So once again we have survived.

Vern Tells It Like It Is: Pretty please vote for Clinton

vtiliiI apologize for this political intrusion. I really don’t like writing about this stuff, which is why I don’t do it as much as I did back in the early 2000s when I started out. But sometimes you gotta get things off your chest, and sometimes you feel like an asshole if you don’t say something. I hope we won’t get into arguments about all this, but you can read it or not and consider it or not, and I promise we’ll be back to discussing Mario Van Peebles movies and shit in no time. Thank you.

BREAKING: HILLARY CLINTON RECEIVES COVETED VERN ENDORSEMENT

Normally I don’t endorse candidates, but Trump recently got the endorsement of the official KKK newspaper. I’d like to think I have more readers than them (?) so maybe this balances it out.

Bottom line of this column: I implore you, if you are a registered U.S. voter, to vote for Hillary Clinton. I know there are many reasons why many people don’t want to. Let me bring up a couple of points I think are relevant.

* MY FEELINGS ABOUT HILLARY.

I don’t hate her like you hate her. I don’t worship her either. I went for Obama over her in the 2008 primary, and I held her vote for the Iraq war resolution against her. I would say my politics are closer to Bernie Sanders’ than hers. But I didn’t have a preference in this primary because I liked his promises better, believed hers more. I think she’s more capable of getting some of it done. I don’t know what it is about our side that we have to be such purists, that we feel entitled to have a president just as far left as us and spit at one who’s not. I guess as I get older I get more understanding of centrists, even if I’m not one of them. About half of the country is right wingers anyway. Would it even be fair to have an extreme lefty as president all the time like we dream of?

Clinton’s been fighting for causes her whole life, first as a young Republican, then changing her views because of the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement, and believing in working for change inside the system. She did it in student government, as a lawyer, as a First Lady, as a senator, as Secretary of State (even as an author). People have treated her drive and ambition as a bad thing. It makes her cold and inhuman and suspicious. Fuck that. That’s stupid. Normal people aren’t presidential material. Clinton is.

For most of that time she has been rabidly, goofily, violently opposed by the GOP. I first liked her when she was the First Lady of the United States. She drove certain Republicans crazy because she was trying to promote health care legislation. What the fuck is this woman doing? How dare she use her position to try to improve life for millions of people? She’s supposed to be hosting the Easter egg hunt. They were at war with her husband, but I swear they hated her more.

I don’t think many of the young, well-meaning Sanders supporters knew that their impression of Clinton, and many of their talking points against her, came from decades of propaganda from the GOP fringes, a mix of extreme partisanship, misogyny and conspiracy theory that they accepted as truth. I definitely don’t think they understood that it was an attack on her for starting the fight for health care that Sanders was continuing.

auntyentityIt is extraordinary that through this she held her head high and refused to give up, continuing from First Lady to Senator to Secretary of State. People always say “I’m sick of these Bushes and Clintons controlling everything,” which would make sense if she was a president’s son or something. A president’s wife has not gone on to do the things she’s done before. That is unique to her.

During her public service she has also made mistakes. Everybody does. Most do not make them under the looking-for-any-possible-misstep microscope that she does. Other people have been Secretary of State when embassies were attacked, but I don’t know of one who was publicly grilled and shamed and blamed for it for years. I imagine other Secretaries have made mistakes on par with her improper cybersecurity, but who knows. Colin Powell didn’t have people spending decades of their lives trying to find some way to ruin him, so that kind of thing wouldn’t come to our attention.

As it stands, a congress and FBI who are openly out to crucify Clinton on any possible thing have exhausted time and money and resources on both of these issues. Over and over and over again they’ve had to reluctantly admit that she didn’t do anything. They’ve intentionally dragged it out until this election so they can keep implying that maybe there’s some information out there that proves a secret sinister plot. Meanwhile, Russian hackers and Wikileaks have dumped thousands of stolen emails from the Clinton campaign online, taking things out of context, trying to make them sound sinister, doing a poor job if you actually read the shit and try to understand what it means, but knowing that most people won’t.

You can’t prove a negative, but I find it hard to believe that there is some smoking gun to some horrible scheme out there. How would these veteran teams of obsessive witch hunters and garbage snoopers have gone so long without finding it? Even Bush had to admit there were no weapons of mass destruction at some point. These guys never will. But we could stop taking them seriously one of these years.

Still, I think both the Benghazi tragedy and the private email server would be legitimate discussions to have about her success as Secretary of State, if she was going up against a competent candidate. That is not the case right now.

* HILLARY IS A WOMAN BY THE WAY.

I feel like it should be mentioned that many dudes are being pretty fucking cavalier about the possibility of a woman president. In all our history we haven’t had one, haven’t come close, haven’t even had one as the nominee for one of the major parties, don’t have another one that seems like a possibility in the future. We haven’t even figured out for sure whether it would be the “First Husband” or what his role would be. There are many reasons why having a woman president would be good for us as a society. If it’s useful to have a female perspective on directing a WONDER WOMAN movie then imagine having a female perspective on running America! But also, most of us are trying to move away from the world where Trump and, yes, Mr. Clinton, see women as something to “grab by the pussy” and what not. One simple step toward that is to have girls and especially boys grow up in a world that is not always ruled and dominated by dudes. To see the world differently.

Of course I’m not saying to vote for her only because she’s a woman. There are many women who I would not consider qualified, including the one running for the Green Party. I just think you should consider the enormity of this opportunity before saying “Sure, I want a woman to be president, just not this one [the first in the entire history of our country to ever have a shot].”

* TO YOUNG PEOPLE PLANNING TO VOTE THIRD PARTY.

The main reason I felt like I should write this was to talk to young left-leaning people who don’t want to vote for Clinton because they wanted Bernie Sanders or they think she’s too centrist, too corporate, whatever. I’ve been there. It was in the year 2000. If you’re too young to remember that election, I think you could learn from it.

See, I was one of you. I voted for Nader. He was our Bernie. Less charismatic, more accomplished in the world of car safety. But he represented a more idealistic liberalism, less compromised, anti-corporate. I thought Al Gore was too middlebrow, too much part of the system, too close to Republican. Much as people hold things about Bill Clinton against Hillary, I didn’t like that Gore’s wife was the poster woman for the movement to censor rock and rap music in the ’80s. (Ha ha. That seemed like a big deal at the time.)

Some blame Nader for the outcome of the election, because if Nader voters in Florida had voted Gore it wouldn’t have been close enough for all the recounting shenanigans that ended up giving it to Bush. I think I agree with them because if I had voted Nader in a state that was close I know I would feel like an asshole. But I don’t really think arguing about that is productive.

What those years did for me was dispel the myth in my mind that there’s not that much difference between Democrats and Republicans. They’re both part of the system, subject to lobbyists and corporate money and how the game works, career politicians, blah blah blah. Although those cliches are true, or based in truth, and things we must fight to improve, that is not the whole story. Eight years of Bush taught us that. Our theory was wrong. There’s a BIG fucking difference.

Let’s suppose Gore was president, and 9-11 still happened. We don’t know what he would’ve done. We do know he would not have invaded Iraq. That was a specific goal of Bush’s cabinet and they found their window. And so many of our problems now date back to the invasion of Iraq. Even Trump knows to say he was against it.

I think it’s unlikely that a Gore administration would’ve given us the PATRIOT Act, or Abu Ghraib and all the other torturing, but I won’t speculate too much. I’ll just say that it seems to me many of the things we’re ashamed of today, and that inspired and emboldened the next generation of terrorists, came from people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Ashcroft and Paul Wolfowitz, who worked behind the scenes for Bush and were very ideologically different from the people who would’ve worked for Gore.

I think it’s safe to say that we would be years ahead on environmental policy. If we’d voted Gore in we would’ve had a president trying to use regulations and diplomacy to fight climate change. Instead he had to grow a beard and make an ON DEADLY GROUND inspired documentary about it while Bush put climate deniers in charge of science committees and actively fought against even believing in it, let alone doing something about it. And it wasn’t only climate change – the administration and the Republicans of the time actively fought against science in general. Republican icon Nancy Reagan, having suffered through the hell of Alzheimers like my family and some of yours, had to come out of seclusion to try to change their minds about stem cell research. Didn’t work. Wasn’t personal to them.

By the way, speaking of climate change, I also think Gore (and probly most presidents of either party) would’ve had a faster and more competent rescue effort when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. That shit was abominable. These choices matter.

If you’re of a certain age you’ve lived most or all of your aware years under Obama, a president who truly believes in many of the things we do on the left, who speaks to us like adults, who knows what he’s talking about, who has had many accomplishments despite unprecedented obstructionism from an opposing party who would be against ice cream if he said he was for it. (Seriously, they were against dijon mustard at one point.) Many of the things he had to struggle against, and that we hit him for, are leftovers from the Bush years: the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war, Guantanomo Bay, domestic spying, the economy, Wall Street regulation or lack thereof. Whatever you think of his handling of these things, or continuation of these programs, most of them exist in the first place because we got Bush instead of Gore. These things make a difference. In this election, it seems to me, more than ever.

* “GIVE ME SOMETHING TO VOTE FOR, NOT JUST SOMETHING TO VOTE AGAINST.”

That’s what people say if you want them to vote against Trump. Clearly they don’t have the same problem voting against Clinton.

If you really believe this is a “lesser of two evils” situation, fine. Not only is there no shame in choosing the one that will do the least damage, but it is your duty to. If you had to choose between two irresponsible people to take care of your kid, and one was clearly way worse, but you didn’t like either of them, you wouldn’t say “ah, fuck it, I refuse to take part in this” and then hand the kid to the worse one and leave. This is the same thing except it’s your country. So it’s your kid and everybody else’s kids and the guy wants to cancel your kid’s insurance and if your kid is black he wants the cops to stop him and pat him down for weapons all the time. And you could’ve chosen the other one.

You don’t like being forced into voting for a party you don’t like. Fair enough. I really wish the Green Party and Libertarian Party were better parties with smarter candidates and were taken seriously enough that it was a four-or-more-way battle of ideas. In this election I believe voting for the Green Party is more likely to be damaging toward that future. If Trump wins in close enough margins that the Greens made a difference, they will not be quickly forgiven, if ever. Have you heard from Ralph Nader lately?

I understand the appeal of symbolic stands. But we can instead work toward an actual progressive future. If you care about that the way to go is make sure Clinton gets in office, then pressure her for more of the policies you want (like Sanders with the college program, and Black Lives Matter meeting with her), and fight against whatever you think she does wrong. If Trump gets into office our best possible (far-fetched) scenario is to find some fresh new Bernie Sanders and get him elected four years from now for 1-2 terms of starting to dig us out of a Trump hole. That’s a bad strategy.

* I DON’T LIKE TRUMP, YOU GUYS.

immortanI really think that even someone who agrees with all of Trump’s politics should never vote for him. He’s an embarrassment to our country from the surface to the core. Born so rich he got to stay that way despite a lifetime of disastrous business decisions, made famous for tacky opulence, beauty pageants and a trashy celebrity game show, entering politics by cynically peddling a ridiculous conspiracy theory, running for president without ever making it seem like he understands how the government works, or has tried to think of any specific policies, or feels there is any reason to learn about any of this stuff, making up bullying nicknames for the other candidates, trying to succeed only by being the alpha-asshole who dominates by being louder and ruder and talking more. Even his pathetic “locker room talk” excuse for that tape where he was bragging about how being a buffoonish D-list reality star helps him get away with molesting people shows that he sees himself as the loudmouth prick everybody hated and feared after school gym class. The worst guy in school who everybody wants to see overweight and unhappy at the reunion. Instead they show up and find him bragging about his “ever-expanding collection of award-winning golf courses (18 thus far in the U.S. and worldwide.)”

(No joke, that is a quote from the biography he provided for the voter’s pamphlet. See for yourself.)

And I don’t see how they can get past that wall thing. You know what, let’s disagree on the wall. I find it un-American and anti-democratic to want to build walls around shit, you think it’s a good idea, that’s fine. But what about how he says that he’s gonna make Mexico pay for it? He has said that to you hundreds of times. And you know that’s blatant horse shit, right? Right. So the question is, is he really so out of his mind he believes that? Or does he just say that to you thinking you’d believe that kinda shit? Doesn’t that piss you off? That would piss me off! He’s supposed to be on your side. You shouldn’t let that creep talk to you like that.

I mean, if Bernie did all that stuff, I’d have to be like “I agree with him on a lot of stuff, but FUCK that guy!” It’s weird to me that people could have such a visceral kneejerk hatred to Hillary Clinton but be willing to tolerate this slimy blowhard. I can’t relate.

And there’s one other thing that transcends politics, this is more of an outlawvern.com issue. There was a 1997 New Yorker profile where he called BLOODSPORT “an incredible, fantastic movie” but then revealed that he fast forwards to the fights “to get this two-hour movie down to forty-five minutes.” I can’t abide by that. You watch BLOODSPORT for the story. If you’re only watching for the fights there are way better movies that you, as a rich world traveler, should fucking know about.

Donald Trump: wrong on BLOODSPORT. Wrong for America.

* AND I FUCKING HATE RACISM!

The biggest reason I’m proud to vote AGAINST Trump is one that’s much bigger than Trump. He’s a small man being swept along by the currents of the worst parts of our history. This man, who made his first appearance in the New York Times for being sued by the government for deliberately excluding black people from renting in his buildings, explicitly built his campaign on racism and xenophobia. He opened by calling Mexicans rapists and vowing to build a wall to keep them out. He spent much of his convention demonizing all immigration on the basis of a few cases of immigrants who committed crimes (a standard he doesn’t hold assault rifles to). He worked people into a frenzy about refugees – people who need fucking refuge! – as probable infiltrators. He proposed a database of Muslims in the U.S. and spying on or closing down mosques. He talks about “inner cities” as “hellholes” and said in a debate that his answer for improving race relations is stop and frisk. He told his followers that people in “certain communities” were going to steal the election from them. etc. etc. The primary theme of his campaign is fear of non-whites.

Now, I’m trying to not be insulting about this. I don’t think I’m good enough. I would hope that most of his voters are not racists. But clearly racism isn’t a dealbreaker for them.

“Make America great again” could mean anything. To me, it means let’s have Nicolas Cage starring in more theatrical releases. To many Trump voters, it is clear, it means fighting back against what we see as progress. They grew up in a white male dominated society, and as things shift a little bit toward a more fair setup the change is scary for them. When they say “take back our country,” they mean from that black president, from this woman, from these liberals with their liberalism. They don’t like “all this political correctness,” where they’re expected to respect the feelings of minorities. They don’t want to have to know about this trans business. When cops kill black people, they don’t want to have to hear from the people who are upset about it. It didn’t used to be like that. They feel under attack. They don’t consider any of that racism, but they find themselves on the same team, in the same crowds, as people who could be characters in the movie GREEN ROOM.

After the last election I read convincing claims that the new demographics of the U.S. made it so you could no longer win by appealing to white people’s racism. This is why I have always believed that Trump couldn’t win. But the GOP is always so focused on redrawing district borders around racial lines, and changing voting laws specifically to try to discourage voting by minorities. And now these close polls are making me nervous. What if we’re not there yet?

Trump is like a sidewalk caricature of a race-baiting Republican. He’s so much less subtle about it that he has embarrassed the rest of them and emboldened actual white supremacists to see him as part of their movement, inspiring the KKK and David Duke to try to re-enter the mainstream. Preventing his election is voting against all of those assholes. It’s saying fuck you, stick your Southern strategy up your ass, you can’t do this shit anymore, goodbye motherfuckers.

This should not be so close. This movement needs to be smashed into the ground. They cannot feel accepted by society. Imagine if Trump wins! These out and proud “deplorables” would be vindicated. They would be the majority. This would be their America, “taken back” from us, fair and square. Don’t you think it’s important to prevent that?

And you know what, if you hate Clinton then it’s even more meaningful. That you’re willing to vote for a woman you hate in order to tell the bigots to go fuck themselves – let that be your protest vote. Be a part of this. It’s something to be proud of.

So vote now if you have early voting, if not be sure you know where your correct polling place is for Tuesday. Read up on the other elections and propositions on your ballot, and get things rolling. I will give you a high five afterwards.

Anyway, thanks for letting me get that off my chest, sorry if I was insulting to anyone, let’s do what we can, hope for the best, and try to get along afterwards. More movie reviews soon.

your friend,

VERN

p.s. Everybody please try to be nice and respectful to each other if you comment. We’re all passionate but none of us need any more negativity in our lives.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.
This entry was posted on Friday, November 4th, 2016 at 5:41 pm and is filed under Vern Tells It Like It Is. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

420 Responses to “Vern Tells It Like It Is: Pretty please vote for Clinton”

  1. I feel you on all of this, and you have definitely galvanized my already 99% certain decision to do the right thing here, but I’m especially with you on the fact that I will likely not be able to see DOG EAT DOG and ARMY OF ONE in any theater around here. Some bullshit. #MakeAmericaMegaAgain

  2. Dammit, Vern… you’ve done it again. You truly are one of the best online essayists. You have a true gift for getting at the core of whatever subject you write about whether it is movies, politics, or the musical stylings of Mr. Steven Segal. And you do it with intelligence and wit without sliding into snarkiness. Thank you, sir.

  3. I just realized I misspelled Seagal in my original post… I hang my head in shame. I shall repent in the Crystal Cave…

  4. I am with you with this one all the way. Mitt Romney: He’s presidential, decent, dignified, seems relatively sharp. John McCain: Has showed courage and basic decency and has done some bipartisan things. George H. W. Bush: same deal. Overall, I don’t agree with their politics, but I have a basic core level of respect for them as basically decent human beings and flawed public servants.

    Trump on the other hand represents the worse angels of our nature. He’s already hurt our country and our public discourse. He’s an ignorant cretin. Like Biff from BTtF meets Francis from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure meets fucking Gordon Gekko meets a carnival barker. I remember back in 2012 thinking, if Romney wins it will be a setback, especially on climate change and stuff. But I was at peace with the possibility. In contrast, with Trump, I am truly and deeply troubled. The thought of a guy like this representing America is deeply troubling. Honestly, I’m truly and deeply troubled that it’s even close.

  5. I am with you with this one all the way. Mitt Romney: He’s presidential, decent, dignified, seems relatively sharp. John McCain: Has showed courage and basic decency and has done some bipartisan things. George H. W. Bush: same deal. Overall, I don’t agree with their politics, but I have a basic core level of respect for them as basically decent human beings and flawed public servants.

    Trump on the other hand represents the worse angels of our nature. He’s already hurt our country and our public discourse. He’s an ignorant cretin. Like Biff from BTtF meets Francis from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure meets fucking Gordon Gekko meets a carnival barker. I remember back in 2012 thinking, if Romney wins it will be a setback, especially on climate change and stuff. But I was at peace with the possibility. In contrast, with Trump, I am truly and deeply troubled. The thought of a guy like this representing America is deeply troubling. Honestly, I’m truly and deeply troubled that it’s even close.

  6. I am with you with this one all the way. Mitt Romney: He’s presidential, decent, dignified, seems relatively sharp. John McCain: Has showed courage and basic decency and has done some bipartisan things. George H. W. Bush: same deal. Overall, I don’t agree with their politics, but I have a basic core level of respect for them as basically decent human beings and flawed public servants.

    Trump on the other hand represents the worse angels of our nature. He’s already hurt our country and our public discourse. He’s an ignorant cretin. Like Biff from BTtF meets Francis from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure meets fucking Gordon Gekko meets a carnival barker. I remember back in 2012 thinking, if Romney wins it will be a setback, especially on climate change and stuff. But I was at peace with the possibility. In contrast, with Trump, I am truly and deeply troubled. The thought of a guy like this representing America is deeply troubling. Honestly, I’m truly and deeply troubled that it’s even close.

  7. Have no idea what just happened with that comment spaz. It was a truly and deeply troubling comment-repeat. I blame Hillary #benghazi

  8. Thanks Vern!

  9. Whatever the outcome of this election, it is comforting to know you all have your heads screwed on proper. As much as a leader shadows the image of their country (Putin – Russia is a shirtless Macho War Dog. Kim Jong Un – please leave your shirt on and don’t nuke us, play your Xbox instead), American people will always be more than the sum of their flawed leaders.

  10. Amen, Vern. I will wear my vote against Trump as a badge of honor for the rest of my life. I hope and believe others will do likewise.

    The fact that those of us living in this era and of voting age get the chance to say we voted for both the first black president and the first woman president in the history of our country is astounding.

  11. I stay out of this, but if I wake up in a few days and Trump won, I will be really mad at you fuckers. But some of you, the cool people, are also invited to come over here and hang out for the next 4 years (or how long it will take until he nukes us into oblivion). Yeah, we have that whole Brexit thing going on not too far away and we might be all broke, unemployed and in debt soon, but hey, at least our leaders aren’t THAT horrible, compared to Trump.

  12. Oh, Vern.

    You’re such a liberal partisan. And you can be such a blind, brainwashed leftie. It’s your ONE flaw, and I’m sorry.

    But GUESS WHAT? I’m not voting for Trump.

    I’m voting for Hillary.

    She’s the better candidate, and maybe even the more conservative one.

    Calm down. She’s gonna win. I have NEVER heard SO MANY conservative voices turn on the Republican nominee. It will be a MASSACRE, like Reagan/Mondale ’84.

  13. Vern, you make it sound like something out of THE STAND. Maybe that is an american thing. It is all black and white.

  14. It’s telling that…

    … Trump took out a full page in the Daily News calling for the Central Park Five to be executed, then – after DNA evidence exonerating them AND the real culprit admitted attacking that poor woman – he STILL voices the opinion that they were guilty and “scammed” the system…

    … It’s telling that this isn’t even on the first page of horrible shit he’s done or said and, to this day, is barely reported about.

    Remember the times when any one of Trump’s insane proclamations would have got someone kicked out the race so fast their feet wouldn’t hit the ground?

    So bravo, Vern. I suspect you’re preaching to the converted here, but complacency is what lost the Brexit vote.

  15. Thank you, Vern. That was beautiful, and a welcome throwback to your tells-it-like-it-is days.

  16. I’m not a leftie, but I couldn’t agree with you more. The Trump candidacy started out as a good joke and has become a national disgrace. On one side, an experienced and competent public servant, on the other side, a reality TV star who has never done anything that wasn’t motivated by greed, lust, or envy.

    I’m proud of you risking the ire of your fans to speak out, and I’m proud to say I’m a fan.

  17. Thanks for that, Vern. Like a lot of people, I’ve been walking around in a fog of low-grade despair the closer we get to the big day. I don’t REALLY think Trump is going to win, but just the fact that so many of my fellow Americans are attracted to anything this late-1800s newspaper caricature of a decadent robber baron represents and can’t see through his line of regressive, manipulative bullshit, makes me worry for our future as a species, not just as a country. If we’re letting Trump take his garish vaudeville act this close to the top, where he would be the representative of our people and way of life to so many cultures who already have such reason to distrust and fear us, what are we gonna do in a hundred years when the oceans rise, populations swell, and the shit really hits the fan? What solipsistic warlord will we rally behind when we’re not just worried about jobs and terrorism, but starvation and famine? It’s like fuckin’ IMMORTAN JOE: ORIGINS out there right now.

    So thank you, Vern, for making the other side, the side that longs for perfect but will take good enough, seem like common sense, like homespun wisdom, as natural and normal as the sun coming out every day, and not like a scared voice from a lonely lighthouse engulfed in a deep fog.

  18. I’ll absolutely vote for Clinton in the coming days. There’s really no question about it. But I do think Trump’s rise is scary, and we’ll be dealing with the fallout from Trumpism for years, even if the guy is defeated.

    I remember over a decade ago during the run-up to the Iraq War hearing about a poll that said 70% of the American people believed Saddam Hussein was in part responsible for the 9/11 attack. At the time I was virulently against the war, and I was amazed at how quickly people seemed to jump on the bandwagon, but somehow it still shocked me to see that the vast majority of Americans could believe something that was clearly untrue.

    That entire experience lead me to the understanding that there’s nothing inherently different about Americans and that given the right conditions we’re perfectly capable of believing any lie and thus committing any atrocity imaginable. Both the Iraq War and Trump’s candidacy have made it pretty clear to me how precarious democracy can be, and it’s a scary thought.

  19. I’m a mexican with family living in the US. I’m terrified by them (and to some extent, us back here) and I thank you for this.

  20. I think the population at large is pretty suggestible. Most of us are cognitively lazy, even among those of us who are well-educated. We don’t have the time to become truly informed experts on all the issues and decisions that face our society. In a world where knowledge is distributed, and where there is legitimate uncertainty about some of the facts and especially about the future or the consequences of our actions, a lot rest on whom we regard as credible authorities and arbiters of information–facts, models, risk assessments, policy option analysis. If you believe that the scientific community (to include economists and social scientists) is fundamentally wrong or even deliberately conspiratorial in promulgating “fictions” like evolutionary theory or anthropogenic climate change or the need for massive government stimulus in times of acute economic shock, then you’ve basically said that you and your tribe’s own common sense and ideology/values trump (pun intended) logical discourse or empirical evidence. It’s all emotion, ideology, and values, and these are important, but they tend to be self-reinforcing and distorting in their effects.

    The power of tribalism is evident in the fact that both Obama (yes, Socialist Jihadi, death panel Obama) and Hillary are quite centrist. Policy-wise, they are both probably closer to Nixon than to Bernie Sanders. Yet tribe, and branding is so powerful that just by virtue of the fact that they are Democrats, they are viewed as crazy commies. It’s that same power that allows hardcore Republican partisans to look at guy like Trump, who is not even a “good” consistent movement conservative, as preferable to an evil liberal like Hillary, when Hillary is probably closer to a true conservative in terms of foreign policy, free trade, etc. When you look at the hardest of the hardcore Republicans (and even some of the liberals) who just vote the party line and are so deeply identified with their party brand, I seriously sometimes wonder if these people would vote for resurrected zombie Hitler so long as he was electable and running on your party’s ticket.

    Of course, in this case, the story is white working class males, including those who maybe haven’t always voted Republican. That is a more complicated story. I blame their grief on false consciousness, wounded false John Wayne masculinity, ignorance of policy and fact, a broken Republican congress, and the balkanization of the media with the rise of the internet. That’s a wicked, systemic problem that is not easily fixed. If there were more liberals and more government spending and less of non-rich people living under the illusion of the Horatio Alger up-by-the-bootstraps, life would get a lot better for everyone. Non-rich Republican voters are voting against their self-interests. Anyone supporting Trump is voting against their self-interest.

    All things that have been said more eloquently before, I know. It’s tragic.

  21. Also, gerrymandering and campaign finance.

  22. It terrifies me that he got as far as he did in this election. I sincerely hope he doesn’t win, but the fact that he’s even on the ticket has made me lose a lot of faith in and respect for some of my fellow Americans. Personally, I don’t know a single person who (openly) supports him and even my more conservative friends and family say they plan to vote Clinton… So that’s something I guess. But, man, the fact that a racist, xenophobic, misogynist, possible pedophile rapist, lying blowhard like this can garner so much support (or much of any) really does alarm me. He has done some damage to our country and I think it’s going to be a rough few years even after he (hopefully) loses.

  23. The Democratic nominee for president is under an active FBI investigation. All reports indicate that she will still be under investigation when the election is held on Nov. 8. Liberals now must decide, then, if they want to be the first voters ever in history to cast their ballots for a suspected felon. Will they debase themselves and their nation by putting a woman into the White House even as the FBI has yet to decide whether she actually belongs in prison?

    I suspect they will, without much hesitation. But if they’re going to make a disgrace and a mockery of our entire political system by electing Hillary Clinton, they certainly lose the right to lecture Trump voters in the process. It’s no secret that I am not a Trump fan, but I can’t stomach the Clinton voters who pretend to be traveling on the morally superior route. Your candidate is under investigation by the FBI, for God’s sake. This has never happened in the two-and-a-half centuries of our nation’s existence. Electing her would be a historic low point. The kind of thing our grandkids will read about and shake their heads in confusion.

    Matt Walsh.

  24. I think, to a certain extent, we can thank Trump for revealing some unpleasant truths about our culture. This was not his intent, certainly, but the normalization of his rhetoric has emboldened our culture’s previously shamed and chastened racists, sexists, xenophobes, and homophobes to come out of the shadows and show their true colors. Trump is the flashlight that revealed all the roaches living under our national refrigerator. We might wish we were still living in blissful ignorance of the gross things that have taken up residence in our home, but at least now we know we need to go out and buy some Borax before these gross little fuckers get into the crisper and we start finding their legs in our lettuce.

    Or something. Fuck roaches and racists in my opinion.

  25. Here’s the deal: You can’t complain about injustice while you vote for a woman who would already be in jail if she had a different last name, or at least a different letter next to her last name. You can’t complain about “inequality” while you further that inequality by supporting an elitist crook who has been placed so conspicuously above the law. You can’t scream about Trump “undermining our democratic system” while you help a blatant criminal rise to the top of it. And you absolutely cannot ever again speak about the rule of law, because the rule of law dies with Hillary’s inauguration. And you will have played a part in making that happen.

    Maybe that’s something you should stop and think about.

    Matt Walsh.

  26. Rogue/Matt, Hillary Clinton is a flawed candidate. If you line up the sheer volume, severity, and general onimous…ness of their public and private and public statements and actions, and if you just line up their policy proposals head-to-head, it’s not even a context. It’s like the Harlem Globetrotters against your 6th grade intramural team. The most you can do here is innuendo: someday someone might pursue criminal charges against her. That’s a classic case of selective attention and weighting of information. In a sea of facts, conjectures, and interpretations/extrapolations, you can arrive at “Martin Luther King was an adulterous phony who never accomplished anything in the private sector, and Adolf Hitler was a man of incredible vision and charisma whose incredible and varied political and military accomplishments are unprecedented in the modern era.” You like popcorn on fishing line or letters cut out of a magazine, you can cut and paste facts and interpretations/extrapolations to arrive anywhere you want, if you’re so inclined.

  27. Sorry, “contest,” not “context.” Death before proofreading!

  28. Fact Check: Hillary Clinton, Those Emails And The Law

    A top Republican senator charged that Hillary Clinton "probably" broke the law with her use of private emails as secretary of state. But it's not likely to be so clear.

  29. Rogue, while I think you have a point about the ruling class playing by different rules than the rest of us, I also think it’s safe to say that Clinton also would never have been investigated so fanatically in the first place if she’d had a different name. At this point, she is the most thoroughly investigated human being in the history of planet Earth. This anti-Clinton witch hunt did its job, because even I, as bleeding-heart a liberal as you’re likely to find, don’t really like her that much and find that she gives off a general impression of shadiness. However, if these emails are the best they can come up with after 25 years, I am unimpressed. They keep showing me smoke, but where’s the fire? I can’t help but feel if there was any, they’d have shown it to us long ago.

  30. Aaaannnd, take it away on relativism Matty…

    But even if Sanders got a raw deal, millions of Democrats still intentionally voted for a serial felon. You guys decided to narrow your options down to a senile Che Guevara and Mrs. Underwood, and ultimately, with the help of the media and DNC (but I repeat myself), you went with the latter. Perhaps you have your own reasons to pause and reflect.

