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Trump will be president, in what David Brooks called ‘a tidal wave of revolt’

REUTERS/Mike Segar
Donald Trump greeting supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan.

Donald Trump will be our next president. I’m shocked and, might as well admit, horrified, but hoping he will outperform expectations. Stranger things have happened.

As this news sinks in, I’d like to pass along some of the things I took down last night while channel-surfing after the results started coming in, in that period of frozen time when the results entered that we-all-know-where-this-ends-but-we’re-not-allowed-to-say-it-yet zone.

On the PBS panel, where I spent most of my evening, they were all avoiding saying very clearly how unlikely it seemed that Hillary Clinton could sweep enough of the remaining swing states to win, so Jeff Greenfield, a veteran journalist whose work I have always respected, after being asked what he thought Bernie Sanders and his followers were thinking, broke the ice with this:

Hillary Clinton was the default choice of the Democratic establishment. Bernie Sanders demonstrated in the primaries that a very large cohort of Democrats wanted something else. She won fair and square, but she entered the race with an awful lot of liabilities that I assume the Clinton campaign thought would be overwhelmed by Trump’s liabilities. I know how much they were rooting for Trump. (I took that to mean that Team Clinton wanted Trump to be the Republican nominee, because they thought he would be the easiest Republican to beat.)

The question now, if Trump does win – and let me be the first to offer a poker analogy: Clinton at this point has to draw to an inside straight, somebody had to say that so I just did — if Clinton does lose, the battle within the Democratic Party over what happened and where it goes next is going to be intense, to put it mildly. … The Bernie Sander supporters are going to be saying that the Democratic Party establishment gave us the only candidate that Trump could have beaten.

Bigger than Clinton’s tactical mistakes

The often thoughtful and always decent David Brooks went next:

We could be watching the greatest upset in American political history. There are small ways to try to account for it. I just saw Ron Brownstein mention on the Atlantic that Hillary Clinton paid two visits to Wisconsin in the law few months. So that could turn to have been a bad decision.

But now it turns out to be a much bigger thing: that there is a tidal wave of revolt against globalization, against the wave of immigration that over the last 20-30 years, against the results of deindustrialization, even though the employment rate is going down, when you add in the number of people who hare out of the labor force, you can get a really big number of families who are seriously disrupted, of family breakdown, the fact that Christians over the last few years have felt completely under assault in this country, because of some of the Supreme Court decisions, and so you can add up a lot factors that were in play [to explain the revolt that led to Trump’s rise]. … So we just have to widen our horizons about what America’s future is about to look like in the next five years.

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Presidential historian Michael Beschloss, referring to the fact that hardly anyone saw this result coming, added:

We like to think that polling and political analysis has become very scientific and reliable, and that’s another ideas that’s going to be thrown out after tonight.

‘For many it’s a nightmare’

I switched over to CNN, and didn’t hear the lead-up to this, but got there just in time to hear Van Jones, who is a Democrat and an African-American, reacting very strongly to whatever had just been said by the Trump supporters on the panel. Be prepared, his remarks take some unexpected twists and turns. Said Jones:

There’s another side of this. Some people are calling this a miracle, but for many it’s a nightmare. It’s hard to be a parent tonight. You tell your kids: ‘Don’t be a bully. Don’t be a bigot.’ You tell your kids: ‘Do your homework and be prepared.’ (I took that as a reference to the impression that Donald Trump is a bigoted bully who doesn’t do his homework.) And then you have this outcome, and a lot of people are putting their kids to be and they’re afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of ‘how do I explain this to my children?’ I have Muslim friends who are texting me tonight, saying ‘Do you think I should leave the country?’

This [referring to the election results] was a rebellion against the elites, true. It was a complete reinvention of politics and polls, it’s true. But it was also something else. We haven’t talked about race tonight. We’ve talked about income and class and religion and everything but. I want to talk about race:

This was a whitelash. This was a whitelash against a changing country. It was a whitelash against a black president, in part. And that’s the part where the pain comes. And Donald Trump has a responsibility tonight and that is to come out and reassure the American people that he will be the president of all of the people who feel embattled and offended and brushed aside. You [again, I assume he is responded to something was just said by one of the Trump supporters on the panel] say you want to take your country back. But you have a lot of people who feel they’re not well-represented either. But we don’t want to be feel that someone has been elected by throwing away some of us to appeal to others.

‘Trump represents a fundamental change’

I had turned to away from PBS because I didn’t see anyone on that panel who was a Trump sympathizer, and wanted to make sure I got that viewpoint, so there, on CNN, was Corey Lewandowski, the former Trump campaign manager, turned Trump representative on CNN. Lewandoski explained the Trump appeal thus:

What we’ve said from day one is that Donald Trump represents a fundamental change to Washington D.C. For 30 years, elected officials, both Republicans and Democrats, have made promises they haven’t kept. (He referenced some of the broken promises, on the issues of deficit and debt, and those who promised to make it better just kept adding to the debt by the trillions.)

We’re leaving our country to our kids than our parents left it to us for the first time in the history of the country. And what the people have said [by voting for Trump is] ‘We don’t want that any more. We don’t want people who make promises, that [have] the most extensive credentials ever, to serve as the president of the United States. (I took that as a reference to Clinton’s credentials.)

They don’t want that anymore. They want someone who will tell them the truth, that’s gonna do what they say they’re gonna do, to bring fundamental change to the United States and let the people decide how the country is going to be run. That’s what we’re seeing tonight. That’s what we’re seeing tonight. That the people who listened to what the media said, listened to the narrative of how great the other side was (I took ‘other side’ to be a reference to Democrats), and how the Hispanics were gonna come out in proportions (I took this as a reference to the media’s belief that Trump would lose because of the record Hispanic turnout against him), how Donald Trump was a misogynist and a bigot and all the things we’ve heard the mainstream media talk about.

