In Defense of Hillary: The Entire Democratic Establishment is to Blame
Blame the DNC, Not Hillary
Hillary Didn't Goof...Her Establishment Backers Did
On Tuesday morning, the punditry and mainstream media couldn't stop praising Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to the sky. The former Secretary of State, winning all the polls, was on the cusp of becoming the first woman leader of the free world. Everyone knew that Clinton would win the election and become our 45th president...the only question was by how great a margin. Pontificators were busy arguing the size of Clinton's mandate, not whether or not she would win.
But, in a shocker that will likely get its own chapter in U.S. History textbooks, Republican nominee Donald Trump scored the unlikeliest of upsets. The bombastic billionaire, widely derided as an immature, inexperienced bigot, swept the swing states and actually won the Democratic stronghold of Pennsylvania. When Trump won Pennsylvania, Clinton's loss was sealed. Immediately, Democrats and liberals began placing blame for the painful upset: Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, Bernie Sanders, and voter suppression by Republicans have all been accused of reducing the number of votes received by Hillary Clinton.
Most surprising, perhaps, is how quickly the mainstream media and punditry have been to blame the Democratic nominee herself. Since Tuesday night, Clinton has been blamed for complacency and poor strategy. How quickly the hero becomes the villain!
I have always been a staunch supporter of Bernie Sanders, and voted for Jill Stein during early voting, but I must defend Hillary Clinton's campaign performance. While she focused overmuch on criticizing Trump rather than promoting her own policies, she was hardly complacent. As an outside observer, I feel that Hillary Clinton ran the race well. She should not have been the Democratic nominee, but she performed ably once given the role.
Hillary Clinton's downfall was not her effort, but her past. She ran as well a campaign as she could have, but her controversial past suppressed her popularity. The e-mail scandal, the Clinton Foundation scandal, Bill Clinton's scandals, and "Clinton fatigue" all combined to nullify her hard work. Clinton was not complacent - she just had baggage she could not overcome.
While Hillary Clinton can be blamed for refusing to bow out of the race when her e-mail scandal erupted, or at many points thereafter when it flared up again and again, she does not deserve the bulk of the blame for the Democrats' current fiasco. Instead, the blame falls upon her establishment endorsers. Eager for pork-barrel perks and a loyalist Clinton gravy train, these congressmen, governors, and members of the Obama administration threw common sense out the window and endorsed the weaker presidential candidate. Bernie Sanders, who was winning swing voters and swing states, was in a far better position to defeat Donald Trump on Election Day.
Despite reams of evidence showing that Sanders was far more competitive against Trump than was Clinton, the Democratic Party bigwigs refused to pay any attention. These men and women of power propelled Hillary Clinton to the Democratic nomination. Media bias and constantly-touted endorsements swayed just enough low-information voters to give Clinton the edge. Bernie Sanders did not lose the Democratic nomination in a fair race: He was sabotaged by unethical media bias and internal DNC politicking.
Hillary Clinton was a weak candidate due to her record-high unpopularity levels, but she cannot be blamed for much of that. She is what she is: Smart, focused, ambitious, stiff, cold, flawed, inspiring. Did she rig the media directly? Did she rig the DNC directly? No, she did not. Individual men and women in the media and on the Democratic National Committee, desiring pork, took it upon themselves to sugarcoat Clinton and sink Sanders. They figured that far greater rewards awaited them for helping Hillary Clinton.
The Democratic Party cannot fix itself until it acknowledges that much of its 2016 failure was due to the corruption and profiteering of its mid-ranking members, not the alleged weaknesses of its presidential nominee.