Public recriminations are still at a fever pitch, thirteen days after Election 2016.
The public discourse on Hillary Clinton’s loss continues to be irrational, and even hysterical, as we face the need for a strong opposition to the incoming Trump administration.
For example, I friended a follower of a Facebook friend of mine a few days ago, since we conversed a lot on his Facebook page. She and I share a strong common interest in social justice. Today, after she saw a WikiLeaks-related post on my Facebook wall, the following conversation ensued:
This kind of dialogue is what I’ve experienced daily in social media ever since the WikiLeaks email dumps started last summer, and it has been maddening to see people who’ve always been perfectly rational completely let go of any logic, as soon as the Clinton campaign becomes the topic at hand.
One would have thought that now that the election is thirteen days in the past, people would finally get back to using a modicum of logic in their political discourse. But nooo…
Earlier today, when checking on replies to a comment I made in the New York Times, I was greeted by this reply:
Here is that illogic again, this time in a reply to a comment I made to a blog post by New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman. His post was strictly about the scam in the making that is Donald Trump’s proposal for an infrastructure bill. Not only does Joan inexplicably bring in Hillary Clinton, but she tells me that commenting on the very subject matter of the blog post is irrelevant. Upon my retort, I received another reply:
Schrodinger’s Cat theory is that we know there is a cat because we put it in the box. The fact that it no longer is in the box, at the end of the experiment, doesn’t mean there never was a cat!
The parallel to Schrodinger’s in the first conversation is that we know Hillary Clinton ran on a specific platform. We know the content of the leaked emails were uncontested. We don’t know for sure Russia supplied them to WikiLeaks, but even if they did, we know that doesn’t affect their authenticity. How is my first interlocutor’s reasoning not completely illogical, if not totally nonsensical?
A corollary to this would be a horrible murder having occurred. There are dozens of witnesses at the scene and everyone is telling the mother that her son was killed in a horrible shootout. The police have already left the scene. The coroner, who is removing the body from the scene, gives the mother his condolences. The mother denies her son is dead because it isn’t the police who informed her. Is the son any less dead because the police didn’t inform the mother?
The conversation in the first graphic is, in essence, the same as the national conversation that has been ongoing in the public arena since summer. That conversation has largely been led by Clinton operatives and a media that have driven home, again and again, that the emails were provided by Russia. But no one ever claimed that the emails were falsified – only that the Russians provided them to WikiLeaks. The emails were still written by Clinton staff and advisers and they still depict an incongruence with the public statements of Hillary Clinton and her campaign. No Russian malfeasance changes that.
I get it that a lot of people are grieving for Donald Trump’s win, and probably will continue to throughout the next four years. I not only empathize, but share the grief and fear for what’s to come. But, please, people, use your heads! Hillary Clinton’s public statements were contradicted by the leaked emails published by WikiLeaks. Clinton never addressed the content of the emails or disputed their authenticity.
What cannot be left out of the conversation is that in those emails and summaries of Wall Street speeches were Clinton’s statements about the dual belief system she operated under: one for public consumption and another, hidden from public view, for her dealings with the power structure. In that regard alone, Clinton and Trump are equivalent. There is no real difference between the parade of oligarchs filing in to interview with Trump for cabinet positions over the last few days, and Hillary Clinton giving paid speeches to a different set of Wall Street oligarchs to tell them what she won’t do against their interests. Corruption, whether it is hidden or public, is still corruption. Like Schrodinger’s cat, we know it’s there, even though we cannot see it.
Malcolm X’s quote on truth is one we must always keep in the front of our minds:
“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.”
We have a lot of work ahead of us, opposing what is sure to be one of the most destructive administrations ever. A part of building a strong opposition is looking back so we can all move forward. Continuing to deny certain truths does not advance the Democratic cause. Continuing to promote divisions by pointing fingers at a part of the electorate, shaming them for not choosing a flawed candidate, is not a healthy way to deal with the fallout of this loss. To now advance theories as ridiculous as this Schrodinger’s example, in order to whitewash Clinton’s flaws, will only further convince progressives that the Democratic party is beyond reform.
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Senator Bernie Sanders explains our political system to high school students in 2003.