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November 11, 2016

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But that is a VERY different argument from the “they are just racists and I won’t compromise on racism” argument.

how many instances of Trump supporters doing and saying racist things do we need before we can confidently say that there are a lot of racist Trump supporters? 'cause i've got a dozen links in my back pocket, just from the last two days.

I think your analysis here is basically correct, Sebastian.

And to be honest, I think a lot of what drives the racism that is there is scarcity. Competition for work, for services, for whatever.

If everybody actually had enough of what they needed, racial animus might not go away, but it would be (I think) less of a political and social motivator.

What I am trying to figure out, election aside, is what an effective and achievable solution to the basic problem looks like.

Hands-on manufacturing - factory work - hasn't just gone away because it's been offshored. It's gone away because machines - robots - do a lot of it now. That isn't going to change.

Next on the list is a wide range of transportation jobs that will begin to go to self-driving vehicles. At least that seems to be the most likely use case for that technology.

Maybe Trump will put a lot of folks to work on infrastructure, or on the Keystone pipeline. But those things are kind of finite in scope. You don't need ten highways from one point to another, or ten bridges across the same river.

He's talking about reviving coal, but that is going to be increasingly automated as well.

What's needed is a broad-based productive economy that is sustainable over time scales measured in generations. By 'productive' I mean not a service economy, not FIRE sector. By sustainable I mean it isn't just propped up by public initiatives - it is sufficiently value-producing to keep itself going.

It would be really nice if it also didn't damage the world we all have to live in.

What fits that bill?

Seb,

I was about to post this in the other thread.

Dem share of the vote in PA, MI, & WI went down from 2008 to 2012 and again from 2012 to 2016, as you showed. It's true that the Dem candidate was a black man in the first two elections, and a white woman in the latest one.

It is also true that:
In 2008 the black man was a Dem running to replace a 2-term Republican.
In 2012 the black man was the incumbent president.
In 2016 the white woman was a Dem running to replace a 2-term Democrat.
Americans, half of who are mentally below average, have historically tended to re-elect incumbent presidents and then swing to the other party. Also, it's hard to say whether black or female is the greater deviation from the historical norm of the presidency, as far as Real Murkins are concerned. So it's hard to tease out racism or the lack of it from just those facts.

It's extremely easy OTOH to find the racism (and misogyny, vulgarity, vindictiveness, and ignorance) in the pronouncements and the tweets of He, Trump. You are absolutely correct about tribalism, to which I will add that tribes generally have totems.

We vote for president-as-agent AND president-as-totem at the same time. The president-as-agent is who you vote for because he promises to cut your taxes, or protect your reproductive rights, or fix the pothole down the street. The president-as-totem can make you feel good about voting for a woman, or voting for a war hero, or voting for a birther.

There is a difference between the totemic factors (whatever they are, and however you weight them in deciding who to vote for) and the agency factors. The president-as-agent's promises may not be sincere, they may not be achievable, and they may have consequences different from what you expect. The president-as-totem's symbolism is in your face for a couple of years of campaigning. You gamble on the agent, you validate the totem.

Not even so cartoonish a figure as He, Trump is one-dimensional. He is at least one thing besides a hater of The Other: he is a flashy "billionaire". Perhaps, to be charitable, we can agree that his voters were merely expressing their admiration of his ostentation rather than his birtherism in the totemic part of their voting calculation.

The agency piece of their calculation may or may not work out as they expect. If it doesn't, we might charitably call THAT part of their calculation an honest mistake.

--TP

Whether or not lots of Trump voters are racist isn't the issue. Lots of them absolutely are racist and absolutely do feel empowered by Trump's win. But they aren't why Clinton lost.

If you want to develop a strategy on winning, of course you can't focus on the racists. They won't be voting for you. But you can focus on the people who voted for a black president but then voted for Trump.

They probably aren't racist, or at least not so racist that they can't be worked with. They voted for a black Democratic president. They voted for Democrats for decades.

We just don't need to overreact by writing off the huge segment of people who are normally open to us.

This is what I think too. I don't want to go down that road of simply calling everyone names and I find that old binary "for us or against us" is coming to the fore again.

But you can focus on the people who voted for a black president but then voted for Trump.

...

They voted for a black Democratic president. They voted for Democrats for decades.

how do you know this? who is this 'they' ?

is there polling that shows a significant number of people voted for Obama twice and then voted Trump ?

without that, we can't assume they're the same people.

If you want to develop a strategy on winning, of course you can't focus on the racists. They won't be voting for you. But you can focus on the people who voted for a black president but then voted for Trump.

There are probably some constant things about winning from election to election, but the mood of the country and issues change significantly too, so developing a strategy to go back to 2012 when it's 2020, and thinking that the same dynamics are going to be there is silly.

This is the first time, too, that a woman was running for President. That mattered.

He's talking about reviving coal, but that is going to be increasingly automated as well.

Already is. A relative handful of guys with a dragline and some big trucks can put coal on a train in Wyoming/Montana for a quarter the cost of coal at an Appalachian railhead. The biggest railroads love them some coal -- loose delivery schedules, doesn't mind sitting in the rain or snow -- and will give you a good price on transport. 40% of all the thermal coal in the US comes out of six counties in the Powder River Basin. It's amazing how far east it gets moved: Plant Scherer in central Georgia, #1 GHG emitter in the US, is fueled exclusively with PRB coal.

How is he going to "revive" coal? Particularly in the face of state/local decisions about its use? LA is moving on its coal-free goal. Western states keep upping their renewable electricity mandates. Even North Carolina is getting pissed off at the coal burners' ash ponds.

How is he going to "revive" coal?

Perhaps only in the fond wishes of some of his supporters. And I hope it goes no further than that.

Mostly my point was that it's unclear to me how a lot the promises to create jobs are actually going to pan out.

The rust belt issues are somewhat due to NAFTA etc., but also somewhat due to simply better technology.

When my great-grandfather moved here from Italy in the 19-aughts, he fed his family by digging subway tunnels in NYC. By hand.

That job doesn't exist anymore.

Other jobs, likewise.

To borrow from Keynes, you could imagine a government program that hires laid-off coal miners, at their old wages, to mine coal -- and hires laid-off auto workers at their old wages to bury it again. Some of us snooty eastern libruls might even be willing to pay more taxes to fund such a program. Our all-GOP government would never go for it, of course, even if it could figure out how to tax only snooty eastern libruls to pay for it.

Hypothesis: the laid-off coal miners would not be happy about it either. Unless their coal was burned in power plants, they would feel ... insulted.

--TP

I don't question that a significant portion of Trump's support came from actual racists, but those folks have never voted Democrat and have always been there if more emboldened.

My unscientific analysis from reading varied blog comments (many from distasteful sites) is that a significant amount of Trump support came from rural and/or working class whites who really are not racist, but were simply tired of being called racist, sexist and stupid simply because they disagreed with people on the left.

As you know most issues are complex and nuanced and some are interwoven with religious and philosophical beliefs. Ultimately these folks might be wrong on many of these issues, but labeling them racist or stupid and dismissing inherent complexity of issues for which on the left is settled dogma was not ultimately constructive.

So ultimately think there was a huge backlash against Political Correctness.


From a Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/11/09/trump-won-because-college-educated-americans-are-out-of-touch/”>editorial


… a reduction of all disagreement to racism, bigotry and ignorance — in addition to being wrong about its primary source — will simply make the disagreement far more personal, entrenched and vitriolic. And it won’t make liberal values more persuasive to the less educated, as Trump victory demonstrates.


From a Reason http://reason.com/blog/2016/11/09/trump-won-because-leftist-political-corr”>post ( I admit I used to read Reason ten years ago to challenge my left of center economic views with what used to be thought provoking argumentation. I hadn’t been to the site in years and it seems to have been taken over by vile libertarian zealots., but nevertheless I offer this for thought) :


The leftist drive to enforce a progressive social vision was relentless, and it happened too fast. I don't say this because I'm opposed to that vision—like most members of the under-30 crowd, I have no problem with gender neutral pronouns—I say this because it inspired a backlash that gave us Trump.

