Thoughts on last night's results after this sinks in ...
That's how my fellow North Carolinians voted for the direction of our country. Lies, authoritarianism, misogyny, bigotry, climate denial, and kleptocracy for the foreseeable future.
As disgusted as I am with the state and national number for Trump, it's the vicious and widespread left in-fighting that seems to be the primary source of my nausea since last night. But let's each of us start by looking inward and reckoning with our own accountability before we look outward. I'm serious on this, until I've seen folks hold themselves accountable, I'm not listening to any more of the shit they have to say about whose fault (other than their own) it is that we're in this mess.
Here on the ol' blog I railed against Trump, and on twitter, but on facebook I mostly avoided partisan discussion. I read, but didn't reply to the frequent posting of my Hillary-hating friends because I didn't want to poison the well. I think I should have done more. By trying to stay civil, not say anything when I couldn't say anything nice, not taking the time to give simple fact-based, evidence-supported arguments against the regurgitations from RW Bullshit Machine, I failed to hold my friends and family accountable for part in normalizing Trump's extremist positions. Practically speaking, this may be the only way I could have any real influence on anyone's vote.
Could I have done volunteer work, or contributed to a rival campaign? I didn't help someone who couldn't otherwise get to their polling station. I have a small car, and couldn't have taken very many. Might I have contributed to a groundswell of volunteerism by example? Perhaps my actions would have a more impact than the handful I votes I may have been able to facilitate, but honestly, I don't feel particularly bad about not doing more in that regard. Financially, I can barely get by month to month, I don't feel bad at all about not putting money into the broken campaign finance system.
Should I have voted for Clinton instead of Jill Stein, as many bitter HRC supporters have argued? Fuck that. I voted my conscience. I voted for the candidate I felt would do the most to combat climate change and support the progressive causes I believe in. If more people voted for the candidate that best represented their interests, we wouldn't be in this mess. You want to blame third party voters for your candidates lack of appeal? Knock yourself out for all the good it does. Stein voters did not sway this election nationally, here in NC, or anywhere else that I know of. Certainly not Florida. (Will come to back to the Gary Johnson vote shortly.)
After reviewing my own failings, I feel like I'm ready to identify the entities and institutions most responsible for the consequences of Trump's victory: Trump himself, Trump voters, the Republican Party, the mainstream media, the DNC, Wikileaks, James Comey, the Electoral College, and those who smeared Bernie and his supporters during the Democratic primary process.
Trump himself is often vilified, but I don't generally see it in the context of blame assignment for expected impacts of his policies. I get that he's more the object of that discussion, rather than the subject, but it's worth noting that the person most responsible for the harm Trump has already done to political culture -- not to mention the people he's assaulted and screwed over -- is Trump himself. He should accountable, whether it's in court for his crimes, or in terms of votes when it comes to his policy outcomes.
Trump voters, of course, are the reason he won the election. And by "Trump voters," I mean "white people." Chicken shit, entitled, bigoted, misogynist (and yes, I include white women who voted for Trump in all these categories, deal with it), morally retarded, ignorant-as-fuck white people. I hear all the pleas for understanding, and understand where they're coming from. It's a good place, no doubt. What I can't get over is the fact that Trump voters had another choice in Bernie Sanders, someone who understood their economic fears, the impact of neoliberal capitalism on their lives, and they rejected him for the guy who assaults women, hates American values, and happily stokes their fear of "the Other." Over half (Trump and Johnson voters) of the people who voted for President in 2016 voted for a complete asshole, and there's no escaping that makes them assholes. (And, right now, I'm not much of a fan of the other half of the country right now either.)
For all the recriminations against third party and non-voters from the "left", it seems like a lot of folks are incapable of understanding what votes are, how they work, and how they are earned by candidates. Now, I'm not saying I don't understand how a vote that *could* have been one for candidate, when cast for another, hurts the first candidate's chances of winning. I don't dispute how numbers add up; I dispute the premise that votes "belong" to one candidate or another, and that a voter has somehow sinned when they cast their vote for the candidate they feel best represents them without regard to how that may affect the final tally. If your position is: only the candidates the corporate media say are legitimate are actually legitimate; well, have different understandings how representative democracy is supposed to work. Don't tell me I'm some ideological fantasist. I live in the real world. I work and pay taxes. I accept the reality of the human role in climate change. I live in a small town, but have gay friends and family, and I worry for the civil rights of my fellow Americans and for the safety of my daughter in world where rape culture is white-washed as boys-will-be-boys good times. I understand the consequences of a Trump administration. What I understand, that I think you don't, is that the Democratic party won't change if they know they can count on your vote. The Democratic party does not fight for social justice, equality, or for poor and working people to anywhere near the degree it ought to. If we want political representation that does those things, then we need to advocate, agitate, and vote for it, or WE WILL NEVER GET IT. A political party that fights for the future of a all humanity is worth fighting for.
The Republican party was a largely passive, when it wasn't encouraging, host for a white nationalist parasite. Sure, there were a few who made tepid, and not always backed up, criticisms of Trump, but the GOP set the stage for Trump, or someone like him, to rise to power.
The DNC betrayed us all by sabotaging Bernie's campaign. Wikileaks conveniently failed find anything worth sharing about Trump, no doubt pleasing Putin in the process. The mainstream media just played along to tease more profits out of a horse race. Hillary supporters started using FLOTUS's "We go high," line, but they sure as fuck didn't in securing Hillary the nomination. The EC burned us in 2000 and has done so again. It is a perversion of democracy to make one vote count more than another. The idea that it protects anyone is outdated, if it ever did what it's supposed to in the first place. Oh, in the dispirited winding down I nearly forgot about Comey's FBI playing the EMAIL! game. Law enforcement in this country is a fucking disaster.
Look, I know I lost steam, but all the think pieces are out there. All the takes, so hot. I just came out to say, "Fuck me? No, fuck you. You fucks. We all got what we deserved."
Related: "Fuck Everything and Blame Everyone."
Edit: And one more thing. When you're attacking "third-party voters" as if Johnson voters and Stein voters could have tipped the scales towards Hillary, you're conveniently forgetting who the fuck Johnson voters are, and that Libertarians are just as closely tied to white nationalism and all that shit, as "mainstream" Republicans. They were never going to vote for Hillary, so stop pretending there is some equivalency between supporters of the Libertarian and Green candidates. Stein's vote was so small, it couldn't have saved our sorry asses anyways. Johnson voters, if anything, should be thanked for not voting for Trump like they (mostly) otherwise would have.