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Why Hillary Clinton isn’t sweeping Democratic votes

Geoff Beckman

Donald Trump’s recent campaign implosion means I’ll finally be able to talk to a friend without being urged to support Hillary Clinton.

Since the primaries ended, everyone I know has been wondering why a 1992 Clinton-Gore staffer turned-Democratic Party functionary and then hippie strategist doesn’t care that Clinton, in her attempt to beat Trump, continues to labor.

The reason Clinton is struggling, as she’s told her donors, is that, “I am occupying from the center-left to the center-right. And I don’t have much company there.”

If she wants to win big, she should stop.

People are in pain. They’re hurting. Real problems don’t have easy answers. They don’t magically go away if a neo-liberal makes a fancy speech. A big speech can show people that you know what they’re feeling. The hard, sharp edges of your words — and the fire they can sense underneath them — will say, “I understand. You can trust me.”

I don’t know whether Hillary Clinton doesn’t know what the problem is, doesn’t care what the problem is, or won’t say what’s necessary because she is afraid to do it. But this is how a winning candidate would talk about Donald Trump’s taxes:

No matter how hard they work, millions of Americans can’t earn enough money to escape poverty. And if they can’t earn enough, we give them one tiny break. We don’t exempt them from payroll taxes. Or Social Security taxes. Or most sales taxes. But we do let them avoid federal income tax.

That’s class warfare at its most reprehensible. Donald Trump has dodged his obligation to support his country the same way he dodged his obligation to fight for it in the 1960s. He did it legally, but just because you can do it doesn't mean that you should.

Clinton isn’t making those points — and not by accident. She decided in May to separate Donald Trump from the Republican Party as a whole. Clinton wants to pretend that Trump is a fluke and that his supporters in the “basket of deplorables” don’t represent the party as a whole.

Clinton is doing that because she wants Republican votes. If she can build a coalition from the center-right, she can be elected without being beholden to progressives. If she doesn’t need Democratic votes to get elected, she doesn’t have to pursue policies that Democrats want.

And that’s why she isn’t sweeping Democratic votes.

People who aren’t voting for Hillary Clinton aren’t confused. They know who Hillary Clinton is and exactly what she stands for.

One of the worst offenders when it comes to mistreating its part-time workers is Wal-Mart. Mrs. Clinton served on its board. One of the largest exploiters of illegal immigrant labor is Tyson. She served on its board, too.

I’m not giving my vote to someone who will use it to claim a mandate to push more neo-liberal policies and destroy the country further.

Geoff Beckman is a campaign strategist and business consultant in Cleveland.