New Media Guru Clay Shirky Drops 'Stop Trump' Tweetstorm On White Liberals

Ross D. Franklin
July 22, 2016

New media writer Clay Shirky took to Twitter Friday afternoon to dismiss white liberals' response to Donald Trump as ineffective and self-indulgent – and to rally them to defeat Trump.

"Believe this: Trump could win," Shirky tweeted. "We can help stop him, but that means giving up on a lot of comfortable illusions."

I want to say something to my liberal white friends: Trump talked a lot of shit last night, but not one word of "I am your voice!" was a lie

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

Trump IS the voice of angry whites. He wasn't on stage because he has unusual views. He was on stage because he has the usual ones, loudly.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

He is the voice of whites who want their neighbors deported if they speak Spanish. He is the voice of whites terrorized by seeing a hijab.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

He is the voice of people who think legal & cultural privileges for white conservative Protestants are God's plan, not a bias to be overcome

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

He is the voice of people who hear 'hard-working' as a synonym for 'white.' He is the voice of people who think black lives matter less.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

He speaks for millions.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

During the speech, a lot of white liberals in my timeline - people like me - were reacting in disbelief. We can't afford disbelief, not now.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

So, believe this: Trump could win. We can help stop him, but that means giving up on a lot of comfortable illusions.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

The hardest illusion to give up is the majority illusion, where we confuse our neighborhood with the world. https://t.co/2Fm1pmB4Uf

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

Elections are a harsh corrective to thinking everyone agrees with you. Winning isn't about policy, or passion. It's about headcount.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

Liberals cluster, in cities and in states. My home state, Missouri, has gone from purple to red because enough liberals left.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

Meanwhile, California's high-margin vote for Clinton will be wasted, because the election hinges on Ohio and Pennsylvania and Virginia.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

I'm a white guy, so I'm an imperfect vehicle for this message. Follow @docrocktex26 and @jbouie, who serve hot coffee on this stuff all day

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

But I can remind other white people, as an insider, that the amount of white rage available for political use in America remains enormous.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

"When you’re accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression."

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

White liberals should know headcount is against us. In our communities, we're a comfortable majority. In the US, we're a permanent minority.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

Most whites vote /against/ Democratic presidential candidates, and have done in every election since LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act in 1964

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

When Democrats committed to reducing whites' ability to lord it over blacks, it cost the party the white vote for two generations. So far.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

The liberal cause has been saved by African-Americans, who are populous and disciplined and consistent enough voters to overcome white rage.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

Unlike President Obama's campaigns, though, whites can't coast on minority Get Out The Vote work in 2016, not with VoterID laws in 33 states

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

Trump can win, if he can whip up white rage unchallenged, if enough women vote for him, and if Red states suppress black and Hispanic votes.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

Trump can win, if he concentrates on white fear. Thats how you get white evangelicals to pick a libertine agnostic over a liberal Christian.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

So what's a white liberal to do? First, realize we are a minority, and we have to campaign like one. Donate to the campaign, for starters.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

Yes, yes, Clinton's not as liberal as we'd like, but minorities never get the luxury of demanding a perfect candidate. Just give.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

Talk with pro-Trump relatives, because they won't listen to people who aren't white. (Statistically, they won't know any they care about.)

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

Donate to fight voter suppression. https://t.co/CF8a45ThAY

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

In November, call voters, or better, get to a swing state and knock on doors. Get to poorer communities and drive people to the polls.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

Trump has promised 40% of the country what they've always wanted: a racist welfare state. If he persuades 1 additional voter in 10, he wins.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016

Seeing my timeline during the convention last night made me despair. We've brought fact-checkers to a culture war. Time to get serious.

— Clay (((Shirky))) (@cshirky) July 22, 2016