You can say what you will about the Trump campaign, and subsequent administration and of course, virtually everything has been said, but little to illuminate the phenomenon itself. The most important thing you must understand about Trump’s 2016 electoral college victory is that it represents the official realization by the American people that establishment Democrats are as ineffectual as establishment Republicans for some of America’s most immediate needs, and of those two parties competing in the political-media business model, only Trump even bothered to signal modest concern for the diminishing quality of life experienced by former Democratic loyalist segments of the population.
How did someone so wholeheartedly rejected by the “Washington establishment” win the presidency?
He won for that very reason. People realize they are not being served by “establishment” politicians and have been seeking to try something different - anything. The tendency of politicians to misrepresent the intention of the voters is always condescending and predicated upon the assumption that they are not informed. Some are still convinced that ignorance must have been the root cause of Trump’s win. While ignorance and disinformation played a role, it does not take into consideration the idea that Donald Trump was a harbinger of the awakening of the middle class to their own misrepresentation.
Once the DNC revealed its very undemocratic tendencies by meddling in the 2016 primary and failing to offer a candidate the electorate could trust, Trump was gifted an immense opportunity.
He won by exploiting the poor government track record of the Democratic Party - a party which likes to posture itself as the sole political protector of the working class and the vulnerable masses, but which has done little to protect the interests of the individuals they claim to represent. It takes little effort to make a convincing argument that the Democrat establishment has no interest in fighting for the working class or minorities in any meaningful way. Rather than promoting the type of change that could benefit their self-proclaimed constituents, they often balk at opportunities to do good for this nation and their base, they blame voters for their own defeats, and they perpetually fail to learn the lessons of both their victories and losses.
The use of identity politics to feign benevolence rather than actually signing legislation that would help the working class and minority Americans is becoming transparent - as evidenced by the fact that Trump made gains with the demographics Harris was supposed to energize. Why? Because she historically doesn’t represent their interests. Her track record is not one that screams social justice - in fact, it screams something much different.
It’s time we start understanding how average Americans are feeling and why they vote the way they do. There’s a reason why nearly half of all voting Americans decided to vote for Trump in 2016 and again in 2020, and it’s unlikely that those reasons are borne in complete ignorance. It’s time that we start talking to each other, start understanding each other, and stop demonizing each other.
Why Trump Lost…
Trump lost because he failed to deliver on those promises he had made to “drain the swamp”, and to aid in the plight of the American working class. He utterly failed to handle the COVID-19 pandemic - in fact, it is obvious that his actions have done more to exacerbate the impact of the pandemic than they have done to mitigate it.
However, the keystone issue defining 2016 was economic. The failure of Trump to negotiate in good faith a well-intentioned and well-designed coronavirus stimulus plan before the election was incredibly costly to his campaign - just as it was costly to the down-ballot Democrats. Because Pelosi was so transparently playing politics with people’s lives, American voters wanted to make clear their distrust of congressional Democrats - especially immediately following Pelosi’s unwillingness to sign a 1.8T deal Trump and Mnuchin offered at the eleventh hour, making herself and the congressional Democrats the very reason so many people are in such hardship right now.
There is no other justification for the performance of Democrats versus the performance of Biden. Trump’s approval among Republicans is remarkably high and the Lincoln Project failed to result in any meaningful votes for Biden - independents voted to remove Trump and they voted to remove congressional Democratic leadership because the two have resulted in utterly ineffective government for anyone but the wealthiest Americans.
Why He’s Still Popular…
Despite Trump’s loss, he received millions more votes in 2020 than he had in 2016. Why and how did he receive more votes than he had in his 2016 victory? From the perspective of the author of this article, it may have been the “libertarian” wing of the party, which was turned off by his rhetoric in 2016, but found his policies to generally align with the capitalist ideologies of the party before his emergence on the scene.
His vote totals also increased thanks to increased turnout, a surge in Republican registrations leading up to the election, and gains with Latin voters in the US as refugees from Venezuela or Cuba responded to the anti-socialist messaging and real effort on behalf of the Trump campaign to court those voters.
With a Democratic Senate and executive branch coming into power, there is fear of a return to progressive rhetoric with no action to preserve the middle-class. So long as the Democratic and Republican establishment parties represent inaction, ‘Hail-Mary’ candidates like Trump will continue to gain attention as the alternative to the currently broken system.
If both parties work to elect commonsense, problem-solving candidates and put the health and well-being of their country and their constituents first, and if independent candidates start to receive fair coverage at the primary level to help promote political diversity and candidates that will truly represent the people, then we can start to envision an America that begins to heal itself.
If you are interested in working together with like minded Americans who are ready to drop team politics in favor of politicians who will get the job done, join us & sign the Declaration of Interdependence.