It’s been a whole year since the 2016 presidential election, and I still think now what I thought then: Hillary Clinton deserved to lose. This is not an attempt to make a case for Donald Trump — I didn’t vote for him. This article is simply a few of the reasons I think Clinton didn’t deserve to win the election last year.
For starters, Clinton’s presidential campaign was full of boneheaded, reactionary moves based on what Trump did in his campaign.
In response to Trump’s comment that Clinton’s success was based on her playing the “woman card,” she started selling woman cards on her campaign website.
At face value, it seems like a good move to show your opponent that you’re not bothered by their comments, but I think Clinton handled herself poorly. Instead of playing right into Trump’s hand with gender politics, she could have instead said something along the lines of, “No, Mr. Trump, my success has nothing to do with my gender. It has everything to do with my work ethic and experience.”
But instead, Clinton’s response screams, “Yeah, I’m playing the woman card. So what?”
I suppose this was par for the course for a campaign where Clinton played right into her opponent’s hands and made her every move a reaction to something Trump did. Should we have expected anything different from a candidate with a campaign slogan incorporating her opponent’s name?
Speaking of slogans, I’m sure at least some of my readers have heard of Pepe the Frog. After originating in 2005 in the “Boy’s Club” web comics, Pepe made his way to meme status due to his lovably grotesque face and iconic slogan, “Feels good, man.” Pepe was simply an innocuous cartoon frog until Clinton decided he was something more.
Because some bad people on the internet began placing offensive images onto pictures of Pepe, Clinton declared that Pepe himself was a symbol of racism, saying “that cartoon frog is more sinister than you might realize.” Seems a bit ridiculous, right?
Consider this: a bad person decides to find a picture of Willie the Wildcat. This bad person then doctors a Nazi uniform onto this picture of Willie. Does this action turn our beloved mascot into a symbol of racism? I certainly don’t think so.
On the subject of bad people, Clinton had a nickname for Trump’s supporters. She said about half of Trump’s supporters fit into a “basket of deplorables.” Instead of trying to convince and reclaim conservative voters, she insulted and dismissed them as “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and Islamophobic.”
Let’s briefly consider the result of the popular vote. It showed that a little under half of the total number of voters voted for Trump. Are a quarter of all voters really “deplorable,” as Clinton says?
That’s not to say there weren’t bad people supporting either major candidate in the election, because let’s face it — all lawful citizens of this country have the right to vote, regardless of the content of their character.
But to say half of Trump’s supporters were “deplorable” is not only insulting, it’s also pretty childish. Of course, there were dumb things said by both major candidates in the last election (“a small loan of a million dollars” comes to mind), but alienating what would up being a quarter of the people who voted in the 2016 election — around 35 million citizens — is insanely stupid.
I thought America’s choices in the last presidential election weren’t great, but Clinton was easily the worst candidate in my eyes. Is Clinton a “nasty woman,” as Trump called her? Maybe not. But is she a bad politician? Absolutely.
Trenton Busch is a junior in accounting. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.