Paula R. Stern

Paula R. Stern – What Victory Should Mean


Paula R. Stern – What Victory Should Mean

The end of the US presidential election has finally finally finally come. I am so sick of this election and what got many of us through it was the knowledge that it would end. In most elections, each side knows there is a chance they will win and a chance they will lose. There is a danger in certainty, in not being prepared for other possibilities.

The danger is that if the other side wins, the side that was so certain will not adapt, will not accept. All along, quite unfairly, Trump was repeatedly pressed to confirm that he would accept the results if/when the US population chose Clinton. I might have missed it, but I don’t remember them asking Clinton the same question.

Posted to Twitter; Post-election Clinton Supporters
Burning the American Flag

I think Trump was wrong for not immediately stating that of course he would accept the results and what a silly question it was. Instead, he blew the issue up by trying to sidestep it. He was, I believe, viewing his acceptance of that possibility, an admission that he believed it could happen, and he didn’t want to allow for that. More, he didn’t want his supporters to allow for that and be weakened into not voting or for voting for someone else in order to be on the winning side.

Clinton supporters, by contrast, never really accepted that there was any other possible outcome but for her to be elected. The result was not just shock and despair, but anger and violence. Riots broke out in several places, fires set, the American flag burned.

I am saddened by the anger and despair and I think that is the result of people allowing themselves to be fooled by polls that were slanted, inaccurate, and most likely taken with a predetermined assumption to its results.

In short, the media wanted Clinton and so the results were more a reflection of what they wanted than what the American people wanted. And, in the post-election analysis, I watch the media scrambling to explain…never once accepting their own role in the violence, despair, and anger spreading across America.

In the weeks to come, there must be several “investigations”:

The Democrats have to study why and when and how they lost the confidence of so many. Clinton was, everyone clearly must accept, an unacceptable choice as a candidate. For that matter, so was Bernie Sanders. And, if we are to be brutally honest, so was Donald Trump.

This vote, long ago, became an issue of who was less inappropriate and that fact that the popular vote showed how close an election this was, I think stands as further proof that neither should have been picked.


But there has always been one great truth in all American elections – that the day after the elections, no matter how disappointed one side is, everyone turns their backs on the election and looks forward. This time, the pettiness, the anger, the violence are shocking. While Clinton’s speech was well spoken, it took her too long to come forward. No one doubts that had she won, she would have come forward immediately to claim victory.

Reuters photo showing fire started by
Clinton supporters protesting Trump victory

She chose to wait until the next day. She chose to delay that speech by an hour at least. Each delay caused further damage by building the level of resentment among her supporters.

Another investigation that has to be made is into the media’s role. I believe they were a key factor in handing Trump victory. The more they pushed for Clinton, the more the American people got angry at being treated as though they were too stupid to make the choice. Trump spoke to the people; Clinton spoke to the cameras.

She is clearly the more polished debater (especially when they hand her the questions in advance). But America didn’t want polish; it wanted someone to talk to them…TO THEM…and that’s what Trump did.

And the Democrats missed that. Washington missed that, and the media missed that. More, if you listened to what Trump said, more, what he meant to say, and not the spinned interpretation, and then compared that to how it was reported by others, you realized that what he was saying was truth.

No, he is not Hitler and the comparison infuriates me. I live with what Hitler did on a regular basis. My husband is the child of Holocaust survivors. His uncle still wears the tattoo the Germans put on him. My mother-in-law was put IN a gas chamber and pulled out at the last minute before the gas was dropped into the room because the Germans needed more workers. His grandparents were rounded up, stripped and marched to gas chambers where their lives were stolen, their bodies burned to ashes.

Don’t tell me that Trump is Hitler.  And yet, the media kept that comparison alive. He’s a bigot, a racist, a misogynist. Actually, he’s not any of those. What he is, is a product of his age and his upbringing. He certainly does not hate women – he’s married three of them and if anything his problem is more his attraction to them.

What he is, is not particularly polished, not particularly Washington. He’s not smooth. He’s a doer more than a talker and I think ultimately, that’s what America voted for.

He didn’t say that he would ban Muslims from entering the US. What he did was put forth a challenge to those responsible for ensuring the security of the United States. Tell me you can separate out the terrorists who have and will seek to hide among the refugees you want the US to accept. And, if you can’t vet them, then your first responsibility is to the American people – and Americans accepted that while the media and the Democrats tried to spin that into an anti-Muslim statement.

It’s not. Every nation must first and foremost protect its people. That was the message that Trump tried to deliver, but the media worked very hard not to deliver it. And now, because of the media and the Democrat’s handling of the campaign, a huge portion of the American population refuses to accept the results of the very democracy they should be celebrating.

Where is the spirit of America? Where is the call for unity? Oh, the Democrats are mouthing the words but their actions speak otherwise. Clinton’s speak was conciliatory but she delivered it with a deep sense of mourning and a challenge to women that was condescending, at best. Do what is right, continue the fight. Sounds good, but what she was really saying was don’t accept defeat, fight on until you get a woman in the White House.

And that attitude is what got America where it is – in a very negative sense. It put a Black man in the White House – for the wrong reason – because he was Black. What America needs is the BEST person in the White House – not a man or woman, a White or a Black or Oriental or Jew or Muslim…a  person.

If the reason that you voted for Clinton was because she was a woman, it’s time to reevaluate.

Two things need to happen – for the good of America – first, all Americans have to look forward, accept the results and work towards unifying the country. And second, the media has to be called to task for its role in this election and in American life in general. For too long, the media has been allowed to not just present the news, but frame it, influence it, create it, manipulate it. That has to stop.

Journalism is more than just reporting what is happening. In that, the media is correct. If that is all that the media did, it would have ceased to exist with the advent of social media. The citizen journalist can report the news faster via Twitter and Facebook, Google+, Instagram, etc. than the media ever could.

But with the growing popularity of social media, the “old time” media has been challenged, their very existence called into question. And the answer they have found is not acceptable to the American people. That is what this election showed.

The media can present the story behind the images easily shared on Twitter. The problem is that the media is not willing to accept that role and work to make the story, influence the people’s thoughts.

Victory in this election means a Trump mandate for the next four years. It should also mean a renewed examination into the behavior and actions of the media. The camera was always meant to share the picture, not create it.

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