I think people need to appreciate that third parties almost certainly did not do this. Disaffected Bernie voters simply could not explain the sweeping victory that we saw last night. For one thing the geography was all wrong. Less well off white people, especially in poor and rural communities, literally came out of the woodwork for Donald Trump. Something he said galvanized them and in so doing almost completely rewrote the electoral map. He accomplished something that George Wallace tried and utterly failed to do.
I think some of Bernie supporters’ critiques hold water here. Hillary gambled on three more years of Obama, and while a lot of people really like Obama, they were getting restless. I recognize fully that a large, probably decisive fraction of their discontent came from the successful Republican strategy to gum up Washington completely. The basic logic says that more patience will probably deliver the same returns, so elect someone who will kick the machine. Bernie Sanders was clearly ready to kick the machine. Obama ’08 was definitely the candidate for giving the machine a swift kick where both McCain and Romney were basically warmed-up Republican leftovers. Voters had seen a dozen times already.
Would Bernie have won? There are too many counterfactuals to say. The primaries are long done and I hope that everyone to the left of Paul Ryan (possibly including Paul Ryan) wants to find out what the hell just happened and do what we can, together, to reverse it. My Bernie friends are no happier about this than anyone else. Let us all air our grievances with respect and then, please, let’s move on to fight fascism.
The first thing I want us all to do is survive. Pour some cereal and cheer up your kids. America is more than the presidency. We have institutions, and even a sizable faction of the Republican party, that Trump can’t just order around. Dick Cheney he’s not.
Then, wen you shake the dust off this morning, look around for someone else who is hurting. It won’t be hard. Maybe just listen to someone’s grief or see if they need anything. It feels good to help someone else, but I have more than that in mind. We need to start thinking this way a lot more. It takes a resilient community to survive hard times. Whatever network of support you have (family, friends, activism), strengthen it. Expand it. I have not done any LGBT or religious freedom activism since forever, but you know what? LGBT Americans are my people. Minorities are my people. Religious minorities are my people. All of them. Anyone the redshirts might bully is my people. Look for a chance to build contacts and build mutual support. Rather than recriminate or argue, we need to build solidarity and start looking out for each other right now. I guarantee that someone’s survival depends on it.