Here's everything that I believe had at least some influence on the outcome. They are not in any particular order.
- Clinton has now won nearly 3 million votes more than DJT. So I take back what I said last month about turnout.
Terrible, really terrible, turnout. I have not seen vote totals yet, but in 2008, there were 131 million votes cast and in 2012 about 129 million. This year, it looks like around 124 and a quarter million. So, five million fewer total votes. I haven't seen an analysis yet of where the missing votes are. I have heard that not nearly as many people volunteered for HRC as for Obama, which could certainly be the case. (I will have an update on this when the full vote count is known.)
- Voter suppression efforts, starting with the gutting of the Voting Rights Act by SCOTUS and laws passed in many states that made it harder to vote, by requiring ID that could be very difficult to obtain, by closing polling places or restricting early voting, etc. People who'd voted for 40, 50, 60 years had to obtain original birth certificates, which were sometimes unavailable owing to records destruction by fire, etc. This is partially responsible for the missing votes. For example, Trump's margin of 27,000 votes in WI vs. the 300,000 turned away for lack of voter ID.
- White people and their racial resentments. If you don't think racism was a big factor in this election, you need to look at what Trump said during the campaign, at the targets of voter suppression, at the treatment of President Obama (birther lies), and at what people are actually saying about why they voted the way they did. Over at Whatever, John Scalzi's blog, a commenter (Layla Lawlor) notes that she has family and friends who voted for Trump, and they are saying things about returning to the way things were, when they were "nice for white people" and they didn't have to let black people and religious minorities into cultural institutions, etc.
- Working-class people who've been deeply harmed by the destruction of decent jobs and who feel they've been ignored by Washington and people on the coasts. They are right to be resentful and to want more for themselves and their children. Their interests have been neglected by neo-liberals and trade pacts that moved jobs to Mexico and China, and it's not like they've gotten the help that, as our fellow Americans, they deserved.
- Yes, sexism. Misogyny.
- People who voted for Trump thinking he couldn't possibly win. This happened with Brexit as well, where there was a fair amount of voters' remorse the next day / week / month. People your votes should not be cast as protests. Write letters instead.
- Third-party votes. Again, I haven't seen numbers on Johnson and Stein, but....Okay, here's something. Short article quoting a FiveThirtyEight analyst on why J & S probably did not swing the election to Trump. You can read the article itself at FiveThirtyEight.com. electoral-vote.com claims today that Stein voters in WI could have swung the state to Clinton, and that appears true; however note that Trump's margin of victory, 27,000 votes, is dwarfed by the 300,000 turned away by bogus voter ID laws - voter suppression.
- The Clinton baggage. In 2008, I supported John Edwards and, after he flamed out, Barack Obama. Part of the reason was fearing that Clinton had been chased around and investigated for so long that she was basically radioactive to a large part of the electorate. It turns out that perhaps I was right. I don't know why I thought this year might be different and I certainly don't know why the Democratic field was so small and uncompetitive. Thomas Frank makes the case that she was absolutely the wrong candidate for now.
- Should we have nominated Bernie? Would he have done better? We can't know. I do not doubt that he would have been branded a Communist, which he isn't, and given the anti-Semitic communications from Trump and his campaign, and given the power of the alt-right just now, the anti-Semitism directed at Bernie would have been very, very bad. Was she a terrible candidate? No, she ran an excellent campaign and everybody, including Trump and his campaign, though she would win. I do think she might have been the Democratic version of Jeb Bush. I do not have any idea how much of the terrible turnout is attributable to her.
- Totally unknown but might have made a difference: the email server and especially FBI director Comey's interventions.
- The desire of people for someone likable over someone competent (see also: Gore and Kerry vs. Bush, although argh Bush v. Gore). Clinton is not seen as likable; not that Trump is! Some huge percentage of people who voted for him think he lacks the appropriate temperament for the Presidency, and hoo boy, are they right.
Here's some reading material for the day after a catastrophe. There is no doubt that we are in deep trouble, with a treaty-wrecking, climate-change-denying, isolationist in the presidency, a person who doesn't read, is deeply ignorant, and will appoint people like Scalia to the SC, and have in his cabinet the likes of Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, and Rudy Giuliani. I am deeply grieved and scared today and I'm sure many of you are as well. Read, take care of yourself, and act.
- Barack Obama's speech today (transcription)
- Hillary Clinton's speech today (transcription and video)
- Jon Chait on Republican authoritarianism (terrifying)
- Jon Chait on what happened yesterday (Turnout, basically)
- David Frum on a Trump presidency (A conservative, he held his nose and voted for HRC.)
- NY Times editorial
- Ross Douthat (I mostly can't stand what he writes, but he also held his nose and voted for HRC. He is also clearly terrified of Trump.)
- Ari Berman, The Nation: The GOP's Attack on Voting Rights was the Most Undercovered Story of the Election
- John Scalzi
- Charles Stross
- David Remnick
- Sator Arepo, anonymous musicologist/cultural historian
- Liz Henry, activist
- Ijeoma Oluo on white supremacy in the US
- Jamelle Bouie, Slate: White Won
- Jill Filipovic, CNN
- Mike the Mad Biologist
- Thomas Frank: Donald Trump is moving to the White House, and liberals put him there
- Mikki Halpin, When They Go Low, We Go Local
- Election Law Blog
(I am embarrassed at having only three female commentators listed above! What is wrong with me?)
What should we do now? Self-care, to start with. Donating to progressive or radical organizations you care about. (Jezebel has a list of such orgs. There must be others.) Working toward finding and electing Democrats to the Senate in 2018. (I don't know how Feingold and Bayh blew it. McGinty came amazingly close. Looks as though Maggie Hassan might pull out NH, but WTF 19,000 votes for the independent there.) Finding lots of younger people who want to hold elected office - remember, if millennials had been the only Americans who voted, we would be inaugurating our first female president, come January, and she would have won in a landslide.