Fair disclosure: I held my nose and voted for Trump. While I did not vote for him in the primary elections–I voted for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), as Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) had pretty much suspended his campaign by the time the Kentucky caucus had arrived–I was determined to do what I could to slam the door on the Clinton Crime Family.
While I agree with most of Trump’s stated platform, I’ve long had concerns about whether he was serious about any of it. Having said that, we know that Hillary was serious about her platform. And while Trump has many moral failings in his personal life, he has not shown himself to be corrupt in his public ethics.
Back to the election.
During primary season, Trump was a juggernaut. No one–and I mean no one–could hold a candle to him. Cruz performed remarkably during the debates, with the exception of his “New York values” comment, a colossal blunder which guaranteed his defeat in the Northeastern states.
Trump’s style was perfect: he was a master of the use of rhetoric–small sound bites–to dismiss his opponents and appeal to the masses.
Good dialectic makes policy, good rhetoric wins elections.
When Nixon vanquished McGovern, his team cast the Dems as the party of “acid, amnesty, and abortion.” It resonated with the American people, who rejected McGovern.
When Reagan upended Carter, he did it with one sentence: “There you go again.”
When Bush beat Dukakis, he did it with one simple pledge: “Read my lips, no new taxes.”
When Clinton beat Bush, it was “the economy, stupid.”
When Clinton beat Dole, it was “the Republicans and their risky tax scheme”, and “Dole’s war on Seniors.”
When Obama won in 2008, it was “hope and change”.
While Ted Cruz was a master of the dialectic, Trump ran circles around everyone with masterful rhetoric.
This is why, while Cruz would make an excellent Supreme Court Justice, he will never be President.
This is why Trump, fighting as a political novice in a crowded GOP field that included several Governors–Bush, Gilmore, Pataki, Perry, Jindal, Walker, Huckabee, Christie–and the top Republican stars in the Senate, beat them all, and beat them handily.
“Make America great again”
“Build the wall, and make Mexico pay for it.”
“Drain the swamp.”
Great rhetoric, great salesmanship. It propelled him to the Republican nomination. He did himself well by picking Indiana Governor Mike Pence as a running mate. That was perhaps the best VP pick by a Presidential candidate since FDR picked Truman.
But in the election season, Trump had his work cut out for him: the Republican party was not on his side, and his opponent–Hillary Clinton–had never lost an election and had the big media and big money on her side.
And Democrats are masters of rhetoric: if there’s any party that can appeal with a sound bite or a sob story, it’s the Democrats.
In the general election season, Trump stumbled badly coming out of the gate. In his spat with the Gold Star family, Trump showed a reactionary pettiness where a measure of grace would have been Presidential.
But Hillary would neutralize that with her “deplorables” comment, handing Trump supporters a rhetorical stick with which they would beat her to a pulp. In one stupid comment, Hillary galvanized Trump supporters better than Trump could have done.
Making matters worse for the Democrats was Hillary herself: her use of a private e-mail server during her days as Secretary of State demonstrated reckless handling of classified information, including documents that involved “sources and methods”. If any one of us had been so flagrant in our handling of classified information, we’d be lucky to get five years on a felony plea bargain.
But FBI Director James Comey allowed her to skate, showing that in the Animal Farm known as the United States, some animals are indeed more equal than others.
Even then, Trump gained momentum going into the first debate. In the first showdown, he was slightly flat, as Hillary appeared much better-prepared. (We now know why: she knew the debate questions beforehand. Thanks, Assange!)
But Julian Assange and Wikileaks provided a drip-drip of embarassing leaks about Hillary: their continuous dumps of emails showed the contempt that Hillary has for America, the collusion between Hillary and the mainstream media–CNN was feeding her team the debate questions!–and her corrupt dealings as SecState.
The mainstream media largely ignored this, but the facts got out. And this hurt Hillary on the margins.
Then, out of nowhere, Trump suffered the mother of all October surprises: the infamous Billy Bush tapes, in which Trump made very bold, aggressive sexual brags.
What we now know as P***ygate would have sunk any other candidate, and–with polls showing Trump in an uphill battle–this threatened to kill his momentum. At that point, Dems seemed poised to take back the Senate and possibly the House.
Trump seemed doomed.
I initially said it: “Trump is done”.
I was convinced that he had lost the women’s vote.
I know a fair number of otherwise conservative, pro-life women who had decided they would not vote for Trump, hell no, no way, no how.
Then the women started accusing Trump of the very behavior about which he had bragged in the tapes. While Trump was no altar boy, I–and many friends of mine–were skeptical. That seemed all too convenient.
But in late October, as porn actress Jessica Drake accused Trump of being forward with her, I predicted–it was a hunch, but a prediction nonetheless–that Trump would win.
Whereas most candidates would have folded, Trump, ever the fighter, did not.
