By Dick Miller
WE.CONNECT.DOTS: Donald Trump won the Presidency as legitimately as they come in American politics.
As columnist Dave Barry contends, Russia had more to do with this election than the League of Women Voters. Hillary rigged the primaries to make nomination more difficult for Sen. Sanders before Vladimir Putin sent his cyber troops to battle.
Reasonable speculation may be discussed. What might have happened if an irreverent, bombastic populist had decided to use the Democrat Party apparatus to gain control of the most powerful government on earth? Trump only began to salute the Republican Party in 2012.
However, Republicans were first up and Trump would have stood even less chance to beat Hillary in a Democrat primary.
He called himself “pro-choice” until he noticed Evangelicals would forgive, if he forgot. And as businessman Trump measured his success on corners cut, negotiating away penalties and just never paying bills and/or taxes.
With “flexibility” as his golden rule, Trump donated money to candidates of both Parties, as long as they performed for Trump.
We failed to read the bottled-up anger of voters willing to grasp at the wildest promises of better times ahead. The signs were there . . . on the faces of Western Pennsylvania Democrats in the front rows of Republican rallies for Trump in Eastern Ohio.
Unlike Ohio, Pennsylvania is blessed (or cursed!) with closed primaries. At least two of my associates, lifelong liberal Democrats, changed registration to help Trump become the sure-to-lose GOP nominee.
Rob Gleason, chair of the PA Republican State Committee, was first here to recognize Trump’s potential. Beginning with last year’s Pennsylvania Society shindig in New York, Gleason laid out the welcome mat to Trump. At the same time, nearly all office holders of GOP persuasion pretended Trump was not a legitimate candidate.
Trump knew he had enough clout to get to his Party’s convention. He tweaked his campaign strategy daily. Caught in a lie? Asked to explain allegedly outlaw conduct in his business life? What about how he acted in the company of women?
Sometimes he attacked the press. Other times he continued the lie. No one could pin him down. Before a final corner could be turned on one issue or happening, another disruption was rolled out and took precedent.
Most important of all, Trump convinced his audiences that – even if all was true – he could do the best at bringing change because of these experiences.
Why else would miners in Appalachia not ask Trump for details on his plan to use more coal, in the face of cheaper prices for natural gas? He has promised to repeal Obamacare on the first day in office. Only now, we learn three years are needed for a replacement.
The President-elect made a career of building a product and service brand and applying it to foreign-made goods with cheap labor. Nevertheless, his promise to bring jobs back to America was met consistently with ovations at his rallies.
Bottom Line: Trump promised to drain the swamp, but what happens to the baby alligators?
2016 goes down as the liveliest year of politics in modern times. Stay tuned, however. 2017 will exceed it news-wise as Trump takes on entrenched government bureaucracies and established social and religious cultures.
The big show in Washington and developing politics in Harrisburg do combine for some brutal days ahead for Pennsylvania progressives. There is no question now that our government is firmly in the hands of people who believe the following:
- Health care is not guaranteed to everyone.
- Neither is quality education.
- Climate control is not necessary.
- A woman does not have the right to control her own body.
- I should not pay taxes to support your needs.