In her late-morning concession speech, Hillary Clinton congratulated Donald Trump on his victory while frankly confessing her own disappointment.
“I know how disappointed you feel because I feel it too,” she told her supporters. “This is painful, and it will be for a long time.”
Clinton urged her followers to give Trump a chance and keep an open mind about his intentions.
“We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought,” she said. “But I still believe in America and I always will.”
She also advised young women to remain hopeful that a female president will indeed be elected one day—perhaps sooner than they expect.
“To all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams,” she said.
Good on Clinton for being as gracious in defeat as Trump was in victory. That said, the Democratic Party is clearly in for a reckoning—the reckoning that many in the media thought the Republican Party would be facing the morning after Election Day. As Jim Newell writes in Slate:
The party establishment made a grievous mistake rallying around Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t just a lack of recent political seasoning. She was a bad candidate, with no message beyond heckling the opposite sideline. She was a total misfit for both the politics of 2016 and the energy of the Democratic Party as currently constituted. She could not escape her baggage, and she must own that failure herself.
Theoretically smart people in the Democratic Party should have known that. And yet they worked giddily to clear the field for her. Every power-hungry young Democrat fresh out of law school, every rising lawmaker, every old friend of the Clintons wanted a piece of the action. This was their ride up the power chain. The whole edifice was hollow, built atop the same unearned sense of inevitability that surrounded Clinton in 2008, and it collapsed, just as it collapsed in 2008, only a little later in the calendar. The voters of the party got taken for a ride by the people who controlled it, the ones who promised they had everything figured out and sneeringly dismissed anyone who suggested otherwise. They promised that Hillary Clinton had a lock on the Electoral College. These people didn’t know what they were talking about, and too many of us in the media thought they did.
Clinton also deserves blame for helping the Obama administration to grow the powers of the office of the presidency—powers that Trump will now be free to make use of. (That’s one big reason many young people were reluctant to support her, in fact.) In any case, it’s time for liberals to re-join libertarian efforts to constrain the federal government.