Friday , April 12 2024
Trump's victory has been described as a populist revolt. Yet Clinton won a majority of the popular vote.

Five Ironies of the Trump Victory

covergirl nura afiaA few days ago many commentators (and Chelsea Clinton) pointed out the irony of Melania Trump’s announcement that if her husband became president she would, as First Lady, make anti-bullying a priority.

Now that Trump has won the election, more ironies have emerged.

1. Trump’s victory has been described as a populist revolt. Yet Clinton won a majority of the popular vote.

2. Just as the man who vowed to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. barged toward his surprise victory, U.S. cosmetics company CoverGirl named its first hijab-wearing spokesmodel, 24-year-old Coloradan Nura Afia.

3. In an election cycle that put Republicans on the verge of controlling every branch of the federal government, traditionally left-wing causes advanced in a number of states. Voters in California, Massachusetts, and several other states opted to legalize the recreational or medical use of marijuana. Voters in Colorado added their state to the five that already permit assisted suicide. Residents of Arizona, Colorado, and Maine all voted for a rise in the minimum wage. And at least three states moved to expand background checks for purchases of firearms and ammunition.

4. A majority of white women voted for the man who believes, as Suzanne Moore writes in The Guardian and as evidenced by his countless misogynistic statements during the campaign, that “[w]omen function to service him, as trophies, possessions.” In gaining so many of their votes, he made good on that claim.

5. As we might have gleaned from the bitter split in the Democratic primary caused by the Bernie Sanders phenomenon, Hillary Clinton, politically speaking, wasn’t the right candidate for the Dems. As Thomas Frank puts it, Clinton was a “technocrat who offered fine-tuning when the country wanted to take a sledgehammer to the machine.” So there’s some truth to Frank’s headline: “Donald Trump Is Moving to the White House, and Liberals Put Him There.”

It’s hard to get more ironic than that.

About Jon Sobel

Jon Sobel is Publisher and Executive Editor of Blogcritics as well as lead editor of the Culture & Society section. As a writer he contributes most often to Music, where he covers classical music (old and new) and other genres, and Culture, where he reviews NYC theater. Through Oren Hope Marketing and Copywriting at you can hire him to write or edit whatever marketing or journalistic materials your heart desires. Jon also writes the blog Park Odyssey at where he is on a mission to visit every park in New York City. He has also been a part-time working musician, including as lead singer, songwriter, and bass player for Whisperado.

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One comment

  1. Dr Joseph S Maresca

    Both Trump and Clinton had supporters and ultimately voters who migrated from Bernie Sanders, as well as, the Green Party. The infrastructure commitments of both candidates attracted support among populist leaning voters.

    The immigration issue is much more complicated for a lot of reasons. Jeb Bush indicated that deporting 2-3 million is more doable than the 10 million first discussed by Trump. The other problem is where do you deport people once they have been identified?

    This country has to be able to prove where the immigrants originated in order to force another country to take them back. Immigrants could be coming up from places like Panama, San Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica or Nicaragua passing through Mexico and ultimately crossing the border into the USA.

    If you could prove that illegals came from areas South of Mexico, the illegals could be deported on ships either on the Pacific side or through the Gulf of Mexico and ultimately the Caribbean Sea. Deportations would have to happen by sea in order to avoid having the involvement of Mexico for people who are not its citizens.

    In addition, 5 million or more have been deported from 2001-2015. Doubling that number would seem to be impractical. Potus Bush 43 introduced the idea of building a fence to protect the border and part of this project has been completed. It’s probably possible to erect walls along strategic parts of the border although there are breaks in the land masses like the Rio Grande River.

    A comprehensive deportation strategy would require the concurrence of all countries South of our border. We would have to agree on proof of citizenship, vetting criteria, transport costs and many other things in order to do a project of this magnitude properly.

    Ultimately, President – Elect Trump prevailed because 53% of white women voted for him. In addition, 29% of hispanics voted for Trump compared to ~35% of hispanics voting for Reagan. That’s not such a big difference considering the enormous controversy which arose from Trump’s statements about Mexicans. He labelled some as criminals while assuming others were good people. (He really needed a political editor here and even earlier in the campaign.)

    In this election cycle, Mrs. Clinton ran a rigorous campaign although her best chance for the presidency will have been in 2008.