The Women’s March that occurred this past weekend included somewhere around 3 to 4 million Americans, according to various reports. People marched for a variety of reasons, but the overarching umbrella was undoubtedly to protest newly anointed President Trump. As I’ve written about, I flirted with liking the Donald Trump phenomenon, but that was before the serious prospect of him as POTUS. So, in spirit, I was with the protesters. I’m 100% against racism and sexism and xenophobia—key ingredients of modern-day Trump. But something irked me. And it was pretty easy to get to the bottom of it: Trump won. I couldn’t help but zoom out and wonder why the protests in the first place—Trump won. I started connecting dots. Trump lost the popular vote and now we have millions of people taking to the streets in protest; so wait, how did Trump win?
I composed this tweet: “What’s sad is, based on statistics alone, I bet many of these protesters so appalled by Trump victory didn’t bother to vote.” To me, it’s the only thing that makes sense. When you look at the shifting demographics of the country, the unpopularity of Trump, and the swell of anti-Trump protesters, it becomes obvious that not enough people turned out to vote against him. Though always a pathetic number in U.S. elections, over 40% of eligible voters did not vote, and that number was greater-than-typical in 2016. Democratic turnout was significantly lower than it was for Obama in 2009 and 2012. Somewhat laughable to me, a lady responded to my tweet saying “I bet that’s actually NOT true. These are active citizens who don’t sit on the sidelines.” While I appreciate her sentiment, with over 40% of the population of eligible voters not voting, there is not a multi-million person sample you could carve out from across the U.S. where everybody voted. That’s absurd. Maybe a somewhat higher percentage voted, but still, many people did not vote, which is my point.
Ironically, Trump actually used my same reasoning to diss protesters, basically saying that if people now care so much, why didn’t they vote? While he’s saying that from a sarcastic/mocking angle, I’m saying it out of frustration and annoyance that we’re even in this position. The protests and marches are cool and all, but voting is what actually matters, and people dropped the ball.
The elephant in the room is Hillary Clinton. Let’s be honest, she sucked. She was nearly as unfavorable as Trump. That’s wherein the problem lies. Many people on the Left couldn’t bring themselves to vote for her, especially hardcore Bernie Sanders supporters that felt he was cheated by the Clinton Machine in the primaries. These people hated Trump but weren’t going to vote for Clinton. They either didn’t vote, or they voted 3rd party. That’s cute, but guess what that gave us? Donald Trump. It’s very simple: the only possible way to prevent a Donald Trump presidency was a vote for Hillary Clinton. Anything other than a vote for Hillary Clinton aided Donald Trump. Period. So here’s my beef: the people who did not vote for Hillary Clinton but are now up in arms, claiming that the sky is falling, saying that Trump will destroy the fabric of America, you’re implicit, moron! It’s alarming how well the Right did at smearing Hillary—see emails, Benghazi, etc. They really created this caricature of her as just as bad as Trump, and neither one became the option for a large swathe of voters.
So here’s what happened: people who were terrified of Trump also didn’t vote for Hillary, or voted 3rd party. In their minds, as we ALL thought, Hillary was going to win anyway. This way they could have a clear conscious by not voting for evil Hillary and not worrying about a Trump presidency. And that’s why the Women’s March irked me. When the unthinkable happened, people were in shock. How could this have happened, they said. Here they are, taking to the streets, absolutely appalled, terrified for the future of our country. It could have been easily prevented. To these non-Hillary voters now so terrified of Trump, how significant are the topics of the Clinton smear campaign, now? Oh my God, her private email server! Benghazi! Really?! Well, now we have President Donald Trump.
My stance is this: if you think Trump is the worst thing that could’ve happened and you didn’t vote for Hillary, you’re an idiot, and take your marching out of my face, you contributed to it. If you voted 3rd party or didn’t vote, but are indifferent to Trump winning, that’s totally fine by me. It’s the people who didn’t attempt to prevent a Trump victory that are marching after the fact. Fuck off. The game is already over. It’d be interesting to see how many people, now knowing that Trump did win, would get off their asses and vote, or get off their high horses and vote for Hillary. Hindsight, however, is 20/20. Yes, I voted for Hillary Clinton, primarily as an anti-Trump vote. To me, there is no equivalence. I wasn’t onboard the smear machine that was trying to make Clinton seem just as bad as Trump. Bullshit. At worst, Clinton would have been more of the same, business as usual. People wouldn’t be fearing for the future of our entire nation, or even the world. Everybody would have already gone back to their normal lives, barely tuning into politics because we’d have a standard-issue politician. I’m not as freaked out as some people about Trump. He has bucked the system in some good ways and has proposed some things I like, such as massive investment in our crumbling infrastructure. We’ll see. Who knows what the future holds. BUT, to the people freaking out, who didn’t vote for Hillary, please spare me your after-the-fact indignation and maybe learn a lesson for next time.