After GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump won the 2016 election, discredited media and pollsters are in shock. I am glad the man I supported won the election, but I have tire tracks on my back from social media dustups. I’ve never witnessed such a stunning mobilization of falsehoods and propaganda directed at a candidate.
Nor have I ever witnessed the deliberate media coverup of scandal after scandal in the current administration and Democrats’ party as a whole. Media like to say the administration of President Barack Obama was “scandal free.” It was not, evidenced by numerous revelations via leaks, thousands dead in Libya, the weaponization of the bureaucracy to target the opposition, and dead bodies in Mexico because of an illicit and illegal gun-running operation. Throw the PPACA/Obamacare tax bill and court shutdowns on unilateral executive branch legislation into the mix, and you have a cornucopia of scandals. If a Republican was in office, you’d know about all that.
Regarding this remarkable election, however, there was a major force overlooked and I believe it was significant in placing President Trump in the Oval Office.
That most overlooked force in this election has to do with Republican women across the nation, and with those I know personally here in my home state of Florida.
I repeatedly heard pundits on both sides of the aisle bemoan Trump’s lack of a “ground game,” the smaller number of offices in place around the country compared to those of Dems, and his challenges with what I call the woman-card vote. Somewhere midway the campaign, when the glitz of the primaries and convention season receded, I realized how seriously media and pollsters were overlooking women’s groups in myriad counties across the country.
I realized a major difference between Republicans and Democrats.
Democrats are tech-savvy, and they are big on statistics. Their failure is in engineering statistics to construct a fictional outcome.
Republicans, at least those I know, tend to do voter outreach one-on-one. I talked to many people young and old as this election progressed. Some were libertarians while others were Democrats. Quite a few were #NeverTrumpers duped by a dark operation involving a former CIA spook, a failed GOP presidential nominee, and strategists in search of the mighty dollar to stuff into their pockets.
I came to realize many people fall into a pattern of voting for a candidate based purely on what they hear in often questionable media. I rarely met a person who could discuss Hillary Clinton’s record as First Lady and the scandal following the Clintons’ departure from the White House. I rarely met anyone who understood the significance of former president Clinton’s policies on mortgage lending and the truly giant favor he did large financial entities by deregulating derivatives and worse, setting a precedent for bailouts by bailing out a hedge fund.
No supporter of Mrs. Clinton could articulate her foreign policy, her propensity for war, or her practice of blatant quid pro quo. No supporter of the Democrat appeared to understand the very real national security issues we face because of her policies, and I am not just speaking of her private servers open to security breaches.
I had many rational conversations with people, explaining that Trump is not a racist simply because he questioned foreign policy with Mexico. Nor is he a ‘phobe’ of any sort for proposing a temporary ban on Muslims from countries hostile to the US—President Barack Obama did that very thing on a temporary basis and media said not a word about it. I agreed with our president on that matter.
In all I calculated I succeeded in informing people on a level so that roughly 105 of those individuals told me they would vote for Trump. By the time I got a final text from GOP Duval chair Cindy Graves to make a few more calls for our ticket, I realized how persuasive my friend is. Although it had been a long day and I was very tired, I picked up the phone, thinking to myself my friend had to be more tired than I was at this point.
As I covered the campaigns, I did something most media don’t do. I openly declared support for our nominee because as I often said publicly, I voted in our primary and I believed it my duty to support the decision of millions of voters who wanted Trump at the head of our ticket.
I listened as media and dinosaur pundits railed about the impact of Trump on down ballot races. Today they should be praising him.
I am comfortable with a businessman who will take on government reform severely needed and who will not govern as a stubborn ideologue. I have had enough hardcore ideologues from both parties to last me a lifetime.
As Trump campaigned, I watched as GOP women knocked on doors, made phone calls, and held events to rally the base and welcome new voters. Their dedication cannot be overstated. Women like Ms. Graves and women like the Florida Federation of Republican Women president Dena Stebbins DeCamp lived this election for months and months, often having to scramble when notified of last minute campaign events and never once complaining about the efforts involved.
A week or so ago I caught part of an interview with a representative of the National Federation of Republican Women. I don’t remember which cable network she was on, but I was delighted to finally see one of my fellow GOP women on TV.
All the women in clubs across the nation worked to elect a nominee truly chosen by the American people. Trump was not anointed as were Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton. Trump may not have been the first choice for many of us, but we respect the rules and we were willing to trust the people’s instincts. And so we worked to elect a man we truly believe was our only option as an agent of change for years to come.
By change I do not mean change to your personal lifestyle. I mean changes in our vulnerable national security, changes in our bloated wasteful federal spending, and changes in the practice of putting the US last dating to the administration of Bill Clinton and enduring on a bipartisan basis through the current administration.
As the epic battle of November 8, 2018 ensued, media and pollsters missed one of the GOP’s most powerful assets—women. Ignoring the resource that these women are says a lot about the bias of those media and pollsters, and it will be a long time before America trusts them again.
Hat tip to all the GOP women, from leadership to members and volunteers, who worked to make America a stronger, more unified country willing to lead again. I am blessed to know you.
Finally, I want to point out something else. I was right about those polls.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Nov. 9, 2016)