Billy Bush got fired. Trump was elected POTUS. Here’s how it happened.
It was a perfect storm of a number of many smaller factors.
We’ve all heard a lot about so called “fake news”, also known as “propaganda.” Much of the fake news was so fantastic that the non-Trump folks didn’t give it credence for a second. “Podesta has Satanist Sex Parties with Underage Girls.” Yeah, right. But that stuff was widely passed around and a certain type of person came to believe it simply because it was repeated so much in the echo chamber.
It’s pretty well established at this point the Russians not only hacked the DNC but also likely the RNC. They chose to release emails from the DNC trove. There was no release of RNC email oddly enough. They also had a part in stimulating the generation of anti-Hillary fake news. They certainly wouldn’t work to enable a candidate they viewed as stronger, so they picked Trump to aid because he was viewed as most likely to make the US weaker, and to spawn pro-Russian sentiment.
Many saw through Trump’s ever changing rhetoric and recognized him as the con man he is. But as PT Barnum liked to say, one is born every minute. So since he was always changing his views to suit the mood (or the audience), a lot of people liked what they heard and believed his words actually meant something. Ha ha ha ha! He enjoys viewing folks as idiots and watching how easily they fall for his shenanigans. To a con man, words are just tools of the trade and have no meaning whatsoever.
Lack of enthusiasm for Hillary
Let’s face it, Hillary didn’t really “bring it.” She was the pragmatic, responsible choice, vanilla, experienced, qualified, and lots of other good boring stuff. But she didn’t get folks fired up. She wasn’t game changing. She just promised more of the same
Those 3rd Party Candidates
Folks who felt they needed to “vote their conscience” certainly took their toll as the 3rd party candidates tended to drain votes that would have mostly fallen for Clinton. The percentage of votes they garnered would have put Hillary over the top. But alas, those voters needed to be pure, didn’t want to accept the two party system, or one of many other rationalizations. They may have also felt that there was no way Trump would get the votes (see below) so their votes would simply make a statement.
The Electoral College
Thanks to the electoral college and the way representatives are assigned, some votes are worth 3.6 times as much as some others. Further, thanks to heavy GOP gerrymandering, it’s an even more an uphill battle to build the majorities needed to win the EC. Add in the fact that the EC apparently didn’t do a piece of their “checks and balances” job and prevent this fascist takeover and yes, we’re really thanking the EC these days for their part in making this new reality.
Trump won with only a minority of the popular vote. In a true democracy, one person, one vote, he would have lost the election. But because the EC makes some votes worth 0.28 instead of 1, he lost. The EC is an old an crude hack to attempt to resolve issues related to budget allocations for smaller states (among other things). We should resolve those issues separately without compromising the measure of a vote.
Bannon and Satan
When he appointed Bannon to his campaign there was an outcry about Bannon’s involvement in Breitbart.com, the white nationalist site known for its conspiracy theories, anti-Semitism, and general white nationalism.
But then one of Trump’s first moves after being elected was to make Bannon his chief of strategy.
Bannon then gave an interview where he said:
Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they (liberals) get it wrong.
— Steve Bannon
This is the largest category. There are so many aspects to Trump’s character that seem to disqualify him from any job that it was incomprehensible to many people that he’d ever get the votes to become president.
So when it came time to go to the polls, a large number of potential voters were not motivated to get out because they assumed there was no way this guy could still get votes.
Let’s start with the tape of Trump talking. The Trump Access Hollywood tape got a lot of press. Here’s the transcript. If you haven’t heard the full tape, that article has both the transcribed text and the audio. It’s worth spending a minute on to see who we just elected. I’m sure it makes Melania proud.
I did try to f**k here. She was married.
— Donald Trump, President of the United States
The tape goes on with a lot other pretty vulgar stuff. At one point he says “I moved on her like a bitch.” What does that even mean? The intent is clear but that’s not a well known piece of English slang.
