Over the 52 years and 13 presidential elections I have been eligible to vote, I have never seen such sore losers, and humble winners.
I am disappointed with the disparate responses to the results of the 2016 presidential election. Smug expectations from pollsters and pundits seem to have set a trap for Hillary’s disciples, and set a stage for impetuous, righteous indignation. Rejection, disputation, refutation, spoilsport language, protests, and denial among disgruntled Clinton supporters is “over-the-top,” and “unpresidented.” “He is not my president,” spake Gloria Steinem, Wednesday morning. (Ironically, in the past, she also said, “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”)
Why have Mrs. Clinton’s avid proponents gone off the rails into the deep waters of denial and despair?
I believe the presumption that Hillary Clinton had a commanding lead over Donald Trump was their downfall. Belief in optimistic statistics led to haughty attitudes and supercilious sneers on the faces of Hillary’s fans. The extreme vanity of the oracles’ predictions led to nasty, braggadocios, arrogance. When pride met gravity, the indignity of the pratfall magnified the embarrassment of hubris. The expectations of overwhelming victory were shredded, by the unexpected appearance at the polls of hordes of angry, underserved workers. The ambush of the uncounted, disenfranchised citizens prevailed.
The carefully crafted deception of optimistic unemployment statistics did not fool the people who took discounted wages and lesser jobs over the last eight years. These voters had no voice among Democrats who applauded the “champion of hope” for his rescue of the economy, and restoration of the American Dream. They were not deceived by or grateful for their thinly disguised demotions and the smiling, dismissive, carefully worded denigrations spun by an accommodating media on behalf of the Obama administration.
The scales did not fall from their eyes, because no scales formed as they lost their jobs, houses, cars, and pride. The Affordable Care Act did not replace the healthcare insurance they lost when their employer dropped their health coverage; when they lost their jobs, their hopes were dashed by the failure of the “marketplace” to make personal health insurance and their out-of-pocket costs affordable. Instead, they found themselves ravaged by astronomical premiums, deductibles, copays, and incredible prescription prices. Hospitals and pharmacies raised their nominal, private pay prices to offset the discounts demanded by insurance providers. The uninsured were left with impossible choices.
Promise after promise lay fallow by the roadside. Example after example of the USA borrowing trillions of dollars to pay for the rest of the world’s problems and defense festered, while Americans suffered from the Great Recession. Pact after pact, treaty after treaty left us at disadvantage. Military efforts left us looking weak, as we shrank from conflicts under cover of spin. Former allies spat disparaging invectives on our leaders.
Did Hillary’s followers believe she could pull us out of the ditch of weakness and doubt created these past eight years? Did her apostles think her baggage and prevarications would evaporate by inauguration? No wonder they were blindsided when Trump won.