I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking about this for the past month, ever since Donald Trump won the presidential election. I’ve been thinking about all the reasons that have been presented for his victory: An angry middle class. Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. White power. Trump resonating with people. Campaign demographics. Voter fraud.
But none of them, I’ve concluded, are correct. You want to know—really, truly, genuinely know—why Donald J. Trump will soon become the 45th president of the United States? Are you sure you want to know? Like, really sure? Because it’s an ugly truth, and none of the networks or respected media outlets will say as much (for fear of losing huge swaths of people).
OK, here you go: The reason Donald J Trump won is because we, as a people, are stupid.
It’s true. It genuinely is. Donald Trump suckered nearly 50 percent of us into believing things that made no sense whatsoever. The wall. Mexico paying for the wall. Hillary in prison. Destroying all of Obamacare. On and on and on. He was going to make America great again, without ever explaining: A. How; B. Why America is no longer great.
It was illogical; impossible; ludicrous—and now, Trump has pretty much admitted that much of what he promised will never actually happen.
So why did we nod and cheer and scream? Because, again, we lack intelligence. Or, put different, we want to believe that which sounds appealing. It explains telemarketers, pyramid schemes, time shares, hair-replenishing tonic, lottery tickets, casinos. It explains faith healers, psychics, unqualified-yet-busy financial advisers, Division I recruiters and boosters. We are a hopeful people; oftentimes more enthused and swayed by hope than reason. So when a man arrives, and he blames all our problems on the Muslims and the Mexicans and the liberals, and says he can fix it all (“I’ve got a big brain!”), we tend to listen, nod, drool, accept, engage.
That, truly, is why Donald Trump won.
Not because he’s brilliant.
Because we’re idiots.