It is a story from which we could not escape in the days and weeks after we all stood in flabbergasted horror to see that Donald McPussygrab Trump would be our next president. We began to try to figure out what went wrong. Of course for many, that meant finding someone to blame–curiously, someone other than those who voted for him.
Can we pause a moment before we go on with the inimical finger pointing and our grisly postmortem narratives that blame some particular brand of liberals for single-handedly bringing down the whole house of cards. And especially before we go on red-faced shaming anyone who doesn't want to build a bridge to a demographic who empowered the very same bigotry that violently targets and dehumanizes them.
We've heard that story enough. Let this social justice bard tell you a different story.
Republicans have been doing computer-assisted gerrymandering for 17 years that neutralizes the maximum possible number of Democratic votes for the House of Representatives races–effectively neutering one of the most fundamental tenets of a representative democracy–so they could win more.
They have also explicitly disenfranchised and/or greatly inconvenienced the voting process for millions of voters under the auspices of "reform" that have been almost exclusively liberal demographics like poor folks and people of color and has been shown time and again to cull enough voters to change the outcome of a close election (including our most recent one).
This last election involved a 30 year misogynistic GOP smear campaign against one of the candidates. The other redefined what "unpresidential" means on a daily basis. That's not really cheating per se, but it is worth noting the power of the double standard in play for a lot of folks.
Comey broke convention, tradition, and probably the law to play kingmaker by sitting on one scandalous unverified report (in the name of electoral propriety) but releasing another ten days before the election.
There was a Russian cyber and psyops attack–let me say that again with feeling: our greatest fucking geopolitical enemy, at the government level, hacked sensitive information and then used it to launch launch a PSYOPS ATTACK as well as flooding our social media with a deluge of fake news sites–not merely just trying to delegitimize American faith in democratic elections in general, but specifically working to get Trump elected.
And we still won that shit by THREE. MILLION. VOTES.
It took an antiquated, pro-slavery, winner-take-all electoral college for Trump to eke out a less than 1% victory in enough swing states pull it out.
We're slinking around here acting like we lost the war of ideas and that if we're ever to win again, we have no choice but to suck up to those folks who demonstrated that they have no problem with casual bigotry.
That's crap. Total fucking crap.
We are legion. And we DO come together in a pragmatic way when it's time. And look at JUST HOW MUCH fucking cheating it took for us to lose by tissue paper margins. If we build our bridges in the other direction, we would fire up a veritable army of currently apathetic progressives. The entire founding principles of US political discourse would have to shift significantly left before conservatives would come close to governing again.
There is always a place for introspection and self-reflection and building a better mousetrap of discourse, but election results that needed SO many criminally unethical factors to even be close belies a certain absurdity in blaming ourselves for the results.