KOKOMO – It’s Wednesday, the day following the greatest upset in presidential election history, and pollsters, pundits and media elites all finally agree, the path to the White House for Donald Trump is wider. That path is called Pennsylvania Avenue!
I must admit that it was with great joy that I stayed awake until 3:30 a.m. watching the election results and the tortuous process of seeing the entire mainstream elitist media, shell-shocked pollsters and humbled pundits take over three hours to come to the realization of what was obvious when the Wisconsin domino fell into the face of Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambition. Despite healthy leads for Trump in Pennsylvania and Michigan, media experts still went to elaborate electronic walls and pontificated on Clinton’s ability to “draw to the inside straight.”
For the past four months we witnessed the greatest corporate/media/governmental election conspiracy in the history of our country. Each day was filled with carefully orchestrated releases of adverse polls, negative stories about Trump and a treatment of Hillary Clinton that virtually had CNN’s Wolf Blitzer measuring for new pink drapes in the Oval Office.  
The message was clear: Republicans were running from Trump. Trump was a hopeless cad, with a long history of mistreating women. Hispanics disliked Trump. Blacks disliked Trump. Women disliked Trump. Jews disliked Trump. Gays disliked Trump. Europe disliked Trump.  Asia disliked Trump. South America disliked Trump. Madonna, Katy Perry, Lena Dunham, Barbara Streisand, Whoopi, Alex Baldwin, Bon Jovi, Springsteen, Stewart and the entire Hollywood entertainment universe disliked (hated) Donald Trump.
Daily polls were trotted out to verify the contempt of the American people for Donald Trump. He was down nationwide. He couldn’t win Florida, North Carolina or Pennsylvania and, did we tell you, that even Texas was “in play.”
Two weeks prior to the election, stories shifted to who would be in Clinton’s new cabinet. She was definitely going to keep Loretta Lynch as attorney general. She wanted Joe Biden to hang around as secretary of state. Visions of sugar plums danced in the heads of big media and big banking as speculation built over the all-star cast of illuminati destined for the cabinet room.
Make no mistake about it, the Hillary Clinton path to victory included a conspiracy of elitists who stacked the deck higher than it had ever been stacked before. Just ask Bernie Sanders how it feels to find yourself on the wrong side of the conspiracy.
To be generous, in looking back and examining polling and news coverage, we either witnessed criminal negligence on behalf of the polling and media establishment or the worst bungled cabal in political history. Perhaps it was a hearty helping of both.
What did everyone except for those of us who were down in the trenches with the troops expect?  From their remote towers of power on Wall Street, Fifth Avenue, K-Street and Silicon Valley, it was impossible for the elitist string pullers to get a handle on the guy I like to call “Joe Sixpack.” Ultimately, it was Joe and Jolene Sixpack, clinging to their Bibles and guns, who won the day for the Trump machine.
Way back in February I stood shivering at a gas station while filling up my vehicle.  When I need gas, I stop and get it regardless of price. I fill it up, regardless of the total amount. As I stood pumping gas, the man at the pump next to mine started speaking with me. In an amazing five minutes, he told me that he had to commute to Kokomo from Marion every day and that buying gas was eating him up. He had to work in Kokomo to earn over $10 an hour. He said that he would like to fill his tank but that he could only afford to put $9 worth of gas in his car. Now he didn’t know me or know of my political work, but he asked a very revealing question. He asked, “If it would lower gas prices and make us independent of the Middle East, why would anyone not want us to drill our own oil?”
It struck me at the time that there was a huge number of working people in our country who were making a weekly struggle for survival. Their important issues were not global warming, international trade agreements or ownership of the internet. The most important issues to Joe and Jolene Sixpack were putting food on the table, clothing their children and buying a tank of gas. Kanye, Beyonce and Hillary just didn’t get it because they and the liberal elitist community are just too far removed from the world of reality.
Donald Trump, for all of his billions, understood what made the average American tick.  It may not have been pretty. It might not sound good when reduced to words. But Donald Trump knew that a vast number of Americans were either not living the American Dream or were terrified that their children would be denied the ability to reach for the stars. Trump was able, from day one, to tap a vast reservoir of discontent that was either overlooked or intentionally ignored by Hillary Clinton. It was discontent that was raw, powerful and sometimes ugly.
I hopped on the Trump train rather late in the election cycle. Up to the Indiana primary, I was a supporter of Ohio Gov. John Kasich. I gradually grew to be ashamed of Kasich and all of the never-Trump people. I was raised by my parents to put the team first.  Donald Trump, love him or not, was the leader of the Republican team after his nomination. It was after accepting Trump as my candidate for president that I opened up and got to know hundreds of great fellow Trump voters. They are good people. They are nice people. They are great Americans. They possessed a dynamic enthusiasm that defied description.
I wrote in my last Howey Politics column that I believed that Donald Trump would have very long coattails in Indiana. He did! He helped sweep huge numbers of Indiana Republicans into office or enabled their reelection.
On the day before the election, I stuck my neck out on Facebook and declared that Trump would win the presidential election with 277 Electoral College votes. My friends thought I was nuts. The secret knowledge that I had and they didn’t was that I had spoken with the man at the gas station. It was all I needed to know.
Dunn is chairman of the Howard County Republican Party.