Ok the first thing I’m NOT going to do is apologize for my support of Hillary Clinton, which began well before Larry David… er, Bernie Sanders… entered the race, and despite my campaigning hard against her in 2008 while supporting Barack Obama in the Democratic Primary in Pennsylvania (for the record, she wiped the floor with him in that primary, winning by hefty double-digits). I love Barack Obama — hell, I love ALL the Obamas. Even the Republicans admitted that if he ran for a third term it would be a blow out victory. And yet somehow Hillary, his elder disciple and a woman he campaigned for in a full-throated roar, a woman who was going to continue and improve upon his legacy, lost the state of Pennsylvania and numerous other supposedly Blue States. Hillary had a statistical lead on Trump, both nationally and in terms of electoral votes, every single painful day up until Election Day when she got blown out by a dangerous but far from unprecedented mix of angry white people and apathetic young people.
Look, I was wrong. There’s no two ways about it. Six months ago I thought Hillary would win by double digits against Trump. As recently as a couple weeks ago I thought she’d win by 5-7 percentage points. Even after the fake-FBI-email-scandal, it looked like she would have enough of an electoral vote firewall to hold off the millions of people who were voting AGAINST her, as opposed to FOR Trump, and this turned out to be the difference. The Hillary camp, including me, thought that the no-votes or protest votes would weigh in against Trump — a combination of women, minorities, and youth who would be so scared of a Trump presidency that they’d swallow their own vomit and vote for the hated Hillary Clinton.
Which brings me to why this mea culpa is only a “sort of” mea culpa. My prediction of her victory was technically wrong — I mean let’s be honest, she WON THE FUCKING ELECTION by total votes; how insane is it that in the last 16 years the Republicans won TWO elections (2000, 2016) in which they lost the popular vote. But my confidence in a blowout or even a convincing victory was way off the mark. Y’all have probably read a million articles in the past week about WHY exactly this happened, so I’m going to keep this a personal narrative for the most part.
I was not at all shocked that a black man would win a presidency before a woman, and I continue not to be shocked that inferior men regularly defeat superior women. What I’m about to say is going to offend some people, but I’ve talked to TONS of women of all generations and backgrounds who have verified this phenomenon by women that THEY know and have talked to (I think every single one of my close friends voted for Hillary, despite the fact that most of them supported Bernie in the primaries, and for that I am eternally grateful to them). So here it is: Sexism is so ingrained in our psyches that both men and women, overall, tend to trust men over women in positions of great authority and executive power. Can you believe that only 13% – THIRTEEN PERCENT! – of the Forbes 400 wealthiest people are women. Actually, yes, we can believe it. That’s the problem. Women are given almost no opportunities to become CEOs, and they are regularly mistreated or abused in various ways in the workplace. Oh and you can forget about that “Equal Pay For Equal Work” thing, at least for the next four years.
I understand that Hillary was a flawed candidate. But as a Jew, you learn at a young age to decipher what they call “coded anti-Semitism.” It’s the same thing for racism in general — not just the N-word but the daily slights and insinuations of inferiority or worse. And I can’t tell you how many Democrats and other liberals — including women — whose rationales for not voting for Hillary was simply coded sexism.
I’m not saying no female candidate could have won this election, but the fake email controversy, the fake Benghazi controversy, and the (in my opinion) bullshit scathing criticism about her cuddling up with corporations WHEN SHE’S RUNNING AGAINST A CORPORATE ROBBER BARON all smell to high hell of, well, bullshit.
I have too much to say about this, and am still processing, so consider this an opening barrage. I was wrong that Hillary would win, but I stand by her as a candidate with heart, substance, motivation, and most of all, empathy. I’d vote for her again tomorrow.