(TRIGGER WARNING: This is long and it’s all your fault. I tried to keep this as short as possible, but being able to make a list of all the reasons Donald Trump lost reelection small enough to fit on the Internet requires the same advanced Swiss particle accelerator CERN used to find the God Particle, and they just loaned it out to your wife to help her find your dick. But since you’re all such well-read free thinkers that own libs for breakfast, this should be no problem. As a show of good faith, I will observe the sacred traditions of your people by including lots of pictures, putting key phrases in bold, and constantly using the phrase “you fucking idiots”.)
A politician lied to you.
I know, I know. Normally plot twists are saved for the end of the story. One sentence out the gate and already your mind’s been expanded beyond the limits of human understanding, the poli sci equivalent of a slightly more racist H.P. Lovecraft monster. What kind of madman comes up with stuff like this?
Donald Trump is the most honest man that ever lived. Everything he says is true. I know because he told me! Why would he ever lie? What possible motivation could he have, besides financial gain, personal pride, holding onto immense political power, and about fifty other things?
Yet here we are, with the final votes of the 2020 Presidential election trickling in, and it appears the final vote count will see Sleepy Joe, the worst Presidential candidate in the history of American politics, winning the popular vote by over six million votes, the most ever cast for a Presidential candidate.
Now, I know your first instinct is to casually end the world’s oldest democracy by demanding the courts magically hand Trump millions of votes for absolutely no reason, but according to some lawyers I consulted whose hair isn’t melting like it opened the Ark of the Covenant, apparently this is illegal. And since printouts of your uncle’s Facebook status updates are inadmissible as evidence, you’re kinda screwed.
So maybe now, after changing your XXL adult diaper and chugging the 12-pack of Miller High Life you’d been saving for a special occasion, you could take a moment to pause and reflect on how this happened. Instead of committing treason.
Lucky for you, I’m a gracious winner, so in the interest of healing our country and moving forward into a new era of spite-based legislative deadlock, I’ve written this helpful guide to explain the complexities and nuances of how a platform of “helpless whining” and “not caring” somehow failed to resonate with voters. There’s some big words at the beginning, but don’t be scared! After that, it’s all stuff a child could understand.
One thing you learn very, very quickly about Trumpism is that any relation it has to politics is incidental. It happens to involve politics, but the similarities end there. It could’ve just as easily began as a religion, or a self-help book, or a steak sold at The Sharper Image.
Within two minutes of Trump descending his golden escalator and declaring that he’s not racist but Mexicans are a horde of rapists that need to be kept out with a giant cartoon wall clearly stolen from Game of Thrones, it became clear to most people that this wasn’t so much a serious policy discussion among equals as it was the solution to Encyclopedia Brown and the Case Of The Downfall Of The American Empire.
The whole thing was so dumb it accidentally became profound, sprawling into an abstract, philosophical inquiry into grand questions of epistemology: Where do people get their ideas from? Why do they believe them? How do they spread? What do people view as the ultimate source of truth? How can anyone be that gullible? Stuff like that.
One of the first and most valuable lessons Trumpism has taught me is that it’s often far more productive to pay attention to the premise behind someone’s argument than the argument itself. Oftentimes the things a person chooses to base their argument on, and the assumptions behind it, can reveal a lot about a person’s values, worldview, and expectations.
For example, seconds after announcing his candidacy, this actually happened:
A politician came up to you and said “Hello, I’d like you to give me incredible power. By the way, you’re gonna hear a lot of bad things about me from everybody on earth, myself included. Constantly. But that’s only because the whole world is out to get me for no reason. Everybody but me is a liar. You should trust me and only me. Now let me do whatever I want.”
To which you replied “Okay, thanks for the heads up!”
I know you guys hate political correctness and using pretentious jargon to conceal harsh truths, but there honestly are no words in the English language to convey how fucking stupid you were to not only fall for this, but use it as the baseline premise of your worldview for the next four years.
But if you examine the underlying assumptions behind this argument, rather than its specifics, you quickly realize the complete absence of critical thinking isn’t a bug. It’s a feature. Trump casually declared himself Master of Reality because he wanted to.
While pretty much every other political philosophy in human history has been, for better or worse, about pursuing the truth and changing the world for the better, Trumpism is the belief that reality is whatever’s most convenient for you.
It’s all the cheapest, tackiest parts of infomercial capitalism, sold using bottom-of-the-barrel sales tactics appealing to the laziest, most decadent impulses of a pampered constituency that embodies an empire in decline, repackaged as a political movement instead of a diet pill. It’s the political equivalent of those infomercials that con lazy slobs into thinking there’s a magic pill that will give them a six-pack without dieting or exercising like those beta cuck nerds at the gym.
