Published at 10:15 on 26 November 2016
Talking to Establishment Democrats (like I did on Thanksgiving) can be so frustrating.
The executive summary of their arguments went something like this: Donald Trump won because he didn’t play fair. He told lies. Plus, he won because voters were stupid racists and thus too mentally defective to realize Hillary was by far the better candidate.
Me: Well, let’s look at this. Trump lied a lot, no disagreement there. All politicians lie. If you decide to play the campaign-for-office game and play it in such a way that you can’t defend against your opponent using the well-known Big Lie technique, that means you’re simply not competent at campaigning. Sorry.
Establishment Dem: But that’s not fair! And Trump was so racist! And those racist voters voted for that racist! They’re stupid and racist!
Me: Many of those same “stupid, racist” voters voted twice to send a Black man to the White House. Look at the election results for 2008 and 2012 if you don’t believe me. Many of them backed Sanders in the primary (again, look at the election results). Trump actually did slightly better with woman and minorities than Romney (exit polls prove this). Voter racism lay in being willing to stomach Trump’s racism while voting for his message of shaking up a system that’s shafted them for decades. Much milder stuff than actually wanting to be as racist as Trump.
Establishment Dem: Sanders? Come on! You know what the conventional wisdom says about the chances of a Jewish socialist being elected to the presidency?
Me: The same thing your conventional wisdom said about the likes of Donald Trump being elected to that office, and the same thing it said about the UK voting to leave the EU. The best available evidence suggests your conventional wisdom is invalid.
Establishment Dem: Come on, you can’t believe Sanders could do everything he promised!
Me: I don’t. Odds are, if it was Trump versus Sanders, the coattails effect would have given the Democrats the Senate but gerrymandering would have kept the House Republican. So his would be a failed presidency, due to inability to deliver on most promises thanks to an uncooperative Congress. Still, you’ll have to agree that’s a much better outcome than a President-Elect Trump with a solidly Republican congress.
Establishment Dem: (silence)
Really, now, what would you say if you ran a business that was struggling to attract customers, and you hired an ad agency to help correct this, and their advice to you was: “You have no need to do market research or to question your business strategy. The problem is that your customer base is too stupid to realize you have the best products. You must denounce that base for their stupidity, and publicly belittle them until they repent and become your customers.”
You’d say your adman was nuts, you’d fire him, hire another ad agency, and tell all your friends what a total idiot that adman is, of course. Yet that’s just what the Establishment Democrats apparently think is a valid strategy.
And they wonder why they lose elections.