The Trump juggernaut

Christopher Gage explores the attraction of Donald Trump to American voters.

As Donald Trump watched the crucial Florida votes roll in, the rest of the world sat soaked in smug regard. The ‘Orange Hitler’ was way behind. “It’s not done yet,” said The Donald, as aides around him began to fluster. What came next was a intestine-chewing surprise to anyone who hasn’t spent many an hour in a pub where work boots and loose tongues are dress code. The entitlement, the sense of destiny, the prognostications of certain victory ground to sand as the Trump juggernaut blasted through all political convention. Florida. Ohio. Iowa. Trump. Even then, the much-fabled Democratic ‘blue firewall’ would prove impregnable to the advances of a racist, sexist, homophobic ‘deplorable’ who, since June last year, had the gall to challenge the certainty of political gravity.

Liberal media had closed ranks months before. All sense of objectivity made way to a united mission to stop the gauche, thought-marauding New York billionaire who had the temerity to break rank. Some even took to attacking polling guru Nate Silver for giving The Donald a 28 percent chance of beating Hillary, when their own herd of independent minds had her at 98 percent likelihood. One network was ready to call the election at 10pm. The vote count was a mere formality. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The elites foresaw a dynastic duel between another Bush and another Clinton. This was their country after all. Had they have gotten their way, the US would have been shared between four surnames since the late 1980s. Hillary’s electoral college advantage — then celebrated, now decried — was meant to blast the flaxen-haired mogul off the park. Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania soon fell in Trump’s column. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, and others across the liberal media establishment, scrambled to devise ways Hillary could still take it. Anyone watching could sense the reflux forming as Donald Trump racked up an armoured lead. Hillary didn’t even bother to pen a concession speech. A mark of arrogance and solipsism which defined both her, and the elite class she represented. Neither did she address her supporters, or the rest of the world awaiting her coronation. Those underlings were no longer of use.

Trump had said his win would be ‘Brexit plus plus plus’. He was right. Though he took minority and female votes in larger chunks than Mitt Romney, the long-forgotten and once revered white working-class drove him over the line. Having spent half the money, and abandoned by his own party in spite of an almost uniformly hostile media, Donald Trump decked the entire machine. A political upset of ‘big league’ proportions, as the president-elect would likely describe, should not have warranted the collective shock still being felt by those whose worldview lays in glistening shards.

The American Dream for most citizens, as George Carlin once remarked, is called that because ‘you have to be asleep to believe it.’ After fifteen years of disastrous wars in the middle-east, after trillions of dollars spent, and thousands of lives lost, the situation is worse than ever before. The truth is that most Americans liked Barack Obama, not Obamaism.

Much has been made of Trump’s travails of temper, tone, temerity and truculence, but in reality, the New York developer is a centrist Democrat in 1970s mould. His political intuition cannot be condemned, either. A clear majority of Americans of every colour and creed has demanded such an approach to their porous southern border for decades. The charges of racism don’t hold water. Trump won less of the white vote than Mitt Romney, more latinos and a higher black vote than the 2012 Republican edition of loser; a man the Democrats claimed would ‘re-enslave African Americans.’ Even more puzzling is the Left’s denunciation of Trump supporters. A post-mortem which so far suggests they’ve learnt very little. Trump won with the votes of people who had elected a black man. Twice. To think it took such voters eight years to realise their mistake is fanciful at best. Thirteen counties in reliably blue Wisconsin voted Obama twice, for Governor Scott Walker — a conservative Republican — three times, and lesbian Democrat Tammy Baldwin for Senator twice. They also voted for Trump.

Trump’s election was a repudiation of progressive overreach. Though, often convinced of a majority worldview, progressives on both sides of the Atlantic have regressed into exotic intellectual beasts. Both are unelectable. Whilst 43m Americans collected food stamps and hadn’t seen real wages rise since the 1970s, the progressive Left concerned its latest injustice with the bathroom rights of 0.01 percent of people. Abandoning their white working-class base, the Left embraced mass immigration as a device to build a future mandate, whilst cosying up to big business keen to keep the cheap labour tap flowing. The fiasco has come full circle. Decrying ordinary people as racist, sexist and antiquated is not the best way to secure their votes.

What drove The Donald to the White House can be found in the decaying Rust Belt of the United States. Since 1995, the middle class has been hollowed out with the loss of 7m manufacturing jobs and the closure of 77,000 factories, all sacrificed on the altar of free trade and cross party orthodoxy. Massive illegal and legal immigration only made the situation more desperate. The scaffolding holding up the American Dream was replaced with ethically-sourced polystyrene blocks reliant on the casino capitalism which left structurally unsound foundations. For the first time in decades, a Republican candidate questioned this false economic dogma — ground fertile for the Democrats of old, and that of Bernie Sanders.

