Skepticrat 40 - Post Mortem
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14-11-2016, 10:41 AM
Skepticrat 40 - Post Mortem
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Skepticrat 040 - Postmortem Edition

It's Monday, November 14th, and the word of the day is 'ballot'. Which means that piece of paper with the names of potential government leaders on it that over 108 million of you lazy fucks didn't fill out this year! Used in a sentence, 'This year's ballot included an accused rapist running for President'. Who won...

Yeah, normally I'd add something here, but I don't think I have anything to add. I'm Noah Lugeons. I'm Eli Bosnick! I'm Heath Enwright, and broadcasting delayed from America's far center, we are The Skepticrats.

On episode 40, we edit out a full 90% of the screaming. We try to say 'President-elect Trump' without swallowing back vomit, but we don't try very hard. And all you fertile ladies out there should probably stock up on abortions while you still can. Yeah, and also some kind of pussy protection gear. But first, the diatribe (and yes, we know what show this is).

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Never done a diatribe on this show before. You know, we've done duotribes, and now that Eli's on the show we'll have to think of something else to call those, but I still need to sound off. Obviously the big question on the minds of rational American now is 'What the fuck happened?' And look, that's not a backwards looking question; if the American meritocracy is so fucked up that a meritless bullying pervert can rise to the top of it, this is a pretty essential question to sort out. Because there are groups of people to blame, and we need to figure out who the fuck they are. So, let me start with me.

I was a Hillary supporter from the start. In my assessment she was the most qualified candidate that had tossed their hat into the ring and I still think she would have made a pretty solid President. I figured Obama got a few good thing going and the country needed a nice, boring, bureaucrat like Hillary to take care of a few of the changes that he had initiated; you know, see them through that next stage. I figure we needed somebody moderate enough not to scare away the center right. Someone who had been thoroughly vetted by the national opposition, and somebody with a strong record on realistic progressive policies; and she had all of those things. And when the Bernie supporters told me to go fuck myself with my old-school 'politics as usual' establishment choice, I ignored them. I gave my preferred candidate a lukewarm defense, and if they were really persistent I'd just give up. I didn't take the threat of a Donald Trump Presidency seriously enough to believe that it really mattered that I convinced those people. I had a platform that I could have been using to shout about this shit for months now, and all I really did was make fun of the pussy-grabbing type shit.

But in retrospect, I owe the Bernie crowd an apology, and this is it. You guys warned me that Hillary was too boring to inspire young people to the poles, and you were right. You know I agreed, I didn't think it was going to be so critically important, but I agreed that you were right; and I know a lot of my fellow Hillary supporters are loathe to admit this at this point, but we should have listened. Because whatever you think of Bernie, you have to admit he could have upped the turnout on key demographics, particularly young people. I still think Hillary would have made a better President than Bernie, and we can argue about that all you want. But I think we can all agree that either of them would be orders of magnitude better than President-elect Trump. So that's my apology to Bernie supporters. I should have taken you and your concerns more seriously.

But that's also where I draw the line. Because I've seen a ton of Bernie supporters trying to absolve themselves of any post-election guilt with prognostications about how much better their candidate would have done in the general. Look, guys, galls, slowdown. Right, we can all agree that he'd likely have drawn a lot more young voters to the pole, but that does not an election make. Who the hell knows what they would've dug up on him, what would have stuck, he has not been nationally vetted. Who the hell knows how many frightened Americans would run to the polls to vote against The Socialist. Sure, he would have captured some of the of the Trump anti-establishment vote, but to put that forward as proof that he would have won the general election is silly. And don't come to me with a bunch of polls showing how much better he would have done in Wisconsin or wherever, those same pollsters were showing Hillary winning handily the night before, remember? We've seen the man run one national campaign, and he lost to a lady that couldn't even beat Donald Trump. I'm not saying he couldn't have won, but if you have no doubt that Bernie would have won, you're doubting wrong and you should know better.

You know, every time we have a Presidential election, we go through this shit. The party that lost has a fight over whether they should have gone further towards their base or tried harder to appeal to the middle. But at the moment it's not about whether we should move further to the left or further to the center, so much as we need to move closer together. So step one here is we need to get over this 'if everybody had just listened to me' shit. The Hillary supporters should have taken the Bernie supporters more seriously, and at the same time the Bernie supporters should have taken the situation more seriously. I know a lot of you fell in line and you held your nose and voted for Hillary, but that clearly wasn't enough. You know, when you saw what we were up against it was your civic duty to get behind your candidate with full-throated support. Like it or not, the Presidential election gives you a binary choice, that's the system we have. You may not like Hillary Clinton, but she was the only one on that ballot that represented LGBT rights, or women's rights, or the rights of immigrants, or religious freedom, or basic human decency. She was the representative of those causes, and whatever you think of her, you owed it to your democracy to get excited about those causes!

