As of Monday afternoon, Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency, according to FiveThirtyEight, stood at 58.9 percent in their “polls plus” model, which accounts for economic and historical data. North Carolina, Ohio, and Florida, three critical swing states, have moved from light blue to light red. Nevada is a toss-up and New Hampshire is on its way there. National trendlines show similar movement. Donald Trump has all but erased Hillary Clinton’s substantial post-convention lead. He now has a plausible — if still improbable — path to 270 electoral votes.
It’s time to castigate those responsible.
What? No! you say. We have to take the high road. If we demonize anyone with opposing viewpoints, we’re no better than they are! You can cram that carpet-square shit directly up your unlubricated stinkhole. If you’re someone helping to ensure an incompetent grifter ends up in the White House, you’re an egocentric prick who doesn’t care about anything beyond yourself. Or you’re stupid. You can pick. But you must choose one.
Two groups bear primary responsibility for making a Trump presidency conceivable: infantile progressives still mad that Clinton stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders by getting four million votes than him, and mainstream conservatives who refuse to distance themselves from the Republican candidate despite recognizing the threat he poses and the damage he’s done to their brand.
Perpetually intransigent progressives, obsessed with drawing lines in the sand over pipelines and Goldman $achs speeches while the nation threatens to unravel, remain wary of Clinton less than seven weeks before Election Day. Recent data suggests her struggles appealing to the Obama coalition could be a fatal flaw. Many lefties claim they’ll stay home. Others plan to throw their support behind Liberpublican Gary Johnson, a kook in mainstream clothing who wants to repeal the income tax and return to the gold standard, or DOCTOR JILL STEIN, MEDICAL DOCTOR M.D (a counterargument will be provided tomorrow). These naïve, selfish, protest-voting idealists who think writing in Harambe will precipitate the decline of the two-party system have become such a concern that Bernie Sanders was forced to cut his month-long maple-syrup bath short to condemn the action.
“This is not the time for a protest vote, in terms of a presidential campaign,” Sanders said. “I ran as a third-party candidate. I’m the longest-serving independent in the history of the United States Congress. I know more about third-party politics than anyone else in the Congress, okay? And if people want to run as third-party candidates, God bless them! Run for Congress. Run for governor. Run for state legislature. When we’re talking about president of the United States, in my own personal view, this is not time for a protest vote. This is time to elect Hillary Clinton and then work after the election to mobilize millions of people to make sure she can be the most progressive president she can be.”
His message: grow the fuck up, children. There’s nothing progressive about helping to elect a racist, bigoted, inept autocrat who could easily bring about economic and societal ruin in less time than it takes for Sebastian the Cage-Free Barista to make your artisanal yak semen smoothie. Clinton is far more likely to fight for the liberal issues you’re passionate about than a guy who gleefully swipes right on Russian dictators. Rationalize your myopic decision to throw your vote in the garbage or hand it to Donald Trump however you want. Doesn’t change the calculus. Bernie Sanders lost. Liz Warren is not on the ballot. Johnson and Stein deservedly have no chance at becoming president. Your choices are Hillary Clinton, or Armageddon. Get your heads out of your gluten-free assholes and do your fucking civic duty. Because if you don’t, no one will have a shred of sympathy for your whining when President Trump doesn’t just raise college tuition, but forces you to recruit two other people to the same university before you’re accepted.
You probably think this is pretty funny, don’t you, mainstream conservatives? Cannibalistic liberals overly concerned with fixing a leaky faucet while a gushing water main destroys everything in the basement will hand Republicans the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court. You all are even worse. Trump may have climbed from your primordial cesspool, but he’s anathema to the pillars of conservatism — fiscal and personal responsibility, integrity, rigid constitutionality, competent foreign policy — you purportedly hold dear. And you’re acting like this toupeed toddler is Ronald Reagan brought back to life by his son, Jesus.
You’re supposed to be the smart ones. Yet you’re willfully allowing yourselves to be swindled by a career con man who’s shown nothing but contempt for anyone with the gall to pay taxes, or demand compensation for time worked, or contributed a dime of their own money to charity. The out of work truck drivers, laid-off line workers, the single moms unable to afford child care, the underpaid high school grads begging for shifts behind the bar to avoid eviction who wait in line for hours at his rallies because they believe in his simple solutions to the world’s intractable problems are smart enough to know the truth: he doesn’t give a fuck about you. Because you can’t advance his lot. Because you can’t afford to play golf at his courses. Because you can’t make a lawsuit disappear. You’re voting against your own interests because an irresponsible press corps sold you on a Clinton caricature that you refuse to question despite incalculable evidence to the contrary. This is your own fault.
Want to blame Trump on the far-right party “fringe?” Too bad. Take some personal responsibility, party of personal responsibility. It’s true that not every Trump supporter is a racist asshole, or a bigoted asshole, or even a garden-variety asshole. Many can’t stand Hillary for reasons beyond the fact that she’s a woman. Political affiliation matters just as much to Republicans as it does Democrats; most Trump supporters I talk with openly admit he’ll get their vote because he’s the guy — and it’s always a guy on that side — with the R next to his name. But Hillary’s math on the deplorables was a lot closer than the media wants to admit. The white nationalist, anti-intellectual, Islamophobic, homophobic, racist contingent is real and shouldn’t be dismissed as a mere vocal minority, but Trump isn’t even the nominee let alone a viable contender 50 days out without significant backing from mainstream conservatives. Own your sins. Suffer the consequences.
Here’s the reality: I’m a straight, white, college-educated man in my early 30s from a solid middle-class family. I’m lucky enough to have a great, well-paying job in a growing industry. My wife is also college educated with a great career. Our daughter attends a fantastic daycare and doesn’t want for much. I’m saying this not to brag. I realize how fortunate we are. The point is that I’m unlikely to be harmed by a Trump presidency, by a Trump-led GOP Congress, by Trump Supreme Court nominees. When the repercussions from his incompetent regime ripple out across the nation, they’ll hit me far later than they will the high-school educated factory worker, or the six-person family that depends on public assistance to put food on the table, or the couple denied basic rights for the capital crime of loving someone with the same sexual organs.
Barack Obama famously reminded America that elections have consequences. You don’t have to like Clinton. You don’t have to agree with some or even any of her positions. You do need to understand that she is the only individual running for president qualified to hold office, the only one who respects the position, the only one with the temperament and intelligence required to command our military might, adeptly navigate byzantine foreign policy waters, seriously address economic inequality, and promote prosperity and security for all Americans, regardless of socioeconomic status or party affiliation. Donald Trump will harm this country far more than the Islamic terrorists and corporate banksters feared by their respective parties. Anyone too stubborn or too stupid to see that deserves the fallout.