[Discussion] What comes next? Liber-all

American liberals and progressives now face their biggest challenge in a generation: What do we do with 4 years of a trump presidency, a republican congress, a likely conservative supreme court and most states under complete republican control?

This thread is not meant as a forum for discussing HOW or WHY democrats got destroyed in the 2016 election. It's meant for finding a way forward.

Gremlin wrote:
garion333 wrote:

So, uh, anyone post this yet?

Lots of NSFW language.

I think it's worth contrasting and discussing this and the article TheGameguru linked.

I think this is one of those "why not both" situations. The Democrats didn't offer much substantial change in terms of economic policy, they ran a candidate who couldn't be more establishment AND they ran into a buzzsaw of racism and sexism. When your candidate isn't the one whipping up crowds you have to have ideas that speak to the needs of the people. Clinton was the absolute worst candidate to run in that scenario and if the Democrats don't learn from this we're all f*cked.

I've hated the Democratic party's strategy since the Clinton era. Big business hand outs, authoritarianism, all the while dog whistling to progressives? So many Democrats seemed to think they were just making smart strategic compromises by appeasing those moneyed interests, but that dumb ass Vonnegut quote about becoming who you seem to be is apt. When the best Obama can do is give hand outs to banks and tweak Romney's health care plan to be better for insurance companies, you've lost any claim to being the party of the people.

I'm shocked that Trump is the form of their destroyer, but maybe I shouldn't be. If there's a silver lining in this mess it's that the Democrats are finally facing this reckoning. They need to either adapt, or they need to make way for a real progressive party to replace them. I sure hope neoliberalism is dying.

As an aside, the recent calls from some Democrats for Obama to dismantle the surveillance state before Trump takes over make me roll my eyes. We've had how many years of this now? So many Democrats thought those tools of authoritarianism were just fine, so long as their man was the one pulling the trigger.

At least now people finally care about privacy. I'll take it. Obama should dismantle the domestic spying apparatus.

He can't. They're in charge. We aren't.

DSGamer wrote:
Gremlin wrote:
garion333 wrote:

So, uh, anyone post this yet?

Lots of NSFW language.

I think it's worth contrasting and discussing this and the article TheGameguru linked.

I think this is one of those "why not both" situations. The Democrats didn't offer much substantial change in terms of economic policy, they ran a candidate who couldn't be more establishment AND they ran into a buzzsaw of racism and sexism. When your candidate isn't the one whipping up crowds you have to have ideas that speak to the needs of the people. Clinton was the absolute worst candidate to run in that scenario and if the Democrats don't learn from this we're all f*cked.

They were supposed to have learned that lesson after Kerry lost against Bush, so they've already failed to learn from it once.

First Brexit now this. In the words of Rick Deckard, "I was quit when I came in here. I'm twice as quit now."

gore wrote:

I'm shocked that Trump is the form of their destroyer, but maybe I shouldn't be. If there's a silver lining in this mess it's that the Democrats are finally facing this reckoning.

Some are. Some aren't.

Actually be liberals again.

oilypenguin wrote:

I HAVE to believe that the majority of the people that voted for Trump, Johnson, Stein, or flat out didn't vote (a majority of our country) are good people. I have to believe that. Why? Because otherwise there's no way forward. There's no conversation, only horse trading. But we can't bargain with these people for a number of reasons:

1.) If the trump campaign has taught us anything, it's that the facts don't matter. We officially live in a post-factual democracy so....

2.) Decision making on a national scale is done with emotion fundamentally.

I think I've actually got something to make you feel better. I think Facts don't matter only if you don't have a message. A message without facts will beat facts without a message, but facts+message beats an empty message.

You've got to get someone to feel you emotionally before they'll listen to you rationally.

Also, one more thing to make you (and I!) feel better. I think a lot of people voted for the (R) next to Trump's name not out of partisanship, but out of frustration with gridlock. Obama's approval rating keeps going up and up. So why didn't people respond to Hillary's campaign as Barack v2.0?

I'm starting to wonder if people just wanted one party in power so it can get things done. No one hates more than me that hostage taking by the Republicans was rewarded, but the silver lining is that a lot of people didn't vote for the Republicans and they didn't even vote for Trump, they just voted in a way that will get things moving. If Barack Obama couldn't get anything done for six years, maybe a lot of people thought Hillary Clinton and her never-ending investigations would accomplish even less.

And yes, I know this is how fascism starts. I was banging the drum about how even a darling of the right wing like Hayek's in his The Road to Serfdom warned of this, only all the idiots who read it thought Obama was the enemy, but he's the Well-Meaning Planner who fails and sets the stage for the Strong Leader to rise.

I don't think that will happen. I don't think it's just hope on my part, although I am feeling pretty gullible these days. I think our democracy is still robust enough to survive Trump and the Republicans.

