Election 2016

by on May 8, 2017 in Politics

With the daily show that is Trump, along with it overt corruption and pandering to the plutocracy, I sometimes ponder what if …

I was never a Clinton fan: she is a vestige of the neoliberal turn the Democrats took as they quaked at the feet of Reagan, but she would have been better than Trump.

Except the Machiavellian in me also wonders whether it was necessary for the Democrats to get whipped so they could re-focus on their historic mission. What’s the saying? Burn the village to save the village?

Anyway, another irritant last year was the obvious bias in the Democratic primary calendar which was heavily skewed to the South early on. This was a deliberate design to ensure that the front-runner was acceptable to those genteel more moderate folk who vote down there, and was a method to avoid the emergence of a too-liberal-to-be-elected character that the neoliberal establishment of the party has decided would be a November failure.

How did that work out?

Not very well.

One of the tropes we all heard during the primary season was the long held and deep loyalty, almost fealty, that black voters have to the Clintons. Bernie Sanders, in contrast, was routinely denigrated for not having empathy for minority voters. In those Southern primaries Clinton piled up the black vote and Bernie lagged well behind. Legendary black civil rights leaders were constantly in the media issuing rallying cries and calling for black voters to turn out to defend the Obama legacy. That early black voting was a major difference in the Democratic primary race because it left Bernie with too much ground to make up later on.

So today, when I learn that black turn-out dropped sharply in November, and especially in the rest belt mid-Western states that gave the electoral college win to Trump, I get more than a little upset. Yes, the report that brings us this information also shows that white turn-out rose as well, but it is the drop in black voter turn-out that catches my eye. If the entire purpose of the rigged primary sequence was to ensure a Clinton win, and along with it her ability to get her loyalists to vote in November, then someone in the Democratic upper echelons has to be wondering whether it was worth it. The decline in black turn-out in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin was sufficient to explain the Trump win without any reference at all to white turn-out.

So: how did that work out?

Not very well at all.



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