My liberal critics rolled their eyes when I complained about political correctness. I hope they see things a little more clearly now. The left sorted everyone into identity groups and then told the people in the poorly-educated-white-male identity group that that's the only bad one. It mocked the members of this group mercilessly. It punished them for not being woke enough. It called them racists. It said their video games were sexist. It deployed Lena Dunham to tell them how horrible they were.

I warned that political-correctness-run-amok and liberal overreach would lead to a counter-revolution if unchecked. That counter-revolution just happened.


It is, of course, important to note that these things don’t have to be actually true, but just perceived to be true for there to be a real backlash phenomena.

From another Reason http://reason.com/blog/2016/11/10/colleges-cancelled-exams-for-students-tr”>post more or less mocking the reaction of colleges cancelling exams and offering grief counseling after the election:

But campus progressives have willfully pushed race-based and identity-group-based classifications: calling for segregated safe spaces and programs for students of color, LGBTQ students, Native American students, Latinos, and so on. At the same time, they have assailed white privilege and white fragility, treating white people like the enemy. In electing Trump, whites may have lived up to their expectations, but I can’t help but wonder whether that was a foreseeable consequence of the left’s campaign to demonize them

I don’t know if this is true or not, I only offer this as an alternative to the simplistic view that it was just racism that explained Clinton’s under-performing among a portion of the electorate that either voted for Obama or didn’t care to vote for McCain or Romney.

Disclaimer - I think Trump is a dangerous demagogue and is the most intellectually and emotionally unqualified person to run for President in my lifetime. I have voted for Democrats in every election since 1992.

Regarding the racism or non-racism of middle American whites:

To whatever degree folks are motivated by race, there isn't a lot that can be done about it. Maybe some folks will have an epiphany and change their attitudes, maybe they won't.

To the degree that folks are motivated by a basic inability to create a stable and secure life for themselves, there are things that can be done. And should be done.

Not to disparage the Clintons specifically, but while they were gifted politicians and serious wonks, they also were the public face of political triangulation. The traditional (D) emphasis on working people kind of went by the wayside.

As much as I have vocally insisted on recognizing the element of bigotry in Trump's rhetoric and among his supporters, I also recognize the freaking despair that comes with feeling like you have no future for yourself, or to offer your kids.

There isn't a lot public policies can do to change bigotry, other than to simply not tolerate its public expressions.

There is a lot that public policy can do for the other issues.

I basically agree with what I take to be Sebastian and also wj's arguments that, if the (D)'s want to be relevant at all, they need to re-engage with working people.

From what I understand of Trump's agenda, I don't think it's actually going to be that great for those folks. We can find something better to offer.

Not to disparage the Clintons specifically, but while they were gifted politicians and serious wonks, they also were the public face of political triangulation. The traditional (D) emphasis on working people kind of went by the wayside.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. They got results in decreasing poverty. In the 2000's the stagnation started, but whether or not that can be blamed on Clinton or NAFTA or any particular factor is really not clear.

I basically agree with what I take to be Sebastian and also wj's arguments that, if the (D)'s want to be relevant at all, they need to re-engage with working people.

This is a really important discussion, but I'm not sure we should be having it in the aftermath of this election, trying to assign blame to Democrats because of their supposed disengagement with the working class.

Barack Obama was black, and subjected to race-based hate mongering throughout his presidency, even though he was such a charismatic person that he overcame that and was extremely popular. Hillary Clinton, likewise, was the victim of 20 years of hatemongering. This election year, her emails were collected, investigated, hacked and read by anyone who wanted to cherry pick anything unflattering. The hacking was done with the assistance of the Russian government, and the FBI and the press were complicit in "casting shadows" over her reputation. Most of this was completely without basis. That she had to overcome a certain amount of sexism is undeniable.

She still won the popular vote by a healthy margin. Bernie Sanders did have a populist appeal with some number of people who didn't like Clinton for whatever reason, and to a certain extent his candidacy created some ill will towards her as an "establishment" person who was too concerned with her own wealth. This was a narrative that had some truth to it, but Bernie never really allowed the transparency that Clinton did, so ... we all know that story.

Then Trump comes along, an alpha male whose personality and demeanor are repulsive to some, but extremely charismatic to others.

All of this is way more important than the "working class white economic anxiety" story. Sure, some people have lost jobs and haven't gotten them back, but we are at almost full employment, and as I've repeatedly mentioned (with links that I'm not going to find again), wages are getting better, finally, at a rate not seen in decades. All this after the worst recession since the Great Depression.

I'm tired of hearing the complaining. This was not a story of Democrats generally not connecting with voters who are hurting. This is the story of the appeal of a racist strongman to people who are, culturally, interested in that.

lest we throw out everything that makes it worth being a Democrat, it's worth keeping in mind that the Dems:
1. gained Senate seats
2. gained House seats
3. won the popular vote
4. (probably) defeated the jackhole governor in NC.

along with Tony's very important notes about incumbency.

that is not the description of a defeated and dying party. that is not a party that needs to rebuild itself from the ground up lest it crumble into irrelevancy.

though i think she was just the best of those who ran, Clinton was not the best candidate ever. a more naturally charismatic candidate would have done better. someone with a better relationship with the press might have done better. and even Clinton might have done better against someone who wasn't a TV celebrity who scooped up billions in free TV time because it was good for TV ratings. (i hope Les Moonves feels good about his new Trump-funded cash, and that he ultimately chokes on it)

but, ultimately, parties lose elections. roughly half of everyone who runs loses.

House Dems are fighting the tough gerrymandering from 2010, but that can't last forever. and if the Party can get its act together for 2020, they might be able to control redistricting next time.

i'm not about to start thinking up ways i can tell deplorable people that it's ok to be deplorable, and i'm not going to vote for anyone who does. of the many reasons i'm a liberal is a fundamental belief that racism, xenophobia and the rest are Wrong.

also, what sapient said.

one last parting shot...

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/surviving-the-age-of-trump

Good advise. Read the book.

Merry Christmas.

In the 2000's the stagnation started, but whether or not that can be blamed on Clinton or NAFTA or any particular factor is really not clear.

Yes, I agree that the relationship is not clear. There are a lot of reasons for the decline of the traditional manufacturing sector in the US.

I also agree that they got results in decreasing *poverty*, but that isn't the same thing as helping build a solid replacement for declining economic sectors.

Tech grew enormously during Bill Clinton's tenure, but I don't think that was a large boon for the areas hit by the decline in manufacturing.

I don't especially blame the Clintons for any of that. My point FWIW is simply that the "new democracy" stuff Clinton introduced was in some ways a move away from the traditional association between (D)'s and labor.

This is a really important discussion, but I'm not sure we should be having it in the aftermath of this election, trying to assign blame to Democrats because of their supposed disengagement with the working class.

FWIW, I *am not* looking to assign blame to anyone. To whatever degree (D)'s have failed to help folks hurt by the decline in manufacturing, the (R)'s have done even more.

I think your point about the "charismatic" appeal of Trump is apt. Folks who bought into that will find out how much it will help them.

Mostly, my concern is to try to understand *what can actually be done* for folks who have been screwed over the last 35 years or so.

In any case, I'm happy to defer this discussion to a less fraught time.

that is not the description of a defeated and dying party.

I don't consider the (D)'s to be that. I'm actually considering moving from unenrolled to (D) specifically to take an explicit side in our two-party arrangement.

Lines are being drawn, I'm dead clear about which side of them I am on.

The one and only observation I'm trying to make is (a) there are large sectors of the economy that have been harmed and neglected over the last 35 years, and (b) there is an opportunity there for (D)'s to offer better solutions than the (R)'s.

Folks who are just going to vote for the strongman asshole are still just going to do that.

Folks who might prefer not to, might not.

It seems like my comments here are on the "blame the Democrats" tip. That's not my intent.

In any case, I'm happy to have this conversation another time, when my comments aren't going to be construed as hating on (D)'s.

Of course a whole bunch of Trump voters were racists. They made it obvious. But that kind of old fashioned overt racism is not key to Trump's appeal or key to the appeal of eh Republican party in general. The appeal is a nasty negative one, but not strcitly racist, in my opinion.

