My friends and family know right where I fall in the political spectrum, I don't try to hide it. I do; however, try to keep it out of my writing. The reasons are numerous, but just as this is a place of escape for some, for me it is a place to create with only interests of the outer world getting in. I figured it would be fair though, to give insight on the previous American election.
I read the news, and I don't stick to just one outlet, I read from as many sources as possible, and I take that information and internalize it. I take it, and see it from my own perspective, and what is going on in my life and the events going on around me. So it was with this that I thought I may share a perspective from the average voter on the election.
Now first let's clear a few things up before I begin. I stated I would share from the average voter, NOT the average American. You see, in America, despite what the media would portray, the vast majority of Americans don't vote. We can go into whatever causes that, but the fact remains, most Americans don't vote. So before someone decides to become a keyboard commando and claim anything I said doesn't represent the American people, I'm not talking about the American people. If the American people wanted a fair representation, they would take civic duty upon themselves and vote. To give you an idea in numbers, America has 318,000,000 people. 231,556,622 voted. Of the voting population, that's about 60 percent, and it is of that 60 percent I am writing about.
Next, I recognize the legitimacy of the Electoral College, and I don't care about popular vote. For those of you who do not know, or do not remember, the reason the Electoral College exists is to give every state a fair voice in the direction of the country goes. If this was not the case, the only states that would matter during an election would be Texas, California, New York, and Florida. The rest of the country, the other 92 percent, would not matter. For example, if you removed all of California's votes, Donal Trump won the popular vote across the nation, that is why the electoral college is essential to a fair representation.
So now, love it or hate it, Donald Trump is the President of the United States, and former Secretary Hillary Clinton lost the race. Why did Hillary Clinton lose, and why is the Democratic party in trouble?
1. She ran off status quo. No presidency is perfect, and no amount of favoritism could save former president Obama from the fact the United States wasn't going through the grand recovery he had promised. Unemployment + out of workforce + underemployed = An unhappy workforce. (For those of you who don't know, unemployment is only tracked for so long such as 24 months, you then disappear and just get grouped in out of workforce which isn't counted in unemployment oddly enough). So, Clinton provided no narrative of this, the American voters saw it. She didn't need to blame anyone, she just needed to address it as a major issue, but that was no where to be heard in her platform. This makes any candidate look out of touch.
2. The memory of the elephant. If you are, or you talk to a fanboy of the Democratic Party, something you may hear is how the last 8 years were scandal free. Well, unfortunately this certainly is not the case. In 2012 the IRS was used to target conservative groups based on political activity. In 2016 the IRS was revealed to be targeting Tea Party groups and members. Making the IRS an armed wing of the administration scares people, and rightfully so. Yet this was never acknowledged as an injustice, and so voters held this in mind when going to the polls. More scandals included Fast and Furious, the smuggling and arming of Mexican Drug Cartels which cost the lives of several Americans, including border patrol agents, and finally the infamous Benghazi Attack on the anniversary of 9/11. Hillary Clinton had to clean her name of the any scandal but couldn't. Especially the Benghazi Attack, she could not shake that from her name, and demonizing widows and Americans directly tied to the attack only sank her even more. There were plenty of scandals, and those who knew, or were on the fence during the election went into the voting booth with those scandals on their mind.
(Also, funny thing about memory. Robert Byrd was a known KKK leader. Do you know which candidate praised him? If you said Hillary Clinton, you'd be right.)
3. Internal corruption. Probably the nail in the coffin for HRC was the revelation that she had insider support to defeat Bernie Sanders, if you ask a Bernie supporter, she straight cheated him. If this is the methods to dealing with your own internal party, how are you going to treat the entire country? And with that question in mind, voters went to the polls. One thing you do not want to face in any election is an internal divide, once the DNC had selected their candidate, that should have been the end all be all. But instead, this was revealed, and she came off as blatantly attacking her own voting base by manipulating the system. By all means, everyone involved in the scandal from the media on up is just as guilty, but it was her election that was on the line.
4. Scapegoat. You can look back and find numerous politicians in American history who did really nasty things, or really stupid things but were still elected because they took ownership of what they did. Not always the case, but in general, people like a leader who owns up their to mistakes. Hillary could not do that. The investigation into her use of her email server drilled a hole into her vessel at every turn, and her conduct during the hearings was unprofessional to voters who were on the edge of casting their vote. How many devices did she claim used the email? One. How many were found by the probe? Eighteen. She claimed to have handed over all the emails, another 30,000 were found, servers were found to have been wiped with specialized programs. She said nothing classified was on any email. The hearings showed plenty of emails had classified content. But the few times she was asked about it, it wasn't her fault. It was someone else for recommending it, or she wasn't told (which being is a lie as she attended those required training sessions). How hard was it for her to say, 'yes I did it, and made a mistake and will take whatever consequences come from it.' But there was no integrity regarding the situation. Then there was the blame of the Russians hacking her email, despite that the actual perpetrator (Julian Assange) came forward, the narrative stayed on the Russians. Then it was found that a former Bernie Sander's supporter assisted Julian Assange but still the HRC group tried desperately to blame the Russians. Even when phishing malware was found, it wasn't located in Russia, nor associated with Russian IPs, nor was it any modern method found. It was outdated tech used, and the only person to blame was the users of the email server to allowed a breach of their own sensitive information.
