Sunday, November 13, 2016

Here's Why the Bad Guys Win

People on my side of the deep and wide political divide are looking desperately for a sensible explanation why Hillary Clinton is not the president-elect today. The answer is as deep and wide as the political division, but one point is certain and urgent:

More people wanted Donald Trump to lose than wanted him to win. More by a lot.

Trump finished second in the actual voting by a few hundred thousand votes, but more than 45 percent of Americans did not think enough of the future of their country to vote. A lot of the reason for that can be laid at the feet of Republicans in power, people who don't want the majority of Americans to vote because they would never win another national election. They do all they can to depress the vote, from eliminating polling places in colored or immigrant neighborhoods, to gerrymandering, to sending thugs to polling places carrying guns, to threatening violence. They purge voting lists, make it difficult for felons who have paid their debt to vote, shorten voting hours and days and make it as inconvenient as possible to vote.

All that said, however, Democrats must shoulder much of the blame for their defeat here. Clinton's campaign was an abject lesson in how not to do it. And this was her second chance. She should have learned something, but she didn't. She took for granted states like Michigan and Wisconsin, states where Bernie Sanders annihilated her in open primaries. She performed miserably when all people could vote in the primaries, winning only in those primaries where the vote was controlled by the party and actually cheating in many of those.

She refused to acknowledge the issues that were real to the Trump voters, preferring to call them stupid racists (which is correct in many cases, but certainly not all), rather than to hear them out and adjust to try to meet their needs. Job-scared Michigan voters took her absence from their state to conclude she didn't care about them. They may be right. She assumed they would not vote against their own interests. People will always vote against candidates they hate and don't trust. She never got that memo.

Democrats with the most to lose--those of color and immigrants--simply didn't turn out in numbers representative of the threat to them. Of course, the GOP targeted them and made voting more difficult, but if they want to win, they will have to try harder. Ask women. They've been doing that all their lives.

I am truly disappointed by those oppressed factions of our culture who simply lack the courage, the will, the strength to face the enemy and to fight back with all they have. If we are to have a new American Revolution, we will need every voice that opposes oppression and that will require commitment and, for god's sake, courage.

We can't win without it. The bad guys will ... and have to this point.


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