I Didn’t Vote For Him

I haven’t been this depressed since my very-favorite-ever pit bull, Cooper passed away. It’s definitely on par with that horrible day that I had a miscarriage of a wanted baby and I laid in the emergency room, half naked, staring at the ceiling, bleeding all over a table for 5 hours. A situation mind you, that Mike Pence would want to punish me for and demand I pay for a funeral for. The new government doesn’t think women suffer enough.

I literally feel like I have been kicked in the stomach. I feel like women and POC and LGBTQ and Muslims and Jews and literally everyone other than rich white men have been stripped of value and autonomy. I feel like democracy has failed us. I am gutted. Broken. Crushed.

I didn’t get any sleep last night. I cried. Then I got up this morning and cried into my coffee. I am in mourning for our country and for freedom and for any chance at true equality. I fear we are headed for another great depression or war or many wars. I am afraid. I am in shock. I know I am not alone in these feelings. I know there are others out there and that we need to band together and help each other. Please do that. Please reach out in the comments or privately to all of the people who will be negatively affected by the results of last night’s election. The women, the people with health problems, the immigrants, the POC, the non-white working class.

There are a lot of us.

I realize that approximately 60% of white women my age voted for Trump. I am proud NOT to be one of them. I am sad for my sisters out there but I stand here, full of angst in solidarity with young women, religious women and women of all colors and nationalities who find themselves here in America without proper representation. I may not be the right woman to be the voice of solidarity in fighting racism (I know I’m not) but I promise you I’ll help if I can. I stand behind you. I got your back if you need me.

Read this post by Roxane Gay. And then join with me and help our country out of this shit-hole of hatred. I believe this is the greatest mistake in US history that I have witnessed in my lifetime but I also believe that we can still fight for a better world. Fight global warming and oppression and bigotry and sexual assault and inequality and lack of education. But we will need each other more than ever to do that.

Give me a sign. Create a secret handshake. Support those who need support. Tell other women you love them and will lend a hand if needed. Let me know there are others like me out there that still remember the “hope” of the Obama campaign and that we can use that hope to fight back against racism and hate.

Remember all that we lost by failing to break that glass ceiling on Tuesday and take time to take care of yourself but then please let me know that you have hope and that we can still make a difference.

Featured image is of shirt design I made as requested by my friend last night when the results were announced. I made it while there is still freedom of the press.

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia, science-loving artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics and is currently in love with pottery. Daily maker of art and leader of Mad Art Lab. Support her on Patreon. Tip Jar is here.

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  1. There’s a lot of finger pointing going on in the left, but I think ultimately we need to point the finger at each of us, and ask how we can make a better affirmative case for our vision of America. We need to fix our tone, to stop going low, stop bodyshaming, stop accurate but unhelpful labeling.
    We can’t beat the Republicans at the game of fear and hatred, we need to stop playing their game and show a real alternative.

    1. Seriously, what was Clinton’s vision? Basically she kept giving some variant of “Trump is Satan.” and “I’m the most qualified candidate.” but, her vision was all there in the manual.

    1. You too? Trump’s foreign policy adviser is from CERA, and he says the Salish are selling nukes to Turkey. Seriously.

      Now everything we’ve all fought for for the past hundred years (at least!) is potentially on the table.

      Now, if you’d been smart, you would’ve repaired relations with Rust Belt states that traditionally vote Democratic because economics, thus making sure we keep Obama’s mandate. There was a candidate who could do that, what was his name? Barney Seamus, something like that? But instead you went with the one who was supposed to give us over 400 electoral votes by turning Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Alaska, and Utah blue while keeping all those Obama states.

      1. Trump already had the support of the alt-right, they would have had a field day with a Jewish socialist, there is no way Bernie wins this election.

        The alt-right boards on Reddit were giving instructions to hide your intentions of voting for Trump from pollsters, co-workers, even family. That’s how the polls were off so much.

        So now we have literal hidden Nazis amongst us. Wonderful.

          1. I really empathize with the desire to make that math work so help me here. Do you have some numbers that could plausibly lead to victory or is that an impression?

          2. Sure, he might have energized the notoriously fickle youth vote.

            And Trump would have been using the word socialism in every other sentence and the alt-right would have been flying every conspiracy they could find about his background, especially his Jewishness.

            Bernie was not a good campaigner, he was much better in a more personal setting, that is why he won so many caucuses but few primaries. He also had real troubles with his minority outreach, so it is doubtful he would have done better than Clinton there. And truthfully, I’m not so sure he would have fared so well against the bombast of Trump.

