My campaign strategy of going after the dissatisfied of both parties failed me. Instead of voting for Will Rogers, they voted for Donald Trump. I was counting on the write-in votes of the big block of voters who couldn’t write. Yeah, that’s a head scratcher.
Like most of America (and the world) I was prepared for Hillary Clinton to be elected Tuesday. I was anticipating a smooth and easy transition from Obama to Clinton on January 20, with minimal change in policy. But late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, the shock wave rolled slowly across the country. When the Pennsylvania vote totals finally came in at 3:00 a.m., the Clinton faithful were sent home, weeping.
They weren’t the only ones weeping. Pollsters, newspapers, TV networks and a whole slew of others absolutely guaranteed that Clinton would win. Most thought Democrats would take the Senate and come close in the House.
On college campuses across the country, especially in the Ivy League, pampered students required counseling and protected spaces to overcome their grief at losing. They have no experience at losing. No student ever gets less that a B and winless soccer teams get trophies. Grieving girls were given diaper pins to attach to their shirt so other terrified girls could identify a shoulder to cry on. This may sound like I’m blaming the students, but most of the fault belongs with overly protective parents and liberal-leaning professors.
Clinton’s supporters blame the loss on country folks who only voted for Trump because they aren’t smart enough to understand what they are giving up. I think most of those folks from rural counties, whether they live on a farm or in town would agree with my comment in 1924: “I’m just an old country boy in a big town trying to get along. I’ve been eating pretty regular, and the reason I have been is because I stayed an old country boy.”
Here’s another one from 1933: “Well, the ‘hillbillies’ beat the ‘dudes.'” (OK, this referred to a polo match, but it sure fits this election.)
While it is easy to credit the rural and other “blue collar” folks for the Trump victory, Mrs. Clinton got 5 million fewer votes than President Obama in 2012. She still won the popular vote, barely, but those five million who abandoned her were in key states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan where hard work, common sense and fossil fuels are admired, not ridiculed.
In her concession speech Secretary Clinton was gracious in defeat, and in his response Trump complimented her for her many years of tireless service to the country. Kinda like football teams that battle to the final whistle, then the players and coaches exchange handshakes and hugs, we all need to accept the result and look forward to the next “game” in 2018 and 2020.
Historic quotes from the Will Rogers campaign, 1928:
“It has been brought very forcibly to my notice that they would not let my name be placed on the ticket, and people could not make a mark after it. Of course I got a few votes from the ones who could write the name in. But my big vote was supposed to come from those who couldn’t write. I have found them to be the best Citizens in America. Give me the friendship and loyalty of the man that can’t read or write.
I am not saying yet what I will do in (the next election), but it looks like we ought to combine the Anti-Bunks with the Democrats.
I am not going to send any more thanks to my supporters, for there is enough people in this Country now trying to live on Thanks. In fact that’s about all the Farmers will have to live on for the next four years.
We went into this campaign to drive the Bunk out of politics, but our experiment, while noble in motive, was a failure. I was the only Candidate that ever promised to resign, and I guess I’m the only Candidate that ever made good on that or any other promise. Well, anyway, here is Goodbye and Good Luck, from the only cheerful Loser in the race.”