If you’re a regular reader of this space on the Intertubes — and why wouldn’t you be?! — then you know I struggled during the primary to come to grips with whether to vote for Hillary Clinton or not. I wasn’t one of those “Bernie Bros” that got way overhyped by the media. I was just a guy who thought this year’s election was a referendum on politics as usual, and Hillary was the most politics as usual candidate you could get. Couple that with the fact that she helped get arms dealers deals using the Clinton Foundation and State Department ties (a story reported by the super-conservative Mother Jones), and I was prepared to be “Bernie or Bust” for a large portion of the primary.
But something changed when it became obvious that our president-elect wasn’t going anywhere. Even though I live in a very blue state — the bluest really — I still decided to hold my nose and vote for Hillary. I wanted to be able to criticize her presidency (whoopsie!) without being accused of being a sexist who never liked or voted for her. I decided to just vote for Hillary because even though I didn’t think she was right for the country in the long run, she was better than Trump, and I wanted my intellectual honesty.
I stopped writing pieces where I rightfully called out the Clinton campaign’s hubris and frankly lazy way of trying to attract voters to their side. You know, pieces like this one:
I didn’t call her out for being a milquetoast candidate who essentially just paid lip service to the progressive agenda anymore.
I stopped pointing out her glaring hypocrisies.
And I started ignoring that her message was, essentially, “Sure you hate me, but you hate Trump more.” A message that, clearly, fell about as flat as I was desperately trying to convince myself it wasn’t going to.
I put all that aside and I did my part. I wrote piece after piece knocking Trump up, down, through, and sideways. I railed on him in both satirical news pieces and (hopefully) humorous commentary pieces. I attacked that orange son of a bitch from every angle he gave me. And that man is the king of bending over and showing comedians a new target.
Despite my efforts to bit my tongue about Clinton, she lost…or at least thanks in large part to an arcane and ridiculously anti-democratic technicality called the Electoral College. But regardless, no matter how you slice it, Hillary Clinton lost, and she earned her defeat. No one wanted to listen to we voices of the left that were telling you all to stop banking on the inevitable nature of President Clinton’s run, and now here we are. Sure, the pollsters gave everyone a new reason for cardiac arrest, but the simple truth is that Clinton and the Democratic National Committee failed us all, and I don’t owe them shit.
I especially don’t owe the Democrats shit.
Granted, the Wikileaks emails are about as suspect as you can get. We’re all pretty sure that Russia at the very least was aiding in these leaks, and very easily could have slipped untold numbers of fake emails in with the real ones. But has anyone else noticed that the Dems aren’t really denying the most damning aspects of this story? Namely, that they colluded as a party, engaging members of the press to help them, in smearing Senator Sanders and downplaying his movement, all in an effort to foist Clinton on us so she could cakewalk to the White House.
Well, they got their candidate. But the best laid intentions of mice and career politicians, etcetera, right?
People are dead convinced there’s no way that Bernie Sanders could have beaten Trump. They say the “socialism” thing would have buried ol’ Bernie. I think I have to call a little bit of bullshit on that. People in the rust belt just voted for Donald Trump, and while he apparently added to Romney’s raw vote counts from 2012, the simple fact is that more people didn’t show up for Hillary that showed up for Obama than Trump picked up votes. This wasn’t a wave of renewed Republican voter allegiance that put Trump in the White House, it was Democratic apathy, among other things.
But you know what? At this point, I don’t really care why Hillary “lost.” The truth is the Electoral College did the most to snatch defeat from the jaws of her victory anyway. The point for me is that regardless of anything else, the DNC has been exposed as a dinosaur. It’s a lumbering beast with great power but absolutely zero insight. They’ve shown themselves to be disconnected with and unconcerned by what the voters want.
Yes, Hillary amassed more votes than Sanders and Trump, and yes that should have gotten her a victory if all things were equal. However, that doesn’t change the facts as presented by the Wikileaks emails — they wanted Clinton. And they forced her on us. Maybe that was the right call for them, but in hindsight? You be the judge.
I guess it really doesn’t matter if I feel like I owe the Democrats anything. Millions of Americans will go right on believing the DNC has no reason to be held accountable for Trump’s presidency. But maybe I’m just writing this as a bit of self-encouragement. Because in my mind, the DNC has to restructure. Making Keith Ellison it’s chairperson is a start, and Democratic Senate leadership putting Liz Warren and Sanders in top positions is also encouraging, but the proof will be in the 2018 pudding.
If the Dems don’t do a serious bit of reconnection with the principles that Bernie fought for, that Trump then stole and used to bludgeon Hillary with, then they are lost. I’m not going to let up on them, and I hope that millions of Americans who see the truth for what it is don’t either. It’s not that we need the GOP and the Democrats abolished; but we need parties that are responsive to the people, and no matter how you slice it, neither party is doing that, and to deny this phenomenon played a part in getting Trump elected is folly to the Nth degree.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.