A Nebraska Congressman acknowledges the election results surprised him, but adds the signs were there all along.
Congressman Jeff Fortenberry readily says the honest answer to the question of whether the election results surprised him is “Yes.”
Yet, Fortenberry says there were clues to the upset win of Republican Donald Trump, primarily in the fact that the economy is not working for everyone, leading to unrest among the American electorate.
“When a local community loses a manufacturing facility, it hurts real people in real places,” Fortenberry tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Combined with that a regulatory environment in Washington, along with escalating health care costs, have created the conditions in which small businesses (are) really under threat and pressure.”
Fortenberry, a Republican, says the national news media missed it, because it already had its narrative that Democrat Hillary Clinton was going to win, a candidate Fortenberry contends never resonated with the American people.
National news outlets and political pundits failed both to predict Trump would win or that Republicans would retain control of both houses of Congress.
Fortenberry suggests it was that misreading of the economy that led to the incorrect assessment. Not only did few in Washington understand the angst among those who saw hometown factories shuttered, but few have been quick to notice what the Congressman calls “entrepreneurial winter.” Fortenberry says the country has never before seen more small businesses close than open.
Other trouble spots led to a surprising election outcome, according to Fortenberry, including what he calls a foreign policy drift. He adds government needs to decentralize, instead of concentrating power in Washington.
One last aspect led to the startling outcomes throughout the country, according to Fortenberry. He also sees Americans screaming for meaning.
“When you lose the formative institutions of community – whether that’s faith life or family life, fortunately in Nebraska we’ve been somewhat immune from the harsher downward trends – but people are feeling they live in a fragmented culture and they want healing from these divides.”
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]