Electiofication: Fake News x Fake Politics
News shocker! I can’t believe it. No, really, I don’t believe it at all. Well, I maybe buy like 15% of it, give or take the variable-rate margin of error that overhyped public opinion polls work with (don’t really believe those, either). Trust me, I work in politics. That said…
Donald Trump won’t actually take the win for Presidency; Hillary Rodham Clinton will be elected the winner and 45th President of the United States of America. Bet on it. Election Night, 2016, here in the US, was not something for the books; it was something custom-made for reality TV — because it was, in essence, staged. This is why (if you believe me).
Not Fake News! Spoiler Alert!!
This is why I wrote this: why Hillary will triumph, if we can say that much. Trump’s win is staged, scripted, and wildly, inappropriately and disturbingly entertaining. I just wrote my take on the election (see below these bullet points), but it’s long and drawn out, like this election and all of our nation and world’s ongoing aftermath and pre-Trumpocalyptic scenario convos.
So here’s the summary of my take on it first — a prediction for the 2016 US Presidential Election (current, still, yes — and yeah, I said this on Election Day, so, just for the record):
- Hillary will invariably be reinstated the winner of the 2016 US Presidential Election, inaugurated this January, 2017, by way of the Electoral College being swayed to swing their votes, its abolishment, or related channels.
- Trump lies, media hypes and Hillary prevails — scathed but intact, with or without tact — regardless of anybody’s opinion, voice or vote in the matter. Same story all year. What did we learn from the 2016 Election rhetoric, speeches, debates and news coverage? Read between the lines.
- Trump will decry his overturned Electoral College projections like any other fake-sounding, disingenuous reactionary Tweet he’s posted — but he’ll accept it, and he’ll transition back to his life as a privatized citizen. Sound improbable? Think about it. It’s not that shocking.
- Civil War? People who voted for Trump know that they’re not right, and will react accordingly. But it won’t compare in nature or scale to our protests and movement for civil and human rights right now, or ever. That said, the civil war within the hearts and minds of America may play out even more divisively and dangerously in time to follow.
- America’s two-party system will remain intact and even be normalized, in the aftermath of the reality-bending experience our country has yet to get a grip on. Crazy right-wing political figures —the usual suspects, Tea Party fringe and all — vetted and re-branded by their degree of association to Trump, will be re-evaluated for sanity via public opinion and mass media-mediated news narratives (From Pence to Gingrich to Romney and back).
- Democratic Party politics will phase into Clinton 2.0, which, given the state of our divided nation, is pretty much what it sounds like. Yes, we should be at progressive politics 3.0, but that’s a different talking point. Clintonites from the Obama and Clinton eras — and yes…all of us ”Millennials”… (whatever) who ran or walked with Hillary will march along with the political winds of 2017 forward. Maybe not fast forward, but #forward. Berniecrats will need to push the envelope in that arena…
- What did we learn from House of Cards? Scandal? Madam Secretary? Anything can happen, and often does, even if you haven’t heard about it (yet). This election is full of surprises, so Trump winning, an Electoral College kill switch, Trump being upset and Hillary ultimately winning shouldn’t be so surprising. After all, politics has been so predictable for so long (aside from all the scandals, violence and ongoing blatant civil rights violations to date), that this would actually be the sane, normal outcome.
- Trump is selling his negatively disruptive role to a T — which has distanced both leftist, centrist and right-wing politics so far off-base that the Electoral College, mass media, trending social media and even Wall Street has balked, where not outright protested the outcome and pending administration’s advance from the very inception of its reality. He will continue to push his envelope, with triggering Cabinet appointments, preferential family clearance and residence requests, etc.
- The American people are not buying Trump (the other half, myself included, obviously), challenging the election outcome and the transition from President Obama’s administration to the unlikely, seemingly alternate reality that we are currently spiraling within. Unprecedented popular protest on another level — both online and offline — not seen since the Bush years or ever, really, has evinced real consideration of Electoral College sway this December — which would be just in time for Christmas, the New Year and a peaceful transition into the brave new world that our country — and world — evidently has been waiting for (and bracing for). Which reality are you buying for Christmas this year?
- I Want To Believe. The Truth Is Out There. Watching the X-Files throughout high school and the President Bill Clinton Era taught me, among many things, that the axiom “the truth is stranger than fiction” is, for better or worse, ultimately the truth. So when Doctor Strange and Arrival hit theaters the week of the election and both movies seem refreshingly more normal than the strange reality we are actually living in today, something is definitely wrong with this picture — but ultimately, it is our reality to determine, to change, if we will it to power. Yeah, I know. Just watch the movies.
