3 reasons we lost.
“How the FUCK could this happen?!!!!” we screamed, “How could a racist, misogynistic, reality TV star who is being investigated for RAPING A 13 YEAR GIRL be elected PRESIDENT!!!”
I’ll give you three reasons. One: we, the center and the left, had a spectacularly bad candidate, two we underestimated the racism of the country, and finally the liberal center has stopped identifying with working class people and is seen as the party of “those people.” In no way is this all the reasonswe lost just the ones I feel confident in writing about.
We had a bad candidate. Yes, Hillary was a more qualified cannidate than Trump.
Also Adriana Grande is a better singer than Katy Perry, Revenge of the Sith was a better movie than the Phantom Menace, and a three day old Mc Donald’s hamburger tastes better than a steaming pile of shit. She wasn’t good enough.
We had a candidate that was corrupt. The Podesta emails show us that the DNC colluded with the Clinton campaign giving her debate questions before hand, how the Clinton foundation enriched itself off Hati donations, how the DNC colluded with the Clinton campaign to smear Bernie sanders.
And she constantly flips her positions. She supported the war in Iraq until she didn’t, she supported the TPP until she didn’t, and she opposed marriage equality until she didn’t.
Hillary Clinton follows the economic ideology of neoliberal capitalism that has devastated labor in this country. This idea in a nutshell drops tariffs and creates competition in labor driving down wages and cutting benefits. The effects of this are best dramatized by the Oscar winning film, Zombie Strippers.
A heart warming family film, Zombie Strippers is about a zombie outbreak is an underground strip club. the dancers in this club are exploited by the club owner to the extant that after one of the strippers is bitten buy a zombie and losses her inhibitions causing the crowd to go wild and the club makes more money. Unable to compete one by one the human strippers succumb to the pressure and become zombies. Because zombies are inherently chaotic, the system breaks down.
How many of us over the last thirty years have experienced something similar with the pressure for pay cuts, the elimination of health benefits and pensions. We have degraded ourselves in order to compete with overseas workers, our wages have stagnated and we’ve been given types of credit such as student loans and mortgage back securities that take lifetimes to pay back while being subjected to intense propaganda to buy more and more stuff.
Trump, when he wasn’t being racist our bragging about sexual assault, did tap into something real that affected lots people the effects of neo liberalism and found a different scapegoat.
We had a candidate which has been the target of 30 years of brainwashing and hate. Let me tell you about my stepfather Joe. Joe is one of the best men I have ever known. He was the father figure I did my teen age rebellion against, and he still loved me. When my mother was dying he stuck with her, visiting everyday, and sending daily emails about her condition. In the eulogy I wrote for my mom I compared him to Superman (who’s really Jesus with a red cape but that’s a different essay.)
He’s really one of the kindest, most generous, and smartest men I know.
Except when he starts talks politics he’s full of shit. He watches Fox News, he listens to talk radio and occasionally he gets those emails. He thinks that Arkansas put up signs that informed people that bill Clinton is a sex offender. He thinks Vince Foster was murdered. He thinks that welfare is 70% percent of the national budget. He thinks that the media has an extreme liberal bias. He thinks that the federal government bought up .22 ammo during the Obama administration. While most these rumors were proven false the right wing media has told and retold them for the last 30 years. As the old saying says, “If you repeat a lie often enough it becomes a republican talking point.”
We, the Center and Left, underestimation of amount of racism in this country (at least us white “allies” did.”) There are three kinds of racism prelevent in the US:
The first is white entitlement. White people feel like they arte entitled to
Jobs. I’ve talked to white day laborers who feel resentful that “the Mexicans and Koreans are getting all the jobs.” I’ve felt it in myself. There are white people talking about their 2nd amendment rights and wearing their Glocks into Fred Myers intimidating other shoppers while black kids are murdered by police playing in public parks. White people feel as a class they deserve to have their opinions taken seriously and disregard others opinions, and get upset when a expert person of color’s opinion is taken more seriously than theirs. They claim that this is a kind of oppression, but like they say “equality feels like oppression to the privileged”
The second is white fear. This fear is because of the changing demographics of this country, the shifting cultural norms, and the economic insecurities. Many whites I’ve talked to bring up the “whites will be the majority minority” meme. They are afraid of raising violence (violence has actually gone down over the last three decades) they think that there were race riots in Ferguson, that Black Lives Matter is a racist organization, that is planning to take over the country, and that Muslims are infiltrating America to implement and enforce Sharia law. They are afraid of losing the political and cultural power and privilege that they have historically enjoyed.
These two racisms are closely related to white ignorance. With social media and cable talk news we live in media bubbles that reinforce our prejudices. I, for instance, listen to NPR, my twitter feed follows Vice magazine, Adbusters, and occupy wall street. Americans surround ourselves with people who think alike. So when someone watches Fox News, reads Brietbart.com and can’t tell the difference between the real news and the fake news on Facebook it creates and reinforces racism.
I’ve talked to white people who think who think slavery was benevolent, that blacks had it good under slavery. (I encourage them to read Fredrick Douglas.) Some think that most black people live in poverty (in truth only about a third do), that illegal immigrants are streaming across the border and getting welfare (the amount of undocumented workers coming here has gone down under President Obama and if you’ve ever applied for wel fare you know how many hoops you have to jump threw and prove your identity) and that people on welfare are eating welfare are eating lobster (the average food stamps pay out is $8 dollars a day per person.) These divisions ans prejudices can only be solved by person to person contact. That’s the only way to bypass the propaganda whites are receiving.
As Malcolm X said “We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.”
The third reason we lost is that the left has had a disconnection from the majority of working class voters. We’ve had a social liberal out look focusing on lgbt issues, racial and immigration issues. Issues that are important but we haven’t done a good job of tying Issues things together.
The Center and the Left not talking about issues that matter to everyone. In math when you are adding or subtracting fractions what do you do? You find the lowest common denominator. What does the evangelical christen male have in common with the transgendered atheist? That does the immigrant who just arrived here and the woman who’s family came over on the may flower have in common? They all need jobs! 99% percent of us work or would be working if we could. We through, both our labor and our purchasing power, make this country run. We need to focus on labor organizing, and community organizing, not just to put a candidate on the ticket but to identify and fix problems ourselves. This isn’t to say that we should ignore bigotry. There is a balance that is needed here.
This, I think, is the things that we, the left and the center, need to do before the 2018 elections. We need to get decent candidates that represent our progressive values, we need to fight the different kinds of white racism, and we need to focus on the issues that matter to all of us. If we keep doing this we will continue to lose.