WASHINGTON, December 24, 2016 — The Democrats lost the November elections, and they lost them big. In 2017, the country will have a Republican president and the Republicans will have a majority in the House of Representatives and the Senate. In addition, 33 states have Republican governors and Republicans control 69 of the 99 state legislative chambers.
Democrats blame their losses on a variety of outside influences. But the truth is that their message did not appeal to most Americans. Democrats dispute that, noting Hillary Clinton received a plurality of the vote for president, accumulating nearly 3 million more votes than President-elect Donald Trump. But a plurality is still a minority of voters, and millions more did not vote at all.
The Democrats’ first reaction was to dispute the legitimacy of the electoral college. This was peddling a losing narrative. We are the United States of America, and each state is given a voice. This prevents any large population areas like California, New York and Illinois from exerting undue influence on the election.
The logic of the electoral college is like the make-up of the Senate, where each state has exactly two votes. States like Delaware, Hawaii and Rhode Island have the same voice as states like California, New York and Illinois. The House of Representatives apportions votes based on population, but the Senate, like the electoral college, maintains a state-centered focus.
Democrats aren’t buying that.
They claimed instead that the actions of FBI director James Comey caused their losses. The reality is that Comey didn’t kill Clinton’s run for the presidency. She was clearly negligent in her handling of classified information. And negligence with classified information is a crime.
Democrats claim that Comey’s letter to Congress just a week before the election changed the momentum and caused Clinton’s loss. They cite changing poll numbers to prove their point. But the polls were not accurate prior to the election, so there is really no way of knowing whether Comey’s actions did influence the election results. And Democrats’ own polling gave Clinton the win going into the election.
Clinton’s negligent handling of top secret information and her subsequent stonewalling caused her problem. Her supporters dismiss the fact that as secretary of state, Clinton willfully used a server that was not protected by the federal government, thereby putting national security at risk.
Democrats are now pushing Russian interference as the current favored reason they lost the election, claiming that the the Russians Hoovered information from DNC and campaign servers alike, even though the servers involved were allegedly complete safe. Then, Clinton supporters claim, the Russians dumped that information to the public via Wikileaks in order to hurt her campaign.
It is difficult to tell exactly how much influence the Russians had in all this if indeed they had any impact on the elections at all. But the emails released by Wikileaks showed that the Democrats tried to influence the election by making it nearly impossible for Bernie Sanders to win the primary. These emails also showed that Democratic supporters in the media tried to influence the Presidential debates with Donald Trump by providing Clinton with the questions to be asked prior to the debates and even asking the Clinton camp for suggestions as to which questions to ask Trump.
While the jury is still out with regard to what extent, if any, the Russians had on the election, the Democrats adopted a position that effectively endorsed the tactic of “shoot the messenger and ignore the message,” a position rejected by the American public.
In fact, in November, the American public resoundingly rejected the Democrats’ entire message. For the last eight years, that message was to focus Washington policy on curing perceived social injustices and helping the bottom 15 percent of income earners, while ignoring the severe and ongoing problems facing the rest of the population. For instance, the Affordable Care Act helped up to 20 million people buy health insurance, but more than 200 million Americans suffered from that income redistribution by paying often dramatically higher premiums and higher deductibles. At the same time, they experienced the loss of the longtime personal physicians President Obama had promised them they could keep, as well as a general decline in the quality of health care throughout the country.
Democrats and the President also pushed a “turn the other cheek” foreign policy. This yielded epic failures in the Middle Eastern countries of Iraq, Iran and Syria and caused serious and continuing problems throughout the region. Just this week, the Obama administration failed to protect Israel—our only ally in that part of the world and the only Democracy in the Middle East—by failing to veto a UN resolution that is clearly harmful to Israel.
Obama has said that he will stay in Washington to promote the Democrats’ agenda and to find new talent for the Party. He says he will call out Trump when he sees fit to do so and will continue to promote the Democrat’s message.
But the Democrats need to change their message if they want to win back the support of the American people. By this time next year—when President Trump’s policies have ignited a high growth economy, a true reduction in government spending, a reduction in taxes for all Americans, more opportunity for everyone and a new worldwide respect for America—the Democrats may finally get the message that their economic, social, political and international agenda is simply wrong for the majority of Americans.
*Cartoon by Branco. Reproduced with permission and by arrangement with LegalInsurrection.