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Op-Ed: Donald Trump Didn’t Win the Election; Hillary Clinton Lost

Brandon Wagenfeld, Blueprint Staff

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Today, Donald J. Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. How did we get here?

Some, especially supporters of Trump himself might say that he was simply more popular. That wasn’t necessarily true given that he had a higher unfavorability percentage than Clinton for most of the race, and, as many people upset with the outcome have said, she did win the popular vote. Supporters of Clinton often place the blame on FBI Director James Comey or Democratic primary rival Bernie Sanders.

As someone who supported neither candidate during the primary and general election, I believe that neither are correct. The blame should be placed on Hillary Clinton.

From the minute Clinton announced she was running, she had the support of the majority of the Democratic Party. She also had the support of major news networks (though they would obviously deny it) such as MSNBC, CNN, and NBC. In addition, she also had the support of many labor unions and progressive organizations despite not actually being a progressive herself.

Despite these advantages, Hillary Clinton chose not to utilize them. She believed from the start that she would win and this arrogance cost her the election. The Democrats as a party have ignored their constituents for too long because they think that it’s a given that they’ll receive their vote. They claim to work in the people’s best interests, but then proceed to turn their back once they get a vote. They rely on identity politics and preach political correctness, ignoring the issues that people truly care about. This is why people voted for Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton.

If you lost your job because globalization, you probably don’t care as much about electing the first woman president as you do getting your job back. In this past general election, there was one candidate who spoke to the people about problems that mattered: Donald Trump. While I personally disagreed with a large portion of his views and I did not believe he was truly sincere (and I refused to support him accordingly), many people did.

 To his credit, though, Trump came to parts of the country that other candidates would typically ignore because it was too “blue” or “red.” On November 6, just two days before the election, he came to Minnesota, which hasn’t voted Republican since 1972, and spoke about issues that mattered to Minnesotans.

Despite not supporting him, I attended his rally out of pure curiosity and I happened to speak to several people who supported him. They were not “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic” deplorable people as Hillary Clinton described in one of her many speeches to her rich donors (another reason why people disliked her). They were very nice and accepting people who were excited that there was a candidate that was finally reaching out to them and discussing their problems, problems often caused Democrats themselves (See: NAFTA).

During his speech, Trump talked about how people in the media were criticizing him for speaking in states that he had no chance of winning: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania. He said that he believed that he could win those states, but it would take a “miracle.” Rallying his supporters, he was able to win three of those four states (and coming within roughly 1.5% in Minnesota!), knocking down the so-called “Democratic firewall.”

He also mentioned the fact that Hillary Clinton was “resting up for the election” instead of talking to the people. While this might not have been the exact case, it was true that Clinton didn’t do many rallies in “solid blue states.”

Despite having a nearly unrestricted platform on which she could communicate with the American people, she was still reluctant to do anything that wasn’t directly beneficial to her monetarily or even politically. Instead of speaking to the American people, she spoke to rich Wall Street donors. She did this all the way up to Election Day. Where did she expect this to get her in terms of popularity?

Regardless of what she was expecting, her loss proves the fact that when you ignore your constituents, they don’t want to vote for you. Clinton lost because voter turnout was low in many of the key states that tipped the election in Trump’s favor. In Iowa, Wisconsin, and Ohio, all of which Obama won in 2008 and 2012, but Clinton lost in 2016, voter turnout was down 1.3%, 3%, and 4% from the previous election, respectively.

So, to sum it all up, Hillary Clinton’s arrogance and greed, as well as her refusal to actually try to appeal to people cost her the election, not James Comey, Bernie Sanders, or anyone else her campaign has tried to blame.

P.S. Bernie would’ve won.

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Op-Ed: Donald Trump Didn’t Win the Election; Hillary Clinton Lost