s the thing: Regardless of whether Trump follows through on anything he’s proposed, he proposed it and “Flyover Country” voted for him. They voted for taking marriage rights away from gays. They voted for mass-deportation of immigrants. They voted for a Muslim ban. They voted for the wall. They voted for “gay conversion therapy” (that one’s on Pence – who is, explicitly or implicitly, your actual President in terms of the work. Just watch.) They voted for abortion restrictions. They voted for breaking bread with Putin. They voted for white nationalism. They voted for isolationism. They voted for America to back out of NATO. They voted to tank the economy by trying to force an unviable manufacturing-sector revival that can’t be accomplished and an “America first” trade policy that corporations will weasel out of easily while passing any actual costs onto consumers.

Even if that wasn’t why they voted for him (or why they THOUGHT they voted for him) …they knew it about it and voted anyway. Which can only means two things: They wanted to inflict deliberate harm on their fellow countrymen, or they wanted something else and figured that getting it was worth inflicting that same deliberate harm. No matter what’s to be gained… how can ANYONE from the “harmed” part of that equation be reasonably asked to build bridges and heal rifts? How do you get there?

Oh, I can imagine the Democrat PARTY getting there: Gearing up a gaggle of their best “relatable white guy” stable (“On Bernie! On Biden! On Kaine and O’Malley!”) and “Blue Dog” Senate candidates and dispatching them to the rusted-out hinterlands on the pretext of “Okay, when the Union lunchpail vote was a thing, it was OUR thing – let’s get it back!” Sure. That’s probably Strategy #1 for the 2018 midterms. What I can’t imagine is the ACTUAL power-base coalition of 21st Century liberalism – Blue State/Blue State-aspirant Millennials, LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants, religious and cultural minorities, women, people with disabilities, etc – going along with it. Why should they? How can that be reasonably expected of them?

This isn’t that fucking Black Jeopardy sketch. This isn’t a matter of differences of opinion about regional economic priorities and mutual pop-culture acumen. Asking current loyal, active liberals to shake hands and find common ground with theoretically-persuadable Trump voters is not asking Hank Hill and Cleveland Brown to agree on a movie night pick. It’s asking them to “make nice” with people who just proved that they AT BEST were willing to see them suffer and possibly die in exchange for the vague possibility that someone MIGHT turn “The Plant” or The Old Steel Mill back on at some point in the near future. And it won’t be The Democrats trying to mediate common ground between the two: It will be The Democrats shoving marginalized, imperiled people with actual problems in front newly-emboldened white people with largely imagined/exaggerated problems and asking the marginalized people to swallow not just their pride but their basic sense of self worth and convincingly ask: “What can I do to make my life worth protecting to you?”

Forget not knowing how anyone summons the will to do that – I don’t even know how you ASK someone to so much as TRY to do that.

Someone, please.

Explain that to me.”

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“White people with largely imagined/exaggerated problems.” When whites have the highest suicide rates in the USA. When ‘flyover state’ Midwesterners have the highest suicide rate of any region in the USA. If they’re exaggerating, it’s a really good act.

“White people with largely imagined/exaggerated problems.” That right there is why we have to put up with 4 (probably 8) years of President Trump.

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@Kirala: Officially, yes, but functionally the Legislature is seperate from the President and is even supposed to be a check on his power (and vice versa).

You are right, though, that it is a pipe dream. But why not dream big? If Trump is as bad as people are thinking he may be, major changes could be coming. No crisis without opportunity, right?

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The Unstoppable Gravy Express said on November 14th, 2016 at 10:15 am

@krrp: Please note that I never said “all Trump supporters are racist”. I said that people who voted for a candidate, are the most directly responsible for the election of that candidate. And yet people seem to be in a rush to hold everyone accountable except for them.

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@Gravy: Holding Trump voters “accountable” is pointless. They already know they’re accountable, they voted for the guy. Denouncing them achieves jack shit.

But if you want to prevent Trumpalikes being elected in perpetuity, you have to change your tactics, which means taking a good hard look at what was wrong with those tactics, which will inevitably involve (hopefully constructive) finger-pointing on the Democratic side.

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Darin said: “At the very least, there needs to be grass-roots emphasis on attracting voters. Go door-to-door. Engage. Empathize.”

And I’m happy to do that. Heck, I’m happy to have a conversation with anyone who’s willing to engage and be friendly, and I don’t see that changing. The thing is, though, while it’s really nice to believe that we can fix this problem just by going out and talking to white Trump voters and convincing them through kindness and rational engagement that they have more in common with progressive causes than they think…

In practice, it’s electoral suicide to actually treat that as a viable strategy for winning in 2020. Progressives are not going to be able to swim upstream against the constant tide of Breitbart, Fox News and right-wing talk radio in any kind of meaningful numbers. Yes, after long hours of patient discussion you might get your elderly father or mother to turn off the stream of bullshit and listen to rational human beings for a while, but the Right has put together the single most pervasive propaganda machine in the history of the human race, and you’re not going to just make that go away through the power of positive discourse. Even those people who aren’t actively and hatefully racist themselves are being fed a view of the world that treats the danger presented by minorities as a given, and they’re going to come away with a skewed viewpoint that you can’t unskew quickly or easily, if at all. Because the power of cognitive dissonance means that once you start confronting them with uncomfortable truths, they’re far more likely to shut you out and return to the conservative media teat than they are to continue engaging. And all they’re going to hear from that is hate.

