Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Why Clinton lost

I confess that when I started tracking the presidential election results at 5 PM Pacific Standard Time, I expected the election to be much closer than the pro-Hillary Clinton media and polls led us to believe, at least until the “Left Coast” weighed in for the final margin in Clinton’s favor. This was going to be over by 8 PM, it seemed “certain.” I did not necessarily want this result, in fact, I think that Donald Trump’s bluster was worse than his “bite”—which seemed to be born out in his “humble” post-election speech—and I simply did not believe that someone as corrupt both substantively and personally as Clinton should to be allowed the keys to the highest office in the land. I did not vote for anyone of the people on the Washington state ballot, although I did believe that one of these two were a “lesser evil.” 

The New York Times’ “expert” forecast trackers and pundits initially had Clinton’s chance of winning at 85 percent, winning the popular vote count by five percent, and 341 electoral votes. Yet by 8 PM, it no longer seemed as if victory was insured for Clinton, in fact quite the opposite. Although CNN—which more than any other news organization placed its entire credibility on insuring Clinton’s election with the most partisan coverage this side of Goebbels’ Ministry of Propaganda—tried to put the best face on the proceedings by delaying announcing the inevitable for so long that it only further solidified the notion of that news organization’s disappearing credibility, long after Trump’s narrow victories in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and likely Michigan sealed Clinton’s election doom.

The handwringing by the media was quick and sometimes preposterous. There was talk about a "whitelash" and the white working class vote that swung to Trump. Some were “surprised” to learn that Clinton was not well-liked by a large slice of the population, or that it was “news” to them that some voters thought her not qualified to be president. Where were these “cowardly” people hiding up until yesterday? “Sexism” and the “difficulty” in breaking the “glass ceiling” was of course the number one “reason” why Clinton lost. Feminist Gloria Steinem weighed in predictably about this, but she could count herself as being one of the reasons why Clinton lost. Radical feminists in today’s world are increasingly an anachronism, becoming more annoying and hypocritical as the years go on, always trying to “re-invent” their reason for being that seem to have little correlation with reality. But the continuous rhetorical parade of gender politics, particularly in the final weeks of the campaign, certainly alienated many male voters and probably was seen as too embarrassingly self-serving and used strictly for concealment purposes by female voters who were more interested in policy than any play on their emotions and an enforced “universal sisterhood.” This was born out by exit polls that showed a large majority of white women voted for Trump—even larger than that for Mitt Romney in 2012. 

The election occurred just a day after a Virginia jury convicted Rolling Stone magazine and writer Sabrina Rubin Ederly of “actual malice” for publishing a story on an alleged gang rape of a female student at the University of Virginia that both the author and the magazine knew to be “false” and  “to have had reckless disregard for the truth.” Ederly and the magazine were ordered to pay a combined $3 million in damages. Ederly claimed that the “truth” of the story was not important, but the “issues” it was “addressing.” But lies are not truth, and people who lie do not enhance the acceptance of their “point.” During the campaign, time and time again we heard from Clinton surrogates inside and outside the media who did their best to alienate many males who would normally vote for someone more “mainstream” than right-wing, with such blanket assertions of victimization by men, especially by those who were supporting Trump and "denying" Clinton. The fact that Clinton lost at least four states by a swing of 50,000 votes or less that Obama had won in 2008 and 2016 tells just how much damage her gender obsessions coupled with daily doses of corruption made with a just large enough slice of the electorate.

The hypocrisy “explaining” Clinton “shocking” defeat extended into some bizarre territory. The Clinton News Network—which during and after the election served-up some future “classics” of media loss-of-senses scenes—blamed Clinton’s loss not on their own hyper partisan coverage that put-off many voters, but that the network had aired too many of Trump’s campaign rallies, giving him too much facetime for voters who might potentially find his message attractive. In fact this was the strategy that CNN employed during the primaries that worked so well for Clinton. Rarely did one see a Bernie Sanders rally being covered by CNN, and for many months no one knew who he was, which explains why after his first debate with Clinton alone generated so much Internet activity for voters eager to find out more about him, information that they were clearly not receiving from the mainstream media eager to protect the “entitled” one and her “date” with “history.” So completely enamored with this vision of “history” the media was that New York Magazine had already prepared a cover story before the election about Trump the “LOSER.”

