I’ve seen a lot of conservative commenters and pundits proudly thump their chests and proclaim that last week’s victory by Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton was some kind of referendum on, or repudiation of, American liberalism and I have just one thing to say to that.
It’s actually pretty comically easy to refute this bold line of non-thinking.
You could and should look at Trump’s Electoral College margin of victory as a sign that conservatives, and more specifically Republican conservatives, aren’t anywhere near as dead as liberals in this country had hoped. But the simple and plain fact is that literally hundreds of thousands more Americans voted against Trump than for him. Right now Clinton’s got a million-plus vote advantage over him. That popular vote difference is only going to increase as most of the ballots left to count are in California.
Conservatives can and will consider themselves the rightful “winners” of the election. Under the established rules, they won. Now, you and I might tell them that without an arcane and anti-democratic electoral device they’d have lost, but this whole notion that Republicans defeated the sinister liberal agenda?
It’s absurd on its face.
The thing is, I’m not even arguing that Clinton’s margin of victory is so large that it proves Americans hate Republicans or conservatives. Because I’m not a fucking idiot who thinks every “real” American agrees with me and therefore my skewed view of the ideological makeup of this country is the right one. Even if Trump had pulled out a popular vote win, unless it was on the magnitude of several millions more votes, you simply cannot call that a crushing blow against any ideology.
We have a tremendously fractured and polarized electorate. The election results bear that out. Neither side should feel spectacular about 2016, whether they “won” or “lost.” Had Clinton not ignored the rust belt, we might not even be discussing this alleged trouncing of liberalism. And Trump didn’t win because of some massive conservative up-swell of support. He won because Clinton saw Democratic turnout evaporate.
Trump out performed Romney, but not enough to rightfully claim any kind of wave of Republicanism swept him into power.
Maybe when it comes to who sits in the Oval Office, popular votes are less important…if you’re a fucking idiot ideologue. Otherwise, it shows very clearly that more Americans did not want Trump as their president. Period. That’s the only takeaway Republicans should really focus on. They won on a bullshit technicality. If votes were points on a football field, the Electoral College just told Americans that even though Clinton scored a touchdown and an extra point more than Trump, she lost because the game was being played at a stadium built in the 18th century.
Republicans are in for one hell of a rude awakening if they think America’s left will be docile, passive observers of Trump’s presidency. They behave as if those chunks of red on the map are somehow unanimously Republican. They’re not. States like Mississippi are red as red can be, but the margin of victory so far in Michigan? Less than 150,000 votes. There’s plenty of reason for liberal Michiganders to be just as pissed and angry at Trump’s win as there are those who will celebrate.
The protests we see in major cities are being made by real Americans who are upset with Trump winning. For all the “Obummer’s taking our guns because he hates America and wants us to fail” bullshit we had to endure for eight years, special snowflake Republicans can now sit back and have a heaping helping of civil disobedience. Anger fomented over Dubya Bush’s presidency, and it’s the same reason it’ll grow under Trump.
When you know deep down by all rights he should have lost because there is nothing in the definition of republic — constitutional or otherwise — that says you can’t directly elect people, then you get a little angry watching people fuck up the job they shouldn’t have had in the first place.
You can see their apoplectic blathering when they complain about people protesting in big cities. They firstly try to conflate rioting and property damage with protests. But these are the same people that tell us we can’t be appalled by Christianity giving people like the Westboro Baptist Church excuses to behave like they do. And they’re actually right, that we shouldn’t generalize. Then again, ask any of them about Mexican immigrants or Muslims and you’ll be right back at the corner of Hypocrisy and Ignorance, won’t you?
So let’s just leave it at this, shall we?
Republicans: Congrats! You won!
You won fair and square and have every right to run the government for awhile. Just don’t be surprised when the Democrats obstruct Trump like you obstructed Obama. You’re going to call them hypocrites, and they totally are on this issue. But here’s the thing — Democrats got more votes last week, period. They won the popular vote totals in both the presidential and the congressional races. So unlike when the GOP did it for nearly a decade, the Democrats will at least be able to claim they’re standing up for the “majority,” or plurality, of Americans. That matters.
It doesn’t matter in terms of who sits in the Oval Office, but it matters in terms of the people that person is going to represent. You called Obama a divider. You said he didn’t make it “We, the People.” Well, it’s time for you all to take a heaping dose of some Humble Pie yourselves. Because in sheer population terms, we clearly outnumber you. One day I hope the left wakes up and takes mid-term elections seriously, and I hope that day is in 2018.
But regardless, Republicans, no, you didn’t refute liberal ideologies. You exploited an anachronistic and anti-democratic electoral device and won. If you were honest, you’d say that in certain parts of the country, status quo politics as usual was repudiated. But it wasn’t liberalism you defeated, not by a long shot.
So, I’m going to stay in my nice little libtard alcove out here in California and laugh non-stop at your short-breathed insistence you killed liberalism last week. Then when Trump inevitably fucks up royally and either quits or is impeached, I will re-share this article and laugh in your silly faces. You won, so go run the country guys. We’ll be the ones standing over your shoulder, anticipating the fuck-up we know from historical evidence is bound to happen. And then we’ll help you clean up your mess.
Because that’s what liberals do. We help. We tie your bootstraps for you, and we help.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.