Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame Hillary Clinton for Losing the Presidential Election

"She's corrupt."

"She stole the nomination."

"She's too tied to the establishment."

"She's too corporate."

"She doesn't get it."

Why did she really lose?

You know damn well why she really lost. You just don't want to admit it. Well, I am now going to slap you in the face with it.

And Trump and his Deplorables are the least of the reasons.

Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame Hillary Clinton for Losing the Presidential Election

5. Donald Trump. Say what you want about the guy -- while you still can -- and I have. But, however despicable, his campaign was very effective.

4. RusskiLeaks. Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks fabricated statements that spoke to the "Crooked Hillary" lie, and a bunch of gullible people believed it.

3. James Comey. The Director of the FBI, in effect, turned the election with 2 weeks to go by revealing... nothing at all, but raising suspicions.

2. The Media. They were absolutely terrified of being called "liberal" and the charge that the election was "rigged" that they weren't willing to call Trump out on his crimes and lies.

They did a great job of doing that to George H.W. Bush in 1992, Bob Dole in 1996, John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. But, just as they were afraid to do with Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972, Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984, George Bush the father in 1988, and George Bush the son in 2000 and 2004, they were, by and large, afraid to make the point that Trump was unacceptable on multiple levels. They could have convinced Republicans to rise up and effectively knock him out of the race in the New Hampshire Primary. Instead, they let him win, when they knew he was unfit.

Then there were those media outlets that actually promoted Trump, because they either had a financial interest in a close election, or actually wanted a conservative to be President, or wanted the "entertainment" of a Trump Presidency. You know, like when the entertainer Ronald Reagan was in office. In each of these cases, you people know who you are. And we will not forget.

But the greatest blame for Hillary's defeat, and for whatever harm Trump causes, lies not with any of these people, or with the "Basket of Deplorables" who voted for him because he basically told them it was okay to be bigoted. No, the true blame for Trump lies with...

1. The Progressive Purists. The people who wanted Bernie Sanders, but didn't go along with him when he endorsed Hillary. The people who voted for Jill Stein instead. The people who voted for Gary Johnson instead. The people who actually considered Trump to be more progressive. And the people who stayed home, and didn't vote at all.

This time, it wasn't "Florida, Florida, Florida." Or "Ohio, Ohio, Ohio." Or "Michigan, Michigan, Michigan." Or "Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania." It was "Turnout, turnout, turnout."
Yes, progressive purists, I'm blaming you. You're repeating the same mistake that gets made once every generation or so:

* In 1896, millions of Democrats stayed home and didn't vote for William Jennings Bryan, because, in the depression that began with the Panic of 1893, they were too afraid of what the free coinage of silver would do, or were intimidated by their bosses who said that if Bryan wins on Tuesday, don't bother coming to work on Wednesday. Result: William McKinley won in a landslide, gold still ruled the American economy, and a war was launched that resulted in problems we're still dealing with, including Cuba and, incredibly now, the Philippines.

* In 1928, millions of Democrats stayed home and didn't vote for Al Smith, because he was too Catholic, or too opposed to Prohibition, or too tied to "corruption" (the Tammany Hall machine in New York, which was corrupt, although Smith himself was not). Result: Herbert Hoover won in a landslide, the stock market crashed, and the Great Depression began.

* In 1952, millions of Democrats stayed home and didn't vote for Adlai Stevenson, because he was divorced, or too tied to the "scandalous" Truman Administration (it wasn't squeaky-clean, but we're not talking Watergate here), or "soft on Communism." Result: Dwight D. Eisenhower won in a landslide, and McCarthyism continued until 1954 (until 1960 if you were in Hollywood), and civil rights stalled again.

* In 1968, millions of Democrats, some saddened by the assassination of Robert Kennedy, others disillusioned by Eugene McCarthy, stayed home and didn't vote for Hubert Humphrey, who had a 25-year record of activist liberalism, because he wasn't sufficiently opposed to the Vietnam War. Result: Richard Nixon won in a squeaker, and the war lasted another 4 years, and, lest we forget, Watergate.

* In 1980, millions of Democrats, troubled by a weakening economy and the Iran Hostage Crisis, and disappointed that Ted Kennedy couldn't get the nomination, stayed home and didn't vote for Jimmy Carter, or voted for John Anderson. Result: Ronald Reagan won in a landslide, crippling America's labor unions and killing our manufacturing base, deepening the energy crisis, appointing 4 damaging Supreme Court Justices, and running an Administration even more corrupt than Nixon's, finally resulting in his successor, George H.W. Bush, taking the fall for the recession of 1990-92.

* In 2000, millions of Democrats, angered at Bill Clinton's free trade deal, welfare reform,and sex scandal, stayed home and didn't vote for Al Gore, or voted for Ralph Nader. Result: George W. Bush got close enough to steal the election, resulting in 2 recessions (the 2nd of them the worst since the Great Depression), 9/11, the Iraq War, the response to Hurricane Katrina, and 2 radical Supreme Court Justices.

* Now, in 2016, Down from Obama's 66 million votes in 2012, Hillary won 59 million, to edge Trump in the popular vote. John Kerry in 2004, John McCain in 2008, and Mitt Romney in 2012 all got more votes than Trump did this time, and yet they all lost. (UPDATE: Hillary's total rose to 65 million, Trump's to 62 million -- each more than any candidate had ever gotten, except for Obama in 2008 and 2012.)

In a year when social media and the demand that you get out and vote were both at all-time highs, Trump got the fewest Republican votes for President in 16 years, and didn't finish 1st; yet he won the Electoral Vote, because, especially in the States of Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, too many of you couldn't bring yourself to vote for the most liberal Presidential nominee ever, running on the most liberal major-party platform ever.

