CHICAGO – When Senator John F. Kennedy was elected president of the United States, it was the inventor of television, who got the credit.
When Donald Trump was elected president last Nov. 8, it was not just his Twitter and the social media that carried him as The Donald claimed afterwards. I think what elected him as the 45th U.S. president is a slogan invented by a leader of a Third World country more than half a century ago.
I was in my junior year in high school at the Divine Word in Sorsogon City in the Philippines when I first heard of the political slogan of then Senator Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1965. Marcos’s campaign battle cry stated, “Elect me President and I will make the Philippines great again.”
Teen-aged kids like me at the time did not usually read newspapers. But because I was hawking newspapers so I could buy the stuff that my playmates had, I was forced to read the headlines of the newspapers I was selling. I would scream to the top of lungs the headlines to attract newspaper buyers.
Unfortunately, when President-elect Trump delivered his victory speech, he was quick to thank his parents, sisters, brothers, his wife and children, his political advisers but not President Marcos, who was the original promoter of the Great Again Society! He did not even thank God.
Fortunately for Trump, government officials, like President Marcos, are not allowed to register their slogans or trademarks under international copyright law, unlike ring announcer, Michael Buffer, who was able to register his trademarked catchphrase, “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble,” which already earned him $400 million.
But why did Mr. Trump win the elections when a month before, his fellow Republicans were telling him to withdraw from race after he was quoted in a 2005 unaired footage in which Trump bragged about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women.
Despite Trump’s apology for his own crude and vulgar comment against women, Trump still beat the survey-leading Secretary Hillary Clinton, who should have principally benefited from The Donald’s misogynist remarks. How come?
The billionaire businessman had promised to disclose his tax returns before the elections as other presidential candidates had done but despite breaking his promise, which is tantamount to tax avoidance, The Donald still won.
Trump has never held any elective position and, therefore, it is impossible for voters to anticipate what he would do on some critical issues facing the nation. But they opted to ignore his rival candidate whom President Obama described as the best qualified presidential candidate of the United States of America. Yet, Trump trumped Hillary.
As unconventional as he could get like the Philippines’ firebrand presidential candidate Rody Duterte early this year, Trump’s antics had caused me to agonize on whom to vote.
In the Philippine elections, I had no reliable information about the campaign of Duterte, so I settled for the lesser evil. Boy, was I wrong. Between the two candidates, Trump is tamer than Duterte, who would kiss lips to lips with women voters in the presence of the news media. Trump would be describing his exploits inside a locker room.
In the last few weeks of the campaign in the U.S. elections, all surveys and editorial endorsements of mainstream U.S. newspapers were pointing to Hillary as the runaway winner.
But Hillary’s alleged use of private email address instead of a government-issued email when she was messaging her official duties had kept on popping up to the bitter end of the campaign.
This made my heartbeat pound strongly, fearing that my candidate Hillary was going to lose.
Trump seemed to be doing everything wrong while Hillary was doing everything right.
This started when The Donald announced in the wake of the Dec. 7, 2015 San Bernardino, California attack that he was “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
This declaration should certainly help minorities to support Hillary.
On July 2015, Trump described American war hero and former presidential candidate Republican Sen. John McCain as “not a war hero, because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” McCain was a prisoner of war for five and a half years during the Vietnam War, having been shot down over Hanoi on a bombing mission. This should have kept a big chunk of Republican votes from Trump.
Trump made other controversial moves like clashing with Fox News’s Megyn Kelly during the debate in August 2015.
But, alas, despite the very repulsive stands Mr. Trump had taken, he still won. Why?
This is my take: American voters do not want Donald Trump. But they have had enough of Barack Obama. The rising cost of premium of Obamacare must have alienated a lot of middle class voters. And they also do not want Hillary either for her failure to offer better alternative to some of the Obama failed programs.
Coupled with the overconfidence of Democrat voters, notably the blacks, who usually go out and vote in droves during presidential elections, and the whites, who distanced themselves from voting, there seems to have truth to the observation that there were more white women voter turnout than black women in the elections. This erased whatever edge Hillary had on women.
Voters did not want to continue the Obama Administration by electing Hillary. They settled for the untested Trump, hoping he will perform better than Hillary. Hence, the Trump presidency. (Contact columnist: firstname.lastname@example.org)