Why did people vote for Donald Trump? Many shocked people has asked this question, not just in the United States, but everywhere in the world, starting this past Wednesday morning. As shocked as people may be, there is actually a plausible explanation for it.
As in any election, in any democratic country, there are always political, social and economic issues to focus on. Of course, people never agree on what should dominate on any given election. However, this U. S. election was undoubtedly about economic issues. In the past twenty to thirty years, the working class Americans lost their quality jobs due to the globalization and free trade agreement craze of neo-liberalistic ideologies. The top 1% got obscenely wealthy while the standard of living of the other 99% has slid down to the point where the middle class started disappearing, if it has not already disappeared, and people began to struggle just to pay their bills and feed their families. They became the Walmart nation, not because they enjoyed getting cheap merchandise, but because they could not afford to do any better. In this environment, people wanted big changes. The social and political issues became secondary to their eroding economic wellbeing. As the famous saying goes: First we eat, then, talk about morality! People needed to fix the American economy first before they addressed any other concerns.
So, the Americans decided that they needed big changes to the economy and they needed it quickly. Who was going to do it? Of course, Bernie Sanders quickly rose to fame, once it turned out that he listened to people and has heard their concerns. A political doctor has finally attended to the bleeding nation’s wound. He listened and searched for meaningful solutions. Many in the nation sighed of relief, knowing that they would get a break. There was a ray of hope. However, as quickly as the ray of hope appeared was as quickly as it was gone when the super-delegates decided that they wanted to push Hillary Clinton forward, ignoring the people’s wish.
Why not Hillary Clinton? Certainly, she is smart, educated and sophisticated. If this had been an election about who has the best personal qualities, she would have easily won. But, this election was not about her personal qualities. People were afraid of her, not because she is a woman, but because she was too close to the corrupt and bankrupt political system that put special interest groups first and forgot about the rest of the 99% of the people. She was too close to the Washington corrupts and too close to the Wall Street, morally bankrupt billionaires who were sucking the nation dry. Whether the accusation is correct that she, herself, has become corrupt is a secondary question. Even if she is a decent woman, people questioned her ability and willingness to do the meaningful and great changes that people wanted. Basically, it is difficult to hold a bag of ice over the nation’s wound when standing next to a bonfire.
In the absence of Bernie Sanders, people had to search for someone who was willing to listen and make those big economic changes they wanted. They looked and found Donald Trump. He understood their pain and was willing to heal their economic wound. He said out loud what people talked about quietly around the dinner table. The political elite has been corrupted and they put the special interest of their billionaire friends first. The system is broken. Trump promised to put the nation’s 99% of people first, by stopping the system where the jobs are emigrating out of the country and more poor people from the south and cheap goods from elsewhere in the world are coming in without paying any taxes. The flamboyant, television show host has captured people’s attention. They saw a ray of hope again.
Yes, he may not have been an ideal presidential candidate. He has made racist, sexist, misogynistic and, generally, ugly comments just about everybody. However, people are not looking at the wrapping their holiday gift is coming in right now. Remember, first we eat and then talk about morality afterward! They are ignoring the wrapping paper and focusing on the gift inside. They want big economic changes and they want it now, before they slide down too far into dept and misery. The flamboyant character is anything but ideal, but he was willing to deliver the big changes they crave: jobs and economic wellbeing of 99% of the population.
In the absence of Bernie Sanders, by process of elimination, Donald Trump was left. This was a great lesson for both Democrats and the political elite in general. Don’t ignore the people! Give the people what they want or, else, watch your job disappear! The political power belongs to the people. You ignore them, you will be fired!
At the end, people voted for big economic changes. They chose to send a message to their leaders. They want to be listened to. They want out of globalization and free trade agreements. They want drastic changes. They want Brexit, in an American style.