It’s Bad That Russia Influenced The Election, But It’s Even Worse That 60 Million Deplorables Did Too » VSB

Featured, Race & Politics

It’s Bad That Russia Influenced The Election, But It’s Even Worse That 60 Million Deplorables Did Too

Spencer Platt/Getty Images


Raise your hand you knew, before this year, that the electors chosen in each state — the people who actually determine who the next president will be — could, if they want to, decide to opt out and choose against their state’s wishes. Ok, I see a few of you in the back with your hands up, and I commend you wonky motherfuckers for staying awake that day in 10th grade civics class and retaining that lesson for the last 20 years. Unfortunately, I presume that most people reading this kept their hands where mine are — in my pockets. And, like me, were very familiar with how the electoral college process worked, but never quite knew until this year that a member of the electoral college could conceivably just say “Fuck it” and choose against the candidate their state voted for.

Of course, opting out has actually happened so few times before that the electors’ choice is regarded as a formality. But this year’s election has been so jarring and devastating that it’s had us searching and hoping for any type of contingency plan or last second salvo to prevent the inevitable. Including, today, the paradoxical dynamic of having faith in the faithless elector.

Anyway, it’s pretty much confirmed now that Russia did attempt to sabotage the election, and that the purpose of their political vandalism was to help Donald Trump get elected. And while we’re not sure if Vladimir Putin interfered because he has an affinity for Trump or because he believed a Trump victory would make America weaker (or both), it’s also been confirmed that he was directly involved with the hacking.

This is not exactly new news. Even before both the CIA and the FBI pointed to Russia, it was long suspected that Russia was somehow behind the leaks. But between our intelligence agencies agreeing on something for the first time ever and that we also now know that Republican leadership knew about this but chose to keep it a secret, there seems to be an urge for something to be done about this. I’m not sure what actually could be done — this isn’t teeball and we’re not getting an election do-over — but something has to be done. Because Russia. And Russia is bad.

I just…I don’t know man. I mean, I know Putin is essentially the devil incarnate. And I’m not particularly happy that we allowed another country to wield such an influence on us. But I just can’t muster much outrage about it, especially when it just means that over 60 million Americans were either gullible or racist enough (or both) to vote for Trump. 60 million deplorable motherfuckers the rest of us have to share space with, live next to, and sometimes even work for. They are the imminent threat. They are the national security risk. They are the ones who ultimately committed a treasonous act. They are the ones the international community should hold in contempt and the United Nations should sanction. They are the ones who need to be monitored, forced to register, and barred from entering airports, shopping malls, and Target. Being pissed at Russia for the election is like being mad at the person who fucked your spouse. Regardless of what they said or how flirty and forward they were, your spouse still made the decision to cheat. Putin could have hacked every email account, every Facebook page, and inserted subliminal messaging on everyone’s Pinterest visionboards. Shit, Putin could have done that and offered free lollipops and lapdances and it wouldn’t have mattered if there weren’t so many small, stupid, and shitty people here.

This — and not the faithless electors or how the F.B.I. influenced the election or recounts or Russia just deciding to go Peak Russia — is what we collectively need to be concerned about and focused on. What the fuck are we going to do about the tens of millions of people who voted for this, who want all the terrible things that are happening to happen? And, it’s not like we can just contain them to Montana and Outback Steakhouses either. They’re everywhere. They’re our neighbors, they’re at our jobs, they’re behind us in line at Giant Eagle, they’re in our families. Raise your hand, please, if you have a good answer.

Shit. No hands this time, huh?

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • America is that friend that you keep pulling for but know, deep inside, she’ll never really get her isht together.

    • Kas

      and she may possibly drag you down in the process.

      • Blueberry01

        …so that’s why you slowly ghost her…

        • Kas

          Did that to a female friend in college. She was just super depressed and depressing. Add to that she was Hawaiian and insisted on dressing and dancing like an extra in Flash dance. I had to ghost her for my own sanity.

        • Kas

          Did that to a female friend in college. She was just super depressed and depressing. Add to that she was Hawaiian and insisted on dressing and dancing like an extra in Flash dance. I had to ghost her for my own sanity..

          • Blueberry01

            Not an extra in Flashdance! (Well, you were in Cali so perhaps she was inspired by the weather? Lol.)

            I feel you, though. I think it’s always important to constantly assess your friendships.

