Democratic Party Base Can Make Liberals Win

Democratic Party BaseAs I noted yesterday in an update to Those Non-Deplorables: Still Pretty Deplorable, I feel good right now. I’m ready to fight. And a big part of that will require leveraging the power of the Democratic Party base. So I don’t want to spend a bunch of time talking about the election. In particular, I don’t want to talk about how James Comey’s letter itself probably gave Trump the environment he needed to win. And I don’t want to talk about our media that really wasn’t interested in Trump other than as a shiny celebrity. And I don’t want to talk about how the media has only been interested Hillary Clinton’s email server. Our country has a corrupt bureaucracy and an incompetent media.

But there are two things that I think we need to discuss. The first is that Hillary Clinton got the majority of counted votes. She got almost a quarter million more votes than Donald Trump. I know that that isn’t how our presidential elections are run. But I don’t think Trump’s victory was the result of a keen regional strategy. Instead, he just got the votes he was going to get. And it is certainly the case that all those “I’m in a safe state so I can vote for Jill Stein” people would have had more pressure to vote for Clinton. (If Clinton had received all of Jill Stein’s vote in Wisconsin, she would have won the state. If she had won 25% of Stein’s votes in Michigan, she would have won that state.)

Get Rid of the Electoral College

We really need to start working on getting rid of the electoral college system. In the last five elections, two were won by the candidate who got the least votes. That’s a 40 percent error rate. That’s just not acceptable. And I know: changing the system would require a constitutional amendment. But I think it is very doable. Even conservatives hate the electoral college system. I think they would back such an amendment because they know that they could be the next to be screwed by it.

Check out this CGP Grey video that was made years ago before the most recent outrage:

There’s another reason for doing this. Republicans have started talking about making their states proportional. So, for example, a state that is generally Democratic (but currently controlled by Republicans (like Michigan) could really hurt the Democrats’ chances of winning a the White House.

But mostly, I think the electoral college is just a moral issue. It isn’t fair and it has no justification.

Increase Voter Turnout

With all of the coverage that the presidential race got this year, you would think this would have been a huge year for voting. But you would be wrong. The US population has 10 million more people than it had in 2012. Yet 12 million fewer people voted this year than voted in 2012. That’s a shocking 10 percent decrease in the number of people voting. Neither Clinton nor Trump got as many votes as Mitt Romney did in 2012 — much less President Obama who got 5 million more votes than that.

This, above all else, was why Donald Trump won the election. This is, pretty much, why Republicans ever win presidential elections. High turnout is bad for Republicans and good for Democrats. And this strikes me as something we can do something about. But we need to think about it differently than we have been.

The Democratic Party Base Must Take Control

We need to stop thinking about turnout like it is something you do in the days and weeks leading up to an election. We need to start thinking about the Democratic Party like it were a union. And most of all, we need to work on making the Democratic Party base think that they are the party. Because that is the way it is supposed to be anyway. We all need to own the party. It shouldn’t be about showing up to vote for Clinton (or even worse against Trump). It should be something that we do because we are committed to the party.

And I think that gets at something that is really important. We all know that the Democratic Party base is more liberal than the elites. And that’s especially true on economic issues — the issues that most cross over to the Republican base. There are not only electoral possibilities there; there are also legislative possibilities if the Democratic Party base and the Republican Party base are represented by their elites.

Conclusion

I know that getting rid of the electoral college is a lot of work and it will take a long time. But it’s worth the effort. Working on making the Democratic Party base see itself as the party itself is even more important. And that’s something that we — the Democratic Party base — can do something about. It starts with being proud of being a Democrat. It’s our party and we need to work to make it represent us.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

30 thoughts on “Democratic Party Base Can Make Liberals Win

  1. Agree on the EC; ridiculous vestige of the slavery era. The interesting thing is that it was designed specifically to over-represent the slaveowning South (and, thus, white landowners in particular) but has morphed into overrepresenting rural whites; for the Republicans, tho, that’s a feature, not a bug. For all that they make mouth-noises about how much they haaaaaate it it’s worth noting that it’s 40% failure rate was a felix culpa for the Party of Personal Responsibility. If the GOP was being honest I think they’d admit that they don’t reeeeally want to chance relying on the popular vote in presidential elections…

    Here’s the thing on the “Democratic base”, and the same problem I have with all the morning-after analyses that blame the Democratic Party for not being more responsive to the “economic anxiety” of the white working class.