I read an article written by a woman who embedded herself in Alabama and listened carefully and at legnth to Repubulican voters. She learned that they were voters who voted their feelings. Reason and issues had little to do with it. So what were the feelings that motivated their vote?

She tried a metaphor out on them > She asked them if the metaphor worked and they enthusiastically siad yes. This is the metiaphor: in teh past if you ranked Americans in order from first to last you would have rich white people at the head of the line, followed by other white people in income order, eith other races and gay people at the back of the line.

Then in recent decades those folks at the back have been allowed to move up. Some have even moved ahead.

Thus pissed off Republican voters wh are mad because they people who used to be at the back of the line are being given the opportuinities to move up that they alwasy should have had.

I think Republicans see life as a zero sum game. They assume that if anyone who used to be deprived of rights, gets those rights, then it must be at their expense. They see themselves in competition and though they claim to believe in equaity the gtruth is they were quite happy to get a piece of the pie when others did not have seat at the table. And they resent the hel out of letting those others get a seat.

It does not occur to them that the pie could be made bigger. That's how Deocrats think.

Instead they are mad at what they perceive as a loss of status. It is nnot a real loss of staus and the party they vote for will not do anything to better their circumstances.

The only thing the Republican party offers is dog whistles to appeal to that resentment.

So is racism part of this? well sure. But from a poitcal point of view I think it woudl be better to focus on making the pie bigger.


And the rightwing disnformation hate network is also powerful.

And the rightwing disnformation hate network is also powerful.

If we could figure out how to better filter truth from lies (and label it all for what it is) on various media, that would be a huge help. I trust a lot of what I read on the Internet because I'm careful about sources, but some people have a huge problem distinguishing. Also, fraudster in chief and his Breitbart buddies - he has all the tools in place.

Bill Clinton got where he was through the so-called 'Third way'. Hindsight is 20/20, but given that no other OECD country has been able to assemble a coalition of working class that advocates progressive policies or protect their manufacturing jobs, I'm not sure what he or anyone else could have done to stop the problem the Dems are facing. He could have avoided having an affair and Gore might have won, a (slightly) more enlightened approach to the middle east may have prevented islamophobia from being a thing and we might all be better off now, but railing at what Clinton did, given that his administration was 2 decades ago, seems a waste of time.

Sebastian: When things change, they typically change on the margin of that. MOST people still vote for whomever they voted for last time. But JUST ENOUGH people change that behavior to swing the election.

This is such a neat, reasonable explanation that it's really a pity that the data don't support it.

Trump didn't win because some people who voted for Obama changed parties and voted for Trump. Note that Trump got fewer votes than either McCain or Romney got. He didn't win because he attracted (for whatever reason) voters who previously voted for Obama.

Trump got elected because voters who turned out (twice) to vote for Obama stayed home this time. Trying to figure out what made Obama voters change isn't going to get you anywhere because that isn't what happened.

Actually, I read something earlier this week on the topic. (Which I can't put my finger on just now.) The core point was that, over the past couple of decades, the Republicans can reliably turn out a set number of voters for a Presidential election. What determines whether they win or lose is how many voters the Democrats can turn out. Just that; nothing else.

So, to understand what happened and why, focus on the folks who turned out for Obama, but not for Clinton. That has some prospect of telling you something useful.

P.S. None of this is to say that people don't change party preference. Sometimes in large numbers. Just that in this case, that isn't what we're looking at.

Alan, your Reason links have extraneous characters which prevent the articles you mention from showing up.

http://reason.com/blog/2016/11/09/trump-won-because-leftist-political-corr and http://reason.com/blog/2016/11/10/colleges-cancelled-exams-for-students-tr

Both of which reminded me why I don't take libertarianism or Reason seriously any more.

This is a really important discussion, but I'm not sure we should be having it in the aftermath of this election, trying to assign blame to Democrats because of their supposed disengagement with the working class.

Ah, yes, this. And once we're past the immediate post-election period, it'll be time to look forward, not back, right?

We all know how this game is played, and to what end.

Wonkie, the exact metaphor is:

ou are patiently standing in the middle of a long line stretching toward the horizon, where the American Dream awaits. But as you wait, you see people cutting in line ahead of you. Many of these line-cutters are black—beneficiaries of affirmative action or welfare. Some are career-driven women pushing into jobs they never had before. Then you see immigrants, Mexicans, Somalis, the Syrian refugees yet to come. As you wait in this unmoving line, you're being asked to feel sorry for them all. You have a good heart. But who is deciding who you should feel compassion for? Then you see President Barack Hussein Obama waving the line-cutters forward. He's on their side. In fact, isn't he a line-cutter too? How did this fatherless black guy pay for Harvard? As you wait your turn, Obama is using the money in your pocket to help the line-cutters. He and his liberal backers have removed the shame from taking. The government has become an instrument for redistributing your money to the undeserving. It's not your government anymore; it's theirs.

I checked this distillation with those I interviewed to see if this version of the deep story rang true. Some altered it a bit ("the line-waiters form a new line") or emphasized a particular point (those in back are paying for the line-cutters). But all of them agreed it was their story. One man said, "I live your analogy." Another said, "You read my mind."

It is subtly different from the one you gave.

A great line from the same report:

For some, age had also become a source of humiliation. One white evangelical tea party supporter in his early 60s had lost a good job as a sales manager with a telecommunications company when it merged with another. He took the shock bravely. But when he tried to get rehired, it was terrible. "I called, emailed, called, emailed. I didn't hear a thing. That was totally an age discrimination thing." At last he found a job at $10 an hour, the same wage he had earned at a summer factory union job as a college student 40 years ago. Age brought no dignity. Nor had the privilege linked to being white and male trickled down to him.

For me one underappreciated key think to notice is that he won't count as unemployed in the unemployment statistics. So when people say things like--places that voted for Trump didn't have bad unemployment levels--they aren't really capturing the problem in their minds.

Ah, yes, this. And once we're past the immediate post-election period, it'll be time to look forward, not back, right?

Speaking of looking forward, what is your plan? I asked you what political candidates you were looking at who met your purity criteria, since you're so good at prognosticating electable general election candidates. Got one in mind? In the meantime, I hope you're doing something to protect vulnerable people in your community from the goon squads, since you were too good to GOTV for the alternative to the Nazi.

As far as looking back, I'm looking right at you. This is on you.

As I look back, and see you, NV, I realize that it does me no good at all - it just worsens the physical sickness I've felt since Tuesday night. I'm going to say goodbye to these little snarkfests with you. I value some of the other people here tremendously, but I won't be reading anything you offer up. I need to focus on coming together with good people to fight this monster. It's counterproductive to continue to have meaningless dialogue with nihilists.

"I'm not sure what he or anyone else could have done to stop the problem the Dems are facing."

I agree with this.

my comments up thread were not about hating on clinton. either clinton. nor were they about blaming them for Trump's success.

Clinton lost precisely because she displayed the same mindset that sapient has been displaying on this blog for some years now:

the arrogance, the inability to listen, the narcissism, the moralistic self-righteousness

Clinton lost precisely because blah blah blah.

To be really precise, Clinton won the popular vote and has the support of the majority of the American people as a whole. Clinton lost "precisely because" millions of other Americans who have an outsized electoral college presence were charmed by a Nazi. Wherever you live, I'm sure you have your own contingent of them, and when they rear their ugly heads, the purists have to get their heads out of their ass join together with others, and fight them.

I will put you with NV on my list of trolls not to read.

It is subtly different from the one you gave..... A great line from the same report:

I read the article. I have about a thousand things to say about it, I will try to be brief.

Yes, many of the kinds of work that used to provide a livelihood to working people - blue collar people, for lack of a better word - have either disappeared, or are no longer secure, or no longer pay enough to provide a stable life.

Yes, as even Charles freaking Murray has discovered to his astonishment, even among white people that has led to a huge amount of social dysfunction.

I am with them every step of the way so far. I am willing and happy to do whatever can be done to make their situation better.

Sign me up.

