13 Things to Blame for the Trump Presidency

13 Things to Blame for the Trump Presidency

By Luis Perez

A year ago, on Nov. 8, 2016, Donald John Trump became the elected leader of the American people. A real estate mogul turned reality television star whose namesake was synonymous with extravagance and wealth became President of the United States of America. The result was a shock for most and a disappointment for many. “How?” The question arose immediately. As the result sunk in among those who were upset with the result, the question quickly shifted to “Who?” Who can we blame for the election of Donald J. Trump as president?

You can blame anyone, the American electorate, democracy, capitalism, yourself, but it is much more convenient to blame groups outside of our own and things out of our control. So here is a short list of scapegoats and how to fully and properly shift the blame onto them.

1) White Women

Fifty-three percent of white women voted for Trump while 94 percent of black women and 68 percent of Latino women voted for Clinton. It’s white women’s fault Trump was elected president. We knew this right away.

• Nov. 9 — "Clinton Couldn’t Win Over White Women: But they split along educational lines" – Five Thirty Eight

• Nov. 9 — “White Women Helped Elect Donald Trump” – New York Times

• Nov. 9 — “American women voted overwhelmingly for Clinton, except the white ones” – Quartz

• Nov. 9 — “White Women Sold Out the Sisterhood and the World by Voting for Trump” – Slate 

• Nov. 10 – “Why Hillary Clinton Couldn't Win Over Female Voters: For many women, voting based on gender is a luxury” – Vanity Fair

• Nov. 10 — “Why So Many Women Abandoned Hillary Clinton” – Time

• Nov. 13 — “Women Aren't Responsible for Hillary Clinton’s Defeat: The media has created a misleading narrative in a rush to assign blame for the outcome of the election” – The Atlantic

2) F.B.I. Director James Comey’s Letter

Eleven days before the 2016 presidential election Comey sent a letter to Congress saying that he was reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of an unsecure server to send and receive e-mails when she was Secretary of State. Two days before the election, Comey said he didn’t find anything new in the information and re-closed the investigation nine days after he reopened it. Clinton’s lead in the polls was cut in half after the Comey letter and she never recovered.

It was an unprecedented move and against policy for the FBI not reveal investigations that may influence an election, but Comey did it anyway.

It was James Comey’s fault Clinton lost and Trump was elected president.

• Dec. 11 — “Comey FBI letter 'almost certainly' cost Hillary Clinton the election, numbers reveal” – Independent

• Feb. 21 — “The True Story of the Comey Letter Debacle”– Vanity Fair

• April 22 — “Comey Tried to Shield the F.B.I. From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election” – New York Times

• May 3 — “The Comey Letter Probably Cost Clinton The Election" – Five Thirty Eight

3) Bill Clinton

On June 27, 2016, Bill Clinton met with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in a private meeting on a tarmac in Phoenix. Speculation flew that the former president was asking Lynch to end the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of an unsecure server for state department business. This forced Lynch to recuse herself and hand over the investigation to the FBI prompting the subsequent and devastating Comey Letter months later.

It’s Bill Clinton’s fault that Hillary lost and Trump was elected president.

• May 3 — “Comey: Lynch's Private Airplane Meeting With Clinton Spurred Email Disclosure” – U.S. News & World Report

• May 3 — “Comey: Loretta Lynch's Tarmac Meeting With Bill Clinton Forced Me To Go Public About Clinton Investigation” – Real Clear Politics 

• Jun. 30 — “Democrats groan after Bill Clinton meets Loretta Lynch: The private meeting rekindles concerns about a possible conflict of interest while his wife is under federal investigation" – Politico

4) Wikileaks

In March 2016, WikiLeaks released emails from Clinton’s private email server. Later, they released emails from the Democratic National Committee that revealed that party’s organizing machine was working to undermine Bernie Sanders in favor of Clinton as the nominee. Then, in October 2016, one hour after the Access Hollywood tape of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women was released, WikiLeaks published the private emails of a top Clinton aide, John Podesta, which included excerpts from Clinton’s speeches to Goldman Sachs.

WikiLeaks also sent many anti-Clinton tweets leading up to the election.

Julian Assange hated Hillary Clinton and WikiLeaks’ targeted attacks on her cost Clinton the election.

It’s WikiLeaks' fault Clinton lost and Trump was elected president.

• Aug. 6 — “What Julian Assange’s War on Hillary Clinton Says About WikiLeaks” – The Intercept

• Oct. 4 — “Julian Assange, WikiLeaks Founder, Promises Raft of Revelations” – New York Times

• Oct. 11 — “Why WikiLeaks hates Hillary Clinton” – Vox

• Dec. 23 — “How Much Did WikiLeaks Hurt Hillary Clinton?” – Five Thirty Eight

5) Bernie Sanders and His Supporters

In her memoir, What Happened, Hillary Clinton levied blame on Bernie Sanders and his supporters for causing lasting damage to her campaign. He did not cede the race and endorse Clinton until late in the primary race and his progressive policies were one-up versions of Clinton’s own policies. Bernie was also not a Democrat and shouldn’t have run as one. He was an independent progressive. The #BernieOrBust crowd became the #NeverHillary crowd, which fed right into the Trump campaign’s own anti-Hillary messaging.

