Cover Illustration: Dokey Hotey / Flickr
First off, congratulations to Donald J. Trump, who dominated the rigged system and (apparently) some rigged voting machines in Pennsylvania as well. He isn’t close to being the perfect candidate, but The Donald was ultimately the correct choice given how big of an evil monster his opponent is. I must say, it feels strangely good to see an idiot outsmarting a compulsive liar.
Secondly, if given the choice to vote, I’d vote Trump in a heartbeat. Hillary Clinton is the type of person that epitomises everything wrong with our governments, and to even remotely consider voting for her is truly an unfathomable thought. For me, a compromise between Bernie Sanders and Trump would have been my ultimate candidate. They both displayed immense passion, represented the ends of the political spectrum, and given their individual strengths and ability to cancel out each other’s weaknesses if they ‘buddy up’, a Bernie Trump or Donald Sanders would have been amazing in my view. Maybe throw in Gary Johnson’s carefree attitude and it’ll be perfect.
Thirdly, it’s both puzzling and hilarious at the same time to see the ignorant media painting Trump as the underdog. I believe most people who have monitored the race closely would agree that Trump didn’t come in as the underdog – Clinton did. The media tried to paint a rosy image of her crumbling left-wing empire but failed spectacularly in the end, drumming up support for the Republicans instead. The polls, which patterns I’ll discuss in greater depth later, are not only oversampled with Democrats, they also point towards a Donald Trump presidency as far back as May 2016.
Lastly, the following article is one that’s at least eleven months in the making, and after observing the trends, scandals and behavior of supporters over this period of time, I think it’s a fitting time to pen all this down as the season finale of “America” draws to a close. It’s a lengthy article, but I do hope it provides some insights into why Trump won from a media perspective because people are still somehow surprised Orange became the new Black. Factors like the Rust Belt and diminished support from Democrats have been covered extensively, so I’m going to focus more on human behavior instead. Whether you support Clinton, Trump, Johnson, Jill Stein, Evan Mcmullin or even Joe Exotic, it doesn’t matter – this post aims to break down the extremely straightforward reasons why Trump won and is not meant to be an endorsement of any candidate. I did make a similar prediction (that Trump will emerge victorious) back in February when Clinton was cruising. Unsurprisingly, I was swiftly labeled a looney and a psychopath for thinking so, but looking at the polls now, I think they’ll be eating their words for supper over the next four years.
This article is around 4,000 words long, so feel free to jump to whichever section you’re more interested in:
- Regressive Liberals and Celebrities
- Trump’s Dominance of Marketing & Social Media
- Biased/Rigged Mainstream Media
- Hillary Clinton
- Gary Johnson, Jill Stein & Poll Trends (note: Poll Trends is not the name of a candidate.)
1. Regressive liberals and celebrities
Have you ever shared an article proclaiming how stupid Trump voters are, or one of those “listicles” listing down how messed up a Trump supporter is, or made a comment about how Trump supporters are racist, ignorant and misogynistic like their Führer, or even shared one of those cringeworthy videos showing Trump supporters refusing to hug strangers and failing to answer simple questions? Congratulations, you have successfully elected Trump into the Oval Office! Give yourself a pat on the back.
The word “liberal” has been thoroughly tainted during this election thanks to the nonsense from the regressive left. This is, in my opinion, the chief reason why Trump has won comfortably. Yes, Trump’s stunning victory was made much easier by people labeling others who don’t share the same viewpoint as them as “misogynistic, sexist, racist, retarded etc.” without addressing their concerns. It has little to do with policies, it has little to do with his behavior, it has little to do with his nonsense. The reason why he’s going to be sitting in the Oval Office is straight-up because of regressive liberals. People are going to vote for Trump not because he’s qualified, but because it’s a giant f*** you to regressive liberals and their laughable attempt at social justice.
I trawl the comments section of most anti-Trump article and I see numerous Clinton fanatics insulting Trump supporters and their “stupidity”. I look at my Facebook timeline and I see people sharing one-sided articles from media outlets (that just so happen to be in bed with Clinton), proudly exclaiming their moral superiority over Trump supporters. I check my RSS feeds and I see countless op-eds criticising the basket of deplorables for believing in a guy like Trump.
