Why Trump Won

[NOTE: This is a post about politics. And it’s super freaking long. I wrote this the night Trump won, and sat on it for a bit, not sure if I should post it or not. If you don’t like reading about politics, or are just sick of the election in general, feel free to skip it. Believe me, I won’t blame you. I don’t intend to make politics a regular thing here, but felt this was worth discussing, and something that perhaps added to the general discourse rather than made it worse.]

Well, that happened.

I know a lot of people are surprised that Trump won. Surprised that our country has elected a boorish man who brags about sexual assault. Surprised that America would elect a man who has made racist, homophobic, misogynistic, and xenophobic comments. Surprised that we’d actually hand the keys to the country to a man who gets into Twitter wars with celebrities at three in the morning.

Frankly, I’m surprised that anyone is surprised.

How could we not see this coming?

The culture wars have been playing out nightly on the news since at least the nineties. And now we see the results of this all out war on one another — a war in which we’ve played right into politicians’ and media’s hands, by the way.

And now, for Liberals and many old school conservatives, a somber mood stretches across the country as we wonder, what the hell have we done?

Watching scenes from Clinton HQ after it became clear that she’d lost was like watching an Audience Reacts segment to the Negan scene from the season premiere of The Walking Dead.

And since I’ve been writing about The Walking Dead, I figured why not do a postmortem of the 2016 presidential election?

One thing to get out of the way: I’m a centrist, leaning liberal on a lot of things.

However, I tend to ignore party lines, choosing to instead form my own opinions based on logic and ever-changing information, rather than follow the script the media wants me to follow.

One other thing:

I voted for Clinton.

Some of you will think that’s awesome. Others will think I’m a fucking communist cuckold or some other less-than-masculine insult.

Sorry, I couldn’t vote for Trump. A Trump presidency is like a Bloom County strip come to life. I just couldn’t check that box. I have serious reservations about him that stretch beyond the politics of culture.

I don’t usually talk about my political beliefs because I don’t like to alienate readers of my fiction. I don’t want your opinion of MY OPINIONS to get in the way of you enjoying my books.

Because if last night didn’t show it, we’re in a war right now, a war with our neighbors. A war with anyone who holds an opinion other than our own. A war where everyone has their finger on a trigger, literal or figurative.

Over the years, we’ve been made to hate The Other. We’ve been made to think of our neighbors not as complex people with complex thoughts on complex matters, but in terms of Liberal or Conservative.

That’s it. One word titles, and those are the polite ones.

It’s debasing.

It removes nuance.

It makes it easier for us to HATE.

Easier to CONTROL us.

Our puppet masters are quite happy right now.

While I’ve often enjoyed talking politics with friends and even people who aren’t friends, I’ve avoided it in a public space (for the most part) because it never felt right. Even now it doesn’t, as I write this.

I think it’s mostly because politics is incredibly personal. And I don’t like judging other people’s politics and acting like mine are The One True Way. The same reason I don’t talk about religion.

I didn’t live your life.

I didn’t walk in your shoes.

I can’t possibly know why you feel the way you do on any number of subjects.

And additionally, I don’t think ANYTHING is static.

Things I think now may very well change over time given new data.

Same with you?

So why paint ourselves into corners we can never escape from?

But as I watched this Trump phenomena happening over the past few years, I wanted to know more. I wanted to know WHY people were supporting him.

Beyond the basest reasons, beyond the racist, misogynistic, xenophobic reasons.

I know it’s easy to assume that every Trump supporters is a monster. And many monsters support him for sure. But not every Trump supporter is a monster. Not even most of them.

I saw social media explode last night after his win. Saw Liberals lose their shit, ending friendships, blasting “stupid Americans,” and blasting “stupid white people.” I saw many comments that said more or less if you voted for Trump, you are a monster that hates women, who supports rape and racism.



Again, I understand that there are MANY people who definitely fit that bill. People who have made life very difficult for cultural progress. And those people are definitely fucking assholes.

But … everyone?

I know it’s easy to fall into the trap of hating the Other, and thinking that EVERY Trump supporter is a monster.

