When Donald Trump won the 2016 US election, media pundits scrambled to find an explanation. In their usual hurry, journalists from left to right blamed Trump’s election on uneducated white voters, supposedly fueled by a rising American populism.
Conveniently blindsided, the media ignored that 75% of uneducated minorities had voted for Hillary Clinton. Only uneducated whites are a problem, apparently.
But still none of the media pundits have understood the real reason why Donald Trump won the election. It has nothing to do with who voted for him, but with why they went out to vote in the first place.
All the while Hillary Clinton spent her time resenting half of her electorate as irredeemable deplorables, Donald Trump adopted a magnanimous attitude, even welcoming burned Bernie Sanders supporters with open arms. The central theme to Trump’s campaign had been building an alliance of supporters, while carefully attacking only those who obstructed him.
Specifically, Donald Trump made key political allies during the race. As early as the start of the Republican primaries, Trump had already befriended his competitor Ben Carson. Together, they successfully negotiated against the long duration of the debate hosted by CNBC.
Along the way, Trump picked up Sarah Palin and governor Chris Christie, who would accompany him during several of his rallies. When Trump ditched the GOP debate hosted by Megyn Kelly — one of his enemies —in favor of holding a veteran fund raiser, he got Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum to speak in his favor.
In fact, Trump went on to make many new friends he would later need for his transition team. General Michael Flynn, frustrated about the failing wars against ISIS, connected with Trump, as did Fox News host Sean Hannity, judge Jeanine Pirro, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Silicon Valley insider Peter Thiel and Breitbart CEO Stephen Bannon.
It’s true that Trump made enemies, but he made the right enemies. In contrast, when WikiLeaks emails revealed that members of Hillary Clinton’s inner circle looked down upon Catholics, Clinton not only lost the white Catholic vote, but also that of Catholic Hispanics and Latinos. Casting your voters into a basket of deplorables isn’t a winning strategy.
Trump proved himself a competent alliance builder when reaching out to Mexican president Nieto and publicly praising Russian president Putin. Hillary couldn’t be bothered. She incessantly attacked Russia and Putin as if attempting to revive the Cold War.
Clinton, on the other hand, made the wrong enemies. When FBI director Comey, under pressure from the Departement of Justice, decided to first close, reopen, then close the investigation into her email scandal, Clinton angered a lot of FBI employees.
Unlike Hillary, Trump never took the presidency for granted. Nobody running for president should have the arrogance to think they have a ‘right’ to be elected. Hillary lost the election, because she deserved to lose it.