Sunday, February 11, 2018


At first her book was to be avoided.  It was too self-serving.  However as time marches on some commentators have praised her for her astute political observations.  I have blogged about her before and believe she has been a target of unfair vicious criticism.  Far from perfect, but one must realize it takes a strong personal drive to weather the many obstacles to the presidency.

The political process is structured, yet for most of us it is full of mystery.  She helps unravel some of it.  There was no one factor that did her in, but more a series of factors that chipped away at what was once a formidable lead.  She freely admits she has her share of flaws and in some cases itemizes her mistakes.

One thinks of America as one of the most free countries in the world, yet it falters in comparison  to many others regarding its treatment of women. Part seems to be the evangelical elements that feel strongly that a women's role is in the home.  Bill Clinton lost his first attempt to be Governor of Arkansas and some attributed it to Hillary maintaining her maiden name.  For his next and successful attempt she added Clinton to her name.  To many she seemed an uppity woman and was constantly criticized.

Press coverage seemed  to emphasize negatives, particularly the email "scandal" that really wasn't.  lt should have been a minor concern considering how many Republicans had a poor history in this area including George W Bush, Mitt Romney, even Mike Pence.  Donald Trump truly had some outstanding scandals.  Trump University and his Atlantic City fiasco really showed what he thought of the common working man.  What he thought of women was captured for all to hear and he still faces accusations of over a dozen women.

Bernie Sanders was my preferred candidate, but I can appreciate that he was not as practical as Hillary.  I preferred his plans on the Israeli Palestinian conflict where most American politicians are biased.  It seemed rigged against Bernie as if  Hillary was pre ordained.  Bernie who did draw large crowds still needed the public to get more familiar with him.  He did not get the coverage that other established candidates did.  Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were well known personalities. Although Bernie did what he could to boost Hillary after he lost to her it seems likely there was some resentment that caused some to look for a third candidate, not vote at all or even vote for the Republicans.

A lot of issues raised about the unfairness of the process which I agree with.  How can the Republicans screw people and make it seem like the Democrats did it?  George Lakoff has in my opinion a more robust way of dealing with the Republicans.  I can only imagine there must be some personal animus against him as his ideas are not controversial or difficult.  The only reference to him in the book is a sexist remark he once made.  Get more perspective at:

Conservatives realize their true agenda has little appeal to most voters.  For many the election is about one issue--abortion, or it might be acceptance (or not) of homosexuals, or it might be gun rights.  The National Rifle Association ganged up on Hillary stating that she planned to replace Second Amendment rights which was false, but scary to many.

After the book was published in September of 2017 we learn something almost every day how the Russians meddled in the election.  Donald Trump has a long history of dealing with Russians and his one attempt to alter the Republican platform was to diminish sanctions against the Russians.  Maybe he really thought that was the way to peace and was just overly sensitive that he didn't win the election on his own merits, but that stretches credibility.  The Russians helped dig up dirt or at least what could be spun as dirt, amplified false information and targeted information where it would have the most impact.  When Obama wanted to alert the American public to Russian meddling, Mitch McConnell threatened to sabotage the effort.

Hillary studied early voting states vs one day only voting plus polls to prove what a devastating effect Comey's press conference had.  All the polls had her winning right up until his announcement that further investigation was about to be conducted.  Those who voted early voted for her while those who voted later steered towards Trump or third party candidates.  Trump's campaign was being investigated, but that was not publicized.  Although Trump is accusing the F.B.I. of favoring Democrats, the truth appears the opposite.

The Electoral College presents a challenge.  You don't have to get the most votes, but get the most electoral votes.  By itself this distorts all campaigns, but everyone has the same rules.  Hillary argues that she did put in an honest effort (based on poll results) in the three states, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that made the difference.  In each of the states a third party candidate drew enough votes to allow Donald Trump to win.

Voter suppression was another very significant factor.  Voting rights were loosened in 2013 with the John Roberts led Supreme Court.  14 states added restrictions including not only new identification requirements, but also cutting early voting days.  In the states with new voting restrictions turnout decreased by 1.7%,whereas in other states turnout actually increased by 1.3%.

Although issues were significant Hillary notes that the best predictor of a Trump voter was someone who resented Mexicans, blacks or Muslims.  She was thinking of that when she said her infamous statement about "deplorables." She admits that others who favored some Republican policies but did not see themselves as bigots were resentful.  Still she admits it hurts that people preferred to vote for Trump or seek a third party alternative.  After all he has a history of racism, misogyny, that was well known.  So if voters didn't sympathize with Trump's views they at least accepted them.

Hillary's book doesn't tell the whole story, but voters would be foolish not to recognize the many truths.  She doesn't spare herself.  I am glad I overcame my initial reluctance to read the book. America is stuck with a very bad decision and although not enough realize it, things will have to change if America is to be the country that used to be respected and admired by most of the world. She tried to have serious discussions on policies while Trump was more comfortable with hyperbole, insults, and even threats.

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