Dear Democrats: This Is Why Hillary REALLY Lost

via Flickr - Fibonacci Blue
via Flickr – Fibonacci Blue

Hello, Hillary supporters. 

Right now, I know you’re still pretty dumbfounded and crestfallen about that whole election deal. By now, you’ve weeped a thousand tears and made a thousand angsty Twitter posts and maybe even protested the outcome of a 100 percent legitimate, democratically determined election by blocking public infrastructure and setting American flags on fire.

But like it or not kids, you’re going to have to emerge from your safe space cocoon and accept the cold, hard reality: yes, Donald Trump is going to be the next President of the United States, and Hillary Clinton, well, isn’t.

Now, for a lot of you, this is the first time you’ve experienced something we like to call “losing.” Yes, it’s a fairly obscure word in today’s “everybody gets a trophy” social milieu, but basically, it means instead of getting exactly what you want (or even believe you are entitled to), you don’t. Instead, you have to admit that someone did better than you did in direct competition. A bizarre idea, I know, but hang with me here – as unsavory as it may sound, it’s actually beneficial for you. In fact, as you folks are mighty keen on calling it, you could even describe it as “a learning experience.”

You do know this has happened before, right? Oh yes, it certainly did. Let me take you back to a magical time called “the year 2004.”

Back then, there was this big, mean, old grey-headed Republican man nobody liked. Everybody called him a racist and a sexist and a homophobe and a bigot and an idiot and people all over the world protested whenever he so much as gave a speech about Medicare Part D reform (don’t worry, that only affects old people – it’s OK if you’ve never heard of it.) They said he was a sociopath and a baby killer and somebody who really, really hated Muslims and black people. They wanted him impeached for crimes against humanity. They literally burned effigies (that’s like a pinata, except without the candy) in city streets and prayed for his death.

All of the Democrats and liberal sympathizers in Hollywood and the media, naturally, didn’t like him one bit. So for an entire year, they made a coordinated effort to derail his campaign and get this other old grey-headed white dude elected. There were films at the local Cineplex that basically served as two-hour long attack ads. Some of the most respected “journalists” in the history of the medium simply made up stories about the guy they didn’t like in the hopes that he would lose. MTV stars trotted out an entire campaign dedicated to mobilizing young voters to get out and vote because their “very identities were threatened” by the mean old Republican boogeyman.

And the Democrats were convinced – 100 percent convinced – that they had the election won a month ahead of time. I mean, after all of the money and airtime they sunk into getting the Democrat man elected, how could they possibly lose, especially to such a mean, old doo-doo head like the Republican candidate?

But then, something terrible-awful happened. When it came time for people to actually get out and vote, by golly, more people – those horrendously misled people – had the audacity to go out there and vote for the guy that wasn’t supposed to win. The Democrats were agog; even after harnessing the full power and reach of big media to ridicule, mock, shame and label anyone who disagreed with them as white trash, racists and neo-Nazis, Middle America – you know, the 100 million or so Americans without college degrees who do stupid things for a living like deliver mail and put up drywall refused to vote Democrat, and somehow, that mean old Republican man actually won the election.

Hmm. Does that sound even remotely similar to something that may have happened a couple of days ago? Like, around Nov. 8, perhaps?

History, as the old adage goes, is a fate destined to be repeated by those who forget it. And for the modern incarnation of the Democratic Party – the identity-politics and virtue signalling sorts they are – history as they remember it didn’t begin until 2008. In that, the utter Democratic meltdown of 2016 is almost a note-by-note remake of the song and dance from 2004’s election – the liberals got smug, they spent too much time attacking the character of their opponent instead of his actual economic and foreign policies and instead of explaining why their campaign platform would improve the lives of potential Republican voters, they instead sought to shame them away with a rich panoply of ill-defined, scientifically difficult to determine pejoratives like “racist” and “fascist.”

And in both election cycles, the Democrats forgot that half the country existed. They forgot about the working class and lower middle class families in the Rust Belt, Appalachia and the rapidly deteriorating exurbs of Florida, North Carolina and Georgia – the kind of people whose biggest fear isn’t being triggered by people wearing sombreros at football games, but having their job outsourced to India and going bankrupt because their health insurance premiums have literally doubled and tripled since the Affordable Care Act went into effect. The Hillary campaign bet the farm that a leaked audio recording of Trump talking about groping women would give them the election. Alas, the sexual escapades of a billionaire real estate mogul don’t mean a damn thing to the 52 percent of Americans who can’t afford to spend more than $100 a month on health coverage. Making a symbolic pro-multiculturalism stand does nothing for the 40 percent of Americans – yes, you heard me right, 40 percent – out of the workforce. Going on social justice warrior crusades to stamp out microaggressions is a downright insult to to the non-college educated laborers who have seen their pay decrease by nearly 10 percent over the last 20 years, while income for the college educated has increased by nearly 25 percent. While the Democratic Party ceaselessly criticized Trump supporters as racists and bigots and Islamophobes, they totally overlooked the single most appealing element of his platform to America’s downtrodden, low-wage workers – namely, his plan to eliminate any federal tax liability for those earning less than $25,000 a year.

There is a tremendous, tremendous lesson to be learned here. No political candidate, Republican or Democrat, can win an election based on identity politics instead of socioeconomic politics. You cannot virtue signal your way to the White House – if you run a campaign based simply on the fact you believe yourself to be ethically superior to the political other, as Hillary did, you will lose.

And if your election gameplan revolves around screaming about how “racist” and “misogynistic” and “homophobic” the counter-ideology is – rather than soundly explaining how your political platform improves the lives of the majority of Americans – your campaign is already doomed.

Donald Trump did not win – as many aggrieved liberals continue to claim – because America is a hotbed of white misogyny and racism (as evident by the fact that 42 percent of female voters and nearly a third of the nation’s Hispanic voters cast their ballots for him instead of her). Trump won because his ads focused on economic growth and curtailing the slow creep of globalization (an absolute death sentence for what’s left of American industry) while Clinton ran ads focused on how his comments may make middle school girls feel insecure about their weight. Trump won because his political speeches revolved not around how historic it would be if he was elected but his blueprint to bring back the American School of Economics. Trump won because instead of glossing over the ballooning costs of the ACA, he confronted them head on and detailed a seven-prong health care reform plan to lower costs and expand coverage.

But more than anything, dear Democratic friends, what cost Hillary the election … was you.

You attended ritzy colleges – almost certainly on the public dime – and grew up in well-to-do, upper middle class families (some of you, legitimate multi-millionaire heirs) yet spent the entire campaign bemoaning how oppressed you were by the non-existent “privilege” of trailer park inhabitants and uninsured sheet metal workers. Your golden idols Bill Maher and Rachel Maddow and Van Jones never gave up an opportunity to belittle Trump loyalists as racists and idiots and unlearned white trash (ironically, while championing themselves as “the party of tolerance.”) Instead of coming up with counter-arguments to Trump’s policies on economic nationalism, you filled your Facebook and Twitter feeds with the same old boring refrain of “he’s a big meanie and hurts our feelings, so he shouldn’t be President.”

And as fate would have it, failing to adequately explain how your economic and foreign policies benefit working class families in favor of just calling them “racists” and “misogynists” for not agreeing with you isn’t the best way to win an election.

Try to keep that in mind for 2020, dear Democrats – unless, of course, you plan on losing again. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog