Kurt Eichenwald’s unbelievably ignorant rant in Newsweek last week “debunking” the “myths” about the election, blaming Bernie Sanders’ supporters for Hillary Clinton’s loss to Trump, was just one of many examples of the pathetic handwringing over the “stunning” result. News media far and wide are asserting—with purposeful denial of reality—that the belief that Sanders would have beaten Trump is little more than a crackpot notion. No, Sanders supporters who did not vote for Clinton did not do so because they believed the conspiracy “myths.” It was no “myth” that Clinton was corrupt to the core, and so was the media for perpetuating the “myth” that she wasn’t. In no other election has having ethics, morals and principles been so derided in the quest of installing someone into the highest office in the land who had none of these things.
And no, the Democratic National Committee didn’t “vote” for Clinton, but nearly all “super delegates” did so before the primary season even began, giving the “aura” to many voters that Clinton’s nomination was “inevitable”—corrupting the system from the very beginning. It was the corrupt media that repeatedly accused Sanders for making “sexist personal attacks” on Clinton for the crime of pointing out her career of unprincipled corruption and perjury. The corrupt media accepted the reality of her non-stop lying because it was the “price” they had to pay for insuring that the “entitled one” was elected.
It was the corrupt media that refused (CNN in particular) to take Sanders seriously until they became flummoxed by his surprising strength among white progressives and independents. Sanders had a strong record on civil rights while Clinton did not, but so invested were black “leaders”—and blacks in general—in Clinton that their votes in early Deep South primaries (where they constituted the vast majority of Democratic voters) only added to the perception that she was “unbeatable.” Yet the over-representation of those primaries in determining the Democratic nominee is abundantly clear by the fact that Clinton lost every one of those states in the general election—even Bill Clinton’s home state of Arkansas.
The pro-Clinton media still does not "get it." Clinton lost because she was a terrible candidate. Right down to the last day, Clinton's career of corruption and deception was inevitably catching up to her; what effect that the revelation two days before the election that Clinton instructed her Filipino maid to print out classified information off her computer is of course impossible to quantify, but no doubt it was the final nail in the coffin in the minds of some voters.
The undeniable truth is that Sanders did not have a fraction of the "baggage" that Clinton did, and he was far superior to her in terms of principles and credibility. The Washington Post claimed that a strain of anti-Semitism against him might have swayed some votes, but Sanders never called attention to his “Jewishness,” ever. What was Sanders greatest strength over someone like Trump was that he was principled, which Trump certainly is not and never was. You knew what you were getting from Sanders as you did Trump, but comparing the two wasn’t “apples and oranges,” but more like comparing a bright, sunny spring day and a dark and dreary winter one.
Sanders voters who did not vote for Clinton, and maybe voted for Trump are being told that “you got you ‘wanted,’ now live with it.” Believe me, even I believed that Clinton was going to win the election, although by a razor-thin margin. But that she lost wasn’t the fault of disgruntled Sanders’ supporters; after all, all those disgruntled Hillary supporters did not prevent Barack Obama from winning by comfortable margins in both 2008 and 2012. It wasn't "sexism" either; in fact Clinton and the media played up the gender entitlement angle to the hilt, and it likely cost her more votes than it gained her. She didn't even get half of the white female vote, who may actually been more interested in issues and policies. While the "gender gap" was "significant," it wasn't wide enough to overcome Clinton's very real credibility gap. The 43 percent of the white female vote she did received suggests her cadre of fanatics voting solely on the gender issue was small indeed, while white working class women were too consumed with their scapegoats--not white men per se, but Wall Street (Sanders) or the “Mexicans” (Trump); they needed their “scapegoat,” and Clinton was too invested in Wall Street and all the millions they had given her for her secret promises to it.
Voters who wanted "change" would no doubt have felt more comfortable voting for the principled Sanders over the unprincipled Trump. Even at the end of the primary season, it was clear that there were enough white progressives, independents, new voters and anti-Trump “moderates” who viewed Sanders the superior choice over Trump; RealClearPolitics’ average polling showed Sanders with a commanding 10.4 point edge over Trump, from 4 percent (Fox News) to 15 percent (NBC/Wall Street Journal). Polling at the same time showed a virtual dead heat between Clinton and Trump. The Huffington Post reported that a poll conducted by Gravis Marketing just two days before the election showed that a survey of 1,600 registered voters favored Sanders over Trump by a 56 to 44 percent margin, a clear indication of the deep dissatisfaction with both Clinton and Trump by a significant portion of the population.
Forget all the anger and handwringing from the pro-Clinton media; there is no doubt that Sanders would have won the election if he had been the Democratic candidate.