Like everything, it’s complex. Which could be our new corollary motto around here after “There’s no End to the Stupid.”
Yes, people are stupid (no end to it, ya know) and the trope that we are great because we are good is permanently dead and buried. We are not good. America is full of awful, awful, hateful and stupid people who reason like small rodents and oh lord do they hate and/or countenance hate. Many Americans can be identified tribally exactly by who they hate. And the ones that won on Tuesday are largely the ones that hate liberals. They voted for Trump exactly because we hated him so much and they hated Hillary in equal measure. They will gladly, proudly and gleefully cut off their country’s perfectly competent nose to spite its stupid dysfunctional face.
So yes, idiots voted stupidly for a horrible person. And, weirdly, some of those people had voted for Obama. Oh it’s complex alright! Dizzy yet?
The Wyoming River Valley of Pennsylvania — which includes Scranton and Wilkes-Barre — voted for Mr. Trump. It had voted for Mr. Obama by double digits.
Oh and how fabulous that the pollsters completely missed the mark. We sure stepped onto that rake. The elites with their slide rules showed that their science is not exact, letting the anti-science anti-elitists an opening to say “see!” People on the ground like Michael Moore and Matt Taibbi saw the anger in the Midwest, but polls did not pick it up and the Democrats trusted the polls.
And also yes the Democrats really failed. (We’re going to “yes and” here a lot).
The Hillary campaign certainly failed, if we grant that she could win, she didn’t. The campaign may have relied too heavily on Trump’s massive defects and didn’t make enough of a case for her. All that inside baseball will come out.
The Democratic party failed. Exegesis of how the DNC and party leadership failed is coming in and will continue. Krystal Ball, late of MSNBC is scathing, and not wrong. Her title is a bit too much and too bitter The Democratic Party Deserves to Die. But there are good points in there. Truly the Republican Party deserves to die because they’re the ones that gave us Trump (and a legion of horrible GOPers everywhere that are just as bad as Trump, just not as well known), but the Democratic Party blew a huge opportunity.
Hillary Clinton’s shortcomings were obvious from the beginning to anyone who bothered to open their eyes. I wasn’t the only one who saw before she ever entered the race that a card-carrying member of the global elite who helped usher in this era of record-breaking inequality was hardly the best fit for the moment.
Yes, and many of us did say that and voted for Bernie Sanders in the primaries. But he didn’t win and as bad as the DNC is, there’s no real evidence that anything was stolen from Sanders. Democrats all over the country agreed with the DNC that it was Hillary’s turn. It turns out to be a tone deaf tunnel blindness that brought us here. We nominated an establishment candidate in an anti-establishment year. We nominated the focus of anger rather than someone who could give voice to it. I made that case during the primaries, but still I got behind Hillary when she was the nominee because I still thought she could beat Trump and a weakened divided GOP. (I am still convinced she could have won if not for the interference from the FBI so near the election, after all she did win the popular vote).
It’s complex. I’ll leave it at that for now except to quote Krystal Ball again.
So it is up to us to figure out what a radically new social compact looks like that keeps America from devolving into a broken zero-sum game. Radical thought is required. Ground-breaking coalition-building between working class whites and people of color is the only path forward. It’s time to throw down for the future of our country. In Trump’s words, what the hell have we got to lose?