Trumpocalypse: the week after

The universe has now had 8 whole days to process the Trumpocalypse. Hillary is gone. Out of the picture. Poof. In one night, the inevitable trajectory of history was not just derailed, but thrown against the floor — where it smashed to pieces. A great many Americans, and other people around the world, still can’t get over it. There have been protests. Riots. Demands for the government to arbitrarily change the rules, so that Trump might be prevented from being sworn into office. Threats to assassinate Trump. Calls for California, Oregon, and Washington to secede. Not to mention a flash revival of Bush-era classics such as #NotMyPresident and #AbolishTheElectoralCollege.

Beyond the caterwauling contempt of the Hillary faithful (for Trump and his voters) there is a sobering question: how did the Democrats get it so wrong?

Granted, not everyone is willing to face the music. A small stampede of progressive pundits have rushed to reassure the faithful that Hillary did not fail America, it was America who failed Hillary. The country is even worse than Hillarists knew it was, back before the Trumpocalypse. A misogynistic, sexist, racist, homophobic hell-hole. Clearly, the solution is to get even more confrontational, more rude, more mean-spirited, call people even more names, get up in even more faces, and so forth.

But as British political satirist Tom Walker (playing Jonathan Pie) noted, hurling insults doesn’t work anymore — nor does being perpetually offended.

But Walker wasn’t telling people anything they hadn’t heard before. Way back in April, left-moderate pundit site Vox noted the so-called Smug Style which had come to typify the American progressive political landscape. And how this whole attitude — a sort of cute, clever, holier-than-thou in-crowd approach to dealing with alternative ideology — was very much driving people into Trump’s arms. Because those people didn’t see or experience compassion (for their “side”) as much as they felt like they’d become the butt of jokes. The heartland was being laughed at nightly, by Jon Stewart and his fellow media travelers. All while the middle class — lower-middle, middle-middle, and upper-middle — was being commanded to show respect, deference, sympathy, and understanding for a virtual hospital ward filled with narcissistic, neurotic victim personalities.

Quote Tom Walker, “Of course Trump f—ing won.”

Now, I didn’t see it coming either. From the instant Trump rose to the top of the Republican pile, I assumed Hillary would bury him. I was as shocked as any liberal, come 10 PM on that fateful Tuesday night, with Trump rapidly approaching the tipping point (in his favor) in such Democrat bastions as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

I’m still a bit shocked.

But some clarity has been emerging from the murk.

1) Hillary was a poor candidate. “Status quo, in a change year.” That was the NPR quick take, the Wednesday after Trump won. More than that, though, Hillary was corrupt. I know Hillary fans cannot bring themselves to admit it, but Hillary was not an ally of the little man. Hillary had spent her entire adult life swimming in the Washington D.C. shark tank, rising to become one of the toughest, most indestructible Great Whites. A documented liar and manipulator, Hillary’s chief claim to the White House basically boiled down to, “It’s my turn, dammit!” While she simultaneously labeled 1/4 to 1/2 of the country deplorable — a preposterous tactical move for any candidate to do in a tight race. But like so many of us, Hillary clearly thought she’d won the race merely because Trump was absurd, and unthinkable.

2) The Hillary loss cannot be pawned off on isms. Not exclusively. Again, even NPR was saying it, come Wednesday morning. Confirmation bias may have sent the progressive cognoscenti into a howling rage, about how America is a hopeless den of sexists, racists, and gay-haters. But this is lazy analysis. Yes, that’s right, it’s lazy. It’s the equivalent of running to a safe space, curling up on a bean bag, and sucking your thumb. It does not address the millions of women who voted for Trump, thus becoming vagina traitors. It does not explain the significant number of former Obama voters, who also voted for Trump, thus magically becoming racists. Blaming isms for the Hillary loss, pretends that Americans could not or would not evaluate Hillary on her pedigree. Isn’t that the whole idea, behind equality? That no person should have to be evaluated on gender? That it’s character which counts? I seem to recall some important guy once said something similar. The Hillary faithful should go look that guy up. I think he was right.

