CORRUPTION. HATE. SCANDAL.
Election coverage this year sounds like a Harlequin novel. Waking to a Trump (and Republican) victory, my Facebook feed is littered with sentiments of fear, anger, and disbelief. I can only think, why?
First let me say that I did not vote for either candidate of the two party system—I do not believe that either has the best interests of this country at heart, and I do not trust either. I am not, however, the least bit surprised that Trump won. Hillary supporters, in their cloud of #imwithher and #lovetrumpshate seem to have forgotten a very important point—Hillary is not a flower child and is first-and-foremost a politician, from a political family. She is the very kind of established politician that got Obama elected in 2008, and against which the country has been rallying ever since.
Are there bad police officers? Absolutely. Are there bigoted white people? Definitely. Are there illegal immigrant rapists? Yes. Are there Black violent criminals? Yep there also. Do those qualities definitively describe the majority of any of those groups? No.
So why has it become acceptable to hate law enforcement or white people for the actions of a few, but entirely unacceptable to make similar comments about illegal immigrants or people of color?
“I don’t hate law enforcement, I just think that there needs to be reform.” While many of the Black Lives Matter camp use that—and many more hold up to the non-violent message—there still exist a large number of people who actively insult, attempt to injure, or otherwise actively attempt to make law enforcement lives more difficult. Additionally, the same could be said about illegal immigrants and Mr. Trump’s comment: “I don’t hate illegal immigrants, but I think that immigration reform is necessary.” Why is that statement any more aversive than its law enforcement counterpart?
THE SILENT MAJORITY
I hear a lot of talk about this “silent majority” that won the election for Trump: that they are ignorant heterosexual white males, that they are closet anarchists, that they are bigots. On one post, I even saw them called the “rot” in this country. Many of the Hillary supporters with whom I spoke shared a common sentiment: she is the lesser of two evils. Had Hillary won, a disenfranchised youth would have sat at their desks and thought, “well, at least it wasn’t Trump.” Conversely, Trump supporters are rabidly loyal to their candidate, taking to social media, flying flags in the wake of his victory. Why? Because Trump spoke to people who were, at best, ignored by Democrats. At worst, ostracized from the outset.
People like to be acknowledged and spoken to. Just look at workplace productivity theory: talk to your employees, praise their good work, discuss their concerns, and productivity rises. Leave employees to their own devices, and you end up with inefficiency. Mr. Trump (and Sanders before the DNC fiasco) spoke to the people about issues that were important to them. He spoke to forgotten groups of people. Maybe not in the most eloquent of ways, but he reached out and let people know that their concerns would at least be heard.
Evidently—and this was news to me—morality works on a double-negative scale: if you are involved in corruption and scandal, it is morally excusable as long as you are dishonest about it. If, like Mr. Trump, you make excuses or bulldoze your way past, you are labelled as “corrupt.”
A big part of Hillary’s issue with this election is that nearly three-quarters of people polled do not believe that she is trustworthy, and why would people elect someone they do not trust? People may not agree with Trump’s ideologies, but if they trust that his brash, offensive comments are honestly spoken then they at least have a sense that they know the candidate for whom they are voting.
On this same note as the argument that voting for Trump implied agreeing with misogyny and racism, the same could be said that voting for Hillary implies agreeing with cheating and deceit in world politics. Neither of these is inherently better, and there should be no shock that some people are less inclined to accept someone they cannot trust and who cheated her way through the primaries.
UNEDUCATED WHITE MAN
We hear a lot about the “uneducated white man” when the Republican constituency is mentioned. According to the 2015 census, only 29.3% of the American population has an undergraduate degree or higher. Unless most of that remaining two thirds of the United States is uneducated white males (not likely considering that whites of both genders and all education levels do not even constitute two thirds of the population) this obsessive focus on the “uneducated white man” has got to stop. Democrats consistently try to reach out to the uneducated Black or uneducated Hispanic voters, arguing that their opinions count and that they need a voice. Why is the same courtesy not extended to uneducated whites of either gender? Democrat withdrawal from the rust belt should mean no surprise that the area does not vote for their candidate. See bullet on “The Silent Majority.”
Hillary supporters have blamed the entire election on this mythical, all-powerful “uneducated white man,” when the truth is simply that there are not enough uneducated white men to make such a substantial difference. And if the “uneducated white man’s” vote is honestly what swayed the election, then perhaps Hillary’s camp would have done well to give them more attention.
The bottom line is that Hillary lost because of a monumentally fractured party after the DNC scandal was revealed, providing proof that established politicians DO lie, they DO cheat, they DO cover-up corruption, and they DO NOT care about the will of the people—little doubt exists among either party that Sanders would have won. While some silent sufferers might have been bullied into voting Hillary based on party lines, many dug in their heels, fortified their defenses, and quietly supported Trump for his willingness to address tough issues (even if he did tackle them with the grace of a wrecking ball) and speak to voiceless middle Americans.
Hillary lost because she didn’t speak to enough different kinds of people.
Hillary lost because she made white people of the non-self-effacing variety feel evil.
Hillary lost because she ostracized law enforcement, the military, and veterans.
Hillary lost because she abandoned a swathe of this country, leaving a hole to be filled, into which Trump confidently stepped.
Anyone claiming that third-party voters threw their vote away or voted for the wrong candidate have it backward: the DNC lost the independent vote all on its own, and many Democrat votes from those fed up with the blatant corruption in established politics and the two party system. Many watched in horror as DNC emails were released showing a collaboration of efforts to secure Hillary the nomination, and again when—in the wake of those emails—the DNC shrugged it off with a “that’s cool” and proceeded with Hillary’s nomination. The Democrats touted Trump as an easy-to-beat candidate, and helped him secure the Republican nomination. Democrats walked themselves across the finish line this time, hobbled by complacency and false security in an establishment which has been historically predictable.