- Trump did not win the popular vote
In the 2016 Presidential Election, Clinton received almost three million more votes (65,853,514 to 62,984,828). This gave Clinton a popular vote lead of 2.1% over Trump.
The accepted – but false – wisdom after the election has been that Trump succeeded in awakening a popular movement of anger and frustration among white, blue-collar, less educated, mostly male, voters, particularly in non-urban areas. Trump promised them jobs, safe borders, and dignity, and they responded by turning out in masses at his pre-election rallies and eventually at the ballots, carrying him to victory.
This story is mostly wrong.
Trump did not win because he was more attractive to this base of white voters. He won because Hillary Clinton was less attractive to the traditional Democratic base of urban, minorities, and more educated voters. Not only did Clinton win the popular vote, but had she attracted the traditional voter base she would have won the popular vote and the election by an even higher margin.
The story of Hillary Clinton’s defeat, then, is not the Trump Movement erupting in the ballots, nor the fable that some “Reagan Democrats” flipped again from Obama to Trump. The story is altogether different, and very simple: The Democratic base did not turn out to vote as it did for Obama. Those sure-Democrats who stayed home handed the election to Trump.
Clinton’s black voter turnout dropped more than 11 percent compared to 2012. The support for Clinton among active black voters was still exceedingly high (87 percent, versus 93 percent for Obama), but the big difference was the turnout. Almost two million black votes cast for Obama in 2012 did not turn out for Clinton. According to one plausible calculation, if in North Carolina blacks had turned out for Clinton as they had for Obama, she would have won the state. I saw a similar downtrend in my own eyes: I voted in a predominantly African American precinct in the south side of Chicago, and I can testify that the lines for early voting at the polling place were much shorter than they were in 2012.
There is also speculation that many Bernie Sanders supporters held out. Even after the Democratic convention, about a third of Sanders followers were still not supporting Clinton. A month before the election 55 percent of them were continuing to view Clinton negatively, and a week before the elections Sanders was still pleading with supporters in Madison, Wisconsin to “go beyond personality” and show up for Clinton.
Bottom-line, in a proper election Trump would be handily trounced. He did not win most of the votes, and had the Democrats provided a better candidate, he would not be in the White House.
2. America is more Diverse than ever
Given that Trump didn’t win the popular vote, there is one other simply fact – his minority is shrinking.America is NOT the domain of Anglo Angry Males. The United States is becoming more diverse, as the white share of the population declines and Hispanic, Asian, and African American populations grow — and that change is happening quickly in certain places.
While whites remain the largest racial or ethnic group nationwide, accounting for 60% of all Americans, 109 counties in 22 states from California to North Carolina have gone from majority white to majority nonwhite since 2000, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of census data.
The study looked only at counties with a minimum population of 10,000 in 2018. Those counties represent 77% of the nation’s 3,142 counties and include 99% of the population.
In 21 of the 25 biggest counties by population, nonwhite groups taken together make up more than half of residents. Eight of these counties were majority white in 2000 but have since changed: San Diego, Orange, Riverside, and Sacramento in California; Clark in Nevada; Broward in Florida; Tarrant in Texas; and Wayne in Michigan.
Hispanics were the largest nonwhite population in all those counties except in Wayne, which includes Detroit, and where the African American population was the largest nonwhite group, the study said.
Another way to consider the nation’s changing demographics, Pew said, is to consider how few counties shifted the opposite way. From 2000 to 2018, only two counties went from minority white to majority white: Calhoun County in South Carolina and West Feliciana Parish in Louisiana, each with populations of only about 15,000.
Among the 109 counties that shifted from majority white to majority nonwhite between 2000 and 2018, 6 had been at least 60% white in 2000.
3) He does note represent Republican Party Value
If it wasn’t so depressing, it would be hilarious to watch so many Republicans (including our own Lindsay Graham) tie themselves in logical knots trying to explain their support for President Trump.
I’m old enough to remember when Republicans often claimed that they were the “party of law and order.” It was in fact Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew (two of the most corrupt politicians in history, both of whom resigned in disgrace) who made “law and order” a central theme of their campaigns. Amazingly, over 80% of Republicans now support Trump, a man who appears to have broken the law many times in both his pre-presidential (business) and political lives.
In the past, many Republicans have also described themselves as the party of “family values,” presumably including being faithful to one’s spouse. Despite Trump’s obvious infidelities to multiple wives and his clearly illegal use of campaign funds to buy his mistress’ silence, some Republicans continue to support him.
Republicans typically love to boast of their opposition to communism in general, and to Russia in particular. Yet, today, they don’t seem to be concerned that our president eagerly accepted help from the Russians in his 2016 campaign and continues to act as though the Russian and North Korean communist leaders are his two best friends.
There is a massive moral and ethical defect with this president. Trump’s takeover of the GOP has happened not because he is widely loved or admired by Republican lawmakers but because he is feared; not because most of the people in the Republican Senate Conference aspire to be like him, but because they are too timid to challenge him. They have become fully complicit in a corrupt enterprise called the Trump presidency. (Romney is the rare exception.) They are defending actions they know are wrong. More than that, they are validating Trump’s approach to politics—the hyper-aggression, the lawlessness, the mendacity, the shamelessness—and therefore guaranteeing imitators. They have made concession after concession after concession, justifying each one along the way. Then you look back at the road they’ve traveled, and it’s breathtaking. Donald Trump has changed them far more than they have changed Donald Trump.
