Relitigating Old Elections

It just is so frustrating to me how much our country, and the world, has suffered in the past 22 years because of false equivalence.

“Gore really isn’t that different than Bush.” Result: a president who is asleep at the switch ignoring intel until 9/11 happens; then invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, destabilizing the entire region; thousands dead after ignoring the incoming Katrina disaster; economy wrecked through poor economic regulation including ignoring credit default swaps; and two of these conservative SCOTUS nominees.

“Hillary isn’t that different than Trump.” Results: everything we hopefully haven’t forgotten yet, and another 3 of these SCOTUS nominees.

If we don’t remember how we got here, we are very VERY likely to get here again just a few years from now.


OK, now what are you going to do about it?

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Make sure I vote in the midterms coming up, and in 2024, and in the meantime really try to point out the trap of false equivalence any time I come across it.

How about you?

Same + confrontation with the idiots who are trying to make life difficult for the rest of us.


So since we have a thread on this now, I’m going to note what I hate about the topic – it’s always, always about finding where to put blame on the left or at least the Democratic party.

Maybe the problem is the candidate that was run wasn’t quite good enough. Maybe the problem is that people weren’t inspired to vote for them. It’s never a combination of things, incidentally, because this isn’t about causes, it’s about faulting people.

Most importantly, though, you must never mention the Republicans. The fact that America is choking under voter suppression and gerrymandering, the fact that 63 million Americans heard some vile fascist promise to keep the foreigners out of their country and cast ballots for him, none of that is ever the real problem. They’re just doing what they do, excused of all agency as always.

I mean, there is of course something to be said for appealing to the people who’s minds you hope to change. But if we want to consider how we got here, we might also remember how this conversation goes, and it never does that. It’s never admitting there might be something to other things of view, just shaming people who don’t do things precisely the right way. And again, only ever progressives.

Small wonder progressives are exhausted by this conversation.


Maybe the problem is the candidate that was run wasn’t quite good enough. Maybe the problem is that people weren’t inspired to vote for them. It’s never a combination of things, incidentally, because this isn’t about causes , it’s about faulting people .

There’s no question that a confluence of events caused the genuinely tragic loss by Hillary Clinton in 2016. Among other things, Clinton herself was overconfident and didn’t campaign enough in the 3 key states that went to Trump.

But once it gets to the general election we can’t change the candidate. And at no time can we ever change the GOP.

The one single thing every individual person who considers themselves left or progressive is able to do: get themselves to the polls and vote.

And this is not a one-time problem. This is a repeated problem for the left and for anyone who wants to move this country forward in a reality-based way. We keep forgetting how we got here.

Most importantly, though, you must never mention the Republicans.

Sure, and worth bringing up. Yes, they’re the toxic party continually mutating into an ever-worse cult of nurtured white nationalism funded by oligarchy.

But we who consider ourselves the left can’t change them. We can change our own voting habits.

And we can absolutely make sure we don’t fall for false equivalence. Which I constantly see now. For all the legitimate complaints against Biden, of which there are many, he is still moving this country forward.

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As I mentioned before we know the literal individuals we should be blaming in these processes. There were people who went extremely far outside their roles to fuck over elections seemingly purposely.

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Sure, there are problems to address there too. It’s not an either/or.

And also, this was one thing that was definitely, completely within Left / progressive voters control. In those 3 states in particular.

The past is the past. The past fucked over countless people. I’m angry about it. We all are. We all know what happened. You’re not telling us anything new.

But I want to focus on the future. The real fight is just starting. We need to address how we got here, sure. But ensuring a better future for our children is priority number one.

So let’s look forward at 2022 and 2024, knowing that the past is fucked up and inalterable. Dwell on the past once you’ve got a future locked in, you know.

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I’d love it to be the case that we’ve learned from the past. I would have thought that 2000 was enough.

I do think that not fully grappling with root causes we can control, helps make the past tragically repeat.

I do hope that we don’t need to repeat this painful lesson again.

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I think if Sanders could have done better than Hillary in the general, then he would have done much better when competing against her in the primary.

One can make the argument that Hillary had an unfair advantage - but if Sanders was anywhere near as popular a candidate as her, he would have at least gotten closer to Hillary before losing.

As another take on the same point, Barack Obama came from nowhere and defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primary - because he was popular enough that it could be close. If the DNC could stop anybody, then they would have stopped him too and he would have gotten no more primary votes than Bernie Sanders.

I say this all as someone who likes Sanders and his policies, and voted for him in the primary.

Sometimes what I like best isn’t what’s most popular. My favorite band is King Crimson. They will never outsell Justin Bieber in a billion years. It’s not the labels holding King Crimson back, and it’s not any fault in their quality. They just don’t suit as many people’s tastes.

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I think that a lot of people that WILL vote Biden when the time come are being vocal about NOT likely him in the hope that he will bow out (the dude is older than dirt!).

But I don’t think the “Bernie Bro” phenomenon will happen again, where they didn’t get the candidate they wanted, so they refused to vote. THAT is how Trump one the first time around. A bunch of entitled Bernie supporters did the political equivalent of throwing a temper tantrum and taking their ball home with them because they didn’t like who was elected team captain.


… i.e. a party failed to nominate a candidate who had enough support to win the general election


Let’s not re-argue that election here.


… just remember, if Biden loses it’s because somebody else was “entitled” :face_with_monocle:


Wrong. There was no one the Bernie Bros would have voted for OTHER than Bernie.

A political election isn’t marriage. You aren’t looking for the perfect match. You are looking for the match closest to your opinions while causing the least damage. Hillary was that person for every Bernie Bro out there, but instead they just threw a temper trantrum and said, “Let it burn!” Well, it burned pretty well!


… if there are people out there whose votes you think you need in order to win, are you planning to get them to vote for your latest sketchy uninspiring candidate by insulting them and blaming them for your previous failures :thinking: