In a post-election episode of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough and political analyst Mark Halperin insisted that the Trump victory should have been foreseeable by anyone watching and thinking rationally. The signs of disaffection with Washington were everywhere, and the antipathy to Hillary Clinton—and the Clintons as an institution (and foundation!)—glaringly saturated the electorate. If, again, our elites and the elite media had simply listened to the average American, whom they supposedly condescendingly ignore and even disdain as they huddle up in their bubbles of polls and self-involved punditry, this outcome would have been obvious. So the story now goes—as it is now told by that same supposedly elite media covering its tracks.
Tim Libretti is a professor of U.S. literature and culture at a state university in Chicago. A long-time progressive voice, he has published many academic and journalistic articles on culture, class, race, gender, and politics, for which he has received awards from the Working Class Studies Association, the International Labor Communications Association, the National Federation of Press Women, and the Illinois Woman’s Press Association.