But that’s not even close to reality. And I think it’s a dangerous belief to hold because it ignores some very basic truths that we’ve been blinded from seeing in this 24 Hour Cable News Culture War.

I live in Florida, surrounded by Trump supporters. Some are assholes, sure. Some are scared white people who hate the idea of change, and they need to just get over it. But many are decent hard-working folks who feel left behind, feel ignored and manipulated by a political system that looks down on them.

And I wanted to know why they were making a case for Trump. So rather than just assume the worst about them, I decided to talk to them over this past year.

I also started reading blogs, watching videos, and generally trying to figure out WHY these people were voting the way they were. I wanted to understand — especially if he was going to win.

As cynical as I am, I really don’t want to believe that HALF our population is made up of ignorant racists, homophobes, and sexists.

I think the first step in attempting dialogue with someone of opposing viewpoints is to actually UNDERSTAND their viewpoint. To get beyond the self-righteousness that we ALL can feel from time to time when we believe in something so passionately. And to actually talk to others.

You can’t do that if you blindly cling to this belief of all Trump supporters as THIS OTHER. THIS EVIL.

And I’d say that the Democrats CLEARLY did not do their homework on the REAL REASONS (beyond the horrible ones) that people were voting for Trump. If they had, they would’ve gone out and actually sought to change the hearts and minds of the non-crazy Trump supporters. They would’ve made a better case for a Clinton presidency.

But they didn’t.

And I think this is a lesson we must learn before the next election.

So I’m going to share this with my Liberal friends so you can understand WHY a non-racist/non-sexist/non-Nazi might have voted for Trump. Again, yes there are conservatives who are racists, homophobes, misogynists, and any other number of -ists that are holding society back. Some of them don’t care. Others might not even realize their biases. But this post isn’t about those conservatives. Well, at least not the openly hostile to progress ones.

One other thing. I’m not saying that these are reasons I would vote for Trump. These are simply some of the reasons that people might not see Clinton as the better choice for them.


Trump listens to them. So many people in America feel alienated by the powers-that-be. They’ve lost jobs. They’ve been taken advantage of/screwed over, talked down to, made fun of, scapegoated, and a host of other things, and they’re sick of it. Finally someone comes along who says he understands them. That he’ll “make America great again.” And who can blame them for listening? Whether you think Trump is exploiting these people’s desperation as most politicians do, it doesn’t matter. If even there’s a thin shred of a chance that Trump DOES deliver on his promises, it’s more than anyone else has done in quite some time.

The Public ALWAYS switches things up. They want something “different.” Americans get tired of having the same party in the White House. Seems our limit for parties these days is two terms. After that, vote the bums out and replace them with someone, anyone. Happens a lot. Happened again. Not a big shock.

They think Trump will deliver on the promise of smaller government. People are tired of the government being in their business. Tired of restrictive regulations. Tired of high taxes to support a broken system. We could argue the merits of these things, the merits of said restrictions, and just how “small” Trump’s government will be with some of the outlandish (and expensive) plans he’s made, but a belief in smaller government is a legitimate belief that drives MANY conservatives.

They think Trump will change immigration laws. Trump did a LOT of horrible fear mongering about the dangers of immigrants during the election. His promise to build a giant wall out of A Game of Thrones is one that appeals to some people. But there’s also a legit discussion to be had about immigration which many people think we’re not having. There’s also a belief among conservatives that Democrats only want immigration because it will swell the number of people who want more “free shit.” And those people are going to vote Democrat, thus lowering the number of likely voters for conservatives in the future. Whether this is real or not, it’s a perception that Democrats need to address if they want to win over conservative voters.

They think Trump will keep the Supreme Court from becoming too liberal. This is a big one. With a vacancy to fill, conservatives want to ensure that they get someone from their team on the Supreme Court. Whether they want to go after Roe v. Wade or simply want to ensure the law abides by the Constitution, this is a concern many of them have.

They think Trump will repeal the Affordable Care Act. This is a big one. While the ACA has given insurance to a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise have it, it’s also FUCKED a lot of people — and not in the good way where you cuddle after.

The ACA has become, to many, the Unaffordable Care Act, driving up prices while also offering less by way of services. I could tell you some truly horrifying stories of “Obamacare,” nightmares that people I know have suffered. And again, I’m a liberal, and if I can see the problems, you bet your ass that conservatives can.

Trump says he’ll make something better. Probably something “HUGE!” What that will be, who the hell knows? But when people are feeling hopeless, going broke just trying to pay for insurance they’re mandated to have, they go with the guy offering to do something, anything different!

They don’t think Trump assaulted women. Whether you think Trump assaulted women doesn’t change the facts of the case, which we don’t actually know, other than his crude comments. Conservatives would argue that the timing of these accusations makes them likely false. They’d also point out that Trump hasn’t been found guilty in a court of law, which is the measure of guilt most people abide by. And further, they’d argue that Bill Clinton also assaulted several women, and outright raped one, and that Hillary ignored or attacked these women. I am not arguing the veracity of any of these arguments, but simply pointing out the reason that Trump supporters would dismiss a serious issue.

They think Trump will lower taxes. People hate taxes, especially when they think the government is wasting their tax dollars. And nobody can argue that we’re not wasting tax dollars, particularly when we’ve been in a constant state of war since at least the time of The Mad King Aerys.

Trump claims he’ll get us out of wars, stop interfering in other countries’ business, and cut taxes. Again, this isn’t to say he will actually do these things, but again, something different, opposed to Clinton’s tax changes which might have increased taxes for many in the middle class.

Conservatives are tired of being labeled as the “bad guys.” Liberals have made a bit of progress in recent years when it comes to issues like equal rights and changes in the laws prohibiting marijuana, as well as a host of other social issues.

Is the job done?

Not even fucking close.

However, if you ask a conservative, there’s been a shift where the oppressed have become the oppressors. I know it seems silly to Liberals that members of the traditional ruling class can possibly complain about oppression. But you can’t just tell people to shut up and check their privilege and expect any change. If you want them to listen to you, you must also listen to them.

Conservatives (and even many liberals) have fun afoul of so-called Social Justice Warriors, finding themselves labelled a homophobe, racist, or sexist if they don’t believe, act, or accidentally call someone by the wrong pronoun.

There’s a veritable laundry list of things you could do to offend someone these days, many of them you might not even be aware of (like microaggressions). Many of those grievances are legitimate. Many are seen as nitpicking or self-righteousness.

Hell, I’m fairly certain that this post will offend someone for me even bringing up that some liberals cross the line into extremism.

Conservatives are fed up with political correctness, and who better to vote for than the most politically incorrect politician ever?

Trump is seen as a hero to people who feel they’re no longer being listened to. To people tired of being accused of being racists, misogynistic, or homophobic (whether those accusations are just or not).

Don’t get me wrong, I see a definite need for people to stand up and fight for their rights. I’ve argued with many, many conservatives for years, particularly when it comes to gay rights and issues of race. Liberals can truly affect change and make lives easier for those who feel marginalized by society, those who are told that they don’t matter, those who struggle to even have their problems acknowledged.

However, you have to know how to fight effectively in order to create change.

When EVERY offense is blown up by social media into a SERIOUS offense, then NOTHING is taken seriously by the opposition.

As one conservative said to me, “they’re shrill and hysterical, special little snowflakes.” Others have complained that it’s seemingly okay, even fashionable, to attack or discount someone for being privileged white men, and “you’re just supposed to accept it because historically, you’re the oppressor even if you’ve never oppressed anyone.”

Some conservatives feel that they are the victims in these culture wars. Which seems impossible for us liberals to believe when we see things through our own biases, or just one particular lens. It’s something we blindly dismiss at the peril of our own causes.

I find it interesting that there is this much of a divide between oppression and perception of oppression on both sides of the issue. Everyone is offending everyone, and both sides feel attacked and just get further entrenched in their beliefs rather than … having an open dialogue! Rather than hearing what the other person is experiencing.

This is a line that deepens the longer that we dismiss one another as both “special snowflakes” and “privileged oppressors.”

This is also the sort of stuff that has driven moderate conservatives, people who support some liberal ideals, to just say fuck it, finding liberals unreasonable, and going all-in with The Right.