5. Alienating voters. If you were a voter who wasn't sure who to vote for, and you questioned a HRC supporter or position, you were attacked with extremely accusatory insults, "racist", "xenophobe", "sexist", "homophobe". Completely unfounded insults which stifled discussion and spun rhetoric. Sure, there were insults from the other side, but it wasn't focused on alienating anyone who questioned a position or a reason. When the supporters of HRC come together, their answer back to a questioning voter cannot be an attack, but it was. And this all comes from leadership, if not HRC herself, from those running her campaign. As an example, John McCain stopped a woman who accused former President Obama of being the anti-Christ, a small example, but none exist where HRC or her staff opposed the view that anyone not voting for her was a racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobe (remember when Trump came out on the RNC floor with a gay pride flag? Why would a supposed homophobe do that?). Well, from a voter who was on the line, if that's the option, they won't engage in conversation with the HRC side, and that turned away a lot of voters. I'll say, as a personal antidote I would completely stop listening to someone's argument the second one of those phrases was stated. It wasn't true, it was accusatory, and I was tired of it. That hurts your argument if the person you are trying to persuade can't listen because you can't stop the false attacks. I'll never vote for someone's side who's first response to criticism is to call such accusatory names.
I would go a step further and even claim that how often these insults were hurled, devalued their meaning, but that's a conversation for another time.
6. Dirty associates. This is something that is ultimately almost impossible to avoid (for example, do you know anyone who was ever arrested for anything?) But you can do a pretty good job vetting people and not getting pulled into personal scandals that don't involve you, even more so, if you have a current administration with negative publicity you should generally select you own people instead of using their people. Instead HRC did neither. The culminating event? Anthony Wiener getting investigated for sexual misconduct and having several of HRC's emails that weren't handed over, on his server. The negative attention from Huma Abedin was bad enough, but to have this tacked on near the end of the campaign created more obstacles to an already uphill battle.
7. Childishness. Former President Obama said our elections could not be hacked. Former Secretary Clinton said anyone who tried to undermine the election with a recount was a danger to our democracy. But when HRC lost it was "our elections were hacked" and funding Jill Stein's recount to undermine the elections. The only indication of any hacking to our elections to turn up has been from the former administration (Obama) into Georgia, and the recounts gave more votes to President Trump, and less to HRC. Where you think it should have stopped, HRC also wasn't prepared for a loss, she had no losing speech for her supporters, instead chose to go into reclusive hiding after her loss. This certainly isn't helping the Democratic party. But now the marches and the insults continue, a good point has been brought up by multiple online commenters stating they don't remember the marches and riots after former President Obama won. Simple fact, if you are going to label a party as the party of "hate" and "division" you should have some really good examples, because riots no matter how hard you claim is a peaceful protest, is seen as a huge negative by the voters you're trying to win over.
Hypocritical statements are blatantly obvious in the age of information. President Trump signed multiple executive actions in his first two weeks, but this is common of all presidents. However, claiming there's a "Muslim" ban is not just false, but also a slanderous lie. The ban, and this is easily researched, is not a ban on any religion, it's a ban on people from 7 listed possible hostile regions. Those regions were identified by former President Obama. More so, it's also very difficult to claim this was some horrible act when former President Obama instituted similar bans for much longer (President Obama did a 90 day ban, President Trump did a 60 day ban).
I highly encourage you to research and read about the individual incidents refereed to above. Partisan feelings aside, it's not hard to see a vote against HRC. There should be no media shock, and the polls were clearly biased (for whatever reason). As a voter, who took time to look into claims on both sides, why would I ever vote for HRC? I have not seen any factual evidence given, and again, the second I am attacked for this line of thinking, it just guarantees a vote against the next party candidate.
- Writer, soldier, thinker, and science fiction lover. I just can't seem to find a way to divide my adventurous self of constant outdoor activity and exercise from my nerdy self playing games and going to conventions. So why not just be both?
I am a young professional living out of Tallahassee, Florida for the past five years. I have been on a deployment with the United States Army and continue to work outside of my other occupations to better myself mentally and physically. My passion for writing is driven by my passion for everything I find entertaining in life, and of course by my friends and family.