If you want a bright side to the US elections, consider Paddy Power, the Irish bookmaker who lost a huge chunk of cash after paying out early to those who put money on a Clinton win.
Enjoying the misfortune of a representative of the bloodsucking gambling industry may be grasping at straws, but as we await the race between a nuclear holocaust and climate change-induced eco-holocaust, we might as well take what we can get. As for Paddy Power, they can at least make their money back offering decent odds on the nuclear option.
Now, I am not saying that the self-described Greatest Democracy on Earth™ has some issues, but the US has just elected as president a KKK-endorsed reality TV star and accused child rapist in a contest against a warmongering Wall Street mannequin who makes Darth Vader look like a cuddly, loveable “voice of the people”.
And this is the very pinnacle of capitalist democracy. I am not saying the crisis in the US is systemic, but the US system right now resembles a giant sewer pipe that has burst, giving those of its victims lucky enough to be called “citizens” a choice between getting piss or shit pumped into their living rooms. And a few seem to have decided they were so sick of the stench of urine they’re willing to give shit a chance.
How badly have the Democrats fucked up? Well, they managed to help impose a status quo so hated they couldn’t mobilise enough votes to beat an orange baboon obsessed with the size of his hands.
In their defeat, the Democrats were helped by big limits on US democracy, which, of course, the Democrats helped engineer — or have failed to stop. Trump didn’t win the popular vote, the Voter Rights Act that guaranteed Black votes that was won 50 years ago has been rolled back; there were serious issues with voter suppression; and there were hundreds fewer polling booths in minority voter areas.
So Trump was right, the vote was rigged. Just against the people he hates.
You want irony? Consider that millions of Black people, as current or ex-felons, cannot vote at all thanks in no small part to the mass incarceration policies pushed by Clintonite Democrats. They weren’t even able to cast a vote to defend themselves against a force even more dangerous to their interests than those responsible for their privatised, forced labour prison Hell.
It is said this was a working-class rebellion against the establishment, which is true if your vision of the working class excludes the people who do shit like growing the food and cleaning the homes. You know, the ones Trump called rapists (and I guess he’d know).
It is also true that almost 75% of those with a vote in the US did not cast it for Trump and presumably there is a worker or two among them.
No doubt there was a strong anti-establishment sentiment behind much of Trump’s minority vote. But then again, there was also a reasonable dose of extreme bigotry too.
When Trump supporters chanted “We don’t like Muslims, we don’t like Blacks, we want our country back”, it is unlikely this was code for “we need to be more concerned about the impacts of pro-corporate trade deals on our nation’s manufacturing industry and its flow-on effect to a drastically weakened working and middle class”.
It is likely they meant they don’t like Muslims and they don’t like Blacks.
And when Trump supporters at Sydney University responded to Trump’s win by chanting “grab them by the pussy, that’s how we do it!”, it is unlikely they meant “What Australian politics needs is a genuine outsider to take on a corrupt, out of touch political class and reverse the neoliberal economic policies causing a serious decline in living standards”.
It is likely they meant they like sexually assaulting women.
Now the blame game is underway and the Democrats are casting around for anyone but themselves to pin this on. One target is the Green Party’s Jill Stein and her supporters, who with fuck-all air time and a tiny pool of resources, allegedly took enough votes from Clinton to give Trump key states. As opposed to the brutal, corrupt, alienating and odious policies implemented by Democrats giving Trump key states.
Another target is Bernie Sanders and, in particular, the famed “Bernie Bros”. That is obviously who is to blame for Trump’s win. Those who warned that if you make Clinton the candidate as opposed to Sanders, who polled much stronger against Trump, then Trump might win. It is like blaming your doctor for lung cancer after they suggested it was time to quit smoking.
There is actually hope in the US. The racists, like the KKK, who are planning a victory march, are being out-mobilised on the streets by those who understand than the 25.7% of the vote of registered voters Trump got is no mandate. And they aren’t waiting for any more politicians who helped cause the crisis in the first place to save them.