How to lose elections to a lunatic*

Election 1: Tell majorities across the country (between New York and California) that they are a bunch of racist misogynists who are overloaded with unearned privileges and who stupidly vote against their own interest. Repeat daily. Then run your candidate against the lunatic and see who wins.

Election 2: Consider loss of Election 1 as proof positive that everyone between New York and California is a racist misogynist overloaded with unearned privileges who stupidly votes against their own interest. With your confirmation bias now reaffirmed, repeat same messaging from Election 1, only louder. Then run your candidate against the lunatic and see who wins.

* I hope that this small instruction manual will be of special value to my friends abroad, who have expressed some consternation about how Trump could win and possibly win again.

Related: Buckling and Curling in the U.S. Political Spectrum

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44 thoughts on “How to lose elections to a lunatic*

    • When you are superior and smarter than everyone else why would you want to consider any other option but your own? There is a term, several terms, to describe people like that.


    • Thanks, Cherie. Let me repeat here my technical writer’s lament: People always complain about how hard it is to follow instruction manuals, but here — in the one case where I wish my instructions would be scorned — my liberal friends find the instructions all too easy to follow. The unifiers have yielded both sides of the political spectrum to the dividers.


  1. I’m a technical writer, too. Here’s my own manual on how a lunatic can win an election:
    1. Pummel the electorate with racial and gender politics
    2. Introduce a lunatic candidate willing to challenge those racial and gender politics, no matter how crude, irresponsible, ill-informed, and dangerous he might be
    3. Divide the opposition party to the lunatic
    4. Choose to drink turpentine (Trump) over prune juice (Clinton) because orange juice (Sanders) is no longer in stock

    Liked by 1 person

              • I probably erred in using “extremist” and “right-wing” in the same phrase. They’re redundant descriptors. “Extremist conservative” or “right-wing conservative” would’ve been more appropriate (for many of my co-workers, and outside work). And yes, I won’t deny there are many “extremists” on the left. But I’m old enough to remember the Republican Party of forty or so years ago, and there’s been a radical migration to the fringe, more so than in the Democratic Party. Too much to get into here, but there’s a great book called “How Democracies Die” (Levitsky/Ziblatt) that makes a really cogent case for this.

                (Also, my mind isn’t “Lib/Prog.” I do lean leftward, but I’m also moderate and even conservative on some issues, and I’m open to differing viewpoints… if they’re reasoned, intelligent, and conveyed well.)

                Liked by 1 person

                • Thanks for the reasoned and civil response. We could probably have a drink and a great conversation on some topic of mutual cultural interest (rather than scream profanities at one another across the police barricade at the rally 😣)
                  Maybe I’m touchy, since my father is unable to say “conservative” unless preceded by words such as “arch” and “extreme right-wing”.

                  Liked by 2 people

                • Well, then we do have something in common. My father was a fiscal conservative, and we had at least one heated exchange about his use of the term “liberal media.” Most children follow their parents’ politics, so I guess we’re breaking the mold!

                  Liked by 1 person

          • Trump is not a conservative. That’s correct. At least not in any recognizable sense, although he has espoused policies that some—not all—traditionally conservative/Republicans embrace. He wouldn’t know or understand the conservatism of a Jack Kemp or a Ronald Reagan to save his life and we have learned that he wouldn’t take the time to do so either. Because his nature is such that he could not adopt the views of anyone else because his ego is too fragile to do that. In my opinion he does not have any political ideology. Rather his motivation for policy decisions is whatever feeds his ego-narcisism and gets him his needed approbation. He seeks only to be personally exalted and if a policy decision fails he simply blames someone else for the error.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve read someone else’s blog about Trump possibly being re-elected and even if I never thought he would (I also never thought he’d become president in the first place), it scared me into being convinced that he will.

    Then again, only time can tell. We’ll see. And if it is so, it is so.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I note how often your side feels the need to add the unhelpful word “extremist” before every mention of Right-wingers.
    Whatever else the man may be, he is not very right-wing.
    I understand that he appears as such to Lib progressives . . .
    I wish he were a little more Right actually!
    TRUMP 2020 🗽🔥 🇺🇸


    • I agree that Trump is not an ideologue. He has no affinity for conservatism but rather is motivated solely by self aggrandizement and narcissism. If it makes him look good and he gets approbation he will pursue it. If it makes him look bad he will deny responsibility and blame someone else for the error.


    • Hi Desdi. Oddly, I never used the words “extremist” or “right-wingers” in this post (?) However, I will partly accept the more general application of your idea — both sides tend to precede references to the other side as “extremist.” This is true. Also, if may give you some comfort to see that my post is primarily a critique of the tactics of certain left-wing extremists (although it gives no succor to the right). Thanks for the added and different perspective.


      • It was in the comments section. Maybe a different commentator not you(?)
        Trying to respond on the smartphone is hard, I hope I didn’t respond to a different post in wrong place, sorry if I did.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hi Desdi. Yes, I think we’ve tracked the thread. Don’t get mad at me but I think I like your dad 🙂 However, you and I (and greenpete and others) could have a great go at it sharing beers and bantering, something I do with friends of all political stripes. Generally aligned with 1960s Civil Rights/hippie liberalism, I find myself at a distance from the left-right spectrum today. When in the political category, I spend about 60% of my time critiquing conservatives, 40% of my time critiquing liberals, and 100% of my time pushing both to abandon today’s spectrum altogether and be more open to a chaotic public sphere. Yes, beer and related catalysts from hippie days helps.

          Liked by 1 person

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