Only half of Republicans would accept Clinton, the Democratic nominee, as their president. And if she wins, nearly 70 percent said it would be because of illegal voting or vote rigging, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday.
The majority of Republican voters in this country would feel—before the votes are counted-- that they have been robbed in an election that for all intents and purposes, cannot be rigged or falsified.
This is something new. And it has spawned widespread handwringing by just about everyone in the media. Egged on by a charismatic, ethically challenged reality-TV con-man, a huge swath of the electorate has signed on to the notion that the entire Democratic process this country has spent nearly two and a half centuries to perfect—cannot be trusted. The implications for future elections—and there will be many, many future elections—is staggering.
The media will spend the next two weeks dissecting this phenomenon. So let me add my two cents now, before it is lost in the hurricane.
This election is fundamentally unremarkable. One candidate is qualified, the other has proved himself to be unqualified. The unqualified one has adopted positions and demonstrated personal behavior that is simply antithetical to the majority of the voting age population by any objective measure.
And yet, the Republicans say the process is flawed.
It is not. They are the ones who are flawed.
What is the root of their opposition? To understand that you have to look at the reasons for Trump’s appeal to them in the first instance, the xenophobia, the lashing out, the call to violence. Those attitudes did not appear out of whole cloth. They were nurtured and fed, tended to like a corrupt, malevolent beast locked in the basement and repeatedly denied its due. Its anger is trapped, but the anger is real, desperate to get out and kill everyone in the house.
The fact that these sentiments are arising after the successful two-term Presidency of an African American President is not a coincidence. Neither is the fact that they arose after the largest economic calamity in our country’s history since the Great Depression. All of which happened to coincide with the advent of a communication system enabling like-minded people to commiserate with each other on a worldwide scale.
Much has been made of the so-called economic stagnation afflicting Trump’s base--the fact that they can no longer get ahead in life with a high school education, that they can't find the “American Dream.” But those are problems that permeate all of American society, not just rural white enclaves. I don’t see residents of the inner cities trashing the idea of elections because they can’t keep up with the Joneses. That’s not a good excuse.
When you fill someone’s ears and minds with a non-stop barrage of resentful, whining and bombastic right wing garbage, broadcast day and night on talk radio and a “news” channel created specially for that purpose, and then you multiply it by a factor of ten with the Internet, this is what you get. You get a huge population of paranoids who have progressed well beyond the point of no return. A population that is unthinking, unquestioning and addicted to hatred because it has become the only thing meaningful in their lives. The shared anger is now their “community.”
A population with invented grievances that have no basis in objective reality. A population primed to receive the message of a carnival barker like Trump who preys on their imagined “woes.” And now it’s one eager to throw Democracy itself under the bus.
Some Republicans—the good ones—are horrified by Trump’s suggestion that our election process is illegitimate. But he’s been saying it all along:
“The system is rigged. The voting is rigged. The whole deal is crooked, 100 percent — almost as crooked as crooked Hillary — it’s a crooked deal,” Trump said to massive cheers.
That was April.
He’s also said this:
“Do you ever hear politicians — I mean, you know, they’re just politicians — where they say, ‘Please, please, go out and vote, even if you’re not voting for me. Vote for my opponent. It’s so important as an American exercise for you to go out and vote,’” Trump said in a wheedling, imitative tone of more traditional politicians.
“I’m not saying that,” Trump said. “If you’re going to vote for anyone else other than me, do not go out and vote, OK?”
“Don’t go out and vote! Don’t!” Trump commanded, again to massive cheers.
So a poll that indicates his followers have eagerly swallowed this line really shouldn’t be much of a surprise. What it tells us, more than anything, is that for a huge number of Americans, Democracy has become something meaningless, not to be trusted, and, if necessary, rejected.
Their hate and anger matters more than any pesky notion of “freedom.” In fact, they hate the rest of us for having that freedom. They don’t want a multicultural (or multicolored) world, where others have the same rights as them and can even tell them what to do. They hate the black guy and they hate the woman. The fact that she’s winning is a slap in the face to all of their wounded sense of entitlement, a reminder that they are not exceptional and aren’t entitled to anything extra. That’s just impossible for them to bear, and, most importantly, it’s out of their control. So the election itself, the foundation of our democratic system, becomes an object of scorn and derision, something to be tossed away.
And all the rest of us, standing around and gaping, wonder why.
