Congrats everybody. We successfully electioned. Well, as successful as one can election in the U.S. I suppose.
It appears as though the 2020 election was essentially a flip of the 2016 election:
It’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t exactly a landslide. Far from it. This election came down to a few close races in a few states. There was only a 0.3% difference between the candidate’s total votes in Arizona, a 0.7% difference in Wisconsin, and a 0.2% difference in Georgia. These 3 states alone accounted for 37 electoral votes. All three ultimately went blue, but with such tiny margins (only 12k votes in Georgia), they could have easily gone red.
This win was essentially a 3 pointer at the buzzer. It was a close call, just like in the sports ball games. Trump wasn’t taking it all that well that his team was losing however:
Twitter even rolled out a special new fact check notification to plaster all over his tweets. That was very nice of twitter.
He also sent out some crazy emails that make me bummed that I wasn’t on his mailing list. I feel like I was missing out on some great entertainment in my inbox these last few weeks:
So how did we get here? How could “Literally Hitler” have come so close to winning another election? Put on your tinfoil hat and hear me out.
How did we go from a whole-ass lineup of potential Dem candidates, many of whom were quite popular, to ending up with a guy who already had a long terrible government record, and a gal who dropped out of the running last year after polling at single digit approval ratings? It happened completely organically of course.
When people rally behind candidates that aren’t endorsed by the establishment, said establishment will always find a way to torpedo those candidates. Tulsi Gabbard started to overtake Kamala Harris in the polls in October of last year. This is coincidentally also around the time Hillary Clinton (the establishment) started to field rumors that Tulsi was a “Russian asset”:
The “I’m With Her” types can still be found all over social media to this day calling anyone and everyone a Russian asset:
Well, if someone as honest and uncorrupt as Hillary Clinton said it, it obviously has to be true Jeanne. Your misnaming of Tulsi also really drives home the point that you obviously follow politics and aren’t merely regurgitating stuff you’ve heard from potentially dubious sources. You can go back to healing yourself with crystals and checking your horoscope, Jeanne. Thanks for your input on this matter.
Kamala Harris eventually dropped out in early December 2019, and Gabbard followed suit in March of 2020.
What about Andrew Yang? He was a fairly popular candidate. They got to him too, unfortunately. This is where we have to face the unpopular-for-some-people truth that the mainstream media is also part of the establishment, i.e. those who hold the power to shape our elections.
This great website details the countless incidents between March 2019, and February 2020 wherein completely impartial, unbiased media outlets such as MSNBC and CNN constantly left Yang out of debate graphics and polling charts, listed his name wrong, and even used a completely different Asian guy in graphics of him:
Once or twice could be misconstrued as honest mistakes, but these incidents occurred over 50 times in the lead-up to the election. We’re on to you, the media.
Bernie Sanders had a huge following leading up to the 2016 election, and he too was unceremoniously disposed of by the establishment. Unfortunately, I wasn’t archiving all this at the time, but you can find stuff like this all around the internet of 2016:
This article refers to emails released via WikiLeaks showing that Debbie Wasserman Schultz, then head of the DNC, favored Hillary Clinton, acted on her behalf, and actively attempted to undermine the Sanders campaign. She subsequently resigned from the position, only to immediately be hired by Hillary:
Schultz was also Clinton’s campaign co-chair during her 2008 run for President, prior to ending up as the head of the DNC. I can’t help but feel there are quite a few conflicts of interest going on in this scenario. And people have the gall to believe U.S. politics is full of corruption. The nerve.
Let’s go back to 2012 now.
Anybody remember that year’s rising star who got royally screwed by the establishment? Anybody remember Ron Paul?
Here he is topping all kinds of polls, prior to being unceremoniously unpersoned by the powers that be. Why did this happen? Because he was vehemently small-government and anti-war. The establishment wants more government power and more war. When he was doing a little too well, the media decided to refuse to acknowledge his existence on television, which predictably hurt his campaign. The Daily Show did a great segment on this back in 2011 that you can find on YouTube under: (John Stewart) Media vs Ron Paul
This literally happens every election cycle. It’ll happen in 2024 too. There will be some candidate or candidates who get popular, only to be blacklisted by the media and slandered by establishment politicians. People will buy into it, and we’ll end up with a nice wholesome establishment warmonger yet again.
Here are some random charts showing media coverage of candidates for the 2012 race and the 2020 race:
The less coverage the media gives a candidate, on average the worse they tend to do. If a candidate is gaining in the polls, the media can merely cease covering them and this will reduce their poll numbers. Conversely, more coverage can positively affect the polls. Notice in the second chart that the media chose to give Harris the second most coverage despite the fact that she never polled beyond single digits. Now she is Vice President. Surely, this is just a coincidence.
