Politico’s dossier on how Hillary Clinton lost Michigan to President-elect Donald Trump is complete with anecdotes from the grassroots, who often felt that the top Democrat and her minions couldn’t care less about them. Arrogance, it seems, was a trademark of the Clinton campaign. And the consequence of this flagrant disregard for the base was the best outcome the presidential campaign of an imperious candidate could get: Defeat.
Leaving aside the attention this now widely known factor has received due to Politico’s coverage, it’s incredible to think that, to many, the Clinton camp’s arrogant streak was never noticeable. And even if it had been, it wouldn’t have made a difference. The odds — they would hit back — are in her favor. After all, she’s a Clinton. A career politician. A well-established Democrat. Who’s Trump? Just a TV loudmouth.
As her supporters continue to point to any external factor whenever asked why their candidate lost, more information regarding the major email leak associated with WikiLeaks also hit the news. Now, we know a phishing scam got John Podesta, the former chairman of the Clinton presidential campaign, to give hackers access to his email account. And while the scam was allegedly traced back to the hacking group Fancy Bear, their association with the Russian government was only established after a large U.S. government contractor, the cybersecurity technology company CrowdStrike, investigated prior breaches.
When the Democratic National Committee (DNC) servers were hacked earlier in 2016, Fancy Bear was accused of being behind the attack. Then, CrowdStrike investigated, reporting later that the firm had “high-level confidence” the spy group was part of Russia’s military intelligence agency.
Nevertheless, the hack into the Podesta emails revealed the behind-the-scenes mechanisms of the Clinton campaign, giving the world a better idea of how corrupt and bloodthirsty the Democratic candidate truly was. Whether the hack will eventually be traced back to the Kremlin, the contents of the emails were never produced by any Russian firm nor Vladimir Putin himself. They were the product of a group of minions who looked up to their leader and acted accordingly. External forces cannot be to blame for their misbehavior.
As we await the right moment to begin analyzing — and criticizing — President-elect Trump’s policies, we are left in awe at Clinton’s supporters and their allergic reaction to honesty.
The transparency President Barack Obama promised in 2008 was finally achieved in 2016, whether Russian hands had anything to do with it or not. Instead of demonizing an entire country over Clinton’s arrogant demeanor — an action that may carry negative long-term consequences for the diplomatic relations of both countries — we must not forget that other documents, much more damaging and closely telling of Clinton’s term as secretary of state, were not made public via an external hack, but due to Clinton’s top aide’s carelessness. But would a Clinton supporter ever admit to that?
Much like the Clinton campaign’s arrogance toward the grassroots in Michigan, the entire U.S. public was snubbed as the emails were released publicly either by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or WikiLeaks. Over time, Clinton and her loyalists kept on hammering the same talking points on TV and on the news, using the “Russia did it” narrative to keep the attention away from the content being dumped online.
The signs of arrogance were clearly present in every aspect of Clinton’s campaign. From her chronic incapacity to reach out to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ supporters, to the shrieking “How am I not 50 points ahead?” conference, the former first lady’s campaign was unable to change her image. But how could they? In a microcosmos where Clinton is worshiped by those beneath her, raising your hand to speak ill of the one who feeds you is frowned upon. The leaks, as well as the FBI investigation, helped to reveal how deeply rooted the arrogance streak was, something all the scapegoating in the world simply can’t and won’t change.
What’s left for us to ask is: Are her most stubborn supporters even paying attention?