    The problem of non-intellectual/semiskilled living-wage jobs isn’t going away. The “problem” isn’t so much that those jobs are being stolen by Mexican rapists (tho the willingness of undocumented immigrants from the southern tier of the Americas to take piss-poor-nonliving-wage-jobs DOES have a lot to do, IMO, with the continuation of those jobs as piss-poor-nonliving-wage-jobs) but that 1) barring tariff protections, restrictive trade legislation, and a massive forceful reduction in capital mobility those jobs are going, or gone, and won’t be coming back, and 2) many of those that ARE here are being rapidly automated.

    A Democratic party that stood for an end to that would have real problems. The press, neither knowning nor caring to know the technological and fiscal issues, would hammer it as the Party of Luddites and the Party of Protectionism. The People of Wal-Mart would shriek like gelded hogs as the price of cheap plastic crap soared. Manufacturers would whine and squeal about being forced to employ buggy-whip manufacturers…

    Don’t get me wrong; I think that the Democratic Party needs to think hard, and come up with SOME kind of better solution to issues like global trade, trade agreements, deindustrialization and offshoring than they have.

    But I think the problem is that, very much like climate change, this is an insanely tough challenge, a very, very complex issue and one that wold require a massively complex, interlocking system of legal, economic, social, and political changes to solve…if, indeed, it IS solveable.

    And our political system is ridiculously poorly designed to solve problems like that. Our public is ridiculously poorly prepared to inform itself, think through, and vote intelligently on problems like that. Climate change is, IMO, the canary in that coal mine and We the People have done horrendously on that issue.

    So…while I agree that the Democrats need to do “something” about this whole “economic anxiety” problem I’m not sure that they can arrive at a solution that will carve off enough of the white nationalists who want to hear Trump tell them that he’s gonna build that big, beautiful wall and bring all those jobs back in a shopping cart also filled with rainbows and cuddly puppies.

    • You’re right. But we don’t have to be protectionists or Luddites. There are things we could make the party stand for which would drive up turnout and win back working-class voters. All of them have a majority of support in polls.

      1. If a bank is too big to jail, break it up.
      2. Medicare for all.
      3. Higher taxes on millionaires.
      4. Free child care and public college tuition.
      5. More help for the working poor @ a higher minimum wage.
      6. Protect our air and water from pollution.
      7. Rebuild our bridges, underground pipes, public buildings, and electrical grid.

      There are many more, these are some that have gotten strong support in regional elections. The important thing is for Democrats to take back control of the party agenda. Since the New Democrats took over in 1992, the party has sided with Wall Street and tried to keep corporate greed from doing too much harm. All that’s done is make corporations more rapacious.

      We’re still paying for the Affordable Care Act, which I thought at the time was a grave tactical error. The argument for it was, sensibly enough, that helping some people was a good start, and eventually we could move towards single-payer. But the law did almost nothing to curb premium increases, only now people blame those increases on “Obamacare” instead of greedy insurance companies. And using it as a building block for the future? Forget about it. It’ll be abolished by August, and replaced with a new law that guts state regulations on insurers.

      Palling up to Big Business doesn’t make it our friend, and reining it in results in higher growth rates. Every time. Just as cutting taxes on the rich destroys growth, every time. OWS and BLM have shown how even unorganized social movements can motivate people to action. Let’s get organized.

      It will by no means be easy. But it can be done. It has been done — it created the New Deal and civil rights laws and Americans With Disabilities Act. And if we don’t do it, we’re going to keep losing.

      • Good points, James, and I agree with you that the Left needs to reclaim the Democratic Party.

        Still…it’s worth remembering that the New Deal was explicitly crafted to prevent “those” people from benefiting from it. The Civil Rights Act is famously remembered by Johnson’s comment that “we have lost the South for a generation” (and, in fact, it lost the Democrats the South in perpetuity, apparently).

        And that’s kind of my point.

        While I agree that we need to lose the corporatist baggage I’m not sure that we can regain those “deplorables”. I’m not sure that economic populism will – if you’ll excuse the expression – trump white nationalism and tribalism, theocratic resentment and xenophobia.

        I sure as hell want to try it. But I was honestly shocked at the white- and straight-lash Tuesday. I don’t know if kicking the banksters in the crotch is going to overcome that.

        • That’s funny — I was talking with a friend and the “lost the South for a generation” line came up. My friend’s take was “well, LBJ sure sold that shit short.”

          That’s a vastly important thing to remember about FDR. The New Deal was popular, in part, because it did nothing to curb white supremacism. (Thank God for Eleanor.)

