As the Trump administration drifts farther into inanity, if not insanity, focus is beginning to shift to the Democrats and their inability to formulate a platform which reaches out to energize what is left of their base. 2018 will be on us in a heartbeat and 2020 shortly thereafter. To date, the DNC has refused to budge from the same neo-liberal agenda which cost them the last election, and has put up a front runner in Kamala Harris, who has given us no reason to see her as anything more than a Clinton clone. Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard are not even mentioned as possible candidates by the DNC, fresh off their “win” in the Florida fraud case, where the DNC lawyers stated that the DNC had every right to rig the election, and to choose their nominee in a smoke filled back room, with no regard to the expressed desires of their voting base.
As many have realized, there is only one figure in the Democratic party who stands above the rest in the big three areas of name recognition, popularity and favorability. Of course, that is Bernie Sanders, who is still fighting tirelessly in the Senate, when he is not fighting tirelessly on the road. He is standing up to Trump and fighting for all of us in the 99%, still working to get us a single payer healthcare system, to reign in the corporate oligarchy that is the United States government, to spread the tax burden equitably between the 1% and the rest of us, and getting people involved in the political process.
Our involvement in the political process is the only thing that will change the system, yet many Americans believe that the deck is stacked too heavily against us for change ever to happen. “What good is a grassroots movement,” they reason, “when the corporations own the government?” Not so fast. If you want to make changes to your government, you need to understand the mechanism of that change a little better and to start seeing things in context.
The map above reflects the results of the 2016 presidential election on a county by county basis. Red areas went to Trump and Blue areas to Clinton. The darker the shade, the more heavily that area went to the designated candidate.
We know by now that Clinton won the popular vote by some 2.2 million votes. That is utterly immaterial. She lost the county by county vote by a huge margin, with Trump winning some 84% of the counties across the country. This is very significant, because it is this county by county voting that shapes the awarding of delegates in the Electoral College, which Trump won in a landslide. Bear that in mind a minute.
It has been published elsewhere that if “Did Not Vote” was the name of a candidate, “Did Not Vote” would be our current president. Forty-seven percent of all eligible voters, stayed home. So, Clinton, Trump, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, split 53% of the electorate. No one had a majority. None had so much as 30%. There is an enormous, untapped resource of voters out there, waiting for a candidate in whom they can believe. For many, that was and is Bernie Sanders, and the polling before and after the election shows unequivocally that Sanders would have defeated Trump by some eighteen percent. Why?
The reason Bernie Sanders would have done so well is that his campaign appealed to voters everywhere, across all demographics of American society (except the aforementioned 1%). He might not have won the city centers as convincingly as Clinton, but he would have won on a county by county basis, and that would have flipped the electoral college.
This is where the rest of us come in. If we want to make changes in our government, it begins at home. It truly is a grassroots revolution. We can’t worry about what is happening in Washington D.C., or in other states. We have to shape the opinions in our own counties, among our friends and neighbors, and GET OUT THE VOTE. We are talking about defeating another candidate who will have little more than 25% of the electorate behind him or behind her. We could have (easily) as much as 43% of the electorate behind a Progressive candidate. Forty-three percent of all registered voters are Independents, the majority of whom found the neo-liberal Clinton much too far to the right to be acceptable. Add to that 43%, the 13% of the electorate (nearly 50% of the Democratic party) who voted for Sanders in the primaries, and we would have a political juggernaut.
Keep the faith. Keep fighting the fight. Arm yourselves with the kind of knowledge that will help you speak convincingly to your friends, to your neighbors, and to help them see just where and when it is that they have been voting against their own interests. If we can turn out the vote, with an eye toward changing the color of the county by county map, we can relegate one of the two major parties to third party status. We can change the government. We can change the world. We can grant ourselves a future. And it all begins at home.
For more on the breakdown of votes in the 2016 election: http://brilliantmaps.com/2016-county-election-map/