And they stood back and said: ‘You don’t understand, we’re tired of Washington, D.C. We’re tired of broken promises. We’re tired of people going there and forgetting about us. We want wholesale, fundamental change.

And that, I gather, is what we’ll get.

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Comments (59)

  1. Submitted by John Appelen on 11/09/2016 - 09:47 am.

    Excellent Summary

    I have to wonder if the Democratic Party will take any personal responsibility for their choices and how it drove the normal working folk in America to rebel against them?

    Their obsession with:
    – Tax payer funded hand outs
    – Supporting illegal immigrants
    – LGBT rights over Religious Freedoms
    – Ever increasing regulatory burdens

    The Democratic Party always want to make this about race… But I think it is simply a chapter out of an Ayn Rand book. The continual struggle between the workers who want to have personal control, and the elite who want to dictate who deserves what via the government… If you don’t understand, read Atlas Shrugged.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 11/09/2016 - 11:09 am.

      Rare Opportunity

      I rarely get the chance to agree with Appelen so I’ll not let it pass. Those opposed to gay marriage were told that they had no grounds for opposition, that they didn’t have to change anything, it wouldn’t affect them if they didn’t want it to. Remember that?

      That was until it passed, when the baker found out he had no choice, he had to bake a weeding cake for a gay couple. The event space also had no choice, they had to rent to the gay couple. The photographer as well had to accept their business.

      And they were all told, “Well, of course you have to accept this, you’re in the public marketplace.”

      And I’m not suggesting they should be allowed to discriminate. But a reasonable amount of empathy could see why they may feel the goal posts were moved on them, and soon after laws were passed and court rulings were issued. Because you don’t have to agree with someone to understand why they may feel the way they do.

      • Submitted by Joel Fischer on 11/09/2016 - 03:12 pm.

        I wonder why

        the people whose rights are violated are always the ones asked to capitulate?

        Is it the gay couple’s fault that the business person is unwilling to adapt to a new reality? What happens when business don’t adapt? They fail…as they should.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/09/2016 - 05:29 pm.

          New Reality

          As we have discussed many times before, the freedom of religion trounces LGBT rights because it is included on the Bill of Rights and no one has scientifically proven that being LGBT is similar to sex, race, disability or any of the other protected classes. So for right now citizens are free to disagree whether LGBT is a behavior or a state of being.

          Now I keep hoping that someone would hurry up and develop a LGBT test so our society can put this behind us… But until then citizens have the right to disagree regarding this topic… I mean the LGBT marriage ruling was 5 to 4…

          It is almost as contentious as when does a human life begin? 🙂

        • Submitted by DENNIS SCHMINKE on 11/09/2016 - 07:37 pm.

          Wedding cake

          Would it be so much trouble to just go down the street and find SOMEONE ELSE who is happy to take your money? Why do you want to beat the cr@p out of SallySue Christian who would rather not do it.

          Further, why would you RISK your important day to the possibility that Sally’s heart is just not in it…and you receive bad product/service. What would be wrong with just plain good manners and freedom of association…which would include the right to dis-associate??

          • Submitted by Sean Olsen on 11/10/2016 - 11:12 am.


            That’s easy to say if you live in a metro area, not as much if you live in a rural area.

            And I should also point out that there are plenty of people who have used their religion to justify discrimination against people of different races or women. Yet, we as a society don’t put up with that anymore. If you want the government-provided legal and financial protection that comes along with incorporating as a business, you shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate. Period.

            • Submitted by DENNIS SCHMINKE on 11/10/2016 - 09:09 pm.


              The ones I’m feeling bad for aren’t incorporated. They’re sole proprietorships–might even be baking at home. Give’em a break. There is a grocery store with a bakery that will do anything you want within a 10-15 mile drive almost anywhere you might live in MN.
              And if our government is going to harass them, let it be a $50 misdemeanor citation. We ought not be issuing $135K fines–a la State of Oregon vs Melissa’s Sweet Cakes.
              She was DELIBERATELY targeted–aided and abetted by a sympathetic labor commissioner. When the full force of the government rains down on the heads of individuals, I favor the individuals. There is NO WAY the penalty is anything like proportional to the violation.

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/10/2016 - 10:26 pm.

              And yet as we have discussed many times before. PETA folks are unlikely to cater the mink farmers annual meeting. And I don’t think an ACLU friendly florist is going to be providing flowers to the KKK get together… Nor is the religious photographer going to be documenting a sex party…

              This is not discrimination, it is simple freedom of association.

  2. Submitted by Brian Simon on 11/09/2016 - 09:55 am.

    The great unknown

    “We want wholesale, fundamental change.

    And that, I gather, is what we’ll get.”

    That’s the mystery. I don’t think anyone knows what we’re going to get.

    • Submitted by Carla Cheshire on 11/09/2016 - 04:42 pm.

      Fundamental Change?

