December 10, 2016 at 12:59 pm #25507
The parallels between the U.K.’s shocking approval of the Brexit referendum in June and the U.S.’s even more shocking election of Donald Trump as president Tuesday night are overwhelming. Elites (outside of populist right-wing circles) aggressively unified across ideological lines in opposition to both. Supporters of Brexit and Trump were continually maligned by the dominant media narrative (validly or otherwise) as primitive, stupid, racist, xenophobic, and irrational. In each case, journalists who spend all day chatting with one another on Twitter and congregating in exclusive social circles in national capitals — constantly re-affirming their own wisdom in an endless feedback loop — were certain of victory. Afterward, the elites whose entitlement to prevail was crushed devoted their energies to blaming everyone they could find except for themselves, while doubling down on their unbridled contempt for those who defied them, steadfastly refusing to examine what drove their insubordination.
The indisputable fact is that prevailing institutions of authority in the West, for decades, have relentlessly and with complete indifference stomped on the economic welfare and social security of hundreds of millions of people. While elite circles gorged themselves on globalism, free trade, Wall Street casino gambling, and endless wars (wars that enriched the perpetrators and sent the poorest and most marginalized to bear all their burdens), they completely ignored the victims of their gluttony, except when those victims piped up a bit too much — when they caused a ruckus — and were then scornfully condemned as troglodytes who were the deserved losers in the glorious, global game of meritocracy.
That message was heard loud and clear. The institutions and elite factions that have spent years mocking, maligning, and pillaging large portions of the population — all while compiling their own long record of failure and corruption and destruction — are now shocked that their dictates and decrees go unheeded. But human beings are not going to follow and obey the exact people they most blame for their suffering. They’re going to do exactly the opposite: purposely defy them and try to impose punishment in retaliation. Their instruments for retaliation are Brexit and Trump. Those are their agents, dispatched on a mission of destruction: aimed at a system and culture they regard — not without reason — as rife with corruption and, above all else, contempt for them and their welfare.December 10, 2016 at 4:52 pm #25510
I know you don’t like it, but that is a whole lot of what happened here in this election.
Understanding that is one step. Acting on it in terms of real change in how the Democratic Party proceeds is another step. In parallel with that, the 40 percent of us who are not party affiliated will be seeking solutions.
If the party steps up and presents as one, our prospects are very good.
If not, this won’t go well for a generation or more.December 10, 2016 at 4:55 pm #25511LurkingGrendelParticipant
With respect, posting an editorial that happens to align with your own opinions is, generally speaking, not a particularly well thought out strategy for swaying others to your own conclusions. It’s more than a bit reminiscent of the kind of behavior, I would have assumed by your own words at other times, you did not welcome from others.
Glen Greenwald is a smart fellow, but I do not agree at all with many of his conclusions, and find his reasoning (in some cases) utterly specious.
Glen has been a fierce, at times borderline unhinged, critic of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party for a long time and has been (also for a long time) very quick to proclaim that there are no real fundamental differences between the DNC and the RNC. In all intellectual honesty and objectivity, there’s inarguable truth to that assertion in a number of particulars, but there are a far greater number of impactful differences that are often downplayed or outright ignored by those making that populist borne statement.
The words and actions of President elect Trump in the past several weeks have underscored the inanity of that absolutism.
The causation of Trump’s electoral victory, (as I will continue to remind those whom would like to forget; he did not win the popular vote.) are inarguably complex and are linked to a whole host of issues. Quite a few of which I’m of the opinion Glen (and others) are completely ignoring while outlining their own competing narrative explanations.
Here’s one of those factors; and it’s supportable by a wide array of data: Democratic voters; particularly those whom either did not choose to vote this year out of (IMO, misguided) protest or through their support behind a third party candidacy were a real factor in the outcome.
I haven’t spent a great deal of time on this board or elsewhere railing about that, but I do share the opinion that those individuals do (in part) share some of the blame assignment in this ridiculous and dangerous outcome.
