(Note: this is the original English version of an Op-Ed piece I was asked to write for Swiss newspaper Tages Anzeiger on what the election means for the United States)
That surprised not only the Hillary faithful, but a lot of conservatives as well, including me. Because, frankly, most of us (including the candidate herself) figured the end of this movie had already been written.
It may not be known in Europe, but Hillary Clinton had a vast machine behind her: a Democrat National Committee (which, per WikiLeaks, had colluded to suppress the votes of Bernie Saunders supporters), a majority of the US Press and TV whose only criticism of Her Royal Clinton was that she was just too amazing for lesser minds to comprehend, President Obama and his wife, and of course all the best and brightest in Hollywood (Lady Gaga, Cher, and Katy Perry, anyone?).
Republicans had Trump: a cartoonish-caricature of a capitalist with his bad hair, many beautiful ex-wives, and a lifestyle of vulgar excess. On paper (many newspapers, in fact), that should have been enough to sink him and the GOP, giving birth to another four glorious years of Benevolent, Thoughtfully Liberal Democrat Reign.
Yet the buffoon (my description when first interviewed by Sacha Batthyany) won.
How could this have happened? As I wrote elsewhere, a lot of people were not voting forTrump. They were voting against Hillary and the correct-thinking people who had been telling half of America for decades that they were too stupid to understand the nuances of difficult subjects like illegal (aka “criminal by definition”) immigration.
The correct-thinking people were stunned and shocked, as were many Hillary supporters.
What does this mean? I suspect the surprising election results are, in fact, the beginning of a Cold Civil War. And the first casualty of this war was a lie.
The lie (told repeatedly in film and TV and the news) is that Liberals and Progressives in America are the only people that are filled with love and compassion, that they are people of principle, dedicated to giving a voice to the downtrodden. The press and Hollywood swore for many long years that only Liberals believed in the law and the Constitution.
The aftermath of the election revealed that lie very starkly. The Left gave up any pretense of principle or ethics or logical consistency. They know they’re right, and they know their enemies are not just wrong, but those enemies––conservatives–– are evil. For the American Liberal Progressive, this is a holy war, whether they want to admit it or not. Remember, in a war against sub-human enemies, anything goes.
A random, tiny group of Nazis claim Donald Trump as their guy? Then of course all Trump supporters are Nazis.
(The fact that Barack Obama was endorsed by a racist, anti-Semitic, homophobic hate group in 2008 and 2012…did that mean all of his supporters were racist, anti-Semitic-homophobes? The intellectually honest already know the answer to that silly question)
Veracity is now a supreme virtue. Suddenly correct-thinking people everywhere are concerned about the truth of anything Trump said during the campaign. If you do happen to wonder where the Left’s concern for the truth was during the Obama administration, you’re told that the worst he was guilty of was “political exaggeration.”
As for the American Liberals and Progressives, Trump has already performed a great service for the nation. By their own irrational temper-tantrums, acts of violence, and attempts to overthrow a free and fair election, their totalitarian belief “Shut up, we know better and it’s for your own good” has been revealed in all its glory.