U.S Politics, United States — November 15, 2016 at 10:06 PM

David versus Goliath

Chances are, you are familiar with the Biblical story of David and Goliath. Per the story, David, son of Jesse, against a seemingly insurmountable set of odds defeated Goliath, a Philistine and who was heavily favored to crush David. The defeat of Hillary Clinton (Democrat) by Donald Trump (Republican) in the recently-concluded U.S presidential election is a modern day version of that saga.

Like Goliath, Clinton was heavily favored to crush Trump with ease like hot knife on butter. In fact, during the Republican Party primary the Clinton campaign and its huge army of political cronies openly bragged about how it wished the Republican Party would be foolish enough to allow Trump emerge as its presidential nominee. The age long adage to be careful what you wish for couldn’t be truer.

Initially, in the Republican primary it seemed very unlikely that Trump, a political neophyte, could defeat a seasoned Republican army of political Goliaths which vowed to prevent him (Trump), by any means necessary, from becoming the Republican nominee. Trump, true to his character dug in, setting the stage for an all-out political war. Most political observers predicted a trump primary defeat. But I didn’t, as I saw the Republican primary differently.

In fact, I predicted Trump’s victory not only at the primary level but also in the general election. My friends Simeon Ahiamadu and Nkechi Elekwa in Nigeria are witnesses. So are Engr. Steve Benstowe in New Jersey, attorney Chidi Eze in New York, Mosy O’gini in U.K, Prosper and Tracy Ngala in Randallstown, Maryland, and a host of others too numerous to pen here.

So, why did Clinton loose an election most observers saw as hers to take? Did Clinton loose it or Trump won it? What’s more, what did I and a small click of political observers see that the rest of the world missed? To understand how it all went down, I got to take you back in time to the genesis of Clinton’s presidential ambition troubles.

The seed of the troubles was sown way before Clinton entered the race. However, it was not the seed sowing that necessarily did the damage, rather it was the decision by Clinton and her team to allow the seed to germinate and grow into a monster. This monster would not go away. Every time we thought the monster was dead for good, it kept coming back like a recurring decimal to perturb her campaign.

It was the New York Times that sowed the seed March 2, 2015 when it ran a front page story reporting that Clinton as Secretary of State used a personal email server to carry out State Department business. Eventually, the email scandal, like aggressive cancer cells, metastasized over the cause of the campaign, causing independent voters to see Clinton as untrustworthy and having a propensity for secrecy. The question I ask is: Why did Clinton and her team not get ahead of the story and crush it before she entered the race? The only plausible answer is that they thought they could get away with it.

Then there was the controversy surrounding the Clinton Foundation, which also was another negative factor against her. The foundation reportedly took contributions from foreign governments while Clinton was Secretary of State, which violated the foundation’s commitment and State Department protocol. This, consequently, created a perception in the mind of voters that, if elected, big corporations could influence Clinton’s decisions as President by she giving in to groups that made donations to the foundation. To be fair, no smoking gun evidence of a direct quid pro quo ever surfaced but, reportedly, there were examples of corporations enjoying one form of favor or the other from the State department after donating to the foundation. This reeked of political foul odor with stench so strong that Trump and his team capitalized on it for serious political damage.

Enter Wikileaks, the international non-profit organization that publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources. Sensing blood in the water, Wikileaks pounced and started releasing troves of emails which it stated was hacked from the Gmail account of Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. In one of such email, Chelsea Clinton reportedly thought the foundation was ethically challenged, and that Doug Band a top aide to former president Bill Clinton thought that the former president (Bill Clinton) had conflicts of interests involving the foundation’s corporate backers. Interestingly, the Clinton campaign never denied or confirmed the validity of the released emails, which gave the impression the emails were authentic; otherwise, why did the campaign not release a statement to deny or confirm the email brouhaha?

As if the leaked emails trouble was not enough James Comey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director, after he told the world earlier that the bureau would not recommend for the Justice Department to press charges against Hillary Clinton for use of a private server to conduct State Department businesses, dropped a political bomb shell when he announced October 28, 2015 that he had written a letter to members of congress who oversee the FBI that the bureau had reopened its investigation of Hillary Clinton on the private server controversy. We were all caught off guard as no one saw or smelled it coming. Tension was mounting and the nation was on edge, it seemed. Then on November 6 Comey announced that the second round of the investigation also had not turned up anything new. But the damage was already done, and the saga of a hunted Hillary Clinton campaign continued.

Also, there was the issue that the Hillary Clinton campaign had no real message. The campaign had relied on the fact that the American people would see Trump as bad for the country and reject him. And, as alternative, Clinton would be chosen over Trump. All the campaign pushed was its slogan that “We are stronger together”, which was a response to what it claimed was Trump’s campaign of divisiveness. But on November 8 American voters saw it differently and jettisoned Clinton for Trump.

Let me analyze. A national election campaign is like a software application which has functional requirements and non-functional requirements. Functional requirements are what the software must do. In other word, a functional requirement is the reason the software application was built; consequently, at a minimum, the software must be able to deliver on the reason for its existence, otherwise the software application is useless. Non-functional requirements, on the other hand, are the things that are nice for the software to have, but not necessarily required.

In the Trump versus Clinton presidential campaign, there were lots of issues that qualified as functional requirements because, like a software application, they were things that the two campaigns must address to be relevant. Job security, national security, and terrorism were at the top of the list for U.S 2016 presidential campaign functional requirements. Whereas, the Trump campaign delivered on the election’s functional requirements with its emphases on changing the lives of Americans through a new and dynamic economic policy, the Clinton campaign hammered away on a non-functional requirement of “We are stronger together”. Some Trump detractors argued that Trump would not deliver on his promises to tackle the election’s functional requirements, and that his political promissory notes were mere sweet talks that he would never deliver on.

But the detractors missed the point, which is that Trump addressed the election’s functional requirements, Clinton didn’t. Whether a politician will deliver on election campaign promises can only be judged from the prism of history. In other word, such judgement can be valid after the politician had assumed office and served. Clinton should have addressed the election’s functional requirement and left it for the American voter to decide which of the two presidential candidates to give the benefit of doubt.

Maybe the Clinton campaign in the last days of the campaign finally realized that it had no real message, which might be the reason it enlisted an army of celebrities including President Obama, First lady Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Jay Z and basketball superstar LeBron James, to stomp for her and bamboozle the electorate. If that was the intention it clearly didn’t work because the American voter proved that it was more than mere pieces of toys to be manipulated like puppets.

Democrats rather than bad-mouthing Trump and acting like sore losers should do a political autopsy on its party to elicit the reason they lost, and make adjustments accordingly. Otherwise, the outcome will be the same four years later.

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