Election 2016

“Didn’t Vote” Won in a Landslide

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

In all but a handful of states, the most popular choice in the 2016 election was nobody.

As you can see above, only a small cluster of states saw more people vote than stay at home and if you only counted those states, Hillary Clinton actually would have won.

Unfortunately, the electoral college will install Trump as our next president soon even though Hillary Clinton currently leads by over 1 million (and growing) votes nationally.

But just because a whole hell of a lot of people decided to stay home on election day doesn't mean they'll refrain from complaining when their own lives become miserable. When the Republican Congress moves to privatize Medicare and Social Security, the people who stayed home on election day may complain louder than anyone, and I'm going to remind them that they're responsible for it.

I'm still trying to piece together how I feel about this election, but right now it looks and feels awfully familiar to the 2000 election.

We had a qualified Democratic candidate torn down by the political press and 3rd party agitators and an unqualified buffoon was elected while losing the popular vote. The only thing missing was hanging chads.

But the consequences of this election will be far more severe. George W. Bush may look like a relatively good alternative in the very near future.

  • zac

    Contrary to popular belief, many Hillary/Democrat voters were at work…

  • mnpollio

    Isn’t the “didn’t vote” statistic fairly normal for the U.S.? My understanding has been that at least for the past three generations or so that voter turnout has consistently been under 50%.

  • muselet

    John Oliver was in fine form last night:

    He didn’t just snark, he gave some good—and, alas, necessary—advice on making it through the near future.


    • Badgerite

      He said what we all feel. Especially the last part.

  • Aynwrong

    Said this before and I’ll keep saying it. If you in anyway consider yourself a Liberal, a Progressive, a Democrat or just rational and you didn’t vote or voted for Johnson, Stein or just stayed home the one thing you clearly did not have in mind was the rights of your fellow Americans.

    • Badgerite

      Seriously. Susan Sarandon’s big issue was supposedly the death penalty. And they just blew any chance of putting a jurist on the Court who would even consider any fresh look at this issue.
      The left. Pass the beer nuts. And the beer.

  • Georgie

    I had a Sanders supporter tell me she felt vindicated since trump got elected, I just couldn’t even respond other than, “well, good luck with that”.

    • mnpollio

      I was/am a Sanders supporter, happily voted for Hillary Clinton, and you have my permission to slap her (oh dear, that Trump misogyny is starting to infiltrate me).

  • Username1016

    How we gonna fight back when voter suppression is gonna be the law of the land? With a packed Supreme Court to uphold it? I am not optimistic. This may be Game Over.

  • I’ve lost hope that Republican malfeasance will result in Democratic gains. Going back 35 years, Democratic Presidencies have been objectively better for the economy, and foreign relations than Republican Presidencies, but voters keep rewarding Republicans. The W Bush administration was a clusterfudge of epic proportions and eight years later, after a successful Democratic President, Americans just elected someone much, much worse than W on every level. I’m not convinced that Americans can overcome 40+ years of Republican propaganda.

    • Badgerite

      Never underestimate the effect of a major ‘news’ outlet being nothing more than a propaganda arm of corporate America and one of the major political parties.

      • Fox has got to go…some how, some way

        • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

          Maybe someone could build a Wall™ around it?

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    Just a reminder that:

    A) I supported Bernie, but voted for Clinton in the general and convinced my Republican wife to do the same.
    B) I’m not convinced Bernie could have won that general.. Maybe? It’s not worth Monday night quarterbacking.
    C) This is going to suck. Hard. But it’s not the end of the world. We survived 8 years of W, we can handle 8 years 4 years of Trump. Moping won’t help
    D) Think long-term. This could virtually guarantee an entire generation of new liberals (the same way the young were turned off by W). When the boomers get around to dying off, it’s going we’re going to run the table for decades.

    • Badgerite

      Possibly. Think long term is certainly a good idea. Certainly there will come a time when the KKK and their like will die off. It can’t happen too soon for me. But one generation is followed by another and there are no guarantees.

      • Kitty Smith

        Don’t get your hopes up. They survived this long, despite the tide being turned against them.

        If you want them to die off, you’re going to have to do it yourself.

    • Aynwrong

      From your lips to God’s ears my friend.

    • mnpollio

      I have a hunch that Trump will end up making Bush look like a cakewalk. Plus, if he and his minions roll back Obamacare and replace it with nothing, as indicated by the Turtle, there are going to be a fair number of people whose actual health is impacted. Everyone in my office has Obamacare. We were encouraged to get it. I believe there was a someone who posted here the other day about their spouse’s life depending on that insurance and their terror of having it taken from them. Somehow I don’t think people in those boats find the outlook of try to hold out another 4-8 years as much comfort if they won’t live to see it. It would be nice if more Democrats were speaking about standing strong, but alas what we are hearing from the majority is the same old tired hooey about reconciliation and working together and hands across the aisle and hope for a better time and whatnot. Then again, the majority of people in Congress who in much better financial positions than the rest of us and can easily afford to sanction this bunk.

      • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

        but alas what we are hearing from the majority is the same old tired hooey about reconciliation and working together

        That’s because our side is filled with reasonable grown ups.

        They are patriots who believe the Red Shirts are the opposition, not the enemy. We want America to succeed more than we want to just win. I cannot say the same for the Republican Party (as distinct from the Republican voter).

        We should work together where we can find common ground. And where we cannot yield, we should plant our feet like a goddamn oak beside the river of truth and give not one single angstrom.

        But outright defiance and delegitimization – the politics of personal destruction as practices by the Red Shirts since Obama’s election – that serves no Greater Good beyond the desire to win at all costs. It weakens our union, divides brother against brother. And just because they did it does not mean we should follow suit. That way madness lies.

        I hope Trump is the greatest President this country has ever known. Because my loyalty is to the nation, not the party. If he is great, if he can actually “make America great again” (ignoring that it’s already pretty awesome), then I will be thrilled to vote for his second term. And if he comes for the Muslims and the LGBTQ community, I will fight him to my last breath. If he comes for your health insurance, I will fight that battle as well. That is what it means to be a patriot.

        Many people on the right seem to believe patriotism means mindless flag waiving and fetishist hero worship of the military. It doesn’t. We understand that. And that’s why we are stronger.

        • Kitty Smith

          How about… no, you delusional fuck.

          I’m not at all interested in working with evil (yes, evil, I know you’re allergic to the word but get used to it) assholes that ran on racist, misogynist, anti-gay, anti-muslim demagoguery, and the slithering toadies who thought, “hey, I don’t mind that as long as I get somethin’ out of it” after being fed a line about how the Mean Ol’ Obummer Ruined Their Lives.

          How about you go to the people of color and tell them how they should totally work with the guys who are getting thrill-boners at Trump making his top strategist Steve Bannon.. you know, the intensely anti-semitic CEO of Breitbart.com? How about you tell voting rights activists that they should totally work with people who are considering Kris Kobach as Attorney General. If you don’t know him, he’s the Kansas Secretary of State, and one of the most important people behind GOP disenfranchisement efforts. Oh, and he helped mastermind Arizona’s asinine “Papers, Please” law.

          Hey, I’m sure I’ll be happy to work with VP Pence, especially since it’s probably going to be a Bush/Cheney scenario now that Trump’s getting a clue about how out of his fuckin’ depth he is. I mean, he only wants abortion completely banned and thinks you can electroshock the homo out of people, but hey. I’m sure we can work something out… maybe I’ll just get electroshocked half the time or something.

          Really, all your condescending whining about we need to work together and find common ground is insulting given the intense campaign of demonization conducted by Trump, and abuse by his supporters who are feeling completely vindicated now that they have a guy in the white house who they think will carry on their fight against “white genocide” and “cultural marxism”.

          Go to the people who are terrified about what he and his followers said they’d do and tell them about how they need to work with and get along with a group of people who would be quite happy to murder them.

          But hey, at least you condescendingly promised to interpose yourself if a sufficient threat makes itself known, but come on now. We both know you’re going to stick your stupid ass in the sand long enough to pretend that everything will be just fine.

          So yeah. How about… fuck off.

          • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

            That’s the spirit!

        • Kitty Smith
  • Badgerite

    And just for the record, the idea that Bernie Sanders would have taken Wisconsin and such states really doesn’t take into account what his proposals actually were. And those were not particularly highlighted by the press What they actually involved was a raise in taxes, across the board, for middle and low income people as well, that would fund a distributive model of economic benefits for the middle and lower classes. If anyone thinks that that was going to play in the “rust belt”, they don’t know the rust belt. In competition with an imaginary walls and tariffs and kicking butt and kicking out the foreigners who “are taking your jobs”, that wasn’t going to do it. These kids were dreaming. Literally. Winning the Democratic primary vote here, doesn’t mean that he would have won the state. I think that once they started doing commercials about how Sanders wants to raise your taxes, that would have been it.
    Those ads never materialized because he was never the nominee and Clinton was never going to attack him.
    But the Trump Monster campaign certainly would have and when they did they would have had the backing of every funding source at the disposal of the GOP.

    • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

      Because “I’ll raise your taxes” is always a popular platform.

      • Badgerite

        Unfortunately so.

    • Georgie
      • MadJuana

        Thanks for the link. It is a good article.

