We called Donald Trump racist. We called his supporters racist. We called third party voters racist for not voting against him. We laughed at all of them, looked at the polls and smugly proclaimed a Clinton presidency; and on November 9th we looked at the ruins of an election campaign and asked “how did this happen?” How could a TV celebrity become the leader of the free world?
Trump didn’t win because of a massive undercover racist sentiment. Trump didn’t win because the American people are secretly white supremacists. Trump won because we let those type of questions become valid political discussion. Somehow, as a school, as a state, as a nation, we decided that Trumps supporters were unavoidably racist. We made them fear for their jobs and lives so much that pre-election polls had Trump at -6 points. Everyone; the media, the Clinton campaign, the RNC and the DNC, was sure that his campaign would collapse. It was apparently a legitimate question as to whether Trump would concede before the election even happened.
That is ridiculous. In LOHS Trump’s eventual win was not acknowledged as a possibility. Teachers I respect put Hillary Clinton up at 56 percent of the popular vote. The country formed a sort of positive feedback loop. Trump was going to lose, so teachers and students felt fine demonizing him. But because Trump was so demonized, polls showed that he was going to lose. This might have worked fine if the Oregon/Lake Oswego bubble represented the country. We would’ve defeated the “evil” Trump and broken the glass ceiling. Instead, we ended up with a president who half the country hates, and the other half is scared to support.
Trump’s secret to success was quite simple. He understood– unlike the media–that the American people do not want to be politically correct. They do not like the coming wave of speech suppression masked as PC culture. They do not like safe spaces, they do not like trigger warnings. Surprisingly, something that might appeal to the cultural elite of New York and Hollywood (and perhaps Lake Oswego) might not appeal to a factory worker in Michigan. Trump faced this rhetoric head on, in admittedly offensive ways. He spoke like the average American-and the average American makes jokes about politically disastrous issues.
Trump blundered headlong into issues that experienced politicians would dance around. Trump gave common sense speeches on complex problems. He made more than a couple of missteps on the way and cracked thousands of political eggs. But while career politicians may hate Trump, it seems like the American people realized Trump was just making an omelet. He made racist comments. He made sexist comments. He did them both at the same time. Unfortunately for Hillary, it turns out that America isn’t a huge liberal arts campus. Voters valued Trump’s American message more than they were hurt by his racist comments. While Clinton was targeting specific identity groups with tailored, personal and ultimately fake messages, Trump appealed to Americans. And while pollsters may try to break down the U.S. into different voting groups, it turns out that the largest voting block isn’t whites or women.
And until The Establishment realizes that simple fact Trump is going to continue winning. After all, that was the original message of the campaign. Believe him – he wins ALL the time.