Catholics, Phoniness and Conspiracies: Readers Weigh In

Catholics, Phoniness and Conspiracies: Readers Weigh In

Why you should care

Surprising results always have an explanation.

Last week’s election left plenty of folks reeling. But even amid the staggering, they’ve found time to participate in a cherished quadrennial pastime: the post-electoral postmortem.

Just how did Hillary Clinton lose the presidency? Answers vary. Perhaps the polls were off and the media too biased to interpret them impartially, as Donald J. Trump, now president-elect, argued during the campaign. Or maybe Clinton didn’t campaign as hard or as thoroughly as she needed to, as President Barack Obama suggested. Yesterday, Editor-in-Chief Carlos Watson provided his own take: Clinton would have won — possibly in a landslide — had it not been for FBI Director James Comey’s October surprise. Watson also predicted that celebrity would continue to play an ever-more-important role in our campaigns. And he wondered why so many Latinos and women voted for President-elect Trump.

Readers weighed in, by the droves. Excerpts from some of their letters, edited for length, are below.

Don’t Ignore the Catholics

“You might explore, if possible, the connection between religion and the Latino vote. This group is overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, and the abortion issue was important for that group. I heard it said in my own parish that “the pope is in favor of Trump,” assuredly because of the abortion issue. I disagreed with that viewpoint, citing the pope’s statement about building bridges rather than walls, but I was ignored and told I was wrong. The right-to-life position of the Catholic Church trumped (pun intended) all. I personally think that this one- or two-issue voting pattern was pretty important.” —Maureen

“I have been dumbfounded by the media’s blind spot regarding the role of U.S. Catholics in voting for Trump for president. Though Catholics don’t vote consistently in any election, as a practicing Catholic, all I heard was it was critical to vote pro-life and the next president would be appointing Supreme Court justices. This came down from many bishops and priests throughout the country. Many of us Catholics can’t stand Trump, but were told that overturning Roe v. Wade and restoring religious freedom not to prescribe contraceptives or allow abortions, etc., trumped everything. No pun intended.” —Name withheld on request

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Supporting Trump in Costa Mesa, California, in April.

Source David McNew/Getty

A View on the Hispanic Vote

“Many Hispanics, especially older Mexican-Americans who became U.S. citizens or have held green cards for a long time, are conservative not only because they are devoted Catholics who oppose abortion, but — perhaps more important — because they employ recent Hispanic immigrants. They expect new immigrants to work toward legal status, demand very strict enforcement of criminal drug laws and, unlike white employers who pay low wages to illegals, really want ‘lawful employees.’” —Tony

What Sank Hillary

“I read your article today. My only thoughts are that the majority of Hollywood and music celebrities strongly endorsed Mrs. Clinton. I think men reacted to President-elect Trump because he was himself. Flaws included. Comparing his flaws to Mrs. Clinton’s phony persona likely raised his ship and sank hers. Too bad she wasn’t in a submarine.” —Jim

“The fact that half of the United States’ voters, across all demographics, voted against Hillary Clinton in favor of Donald Trump doesn’t tell you how they felt about her character and politics-as-usual? It wasn’t just the emails that did her in. Saturday Night Live had an ad air during the show the Saturday before the election that I thought was part of the show at first. It was a cartoon, with the Clintons moving back into the White House with numerous moving vans, and the crux of it was the amount of baggage she carries with her. She has never accepted responsibility for anything; it has always been someone else’s fault. It still is: Comey cost her the election! It was using the elite performers to stump for her, which showed the common folk who she was more attuned with, and it is not blue-collar mainstream working-class America, but the uber-rich elite class … American voters didn’t vote for Trump; they voted against Hillary, end of story.” —Mark

Why Women Supported Trump

“As to the white females, I am even more shocked, but I have to recognize that I know many of them, since I am one myself (white female, NOT a Trump supporter). Perhaps you should consider age as a factor — many older white female voters went Trump, chiefly because of Fox News. Some were old-line Republicans who had just always voted that way. Some felt that their vote for Trump showed support of the military. And some were sadly and selfishly focused on their own bottom line.” —Maureen

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The election-night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on Nov. 8, 2016, in New York City.

Source Spencer Platt/Getty

Conspiracy Theories

“I woke up a few days ago wondering how in the world could Trump be elected. In my dreamworld, only one answer came: subliminal messages included in his political advertisements. It will take some good equipment to check out his ads.” —Kenneth

Giving Trump a Chance

“I remind you that the current president was not prepared for this office either. I remind you that he did not govern the way many wanted. We can debate this and that, but at the end of that debate, we will end up at the same place we started on most items. Thus, give the benefit of the doubt, hold your tongue and propose what you would like to see from Trump’s new administration.” —Guy

OZY2016

The route to the White House: news, stories and analysis from on and off the presidential campaign trail.