Bernie Bros were also to blame because their passionate support for Bernie became aggressive hate for all things Clinton. They trolled Hillary supporters online and verbally attacked them at rallies and at the Democratic National Convention.

Bernie Sanders and his supporters attacked Hillary Clinton and left lasting damage to her image.

Bernie Sanders and his supporters are the reason Clinton lost and Trump was elected president.

• May 31 — “Why Does the Left Hate Hillary?” – Politico

• July 25 — “DNC Attendees React to Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Presence at Convention” – ABC News

• Aug. 8 — “About A Third Of Bernie Sanders’s Supporters Still Aren’t Backing Hillary Clinton” – Five Thirty Eight

• Aug. 12 — “Bernie supporters HATE hillary! [sic]” – James O’Keefe

• Nov 4 — “Sanders Supporters: It’s Infuriating to Be Told We Have to Vote for Hillary. But We Do: Thoughts from a Bernie delegate” – The Nation

• Dec. 7 — “The Bernie Sanders–Fueled Alt-Left Viciously Attacked Me” – Time

• Sept. 6 2017 — “New Clinton book blasts Sanders for 'lasting damage' in 2016 race” – CNN

6) Patriarchy, Misogyny, Sexism

It’s as clear as day that Hillary Clinton suffered her election day loss because of deep-seated views of the roles of women in America. She endured unfair criticism from the opposition, the media, and her own party that the male candidates did not have to endure. Powerful capable women are stigmatized in American society and Hillary Clinton was no exception. In fact, she was usually the main target.

America is full of misogynists who refused to elect a woman as president.

Misogyny is the reason Clinton lost and Trump was elected president.

• Feb. 12 — “Why Millennials Don’t Care That Hillary Clinton Is a Woman” – Politico

• Jun. 25 — “The hidden sexism that could sway the election”– PBS

• Sep. 26 — “Of course gender is a factor: Being a woman is still Hillary Clinton’s biggest liability” – Salon

• Oct. 1 — “Fear of a Female President: Hillary Clinton’s candidacy has provoked a wave of misogyny—one that may roil American life for years to come" – The Atlantic

• Nov. 9 — “Why the gender gap doomed Hillary Clinton” – Washington Post

7) A Time of Radical Change

Most Americans wanted change. They rejected the status quo. Obama represented change. Trump represented change. Clinton represented the status quo.

It was the anti-establishment sentiment of the American people's fault that Clinton lost and Trump was elected president.

• Apr. 6 — “Most Americans want 'radical change'—it’s socialism or barbarism, and Clinton would only mean more of the latter" – Salon

• Nov. 9 — “Exit Polls 2016: Voters Show a Deep Hunger for Change” – Wall Street Journal

• Nov. 10 — “Trump won election because Americans wanted change” – Miami Herald

8) The Clinton Campaign

The Hillary Clinton campaign was outplayed by Trump’s team. Clinton did not campaign in Wisconsin nor place enough resources into Michigan to seal the deal. The campaign also had poor electoral strategy, which left room for Trump to lose the popular vote and still win the election. Despite spending twice as much as the Trump campaign, they were unable to stop their diminishing gap in the polls.

The Clinton campaign underestimated how tight the election was going to be and made tactical missteps, partly because of arrogance, which cost them the election.

The Clinton campaign is to blame for Hillary losing and Trump being elected president.

• Nov. 6 — “Why the Election Is Close, and What Trump and Obama Have in Common” – New York Times

• Dec. 9 — “Tracking the 2016 Presidential Money Race” – Bloomberg Politics

• Dec. 14 — “How Clinton lost Michigan—and blew the election” – Politico

• Dec. 16 — “The Last 10 Weeks Of 2016 Campaign Stops In One Handy Gif” – Five Thirty Eight

9) The GOP

Yes, in 2016 the Republican candidate beat the Democratic candidate, but the GOP is responsible for Trump's win in a deeper way. For decades, the Republican party has stoked fears about urban crime and anxieties about race to appeal to conservative voters. Since the 1960s, the Republican party has implemented the southern strategy to increase support among white voters by appealing to racism against black people. The GOP has also successfully associated the establishment with liberal elites making them the party of the underdog, even while they held the presidency and a majority in both houses of Congress. Many draw a line from Sarah Palin to the Tea Party to Donald Trump. By legitimizing Palin and the Tea Party, the GOP paved the way for a populist republican candidate, who may not serve their goals, to win a presidential election.

