By Glynn Wilson –
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The number one reaction from Americans when asked their feelings on Donald Trump’s win in the presidential election was “surprise.”
A large majority of Americans, 75 percent, say they were shocked to see how the election came out, according to the latest Gallup poll on the subject.
Perhaps that’s because every mainstream media outfit in the country, relying on public opinion surveys and exit polls, had told them that the next president of the United States was likely to be the Democrat, Hillary Clinton.
So this week pundits in New York and Washington, D.C. are shaking their heads and engaging in much hand ringing about how they got it so wrong.
One of the best things to read about it appeared under the byline of Matt Taibbi, the heir to Hunter S. Thompson’s throne in Rolling Stone magazine. The headline is a bit inaccurate. It should read, “How the American Media Got It So Wrong.”
But as I said in my comment on the article, everybody did not get it so wrong. Taibbi cites Michael Moore as about the only commentator to warn about Trump’s chances of victory. But if he had been following me and the New American Journal throughout this race, he would have seen that I have been writing about the “inevitability” of Trump’s election for months. Now who are you going to believe?
Gallup’s data suggests that both Republicans and Democrats were surprised by how the election came out. But 80 percent of Trump’s supporters say they are “excited” about the future. Really? Many say they voted for Trump because he is not part of the “establishment” because he is not a “politician.”
Are you kidding me? It turns out Trump was by far the best politician in this race, and it won’t take him long to embrace the establishment now that he has blown up the door and invited himself in.
I’m wondering how long Trump’s honeymoon will last until they realize that all that stuff he said on Twitter, every word of it passed on and shared by everybody, including the mainstream media on TeeVee and even liberal Democrats on Facebook, was based on Google and Facebook data. He found the key words and phrases everybody was already talking about angrily and used them to his advantage in Twitter tweets and in speeches. What if it turns out he didn’t believe a word of it, and he will not keep a single promise?
On the other end of the political spectrum, 76 percent of Hillary Clinton voters say they are simply ”afraid” of what he will do and for the future.
“Trump’s tumultuous campaign often put him at odds with leaders of his own Republican Party and resulted in the highest unfavorable ratings for any presidential candidate in Gallup polling history,” the polling outfit says in its report. “A majority of Americans also viewed Democratic nominee Clinton unfavorably, making this the first time since Gallup began measuring favorability that both major-party candidates had negative ratings.”
To drill further down into the numbers, 40 percent of Americans just say they are “relieved” that the damn presidential race is over, maybe so they can get on with paying attention to football season?
But about 34 percent of those surveyed said they were “devastated” by the outcome. Democratic women have been crying out loud on Facebook for the past few days. They thought for sure this was the time for the first woman president in U.S. history. The media and the pollsters told them they were right. But when they woke up Wednesday morning, everybody turned out to be wrong.
For comparison’s sake, look at the differences in the public reaction when Barack Obama won the presidency in 2008 to become the first African-American president in the U.S.
Only 32 percent of Americans say they are “proud” after Trump’s election. The night after Obama’s historic win, 67 percent described themselves as “proud.”
“Eight years ago, the vast majority of Americans felt ‘proud’ that their country had elected a black president, seeing it as a monumental milestone. More than two-thirds had a favorable view of Obama, who won the race by more than 9 million votes (with 57 percent of the popular vote),” Gallup says. “Two presidential elections later, reactions are far different to Trump, who has the lowest favorable rating of any major presidential candidate in more than 50 years and who trails Clinton in the popular vote.”
Obama’s re-election in 2012 and his subsequent inauguration occurred without widespread unrest or challenges to his legitimacy, Gallup says. But American cities are already erupting in protests of Trump’s election, with people chanting things like: “Not my president.”
“The question moving forward after numerous anti-Trump protests Wednesday night and the threat of more to come on Inauguration Day is whether the anger and fear of those who oppose Trump will produce a different result,” Gallup says.
As we reported on Wednesday, Trump is dreaming if he thinks he can bring this divided country together. It is so divided now that social scientists like Frank Luntz are sounding an alarm that the entire American system of government is on the verge of fraying beyond repair.
Americans weren’t just “mad as hell,” Luntz said on Twitter. “But they also weren’t going to take it anymore. Pundits like me were too out-of-touch to see that.”
We saw it coming. Even in the final week before the election, it was clearly too close to call for Hillary Clinton and there were signs Trump was surging.
Even the bookies had Trump’s odds rising, although the funny thing is, even they lost money on Trump. When the bookies get it wrong, you know something is amiss.
As we already reported, Paddy Power, the online Irish betting outfit, announced early Wednesday morning that it paid out $4.5 million to betters who took the long shot odds on Trump.
Now let’s watch the odds on whether Trump will keep any of his campaign promises. I’m betting no on most of them.
Paddy Power is already taking bets on a number of Trump specials following the election. The odds are 4/1 that he will be re-elected in 2020, 20/1 that he will actually build a Mexican border wall, and 100/1 that he will turn the White House gold.
If that doesn’t make you lighten up and laugh a little bit, maybe this will. What if there is no need to be so afraid, if it turns out Trump really didn’t believe any of that stuff he said that sounded so crazy to all of us intellectal types during the campaign?
What if Trump turns out just to be a master politician, able to fool most of the people and get himself elected just for the profit he will make from the power of the presidency? Is he just in it for the money?
Or does he really want all the power too? If so, he could be the most dangerous man to rise to power since Adolph Hitler in Germany.
Does he really believe he can bully the entire world around and get his way on everything?
Please don’t scream at me on Facebook and call me naive. These are emprical questions. In other words, we will see.
© 2016, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.