Son of a gun. We may lose this election (Vice President Joe Biden said in October)
Only a person who has passed through the gate of humility can ascend to the heights of the spirit (Rudolf Steiner)
Hillary Clinton is drowning in a perfect storm involving possible national-security damage, probable public corruption, and certified sexual impropriety. And she has no one to blame but herself (National Review)
illary Clinton was so sure of victory that she prepared "symbolic outfits" to be worn during her acceptance speech. Unfortunately she lost the election, and had to still wear the dress, prepared for victory speech, for her concession speech instead. The vox.com wrote that when Hillary Clinton walked up to the podium to deliver her powerful concession speech, hours after Donald Trump was declared the 45th President of the United States; she was dressed in a dark gray Ralph Lauren pantsuit that featured bright royal purple lapels. The 69-year-old politician donned a matching purple blouse under the suit jacket, with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, complementing her look in a vibrant purple tie.
The significance and symbolism of the Clintons' choice of hue: The mixing of the colors red (Republican) and blue (Democrat) creates purple, and many people suggested that Hillary and Bill were seemingly sending a strong message about bipartisanship. Wearing purple signified unity, and people suggested that her and her husband's decision to sport purple on that Wednesday, November 9, morning was intentional, and a first attempt to bring the "deeply divided" nation back together. The vox also added that this wouldn't be the first time Hillary Clinton used her outfits to make a statement. Back in July, she sported an all-white pantsuit, also by Ralph Lauren, while accepting her presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention. And white is for purity.
Photo: Getty Images (Hillary Clinton delivers her concession speech in New York, November 9, 2016)
Photo: Getty Images (Hillary Clinton accepting her presidential nomination at the Democratic National Convention in July)
Let's continue with some of the factors which determined the election:
Out of touch as a Factor:
Hillary Clinton lost due to many factors. One of them was that the voters saw her as not being sincere, and they had serious doubts about her trustworthiness. Infact Clinton's trustworthiness remained a drag on her candidacy, and The Baltimore Sun of June 3, 2016 wrote that "trustworthiness remains Hillary Clinton's Achilles heel". Although Trump was blunt, but the voters believed him, and saw him as saying how he felt, and was more credible than Hillary Clinton. It beats any imagination how Trump spent only half of what Hillary Clinton spent, and still was able to win the election.
Hillary Clinton lost because her opponent addressed the issues of ethnicity, gender, race or religion, while she didn't. Hillary was out of touch, and didn't connect well with many voters, just as heavy.com wrote about a previously undetected shift (by pollsters anyway) in the white working class in traditionally Democratic rust belt states with economic angst. That included working class white women, who minimized the gender gap (the so-called "Waitress Moms"). They were apparently more worried about their pocketbooks than about what Donald Trump said to an entertainment television host or anybody a decade ago.
Clinton didn't reach out to the white, non-urban voters like Obama did in both 2008 and 2012. Hillary Clinton didn't campaign, even once, in some swing states that have voted for democratic candidates, for decades, hoping that those states would maintain that voting pattern, but, she didn't know that 2016 would be different from those years before. Some of those states "snubbed" the Democratic Party this time, and helped Hillary to loss.
According to Politico, Candidate Obama substantially outperformed Clinton in most suburbs, as well as the key swing areas in the Midwest. And President Obama noted this when he said that Clinton's failure to "show up everywhere," not just the diverse big cities she focused on during the final leg of her campaign, ended up costing her the election. He said: "I believe we have better ideas, but I also believe that good ideas don't matter if people don't hear them. And one of the issues the Democrats have to be clear on is, given population distribution across the country, we have to compete everywhere. We have to show up everywhere. We have to work at a grass-roots level, something that been a running thread in my career."
Statistically, according to IBT, a third of the nearly 700 counties that twice elected Obama for the White House flipped in 2016 and voted for Trump. The Republican president-elect also won 194 of the 207 counties that voted for Obama either in 2008 or 2012.
Because Hillary ignored the white working-class voters, the turnout was low; and many who voted turned to Trump, because despite their struggle to make ends meet, they still remain unsure, and Trump's message appealed more to them. Hillary refused to assuage the fear of the poor white working class families in many of the swing states, by not speaking to them in a meaningful way, and for that they turned their back on her. That was one of the reasons Trump won, and the Daily Telegraph concluded that this is because he managed to claim crucial swing states such as Iowa, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan and Pennsylvania, jumping through the all the loops that pollsters claimed were so small. It is in these states that the election was won and lost - with these six awarding a total of 104 Electoral College votes to Trump - and it is here that the polls were wrong. It looks as though polling in these swing states failed to see just how many white working class people - the core of Trump's support - would turn out to push him over the line.
To reinforce the point that Hillary Clinton "overlooked" the white working class voters, and for that she lost, the vice president, Joe Biden, blamed elitism in part for her loss, and admitted that Hillary lost because she failed to reach out to the white working class. The VP, according to PJ Media, said that he understood back in October that Hillary Clinton could very well lose the presidential election, which she eventually did, of course. In a wide-ranging interview with the Los Angeles Times, Biden said he noticed issues with Hillary Clinton's campaign early in the election. And when Trump seemed to strike a chord with voters during a rally near his childhood home in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in October, he became unsettled.