Blacks, Mexicans, Syrians, Muslims, Somalis, and whoever else you want to name have not one thing to do with that, nor are they to blame for it.

That is the precise point where I part ways with the folks in the article, and with the tea party people, and with the Trump supporters who share the same perception that "those people" are the problem.

Not only it is incorrect for them to blame those people, *it does nothing whatsoever to improve their lives*. On the contrary, *it is an impediment* to improving their lives, because it doesn't address any of the causes for their distress.

It's folly.

And, not only is it folly, it's harmful evil bullshit, because it breeds hate and resentment.

It's admirable that people, in the face of economic distress, want to try to do for themselves and not accept any help from the government. That said, it may also be self-defeating. The situation may be such that the things that people can do for themselves are not sufficient.

And, it's no longer admirable when people not only refuse that help for themselves, but insist that no one else can have it either.

I'm really not sure where to go with things like this. I felt the same way when I read Vance's "Hillbilly Elegy". I sympathize with these folks, and would be happy to pitch in in whatever way I can to help them out. They don't want it, and are proud of not wanting it.

And, they don't want anyone else to have it either.

So, WTF? Where does that leave any of us?

Lastly, I don't care how poor you are, you can brush your freaking teeth. And, Obama "paid for Harvard" by working his ass off and earning his place there.

They could do the same.

Working people in this country have been royally screwed, for a generation. And if the Paul Ryans of the world are any indication, it ain't over yet, not by a long shot.

Hating on the blacks, Mexicans, women, gays, Muslims, or whoever, is going to do bugger-all for them. And, it has earned them, and will continue to earn them, my resistance in any way I can express that.

Quit hating on people.

And yes, I know that the world is full of snotty people who look down on working people. I've been a working person by that definition for that matter, and I remember it quite well.

It's no excuse.

Quit hating on people, and accept the help that other people want to give you. Or, don't accept it, and find constructive ways to improve your lives.

But quit fucking hating on people.

Their lives will not improve until they give up the hate. Not because of anything I say or do, but because it will be a fucking ball and chain for them, and will prevent them from doing anything effective to help themselves.

The big shock for these people is going to come when they see what a Donald Trump administration does for them. I could be wrong, I have no crystal ball, but I don't see a great and urgent passion for the plight of the working class in his resume.

So much for brief. But, that's most of what I have to say on it.

To be really precise, Clinton won the popular vote and has the support of the majority of the American people as a whole.

More people voted against Donald Trump than voted for him.

His supporters are a minority of the electorate, and of the population.

Tuesday's outcome did nothing to change that.

I expect the ranks of people who are not fans of Donald Trump to expand as the reality of life under Trump plays itself out.

I've been an independent or unenrolled voter all my life. I'm going to register as a (D), because I just don't think there's a lot of room for standing on the sidelines anymore.

I don't care if the (D)'s are not perfect, or even if they suck. They aren't (R)'s. That's good enough for me at this point.

The country may be going down the tubes, but I'm going to at least try to do something about it. Not have an opinion about it, but do something about it.

His supporters are a minority of the electorate, and of the population.

here's a fun little fact. both Trump and Clinton we selected by 1/7 of their party's eligible voters. the other six didn't bother.

but everybody complains about how 'bad our choices were'.

both Trump and Clinton we selected by 1/7 of their party's eligible voters. the other six didn't bother.

but everybody complains about how 'bad our choices were'.

Of course we do. It's just ever so much easier to blame someone else for your problems than it is to wade in and work at actually doing something about them. That applies to blaming others for the general election candidates. That applies to blaming others for not being able to get a job, at least one that pays as well as you think you deserve.

Always easier . . . but useless when it comes to solving the problem. See also Russell's comments above.

In case someone hasn't linked to it yet, this supports Sebastian''s post--

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/13/business/economy/can-trump-save-their-jobs-theyre-counting-on-it.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

The people interviewed don't sound like haters. Some voted for Clinton, some for Trump, but I get the impression they are closer to each other than to either of the candidates.

One account of why Clinton lost, which to me is reasonably persuasive:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/a-series-of-strategic-mistakes-likely-sealed-clintons-fate/2016/11/11/82f3fcc0-a840-11e6-ba59-a7d93165c6d4_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_clintonmistakes-1010pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

Of course, it is predicated on Trump getting more votes than any of us expected him to, hence the racism debate. In any event, whatever it was went beyond simply racism, as this New Yorker article makes quite clear:
http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/learning-trump-won-in-west-virginia

Trump is an unconscionable liar, and deeply unpleasant person, but it's hard to deny that he is simply a better campaigner than Clinton. And the envelope of what is acceptable in a candidate seems to have expanded alarmingly.

Trump is an unconscionable liar, and deeply unpleasant person, but it's hard to deny that he is simply a better campaigner than Clinton.

A flawless candidate.

Trump knows how to work a crowd (of idiots), no doubt.

Trump was right the election was rigged.

http://www.gregpalast.com/election-stolen-heres/

The important thing is that whatever role racism plays you are not going to get people to reduce it by putting them in a basket of deplorables and writing them off. This feeds the tribal instincts of liberals but does not win votes. Clearly enough people do change to decide elections, as Sebastian writes.

Is the way to combat racism palling up with Goldman Sachs to get more money to run the negative ads which don't work? Democrats should be focusing on the class war, not the race war, and they should put themselves clearly on the side of the 99%.

the arrogance, the inability to listen, the narcissism, the moralistic self-righteousness

That's a pretty good summary of Republican rhetoric for decades.

Attributing those attributes is blaming the victim. It is part of the bully technique for the bully to try to shut the victim up when the victim objects to the bullying behavior by attributing to the victim the bully's behavor.

One of the differences between Deomcrats and Republicans is that Democrats are willing to take engage in self-criticism when we lose, but Republicans only re-examine their sales pitches. They don't look at their tactics or their policies.

I think that it is true that Trump voters would be best serviing their own interests if they voted for Democrats. However Trump voters are heavily influenced by Republican hatemongering (which includes racism, but is more genearlly a message about the complete superiority of Republicans in contrast to how bad everyone else is), thus they fail to see that Democrats have been serving working class interests fr decades while Republicans have been attacking those interests.

During the Obama years the Republicans voted down a loong list of Democratic job creation bills wule proposing none of their own. In sontrast the Repubicans have been promoting the lie that tax cuts for the rich creates jobs. Democrats support unions while Repubicans seek to suppress them. Democrats xupport government services which create good pahing jobs in red states and are the mainstay in rural economies while Republicans defund those jobs. The list goes on and on. If Trump is going to deliver on job creationhe will have to do it by promoting Democratic ideas and opposing Republican ones.

So the statement above is that Dems should side with the 99% --well we have. Consistently. For years and years and years. The failure for Trump voters to see that comes from their addiction to rightwing disinformation and hatemongering. (which again is sometimes racist but often take other forms such as "lock Hillary up!" or Hillary killed Vince Foster!" or Planned Parenthood is killing babies!" or "illegal immigrants are voting!" and so on.

whatever role racism plays you are not going to get people to reduce it by putting them in a basket of deplorables and writing them off.

i will not associate myself with deplorable people. and i refuse to be a member of a party that tolerates racism.

if the Democratic party ever decides it wants to do that, they will lose me.

if the Democratic party ever decides it wants to do that, they will lose me.

And me.

I don't think that the Democratic party needs to appeal to racists to peal off some Republican leaning independents or even some Repubians.

I think that the the Democrats need to realize that for rightwing voters style trumps content, facts don't matter, image trumps substance and reason is totally irrelevant. The appeal has to be emotional.

The Republican emotional appeal is negative--demonizing and marginalizing-- of which racism is a subset.

Obama had a counter emotional appeal: hope. HIllary tried an emotional appeal to decency, but she came pre-slimed by decades of rightwing hate, so was not the right purveyor of that message to people who believed the slime, which is quite a few, even including Democrats.

I don't think Democrats do a good enough job of managing the optics, and that's a real problem since Repubican voters vote on optics.

So ...the difficulty is that rightwing voters are already in the thrall of the emotionaly appeal of rightwing hate media. Also they just seem to be more responsive to appeals to negative emotions.