And as long as that’s the case, even if progressives do keep the lines of communication open, it can only be in the sense of a “come to Jesus” discussion, because the things we are arguing about are not fucking negotiable. Progressives aren’t going to agree that the Black Lives Matter movement are dangerous terrorists. We’re not going to agree that Planned Parenthood clinics are baby abattoirs. We’re not going to agree that “boys will be boys” and enthusiastic consent is too stringent of a standard for sexual assault. We’re not going to agree that gay marriage or gender-neutral bathrooms are “going too far”. This is both a moral and a practical stance–not only are these things unconscionable and racist to ask for, but giving in on these issues will lose progressives the votes of their core constituency due to apathy, while not gaining any meaningful amount of white rural voters because these people have been convinced that Democrats are criminals and tyrants.

Basically, even if any given individual Trump supporter can be reasoned with, engaged with, and is not an overt and vicious bigot themselves, the aggregate mass of Republican voters right now is motivated by racism and the progressive strategy has to take that into account. Engage all you want, but to win elections, Democrats have to hold true to their beliefs and trust that they fundamentally have more supporters than the other guy. It’s just a matter of getting them out to the polls.

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“We failed to reach them, therefore they must be unreachable, and evil to boot.”

Wonderful.

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@John Seavey: I don’t think they’re solely or even mostly motivated by racism. There are serious problems in rural and small town America, and they are not being addressed. Admittedly, this is because those same people continue to elect people who won’t address those problems, and in fact take pride in not doing so.

What the right needs is a Pope Francis. Someone who is willing to say “Look. The culture war and fiscal conservatism is important. But there are massive poverty issues that need to be addressed, and we have to figure out how before we start tearing each other apart. If that means increasing taxes in the short term and spending our political capital on places other than values issues, so be it.”

But as it stands, the Republicans can’t or won’t promise anything concrete (or to put it another way, anything that will cost money). It’s easier to scapegoat minorities, immigrants, the Democrats, and the like. In fact, I’m sure most of the establishment Republicans are sad that Clinton isn’t elected. I’m sure most of their plans revolved around using her as a punching bag, and now they have to actually govern, and take the consequences if they fail.

Not to mention, not all Trump voters really like Trump. Over half were only voting against Clinton as opposed to for Trump (that stat is from Pew in early September, couldn’t find anything more recent). Whether that was because of policy differences, sexism, sheer desperation, antiestablishment sentiment, or the Republican smear campaign, these people aren’t necessarily voting because they hate progressives or agree with Trump’s policies.

These people are drowning and you either have to help save them, isolate yourselves somehow, or go under with them. I don’t envy the American people right now.

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@Grazzt: I realize it sounds like slicing the salami a little thin, but there is a difference between “these voters are racist” and “these voters are motivated by racism”. Fox News showed a clip of two black guys hanging out in front of a polling place 95 times in two weeks as part of a narrative that Scary Black People were intimidating white voters out of participating in democracy, which is why Obama won. If you are a Fox News viewer, whether or not you are actively racist, your feelings on the legitimacy of the Obama presidency are motivated by racism because all your information comes from racists.

Now, my honest and personal feeling is that you don’t just accidentally gravitate to racist sources of news, and I think that there’s a certain amount of unexamined racial animus in even the most moderate Republican voter that leads them to have a confirmation bias in favor of racist commentators, but that’s really a debate for the philosophers. The point is that whether or not they are racist, they are being fed a stream of propaganda that promotes a narrative that is functionally indistinguishable from racism, and that is not something that can be changed in the short-term through discourse. Because you’re not going to be able to out-shout Fox News, and you’re probably not even going to be able to get conservatives to turn it off because in a struggle between someone who tells you what you want to hear and someone who tells you what you need to know, “want to hear” wins 99.99999% of the time.

Arguing about whether Trump voters are really racist or just got tricked into supporting a racist is a meaningless distinction, because either way, they’re not crossing over to vote Democrat even when Democratic policies benefit them. There just isn’t any meaningful way that Democrats can court these votes right now. This does not mean ” they must be unreachable, and evil to boot” (thank you, Robin, for demonstrating how civil discourse can sometimes be impossible when someone is determined not to hear your message) but it does mean that Democrats would be making a mistake by weakening their commitment to equality in order to court those voters.

Basically, you can engage with Trump voters all you want, but not at the expense of your core values and the people who do support you. And if that means offering a very small and tiny olive branch, well…they still have the option to take it if they want.

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@John Seavey: No disagreement there. That’s why I used drowning as my metaphor: the victim might be able to help himself, but you can’t rely on it and they’re just as likely to make it worse and drag down would be saviors.

