America, We Hardly Knew Ye

I’ve had this article in the pipeline for the last couple of weeks now. I’m not sure what it is about it, exactly, that I remain unhappy with; perhaps I’m just unhappy to have been reduced to this sort of tone. At any rate, I have many more thoughts on the election and what’s come of it, particularly on Hillary Clinton, that hopefully I’ll be able to articulate to you at some later date. For now, though, Inauguration Day is tomorrow, and it’s time for this article to go up, ready or not.

“Truly, they were as gods who built this place!”
– Bender, examining the ruins of a 20th Century New York Pizzeria, “Futurama”

Negative 17 days into the Trump presidency, the brain drain had already begun. American students are applying to Canadian universities in record numbers, which, while predictable, demonstrates that American students are poorly educated on the topics of nuclear strike targets and of westerlies and trade winds. In the now-inevitable event of a nuclear exchange, pretty much anywhere in the northern hemisphere is the last place you’d want to be. Regardless of who were to launch first (assuming the hostile actor is America or Russia, but let’s be honest: we all know who we’re worried about here), all nuclear-capable nations will likely have fired off most of their arsenals before a single bomb landed. The targets of American bombs would be cities in Russia and, in all probability, China, while the targets of Russian (and possibly Chinese) bombs would be cities in America and in nuclear-capable countries allied with America, mainly those in Western Europe. From America, winds would carry the radioactive nuclear fallout into Canada, and the surfeit of fallout in North America and Eurasia would result in nuclear winter across the northern hemisphere, subjecting the survivors there to widespread crop failure. In unrelated news, Australia has greatly expanded their Working Holiday Visa program.

It took but mere moments for the post-election narrative of exactly what the hell had just happened to emerge. The right wing, tired of years of contempt and ostracization from the left–which they were definitely, never, ever, EVER, even maybe just once, guilty of themselves–came out in force to elect the most contemptible supervillain reality saw fit to cast upon us. Of course, there’s an obvious reason that this is immediately bullshit: Trump, taking advantage of a system which was designed to give states that permitted slavery extra representation beyond that of their voting citizens, managed to win an election despite losing the popular vote by nearly three million ballots. And how fitting is it, really, that the would-be American Mussolini should rise to power on the shoulders of a bizarre, antebellum voting mechanism with a uniquely racist history?

Those opposed to Trump are now routinely chastised in the media–often by others also opposed to Trump–for having a “smug superiority” to rural voters. The rise of Trump, we’re told, is because rural voters resent the left calling them racist when they do racist things, or sexist when they do sexist things. More laughably, it’s because of the attention cities receive, as if putting a majority of your attention on the places where a majority of your citizens and infrastructure are is just bananas (never mind that this isn’t actually where the U.S. budget is going). But of course, to get them to understand what bigoted things are when they say or do them is apparently folly. On the topic of People Who Hate Trump giving shit to Other People Who Hate Trump, this month’s most unbearable episode brings us the usually-astute Anthony Bourdain waxing idiotic about why the election was lost.

“The utter contempt with which privileged Eastern liberals such as myself discuss red-state, gun-country, working-class America as ridiculous and morons and rubes is largely responsible for the upswell of rage and contempt and desire to pull down the temple that we’re seeing now.

“I’ve spent a lot of time in gun-country, God-fearing America. There are a hell of a lot of nice people out there, who are doing what everyone else in this world is trying to do: the best they can to get by, and take care of themselves and the people they love. When we deny them their basic humanity and legitimacy of their views, however different they may be than ours, when we mock them at every turn, and treat them with contempt, we do no one any good.”

Ah, so now we understand. We were the dicks this whole time for rejecting the notions of prejudice and hatred. The people who lament safe spaces in colleges and political correctness in society had their feelings hurt because people told them their racist jokes were racist. We have denied them their basic humanity! They’re nice people out there, in “gun-country,” in “God-fearing America.” Nice people advocate for sexual assault and xenophobia. It’s what all the nice people are doing! And to hell with you if you think you’re better than them because of it. A disposition which, again, they would never have. Right?

In short, the society rejected their bigoted bullying and intimidation, and so they elected a literal bully. The closest we came to racial understanding this year was Glenn Beck ranting about pie. Now, enough about the people who reject U. S. intelligence on the election but got tricked by Colin Powell and a vial of baking soda. Now I am going to talk shit about Hillary Clinton, and the real reason why the Democrats lost the election.

