Politics

An Expert Reveals Why He Should Have Predicted Trump's Shocking Win

Like many people, this was my reaction to the election.

Now that the unthinkable has become real, I'm stuck on an emotional Kubler-Ross Mobius strip, slipping from denial to anger to bargaining to depression, then back to denial, never quite getting to acceptance.

Throughout the election, I chose to have faith that reason would win out. It didn't. As far as I'm concerned, madness won. A mere 107,000 voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin changed the course of human history.

And while I never really thought President-elect Donald Trump could win, there were moments when I was hit with the disturbing feeling that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could lose. Like that moment in a relationship when you get a vibe that it's turned a dark corner, but you just don't want to accept it. 

That first moment was at the end of August. FiveThirtyEight set Clinton's odds at 74-24. For those reaching for hope, there it was. 

Then, suddenly, she was gone.

Vanished. Turns out she was in the Hamptons on a 3-day fundraising trip that included performances by Paul McCartney, Jimmy Buffet, and Jon Bon Jovi. Yeah, there's the message you want to send. Nothing too elitist. Meanwhile, Trump was on his way to Mexico, acting all presidential on stage with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

That night he was in Phoenix, giving a "major speech on immigration." He was allegedly "softening," or "pivoting," or whatever meme the campaign gave the press to chew on. It didn't matter who was paying for a wall. What mattered was that Trump was all over the news, and she was MIA.

I panicked. It was like a cosmic shift in the Force. At the time, I wrote: "Secretary Clinton: why aren't you on my screens?! I've momentarily forgotten you're running for President! I only hear your name in reference to FBI email dumps and AP stories about Clinton Foundation 'scandals'! Get on my screens!"

Finally, she re-emerged, just in time to call half his supporters "deplorables," bolt from a 9/11 tribute, and nearly pass out waiting to get into a van, all at the exact moment Trump was pushing the "stamina" meme. More panic.

Even after the first debate, when he was in full meltdown — snorting, interrupting — I was still panicking. Sure, he was punching himself out, but she just seemed to lay back, smile, and let him up off the canvas. She didn't knock him out.

Even after the release of the infamous Access Hollywood "Grab them by the pussy" video — a revelation that would destroy a person's chances of becoming a high school guidance counselor — he eventually rebounded in the polls. All I could think was: "how do you beat someone who just won't quit?" Even the Clinton campaign's "what will the children think" ad seemed soft.  

Still, the experts said to relax. The demographic cake was baked. So, I relaxed. Until the Clintons did a mad dash to Michigan like they suddenly thought they'd left the gas on and that the house could explode. And they were right.

Deconstructing the election has become the new Democratic cottage industry. Artisnal hand-wringing. I never thought he could win. Still, in the book I published in April, 2016 — Welcome to Dumbf*ckistan — I wrote: "The popular wisdom is that Hillary will win the Presidency. However, if there's one thing that's sure in this life, it's that you can go broke betting on the popular wisdom...Trump may yet have a few tricks up his sleeve should he choose to try to make himself palatable, or less onerous, to swing voters."

Turns out my panic was justified.

Ian Gurvitz writes weekly opinion columns for ATTN:. He is the author of  "Welcome to Dumbfuckistan: The Dumbed-Down, Disinformed, Dysfunctional, Disunited States of America."