I mean, I'm not trying to give you too much shit. I'm just suggesting you're probably guilty of the same crime I'm guilty of, right? You didn't take the threat seriously enough, and if you thought it would be enough to show up at the polls, mutter something under your breath about how much better we can do and cast your reluctant apathetic vote, you were wrong. You didn't see yourself in ther voting for continued steps towards LGBT equality, or social progress, or affordable healthcare. You saw yourself in there voting for Hillary Clinton. So you know what? You get off with a couple of Hail Mary's, or a few minutes in timeout or whatever. But then there are those others of you, those who did not vote for Hillary; folks who didn't bother to vote at all, or pissed away their civic duty on some impotent dick waving protest vote. They pouted their way though the election like a starving man turning away a sandwich because he wanted the crusts cut off. They sat there justifying their civic ineptitude by acting like it's the job of some candidate to inspire them to bear the minimal fucking responsibility of driving across town to push a fucking button. I'm sorry nobody told you this last month, but the simple fact that you want your gay friends to keep their rights is supposed to be enough to inspire you to do that! The simple fact that you don't want your country run by a guy who thinks global warming is a myth is supposed to do the trick here! The fact that you've been entrusted with the care of the world's oldest semi-functional democracy is supposed to be all the inspiration that you need to go to the goddamn polls and vote for the person who isn't Donald goddamn fucking Trump! I mean, quit bitching about the government people! You are the government!

I mean yes, it is an imperfect democracy sure. But how can you justify bitching about it's imperfections if you're not doing your fucking job in the first place!? A democracy sure as hell can't be better than the voters who actually show up to the polls, can it!? If you actually want to fix shit, you have to start voting in primaries, voting in local elections, donating your time and money to congressional candidates that you like, following the national and local news, seeking out objective sources on ballot initiatives, and engaging with your friend who disagree with you politically. Now if that sounds like too much trouble, don't worry, there is another way! You can master a couple of phrases like 'the whole system is rigged' and 'vote 'em all out', and you can cling to those like a Christian chanting the 'mysterious way' mantra. You can stay at home bitching on Facebook about how your needs aren't being taken seriously, while continuously reiterating the message that you're sending to the politicians that YOU DON'T MATTER!

Look, we're bad at democracy. My generation, the one before me, the one after me; we like to protest. That's what we want to do, that makes us feel engaged! It's fun! And in some instances, it also really accomplishes super important shit! But all of those instances, right? The actual change? The sausage making that winds up with a country that we're happier with happens in boring fucking meetings with arcane rules and ostentatious titles. Bruce Carlson from the My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast called politics 'the boring stuff that happens instead of war', and I don't know that a better definition has ever been offered. Boring is right at the heart of politics! It's a necessary component! If you've ever been to a city council meeting, or a legislative session, you'll know the only time it isn't boring is when it isn't working! You know even going to vote is often an arduous and time consuming experience. So, you know, you could read up on energy policy and write letters to your Congressman, or you could go to a big pipeline protest. The honest truth is that the former is probably going to accomplish more, but it's going to be boring as hell and you won't get any cool picture. From the Baby Boom on, that's where we seem to think that our political efforts are best spent.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that protests are useless, or that we shouldn't protest. When they're done right and organized around a coherent cause, organized protests are among the most powerful democratic weapons we have at our disposal. So if we want real change, we do need people who are willing to show up in the street and be counted, we do need people ready to give these impassioned speeches, we do need the fun shit to still happen! But that is just the tip of the iceberg of lasting, meaningful political change! We also have to attend to all the other iceberg shit if we want to make it stick! If we're only active so long as we're enraged, the powers-that-be know that all they have to do is placate us for a week then distract us with something else.

