Editor’s Note: Readers have wondered why we have been silent for the past three weeks. We were out of the country for a family reunion for Diwali for the first two weeks. We did get back before last weekend. But fear of jinxing the election made us remain quiet.
We are unlikely to forget the night of Tuesday, November 8. We saw history being made in the most glorious manner of all – by ordinary people standing up and winning. It was an event that showed with stunning clarity the genius of America’s Founding Fathers in opening the Constitution with the words “We the people”.
1.”We the people”
What happened on Tuesday night has never happened before. A man of business, a man who had never run for political office, stepped up on June 16, 2015 and announced his candidacy for the President of America. About 5 months later, he won the Presidential election and helped his party sweep all three branches of US Government. He did so by building a movement like Roosevelt & Reagan. But Reagan & Roosevelt were Governors & political professionals before they led their revolutions. Not Donald Trump. Yet he became a voice for the forgotten, discarded, & sometimes reviled majority of Americans, the grandchildren & children of the people who built what America is today.
The enormity of what Donald Trump has accomplished stunned political veterans. We saw that in the demeanor of President Obama, who himself led a political movement eight years ago. David Axelrod, Obama’s winning campaign strategist, called it the “most surprising event in my lifetime” on Tuesday night. Speaker Paul Ryan called it the most incredible feat he had ever seen.
We are thrilled & ecstatic about what happened on Tuesday night. But not surprised. In our view, there was an air of inevitability in & around the Trump campaign shaken periodically with public & media storms. Mr. Trump made several mistakes in his public pronouncements but they seemed non-material or surface storms that did not change the force of the deep current underneath.
In the end, everything Donald Trump said about his campaign turned out to be true & very true. He was chosen as the Champion of the people’s movement. He remained absolutely & authentically true to that reality. And, in return, the people did not waver in their support. He said the size of his base, the forgotten men & women, was larger than the minority coalition of his opposition. He proved right. He said the polls were wrong because they did not include his silent majority. He proved totally correct. He welcomed the scorn of the media, he kept pointing out how rigged the election was because of the media. The people knew he was correct.
To put it simply, Donald Trump won because he was the only candidate who understood from day one what the American majority wanted & he dedicated his entire effort to their issues. This a rare form of intelligence, rare because it is totally different from the analytical or backward intelligence so common in politicians, strategists & journalists. Roosevelt had this rare forward or instinctive intelligence, Reagan had it. That is why they transformed America & the World. In stark contrast, Obama’s intelligence was purely analytical or backward & that is mainly why, despite his great talent, his presidency did not succeed.
Back on July 12, 2014, we had argued that the winning candidate in 2016 would be the one who is & comes across as the most Anti-Obama. Last year we termed Donald Trump as THE Anti-Obama during the Republican primaries. He remained authentically Anti-Obama during the general election. No one understood it better that Barack Obama. That is why President Obama threw out tradition, ignored the legal morass of the Clinton Foundation & Emails and jumped into the election battle with all his vigor. We can’t think of another two-term President who fought so hard for his nominee, a nominee that he didn’t even like personally. As we all saw this past Tuesday, Anti-Obama won yuuge and Obama lost.
To understand why, you have to understand what “Obama” brand came to mean. To describe Mr. Obama as a Black President is superficial & wrong. The words African American & Black traditionally apply to the Civil Rights movement and the leaders who arose from it. Barack Obama was not one of those and that showed throughout the Obama presidency. This is why Black Americans did so badly in the Obama Administration and why black protests engulfed major cities despite a Black President.
So what is the Obama brand in essence if not traditional African-American? The answer we are about to give is the key to the Trump campaign and to the 2008 Obama campaign. Barack Obama is the purest “elite” President America has ever had. Not just American elite but “global elite”. That is why the world loved Obama, that is why college-educated Americans went so giddy over Obama. The world loved Obama because he was finally the global elite American leader who would change America in to what the world wanted America to be. The global elite fell in rapturous admiration over his analytical brilliance, his personality, his oratory & his charm. And the Nobel Committee awarded him the Nobel Peace prize before he had done anything.
