A Brief History
What a year! Cleveland gets a major sports championship (Cavaliers in the NBA), the Chicago Cubs end the Curse of the Goat and win the World Series, and Donald J. Trump wins the Presidential election!
Either way, this was going to be an historic Presidential election, with Hillary Clinton becoming the first female major party nominee, and had she won, the first US female President. On the other hand, Donald Trump will become the oldest man elected to his first term as President and will be our first President that has absolutely no prior government employment. Neither US military service, nor any other elected or appointed government office, a significant first in its own right.
As of this writing the final results are not yet tabulated, but Ms. Clinton has already conceded and Trump is assured of victory in the Electoral College. It is just a matter of by how much, though the margin may be significant, a stunning reversal of predictions. Although some thought Trump could win the popular vote and still lose the election, it seems there is a good chance Hillary Clinton may end up as the popular vote leader and still lose. What a turn of events!
Why did Trump win and Clinton lose? The causes of each will be hotly debated for years to come, but certainly some of the factors involved must include widespread anomie across the US, especially among White people who overwhelmingly supported Trump, perhaps not their ideal candidate, but the one seen as the Washington outsider voters longed for. Clinton on the other hand was portrayed as the establishment candidate, and the people have obviously had enough of the “establishment.”
In a baffling twist, religious minded people (Evangelicals) supported Donald Trump, a man married 3 times and with well known extra-marital affairs and bizarre sexist statements about women, lewd comments and tasteless insults. Certainly the pro-gun crowd had a lot to do with electing Trump, as Hillary’s extreme anti-gun rhetoric backfired against her. It seems Clinton did not realize that the anti-gun crowd would have voted for her anyway, but that by going overboard with the anti-gun talk she turned away potential supporters for no gain in exchange.
Donald Trump certainly alienated many minority racial and religious groups along the way, but perhaps Clinton’s extreme outreach to African-American voters by cozying up to Black Lives Matter and the supporters and families of Black people killed by police turned off mainstream law and order White Americans. After all, despite growing numbers of minorities and non-Christian Americans, the large majority of American voters are still White Christians, the demographic Trump rode to victory.
To think that Trump won with a business record of shady practices that nearly amount to cheating investors, contractors, workers and students of his phony “university” and with admitted avoidance of paying income tax is remarkable. Plus, The Donald snubbed demands he release his tax records, which somehow did not hurt him. Wow, how bad do people hate Hillary? And to think, Trump won without mainstream Republican support! No endorsement from former Republican presidents (Bush and Bush) or previous Republican nominees. Trump won Ohio, the Republican bellwether state without the support of the Republican governor!
Donald Trump destroyed the predictions and polls and rode a mighty wave of voter discontent to victory, but now he must get down to the reality of actually governing instead of sitting back and criticizing. No longer can he make vague promises of “something better,” he will have to come up with concrete plans. With a majority in the House and Senate, Republicans will have a golden opportunity to advance their agenda, but will now be forced to own the results. (Good luck trying to make anything good out of the Middle East!)
Finally, we have to wonder what role Russian hackers played in influencing this epic election. With the limited information we have at this time, indications are that the Russian government may have induced and supported hackers to provide confidential information about Democratic and Clinton operations that hurt the Clinton and Democratic candidacies. Question for students (and subscribers): What will our government do about such foreign intervention? Seriously, is this meddling an act of (cyber) war? Interesting times lie ahead, for sure. Feel free to share your observations and comments about this historic Presidential election. Share your predictions as well in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Trump, Donald J. Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America. Threshold Editions, 2016.