Doc Yale

Grave New World
Part I - The Election of Donald Trump

The long nightmare which is an election year in the United States is now over; but we face a new one.  An acquaintance years ago said he was planning to move (back) to Europe till the election was over.  But that was 16 years ago; from what I gather the Europeans have followed this election closely so one may have to opt for Mongolia or some other backwater these days assuming you can afford it. 

But bad as the election has been the results are what are making thoughtful citizens walk around in shock.  I have listened to the pundits on TV and radio and read a number of thoughtful comments from friends on facebook.  The more thoughtful and honest ones  admit they don’t know what happened but present their theories anyway.  So I’ll go ahead and do the same.  

So why did Hillary manage to lose to an unqualified, ignorant, and  offensive buffoon like the Donald.  I don’t believe that there is a single reason but rather a perfect storm of factors. 

  1. The ineptitude of the Democratic National Party assuming Hillary would be their nominee and blatantly supporting her in spite of the fact that Bernie Sanders had enthusiastic support. This left the democrats that liked his message with a bitter taste and a feeling that the entire system was rigged.
  1. The fact that Hillary is a poor campaigner. Yes, she knows the issues and can clearly state her positions but she is not an orator like Obama.  And she was so cautious in her wording to avoid offending her sponsors that one pundit said it sounded like every word she said had been bought and paid for.  She just doesn’t come across as trustworthy or even very likeable.
  1. The failure of the media to cover the issues before the American citizens. They were more interested in covering the buffoon than insisting that candidates address concerns of the citizens.  I suppose it makes for better ratings and the Donald was a master at getting the limelight.  But Hillary also needs to take some of the blame; she had a record low number of press conferences during the entire campaign.
  1. A general feeling that the government and the establishment is not working for the people – the 99%.  As a former First Lady and Secretary of State  she is clearly part of the establishment.  And calling Trump supporters “deplorables” did not help those on the fence.
  1. The inability of the pollsters including Hillary’s to recognize this trend in #3 above and adjust her campaign strategy accordingly.

Of the five I think that number three is the most important.  Hillary did worse in rural areas and in the interior.  The interior west has been traditionally Republican , but the rust belt states of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania are not.  There is a general feeling among voters in these areas that professional politicians do not care about them—that they only come around before an election to talk down to them to get their vote.

One may say that I left out two of the most important reasons noted by her many pundits—her gender and a general desire for change.  As to her gender, we will never know but I don’t think it was a big factor if a factor at all.  As to change, there may have been a desire to not see another Clinton, much less another Bush in the White House, but overall I don’t think it was a major factor.  After all having the first woman running the country is quite a change.

Now that the nightmare election is over we have to look forward to four or more years of buffoonery at the highest level of government.  Future posts will address what this ‘grave new world’  may portend.