With Apologies to my Fellow Liberals, Donald Trump Won

 

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m no fan of Donald Trump being our president-elect. I’m still rather shocked that he won. I’ll never understand how he appealed to anyone when he communicated virtually nothing of any substance from the stump or in the debates. Having seen so many clips of him saying different things about a number of things in the past — the Clintons, the invasion of Iraq, how the economy performs under a democratic president — I figured that most people would see him as an opportunist.

Spoiler alert! I was wrong. He appealed to millions of people who wanted some kind of change from the life-long politicians who have become the norm in Washington. I personally don’t believe that any “swamp” is going to be drained anytime soon, but people voted for him, no matter what I said on Facebook. And we sure are in for a change.

At first, I supported Bernie Sanders. I felt a Bern, so I registered as a Democrat to caucus for him in Maine. I’ve voted for both parties’ presidential candidates over the years, but my political beliefs generally fall under the umbrella of the Democrats. This wasn’t much of stretch for me. But I was never a “Bernie or Bust” guy. Senator Sanders lost the primary, and Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee for president.

Election Day

I remember it, and so do you. Donald Trump got the votes. He may not have received as many as Secretary Clinton, but he got the votes in the right states to win the Electoral College. Very few people on the left are fans of the Electoral College right now, and if the roles were reversed, our friends on the right wouldn’t be thrilled with it either. But this is how our system works.

We can be as upset as we want that Russian intelligence hacked the Democratic National Committee’s and John Podesta’s emails, but we knew this before the election. It wasn’t a shocking revelation when the CIA indicated that the Russians had done it to help Trump win. No one can legitimately pretend to be surprised.

Whether Donald Trump, his fans, and the rest of the Republicans want it to be true or not, the Russian hacking of campaign emails hurt the Clinton campaign, and helped Trump. But we can’t maintain the fiction that no one knew this before.

Democrats, We’ve Been Through this Before

Personally, I don’t think there was anything especially damning in any of the emails. The DNC emails that were released before the conventions didn’t bother me, even as a former Bernie supporter. Most of them were dated after Clinton had won enough delegates to secure the nomination. And as a former federal employee, I know that many of the internal emails I sent would probably raise more than a few eyebrows. What matters is that Secretary Clinton got the votes — more than enough votes — to win the nomination.

Just like Donald Trump did on November 8th. These are facts. We may not like them, but they are true.

The Apocryphal Narrative of Hillary Clinton

Me, I don’t buy it. For a little while, I was swept up in the “Hillary’s too much of an insider” feeling that many of my fellow Bernie supporters have. I liked that Senator Sanders was speaking loudly about campaign finance reform. (I still think that’s one of the greatest barriers to true representative democracy in our country.) Then, Secretary Clinton got votes. She won the nomination, fairly.

I certainly wasn’t going to vote for Trump. So, I did some reading on Clinton and the bullshit narrative that the right-wing has built around her. I found that she’s a good, caring person, who listens to people. She actually works well with people from both parties. She didn’t kill Vince Foster or anyone else. After nearly 30 years in the public eye, she may keep things a little close to the vest, but she would’ve made a good president, maybe a great one.

The only remotely damning thing that came out of any of the emails was from a Goldman Sachs speech when she talked about having a public position and a private position. Which is fine by me. If I felt like I had to set a personal opinion aside in order to get the best version of a bill passed, I would absolutely set my personal position aside for the betterment of the country. I don’t get why this was an issue.

I’m proud to have voted for her, but she didn’t win. I’ve accepted that.

“Hamilton Electors”

All of this being said, I won’t have a problem with electors choosing someone besides Donald Trump. They just can’t claim to have done it because the Russians rigged the election.

If they feel that the winner of the popular vote — especially a win by so many votes — should be the president, then so be it. If they feel they’re the last line of defense against a narcissistic demagogue, well, they are.

I just can’t get behind the “not my president” sentiment. Donald Trump won. He won more states’ electors than Secretary Clinton did. That’s how our system works, but if electors want to vote their consciences and choose someone besides Donald Trump, or even Hillary Clinton, that’s how our system can work, too.

I would happily donate to a crowdsourced fundraiser to help pay the $1,000 fines that electors could incur.

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