More American than Hillary Clinton, the tycoon knew how to talk about “the American Dream” straight to the gut of the middle class, with a hefty dose of anti-political sentiment
So what are we so surprised about? Donald Trump won the American presidential elections and it couldn’t have possibly been otherwise. He won because he had a clear message (“Make America Great Again”), an effective message capable of motivating the voting public, because he is more “American” than Hillary Clinton. He is the living incarnation of American ambition and determination, with all the cockiness of the rich entrepreneur able to fail and rise up again, and the enormous capacity to attract increasing numbers of followers on the road to making a dream come true. An American one, obviously.
“Make America Great Again” is a slogan much closer to Obama’s “Yes, We Can” than the arrow pointing to nothing on the Clinton fans’ T-shirts. On paper, Trump wasn’t supposed to win the vote of women, Hispanics, African-Americans, immigrants, city dwellers, intellectuals, students, etc. And yet ...
There is certainly a socio-economic factor to the election of the 45th president of the United States: the disillusion and delusion of the impoverished middle class; the desire for revenge by white blue-collar workers alien to the virtuoso metropolitan circles; the attachment to owning firearms in order to feel king of your castle, along with the freedom to use them; the intolerance for wars carried out in the name of who knows what foreign powers. And finally, there is anti-politics, the ingredient common to all Western countries struggling to evolve since the turn of the millennium, under pressure at the same time from an Islamic-flavored barbaric offensive.
However, in the end, there is still an ingredient that is exclusively American, and particularly American — the ingredient of success and desire. Of rebellion and anarchy against the system. Of national pride. Of the longing to still matter in the world, in the face of everyone — the Chinese and the Mexicans, the global market — and in harmony with the earth, family, nation and God. In order to understand Trump you need to listen to the words of his Vice President Mike Pence who describes himself as, “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.”[ https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/07/14/10-things-you-should-know-about-mike-pence-who-may-join-donald-trump-on-the-gop-ticket/] You need to tolerate and understand “sinner” Trump’s vices and bad habits just like any of ours, with his defects, his breakdowns, his excesses and egotism.
What does the Republican Party’s transformation have to do with any of this? Virtually nothing. Trump also won against his own party’s establishment, before winning against the establishments of the Clinton dynasty and the White House of Barack Obama, the first black president. He won against Bush, yet another dynasty. With Donald, the politically incorrect won out, something that people find pleasing as it is close to the heart and guts of the middle class. Even the Republicans, who initially seemed thrown off-guard at finding themselves backing such an outlier candidate, were convinced in the end. I have friends who hated Hillary so much they managed to back Trump without a single qualm, wearing election T-shirts, caps and gadgets in the deep of night. From New England to Florida, from Michigan to California.
But what are we talking about? Why should we be so surprised? We would do well not to observe the Trump phenomenon with the condescending superciliousness of the analysts far removed from the real world (of the people), and recognize that he was probably not the worst one who could have won. There is plenty to mock in Trump’s physical appearance, his comb over, his orange mane and the Simpsons predictions that had imagined him as president. Even in the photos taken with a child astride a stuffed toy lion, a mini-king of the jungle among gold columns and panoramic views, toy limousines scattered at his feet.
Still, this is America. On close examination, it couldn’t be anything but this way, despite the polls, Washington’s editorial columns, the wrinkled noses and raised eyebrows of finance liberals. It should be a case of looking toward the future presidency, which is already starting, with a spirit unencumbered by bias — and in the end, to evaluate the new president not by words, jokes or personal ticks, but by the facts.