Here’s how I started writing this — the way most of us are recalling this entire experience these days, anyway — like a traumatic experience we need to retrace in order to put it all perspective. That said, I stand by my predictions and, if wrong, will move on past the denial stage sometime in January. But for the record, don’t trip. Because, well, Hillary — and #NotMyPresident.
Like most Americans, I get my news from the internet and TV and all the people who get news and get word to me first. Election Day was pretty exciting — here on the West Coast, in California, we’re pretty optimistic about things, despite the “complicated” — yet so simple — state of politics in our acutely divided nation. After voting for progressive issues and Democratic candidates down the ballot, I left with a renewed sense of vigilance about elections and civic engagement in our country. So I went to see if I could sway a few more votes #forward and catch a post-election wrap party before calling it a night.
By the time I walked in the door, Trump was ahead of Hillary, 200-something to 200-something less Electoral Votes, according to varying mass media, network news projections. Commentators were already cautiously beside themselves, wary not to call the election, but prepared for something of an upset and even more upsetting — the eventuality that Donald Trump could somehow win this election, and more importantly — or at least as importantly — that Hillary Clinton would not. I did what I like to think most people would do — and jumped online to Tweet about it.
At first sight, I dismissed the early projections the way many of us have gotten used to, given the corruption in electoral politics we experienced during both the 2000 and 2004 US Presidential Elections. Having worked for both of President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns (disclaimer), as well as many close elections, I knew that exit polls and news projections can be often slightly if not wildly inaccurate. Pollsters will argue as long as people pay them to survey that their polls are stunningly accurate. If you are feeling stunned at the results of the election, ask yourself which news source or political poll you trust.
That said, I didn’t trip off the results and hypotheticals at 9:30pm on Election Night, as off as they seemed. My dad was pretty concerned, though. I felt like getting him a cigarette. But cigarettes are a poison, death, and a lie, like much in politics, so I just reassured him that Hillary would win, until he thought that was a lie, too. Go figure. We just kept watching the news. We didn’t even need coffee, and I’m not sure it was adrenaline. It was just kind of a magnetic pull, some gravity-defying event horizon, the entire experience. We just had to know. It kind of reminded me of an episode of House of Cards gone wrong. Like something’s wrong with this picture. So yeah, picture this:
The election was not a setup — the election was already set up. But you knew that. Superdelegates? Fake News? No other women or people of color in the Democratic Party were up to run for President? And yes, Jill Stein also ran. Even if you didn’t #FeelTheBern, you knew he was telling the truth. Rosario Dawson called it. Your otherwise apolitical, apathetic friends on Facebook and at work brought it up without your solicitation, for a change. Political commentators who generally shy from calling out the status quo, establishment party politics of the Clinton Dynasty — embedded even in President Obama’s own Democratic Party organic machine — played both sides of the election circuit, giving air time and platform to equivocating the rhetorical volleys between Hillary and Trump. It was kind of a joke to watch it all play out, until we felt it was all played out — and ready to vote and for it to be finally over.
But you knew the election wasn’t legit to begin with — so how could it truly be legit in the end? Trump’s election victory speech delivery felt like a WWE speech. Podesta’s reassurance earlier that night and Hillary’s quick turnaround concession the next morning — and finally, a heartfelt, though heartbreaking speech — just remind me of the tragic fate of deleted emails or something. I’m not buying this, no matter how official it looks. The Office of the President of the United States of America is not a reality TV contest, though it may seem that way (not to diss reality TV, which probably shares our reaction to all this, and is often realer than we think — just saying).
Don’t believe everything you read or see these days. There’s plenty of fakeness to go around in news and politics these days. Appreciate the shift in politics we’ve achieved for the last two terms, it means something. I’m going to miss President Obama, truly. Change you can believe in is the change you wish to see in the world. Get involved. Start with your will, and continue the movement with conversations, confronting the issues that aren’t so easy to face— not just with your vote — but with your voice.
There is more conspiracy than conspiracy theory at work in politics. In fact, much political work happens behind the scenes — which by definition is, actually, conspiracy. It’s nothing new. Both the Republican National Committee and Democratic National Committee are counterbalanced and highly invested in maintaining the binary two-party, partisan political system at play in the US, so this has always been about preserving politics — read business — as usual. Believe what you will, but remember to will what you believe.
Third party politics and a progressive, proactive movement for real political change in our country, world and generation is a longer, more relevant conversation — and worth so many more blogs and articles. That will be our duty to write, speak and move to power in the reality to follow. Until then, roll with the punches, get back up, stick and move and don’t count anything out until the final round!