Successes & Failures of 2016 U.S. Elections — Part 5


by Sunil J. Wimalawansa

 “Trust is earned, respect is given, and loyalty is demonstrated.  Betrayal of any one of these is to lose all three.” ― Ziad K. Abdelnour, Economic Warfare: Secrets of Wealth Creation in the Age of Welfare Politics

Silent voter rebellion: 

( January 1, 2017, Washington DC, Sri Lanka Guardian) Voters during the election 2016 were mainly focused on domestic issues; economy, jobs, deteriorating education standards and infrastructure, escalating violence, and the border security.  People largely disregarded the international and personal issues, such as charter and experience of the candidate.  Tipping point was that, approximately 3% of overall voters, undecided (non-Trump and non-Clinton) constituents crossed over to vote for Mr. Trump, during last two-weeks of the election.

Controlling the escalating domestic violence across America, tighter border control and immigration, vetting and imposing immigration restrictions weren’t considered as important aspects during previously elections or necessary to keep America safe and prosper.  Meanwhile, the tax reforms, foreign policy, environment, and entitlements took the second line during this election.  The latter group of items were however, the ones that were relentlessly debated by ‘Talking Heads’ in the mainstream media (television and newspapers); but voters hardly paid attention to these.

Why Latinos voted for Mr. Trump, in greater number than expected:  

When he was naive to politics, Mr. Trump made some dubious comments at the beginning of his Campaign.  However, despite very little appeal by Mr. Trump during his campaign to this important Latinos segment, with time many took his side silently.  One of the key reasons is that Latinos who are in the Unites States legally (and some illegally) have experienced the loss of credibility and job opportunities, due to illegal immigrants flooding through the southern border.  They preferred stronger border control, which would protect their jobs.  Nevertheless, they did not voice their opinion but acted through voting; the media completely failed to capture this.

Many Latinos, who are law abiding citizens, strongly felt that their reputation and status would be harmed by being unfairly bundled them with the illegal migrants and linking them with illicit drugs and violence.  While, many objected to forced deportation, they favor a stronger U.S.-Mexican border control; thus, they quietly voted for Mr. Trump.

The media and the minorities:

Those voters who knew what was going behind the scene, voted silently.  The mainstream media and the self-claimed pundits were clueless on what was going on and missed the facts, but kept talking.  Nevertheless, rather than miscalculating and alienating Latinos as a group, Trump campaign should have exploited this strategic “concept” cordially.

During the 2016 election, the minorities in general did not get trapped into Group Thinking with mixed messages, and therefore a significant number voted for Mr. Trump.  Because of his persistent messages, Mr. Trump received a greater number and percentage of votes from Latinos, African Americans, and older White women, than predicted.  He also received a greater share of the minority votes (e.g., African Americans and Latinos) than the 2012, Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

Effects of WikiLeaks:  

During 2016, WikiLeaks reminded the Americans and the world, about the corruptions within the Democratic Party machinery and in the Clinton Foundation.  In addition, it exposed the unethical issues of the party machinery that was run by the reserved rich, who cared little for the ordinary Americans.  Biased they demonstrated against Berny Sanders to marginalized him is a good example.  These insults were far reaching and vividly worse than Mr. Trump’s several unthoughtful remarks as a naive politician, which he did during the early part of his election campaign.

WikiLeaks also exposed serious issues in the Democratic National Committee, Clinton apparatus, and some of the wrong-doings by the staff of the Clinton Foundation and colluding with the State Department.  These actions demonstrated that they would do anything to enhance their portfolios (Podesta e-mails).  This is irrespective of disparaging the minorities, ethnic and major religious groups, for raising money with the end goal of gaining power.

Some believe that the setting up of the unlawful, private server by Secretary Clinton was primarily to raise funds through the backdoors of Clinton Foundation for her future presidential campaign.  Multiple previously suspicions initiated by the Judicial Watch and others, and the comments made by the Director of the FBI in June 2016 were strengthened by these exposed paradoxes by the WikiLeaks.  These were not denied by the Democratic Party, Clinton Foundation staff or by the Secretary Clinton, and thus, sustained.

Downfall of the Democratic establishment: 

Democratic Party has now emerged as a party of the progressive hard left and thought to represent the elite progressive forces and the mainstream media.  Consequently, it managed to divorced from the working class people.  Democratic Party and the Clintons were over confidence that their extensive political machinery, experience, the favorable media, luminaries, and the favorable demographics in swing-states were sufficient to win the election.  They overlooked the fact, that many people were voting for the “candidate and the policies” that he or she will bring in.

Manipulations by the media, Hollywood sagas, and excessive focusing on raising funds while neglecting key constituents and Rust Belt swing-states such as Michigan Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio, and failing to articulate and disseminate policies, Clintons dig their own graves.  As per the United States constitution and the democratic governance, post-election, losers must accept the defeat and leave graciously, and leave room for the winners to move in.  We expect that this is the case with smooth transition of power at the White House.  Continuing unjustifiable post-election protests and requesting recounts for no justifiable reasons are unproductive and waste of funds, and worsen the negative images of the Parties concern.

The millennial movement of Berny Sanders:

In contrast, as with Donald Trump’s movement, Bernie Sander’s candidacy was a grass-roots movement and a natural response against the Washington corruption and Wall Street scandals.  While Mr. Sanders has some great ideas, his overall direction is considered as being too extreme to the left; yet were keenly fascinated by millennials.  Particularly, his unrealistic promise to provide free university tuition for all American students, which estimated to cost over a trillion dollars of tax payers funds, annually.  However, this suggestion kept the heavily socialist bent millennial voters excited and fascinated; they were much of his followers during his primary election campaign.

Unfortunately, the disharmony was drastically worsened by the dishonest activities of the Democratic National Committee which deceitfully favored the candidacy of Ms. Clinton over Mr. Sanders (rigged elections, as claimed by Mr. Trump and Mr. Sanders)  that were further exposed by the WikiLeaks.  These messages became solidified, following exposure of the management issues within the Clinton Foundation by the WikiLeaks.

Mishandling and foul play of Mr. Stander’s primary election opportunity was intimidating.  Despite this painful scandal and major policy differences, his reluctant but firm endorsement of Ms. Clinton forfeited his credibility.  This led to not only loss of his followers but also the vibrant movement that he created with great efforts during 2016 primary election cycle.

To be Continued 

Read Previous Parts of This series: Part One , Part Two, Part Three and Part Four 

Professor Sunil J. Wimalawansa, MD, PhD, MBA, DSC: A Physician-Scientist, Social Entrepreneur, Educator, and Philanthropist, with experience in strategic long-term planning and cost-effective interventions.  He can be reached via:  



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