Originally Posted by Zhukov
This repeated insistence that people aren't actually responsible for their political choices is what is sinking us deeper into the morass.
Yeah, this is where I struggle with all of the admonitions of the liberal elite ("elite" being applied loosely to encompass to the majority of the electorate that did actually vote against Trump) having brought this on themselves by being so condescending toward rural whites. It's even more condescending to claim that those people aren't responsible for their own votes, that they can't possibly be expected to see a con man for what he is. If liberals are the true villains in the story of Trump's rise to power, that still makes the common folk a bunch of fucking rubes, which imo affords them even less respect. I'll give Trump voters the credit of assuming that they knew what they were voting for, and that included some heaping dollops of prejudice. That doesn't mean that 60 million people are totes cool with the KKK, or were raging misogynists, or Islamophobes or antisemites, but the great thing about the Trump campaign is that it offered a buffet option to cater to anyone and everyone's idiosyncratic blend of prejudice (and we all have one). Whatever your particular fear or hang up, he was happy to validate it and usually go a step further, so you could still feel like the reasonable one even though you really would rather no more immigrants came in to the country (just for awhile, mind you, until you get your bearings back some).
Originally Posted by Zhukov
When you let a hustler, or a charlatan, or a conman, get into a position where he can swing an election -
the problem isn't with the hustler. There are supposed to be institutional safeguards against this kind of thing. If the whole thing rests on the hope that someone out there isn't going to take advantage of the situation, then its fucked from the get.
And there's this. While I'm all for self-examination as a means to self-improvement, and I vehemently disagree with people like that Politicat guy that say the answer is to stoop lower than the other side, the Democratic self-flagellation has gotten to be a lot bit much. Particularly since it's in service of "excusing" a raw-number victory. You want to focus on one thing that "cost" the Democrats this election? It's that the institutional safeguards have been gutted. Voter suppression and gerrymandering are the tools allowing the GOP to remain viable in 2016 with a platform too outmoded to address the issues of 1929. Electoral reform should be the DNC's #1 priority (and anyone that laments our consistently low voter turnout without also advocating for getting rid of the Electoral College needs a smack in the head - it's the most wildly effective form of voter suppression ever devised), but it's not. I can only assume its because no politician wants to remove a potential weapon from their arsenal, no matter how many times the opposition beats the hell out of them with it.
We got into this a bit last week, but the system is so imbalanced that the narrative coming out of this election is that it was the revenge of the politically-invisible rural white voter rearing its head. Rural whites felt they weren't being heard, in an election where presidential votes were weighted most heavily in:
4) North Dakota
6) South Dakota
7) Rhode Island
10) New Hampshire
A vote for president in these areas is worth the same % of an EV as between 2 (New Hampshire) and 4 (Wyoming) votes cast in California or New York. Just for fun, let's look at the next ten on the list:
15) West Virginia
16) New Mexico
Maine is still worth 2 NY votes, while Arkansas is a hair below 1.5. The point being that system is and has always been such that the rural-est, white-est states* have the most say in selecting a president. Now this has always been public knowledge, and it's still accurate to say the Democrats lost because they failed to win over this group. But that's because their voice matters so much more; the narrative that rural whites are legitimately disenfranchised is beyond fantasy. They may feel that way (in fact, I believe many truly do), but empirically, they are and always have been the most enfranchised subgroup** in the nation, even without taking the wide and storied history of discriminatory voting laws into account.
Democrats would do better looking for ways to address this issue, imo, than debating whether Debbie Wasserman-Schulz or Lena Dunham did more to alienate rural Pennsylvanians.
*and at least since 1861, the District Of Columbia
**again, along with DC residents
Edited by Schwartz - 11/19/16 at 9:35am