David Post: A rigged election
Donald Trump was right.
The election was rigged.
By the Democrats. And against themselves.
Trump neither found millions of new voters nor mobilized a new movement. In 2008, John McCain got 60 million votes and lost to President Obama by 10 million votes.
In 2012, Mitt Romney got 61 million votes and lost to President Obama by 5 million votes.
Trump got 59 million votes, less than both McCain and Romney. For that matter, Trump probably had a million fewer votes than Hillary.
In the Wisconsin surprise, Trump got fewer votes than Romney received four years ago. In Michigan and Pennsylvania, Hillary got hundreds of thousands of votes less than Obama did four years ago.
Ten million fewer votes were cast this year than eight years ago. Five million fewer votes than four years ago.
The Democrats lost this election. They rigged it to lose.
The Democrats anointed Hillary well in advance. Before the first Democratic primary vote was cast, Hillary had hundreds of “super delegates,” a firewall that virtually prevented any other Democrat from mounting a campaign against Hillary.
Democrats don’t like candidates that they know. They like newcomers who, a year before the election, are complete strangers to the general public. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama.
A 74-year-old independent socialist ran against Hillary and, but for the super-delegates, may have defeated her. During the nomination process, every poll showed Sanders defeating Trump handily and Hillary in a tight race with Trump. Democrats didn’t believe the polls, so they insisted on nominating Hillary.
And kept insisting they were right until the actual votes were counted.
Her negative coattails cost Democrats its chance to win the US Senate. And allowed Republicans to win hundreds of elections across the dozens of states.
The Democrats rigged the election to lose. Maybe Donald Trump was the only person who knew that. He kept telling us that the election was rigged.
Trump’s challenge now is to deliver his broad promises. Bring great jobs back. (Will textiles boom again in Rowan County?) Cancel trade agreements. (Will prices on consumer goods rise if tariffs are imposed?) Build that wall. Deport millions of undocumented residents and keep others out. (Even with 4.9 percent unemployment, will Americans accept those low-paying jobs?) Lower taxes, increase spending on military and infrastructure, and reduce the debt. Repeal and replace Obamacare. Eliminate ISIS quick. (Despite Colin Powell’s Pottery Barn Rule about the Middle East: If you break it, you own it.)
Trump won’t get all that done, but the real question is whether he can change the tone in the United States and bring us together as a nation.
He might. More than anything, Donald Trump wants people to love him. Voters loved him like the Fiddler on the Roof, “When you’re rich, they think you really know.” He is a modern day Pied Piper, Wizard of Oz and Music Man who possessed a magnetism that made people want to follow him. In the end, they turned into good guys.
Trump’s political stripes aren’t clear. He was a Democrat just a few years ago. He’s talked about equal pay for women, assistance for college students, new approaches in minority communities, not reducing Social Security. Rather than relying heavily on the evangelical community, his most important base was the Midwestern working class which had been part of the Democratic coalition.
Donald Trump is not a student of government or of the presidency as were those who served before him. However, he is a student of emotions. He could feel the earth trembling beneath his feet and knew who caused it.
Remember grade school elections? Who won? The one with the most ideas or the one we liked most? Leadership is people liking you and wanting to follow you. Hillary never had that. The Donald did.
Let’s hope our feelings were right.
David Post serves on the Salisbury City Council.