Donald Trump’s victory on November 8, 2016 was the greatest comeback in political history.
Pollsters, pundits and politicians didn’t give the short-fingered vulgarian a snowball’s chance in hell. But today Trump is busy planning his transition in to the White House, while Hillary is pondering what to do in the last stage of her life. Perhaps she can break a glass ceiling, and become the first female geriatric spokesperson for reverse mortgages.
How will historians, psychologists and sociologists explain the Trump phenomenon?
I don’t know but in my humble opinion these trends explain Trump’s miraculous victory more than anything else: Celebrity culture, Globalization, Social Media.
Before Trump entered the world of politics he was already a celebrity colossus, in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s he was a mainstay on the gossip pages because of his financial empire and playboy abtics. In the 2000’s he became a reality TV star as the celebrity host of the Apprentice franchise.
Beginning in March 2011, when Trump publicly questioned Obama’s citizenship and eligibility to serve as President, he started to become serious about running for President.
On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for President of the United States at Trump Tower in New York City. In his announcement speech Trump branded Mexican immigrants as rapists, and right off the bat he was given no chance of winning the Republican nomination by the media, the Republican establishment, and pretty much everyone else.
Trump went on to defeat 16 Republican rivals and win the Republican nomination, and the General Election. Celebrity was the impetus that propelled Trump to victory, his name recognition trumped Hillary’s experience, knowledge and political resume.
Globalization ran roughshod over the dreams and aspirations of the American middle class, and Trump’s anti-globalization stance was embraced by regular Joe’s struggling to make ends meet. Hillary, on the other hand, was the embodiment of globalization with her Clinton Global initiative, cozy relationship with Wall Street bankers and support of international trade deals.
Before he became a politician Trump used Twitter to demolish his enemies like Rosie O’Donnell. Once he entered the political realm Trump employed social media, especially Twitter, to attack his rivals, and to speak directly to his followers.
To summarize Hillary was swimming against the currents of celebrity culture, anti-globalization, and the popularity of social media. Not to mention that she was a horrible campaigner, devoid of charisma. In 2008 Obama famously dismissed Hillary with the words: You’re likeable enough. Hogwash, she’s as likeable as a steaming pile of shit.