Despite all the fuss about the characters of both candidates during the 2016 American presidential election, the result clearly demonstrates the deciding factor of an election — the message and the messenger. An election is about connecting with the people so that they will take the trouble to go out and vote for you. This connection is an emotional one that requires the right message and the messenger who is able to articulate the message effectively.
If a candidate can do it right, it does not matter his/her personal flaws because the result is simply a final vote count. This is the risk that a democratic society must take to elect a leader who may turn out to be a devil. There is no better human system when you compare to a tribe, a monarchy or a dictatorship, all of which cannot prevent a devil from assuming the leadership.
The US Constitution imposes no standards regarding a candidate’s education, experience, morality and temperament except that he/she be born in the USA. So all the fuss generated during the election campaigns is reduced to irrelevance.
From the very beginning, we could see Trump beating the other Republican challengers easily just by hammering on the messages that people want to hear such as job loss, health care costs, immigration and the Moslem religion. Their viewpoints and solutions may seem crazy and dangerous, but the messages are clear and Trump hit them right.
On the other hand, Hillary was off-message telling people how bad Trump was. She did not offer an inspiring message to lift up the people’s spirit resulting in a lack of enthusiasm especially for those she was counting on to win. Hillary’s communication problems were evident at the beginning when she was beaten by Bernie Sanders in many states during the nomination process. This should not come as a surprise after she lost the nomination to Obama back in 2008. Her fatal mistake this time was to take Wisconsin and Michigan for granted, thus allowing Trump to move in through the backdoor. With all the help she got from Obama, Michelle, Biden and other celebrities, she even failed to win Pennsylvania. This further testifies to the fact that she was not a good messenger.
In short, this election has shown that Hillary has failed to bring out the best in us while Trump has succeeded in bringing out the worst in us.
Of course this is not what the majority of the population want, but this is what we get from an imperfect system. For the Democratic party, if they care about winning four years hence, they should stop complaining about the imperfect system, but start thinking about the message and the messenger.