How did this happen? How did Donald Trump get elected? Certainly, we were presented with two historically unpopular candidates in the general election. It appeared that a good many of the votes cast for these candidates were really expressions of opposition toward the other candidate.
I have lost track of how many years the polarization of this nation has been at a critical level and it only gets worse with each election. The political parties, the media, the gerrymandering of congressional districts, and the influence of special interests all deserve blame. One half of the country doesn’t listen to the other half. Congress deserves blame for bowing to political party pressure and special interest money and influence, instead of those who are they were elected to represent. We deserve blame for not holding them accountable and for allowing civil discourse to become a thing of the past.
Back to Trump. He did something that people thought was impossible, he won without the African-American or Hispanic vote. He won without carrying any of the populous West Coast or Northeastern states. He won the rural areas, the Midwest, most of the West, and all of the South. Those are people who feel they have not been heard.
There is a prevailing narrative in this country. It is prevailing because the media has made it so by widely disseminating the message in both direct and subtle ways. It is promoted through news programs, cable news networks, television programs, movies, and other means. But the insidious thing about this prevailing narrative is the way it denigrates those who don’t buy into it. Hence, the Midwest is fly-over country. People in the South are hicks. Blue collar communities are the rust belt.
The message is these people don’t have much going for them and they are out of step with the times. They are uninformed, unenlightened, and propagandized by Fox News and conservative talk radio. They are bigots, and quite possibly dangerous.
The prevailing narrative stereotypes them, without understanding them. It portrays supporters of traditional marriage as homophobic. People who want to have an honest conversation about issues in the black community, that includes more than focusing on white privilege, are racist. If you use gender specific pronouns, you’re sexist.
Sometimes the liberal guardians of society are correct. Certainly, there are too many people who really are homophobic, racist, and sexist. But the purveyors of the narrative shut people out, disrespect them, and denigrate them simply because they have the nerve to see things a bit differently or hold onto traditional values.
Ironically, they run down millions of their fellow citizens in the name of diversity and inclusion.
Those voted for Donald Trump do not fit neatly in Hilary’s irredeemable basket of deplorables. They may come from different place, a place where the economy didn’t bounce back and the jobs didn’t come back. It is a place where people over fifty can’t find a meaningful, decent paying job to replace the one he used to do that is now off-shored or eliminated by automation.
These are places where traditional values are still in vogue. It’s a place where family, community, congeniality, respect, and religious beliefs are important. It is a place where people are tired of being ignored, misrepresented, and disrespected.
I understand why these folks voted for Donald Trump. I think it was a knee-jerk reaction, but I get it.
Image: Public Domain.