Okay, so let me get this straight. If I am a factory worker royally screwed over by Bill’s NAFTA, found a new job after fighting an illegal immigrant for it, but got fired soon after as my factory is shifting its operations to Mexico, and I want to vote for a guy who claims he’s going to create some magical trade deal, kick out illegal immigrants, remove China from the equation and impose taxes on Mexico, I am stupid? Wow, I’m sorry, life must be hard for you. After you’ve finished your $20 cafe brunch, call for a $30 cab ride home with your $800 smartphone, turn on your $2,000 laptop, connect it to your $4,000 SMART TV, browse Buzzfeed videos while waiting for your $50,000 college course and if you’re still bored, take the keys to your $100,000 car and leave your $300,000 home for a quick drive.
What is sorely lacking in this election is empathy for Trump’s supporters. The first rule to prevent a conflict is really simple – never deny someone their feelings. When someone tells you they’re angry at their government, it’s stupid to tell them that they have no right to be mad. When someone tells you they’re frustrated at their jobs being stolen by the Chinese, it’s bonkers to tell them they’re stupid for thinking Trump will fix things. When someone tells you they’re fed up with the direction the country has been headed under Obama, it’s ridiculous to tell them they should be grateful to have such a “cool President” and have no reason to be pissed. You can argue with facts and logic, but the moment you deny someone their feelings, you have made it personal. That is how conflicts between their parents and children develop, when the former always deny the latter’s feelings – how they should feel grateful instead of frustrated, how they should feel happy instead of angry etc.
You see a Trump supporter ranting down his problems in poor English, and instead of a) helping him, b) disproving Trump’s logic, or c) using facts and figures to debate with them, you laugh at them. You make fun of their lack of education, you make fun of their appearance, you make fun of their states and stereotypes. Heck, most people even go as far as to suggest anyone who votes for Trump is “stupid, ignorant, racist etc.” Okay then, what do you expect these supporters to do then? Turn and run over to Mommy Clinton? Begin volunteering at the local Clinton campaign office? Start making calls and canvassing for votes? Hell no, they’re going to vote for Trump as a royal f*** you to your own bigotry you righteously claim to dispossess. I honestly don’t blame them.
While we’re speaking about regressive liberals, they seemingly love to channel their energy by laughing at Trump and his supporters for thinking the election is rigged. They claim his words and actions “insult the fabric of democracy” in America. Okay, let’s see what democracy looks like then:
Her staffers were caught tearing up Republican ballots on tape numerous times, the media asks her how she wants her investigation to be handled, the Democratic Party schemed to manufacture violence at Trump’s rallies, (so much for the “Trump’s rallies are violent!” rhetoric) and news outlets pay the Clinton Foundation money before directing voters towards pro-Clinton stories from left-leaning sources.
They have even infiltrated the millennial demographic – guess who CollegeHumor ‘reports to’? Chelsea Clinton.
So stop. Stop blaming Trump and his supporters for thinking the elections are rigged and look at the untreated corruption that allowed this mess to happen in the first place. The whole damn system is rigged, period. The Democrats do it, the Republicans do it. The establishment is only interested in their own powers and maintaining the status quo. If elections changed anything, they wouldn’t allow people to vote. This time round, however, things are different – the politicians are genuinely scared as the appointment of a complete outsider like Trump will radically change America and casts serious doubts over its two-party system.
And my god, everytime I see one of those videos featuring celebrities telling people how to vote, a part of me dies inside. Who the f*** do these privileged out-of-touch celebrities living in 20-bedroom ivory towers think they are to “teach” ordinary citizens how to vote? They don’t live the life the lower class do. They don’t pay the same bills the lower class do. They don’t share the same difficulties the lower class face. You want to move to Canada? Good for you, but no one cares! The whole rhetoric for Trump’s (and even Bernie Sanders’) campaign is built on privileged folks ignoring the concerns of the working class, and what do these know-it-all celebrities do? They make videos showing a bunch of privileged folks ignoring the concerns of the working class.
Well done you bunch of self-important pampered sellouts.
2. Trump’s mastery of marketing and social media
You got to admit, Trump is an absolute god when it comes to social media and selling himself.
The people who constantly rips on him for using fourth-grade vocabulary should really re-evaluate their condescending stance, for his simplistic grasp of the English language was a key contributing factor in his bid for the White House. Given his target audience, there is no need to use flowery language and risk appearing elitist, or to put on a linguistically-superior front to compensate for his lack of credentials. The way he phrases his words, the choice, strength, and intonation of said words, and even down to the minor details like the number of syllables being used, sacrificing conventional structural rules just to fit those carefully chosen words into his speech – it’s utterly spectacular. He repeats ‘heavy’ adjectives like “tremendous” and “disastrous” numerous times in a given speech and rarely uses words above three to four syllables. Trump happens to be a natural speaker with flair, charisma, and love for the camera, and as a result, he’s also incredibly consistent when it comes to his delivery. However, that should come as little wonder considering the time he’s spending on those hollow speeches rather than working on actual policies and implementing them.