A funny map was shown immediately after the tape surfaced.
Alas, there were still plenty of people who were cool with things he said on the tape though.
Now get ready, the list is pretty long, and by no means complete.
He famously tangled with the Gold Star Khan family that had lost their Muslim son in the war in Iraq. He accused the wife of not being allowed to speak because she was Muslim. He ticked off a lot of folks with this outburst, including a bunch of Republican leaders. I think we can all agree it was a super classy thing to do.
For some reason, even with all the other important issues in the world, he found time to to mix it up with Alicia Machado, a beauty contestant he’d tangled with many years ago. Apparently he told her back then she was fat and needed to lose weight, sent her to a gym, and arranged for the media to show up and take photos of her trying to shed all those extra pounds. Here a photo:
He doesn’t deny he made humiliating remarks, calling her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” because she was Latino. No one even remembers what the recent spat was about.
Then there was the federal judge Curiel who was born in the United States to Mexican parents who Trump accused of being unfit to do his job. Curiel was on one of the 1000s of suits against him. This one was about the notorious Trump University (more on that in a minute).
Bullets dipped in pig’s blood
At some point when he was vilifying Muslims and blaming the entire religion for terrorism in the countries we attacked (huh… naw), he made the remark that he wanted to “kill them all with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood.” Well, maybe he didn’t come out and say that’s what he wanted to do, but he was glorifying General Pershing and telling the story that he’d used bullets dipped in pigs’ blood. The story apparently is not true, but heck, truth never stood between Trump and a good story.
Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers
Trump came out of the gate announcing his candidacy and referring to Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers. One might have thought that would have meant the campaign was stillborn, but he apparently hit a nerve there with lots of folks liking that simple us versus them narrative.
McCain being captured
He famously said he liked people who didn’t get captured. It wasn’t like McCain bumbled into an enemy camp like a bad episode of Hogan’s Heroes. McCain’s plane was shot down. I don’t think it was McCain’s fault.
Trump’s connections with the Mafia in Atlantic City back in the heyday of the mob are pretty well documented and pretty unambiguous. But somehow against the backdrop of so many other character flaws and so much other overt law breaking, they don’t even tip the meter.
Yes, he’s had several, not the least of which was a casino backruptcy back in the Atlantic City days. How he could lose that much money in the casino business and working with the Mafia, one cannot say. Maybe the money just went somewhere else. Who knows. But the taxpayers footed the bill, he came out well, and many other small contractors in turn went bankrupt in the not so nice “ruined their lives” kind of way.
General Twitter Demeanor
He’s notorious for using Twitter to bypass that pesky mainstream media. He’s used it to take on many perceived slights or offenses, including some that seem to be so minor that we’re amazed he devotes the time. But as we watch his apparent lack of impulse control on Twitter, we’re terrified the now that nuclear codes equally within reach. Doesn’t like something someone says somewhere? Why just lambast them on Twitter anymore when you can nuke ’em! That’ll teach ’em!
Speaking of taxes, it’s likely he hasn’t paid near his fair share. He reneged on the campaign promise to make his tax returns public so we’ll never know, but he did, at one of the debates indicate that he thought not paying taxes made him smart.
Lying, 4 Pinocchios, pants on fire, etc.
Trumps flagrant distortions of the truth have made headlines for the duration of his campaign. It’s hard to tell if he’s lying (which implies knowledge and active intent) or just simply believes his own version of reality. It’s probably a little of both, but given his predilection for conspiracy theories it doesn’t seem out of character to figure he’s actually bought into a lot of the falsehoods himself.
Suggesting Hillary could be shot
One of his favorite techniques is to almost say something and then let the public fill in the blanks. Thus, he can deny saying it, but his message is clear. In the case of suggesting Hillary should be shot, he phrases it in such a way that he can say “oh no I would never suggest anyone shoot her” but everyone gets the intent.
