Well, That Happened

Not sure what else there is to say.  Michael Moore called it in July.

I am not sad, just low-grade angry and mostly numb. We are in for a lot of $hit.

But I am not entirely surprised. I have been telling myself that people couldn’t be so hateful to elect Trump, that reason would prevail and we’d elect Hillary.
It turns out, people are exactly that hateful. People are bigoted assholes who want the world to burn. People will vote for a man, literally any man, no matter how despicable, instead of a woman. The US is way more sexist than racist, and it is pretty fuckin’ racist.

There was nothing wrong with Hillary. She’s a smart and accomplished woman and would’ve made a great president. The campaign was run well. To whoever feels they can say “But people just don’t like her, I don’t know why,” the reason is sexism, the reason is misogyny. “But-but-but emails! Benghazi! Neo-con! Hawkish! Untrustworthy! Corrupt!” No. That is bullshit. The real reason is misogyny. The wish to punish uppity women. A candidate can do or say the most vile things imaginable about women, and he gets elected not despite of them, but precisely because of them, because enough male voters like what he’s saying and wish they could be saying and doing the exact same themselves. The parents of many of my students and perhaps the students themselves likely voted for Trump; these students will sit in my class and think that middle-aged women like me are pieces of meat past its consumption date and thus worth nothing, or even less than nothing because of my accent.

This is about returning the country to rich white men, as executed for the most part by the not-exactly-rich white men who think they are entitled to the same, and are sure they would totally be getting all they are entitled to if it weren’t for women, blacks, Latinos, gays, foreigners, and don’t forget the godless — none of them knowing their proper place! But Trump will show them all!

Fuck the bridge-the-divide bull$hit. You voted for Trump, you voted for the divide. You are hateful and I want nothing to do with  you.

I will probably be scared soon, as we are in for a world of $hit. We elected a misogynist, racist, and xenophobe. The Republicans now have the legislative and executive branches of the government under their control.

Right now I am angry, disappointed, and bugging my husband to move to Australia.


  1. And on top of the bigotry there’s the fact that he’s way too cozy with Putin. How the fuck did America elect a President who takes his cues from Moscow? Seriously?

    I’m jaded enough to not be completely surprised by the bigotry, but the idea that a dupe of Putin could become President? That’s completely alien to this guy who remembers the Cold War. The character defects of the electorate sit alongside some deep institutional and systematic failings when something like that happens.

  2. uh, if you want to get away from misogyny, Australia’s not the place to go…

    take a look at the treatment of Julia Gillard, which resulted in her famous misogyny speech before you make any plans!
    and some of Tony Abbott’s statements…

  3. Misogyny and many other forms of bigotry can be found far and wide in all human societies. What most people seek when moving is a society where those things are less common than in other societies, or at least one where the way things are run gives them a lever for pushback.

    Failing that, simply escaping a crumbling empire is good enough for some people. Human shittiness may be the same everywhere, but in some places the shitty humans don’t have to wonder if there will be hyperinflation tomorrow.

  4. Sure, people don’t think Hillary is likable. Whatever. But on what f-in planet is Trump likable? Planet Creepy Groper? By all accounts, the man is friendless.

  5. What I really don’t get is the large % of women who actually voted for Trump. Apparently they do not mind being treated like that or are already used to being treated like that or simply (like the rest of the Trump voters) do not care that the biggest bully on the playground just gets whatever he wants.

  6. We can all blame misogyny for this, and I can’t prove it didn’t play a part, but the data don’t really support that hypothesis. The fact is that this election looks exactly like the Gore/Bush-II election. They took a well-meaning, hard-working nerd and convinced everyone that he/she was a serial liar, then they convinced everyone that both sides were equally problematic. What happened is that people thought they were choosing between two evils (incorrectly!), so they tended to vote their “team” or not vote at all. In practice, a lot of it ends up being tribalism. Also, in practice, lots of people vote on single issues or a few specific issues (abortion, religion, low taxes), in large part because these issues have been assigned to one team or the other.***

