Having read all the hand-wringing from the left that the present election has brought about, three items have entered into my mind:
- The Praetorian Guard Made Its Preferences Heard, And Got Its Wish. Remember how the Clinton Emails suddenly were back under examination for a few days before the FBI head James Comey felt the need to quash that rumor? While people were debating whether the FBI had suddenly started trying to sway the election, quite a few people were reconsidering their minds on stuff. So much so that there were articles on changing one’s vote before Election Day, if you had done early voting.
(For those not in the know, The Praetorian Guard was a group of Roman Soldiers whose job it was to guard the Emperor. Soon after being founded they started involving themselves in picking new Emperors on occasion – after all, if you have to guard the Roman Emperor you’d better like the guy you’re guarding.)
- Millions Of Polls Cannot Equal Feet On The Ground. While all the people who put out all the surveys were measuring “Hillary’s Lead,” at least three people I know and read somewhat regularly were catching onto what has happening on the Ground. John Michael Greer of The Archdruid Report saw Trump coming from at least January of this year (2016, in case you’re reading this after Trump is Sworn Into office), Scott Adams spent a year talking about how Trump would win the election, and Michael Moore predicted Trump’s Victory – even went so far as to make an impromptu movie trying to stop what he hoped was a misread of the tea leaves. What these three did (and I did as well, even though I didn’t go so far as to make a prediction but merely kept making a point of reminding people that Trump could win) was walk around, observed and listened. They (and I) heard and saw stuff that everyone else was making a point of ignoring – that there was a bunch of people out there who had been ignored by both sides, and now that there was someone willing to talk to their interests they had a reason to vote.
This was most obvious in the Midwest, which had been gleefully ignored for most of the Reagan Era. Jobs disappeared, infrastructure began to fall apart, and Most Favored Corporations (WalMart* being the most obvious one) were allowed to milk the area as dry as they could get away with. People were waiting for SOMEONE who empathised with their plight, and they finally got it.
- The Republicans (Begrudgingly) Accepted Their Populist, The Democrats Went Out Of Their Way To Reject Theirs. The Election Results Show It. Probably the most interesting thing about Trump’s supporters was that they wer ALL willing to take a look at Sanders, and many of them were actually supportive of his actions. This includes the voters in such states as Michigan (go ahead and declare it for Trump already…) and West Virginia (a state given away to the Republicans by Clinton in the 1990s, and which had just elected a Democratic Governor). Indeed, many people (me among them) believe that Sanders could have won the Election, mainly because the people who voted for Trump out of populism only voted for Trump because he was stating them, NOT because he was a Republican.
Not only that, but most (if not all) Sanders Supporters were willing to look at Trump, even if in the end they rejected him. The Democratic Party’s devotion to Hillary (never mind the understandable Superdelegates, just the utter fixing that became so obvious as the general election worked its way to the close) ended up insuring that enough people who wanted their voices heard would vote for the one party that was, admittedly, stuck with their populist.
Now I understand that Hillary won the popular vote by nearly three million votes. Still, that doesn’t explain the loss of the Midwest. Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania – all working class, with longsuffering Democratic voters. Something happened to lose the Midwest to the Republicans this election, and if the Democrats view this the way they viewed West Virginia (good riddance) they will live just long enough to regret this.