There probably isn't one particular thing that paved the way for a billionaire businessman-turned-reality TV star with no government experience to become the next president of the United States.
But reporters and political commentators took turns pointing to nearly every possible lead to explain what "created" Donald Trump: the Tea Party, CNN, talk radio, the Republican Party and the Left, among them.
Perhaps most notable was the blame placed on voters for exercising their right to select the next leader.
Here are nine times, in no particular order, the national media blamed the voters for Trump's rise to the White House:
1. Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin last year blamed the Baby Boomer generation: "It is remarkable that the same voices who decry the counterrevolution of the 1960s now declare that what is important in politics is how we feel (angry!). How can you blame the voters if they rush to embrace cranks, phonies and snake oil salesmen? Well, we can and we should blame voters. Someone is listening to all that talk radio and talking-head cable news. Someone is creating phony issues, inciting the public against immigrants and deliberately misrepresenting issues. President Obama liked to recite an empty line: 'We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.' Whatever that means, it is more accurate to say, 'We've met the enemy and he is us.'"
2. Liberal Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen said in May that Trump "taught me to fear my fellow Americans": "I don't mean the occasional yahoo who turns a Trump rally into a hate fest. I mean the ones who do nothing. Who are silent. Who look the other way… I always knew who Trump was. It's the American people who have come as a surprise."
3. The New York Daily News' Gabriel Schoenfeld in April proposed punishing Trump supporters: "All Trump voters can and should be held to account for embracing a candidate whose character is so dubious, and whose plans for the country — among them, singling out a religious group for a ban on an entry to the United States — amount to an assault on the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution."
4. Liberal New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said in August that it's the racists' fault for Trump's popularity: "Economic anxiety is not a very good predictor of who's a Trump supporter. Racial antagonism is a good indicator of who's a Trump supporter."
5. Republican Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson faulted his party's voters in May: "The GOP has selected someone who is unfit to be president, lacking the temperament, stability, judgment and compassion to occupy the office. This is a terrible error, which has probably cost conservatives a majority on the Supreme Court. But the mistake was made by Republican primary voters in choosing Trump — not by those who can't, in good conscience, support him."
6. The New York Times' Frank Bruni said in May that he wouldn't even discuss politics with his family and friends who support Trump: "I have many relatives who loyally vote Republican, regardless of their excitement about the particular nominee. There's a definite chance that some of them back Trump. So I steer clear of talk about this election, though we've spoken plenty — and placidly — about every other election," wrote Bruni. "One of these relatives routinely pushes back at any Trump-negative columns I write, and I've convinced myself that he's just baiting me and playing devil's advocate. I've never said to him, point blank, 'Are you actually voting for Trump?' And I won't. It's my goal to get to and through Election Day without learning the truth."
7. Charles Blow, also of the Times, cast all Trump supporters as bigots in August: "Here's the deal. Donald Trump is a bigot. There's no other way to get around it ... Anybody who supports, accepts that, supports it. Anybody who supports it is promoting it."
8. Associate Editor at Huffington Post Sarah Ruiz-Grossman attempted after the election to shame her fellow white women: "Fellow white women, I'm done with you. After all this talk of allyship, you didn't show up to the polls to push back against the openly racist, xenophobic, misogynistic now-President-elect Donald Trump. … So I am ashamed. I am ashamed of my country. I am ashamed of white people. But more than anyone else, I am ashamed of white women. Is this who we really are? Clearly and it is who we have always been."
9. Slate writer Jamelle Bouie said in mid-November that Trump voters have no redeeming qualities. "There's no such thing as a good Trump voter ... If you voted for Trump, you voted for this, regardless of what you believe about the groups in question. That you have black friends or Latino colleagues, that you think yourself to be tolerant and decent, doesn't change the fact that you voted for racist policy that may affect, change, or harm their lives. And on that score, your frustration at being labeled a racist doesn't justify or mitigate the moral weight of your political choice."