    The statistics on the actual election numbers look like what happened are two effects. (1) Because the US is gerrymandered, certain states have more power than others, so it is possible to win the electoral college and lose the popular vote. (2) Both Clinton and Trump got fewer votes than Obama and Romney. For example, in Wisconsin, Trump got 4k fewer votes than Romney. Clinton got 243k fewer votes than Obama, which means that instead of winning Wisconsin by 200k, we lost Wisconsin by 20k. It is unclear whether this was explicit vote suppression (WI ID law confusion, PA ID law confusion, NC direct suppression) or a consequence of the news media mishandling information. But in either case, the problem isn’t that people came out to vote against Hillary – it’s that people did not come out to vote for her.

    *** Note – most people are often really really wrong on which team is better for these issues. There are fewer abortions when women have easy access to clinics and birth control. Allowing gay marriage is pro-family-values, because it creates healthy families for kids to grow up in. Vaccines save lives. Higher taxes and higher infrastructure spending creates more job opportunities and makes individuals wealthier (including the wealthy). A strong safety net increases job opportunities because it provides for the possibility of taking risks.

  7. “But in either case, the problem isn’t that people came out to vote against Hillary – it’s that people did not come out to vote for her.”

    Yes. The problem was NOT a higher amount of bigots voting for the republicans than usual. A small vocal minority of people love Donald Trump but the majority I’d say of the people who voted for him did it while holding their nose (like admittedly some Democrats did while voting Hilary).

    The main issue was that the Democratic base in the cites simply did not turn out. I like Hillary, I 100% voted for her, I even donated for her but compared to Obama I must admit I didn’t get quite as pumped up / involved in the campaign. Go down the line with that same sentiment and the result is that some of the people who voted for Obama simply didn’t vote. Not because they are sexists but because they didn’t feel quite as inspired to go (ok, yes, of course that could be in part because sexism too, but it could be the Al Gore effect). I found out with horror on election night that a family member didn’t bother to vote because although he despises Trump he didn’t like Hillary enough to bother going (this despite him being a strong advocate of Marriage equality and many other liberal issues).

  8. The fact that people couldn’t be bothered to come out and vote for Hillary against such an obviously atrocious opponent and in a year when the SCOTUS hangs in the balance and the congress is already Republican is definitely where we see how liberal a$$holishness and sexism comes to play. (There is plenty of sexism among the liberals, sadly.)

    To me, Hillary was very inspiring, as a woman presidential candidate. She is smart and very accomplished, and tough as nails. I was very excited about her presidency. But I suppose she does not have the same effect on Bernie Bros or really on most men because, you know, she’s a woman in her late 60’s with complex and nuanced talking points. I talked with my husband yesterday about it and he said, “Bernie said free college for all, that’s a much clearer message than free college below some income level, and a sliding scale for higher income etc etc.” What she proposed is actually much more likely to be the version that’s implemented, but apparently it’s not exciting because it’s not a easy to shout out in one breath.

    And don’t get me started with the obsession that a president should be someone who is inspiring and mesmerizing (are we joining a cult?) or someone we would like to have drinks with (I would actually enjoy having a drink with Hillary; she seems smart and with a great sense of humor).

    I think many women were inspired by Hillary but men just weren’t. I guess even liberal men want a charismatic male to represent them. In many men, she probably invokes some combination of grade-school teacher/librarian/grandmother vibe, and none of it is apparently inspiring. And let me paraphrase Madeline Albright’s words (“There is a special place in hell for women who do not support other women”): There is a special place in hell for women who voted against the first woman and overall an extraordinarily qualified presidential candidate or couldn’t be bothered to come out to vote at all.

  9. I just can’t figure out why people don’t like Hillary. The only plausible reason is misogyny.

    She’s been one of the greatest heroes of my life. CNN did a special on her life, I cried half the time, she was so inspirational.

    People said in 2008 the data don’t support misogyny, they just don’t like her that much. They’re saying something similar now.

    I say BS, misogyny every time.

