With Bernie supporters being the most vocal on Facebook, some people are having a hard time believing that Hillary indeed won the popular vote for the Democratic nomination. (Of course, Trump supporters are the most vocal in general. Even their hats are all-caps.)
Some people are even singing (to the tune of "Eleanor Rigby") "All the Hillary supporters...where do they all come from?" (Author's note: no one else is humming that? It's just me? Okay. Moving on.)
Writer and comedian Joanna Castle Miller wrote a Facebook post that is going viral on Twitter (she took a screenshot of the original). Miller has a lot of insight into the campaign—even though she's a liberal, her father is Darrell Castle, the real, live third party candidate of the right-wing Constitution Party. Traveling around the country and meeting voters and supporters of all kinds, she noted something unique about Hillary supporters. It maybe explains why you see (and hear) Sanders & Trump supporters all over the Internet but only saw Hillary supporters in vote tallies. Here's the solution to the mystery of the missing Hillary fans.
Over the last week, I spent time with all of the 3 major campaigns here in CA as part of the show I've been working on. Everyone I met was polite, energized, and passionate. But I noticed one big difference between Hillary's supporters and everyone else.
When I spoke with Trump and Bernie supporters, they were most eager to get in front of the camera. They spoke with a lot of confidence, and they spoke very freely.
Almost all of Hillary's volunteers (approx the same number as were at Bernie's office on the same day) were women, of varying age and race. Her supporters did *not* clamor for the camera. It was the opposite. They wanted to be interviewed, but they debate it for what seemed like forever. They got quiet and asked questions like, "Will my name be used?" "Where will this be seen?" and "Can I wear sunglasses?" Some of them thanked me and said no, and they looked really sad about it. When I pressed them, they told me they were terrified of the online threats they might receive, and in some cases had already received. Even lead organizers admitted they hadn't put up a yard sign or bumper sticker for fear of retaliation. When women walked in to volunteer for the phone bank, they were assured they wouldn't have to give their names if they were too afraid.
Hillary's office was tucked away in a dying mall, with little hand-drawn posters taped up, cheerleader-style. It was cheery, but quiet and nearly invisible. A lot like those volunteers.
This is not to generalize all women as Hillary supporters or as timid – of course not! But I personally believe there's a correlation between her largely female volunteer base (as of now), her unexpected voter turnout, and the fear so many women have expressing themselves online, or on the street, or in the board room.
A lot of people on social media have wondered where all of Hillary's votes came from, because there was no signage no outpouring of love on Facebook. It shouldn't surprise us that when we fail to listen to women's voices well in the public sphere, we mis-calculate what women are actually thinking and doing in private. We didn't know where Hillary's votes were coming from because they didn't feel it was safe for them to tell us in the first place.
So, there you go: they were there, a lot of them were women, and they didn't trust the general public not to act like general a-holes if they spoke up. Whether or not you support Clinton, it's worthwhile to note that in the same year that a woman has become the first nominee of a major party, reprisals and harassment made supporters afraid to publicly endorse her.