In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump Democratic Party officials, liberal media pundits, and those who worked their buns off to get her elected are starting to play the blame game, no not a fun board brain teaser but a finger-pointing exercise that comes naturally when someone who was supposed to win gets tanked big time.
Sure I could say that Hillary won the popular vote but that is small consolation in our very odd electoral college system where you can run up the score in places like California and New York but lose a boat load of states by a narrow margin and win the White House.
Sure I could say that Hillary is far more qualified to hold the highest office in the land, but this election was about change and white America getting revenge for being ignored not governmental resumes and glass ceilings being broken.
Sure I could say that Donald Trump has no clue about the rule of law, checks and balances, and constitutional guarantees, but he won and this country has to live with a guy who poses a threat to our rights, our traditions and our security.
Could the outcome have been different? Certainly, and I put the burden of blame on Hillary. Let me tell you why.
Hillary suffered from the deadly political sin of isolation.When you live in an elitist bubble where most of your contact is with the same members of the establishment and don’t have any idea what the folks in Youngstown, Ohio or Bethlehem, Pennsylvania are going through on a daily basis, you will pay the price. Many Americans have little understanding of public policy issues and far less about simple civics, but they know self-interest and they know that their vote is power. Hillary neglected these folks, mostly white, and spent time speaking for gobs of money to Wall Street bankers and Hollywood celebrities instead of walking the walk along Main Street.
For a highly intelligent person Hillary was strangely unable to find the right words to bring people over to her side. She had to borrow a phrase from Michelle Obama to get attention and when she did try to coin a phrase she chose ” a basket of deplorables”. Trump, who used some of the meanest words in his campaign, won over the voters with one simple line-” I will be your voice”
Hillary also failed to understand the generational and class shifts that now define our country. She didn’t comprehend the anxiety of the millennials, she relied too heavily on African-Americans and Hispanics and she did little to win back those angry white guys who twenty years ago were shoo-in Democrats. Trump didn’t care about the millennials, the blacks and Hispanics but concentrated on the white population, young and old, rural and urban, middle class and under class. Hillary’s electoral coalition was always fragile because her operating premise was that smarts and organization would win the day when this was a movement election spurred on by millions who were just fed up.
Finally, Hillary like Bill live in a world where they believe it is possible to get away with actions that are secretive, self-serving, and too often phony. Now Trump is far worse on all of these accounts but sadly for a woman to break the ultimate political glass ceiling, there is little room for poor judgment, shady deals, and arrogance. Unfortunately, we hold women seeking power to a much higher standard then men, and Trump is the prime example. But for someone who was planning this campaign since her college days, you would expect that she might just have thought through how to present her best side rather than taking unnecessary risks.
An integral part of this blame game is whether Bernie Sanders would have been a far better candidate and eventually take the White House. A pretty good case can be made for President-elect Sanders rather than The Donald, but a few words of caution. Trump would have quickly coined a title for Bernie – how about “Bernie the Commie”. Trump would have been relentless in scaring the voters about the Socialist senator from Vermont pushing for more big government, more spending, more taxes, more regulation. A case can also be made that those white voters who chose Trump and change would have seen Bernie as just another leftist senator bent on picking their pockets.
Well I’m glad I got that off my chest. The election is over, Trump won, the American people are fair-minded and will give him the benefit of the doubt. Like all those people who believe in their shattered hearts that Hillary should have won, Trump remains a dangerous, ill-equipped charlatan. But let’s face it- he’s our dangerous, ill-equipped charlatan. God Bless the United States of America.