For All Democrats to Ponder: the Real Reasons Hillary Clinton Lost
Beyond the media spin, the four reasons for this defeat.
For All Democrats to Ponder: the Real Reasons Hillary Clinton Lost
By Tony Brasunas / medium.com
Nov 15, 2016

As the aphorism goes, if we don’t learn from history, we are doomed to repeat it. While the corporate media continues to peddle hysteria, the most important thing right now is to rationally understand why Clinton and the Democrats lost this eminently winnable 2016 race for the White House.

Having taken some time to look back over the past six months, I list below what I believe are the four main underlying reasons for this defeat. As it turns out, none of the reasons is particularly complicated, but each will require consideration and systemic change by the party over the next two years.

1. The DNC subverted democracy. This was an anti-establishment year in politics, and there was an anti-establishment candidate running in both major parties. Trump was (barely) allowed to win the primary on the Republican side. On the Democratic side, despite Bernie’s obvious strength and the clear preference of the grassroots, the primary was rigged to put the less popular, establishment candidate forward. It was a colossal risk to take, but the party leadership in the DNC chose to advance their favored candidate so as to maintain their power inside the party and their fundraising with big banks and supranational corporations. The risk backfired. Free and fair democracy would have given Bernie the nomination, likely the White House, and even better, leadership in an expanding and exciting party positioned to win elections for years to come.

2. The media and the DNC deliberately elevated Trump. The wikileaks reveal that the DNC chose to deliberately use the Clinton campaign and the media to elevate Trump (as well as Ted Cruz and Ben Carson) as a candidate, thinking he would be the easiest to beat. They utilized this “pied piper” strategy for months. This was another colossal risk the DNC took, and it backfired horribly. Partly in tandem with the DNC — but largely of their own volition — the corporate media lavished hour upon hour of free coverage on Trump, daily, for a solid year. It is the height of irony today for corporate media pundits to bemoan with shock and consternation Trump’s victory, when his candidacy is truly their creation. If any candidate receives hours of coverage by the major media, for free, every single night, for a year, he or she will win elections, and possibly the presidency.

3. Clinton ran a weak and uninspired campaign. Once she had the nomination, Clinton ran a campaign without an inspiring message — other than perhaps voting for a woman for president. She courted conservatives like the Bushes, the Kochs, and Henry Kissinger, she picked corporate centrists for vice president and other prominent roles, she never connected with a base that after all of Bernie’s amazing campaigning was ripe for engagement, and she turned her back on progressive issues time and again. She stopped talking about climate change and racial justice and corruption in government, and she never addressed the pressing progressive issues of the day, such as Standing Rock and TPP. Seemingly she hoped to coast to victory with little more than platitudes and scare-tactics about Russians reminiscent of the 1950s. All of this while barely escaping two FBI indictments. She became a weak and unpopular candidate holding on to a narrow lead merely because Trump was so ridiculously bad. Trump’s inadequacy as a candidate masked the weaknesses in Clinton’s sinking campaign. For its part, as a slogan, “Stronger Together” never resonated with people who haven’t recovered yet from the Great Recession and who continue to get by with less everyday; indeed for poor and working class people who feel on the outside of the country’s latest wealth generation, this slogan seemed at best ironic and at worst to deliberately exclude them.

4. The complete failure of neoliberalism. This is perhaps the most important thing to understand. Trump didn’t win because of racism; that only got him, generously, 20% of the vote. Trump won by — like Bernie — offering everyday people an alternative to the utterly failed policies of neoliberalism. Not to scare you with this big word, but we are hearing (hopefully) the final death knell of the fancy idea, born under the Clintons, that the country could pass corporate-supremacy laws, call them “free trade” deals, and allow corporations to seek the cheapest, least regulated labor, anywhere in the world, and leave the country that supports these corporations high and dry. It’s a fabulous deal for corporations — their profits have soared — but it’s a wretched deal for working class people, the environment, unions, towns and cities, and long-term national sovereignty for the nations of the earth. People were bound to finally wake up to this, and now they have. If you don’t know what the TPP is, please go learn; Hillary and Obama want to pass this crown jewel of corporate supremacy; Bernie and Trump oppose it.

There are your real reasons. Getting this right does matter, so let me know if I’ve missed anything.