His slogan, “(Let’s) Make America Great Again” was a masterstroke – it reminded people of happier times and made his supporters feel part of a team, part of a larger movement to make things right again. Hillary’s branding paled badly in comparison – her logo featured an arrow pointing to the right, her battle cry “#ImWithHer” seemed self-centered and lacked a common objective (Trump’s campaign simply countered it with “#HesWithYou”), and her slogan “Stronger Together” was the same exact one used by the Remain campaign during the recent Brexit referendum.
Now, moving on to social media. Trump had baited poor Hillary numerous times and whenever an opportunity to rebut her arises, he swiftly grabbed them by the pussy.
- Melania caught plagiarising? No problem, he calls out the media for spending all their time harping on the speech instead of Hillary’s emails, while attacking the FBI for not doing anything about the latter. Attack Clinton, prove his “the media is biased” rhetoric.
- Clinton tells Trump to delete his Twitter account? No problem, he simply asks her where are the 33,000 emails she deleted. Attack Clinton, prove his “Crooked Hillary” rhetoric.
- Elizabeth Warren criticises him? No problem, he calls her out for her incompetency in the Senate. Attack the Democratic party, prove his “the establishment is a joke” rhetoric.
And it just doesn’t just stop there. Besides his snarky comebacks, he attacks every major journalist and news outlets when they criticise him. And when he does, the media will be forced to cover it and give him even more airtime and sway even more voters his way. After Clinton made the error of replying to Trump with the infamous “Delete your account”, CNN was forced to air Trump’s subsequent reply about Clinton’s missing emails to an audience that’s predominantly pro-Clinton. It’s such a stupid strategy and I find it hard to understand – beyond TV ratings – why the liberal media keeps picking fights that they cannot win with The Donald.
Frankly, it’s quite embarrassing.
To be fair though, a lot of this is down to Hillary Clinton’s failure to navigate social media, illustrated perfectly by her asking students to describe their student debt with three emojis.
3. Biased mainstream media
Funny how I went to media school to learn about impartiality and journalistic integrity and yet, the past year turned out to be the epitome of biased journalism at its ugliest. From oversampled polls (in favor of Democrats) and unreserved hit pieces on Clinton’s opponents (esp. Bernie Sanders), the media has been one yugeeeee joke this election. I’ve tracked the election extensively on a daily basis as part of my job and you know which source I feel is one of the most unbiased?
The Daily F***ing Mail. Not the New York Times (NYT), not the Washington Post (WP), certainly not the Clinton News Network (CNN), but the Daily Mail, a British tabloid who spins stories from outta nowhere and are more interested in the prices of people’s homes. But that’s just my extended observation and you are more than welcome to disagree with me.
The concept most people don’t quite understand is the theory of confirmation bias. When you log onto your Facebook and scroll through your newsfeed, you are not searching for news, you are consuming your news. They’re news that massage your ego and reassure you that your disdain for Trump/Clinton is valid and relevant. They fail to serve up a new perspective and might not necessarily tell both sides of the story responsibly. If you’re constantly surrounding yourself with talk show hosts like John Oliver (which I’m a fan of), Trevor Noah or even Seth Myers, you’re only going to be exposed to one-sided opinions and video footages all the time. You’re not going to be seeing what someone watching Alex Jones or Paul Joseph Watson might be seeing – Whites getting attacked for their views, unlawful protests being held, Hillary supporters being rude and dumb etc. Likewise, if you’re only reading from sites like CNN, NYT or WP, you’re no different than the people who reads Breitbart and watches Fox News exclusively.
For example, an article from Vox might read “Stupid Trump Challenges Biden to a Fight”, but a site like Washington Examiner would have ran with this headline: “Biden Challenges Trump to a Fight During Rally Speech”. (The latter is true btw.) Also, a left-wing side might opt for a flattering image of Hillary and use Trump’s iconic gnarly look for stories about him, while a right-wing side will do the contrary. Over time, Facebook’s algorithm would have tracked your activity and got a fairly accurate gist of the type of content you’re interested in. You’ll end up being served these biased, occasionally false news or conspiracy theorists on your Timeline. Why? Because Facebook wants you to stay on their site as long as possible! I mean it’s not too long ago when Facebook was accused of censoring news from Conservative news outlets.