Why be one of those suckers that “thinks critically” and “listens to other people” when you can just declare yourself awesome?
That’s why traditional debate tactics, like supporting your claims with evidence or appealing to the other person’s better angels, are absolutely useless against Trumpism. Those arguments are based on the flawed assumption that you share common values and place the well-being of your country over your intellectual insecurities.
If Trump shot someone on 5th Avenue, on camera, in front of thousands of witnesses, you’d argue that the witnesses were all biased Never Trumpers, the footage was digitally manipulated, the victim didn’t exist, the victim didn’t die and is just faking it, the gunman was an actor was posing as Trump to frame him, the victim was an Antifa plant that had it coming, and finally, that murder was legal in Word War II and this is just more Leftist hypocrisy.
In that exact order.
If Trump Tweeted “I AM GOING TO SHOOT (with gun) this Failing Loser on fifth avenue (Best avenue) IN THIRTY MINUTES” right before doing it, you’d point out the shooting actually occurred 31 minutes later.
This will keep going until the other person buries their face in their hands and murmurs “What is fucking wrong with you?” Congratulations! You just OWNED THE LIBS.
By the standards of someone that doesn’t care if they look like an idiot, this tactic has a 100% success rate and has served you very well for the past four years. (And us too, because you were so proud of your imaginary successes, you haven’t achieved nearly as much as you could’ve had you actually tried.)
It’s just got one little problem: Reality doesn’t care about your feelings.
The problem isn’t that you expected your guy to win. Everybody does that. The problem is that you thought it was impossible to lose. You were unable and willing to look at this campaign objectively because objectivity has no place in Trumpism.
Combine that with a loudmouth manchild that would sooner burn this country to the ground than graciously accept defeat, and this election was a ticking time bomb from the start.
We all saw this coming. Nobody expected you guys to be gracious losers. You were never going to shake our hand and say “Well, it was a hard fight, but you guys won fair and square. Congratulations.” We knew you were going to melt down and do exactly what you’re doing, even if it meant undermining the most sacred ideals our country was founded upon, because your worldview was designed around convenience and comfort, not the truth.
So here’s exactly why you lost, in the simplest language possible:
You were selfish and weak.
You spent the past four years living in a bubble, and reality just popped it.
You voluntarily placed yourself in an informational vacuum by deliberately surrounding yourself with like-minded people who share your beliefs and wouldn’t challenge your worldview.
You assumed, without question, that if you like Trump, then everyone must like Trump.
You were unable or unwilling to separate facts from opinion. You swaddled yourself in comforting lies instead of uncomfortable truths.
You convinced yourself that whatever made you feel good must be true and whatever made you feel uncomfortable must be false.
You refused to listen to others.
You chose simplicity over complexity, quick fixes over hard work.
You thought your community was the center of the universe and everybody else was just The Other, an enemy to be conquered.
When others spoke, you refused to listen.
When Black Americans took to the streets in unprecedented numbers to protest police brutality and institutionalized racism, your first impulse was to declare, in your authority as a white man that’s consulted with other white men, that racism isn’t a big deal and all these Blacks have no idea what they’re talking about.
You didn’t listen to a god damn word they said.
You spoke of Blacks only as destructive, unthinking animals incapable of self-governance, rioters and looters that needed to be put down with physical force. Months after the brief and isolated period of rioting died down, you continued talking about Black Lives Matter as if it had been torching entire cities to the ground every single day.
But why are they on the streets in the first place? What brought them here? Because Blacks are unthinking window-smashing machines that can literally go out on the streets and burn things for hours a day, every day, for months on end, without knowing why. They’re children that can’t think for themselves. They’re not profound Critical Thinkers like you.
(Hey, on a totally unrelated note, why am I constantly being “mislabeled” a racist? It’s weird how this keeps happening to me.)
The best defense you have against charges of racism is that you’re equally shitty to everyone else.
Whenever anyone tried to talk about their problems — often extremely serious problems that would arouse empathy in normal humans — you mocked them, taunted them, told them their problems were pathetic, called them triggered crybabies that needed a Safe Space and a security blanket.
Which you said from the comfort of your own ideological Safe Space, clutching your own security blanket, sucking on the pacifier of right-wing media propaganda.
The natural consequence of this logic was that you’d eventually convince yourselves that apathy and a total lack of compassion was some kind of spectacular achievement.
