Re: “Russian interference makes Trump illegitimate,” Monday:
If one assumes that Mr. Trump is an “illegitimate” president, he has to accept the following premises:
1. Trump did not surpass the required number of electoral votes. He needed 270; received 309.
2. He did not carry traditionally “blue” states. He won Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin.
3. The Democrats did not run a campaign bereft of ideas and solutions, nor did they have an unpopular candidate.
4. The Democratic Party did not go so far to the left that it lost touch with independents, center-left Democrats and the working middle class.
5. The election map did not show the East Coast and West Coast “blue,” and everything in between “red.”
6. The former director of national intelligence did not say there was no evidence of Russian influence on the election’s outcome.
The Democrats haven’t learned a lesson because, like now, they refused to see the obvious. They were “shellacked,” to use Mr. Obama’s term in the midterm elections, but they didn’t move more to the center, as Clinton did when it happened to him. Instead, they “doubled down,” going even further left than before, so left in fact, that Bernie Sanders was booed for saying “All lives matter.”
Instead of offering new ideas, they repeated the mantra of class warfare, higher taxes and victimhood to a country with a 1.2 growth rate during the Obama presidency. To an electorate worried about terrorism, Hillary campaigned on a 500 percent increase in accepting refugees from the Middle East. Instead of campaigning on protecting against terrorists who could infiltrate refugee ranks, she said Republicans were mean-spirited.
How many ways could Clinton and the Democrats take a nationwide “shellacking?” To paraphrase Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “let me count the ways.”