      • ninjaf

        I was just going to post the same article. 🙂

      • Badgerite

        Aw jeese. Eye opener for sure. You just knew they had a opposition research folder like that all set up and ready to go but I must say, I had no idea. He would have been toast. Berned toast. Just the incidents Eichenwald listed would have been enough, in my opinion, to tank him. With that kind of material, I don’t think he would have done as well as Hilary Clinton. Let alone beat trump with rural rust belt people. He wouldn’t have even taken the popular vote.
        And when you would ask those kids how a person on a tight budget was to handle an 8 percent increase in their tax bill, they would just tell you that you would get all this other free stuff from all the programs he would get passed and that would mean you didn’t need to spend as much. Uh huh. Which is not really the case and hardly offsets an 8% increased tax bill anyway. I didn’t know that the state healthcare system they tried in Vermont had collapsed. But that would surely have given the GOP a field day.
        Thanks for the link.

    • mnpollio

      Not sure I agree with that at all. Sanders was and is a stronger candidate than Clinton ever was and I am coming across more staunch Clinton supporters admitting that they screwed up in their pick of her in the primary. I voted for Clinton and wished to heaven that she won, but I think every single Democrat underestimated the taint that 30-years of conservative media bashing had on Mrs. Clinton. There were so many “undecided” and independent people that claimed to hate Trump, but then claimed they simply could not vote for Hillary Clinton because they hated her as well – usually because they halfway believed the majority of the stories that had proliferated from the Fox News cauldron over the last 15 years. You can keep comforting yourself by making fun of Sanders’ “unicorns” and “magic”, but Trump spun his own “magic” and won. Plus there are a fair number of economists that insist that Sanders’ number regarding his economic plan were closer to reality than Clinton’s or Trump’s (assuming that anyone can figure out what the hell Trump’s is). And as one Hillary supporter pundit recently noted, Sanders was winning the primaries in any instance where it was open to all to vote, which was a bellwether of how Clinton was going to do outside of the Party, but no one wanted to see and acknowledge it at the time. Instead of the DNC placing Clinton’s prospects first and foremost (and let’s face it, that is exactly what happened), they should have encouraged far more candidates to enter the primary (including other women) and to aggressively go for it rather than having Debbie Wasserman-Schultz deter them or throw up obstacles and screaming over and over again “It’s her time!”

      • Badgerite
      • Badgerite

        Here is the “numbers” that mattered, even to me. 8% increase in my tax bill.
        Look, I would have voted for a lamp shade over trump but the idea that Sanders would have had the same “enthusiasm” he had when he coasted above it all as opposed to being dragged into a mud fight with trump by people who found trump acceptable on some level is kind of absurd.

  • I thought I would feel better with time but that just isn’t happening.

    • I’m still mostly mired in Anger, but slowly moving to Bargaining, which consists of me wishing that someone, anyone, would finally build a time machine and eliminate Fred Trump from the timeline.

    • Christopher Foxx

      I don’t want to feel better with time. The press and, unfortunately, human nature will try to deny how terrible and vile the Trump Presidency is going to be. “Maybe it won’t be that bad.” “He’s already walking back some of his promises, so that bodes well, right?” “Maybe the responsibilities of the office will lead him to moderate some of his views.”

      Baseless bullshit. People don’t want to have to admit how bad it is going to become. Understandable. It’s our nature to want to deny bad things, to want things to work out. Who doesn’t want a happy ending? But the only way we’re going to get anything other than a nightmare ending is to be honest with ourselves and keep reminding ourselves just why we feel so bad about this so we keep fighting against this every day.

      • I agree. I just meant that maybe I would feel stronger and more ready to face it. And to add to just how bad it could and probably will get…. I heard on a public radio marketplace report this morning that spending is up, particularly with credit cards, and the holiday season will be good for retail because of confidence in the new administration. Americans are really confident that there will be tons of new jobs. Then they said Trump is working on how he is going to deregulate Wall Street. And I thought, ‘Oh great, so when he fucks up the economy, when Wall Street creates another bubble, it will be that much worse for Americans who don’t have any new jobs and are deeper in debt.’ Under Pres. Obama Americans had actually started to save more, something we as a nation are notoriously bad about. The slow and steady growth we’ve had has actually been good for us. But Trump said it was bad so people thought it was bad. WTF is wrong with 2-3% growth?! Isn’t that the sweet spot? Only greedy stupid fools think we should be 4% or above. So here we go again….boom and bust, boom and bust. And the only people that will make more money and own more of everything will be the 1%. When will Americans ever learn that in boom or bust cycles the little guy always takes the hit? At this rate it feels like never.