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

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
What's Next
Trending Today
6 Toxic Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Normal
Mark Manson · 9,934 views today · There’s no class in high school on how to not be a shitty boyfriend or girlfriend. Sure, they teach us the biology of sex, the legality of marriage, and maybe read a few...
This Polish Ad Will Give You The Feels, For Reals
3 min · 7,689 views today · This is an ad for Allegro, a Polish company similar to eBay, and it's heartwarmingly lovely.
Time-Lapse Satellite Images Give a Startling Snapshot of Past 30 Years on Earth
2 min · 6,546 views today · Working with satellite images from NASA and the US Geological Survey, Google has created a searchable snapshot of the past 3 decades on Earth, creating startling time-lapses of...
Dr. Maya Angelou: Love Liberates
5 min · 4,561 views today · Words to live by from Dr. Maya Angelou. Love each other.
Ten Ways We Misunderstand Children
Jan Hunt · 2,436 views today · 1. We expect children to be able to do things before they are ready. We ask an infant to keep quiet. We ask a 2-year-old to sit still. We ask a 3-year-old to clean his room...
The Myth of Positivity: Why Your Pain Holds a Mighty Purpose
umair haque · 1,942 views today · Of all the great myths of contemporary life, one of the most toxic is positivity. It says: there are negative and positive emotions, and only the positive ones are worth...
15 Easy Things You Can Do to Help When You Feel Like Shit
Maritsa Patrinos · 1,109 views today · You don’t have to tackle it all at once.
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,074 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,020 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...
The Problem with Hating Our Enemies
Charles Eisenstein · 819 views today · He who fights too long against dragons becomes a dragon himself; and if thou gaze too long into the abyss, the abyss will gaze into thee. —Nietzsche
Have You Heard of The Great Forgetting? It Happened 10,000 Years Ago & Completely Affects Your Life
Daniel Quinn · 719 views today · (Excerpted from the book, The Story of B) With every audience and every individual, I have to begin by making them see that the cultural self-awareness we inherit from our...
The Lid Is off, The Truth Is Coming Out
Charles Eisenstein · 561 views today · It is getting harder to keep a secret these days. The collective shadow of our society, once safely relegated to the dark basement of the unmentionable, is now exposed to...
Sleaford Mods on Brexit Britain
4 min · 522 views today · In early 2014 the Guardian hailed duo Sleaford Mods as ‘the most uncompromising British protest music made in years’. Here, we go backstage at a Sleaford Mods gig in their...
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 454 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...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 423 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 353 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
Schooling the World (2010)
66 min · 347 views today · If you wanted to change an ancient culture in a generation, how would you do it? You would change the way it educates its children. The U.S. Government knew this in the 19th...
Defiance in the Face of Oppression - Iranian Artist Atena Farghadani Defends the Right to Draw
Gavin Aung Than · 307 views today · Atena Farghadani is a 28-year-old Iranian artist. She was recently sentenced to 12 years and 9 months in prison for drawing a cartoon.  
Standing Rock Wisdom: How Sacred, Nonviolent Activism Has the Power to Succeed
Charles Eisenstein · 271 views today · I am told by Native American friends active at Standing Rock that the elders are counseling the Water Protectors to undertake each action prayerfully and to stay off the...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 255 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...
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
For All Democrats to Ponder: the Real Reasons Hillary Clinton Lost