September 21, 2016

Bernie, too, would have lost to Trump; How could his successor win?

Now that the Democrats are starting to accept defeat, they've resorted to the blame game. Some say it was the media's fault for giving Trump so much free airtime, when you can't sell people what they don't want to buy. Some say it's the Millennials' fault for hating Hillary, when young people are barely a drop in the bucket of the electorate. And of course others are saying it's the Establishment's fault for not making Bernie the nominee in the first place.

Since the Bernie people are the Democrat version of the Trump people, it's worth considering their view and providing for a little more awareness, since they're still in cognitive dissonance reduction mode. They're not just emptily shilling for Hillary, Obama, etc., so they're worth hearing out.

The fact is that Bernie would have lost to Trump as well, and probably by a larger margin than even Crooked Hillary is going to.


Quite simply, because he lost his party's primary, albeit by a lesser degree than what the bias and rigging produced. If he couldn't win among Democrats, how would he win among Democrats plus Republicans?

"Independents" voting in the Democrat primary are already Dem-leaning and not true swing voters, so he only won the Dem-leaning Indies -- not Democrat partisans, not Republican partisans, and not Repub-leaning Indies. Who knows how he'd do among true Indies, but they're not enough to make up for losing among the partisans of both parties -- you need at least one group of loyalists to form your base.

Crucially he lost among minority voters, who are a reliable chunk of the Democrat coalition. It would be like if Trump lost among gun owning Republicans.

But he also lost among older voters, who make up the majority of the electorate.

And although he did well among liberals, he appealed less to moderates, compared to Clinton.

Structurally, he is not an incumbent in the Obama administration. Going for a third consecutive term for the party requires an incumbent in the Executive -- President, VP, Cabinet member, etc. Hillary is not incumbent, but Bernie has never been in the administration -- he's a Senator. That would be OK if he were looking to upset the incumbent party, but not during an attempt at a third consecutive term, where he needs to be a plausible bridge.

(Assuming such a thing were desired, which it is not, judging from the flagging momentum going from '08 to '12.)

Like everyone else, the Bernie people drank the kool-aid about who the Obama coalition is -- young people, minorities, and progressives. In reality, it was middle-aged and old people, predominantly white, and moderate -- with 25% of it being Bush '04 voters who had had enough of neo-conservatism. The handful of young people who showed up, and the boost in the black vote, gave him a wider margin of victory, but they were not sufficient to win. The key demographic was the ex-Bush voters who were white middle-aged suburbanites.

If Bernie had been gifted the nomination by the superdelegates, despite losing the popular vote, he would have been this generation's George McGovern. He wouldn't have flamed out in the general as bad as McGovern because Nixon had the incumbent advantage in '72, and the Great Compression was not very partisan, allowing Nixon to play well among all sorts of voters in all sorts of places.

In our more partisan polarized climate, Bernie would have at least had the safe blue states. However, he would not have added any red states -- the only ones Hillary is even making a play for are Arizona and Georgia, on the basis of minority voters, but Bernie doesn't do well with them and lost both of those states in the primary.

North Carolina would remain red, and both Ohio and Florida would still go to Trump. Bernie lost those, Trump won them (adjusting for Kasich's rigging of Ohio), and they are genuine swing states that are not safely for either party.

While Virginia is going to remain out of reach with Hillary as the Democrat, it would have probably swung to Trump against Bernie. Virginia is voting for Hillary based on her being the Establishment favorite, and Virginia is increasingly an outgrowth of Washington DC. With both Bernie and Trump being anti-Establishment choices, Virginians would have to choose on some other basis, and Bernie's just a little too out-there to play in Virginia, compared to Trump. And given the military-related population, they'd feel safer in the hands of Trump than Bernie, even if both were coming after the federal Defense bureaucracy, since Trump says he wants a much stronger military.

Then Trump would need only one more state, and he'd beat Bernie. Ripe states are those won by Trump and lost by Bernie in the primary, and that have tended to be only light blue in the general.

Nevada went to Trump rather than Bernie in the primary, and it's not a West Coast hotbed of progressive values. New Mexico is close even against Clinton, and would be closer still against minority-shunned Bernie who lost the state. Minnesota, Wisconsin, and probably Michigan would be hard to win against Bernie, but not necessarily Iowa. And although Bernie would safely guard New York and New England, I think Trump could take Pennsylvania or New Jersey against Bernie -- look how close they are against Clinton, whereas Bernie lost them in the primary (Trump won them), due to the minority vote.

