FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Don’t Mourn Hillary’s Loss

by

coaecsdumaaicc
We are all tired. Exhausted from what feels like years of election mania. First the primaries, the hilarious, made-for-TV Republican debates, the Democratic talk shows, the Sanders revolt to the months of boring presidential squabbles between Hillary and The Donald. The FBI. The emails. The groping. It’s finally over. Time to exhale.

Election Day has come and gone and we are now sitting in an ugly new era, stunned that the Trump revolution won, and won big. Hillary Clinton and whatever she actually stood for, lost, and lost bad. Far worse than any polls suggested, even the few that had Trump squeaking out a victory.

There will be plenty of blame flying around in the weeks and months ahead. Yet, no matter what bullshit excuse Democrats come up with for Hillary’s historic embarrassment, they have only themselves to blame. She lost because she deserved to lose. She ran an awful campaign, mired in controversy, and was unable to excite voters to the polls. She believed neoliberalism could carry the day, but she was wrong. The DNC was wrong. The establishment lost because the establishment deserved its fate.

By no means does this imply Trump will overthrow the status quo, it only means the outsider Trump was better able to exploit the boiling rage of middle America. All the workers who were undercut by Bill Clinton’s NAFTA. The hundreds of thousands that never rebounded from the Bush recession. Trump provided an outlet of hope for these lost souls – a fabricated hope no doubt, but hope nonetheless – gift wrapped in rage. His mastery of social media, of vindictive and racist rhetoric, helped him gut the provincial electorate. Against all odds, against allegations of sexual misconduct, against common sense, being anti-Trump wasn’t enough to get Hillary elected.

In many ways, Hillary was her own worst enemy – a poor campaigner, a flat platform and only an ounce more personality than her VP pick Tim Kaine (and that’s not saying much).

With no ground game, far less money than the Democrats, nearly zero endorsements from Hollywood and the media, Trump still prevailed. Somehow he understood a fair portion of the American psyche better than Hillary ever could. It seemed she learned little from the branding genius of Barack Obama or the accessibility of her husband Bill. By night’s end it was clear she gleaned nothing from Bernie Sanders’s movement and cared little about his searing critiques of Wall Street and our corrupt political system that’s left so many behind.

Being against Trump, in the end, couldn’t get the job done. She needed to go further.

The years ahead will be telling. How will Democrats respond to a Trump presidency? Will they view it as an opportunity to reimagine themselves in a progressive light, or will they continue to believe neoliberalism and identity politics are enough to win elections?

Don’t hold your breath.

In the end, progressives shouldn’t be depressed by this election’s outcome (and I’m not talking about legal weed in California and elsewhere, although that might help numb the pain). They should be invigorated. They should be ready for a fight. Where the left failed to oppose the most sordid policies of the Obama administration — from drone strikes to the Libya intervention to fracking to the dreadful Obamacare — perhaps progressives will be awakened under Trump’s reign and fill the streets in disgust at every turn.

One can only hope. Hope and rage against the new machine.

More articles by:

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at joshua@counterpunch.org. You can troll him on Twitter @joshua__frank

CounterPunch Magazine


bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
August 18, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jamarl L. Thomas
Free Speech is Free Speech, Precisely for the Speech You Don’t Like
Kary Love
The Fourth Branch
Graham Peebles
Climate Change Demands an End to Excess and Greed
Olivia Alperstein
Racists Look Emboldened. They’re Actually Terrified.
José-Antonio Orosco
What Did Dr. King Mean by Love?
Rob Okun
The Poison of White Supremacist Masculinity
Cesar Chelala
What Trump Can Learn From Ants
Ryan Summers
Breitbart, the Alt-Right and Charlottesville
Louis Proyect
Digital Dystopias
Charles R. Larson
Review: Lawrence P. Jackson’s “Chester B. Himes”
August 17, 2017
Ajamu Baraka
The Story of Charlottesville Was Written in Blood in the Ukraine
Tim Messer Messer-Kruse
Right But Wrong: Trump’s Defense of Confederate Symbols and Its Threat to Color-Blind Liberalism
George Barbarie
Barbarian Left
Ramzy Baroud
Al-Araqeeb Village: Palestinian Bedouins Refuse to Surrender 116 Times
Jerome L. Schulman, M.D.
The State of Trump’s Brain
John W. Whitehead
Chaos in Charlottesville: No One Gave Peace a Chance, Including the Police
Michael J. Sainato
Monuments to Treason
Rob Seimetz
When Illusion Turns to Delusion 
Thomas Knapp
@YesYoureRacist Crowdsources Social Preferencing
Binoy Kampmark
Breaking the Seal: Child Abuse and the Confessional
Ann Garrison – KJ Noh
Locked and Loaded: War With North Korea Cannot be Contained But Must Be Prevented
David Macaray
Union Elections
Susan Block
The Fire and Fury of the Tiki Torches
August 16, 2017
John Eskow
Among the Racists
John Wight
Charlottesville: Outrage, Hypocrisy & Obama’s Betrayal
Michael Hudson
Putting an End to the Rent Economy
Ralph Nader
The 16 Year War in Afghanistan: Headlines Tell the Story
Mateo Pimentel
Our Fight Against Fascism 
Robert Fantina
Trump and Charlottesville
Ted Rall
If You Fire a Fascist, You’re a Fascist
Joe Ware
Does Game of Thrones Contain a Stark Warning About Climate Change?
Ezra Kronfeld
The Global Controversiality of Surrogacy
Jesse Jackson
After Charlottesville
Michael J. Sainato
The Racism at Charlottesville is a Symptom of a Nation Built on White Supremacy
Franklin Lamb
Israel’s 6th War on Lebanon: What Price Will Hezbollah Pay?
Ana Portnoy
The Tragedy of the Missing C: The (Colonial) Fiscal Control Board in Puerto Rico
August 15, 2017
Anthony DiMaggio
Fascism Here We Come: the Rise of the Reactionary Right and the Collapse of “The Left”
Paul Gottinger
Despite Media’s Claims, North Korea Can’t Strike Continental US
John Davis
Holocausts R Us
Rev. William Alberts
Religion: a Source of Solidarity or Division?
Ellen Isaacs
Racism and Capitalism: the Barriers to Decent Health Care
Bill Quigley
Social Justice Quiz 2017: Children – Ten Questions
David Swanson
Top 10 Misconceptions About Charlottesville
Michael J. Sainato
‘Bernie Bros’ and ‘Alt-Left’ Are Propaganda Terms Meant to Disempower
Jon Rawski
A Dangerous Nuclear Ignorance 
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail