The Left-liberal intellectual elite, housed in the universities and think-tanks, and their willing accomplice, the partisan media, had tried
convincing Americans that Hillary was their best bet but Americans made their mind that they are giving to vote Trump
Dr Saumyajit Ray
He was lampooned. He was ridiculed. He was condemned. But in the greatest upset in the history of American presidential elections, Republican nominee Donald J Trump of New York was elected the 45th President of the United States, beating the Democrats’ Hillary Rodham Clinton (also of New York) in an
election Americans will not forget easily. As Clinton said in her concession speech, this is one outcome she and her supporters did not want and work for. More importantly, no one expected this to happen. Not even Trump and his backers.
Trump finally won 279 electoral votes to Clinton’s 228, carrying 29 states but losing the popular vote to Clinton. America’s complex two-tier presidential election system allowed him to reach the magic number of 270 in the Electoral College by winning those states that have more electoral votes (in this system, known as
winner-take-all, the candidate who wins the popular votes in one state wins all the electoral votes from that state). Hillary Clinton, who must have already written her Inaugural Speech which she had planned to deliver on January 20, 2017, when she thought she would take over as America’s 45th President, left abruptly after news came in that she had lost, without addressing her supporters and without delivering the customary concession speech that every losing candidate does once the results are out.
Trump, who ran a controversial campaign, both during the primaries and after securing his party’s
nomination for President, was never expected to romp home, more so when his rival was the powerful and popular Hillary Clinton, former First Lady, US Senator and Secretary of State. She embodied the dreams of millions of Americans—that was what she thought and was made to believe by the liberal media—and especially of religious, racial, and ethnic minorities in a country that was divided as never before because of the follies of the party she belongs to and its policies that she was so proud of. The Democratic Party, like the Congress in India, has flourished on creating and sustaining social divisions, and reaping electoral benefits from these divisions and the insecurities that they engendered. Blacks, Muslims, Hispanics, all committed Democrats, voted for her in large numbers in this election as well.
We should not forget that toward the end of the campaign, her supporters went on a spree scaring Black voters, telling them that they would actually have a bleak and insecure future under Donald Trump if they stayed at home on Election Day and Trump won as a result. The Democratic Party even roped in its man in the White House, President Barack Obama, in this mass contact program of evoking fear of a Trump presidency in Black hearts, much in the same way that the so-called secular parties in India try scaring Muslims and Dalit voters about the BJP.
Women the world over (including those in India) were going bonkers about Hillary as the first woman candidate for President in the US, as if her victory would mean a victory for all of them. Women in America thought otherwise, and only a little over 50 per cent of them voted for Hillary, with a majority of White women voting for Trump. When middle-aged White women were asked whether they didn’t want to see a woman in the White House, they said yes, “but not Hillary”. Like many
others in America, women also viewed Hillary as representing an intrusive federal government and the corruption that went with it. Women really had let Hillary down, but Hillary too did not match up to their expectations. Only being a woman was no qualification in a country that values merit over birth.
On the other hand, a majority of White rural voters who had suffered from job losses and shutdowns voted for Trump; his promise of bringing back jobs (including manufacturing jobs) to America appealed to them in a big way. Hillary’s promise of creating more jobs (and well-paying jobs at that) sounded hollow, more so when all investments had left American shores over the years of Democratic rule under Obama.
Obama could neither create jobs, nor convince American companies to bring them back. His Administration was one of indecision, inaction, and ineptitude. Obama care, his much-touted health care plan, lay in tatters as health insurance premiums rose gradually all over America
during his years in the White House. He had been able to bring down the number of illegal immigrants from 12 million at the beginning of his
presidency in early 2009 to only 11 million today. There were flare-ups in many American cities between Blacks and law-enforcing agencies, leading to loss of both Black and White lives. All this created a silent majority in America and it is this silent majority that voted for Donald J Trump on Election Day. As Trump observed in his Acceptance Speech during the Republican convention, “I am your voice.” On November 8, this voice was finally heard all over America, loud and clear.
The Left-liberal intellectual elite, housed in the universities and think-tanks, and their willing
accomplice, the partisan media, had tried convincing Americans that Hillary was their best bet but Americans made their mind that
they are giving to vote Trump. As always, they attempted to create
special interests during this year’s campaign too, consisting of Blacks, women, Hispanics, Muslims, and homosexuals. Good that Americans foiled their game-plan to create and foster social divisions within their country, and the victory of Trump is actually a victory for national unity. Whenever vulnerable groups have refused to fall prey to Left-liberal conspiracies and risen above sectional interests, conservative candidates with national priorities and objectives get elected to office. That is what happened in America. As they say, you can’t fool everyone every time.
(The writer is a Assistant Professor in United States Studies, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)