Friday, November 11, 2016

Obligatory Post Election Blog Post: Part 4--All the Reasons It Seemed Donald Trump Could Never Win

See also Part 1: Boy Did I Not See That Coming
Part 2: I think I've Become Very Out of Touch
and Part 3 I Was Wrong. I Was so so so SO Wrong

Okay, so I've already admitted I was wrong about everything.  (See the previous 3 posts).  But I might as well detail what the logic of the time was, so that we can go back later and examine why none of these reasons ended up mattering.

* Conventional wisdom has always been that each party has a base of supporters, but that to win elections you need to reach outside of your base by appealing to the moderates.  And the conventional wisdom always was that you appealed to the moderates by being moderate.  Donald Trump was being so extreme, we were all certain he'd scare all the moderates away, and then he'd just be left with his party's base.  And you can't win an election with just the party's base.

* Not only that, but Donald Trump didn't even appear to have the party's base locked down.  His populist talk and anti-free trade rhetoric alienated the business wing of the Republican Party.  His blatantly un-Christian behavior should have alienated the Evangelical wing of the Republican Party.  (In the end, as we know now, it didn't.  But it should have.)
And his blatant irresponsibility had alienated any serious thinking establishment Republican.  I mean, here we had several prominent life-long Republicans saying "This man can not be allowed to have the nuclear codes.  I'm voting for Hillary."

* Latinos are the fastest growing demographic, and Donald Trump was doing everything he could to alienate them.

* Donald Trump was doing everything he could to alienate Muslims.

* Donald Trump was alienating black people.  (I don't think he himself ever went after black people quite the way he went after Mexicans and Muslims, but he was attracting supporters who were, and in the racial charged atmosphere of Black Lives Matter, Black people were feeling threatened.)

* Donald Trump was alienating women.  Not only was his behavior very sexist, but surely most women would vote to support the first woman president.  And women are like half the population.  That's game, set and match right there.

* Continuing on from the above point: as I wrote before, although Donald Trump is not the first candidate to be accused of sexual assault, at the very least with Bill Clinton there was reasonable doubt.  In Trump's case, 12 women accuse him of sexual assault plus he's caught on audio tape bragging about how much he liked to sexually assault women.  I mean, that's got to cost him all the women's votes, and all the Christian votes right there, right?

* Forget the fact that his plan to build a wall was racist and xenophobic.  More importantly, it was just a physical impossibility.  A wall that big covering a boarder that large?   It was just pure fantasy.  It was apparent in the Republican primaries that a certain percentage of the Republican voters lived in a fantasy world of irrationality, but the majority of the country?  Surely not.

* We Leftists had always been taught that American democracy was controlled by the businessmen.  Whoever got the most contributions from big business always won every election, we'd been told. You could count on it every time, we'd been told.  And business was scared of Donald Trump, and embracing Hillary.  So it was a sure thing.

* It was painfully obvious to anyone watching the debates that there was really only one adult choice in the room.  Everyone could see that, couldn't they?  How could anyone vote for Donald Trump after seeing how he handled himself in the debates?

* Related to the above point: We've been told all our lives that to be President of America, you have to be squeaky clean.  You can't have any skeletons in your closet.  You can never say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing.  The slightest little gaffe could end your career.
And here was a man who had a very sordid past (he appeared in pornography, bragged about his sex life and had regularly made coarse comments about women on the Howard Stern show), married multiple times, had tons of skeletons in his closet.
(I'm not going to bother listing everything here, you've been watching the news the past year just like I have, you can name these scandals in your sleep.)

* The polls.  The polls all showed Hillary ahead.  Of course, with 20/20 hindsight, it's obvious those polls were wrong.  But at the time, it seemed only crazy people were dismissing the polls.

* And lastly, we Americans had always been taught that there was a certain amount of dignity that went with being the President of the United States.  It was unimaginable that such a man could ever hold such an office.

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