Why Trump Won
LESLIE JONES identifies some of the reasons
In the primaries, Trump crushed and humiliated his Republican rivals for the presidential nomination. Exit, in due course, all the remaining candidates; namely, “lying” Ted Cruz, “Bible high, Bible high, puts it down and then he lies”; “low energy” Jeb Bush; “lightweight” Marco Rubio; Rand Paul, whose facial features “The Donald” denied insulting, although he claimed that there was “plenty of material”; and hapless Ohio Governor John Kasich, who gave interviews while stuffing pancakes into his mouth. “I’m always telling my young son Barron, always with my kids, all of them, I’d say, children, small, little bites”, “Its disgusting”, Trump quipped. As one commentator remarked, the President Elect insulted his way into the White House.
Even before the showdown with “crooked” Hillary Clinton, the signs of an impending Trump victory were discernible for observers like Ann Coulter (author of In Trump we Trust) with the wit to see them. Trump’s claim in the second presidential debate that if he was in charge of the law “…you’d [Clinton] be in jail” was clearly a pivotal moment. Attempts to disrupt his rallies, supposedly orchestrated by the DNC, backfired. Hecklers were told to “go home to mummy”. Reporters with the temerity to accuse him to his face of racism were suitably chastised. “I’m the least racist person you will ever meet”, he told one. When Fox anchor Megyn Kelly accused him of calling “women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals”, he retorted “only Rosie O’Donnell”.*
Better advisors, better spokespeople
Trump evidently knows something about hiring, not just firing. His senior political advisor then campaign manager was the formidable Kellyanne Conway. In contrast, the vice chairwoman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, her confidante Huma Abedin, was a public relations disaster. When Clinton was Secretary of State, Abedin’s now estranged husband, the disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, allegedly had access on a shared computer to e mails from Clinton’s private server containing classified information.
In a soul searching mea culpa after Trump’s victory, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough acknowledged that throughout the presidential contest, many of his colleagues had stopped being journalists and had become “cheerleaders” for Hillary Clinton. The distinction between objective fact and subjective opinion was repeatedly lost sight of by liberal journals like The New York Times and the Washington Post, in Scarborough’s judgement.
Paradoxically, the mainstream media thereby helped Trump win, confirming his thesis of media bias and inducing complacency in his opponents. Indeed, there are compilations on YouTube of the numerous pundits and celebrities who insisted that Trump could not possibly prevail. CNN was dubbed the Clinton News Network by its critics. When MSNBC presenter Rachel Maddow learned of Trump’s victory, she told viewers, “You’re not having a terrible…dream. Also you’re not dead and you haven’t gone to hell”.
A middle class left behind and disaffected
In an Intelligence Squared symposium on Trump’s victory, tendentiously entitled “Trump: An American Tragedy”, the key point was made by Steve Hilton, David Cameron’s former director of strategy. Because of globalisation, millions of US manufacturing jobs have been lost, especially to China. Hilton pointed out that the median household income today is lower than it was in 1999. The rich, however, have continued to get richer. Trump’s “rust belt strategy” targeted blue collar workers who have been losing ground. The “basket of deplorables”, Hillary Clinton’s insulting description of half of Trump’s supporters, simply don’t care that he is politically incorrect. They want economic change not liberal condescension. Love him or loathe him, it was abundantly clear what Trump stood for – building the wall, deporting illegal aliens who are also criminals, etc. But what was Hillary Clinton’s core message?
A “rigged” political system?
For Trump, the senior Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren, whom he nicknamed “Pocahontas”, personifies a corrupt political system. Warren purports to be 1/32 native American and has cited in evidence her “high cheek bones”. Her great-great-great grandmother, she maintains, was Cherokee. But genealogists have been unable to substantiate this claim. The inference is that Warren used her putative Native American ties to gain an unfair advantage when she successfully applied for professorships at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and at Harvard Law School. According to Trump, who rarely minces his words, “Her whole career is a fraud”, “She’s a basket case”. CNN commentator Van Jones was right – the Trump revolution was in part a “whitelash” against affirmative action, identity politics and political correctness.
Donna Brazile, the former acting chair of the Democratic National Committee and political commentator on CNN, is another case in point. According to e mails from Ms Brazile to John Podesta, chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and to Clinton’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri, released by WikiLeaks, Clinton was forewarned that there would be testing questions on the death penalty and lead poisoning in forthcoming CNN town hall debates with Bernie Sanders. “From time to time I get questions in advance”, Brazile informed Palmieri. When challenged about this by Megyn Kelly, Brazile predictably posed as a victim. “I will not be persecuted”, she blustered, adding that “As a Christian woman, I understand persecution”.
Distrust of the governing elite
David Lifton, a leading authority on the Kennedy assassination and the author of Best Evidence, recalls that like many Americans he initially accepted the Warren Report. But he subsequently concluded that elements in the secret service had tampered with JFK’s corpse and covered up a conspiracy to kill him. Trump adeptly tapped into the distrust of the federal government engendered by the Warren Report. Witness his suggestion that
Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael, was an associate of Lee Harvey Oswald, an allegation first made by the National Enquirer. Trump also recalled the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that did not not exist and his rivals’ fateful support for the overthrow of Saddam.
Thanks to WikiLeaks, we now know that Hillary Clinton was paid $250,000 to give a lecture to a Brazilian bank, advocating globalisation. And that the Clinton Foundation accepted donations from the Saudis. According to Donald Trump, “It’s a disgrace what’s going on in this country”. Many millions of American voters clearly agree.
Leslie Jones is the editor of QR
*Comedienne, TV personality and Trump hater. She claimed during the election that Barron Trump is autistic