            He had a charm similar to Adlai Stevenson, anybody remember him?

            Counterfactuals are fun aren’t they?

        1. You don’t honestly think every last person who legally could vote for Clinton and didn’t, including third-party voters and nonvoters, including the ones in states and counties that voted for Obama, was alt right, right? Maybe a third to half of the Trump voters are. Please read Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, then come back to me.

          Basically, Clinton made the same mistake as McGovern in assuming inevitability because demographics if she’d only ignore labor. The only reason we aren’t looking at another McGovern map is because of how bad Trump is.

      2. Here’s a wild idea: How about instead of criticizing the people who voted for a Democrat who wasn’t your first choice, you criticize the people who voted for a racist admitted sexual assaulter? Or perhaps you criticize the people who are still mad that their first choice didn’t win the primaries and then refused to vote (or even voted against) the person who did? Hell, the entire point of primaries is to get this fighting out of the way before the main election, so the vote doesn’t get split. A lot of people seem to have missed that.

        Maybe Bernie would have done better (if you trust the polls, which I’ll remind you, predicted Clinton would win). Even if we grant that, it seems pretty clear that the reason for that comes down in large part to the remaining sexism in America. So even there, the moral culpability should go primarily to the sexists.

        1. If you had a product that wasn’t selling well, would you blame the people buying your competitor’s brand or try and improve your product? Here’s a wild idea for you: maybe people in the rust belt most affected by the 2008 market crisis aren’t keen on voting for someone who spent the last decade making millions giving speeches to those responsible for it. Maybe it’s a little too convenient to blame the fact that millions of people went from voting Obama to voting Trump on racism and sexism.

          1. Not only that, but Bill was responsible for the 2007 financial crisis. His and Newt’s bank deregulation? Newt was a Trump surrogate, but that was a bit arcane, whereas everyone knew Clinton’s connections to, um, Clinton.

        2. Because, Cersei, I’m blaming the centrist Kool-Aid we all quaffed deeply.

          You’re talking about places where the unemployment is >50% because of free trade. You nominate a candidate who negotiated another free trade agreement as Secretary of State. Only an absolute moron would think that was a winning combination.

          The Clintonistas were fine with this; their ancestors (DLC, Atari Democrats, McGoverniks) were also trying to get rid of labor anyway. And hey, they promise we can win (in order from “mildly delusional” to “what universe are you from?”) AZ, GA, SC, AK, TX, MO, UT, and MS this way. (And keep all the states Obama won.)

          To be fair, they could justify some of these: Maybe UT’s conservatism will make them go PUMA? We could win MO with Kander. (Actually, Kander’s campaign emphasizing his military service could be a model for Red State Dems going forward, but I digress.) MS is always close (though the GOP always wins because racism). The others have McGovernesque “shifting demographics”, except AK, which we could win because reasons?

          That’s what I blame: The Clinton campaign was arguably the most clueless campaign ever. On DK, Clinton supporters gang-flagged anyone disagreeing with them, so we had to rely on passive aggressive throwing of shade and Poe’s law to vent.

  2. By now I don’t care how it happened, but what we should do next.

    The first thing to keep in mind is he has no mandate and he didn’t win the popular vote. Same as Bill Clinton in 92 and Bush the younger in 2000. Bush got a mandate on September 11th 2001, but also a very specific one he had to stick to (and screwed it up badly, but never mind that). Clinton had to tread carefully and pick his battles, to the point he was chastised for not keeping many of his major promises. Trump will have to face this, so it’s important to speak in opposition when warranted.

    The second thing is that Trump doesn’t understand politics, and he’s a petty man with a thirst for revenge. I’ve no doubt his first order of business will be to intimidate the House and Senate into line, as he did with the GOP during the election. The House is a lost cause, but Senators have terms that are longer than political memories. Trump’s intimidation shouldn’t work on them. This goes for any nominations he makes for the Supreme Court, and who knows what kind of people he’ll pick. No hope of Obama’s last nominee being confirmed, of course… We’ll see whether the GOP regrets that decision.

    It’s time to work on the mid-term elections, too. If Trump does as badly as expected, “his” party can lose Congress soon, rendering him a lame duck. Just remember what voters think of gridlock and shutting down the government.

    Above all else, we must speak, loudly, clearly and at every opportunity. Don’t fall into the trap of holding him accountable for his promises, which were terrible to begin with, except one: he was rather conciliatory (and out of character) in his victory speech. Hold him to that.