But the goal is not to get all of their votes: just pick up some from the edges, including swing voters who tend right. It should be possilbe to communicate with them without in any way supporting racism.

Obama had a counter emotional appeal: hope. HIllary tried an emotional appeal to decency, but she came pre-slimed by decades of rightwing hate, so was not the right purveyor of that message to people who believed the slime, which is quite a few, even including Democrats.

This was a matter of charisma. Misogyny for older women may have been a factor against Hillary's earlier charisma. That nauseates me, but it might be a fact.

Remember, Trump was the winning candidate. Was he the "flawless" candidate? Is there anything about him that I want in my candidate? No.

I came to love "flawed" Hillary, after having been lukewarm, but who cares now? I would encourage anyone who wants to find "flawless" Democratic candidates to work with their local Democratic Party on that. Or run yourself, because who can do it better than you?

We have a more urgent problem now. This is about the monster. What are we going to do about that?

"Or run yourself"

I think I might be able to single-handedly usher in a 100 years of absolute (R) rule, simply by running for dog catcher as a (D).

I'm gonna stick to behind the scenes support.

:)

My personal and very pessimistic prediction is that the Dem leadership will do what it almost always does: blame the DFH/leftist base/unserious non-realists and see the solution in appealing more to the donor class and being more 'centrist', i.e. following the GOP rightwards (which in turn will make the latter go even farther out).
I already read commentary from the 'serious' people* that the worst thing the Dems could do now is to listen to their own populists and to go 'left' in any kind or way.

*even over here in g#dd#mn#d f#ck#ng Germany from otherwise intelligent guys who then talk about how both sides have to compromise. Haven't they listened to The Newt on FOX who sounded like a communist party secretary from the early 1950ies?

I think I've read this somewhere, but I can't place it, but I think that Trump will be impeached, (he has enough skeletons in his closets to supply the next decade of CSI and NCIS franchises) with his erstwhile allies leading the charge, and then Pence will be able to slid into the job and be a dependable Republican. The Dems will help with the impeachment and congratulate themselves and then go back to fighting among themselves.

This is a very thinky thinkpiece. I like it a lot. There is a little woo at the end, but I feel it is valuable because with the election of Trump I am feeling a lot of hate.

http://charleseisenstein.net/hategriefandanewstory/

Sapient I do not think Hilary was a flawed candidate. I donlt think there was anything substantively wrong with her. I think she came pre-slimed by rightwing haters and the complicity of the mainstream media. It was unfair to her and unfair to the rest of us. But the effect on the election was that she started behind the starting line.

And of course Trum what s hugley flawed candidate. However both Repubican voters adn the MSN have always had a double standard: Dems get scrutinzied and attacks on them are presents as their scandal, while Republicans get a pass. The MSN only started covering Trumps flaws when they began to realize that their biased coverage (biased agaisnt Hillary) was goig to get him elected. Even with that realization they gave almost on coverage to his convictions and his upcoming trials while continuing to report every baseless charge against Hillary as her scandal, in effect convicting her over and over.

I don't konw that Deomcrats will decide to blame progreesives for this loss since Hillary was very middle of the road. Its a hard narrative to push. The useful idiots working for the Republicans will push that narrative, of course.

From what I have been seeing, it seems at least equally likely that the Democrats will try the same (except for direction, of course) approach we have gotten accustomed to seeing from the Republicans: We lost because our candidate wasn't ideologically pure enough. (i.email. far enough left)

Experience of the Republican Party (at least watching them here) suggests that this, at least as usually implemented, will prove counterproductive. Maybe the Democrats can figure out how to reconnect with the parts of their potential constituency that aren't wealthy, without going full bore left. But I don't think I'd bet the ranch on it.

All,

A brief interlude in my self imposed exile to bring you a link with some interesting back and forth from a "reluctant Trump supporter" in The Atlantic.

Basically, the argument was that "PC" and liberal smugness drove this guy over the edge to vote for a pig. There was some back and forth (the whole exchange is fascinating), but the last entry is compelling (cut and paste follows):

"Thank you so much for your kind words about my note on feeling empathy for Trump supporters. I do take issue with the implication of what you (reluctant Trump supporter) wrote in the “in other words” section following my note:

Or in other words, two wrongs don’t make a right, even if one of those wrongs—outright bigotry—is much worse than the other—an over-willingness to label someone a bigot. And the latter is counterproductive to fighting the former.

Perhaps I was not clear enough, but my belief is that liberal bullying of perceived bigots is only a tangential effect of progress in dismantling system of social privilege and power. It is not part of the work to dismantle those systems; it is merely the result of marginalized people finally gaining the power to express their anger at those who have been collectively furthering their oppression in individually minor ways. It is a problem that will inevitable arise with a new balance of social power, especially without any widespread engagement from the right or even acceptance of the reality of these concrete issues of marginalization and oppression, without some sort of “truth and reconciliation” for American society.

It is not actually a part of the work that is being done to address these issues, so I disagree with the implication I see in your comment that this behavior must be stopped before we can continue making progress. If people oppose the dismantling of systems of privilege because of these cases of bullying, and instead support the resurgence of straight white male supremacy, that is a failure on their part. It is a failure of perspective and values and they are responsible for that failure.

And that failure of perspective brings me to the email from the person who “voted for the wrecking ball.” That person knows so many things about this country. That person knows exactly what you need to do to succeed and overcome adversity. That person knows exactly how all their fellow white people feel about marginalized groups and how they would treat marginalized people if those people could only be just a little better.

That person does not know what they do not know about the experience of life as a marginalized person in this country. That person does not know that the opportunities his parents and their parents and their parents had to pursue the right kind of life were not afforded to the parents of others. That person does not know that the issues marginalized people complain about are not excuses for a failure of hard work; they are legitimate and real challenges that this person has not experienced. That person does not know that it’s not that “not everyone starts off on the same spot”; it’s that many grow up constantly being dragged down and boxed in by the people around them. That person does not know that bigoted speech, whether they agree that it is bigoted or not, leads to harmful action.

But on that last point, your reader will likely learn better. Because he knows that his “wrecking ball” will leave him relatively untouched. But he doesn’t know that the hateful people swinging this wrecking ball with him are real, not a liberal bogeyman. He does not know that marginalized people are going to be hurt; they are going to die because of this. They are going to keep being hurt and keep dying for years because of this. And the people who voted for Trump—however understandable and relatable their motivations might be—are responsible for this, whether they know it or not."

This is what I tried so miserably to say. HOW COULD WE HAVE DONE THIS?

Keep on truckin'

wonkie: I don't know that Democrats will decide to blame progressives for this loss since Hillary was very middle of the road.

I am mightily trying to get over the rift between Hillary and Bernie folks. I totally was over it [almost] until Wednesday. I have some friends who I know probably voted for Hillary, but were turning their nose up at every dinner party, complaining how she was "flawed". And ACA wasn't good enough. And today was the first day I managed to face-to-face with people I knew voted for Trump. Lots of other catching up to do, as my stomach churned.

This stuff came up here constantly. Same "Let's shit on Obama." "Hillary is corrupt."

And now we have Nazi Germany. And, people, let's understand, we may not have the Internet as we know it. No more room for fixing climate change - it's over.

“They killed us, but they ain’t whupped us yet.” I love you, Tim Kaine, for that evocation of William Faulkner. I hope you're right.

I was a Bernie supporter and I dont think the ACA is good enough but I also don; think that had anything to do with her "lose" which now is up to over a million votes beyond Trump.

I think she "lost" because of the power of rightwing hate media, combine with the depraved, debased adherence of the MSN to false equivalency and "he said/She said" and their willingness to be used by Republicans for faux scandalmongering, combined with an electorate that includes a large number of people who vote without bothiering to know what they are really voting for.

ANd every time some MSN bobble head called her a damaged candidate I got enraged--damaged because of them labelling her as damaged fucking buch of assholes. Fortuantatley I am very rarely forced to wathc tv "news".

Thank you, wonkie. I actually am on the road to getting over it, and am completely over it with regard to you. And the ACA isn't good enough, and we all acknowledge that. But it's better than it's repeal.

