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Why, Really, did Democrats Lose?

January 30, 2017

Like thousands of other Democrats, my inbox has been clogged for well over a year now by political emails looking for donations, signatures to petitions, and answers to surveys. However, I am disappointed that in none of the messages I received since the election, has anyone raised anything deeper than, "we failed to get out the vote" as a reason we lost this last election, badly. (Despite the popular vote.)

 

I've been reading a number of non-partisan, even foreign-written articles on how and why the USA is in the mess we have right now, and I'm coming to recognize that our party has for too long assumed it knows what Americans need and want, rather than listening to groups outside our comfort zone. We let down the White Working Class voters who went to Trump in droves. We failed to address the seemingly endless problem of illegal immigration. As a legal immigrant who spent thousands of dollars and several years getting a green card and eventually, citizenship, I have sympathy for those who tell illegals, "get in line;"  that the US economy would take a drubbing should all illegals be deported tends to get lost in the acrimony.

 

I have not listened to my Republican friends. I have not had them tell me what their values are, what their worries are, and why as a result they voted for Trump (or chose not to vote at all.)

 

Hillary Clinton, whom I deeply admire, did not resonate with the working class. Speaking this morning with two Independent voter friends, they used the word "arrogance" of the Democratic party, and I have to say, I agree with them. Hillary lacked that "aw shucks" approach that Pres. Obama had down to an art. An article my friends shared with me stated that working class people dislike professionals, but like the rich. This was a shock and a puzzle to me, but on reflection, I begin to understand. As a professional myself (now retired,) I tend to dismiss the uneducated, although I come from a working class background. Heck, I dismissed my uneducated mother's ideas frequently. Shame on me.

 

So although I am still a Democrat, my worry is that we need to go much deeper at analyzing our weak spots, or we will continue to flounder and irritate those who put Trump in the White House.

 

I propose a think tank of individuals from varying backgrounds to review some of the excellent analytical, non-partisan reports circulating, and do some serious soul-searching while we still can.

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