3) Mocking, deriding, and ignoring Middle America is a losing proposition. The Obama years led many progressives to believe that a kind of ideological and demographic tipping point had been reached, so that the Reagan Coalition was in the rear-view mirror. The corn belt and the rust belt didn’t matter, it was the tech sector kids with their skinny jeans, hipster beards, and man buns. Put down and shoved out, Middle America felt forgotten and abandoned — until some orange-haired blowhard named Donald Trump reached out his hand and said, “Come with me, I will be your proverbial fist punching Mr. Jon Stewart Man Bun in his smug little face!” Trump may be a terrible kind of champion, but he was the only guy who seemed to be saying that Middle America still counted for something. So, Middle America gave Hillary Clinton their middle finger, which was also aimed at the press, Washington D.C., and the culture of neoliberalism.

4) Neoliberalism: where taking selfies and posting hashtags substitutes for actual discourse, and it’s cool to make fun of blue-collar Caucasians, because blue-collar Caucasians are stupid and ignorant and morally backward. I mean, some of them go to church for Pete’s sake. Church is so over. Working-class values are sooooooo over. Compassion for the less fortunate? Right, only as long as they belong to a pre-agreed set of trendy victim identities. Which nobody in Middle America can qualify for. Too white. Too Christian. Too hetero. Too Republican. Soooooo Republican. Sickeningly Republican. Being Republican is uncool. Being conservative is uncool. Point and laugh, boys. Point and laugh. The conservatives’ days are numbered. The future is now Southern California Buddhist Transsexual, doncha know? F— Middle America.. Go hang out at Starbucks and talk with all your friends about how lame flyover country is. Not like the metrosexualized urban villages of Seattle, Portland, L.A., and San Francisco. Where cool people get to be cool all the time, and coolness is as much about regurgitating cool politics, as it is about wearing cool fashions and buying cool things, and living a cool lifestyle. Not feeling cool enough? Get on social media and decry others for their privilege. Make sure it gets re-shared and re-tweeted a lot. Bazinga. Coolness restored.

5) Obama’s cult of personality was obviously not transferable to Clinton — nor, probably, anyone else in the Democratic Party. Two elections of decisive Obama wins seemed indicative of a real, and permanent majority — of progressives, for progressives, by progressives. But it didn’t translate into numbers. Lots of Obama voters stayed home. Lots of Obama voters actually picked Trump this time. What went wrong during the Obama years, to make so many people sit it out, or worse yet, cross over to the “wrong side of history?” Again, it can’t be pawned off on the usual isms. People are tired of the non-recovery recovery. They’re tired of feeling like the ruling class gives only lip service to real problems. They’re tired of not working enough, not being able to get ahead, and not being listened to — by a patronizing bunch of elites who mouth the words of compassion, while swanning about in ivory towers.

Now, the Trumpocalypse by no means represents any kind of long-lasting win for Republicans either. Trump is a New York Democrat wearing the plaid suit of a Republican carnival barker. He said what he needed to say, to get the win. This is Trump playbook we’re witnessing. And neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have any clue how the next four years will go. It’s quite probable it’ll be a train wreck, and then the Republican brand will be in the toilet — again. American politics is cyclical like that. The winner gets a big head, gloats, overreaches, underperforms, then fortunes shift.

Trump is the strangest kind of bellwether, because nobody really knows what it means for the future.

But the usual liberal “answers” on race, gender, sexuality, and economic class, break down against the wall of a Trump victory. Trump has been and continues to be a shock to the system. Perhaps a necessary shock — as many Trump fans insist — like two paddles to the chest, and the EMT yells, “Clear!” Only time will tell if Trump is a net good, or a net ill.

The caterwaulers are already trying to write the history books, condemning Trump as literally the worst kind of person to ever step foot into the Oval Office.

