How do losing political movements react to defeat?
They comfort themselves with the notion that the electorate did not properly appreciate their achievements in office, failed to understand what was at stake. Consciously rejecting virtue and reason, through base motives of greed or prejudice they have knowingly chosen the dark side.
This position found a home in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, which now seems to regard winning elections as at best a secondary concern, and colours the tone of much post-referendum commentary – the suggestion being that many Brexit supporters came to their view through something worse than ignorance.
Disapproval of the voters also seems to be rife among anti-Trump elements. You can see it in the protests, and in the calls for moderate Republicans not to “normalise” the president-elect by taking jobs in his administration.
American voters were crying out for change, yet the Democrats offered its antithesis: the Washington establishment incarnate. People in states and counties the Democrats had come to take for granted worried about their jobs, their futures, prospect for their children, the ballooning cost of healthcare, the state of their roads and bridges, immigration, terrorism, the effect of trade deals on their industries, and America’s place in the world – and the Democratic candidate responded: did you hear what Donald Trump said about an ex-Miss Universe?
But other things that were closer to home mattered more to people than Trump’s flaws, and he was taking about them.