Wider Reading: Why did Trump win 2016 by Anthony Bennett

Why did Trump win?

Or why did Clinton lose?

New Yorker Article Why Trump Won

Political operatives in the United States like to tell the story of a dog food company executive who complained that his product had the best ingredients, the best packaging and the lowest price, but the sales were still poor. Having assembled his employees and shareholders for their annual meeting, the boss asked the assembled group the simple question — 'Why?' From the back of the room came the reply: 'Dogs don't like it!'

The anecdote fits the Clinton campaign with embarrassing ease. Hillary Clinton had the best résumé of anyone who had run for president in recent memory: first lady, senator and secretary of state. Her campaign was disciplined and well financed. She had the name recognition, political experience, money-raising ability and organisational structure that most candidates would kill for. She had the respect and admiration of those who worked for her and — as she showed in her moving concession speech — many other qualities one looks for in a president. And she was running against the least-qualified, least-experienced and least-liked candidate that the nation had ever seen — a candidate who at times even seemed to be running against his own party. Indeed, she really did think that she had the best ingredients and the best (media) packaging. So how could she lose? Answer: the voters didn't like it.

It will be much debated for years to come whether this was an election that Trump won or that Clinton lost. Maybe it was a bit of both. We shall certainly find evidence of both. But, as is customary in this publication, we have asked the question from the point of view of the victor rather than the vanquished. Carl Cannon, the Washington bureau chief of the RealClearPolitics website, published an article two days after the election in which he offered 31 reasons why Trump won. Readers will be relieved to know that here we are rather more disciplined. so I will give five reasons why the impossible happened.

1 A coalition of resentments

2 The 'sneering liberal elites'

3 Out-of-touch Republican leadership

4 The Trump persona

5 Clinton's weak and flawed candidacy

A coalition of resentments

All the way through the Republican primaries it was clear that Donald Trump was tapping into a vein of anger and resentment among certain groups of Republican voters. They were dissatisfied or even angry with the federal government. Put simply, they felt they were strangers in their own country. Indeed, they hardly recognised the America they now lived in compared with the one in which they were born and brought up. America had changed racially, economically, socially and morally, and many Americans resented these changes.

America's cities and suburbs had become more racially diverse. When today's American seniors were born — mostly in the 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s —America was 90% white. By 1990; that figure had fallen' to 80%, and in the election of 2016 the electorate would register as just 70% white. Even those who still lived in the white enclaves of America — mostly small towns or rural areas in the eastern half of the nation — knew that 'out there' America had changed, and some felt resentful. So they felt resentful at the levels of immigration, especially from Central America (Mexicans) and the Middle East (Muslims). And they felt very resentful about illegal immigrants. Then along came Donald Trump and railed against illegal immigrants — Mexicans and Muslims — and promised to deport them and build a wall along the USA–Mexico border. Exit polls found that one-quarter of voters supported the enforced deportation of illegal immigrants, and 84% of those voters supported Trump. And of the 41% of voters who said they supported the building of Trump's infamous wall along the Mexican border, 86% voted for Trump.

And that wasn't all that had changed in their beloved America. Things had changed economically, and they believed the line that Trump pedalled that this was because of globalisation and international trade agreements that meant good American jobs went abroad — often to Mexico or Canada — helped along by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which was signed by Hillary's husband Bill when he was president, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which was signed by President Obama earlier in 2016. But Washington politicians — even many Republicans — had backed both NAFTA and TPP. Then along came Donald Trump, who called NAFTA 'the single worst trade deal ever' and blamed Bill Clinton for signing it and Hillary for supporting it. And that was what decided Emmett Lawson — an African American who had lived in Cleveland, Ohio, until he lost his job in a steel mill and moved to Orlando, Florida — to switch from voting for Obama in 2012 to supporting Trump in 2016. Lawson, who now drives a lorry across Florida, told a Los Angeles Times reporter: 'NAFTA was bad, and Trump exploited it. He saw it and spoke out about it. That spoke to me. Trump is a business guy and that's the change that's needed.' Back in 1992, independent candidate Ross Perot had warned of 'a giant sucking sound' of jobs leaving the United States for Mexico if NAFTA was passed. Both the major party candidates in that year's election — Bill Clinton and President George H. W. Bush — along with top economists and media folk scoffed at Perot. But by 2016, both Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primaries and Donald Trump in the general election had realised the resentment that many Americans felt over such deals. As Table 7.3 shows, exit polls found that whereas 38% of Americans thought that international trade created jobs in the United States, 42% thought it took jobs away. And of that 42%, two-thirds voted for Trump.

both railed against corporate greed and won their respective party Indiana primaries in May, and Trump carried the state in November by 57% to 38% — a state that Obama had won in 2008.

