FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It Wasn’t the Russians: Hillary Lost Because She Blew Off Sanders and His Voters

by

Photo by Veni | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Veni | CC BY 2.0

 

The incredible group-think that has seen the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, President Obama, the Clinton campaign and most of the corporate media braying that Vladimir Putin scandalously upended American democracy and threw the election to his favored candidate Donald Trump is based on a ludicrous premise. That premise: that the election went Trump’s way because several tens of thousands of voters in a few states — Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — switched away from Clinton to Trump because of an alleged (and factually unproven) Russian “hack” of Democratic National Committee and of Hillary campaign chair John Podesta’s emails.

According to this conspiracy theory — and that is what it is — the “Russian” hack, with the results allegedly passed on to Wikileaks, and the resulting release of emails that showed that the DNC had conspired to throw the primary election to Clinton, and that revealed the contents of Clinton’s secret sycophantic quarter-million-dollar speeches to Wall Street banks, explain those narrow Trump wins in three key swing states.

What is ludicrous about this alleged conspiracy is that Sanders supporters already knew the DNC was in bed with the Clinton campaign. They’d already learned that first hand from Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), who quit in disgust back in late February, saying that the DNC was undermining Sanders and working for Clinton. As for the bank speeches, Clinton did all the damage herself by refusing to disclose what she’d said in those extravagantly paid gigs, and by getting caught in a lie that she couldn’t release the texts because they were “under the control” of the banks (she actually owned the copyrights). She also hurt herself by lying and saying during one debate that she hadn’t asked for the high fees when in fact her agent had demanded them. This infuriating information was all out there way before Wikileaks started releasing the documents in had in its possession.

The truth is that it was Clinton’s own actions that lost her the support of Sanders voters. Her repeating lying about Sanders during the campaign, and her gratuitous dissing of Sanders and his supporters even after it was becoming clearer that she would win the primary because of the corrupt support she had lined up from the party’s unelected so-called “super delegates,” and her decision in the fall, after winning the nomination, to ignore the 13 million Sanders voters from the primary and instead to pursue the support of what she hoped were disenchanted Republican voters upset that Donald Trump had won the Republican nomination, all doomed her in the general election.

The anger among Sanders backers by the time of the convention at the end of July was palpable and was demonstrated when over 700 Sanders delegates walked out of the convention en masse, many tossing their convention credentials over the tall security fence. Clearly they were not going to back Hillary Clinton in November. And those delegates represented millions of voters back in their home states. (See: Jeffrey St. Clair’s Bernie and the Sandernistas: Field Notes From a Failed Revolution.)

Hillary Clinton didn’t lose Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and most importantly Florida because a small percentage of voters switched from her to Trump in those states. She lost those states because millions of Sanders voters nationally, and hundreds of thousands of Democrats and independent progressives in those key states decided not to vote for her because they were disgusted by both her and the Democratic Party.

In other words, even if the Russians did hack the DNC and Podesta emails, and even if the leaked emails (all of which by the way were true and accurate, not fake or doctored!), did manage at the last minute to persuade a few thousand Clinton voters to switch their votes to Trump, or to simply not vote for Clinton, that only had an impact because so many hundreds of thousands of more progressive voters had already written her off as a voting option. The races in those states never should have been that close in the first place, and wouldn’t have been had the Clinton campaign not played so dirty in the primary, and then been so patronizing and vengeful towards the Sanders campaign and Sanders voters after gaining the nomination.

Leaving aside the reality that there is no evidence that Russian government hackers did obtain those emails and handed them over to Wikileaks to release during the last weeks of the campaign (the evidence is really that they were obtained by insider leaks, not by Russian hackers, the truth is that mounting evidence of Clinton corruption and of cheating in the primaries led millions of furious Sanders backers to decide they would never vote for Clinton.

The “false news” about Russians hacking US democracy, pushed by the Clinton campaign, sclerotic Democratic Party leadership, elements within the intelligence establishment and the Obama administration and parroted endlessly by the corporate media and by normally sentient liberals usually quick to condemn “conspiracy thinking,” doesn’t bode well for any real effort to wrench the Democratic Party away from its thoroughly discredited corporatist political stance, and raises the prospect of further Republican gains in the coming off-year Congressional elections in 2018.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the only way forward is going to have to be an abandonment of the Democratic Party by progressives and its replacement by a genuine progressive socialist party that is clearly of and for working people, and for those who cannot find work in this increasingly dystopic America.

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Weekend Edition
November 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Jonathan Cook
From an Open Internet, Back to the Dark Ages
Linda Pentz Gunter
A Radioactive Plume That’s Clouded in Secrecy
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Fires This Time
Nick Alexandrov
Birth of a Nation
Vijay Prashad
Puerto Rico: Ruined Infrastructure and a Refugee Crisis
Peter Montague
Men in Power Abusing Women – What a Surprise!
Kristine Mattis
Slaves and Bulldozers, Plutocrats and Widgets
Pete Dolack
Climate Summit’s Solution to Global Warming: More Talking
Mike Whitney
ISIS Last Stand; End Times for the Caliphate
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima Darkness, Part Two
James Munson
Does Censoring Undemocratic Voices Make For Better Democracy?
Brian Cloughley
The Influence of Israel on Britain
Jason Hickel
Averting the Apocalypse: Lessons From Costa Rica
Pepe Escobar
How Turkey, Iran, Russia and India are playing the New Silk Roads
Jan Oberg
Why is Google’s Eric Schmidt So Afraid?
Ezra Rosser
Pushing Back Against the Criminalization of Poverty
Kathy Kelly
The Quality of Mercy
Myles Hoenig
A Ray Moore Win Could be a Hidden Gift to Progressives
Gerry Brown
Myanmar Conflict: Geopolitical Food Chain
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: Robert Redford’s Big Game in Nairobi
Katrina Kozarek
Venezuela’s Communes: a Great Social Achievement
Zoltan Grossman
Olympia Train Blockade Again Hits the Achilles Heel of the Fracking Industry
Binoy Kampmark
History, Law and Ratko Mladić
Tommy Raskin
Why Must We Sanction Russia?
Bob Lord
Trump’s Tax Plan Will Cost a Lot More Than Advertised
Ralph Nader
National Democratic Party – Pole Vaulting Back into Place
Julian Vigo
If Sexual Harassment and Assault Were Treated Like Terrorism
Russell Mokhiber
Still Blowing Smoke for Big Tobacco: John Boehner and College Ethics
Louis Proyect
The Witchfinders
Ted Rall
Sexual Harassment and the End of Team Politics
Anna Meyer
Your Tax Dollars are Funding GMO Propaganda
Barbara Nimri Aziz
An Alleged Communist and Prostitute in Nepal’s Grade Ten Schoolbooks!
Myles Hoenig
A Ray Moore Win Could be a Hidden Gift to Progressives
Graham Peebles
What Price Humanity? Systemic Injustice, Human Suffering
Kim C. Domenico
To Not Walk Away: the Challenge of Compassion in the Neoliberal World
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Giving Thanks for Our Occupation of America?
Christy Rodgers
The First Thanksgiving
Charles R. Larson
Review: Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “We Were Eight Years in Power”
David Yearsley
On the Road to Rochester, By Bike
November 23, 2017
Kenneth Surin
Discussing Trump Abroad
Jay Moore
The Failure of Reconstruction and Its Consequences
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Trout and Ethnic Cleansing
John W. Whitehead
Don’t Just Give Thanks, Pay It Forward One Act of Kindness at a Time
Chris Zinda
Zinke’s Reorganization of the BLM Will Continue Killing Babies
David Krieger
Progress Toward Nuclear Weapons Abolition
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail