Saturday, November 12, 2016

BERNIE  Would Have Won - Really?

Within  the   the  Democratic  Party  the  cry goes  up
that  Bernie  Would have  won.

The  other  quarterback  would  
have  won  the  game.  One of  the most  common
Monday  morning  thoughts  
ever  spoken  after  a  football  game  loss.

So the, "they wanted  change, we  shoulda  gone  with Bernie" 
has  made  the rounds  like  quicksilver  in
the  minds, hearts, emails  and   blogs  of many  progressive Dems.

Bernie  Sanders, would  certainly  have
been  a  brilliant  choice  for President,
he ran a  brilliant  campaign and  he
is a man  of  character  and  grace who
campaigned  fervently  for  Mrs. Clinton.

Maybe he  would  have.

However,  the  "they wanted  change"  theory  
runs  contrary  to  all of  the  incumbent  
Senators  who were  re-elected  to  
the  worst  Congress in  the 
history  of the United  States.

It's  too trite a  response  
to the complexity of  what  we have  just  witnessed  and 
lacks a more nuanced  analysis of  what  we  have all just  experienced

First, the attack of Wikileaks and James Comey's revelation
would  have  easily  sunk any 
political  candidate  of  the  last  thirty  years.
There  was  no perfect strategy  to beat those  
unbelievable and  unprecedented  dilemmas, 
both of  which  were  crushing.
With  the Access  Hollywood  tape and   
his  refusal  to  accept  a  winner  declaration 
at  the  last  debate, Mr. Trump endeavored to  throw  
his  candidacy  away, but  he probably  
did not  alienate as  much of  his  base  with  either.
But the  Democrats  endured  two  highly  irregular
revelations  of  what  should  have  been  private information.

The  most  mature  reaction  
to  the  election  would  be  to admit that and a) not permit  such hacks in the  future 
and b)  prosecute  to  the  fullest  degree  
of  the  law  those  responsible  for  the  hacks.

Secondly, the perception  that  Clinton was  
so  far  ahead from  the  middle  of September  
to  the  middle  of  October, 
relaxed  the  attack  of  Democrats.
Classic rope a  dope. Muhammed Ali  would 
have been  proud  of  Mr. Trump, although Ali was purposeful,
Trump less artful but  classically  resilient. 
The story  of  the  tortoise  and  the  hare   is  told  to  3 and  4  year olds  and  we  saw it  lived  out  in  front
of  American politics  quite  clearly. Again, not  mysterious or a misjudgement  of  the  
electorate. A tactical  error  on  the  part  of  the  
greater  community  of  Democrats , 
and  we  all  share  some   blame - most  greatly
Bernie  Sanders  supporters  who were  disappointed  Mrs. Clinton  
did not  inspire  them  as  Sanders  did. understandable   
disappointment  but  inexcusable  inaction  when  the  wolf  is  at  the  door.
We  all  share  that  blame.

Thirdly, and  perhaps  more importantly,
what  we  need to win a  campaign 
and  what  we  need to  govern more  effectively
are  perhaps  two very  different  remedies.

To govern we need  to  bridge a  great  divide  
with policies  that help us  rise  above  gridlock.

Mrs. Clinton would clearly  have been  
the  better  choice  among  all offered.
Ms. Clinton's  campaign  accurately  
promoted  her  "fitness" over  Mr. Trump's.

However, the Clinton campaign underestimated
the  American  electorate's ability to  distinguish  between
leadership and  entertainment. 

I have a slightly different  point  of  view.

From the outset  of  the  campaign,
whatever Mr. Trump's  downsides, he has never 
failed to entertain his audience. Even when he  went  terribly astray and  he  often  did,
like Houdini, the  crowd marvelled
in  his escape  from certain  death.

I believe  there is simply a  misunderstanding  
of  what  the  job of President has  become in 
our  modern  communications  era.

Rock star is  the  first  qualification.

The President is the star of one 
of  the most  popular television shows in history:
the news. It's a nightly series. The  quantity 
of  screen  time for a President is  tremendous.
It's no wonder  that it's a race  to be entertaining.

Occasionally  someone  comes  along  who  is  
both - President Obama  was  the  rare  blend.

The  great ones - and  Mr. Sanders is a  great one.  also -
make  you  feel as  if  they are  talking  right to  you.
With  the possible exception of Mr. Bush and his  father,
for  the last 36 years, every winning  President has 
been the more  entertaining  speaker. 

The  most  charismatic woman in America today?
Unquestionably Michelle Obama, Elizabeth Warren a  close  second.
Had either been  running they would have won  too.

We  thirst for this quality in a leader 
and instinctively reach  for it at the ballot  box.

If  we  combined  notoriety  with  integrity with  charisma,
every  corner  of  Wisconsin, Pennsylvania  and Michigan  would have  come,
as  they  did in  2012.  Mrs. Clinton  did not  lack  integrity. Far  from  it.
And she  was  a  female  rock  star politician.
But  because  of her  long  tenure  in  politics, the  hate  groups  against her
were  literally  two  generations  old. 

The great  American dilemma  is  that  the  most  charismatic leaders  
do not  instinctively  reach  for  the Presidency.