Some preliminary thoughts on the Democrats’ failure to beat someone as loathsome as Donald Trump:
1) Insider Democrats did all they could to tilt the scales (Wasserman Schultz, Donna Brazile, et al) to nominate the most out-spokenly neo-liberal candidate ever. Though I wasn’t a Bernie supporter, leading Democrats chose to ignore how their candidate was the least able to defeat anyone in the Republican field – Wall Street had their candidate, and they were with her, and everyone in the Dems’ base just had to suck it up.
In 2008, Obama and Clinton did their best to out anti-NAFTA each other in the Ohio and other rust belt primaries, and despite evidence to the contrary, hope-against-hope, many working class people believed them. Eight years later the evidence was too glaring to ignore — Goldman Sachs speeches, Clinton Fdn pay-to-play, TPP, etc., and for good, and demonstrably bad reasons, white working class voters deserted the Democrats. Any wonder why Trump swept the rust belt?
2) The last two years have, with good reason, seen an explosion of fury against racist police murders – with most of the mayors covering for the cops being Dems of the Rahm Emanuel variety. So is it any wonder that Dems couldn’t more motivate urban areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio to offset the white, rural racist vote?
3) As a political junky I’ve tried to engage as many people of as many different backgrounds as possible to find out their views…