Hillary Clinton is nothing. Do you understand that? Hillary Clinton did not understand this. Hillary Clinton thought that having the most milquetoast, status quo policy positions would place her as a safe alternative against lunacy. Hillary Clinton was wrong, and–and this part is key, now–Bernie Sanders supporters were right. An election is not something that is won by popular opinion, as mandatory voting is not something that exists in America. An election is won with mobilization. And yes, Donald Trump mobilized many supporters on racism. But he gained even more when he hit Hillary on the banks, and her having been in the Obama Administration–yes, Democrats, you’re the establishment when you’re in charge–and her being investigated by the FBI, and her husband meeting with the U. S. Attorney General while she was being investigated, and all of this stupid, typical, smarmy politician bullshit that raises all kinds of red flags for corruption and inauthenticity. And to combat this barrage of credibility-damaging evidence, Hillary Clinton offered nothing. No particular plan, like Build A Wall, or Universal College Tuition, or Medicaid For All, that she was pushing, no grand vision that people could rally around. And, to put a fine point upon her carefully-cultivated image of Generic Politician Robot, she used electioneering software that told her not to even visit Wisconsin or Michigan, the latter of which she lost to Sanders in the primaries despite the same software telling her she had a comfortable lead then, as well. Instead of canvassing anywhere and everywhere there could be a potential Hillary voter, she went to high-stakes fundraising dinner after high-stakes fundraising dinner, determined to instill in the voters the knowledge that she would be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the gremlins pumping money into her coffers.

Unlike Bernie Sanders, however, a comfortable lead over Donald Trump is not something Hillary Clinton ever possessed, and for that Hillary Clinton is my biggest loser of 2016. Hillary Clinton gambled this country away trying to calculate her way toward being a more efficient politician. If elections were poker hands, Hillary Clinton put America on the table while holding a hand full of those cards that explain the rules for other card games. I started this article with a description of what happens when people fire lots of nuclear weapons at one another. You probably already understand this already as Mutually Assured Destruction. You understand this. I understand this. Vladimir Putin understands this. I voted for Hillary Clinton because she understands this. Donald Trump does not understand this. Donald Trump has the temperament of a small child. This is a problem. And Hillary Clinton’s incompetence gave you this problem.

Responsibility for this problem does not lie solely with Hillary Clinton, however, but also with the Democratic National Committee. They just couldn’t stand it, could they? With the barbarians at the gates, a true, progressive nominee for President, one who was mobilizing the democratically-advantageous younger generations to campaign and rally for him. They couldn’t handle it. Every fiber in their being yearns to be the establishment. Barney Frank was questioned during the primaries on Bernie Sanders’s small-donor fundraising and whether or not the Democratic Party should do that. He cautioned against “unilateral disarmament” and countered with a question of his own: “Do you think it would really be better for liberals, regulators, if all the money from the banks went to Republicans, as opposed to just 80 percent?”

Well, Barney, if I was told I was going to fight a guy, and that he’d be paid four times what I’d be paid, I’d have a pretty good idea that I was being paid to lose. Barney Frank, plainly, does not understand this. Hillary Clinton did not understand this. Debbie Wasserman Schultz wouldn’t understand this if it fell out of the sky, hit her on her head, and told her it was from Cuba and wanted asylum. The Democrats as a whole do not understand this.

That is why they fail.

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10 comments

  1. What’s highly ironic is that the electoral college was first proposed by liberal Democratic hero Alexander Hamilton.

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed68.asp

    Not sure if it made the musical or not.

    People freaking out and worrying about the end of the world make me feel old. They seem too young to remember the “we’re all going to die when Al Qaeda gets a suitcase nuke” Bush years, let alone the Reagan years, where nuclear war *was* a real possibility. Even I’m too young to have lived through the Cuban missile Crisis but fears of the apocalypse have been around since Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

    That’s why we should abolish nukes completely. Trump can’t be trusted with them but nobody can. That liberals feel Obama *could* be trusted with them is actually scarier than Trump.

    1. I would guess not. Apportionment of voting on the basis of the number of slaves one had seems like it’d be beyond the scope of Hamilton’s multicultural groundings.

      1. Anyway, here are a couple of classic songs from the 80s about nuclear war.

        1. 99 Luftballoons is always appreciated.

          Since I was first a wee lad and learned about nuclear weapons, I’ve been worried about them. Even in the hands of rational actors, we know there have been countless times where nuclear catastrophe was averted by a guy wiping the screen off or doing something else completely benign to double-check whether or not missiles were in fact inbound. Now, however, the possibility of purposeful and wide-scale launch seems very real again. I’m too young to remember nuclear anxiety under Reagan, but there was certainly very little under Clinton, and the “suitcase nuke” fear-mongering the Bush administration pushed only concerned itself with a singular, small bomb; not the entire arsenals of them we fear in Mutually Assured Destruction. Then again, the Bush administration was apparently short on grown-ups, as some of the adults in the room had to sit them down and explain why they couldn’t use nuclear weapons “tactically” while invading Iraq. So who knows.