Don't tell me she stole the nomination. She didn't. She won it fair and square. You people could have gotten Bernie Sanders nominated, if you had registered as Democrats before the Primaries. You didn't, and so you weren't allowed to vote in them. Bernie knew and accepted the rules, you didn't.

Don't tell me Bernie would have beaten Trump. You're citing polls saying he would have done so? Nearly all the polls said Hillary was going to beat him. Your polls were every bit as wrong.

Don't tell me Bernie was a better candidate to run against Trump. She was a woman and a liberal, and these bigots said the most vile things about her, none of them true. Bernie is an admitted socialist, has an illegitimate child (perhaps no big deal to you, but still a big deal to millions of people in America in 2016), and, lest we forget, is a Jew. An atheist, perhaps, but still a Jew. In other words, he would have gotten all the drawbacks of being an atheist, and all the drawbacks of being a Jew, and none of the perks of either. These are white supremacists and "Christian Identity" people we're talking about. They wanted the noose for Hillary. They would have wanted the Auschwitz oven for Bernie.

Last night, Phil Scott was elected Governor of Vermont. Bernie's adopted home State. With 53 percent of the vote. He was a Republican.

George McGovern lost 49 of 50 States against Nixon in 1972. Walter Mondale lost 49 of 50 against Reagan in 1984. If Bernie Sanders had been the Democratic nominee for President against Donald Trump, he would have been tarred as "a Communist Jew," and he would have lost all 50 States. All of them. He might have won the District of Columbia, but the Electoral Vote would have been 535-3.

Once again, like your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents before you, you refused to settle for the lesser evil, who wasn't evil at all. You accepted the lies that the candidate wasn't good enough for you, when the alternative wasn't merely not as good, but absolutely unacceptable.

Do you understand? Unacceptable. Absolutely. And yet, by voting for Johnson or Stein, or not voting at all, you made possible the election of an immature narcissist who revels in bigotry of all kinds, and brags about having committed business fraud, bankruptcy fraud, tax fraud and rape.

And when Trump and the Republican Congress enact bad policy, and overturn established good policy, and a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court ratifies it, don't tell those of us who stayed loyal, "Oh my God, we had no idea." You did have an idea. And we gave it to you. But you were too goddamned stubborn to accept the truth.

And that's just the most likely bad scenario. I haven't even mentioned the unthinkable -- which a lot of Trump's voters have thought. Not those who believed that he could restore the old economy (not without a 70 percent top tax bracket and respecting unions, he can't), and wanted to "Make America Great Again." I'm talking about the actual neo-Confederates and neo-Nazis.

We've seen a few "Trayvon Martins." Imagine a million Trayvon Martins. Imagine a million Matthew Shepards. Imagine a million Hispanic equivalents. Imagine a million Muslim equivalents. Imagine a million Jewish equivalents.

We don't have to imagine it. It has happened before. Not here.

In 71 years, we have gone from stopping Germany from doing that, and rebuilding them in the image we had at the time, to wondering if Germany, a modern, civilized democracy and the leading nation of continental Europe, might have to bring Europe together and stop us. And by "us," I mean Trump and the Republicans, with those of us who didn't support him being victims just as much as those who did.

In short, all you Bernie Bots, Jill Not Hills, and Never Hillarys: If worse comes to worst, you will have allowed World War III, and America could lose. And deserve to lose.

I don't expect that to happen. But what happened during the Administrations I've cited was bad enough. Even if Trump ends up being no worse than Eisenhower, who was, at the least, a decent man (if not always knowing how to move our country forward), there's going to be an end to the progress we've made as a nation since Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal began 83 years ago.

The problem isn't the 11,000 college kids who voted for a dead gorilla. The problem isn't even the 59 million adults who voted for a live bigot.

The problem is the 12,000 of you who could have kept Michigan in the Democratic column. The 28,000 of you who could have kept Wisconsin in the Democratic column. The 78,000 of you who could have kept Pennsylvania in the Democratic column. The 120,000 of you who could have kept Florida in the Democratic column. The 434,000 of you who could have kept Ohio in the Democratic column.

Trump won the Electoral Vote 306 to 232. If you had only shown up in the numbers I just cited in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Hillary would have won 278-260. It would have been close, but it would have worked.

Instead, you chose to throw away the Congress for at least 2 years, the Presidency for at least 4 years, and the Supreme Court for God only knows how long.

Your grandparents wanted Eugene McCarthy, and they got the most un-Gene-like President. Then, they wanted Ted Kennedy, and they got the most un-Teddy-like President.

Your parents wanted Ralph Nader, and they got the most un-Nader-like President.

Now, you wanted Bernie Sanders, and you got the most un-Bernie-like President.

Bernie himself warned you, and told you to vote for Hillary. You didn't. Clearly, this was never about Bernie.

In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

But, hey, you've got your principles, right? You didn't compromise. You stayed true to your ideals, never knowing that the candidate most likely to win and enact your ideals, even in part, is now getting stitches in her back, from where you plunged in your knives.

So you play your albums. And you smoke your pot.
And you meet your girlfriend in the parking lot.
Aw, but still you're aching for the things you haven't got.
What went wrong?
Hm?
And you can't understand why your world is so dead.
Why you've got to keep in style and feed your head.
Well, you're 21, and still, your mother makes your bed.
And that's too long.
-- Billy Joel

1 comment:

Leonel A. Umana said...

I agree but still I must add one very important point, but far too clinical, without letting anybody off the hook. The electoral system is flaw and is now official broken. Hillary, as Al Gore before, won the popular vote. the democrats are never going to be able win fair and square again until the electoral system is fix. The GOP and now Trump are now going to screw our voting right piece by piece to remain in power despite their failure and they will fail. If we want to save our democracy, our rights, our very nation, we must fundamentally fix our constitution before they destroy this nation.