Here’s Newt Gingrich:
The American people were dramatically more fed up with Washington–with the incompetence, the arrogance, the corruption, and the failure–than Washington could begin to understand.
Americans increasingly saw that normal politicians on both sides of the aisle could at best only manage the decline. The country was concluding that real change would require real change: someone who was different enough and daring enough to force genuine reforms. And over the course of the campaign, more and more Americans came to believe that only a personality as bold and revolutionary as Trump could, in fact, make America great again.
The elites could not (and still cannot) understand this appeal because they do not recognize the problem–namely, themselves.
For the same reason, they didn’t understand it when every single candidate with a traditional political message failed to gain traction. Nor did they understand the appeal of Trump’s greatest rival for the nomination, Ted Cruz, whose message was “defeat the Washington Cartel.” “Washington Cartel?” they wondered. “What is he talking about?”
And of course they didn’t get it. If the media and political elites had enough self-awareness to fully grasp why the American people might support Trump, Cruz–or for that matter, Sanders–the vacuum for these candidates might not have existed in the first place.
Trump’s skill and personality enabled him to become a serious candidate. But it was the American people’s desire for fundamental reform that propelled him to the nomination. It will now be up to Trump to expand on the base he built in the primary to earn the support of every American who believes we need fundamental reforms, and that the risks of predictable decline are greater than those of unpredictable renewal.
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