It's hard to see why the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is close. Many attribute it to a very polarized citizenry. But if that were the case, given the steady state Democratic advantage and a very flawed Republican candidate, it should be a walk in the park for the Democrat.
I ran into a blog post I wrote early last year. It is titled "Can Hillary Clinton win the Presidency in 2016?"
The first thing I pointed out was the reality of being someone different applying for the job.
As terrible as it may sound, it takes a special person to break the gender, class, race, ethnicity, etc. ceiling for a position that the masses are not ‘familiar’ in seeing him/her in. It should not be the reality but it is.
President Obama did not have that characteristic out of the box. He managed it with a perfectly orchestrated grassroots movement by making himself accessible to university students throughout the country who encouraged their parents to consider him. I saw it first hand in Kingwood, Texas, a very white conservative town. There were grassroots house parties put on by Republicans throughout the area. Then, Senator Obama got the opportunity to speak to people who otherwise would not have listened to him.
I then wrote about the main reason I thought she lost to Barack Obama. Ironically she is a victim of some of the same ills today that could have her pull defeat from a victory if her campaign is not careful. I wrote then that:
Secretary Hillary Clinton is an extraordinarily accomplished woman. She went up against Senator Obama and lost. She lost because President Obama successfully worked the grassroots which forced Wall Street and big money to hedge their bets. Secretary Clinton remained insular.
The country is poised for a change. It has been run by testosterone for too long with all the braggadocio that entails. Secretary Clinton is a woman with more international and domestic experience than anyone else running, Republican or Democrat bar none. Sadly, that is not enough for a woman. Her poll numbers are still great. She is beating every Republican in those polls. None of those polls mean anything.
Hillary Clinton was up in the polls on President Obama as well while he was building the grassroots. Right now Republicans are consolidating their base at the grassroots level. They even have their surrogates and candidates adopting progressive Democratic narratives. Republicans are now talking about income inequality and the poor. President Obama recently amusingly chided their new found love for the downtrodden.
Donald Trump recently released a pseudo-progressive child care reform proposal. Why would the leader of the conservative party do that? Because even as many people claim they are conservatives, they want the realities of progressive policies. And Trump and his cohorts know that. DailyKOS' Laura Clawson piece titled "Trump's 'family friendly' policies have holes you could drive a yacht through" debunked its real progressivity.
Trump lies, misinforms, and misleads throughout the campaign. Rarely do any of the networks pushback with any fervor. While releasing his child care reform proposal, Trump claimed Clinton had none. Clinton's proposals on middle-class centric policies litter her campaign website. And how did the New York times report Trump's lie?
But in selling his case, Mr. Trump stretched the truth, saying that his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, has no such plan of her own and “never will.”
Hillary Clinton released more medical records than Donald Trump. Yet she is less transparent? The Clinton Foundation records are wide open for scrutiny. No fraud was ever detected. On the contrary, the Trump Foundation is suspect with illegal donations and use as a personal cash machine for other people's charitable contributions.Yet Clinton is less trustworthy?
Newsweek exposed a myriad of unreported conflicts of interest in the Trump organization, yet it barely gets covered. Trump displays an unpatriotic adoration of Russia's Vladimir Putin. Very few called him unpatriotic for that deed. Would Obama or Clinton get away with that?
I spent several hours going through taped CNN and MSNBC, the 'liberal' networks, interviews of Clinton and Trump surrogates. The hosts tended to come to Donald Trump's defense when Clinton surrogates attempted to point out Trump's deficiencies, failures, and lies. They tended to allow and corroborate and encourage attack statements from Trump surrogates. MSNBC's Joy-Ann Reid and Tamron Hall were the exceptions.
So why is Trump getting away with so much? Why is the media bending over backward to, as President Obama says, grade him on a curve? The answer is not that complicated. Trump is the epitome of what the current power structure still looks like in America. The media for the most part still reflects him. To acknowledge his flaws to many is self-reflective. He is the maximization of all that is wrong with a large percentage of our empowered, the reflection of racism, selfishness, false vanity, hubris, sexism, and yes, misogyny.
What I said last year still applies.
The misogyny will continue as we have a media that allows it. If one does not have a large base who will not only provide tacit support at the voting booth, one cannot win. It is for that reason this question will continue until Clinton builds a viable grassroots and adopt a populist narrative. Can Hillary Clinton really win the Presidency in 2016?
The answer is a categorical yes. Obama had to overcome racism from some groups. Clinton will have to overcome sexism and misogyny from all. Hillary has a coalition that is waiting. Speak to them and mean it. They will be your ladder through the glass ceiling.