Problem is, those same caterwaulers said the same thing about Romney, and McCain, and Bush, and Dole, and Reagan, and just about every other Republican since Eisenhower. The little boy has literally cried wolf one too many times. Americans can’t be terrified into voting the way progressives want anymore, because too many Americans have been mislabeled as being part of the problem, not part of the solution, and they’re sick of the blame game. They want a swamp-drainer. Somebody to go into D.C. and take heads. Trump may or may not be that man. My money is on him being all talk, and no walk, in this regard.

But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t experiencing a bit of schadenböner over the great wailing and gnashing of teeth, currently running through the ranks of America’s progressive establishment. As a non-Trumper who is every inch a “deplorable” in Hillary’s book, I think the progressive establishment — the neoliberals! — have had this coming for far too long. A significant comeuppance of no small proportion.

But don’t just take my word for it. Take Piers Morgan‘s.

When a notorious progressive like Piers Morgan is taking you by the scruff and using a cricket bat on your ass, it’s time to pay attention. The days of Smug Style are done. It’s time to engage on the issues, not on the identities.

Otherwise, you’re just promoting another Trump win in 2020.

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30 thoughts on “Trumpocalypse: the week after

  1. Hey, the scumbag Demonic Rats have reviled every Republican since Abraham Lincoln. Nothing has changed in 156 years. All the Demonic Rats have is their slander and their smugness.

  2. Obama’s cult of personality was obviously not transferable to Clinton. Heck, looking at the 2012 and midterm elections should have told them that. In 2012, few were swept into office on Obama’s coattails; in the midterms, voter turnout fell among Dems, even compared to typical midterm levels.

  3. Mr.Torgersen,
    You were wrong about Mr.Trump winning the election.

    What if you’re wrong about his presidency, and it turns out that he not only keeps all of his promises that it is possible— in a short four years— to keep, but actually governs well?

    Will you then drop the condescending tone, (if I “hear” your tone towards Mr.Trump correctly), and admit that there’s more to him than a “carnival barker”?

    My personal opinion of what to expect of Mr.Trump’s presidency is he will wind up being a “meh” president. I do hope to be pleasantly surprised.

    Having done a great deal of research I know that Trump does a lot of “good works” that few know of… and he does them impulsively, which means he’s not simply “checking-off a box”, but that the generosity is actually part of his nature.

    I’ve also learned that he started investigating a run for the presidency shortly after the McCain disaster, (…which left us w/Obama…)— his decision to campaign wasn’t a last minute ego trip, as the majority of pundits were charging.

    Mr.Trump was a bundler, and advisor to Mr.Reagan. He was also one of the businessmen who approached R.R. and convinced him to campaign for election to the presidency one last time. From the aforementioned I believe that Mr.Trump truly is a patriot, loves this country, and has disdain for a one world government/order. I do like the thought of that!

    It will be interesting to wait and see which of us, if either of us, is correct about a Trump presidency.

    – Gordon

  4. Brad,
    Good analysis, which I’ve seen in pieces and parts on a lot of different sites across the spectrum. You might also have seen Jay Werkheiser’s comment on the reaction of people to being called racists for the crime of being white? It dovetails nicely with this.
    As a Warren Wing Democrat, I agree with most of what you’ve written here. Good job.
    –Phil

  5. Gordon,
    Those of us who see him as a carnival barker (I generally say used car salesman) would love to be proven wrong. I won’t offer to eat crow if we are, how about pie. I’ll eat pie if I’m wrong.

  6. He may very well be a bad president, I don’t know. Nobody really does right now. But for crying out loud, criticize him for real things he’s really done. If the media goes on flipping out over not being invited to a family dinner, all they’re going to do is make him appear sympathetic to the general public.

    But they can’t seem to help themselves. Look at how well their anti-Trump campaign has worked so far.

  7. If you were older, you would realize that there were and are a great many parallels to Trump’s uprising and campaign, and Regan’s. They both appealed to the same crowds, the same people. The Left thought they had it in the bag, and had spent -years- attacking and belittling their opponents. Everyone was -sure- Carter would win again, especially after that rude, crude, ignorant, asshole, Regan constantly did things, again and again, that we were told would turn the voters off and disqualify him. Even members of his own party didn’t like him.

