by John Lawrence from the San Diego Free Press
Trump astounded and shocked Democrats and even his own pollsters!
Hillary was a shoo-in.. or at least that's what everyone thought. Hillary had a blue firewall and many paths to 270 electoral votes. Donald had a bunch of heavy lifting including an almost impossible flipping of one or two blue states. Whaa hoppened?! Whaa hoppened was that angry, white rural voters went for the guy that was against free trade (much as Bernie Sanders was) and promised to bring their rust belt jobs back from China and other Asiatic places. You had only to look at the state by state maps to see solid red in rural areas even in blue states with the only blue being in the big cities. It wasn't enough for Hillary to win even though she came close, even winning the popular vote.
Factors in Trump's Win
1. The media. And I don't just mean television which graciously gave him tons of free air time all the while he was calling them out as rigged and corrupt! Why did they do it? Trump is a flamboyant show man and his unpredictability and dynamism drove up ratings. Hillary got nowhere near equal coverage. Trump was much more interesting. What would he say next? Hillary was too workmanlike. The public didn't care about her competency and the fact that she would get up everyt morning and work her heart out for the American people. They wanted to be entertained. What else is new?
2. The media #2. Hate talk radio pervades the rural US. Rush Limbaugh and his acolytes have revved up white American hatred over immigration, job loss, transgender bathrooms in public schools, Hillary's supposed transgressions (that have supposedly been accumulating for years, but in reality don't amount to more than a hill of beans) and everything else rural white Americans hold dear including guns and Jesus. In most rural areas there is no alternative to hate talk radio. Walk into any sports bar or diner and you will only see Fox news. On the internet social media has been circulating hateful images of Hillary and Obama for years.
3. Hyperbole. Donald Trump would make absolute statements without regard to either their factuality or their groundedness in reality. Hillary was too nuanced, too in touch with what would be even possible after her election. She was an incrementalist. Trump would make statements without anything whatsoever backing them up. Hillary knew what was possible should she be electe, and she did not deviate too far from that in what she promised. Trump had no concern about that whatsoever. He just promised anything he felt was politically expedient, anything that would turn on his audience and get them cheering. Ever since Ronald Reagan, the crowd has lusted for an Entertainer-In-Chief. Hillary would have been an excellent Workaholic-In-Chief. The crowd didn't want reality; they wanted fantasy.
4. Hillary represents the global elite, the meritocrats. She's all for globalization which her husband initiated with NAFTA. In Hillary's mind globalization is the wave of the future, the ineluctable reality, the status quo. Now all those who have been left behind by globalization, not just in the US but all over the industrialized world (think BREXIT), are saying Whooaa! We think the jobs should have stayed here and not gone overseas. Trump promised them he'd bring those good paying jobs back to America, but will he? Probably not.
The big corporations, who pay the lobbyists to do the sausage making for Congress and then promise them good paying jobs when they exit "public service" to spend more time with their families, like globalization just the way it is. It totally serves their interests. Trump himself does most of the sourcing for his products overseas. Fat chance that the Republican establishment, including Trump himself now, is going to do anything to halt the march of globalization. As far as the little guy is concerned, Trump has just used you to get elected; now he will discard you and trample all over you in a race to enrich himself and his class even more. In his mind, you are just LOSERS. As far as the economic divide is concerned, you ain't seen nothing yet.
5. Wall Street. Hillary was just too close to Wall Street and protecting their interests. After all it was her husband that signed the legislation deregulating them and terminating the Glass-Steagle Act which separated investment banking from commercial banking. But there will be no more $250,000 speeches for her. She's used goods as far as they're concerned at this point. Trump never railed against Wall Street. He'll be giving the $250,000. speeches now, and he'll protect their interests.
