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12 Notes From a Political Autopsy

By       Message Richard Eskow       (Page 1 of 5 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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Democratic Party on the Issues
Democratic Party on the Issues
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Somebody once said that healing is the process of reclaiming our own biographies. Millions of people are trying to heal right now, but their stories remain unwritten.

What killed the Democrats' chances? People are still sifting through the data, but here are twelve notes from the ongoing political autopsy.

1. The people aren't the problem.

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After all the voter suppression, after the sexism and racism, Hillary Clinton still won a healthy majority of votes. And yet, her opponent took the prize. That's a bitter loss -- one Congressional Democrats know all too well.

Americans rejected Donald Trump. A broken electoral system anointed him anyway.

Don't condemn the voters. Condemn the system.

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2. Even when you've been cheated, there can be room for improvement.

Politics is a rough game. Anybody who didn't expect the Republicans to lie, cheat, suppress, and manipulate hasn't been paying attention.

People who lose to cheaters have two choices: give up, or figure out how to beat them next time.

Victory and victimology don't coexist very well. If Democrats want to win, they'll need to be tough, clear-eyed, and self-critical. Which means:

3. Don't pretend you didn't lose.

"Trump gets 47% of vote," one Democratic writer tweeted sarcastically. "Yep, better blow up Dem Party."

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Democrats lost all three branches of the federal government, along with some governors' chairs. Clinton neglected key states, then lost them. The party's message didn't connect. Surely something needs to change.

"There is not a wholesale rejection of the Democratic party and the Democratic brand," said Democratic think tanker Simon Rosenberg. Then he acknowledged that Democrats have less power now than they've had since 1928.

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Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

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