Overall, I don't see Trump's Electoral College vote being so much worse against Bernie than Hillary -- win, and not hard to get 300 up through about 330. And by not appealing to as broad of a group, Bernie would have done worse in the popular vote than Hillary.

The upshot is that the standard strategy of leftists is destined to fail in election-centric polities -- trying to be the "vanguard party" that is radical, progressive, revolutionary, or whatever, and that will pull the masses along the path that it blazes.

Trump did something distinct -- the hostile takeover -- which still leaves some of the older elements in place, both at the upper and lower levels. Trump largely sidelined the culture war, but he didn't openly mock social-cultural conservatives, like McCain did. And he did allow them a key role in determining what kind of Supreme Court Justices he would pick. He also included big tax cuts for individual and corporate income, to appeal to moderate suburban country club types.

Bernie's successor needs to pursue populism and non-interventionism in a way that includes the middle-of-the-road Democrats who are older than 40. Displace the culture war stuff to promises about who he'd pick for the Supreme Court. Focus on corruption, campaign finance, lobbying, etc., which disgusts old people more than young people (who don't really know how it all works).

And be more patriotic -- in the vein of that Simon & Garfunkel "America" ad that they ran early on. Working-class people and suburban moderates want to know you've got their back, and are running for the good of the country, not to implement the universal wisdom of socialism in this particular nation because here is where you happen to have been born.

That seems quite a ways away, whereas we already have Trump. So I see the Democrats retreating, reflecting, and re-grouping over the next several cycles, and maybe the better part of 20-30 years before they're a real force again. That would be akin to the Republicans running the Progressive Era, followed by the Democrats running the New Deal.

Related: some earlier thoughts on who will un-cuck the Left.


  1. Do you think Virginia is really lost at this point? The level of DC encroachment in the last 15 years or so must be remarkable considering Clinton lost it in 92 and 96 despite handily winning the Appalachian counties that have since swung heavily Republican and will surely go for Trump by an even wider margin this time. Could high turnout in that region coupled with depressed black turnout not get Trump over the line, even in defiance of the polls?

  2. I wonder if the D guy will have a harder or easier time in the insurgency than President Trump/Alt-Right.

    Case for harder: The globalists are fleeing to the D's now. The (((neocons))) have all pledged to vote #NeverTrump. The Bushes are reportedly supporting Hillary. The D's and ((Hollywood)) are doubling down on the racism/sexism/identity politics narrative (already a crime procedural has been planned for this fall about a Federal Hate Crimes Task Force that will feature a large female-led cast).

    And since Trump is jettisoning the Bush-Neocons from power, Soros, Koch Bros, and other billionaire globalists will pour money into D's and not R's. And the super-delegate problem for insurgent D's remains.

    That means any D trying a nationalistic-sensible borders approach will face a party dedicated to destroying his dogma and fully funded to do so. And that D won't have Trump's money or charisma or media savvy. The globalists will not want to lose both parties to nationalism.

    Case for easier: A Trump win will fuel a lot of insurgent candidates both Independent and R. This will weaken the globalist hold on power. If Trump manages to close the borders and kick out illegals, a lot of smaller-business types will have more success and cash. Plus union power will wax as the NAFTA-ulcers are closed.

    That means a D could run very hard on a pro-union platform (a la John Edwards) and get just enough money from that and smaller businesses to make it past the identiarians in his party. He could even pull a Bill Clinton, and reform NeoLiberalism as a D version of Trump. And since Trump has moved the Overton window on immigration and Muslims and Mexicans and identity politics (as has the Alt-Right and guys like Milo), a D could speak more freely.

    Interesting times, indeed. I wonder which will prevail.

  3. Virginia was lost by McCain and Romney -- imagine also promising to end the gravy train for all these FedGov parasites.

    Appalachia is not heavily populated, especially compared to the lower terminus of the Bos-Wash megalopolis. Also why western PA cannot carry the state -- we need a decent conversion of blue counties around Philadelphia, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, etc.

  4. The D version of Trump in 10-20-30 years ought to have an easier time since we're already paving the way for populism and America-first as guiding principles.