I’m not saying that liberals ought to kiss the asses of their enemies. Or to just sit by as people are victimized by racism, sexism, homophobia, and any other marginalization. Or they ought to stand down and “know their place,” or any of the other things that the power structure has typically told the aggrieved.

As I said before, fight your fight!

However, you have to know WHEN to fight, and you also need to know WHY your opposition thinks the way they do if you ever hope to win that fight.

You also have to consider context.

Is the conservative you’re going after truly an evil fuck who deserves public scorn and condemnation at the slightest perceived misstep, or is it someone who said, or did, something stupid but can learn from it if given the opportunity?

Is it more important to call out and ridicule the enemy, or try to open their minds?

This part is for the Liberals and Conservatives. 

WE COULD keep attacking everyone who has an opinion different than us.

WE COULD make enemies of people who are resistant to change, rather than try to have an open dialogue which would help us discover our commonalities.

Hell, that is what The Powers That Be want us to do — FIGHT amongst ourselves! 

They keep us divided so it’s easier to keep us blind to the REAL SHIT they’re doing to us.

WE COULD just keep thinking of each other as some monstrous Other, or The Enemy, because that makes it easier not to see one another as real people.

It makes it easy to ignore or overlook valid points to consider.

It only entrenches us further in our battle formations.

Yeah, WE COULD keep doing that.

But how far has that gotten us?

I think we only need to look at last night’s historic election to see the answer.

Imagine if we’d actually had open dialogue with one another rather than succumbing to social politics the past few years?

Imagine the presidential candidates we MIGHT have had.

Imagine the next four years we MIGHT have had.

Here’s the good news: there’s still time to shape our future.

And it begins when you stop pointing fingers and assigning blame.

It begins when you start to actually talk out your differences.


We wanted something different, right?


  1. One of the best posts I’ve read post-election. Well done. If this were a review on Amazon, I’d ding you a star for annoying me by using all caps so often :), but other than that, awesome! It’s nice to see people who actually try to understand the other side instead of demonizing them.

  2. Erik

    Well done. I have to admit, I saw the title and was hesitant to read because I was worried it would ruin my opinion of an author I enjoy quite a bit. I’m glad I read. While I don’t completely agree with everything that you say I think that we are in the same ballpark of opinion. I wish politicians could be more agreeable in this way. Most issues could be solved by finding common ground but it comes down to my team vs. your team and we aren’t allowed to think differently than the team narrative.

    • Erik,

      Yeah, I almost didn’t write the post because even admitting I voted for Clinton will likely alienate someone who hates her. As a former reporter I like to think that I see all sides of an issue (or at least more sides than most people see). That, coupled with OCD, almost cripples me with endless speculation over the countless variables to consider on stuff like this.

      The issues ARE far more complex than the media would have us believe. And the “bad guys” aren’t always the “bad guys.” Most often its a lack of communication married to a fear of The Other which keeps us isolated in our own bubbles, and shit just continues.

  3. Joshua Russell

    Lovely article, David. Thoughtful and kind-hearted. Would love to hear you expound on “the REAL SHIT they’re doing to us.”

    • Where do I even begin? If I go on too long, too deep down the rabbit hole, I’ll sound like a conspiracy theorist. So, instead, I’ll just say it’s mostly “boring stuff” that adds up to big stuff. Stuff that happens on a local level — local land use changes, gerrymandering to change voter power, elected officials tied to powerful interests which affect their ability to do their jobs as necessary, and wealthy landowners who are able to get a government to declare eminent domain to seize land on their behalf.

      Mostly shit that happens on the local level and which most people don’t notice because they don’t buy their local papers or their local papers don’t cover this stuff because they’re giving people what they want — pablum to distract them.

      It’s insidious and endless. And heartbreaking to go into at length without just feeling like a helpless maniac screaming into a void.

  4. Hey Dave, very insightful and fair-minded. Most of this election disturbingly reminded me of last election, but in a sense inverted. It really does come down to, as you mention, The Other. What people need to recognize is that The Other is a part of their own psyche rather than actually Other, and if some honest communication actually took place we would all grow. We’ve been on this trajectory for a few thousand years so far, and I do think we are creeping incrementally closer to a sort of mass epiphany. I’m just hoping that the opposing forces don’t climax in destruction first.

