While it’s true that Millenials not voting for Hillary will negatively impact her chances, as well as independent voters, it is crucial to recognize that this is a prime example of why many worry about Hillary’s ability to “read the room,” as it were, and make the best choices.
In my opinion, Hillary is in danger of losing to Trump whose supporters are so excited and stoked that 95% of them are polled as “absolutely voting.” Hillary doesn’t come close to those numbers. Why is that? It’s pretty simple, really. Trump recognized the immense level of discontent, disenfranchisement, establishment distrust, and need for change that was out there and strategically tapped into it and chose to unequivocally represent those impassioned people, as misguided and dangerous as that was given the direction he chose to rally them.
Bernie Sanders invigorated and rallied a similar base, only this one made up of liberals fighting for liberal and progressive change – with an equally unstoppable level of excitement and need. Only Bernie used a message of inclusiveness and equality instead of instigating hate and bigotry, as Trump did.
Hillary got Bernie to endorse her. Sure, there were always going to be those who would simply never vote for Hillary. But that was always a small percentage. That rallied and excited base – with their chosen candidate now out of the race and endorsing Hillary and asking his constituents to vote for her – were all but ignored and left behind by Hillary the moment Bernie stepped out of the race.
Some will argue – and have – that the “better,” more “practical” strategy was to court the right and the moderates, as Hillary chose to do. Try and get as many Republicans behind her. I hate to say it, but this is exactly the mind-set and the decision-making mistakes that Hillary critics have been critical of for decades. Look at the polls. She is failing. Her choice is failing. Maybe she’ll win – lord, let’s hope so – but she has allowed her candidacy against the most repugnant and reviled presidential candidate in American history, to falter and fall into jeopardy.
Hillary tried to pass herself off as a progressive when Bernie became a serious contender. Most of us with truly progressive beliefs didn’t buy it for a second. But when Hillary changed her tune on core issues and helped forge the new DNC Platform, she got our attention. And our hope. Here was an energized swath of liberals and Independents ready to fight and win. All Hillary had to do was embrace them and most of them would back her. And inspire others to back her. But she did the opposite. She immediately started courting moderates and conservatives, aligned herself with Republicans to gain THEIR vote, and surrounded herself with the beginnings of a moderate/conservative administration while promising to bring her husband on as an economic advisor and publicly praising people like Henry Kissinger and Ronald Reagan.
If Hillary loses, you can blame Millenials and Independents all you want, but the truth lies in the choices Hillary makes. The “practical” strategies she continues to embrace. And years later will most likely apologize for. She figures these things out after the fact. That’s the problem. That’s the dire concern. That’s her track record.
I believe Hillary will be a very problematic president that will set liberalism back instead of pushing it forward. But not nearly as far as Trump will. She needs to win. But we also need to see who she is and acknowledge the choices she makes. She didn’t listen to the voice of the people when they were right there, yelling loudly, energized and looking for a candidate to put that energy behind. She had an opening. She didn’t recognize it for what it was and she walked away from it, even belittled it at times. THAT will be what cost us the election if she loses. Does she still have a chance to gain some of them back, to tap into the energy that still remains? Yes. It will never be what it was, but it could be enough to win her the election. But there’s not much time. So what choice do you make now? Court the progressive base and independents as much as is possible now, or continue courting and praising conservatives?