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One year later: Why did Hillary lose?


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One year ago, the unexpected happened: Hillary Clinton lost the US election to Donald Trump, one of the most unpopular candidates in history and one with no political background. People are still trying to understand it.

Theories have since emerged: there were claims that the media was to blame for this result, as it gave more attention to Hillary’s weaknesses rather than Trump’s nasty comments and lack of vision. There is also the possibility of political sabotage: that Russia has interfered with the election process by spreading fake news to damage Clinton’s campaign.

Let’s hold on to the facts only. There are various factors that can be taken into consideration to understand why an unqualified businessman beat Clinton.

Firstly, people were enraged with their situation and that is when strong messages and soundbites win, whether it transmits peace or hate. Americans wanted a change and thus it was easier to believe in someone who said “make America great again” rather than in amiable words about the importance to create bridges, not walls.

When people are frustrated, they don’t care much about the content: they care about how strong the message is and how impactful the changes will be. They only need someone who seems to be driven and capable enough of making them. Donald Trump had that, we can’t deny. It was not about the facts anymore- it was about how they were presented.

This factor might bring up a question: what did Barack Obama do wrong in order to make Americans so infuriated?

Obama seemed to be a popular POTUS, but a poll had shown how 52% of Americans considered his presidency a failure. They claimed the economic recovery was too slow; that Obamacare was a disaster, as it only covered 10% to 20% of what was expected; that he failed to enforce the immigration laws due to mere political reasons and did not work enough on securing the borders and helping unaccompanied children going back to their countries safely.

All of this is debatable and those who defended these arguments may not have seen the whole picture but now we can understand where the eagerness for change came from. The reasons, however, don’t stop here.

A lot of people stated they did not want the Clintons anymore.

The sexual scandals Bill Clinton were involved in have never given him peace, and the issue was brought up countless times in presidential debates and interviews.

The uproar it caused would inevitably have an impact on his wife’s credibility. Here’s one more reason for Americans not to want another Clinton in the office anymore: Bill Clinton, despite his amazing speeches about equality and how unemployment needed to be diminished overall, he did not exactly do what he promised.

The unemployment rate for young men without college education was 42% when he left the office in 2001. This figure is higher than the one usually reported, as they did not involve the men in prison. In addition, instead of rebuilding the black community, he decided to focus on the penal budget. His wife supported him, naming black kids super predators that have “no conscience, no empathy”. Talking about equality a few years after does not seem very balanced, and it certainly didn’t for the voters.

She often avoided taking strong positions on controversial issues in order to win more votes, but the records of how has changed her mind throughout her career in many extremely relevant issues are clear.

On gay marriage, for instance, she first stated in a few interviews in 2002 and 2004 that she was against it, with a strong, convicted “no”. Since 2013, she has been saying she supports it, has always done and has a “great commitment to this issue”. Unfortunately for her, we can’t see it. When asked if she changed her mind, she accused the journalist of “playing with my words”. The journalists were very aware of this lack of constancy and so were the people.

One example of her rather ludicrous falsity was her trip to Bosnia, which she later mentioned often in speeches, constantly showing how experienced a politician she is. She exaggerated on how dangerous the place was, for instance, saying they had to walk under “sniper fire” when there are videos of her greeting children and soldiers calmly and happily.

She also often repeated the word “consistency” when journalists accused her of changing her views according to the public. She claimed that she has always defended the same values and that is, according to the examples above and other incidents, simply not true.

Her effectiveness as a Senator and Secretary of State was questionable.

The Wikileaks emails controversy is arguably the most threatened her campaign: Hillary deleted 3 thousand emails that contained classified information, some the top-secret, contrary to what she had stated before.

These emails certainly diminished her credibility and generated a wave of controversy that was difficult to control. She also used different servers and accounts to deal with very serious and sensitive information. Even though the FBI investigated the case and said she did not go against the law, they referred how “careless” she was when handling it. While she managed to escape the accusations, public opinion changed in an unfavourable way.

Trump’s popularity is an issue to be considered too. Everyone has a strong opinion about him, he is never irrelevant. And the promises he made were appealing to the frustrated Republican supporters who voted for him. Despite having most of Hollywood and show business against him and lacking elite support, he still won and it was still due to the voters.

Whether he keeps his promises or not is what American people are now finding out. One year later, the election can’t be undone and we still have at least three more years to come with this controversial president that is irremediably changing the world and our futures.

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