He performed masterfully in the second and third debates. He did something no one else had been able to do: he went on the attack against Hillary.
He did not play nice, he went for the jugular, he did not apologize.
The media excoriated him for it, but no matter: it was a “WIN” move.
The polls still had Trump sagging, but he was resonating with voters. He had punched Hillary Clinton in the mouth. He had drawn blood.
Then, FBI Director James Comey, keeping his word with Congress, informed them that the FBI had re-opened their investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mail scandal.
Making matters worse for Hillary, Wikileaks dumps were showing that Hillary’s team received debate questions beforehand from Donna Brazile. The revelations were so embarrassing that CNN fired Brazile.
Voters in the trenches were paying attention.
On election day, it was obvious that Trump had his work cut out for him. His chances of winning Virginia were slim, and he was going to need to flip a couple states to compensate for that.
Making matters worse, the races in other swing states–Florida, North Carolina, and Ohio–were very tight.
He needed Florida and North Carolina. He needed Ohio.
Surprisingly, there was buzz about his potential in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa, which hadn’t gone Republican in a Presidential race in a long time.
He nailed down Florida and North Carolina. Romney had not carried Florida in 2012. I figured his chances were very good.
Then he carried Ohio. This was a must-win, and he delivered where Romney had failed. Trump had a very good chance.
Then, when Hillary failed to carry the margins she needed in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, it became clear that Hillary was in trouble in Pennsylvania.
I looked at MrsLarijani. “If Trump wins Pennsylvania, it’s over.”
Then Trump began to prevail in Wisconsin and Iowa. . In baseball, we call those “insurance runs”.
(And Trump didn’t just “win” Iowa; he TROUNCED Hillary in Iowa, a state that neither Bush, McCain, nor Romney had taken.)
Trump was even polling well in MINNSESOTA! (He would lose there, but it was very close.)
Hillary had to be on suicide watch!
Then, sure enough, the votes from the “Alabama” section of Pennsylvania, and all parts of Michigan outside Detroit, came in. Trump surged ahead in two reliably Democrat states.
It was over. The MSM hadn’t called it, but the rout was on. There was no way Hillary could lose Pennsylvania AND Michigan and win the election.
Here in Kentucky, Republicans flipped the state House for the first time in 95 years. The House Speaker–Democrat Greg Stumbo–lost badly.
The Trump momentum, and the so-far-solid performance of Governor Matt Bevin, was a big part of that.
(Hillary had promised to put coal miners out of work. In doing so, she gave Kentucky the middle-finger salute. We kindly returned the gesture.)
I went to bed at 11PM. This election was over. Trump had carried it. There was no way Hillary could win if she didn’t take Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Heck, she was in danger of losing New Hampshire!
Now how do we assess this?
(1) To the MSM and the Establishment: piss off!
You lost, and lost badly. CNN, MSNBC, ABC, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, were clearly in the tank for Hillary.
And no, this isn’t about bias; after all, everyone has bias. News sites like Newmax and WorldNetDaily are biased, just as the MSM is biased.
But what the MSM did is beyond bias; they threw all semblance of jounalistic ethics out the window.
Hillary bragged about how “prepared” she was in her first debate. She was correct: when you’ve been given the debate questions and your opponent has not, then you’re certainly going to be more prepared.
(If you’re in a class and you get the exam questions in advance–and no one else in the class sees them–of course you’re going to get the better grade. But in academia, we fail people–even expel them–for that kind of dishonesty.)
What the MSM did was akin to election fraud. They are no better than Soviet-era Pravda or Tass.
The Republican Establishment–Ryan and McConnell and their cuckservatives in tow–had better be on notice. Trump won without their help. He won without their money. He won without Goldman Sachs bankrolling him. He won without the Koch brothers.
And given that the news organizations were in the tank for Hillary, can anyone credibly trust them to give us trustworthy polls?
That leads me to
(2) Pollsters have a major burden of proof going forward: why should anyone believe them?
This isn’t the first time this has happened, either. Last year, in the Kentucky gubernatorial race, pollsters were showing Attorney General Jack Conway leading insurgent Republican Matt Bevin by at least 5 points. In their debates, Bevin held court nicely, but news organizations–particularly the Louisville Courier-Journal and Lexington Herald-Leader–pumped Conway no matter how badly he stepped in it.
Then, on election day, Bevin won, and big. By nearly 9 POINTS!
This time around, only Rassmusen and the LA Times polls had any semblance of accuracy: each of them had Trump leading or close throughout the election season. Everyone else’s polls were off by miles.
Was that by design? Or were their models just that badly-flawed?
“db”, a statistician who chimes in on Vox Day’s blog, suggested the “undercover voter” dynamic. I think there is some truth to that, as there was definitely a large turnout of people who had never voted before, and they weren’t pulling for the ruling class. Many of them may not have shown up in the polls.
