Dear Liberals: Forget Donald Trump, Here’s Who You Should Really be Protesting

Following Donald Trump’s victory, predictably, some people decided to protest to vent their frustrations. While I understand their fear, anger and frustration (though the violence I’ve seen on both sides is unacceptable), I honestly feel like their anger is misdirected.

Like it or not, Trump seemingly won fair and square. We can argue the semantics of how he ultimately emerged victorious, but based on our rules for electing presidents — he won.

If liberals want to protest something, they should be protesting themselves.

This wasn’t Trump “stealing an election,” this was the left losing one — again. 

In 2000, we saw the same damn thing happen. We followed up a very successful two-term Democratic president by whining about how “not liberal enough” his successor would have been, which ultimately had a hand in gifting George W. Bush the White House. Though it seems that even after eight years of Bush pushing this country to the brink of collapse, far too many on the left didn’t learn a damn thing.

In 2008, liberals showed up in huge numbers to elect Barack Obama to fix the disaster that was the Bush presidency. There was so much talk of hope and change that millions of people built up completely unrealistic expectations about what he was going to be able to accomplish and how quickly he would be able to accomplish it. By 2010, many of these folks had vanished. That gave Republicans massive wins to take back control of the House of Representatives and gain more power in the Senate, which gave the GOP the power to obstruct practically anything and everything Obama would have wanted to pass.

Then the same thing happened in 2012 and 2014 when it came to turning out in large enough numbers to give him the type of Congress he needed to pass his progressive legislation.

Now, in 2016, when we faced the most dangerous (and incompetent) presidential candidate this country has ever seen — a bonafide dictator-like sociopath — quite a few on the left focused much of their time complaining about how “not liberal enough” Hillary Clinton was instead of focusing on the bigger picture: Electing the only person who stood in the way of Republicans ripping apart and destroying progress that took us decades to achieve, putting the lives and rights of millions of vulnerable Americans in peril.

Nope, screw all of that, right? Let’s focus more on outrageously sensationalizing Clinton’s flaws instead of how dangerous Trump’s going to be — that makes much more sense. 

This is not a Trump problem, though he’s clearly going to be our nation’s problem for at least the next four years — and beyond. What happened this election is a problem among liberals that’s been around for decades.

Bill Clinton practically never had a Democratic Congress to help him pass more liberal legislation. This then prompted liberals to complain about how “not liberal enough” he was. The same thing happened to Barack Obama, with the same damn results — more complaining from liberals.

However, because neither men had the type of Congress throughout their presidencies they needed to be more progressive — since liberals didn’t show up during midterm elections to give that to them — many on the left threw hissy fits, became apathetic or complacent.

Then, on November 8th, when Hillary Clinton needed help from liberals, they let her down. And just like we’ve seen before, because far too many on the left did the same thing they always do when we need to fight our hardest against the GOP, they’re going to spend the next few years complaining about the consequences of what’s going to happen with Donald Trump as our president. Consequences that are going to be much worse than even their worst fears (most of which were completely unfounded and irrational) about Clinton.

Sure, liberals are great at getting angry and pissy enough to show up in large numbers to protest whenever they disagree with something — but then far too many of them sit their asses home when it’s time to making sure these science-denying, outdated, knuckle-dragging Republicans don’t control this country.

Oh, but I can guarantee that many of these folks will be out there frustrated and angry, protesting the damage the GOP causes. Damage that they played a vital role in facilitating by helping Republicans gain the power to do so.

Here’s the truth that even Republicans know, which is why they’re doing their best to make voting more difficult: As liberals, progressives, Democrats, and sensible people in general — we hold the power in this country, not them.

The problem is, far too many people are too damn whiny and apathetic to stay focused to do what they need to see the bigger picture and win. It’s great to talk about some idealistic world in which we would all like to live, but the harsh reality is that idealism rarely wins.

In the real world, not this progressive utopia that’s never going to exist any time soon (especially with Trump’s victory), getting what you want takes being pragmatic, the willingness to intelligently compromise and being realistic about the most effective way to accomplish your goals.

The left is literally being defeated over and over in this country (because this is a state and local election problem, too) by some of the least educated and ignorant people in the entire Western Hemisphere. When it comes to crunch time, conservatives are getting out, volunteering and voting for Republicans regardless of whether or not they particularly like them or what they stand for — while many on the left spend their time trying to weaken and divide Democrats.

So, if liberals want to protest something, they should be out there standing up to those who are constantly trying to divide and weaken Democrats because their idealistically pure bullshit is apparently more important to them than snatching power away from Republicans, protecting the rights of millions of vulnerable Americans, and supporting people who can actually win that can help us bring a lot of the changes we want to this country.

Go protest the Green Party, Jill Stein, Ralph Nader and these “ultra-liberal” websites and organizations that often do nothing more than weaken Democrats, divide progressives and distract us from who the true “enemy” to nearly all of our progressive values is: Conservatives and the Republican party. 

It’s those types of people who keep us fighting amongst ourselves who are doing nothing more than playing right into the hands of what Republicans want. Just like they did this year, which ultimately led to the election of a dangerous, dictator-like tyrant in Donald Trump.

If we would stop pointless internal and petty bickering, stay focused and work together — celebrating the fact that many of us are very diverse and have plenty of differences, while using our baseline agreements to work out compromise on more intricate issues — there’s not a damn thing the GOP could do to stop us.

Because it’s like I said earlier, Donald Tump didn’t win this election — liberals lost it.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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