Bernie Sanders was the only one who stood up to Wall Street. Hillary's "me-tooism" was utterly unconvincing. She saw the Wall Street crowd as meritocrats and workoholics like herself doing God's work in the 21st century economy. Who did Chelsea Clinton go to work for? Answer: Wall Street. The Little Guy has chosen the wrong person in Donald Trump to halt the march of financialization and globalization in the economy. After all Donald Trump is a meritocrat himself at least in his own mind. "I was smart" in avoiding taxes, he said. Now he's in a position, along with his Republican compatriots, to bore more loopholes in the tax code and to outright get rid of taxes and regulations altogether at least for the wealthy class. Where will the government get its money? From the Little Guys who voted for Trump. They're used to voting against their own interests and they did it Big Time in this go around. They voted for a lot of hot air which will dissipate almost immediately. They essentially committed hari-kari.
You Can Kiss Action on Climate Change Good-Bye
Trump has promised to pull out of the Paris agreement which would doom any action by the world community and make climate change denial the policy if not the law of the land. You can kiss 350.org, Bill McKibben and Leonardo DiCaprio good-bye. They will probably never be heard from again. The oil and gas industry will continue to pollute. Fracking will continue. Even Oklahomans, who are at the center of the earthquake produced fracking industry, are not speaking out against it.
Minorities Can Kiss Their Ass Goodbye
Good-bye Dreamers. Your dreams at this point can only be about making the most of it in your native countries or in whatever other country you can get into. You thought Obama deported a lot. You ain't seen nothing yet. Trump will make your lives miserable. White America under Trump will be ascendant. Minorities can adopt white values or else.
Forget it. It's over. It was compromised at the start by pharmaceutical corporation lobbyists. There was no cost containment thanks to them. Now the rich will live and the poor will just die. Those with pre-existing conditions will not be able to get insurance just like it was in the good old days. I'm sure Trump's supporters will understand. They're used to not blaming those who are actually making their lives more miserable. After all I'm sure Trump will not disappoint when it comes to entertaining the Little Guys. But then he'll pull the rug out from under them and say, "You're fired!" They're losers. The winners will be those who climb aboard Trump's bandwagon, especially if you're white and rich already.
Trump is a naif when it comes to foreign policy. In a way this might be good, but I think he will be overruled by the foreign policy establishment - the Republican neocons. Trump has cozied up to Vladimir Putin. This has the potential of calming the renewed Cold War which the current Washington establishment wants to get us into. Cooperation between Russia and the US could do much do diminish tensions in the world. Recognizing that Russia has interests in its sphere of influence and giving them a break on the Ukraine situation would be a good thing. Cooperation in the Middle East, Syria in particular, could hasten the demise of ISIS and other terrorist organizations. NATO should not march relentlessly on in Putin's back yard and try to take over former satellite countries. As far as funding goes Trump is right that the US shouldn't bear the total cost for defending the world. Wealthy countries such as Germany and Japan should pony up thus diminishing the US defense budget. Problem is defense contractors don't want the US defense budget diminished. They would be losing money and profits especially if other wealthy countries purchased their weapons domestically and didn't buy them from US defense contractors. Trump may be given a dose of reality by defense contractors and their lobbyists on this score.
Listen, Up Democrats
You need to start filibustering. You need to do to them what they've done to you. Filibuster anything and everything. This talk of unity is so much post-election hogwash. At the same time you need to stand up for essentially what amounts to Bernie Sanders' agenda. When Trump renegs on his purported trade policy, you need to remind him that he was going to bring those good paying jobs back home. You need to get your media into white, rural America so they have more than Rush Limbaugh and Fox news to listen to and watch. You need to court those white rural Americans who overwhelmingly voted for Trump who are less well off today than they were eight years ago even though according to conventional employment and GDP figures we are all better off. You need to make it clear that just because the corporations and the wealthy are better off that it does not trickle down to the average - should I say it again - rural white American. You need to reject the financialization and globalization of the economy.
Finally, Democrats, you need to embrace the Bernie Sanders wing of the party and stand up for the middle class, the poor and the homeless like you used to. Bernie, we need you now more than ever.