November 8th was not a Trump win – it was a Clinton loss.
This election was the Democrat’s to lose. All they had to do was convince the American public that electing a lying, xenophobic, misogynistic, alleged sex-abuser with six bankruptcies under his belt was probably a bad idea. Not exactly a big ask.
A toddler could have successfully made that case, but they couldn’t, because of complete and utter incompetence.
Clinton had decades of political experience, a husband twice elected president, and hindsight gained from a failed presidential campaign in 2008. Yet she was still incapable of winning, and the DNC full-throatedly supported her.
24 years in the highest levels of political office. And she didn’t learn how to win an election.
The numbers speak for themselves; 2016 wasn’t a massive surge of Republican support. Trump won less votes than McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012, both of whom who lost.
Yet he still won. Why? Because Clinton and the DNC single-handedly shed over 6 million votes in one term.
At this point, we have to acknowledge that some of this will be down to suppression of minority voters by Republican administrations. Fair point.
Clinton came ahead in terms of ballots cast, by about 200,000 at time of writing. Call it 50-50. Had the US’s political system been a direct democracy, she would be President. Also noted.
However, it shouldn’t come down to a margin of 0.3% – less than the population of a small city. It shouldn’t have even been close. Up against arguably the most unpopular presidential candidate in US history, this should have been a Reagan-style landslide.
But it wasn’t, and now we have to face the consequences. Trump may hold responsibility for every single thing that happens under his presidency, but the Democrats hold the responsibility of giving it to him.
The future seems likely to have dire consequences in store for many groups of people under Trump’s rule. Every illegal immigrant who is deported without consolation. Every citizen who will be left without health insurance. Every Muslim scared to walk on the streets in fear of their life. Clinton and her team must hold all of these tragedies on their consciences.
The Democrats knew she was the establishment candidate in an era of populism. They saw that Sanders was decimating Trump in the polls. They were fully aware that her approval ratings were hitting rock bottom. Yet they still supported her. They even actively rigged the primary election process in a large number of states to ensure her candidacy. This was political suicide, and they knew it – the numbers were right in front of them.
Did they run a campaign based on healthcare, jobs, wages, education – things that actually effect people’s lives? Of course not. They should have been screaming those messages until the roof fell in. Instead we got a vague, embarrassed mumble.
Meanwhile, as legitimate a concern it is, whether Trump releases his tax returns or not has no effect on anyone’s living conditions. It might win over the CNN pundits, but not the voters.
Despite all the rhetoric, the speeches and the soundbites, their campaign was not targeted at Main Street, but Wall Street.
More fundamentally, the Democrat’s eight years of implementing relentless neo-liberalism was political suicide. In the US, low wages and rocketing inequality have fueled populist sentiments. They planted the seeds of their own destruction, and now we’re feeling the cost.
One point that should be held above all others when it comes to the impact of a Trump presidency – this man believes climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese. The GOP platform literally states “Climate change is far from this nation’s most pressing national security issue.”
Of course, Clinton wouldn’t have been perfect on the environment either, but her policies definitely would have been more effective than Trump’s…
It sounds like hyperbole, I don’t even quite believe it myself yet, but the DNC may have just conceded the survival of the human race to Donald J Trump.
The Democrats went chasing the money, not the votes. As long as they got the corporate donors on board, as long as they could raise more than the Republicans, then surely the electorate would follow, right?
Wrong. Turns out, people don’t like bribery.
So, where do we go from here? First of all, I believe each and every single DNC official responsible for what is to come should be fired. If this isn’t enough to lose them their jobs, then what is? They’re a liability to the left, not an asset.
Second: in 2020, run a campaign of populism. Not xenophobic, bigoted populism, but anti-corporate, anti-neoliberal populism. You know… the kind that all the numbers show would have won?
Finally: obstruct Trump like the Republicans obstructed Obama. Don’t just bury your head in the sand and take it, don’t tell everyone to calm down and accept the result – these people have no mandate. The electorate voted AGAINST them. Fight and filibuster every step of the way. Yes, in some cases the status-quo is better than fascism.
That needs to be the strategy going forward, if the Democrats genuinely want to help the people that are going to suffer in the next four years. That’s the progressive path to power. Stand up, or give up.
The Democratic establishment have just proven themselves to be the most incompetent major political force in the world today. They have no business running a major party which people depend on to put dinner on the table.
History must remember the DNC and Clinton as one thing above all others: the worst politicians ever.
Image credit: flickr.com/kabulpublicdiplomacy
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