My post-election newspaper column today is my attempt to explain why Trump got traction with voters, both here in North Dakota and nationally:
Complex social and political trends rarely have any one simple explanation, but if I had to offer one in this situation I’d say it’s because Democrats have come to believe that everyone who disagrees with them is a stupid, evil, unsophisticated bigot.
Concerned about the fiscal and social impacts of refugee resettlement on our local communities? You’re a racist.
Think Islamic extremism is a real problem? Racist.
Worried about illegal immigration? Bigot.
Believe in American exceptionalism? You’re a dumb rube.
Think “rape culture” is an exaggeration perpetrated by overwrought feminists? You would, you misogynist.
There are millions and millions of Americans who are tired of being painted as troglodytes because they’re not sure if being gay should give someone the right to conscript the unwilling services of a wedding photographer.
So when a man like Donald Trump comes along and our friends on the left tell us he’s a stupid, racist, misogynistic, bigoted troglodyte we’re not inclined to believe them, even when he sometimes displays characteristics consistent with those things, because our friends on the left say that about everyone they disagree with.
It wasn’t all about Trump, of course. Clinton was a terrible candidate. She really is a crook, as we’ve learned during the course of this election. And Trump also tapped into economic anxieties over trade policies.
But the biggest factor in Trumps victory was backlash against political correctness.
I didn’t vote for Trump. I was a critic of his campaign since he launched it. I still think Republicans could have done better with another candidate. Just about any of the other Republicans who ran for president this cycle could have not only beaten Clinton in the electoral college vote, but also put up a convincing win over her in the popular vote too.
But I understand why millions of Americans voted for Trump, and it has a lot to do with how the left talks about America and Americans.