I know what some people are probably saying: Allen, why are you writing this article now — how is this subject still relevant? To be honest, I avoided writing this for weeks. However, as I’ve sat back and watched countless people talk about how the Democratic Party is “lost” and in “disarray,” my patience has worn thin.
Yes, Trump won the electoral college victory while Republicans kept a majority control in both the House and the Senate.
That being said, when you factor in the context behind all of that, it paints a much different picture than “Democrats must be in panic mode to recover.” While I’m not going to deny Trump won and Republicans kept control of Congress, it’s important to note that:
- 54% of Americans voted against him.
- Nearly 3 million more people voted for Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump.
- Republicans lost seats in both the House and the Senate.
- Trump is going to be sworn in as one of the least supported presidents in United States history.
- He won the electoral college because of around 100k votes spread out through three states (Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin) which, if flipped, would have thrown the election in Clinton’s favor.
Another part of this “Democrats are in disarray” argument has been the still on-going discussion about why Hillary Clinton lost. To listen to many of these so-called “experts” talk about her loss, you’d think that her campaign was some sort of epic disaster when it wasn’t.
It’s important to remember that more people voted for her.
So, I finally decided I’d offer my thoughts on some of the main reasons why this nation elected a buffoon as our next president. I’m not going to get into the subjective debate over her “message.” All things being what they were, without the following, the election is much different.
1. She’s not a very good candidate: Unfortunately, getting elected in this country is really a popularity contest. It really is baffling to think that some of the most qualified people we have in this country, people who might be able to do amazing jobs as public servants, might not ever get elected to public office because they’re not good at giving speeches or they’re not as witty as their opponent.
Hillary Clinton is a fairly bland, executive-type who knows how to bust her ass and get things done. But because she couldn’t “excite” large crowds of people with some level of charisma like a Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders or even Donald Trump, this often made her appear too robotic, fake or disingenuous. She’s not someone who’s very comfortable being “on stage” like many politicians are. Which is something she even admitted during a debate.
In a country where how you give a speech is probably more important than what you’re actually saying (which is really sad), that weakness cost her.
2. Bernie Sanders: I know, I know… don’t blame Bernie, right? Well, wrong. The folks who’ve said Sanders had nothing to do with this might have a point had I not literally predicted this in May of 2015, barely a week after he had launched his campaign — long before “Feel the Bern” became a national craze.
What Sanders did more than anything was he weakened her with the one voting demographic Trump had an advantage with: White, working/middle class Americans.
He spent over a year irrationally painting her as a “Wall Street shill” (she wasn’t) and some sort of pro-trade enemy of working Americans. Sanders was the anti-free trade agreement candidate to the white working class, a demographic he did very well with during the primary (unfortunately he failed miserably with minority voters, which is why he lost) — the same voting demographic that one Donald J. Trump just happened to do very well with.
You skew that white middle class vote toward Clinton by even 2-3% away from Trump and she wins this election by a blow out. And you can’t tell me over a year of Sanders painting her as a villain to the working class didn’t have any negative impact on her.
3. Russia/Wikileaks/FBI: In an election that came down to a handful of votes in three states, don’t tell me the Russian-ordered hacking of emails that were then surgically released by Wikileaks, and the FBI’s unprecedented letter just before Election Day, didn’t have any negative impact on her campaign. All of that certainly didn’t help her and nobody can sit here and tell me these events had zero impact. Again, in an election that was as close as this year’s was, even a 1-1.5% negative hit on her overall support could have been the difference in places like Pennsylvania, Florida, Wisconsin and Michigan — states she lost by less than 1.5% of the vote.
4. The media: The media incorrectly painted Clinton and Trump as “equally flawed” when reality couldn’t be further from the truth, and that was an issue she was never able to shake. While I’m not going to say Clinton didn’t have her issues, most were not nearly as big of a deal as the media made them out to be, while Trump’s were often downplayed significantly.
5. Liberals are too prone to being apathetic and aren’t good at voting consistently: There’s a reason why we now had both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, two presidents who were very successful, followed by two Republican candidates who lost the popular vote, yet won the presidency. And there’s a reason why Democrats lost power in Congress during each of their presidencies despite their successes — liberal apathy. The simple truth is when liberals shows up to vote in numbers they’re capable of, we win, nearly every single time. The only reason why Republicans seem to win more often isn’t because their ideas are better, or supported by most Americans, it’s because they’re much better at doing one thing consistently that liberals are terrible at doing: Showing up to vote.
6. People didn’t take the possibility of Donald Trump seriously enough: Donald Trump’s win reminds me a lot of the Brexit vote. Too many people didn’t take it seriously enough, which allowed what most didn’t expect to happen — to actually happen. Most people assumed Clinton was headed for a fairly easy win, which I think hurt her in these states where she lost by less than 1-2%.
7. Because her opponent was a white male: Imagine for a moment a minority candidate, or woman, having the baggage of Trump. There’s absolutely no way any other demographic but a white male would be elected president despite:
- Cheating on at least one spouse.
- Being caught on video admitting to trying to cheat on another (with a married woman, no less) while also bragging about being a sexual predator.
- Being on their third marriage (to a much younger person).
- Having five kids from three different spouses.
Forget everything else shameful about Trump (or even everything on this list) — those four things alone would disqualify anyone who isn’t a white male from ever being elected president.
Are there more reasons? Sure. But if we would eliminate all (or even a couple — especially that last one) of the things on this list, I can say with almost absolute certainty that we’re not swearing in Donald Trump as our next president on January 20, 2017.
Copyright 2016 Forward Progressives
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