Pennsylvania did it. It ruthlessly defied the odds and pushed Donald Trump into the White House. Everyone is still in shock. Both Republicans and Democrats. Something was afoot, and everyone (or nearly everyone) missed it.
I grew up in Butler County, western Pennsylvania, just north of Pittsburgh. It has a series of small towns, rolling lush countryside and a lot of good people. Friendly, helpful, giving. They sit on front porches in the summer. They talk to their neighbors. They invite people in for dinner. They keep their lawns cut beautifully, drive an assortment of pick-up trucks, and have impeccable vegetable gardens out back. They go to church on Sunday, and tend, in many ways, to actually heed the precepts they hear. They are good people. I know. I grew up with them.
These are the people, hard-working folks from Butler County to central Ohio to western Wisconsin who won this election for Trump. The elite media may want to call them backward, uneducated, and dare I say it, slightly bigoted? But they are none of those. And that’s what the media and Belt-Way pundits don’t get. These are not deplorables. They are hard-working, honest people.
And they have a voice. And they have spoken.
In a dramatic, historic way.
I hate to say it, but Obama was not the president of these people. They have felt marginalized by a series of decisions which eschewed their traditional ways, had eaten away at their way of living, and have watched their voices being drowned out by glib Hollywood actors and stuffy corporate Wall Streeters who have lobbied Washington for all kinds of perks and desires. Using Obama’s own words, he wanted to “fundamentally change America” but he did so in a way that cast aside a large swath of voters.
But no more. We have an election for the record books, for the history books. We’ll be studying about this election for the next one hundred years and beyond.
What we learn from it remains unclear. But my hope is that President Trump (that still sounds strange saying that) will not cast aside a whole segment of the population as he begins to govern.