Elections, Jon Caldara, National

Caldara: Counting those "and that's why Trump won" moments

In our own ways, we’ve all been digesting the Trump victory. For me, a little phrase keeps surfacing in my mind and ringing: “And that’s why Trump won.”

Let me make clear that Donald Trump wasn’t my first choice, not by a long shot. But as it became obvious that he was going to donald_trumpwin my party’s nomination, I went through the stages of grief, and did so quickly. When you’ve seen as many political defeats as I have, you learn to accept reality much faster. You also learn there are no permanent political victories and no permanent political defeats. But the defeat of Hillary Clinton was a victory.

So, and I’m not proud to admit this, watching the leftist meltdown following the election is one of the greatest spectacles I’ve ever enjoyed.

Let’s go back eight years for contrast. So many of us we’re just as sickened by the election of Barack Obama as many are now by Trump. But I swear to God I know of no one who literally broke down in tears when Obama won.

Celebrities didn’t post videos of their panicked hissy fits. Teachers didn’t scare little grade school kids with doomsday prophecies. Broadway actors didn’t lecture the incoming vice president from the stage. Electoral College electors weren’t deluged with harassing e-mails, calls and death threats to change their votes. Oh, and the media didn’t wake up and realize their job was to be the suspicious watchdog of the new president, not a friendly colleague.

Basically, we were just as scared and jolted, but we didn’t completely freak out.

Watching this meltdown, it’s clear the anti-Trumpies aren’t just poor losers. They don’t get that Trump won because, in great part, they had been such poor winners. The hard-edged progressive left just can’t help but do a dance in the public policy end zone. The Trump victory was the ref’s flag for “excessive celebration.”

It’s not that the left won gay marriage (which I support), it’s that they destroyed bakers who, for their religious convictions, wouldn’t bake cakes for the victors.

It’s not that they passed a federal takeover of health care, it’s that they just had to force nuns to pay for birth control sinful to their core beliefs.

Icon_2016_Op_EdIt’s not that they imposed massive environmental and energy restrictions, or even that they went around the Constitution to do it by presidential fiat. It’s that they insultingly label those who’ve come to a different conclusion on global warming as “deniers.”

I could go on and on.

Every time I witness another example of how Trump-phobes help Trump, that little thought surfaces and rings like a bell – “And that’s why Trump won.”

It happens so often now I’m launching it as its own hashtag, #ATWTW.

My daughter comes home from school and tells me how the teacher taught how we need raise taxes, and the bell rings, #ATWTW.

I hear reporters and activists talk about the need to “end gun violence” instead of saying what we all know they mean, “gun control,” #ATWTW.

Boulder passes a soda tax, #ATWTW. “Minorities can’t be racist,” #ATWTW. University speech codes, #ATWTW. “There is a consensus on climate change,” #ATWTW. (If there really was a consensus, he wouldn’t have won.)

The media still has no clue that they were a driving force for Trump. I’m an avid public radio listener and this year they went into anti-Trump overdrive, completely oblivious to the possibility their sticky-sweet, politically correct story telling was driving people to, not away from, Trump.

And they just can’t stop themselves. A recent public radio story celebrated a high school English teacher who’s educating our kids on “the most important issue we have to tackle as a species,” population growth and climate change, through the required reading of alarmist literature. Of course, there wasn’t even a token dissenting view in the news story. So, this is like a triple #ATWTW, at least.

How many #ATWTWs do you encounter every day?

Jon Caldara is president of the Independence Institute, a free-market think tank in Denver. This piece originally appeared in the Denver Post.


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