    On that end, may I make one humble suggestion? I think it’s possible that you ended up with the most corrupt presidential candidate in American history because you fundamentally reject the very concept of morality. Liberalism is an ideology of relativism. On the left, everything is relative, from human life to marriage to gender to morality. There are consequences to this philosophy. When you don’t have any set moral standard, when you don’t hold yourself and your leaders to an objective ethical code, it’s inevitable that eventually you’ll end up nominating an actual mafia boss.

    Matt Walsh

  31. Also not sure what Upright Citizen’s Brigade found member Matt Walsh has to do with any of this, but as a veteran improv comic, he’s gotta be pretty good at thinking on his feet. I bet he’d rock the debates.

  32. Fuck it, forget I even said anything, Rogue. I try to treat you like a human being who has a valid reason to believe the things he does, but there’s no point in engaging with someone who thinks that trying to see someone else’s point of view is a slippery slope to baby-eating and virgin sacrifice.

  33. Maj, Donald Trump is a transparent as windexed glass grifter and all around A$$hat. Do we brush aside/equivocate/downplay that cause… “There’s no smoking gun.” Pounder burns on his fingers, blood spatter on his collar, shell casings on the floor… coincidence.

  34. But Rogue, the “investigation” you’re referring to is just that someone who worked with her has emails on her ex-husband’s computer. Because they will be railed by Republicans if they don’t, they will check to see if these have some relation to the already exhausted investigation that cleared her of any wrongdoing. It’s an endless cycle. We must investigate therefore she is is suspicious therefore lock her up therefore anyone else would be in jail.

    To me it seems like you have it backwards. If she wasn’t Hillary Clinton, their political enemy, she wouldn’t be hounded over and over and over and over again like this. That they keep doing it and keep getting nowhere doesn’t mean she’s above the law, it means they’re fishing where there are no fish.

    I don’t know about the FBI, but I suspect all future democratic presidents will be under investigation by any GOP controlled congress. A new type of stop and frisk.

    And by the way, Trump is reportedly also under investigation by the FBI in case he’s coordinating with Russia’s stealing of emails to interfere with the election. So take that into consideration and whether you think that is a better or worse thing to be suspected of than having an unsafe server.

    Anyway, thanks Rogue.

  35. Man , you guys are real fun right now. It disturbs me how infected the election has become. Can´t wait until this fucking thing is over.

  36. Rogue, I think you have that in reverse too. To me this stuff we’re talking about is ALL about morality. I don’t know what the secret felonies are that you like to mention, but the things I have read about Clinton and the various things they have accused her of seem to me like, at worst, mistakes. This is why, for example, THE EMAILS!!! have not turned out to LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP! GUUUUULAAAAAAGGG!!!, because they found that there was no intent to do anything wrong. Comey, in his unprecedented announcement-lecture about not recommending charges, made that clear.

    So that’s exactly why we DON’T have that visceral reaction you have. Because her alleged wrongdoing was nothing immoral.

    But Trump we see as immoral: he’s a racist, a misogynist, he demeans people, he lies, he’s greedy, he’s a cheater, he’s a bully. So, it’s not about laws and technicalities, it’s about character.

    So I think your philosophical argument hugely misunderstands and is kind of a slander against myself and people like me, but good day to you.

  37. And by the way, thanks for the comment, Christof. That was a very well executed “oh great, here we go” fake out at the beginning.

    I like it when we can agree on stuff!

  38. Very profound point that exercising democracy could mean voting for a candidate you don’t personally like once in a while.

    Downright smart point that you should vote for the candidate more likely to respond to public pressure to affect policy.

    The one that gets me personally the most is when Trump says Mexico will pay for the wall. You know that’s bhllshit, shouldn’t you be pissed he thinks you’ll believe it? I recognize when people are selling me a bill of goods and what I resent most of all is that they think I’d fall for it. Lately I’m learning that that takes a discernment that isn’t always a given.

  39. I haven’t voted since 2004, but you can bet your sweet bippy I’ll be there on Tuesday. If I can help Texas turn blue for just this one election, it’ll make my heart soar.

    Also, here’s where I have to confess that I have yet to see BLOODSPORT, but I would never vote for a man (or woman) that fast forwards thru a movie to get to the ‘good stuff’. Eff that noise.

  40. A guy like Trump is the villain in all these movies we love and we have a chance to beat him in real life. How can you pass that up?

  41. Vern there is an ocean of reasons not to vote for Hillary, from shady business practices through her foundation to outright criminal activities and you barely touched on any of them. I don’t think you’re even aware of the damning backlog of skeletons in her closet but personally I’ll pinch my nose and vote for a pompous douche like Trump rather than a candidate whose policies are for sale. A candidate who has been periodically investigated by the FBI for decades.

    If you have any integrity of conviction I’d urge you to watch this video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WwTYfdEGck

  42. And Vern how do you know Trump is a racist? Because he wants a wall to keep illegals out? So did Hillary, she was also against gay marriage and other civil liberties that she has had to do a complete 180 on to get elected.

    “Hillary Clinton says US need to secure borders, and illegals should be deported and build a wall”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DckY2dRFtxc

    “Hillary Clinton epically flip-flops on gay rights”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH7D5XMKjiA

  43. Yes, someone who pigheadedly commits to shitty positions no matter what is so much better than someone who listens to reason and changes their mind sometimes.

  44. No matter what? He hasn’t committed to building a wall no matter what at all beyond talk about it at a political rally. And yeah Hillary is never pigheadedly committed to any position or opinion that will stop her from being elected. She’ll conveniently flip any way the wind blows just at the right time.

    And Vern to declare that Trump disrespects women because he told a sexist joke once to make another guy laugh? Really? How unrealistically PC of you. You’re acting like every other Leftist, knee jerk reactionary grasping at straws to demonize the man as some kind of supervillain when his greatest crime is being an obnoxious provocateur without a filter.

  45. Demonizing Trump as Hitler reincarnate is the only way a lame duck like Hillary was finally going to be elected.

  46. That’s not what “lame duck” means.

  47. Back in 2007-08, Biden was my top choice, but Hillary was my close 2nd favorite candidate. Now in 2016 I can not fucking wait to vote for her. I’m gonna pull the Clinton/Kaine lever so hard in 72 hours.

    If the nominee had been Bernie or Elizabeth or Martin O’Malley or Al Gore or Jerry Brown or Al Franken or Admiral Stavridis or Stephen Colbert or — in a 22nd Amendment-defying twist! — Barack Hussein Obama or — in a birth certificate-defying twist! — Harack Bussein Omaba or whatever nominee able to string multiple complete coherent sentences together on behalf of the left-of-American-center platform then I would have enthusiastically worked to help them to defeat the racist misogynist fact-free buffoon that the idiotic, reactionary Republican voters nominated. I haven’t faced an easier decision since a few weeks ago at the blackjack table when I split a pair of 8s with the dealer showing a 6. Took a chunk of Sheldon Adelson’s money on that hand; gonna do more to defeat his retrograde ideology on this Tuesday.

    The fact that DJT is gonna win, like, at least 19 states is a source of infinite sadness to me, but my head will remain high as I work to elect a young Democrat to replace a GOP wackjob in the House of Reps. The district in which I’m registered also has a “Constitution Party” candidate running, so we are hoping the right wing cannibalizes itself and leaves a plurality to send the liberal into office, like a progressive version of what happened with voter anomalies that benefited that imbecile LePage in Maine, or that imbecile George W. Bush in Florida.

    Honestly I could keep typing on and on for millions of words about these important topics, marshalling irrefutable logic & mathematical breakdowns of the various policy proposals that the next POTUS will implement to continue the 6+ years of magnificent jobs growth and American wages increases versus the fact that electing a wannabe authoritarian know-nothing madman/puppet would cause every international head of state & ambassador & foreign minister & economist to instantly lose faith in the well-being of the United States as a valid, reliable superpower and other things that the Rogues of the world will glaze over because EMAILS!!! but whatever man just scroll up to the top of the page and read Vern’s headline. Says it all. With a cherry on top?

  48. I’m sure some of you will understand but voting for Donald Trump to be President is like voting for Vince McMahon for President. Trust me, you don’t want Vince McMahon as President.

    I find it funny, too, that people want a third party candidate but Trump is basically a third party candidate. The guy has ZERO public service and he is this close to becoming President without ever once knowing what the fuck he was talking about.

    Allen, there is mutliple video clips of Trump saying sexist things so it wasn’t that one time to Billy Bush. In fact, in the real world, anybody who talks like that you’d be thinking “what a fucking asshole” so really Trump is an actual fucking asshole.

  49. Hey Vern, I was worried we wouldn’t get a VTILII for the 2016 election, so thanks a lot for writing this. I really appreciate it, and personally I wish you’d write more of these.

    I will now make extra certain to vote for Hillary.

  50. There is a difference between saying sexist things and bragging about acts of sexual assault. I have said sexist things. I have been in private conversations with men bragging about their sexual achievements. I personally have never been in a room where a guy has bragged about non-consensual groping. This is again the beauty of spin doctoring and obfuscation: you don’t have to straight-up lie or deny the facts; you can acknowledge the fact while using the word “sexism” as a general-purpose euphemistic obfuscation device, as if privately saying, “Wow, she has an awesome rack” (real locker room talk) cannot be differentiated from saying, “You see her. I just walked up and grabbed her tits and she didn’t do a thing about it” (which is the kind of thing a malignant narcissist date rapist caveman says).

  51. “He’s a small man being swept along by the currents of the worst parts of our history.”

    Oh man, so much gold in here.

  52. “I guess as I get older I get more understanding of centrists, even if I’m not one of them. About half of the country is right wingers anyway. Would it even be fair to have an extreme lefty as president all the time like we dream of?”

    After Reagan and Bush? Yes. Yes it would be.

  53. Donald Trump is not worthy of the office of President. So conceded, so stipulated. I’m not casting a ballot for him. He is the sorriest excuse for a presidential candidate imaginable… except for Hillary Clinton. The significance of Hillary Clinton’s “mistakes” is that in her capacity as Secretary of State, she was either Forest Gump doo-dah clueless with respect to her duty to safeguard sensitive information… or knowingly and willfully disregarded said duty (to what end, do you suppose, other than dodging oversight). Soooo, she’s shady or stupid? Corrupt or incompetent? I can appreciate why stupid/incompetent would strike you and likeminded friendos as more palatable, but the rub is that *neither* makes her fit to run so much as a lemonade stand, much less the country. Not to mention her asinine “Russian reset”, Libya bursting into flames on her watch, Lying about the Benghazi 9/11 attack, lying to the parents of the men slain there about the nature of the attack, or advocating for a Goverment involved healthcare scheme whose modern incarnation resulted in millions of canceled insurance plans, exorbitant price hikes, and a multitude of insurance providers dropping out alltogether. Still, there exist #NeverTrump. That is to say, that plenty of conservatives will not take the gross un-fitness of the Dem candidate as license to vote for what they know to be a grossly un-fit Rep candidate. Not so much, on the liberal side.

    – Conspicuously, there is no Never Hillary movement among liberals. I’m not sure I’ve seen a single article in any left wing publication analyzing the maladies on the Left that may have led to her nomination. I’ve seen hundreds about Trump and the Right — written by conservatives and liberals alike — but the left has not spent nearly as much time diagnosing itself. Instead, you blame even Hillary’s sins on conservatives. Yesterday, Time published an unintentionally hilarious op-ed explaining how Clinton is only being pursued for breaking the law because Republicans are sexist.

    – The matrix of Clintonian graft and deceit is so complicated that it would require a PhD in mathematics to sort it all out, but the latest revelations give us a clearer idea. We know that the FBI is investigating the Clinton Foundation for a host of serious criminal violations. It appears that the Foundation was a racketeering enterprise used by the Clintons to monetize and exploit her power as secretary of State. One can only imagine all the ways she’ll monetize and exploit the presidency.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DBMBLMdRxw

  54. *Hyphens in previous post credited to Matt Walsh.*

  55. I got a bad feeling that even if Hillary wins the remainder of this decade is probably going to suck, it seems like shit really started going off the rails in 2014 and it’s only gotten progressively worse each year since and I don’t really see that changing with Hillary in office.

    But maybe there’s hope for the 2020s and one thing’s for sure, things certainly aren’t going to get better with Trump, so Hillary is the only sane option for riding out the remainder of the 2010s.

  56. Due to my geographical isolation and lack of American citizenship, I’m about as casual an observer as one can be to a process that is actually pretty darn important to the whole world. The thing that has saddened me the most is the level and nature of the coverage that Trump and Clinton have received. This is not the first election to take place in the age of social media, but it seems to have been the first one to truly embrace it. Kids from the school at which I teach talk about how they would vote for Trump because it would be funny (and that is based pretty much solely on Youtube clips like ‘Trump says China’ and ‘Sassy Trump’). If you were a Republican or Democrat then you could get through the entire election process hearing what you want to hear and thinking your candidate is not only the best for the job, but also in the lead. I work at an international school with well-educated people from all over the world, including U.S.A, and the one thing that everyone agrees on is that no matter who wins, the process has made the entire system look ridiculous.

  57. Rogue, your posts are little more than a series of right-wing red meat buzzwords wrapped in ominous overtones and links to partisan hatchet job Youtube channels. You present no specific facts about specific acts Clinton committed that are both verifiable and that demonstrate her being uniquely unfit to be the president. You also draw your information from extremely partisan sources, and I’m sure you will dismiss anything that is not a rabidly conservative partisan source as being rabidly anti-conservative: any news organization that does not already agree with your stilted Republican propaganda narrative is likely to be dismissed as biased itself. This is the monological right-wing media filter bubble (the left has it’s own version of that, by the way). The only thing I see in here that can be fact-checked is your claim that there were no “Never Hillary” Democrats, which is demonstrably false: There were numerous “Never Hillary”-esque Bernie Sanders supporters who actively heckled speakers at the Democratic convention.

    By all means, vote your conscience. But I would urge you to explore news and information sources that actively challenge your beliefs or represent different perspectives. Not just sources that reinforce your prior beliefs and ideological commitments. I would say the same to the MSNBC/ Mother Jones/Noam Chomsky crowd on the left. At this time in history, you can find an information source that will tell you just anything you want to hear on any issue. Actively, open-mindedly seek out thoughtful people and information sources that challenge your beliefs.

  58. Hillary Clinton’s supposed crimes are irrelevant. What is indisputable is that she and Bill Clinton have monetized the US government in an absolutely unprecedented way. This is an election, not a criminal trial, and the burden of proof is not “beyond a reasonable doubt.” A vote for Trump is a vote for a peaceful revolt against the DC elite. A vote for Clinton is a vote to permanently entrench that elite.

  59. Space Ghost, don’t you feel that Trump isn’t exactly a peaceful kind of guy?

  60. Since I’m not American I’ll try to keep out of this as much as possible. But on the other hand, you keep on electing presidents who think they are some sort of sheriff of the world, so I think I’ll throw my two cents in there anyway. After Sanders left you don’t really have a good candidate, do you? He was what Trump’s followers think Donald is; Someone who can make a difference. But let’s not talk about what could, would, should have been. You have Clinton and Trump. The first one will most likely secure a status quo and continue in Obama’s footsteps. But sadly she’s a hardcore Israel supporter and she will at one point most likely go after Iran, making the world even more dangerous – for you and for the rest of us. Trump on the other hand says he won’t meddle so much abroad, and he claims he’ll make peace with Russia, and that’s good, I guess. But being an irrationale moron who’ll say anything to get a vote, we know he won’t do any of the things he promises during the campaign. Super capitalists who get into power only makes things worse for those of us who belongs to the 99%. So, Americans, please vote for Clinton. As Michael Moore says, she might surprise us…

  61. Man, I bet you guys wish you had MY president.

  62. Space Ghost, couple things:
    1. I agree that the Clinton email server issue is troubling. It’s almost surely not unprecedented and was deemed not illegal.
    2. I agree that the Clinton Foundation stuff is concerning, but I see no evidence that this is illegal either. In at least recent history and perhaps beyond, it is the rule, not the exception for corporate, non-profit, and government figures to interact and flock together in different ways due to shared interests, whether that shared interest is climate change, gun control, etc.
    3. The Clinton Foundation gets generally high marks as a charity and was subjected to pretty unprecedented scrutiny as part of Clinton’s Secretary of State nomination/confirmation.
    4. Please cite a credible example (not from BreitBart, Fox News, or similar) of a donor to the Foundation concretely influencing a Hillary Clinton policy action.
    5. The idea that the Clinton Foundation represents an unprecedented monetization of government is both a sweeping and a completely elastic statement. More influence than Tom Delay and Abramoff? More than this?

    Corporate Donors Seek Return
    On Investment in Bush Campaign

    The largest corporate donors to Bush's campaign are beginning to seek -- and receive -- a return on their investments by pushing the White House on issues ranging from tougher bankruptcy laws to oil drilling in Alaska.

    Bang up job of keeping the focus on Clinton and not the mountains of evidence against Trump, including all the ridiculous things he’s said, the fact that most of his core policy proposals have been deemed fundamentally unworkable or dangerous by people in both parties, that he’s picked up few major newspaper endorsements than any presidential candidate in history, and that an unprecedented number of influential figures in his won party have broken what are generally remarkably strong partisan ranks to call him uniquely unfit in knowledge and disposition to be president.

  63. * “won” –> “own”

  64. Nope. I’d rather vote for Trump over a cold blooded corrupt murderer like Clinton

    MAGA

  65. I’m always curious about how the rest of the world views America’s elections. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that this has been a particularly weird one. It also seems like our discussion of foreign policy in the United States is hopelessly muddled. There are real questions about Libya and our handling of the revolt against Gaddafi, but it very quickly turns into dumb conspiracy theories about Clinton. Likewise, we should probably have a national debate about our relationship with Israel, especially as that country’s government has shifted rightward, but this conversation is practically non-existent in our news media.

    I will say that although there are plenty of unrepentant racists among Trump’s supporters, there’s likely plenty of people who are anxious about the economy and their jobs and have turned to Trump as a way to lash out or because they genuinely think he has some sort of solution. And of course economic anxiety and increased racism go hand in hand. It’s easier to get people to hate the Other when they’re afraid for their own safety and way of life. Whoever wins next Tuesday, Democrats need to take these economic concerns seriously because it’s not clear they have for the past twenty or so years.

  66. Democrats would not be successful passing a social welfare agenda that supports the working class–including the white working class–because Club for Growth fiscal conservatives would oppose it and call it socialism. The broader element of Democratic domestic fiscal policy has been aimed at creating programs to shore up the working class, which have been violently opposed by Republicans as un-American. The up-is-down, heads-I-win-tails-you-lose evidence-impervious reasoning is just staggering.

  67. RBATTY- To answer your question how the rest of the world views on this election, I can´t answer that. But to me personally, the election seem like a realization of two Stephen King novels; DEAD ZONE and THE STAND. DEAD ZONE as that one predicted Donald Trumps rise to power, and THE STAND as it looks like the struggle betwwen Abigail ( Hilary Clinton) and Randall Flagg (Trump).

  68. That’s essentially my view, Shoot. Donald Trump is the Dead Zone Martin Sheen candidate. I do believe the liberal policies are a better deal for the country at large and that people supporting Trump specifically and Republicans generally are engaged in classic false consciousness: identifying with those who would obstruct policies to widen our social safety net and give the median American a better overall standard of living (vs. massive income inequality) and essentially embracing a nihilistic rejection of evidence on things like climate change. That is why I could not vote for today’s version of Republican, because it’s a party that clings to debunked ideas and ineffective or dangerous policies in the face of all contrary evidence and then finds a way to blame Democrats for the fruits of Republican propaganda and obstructionism. That said, as even many sensible Republicans and Republican-leaning newspapers (the Dallas Morning Herald, for goodness sakes!!!) have observed, Donald Trump is not even a true conservative. He is something all of his own making and far worse.

  69. I noticed a lot of people really scared here. Just as scared as a lot of Trump voters. To me as an outsider it is mind boggling to me, how divisive in good/evil dichotomy the election is and it looks form a surface level kind of childish, that grown people being scared of “the other”´s Boogey Man

  70. There is no excuse to cast a vote for a person like Trump, I don’t care what nonsense you believe justifies that choice.

    My struggle is going to be finding a way to treat Trump supporters as human beings worthy of respect. Vern, I appreciate your writing on this subject as your charity towards these deplorable people in trying to bridge this gap is far more enlightened than my own. We need more people to stand up and speak out against shit that is clearly WRONG.

  71. Shoot, when you have a candidate who has actively encouraged violence against protesters, locking up opponents, coming up with religion-based exclusion criteria and tracking database, pulling out of NATO, backing out of alliances to hold North Korea in check, carpet bombing the non-extremist family members of extremists, using nuclear weapons, and starting trade wars with the countries whose trade alliances serve to facilitate the kind of economic interdependence that prevents military conflict (one good reason we don’t get into military conflict with China: we are economically inter-dependent), there is cause for alarm. There is cause for further alarm when he has repeatedly demeaned women and ethnic minorities, promoted Obama birtherism, and engaged in literally unprecedented reality show/WWE-grade heel behavior in insulting his opponents. And there is further concern at a Republican party so dysfunctional that it would produce a candidate who openly repudiates many of its ideas while still garnering a substantial degree of support from the same Republican base that supported George W. Bush, a guy whose policies share nothing in common with Trump’s except for general recklessness and ignorance in foreign policy. That is all cause for legitimate alarm.

  72. Skani – You have to hand it to Republicans: they’re pretty damn good at playing the politics game. They have tricked a large portion of the American public into voting against their best interest. I think a lot of it has to do with their ability to get people to vote according to culture rather than policy. I’m reminded of a Republican from Texas (if I remember correctly) speaking out against “Obamacare,” specifically the law’s attempt at creating a base minimum of coverage for healthcare so that people don’t get screwed over when they have an unforeseen medical expense. She said something along the lines of, “Some people want to sip out of a champagne glass; others want to drink out of a red Solo cup.” It was a kind of brilliant piece of rhetoric. All of a sudden we weren’t talking about how these bare minimum insurance options screw over the insured. We’re instead talking about how those elites up in Washington are screwing over the good old fashioned average American who likes to barbecue in his back yard with friends and family. Of course, her position would have screwed over these same people, but nevermind.

  73. I’ve been wrestling with this because we have a local politician who has been caught having an affair with an underage (consenting) teenage. They all want him out due to his deplorable behavior and morals. The ones who are screaming the loudest though are all voting for Trump thus: a pedo isn’t good enough for local office but someone who is maybe a serial rapist is good enough for President of the United States.

    RBatty mostly beat me to what I wanted to say. I am from the South and even though I am not on the right and cannot in good conscious support Trump, I can’t help but want to defend my fellow Southerners on WHY they are voting for Trump. True many actively hate him and are just voting for him because he has an R next to his name, like my co-workers, but there are others who genually believe the Democrats/Left do not care about them and the Democrats/Left seem to keep proving them right. Example: Clinton calling them “deplorables” yes we can have a debate about how racism and sexism isn’t a deal-break for them (that is a good one to have btw)

    I have a neighbor, who arguably is an asshole, who put up a huge banner saying: “Stop Globalism. Vote Trump.” He worked in the car manufacturing industry so you can imagine where his entire career went. I can say from my standpoint that yes there are a lot down here that have serious issues with homosexuality and trans-sexuality (they do not understand it and it confuses and scares them) but I really do think that it is mostly all of our jobs being shipped out that angers them. Yes the hilarity and irony is that this whole globalization thing they hate was really initiated by their Saint Ronald Reagan (my boss named one of his daughters after him!) but in their defense Democrats have done jack shit to stop it. Obama is a pure globalist and Clinton will continue that.

    For the few, and I do believe they are few in the grand scheme of things, who buy Trump’s pitch do believe he can fix this and get the jobs back (he can’t). Honestly though I will say the over-whelming majority of those I know who are voting for him, and there are ALOT, hate his guts but they are going on a fuck you vote. They trusted the more professionals like Romney and McCain and got no where and they believe they need a shock to the system. Also I read a good article on The Atlantic that I can verify as truth in my area: Trump is Sarah Palin. They love it that EVERYTIME she/he opens their mouths liberals go into a great rage. From their standpoint, that can’t be bad.

    I’m not trying to change your mind just doing my part to explain WHY people would want a Trump (or Palin or like Bill O’Reliey etc.) because I see a lot on the left who just straight up gave up on them and are unconcerned with their concerns (all of the manufacturing jobs are going overseas or to robots and all they are left with is jobs at Wal-Mart). Oh yes some are racist, some are sexist, but I think trying to hear them out and attempting to show them that maybe that fear and hate is misplaced is better than calling racist, sexist, deplorables and ignoring all of their very real concerns. I see alot of people wonder how anyone can buy Fox New’s bullshit and vote for Trump and I just want to say: because they speak to them and (pretend) to care and listen.

  74. I used to enjoy your site, I actually considered you one of the best movie reviewers, but FUCK YOU.

    I’m not a Trump supporter, but endorsing Clinton this way? FUCK YOU.

    YOU SHOULD STICK TO WRITING ABOUT MOVIES.

    This is what I, and I’m sure many others, want from visiting outlawver.com, and this is why they visited your site. Insightful and fun reviews about movies, not inane, moronic political Bullshit.

    FUCK YOU

  75. Batty, of course. I voted for W. Bush in 2000. Why? Because I was rural and conservatively religious (I am still religious, just not conservatively), and I learned from my family and social network (my tribe) that Republicans represent real American values, while Democrats are alien lizards wearing fake human skins so that they can infiltrate the government to tax working people into poverty, covertly turn us into commies, make us all gay, give white people’s jobs to Mexicans and ethnic minorities irrespective of merit, and persecute Christians.

  76. I am actually learning a lot about America here. So thank you all by the way.

  77. Geoffrey, Batty, and frothing, emotion-driven Trump supporters uttering sentence fragments and expletives and innuendo but not concrete facts or workable ideas: What concrete policy would you like to see Democrats promote, that a Republican congress would also allow, that has even a moderate probability of helping the white working class? Stimulus money during the economic crisis that happened on Bush’s watch: violently opposed by Republican deficit hawks as driving up the deficit. Single-payer health care: violently opposed as socialist, communist, death panel-y, just as social security and medicare/medicaid were violently opposed by Republicans only to later be widely accepted as vital and fundamental features of our social safety net. Tax increases on median to below median income U.S. households proposed by Obama or Clinton: zero.

  78. I do not dispute the claim that white working class males believe that the Democrats don’t care about them, don’t have proposals to help them, and that Donald Trump might shake things up and deliver some results. What I would dispute is that such a belief has any logical, rational, or empirical support. One can perceive voting for Trump as a protest vote, but it is a vote for nihilism and idiocracy. You might as well write-in Gucci Mane or Curt Schiling.

  79. Skani – With Congress in Republican hands (which may still be the case after the election), it’s obviously going to be tough to pass worthwhile legislation. However, I do think that focusing on things like minimum wage, universal preschool, and raising social security benefits could get plenty of people behind them and are issues that could be used to bludgeon Republicans into submission. It would be difficult to argue against giving the poor and working class a raise, helping out children and working families, or giving a bit more money to the elderly. Of course, Democrats always have a way of tripping themselves up, so getting these things enacted will be tough.

    Thanks for the insight, Geoffrey. It’s easy to forget to see people who disagree with you as flesh and blood human beings. I’ve read a couple of news articles this that looked at individual conservatives during this election cycle that were illuminating. A New York Times article looked at a couple of evangelical Christians who were suffering whiplash from the cultural change of the last decade and felt that with the nomination of Trump, Republicans had abandoned them. A Washington Post article looked at a woman in western Pennsylvania (I believe) who had suffered economic hardships and appeared to be suffering from some mental illness. This woman spent a large portion of her day online sifting through insane conspiracy theories about Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton.

    And while I think these people are prejudiced and the latter woman may have had a complete break from reality, I think it’s important to extend empathy to people you disagree with. This is clearly an oversimplification to the massive number of problems we’re dealing with, but I do think there’s a lack of empathy in our culture.

  80. Vern, just a suggestion. You might want to consider locking this thread once the election is over.

    Things could easily get way out of hand.

  81. Batty, I certainly hope so on these policies. I would love to be proven wrong. In this case, I am operating on the general heuristic that the Republican congress would rather Alien invaders devour our children than pass a piece of bi-partisan legislation that is in some way also supported by or credited to Hillary Clinton, Obama, or any one with a ” – D” next to his/her name. Here’s hoping.

    I do have empathy for people who are hurting, and as someone who has voted for George W. Bush in his adult life, I damn sure better have some humility and empathy for people with whom I vehemently disagree, including Year-2000 Skani. I also respect them and their capacity for change enough to not handle them with kid gloves or enable them or lapse into the kind of relativism (that they ironically accuse Democrats of) that Trump and Clinton are essentially on par in their competence and capacity for evil. When people are trafficking in conspiracy theories, innuendo, and when they attempt to blame Democrats for Republican propaganda and obstructionism, I think we need to call them out on it without mincing words. And I’ll do the same to ignorance, wishful thinking, and self-righteous horse shit of the left wing or whatever other wing. Like Year-2000 Skani, I believe we have the potential to learn, challenge our views, refine our understanding, and make more informed decisions, so it’s important to me that empathy not result in enabling. I’m not handling Trump supporters with kid gloves precisely because I respect people enough to believe they have the capacity to engage facts, and when someone recalcitrantly refuses to do so, I am calling bullshit.

  82. Felix, I would argue we have a guy saying fuck you to Vern because he wrote a piece on why he’s voting for Hilary Clinton. If Vern was a supporter of Trump, I wouldn’t stop coming to the site.

  83. As a Brit I feel my most valuable contribution to this would be to conduct some research and confirm that, yes, Mario Van Peebles does endorse Hilary, so this is very much on message.

  84. I’ll be happy to try to tone down my brow-beating. Probably most of my extended family are Trump supporters. I love them. I will share meals with them, help them move a couch, and enjoy conversations with them on a myriad of topics, etc. It’s hard not to sound patronizing when you genuinely believe that people supporting Donald Trump are not simply proposing alternative, potentially viable solutions to policy challenges but are rather supporting an historically dangerously ignorant and mercurial candidate. When I think something is dead wrong and I say it’s dead wrong, it’s hard not to sound condescending, but I’m not sure what else to say that would still be true and would not be enabling. In a discussion thread specifically about the respective merits and possible futures of an America and world where Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump is the President of the United States, spirited discussion seems entirely appropriate. If I start talking at length about basic income or the Bush White House in the JACK REACHER thread, by all means tell me to get back on my meds.

  85. I want more of this kind of Vern column. THANK YOU.

    I hope my vote at least cancels out nomorecoal’s vote, though I can sympathize with the implied backstory that he has been fucked over by Santa his entire life and just isn’t going to take it anymore.

    THANK YOU.

  86. Skani – That empathy comment was in no way directed at you. It wasn’t directed at anyone around here (except maybe that guy who kept on writing “fuck you” in all caps). It also wasn’t an attempt to prevent people from engaging in fact-based argument. It was just a general observation about America in 2016.