  10. OK, for the record, I wanted Clinton to beat Trump because Trump is quite obviously far too dangerous to be entrusted with a large dog, let alone our domestic and foreign policy apparatus and security establishment.

    That said, you don’t have to be a misogynist to dislike the person who was Secretary of State when the US response to the people power revolutions of the Arab Spring was to arm rebels while tepidly supporting peaceful protest.

    It isn’t misogynistic to judge that former Secretary of State for her actions, or to mistrust her Wall Street ties. What’s misogynistic is to give Trump a pass for his objectively frightening aspects while judging Clinton harshly.

    I’m not in a swing state so I didn’t have to vote for Clinton. Had I been in a swing state I would have unhesitatingly voted for her to try to defeat Trump. But I would have had discomfort, because her problems as Secretary of State are real and cannot just be hand waved away.

  11. I cant (still) believe that this has happened. That is country I cherish so much has elected Trump to be the president. I just cant believe (or want to believe) that people can be so racist and misogynist. I am sure I see many of these people everyday who probably are very nice to me (only on the surface?).

    I want to cry. May be move to Canada. After all they elected a prime-minister who was all inclusive rather than the other way around.

  12. Xyk – For the record, as a man, I was absolutely inspired by Hillary. I’ve been a Hillary Clinton fan for decades. I think she’s incredibly talented, smart, hard-working, with a spine of steel, and has done a hell of a lot more to help the world than I will probably ever do. On the other hand, I was also a Gore fan. Call me crazy, but I’ve kind of always believed that an accomplished expert is going to do a better job than a con man. I know lots and lots of men who were far more inspired by Hillary Clinton than by Bernie Sanders. We can cry misogyny, but its not clear at all that it fits the data, and if it doesn’t fit the data, it doesn’t fit the data. I’m worried that people are going to blame this on misogyny and therefore either not run a woman again (Elizabeth Warren 2020!) or not solve the real problems (gerrymandering, voter suppression, problems with the American press).

    The American people didn’t vote for Hillary for the same reason they didn’t vote for Gore or Mondale or Adlai Stevenson. They don’t like nerds. Especially the press. Obama and Bill Clinton are both smart as hell, but they are also totally “cool” people. You have to think of the American press as being like kids in high school. They spend all their time trying to play with the cool kids and the way they do it is to pick on the nerds. Is this a good thing? No. Is this true? Yes.

    PS. Bernie would have lost in a landslide. Bernie never faced the kind of attacks that the republicans threw at Hillary. (In part, I think because they were hoping to face him.) By the time they were done, the American people would have considered him a hardened communist prepared to sell us out to the Red Menace. (Forget the fact that Russia just admitted they’ve been in contact with Trump’s team through the whole election. The draft-dodger George Bush was able to convince the American people that war-hero John Kerry lied about his time in VietNam.)

    We need to recognize that the American vote isn’t really about meeting in the middle. It’s about getting your base out to vote and making sure their vote counts in the right districts. When people don’t vote, republicans win because their voters have it easier and their low-intensity voters show up more than the democratic low-intensity voters.

  13. A candidate doesn’t “have to” be inspiring to be actually good as president. I voted for Clinton in the Primary as well, in part because of the fact that I thoguth she was a good, practical choice who would continue what Obama started. Also because woman president = f-yeah.

    However having an inspiring in terms of the mode of communication and message sent is apparently very important to getting the votes to get elected from many people. And in getting people to volunteer for your campaign. And the fact is Clinton didn’t light that much of a fire under people’s butts as Obama. I do think sexism among liberals was a component.

    But Clinton is also a reserved, polished, and poised person. That in itself I think did hurt her. Her answer to the question “why should you vote for me” unfortunately – at lest in many of her highest profile appearances – appeared to be “I’m not Donald trump” and “I have a great resume!” Those aren’t the kinds of reasons that get boots on the ground and apathetic voters to polls.

