Not My Emperor

Then perhaps they should have showed up to vote for Sanders instead during the primaries. But overall, they didn’t, and HRC earned the nomination. No, at this point, it doesn’t matter.

And with her popular vote over 2.3 million above Trump’s at this point, it’s clear that she could have won the presidency.

And if democrats had turned out to vote in a few key counties, she would have.


I see you’re not listening. Oh well.

Hmm, what could have made her win by even more votes than she did… Gee, if only she’d been more…hope-changey…


I guess not. Although I would have said I listened, I just don’t agree with you.


Sure about that?

Of course, that doesn’t account for most American non-voters.

This does, though:

And this sure as fuck doesn’t help:


Which is kinda the point; a large chunk of Bernie’s supporters weren’t Democrats (which hurt him in the closed primaries).

They won’t vote for tribal loyalty. They will vote for a candidate who can convincingly claim to represent their interests.


And the US is such a left-wing bastion that for years it consistently voted overwhelmingly for progressives like Sanders until this primary season, when Debbie Wasserman-Schultz personally visited the home of every Sanders supporter and tied them to their beds with ropes spun from the tears of starving orphans.


You couldn’t find a cartoon to make your point that was, yknow, funny? All he forgot was the swastikas and fangs.

At this point I have to ask - has there ever been a president who won your approval? You’re not old enough to remember Truman, are you? I understand he compromised sometimes.

Total approval? Of course not. But off the top of my head, I think FDR was emulatable.

(Cartoons should only be funny? In my world, political cartoons can be incisively insightful about political realities that most people ignore or don’t see, an effect which often isn’t funny.)


Ok, I should have clarified: I meant those who had no other excuses. Those who were “just not feeling it this election” or who “needed to be excited about a particular candidate,” because I think we can all agree that those people are probably assholes to begin with. Voting is for determining policy, it’s not the product of a reality tv show (in spite of the horrors witnessed this year to make it that).

Voter suppression worked really well for Trump this time out. We (meaning Democrats, but this probably applies to everyone who participates) should get smart about that and try to recognize when this will happen in the future. (Project Alamo, in particular, was used to target and depress those who might have otherwise voted HRC. And since you can target ads to run by region, too, it was a smart way for the Trump campaign to spend their resources.)

So your entire response? That’s the future, too. The Minority President-Elect’s comments on “3 million votes by illegals” isn’t just a lie to make Trump supporters feel better, it’s going to be used to disenfranchise more.

Democrats numbers were down across the country, too. The ones who didn’t vote, who were able—but unwilling—are the ones I blame.

So, this is a question I still have to ask: how many of Sanders’ supporters were there? Is it significant in this case?

I cannot find any real polling on this, and I’d like to know more before I accept that Sanders’ supporters (Democrat or not) could have actually tipped the election.

[edited to change “know more for” to “before”]

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Bad example. He had the lowest recorded approval ever. Clinton would be a better example of a president who was well-liked because of compromise, not in spite of it.

It’s the present, too.

America isn’t a democracy; it’s a plutocracy masquerading as a democracy, and the masquerade is increasingly being abandoned for overt fascism.

Yes, voter suppression works. Yes, partisan gerrymandering is an anti-democratic horrorshow. But those aren’t things that are going to happen; those are things that have already happened.

Until this election, the neo-Confederate lockdown of the American electoral system was not absolute; there was still a chance to overwhelm it via turnout. But turnout requires a positive campaign and an inspiring candidate, and that isn’t what the Dem establishment chose to go with.

Now…it’s probably game over on the electoral front. The Trumpsters are going to turn the volume to eleven on disenfranchisement, so all of the states that are currently under GOP control are probably irrecoverable for the forseeable future.

The US constitution was progressive for its day, but that day was four hundred years ago. Since then, it’s been hacked. The slave power is back, and they’ve worked out how to neutralise checks and balances.


I don’t blame them for not voting. Clinton should have made some kind of effort to go after their votes, but she didn’t. Brand loyalty isn’t a sufficient enough reason, and being shit scared of the other candidate is only barely a reason.

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Did Clinton lose votes for being insufficiently conservative? Do you think that there were a large group of people who would have voted for her if she was just a bit more Republican?

Or do you think that her position was perfectly calibrated to draw the maximum number of American voters? Given that she just lost to the most unpopular GOP candidate in history, that seems a bit of a stretch.

Playing for the centre may seem like the safe move, if you discount all considerations of ideological commitment. But it isn’t; the right wing won’t vote for third way politicians when there is a more right-wing option, and the left wing increasingly won’t vote for third way politicians at all.

The working class, of all races, massively outnumber the economic elites. They’re already the most left-leaning of all economic groups. And they believe in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work; they believe that their kids should have decent schools; they believe that their family shouldn’t be bankrupted just because someone got sick or hurt. They believe that the economy should be managed for the benefit of the people.

