The news media is in fits over Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, and it is good that some of them are admitting that they misread the pulse of the American people. I grew up in a working class background, and though I am in academia, many of the people I know are rural working class people. They are angry at the government for ignoring their values, mocking their religion, interfering with religious freedom, negotiating trade deals that outsource jobs, and political correctness. The media did not understand why people, including many women, voted for Mr. Trump despite his crude locker room talk that was broadcast to the world. What they missed was that many “ordinary folk” are so sick of people being condemned for every small breach of political correctness and being labeled “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobic,” and other “ists,” that they found Mr. Trump’s crudeness to be a big middle finger extended to the politically correct establishment. They may not have approved of Mr. Trump’s actions, but in a world in which people are called out for “microaggression,” Trump’s “macroaggression” was, to his supporters, refreshing. The establishment does not realize this—that people can disapprove of a man’s speech and still overlook it. There were rough people in my extended family who said many wrong and inappropriate things, but we could still say, “That’s just Uncle Jim.” In a similar way Trump’s supporters hear him speak off the cuff or see videos of his poor behavior in the past and say, “Oh, that just ‘ole Donald Trump” and then vote for him.

Mr. Trump represents, to many of the vulgi populi, someone who is one of them despite being a billionaire. Alienated from the establishment culture, they find in Mr. Trump a champion who will stand up to a government that they believe screws them in every way. Mr. Trump did not mock their religion as Mrs. Clinton and her staff (and in a previous campaign, Mr. Obama) mocked them. Many common people see the ruling class as looking down on them, and right or wrong, they see Mr. Trump as being one with them, the people. Mr. Trump is a populist who represents an historic reversal of the policies that have been destructive to both Middle American values and the economy.

A few commentators, such as Pat Buchanan, correctly read the shift in American values against free trade and for a more restrained foreign policy—and the latter is a major shift for Southern voters. In the South, voters have typically been militaristic, supporting every U. S. military intervention in the world. Now they have shifted to a view I hear often in gatherings of the common people, that “We should stay out of that mess,” or “We should mind our own business and take care of things over here.” This move against warmongering is one I welcome, and the vote in this election is, in part, a repudiation of Mrs. Clinton’s militaristic wing of the Democratic Party.

As someone who did not fall prey to the academy’s emphasis on “multiculturalism” and “globalism,” I welcome Mr. Trump’s ideas. Like many rural people, I feel a connection with family and soil—to concrete reality, not to bloodless abstractions. I voted for Donald Trump and have no regrets. I wish him well as the country’s forty-fifth president.