          I don’t know if racism is so ingrained in America it can’t be slowed at this point. It’s worth trying. And it’s almost a given that the more people feel powerless, the more vulnerable they are to hate ideology. My father in college was part of the Albany, NY, folk scene, which was part of the Pete Seeger scene, where whites used old folk songs to express solidarity with Black torment in the South. 15 years later, after crushing personal failure, he turned to rabid Christian fundamentalism and extremist right-wing beliefs. What would have been different if his luck had been better? Tough to say.

        • Generally the party that embraces the center wins (at least in our electoral system).

          I have heard the argument that if Hillary Clinton had gone more towards the center this election – she may have gathered more votes for the Democratic Party – than for Trump or another candidate. The counterargument is that the Bernie Sanders supporters might have abandoned her. I tend to think the former argument makes more sense.

          More importantly, Democrats should embrace what makes sense – period. That does not necessarily mean going more to the left.

          This election I believe was an anomaly. In any event, progress often needs to take a step back before taking two steps forward. Yes maybe Neanderthal ideals will emerge victorious – at least in the short term. Another election is two years away. This is not the time for Democrats to panic or lose heart. Reexamination yes perhaps -but no need necessarily to completely change focus.

          I think the victors here are very confident. Though there is a big difference between confidence and wisdom. And confidence together with a lack of humility is folly. Two years is a long time in politics. A lot can change in the next election.

          • It’s definitely a debate the party’s going to have internally. Myself, I don’t see how much more centrist they can become. At least on economics. Bill Clinton famously said “we’re Eisenhower Republicans,” and that’s basically correct. I suppose the party could get behind privatization of Social Security and Medicare, and deregulating every industry under the sun, but then, what’s the point of it? Besides, opinion polling doesn’t show Americans want those things.

            On social issues, there probably was a point where the party could be more centrist, but I think that plane has left the terminal. Take gay marriage. Eight years ago, Obama didn’t support it. I think at that point if we’d been able to pass a law allowing civil unions with the full legal rights of marriage, just not the magic label, most Dems would have been on board as a compromise measure. Republicans pushed the issue with ban after ban, and finally the SCOTUS said “enough.” (As it will do until Ginsberg leaves, no matter what blithering idiot Trump puts in Scalia’s spot.)

            Where do you think the party should shift to the center? I, alas, am drawing a blank here. But there might be some token bones we can throw the idiots that wouldn’t be too harmful. Ideas?

            • You make a good point here.

              Actually after I posted the comment – it occurred to me I could have phrased it better. .

              Essentially, Hillary Clinton might have better reached out to working class white voters – especially in rural areas. That demographic was basically left to Donald Trump. And it likely cost her the election.

              Look, I love Obama – but I do understand how that demographic may have felt abandoned by the Democratic Party in the past few years.

              The modern GOP is not inclusive. The Democratic Party generally is (and is actually supposed to be). And really it should continue to strive to be. I would say the same about the GOP if there was any chance in the near future that it might even have such a pretense.

              Btw, I do not believe the Dems abandoned that demographic. But there was the all important perception they did by some.

              Anyway, if the Dems want to win next time – being self critical on issues of strategy and substance is going to be critical to winning obviously.

              Is this making any more sense?

              And please if you disagree -no need to humor me… I can take it.

              • Oh, man — if you think you could have phrased something better, I have a whole sea chest full of really full-on stupid shit I’ve typed here. And elsewhere. Over years and years. Why the fuck did I type it? Your guess is as good as mine. Prolly because all my friends are older, now, they have kids & such, they don’t have time to spend hours on the phone listening to James bloviate. So I get out my rants on unsuspecting, innocent websites like this one, run by a mild-mannered Cervantes scholar, and another one full of polite Minnesota baseball nerds. The poor fuckers, I’m so sorry.

                Oh well, we all have bees in our bonnet, don’t we?

                If you hightail it over to Ramona’s Voices (on the sidebar) and scroll back a post or two, she had a strong argument that Clinton should have been highlighting her positive agenda rather than focusing on Trump’s negatives. And Ramona’s in Michigan, so she saw all the ad campaign stuff. Worth a read, and I believe gets at what you’re talking about.

                Stay strong. We’ll win next time!

    • First, and this is not directed only at you, this site gets the best comments. I have a lot of friends who work on really big websites. And I constantly get compliments about what great comments I get on this site. It really is great and it is what makes me continue to stay up late to produce new content.

