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Liberals: We're overthinking this. Hillary didn't lose. This is what it should mean.

Nate Cohn of the New York Times estimates that when every vote is tallied, some 63.4 million Americans will have voted for Clinton and 61.2 million for Trump. That means Clinton will have turned out more supporters than any presidential candidate in history except for Obama in 2008 and 2012. And as David Wasserman of Cook Political Report notes, the total vote count—including third party votes—has already crossed 127 million, and will “easily beat” the 129 million total from 2012. The idea that voters stayed home in 2016 because they hated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is a myth.
We already know the Electoral College can produce undemocratic results, but what we don't know is why — aside from how it serves entrenched interests — it benefits the American people to have their preference for national executive overturned because of archaic rules designed, in part, to protect the institution of slavery. 

A form of choosing the national leader that — as has happened in this election — gives greater weight to the preferences of whites over the preferences of the overall body of voters might plausibly be said to be White Supremacy. When that form was created by men trying to ensure slavery wasn't overturned, the argument grows stronger yet. Throw in the number of black votes that might've gone missing due to the gutting of the Voting Rights Act, and the conclusion becomes more difficult yet to avoid.

I know, I know, this is a republic, not a democracy. But this isn't like the Senate, where the structure can be said to "cool" fiery, short-term passions. There's simply no good reason for producing a result most voters said they didn't want. That we've entered an era where the system repeatedly produces that outcome doesn't mean that Democrats have the wrong message for America. It means they have the wrong message for, I guess, Florida. The Florida panhandle, if you want to get specific. And that's not the same thing.

It also means the system is delegitimizing itself.

Perhaps instead of battling each other over whether liberals need to reexamine their principles, what we need to really do is work hard and persistently for fair elections that really represent the preferences of most voters. Such a system won't always produce wins for Democrats. But it would probably produce wins for Democrats when Democrats win. That's not too much to ask.


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I've been making some life changes lately — trying to use the time I have, now that I'm back in Kansas, to improve my health and lifestyle. Among the changes: More exercise. 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. Doesn't sound like a lot, but some is more than none, and I know from experience that getting overambitious early leads to failure. So. Thirty minutes a day.

One other thing: Yoga, a couple of times a week. It's nothing huge — a 15-minute flexibility routine downloaded from an iPhone app. But I've noticed that I'm increasingly limber.

Tonight, friends, I noticed a piece of trash on the floor. I bent over at the waist and picked it up, and threw it away.

Then I wept. I literally could not remember the last time I'd tried to pick something off the floor without grunting and bracing myself. I just did it.

Small victories, people. Small victories.

I'm not cutting off my pro-Trump friends

Here and there on Facebook, I've seen a few of my friends declare they no longer wish the friendship of Trump supporters — and vowing to cut them out of their social media lives entirely.

I'm not going to do that.

To cut ourselves off from people who have made what we think was a grievous error in their vote is to give up on persuading them, to give up on understanding why they voted, to give up on understanding them in any but the most cartoonish stereotypes.

As a matter of idealism, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on democracy. As a matter of tactics, cutting off your pro-Trump friends is to give up on ever again winning in a democratic process.

And as a long-term issues, confining ourselves to echo chambers is part of our national problem.

Don't get me wrong: I expect a Trumpian presidency is a disaster, particularly for people of color. And in total honesty: My own relationships have been tested by this campaign season. There's probably some damage…