2016 - The Year in Politics


Ryan Oldham


Editor's Note: We are proud to introduce a new political column in the pages of SouthernMinn Scene, which will officially premier in our February issue (out next week!). In the meantime, please enjoy a preview of what's to come and welcome our newest brilliant columnist, Ryan Oldham.


Well, it’s over. What felt like the longest election cycle in recent memory, is finally over. No more Nate Silver. No more fact checking on politico and no more political ads clogging up your Monday Night Football. I think I’m pretty happy about that last one. In fact, I’m over the moon about it all.

Think back to the first election you can remember. The first election you were engrossed in as much as you were this one. Has there ever been an election in recent memory that has shown the massive divide America is facing as a country? I think not. There definitely hasn’t been one in recent memory that has been as mentally draining as this one.

But, alas, it is over, and Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. Now, I haven’t been writing for as long as some of my colleagues in this magazine, but in all of my years as a columnist for various publications, I never thought I’d have to write that sentence.

As a country, despite what the popular vote says, we have democratically elected a man who started his campaign saying that Mexican immigrants were rapists. Back then it was a few chuckles from columnists like myself. “This guy won’t last five minutes,” I think millions of us said to ourselves. But, here we are, a few weeks after the election, and Mr. Trump did last more than five minutes. He might even last more than five years.

I wracked my brain for days after Rich Larson asked me to be the political columnist for SCENE Magazine. As a center-left leaning individual, I could write for days about how racist, misogynistic, homophobic and xenophobic part of the Republican Party has been, but that would be too easy, at least this time. It’s simple enough to note Mr. Trump’s flaws, even if you were trying to live under a rock the whole time, you probably still saw “grab ‘em by the pussy” carved in it somewhere, but on the other side of the coin, the Democratic Party not only put forward the one person who could possibly lose to Donald Trump, they also stripped the nomination away from a perfectly viable candidate in Bernie Sanders.

The Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the far-left, safe-space using, militant feminism promoting shit-storm troopers are as responsible for Donald Trump being elected as the 50+ million people who voted for him.

The DNC stopped at nothing to ensure that Clinton would be the nominee, despite her many drawbacks. From locating field offices for Hillary Clinton’s campaign at state DNC headquarters, to lining up superdelegates before a debate had even taken place, to the DNC’s own finance chair, Henry R. Munoz III, organizing a fundraising event for Hillary Clinton. Munoz got to keep his job, by the way.

Hillary Clinton is almost universally unpopular. She is an establishment candidate during a time when anti-establishment is at the forefront of people’s reasoning behind voting. Why they thought Donald Trump was their savior is unclear as of yet, but that’s a story for another time. Clinton lost the election because the American people saw her for what she was, or at least what she has been portrayed to be, but the DNC still backed her. Why? Because it was her turn? Because we deserve a woman in the White House? If we keep voting based on who we perceive is more deserved, there won’t be a Democrat in the Oval Office for a long, long time.

DNC favoritism was obvious, starting with the Democratic Primary debates. Clinton stood at the middle podium at the ABC debate. Whenever a question was asked, it was designed to be a debate between Clinton and Sanders, or Clinton and Martin O’Malley. Never once during the entire Primary debates was a question asked that could have sparked a discussion between Sanders and O’Malley.

Clinton received 50% more talk time than the other candidates, and through no lack of trying, Sanders and O’Malley were left in the dust, with most of their talk-time being used up to defend themselves from attacks made my Clinton.

Not only was she given more time to answer questions and promote her candidacy, she already knew the questions thanks to the current DNC Chair Donna Brazile. Let that sink in. The woman who is currently leading the DNC cheated in favor of Hillary Clinton, and now leads the party. Let that sink in a little more, she cheated, and still didn’t win.If that doesn’t prove my previous point about Hillary Clinton being universally unpopular, I don’t know what will.

Brazile was fired from CNN for giving Clinton an advantage, but that only goes to show that CNN has more morals than the Democratic National Committee, where Brazile still holds on to her job.

What Clinton did win, though, was the Democratic Primary, and the disdain among many millennials like myself grew, all the way up until election night on November 8th. Five Thirty Eight, my homepage during the election, had Clinton winning in a landslide, as did the overwhelming majority of respectable news organizations, but they couldn’t have been more wrong.

Donald Trump trounced Clinton in what will probably go down in history as the biggest election shock in modern politics. I was in shock, as many were, but I understood. Yard signs don’t vote, but even here in the notoriously left-leaning Minnesota, Trump/Pence signs swept those of their Democrat counterparts.

Many people were angry, many were sick and tired and many had no desire to see yet another establishment politician in the Oval Office, regardless of how qualified they were for the role.

Anger and dismay fuels those who wouldn’t generally vote. They saw their opportunity and they ticked the box for Trump. Despite all signs pointing to a disastrous next four years, are we really going to kid ourselves and say the majority of people that voted for Trump did so after reading all of his policies and fact-checking articles they read online? They elected a meme for god’s sake. The vast majority of republican voters voted against Hillary Clinton. You could have stood Pee-wee Herman up on the debate stage and she still would have lost.

On that night we also saw a wide array of emotions from people in the streets and at Clinton/Kaine parties across the nation. White women and men crying, one in particular in the fetal position on the ground. It is to them that this article is really targeting. Why are you crying? On November 9th you woke up and you were still white in America. You have built a movement on being the idea police, and despite the fact that this has clearly not worked, and probably never will, you’ll most likely use this to reaffirm your opinion that the whole world is against you. No real political discussion can happen anymore because of the far-left, and the far-right, and now we’ve seen with the riots after the election that the far-left aren’t all about peace and love like they claim to be. Many of these rioters were non-voters too, so take that any way you will.

The future of the Democratic Party hinges on putting forward a candidate that can appeal to the economic left; someone who can appeal to voters for the right reasons. Right now they are producing candidates that appeal to the social justice left, and despite what we see on our Facebook feeds, that is an overwhelming minority of the Democratic Party.

It was Bernie Sanders’ time. He was undoubtedly the people’s candidate, the man who stood up for working-class America, as well as ethnic minorities and the LGBT community. He didn’t cherry pick, he didn’t pander, and he definitely didn’t take any crap. But it’s over. 2020 is too late. He will be too old, and everything President Barack Obama did and stood for over the last eight years will be most likely undone by then.

Columnists on the left and the right discussed the end of the GOP for the entire election cycle, but we couldn’t have been more wrong. It is the end of the Democratic Party, at least as we know it. Now that we have seen the obvious corruption displayed by the liberal elite in favor of Hillary Clinton, I simply cannot see a Democrat in The White House without a dramatic overhaul.

To kill something you have to start at the root. Anybody got any Roundup?