Thursday, November 10, 2016

Hillary, you ignored the left at your own peril and lost

It is now two days after the election and the floodgates have opened. People are crying bitterly about Trump's win. There are memes aplenty telling us how hard the election has been on all of us and how terrifying Trump will be. They're also blaming the people who voted 3rd party for Hillary's loss, even though it appears she won the popular vote. These are the same people who told us, that if we don't vote for Hillary in the primaries, we get the Trump. I voted for Bernie but the people in control of the Democratic Party had other plans.

There are even a few people openly criticizing the Dingaling National Committee for nominating Hillary Clinton despite enormous mountains of evidence that she was just a bad candidate, plain and simple. Jim Newell at Slate nails it here:
Theoretically smart people in the Democratic Party should have known that. And yet they worked giddily to clear the field for her. Every power-hungry young Democrat fresh out of law school, every rising lawmaker, every old friend of the Clintons wanted a piece of the action. This was their ride up the power chain. The whole edifice was hollow, built atop the same unearned sense of inevitability that surrounded Clinton in 2008, and it collapsed, just as it collapsed in 2008, only a little later in the calendar. The voters of the party got taken for a ride by the people who controlled it, the ones who promised they had everything figured out and sneeringly dismissed anyone who suggested otherwise. They promised that Hillary Clinton had a lock on the Electoral College. These people didn’t know what they were talking about, and too many of us in the media thought they did.
The voters of the party got taken for a ride by people who didn't know what they were talking about. Those same people seemed to think that Hillary's campaign was more of a job fair or a business opportunity than an effort to get someone elected as president. I guess they weren't paying attention.

This loss is what happens when you ignore at least half of your voter base. This is what happens when you deride Sanders supporters and tell them who to vote for. This is what happens when you ignore Bernie or Bust. What part of Bust did you not understand, DNC?

It is also interesting to contrast this election with the primaries. There seems to be an eerie absence of complaints about rigging, long lines or closed polling places. No complaints about purges or even about the media coverage of the same. All of the heat is pointed squarely on Donald Trump and his supporters. Oh, there are a few who are dissing people who voted 3rd party and cost poor Hillary her precious election. Before they get too carried away, perhaps they should train their gaze on this:

46% of voters didn't vote. Hey, if anyone is worried about "oligarchy" they might be surprised to find that oligarchy isn't rule by the rich. It's rule by the few. If you didn't vote, you're promoting oligarchy. If you're looking for voters to blame, look to the 46% who did not vote. Did your ambitious Hillary Clinton want a high voter turnout? She didn't seem all that concerned during the primaries. But now she want those votes?

Protests are popping up all over. The local police in Oregon helped protests take the I-5. Protesters have surrounded the Trump Tower in New York. Students have walked out at Berkeley. There is already talk of impeachment to see if they can keep Trump out of the White House. Apparently, plenty of desperate people are searching Google, looking for ways out of their predicament. Suicide hotline phone banks have lit up like Christmas trees.

All of this could have been avoided.

In Voters Repudiate Clinton, Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism describes how so many people she has talked to may have expressed anti-Trump sentiment to their friends and family, but voted for him anyway because they despised Clinton more. Here's the nugget:
So even though my sample was small (and I have more examples), it said the closeted Trump voter was a real phenomenon and likely bigger than anyone was allowing for.
The election outcome was based not just on Clinton being a terrible candidate on the merits, but on the abjectly poor conduct of the Clinton campaign.
Smith goes on...
Let us not forget that Clinton had every advantage: Presidential campaign experience, the full backing of her party, a much bigger ground apparatus, oodles of experts and surrogates, the Mighty Wurlitzer of the media behind her, an opponent widely deemed to be world-class terrible – utterly unqualified, undisciplined, offensive, with a mother lode of scandals – and what historically was deemed the most important asset of all, a large lead in fundraising.
Yet Clinton was a lousy campaigner and strategist. By all accounts, she was a micromanager who regularly overrode her staff’s advice. All the big-ticket Madison Avenue spin-meistering could not get the dogs to eat enough dog food.
What we see is that Clinton simply ignored a really big chunk of her base, the people who supported Sanders, and did it her way. She is elitist, wealthy, insulated and seems to think she can do whatever she pleases. Voters disagreed with her. Millions of them. Her campaign and attitude cost her the election.

Now there is already talk of the possibility that Barack Obama could pardon Hillary Clinton. I guess they figured out that if the Republicans have a trifecta, majority in the Senate, majority in the House and the White House, the game is on. If Barack Obama pardons Hillary before he leaves office, he will only vindicate the voters who voted against her. With his pardon, he would reinforce the idea that there is a class of people who are above the law.

If the dingalings at the DNC need someone to blame, they need only look in the mirror. This is also true of all the people on social media right now, maligning anyone who didn't vote for Hillary. These same people were willing to overlook the shortcomings of Hillary Clinton as a candidate and even potential president. They dismissed Sanders supporters after they could not convince Bernie or Bust voters, and eventually, came to the conclusion that Sanders supporters weren't needed to win.

I'm a Sanders supporter and remain so. I see the work he's doing as a Senator now, and I can honestly say as a Sanders supporter that we didn't start the fire. We didn't nominate someone unfit to be president. We didn't vote to nominate a truly awful candidate for president, who was willing to let her campaign run so far afoul. And when we saw that we were ignored, many of us either voted 3rd party or stayed home. I can imagine that more than a few Sanders supporters voted for Trump.

If you ignore your base, you do so at your own peril. Running for president requires you to prove you represent enough of us to get our votes. But, dear Hillary, when your words change with winds, while your actions follow the money, you leave us no choice but to abandon you for someone else.

I didn't vote for Trump, but I can understand why so many people voted for him. He's anti-establishment. He didn't cheat to win, rather, he won despite organized opposition to him at the top of the GOP. He invited Sanders supporters with open arms, something Hillary Clinton could bring herself to do. As Yves Smith noted:
Hillary tried the Clinton “They have no where to go” trick one time too many, kicking the left after she only narrowly beat Sanders. And the left decided to return the favor. She made clear she has no intention of representing them. They heard her message loud and clear and acted accordingly.
Hillary and her acolytes are now reaping what they have sown. It is up to us to pick ourselves up and figure how we can work with Trump, just as Bernie Sanders has already begun to do:
“Donald Trump tapped into the anger of a declining middle class that is sick and tired of establishment economics, establishment politics and the establishment media.  People are tired of working longer hours for lower wages, of seeing decent paying jobs go to China and other low-wage countries, of billionaires not paying any federal income taxes and of not being able to afford a college education for their kids - all while the very rich become much richer. 
“To the degree that Mr. Trump is serious about pursuing policies that improve the lives of working families in this country, I and other progressives are prepared to work with him. To the degree that he pursues racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-environment policies, we will vigorously oppose him.”
Like Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump saw the anger of the American people and made it clear that he will represent them. Hillary ignored that anger and paid for her ignorance with this election.

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