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We Need to Understand What Happened on Election Night, and Fast


#1

We Need to Understand What Happened on Election Night, and Fast

Sonali Kolhatkar

The first thing that occurred to me when predictions of a Trump Presidency were apparent was, “How am I going to explain this to my 9-year old?” My son went to bed last night asking me who was going to win. I told him I wasn’t sure but that it would probably be Hillary Clinton and that I would tell him when he woke up the next morning. He had voted in a mock election earlier that day at his school where two sides argued left-wing policies like free, universal healthcare and humane immigration policies against right-wing ones.


#2

The DNC needs to show up at the methadone clinic today to kick its three decade corporate money addiction.


#3

This election provided my daughter her first opportunity to vote for president, a responsibility she took seriously. It is too bad the DNC didn't take it as seriously as she did. Her vote was never going to count for much in this red state, but my heart aches for her as she understands the implications of a Trump presidency on her generation, and that somehow she is party to it all.

I told her that the importance of voting is blown way out of proportion. It is what you do to build democracy day to day that's makes the difference. The words of Joe Hill have never been more relevant: Don't mourn; organize!


#4

Red States. You chose:
-hate
-fear
-ignorance
-anti-choice
-anti-healthcare as a human right
-uneducated
-anti-intelligence
-anti-science
-anti-reality
-anti-environmentalism
-anti-Earth
-racism
-bigotry
-authoritarianism
-misogyny
-fascism
-masochism
-nationalism
-xenophobia
-exclusion
-the 1%

What a shame. What a sham.


#6

The simple example of the rust belt states is telling.

Pennsylvania , Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin were all deemed to be leaning Democrat or strongly Democrat.

Clinton lost all four. This was not because of racists ,sexists or peoples opposed to abortion. This was not because of "uneducated racists".

It was because Trump said he would tear up and renegotiate the Free Trade deals and tax the imports of things like cars coming in from Mexico if the Corporations moved jobs there.

While this does not mean he will follow through the voter had no track record to look at that would lead to them not believing him.

Clinton flip flopped on thesedeals so many times, first supporting them and then not, telling investors and the 1% one thing and the public another all the while claiming she on the side of the worker. Far too many voters could not trust her.

Sanders would have been seen as trustworthy.

This at the feet of the corrupt DNC and their desire for Corporate cash.


#7

Amen.


#8

Lack of voter passion cost the democrats the White House and the Senate. Bernie showed the DNC what passion could do and Clinton could manufacture none of it.


#9

Perhaps you should have explained to your 9-year old son that there is no such thing as "free universal health care", unless all the providers are donating goods and services. Since I'm a funding taxpayer, I'm guessing they're not. How do you consider tax-funded as "free"?..government Bake Sale?


#10

What "universal health care" ?

Yes, universal health care would be tax funded, benefiting ALL taxpayers.

Obamacare is not universal health care, it is taxpayer funded corporate welfare for insurance and drug companies. Although Obamacare avails MORE Murkins of medical insurance coverage, it doesn't give ALL Murkins coverage, so Obamacare is not even universal medical insurance, and even if it was, insurance is a financial product, not a healthcare product.


#11

Clinton lost because she deserved to lose. Clinton lost because "educated" liberals, read "neoliberals", are not liberals at all. Rather they are the right wing of the Democratic Party which thought they, with the help of their co-conspirators, could steal the election from the Party's people's real choice, Bernie Sanders. Bill and Hillary Clinton have huge amounts of baggage and corruption associated with them everywhere they go. Can you imagine that the real democrats are very weary of tolerating that baggage? I was and I can. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of our now quite established two tiered justice system. That would be a positive outcome of last night. Possibly Donald Trump will see that endless wars spread over the entire globe cannot continue if we are to have the money to rebuild our infrastructure and put people back to work. Maybe he is a man of the business deal and will see that negotiating with other countries for needed resources is far more efficient and "manly" than bullying the small kid and just stealing those resources that don't belong to us by right. Hopefully, (oh how I hate to use that so tread on and misused word), we will see business deals and true diplomacy as the new norm for our government rather than the overthrow of governments and assassination of foreign leaders which has for way too long been our modus operendi. She came, we saw and now, hopefully, the Clinton's have been buried forever from our sight. That is the one good thing to come of this. For the second opportunity, if we will just act on it, the opportunity to get rid of the neoliberals who masquerade as Democrats and banish them in disgrace to some far away place where they can chew on the last of their big fat cigars and relish in shameful egotism what could have been for them. Now let's demand an end to War and get on our ponies and ride up to North Dakota and help stop the DAPL.


#12

Sonali

Spending some time in the mid west might help you better understand the mentality of Trump voters.
Coasters never seem to get it.


#13

Now the Clintons can spend more time with their money, er family.


#14

Thank you notwistalemon, for you excellent comment--you are absolutely right.


#15

The author, Sonali Kolhatkar, should take this opportunity to explain to her 9-year-old that Hillary Clinton and her supporters rigged the nomination for her, and cheaters should never be allowed to win.


