Photo credit: Paul Sancya/AP

Blame white people. Blame white men in particular, but reserve plenty of blame for white women. Blame old people, too. Blame rich people, as always. Blame the public at large for Donald fucking Trump getting more votes than Donald Duck. Democracy enacts the will of the public; this is what the public wants.

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Blame the Founders for enshrining white supremacy in our constitution and making it nearly impossible to fully expunge. Blame a political system that advantages rural areas at the expense of urban ones, mostly in order to preserve our white supremacist heritage. Blame the electoral college and blame the people in power who have done nothing to stop this exact circumstance—a candidate winning the popular vote but losing the election—from happening for the second time in 16 years. Blame the people who put them in power without a mandate to fundamentally change the mechanisms of a system designed for an 18th-century slave society.

Blame Scott Walker and the Republican plot to suppress minority turnout, and blame the mainstream political press for treating voter-suppression tactics as a given, a hurdle to be overcome by the opposing campaign’s turnout machine, rather than a horrific continuation of the worst racist abuses of our very recent history.

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Blame haughty non-voters and third-party voters, but make sure to also blame the actual voters who chose Donald Trump, in particular the ones who showed up to punch the ballot for Obama twice and then this time went for his complete opposite in every important respect.

Blame the deep-seated misogyny of the the conservative press, which—with a clutch assist from much of the mainstream press—caused a politician who is calculating and ambitious in mostly ordinary ways to be perceived as a conniving Lady Macbeth, while somehow allowing a man with an incredibly well-documented history of chauvinism, harassment, and outright sexual abuse to pawn it off as regular, if slightly old-fashioned, alpha masculinity. Blame the Clinton campaign, which convinced itself, rightly or wrongly, that it could not allow its boss to forcefully fight back against her monstrous opponent’s blatantly sexist attacks, because to do so would be to risk making her seem too bitchy. Blame the very real misogyny of the national electorate that led Democrats to convince themselves, rightly or wrongly, that the first major-party woman candidate could not be any woman but the most battle-toughened politician with a lifetime of calibrating and compromising not to give offense—a politician who turned out not to be inured to sexist attacks, but instead predictably subject to 25 years worth of built-up, roiling resentment from raging male boomers and their equally toxic younger counterparts.

Blame nearly every single person with any power in the Democratic Party, who were gifted a large and growing national majority and managed to piss it away into complete, across-the-board failure at every level of government. Blame them for doing nothing at all to support and fortify organized labor in any period in which they’ve held power since the 1970s. Blame a party that keeps foisting people like Rahm Emanuel, Terry McAulliffe, Patrick Murphy onto increasingly unhappy electorates. Blame a party that can’t recruit electable congressional candidates; that allowed the Texas Democratic Party to dissolve into complete irrelevance even as that state grows more diverse; that pulled out of the Florida Senate race so that Chuck Schumer could buy a couple of ads in the most expensive media market in the country; that lost the Rust Belt in a generation; that chased well-off, well-educated whites as working-class whites were radicalized by psychotic nationalists; that, despite lip service, has done barely anything to make it easier for black people to vote, or to re-enfranchise victims of our fundamentally racist criminal justice system; that allowed ACORN to be dismantled and then watched in horror as urban black votes failed to materialize in Michigan and Pennsylvania; that still can’t grapple with its own responsibility for a foreseeable backlash against the financialized, globalized economy, a backlash that has now been permanently tinged with revanchist racism because only one side provided a coherent narrative for how things went to shit, or was even willing to admit that things went to shit in the first place.

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Blame the party, and blame the Clintons, and blame nearly everyone in the upper echelon of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, for clearing the field for her coronation, dismissing every indicator of her unshakable and widespread unpopularity; for pushing the most emblematic representative of the establishment imaginable in an anti-establishment era; for relying on out-of-touch advisers with no meaningful understanding of the lives of most people in her electoral coalition; for failing to sufficiently defend the black vote in states where it was actively and vehemently suppressed; for running a purely defensive campaign, best embodied by her choice of a slice of white bread with a clean record as her running mate; and for not understanding that she was uniquely vulnerable to an opposition campaign based on the clearly true premise that the system is rigged in favor of the powerful and connected.

Blame Facebook for creating a massive reality-distortion field; for allowing its more than 200 million active North American users to dwell in a fever swamp of misinformation and ridiculous falsehood; for poisoning the minds of millions of old people more effectively and permanently than any medium since cable news; and for enabling and legitimizing Peter Thiel, an idiot ideologue with more money than God who is now clearly one of the most dangerous men alive.

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Blame the press for being completely unable to responsibly handle this election; for allowing itself to be cowed by a buffoon who threatened their continued employment and sometimes even their physical safety; for mistaking the feeble defensiveness of the Clinton camp for a sign that her misdeeds were in any way comparable to his; for failing to communicate clearly the message that one side was not just uniquely unqualified but actually dangerous to liberal democracy itself; for throwing up their hands at their own apparent powerlessness—How can the mainstream press compete with the new right-wing media?—despite the fact that the last demographic left in the United States that still watches TV news and even subscribes to newspapers is older whites; for not contextualizing anything, ever, for an audience that needed to be told repeatedly and in no uncertain terms that this man was not just a colorful, if distasteful, vulgarian, but actually a terrifying representative of a worldwide, ultra-nationalist, crypto-fascist revival.

Blame Russia, and Julian Assange, and James Comey, but don’t forget the actual army of authoritarian whites that constitute some or most of our national security services, police, and armed forces. Remember that there is surprisingly little demographic or ideological difference between the average American police force and the apocalyptic white militia movement, besides that one has the imprimatur of the state.

Finally, feel free to blame yourself. I have no clue what the fuck else to do.