In recent elections the now somewhat ageing American singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen had loyally turned out to support Democratic candidates. He did his bit again this year, appearing at a huge get-out-the-vote rally in Philadelphia on the last night of the campaign, together with Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as Barack and Michelle Obama. He praised Hillary and tore into Trump before singing three songs. But one number he carefully avoided was his 1984 song 'My Hometown', with its lyrics:

They're closing down the textile mill

Across the railroad tracks.

The foreman says these jobs are going, boys,

And they ain't coming back — to your hometown.

And it was in decaying communities like these, which were slowly withering away, that Trump found his voice, and his message of 'Make America Great Again' resonated, especially with white, older, blue-collar workers — the descendants of the Reagan Democrats who had turned out for Ronald Reagan in vast numbers over three decades ago — in places like Erie County, Pennsylvania, and Wayne County, Iowa, or Monroe and Adams counties in Ohio.Take Wayne County, for example, in south-central Iowa. Its population is 99% white, but 14% are below are the poverty level. It was home to nearly 12,000 people

back in 1950. Now it numbers just over 6,000. In 2012, it voted 55%-43% for Romney over Obama, giving the Republicans a 12-point victory. In 2016, Trump had a 46-point victory margin over Clinton, with 71% of the vote to Clinton's 25%. It was the same story in Monroe County, Ohio, where Romney had won by 7 points in 2012, but now Trump won by 47 points.

When the economy went pear-shaped in 2008-09, many blue-collar Americans felt that they had been made to carry most of the resulting financial hardship. President Obama boasted about having saved America from going over the fiscal cliff and claimed credit for the recovery. But politicians of both parties underestimated the degree of anger and pain in the nation — the degree to which 'the recovery' had been only for a fortunate few, while many more experienced stagnation or decline. As the protest chant went, 'Banks got bailed out, we got sold out'.

Illegal immigration, globalisation, trade, corporate greed, their own decaying communities and bank bailouts all helped stoke the feelings of anger and resentment in many blue-collar and rural communities — especially those east of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. But this coalition of resentment was fuelled by other fears and frustrations. When politicians of both parties spoke, their words were seen as being masked in political correctness. Trump was different. These people believed Trump 'told it the way it is', unvarnished by what they regarded merely as the latest fads about racist or sexist language. From the beginning of his campaign when Trump called Mexican immigrants 'rapists', his insensitive comments and racist asides horrified the elites, journalists, so-called opinion formers and party leaders, as well as the ethnic groups he was maligning. But Trump's supporters chose to see it another way. They said his lack of a politically correct filter showed that he was 'genuine' — and as Carl Cannon put it, 'that he has guts to say what others won't'. Indeed, they saw Trump as a walking rebuke to what they regarded as the oddball college campus speech codes by which people expressing what used to be regarded as 'traditional' views — over, for example, same-sex marriage — were either shouted down or excluded from campuses altogether. When the Republican Party hierarchy from George H. W. Bush to Mitt Romney announced their distaste and disapproval of Trump's language, it only deepened his supporters' commitment to him. They saw such criticism as a badge of honour for their man.

Another reason why many voters in small-town and rural America felt resentful was over the advancement of gay and transgender rights in general, and specifically that of what had become known as 'marriage equality'. Tonya Register, a 57-year-old Trump supporter living in the smart southeast Los Angeles suburb of Fountain Valley, told the LA Times that she had nothing against Mexicans or the Asian immigrants filling up her Orange County neighbourhood. But she did object to `seeing the White House lit up in rainbow colours to celebrate the Supreme Court's legalisation of same-sex marriage' in June 2015. 'That was not cool to me,' she added, 'and I'm an American too.' This may be why the issue of Supreme Court appointments was so important for Trump voters (see Table 7.5). A stunning 21% told exit pollsters that appointments to the Supreme Court were the most important factor in determining their vote, and of them, 56% voted for Donald Trump and only 41% for Hillary Clinton. This is what we might call the 'Antonin Scalia effect'. Justice Scalia was a hero to these voters — a justice who in their eyes fought to keep America how it was rather than how liberals wanted it to be, often in the most robust and feisty way. They didn't want Hillary Clinton appointing Scalia's replacement.

