Donald Trump wins: Daily Bullshit, November 8-9, 2016 (updated again and again)

Horse race

I respond to Donald Trump’s victory in a blog post.

It might be helpful to pull together my writings on this election. I have attempted to be comprehensive so you can see for yourself how right and how wrong I was. The titles often speak for themselves. Sometimes I have added notes in parentheses:

It’s somewhat striking to see others saying something like what I said in my blog post. On one hand, it’s gratifying. But on the other hand, if you have to be told you “weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair,”[2] or if you’re only now listening to David Dayen when he writes the following because you’ve just gotten a hard slap across the face, that says something about your empathy and your compassion. It says you’re a fucking hypocrite:

You can believe that half the country is racist if you want, and there’s no question that there’s an undercurrent of anger in Trump’s stunning rise. But that anger isn’t directed at any individual ethnic group. It’s more inchoate than that. It’s rage at institutions that people believe have failed them forever. It’s rage at an economy that doesn’t work for ordinary folks. It’s rage at a cultural milieu that perceives too many non-coastal Americans as buffoons. It’s rage at the aftermath of a financial crisis and Great Recession, in which the gap between winners and losers just grew larger, and the two-tiered system of justice paraded on full display. It’s rage at an elite class that people feel is lined up against them.[3]

And if you’re only now pondering Michelle Dean’s point that “[t]he parallels between the two cases [of Donald Trump and Bill Clinton] . . . not only mirror each other in their particulars, they also reflect certain attitudes about women and sex long held by many men in power,”[4] then you need to stop calling yourself a feminist because your priorities were someplace besides personal autonomy for women.

And if you are a member of one of those groups, be it LGBTQ, Mexicans, Blacks, women, Muslims, the disabled, or any other group these progressives claim to care about, you’d better hold onto your wallet with both hands. Because what these assholes really care about are certain labels, not about human beings. I don’t know precisely what scam they’re running, but they’re running one.

What we’re seeing here is that a bunch of so-called ‘progressives’ really aren’t. They’re frauds. They’re in it because they think it’s the cool thing to do or because all their friends are ‘progressives’ or some other reason. But they aren’t concerned about human beings. And that makes them as hideous as any conservative.

As for the Democratic Party and the media—well, let me just let Thomas Frank take over:

To try to put over such a nominee [Clinton] while screaming that the Republican is a rightwing monster is to court disbelief. If Trump is a fascist, as liberals often said, Democrats should have put in their strongest player to stop him, not a party hack they’d chosen because it was her turn. Choosing her indicated either that Democrats didn’t mean what they said about Trump’s riskiness, that their opportunism took precedence over the country’s well-being, or maybe both.

Clinton’s supporters among the media didn’t help much, either. It always struck me as strange that such an unpopular candidate enjoyed such robust and unanimous endorsements from the editorial and opinion pages of the nation’s papers, but it was the quality of the media’s enthusiasm that really harmed her. With the same arguments repeated over and over, two or three times a day, with nuance and contrary views all deleted, the act of opening the newspaper started to feel like tuning in to a Cold War propaganda station. Here’s what it consisted of:

How did the journalists’ crusade fail? The fourth estate came together in an unprecedented professional consensus. They chose insulting the other side over trying to understand what motivated them. They transformed opinion writing into a vehicle for high moral boasting. What could possibly have gone wrong with such an approach?[5]

He concludes,

The even larger problem is that there is a kind of chronic complacency that has been rotting American liberalism for years, a hubris that tells Democrats they need do nothing different, they need deliver nothing really to anyone – except their friends on the Google jet and those nice people at Goldman. The rest of us are treated as though we have nowhere else to go and no role to play except to vote enthusiastically on the grounds that these Democrats are the “last thing standing” between us and the end of the world. It is a liberalism of the rich, it has failed the middle class, and now it has failed on its own terms of electability. Enough with these comfortable Democrats and their cozy Washington system. Enough with Clintonism and its prideful air of professional-class virtue. Enough![6]

