Victory doesn’t change the fact that Trump was an unelectable candidate.
In every sense of the word, he was completely unelectable.
He had the worst approval ratings of any presidential nominee in history and offended a majority of the electorate throughout his campaign, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
A typical politician with Trump’s brand and strategy would have lost, but it was this unelectability that won an outsider like Trump the election.
Every faux pas that he committed made him less electable, but thus made him more attractive at the ballot box for a population that was sick and tired of the status quo.
Unelectability trumped the artificial and polished electability that the establishment has been pedalling since the dawn of modern politics.
It was time for an outsider, and who better than somebody who was completely and unashamedly unelectable?
No matter how many times the Republican Party labelled Trump as unelectable, he continued to win state after state after state.
Bernie Sanders’ unelectability was a major factor that spooked voters in the Democratic primaries, however, but Trump’s victory forces us to wonder if Sanders had a better shot than Clinton after all.
The American people would apparently never swallow Sanders’ socialism, but perhaps the nitty gritty of policy doesn’t matter as much as what it represents.
Do the fine details of building a wall, tearing up trade deals, or banning Muslims from entering the country matter as much as what it symbolises?
Trump’s platform was racist and imprudent, sure, but it was also a giant flipping of the bird to what has been established as politically correct and acceptable.
Sanders’ proposals, such as free university tuition and a $15 minimum wage, were labelled as insane and unsellable, but perhaps that’s exactly why his message would have gained traction.
And what about ideology?
It’s dubious whether a candidate of the extreme left could have won over a country that elected a candidate supported by the KKK, but perhaps ideology isn’t important as long as it isn’t anywhere near the dreaded centre.
Regardless of what could have been, however, 2020 hopefuls may have learned some valuable lessons for the next round of primaries.
Don’t enter Iowa and New Hampshire attempting to persuade grassroots members of the party that you can win the general election.
Convince them that you are unelectable.
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