Hillary Clinton is the best thing that could have ever happened to the Republican Party. No one has been more critical of President Donald J. Trump over the past year than I, but when I criticize Trump, I don’t come off like a sore loser who lost the most winnable election since Lyndon B. Johnson versus Barry Goldwater in the 1964 U.S. presidential election.
If anything could turn me into a Republican, it would be the Democratic Party.
From the moment Clinton wandered back out of the woods of upstate New York in late January, it became clear that she lacks the basic skills of introspection with which all other human beings were endowed at birth. The woman has blamed her 2016 loss on former FBI Director James Comey, sexism, Russia, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), WikiLeaks, fake news, Facebook, news networks, campaign financiers, suburban women, white women, boyfriends, male bosses, fathers … everything up to and including “content farms in Macedonia.” “I take responsibility,” she said confidently, “for every decision I made, but that’s not why I lost.”
Perhaps — and I’m just spitballing here — Clinton lost because of her lackluster, negative campaign; perhaps it was her lucrative 2013 speeches to Goldman Sachs executives; perhaps it was the well-established fact that every word of her speeches was filtered through multiple focus groups.
And perhaps it was not the virile, brutish boyfriends, bosses or fathers that cost her the election; perhaps it was not invertebrate women who couldn’t think for themselves; perhaps it was not her two X chromosomes.
And yet, Clinton is still the face of the Democratic Party. She is still the subject of nightly news. She is still a leader to many Democrats. I find it an apt time for liberals to ask, should we not shed this skin for the fresh faces of Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D.-Calif.)?
For those unclear of my position, let me reveal it: Clinton was eons more qualified than Trump. Nevertheless, the people made their voices heard last November. Enough of Clinton, they said. As much as I wish her address were 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., it isn’t. The voters who mattered most in 2016 — rust-belt laborers of Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania — made their voices clear. And so, as long as Clinton remains at the forefront of the Democrats, she imperils the whole party of losing yet again.
I say none of this to criticize the accomplishments of Clinton. I am not exercising my speech to malign how she has acted in her capacity as an individual or as a public servant. But I say it to address an unfortunate truth: She is actively damaging the prospect of a prosperous future for the Democratic Party.
Clinton recently announced that she intends to involve herself with the midterm elections. But I think to myself, who will sign up for this service? Will Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) tour the Buckeye state with Clinton at his hip? Will she and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) hike from Milwaukee to Lake Superior hand in hand?
I’m sure that some of the readers who have made it this far have grown more irate by my misogyny line by line. Frequently, when someone makes an argument like mine, a dissenter argues back that if Clinton were a man, no one would be telling her to keep quiet after such a magnificent loss. After all, they say, no one told Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to quiet down during his boisterous post-2008 tenure in the U.S. Senate. Nor did anyone tell former Secretary of State John Kerry or former Vice President Al Gore.
But McCain and Kerry were senators who still had active hands in policymaking. Gore, though he promoted sharp, often lethal criticisms of former President George W. Bush and his folly in Iraq, only came out of the woodwork for brief periods of time. He didn’t write a book and go on a nationwide tour denouncing Bush at every stop along the way. Instead, he made a documentary about a highly specific issue that mattered to him. And when was the last time anyone has even heard the name Mitt Romney?
Clinton is not a senator; she is not a governor; she does not hold any official role in the government of any part of this country, large or small. As unfortunate as that fact may or may not be, it is a fact nonetheless. The longer Clinton stays in the public eye, the worse Democrats will fare with the same moderates who were turned off by her inauthenticity a year ago and the uneducated Republicans who fell into her infamous “basket of deplorables.”
Grant Osborn is a College junior from Springfield, Ohio.