Defeat 2016

Anti-Trump Protest

I’ve been trying to process my feelings for the last week. Those who have followed me online probably already know how I’ve been feeling. I think I need to put those feelings through the rigors of my editorial process, or else I won’t be able to look back at today and truly understand what I’m feeling now.

Much of this is going to be raw. I need it to be. If I didn’t leave in all the curse words and emotion, I’d be leaving out the most important part. I’m angry, ashamed, and sorrowful.

Less Evil

Every election, I’m forced to vote for the lesser of two evils. This has been the case for me since I turned 18. Even my favorite president of my lifetime, Barack Obama, was deeply flawed for me. He didn’t support LGBTQ rights yet. He didn’t fight back against war and weapon manufacturers hard enough. There were multiple other candidates I preferred over him at the time.

I wish instead of voting for another candidate, I could vote against the most evil one. I feel it would greatly improve our results. I’m sure it would improve turnout too. It would have been much easier to campaign against Trump than in favor of Hillary Clinton. Hell, even the DNC seemed to believe that based on how they promoted her.

This is what happens when every race must inevitably come to deciding between 2, 3, or 4 people. A younger, less experienced me would blame the two-party system. But we had 4 parties on most ballots this election. We still had to game our votes to win. No matter how many 3rd party candidates we get on the ballot, we will have to choose the lesser of the most popular evils. That’s simply the math of how our system currently works.

Would Sanders have won?

Yes. I think the demographics that put Trump into to the Oval Office would have flipped for Bernie. He was pro-union, pro-labor, and anti-establishment. He spat on the financial industry, and I’m sure many of the people who voted for Trump hate the banks too. The working people of the country were his focus, and he only pulled his punches for Hillary. I’m confident that he would have done better than Hillary did. I like to believe he would have beaten Trump.

That being said, Sanders is still in power. His movement is still large and vocal, and a seat on the Senate. He’s still the man who the GOP and establishment politicians fear the most. Just look at who Paul Ryan mentions when he wants to strike fear into the hearts of his electorate.

Please stop all the bullshit about voting for Michelle Obama in 2020. We need to stop buying into these familiar last name “brands”. We’re opting directly into monarchy at some point. I love her too, and if she gets the nomination I’d likely vote for her. But we desperately need new progressive blood.

Who’s to Blame?

  1. Naive, uneducated white people.
    The racists, sexists, homophobes, and Islamophobes would be against us no matter what. Their votes are un-flippable. The people who fucked us are the idiots that voted for Trump because they believed he would help them, or because they wanted to see the world burn for entertainment.
  2. Progressives that didn’t vote.
    Seriously, fuck them. They fucking knew better. They let perfect be the enemy of good. They had one job to protect the people they pretend to care about (LGBTQ, Non-whites, non-Christians, Women), but they blew it. Fuck Colin Kaepernick in particular.
  3. Our Toothless News Media.
    The right-wing media has been destroying the others for almost a decade now. The “mainstream media” were blown away by the results because they — the people we need to pay the most attention to this shit — weren’t paying attention. They left us wide open to be taken by surprise. They were arrogant and lazy at best, but grossly negligent and complicit more realistically.
  4. The DNC.
    Because they failed to pick up enough of the policies that made Bernie Sanders electrify their party. They failed to speak out against corruption and income inequality. They failed to embrace #BlackLivesMatter. This was enough to doom us, even without all the shady shit that they did during the primaries.
  5. Progressives that voted 3rd Party, and/or told others it was okay.
    I’m mad at these people because they fucking suck at politics and math. I learned this lesson in 2000 and 2004. I hope they learned it in 2016. When we don’t close ranks and support our nominee, we straight up lose. The system sucks, and we should change it. But we can’t win by playing today’s game on tomorrow’s board.
  6. Utah.
    Seriously, what the fuck is this McMullin shit?
  7. People who voted for Hillary in the Primary.
    I’m slightly miffed at them, but only with the benefit of hindsight.

3rd Party Voters

  • They encouraged apathy in the most important demographic we had: “People who didn’t want Trump to win”. Every time someone posted something stupid about how both candidates were equally bad, they elevated Trump far above where he deserved to be.
  • People in #BernieOrBust got what they wanted. I hope they don’t have any pre-existing conditions. I hope they can afford to pay for their student loans.
  • Apathetic people who either didn’t show up (even if they claimed they were going to vote for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson) obviously didn’t vote in the down-ticket races and propositions/referendums. So we got fucked there too. Thanks.

I’m aware that the numbers were not enough to swing most of the states, but this election has been going on for over a year in the public forum. Most people knew who they were voting for months ago. All the negative memes and rhetoric about Hillary changed hearts & minds around the democratic nominee. The time for doing that was before the primaries. Once those were over, we all should have shut the fuck up and focused on actually winning (like I said at the time).

I’m going to be mad at those people for a while. I did everything I could with the tools given to me by the system. I wish they did the same, and that their convictions were truly as strong as they acted them out on social media.

112,000 voters gave us President Trump. That is a tiny margin on a national scale.

43% of registered voters didn’t show up at all.

Look at all the people who claimed they wrote-in Bernie via #DontBlameMeIVotedForBernie on Twitter. If they voted in battleground states, they could have helped swing the election. I love Bernie Sanders. I donated hundreds of dollars to his campaign, put his signs and stickers all over my stuff, and vocally campaigned for him since mid-2015. But some of his supporters need to grow the fuck up.

"You're Being Ridiculous" - Sarah Silverman
… and they stayed ridiculous.

Stand The Fuck Up

Sometimes we have to energize ourselves. We can’t rely on the candidates to be as brilliant at public speaking as Obama. We can’t rely on our candidates being squeaky clean. We can’t keep letting this happen to us.

Learn from this defeat. Come back in 2018 and 2020 swinging.

To-Do Until 2018/2020

I am far from the first person to suggest these things, but I felt like I had to end my rant with something constructive. Here are some of the things I plan on doing (or doing more) in the coming years.

  • Help take care of the people who will suffer at our government’s hands. Even the Trump supporters who “knew not what they did”.
  • Work on understanding our political system, so we can do better next time.
  • Make sure we speak up at times when injustice and bigotry occur in our presence. We can’t back down now when it’s most important.
  • Welcome people from the other side(s) of the aisle into the fold. Let’s try not to focus on mistakes they’ve made in the past. We need all the help we can get, and the will to listen is all we require. The moderates will learn within the first year or two how wrong they were, and we should encourage people to learn from their mistakes.
  • Show support at the protests.

If you have the means to donate or volunteer:

Hindsight is 2020

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