But there are now increasingly vocal opponents inside the Republican party that are willing to stand up to him. In a recent editorial titled: “We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump defeated” whose authors included George Conway, husband of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway. George Conway famously said he regrets having introduced his wife to the president. Last year, he also helped start Checks and Balances, a group of conservative attorneys standing up for the rule of law in opposition to the president.
Conway and his fellow Republicans wrote, “Patriotism and the survival of our nation in the face of the crimes, corruption and corrosive nature of Donald Trump are a higher calling than mere politics. As Americans, we must stem the damage he and his followers are doing to the rule of law, the Constitution and the American character.”
To this end, they created the Lincoln Project, “an effort to highlight our country’s story and values, and its people’s sacrifices and obligations.”
Their website is more direct about the project’s goal: It aims to “defeat president Trump and Trumpism at the ballot box” in the name of fidelity to the Constitution.” Electing Democrats who support the Constitution over Republicans who do not is a worthy effort,” the site states, putting it plainly.
[T]he facts in this instance are unambiguous: The president of the United States attempted to use his political power to coerce a foreign leader to harass and discredit one of the president’s political opponents. That is not only a violation of the Constitution; more importantly, it is profoundly immoral.
It followed up a few days later, describing reader reactions to the first editorial, which “spanned the spectrum” from relief to rage: “We have received countless notes of encouragement from readers who were profoundly moved. They no longer feel alone. They have hope again…Stay strong, they told us.” Others were reportedly incensed and stood up for the president.
Those who do stand up now, though, are “thought leaders” in the truest sense and they’ll be the people to watch in 2020. If the statements they make reverberate, a new ethical conservative movement could bloom, raising hope for a more enlightened American politics in the next decade—one in which right and left exchange, intellectually, honestly, instead of operating in two separate vacuums.
4. He Does Not Represent Religious Values
Christian conservatives are also calling for Trump’s removal and condemning support for a president they believe is corrupt. While the gold-loving thrice-married Trump was always problematic for some of his co-religionists, he’s had widespread support among evangelicals. His grip seems to be loosening.
Christianity Today published on Dec. 19 a scathing editorial explaining, “In our founding documents, Billy Graham explains that Christianity Today will help evangelical Christians interpret the news in a manner that reflects their faith.” As such, the publication was compelled to state that Trump was corrupt and must be removed from office, writing:
Trump slammed Christianity Today as irrelevant. But the publication has 130,000 subscribers and attracts more than 4 million website views monthly. It’s reaching people, and urging readers to take a Christian perspective on the president, writing:
Out of love for Jesus and his church, not for political partisanship or intellectual elitism, this is why we feel compelled to say that the alliance of American evangelicalism with this presidency has wrought enormous damage to Christian witness. It has alienated many of our children and grandchildren. It has harmed African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American brothers and sisters. And it has undercut the efforts of countless missionaries who labor in the far fields of the Lord.
The Christianity Today editorials have deepened the rift among evangelicals. While one Christian Post contributor on Dec. 22 called for Trump’s conviction, saying it was “more important than abortion,” the publication released an editorial supporting the president and calling Christianity Today’s positions “elitist.” On Christmas Eve, Christian Post editor Napp Nazworth announced that he was quitting the publication because of its editorial.
5. Trump does not represent American values
The “American soul” might, appear, to be precisely what we now see in Trump and Trumpism, institutionalized not just in the heinous history of slavery but even earlier than that – in the genocidal history of American conquest and slaughter of native peoples? And that the whole sustained history of US thuggish militarism on almost every continent on planet earth, waging wars, toppling regimes, instigating military coups is its natural manifestation? We may, in fact, be hard pressed to find a single moment in American history when hateful racism, sexism, militarism, and xenophobia have not been entirely definitive to this “American soul”. Right?
A large swath of U.S. politicians ranging from Barack Obama to Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders however, keep telling Americans what Trump is doing “is not what America is all about.” That he doesn’t in fact represent American values.
Campaigning against Donald Trump during the midterm elections, Obama went out and loudly declared: “We helped spread a commitment to certain values and principles like the rule of law and human rights and democracy and the notion of the inherent dignity and worth of every individual.”
Not just Democrats, but former and current government officials and many human rights organizations also believe Trump is antithetical to American values. “Trump Abandons American Values at UN,” this according to Human Rights First’s Senior Vice President for Policy Rob Berschinski.
There are in fact two Americas. And the two Americas have always been on a collision course. But the America that has always, historically won, has been the America that eliminated slavery, upheld women’s and minority rights, promoted freedom and democracy and pledged allegiance to the U.S. Constitution.
Trump’s America has never been able to sustain more than a momentary, fleeting claim to power. He represents the darker side of America, which has always lost out to the majority of Americans of all ethnicities – that are fundamentally hard working, law abiding and decent – and who gleam a much brighter light and eliminate the darkness with the better side of the country. This is a country with a fundamental value: that everyone, from every walk of life, must have an equal chance at the American Dream. And, it these “American Dreamers”, not Donald Trump, that have in fact made America great.