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Lessons from the election

At least it's over? At least now when our president does something stupid/horrible (like ordering drone strikes on unnamed "combatants" or passing an insurance-company gift disguised as a healthcare bill), Democrats will finally say that it's bad? Oh well, on to the lessons:

Lesson 1: Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate.

I mean, how bad do you have to be to lose to that clown?

I bet the Democratic Party leaders feel real stupid right about now for lubing up Clinton and forcing her through the primaries. "Hey, you know who will appeal to disaffected middle- to lower-class working families? Washington insiders with 'experience' who have worse versions of the views of the current guy. I know, let's shut down all these other candidates who aren't constantly under investigation by the motherfucking FBI."

I'm not saying Bernie Sanders would have had won (or should have), but wow you coulda done a lot better than Clinton.

Update: Check this out.
Falling Democratic voters
from twitter

Yeah, the y-axis doesn't start at zero, and it's preliminary, but that doesn't matter: it still clearly shows that millions of Democrats who voted last time did not come out to vote this time. The Republican voter levels are actually down a bit too. Millions of people who gleefully voted for Obama the last 2 times decided Clinton wasn't worth the effort. It wasn't "white-lash" or racists coming out in droves, it was Clinton being a terrible, terrible candidate.

I guess one alternative explanation for this data is that millions fewer Republicans came out to vote, and then millions of people who voted for Barack Hussein Obama last time suddenly caught a case of racist xenophobia and voted for Trump this time.

Lesson 2: People will vote for terrible candidates

During that year-long grind before the primaries, every Republican I knew stated they did not like Donald Trump. About half the Democrats I knew did not like Hillary Clinton. But when the election came around, suddenly everybody lined up and voted for their party. Myself included: I'm not a Democrat, but I voted for Clinton solely to try to keep Trump out (because he's an awful human being with horrible ideas). I'm sure most of the Republicans I know also voted against Hillary rather than for Trump, at least I hope. (Note to Trump voters: That was dumb. He's not even really a Republican. He was pretty much a pro-choice Democrat up until he started running.)

How could they vote for that idiot/monster? See Lesson 1.

Lesson 3: Dividing people up by race and gender is misleading

Based on the exit polls I've seen, a majority of whites and males voted for Trump, and a majority of everybody else voted for Clinton. Damn you whitey man!

CNN displays this information thusly:

exit polls for 2016 by gender

Jesus! What's wrong with you, men! It's pretty clear that men voted for Trump. Ok, well, 53% did (possibly up to 59% if all those 6% other/no answer did too).

Uh, 53-59% of something isn't that impressive. It's a majority, mathematically, but it's so close to 50% that it's dishonest to talk about how "men" voted for Trump.

Based on this, if you ask a random male, there's a 46% chance he did not vote for Trump. Yes, better than chance, but you'll be wrong almost half the time. And if you ask a random female voter, there's a 46% chance she voted for Trump as well!

This is part of the problem with the winner-take-all nature of the red-blue dichotomy. A "red state" is just a few percentage points away from a being a blue state.

exit polls for 2016 by race

This is a little clearer, at least. But despite being more polarized, there are still very large percentages who didn't vote the way the you might think. Around 40% of white voters voted for Clinton, and about 30% of latino voters voted for Trump. The way Trump voters have been portrayed recently you'd think that latino percentage would be 0 as they ran screaming, but 30% is huge. That's playing Russian roulette with 2 bullets in the gun. Millions of latino voters leaned his way.

Even about 1 in 10 black people voted for him. That seems pretty low, but it's hardly unicorn territory, and it's actually a higher percentage than whitest of white-bread rich-guy Romney got.

Lesson 4: Fuck red vs blue

Here's the red/blue map as of this instant:


I live in on of the "red states". But around 40% of us didn't vote for Trump. And liberal fortress-of-solitude California had 33% vote Trump.

Here's a map (from 2012) distorted for population and colored various shades of purple:

purple.pngfrom washingtonpost.com.

At this minute, Clinton and Trump are separated by less than 200,000 votes. Out of a country with over 300,000,000 people, that's tiny. Less than a 1% difference. But when you look at only those that voted – about 120,000,000 – that's… still less than 1%.

At this minute, Clinton is winning the popular vote, but has lost because of the Electoral College, but really, does it matter? We call 50.001% of the population getting their way the "will of the people", but if 49.999% gets their way it's a giant injustice?

It's nonsense, but I guess that's par for the course with messy humans.

2016-11-09 #politics  

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