The Unexpected Reality

The Unexpected Reality

By Dr. Silas Lee – The 2016 presidential election once again confirmed that in life, as in politics, expect the unexpected and never underestimate your opposition. Jeb Bush was the anticipated Republican nominee and Donald Trump was expected to implode during the primaries. Instead, Trump flattened seventeen opponents on his march to the nomination. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton emerged with the nomination after a bruising battle with Bernie Sanders. With Trump and Clinton as the standard bearers for their respective parties, conventional wisdom was destroyed by the following unexpected realities that I consider overlooked during the campaign in this vignette. 1. Message Translation and Constipation – Traditionally, presidential elections focus on the issues of the economy and domestic security, and this election was not any different. Former President Bill Clinton famously coined the term, “I feel your pain,” to solidify his credentials with working class voters, an attribute that eluded Hillary Clinton. Enter Donald Trump, the reality show star who raged against the Washington establishment and presented his candidacy as fixer to the woes of the working class voters. Hillary Clinton faced a dilemma: she was respected for her intellectual and policy acumen, but she shared equally high unfavorable ratings with Donald Trump, and the ongoing email controversy proved to be a consistent distraction. Recognizing this challenge, her campaign decided to focus on portraying Trump as highly unqualified in experience and temperament to be elected president. Whereas, Trump repeatedly enunciated “I will bring jobs and manufacturing back to America” without offering specifics, Clinton targeted Trump’s personal and professional vulnerabilities, but did not effectively articulate her economic vision...