Election 2016

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Something

So, I've got to write something, don't I.

I was wrong. In fact, I was the wrongest I've ever been. Like with so many things, I was wrong because I wasn't cynical enough, but still. I wasn't putting up a front the past few months. I predicted Trump would lose because I THOUGHT HE WOULD LOSE. Because I thought that nothing could be more motivating to America's large monster population than stopping a black man from being President.

But nope. Turns out Trump got more votes than McCain or Romney. So I guess what some people say is true. People really do need to feel like they're voting FOR something, not just AGAINST something. Even if that means voting for someone who's against the Jews.

So that's part of it. But it's not all of it. As of now, at least, without the final totals in, Hillary Clinton is lagging Barack Obama by 7-10 million in the popular vote. That's what the media call the "enthusiasm gap", and what I call the "Sarandon Factor", so that young people won't be confused when I call it the "Nader Effect". Which is fine if you live in a "safe state", but keep in mind that 24 hours ago, we thought Pennsylvania and Minnesota were 'safe states" and we lost Pennsylvania and Minnesota was uncomfortably close.

But ultimately, what led to the Trump victory was something I watched happen, and commented on repeatedly, and ultimately, should have affected my prediction if I hadn't been, well, too uncynical about it. Donald Trump was allowed to lie.

To be clear, I don't mean he was allowed to politics lie. That spinning and shading of truth, that misappropriation of statistics, that politics has lived off for as long as there have been politics. No, Donald Trump was allowed to make shit up, unchallenged, on a scale we have never seen before and will probably see in every campaign going forward. Mix that with a genuine old-school personality cult, and you have a recipe for what just happened.

The bitter itony, of course, is that the people responsible for creating that cult AND for letting him lie without consequence are the same people Trump berated from day one of his campaign, the news media. Their individual failures were manifold, but it's their collective failure that really made this possible.

So what solace can we take today? We can revel in the loss of Mark Kirk to Tammy Duckworth. We can enjoy the likely downfall of Pat McRory. And... that's about it. Trump has the Congress and can freely exercise his will, and the best we can hope for is that he's incompetent enough not to accomplish anything, and so prideful he won't let the people under him accomplish things with him as a figurehead.

We can't even look forward to that glorious day, two years from now, when his supporters wonder why the wall hasn't been started, and Hillary isn't in jail, and we haven't nuked Iran because one of their boats waved at us funny. Because Trump supporters will look at those failures and just blame the Jews.

The one positive takeaway from all this is that Trump received the support of 81% of Evangelicals, so there's a four in five chance that any Evangelical you meet with an I Voted sticker doesn't actually believe anything they claim to believe in and can be treated accordingly.

So, we muddle through. It'll be easier for me than it will be for a lot of you. I'm a straight white guy who doesn't rely on Obamacare to keep me alive. We hope for the best, and buy a pair of spiky shoulder pads and learn how to prepare squirrel in case of the worst. And, if we feel like it, take a trip to the grave of American Exceptionalism and piss on it.

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