If there’s one word that keeps being bandied about since the Capitol Hill riot which makes me want to puke, it’s the word that now the ‘healing’ should begin. Where were all these dedicated healers over the last four years? I’ll tell you where they were and still are. They were sucking on Donald Trump’s rear end, whose response to Covid-19 shows how interested he was in healing the United States.
But there’s another word which has also cropped up ad nauseum since the events of last week, and that’s the phrase ‘come together,’ as in to reverse how much we have become so ‘polarized’ over the last four year. And this idea of our polarized political system isn’t the mantra of the embarrassed conservative class, it’s become the now-official slogan of the liberals and their mainstream media friends.
I have just finished reading Ezra Klein’s book, Why We’re Polarized, which is being exulted around as an important contribution to the polarized view of things. Klein’s a kid who’s a spieler par excellence on the mis-information superhighway and has now been elevated to the pantheon of editorial importance because he’s going to write columns and do podcasts for The New York Times
Pardon me if I sound a little sarcastic when it comes to discussing Klein’s creds, but I just find it both silly and amusing when someone in his mid-30’s is going to use all his knowledge and experience to explain how the world works. I note, for example, that Klein is now another member of the ‘let’s get rid of the Electoral College gang’ because this antiquated system gives those right-wing farmers in Kansas and Nebraska a stranglehold over the outcome of national elections regardless of the popular vote.
Meanwhile, I didn’t notice Klein waxing eloquent about the anti-democratic nature of the Electoral College when Clinton got 42% of the popular vote in 1992 but rolled up 370 electoral votes. But of course, Klein was only 8 years old in 1992. He claims that he has been a journalist for the “better part of 20 years.” I'm not insulted by that comment because it's so childish.
Anyway, back to how polarized we are. We are so polarized; our government is so unable to function that the same day those shitheads broke into the Capitol was the same day I received my monthly social security check. We are so polarized, the government is so unable to function properly, that today I’m going to go down and buy a chicken at the local supermarket and I guarantee you it will have been inspected by the USDA.
Klein’s ‘proof’ of our polarization is how Trump used a hyper-polarizing message to win the 2016 campaign. Is there one word in his book about the fact that Hillary stopped campaigning six weeks before the election took place? Is there one word about how her campaign didn’t have even the slightest ground game or GOTV in crucial, battleground states? Does Klein spend one sentence trying to figure out how Hillary lost 300,000 votes in Michigan alone between 2012 and 2016?
We lost the 2016 election because we ran the wrong candidate. If Hillary had just won as many popular votes in three states – Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin – as Obama won, she’d be President today.
How many votes did Obama get in those three states in 2012? Try 7,175,828. How many votes did Hillary get in those same three states in 2016? Try 6,577,816, a difference of 600,000 votes. How many more votes did Trump pull in those three states than what Romney pulled? Try 450,000 votes.
Trump didn’t become President because the country has become so polarized. Trump became President because faced with voting for him or for Hillary, voters stayed home.
Or worse yet, they voted green. The total votes received by Jill Stein would have been enough in each of those three states to move those states into the W column for the blue team.
We lost the 2016 election because Hillary wasn’t competing against Trump, she was running against Jill Stein.
And this sorry excuse for a national Presidential campaign has now been transformed into an unquestioned, liberal kvetch about how polarized we've become.