Let me begin by saying that I voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election and would have greatly preferred her over Trump.
However, the election is over, and Clinton lost. She seems to have not been able to accept that, as indicated by her latest book “What Happened.”
I’ll tell you what happened – she got beat, and has no one but herself to blame. Not Russia, not Bernie Bros, not Gary Johnson, not anyone but herself. Yes, there was heightened drama surrounding potential foreign involvement in election results. Yes, alternative candidates enjoyed unusually high levels of support, mainly because many would not vote for either major candidate.
But Hillary was never going to win by being the “lesser of two evils.” To win, she had to make people believe that she could represent them and fight for their needs. Simply put, the people did not see that in her. She was never going to get crossover support, because getting votes from the opposite political side is very hard no matter who you are. That didn’t stop her from abandoning progressive values in an attempt to pander to the other side.
Make no mistake, I am all for compromise and bipartisan solutions. It is how government is supposed to work, and the political gridlock happening now is because of a lack of it. But Hillary has formed and changed her political beliefs for the sole purpose of winning elections, and that’s what the American people are sick of more than just about anything else.
Bernie Sanders exposed Clinton’s centrist corporatism during the primary season. While Hillary continued to flip-flop on a public option health system, Bernie pushed for a single-payer, Medicare-for-all that polling showed the American people overwhelmingly support. Bernie showed that he would #FightFor15 while Clinton flip-flopped between a $15 and $12 minimum wage.
Hillary Clinton has unfortunately been a target of criticism from the right. I personally do not agree with these criticisms about Benghazi or her handling of State Department emails, but you cannot argue that they had an effect on Clinton’s image. She was very unpopular during the campaign. As the face of the Democratic ticket, she hurt Democrats in ballot races.
Clinton’s job was to prove to Americans that she was the one for the job. The country’s other option was somebody who bragged about sexual assault and threatened to ban an entire religious group.
And somehow, she still managed to lose.
In a critical time in our country, independent voters were willing to take a reckless gamble on a reality TV star who took politics up as a hobby. Why not? They only wanted to change the status quo that has been hurting the middle class for so many years now.
Hillary’s opponent campaigned on an anti-establishment platform, one that would protect the social safety net while cutting classical red tape from policy-making. “Drain the Swamp,” he said.
The voters had no idea that Trump would expand wars, gut the EPA, try to take healthcare from millions and set race relations back a generation.
This didn’t have to be. With virtually any other candidate, the Democrats would’ve kept control of the Oval Office, and likely the Senate as well. The Charlottesville riots would’ve never happened. The EPA would’ve ran as normal. The Affordable Care Act wouldn’t be in peril and any patriotic American, regardless of gender identity, would’ve been able to serve in the military.
Hillary Clinton wants to be heard and seen again in public, but she deeply hurts the Democratic Party. Her presence lowers the chance that real, progressive change can happen, and that Donald Trump and the GOP’s hold on power ends as quickly as possible.
I would take her in office now any day of the week over what we have, but it does not take away from the fact that as she considers getting back into the limelight, she ran the worst major presidential campaign in modern American history.
Austin Pert is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism.
Featured image courtesy Flickr user Delmarva Dealings