Trump and Clinton not the same, CNN analyst says
Nov 23, 2016
Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election because too many people made the false assumption that the race was between the lesser of two evils, CNN political analyst Bakari Sellers said during a Q&A with The Panther on Nov. 22.
The false equivalency as portrayed by the media ultimately doomed Clinton, said Sellers, who was a leader in the Obama campaigns of 2008 and 2012 and was a strong supporter of Clinton from early in the 2016 campaign.
“You have all the false narrative that she was corrupt,” Sellers said. Even young black millennials pushed the idea that there was little difference between two bad choices for president.
That was just not accurate, he said. Clinton was a better choice than Republican President-elect Donald Trump.
That will become apparent when Trump tries to govern, Sellers said. “I think people are going to see this will be a failure.”
Sellers said he is uncertain whether Trump, with conflicts of interest, will make it through even one term. The scrutiny will be less with a Republican Congress, but there will still be problems.
“This is a newfound phenomenon that is going to unravel pretty quickly,” Sellers said. The weight of the presidency will get to him.
But Sellers said the hope must be that Trump will be a good leader.
Bringing the country together is going to be difficult for Trump, who has never worked for anyone but himself, Sellers said.
“As a country there is a high level of uncertainty about Donald Trump,” Sellers said. “We need Donald Trump to be a leader.”
Sellers warned that young African-Americans should be prepared for rights and gains achieved in the 1960s to be rolled back. But that must not be allowed to happen without a fight in the courts.
Sellers expects voter suppression to continue as in North Carolina, where on Election Day people of color had to wait hours to vote. This was because polling stations were reduced in number especially in areas where the population is mostly African-American, he said.
Sellers predicted an uphill battle with the Trump administration.
“I think that Donald Trump has become a vessel for racism to be more overt,” Sellers said. “Now you have various groups that have come out and they support and they’re parading around that they worked hard to get Trump elected: KKKs, neo-Nazis and everyone else.”
For Democrats, the need is cultivating new leaders, Sellers said.
“As a party, the Democratic Party is really old, really stale, has to get new fresh ideas, new leadership,” Sellers said. “It has to be prepared to face how the country now looks.”
Sellers remains interested in a political future.
While he in April forecast a run for governor in South Carolina if Trump won the election, that is likely not his course, Sellers said.
Sellers said he would like to be governor but the political reality of South Carolina as a GOP-dominated state remains for now. “It would be very difficult for a Democrat to win.”
Had Clinton won the presidency, Sellers said he may have moved to a position with the administration in Washington. “I had a lot more choices if Hillary Clinton had won.”
Sellers said he remains interested in the 6th Congressional District seat when veteran Rep. James Clyburn retires. “I would love to go to the U.S. Congress.”
Clyburn was re-elected in November to a two-year term.
For now, Sellers will be busy with his Columbia law practice and a new two-year contract with CNN, where he is a frequent panelist on shows with Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon.