Hillary: I’m Not Donald Trump, Dammit!
Trump can win this election. If he does, it will be because of Hillary’s steadfast refusal to take principled stands on any issue.
September 30, 2016
The dynamics of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election have gotten pretty weird. As we move toward the election, Donald Trump is saying what’s on his mind, while Hillary Clinton is using a political playbook that is long past its “sell by” date.
The demographics are clear on how the overall electorate will split. Women for Hillary; Men for Trump. Educated for Hillary; Less educated for Trump. Blacks and Latinos for Hillary; Whites for Trump.
As expected, both candidates have gathered their bases. A recent ABC poll puts Trump’s support among Republicans at 87%. The same poll puts Hillary’s support among Democrats at around 84%.
Trump however has mobilized his base around key issues, such as immigration, terrorism and trade.
Hillary, on the other hand, has failed to mobilize her base around anything other than the fact that she is not Donald Trump. This contrast may well determine the outcome of the election.
Hillary stands for nothing
The bottom line is that Hillary seems to stand for nothing, except her opposition to Donald Trump. Yes, she has been for children all her career. But then the question comes up, “Who is against children?” Sure, she is for all children — black, white, hispanic.
But who really cares about that level of detail. You can’t mobilize an electorate around an issue like that unless Charles Dickens is the campaign manager for the opposition.
Sure, taking care of the kids is important, but that is not where the U.S. electorate’s head is at. It is around the issues where Trump is taking a stand.
Neither Hillary nor her surrogates are prepared to make a convincing argument for a principled stand on any of Trump’s key issues.
Take trade, for example. Hillary has been foursquare behind free trade all her life. Not so much any more!
Undermining her credibility
Pressed on trade issues first by Bernie Sanders and now by Trump, she ran and hid, abandoning all of the good reasons for an expansive trade policy along the way — and forfeiting her own credibility along the way too.
She has not uttered a word about how a rejection of free trade would send the cost of manufactured goods here in the US skyrocketing, about how it would plunge key emerging markets into recession, possibly provoking a meltdown in the world economic order.
Moreover, she has not spoken about how U.S. exports account for almost more than 11 million U.S. jobs that would just disappear overnight and plunge the U.S. economy into a grinding recession.
Instead, she has turned against the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), refuting her very own words, by saying that she never called TPP the gold standard of trade agreements. This is the kind of Clintonian “meaning of is” lie that so consistently undermines her credibility.
Failing to get real on immigration
On immigration, she fails to define an effective way forward. She fails to mention that by closing down immigration at America’s porous borders, ports and airports, while at the same time providing an immediate path to citizenship, illegal immigrants would be placed on a par with Americans.
Employers would be required to pay them the same wage and same benefits as American citizens, eliminating their workplace cost advantage. They would be able to come out of the shadows and work with law enforcement to curtail crime.
And, if they were given the opportunity to learn English, they would be able to integrate into American society and culture, just as German, Irish, Italian and Jewish immigrants have done.
Instead, Hillary hides behind her own wonkiness, as if her practical obfuscations on policy will be enough to motivate an already complacent electorate.
Solving terrorism in debate prep
On terrorism, Hillary has a plan. It is solid, sound and nuanced. It reflects the status quo — the self-same approach that has created the problem in the first place.
It is as if Hillary believes that she can do in debate prep what the entire U.S. defense establishment has been unable to do in real time.
Trump, on the other hand, doesn’t have a plan. Instead, he has an attitude and his attitude is aggressive. It is aggressive in a way that most Americans, including much of the defense establishment, can understand.
With each passing day, more and more people come to realize that the only reason to vote for Hillary is because she is not Donald Trump. Sure she’s not racist. Nor is she bigoted, misogynistic or jingoistic as Trump is.
But is that enough to win, when a large swath of the electorate seems to share Trump’s hopelessly compromised values?
Pointing out superficial flaws?
Hillary may understand the racist content of Trump’s comments about inner city crime. But when people read about murders in Chicago, gangs in South Central and high visibility crimes being committed day after day throughout the African-American community, they see what appears to be a self-evident truth.
Calling Trump a racist does nothing to change people’s minds. On the contrary, it makes people dig in their heels in defense of racism.
By the same token, Hillary may see Trump’s comments about an overweight beauty queen as misogynistic, but people somehow get the idea that if Miss Universe gains significant amounts of weight, it undermines the Miss Universe franchise itself.
The fact is that most people prefer their beauty queens lean and fit. The misogyny is not found in the beauty queen’s weight, it is found in Trump’s leadership of the beauty pageant itself, which may be the single most obvious manifestation of sexism there is.
Engaging in beauty queen politics
Hillary’s attacks point out obvious flaws in Trump’s character. But they are superficial. Why doesn’t Hillary highlight Trump’s stand on the environment and global warming, which he called a Chinese plot?
Why doesn’t she talk about Trump’s likely candidates for the Supreme Court, which would circumscribe human rights in this country for decades to come?
Why doesn’t Hillary talk about Trump’s position on guns, which would turn the United States into a wild west show? The fact is that Hillary squanders the passion of one key Democratic constituency after another?
Trump could win
Hillary, her advisors and supporters all tend toward smugness. In their superficial pat-ourselves-on-the-back mindset, all she has to do is attack Trump and tout her record on children.
That may not cut it on election day, when members of key constituencies may either stay home or vote for a third party candidate.
The sad truth is that Trump can win this election. And, if he does, it will be because of Hillary’s steadfast refusal to take principled stands on any issue, except when it comes to overweight beauty queens.
Hillary has failed to mobilize her base around anything other than the fact that she isn't Trump.
Hillary isn't prepared to make a convincing argument for a principled stand on any of Trump's key issues.
Why doesn’t Hillary bring up how 11 million U.S jobs would disappear overnight if free trade were rejected?
Calling Trump racist doesn’t change people’s minds. It just makes them dig in their heels in defense of racism.
Trump can win this election. And, if he does, it will be because of Hillary's refusal to take stands on any issue.