When Malcolm Gladwell says sexism and elitism are largely responsible for Hillary Clinton's unpopularity -- and now her loss -- he is right, but mostly wrong about the analysis.
About the right part, Gladwell and others are spot-on about the elitism. But let's be clear about the sort of elitism at the core of the problem.
It's not the sort of elitism the Republican base grumbles about when it comes to well-educated politicians. As if reading lots of books and studying in university are a detriment, instead of a virtue to one seeking public office.
It's also not the generic sort of elitism assumed by politicians, practically as a truism, as they step into office and suddenly forget about those voters who put them there.
Rather, it's an insidious sort of elitism, even for politicians. It shows itself when, with a hubris and arrogance of epic proportion, they take it upon themselves to decide the outcome of an election, despite what citizens may want.
So, while it's true there was an abundance of sexism and racism in the entrails that excreted Trumps' presidency, it wasn't sexism that defeated Hillary Clinton. At least the sort that believed it "wasn't ready for a woman president."
In reality, it was the audacious form of elitism in the Democratic Party leadership, along with many of their prominent, self-aggrandized followers (thank you George Clooney), that abundantly demonstrated they weren't really ready for a progressive President.
In other words, the Democrats did it to themselves.
One of the most reckless examples showed up early in the Democratic presidential primary race between Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Enter Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, who, before democracy had a chance to work, had decided herself that it was Hillary's turn.
These are the "elites" Gladwell could include, along with other prominent Democratic Party supporters.
So convinced that Hillary's time had come -- irrespective of the very democratic process Schultz was entrusted to protect -- she was found to have scheduled "debates at odd times, shutting Sanders out of the party's data file, stacking convention committees with Clinton supporters."
All that was missing was a sort of conviction of the papal sort, with white smoke, not coming out of chimney placed atop the Sistine Chapel's chimney, but coming out of the chimney at the Democratic Party headquarters.
Imagine. You, me or anyone else in a democracy deciding that because we are really convinced it's somebody's time, that we can then use our position of power to rig that outcome.
How much more tragic when that Presidential candidate may have resulted in a Democrat like Bernie Sanders. Piling on the tragedy is the likelihood that a Sanders presidency could've brought a Democratic majority in the Senate and the House.
Instead, this election's outcome is absurdly ironic.
The political party that was supposed to be progressive, refused to let their people chose their candidate. That's the sort of elitism that drove so many Democrats not to support Hillary: Either by voting for a third-party candidate; not voting at all; or, as reported, even voting for the Donald as a "protest vote." (Take a look at Sanders' assessment.)
The arrogance of some in the leadership of the Democratic Party, preempting the choice for Clinton, has resulted in a Trump/Republican triumph. What now?
There is much more to this election that'll require analysis, and it's one that'll surely keep rolling for the next number of years. We'll remind ourselves of the overt sexism. The overt racism.
But analyze all we want: we'll continue to see that the loss isn't because the people failed the demands of democracy. It's because those in political power, who thought themselves progressive, turned out to be as much an aid to Trump as his closest supporters.
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