There are some people out there in desperate need of a reality check. Right now, progressives are certain that, somehow, the country that elected Obama twice has suddenly become a cesspit of sexism, racism and misogyny. The angst is so over-the-top that my progressive Facebook friends are sounding like all those Alex Jones types back in 2008 who were talking about FEMA detention camps and UN black helicopters.
Trump didn’t win because of some racist surge.
In fact, Trump didn’t win.
Here are five reasons why:
- Hillary couldn’t turn out her own base. You look at the actual numbers between 2016 and 2012, and Trump pretty much held on to Romney’s numbers across the board with some significant inroads into Black and Hispanic voters (racism natch). Hillary hemorrhaged Democratic votes. She might have a razor-thin lead in the popular vote (200,000 votes about) but she lost about six and a half million votes compared to Obama’s 2012 totals. Think about that before you bitch at us third party voters.
- You can’t argue misogyny when the Clinton name is on the ticket. If anyone else was running, Trump’s attitude toward women would have been a fatal blow to his campaign. Bernie or Warren could have won against that alone. But, as soon as Bill or Hillary enter the frame, people suddenly remember how organized feminism sold its soul to the Clintons in the 90’s by giving Bill a pass and how every Democrat insisted that a man’s sexual behavior had no place in evaluating his character for the presidency.
- The media neutered itself. How many progressives form their opinion of Hillary by evaluating what Rush Limbaugh says about her? By going wholly, unapologetically anti-Trump across the board; with NY Times editorials declaring how it was time to dump journalistic “objectivity”; with CNN passing debate questions to the Clinton campaign: with “journalists” running stories by john Podesta for approval. . . How many people do you think just decided to ignore the press completely? The press went full partisan. You never go full partisan.
- The electorate wanted change. Right-track/wrong-track polling shows that in spades. Hillary wasn’t change. Hillary wasn’t just status-quo, she was pre-Obama status-quo. When the peasants want to storm the palace, you don’t offer them a return to a dynasty.
- When someone brings up forty years of scandal and potential corruption, saying “they never proved anything” is not a really effective counter-argument. Being subject to multiple FBI investigations is pretty damning for any presidential candidate, regardless of the outcome.