Trump Fans Say Trump Most Popular Loser Ever To Lose Presidency By Losing
Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, but his supporters like to remind us that 73 million terrible people voted for him. That's the most of any presidential candidate in history ... well, except for Joe Biden, for whom almost 79 million people voted (they're still counting in New York and California). But Trump came in second, so as Jerry Seinfeld once said, “Congratulations, you almost won. Of all the losers, you came in first of that group."
Conservatives were busy polishing Trump's participation trophy last week. Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist tweeted that Trump won more votes this time than Barack Obama. She knows her toddler audience, as this bit of trivia would delight President Birther, but unfortunately he wasn't running against Obama in 2008 or 2012. When Obama won 69 million votes in 2008 and 65 million in 2012, he made sure that John McCain and Mitt Romney won significantly fewer votes than he did. That's how you win elections, and it's a more effective strategy than Trump's current mad scheme that involves demanding the votes from Detroit and Philadelphia not count at all.
What's scary, though, is that the media and political moderates still insist on elevating the voices of Trump supporters, even in defeat. There are almost six million more Biden voters — a decisive margin fueled by Black women and Native Americans specifically — but we have to endure more profiles in bigotry.
Saturday, the Los Angeles Times, which is based in the California city of Los Angeles, devoted its entire letters page to Trump supporters. Biden won more than 70 percent of the vote in Los Angeles County, so it's possible the letters page featured every Trump voter in the area. This is quite the Affirmative Action program for conservatives who normally rail against quotas.
Trump carried my home town of Greenville, South Carolina, with just 58 percent of the vote. That's less than both Romney and McCain. When I was growing up, the Greenville News never set aside an entire letters page for Mondale and Dukakis voters. No one cared what my Democratic-voting relatives thought. South Carolina, the buckle of the Bible Belt, was defined by its conservative majority. Democrats have won the popular vote in seven out of the last eight presidential elections. America isn't a center-right nation, no matter how much that frustrates Republicans. They can gerrymander congressional majorities and benefit from a rural state Senate bias, but that doesn't change the nation's actual ideological makeup.
If anyone lives in a bubble, it's probably conservatives, who were stunned Georgia flipped blue. The New York Times recently profiled Republicans in Atlanta, which went full General Sherman on Trump, and they believed there was no way Biden could win. They were obviously wrong, so where are the followup pieces on all the suburbanites who rejected Trump?
Instead, the media and moderates are seemingly obsessed with Trumpism's enduring strength. Yes, ten million more antidemocratic white supremacists came out of the woodwork and voted for Trump this time. So-called white allies in Portland, Oregon, who have Black Lives Matters signs on their lawns, have already lectured me that this means we should hear what they have to say and try to empathize with how much Trump supporters think the Civil Rights Movement never happened.
If you're a member of a marginalized group, it's not encouraging when pundits and moderates claim we should respect bigoted views just because more people hold them than originally believed. Seventy-five milion Trump supporters is a cause for alarm, not reconciliation. Americans saw what he was for four years and yet even more voters said, “Sign me up!"
The notion that a single Klan member is a racist, but a thousand are worth listening to is paint-by-numbers morality. It must end.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."