          1. The closest times we’ve ever been to nuclear war have been:

            1.) Cuban missile crisis (of course)

            2.) 1973 Arab/Israeli War. The Israelis blackmailed Nixon into supporting them against Egypt by threatening to use their nukes and start a general conflict.

            Back in the 1980s Reagan made a joke that put the Soviets on high alert.

            I don’t know exactly how close we were then but it wasn’t quite as close as the first two examples.

            I don’t think we’re very close now. It’s mostly sour grapes as fear mongering from the Clinton camp. You know that cliche about how it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism? The Clinton people falsely imagine they see the end of neoliberalism so they’re trying to make us think it’s the end of the world.

            1. The Clinton people might be pushing that narrative for the reason you stated, but I for one have been concerned since Joe Scarborough, who up until that point had seemingly been advocating for Trump, described what he was told about a meeting security experts had with Trump. I see no reason why Scarborough would’ve undercut Trump in such a way unless he was confident of the veracity of what he was told.

  2. well wrote….i too see the democrats as losing, not so much Trump winning…and the contempt they continue to show for what they define went wrong ..ie…a mere temporary rise of the Rubes…will ensure they get defeated again….its a shame that the Democrats still dont understand that Trump won because a great deal of people saw their only recourse was to NOT vote……i just hope guys like Trump can be contained and the world is too mature now for another stalin or hitler in such a beautiful grand country…..i am hopeful but still at 60 years old , i still stay close by my old school desk in case i have to hide under it to avoid nuclear flash…..

  3. I printed Trump’s inaugural address. It sounds “very nice”, hitting all the right points. Is he actually a monster? Not according to his actual words. But there are plenty of sources with some story about Donald this and Donald that, and nowadays I have lost faith in pretty much everything I read. Not wanting to expose any of my anti-CIA bias, I will say that the CIA lied starting with CUBA in 1961, and has pretty well lied its way through a few “regime changes” along the way to Iraqi Weapons-of-Mass-Destruction. I tended to believe Mr. Trump when he said those things were not true and he berated CNN (an arm of the CIA?) and Buzzfeed for publishing garbage. Recently I heard that Gloria Steinem was a CIA operative at one time. Who else, I wonder? Who else just wants USA to destroy any government, or even Bernie Sanders, daring to mention socialism? Mr. Trump has also clearly stated his positions toward Russia, and after some innuendo about him from elsewhere, he has been heard to say, himself, he would like to encourage some nuclear arms “NEGOTIATIONS”!!! (with Russia) That’s what HE said. If you want to tell me what “somebody” said like, “WE will quickly turn against him…” by Rich Zawatsky, some unknown guy from Pennsylvania interviewed on the street, and became a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news headline implying a “general opinion” which is stupidly misleading. Finally, the Quebec Writers’ Federation has given Daniel J. Levitin the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction for his book “A Field Guide To Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age”. Buddha said to study and learn things for yourself – don’t take other people’s word for things. From Trump’s acceptance speech, to his denials of affairs in Russia, to his Inauguration Speech, today, he talks very straight and true. Ignoring all the crap in the media, he looks pretty good. Wait. Let’s see what develops here, and turn off the negative mind-set from media overkill.

  4. A further comment about Hilary, I do not want Trump’s daughter to run for President. Americans need a law to avoid “family dynasties” that are, like , nasty, you know? So pass a law (here in Canada, too, we didn’t do it “justin time”) against family members of leaders being eligible for the highest public office. Royalty does not belong in a republic, and I wish Canada could change our “sovereignty” to something better. What would be the best way for a nation to observe the upper echelon of power? A nation under God? How did Trump end his inauguration speech? Seems he’s on a track, there. Take me to your leader.

    1. Bawb,

      Sorry I took so long to comment; thank you for your input. I absolutely agree with your distrust of the CIA, but I have to disagree with your position against “family dynasties,” as you termed them. I like to think of myself as a firm egalitarian, and I do not think any person should be disqualified from political office because their family members held political office (as an example, I feel that most Kennedys, perhaps semi-excluding John, did this country a great service with their representation). Not to be exceedingly hyperbolic and not to use a mixed metaphor, but just as a person should not be deemed “untouchable” because their father dug graves, I don’t think a person running for office should be judged by the sins of their father.

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