Hillary Clinton asked a crowd in Orlando the question that has been plaguing Democratic insiders for month: Why isn’t she running away with this election.
“Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?,’ you might ask,” before utterly refusing to answer her own question. “Well, the choice for working families has never been clearer. I need help to get Donald Trump’s record out to everybody. Nobody should be fooled!”
But that’s precisely Clinton’s problem. Nobody is fooled by her lies, especially not millennial voters. And why should they be?
Take, for instance, a recent bit of sleuthing done by Reddit users, who found evidence that former Clinton computer specialist Paul Combetta solicited advice on how to wipe her server without leaving any evidence.
The user, going by the name stonetear, said he was “facing a very interesting situation” in which he needed “to strip out a VIP’s (VERY VIP) email address from a bunch of archived email.” Notably, that post came on July 24, 2014 just one day after the House Select Committee on Benghazi reached an agreement with the State Department to produce records of Clinton’s email.
A later Reddit post from stonetear asks how to create a folder structure that automatically purged emails after 60 days. According to research conducted by US News, that came in the same month as Cheryl Mills—a longtime Clinton aide—asked that the retention policy be shortened to 60 days. But apparently, Combetta failed to make the change, leading to an “oh sh—“ moment that forced him to use a program called BleachBit to delete Clinton’s emails.
It’s little wonder then that Combetta signed an immunity agreement with the federal government that protects him from charges. After all, it’s a federal offense to alter records that are subject to a federal investigation with the intent to “impede, obstruct or influence.” It’s an enormous wonder how Hillary Clinton is still in the race, much less lamenting the fact that she’s not winning by 50 points.
Heck, she’s not even up by 20 points among young voters, a group that President Barack Obama won by a 2-to-1 margin. Poll show that a significant percentage of millennials are throwing their support behind third party candidates like libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein.
Unsurprisingly, Democrats are panicked at the thought of young voters lodging a protest vote, refusing to vote for someone they manifestly don’t trust (Clinton) and someone who has yet to earn their trust (Trump).
“When I am confronted by the “not voting” or “protest voting” crowd, their argument often boils down to one of principle: They can’t possibly vote for Trump or Clinton because both are flawed in their own ways,” Charles Blow argues for the New York Times.”[But] [y]ou can’t pretend to be “enlightened” or “woke” or “principled” and sit idly by and allow real and sustained damage to be done to the very causes you hold dear.”
“Protest voting or not voting at all isn’t principled. It’s dumb, and childish, and self-immolating. I know you’re young, but grow up!” Blow scolds.
Similarly, Sen. Bernie Sanders urged voters to “think hard about it” before “you cast a protest vote.” Apparently, Sanders forgot that he ran four times as a Liberty Union Party candidate, taking less than 2 percent, 1 percent, 4 percent, and 6 percent of the vote respectively, before ultimately being elected mayor of Burlington, Vt. as an independent.
The point is, there is absolutely something called a protest vote. More importantly, there is absolutely a choice. Young voters absolutely detest being told that their options are circumscribed, that their views must fit into either this box or that box. Our generation has long demanded, and received, the ability to customize our choices because we won’t have it any other way. Why should the election be different?
If young voters can’t abide Hillary Clinton’s constant mistruths and don’t trust her to run the country then they simply should not vote for her. If those same young voters don’t feel that Donald Trump’s outsider status offers enough of a contrast then they shouldn’t vote for him. Instead, they should look to a third party.
No matter what, Clinton does not deserve to run away with this election. She doesn’t deserve to win by 50 points. She doesn’t deserve 50 percent of the vote. She deserves a quiet retirement where neither transparency nor accountability are required of her.