CNN showed footage of the reaction of Clinton supporters at the Javits Center and its “glass ceiling” ready to be “broken.” You could tell a lot of (white) women had vicariously connected themselves to Clinton and her imminent “victory,” but were now completely dazed and confused, as if this had been a personal slap in the face. One older woman was so angered by the result, she flipped the bird at the television monitor announcing Trump’s victory and mouthed the f-bomb. That’s the kind of thing we should have expected from the gender politicians, and it is a good thing that these self-obsessed fanatics were not able to advance their tyranny and bigotry any further. I was in a fast food establishment this evening, and I listened to this woman talk about the “stoic” Hillary speaking after the election, bringing tears to her eyes, completely immersed in the idea of what all this means for her as a woman; I had the decided impression that this was a person with whom rational discourse was impossible because she was completely gender-obsessed. Clinton is nothing more than a megalomaniacal opportunist for whom every utterance is calculated either to falsify or misinform, yet this particular person was incapable of allowing that critical piece of information to travel the side street of her mind into the main thoroughfare of consciousness. As for the country at large, it was saved from this tyrannical and oppressive narrative of “governance.”  

Let’s just face reality. In 2008 Hillary Clinton was the odds-on favorite to win the Democratic nomination for president, even though early polls showed her being favored by no more than 25 percent amongst a large pool of hopefuls. But this was due more to name recognition than anything else. The media was taken completely by surprise by the fact that a relative novice on the national political scene, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, was challenging Clinton from the moment he appeared before the debate cameras. What did this mean? It meant that many progressive voters looking for “change” were desperately seeking a reason not to vote for Clinton, who they saw as an establishment phony and unjustly “entitled” by the media. The media (for the most part) refrained from being perceived as favoring Clinton over Obama in too partisan a fashion for fear of alienating black voters and in-house commentators. Why did Democratic (and independent) voters prefer Obama? Was it because the foul taint of scandal and deceit still clung to Clinton, just eight years after the first Clinton administration? 

In 2016, the media was again “stunned” when Bernie Sanders proved another threat to Clinton’s “entitlement” to the presidency for the mere fact of her gender; many were angered by the idea perpetrated by the media that Clinton was “owed” the presidency that she failed to gain in 2008, because of the “unfair advantage” Obama had as—what was it that Clinton fanatic Harriet Christian called him, an “inadequate black male”? But Sanders was an “old man” with a "fringe" liberal philosophy, while Clinton was “steady,” “presidential” and “commanding.” That wasn’t what voters were saying, that was what media pundits and print journalists were saying, and of course Clinton’s legion for disciples actually believed it. Those who gravitated toward Sanders (like myself) saw her as something completely different—still the megalomaniac, still the opportunist, still with the taint of scandal that she was neck deep in, but also with an appalling disregard for responsible behavior while Secretary of State. Unlike Clinton, Sanders actually had principles he believed in and acted on; the guiding "principle" in Clinton's life was money and power. And what made it worse was rather than admit to the tiniest infraction and promise to be more “responsible” in the future, she refused to admit to any error, rather just lied, and lied, and lied, demonstrating a shocking contempt for the intelligence of reasonable people. And she did this over and over again, even when polls showed that the vast majority of voters found her “untrustworthy.” 

Of course, many voters disagreed with some of Clinton’s policy “positions”--which she wasn't changing them by the minute to suit one constituency or another--but the large majority of voters are not necessarily voting on “policy,” since for most people nothing really changes in their lives from year to year regardless who is in power. Many voters have their “gut” feelings about a candidate, and if it is in line with their level of empathy or bitterness at the world during a particular period of time, they tend to vote in that direction. Apparently many voters found it “refreshing” that a candidate (Trump) was completely candid and transparent, and off-putting that Clinton veiled herself in deceit and secrecy. Her corruption and pathological lying was either never talked about in the media, or claimed to be “old news” or “irrelevant.” Yet how could it be when day after day new evidence of wrong doing was unearthed about Clinton’s activities; individually they might not seem like much to the media, and easily “dismissed.” Yet for many voters, once the idea of Clinton being untrustworthy was set in concrete, the continuing soap opera of shocking levels of irresponsibility with the reins of power in her hands merely reinforced the idea that she was just too contemptuous of all the rules and regulations to keep her unethical and corrupt predilections in check.

Hillary Clinton didn’t lose because of her “gender”—in fact it benefited her more than hindered her in this election until the last month of the campaign, before she threw away that advantage by making it the only issue. She didn’t lose because of “sexism” or any other kind of “ism”; white women are the largest voting demographic in this country, and if this election was only about electing a woman president, then Clinton would have won in a landslide. But this election wasn’t about Clinton the woman; it was only that to female voters for whom gender was the only issue. This election for those who otherwise would loath to cast their vote for someone like Trump was about the non-stop assault on their better sense from the Clinton camp and the hyper-partisan media. All this and the lies and unethical behaviors ultimately defined Clinton in the eyes of “swing” and the "millennial" voters who either sat out the election or voted for a third-party candidate, and that is why she lost. In Germany, Angela Merkel was selected as the conservative party leader to represent the policy positions of that party, regardless of gender. Clinton and her media surrogates in the final month of the campaign made the mistake of presenting her as the leader of the "United States of Women," not of America.

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