If anyone wants to blame women for Trump’s win, they ought to start with Hillary Clinton. – Washington Post
The Outrage Machine is a regular opinion column by voices from the left and right on Washington and politics.
The other night my 3-year old son brought me a bedtime story to read him, “Woodrow for President.” It was a fictional book I picked up from the Senate gift shop about a big-hearted, charitable, respectable mouse who ran for and became president.
The sweet, innocent tale was designed to teach children all the right lessons about the electoral process and how a candidate should be gracious and grateful for the opportunity to serve. As I read it, tears welled in my eyes. As dearly as I wanted to tell my son this is how presidents campaign and win, that was not the case in 2016.
In many ways, now-President-elect Trump’s candidacy hinged on sex, lies, and videotape. The last time I wrote for the Washington Post, I was certain Trump’s disgusting behavior toward women would disqualify him from claiming the highest office in the land. I was wrong. Trump won white women by 53 percent, prompting many progressives to accuse them of being traitors to their gender.
“White women sold out the sisterhood and the world by voting for Trump,” one Slate headline read. A former communications director for the Clinton campaign recently told MSNBC that “internalized misogyny” led white women to support Trump.
Should progressives really want to find out the reason Clinton lost, however, it will require them to crawl out of their safe spaces and realize this is the sort of senseless liberal blame-shifting that tempts even members of #NeverTrump to don a “Make America Great Again” hat.
If anyone wants to blame women for Clinton’s loss, they ought to start with Hillary Clinton.
Clinton repeatedly misled the public about the circumstances of her off-the-books email system and became the first candidate in history to be under FBI investigation while campaigning to be president. That’s her fault.
Clinton, essentially, positioned herself as the anointed inheritor of President Obama’s third term instead of crafting her own identity in an obviously anti-establishment year. She ran on all the policies Republicans opposed in previous elections that led the GOP to win record numbers of state legislative chambers, governors’ races, as well as control of Congress. That’s her fault.
Clinton never stepped foot in the state of Wisconsin, even though it’s home state to the Republican national committee chairman, the well-liked GOP speaker of the House, and a governor who beat the labor unions in a terribly contentious right-to-work battle. According to NBC News, Trump spent 50 percent more time in battleground states in the last 100 days of the election. That’s her fault.
She ran a misguided campaign and its list of miscalculations, both macro and micro, is long. Don’t say Clinton was disadvantaged because she was a woman because as a Clinton she had every advantage possible. She had money, the staff, the ads, and institutional support needed for a successful run. And, she still blew it, folks.
Instead of blindly blaming women, Democrats should ask themselves what they did to make Clinton more competitive.
While both candidates and their campaigns were flawed, there is a gaping difference between the way they are discussed by Republicans versus Democrats.
Many Republicans, like me, spoke out consistently and repeatedly about our candidate’s flaws, using our public platforms to challenge the party to be better. I can’t say the same for the Democrats.