Tag Archives: presidential

Democrats Need To Stop Finger-Pointing About Hillary’s Loss

Like millions of Americans who have been crestfallen by President-Elect Pussy-Grabber’s election win last month, I have done a lot of reflecting about what the hell exactly happened over the past 20 or so months that led to the travesty of the United States electing the worst presidential candidate in modern history, and probably ever, to the highest office in the land.

As with most other things, I don’t think the answer is any one thing.  But for me, it boils down to an American society filled with misinformed and willfully ignorant people, that were okay with racism, xenophobia, misogyny and a general lack of decency, as long as it offered catharsis for their anger over losing ground in the American culture wars during the last few decades and returning to an era of heterosexual white male patriarchal dominance, especially in a symbolic sense.  This is why Trump is seemingly invulnerable to the normal trappings which would have doomed any other presidential candidate.  Trump’s supporters didn’t care so much about what Trump did, but more what he stood for in their eyes.  And this is why I think that, even as Trump breaks more and more campaign promises, he will still have his cult of followers standing by him.

On social media I have seen a lot of angry Hillary supporters pointing the finger for her loss since November 8th.  One of the targets has been the mainstream broadcast media, which has been faulted for normalizing Trump’s bigotry and glossing over the many glaring and legitimate reasons he should not be president.  While I ultimately fault voters for their bad decisions, I do think there is validity to the frustration that many people felt with the reporting done by news outlets like CNN and the other major networks.  Like many other people, I think members of the media simply didn’t take Trump seriously as a candidate, and this was reflected in their coverage.  They got caught up in the clown show, which was good for ratings, and forgot to treat Trump as a legitimate, fascistic threat to our society and democracy.

Another target of liberal ire has been Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.  There are many Democrats who think that the issues Bernie raised while he campaigned against Hillary, such as her ties to Wall Street, did lasting damage to how voters perceived her, even though he ultimately did support Clinton.  I think this is really unfair, and fails to see the reality that many voters already believed the negative perceptions that they had about Hillary, due to years of attacks put out by the likes of right-wing propaganda pushers such as Fox News, and would have thought the same way even if Bernie had never campaigned against her.  This is compounded, no doubt, by deep-rooted sexist double standards about how American society views and receives women in high-power positions of authority.  And it didn’t help that broadcast media offered such a disproportionate amount of coverage about Hillary’s “damn emails.”

It is important to note that, even though I fervently supported Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump, she was far from my ideal candidate, and wasn’t my first choice.  I wanted Bernie to get the nomination.  Alas, that didn’t happen, I accepted it, and when it came down to Hillary against Mr. Sexual-Assault-Is-Okay-If-You’re-A-Celebrity, the choice was clear as day for me.  I don’t like to play hindsight guessing games or dwell on “coulda, woulda, shoulda” scenarios, but I do think Bernie would have fared better against Trump, and sometimes I even wish Senator Elizabeth Warren had been in the race.

One soundbite from Warren comes to mind as a symbol of why Hillary was flawed as a candidate, or at least how she might have fared better against political “outsider” Trump.  When the Wells Fargo fake-accounts scandal broke earlier this year, Elizabeth Warren laid into their CEO and others of high rank there, highlighting the hypocrisy of low-level employees losing their jobs because of the scandal, while high-ranking executives got off with few consequences.  As she tore into Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, she displayed a fire and fighting spirit on behalf of working and middle-class Americans that I think was sorely lacking with Hillary Clinton in the minds of voters.  Compare that clip of Warren to Hillary proclaiming during one of the debates that she would have the big banks “cut it out” when it came to behavior and policies that led to the economic crisis of 2008.  There’s just no comparison.  Senator Warren and Sanders both frequently demonstrate that they have the gusto and “oomph” that I think many voters are looking for as they deal with the (justified) perception that the economic system is rigged in the favor of big banks and corporations.  This is something that I think would have really helped Hillary, but too often, she came off as somewhat robotic and as if she was offering up canned responses that she or her handlers thought voters wanted to hear, rather than passion coming from the heart.

I think Democrats need to stop finger-pointing and focusing on who or what to blame for Hillary’s loss, and instead should start placing their energies into how to morph and solidify the Democratic party into what it should have been all along, but which I think has been lost in recent years – a progressive party that will fight for American workers and stop being so influenced by big corporate money and donors.  Now that the disaster of a Trump presidency is upon us, progressive Americans need the Democratic party more than ever to step up and fight the inevitable Trump/GOP agenda of privatization and their overall threat to programs which help average Americans, women, people of color, the disabled and others who need someone in their corner in the fight against the corporate control and oligarchy that has come to threaten and degrade many Americans’ faith in the “American Dream.”

Now is your chance, Democrats.

#Resist

 

Hillary Clinton photo credit: By lorie shaull (source) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Don’t Fret, America. Latinos Will Be A Game Changer.

The message to the GOP over the past several years has been “adapt or die.”
 
Their long-standing bastion of dependable voters, white men, have become a shrinking percentage of the American electorate as a whole. It has been clear to many that as minority groups made gains in population and eligible voters, the Republican party would have to try to expand their base.
 
So what did Republicans do in 2016? They ran Donald Trump, one of, if not the most, blatantly racist and chauvinistic presidential candidates in U.S. history, at least in modern times.
 
I have long stated that I don’t think this race has been or will end up being as close as it is being portrayed in the media, providing there is no horrible event such as a massive terror attack before election day. I think the key difference-makers will be women and Latinos.
 
I think the race has been presented as closer than it is for two reasons. One, the media wants to build interest in the race, for ratings. They want it to seem closer than it is to keep eyes and ears on their broadcasts.
 
And two, because the patriarchal white male power structure that still dominates most major news corporations simply doesn’t take into account the voting power of women and Latinos and the influence they would have on the election. What should have been at the forefront of the conversation for months (that women and Latinos would be mobilized by, in particular, Trump’s despicable offensiveness to those two groups) became an afterthought for far too many pundits and pollsters.
 
Well, it looks like Latinos in particular have begun answering the call that Donald Trump inadvertently put out to them with his constant racism and immigrant bashing. But it’s not only that. Latino voters don’t just care about immigrants. They, like many other Americans, are repulsed (rightfully so) by Trump’s despicable, embarrassing and buffoonish behavior. They, like many other American voters, see a repulsive pig who has the audacity to think he can take over the reins of the United States of America. And they want to send a message loud and clear, that they are here and are a force to be reckoned with.

Dear Hillary: Don’t Make Trump A Boogeyman

A big emphasis that came through loud and clear from the Democratic National Convention was a consistent critique of Donald Trump’s scare-mongering and bleak vision of current-day America.

While repudiating Trump’s attempts to frighten people into voting for him as the one person who can fix America is important, Hillary Clinton needs to be careful not to make him out to be a near-mythical boogeyman who exists in a vacuum.  While Trump is, in fact, trying to utilize the fear and anxiety of Americans, he isn’t the sole source of it.  The apprehensions that he is exploiting are very real and have real-world catalysts.

While Bernie Sanders was running, some people noted how there was a parallel between his campaign and Trump’s – they were both positioned as the “outsider” whose followers were angry and disillusioned with the “politics as usual” that they have been forced to expect from America’s political machine, as well as feeling shafted by the 1%.  There was some validity to the comparison, although Sanders and Trump couldn’t possibly be more different on myriad issues.  Not to mention the key difference that Bernie Sanders is not a complete and utter asshole.  But, I digress…

But the point is that many of the people Trump is appealing to are people that have faced the decimation of the middle class, while corporate America thrives, and who are justifiably worried about their job outlook and prospects.  They see politicians as being bought-and-sold, without their interests in mind, while in contrast, Trump appears as though he can’t be bought.  They see a GOP establishment that for years has asked them to settle for what they perceive as Republican-In-Name-Only (RINO) candidates like McCain and Romney, who lost, and a party elite that has failed to deliver on both social issues, as they see minorities gaining ground on things like gay marriage, as well as the economy as their incomes have stagnated.  They are also scared by the frequent news feed of terror attacks around the globe.  That fear is real and tangible.  Sure, Trump may exacerbate it, but it was there before him and needs to be addressed.

There are many Trump supporters who will never, ever vote for Clinton for whatever reason.  There are a ton of die-hard racists, misogynists and Islamophobes whose minds have been subverted by Fox News and the right-wing media machine for years.  Those people are a lost cause.  What I’m referring to are the people who are open to voting for Clinton, but who (in some ways justifiably) see her as a status-quo, “business as usual” candidate.  If Bernie’s popularity showed us anything, it’s that millions of Americans are truly fed up with what has been coming out of Washington for decades.  They just aren’t buying it anymore.  Clinton needs to work on somehow convincing those voters that she hears their anxieties, that she sees their anger, and that she feels their apprehension about the issues that affect their daily lives.  She needs to remember that Trump is merely a symptom of a larger problem, and she should work to try to validate the emotions of the voting populace rather than give off the impression that once Trump is out of the picture, everything will be rosy and hopeful.  Because it won’t.

 

Hillary Clinton photo credit: By lorie shaull (source) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons