Don’t get cocky, Kid: The election’s not decided yet

Hillary is ahead in all the polls, and pretty much has been except for one week right after the Republican convention where Trump enjoyed the traditional convention bump.

Nate Silver has her with a 70% chance of winning, and, as I pointed out two years ago, the Democrats begin any Presidential election with a large advantage in the electoral college.


If the election were held today

The problem is in being complacent, because we Democrats have done a very good job of losing elections we should have won.  And there are reasons for that:

We don’t get out and vote. These Trump supporters are maniacs. I see their signs all over the place, and they are not shy about yelling their support. At a recent county fair where I live, they yelled obscenities at the Democratic booth (with their kids watching — how pleasant!), punched a cardboard stand-up of Hillary Clinton next to the booth, and acted like the bullies that you would expect most Trump supporters would act like.

These people will vote. They are convinced that the white male Christian privileges they are used to (and which they think are “patriotic”) are disappearing, and they’re right. That’s what they mean when they say they want to “take America back” and “make America great again.”  They are angry, and angry people vote.

There are more of us than there are of them, but they always vote in huge numbers and we don’t. And then we lose.

We split our vote because we think we’re being “pure.” Instead of being pragmatic, we’d rather shoot ourselves in the foot, watch the country go down the drain, and then say, “Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote for him.” Well, sure, but not voting for the person who could stop him and wasting your vote on someone else has the same effect, so you might as well have voted for him.

Republicans do that too, of course, and some this year are going for Johnson as their protest vote. We should encourage this while not falling into the same trap.

We don’t always nominate the best candidate. One of the differences between Democrats and Republicans is that Democrats tend to vote with the head and Republicans with the heart. We nominate the smartest nerd in the class and they nominate the most popular jock. Hillary is quite unpopular. Some of that is due to thirty years of meaningless smear attacks from the GOP but, let’s face it, she doesn’t have the charisma of her husband or of Barack Obama. If we had nominated someone with some charisma (or even Bernie Sanders, in my opinion) we’d be doing even better in the polls.

It is tremendously important this year that we come out to vote and vote down all the Republicans, including those in state races. Having a Democratic president who can get nothing accomplished because she’s fighting against Republicans doesn’t get us anywhere. But mostly, we need to send a signal. We need to destroy the current GOP so hugely that they finally reorganize themselves and do something to kick out the crazies and once more become a reasonable conservative party. We need to make sure they know that America will not stand for a candidate who preaches hate, divisiveness, and racism.

 

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