#16

It's no mystery. Democrats should have listened to their left instead of giving it the finger, both literally and figuratively.

Let's see whether it takes 30 more years of digging in and drifting to the right.


#17

The idea that corporations are "moving jobs" to China or Mexico is based on an absurdly simple minded conception of how manufacturing works. A complex product is assembled from components manufactured by many - hundreds - of supplier manufacturing firms who are themselves largely home grown and supporting critical numbers of their own country's jobs. The product manufacturing corporation must, under capitalism, seek the cheapest suppliers - and those suppliers can produce the components for cheapest will get the contract. Very quickly, the part and component manufacturing country becomes so specialized and efficient that parts are not available domestically at any price. All electronic semiconductor and most passive components are simply not available in the US, and will not ever be coming back - various Asian countries not only make them cheaper but are superior quality.

The lithium batteries, hub motors and motor controllers and most importantly, lithium batteries for the scooters that have allowed me to commute carbon-free for the past 10 years can only be had at any price from China or only the Chinese manufacturers seem to be willing to sell these things in small numbers to garage-EV building schmucks like me. I need to buy new Chinese lithium cells for my scooter soon - I better do it before January 20.

Regarding final car assembly - there are only two small GM and Chrysler plants in Mexico, they mostly make models that are not even sold in the US, and the presence of these two plants is more than offset by dozens of European and Japanese car manufacturers who have built assembly plants the US which take advantage of the comparatively cheap (by Euro or Japanese standards), beaten down, non-union labor, and proximity to market, in the US south and southern Midwest.

But most importantly of all, calls for national protectionism is absolutely inimical to the interests of the left. It is: "Workers of the WORLD unite." not "Workers of the USA unite against their brothers in China and Mexico".


#18

I live in the Rust Belt and no, I still don't understand it. Are they really so stupid as to think that their union-busting capitalist bosses are their friends (most of them ARE employed and doing fairly well - and the core of the support is small shop owners - did they threaten to shut the business down if Trump didn't win?) and that it is all because of immigrants and trade deals - even though almost all of the manufacturing job losses and union-bustings happened in the 1980s - way before NAFTA?


#19

The polls did not work in 2016 because they have always used a very small sampling of the population. They could predict results pretty well from that sampling because they could classify people along the lines of a handful of principles and match that to a demographic.

The paradigms of those divisions changed because the Democratic Party officialdom re-envisioned itself as the party of international finance and business, embracing the human rights abuses, the constitutional infractions, the persecution of reporting, and escalation of black ops mayhem and war. The party emphatically abandoned its always vastly imperfect FDR-related embrace of working people on the lower end of the working class; Clinton added egregious and very public contempt to that. These people have long imagined themselves as middle class (ourselves, I suppose, in most ways, though I would stay home before I would vote for Trump or Clinton). The Republicans have managed to some degree to reinvent themselves as localists rather than as rich-guy elites. This does tie in with the racism and xenophobia, though one may be localist in many ways without adopting or condoning all or any of that.

For decades, I voted Democrat pretty routinely, right on down the ballot. The 3rd parties were not going to win, and the Republicans looked and sounded like Republicans. Before I vote Democratic now, I have to ask which kids I am bombing, which journalists I am torturing or imprisoning, and which democratic processes I am abrogating.

We are in a mess, and most Republicans would tell you that, too--which is not a wonderful indication. But if the Democratic Party is going to be any major part of an answer, it has to get rid of almost all of its major players, almost all of its power structure, not just the well known people, but the people in official positions who fell in line behind them. I cannot imagine that that is how it will respond because it involves professional politicians short-circuiting their careers.


#20

Diebold?


#21

All truisms!

Early in October, after returning from a 2-week trip to the States, I posted my experience of witnessing massive support for Trump in the four Midwest states I visited. My post wasn't well-accepted.

People are hurting ... really hurting. Many have been hurting for years! It is beyond economics now. The hurt is down to their very soul.

The elites, regardless of political affiliation, have never been able to relate to the working class. They have no idea of the loss of self-worth a person and a family experience when they are working as hard as they can and are unable to stay afloat. This is more than economics ... it's a condition that absolutely crushes the spirit of a person 24/7/365. This condition causes one permanent state of being: despair.

The Democrats lost America when they chose the elites over the working class. Bill Clinton's "triangulation" (especially over NAFTA and the destruction of the need for genuine welfare) was the origin and the root cause of the Democratic losses across the country. The Democrats chose money and power over the needs of the people. Yesterday's national election results was the fruition of that systemic and systematic decision.

Whether we agree or not with the election results or the messenger, the votes of the working class were given a voice yesterday. That voice was shouting from the rooftops the need for good jobs, living wages and a fair chance in life against the machinations of the elite ruling class.

Note: There is no way in the world I believe a Trump presidency with Republican control of both Congressional houses can or will afford any relief to the everyday life and death struggles of the working class. I believe the conditions for the working class will worsen before it gets better.