Ok, Are We Done Here?


The Electoral College has had their say, and that’s that: Donald J Trump will be the next president of the United States of America.

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Nicely done, America.

So that’s the end of this. We Democrats lost, despite Hillary getting about 3 million more votes. It’s over. It’s done. We need to move on.

Our next steps? Support Trump’s initiatives where we can. They aren’t all terrible.

But where they are terrible, we need to fight back and stop him. He really is a very terrible person and has much evil planned. He’s a bullying, dangerous, ignorant buffoon. Fight him. Stop him. Plan for 2020.

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Our Last, Best Chance? No.


The Electoral College is meeting in a few days to rubber-stamp the election and make it official: Donald Trump will be our next president.

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Such tiny hands.

Nevertheless there remains a core group of people who really, really don’t want this, myself included. Some of that core group, myself not included, are appealing to the electors to vote for someone else. Anyone else, really, but ideally for Hillary.

This is, to put it mildly, a terrible idea. Can you just imagine? Suppose that we wake up on the 20th to find that on the 19th, the electors, to protect democracy and our nation, put in Hillary instead of Trump. Just think of the great hue and cry we’d get from the Trump voters who would say, not without some inaccuracy, that the election was stolen from them. Never mind that Hillary won significantly more votes than Trump; all they’d care about is that the Electoral College stole away the election.

I can’t picture a worse way for Hillary to begin her time in office. A nation already deeply-divided, with so many people hating Hillary because she’s, well, Hillary, and then compound that with electoral shenanigans. Add to this a Republican controlled House and Senate, and you have a recipe for four years of deeply unpleasant politics.

Now maybe you think this is worth it, and perhaps it is. From what Trump has done so far, I have no faith at all that he’s going to be a decent president. And an argument can be made that the Electoral College exists to stop runaway democracy. Indeed one could argue that due to how extremely unqualified Trump is, just maybe they should put a stop to him. But the only way to do that and make it work would be with a third party candidate, and that’s just not likely.

So, no, fellow liberals. We need to just suck it up and spend the next four years fighting the worst excesses of the Trump regime. At least it’ll give the No DAPL people something to do.

What Did Russia Do?


What did Russia do during the 2016 United States presidential election? Did they interfere? Did they work to throw the election to Trump?

There’s been suspicions about this for a while now, and electoral meddling is something Russia has done through parts of Europe. But doing it here in the USA would be something entirely new and different. It also would be without precedent, as while we’ve fucked with elections before, we haven’t fucked with the ones in Russia. If we had, Putin wouldn’t be in charge anymore.

I remain somewhat skeptical of the idea of them meddling in our election, but I can’t dismiss it out of hand, and the fact that now a bipartisan group of American politicians are getting into the action.

I’d very much like to have a full investigation here and find out exactly what happened. It’s worth knowing so that we can prevent it from  happening again.

How to Undermine Yourself


Donald Trump is against the efforts to recount votes in three key states (Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan), and is now claiming that he would have won the popular vote once you deduct the “millions” of illegal votes cast against him.

So…isn’t that basically a good reason to do a recount?

His assertion is bullshit, of course; there’s no real evidence of voter fraud. I’m against these recounts because I think it’s a waste of time and money and removes focus from where it should be. And because Jill Stein, who’s organizing it all, just strikes me as a basically terrible person.

But Trump is against them for no logical reason that I can tell. Surely if a bunch of “illegal” votes were cast for candidates other than him, then we should do a recount, yes? Not doing so makes no sense, as we can’t ever uncover the votes in question.

Of course in reality, there weren’t millions of people voting against him illegally. He lost the popular vote by well over 2 million votes (but, you know, Hillary was weak!), and no recount is likely to change that.

My Letter to Hillary


 

I’m taking a day off from the Trumpocalypse articles because I have company over for the evening. So here, instead, is a letter to Hillary. You can write one, too, and send it to the following address:

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Dear Ms. Clinton;

I wish to take a moment to say thank you.

Thank you for being a constant source of inspiration and hope for generations of Americans.

Thank you for standing up on behalf of those who, for so much of our history, have thought no one stood for them.

Thank you for fighting back against hate and sexism and misogyny with grace, style, and élan.

Thank you for trying as hard as you could to elevate political discourse, and focusing on the issues that matter.

Thank you, odd though it may seem to say, for being a woman of power in a position of power and for showing everyone, especially younger girls, what it can be like when a powerful woman fights for them.

I am very sorry that the rest of our country couldn’t see the real Hillary Clinton, and instead voted against the “cartoon version” of you. I had hoped for, fought for, and expected more from, the people of our nation. It is to our great shame that we failed you and failed ourselves.

Thank you again, and know that while this election might not have turned out the way we hoped, your cause is right and just, and we will continue to fight for it.

