One thing I have to say is, I was wrong. I have been wrong a lot. I can (conveniently) fall back on the failure of polling, the warning signs were there, but we’re told polling science is so honed that we could ignore those warning signs. And who knows, if any one thing had gone a different way. But still. I did not think it possible for Trump to win, in any way. I did not believe a Republican could be elected president in America right now, despite all of the political scientists that talk about pendulum swings. We can talk about the popular vote and the voter suppression and the Comey letter, but I’m just going to say that I was wrong. And I’m having to rethink things about this country.
That said I’ll say that Trump was a unique messenger of a bullshit message, a very talented con man that was given billions in free media coverage by ratings mad irresponsible broadcasters who could rationalize they were exposing him, but were normalizing him. I still don’t believe any other Republican would have broken through like he did, for the same reasons that they couldn’t come close to beating him in the primaries.
I’ve been going to the Guardian more and more lately and I attach links to two pieces that speak to both sides of this complex moment in history.
Rebecca Solnit lays out how much effort over a long period of time it took to beat Hillary Clinton. So give her some respect, she’s going to end up receiving more votes than every white man who ever ran. As many mistakes as she made, as imperfect as she was – it still took 30 years of right wing attacks, Fox News, Julian Assange, Jim Comey, voter suppression, media malfeasance, misogyny, racism and Jill Stein to create the unique, situation that beat her.
And on the other side of the coin, some of those ominous warning signs out in the Midwest from usually reliable Democratic voters that she couldn’t overcome. From Pema Levy in Mother Jones:
Like labor unions everywhere, the local Plumbers & Pipefitters union in Ohio’s Mahoning Valley—a historically Democratic bastion due to the influence of labor—endorsed Hillary Clinton for president in September 2015 and urged its members to vote for her. But unlike in years past, when Roland “Butch” Taylor briefed about 200 members on the union’s support of Clinton and the prospective benefits of a Clinton presidency in May, the meeting didn’t go well. “I got a lot of boos,” he recalls. “I got a lot of chatter back. And out of the group, only one person came up and asked me for a T-shirt.”
“Right then and there, I knew something was wrong,” says Taylor, who retired a few months later.