Let’s start with this, I did not vote for Donald Trump, I think he is a terrible person and is doing an awful job as our President; but I want him to succeed. He is our President and I would never root against him or America.
However, as we reflect on the one year anniversary of what future historians may call the beginning of “The Dark Times”, I would love to spend a few minutes talking about how we can apportion blame for this human train wreck. This is an odd exercise for me; at work we focus on solutions not blame. My solutions include voting and supporting candidates I believe can really solve problems. But for now, lets dish out some freakin blame!!!
Lets focus on some facts. Trump won the election by swinging three states Obama won, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. He won these states by a combined vote total of 79, 316. If Secretary Clinton wins those states she becomes President. So what/who caused her to lose those votes?
Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton
The Buck stops here. Whatever you think of HRC she did not get the job done. We don’t have to wonder What Happened. She was not a great candidate. However, it’s tough to really blame her for being her. She is who she is, and love her or not (I am actually a fan) we knew what kind of candidate she was for a generation. However, she did fail to adapt to Trump and, again, the buck stops with her, she can not be blameless.
Blame - 5%
HRC’s Campaign Staff
They blew it. They were not able to make up for the lack of enthusiasm their candidate generated or put enough boots on the ground to get voters to polls. They lost 7 million Obama voters. They appear to not have understood Trump’s appeal nor how to effectively counter him. They had plenty of time to formulate a plan and execute it. They certainly knew the battle lines, the candidate they had, Trump and Trump’s message. They could have flipped 79,316 voters and delivered 270 electoral votes.
Blame - 15%
Senator Bernie Sanders and his Supporters
Bernie ran a great campaign and probably would have flipped those voters who left the Democrats for the economic nationalism of Trump. However, Bernie gave full throated support to HRC when he lost the primary. His supporter however continued to demonize HRC and stayed home or voted for a third party. Enough to flip 79,316 voters? Strong probability. While Bernie emerges blameless, those that didn’t see the real battle lines and “protest voted” deserve blame.
Blame - 10%
Jill Stein (Green Party Candidate for President) and her Supporters
What was she supposed to do? Stand down in swing states? Is that really reasonable to ask? Did the number of people who voted for her exceed what HRC lost by in those three states. Yes. Thus if Jill Stein voters had voted HRC, HRC becomes President (pretty fair to assume they would vote for HRC over Trump, same can’t be said for Gary Johnson voters). Her supporters in those states, I am sure, would love a do-over.
Blame - 5%
FBI Director James Comey
By all accounts Director Comey is a dedicated public servant who did his job to the letter of the law. Did his re-opening of the case against HRC in the last weeks of the campaign influence enough to flip the 79,316? Tough to say, but if it did, does Director Comey deserve blame? No; he was doing his job.
Blame - 0%
Former Congressman Anthony Wiener
It shocks me how little blame gets laid at the feet of this man (and yes I used laid there on purpose). If he hadn’t sexted, Director Comey would not reopen the investigation into HRC. It was the September 2016 report in the Daily Mail documenting his relationship with a 15 year old that led to discovery of another laptop that may have “Clinton Emails”. It turned out to be nothing, but it held the headlines for the last few weeks of the election. Again does the reemergence of that story cause a flip of our 79,316? Tough to say, but it is a strong possibility. And it is all clearly blame that Congressman Wiener deserves.
Blame - 30%
Without The Apprentice would Trump be President? Very tough to say, but he became a cultural icon due to this show. Clearly Burnett didn't flip the 79,316 but without him feeding into our cultural obsession with wealth, conflict and fame, could Trump have emerged down the escalator at Trump Tower and onto the front cover? Would Trump just have been the 2016 version of Herman Cain? Unknown, but Burnett did create Trump, and, according to some who believe there are tapes of Trump continuing his Access Hollywood behavior that Burnett won’t release, protected him.
Blame - 5%
The Russian Government
Did their troll farms influence enough people that would have flipped our 79,316? Given the exposure they reached on Facebook and Twitter we do have another strong possibility of direct impact. Whether their intent was to elect Trump or just encourage discord between Americans, is of course unclear. What seems clear is their reach of “Fake News” drove a lot of behavior (like the guy who tried to free the children HRC was abusing in a pizza parlor basement).
Blame - 30%
If we are looking to blame the Wiener, the Russians and the Team (HRC’s Campaign team) are my vote. You also have to give credit where credit is due, and that is to Trump (not really his team). Trump tapped into an anger felt by many Americans and told them he could fix it. I truly hope he does.
Who do you blame?