At the risk of contributing to the post-election drama, here are a few observations.
If you insult me I am not going to vote for you. Calling Donald Trump a racist is not unreasonable, given the incendiary things he has said. But when you call everyone who supports him a racist they may take it personally.
That may be one of the reasons why the “basket of deplorables” became an electoral majority. Same thing happened in Britain when Brexit supporters were dismissed as xenophobes and rubes. Yet we’re still hearing from some progressives that widespread racism is the only reason for Trump’s victory. Seems like an odd way to win back the millions of Obama voters who went for Trump this time.
The Clinton campaign focused on scaring people about Donald Trump and struck fear into the hearts of half the country. So the massive outpouring of fear, grief and panic over the Trump victory is no surprise. When I was a Boy Scout, we used to tell scary stories around the campfire and some of the kids had nightmares.
Angry mobs are less effective in the U.S. than in France. Union mobs in Wisconsin failed to stop the re-election of Gov. Scott Walker. Twice. The Occupy movement fizzled. Protests at Trump rallies (which we now know were connected to the Clinton campaign) apparently backfired. See a pattern here?
A campaign of relentless public shaming drove Trump supporters underground. 40% of my state voted for Trump but I saw very few Trump yard signs and bumper stickers. I sure didn’t display one. We’ve learned that many Trump supporters refused to answer polls, including exit polls. If this is the norm for future campaigns, the political prognostication industry is toast.
Nobody will ever again trust the mainstream news media, but we already knew that.
Issues still matter. Polls have consistently shown that the majority of voters are concerned about the economy and think the country is on the wrong track. Exit polls said the same thing. In the final weeks of the campaign, Donald Trump talked about the issues and Hillary Clinton talked about Donald Trump. How much trouble could we have saved if both candidates had talked about issues from the beginning?
It’s official: Celebrities are irrelevant. An unprecedented number of stars busted their sequined tails for Hillary and nobody listened. Because of their distress over racism and xenophobia, many entertainers plan to emigrate to Canada — which has a smaller minority population and tougher immigration laws. Why not Mexico? The weather’s better. Half the country bids them good riddance and hopes Trump will deport Justin Bieber.
After listening to nearly a week of post-election analysis, I miss the elegant clarity of Chicago’s legendary Mayor Richard J. Daley. When asked to comment on each election victory, his only response was that his opponent didn’t get enough votes.