If you're feeling like I am this week, angry and impotent and ashamed of your country? If you feel like going back in time to tell the Founding Fathers that they were overestimating us? I have a suggestion. Write down how you're feeling right now, or say it into a voice recorder, or take a picture, or whatever you have to do to hold onto this memory, this feeling right now. And then go out there and take back your fucking democracy! Whatever you're doing now, ramp it up! If you only vote in the Presidential elections? Start voting in the midterms! If you don't know who your congressperson is, find out! If you haven't written to them? Write to them! If you haven't gone to a city council meeting? Go to one! If you've never considered running for office? Maybe change your mind? we've never needed you more! Donate your time and your money and your rage! And whenever it gets boring and seems pointless, try to come back to here, to right now. Try to live in this feeling a little while so you'll remember what it feel like when you leave this kind of shit, shit this important, to everybody else!

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So ever since we elected a Jack-o-Lantern Troll doll to be President, everybody's been looking for someone to blame, and mostly they're finding the people they were already blaming for other shit. Which is apparently good enough to win a Presidential election, so maybe it's the right strategy; and that's why we've decided to see if we can help everyone else prioritize their rage with a quick trip to the Blame-o-Meter. So Noah, Eli, here's how it's going to work. I'll name a possible culprit for blame, and you tell me on a scale from 1 to 10, where Donald Trump is 10, how much blame they get that our country is now going to be run by a person who's spoken sentences cannot be transcribed with punctuation.

You guy's ready? Uh, is this an exponential scale, or what? Uh, you know what, I'm ready. Alright, let's start with an obvious one: third party voters, go!

Oh! Um, 857! No, wah-wa-wa-wa-wa-wait! Before you start Tweeting, I want to be very clear. I sent this out a few times on my social media and stuff, and Noah addressed this on the diatribe, and the response that we've gotten is 'No! It's not our fault for handing Trump the Presidency! It's your fault because your candidate wasn't shiny and new!' The problem is for third party voters, Hillary Clinton was leaps and fucking bounds better qualified than Gary Johnson, who couldn't name a foreign leader he admired or what Aleppo was. Or Jill Stein, who was an anti-vax, anti-wifi, anti-nuclear power nut-job. And I swear to god the first Green Party asshole who doesn't take the time to Google fact-check the nature of what I just said, I'm gonna drive to your home, I'm gonna sneak into your little hemp window, I'm gonna cutout your heat and I'm gonna eat it, because it's organic. Non-GMO, no Monsanto, you hear me?

If you wanted to use your vote to send a message, and that message was not 'I don't give a fuck who the President is', your message remains unheard!

Yeah, and I'd like to paraphrase a great philosopher here, he's also a general counsel here for Puzzle In A Thunderstorm LLC. So I though Andrew [Torez] said it best on Atheistically Speaking [podcast] when he pointed out that casting a vote is not equal to sending a goddamn message! A vote is a means of achieving a desired outcome, that's it! It's not like Donald Trump is going to be sitting there in the Oval Office saying to himself 'You know what? Jill Stein got 1% of the popular vote, that's pretty good, maybe I should ban wifi?' It's not going to fucking happen!

Right, he may ban wifi, but not because of that. Beyond that, what is the message right? The DNC [Democratic National Committee] is having the same old 'should we have gone further ah left or gone further center?' conversation they always have after losing an election. The third party voters tell them nothing about that.

And I want to address one other thing. The argument that one hears is that 'we don't know that every Gary Johnson voter wasn't otherwise gonna vote for Trump'. And you know what? I'm gonna call bullshit on this, this particular time. Because if they knew well enough not to vote for Donald Trump, than you should have known that in a swing state you needed to vote for Hillary. It's not e-fucking-nough to abstain from evil. You have to fight it, and you fucking didn't. And look, if you voted for Gary Johnson in New York, I want to give you a pass, fine. You're an idiot who needs to listen to the Opening Arguments [podcast] episode about Libertarianism. You need to turn off Stefan Molyneux and open up a fucking civic textbook. But you didn't give this election away. You were just well aware that your message, and your issue of choice, was more important than the safety of others. So live up to it! I just want you to embrace it. I'm not saying you can't, just that you should.

One other thing on this. Even if Jill Stein or Gary Johnson did get 5% of the vote, are we honestly saying that slightly better funding next time and a little bit of ballot access is more important than not putting a maniac in the Oval Office? I mean, I'd love to see third parties have more access and better funding, that's good stuff. But given what you had to weigh that against this time? It's not even a fucking question! What is wrong with you?

The Blame-o-Meter ended at 857, I believe was the bid. We'll roll with that, seems reasonable.



[Man, transcribing this shit is time consuming. This is only the first 19 minutes of 51. -EK]

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