Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do? Have you ever been characterized in a way that you know is wrong? Have you ever heard others say unjust or unfair things about you? It stings, doesn’t it. A lot.

Now, imagine that such unjust accusations have been directed your way for years. Imagine that such accusations have been directed your way by entire classes and categories of people. Imagine that such accusations have been directed your way by the loudest and most ubiquitous voices in the nation. Imagine that such accusations have been directed your way by the most powerful people in government.

Got it? Now you know why Trump won.

People have parsed this election up, down, and sideways. The parade of reasons that Trump beat Clinton seems endless, and new schemes for reversing the results or forcing Trump to resign keep popping up to replace those that failed. We are told that the Russians tipped the election, that the FBI tipped the election, that fake news tipped the election, that a vast right-wing conspiracy tipped the election. We’ve heard that Trump’s supporters are “deplorables,” racists, hate-mongers, fear-mongers, and bigots. We’ve heard that these people are wrong about everything, that they’ve lost the culture wars, that their ideas have been rejected by society. We’ve heard that Obama’s legacy will endure, that his ideas are the correct ones, that the people who didn’t heed them either weren’t listening or were seduced down the bad path by talk radio and Fox News.

What do all these things have in common? They are rooted in contempt. Nowhere in any of this is the possibility that Trump’s voters were capable of measured and rational thought. Nowhere is there any acknowledgment that these voters might actually be able make informed decisions. Nowhere is there any acknowledgment that these voters have been systematically maligned and denigrated by the prevalent voices in politics and culture, and that they elected trump as a rejection of accusations they found deeply unfair and insulting.

Americans are, by and large, good people. In Americans, we find a good sort of pride, we find independence, we find a positive spirit of community and self-reliance. Americans are notoriously generous, and they care about each other.

If you watch the news, or pay attention to the culture wars, or listen to the message from the politicians on the Left, you’ll hear none of this. The only “good” people, we are told, are those who think a certain way, who act a certain way, who are fully invested in identity politics, and who, unless they are at the fore of the grievance hierarchy, loudly self-flagellate, loudly declare that everyone like them sucks, and the only way to not-suck is to accept without complaint every slam, smear and aspersion cast their way by the social-justice scolds and leftist pundits. If you’re not at the fore of proper thought, you’re a racist, a bigot, a person filled with hate, and just plain stupid.

Often, it seems that these aspersions are purely contrarian in their nature. If the “wrong sort” of people (aka the bitter clingers and the deplorables) are worried about something, that something must be exalted and imposed by force if necessary. If the “wrong sort” of people hold an opinion, the “correct” opinion is the opposite one, and no other opinion is permitted in the public square. If the “wrong sort” of person is invited to speak, it’s proper behavior to intimidate or force the inviters to cancel the invitation. Merely being one of the “wrong sort” means you’re wrong about all that matters, and that you need to be told so.

Again, all this is rooted in contempt. And this contempt is the reason that Trump won. Many people don’t care about the (fluid and sometimes vague) details of his agenda, or about what he’s actually going to do vs what he declared he’d to. They supported him because he represented a rejection of the Left’s accusations. They know that, despite their skepticism about there being 63 genders, they’re not bigots. They know that, despite their skepticism about the motives of some of the Black Lives Matter activists, they’re not racists. They know that, despite their discomfort with some issues at the fore of the social justice movement, their hearts are not filled with hate or prejudice.

Millions of good people got tired of being accused of being bad people. They saw their opportunity to scream “Enough!” by electing Trump to the Presidency. The Left still shows no signs of understanding this, of understanding that their ever-growing contempt for everyone who thinks differently, more than any of the rationalizations they keep coming up with, elected Donald J. Trump to be the 45th President of the United States.

Peter Venetoklis

About Peter Venetoklis

I am twice-retired, a former rocket engineer and a former small business owner. At the very least, it makes for interesting party conversation. I'm also a life-long libertarian, I engage in an expanse of entertainments, and I squabble for sport.

Nowadays, I spend a good bit of my time arguing politics and editing this website.

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