By Larry Johnson, November 2016, Clovis CA
We Democrats should have known better. We are totally guilty of what Santanna called “Failing to learn the lessons of history”. And to add insult to injury, we choose the wrong person to try and change that history.
Failure One: A History lesson
The core values of the two major political parties in this country have changed dramatically since the Great Depression and the Beginning of World War II. A very good article regarding the history of the various parties control of the Presidency can be found at https://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/its-a-myth-that-a-third-term-for-a-president-of-the-same-party-is-rare/
Facts: In the modern American era beginning in 1933 with FDR we can track the American Presidency as follows:
*Democrats (20 years/5 terms) 1933-1953, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Harry Truman;
Republican (8 Years/2 terms) 1952 General Dwight D. Eisenhower;
Democrats (8 years/2 term) 1960 – 1968 Kennedy and Johnson;
Republican (8 Years/2 Terms) 1968 – 1976 Richard Nixon;
Democrat (4 Years/1 Term) 1976 – 1980 Jimmy Carter;
*Republicans (12 Years/3 terms) 1980-1992 Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush;
Democrat (8 Years/2 Terms) 1992 – 2000 Bill Clinton;
Republican (8 Years/2 Terms) 2000 – 2008 George W Bush;
Democrat (8Years/2 terms) 2008 – 2016 Barack Obama;
Republican (Minimum 4 Years) President Elect Donald Trump.
Overall Presidential control:
Democrats: 48 Years/84 Years/57%
Republicans: 36 Years/84 Years/43%
Conclusion: In the last 84 years (modern era) there has only been two elections (* above) where the party in power has extended its control of the Presidency beyond two terms. There have been a total of 22 Presidential Elections. Therefore there is only a 9% chance of pulling this off in the modern era.
The Democrats knew this fact but were betting on the Historical Event of the nomination of a female candidate to overcome the historical disadvantage of attempting a three term hold on the Presidency. Remember, we had only a 9% (1 in 10) chance of holding the Presidency in 2016.
I believe that Trump knew this and concluded that a Republican had a major advantage due to historical precedent and that focusing on the white population would carry the day as that group still tended to follow historical precedent. Thus his message to attract ALL the resentment of ethnicity and sexual leaning of the country to his cause of white power. Drop some religiosity into the mix and he had a winner!
Failure Two: The Wrong Candidate
Facts: Hillary Clinton is a decent, honest and eminently qualified Presidential Candidate. She has NEVER been convicted or even reprimanded in ANY investigation or legal proceeding in her 35 years in politics with the exception of a single questioning by a very Republican head of the FBI.
Opinion: I believe that the Director of the FBI is in truth a Republican Operative in a very high place who wants the protection of a Republican Administration to advance his personal agenda. He relays upon and receives his advice from an internal Trump Supporting Cable of Agents who are also dedicated Republican Operatives. Watch for them in the future as Trump elicits his revenge on his political enemies.
Unfortunately, facts, qualification and character simply do not overcome preconceived notions or perceptions in the modern era of politics in this country or, in fact, in most of the rest of the world.
Hillary Clinton is guilty of one thing and that is being accused of crimes, corruption and mismanagement in government. NONE of these accusations are true, as years of investigations by hostile, partisan investigators has shown. Most of the investigations end with a report stating “No evidence of wrongdoing is found”.
BUT the truth is she remains accused of wrong doing. And in the Public Mind that in itself is enough to distrust her. This is a well knows tactic of attorneys, especially Republican attack attorneys many of whom have made a career out of Clinton hunting and bashing. The Republican Party and its minions in US Congress have made a point of continuously investigating those who go against them. It is a perversion of law and a dastardly way to suppress dissent and progressive attitude.
The Democrats choice of candidate to run against the Republicans in a “deck stacked against you” race for the Presidency was simply wrong based on the facts of election history and on the facts surrounding the history of Hillary Clinton. We should have made a different choice at our convention but at the time the party was swayed by the swell of grassroots support of a woman as candidate and Hillary was at the pinnacle of that choice.
Facts: Burnie Sanders didn’t have a chance against the groundswell for a female candidate. While his ideology was right on point, he was running against an emotional notion that now was the time for a female President. Don’t get me wrong here. I am an ardent supporter of concept of a female President. It’s just that I believe that there was a misconstrued push behind Hillary because of a blindness of grassroots females to see that this was not to be. They simply ignored election history – or didn’t know about that history – and were then doomed to repeat the failures taught by that history.
Opinion: I think that Elizabeth Warren knew the facts of election history and realized that any Democratic Candidate was bound to fail in the quest for the Presidency in the 2016 election. I think that she also realized that there would be a Republican controlled Hose and Republican controlled Senate. With all this in mind, this extraordinary woman and Democratic Senator decided to keep her powder dry and wait for a better chance in the 2024 Presidential Election cycle.