Unity, Tolerance, Democracy, Trump, and 46%.

A thread.

46% of voters voted for Donald Trump.

In 2016, they were in the right states to make that an electoral college victory.

In 2020, they weren't.

46% is not a majority, but it's a sizeable enough minority that it can't be ignored.

A lot of my friends on the left don't understand how anyone could vote for Donald Trump, and want to just ignore or ostracize them.

But you can't.

So let's start with the why: I think these fall into roughly three categories.

First: People who actually like Trump's policies.

Second: People who always vote Republican.

Third: People who felt Trump was better than Clinton or Biden.

And maybe you feel like those are all the same. But I don't think that's the right way to look at things.

See, we live in a democracy. And that means you have to deal with people who aren't in agreement with you.

And how you negotiate with these groups differs.

If you're a Democrat legislator, there are four possible strategies for negotiating with the three kinds of people on the other side.

The first is: Fuck you, we have a majority.

That's where you don't negotiate. If you have a slight majority, you push your agenda.

This is possible, but it generally builds up a backlog of resentment.

Second option: you can trade with the people who like Trump's policies.

Give them reduced immigration and a wall in exchange for Medicare for all.

This is a policy trade you can (conceivably) make.

Third option: dedicated Republicans can also be negotiated with. You can trade off, as above, or adjust numbers.

If you think that Trump is uniquely bad, you can compromise with the dedicated Republicans on non-Trump parts of their agenda. Tax breaks or deregulation.

You can also work with them on things that the Democrats and Republicans basically agree on. Trade deals, or bombing the Middle East.

(Gritting my teeth, here.)

The fourth option is for people who think Trump is better than Clinton or Biden.

Pro-life voters are basically so disgusted with you that they're willing to vote for Donald Trump rather than let you have power.

You can still compromise with them by giving them incremental progress towards their goal in exchange for things you want.

Say, a limitation on late-term abortion in exchange for increased unemployment funding.

But be careful lest you piss of your own base.

But just assuming that every Trump voter is a White Supremacist is no good.

If 46% of the country were _actuality_ White Supremacists, they would have a commanding plurality in Congress. Everyone would have to suck up to them. They would be way better at pushing their agenda.

And that's the nature of representative democracy. You have to compromise with anyone who has a decent amount of voters, and 46% is way above decent.

If this was a parliamentary system, the Trumpist party could form a government by joining with almost any minor party.

Luckily for the left half of American politics, Trump voters are not a monolithic block.

(Of course, the move toward obstructionism and away from compromise in Congress makes this much less effective, but what'ca gonna do?)

@WomanCorn So it turns out that somewhere between 52-48 and 54-46 is the threshold between "you don't have a mandate, we need a People's Vote" and "everyone on the losing side is now an unperson".

Sign in to participate in the conversation

a Schelling point for those who seek one