      I don’t think so. I don’t see the millions of manufacturing jobs coming back, at all. They didn’t leave because of taxes they left because capital moved to where it could profit off of workers that make a dollar a day. The US Chamber of Commerce and big business pushed this. Capital went to Mexico first, then to China and now to Vietnam; wherever they can get the cheapest labor. If you place large tariffs on these goods no one can afford to buy them. Trump will not raise the minimum wage. How are working people going to afford to buy goods if they don’t have money? More credit? We’ve seen tax breaks for the rich since the 1980’s, it did not lead to more jobs or more prosperity for the middle class and poor, why would it work now? He’ll try to cut Social Security and if that happens he will throw millions of seniors into abject poverty. Do you want your parents out on the streets? 2/3 have no retirement savings and only SS to support them. You cut or get rid of Medicare and no insurance companies will cover seniors, that’s why the program was started in the first place. Where will healthcare go? Dump Obamacare. Are we back to the pre-existing conditions where the sick cannot be covered for their illnesses? Maybe there will be more jobs if Trump starts rounding up undocumented people. Like restaurant jobs, cleaning, nannies, construction and yard work. Then the costs will rise because the employers will have to pay benefits. Remember it was big business that wanted the illegals here. They profit more off of workers that they don’t pay the minimum wage or benefits to. It will be very interesting. I can’t wait for him to take on The Fed. He said he’d renegotiate the debt. I wonder if he knows who he’s messing with? The Presidency takes a real toll on whoever gets it. It will be wild to see the orangeman turn gray. I hope for the best, we’ll see.

      • Submitted by joe smith on 11/10/2016 - 03:24 pm.

        Carla, manufacturing only leaves as a last resort.

        It costs companies a lot of money to pick up and move to a new state much less a new country. Cut not only corporate tax from 35% (highest in the world) to 15%, cut useless regulations (another 2-3 points per year more profit), stop the continual rise in property taxes and now manufacturing can compete vs the low wages paid workers in other countries. It will work, companies would rather manufacture here, let’s give financial reasons to do it..

        On a side note, during the Reagan years the middle class wages rose 11% and 20 million new middle class jobs were created… You must be reading the Paul Krugman liberal version of the Reagan years .

  3. Submitted by Pat Berg on 11/09/2016 - 10:07 am.

    The Democrats put up a flawed candidate

    And I still blame Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for her very large part in it.

    • Submitted by Scott Kelley on 11/09/2016 - 03:58 pm.

      Totally agree


      I couldn’t agree more with your comment. However, Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren probably would have been trounced as being too liberal. I believe Joe Biden could have defeated Trump. He has the ability to resonate with many of the people who ultimately voted for Trump. Other than these people, I’m not sure who in the Democratic party was ready in 2016.

  4. Submitted by joe smith on 11/09/2016 - 10:13 am.

    The folks who grab onto their “guns and God”

    as Obama said also didn’t have good paying jobs, saw their children leaving public schools not prepared for life, saw the disaster of Obamacare up close and personal, watched their jobs leave, heard that they should be concerned about folks using any bathroom they “feel” like, heard their lives were going well and don’t complain and finally got tired of hearing any opposition to Obama was racial bias all came out and voted to show their displeasure.

    Much like when Ronald Reagan won the left is stunned… The writing was on the wall but the media missed it in their rush to explain to regular folks how good they have it…. Most of us missed it also.

    • Submitted by Frank Phelan on 11/09/2016 - 11:01 am.

      Ah, You Missed A Few Folks

      It wasn’t just the media, the pundits (left & right), and the left that missed this. The GOP establishment was convinced Trump would not win, as recently as yesterday.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 11/09/2016 - 11:09 am.

      Except that it’s Trump and his ilk

      who are responsible for the lack of jobs for the lower middle class by encouraging automation to reduce production costs and outsourcing the jobs that can’t be automated to lower wage workers in places like China and Mexico.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/09/2016 - 12:09 pm.

        Same Old

        I know you all get tired of hearing this, but here we go again…

        It is the American Consumers who choose where they shop, what they buy and how much they will pay.

        If they demanded high domestic content product and services and were willing to bear some extra costs, the businesses would need to meet that requirement or nothing would sell.

        However the American consumer wants inexpensive, high quality, cutting edge, fashionable, etc and is pretty indifferent to where it is designed, built, etc.

        Demanding one get paid higher than global average wages, while demanding the lowest cost highest value products and services is an exercise in insanity…

        • Submitted by Jim Million on 11/09/2016 - 09:36 pm.

          Concisely Cogent

          One of your best here, John.

        • Submitted by Dan Landherr on 11/10/2016 - 09:13 am.

          I don’t understand your point

          Are you saying that Americans should want low quality, out of date, more expensive goods just because they were made with American workers? That sounds like the economy in the USSR in the 1980s.

          The automation of build processes and the higher quality products go hand in hand. Even if manufacturing plants come back due to tax reforms, the low-skilled, repetitive jobs won’t. Automation of labor will continue inexorably to improve productivity in manufacturing, mining, agriculture, retail and throughout the rest of the economy.

          The issue is how to distribute the productivity gains. Do all the gains go to the capitalists who own the automated factories or do the workers who need higher technical skills to run the machines get a piece of the action?

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/10/2016 - 08:00 pm.

            I think my point is clear, but here goes.

            Liberals say that society should force companies to pay more via higher minimum wages and/or by enabling strong Unions. Of course that means the US product would cost more to develop, manufacture, market and sell. And since they can only charge what the market is charging, they will have lower margins than their foreign competitors. Which means they will have less to invest in R&D and Production facilities.

            So in time their product will fall behind the competitors and the costs will rise more. And after awhile the American consumer stops buying altogether and the firm gets sold to a foreign firm who then seizes all of the valuable patents, etc and fires the remaining American employees.

            Ironically companies like Apple were smart enough to avoid this fate by moving their employment to the same area as their competitors so there is no real competitive advantage and they are still thriving for now. Though some folks are mad at them for sending jobs over seas. Even though they would have stopped buying Apples product by now if they had not.

            As for the productivity gains… They usually go to the consumer in this highly competitive world. Have you priced a new LCD TV lately?