      I agree with what you are saying. One of the biggest problems we face is that when it comes to economic issues, the Democratic and Republican elites pretty much agree. So where is the choice in the election? In this election, we had a choice — in theory anyway.

      This is also why I want to focus on what the Democratic Party needs to stand for. We need a financial transaction tax. We need to raise the estate tax (which will almost certainly be eliminated under the new president). We need the party to get strongly behind unions. We need card check as a bare minimum. The Democratic Party needs to stand for something. It no longer works to be “not quite as bad as the Republicans.”

      We also need to start talking seriously and loudly about things like coal mining. Coal jobs have been disappearing because of coal companies, not because of the government. People in West Virginia blame the government, not the companies that have done everything they can to get rid of jobs. Oh God, so much to talk about. But we need to get beyond myth. The Democrats have done a really bad job of highlighting the fact that the Republicans talk a good game, but never follow through. Trump won’t bring jobs back. Will the Democrats be able to use that against him? Not if they continue to push the same bad neoliberal policies that are just as ineffective.

  2. Frank — I dunno if you’ve seen Naomi Klein and Thomas Frank’s reactions in The Guardian. Here they are:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/rise-of-the-davos-class-sealed-americas-fate
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/09/donald-trump-white-house-hillary-clinton-liberals

    Of course, Greenwald was dryly precise as usual, Pierce has been bitterly funny as usual, and Coates/Reich predicted it before it happened. Chait somehow blamed Sanders for running a primary campaign. Don’t read it.

    My immigrant-friendly Jehovah’s Witnesses friends in Denmark texted over their fear of what happens when fearful voters elect a strongman. Plus a poop ? emoji.

    • Actually if Sanders had run against Trump – he would have won.

      Tragically he did not win the Democratic Primary in the southern states. And btw, sadly it was often alluded to (during the primary) in those states that Sanders was not a church going believer with older religious African Americans in the south. That actually made a significant difference in what otherwise could have been a very different outcome.

      Hillary Clinton would have made a great president – Sanders even better possibly. Nevertheless Sanders probably did have the best chance against Trump; in this year of the outsider.

      And make no mistake. Ignorance won here all round. And that stupidity in some instances does not necessarily belong solely to the GOP (unfortunately).

      Although it is those labels that the Republican Party deserves a whole lot more without a doubt.

      I realize that maybe these are truths that many people do not want to hear. But yknow they should be.

      Ummm Is there a valid point here… or is this just sour grapes? Nah I am right. ?

      • The GOP is the stupid party. Or at least the ignorant one. I just heard a caller on a radio claim that if someone has cancer remission and can’t be insured because of a prexisting condition, we’ll find a way to get them health care. “We’ve never let anyone die because they couldn’t afford cancer treatment” were his exact words. This is someone living in fantasyland.

        I always thought Hillary would have crushed Cruz, Bush, Rubio, Kasich, etc. They would have tried to act “presidential” and she would have exposed them as the fools they are. And against those seemingly nice, Christian men, an unkempt Jew with a goofy voice would have had problems.

        But I thought Sanders was better against Trump. Trump wasn’t even going to try to act serious, negating Clinton’s strongest suit. And Trump’s mania might encourage more turnout. Clinton was always going to have a problem keeping Obama voters. Sanders had the youth vote energized including Black youth). And his message of “go after Wall Street” would have drawn some of the non-deplorables away from the billionaire who stiffed employees.

        Oh, well. Warren 2016!

    • I’ll read those. Maybe I’ll get an article out of them, but I’m trying to avoid such things. Now, of course, I have to read Chait. I’ve liked some of what he’s written since the election. But you can’t blame Bernie. I’m not saying that Bernie would have won. The truth is that if Hillary hadn’t had the email server and the Global Initiative, the press would have found two other things to obsess over. With Sanders they would have found something to obsess over. In the end, the election came out pretty much exactly as my economics based model predicted. I’m more convinced than ever that little matters but the economy. But I’m looking forward to reading those articles.

  3. How much of an impact do you think the GOP’s voter suppression efforts had on turnout? I can’t help but wonder if a lot of people thought it wasn’t worth the hassle, expecting hassles, in states that made it harder for people to take part in democracy.

    Besides the platform, Hillary was a bad candidate. There was no way 20+ years’ of battering by the right and her lack of likability was not going to be an issue. There were enough errors by the campaign as well – not ONE visit to Wisconsin? The campaign was constantly on defense – credit Trump for taking every liability he has and putting that on Hillary first.

