Trump is Terrifying but Hillary would have (maybe) been worse: An Alternative History


Here we are nearly three months after the presidential election and there’s hardly a day that goes by that Hillary Clinton’s supporters don’t blame her loss on something other than its very obvious cause, namely the fact that she ran an appalling campaign and was one of the most disliked candidates in all American history.

But the Clintonistas are still bitterly lamenting all that power and cash that disappeared from their greedy little hands when their candidate went down the tubes, and can’t accept their own role in the debacle. So every day we have a new villain who caused the Trump presidency, among them Bernie Sanders, the sleazy James Comey, the press (which is hilarious given the media’s obvious pro-Hillary tilt), or, lately, Barack Obama, who is currently off vacationing with his family in the British Virgin Islands as his dodgy foundation gears up, with its board of bankers, venture capitalists and tech billionaires, to operate in the trailblazing fashion of Hillary’s own cash-for-access operation.

Sadly, the Clintonistas have convinced a lot of normally balanced people that their self-pitying narrative is accurate and so the hunt goes on for culprits. I’ve even been told by people I know that I personally contributed to Hillary’s defeat by writing a few stories about her. Never mind that the stories were true, that I also wrote critically about Trump (though less frequently) or that my political influence, tragically, doesn’t carry far in the country, let alone to swing voters in the Midwest.

The desire to find a non-Hillary culprit for Hillary’s loss has reached new heights with the early, insane days of the Trump administration. Admittedly, Trump’s start in office has been far more terrifying than I had envisioned, with the executive orders, Muslim-baiting, lavish courting of the far-right, as well as the president’s own apparently thin grip on reality. Even some pretty well-connected Trump supporters I know have been chastened by his loopiness and narcissism, and have said with alarm that he’s completely unpredictable.

Meanwhile, the Clintonistas and many liberals are pointing to all this and blaming anyone who didn’t support Hillary (like me) for Trump (who I also didn’t support), and arguing that her administration would have been so much better by comparison.

These people, of course, have the luxury of knowing that Hillary lost so we’ll never know what her presidency would have looked like. It’s safe to say it would have been terrible — in terms of trade, the likelihood of war, the entrenchment of financial capital, etc — but at the same time it was very unlikely to have degenerated so swiftly into the shit show that has unfolded over the last ten days

But in one fundamental way, I’d argue that Trump winning was the best outcome for the country, and that is that if Hillary had won we wouldn’t have seen the emergence of the vibrant post-inauguration protest movement. I have some problems with the protests — mostly I wish there was a coherent economic agenda — but who cares? The country is politically and economically broken — that’s how we ended up with the appalling Trump v. Hillary choice to begin with — as more and more of the national wealth is funneled upward and more and more people beneath the top of the pyramid are marginalized.

These protests are the best thing that could have happened to the country, and especially because (as far as I can tell) most of the people out on the street detest Hillary and the Democrats and won’t allow the movement to be hijacked by them. Make fun of the hippies and yippies all you want, but that was the last time we’ve had an exciting, ongoing protest movement — and that movement did help stop the war in Vietnam, bring down Nixon and pushed for civil rights, women’s rights and cuts in military spending and U.S. presence overseas.

I don’t know where the protests are heading but I do know that reforming the brain-dead, soulless Democratic Party of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi is not a viable political strategy. You can apply all the mouth-to-mouth you want, nothing can revive that corpse. And I also know that if Hillary were president now, the protests would not have erupted because the demonstrators, like much of the rest of the country, would have mistakenly believed that the “threat” had passed.

Under Hillary, the country was the proverbial frog being slowly boiled to death in a pot of water; under Trump, the water was boiled and the frog was dropped in. But either way at the end of the day you have a dead frog.

So yeah, between watching a Hillary Clinton administration continue with the Democrats’ discredited, corrupt and bellicose policies or watching an incipient protest movement try to stop Trump — and especially the malevolent aides around him — steer the country towards fascism, I’ll take the Trump option. It’s a scary time and we’re all in a lot of trouble if the movement goes nowhere, but at least there’s hope.

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