    And afterwards? The Democrats were all in shock and denial, and they never missed an opportunity for the next 8 years to attack him.

    Dole, McCain, Romney, all were terrible candidates, because all played by the democrats rules, and when you concede the playing field before the game even starts, you LOSE. And as we all know, the democrats cheat, they cheat heavily. The words to live by have always been: The Republicans have to win so big that cheating won’t matter’.

    Trump carried more states than any republican since Regan. If the analysts now saying that 3 million of hillary’s votes were illegal votes (which is probably true, I know the illegals all vote here in California, and both Chicago and NYC are full of fraud) then Trump even took the popular vote.
    As for Hillary’s being a bad candidate, well look around, unemployment is around 40 percent, and inflation is definitely in double digits. The news won’t report it, because the news sides with the democrats and lies for them, but the people all know it, they can look around and SEE it.

    The only way the democrats would have won this election, was if another incompetent republican ran for office. Someone who was too afraid to play by their own rules. Someone too meek to refuse to play by the democrats, or take on the media. Trump’s win wasn’t an accident, it didn’t just ‘happen’. He just out played and out foxed everyone on the left. You don’t get to be a billionaire by being stupid. Everyone wants to bag on Hillary now, so they can just claim Trump was ‘lucky’. No, he wasn’t lucky, any democrat who would have run against him would have lost. He’s just smarter than they are.

  8. I do hope that Mr. Trump realizes that he was elected more because a whole bunch of people decided they disliked him just a tiny bit less than they disliked Ms. Clinton.

  9. He wont because you are wrong. People love Trump. I love Trump, the hundreds of thousands that showed up to watch him speak across the country love him. It’s not just conservatives either, its Obama voters like myself. Trump is a shift in the political landscape no-one predicted.

  10. John Van Sty, the two areas where Reagan bests Trump are quite glaring.

    1) Reagan had some actual experience in politics. Most prominently as governor of California.

    2) Even though both Reagan and Trump are former Democrats/Demonrats who switched to Republican/Rethuglican Reagan actually had policy points he could point to giving an indication of what he might do. All we have at this time is Trump’s words policy, many of which he’s changed depending on the audience. It also doesn’t help that in his own book he basically described himself as willing to say anything to get a deal done, regardless of actual intent and/or reality.

    I fully agree with the rest of your analysis.

  11. If you want even more eye-rolling, there are people in Australia reportedly freaking out about Trump, for even less reason than the freakouts over there. Yes, they’re parroting the same stuff, and there have been reports of elementary students in West Sydney areas chanting ‘Kill Trump!’ – which is distrubing indicators of what their parents are talking about.

    I’m not sure what they imagine Trump will do to Australia. In this case, he factually isn’t our President. The most he can affect is defence and trade treaties, not internal policy.

  12. I am really, really having a good time watching leftists heads explode all over the world. Trump was not my first or even second choice, I would have preferred either Ted Cruz or Scott Walker, but he was infinitely preferable to that corrupt lying hag Hellary.

    At least now, if they can recover their heads, the press will be a watchdog again, instead of a lapdog, though they totally blew their credibility in the last 8 years.

  13. I am from Minnesota, the place that elected ex-wrestler and conspiracy-blowhard Jesse Ventura as governor for many of the same reasons the nation voted for Donald Trump.

    It started well. Jesse won the election because he had one of the best political operators in the state, Dean Barkley and that served him well. Since Jesse owed no political debts, his appointments were brilliant and a breath of fresh air to the state.

    But the press hated him – and Jesse could not keep his impulses under control and his mouth shut. I expect much the same out of Donald Trump.

  14. Brad you left out the part about James Comey the Republican Operative who tipped the scales for Trump and how the majority Republcan party in Congress gave voters a Trump alternative to Hillary obstruction and gridlock for 4 more years.