  87. That’s fine, Batty. I was offended and didn’t take it personally, but I did welcome it as a useful general reminder, since I think I am getting revved up about this stuff now, and so I may have shown a slight uptick on the Dick-o-Meter. As a country, we are polarizing along education level and rural-urban. That’s important, because people with more education are almost by definition working with somewhat different ideas and perspectives and critical thinking tools, which is not the same as saying that every college educated person is smarter or more correct than every non-college-educated person. It’s also important because people in urban and suburban areas are more apt to come into contact with minorities in daily life and realize that, despite legitimate cultural or lifestyle differences, they are, in fact, flesh and blood human beings who love their kids, believe everyone should have a shot at happiness, want healthcare, and don’t have horns or reptile skin underneath their fake human skin. In a rural area, it is more homogeneous, and you can more readily insulate yourself from gay people or people who look different than you and turn them into monsters or abstractions and not people like you trying to make their way in this ever-changing world and this sometimes tough life. Never encountering people different from you or perspectives that challenge your own by living an insular life surrounded by like-minded people can pose some problems for empathy. Of course, East and West Coast liberals who have no knowledge of rural America can also fall into stereotyping, condescension and demonization of white, rural, working class people, because they never go to white, rural, working class places. That is a problem, too. I think for me the difference is that centrist-to-liberal democrat policies align best with the facts of science and history, which are nothing more or less than our attempt to better understand what works and doesn’t.

  88. was NOT offended! :)

  89. Actually, I got so revved up above that I lost my own darn train of thought. One point I wanted to make was that the urban-rural/college-vs-no-college divide uniquely challenges our capacity for empathy, because we are living in different geographical, socio-cultural, and informational worlds. My extended family can literally go months without seeing a non-white or openly gay person, and they can literally go years without consulting news sources other than Fox news. I cannot go a week without interacting with gay folks or atheists or devout evangelicals or African Americans or Jews, because they are my literal next-door neighbors or valued co-workers or members of my congregation or my family. I probably can’t go more than a couple weeks without interacting with a self-identified Republican, because they are my family. And I do manage to go months without consuming news from Hannity or Rachel Maddow, because they are both so partisan that I don’t really get anything from them but ammunition to support whichever meta-narrative I have adopted.

  90. I liked when this site was about movies and I am fine with political opinion when discussing film but don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining, Senator Vern.

  91. The opposition to Hillary is deranged.

    The emails are bad. But people act like she murders children. The anger is completely out of proportion to the “crime.” Most if not all candidates have marks like that in their past. It’s small time stuff, not treason. What happened with Benghazi? She did exactly what wrong? Nothing. But people act like she personally fired RPGs at our servicemen. It’s off the charts the reaction.

    Then there’s the conspiracy theory smears and lies. People say and act like she did these things which are complete innuendo and lies. And they use this stuff to condemn her with certainty. It’s nothing but smears and rumor.

    I don’t really like Hillary Clinton. But I seriously despise the deranged hate machine pointed at her.

    Her crime is she is boring. She’s milquetoast not Mephistopheles. She’s an insipid bureaucrat. She puts me to sleep. Her voice drones. She’s so staged in every position it’s perfectly designed to make her as unexciting and boring as possible. All of this “vast corruption” is lies or small time stuff par for the course for all candidates since forever, including Trump. But people really do treat her with a double standard.

    Crap that for another candidate something they would shrug about, for Hillary they act like she disembowels children and slurps their intestines: double standard. It is utterly deranged the hate she gets, completely out of proportion.

    Like these Weiner emails. A certain group of people: “OH MY GOD CORRUPT.” Has anyone seen them? When they look at them and most is boring, nothing really horrible, are they going to retract the instahate? No.

    The content of the Weiner emails will come out in January, the news story will get little interest because it doesn’t have a smoking gun to prove their prejudice. It doesn’t reinforce the hate. The content will be utterly unremarkable and boring. Like Hillary. Like the wikileaks emails.

    But if you ask anyone about it, “OMG SHE IS EVIL CORRUPT. THE EMAILS FULL OF EVIL.” Because for many people, the bias removes all effort at proof and substance.

    What did all the Benghazi hearings show? The Wikileaks dumps? Minor bullshit par for the course for any candidate. But the mindless hate goes on and on.

    I don’t know how much is misogyny or just long standing Clinton hate or maybe both. But they’re going to impeach her. And it will be Benghazi all over again: so much fire and brimstone and yelling assholes and ultimately nothing.

    “Because she’s so evil so corrupt!!!! WHARGARBBBL”

    So much fury. So little substance.

    She will make a fine president but the hate against her will continue, deranged and without justification. A commentary more on the content of the character of the people that dislike her than Clinton herself.

  92. I’m amazed how many some people prefer to tell Vern how to run his site.

  93. Confidential letter to people who have a problem with Vern discussing politics or anything else the fuck he wants: This is not Burger King. This is not the latest superhero reboot. You don’t get to browbeat management into giving you what you want. The name on the sight says Outlaw Vern, not Whiney Bitch Baby Wants Movie Talk Now. Many living in the modern era do not understand this concept, but the deal is, Vern is a Fucking Artist. What a Fucking Artist does is express him or herself honestly and without particular regard for what the audience for his Fucking Art might expect or even demand. The second a Fucking Artist starts doing that, he stops being a Fucking Artist and becomes a Fucking Hack. A Fucking Hack makes Fucking Product. A Fucking Hack is not a terrible thing to be. Many Fucking Hacks have done great work and lived fruitful lives, and some Fucking Product has turned out to be Fucking Art despite itself. But Vern is not a Fucking Hack. Vern is a Fucking Artist, and a Fucking Artist can only be as he or she is, not as you demand him or her to be. So if what you want is a Fucking Hack who’ll smile and serve up a piping-hot DR. STRANGE review on command even when his conscience is eating away at him to speak his mind into the howling void, I’m sure you’ll find one. Fucking Hacks are Fucking Legion. You’ll be a happier person with one of them, for Fucking Hacks are accommodating above all else, and you certainly won’t be missed here. We appreciate Fucking Artists here. For they are so Fucking Few.

  94. I can tell this thread will be legendary

  95. Word. People can just say the most vile, hateful, demonizing shit about a person, but you offer them some pushback and they take their marbles home.

  96. The Fucking Artist Formerly Known as Vern

  97. We’ll miss you, nomorecoal.

  98. MAJOR SUPPORT FOR VERN. Talking about politics is hard for rational/intelligently critical people right now. Hillary isn’t Sanders, she isn’t Warren, and she isn’t a third party candidate, but she also isn’t the Machiavellian bitch-devil that many people seem to see when they look at her. She’s been an effective and socially progressive career politician for four decades now; she hasn’t buckled under 20 years of Republican witch hunting; the Republican accusations against her have yet to amount to a hill of beans; and, most importantly, if you don’t vote for Hillary, you are effectively voting for the burgeoning TRUMP NATION. This is an election where casting a protest vote is pretty dangerous, and abstaining from voting is equally dangerous. But it’s really hard to talk about this stuff without pissing people off. So again: MAJOR SUPPORT FOR VERN.

  99. Someone shared a Noam Chomsky column that said, and I’m paraphrasing, voting is not our chance to make a personal statement (i.e. protest vote). It is our responsibility to choose the direction of our country. It also makes me think, the right to vote is not the right to have our ideal candidate every time. That seems like a sort of modern entitlement that we should get everything we want or we stomp our feet and refuse to participate. I’m sure George Washington wasn’t everybody’s favorite but he was the one leading the revolution against England so he was the best leader at the time.

    I’ve shared Vern’s column many times on Facebook to encourage people that participating in democracy can mean voting for someone you don’t like because she’s still better. And especially that she is more likely to listen to constituents asking her to make policy than the other guy.

  100. I try to explain it to people like this:

    All you get to do with your vote is put your hand on a steering wheel with many hands on it and move the direction of your country one more millimeter to the left or right.

    That’s as good a deal as you ever get in this world, no matter the system or the situation.

    If you hold your vote hostage because you don’t have your dream candidate, or you don’t vote because you don’t think your vote matters enough: you’re being self-destructively idealistic.

    Politics is strategy. All you can do is influence. So influence and matter to your country and your world.

    Alienation from the process where you have a voice means whatever it is you care about, won’t matter to those in power. But if you vote, even if you lose, you put the values you stand for on the map as a constituency for someone to care about and win your vote. And thus you matter.

  101. I feel like my apologetic, don’t read this if you don’t want to intro paragraph should at least earn me some lower caps on some of the FUCK YOUs. Like, maybe Fuck You, so there is a mix of lower case and upper case. I would accept that. The all caps FUCK YOU seems out of proportion with my crimes in my opinion.

  102. I even said “pretty please” in the headline! Can’t both sides agree to be ladies and gentlemen about this shit?

  103. Vern I think it’s a reflection of the tone of the candidacy of Trump.

    He swept aside much of the rest of the Republican field in the primaries simply because he was willing to be more vulgar. There is a real taste for this sort of crudeness out there.

    And I think a lot of people have a right to be angry. But I think the way they express their anger is simply self-destructive, and destructive to the common forums of our social lives.

    We will suffer for the Trump candidacy in the alteration of what is considered acceptable in general society. No one can make a good argument or present an alternative point of view, by personally insulting anyone who disagrees with you. But this is what Trump rose to prominence doing.

    Trump has shown that a certain approach works, that really should not work if you care about the health of society, but does work nonetheless with too many of us.

  104. I’m writing this comment…I’m not sure why? Maybe just because I want you all to know I’m here? I’ve often read the comments but never really felt the need to make one myself, which is probably for the best, it makes it easier for anyone who wants believe I’m lying to do so.
    Anyway, I’ve been reading your stuff for nearly a decade, and I’m a big fan Vern, keep up the good work. I got a bit misty-eyed when I read the “yes we motherfucking can” post, back in 2008, and I’m proud to own a copy of Seagalogy, and I look forward to the next Slasher Search.

    BUT.
    It’s been a real weird couple of years (2015 & 2016), and so, though I don’t have much hope, in two days I’ll be voting for The Donald with gusto, and if by some miracle he pulls it off I’ll be front row at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the first of many American Auschwitzs, clapping like mad.

  105. if by some miracle he pulls it off I’ll be front row at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the first of many American Auschwitzs, clapping like mad

    da fuq?

  106. Baraka: if he wins, Trump will declare everyone who voted against him a traitor and send them to concentration camps for mass execution.

    Hopefully.

  107. Godwin’s Law & Poe’s Law converge here in the weirdest way.

  108. Jeremy, you’re a real piece of shit.

  109. Sternshein:

    Let the hate flow through you

    Pretty much a forum weapon that I wanted to add to youtube since I couldn't find it. I obviously don't own any of this. If you don't know what it's from, sha...

  110. Yeah, actually Skani, your’e not *sure* of anything I would or wouldn’t do, as we’ve merely engaged for a handful of posts. Then there’s the hypocritical irony that the only person in this back and forth pejoratively name dropping given News sites, as if that is in and of itself an argument (a cute little con that has become its own talking point) is *open* minded you.

    As for that provably false notion of there being no substantive Never Hillary movement, by all means go ahead and prove it. Go ahead and link to some of those articles on prominent left-leaning platforms that Mr Walsh just seems to keep missing.

  111. So because you had a rough couple years, the whole world has to suffer for it? That seems a bit extreme, don’t you think? I went through a real bad patch in that period, too, and all I did was hate myself and go to the bar a lot.

  112. I’m sure this will clear everything up:

    FBI finds no criminality in review of newly discovered Clinton emails

    'Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton,' FBI Director Comey wrote.

  113. Majestyk:
    (Feels weird actually replying to you after all these years.)
    The whole world has to suffer?
    What are you taking about? Trump’s going to lose. I’m going to lose. The Bad Guys are going to lose. Good wins. Love wins. God’s in his Heaven, All’s right with the world!

  114. Somebody needs to make a wish fulfillment movie where there is a murderer and he’s murdering trolls on the Internet. They’re not quite up there with child molesters or rapists but they’re not low on the list either.

  115. Glad to meet you, Jeremy. No need to feel weird. I’m just a regular guy who puts his pants on one leg at a time (often in the middle of the afternoon) like anybody else.

    So you’re voting for Trump even though you think he’s going to lose? And you think that’s good? Or am I missing some deep sarcasm here?

    You’re making jokes that don’t belittle anyone, which puts you ahead of most people involved in this debate on either side. What’s a non-supervillain like yourself doing voting for Trump?

  116. Rogue, you just owned me, bro. Perhaps with much prayer and years of therapy, I may recover from that sick burn. Too early to tell. I’ll keep you all posted.

  117. Majestyk:
    I’ve embraced my role as The Villain of The Story. From what I remember of your posting history, you’ll probably try to persuade me to rethink my choice, maybe while sitting backward on a chair, and while that’s very sweet of you, I’m afraid I have to decline.

    Evacuate?

    In our moment of triumph!?

    I’ll be back Wednesday to congratulate you on your heroic triumph over the forces of evil, ok?

  118. Nah, I’m a brawler, not a heart-to-hearter. You want to go toe-to-toe, I’ll shit fire down the throat of all of your arguments, but if you want to be decent about it (you prick) I’ll just shrug and let you go on your way.

    Besides, there’s still good in you. I can feel it.

  119. Majestyk: I’m more machine now, than man, twisted and evil.

    See you Wednesday/possibly Tuesday night.

  120. BTW: Vern’s plea for lower case Fuck Yous shows what kind of a next level thinker he is. I knew he’s got this.

  121. Thanks for this editorial Vern. Could not agree more. And to the Trump supporters… I imagine you must cheer for every evil villain in the movies Vern reviews here, because that’s who Trump is and what he represents. You must root for Vader and the Empire against the rebels. Also, you should probably stop watching Carpenter and Romero flicks because the creators don’t share your twisted, right-wing philosophy. You do get to enjoy TRIUMPH OF THE WILL though, so have fun with that.

  122. I am going to give most Trump supporters the benefit of the doubt and say that they are completely blinded by their hatred for Hillary, Obama, and liberalism in general. They have been egged on by the rich Republican elites for years in the guise of Fox News, preaching to them about how the world is going to hell in a handbasket. They are tired of Washington giving lip service to important issues like illegal immigration while simultaneously allowing the problems to grow. They want to lash out against the establishment (which helped Bernie Sanders as well, of course) and Trump pushes their buttons.

    I have to believe this because my dad is one of them. He loves Trump. He hates Hillary, hates liberals, watches Fox News and nothing else, believes the conspiracy theories about how America is no longer Great and has been hijacked by politically correct whack jobs who are intent on stealing “his” country. He is a fine upstanding Christian man who has worked his ass off his whole life as a small business owner, and his support of Trump’s rhetoric is not necessarily the result of racism. More like xenophobia. He is pissed off about Islamic terrorism (something that never wore off since 9/11) and doesn’t know what to do to solve it, and doesn’t realize or can’t admit that a show of strength can’t solve the issue. He has black friends and his general manager at his store is black, but he is frustrated at the violence in our cities and the problems in the black community, and the recent BLM protests, and he just wishes the legacy of racism would go away, and why can’t these people pull themselves up by their bootstraps like he and his father did? He loves an inappropriate joke now and then and probably thinks Trump’s sexist leanings are charming, and even though they go overboard into creepy territory his detest for all things politically correct means he can disregard the “feminist” criticisms.

    All of this is brought on by a narrow world view promoted by the Rush Limbaugh crowd, and he has become increasingly radicalized against the left over the past 30-40 years. He’s got a drawing of Ronald Reagan in a cowboy hat hanging up in his little office at his business…. What would Reagan think of Trump?? He’d be appalled, that’s what he would think. But my dad doesn’t have a choice here. And, truthfully, the Democrats have not given him a choice. It was either Bernie (who no moderate Republican could ever support) or Hillary (who many of them hate with a vengeance).

    All either party had to do to win the election easily was to run a clean, moderate candidate who has some ambitions for real change and who isn’t deeply entrenched in the Washington machine. A moderate Republican like John McCain (before he sold his soul to get the nomination, and lost his mind by picking Palin) would have wiped the floor with Hillary. A squeaky clean, moderate Democrat would have beaten Trump easily. Either side. Somebody who would clean up our tax code, pass some real campaign finance reform, drive special interests out of Washington, and pass some realistic and workable immigration reforms. These are real problems that could be solved by a president working across the aisle with both parties.

    Instead, in his mind, we have a choice he hates and one who says some of the right things. And really, I don’t have any hope that Hillary will fix anything either. Hillary will be blocked continually by Republicans and won’t be able to get anything done. Trump doesn’t even seem to have any realistic plans. Both are losing choices, but at least Hillary seems competent and probably isn’t going to do anything idiotic (if we can keep her from setting up email servers).

    Trump, on the other hand, is such an obvious scam artist that I can’t believe people would even consider voting for him. He has adopted the most radical of right-wing agendas specifically to polarize the party, and the country, and force the other Republican candidates out of the running by appealing to his constituent’s basest instincts. I guess they think it’s good enough that he says he’ll clean up the country and make it great again without actually giving any reasoning how, or making any real commitments. His “best” argument seems to be that he has been taking advantage of the system for so long as an entitled, privileged, extremely rich jerk that he now is in a unique position to turn around and fix everything that got him where he is today. This seems highly unlikely. Just looking at his business record of constant deals where he ends up making money while other people are left paying out for his bankruptcies and fighting his lawyers for their end of the bargains, I really hope America doesn’t fall for this scam.

    But my dad, and a lot of America apparently, sees Hillary as a scam too. And they’d rather have a scam artist who supposedly wants to burn the system down, than one who they think has rigged the system against them in favor of some illegal immigrants, or some gays, or whatever, so she can line her pocketbook with campaign donations and ill-advised Wall Street speeches. The real scam (in my opinion) is that Trump has no real intention of changing the system at all, and he just wants to keep rigging the system so the rich get even richer, while tearing down the institutions that help the poor and disadvantaged (which at times includes his own electorate). This has been the scam of Fox News this entire time. Preach freedom, independence, American exceptionalism, and standing on your own two feet, while rigging the system and giving tax breaks to the rich corporations and tycoons who need them the least.

    We need Hillary for 4 years just to avoid Trump, but maybe some good will come of this. Maybe this election will start some sea change that ends up getting the corruption out of Washington. Not Bernie (he is not electable), but some moderate Democrats and Republicans who can agree to disagree on some issues (abortion, guns) while making real changes where it matters.

  123. Hell of a post, rainman. Thank you.

    And You’re Welcome, Vern. I was a bit drunk when I posted. Glad I have nothing to be ashamed about.

  124. Jeremy, I haven’t had time to read the last paragraph of your post yet, but so far it’s great and thanks for saying hello!

    rainman – excellent post, thank you.

  125. THANK YOU (in capital letters) to rainman for that nuanced analysis.

    And some Thank Yous to all of you for creating another epic thread here on OutlawVern.com.

    But has anyone addressed the the real issue here? – Steven Seagal is now a Russian citizen.

  126. rainman, you’re saying what I would think is clear to anyone with common sense. OBVIOUSLY these people (Trump, Fox News, miscellaneous Republicans) aren’t going to help us. Can’t you see that? I know politics is ugly but it seems they don’t even have to try that hard to deceive now. So what separates those who can see through it and those well meaning folks who don’t?

    And Vern, some more next level stuff in your reply to Jeremy. Fantastic.

  127. Wouldn’t the plural of Auschwitz be Auschwitzes? Or maybe Auschwitzen? I don’t know but I feel like if I had any self respect at all and was about to out myself as a terrible human being and bigot, I would figure that shit out.

  128. As an outsider looking in, I’m reminded of staying up to watch the last time I stayed up to watch the U.S. Elections. One of the guys there was American so I asked him, in all honesty, why so many of the electorate seemed hidebound on voting for someone who would be acting *against their best interests*. The guy told me I was underestimating the myth of the American Dream, that a great number of people were willing to see tax cuts for the rich because they believed that *they themselves would soon be rich*. No doubt such a hypothesis was a tad simplistic, but it sounded like there might be a grain of truth in it.

    But this year… sheesh.

    My wife is Italian. When Trump started pushing ahead in the primaries and *retweeting Mussolini quotes*, she turned to me and said: “America spent decades deriding Silvio Berlusconi (and rightly so), and now they’re going to actually *elect* him?!” Berlusconi, the self-described “outsider” who got into politics so that he could entrench and enrich his business interests, who routinely resorted to sexist, homophobic and racist stereotypes (and then complained that he was being attacked by the hostile media) while broadcasting 24 hour propaganda on his own media channels. Berlusconi started as a bad joke and ended as a worse one, with “Bunga-Bunga” parties and tax fraud. Sound familiar?

    I was in London a few weeks after the Brexit vote; people were shell-shocked. They all voted to remain and everyone they *knew* voted to remain. But London wasn’t England. Vast swathes of the country had been abandoned since the 80s and people wanted to vent. Right-wing elements seized on this, sold a pack of lies and misinformation about what leaving the E.U. meant and surprised themselves by getting away with it. At its heart, Brexit was a protest vote and for a brief moment, it probably felt good. But then, people who thought they had nothing to lose found out that things can *always* get worse.

    From the outside looking in, voting for Trump looks like a protest. You’re mad as hell and you’re not going to take it anymore. The dollar will drop – as the pound did after Brexit – to record lows, but that probably won’t make a difference to your daily life. Not immediately, anyway. The number of hate crimes will spike – just as it did after Brexit – but you’ll be able to say, “Well, not all Trump voters support that,” which is true, but doesn’t stop the fact that while not all Trump supporters are racists, ALL racists appear to support Donald Trump.

    It’s not worth it, guys. Pick your battles.

    Anyway, good luck.

  129. I think its Auschwii.

  130. PS – perhaps this will make you feel better:

  131. Nuts. I was trying to put a link in about Ireland’s President Higgins queuing at an ATM machine, but now I’m accused of being a SPAM BOT. Oh well.

  132. I’m fairly certain the Matt Walsh in these comments is the same asshole who penned this piece of garbage:

    Robin Williams didn't die from a disease, he died from his choice - The Matt Walsh Blog

    253.0Kshares Share Tweet Plus Pin LinkedIn Reddit StumbleUpon Digg Email Print I’m not normally one to write a blog post about a dead celebrity, but then I suppose there is no such thing. There are only living celebrities, not dead ones. In death, wealth and Continue reading →

    Man, fuck that guy.

  133. I didn’t mean to delete the post about the pot of gold. Accidental clicking. My apologies.

  134. In 2.5 centuries we have never elected a candidate who is under investigation by the FBI? Well, good thing she’s not anymore.

    You know what else we’ve never done in 2.5 centuries? Elected a candidate who had a court date on racketeering charges three weeks after the election.

    Luckily, we still won’t be as the size of his loss tomorrow will be historic.

  135. High five, Vern. Majestyk, thank you.

    My reasons for voting for Clinton are similar to Vern’s.

    An additional personal reason I will be voting for her is simply because I need a president who will veto a repeal of Obamacare. Nobody thinks it’s the perfect solution for reforming healthcare, but it works for a hell of a lot of people who had nothing at all before. I’ve had health insurance for the first time in a decade because it became affordable for me for the first time. And I have a very good friend who was able to get treatment for his wife’s chronic health issues because of it. That’s changed our lives. I live in a red state that ranks in the lower third of health care ratings, and refused to accept funding to set up a state run marketplace or expand Medicaid. If Trump gets elected, Paul Ryan will lead another vote to repeal, and I won’t be able to go to the doctor anymore. Not ok.

    It’s good to know so many readers here are voting. It encourages me to think that those who are pro-Nicholas Cage theatrical releases will be well represented tomorrow.

  136. Honestly, I am just dumbfounded by this whole shit show. From the moment Trump announced his candidacy I have been expecting him to shout, “Haha, just kidding, suckers!” Almost every thing that comes out of his mouth sounds like something from a satire. He’s a character in a movie I would never believe could happen in real life. At first, I thought he was running as a favor to the Clintons to sabotage the Republican party, but I have come to the astounding conclusion that this is real; he means what he says (when he says it, because I don’t think anything sticks in his brain past the point it vomits out his mouth) and thinks he can be elected President and then successfully run the country. I still cannot imagine that he actually wants to run the country, so I’m not sure what he thinks he’ll be doing. This whole thing is North Korean dictator level of delusion and crazy.

    And the biggest joke of all is a lot of people are buying it.

  137. Honestly the most baffling thing about this election was your exchanges with Seagal on Twitter.

    I mean, “What does it take to change the essence of a man?”! Kris Kristofferson’s character in Fire Down Below is essentially Trump! The Patriot has a right wing militia recklessing killing everyone with a virus!

  138. I like to think that Steven Seagal is just deep undercover. He’s trying to get in Putin’s good graces so that he can take out one more threat to America’s security.

  139. Jek Porkins, you are spot on. I call the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare” because damn right, he should own it – the rate of year over year inflation for health care is down dramatically, pre-existing conditions are a thing of the past, and 20 MILLION additional Americans have health insurance because of Obama, and that number would be even higher if it wasn’t for shitheel Republicans who blocked it in their states.

    It’s not just POLITICS — it’s people’s LIVES, and yet these fuckers treat the functioning of government like it’s a game of goddamn football, and act like a bunch of whiny ass pathetic losers while the media spout “Both sides!” the whole time like they get a shiny nickel every time that phrase passes their goddamn lips.

    So keep on keeping on, Vern. It’s your house and you are free to say whatever the hell you want, brother. If anybody doesn’t like it, there’s the door, comrades.

  140. I haven’t trusted Hillary since she got caught lying about landing in Bosnia under sniper fire. She then tried to weasel out of it by claiming she simply misspoke one time, even though she had been using her “heroic” story in her speeches for years.

  141. For what it is worth, I hope it all works out.

  142. The number of questionable things Clinton is accused of doing pales in comparison to what Trump has been accused of, and even in comparison to the things he has flat out said on the record on camera. For literally every negative thing you can say about Clinton that is a verifiable fact, there is a corresponding Trump thing you can identify that is public fact or even direct YouTube-able Trump quote that is more bellicose, infeasible, boorish, illegal, and/or prima facie ridiculous by a factor of 2 to 10000. Many of those have been enumerated above. What has Clinton said or done that compares to the wall, bunches of countries getting nukes, racketeering charges, bridgegate (if we’re going for guilt by association), trade war, grab them by the, or unprecedented levels of within-party condemnation, or paucity of newspaper endorsements (compared to other historical GOP nominees alone)?

  143. Bosnia sniper fire? Trump vigorously publicly promoted birtherism for years, denies ever engaging in sexual harassment, claims that people were publicly celebrating 9/11. He is a compulsive PUBLIC liar.

  144. The Liberal media has whipped everyone into a frenzy. So many people in this thread bought the hyperbole that Trump is Satan hook line and sinker. When until recently Trump was more progressive than Hillary.

    I’ve lost respect for Vern for pushing the hysteria and paranoia on a site that should be fun.

  145. Skani the difference is Hillary was an elected official with an important job to do. Instead she misrepresented the situation in Bosnia and spun self serving bullshit that everyone who was there with her ended up shooting down.

  146. It’s like the end of Revenge of the Sith when the Republic became the Empire. The moment The Donald says “….and there will be…peace” I’m gonna start rolling in circles on the ground like Curly from The Three Stooges. (

  147. Welp. Guess I was wrong as FUCK.

  148. I did not expect this. And neither did anyone else apparently. Well, this is going to be interesting at least.

  149. Well, you fuckers blew it.

    On the plus side, the dollar will be so low, that I will import a shit ton of stuff from the Us in the next few weeks before we all gonna die.

  150. Trump is winning.

    Can you fucking believe it?

  151. But in all seriousness, I haven’t been that scared about anything that happened in the world since 9/11.

  152. The Undefeated Gaul

    November 8th, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Jesus Christ. What a weird, weird country you guys live in…

  153. Well, fuck. I’m putting my money down right the fuck now for Kanye 2020.

    Also, Mr Subtlety’s blog title is proving more and more prophetic.

  154. I have this sinking feeling in my gut that only gets worse and worse the more reality sinks in.

    Like holy shit guys, what if this is literally the beginning of the end of the world?

  155. I think people should calm the fuck down, that´s what I think. Mass immigration to Canada? That is a ludicrous emotional response. All of a sudden the people who claimed to stand for reason all of a sudden act like headless chickens.. Let the dust settle and see where we REALLY are at.

  156. Does anyone else plan on listening to the ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK theme on a loop?

  157. The last time I remember being this shocked it was 1989. I was 6 years old watching THE EXORCIST for the first time.

  158. Between Clinton HQ playing DON’T STOP BELIEVING after the writing was on the wall and Trump HQ playing YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT it’s good to see this tragic farce maintained some moments of levity till the bitter end.

  159. Well, I don’t know what to say you guys. I don’t know what to do. Everything I was raised to believe America stood for just got voted down. I’m not sure how to face this.

  160. i’m completely amazed and i don’t where to comment so vern’s site is as good as any:

    what the fucking fuck?

    i’m an eternal optimist so maybe he’ll do something good. something? he wants to “rebuild inner cities”. whatever the fuck that means in trump world

    but i look at the supreme court. i look at international politics- the iran deal? so now iran builds nukes? healthcare reform

    i’m fucking freaked

    and i’m worried about the racist and sexist assholes out there who have now been greatly emboldened

    all of us here watch a lot of movies where the bully shows up, acts racist and sexist, and the hero kicks his ass

    the bully just won

    wow

    fucking wow

    what the fuck america?

    you’re a lot more racist and sexist than i ever thought

    and if someone says “a lot of america voted for him for reasons that aren’t racist or sexist”… well shit, they didn’t have much of a problem overlooking those huge racist and sexist issues now did they?

    jesus fuckity fuck

    i’m with you griff

    this is dystopian

  161. WITNESS ME! SHINY AND CHROME!

    How many movies from the 80’s were about a dystopian future ala ROBOCOP? Let’s face it, this is where the world was heading no matter what we could really do, human nature has it’s dark side and it’s bound to get the best of us.

    Mankind is fucking tragic if you think about it, what comes to my mind is Icarus, he flies so high in the sky with his human ingenuity created wings but because they’re wax and not real wings they melt from the heat of the sun and he plummets into the sea.

    The point being is that for all we can do we still have our limitations, we can build wings but they’ll never be able to soar like the real thing and we’re doomed to plummet into the sea, I mean really, what other fate could there be for mankind but poetic tragedy?

    I try to take a zen approach and understand that there’s more to this universe than just the human race, we’re wonderful but we’re probably not all there is, you know what I mean?

  162. Way to blow it, gang.

  163. I’m getting more and more sad and angry with every minute. I’m not even mad at Trump anymore. He is just a douchebag who did what he does and got lucky.

    I’m mad at the fuckers who didn’t vote or made joke votes (Too many people voted for Harambe!), because they wanted to “send a message” or thought that there was no real difference between both candidates.

    I’m mad at the fuckers who claim to not support Trump and any of his believes, but still say things like: “Well, at least our first female president isn’t Hillary”.

    I’m mad at OMGLOL Reddit and 4Chan Kiddies, who were too stupid or ignorant to see that the people behind Wikileaks and Anonymous are opportunist shitroosters who only blow whistles, when they can profit from it.

    I’m mad at all the people who supported Trump ironically early on in his campaign, because they thought it was hilarious!

