Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

« November 2016 »

So after every election loss, everyone argues about whose fault it was, and most of you are usually wrong. And despite my track record of late, this is still You Are Dumb Dot Motherfucking Net, and if I can't tell everyone I'm right and they're wrong, what's the goddamned point?

So here's whose fault Tuesday isn't. It's not the fault of young people, or black people, or white women, or any subgroup you've heard about and feel didn't come out in significant numbers for Hillary Clinton. It's a shame that they didn't. I wish they had. But being wrong and being responsible are not the same things.

It's not the fault of the roughly half of the US voting age population that didn't bother to vote. That's a little lower than recent elections, but 40% of us never vote at all, and another 10% vote rarely, and there's nothing we can do about it under the current system. Again, wish they had, again, doesn't make it their fault.

It's not the people who voted third-party, or encouraged people to vote third-party. I mean, I disagree with them wholeheartedly, but many of them were in states where, even in this election, they could and did do so safely. And yes, Susan Sarandon, tweeting about how Trump's "mud" will allow beautiful crocuses to grow, is the expedient preening of someone of privilege unaffected by the already surging hate crimes in President Trump's name. But again, "wrong" and "responsible" are not the same thing.

It's not Hillary Clinton's fault. I say this as someone who heavily criticized the campaigns of both Al Gore and John Kerry. Those were bad campaigns. This was not a bad campaign. It didn't WORK, but it wasn't a bad campaign. Clinton ran, honestly or not, as a liberal, espousing liberal principles. Whether she got there on her own or got pulled there by Bernie is irrelevant. That's what she ran as. The problems with her candidacy are the problems with the public perception of her, and the majority of the public perception of her is a giant fucking lie perpetrated by decades of Republican attacks, many of them designed to do exactly what they did - squash her presidential aspirations. Not all of it, but enough of it that blaming the loss on nominating "Hillary Clinton" amounts to victim-blaming.

Sixty million Americans cast votes for Donald Trump, a known bigot, misogynist, and racist with close ties to the white supremacy movement. Many of those Americans knew that and approved of it. Many others knew of it and were able, somehow, to look past it for a variety of reasons. Some people should have known it, but were allowed to have a reasonable doubt about it by a media culture that taught the controversy, and some people didn't know about it because they were ignorant and shouldn't have been.

It's their fault. Nobody else's. They voted for a monster because they are monsters, or they voted for a monster because the monster was wearing their team's uniform, or they voted for a monster because they looked it up on the Internet and some people said he was a monster and some people said he wasn't so they figured who can know anything, really? Or they heard how awful it was that Hillary called some of them "deplorables" and didn't realize that DIDN'T MAKE IT NOT TRUE.

You wanna get mad, get mad at them. Because there are more of them than you thought there were, and that's the problem you have two years to learn how to crack to minimize the carnage.