Finally, here is a former MSNBC producer highlighting some of the behind-the-scenes working of the major news outlets:
So, yes, the media absolutely has a hand in gate-keeping who does and doesn’t end up in the lead in our U.S. elections, which is going to need to change if we want to have actual fair, Democratic elections in the future.
Taking all this into account, Biden was potentially destined to be the candidate going back as far as June of last year. All these debates might just be one big dog and pony show, giving people the illusion that they are participating in Democracy, when the only choice they actually have is voting between whatever final red or blue candidate is handed to them.
Having said that, it does no good to prop up a candidate unless people are willing to show up and vote for said pre-selected candidate. How do you get people to vote for your potentially unpopular, pre-selected candidate? There is an answer for that too.
You have to actively make the alternative look as bad as humanly possible. This is where we end up with the “lesser of two evils” scenario within U.S. politics. If your candidate is shitty, just make the other guy look even shittier. People will predictably vote for the smaller turd nugget.
It’s at this point we have the media attempting to convince people that Trump is a fascist, and literally Hitler for the better part of the last year and a half. Both of these assertions are ridiculous to anyone who has any grasp of history. The average American has little grasp of history, so this tactic is actually quite effective unfortunately.
They pulled this with Bush 2 back when he was in office. He was deemed a fascist, war-monger, anti-Christ for eight years, until he was replaced by his future pal Obama, who ended up having a very similar record on everything that was supposed to be bad during Bush administration. Now they are best friends and play Fortnite™ together on the weekends.
There are people who are still surprised when they see countless pictures of the Bushes and Obamas hanging out. “How can Michelle hug a war criminal?”, the enlightened one will usually ask. Because she’s married to Obama, sir and or ma’am. Do you think her husband was building playgrounds for 8 years in the middle east?
Having said that, at least Obama ran on a good platform that was in direct opposition to the negative that occurred during the Bush administration. It’s just a shame that he didn’t actually carry through with any of it.
Biden simply ran on the platform of “At least I’m not Trump”. His only selling point seemed to be that Trump handled Covid bad, and he somehow wouldn’t have. Trump did handle Covid bad. Biden would have handled Covid bad as well, so this is a ridiculous platform to run on.
Let me introduce you to the H1N1 virus of 2009, aka the Swine Flu. Biden was vice president during this time. If you notice in the diagram above, the U.S. is a black color. That color represents the countries that got hit hardest by this virus. The U.S. managed this virus somewhat poorly as you can see. The U.S. has a rather long history of managing viruses rather poorly, regardless of which party is in the White House. Believing that Biden is a Christ figure who would have lessened our current virus burden by much is a stretch. The way we manage viruses needs to be reassessed, independent of political party.
Far too many people are under the impression that the two big parties in the U.S. are diametrically opposed to each other. The old good guy and bad guy trope. The truth is that they tend to share more of their platforms than they differ. Neither is terribly anti-war, neither is doing a bang up job on education, both love big money and corporations, and neither seems to really care about the drug addiction and homelessness problems. This is how I tend to see it:
In this masterful artwork, you can see a great divide between the two parties on the left. On the right, you can see a great overlap between the two parties. A lot of people vote like the image on the left is a reality, when perhaps things are a little bit closer to the image on the right. Biden isn’t even in office yet, and there are already disappointing realities being unleashed on a near daily basis. These probably aren’t representative of the change people were hoping for:
Biden is already picking some real winners. He probably won’t have the same revolving-door cabinet of weirdos that Trump went through, but things aren’t looking all that progressive thus far. It’s still establishment, but it’ll be a kinder, gentler establishment.
Luckily, we can sleep soundly knowing the mainstream media outlets are about to take a giant four year nap. It’ll only be right wing or smaller left-leaning outlets who are going to report on all the bad things coming our way from this point on. Meanwhile, the Democrat-leaning mainstream is going to be doing this non-stop:
Thank goodness Trump is finally gone so we can get back to doing journalism about dogs, psychics, and socks. You know, the hard-hitting stuff. Make sure you don’t hold anyone to task for following through on campaign promises now. It’s not like that’s your job or anything.
This happened for eight years during the Obama administration, which is why people still think that everything bad that exists only started happening approximately four years ago some how. You have popular sentiments like this:
Thank god those cages that Obama and future president Biden built are going to poof out of existence now that Trump is gone. Not to be too hyperbolic, but this is kind of like re-electing Hitler to dismantle Auschwitz. Even Snopes isn’t going out of their way to run interference for this unfortunate fact:
When it comes down to it, perhaps we’re still stuck in traffic, but we’ve merely switched lanes. We’re still not getting anywhere soon, but the view will be slightly different for a bit.