Politics

Don’t Blame Me

Who blew the election? Look in the mirror.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump arrives at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York early Wednesday morning.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Somebody else was going to do it.

Somebody else was going to write that check, make that phone call, knock on that door. The Clinton campaign was a machine. They had it down.

I didn’t need to do these things, because somebody else was doing them. I could sit and watch. I could bitch about how Hillary wasn’t really progressive. I could rag on her Wall Street speeches. I could talk about how beating Trump wasn’t enough.

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I knew she was going to win, because the polls said so. All those folks were going to vote for her. So I didn’t have to. I could hold out for Bernie. I could vote for Jill Stein. I could cast a bag of weed for Gary Johnson.

She had a lock on the Electoral College. If she didn’t win Ohio, she’d win North Carolina. Or Florida. Or Pennsylvania. Michigan and Wisconsin were already in the bank. Every state was expendable. Some other state would be there to pick up the slack.

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Hell, I could vote for Trump if I wanted to. Yeah, he was kind of nuts, and he didn’t seem to have much idea of how to do the job. Come to think of it, I didn’t have much idea of how he’d do the job. But I didn’t have to, because he wasn’t going to win. So I could send a message. I’d give him another vote to stick it to the establishment. Or just to vent. Somebody else would elect the boring politicians who keep the government running. I didn’t have to.

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The establishment always wins. That’s how it is. Clinton, Bush, Obama, they’re all the same. They cut their deals, they shake hands with dignitaries, they stand in front of the flag. It doesn’t matter. The system goes on. Somebody makes it work. Doesn’t have to be me.

Jim Comey, smart guy. He knew Hillary would win. After the debates and the polls, she had it in the bag. No harm in sending that letter. There wasn’t any precedent for doing it, so maybe it was a little unfair. But it wouldn’t change the outcome.

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The media knew the score, too. Trump won the primary, but he couldn’t win the general. He was too nutty, too boorish, too patently unfit. We could spend our time on Clinton’s emails. We could give Trump all the free airtime in the world. It was just ratings. Voters would do the right thing.

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Republican bosses saw it coming, too. Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell—those guys knew Trump had no chance. All that nonsense he spouted about a wall and a secret plan to defeat ISIS? And the weird bromance with Putin? None of it mattered. Trump would never be president. The important thing was to hold the party together, get through the election, and lose as few seats as possible. And that meant backing the nominee. Keeping him out of the White House was the Democrats’ job.

It’s always somebody else’s job. They always come through. They hold the country together. They keep us out of trade wars. They keep the economy humming or stumbling along. They keep the world safe from tyrants. They keep us from turning on one another. They keep peace in the streets. They keep the planet from burning up.

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And that’s why I stayed home on Election Day. Or didn’t help register voters. Or didn’t talk to the guy down the block who said he might vote for Trump. Or kept my silence about the jackass at the top of our ticket. Or wrote that article about Hillary’s hair instead of explaining what would happen if we slapped a 35 percent tariff on China or pulled out of NATO.

I knew somebody would come through. But they didn’t. The pollsters, the media, the Republicans, the Democrats, the FBI, the blacks, the whites, the establishment, the phony politicians—they all let me down. They let this monster get elected.

Maybe I should leave the country. Maybe I should leave these bastards behind, to stew in what they’ve done. It’s their own damned fault. I don’t blame myself. I blame them.

Read more Slate coverage of the 2016 campaign.

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