Honorable mentions not making the top four:

  • Fraudulent voter purges in Florida and Ohio that favored Republicans. Voting machine election fraud. More research on this topic forthcoming.
  • The electoral college. Clinton did win the popular vote nationwide but will lose the count of state delegates in this undemocratic system.

Independent voters, progressive voters, and libertarian voters who didn’t vote, or who voted for other candidates because the DNC’s candidate didn’t inspire them should be considered symptoms of the above, not reasons unto themselves. If you run an unpopular candidate on a platform of failed policies and simultaneously elevate your opponent, you will lose any remotely fair democratic election.

If you run an unpopular candidate on a platform of failed policies and simultaneously elevate your opponent, you will lose.

The question now is whether the Democratic Party can right its ship and finally turn away from neoliberalism and corrupt corporate politics. Can the DNC, over the next two years, relinquish its corrupt role in guiding the party and allow the grassroots to return the party to its best historic role as genunine representatives for poor and working class people, the environment, democracy, and the rule of law?

Personally I’m skeptical, but I am ready and happy to be proven wrong.

Liberals, progressives, and peaceful revolutionaries of all stripes: There are many more battles ahead. Keep fighting, keep learning, and above all keep paying attention. We must learn from this election so as not to repeat it.

Tony Brasunas - Where rationalism and idealism meet.

4.3 ·
2
Trending Today
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 11,401 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
The Corporation (2003)
145 min · 5,779 views today · The Corporation is today's dominant institution, creating great wealth but also great harm. This 26 award-winning documentary examines the nature, evolution, impacts and future...
Coping With Narcissistic Personality Disorder in the White House
N Ziehl · 2,746 views today · I want to talk a little about narcissistic personality disorder. I’ve unfortunately had a great deal of experience with it, and I’m feeling badly for those of you who are...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 1,864 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
The Comprehensive Activist Guide to Dismantling Neoliberalism
Drew Serres · 1,071 views today · “The creation of today’s market society was not the result of a sequence of spontaneous events but rather of state interference and violence.” – Naomi Klein in The Shock...
22 Documentaries That Tell the Truth About How Government Really Works
Tim Hjersted · 979 views today · And 6 that show how people are responding.
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 776 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
90 Inspiring and Visionary Films That Will Change How You See the World in Profound Ways
Tim Hjersted · 609 views today · The world today is in crisis. Everybody knows that. But what is driving this crisis? It's a story, a story that is destroying the world. It's a story about our relationship to...
This Woman Gets No Applause...Why? They Are Too Creeped Out...
7 min · 465 views today · Think you aren't being fooled by advertising tricks? Take a look at this so-called expert revealing food marketing's secret weapon. No amount of marketing makes factory farming...
Positive Thinking in a Dark Age: A Guide to Gracefully Losing Faith in a Collapsing Dominant Culture
Jim Tull · 432 views today · I recall a Buddhist parable involving a stick that appears from a distance to be a snake, causing fear to rise in the perceiver. As the perception shifts upon closer...
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine · 429 views today · “…everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor, or they will never be industrious.” —Arthur Young; 1771 Our popular economic wisdom says that...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 325 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Live Before You Die
6 min · 322 views today · Travelling the length of the country and back again with a pair of horses and gypsy caravan, Live Before You Die is the ultimate horse-drawn road movie, following a band of...
The Age of Anxiety
Grace Blakeley · 315 views today · I began to experience the crippling power of anxiety in my third year of university. The panic attacks were one thing, but the most horrifying thing about anxiety, the thing...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 302 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 268 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Regenerative Agriculture: Our Best Shot at Cooling the Planet?
Jason Hickel · 255 views today · It’s getting hot out there. For a stretch of 16 months running through August 2016, new global temperature records were set every month.[1] Ice cover in the Arctic sea hit a...
One "Piece of the Oppressor" That I Have Discovered Within Myself
Tim Hjersted · 231 views today · One "piece of the oppressor" that I have found in myself during my inner activist journeys is my use of shame as a method of engaging with the world's problems. Having learned...
Bertrand Russell & Buckminster Fuller on Why We Should Work Less, and Live & Learn More
Josh Jones · 182 views today · Why must we all work long hours to earn the right to live? Why must only the wealthy have a access to leisure, aesthetic pleasure, self-actualization…? Everyone seems to have...
Who Are You? Watching This Breathtaking Video Could Be the Moment You Change Your Life
2 min · 177 views today · "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
For All Democrats to Ponder: the Real Reasons Hillary Clinton Lost