Pointing to a win in the House while ignoring the huge gains in the Senate is like holding up Hilary Clinton winning the popular vote in 2016 – it doesn’t matter, Trump still has the power and Trump is far more dangerous than we comprehend.
It’s not just the damage he is causing now, it is the damage he has done to the entire political environment. By lowering the standards so much for the baying masses, he has radically reset the political landscape for the next Trump and the next one after him.
It was great the Republicans lost the House today, but they gained in the Senate and the Senate can smack down anything the House puts up. While there is a clear rejection in the suburbs of the hate Trump spews (and that is a positive for the soul of America), all Democrats won today was a poisoned chalice because the gridlock they have promised will become a rod for their own backs.
The resentful anger that propelled Trump won’t dissipate with a Trump loss in 2020 if the economic alienation that empowers him isn’t dealt with. Without understanding how this cancer was visited upon us, we are doomed to repeat this mistake.
Opponents of Trump like to point to the Russian interference in the election to explain Trump winning 2016, but I think blaming Russia for ‘hacking’ the US Election is deeply counter productive.
Firstly, it’s just outrageous that the American’s who have committed coups, electoral fraud and mass deceptions on 81 other nations over the years are in any position to lecture or complain about interfering in other peoples elections.
Secondly, it allows the Democrats off the hook. Instead of acknowledging they ran a terrible candidate and fielded neoliberal policies that hurt the very workers they had simply assumed would vote for them, the Democrats can avoid scrutiny of their own rigged primary process, the manner in which Bernie Sanders was unfairly treated and their hollow policies by blaming it all on Russia.
Newsflash to the Democrats – Trump didn’t win in 2016 because of Russia, he won because you failed to appreciate how your embrace of neoliberal globalisation hurt the very voters you needed the most.
One estimate puts the budget of Russian interference in the election via social media advertising at $250 000. With all due respect for American Democracy, if you can influence an election with a mere $250 000, you have way bigger problems than Putin.
We can scream racist and sexist as much as we like at Trump voters, but when Trump wooed Union families, women and the working poor in such huge numbers in 2016, something else needs to be examined as the reason this malignant tumour of a human being has been forced upon us all.
This time around for the midterms it was the Dems desire to use Kavanaugh as a motivation for their base that backfired.
What should have happened is that Kavanaugh should have been grilled over his views on abortion and whether or not he would ever make it more difficult for women to get them, instead it became an emotive media circus that created a toxic cultural backlash which benefitted the Republicans in the midterms.
Leaking Dr Ford’s claims to the media after sitting on them for 6 weeks and denying her the opportunity to testify in California were an obvious attempt by Democrats to create the media spectacle this turned into because Democrats wanted to capture the momentum of the #MeToo movement for the mid terms.
The problem for Democrats using that tactic meant that they also had to adopt one of the unchallenged pillars of the #MeToo movement, which is that accusation is evidence.
The ocean of incandescent rage at centuries of sexual assault, sexual abuse and sexual harassment against women that never sees justice has found voice on social media platforms that have side stepped corporate media gatekeepers, but the meta narrative that women must be believed if they make an accusation because all men are lying abusers flies in the face of due process and the presumption of innocence.
In the past, justice was guided by the belief that it was better 10 guilty men walk free rather than one innocent man go to prison, in a world framed in patriarchal white privilege those legal protections simply protect that privilege, so 10 innocent men punished rather than one going free is an acceptable price for fourth wave feminists when compared to the enormous amount of women who never see justice.
This unchallenged pillar of #MeToo, that accusation is the new evidential threshold and all accusers are guilty inadvertently created an enormous cultural backlash.
In a land of Brutal Binaries on social media platforms fuelled algorithmically by subjective rage, Kavanaugh was either a virgin law scholar who was wronged or a violent drunk pack rapist predator who would be molesting woman as soon as you turned you back. There was no middle ground, no nuance, just the madness of extremes.
This was the Salem Witch Trials come to life, where accusation was all the evidence needed.
The idea that you can be falsely accused by hyper partisan accusers who already hate you and be found guilty without any due process terrified Independents and Republicans far more than the much more real threat of being sexually assaulted, harassed or abused.
Accusing everyone who voted for Trump as a ‘racist’ rather than understanding the economic insecurity free market globalisation had caused didn’t work in 2016, and accusing everyone who believes in due process and the presumption of innocence of being rapists was equally unsuccessful in 2018. Every State that support Trump’s angry rhetoric and voted for Kavanugh went to Trump on election night.
The free market globalisation that Democrats embrace has robbed the domestic working classes of their dignity and economic ability to survive while their promotion of Identity Politics Uber Allas is too alienating and ultimately creates a far more dangerous white male Identity Politics backlash. Bernie Sanders understood this which is why he would have been able to woo those voters Trump needed back to the Democrats and beat Trump, but the vile corruption within the Democrats (who played to the elites within the Party) robbed Sanders of his nomination in a rigged system set up to prevent a populist left winger ever winning the candidacy.
Which is why the solution to Trump is so cruelly easy. You beat populism that plays to our worst angels with populism that plays to our better ones. Sanders understood that, which is why his free health and education policies would have countered Trump’s fear mongering over immigration. The problem is the Dems are simply too wedded to neoliberal economic policy to ever promise free education or health care.
Refusing to acknowledge failed economic policy, alienating woke identity politics and corruption within the Democrats in allowing Trump to win makes the chances of him winning again more likely, not less likely.