Speaking of NYT, people think that they’re some kind of hero for stealing and releasing Trump’s tax returns. But guess what, not only were they breaking the law, they actually ended up helping him. Thanks to NYT, The Guardian among other left-leaning sites have since published articles and op-eds stating that Trump wasn’t doing anything illegal as he was merely exploiting a loophole the government were responsible for.
Yes, dear liberals, Trump didn’t break any laws when he refused to pay his taxes.
Even MSNBC, a highly left-wing outlet, had to issue a warning to Clinton and her supporters to “get off their high horse(s)” and lay off this non-issue.
And you know what’s the most ironic thing? Guess who introduced the loophole for Trump to dodge his taxes?
Trump detected trouble early on and immediately changed his tune about the media and how they’re rigged to support Hillary Clinton. He explained to his audience, in layman’s terms, what agenda setting is, and they in turn could experience it first hand when Trump gets extreme with his rallies and speeches. It’s a smart play, I’ll admit, but really, these experienced organisations should not have fallen for his bait in the first place.
Also, another issue arising from those ‘basic’ millennial sites is that, the content and community it breeds are very divisive and rejects people who don’t agree with their social justice stances against Trump. These insecure millennials lack critical thinking, do not possess the courage to voice out their true feelings and hence are always seeking for approval from the people around them. Not only will provoking Trump supporters fuel their desire to vote, they’ll also end up ‘nurturing’ plenty of silent Trump fans afraid of ridicule from the people around them.
It’s not just these millennial sites, but even the news networks meant for normal adults as well. On camera, everybody wants to appear politically correct, and during interviews, everybody wants to give the ‘correct’ answer. Not long ago, everybody was busy posting #JeSuisCharlie as a reminder of the importance of free speech, yet fast forward a couple of years later, the same group of people suddenly couldn’t deal with their feelings being hurt when disagreed upon! They consistently attack and intimidate people who even dare mention Trump in a positive light, and as a result, reminiscent of Singapore’s very own #GE2015, the silent majority arrived in drones and annihilated the opposition.
4. Hillary Clinton
This section could have easily been the longest given how Hillary’s biggest problem is herself, but with Trump’s victory confirmed, there’s really no point digging up her (entire) past. I fully agree that this is an election to choose between the lesser of two evils, but unlike many others, I believe Donald Trump is the lesser of two evils.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say that Hillary Clinton is a crazy, pompous, crooked, dishonest, deceitful, psychopathic, narcissistically corrupt two-faced pathological shape-shifting reptilian of a cunning, dubious and deplorable lying criminal, I mean, she’s… nevermind, who am I kidding.
Clinton has access to the banks, she has access to the media, she has access to Wall Street, and she has access to the big corporations. She has created this impressive (not in a good way) ecosystem of corrupt officials and lying politicians to exploit, and the power she’ll possess is so much more dangerous than the damage Trump could possibly inflict on his own. Admitting on record that she takes two stances, constantly flip-flopping on issues, and pretending to be socially progressive when she consistently plays the woman’s card and panders to minorities is absolutely terrifying. Secret Service agents who worked with her described her as a nightmare to work with, and this it not an isolated incident but rather a worrying trend.
Contrary to what she believes, Hillary’s a horrid role model for children everywhere regardless of gender. How thick must your skin be to rain bombs down on innocent children and then preach about how you’re an exemplary human being whom people should emulate? A vote for her signifies an endorsement of elitism and corruption at its most rotten form, one which demonstrates how power absolves you from the consequence of your criminal actions. What’s the point then of having an education system that teaches our next generation to develop honesty and integrity?
Compare her long list of scandals to Trump’s comical nonsense over the past few months – which do you really think has an impact on the world?
Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women? Or Hillary accepting tens of millions of dollars from countries which sexually assaults women?
Trump wanting to chase away Muslims due to a disproportionate amount of terror attacks? Or Hillary helping Islamist and Al-Qaeda militants move into power to begin with?
Trump telling refugees to f*** off? Or Hillary constantly bombing the Middle East and destabilising North Africa resulting in refugees in the first place?