Still explaining why Hillary and Democrats in general performed so badly in November, the vice president said: "I believe that we were not letting an awful lot of people - high school-educated, mostly Caucasian, but also people of color - know that we understood their problems". PJ Media then continued from there by adding that the problem is, of course, that Democrats don't actually understand the white working class at all. In any case, Biden is of course right when he admits that Hillary (and Democrats in general) failed to appeal to the working class in November. What he doesn't seem to get, however, is that this is because of Hillary herself. Hillary doesn't understand white working class voters; she doesn't get their concerns or even their way of life. She didn't connect with them because she can't. Even if she would've talked about the issues Biden wanted (economic issues, mostly), it would still have fallen on deaf ears with the voters they wanted to reach. Analysis shows the higher the proportion of lower-educated white people in a particular state, the higher the polling gap was in favour of Trump.
Democrats have a lot of catching up to do. Biden is right about that. But they should not forget that Hillary was simply a historically bad candidate. They could've handed her all pro-white working class talking points in the world, and it still wouldn't have made a difference. That's how incredibly bad she was, and continues to be. It never ceases to amaze me that Democrats are still not willing to say the above out loud. They all know that Hillary mainly lost because of... Hillary, but they're apparently still so frightened of her that they only say so behind closed doors when they can be sure nobody else is listening.
Deceptive Polls as Factor
Many of the polls under-estimated Trump's ability to win the election, but the LA Times was one of the few that predicted Trump's win, and the tabloid wrote that one reason they believe their polling was successful was because they didn't underestimate Trump's support, as their online system captured people's will better than phone polls. L.A. Times gave the reason most of the polls were wrong: "Trump voters were notably less comfortable about telling a telephone pollster about their vote. Voters who backed a third-party candidate were even less comfortable responding to a poll. Women who said they backed Trump were particularly less likely to say they would be comfortable talking to a pollster about their vote. While it was indeed Clinton who won the popular vote, questions will now be asked about why the LA Times was the only polling company to see these "forgotten men and women", and consistently predicted Trump's win".
The condition of the Rust Belt as a Factor:
As noted previously, Trump gauged the feeling of this region better than Hillary Clinton. Job lost was an issue, and many blamed the illegal immigrants for taking their jobs. Hillary Clinton's comment on hemispheric open borders was, according to heavy.com, maybe the most damaging thing to come out of WikiLeaks, even though she tried to claim she was talking about energy. The issue was that whereas establishment pundits heard Trump's political incorrectness, what Midwestern voters heard from Trump, according to The Street, was the restoration of one of their core values: fairness. The view from the Rust Belt is that the world has become unfair. For decades, industries built by Midwestern workers have flown away to pay one-tenth the wages in China or Mexico.
Donald Trump won the 2016 election largely because he carried Rust Belt states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, doing especially well in small cities and towns, and for The Washington Post, that's a surprise. Until this election, this group of voters had not followed other regions' rural, uneducated whites in moving Republican. In overwhelmingly white Iowa, for example, Barack Obama swept the industrial corridor in 2008, winning 53 of the state's 99 counties and some factory towns by almost 2 to 1. In 2016, Hillary Clinton lost all but six Iowa counties, getting more than 52 percent of the vote only in the county that is home to the state's biggest college town.
Many commentators argue that Rust Belters responded to Trump's populist message because industrial decline has left working-class voters angry about their diminished prospects, a narrative contradicted by polls, which suggest that Trump's supporters were mostly middle-income earners. The Washington Post suggests that Rust Belt populism is rooted in the region's loss of locally owned industry - not simply because of economics but because of how that loss hollowed out the community structure that once connected people to politics, leaving residents alienated and resentful.
The Rust belters were wondering why the law is so unfair to allow these to happen: Construction jobs used to be monopolized by well-paid workers in century-old unions, but are now more often going to illegal immigrants. Whereas farm work in California has long been done by Mexicans, now even the summer farm jobs in the Midwest go to illegal immigrants. A university education used to be affordable for the kids of working families, now the price is skyrocketing, and foreign students with money to pay high tuition are displacing American students. Hundreds of thousands of decent people are getting addicted to legally prescribed opiates pushed by big pharmaceutical companies, and insurance companies get well compensated by the Affordable Care Act, sticking consumers with the soaring bills. The Great Recession of 2008 devastated home ownership and retirement savings, leaving broken dreams and debts that can't be paid. The bankers who prospered from that won massive rewards!
Most of all, just as Ricardo Stanton noted, the Rust Belters haven't forgiven Hillary's husband, President Bill Clinton, for the passage of NAFTA, during his tenure, that led to the loss of millions of jobs and the demise of American manufacturing; and they now saw in Trump the solution to their problems, and a man to bring back their good old days, and for that they "flocked" to him. Whether Trump will succeed here will be a topic for another day.
To be continued!
My friend: I just have one wish for you this New Year. May you have abundance of joy, best of health, unlimited happiness and whole lot of good luck all through the year!