Nearly one and a half months after their candidate’s defeat, Democrats are still in mourning. They’re in the dumps. They cannot understand how a Hillary victory that was seemingly in the bag ended up as one of the most shocking presidential losses in American history.
The Democratic Party will no doubt conduct a postmortem similar to the one carried out by Republicans after their 2012 loss.
Already there are different theories being floated for this devastating upset. Hillary did not campaign enough in the Rust Belt states. Hillary did not address the economic concerns of the angry white blue-collar male. Hillary forgot about rural America … and so on and so on.
Democrats, save your money.
There is one simple fact that led to your electoral demise. You nominated perhaps the most viscerally hated political candidate in your party’s history. Unfortunately, you got too hung up on the corresponding fact that Hillary was also the most experienced candidate in your party’s history.
For many voters, the 2016 election literally came down to choosing the lesser of two evils.
While many voters (especially evangelical) disliked the Republican candidate and correctly saw him as an immoral, narcissistic, pathological liar, he was not the devil incarnate, Hillary Clinton. With Trump the sinner, there was always the possibility of redemption. That could never have been the case for the Princess of Darkness.
After years of Clinton bashing by conservative media; after years of politically motivated investigations by Congress, there was nothing Hillary could have done, short of walking on water, which would have changed the minds of many Hillary-hating voters.
Yes, the FBI’s illegal actions weeks before the election, along with Russian interference favoring Trump, did not help Clinton’s chances. Nor did voter suppression in many Republican-controlled states.
The simple truth, as much as Democrats hate to admit it, is that voters did not so much vote for Trump as they voted against Hillary.
As one Wisconsin voter, who had previously voted for Obama, told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes at a town hall meeting held last week in Kenosha, “I voted for Trump because he is not Hillary.”
The Democratic Party should not complicate things. Instead, they should heed the wisdom found in the principle of Occam’s razor. The simplest explanation is usually the best.
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