The problem, though, is that while some of this can be a failure to capture those types, given the ideologues at the news organizations, one has to wonder if their polls were more wishful thinking than actual polling.
(3) I am happy to celebrate the end of the Bush and Clinton dynasties.
I am not convinced that Trump is all that and a pound of bacon, but I would buy him a drink for sinking both Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton in the same election.
(4) The Trump victory is a victory for the alt-right.
Keep your eye on that movement. Trump didn’t create it; he merely tapped into it and carried their torch to victory.
We can argue all day about what the alt-right should look like, but make no mistake: it is here to stay.
And just what is the alt-right?
They are nationalists first:
(1) Enforce the immigration laws and shut the door on the Melting Pot myth,
(2) craft trade deals that do not kill jobs,
(3) Revisit foreign alliances that are obsolete,
(4) Get out of the business of fighting everyone else’s wars.
On the social front:
(1) They are for fiscal responsibility,
(2) They tend to oppose the Social Justice Warrior agenda,
(3) They oppose the “diversity” paradigm,
(4) They are for Western Civilization.
They have some views that are common to conservatives, but they are not “conservative”, as the alt-right would suggest that there is nothing left to “conserve”.
Trump hitched his wagon to the alt-right.
What kind of President will we get in Trump?
My answer has always been it depends on which Trump reports for duty.
If we get the alt-right Trump, who gives us a semi-conservative nationalist leadership that is inclined toward fiscal responsibility and staying out of other countries’ wars, he could end up being the Second Coming of Reagan, only better.
If Trump keeps his word and gives us solid federal court picks who are constructionists and believe in the Natural Law, he will be very good.
If Trump reaches out to the black community and seeks to reverse the insanity that has fomented the 70+% illegitimacy rate, he will be better for the blacks than any President in American history.
If, however, President Trump embraces the New York liberalism that defined him for many years, he will be a disaster.
In the early days of King Rehoboam, the successor to Solomon, the Israelites petitioned him for tax cuts. To that, Rehoboam appealed to his advisors. His older advisors–who were wise–instructed him to cut taxes. The younger advisors, the SJWs of his day, told him to raise taxes.
Rehoboam would follow the advice of the SJWs and raise taxes. The result was a Civil War that brought about a divided kingdom: the ten northern tribes (Israel) led by Jeroboam, and the two southern tribes (Judah).
In his ascent to power, Jeroboam was given an admonition:
Then Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite of Zeredah, Solomon’s servant, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also rebelled against the king. Now this was the reason why he rebelled against the king: Solomon built the Millo, and closed up the breach of the city of his father David. Now the man Jeroboam was a valiant warrior, and when Solomon saw that the young man was industrious, he appointed him over all the forced labor of the house of Joseph. It came about at that time, when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him on the road. Now Ahijah had clothed himself with a new cloak; and both of them were alone in the field. Then Ahijah took hold of the new cloak which was on him and tore it into twelve pieces. He said to Jeroboam, “Take for yourself ten pieces; for thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I will tear the kingdom out of the hand of Solomon and give you ten tribes (but he will have one tribe, for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel), because they have forsaken Me, and have worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the sons of Ammon; and they have not walked in My ways, doing what is right in My sight and observing My statutes and My ordinances, as his father David did. Nevertheless I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I will make him ruler all the days of his life, for the sake of My servant David whom I chose, who observed My commandments and My statutes; but I will take the kingdom from his son’s hand and give it to you, even ten tribes. But to his son I will give one tribe, that My servant David may have a lamp always before Me in Jerusalem, the city where I have chosen for Myself to put My name. I will take you, and you shall reign over whatever you desire, and you shall be king over Israel. Then it will be, that if you listen to all that I command you and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight by observing My statutes and My commandments, as My servant David did, then I will be with you and build you an enduring house as I built for David, and I will give Israel to you. Thus I will afflict the descendants of David for this, but not always.’”
Jeroboam was given an assurance of God’s blessing, but an admonition to follow Him.
Jeroboam, sadly, ignored that admonition, and proceeded to foment an idolatry that would lead to the destruction of that northern kingdom. From then on, the successive kings would follow “the sins of Jeroboam, the son of Nebat.” It was disastrous.
Trump can succeed here where Jeroboam failed. If he embraces the SJW agenda, he will accelerate the decline. If he at least provides a government that is not hostile to Christian business owners not wishing to cater gay “weddings”, discourages abortion and even permits states to outlaw it, embraces more freedom in the form of lower taxes and free markets, and avoids needless foreign wars, he may very well right the ship.
If he embraces a personality cult and uses the machinery of government toward that end, he will be a disaster.
Trump did not cause the great rift that we have today; he was merely elected as a result of that rift.
If he plays his cards right, he can be the right President at the right time.
Otherwise, he could be our last President.