Blog Post

Lessons from the 2016 US Presidential Election

This was originally published at

Post Election Thoughts

Like you I was truly disgusted with election coverage, results, and resulting coverage of the results, and therefore tried to avoid any discussion of it over the Thanksgiving holiday.

This has given me some mental space to really think about what Trump’s victory means:

1. “American Democracy is advanced-level democracy and demands and educated voting populace”

I heard that on NPR and I think this is the operating truth that helps contextualize how Trump could win.

If you can fool our voters, you can “rig” our election.

It doesn’t require *actual* vote tampering. If our voters are dull-minded and unable to filter their information and make real-world decisions then they can be fooled.

2. Hillary was a bad candidate.

Hillary Clinton is deeply unpopular across all demographics. She’s obviously infinitely better than Trump, but her unpopularity is real and lasting. That we’ve known since the 2008 primary defeat to Obama.

Here’s where it gets confusing: Hillary is unpopular for **both** sexist/mysoginist reasons **and** for rational/logical reasons.

Both are true. There are rational reasons to find Hillary repulsive if you are a progressive.

64% of non-college white women voted for Trump. This is a relevant fact that needs to be processed and acted upon.

3. The Democratic Party failed to capitalize on Obama’s winning coalition. The DNC failed big time.

The example here is the info revealed in the DNC hack showing the DNC clearly was playing dirty tricks to get Hillary the nomination. This is absolutely unacceptable and shows a party that doesn’t understand itself and failed as a result.

4. White people are still racist.

We haven’t progressed as far as we think we have in this country. Or maybe, you could say our reach has extended our grasp like the old saying goes.

When white people become poor, they will lash out at anything and apparently that includes embracing thinly-coded neo-nazi rhetoric!

We have to fight trend this will all our strength, but also understand it comes from pain and suffering and desperation. We have to heal, educate ourselves, and work to overcome this resurgence of neo-nazi ideology…we can’t just fight fire with fire because the whole place will burn.

5. It takes longer to fix something than to break it.

We can recover as a nation from what Trump will do, whatever that is…but it may take a really long time and we need to be prepared for that fact.

Our task now is to work harder, smarter, both within and outside ‘the system’ to make our country the place we dream of it becoming.


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