Analysts will study this election for years to come. Donald Trump overcame a media and political establishment that had dismissed him from the outset of his campaign. There’s no doubt that they believed Trump would become a footnote in political history books, and that much like they were able to politically defame and largely demolish the Tea Party, they expected to put his supporters out of their minds and simply dismiss them in the same way. IF you remember back in 2009, and 2010, Barack Obama was dismissive of the Tea Party movement that was just erupting, and he wouldn’t even acknowledge them, instead leaving DC when they arranged for their huge march. The left thought they would apply the same tactics to Donald Trump and his supporters, and that would do the trick for them again. Marginalized, defamed, and categorized as “racist, sexist nut-jobs,” they expected to run right over the army of Trump supporters with equal indifference. Donald Trump was of another mind, and that certainly played a remarkable role, but having examined the election returns, I’m prepared to say what I think made the difference. Analysts will study and fret, trying to discover some secret key to what made them lose, or miss the analysis, but they’re all missing the point. It’s really much simpler than all of the nuance and rationalization that’s been going on in the last twelve hours. It really isn’t rocket science, and a cursory examination of the results will bear this out: Donald Trump won the election in 2016 because too many Americans have been desperate for change for much too long, and because the current president and his administration(but also much of the Congress) have been entirely indifferent to the suffering they’ve inflicted.
Leftists never consider the impact of their policies on individuals. Their rationalizations are always constructed under the skewed microscope of the collectivized “good” as they conceive it. If imposing a healthcare program on the entirety of the nation results in a driving-up of costs for average Americans, while only covering a small number of additional Americans, they don’t care. If they evaluate their program at all, their conclusion will inevitably be that they must tax more and impose larger penalties for those who refuse to participate. Never do they hesitate to consider that for most Americans, even those not formally a part of the Obama-care program, the net effect for most Americans of the mere existence of this law has been to drive up out-of-pocket costs for every person who is a net payer, and by some dramatic proportions in many instances. The statists simply do not care about these impacts, and won’t even consider them in their political calculus. It is this baked-in tone-deafness of the left that makes for the sort of shock they experienced in the wee hours of this morning when they realized Donald Trump would become president.
Leftists only talk to one another. The entire media establishment is so thoroughly rife with leftists that they cannot see any point of view but their own. Disagreement is not tolerated, and other points of view are summarily dismissed, mocked, and otherwise defamed. Worst of all, perhaps, they seem to exist within a sort of echo-chamber that leads them to believe things that simply aren’t so, and this blinds them to reality, again, setting them up for the sort of massive failure they experienced on Election Day 2016.
In this election, what they failed to perceive is something rather simple, and it’s been right there before them since 2009, but they’ve stubbornly ignored it, as if by ignoring it, it would simply not exist. This ostrich-like behavior meant they would not hear the desperation in the voices of average Americans, with whom they have very little contact, and who are, in their view, simply the insignificant people of “flyover country.”
This is where Donald Trump won, but let’s be more explicit about who it was that dragged him across the finish line to victory: In the last week of the campaign, in horror over the looming possibility of a Clinton presidency, Republicans began to “come home” as Vice Presidential nominee Mike Pence had implored, but with them, a broad range of people who are largely middle, middle-class, white, and of lower educational credentials. Contrary to the beliefs of the fools in Washington DC, and in the media generally, credentials do not alone describe one’s intelligence or lack thereof. Credentials make no difference whatsoever to people who are starving in sight of a bounty, denied access to it only by the aggression of government.
The knot-heads in colleges and universities who believe their credentials give them some special insight, and are of the sort who have attached too much importance to their own stations in life, and too little of the situations of their fellow Americans. This is magnified by those in the media, and those in Washington DC, all of whom have seemed to believe they are the smartest people in any room, perpetually. Donald Trump is to be credited for recognizing it. The challenge for Donald Trump is to avoid “blowing it” by forgetting this lesson. The people who elected Donald Trump are largely those who have been demolished by the giant regulatory and welfare state. They’ve lost homes and businesses, or simply now work a ridiculous number of hours simply to keep the lights on, and they’ve seen their personal aspirations and their hopes for their children squandered by government that does not care for the dreams of individual people. This is the lesson the left would learn, if they were not so tone-deaf, and if they did not wear blinders in the presence of “inconvenient truths.” It’s also the lesson Donald Trump must not forget, lest he squander the very awesome opportunity he’s been granted by the American people, albeit with some significant skepticism.
In simplest terms, what won this election for Donald Trump is the absolute desperation of the American people. What put him over the top is simply a desperate appeal to the fates by those who realized, even entering the polling places, that Hillary Clinton’s America would offer them no hope, and no chance at recovery, and perhaps worst of all, no sympathy even from those who imposed this decline. It was a last, plaintive act of self-defense for a people who have watched their lives diminished, their very liberties under constant threat of summary debasement, and their hopes for their children and grandchildren’s future foreclosed. These are the people who have funded the welfare state, under the ever more punishing blows of government’s whips, while they’ve gone without meals and fell behind on bills and been unable to fund their kids’ education while they’ve paid for the educations of others. These are the folk who eat Macaroni and Cheese or Ramen noodles three or four times weekly, while in line at the grocery store, they stand in fuming and smoldering, in ever more indignant anger behind the throngs of EBT card users who enjoy surf-and-turf paid for by the folk eating bare subsistence rations. These are the people who struggle to make mortgage payments, only to find the value of their homes in steep decline as the statists in Washington DC use public housing benefits to place entitled peoples into their formerly nice neighborhoods, new but unappreciative residents who frequently make a wreckage of the nice dwellings they’ve been provided.
