I don’t think that Hillary lost in the manner you describe. I think you miss the overarching fact that she won the popular vote.
Now, I do agree with you that it didn’t feel good to vote for her. It felt good to vote for Bernie in the caucuses. It didn’t feel good to cast a vote for Hillary.
But what were the crucial States that she lost and why? North Carolina was not one of them, despite the fact that she campaigned heavily there in the closing days of the election.
No, it was Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. And who were the people she lost in those areas? It wasn’t the Millenials, it was the white male Gen-X blue collar workers.
And I would assert that she lost that demographic for two reasons, the first of which is that her messaging, which seemed to focus on women, minorities, and LGBTQ issues, absolutely fails to resonate with the demographic of white blue collar males.
Secondly, Trump’s messaging DID resonate with that demographic. Now, we know that Trump was and is a blowhard and a consummate liar, but his messaging resonated with what these people wanted to hear. They were angry and they wanted an angry candidate that was going to channel that anger into action, regardless of whether it made sense or not.
And, to be fair, Trump has tried (to a certain degree) to fulfill those campaign promises. I wish those people who voted for him would see that:
A) It wasn’t easy like he said it would be.
B) He was politically naive (see point A)
C) He never really had any plans for healthcare, despite his claims to the contrary (though, to be fair, neither did the Republicans who have been voting to overturn the ACA for 6+ years now)
So I just wish his supporters would hold both Trump and the Republican members of Congress accountable for their actions and inactions, but their superior messaging capabilities are winning out.
Which brings me to my last point. The leadership quality of the Democratic Party is at an alltime low. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid might be the most ineffective leaders this party has ever had. And Schumer is terrible as well. They seem incapable of coming up with a coherent and compelling strategy and let the Republicans constantly dictate the narrative of our political discourse.
I believe Republicans have been able to be successful largely because the Democratic Party Leadership (and I include horrible people like Debbie Wasserman-Schulz in that group) have been ineffective and off-base in their messaging and their decision-making.