Why did Trump win? Because America is tired. Its people are exhausted.
They're tired of working all day and then coming home to newscasters and TV pundits who call them racist, sexist, islamophobic, stupid and deplorable, And for what? For working all day so they can pay bills and be good citizens? Democrats still don't get it. They just put Nancy Pelosi back in charge of the House minority -- a minority position she almost single-handedly helped them achieve, though Harry Reid deserves credit in the Senate.
They're tired of splinter groups who spew hatred and contempt beneath a divisive false flag of righteousness. BLM, anyone? #NeverTrump? #OccupyWallStreet? La Rasa? LBGTQ social justice warriors? MSNBC and CNN? And plenty of others, depending on whose sacred cow was gored. (Note: I think the Occupy Wall Street idealists and the Tea Party pragmatists had much more in common than either realized, though their policy solutions might only be reconciled by someone who understands the art of the deal.)
They're tired of being scolded about political correctness. The scolding has been so severe and unremitting that most people have lost their instinct for simple communication and good-natured fun. When I was a kid, I heard a lot of funny jokes, like the Pollack who hijacked a submarine and demanded $10 million and a parachute. And of course any joke that began with a priest, a rabbi and a baptist preacher. And dumb blonde jokes, too, such as the one who used white-out on her computer screen. Trump voters are tired of being told they don't take life seriously enough, when in fact, working an eight to ten hour shift while raising a family and being a responsible community member and fixing stuff around the house isn't ... what ... serious enough? And isn't it racist to claim that I'm talking only about white people? I have black friends who work for a living and raise children. Hispanics and Asians, too? And people whose heritage is ambiguous. What does skin color have to do with it? Who's the racist here? Do you understand what I mean by tiresome?
They're also tired of identity politics and the notion that reality is only what we wish it was. There was a time when gravity was real and walking off a cliff wasn't advisable. Not so much these days. Doctors are rarely confused about circling "male" or "female" on a birth certificate, and even if confused, the doctor can always perform a genetic test to see whether the X or Y chromosome is dominant. Such gender determinations once were simple. And accurate. And almost always observable. But not anymore. Now we are told that science has little to do with reality. What do geneticists know about gender identity? Who put them in charge? Or parents, for that matter? Doesn't that kind of decision-making authority belong more properly in the women's study department or queer study department at your local university? Or, better yet, with politicians? Who knows what's best for us better than academicians and elected officials? And so we are told that each person should be free to self-identify and use whatever bathroom corresponds to their preferred identity, while the rest of us are admonished to memorize the new lexicon of personal pronouns that befit an inclusive and properly-educated society. Moreover, we're told that physicists should not use scientific terms such as black holes, college students should never have a theme party that appropriates someone else's cultural tradition, kids should never wear halloween costumes, and bakery owners should bake whatever wedding cake a customer demands, whether they want to or not, Yes, folks, people actually get tired of supercilious crap like that. And they vote.
They're tired of factory shutdowns, out-of-wedlock babies, unemployment, poverty, crime, cronyism, wasted taxpayer dollars, ignorant college students, and the crucifixion of common sense. Those problems got worse under eight years of the Obama administration, not better. Obama proved that he never knew how to fix anything. And Hillary proved that she would only make things worse. It's not good when your legacy is "anyone but you."
Want to know why the chant "lock her up" was so popular at Trump rallies during the campaign? Because people are tired. They're tired of all the BS. They're tired of liars that lie. They're tired of hypocrisy. Of gaming the system. Of cheating. And they're tired of watching their elected leaders double-down on stupid. It went on for one election cycle too many. Hence Donald Trump ... and the distant voice of the prophet Amos:
Thus says the Lord: For three transgression of Judah, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment; because they have rejected the law of the Lord, and have not kept his statutes, but they have been led astray by the same lies after which their ancestors walked. So I will send fire on Judah, and it shall devour the strongholds of Jerusalem. (Amos 2:4-5, RSV)
Whether you're religious or not, you gotta' like the prescience of Amos. No one confuses Trump for a biblical prophet. But people do want justice. Just not the modern-day snowflake social justice warrior variety. They want the same kind of justice they expect for themselves. And for others. The common-sense kind that requires a blindfold over Lady Justice's eyes.
Trump inspired America to feel alive again. Daring. Hopeful. Ambitious. Determined. The country needed a strong dose of adrenaline. He offered it. And America took it. So did I. In the process, we took Trump to the White House, and we expect him to take Obama and Clinton to the woodshed, if only figuratively. Enough is enough. Most folks aren't eyeing the past. They just want the present to make sense.
I believe Trump will pull it off. After all, he's a major league 'bidness man who has sat across the table with a lot of smart people worldwide. He knows what makes sense. And he knows how to get stuff done.
Into the ash bin of history go Obama and Hillary. Their deeds will follow them. They simply didn't understand how reality works. Or how tired we are of surrealism.