Since the night of the election when Donald Trump shocked nearly everybody but his supporters with a win, I’ve had some people email, text or tweet at me with snark about being wrong on how the country would react to Donald Trump. There’s an air of disappointment when I say to them, “You’re right. I totally got it wrong.” It’s almost like they want me to argue with them about it, but how can I?
Looking at the results and exit polling data, it’s easy to see why Trump won. Voters, many of whom voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012 feel disconnected from the rest of the country and forgotten. There is real economic anxiety there, even among those fortunate enough to have a job. Trump spoke to that. It’s disingenuous for people to say that only racists and bigots got Trump elected, especially when he did better among Latinos and African-Americans than Romney did. It’s that kind of thinking, along with yelping about the popular vote that leaves people blind to what the results mean.
About Mike Pence and his attendance at a performance of the Broadway musical, ‘Hamilton,’ last night, forget about the audience booing for a moment. What was more jarring, was the conclusion, when the cast decided it was a good idea to lecture the Vice-president elect:
At the conclusion of the show, cast members addressed Pence’s appearance — as a group locked in hand-to-hand — behind Brandon Victor Dixon who delivered the following message:
“Vice-president elect Mike Pence, we welcome you and truly thank you for joining us at Hamilton American Musical,” Dixon, who plays Aaron Burr, the nation’s third vice president, said. “We sir, we are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our alienable rights, sir. We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us,” Dixon added.
I am sure Pence thought to himself, “Wow. I didn’t understand why Donald Trump and I got elected until seeing this Broadway musical! Now I saw the light!”
The ensuing reaction by some on the left is also revealing.
Mike Pence getting booed at 'Hamilton' gives me hope.
— Alex Goldschmidt (@alexandergold) November 19, 2016
Alex, if that’s what gives you hope, you need to sit down and seriously examine the priorities in your life.
Interesting TrumpWorld thought going to Hamilton was a good idea. This bodes well for Trump's “victory” tour hitting LA, Chicago…
— Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox) November 19, 2016
How dare somebody from America’s heartland take some time to watch a Broadway show! The nerve.
With this kind of drivel, is it any wonder Democrats think elevating a hard leftist like Keith Ellison to the position of DNC chair? Charles Schumer will the Senate Minority Leader but it’s the shrill Elizabeth Warren who’s been at the forefront of calling on the Democrats to double down on their “solutions.”
She believes spending more, regulating more, socializing health care more, and taxing more is what Democrats need to do in order win in 2018 and again in 2020. Good luck with that.
The real problem for Democrats, however, is more cultural than anything else. If they want to win back the votes they lost, particularly in the rust belt states, Democrats will have to stop treating those people the same way they have treated people in the south for the last 50 years. Democrats were happy to write off the south with disdain, ironically, because of the electoral college map. They knew the coastal states along with the rust belt states was more than enough to deliver them the White House.
Until this year. Now the United States electoral map is a bigger sea of red than we’ve seen since 1988. Whether Republicans can hold on to this in 2020 remains to be seen.
The Republican Party, however, doesn’t face a cultural chasm. Their continued success continues to be one based on policy. It’s Democrats who must decide if continuing to alienate people in flyover country is a prescription for success.
Two weeks post-election shows they aren’t getting it at all.
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