No Warm Welcome to Washington for You, Mr. Trump

The Washington Post today suggested that 10-year-old Barron Trump might be better off staying in his private school in New York City rather than moving to Washington where he might find some “social bumps” in schools such as Sidwell Friends, the private school attended by the two Obama daughters and Chelsea Clinton.

The Washingtonian was even more direct with a we-don’t-want-you-here piece by senior editor Marisa Kashino, who wrote, “I don’t want Donald Trump to be my neighbor, and I don’t want him to be my neighbors’ neighbor. The 96 percent of District residents who did not vote for him ostensibly feel the same.”

A very reluctant welcome to Washington, Mr. President.
The District of Columbia, with just over 600,000 Trump-hating residents, actually is only 10 percent of the Washington metro area population of about 6 million. Maybe the president-elect will be treated better in the suburbs than in DC?

In Fairfax County, the biggest suburban area in Northern Virginia, Donald Trump got 29 percent of the vote, Hillary Clinton got 65 percent. That 65 is up from the 47 percent Al Gore got in 2000. In 16 years, Fairfax County went from a 50-50 split to two-thirds Democratic even though the vote totals nationwide stayed about the same, with the Democratic candidate barely winning the popular vote but losing in the electoral college in both 2000 and 2016.

In Alexandria and Arlington, just across the Potomac River from DC, Clinton got 77 percent of the vote in both places. In 2000, Gore got 60 percent of the vote in Arlington and 68 percent in Alexandria.

In Montgomery County, the upscale county adjoining DC in Maryland, Hillary Clinton got 76 percent of the vote this year. That’s up from the 62 percent Al Gore got in 2000. And it’s way up from the 40 percent that incumbent President Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, got in 1980.
Why has the nation’s capital become more Democratic and less welcoming to Republicans? The old conventional wisdom has been that Republicans come to Washington when they win an election but go home when they lose, while Democrats never leave.

Maybe it’s also because it’s ever easier for Democrats to find work. Federal spending has gone from $2.2 trillion in 2000 to $3.9 trillion this year, and Washington is ever more anxious to help the rest of the country decide on everything from what restroom you can use to what your neighborhood school can teach.

At least that’s the way some of my relatives in Wisconsin saw the 2016 election. One of my nieces there said she voted for Donald Trump because she wanted a Supreme Court that didn’t try so hard to tell people how to live. Another said she voted for Trump because “I disliked the Clintons more than Trump.” Another said, “Clinton was only popular in the traditionally liberal areas of Milwaukee and Madison. The rest of the state tends to be conservative.”

Washington and Wisconsin are now very different places.
The Wisconsin vote totals had Hillary Clinton coming out of Milwaukee County and Dane County (where Madison is located) with a 310,000 vote lead over Donald Trump. Clinton then lost the state by 27,000 votes:  1,409,467 to 1,382,210. The county where my hometown of Appleton is located and the adjoining county where the Green Bay Packers play provided Trump with a 27,300 vote margin, just enough to win the state. Who needs Milwaukee and Madison?

Most of the journalism chatter about the election reflects the attitudes and reporting of newspapers in bigger cities, such as Milwaukee, Madison, Washington, and New York, and of the big digital sites, also located in big cities. But in Wisconsin Trump showed that he didn’t need to win in Madison or Milwaukee. That big city versus the rest of the state divide probably was true all across the country.
From a column in today’s Appleton Post-Crescent, my hometown newspaper, about a conversation between two readers:

When high school classmate Saul Hafenbredl replied – with some snark – to a comment written by Nathan LeClair, a family friend, I thought we had reached that moment.

Nathan: It’s about time … it has been too long that only two cities have directed our state.

Saul: This doesn’t make sense, but thanks for playing along!

But then the conversation took a turn:

Nathan: What doesn’t make sense. In the national races, our state has normally gone to the Democrats, because of Milwaukee and Madison. While the rest of the state normally voted republican. This vote just shows how people are rejecting the establishment.

Saul: More than happy to discuss it all over beers sometime, man.

Nathan: Sounds good to me!

Also from the Post-Crescent:

But Tuesday’s conservative sweep of the area may have less to do with a growing voter affiliation with Republicans than it does with voters’ strong anti-establishment sentiments.

Gallagher ran a strong, well-funded campaign, but what mattered most was that he had never held office before, said Jim Duncan, vice chairman of the Outagamie County Republican Party.

“People are discouraged and disgusted by the inability of politicians to get anything done,” Duncan said, adding that many first-time voters and even some Democrats came to the party’s headquarters to support GOP candidates.

“Boy did that sentiment ring through with a lot of people,” he said.

Facebook comments on the Appleton Post-Crescent website:

Randy Klemetsen: It’s over. Whether you like or hate the president-elect, he needs to be accepted and given a chance to succeed or fail. Don’t try to help him fail before he has a chance. We are all in it together.

LoriAnn Trelka: I feel that Trump played up the “dumb” role really well. Americans wanted the lesser of two evils. They would rather have an egotistical loud mouth than an egotistical secret liar. It was a ploy to get votes. I think we will see his business side come forward soon and be eased with his sense of leadership. Now, I’m not pro either, but I can understand voting for a lesser evil leader. If anything is taught with this election is that with all of Trump’s “hate” everyone is coming together to promote kindness. Maybe we needed something drastic to bring us all back together. One Nation …

Amanda Hansen: 1. Give him a chance to make America great again; 2. Read his agenda on what he will do in the first 100 days as president; 3. Pray for him and for our country; 4. Mike Pence will be of great assistance to Donald Trump on the political side of things and will bring his success from the state of Indiana to the White House for all Americans; 5. He is not getting paid to be our president and has put his life on hold to lead our country and make it right again. We all deserve to respect him and appreciate his selflessness to take on one of the hardest jobs in the entire world as president of the United States. He may not have experience as a politician, but he does have a voice and that voice is for US. He has heard you and now he is doing it FOR you!

J-b Mosh: A tyrant was pitted against a tyrant and a tyrant won! Just because your tyrant didn’t win, doesn’t mean it’s a travesty against mankind!

Jack Donald: Healing? We do not have time for healing or a group hug. We have to dismantle Obamacare and undo the past eight years of destruction and bigotry. We have to salvage what is left and figure out how to pay our massive debt without further destroying businesses and the middle class. The mandate given by a Trump victory is clear. The political and union elite of the public sector have sucked at the tax payers teat long enough.




  1. A Facebook comment from a Republican about Marisa Kashino’s we-don’t-want-Trump-in-Washington story:

    Kind of a different take on the crybabies moving to Canada. This author has a sort of fantasy where DC is her own personal country club and she could deny admittance to the democratically-elected president.

    For those not in DC, I’m glad to report that most people here do not exhibit this type of bigotry, it’s limited to a small number of the most hardened and intolerant “Progressives.” So if you’re considering moving to DC to join the administration, just be prepared for a few who can make the city seem closed and hostile.

    Otherwise what you’ll find in DC are people from all over the country who come to learn from each other, appreciate creativity and effort, and often spread the love. Be good to each other folks.

  2. From a liberal Washington friend on why Washington is becoming more Democratic:

    I’d argue that Washington—like other metropolitan areas—is becoming more Democratic because our population is getting younger, more diverse, and more educated. The Republican party is moving farther and farther away from representing the views of this population. And since many new residents flocking to Washington and other cities are leaving behind places like Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan, those states are getting redder as a consequence of who’s left behind.

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