    • Blueberry01

      Your commentary is oh so timely.

  • Trumpacolypse Day 41: As Dwight P Poe pretends to be stunned by news of the Russian hacking like Hillary didn’t literally say it in the second debate, we have arrived at confirmation day. The electorates will confirm Toupee Fiasco as our next “Precedent” (Thanks Hamilton. I’m glad you got clapped). I refuse to let the dwights off that easily because 63 million votes didn’t fall out the sky, they didn’t come from emails, and 25 year old superpredator quotes. There are decepticons among us, not to be trusted, because whIle they talk big and bad online, numbers don’t lie. For all I know, Keith Olbermann voted for Trump for the career boost after failing spectacularly in his espn return. (He’s been killing it btw but I don’t trust anybody, word to Stone Cold). Every person who switches lanes without signaling, Trump voter. Cowboys fan? Trump voter. Puts ketchup on their fries instead of dipping? Trump voter. Stay woke, yall.

    • Janelle Doe

      We didn’t need Hill to say it Tristan, he asked them to in his stumps

    • Epsilonicus

      Steelers fans? Trump voters

    • MsCee

      I won’t go for the Cowboys slander…I’d hate to have to e-block you buddy.

      • You’d miss me

        • MsCee


    • as a Patriot fan, y’all know y’all are default Trump voters

  • Giantstepp

    It was all fun and games early in the primaries, and I got a good daily laugh at Trump and his supporters. Then he won and I stopped laughing. However, I did take comfort in the general election polls predicting a HRC landslide, and how he had no path to 270 electoral college votes. We see how that played out.

    During a campaign a lot of rhetoric and exaggeration is the norm. One thing that I didn’t think was rhetoric was the charge against him being temperamentally unfit, and how he can’t be trusted with the nuclear codes. A thin skin, ego and vindictive nature is the worst combination for a man with the power of the US Presidency. We’re in trouble folks. He’s already provoked China–and he is not even in office yet,

  • Me

    Are we still on this morality kick? Who do y’all think those 60 million “deplorables” voted for in 2014? 2012? 2010? 2008? 2006? 2004? 2002? 2000? etc, etc, etc? Why are democrats acting surprised at 60 million people not voting democrat? Those voters, in large part, NEVER VOTED DEMOCRAT! Were you really expecting Hillary Clinton to change their ideologies? How Sway?!

    • Brown Rose

      I agree with this. Like most Democrats, they keep thinking they would sway a bunch of white racists to vote for them. That is where they spent all their capital on. White working class, and white independents and funnily enough White women who voted in droves for Trump. If they had done what Obama did and reinvigorated the minority vote and younger voters, she may have had a chance.

      • [Insert Creative Name Here]

        “If they had done what Obama did and reinvigorated the minority vote and younger voters, she may have had a chance.”

        Likely true, but I thinks it’s a shame that people have to be “invigorated” to vote. Whether you vote or not, you will be affected. So might as well vote for the person that most aligns with your values, whether they excited you or not.

        • Brown Rose

          Humans are stupid. We have a short attention span. You need look no further than the cliché of Rome. Bread and circuses.

        • Janelle Doe

          something that grates at me is how in the mid-terms the Dems did all they could to distance themselves from POTUS (both times) but now it is his fault that his strategy didn’t work for them?
          It’s is like opposites decade in these parts.
          2016 is weird af but imho the last ten years have also been a contortionist dream in both parties

          • Brown Rose

            They were distancing themselves from Obama because of the White working class and Whites from all classes in the Midwest. I am sure they regret it now. As democrats lost several seats.

      • gn

        Hillary did exactly that, and has been non-stop denigrated by Bernie Sanders because of it. In addition, the vote of her diverse coalition has been discounted as dismissed, even here in this comments section.

        From a governance standpoint, this country is no longer accountable to voters. This is an emergency but people are fiddling while Rome burns.

        • thasamiam

          Heck, Hilary’s diverse coalition is now being labeled “the elites” or “multicultural elites” by many, which pisses me off to no end. Who the fuck made Bernie’s coalition of mostly white hipsters “the people”? We don’t just have to deal with the outwardly racist Trump voters who want to kill us, we also have to deal with a lot of white leftists who believe that we’re ignorant, stupid, don’t know how to determine what’s best for us and need to submit to their supposed knowledge and wisdom.