    The GOP nominated the only candidate who could lose Clinton; the Democrats nominated the only candidate who could lose to Trump (and likely Kasich, too)

    What the party stands for…I agree with all those points – and yes, they all have support in the polls (though what does that even mean anymore after this election) – and they have for years. That doesn’t matter though – the argument has been lost to the GOP for over 20 years – Dems are the party of big government and government can’t do anything right, etc. Ultimately, this is about MARKETING – essentially, creating demand for your “product,” and for 20+ years the GOP has been much better at it. Even though their “product” consistently fails.

    • I think it’s safe to say GOP suppression won at least a few key states (North Carolina, for instance).

      You’re right about the marketing. Too many people believe that “run government more like a business” malarkey. And that if you’re rich, you’re smart. By tying this propaganda in with the supposed “failure” of welfare, Reagan was able to use good old-fashioned American racism to stir up profound belief in the incompetence of government. Jokes about how government can’t do this, government can’t do that, spread the meme to almost everyone.

      We need to start educating people at the local level. People whose water has been poisoned by fracking no longer think government shouldn’t regulate oil companies. People who’ve been bankrupted by health costs want universal Medicare.

      I think there’s a lot of misinformation about what government actually does. How many times have I heard someone complain about getting stiffed by their job, landlord, credit card company, etc, thinking “they can’t do that.” Well, yes “they” can. You made that possible by thinking “all politicians are crooked” and letting the real crooks, the corporations, elect our representatives and enact our laws.

      We can film videos of people we meet who got screwed telling their stories and sharing those videos on YouTube. Maybe make a channel, “Run Like A Business,” where people talk about their idiot corporate supervisors. Or people talking about times a government program changed their lives for the good.

      What convinced even the majority of Catholics to demand reforms preventing sexual abuse? Brave individuals who came forward and shared their stories. We can do the same thing puncturing the fable of business competence. Government ineptitude. How smart the rich are. Tear down this myth!

      • Maybe I’m mistaken about this, but I try to take a soft approach with persuading people. You push too hard and too fast and they snap shut. I give them the liberal elevator pitch I think they can handle. And I find that the ‘Clinton Rules’ are very durable even on otherwise sympathetic, left leaning, low information voters. I don’t mean low information as an insult in this case. These are people who just don’t spend the time I do to be informed, not those who consume misinformation. Listening to my co workers, many of whom are otherwise intelligent and reasonable, their political ideas are lazily formed, muddled, lacking in rigor. I don’t mean right wing partisans. Right wing ideology is very self organizing. They always know what conclusion to reach from a few principles. Our news media are entertainers when they should be public servants.

        • No, you’re not mistaken at all. That’s exactly the way we need to do it. Pushy is off-putting. Even with old friends of mine who are conservative, I try to throw a little bit of mild disagreement in there, and if they aren’t receptive, hey, let’s talk about baseball. Friendship and interpersonal decency is more important than ideology. You’re 100% right.

          What I meant more was making a concerted effort to share our stories in a way that is accessible and emotional without being pushy. Like on YouTube. For too long we’ve relied on good-hearted politicians giving speeches with, “yesterday I talked to this person who had a horrible/inspiring story, and that’s why I believe we need to unite in support of this bill/candidate.” It’s well-meaning. It’s not as effective as putting out there those persons sharing those stories themselves.

          I’m thinking (completely spitballing, I’ve been in utter despair for a few days) these would have to be videos. Macedonian trolls can flood websites with apocryphal stories and nasty comments. Sincerity on video is hard to fake. When you watch an angry protester yell at a cop, you might feel sympathetic, you might not, depending on your presuppositions. When you watch a person weeping, describing how their innocent family member was killed by a cop for no reason, it cuts to the heart. Much more than a second-hand version could do.

          It’s just the best idea I have right now. It’s partially because of my love for documentaries, where interviewees get to tell their stories.

    • Clinton lost by almost 4 percentage points in North Carolina. I have a hard time believing that was all voter suppression. But I don’t doubt that it did hurt her. And voter suppression, James Comey, a horrible media, and so on — that’s doubtless enough to make her lose the state.

      You bring up an interesting point about the Dems being the party of big government. Although not true (the two parties are all for big government, they just disagree about how to use the big government), maybe it is time for the Dems to just own it. Yes, we are the party of big government! Like your roads? You’re welcome! Like your social security? You’re welcome! Like your mortgage interest deduction? You’re welcome! Like your children’s schools? You’re welcome! And on and on and on and on. On the micro-scale, people love big government. They just don’t like the words “big government.”

