Democrats Need to Learn from 2016 Election Mistakes

In the 2008 Presidential election, 206 counties voted for Barack Obama.

In the 2012 Presidential election, 206 counties voted for Barack Obama again.

In the 2016 Presidential election, 206 counties voted for Donald Trump.


That was a hard flip. That means 6.85 percent of all the counties in the United States voted Obama-Obama-Trump. 9.2 Percent of all Obama Voters switched to Trump.

So what is it? What happened that caused the nation to go from believing the Yes We Can mantra, to feeling left out and deeming a drastic change was needed to Make America Great Again?

Was it Russia? Was it fixing the election? Was it the fact Hilary was a woman?

Or maybe, just maybe, it was the same old script with a new name, and the Democrats did not know how to run a campaign — were weak. Did they not know how to attack their opponent? Did they not know how to go for the jugular?

I’m gonna go with that one.

The truth is, politics are almost never won because of the policies of the politicians. You can take a moment to digest that sentence if you need to do so. But in reality, politics are won because a person can drive the emotion out of the public.

Teddy did it. FDR did it. Kennedy did it. Carter did it. Obama did it…

And Trump did it

In the United States of America, a nation with a white majority of about seventy percent of the population, something was growing. Whether it be a feeling of losing the country or being left out of the political landscape, something was building. The right amount of desperation and fear was there, and Trump opened that wound.

Hillary pitched to the wrong people. Hear me out.

If you are going to win an election with a nation made of a seventy percent majority, you might want to pitch to that majority.

Hillary Clinton and the Democrats targeted the wrong group. By pitching to minorities and LGBTQ communities, the Democrats alienated them from the majority of the country. I’m not trying to say forget and turn your backs, but math is math. Republicans pitched to the majority, and they got the majority of delegates.

And that’s the irony of the whole thing. In order to win and help minorities and isolated communities, they needed to pitch to those who are not part of those communities. They needed to pitch to the people who are not on their side.

At the end of the day, was there really a need for Hillary Clinton to campaign to the major cities of Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago? She knew she was going to win those areas. Did she really need to pitch to the LGBTQ and minorities; they weren’t being supported by Trump, bet they would not have voted for him.

She needed to pitch to the people too often neglected in politics — the people deemed unreachable, or “deplorable”.

When she campaigned in Cleveland the week before the election and brought LeBron to the rally, she did not win one undecided voter.

But perhaps a couple of speeches and tours of the Deep South, a place she had no shot at winning, would be enough to make an undecided voter believe she cares about the entire population, and not just percentages. Maybe that could have swung the election her way.

Trump is definitely a microcosm of many things wrong in our election system; we cannot deny this. But he also exposed a fatal flaw with the Democrats. They need to pitch to the majority again; it’s the only way they can help the oppressed minorities.

The Democrats have to learn from this mistake. They cannot afford another one in 2018.