Major similarities between the 2016 presidential election and that of 2000 don’t end with the Democrat winning the popular vote but losing the electoral vote, claims Salon’s Amanda Marcotte. In a Friday piece, Marcotte contended that the media had it in for Hillary Clinton the same way they did for Al Gore, and that in each case biased campaign coverage was a factor in driving down Democratic voter turnout.
As Marcotte tells it, during the 2000 campaign the MSM “decided to circulate stories of a bunch of scandals about Gore made up out of absolutely nothing. He claimed to have invented the internet! (He didn’t.) He sighed too much during the debate, which made him look like an insufferable nerd next to that charming if kind of daft George [W. Bush] fella! He was also falsely accused of fundraising malfeasance and bullied for supposedly getting wardrobe advice from Naomi Wolf, which is apparently feminine and therefore shameful behavior…The result was a low-voter-turnout year, with 51 percent of the voting-age population turning out. By contrast, the turnout was 55 percent in 2004 and 57 percent” in 2008.
Regarding this year’s race, Marcotte remarked, “Replace ‘I invented the internet’ with ‘emails,’ ‘Naomi Wolf’ with ‘pneumonia’ and ‘Ralph Nader’ with ‘Jill Stein,’ and you’re looking at a rerun of 2000. Just like then, the incumbent president has enjoyed high-approval ratings that should have translated into votes for his successor…But it seems that satisfaction with the way things are going doesn’t necessarily mean that people show up at the polls to vote for more of the same. Instead, it lulls them into a sense of complacency.”
The good news, wrote Marcotte, is that Americans are wiser to president-elect Trump than they were to POTUS-elect Dubya (bolding added):
After the 2000 elections, it took months for the country to realize the moral weight of treating our elections like a circus sideshow instead of a democratic process, but after Sept. 11, 2001, we learned what it means to have an imbecile like Bush in charge instead of a mature statesman like Gore…
It seems we might be figuring that out a little quicker this time, since the awfulness of Trump is undeniably self-evident. It’s a shame that people can’t figure out how much their vote matters before the election happens, though.