S.F. Talks Back: A Missed Layup for the Democrats

By Christopher Hieb

In case you didn’t know last night was election night, and the results seemed surprising to many on my social media. The glass ceiling remains for Hillary Clinton and other women, and Donald Trump’s hair lurks in the background waiting to move into the White House.

This isn’t how this was supposed to go down.

Love, unity, and tolerance were supposed to win the day. Voters were supposed to go into the ballot box and motivated by the disgust for Donald Trump vote for Hillary Clinton. Apparently much of America had spent a very long time developing a disdain for Clinton, and it was be difficult to replicate that same feeling in less than a year.

Even on Fox News, commentators described Trump’s victory as “shocking the world.” He is a television personality with glowing orange skin, ridiculous hair, and beliefs that border on insanity; he was not supposed to win.

The fact that this election was so close shows that the assumption that America would not vote for a man that has publicly embodied every ism and phobia that I can think of  was wrong.

It burst our “California bubble” and is making many very uncomfortable.

How did this happen? How were the polls so wrong?

I saw the election like a basketball game, and the Democratic National Committee had Hillary alone with an open lane to the basket.

Bernie shakily passes the ball to Hillary, barely finding its mark. Hillary moves towards the basket  slowly as if she had forgotten Donald Trump was playing defense. Donald runs as fast and aggressively as he can but trips and falls on his face. Clinton continues to take her time getting to the hoop as Trump puts his hair back on and stands up. Clinton finally shoots an easy layup and misses. Then a rebound by Trump, who runs up the court. He passes by Bernie, who’s been forced off the court, and slam dunks the election as time expires.

Wait. What?

That wasn’t the story I was planning to write. In fact, I planned the exact opposite, and had already come up with the basketball analogy for Trump and the GOP. I was supposed to write about how the DNC had put out an incredibly beatable (although incredibly qualified) candidate, and that GOP just missed that layup. I was going to write of the fall and antiquated nature of the party.

What a difference twelve hours makes.

Much like the NBA Championship Series, where the Warriors lost their 3-1 series lead, it felt as if Clinton had a lead that was unquestionable. Northern California felt as if victory was assured.

In both cases, there was heartbreaking play after heartbreaking play, ending with the defeat of the local favorite. In both cases, it was something that was not supposed to happen. In both cases, the bubble burst.

State after state being called for Trump was like LeBron blocking Iguodala at the end of Game 7. It was a devastating moment for one fan base and exhilarating for another. As Pennsylvania was called, the time ran out, and a true state of dread sank in for the losing supporters.

The results of both have lingered, but the stakes in the election will echo in eternity. Unlike the NBA Championship, this affects more than a select fan base, it affects the entire country.

The hurt people are feeling right now is just and is not easily healed. Walking around today, I looked into the crying eyes of women feeling betrayed. These are real emotions that are based in reality. There is no direction that seems like a logical next step, and it is very bothersome.

The next move is unclear, but the Warriors went out in the off-season and got the strongest free agent on market in Kevin Durant, so they may pick themselves up to make another championship run. I believe the DNC needs to take a similar approach. It should put their absolute best foot forward, not just in the next election but during the next four years, to strengthen itself.


SF Weekly welcomes timely and well-written letters from our readers. If we choose to publish your piece, we reserve the right to edit it as we see fit. To submit your article, send us an email at SFTalksBack@sfweekly.com.

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