Just venting here, so that I am still welcome at dinner parties. Come to think of it, I hosted the last one and haven't been invited since ...

nope, can't be race. and we can't said it could be race.

http://www.salon.com/2016/11/13/yep-race-really-did-trump-economics-a-data-dive-on-his-supporters-reveals-deep-racial-animosity/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

etc.

Trump has proposed a srudent debet relie plan. I lovhave wondered sometimes if he wouldn't adotp democratic ideas pretty readily. He likes being the heor. It is so hard to guess which way he will jump. It owudl be funny if he turned out to be a moderate due to being ecpetive to voices from the political left.

Cleek, your link makes the mistake I address above. No one who is paying attention suggests that there aren't a frightening number of racists in the Republican Party. The problem is that focusing on those voters (who you can't reach anyway right now) you miss out on the voters you can reach. The voters who feel that they tried decades of the economic plan that Clinton represented and have been complaining--unlistened to--that it wasn't working. They aren't even wrong about that. Democrats in institutional power have not been paying attention to the problems globalism has wrought. So much so that until Sanders dragged her kicking and screaming, Clinton was still reflexively supporting the TPP without trying to mitigate the problems caused as far back as NAFTA.

Cleek, you write:

i will not associate myself with deplorable people. and i refuse to be a member of a party that tolerates racism.

if the Democratic party ever decides it wants to do that, they will lose me.

Who is asking you to do that? If you had to guess, what percentage of Trump voters are inveterately dangerous racists compared to those who are merely deeply wrong about what we need to do to have a serious break with establishment on issues important to them? 50-50? 60-40? 75-25? 80-20? 90-10?

The thing to notice is that even if you get to implausibly high percentages of people, there are still enough that Democrats can win over to win elections.

If we really can't find the inklings of a common ground with THOSE people, that is probably a failure of OUR empathy.

Sebastian- If you are the person I think you are: someone I remember from the Bush years. Then I have to say I'm impressed with your personal evolution. You seem like a good guy.

It's a bit of eerie synchronicity to have Frank mention Sebastian back in the day because I was remembering something he wrote about travelling somewhere, losing his luggage and giving thanks to the existence of Walmart. I don't bring this up to accuse him of anything, but just to frame his last comment. (because I, too, cannot imagine going back to a time before I could run to a local Uniclo to get cheap pair of khakis when I realize that I've gotten too fat to fit in the previous pair). Sebastian writes:

Democrats in institutional power have not been paying attention to the problems globalism has wrought.

How exactly has anyone been able to make a dent in the problems that globalism has wrought? Maybe the scandinavian countries, but they have done it with a pretty potent brew of socialism that would not get very far, given the way corporate power works in the US. I think that one way is outlined in this article by Sarah Jaffe (via Eric Loomis at LGM) but I'd be pleasantly surprised if you fell in line with what she was saying.

Still, something like that can only staunch the bleeding, if the factories have already been removed to China and Vietnam, there is not a lot that can be done, I think.

I'd rather not discuss this in terms of the recent election, cause it is still rather raw for me, and the discussion would come out like 'who do I blame', which I don't want to do, but If you are arguing that the Dems need to do something, how would you feel if they started doing something like what is laid out in the article? And if that isn't what they are supposed to do, what do you suggest they do?

When the world stood around stroking their chins and thoughtfully considered whether torture was really that bad of a thing overall, Sebastian wrote a simple and eloquent piece making the argument that torture was wrong because it was fucking wrong, full stop.

the profanity there being my editorial addition, not part of Sebastian's original argument.

In context that was an act of courage that was damned rare at the time. and still. I won't ever forget it.

we all evolve, but Sebastian has always been a good guy,

Who is asking you to do that?

you see... there's this thing going on in all of these discussions (here and abroad), where the racism of some of Trump supporters is downplayed (oh it's not that much of a factor!) or outright denied (the Dems are worse!). so i offer evidence to refute that.

and then Clinton is blamed for mentioning that some large percentage of Trump supporters are bigots; as if liberals are wrong to call out bigotry, that we should ignore it or excuse it in order to get the votes of these bigots. we should coddle them because their votes are so precious. i disagree.

the problem is that focusing on those voters (who you can't reach anyway right now) you miss out on the voters you can reach

i agree!

they're not the same people.

I am not sure you are right about that cleek. Seems many of them might be the same :

In May, after thousands of Democrats had switched parties to vote for Trump in the primary, Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras circulated a memo cautioning that Trump was making headway in his Rust Belt region and urging the Clinton campaign to take the threat seriously.


http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/11/rust-belt-democrats-saw-trump-wave-coming

if they are the same people, then see my second paragraph. see also, Elizabeth Warren.

"The thing to notice is that even if you get to implausibly high percentages of people, there are still enough that Democrats can win over to win elections.

If we really can't find the inklings of a common ground with THOSE people, that is probably a failure of OUR empathy."

I really liked Sebastian's comment up thread. I just want to point out that there already is common ground between Trump voters and Democrats. Huge common ground. If anythign is done for working class people, it will be done by the Democrats against Republican opposition. This needs to be made clear to those voters who are capable of hearing the message. Gardcore racists will not hear it, but as Sebastian pointed out, we should not assume that every Trump voter or every Republican voter is a racist. A lot of them are just too busy with two ro three jobs and kids and live to be able to get ore than an occasional glimpse of the "news" on cable or hear malicios hatemongering gossip being passed off as fact from a friend or neighbor who reads Brietbart. They are often badly misinformed on very fundamenta things. I do not think it helps to brand them.

So I do think that people like Brietbart should be called out, loud and long and often. But that's different than yelling "racist" at a whole bunck of people I haven't met and don;t know.

This is a quote from an editorial in WAPO by DionneIn fact, Trump’s immigration stand (he won 86 percent of voters who want to build a wall on the Mexican border, according to CNN’s exit polls ) and his law-and-order appeal (he won 74 percent among those who rejected the idea that the criminal justice system treats black Americans unfairly) were key to his victory. When exit pollsters asked voters to name the most important issue facing the country, he won among those who listed immigration or terrorism; he lost among those who cited the economy. Trump’s hard-edged social conservatism, not just a general anti- establishment appeal, drove up white turnout in many key counties.

Finally, lest anyone doubt that the outsized attention given to the matter of Clinton’s use of a private server was decisive, consider that 45 percent of voters said that her use of private email bothered them “a lot,” and they voted better than 12-to-1 for Trump.

So the takeaway is that an awful lot of Trump voters were motivated by rightwing extremist hatemongering toward immigrants and toward Hillary herself.

And voter suppression is what made the difference in Wisconsin.

So even though I agree with Debastian that we need to not over generalize about groups of people because to do so is to write them off and push them away, I also think that to combat the rsing tide of nativist nationalism and disregard for the institutions of representative government, we need to find a way of combatting the vehicles used by Republicans to degrade our nation: the rigthwing hate machine. I think that is a bigger and more threatening issue than racism (I see racism as a subset of that anti-democracy movement).

In May, after thousands of Democrats had switched parties to vote for Trump in the primary, Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras circulated a memo cautioning that Trump was making headway in his Rust Belt region and urging the Clinton campaign to take the threat seriously.

let me just point out that more than 40% of Sanders voters in the WV Dem primary told pollsters that they were planning to vote for Trump in the general. nearly half of his voters weren't actually his voters.

Trump > Sanders > Clinton ?

those people are probably not the Dem's natural allies. they are either GOP spoilers or armchair anarchists who think Berning It Down™ is a good way to get their jobs back. and nothing Clinton was likely to say was going to get them to vote for her.

And voter suppression is what made the difference in Wisconsin.

I have to wonder if that was also true in Michigan and Pennsylvania - especially Michigan, where the margin was less than 12k votes.

