As I write this, the election has not even started. So I don’t know how things turned out. But it doesn’t really matter to what I want to talk about. Even if Trump lost, he still got over 40 percent of the vote. According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll out last Sunday, “The new poll found that, in the four-candidate field, 82% of Republican likely voters supported Mr Trump, while 82% of Democratic likely voters supported Mrs Clinton.” That means that to the “non-deplorables” in the Republican Party, Donald Trump was just another candidate.
Say what you will about Hillary Clinton, she’s a conventional Democrat. A Clinton presidency would not be in any major way different from an Obama presidency. There will be marginal improvements made. Or that’s what I think. If you are a conservative, there will marginal damage done. But it won’t be any big deal. But Donald Trump?! He is a man who not only knows nothing of the job he’s applying for, he doesn’t care about the job. He just wants the job title and to have people hanging on his words for the next four to eight years.
Donald Trump offered John Kasich the effective presidency if Kasich would be his vice-presidential running mate. No intelligent person can think that Donald Trump ever wanted to do the job of the president. And no one can think that he has any actual ideas on how to run the country. But I get it: he won the primary because there are a bunch of angry white men who see their status in this country declining. They hate those “others” who they see as responsible for it: black people, brown people, female people. And they gave the Republican Party their nominee. There weren’t 82 percent of Republicans in May who wanted Donald Trump to be president.
The Non-Deplorables Made Trump Competitive
But there are today! So what’s the difference? When Clinton said that half of Trump’s supporters were deplorables, she was right to back off that claim. The number is more like a third. But I’m actually more forgiving of those deplorables. They’re ignorant. They’re older. And they’re angry. I don’t hold them as accountable as I might for the same reason that I don’t hold a misbehaving toddler accountable. But that still leaves the rest of the Republican Party. These are people who know what Donald Trump is all about. And yet they’ve gotten on board. Trump’s loose lips could create a world war, but these non-deplorables would still rather have a Republican (Clearly: any Republican.) in the White House.
If I had to guess, as you read this, you will know that Trump lost. The non-deplorables will have nothing to answer for. What you will not see is what you did see in 2012: a GOP “autopsy” report. Instead, the elites (the vast majority of whom supported Trump) will just pretend like they lost because they picked the wrong candidate. They will of course point fingers. They will look for ways to change the party rules so that only vile, but standard issue, candidates like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz can become presidential nominees. And just like with the “autopsy,” they will fail. And there are good reasons why.
First, enough of the base is dedicated to authoritarianism that they will generally be able to pick the candidate. Second, the elites are too cowardly to stand up to the authoritarian base. And finally, the non-deplorables are still more interested in winning than they are in doing what is right for this nation.
The non-deplorables are our biggest problem.
It’s after the election and so we know now that Trump will be the next president. (Note: Clinton won the popular vote.) I know that many of you take a personal interest in my health. I appreciate that — really. And if you were afraid that I was suicidal last night, you were right. But this morning, I feel great. I’m ready for this fight. Yes, this is going to be terrible for a lot of people. But what choice do we have but to stand up and fight against those who would destroy our democracy and our weakest people? None. As the song “Rapture” ends, “Get up!”