Two months before Donald Trump announced his candidacy, in the lead paragraph of our “Campaign 2016” coverage in the Spring 2015 Trends Journal, we wrote: “Billions will be spent on lies, deceptions, hollow slogans… it’s The Greatest Show on Earth: The Presidential Reality Show.® In 18 months, Americans will go to the polls to cast ballots for a lesser of two evils…”
While we were the first publication to forecast a Trump victory and we trademarked Presidential Reality Show®, we were wrong in our analysis that the public would “cast ballots for a lesser of evils.” Never in modern American history had two candidates registered such high negativity ratings in polls or had so many claimed they voted against the other candidate, rather than for their favored candidate.
In fact, nearly 20 million did vote on November 8 believing that neither Trump nor Hillary Clinton were qualified to be president. And, according to NBC News exit polls, nearly 60 percent of voters said Clinton was not honest and trustworthy, while only one-third said she was. Donald Trump also had one third who said he was honest and trustworthy; two-thirds said he was not.
Two days before the election, CBS News’ “60 Minutes” featured a focus group discussing how it felt about the presidential campaign that had dragged on for over a year and a half: “Terrified,” “exasperating,” “horrifying,” “disgusted” and “nightmare” were some of the comments.
In the business world, from retailers and restaurateurs, the likes of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz blamed his industry’s slowdown on more than “just an economic downturn.” Schultz pointed to the “profound weakening in consumer confidence” and the “very uncertain election. You have domestic civil unrest with regard to race, and I think the issues around terror have created a level of anxiety.”
MEDIA MISSED THE LARGER PICTURE
While the entire mainstream media and major polling organizations led the populace astray over the past year by predicting Clinton would win, the same people that got it wrong are again wrongly pontificating on why Trump won and what to expect next.
In the Spring 2016 Trends Journal, published as a CNN/ORC poll said Clinton was leading Trump by 13 percentage points nationally, we wrote: “Despite the general media/political consensus that he has no chance of winning… Trump has a clear shot of beating Clinton.”
Understanding the sinking, shallow depth of an agenda-driven media (which monotonously host the same tired faces and empty talking heads, while freezing out anyone outside their political/corporate circle jerk) and how the race for the White House had devolved to reality-show levels, we wrote: “Trump, the uncontested reality-show champion with a proven track record of playing to the public, has chartered a path to victory. (See Spring 2016 Trends Journal, “Violence and protests to mark Trump’s road to the White House,” page 2.)
As the race heated up during the summer, we again forecast in the Trends Journal that “Trump, a proven reality-show champion, will win White House. Despite the wedge issues of gender, race and creed that grab headlines… the bottom line among voters in the coming election is… the bottom line.” (See Trends Journal, “The Presidential Reality Show®,” page 17.)
In addition, while the western press now labels the Trump win as a US version of the anti-political elite, anti-establishment, anti-globalization populist revolts sweeping across Europe, the summer Trends Journal cover story, “People Power: The war for freedom,” was on top of the trend and long ahead of the news.
Not only did the media miss the populist trend’s strength and reach, they are also inaccurately reporting that among the masses – who have abandoned mass media as their information source – key elements of the populist movement extend far beyond party lines, elections or national leaders. In effect, it’s bigger than Brexit, Trump, the Five Star Movement, Freedom Party, Alternative fÜr Deutschland, etc. It’s a whole new world that extends beyond politics and socioeconomics. (See Summer 2016 Trends Journal, “People Power: The New World Order,” page 2.)
HISTORY BEFORE IT HAPPENS
Tracking trends is the understanding of where we are and how we got here to help assess where we are going. Thus, while the Trends Journal had accurately forecast a Trump victory several months before Election Day, we review the basis of our forecast of “how” and why “we got here” to provide a solid foundation of where the future is heading.
On the political front, despite tepid support from the Republican Party and no support from many of its leaders, Trump’s win – which swept a vast majority of Republicans into the House and maintained a majority in the Senate, as evidenced by his high negativity ratings – was more about the message than the messenger. And, most importantly, while essentially ignored by the media, the message was the voting public’s unmitigated rejection of President Obama’s eight-year rule and the Democratic Party which he was, and still is, the standard bearer.
Indeed, despite the president and first lady’s vigorous campaign stumping for Clinton at levels unprecedented in modern history… and despite Obama’s declaration that “I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy, if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election,” both he and his legacy were deeply insulted. Again, not only did Democrats lose the presidency, in a clear rejection of Obama’s legacy and Democratic Party policy and politicians, they lost both houses of Congress.
WHITER THAN WHITE
And, as evidenced by polling data, the myth that reactionary white-working-class men elected Trump continues to be perpetuated by the presstitute media and promoted by anti-Trump demonstrations that erupted following his election.
In fact, Trump received about the same number of white-male votes as did Mitt Romney in 2012. And, despite Hillary Clinton playing the “first woman to be elected president” gender card since she launched her campaign in spring 2015, she received 2 million fewer votes from women than Obama did in 2012. More importantly, just 30 percent of eligible women cast their ballots for Clinton, compared to 47 percent who did not vote. Also, some 2 million black voters who cast ballots for Obama in 2012 did not cast ballots for Clinton. Overall, Clinton received about 10 million fewer votes than candidate Obama did when he first ran in 2008.
As reported by the World Socialist Web Site, wsws.org, “As a percentage of votes cast, all racial groups swung toward the Republican candidate in 2016 compared to 2012. However, white voters showed the lowest swing to the Republicans (1 percentage point), compared with African-Americans (7 percentage points), Latinos (8 percentage points), and Asian-Americans (11 percentage points).” – TJ