You're hired! How Trump won the White House
On the US electoral map, deep blue dots of big cities flow into the red sea of small-town support for a Republican candidate. The United States of America is now, officially, the most divided developed country in the world. That was building up slowly, but now it is here. The level of divisiveness should come as no surprise considering that a physiotherapist, for example, in Idaho Falls, Idaho (60+ % for Trump) earns 3-4 times less money than his/her counterpart in Brooklyn, NY, yet has the same job, same hours, same responsibility.
With that type of difference, the resentment and anger is hardly avoidable.
However, it is not just about the 'haves' and 'have nots'. There are many 'haves' who simply despise keyboard-thumping, latte-sipping urbanites. Even assuming that the media is telling you correctly that America's greatness is in creating ideas and developing technologies – and then letting somebody else (Chinese, Mexicans, little green men, whatever) produce actual goods – that arrangement does not work for many.
Americans are used to being justly proud for putting the first man on the Moon – these days they would likely sell the know-how and the tech to the Chinese and let them fly the actual mission.
Americans used to be proud of producing CATs and Cadillacs – but who was the last person to be proud of owning a Caddy? Your late Uncle Rupert on the year Reagan won his first elections? 'We invented Google and Facebook' for some reason does not have the same ring it once did, does it? Perhaps, because of all those tens of thousands of Indian programmers, coming to the US through H1B visas? Just a thought.
The global system of values is a myth. Dos and don'ts are as different now in New York City as in Auburn, Ala. (or, for that matter, Stuttgart, Germany) as they have ever been, and at every step of the way in your regular life. NYC and LA always looked different – but they never before looked that demonstratively opposite, demonstratively smug. Houses, cars, TV shows, even shops in the big cities today look alien to the visiting one-storied America. The crowd who could (barely) afford Wal-Mart can't love the crowd going to The Whole Paycheck (sorry, you know what it's really called).
Meanwhile, the Feds, with their guaranteed paychecks, long vacations and general sense of importance generate widespread dislike. Not a specific neighbor, working for, say, the DEA, of course – as a class. America has not forgotten that in the winter of 2009, when house prices were collapsing, when the jobs were disappearing the only – only - island of stability was the Beltway, the rich suburbia around Washington DC where the top and mid-level Feds are living. There are no crises in the Feds' world! That helps explain why in places like Montgomery County, MD Hillary took home 76+% of the vote!
That leads us to 'illegal immigration issues for dummies': you either feel that “the illegal” is stealing you job, and vote Trump, or you are rich enough to hire a lawnmower/fence fixer/dog walker cash in hand, no questions asked. And then you're feeling happy that you saved, while never having to worry that Jose or Maria will someday sue you - and will likely vote Hillary.
Who knows how many voted for Trump feeling that they voted against political correctness, 2016 edition? Yes, for students of liberal arts colleges (60,000 dollars per annum, tuition only), Trump is evil reincarnate, the way he goes about women. But you know what? 63 percent of American women in the “white, non-college” category were not put off by that and voted for the billionaire businessman.
Regarding global affairs, let's face it, most people do not care about such things – unless those affairs arrive to their doorstep. 9/11, for example, was a public insult to America. In response, America got up and kicked the offenders in the their teeth (and a few of those, who just happened to be nearby – just ask Saddam). Honor avenged and immediate threat eliminated, America stopped caring. Why should we pay for the security of all the allies and even the wanna-be allies? Why fight Russia and China at every corner near their borders? ISIS is the most horrible thing in living memory, with their inventive public executions – but where's the public outrage? Where are the crowds by the White House demanding something to be done? They are not there and that's that – America wants to deal with the problems at home, not fight for anybody or anything abroad.
So Hillary as a candidate was a huge mistake; few presidential candidates have so uniquely combined so many negative qualities. Trump may be swashbuckling, loud mouth, not logical – but he's “one of the boys” - even if he was born into a millionaire's family. At least it's obvious how he made his money – those Trump hotels were brilliant ads for him. Hillary? I'm sorry, but the person who charges 'banksters' $250,000 for a speech (and who's husband charges double that amount) can't be honest, and she can't be “one of the girls.”
Last but not the least, the mainstream media. If they were just a tad less vitriolic, a tad less hysterical, kept some appearances of being neutral – despite all the above, Hillary would be getting ready to move it in the White House right now. Nobody in living memory would remember an official candidate from the main party being routinely called, for example, “low life," "moron," "freak," etc. And not by some upstart websites, but the nation's top-shelf media: NYT, WaPo, CNN, etc.
Apparently, the newspapers that were supporting John Adams were yelling that his opponent Thomas Jefferson would, if elected, legalize polygamy and incest. But that was in 1796. Since then, a political discourse in the United States had taken a somewhat more civilized form – until now.
Unlike Hillary, who could and likely would retire, the MSM is now facing an uphill – in my opinion, unwinnable – battle to bring back all those they hurt and insulted in the last year. By being – frankly – miscalculating idiots, they gave rise to a new wave of competitors. Ok, Drudge was around for years, but how many have ever heard of Breitbart News before this year? The MSM can gnash their teeth – and they do - calling Breitbart 'fascist' or whatever - but that ship has sailed, there's a new major alternative news source in America. And let's try and guess who will be the first to interview President Trump – Steve Bannon or, say, Ezra Klein?
So, the elections are over and done with, Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States. The MSM are telling us that it was a fluke, a swan song of conservatism. I don't think so. If Trump and his team do not completely screw it up, if they do even a quarter of what they promised, then it's aggressively liberal America that will be fading away, never to return.
Den Trend, for RT.
The author is a traveler, impartial observer but opinionated storyteller. He worked for both the mainstream and alternative media in three different continents, but is quite certain that his moggie knows more than he does about this planet.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.