Political elections and sports games have a lot in common. Oftentimes, after a team loses a game, especially a really important one, its players blame the referees, the field conditions, the other players cheating, and everyone and everything else except for themselves.
Charles “Chuck” Schumer, Democratic Senator from New York, feels that his fellow party members have taken the same unsportsmanlike approach when looking back at the 2016 presidential election, where the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, to the surprise of many, lost to the Republican Donald Trump.
“I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me, but got scared off,” Clinton herself said.
Clinton’s statement echoes the sentiment felt by most Democrats, who feel that even if James Comey, the FBI director, closed the Russia investigation right after he re-opened it, doubts about Clinton’s integrity that the situation created could not be erased, especially just a few weeks before the election.
Schumer, however feels that by focusing the blame away from themselves, Clinton and other Democrats are practicing the same philosophy that led to the election loss, which is focusing on negative factors out of their control rather than strong points of themselves and their own party. Too much of the platform Clinton ran on consisted of bashing and digging up dirt on Trump, rather than preaching Democratic values, such as universal healthcare, education, and economic empowerment.
“People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that,” Schumer said in an interview with the Washington Post.
According to Schumer, election wins and political seats will come for the Democrats not by undercutting the opponent, but focusing on putting in place programs that help everyday Americans, be they left or right leaning Americans.
“A strong, sharp-edged, populist, bold economic message appeals to the Obama coalition and the people who voted for Trump — former Democrats who voted for Trump.”
Whether Democrats follow the wise advice of the senior senator remains to be seen.