Did Clinton Lose Because Of Being A Warmonger?

There are many theories as to why Hillary Clinton lost the election. The most likely involve her being the most conservative, insider candidate conceivable in a year in which voters wanted a change, promises from Donald Trump (regardless of  whether he could keep them) of jobs, contrasted to Clinton’s views on trade deals, the terrible campaign run by Clinton which failed to give any good reasons to vote for Clinton beyond her gender and the view that it was her turn, and Clinton’s dishonesty canceling out Donald Trump’s negatives. The Clinton camp is sticking to their fallacious claims that she lost due to factors such as Russia, James Comey, and misogyny.

While economic issues do appear to have been more important, Reason has found a paper which suggests an another issue was responsible for Clinton’s loss in a post entitled, Did Endless War Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency?  

A new study attributes Donald Trump’s victory last year to communities hit hardest by military casualties and angry about being ignored. These voters, the authors suggest, saw Trump as an “opportunity to express that anger at both political parties.”

The paper—written by Douglas Kriner, a political scientist at Boston University, and Francis Shen, a law professor at the University of Minnesota—provides powerful lessons about the electoral viability of principled non-intervention, a stance that Trump was able to emulate somewhat on the campaign trail but so far has been incapable of putting into practice.

The study, available at SSRN, found a “significant and meaningful relationship between a community’s rate of military sacrifice and its support for Trump.” The statistical model it used suggested that if Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin had suffered “even a modestly lower casualty rate,” all three could have flipped to Hillary Clinton, making her the president. The study controlled for party identification, comparing Trump’s performance in the communities selected to Mitt Romney’s performance in 2012. It also controlled for other relevant factors, including median family income, college education, race, the percentage of a community that is rural, and even how many veterans there were.

“Even after including all of these demographic control variables, the relationship between a county’s casualty rate and Trump’s electoral performance remains positive and statistically significant,” the paper noted. “Trump significantly outperformed Romney in counties that shouldered a disproportionate share of the war burden in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

For myself, opposition to the warfare/surveillance state was a major criteria in voting. This is an area where my views overlap with those of the libertarians at Reason and was an issue in which they were closer to the views of the candidates from the left as opposed to Republican candidates. While Bernie Sanders stressed economic issues in the campaign, a major reason I voted for him was his opposition to both the Iraq war and the Patriot Act. Unfortunately the Democratic Party used McGovern era rules, and then further changed the rules in 2016, to basically rig the nomination for Hillary Clinton, who is both one of the most hawkish politicians on the political scene, and has a far right-wing record on civil liberties.

The post from Reason concluded by saying, “The paper by Kriner and Shen should be ample evidence that there will be space in the 2020 election cycle for a principled non-interventionist not just to run, but to win.” While I personally would like to see a candidate win based upon finally ending the wars begun under Bush, I am not so optimistic that this will be sufficient for a candidate to win.

On the other hand, I do prefer their attitude of encouraging candidates based upon principle as opposed to an effort described by Recode by Mark Pincus and Reid Hoffman to “hack” the Democratic Party. Their project, entitled  Win the Future (yes, shortened to WTF) plans to adopt planks based upon an internet vote:

To start, the group will query supporters on two campaigns: Whether or not they believe engineering degrees should be free to all Americans, and if they oppose lawmakers who don’t call for Trump’s immediate impeachment.

A group which seeks to reform the Democratic Party but currently doesn’t know what it stands for sounds too much like the Democratic Party of today.

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8 Comments

  1. 1
    Jim Coleman says:

    A one letter word that she used every time she said anything killed it for me.

    That letter ( I,I,I,I ) not WE.

  2. 2
    SocraticGadfly says:

    But, Bernie himself did things like supporting bombing Serbia in the 1990s (without also bombing Croatia for its own atrocities in Bosnia), loves F-35s and other things.

    I voted Bernie in the Democratic primary while knowing I would vote Green in the general even if he did somehow get the Democratic nomination.

  3. 3
    KP says:

    I didn't vote Hillary because she is an unethical a-hole. And her foreign policy decisions were horrible.

     

    I voted Bernie in the Dem primary in Cali while knowing I would write in Mattis or my wife for Prez. 

  4. 4
    Robert L Bell says:

    Don't be retarded.  She lost because of her email server.

     

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:

    The email server was just one reason. It especially hurt because it reinforced already existing views of Clinton of dishonesty and her belief that the rules which applied to others did not apply to her. He constant lying about the matter made it even harder for her to survive this scandal.

  6. 6
    Rafael Perez says:

    No, Clinton did not lose because of her being a warmonger, they are all warmongers. She lost because she has no convictions.  

    She lost because she is an incrementer in a situation the body politic need radical surgery.

  7. 7
    Ron Chusid says:

    Clinton is far more of a warmonger (although I doubt that was the major reason she lost, even if one of my major objections to her).

  8. 8
    Steven Greenberg says:

    I had been a Democrat, but her hawkishness is one of many reasons why I would not vote for her.  Bernie wasn't quite as good on foreign policy as I would have liked, but he was much better than Clinton.  Bernie was so good on income equality and the economy in general, although not perfect there either, I gladly voted for him in the primary.  I did a Demexit before the general election.

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