    The Trump movement had to fight against two party Establishments, the successor to Bernie will only have to fight against his own.

    In the meantime, it's going to take awhile -- and lots of civil war -- for the Democrats to come around. They're so delusionally out of touch, assuming an eternal Blue Wall -- which just got 100 votes shorter -- and unchanging demographic trends.

    All because of Bill Clinton and Obama -- not exactly the unbroken and unchallenged reign that would justify resting on their laurels.

    And they may not benefit from a Trump-like figure who comes out of nowhere and hastens the purge of the Old Guard. Just think how long it would've taken the Republicans (party and voters) to organically come up with a populist nationalist as a primary candidate.

    There's also going to be hard generational changes to get over before Democrats are viable again. They are so unshakingly convinced of their moral and intellectual superiority, and now openly trying to brag about it, that they have turned into the hoity-toity party. You can't win the majority with that attitude and branding.

    On the other side, young people who were just having their first political experience are going to have such a bad taste in their mouths after Bernie and most of his operatives totally sold out to the corrupt warmongering corporate Establishment. Not just the time and emotional energy they invested -- but hundreds of millions of dollars donated, that have all been set ablaze by their supposed savior.

    They're not going to trust anyone who smells like Bernie Sanders, perhaps for the next several elections. It wasn't just a let-down after losing -- it's the scar of abandonment and betrayal by who they thought were their standard-bearers. Even worse since he had the persona of the kind grandfather -- you'd expect abandonment from a wicked stepmother like Hillary Clinton, but not Bernie.

    These generational changes put off serious dominance of the party for quite some time.

  5. "In the meantime, it's going to take awhile -- and lots of civil war -- for the Democrats to come around. They're so delusionally out of touch, assuming an eternal Blue Wall -- which just got 100 votes shorter -- and unchanging demographic trends."

    Conservative apocalyptarians ought to keep this in mind. One reads lotsa angsty reports from multi-cult ground zero aka the Sun-belt. Sometimes the same commenters say that on trips to the north/away from the coasts they feel like they're back in America again. Immigrants/New Americans are overwhelmingly concentrated in California, Texas, Florida, Bos-Wash, and a handful of other striver heavy metro areas. If whites attain greater racial consciousness, stick to their roots instead of fleeing South or to yuppietopias, and browns remain disinterested in voting, whites will become more powerful guardians and will do a better job of retaining that power.

    And I hate to sound defeatist here, but really, outside of whites with deep roots in the Pacific or the Bos-Wash corridor, why should any of us want to be in these places? Until our mores and demos are re-calibrated we might as well let the yuppies and browns keep each other company in these places. Besides, I think it's disruptive to even have white American carpetbaggers in regions to which they are not rooted, to say nothing of foreigners in these places.

    Then again, speaking as a "boring" Midwesterner, I don't think I'll ever have any desire to live in such liberal places (The GSS consistently shows that the Pacific in particular is far more hedonistic than other regions with regard to stuff like drug use/legalization, sex outside of marriage, gay issues etc.) Texas and Cali both have gone through waves of demo. change, so why do they remain different? Texas still has lots of affordable land/housing, thereby making it much easier for family friendly whites to stay. Compare that to the horror of Cali. living arrangements, which Steve Sailer has eloquently lamented. Texas's quasi southern culture (Scots-Irish culture essentially) has preserved a certain sense of tradition, of honor, of not wanting liberal yuppies, flakes, and pansies bossing you around. Whereas California has done everything imaginable to alienate conservative middle class whites. Granted, as the GSS shows they were never that conservative. Which certainly explains why Cali was overrun so fast by uppity blacks (the LA riots), sell-out politicians (not fighting to re-instate anti-immigrants laws overturned by liberal courts), and hordes of entitled brown/yellow people (Texas's immigrants are typically harder working and more respectful of Anglo-American culture than Cali immigrants). Can you imagine a Texas mayor behaving like that treacherous dirt bag San Jose mayor did in response to anti-Trump thugs?

    I guess the whites of all regions will have to find common ground on economic/security/safety issues. That's the only way we'll ever get a majority of whites in the Northeast and Pacific to ever pull the GOP lever again. Neither region wants to hear about moral or social issues given the vast gap in values between heartland whites and coastal/big city liberal whites.


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