    I’m mad at the media, who was way too supportive of Trump and gave him all attention he wanted, while doing everything to make Hillary look like the leader of IS, because she said sooooooo many eeeeeeeevil things in her e-mails!

    I’m even mad at Jon Stewart, for leaving a year too early!

    But hey, Obama is still POTUS till January and who knows what Trump will do until then? I don’t know much about the American political system, but you can redo the election, if your elected president is in prison, right?

  164. This is the beginning of the end. In my lifetime, there has never been a more consequential American political season than this. What happens in the next months and years will determine no less than the future trajectory of our species.

    Is this what it felt like to be a Republican on the day that Barack Obama got elected?

    I’m genuinely frightened, and at a complete loss for words.

  165. This won’T cheer you up, but it’s an appropriate thing to watch.

    Stephen Colbert Signs Off on the 2016 Presidential Election | Live Election Night | SHOWTIME

    Before the next President of the United States is officially announced, Stephen Colbert reflects on politics and shares his advice on how to move on before s...

  166. “Well, I don’t know what to say you guys. I don’t know what to do. Everything I was raised to believe America stood for just got voted down. I’m not sure how to face this.”

    Oh Jesus Christ enough with the Chicken Little routine Vern! Enough with the baseless hysteria and paranoia.

    And seriously what were you raised to believe America stood for that you KNOW Trump is against? Any tangible proof to justify your histrionics?

    Trump has won, but you know what? A big reason for him winning is the Liberal media. They are so obviously biased and melodramatic, that they pissed off every logical person in the country, and I think they voted for Trump out of spite.

    I hope they realize what their agenda has done.

  167. Really feels like a nightmare. I’m expecting Freddy to show up in my room any minute now.

  168. How logical can a logical person be, if they vote out of spite, because they don’t like what’s on TV?

  169. Fuck it. Can’t let this shit knock my spirit. Not when there were tremendous victories for my precious pro-legalization movement last night. Lord knows I’m gonna need to chief me a crapload of trees within the next 4 years. So thank you to those voters for opening up more legal options for people like me.

  170. Well while I did vote but didn’t vote for her and also didn’t vote for him I come from a non-swing state that she won with major numbers I still feel really fucked up about all this. The way I saw so many around me be so demorilized in one fell swoop really broke my heart. Never witnessed anything like this in my 33 years on this Earth. Only thing that comes close to me as a NYer is 9/11.

    This is what more rational people must’ve felt when Nixon won. Except of course he at least HAD SOME ACTUAL previous political experience. This is so much worse.

  171. What have you done..?!

  172. I really don’t mind a President elect who is a WWE Hall of Famer and has traded barbs with Vince McMahon himself and had memorable Wrestlemania moments. But why oh why couldn’t it be Jesse Ventura?!?

  173. Like H.L. Mencken said, “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Trump is clearly a master manipulator. He knows exactly how to worm his way into the American lizard brain. Going forward, we need to think about how this could happen in America. We need to be aware that we’re not immune to nativism and jingoism, and we need to also interrogate where these tendencies come from.

    Earlier this year I read Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, and he suggests several times that the extreme forms of wealth inequality we’re seeing now could lead to nativism and a retreat from the world. He wrote this in 2014, I believe, before the Brexit and before Trump. I think there’s probably some truth to his statement.

  174. Some stray thoughts
    -Trump’s election reinforces my gravest concerns about the American voting public’s ability to assess evidence and to solve problems, of a domestic (money for working class people), international (military and trade and diplomacy), and global (climate change) nature. Emotionalism, tribalism, and short-term perceived self-interest trumping a curiosity to learn about the world and work toward pragmatic solutions to its problems, and also trumping a broad view of the interdependence and interconnectedness of today’s world. Al Franken made that comment a few years ago about being entitled to your own opinions but not to your own facts. Our election has been decided by people who feel entitled to their own facts or who just surrendered that part of their brain to pure emotionalism and protest catharsis.

    -Here’s the thing: You’ll note above that I had little positive to say about Hillary. She is an intelligent, competent, indefatigable woman who would have made a middling-to-good president with the right congressional environment. But she was too establishment, too transparently calculating, too stiff. She was a poor candidate. Weak messaging. Lack of pithy and galvanizing proposals. Anyone who is not clobbering Donald Trump in a world where a modest majority approves of Obama is a weak candidate. I’m honestly not sure she would have done much better against a Kasich or Rubio had they been the nominee.

    -If my worst fears about climate change’s pace prove false, and if Trump avoids getting us into a military conflict, then this may prove to be cleansing fire and a wake-up call that might re-align our politics in a good way. I’m cautiously pessimistic but will try to hope for the best.

    -My best good thoughts, prayers, etc. for Donald Trump to govern well.

  175. KMatchstick, Vern obviously don’t need people to speak on his behalf. But since you sort of invite the rest of us to join in when you Write here, I have to ask you; Exactly what does Trump stand FOR?

  176. So, hey, any of you guys outside of the US in need of a wife?

  177. I’ve been chewing it over and I think we’re going to be ok.

    Trump is an asshole but maybe he’s not quite a monster and really, what can the guy truly do? I think we forget that the President is not a dictator, they do not have absolute power, there are systems of checks and balances in place that prevent someone from fucking things up irrevocably, I think, plus the guy only has 4 years and we can potentially kick him out.

  178. On the bright side guys, I’m no longer not looking forward to go to work today. Now instead of being in shit moods, they’ll be in obnoxious/smug mode instead. So I should have a less stressful day than originally though. I don’t know about all you other guys who don’t work where I do though.

    Seriously though, I’m trying to be optimistic. Maybe the Democrats will take this loss to heart and start listening to those they ignored (and insulted) now and try to mend ties. As for Trump’s presidency, every time I try to look on the bright side of it and start convincing myself I then realize I’m looking at it from a very white point of view and am forgetting/ignoring his thinly veiled comments on POC and other groups. So I don’t know, all I think I can do at this moment in time is hope for the best and have a ‘we’ll see’ attitude. I don’t think giving into Trump-style hyperbole is going to help anything.

  179. Absolutely,Maggie! Can you cook?

  180. I feel bad for scaring Griff again, but while I don’t think he will randomly walk into the war room one night and drop a bunch of nukes on every country that he thinks is full of terrorists (“The Dutch are Muslims right? Bomb the Netherlands and that’s an order!”), he will be surrounded by a congress of people, who are as corrupt, power hungry, racist, sexist, antisemitic, islam- and homophibic as he is and there won’t be many people who will stop him from most of the shit he does, because now they have an excuse to do it. (“We were just following orders!” “Who wants to stop us? Hillary?”) Maybe they will cross the line at building death camps for muslims, but who knows?

    Also I’m more scared of what OTHER people will do, because of him. He is a guy without a filter or a brain. He could just randomly walk on TV and say something, that makes North Korea so angry, that they feel the urge to demonstrate their nuclear power in the worst possible way. (I think we are safe from Russia in that regard, because if Trump says something stupid to them, Putin will just transfer some money on a secret bank account and the new POTUS will apologize in public, jump on one leg and command his wife and daughter to jump naked out of a cake and grab each other by the pussy, for his best friend’s amusement.)

    Not to mention all the “small” things, like undoing health care, probably making homosexuality a crime again, more power to the police and let them do random strip searches.

  181. Let’s face the fact that liberals kinda have been arrogant, obnoxious assholes these last few years, haven’t they?

    Economic wise it’s been rough in rural America, believe me I know and yet the left has not shown one iota of concern for any of the underclass who are also white, when you feel economically disenfranchised and you’re very livelihood is at stake, what else are you really gonna do? It’s pure lizard brain, survival instinct.

    I’m just trying to be optimistic and hope that for a lot of people who voted for Trump it wasn’t because they were racist or sexist but felt like from a pure economic standpoint they had no real choice.

    Of course the problem is whether Trump can actually deliver on his promises or not, if he can’t then maybe the Democrats will learn that they have to be the party of all of America and not just for minorities, throw rural, white America a bone and don’t just dismiss them as a bunch of racist rednecks who don’t matter.

  182. Ok hold on, when I said “I know and yet the left has not shown one iota of concern for any of the underclass who are also white” I should clarify that Bernie did, Bernie talked about economics as they apply to all of Americans, not just identity politics.

    I believe that Bernie could have won, but the left as a whole became so wrapped up in identity politics that they missed the bigger picture.

  183. Honestly, if someone tells me “I voted for Trump, because I think the corrupt asshole, who is in high debt, never lead a successful business and is an all in all awful human being, who has no idea how politics work was the better choice from an economic standpoint”, I slap him hard. (Or ask my sister to slap her, in case it’s a woman.)

  184. How have liberals been arrogant?

    If Trump and a Republican congress act on even a minority of their ideas to even a modest degree, they can do a ton of damage. Repeal Obamacare, defund Planned Parenthood, up deportations, start trade wars, weaken our international alliances, allow rogue powers to go unchecked, engage in escalatory bellicose dynamics with other rogue nations, lose our leadership in the world, roll back our meager-to-nil progress on climate change as the timebomb continues to tick. So, yeah, a few things.

  185. I’ve been saying this for years and it’s been proven true: We are not a country. We are a land mass, sure. A geographical area on a map. But that’s just dirt. A country is its people, bound together by history and culture and belief. Look at us. We share no heritage, no philosophy, no ideals, no creed. In theory, that was our strength, but human nature sees only monsters in diversity. With no shared dream to unite us, we are unpalatable to each other. We’re bound by nothing but our fear and hatred, so we turned that fear and hatred into a person and made it president. And for that we will suffer, at long last, as one.

    On a lighter note, I’m gonna lose my insurance.

  186. I stand to lose lose my insurance too, not happy about that.

    Why oh why couldn’t the Democrats have rolled the dice with Bernie? It couldn’t have gone any worse, I mean Hillary got fucking DESTROYED, it was a landslide.

  187. Mr. Majestyk – The awful truth is that racism is part of human nature, they’ve done studies on this, whether you consciously know it or not your brain has instinctual prejudices, isn’t that awful?

    Knowing this it’s no wonder that the whole strive to the Star Trek type utopia for America was gonna fall apart, but maybe we can work out some sort of mutual agreement with each other even if the dream that we can all be buddy buddy all the time with each other is dead?

    I’m not advocating apartheid or anything extreme like that, but shit, if it’s not obvious now that diversity on a large scale just doesn’t work than what else can you do? Look at how Europe is falling apart, it’s just not human nature.

  188. I hate to be that cynical, but fuck, if Trump winning hasn’t taught me the lesson that you have to face the ugly truth, no matter how depressing, than I just don’t know.

    One thing’s for sure what liberals tried to achieve is dead, game over man! Game over!

  189. This is history being made folks, forget everything you know.

  190. The world is going to drastically change.

  191. To quote Snake Plissken: “Welcome to the human race.”

  192. A lot of people seem to feel like when Snake shut down the planet. “How will we go on?”

  193. Griff – I wouldn’t say Hilary lost in a landslide, she did win the popular vote after all. I definitely agree with you re: how the left shot itself in the foot with identity politics instead of coming together like the right did. The left has become so preoccupied with showing off outrage or “wokeness” or whatever the fuck like a badge of honor, constantly trying to top each other, that of course we ended up creating a divide in ourselves. Before Gawker was put out business, all they did was run articles about how Bernie was yet another “old white man”/career politician, and if you were voting for him, you were a “BernieBro” who was a latent misogynist who couldn’t stomach the idea of a woman in the White House. But then they also ran articles about how privileged and clueless Hilary is and how she (may or may not have) called (some) black youths “superpredators” like 25 years ago. It’s like who the hell do you want me to vote for then? Sorry that Leslie Jones or Laverne Cox or whoever isn’t running and you’re left with two old white people that aren’t Obama, but still try to support them and don’t character assassinate both of their characters irreparably for chrissakes.

  194. To put it in another way, consider the following order of events – 1) Colin Kaepernick makes a big deal about not standing for the anthem. 2) He says in interviews that both of the candidates are racist and “evil” and repeats the “but…but Hilary said superpredators!” thing (that the LEFT brought to light, not the right!) 3) Liberal blogs don’t dare disagree with him about how this is a dangerous stance or anything, they just write articles like Jezebel did about him being a “woke bae” and how he’s superhot and oooh I can gain points by loudly saying how hot he is because endlessly talking about how hot Idris Elba is got a little old back in 2013, and plus this guy has an afro now so that’s like extra points. 4) He admits to not voting in yesterday’s election 5) Nobody will give him hell for this and blame this whole election on invisible racist white people coming out of the woodwork and not supposed leftists like him “making a stand” and fucking everything up.

    Voting in my state among blacks was down by almost 10% from last time. My black friend at work couldn’t convince ANY of her black friends to come out and vote yesterday. They just didn’t care this time and again, nobody will blame them because of the identity politics Griff mentioned. We always have to blame every single thing on a rich white guy somewhere or our brains don’t know how to process it. And we need to stop thinking like that if we want to have any chance in 2020.

  195. As someone said yesterday racists and sexists have been embolded to the fullest going forward. Every rational citizen should be more vigilant from now on. Wolves in sheep’s clothing gonna be showing their true colors everywhere.

    Bright side: Music, movies, TV and art in general will get a huge quality boost these next 4 years. Writers and artists all over the world are gonna have substantial shit to share with the rest of the world now.

    For the same reason the best and most militant rap music ever came out during the Reagan and Bush Sr. regimes. Best rock during Vietnam. Or the best movies during Nixon and Reagan’s years.

    When there is no complacency in society and everybody is ready to rage against the machine it inspires them to create realness and share it with the world. When they are complacent and happy they produce formulaic hack shit.

    Creative types are gonna be even more pissed off than they were from 2000 – 2004.

  196. Mike Pence looks like an evil Alex Murphy if he actually ran OCP.

  197. I’ve been saying that Mike Pence looks like the non-Bogosian bad guy in UNDER SIEGE 2. Of course, nowadays Seagal would be more likely to shake that guy’s hand than stick a knife in his brain so I don’t know what to think anymore.

  198. Crushinator Jones

    November 9th, 2016 at 9:02 am

    These comments are killing me. Keep it up guys. I hate Trump and am super sad about this outcome but it wasn’t unexpected. You were ok with the shitburger that was Obama and the hugely stupid, flawed candidacy of Clinton, and you’re blaming it on racists and football players. This is hysterical. This country is doomed because centrist libs literally can’t stop feeling sanctimonious and morally superior for ten seconds and would rather share a John Oliver clip then actually figure out what the fuck is motivating these people. So keep on blaming the fucking Russians or the mean old media or secret racist, misogynisic half of America that showed up. Anybody but our current President (who is STILL trying to pass that fucking TPP that nobody other than the most vile corporate dicksucks want) and Hillary Clinton, a butt-sniffing warmongering ladder-climbing corporate tool whose answer to the rage at bankers and elites was “America is still great”

    Also ya boy Obama’s drone killing and NSA spying program is going to Donald Trump. Good job protecting our civil liberties, you fucking liberal idiots. Maybe a few more years of screaming about how racist and misogynistic and vile rural America is will fix the problem. AHAHAHHAHA —laughter becomes sobs

  199. ^Sore winners, man. So it goes.

  200. Crushinator Jones

    November 9th, 2016 at 9:08 am

    Read this, stop shitting on fellow citizens, and let’s get to work defeating this monster:

    Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit

    Will these two cataclysmic events be the peak of the west's implosion, or just the beginning? It all depends on whether we learn their lessons.

  201. All I’m gonna say is if you’re in a carrying state just strap up just in case. Better safe than sorry. With that said moving forward together is in all our best interests and this is coming from someone who leans more libertarian than anything else.

    We’ve survived shitty presidency’s before. As recently as the last 16 years. We can survive this. America has always been Rocky Balboa. Don’t let this shit keep you down. We need to get back up after this hit.

  202. Look, it’ll be a hard day. But I guarantee you that a hundred and sixty days’ ride that way… there’s nothing but salt. At least that way, we might be able to… together… come across some kind of redemption.

  203. We elected a candidate that was endorsed by the KKK and other white supremacist groups, as well as various foreign despots. But let’s just hope for the best, right?

  204. Michael Moore said this today;

    Morning After To-Do List:
    1. Take over the Democratic Party and return it to the people. They have failed us miserably.
    2. Fire all pundits, predictors, pollsters and anyone else in the media who had a narrative they wouldn’t let go of and refused to listen to or acknowledge what was really going on. Those same bloviators will now tell us we must “heal the divide” and “come together.” They will pull more hooey like that out of their ass in the days to come. Turn them off.
    3. Any Democratic member of Congress who didn’t wake up this morning ready to fight, resist and obstruct in the way Republicans did against President Obama every day for eight full years must step out of the way and let those of us who know the score lead the way in stopping the meanness and the madness that’s about to begin.
    4. Everyone must stop saying they are “stunned” and “shocked”. What you mean to say is that you were in a bubble and weren’t paying attention to your fellow Americans and their despair. YEARS of being neglected by both parties, the anger and the need for revenge against the system only grew. Along came a TV star they liked whose plan was to destroy both parties and tell them all “You’re fired!” Trump’s victory is no surprise. He was never a joke. Treating him as one only strengthened him. He is both a creature and a creation of the media and the media will never own that.
    5. You must say this sentence to everyone you meet today: “HILLARY CLINTON WON THE POPULAR VOTE!” The MAJORITY of our fellow Americans preferred Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Period. Fact. If you woke up this morning thinking you live in an effed-up country, you don’t. The majority of your fellow Americans wanted Hillary, not Trump. The only reason he’s president is because of an arcane, insane 18th-century idea called the Electoral College. Until we change that, we’ll continue to have presidents we didn’t elect and didn’t want. You live in a country where a majority of its citizens have said they believe there’s climate change, they believe women should be paid the same as men, they want a debt-free college education, they don’t want us invading countries, they want a raise in the minimum wage and they want a single-payer true universal health care system. None of that has changed. We live in a country where the majority agree with the “liberal” position. We just lack the liberal leadership to make that happen (see: #1 above).

    Let’s try to get this all done by noon today.
    — Michael Moore

  205. Crushinator Jones

    November 9th, 2016 at 9:55 am

    David Duke got his ass kicked in Louisiana – he got 3% of the vote. The endorsement of the KKK means nothing and they’re still vile to most of America.

    Clinton did 10% worse with blacks.
    She did 6% worse with hispanics.
    She did worst where Obama did best with whites.

    She lost, and she didn’t even have the guts to face her supports until this morning. She’s never been a leader. She’s just some richie celeb with fans.

  206. I remember when people thought Moore was crazy when he said he thought Trump would win. This guy absolutely has some insight into the mind of rust-belt American (where I’m also from originally). It always seemed to me that those on the left occasionally have to take potshots at Moore just to show how serious they are, but they should probably start listening to the man.

  207. Vern, please forward my contact details to Maggie.

    Shoot – back off man, I saw her first.

    Maggie, I will not make you a kitchen slave, as is Swedish custom. Australia is more progressive than that.

  208. They just passed a bill in Australia that allowed women to leave the bedroom. That is how progressive the aussies are.
    Don´t listen to him, Maggie!

  209. Can we give the analyzing a rest for the day and just allow each other to grieve? We have to go on and make the best of this, whatever side we’re on. But not today. Today we lick our wounds and heal.

    Tomorrow we fight.

  210. I can neither confirm or deny the existence of such laws. I WILL SAY that Aussie men are secure enough in their manhood to enjoy the lesser Kevin Costner films from time to time.

    We will let Maggie decide!

  211. Even though I understand the outsider appeal of Trump to his followers- and that those voters were simply far more excited about turning out to the polls- I’m still genuinely stunned by the result. I can’t remember an election in the last 30 years where all of the polling was off so badly. (And I’m not just referring to those who exist in a bubble, as even the Republicans’ internal data was predicting a Clinton victory.) 2004 was bit of a surprise but at least the final result made sense. No one at the time really believed a Kerry win was a foregone conclusion.

    If there’s any silver lining here for Dems it’s that they now may actually be in a better position to make gains in 2018 and 2020. The latter is going to be a crucial redistricting year and the odds of Dems winning the Presidency for a 4th consecutive time (especially with someone as polarizing as Clinton) were always going to be very long.

  212. poeface- You seem to have learnt a lot from this election. That is why you take a non-stance in the issue, because I could have accused you of lying, #LyingPoeface, your ignorance of law, #Kangaroocourt and other harmful memes #makeaustraliainhabitableagain

  213. Crushinator Jones

    November 9th, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    The main takeaway is that casting Trump as Satan and relentlessly mocking him didn’t work.

    25.6% voted Clinton
    25.5% voted Trump
    46.9% didn’t vote

    Almost half of America didn’t bother to show up. There are 6.6 million Dems that voted in 2012 and didn’t vote this year.

    It’s the candidate. Clinton was a terrible candidate. Say it again, and again, and again: it’s not just because of Bad People. It’s because she was one of the worst candidates for President to ever run.

  214. And we’re off!

    Trump Picks Top Climate Skeptic to Lead EPA Transition

    Choosing Myron Ebell means Trump plans to drastically reshape climate policies 

  215. @Crushinator

    Yes, it’s no coincidence that the winners of the past 40 years have been those candidates that people felt were either likeable or at least someone they could share a beer with. (The one exception being Bush Sr., but he happened to be up against someone even duller than him in the form of Dukakis.)

    Democrats have to stop pretending people vote with logic and realize they’ll only show up when motivated enough on an emotional level. It’s not enough to simply demonize the other side, you also have to generate enthusiasm for your own candidate in the process. Otherwise, people are more likely to just tune out altogether.

  216. KMatchstick – the values I was referring to were that America is a nation of immigrants, a “melting pot” where different cultures come together. That we value equality and inclusion (I grew up after the civil rights movement). That we were founded for religious freedom. That we are governed by the rule of law and due process. These are all things that Trump specifically opposed with his “build a wall,” his deportation threats, his Muslim ban and spying and database, his “stop and frisk” in the “hellhole” inner cities, his promise to “lock her up,” etc. It is hardly hysterics, these are specific principles that I hold dear that he successfully ran against. I knew he was popular, but I did not know until last night that almost half of the country is okay with all that, so it’s disappointing to me.

    Crushinator – I’m sorry for being snippy with you, but obviously I’m in a raw state and you’re coming at me pretty aggressively. I certainly don’t discount everything you say, but I guess I don’t understand what you’re asking of me. You seem to be saying that if the left no longer opposed racism but did oppose military intervention then we would be embraced by Trump voters. By their loud approval of his promises to bring back torture and assassinate the families of terrorists I find this unlikely. I don’t think that me venting about racism to my couple thousand Twitter followers caused people to vote Trump. And while you argue that I’m not understanding enough of them, you’re talking about them as brainless, easily manipulatable people who can’t be trusted to vote based on the actual qualifications of the candidate. I’m sorry that Clinton, the most experienced person to ever run for the office, doesn’t have enough razzle dazzle for people to notice her policies. But she won the primary.

  217. Crush, I won’t engage in point-by-point back-and-forth. It’s more than ironic to have you call on people to have empathy and kindness toward Trump supporters (less than 24 hours after this result) and then in the same breath that you call Obama a shitburger and proceed to shit on his supporters (i.e., the majority of this thread). I’m not sure what curve of recent historical U.S. presidents elected by the people you are grading on. Obama is a fundamentally decent human being and a pragmatist who did a great deal while working within the challenges and constraints of our times, and as W’s recent presidency illustrated, Obama could have done much, much worse. Bernie (or insert other unelectable person here) would not have accomplished more in such an environment of constraints, would arguably have accomplished even less, and it’s highly questionable whether Americans would have had the stomach to elect him in the first place. But have fun in your fantasy land where the distinction between Obama and Trump is dwarfed by the distinction between Obama and your Mr. Potato Head Idealized Liberal President slash unelectable fictional construct. Also, congrats on somehow managing to squeeze more sheer condescension and general doucebaggery into a couple of posts than I did in 30 or however the hell too many I posted. Stay classy.

    Also, I wrote this without reading whatever the hell thing Vern just said that was apparently snippy, so not piling on intentionally.

  218. neal2zod – Identity politics completely killed the left.

  219. But she won the primary.

    vern: she also won the popular vote

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election,_2016

    it’s 2000 all over again

    hillary clinton was in fact voted for by more people in the usa than donald trump

    and only because of the electoral college do we have president trump

    let this be known to all as undeniable fact:

    hillary clinton is preferred by the american people, over donald trump

    just like gore over gw bush

    fuck

  220. Starting my research on Sweden and Australia now.

  221. couple thoughts
    -MMP, don’t leave. We need good people more than ever. Move to Ohio.
    -Vern and Crushinator arguing == work getting done. We need to start figuring all this shit out. It starts with you and the people you come in contact with. Your actions and thoughts are politics, make them count. I have learned a lot from both of you, both in this thread and in others.
    -Mr. Majestyk, there are only slightly more than 1500 days until Trump is out of office, and every single one of them fucking count, so although I respect your right to take a personal day, I don’t begrudge anybody the right to use this thread as a battle forum starting yesterday.

  222. I voted third party and on the one hand I’m glad Clinton lost as she is too corrupt and I thought she was going to implement an SJW 1984 ( I think there has been way yoo much idenity politics in the last few years) but on other hand with Trump it seems like it might go in a Mad Max direction ( I really hope not though) and while I strongly believe Trump will just a one term president , there could be a lot of damage in the next few years. I get a strong Germany 1933 vibe from Pence and the strong nationalism of some Trump supporters (not all, but some) and my biggest concern with Trump is Obamacare; Obamcare is perfect but I’ve heard 21 million people will lose health care if it is cancelled. 21 million- thats not just a number, that is lots of people who will be really affected by this.

  223. Clinton was competing with a, to say it nicely, shady businessman, but SHE was the one who is “too corrupt”?

  224. read the wikileaks, she is very corrupt.

    That being said, I just read Trump’s plans for his first 100 days, if most of that happens the country will be in horrible shape, I really hope it doesn’t happen.

    Let’s just say i used to laugh at Trump, but Im not laughing anymore.

  225. The thing that kept haunting me last night as I couldn’t sleep was not about Trump’s proposals or racism or authoritarianism. It was the idea of this rich guy running for president, being a laughing stock, getting his ass handed to him in every debate, clearly having no interest in learning how the government works or coming up with any specific policies or preparing for debates or speeches, giving the impression even to many supporters (to this day) that he didn’t actually intend to win in the first place… and somehow he STILL wins over a woman who is extremely knowledgeable about and has thought about every issue that comes up in debates and interviews. It just feels so unfair and insulting to women and adults and serious people. In any movie he is the bad guy and no one would accept an ending where he wins.

  226. Well said.

    I have been seeing different news stories that Trump wants Newt to be in his cabinet; I thought he wanted to “drain the swamp”?

    Every time I hear a new Trump story, it gets worse and worse.

  227. I feel the same way Vern, its kind of mind boggling that people can see this guy, and say, yep that’s my man. I hate corruption and lies so let’s select this big corrupt liar. I hate my jobs going overseas so this corporatist fat cat is my new champion.

    And probably some are just mind-shatteringly dumb, but I’ve only met a few people like that in my life. This is a confluence of many different strains vs a candidate with very limited appeal who has been consistently demonized over and over.

    Apparently, around 1 in 5 people who think trump is full of shit for one reason or another, picked Trump anyway. It seems to me this critical but small group of folks were just giving a big middle finger to the establishment in the most obvious way they could muster, not really concerned that any serious consequence would happen but a comeuppance for the elite. It’s the Anonymous factor if you will, an anarchist impulse and Hillary was the perfect figure to galvanize that impulse as the smug know it all queen of the status quo and who better to bludgeon her and her supporters with than the phoniest and most obnoxious joker they could find.

    That’s only part of his rag tag coalition, but I think it’s the part we have the hardest time wrapping our heads around.

  228. I don’t believe in Wikileaks. Over the last few years and especially during this election, Assange showed over and over again that he and his website have too much of their own agenda. And again: She was running against Donald fucking Trump, the C. Montgomery Burns of our reality, but SHE gets crucified for being corrupt? I think that’s pretty much the whole election in a nutshell. Trump and Clinton could take a simultaneous shit in public, but in the end everybody would only talk about how disgusting Hilary is and how unhealthy the colour of her poop looks. “Eew, did you see the milky brown of Hilary’s shit? At least Trump’s poop was bright green, which might be unnatural, but looks much better! Fuck Hillary and her disgusting poop! Make America green again!”

  229. Governor McKay, I believe the race has just been declared ON! May the best man win.

  230. English is not my first language so bare with me please.

    I think liberals got their asses handed to them because 1. They are very loud on the internet about their opinions and when push comes to shove they don’t have the numbers where it matters.
    2. People that scream the “the evil misogynist white man” is at it again bit is all bullshit. People just don’t care and want to make an honest living. People who voted trump kept their mouth shut maybe because of sjw’s aggressive tactics. This possibly made it seem that trump had less voters and was behind in polls. Or probably even more likely. people just dont care about the women/ race wars and are not invested in it like a lot of people online are and voted trump for very different reasons.

  231. It’s the same story every time, no matter what country you live in – the parties from centre to right (and far right) runs on campaigns that gives people the impression they are about health care, jobs, affordable living, peace and prosperity. And too many get fooled again and again. Even if it’s the same f****ng result each time; lower taxes for the rich, unemployment reaches new highs military budgets are out of control, pollution, pest and cholera…When are we going to learn and at least vote for some new people?

  232. They are not going to vote for new people in America. It´s either blu or red, Democrat/Republican or Good/Evil (depending on your political stance) A third party vote is thought of as a wasted vote. Therefore there will be no changes, as everyone is too scared of “the other” to vote differently. This division is certainly more harmful than anything.

  233. Dinomite, there is some truth to that but out of spite the worst ever was elected. I thought he had no chance to win but yikes! Hopefully the elections in 2018 go well and he’s not able to pull off his crazy plans before then.

  234. I think blaming this on “social justice warriors” (ugh*) being too shrill is way off the mark. That said, pretty much every terrible commentary piece or analysis you read over the next few weeks** is going to be way off the mark. The same thing that happened in the United Kingdom happened here. A whole bunch of people filtered out all the racism and misogyny and tax-evasion and pointless lies and voted for the one thing that Drumpf DID represent.

    CHANGE.

    Chaotic, facist, destructive and/or quite possibly suicidal change, but change nonetheless. I reckon a lot of people think that through such change, they can get back to some idealised utopia of ‘how things used to be’ in their heads, or possibly forge out a new one. Perhaps they’re right. Perhaps they watch MAD MAX and think, “Well, when the future comes at least I’LL be sitting in my cliff-top fortress with my guns and water and my child slave-harem.”

    Voting for him was a protest, of sorts. It’s happening around the world, from the left to right of the political spectrum. That’s what bugs me when people say that Bernie Sanders or Jeremy Corbyn is “unelectable”. People said that Drumpf was unelectable too. People are *still* saying that, and probably will for a very long time to come.

    Clinton was a ridiculously well-prepared candidate for a system that many people (but certainly not all) have gotten tired of. She was a dedicated and highly-qualified public servant whose email problems and corruption allegations are dwarfed by Drumpf’s colossal record failures and racketeering, but it didn’t matter. Drumpf was a change, for better or worse+.

