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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

They want you cynical and passive

by John MacBeath Watkins

Well, you can't say he didn't warn us. Donald Trump said this election was rigged, and he unexpectedly won it, so this begs the question, how did he and his party rig it?

Paul Krugman has published his own list of how the election was rigged in Trump's favor. He blamed voter suppression aimed a minority voters, Russian hackers transmitting stolen emails through Wikileaks, the FBI statements about Clinton's emails, news media's obsession with those emails, partisan media that spewed lies, and mainstream media that refused to report on policy.

What it all comes down to is this: The moneyed class who finance the Republican Party wants those who oppose them cynical, passive, and disenfranchised. They aim to disparage any leader their opposition might find to make them seem even worse than the sad parade of characters the Republican Party puts up. They've spent a generation investigating and demonizing the Clintons, never finding any criminal behavior, but subjecting them to a death of a thousand cuts, spreading the perception that there was some real wrongdoing because Republicans had made so many accusations.

How many Clinton supporters have justified their support only after first saying that she was a flawed candidate? And the real flaw was that so many accusations, never finding any wrongdoing, were leveled at her over the years.

Give him credit, Donald Trump was able to energize his base and get some low-propensity voters to the polls. But the big story is that Clinton's voters did not turn out in big enough numbers in the right places for her to win. It appears she will win the popular vote -- the 5th time in the last six elections Democrats have taken the popular vote -- but those voters were inefficiently located, so that she did not garner enough electoral college votes.

I don't think anyone thought Clinton had the charisma of President Obama, but she was running against a cartoonishly evil man who did his best to offend a wide variety of voters.

Yes, Trump energized his base, but there was more to it than that. His party has spent decades trying to make voters cynical and passive, so that they could be manipulated.

And it's working.

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