All About Politics: The George Wallace President

**A Disaster**

Tuesday night was a disaster for our country. The election of Donald Trump is a terrible and tragic illustration of how appealing to the worst in us works.

Yes, I know there are a large group of people who have been left out, overlooked and unappreciated. They live in small towns, outer exurbs and, most of all, in rural areas. They were hit hard by the recession of 2008 and have not fully recovered. They don’t see their income rising. All these worries and anxiety are understandable.

But that a not-smart demagogue could deploy every sleazy, crude, racist and misogynistic tactic to get this group excited to believe him proves that there is a “sucker born every minute.”

Trump cannot and will not deliver for these people. He won’t be able to change their lives. He played to their fears. He invoked a time: the 1950s, when white men were in charge and anybody who did not fit that description didn’t matter.

Going after and demeaning immigrants was his first and prime device to stir up the uneducated and uninformed masses. He knew full well that they were “out there” and that they would “come out of the woodworks” if he used language so blunt and obscene that they would be moved to act.

His campaign manager all but admitted to this strategy by saying the day after: “We knew they were there, but we didn’t know if they would vote.” They voted.

In 1972, I worked for Edmund Muskie for President. I traveled the big state of Pennsylvania. George Wallace was running for president. He was seeking to get the Democratic Party nomination.

The faces I saw in the Trump crowds were exactly the same faces I saw at those Wallace rallies. Wallace said — you remember his slogan — “Send Them a Message.” Trump is a latter-day George Wallace.

The message sent is an ugly one.

I’m genuinely scared. A person truly unqualified, unprepared and, yes, unfit has been elected to the highest office in the land.

How did it happen?

You should know the following. Mitt Romney in 2016 received 59 percent of the white vote. Trump received even more. One number jumps out: he got 67 percent of the non-college-educated white vote.

Of the votes of women without a college degree who live in rural areas, he got 64 percent. Even among college-educated men, Trump won by 10 percentage points.

**Facts about the Clinton Camp**

This is beyond belief: the Clinton campaign raised so much money, it couldn’t spend it all. At the end, the campaign had — read this figure — $150 million dollars it didn’t spend. It should have spent it on field people in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.

The Clinton campaign believed that Wisconsin was so safe that Hillary last went there in early April. Not one visit by her during the general election campaign.

Campaign chairman John Podesta said the Sunday before the election that as long as they won Michigan and Nevada, they would win. Obviously, he knew they were going to lose Florida and Ohio. But he must have thought that Pennsylvania was in the bag.

It wasn’t.

**Silver Lining**

The D.C. statehood referendum was approved by 86 percent of the voters. Years ago, the idea was proposed by Julius Hobson, Sam Smith and Lou Aronica — and considered at the time “off the wall” and nutty.

It is now viewed as politically correct by nearly everybody in D.C. All we need now is a Democratic House and Senate and a Democratic president. Hillary Clinton would have been receptive and much more of an advocate than Obama. But that’s not saying much.

**Do Away with the Electoral College**

Al Gore got more votes than George Bush (500,000 more), but he lost.

Clinton got more votes than Trump (200,000 more, at this point), but lost.

This arrangement makes absolutely no sense. You get more votes, you should win. Let’s change this totally undemocratic idiocy.

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