Why Trump Won

In a new Prager University video, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes some good points about why Trump won — such as this:

Conservatism is about seeing the world as it is. It’s also inherently populist because it is about serving real people rather than theories.

And this:

Let’s say you’re a factory worker, a small-businessperson, or in retail sales. Your work has been disrupted by outsourcing, cheap imports and technological change. Your children attend the local schools and your aging parents live nearby. Your social life is connected to a local church, sports team, or community group.

If things go badly at your company, or if policy choices by politicians turn out to be wrong, you can’t just shift your life to somewhere else. Like it or not, you depend on the economic policies of your national or state government. When it doesn’t come through for you, you’re not happy. And when it ignores you entirely, you get angry.

It’s easy for Anywheres to dismiss these concerns. But the Anywheres’ faith in global solutions and multi-national political bodies is founded more on fantasy than fact.

Here’s the video’s intro on the PragerU page:

Were you shocked at the results of the 2016 American presidential election? Most people were, but Stephen Harper was not one of them. Here, the former Prime Minister of Canada explains the trends that foreshadowed Trump’s victory and left many political elites looking wildly out of touch.


Also from the transcript:

I was elected to the Parliament of Canada seven times—three times as Prime Minister. I did not expect Donald Trump to be elected President of the United States. But unlike most observers, I did think it was at least possible. Why?

Because I sensed, as Mr. Trump surely did, that the political landscape had shifted.

The underlying issue is this:  Over the last few decades, thanks to globalization, a billion people—mostly in the emerging markets of Asia—have lifted themselves out of poverty. This, of course, is a good thing. Yet, in many Western countries, the incomes of working people have stagnated or even declined over the same period.

In short, many Americans voted for Donald Trump because the global economy has not been working for them. We can pretend that this is a false perception. We can keep trying to convince people that they misunderstand their own lives. Or we can try to understand what they are saying and offer some solutions.

Read more: Prager University