This election highlights the foundational principle in American democracy: in an open election the most focused and motivated group of people will always win.
Trump counted on white people, often with mild or severe racism or distrust of other religions and cultures, to “get” his signals and show up in overwhelming numbers at the polls to vote. He counted on them to not get distracted by the flaws and deficiencies of the candidate, but to stay focused on the person who told them that he was going to lean in their direction.
I have an African-American friend who said, “Well, you could not expect Black voters to show up in the same numbers as they did when a black man was running for President.” I told him that I did expect it. In fact, they should have shown up in even greater numbers because there was a candidate in this campaign who was endorsed by the white supremacy movement. I have a Hispanic friend who said that she realized that a candidate had insulted Latinos, said they could not be effective as judges, were inclined to crime and were “bad hombres”. But, she said, Hillary was a flawed candidate because she used her own server for her emails. Well, for that reason, they were not inclined to show up in droves to the polls. A woman friend said she was less than enthused because Hillary’s husband had tawdry affairs. So, she was not sure that all her woman friends would rush to vote. They were distracted by the flaws and foibles of their candidate.
Supporters of the prevailing candidate were aware of the deficiencies of their candidate. He is not a book reader, shoots from the hip, is dismissive of minorities and other religious and cultural groups, is crude, rude and immature. But the voters he counted on stayed focused.
Again, the most motivated, focused people will always win.
Say what you will about the people who prevailed, say they are rednecks, climate deniers, angry whites, etc. Rednecks are most often blue-collar workers who get up at 6 a.m. and get the chores done. When they see a candidate that is signaling to them, they march to the poles, and give their friends a lift.
You hear about “white privilege.” Know that the privilege was earned by people who got things done, who came through. People who are motivated and can be relied upon, who don’t lose their focus, prevail. And their children who continue to
practice those traits also prevail.
The lesson from this election: prevail you must be motivated and focused.
(Plebian Santos is a guest op-ed writer from Agana Heights).