PEORIA, IL -- I am still in mourning over Hillary Clinton's Electoral College loss in her run for the presidency. Only 80,000 votes in three states account for her defeat, even though she won nearly 3 million more individual votes than the odious Trump.
I have read many accounts of her defeat, yet none of them accurately list all the reasons. Here is my list:
- Voter suppression. The minority turnout was lower than expected, but voter suppression tactics in the key Midwestern swing states, controlled by Republicans, account for this issue. Getting the proper voter ID is difficult for some. They may not have drivers licenses, nor the money or know-how to get a birth certificate, if one exists. They may be working or caring for many children and can't make it to the polling place or place where they get a voter ID. Polling days and places were cut back to suppress the minority vote, as well. This tactic worked.
- Fake news. It's no longer news that false news on propaganda websites circulated to millions (thanks Facebook! You stupid and exploitative site that I don't look at.) telling lies about Clinton. She has been the target of right wing groups for years, and this long term smear campaign worked.
- Hacked emails. The Democrats were stupid to put incriminating items on emails. Didn't they remember that you never, ever, put anything in an email that you don't want to see on a billboard? But they did it, and the Russians or someone favoring Trump now famously stole the emails and released them gradually to smear Clinton's campaign.
- The FBI. Comey's releases on Clinton's emails were fatal and unprecedented. He's a Republican, and found a way to smear Clinton with the email investigation which turned up nothing. Her private servers were not hacked. Others in the government had done the same thing, including at least one of Trump's appointments to his new regime. It was a ridiculous issue but the media and the fake sites, lacking other issues, kept at it, to Trump's benefit.
- Sexism. There's a lot of anti-female prejudice out there. Clinton went from a very admired figure to a hated one, thanks to the smears and fake news, which abetted sexism against a female presidential candidate.
- So now we have Trump and his hard right wing administration taking shape. He and his vice president Pence are putting together a group of cabinet members and others who are anti-female, anti-minority, anti-immigrants, anti-unions, against environmental action on global warming, anti-Obamacare, anti-consumer, you name it.
- They're going to approve drilling on federal lands, constructing the pipelines, and for all we know will sell off national parks and treasures to the highest bidders.
- And they're pro-Russian! Perhaps they can be blackmailed into destroying NATO, letting Russia invade the Balkans, etc.Are we ready for World War III?
- Meanwhile with Trump's temperament, can we expect a nuclear missile aimed at anyone who annoys him? Or arrests of anyone who criticizes him or his administration? (That's what Putin does.)
- Protest in the streets? The militarized police will stop that as they tried to do at Standing Rock. There won't be an Obama to intervene. Anyone can be branded a terrorist (with fake evidence) and sent to Guantanamo. (There's a million woman march scheduled for Jan. 21, to compete with the inauguration in Washington DC, a terrible idea. In winter? A night long bus ride both ways? Forget it. Yet it may be the last great march possible under Trump.)
- Or, Trump will resign within 6 months to run his business empire, leaving the government to the hard-right-wing Pence. It won't make much difference to ordinary citizens. Our democracy and gradual progress and support for human rights, justice and environmental sanity will be set back decades.
- It's terrible, and we are apparently helpless. We can support the remaining Democrats in the Senate, and send money to the groups that fight Trump's ideas, prepare for the 2018 elections, and that's about it. Happy New Year. (Forgive the numbers, can't find a way to get rid of them.)
- -- Elaine Hopkins
Ed Dentino comments: I've just read your "Why Hillary Lost" column. I pretty much agree with your points. My angst, was and is severe, that a person of Donald Trump's character is becoming a United States president. I sense American decency lost with his control of the Administrative Branch with the Congress and Supreme Court on the republican partisan side.
I could have been ok with a good person elected. It is not my sense of grief that Hillary Clinton did not get the electoral vote number required. It is, though, a sense that we can see now that every vote counts... until it doesn't. Does not make sense that a dock worker in New Jersey' s vote is outweighed by a truck driver's vote in Wyoming. Would be just as stupid to say that people with grey eyes votes will count 1/2 of that of those with brown eyes. That said, I recall George's column about the electoral college. My view is that a suitable alternate might be proposed that keeps the vote in perspective in the election, yet provides a clear path to rejection of an unfit person to become president. I don't have a solution, but it could be considered by those in the political science domain. Or, another alternative, a different vote system altogether. That is less likely to get traction as people and politicians tend to be stuck in a tradition even when it is a nonsensical burden.
I perceive the United States voters split along two paths of two circumstances. One is the rural and small town vote contrast with the urban vote. They are not economically voting... most of that wear and tear is not their burden. They are the firearm rights folks and the ones who see moral issues as being thrust at them ... especially in the past few years. They are resenting the gay, transgender news, and are against what they perceive as burdens of immigration, race, religion, inner city crime they think could affect them. The second split is along general lines of income. The have and have not people of the United States have been divided sharply by income, job and residential status. The high income folks sense that they are self made and that those needing government funded aid are being lazy and undeserving. They perceive government spending on food and housing along with the Affordable Care Act as adding to their tax burden. Asked about specifics.. like should grandma get social security, should children with poor parents get food, etc, they will respond as normal people. It has been the republican mantra to harp on those themes as if they were social issues that hit our own ability to live well. Not mentioned is that when a significant part of a society is not housed, fed or educated, that the financial, cultural and moral burden becomes even greater.- 30 -
Ed Dentino writes on 12/19/16:
Some are thinking "sore loser." I am partisan for the Dems, but my citizen concern is above those politics. It has been clear since Donald Trump started the primaries that he was a seriously flawed character. He bullied, name called, demeaned, lied, exaggerated his way through that series of events. Same story with the final campaign. Often he would go into illogical rants and even nonsensical babble spewing words without sentence structure. About 57 news editors said that Donald Trump is not qualified and is unfit to become president. 20 security top tier people said Donald Trump is a danger to the United States. His campaign rhetoric was malfeasance against his opponents and he made promises to instigate actions that are illegal and unconstitutional. The case for the electoral college, the U.S. Congress, and Federal courts to reject Donald Trump could hardly be more certain.
During the Bush Lite years, I kept saying to save a big cardboard box in case it became necessary to live under a bridge. With the possible event of DT becoming a president.... I'd say, forget the box... look for a cave or dig one in the side of a mountain. - 30 -