Vail Daily letter: Yet another liberal excuse
January 3, 2017
In the past 1 1/2 months I thought I heard every excuse possible for Hillary Clinton's failure to win the election. In his latest commentary, Jack Van Ens has invented a new one and it's a doozy. A religious war between white Catholics and white evangelicals against Methodists.
Like so many other liberals, Van Ens can't accept how flawed Clinton was as a candidate and campaigner. He also totally misjudged the electorate's dissatisfaction with the status quo and if you supported Trump you are an uneducated bigot.
Van Ens has a hard time understanding and accepting how Nixon, Reagan and Trump who, according to Van Ens, professed but didn't practice their religion, could defeat McGovern, Mondale and Clinton who were good practitioners of their faith. He concludes that the latter three candidates, who bled Methodism, was what "in large part caused them to lose their presidential bids."
Some perspective is worthwhile. McGovern's loss to Nixon was one of the most lopsided defeats in U.S. history. McGovern lost every state but Massachusetts and D.C., including his native South Dakota. Post-election analysis indicated McGovern was too left-wing and handicapped by having to replace his running mate. He also suffered from not having organized labor's backing. AFL-CIO leader George Meany declined to endorse McGovern, calling him "an apologist for the communist world." There was no mention of his religion.
Mondale's loss to Reagan was by a record 512 electoral votes. Interviewers and exit pollsters attributed his loss to an intention to raise taxes and a preference for Reagan even among voters who disagreed with administration policies, because for them he represented leadership, patriotism and optimism. Again, there was no mention of religion.
In the absence of reality and in addition to the Russians, the electoral college, FBI Director Comey, racism, sexism, and an ill-informed electorate, Mr. Van Ens has invented still another excuse for Clinton's loss, religion.
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