    • Janelle Doe

      Good point. And plus also what about the other ?? million who did not vote at all and the ones that wrote in Bernie?

      • Me

        Democrats are playing out to be extremely sore losers. As far as I can tell, it would’ve been ok for all of those people to not vote for Clinton as long as she won, but since she lost, dems are taking their morals to the streets. Anything to say Clinton didn’t lose because folks just didn’t want her as president. Yes, Trump was a terrible candidate, but he was competing against someone that many people didn’t want long before he started his campaign. Democrats have to get to a point where they accept this truth or they’ll continue losing voters where they need them most.

        • Negro Libre

          Thank you!

          Geez, Trump won! Get your act together, form a coalition and get in a position where you can make changes, rather than babbling about and wasting resources on things that aren’t going to happen i.e. electoral voters choosing to go against Trump.

        • Brown Rose

          The democrats don’t have a game plan. And they don’t know how to fight like the Republicans. All they can focus on are B.S. points about popular vote and trying to get the white working class to join them. Pointless. That is going to be a major problem into at least the 2020 cycle and longer.

          • Me

            Yea, I can no longer stomach conversations about the popular vote. Democrats are acting like Clinton got 90% of votes and still lost. Those extra 3 million people made up less than 2% of votes. That’s not statistically significant enough to make this big a deal about it. I really wish Democrats spent the last month reaching out to their constituents with real plans that they have for what they intend to do on their behalf over the next four years to make sure American lives aren’t completely ruined by Trump’s administration. Instead they’re leading this epic pity party that does no good for anyone. Why even get people’s hopes up on this whole faithless electorate nonsense? Democrats know good and well if Republicans pulled that stunt to sidestep the constitution, it would be h e l l to pay. They have voters focused on the wrong thing.

            • Jennifer

              “Democrats are acting like Clinton got 90% of votes and still lost. Those extra 3 million people made up less than 2% of votes.”

              She lost because of 80,000 votes in 3 states…where her campaign didn’t hit the ground hard enough. Dems should have been smarter.

              • Me

                Yea, I get that any loss is tough to swallow, but this should be a motivating factor for Democrats to go harder every time.

            • Brown Rose

              Agree. It was stupid to perseverate on such a weak meaningless link. Its not going to change to the electoral outcome as Trump won those handedly. But that is the problem. They learned nothing from how Obama ran his campaign and has for the most part kept minority loyalty fairly high. You have a bunch of old people with egregious outdated political strategies that pushed an unpopular candidate out who focused on placating hostiles instead of energizing the base.

              They have nothing to back it up now because they have no plan. There is no viable DNC chair or any leaders within the Democratic circle that they have cultivated young and ambitious talent to take on this new challenge. No one is charismatic enough or intelligent enough right now. It will take decades for any viable democrat to undo what is about to happen when he is sworn in.

              • Janelle Doe

                that’s the sad/scary part, they may not see the WH for 8 years (if not longer) and that depends on if they buckle down and start strategizing for mid-terms AS WELL AS generals.
                Or maybe a new party will become the new left

                • Epsilonicus

                  That last sentence wont happen. What happens mostly in US politics is that the old party co-opts the beliefs of the new party and the new party dies.

          • Brooklyn_Bruin

            The republicans have been dealing with internal strife since the tea party, since the religious right.

            • Epsilonicus

              Trump’s win papers over that but that strife is still real.

            • Brown Rose

              They still manage to keep it together, to get the votes in.

  • miss t-lee

    I just read about this guy yesterday who pretty much said he wouldn’t cast his vote, and is trying to get others to go along with him.

    Meanwhile the state legislature is already vowing to get a law on the books when they reconvene to prevent folks from *not* voting.

    Mess. The whole lot of it.

  • I haven’t seen white people this open minded about Russia since the post fight speech n Rocky IV

    • They weren’t this happy about Russia doing something since V-E day. The level of idiocy surrounding them and Russia is like a bad Marvel plot line.

    • miss t-lee

      Seriously. I’m like did we just forget about the whole cold war thing?

      • LMNOP

        Russia sure didn’t.

        • Russia is mad that China is taking its spot. It acts like an old rapper who just does petty things to stay hot.

        • miss t-lee

          Sure didn’t.

      • There beloved Reagan made his name on it and now it’s like “Hey Russia.”

        • Well as the saying goes there’s no such thing as permanent friends or enemies, just permanent interests.

