“To call this election cycle a dumpster fire is far too cruel to dumpster fires, which at least destroy garbage rather than making them president.” – Ben Shapiro
Feminism and Nationalistic sentiment aside, it’s highly difficult to produce a plausible argument that either of the two main-party candidates in this past election were qualified in any distinct way to assume the mantel of President of the United States.
Hillary Clinton didn’t need to be elected President of the United States for me to believe that a woman could be elected president of the United States. She wasn’t a total flop due to a patriarchal boogeyman enforcing a glass ceiling, she failed because she had the personality of a tofu salad and the backbone morality of a soggy lamp shade.
The prior Democratic nominee was a vote magnet, delivering back to back shellackings to two boring-but-typical Republican nominees. Nothing screams “intelligent political strategy” like trotting out Romney and McCain like tag team punching bags for the most progressive and dynamic Presidential candidate in history.
(I mean really? This guy? This is the guy you chose to beat Obama?)
Saying Hillary has flaws as a candidate is like saying Enron had some mild accounting issues. Clinton’s campaign spent well over half of a billion dollars in her failed effort, and the best tagline that they could come up with was a snarky “Love Trumps Hate” stab at Donald. The pettiness couldn’t have been more apparent, but that’s not a surprise coming from a campaign who’s ardent media support expressed tangible shock that people might not feel obligated to vote for Clinton simply because she’s a woman. In their defense, they had precedent. The two previous elections saw millions of voters pull the lever for one Barack H. Obama simply due to high levels of melanin in his skin, rational voting logic be damned.
(Seriously though, it’s okay. It’s not like he’s going to nearly double the national debt or anything… right?)
The inherent flaw of identity politics is that the substance behind identity politics is literally only skin deep. Having dark skin doesn’t make you a better president, and having female genitals doesn’t make you a better person, despite screams from the Left insinuating otherwise. The Hillary campaign castigated Trump supporters racist homophobic bigots and were summarily dumped to the curb by middle of the road voters. The Clinton Campaign generated the equivalent excitement of kicking rocks and somehow they were still surprised when voter turnout tanked to historically low levels:
(Seriously, it’s almost like no one wanted to vote for a vapid sanctimonious career politician, who knew?)
To be fair, Trump garnered an even smaller voting turnout. His nationalistic rhetoric was a breath of fresh air for many patriotic Americans who had tired of global politics, but the divisive nature of his campaign prompted a sense of inhibition in regards to openly supporting him. Hashtagging #MAGA meant you were inherently a bad, bad person. Your politics, reasoning, and rational thought behind your candidate of choice didn’t matter, because everyone know Trump is Literally Hitler.
The Left knew that if you supported Trump, you were a racist bigot. They didn’t think this, they actually knew this in their hearts.
Supporting Trump in modern day America was almost as taboo as being a rapist. The Clinton campaign attempted to frame themselves as the campaign of the virtuous, and summarily performed ritualistic character assassinations on anyone who opposed their platform. They weren’t shy, either, in clearly stating their viewpoints:
Rationally, it’s pretty easy to see why this platform failed. The entire premise of running a successful campaign is casting a wide net and catching votes from fringe parties that straddle party lines, and the Clinton campaign succeeded in alienating large blocs of voters by throwing around labels like “deplorable” at common people that had voted for Obama and had then gotten screwed.
A large swath of America had voted in hope and change and then in return they received eight years of broken promises, bad healthcare, and pandering to special interest groups while 44 ignored the heartland of America. This wasn’t a “Whitelash,” Van Jones, this was a response to failed policy. America didn’t want a female President, they didn’t want a black President, they didn’t want an orange President, they didn’t want a career politician President.
They wanted a President that they could believe in.
They wanted a shoot-from-the-hip, fast talking quick action President with skin in the game that would Make America Great Again. Is Trump going to be the fulfillment of this dream? Probably not, even though he’s off to a good start. However, Trumps biggest quality is one that sheds the light of stark reality on the delusion of the Left:
Trump won, because he wasn’t named Hillary Clinton.
Trump was never the best candidate in the race, but Trump was the best option for a frustrated public that was tired of having their political ideology spoon fed to them. The post-election rancor and shock from the media about low information voters only serves to cement the notion that the press is appallingly out of touch with the reality of middle America.
Will Trump restore America and truly make it great again? Who knows, but the people who play with money seem pretty optimistic about it right now.
The true winner of this election was reality. The masquerade of false policy and career politics came to a crashing halt with the election of a real estate mogul who transcends the typical media cage and connects directly to the people. He’s no Roosevelt, and a twitter binge doesn’t have the warmth of fireside chats, but it’s good to see a President who isn’t beholden to the constraints of media, special interests, or a political party. Trump isn’t a savior, but he’s not a puppet of Washington D.C.
This isn’t a call to jump on the Trump train, even though I’m comfortably riding along in the caboose. This is a call to stop riding the party politic bandwagon and start critically examining candidates not for their political party, not for their rhetoric, but for their actual platform, for their actual character, and their actual intent. Charades and talking points are vacuous. It’s time we begin judging politicians not by the amount of Hollywood stars in their corner, but instead by their heart for the American people.