  5. mihla

    Sorry, I can’t be as magnanimous as you. Maybe it’s because the party that now controls two branches of government and will soon control all of them has made it their number one priority to privatize Social Security, which I depend on having lost most of my retirement savings in the stock market crash during the last Republican president’s term. Maybe it’s because if they get rid of both Medicare and Obamacare as Trump promised, I’ll be unable to get insurance I can afford due to pre-existing conditions. Maybe it’s because I have a young granddaughter with developmental delays and another with epilepsy whose therapy their parents could not afford if Medicaid were demolished. Maybe it’s because my older grandchildren can’t afford to attend college because their parents are still paying off their own school loans after serving their country in the military. Maybe it’s because my black, Hispanic, and Muslim friends are afraid for themselves and their children after the election of this madman has given his supporters free rein to discriminate, harass, and even harm them. Maybe it’s because some of us women have fought too long and too hard for our rights to be okay with being set back 50 years. Maybe it’s because I think America is better than this. But then again, maybe that’s just wishful thinking, because when it’s time to vote for another president, I’ll be 79 years old, and under a Trump presidency, frankly I don’t think I’ll last that long.

    • I’m not saying we shouldn’t be pissed. And I’m probably going to write a post explaining to conservatives WHY liberals are so upset, and how they’re not helping matters by rubbing liberals’ noses in this shit, by belittling our efforts to make society better for all.

      But we DO need to find common ground with people on other side. You can’t win a war when you don’t understand the playing field. You also can’t win the hearts and minds of others when you refuse to communicate. Not saying YOU, but rather the Democratic party in general. They failed to discover HOW to appeal to voters. Not just Conservatives but many people who voted Democrat last election.

      This would not have happened if we hadn’t allowed ourselves (on both sides) to become so divided. If we fought NOT to fall into these traps. To fall into the media’s attempts to use outrage to control us and turn us on one another.

      I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m not even saying I have great ideas. But anything has to be better than what we’ve done until now.

  6. Linda Deutscher

    Your post did tick off many of the issues of our society David, and here is my perspective.

    I’m not a Republican, nor a Democrate, I’m one who looks at the candidates based on what they want to accomplish, what they stand for and how they stand on Women Rights. So, if you were to look at my voting over my lifetime, you would see that I have voted for Republicans and Democrats. There was not one candidate in the 2016 Presidential race that hit all of the concerns that I feel as a nation we face. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, you don’t have to declare your party of affiliation, and I personally feel that this should be the norm, for many in society feel it is necessary to categorize everything into a cubby hole.

    The reason we as a society have gotten to where we are, is that as you said we don’t listen to one another, we are not willing to compromise in order to find a common ground in which we can come up with a course of action that will be the best for most people. One must understand that you will never appease all of the people all of the time, and that there will be those who will never be appeased, for they just like to complain. The elected officials on Capital Hill, have not been listening to the citizens of this country for way to long. They are to way to busy throwing mud at one another, than doing the job they were elected to do.

    First and foremost, most of the elected officials of Capital Hill did not read the resolution that became the “Affordable Health Care Act”. Even this resolution was not a clean bill, but one with “Pork Barrel Spending” within it, and since the President doesn’t have line item veto capabilities, the elected officials of Capital Hill get away with putting in spending that they promised the citizens from their respective states. The healthcare system that we had before wasn’t working, and change needed to occur, but instead of sitting down and looking at ways to fix the healthcare system of the country, we just through it out of the window and create a new one that is also riddled with issues. President Obama did say to Capital Hill, that he was willing to fix those areas that were an issue, but what did the Republicans do, they just continued to rant and rave, instead of sitting down with those on the other side of the aisle and do their job.

