A big question about Donald Trump is how did they get it soooo wrong? The pundits. The party elite. The consultants. The editorial writers. The other candidates. Howcum they were so totally wrong about the rise of Trump?
The answer is Joe the Plumber.
Heís the guy who dared to question Barrack Obama. During a campaign stop in 2008. He questioned his tax policies. He told the candidate he wanted to start a plumbing business. John McCain and Sarah Palin quickly made Joe the Plumber part of their campaign.
They did so because none of these guys knew a plumber. (Well, Sarah did.) And they donít know any plumbers today. They donít know electricians and bartenders and brickies. They donít know barbers and cops. They donít know Army privates and machine operators. They donít know truckers and waitresses.
Candidates want votes from these folks. So in every campaign they assault us with fakery. The candidate bowls a strike with a bowling club. Or raises a mug of suds with miners. Or drives a tank or tractor. Or eats a hot dawg with county fair-goers.
But once the cameras quit, they donít know these folks. These voters. They donít sit in saloons with them. They donít party with them at the Elksí Club. They are not off to the church chicken supper tonight. This goes for the candidates as much as for the pundits, consultants, commentators, etc.
Because they donít really know such folks, they did and do a lousy job predicting how they will vote. Because they donít really listen to such folks, they donít know how angry many of them are.
These are important voters. Because many are on the blue-collar side of the Democrat Party. Theyíre not crazy about the intellectual side of the party. The academics and social workers donít do much for them. A lot of them jumped ship and voted for Ronald Reagan. They - the Reagan Democrats - helped elect him. A lot of them are voting for Trump.
Now Trumpís support is much broader than that. But if the pundit class had been slurpiní suds with plumbers over the years they would have heard alarm bells. Bells so loud they would have known the noise would resonate well beyond the plumbers.
But they donít hang out with the low brows. They donít hear them. They sip Sancerre with their fellows. And hear only what their fellows think. Instead of what the Great Unwashed think. Most of them havenít gripped a calloused hand in years. Unless they have a weight-lifting pal.
Novelist George Orwell wrote ďProbably the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of EtonÖĒ He was referring to the qualities of elite officers educated at Eton.
If Trump wins this battle someone may declare it was won in the truck stops, greasy spoons, factory floors, saloons and county fairs of this country. The very places the media and political elite meet and greet during campaigns. The very places they avoid between elections.
Now I am not recommending these birds change their social habits. But in an election like this they should hang up their predicting boots. Because theyíve got no mud on those boots. And most of their predictions thus far have fizzled.
A few elections ago a network media gal in the Big Apple made a big announcement. She wailed that she could not understand how Reagan got elected. Because nobody she knew voted for him.
A few weeks ago I saw a similar comment from a female movie star. About The Donald. She does not know a single person who plans to vote for him.
Maybe she should attend one of her movies. And chat up the guy or gal who vacuums the popcorn between shows.
From Tom...as in Morgan.