NOTE: Here's a nicely written reply to the above:
It’s their last chance to save that hideous, sugar-coated white fantasy world they inhabit, a vision of Peoria, circa 1956. They know it; we know it. And they also know deep down that they’ve lost. That’s why they’re so incredibly pissed and in such denial over the scale of their impending defeat. “Their” country’s been taken away from them, by people who, shockingly, demand the same rights as they themselves have enjoyed their whole lives.
The GOP in its present incarnation is finished. To that end, Trump has actually done the nation a great service in helping them over the cliff. (The only one he’s ever performed in his whole miserable life). America’s moved on, but the Republicans have stayed behind, mired in an increasingly toxic, putrescent swamp; contaminated by hate, obscurantism and lunatic fringe conspiracy theories. Undoubtedly, there will be a major split within the party, one that all of us must welcome and do our level best to exploit. Because it’s not enough that the GOP should implode; we must do all we can to ensure that the Republican brand remains toxic for as long as humanly possible. Whatever the subject for debate, and whatever struggles lie ahead, we must pin Trump on them every chance we get. It doesn’t matter if the so-called leadership distance themselves from Trump after the coming train wreck of Nov.8; they need to keep being reminded that Trump was the authentic voice of the GOP, overwhelming endorsed by the membership and the majority of elected Republican officials.
One of the many things I found so encouraging about Hillary’s performance in the third debate was how she didn’t back down from affirming our principles. I sincerely hope that that assertiveness, that confidence in our values, America’s true values, will endure long after the votes have been counted and Trump slinks back to his gaudy grief hole. Because whatever happens from now on, anytime the Republicans attack us, we can use Trump and his hateful, divisive, borderline treacherous shitstorm of a campaign to beat them over the head with.
Republicans should never ever be allowed to live this down. We owe it to ourselves and to our country not to let them forget what they did.
NOTE: I agree that we should not let Republicans forget what they've done to the country. They learned nothing from the elections of 2008 and 2012 and are apparently quite willing to let the entire nation sink into an abyss as a result. Plus, they are STILL pushing the fairy tale that "cutting taxes creates jobs!"
I had a sudden revelation the other day while perusing the
veggie section of our local Whole Foods Market:I own not a single pair of “skinny
jeans.”How, you might ask, did I
suddenly stumble across this personal truth and profound revelation?Well, while fingering the “organic” bananas that always seem to be too green to me and comparing them to the
“regular, old fashioned, cheaper non-organic” ones, I noticed that I was in the
company of half a dozen young men all wearing skinny jeans and all examining organic
California oranges or the latest shipment of white asparagus – organic - also
from California.Now there was the
aspect that five out of the six young men (Millennials, I assumed) were very
easy on my eyes. On anyone's eyes if you want the truth. Some sported very chic short-trimmed beards, strong chiseled chins, sparkling eyes, ad worthy faces, and a couple who looked quite buff in their chest hugging checked lumberjack shirts …
If I recall correctly, it was about five years ago,
certainly it was during Obama’s second term, when there appeared a spate of
articles, op-eds and opinion pieces, and a whole bunch of television pundits countering
the popular right wing narrative that “liberals are destroying America.”I think Slate, Politico, and the Huffington
Post had long, detailed pieces showing how there was no fact-based evidence
that this was the case and every indication that it was conservative social,
economic and political policies that were thwarting Americans from achieving
the American dream and not liberal policies. All the media attention including from the Washington Post and the New York Ties was quite
welcome in my view since I’ve heard Rush Limbaugh rage on for a decade now how
“liberals are destroying America.”
remember? No recollection of these seminal events?Of course you don’t because they never
happened. Your memory isn’t faulty.B…
IT POTENTIALLY WILL KILL MANY PEOPLE WORLDWIDE
The Nestle Corporation, headquartered in Switzerland, is the
world’s largest food company.If you
consume Kit-Kats or feed your Pomeranian Purina dog food or use Poland Spring
bottled water, you are a Nestle customer.There is virtually no where on Planet Earth where the company doesn’t
sell it’s product.Here’s a list of
Nestlé’s reach and influence over what the world eats is gi-normous.
But in their attempts to increase their reach and expand
it’s corporate domination over what the world eats, the Nestle Corporation has discovered a new “business model”
that relies on the cash strapped poor of the world to implement. It involves hiring poor folks to be small scale distributors who get supplied with Nestle products and then peddle them in poor neighborhoods. Here’s the introduction to a recent New York
Times article: “Children’s squeals
rang through the mug…