My Facebook news feed is somehow still full of people trying to blame Trump’s election on a nationwide collusion of Klan members and male supremacists and on the progressives who refused to fall in line and support Hillary Clinton. This insane adamant refusal to confront the reality of what’s happening in this country will kill the Democratic party if it doesn’t change drastically.
If you still believe that Donald Trump was elected because of racism, it is because you have remained willfully ignorant of what has been happening in your country. If you still believe that Trump’s election is indicative of a neo-fascist uprising in America, it is because you have not ventured outside of your self-reinforcing validation loop of fellow Clinton voters and your corporate media echo chamber. If you still, days later, think that Hillary Clinton’s loss is the fault of anyone other than Hillary Clinton, it’s because you haven’t been reading WikiLeaks.
This cannot continue. If the progressive revolution has any hope of mounting a meaningful counteroffensive at any time in the future, the people who supported Hillary Clinton need to stop calling everyone a Nazi long enough to do some actual research into the facts behind where they went wrong in 2016, humble themselves, and admit that they have been completely wrong about everything.
I’m not expecting them to admit it out loud, and I’m not expecting it to happen right away; people will need time to process whatever intense emotions are still ripping through their systems. But at some point, liberals are going to have to put down the bullhorn, stop blaming all their colossal blunders on everyone else, and start getting clear on the facts about the nation they call home and the candidate they voted for. That’s the only way we can begin moving this thing in a healthy direction.
Just so we’re clear, Democrats don’t get to blame the WikiLeaks documents on a subversive Kremlin conspiracy anymore. Julian Assange has confirmed that he didn’t receive the documents from Russia, there will be no more echo-chamber red-baiting now that we’ll be getting a president who has no interest in a conflict with Russia, and the concocted “blame Putin for everything” schtick has already faded into obsolescence now that it has no more place or relevance. It’s time to take accountability for your own understanding of what has been happening in your country’s government and start doing some real research.
I’ve seen people with perfectly good, functioning brains trying to compartmentalize themselves away from the furnace of cognitive dissonance that’s lurking right under the surface by saying completely indefensible things like “This is all because those stupid Bernie supporters wouldn’t support her,” and “The primaries weren’t rigged,” and even “Bernie wouldn’t have been able to win either.”
Right, guys. The candidate with the extremely popular platform and the relentlessly enthusiastic following, who was nearly able to defeat Clinton despite a media blackout and an outright conspiracy against him from the very people responsible for ensuring a fair election, who Real Clear Politics reports was crushing Trump by double digits in head-to-head polling, would not have fared better than the historically unpopular candidate who was under multiple FBI investigations. This is the kind of pants-on-head idiocy that will kill the Democratic party unless it stops.
Bernie, unlike Hillary voters, did his homework. He had his finger right on the pulse of what was happening in his country, and fifteen months ago he predicted the exact outcome of what would happen under an establishment candidacy, precisely as it went down. On August 28th, 2015, Bernie Sanders said the following at the DNC Summer Meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Read it and tell me his accuracy doesn’t give you goosebumps:
“Let me be very clear. In my view, Democrats will not retain the White House, will not regain the Senate, will not gain the House and will not be successful in dozens of governor’s races unless we run a campaign which generates excitement and momentum and which produces a huge voter turnout.
With all due respect, and I do not mean to insult anyone here, that will not happen with politics as usual. The same old, same old will not be successful.
The people of our country understand that — given the collapse of the American middle class and the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality we are experiencing — we do not need more establishment politics or establishment economics.
We need a political movement which is prepared to take on the billionaire class and create a government which represents all Americans, and not just corporate America and wealthy campaign donors.
In other words, we need a movement which takes on the economic and political establishment, not one which is part of it.”
He got it. Like those of us who supported him, Bernie Sanders understood the spirit of the times; he understood where America is at right now. But the elites of the Democratic party refused to allow us to act on that knowledge, so the American people elected the only other candidate who had his finger on America’s pulse, Donald Trump. Those elites, and every other factor that enabled this colossal political blunder to take place, need to be purged from the Democratic party to prevent such mistakes from repeating themselves.
And the first step is to move out of denial, to cease compartmentalizing so that we can all come out of the fog of cognitive dissonance and begin looking at the reality of what has happened and what is happening. You can’t fix a problem until you recognize and acknowledge it. Unless that happens, Democrats are guaranteed to lose in 2018, and again in 2020, until they lose viability as a political party and are replaced.
So read WikiLeaks. Turn off the TV. Use the New York Times to line your birdcage and start exploring alternative media. Read some of the things actual Trump supporters are saying so you can get a feel for their side of things, like this extremely popular Reddit post which has been “gilded” an extraordinary 38 times as of this writing, wherein the author voices frustration over the ways the political left misunderstands his position.
Hillary voters owe it to their country to finally discover the reality of what’s been occurring right under their noses this entire time in order for a true progressive revolution to become a real possibility and to ensure that the next time a golden opportunity like Bernie comes along, they don’t miss it.
[Featured Image by Ted S. Warren/AP Images]