[NOTE: I’ve added an updated blog post looking back on this same subject with the benefit of six months’ hindsight here.]
Friends, as I watch a lot of you process what happened in this past election, I see a lot of people talking about the rise of racism and misogyny and xenophobia, lamenting these awful specters as the primary cause of defeat. I also see many saying that Bernie could never have won because he’s a socialist jew, and the same forces would have aligned against him. Let’s be clear (and I say this not as an I-told-you-so, but in hopes we can all learn an important lesson for 2020): that’s all hogwash.
Did the bigots all turn out for Trump? Absolutely. And his victory has, in their minds, justified their outlook, which is terrifying and points to troubling times ahead.
But to believe that somehow, despite the demographic shifts, there are now MORE bigots in the country than there were just in the previous decade, is ridiculous. This is the same country that elected a black man, not for the first time, but for the second, IN A ROW, just four years ago.
Take a look at the numbers:
2008: Obama: 69.5MM votes | McCain: 59.5MM votes
2012: Obama: 65.9MM votes | Romney: 60.9MM votes
2016: Clinton: 59.8MM votes | Trump: 59.6MM votes