  14. FR, I am so sorry…

    My neighborhood is mostly white, but we have several Asian families (some from East Asia, some from the Indian subcontinent ). And then several houses up the street (all white married retirees in big houses, so probably among the wealthiest in the neighborhood) put up the Trump/Pence signs. What the fuck is their excuse other than that they are a$$holes? I can only imagine how that seems to my nonwhite neighbors.

    qaz: The American people didn’t vote for Hillary for the same reason they didn’t vote for Gore or Mondale or Adlai Stevenson. They don’t like nerds.

    That I totally believe. And that’s also completely infuriating. I am sick of alpha showmen always having the upper hand. I want us to elect a candidate for once who does not suffer from the goddamn Dunning-Kruger effect.

    I agree about Bernie — as a socialist Jew, he would have likely crashed and burned in the general election.

    I don’t understand are all the people who sat at home because they didn’t like her enough or approve of her record enough, when it wasn’t the case of her versus a reasonable comparable candidate. It was her and her record (with all its imperfections) against a man who is just freakin’ terrifying along any axis.

    I am just so angry. This should have never happened.


  15. At the risk of being even more of a nerd, read Hofstadter’s Anti-intellectualism in American Life if you want to know why Americans hate nerds. Even a lot of smart people get in on the nerd hate via progressive educational fads.

  16. Yes, it’s because too many people in this country hate women and non-whites, and also love acting like total jerks. Trump tellls them it’s perfectly OK to act like jerks, and they love it!

    I live in the only remaining midwestern “blue” state, supposedly a bastion of midwestern “nice”. I was driving 100 miles on the highway to the nearest large city early last Sunday morning. Confusingly, I kept getting “run off the road” by aggressive drivers going 80-85 miles per hour. Kind of scary! It wasn’t the usual crowd of Sunday drivers, and it was also really different from the happy but maybe sort of drunk crowd that you have to look out for if you are driving anywhere before or after a football game or a rock concert…so I was puzzling about it.

    But then yet another jerk blew by me going at least 90 and weaving around, and flipped me off like I was offending them by driving on the same road that morning and going only 10 over the limit. I noticed the rascist flag on their bumper as they cut too close in front of me just to make their point – and then it hit me – Trump must be holding a rally in the cities. And yes, the news later in the day confirmed this.

    So that’s what we have to look forward to the next 4 years!

    Actually, its been going towards this direction recently, out here, it’s not just all of the sudden. People are distinctly less friendly, less civil. My kids get called names at school because they are hispanic, and they are also regularly told by the other kids that we are going to hell just because we don’t attend the local church. My elderly next-door neighbor, an old guy who I tried really hard to chat with and make friends with, basically had a fit one day last year and tried to start a fist fight with my boyfriend because…?….I was a “worthless divorced woman living off my ex-husband’s money” (as if!). He also reported me to the city for planting a tree in my yard that he didn’t like (the city just said, what?).

    It’s like everyone’s lost their minds. I blame the lies spread by Fox news and those churches. When did preaching intolerance and hatred become the main thing for Christians to believe in?

  17. There are still 2 midwestern blue states: Minnesota and Illinois. Having been brought up in the midWest, I had higher opinions of the area than I now think are justified. I’m glad that my Dad moved to Colorado.

  18. Ok, I will have to disagree with the overall sentiment here. Sure there are mysogynists and racists in the Trump camp, but they did not decide the election. It’s the people who were fed up with promises and getting the short end of the stick by the establishment. Hillary represented more of the same: ties with wall street, globalization, the affordable care act that made healthcare less affordable for many people etc. Whether their hope in Trump is justified is very doubtful, but the voters were just fed up. Republican voters were fed up enough to vote for Trump, and democrats were fed up enough to not vote. We in the academic bubble really care about values such as racial and marriage equality, but to a vast majority of people these are just non-issues. There is a good chance that they see people of color rarely if ever and they talk about their gay uncles in hushed tone over dinner table. They just don’t give a damn about these things, but they care about factories being shut down and their insurance premiums going up. If liberal forces want to win elections, they need to connect to these voters, like Obama did when he ran for office.

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