I had no intention of commenting further on the election once I had said my piece last week, but when the hysteria broke out again on Facebook about 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday when it appeared likely that Donald Trump was our next President, I felt compelled to offer my amateur analysis.
Probably much to my own regret.
I will attempt to explain to all those who are “hopeless,” “depressed,” “afraid,” “embarrassed,” and “terrified,” why your fellow countrymen are so “stupid” as to elect Trump. (All these words are taken directly from Facebook friends’ pages.) These are ironic sentiments indeed, for it seems that no one who has expressed them has any sense that this is exactly how Trump voters have felt for the past eight years.
In any case, my analysis is not based on any exit poll, entrance poll, or May pole, just my own observations. I offer thoughts, not treatises.
Trump voters were tired of being told that Trump’s comments about women were deplorable by politicians who shared the stage with rappers who make money singing about “bitches” and “hos.” I’m not nearly as worried about Trump as a role model as I am about Miley Cyrus as a role model. In any case, the sexual conduct of a President was removed as a consideration for the job 20 years ago when a certain someone’s husband was found to be somewhat less than unreproachable on this score. Trump’s past conduct changed very few votes.
Trump voters were tired of petulant celebrities threatening to move if the great unwashed were to elect him. Note to Whoopi Goldberg, et. al.: We’ll survive without you. (I’m setting the over/under on the number of Hollywood types who actually move out of the country as 1 and I’m taking the under.) Celebrity endorsements changed very few votes.
Trump voters were tired of hearing the other side describe themselves as the party of inclusion when the one group they will never “include” are people who disagree. Facebook posts make this abundantly clear.
Mrs. Clinton’s “deplorable” comment galvanized the remaining undecideds and moved them squarely into the Trump camp. There was a sense of “Hey, you’re talking about my neighbor/friend/child/spouse! And maybe even me!” This one speech swayed thousands upon thousands of votes.
The election illustrates not so much a left/right divide in the United States as an urban/rural divide. That is clear from the voting map broken down by municipalities which show blue, urban and college-town islands in a vast sea of red. The bureaucrats who issue edicts on digging holes, yet wouldn’t know which end of the shovel to stick in the ground, helped spread the crimson. In turn, this helps explain the high turnout in rural areas.
Trump voters embraced someone who said what they also thought, however stupid the expression of that thought might have been, and without being intimidated by the Political Correctness Police. I don’t know of a single Trump supporter who really thinks that the President-elect is going to somehow make Mexico pay for a wall along the border, for example. In fact, there are probably way more Clinton supporters who believe he’s serious than Trump supporters.
Trump received a great deal of criticism for such talk. He has been mocked for everything from his positions to his hair. He has been ridiculed and dismissed as a clown. He has been told he was stupid, and it was not lost on his supporters that the media attempted to bully “the bully.” The ultimate irony is that it was the mockery designed to tear him down that raised him up in the eyes of many in the electorate. They’ve been called all those same names, too, until they were ultimately labeled “deplorable.” Trump didn’t claim victimhood either, an increasingly popular American pastime. Instead, he dared the political and cultural elites to mock him further—kind of like Brer Rabbit in the briar patch. This more than anything explains how a billionaire came to represent “the Forgotten Man.” Our societal elites have been affixing those same labels to the average man and woman for two decades, but at last, here was someone who would stand up to the self-righteous outrage and hypocrisy. Not only stand up to it, but give it back and then some. And so, the guy hanging drywall in the Trump Tower came to identify with the owner of the building.
Just remember this: We produced Barack Obama and we produced Donald Trump. If we don’t like what we see, whatever we’re looking at, then we better start looking in the mirror. As I said last week, no politician is going to save us. We’re going to have to save ourselves.