I freely admit that my prediction for the election was short by an interesting squeak. Trump won enough states to get the crucial 279 electoral votes, but Hillary won the popular vote with 59,814,018 ballots to Trump’s 59,611,678 – out of a total of 119, 425,696 cast. Keep that in mind.
Still, this is an upset that nobody was expecting – certainly not Trump himself. It was pretty obvious that both candidates held off making their acceptance/concession speeches because their speech-writers desperately needed time to write them. Trump’s speech was full of phrases and concepts that we haven’t heard him use before, and as he gave it he looked more sober and thoughtful than I’ve ever seen him. To be blunt, he looked like a con-man whose bluff had just been called, and he’d just realized that now he had to make good on all his blithe promises. The “movement” he shaped and rode to victory is a political tiger that he can’t dismount from whenever he wants to. That’s a sobering realization for someone who has never held public office, has never worked in any government job, never seriously studied American law or history, and has never been in the military. Obviously he’s going to need a lot of top-quality advisors, managers, front-men and, eventually, fall-guys – and with his history, he knows it. At his acceptance speech he made a point of thanking an extraordinary number of people for his success; was he laying groundwork for a personal shield-wall of managers who can do the real work for him, or setting up patsies for his failures in advance? Probably both. I can readily think of half a dozen Trump campaign promises that he flatly won’t be able to fulfill, and he’ll need to make some really creative excuses for failing them.
But the big question that all the media/political/academic pundits are asking is, how did this happen? The usual answers range from “the election was rigged, all right” to “this shows the basic fascism of American society!” Only a few wiser heads have figured out, judging from the demographics of pro-Trump votes, that the real reason had more to do with Democrats and other Liberals underestimating the concerns of the “White working class” – and I daresay that even they haven’t got the whole story. In an ironic reversal of the claims of Black Lives Matter, it’s not just the White working class, you fools!
Yes, as a few analysts at MSNBC noted, the White working class is the single largest demographic in America – but how much bigger do you think the entire working class is? Blacks and Latinos are not just the Poor Oppressed Welfare Victims of Liberal myth; any of them with sense have been getting – and where possible, improving (as through the Labor Movement) – working-class jobs since before the Revolution, and they’ve been making good use of the advantages of the public education system and the Civil Rights Act for most of the last century. Yes, for good economic reasons, they have the same concerns as the White working class. This is why Blacks and Latinos didn’t flock to Hillary’s banner in the numbers that the Democrats smugly expected. Likewise for economic reasons, the definition of the “working class” has changed; today it also includes small and beginning business people, while “middle class” includes upper-level employees. The slow but steady destruction of the Labor Movement has also done noticeable damage to the fortunes of the working class, which is something else the Democrats have overlooked. Despite occasional worries about “the state of the economy”, media pundits have avoided noticing – or even saying the words – "Class Warfare" in the United States since at least the 1950s.
Liberals particularly, though self-called conservatives too, have fooled themselves with self-serving myths, stereotypes, about class and the culture thereof. They’ve assumed that people who are worried about job competition, cultural and legal invasion, corporate feudalism, erosion of individual rights and civil liberties, and other darker effects of “globalism” just have to be “fascists” – and therefore deserve no consideration except to sic the law, or mobs, on them. As an amazing example of modern Liberal hypocrisy, look at the Hillary supporters – who were so righteously offended by Trump’s very suggestion, a few weeks ago, that he might not “accept” the decision if she won the election – who are out marching and shouting in the streets tonight protesting Trump’s victory. Do they expect that he’ll resign in terror of them and their indignation? This is the kind of contempt for reality that has fueled class warfare for the last half century and more.
I daresay that Trump, given his dismaying situation, will be willing to listen to facts and reason than better than the Democrats will.