While Donald Trump’s election continues to rock the American press and the Washington establishment, Salena Zito and Brad Todd’s new book, The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics, reveals that his winning coalition was clearly obvious to those who knew where to look.
For those of you who love political analysis, and want the best analysis of the critical factors leading to the 2016 election results, this book is absolutely one you need to own. The writing is brilliant and engaging, the insights are many, and the authors allow the Americans they interviewed to speak directly to us through the pages of this wonderful analysis.
Zito writes for the New York Post, acts as a CNN political analyst, and is a staff reporter and columnist for the Washington Examiner. Her beat reporting focused on the “Rust Belt” areas in which Trump’s campaign gamble paid off spectacularly was superb, and a recent political analyst summed up her work in this way: How a simple reporter beat the experts in 2016.
Brad Todd is a founding partner at OnMessage media firm and his clients have included six U. S. Senators, three Governors, and over two dozen congressmen. He and Zito analyzed data and interviewed scores of Americans in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Iowa to determine why, despite being a billionaire businessman/entertainer with no political experience, these voters pulled the lever for Trump in the biggest upset in the annals of U. S. election history.
The Great Revolt breaks the Trump coalition down into seven categories:
- Red-Blooded and Blue-Collared: Union workers employed in the industrial sector.
- Perot-istas: Voters who detest both parties.
- Rough Rebounders: Americans who have come back from fiscal or personal hardship and admire Trump for doing the same.
- Girl Gun Power: Women gun-owners who are highly protective of their 2nd Amendment rights.
- Rotary Reliables: College-educated individuals removed from the suburban areas, who connect routinely with non-college educated individuals.
- King Cyrus Christians: Religious people who respect a “pagan” for having policies that protect their own faith and culture.
- Silent Suburban Moms: Suburban women who ultimately found Hillary Clinton too loathsome to elect and/or Trump’s economic message very appealing, but were quiet in their support because of peer pressure.
These seven categories include the interviews with the people who meet the definition of each class of Trump voter. Perhaps this is the most outstanding aspect of the book: You can “hear” the undiluted voice of your fellow Americans without the condescending veneer that usually coats it when reported by American “journalists”. I highlighted so many great remarks that my volume is a yellowed, dog-eared mess.
I will conclude my review with my favorite passage. It comes from “Rough Rebounder” Cindy Hutchins of Michigan. This Democrat describes her transition from Obama supporter to Trump voter.
“One lady worked for me at the store who gets some government assistance said to be during the election, ‘If Trump wins, I’ll lose all my free stuff.’ That was exactly her thoughts. That’s why they all like Bernie Sanders, because he said everything could be free. Well, everything can’t be free….
….We cannot sustain ourselves as a country with nothing but hugs and handouts. And that what my party became. It pains me to say this, it really does, but my party used to value hard work, used to value climbing up the ladder. Now everyone wants to just sit at the bottom of the ladder and expect someone else to climb it for them then hand over the prize.”
The Great Revolt is filled with many other diamonds, pearls, rubies and sapphires of American, common-sense wisdom. The Trump voters interviewed indicate that they are a part of a new American movement that is larger than Trump and will continue after his terms conclude.
In conclusion, I give this book 10 out of 5 stars. Buy this book for yourself. Buy it for Trump supporters, and those who need help recovering from Trump Derangement Syndrome. As Ed Harry, a former union boss in Pennsylvania noted: “This is the new normal, people just don’t know that yet. Or maybe they just don’t want to know.”DONATE
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