Here’s how it happened.
For decades, political theory had it that, if your opponent shifted hard to the right or left, you moved with them to claim the middle ground they were ceding. The idea being that, a left wing candidate will always have those further left than them in the bag, and they’ll get half the folks in the middle, between them and their opponent.
This worked for Bill Clinton, who was center right if anything, over two terms, even though he faced all sorts of issues during his administration.
But it never worked against GW Bush, even though he was pushing hard right constantly, right into crazy territory.
The Democrats figured this was all because war war war, and when Obama won (again, running center right), they figured their system was correct.
And then along came Trump, going so far right he found himself at the corner of Crazy and Racist, so they figured all they needed to do was peg Hillary in that right leaning spot again, and all would be fine.
But what the Democrats haven’t understood for a few decades now is the political spectrum has people beyond either side of it. A lot of people. Like, way more people than you’ll find in the middle. The disenfranchised. The crazy. The committed. The fringe players, on both sides, are the usually silent majority.
When the Republicans banked hard right, they didn’t miscalculate. They brought millions more people into the spectrum who, suddenly, felt represented. Admittedly, those people are nuts and/or ignorant, and some just want to see the world burn, but they’re out there and – now – they vote.
The Republicans have moved the whole political spectrum to the right by adding to the batch, rather than divvying those already there.
Meanwhile, the Democrats, with their triangulating and patronizing of their own people on the left and far left, with their dismissal of actual left wing ideas (Obamacare instead of single payer, as an example, Guantanamo staying open rather than shutting it down, whistleblowers going to jail rather than being properly utilized), they’ve reduced the voting bloc on the left. There are more lost lefties than ever before.
Voter turnout was down significantly last night. 12m people who came out for the last election, which elected the first black President, stayed home. Latinos didn’t show for her, even though the other guy wants to deport them. The black vote was down, even though the other guy had been found guilty of refusing to rent homes to black families. Women barely voted for her more than they did the other guy, who calls women pigs and boasts of how he can get away with sexual assault.
We can blame the Bernie bros for being spoiled millennials or third party voters for wasting their vote (fairly), but the real blame goes to the Democratic engineers who always – ALWAYS – try to play smart with the numbers rather than actually using the bully pulpit when it’s there, defending themselves when they’re being unfairly assaulted, and loudly, openly, honestly, often stating their support for the working people who feel so ignored they’ll vote for a guy who is their polar opposite.
When you’re up against a populist, you don’t play it safe. When someone is standing ten feet from you calling you a liar, you don’t stand expressionless and take it because you’re worried about what people will say if you get angry. You bust out your own populist and you come at them like spider monkeys. You (figuratively) let the streets run red with the blood of the oppressive. You become the flaming sword of victory and you swing it for your base and show people WHO YOU ARE.
The Democrats took a knee with two minutes remaining. They triangulated their way to a decade or more in the wilderness. They will have to fight gerrymandering and broken media and corporate thievery and god knows what else because they were too smart by half, again and again.
Buy weed stocks and keep a steady supply of canned goods. Oh, and the Canadian immigration website can be found here.
Be patient with it. It’s being pounded hard today. I have couches.