Trump shocked the world last night by tapping into a "burning resentment" growing within the American electorate...something that he alone was able to identify while every other politician and mainstream media journalist clearly missed it. Trump's victory, as Michael Moore said, is "the biggest fuck you" in human history as voters lashed out against a system they view as rigged and only working for the rich and powerful. Trump's victory give a voice to those infuriated with the excesses of wall street, the corruption of the mainstream media that is more interested in spreading their own propaganda than reporting the truth and to those who are utterly fed up with politicians who are "all talk."
In the 2008 U.S. election, Carrie Sheridan slept in her Honda Element as she campaigned across the country for Democrat Barack Obama. On Tuesday, the self-described community activist from the Washington, D.C. area spent $864 of the last $1,000 in her checking account on a room in Republican Donald Trump's $200 million luxury hotel three blocks from the White House.
"I had to be here," Sheridan said, as Trump supporters lounging on velvet sofas poured champagne on each other early Wednesday morning to celebrate their candidate's shock presidential election victory.
"This is rage against the machine."
Voters in Tuesday's presidential election were split nearly evenly between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, who as of late Wednesday morning was leading in media tallies of the popular vote count despite failing to win enough states to secure the White House.
But by overwhelming margins, voters told a Reuters/Ipsos exit poll they felt the United States' economic and political systems were tilted against them.
The poll found an electorate burning with resentment against Wall Street, politicians and the news media, increasingly alienated from a country it saw changing in ways it didn't like. Some 75 percent of poll respondents agreed that "America needs a strong leader to take the country back from the rich and powerful."
By a similar margin, voters agreed that the economy is "rigged" to benefit the wealthy, and that traditional politicians and parties "don't care about people like me."
Even more -- 77 percent -- agreed that "mainstream media is more interested in making money than telling the truth."
Still other people voted for a candidate who rejected political correctness and reminded them it was ok to be unapologetically proud of their national identity.
Many voters said they were primarily voting against one of the candidates. Some 46 percent of Trump supporters said they backed him because they didn't want Clinton to win, while 40 percent of Clinton supporters said they were motivated primarily to stop Trump from reaching the White House.
Those who made up their minds in the last week of the campaign were more likely to cite opposition to one of the candidates as their main reason for voting.
"I want somebody that's going to fight for America instead of other countries," said John Scherer, a 57-year-old former maintenance worker in Portsmouth, Ohio, who voted for Trump.
Politicians like Clinton are "taking away from what we were as a country and saying we should change because of the people coming in, the immigrants and refugees," he said.
Trump supporters were more likely to share this frustration. Some 70 percent who backed the Republican real-estate mogul said they felt the country was on the wrong track, while only 23 percent of Clinton supporters agreed, according to the Reuters/Ipsos tracking poll.
Trump proved that creating enthusiasm among an electorate is way more important than spending $100's of millions of dollars on developing a "ground game." Trump showed politicians that you can tell the truth and still win an election rather than blatantly pandering to every demographic while simultaneously patronizing them with meaningless rhetoric that you think they would like to hear.
The voters did their job and so now the onus is on you, Mr. Trump. The electorate gave you a mandate to attack the "rigged" system and "drain the swamp" in Washington. Are you up to the task?