    Just like Brexit, a lot of people voted without thinking of the wider consequences. They thought as far ahead as “SOME KIND OF CHANGE!” and that was it. A lot of these folks were people who thought they had nothing to lose. Unfortunately, I reckon they’re about to find out that is far from the case. Things can – and often will – get worse.

    I fear there are dark days ahead, darker even than grim period between 2000 and 2008. I feel huge sympathy for the inevitable victims of racists and hatemongers who will inevitably rise up, emboldened by what they see as their ‘victory’; I feel empathy for those unfortunates who will now face unaffordable health care costs; I worry for the environmentalists and journalists and doctors and scientists and Latinos and African-Americans and women and… well all of you, really. Drumpf wants to cut taxes for the super-rich and strangle freedom of speech. Public services will see further cuts, while the press (and yes, there is a legitimate and absolutely necessary investigative press) will find themselves getting painted into a smaller and smaller corner. None of which is good.

    My biggest worry about Drumpf might also be a silver lining. He’s unpredictable. I don’t think he himself even knows what he’s going to do from day to day. He will surprise us, but whether that is to delight or appal remains to be seen.

    Well, good luck to us all.

    J

    * PLEASE let’s stop using this lazy, stupid and redundant term, at least on this websight
    ** four years
    + almost certainly for the worse

  235. Yeah sorry for using that term. It is derogatory which was not my intent.

  236. Dinomite – no harm done, apologies if I came across as snippy

  237. Shoot, then they just have to do it the hard way. Become a member of the party of their choice and vote for a leader that can make a real difference. It won’t take more than 150-200 years or so to get the desired result…

  238. I think the same people complaining about identity politics today would be those centrist liberals in the 60s who complained that the Democratic party lost the South because they were too concerned with civil rights for blacks.

  239. Most countries – even the US – have several parties beside the two or three big ones. If everyone voted for the small ones I think the message would be loud and clear.

  240. Crushinator Jones

    November 10th, 2016 at 9:08 am

    “the values I was referring to were that America is a nation of immigrants…that we are governed by the rule of law and due process.”

    Vern, this died under Bush, and continued under Obama.

    This is what I don’t understand. This wailing about how “this isn’t America”. Buddy, it is. And you were ok with it because the guy in the White House had a “D” next to his name. Obama never prosecuted anyone for torture. He sent a SEAL team to assassinate an old man in his bunker with no trial. He drone bombed an American citizen with no trial, then drone bombed his kid, then drone bombed anyone who might be a terrorist, with no trials, no due process, and despite the fact that it’s blown a bunch of kids and innocent men and women into chunks. You didn’t care..

    Obama has deported more people than any other president. You didn’t care.

    Obama has doubled the amount of international weapon sales compared to Bush. You didn’t care.

    Obama didn’t prosecute a single banker and has left the economy in an unstable state, liable to flame out under the same factors as 2008. You didn’t care.

    Obama has aggressively prosecuted whistleblowers – more than every other president combined – while overseeing a massive expansion of the secret deep state. You didn’t care.

    Obama traded away the public option for a literal Republican-created healthcare system of giveaways to insurance companies (originally proposed by the Heritage foundation) that is now failing. He did this when Dems controlled both houses in Congress. Maybe you cared…I don’t know. It was still a disaster.

    All the things I just listed are 100% in his control, I am not blaming him for things that were obstructed or messed with. Another thing: Obama would have cut social security, wanted to work with Republicans to do it…luckily they had already entered their obstruction stage. And these are all things that show that this isn’t a country of immigrants, or rule of law, or anything like that. America, starting with Reagan and continuing with EVERY SINGLE PRESIDENT SINCE, is a scared, thrashing authoritarian empire. The diversity is nice and good but sadly it’s not going to fix the class-based problems we’re having – namely, that dipshit elites now run the country and make decisions that benefit themselves at the expense of everyone else.

    Obama paved the way for Trump. He failed to deliver Hope and Change – some of it because of Republican obstructionism, but some of it because he stupidly believes in “going high”, which usually means he makes a nice speech while his opponents walk all over him. Under Obama Democrats have lost thousands of statewide offices, the House, and the Senate. Now we will lsoe SCOTUS. He is a great speaker but when it comes time to put shoe leather to pavement he is a terrible leader and now his entire legacy is going to be dismantled or hijacked and he will be thrown in the dustbin of history as a failure.

    The fact that you’re still saying “Clinton was the most qualified candidate” or that she was “the most accomplished woman” is crazy. For staters, google “Grace Hopper” and realize that nobody, man or woman, will ever be that cool. Secondly, her “signature accomplishments” are a) she was the wife of a President whose neoliberalism ideology has now completely destroyed the Democratic Party, b) she voted for some good bills as a Senator that she won on name recognition, c) she was a complete warmonger who totally fucked up at foreign policy and whose vote helped destroy a country that had done nothing to us (Iraq) and, when she was Sec of State, destabilized another one for ISIS (Libya)

    BY THE WAY, guess who are now saying that everybody should hold their horses, it’s not so bad, let’s see what the fascist racist guy with the nukes does, maybe I can work with him? Hillary fucking Clinton and her toadies.

    I’m glad you realize that you were wrong about America. That’s a good start. But the idea is now to learn the right lesson. The lesson is not that people are bad, and evil, and hate their fellow man. The lesson is that leadership matters, these people voted for Obama, and when he delivered more neolib corporate horseshit and bipartisan war and misery (reminder: Trump repeatedly says our military misadventures are a waste, and the crowd cheers) they revolted. Clinton was one of the worst candidates for president ever, own up to it, “lesser evil” and “Satan Trump” objectively didn’t work. Stop crying about it, it’s happened, we can work together to beat this dude. But not if you’re going to keep believing fairy tales like “Clinton was good and accomplished” and “Obama was a good president”.

  241. Crushinator Jones

    November 10th, 2016 at 9:33 am

    BTW, this graph illustrates that this was not some unstoppable tide of white supremacists and racist misogynists. This was a bad candidate that depressed Democratic turnout. You fucked up with your zero-charisma, technocratic corporate grandma. Learn, and do better.

    Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

    Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet.

  242. Obama: a good president who just nicely sat down and had a conciliatory conversation with the racist guy who said he wasn’t really an American and is going to blow up his healthcare reform.

    LMAO he believes in nothing, fights for nothing, and is going to escape to the corporate world of million dollar speeches. Jesus. Purge the Democratic party of these people.

  243. I will say this stuff can be mutually exclusive; indentity politics have gone too far in the last few years ( I think down the road even the president will be decided on idenity politics ) but I also think both parties need massive reform.

  244. I want to go ahead and apologize for being a jackass at points in this thread and to Crushinator for lashing out. There are two pairs of glasses through which I view this.

    1. Individual accountability for the individual Trump voter – I hold you accountable for the awesome privilege of being an informed, conscientious voter who is charged with making the best decision that can be made from the set of immediate options facing you with the idea that your vote counts (or, at least, that a sufficiently large number of individual people who vote as if their votes count will indeed count). In the same why I think an individual can and should be criticized and held accountable for driving drunk or beating your kids or watching TV when you should have been studying for the test, I hold Trump voters accountable for a shitty, ill-informed, historically dangerous vote. Our legal system and everyday lives rest on the belief that we can and must hold individuals accountable for their actions, whatever forces may be impinging on them (save for being clinically insane or incompetent or other truly exigent circumstances).

    2. Bigger systemic picture – Once a person gets the grieving and recrimination out of their system, you have to look at the broader forces in play and ask, how did this happen (societally, politically, mass communication-ally, economically…), what signal are Trump voters trying to send (what is behind their vote), and what do we need to receive from that and do about it. Calling Trump voters idiots (I do believe a vote from Trump is an idiotic action) is cathartic and has truth for me on the above #1 individual accountability level, but it accomplishes nothing.

    I feel like we need to have both #1 and #2 in how we evaluate and engage our lives and each other.

    Also, maybe Bernie was more electable than I want to give him credit for. I think he may have had a better chance than Hillary. All things considered I’m not sure he would have been a more effective leader than Hillary, but he may have been a better horse to bet on in hindsight.

  245. Still, Crush, your so fucking smug. It’s like a cloud. I can smell it through my computer…

  246. Crushinator Jones

    November 10th, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Well, sorry. I’m not trying to be. I mean that sincerely.

  247. I want everyone to take a moment and think about what happened. Donald Trump campaigned for president on a platform of BUILD A WALL and fuck goat rapists. 90% of the media, the academia, the GOP, foreign governments, the corporations, the political dynasty families, every shitlib in the country and even the motherfucking POPE were against him. And on top of all that he’s a 70 year old billionare and reality tv star with no political experience and everything to lose. And he won. No one has ever seen anything like this before.

  248. Cool. I appreciate you the truth bombs in there. You’ve given me some things to think about.

  249. Crushinator Jones

    November 10th, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    JAces, he won because nobody trusts the Establishment, the media, academia, or political families. Those institutions have totally destroyed their authority. Please read Chris Hayes Twilight of the Elites for a breakdown.

    What has happened is that these people have fucked over the Trumpies for years, told them that trade would help them (it didn’t), bailed out the banks right in front of their face while letting them drown, told them that the Iraq war was needed to keep them safe (it wasn’t, and they wasted trillions), told them all sorts of things.

    And nobody paid any consequences, the perception is the elite people can do whatever they want and they are rewarded because of their connections and wealth, and so now the underclass wants to throw a brick through their window.

    Trump is that brick. As long has he kept saying “I’m going to smash these trade pacts, I’m going to punish these people who have hurt you” they didn’t care. That’s why the increasingly fevered shrieks of the Democratic Party (as Trump violated norm, after norm, after norm) did nothing. Trump kept on being a brick and they ran a glass window. Oof.

  250. It always bothers me when working hard and being prepared is viewed as undesirable. I myself often don’t speak in public because I’m worried I will say something I regret. It turns out people value blowharding and blather as long as you just keep talking and never pause.

    Just the language used to disparage Clinton, that she was rehearsed. Rehearsed? You mean prepared?

    It’s like all those comedies where s a party animal teaches the stuffy businessman how to let loose. But this is real life. I don’t want to party. I want to have healthcare and equal rights and safety for all people to accomplish things.

    Mostly I value accountability. How do you make people value accountability when they see if something doesn’t work out, just say you never said it?

  251. http://www.vox.com/platform/amp/first-person/2016/11/10/13580582/leslie-knope-donald-trump?client=safari

    I will also defend Leslie Knope’s badass credentials until my dying breath.

  252. A letter to America from Leslie Knope, regarding Donald Trump

    "People are unpredictable, and democracy is insane."

    Just in case that other wack ass link didn’t work. Shit had me laughing out loud and then not being able to swallow properly because my throat had so many lumps in it. Allegedly.

  253. You’re wrong about everything, you don’t care about anything, you’re wrong to respect so and so, this other person is the worst piece of shit ever, you shouldn’t be feeling this way, you are a fool, you never learn, that issue you can’t care about, this issue you HAVE to care about, and also this other list of my issues, and I have always known how it works and you have always been wrong and you should be ashamed, you need to admit your sins, now let’s work together and get this done!

    Sorry Crushinator, I don’t like discussing this stuff with you. If you could treat it as a “trying to convince my friend to change his mind” conversation maybe I could learn something, but the endless you’re-a-bad-liberal shaming you like to throw at me is not having a positive effect on this end. Obviously my column didn’t save the world, I’d rather not hang around to be shit on about it for weeks afterwards. Moving forward now. Let’s stay friends.

  254. Crushinator, you’re throwing a hard pill for me to swallow, but I acknowledge the fact that it is more productive for me to figure out how to clean my own house than to complain about how I can’t relate to the opposition. But I also don’t agree with the vitriol of your assessment to the Democratic party.

    There’s all this rhetoric that the party and its leadership is a smoldering corpse. “They control next to nothing above the municipal level” I read in one article. As a Californian, I don’t think this is reasonable. I live in a state in which Democrats have almost total control over government.
    -We have immigrants heavily entrenched in our infrastructure in a way that could not be fucked with without spelling a global food shortage disaster.
    -We’ve legalized weed with a pretty formidable Act that will have immediate effects of getting disproportionately imprisoned black and latino inmates out of an expensive and corrupt, increasingly privatized prison system.
    -We have Covered California, a rock solid Obamacare implementation that isn’t going anywhere (I pray).
    -We have what I understand is the most progressive energy policy and infrastructure in the nation.
    And my understanding is that all of this is because of the governing of old school establishment Democrats. And given that we’re the fifth-to-eighth largest economy in the world (depending on what year it is) and the most populous state by a huge margin, I would say the Democratic party is still a vital aspect of the progressive agenda.

  255. Ok, well, Skani has said I’m a smug piece of shit and now Vern is disowning me so let’s work on that. I’m an extremely passionate guy about this stuff but it’s coming off very badly. I’m also extremely upset about this outcome and it’s making me veer emotionally between extreme frustration and literal red rage.

    I’m gonna try this one more time. Nicely.

    @FranchiseFred

    “Mostly I value accountability.”

    I’m sorry Fred. I can understand the desire to want to punish Trump for his garbage opinions (he should be put in the stocks) and hold him accountable. But at an institutional level, Clinton was a bad candidate if you wanted accountability. What I think some people are not getting is the immense rage and misery of most of the population toward the establishment. They want them to be held accountable, to be punished for their failures. The perception, right or wrong, was that wasn’t going to happen under Clinton. On the right she was considered the worst of them, a literal criminal who should be jailed and who skated by because of her position. On the left, she was perceived as an establishment tool that would continue to perpetuate the failures of Neoliberalism. Neither side really felt she was going to do anything about the impunity of the rich.

    “It always bothers me when working hard and being prepared is viewed as undesirable.”

    It really vexes me that Clinton is considered this ultra-prepared Political Wunderkid. Let me be clear: the way you “prepare” to be President is by learning how to tailor your message and policy to win the votes to be elected. That’s it. Clinton did not do that. What she did was spend 30 years getting comfortable with the Establishment, and climbing up the ladder, and using her name and status to enrich herself.

    If you actually think that the Establishment is a bunch of greasy corporatist idiots who are leading America in the wrong direction – and I do – then Clinton’s “preparation” looks a lot like cozying up to a nest of vipers for cash.

    Politics is not a merit-based system. One of our hardest working presidents – objectively, I know the guy who went over his schedule at the University of Irvine for a study – was Jimmy Carter, and his reward was a brutal ass-kicking by Reagan. Do I believe that Hillary Clinton would have been a better President then Trump? Absolutely. I would have voted for her if I lived in a swing state. But I also recognize that ultimately it was up to her to understand the electorate, tailor her message, and make people care about her policies, and it didn’t happen. Instead we got “America is still great” and the bloodless “I’m With Her” campaign slogan. All her so-called preparation, and she couldn’t deliver where it mattered. She lost to a guy who did this on a lark.

    @OutlawVern

    I’m sorry I got so mad at you during a raw, tender time. I know that you feel, genuinely, that the bad people won. They didn’t. This election is an extremely difficult beast to grapple with. The action star who made an extremely personal movie about supporting the environment just shilled for a climate change denier who is going to burn the planet. People who voted for Obama flipped for Trump. Minorities, who have the most to lose under Trump, didn’t show up. It’s wild. But it’s also a symbol of the thrashing, wounded beast that America has become – lashing out, trying anything to abate the misery.

    What compels me, personally, to be so urgent and forceful, is that there’s a tiny window here to change people’s minds. To change their way of looking at the world. But that window closes rapidly. The excuses have already started.

    I hope that you realize that we both have the same end goals – the elimination of racism, fair economics, justice at home and abroad, peace and prosperity. And that we can work together. But that functionally alienating and writing off people in pain and with different values then you isn’t going to work. Saying “there’s a line you can’t cross under any circumstances” when half the voting population is willing to cross it under certain circumstances (including women! White women were ultimately ok with the rapist! HOLY FUCK) is counterproductive. That’s it. Even if you hate my guts, please try to make inroads with these people. We can convince some of them we work for their interests. We don’t need to flip very many of them, and it can be done!

    @renfield

    I live in CA too and while I appreciate what you’re trying to do, it doesn’t matter at all when discussing things on the federal level. CA is unique. It has a GOP party that self-destructed in 1994 when Pete Wilson ran his “just keep coming” anti-Hispanic ads, it has 3 of the largest most liberal cities in the country within its borders, and it got a Dem supermajority in all the state legislature and butt-blasted out any obstruction that the GOP could pull.

    The reality is that elite control of the Democratic party has been a disaster at the federal level. There are now 25 states with “trifectas” – the Republican controls the entire state legislature (Govenor and both houses). There are only a tiny handful of Dem states with the same.

    If you think that the Establishment Democrats, who have now given the Republicans their biggest margin of control since 1928, are blameless/working, I simply don’t know what to say.

  256. I really did think he would lose, Vern. I exaggerated when I used the word “Massacre”, but there were so many reasons not to vote for him that I didn’t think he had a chance. I mean, was done with him when he ripped Alec Baldwin. I’m a moderate conservative, but NONE (seriously, none) of my close right-leaning friends voted for him.

    I take hope in the idea that the Republican House and Senate (filled with Rs who don’t like him) will be able to keep any crazy ideas he has in check. Trump has already changed his stance on protesters via Tweets. Light at the end of the tunnel is possible.

  257. Crush, you’re not a piece of shit.

  258. Crush, you’re not a piece of shit.

  259. Also, much less douchey there above and proportionally that much more effective. Thumbs up!

  260. Thanks Crushinator. I appreciate what you say about having to convert the other side. I know you’re correct about that. But I just don’t know how to overlook the most openly racist agenda of our lifetimes being given the electoral thumbs up. The thought of people not identifying as racist but still voting for that as a protest against the system is actually more infuriating than the crazy David Dukes of the world, who are clearly a smaller group. And I don’t buy that if he had only talked about trade and change, and had not used racism and xenophobia as his central theme, that he would’ve gotten anywhere. Forbidding discussion of this bigotry seems like a different way to divide us, to alienate those people you mentioned who stand the most to lose from Trump. Imagine how bad the policing crisis is going to get under a Justice Department with a mission of NOT reforming! Imagine how terrifying it must be to be a Muslim-American right now. For them, staying to fight for what’s right could actually be dangerous. We, the voters, made this happen. It’s hard for me to get into “don’t worry guys, it’s nobody’s fault, come check out our plan to fight Wall Street!” mode.

    I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe I need to read up on South Africa post-apartheid.

  261. I don’t know. I now had 3 days to wrap my head around this, but I can’t. Especially not about the “his supporters are just frustrated” part. I’m frustrated too and actually kinda fall into the demographic of these people. I’m unemployed since 2009 and I stated several times on here that I, as a white man, am not happy that people, who claim to fight for equality, demonize me as some kind of cartoon boogeyman, who is responsible for all the evil in the world and spends his day with repressing minorities and high fiving rapists, simply because of my gender and skin colour. But I would never stand with someone like Trump and his believes and I especially would never vote for him or even cherry pick the one or two things he might have said, that sounded reasonable and agreeable and then pretend that it would outweigh all the other things he said, did and most likely will do.

    Seriously, fuck that shit.

  262. Crushinator Jones

    November 11th, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    @CJ Holden,

    I salute your incredibly strong moral character. Unfortunately we have the exit polls and so we know that your extremely principled and praise-worthy stance (I mean this sincerely) was not shared by the electorate in your similar circumstances. Near 70% of them went for Trump.

    At least some of those people just said “fuck it, I hate this, I’ll take the gamble”.

    Please keep in mind, everybody, that the white working class was 35% of Obama’s coalition. They were a big part of the crowd that carried him to success. And they still like him! Obama has a 58% approval rating today. Higher than Reagan when he left office. How that squares with Trump peeling them off…it’s hard to understand. All I know is I need to keep talking to these people, figure out how to bring the fragments together. I can’t take any allies for granted. Even you guys.

  263. Couple points.
    -Please be wary of the “normalization” of Trump’s presidency. Almost all of his post-election communications have been specifically directed at people like us, who are very anxious about his ascension. His tweet today about the protesters was particularly chilling: acting as if he is on our side while simultaneously minimizing and defanging the protests themselves.

    Or: His claims that he will be comparatively “boring” president. How he suddenly has nothing but nice things to say about Clinton and Obama (isn’t he supposed to throw her in jail now??). This is all shit aimed at making upset progressives feel more complacent. I think that would be a mistake.

    Also, because he’s lazy and never actually thought he would have to run the country, he won’t. We’ll see him retreat from the twitter wars and public discourse and let his cabin of hobgoblins and ringwraiths dismantle the great American experiment.

    -I do NOT regard Clinton and Obama’s professional and orderly passing of the torch as evidence of anything damning against them. Certainly, Trump’s threat that he would not accept the election’s outcome was a total disgrace to the value of rule of law. Surely we don’t wish that Obama had employed similar tactics?

    -Lastly, I think California as a bastion of viable liberalism DOES help us tremendously on a federal level. Many of Trump’s threats are far more difficult to implement because of not only because of our cultural influence (which surely will help) but just the practical impossibility of, say, deporting a massive labor force that literally feeds the entire world. Obamacare, green energy, and soon legal marijuana and other things that Trump is against, are titanic self-sufficient institutions in this state and how the fuck is he going to erode them?

  264. Crushinator Jones

    November 11th, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    @renfield

    “Trump’s threats are far more difficult to implement because of not only because of our cultural influence.”

    I think this is really wishful thinking, my friend. We’re regularly mocked by people from the other states as the Granola state – ya know, full of fruits and nuts – and we just had every single celebrity deployed to scream, for multiple months on end, what a disaster Trump was. It did absolutely nothing. The evidence shows me that our influence is bunk.

    I do agree that he will have trouble deporting people but that is not because we are a bastion of viable liberalism. It’s because it’s economically unfeasible. You said it yourself: these people feed a good chunk of the world. But if the state was solidly Republican, how would the challenges of deporting them change? It wouldn’t.

    Lastly, and this may come across as me being a smug curmudgeon, and I really don’t want that, but can we please stop sorting everything into pop culture baskets? It’s really not helpful. Trump does not have evil ring-wraths imbued with his devlish essence. He has Establishment cretins sucking up for power. We’ve got Mixalot posting letters from a fictional character while I feel that we ignored actual real human beings crying out for change.

    I am not trying to say that nobody should have an escape or listen to good music or watch a good movie or anything else. Please don’t think I’m scolding anyone for wanting a respite from this electoral hellscape. What I’m saying is that there seems to be this weird reflex to compare the actual reality we live in to stuff like Harry Potter or Game of Thrones or West Wing or something else. And I guess that it ok, in moderation. And, this is just my opinion, but I’m not seeing it in moderation. I’m seeing it everywhere. What Hunger Games teaches us about Trump, which Star Wars are we living in, again and again over the last last few days. I’m not targetting you specifically, renfield, it’s just something that your *very* minor use of it made me want to write about.

    I know we all know that life is not a constructed narrative. Again, I know some of this is just for fun. But there is an element of dangerous thinking to it. The characters on the page are ultimately props to be moved around by the author’s whim, situations can be invented to lead to victory, but in real life – as Last Action Hero taught us – the bad guys can win, Jack. (that’s supposed to be ironic btw) So comparing Trump to Voldemort or his staff to Ringwraiths or whatever…I just want you to think about why you’re doing it. Ultimately, in this world, there’s no heroic score, the planet is heating up and we’re about to go through a dark era of the country at the time when we most need progressive reform. We need to not rely on the feeling that it’s all going to work out ok because we’re the good guys and they’re the bad guys. We need to actively work for the result that we want. I’ve come to the conclusion that sorting people and situations into pop culture baskets it doesn’t help me think about the world, it’s just a cognitive shortcut. Even Mike Fucking Pence – the shitty guy who believes you can shock the gay out of people and probably should be compared to some evil character from a book or movie – voted to expand Medicare in his state.

    Just something to think about.

  265. I know we’re looked at as the silly hippie state, but we also are responsible for so much global media and that definitely has an influence. Hell we’re even partially of responsible for Trumpism in terms of that we legitimized the concept of the celebrity politician with Reagan and Schwarzenegger.

    And yes, once they are implemented these institutions become apolitical, but it was still Brown’s and other Dem’s sense of good old New Deal liberalism that got them built in the first place. I don’t think you have SPECIFICALLY said this but I want to combat this whole notion that the party has accomplished basically nothing in the last 40 years, and that this election was simply the inevitable last gasp.

    And than you for the sensitivity with which you lightly chastised me about the Tolkien reference. Although I think that such talk can be therapeutic and cathartic among friends, this is enough of a public forum that I really want to be as productive as possible with my words. And yeah, even among your inner circle, I believe in promoting values you would will into a universal imperative. So, I hear you.

  266. Crushinator Jones

    November 11th, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    @renfield,

    The Democratic Party has accomplished things in the last 40 years. That’s not up for debate.

    However they’ve now been decapitated at the national level. CA might have outsized influence but it’s still 1 state of 50 – and the GOP is more powerful than it has been in almost a century. I don’t feel it’s a very rosy picture. If you can keep your optimism then good on ya.

  267. Looking at things through rose-tinted glasses is the last thing I want. I want to honestly take stock of what political and ideological capital we have at our disposal, and start thinking about how to leverage it.

    You and others have given me a lot to think about the last couple days, and I really appreciate it.

    In that spirit, here’s a crucial piece from a few years ago that remains the best big-picture appraisal of the battles ahead I have come across. It is particularly refreshing because it was not written within the context of this election.

    The 4 Plagues: Getting a Handle on the Coming Apocalypse

    In an environment of confusion and despair, it helps to understand the forces at play, how they operate, and why they feel so overwhelming.

  268. All those Trump voters should watch YOU’VE BEEN TRUMPED to see how much of a fuck he gives about the rural poor and their “economic anxiety”.

  269. Crushinator – please don’t drag me into this shit or use me as an example to support your rhetoric thanks. the link i posted had literally nothing at all to do with putting anything into pop culture baskets. it was a fun letter from the point of view of a fictional character written by an actual human being whose lieral views on women i happen to agree with. not trying to be an asshole or anything but i don’t think making an example out of me or the link i posted to is valid or relevant in any way or even really remotely fair at all.

  270. The lesson to be learned from this election, as always, is that people have to stop voting for the two options THE MAN gives us. In almost every country in the world there are two big parties who take turns governing. And they’re both working for the rich and shameless. This time too the great after thought is that the polls underestimated just how fed up the working class is of the establishment and it’s lack of politics that will ensure people jobs and a decent living. But if we all KNOW this, why the hell do we play this game every fucking time?! There’s an uprising coming, and if we are to do this in a peaceful way we HAVE to go left. We have to chose the next Bernie Sanders over the next Hillary Clinton, the next Jeremy Corbyn over the next Tony Blair or else our fellow workers will turn to the next Donald Trump. Or someone worse. We have the answers people are looking for, without the racism, homophobia and general hate of women, minorities and poor people that comes with the right wing sollutions, and the only way we can get it out there is through politicians a hell of a lot further to the left than Clinton, Obama and Blair.

  271. Jones, did you say you have been unemployed since 2009? Sorry to hear that.

  272. Donald Trump, in Exclusive Interview, Tells WSJ He Is Willing to Keep Parts of Obama Health Law

    President-elect Donald Trump, in an exclusive interview, said that after meeting with President Obama he would consider leaving in place certain parts of the Affordable Care Act, an indication of possible compromise after he pledged repeatedly to repeal the health law.

  273. pegsman – Maurice Duverger passed a law saying everyone has to vote for one of two parties in plurality voting systems. Nothing you can do about it. It’s the law.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duverger%27s_law

    Also, apparently far-right parties tend to increase vote share after financial crises. Far-left parties don’t appear to. So it’s not clear that a far-left candidate would have helped in this case. And it seems questionable to me that a Sanders would necessarily outperform a popular “establishment” figure. Like a Biden, or Obama if he could run again.
    http://www.statewatch.org/news/2015/oct/financial-crises-cesifo-wp-5553.pdf

  274. In plain words: You are fucked.

  275. Jake, you have just pointed out what’s wrong with the world we live in. An Obama or a Biden would probably out-perform most other politicians. But their goal is status quo. They’re in on the scam. They won’t change a thing. Someone further left would. And without the racism and misogyni that comes with a right wing candidate.

  276. What the fuck is wrong with the status quo? It gets better and better every year in this country except for those times when a Republican leader fucks up everything and crashes the economy and advertises to the rest of the world that we’re invading places for no reason and torturing people in semi-secret interrogation rooms. The United States progressively improves virtually every aspect of Her citizens’ human comfort except for those times when all of a sudden some right wing dipshit does something to force us to pretend to be Canadian for our own safety when we spend time overseas.

    Do these honky dipshits in the ‘We-wish-it-were-1959-forever’ Rust Belt ever fucking travel? I don’t think they do. Mexico doesn’t have an FDA that ensures your groceries are poison-free; a government bureaucrat in Georgia does the boring work of formulating anti-bacteria food storage techniques so that a child in Oklahoma doesn’t get diarrhea. South Africa doesn’t have strong regulations on agricultural septic systems to prevent your neighbor from making your property smell like feces. People in China wear fucking breathing masks on the sidewalk to avoid contracting emphysema in their 20s. Not many nations passed the Morrill Act to establish land-grant universities that have redounded to every human being’s benefit for decades before becoming a target of anti-intellectual reactionary rednecks for the crime of doing too much elitist book-learnin’ and proposing the elimination of coal as an energy source. There’s at least 5 billion people in the world who would fucking *kill* to enjoy the life our American government — our ‘status quo’ — facilitates for us, and there’s at least 60 million American dipshits who spend 90% of their waking life doing nothing but complaining about it and stocking up on ammo for whenever their ill-founded hatred finally causes a collapse.

    A bunch of fucking NRA nutjobs in Wisconsin/Michissippi/Pennsylvania etc. are losing their shit because they’re too stupid to realize the FoxNews bullshit streaming on their 50″ flatscreens in their air-conditioned living rooms is pure martyrdom propaganda. You could serve these motherfuckers perfectly seasoned medium rare filet mignon and they’d ask for sauce. And then they’d throw a tantrum and send it back to the kitchen. And then they’d protest the restaurant because its holiday ambience included a Spanish language christmas carol and the hostess said “Happy Holidays.”

    Fuck these fucking fucks.

  277. Since there’s nothing we can do about it now, it may be soothing to our depressed souls if we looked at the national disgrace that’s just happened from the perspective of its unlikeliest victim: Donald J. Trump.

    Think about it. His life literally consisted of lounging at his golf courses and luxury hotels, molesting teen-aged beauty pageant contestants and fucking high-priced hookers. He’s been living every degenerate alpha asshole’s dream for literally longer than most of his voters have been alive. What would he possibly want from a presidency that he could not already have as a multi-billionaire, except for the kind of political power that he always knew was way over his head, and that he was not really interested in?

    Rumors have it that he wanted to start his own media network (a la Breitbart / Murdoch), which he would be in a great position to do, on the condition that he narrowly loses the election but galvanizes a substantial political movement in the process. And it is this kind of cheap pop culture populism that he has so skilfully managed throughout his campaign. He’s a TV figure, not a politician. Running for president to start a media network is exactly the sort of thing that he would want to do and what he could do, given his fame, experience, and assets.