Insulting candidate’s (or his wife’s) appearance
One should argue using facts and evidence, but Trump frequently resorts to ad hominem attacks of the dirtiest variety, suggesting that other candidates (Carly) or candidate’s wives (Ted Cruz’s wife) are not attractive enough. This is the triple threat: attacks the person, not the argument, attacks physical appearance, and since they’re women, makes it about their looks. For the most part we try to teach our children not to do this. But somehow a lot of people didn’t see this as a deal breaker.
Refused to disavow David Duke
Let’s see, this was the “faulty headphones” one? But he could hear well enough to accurately repeat well known white supremacist David Duke’s name. Then, on the other hand, subsequent to being elected he was very quick to call out civil rights icon John Lewis. You do the math.
Dodged the draft with ouchie feet
He got multiple medical deferments to avoid the draft (done spurs in his feet apparently, all better now) but then was still able to play college sports. Huh, now if there were anything else about his character to make one suspicious…
Didn’t know what the nuclear triad is
There was a famous interview where he expressed ignorance as to what the nuclear triad is. He seems to have indicated ignorance about nuclear arms in general although he thinks we should be tough and just use ’em. Holy crap, and this guy who has apparently no impulse control is now in control of the nuclear launch codes? Thanks conservatives for betting that you could pass your key agenda items before he launches on someone.
Muslims dancing on rooftops
From Donald’s alternate reality, he reports watching video of Muslims dancing on rooftops celebrating the 9/11 attacks. No such video has ever been found. No one else recalls seeing such a thing. And the premise seems pretty implausible. Do any of those little details stop Donald. Nope.
Bought a portrait with money from his charity
Here’s the whole story. To be fair it sounds like some of the money did end up going to a charity, but he could have paid the painter out of his pocket and then made the charitable donation separately through his charity. Or given that it was a relatively tiny sum, paid both out of his pocket. But hey, that’s probably just what losers would do.
Trump University has been widely covered in the news. It was apparently a simple scam to defraud folks using the Trump name and promising to make them successful real estate investors. You can find plenty to read about it on the ‘net, none of it positive (well unless you get it from Trump). One could imagine he had other ways of putting funds together and wouldn’t have needed to go after gullible people’s retirement funds.
He waged a multiyear campaign to discredit Barack Obama by claiming with no evidence whatsoever that Obama was not born in the US.
He at one point told the news media that he’d sent private investigators to Hawaii to unearth the truth and he said they were finding unbelievable stuff. Oddly, no government office or hospital in Hawaii has a record of being contacted by Trump’s investigators. Likely because they were deep undercover at the bars in Oahu doing their unearthing where you can also get a drink.
Of course Trump never reported back on the unbelievable stuff they found.
Fun fact – John McCain was born outside the US proper in the Panama Canal Zone. He was still eligible to run for the presidency, clearly, but the irony makes it rather amusing.
Cheating on multiple wives
Lots of folks cheat on their spouses, sure. But Trump was unusually flagrant about it with all his wives. He gave his first wife Ivana a job which would keep her out of town so he could tryst with Marla.
He maintained his reputation as a pussy hound while married to Marla but there was no single woman who jumped out. He later dismissed Marla after catching her with a bodyguard.
And then came current wife Melania. The Access Hollywood tape was during the involvement with her. The tape is from 2005, he married Melania in 2005, it’s not clear if he was actually married at the exact time of the tape but he’d been with Melania for at least 6 years at that point so likely she was at fiancé status if not full on wife. Monogamy is not one of his strong suits, and his base seems pretty cool with the “stud” image.
He bragged about not paying taxes
His companies benefit greatly from all the services provided by our tax dollars but he proudly proclaimed that not paying his fair share makes him smart.
We’re looking at a man who is so ethically and morally bankrupt that an electorate, conditioned to consider even the idea that a politician sleeps in the same bed as their spouse as a scandalous revelation, could be excused for assuming he’d disqualified.
But we’re in different times with different laws of political physics. For four long painful years.