The Uncomfortable Truth About How Trump Won the Election

It’s time we took an honest look at the ugly, multi-faceted nature of the historic upset.

There was a lot of misinformation, and a lot of simplistic, angry reductionism during the election about Clinton, Trump, and their respective supporters.

Now that Trump won, there’s been the same kind of simplicity, reductiveness, and misinformation in our reaction. We’re pointing fingers and jumping to simple explanations: some have blamed the outcome on racism of the working class, others have joined the chorus in condemning coastal elites for abandoning middle America.

I was angry and confused at first too, so I took a break from social media and all the simplistic/emotional takes. I wanted better answers, so I decided to spend time poring over long-form, patient, serious-minded journalism.

My search for answers taught me that this upset wasn’t the result of a freak combination of a few random factors, but of many significant and interconnected forces. We need to recognize not just the hatred, but the surprising combination of widespread misinformation, real economic problems, and other contemporary and historical factors that led to this result. Only with a full, honest picture of the troubling state of America can we tackle the scary challenges ahead.

Here’s my analysis of how Trump pulled this off. I cite my sources extensively throughout this document, so I encourage you to use the links in this piece as a launching point for an even deeper pursuit of answers.

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