Reassessing 2016 in light of 2020

I hope we can now bury the canard that “Only Hillary could have lost to Trump.”

If that were true, Trump would have lost 2020 in a landslide - especially after the past four years.

Fact is, tens of millions of people watched Trump in action and liked what they saw. They weren’t just voting against the other candidate; they were voting for their candidate.

Not sure what we do about that - but it should now be clear that to blame Hillary or James Comey or the DNC for 2016 is to miss the point.

Yep. Biden was about as bland and harmless as they come (from a Republican perspective) and Trump still turned out voters in droves. It’s not like Trump was running against Bernie, AOC or Ilhan Omar; Trumpism is simply a powerful cult, period.

I wouldn’t be so quick to jump to this conclusion. My parents are educated professionals in their late 60s. They voted for Trump because they own a small business and they have long been turned off by the Democratic party’s anti-business class warfare rhetoric that paints them as evil.

This summer’s identity politics, excuse-making for rioting and looting, and fantasizing about ill-advised economic policies eliminated any chance they’d vote to give the Democrats power. It had little to do with Biden and more to do with the rest of the party.

That’s not the rest of the party (or, at most, a minuscule fraction of it) - that’s the fantasies spread by right wing infotainers.

IMHO this year we had competing blue and red waves. We haven’t had an election like that in a long time, probably since 1968. Due to that at first it seemed to me that the expected blue wave simply didn’t materialize. It did, but Trump managed to create his own red wave. Had Hillary Clinton managed to create her own blue wave in 2016, she probably would have won. I think six years of gridlock, despite the fact the McConnell was largely to blame, was just too much of an anchor for her to overcome.

Every time I hear this kind of stuff, it comes across as being the only reasonable conclusion under the circumstances. But it just isn’t. Nothing about being 60, educated, professional, small business owner, makes a pro-Trump position sensible. There are numerous people in the same situation who didn’t vote for Trump. There were other variables that motivated your parents. I won’t speculate further.

No, please, speculate. Tell me more about my parents. I am eager to learn. What have you decided about them based on the four data points I gave you?

Well, I’m not the guy you asked, but those four data points strongly suggest to me that they consume media that distorts the Democrats as proponents of ill-advised, anti-business economic policies who make excuses for rioting and looting, obsess on identity politics, and paints small business owners as evil.

I agree. 2016 wasn’t a Democratic fumble. Half the country is good with a fascist racist thug. That’s the reality. It’s not a “Oh the Dems just filed to speak to working class whites” either.

If that’s how they interpret Democratic views then they’re are intent on deluding themselves.

I speculate that they’re spectacularly wrong about how they view the Democrats. And that’s their own fault, not the Democrats’ fault.

Like I said, I won’t speculate further because I don’t know enough about your parents. Others have already outlined some of the other possibilities I had in mind. I have no idea of your parents religious, social and socio-economic views. I don’t know what media they consume or how often. I don’t know their friends and community. I don’t know if they are Republicans or if they support other Republican candidates. I don’t know any of these things. But knowing them would help explain why they voted for Trump.

And just for a counter-point, I’m an educated professional in my late 50’s who owns a small business and I’ve become MORE liberal and progressive. In fact what I’ve seen is that the Republicans have shat on small business with too many policies that favor large corporations at the expense of everybody else.