Thank you, but I’ll pass on the medicinal suggestion. As of yet, I’m unswayed and find the lines of argument to be rather unpersuasive.December 10, 2016 at 6:21 pm #25514
It’s been unwelcome given no other value add. As a topic for discussion, or of interest, we all did it many times.
No change there. Go look in the archives. It’s there, consistently.
I won’t invest too much. The returns may not be there, and I’m about the returns. Just know that.
There is a core economic misalignment in play here, and it’s very significant, well over half the nation impacted, and it’s growing.
It will be resolved, or we will see very significant and sustained unrest.
The fraction of us, who are doing well under the current Democratic Party economic strategy are attempting to blame the very larger number of people overall, and about half the party, for this loss.
It’s not going to work.
I put that here to reinforce several statements I’ve made here over the last few months. It’s not just a drive by posting as you imply.
The last 20-30 years have not worked for what is now a majority of Americans. Coming from the left, it is completely unacceptable.
Now we’ve got Trump, and that will make it one hell of a lot worse on all fronts, which means social regression too. Not good.
The point I’m trying to get across is a core economic one. And I’m complicit. Was right there, with the party, filled pages here too. Wrong about it.
I’ll own my shit. It’s time for new economic ideas and a new strategy to go with them.
Cheerleading for the same team that got us here is unproductive, and frankly dangerous. No joke.
That’s a point I’ve been making too.
I don’t like that my team failed at all. But I’m sure as fuck not going to deny that failure, nor the need to address it and get back to business proper.
And it did fail LG. Big. “New Democrat” and “Third Way” do not work any better than “Trickle Down” did.December 10, 2016 at 7:21 pm #25516proud2baconservativeSpectator
“The causation of Trump’s electoral victory, (as I will continue to remind those whom would like to forget; he did not win the popular vote.)”
Nobody “won” the popular vote because the popular vote was not the goal. Both candidates campaigned for electoral votes. Trump did not have the advantage of having the media on his side and did not have the big dollars Clinton did, so they wisely targeted their resources. Trump could have gained in the popular vote had he rallied and run ads in California, New York, and Texas, but that would have been a waste of precious resources.
But by all means continue reminding us that Clinton won the booby prize if that’s therapeutic for you, though if the situation had been reversed, you would have instead been reminding us of the genius of electoral system and the irrelevancy of a popular vote “win.”December 10, 2016 at 8:08 pm #25517proud2baconservativeSpectator
“Here’s one of those factors; and it’s supportable by a wide array of data: Democratic voters; particularly those whom either did not choose to vote this year out of (IMO, misguided) protest or through their support behind a third party candidacy were a real factor in the outcome.
I haven’t spent a great deal of time on this board or elsewhere railing about that, but I do share the opinion that those individuals do (in part) share some of the blame assignment in this ridiculous and dangerous outcome.”
No, they share in the credit for electing Trump. They can’t be “blamed” for not being able to vote for an unacceptable candidate. The “real factor in the outcome” was Hillary Clinton.
Thank you for your help, Democrats who voted for Trump, or who didn’t vote for Clinton. Your brothers and sisters in the Democratic party will one day bless you instead of cursing you, because we’re going to have a booming economy.December 10, 2016 at 8:28 pm #25518
>will one day bless you instead of cursing you, because we’re going to have a booming economy.
No.December 10, 2016 at 8:45 pm #25519LangstonParticipant
Clinton wins popular vote by more than 2 million, confirmed Russian interference on behalf of Trump, and help from James Comey. Hard to argue Trump is a legitimate president. Waiting for the other shoe to drop, i.e. That the Trump team not only knew about the Russian interference but collaborated in same.December 10, 2016 at 9:09 pm #25520paulwalkerParticipant
Not likely to gain much traction, Langston, though I tend to agree with your premise.
I do feel like we are in for a huge change in how the executive branch will operate in the next 4 years. And I am concerned.
