For All Democrats to Ponder: The Real Reasons Hillary Clinton Lost
Tony Brasunas
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I agree pretty much completely with your analysis, though I think you missed some important contributing points. For example, that the Democratic Party’s abandonment of economic justice was concomitant with an abandonment of racial justice. Despite Trump running a brazenly and openly racist campaign, you heard nary a peep about the pursuit of racial justice and reconciliation from Clinton.

With respect, specifically, to the African American vote, it’s like BLM never even happened (or isn’t still happening).

A second concomitant point: her near silence on the issue of the environment. This is likely to be the central issue for Millennials going forward — since this it he world they (we) will have to live in.

Your mention of her campaign’s complete silence regarding Standing Rock is a prime example of both of these shortcomings.

In the end, all of this: the Clinton campaign’s weakness on terms of economic, racial and environmental justice and the messaging on these issues only served to reinforce the preexisting image many voters, especially Millennials, had of her being an out-of-touch elitist and a corporatist whose primary interests were for the wealthy 1%ers who made her possible.

Finally… there was the sense of entitlement. From dismissing Bernie Sanders without ever really engaging on the issues, to then insisting that Sanders’ supporters had to immediately transfer support to Clinton, despite never meaningfully or substantively addressing the legitimate critiques raised about Clinton and her campaign: it all smacked of a sense of entitlement. The repeated refrain: “It’s Her turn.” No. It’s nobodies “turn”. The presidency belongs to no one by right. The opportunity to serve is earned and granted by the American People, and is based on respect. You can’t simply demand respect without giving due respect in return. When the wikileaks started dropping, I don’t think anyone was surprised when it came out that her speeches to the Wall Street elites consisted largely of pandering to the wealthy vulture-class, and absolving them of their sins with respect to the ongoing financial crisis. This lack of surprise is probably why the revelation didn’t change the campaign dynamics in a big way when it came down. People largely already assumed this was the case, because Clinton acted like the elitists people assumed she was.

At the end of the day, I think the only issue Clinton probably got right was on the issue of equal rights for women, and combating sexism. It’s hard to argue against the idea that it is time for America to enter the era of full equality for women, and that is time for America to elect a woman president. The fact is, it IS time. But Clinton was entirely the wrong person to carry that message, given her other deficiencies. If, for example, Elizabeth Warren had run, does anybody think we’d be having this conversation?

I share your skepticism that these problems can be overcome within the DNC. Since my own personal progressive awakening, I have never considered myself a Democrat (as a youth, I was raised to believe I was a republican, and it wasn’t until several years after I graduated from college that I developed the self-awareness to know otherwise) in large measure because of these pro-corporatist deficiencies within the party.

It remains my belief that the next generation of progressive political leadership will have to arise from an as-yet unidentified outside party. Not the Greens, which have their own problems (Jill’s pandering to anti-vaxxers, despite her experience as a medical doctor, for example). It will be something else.

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