I’m writing this while it looks like Donald Trump will win the Presidency, barring an incredible last minute turnaround. The immediate reaction of much of Democratic/Pro-Hillary cable news, Facebook and Twitter, has been to either blame third party voters, or blame those who didn’t vote due to lack of enthusiasm a la 2000, the Bush/Nader/Gore election. This is wrong. Donald Trump’s rise to power in the United States was caused, in large part, by the failure of the Democratic Party to listen to its constituents.
The argument against voting third-party, as laid out by hard-core Hillary fans and presented in the pages of this magazine, generally stated that any vote not for Hillary was a vote for Trump and/or fascism. The underlying logic of this is of course, that any “non-crazy” (i.e. non-racist, non-sexist, etc) person owed their vote to Clinton. That is, as every person from kindergarten on up knows, not how Democracy works. Politicians, and the political parties they belong too, have to earn the votes of their potential constituents. And the Democrats, acting as if they were owed “their" votes, did not earn the votes of the people.
The list of ways in which the Democratic Party failed, and has been failing, their constituents is a long and depressing one. It is a list that spans years. The most recent failures, however, are the topic of this work. The Democratic leadership, in the this particular case represented by the DNC, promoted, corroborated with, and defended to the death, one of the least liked Presidential candidates in modern political history. And they insisted it would work, even in the face of massive amounts of evidence that Bernie Sanders would have been a better candidate in the general election and was generating far more amounts of enthusiasm than Clinton ever did.
It obviously did not work.
The Democratic Party, now represented by Clinton and her team, continued to keep failing, post-nomination. Clintonites, instead of embracing working class voters and interests almost entirely dismissed them in favor of the twin pronged strategy of courting Republican elites and financial leaders. By writing off poor and working class whites as “deplorable” or “unreachable” instead of trying to excite them, Clinton betrayed-one of the stronger traditional Democratic groups, and it came back to bite her. The Democrats line of vote for Clinton to get four more years of Obama, did not ring well for the millions of people that have been negatively affected by the neoliberal, pro-business policies of our current President.
The same is true for the African-American vote which looks to be way down for Clinton vs. Obama. It seems that more and more African-Americans are starting to look for more concrete actions from Democrats in terms of fixing the civil rights problems facing this nation and not getting them. Activists such as Killer Mike and many members of the Black Lives Matter community have often been decidedly anti-Clinton and anti-Democrat because of this lack of support for many of their causes.
So when/if we have President Trump starting in February and you want to blame your friend in FL who voted for Stein or whatever, just remember that it is not their fault. It is the Democrats' fault. And they are more likely than not to repeat their same mistakes in the next election. Most organizations/people in power find it impossible to blame themselves when bad things happen, even if it is their fault. So join a different party, like the Democratic Socialists of America, and start speaking up and working for your political goals. Do not just acquiesce to the whims of the Democratic Party at every turn. It’s their job to get you to vote for them. You don’t owe anyone your vote.