Four years ago, Donald Trump declared that the U.S. Electoral College system of picking presidents “is a disaster for a democracy;” now he is headed to the White House because of it. How did Donald Trump beat 16 Republican candidates in 56 primaries despite their every effort to stop him?
The facts are – 77% of the electorate are women , people of color and young adults under the age of 35 and still the Trump Juggernaut rolled on to victory. He won ….despite being outspent 2-1 in campaign fundraising….despite a smaller staff…..despite being reviled by his own party and the media…despite his own flaws and offending every minority group and scaring our international partners……….
These factors put Trump over the top…
When Lorianne S. 27, walked into her Michigan polling location last Tuesday, election experts and pundits may have thought Loriann S. — a white woman with a college degree in a light blue state — would be pulling the lever for Hillary Clinton. But people like Loriann S. across the Rust Belt were poised to deliver one of the most shocking upsets in American political history.
“[Donald] Trump’s policies on tax reform and his promise to bring jobs back made a lot of sense to me,” she said. She acknowledged that she was “disturbed” with Trump’s language about women, but it wasn’t enough to tip the scales toward Clinton. “I wanted her to be real,” Lorianne said. “All of her words about women’s rights and standing up for women sounded hollow to me.” Trump won Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin on Election Day, in addition to North Carolina and Florida on his way to the White House.
The Midwest Brexit..….The traditional democratic states Michigan-Ohio Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have seen their manufacturing plants move to Mexico. Trump correctly blamed Bill Clinton and NAFTA for destroying the Middle Class there. He threatened to slap tariffs on Ford if they moved another plant to Mexico….and tried to ship their vehicles back to the USA. It was music to the ears of the nobodies that had taken the brunt of 20 years of globalization and free trade.
The demographics of the Brexit voters were the same….white voters over the age of 45 who remembered once being part of a vanishing middle class in England, as in the U.S.A…
• before the banks took their houses with crooked loans
• before the company closed their plant to move it to Mexico
• before the Obama Health Care Plan mailed out 50% premium hikes weeks before the election.
Those were the determined voters who would not be denied and came to the voting booth to vote for the one man who the banks, the companies, the politicians, and the media hated most. Donald J. Trump. He was their only legal human Molotov cocktail to throw at the forces of the “collective Elite” that had robbed them of a way of life…
Trump spoke to these voters — whether it was on policy with how he blew up the Republican message on trade and Clinton’s ties to the establishment and pro-globalist agenda; or his fueling white resentments and racial bias; and there was likely some degree of sexism that played a role.
Trump was the last stand of the angry white male. They turned out to vote….40 million of them. And like Minnesota where the voters put a professional Wrestler (Jerry Ventura) in the governor’s office convinced that he could upend the status quo. These voters knew that their man (Trump) was not bought and paid for and was universally hated by the very elite who had destroyed their middle class.
Hillary had problems.…. She was hugely unpopular — nearly 70% of all voters thought she was untrustworthy and dishonest. She represented the old way of politics, not really believing in anything other than what can get you elected. That’s why she fought against gays getting married one moment, and the next she was officiating a gay marriage. The email scandals and the sabotage of Bernie Sanders did not help her cause. The late-in-the-campaign letter from FBI Director James Comey about Clinton’s emails likely also played a role, reinforcing a narrative about her as untrustworthy especially with voters who were prone to believe the worst about her.
And so the new divide between Red and Blue states is not social policy but the new divide is economic policy. It was and will always be the “It’s the economy stupid”… And as long as workers suffer and feel marginalized by the elite….they will vote their pain. Given the problems we face are insurmountable – the solutions we reach for are going to be more and more extreme.