    1. Sorry, but when you’re a Republican, it’s a “mandate” if you win 169 plus Congress without winning the popular vote. When you’re a Democrat, “we must work with Republicans” when we control not just the White House, but the House and a supermajority of the Senate as well.

      Double standard, sure, but that’s the DLC’s legacy.

      What we need to do now is as follows.

      1. Oust the DNC, and abolish superdelegates. The superdelegates are supposed to keep out unelectable candidates; instead, they gave us one by endorsing her from Day One.

      2. Work on fence-mending after the primary. Clinton did this better than many of her supporters, who were more into bridge-burning. And no more “Bernie bro” nonsense. The only actual violence from the Dem primary was Wendell Pierce assaulting someone…because she liked Bernie Sanders.

      3. You want to win Michigan, Michigan, Michigan? Ohio, Ohio, Ohio? Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania? Then just remember, economics, economics, economics. (Another DK favorite was advocating another Holodomor or Great Leap Forward for rural America and the Rust Belt because they “refuse to get with the 21st century”.) Clinton lost those states because of her husband’s policies, and the policies of the DLC in general. And it’s even intersectional; one of Bill’s favorite things to do was find some token among the people who will suffer the most and use him or her to promote a policy doomed to fail, e.g. having Indians promote NAFTA when it now means those of us north of the Rio Grande can’t get farm jobs (We were among the migrant workers from the Depression to NAFTA.) because of those south of the Rio Grande moving north because they can’t compete with American corn. Hillary supporters did the same thing, pointing out Sanders’ opposition to Bush’s “guest worker program” (which also was opposed by the National Council of La Raza and the Southern Poverty Law Center, thank you very much.) It’s just not the corrupt form of intersectionality Hillary Clinton operated under, where the privilege of being rich or college-educated or living in the right location is ignored. Seems we all have blinders, no?

      1. You are way off about what happened here.

        This was all about the alt-right electing a stealth candidate.
        Go look at the numbers, all white voter group, including white women, voted majority Trump. The only demographics they didn’t get were those making less then $50,000 annually per household, putting a to the idea that he was some sort of everyman’s hero.

        Nobody was going to beat that and nobody will if they rely on polls.
        Polls are done as an effective tool, Nate Silver will have to stick to sports stats.

        This was a straight-forward fear response of a once dominate group losing its grip and we need to wipe out the neo-Nazis and white supremacists groups before we have our own little Reichstag problem. We already have reports of the KKK marching and swastikas on buildings in south Philly. Sickeningly fitting that this is the anniversary of Kristallnatcht.

        Ironically, whites voted as a minority, just as they’ve become. And they did it very effectively.

        1. Making broad and inflammatory accusations about your opponents supporters didn’t help Clinton, and doing more of the same will lead to the same result. Trump didn’t get the most votes out of the low-income earners, but he got a much higher percentage of them then any of the most recent GOP candidates.
          I’m not saying fear and intolerance weren’t a factor in the outcome, but it doesn’t help to tell those who are genuinely afflicted by neo-liberal economics that change isn’t needed and that they are just deplorable sexists.

          1. If it acts like a racist and votes like a racist…

            I know plenty of Trump voters and they talk about “those people” and how “they” are a threat. It is barely veiled hatred for the other and it sickens me that so many “normal” Republicans waded into that slime-pit just because they didn’t like Hillary.

            Making excuses for the racists is no more helpful then refusing to address your own party’s problems.

            As for the inflammatory statements. I’ve seen the messages and I saw how off all the polls were, all of them. Take a look at the people who were crowing about Trump winning, try to stomach twitter for one day, look at Reddit, checkout the Pick Up Artist sites.

            Not all of Trumps voters were racist misogynists, but almost all the racist misogynists were Trump voters.

    2. Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.

      Remember, we gained a few Congressmen. Not enough, sadly. We gained 2 in the Senate, so we still have the filibuster (until the Rs nuke it on day one, at least). We gained 5 in the House.

    1. So….those midwestern white trump supporters who want the nation to be more like it was and undo obama’s stuff would have been all over a socialist or what? Her not getting elected doesn’t really demonstrate, by itself, anything about Bernie’s chances.

      1. There were many people looking for an end to corporate-friendly trade and labor policies. It makes sense that many of them would be drawn to Sanders over Clinton and Trump, and that logic seems reflected in the polls showing Bernie doing better than Hillary in the general election.
        This is supposedly a website of skeptics. You should be able to find out (eg. by reading fair.org) that progressive policies like those of Sanders have more support than the pundits would have you believe. Clinton likely had more support among Republicans than any Democratic nominee in history and still lost. This pretty much proves the lie of the ‘electable centrist’.