You get the idea.
p.s. Hillary supporters, how do you feel after reading the above paragraphs? Angry that I’ve exposed the incompetency of your candidate? Angry that I did not recognise her strengths and achievements? Angry that I did not attempt to make this paragraph two-sided? Does it make you feel motivated to vote and prove me wrong? Does it compel you to go to the ballots and rub your rebellion in my face?
Now, do you finally understand why Trump won now?
“For all you women out there who think that electing a female president will lift us all up, just ask yourselves if electing an African American president lifted up the blacks in this country.” – Judge Jeanine Pirro
5. Gary Johnson, Jill Stein & Polling Patterns
Sigh, I mean, Gary really grew on me over the past five months. He doesn’t know where Aleppo is, he can’t name a world leader he admires, and he describes reaching the peak of Mount Everest as looking up a girl’s skirt, but man, he’s one straight-talking dude. He apologised for his gaffe, in jeans and sneakers, without making any excuses – when I first saw it I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears. A presidential candidate nonchalantly admitting that he’s wrong, in jeans and sneakers, my god. He’s so chill, he talks like he’s high all the time and he’s a freak of an athlete – it’s hard not to like this guy. Jill is fine too I guess, I mean, she’s absolutely insane for wanting to award citizenship to illegal immigrants but I mean…
While those two are not going to win the elections by any stretch, their presence on the ballot is going to hurt Clinton. Johnson is a diet-Trump who’s as hippy as the day is long while Stein is a lady that appeals to well, people who hate Hillary. These two candidates are perfect destinations for former Hillary supporters and undecided voters who feel Trump is too extreme to elope to.
Sure enough, third-party candidates accounted for 4% of total votes casted and (allegedly) robbed Clinton of a victory in key battlegrounds like Florida and Pennsylvania.
Besides, the polls, as biased as they are, shows that Trump will always, without fail, get his support back, despite him consistently running his mouth off:
- Clinton started with a MASSIVE 20-point lead over Trump back in July last year, but in 2 months time, Trump closed that lead to 1.9.
- He said some nasty things, lost his lead (-4.5/peak), but 2 months later, in December, he closed Clinton’s lead back to -0.6.
- He continued saying more nasty stuff, lost his lead (-6.8/peak), but 2 months later, in February, he trimmed it down to -1.8.
- The Republican and Democratic primaries consumed both Trump and Hillary – the former dug himself in various holes, while the latter was riding high after cheating against Sanders. However, Trump somehow took the lead in May by 0.6 points.
- He said some stupid stuff, lost his lead (-6.8/peak), but 2 months later, surprise surprise, he took an even bigger lead of 1.1 points.
- As has been the pattern thus far, Trump said some stupid stuff again, lost his lead (-6.9/peak), but 2 months later, he trimmed it down to -0.9 points in September.
- He lost the lead yet again after his hot-mic scandal, but add two months to September and what do you get…? November, the month of the election. Unsurprisingly, democratic-leaning polls have shown Trump leading recently and even pro-Hillary news outlets have acknowledged and published those findings.
Misrepresenting the polls will only breed complacency among the winning camp, and sure enough, on polling day, the Clinton campaign overestimated voter turnout and couldn’t mobilise a large enough group to compensate for enthusiastic Trump supporters, who felt threatened by the lop-sided polls.
To really sum it up, Donald Trump is the lesser of two evils in my opinion.
His blasé attitude really captured the hearts of hundreds and millions of voters tired of the establishment, and it doesn’t help that Hillary’s opponent, Bernie Sanders, has preached the exact same sentiments, albeit at a different end of the spectrum. The damage has already been done, and WikiLeaks only served to rub the salt further in the wounds by releasing complicit emails of the Clinton campaign accepting bribes, getting cosy with Wall Street, rigging the primaries, rigging the debates, alleged corruption, insults towards (almost) every possible racial and religious group possible and executive direction on America’s major news networks.
While all the above factors are significant in itself, the real kicker for me has to be the regressive left and liberals. They are the main reasons, I firmly believe, why Trump could enter the White House with a landslide victory. With these group of people constantly ridiculing others who hold a different opinion, coupled with the constant stream of propaganda being presented in some of the largest media outlets in the world, most Americans saw the opportunity and recorded the greatest f*** you in recent memory. There was indeed a host of qualified politicians to choose from in the primaries, but they ended up choosing the most experienced one who eventually couldn’t finish the job. Technically, she could run against Trump in 2020, but if Trump follows through his extremist policies, Hillary doesn’t stand a chance.
For she’ll be in jail.
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