By Josh Moon
Alabama Political Reporter
I have been asked that question a lot since late Tuesday night, when Americans went to the polls and elected Archie Bunker president. I suppose people think I have a better idea of what could lead to such an embarrassment, but I don’t.
Oh, I have ideas. They’re just not much different from what you’ve heard, because truth be told, it’s fairly easy to figure out why Donald Trump was elected president.
First and foremost, he was elected because a good number of Americans are just not that bright.
I know that stings, but sometimes the truth hurts. And this is the undeniable truth. I can prove it.
If we strip away all of the racist, bigoted, xenophobic undertones of the Trump campaign and ask his supporters just why in the hell they’d vote for “The Apprentice” star who won’t turn over his tax returns, the one consistent and most believable answer you’d get is: He’s different.
“Ol’ Trump tells it like it is,” they say. And that against-the-grain mentality was what drove them.
Here’s the stupid part: That’s the only place it drove them.
A Congress where 96 percent of the incumbents won re-election in 2014, despite embarrassing approval ratings, once again saw incumbents cruise to easy victories. That includes 38-term Sen. Richard Shelby in Alabama, who beat out Cicero in his first race.
So, you want real change, but you just re-elected the men and women who are most responsible for everything wrong, and the men and women who polls show you hate the most.
The second reason Trump was elected is that the Democratic Party is run by idiots.
If you can’t see that you have a real problem on your hands when, during the primary, Hillary Clinton’s opponent voluntarily disposes of the email scandal immediately, yet still almost beats her, you should get out of politics.
I get that it was a tough decision between Bernie Sanders and Clinton, given that Bernie insisted on referring to himself as a socialist, but these aren’t the only two candidates in the country.
Joe Biden would have lapped Trump. Elizabeth Warren beat him to death daily on Twitter. Michelle Obama was out there bringing people to tears with speeches.
The third reason Trump won is America is filled with racists.
I don’t care if you don’t want to hear it. It’s true.
Since the election of President Obama in 2008, the growth of race-based hate groups has exploded. The hateful rhetoric surrounding racial discussions is at an all-time high, and much of that is due to the very purposeful division of this country by conservative groups.
They have spent the last eight years convincing many of those stupid white people I mentioned above that Obama was plotting to steal their hard earned money and turn it over to the black people so they can buy spinning rims and lobster with food stamps. Through Fox News, dozens of fake-news websites and hundreds of conservative talking heads on radio, they have spread a message of fear and anger to a group of people who took the bait and swallowed it.
It’s so bad that a good chunk of this country believe that crime rates are up (they’re down drastically), murder rates are at all-time highs (also down) and that cops are being shot by black “thugs” at record rates (also down).
The misplaced anger from these gullible racists was evident at Trump rallies, and he stoked it.
That’s why it was so easy for his followers to dismiss his crass comments about women, to look the other way when nude photos of his wife from a magazine shoot hit the media, to ignore his admitted ignorance of world affairs, to be unconcerned that he wouldn’t turn over his tax returns to support his grand claims of business successes and to belittle any attempt to point out Trump’s toddler-like temperament in every setting.
They didn’t care. They could only see the anger.
And so, here we are.
But fear not, because all is not lost.
Remember, most of us live in Alabama, and in Alabama we are protected by a bubble of stupid.
No matter how good or bad the country outside of Alabama’s borders might be doing, inside this bubble of stupid, things never change. The legislature is still corrupt and dumb. Our education system still “sucks.” Football games will still be played.
On top of that, it’s also worth noting this: Donald Trump is an egotist who loves to be adored. For most of his life — up until the point he decided he wanted to con the gullible Republicans, who make the success of the Nigerian email scams so much easier to understand — Trump has been an outspoken liberal who loved the Clintons and all they did.
The idea that he’d now be a staunch conservative seems farfetched.
Which means that conservatives, like liberals, move towards inauguration day facing the same unknowns and should be just as unsure of the future.