Hulk Hogan once said that making mistakes is like flying a plane. You can make all kinds of little mistakes and still find a way to right everything, but you can only make one or two big mistakes before you tailspin and lose control. Hillary surely made all kinds of little mistakes, such is politics in a 24-7 social media reality circus in cyberspace. Her two biggest mistakes…the two mistakes that historians will point at to define her political failure…were her early September appearances and her premature attack on Trump for not conceding.
Meme-Master (and Dilbert cartoonist) Scott Adams identified Hillary Clinton passing out at the 9-11 ceremony as being the turning point of the election. His claim was that the optics and timing of that type of physical gaffe made it too memorable, and thus too damaging. Technically, he is right…Trump surged in the polls for the rest of the election. But there’s a bit more to it that Adams hasn’t quite excavated. Firstly, there’s the awful bit of damage control by the media. They couldn’t ignore the story, but they sure as hell struggled to find ways to smooth it over. It wasn’t smoothable, and Hillary’s critics had a field day.
But then there’s the context. Hillary had previously attacked her hard right critics at InfoWars and Breitbart for raising questions about her health. Whether or not you agree that Hillary’s health was a valid issue, it is obvious to everyone that attacking her critics AND THEN passing out shows that she had been baited. It’s a total lack of political savvy. Plus she ditched her press corps. And who could forget that she was fighting off a hailstorm of criticism for referring to Trump supporters as “Deplorables” at a private function just a couple nights prior? This was also unsmoothable for the media. Bozo campaign manager Robbie Mook was even forced to backtrack and say that Hillary had actually been sick for days and the campaign had basically been lying. In other words, Hillary had been sick while attacking her critics for calling her sick. It’s all one big fat mistake, and it really turned people off.
Fatal mistake number two is attacking Donald Trump prematurely over him bemusing whether or not he would concede the election. Again, this is Hillary demonstrating a complete lack of political savvy, made all the more absurd since Al Gore appeared on the campaign trail with her. Perhaps Trump was already confident of victory in the battleground states, but it was a hell of a gamble. We’ll never know how it would have played out if he had actually lost, but the gamble paid off with a high-stakes win. Political opponent and Democratic Party champion Hillary Clinton is utterly humiliated, especially since Hillary Clinton conceded on the phone to Trump at the same time that John Podesta lied to everyone at the Javitz Center (not to mention the millions watching around the world). It was a spectacular way for Hillary’s painful campaign to give us the crash-and-burn catharsis we all desperately craved. For those that wanted Hillary to win, they felt they had reason to cry, feel cheated, whatever. But for Trump supporters…NIRVANA.
While the blame for the premature attack on Trump’s refusal to concede ultimately belongs to Hillary, I believe there is some serious blame to be shared by the media. This is why I keep saying the Democrats need to abandon the media and deem them “fake news”. Just like the case with the media hurting the Democrats by airing/printing ridiculously absurd damage control for Hillary’s 9-11 collapse, the media also significantly hurt Hillary and down-ballot Democrats by incessantly likewise attacking Trump prematurely for not conceding. THIS IS WHY THE DEMOCRATS AND HILLARY LOST. Hillary LOST all her soft-support and potential first-time voters (as well as complacent Democrats…basically anyone that turned out to be a no-show at the polls) because they figured Hillary had already won. The media certainly piled on enough as though she had already won, even predicting a landslide margin that Trump would evilly refuse to accept on election night. It made her constituency complacent despite Al Gore, Bernie Sanders, and Joe Biden BEGGING small crowds of people not to stage a protest vote. Hypocrite, thy name is Bernie.
Contrarywise, this energized Trump’s constituency. Trump supporters would have done the backstroke through molten lava to vote for him. They felt they had to convince others of SOME element of Clintonian hypocrisy, the scandals, and what have you. It all got swirled up in conservative media, 4-chan, Reddit, and a surge in independent youtubers (Styxhexenhammer666 is the best). There was plenty of material to keep Trump supporters energized. You could see the energy in his rallies, which at times tend to resemble Triple H promos from Monday Night Raw. It’s awesome. Even a partisan Democrat has to look at a Trump rally and say “Gee, the Democrats have NOBODY that is doing that.” Shame on the media for likewise taking Trump’s bait, but ultimately the failure is on Hillary. Note to Democrats: What has the media done for you lately?
There you have it. Two fatal mistakes. All those little things probably could have been rectified. Bill Clinton calling Obamacare “The craziest thing in the world”, Wikileaks, coughing up a lung at a speech in Cleveland, StoneTear, and whatever else. All those landmines are navigable. But passing out on 9-11 and the Pandora’s Box it opened, as well as the premature attack on Trump, tipped the scales the hardest. Those types of mistakes are the worst kind, because they are completely controllable. If she wasn’t feeling well, her staff should have been much better about getting her prepared for such an important television appearance. Maybe skip it altogether, figure a way to avoid owning up to it. The premature Trump-concession attack was also very much controllable. It was an arrogant mistake. And thus, the campaign known as the Hillary Hindenburg lit up the sky with a fiery explosion for the ages…