        1. I empathize with the desire, when seeing that even a moderate can’t get elected, to say that a far left socialist proposing single payer would. But from the skeptical position I have to start with “I don’t know” and get there. It’s not obvious to me how to get there so help me.

          1. Centrists aren’t moderates. They’re extremists who self-declare themselves to be moderates.

            The entire concept you’re talking about is the idea that I can take numerous political positions and condense them into one.

            For instance, I support rational discrimination on gun control (no convicted violent offenders, terrorists or the mentally ill getting guns), as does Bernie. But if someone else thinks we should rewrite product liability law so you can sue because a product worked as intended and was used by someone who stole it from someone who acquired it on the black market, that’s just plain ridiculous. I also support limiting bank mergers and undoing Clinton’s deregulation. I support LGBT rights (but am offended by people who don’t get what the original RFRA was about), oppose racism, support Roe, all the usual cultural leftist things. I support Israel, but I have an ulterior motive for supporting a state founded by the indigenous population fighting against British colonialism and their Arab allies (who were also colnizers in the past); I also find the current “Gospel of Edward Said” orientalism among the academic Left disgusting.

            That does not mean that I’m going to to support someone who trades my left positions and my right positions. Do it enough, and you actually find someone who opposes me on nearly everything.

            But what did you expect from an ideology started by a Koch front group, the DLC?

        2. All taken before Bernie was actually vetted in any real way.

          I thought you were talking about how we need to rely on facts?

          A hypothetical question about a future race doesn’t sound very much like a solid fact.

          1. Based on your poor argumentation, I’m starting to think you don’t understand anything about skeptical thought. Your counter-arguments seem to consist of nothing but tautologies.

          2. My argumentation is a bit broad here. I don’t, for example, believe that all Trump voters were alt-right, just enough to account for the polling errors.

            I also don’t think that all of his voters voted for him to be racist or misogynist, but they most certainly didn’t care enough to take it into account.

            I am not however the one trotting out hypothetical polls as proof of Bernie’s superior electability. Before questioning other’s knowledge of skepticism you should examine your own.

          3. I’ve suggested that there is good reason to believe Sanders would have been successful in this election if he was the Dem nominee. I’ve supported this claim by referring to what were a number of non-hypothetical polls completed earlier this year indicating he would fair better against Trump than Clinton, as well as a clear logical basis to explain such a difference (mobilization of youth, voters rejecting neo-liberalism, etc.).
            Outside of suggesting Sanders would be pilloried as a socialist (which I addressed), you offer no argument of substance to challenge the logic of my claim. Your suggestions that he was a poor campaigner with minority problems are very subjective and unreliable, since they are mostly just pro-Clinton propaganda from the primaries. Blaming people for not being convinced by the self-evident goodness of your position is exactly what the Clinton team did with the whole ‘deplorables’ thing.

          4. Propaganda? Are you high?

            I voted for Bernie but I highly doubt that he would have won the general.

            And yes, the polls were real but the questions were hypothetical.

            I’m not blaming just those people, there is a lot of blame to get a country to electing a unqualified nightmare like Trump, and that includes Clinton.

            I am simply trying to keep people from whining about “what if” long enough to figure out what to do about it.

            Besides, all the people who are going on about how Bernie woulda won keep saying how Hillary didn’t make her case to the American people.

            Absolutely, she didn’t make her case. And Bernie didn’t make his case in the primaries so move forward already.

          5. That actually clears up your points quite a bit.

            To clear up mine:

            I’m not suggesting Bernie could have won in order to live in an alternate universe with a better president. I’m actually trying to help people understand that right-wing populism is difficult to overcome with a garbage elitist insider candidate like Clinton, so that next time people might try harder to have the Dem candidate be an actual progressive.
            I’m not just complaining, I’m seeking a way forward.

            Spending time bemoaning the racist and sexist masses and pretending there was no better alternative to Clinton, is defeatist and counter-productive. I’m glad that isn’t what you are doing.

          6. You’re right. We can’t dismiss that Clinton wasn’t a progressive enough candidate for this political climate.

            We also can’t ignore that racism and misogyny had a big part in it as well.

            I was overly bombastic because of emotion but that is really besides the point.

            We are already seeing the likes of the AFL/CIO head and Elizabeth Warren talking conciliation and we needed to stop it before it starts.

