As President Obama’s term draws to an end, it will be too easy to say that partisan Republicans are to “blame” for Trump’s surprising victory (also referred to as Hillary’s unexpected defeat). In fact, President Obama stated just this in an article in The New Yorker:
Just as easily, Trump is a culmination, a logical conclusion of the ineffective rhetoric and tactics of the Democratic Party for the past 10, 15, 20 years. This frames Trump’s victory/Hillary’s Defeat in terms of the Democratic Party’s failures rather than the Republican Party’s sneakiness and bullying. I contend sneakiness and bullying are the nature of politics and are not the monopoly of any one party or faction, and if this election has shown a true culmination, it is the culmination of voter dissatisfaction with a political system propped up on mountains of hollow assurances built upon a foundation of proven deceitful status quo.
Voters were only going to put up with it for so long, and it’s Democratic voters who threw up their arms first at the polling booth and cast their votes from hands held high above their impotent party. We’ve had eight years of hope and change, and hope is stretched and ripping while change is evident not in any one useful way. Do more Americans have access to health care and are more Americans employed? Ask that of Americans in the Rust Belt (northern Midwestern states) who have seen factory after factory close and with them went thousands of jobs… their jobs. These are Americans who traditionally voted straightly on Democratic lines. They might not like Trump and they dislike the Democratic Party worse. The lesser of two evils I believe is less about jumping party lines than it is sending a strong message:
President Obama is giving his farewell speech in Chicago in a week or so. My hope is he doesn’t lament the success of Republican rhetoric and tactics; my hope is he calls for the Democratic Party to reexamine their failings as a political party that doesn’t deliver on promises and doesn’t truly represent the party’s constituents on what matters.