It’s over. The crotch-grabbing racist con man beat the lying corporate warmonger. Donald Trump is president-elect.
It didn’t have to happen that way. Trump’s winning 58 million votes were a hair fewer than Clinton’s popular vote; a million or two less than Republican losers McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012; six and ten million behind Obama’s 2012 and 2008 numbers.
No reason to vote
The buffoonish Trump was elected with such a low turnout because Hillary Clinton’s campaign was even less competent and credible. To borrow the condescending language Barack Obama deploys before Black audiences, Hillary’s campaign never gave Cousin Pookie much reason to get up off the couch and vote.
Republican and Democratic parties are alike owned by their one-percenter investor/contributors.
Democratic Party shot callers decided they’d risk losing with Hillary Clinton rather than winning with Bernie Sanders. So Democratic party leadership, their media allies and the entire Black political class got behind Hillary Clinton and helped collude and conspire to eliminate Senator Bernie Sanders, the Democrat with the best chance against any Republican opponent.
Once Bernie Sanders was eliminated Hillary waged a lazy and ineffective campaign, playing a hand with just three cards.
The first was the broken record of how unthinkable and unprecedented a disaster a Trump presidency would be. He’s a clownish sexual predator who pronounced climate change a hoax and would criminalize abortion, open concentration camps, repeal Obamacare, legalize stop and frisk, build a wall, appoint Neanderthals to the Supreme Court, deport six or ten million immigrants instead of Obama’s paltry two million and who might be in hock to the Russians.
Except for the thing about the Russians, it’s roughly the same picture Democrats have drawn of every Republican presidential candidate since Nixon. A story told that many times just gets old. Party leaders counted on it anyway, and it wasn’t enough. That was incompetence.
A second and relatively weak card Democrats played was conjuring up an Imaginary Hillary Clinton, a defender of women’s’ and human rights who held hands with the moms of killer cop victims, and occasionally mumbled about Black lives mattering and the need to reform the criminal justice system. But Hillary’s decades-long record as a tool of banksters, billionaires and one-percenters was so well-established in the public mind that Imaginary Hillary was a difficult sell.
The one-percenter Democrats’ third card was the early and unconditional endorsement of Hillary Clinton by the First Black President and Michelle. This had proven effective in Chicago in 2011 and 2015 where Obama’s blessings were key to fastening Rahm Emanuel on the city’s jugular vein after a half-century of Daley family rule.
The entire Black political class got behind Hillary too, from civil rights icons who ruminated on how they hadn’t seen Bernie Sanders back in the day to some other wise heads who assured us a vote for the Green Party’s Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka was an act of “narcissism” or maybe White privilege.
But at the end of his time in office, the Obama endorsement didn’t carry the clout it used to.
Thanks to two generations of lazy Democrats who refused to try to consolidate the victory of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Supreme Court in 2013 nullified its key provisions, enabling a constellation of laws and practices aimed at limiting access to the ballot on the part of students, minorities, the elderly and constituencies likely to vote Democratic. In the 2016 election cycle, these practices stripped another few million Democratic voters from the rolls.
Democrats were the authors of their own defeat this presidential election. Hillary couldn’t campaign against the one percent because her party is a party of the one percent. Hillary Democrats, including Bernie himself, could no longer acknowledge joblessness, low wages, lack of housing, permanent war or the high cost of medical care or they’d be campaigning against themselves.
Donald Trump didn’t win because of some mysterious upsurge of racism and nativism. He won because Hillary Clinton’s campaign was even less inspiring and less competent than his own, and worked hard to snatch its own defeat from the jaws of victory.
America might not deserve President Donald Trump. But Hillary Clinton didn’t deserve to win.
Bruce Dixon is managing editor of BlackAgendaReport.com.