Associated Press, “AP Calls The Election For Donald Trump,” Talking Points Memo, November 9, 2016, http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ap-calls-for-trump

David Dayen, “The ‘Deplorables Got the Last Laugh,” New Republic, November 9, 2016, https://newrepublic.com/article/138615/deplorables-got-last-laugh

Michelle Dean, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” New Republic, November 9, 2016, https://newrepublic.com/article/138038/dont-stop-believin-election-reckoning-sexual-assault

Jonathan Easley, “Pollsters suffer huge embarrassment,” Hill, November 9, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/305133-pollsters-suffer-huge-embarrassment

Lauren Fox, “Reports: Clinton Conceded To Trump Over The Phone,” Talking Points Memo, November 9, 2016, http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/clinton-conceded-to-trump-over-the-phone

Thomas Frank, “Donald Trump is moving to the White House, and liberals put him there,” Guardian, November 9, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/donald-trump-white-house-hillary-clinton-liberals

Annie Karni, “Shock, anger consume women at Clinton headquarters,” Politico, November 9, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/women-clinton-headquarters-2016-presidential-election-231049

German Lopez, “The diverse coalition that backed Clinton knows it isn’t looking good — and they’re scared,” Vox, November 9, 2016, http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/11/9/13572128/clinton-trump-scared-2016-election

Brad Reed, “Michael Moore’s tough words for liberals: ‘You weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans,’” Raw Story, November 9, 2016, http://www.rawstory.com/2016/11/michael-moores-tough-words-for-liberals-you-werent-paying-attention-to-your-fellow-americans/

Darren Samuelsohn, “Democrats: We ran into an unstoppable wave,” Politico, November 9, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/clinton-supporters-fallout-2016-election-231056

Tierney Sneed, “Trump wins in stunner,” Talking Points Memo, November 9, 2016, http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/trump-wins-the-presidency

Kenneth P. Vogel and Alex Isenstadt, “How did everyone get it so wrong?” Politico, November 9, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/how-did-everyone-get-2016-wrong-presidential-election-231036

Aaron Zitner, “Pollsters Whiffed on Voters’ Appetite for an Outsider,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/pollsters-whiffed-on-voters-appetite-for-an-outsider-1478679202

Aaron Zitner and Paul Overberg, “Rural Vote Fuels Trump; Clinton Loses Urban Grip,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/rural-vote-helps-donald-trump-as-hillary-clinton-holds-cities-1478664251


  1. [1]Jonathan Easley, “Pollsters suffer huge embarrassment,” Hill, November 9, 2016, http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/305133-pollsters-suffer-huge-embarrassment; Kenneth P. Vogel and Alex Isenstadt, “How did everyone get it so wrong?” Politico, November 9, 2016, http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/how-did-everyone-get-2016-wrong-presidential-election-231036; Aaron Zitner, “Pollsters Whiffed on Voters’ Appetite for an Outsider,” Wall Street Journal, November 9, 2016, http://www.wsj.com/articles/pollsters-whiffed-on-voters-appetite-for-an-outsider-1478679202
  2. [2]Michael Moore, quoted in Brad Reed, “Michael Moore’s tough words for liberals: ‘You weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans,’” Raw Story, November 9, 2016, http://www.rawstory.com/2016/11/michael-moores-tough-words-for-liberals-you-werent-paying-attention-to-your-fellow-americans/
  3. [3]David Dayen, “The ‘Deplorables Got the Last Laugh,” New Republic, November 9, 2016, https://newrepublic.com/article/138615/deplorables-got-last-laugh
  4. [4]Michelle Dean, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” New Republic, November 9, 2016, https://newrepublic.com/article/138038/dont-stop-believin-election-reckoning-sexual-assault
  5. [5]Thomas Frank, “Donald Trump is moving to the White House, and liberals put him there,” Guardian, November 9, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/donald-trump-white-house-hillary-clinton-liberals
  6. [6]Thomas Frank, “Donald Trump is moving to the White House, and liberals put him there,” Guardian, November 9, 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/donald-trump-white-house-hillary-clinton-liberals

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