It’s not just that Trump won. It’s that we lost.
Despite what I’m reading on social media, we didn’t lose only because of faux news, the FBI, unfair press, or badly handled emails, though all of that contributed. We also lost because of what we did, and should have done — but didn’t. This election was ours to lose and we lost it, good and proper.
The bitter battle between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton planted seeds of deep suspicion that she was corrupt. It went on a long time and left a bad taste in a lot of mouths, many of those mouths belonging to people who normally would have voted blue. Even worse, after finally bandaging that wound, Hillary Clinton didn’t listen to the people. Up in the usually Democratic rust belt, people wanted to talk about the economy and jobs. She wanted to discredit Trump.
If you want to win, you need to listen. To address the concerns of the voters — or they won’t vote for you. She knew that and so did her people. So she won the popular vote, but lost the majority of states. In each of those lost states, she lost the popular vote in too — unless the recount in Wisconsin shows something else. Regardless, I doubt even a recount will change the result. I would be astounded if it did.
You may not like or fully understand the system, but it is our system. It has always been our system and the candidates fully understand how it works. Hillary Clinton has been in the political arena her entire adult life. She has no excuse.
And. Bernie Sanders needs to ask himself: Was it worth it? He blew up his own party. Is he going to stick around and help put it back together? Or was destruction his goal from the beginning? As liberals, Democrats, and voters, we need to think about where we go from here.
There’s more than enough blame to go around. If we are going to indulge in finger-pointing, we may need extra fingers. Presumably we learned (relearned) at least one lesson: corrosive in-fighting is not a winning strategy.
It’s time to start walking a more productive path. To make positive changes. Put together a winning strategy for 2020. Unless, of course, we want Trump for eight years rather than four.
THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE IS HERE TO STAY
That is exactly what it did. Although Hillary Clinton (my preferred candidate) won more popular votes, she won all her votes in the big, urban, industrial states. Trump got fewer votes, but won far more states. You and I may not like it, but the electoral college was designed to make sure that popularity and population are not the only things that factor into electing a president.
Is it fair? I think it’s rather like the referee’s call in a football game. It depends on whether the call favors you or the other team.
THE U.S. IS NOT A DEMOCRACY.
The United States is a constitutional republic and popularity is not the only factor that counts in a presidential election.
The electoral college is an integral part of the structure of our government and its presence is exactly what makes us a republic rather than a democracy. Before you start howling about abolishing it, recognize that it was put in place for a reason, even if you don’t like the reason. If you lived in Wyoming, you would feel it was protecting your interests … and you’d be right.
If you live in a big, blue state, do you really believe you are entitled to enforce your will on the entire country? Does it mean you always get to pick the winner? I don’t like Trump, but our system works the way it is supposed to. It isn’t a cheat or a scam or something that’s been overlooked and needs fixing. It was designed and included intentionally so you don’t get disenfranchised because you live in the country or on a farm.
I’m surprised how many people apparently don’t understand how the Constitution or our government works. Didn’t we all learn this in school?
If you are interested in learning more, you can start here at History.com ELECTORAL COLLEGE. Or, just Google “electoral college” and poke around. There’s plenty of information easily available.