And I’m not advocating any sort of peeling back of Democrat core values. I just think you can’t dismiss these people. If Trump just turns out to be a business as usual Republican, or a spectacular failure, they might turn elsewhere during midterms. But they won’t if there’s a narrative of of snooty liberals thinking their problems aren’t important.

Edit: And I am sure there will be such a narrative whether or not we’re snooty, but I am damned if I will contribute to it any more than I can help.

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Apologies, I thought we were basing things on facts, not our “honest and personal feeling”. How’s this for a fact: 33% of white Democrats believe black people are less evolved than white people (link above). They still vote Democrat.

You can absolutely “court” racists, you just offer them something that’s more valuable to them than racism. Milquetoast Third Way-ism isn’t going to cut it, and as long as Democrats keep doubling down on it they’re fucked (although there are signs of hope in that regard, Ellison getting the DNC chair would be a HUGE step forward).

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I think to some degree everyone is overthinking things. – large part of this problem is that Clinton is a horriblely flawed candidate with enough political baggage to fill a train. Bernie gave her everything she could handle despite taking the high road (a favor which she most certainly did not return). Had he got into the mud he would have exposed her much earlier. You get a progressive democrat in their with some actual personality and ideas that doesn’t act like their going through the motions because their annointed to be president and trump is back to hawking steaks and Chinese ties this week.

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@Robin: You are continuing to prove my point that good-faith efforts to engage with someone who’s not willing to engage with you back in a similar good faith are doomed, because they will disregard everything you say except the one sentence that fits their narrative. Good job with that!

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@Sly: Yeah, and also the fundamentals were essentially in the Republicans’ favour. Economy was only milquetoast (and I am sure most of the economic good news was in places that would have voted Dem anyway), long stretch of Dem presidential control, Dem candidate had a longer political career than her opponent (which is a negative in Presidential elections)…had this been anyone other than Trump, no one would be surprised if he had won.

Here’s another question: is Trump actually prepared to govern? People are talking about how shocked liberals are that Trump won, but it seems to have taken most conservatives by surprise, too. Apparently, he didn’t even have a White House transition plan prepared (“because I didn’t want to jinx it”). At the end of the day, is he going to actively pursue his agenda, or sit back and break Bush II’s vacation record while fighting off all his legal problems and engaging in horrible cronyism?

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Were I to guess (and I am) your going to see him push only the broadest strokes of his campaign promises (repeal Obamacare, build a wall) followed up by a healthy does of whatever the hell mike pence wants for 4 years.

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Goddamnit when is MGK going to get tired of his twitter tantrum and post about the Dr Strange movie

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John Seavey: “These were not people Obama got. He did not “also appeal to the white majority”. He won by recognizing that the majority in America is no longer white, even if they’re the largest single ethnic group, and as long as you can build a coalition of minorities you can actually cut white voters out of the process who aren’t willing to join that coalition so long as you get everyone else on board.”
“majority in America is no longer white”

Wait, what?
US Census 2015:
– White 61%
– Black 12%
– Hispanic 18%
– Asian 6%
– Native 1%
– Islander 0% (rounds to zero)
– Mixed 2%

Care to point out what I’m missing?

Also I hope I don’t need to point out that if you’re actually aiming to “cut white voters out of the [democratic] process”, that very much makes you the villain of the story, and is by itself a valid reason for them to oppose you forever to the point of armed rebellion.

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Christian Hansen said on November 30th, 2016 at 2:15 pm

@John Seavey

I wanted to ask you this in the “So Now What?” comment section, but they’re closed now (not that I blame you, it was getting bad). Still, I think this is a question worth asking.

I agree with you that Hillary would have made a good President, but she was not a good enough candidate to beat Trump, a walking political cartoon parody. Given that you seem to think Bernie would not have fared much better, and given the fact that you have said the problem is with promoting sympathetic white people over actually diverse candidates, my question is two-fold: Was there anyone the Democrats could have realistically gone with to win, or were we doomed to lose as soon as the Orange-Haired One opened his mouth-anus?

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Honestly, I don’t know. I mean, with the election being as close as it was, you can play woulda coulda shoulda for a long time and you’ll never get a real answer. I suspect that scholars will be playing counterfactual games with this one for ages.

I know that next time out, I’d love to see Cory Booker or Keith Ellison run. I don’t want Liz Warren putting her name out there, because I think she’s one of the best Senators we’ve ever had and I don’t want to lose her. (Ditto with Amy Klobuchar.) I’m also open to the idea of a newcomer–four years is a long time in politics, and nobody had heard of Barack Obama in 2004. And I think youth and novelty helped Obama a lot.

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“And I think youth and novelty helped Obama a lot.”

This one really concerns me–Obama was a jackpot, but it seems like you have to be a novel candidate without a record to have a chance, so we are getting increasingly inexperienced Presidents.

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Well, I’m not sure anyone is an “experienced” President. Hillary would have been the closest we’ve come in a long while, having been in the White House for eight years as First Lady and four as Secretary of State. But realistically speaking, I don’t think that anything can truly prepare you for the job. (As Trump is finding out.)

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