I am going to give Donald J. Trump and his presidential election team some props.
Hell hasn’t frozen over. I just want to share a brief word about how this man pulled off the most stunning political upset I’ve ever witnessed.
He won a presidential election one year ago. No one outside of his team really thought he’d win. At least they weren’t saying so publicly. I cannot know what they were thinking in private.
I was one American who was certain that voters would make history on Nov. 8, 2016 by electing the first woman as president of the United States. My money was on Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Silly me. Silly all those so-called “experts.” Voters made history, all right, by electing a guy with no public service experience. None. Zero. He surprised us all.
What’s more, he did it despite saying the most outrageous things I’ve ever heard. He won despite mocking his opponents, hurling insults left and right, spewing outright lies almost daily. He won despite exhibiting profound ignorance of government and the political process.
I once declared that Donald Trump would be “my president” in spite of the fact that I voted — along with a significant plurality of Americans — for the other major-party candidate on the ballot. Yes, he is my president. I am not happy about it.
In the year since the election I’ve tried to figure out just how he did it. How did this carnival barker/clown pull off this huge upset? I guess I’ll go with the view that he spoke the Language of the Everyman. He tapped into that latent anger at The Establishment. He managed to persuade enough voters in just the right states that the nation was going to hell when in fact it has been in economic recovery since 2009.
He pushed forward the lie that he would “make America great again.” If you think about it, he managed with that slogan to insult the greatness of this nation that’s always existed through good times and bad.
I’ll have more to say later as we look back on the year since Trump’s inauguration. For now, it’s good to reflect on what truly was a historic presidential election.
You can’t see me do it, but at this moment I am shaking my head.