It’s a matter of opinion, to be sure. But I believe that they’ll come out and vote if they have a candidate that isn’t taking instructions on economic, finance and labor policy from Goldman Sachs or the Kochs.

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Probably not, but let’s not kid ourselves: in the Democratic primaries, representing the more liberal segment of the US population, Clinton beat Sanders fairly comfortably. This was even true in the later primaries when Sanders and his positions were pretty well known. Clinton was a bad choice of candidate for plenty of reasons, but as much as I preferred someone to her left, her centrism isn’t what lost her the election, just as the centrism of Obama - who is politically a little to Clinton’s right - didn’t give him his victory. Both are left of the American mainstream. That isn’t a strong argument for choosing a candidate to their right, either, though next round that’s what people like Jim Webb will be saying.

What we need is a candidate people like and trust, and if they are able to nudge the country a little more in the direction of my favored politics (or not prevent it from moving itself that way) that is OK with me. We had such a candidate with Obama, we apparently didn’t have one with Clinton (though let’s not forget her popular vote totals).

Many Clinton supporters said that she had been under the spotlight getting scurrilously attacked for so long that such attacks could hurt her anymore. They were wrong. That doesn’t mean that the attacks weren’t scurrilous.


This is the only bit of your comment that I really disagree with.

In rhetoric, they may both be slightly to the left of American centre. In policy and actions, I’d argue that they’re both to the right, particularly on economic issues. Restoring the Wall Street casino, letting the banksters continue business as usual…this was not a policy with majority support.

Sure, there are areas where they’re genuinely committed to a left position; Clinton on reproductive freedom, for example. But overall, I think that they’re to the right of the centre of American political opinion.

However, that is a very different thing from the centre of Congressional opinion, or the centre of opinion of the various piles of money that control both parties.

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Just to be clear, I think both would be considered on the right in your country, in countries outside of the US where I’ve lived, really in pretty much any modern democracy. But speaking as someone who has lived and voted all over the US, on both coasts and in Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Illinois, they are on the left of the US electorate. They really are.

The Wall Street stuff isn’t real — HRC is not as pro Wall Street as she’s been painted, and for most Americans hating Wall Street or Bankers is just coded language for hating New Yorkers or hating Jews. I’m in the most progressive state in the country, and when OWS took place local polls showed a majority of my fellows thinking the protests were silly and the protestors should either go home or go to jail.

Americans hate “elites”, whatever they are, but in tis country that isn’t the same thing as being on the left.

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I don’t think so. It’s not about “brand loyalty,” it’s about turning up to do the most passive thing you can do in a representative democracy and still make some sort of difference. It’s pretty spineless to not show up for a vote just because they didn’t feel sufficiently inspired or outreached.

Why shouldn’t we hold those people in scorn? They failed, and by not voting they let us all down. Fuck them. I’d rather reach out to Trump voters who are about to realize how screwed they are under Minority President-Elect Trump’s administration.

At least we know those people show up to actually vote.

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A couple of years ago, I would have been making the same argument. But then I saw things like this:

I don’t deny that you have a much closer and longer perspective on America than I do.

But from here, it looks like the current US political class are as unrepresentative of majority opinion as were the pro-slavery administrations in the last years before the Civil War. Then, as now, a privileged white minority saw their position eroding, then twisted the electoral system without conscience or scruple in order to retain power.


Americans have been polling high on many such issues since Roosevelt, though support for some things (like single-payer NHS) has actually declined over the years. It has never translated into votes. They aren’t deeply-held positions, and are readily sidelined in the face of the big single issues (abortion and other positions tied - however weakly - to religion, crime and other positions tied to fear, guns and other positions tied to self-image mythology, etc.)

[quote=“Wanderfound, post:38, topic:90343”]
then twisted the electoral system[/quote]
The American electoral system is not rigged or controlled from above. (For sure it is distorted by money, but there is no easy solution to that.) Nobody kept any candidates out of either party’s primary, as much as DWS wanted to with Sanders. The primary voters voted for the candidates they wanted. Back before the big reforms of the late 60s the primary system was far more controlled by the Parties…and the candidates were arguably generally better.

ID requirements that require documents from offices only found in wealthy neighborhoods. Six hour voting queues, but only at selected locations. Voting on a workday, in states in which most of the bosses are wealthy and white and you can be fired if you ask for a day off. Felon disenfranchisement in states where the “justice” system is undeniably racist. A long and continuing history of the use of violence and intimidation, from both state and non-state actors, against people of color who try to vote. Extreme, overt partisan gerrymandering. Disregarding established political norms in order to nullify the opposition of the majority.

When I’m talking upthread about the twisting of the electoral system, that’s primarily what I’m talking about. The last decade is, to me, sharply reminiscent of the sorts of political machinations described in the first half of McPherson’s Battle Cry of Freedom.

The money/plutocracy thing is a separate issue. Money corrupts both parties, but the neo-Confederate bastardry is purely a GOP problem these days.