Much to my embarrassment, back in May Mixed Meters correctly predicted the winner of this presidential election. What could I have been thinking? (It was actually a sort of magic realism: I could avoid the worst possible outcome by predicting it would happen because I've always made incorrect predictions before.)
Michael Moore accurately predicted the outcome for better reasons.
Like so many Americans, I was caught up in The Bubble before the vote. Admit it, so were you. We took shelter in a comfortable cocoon of news and opinion, endlessly reinforcing what we already believed. We thrilled at stories about how Arizona might go Democratic and shivered at predictions of how racist the Republican would be if he got elected.
Yes, we all believed those damn polls. Both sides did. Obfuscatory statistical sports-minded double talk became source material for countless predictive think pieces. After reading those we turned to Facebook for our news. That's where they pick new things to show us based on the items we've previously liked. Click like on one item and get another one almost the same. Facebook shows you stories that your "friends" have liked; maybe you will as well.
I doubt there is a more perfect way to stay in The Bubble than by reading a news feed controlled by computer algorithms designed to discard uncomfortable contrary opinions while simultaneously showing you enticing advertising. Capitalism wants you to be happy while you spend money. Capitalism didn't care how this election turned out. Capitalism wants profits. Either candidate would have been good for business.
Hillary Clinton, after running for President for like a quarter century and being the unbeatable presumptive next President of the United States not once but twice, the candidate who got more votes than her opponent (over 2 million more at this point), still lost the election. Thinking that Hillary would be the inevitable winner is a sure sign that you were in The Bubble. Yes, this is a real book.
Clinton simply couldn't communicate with many American voters as well as the guy who talks at a fifth-grade level. She looked like a deer caught in the headlights every time they asked her to explain those emails. The other guy blamed her for just about every problem in the U.S. today and it all stuck to her like glue.
I think Clinton needs to confess. She needs to contritely tell the country that she is completely at fault for this huge election loss. She could post a YouTube video saying how sorry she is, taking complete repsonsibility and announcing her complete retirement from politics - hanging up her pantsuit as it were.
Her first sentence could be "I want to tell the American people that I screwed up." She should not mention James Comey or emails even once. No excuses, Hillary. You were at the top of the ticket. You called the shots. You get the blame now in the same way you would have gotten the glory if you had won.
At the end of the video you could add a few heartfelt warnings about how little boys and girls should not be too obsessed with gaining power at all costs. That would be good too.
The sooner she does this the better. Bowing out this way, formally, would be very helpful as the Democrats prepare to fight future political battles. A full-throated mea maxima culpa from Hillary Clinton could help the Democrats get off to a new start. If she doesn't do this the Dems are again going to imitate that old joke by lining up in a circle and fighting their battles with one another instead of with the enemy.
I'm hoping that a new start for the Democratic party means a lot less status quo. At this point anyone with the name Clinton is synonymous with status quo. (Chelsea, I'm talking to you.) Please, no more Clintons.
Meanwhile it's now three weeks after the election and we're aghast at how the guy who won the election is shaping his new administration. It looks really bad. Civil liberties are going to take huge hits. Income inequality is going to get worse and worse. Access to healthcare is going to get more difficult. America is going to continue intervening in foreign countries where we don't belong without knowing what the fuck we're doing.
And guess what! We — the losers, the liberals, the left-wingers, the democratic hacks, the unions, the minorities, the identity groups, everyone who supported Clinton willingly or reluctantly, all of us together — we're mostly all back in The Bubble. We actually never left. We're thrilling at stories about how a recount might change the election and shivering at predictions of how racist the Republican will be once he's in power.
And Facebook is still showing us news items that we agree with because it wants us to click on ads. Clicking on ads, buying stuff is what Capitalism wants us to do. Capitalism was always going to be the big big winner in this election no matter who happened to become the 45th President. This would have been obvious to anyone who managed to escape from The Bubble.
The above is not a really great rant as rants go. Rants are supposed to be wild and profane and accusatory and out of control. I've had too long to think about what I wanted to say. Nothing I've said is all that original. I needed a blog post this month.
There have been many people furious at the outcome of the presidential election - far far more furious than I - who have managed to work up great, eloquent rants. They rant with the best of them. I've enjoyed these rants and want to share them with you here. Also, by posting them to Mixed Meters I might discover them again after a few years. By then we'll have much more to be angry about.
I hope you enjoy these too.
Someone named Alex Pareene wrote this rant, Fuck Everything and Blame Everyone, in something called The Concourse. Here's some quotes:
"Blame the party, and blame the Clintons, and blame nearly everyone in the upper echelon of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, ..... for not understanding that she was uniquely vulnerable to an opposition campaign based on the clearly true premise that the system is rigged in favor of the powerful and connected."
"Blame Russia, and Julian Assange, and James Comey, but don’t forget the actual army of authoritarian whites that constitute some or most of our national security services, police, and armed forces. Remember that there is surprisingly little demographic or ideological difference between the average American police force and the apocalyptic white militia movement, besides that one has the imprimatur of the state."
"Finally, feel free to blame yourself. I have no clue what the fuck else to do."
Here's a video rant entitled Aftermath by Tess Rafferty. Here's a good quote:
"You voted for Trump - I am tired to trying to see things your way while you sit in your holier-than-thou churches slash white power meet-ups refusing to see things mine. Did I just lump you in with white supremacists? No. You did that to yourselves. You voted for the same candidate as the KKK. You voted for a candidate endorsed by the KKK. For the rest of your life you have to know that you voted the same way as the KKK. Does that feel good to you? Here's a hint - it really shouldn't, especially if you call yourself a Christian.
I'm tired of pussy footing around what offends your morals while couching what offends mine. Because racism and homophobia and misogyny and xenophobia offend mine. Let me say it right here that if you voted for Trump I do think you're a racist, I do think you're homophobic, I do think you're a mysogynist. Racism and homophobia and misogyny are all a spectrum - and you're on it."
The next one is by Johnathan Pie, an English stand-up comedian commentator. This rant is called President Trump: How & Why... Here's a couple quotes:
"She'll do. That was the feeling. What did they think was going to happen? People keep saying to me how did this happen. They're dumb founded. But it's so simple. The left did this. This is my fault, people like me. When are we going to learn? The left have given up putting any argument across at all to the point where Clinton is considered left - liberal."And my favorite bit of sarcasm ever:
"It's almost as if the political acumen of Beyonce and Jay-Z count for nothing."