Why Clinton Lost
This blog post was featured in the Huffington Post on November 15, 2016.
Thousand of pages will be written by political scientists analyzing the 2016 elections, and why and how Hillary Clinton lost a race that polls predicted she would win. There will be as many explanations as there are people who research the subject.
Here is my opinion—not substantiated by any research, just from my gut. Take it for whatever it is worth.
I think Michele Obama gave Clinton the wrong advice when she said, “When they go low, you go high.”
Watching the debates my muscles tightened. I was ready to throw up. Donald Trump was bullying Clinton and she was taking it lying down. He said, for instance, that Putin does not respect her. What evidence of that did he have whatsoever? He said she is the most—and pay attention to the extreme language he used—the most corrupt politician ever. Where is the evidence? He accused her of being a criminal. This is America and a person is innocent until proven guilty. She was neither proven guilty nor even charged. So where is this accusation coming from?
She took it lying down.
As we know from Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propagandist, if you repeat a lie long enough people will believe it. I think many Democrats did not go to vote because they could not vote for Trump and, with her character assassinated, Hillary was not an alternative either. So they stayed home. And Trump won.
Watching the campaign, I noticed that Trump’s supporters were energized. There was tension in the air. Clinton’s audience was subdued. There was no energy that I could detect.
His slogan—“Make America Great Again”—spoke to people. It meant something. It was a goal to aim for. Everyone could interpret what “great again” meant and get excited about it. Her rallying message, “Stronger Together,” has been used by many politicians before. It is old—a “so what?” message.
Yes, Clinton is a woman. True, she did not stand up to Bill when he was unfaithful. And she did not react like most human beings would when being put down and stepped on. She was too civilized. You can step on her and she takes it.
That exactly is how America behaves in foreign relations: We support the world, and the world (except Israel) hates us. We take their hatred lying down. So, in a sense, Clinton was the personification of what is wrong with America.
Trump projected strength: no bull, no fear, strength we all want to see in our country. In the difficult times America is facing, people look for someone strong, not a doormat.
I voted for Clinton. It is too bad she lost.
Ichak Kalderon Adizes