In one of the most hostile and ugly presidential elections in US history, Donald J. Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States, shocking both the media and political class. Many voters were shocked too because they were told, frequently, that it was impossible for Trump to win.
How did Trump win? Here are a few major factors:
No One Knows What Goes on Behind Closed Doors
It is quickly being believed by many in the media that distrust of journalists played a factor. It was pretty obvious to most Americans that the media not only expected Clinton to win, but strongly desired that objective. Therefore some are concluding that many who were being polled stated that they supported Clinton (or even Johnson who fared way below what was expected), while intending to vote for Trump all along.
The Media Polled the Wrong People
Libertarian candidate and former governor, Gary Johnson, has been pointing out for quite some time that the media had been polling the wrong people. He argued, in an email to supporters, that approximately "90 percent" of those who would be voting were not being polled. He said that the media was heavily focusing its polling on people who have only voted in recent elections. Meanwhile, obviously there were many people that have never been in an election booth before 2016 that were now participating, he argued. Johnson was right, there were many unaccounted voters in this election, but they turned up for Trump and not the Libertarians or Democrats.
Political Correctness Backlash
Millions of Americans have grown tired of a political and cultural environment that has become oppressive, in their eyes. They believe that "hate speech" is exactly the type of communication that was supposed to be protected, according to the First Amendment of the Constitution. In fact, it is the only type of speech that requires protection, they argue. If a business does not want to bake a cake for a gay couple, they should have the right to not do that, they believe, even if they will not state that publicly. Many American have felt like children in kindergarten because of a government that puts enormous pressure on them to behave a certain way. Trump is the antithesis of good manners, which is a positive thing to many who feel like they have been oppressed by political correctness.
The Democrats Were Tone Deaf When It Came to New "Trump Democrats"
The number one issue in this election for Republican, Democrats, and Independents, was the economy. In the minds of many, there was only one candidate offering an alternative to what Obama offered the last several years. Many of the people that showed up for Trump were similar to the "Reagan Democrats" of the 1980s. These were people that were long term Democrats, but ultimately put economic opportunity over partisanship. Democrats did not realize the plight of these voters who felt impoverished by years of Obama's policies. In particular, labor unions that have long supported the Democrats have seen both jobs and even the possibility of future employment, evaporate under the Democrats.
In particular, the media and the establishment, seem very shocked by what is happening in Michigan, where Hillary Clinton has had a massive political machine for years. In recent years, Michigan has undergone a major political shift with both Houses of that state's legislature becoming Republican and the governor (also in the GOP) now enjoying a second term. Meanwhile, during Republican rule in Michigan, unemployment has gone down, the economy has grown, the end of closed union shops is believed to be preventing businesses from leaving, and for the first time in years the state is increasing in population each year. The massive exodus of people has ended. Furthermore, these union voters, not only in Michigan but also in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and other historically "Blue States," remember that Hillary Clinton's husband, Bill Clinton, brought them the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which they believe ended manufacturing in the United States. Many blue collar workers, including those who are in unions, have long desired vengeance for the Clinton trade policies. Trump's strong protectionism rhetoric was, to many of these voters, the logical way of achieving that objective.
This election will certainly go down in history as one of the most hateful and acrimonious. It will also be one in which the media demonstrated a shocking disconnection with the voters they were covering.
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