    He never *expected* to become president, which is why he kept making impossible campaign promises. He never *wanted* to become president, which is why he kept making completely ridiculous and offensive statements day in and day out, hoping that enough people would see him as unfit to govern. At every moment, he had to pull of a balancing act, which consisted of being based enough to keep his movement as energized as possible, but also crazy enough so that the majority would eventually reject him. The evidence is all over his campaign’s history.

    And this theory perfectly explains the look that’s been on his face since he became the president-elect. No person who genuinely fought for this goal would look this perplexed, intimidated and even frightened once the good news would come due. Look at the footage of him when the race was called in his favor, and then imagine the face that Hillary would’ve done in his place.

    His plan of starting a media empire has been foiled, since he couldn’t possibly do that as a sitting president. And since he never really wanted to govern, he will become a standard Republican puppet, mark my words.

    America will be made great again, if by “great” you mean “George W. Bush with a majority in all branches of government”.

    The alt-right has been conned, and the only silver lining of his deplorable affair will be the look on their faces once they realize that this has happened.

  278. Mouth, a lot of stuff does get better. However, real income is super stagnant, and it’s very hard if you’re an un- or semi-skilled person who is not cut out to be an information worker. We might ask the same question: How often do we travel outside our bubble to see how these folks are doing or what their world is like?

    I had a conversation with my Trump-voting brother today. He’s not book-smart, but he’s not unintelligent. He is a conservative. His main issue is that he says he’s tired of being called a racist or sexist or homophobe. He also feels that manufacturing jobs need to be brought back to this country. He definitely leans right, but he says that he was most hungry for change. He says that if it had come down to Bernie and Jeb, he would have voted Bernie.

    I do think Trump is incredibly unfit for office and will be a bad president. As Michael Moore and others have noted, we can’t chalk Trump’s win up just to racism, since many of the people who switched over to Trump had voted for Obama. It would be nice to comfort ourselves by just calling all Trump voters dipshits (I do think it’s a dipshitted vote), but I’m trying to see this as an opportunity to bring issues of economic justice into sharper relief. In hindsight, I’m starting to think we fucked up not backing Bernie, to be honest.

  279. Your brother can fuck off. I travel outside the bubble. I spend time in the Carolinas, Georgia, DC, California, Vegas, NYC, and Costa Rica. I’ve vacationed in San Antonio and New Orleans extensively. I have a concept of variegated local lifestyles, cross-border sensitivities, and imposed cultural carpetbaggery. Even in the places where peoples’ lives are defined by nicotine, meth, cheap beer, and pickup trucks they still all have internet and live within 15 minutes of multiple stores where they can access all the goods of the free world. And they still complain like a bunch of whiny little bitches because the President’s middle name is Hussein and Hollywood types celebrate diversity too much for their poor little earholes to handle, cry me a river.

    These people are the worst bubble people. They didn’t think for one second (and yes Hillary/Kaine should have campaigned on this message) about what happens when the US sends Donald fucking Trump to a meeting with some Prime Minister or foreign ambassador or United Nations committee or economic think tank leader in Germany or Iceland or South Korea or Australia or Ecuador or etc. and all of a sudden every other person in the room looks at the American POTUS and just laughs in disbelief, just can’t believe the American voters were goonish enough to send this guy to engage in the serious work of foreign relations. I hope there’s a worldwide boycott among non-American females to never come within 6 feet of the guy, this admitted serial sexual predator, a guy who can’t speak more than one complete sentence at a time unless he’s having it syllabically fed to his eyeballs hooked-on-phonics style, a guy who hasn’t read a single book or even document longer than 400 words in his entire adult life, a guy who desperately tried to lose the election by openly consorting with the most racist dregs of the earth, a guy who insultingly claimed fire marshalls were incompetent partisan democrats because at his stupid hatefest rallies they followed safety codes that are the difference between the US and Bangladesh.

    7 decades of post-war era stability & prosperity, down the drain because y’all wanted to *disrupt the system* after a few years where things didn’t go your way as well as you wanted even though the US is recovering from the Bush/Cheney crash better than all other developed nations, a fact you would know if you didn’t live inside your bubble of redneck ignorance.

    Good job electing the anti-minimum wage party, guys. That’ll really help your stagnant “real income.”

    Hope the trade war with China goes well; I’m expecting most of our allies to eventually abandon the US dollar as the base global currency. Maybe losing status as the world’s only superpower is just the kind of change you retrograde dipshits want after all; if the inferiority complex fits…

  280. I don’t think anybody here (except the occasional troll) is debating that Trump is a creep with no qualifications to the be the president and a lot of potential damage to do. It’s a real shit show, and I hold anyone who voted for him accountable for making a shitty and irresponsible decision.

    Some venting is probably in order. I’ve done my share of it in this and the other thread. But at a certain point the post-mortem has to go beyond blaming and lashing out at others, because what does that accomplish. Hillary was a shitty candidate with a lot of baggage. I have little doubt she would have made a way better president than Trump, but here we are.

  281. No, it does not have to go beyond blaming and lashing out at others. Those others are the imbeciles. They need to be shamed into changing their vote in 2018, 2020 and beyond. We liberals and the dreaded hated status quo gave them $2 gasoline, infinite access to every consumer good imaginable at a reasonable price, and continued military-geopolitical dominance (with a much reduced uniformed KIA body count since Bush/Cheney transitioned to Obama/Biden).

    Government spending on space exploration decades ago gave them satellites and telecommunications, allowing them to carry the world’s most powerful computer and navigational tool and e-mail retriever and pornography provider and video game platform and access to 911 emergency service in their pocket 24/7, and they bitch about government spending and say we don’t win anymore.

    There are highways connecting Bumfuck, Illinois with SmallTownsVille, Kansas and those highways only exist because dirty liberals in coastal elite cities are doing the hard work of perpetuating mega-economic growth (and tax payments!) that trickles outward to the unwashed ruralities. And they complain and demand more fortified, more sprawling cul-de-sac communities.

    They are the ones who have complained about it and demanded better/different, as the world accelerates toward improvement all around them but in a way that doesn’t 100% favor Whitey McWhiteface. They are the ones who have empowered OPEC and Saudi Arabia to join the other fossil fuel industry opportunists to pivot away from pro-green, benevolently anti-oil market phase-out mechanisms so that we can instead make 2017 energy policy look more like the 19th century.

    Fuck the manufacturing sector. If unskilled 50something Rust Belters want a better life, they should demand a Universal Basic Income. They sure as shit shouldn’t vote for the party that constantly bemoans (in speech) and undercuts (in practice) longterm unemployment benefits. They shouldn’t support the elimination of health care options and the reduction of Medicare benefits. And they sure as shit shouldn’t support the anti-labor-union party. Those bootstraps aren’t walking through the door, you white supremacist dipshits.

    If Trump had run for President in 1996 or 2000 his platform would have been “We have to stop all these cellular telephones from taking our jobs. Landline telephone operators are losing their jobs, not to mention the hardworking MCI and AT&T telemarketers, and it’s not right. I will charge a 35% tariff on all fancy new mobile phone technology so we can bring back big stupid rotary telephones and make America great again.”

  282. Mouth, trust me, your angry, wordy explanations about how much Red America sucks won’t change the mind of ANY conservatives, let alone Trump voters. Trust me.

  283. Mouth, the attitude you display here is a big part of the problem. People need a job they can make a decent living of. Now they can’t even get by on three jobs. Real income is going down in the US, not up. That’s the status quo. And as working people see it the Democrats haven’t done jack shit to change that. The consensus now is that only Sanders took that seriously. And when his party decided to fuck him over, people sure as hell weren’t going to vote for one of the fuckers behind the fucking. So they turned to the only other candidate who spoke about doing something about it. Everybody knows that he won’t, but if things stay the same at least he’s a big middle finger in the face of those who make fortunes on keeping working people down. And maybe, just maybe, it will make the politicians think about who they run with next time. If push comes to shove they know that we can bring the whole system down.

  284. We’ve seen from the exit polls that Trump’s support didn’t particularly correlate to income, and that if the election had been left to people making less than $50,000 a year, Clinton would have won in a landslide. The median income of Trump supporters in the primaries was $72,000. Working people my ass.

    This was not about poverty. This was not even all that much about education. This was about colour.

  285. Matthew, if it was about color (or even colour :)), how do you explain people who voted for Obama (and/or who said they would have voted for Bernie) voting for Trump. Certainly, some Trump supporters were racists, most were white, and I agree with Vern that a vote for Trump is tantamount to tolerating an unprecedented amount of xenophobia to make a broader point. So, I’ll go that far with you. But I’m not sure your explanation totally holds water.

    It seems to me we need to unpack a few groups, relative to the 2012 and 2008 elections (or at least the former).

    1.People who turned out to vote for Trump who had voted for Obama in either of the previous elections (hard to accuse these people of being classic, old school racists)
    2. People who did not turn out for anyone in the last two election but turned out for Trump (these folks might be bona fide racists)
    3. Liberals and moderates who did not turn out for Hillary at all.

    Of these three groups who can explain Trump’s victory, it seems to me that only #2 are the ones who can unambiguously be labeled racists. Of course, we can call every vote for Trump an implicit or by-definition act of racism, and I think that has some truth to it, but when some of these people voted for Obama last time, I think it rules out classical moustache-twirling racist as a definition. These are by definition people who are open to having a black man hold the most powerful position in the world, and I would submit that if you can count such a person as a racist, your defiinition of racist is so broad as to be meaningless (which, again, is part of my issue with a lot of the contemporary pop culture social justice discourse). It’s just not plausible as a full explanation for what happened or why they were willing to look past their racism to vote for Obama.

    7 Reasons Donald Trump Won The Presidential Election

    Clinton failed to fire up the Obama coalition in a big way, and Democrats have cratered with blue-collar white voters.

  286. In my 1-3 groups above, I left out people who consistently vote Republican along party lines. Clearly, if you’ve been a consistently voting racist for whom your racism is a major driver of your voting calculus, then you also voted for Trump. My point in not including them is that I don’t think they tipped the election (as per Crush’s point concerning David Duke).

  287. Here is my definition of “racist”: if you vote for an obvious racist running on an obviously racist platform, you are racist. I do not think this interpretation is unusually broad.

    Since 1964, the Republican Party has been transforming itself into a white identity party. It’s now there entirely, and the Trumpites are trying to make it a white nationalist party. It’s true there’s a split between the Republican-voting tribalists, who are willing to accept Trump because he won’t be persecuting them, and the alt-right true believers ― and people in the first group might be persuadable to the Democratic side ― but both factions are racist.

    Now, there are economic factors that drive racism, and certainly the Democrats should be stressing public works and infrastructure, free college, stopping capital mobility, etc. But in many of the areas where white voters switched their votes to Republican, employment is booming. Clinton did not run a perfect campaign, but much of this is a long-term trend. The more the Democrats become the voice of minorities, the more many whites don’t want to identify with them.

    There’s a theory going around that Trump did well because the economy was *good*. White people will turn to Democrats when they’re afraid, the idea runs, but once things are all right again and they’re feeling secure, they turn back to Republicans, who promptly fuck the economy back up again. This might be a bit glib, but it would explain voting cycles for the last 30-odd years.

  288. You guys, you’re right, I shouldn’t have typed all these mean words. I guess I need to find a new way to express myself, a way to stick a middle finger up to the system that failed to make me feel good about my life, so today I’m going to piss in my computer’s USB ports and trade it in for an abacus. #RedStateLogic

  289. I notice I forgot to say much about the Democrats who stayed home this year. Honestly, I’m not sure that Clinton’s policies had much to do with that at all. I’d like to believe that a social democrat platform was the ticket to success, but consider: Russ Feingold did worse than Clinton in Wisconsin. Zephyr Teachout did worse than Clinton in New York. In Colorado, single-payer health care failed 21% to 79% despite Bernie Sanders’ support.

    This election has made me really cynical, and I’m wondering if voters are just looking for a TV star. I heard the jokes about running Kanye in 2020, and I had to stop and think for a second ― “Wait, is that obviously a stupid idea?”

    I think Clinton was damaged badly by the fact that she’s a woman and the fact that the media dislikes her, like they disliked her husband and disliked Al Gore. There wasn’t much she could do about any of that. But to the extent that voters cared about issues at all, maybe she could have helped herself with better messaging. Give a simple, appealing message that’s easy to understand, even if it’s a long-term goal that might not be achievable right now. E.g., I’m sure her plans for university tuition were more realistic for immediate implementation than Sanders’, but it was Sanders who caught people’s imaginations there. I’m not convinced Sanders would have done better than Clinton overall, but he’d have done better with millennials, and they’ll be an even bigger voting bloc in 2020. Democratic strategists should be looking very closely at his campaign.

  290. And don’t forget about voter suppression

  291. Matthew, again, I think there is truth in your point. It says something about a person that they can rationalize voting for somewhat running on xenophobia. At the same time, many of these people voted for Obama, and then by the same definition we have many white women voting for an obviously sexist candidate. Does that make them sexists? We can say that there is a false consciousness here, of course. Part of my issue is that when we make no distinctions among degrees of stereotyping and prejudiced action, we get into these kinds of contradictions, all the way to the logical extreme of, “If you don’t share my opinions, you are racist.” It may be true on some level, but I think it is politically counter-productive. Trump did run on a racist, xenophobic platform, and I agree that voting for him reflects at best a sad mis-prioritization where one will put other concerns over basic decency; but that’s not all it was, and I don’t think we do anybody or the progressive cause any favors by oversimplifying it this way.

  292. >>>The more the Democrats become the voice of minorities, the more many whites don’t want to identify with them.

    Was the Democratic party “more…the voice of minorities” in Hillary’s campaign than under either of Obama’s? That does not pass the sniff test.

    It hurt Hillary that she was a woman? Hardcore conservatives would have supported Sarah Palin. And, to throw a monkey wrench into the very oversimplified logic, I would be Michelle Obama would have done a great deal better than Hillary (pure speculation, here).

    That Donald Trump ran a xenophobic, populist, f-u-to-everybody campaign is beyond debate. That the racist vote gravitated toward him is also beyond debate. That he was able to trigger, stoke, and harness the latent xenophobic tendencies even among those who previously voted for Obama is probably true. That “Donald Trump won because racism” is just a lazy and self-serving. And clearly it’s not even to galvanize opposition to him or else it would have, since we all knew this about the Donald many weeks ago.

  293. Sorry,
    *even –> enough (and other word salad typos)

  294. Yeah, but can we at least acknowledge that YOUR BROTHER CAN FUCK OFF should be the title of the first Larry Cohen scripted, political-sub-texted horror film to come out of the Trump years? Joe Dante would make the sequel YOUR SISTER CAN (FUCK OFF 2) – And Your Mother Is A Werewolf.

  295. I would buy an Al Franken book called YOUR BROTHER CAN FUCK OFF.

  296. I predict YOUR BROTHER CAN FUCK OFF will become the next WRONG TURN and have at least five sequels

    YOU BROTHER CAN FUCK OFF: AGAIN
    YOU BROTHER CAN FUCK OFF: AGAIN PART 2
    YOUR BROTHER IN LAW CAN FUCK OFF: THE FUCKENING
    O, BROTHER, WHERE HAVE THOU FUCKED OFF: BROTHER FUCK OFF 4
    OH, FUCK OFF: OH BROTHER WHERE HAVE THOU FUCKED OFF 2

    and so on…

  297. Lot of potential here.

  298. So it turns out that there is still some good in Trump’s America. This week DOG EAT DOG is actually playing in some actual movie theaters. I saw it today and it was as enjoyably violent and sleazy as I hoped. And then, on my way home, on a nondescript corner. A taco truck. There is still light in this world!

  299. What an exhausting fucking week.

    This is what I’ve done as far as “time to roll up our sleeves”:
    1) Read as much news as possible, even though little of it has been good
    2) Started working on my plan for how to save the world (it’s coming along nicely)
    3) Signed a petition to end the electoral college and one to protect Planned Parenthood funding

    But I’ve spent more time moping, being depressed, and trying to distance my brain from reality with alcohol and (legal!) weed.

  300. Time for Vern to lock this thread i think.

  301. Which is better? YOUR BROTHER C4N GO FUCK HIMSELF or BROTHER FUCK OFF 4?

  302. Skani: The election was close enough that if any of three dozen things had happened differently, Clinton might have won it. But it’s foolish to deny that racism is the single biggest factor in Trump’s rise. Do Trump supporters oppose free trade? Well yeah, they often kinda do, but it’s a weak correlation. Do they think that minorities are stealing jobs from whites? Much bigger correlation there. Do they think that Muslims and blacks are abnormally violent? Absolutely. Very strong correlation.

    I think there’s a general consensus now that Democrats need to emphasise the creation of well-paying jobs. I’m not confident that it’ll win many votes in the short term, but it can’t hurt, and it’s very necessary policy.

    What I want to push back against is the idea that we need to dial down the talk about social issues. People have been fighting against intolerance for centuries, and other people are always horribly offended to be told they’re intolerant. There’s no helping that. But white people aren’t turning to the Republican party because Lena Dunham was complaining on Twitter about microaggressions.* What was the social justice campaign that had whites in an uproar this year, and that Trump repeatedly attacked? Trying to stop cops from shooting black people. We cannot give any ground on that sort of thing. Even apart from basic morality, it’s bad politics. Democrats *need* to respond on issues important to their base, or their turnout is going to go down even more.

    Of course I don’t want Democratic politicians to be denouncing all Trump voters as bigots. (I’m going to keep right on doing it, but I don’t have to be diplomatic.) But they do need to denounce Trump himself and his associates as bigots — he’s just made white supremacist Steve Bannon his chief strategist — and that’s going to hurt the feelings of lots of Republicans, who feel they’re being insulted too by association. Too bad. John Scalzi had a really good piece on this that might be persuasive to the persuadable:

    The Cinemax Theory of Racism

    Or we could have Mouth come around to tell them to fuck off in person, and I’m fine with that too.

    *And as far as I know, she wasn’t.

  303. Okay, I give up. How the hell do you post a link here? They always look fine in the preview, and then they don’t show up.

  304. I agree with Felix. Time to move on.

  305. Things could easily spiral out of control. Lock it, Vern.

    I am from Singapore and i am deeply distressed by Trump’s election. The consequences for everyone worldwide are quite worrying. While a lot of us have complaints regarding the US, we have a great deal of respect for what the US represents and have done for the world.

    All of this is now at stake. I sincerely hope that things work out for your country and the better natures of all Americans will win out.

    Rant over. What’s done is done. Let’s get back to discussing movies (its a movie blog after all).

  306. Hey Guys, I’m not sure what spiral out of control looks like. But it’s hard for me to see how this is anything close to spinning out of control. I have found the perspectives of Mouth, Crush, and others helpful, and I personally am not nursing any hard feelings. Further, Vern is a left-leaning political animal and always has been.

    I’ll confess that I’ve pretty much run out of gas as far as this thread goes. I think it will die a natural death soon enough as the election settles in and as Vern posts more movie reviews that push this deeper down the stack. That said, I hope Vern continues to provide a platform for this kind of discussion, which I have found helpful.

  307. I agree with Skani.

    Vigilance is the name of the game now, folks.

  308. Crushinator Jones

    November 14th, 2016 at 8:29 am

    It’s just so depressing to read Mouth railing against the mouth-breathing Trumpy bozos (and there are lots who deserve our scorn) while simultaneously advancing a fantasy premise that’s just as detached from reality as anything on Fox news – that the status quo is great and that things get better every year. We simply cannot win with that message because it’s not true, and it offers the votes nothing.

    Ultimately, politics is about convincing people to vote for your policies – either begrudgingly or passionately. Failure to do that is not on the voters. Imagine the following exchange (taken from Twitter):

    Boss: Sales are down 20%. What happened?
    Salesman: Consumers are worthless fucking ingrates.
    Boss: Brilliant analysis. You did a great job!

    It’s been a tough, introspective week. I’m actually going to moderate/change something I said earlier re: understanding Trumpies. Don’t. Don’t get angry with them, don’t scream at them if you can help – but don’t accommodate them. The demographic data is coming in…a lot of them are the same people that showed up for McCain, and Romney. The 25% of the population that supported George W Bush when he left office. Just pure partisans who will vote and support R no matter what.

    What I’m going to take, going forward, is that Democratic support collapsed. Millions and millions of voters, from all demographics (women, Hispanics, blacks….everyone) didn’t show up. We need to work on an economic policy that’s going to bring these people back into the fold and get them on our side. Demonstrably and objectively, ceding control of the party to elite corporate gladhanders doesn’t work. Sweeping liberal rhetoric with neolib economics doesn’t work (sorry Obama). The Republicans are one state legislature away from having the 3/5ths majority to call a Constitutional Convention and directly modify the Constitution. Let’s energize the 45.6% of the electorate who stayed home…any message that can appeal to them will peel off the “good” Trumpies naturally.

    Good luck, everyone, as we enter this dark time in American history.

  309. They voted for an amalgamation of all the worst qualities of

    -Nelson Muntz (bullying, “nuke the whales” ethos),

    -C. Montgomery Burns (extreme greed, extreme deregulation),

    -and Homer Simpson (who at least has the excuse of crippling alcoholism to explain his buffoonery).

    The other choice was

    -Lisa Simpson (not popular; intellectually curious; definitely does her homework)

    -mixed with Professor Frink (pro-science appointees throughout government!)

    -and the best qualities of Ned Flanders (Tim Kaine).

    I’m never going to stop insulting proponents of a real life Idiocracy until their minority share of the votes is finally stopped from infecting & halting the progress of the brighter people doing the hard work of dragging those dipshits into the 21st century. Nor will I stop insulting apathetic young people, college students, and black Americans who barely bother to study the issues, organize, mobilize, and show up to vote more than once every 4 years.

    In conclusion go watch BLADE 2 again, brotherfuckers.

  310. Crushinator Jones

    November 14th, 2016 at 9:44 am

    “Conservatism cannot fail. It can only be failed.”

    I remember laughing at the Bushies when they tripled-down on their failed policies and failed president. Talking about what a “great leader” GWB was and the “amazing qualities” of their bumbling stooge-president. I guess I shouldn’t have laughed, or thought that only righties could fall victim to that kind of psychology.

    The post above is just incredible to me. I mean that sincerely. It openly expresses contempt for young people and minorities for not “getting the program.” It basically tells a bunch of people “there’s this small, educated group of people that knows what’s good for you, you stupid idiot, and we’re going to make it happen.” It deifies a deeply flawed and unpopular politician.

    In other words, it reads exactly like a post from a Republican circa 2009.

    I simply do not know what to do, except to hope that most liberals don’t feel this way and take the important lessons away from this election.

  311. Vern, it is of course your call, but my vote is to keep the thread open. Not many places left in the e-world to have discussions this level-headed. I for one have been quite greatful for the discussion herein.

    Mouth/Crush, you both seem to agree that mobilizing millennials and other groups that make up the 50% that didn’t show up is crucial (I single out millennials because they (we) are the most uniformly progressive in our ideology). Any thoughts on how to achieve it?

  312. My psychology is not based on “getting the program” or getting with the program. I’m not demanding fealty or pro-Democratic party progressivism above all else no matter what. I’m not declaring that it never fails or doesn’t have faults. “The program” itself is the openmindedness to evolution of ideas, the abandonment of bad ones and adoption of good ones. That’s liberalism. It’s okay when aspects of it fail or reveal shortcomings, because then we correct the mistakes and move on.

    Conservatives/Republicans have not changed their economic theory/ideology since about 1978. Democrats look at the stats, implement a policy, and the stuff that works they keep, strengthen, emphasize. Republicans look at an issue and go “What would Ronald Reagan say and what will Grover Norquist allow and what does the NRA want and what will get the most cheers at CPAC?” They literally do not believe in evolution.

    Hillary used the word ‘superpredators’ that one time. At the time the crime data and public perception of things she had been presented with meant that this line, and Bill’s anti-crime legislation, made some sense. Some things got better for some people; some things got worse for some people. After some time passed we all realized oh shit the criminal justice system overcorrected and went wild with ruining black Americans’ lives, either by honest accident or because of implicit racism or festering intra-community distrust between cops/citizens or because of a combination of factors that turns a $200 misdemeanor fine into a $1000 fine that forces people to borrow money to get out of jail and then that ruins a household’s finances which makes them more likely to commit crime or sign up as welfare moochers to survive and then they get a convict record on their resume and they can’t get a job and etc etc. We saw this play out, gathered the data, and Obama, with an assist from some libertarians, (and this same 1990s-to-today timeline of evolved reasoning can be applied to LGBTQ rights) realized the laws needed to be softened so fewer lives get ruined for such petty reasons. A Republican president would not have looked at all this post-crack-epidemic post-Bill Clinton administration history, bent to compassionate reason (that his/her nominally Christian Confederate base would despise), and then pardoned low level drug offenders. The Republican party just elected a guy (and his elderly campaign cronies) who chants “law and order” and says profiling and stop-n-frisk should be nationwide policies. The despicable private prison industry saw its stocks soar in the hours after Trump won.

    If you’re an American who’s received a credit card solicitation or contract pamphlet in the mail the last few years, you may have noticed that the font size on those documents is much bigger and the terms of the credit agreement are much clearer than before the Obama administration. This is because of Elizabeth Warren, Obama, and the CFPB. Guess what government entity the Republicans want to destroy? Guess which political party wants to go back to literal fine print so big financial institutions can fuck over the regular middle class consumer with jargon and onerous borrowing fees? Guess which political party opposes the regulation/law that says financial advisors & stock portfolio managers are not legally bound to help their clients’ best financial interests? That’s right, the Republicans. They watch THE WOLF OF WALL STREET and THE BIG SHORT and wonder why we don’t bring back that level of deregulation and let the market decide, again, until the next devastating crash, because that’s their ideology and it can never be opposed or updated. The Democrats look at that and say, never again. Yeah, it would have been nice to imprison some of those lower Manhattan vampires, but Republicans were already screaming “socialism!” at every utterance out of Obama’s mouth at the time so that kind of overtly punitive stance toward Wall Street was always gonna be a heavy lift. And how much lasting impact has #OccupyWallStreet had?

    Obama looked at the American auto industry and decided to save it. Desperate measures at the time when Republicans advised us all to let it go bankrupt and die, and then what happened was, it came back to life and has paid back the emergency monetary stimulus infusion, with interest. You’re welcome, Michigan.

    Obama also negotiated an agreement with auto manufacturers to improve miles per gallon and lower emissions. Another example of a Democrat examining the data, realizing there’s a problem, realizing that maybe the Bill Clinton administration shouldn’t have facilitated conditions such that gas-guzzling lane-hogging sport utility vehicles became the best selling automobiles in this country, and taking incremental action to address the issue. No Republican would do that. Republicans constantly ridicule and refuse to support mass transit, bicycles, and the idea that we should value livable walkable vertical population centers more than we value rural-suburban sprawl where they can escape to their mcmansions and plantations and shoot children for the crime of wearing a hoodie.

    Democrats looked at the data and realized a huge majority of women and families really really like to use birth control, and that easy access to birth control makes people happier and healthier, so they made birth control easy to access, even free with basic health insurance plans in many cases. Some of that birth control accessibility overlaps with certain entities that offer abortion services. So Republicans and religious fundamentalists looked at this issue and threw a tantrum, told chicks to put an aspirin between their legs, accused the new liberal sex-crazed world of forcing nuns to participate in the genocide of unborn babies, demanded doctors say medically inaccurate things to women in the exam room and force them to get transvaginal probe ultrasounds and look at the picture of that portion of the woman’s body. This is Mike Pence’s wheelhouse. He is a dim, extremist Biblethumper in an increasingly secular nation. If someone can explain to me why American women voted for this ticket that opposes something so fundamental to their daily well-being, I’m all ears.

    Hillary and the media obviously fucked up, because when you poll people on the issues one by one there is a huge majority, either nationwide or on a situational state-by-state basis, supporting the majority of the Dems’ policy preferences
    (preexisting conditions coverage, subsidized health care, taxing the rich, raising the taxable income threshold for SS, gun control, opposing torture, raising minimum wage, DC statehood, Puerto Rican representation + taxation if not statehood (yet), keeping white nationalists out of the White House, preferring friendship with western European allies rather than Vladimir Putin)
    and rejecting the GOP’s retrograde reactionary platform. And yet, the voters who actually show up, the mostly old white voters who treat Election Day like the most important call to action of their lives, have decided to try to turn the United States into Kansas.

  313. Crushinator Jones

    November 14th, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    It’s a very simple core message: offer measurable, universal economic improvements to the vast majority of the population.

    All this stuff about offering people no real future but instead appealing to their self identity of being on the right side of history or fighting against the bigots – we’ve just had the ultimate test of that. I’m sorry to say, we failed. I’m not too surprised by this because I don’t believe in American Exceptionalism. Given the right circumstances, most people won’t stand up for the poor and downtrodden if they’re backed into a corner.

    At the end of the day, letting the powerful capital class fuck over the workers causes racism not because people are bad, but because of human nature (recently I read an interview with some Somali refugees who were placed in black areas. Black people were extremely racist to them). Squeeze people and they get mean and nasty and look for scapegoats. They get uncharitable and tribal.

    The first thing we need to do is elect Keith Ellison to the DNC. He’s a rust belt progressive who caught on to Trump early (and was literally laughed at for it) is an extremely effective and personable speaker, and is also a black Muslim.

    Keith on ABC's "This Week" - 7/26/15

    Keith discussing the possibility of Donald Trump winning the Republican Presidential nomination on ABC's "This Week" in July of 2015.

    The next thing we need to do is kill any chance for Chuck Schumer to become Minority Leader (he’s shit). Give it to Warren or literally anyone who isn’t a warmongering, banker-worshiping corporate mouthpiece.

    Chuck Schumer: The Worst Possible Democratic Leader at the Worst Possible Time

    The soon-to-be top elected Democrat might as well have been grown in a lab to be exactly the wrong face for opposition to Donald Trump.

    Thirdly, we need to start recruiting candidates for 2018 in order to purge the Democratic party, as much as possible, of corporate control, and become a populist, workers’ party again, that represents the majority of Americans: the middle class, the working class, the poor, women, minorities, and the vulnerable.

    Finally, we need to stop comparing life to the Simpsons/Harry Potter/Parks and Rec or other pop culture junk. It’s not helpful.

    Crash of the Pop-Culture Party

    To hear some pundits insist, with perfect seriousness, that it was important for Taylor Swift to speak out on Hillary Clinton's behalf ahead of the election was to realize how celebritized our virtue-signaling politics has become. When disappointed liberals quote The Hunger Games in the coming weeks, they will only be redoubling the slick and foolish liberal embrace of Hollywood and pop culture that was so fully on display during Hillary Clinton's failed campaign. Think of HRC mugging on SNL, dazzling the stars of Broad City, or palling around with Lin Manuel Miranda. Lena Dunham and Katy Perry no doubt have illuminating political opinions, but those opinions are the wrong vehicle through which to reach voters in Wisconsin, who have concerns that rate higher than snagging tickets to Hamilton—something Clinton likely would have noticed had she, say, spent any meaningful time in the state.

  314. Crushinator Jones

    November 14th, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    Ok. Jesus, fucking embarrassing. I put a “don’t compare everything to kid’s pop culture” article up and then Vern talks about Babe: Pig in the City. Epic fuckin’ fail, Crush.

