So it turns out, the total votes cast in 2016 exceeded the number cast in 2012 and 2008. It turns out the election wasn't "boycotted" by those who voted in the previous two presidential elections, at least no more, and somewhat less, than elections have been "boycotted" or ignored in the past.
Trump received about one million more votes than Romney received in 2012, losing the popular vote by over 2 million to Hillary Clinton, whose own vote total was about 1.5 million less than that Obama received in 2012, which in turn was 2 million less than he himself received in 2008.
Now shock and awe have given rise, as shock and awe always do, to "stories," to creation myths, attempting to explain exactly how the world, this world, has come into being. They're called "narratives," as if the material substance is the "story," is the "tell," like the "waiting ones" in Beyond Thunderdome do a telling, repeat the telling, and the telling is the material of history, even if, even when, but most of all, because it isn't.
"We ain't been slack, Captain."
"We kept it straight, you'll see. Everything marked, everything 'membered."
"Alienated, disaffected, angry white working class... Living in Pox-Eclipse; in a world of pain, mediated by vicodin and oxycontin and suicide."
"Workers, Captain Walker, voted twice for O-o-o-o-bama. Post-race America of thee we sing. Kept it straight, see. Marked and 'membered. Then voted for the big Orange. See, Captain? Not race, class. They waz angry workers. Fed up with the way of it all, the liberal-ing, the elit-ing of it all. The big orange man, he spoke to those that waz angry. He told them he knew everything about deals and they had gotten a raw one. He promised to bring them back to the future, a morrow-morrow land of home made air conditioners, and bright shining coal mines-- coal mines as far as the eye could see, and millions of them going to work everyday in the mines and coming home every night and nothing to stand in the way of them and their happiness except maybe black lung (a hoax perpetrated by China to undercut red white and blue, said the big Orange). Them that waz angry believed the big Orange because he said he was angry too. It was class, not race, because they were workers, and white had almost nothing to do with it even if the big Orange was also promising to build walls, to keep out, throw out, force out, those from southern countries with browner skins, darker hairs, and different language."
That's one story. It even comes with maps, showing the states going to the big Orange, and those that flipped from the Democrat side to the Republican.
But here are a couple of other maps: First up, a map of states (in blue) with anti-union "right-to-work" laws. Looks kind of like the presidential vote by states, doesn't it? Except for Pennsylvania, Montana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio-- and Ohio isn't from a lack of effort by its "reasonable Republican" governor, Kasich.
Twenty-one states introduced voter suppression measures since 2010. 2016 was the first general election since the US Supreme Court disallowed the Voting Rights Act despite that the Voting Rights Act reauthorization bills invariably garnered massive, if not unanimous, support in the Congress.
But... we're supposed to believe that the anti-worker legislation; the voter suppression laws did not determine the outcome of this election? We're supposed to believe that workers flipped a gigantic middle-finger at the status quo? That years and years of Fox News, of Murdoch, of Scott Walker, of Kasich, of the Koch Brothers, of police shootings, of non-police shootings, didn't mobilize racism in the service of capital? We're supposed to believe that when the household median income of Trump voters is above the national median?
That's a narrative all right, but it misses a critical component of the class struggle . It misses the real history of the bourgeoisie's struggle against the meager gains in equality; the relentless attempts to rollback racial and social equality; that that rollback was intrinsic, and essential to, the transfer of wealth "up" the social ladder; the aggrandizement of more by fewer. Never have so many paid so much to so few.
The weapons used against the working class as a whole since 1973 were tempered, tested, blooded, in the attacks on black labor, in the opposition to the emancipation of black labor. The weapons that will be used against the class as a whole for the next unknown years have been tempered, tested, and blooded in the attacks on migrant labor. That's no narrative. The history, such that it is, of impaired capitalism is the history of the attack on the condition of labor.
"Who runs Bartertown?" Aunty Entity or MasterBlaster? It's still shit, and you're still shoveling.
November 25, 2016