• Reflections on the 2016 Election

    Now that everyone has had time to come terms with the results of the 2016 election, I’m going to have a much needed word with the American Left.

    Donald J. Trump should have been an easy to candidate to flatten, but the Democrats failed to thwart him. Now comes the part where we can have a sober discussion about what went wrong and how to prevent this from happening again. And we’re gonna have an honest talk about the real reasons he won, not the democratic establishment’s lame attempts to blame everybody but themselves because they lost the easiest election of the century.

    Nearly a year ago conservative author Michael Dougherty said this in discussing Trump’s candidacy:

    “Chinese competition really did hammer the Rust Belt and parts of the great Appalachian ghetto. It made the life prospects for men — in marriage and in their careers — much dimmer than those of their fathers. Libertarian economists, standing giddily behind Republican politicians, celebrate this as creative destruction even as the collateral damage claims millions of formerly-secure livelihoods, and — almost as crucially — overall trust and respect in the nation’s governing class.”

    All the usual suspects of the democratic party and media are busy throwing a tantrum, and saying stupid things like that Hillary lost “because of the angry white man.”

    Here’s a thought experiment: if Hillary had lost because a large percentage of African American males voted for Trump, would anybody dare say that “Hillary lost ’cause of the angry black man!”? No. Any reasonable person would ask how the democratic party failed to reach this demographic, and work hard to include and appeal to them next time around. The same has to be done with the working class white vote, especially in the Midwest.

    Look at the election results map, the “change from 2012” version, you’ll see that the Midwest and “rust belt” especially turned heavily from Obama in 2012 to Trump in 2016. Some of these states, like Michigan, went to Bernie in the primaries. Let us ask: what do Trump and Obama have in common that Clinton lacks? Both of them were exciting candidates who ran on a campaign message of big changes, both of them had ways of appealing to the white working class (especially in economic terms, with Obama speaking of “spreading the wealth around,” and an opponent who was widely perceived as an out-of-touch-elite, and Trump speaking of bring back jobs). And if we ask, “what do Bernie and Trump have in common?” to explain their common successes in the midwest, both of them are populists with bold visions for where to take this country, and both of them are highly focused on the economy (Trump talked about bringing back jobs from China often, Bernie was accused of being a “one issue candidate” because of his focus on the economy).

    If you were one of those people who blindly believed everything the establishment Dems said about Bernie being ‘unelectable’ — in spite of all relevant evidence showing the opposite conclusion, I want an apology from you. But not with words: You are going to have to apologize with your actions. That means step aside and get ready to support a much bigger, bolder Democratic platform. Senator Harry Reid got the memo: he was very pro-Clinton, but has now joined Bernie Sanders to endorse Keith Ellison for President of the DNC.

    Bernie himself just announced in a New York times piece that,

    “In the coming days, I will also provide a series of reforms to reinvigorate the Democratic Party. I believe strongly that the party must break loose from its corporate establishment ties and, once again, become a grass-roots party of working people, the elderly and the poor. We must open the doors of the party to welcome in the idealism and energy of young people and all Americans who are fighting for economic, social, racial and environmental justice. We must have the courage to take on the greed and power of Wall Street, the drug companies, the insurance companies and the fossil fuel industry.”

    They better listen.

     

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    Article by: Nicholas Covington

    I used to blog at Answers in Genesis BUSTED! I took the creationist organization Answers in Genesis to pieces. I am the author of Atheism and Naturalism and Extraordinary Claims, Extraordinary Evidence, and the Resurrection of Jesus. I am an armchair philosopher with interests in Ethics, Epistemology (that's philosophy of knowledge), Philosophy of Religion, and Skepticism in general.

    7 comments

      1. We were all assured six months ago Clinton was more electable. That balloon popped easy. Simply put, we were right and you were wrong, and you still have the scars from hands down ass whooping you got from Trump testifying to prove it. The argument there in that article is also garbage: the Clinton campaign researched Sanders, but had nothing. Meanwhile, Clinton showed every sign of being a weak candidate, from consistently low approval ratings to an FBI scandal to her 2008 loss against a candidate she had every prior advantage against. Eat your humble pie, then we’ll talk.

      2. I’ll leave my last comment up as a future reminder to myself and in the interest of leaving an accurate, warts and all portrait of myself for my readers. My temper leaked in to my choice of words earlier so here’s my more cooled down assessment…
        It’s been painful to watch our country and in particular the Democratic Party make so many predictably bad choices lately. If you were on the side that lost, badly, to Trump then you have an obligation to reconsider what you think, lest you make more bad decisions. It’s fairly straightforward common sense, and I’m confident you’ll get it once you are over the loss emotionally. What I said before about Clinton being a weak candidate for predictable reasons (low approval rating, etc) still stands and I am shocked that your head is still filled with her campaign propaganda. Her loss should have demonstrated that some rethinking was in order. Apology or not, the Democratic Party will probably take to heart the sentiment I expressed. If they do not, I predict a Donald Trump re-election.

      1. That is garbage. There is not a shred of evidence for Russia’s involvement, and the claim about Comey is not only dubious,* but even if true democrats should have realized during the primaries that it made her a tainted candidate. No cigar there.
        * The blog empty wheel has a great post about whether Comey influenced the election.

        1. Comey’s July announcement influenced many voters, as did his October announcement. On Wheeler’s website you can see a big spike in Trump support immediately after Oct 28, much of which came from previously undecided voters. Wheeler wants us to think that came from Johnson converts, but the graph shows otherwise.

          As for Russian involvement, I think the US intelligence community has a reasonable grasp of what’s going on. There IS evidence available, but it’s worth noting that they don’t publicize everything they know.

          http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-weird-logic-behind-russias-alleged-hacking-17963

          https://www.wired.com/2016/07/heres-know-russia-dnc-hack/

          1. Today, we learned that seven members of the senate intelligence committee sent a letter to the president, asking him to declassify information about Russia’s interference in the election. They feel this is something the American people should know about.

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