I agree with a lot of what wonkie has said. I think the lack of any news outlet deemed unbiased by the population at large is your worst problem, as I have indicated in numerous previous posts. I think it was Reagan who abolished any requirement for the "news" to be properly fair and balanced, is that correct? In the UK, the BBC is under an obligation to be so, and although it gets lots of criticism for bending over backwards in cases where it shouldn't (i.e. putting the case for and against vaccinations, despite overwhelming scientific evidence), the fact that it is routinely criticised for bias by whatever colour of government is currently in power indicates to many of us that it is doing something right. One of the ObWi commenters, I now can't remember who, pointed me towards the Christian Science Monitor for unbiased news, and I have seen https://theconversation.com/us the editor of which is a previous higher-up in BBC news, although American, but the issue is that this "unbiased" news source would have to be trusted by the population at large, like in the good old days. I just don't see how that can be achieved, given the extreme polarisation and the separate bubbles currently occupied by so much of the American public.

A cartoon from the Guardian, to determine how much of an elitist you are (russell, I think we know where you fall, with your hacking knots):

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/14/are-you-a-sinister-filthy-elite-take-this-quiz-and-find-out-now

I don't think the problem is quite so much extreme polarization, or even seperate information bubbles per se. It is that we have become accustomed to having a news source which generally confirms our pre-existing views.

And, especially, does not make us uncomfortable by telling us things that conflict with those views. Both left and right have this to some extent. However the right seems to have taken it to a higher(?) level. Perhaps because conflicting information might require changing one's views -- and conservatives, almost by definition, dislike changing.

There's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. You can see, hear, and read that part of truth that confirms your existing opinions. That's fairly common nowadays, and it is problematic.

What's far more problematic, to the point of being outright dangerous, is when people consume misinformation, outside of the space of nothing but the truth. This is where the right is significantly outpacing the left.

It is one thing to ignore uncomfortable truths. It is another to believe lies, even after they've been demonstrated to be lies.

wj: a news source which generally confirms our pre-existing views.

As I have asked many times before: where do our "pre-existing views" come from in the first place?

Are they genetic? Did we imbibe them at our mother's knee? Were we brainwashed at some point in our schooling? Did we fall in with evil companions later in life?

--TP

I think the lack of any news outlet deemed unbiased by the population at large is your worst problem, as I have indicated in numerous previous posts.

I trust the major newspapers for the most part, but the problem is their emphasis. For example, a Saturday article in the New York Times about Trump's pledge to "lock her up" said this:

While Mr. Holder said the country was owed “a reckoning” for torture of terrorism suspects carried out after the Sept. 11 attacks, the Obama administration ultimately did not conduct a broad criminal investigation of officials from the Bush administration. Mr. Obama declared that “we need to look forward, as opposed to looking backwards.”

The F.B.I. has concluded two times, including after a surprise review that began just 11 days before the election, that Mrs. Clinton should not face criminal prosecution over her handling of her private email server. Mrs. Clinton on Saturday blamed her loss in part on the F.B.I.’s last-minute intervention.

Why a decision regarding torture is found to be in any way comparable to any decision to "lock her up" based on Clinton's private email server is a frustrating false equivalence. The Washington Post did a much better job of reporting. Reading as much as possible in both of those two newspapers with a critical eye still gives people a good overview of national and international news. Supplementing it with the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books and other periodicals is good. Plus Internet discussions like this that point people to good work on specific issues.

Cable news is a bad sole source, and opinion journals can be good to know what people with stated ideological preferences are thinking. People just have to scrutinize whatever they read.

Somehow, when I think of "draining the swamp", Steve Bannon just doesn't come to mind.

Mileages vary, I guess.

"So the takeaway is that an awful lot of Trump voters were motivated by rightwing extremist hatemongering toward immigrants and toward Hillary herself."

Again, the very most predictive poll to determine if you voted for Trump is "Did you vote for Romney" and the very most predictive poll to determine if you voted for Clinton is "Did you vote for Obama".

In some respects you literally don't need any more analysis than that if you want to say things about "most Trump voters" or "most Clinton voters". Everything you talk about is going to be less accurate than that. Somewhere north of 40% of people would vote for a potted plant that had the (R) or (D) next to its name on the ballot depending on whether they voted (R) or (D) last time. That is how tribal politics works.

But the elections are won or lost on the margins. They are won or lost by people who voted for Obama but refuse to vote for Clinton. They are won or lost by people who voted for Obama and then for Trump. Characterizing "an awful lot of Trump voters" isn't helping you get insight about what you need to get the Trump voters who are open to voting for Democrats to vote for your candidates.

Writing off all of 'those people' as 'racists' because "an awful lot of Trump voters" are racist is bad politics. If you want to win, you cleave those people from the racists.

Saying something like 'I don't want to deal with people who are willing to deal with racists' is misreading the situation, is self-defeating, and is untrue. You were willing to deal with the people who were willing to deal with racists, so long as they were voting for Obama (an actual black man).

Why a decision regarding torture is found to be in any way comparable to any decision to "lock her up" based on Clinton's private email server is a frustrating false equivalence.

Ya think?

IMO the NYT stopped being credible somewhere around 2002. Bill Keller broke the place. And then whined for the next 10 years about how everybody was picking on him.

I like Reuters and the AP.

Racists were not unwilling to vote for Romney, I guess.

Somehow, when I think of "draining the swamp", Steve Bannon just doesn't come to mind.

Mileages vary, I guess.

i think it was Colbert who said Bannon is exactly what he'd expect to find at the bottom of a drained swamp.

Writing off all of 'those people' as 'racists' because "an awful lot of Trump voters" are racist is bad politics.

it's also something Clinton didn't do and nobody here is doing.

As I have asked many times before: where do our "pre-existing views" come from in the first place?

Tony, all of the above. Some of our views we do indeed learn from our parents ("at our mother's knee"). Most are learned by the time that we finish school -- children spend their time learning about the world around them, and are good at learning new stuff. Some people retain that ability to learn easily into adulthood; many do not.

Occasionally even those who do not learn easily will change their opinions later in life. Typically, I think, in response to some traumatic event (good or bad) which forces them to reexamine their views.

Does that help?

Sebastian: elections are won or lost on the margins. They are won or lost by people who voted for Obama but refuse to vote for Clinton. They are won or lost by people who voted for Obama and then for Trump.

Except that, overwhelmingly, the election was lost (and it was lost, not won) by voters who had voted for Obama and simply did not turn up to vote this time. Whether they were "refusing to vote for Clinton", or simply weren't enthused enough to take the trouble to vote, is not clear (as far as I have heard).

The things I have read suggest that a Republican candidate can expect to get around 60 million votes -- pretty much no matter who it is. Whether the Democratic candidate wins depends, almost entirely, on whether (s)he can get more votes than that.** Enough more to carry the electoral college, which given the way electoral votes are distributes mostly means at least 2% more. Obama did; Clinton didn't.

** The other factor is where those votes get cast. But that still tends to me a matter of turning out the vote.

Again, the very most predictive poll to determine if you voted for Trump is "Did you vote for Romney" and the very most predictive poll to determine if you voted for Clinton is "Did you vote for Obama".

Here is my analysis of the voting patterns in 2016.

Trump fired his people up.
Clinton did not.

When I say that I am not faulting or criticizing Clinton. I think a lot of her folks not being "fired up" was a matter of laziness on their part, and not taking Trump sufficiently seriously.

I guess you could fault her for not being a gifted natural public speaker, but everyone can't be good at everything. She's a policy wonk, and she's good at political inside baseball.

If you think that is not a valuable skill set in a public figure, I suggest you think again.

About 55% of eligible voters voted. That's the lowest since 1996. Almost half the eligible voters just stayed home. They couldn't be bothered to show up.

A little less than half of those folks who voted, voted for Trump. A little more than half voted for somebody else, mostly for Clinton. More folks voted for Clinton than for Trump.

Trump did better in places where the electoral math was in his favor. So, he won.

If you're looking for why Trump is POTUS, my thought is that you might look at why US voters are so freaking lazy that they can't even get their @sses to the poll.

As far as racism or bigotry go, if you think that animus toward black and brown people and women are the main reason Trump won, IMO you are missing a big piece of the plot.

And IMO if you think that animus toward black and brown people and women were not a significant part of Trump's appeal, and that he did not recognize and exploit that, you are missing a big piece of the plot.