    The citizens of this county need to know that “Pork Barrel Spending” is how the elected officials of Capital Hill operate. They always chose those bills in which are hot ticket items to the citizens, so they can say “You didn’t want be to vote against Social Security, Veterns Benefits”, and so on. Line item veto was something that President Reagan said that the President needed to have in order to keep spending under control. Some will say, how do you know this to be true? During my working career, I worked for the Veterans of Foreign Affairs Political Action Committee, although their major concern was veteran benefits, one learned the games that are played my our politicians, such as not voting on resolutions and then saying I was not there, when in fact they actually were, for you could see they had voted on another resolution just moments before the one they walked out of chambers on.

    The things that I’m passionate about are rights of all, but I’m also very concerned about the fiscal responsibility, national security, judicial reform, election reform, healthcare, and education. I am deeply concerned how the next 4 years are going to be considering the outcome of this election, based on the words spoken by our President-Elect Trump, our VP-Elect Pence and the Republican Congressman and Senators. I stayed up to watch the election returns come in, not just to see who won, but to see how many people came out to vote, and although they are still counting votes, its very disappointing to see that only 60% of those who are registered to vote actually voted. Just think, if everyone who is eligible, actually registered and then voted, how the results would of been. In order to enact change, one must start from the bottom and work your way up the ladder.

    The journalist need to remember that their opinions are saved for the “Opinion Section” and that news is to report the actually facts of the story. The news media must remain non-bias in reporting the news and should not get involved in supporting any particular candidate, for when one does choose to be in support of a particular candidate, party or movement the integerity of their reporting becomes slanted. A cousin of mine many years ago said, “Linda take 90% of everything you see, hear and read and throw it out the window, for then you have the actual facts.”

    In closing, I want to say that we are all brothers and sisters, no matter what our religious beliefs are, our race, our sexual orientation or where we are from. Our creator, made each of us unique unto ourselves, and we are all due respect, love, understanding and the opportunity to achieve our hearts desire. It is through compassion, love and empathy of our brothers and sisters that we can make this world that we inhabit a better place for all. Remember the words of Martin Luther King’s dream message and the words of President John F. Kennedy “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what can I do for my country.” History, is history upon which we learn from, so that we don’t repeat the mistakes of the past. History is not for us to rewrite, in order to remove those things that you don’t want to acknowledge occurred.

    • Well said. Having been a journalist, I can tell you that there are a lot of journalists who would LOVE to report the actual news. Unfortunately, two things happened in the past 20 years or so. One is that the internet cut into advertising revenue which killed newsrooms. Second was that television and radio realized that MOST PEOPLE said they wanted news, but they didn’t tune in to lengthy discussions on topics. Instead, they tuned in to bloviating talking heads and sensationalistic nonsense.

      So what happened next was that people stopped believing actual news or facts. They started getting caught up in their echo chambers of radio talk, cable news, and internet message boards. Suddenly, facts couldn’t compete with sensationalism. This, in turn, started to screw with actual newsrooms. Suddenly you had traditional organizations trying to compete with New Journalism, or forced to make do with lesser stories because of a lack of a budget for actual investigative journalism. Now most news stories are rehashes of what someone else did.

      Which, of course, has further eroded Americans’ trust in journalists.

      Which is EXACTLY what the Powers-That-Be want. Because when people don’t pay attention to the little things, like their city or county commission meetings, they don’t see what’s happening. They have no voice. They’re not represented.

      And the shit just gets worse and worse.

      And now you have what we’ve got at the moment.

      People need to support their local news or national news outlets. They need to pay attention to “boring” stories. They need to reject this 24 hour sensationalism masquerading as news. They need to be active on a local level where the only real possibilities of change lie.

      Perhaps this election will wake people up on both sides (liberals and conservatives who will likely be disappointed in the reality of a Trump presidency.)

  7. Laura S

    An amazing post David. I can’t even imagine how you were able to think so clearly Tuesday night. All I had was rage and anger that night and it took me 2 days to even come down off the ledge. This post has helped me start to understand why people did what they did. I would love for you to post the second one, explaining that all us liberals are not delicate snowflakes or just want “free shit” from the system. I’m a middle age middle class white person who, other than being a woman, falls into none of the categories of people who are most at risk of persecution. Love your other work too, the fiction, and this was an unexpected and terrific surprise to read!

    • Thank you. And I just did write that other post. As for how I was able to write that post, I was more or less expecting Trump to win. I’d already seen the warning signs even as the media was readying Clinton’s victory parade.

