Clinton’s defeat was born in Obama’s ideology
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In 2008 when Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFormer congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles If Republicans rebuked Steve King, they must challenge Donald Trump ‘Family Guy’ says it will stop making jokes about gay people MORE’s Trojan horse was rolled into Washington, D.C. — filled with his collectivist ideas and theories to alter the fabric of America — he was confident that he could realign the axis between liberty and government, and ultimately convince Americans to accept a new, imperfect vision of themselves and their institutions. In the eight years that followed, what he didn’t count on was the American peoples’ inherent defiance to federal coercion and the overarching power of individual rights to bend government and society to the will of the people and the rule of law. In other words — Atlas Shrugged.

As a lawyer and constitutional law lecturer, President Obama understood he couldn’t destroy capitalism overnight — or even in two presidential terms—but he certainly made the assault. Always insisting, “I’m not a particularly ideological person,” his record proved otherwise—with a tsunami of collectivist regulations, policies, executive actions and orders that stifled and controlled America’s production, wages, employment, business, industry, even profits.

From the beginning, touting redistribution of wealth and advocating a quiet brand of American welfare, Obama sought to marry economic power with political power but soon learned the hard way that America’s productivity has never owed a debt to politics. All he accomplished was to force feed measures and directives into an already fragile economy that couldn’t bear the assimilation. The results: the worst economic recovery from a recession since WWII (the GDP never reaching 3 percent growth during Obama’s 8-year tenure as president); the lowest labor participation rate in 40 years with close to 100 million Americans not in the labor force; and startling declines in new business creations, household family incomes, capital investment . . . the litany goes on.

Desperate to preserve his legacy and to salvage his collectivist agenda, Obama hitched his star to Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTexas man indicted over allegations he created fraudulent campaign PACs FISA shocker: DOJ official warned Steele dossier was connected to Clinton, might be biased Pompeo’s Cairo speech more ‘back to the future’ than break with past MORE, who quickly fell into lockstep and echoed his vision. She touted the Obama recovery as “so much stronger than when they took office” but never defined what new economic measures she would take to reverse “quarterly capitalism.” She said, “Comprehensive immigration reform will grow our economy and keep families together, and it's the right thing to do,” but never enunciated what that meant or how it would work.

On ISIS and terrorism, she said, “. . . we're dealing with determined enemies that must be defeated. . . . We will strike their sanctuaries from the air and support local forces taking them out on the ground. We will surge our intelligence so that we detect and prevent attacks before they happen,” but couldn’t articulate any substantive particulars. What became quickly and painfully apparent was that Hillary Clinton looked impressive on paper—and Obama made it a point to say so—but proved, yet again, she was sorely lacking any personal, ideological vision for America and specific policies to inhabit that vision.  It was all uninspiring and Obama redux, and we already knew where that had taken us.

To make matters worse, as Hillary tried to move the Obama needle forward, she reminded us what a mediocre campaigner she truly was. Lacking Obama’s soulful oratory and her husband’s Arkansas amiability, she was never fully able to make herself relatable on a personal level.

At a loss to shake her disconnect with large segments of the electorate beyond her base (and ever aware of her dismal likability quotient), she often resorted to rhetorical stunts: tossing in Yiddish phrases when speaking to Jewish groups; adopting a Negro dialect when speaking to black groups; waxing in and out of Southern speech patterns whenever it proved expedient, etc.—almost all of it read from prepared notes.

She appeared awkward and transparent, at times cringe-inducing. Sadly, with a microphone in her hand, all the $600 haircuts, all the political pandering, all the pantsuits tailored to look like tuxedos, and all the braying to feign passion couldn’t put Hillary back together again.

Then there was the biggest fly in the Clinton presidential ointment, Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersTexas man indicted over allegations he created fraudulent campaign PACs Overnight Energy: Wheeler weathers climate criticism at confirmation hearing | Dems want Interior to stop drilling work during shutdown | 2018 was hottest year for oceans Dems offer measure to raise minimum wage to per hour MORE—a 76-year-old throwback socialist whose everyman persona and stick-it-to-the-rich mantra came naturally—and he immediately stole Hillary’s thin ideological thunder. With a folksy Pete Seeger-like appeal, Sanders proved adept at couching worn-out 1930’s left-wing bromides into new-sounding pabulum.

As his message took hold and resonated with young voters—who, ironically, had no understanding of socialism or of its monstrous history—the Clinton Machine (a.k.a. the Democratic Establishment) was thrown into full panic mode and forced Hillary to maneuver more and more to the Left, an uncomfortable and strained position for her.

But in time, from within and without, the DNC and the Democratic Party made it their mission to marginalize Sanders—until he was reduced to an avuncular Leftist from a bygone era whose revolution had long passed. The only role left for him was as a sad supplicant to Hillary. Bernie Sanders never had a chance.

In the end, even with a $2 billion war chest and all the king’s men, Hillary Clinton remained a flawed candidate who was never able to express a developed political ideology—a set of guiding principles that could point America to a better place and make its people feel a part of that journey. She never fully grasped that an electorate needs a philosophy from its leader and that it’s not enough, no matter how great one’s popularity, to graft onto another’s failed vision and keep trying to make it fit.

Hillary Clinton’s monumental defeat not only has torn the Democratic Party asunder, but also exposed the danger and incompatibility of President’s Obama’s experiment of a collectivist ideology for America. 

In this aftermath we are reminded once more that it is capitalism that has always defined us and allowed us to pursue our values and our dreams, and it is capitalism that will continue to nurture us, remain our greatest strength, and encourage us to be all we are capable of being.

LaValle is a freelance political writer based on New York. His work has been published in The Hill.


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