Finally, for some there was still the simmering issue of the election in 2008 of Obama as America's first black president. True, Obama was still relatively popular as he drew to the close of his second term, but of the 45% who disapproved of Obama, 90% voted for Trump (see Table 7.6). As David Remnick wrote in The New Yorker the day after the election:

Barack Obama is popular, but racism did not die with America's first black president. Sexism is also alive and well. And for some Americans — and this is painful to admit — a woman following a black man to the White House was simply too much to swallow.

We have taken some time to lay out the coalition of resentments in detail because, without it, the next four factors might well not have followed. As David Brooks wrote in the New York Times on Election Day:

The white working-class once sat comfortably at the core of the American idea, but now its members have seen their skills devalued, their neighbourhoods transformed, their family structures decimated and their dignity questioned. Marginalised, they commonly feel invisible, alienated and culturally pessimistic.

So they grabbed the levers of democracy and overthrew their political masters, taking over control of the Republican Party from the political elites. That might have been progress, even inspiring, except that the candidate they turned to was someone who toyed with bigotry, class hatred, misogyny and authoritarianism.

The 'sneering liberal elites'

First things first. What do we mean by an elite? They constitute the'power structure', the 'establishment', the 'movers and shakers', the 'ruling classes', the opinion formers. Thus one can identify the political elite (Washington), the financial elite (Wall Street), the intellectual elite (professors from Ivy League universities), the media elite (nationally syndicated columnists). By the 'liberal elite' is meant those who align themselves with the Democratic Party, or left-leaning media outlets such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. The allegation that they are 'sneering' at poorer, less well-educated Americans is of course a value judgement, but one that is widely held by the kinds of voters most supportive of Donald Trump in 2016.

Trump ran against the elites. Never mind that he was born rich, flaunted his wealth and lived like royalty in his New York penthouse. But, according to Marc Fisher, 'he defined this election as a people's uprising against all the institutions that had let them down and sneered at them — the politicians, the parties, the Washington establishment, the news media, Hollywood, academia, all of the affluent, highly-educated sectors of society that had done well'. Enough of elites, Trump told them. Enough of experts, enough of the status quo, enough of the liberal intelligentsia and the liberal media, the elites of the East and West coasts, enough of the financial elite who brought them the 2008 meltdown and stagnant incomes, and jobs disappearing off shore. And it was by spreading this message to a large enough audience who were receptive to it that states like Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania lurched into the Trump column on Election Day. In the words of Roger Cohen (President Donald Trump', New York Times, 9 November), Trump's victory was 'the revenge of Middle America, above all of a white working-class America, troubled by changing social and cultural norms', pointing out to America's liberal elite that 'not every American loves choose­your-gender toilets'. As Figure 7.1 shows, Republican support from white, non­college-educated voters at 67% was the highest in ten elections.

And if you want to know what the sneering elite sounds like, then Box 7.3 provides three classic examples taken from the last three presidential campaigns. It is comments like these that give the impression to those left behind by the American Dream that the nation's elites are looking down their noses at them, regarding them as buffoons or Rednecks, in what one commentator tellingly refers to as 'point-and-laugh liberalism'. It powerfully fuelled Donald Trump's campaign as he proclaimed himself the saviour of what he called 'the forgotten men and women of our country'.

Three presidential candidates denigrating

the kinds of voters who would support Trump in 2016

You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania, the jobs have gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to other people who aren't like them as a way to explain their frustrations.

Barack Obama, addressing a fundraiser in San Francisco, April 2008

There are 47% who are with Obama, who are dependent on government, who believe they are victims, and who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them. These are people who pay no income tax, and so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

Mitt Romney, addressing a fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida, May 2012

You know, just to be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables — the racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. Now some of those folks, they are irredeemable, but thankfully, they are not America.

