For all of Trump’s strengths, an extra assist was needed to ensure victory.
The miracle of Donald Trump’s victory on November 8 is the biggest political earthquake to rock our great nation in 36 years, and will continue to send aftershocks around the world for many years to come. It is all the more remarkable considering that as of the hour of the closing of the polls, very few Americans — whether they hoped for it or dreaded it — believed it would happen; yet in the end it was decisive.
And lest anyone entertain delusions that this was a momentary fluke or a passing fad, let them be reminded that the legacy of the Golden Age of Obama is a Senate that has flipped from 58-41 Democrat majority to 51-48 Republican majority; the House from 257-178 Democrat to 238-193 Republican; and state mansions from 29-21 Democrat to 31-19 Republican. Republicans now hold the majority in 69 out of 99 state legislatures. Americans are decisively rejecting il-liberal progressivism.
Meanwhile, the continuing drought in California has ensured that any tsunami sweeping the rest of the country disappears down the parched soils of our eastern deserts. But that’s a story for another article.
Trump’s victory then, in hindsight, seems almost to have been inevitable. After all, he had successfully tapped, as no other candidate seemed willing or able to, into the deep well of frustration and alienation of the very core of America. The people who work, pay taxes, go to church, raise families, run businesses, serve their country, salute the flag and take their constitutional liberties and the American dream seriously, are absolutely fed up with the increasingly remote, condescending, privileged and deaf political elite of both major parties, whom they are convinced have sold them down the river and forgotten them. Trump’s straight talk and explosion of political correctness stood in bracing contrast to the guarded, focus-group-and-committee-tested-and-approved utterances of almost every other candidate. His media savvy, honed over decades of reality-TV stardom, emasculated the wannabe gatekeeper press. Even his supposed mistakes, his so-called gaffes, turned out to be straightforward emperor-has-no-clothes statements of fact which scored positive points with the electorate even as they enraged the wardens of convention.
Even so, the Democrats might still have pulled it off and kept at least the White House, besieged but yet retaining the formidable and fearsome power of the Supreme Court and the unelected and unaccountable federal bureaucracy — modeled after Lois Lerner’s IRS and the never-drill-anywhere EPA — aided and abetted by an unchecked propaganda machine consisting of the public employee union-commanded education system, the universities, marxist-hijacked foundations and the “20 Pravdas” dominant news media. The armored divisions of the Progressive left are not to be underestimated. They might have done it, if not for their own unforced errors.
In 2008, the Democrats had, at least on the face of it, something of a dream bench. Their two top contenders had all the symbolism going for them that political correctness and progressive iconography could provide: a woman, and an African American. With that, they could have mapped out the next 16 years. If they had stuck to one of their own highly valued union-shop principles, they would have run first with the candidate with the most seniority. Promoting the junior over the senior candidate in 2008 had the result of hobbling the party with an enfeebled, elderly woman in 2016, barely able to conceal her infirmity even with the help of the sycophant media. But the progressive movement is one of rigid categories and hierarchies in which race apparently trumps gender absolutely, and so Obama had to go first (alternative explanation below).
Democrats also didn’t help themselves by trying out some of their most vicious politics-as-war tactics against each other during the same 2008 primary season; not all intimidation games are played across party lines. Armed with the anti-political-citizen personnel mines of campaign finance law (aided and abetted by such First Amendment-challenged Republicans as John McCain of McCain-Feingold), the Obama team made shocking accusations and bluffing threats of criminal legal action against pro-Clinton PACs, which momentarily cowed her fundraisers and donors into impotence.
Hillary is well-known to be wont to blame anyone and everyone for anything that goes wrong in her universe, from the “vast right-wing conspiracy” to the Alt-Right/Fake News media to FBI director Jim Comey. But nobody — certainly no Republican — forced Hillary to accomplish a mediocre (to put it generously) career in the Senate and at the State Department; to lamely declare a “reset” with relations with Russia and then call out Trump for being insufficiently anti-Putin (the Putin of her creation) in the campaign debates; to choose as her most intimate ally and confidant for twenty years a person having direct ties to organizations deemed to be sponsors of terrorism even by some Muslim states; to actively thwart security for our embassy in Libya even as it was under attack, and then to blame the death of our ambassador and three security contractors on an amateur YouTube videographer; to run a massive money-laundering and political pay-to-play racketeering operation, enriching herself beyond most Americans’ wildest dreams, in plain sight; to set up an insecure personal email server instead of using the .gov system as required by law; to treat classified documents and state secrets with utter recklessness, if not contempt. No one held a gun to Hillary’s head and commanded her to lie, lie and lie and force her hapless supporters to skate with her on increasingly thin ice (a few of the more honest ones like Doug Schoen had sufficient integrity to bail). And no one forced the Democrat party to chose this evil, corrupt, unrelatable and unlikeable human being, whom they knew had done these things and was capable of much more, to be their Ordained One.
Which brings us back to 2008. The truth is that the rank-and-file Democrats never really wanted Hillary; to their credit, they didn’t trust her all that much. Given the opportunity of an appealing alternative, they had eagerly embraced Obama, with all of his inexperience, with no thought for tomorrow (2016). When tomorrow’s “oh, $#!+” moment came, the best substitute dance partner they could find was Bernie (Jim Webb made a cameo appearance for the defunct John F. Kennedy wing). But by then the Democratic machine had reached such a degree of corruption that the supposedly neutral chair of the party was in fact a committed operative of the anointed candidate’s campaign. The locomotive careened down the railroad without brakes.
Bernie would have had a better shot than Hillary at beating The Donald. Whatever corruption may have infected him, it pales in comparison to the Clintons’. In a political season defined by an electorate in open revolt against the tenured career politicians and kingmakers, Sanders was a perfect counterpart to Trump: a maverick if not an outsider, marginally even a member of the party, direct and unapologetic in his speech, personable, authentic and likable (however disastrous his policies might have been). The leftward drift of the culture and forgotten Cold War has given Socialism renewed respectability and gained Marxists like Sanders broad support, especially among young people raised to believe that everything from college education to contraception should be free.
So for all of Trump’s strengths, an extra assist was needed to ensure victory. Ironically, that assist came from the establishment Democrats. The Republican party’s legendary impotence and ineptitude ended up being virtuous assets by comparison to the Democrats’ ruthless efficiency. The GOP establishment was unable to thwart the will of the people (though not for lack of trying). But that only got us half way there. It took the blind hubris of the Democrat machine — hostage to the Clinton crime family — to ensure the survival of our constitutional republic against the greatest threat it has faced since the Civil War, if not since the American Revolution.