          • Janelle Doe

            say it again for the cheap seats and the folks behind that wall they fittin’ to build

        • miss t-lee

          Ya know…I think you’re right.

      • Ess Tee

        This how we know them jokers ain’t really Reagan Republicans. They lifted up his name in the 2012 and 2008 elections like he was the Lord, but now Trump is besties with Putin and they don’t have jack to say.

        • Cheech

          In a season of seventy-umpteen things that leave me speechless and pissed off, this is definitely one of them.

        • miss t-lee

          Quiet as church mice.

          • Cheech

            Mealy-mouthed, hypocritical, no-memory, no-principles lyinazz church mice.

        • Blueberry01

          No thing at all to say.

      • Russia hasn’t been Communist since 1991. The Cold War has been over.

    • IDareYou

      The funny thing is those same people were bashing President Obama for not being tough, when Putin annexed Crimea.

      • Cheech

        Which Trump promised they werent going to do. 2 years after they did it.

  • Putin is a real life Bond villain. I don’t see why anyone would be surprised by this. He is a former spy, knows Kung Fu, has pet tigers and a real life underground lair. He’s capable of everything he’s been accused of doing.

  • Other_guy13

    Ish like this only supposed to happen in the movies. In real life this is an act of war and those who participate are brought up on charges of treason. But this is 2016…nothing makes sense

    • Honestly, he deserved this title. He was the most influential person this year.

      • It’s not always an honor to receive this designation. Stalin, Mao, Dolphie, the Ayatollah Khomeini, and Nixon and Kissenger have won. You’re right, it truly is about influence.

        • Other_guy13

          You forget Hitler

        • Kissinger is a war criminal. He should burn. Slowly.

      • Other_guy13

        So was Hitler in 1938

        • And Bin Laden in 2002 but Hitler is the reason he didn’t get it.

      • Jennifer

        True, but shout out to the art director for that little bit of hidden shade in this pic.

        • Other_guy13

          You caught that too huh lol

          • Jennifer


      • Val

        I think the media itself deserved the title. Had they not normalized Trump he wouldn’t have been elected.

        • LMNOP

          I was so horrified to read about Donald Trump in Scholastic News, just presented as any old presidential candidate, boiled down into 3 non-controversial easy to read paragraphs.

          So many places tried so hard to not appear “biased” that they completely did normalize his behavior and present his openly dangerous bigotry as a difference in political opinion. No, you can have differences of opinions on tax policies, not whether or not it is morally abhorrent to compile a registry of Muslims. The only two sides to an issue like that are right and wrong.

        • Me

          I agree! I don’t even think the media realized they were normalizing Trump. It was like watching a fat kid engorge himself on cake, knowing full well he’s going to have a tummy ache and dire consequences. They loved the taste of all those views, especially during Sweeps, yet they treated it like they were in control the whole time. Next thing you know, they’ve consumed an entire election cycle’s worth of Trump (empty calories) with no sustenance (information on legislation to look forward to). The fact that we’re finding out as we go what our president-elect’s platform is speaks volumes to the influence media had this year. It’s like trying to count calories after binging.

      • I don’t think he was, Putin was the man of the year. All over the West and the Middle East, he influenced elections and backed groups. He’s really had an impact on millions this year.

        • Upon further review you are correct. Trump was influenced by Vladamir Putin.

  • It has not been confirmed that Russia or Putin hacked Podesta’s emails. If someone has evidence that Putin or Russian agents did so they should make it public. Otherwise all we are doing is repeating rumors and innuendo from intelligence agencies that are well, known to lie.

    Until then the primary reason that Hillary Clinton lost the election is Hillary Clinton. She was a horrible candidate who didn’t recognize that she had to work for people’s vote. Even when voters wanted to help, her organization turned them away.

    • I saw that Politico story. I couldn’t believe it. Like How Sway? You’re telling people they can’t get yard signs because of a computer model? *Nick Young confused face*

    • Johnny Boy

      Right, that is what got us here in the first place. Believing a politicized media that told us Hillary was going to win. Now the news can’t stop talking about “Fake News” because they are all afraid of being painted as fake.

    • Hugh Akston

      right as if most folks would know what actual hacking looks like

      but i guess until they actually put whatever evidence that they have we won’t know

      i mean laden is still alive somewhere right?

  • Helga G.Pataki

    Outback’s wings bang

More Like This