  4. “The US population has 10 million more people than it had in 2012. Yet 12 million fewer people voted this year than voted in 2012.”

    According to my figures*

    2012 Total votes 114.9 million Dem votes 58.8 mil Rep votes 56.1 mil
    2016 118.5million 59.3 mil 59.2 mil

    *and no, I don’t remember exactly where I got them from. Searching “2012 vote totals,” probably. I only looked it up because I saw a posting which implied that twenty million fewer Democrats voted this time around. I couldn’t believe that. I had gotten the impression that voting percentages were near record highs, at least here in my (MI) neighborhood.

    • You are right. My number were from 9 November before all the votes were in. According to Wikipedia now, they are:

      Clinton: 60,839,922
      Trump: 60,265,858
      Total: 121,105,780

      Note: Clinton beat Trump by more than Gore beat Bush in 2000 (574,064 vs 543,895 votes).

      But I don’t know where you got your numbers from 2012. These are the numbers I’ve been using for years:

      Obama: 65,915,795
      Romney: 60,933,504
      Total: 126,849,299

      Difference between years: 126,849,299 – 121,105,780 = 5,743,519. That’s a 4.5% decrease in total voter turnout.

  5. Clinton ran a perfect campaign based on the information that she knew.
    She did her absolute best and it wasn’t good enough.
    Because it is never is for us women.
    We can never be good enough.

    We are always going to be locked out of power because after all, we aren’t good enough.

    Do I seem bitter? I am. Do I seem angry? no. Just resigned to my lot in life. Not being good enough because I didn’t have the foresight to be born a man.

    • My own feeling is that all people have flaws. Men just seem to have more than women do – in general (although this could be a cultural issue).

      And I am definitely not biased in my opinion Elizabeth.

      We need more women running things overall. Men mess things up way too often.

      Oh and they act like jerks as well oftentimes. It seems to be seen as part of the prerequisite of being a guy in our society by some people…

      • Michelle Obama put it so beautifully in her New Hampshire speech. Real men don’t act that way. Yeah, we fart, and don’t always dress very well (there’s some evidence that men have less perception of color shadings). But morally strong, emotionally strong men don’t act that way. Bullies and cowards do. And as Orwell observed, bullies and cowards are the same thing.

    • It was funny/sad watching the concessions speeches of Clinton and Obama. Both were gracious and resilient. Yet each had a partner to their right basically bawling. Both Bill in the one speech and Biden in the other were openly weeping. Quite right. We need tears and fortitude right now.

      • I don’t have it. Maybe I should have done what I thought about on Wednesday.

        I keep being told by men I should shut up so maybe they are right. I should.

        • I’m a man who will tell you right now to shut up about self-harmful thoughts! But I’d say that to anyone. Well, almost anyone (cough Trump cough).

          If you can find a voice to shout even louder, our country needs it. If you can’t, no worries. I wasn’t kidding about moving if you need to just get away from all this bullshit. Scandinavia has problems (mostly racism) you could fight against, and they consider sexism barbaric. I got texts from friends in Denmark on Wednesday asking “what century are you living in?”

    • Resigned in not good. Angry is better.

      I don’t think this has to do with Clinton being a woman, however. Part of it certainly had to do with her being a Clinton. And the other part had to do with her being a Democrat. But I think she would have done just fine if she had been a Republican.

  6. If you can get rid of the Electoral College … perhaps we might also consider “range voting” (Center for Range Voting). I happened upon this site while researching an unrelated matter (figure skating scoring problems discussed in a “math for laymen” book). I’ve heard of the concept before, but not the term “range voting”. When given a list of candidates, you give each candidate a score (with “No Opinion” being an available option). That way, people can vote for 3rd-party candidates, but indicate a second choice (such as Clinton), without fear of throwing the election to someone like Bush or Trump.

    As James mentioned, Pierce has had some good articles since the election. One of them pointed out that there’s just no way to get through to the cast-in-concrete-misinformed people who voted for Trump. Sanders and any other Democratic candidate would not have done better than Clinton against Trump, once the GOP got through shredding them to pieces before the election. Remember the GOP’s vaunted respect for the military went out the window in their attacks on Kerry in 2004.

    • I like that range voting. But of course I would: math! I’ll check it out more — maybe even write about it.

      I’ve tried to avoid reading about politics because I find it too annoying talking about why Trump won. He won and it is awful and the less I can think about it, the better. The best I can do is think about what I can do make this all the best it can be. But I’ll check out what Pierce had to say. He’s insightful, but more important, funny.

      Thanks for the info!

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