  15. Again, your transparency makes me smile as you consciously or unconsciously test how much your readers would be able to recognize your tone — that Trump’s victory immensely repulses you. You even made sure all the unsavory terms had been gathered to describe repeatedly the now president-elect in both your FB and blog posts. It’s been entertaining watching you operating your followers into getting the responses you aim for, though. I don’t think you’ll get over Donald’s win, Brad, because deep inside you dislike him more than you dislike Hillary. Let’s hope he succeeds so the next four years won’t be quite painful for you.

  16. Yes, everything I’ve written has clearly been a masquerade — I am secretly a Hillary supporter, because I won’t openly love and adore Trump!

    I would be thrilled if Trump proves all doubters (me among them) wrong.

    I doubt he will.

    But I am prepared to be dead wrong. The country needs me to be dead wrong.

    If that’s not good enough for you — if you need me to be in the tank for Trump — I can’t really help you.

  17. I think Alexandru Constantin made a valid point that others don’t realize. Trump, for all his brash, abrupt, in-your-face, north-eastern attitude is actually quite likable. I don’t know how many realize it, but Trump has been a regular ‘phone-in’ commentary to Fox and Friends in the wee-hours of the morning. The man comes across as reasonable thinker.
    That said, how it translates to ‘Presidental’ is indeed open to question. Big-Time executives may be effective, but they are also used to having their way, when they own the company. Likewise being the master of the ‘deal’ and the ‘sale’ work wonderful for a candidate, but are a little harder when going against the veterans of obfuscation and cronyism that fill the halls of Congress.
    Your term “schadenböner ” made my day 🙂

  18. I could understand you guys being upset about people not supporting Trump if he had lost, but he won, so I’m scratching my head.

  19. Who’s have guessed that Science Fiction fandom would be such a canary in the coalmine?

    Turned out that what worked to preserve the purity of a once-relevant award doesn’t work at a national level.

  20. Tim Hall: Well, Science-fiction *is* about exploring future events today . . . 😉

  21. Who’s have guessed that Science Fiction fandom would be such a canary in the coalmine?

    Science Fiction isn’t the only canary, though. We’re seeing the same thing in other places, with video games (GamerGate), sports (the falling ratings for ESPN and the NFL) and movies (the failure of the latest Ghostbusters, among many other killed by politics).

    As dogmatic Social Justice proponents push into more and more places, they make more and more people angry, and they’re increasingly taking ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’. It helps that there’s a lot of overlap in the fandoms, but that’s not all of it. People are pushing back against the encroachment of Social Justice everywhere.

  22. As I stated in another thread, I didn’t vote for the guy and I don’t expect much. On the other hand this dawn of zombie apocalypse stuff u s getting old. We had an election and some of us don’t like how it went, boo frinkin hoo. Here’s a pro tip, it’s not really a democracy if one side always wins.

  23. Every US election has turned into Designated Liberal Savior vs. Literally Hitler Conservative. And I think the voters just figured it out.

  24. I agree very much with Civilis. I mean, hell, I’ve been in an interracial marriage for 23 years, and people like Nora Jemisin have been labeling me a racist for over a decade. Me, the small-c conservative who has voted Democrat in at least two national elections — and would vote Democrat again, if the Dems pulled their heads out of their fourth point of contact. When guys like me get labeled as The Enemy, nobody — absolutely nobody! — is safe. Everyone becomes a designated target. And when enough Americans feel like they’ve become designated targets, they stop giving a shit about your message, conclude you’re simply out to get them and make their lives hell, and thus they wind up turning their backs entirely. As I have said elsewhere, the Social Justice Zealots will eventually excommunicate so many people, the SJZs will find themselves shouting from the stage of an empty amphitheater.

  25. The panic is mostly talk. We know this because of the talking. People afraid that literally Hitler! is going to be coming around locking people up or gassing them don’t post how much they hate the dictator on their personal Facebook page.

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