Elections are not a time to protest. One of the two major options wins and makes sense to choose which one stands more for you than the other. To say you only accept perfection because everything you do is in 100% alignment is entitled. Even if a third option won, they would be alone in the swamp. No helping hand to pull them from the muck.
The American Democrat and Republican parties are designed to function as a coalition in and of themselves. Rather than the parliamentary small parties forming coalitions after voting. When your ideals outweigh the reality that most aren’t as fringe as you are. Voting third party becomes the equivalent of taking the ball home after a playground scuffle. Forcing us all to live under our agreed worst option over minor policy disagreements for bills that haven’t even been read on the floor.
We have four years to build our coalitions and the platforms for which they stand. On Tuesday, we saw the new right coalesce and the dissolution of the democratic alliances. Amazingly despite the most leftist platform of any major candidate in our history Clinton wasn’t left enough to earn the vote of all progressives. Both libertarians and green party voters vote democrat given the realistic binary. Age wise the exit polls point 3rd party support to Millennials, many who stood for Bernie. They always said Bernie could beat Trump but Trump could best Hilary. They omitted it would be through their deliberate sabotage. Jill stein received 1% of the vote, the numerical version of the door prize. Yet her 1.2 million votes were the voting, we desperately looked for to flip MI, WI, PA, and FL. So many Americans respected the responsibility of living in a battleground state. It is incredibly sad to see the selfish entitlement of my generation burn the world around us. Now the deportations begin. The DREAMERS flee for the underground once again. Will they check papers in the university lecture halls?
The Supreme Court will be republican for possibly two generations. A president once upon a time nominated ideological opponents they respected. Garland fits in that decision. Now, we get Thomas 2.0. We had a shot and threw it away like Hamilton. One would think we would have learned from Nader. That the next generation of idealists would be more enlightened. That might be one lesson cyclically retaught. There is more to life than ideological lines. Each election, we are presented with two big visions. Two worlds to choose, the outcome and achievement of each is uncertain. Tempered or expanded by the legislature elected alongside the president. Forming a government for all citizens, not the armchair dictatorship of one’s own perception.
What enrages Liberals, and is the saving grace of modern Conservatives, is that voting is an emotional practice. For all the polling and statistics, people will not follow logic when the pen is hovering over the ballot. Because of this, the singular question that must be answered before every candidate’s campaign is “what is our narrative”?
The brilliance of Trump was to paint every institution, Republican or Democrat, as corrupt beyond saving, then mixing this message with one that has yet to fail any American politician: economic populism tinged (or soaked) with racism. A reality T.V. star speaking in the naked language of hate during the Days of Blind Rage.
The fault will, historically, lie with the Democrats. When warned of the brewing storm, they refused to believe, citing logic and numbers and every measure of reality they live by, shutting down the opposition with their labels of racism or bigotry. Liberals have always had a difficult time understanding the world beyond conversation and categories. They are at a natural advantage in conversation, and the Red Elephant knows this. This is why they cling to their guns with such ferocity. They are poor, and the object of scorn of every Samantha Bee, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and Seth Meyers viral video of the week. When Liberals shout that white straight men are the problem in society, it isn’t in a vacuum. The only comfort afforded to them is the democratization of violence, their only measure of power being the ability to choose between life and death at the pull of a trigger.
This is the natural advantage of the Red Elephant: it is forced into very real action when wounded. Once the constraints of truth are loosened, it’s emotions can run wild. And victory does not lie in the accepting of their candidate, but rather in stirring up hatred of the other. People will show up to vote if they feel threatened, no matter how insane their nominee is.
There was a candidate of fury, and a candidate of logic. The rest is now resigned to History, and we are all complicit.
Social Justice Warrior, Progressive, and a host of other self given titles to be inquired on upon meeting the remembered fill up our discussions these days. What do they mean now that the ascendancy of the left has been halted?
I was never a member of the new left even when I was anti-Bush. I do agree that we have a bigotry problem in America and that the evidence can be found in the excessive force of our police. Yet I don’t believe in censorship. I think that was the downfall of the new left: their scorched earth strategy that often consumed well meaning allies. Apparently we don’t all think the same.
As the new left publishes their think pieces, some recognize the folly of shaming and demonizing a group that still is the majority. The error in not making culture inclusive to use a term of theirs. Ideas and traditions from all cultures matter including rural white America. Reading the Hollywood trades, I see a mix of those who are going to continue the course but many hardcore leftists reckoning with the reality of echo chamber, they built. Recall Norman Lear and the variety of beliefs his characters held. All both gave and took punchlines. Media’s self-weaponization didn’t transform all culture as created a bubble to escape to. Trump didn’t need Hollywood endorsements, he already had the shine of the silver screen. A name and face broadcast into everyone’s homes for 40 years. His stances changed, but he never wavered from shooting straight from the hip.
Is diversity important?
Yes, but it is a range. Telling a suffering group that they don’t need opportunities and should be embarrassed and guilty doesn’t foster support or sympathy. There aren’t many redneck superheroes either. The poor white kid from the Ozark has more in common with a poor black kid from the Bronx than a white peer in Manhattan. Yet our culture pits the two against each other (Kenneth and Tracy from “30 Rock” is an exception). Simply writing off trump supporters as voting against their interest is patronizing and ignores their interest.
If we are to stop the Trump agenda and bring real economic change, we have to open the tent. Trump sold them a better yesterday we need to show them a better tomorrow for their descendants as well as ours. Small towns gave us the greatest nation in the world and now that nation must help them.
I hope that will be the lesson of this election that no group has a monopoly on culture or politics or morality. There is a very close split.