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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/29/16

Can Clinton Ignore the Base and Defeat Trump?

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Reprinted from Reader Supported News

Hillary Clinton

Whereas Donald Trump was floundering badly in the polls in June, he appears to be doing quite a bit better as we approach August.

While it may have seemed for a time that Hillary Clinton could defeat Donald Trump with one hand tied behind her back, it's looking now like she will need both hands wrapped around his neck to get the job done. Actually, more precisely, she may need the base.

This is a novel concept for corporate Democrats, because to them the base is tantamount to a tool kept in the shed and only used when needed. But the base has access to better, more timely information now, and they appear to be acting on it. So firing up the base may require something more tangible this time around.

Right now all Hillary Clinton and the DNC have to offer Democratic and Progressive voters is the novelty of a woman as president and fear, in this case of Donald Trump.

The idea of electing the first woman president in US history is a compelling concept, with broad historic implications. But materially, as it affects the issues facing the nation, it has a limited scope of impact. It will motivate some Democrats to get out and vote, but it's not likely to produce a big, diverse voter turnout on Election Day.

Then there's motivating by fear of Trump. Sure, the specter of Donald Trump as President of the United States is something every American should absolutely fear. But voting against Trump is not the same as voting for Clinton. Again not a big turnout-producer.

What does produce a big Election Day turnout? Genuine enthusiasm for the candidate, and the candidate's message. Right now Hillary Clinton's message is, "I'm a woman and you need to fear Trump." There is absolutely no indication whatsoever that it's inspiring Democratic and Progressive voters to any noteworthy degree.

When Bernie Sanders took the stage, he said what every American wanted to hear: "Enough is enough, we need to clean this mess up."

It is not Hillary Clinton's inclination to do that. She's a political professional. She understands how to play the game to gain power. But if Trump keeps gaining, Clinton may be forced to make a decision. Does she need the base? And what would she be prepared to do if the base held the key to the White House? More to the point, what would it take?

Hillary Clinton's advocates often say "She's a fighter." If the presidency is on the line, will she fight? Not against Trump, but for the people she wants to support her on Election Day. Every Democrat and every Progressive thought Bernie Sanders was right. The ones who backed Clinton did so because they thought what Sanders wanted was impractical.

To rise to the presidency, Hillary Clinton may have to choose between the 99% and the 1%. Right now she does not yet believe it will come to that. What will she do when it does?

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.
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Marc Ash is the founder and former Executive Director of Truthout, now the founder, editor and publisher of Reader Supported News:

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