It’s understandable that we should be deluged with pundits trying to explain how the hell Donald Trump became President-elect. The latest in this series is from Steven Greenhouse, the former New York Times labor reporter, who penned an editorial for his former employers headlined “What Unions Got Wrong About Trump.”
For my part, I don’t think the unions got anything wrong about Trump. They relentlessly highlighted his untrue and hateful statements, and warned their members of the coming apocalypse should he be elected. “What Unions Got Wrong About Hillary” would have been a much more interesting topic.
“For the nation’s labor unions, the day after Election Day was going to be a victory lap,” Greenhouse wrote. “They planned to boast to the world that their vaunted get-out-the-vote operation had delivered the White House to Hillary Clinton by winning three crucial Rust Belt states for her: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. But the unions, to their shock and horror, failed to deliver those states — or victory — to Mrs. Clinton.”
The failure of unions to deliver the decisive votes for Hillary was certainly a factor, but an examination of Greenhouse’s Twitter timeline shows he has about a dozen explanations for Trump’s victory – a couple even before the election.
On November 3, it was because of FBI Director James Comey.
On November 7, he added Russian intelligence services.
The train really got rolling on Election Night. At 7:24 pm, it was because the Democrats didn’t nominate Joe Biden.
At 8:25 pm, it was because of dark money and voting restrictions.
At 9:38 pm, it was because Hillary didn’t run against Gerald Ford in 1976.
Greenhouse then slept on it, and at 7:23 am on November 9 he blamed it on the stupid.
Then he thought more about it and at 8:41 am settled on Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Democratic National Committee.
But by 9:56 am he concluded with the Electoral College.
Maybe one, or more, or all of these are correct. But a week before the election, Greenhouse touted a New York Times story that stated “Trump’s alienation of key voting blocs has bolstered Democrats in the West and South, and Republicans fear it could be a grim glimpse of their future.”
In short, Greenhouse doesn’t have any idea why Trump won. He shouldn’t be embarrassed about this. Almost all of us don’t know. If we reexamine our assumptions and sources of information perhaps we’ll do better the next time.