“Facts are stubborn things.” In his defense of the British soldiers on trial for the infamous Boston Massacre (1770), John Adams used those words, which are often attributed to him even though they appeared long before he deployed them with telling effect. In regard to the presidential election of 2016, a slight revision is all too apt: “Facts are fleeting things.”
Voters—Republicans, Democrats, and spurious Independents alike—and much of the media willingly or blindly parted ways with the facts throughout perhaps the most discouraging and cynical presidential campaign in recent memory. Another adage contends that people get the leaders they deserve; Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s “status” as the two most disliked and mistrusted candidates in American history reflect that “Make America Great Again” and “Better Together” are equally false.
There are a handful of truths that Trumpites, Clintonites, and the media can’t deny:
Donald Trump won the Electoral College and the White House—no ifs, ands, or buts.
Voters who cast their ballots for Hillary did so for an ethically challenged, secretive, tone-deaf candidate. Gender had little to do with the public perception of Clinton as dishonest. Her own ham-handed approach to her private server handed her GOP foes a gift from the political gods.
Although Clinton was the first woman to head a US presidential ticket, Trump beat her among white women by 53 percent to 43 percent.
Voters who cast their ballots for Trump in the name of “change” are willing to embrace a president whose own words reveal a racist, a religious bigot, a misogynist, and a pathological liar.
Donald Trump’s crude mouth, boorishness, and flamboyance drew the media to him like the proverbial moths to the flame. Willingly, all too many reporters and so-called pundits followed Trump into his realm of lies, half-truths, insults, and fear-mongering.
Few will admit, but to many in the press, bucking Trump was, is, and will remain too terrifying to contemplate.
Despite the US intelligence community’s collective agreement that the Kremlin launched the hacks on the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chief John Podesta’s emails and meddled in our election by releasing the hacked messages to Wikileaks, the media downplayed that, searching the daily dump of leaks for “bombshells” against Clinton. The hunt for those additional scandals trumped—all puns intended—the fact that Vladimir Putin’s Russia scoring a frightening intelligence coup against the US was judged worthy of only cursory attention by reporters and pundits.
Media myth: Pundits and Sanders supporters positing that Bernie Sanders would have beaten Trump are delusional or dishonest. Within minutes of a Sanders nomination by the Democrats, Trump and the media would have painted Bernie’s socialism as Communism. How would that daily drumbeat have played in the Midwest?
According to Irish Central, legitimate polls revealed that Trump carried the white Catholic vote—including Irish Americans—by 51 percent to 39 percent.
A Tale of Two Irish-American Women: An indication of just how the election was fodder for an additional chapter to “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” one of the very few journalists with the temerity to call out Donald Trump’s lies and misogyny was Megyn Kelly—of Fox News. Conversely, one of the chief facilitators of Trump’s racist and sexist patter was his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway.
Hillary Clinton could have stumped in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania until she was blue in the face, but those states would have still gone red for Trump.
If the Democrats refuse to acknowledge that they taken the vote of blue-collar whites for granted and have ignored utterly real economic angst, those same men and women who went twice for Obama will never return to the blue fold.
Donald Trump thumbed his nose at the nation by refusing to release his taxes. He never will.
Donald Trump thumbed his nose at the nation by refusing to let voters view his labyrinth of foreign business entanglements. He never will.
The media gave nothing but lip service to Trump’s bizarre bromance with Putin or Trump’s ties to him—which his son Donald actually blurted out months ago.
In 2013, Trump bragged about his “personal relationship” with Putin to MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts. In 2016, Trump denied any relationship with Putin. Which time was Trump lying?
Trump’s most fervent supporters expect him to imprison Hillary, overturn Roe vs. Wade with his Supreme Court nominees, repeal Obamacare, throwing over 20 million people to the healthcare curb, deport millions of illegal immigrants, use his “secret plan” to destroy Isis, and on and on and on. Trump’s supporters will demand that the Republican Congress do that in lock step with him. What happens if they fail to deliver? What happens if they do?
The steel and coal jobs Trump has promised to return to America are never coming back.
The self-same Republicans who obstructed Obama from 2013 and will continue to do so until January 20, 2017, are demanding that Democrats must “give Trump a chance.”
Republicans and the media are largely ignoring that Clinton won the popular vote and proclaiming a mandate for Trump.
Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon as the administration-in-waiting’s chief strategist in the White House guarantees that bigotry and sexism will always have a prominent place in Trump’s agenda. Do not believe media types and Trump supporters who assert that the Steven Bannon who boasted that his Breitbart News operation is “a platform for the Alt-Right” is a “good guy” or “not the Steve Bannon [they] know.” More lies from Kellyanne Conway.
It does matter that the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, and White supremacist groups of all types have embraced Donald J. Trump.
If FBI Director James Comey did believe that Hillary Clinton broke the law, he should have indicted her back in July.
Comey’s unprecedented incursion into the race eleven days before the election was either a grievous error in judgment or blatant support of Trump.
Donald Trump and his brood have no intention of separating the White House from their board room .
CNN’s John King, MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and Steve Kornacki, Charlie Cook, and every other “expert” who touted their high-tech “election maps” and polls should be laughed off the political stage. Any non-expert could have told these “gurus” that people lie to pollsters.
Kellyanne Conway did tell the truth at least twice: she stated that Trump would win and that “shy” voters would hide their true intent until it really mattered—in the privacy of the voting booth.
Unquestionably, a new era is breaking across America. Let’s hope and pray that it’s not the launching of a four- to eight-year pajama party between Trump’s White House and Putin’s Russia or the draining of the Washington swamp to create a global sinkhole.