I walked into the voting booth on November 8, 2016 and placed a check mark in the box beside your name. I wasn’t actually voting for you but was voting against Donald Trump. I almost wrote in my pet Boxer’s name. If you’ve been reading this blog the last few months you know that in no version of reality would I vote for Donald Trump.
The day after the election an old friend, a Trump supporter, sent me an email asking for my thoughts in ten words. I gave him twenty:
“There are few people I detest more than Donald Trump.”
“Thank goodness the Clintons will now be going away forever.”
Why, Ms. Clinton, can you not fulfill my prophesy? You lost and you are largely responsible for the loss. You ran against one of the most unpopular, unqualified, and offensive candidates in America’s history, and you lost. Yes, the James Comey memo on your emails had an impact and there is little doubt some American voters did not vote for you because you are female, but you ultimately lost the race. And yes, I know you won the popular vote by a significant margin but being a Yale educated attorney I think you probably understood that you were required to win 270 votes in the Electoral College; you and your campaign apparently ignored that little detail.
And then you have blamed everyone and everything and taken very little of the blame yourself. You continued that theme even last week in India where you essentially blamed your loss on ignorant voters.
In your best selling book and at other times:
- You claimed that Trump won because of bigoted white voters, but many of those voters had previously supported President Obama. About 1/3 of the counties that voted for Obama TWICE were won by Trump in 2016. You LOST those counties. Nobody took them from you.
- You blamed President Obama because, according to your argument, it is difficult for a candidate to follow a president of the same party who was elected twice. Really?
- You blamed Bernie Sanders because of his attacks on you and the Democratic Party. Well, the Democratic Party is dysfunctional (as is the Republican Party) so his attacks there were justified. And I don’t recall any falsehoods in his attacks against you (I certainly could be wrong).
- You blamed the debate moderators for not asking how you planned to create jobs. Was this the only opportunity you had to explain your policy ideas to the voters during the entire campaign?
- You blamed journalists for giving Trump so much free air time. That is true but from what I recall most of that air time was used to reveal Trump’s weaknesses as a candidate and human being. The exception was FOXNEWS, a network that openly supported Trump.
- You blamed it on husbands and brothers who pressured the women in their lives to not vote for “the girl.” Just last week you reiterated this claim.
- You blamed Russia, the Democratic National Committee, your own campaign staff, campaign finance laws, Jill Stein (the Green Party Candidate), Anthony Weiner (the man with the most appropriate name in history), and uninformed voters.
- And you did accept a small portion of the responsibility because you finally admitted that referring to a sizeable portion of the American public as “deplorables” and having your professional emails on a private server cost you votes. Yep!
Please consider these facts:
- You lost Michigan. Michigan! You never bothered to court the United Auto Workers. You did not speak to the Michigan Democratic Women’s Caucus. You apparently pretty much ignored the entire state. Most voters there didn’t even see one of your TV ads until the last week of the campaign.
- The same was true in Wisconsin. You blamed that loss on new voter ID rules but the truth is you didn’t visit the state after you won the Democratic Party’s nomination.
- You never articulated a clear message. Trump was going to “Make America Great Again” (as if it wasn’t great already). I think you used something like “Stronger Together” but I’m pretty sure you never articulated the slogan’s meaning. As columnist Richard Cohen said, your real slogan was something like “Hillary Clinton-because she’s not Trump”.
- You had trust issues with the American voters. This was likely your major weakness. A New York Times Poll taken before the election found that 67% of voters did not believe you were trustworthy. In fact, your trust levels were even lower than those of your husband after he openly lied about his affair. The voters’ lack of trust in you gave the Comey email announcement traction. If the voters had trusted you the announcement would likely have had little impact.
So why didn’t voters trust you? Why were you never able to change that perception? There is no single answer.
- Perhaps it was because after you stepped down as Secretary of State you went on the speakers circuit and earned $200,000 or more (sometimes much more) per speech for a total of $22-25million, most from groups that had lobbied the government while you were in the State Department.
- Perhaps it was because you deleted about 30,000 emails that had been kept on your private server. You did so before sending another 30,000 to the Department of State for review. You expected voters to take you at your word when you said the deleted emails were personal and unrelated to your professional duties.
- Perhaps it is because you voted for the Iraq war before you changed your mind, at which point it was too late.
- Perhaps it was because of your questionable responses when other women accused Bill of the Problematic Zipper of rape, fondling, or other sexual indiscretions.
- Or perhaps it was the fact that, when asked whether you always told the truth, you said “I’ve always tried to” rather than “yes”.
Or maybe all these accusations against you over the decades were fabricated. I have my doubts.
Please let the 2016 election go. You lost. Even sixteen months later it is hard to believe you lost against Donald Trump, but you did. Move on. Please.
I wish you well in retirement. Enjoy your grandchildren.
PS: I want you to know that my previous comments about you cost me long-time “friends” which just proves that some liberals can be as close-minded as the conservatives they criticize. Yes, Ms. Clinton, I expect to lose even more because of what I wrote here.