If you saw a news article about an activist group petitioning the local Secretary of State office for not being ADA compliant because the front entrance lacked a wheelchair ramp, you’d post a comment reading “lmao what a bunch of pussies LEARN TO WALK CRYBABBYS”, then brag about it later on Xbox Live as if you’d just given the Statue Of Liberty an orgasm.
At some point, you learned that college courses were including Trigger Warnings in their curriculums, where people with severe PTSD — primarily traumatized veterans and survivors of sexual assault — could opt-out of certain parts of the curriculum because their educational value was outweighed by the potential for inflicting excruciating pain on the people who least deserve it.
Now, while there are totally reasonable, fact-based arguments that Trigger Warnings are well-intentioned but detrimental to helping people with PTSD fully recover, it’s hard to believe your opposition to them was grounded in the victim’s best interests when you’re starting every sentence about it with “lmao”.
For about 18 months, this was your go-to catchphrase. You had this surreal, almost neurotic compulsion to reply to literally any form of criticism — scratch that, any statement whatsoever — with “lmao did i TRIGGER YUO snowflake”, no matter how confusing or nonsensical it sounded. And while it was kind of funny how the irony of being triggered into saying you triggered someone flew completely over your heads, like most catchphrases, it also got repetitive and annoying pretty quickly, which I guess kinda counts as OWNING THE LIBS. AGAIN.
“Oh boy!” you thought. “Finally, a chance to assert my Alpha Male dominance over war heroes and sexual assault survivors! Now everyone will want to come to my birthday party!”
Honestly, if this guide was aimed at anyone but Trump voters, I could stop writing right here. Jesus Christ. What is wrong with you people.
It’s not as if I’m trying to appeal to your conscience, since we already established you don’t have one. It’s that you thought you could win a popularity contest by alienating people. It’s not that you were unaware that Trump was pissing everyone off, it was that you were stupid enough to think making enemies was a selling point.
Even complete sociopaths acting totally in self-interest can teach themselves how normal human emotions work through basic pattern recognition. Given enough time, even the writers of Dexter could theoretically learn how to imitate human speech. (Take that, Dexter!)
Yet when you encountered the utterly predictable backlash to picking a fight with rape victims, rather than accepting the consequences, you whined that you were being censored. How dare cause and effect exist.
When most people are trying to enact political reforms, they expect to encounter massive resistance from entrenched powers and plan accordingly because they’re fighters.
When you encountered resistance, you whined.
You whined about how unfair it was that people weren’t just falling over and handing you victories. You whined the media wasn’t blindly parroting your talking points. You whined that your movement wasn’t more popular because people were “biased” against you. (Excellent deduction, Sherlock.)
You whined that you were experiencing consequences for treating others poorly, as if the basic concept of actions having consequences never crossed your mind, as if anyone who forms a negative opinion of you was somehow cheating, as if the world owes you a respect that you never gave others.
Naturally, your brain interpreted the pretty straightforward criticism that other people besides you exist by assuming everyone was jealous of your toughness.
It wasn’t that you were tough. You are the antithesis of tough. (“Antithesis” means “opposite.”)
Toughness, by definition, is earned through hardship, struggle, and sacrifice, concepts that are utterly foreign to Trumpism, which treats toughness as a medal you award yourself for doing absolutely nothing. To use an analogy none of you will relate to, you can’t build muscle mass by endlessly lifting the pink weights.
You can inherit money. You can’t inherit strength.
Toughness demands hard work and personal accountability. (And just so we’re clear, “personal accountability” means PERSONAL accountability, not holding everyone else to a high standard while you make excuses and demand handouts.) It lives and grows off of getting as far away from your comfort zone as possible, putting yourself in the arena, and gaining wisdom and humility from your failures.
You know what isn’t difficult? Being a selfish prick. That’s the easiest thing in the world.
When we see some sixtysomething Trump voter with a massive beer gut and a FUCK YOUR FEELINGS t-shirt that’s three sizes too small, nobody’s thinking “Oh no, I’m getting owned so hard by this cool badass!” They’re rolling their eyes and writing him off as a random douchebag because they have no reason to respect this person’s opinion.
I’m not getting “owned”, I’m getting mildly annoyed. Which is how humans normally respond to an elderly man behave like a child for attention. I do get a little depressed when I start thinking about the fact that he’s nearing the end of his life and this is all he has to show for it, so…congratulations? You won?
And this total absence of toughness, this weakness, is exactly what brought you here. You prided yourself on ignoring the feelings of others and were shocked to learn they don’t care what you think.
