Hubris, History, Hillary, and Hysteria
The Democratic machine and mainstream media tried mightily to paint Donald Trump’s campaign as one based upon white working class anger, anxiety, and gloom. Certainly Trump’s rise was in part fueled by such feelings, especially perhaps in the so-called Rust Belt, and all campaigns by definition rely to some extent on the idea that the other side has it in for you. But Trump’s primary message was to make America great again. That slogan is not one of anger, fear or pessimism, but traditional American optimism. Hillary’s attempt to refute it, with the self-referential, flaccid, and meaningless “together with her” underscored the emptiness of her campaign and herself as a candidate. In fact, in a kind of classic case of psychological reaction formation, Hillary and her supporters much more completely embodied the negative traits they put on Trump and his.
The proof of this is plain to see in the aftermath of the election. The focus of the Democratic loss is entirely on Trump, and virtually devoid of any mention or recognition of Hillary Clinton, who might have been a sock puppet whose name was not Donald Trump by the likes of those who voted for her. Hillary’s campaign was almost entirely a negative one against her opponent. She and the mainstream media that supported her cultivated an immense and irrational fear among her supporters which has seemingly descended into hysteria with Trump’s victory.
Perhaps you have to live in a deeply blue state as I do to fully comprehend the clothes-rending anguish of the defeated Democrats. They talk as if they will be rounded up, deported, enslaved, or disappeared. It is not a normal human reaction to an election setback. It is the artificial creation of the Democrats and the media who stoked popular fears and used a vulnerable public as electoral cannon fodder. Now that ordinary Dems have been metaphorically shot up, they are not bearing it stoically, but rather screaming for (soon to be repealed) ObamaCare to staunch the bleeding.
What little enthusiasm there was for Hillary arose from only two propositions – first, that unlike Trump, she (as they say in blue states) identifies as a woman; and secondly, she is not Donald Trump. On my way to the polling place Tuesday I drove through neighborhoods completely devoid of political signage. That there were no Trump signs was meaningless. He’s not very popular in the suburbs of D.C. But there were no signs for Hillary either. There was no line at the polls, with turnout more in line with a local election than a national one, much less for president. And although I live in a mostly African-American neighborhood, most of the people voting were white.
Trump divided Republicans and caused no end of debate and recrimination. But both Trump and the party overcame that divisiveness and in the end came together rhetorically, financially, and at the polls. Trump pushed the party to accept ideas that were uncomfortable, and the party pushed Trump to modify his own rhetoric, conduct, and positions.
This never happened on the Democratic side. No Democratic leaders came forward and called for Hillary to step down despite her manifest deceit and criminality. Nor did Democratic voters or the media demand it of the campaign. It was as if she wasn’t even there. Indeed, Hillary never came across as a real person, and perhaps temperamentally cannot. Her distinctive public artificiality and manifest political weaknesses made her little but a female figurehead with at famous name that her supporters believed History’s arc would propel to victory.
Bolstered by the hubristic belief that their opponents were deplorable, that Trump was a bad joke, that the Republican Party was hopelessly fractured, a lot of Democrats, thoroughly uninspired by their own candidate, sat back and let History take its inevitable course. In truth, it is the Democratic Party that is weak and fractured, along with the media establishment that largely keeps it afloat. As a result, tens of millions of confused Democratic Americans remain at sea.
Just 48 hours after the election, it’s hard to convey the atmosphere of overconfidence prevalent in Democratic precincts before the vote. In their bubble of self-reinforcing contempt for Trump and easy dismissal of Hillary’s manifold deceit and corruption, buttressed by the mainstream media and like-minded people at work or home, the actual possibility Trump’s election became at once both inconceivable and terrifying.
The result is the hysteria that quickly overcame such people Wednesday morning. Willingly brainwashed by the media and the Democratic machine to effectively ignore Hillary and loathe Trump, the outcome resulted in positively childlike displays of frustration, fear and anger. These were most evident on college campuses and Los Angeles highways, but were only slightly more quietly pervasive elsewhere.
And almost nowhere in all of this could be heard anything about Hillary Clinton, who lost the election as much as Trump won it, and whose essential absence from the election is really the most telling part. Oh, and that there is no such thing as the arc of History.