Editors' pick: Originally published Nov. 9.
The pundits still don't seem to understand the meaning of President-Elect Donald Trump's victory.
They are still fixated on his violations of political correctness, while largely ignoring his populist challenge to corporate power.
Financial markets understand better. The media doesn't.
Trump has promised to return capital and jobs to the U.S. with extraordinary import duties. This is a promise that no presidential candidate has made since Republican Alf Landon in 1936.
It is a bold but popular challenge to the political establishment of both parties.
Even on the morning after, commentators, such as globalism cheerleader Thomas L. Friedman, a columnist for The New York Times, keep insisting that the answer must be in the categories of ethnicity, gender, race or religion.
They just don't understand that the political economy matters to voters.
The crash of 2008 was a huge blow to American confidence, while the decades-long loss of high-paying union manufacturing jobs has festered in Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Energy jobs were also at stake in the Dakotas and West Virginia.
Most of these traditionally Democratic or swing states went for Trump.
Many college-educated pundits took comfort in the fact that higher education correlated with support for Clinton. However, they missed the real reason for this.
In a way, their university educations in multiculturalism and textbook economics blinded them to the depth of discontent outside the Northeast and the West Coast. Instead of thinking of Trump voters as ignorant, they should have recognized them as distressed.
Trump understood this and pandered to it in his speeches.
Whereas he won the votes of discontented people, including a higher percentage of the Latino vote than Republican candidate Mitt Romney received in the 2012 presidential election, despite insults about illegal Mexican immigrants, Hillary Clinton gained support from donors and voters who are reasonably satisfied with the status quo. Trump tapped into a nerve among many people who see the media as arrogant and superficial, ignoring the depth of their angst.
Whereas establishment pundits heard Trump's political incorrectness, what Midwestern voters heard from Trump was restoration of one of their core values: fairness. I grew up in Massillon, Ohio, a racially mixed football town where everybody loved winning, but they also expected that everyone would play by the rules.