It’s why you refused to examine this race objectively. That would be too much effort. Too many scary things to consider.
Had you taken off your security blanket, left your Safe Space, and made even the slightest effort to think critically, you would’ve seen about 100 enormous flashing neon signs all screaming TRUMP IS FUCKED. They weren’t subtle, and they weren’t secret.
Trump supporters were never the majority. Ever. He lost the popular vote by about 3 million votes in 2016 and had consistently miserable approval ratings throughout his term. At no point did his polling averages rise above 50%. His biggest selling point was that he pissed lots of people off, an obviously brilliant political strategy that has no drawbacks whatsoever.
Oh yeah, and over 250,000 Americans are dead because he went out of his way to make wearing masks a partisan issue, picked fights with medical experts for no reason, bragged about his ratings, and by his own admission lied about the severity of COVID, calling it a “Dem hoax” and dismissing it as “just like the flu.”
Now, you might not care about the deaths of a quarter-million of your countrymen because all these Never Trumper corpses are biased against Trump and are out to make him look bad, but millions of us on both sides of the aisle did. (Though I’m sure you’ll magically rediscover your compassion the moment Biden takes office.)
Ted Bundy could’ve told you this.
Even if you’re the most diehard Trump supporter on earth, these things alone should’ve been massive red flags. But instead of being an adult and accepting that you were in a bad situation and needed to do something about it, you chose to spent the next four years in complete denial, behaving as if he had won all 50 states with a 125% approval rating.
Because it made you feel good.
Beyond that, I don’t have nearly enough space to even begin to rattle off seemingly endless string of things Trump and his administration said and did that, by themselves, would instantly end the political careers of any other President. It all just sort of blurs together into one giant Omniscandal, and as I said earlier, fact-based arguments supported by real world evidence that rely on basic inductive reasoning are a total waste of time and energy.
All I’m asking you to do — and even this is a leap, I know — is try as hard as you can to imagine a world where maybe other people might not like that.
Because while you were daydreaming, an unprecedented coalition of people from all across the political spectrum, including a historic number of Republicans, was mobilizing against Trump. Groups and organizations that had never before involved themselves in Presidential politics began publicly endorsing Biden because they understood that Trumpism was an existential threat to this country that transcended partisan politics. This too should’ve been a massive alarm bell.
But no, you chose your security blanket over reality. Once again, you hid in your bubble.
You noticing a pattern here? Probably not, so let me spell it out for you:
Pretty much everyone’s brain, to some degree or another, is hardwired to take shortcuts and gravitate towards beliefs that validate their worldview. We’re all subject to a little bit of confirmation bias, and that’s okay. It’s part of who we are.
But the difference between an intelligent, critical thinker and a dumb person overestimating their own intelligence is how they approach this.
Smart people genuinely want to understand the world as best they can. They question everything, including themselves, and don’t let anybody off the hook because it’s convenient. They know it’s impossible to be 100% objective, but they can do a pretty good job of separating fact from personal opinion, even when forcefully stating theirs. They can like a certain politician or news outlet without blindly accepting everything they say.
And that takes lots and lots of hard work, usually with little to no reward, but they do it anyway because it’s the right thing to do.
Intellectually lazy people, on the other hand, naturally gravitate towards shortcuts. Instead of viewing their personal biases as a roadblock to work around, they simply warp reality to fit their expectations. They cannot wrap their heads around the fact that they are not the center of the universe.
So here’s what’s going to happen: Trump will keep trying a few more Hail Marys in the courts that will completely belly flop, just like all the other legal challenges he’s presented, because the American judiciary is not a Facebook UFO conspiracy theory page and requires actual evidence. Then he’ll openly try a couple more blatantly illegal things that will never work, and Republicans will publicly humor him, even though they know what a pathetic dead-end this, because they’re opportunistic cowards with no sense of duty or love of country.
We’ll never get a concession speech, or even a farewell address. Instead, he’ll lock himself away like a moody teenager, abandon the vast majority of his Presidential duties out of sheer spite, try to sabotage the transition, then quietly slink away to Mar-a-Lago. He’ll continue to make baseless claims of voter fraud until his dying day because he isn’t strong enough to admit defeat like a real man and never will be. He was born a child and he will die a child. He will cry, he will whine, he will Tweet, he will pout and mope and stomp his feet.
And then, on January 20th, 2021, Joseph R. Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America, and Donald Trump will be fired.
Fuck your feelings, and God bless America.