Let’s all make a New Year’s Resolution for 2017: no more hand-wringing about why Hillary Clinton didn’t win the Electoral College.
In the days following the dark night of November 8, I have been mystified as to why most Democrats and progressives didn’t come to the obvious conclusion that the Electoral College win of the, shall we say, uncharitable Republican nominee was a fluke, that there was nothing Clinton really could have done to avoid such a fluke, that sometimes stuff happens. Clinton didn’t lose the Electoral College because of identity politics, or because she ran a bad campaign, or because “Make America Great Again” was a more compelling slogan than “Stronger Together.” She lost the Electoral College because Trump got lucky. On any given Election Day, any candidate can beat any other candidate. Democratic self-flagellation is not needed.
Can we also resolve to knock it off with the “Bernie would have beaten Donald” stuff? That’s like arguing that Bill Bradley would have kicked George W. Bush’s rear end in 2000. Sanders supporters are merely speculating when they make this sort of argument; how would Sanders have dealt with the right-wing media infrastructure striking down upon him with great vengeance and furious anger in an general election? Those who insist that Sanders would have stomped on Trump are arguing, in essence, that everyone who voted for Clinton in the Democratic primary made a mistake. Really?
Democrats and progressives should spend their intellectual energy developing strategies to strip the bark off of Donald Trump, not continuing to lament a fluke outcome. If a superior team with a superior coach and a superior quarterback loses the Super Bowl to an inferior team with an inferior coach and an inferior quarterback, and it’s obvious to every spectator watching that the inferior team got lucky, the superior team shouldn’t spend the offseason despondent over the upset loss, but determined to dominate the next season and the playoffs, in order to get another shot at the trophy.
The Democratic team still has plenty of skilled players, more than capable of dealing with the Republican team’s bending and breaking of the rules. Those players will be as aggressive as ever in the face of the adversity that has befallen the franchise. They’ll have to be, because in so many respects, they’ll have to play the game of a lifetime.
As climate activist Peter Sinclair notes, even if Trump had lost the Electoral College, we’d still have to mobilize to resist right-wing wickedness:
I spoke briefly at an event last night. My message:
Even if Hillary had won the election, without a major shift in Congress, Washington could at best hold the line. Most action would continue to be local, city, and state level.
Given the dramatic activation that we are seeing in people across the world in response to the current attack on Democracy – we need to provide avenues for a new era of climate action.
Now is the time for activists to envision and demand the highest goals possible for climate and renewable energy.
Watchwords are LOCAL, VOCAL, and NEVER BACK DOWN.
The fossil fuel industry is no longer even bothering with Sock puppets like Bush, Condi Rice, and Dick Cheney. The sock is discarded and now we see the naked fist, in the person of Rex Tillerson, and Vladimir Putin.
They are mad. They are crazed with greed, and completely out of touch with the realities of life on planet earth…
If Congress is not willing to put a price on carbon, the people who understand science, and love life, will have to impose one of our own. The protesters at Standing Rock have shown the way. Look for that action to be a template for resistance to fossil fuel development at every level, in every state, in every country.
In addition, we will be creating new ways for local groups to advocate renewable energy development in their local areas, cities, municipalities. Look for more on this in the coming year.
My parents taught me that the highest constitutionally defined office in the United States of America is not a congressman, a Senator, or even the President.
It is the citizen. Every one of us.
The moment that you find clarity of purpose, and act decisively, you become, if only for a microsecond, the center point of the turning universe.
Mr. Trump, and Mr Putin, may think that they are powerful.
They do not know real power. They have not seen real power. They are about to find out what Admiral Yamamoto found out, and they will see what an awakened Humanity can do – in defense of our children, our grandchildren, the next 50,000 generations of human beings, and all our family of beings on this tiny but beautiful planetary home.
Sinclair’s powerful words apply not just to climate, but to any issue where Trump is on the wrong side (which is to say, virtually all of them).
The time for mourning is over. The time for momentum is now. History is indeed written by the winners. Who do you want writing that history?
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