The hard-fought presidential election is, mercifully, over. Now Americans can relax, stop despising each other for how they voted, and go back to disliking each other based on the football team they like.
Hillary and Trump campaigned frantically on the last day before the election. Trump barnstormed across the Midwest to shore up supporters. And Hillary spoke to her base to get out the vote for her, giving speeches to a small, off-the-record campaign rally in the NBC newsroom. She also spoke at some cemeteries in Chicago, New Orleans and Indiana.
We had a choice between an outsider, an egomaniacal, populist billionaire and an historic female “first”: the first woman to head a New York crime family. But this electoral upset by Donald Trump is less about him and more about Americans fed up with big-government elites.
Hillary and Bill, the Bonnie and Clyde of American politics, had worn out their welcome with voters.
While he is likable, President Obama’s policies are awful. From ObamaCare to his regulatory executive orders, his idealistic grad school theories just don’t work. He turned the Justice Department into a corrupt, racist, vigilante operation and the IRS into his own Mafia hitmen. We had enough.
Hillary was able to advance the narrative, with the help of the DNC echo chamber we call “the media,” that she would protect women. Yet she never has. If Hillary cared about women, she would have changed Anthony Weiner’s Internet password years ago.
There was an “October Surprise” of embarrassing pay-to-play Clinton Foundation issues, including the Foundation paying for some of Chelsea’s wedding. Many of us were counting on a different “October Surprise” — that each party would replace its candidate with someone else.
This election was also a repudiation of big media. The only media watchdogs in our country were not even in our country: Julian Assange of WikiLeaks from the Ecuadorean Embassy, and hackers from the old Soviet Union. It was no surprise that CNN and other media operations were feeding Hillary debate questions. And that info was discovered in emails; there’s no telling what was texted, messaged or discussed in private meetings. Hillary’s relationship with the media will remain cozy; CNN had already slipped her questions she would have been asked in her inevitable impeachment hearing(s).
77 percent of the country is Hispanic, black or female. Trump pulled off the hat trick of insults with these voters. He thought he was doing well with “the blacks” in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, but it turned out they were coal miners.
Donald Trump maintained that the current American system is “rigged” and unfair. Only in America can a son of a rich developer inherit a real estate empire, wed three supermodels, become a TV star, and win the GOP presidential nomination on his first try while still maintaining that the U.S. system is unfair. The killer fact was that blue collar Americans agreed with him because they understand he was not bought and will work for them. There is something comforting about a person who does not need to make money in Washington — unlike the Clintons.
The GOP had some very real political debates, something the lemmings in the Democrat party never have. The DNC never wins on issues; they win by destroying their opponents. Trump stood up to them and America applauded.
Even Fox News’ Megyn Kelly (who seemed to go to the other side) attacked Trump over accusations from women and his own name calling. When she tried to turn Newt Gingrich from his talking points to Trump’s past, Newt lashed back and accused her of being “more interested in sex than discussing public policy issues.” To be fair, I think we all are more interested in talking about sex than talking about public policy, but you get the idea.
Trump urged early voters in Wisconsin who might have buyer’s remorse to go change their votes if they voted for Hillary. Trump understands buyer’s remorse; he changes spouses about every presidential cycle.
The good news is that Americans became re-engaged in politics with this race. They paid attention. Nothing short of the media finding the suspects who robbed Kim Kardashian in France would have distracted them from this epic contest.
Hillary misjudged Middle America’s anger. Her strategy down the stretch was just to ignore embarrassing scandals and run out the clock. It worked for her marriage, but not in this election.
A syndicated op-ed humorist, award winning author and TV/radio commentator, you can reach him at [email protected], Twitter @RonaldHart or visit RonaldHart.com