So…it appears the thing that was missed was that a huge voter block was just sick and tired of the establishment. Period. They weren’t looking to defeat Hillary. They were looking to defeat the system. They were tired of feeling marginalized, of feeling that the government was taking care of everyone else. So they listened to a charlatan who promised to disrupt the system and take care of them without actually promising anything specific.
Ironically, the GOP has spent years telling its base that they had their back while working tirelessly to undermine that same base, fighting against social programs, fair wages, veterans benefits, etc., all the while telling them that government was the enemy. And now, being part of the establishment, the GOP is seen as the enemy along with the Democrats.
There has been a lot of blame passed around during this campaign about who was hurting who in the race, but in hindsight I don’t believe anyone could have beaten Trump in this campaign. This wasn’t an election based on information or policy. None of the logical factors played into the outcome. The focal point wasn’t where it should have been. No amount of fact-checking or spreading the word mattered ultimately. It came down to this: people wanted a change and they believed Donald Trump was the man to make that happen. And they were willing to ignore his attitude, his behavior, his incomprehensible speech, and his apparent lack of knowledge of the political/world landscape, not to mention his questionable business dealings. In fact, those factors made him more attractive to a group of people who were tired of hearing politicians yammer on about policy.
So, in their desperation, millions of people have turned to a man they don’t fully understand (yes, I borrowed that from a movie). They’ve elected a billionaire to help deal with issues of financial unfairness (to quote one observer on Twitter tonight), a racist to help deal with racial inequality, a philanderer and sexual predator to improve conditions for women, and a temperamental and inconsistently successful businessman to fix the business of government. This makes no sense unless logic and critical thinking are removed from the equation. Then rhetoric holds sway and reality fades into the background.
This is the only explanation I’ve arrived at that makes any amount of sense.