They tell us that the media, the American and the Israeli alike, were surprised by the election outcome.
Of course it was a surprise. Because, in the final analysis, the American people did not “play by the rules” and did not vote as the media moguls had hoped they would.
It was a black day for the pollsters and the one-sided, biased liberal media in America, like their counterparts in Israel, who sought to sell us the image of a candidate who was a racist, a boor, an anti-Semite, unsuccessful in business, who was liable to enter the White House. But the American people didn’t buy it.
The media of the past few years, in America as in Israel, loves to pick someone from its own ranks, build him up as someone who is not afraid to ask questions and to take bold positions. That’s exactly what happened with Donald Trump. He began as a media celebrity, and the more exposure he got, the more he became a favorite of the media.
Until, that is, the day he decided to run for president from the wrong party. From that moment on, all the favorable reviews were forgotten and he suddenly became a pariah in the eyes of the very same media who had been so admiring. From then on, it was permissible to attack him, smear him, and dismiss him as an ignoramus.
However, the public made up its own mind, and was more discerning than the media experts had given it credit for. On Tuesday, the American people cast their ballots for whom they wanted, not for the candidates the media told them to want, as happened in Israel not so many months before.
The pollsters predicted what they wanted to happen, and when it didn’t, they blamed the voters, who they claimed misled them. But the truth is that the people have become fed up with the biased media.
In addition to the miscalculation of the media was that of Hillary Clinton, who chose to make President Barack Obama her main “presenter,” completely oblivious to the fact that for eight years the number of people hostile to him has steadily grown.
Obama, who had promised to improve conditions for the blue-collar workers facing unfair competition from cheap immigrant labor, has done nothing for them. The day of reckoning finally came. When Clinton let it be known that she intended to continue the “legacy” of Obama, the embittered voters decided to reckon with her as well, and slammed the door on both of them.
Trump’s victory over Clinton is a multifarious one. She had the full support of her party, with hundreds of thousands of activists, while most of his party deserted him. They accused him of taking over the Republican Party, and left him with the party name but without its support. Despite the disadvantages, he earned a sweeping victory.
Clinton had aspired not only to win, but to break the “glass ceiling,” to be the first woman president in the 240-year history of the United States. “Now it will happen,” she told herself. But it didn’t happen, because she did not speak to the needs of most Americans. Had the woman candidate been someone else, the “glass ceiling” might indeed have been shattered, but not by someone like her, so closely identified with a government that is perceived by so many to be corrupt.
Nor did Clinton realize the weakness of her support among Democrats. In the early morning hours, after the results were in, a senior member of her campaign encountered a stage worker at the Javits Center in New York, where her headquarters were located.
“You support the Democratic Party, right?” he asked him.
“And of course you voted for Clinton, right?”
The guy looked at him, and said: “Yes, I support the Democratic Party and the causes she stands for. But when I come home after a day’s work, and I find that I don’t have money to fix my teeth that are falling apart, and nobody is worrying about my health, I vote for somebody who promises to worry about my right to health. So I voted for Trump.”
There were many just like him.
Trump got across a message that appealed to millions of voters: That we have to have a citizens’ revolution, a popular uprising, though a peaceful one. By contrast, Clinton was perceived as representing the white-collar elites and the recently-arrived immigrants and minorities. She symbolized the old regime of politics and big money.
Trump played on all these feelings and persuaded the voters that he will bring a change. That he will act on their behalf.
Clinton underestimated the scale of embitterment. She knew that there were those who disliked or even hated her, but not to such an extent.
She had long been a champion of globalization. She did not grasp that while it may have been a boon for international trade, many American workers were hurt by it. Trade agreements during the process of globalization led to the shutdown of American factories, whose owners moved their operations to China and Mexico.
The American people wanted a change from the way of Obama and Clinton. When the people realized that a Clinton administration would be essentially a continuation of the Obama administration, they sent her home and brought in somebody who might be able to change things.
He has talked very big. But even if he only does a fraction of what he promises, it will be good for the mass of Americans.