Hillary Clinton, addressing an LBGT rally in New York City, September 2016

Out-of-touch Republican leadership

Late in 2015, a number of manufacturing executives had gathered in Atlanta, Georgia, to honour their senior United States senator Johnny Isakson for his tireless efforts on their behalf in Washington. But as the lunch was winding down, Mr Isakson found himself facing a man from Coweta County, just southwest of Atlanta. The man, Burl Finkelstein, said that trade policies with Mexico and China were strangling the family-owned kitchen-parts company he helped manage, and threatening the jobs provided. Talking to a reporter in March 2016, Finkelstein recalled that Mr Isakson politely brushed him off, just as he had many times before. So Finkelstein voted for Donald Trump — 'he gets it'. But this is just one story of the Republican Party abandoning its most faithful voters, who had been facing economic pain and uncertainty over the past decade as the party's big donors, lawmakers and lobbyists had prospered. From mobile home parks in rural Florida, to Virginia's coal country, to factory towns in Michigan, disenchanted Republican voters lost faith in the agenda of their own party leaders.

The fact that Trump was not really a Republican helped him too, in much the same way as the fact that Bernie Sanders was not really a Democrat helped him to run against his party establishment in the Democratic primaries. Since 1999, Trump had been a registered Democrat, an independent, a member of the Reform Party and finally a Republican. His own party establishment wrote him off as an opportunist, but it helped Trump with voters who had lost faith in their own party leadership. They had repudiated 14 conventional Republican politicians in the primaries and now Trump was able to appeal to his supporters despite the antagonism of much of the party leadership. For many Americans, Trump was a bomb they were willing to throw at the system they felt was failing them — and that included the Republican Party.

To briefly recap the story so far: we have shown that we had in 2016 a significant bloc of voters who felt neglected and resentful. More than that, they felt insulted and demeaned by the nation's liberal elite and betrayed by the leadership of their own party. Without all that in place, Donald Trump's campaign would have crash-landed on take-off, as it had done four years earlier. It's only with these first three factors in place that the Trump candidacy makes any sense at all, and that a Trump presidency becomes even a remote possibility.

The Trump persona

Forty years ago in the black comedy film Network, Peter Finch played Howard Beale, a TV anchorman who is going to be sacked because of declining ratings on his show. But in his last scheduled appearance, Beale makes a crazed and impassioned plea to his audience and to the nation.

I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows they're bad. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. Shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. We sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. Well, I want you to get mad. I don't know what to do about the inflation, and the Russians, and the crime in the street. All I know is first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a human-being. My life has value.'

It all sounds a bit like Trump's acceptance speech at the Republican convention, or Trump at a hundred and more rallies throughout the country during the campaign. But then Beale makes his memorable pitch.

So I want you to get up now, all of you. Get up out of your chairs and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out and yell, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this any more.'

And to everyone's surprise, that's exactly what they do. 'They're yelling in Atlanta! They're yelling in Baton Rouge!' And on 8 November, they were yelling in Iowa, they were yelling in Wisconsin, in Ohio, in Pennsylvania, in Michigan — even in Atlanta and Baton Rouge.

Trump had spent decades cultivating an image of the guy who is so rich, so audacious, so unpredictable, that he would get done what ordinary politicians could not do. Whether it's anything more than an image, they and we are about to find out. think he has such an ego, he couldn't stand to fail,' said Mary Vesley, 74, a Trump voter from Mechanicsville, Virginia, on Election Day. From the moment he rode down the escalator in Trump Tower in the summer of 2015, he presented himself as the antidote to the politicians and the elites. And he believed he would do it even when, it seemed, no one else did. First he defeated 16 Republican opponents in the primaries. Like a playground bully, Trump taunted his opponents with just the right insult. The original front runner and brother of Obama's predecessor George W. Bush was 'Low energy Jeb'. The diminutive Senator Rubio from Florida was 'Little Marco'. And then in the general election it was 'Crooked Hillary'. For any politician, such behaviour would have disqualified them from the race. But for Trump the pop media icon, people thought it merely showed he was 'genuine'.

