It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I’m none too thrilled with the results of the election on Tuesday, where even though Hillary Clinton won a majority of the popular vote, the Electoral College (that antiquated monstrosity that was enacted mainly to appease the slave-holding states) awarded the presidency to donald.
Although I have some reservations about some of her policy ideas, I was genuinely excited to vote for her as she is an exceptionally well-qualified candidate; that she would have been the first female president just made it that much more fulfilling to vote for her.
(And just to get it out of the way, she’s been in public service for most of her life, and a lot of mud has been thrown her way by Republicans and sadly amplified by our abysmal ratings-dominated news media, so many folks had reservations about her honesty and integrity. I had none. When examined carefully, all those so-called “scandals” evaporated into thin air.)
I’ve heard and read several analyses of what went wrong, and I see two major factors: white resentment and the Democrats’ abandonment of unions.
For the last few years there has been a steady drumbeat of news about Black Lives Matter, so there was a segment of the white public that was primed to be receptive to the bigoted, white supremacist message that donald trumpeted.
At the same time the Democratic Party and Barack Obama seem to have abandoned the unions, once the bedrock of the party’s base. Obama has championed policies like the TPP that benefit the wealthy and not the middle class or the poors. It’s true that Obama has had to deal with an obstructionist congress for most of his two terms, but he has often expressed a willingness to work with Republicans in cutting Social Security benefits and other similar policies.
The Democrats have believed that they needed to have business-friendly policies in order to raise money on a par with the Republicans. But if nothing else this election has shown the folly of that in two ways.
Bernie showed that grass roots fundraising can be extremely effective. And Clinton wildly out-raised and out-spent her opponent. Perhaps money, especially money spent on TV ads, is not as important as previously thought.
I began writing this in the hope that putting a few ideas down would make that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach go away. It didn’t work.