      Glad I could help out. Being OCD and tending to overthink E V E R Y T H I N G, I figured I’d use my curse to try and help end the divisiveness in my own way (assuming anyone gives two shits what I think).

  8. Pingback: Why Liberals Are Pissed | David W. Wright

  9. Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!

    I’ve been avoiding social media a lot right now because of the hate, and when I try to say something that isn’t hateful, like maybe they aren’t all racists, I just get pushed aside, blocked, banned, etc. So I am hoping it dies down after a while.

    I voted Jill Stien because I couldn’t, in good conscience, vote for either Trump or Hillary. But I can’t believe that he is all bad, or that every choice he makes will automatically be horrible before he even does anything, either. The fact that he got up on stage right after the election and said he wants to keep protecting the LGBT community, and said he was happy so many people cheered for that, gives me a little hope that there will be some good.

    In all honesty I can’t name a single president (except maybe JFK) that did all good, and had nothing wrong in their presidency. People are more complex than we usually give them credit for.

    • Also, you forgot one point…. The number of voters that voted for republicans has stayed fairly constant over the years. The number of people that voted for democrats this year took a huge dip. So it wasn’t just all the things you listed that got people to vote for him, it was also that Hilary did not inspire her side to turn out and vote for her. Whether because of the controversy’s surrounding her family, the wall street connections, the shadiness of her emails, or a large portion of the public thinking she rigged the DNC against Bernie Sanders, it all amounts to the same thing. Fewer people bothered to vote for Hilary. A lot more voted third party this year, and some switched to Republican.

  10. Superb. Your words also largely explain why the UK voted for Brexit this year despite it making literally no logical sense. People are sick of the old guard, sick of being labelled racist because they supported leaving (although, to be fair, “not all Brexiters are racist but all racists are Brexiters” has an element of truth to it), sick of being completely neglected by the political establishment (in the UK, the parties pay attention only to the middle class elderly – the ones who actually bother to vote), sick of feeling powerless. They voted for a feckless misogynist who appeared to listen to them (Boris Johnson), a man who didn’t really want to win and immediately realised his mistake, exiting stage left. They voted for policies that were based on lies and were jettisoned within hours of the result (any of this sound familiar?).

    For us, the damage is likely to be far longer-term than a 4 year Trump presidency (assuming he can keep his fingers away from the nuclear button), but it’s what it says about our respective democracies that is most worrying. Back in the 70s, a large proportion of the MPs in Parliament would have had real jobs the ordinary folk would recognise. Today, government is made up predominantly of people from private education with degrees in politics and for whom the concept of actual, productive, creative, work would bring them out in hives. They make policies based on seeing people as units of the economy and the requirement that the bankers and other greedy snakes should not have to take responsibility for the problems they caused. And, to make matters worse, we have an electoral system that means we are governed by a party two thirds of us voted against. No wonder voters wanted to stick two fingers up to the politicians in June. Sadly, while I understand the temptation, we’ve now cut off our nose to spite our face in a spectacular fashion. Would someone turn out the lights?

  11. That was a very good post Dave. I’m a Libertarian, and I had my own conflicts with this election because of Donald Trump. I try not to mix my work with politics but I consider myself a pundit of sorts and can’t help but put in my two cents every now and then. Sometimes you have to let it all out or you will explode. In any case, you basically hit the nail on the head. Conservatives aren’t real conservatives anymore and Liberals aren’t real Liberals. Both sides have been hijacked by this new wave of authoritarianism. The last few months are proof that everyone is willing to back their own brand of corruption without a second thought to what’s right, moral or even constitutional. The fight over the Supreme Court is the best example of this. I don’t like to push political beliefs on people but I do think everyone should realize that it’s not left or right anymore, it’s liberty vs. tyranny.

  12. You are so right, we are divided and we are busy fighting each other. To effect change, you have to know when and how to fight and most importantly – who. We had friends cancel holiday plans because they were so upset over the loss. I posted a small piece on my blog about real loss. Lets try to keep perspective and remember this nation is a democracy – but you have to fight to preserve it.

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