    But…Vern spends a lot of time pointing out how B: PITC isn’t a good metaphor for what’s happening today. Or at least, mixed.

    Whew. I think I’m safe.

  315. I think I understand what the author’s complaint is, but I have always enjoyed parables and analogies and interpreting what stories say about the world. It’s one of the main things I do here! Maybe it goes back to going to church as a kid and the least boring sermons were the ones based around Peanuts strips. I think THEY LIVE, FURY ROAD and STARSHIP TROOPERS can be used as shorthand without being reductive. It seems to me the guy is overreacting to trendy cuteness on Twitter. Some people look at the world more poetically than mathematically, so their points of reference are different from his.

  316. I guess his issue is that he thinks pop culture references don’t appeal to the people we wish voted for Clinton, and therefore we can’t use them anymore. I’m sure he wouldn’t have written a smug denunciation of Patton Oswalt if his metaphor had been the World Series. Maybe if we pretend to like NASCAR more than Beyonce we’ll win next time! I think this is silly.

  317. Crushinator Jones

    November 14th, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Well, I took something completely different. Clearly.

    Liberalmism is absolutely ascendant in pop culture. Good! Donald Trump’s psycho racism and sexism should be regulated to the fringe.

    The problem here is that it is not ascendant in reality. In fact, we’re getting whooped.

    So don’t get complacent, and don’t focus on celebrity cheerleading. I admit that I believed that the historical media drubbing of Trump (and his Billy Bush tape) would tilt the field toward Clinton decisively. But moral outrage didn’t bring in the voters (hey, I’m surprised too!)

    I’m not saying that people should junk parables or exploring themes in artistic works. I’m talking about precious liberals casting themselves as the brave soldiers of House Gryffendor. Holy cow, guys. Escapism isn’t gonna help us. Total domination of cultural discourse has not translated into political gains. I wish it did! It didn’t.

  318. Crushinator Jones

    November 14th, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    Or maybe I’m a middle aged man yellin’ at the kids to stop all the cosplayin’. Emotions are high.

  319. Crushinator — question for you. You’ve given some suggestions on how to possibly reach out to a slice of Trump voters with some genuine economic grievances which have gone unaddressed. But the more I read into this, the more it seems like this conflict is really rooted in identity politics, which in part spring from economic malaise, but have come to define the conversation in Red America in stark “us vs them” terms. Given how toxic the anger is against liberals, elites, professionals, etc, I simply wonder if the Democrats are a hopelessly, completely tarnished brand in most of these places, and just can’t really imagine a scenario in which offering some mild economic comfort (and, in all probability, in a completely patronizing and tone-deaf way) is going to win people back when there’s such a strong emotional appeal to invest in angry “white working class” culture war issues. Especially, of course, when to a large degree there’s just nothing that’s going to offset the changing global economic landscape and restore Ohio or whatever to the “good old days” of plentiful, well-paying union jobs. It ain’t gonna happen, and I doubt some gestures towards “job retraining” are what these people want to hear (in fact, Hillary spent time addressing this exact point, and look where that got her with them). Obviously Hillary was a terrible messanger for this appeal, but even a very good one is going to have an impossible task trying to make that a more appealing message than the toxic scapegoating the GOP –and Trump in particular– has honed to such an art form. Positive messages are always gonna be a harder sell anyway, and the fact of the matter is there really is no positive message for making the Rust Belt “great again.” Or at least, not one which people so deeply invested in a fundamentally dying way of life seem very likely to be interested in, ESPECIALLY when it comes from the very “others” they’ve been fed such a consistent diet of paranoia against.

    Consequently, I’m seriously wondering if the Dems just need to completely self-destruct and allow a new party with a new brand and different political vocabulary to try and make a case from scratch. I know there are still points of common ground with some Trump supporters and conservative voters in general, but I simply have no faith in the Dems to find it by this point, and even less confident that anyone in Trumpland would be open to listening to them even if they tried. They need a new message, yes, but maybe they need a new messenger even more.

  320. Among hardcore partisans, I think it’s very hard to tarnish either brand. Hardcore conservatives (liberals) are going to vote Republican (Democrat) for the foreseeable future, assuming they do turn out and vote.

    Donald Trump is a case in point that with the right candidate, even a seemingly fairly toxic party can win. And Obama’s continuing popularity suggests that the Democratic brand is not in ashes. At various points since Clinton you have heard people talking about permanent Republican or Democratic majorities. I think it has much more to do with who are being set up as the leaders of the party. Their ideas, their charisma, their baggage. For all her relative strengths, Clinton came off as stiff, dynastic, and part of the broken system. Neoliberal old guard. Lacking charisma or gravitas. Basically, Jeb Bush.

  321. Many people are suggesting that Bernie could have won. That involves a lot of what-ifs, but the point remains: Either “brand” is pretty resilient and amorphous to those who are not already deeply partisan in the other direction. It has a lot to do with the brand’s spokesperson of the day, his/her message, and the effectiveness with which he/she communicates it.

  322. The political stuff is kinda why I’ve been avoiding the site lately. I started seeing it in Vern’s writing when he felt that he had to write a disclaimer about how he didn’t like how fucking “Warlock” legitimized the Salem Witch Trials and it continued through some of his other reviews. Like he had to apologize for the movies and how an exploitation film created in the 80s doesn’t quite live up to our 21st Century standard of cultural sensitivity.

    Well, no shit. You don’t have to apologize for Othello or The Merchant of Venice either. It’s a piece of art, created by people at a certain date in a certain climate, and you don’t have to agree with it to discuss it or enjoy it. I think Bill Maher is an asshole (especially since he spoiled Gravity for me) but I watch it every week because there’s a ton of great jokes there. You can discuss The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser and not worry that you’re going to offend Catholics (or A Man For All Seasons and not offend Anglicans!) I get that every work exists in a historical and political context but it’s that kind of discourse where you feel that you have to apologize for unpopular opinions that existed in the milieu in which the art were created that turns me off. I don’t need you to say “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Just wanna let you guys know that I am NOT a Nazi.” before discussing the artistic merits of Triumph Of The Will.

    Would you feel the need to to do the same kind of disclaimer before Battleship Potemkin?

    I live in a hyper-politicized city (Madison, Wisconsin – I guess I’ve made myself Google-able now, ha!) and I have had conversations with serious adults in the past week about how they’re seriously going to move to Canada. Seriously, I found out a friend (disclaimer: he’s a straight white guy) that I respect fucking called our City Arts Coordinator to let them know he was resigning his position and moving to Canada. And other adults are taking him seriously. What?!

    One of my friends married a Canadian and it took her almost a year to be able to move to Edmonton. No exaggeration, she had to prove their relationship to the Canadian government through their their fucking Twitter history and she was already married and had to wait to move and live in my drummer’s guest bedroom for months until they deemed her “okay” to become a citizen. Like they’re just going to let some dude and his family in because he doesn’t like who won the presidential election i the United States.

    Donad Trump’s an ultra-rich reality TV asshole who in my opinion should not be anywhere near the Oval Office. But a lot of Americans wanted to tell the establishment to fuck off. Hillary Clinton IS the establishment. And the more rich Hollywood celebrities and CNN told people that Trump was Hitler, the more they wanted to stick it up the celebrities’ and Hanoi Jane-lovin’ Ted Turner’s asses. But the problem is that all the rhetoric got so elevated to such a level that people really do think Trump is Hitler and that he’s going to start rounding up transgender citizens and putting them in camps. They’re saying Trump only won because of racism, sexism, and xenophobia and not acknowledging that there was a significant protest vote who didn’t want another political dynasty (Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton has an extremely aristocratic ring to it, don’t you think?) And just like 2000, they’re letting the third party voters know that it’s ALL. THEIR. FAULT. Well, I’m a third party voter, so fuck that.

    Anyway, I got off topic, sorry. Politics on movie sites annoy me. This post is different because you could clearly avoid it if you wanted to, so Vern, thank you for that. TL;DR I like it when your reviews are more about the movies and less about politics.

  323. The most deadly serious sentence I will ever write: I don’t feel that’s a fair characterization of my WARLOCK review.

    My opinion on witch movies has nothing to do with them being made in the ’80s. I think I first wrote about this issue in my review of SOLOMON KANE in 2010, and it has also come up in recent witch movies like THE LORDS OF SALEM and THE LAST WITCH HUNTER. While it may be the same topic that somebody would do a think piece about now, it has been a deeply held belief of mine for years and it’s not really feasible for me to give an opinion on a witch movie without mentioning whether or not it does the thing I hate in witch movies.

    I’m sorry if my politics have scared you away, but it’s surprising to me because I’ve been doing that since I started in 1999. I do not recommend going back to read my columns from the Bush years, but trust me, there were many and they were way less coherent. I have always been interested in the politics of movies and back then I also felt a responsibility to try to get my non-mainstream views out there. I even have some anti-Iraq war references in Seagalogy (all or mostly removed in the newer edition because they seemed dated to me).

    But thanks for speaking up.

  324. As a Scandinavian commie I must say that people have to be overly sensitive to find Vern’s political views intrusive and/or radical…

  325. Well that basically says it all, pegsman. As long as your opinion is validated it is fine. But if Vern would have different opinions than your own, you wouldn´t say that would you?

  326. Of course I would. And I believe I have done so on several occations. All I tried to say with the sentence above was that I think it’s wrong to make Vern sound like some radical leftie. Sorry if some of it got lost in translation. I can do it all over in Swedish, if you prefer that?

  327. No need to speak in tongues ( so to speak, at least for most folks here). I get what you mean.

  328. Cool. I hate to be misunderstood.

  329. I do need clarification of the implied church burning rhetorics of your previous comment, that´s all.

  330. Isn’t there a good argument that pop culture was a huge factor in making gay people less scary to Americans who’d never knowingly met one?

  331. “Isn’t there a good argument that pop culture was a huge factor in making gay people less scary to Americans who’d never knowingly met one?”

    That’s actually true and not just for Americans. My mother is homophobic in the truest meaning of the word. She doesn’t downright hate them, but seems to be scared of them. Now I tend to cut her some slack for it, since she is almost 70 years old and obviously spent most of her life living in less educated times.

    The point is, ever since she started watching MODERN FAMILY, she really became more tolerant in terms of homosexuality. Okay, she still believes that they shouldn’t marry and if I were gay, I had no idea how she would react, but she has learned and mostly accepted that gay people are normal and most of all, she doesn’t seem to be disgusted anymore, when she sees two men kissing. So if I ever meet one of the actors who play the gay couple on that show, I will totally high five him!

  332. Sure, I think that is a reasonable c!aim. I think a lot of people find liberal celebrity speech activism grating, though. I’m a self-identified liberal, and I find it grating and kind of insulting. This, or course, depends on the activist and the cause. Katy Perry is no Martin Sheen.

  333. Church burning rethorics?

  334. Katy Perry did a free concert in Philadelphia two days before the election to drive up the Democratic vote. That is exactly the kind of thing we could have used more of.

  335. Crushinator Jones

    November 15th, 2016 at 8:38 am

    @Matthew B

    “Katy Perry did a free concert in Philadelphia two days before the election to drive up the Democratic vote. That is exactly the kind of thing we could have used more of.”

    Literally every celebrity worth mentioning came out against Trump. Every newspaper (remember the unheard-of spectacle of Variety and the New Yorker backing Hillary). I think it’s fair to say that nearly every atom of every molecule of popular culture rallied against Trump.

    It didn’t work. People didn’t turn out, despite being told repeatedly – from every conceivable cultural angle except Fox News and AM Talk Radio, which primarily appeals to old worthless baby boomers – that Trump was a vile, possibly world-ending threat. And yet they didn’t bother to get off their couch to oppose him.

    The answer is not “more of that”.

    Celebrity endorsements aren’t going work. Shaming people isn’t going to work. Telling them you love the things they love, or hate the things they hate, isn’t going to work.

    The reason is that we can look at very recent history and see…none of that worked! John Kerry awkwardly drinking a beer to be more “relateable” doesn’t work. Clinton’s embarrassing “tell me how you feel about college debt in 3 emojis” Twitter shit didn’t work. Getting Variety (?!?!??) to take the unprecedented step of endorsing Clinton didn’t work.

    I wish they did! They didn’t. We have to be clear-eyed about what works and what doesn’t.

    If you guys are reading my posts and thinking that Crush is telling you that the way out is to pretend to be racist or like Nascar or not listen to jazz music – nah. Maybe that’s on me. Bad communication on my part.

    Here’s what’s going to work: taking money from the rich and (especially) the super-rich and giving it to the poor, working class, and (less) middle class. Universal healthcare. Government infrastructure projects that put people to work, government investment into bringing jobs – specifically working-class and middle-class jobs, back to the USA. Support Unions. Make measurable improvements for everyone who isn’t in the top 20%.

    And if you’re reading that and shaking your head – saying that could never happen, America wouldn’t support it – then I have two things to say:

    1) Everything I just listed was a hugely successful left platform that we ran for 40 years and gave us the country and massive social progress
    2) You probably didn’t take Trump seriously and thought he couldn’t win – so just honestly admit you don’t know what America wants or will respond to. Consider getting behind a bold progressive platform.

    Chris Arnade, who has traveled the country and talked to literally thousands of Trump supporters, put it best: “When hope leaves, Trump enters.”

  336. Yeah, so I’ve officially come over to Crush’s side of things.

    I’m not trashing celebrities for standing up for what they believe in or contributing to liberal causes. My only point is that I don’t think much is accomplished (and it may actually be counterproductive) when the liberal approach is so clearly aimed at insulting or guilting or brow-beating people. A lot of the discourse, rather than being about positive, meat-and-potatoes class warfare type issues that everyone in the 90-99% should be able to rally around, the popular discourse tends to be:

    -Vote for the liberal, sexy celebrities do!
    -Vote for the liberal, if you don’t you’re a bigot!
    -I appreciate that are supporting our liberal candidate, but you should know that you’re doing it in a very white-privileged way
    -Keep in mind that if you want to support the liberal candidate, you’re going to have to go through a deep soul-searching process whereby you renounce white privilege and take up the specific agenda priorities of an entire package of people groups

    I am a liberal who supports all the standard liberal stuff including most of the people group agendas (gay rights, affirmative action, decriminalization of pot), and I do believe white privilege is an essentially real thing even if I find that particular framing to be unnecessarily “triggery” (meta!). I guess it’s the difference between explaining the psychology of the Trump voter in a self-serving (if fairly accurate) way vs. trying to understand that kind of coalition-building and messaging and candidate identification/cultivation approach would actually get more people to vote progressive.

  337. “Taking money from the Rich and giving it to the Poor” works morally if the poor are good, starving, hard-working bunnies and the rich are spoiled, cruel, insecure Lions who suck their thumbs (and even in that case, the Cruel Lion was – ironically – getting rich by taxing people).

    It’s theft, legal though it may be. You’re TAKING people’s money. Saying you need to keep taking more and more of it to fix the world is a losing argument and always will be.

  338. “The liberals were outraged by Trump, but they expressed their anger in cyberspace, so it had no effect, because the algorithms made sure that they only spoke to people who already agreed with them. Instead, ironically, their waves of angry messages and tweets benefited the large corporations who ran the social media platforms.”

    It’s not as reductionist in context. I came accross the Adam Curtis documentary HyperNormalisation, released just a month ago. It follows a few narratives, including the rise of big data and big banking, the destabilization of the middle east, the way these forces have interplayed since the 1970s and led to the destruction of our belief in fact, and how that caused generations of idealists to retreated into a fake virtual reality.

  339. I love me some Adam Curtis but I think I’ll wait a few months before checking out that new one. Everything’s still a little too numb to process.

  340. Christof, that “losing argument” is what makes most European countries work – and what initially made America great. I’m afraid it’s you who’s on the losing end of that particular discussion.

  341. Crushinator: It seems a bit counter-intuitive to go on about how uninfluential celebrities are when the U.S. has just handed the presidency to a game-show host. Regardless, I think you’re missing the point about Perry. She didn’t just endorse Clinton. She did a vote drive. These concerts leading up to the election weren’t just concerts — the attendees were often led straight from the show to early voting locations. That wasn’t possible in Pennsylvania, which doesn’t have early voting as such, so Perry had it just before election day instead.

    This kind of GOTV help is crucial, especially for a party like the Democrats whose base has a harder time getting to the polls to begin with. It didn’t put them over the top this time, but it would have been ridiculous to go without.

    I don’t disagree with any of the policy proposals you’ve talked about, but I’m very dubious that they’d have much effect on the so-called “white working class” (really middle class) in the Great Lakes area. From the polling I’ve seen, they’re suspicious of universal healthcare, and think typical infrastructure jobs are beneath them. Support for unions might have played well with them 40 years ago, but nowadays they’re not in unions and despise the government workers who are. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be proposing these things. But winning those people with policy will be hard. Bringing back high-paying jobs there is near impossible, especially if Republicans are controlling any level of government.

    Frankly, I think image and messaging are more important there. Or else improving turnout from a different sector of the base.

    I have no idea where you guys get the idea that electricians in Michigan are getting constantly insulted about their white privilege. That kind of thing isn’t even on their radar. They’re upset about Black Lives Matter.

  342. Well, it’s been a week and the sinking feeling I got on election night when Florida was tilting towards Trump has gone away and now I’m just angry. I called my parents last week sometime, meaning to talk to them about random things and their upcoming visit to my house at Christmas, and ended up yelling at them, telling them they should be ashamed of themselves. I don’t regret it. They should be ashamed of themselves. I haven’t talked to them since.

    Why should I? They voted for a candidate who displayed the antithesis of most of the “Christian” values my parents instilled in me as a child. Love your neighbor. Treat others as you would want to be treated. Be fair. Be honest. Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Pay your bills, pay your taxes, honor your word. Treat others with respect. Don’t take advantage of the weak and vulnerable. Help people who need it.

    Welll, fuck that, they said. Trump is the Republican candidate, so we will vote for the platform, not the person. This is what they said, and it actually sounds like a direct quote from some sellout church sermon, and I would be willing to bet it is one. Well, sorry, Trump’s platform was built on divisiveness, xenophobia, veiled racism and sexism, and bullshit non-functional plans like building walls. “Build a wall” is more of a campaign slogan than an actual workable plan. Build a wall between the decent, hard-working white Americans and the other races, build a wall between America and the rest of the world, and return our country to the 1950s when jobs were plentiful and everything was simple. This is pretty much Trump’s campaign in a nutshell, but with a liberal (haha) sprinkling of racism and bile thrown in for extra flavor.

    They would probably argue that they weren’t voting specifically for Trump’s platform, but for the conservative agenda and the Republican platform. That’s a pretty lousy excuse. Isn’t it telling that such a large number of Republicans were vocally anti-Trump throughout the election? Trump isn’t really a Republican candidate.

    What really pissed me off is that my mom was defending Trump. I said he was a horrible person and she said that Hillary is too. Really?? You might disagree with Hillary’s politics, and her establishment ties, but come on. On the scale of good vs evil Hillary is about even with the Bush family. They are politicians, and they have their normal faults – sketchy campaign donations, mistakes made in policy or decisions, etc. But they aren’t horrible people. Trump is a horrible person. My dad has been leaning further and further right over the last few decades, and I would not be surprised to hear that he secretly enjoys hearing Trump call his female enemies pigs and fatties, and going after minorities and illegals and Muslims. But to hear my mom defend this asshole was the last straw.

    I understand the argument that Trump is just a brick through the window of establishment politics, and that there are people who support him who don’t necessarily agree with his platform. That is a fucking lousy excuse too. If you support dangerous assholes in the hopes that they will affect some change, well, don’t be surprised if you get more than you bargained for. Anybody who thought Trump will tone down his more divisive and dangerous campaign “promises” should look at his political appointees thus far and despair.

    There is really only one morally legitimate reason for voting for Trump, in my opinion, and that is the argument that he is the only conservative on the ticket and you don’t have a choice really. I can sympathize with that. But if you’re in a blue state, and you don’t go into the voting booth and vote for the entire Republican ticket and then write in Mickey Mouse for president, then you’re morally bankrupt. If you’re in a swing state and you vote for Trump, well, it’s up to you, and if you vote for Trump then I expect you to look a little sheepish and apologize for what you have done, and I can understand that you’ve got your back against the wall, and you have to vote for the conservative and hope he’s not as bad as people seem to think. But my parents are in a solid blue state.

    If you wholeheartedly support Trump and think his rhetoric and policies are spot-on, well, you are dead to me.

    I am really not sure how this is going to affect my relationship with my parents for the next few decades, but I’m sure it isn’t good. I have lost a lot of respect for them, especially my mother. My dad has always been the outspoken conservative climate-change-denying asshat, and she doesn’t want to talk politics so I just assumed she was just a quiet conservative. But to hear her defend Trump…. Ugh.

    I do know that I am never going to church with them again. This past summer I visited them with my wife and we went to their church, and I was subjected to a half hour sermon on how Christianity is under attack, and people are losing their religious liberties because they aren’t allowed to discriminate against gays any more. Poor babies. I’m sure the KKK was pissed off when they were told they had to serve blacks back in the 60s. What happened to “love thy neighbor”? What would Jesus do? If some gays came into Jesus’s carpentry shop and wanted him to build a cabinet to hold their wedding china, would Jesus throw them out and call them names? Or would he apologize and nicely turn them away?

    I am no longer a Christian, but I retain most of the moral teachings that my parents instilled in me, and I must have read the Bible 3 times over as a kid, and there is nothing in the New Testament saying you should hate or discriminate against gays, grope (or brag about groping) women, demonize immigrants and Muslims, cheat on your taxes, attack enemies (both real and imagined) by insulting their race or appearance or disabilities… In fact, Jesus’ teachings were pretty much the exact opposite of all of those things.

    Donald Trump is a horrible person, and this is something you can demonstrate through his own words and actions quite easily. Any Christian who supports or defends him has sold out their religious beliefs. It makes me very sad to think that 50 million Americans voted for him. I really don’t believe that these people are all racists, but it’s bad enough that they have supported and voted for a racist.

    As I said before, hopefully this election will be a sea change in American politics, and the American people on both sides will rise up and elect true reform candidates for both houses of Congress, rather than the charlatan Trump. We need reform, badly. I just don’t think “anti-establishment” Trump will push for the changes we really need, and instead he will push a hard pro-business (anti-little guy) agenda which will betray his own electorate. Voting in a rich spoiled businessman who has taken advantage of every loophole he could find and squashed the little guy every chance he could get as an anti-establishment candidate is laughable, or it would be if it wasn’t so pathetic. Hopefully in 2 or 4 years people will be ready to truly take back our government, rather than giving the reigns to a wolf in wolves’ clothing.

  343. Rainman – While my interest in my Christian upbringing was on the wan in the early aughts, the Bush administration absolutely put the final nail in the coffin in my affiliation with Christianity. I just couldn’t believe so many Christians were ready to bomb another country that had done nothing to us. With Trump, this is even more inexcusable, since at least Bush was clearly a devout Christian and evangelicals wanted to see one of their own in the White House. My mom, who I’m pretty certain voted for Bush, wouldn’t even vote for Trump, so I know that there was a small contingent of people who saw him as immoral, but judging by the fact that he got elected, this seems to be a pretty small number of Christians in this country.

    During the run up to the Iraq War, I remember thinking how interesting it was that the most morally thoughtful people I knew were atheists. (Sure, I knew some Christians who were against the war, but they were Quakers, Catholics and member of UCC, not evangelicals). You would think that Christians at some point would realize that they don’t have the moral high ground. While morality deeply informs the left, we don’t often put our ideals in ethical terms, which I think is a mistake.

    With regard to the supposed backlash to pop culture liberalism, I think that argument is mostly silly. Sure, popular culture has an affect on people. I don’t think we would have gay marriage now if it weren’t for the fact that TV shows started to include gay characters who were funny and relateable. But popular culture is so fragmented that I think these days people just watch different shows in the same way that they get their news from different sources. I doubt people in the “flyover states” are sitting on their couches watching Samantha Bee and seething.

    And while I think we need to pay attention to what happens in the rust belt (I’m from there, actually), I don’t think Democrats have to bend over backwards to win every white male in the Great Lakes region. I agree with Matt B that this demographic isn’t going to switch political affiliations just because Democrats pass laws that help them out financially. But because I’m from the region, I have faith that you can flip enough of them. Some are ideologues, but others can be reasonable. Also, once you pass some of these laws, it becomes really difficult to hit the rewind button, which is what I hope will happen with Obamacare.

    And maybe we have spent too much time talking about white dudes from Ohio. The flipside to Trump’s improved turnout was Hilary’s depressed turnout. I think the policies that Crushinator mentioned could get non-white working class to the polls.

  344. @Matthew B,

    “I have no idea where you guys get the idea that electricians in Michigan are getting constantly insulted about their white privilege. That kind of thing isn’t even on their radar. They’re upset about Black Lives Matter.”

    Ok, I’ll bite. Let’s see how Sanders, who aggressively courted Black Lives Matter and made it a pillar of his campaign, did vs Trump in the state of Michigan:

    RealClearPolitics - Election 2016 - Michigan: Trump vs. Sanders

    RealClearPolitics - Election 2016 - Michigan: Trump vs. Sanders

    Sanders +19. Huh. Seems like, actually, they didn’t care very much.

    Seems like Evangelicals didn’t actually give a fuck about their high-minded morals, either, since they just turned out for a thrice-divorced athiest rapist.

    Listen, if you want to talk about voter suppression or GOTV efforts I’m all ears. That’s definitely a problem. And I’m not minimizing it – it might have cost us the votes we needed. Maybe.

    But when you start talking about “working on messaging” or “moving on to some other group” because winning working class people over to those policies are hard – are you not aware that is what Democrats have been doing? They decided to go court the rich and moderate Republicans. Chuck Shumer literally said that during the campaign season – “for every working class guy we lose we’ll pick up 2 country club GOP pieces of shit” (paraphrased) The result of turning it’s back on the poor and the working class is that the Dems are pretty much done as a national party right now. There’s no other voters to activate on our current Neoliberal economic policy, if they wouldn’t vote against Trump they won’t vote. That’s that.

    I absolutely agree that you have to leave some voters on the table. Christof’s stupid word jumble of “it’s moral to let poor people starve and taxes are theft” is not worth engaging. Vile racists who will advance a white national agenda are not worth engaging.

    This isn’t just white people. I’ve never said “white working class” in my appeals – I only pointed out they were 35% of Obama’s coalition, which meant that they were reachable. You guys keep responding as though I am talking about exclusively targeting these people. I am not. Working class people are all kinds, and they need more than “messaging” and culture war stuff. It’s important but it’s not as important as the economic side of things. The median black family income in Milwaukee can not afford the median rent in Milwaukee. They need help. We can’t make a society that vacuums wealth up to a tiny minority, no matter how post-racial we try to make it or how much we try to police micro-aggressions, discuss privilege, or create safe spaces. This stuff is important, but it’s being overhwelmed by the tide of inequality and misery that neoliberalism has brought.

  345. Are electricians actually worried about Black Lives Matter? I thought they were more worried about doing their jobs. Jesus….

  346. What I menat is, that is quite a condescending attitude to craftsmen without their knowledge you would not even be able to type this shit.

  347. @RBatty204

    “I agree with Matt B that this demographic isn’t going to switch political affiliations just because Democrats pass laws that help them out financially. ”

    This is so frustrating to me because it’s just totally ahistorical. We’ve already seen what happens with black voters and the New Deal.

    Little history lesson: before FDR in ’32, black voters voted Republican in huge numbers, because Republicans were the party of Lincoln. Both parties treated them like shit, of course, but one of those parties (the Dems) was literally the party of Slavery and the Confederacy. So fuck those guys. 75% of blacks voted for Herbert Hoover in ’28.

    Then the Great Depression hit, and you know the deal: blah blah blah Hoover does nothing, mass suffering, FDR New Deal, and – this is very important – even though FDR’s Democratic reforms gave less to black Americans then they did to white and racism was literally coded into the New Deal – 71% of blacks voted for FDR for President in 1936. They turned their back on Lincoln because at least somebody was helping them!

    This wrong-headed identity politics belief that people will spit on a helping hand is wrong. It’s wrong if you examine history. It’s wrong if you examine the stats. It’s wrong, wrong, wrong.

    What identity politics is great at doing is writing off a bunch of people that Dem leadership (rich bankers and the professional class) happen not to like. Rural working class stiffs.

  348. Sorry to post again but there’s one more thing I wanted to point out:

    @rainman

    ” On the scale of good vs evil Hillary is about even with the Bush family. They are politicians, and they have their normal faults – sketchy campaign donations, mistakes made in policy or decisions, etc.”

    This is so very illuminating of the systemic failures at every level of this country.

    Bush invaded a country that posed no threat to us and touched off a bloody civil war that killed at least 100k – and probably closer to a million – civilians. He shredded civil liberties and introduced policies of unilateral drone killings and Deep State secret spying at an incredible level.

    Hillary Clinton supported Bush’s war and Bush’s policies, and when appointed Secretary of State sold weapons to tyrants and got directly involved in turning Libya into a smoking crater of chaos that helped strengthen ISIS. She also wanted to go hot in Syria and in Iran. Syria, especially, was concerning. Gorbachev – the guy who ended communism! – said that direct Syria intervention had huge potential to go nuclear.

    The Iraq War cost 2 trillion dollars which is enough to do literally everything “wild Socialist” Bernie Sanders wants to do, and then some.

    The fact that this is being referred to as “normal faults” or “bad policy decisions” shows just how badly our media has bungled politics and failed to portray the depths of their depravity. These two have committed some of the biggest foreign policy blunders of the last 50 years and wasted literal trillions of dollars on wrong-headed policies that haven’t made us any safer. The response of “that is normal politician stuff” is terrifying!

  349. Like I said, Bush II and Hillary are about even.

    Foreign policy decisions are tricky (obviously) and isolationism is not necessarily a good thing. America’s involvements in Iraq, Libya, and Syria, while disastrous, were not in my opinion motivated by greed or hate, but were a mostly sincere effort to make the world a safer place and reduce the external threats to our country. It’s almost predictable by now that these efforts backfired to some degree. But were these “mistakes” any worse than Korea or Viet Nam? We may have spent a lot less money in those earlier conflicts, but the human cost was many times greater. At least on our side. These weren’t the worst foreign policy decisions of the past 50 years, they were just the continuation of a trend.

    You can’t run experiments in politics and we have no idea what would have happened if we had not invaded Iraq or destabilized Libya or Syria. These things are all obviously interrelated. Would the world be a better place now if we had just stayed within our borders? Personally I think America would have a better relationship with much of the rest of the world but that doesn’t necessarily mean our country would be safer. And it is the President’s job to put America first, including the safety of its people. Does this mean it is the duty of the President to destabilize some other part of the world, if it means America is safer? How can you balance short-term safety with long-term stability and prosperity of the entire globe? Especially if some other leaders in the world are working against your goals?

    It’s easy to cherry pick foreign policy nightmares and say this or that person did a bad job, or made a bad decision. But you could argue that both Bushes and both Clintons were carrying on a long-term foreign policy of the USA since the end of World War II, of policing the world. And you could also argue that the world was a pretty big shithole prior to the age of America, with what amounted to a World War every 30-40 years, and we have not had a World War since.

