I write this on the eve of the electoral college vote, which is tomorrow; I already know the results. I have known the results since November 9th at 2am. There will be no Hail Mary moment. Red states will not go blue. Your phone calls, letters, mass emails, and pleas have done nothing more than annoy the electors. All of that energy, the money spent on a recount, the false hope fed to us by our "progressive leadership", all it did was succeed in us taking our eye off of what really matters: fights that could actually still be won.
The truth is: Donald Trump is our president.
Please, my dear liberal friends: take a deep breath...and sit with that. Let it sink in. Cry your last tear, throw something, scream, and then save it for another day. We have four years of screaming and fights ahead...we need you to get back up and on your feet...now. I am officially turning the lights on and the music off at your pity party. Time to come home and organize.
We as democrats have managed to point fingers at everyone but ourselves. The people closest to the campaign being the most arrogant. THIS is what scares me more than Trump. If we as a party, can not realistically understand that we lost, and look hard at where we lost this, then we are sure to just double down on the same failed strategy and lose again.
Same old people, playing out of the same old dog eared playbook that Nixon, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, all used..and you know what that sounded like? The same words that the people have been hearing for the last fifty years. "apple pie" "freedom" "bald eagle" "hope" "a new tomorrow" same tired strategy, optics and words. Do you know how that registered in the minds of voters?
They weren't quite sure where they had heard those same old phrases before, but they had, and they felt lied to, because we have been lied to so many times before by every politician. Everything Hillary did and said, felt "inauthentic" sounded like a "lie" even when it wasn't; because it was all out of the tired old playbook we had been manipulated with before.
Trump threw the playbook out the window. He could have said "unicorns are crapping donuts out of the sky and it is the fault of Isis and the Muslims" and people would think, what the hell is this guy saying? I don't know, but he "sounds like a straight shooter to me". This guy "calls it like he sees it, whether I agree or not". AND THAT my friends, is how this election was won and lost. Messaging.
We have pointed fingers everywhere: The FBI, the Russians, hackers, misogyny, racism, ignorance, the media, the electoral college, voter fraud, and today...we get a teeny bit closer to the truth: the scapegoat who is poor Huma Abadein, Hillary's closest advisor gets the blame du jour. Well, at least were getting warmer.
The truth isn't trending well with Democrats these days, but here it is.
We lost the election for two reasons:
Hillary Clinton ran a terrible campaign.
People didn't vote.
Misogyny didn't win. The FBI didn't win. The Russians didn't lose us the election. Racism didn't win. Voter fraud didn't win.
We were so sure of ourselves, high fiving each other because Trump was such a "moron", meanwhile her communications team was a complete disaster. I had voiced my opinion to many people working on her campaign, and they were blindly out of touch. They simply did not care to hear anyone's opinion, any fresh ideas, and they did it their way, sticking to the old playbook that had been handed down for the last hundred years. Never daring stray from the script.
I'll give you just a couple of examples of where we epically dropped the ball on a gold mine.
Before I start, this is NOT an "I told you so"..it is simply a way to see, and learn from our mistakes, which we MUST do--once you read this, I think you'll get it.
When Hillary fainted on 9/11 at the memorial because she had pneumonia. The Trump campaign ran with that. They immediately attacked her health, said she didn't have stamina, that she was not well enough to be president, and that she lied to the American people by not disclosing her "mystery illness".
Clinton's camp sat quietly, and then they sent out the big guns. Bill Clinton came on tv and I thought, well thank goodness...Bill's got this. Do you remember what his response to her fainting was? "Hillary has been working like a demon...she gets dehydrated" I almost screamed at the tv. Why not tell the truth, and turn this moment into pure gold?
A lovely alternative might have sounded something like this: "Hillary has pneumonia. I had pneumonia when I was 6. It's like an intense flu. Not cancer. She will get well soon. We didn't feel the need to announce every headache or cold she gets to the media. It is not life threatening. Mrs. Clinton would not have missed standing with those families on such an important day for anything in the world. So, with a hundred and three degree fever, she got up, and got dressed; to show up for the American people, to show up for those families, and to go to work.
And while we're on the topic, how about we discuss how she, like millions of other Americans do the same thing Hillary did--everyday. They get up sick, they get dressed, and they go to work. Because we don't have paid family leave, or sick days; and you know, we probably should."