Crucially, Hillary’s message was that things are already good, America was ‘already great.’ Sure, the spreadsheets say so. Yet unchecked immigration for most means lower wages, squeezed public services and an eroding sense of community. People value their communities. It’s genetic. No amount of artfully presented Marxist theory will peel away billions of years of evolutionary fact. The Left, for far too long, has been serving up intellectual tofu to those who prefer a steak.

Every joke is ‘racist’. Every innocent flirtation ‘sexist’. Every legitimate concern sneered at. Those with the temerity to be born white are convinced of their privilege — a perplexing notion for most to mull over as they stretch their last ten dollars to the month’s end. Signing a petition doesn’t make one a liberal. Banning different viewpoints doesn’t strengthen ones own.

The truth being that many looked toward California for a peek into the dysfunctional new America the Democrats were touting. Once the cultural and educational beacon of the US, the Golden State now ranks lowest in educational attainment and boasts twice the welfare payments, food stamps and housing assistance of US-born non-hispanic households. High taxes struggle to support the weight of uninvited cultural change.

Inequality, the supposed Alamo of progressive infantry, is starker and more riven in California than elsewhere. Trump voters saw this insipid augur and voted to apply reasonable preventative medicine. Trump’s immigration policy will see levels returned to within ‘historical norms’. Prospective immigrants will have to prove their self-sufficiency. Similar systems work for Canada and Australia. Neither is decried as racist. Had liberals bothered to speak to anyone living on Main Street, Trump’s win wouldn’t have administered such asthmatic pangs. Today’s progressives eschew all debate. Those with differing opinions are banned from campuses, thought-shamed as overweening political correctness is wrought to silence dissenting and reasonable voices who dare offer a more practical approach.

Despite over half of the country — both UK and US — holding ‘traditional right-wing’ views, any deviance from progressive piety is met with social castration in the name of tolerance. Hillary Clinton’s own campaign finished far before the final bell. Whilst addressing a private fundraiser in September, the Democratic candidate decried half of Trump’s supporters — a quarter of the nation — as ‘deplorables’ whose views were beyond redemption. Her well-heeled audience rejoined her in chortles at flyover country and its stupid ways. Such grotesque dismissal of those she hoped to rule — yes, rule — over was in pieces. It’s hard to imagine why Hillary Clinton was considered a shoo-in. The Wall Street candidate who played footsie with the FTSE; who admitted her public positions bore little resemblance to what she promised her megabucks donors. A household name drenched in derision and scandal, convinced it was her turn.

The attraction of Trump, that gauche, louche brawler whom those you hate — despise, becomes obvious, almost irresistible, as he insults and derides and upsets the sensibilities they extend amongst themselves and deny those they deem guilty of imaginary crimes. Trump was the improvised explosive device millions had been waiting for; the dirty bomb millions left behind felt would fumigate the dinner parties of those who jettisoned Great Society ideal for a new feudalism.Imagine hearing the very people who shipped your job abroad, and your neighbour’s body back home, snigger at Hillary’s dismissal of people much like you; those who just want a shot at the American Dream they’re convinced is a mirage. Who would you vote for?

Christopher Gage is a freelance journalist.

4 thoughts on “The Trump juggernaut

  1. By and large a fair analysis. The suggested solutions on the other hand merit further examination being both naive and paradoxical. If carried out even partially the cure would probably be a worsening in the situation in the long term despite the unlikely possibility of some slight temporary easing of the current tensions.

    The mush vaunted Greatness of America surely came about in the rhetoric of the late eighteenth century, followed by the corrections of the second half of the eighteenth,

  2. “Who would you vote for?”
    I don’t get a vote in a USA Presidential election however of those that do nearly two million more voted for Clinton than voted for Trump.
    Trump won the election but a basic grasp of maths (or should that be math) indicates that the Trumpian values you appear to find so appealing didn’t actually convince the majority of voters in the USA. Perhaps they were just too “well-heeled”.

  3. CapM

    I don’t get a vote in a USA Presidential election however of those that do nearly two million more voted for Clinton than voted for Trump.

    A good point and we have the same situation in the good ole U of K when the winning party can actually got less votes but win the election. Winston Churchills 1951 election victory, when the Tories received 321 seats with a vote of 3,717,850 and Labour party 295 seats with a vote of 13,948,385

  4. Hi,

    Fair point. Though, the election isn’t decided on the popular vote.

    Two million registered Republicans didn’t vote in California alone as their vote is pointless.

    Trump would have won the popular vote if those were the rules of the game: which they were not.


    Christopher Gage

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