President Obama did what they all expected of him. Look at his administration & see the staffing – all elite Ivy-type graduates full of their own self-worth & desire to change America. That underlying attitude was behind the mass of regulations that soon engulfed small business owners. Mr. Obama’s own contempt of blue collar Americans “clinging to their religion” pervaded the entire Obama Administration. This is exactly what the European elites & Asian elites wanted from America.
The Obama Presidency will be recognized by history not as a Black presidency but as the peak of Global Elitism not just in America but all over the world. The college-educated elites won big in every sphere, economic/political/social/cultural under President Obama and the ordinary men & women of all races suffered and felt discarded.
So the time was ripe for an authentic Anti-Obama or a champion of those who had been cast aside by the Obama elite.
Donald Trump was the only candidate who saw & felt this acutely. In fact, we believe, he entered the race precisely because he wanted to champion the cause of forgotten & discarded Americans. Our sense from day one was that he felt this deeply. More importantly, the silent & forgotten American majority sensed the depth of his feeling & commitment. That is why we all saw massive crowds in his rallies virtually from day one of his campaign.
Despite all of America’s wealth & power, Renunciation & Repentance are cherished in America at a very deep level. Donald Trump did not renounce or repent fully but he came closer to it than any other candidate. He admitted at the very outset that he had made massive monies by exploiting the American business system, that he had contributed to politicians of all parties & levels to get favorable treatment for his business. Then he said he would now dedicate his efforts, his skills to deliver the same success to America and to the forgotten & discarded Americans.
The elites scoffed at this but the message did ring true to the American people, especially to the silent majority. They sensed a measure of both renunciation & repentance in what Trump was saying & doing. This is why none of the attacks about what he was in the past & what he had done in the past really damaged his candidacy.
It needs to be understood that the Trump candidacy posed enormous risk to the Trump businesses. All his businesses were built on the foundation of the TRUMP brand which was essentially his personality & lifestyle. Had Donald Trump failed badly, had his brand been seriously damaged, the entire Trump organization & his own wealth would have been put at risk.
No other candidate had put himself or herself at so much personal risk in 2016. Hillary Clinton ran her entire campaign on massive donations from rich donors. She did not risk a single cent of her net worth in this campaign. Neither did any other Republican primary candidate, we believe. This difference between Trump & others was never discussed in the media but we believe the people sensed it. They were smart enough to understand that Donald Trump was putting aside running the Trump businesses to run for them, to change America for their benefit. They saw this as a unique act of a sort of personal sacrifice that no one else was making.
In the final reckoning, everything Trump had bet on worked – his base of hurt, forgotten Americans was larger than the minority-&-elite Obama coalition; they came to vote in size & with dedication and they remained loyal to Trump. In the end, they were joined by more African-Americans & Hispanics that had voted for Mitt Romney & a sizable number of college-educated women.
From day one, Trump had staked his strategy on winning the industrial worker states that had been ravaged by movement of jobs to Mexico under NAFTA. It worked brilliantly. Trump kept all the states Romney had won AND he took away the Industrial Midwest from Democrats – Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania & Florida. He had promised voters that he would so and he did.
As we have been saying since last year, there was a lot of FDR in candidate Trump. He did for his party what FDR had done for Democrats back in late 1930s. He made the Republican Party the party of the blue collar worker, the backbone of America and the largest single ethno-economic bloc in America. Ronald Reagan brought them back in 1980s as Reagan Democrats. Donald Trump may have done better by making them Trump Republicans. In the process, he has taken over the Republican Party. No wonder Trump led to a complete sweep of all three centers of political power in America – Presidency, Senate & House.
If this is not truly momentous, we don’t know what is.
4. Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton & Donald Trump
We must congratulate Hillary Clinton for being the fighter she is. No other Democrat could have made this election as much of a contest as she did. Her candidacy was wrong, her campaign’s strategy was wrong, her campaign’s execution was wrong. Yet she made it an incredibly close campaign and that is the purest testimony for her fighting spirit, her never give up attitude. But for Hillary, the 2016 campaign would have been as much of a rout as the 2008 election was with Obama as Anti-Bush.
No one understands this better than Donald Trump. That is why he was so gracious & complimentary towards her in his victory speech.
Having said that, Hillary Clinton won two elections & lost two. What is the common factor in these elections? Hillary won the elections when she followed the advice of Bill Clinton and Hillary lost the elections in which her campaign ignored Bill Clinton & discarded his input. Bill Clinton kept saying her campaign should make a serious effort to win the blue collar class. Hillary & her campaign trashed this smart advice. Hillary herself is pure analytical or backward intelligence and her campaign was pervaded by the global elite wave that Obama had produced.
We wrote months ago that a new Bill Clinton would have run the sort of campaign Donald Trump ran. Instead of just “its the economy stupid“, a new Bill Clinton would have run a “its your country, folks” campaign.
But even a new Bill Clinton would not have won the momentous victory Donald Trump won. Because Bill Clinton persuaded voters by smart rationality and logic. Even at his best, Bill Clinton never created passion in his supporters, he never built a movement the way Barack Obama did in 2008 & the amazingly spectacular way Donald Trump did in 2016.
So if you want to understand the Trump victory in a traditional comparative sense, Donald Trump delivered a combination of greater political smarts than Bill Clinton and a bigger, more sustainable people’s movement than Obama. That is why Trump delivered a success bigger than the combined successes of Bill Clinton & Barack Obama.
Hillary Clinton once referred to Bill Clinton as a “force of nature”. Her misfortune in 2008 was run against another force of nature named Barack Obama. And her crowning misfortune in 2016 was to run against a bigger force of nature named Donald Trump. Has there been another woman who had to fight with & deal with three “force of nature” men? We hope she writes a book about dealing with these three men from her woman’s perspective. We would love to read it.
5. Anti-Trump Protests in major cities
In our humble opinion, the anti-Trump protests going on in several American cities is a good thing for the Trump presidency. One of the biggest traps for President Obama was the universal adulation, actually glorification, he received as he took office. His inauguration may actually have been the peak of the Obama Presidency. In contrast, protests against Reagan’s victory were wide & loud, not just in America but in Europe too.
Nothing is more dangerous for a new President than adulation. When Presidents hears nothing but praise, they tend to make mistakes that begin to rob them of their momentum & political capital. In contrast, intensely verbose opposition forces Presidents to play a cool & quiet game. President elect Trump has a massive political mandate & he has the votes in the Congress to pass most of what he wants to do. The verbose, violent protests will unite the American majority & his party behind him and cool the intra-party combat for power & access that every new President has to deal with.
Donald Trump was absolutely perfect in his public demeanor in the last two weeks of the election and he has been absolutely perfect after his victory. He needs to remain so for the next several months until his momentous agenda is passed and he delivers on his promise to the American people.
History will look back on Tuesday, November 8 as the day America began to move once again towards true & sustainable greatness. That is the real meaning of the Trump victory.
6. American Pharoah!
Sorry folks, but we can’t resist revisiting what we wrote on August 20, 2016 after Mr. Trump hired Steve Bannon & Kelleyanne Conway.
- So “here comes Donald Trump” and within two weeks we will be saying “they are into the stretch“. We know Donald Trump is rich like an American Pharoah. But will he finish like the American Pharoah?
- Yes, if he runs like the American Pharoah did in the Kentucky Derby, coming from behind at the turn and finishing the final furlong with power & determination that keeps “wearing them down“.
Yes, indeed. Not only did Donald Trump win the Presidency but he won his own triple crown – Presidency, Senate & House.
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