In an interview with the NY Times, Twitter co-founder Ev Williams says Twitter’s role in Trump’s rise is ‘a very bad thing’.
Commenting on the view of Silicon Valley as the “modern Prometheus”, Williams said:
What we tend to forget is that Zeus was so pissed at Prometheus that he chained him to a rock so eagles could peck out his guts for eternity,” he said. “Some would say that’s what we deserve for giving the power of tweets to Donald Trump.
The Democrats have a litany of reasons why Clinton lost: Russia, poor whites, Bernie Sanders, etc. In truth, Clinton’s 2016 campaign failed for most of the same reasons her 2008 campaign did: a disorganized staff struggled to define a clear and persuasive message for their unexciting establishment candidate.
Instead of looking at the factors that caused Clinton to lose the nomination to Obama and addressing them, her campaign simply repeated everything. To no one’s surprise (but their’s, apparently) the results were the same.
When therapists call Trump crazy what they are really saying is that Trump lives in a reality that they don’t like and don’t understand. Which is exactly what he wants.
So, if calling him crazy isn’t right what is? Is there anything that can be said which is both correct and doesn’t play into his hands?
As this interview with Kathleen Geier and James Tindwa points out, there are dozens of plausible reasons why Clinton lost the election, all of which likely contributed. But often overlooked is her campaign’s failure to engage her party’s more liberal members and acknowledge the damage trade agreements like NAFTA did in the Rust Belt. As a result, many voters saw so little difference between her and Trump they felt no compelling need to vote. This played right into the hands of the GOP, which has made suppressing Democratic voters a key part of its strategy.
The GOP has done a remarkable job of convincing working people it’s on their side despite not being on their side at all. It started with Nixon and continued with Reagan, Bush and now Trump. Until the Democrats realize that they need to win back this constituency by actually working on their behalf they will continue to be the minority party at every level of government.
There’s no question that Hillary Clinton was a weak candidate with too much baggage, but… Her campaign still could have succeeded had they not made some serious errors early on.
The Clinton team knew what was wrong from the start, according to a Clinton campaign staffer and other Democrats. Its models, based on survey data, indicated that they were underperforming Mr. Obama in less-educated white areas by a wide margin — perhaps 10 points or more — as early as the summer.
The Democrats can’t ignore any segment of the population because they’d rather not deal with them. If they don’t resign themselves to this we’re looking at single-party rule throughout the nation. And, as we can see in North Carolina, that would spell disaster for our democracy.
You might not think of him as a political theorist but Hunter S. Thompson certainly was (among a great number of other things). In the process of researching his infamous Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs Thompson came face to face with what he called their “ethic of total retaliation” against a technologically advanced and economically changing America in which they felt they’d been counted out and left behind.
For Thompson, the Angels weren’t important because they heralded a new movement of cultural hedonism, but because they were the advance guard for a new kind of right-wing politics. As Thompson presciently wrote in the Nation piece he later expanded on in Hell’s Angels, that kind of politics is “nearly impossible to deal with” using reason or empathy or awareness-raising or any of the other favorite tools of the left.
What happened to the anti-Trump conservatives? It’s really simple. The Right has always been expert at getting everyone in line. Dissent is minimal and clearly not tolerated. All it took was some pandering in appointments and conservatives stopped complaining. The Left has never been able to do this and actually tolerates diversity of opinion. While that’s a laudable goal it makes organizing for a common objective difficult. That wasn’t their only problem this election it certainly didn’t help.
This should be required reading for everyone, regardless of political persuasion. Because once you convince yourself that those who disagree with you aren’t worth caring about you completely abandon the moral high ground you’ve convinced yourself you’re standing on.