Six ways Team Trump defeated Team Hillary and six things Democrats can do to claw power back.
Yes, Donald Trump is the 45th president of the United States, defeating Hillary Clinton by 279 to 218. So how did the Republican's 'team Trump' claim this historic walloping win over Democrat's 'team Hillary'?
To analyse this win we first need to establish what it is that the Republicans now control:
- Senate majority
- House majority
- Supreme Court
- District voting neighborhoods via gerrymandering
- Voting machines rigged in 16 states
- Setting up voting stations so that people can't paper vote
- Voting lines so long it is too hard to vote.
- Sending voters to the wrong place
- Republican Judges that rule over how the voting machines are configured
- Exploiting the profit motivation behind the corporate arm of the media companies
And conversely if we look at what the Democrats control:
- Popular vote
- Moral high-ground
- Media's anti-Trump support
So, where to now?
If one can see the elections as nothing more than a competition to get into power regardless of feelings, then we have a perspective to analyze. This is a highly competitive game where the outcome is to 'get elected whatever the cost'. Facism, racism, sexism are simply tools to play the game with.
I really don't like having to take this view, but at a time like this it is important. Conversely, if one is stuck in the mode of 'how horrible is this guy Trump' (which I think is the morally right view to have) then one could have a harder time figuring out what went on because one is perhaps too involved in emotion at this time to 'see the wood through the trees'.
I would like to illustrate the woods I see.
Firstly, this isn't a Trump solo win. This is a co-ordinated team with with lots of people playing various parts. The more visible such as Donald, Melania and Pence, but also the more hidden people including Judges, District Representatives, FBI, voting machine operators, publicists, journalists and of course the National Rifle Association.
And then there are the behind the scene's strategists such as Chris Jankowski, a top tactician on the Republican State Leadership Committee, who spent years preparing Republicans for 2010’s post-Census redistricting fight — in which conservatives, long dominant in state legislatures and governors’ mansions, successfully gerrymandered a number of states’ congressional districts to maximize benefits for their own politicians.
Therefore, team Trump is big. Donald is the frontman, maybe he is the 'showrunner', but it is safe to say there is a BIG team here.
Secondly, the entire field of emotion is open for play:
- social influence
- media manipulation
- polling booth control
- the feelings of white 'unappreciated' or 'forgotten' voters, extremely threatened by #BlackLivesMatter
- the easily antagonised feelings of 'empathetic' voters with a high moral standards, easily enraged by #Trumpisms.
Basically, all of our fears, worries, insecurities are used, manipulated, through simple triggering events in the media to stimulate us into action or reaction - either in favour or against his campaign, thereby drawing lines between voters and entrenching the basis for further social influence along those groups. This dangerous game of showmanship was executed perfectly by Trump with his anti-Mexican, anti-Immigration, anti-trust 'cast-away' quips.
These 'cast-away' quips were considered for their ability to segregate voters and create a media spectacle, of course knowing all along that team Hillary would be out to discredit his reputation.
Looking back, team Trump did a great job of identifying how to categorise their voters and match that with the polling stations they could control.
Thirdly, the old saying 'good cheaters never get caught' applies very much in this election. The rules of combat are very simple. Don't get caught cheating (especially at the polling stations). It sure does help if one has a couple of Republican judges in the right positions (ie districts where polling station tweaks are viable).
Fourth, we are in a period of swing away from liberals, Obama has done his three terms and Obama's social points had run out. The Democrats had positioned Obama as 'demure enough' that swing voters wouldn't see Obama as a threat (like Spike Lee might instil insecurity in some people).
Obama was not too radical, an acceptable guy that everyone could like... that was until #BlackLivesMatter came along. With the rise of Facebook 'live' videos, showing horrific scenes of police brutality and a rise in all coloured people supporting #BlackLivesMatter, Obama was out. He was making people angry, either by his lack of in-action or for simply just being African American. This game had ended its cycle.
Fifth, digital savvy. 'Team Trump' didn't go head to head with Obama earlier, they could of opposed Obama in 2012. Team Obama had commanding control of social media and digital search through his 'Android Administration' (and in this vein, Hilary showed a complete lack of technical savvy).
Sixth, the anti-establishment sentiment was nurtured on the back of Senator Bernie Sanders campaign. Bernie had ignited this flame but was unable to execute in his own Democratic party because lack of support. Team Trump took hold of all of the swing democratic voters sentiment and used that to widen his base to include Sanders voters. I have several friends staunch Bernie who actually voted Trump.
And this last item is something which segways into the next obvious question...
How can Democrats beat Team Trump?
I would suggest that in order to beat the Republicans, the Democrats should throw out the current team focussing on establishment politics and embrace a new view.
Firstly, Bernie had a stronger anti-establishment game. Democrats need to get those Bernie voters back. They need to question the establishment that allowed Republicans to gain control of so much. Get behind Bernie, give him the full power allowed to Hillary.
Secondly, by its in-action in covering Bernie and its action in covering Trump stories the media is totally complicit in the Republican victory. Democrats need to use their media connections to encourage more investigative journalism. This may mean rolling a few senior executives at media companies who are more into 'reality TV style' reporting. It's time to call out the cheating for what it is... and spread this message to Trumps swing voters.
Thirdly, get Trump impeached. Investigate him with the IRS, SEC.
Fourth, own the digital media space again.
Fifth, either start their own gerrymandering or work on transforming the electoral college.
Sixth, does this really have to be said... campaign in swing states.
It's hard to believe that Trump is the honest winner, in the same way it's hard to believe that Hillary really defeated Bernie. But the Republicans played the game hard, they cheated hard and weren't caught. This is a win, many years in the making.