The end. Now, was that hard? It wasn't.
Again, Trump paraded them, blamed her, I saw women on social media saying that she was "so nasty" to the women her husband had cheated on her with. They spun it so it was somehow Hillary's fault that she was cheated on! Genius.
Why on earth, did this woman not stand up, especially during the debates, and say "You know what? Thank you for bringing that up. I've been married to Bill for over forty years. Not all of them were easy. Many women in this audience, and men have experienced tough times in marriages and some have experienced infidelity. It is painful. It is usually private. I chose to forgive my husband to keep my marriage and family together. While I respect women who leave, I chose to stay. I chose to honor my vows said before God and family, and do what was the most difficult thing I had ever done, forgive and rebuild.
I stayed when things got rough because I made that commitment. And as your president, I promise to do the same for you. I will stay and fight to make us stronger when things get rough. And you know what? I'm glad that I did, because now my marriage is stronger than ever and my daughter is doing great and I am happy."
Good Lord, she would have sent it over the fences. Instead, when the mistresses were brought up, she would give a smug smile, and lean into the podium, half perched on her seat, and not address it. It was inauthentic. It was smug. It didn't read well.
And whoever came up with that zippy slogan "Love Trumps Hate" clearly didn't understand optics. When I turned on the DNC Convention, and saw an ocean of people holding signs with the name Trump on them...I thought, this guy must be home laughing right now. Why on earth did we shake signs in the air with this man's name on them? He couldn't pray for better press...all hand delivered by...us. An auditorium of Democrats, enthusiastically shaking Trump's name. Sure, the word "hate" was on there, but so was "love". Bad messaging. Terrible optics.
These are just a few very simple ways that she could have done better. From pant suit flash mob videos that looked like Gap ads, to completely uninspiring television spots (with the exception of the Gold Star Khan family, which was the only powerful piece of media I had seen the campaign run) to mosaic mashups of celebrities all montaging the same tired old message. It all just flopped. Add to that an ineffective speaker, whose speeches were canned, rehearsed and stiff, and she was an easy target.
If you think that they don't "sell us our presidents the same way they sell us our clothes and our cars", you are mistaken.
Hillary should have been as exciting as Obama in 2008. Our first female president, and even I, a devoted liberal had to rev up my own engine to muster any level of enthusiasm for her. I knocked on doors in Pennsylvania. I made a short video urging people to vote for her. I helped raise money. I wrote favorable pieces about her.
The saddest part is that I have met her in person...she is not only graceful and kind, she is affable and lovely, brilliant, generous, and open. That is what upsets me most. She has it in her, and she would have been a terrific president. It just didn't read and she was surrounded by weak people advising her. I sincerely hope that they no longer work in politics.
The polls were not "off" the people taking them were. Leaving out a percentage of folks who weren't racists or misogynists, they just didn't want to vote for Hillary, and kept their mouths shut, because they didn't want to be ostracized or called names.
All of it, was a disaster, and I have lost more liberal friends than conservative, because the one thing liberals can't do right now, is hear that they failed. We failed. But ultimately the buck stops at Hillary. She didn't even come out on the night of the election to address the people who had worked so hard for her at the Javitz Center. They were given false hope and sent home crying, then given the news by Donald Trump who said that she had called him. Need I say more? We were still "With Her"...but she was no longer with us.
My views have made me terribly unpopular. But I'm not going to lie to you. You have been lied to enough lately.
Democrats right now want to hear what a jerk and scumbag Trump is, how we got robbed, and how there's still a chance. They don't want to hear the truth. But until we make peace with the truth and channel that anger towards fighting the real fights ahead, they are going to finish us off. Ohio and North Carolina are showing us that already.
We were so busy talking about who really won and by how many and how we actually weren't to blame; while they have been hard at work stealing more from us. Please focus, everyone. We have lost so much, but we ain't seen nothing yet.
So, I urge you, after the electoral vote count is in...pull yourselves off the ground, clean yourself up, and start fighting like hell. Fight the real fights we have in front of us. The victim look isn't a good look on any of us, and I, for one, am not going to be any part of that. I will be the one fighting rough, going as low as they go, and punching harder...because I am not going to die, and I won't let you or this country die either.