Imagine the veteran, who has done his duty and wishes merely to make a living and enjoy his life, but finds his rights are under constant assault by the statists. He might have a gun or two, and he might like to hunt, or simply shoot at paper targets, only to find that he’s been lumped-together with terrorists by the likes of Hillary Clinton, who live under a shield of heavily-armed security forces, but who do not trust law-abiding citizens who arm themselves for sport, for hunting, and for self-defense. To know that at any moment, under the auspices of some arbitrary law, one may find his guns outlawed, and his rights turned into the claim of a criminal is to know the terror of too many Americans who have become too accustomed to being ruled by a President who boast of having “a pen and a phone.”
For too long, too many Americans have watched their standard of living in sharp decline, while working harder, and taking on more difficult but also more poorly-compensated jobs, knowing that the society around them is filled with people who don’t work at all, ever, but who also manage to live at least as well as the poor slobs who work sixty, seventy, and eighty hours per week. These are people interested in justice, who want to see hard work rewarded, and slothfulness and incompetence punished, as nature would dictate. These are people who follow the law, no matter how much it may be to their detriment, never willing to give an excuse to those who govern them to further deprive them of liberty. They look around and see that the system of law and justice serves only the corrupt and the criminal, while they must live in perpetual fear of the next new law in violation of which they might act, in simple ignorance. It has been long-declared and well-established that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” except that there are now so many laws that none can possibly know all that apply to their lives and endeavors. Government bureaucrats have no sympathy for that reality, and the statists care not for the plights of individual men and women.
It is the mother who works many hours, who may or may not have a husband to help pull that wagon, and who have finally discovered that their lives and labors and their love of their children is under unflagging attack. They live in terror of the next electric bill, an inflated grocery bill, and they don’t understand why they must pay not only for themselves and their families but the families of others whose exertions are minimal.
It is a family who sees their values and moral standards under continuous attack. They find that they must de-propagandize their children daily upon their arrival from the public schools, that teach no values except as collectivized notions, and who most often stand at odds with the interests of the family, its children, and its parents.
All of these people and many more like them are the reasons Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016. They were desperate. They need relief. They need a respite from the never-ending assaults on their lives, liberties, and wallets. They need somebody, somewhere, to finally understand that the grand ideas conceived in Washington DC most often result in disasters for the people who live in “flyover country.” In a final desperate act of self-defense, they decided to take a chance on Donald Trump, knowing that Hillary Clinton offered only more of the same, and perhaps represented the final nail in their individual coffins.
Donald Trump has a fantastic opportunity, and I for one wish him well, and I sincerely hope he will not squander it. Too many politicians make a mockery of the people who’ve elected them, forgetting their promises, or remembering them while conveniently finding ways to avoid carrying them out. Donald Trump can win re-election easily in four years if he will only do the following:
- Secure the nation, build the wall and enforce the nation’s existing immigration law. Mexico needn’t pay for it, but it must be built
- Re-institute justice for all, including particularly the rich and powerful
- Cut taxes on those who work for a living – and if he really wants the favor of the working stiff, make only the first forty hours of labor taxable
- Repeal Obamacare (but don’t replace it with some other mandatory, equally tyrannical program)
- Get control of the exploding welfare state, from the cost side, but also from the point of view of sheer extravagance and enticement to dependency
- Make America a place great for business again, so that people can work and prosper by their own efforts
- Rescind Obama’s lengthy list of Executive Orders
- Take care of our veterans and make sparing use of a rebuilt and revitalized military relieve of silly but dangerous social engineering
- Appoint judges who will follow the explicit mandates of the US Constitution
- Never forget the individual aspirations and dreams of individual Americans in signing(or vetoing) laws and issuing executive orders
If Donald Trump will merely do these things, I suspect he will get a forty-state(or better) win for re-election in four years, if he wants it. This is the truth of how Donald Trump won. He won because for too many Americans, the situation has become far too dire. I expect that he will have a short honeymoon period with the vast bulk of the American people. If he can make strides to substantially carry out the important parts of the agenda he’s outlined, and can merely make a credible stab at fulfilling the short but difficult list above, he will succeed like no President since at least Ronald Reagan. He has that chance. He has every reason to do it. The question now remains: Will he?
Like a large number of Americans who closed the gap and pushed him over the top, I have nothing but well-wishes and the best hopes for Donald Trump’s presidency. It was a last, desperate act of self-defense for so many Americans who determined that he was an imperfect vessel, but at least there’s a chance he won’t be nearly so foul and depraved as Hillary Clinton, whatever he may have done in the past. We voted for Donald Trump because we knew Hillary would only worsen things, and at least with Donald Trump, there’s some inkling that he might drag the country in the correct direction for a change. It’s become as desperate as that for too many Americans. I hope he will recognize this, if he hasn’t already, and act accordingly to secure their continuing support. He has referred to them as the “forgotten Americans.” In his remarks after Hillary Clinton’s concession phone call, he offered a glimmer that their hope is justified.
Congratulations and good luck to Donald Trump and Mike Pence, along with all those who supported him from the beginning. May their fortunes rise and fall in accordance with their fidelity to the people and to the Constitution of the United States. Therein lies the cause of Hillary’s defeat and the repudiation of Obama’s legacy.