What Happened (Wasn’t My Fault)

Winter has come, as has the tradition of reviewing some of the most meaningful, well written, and intellectually stimulating books of the past year. Unfortunately for me, this is not one of those books.

As we begin 2018, I find it appropriate to take a step back and reflect on my past year. I would like to take a moment to remember all of the lessons I have learned, the experiences I have had, acknowledge the mistakes I have made, and most importantly, cast aside all responsibility for my foolish actions and instead blame all of my problems on America’s uneducated and Russian meddling.

Embarking on a new year at Dartmouth, I faced countless challenges and also made many foolish decisions. Was it wise to play that seventh game of pong in a row the day before my Econ 10 midterm, (probably not), but obviously this mistake could not be my fault. Rather, it was the fault of the Russian sponsored advertisements for Keystone Light that filled my Facebook feed.

When the essay I completed in a caffeine fueled haze the hour before it was due received less than stellar marks. I rest easy knowing that it was not at all a reflection of the poor quality of my message. Instead, it was the fault of my deplorable and uneducated professor who clearly didn’t understand the brilliance of my message and how much I wanted to help him. How could my vision for this essay not align with everyone else’s, when mine is obviously right?

In this same spirit, I commend Hillary Clinton for her brave reflection and diversion of blame to others as Hillary took center stage to lament the massive tragedy that was her presidential campaign.

The scene is set, the world has just ended, Donald J. Trump has just been elected president. Rather than accepting her loss and disappearing into the woodwork, Clinton returns to the political arena for what is hopefully her last time. After a hard-fought election filled with controversy, Clinton now takes the time to give her own autopsy of her failed presidential campaign. In her description of the election the same delusion that fueled her campaign reigns. Her blind confidence in liberal identity politics and the minority versus majority mentality which permeates the left embraces the other, while assigning blame to the average American. As opposed to working to create the best possible American society for everyone, regardless of background, Clinton pressed blame for any societal issues on the “deplorables” of America.

Throughout “What Happened,” Hillary Clinton attempts to convey her relatable and everyday life as a presidential candidate. From the first page until the last, Clinton makes constant youthful comparisons and sounds like your grandma the day after she discovered Urban Dictionary. Most of her more meaningful analysis is diluted with frivolous pandering in lines like, “I put on yoga pants and a fleece almost immediately.” (How relatable, I also love wearing fleeces! Although, I generally forgo the yoga pants.)

From the onset of Clinton’s book, a desolate Clinton bemoans her enormous loss at the hands of a mad-man. The book does not aim for meaningful analysis of the election and Clinton’s failed strategy. The book instead conveys Clinton’s emotional journey throughout the election and answers the important questions the American public has been dying to know. I won’t spoil it for all the eager readers out there, but get ready to find out how many windows Hillary has in her bedroom and even the color suit she was going to wear as president elect. While she attempts to justify her mistakes and shortfalls on the campaign trail, she reflects on the hypothetical and petty retorts she wishes she had said in the moment (you go girl). For instance, the response she almost sent in response to Jason Chaffetz’s Instagram post from inauguration day, “To be honest, thought you were Reince.”

Clinton continues to caste away responsibility from her own shortcomings and misguided message. The blatant delusion she has carried throughout the entire election process shows no sign of ending. She fails to recognize that both her and Trump were despised candidates and that blaming her loss on her gender degrades our own political system. The fact that she lost to objectively one of the most controversial and disliked presidential candidates (besides herself) shows how poorly America thought of her. There are so many wonderful reasons to despise Hillary Clinton that is seems juvenile to blame it on her gender.

More telling is her criticism of the electoral college. Yes, Hillary did win the popular vote, and yes, this is still irrelevant. Contrary to Hillary’s campaign strategy, the president is not chosen by popular vote, this is no secret. The fact that Clinton’s campaign strategy focused more on winning over the majority of the United States population and not winning the election further demonstrates how misguided her entire campaign was.

In the process of describing her experience running for president, she never hesitates to remind the reader that she alone holds the answer to all of America’s problems. From Alzheimer’s disease, climate change, and even playground bullying, Hillary had a government initiative to help us all. As we know, government initiatives have worked so well in the past, (Just say no kids, am I right?).

For 512 pages, Clinton takes her reader through the emotions she experienced losing the election and attempts to justify the actions she took (which at least in part) led to her failure. Overall, the impression that What Happened is Hillary Clinton’s swan song from politics is apparent. What Happened is Hillary’s final I told you so. The book comes across as a stream of attempts to relate to its readers, to humanize an inhuman election process. However, it just comes across as insincere pandering. The totally “relatable” experiences that Hillary presents exemplify the same issue she faced during the election and her disconnect with the American people. Having spent 25 years in the political world, yes, she has experience. However, she hasn’t lived in the real world since 1992.

At this point, any continued criticisms are useless. It seems as Hillary has sung her swan song and will now fade beautifully into political obscurity.