            So the reality is if you truly want Americans to be paid more, one has to be willing to pay more for their products and services… And our consumers are not willing to do this… So companies need to relocate to the same areas that their competitors are or face bankruptcy in time. A solution to this are Trumps import tariffs, these will raise the cost of all foreign made product and pressure companies to build plants here. Of course the down side is that they may trigger a trade war and the cost of most of our goods will go up significantly. (ie USSR)

            • Submitted by Dan Landherr on 11/11/2016 - 09:28 am.

              Ignoring all costs except labor in your analysis

              The main reason manufacturing plants are located overseas is the corporate tax structure that encourages them to go elsewhere. Decreased labor costs are usually offset by increased shipping costs.

              If all the productivity gains were going to the consumer you would see a shrinking stock market with falling earnings. That obviously isn’t happening.

              There will always be jobs and manufacturing facilities overseas. That’s where the markets are! This is a world of 7.4 billion people and 320 million Americans.

              • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/12/2016 - 11:38 pm.


                Strangely shipping costs are not much of a problem. If one can pack thousands of them into a shipping container and live with the delay between manufacturer and sale. The cost is almost nothing per piece.

                None of the companies I have worked for wanted to close down the US plants. But if the customers don’t value “Built in the USA” enough to pay a premium… And if they are happy to buy foreign, the US companies really have no choice.

                Here is an excellent example. How do you think Polaris is going to fair against CF Moto if the Chinese manufacturer starts offering good ATV’s for less? Do you think the customers will be happy to pay 20% more because the Polaris workers are in Wyoming MN making a good wage and the company conforms to all of the USA’s regulations?

                And yes it may make sense for Polaris to move manufacturing to Mexico for many reasons:
                – compete and avoid bankruptcy
                – Mexico has more trade deals than other countries
                – etc

  5. Submitted by Colin Brownlow on 11/09/2016 - 11:12 am.

    Lack of clear, articulate, resonant message

    One of the things that struck me about the last several state elections and now this national election is the DFL and national Democratic party’s inability to package their policies in a clear, positive way that could resonate with the electorate. And I don’t mean running on a “we’re not nuts” or “we’re not as bad as the republicans” mantra. It seems to me in the last several election cycles the DFL have run as the sane alternative to the Republicans. At some point that approach was bound to fail. It began to fail in the 2014 state election and failed catastrophically last night.

    I do think HRC at a national level ran on a platform, but the packaging was awful. It was almost as if every policy issue was a priority and therefore not really a priority. People really don’t want to hear that you have position paper on every issue.

    Think about the Republican message – Cut Taxes, Cut Waste, Reduce Job Killing Regulations, Strong on Defense, and so on. Simple, crisp messages – a clear consistent brand. Contrast that to the Democrats. Laundry lists of policies, policy papers up the wazoo, but no clear statements of priorities – no brand message, no tag line.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/09/2016 - 12:21 pm.

      Seemed Clear

      I ended up voting against Clinton and for some crazy guy because her platform seemed crystal clear.

      – Increase taxes on successful people
      – Give more tax payer funds to unsuccessful people
      – Increase commitment to socialized medicine
      – Spend tax dollars on government selected products
      – etc

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 11/09/2016 - 05:32 pm.

        Hey I’ll use that line

        When I explain to my neice why she’s losing her home so that her parents can make a last ditch attempt to pay for the care to keep her alive, you may recall she has CF. Likewise I’ll explain to my son why his congential heart defect means he will never have the luxury of choosing a career he may love, only one that will offer a health insurance plan that will accept him, if such a place exists. I’ll wait a while, he is only 3 after all, but as I’m unsure how much time remains before I find myself in a similar boat, (physical labor does take its toll) I won’t wait too long.

  6. Submitted by Jim Million on 11/09/2016 - 11:47 am.


    Personal (somewhat obstructed) observation: When the ophthalmologist told me earlier this Fall that my basic vision was still very good, meaning my refraction results were unchanged, but that my degrading vision issues were due to increasing cataract growth, I wondered how my eyes could technically be still quite good, except for the tissue overgrowth in each. He told me both cataracts qualified for surgery, the left being immediately of concern more so than the right. So, sometime in January, we’ll attend to the more obstructive tissue first.

    [Against my typical penchant for allusion and sometimes light symbolism, I promise you there is no silliness here this morning.]

    Between about midnight and 5 a.m., I considered if something other than standard rejection/anti-selection forces were at work these recent weeks. I truly believe most Liberal readers retain their customary eye health, as do the Conservatives here. The Republican primaries certainly indicated to me something had been growing to obscure conventional perception and clarity there. How could 16 contestants be so easily dismissed? Sure didn’t seem to require much oclusion of the right eye to blur all those images.

    It also seemed pretty obvious to me that the lack of any real contest among Democrats indicated narrowing of horizon, even though Bernie Sanders offered some flashes of seemingly restored perspectives in the left eye. The overgrowth there was apparently too thick, too large, for anything other than his ultimate return to obscurity.

    If this consideration seems tortured to many here, I admit to my own search for rationalization after last night. But, I do believe our collective vision is fundamentally healthy and quite good, given our still useful corrective lenses for each eye. Must be the cataracts.

    Do we need more than corrective surgery? Is that even possible? Will they grow back, and to what extent? Which eye really should be attended first? Do we even need to bother with refractions for awhile?
    Those are the fuzz balls floating around my mind this morning.

  7. Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 11/09/2016 - 12:11 pm.

    The dog caught the car

    So now we’ll finally see how they replace the ACA. Guess what happens to “no preexisting conditions” and the other elements people like – such as required maternity coverage. Sure, premiums will go down, but only for plans that cover you when you don’t need them.

    And let’s wait for all those well paying “50’s” style manufacturing jobs that are coming back. Of course, there’s always trickle down economics to bring them back – just like it did the last time.