“The executive branch of our Government is in charge of making sure that the laws of the United States are obeyed. The President of the United States is the head of the executive branch. The President gets help from the Vice President, department heads (called Cabinet members), and heads of independent agencies.”December 10, 2016 at 9:44 pm #25523AndrewParticipant
I find it baffling that people act as if the “corruption” in modern American politics – mainly, the influence of money and corporate power – is something recent. But it has always been there and may always be there. If anything, American politics is less “corrupt” today than at any time in history. It wasn’t that long ago voters didn’t even choose their party’s nominees in primary or caucus elections; instead, they were chosen in those fabled “smoke-filled rooms” by party hacks who may have been owned by big money interests.
In terms of the 2016 election, as I said in another thread, when an election is so painfully close as this one, pick one of any number of reasons Clinton lost. Had Anthony Weiner’s compulsive behavior not led to the FBI investigating his home computer that led to James Comey’s last-minute email announcement…or had Clinton campaign manager John Podesta ignored a phishing email months ago that seems to have led to his being hacked and thus the Wikileaks releases, maybe Clinton would be choosing her cabinet right now instead of Trump. And in that case, no one would be hand-wringing about the big problems in the Democratic party – they’d be talking about Trump returning to Celebrity Apprentice and wondering why Clinton barely won instead of by a landslide.
The real question shouldn’t be why Clinton lost a close election, it should be: why was the election even close? When Democrats elect a great candidate like Barack Obama or Bill Clinton, in recent years, they win easily; when they choose a less compelling candidate like John Kerry or Al Gore or Hillary Clinton, the elections are close – and Democrats have lost all of the close presidential elections in the last few decades. They are like a team that can’t win the close playoff games.
The election of 2016 was close because Clinton wasn’t a great candidate – pure and simple. She was distrusted and not likable (though I liked her and thought she would have made a good if not great president), and when a candidate is not likable, we tend to believe the worst about her. When a candidate is charismatic like Bill Clinton, we tend to be much more forgiving. That’s just human nature.
The real question is: why was Hillary Clinton the Democrats’ best candidate on offer in 2016? (Sorry, I do think she was better than Bernie and had the best chance of beating Trump out of the Democratic candidates – but of course we’ll never know). Why weren’t there better Democratic candidates popping up? The bench was weak in 2016. Partly that’s because the president’s party usually sucks up most of the political oxygen while in office for his party and stunts the growth of other rising stars; partly the Democrats have just not grown many new compelling rising stars who were ready in 2016. Let’s hope there is one who will be ready for 2020, if/when Trump stumbles!December 11, 2016 at 7:43 am #25532
Agreed on 2020, and I’m hoping for a change in mid-term performance this time around.
Dems, no matter what needs to get sorted out, should be more than motivated this time around.
Yes, that corruption has been present. What shocked me is that it got cracked open for open recognition this year. That changes things very considerably, particularly among independents and younger voters. (under 40)
That’s simple. The Clintons accumulated considerable politial influence, and the big money owning most things wants specific policy advanced. Clinton was the most qualified to do that, and let’s just say, “the markets” in general, really wanted Obama 2.0. Clinton fit that role very nicely.
The risk, obviously, was her overall performance and baggage. I’m not saying anything there other than the fact that she does carry considerable baggage. Lots of reasons for it. None worth the discussion.
The secondary risk is her campaign ability and overall appeal to people.
Both turned out as actuals, and here we are today.
The way I see this election, and similar events happening in the EU right now, is the economics normalized since roughly Reagan aren’t serving labor and the middle class very well. Many say a middle class is unusual, and I’m just going to respond with the fact that there is one, both are important to more people than not, and that it’s shrinking in light of an extremely productive and wealthy economic period is deemed unacceptable.
Establishment referendum election then.
In the US, Trump and Sanders both were seen as anti-establishment candidates, though both have their connections. Clinton, was seen as Obama 2.0, and the very lacking party performance for labor and the middle class left Democrats in a more severe and disadvantaged position than expected.
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