Yours sincerely:

Chris Swanson

Tumpocalypse – President Sanders


He’s an independent Senator from Vermont who identifies as a socialist, and who decided to run for the presidency as a Democrat. He made great strides, promising social justice, stronger welfare benefits, free college, single-payer healthcare, and many other things that appealed quite aggressively to those on the left, and to no small number of centrists and those on the right. And had he been the choice of the Democratic party, he would now be our president elect.

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Or so the theory goes.

In reality, Bernie Sanders never stood a chance. He lost in the primaries by about the same number of votes as the polls indicated he would. There were no surprises there, aside from in some areas where he did better than expected.

But even had he gotten the nomination, he would have been a far weaker candidate than Clinton. Why?

First, let’s get the two biggest issues out of the way: religion and politics. Sanders has Jewish heritage (in as much as a religion can be inherited, but we’ll skip that for now), and though he doesn’t appear to be a practicing Jew, he does appear to be an atheist.

Now tell me; do you honestly think that the large portion of Trump supporters that made up the “basket of delporables” would have been willing to vote for a Jew/atheist? Trump himself made comments toward the end of the campaign about “international bankers”, which is dog-whistle for “Jews run the world.” The right-wing religious supporter of the Republican party would have been equally unlikely to cross the aisle and vote for an atheist.

This is a very serious problem, and it would have been tough for the Sanders campaign to overcome. Had it been just this, then they possibly could have pulled it off. But there were other issues, too.

The politics issue basically boils down to one word: Communism. Sanders is a Western European-style socialist, and I am as well. We, and most of the people in this country, “get” what this style of socialism is, and how it’s very different from Communism.

Now consider the largely poor, largely rural, largely white electorate who voted for Trump. Do you really believe that they would have crossed over to vote for someone like Sanders after months and months of the Trump campaign talking about him as a Communist? Of course not, and a number of more mainstream Republicans would have had problems with it, too. Hell, even some moderates would have raised an eyebrow or two over his politics once it has an unhappy label.

Then we get to the scandals. What scandals, you might ask? Go ahead, ask. I’ll wait.

How about something he wrote in 1972 talking about women fantasizing about being raped by three men at once? Yep, he did that thing. Now in context it’s not that bad, and certainly less terrible and easier to excuse than Trump’s video comments, but it isn’t great, either.

Or what about his praise for Fidel Castro and the Sandinistas? That happened, too, in 1985, and it’s on video. Now he’s walked back those comments, and I’m ok with this all in context. But how do you think this would have been received by mainstream America? Picture those comments on loop in a commercial or news cycle and you tell me.

Ok, so these two things aren’t that big of a deal, you might think. But let me ask you this: given that I got these two things with a cursory Google search that took me a total of about two minutes to get together,  how many other scandals do you think are out there?

I  mean this was almost literally no effort to find. It was stupidly easy. Now put the national media (who didn’t bother really investigating Sanders), and the RNC machine onto the case, and just what do you think they’ll scrape up about him? In fact there are many other negative things out there that have already been looked into, but imagine how many more there might be lurking in the shadows.

Now does all this mean that Sanders would have definitely lost to Trump? No, but these things also make a victory against the man very uncertain. Sanders had and has considerable baggage that would have presented a severe problem, and pretending otherwise is just putting your head in the sand. He might have been able to overcome them, he might not have been. We’ll never know for sure, obviously, but given that he couldn’t even make it out of the primaries, I suspect the results in the general would not have been what the Bernouts would have wanted.

Tumpocalypse – A Game of Blame


Some people dismiss playing “the blame game”. I’m all in favor of it. If we don’t pin down what went wrong and who was behind it, how can we possibly move forward?

There certainly is plenty of blame to go around in the wake of the 2016 election. Let’s start looking at our leading candidates, shall we?

The Republicans

Certainly these folk deserve a heap of blame for the current situation. Not only are they the ones who got Trump positioned to be our next president, but they soured large portions of America on the only person who could stop him.

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HINT: It wasn’t one of these guys.

At every opportunity, the Republican party failed to stand up to, and mount a decent resistance against, Donald Trump. They laughed at him and ignored him as he hijacked the party and turned it from a once-great political institution into a white nationalist mess of an organization.

The party stood back and allowed this, and even enabled it, toward the end. Oh, there was the “Never Trump” movement, which wasn’t nothing, but their efforts amounted to that. To make matters worse, when presented with a campaign of racism, xenophobia, sexism, and all the other deplorable moments that Trump engaged in, the party elite would, from time-to-time, decry what he said, and then stand by his side in support. This is not, perhaps, the best way to show disagreement.

Then there’s the other side of things: the Hillary hate machine. The Republicans have, since 1992, built an actual, honest-to-goodness, money-making industry based on hating Hillary Clinton.

In doing so they took the only person who did stand a chance of stopping Trump and painted her as the Great Satan; a force of evil that must be opposed at all turns, even if doing so involved elevating Donald Trump to the White House. Because of this, if nothing else, I shall never again have respect for the Republican party, and I gladly apportion blame onto them.

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