    And the wall? My bet – it will be redefined as a virtual wall and declared a victory. And paid for by so-called “savings”.

    I honestly hope I’m wrong, but the big loser tonight is the Republican Party. Because, if past is prologue, 4 years of Trump will sour a generation on Republicans and we do need a 2 party system.

    BTW, as of the time I write this, the Canadian immigration website is still not available. However, given the adage that “When the U.S. sneezes, Canada catches a cold”, I don’t think that’s such a great destination to ride out the next 4 years.

  8. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 11/09/2016 - 12:31 pm.

    Putin and the election

    It’s going to take me a while to process Trump’s (and the GOP’s) victory yesterday. To some extent, I agree with the narrative about this being a sort of revolt. But a revolt against what” Against the Democratic Party? (I’ve heard Van Jones refer to “whitelash”). Against the Beltway elite? Against the trade deals? (i’m with them there). And whose obsessions are we talking about here? The right certainly has an obsession with immigration, ever increasing regulatory burdens, LGBT rights somehow usurping religious freedoms. (The right also seems obsessed with “taxpayer funded handouts” but only when they are perceived as going to poor Americans, especially African-Americans. That the government hands out billions to the rich, multinational corporations, military contractors, and the like, well, meh).

    Trump voters have all sorts of reasons for voting for the guy. But a common theme in what I’ve heard from Trump supporters relate to distrust and hatred of Hilary Clinton. People are talking about whether FBI Director James Comey’s announcement last week of a continuing FBI investigation into the Clinton State Department had any effect on the election. I’m wondering if Russian spy agencies sabotaged our election by poisoning the internet with fake e-mails sprinkled in with the Wikileaks e-mail dump? The FBI is still investigating to what extent these hacks and the Wikileaks release can be traced to the Russian government. Will we ever know if this election was hijacked in some fashion by Vladimer Putin?

  9. Submitted by Justin Adams on 11/09/2016 - 01:51 pm.

    Democratic Superdelegates

    The super delegate system is designed to protect the democratic party against populist movements. It did this very effectively in the nominating process.

    To me it’s interesting that the super delegates, on the eve of the convention, could have taken a look around and seen that populism was the dominant political force at play in this electoral cycle. In retrospect, it seems pretty hard to have missed. Theoretically, they could have revolted en masse and nominated a candidate that could turn out white liberals and appeal to populist independents. By refusing to do so, it gave the election to a nationalist populist candidate running under the other party’s banner.

    The establishment defense of the system is that it prevents dangerous extremists (like socialists) to gain control of the levers of power af the flight of public fancy. The party protected itself, but in so doing condemned the nation to last night’s result. In the future, the DNC should remember that our dangerous democratic extremists are preferable to republican ones.

    It’s not really fair to blame the individual leaders of the DNC for this, though.

    Instead, the very existence of the super-delegate system caused the catastrophe last night. From the very beginning of the nomination process, the advantage Clinton held among super delegates led the media and public to conclude that her nomination was inevitable. It wasn’t just Debbie putting a thumb on the scale. Her predecessors who crafted the nominating process are to blame, as are many in the media, even our beloved ink-stained wretch (but mostly the equally beloved nate silver). The perception of the viability of the Sanders campaign was influenced by this structural issue, which in turn influenced the actual viability of the Sanders campaign.

    This race was decided by people who feel like the system is rigged against them, voting for the person they felt would make the system better. White turnout was flat, but white vote share skewed way to the right. Why? Because white liberals stayed home and were replaced by white progressive nationalists. The democratic nomination process was shown to be almost custom crafted to turn off voters who feel like the system is rigged against them, while the republican nomination process showed those people that they have a home. White liberals who couldn’t feel welcome there? Some of them stayed home.

    I hope the DNC takes some lessons from this.

  10. Submitted by Sean O'Brien on 11/09/2016 - 02:33 pm.

    Lawandowski is a Horrible Person

    Besides acting like a complete ass last night, especially towards Van Jones, his comments quoted above are laughable.

    People want someone who is going to tell them the truth? And keep promises? You’ve go to be kidding me. Trump wouldn’t know the truth if it hit him in the face, and threatens to keep the fewest number of promises of any elected politician in recent history. Unfortunately, his lies painted the picture that his supportrs wanted to see.

    The country needs to come together and acknowledge the many who felt unheard and were fed up with the status quo and a a result turned to Trump as their voice. But there are nasty elements there too which also fueled his victory, “whitelash” and a rejection of the recent gains made towards equality and acceptance; as decent people we need to call out and reject these hateful undertones.

  11. Submitted by Charles Holtman on 11/09/2016 - 03:20 pm.

    To call it a “revolt against the elites”

    Is true but completely misleading. If you understand why the middle and lower classes have been economically and culturally eviscerated over the past 40 years, you supported Sanders. If the Republican base understood, there’d be a majority for a true populist movement inclusive of all ordinary folks regardless of skin color.

    But for 40 years, the Republican base has had its existential fear and atavistic hate stoked by the Republican elites and the establishment media against everyone except those who actually are screwing them. They revolted against the Republican elites not because the elites failed for 40 years to make their lives better, but because the elites promised for so long that they’d make others suffer, and they haven’t come thru. The base voted for Trump not because they actually have any conception of what will result from his economics, but because they believe that he’ll keep his promise to truly cause others to suffer.

    Since Trump is as economically elitist as they come, their condition will continue to decline. But if he does keep his promise to make others suffer, all will be good.

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/09/2016 - 05:50 pm.


      Who do these folks want to suffer and in what way?

