The following article from the Danish outlet B.dk features an account of a young Danish woman who came to the USA and worked for the Clinton campaign during the election.
Many thanks to Tania G for the translation:
Danish Nilly is shocked by the Clinton campaign’s arrogance: “It was unpleasant to experience the self-satisfaction”.
Nilly Taheri experienced a strong reluctance to understand Trump-voters when she worked in Hillary Clinton’s campaign office. A reluctance that shows the large gap between the cultural elite and the ordinary voter, she says.
It was when Danish Nilly Taheri knocked on the doors of voters in Miami that she first met the defeated Americans.
Behind door after door she encountered, to her own surprise, the same lowered eyes during the three weeks she traveled around in different states.
Those Americans were the cause of Trump’s victory, she says. The young woman is chairman of the Social Democratic Youth of Copenhagen, and is a law student — and she just got home after campaigning for Hillary Clinton.
Back on Danish soil Nilly Taheri is still shocked by the conceit she met amongst the Democrats working in Hillary Clinton’s campaign office in New York.
They refused to understand the motivation of Trump voters. They refused to open their eyes to what was about to happen.
“The Trump voters I met supported him with open eyes, and they knew what they were doing. They were very reflective. They were neither racist nor stupid. At the campaign office it hit me at 180 kmh how much difference there is between self-perception among the Democrats in Manhattan and reality among Americans out there. It was very arrogant that the people in the office, who had never experienced losing, rolled their eyes at those who supported Trump. It was uncomfortable to experience the self-satisfaction,” she says.
Nilly Taheri has written about her experiences in a column for the Internet publication “Pio”. Here she talks about a meeting with a man named John, an unskilled white factory worker who lives in North Carolina. He had lost his job because he had been replaced by “one of those smart robots”.
In him Nilly Taheri saw the doubts about the election that haunted many other Americans. Hillary was power, and Donald Trump was crazy. But the latter would shake up the whole thing, was John’s reasoning.
Back in New York Nilly Taheri tried to discuss the issue and raise awareness with people at the campaign office about why some Americans would vote for Trump. But the question roused no interest.
“They would not accept that people outside New York had real concerns about their future. But insecurity can lead people to do things they ordinarily would not do. Trump voters saw the established politicians as people who had failed them, and I felt that that feeling overshadowed all the bad things and critical stories circulating about Trump. If what he said was right or wrong did not matter. He became a symbol of change,” she says.
While everyone has been busy trying to understand why Trump was elected, it is Nilly Taheri’s personal analysis that it was the elites themselves who secured the final victory for Trump. It is therefore the elites who should turn their gaze inwards and learn more about themselves.
Another lesson of Trump triumph’s is that a feeling of insecurity is a key driver of the voters’ final choice.
“It gets people to vote for a man who is not going to do anything good for them. As a politician you have to get people to believe that you are going to create a daily life and a better tomorrow. I also hope that our own politicians learn from this,” she says.
In Denmark, the distance between Christiansborg [government] and ordinary voters is also much debated. Nilly Taheri believes, however, that despite everything, we should be happy that the distance between the two is not as vast as the distance she experienced in the United States.
“When I went there, I had naively imagined that I would meet the hope and optimism that we saw in Obama’s campaign. For me personally it was indeed inspiring with a possible female president, but it was not important to voters, as it turned out.”