Trump lost all three presidential debates, but although 64% of voters said the debates were important in deciding their vote, of that 64%, 47% still voted for Trump. Of the staggering 60% of voters who had an unfavourable opinion of Trump, more than one in seven still voted for him. Of the 63% of voters who thought he was dishonest, more than one in five still voted for him. And it was much the same amongst the 60% of voters who thought he was unqualified to be president, and the 63% who thought he lacked the temperament to be president. Trump even managed to get well over one-quarter of the votes of those who told pollsters they were bothered by Trump's treatment of women. Donald Trump really did seem to be the Teflon Candidate — the one to whom nothing stuck.

But whilst some saw something in his persona to admire, others saw something deeply troubling. David Brooks in the New York Times (`Let's Not Do This Again', 8 November) wrote of Trump's 'constant, flagrant and unapologetic lying, his penchant for cruelty, bigotry, narcissism, and selfishness', by which he 'shredded the accepted understandings of personal morality that prevent the strong from preying on the weak'. We know how Trump campaigned, but how will the Trump persona take to governing? From what we have seen thus far, the main problems could well be a short attention span, a short fuse, ignorance and incompetence. Will Trump be someone else who proves that the qualities needed to become president are not necessarily the same as those required to be president?

Clinton's weak and flawed candidacy

There will doubtless be much hand wringing within the Democratic Party following what must be the most surprising result in a presidential election since Harry Truman defeated Thomas Dewey in 1948. And the two questions that will doubtless receive a thousand answers are, first, could Hillary Clinton have done things differently and won, and secondly, could a different candidate have won?

There is much anecdotal evidence and some factual evidence that a significant number of 2012 Obama voters did not cast a ballot for Clinton in 2016. There could be three factors at play here. First, they could have voted but left the presidential portion of their ballot blank and voted only for down-ballot offices such as senator, congressman, governor, mayor and so on. Second, they could have switched their vote to either Trump or one of the third-party candidates. Or third, they could have stayed at home. Certainly at the time of writing it appears that, whereas the total Republican vote was up on 2012 — though not by a lot —the total Democrat vote was down, by possibly 1 million. Furthermore, as Figure 7.2 shows, Clinton's share of the popular vote was lower than that of either John Kerry in 2004 or Al Gore in 2000. True, Bill Clinton polled only 43% in 1992, but that was in an election in which independent candidate Ross Perot won 19%. So in terms of the popular vote percentage, this was really the Democrats' worst showing since Michael Dukakis in 1988.

Hillary Clinton has form on performing poorly in national elections. Back in 2008 she was surprisingly beaten in the Democratic primaries by an inexperienced, almost unknown senator who had less than four years' experience in national politics — Barack Obama. Then, as we saw in Chapter 2, earlier in 2016 she struggled to see off a 74-year-old senator from Vermont who was not even a paid-up member of the party — Bernie Sanders. This is hardly the record of a strong candidate.

In an election year in which voters were angry with the establishment and with professional politicians, Clinton was a candidate who could have been hand-picked by the Republicans just to make it easier for them to win. Clinton is a professional politician to her fingertips, having spent well over 30 years in state and national politics: 12 years as first lady of Arkansas; 8 years as first lady of the United States; 8 years as a United States senator from New York; 4 years as secretary of state. The Democratic primaries had shown her inability to engage with white, working-class voters — especially men. As a result, when she took big hits in rural areas, she could not make up for that in the cities. Turnout fell in heavily black cities like Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee, all of which contributed to her losing Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin to Trump. And, even more surprisingly, the expected surge among women and Hispanic voters, who had been so insulted by Trump, failed to materialise. Even with the allegations of sexual assault made against Trump by a dozen women, as well as his 'locker room talk' and the prospect of electing the first woman president, the Democrats' share of the vote among women fell from 55% in 2012 to 54%. Furthermore, against the candidate who had built his campaign round a pledge to build a wall along the Mexican border and make Mexico to pay for it, insulted a federal judge of Mexican descent, and described Mexicans as `criminals' and 'rapists', Clinton's vote actually fell by 6 percentage points among Hispanics (from 71 to 65) from 2012.