      Now I do agree that many Republicans disagree with the government policies that transfer negative consequences from the person making poor choices to other tax payers. Some easy examples are:

      – a single Mom who has 3 children from 3 different Men receiving money from tax payers

      – people who failed to learn in school or are unwilling to take on harder jobs receiving higher “minimum wages” that must be paid by all Americans and/or Medicaid from the tax payers

      – public employees making more than a market based wage, having high job security and few performance requirements at the expense of the tax payers.

      I don’t think anyone is interested in seeing people suffer. But there is a real desire to transfer these personal consequences back to the individuals and off the backs of the tax payers. Please remember that tax payers are people too.

      • Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 11/09/2016 - 07:04 pm.

        Who do these folks want to suffer?

        The examples you cite are “easy” because they are cultural stereotypes. I can hardly believe we’re still arguing about the same topics as the 1960’s.

        Sure, there are plenty of single mothers from 3 different men. But AFDC ended 20 years ago. What public largesse are these single moms living on? Food stamps? A program that’s directly linked to farm subsidies,which few people I hear ever complain about.

        People who “failed to learn in school” or “unwilling to take on harder jobs”. Have you ever worked at a McDonalds or other fast food McJob that fails to pay a living wage, a wage that an adult can support themselves or a family on? And “easy”? What’s a “harder job” anyway? They used to say “digging ditches” but that job hasn’t existed since, well, probably the 1960’s or before. I know people who try to live on Social Security Disability which the public believes in rife with fraud. Most of the people who object to this would never accept the humiliation and degradation that comes with living on so meager an amount. Plus, you have to be disabled and unable to hold a steady job because of your disability.

        Public employees making more than a “market based wage. Who are these people? ” Teachers? University professors? University football coaches? What kind of public employees? what are “market based wages” these days anyway?

        Not all, but there are too many who either like to hear about suffering or just don’t want to think about it. They’ve convinced themselves that this is not their problem so “don’t bother me.” I know many kind and generous conservative people who would share their shirts with a suffering person. But these people fail or refuse to see these problems as systemic and solvable over time with government action. These same people shrug their shoulders when a VP Dick Cheney awards his multinational government contracting corporation a no-bid contract. It’s not about the money: it’s about enforcing a code of personal morality.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/09/2016 - 10:12 pm.

          Agreed. It is sad that after 50+ years and trillions of dollars spent in the war on poverty, Single Parent households are at an all time high, which translates directly to more poverty and difficulties in raising successful kids. We definitely did something wrong… And though the money is in the “farm bill”, it should be called the food bill since 75+% of the bill goes to children and families.

          Please remember that Conservatives are fine caring for the truly needy and disabled, though you are correct that they would like to ensure zero fraudulent cases exist. And if there is a way to get them off disability, they want it to happen.

          As for McDonald’s jobs, I once worked there for a year. The reality is that many of those types of jobs are supposed to be entry jobs and / or temporary. And if not the capable dedicated people pursued the Supervisory / Management path. Do you truly want an entry level McDonald’s job to support a single parent household?

          And yes there are still many construction, truck driver jobs, fork lift operator, etc jobs that require good dedicated employees with common sense.

          If you don’t understand the amount of waste that exist in the Public Sector, I will not be able to convince you.

          As for systemic, yes the war on poverty was systemic and created a lot of dependent people who make poor choices. Hopefully something will change.

          • Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 11/10/2016 - 09:48 am.


            We agree that hopefully something will change.. But as the saying goes “hope is not a plan.” Social democracies around the world prove that a society can do a far better job of eliminating poverty that this US.

            And you don’t need to convince me about the waste in the public sector. My point is that conservatives are very selective about the waste they see or condemn. Waste in the military is not only systemic but intrinsic because military spending produces no useful good or service in an economic sense, anyway. I know it makes people feel more secure, but we could realistically spend far less and be as secure. Our system won’t allow that happen. If Americans are willing to tolerate a high level of waste in spending in military, I say what’s wrong with diverting part of it to help people out. Sure there are malingerers and con artists who will game a system. But the “welfare queen” was mostly a myth and the real ‘welfare queen” scarcely represents the vast majority of poor who live on less than $2.00 a day.


            “Waste” is really a problem of modern industrial economy. Modern technology has created the ability of industry of producing far too much to consume using far fewer people to be employed at useful jobs. Automation and now artificial intelligence are making our historical means of employment obsolete reducing the people needed for employment. Managed wisely, it will free people from the need to work for a living. Only government is going to be able to solve this problem because the “market” without government direction and prodding will only make the problems of too many people and contrived scarcity worse.

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/10/2016 - 07:39 pm.

              Sorry, but taking money from some successful citizens and distributing it in cash and services to the unsuccessful is not “eliminating poverty” from my view. That is just covering the tear in the carpet with a rug. The tear is still there.

              I think the US Military has and does create one of the world’s biggest Economic benefits. It helped to stop WWII and has been the “World Police” ever since. How do you think South Korea, Japan, Europe, etc would be doing if they did not have the US carrying the big stick? How about all that Global Trade that we rely on so heavily for products and markets?

              Then there is the simple fact that Defense money goes to pay millions of incomes across the world in both the Private and Public sector. Then we have all the products that came via military R&D.

              You may be correct about automation, especially with all the kids that are left behind in our public school systems. They will find it hard to find good paying jobs. How about we start with the government succeeding with No Child Left Behind? I think that would be a great start.

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 11/09/2016 - 08:01 pm.

        Me, they want me to suffer

        As a result of an uncontrollable event, conservatives expect that I and my family (particularly my youngest son) should suffer the loss of insurance to pay for medical expenses. As they haven’t a viable solution to correct rising medical costs, or provide affordable insurance options for anyone except the healthy and wealthy, they expect us to suffer destitution as a consequence of any major medical expense. Many would prefer that no medical care be provided at all to those without means to pay for it, meaning they would expect that my son should die if his condition ever worsened to the point that open heart surgery is required. I can not now, nor will I ever, be able to afford the hundreds of thousands of dollars such surgery would cost. I will no longer consider such people my fellow citizens, they are occupiers in my home, interlopers intent on causing I and my family harm. All interactions I have with such people will be conducted with this in mind.

        • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/09/2016 - 09:49 pm.


          I am sorry for your son’s heart condition and I hope the GOP can find a better solution than ACA which definitely has it’s flaws. My advice is to keep in touch with the various medical charities that exist to serve children. I have a friend who has been very happy with the Shriner’s organization.

          It is unfortunate that you think many people are like Ebeneezer Scrooge, I have rarely run into people like that. Most people I know simply want a better more effective solution.

          • Submitted by Matt Haas on 11/10/2016 - 09:47 am.


            So your solution to my problem (and those of all folks like me) is to throw ourselves on the mercy of a faceless bureaucracy in the hopes they’ll have the money to save us. Conveniently, said bureaucracy is funded by monies provided by OTHER people thereby absolving yourself of any role in such aid. Yet I should believe in the “goodness” of all huh? Get back to me when the GOP discovers the means to make magic happen and compels profit taking entities to accept losses out of the goodness of their hearts, don’t worry I’m not suicidal, I won’t be holding my breath.

            • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/10/2016 - 07:26 pm.


              A. The federal government bureaucracy is pretty nameless and faceless. Most charities are happy to meet with you.

              B. I freely give to many of the above mentioned charitable organizations through United Way and directly. As do many of your fellow citizens that you accuse.

              C. Is easier for you to accept help/money from the government who forcefully takes the money from other citizens? Or to accept assistance from people who willingly give to help people who face unplanned challenges? I truly would prefer to receive charity from caring people who give because they do care.

        • Submitted by Jim Million on 11/10/2016 - 01:09 pm.

          An Attempt to Understand

          Your private sense of fragility and love/fear is understood here. Please be confident in what likely will be adaptation, not dissolution of national health benefits. Also be assured that Minnesota will not let you be driven into the darkness of doubt.

          We are one of only several states that nearly did not join the ACA project, mainly because we had our own very good model here. It was the unclear burden of financing expanded Medicaid directives without Federal dollars that made our leaders capitulate to ACA. That was the big stick Washington used to coerce several states with excellent domestic health programs into ACA membership.

          Should some drastic ACA replacement truly appear to directly injure your family and others, be confident Minnesota will do those things necessary to maintain a bridge of care for you and others caught in the reversing wheels. We are very good at focusing on the least fortunate of our population, as many programs prove year after year.

          Please try to not let political and other promotional blather stoke fear in your family. Be proactive when the debates are underway, by building relationships with key Minnesota agencies (Health, Human Services, NGOs like Shriners and others before any national plans become clear. Build your own strategy with the help of those paid here to do that, including your State reps–who will be very involved with the Minnesota anticipatory planning. Attend the coming Capitol committee and public response meetings. Listen, Speak, Write to those who might serve you best.

          Any changes will not be summary judgments by a one-party government…no they will not. It’s all too complex to cut the customers suddenly adrift. AND, the “customers” here are the States, not us individuals.
          Minnesota will not let you, me or others down due to Washington chaos.

          Watch firm developments, build a solid local contact list, find your personal ombudsman, make your plan.
          Consider also a dependable third party to help you, one who can remove much emotion from the process.

          Best wishes, Matt.

          • Submitted by Matt Haas on 11/10/2016 - 02:33 pm.

            I appreciate the sentiment

            But words are just words. While you might have faith in our state to redress federal missteps I look at the makeup of the next legislature and laugh. While I agree that there are many that might share my concern, none of them any longer hold the power to do anything they might promise. To believe that a plan exists, or will be created, to replace the ACA without leaving customers,be they state or individuals, adrift is to believe that folks doing the cutting give so much as a single iota of care to the consquences of such action, and that such action is possible in a market based setting. The saddest part is, its not that I’m one of the less fortunate, we make solid middle class wages, but would still be ruined in the event of a major medical event for our son. I cannot fathom the anxiety those of lesser means must feel as they gaze into the coming reality that nearly all medical care is soon to be either unobtainable or finanically ruinous. The callousness of so many in the debate (present company excepted) is truly breathtaking.

    • Submitted by DENNIS SCHMINKE on 11/09/2016 - 07:51 pm.

      That Trump WANTS others to suffer economically…

      …is SO ridiculous..

      • Submitted by Charles Holtman on 11/10/2016 - 11:39 am.

        I agree completely.

        Trump is the purest sociopath (clinically defined) as has set foot on the political stage in my lifetime – leaving even GW Bush far behind. Apart from those he perceives have slighted him (whom he would like to see suffer, very much), Trump is not capable of forming or holding a preference about what others experience, good or bad. Others are just objects on the landscape where his ego navigates its Excellent Adventure.

        If you care to understand my comment (perhaps you don’t), you’ll need to read it again. I didn’t say that Trump wants people to suffer, I said that his supporters among the white middle and lower classes do. Republican commenters on this site fancy that these supporters were driven by their thoughtful and nuanced views on tax policy, no doubt to rationalize their bedfellows. But had these people been motivated by what would improve their economic and cultural condition, they’d have supported Sanders as the only candidate with a clear and sincere commitment to shifting economic and political power from the elite and at least a partly formed analytic for how to do so.

        Indeed, in the run-up to the election, even those who have considered themselves stalwarts of the Republican “intelligentsia” were writing mea culpas reluctantly admitting that the Republican base has never had the slightest interest in the underpinnings of conservative economic and social theory, but is built almost entirely on racial and cultural resentments derived from the Southern Strategy and stoked continuously in the decades since.

