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It is Not Surprising That the People Most Vulnerable to a Trump Presidency See Greater Urgency In Electing Clinton

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1963 Views

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Apparently there was a discussion in a thread I missed about this Deadspin post, which I also found striking. The response of the Jezebel staffers is perfect, but I’ll add some imperfect analysis. One strand of thought among the Deadspin staffers was that voting is kinda work so while we might grudgingly concede that a competent moderate liberal might be the very slightest smidgen preferable to a radically inept white nationalist authoritarian heading a party that’s looking to restore America’s political economy to the 19th century we’d prefer to free ride on the work of others (some of whom have to line up for hours with work schedules considerably less flexible than that of the typical journalist) to keep him out of office:

Voting’s for squares.

If I lived in a swing state I would hold my nose and do so;

I will not be voting for one of the candidates for president, since I don’t live in a swing state and I don’t agree with any of the platforms and policies of anyone on the ballot.

This is not an adolescent rebellion against the concept of voting, or a Naderite rejection of lesser-evilism. It does sound very self-indulgent and “I don’t have a TV”-ish to announce that I’m not sure if I’ll vote, but Marchman asked, and it’s the truth. It may be even more self-indulgent to cast a pointless symbolic vote, either for or against Clinton, than to not bother either way….I’m aware that if everyone else in safe Democratic states thought like me, Democrats would lose every election. Thankfully, most people in safe Democratic states don’t think like me, giving me the luxury to do so.

I will observe that this atomist-consumer analysis of voting is very similar to that of Reason editors, although it flows much more logically from libertarian premises than lefter-than-thou-and-thou-and-most-definitely-thou ones.

Another strand was people who decided to vote for Clinton but had to engage in a lot of hand-wringing about it, much of it risible on its own terms:

Hillary Clinton, a center-right corporatist and war hawk whose record and allegiances, where they are not actively hostile to most of what I care about most deeply in my capacity as a citizen, at best only happen here and there upon a fitful, accidental, momentary quasi-agreement both sides find distasteful.Then I will tell myself that this act of fearful ad-hoc cooperative dam-plugging purchases for me some accountability from either her administration or her broader brand of wan un-Republicanism that I may cash in at some later date, like a Good Little Leftist, when actually all it will have accomplished is assuring the Democratic Party establishment that they can continue winning my vote in the smallest possible margin between themselves and a Republican Party Nazifying at warp speed unto eternity.

I view her as the candidate of a discredited and exhaustingly long-lived center-right faction

The idea that, in the context of American politics, Hillary Clinton is “center-right” is absolutely absurd. The idea that there is merely the “smallest possible margin” between the two major parties in 2016 is embarrassingly foolish. And it’s not a coincidence that it was only male staffers who were engaged in either the “voting is for suckers” line or the ostentatious nose-holding that grossly distorts the actual political history and positioning of Hillary Clinton. #Notallmen of course, but no women is the most telling point.

As some commenters noted, the parallels with Dave’s experiences canvassing in West Dayton are obvious. There’s nothing remotely surprising or unusual in discovering that all things being equal African-Americans are more likely to be focused on the urgency of keeping a white nationalist authoritarian leading the party of vote suppression out of office than similarly situated white people. And it’s not surprising that with (inter alia) Roe v. Wade on the ballot although you’d barely know it from media coverage that treated Donald Trump’s extensive history of misogynist words and conduct as at worst the equivalent of Hillary Clinton’s email management, all things being equal women are more likely to be focused on the urgency of electing Clinton. Needless to say, there’s nothing remotely condescending about pointing any of this out; it would indeed be surprising if it wasn’t true.

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