Along the lines of what gore said, waybe Trump is the best thing that could have happened, because I actually don't fear Trump as much as I fear the Republicans who will be whispering in his ear. I actually hope Trump doesn't just take off like Zaphod Beeblebrox and leave someone like Pence in power. At least Trump serves as a powerful, highly visible symbol of the authoritarianism I think we're all afraid of. Reasonable Republicans are suspicious of him. Trump antagonizes when a more subtle fascist would play nice.

So in addition to liberals actually being liberals again, I think there are a lot of...let's say non-Clinton voters who still believe in American democracy enough that all they wanted was a government that can work, thinking they can always switch back to the Democrats like they did in 2006 when that first Bush term looked like a boot stamping "Halliburton" on a human face, forever.

Good post, C_P.

I'm not sure about your anti-gridlock protest voters/abstainers theory but I agree that's something we can work with.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

Actually be liberals again.

Actively working on it. We all should be.

For as many mistakes that were made in this election cycle, I think the way forward is via the democratic party. Now the question is whether they try to fix things or double down on mistakes when choosing the next DNC chair. I think the outcome of this election is going to galvanize and motivate a LOT of people into changing the face of this party but they'll all be starting at the bottom. We'll see.

Is morality a thing? I mean, I've had to apologize for so called "moral relativism" for decades now. Now that we've elected a man who admitted to sexual assault do morals matter outside of basic humanistic ethics?

another fine list of ways you can become involved in the kind of change we want in the world.

Don't get mad, get awesome.

I volunteered with my county's democratic party yesterday. I have a call with them later to talk about where I'm starting.

Still looking for a place to volunteer that lets me bring 4 year olds.

Oh there's also these folks. I've been trying to get my company involved in it for months but my timeline has moved up a bit.

Great! I bet they can be trained to stuff envelopes.

Hah, well yeah. We'll see. Youngest I've seen allowed to actually work WITH people was 8 so far. I don't know how much they'd get out of stuffing envelopes.

This thread's title conflates Democrat and Liberal. They may be your most liberal viable option in the US but in practice there are still further right than many other countries' rightmost parties.

What's more it seems they are still blaming the utter failure on external factors. It's the fundamental attribution error on the big stage.

There's probably a multitude of reasons 10 million fewer people voted for Obama in 08 than Clinton in 16, but fundamentally Obama famously ran on hope and change and all Clinton offered was business as usual.

Ten million voters were asking: "Hey that hope and change stuff from 08 was pretty great, can we have another shot of that?"

The DNC, while kicking Bernie out the back door, said: "Sorry, all we have is some "business as usual". It's not very fresh but for the first time a woman will be in charge. It's HISTORIC! You'll love it"

Ten million voters: "Well... that's not what I ordered."

The DNC: "Well it's either "business as usual" or the "regressive chaos" from those other guys"

Ten million voters: "I'm just going to go home."

The DNC: "Racist! Misogynist! Moron!"

And there you have it... If Trump isn't has bad as people expect him (and let's face it, expectations are so low he very much could be better) then you had better get ready for 8 years of Trump because the DNC isn't showing that it's ready to let go of the baggage that played a significant part in this mess.

Seriously did anyone actually believe Clinton was going to stand up to Wall Street?

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Tyops wrote:

Seriously did anyone actually believe Clinton was going to stand up to Wall Street?

No, but I didn't think "My only job is being my own lobbyist" Trump would either.

Mixolyde wrote:
Tyops wrote:

Seriously did anyone actually believe Clinton was going to stand up to Wall Street?

No, but I didn't think "My only job is being my own lobbyist" Trump would either.

Furthermore, a lot of Democratic voters don't actually seem to care about this issue.

After all, they re-elected Obama despite his massive bail out of Wall Street, why would Clinton have even suspected she would be weak on this front?

The only reason Wall Street became an issue was that Trump (and to a lesser degree Sanders) ignored the D/R "gentleman's agreement" to protect big banks and other monied interests from the voters. People decrying the power and influence of these institutions never had reason to suspect that either party would pay any attention to their concerns going into this race.

I'd argue that Trump's populist pandering on this topic is likely all empty bluster, and is unlikely to result in any kind of meaningful reform, but I suppose you never know.

gore wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:
Tyops wrote:

Seriously did anyone actually believe Clinton was going to stand up to Wall Street?

No, but I didn't think "My only job is being my own lobbyist" Trump would either.

Furthermore, a lot of Democratic voters don't actually seem to care about this issue.

Missing the point here.

Putting stuff like that out there doesn't help, even if Trump was also lying (all the time). When that same lie comes from the Dems/Clinton it supports the narrative of business as usual, same old crowd.

Also... using Trump as a reference point is so insufficient it isn't even funny. The Dems desperately need to look inward for answers.

Stay angry. That’s the only way to uphold principles in Trump’s America.

