I have a theory as to why Donald Trump won the election.
Well, first of all, Hillary Clinton was just an awful candidate. Way too much baggage. Way too untrustworthy. Way too many ties to Wall Street and the elite power broker in D.C.
Frankly, I can’t believe the Democrats anointed her the way they did.
It’s like the party decided that no matter what, Hillary was going to be the nominee. That turned out to be a pretty big mistake.
That was a bad start, but there was a lot more to Clinton’s loss than her own shortcomings.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that this was a “change election.” That people wanted a change.
I supposed, on the one hand, that’s true. Trump is definitely a change. He’s pretty far outside the mainstream when it comes to politics. He’s never held a political office.
His campaign was a change, too. He put up a bunch of his own money, but spent far less than his opponents. He didn’t run near as many ads. He spent around $4.50 per vote. He took advantage of media coverage and social media to get his message out, albeit, sometimes his message was pretty bizarre.
He defied many members of his own party, the polls, the media and any semblance of political correctness.
So, yes, that was a change.
But I don’t think it was a forward-looking change. I think people want to go back.
I think they say Trump as a way to bring back “the good old days.”
His “Make American Great Again” slogan played right into that sentiment, and, I believe, was what won the election for him.
Dissecting that slogan, the interpretation is fairly obvious. It’s that America used to be great, but it’s not so great anymore. So in order to make it great, we’re going to have to get back to those tenets of policy and culture that made it great.
And millions upon millions of America bought in.
Frankly, I can see why.
In April, before the primary in Indiana, I wrote the following:
A lot of people feel as if their county is being taken away from them.
They see things like the easing of immigration laws, gay marriage and transgender laws, attacks on religious freedom laws, outsourcing of jobs, bad trade deals and weak foreign policy positions.
They feel like elected officials have abandoned them.
They hear that we all need to be more diverse and tolerant. That we need to accept refugees from places that produce a fair number of terrorists.
And they wonder.
They wonder why America has to be the tolerant, diverse nation that changes to accommodate the masses. Is anybody demanding that Mexico celebrate the Fourth of July?
Is anybody asking that France or Spain or Saudi Arabia or China become more Americanized?
If they like guns, they wonder why they’re labeled gun nuts.
If they believe in God, they wonder why they’re labeled religious nuts.
They wonder why there are fewer people working full time and more people on welfare.
They wonder why they have to press 1 for English.
They wonder why, when they call customer service, they have to talk with somebody from India.
They wonder why there’s confusion about who should be using the men’s room.
And they know that if they express any of these thoughts out loud, they will be harshly judged for their views. They know certain people will be offended.
They see America as a politically correct place where dissenting thoughts can cause you to be vilified on social media and lose your job.
I understand those sentiments. Just a couple weeks ago I was labeled a racist by a letter writer in this newspaper because I dared criticize hip-hop lyrics as being vulgar.
And it’s not like the economy is booming. Wages are stagnant.
Remember when the notion that kids should do better in life than their parents used to be the yardstick for parental success? Now we have college grads living in their parents’ basements.
So yeah, voters wanted change, alright, but I believe they wanted to change things back to a time when they didn’t feel so alienated from their own country.
So they voted for Trump.
Of course, this was to the absolute horror and dismay of liberals who have pushed the very policies that have alienated so many millions of voters.
And you know what? Liberals still don’t get it.
President Barack Obama traveled to Athens this week to assure everyone that American wasn’t going to the dogs.
Here’s some of what he said:
“When you see a Donald Trump and a Bernie Sanders, very unconventional candidates, have considerable success, then obviously there is something there that's being tapped into: a suspicion of globalization, a desire to rein in its excesses. ... I do believe, separate and apart from any particular election or movement, that we are going to have to guard against a rise in a crude sort of nationalism or ethnic identity or tribalism that is built around an 'us' and a 'them.' I will never apologize for saying that the future of humanity and the future of the world is going to be defined by what we have in common as opposed to those things that separate us."
See, people like Obama simply don’t understand populism.
Populism is a political ideology that says citizens are mistreated by a small circle of elites, who can be overthrown if the people recognize the danger and work together. It depicts elites as trampling on the rights, values, and voice of ordinary people.
That’s what happened in this election.
And this “crude sort of nationalism, or ethnic identity or tribalism” Obama decries?
That’s innate.
Humans are tribal by nature. It’s not learned behavior. It’s instinct.
Worldwide, liberals ignore these simple realities at their peril.