I was recently called out by a friend to post a more thought out argument for my assertion that Clinton was simply the wrong candidate. I will admit that I am a biased source. I was a Bernie Sanders supporter from the start. I advocated for him, donated to him, and voted for him in the primary. I believe that he would have won the Presidential election. Of, course, all of this is hypothetical at this point, and we’ll never know.
Hillary Clinton started this race off with a preexisting condition. She was already hated by the right. Not just disliked, but hated in a way that is generally reserved for puppy-killers. Many of my friends who supported her really don’t understand the hatred that was already there. I tried to explain, but it fell on deaf ears. Clinton supporters brushed it all off as a “Republican witch hunt” and didn’t acknowledge that it was there, and powerful. They didn’t understand that a large portion of the electorate, whether or not it’s true, *believe* that the Clinton family has literally had their political rivals murdered. The chants of “Lock her up” are rooted in this belief. The nickname of “Killery” is not just some mean name to call their rival – they really believe it. Clinton started off behind, no matter who the Republicans ran. Regardless of the facts, the damage to her credibility was already done, before the campaign even started…but the Democrats ran her anyway. The prospect of putting Hillary Clinton in the White House completely motivated voters who would have never voted for Trump otherwise to do so, for the sole reason of stopping Clinton.
The end result of this is that there were many voters, outside of his fanatical base, who held their nose and voted for Trump – simply because they felt that they had to stop the “Crooked Clinton” family from getting power…again. Those who were disenchanted by both Trump or Clinton turned to Johnson and Stein in their protest to the establishment. I posit that many of those voters would have embraced Sanders and gladly voted for him.
Below are 4 maps of election data. The first is the electoral college vote, by state in the Trump-Clinton contest. The second is the Democratic primary results in the Sanders-Clinton contest. The third is the Libertarian turnout. The 4th is the Green Party.
I believe that it’s a fair assumption to say that anywhere that Clinton won over Trump, Sanders also would have won, were he the Democratic candidate instead of Clinton.
Here are the first striking results: The heaviest victories of Clinton over Sanders in the primaries were in the South – where Trump carried every state aside from Virginia in the Presidential election. Clinton’s stronghold did her no good.
In the areas where Sanders beat Clinton in the Primary, not only did Trump carry the state, but Johnson and Stein also pulled higher numbers.
I’ll leave it to the reader to evaluate these 4 figures in juxtaposition and form their own analysis, but I, personally, think this is very telling. Bernie would have certainly carried some of those states. Enough to get 270 electoral votes…
A Newsweek opinion article by Kurt Eichenwald takes on this topic. He argues that the DNC didn’t do anything to tilt the scales in Clinton’s favor in the Democratic Primary contest. Interestingly, his first point is one that I was not even familiar with, about holding extra debates. I think this is a red herring. I wasn’t even aware of this issue, as a Bernie fan. He does acknowledge that the DNC is in the business of raising funds, but he doesn’t mention that it actually distributed those funds in an inequitable way which highly favored Clinton over Sanders, as detailed in an official Press Release by the Sanders campaign in April.
One of the biggest real concerns, unrelated to e-mails, about Clinton has been money and nepotism. There are many examples of this, going back decades. Unfortunately, issues have been so propagandized around them, through the Bill Clinton presidency, impeachment hearings, and subsequent years, that any attempt at discussion about them is generally polarized into obscurity. I’m not going to go into that argument, but I have spent hours and hours researching it as best I can.
Eichenwald says that Sanders’ plan for free college, “was basically telling the working poor and middle class who never planned to go beyond high school that college students—the people with even greater opportunities in life—were at the top of his priority list.”
Huh. I’d interpret that as an invitation to join the ranks of “greater opportunities in life.” The whole idea of free college is to provide that opportunity. Does Eichenwald consider the fact that those Democrats “…who don’t attend—or even plan to attend—plan to attend a secondary school,” can’t afford it, and that’s exactly the problem Sanders was addressing?
Eichenwald asserts that the Republicans would have used that fact that, “In 1972, when he was 31, Sanders wrote a fictitious essay in which he described a woman enjoying being raped by three men” against Sanders. Really, given the way things turned out, I don’t think this would have been much of a problem. Gee, Sanders wrote fiction about it, look at what Trump has said, and is about to go to court for actually allegedly doing.The list goes on, but generally, Sanders has been seen as a man of integrity. Any campaign with a shred of common sense could easily have deflected the points that Eichenwald lists, turning most of them into positives for Sanders, rather than negatives.
To take this a step further…
Choosing Clinton as the Presidential candidate not only lost the Democrats the White House race that they really should have won, but it also cost them Congress.
I received so much Propaganda for candidates in my mailbox that tied local Democratic candidates to Clinton that I really wondered what was going on. Now I get it. The Republican party understood how much hatred there was for Clinton that they followed the strategy of tying everything they could to her name.
Here’s a look at how this strategy worked, here locally in Missouri. See this petition on the “Friends of Roy Blunt” website. This is an example of what Republicans likely did across the nation in their strongholds.
Not only was Clinton the wrong candidate to run for POTUS, but choosing her also weakened the Democrats in down-ticket races while motivating the Republicans and increasing their vote.
Sanders could have connected with the struggling, disconnected voters that voted for Trump. He would have won. He also would have revitalized the Democrats down-ticket turn out.