Go ahead, blame racism, misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia. It’s sooo easy to throw it off on someone else. It feels magnificent to retroactively, automatically define your values as the most important ones and those of others as inconsequential and selfish. Make no mistake: Trump’s presidential win was the fault of the Democratic Party. They chose a demonstrably corrupt, very rich, connected insider candidate over one — Bernie Sanders — shown by polling to have a better edge over all Republican candidates. It was a spectacular failure of the Clinton machine to consider the impoverished, postindustrial Midwest as a given despite decades of policy neglect. Hillary Clinton herself underestimated just how very unlikeable a person she is. Trump is a sack of trash but that’s just how little people like Clinton and fear her Beltway aura. Liberals are melting down across the Internet, exposing their biases and breathtakingly narrow comprehension of the universes inhabited by others.
Take one of my Facebook friends, you know the type: the gripey liberal who posts everything about their life in dramatic terms, where everything is a personal attack on them and everything bad that has ever happened to them is the fault of someone else, someone else BAD and DUMB. Only they know how the world should be, and that world is one in which they uniquely thrive and their values rule. This person posted, early on Election Day, that anyone who voted for “him” or is a “special snowflake” who cast a protest vote or anyone who didn’t vote should unfriend them now.
But the plain fact is all the people who voted for Clinton could have voted for Jill Stein, or Workers World Party candidate Monica Moorehead. But they didn’t want to. Because these people represent an actual left wing, whereas Clinton is a status-quo neoliberal who will only take a token amount of their money and privilege — enough to assuage their guilt and quench their equally token thirst for social justice — but not completely rearrange the playing field so that those born in an immovable class position no longer have to beg for scraps. The special snowflakes are actually these gainfully employed, well-educated people who have so little to worry about materially that they can’t even imagine a demographic, a white demographic especially, which would feel so desperate and afflicted that they could vote… differently. Nobody questions why Clinton lost the formerly unshakably Democratic Rust Belt? Because racism I guess. Because trans bathrooms probably. Yeah that’s it. Not their entire world having collapsed around them — literally in large part thanks to Bill Clinton — and nobody offering them a hand up aside from a meager handout.
It’s breathtaking to witness rich people — yes, rich, by any useful sense of the word — spit vicious hatred at desperate people suffering generations of poverty. Already there’s a preemptive theme on my social media that no, actually, urban liberals who care super hard about minorities and LGBT+ etc. actually are better than the backwater shitstains who only care about themselves, food on the table or no. We care! Like, a lot! And anyone who says anything else well that’s bullshit, and I don’t have to back it up because I’m literally paid to create the dominant media narrative of the world. Another friend posted that he’d get behind an Obama-led coup, because “democracy only works when the population is educated,” presumably to his level and above. If Clinton had won and a Trump supporter said something similar the ghost of Janet Reno would be dropping napalm while my friend here cheered at the aroma of crackling skin.
Some less vengeful liberals are posting things they consider uplifting — “the fight has just begun!” — but even these betray their biases. “Let’s organize to help those who will be most devastated by this election.” Fine, yes. But this is happening at the same time half the continent is dying the slow death of disinvestment. Even in their own backyards, during the Obama presidency, did they do much more than repost Black Lives Matter memes? Did they call for the massive redistribution of wealth within their own cities that would have made a true difference to black lives? Naw. This would have endangered their own comfortable financial position and frankly, aesthetic environment. These are the bringers and beneficiaries of gentrification, after all, despite their mild, occasional social-media handwringings. Too much hope and change is well, a little too far. And that’s why they vote Democrat, and for Clinton, and not Green, or WWP, or the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Because socialism and liberation is too much too soon, and they have 401ks to which to contribute.
Please explain to me this scenario. A Seattle-area friend who lives in the farther working-class suburbs came to work to his inner-city, wealthy liberal coworkers bitching that his neighbors “voted us into fascism.” In the same breath, this rich shit complained about the passing of a transportation bill that would raise their taxes: “If they want Trump so bad they can pay for their own buses.” Here’s someone who probably calls themselves a progressive attacking actually existing progressivism because their taxes will go up a split hair, and potentially benefit unworthy types, “deplorables.” Maybe these people wouldn’t feel the need to “shake things up” if they had had what they needed to thrive all along. But then your misty piney mossy café-flanked Seattle townhome might have to fit only one Subaru in the garage.
A friend told me that today, the NY subways were silent. Good. I bathe in and relish your temporary tears you sniveling little brats. You’re sulking all the way to your gainful, benefit-saturated employment in a world-class city where you have the benefit of infinite opportunities and cultural activities. The cares of this world will not truly brush up against your plush existence outside of the pages of the New Yorker. That “evil” Trump voter, who on the flip side is enjoying this temporary glee, will wake up tomorrow still underemployed in a backwater with poor infrastructure and few prospects for advancement. They don’t even have free internships to complain about in these places. In many cases, your employment may literally be something that ensures their continued unemployment: an investment bank, a tech firm, an apparel company sending work overseas. So liberals: check your overwhelming fucking privilege, you whiny shitbags.
Don’t worry. You actually won, because you always win. It’s hard to take your play anguish seriously when you fail to see just how fabulous your life is, GOP control or no. And all the profitable wars Clinton would have continued and expanded? Don’t worry, a Trump administration will surely create plenty of opportunities to make a killing in defense stocks. Now get out there and do something meaningfully revolutionary or shut right the fuck up.