I’ve noticed something miraculous over the last couple days. The election of Donald Trump has proven just about everyone right. Not in terms of their predictions – obviously most people predicted the outcome of the election incorrectly – but in terms of their preconceptions. Miraculously, a host of varied preconceptions have all been verified by the same event.
I’m no different. Even though I believed the polling that almost uniformly predicted a Clinton victory, I still believed that in selecting Clinton as their nominee, the Democratic Party had placed itself on the wrong side of history, and sooner or later there’d be hell to pay. I believed the party establishment was consciously encouraging the bigotry of the other side, so as to frame their own corruption as the reasonable, ethical, alternative to casting the whole nation – the whole world, even – into a flaming basket of deplorables. Those cynical, self-serving, fucks, I said to myself, are going to blow it all up.
So, when the election results came in, with the Green Party polling less than 1%, I wrote:
On the upside, the Green Party has done so poorly nationwide that the Democrats are going to have to come up with some other way of understanding why they lose.
This prediction, similarly, proved pretty far from the mark. There have been some exceptions, but rather than overwhelming contrition at choosing one of the least trusted politicians in the country over the most trusted, many Democrats have simply doubled down on what they already believed. Just like in the year 2000, when Al Gore lost his own home state and more Democrats in Florida voted for George W Bush than for Ralph Nader, it was the tiny fraction of people who voted their “conscience” who “cost” Hillary the election.
Similarly, those people convinced that opposition to Hillary was fundamentally misogyny, have in her electoral college defeat only discovered just how horrifyingly much this is true.
Even the friend who believes everything is a conspiracy and media mirage, from ISIS to Trump voters, found in Trump’s victory a confirmation of his worldview.
It is, it seems, the rare American who didn’t.