Somebody sold a lot of "Trump that bitch" T-shirts. I sure as hell didn't buy any.

Disturbed by a Trump presidency? Think it might be harmful, and want to mitigate the damage?

You need to get off your @ss and get engaged.

Trump's supporters do not represent a majority of the people in this country. Assuming that votes are a reliable proxy for such things, the values and priorities that he plans to advance are not those of the majority of the people in this country.

If they aren't your values and priorities, find something constructive to do, and do it. It beats sitting around and crying.

In any case, what I expect from a Trump administration is that he'll make a lot of rich people a lot richer, advance the cause of f***ing up the planet, and keep the social conservatives happy with dog whistle BS and some executive appointments.

Basically, another 4 years of "f you, hippie".

If we're lucky, that's as bad as it will get.

If we're not, not.

Politics is about emphasis. There are a lot of good things in the world. There are a lot of bad things in the world. Political sides and even more so politicians choose which good things and which bad things to emphasize.

On the one hand I don't want to over-talk about Clinton's failed campaign. But on the other hand being really clear about what it was lets us decide what to keep.

My read of Clinton's emphasis in the campaign is something like this:

In general she didn't emphasize the good she wanted to do, she emphasized the bad that Trump might do.

To the extent that she talked about herself, she emphasized her continuity with her long political past rather than an explanation of how she has changed and why. This was an election where the voters on the margin were going to be voting for change, she needed to emphasize the change she wanted to make. In order to make it seem authentic she also had to explain WHY she made certain changes so she didn't look just like a panderer. I'm not actually sure she had the political skill to thread that needle. Which is a reason to wonder if she was such a good choice for this election.

Her campaign played up the "I'll be the first woman" in a way that Obama's did not play up "I'll be the first African-American". It emphasized an "It's my turn" thing that felt like it hung over the whole Clinton campaign extending back even into the primary.

I think a lot of her folks not being "fired up" was a matter of laziness on their part, and not taking Trump sufficiently seriously.

Does anyone here share my speculative opinion that, if there was do-over of the election, Clinton would win? Not that it matters - just curious.

If we're lucky, that's as bad as it will get.

given the velocity at which Trump's running away from his positions, we might turn out to be very lucky.

Trump told “60 Minutes” that Clinton “did some bad things,” but that ultimately the Clintons are “good people.”

“I don’t want to hurt them, I don’t want to hurt them,” he said. “They’re, they’re good people. I don’t want to hurt them. And I will give you a very, very good and definitive answer the next time we do 60 Minutes together.”

two weeks ago, the email nothing was 'worse than Watergate'. now they're good people - lying corrupt Hillary is now 'good people'.

If there was a do-over, I think the Clinton campaign would focus a lot more on GOTV in the three states that she narrowly lost: Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania. And pay a whole lot less attention to places like North Carolina and Arizona, perhaps even Florida, which were always going to be a stretch.

Yeah, it would have been great for the Democrats if she had managed to get those marginal states, too. But it was a matter of taking the campaign's collective eye off the critical point, which was to win the election at all.

"When I say that I am not faulting or criticizing Clinton. I think a lot of her folks not being "fired up" was a matter of laziness on their part, and not taking Trump sufficiently seriously."

I am going to rant a bit. This isn't aimed at you, russell, as this was a pretty mild statement, but it is a very mild statement of something that is often put much more harshly.

Firing people up, one way or another, is part of the job description of a politician. Liberals online have been putting the onus on voters to go to the polls first and second, vote for the right candidate and not "waste" their vote on third party candidates and they have made this a moral imperative. Maybe it is. I find the argument for voting and not going third party compelling most of the time, but not the moral outrage at those who disagree, because it takes away from the responsibility of the politician to give reasons why he or she should get your vote. There is no need for that, apparently, because it is the absolute moral duty transcending all others for people to give their vote to the Democrat--otherwise they are at best narcissists who don't care about others and at worse they are evil racists out to transform the US into a fascist state. We are all moral absolutists on some things and pragmatists on others and some people claim their pragmatism is their form of being politically moral, but there is an element of puritanism in the self-proclaimed pragmatists. And the browbeating may backfire. I am not saying that you are browbeating anyone with that comment, but in harsher form we have probably all seen that comment made countless times since the Nader debacle. Does it work? I doubt it. I listen to the logic and resent the browbeating. People sometimes can give arguments for why they think third party voting is valid--for instance, the threat may force a mainstream politician to modify his or her stances but the threat isn't there if everyone accepts that the Democrat has a right to your vote. And people whose lives are miserable under both parties may need to be told just why they should bother and it may not be obvious why they should. It is the responsibility of politician to convince people to vote for them. If they can't do it then they are in the wrong line of work. Reagan was very good at this. Reagan was seen as a nut by the liberal press and he won, as did Trump, but Reagan won the popular vote as well. By no means am I praising Reagan in general, but he was very good at winning elections and pushing his ideas through Congress.

This is from the WSJ, as reported elsewhere. You may have already seen it. I can't get through the WSJ pay/registration wall to the original article, but here's the quote:

"During their private White House meeting on Thursday, Mr. Obama walked his successor through the duties of running the country, and Mr. Trump seemed surprised by the scope, said people familiar with the meeting. Trump aides were described by those people as unaware that the entire presidential staff working in the West Wing had to be replaced at the end of Mr. Obama’s term."

It's so neat that he's going to be our new president.

And people whose lives are miserable under both parties may need to be told just why they should bother and it may not be obvious why they should.

People whose lives are "miserable"? I'm assuming you're talking about people who have jobs that pay poorly, or don't have jobs, or whose jobs are insecure. Or are you talking about people who have medical needs that aren't met? Or are you talking about people who have family problems? Or are you talking about people who can't get a date?

You should be more specific about which people are miserable, and what they want from politicians. Early on, we had a conversation about how "miserable people" don't want help from politicians.

I understand, and don't downplay, that there are people in poverty, and who have problems that society should help them with. But people in the "bad old days" also fought for union organization, and they voted for social programs. Now many just use their vote to, in Marty's framing, raise their middle fingers.

Reagan also appealed to racism, but the ideas he pushed through Congress had nothing to do with helping people. We need politicians who are charismatic and also will pursue helpful policies. Those people are rare. In the meantime, Americans have to step up their game.

By the way, Donald, in my despair I dismissed your suggestion to contribute to the ACLU as a valuable step. It is a valuable step, especially in the short term, before the legal system is destroyed. The prospect that it might be destroyed isn't a certainty, but it is a significant possibility.

"Firing people up, one way or another, is part of the job description of a politician. "

yes, it is a part of their job, as it is part of the job of any kind of leadership position.

and I don't think Clinton was as good at it as Trump was.

it's also part of a citizen's job to get informed, get engaged, and get off their @ss.

Trump's people were better at that than Clinton's people were.

which is to say, for probably most folks here, us.

we got beat. let it motivate you.

What the hell, I'll pile on. The cheap shots are just too easy to come by.

At least there's no racism in WV.

My favorite part is where the woman says that being called out on it is a hate crime against her.

If you want to know why hacking-knot-tying liberal coastal elitists think racism is a thing in Trump-land, this is why.

It's a thing.

thanks a lot, russell. you just insured that the Dems won't win WV for another 20 years.

That will be the good folks of WV's loss.

Does anyone here share my speculative opinion that, if there was do-over of the election, Clinton would win? Not that it matters - just curious.

Yes. Same with the Brexit, I guess. For comparision I do not believe that a re-do of the last election in Berlin would diminish the numbers of the RW populist AfD. The first two were (I hope) accidents, the latter (I fear) is a sign of a developing serious systemic malfunction.

The reason the Republican party decided to use demonizing, marginalizing divisiveness promoted in their political rhetoric on the campaign trail and thorough a network of hate-powered disinformation sites such as Breitbart was to create a base of voters who believed that it was an existential threat to them as citizens to have any election outcome except Republican victory. SO where does that tribalism come from? It was not created, probably, by the Republican leadership as a tactic toward the goal of a one=party state at a national level, but tribalism certainly has been promoted for that purpose. That's a big part about why their turn out is so consistent.

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