#My500Words: Day 25 of 31 " The Democrats Handed Trump the Presidency
Let’s disregard the outcome of the popular vote count along with the argument surrounding the Electoral College for a moment and let’s be realistic about this past election. Donald Trump did not win this election; Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party lost the election as they tried to push a flawed candidate down the throat of voters.
I mean, you have to be a pretty damaged candidate in order to lose to Donald Trump. The most incompetent and dangerous men to now hold the office of President. Donald Trump didn’t win over the hearts of Americans and he is still #NotMyPresident. No, it was the miscalculation, arrogance, and out-of-touch reality of the Democratic Party that made Donald Trump the future president of the United States.
Back in 2008, Hillary Clinton was poised to have her shot at the presidency only to lose by an underdog candidate who was a young African-American senator out of Illinois. After her loss in 2008, Hillary had her eyes on 2016 and would live her political career from 2008 to 2016 in order to set herself up to be the Democratic Party nominee. Even if that meant undermining her own party in which she had the help of former Democratic Chair, Debbie-Wasserman Schultz.
Who after the primary cycle was ousted out of the position as leaks revealed that she suppressed Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in favor of Hillary Clinton. Just one example is the DNC designing the 2016 primary debates to “minimize the national audience for the debates to give an advantage to the Clinton campaign and minimize the insurgent clout of the Sanders campaign.”
That is why the Democrats lost the election. Yes, the xenophobia, rising nationalism, and fear and anxiety of having a black president did propel and gave Donald Trump a voice. But that isn’t why the Democrats weren’t able to defeat him. It was the flaws of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party ignoring a majority of their progressive base as well as many independents.
The Democrats are a primary example of what happens when you are too stubborn to see the world how it really is. They had a perfect opportunity to capitalize on what was a rapidly growing grassroots movement that not only mobilized an entire base but also, that was lead by a candidate that could’ve easily defeated Donald Trump — Bernie Sanders.
Bernie Sanders rhetoric was progressive and maybe leaned a bit far left, but he also touched on many of the pain points that Donald Trump did. He was anti-establishment and sincerely was a man of the people. This is how he quickly won over the hearts of millions of Americans, including a majority of Millennials who are and will be the future of our country.
Also, Bernie was able to connect with many independent voters who vowed to never vote for Hillary based on her corruption and past history. Bernie was the golden ticket that the Democrats not only failed to recognize but also purposefully suppressed his message, as Queen Hillary was the chosen choice even before the primaries.
The DNC shot themselves in the foot thanks to the baggage that they willfully carried. As Bernie Sanders was building momentum and getting new voters and future Democrats evolved within the primary, the Democratic Party turned a blind eye. Bernie was able to garner almost the same levels of enthusiasm of young voters that they had for Obama. Bernie Sanders represented the same movement for change that Obama started. Many Millennials would end up staying home on election night or wasted a vote on a 3rd party candidate instead.
What could’ve been a progressive future for our country now looks bleak and regressive as the bigotry, racism, and fascism of Donald Trump capitalized on the failures of the Democratic Party. If you think about it, there was a lot of overlap in the anti-establishment policy and rhetoric of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Those same policies such as being against NAFTA and getting rid of corporate interest within politics are what resonated with a lot of working class voters that Hillary lost to Donald Trump.
The main difference between Donald’s and Bernie’s rhetoric is that Bernie has shown through his political career that he is trustworthy, empathetic, and truly cares about the American people. Meanwhile, Trump is a lying narcissist who is willing to say anything just as long as he gets his way. Even if that means destroying an entire country.
Then there’s Hillary who didn’t even try to campaign in many rust belt states that usually vote blue and voted for Obama, such as Michigan and Pennsylvania. Her inability to connect and win over the trust of the working-class white voters in those states would end up costing her the election.
As Trump falsely proclaimed to save their jobs, Hillary didn’t say anything and those same white working-class voters feared that she was indifferent to their struggles and rightly so. Bernie also proclaimed to save the same working-class jobs but with more conviction. Many voters just wanted a candidate that cared for their concerns “They went with Trump on Nov. 8, but plenty of them would have voted for Sanders if he had been on the ballot”.
Bernie also had another clear advantage, to put it simply, he wasn’t Hillary. Many voters either stayed home or voted in the other direction because they couldn’t fathom voting for Hillary Clinton. They couldn’t vote for a woman who was plagued with controversy, email scandals, Benghazi, and Bill Clinton’s past misogyny. “The Clinton campaign believed they had the strongest and brightest people in the room…and they had no concept of why people would choose Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton”.
In an alternate universe, Bernie Sanders blow out Jeb Bush in the election. Hillary doesn’t delete any emails and Trump is irrelevant. We would be heading in a very different direction, one of progress and hope instead of despair.