            Unfortunately, this will probably go the way it always does, liberals will “play nice”and get a knife in the back for their efforts.

      2. Trump got a similar number of votes to Romney. Clinton’s numbers were down, even among minorities and millennials. Trump got those white women we were supposed to win because woman.

        Clinton made the same mistake McGovern did, and it’s only because of Trump’s Trumpiness that she didn’t produce a similar map.

  3. This has been a really awful morning. Looking to the establishment for signs of life at least on the most dangerous proposals and looking to Trump to see how much was bullshit and what he’s actually going to do.
    Either way the damage of electing someone who has done and said the things he has done and said can’t, to me anyway, be washed away by a presidency that manages to step over the low bar he’s set for himself.
    And of course The republican vision for the country was damaging enough by itself.

    1. Well, Kos is now saying Bernie should chair the DNC.

      (As an aside, I have issues with Bernie’s pick, Keith Ellison. Ellison supports BDS, which is just as big an echo chamber as the centrists were.)

  4. This election was a neo-Nazi reaction to eight years of a black president.

    The best way to fight it is with good-old-fashioned socialism; trade unions, pickets, protests and the like. Tear colonialism and capitalism down to their roots.

    We need to start by supporting, and getting out awareness of the NoDAPL protests. There is no better symbol of the injustice of colonialism and capitalism, after all the reason the pipeline is running where it is is because the white residents of Bismark said no so it left the Standing Rock Sioux to deal with it, a group that was much “easier” politically to force to comply, if you forget about a treaty or two that is.

    It’s disgusting and this shit will continue to happen until we make people listen.

    1. True, but that would require explaining to a good portion of the Left just what anticolonialism is. Sadly, there are so-called “anticolonialists” who aren’t. *waves at Zoltan Grossman*

  5. Listening to Australian radio: Polling is no longer accurate as traditional methods rely on a telephone landline for an accurate demographic.
    Democrats underestimated the “single issue voter”, I.e. they may hate everything about Trump, BUT the single issue that got their vote was illegal immigration/build a wall/deportation, and then everything else becomes unimportant.

    1. Also voter apathy. We would’ve won if our voters had been fired up. Which is hard to do when we’re too busy “being pragmatic” while we control all three branches of government. #YouKeepUsingThatWord

  6. I’m sure over the next few months and years, through the standard skeptical processes of gathering data, making and testing hypotheses, and examining our assumptions, we’ll understand better what went wrong.

    But right now, I think it is more important that we comfort each other than we blame each other, as much as that goes against my (hereditary? – it seems to be a familial trait) to first establish blame.

    Amy, I’m sorry about your dog and your potential child.

    The rest of this is kind of rambling, an attempt at exactly what I advised against in the first paragraphs. Anyway …

    I’m also terribly sorry that the Democratic Party was unable to reach what should be one of its natural constituencies, displaced workers in the Rust Belt. I live in the much more prosperous northeast, where unemployment is low and working conditions are relatively good (compared to coal mines, oil fields and broken-down factories where there has been no new investment in decades), so this is outside my direct recent experience. Would a campaign that emphasized economic and environmental justice, new investment in industry and education for the 21 century, and worker empowerment through unions have been enough to sway voters from the simplistic appeal of a demagogue to blame others and outsiders?

    I don’t think all Trump voters are unremitting racists and misogynists (though virtually all unremitting racists and misogynists were Trump voters), but they were desperately looking for solutions which they didn’t perceive the Democrats as providing. Would that have been enough to flip MI, PA, and WI, or would it loose more votes among upper-class people who already have it well? I think so, and it might have also flipped Ohio, NC and FL. That was the perception that powered Bill Clinton with “It’s the economy, stupid” and “I feel your pain”, despite his retrograde DLC policies, and I think it helped Obama.

    Finally, Long live the notorious RBG!

  7. 60% of the white women WHO VOTED. While gerrymandering and vote-suppression account for quite a bit of low turnout, indifference, lazyness, a snide contempt for the significance of voting, ‘protest votes’ etc. more than account for the horrible result.

    Bush managed to win a second term, in part, by pulling his ‘base’ into the voting booths with Gay marriage propositions an many states. Deranged evil people VOTE, and far too many sensible folks abandon their duty as citizens.

  8. Dear Amy, I hope you can feel better in a bit.
    This is such a symbolic kick in the teeth to women and minorities and it is very frightening to think about what could happen. But there are still amazing fighters in the US who achieve wonderful things. You are one of them. All any of us can do is do what we can to make the world a better place.

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