For the past 18 months on a daily basis I had to remind someone somewhere that every single, solitary prediction of disaster for Donald Trump turned out to be a complete and utter flop subjecting the person who made it to embarrassment, scorn and ridicule. Tuesday night vindicated my prophecy – as a pharaoh once said in the movies, “So let it be written – so let it be done.”
Because it was done, and done smartly, “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires” that I offer some additional insights drawn from Election 2016, but in no particular order of importance.
The election of Donald Trump resolved the most basic issue every nation faces, and that’s who is in charge? The big question on the ballot this year was who is ultimately sovereign in America – a numerically small group of reactionary, mostly unelected political establishment elites in both parties aided and abetted by their pals in the media, Wall Street vested and crony capitalist interests, foreign-money special interests and members of the pundit class who believe that they know what’s best for the great unwashed who should sit down, shut up and do what they’re told? Or the American people who express their will one person at a time at the ballot box every two or four years? Hillary Clinton championed the former, while The Donald championed the latter.
The latter won.
Gen. George Patton once said in a speech to troops, “Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle.” Donald Trump has much the same fighting spirit and will to win, and he’s not afraid to take on all comers to get to where he wants to go, which is a decidedly politically incorrect trait. While his unfavorable ratings were high for other reasons, nobody denied his work ethic, commitment to running as hard as possible and absolute conviction that he would win – he was a 24/7/365 balls-to-the-wall competitor unlike the 2012 GOP nominee, who shall, for the moment, remain nameless, because, when it mattered, he went lazy on us. People will forgive a lot if they see a superior effort, and Donald Trump went above a superior effort.
Candidates in the future who run like he did – straight talking, no-holds-barred, right up the middle – stand a better chance than those who think they’re at a garden party as opposed to a political party.
The mainstream media is an insufferable bunch of biased egomaniacs, and they know it. But don’t expect them to change because they’re also the laziest bunch you’ll ever see, and it would be too much work to engage in necessary self-examination, issue legitimate mea culpas and do the job they should. Besides, liberals would never speak to them again or invite them to white wine and brie soirees if they did.
New Jersey’s own Paul Mulshine was the most astute observer of the national election of anyone out there. Time after time after time, he was right on the money while the competition was writing The Donald’s obituary.
The media are also moralizing prigs who make the Puritans look like hard-drinking, womanizing, good-time Charlie’s. Nobody pointed that out better than tech billionaire Peter Thiel who, in remarks to the National Press Club, said, “”I think one thing that should be distinguished here is that the media is always taking Trump literally. It never takes him seriously, but it always takes him literally. … I think a lot of voters who vote for Trump take Trump seriously but not literally.” Some people can neither take a joke or get that one is being told.
Hillary Clinton’s foolishly-named Basket of Deplorables turned out to be a Basket of Winners and a lot smarter than the snobs who looked down their noses at them. But we still don’t expect any respect beyond the few lines in the liberal press finally acknowledging that we knew what we were talking about. Nevertheless, I got the T-shirt.
Hillary Clinton didn’t lose because of racism or sexism – Trump did just fine with women, blacks and Hispanics, thank you very much – or any other kind of ism except cronyism and, if you will, corruptism.
The Wikileaks disclosures mattered. So did Hillary’s emails, irrespective of FBI Dir. James Comey’s “To be, or not to be…” Hamlet impression. And the Clinton Foundation. And Travelgate. And all the other scandals. Call it an election loss by a thousand cuts – drip, drip, drip.
There’s an argument to be made that the presidential race took a dramatic and inexorable turn on February 13, 2016 when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died. Who would appoint his successor? All of a sudden, who becomes the next president mattered big time.
The biggest political mistake Ronald Reagan ever made was having George H.W. Bush as his running mate because it paved the way for George W. and then Jeb Bush. And Bush Sr’s failure to be re-elected president in 1992, another mistake, paved the way for the Clinton’s. But Donald Trump corrected both mistakes by successively sending the two most prominent political dynasties in America into elective-politics oblivion. But since the Clinton’s are like cockroaches that can survive a nuclear holocaust, don’t count them out yet – or their of-dubious-talent offspring. Their names will be in the papers for years to come, maybe even in the vital statistics column under “divorces.”
Politics and campaigns are about winning elections, not validating an ideological belief system. Ronald Reagan won not by advertising himself as a “movement conservative,” by because he was seen as a leader who could rescue the country from the doom and gloom of the Jimmy Carter years. How he would do it was secondary in the minds of voters. So it was with Donald Trump who was elected less for a platform and more because he was the only candidate who definitely would change things and shake them up.
A corollary to the above is that politics is about people, not about policy. If you can capture the attention of the people and inspire them with a vision like Make America Great Again, they’ll cut you slack on the details. It’s only after you get elected that you want to be concerned with policy details.
Another corollary is that voters aren’t as ideological as policy wonks and pundits think. In fact, they’re really quite non-ideological since it’s results they want, and how you get them doesn’t matter. That’s why candidates whose stump speeches are nothing but a lot of numbers that don’t connect with food on the table, a roof over the head, the kids going to college and no more wars never get anywhere.
This brings me to Donald Trump’s superior experience in the private sector where he was, more than anything else, a salesman. Trump the salesman knew his customer base, and like a good salesman, he spoke to his customers with empathy at their point of need. Jobs, disappearing businesses, one-sided trade deals, immigration, terrorism – you name it, he framed the issues from his customers’ perspective, which is something only a career private-sector professional knows how to do. His opponents, in the meantime, were peddling what the market wasn’t buying; hence the market knocked them over one by one.