The GOP’s election tactics over decades are responsible for Donald Trump being elected president.

• Jan. 23 — “How Sarah Palin Paved The Way For Donald Trump” – NPR

• Mar. 16 — “Column: From Sarah Palin to Donald Trump: Where the Republican Party went wrong" – Chicago Tribune

• May 10 — “Is the Tea Party Responsible for Donald Trump?” – The Atlantic

• Oct. 3 — “President Obama Draws Line from Sarah Palin to Donald Trump” – Time

10) White Supremacy

CNN commentator Van Jones famously called the 2016 election a “whitelash” against a black president and the changing demographics of a country. Many studies report that by 2050 America will no longer be a white majority country. The 2016 election was a last stand by white Americans to maintain their supremacy in the United States. White people were willing to look past Donald Trump's racist ideas and remarks because he promised to maintain their white supremacy. Trump often made veiled nods to white supremacist groups in his speeches and those groups embraced him as their candidate.

The desire of white people to keep America as a white supremacy state is to blame for Trump being elected president.

• Sep. 2 — “This Race Is About Race” – U.S. News & World Report

• Nov. 9 — “Van Jones on a Trump win: This was a white lash” – CNN

• Nov. 9 — “Trump’s win is a reminder of the incredible, unbeatable power of racism” – Vox

• Nov. 9 — “Behind Trump’s victory: Divisions by race, gender, education” – Pew Research Center

• Apr. 17 — “Racism motivated Trump voters more than authoritarianism" – Washington Post

• May 18 — “Economic Anxiety Didn’t Make People Vote Trump, Racism Did” – The Nation

11) Obama, George Soros, Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the Radical Alt-Left

Obama for his divisive rhetoric. Soros for bankrolling the bussing-in of antagonist protestors. Black Lives Matter for reinforcing the false narrative that America is inherently a racist country and pushing an anti-law enforcement sentiment. Antifa for violently pushing the left’s message and stifling free speech. All of them, part of the radical left which prioritizes political correctness over national safety, sovereignty, and common sense. They prefer chaos over peace.

The dangerous and divisive tactics of the radical left are to blame for Trump being elected president.

• Jul. 16 — “Black Lives Matter could win it for Trump” – The Spectator

• Aug. 15 — “'Barack Obama is to blame': 13 Alabama conservatives on Charlottesville” – Vox

• Aug. 15 — “What is the ‘alt-left,’ which Trump just blamed for some of the violence in Charlottesville?” – Washington Post

• Sep. 16 — “Campus Rape and Why Liberals are to Blame for Trump’s Election” – Newsweek

12) The Media

First of all, the news media did not take Trump’s candidacy seriously. Not until much later did they begin to asked the Trump campaign challenging questions. The Huffington Post even covered his candidacy as entertainment and not politics. Secondly, by mid-summer 2016, the media had given Trump $2 billion dollars worth of coverage on their networks. The news media also did not believe Trump could win. Being surrounded by urban liberals and not rural conservatives skewed their judgement. Also, in general, the media does not raise the level of discourse high enough while they chase the lowest common denominator. They prioritize sensationalism over truth and entertainment over information.

The media is to blame for the election of Trump as president.

• Jul. 17, 2015 — “Huffington Post is going to cover Trump as entertainment, not politics" – Poynter

• Aug. 26, 2015 — “Donald Trump Is Running A Perpetual Attention Machine” – Five Thirty Eight

• Mar. 15, 2016 — “$2 Billion Worth of Free Media for Donald Trump” – New York Times

• Apr. 1 — “Are the Media to Blame for Donald Trump?” – U.S. News & World Report

• Mar. 29 — “President Obama Chides Media For 2016 Election Coverage” – NPR

• May/June 2016 — “Did We Create Trump?” – Politico

• Jun. 28 — “Trump, Brexit and the State of the Race” – Real Clear Politics

• Mar. 10, 2017 — “There Really Was A Liberal Media Bubble” – Five Thirty Eight

• Aug. 25 — “The Media Is the Villain—for Creating a World Dumb Enough for Trump” – Rolling Stone

13) Blame Yourself

While we're here blaming others, let’s not forget about you. I’m sure within your sphere of influence you deserve to take some blame. Whether you voted or you didn’t. Whether you paid attention or you didn’t. Whether you spoke up or you didn’t. It’s on you, too.

You are also to blame for Donald J. Trump being elected as president. Yes, you.

Me too.

Learn more about the 2016 election in these series:

"The Real Story of 2016" – Five Thirty Eight
Election 2016 – PBS/Frontline

The Minutes of Our Last Meeting – Columbia College Chicago -  Board of Trustees Budget Committee

The Minutes of Our Last Meeting – Columbia College Chicago -  Board of Trustees Budget Committee

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