    I am not trying to defend the decision to invade Iraq, or destabilize Libya, or our wars in Viet Nam, or our overthrown of the Shah in Iran, or any of the other “terrifying” things America has done in the past 50 years. But what I am saying is that I don’t think Bush or Clinton or any of our other leaders did these things out of malice, hate, or greed. I think they were legitimately trying to improve America’s security, or improve the plight of some people in the world. You could argue that America should have shut its doors and let the world burn down around it, and who knows maybe that would have worked better. Maybe not. The Soviets and Chinese would certainly have taken over more of the world than they did, Israel would have been wiped off the face of the map, and the world certainly would be different. Not necessarily better. Isolationism is just as bad as too much interference, maybe worse. You can’t just sit idly by while bullies do what they want. The risk you take is becoming the bully yourself. Or at least being seen as one.

    It’s pretty easy to demonstrate that Trump is a horrible person just by quoting his own words. But to characterize Bush or Hillary as bad people because of their foreign policy decisions is just dumb. Maybe they made some bad decisions, but that is easier to judge in retrospect, especially when you don’t have for comparison the outcome which would have happened if they had made the other choice, except for the idealized vision in your own head. I believe they had good (if sometimes misguided) intentions, and like they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    I don’t think Trump has good intentions.

  350. I’m not sure the white privilege / identity politics thing really matters as far as elections, I guess I’m just saying that it alienates me personally, even as a liberal. Not all of it, and not the underlying concern with marginalized people, but just in the tone and underlying attitude, which often seems to major in minors and assume that appeals to shame, outrage, self-righteousness, or guilt (emotional manipulation, in other words) is a good, politically constructive way to build a liberal coalition. I think it tends to have the affect of exaggerating differences and tribalisms (feel bad for this group and feel shame for your privilege) as opposed to appealing to people’s self-interest and common ground. It’s not a question of either/or, it’s a matter of tone/emphasis.

  351. Crushinator: Big difference between impressing voters after you’ve already passed laws that help them and impressing them with unimplemented proposals the press hardly even covers. Though if you want a campaign that appeals to low-earning workers of all backgrounds, then great, I have no argument with you there. I’m just not optimistic that policy alone can win many of them over, but it might be more effective with some groups of voters than it is with the WWC.

    Shoot: Trump supporters with no college, not electricians in general. I thought that would be clear from context. Look at polls, and read voter interviews — these people want an authoritarian president, and Black Lives Matter was deeply offensive to them.

  352. Crushinator Jones

    November 17th, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Matthew B

    “Big difference between impressing voters after you’ve already passed laws that help them and impressing them with unimplemented proposals the press hardly even covers.”

    Are you aware that after Democrats passed the New Deal they held both houses of Congress for 40 of 44 years?

    If you are: how does what you just said make any sense at all?
    If not: has this changed your position in any way?

  353. But Crush, you can’t honestly think something like the New Deal could possibly pass in the current political climate, do you? I mean, the GOP is gonna hold the house essentially as far as the eye can see, and those words are basically toxic to them. It’s not gonna happen. If that’s what voters need to reconsider the Dems, they’re done, it’s over.

  354. Crushinator Jones

    November 17th, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Mr. Sub, my friend,

    If you’re going to believe that worker-centered populist left politics can’t win “in the current political climate” let me ask you a couple of questions:

    1) Did you honestly believe that, when Bernie announced his candidacy, that a Socialist Jew from Vermont with near-zero establishment support would get almost half of his party’s vote in the primary, with his biggest constituency being young women?
    2) Did you honestly believe that, when Trump announced his candidacy, he had even the slightest chance of being President? About how many times during the election did you hear some outrageous thing he said and say “ha ha, it’s over for him!”

    Before you answer, let me tell you something about myself: I definitely thought that Bernie was a 10% candiate (aka would pick up 10% of the vote in the primary) pre-primary and had no chance. I definitely thought Trump was a joke. Only around the disastrous DNC 2016 did I get an inkling that something was wrong.

    But my point is – if we rewind the clock to April, 2015 – nearly all of us would have said that the “current political climate” would have smashed Trump to bits and disintegrated Sanders in mid-speech. But, as it turns out, we didn’t understand the political climate at all, and what that really means is we didn’t understand what was possible.

    So I’m very sorry, Mr. Sublety, but straight up – I don’t think what your saying is true at all. This country is crying out for working-class politics. Trump basically pissed all over the free market ideology of the Republicans and ran a populist campaign – specifically saying “I’m going to rig trade for the benefit of the American worker, I’m going to help you against the rich people taking advantage of you” – and it didn’t slow him down at all. The Republicans were literally helpless as he shit all over their platform, and the Never Trumpers have all crawled back to kiss his ring.

    But let’s say that working class politics is electoral suicide. Ok, what then? Slapping “diversity” across a neoliberal economic agenda that isn’t working for most of America is PROVABLY electoral suicide. So where does that leave us? Throw up our hands and say “there’s nothing we can do” as we slide into corporate-controlled barbarity?

    If there’s one thing that I admire about Republicans it’s that they never play this bullshit “art of the possible” game. You never hear them say “that won’t work, the Democrats won’t let it happen”. They fucking get in there and propose the craziest shit imaginable, right in our faces! Put laser satellites in space to shoot down Ruskie nukes! (Reagan) End Social Security! (GDub) Build a wall and let Mexico pay for it! (Trump)

    And now they basically run the whole show nationally.

    P.S.: The Republicans lost the House and the Senate in 2008, remember? They also controlled both houses in 1928 before they bungled it all and opened it up for FDR and the New Deal. Wave elections can, and do, happen. Don’t despair. We can win.

  355. I’m not endorsing everything in that article, but the upshot is that we are often too quick to extrapolate enduring partisan hegemony over the house and senate on the basis of the most recent election cycle.

  356. Crushinator Jones

    November 17th, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I’m going to just leave two things that I find very illuminating here.

    Vincent Bevins - No one asked me, but here are my thoughts... | Facebook

    No one asked me, but here are my thoughts on the tragedy of the Brexit vote -

    Both Brexit and Trumpism are the very, very, wrong answers to legitimate...

    This Ohio Town Voted For Obama By Huge Margins, Then It Flipped To Trump

    What happened in Nelsonville was a microcosm of what went wrong for Hillary Clinton.

  357. Crushinator: I’m at a loss to see how your comment is relevant to anything I said. You’ve emphasised FDR’s capture of 71% of the black vote in 1936 — after three years when the Democrats had control of both houses, reached out to the black community, and pushed through sweeping relief measures.

    Here’s another figure for you. FDR got 23% of the black vote in 1932.

    Actions impress voters a lot more than promises. And with Republican obstruction, it’s hard to accomplish much meaningful action, even when the Dems win elections. Obama saved the auto industry. That wasn’t quite enough to keep Michigan blue.

  358. Crushinator Jones

    November 18th, 2016 at 8:14 am

    Matthew B:

    “Obama saved the auto industry”

    It ended up shedding about 180k jobs. I mean, it didn’t crash completely but…

    Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet

    Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet.

    There’s about 300k auto workers in Michigan btw, a state with 10 million people. So no shit saving 3% of the population personally wasn’t some cure-all. I never said it was. The state is still broadly effected by the same forces that everyone else is – healthcare, education, retirement, etc.

    Anyway we seem to have come to the same point as with Mr. Subtlety, where you’re saying that Dems can’t pass legislation because the Republicans won’t “let them” so they shouldn’t even bother to propose it. So then I’ll say: if your answer to last Tuesday’s complete rejection of the party is to double down on more terrible neoliberal shit that the Republicans “allow” to pass, and to throw up your arms and say “we just can’t do this shit” when the other guys literally got the KKK into the White House on a bunch of promises that most people know won’t happen (but at least they’re trying *something*), then you’re gonna get the same results. The party is going to continue to die and you’ll keep lamenting about how we should have thrown more bread and circuses at the young people to get them to the polls to vote for a miserable declining neoliberal future.

    Go ahead and get in the last word if you must but I’m done talking to people who start from the position “the dumbshit racist voters won’t vote for a meaningful progressive platform”. It’s pure fantasy.

  359. Crushinator Jones

    November 18th, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Also, there’s an article in the New York Times today about the End of Identity Politics. It’s absolutely repugnant, shitty, and the wrong lesson to take from this. I don’t agree with any of it.

  360. Crushinator: I don’t know whose positions you’re arguing against, but they aren’t mine.

  361. Good God you guys, that press conference…

  362. Crushinator Jones

    January 11th, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    If there’s anything Trump has proven, it’s that he’s a grotesque liar and flim-flam man. I don’t see any value in watching his cons.

  363. Crushinator Jones

    January 11th, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Also, hey, something to think about:

    Robert Reich - A new analysis shows that nearly every Rust... | Facebook

    A new analysis shows that nearly every Rust Belt county with a higher-than-average concentration of manufacturing, mining or agriculture jobs backed...

  364. Please, PLEASE, let every rumor about Trump’s proclivities turn out to be true (although I’ll settle for “causes enough damage he doesn’t even get to take two steps into The White House”.)

    Good God, 2016 was a lousy year. Trump and Brexit – two tastes that go soulfoulingly terrible together.

  365. Crushinator Jones

    January 12th, 2017 at 8:10 am

    That’s a nice thought but

    1) The “Trump is a piss hog” document is pretty much nonsense. Some of the only verifiable claims in it have already been proven false.

    2) Brexit and Trump are linked. The moment Brexit happened was the moment I realized he could have an honest shot at the Presidency (like most people, I assumed he would collapse at some point – and even when he didn’t, when the Billy Bush tape came out I thought that would end him, just because it was so foul to women. Turns out white women supported him over Hillary – gotta stop thinking people are monolithic blocs who vote their identity exclusively). Here’s an article talking about that:

    Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit

    Will these two cataclysmic events be the peak of the west's implosion, or just the beginning? It all depends on whether we learn their lessons.

    Anyway sorry to spam this thread, I’m very politically active and I try to keep it off here mostly, but I can’t help myself. Here’s a good article about the Clintons, Obama, and how Dem supporters need to come to terms with how bad their economic policies were, and how badly they’ve hurt the party.

    Democrats can’t win until they recognize how bad Obama’s financial policies were

    He had opportunities to help the working class, and he passed them up.

  366. I know there’s only the slimmest chance that the allegations, true or not, will amount to anything concrete, but it makes me happy to know that the “Trump likes piss” meme will likely dog him for the rest of his life. All the other scandals were things that normal people found repulsive but Trump himself was proud of, but this one makes him look like a weakling pervert who let himself get blackmailed like a chump. Trump is the kind of thin-skinned, overcompensating-for-low-self-esteem motherfucker who’ll let one comment about the size of his fingers haunt him for decades, so this will eat at him. I hope it gets brought up in his obituary. It’s a Pyrrhic victory, but that might be the only kind we get.

  367. Crushinator Jones

    January 12th, 2017 at 8:54 am

    Well with that attitude it will be! :(

  368. Just once, Crushinator, it would be nice if you made an argument that didn’t involve insulting the people on your side.

  369. Crushinator Jones

    January 12th, 2017 at 9:12 am

    I guess I should have made it clearer I was just funnin’ and trying to stay motivated for real change. Sorry Mr. M.

    BTW Presidential Candidate Hopeful 2020 Cory Booker just voted down a bill to import cheaper drugs into the USA. It had enough votes on the GOP side to pass if the Dems had stuck it out.

    They also treated Notable Piece of Shit Jeff Sessions with kid gloves. So much so that Ted Cruz gave them props. Sigh. Bad week.

  370. No, I’m sorry for escalating. I’m just trying to find any kind of silver lining in this mess and failing miserably. Being reminded that humor will not save us does not strike me as particularly helpful, because lord don’t I know it.

  371. Crushinator Jones

    January 12th, 2017 at 9:33 am

    Oh no I wasn’t saying that at all. I’m just trying to avoid the fatalistic mindset. It becomes self-fulfilling, you know?

    It’s not hopeless, this country has been in worse straits, we can win.

  372. The most hopeful thought I’ve had about this mess is the idea that, in the same way that Obama brought out America’s latent racism and Hillary brought out America’s latent sexism, perhaps Trump will bring out America’s latent decency.

  373. Crushinator Jones

    January 12th, 2017 at 10:14 am

    My position is that the thing most likely to bring back America’s decency is an economy that works for most people. Not one that works for ~20%, lets 50% scrape by in perpetual fear of losing it all, and throws 30% in the garbage.

    Which is what we have now, IMO of course.

    Also, I sincerely believe that Elizabeth Warren would have won, so not too sure about the sexism thing. Obama, yes, beyond a shadow of a doubt he motivated the racists. Hard agree there. But Hillary losing because of sexism? It undoubtedly played a part, just not as big as the collapse of popular support for neoliberalism.

  374. I wouldn’t write off that dossier. Read about its background. Many people including John McCain respect the agent who create it enough to take it seriously:

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/11/trump-russia-report-opposition-research-john-mccain?CMP=share_btn_tw

    It is not claiming that all of the allegations are true, but they are various things he heard from various sources he trusted.

    I guess I don’t have to be convinced since I already believed before the dossier that this was what was going on. I did not guess the pee, or the getting-off-on-using-the-same-bed-as-Obama. But it fits with Trump’s known behavior and personality and explains his bizarre stances toward Putin during the entire campaign. And now, hearing Trump talk about it, he does not talk about it like a person who has been accused of a ridiculous and insulting thing. “I’m a germaphobe, believe me.”

    Of course, if true it wouldn’t really matter unless someone stole the tapes (other sources have said it is multiple videos and recordings “of a sexual nature”) or Putin gave up on blackmailing him and released it to punish him. The more important accusation is of the Trump campaign coordinating with and receiving intel on his opponents from Russia. This is less of a surprise, it has been clear something like this has been going on throughout the campaign. The leaked dossier supports my optimistic belief that people are trying to prove it.

    If trustworthy, the ironic part of the dossier is that Russia has been wiretapping “Crooked Hillary” since the ’90s and all they have on her is sometimes saying something that contradicts her public stance on an issue at the time. What if… what if she was Straight Hillary the whole time, and it was the perverted bully who gave her the nickname who was crooked?! (Twilight Zone theme)

  375. As for the Corey Booker thing, I didn’t know about it but I found his statement about it (to Jezebel):

    “I support the importation of prescription drugs as a key part of a strategy to help control the skyrocketing cost of medications. Any plan to allow the importation of prescription medications should also include consumer protections that ensure foreign drugs meet American safety standards. I opposed an amendment put forward last night that didn’t meet this test. The rising cost of medications is a life-and-death issue for millions of Americans, which is why I also voted for amendments last night that bring drug prices down and protect Medicare’s prescription drug benefit. I‎’m committed to finding solutions that allow for prescription drug importation with adequate safety standards.”

  376. Crushinator Jones

    January 12th, 2017 at 10:45 am

    Here’s another explanation: the CIA is about to get sidelined by Trump, who doesn’t like them. He favors DIA and JSOC. So they’re fighting to maintain their position and to discredit/hassle Trump.

    What you’re most likely seeing is governmental infighting spilling out into public. That “dossier” has been around for months, Mother Jones mentioned it in December. Nobody gave a shit because nothing in it was verifiable. But then the CIA decided to say it was “credible” (that’s it, literally no other evidence given, just the CIA throwing their institutional authority behind it) and Buzzfeed publishes it in full and now everyone thinks that Trump is a piss hog.

    (Which he totally is, btw).

    On a completely different note, Vern it really does kind of surprise me to see you using John McCain as a barometer here. McCain is not exactly credible on this kind of thing. He was also trumpeting bogus CIA intelligence about WMDs to get us into the Iraq War.

    McCain's record on Iraq: eager to attack

    Sen. Barack Obama, speaking to veterans, lashed into his opponent for poor military judgment, alleging Sen. John McCain had fixated on Iraq immediately after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

    If something comes out that corroborates anything in that document, I’ll start believing it. But the source isn’t credible, the verifiable accusations have already collapsed (Trump’s lawyer never went to Prague), and the word of the Deep State shouldn’t mean anything to anyone either IMO. They are serial liars.

  377. Crushinator Jones

    January 12th, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Also, Booker’s excuse rings hollow. Canadian and USA’s pharmaceutical practices are almost identical:

    drugguide.com|Canadian and U.S. Pharmaceutical Practices

    Canadian and U.S. Pharmaceutical Practices was found in drugguide.com, the most widely-used medical reference.

    Obviously if he passes a bill with safe practices then I’ll come in here and post it. Of course most likely the Rotating Cast of Bad Guys will oppose that too with some other bullshit reason, because that’s how it works. These guys all talk to each other, they decide who gets to be the Bad Guy of the Week and they torpedo legislation that threatens their big money donors. Would LOVE to be wrong about that, believe me.

  378. Those are good points. I just mentioned McCain because it seemed believable what it said in the article, that he really didn’t want to get dragged into this but looked into it and felt the accusations were too credible not to pass on to the FBI.

    I’m not a McCain fan, especially since I believe his poor judgment in accepting Palin as his running mate set the stage for someone as clearly unqualified as Trump being able to run.

    And I don’t know what to think about the drug legislation other than that I dearly hope you’re wrong. Booker is the most plausible future Democratic leader I know of, so I sure hope he’s above that.

  379. Crushinator Jones

    January 12th, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Well the issue with Booker is that, while he comes across as a kind and decent person, he’s ultimately trapped for by the same forces that have captured the Dems at the national level and lead the party to ruin.

    Anyway, Matt Taibbi did a nice round up of Pissgate and Hackgate, check it out yo.

    Taibbi: The Russia Story Reaches a Crisis Point

    If Donald Trump really is compromised, we need immediate action, not media overreach.

  380. It in no way surprises me that Booker ultimately decided to shield pharmaceutical companies. This is the man, after all, who blew $100 million of Mark Zuckerberg’s money on a failed corporate school reform scheme in Newark.

  381. Crushinator Jones

    January 16th, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    :(

    Booker will go to inauguration, but pledges to fight Trump agenda

    Senator said he will attend inauguration out of respect for peaceful transfer of power

    Don’t. Legitimize. This. Man.

  382. People keep saying we live in an IDIOCRACY world, but this morning I realized that it’s more like FIGHT CLUB. Y’know, a bunch of whiny, privileged assholes, who think the establishment is pussywhipping them into submission and softness, try to prove that they are real men, by ruining everything for everybody, without thinking of the REAL consequences of their cartoon “rebellion”, and being completely oblivious to the bad things around them. “His name is Robert Paulson” is basically “Give Trump a chance”. And once they realize it’s too late, the monster they created will be too powerful to be stopped.

  383. The moderate to far right have been stealing ideas from the left for a while now and presenting them as their own. Tricking voters into believing that they’re going to fix the problem. I think the vast majority who aren’t especially interested in politics are going to wake up soon, get wise to the con and elect their own candidates. Hey, we’re living in ELYSIUM! Where the hell is Matt Damon?

  384. Crushinator Jones

    January 25th, 2017 at 10:26 am

    I wish it were that simple. Take the case of Dianne Feinstein. She’s the senior Senator for CA, one of the most liberal states in the union. Her husband is a war profiteer and she’s a quisling who supports endless spying and war. She’s confirmed all 4 of Trump’s nominees, she’s ok with torture, spying, black sites, the whole gang.

    She’s been up for election twice and people have known what a disgusting piece of shit she is, and yet…no real primary challenge. Handily re-elected.

    CA, btw, voted to get even more hardcore about the death penalty. And put a prosecutor in the Senate. Right next to the legal weed.

    California. The liberal land of gay marriage and legal weed…and endless war and the penal state. Good stuff.

    A Democratic party that chooses monsters like Feinstein and has no real principles beyond making paeons to harmony and kindness (while they enable endless bombing of other countries and let the rich rob us blind) is not equipped to challenge Trump. And we’re seeing that. He’s going to trample this country into the mud and the liberals aren’t even going to put up a token resistance. It’s already started.

  385. Crushinator Jones

    January 25th, 2017 at 10:29 am

    BTW when I say that Feinstein has been up for election twice, I mean she’s been up for election twice since she voted for the fucking Iraq war and tipped her hand as an utter piece of monstrous shit.

  386. That’s why we have to look outside the regular parties. A world wide revolution is what we really need. But we could start with finding some decent candidates to vote for.

  387. Crushinator Jones

    January 25th, 2017 at 11:22 am

    Pegsmen,

    I totally understand and respect your disgust with political parties.

    Unfortunately America is not a parlimentary system – which would allow these third parties to florish. It is winner-take-all. In winner-take-all, there are only two parties.

    The real elephant in the room is that our Constitution is not working. The Electoral College is bad and the Senate is bad. These are antiquated institutional bodies that were created when slavery existed (and they were created, in part, to allow slavery to continue to exist) and have outlived their usefulness.

    Anyway, I don’t want to tell you how to feel but I feel a good use of your energy is to attempt to capture the party with the ideology closest to you – and that’s probably the Democratic party. This means attending meetings, voting on the boring stuff, and challenging status quo defenders. Beware: I’ve been doing this a little and it’s really not fun or gratifying on any level. It’s dull and bureaucratic, and that’s just the way the Dem elite want it. They want you to give up and go away so they’re free to run the country into a ditch while enriching themselves.

  388. Sorry bro, I’m feel that I’m sailing under a false flag here. I’m from Norway and I do belong to a party over here. It’s a small one and we’re struggling to get our first candidate elected to parliament. I do believe in parties, just not the big ones.

  389. Crushinator Jones

    January 25th, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    Pegsman,

    That’s cool. You’re not flying a false flag. You should know that the American government is structured to nullify third parties. If they accomplish anything at all – and they almost never do – its usually to act as spoilers for the major party most closely aligned to their ideology, or serve as scapegoats (read: Ralph Nader gets the blame for costing Al Gore the election, even though it was tens of thousands of Democrats voting for Bush that actually lost it for him:

    No, Ralph Nader Did Not Hand the 2000 Presidential Election to George W. Bush

    More than 12 times as many Florida Democrats rejected Al Gore in favor of Bush than they did for Nader.

    ).

    If you’re going to change American politics, you must first take over or replace one of the major two political parties. Unfortunately, that’s the way our system of government works.

  390. The party I’m a member of used to be a revolutionary party. But these days we work within the parliamentary rules. And if we can get our candidate elected to the parliament he can actually make a difference. I guess we have to start small…

  391. If Nader hadn’t made a deliberate decision to campaign in swing states, Gore would have been president. There’s no getting around that. But sure, blame Gore instead for not moving to the right to pick up the Florida Dixiecrats.

  392. Yeah, but that’s how a democracy works.

  393. Nader absolutely had the right to run, and people had the right to vote for him; the point is that under the American system of government, votes for third parties are wasted, because at best those guys are spoilers. (And this is Crushinator’s point too, though we disagree as to Nader. I’ll just note that the right-wing site he linked to is being deliberately deceptive about the Herron-Lewis study, which actually says this: “How do our results stack up against conventional wisdom, which holds that Ralph Nader spoiled the 2000 presidential election for Gore? We find that this common belief is justified, but our results show clearly that Nader spoiled Gore’s presidency only because the 2000 presidential race in Florida was unusually tight.”)

  394. Crushinator Jones

    January 26th, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    Right, every single person who voted for Ralph Nader would have flipped their vote to Al Gore. LOL.

    I do like how you call a personal blog article from a liberterian civil liberties guy “an article on a right wing site” because of where it’s hosted.

    Anyone who is not Matthew B who is reading this: don’t ever expect him to give less than 100% lockstep loyalty to his shitty neolib party. Unfortunately loyalty is not going to win elections. Competence is.

  395. Crushinator: Do you seriously believe that Nader couldn’t spoil an election unless every single one of his supporters would otherwise vote for the Democrat? Let me answer that for you. No, you don’t believe that, because you’re not a drooling moron. So why not respond to what I actually said, and acknowledge the Herron-Lewis paper — which shows that Nader did indeed spoil the election?

    I mean, every one of your responses to me, it’s like you’re arguing with some other guy you’ve constructed inside your own head. I don’t get it.

    As for Reason: Yeah, it’s a right-wing site. Hit & Run isn’t a “personal blog” there, it’s the staff blog, and Anthony Fisher is one of Reason’s associate editors. He spends his first paragraph whining about being called a “privileged white dude.” He’s a right-winger. He might be a right-winger with non-crazy ideas about police power, but he’s a right-winger.

    And as for me: I’m confused to hear the NDP described as a “shitty neolib party.” I’m also confused to see you so determined to insult people on your own side. Ralph Nader is an anti-union, anti-feminist Rand Paul fan; he really isn’t worth it.

  396. Just so you know, Crush, you’re crossing over into needless dickishness territory with that post. I know you don’t mean to. Let’s be nice. #1 because we have to fight this together and #2 because that’s what we do around here.

  397. Crushinator Jones

    January 27th, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Well Matthew, here’s the deal as I see it: Bad candidates create space for third parties to operate.

    Gore was an awful candidate, although not as bad as Clinton. But he was very similar: a corporate, careerist politician with low charisma who picked a GOP-lite running mate and couldn’t convince anyone of his authenticity. That’s what caused people to look to Nader, that’s what flipped Dems to vote GOP, and that’s ultimately what caused him to have to rely on 500 votes in Florida to win. Nader was the symptom, not the cause. Run a bad campaign and you’ll end up with an outcome that can be affected by a few bad breaks. Run a good one (Obama 2008) and you’re basically invincible.

    Of course, if your loyalty is to party and not principle, you’re going to blame Nader. That requires no introspection, no admission of wrong-doing, no reflection. Just put the blame on an external factor, say “evil Nader took our votes and lefties are bad guys who are insufficiently Loyal To the Party” and you can call it a day.

    (BTW, this could all be fixed with Instant Runoff elections, which Democrats don’t support because they want to be able to bludgeon lefties into supporting them even when we don’t want to and would rather lose elections then fix the issue)

    And btw, the Nader-blaming was exactly what happened. I was there. I voted for Nader, and I literally got called a traitor and Bush-enabler for a decade. So if I get a little touchy about it, I apologize.

    Here’s a good video:

    Mark Blyth--"Liberalisms' great trick has been to naturalize very difficult political contests."

    Extracted from video of full discussion, available here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGiHiZyKuAE from the Watson Institute. (I'll try to make a summary of...

  398. I think you are all three at least somewhat right. Vern is right that dickishness is counter-productive and tone matters. Matthew is right that voting for third-party far-left-wing candidates hurts the center-left candidate, I think. Crush is right that a stronger center-left (here, Democrat) candidate is less apt to create room for a credible third-party far-left challenger.

    Another thing is that it is difficult to have a fuller perspective that looks at the long-view, beyond a single election. In a single election, I buy the logic that a vote for Nader (or Stein) amounts to a vote against Clinton (and, hence, for the next strongest not-Clinton opponent). However, I think Crush has an implicit point that a liberal protest vote has the effect of (a) putting a guy like Trump in office (tipping things) but maybe also (b) providing pushback and a wake-up call to the Democrats. Hopefully, the Democrats will learn from this.

    All that said, I still would have much preferred to have Hillary win, and I think there is a real, measurable difference between a Clinton presidency and a Trump presidency, just as would have been the case if there had been a Gore presidency.

  399. I think there are a couple of reasons Nader get singled out for blame. The first is that it’s easy to show evidence that he cost Gore the election — e.g., by looking at Nader voters’ down-ballot preferences. I’m sure there are dozens of choices Gore might have made that would have won the election in an alternate timeline, but it’s harder to identify them. There’s just not enough data. (And before you whisper “Joe Lieberman” — the guy’s a creep, and a bad choice for VP, but to the extent that his presence on the ballot had any effect on the vote at all, it probably helped Gore. Look at Grofman and Kline’s paper on running-mate selection. Or just look at the numbers of conservative people and Jewish people in Florida.)

    The other reason Nader gets talked about is that the story has a convenient moral. Most campaign setbacks are particular to that campaign. But third parties run in every single presidential election, so every single election you can point to Nader as a warning.

    I’ve been wondering lately whether Democrats can help themselves by running further to the left on foreign policy. I mean, that’s the right thing to do in itself, but it also might help win over voters dissatisfied with the status quo. On the whole, Nader was a bit to Gore’s right, but he was leftward on foreign policy. And looking at insurgencies within the Democratic Party, both successful and otherwise: Dean was a centrist, but he voted against the Iraq war. Obama was to the right of Edwards, but Obama had opposed the war and Edwards hadn’t. (Of course Edwards soon imploded for other reasons.) Sanders is a genuine social democrat, but he was certainly also helped by Clinton’s reputation as a hawk.

    And most voters don’t really care about foreign policy, so there’s not much downside to staking out that ground. Though I guess that might change if Trump drags the States into another idiotic war and the population goes jingoist again, and the odds of that are looking good.

    Skani, there’s a big danger in hoping that losing elections will bring centre-left parties to the left. It didn’t happen after Reagan/Bush and it didn’t happen after Thatcher/Major. You could argue that it happened after GWB, but I don’t think it was worth destroying the economy, drowning a major city, and killing a million people in Iraq.

  400. Honestly it’s so depressing and they just started with all the evil stuff they want to enact. I feel like Nostradomous, that I could see how bad it would be the country and the rest of the world for that matter. At least I didn’t vote for this clown. These fucking elephants are going out of their way to kill everything that is good and rational about this country. It’s just so sad.

  401. Trump claimed something happened last night in Sweden. Nobody here knows what happened. But apparently something happened. Jesus christ….

  402. Must have been one of those darn ninjas again. They can fool the general Swedish public, but not the international Anti-Ninja Task Force, that Supertrump has built.

  403. Well, whatever happened, just know that our hearts and prayers are with Sweden right now.

  404. Thanks, I´ll be sure to pass it on to whoever was affected by whatever happened. If I only knew where whatever this that supposedly happened happened.

  405. Is Trump and America the only ones who care about doing something about terrorism that now even you Swedes are covering up your own terror attacks and victims to protect refugees! Or something.

  406. We have invisible terrorists that are only visible to Americans it seems. It´s like an inverted THEY LIVE.

  407. Just another reason we’re the best!

  408. Maybe Trump’s seen a couple of JOHAN FALK movies?

  409. Heard it was the same cell from the Bowling Green Massacre. #neverforget #eagletears

  410. pegsman- if you think that is the case, you are giving Trump way much credit. He can´t even watch BLOODSPORT without fast forward between the fight scenes!

  411. Trump and his lackeys are obsessed with Sweden.

    Fake Sweden expert on Fox News – has criminal convictions in US, no connection to Swedish security - DN.SE

    Fox News continues to focus on the debate about how immigration is breaking Sweden.

  412. They’re going after the countries that have been considered safe and secure, trying to prove that their actions in the US are justified. It will only work of course with those who don’t know shit about the world outside their own little town. Yesterday a pc repair guy told a friend of mine who lives in Vietnam, that he loved Europe-Asia. He had a buddy who lived in Switzerland.

  413. Obviously that is the reason. And that article I linked is interesting, because until now Swedish mainstream papers were never concerned with anything but articles in swedish texts. There is a large concern with “fake news” of Sweden. Unfortunatly this won´t lead to more objective reporting, only countering the type of reporting Fox News does.

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