Having “experience” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be especially when those with so-called “experience” are the ones who so thoroughly screwed things up in the first place. Trump’s perceived lack of qualifications worked to his advantage because he couldn’t be tagged with any of the terrible policies, economic catastrophes or really stupid wars of the past nearly 30 years. Score one for tabula rasa.
The #NeverTrump crowd bet the farm on their credibility as ideological “movement conservatives” to stop The Donald only to find out that the check they wrote to fund the effort was returned for seriously insufficient funds. Never in the history of American politics has an effort been so ludicrous, so ill-conceived and so laughable that it comically failed before it ever started. What do you want from a bunch of honyocks who were so arrogant as to nod their heads in agreement when one proclaimed that the disasters that have befallen the white working class in this country were of their own making and that they deserved their fate. It’s time for them all to do penance by wandering in the wilderness for a couple hundred years. Buzz off Bill Kristol and The Weekly Standard, Erick Erickson, National Review (especially the unctuous Jonah Goldberg and the imperial David French), crybaby Glenn Beck, Mutt (Intentional because he’s a son of a bitch) Romney – you’re all just as much a part of the corrupt system as John Podesta or Donna Brazile.
Post-election sucking up and $20 will get you a $5 Starbucks.
In the end, Ted Cruz somewhat redeemed himself by publicly endorsing Trump and campaigning for him in Iowa. Contrition and penance being good for the soul, he may yet find absolution – but he’s going to be on probation for a time before all is forgiven. John Kasich, however, is among the politically walking dead. While Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line – except the fifth-columnist Quisling Kasich who continues to just fall.
There’s now an inverse correlation of the number of celebrities who back you as it relates to your odds of winning an election. The more names you have, the less your chances of success.
Former President Richard Nixon once told his then-young aide Patrick Buchanan, ““If you ever hear of a group forming to stop X, put your money on X,” Same thing goes for experts. When the experts all agree on something, bet against the experts. They all bet the farm that Hillary would win. Do they look stupid now, or what?
Pollsters had their thumbs on the scale in favor of Hillary Clinton, and they are not to be believed again despite their whining pleas for forgiveness. The lot of them should be canned and go into new lines of work. I hear Arby’s is hiring.
Always, always, always remember that the worst public sin ever is to be boring. Donald Trump was never boring: “He was inventing almost daily a new episode of the 16-month Trump-for-president reality show to keep his audience from drifting off.”
As the post-election events are showing us, kooks on the far-left will remain kooks on the far left – with some people, there is no hope.
Being an American matters because no matter how much you claim borders shouldn’t be barriers and that you’re a citizen of the world, the world doesn’t issue passports. When push comes to shove, the folks back home demand that you side with the folks back home. America first!
Starting with Brexit and running through Trump, the smart-ass globalists all across the world have had their heads handed to them causing them to fear for their political and economic lives. And it ain’t over yet – can you say President Marine Le Pen in French?
Whenever there’s a losing horse to be backed, you can bet that Jersey political tough and #NeverTrump nebbish Steve Lonegan will back it, which is why Donald Trump’s nickname for him was “Loser.” Once again, he shot his wad on the presidential election from the get go, but widely missed the mark. And they said The Donald had a filthy mouth.
Quit trying to teach the opposition the lessons learned from this election cycle about the mistakes they made…and made…and made…and made. We want them to continue going through life fat, drunk and stupid so we can whip them next time, too. That is, if they live long enough for a next time since their leadership is all a lot older than me, and I’m damn old. Case in point, the older-than-me Howard Dean wants to get back in the saddle again as chair of the Democratic National Committee.
The Donald had coattails, and those who supported him benefited from them. Squishy milquetoasts who panicked and distanced themselves from him got creamed, right Mark Kirk (defeated for re-election to the U.S. Senate in Illinois), Kelly Ayotte (defeated for re-election to the U.S. Senate in New Hampshire) and Joe Heck (defeated for an open U.S. Senate seat in Nevada).
Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals is the best practical handbook on how the powerless and disenfranchised can organize and act to wrest power away from the establishment and the powerful. Whether Donald Trump ever read the book is an open question, but even if he didn’t he intuitively used every single rule to destroy his opposition – especially Rule No. 5: “’Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.’ There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.” On November 9th, Hillary Clinton conceded.
Former Arkansas Gov. and strong Trump supporter and surrogate Mike Huckabee gets better looking and sounding every day. After one of Trump’s debates with Hillary Clinton, he wrote,
One of the best comments I saw online was from a poster on the Yahoo News comments section, who said that Trump reminded him of a doctor with no bedside manner. He tells you that you need to lose 100 pounds and stop smoking. You’re offended, you’re angry, you come up with 10 reasons why he’s crazy…and then you finally realize that he’s the only one telling you the truth.”
Throughout the campaign, he was insightful, low-key and witty. There had better be a great job for him in the Trump administration.
NATO member countries that don’t pay their agreed-upon share of the freight better pony up quick or they’ll find themselves in very hot water. While some contend that NATO is holier than the Holy Grail, it has serious issues that need correcting, and Donald Trump was right to call it and them out. A condition of being a member of the 28-nation alliance is that each country spend 2 percent of GDP on defense. In 2015, only five nations complied. Of course, the United States led the way spending 3.6 percent on defense. The other toeing-the-mark countries are Greece, Poland, the United Kingdom and Estonia. Most of the rest are well below the mark, with some barely chipping in cab fare. Yet they all want the U.S. to fight their battles for them. They’re happy to hold our coats while our men and women bleed and die, our treasury is depleted and they get rich in the process. Issues with NATO are emblematic of too many of our, what George Washington called, “foreign entanglements” that President-elect Trump has pledged to correct.
There are so many others, but I think you catch my drift. Besides, the weekend is coming and there’s a YUGE election victory to celebrate and then preparations for #Trump2020.