In August, the Washingtonian ran an article entitled, “The Washington Post Can’t Find A Columnist Who Supports Trump.” But the article did note “there have been some decent Trump-curious articles in and outside the Post this year, though they’re generally less about his ideas and more about what he represents. Tucker Carlson wrote for about how people in the ‘warm bath’ of Washington missed the causes of anger that fueled Trump’s rise. In the American Spectator, George Neumayr used the experience of hanging out with ‘profane, tattooed bikers’ to explain the candidate’s appeal.”
I was back in their midst on Tuesday night in Queens and they erupted with glee as Hillary sank in state after state. “I hope Hillary is wearing her Depends tonight,” one hooted at the screen after she lost Ohio. “Lock her up,” they chanted. “Build the wall, Donald!” When indications of his inevitable victory finally emerged, they began chanting, “USA! USA! USA!”
No doubt similar cries rang out in bars in Ohio and VFW halls across the country. Against astonishing odds, Trump mobilized the peasants with pitchforks, to borrow Pat Buchanan’s phrase, to kill the queen and her ruling-class attendants.
Prognostication and punditry are a business in which the blind lead the blind and they usually fail upward. Trump defied the elite’s assumptions at almost every turn and won not so much in spite of that scorn but because of it.
The people looked at their hair-on-fire hysterics about Trump and shrugged. Rank-and-file Republicans heard the “Trump is going to cost the GOP the House and Senate” prattle and kept the House and Senate in Republican hands. Trump won and some Republican elitists who cast him as an unelectable monster lost. Hilariously, it looks like Pat Toomey is going to squeak out a victory in Pennsylvania but only after announcing at the last minute that he would vote for Trump.
Trump’s victory represents a singular populist revolt in American history. Hillary had every conceivable advantage, from money to a media in the tank for her to a GOP establishment determined to cannibalize its own candidate. And she still couldn’t win.
While Trump hustled across the country, kissing babies and electrifying crowds, Hillary hid in her mansions, only seldomly appearing in the company of celebrities whose charisma she hoped to borrow. (But they could only move votes in big cities Hillary was going to win anyways.) Trump’s candor crushed her calculation. While Hillary planned (and then canceled a few days ago, hearing perhaps a squeak in the coals mines she sought to shutter) her fireworks display over the Hudson, Trump held as many as five rallies in states across the country. While he racked up Twitter followers (he had three million more than Hillary), she pored over her Beverly Hills donor lists.
Hillary’s criminality caught up with her, not because the principals at the FBI held her accountable but because the “little people” within its ranks forced the hand of a confused, temporizing Comey to re-open the email investigation into her. And the damaging WikiLeaks disclosures gave the people an unimpeded look into Hillary’s corrupt salons. The so-called bloggers in their pajamas (as CNN’s former head once called them), not the credentialed media (who had infinitely more resources), exposed her secrets and gave the people a chance, in the words of Trump, to deliver justice at the ballot box.
At the Al Smith dinner, the elite chucked at Hillary’s disparagement of Rudy Giuliani as a boob. But who is laughing at the “people’s mayor” now? The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens had hoped that “Republican voters will forever learn their lesson that they cannot nominate a man so manifestly unqualified to be president in any way, shape or form.” Instead, Republican voters taught the GOP elite a lesson.
In one final hypocritical gasp of the privileged ruling class, whose scolds and snobs had spent the last month lecturing Trump about the importance of promptly conceding, it purred over the propriety of John Podesta, Hillary’s campaign chairman, refusing to concede. It was a fitting conclusion to the corruption that the people rose up to repudiate.