November 9, 2016 was one of the worst days of my life. It’s the day Hillary Clinton lost the election to a man that was demonstrably less qualified. A man who stood in line with everything America was against. However, is it really fair to say that she lost? She won three million more votes, and that is after having Russia influence in our election. I know it's about time that the critics start yelling at the screen that she didn’t go to Wisconsin or Michigan. Though that isn’t entirely true, it is true that there were mistakes made by the campaign and the candidate. Hillary has recognized that, and members of her campaign have recognized that, but to argue it was solely her fault is false. A hostile foreign power hacked our election. They spread actual fake news. They leaked emails of those in the campaign and in the Democratic Party- which there is now evidence some were doctored. With the revelations about Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with representatives of the Russian Federation, they also colluded with her political opponent all in an attempt to beat her.
If this were any other time or person, Americans everywhere would be talking about how Hillary Clinton was cheated out of the presidency like when Al Gore lost, but it is this time, and it is this person. (I could go on a whole rant now about sexism in politics, but I feel like that would detract people, and I want everyone to hear what I have to say.)
Since the election, I have seen articles about how her favorability ratings continue to drop, about how it is all her fault she lost the election, and overall a smear campaign against her. In the beginning, I was pretty annoyed at these attempts to vilify her; however, I recognized it to be the right of the press to do an autopsy of the campaign, see what went wrong. As time went on, these attacks on her continued. Then there was a breaking point for me, where I couldn’t stand this anymore. That is why I am writing this. In the following paragraphs, I am going to take it point by point why most of those who have critiqued her since are wrong.
First, there is the notion that she was a bad candidate. This has been said by Bernie Sanders to Joe Biden. This just pisses me off. To first address this, we have to understand what a bad candidate for President is. In my opinion, the only thing we can talk about when someone is running for president is their qualifications. This means a bad candidate would be someone who is not qualified and is unable to carry through on the policy promises they made. Ladies and Gentlemen, that is not Hillary Clinton. She is a woman who fought her entire life for what is right. She fought for voting rights, civil rights, disability rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, workers rights, and the right of everyone to health care. She not only fought for these things; she got results. She registered Latinos to vote in Texas. She exposed the segregation in school districts in the South after they were supposed to have been integrated. She fought for disabled children’s rights to get an education. She has prioritized policies and sponsored legislation that advanced the women’s rights effort; that is beside the fact that she broke a few glass ceilings along the way. As a Senator, she promoted legislation that cracked down on hate crimes. At the State Department, she made sure the the Department had LGBT- friendly policies and fought against LGBT hate around the world, and she has always supported and fought for universal health care.
Also, if she was such a bad candidate, then how did she win? She beat Bernie Sanders by 4 million votes. (Don’t even start that the primaries were rigged against him. I’ll get to that in a minute.) Joe Biden said a main reason he did not run was because she had already coalesced so much support. Polls that included him showed that he would not have put a huge crack in her support. She also got the endorsement of all but one US Democratic Senator and a vast majority of Democratic representatives. She got the endorsement of major liberal and progressive organizations. In the general election, she also won 3 million more votes than you know who. If she was such a bad candidate, how could this of happened? It is because she wasn’t a bad candidate.
The second issue is that some argue that Bernie would have won if the primaries weren’t rigged against him. Bernie is just another white guy who thinks if he doesn’t win something went wrong. Someone rigged the system against him. However, let’s look at the email correspondence of DNC leaders and how they conspired against the non- Democrat from Vermont. In emails that could or could not have been doctored, their plan to take him down is to ask a question in a debate about religion. Foremost, let me make it clear that this is deplorable if true. Second, there goal was to get him to say that he was an atheist because they believed Southern voters wouldn’t like that. Well, he did not answer the question they way they wanted to, and I believe he answered the question very well. There is also the fact that he lost to Hillary by 4 million votes.
This defeat comes from the fact that he marginalized minorities and women in his campaign and post campaign. This is the base of the Democratic Party. His campaign coalition consisted of younger, whiter people- for the most part Independents. This A) means if only Democrats could vote, Hillary Clinton would have won with a bigger margin in terms of percentage points. B) His calls that the primaries were rigged against him is essentially ignoring the votes of minorities and women in favor of young, white men for the most part. I’m not saying that there weren’t minorities and women who supported Bernie, but the majority of the voted the other way. It is not fair to them to say the primaries were rigged because you are almost making it out like their vote did not count.
To those who say Bernie would have won, I disagree. To answer part of this question, I refer you to the paragraph above. The base of the Democratic Party was strongly in support of Hillary Clinton. 94% of black women voted for Hillary Clinton in the General Election. Black women also happen to have the highest voter turnout. I believe Bernie Sanders would have struggled to pick up their votes. I also believe a lot of moderate Republicans and conservative independents who voted for Hillary would have turned to He Who Shall Not Be Named or a third party like Gary Johnson. This means Bernie would not have had as strong support from the Democratic Party Base, and he would be unable to count on out of party support.
Obviously though, I am only one opinion, but there are examples of candidates who Bernie supported that lost. The best example is in the now infamous state of Wisconsin. Senator Ron Johnson was running for re election against populist and Bernie backed Russ Feingold. If Bernie’s message and Bernie like candidates really could win, this would be the prime example. Feingold lost, and he actually lost by a bigger margin than Hillary did. This is also not a singular example. Almost if not all of the Bernie backed candidates and resolutions lost in 2016 and since, and they generally underperformed Hillary.
Let’s now look at this from a post election perspective. A good reason why people see her more unfavorably now is one of these two reasons. They blame her for losing. They blame her for the situation we are in now. It also doesn’t help that the media continues to run smear articles against her for the most part about one of these two things. I believe now more than ever that Hillary Clinton would have been a great president. To all of the readers, take what I have said into perspective. It is not solely her fault for losing. There were outside factors that played a role in this election that have never ever played a role: influence from the second most powerful nation in the world and a disregard for facts from her opponent. It is not at all her fault the situation we are in now. It is the fault of an archaic system that denies the people’s votes to elect a President. Think about the great things she has done in her life that have greatly benefitted society. Thank you. #ImStillWithHer