The Big Mac Blog

A tale of explaining to a little girl why Hillary lost

Seven-year-old Vivian M. Engel ran for office in Tuesday’s national election. She reportedly finished ahead of both Jill Stein and Gary Johnson.
Seven-year-old Vivian M. Engel ran for office in Tuesday’s national election. She reportedly finished ahead of both Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. Star-Telegram

Cute picture, no?

A seven-year-old girl who, on Election Night, joined the fun. And it was fun for her until she learned the next morning the person she wanted to win had lost.

“I wanted the girl to win,” my daughter said, her voice cracking and tears rolling down her face. “It’s not fair.”

In searching for a palatable life lesson for my kid, and a relatable parallel between the scoreboard world of sports and this bloody political season is this - sometimes you just get beat. And it is fair.

At every step Donald Trump destroyed his competition; it may not be have nice, pretty, or politically correct but technically it was fair. What it was, for my kid, was just sad. And that is the only reason I voted for Hillary Clinton.

Announcing whom you voted for is normally not good for business - in particular a sports page in a primarily conservative region - but there is a reason why I cared so much for this and it had everything to do with my kid. Your kid makes you crazy, sometimes in the worst of ways, but always with a blind heart.

I have no expectations of grandeur from a President; the machine is too big to enact the countless promised changes. If you are expecting an elected official on this level to make a difference in your life it will be a hard go.

Red or Blue, they all add another rung, or office, to a government that swells, and slows, every four years. I’ve voted for Bushes to Obamas and my life is pretty much the same, with the exception they all seem to take more out of my wallet despite their rhetoric to do otherwise.

I simply wanted one thing from this reality TV nightmare election: The chance for my daughter to see empirically “a girl” could win the highest job in America. That’s all.

I believe they can, but that the standards they must face are decidedly unfair.

Much like with Barack Obama’s ascent in 2008, I wanted one thing from that election – the chance for a black American to know it was possible to be the President of the United States.

America sells itself as an ideal where it is all attainable for everyone, even when we know that that truth does not necessarily apply to every person. When Obama won, he was proof a minority could win the job.

Had Hillary won, it would have been the same proof to all females.

What Hillary needed to win the job was a resume as clean as Obama’s. At least.

When Obama threw his name into the race he had virtually nothing on him. Other than some nonsense about his place of birth, and questions about his religion, the guy was clean.

Clinton, however, had a long career littered with missteps and perceived (likely) abuses of power for personal gain. Basically, she was a career politician, the only difference was she was a chick.

She also had the unfair misfortune of having to answer for her husband’s sins, and having it used against her to demonstrate the weakness of her message as an “empowered woman.”

There are a lot of strong people - men and women - who have remained in difficult, dysfunctional marriages for a variety of reasons and it speaks nothing to empowerment. It’s their individual decision, and no one outside of that immediate family should say a damn word.

And she also had enough on her from “those emails” to “Benghazi” for any potential detractor to justify voting against her. It didn’t matter if a person didn’t know anything beyond the bullet points of “Emails” and “Benghazi” - it was enough to call her a liar and feel good in the that “That B----” would not earn their vote.

While a white man’s resume can be covered in sin, corruption, failure, allegations, contradictions, empty promises and hypocrisy, to run against him and not be a white dude yourself the record had best be pristine.

Perhaps Hillary’s timing was bad - that no career politician, regardless of their resume, was going to stop the non-politician movement from winning the most influential office in the world. People are sick of career politicians and their empty BS, and I can’t blame them.

Perhaps her biggest shortcoming was she simply could not connect with people, and despite her best efforts conveyed the empathy of a micro-managing, condescending stop light.

Trump touched a nerve and, like Obama, his candidacy was a movement. A movement that trashed every traditional Republican candidate as well as the Democrat.

Trump’s language was savage, brutal, incendiary and divisive. He manipulated the media and used television to his advantage better than any other candidate, and for that he deserves credit.

He won, and he did so fairly.

What isn’t fair is that the double standard that he so clearly enjoys that disables, and routinely discourages, able minded non-white dudes too often.

I was not crazy about Her, but I voted for Her - because I simply wanted my daughter to see that a girl could win. Because I did not want to see her cry.