What Liberals Need to Learn From the Republican Sweep
A lot of American ideals were put on life support on Tuesday with the election of Donald Trump. That's not hyperbole. If that mango madman has any intention of sticking to his platform, then we are in for some dark days. He's talked about mass deportation, 'punishing' women who have abortions, repealing every environmental protection that inconveniences corporations, and banning entire religions. A vicious battle is afoot, and there's no time for hesitation by the opposers of Trump and his ilk. But first we need to address liberal cowardice.
There were a lot of factors in play that lead to the looming Trump White House, but none as culpable as the fear of the left to take a big leap away from standard politics. I know that a great many people are tired of hearing about Bernie Sanders, but he was always the guy to defeat Trump. For several months leading up to the election, he lead Ol' Tiny Hands by double digits. The limited amount of victories that Hillary eeked out in the polls against Trump were often inside of, or just beyond the periphery of, the margin of error. To anyone who was taking the pulse of the social climate in America leading up to the general election, Trump's win is no surprise. It's just a gut-shattering shock to one's system.
The reason that Sanders always polled better than Clinton against Trump is the exact same reason that Trump won. The American electorate is so fucking tired of the politics of continuity that have been killing us, that just about anyone offering a shake up to that system is gonna get a lot of votes. Trump's base was viciously enthusiastic about their candidate, while the overwhelming majority of Clinton 'supporters' barely cared to get out of bed for her. If you think back on the campaign, her strongest platform was “I'm not Trump.” While this is a great strategy for people who see him for the know-nothing, lifelong fraud of a success that he is, it ignores the critical point that she is as status quo as they come during a time in which people find that appalling. Many voters were able to forgive Trump for being the human equivalent of regurgitated corner store sushi because he was seemingly different from what we already had in place.
This desire for absolute change gave the Republicans the House, Senate, Presidency, and, coming soon, a majority control of SCOTUS. This is not meant to be a 'we told you so' to Democrats. But it's absolutely critical that we take this sweeping defeat as a learning lesson. We need to stop being the pussy Liberals that the extreme right has long portrayed us to be, and start taking some chances when choosing our candidates in the future. We can't just do this for the presidential races, but up and down the ballot. Clinton was advertised as the safe bet (though polls consistently showed otherwise) and we got absolutely crushed in every branch.
The reason we're staring down the barrel of daunting Republican control is that they had the balls to put in the candidate with the most momentum. As vile as Trump is, he spoke to something that's been bubbling just under the surface of voting society for a long time. It's easy to dismiss his voters as racist, xenophobic, homophobic, Bible-thumping troglodytes, and many of them seem to be just that. But the reason that he won was that he managed to be a pathological liar who seemed honest. Honest about his own horrible worldview, sure. But the illusion of honesty was still there. Meanwhile, it appears that Clinton has been in politics so long, that the ability to tap into any real human connection would cause her an immediate and fatal aneurysm. And here we sit, with a Donald fucking Trump presidency hovering just ahead of us.
The only good that I can find in this anal blister of a government that we've elected, is that it may be the wake up call that the left needs to stop pushing politicians onto the ballot, and begin a new love affair with true civil servants. That's what the people in office are supposed to be, after all. The notion that polished political figures, obsessed with scratching the backs of the rich and powerful, are the 'safe bet' died brutally on November 8th. There's no longer a need for us to cower and accept that narrative. While millions of people came to this realization some time ago, it means nothing without the understanding of millions more. If we don't stop dismissing visionaries on our side as fringe lunatics, then we'll never feel at home in America again. We'll just be renters who continue to forfeit a good future to the people wearing the boots that are on our necks.