Clinton was a weak candidate partly because she is such an uninspiring campaigner. The trouble with having the Obamas campaigning for her was that it merely emphasised how much better they were at working a crowd than she was. Who can forget Michelle Obama's 'when they go low, we go high'? But who can remember any line from a Clinton speech — other than the one about the `basket of deplorables'? Neither did her campaign have any enthusing, over­arching theme to it. Most of the television ads she ran were more about painting Trump as a dangerous extremist, an outsider unfit for office, than pitching any plan of her own for change. And Clinton's answer to 'Making America Great Again' was 'Stronger Together' or 'I'm With Her' — not really slogans to inspire. As one commentator wrote, 'When your response to a cry of "Make America Great Again!" is "America Is Already Great!" you'd better be sure that it feels true to a majority of voters, and the results show that it did not.'

In the aftermath of her defeat, Clinton seemed to suggest that the main reason why she lost was because of the action of FBI Director James Comey in reintroducing the issue of her use of a private e-mail server whilst serving as secretary of state less than a fortnight before Election Day. In a conference call with donors four days after the election, Mrs Clinton said: 'There are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful, but our analysis is that Comey's letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, stopped our momentum.' Indeed, the action by Director Comey was, to say the least, unusual. And when he announced a week later that, after all, there was nothing new to report, his behaviour seemed highly questionable. Clinton claimed that this episode stopped her momentum in the final two weeks of the campaign and allowed Trump to talk louder and longer about 'Crooked Hillary'. The statistical evidence on this is, however, inconclusive. True, Trump did gain 2 percentage points in the polls between 28 October (the date of the first Comey announcement) and 6 November (the second announcement). But on the other hand, the slide in Clinton's numbers began ten days before Comey's first letter to Congress. She had already lost 2 percentage points in the polls between 18 and 28 October.

But although Clinton might have felt rightly aggrieved at Comey's behaviour, the problem went much deeper than that. If Clinton had not foolishly used her private e-mail server for state department business, if she had not equivocated time and again when the issue was brought to light, if she and her husband had not got caught up in all the somewhat sleazy-looking stories concerning the Clinton Foundation, if it hadn't looked as though she was saying one thing to Wall Street financiers (whilst being paid $500,000 per speech) and something else on the campaign trail, then 61% of voters would not have thought that she was dishonest and untrustworthy (see Table 7.8). And just short of three-quarters of those voters cast their ballots for Donald Trump. Neither could she entirely blame Mr Comey for the fact that 63% of voters were bothered about the whole e-mail server thing, and 70% of them voted for her opponent. Clinton had spent the entire year insisting that the whole e-mail business was a non-issue. It turned out she was wrong about that, and in the end she and Donald Trump exhibited what one might call 'a parity of sleaze'.

In a country that wanted change, Hillary Clinton was the wrong candidate. In an election where the vast majority of voters thought the country was 'on the wrong track', Hillary Clinton, as someone so closely linked with the incumbent president, was the wrong candidate. For an electorate who wanted the country to be taken in a more conservative direction, she was the wrong candidate. The bottom row of Table 7.9 should also give pause for thought to those who have claimed that Bernie Sanders would have been a stronger candidate.

Finally, Clinton suffered from a passion gap. We saw this in 2008, and we saw it again in the primaries of 2016. Hillary Clinton is not a candidate who engenders genuine passion amongst many of her supporters. This brought to light a long-running problem for the Democrats — how to get out the vote in winning numbers when Barack Obama is not on the ballot himself. We saw this in the midterm elections in both 2010 and 2014. Now we know that the Obama factor turns out

to be non-transferable, and when it came to another Clinton presidency, 'the dogs didn't like it!'


We have been saying for more than a decade now that America is a deeply divided nation. Its name — the United States of America — is something of an irony. According to David Brooks, 'this election campaign has been rather like a flash flood that sweeps away the topsoil and both reveals and widens the chasms'. We have seen that America is a more divided nation than ever we thought. We like to think of democracy as a conversation of ideas. What we have seen is a stream of shouted insults. Americans have retreated to their tribal bunkers. We have learnt that for the past eight years, one part of the nation have felt like strangers in their own country. Now they seem determined to reverse the tables. Red and Blue America seem ever more incomprehensible to each other, and the nation has chosen a president not renowned for either listening or healing. The moral and political health of the country is, I fear, in danger. And I pray that I am wrong.

Article by Anthony Bennett