Let us study the roots of populism and ponder the nature of ethnonationalism, but let us also maintain our disgust at the low and malign politics that have just prevailed. There is no economic analysis that can extenuate bigotry. The scapegoating of otherness by miserable people cannot be justified by their misery. Resentment, even when it has a basis in experience, is one of the ugliest political emotions, and it has been the source of horrors. Trump’s road to power was manifestly a foul road, even if it was supported by millions of people. Wisdom is never to be found in numbers. Trump’s success vouches only for his strategy. It says nothing about his probity or his decency. Those Americans who are ashamed that we have elected as our president a man bursting with prejudices and lies are right. Their shame makes America great again.
There is no way to unite the view that one should deport the children of illegal immigrants with the view that one should not deport the children of illegal immigrants. This is what Martin Luther King Jr. meant when he deplored “the luxury of cooling off.” If the presidency of Donald Trump inspires anything, it should be a fierce spirit of opposition.
The prettification of Donald Trump has begun. When a crushed Hillary Clinton graciously asked that Trump be given “a chance to succeed,” I confess that I felt no such graciousness. This made me as small as Mitch McConnell, I know. But if Trump succeeds, America may fail; and it is America, its values and its interests, whose success matters most desperately to me. No cooling off, then. We must stay hot for America. The political liberty that we cherish in this precious republic is most purely and exhilaratingly experienced as the liberty to oppose.
Tyops wrote:

There's probably a multitude of reasons 10 million fewer people voted for Obama in 08 than Clinton in 16, but fundamentally Obama famously ran on hope and change and all Clinton offered was business as usual.

Should democrats really do like Obama and run on 'hope and change' that they have no chance of delivering.

Don't think it can be ruled out that disappointment in Obama had its share of responsibility for lower enthusiasm. Didn't 5 million less people vote for Obama in 2012 as well.

Obama's approval rating is 55%, though.

I can't remember the source, but some pundit recently described the Democrats under Obama as a party with a head but no body, which seems pretty apt to me.

Republicans' control of Congress and SCOTUS prevented much of the Dem's policies from being enacted over the past 8 years and I think that's because Dems never focused on building out their farm teams at the state and local level like the Republicans.

It's ironic that Republicans always say they can't stand gov't, yet they seem to be have a better grasp of how the wheels of power actually turn than our side of the fence ever does.

Maybe I should intern with a Republican state senator and learn the fine art of gerrymandering.

MrMetonymy wrote:

It's ironic that Republicans always say they can't stand gov't, yet they seem to be have a better grasp of how the wheels of power actually turn than our side of the fence ever does.

You have to understand something in order to destroy it.

Tyops wrote:

What's more it seems they are still blaming the utter failure on external factors. It's the fundamental attribution error on the big stage.

We see it right here on GWJ, with a number of people being really sure that it's either the fault of the stupid voters or the Bernie supporters. For whatever reason, they just don't want to believe that Hillary was not a good choice.

cheeze_pavilion wrote:

You've got to get someone to feel you emotionally before they'll listen to you rationally.

So much this. Bill Clinton was the master of this. Hillary, not so much.

Malor wrote:

We see it right here on GWJ, with a number of people being really sure that it's either the fault of the stupid voters or the Bernie supporters. For whatever reason, they just don't want to believe that Hillary was not a good choice.

Is there room in this narrative for those who think, rather than being one factor, it was a confluence of many? Somehow doubt it.

SpacePPoliceman wrote:

Is there room in this narrative for those who think, rather than being one factor, it was a confluence of many? Somehow doubt it.

A genuinely good candidate, one that offered voters what they wanted, would have gotten people to show up.

Ten million Democrats failing to vote is a damning indictment of the product on offer.

Almost everyone in this election was voting against, not for. And that responsibility is much more at the feet of the Democrats than the Republicans, because the Republicans didn't want Trump.

But they listened to what their voters wanted; at least to all available evidence, they gave Trump a fair chance and didn't preannounce the winner before the primaries even started. In retrospect, they probably should have won.

Thanks for the confirmation.

When the fundamental cause of the election loss is ten million people not showing up, then that's what needs to be focused on, no?

None of the other things that people talk about have anything, as far as I can see, with depressed Democratic voter turnout.... with the sole exception of the Republican efforts at vote suppression. But there's no way they held ten million out of the polls.

Hillary would have won crushingly if those folks had been there. They weren't.

So that's the question you need to answer. Why didn't they show up? What did the Democratic party do wrong?

Pointing your fingers at the voters isn't helpful. They're the bosses. They're the ones the Democrats are supposed to be serving, not themselves. If they couldn't be arsed to vote, that's a problem the Democrats own.

Malor wrote:

Pointing your fingers at the voters isn't helpful. They're the bosses. They're the ones the Democrats are supposed to be serving, not themselves. If they couldn't be arsed to vote, that's a problem the Democrats own.

When the bosses decide to go for a white supremacist mental toddler that is transparently unfit for the job, I would suggest they share a large degree of culpability.

I agree it's not exactly helpful* to straight up say it to their faces (because god forbid white dudes feel their safe spaces** have been violated and they get triggered by someone saying the r-word). But still, if you're going to have a full and frank accounting of the election, you're also going to have to deal with racism and misogyny being alive, well, and awfully appealing to a lot of voters.

*it's super cathartic though, especially if all you can do is helplessly stand by and watch as you guys self-immolate .

**everywhere