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View From The Voice: Hillary plays the blame game in new book

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     The eight months of headlines, dysfunction and controversy surrounding the Trump Administration has done just enough to make the nation forget about the mess that was the 2016 election. However, Hillary Clinton, playing the role of the parent who will not let that one mistake you made once go, is bringing the election back into the political discourse of the country.

     Last week the former democratic candidate released her memoir titled “What Happened” that retells the 2016 election from her perspective, highlighting what she believes were the factors that contributed to her loss. While she does take some of the blame, she projects the majority of it on people such as Bernie Sanders, former FBI director James Comey and just about everyone else you could possibly imagine.

     Clinton does deserve some credit for owning up to the loss, as she does voice her regrets for referring to Trump voters as “a basket of deplorables” and her remarks about how her policies would put coal workers out of jobs. She even admits to the fact that while Trump was using unconventional conventions and taking a more grassroots approach to campaigning, she was focused more on how she would govern.

     Along with these reasons, Clinton also touches on a few more things that she could have done better, and that is good. However, she begins to go south when she shifts the blame to others.

     One of the players in the election that receives a large chunk of blame from Clinton is her former democratic primary opponent, Bernie Sanders. In the book, Clinton claims that, “His attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump’s ‘Crooked Hillary’ campaign.” She also believes that Sanders’ wide-sweeping promises of universal healthcare, free college and his extended role in the political race led to her demise as well.

     While this may be true, Clinton cannot place the blame on Sanders for this, as it ultimately comes back to her. Sanders was able to come up with a message that a large population of the electorate, millennials, could relate to. He promoted an anti-establishment, anti-Washington platform that attracted a large enough base that was able to shake up the Democratic Party. Clinton, on the other hand, was viewed as the established Washington politician that she is, and was unable to connect with young voters the way Sanders was.

     Another name that appears in Clinton’s blame-game is Vladmir Putin and the Russian government’s meddling in the election process. This factor brought up by the former secretary of state is a more realistic one, as the FBI has confirmed that the Russian government had in fact interfered in the election through leaking DNC emails, social media campaigns and other methods.

     At this point all we know is that Russia did in fact interfere in the election in some way, but there is still no proof that they directly colluded with the Trump campaign in order to shift the election. It clearly was not enough to give Trump the edge.

     The former FBI director, James Comey, also receives a large amount of blame from Clinton for her downfall. In her memoir, she writes, “If not for the dramatic intervention of the FBI director in the final days we would have won the White House.”

     Clinton has been on record many times placing a large amount of blame on Comey, as he re-opened the investigation of her email server that was linked to the Benghazi scandal just a week before the election. She believes that this was done to play to a Republican audience and took attention away from Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape.

     The downfall of this argument is Clinton’s blatant downplaying of her email scandal and her disconnect with the electorate on just how much of an issue it really was. She refers to the use of the server as a “dumb mistake” and the resulting scandal as “even dumber,” but that is not what it was at all viewed as by the American people.

     The list of people and groups Clinton blames goes on, including the likes of Barack Obama, the DNC and the media; but the main source of blame can only be herself.

     What she fails to address in her book is the fact that, while she did win the popular vote, she was unable to connect to a large portion of the country that were tired of establishment politics. She often came off as cold and robotic in speeches, unlike Obama, and failed to campaign in places like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania: places that Obama was able to capture and keep blue.

     As the first woman to come close to the presidency in America, Hillary Clinton can be viewed as a role model for the girls of our country. She was able to be quite successful in a game that, for a large period of time, was seen solely as a man’s game. She should be praised for her decades of public service, as well as her dedication to making the country a better place. But in the end, the blame-game that she plays in her memoir is not a good example to set for the young women that look up to her in this country, as this is no way to show them how to lose gracefully.

~ The Voice

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View From The Voice: Hillary plays the blame game in new book