The year 2016 was a turning point in American politics. This was the year that all political rules were broken, when all conventional wisdom failed miserably.
When Donald J. Trump squeaked through a victory on election night in November of 2016, the political world was blown away. What happened? How could Trump possibly beat Hillary Clinton?
Media pundits may not realize it to this day, but President Trump has, in part, two average American women to thank for his success: Diamond and Silk.
President Trump was perhaps the first American president to be elected through the power of grassroots social media. Diamond and Silk led the charge.
The two African-American video bloggers, Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson, may have singlehandedly swayed the election for Trump.
While President Obama’s first campaign in 2008 certainly capitalized on new media, in many respects, his campaign still followed conventional rules.
While Obama’s defeat of Hillary Clinton in the primaries was an upset, the media had been fueling his momentum with glowing articles about the then-junior senator. Young, attractive, articulate, and African-American to boot, Barack Obama clearly had the “It Factor” of which presidencies were made. Relatively unknown, he was a blank canvas upon which the hopes of America could be painted.
President Obama’s victory was practically assured.
Donald J. Trump, on the other hand, had the benefit of fame, but some fame can hurt more than help. As a reality TV star, and a tabloid fixture for decades, Trump had a lot of negative press behind him prior to even running for office. Furthermore, he was now old, and had lost his youthful looks. The media was behind Hillary Clinton, and promoting the idea of America’s first woman president.
For Trump to win, he needed an army of grassroots supporters to break through the media’s Cinderella narrative about Clinton.
Sisters Diamond and Silk, who already had an obscure YouTube channel called “The Viewers View,” had taken a liking to Trump. More than a liking – they loved Trump.
Soon, the bulk of their YouTube commentary was focused on the presidential election. Passionate defenders of Trump, Diamond and Silk started making waves with a video defending Trump against Megyn Kelly over their infamous debate spat in August 2015.
In a video telling Megyn Kelly to “leave Donald Trump alone!” the sisters delivered their famous “Megyn Kelly or Kelly Megyn…whatever her name is” line. The video was so popular that it got the attention of Rush Limbaugh.
Since then, the sister due continued to deliver political commentary, building up an audience of loyal fans. Eventually, they got the attention of then-candidate Donald Trump, who invited them to join him on-stage at a rally.
Just exactly how much Diamond and Silk affected the election is hard to quantify. With their campaign to get Democrats to switch to Republican to vote for Trump in the primaries, they may have made a huge difference.
Questioned by Nightline as to why they, as women, would support Trump over Hillary Clinton, Diamond said: “You know what we like about Donald Trump? He’s going to do exactly what he says he’s going to do. I’m ready to feel like a woman again so let the man protect us.”
Since the election, Diamond and Silk still run their YouTube channel and sell Trump “bling” on their website.
While they may not be household names, they are famous enough with Trump supporters that they recently were given a cameo in a Trump/CNN video parodying Braveheart.
Image Source: Youtube