        These people voted for Trump because Trump sent the message – explicitly and implicitly – that he would make all of their false enemies suffer the way the Republican elite promised for decades they would, but never did, at least not with enough gusto. Trump’s preternatural talent is his scent for the con. He assessed the long-cultivated Republican base, saw that their frustration for the payoff was reaching the breaking point, and came right in and stole the sale. He didn’t need to believe anything he said, he just had to say it.

        • Submitted by Jim Million on 11/10/2016 - 01:26 pm.

          Oh, my

          This is honestly not a rational view. Wherever it originates, it simply is not our collective human nature.
          You have not witnessed the first American autocracy in these election results. That simply is not possible.
          The business of the Nation is very much designed in the House of Reps, given obvious mission from others.

          Anything you fear as hobnailed boot marching can quickly (in legislative time) be countered every two years by the People, by re-shaping the House membership. Very little Washington does can be put into law in less than two years.

          As for Executive Orders: Those now truly feeling like 1930s German citizens need to review exactly what can and cannot be mandated by such unilateral dictate. Expect to immediately read details of those Obama orders to be nullified. Then, please follow honest sources for what may replace them.

          Many people now need to change their information sources to receive more accurate information and less marketing bs. Anyone using sources that brought them to brazenly false expectations this week, absolutely must replace those that continue to make them angry…and truly mad.

          • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/10/2016 - 07:16 pm.

            Fear and Angst

            I am concerned that some of the anti-Trump people are going to put their health at risk over nothing. The best news I heard today for people who are feeling really anxious is that they should unplug from social media and the news for a week or so.

            I mean the country has survived for centuries through wars, the Great Depression, huge civil strife, etc. I sure don’t respect Trump enough to think he is capable of sinking this ship, especially with all the enemies on all sides that want to see him go down in flames…

        • Submitted by DENNIS SCHMINKE on 11/10/2016 - 09:14 pm.


          They don’t want others to suffer. They are just tired of suffering and being disrespected–starting with disrespect from their president. And don’t say he didn’t (“clinging to guns and religion, blah, blah…).

  12. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 11/10/2016 - 07:44 am.

    Hidden reason

    This analysis (and all others) seems to be missing the main reason, in my mind, why Clinton lost. It was touched briefly by Mr. Phelan but I want to expand on it.

    In the last 8 years it is not only that society has moved significantly to the left, it is also that those who didn’t want to move were constantly vilified by the left and the media. Hard working decent people who were not rich at all were constantly told that they are racist sexist homophobic xenophobes (or xenophobic sexist racists) who have unfair advantages and enjoy the privileges they did not earn. No one appreciated their way of living and their heritage and they could not even object to that because pleas and objections were answered with more insults thrown at them and forced coercion to comply with new rules.

    All complaints about Washington were really just a cover for the feelings I described above because they were afraid to show and express the real ones; that is why the polls were so wrong. I bet that despite all complaints about Congress, majority of incumbents kept their jobs…

    • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/10/2016 - 09:24 am.

      That And

      I agree. Some folks here want to blame the loss on Hillary being a flawed candidate… I would have preferred to have voted for Clinton if her platform was not so far Left, Race / Sex based and politically correct…

      The number of times that negative labels like xenophobe, misogynist, sexist, racist, bigot, deplorable, etc are applied to our hard working fellow citizens is terrible and of course it has consequences.

      • Submitted by Matt Haas on 11/10/2016 - 11:01 am.

        The problem being

        That for many those labels are accurate. But I suppose its only a problem for the “others” affected so “happy days are here again” for white, rural America.

      • Submitted by Joel Fischer on 11/10/2016 - 03:09 pm.


        Those who voted for Trump voted for racism, misogyny, xenophobia, and homophobia. It was part of the package deal.

        As I read somewhere else today, if you bought a bucket of nails because you needed a bucket and they didn’t sell empty ones, did you buy nails?


        • Submitted by John Appelen on 11/10/2016 - 07:09 pm.

          That is fine, please continue to prove my comment as accurate. The irony of course is that the Liberals are supposedly the open minded, non-prejudicial, and enlightened. And yet here the prejudiced stereotyping and name calling continues. I am sorry to say that I am not surprised… 🙁 Hopefully in time this raced based hate will lessen.

  13. Submitted by Moira Heffron on 11/10/2016 - 03:11 pm.

    Stuart Stevens

    Eric, I’m sorry you turned away from PBS and apparently didn’t hear the analysis by Republican Stuart Stevens, previously of the Romney campaign. He had access to pretty accurate numbers of how the vote was coming in, comparing to the vote for Romney previously and pointing out where things were predictable and where they were different. And he felt strongly that racism was a significant component of what was occurring. He didn’t say that described all Trump voters but that it was an important factor. He returned to that theme several times.

  14. Submitted by Ilya Gutman on 11/10/2016 - 09:56 pm.


    Mr. Appelen summed it up perfectly – twice in this thread: liberals care about everyone (as long as they are “with them”) while conservatives care about those who deserve it; as a result, liberal policies lead, due to human nature, to more people who don’t deserve it. And liberals are hypocritical since they claim to be tolerant and open-minded but in real life they are the ones attacking conservatives with name calling just for disagreeing with liberal point of view; as a result, conservatives in colleges are a dying breed which makes the whole situation worse and worse…

  15. Submitted by Joel Fischer on 11/11/2016 - 10:02 am.

    “conservatives care about those who deserve it”

    Every U.S. Citizen deserves it. That’s what civilized societies do…and that’s what Christians are supposed believe, except that Evangelical Christianity has become nothing more than an arm of the political right.

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